Sunday Stash: Lime Flannel

So if you follow me on Instagram (@clumsykristel), you’ll know I’ve been working on some brown and green hashtag blocks. They’re going to be put together into a baby quilt for a friend of my sister who is having her first baby… sometime soon. She doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, but has been doing things up in browns and lime greens, so that was the direction my sister asked me to angle in. I love backing baby blankets in flannels, so I was fortunate to already have a flannel in my stash that I thought would work perfectly…

Flannel

This fabric is Erin McMorris’s Birds from Irving Street (if Irving Street is the name of this fabric line – it’s really tough to read the printing on the selvedge). I also have another chunk of it in yellow, which is pretty awesome too. But I’d kind of forgotten about the pink… We were going to go ahead with it anyway because even if she has a boy, what’s a little pink the grand scheme of things? And if you follow many fabric loving people on Instagram, you know there’s a big push to use stash fabric this year (tied to the hashtag #SewMyStash2015) and I was kind of excited about this because the whole thing was going to be made from stash – all the fabric on the front is straight off my shelves (and scrap bins) and of course this flannel was too. But I went to the fabric store for thread. And that was my downfall, because you know what I found at the fabric store? Fabric. Fabric without pink in it. And it was 50% off, so who can walk away from that?

Flannel

I’d been wanting this Ann Kelle flannel for a long time, but didn’t buy it because I didn’t have a use for it. But now I do! Sure, it’s floral, but what’s a little floral in a (potential) little boy’s life? Not much. But I was pretty sure my sister wouldn’t like it, so I had to pick up a second choice too. Give her some options, you know?

Flannel

My sister likes cute things for little kids (which I usually don’t – I generally avoid children’s prints though I have got a few), so when I found this elephant flannel, I sort of figured she’d prefer it to both the floral and the birds. And she did. I try not to buy these cheaper flannels because they shrink at a greater rate and are far more shred-happy than the nicer flannels you get from the bigger companies (the birds are FreeSpirit and the floral is Robert Kaufman), but I just bought a little extra and if I need to seam it, I’ll probably make a wider seam allowance than I usually would, just to combat possible shredding. Anyway, it’ll be a cute addition to the quilt (and there’s one hashtag block with elephants, so you know… it fits). Now I just need to focus (and get my Juki back from the shop) and get it quilted up so it’ll be ready for the baby shower.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

March 30/30 Sewing Challenge and A Lovely Year of Finishes

So, Sarah at Berry Barn Designs is running this 30/30 Sewing Challenge, which is a challenge to spend at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days sewing. I’ve seen this kind of challenge before and I’ve thought about joining them before, but I typically run into problems when I work night shifts – I’m basically a zombie for those three days and spend a lot of time sitting or lying around not doing much. I don’t like it, but it’s really hard to change your schedule that much for just three days and then to switch back to the day shift again immediately. But I’m going to try it anyway. I’m not sure what I’ll get done – I don’t think I’ve ever dedicated that much of my time to sewing (typically I do most of my sewing on my weekends off and then spend most of the day at it) – so I’m going to have a few different projects I’d like to work on, but I expect this will evolve a little as time goes by.

1. 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge...

I haven’t started this one and you can probably guess from all that thread that it’s going to be a lot of hand-work involved. This is due Mid-March, so this is going to be top of my pile and also my Lovely Year of Finishes project for March. (I didn’t even start on my February goal – the entire month was pretty much a loss as far as crafting goes.) I don’t want to give away too much with this project, so you probably won’t see more than this until it’s actually finished and ready to submit.

2. The Acacia Quilt

Super Simple Acacia Patchwork Quilt

I need to piece the backing for this and then get it basted and quilted. I was going to tie it, but the more I think about it, the more I want to quilt it instead. And kind of free motiony. Even though that scares me. But this is a quilt for me, so I shouldn’t be so scared of making mistakes – I don’t need to let anyone see it up close! Also, getting this done will fill one of my 2014 goals of actually making something from a Craftsy class! (It was a free Craftsy class, but it still counts. And eventually I’ll work on something from one of my paid classes. I’m thinking about one the quilts from Camille Roskelley’s Pre-cut Piecing Made Simple.

3. Continue on with the Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong

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I think it’s just every two weeks that these blocks are released, so it’s not a huge time commitment for March, but I’m just going to put it up here. I don’t want to crap out on (yet another) quiltalong/block of the month type project. I’ve had this layer cake of Basic Grey’s Eva fabric sitting around for a very, very long time, so it’s nice to finally settle on a use for it. (I’m using Moda Bella yardage for the white and… I don’t really like it. You can see a lot more slubs in the fabric than in Kona cotton and it feels and looks thinner.)

4. Mini Quilt Made from Spare Stash Bee block

Smallish Badly Sewn Swoon block

This was my first attempt at the Dutch Rose/Swoon block for my Hive #12 Bee-mate at Stash Bee. It doesn’t show so much in this photo, but it’s slightly too small in some areas, slightly too large in others, has an unbelievable amount of wrinkles (seriously, if you lay it out flat on a table, you can slid your finger under some of the units without it making a noticeable difference elsewhere). It was a mess and so I had to remake it for the Bee, but now I have this big 16-inch quilt block, so I think I’m going to use it as a free motion quilting experiment. It’s a mess, so I shouldn’t get too upset if I mess it up further, right? I want to try just a basic stipple with it, something I’ve never really done successfully, but I’ve only tried on really small samples, so maybe having something a bit bigger to work on will be useful.

I could probably come up with other things, but I’ll leave it here! It’s definitely enough to get started with. I think I’ll probably expand my definition of this particular challenge to include all the parts of crafting – by which I really mean to say that I’m going to include basting, because that’s going to take a lot of time and I probably won’t want to do that AND 30 minutes of sewing in the same day, unless I happen to do it on a weekend day off – but I like to play fast and loose with rules like that. (Much like I’m playing fast and loose with the Fabriholic Anonymous rules by very seriously contemplating trading fabric for giftcards instead of selling the fabric directly because giftcards I can spend on fabric and cash I can’t…..) (Talk me out of this one, won’t you?)

By the by, sorry for all the Instagram photos. I couldn’t find my proper camera this morning, so I IGed everything instead. I had to do a little creative editing with a couple of them to try to get the colours the right shades, but I don’t think I’ve been terribly successful. Oh well.

Speaking of Instagram, you can follow me there @clumsykristel. And I’m hoping to post a daily update there on my 30 in 30 goals along (of course) with my weekly updates for the challenge.

Ramble Ramble (Random Thursday)

So it’s been a little while. I’ve been sewing, though, so I figure it’s all good! I meant to post last week, but then I just didn’t have anything to show and I didn’t even work on reorganizing my sewing room, so then I was going to post over the weekend, but it was my weekend off and I was actually sewing and no way was I stopping just to write a blog post. And then this has been a weird, weird week. I normally work a really set schedule, but I had a first aid course to attend on Tuesday (which shifted my work day by 3 hours from 6 AM to 9 AM) and then I had a training thing on Wednesday (which shifted my work day by 3 hours) and at least when I’m working my normal 6-2:30, I can get home when there’s still a drop or two of sun in the sky, but coming home after 5 pm means it’s already dark enough not to make photo taking virtually impossible.

I used to take photos of everything with flash because fuck it, what else can I do? But I’ve been trying to be at least a little better with my picture taking. And to that end, I asked my mom to buy me a light box for Christmas. Which yay, lightbox! But I can’t get enough light into it! I can clamp lights onto the table for either side, but I don’t have any lamps high enough to get above it and the lighting in my sewing room is unbelievably terrible (I could take off the light cover, which would help a little, but it’s not the most attractive of looks, having a bare bulb), so even the light box isn’t helping too much! (I’ve been trying to use one of the clamp on lights from the top and one from the left and then tilting my sewing lamp in from the right, but the angle is all wrong and the lamp on top is too heavy and it rests right on the light box surface, so it doesn’t really diffuse the light properly. Basically I’m winding up with kind of yellow photos and still having shadows where shadows ought not to be. A couple of Giveaway Day’s ago I won a pdf guide to photography from someone, but do you think I can find that file now?

Anyway, on the subject of Giveaway Day – I never did find a good entry to pop this in, but if I’m calling this one random, then why not now? (Finally!) This December I won a giveaway from Stephanie at Simple Sewendipity!

Heat Pad

How pretty is that? It’s a heating pad with lavender in it and it just smells unbelievably delicious. You microwave it to heat it up and then just apply wherever needs some extra warmth. Lovely! (I kind of want to pull it off the heating pad, though, and just hang it up in my sewing room it’s so pretty!)

Right, so, weekend sewing. I started out by pulling a long-standing WIP off the design wall:

Design Wall

I think I started this one about two years ago and I love it immensely, but it just seems like so much work every time I think about it! (It’s all with inset seams and it just gets heavier and harder to put in the bricks each time.) I’m a little worried it’s going to fade since it gets a shot of sun every day, and also it’s kind of made my design wall useless to me. So time to go.

Now this is all that’s up there:

Design Wall

Two of these are going away because they’re bee blocks. The other is my first Gypsy Wife block – just testing things out!

Hive 12: January Block

This is my first Stash Bee block, for Heather at Quilts in the Queue. This block was paper-pieced in the centre and then it’s just a sea of white around. I had to make this one twice – the first one when I was pressing it, suddenly came up with two dots of that blue water-erasable ink, which was a bit weird because I hadn’t been using the stuff! It didn’t come off with water like it usually does, so I thought it was going to be garbage and I rotary cut off the white from the sides so that I could trim it down into sizes useful for remaking the block. About an hour later, one of the dots had disappeared and now the second one has gone away, so I don’t know what that was all about. I still have that extra centre unit, but it’s got a 1/4 inch border of white sewn on and I’m not sure it’ll be easy to get off – I’d left on the paper and so I’d used a tiny little stitch to sew it down, and I don’t relish the thought of ripping all those little stitches.

Aeneous - January block

And this is my last block for the Simply Solids group on Flickr, for Laura at Waffle Kisses. This block uses this herringbone tutorial from Bijou Lovely and I think it comes out pretty great looking. I’m really happy with this one and hope the recipient will be happy too.

I also sewed up an entire quilt top, which you can see on Instagram (I’m @clumsykristel), but I haven’t been able to take a proper decent shot of it. It’s too big to tape to the wall for a photo and my yard is such a snowy mess that I can’t take it out and pin it to the fence either. Anyway, hopefully the backing material will arrive soon and then I’ll be able to take a finished photo! (I hope!)

Linking up with Really Random Thursday and Let’s Bee Social:

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LinkyBees