Work-in-Progress Girl


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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?)

Berry Barn Designs My Button

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.


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Sunday Stash: Crash. Burn.

I’ve kind of been missing in action for a while – and the important things I’ve missed talking about: the winner of my giveaway was Sarah at Thrift Store Crafter and although I’d said the Gypsy Wife link-up would be happening here at the end of February, plans changed and it’s actually being held by Jo at Riddle and Whimsy – and that’s mostly because I sometimes wind up a depressed headcase in winter (I don’t say that to make light of depression, but to try to downplay it for myself a bit because I’ll do whatever I can to talk myself out of sinking further into all this), it’s a depressing season and I haven’t really been capable of doing much the last couple weeks. I’ve got a couple half written entries spanning all sorts of random topics (for example: why I don’t go look at the blogs of Dudes who favourite my blog – sorry if there are any dude quilters out there who have avatars that looks like ‘dude’ is the only appropriate word to describe them: you know, fedoras, sunglasses, goatees… – I just assume you’re all trying to sell me on your 10 point plan for making mad bank via blogging), but anyway… I’m back for now at least. Hopefully for a while. Hopefully I’ll even have something to talk about and show you that isn’t just fabric I’ve bought. Fabric I’ve illicitly bought. Fabric I’ve bought even though I’m on a fabric fast.

When I crash, I crash hard. Fair to say.

It all started on January 31. I was looking for a copy of the Gypsy Wife pattern because I wanted to run the aforementioned giveaway and I was hoping to find a copy that was actually in Calgary so that I wouldn’t have to have it shipped to me and then have to turn around and ship it away again – why pay shipping twice, you know? So anyway, I went to a local fabric store – Traditional Pastimes – which is (was?) doing a once monthly get-together for people working on Jen Kingwell patterns (Gypsy Wife and… the medallion one that I can’t remember the name of right now). I thought to myself that if they were doing a Wednesday night thing on the subject, then perhaps they’d have the patterns in stock. They didn’t, but as always happens when I walk into a brick and mortar fabric store, I got a bit sucked in.

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Just in the door they had a display of Parson Gray fabrics, the Vagabond line, and a gorgeous quilt using it, and then I conveniently remembered that I’d been buying some Parson Gray fabrics to eventually make a quilt for my dad and bam, 30 more FQs!

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It’s a kind of interesting line. There are a lot of bits of it that I don’t really love, but it works together really well and of course it’s a bit more masculine than your standard fabric choices. Which is exactly what I was aiming for. And I’m hoping that these prints will mix in with another FQ bundle of Parson Gray fabrics that I’ve got (World Tour) so that I can get a nice mix for the quilt, whenever I make it.

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I think I’ve at least half-ways settled on a quilt pattern, even, but I need to fiddle around with the concept. It’s a pattern by… Ashley of Film in the Fridge (oh, I hope I got her name right, wouldn’t I feel like a dick if I’ve misnamed her!) that was in a recent quilting magazine – Quilty? or something else… I bought two magazines in the same day and forget which it was in) which kind of looks like flags, I guess, or pennants, rather. But I want to make a paper-piecing pattern for it, rather than the pattern’s general idea of Just Wing It and Trim Off the Excess. I just can’t with all that fabric waste. Yeah, there’ll be a lot of weird, lost triangle points either way, but at least the background can be a bit less wasteful.

Anyway, then I kept looking, which wasn’t a great thought because a 30 FQ bundle is already a lot when I’m supposedly fabric fasting.

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Back when I’d been to Traditional Pastimes for the first time I’d run across this long quarter roll of fabric from the Styl Mod line by Newcastle Fabrics and I hadn’t bought it because I was trying to be well-behaved… (and that was BEFORE my fabric fast even started).

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I caved and bought it. Another 29 quarter yds/metres of fabric. And then, you know, since I had an uneven amount, 1 FQ short of a full 60 quarters…

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I bought a FQ of this Amy Butler print. From the way it was a folded, I thought it was a different AB print than it turned out to be. This one is Twilight Peony in Amaranth from Soul Blossoms. It’s not bad as florals go, but they’re still not generally my favourite type of print ever.

When I opened that last FQ up and realized it wasn’t the print I thought it was, I talked myself into finding (online) and buying the print I really, really loved so that I could use it for the backing of my Gypsy Wife quilt:

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Sketchbook in Spring from Alchemy. Love the colours, love the sketchiness of the print, just LOVE. Anyway, Hawthorne Threads didn’t have enough to back a whole quilt, so I bought what they did have and then decided that even though I didn’t love it as much, I could instead use the other colour way of the same print for the quilt backing:

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Sketchbook in Fresh. I did get enough of it to back a quilt, so that’s what I’m going to do. But the idea with buying quilt backings it that I’ll only buy backings for FINISHED quilt tops, not ones so far from finished it’s barely beyond the infancy of the idea! (Seven blocks do not a Gypsy Wife quilt make.) I’m still a bit back and forth on this blue and green version of this print. I find it appealing but strange. (And I have a huge hate for blue roses — they just spray/dye them that colour, it’s not like nature produces this sort of blue in a rose!)

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Anyway, since I was already shopping Hawthorne Threads, why not throw in a little bit of extra goodies? I had thoughts about these, but I forget what those thoughts were! I should really write these things down when I think I have a genius idea for something. (These will come back later, anyway, because there are certainly new plans for them.) These are World Tour and Belle, from Mr and Mrs Butler.

So my bad behaviour at Hawthorne Threads over, I turned my wicked eye toward Mad About Patchwork instead. Because my February Stash Bee block was posted and the recipient asked for something in the Radiant Orchid line…

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I didn’t have much that could even charitably be called Radiant Orchid, so I ordered these and then posted a photo on Flickr of the 3 or 4 choices I did have in my stash, which I was sort of hoping my recipient wouldn’t like, so that I could justify having bought these. My recipient did okay a couple of my choices and then when these arrived I decided that they were too pink from the top (Oval Elements in Crocus) and from the left (Diamonds in Raspberry from Tula Pink’s Acacia) and too green in the middle (Pixel Dot in Pomegranate, also from Acacia) and too lavender from the bottom (Deco Dots in Aster from Amy Butler’s Gypsy Caravan). So I wound up using my stash anyway.

Anyway, whenever I shop at Mad About Patchwork I always find myself adding extra because, you know, there’s a flat shipping rate, so I might as well get my money’s worth, right?

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Why not add a charm pack of Botanics? And the matching charm pack of Kona solids? (These were intended to be a giveaway for my 200th post, but it passed unceremoniously, so maybe I’ll save them for a different giveaway. Or maybe I’ll keep them, because I’ve been all about the Emerald Greens lately and there’s a colour I don’t really have in my stash. Like, at all.)

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And how about Pippa in Citron from Michael Miller’s Citron Gray. (Which, by the way, is not citron in colour at all.) Lovely.

You might think that was all that I managed to buy in my two day reign of fabric buying terror, but it wasn’t. No. No, I also hit up Etsy to see what could be seen from the Canadian sellers.

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I finally bought a collection of fabrics I’ve been eyeing (from a destash seller, Liette at Coudsdonc) for a long time. First up, 5″ strips of a selection of Nicey Jane prints. These strips are intended, eventually, for the Gypsy Wife quilt, where long pieces of fabric will become my friend. (Come December. But hey, let’s buy them in February!) The white is a half yard of a white on white dot from Lakehouse Fabrics – hard to photograph!

Also, I picked up a mixed lot of Atelier & Akiko prints from Lecien. I don’t know the name of the line/lines these came from, but first there are these four fabrics, which are not quilting cotton but feel like… I don’t know, kind of like gauze, I guess, so maybe this is double gauze fabric?

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I had been charmed by the hand-drawn, children’s art aspect of these fabrics, but as it turns out, I don’t really love them up close. The lines look kind of… like they were badly rendered. I don’t know. They’re kind of made of dashes or slightly jagged lines, rather than smoothly drawn lines. (Even accounting for crappy children’s drawing, it looks odd.) But it sort of looks (to my eye) like when you have a flaw in printing and every line is just ever so slightly offset so that nothing quite matches up. I don’t know.

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These are the regular cottons from the same line. Fat quarters and cut squares and all sorts of bits and pieces. I still like the idea of these ones, but I definitely like them better from a distance rather than up close where the jagged lines stand out so much to me.

So that was two days worth of Grabby Hands buying of fabric. I wish it had stopped there, but it didn’t. Because I mentioned at the top of my entry that I’ve been kind of depressed and I mentioned back in January that a part of the reason I want to fabric fast is that I often fabric shop when I’m depressed because it’s that brief high of Oh Pretty! which feels good for about five minutes, until I remember I actually have to pay for it all and then it just re-depresses me because it’s wasteful to shop just for those brief bursts of joy. Well. Let’s leave alone the ridiculous psychology of why people shop for happiness (because it IS a ridiculous cycle!) and instead look at some more of my later February purchases. There were only two, so I think that’s not too bad, but I wish there weren’t any, so that’s not great, but I’m trying not to beat myself up, so let’s just say I’ll do better in March.

First, I finally had an idea as far as the whole 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge, which I won’t talk about, lest I decide not to do it. This whole Radiant Orchid thing is really mystifying me because if you go to Pam’s Colour of the Year page at Mad About Patchwork and then compare the Pantone swatch on the lower left of the page to the photo at the top of the page…. there’s a whole world of difference between them! I don’t know which is the “right” colour and every single fabric I see that’s somewhere in that pinkish-red purple range somehow feels right until I compare it to either of those two images and then they just all seem wrong. Anyway…

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I still think none of these are quite right, but I’m planning to change their looks by heavy application of coloured threads. The print is Tangle in Lavender from Anna Maria Horner’s Dowry, and I think I probably won’t use it for this project. Too busy. The other three are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in Grape, Granite, and Lilac. (Lilac is the palest colour, Grape the darkest.) I think I’ll just use the three shot cottons for this idea, with the binding in the darkest colour. The Dowry print… it intrigues me, as AMH prints often do, but also makes my brain hurt because it’s not the sort of thing I can really imagine using. I really don’t tend to buy these busy prints too often because I find it hard to mentally place them into projects. There is just so much going on that I can’t figure out how to give them room to breathe.

Anyway, I think I mentioned flat rates and always adding just a little more to “make it worth it” so…

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I also added Pam’s most recent Low Volume Bundle. From top left: Botanics Leaves in Curry, Botanics Graph Paper Garden in Curry, Stitch Squares in Sea, Pearl Bracelet in Glacier (LOVE!). And again from the left: Sun Print Text in Mulberry, White on White Basics Medium Dot from Riley Blake, Prisma Noir from Minimalista, and La Creme Swiss Dots in Red. I also bought a couple yards of an off-white Kona cotton… or maybe that was with the other Mad About Patchwork purchase, but either way it’s a basic and too boring to photograph.

And so was the couple yards of Moda Bella cotton I bought in an off-white from Fat Quarter Shop along with these two half yards:

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On the left is Cherry Candy in Robin’s Egg from Fig Tree & Co.’s Avalon line and on the right is Mezzanine in Seashell and Coral from Fig Tree & Co.’s Tapestry line. These didn’t photograph too well, the blue should be more blue and the off-white should be more creamy.

And that, my friend’s are the full depths to which I crashed this month on the whole Fabric Fast. But as I said somewhere in all this mess: I’ll do better in March.

Linking up with Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Sarah at Mila + Cuatro and Fabricholics Anonymous:

Molli Sparkles FabAnon


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Random Thursday

I have eleventy billion comments to respond to and also I need to go to bed because I work a night shift tonight and want to at least get a couple hour’s nap in before then and also I need to do laundry and vacuum and take out recycling to the bin and and and so here’s a bit of random bits and pieces:

1. My goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, February:

Hexaquilt

Acacia

Baste both these quilt tops. I feel like that’s not very ambitious, but I know myself and if I say “Baste Quilt and Bind” for even one of them… I probably won’t get it done. I just hope I have enough pins to do both tops. (I’m thinking I might, maybe, possibly, try to quilt the Acacia quilt instead of tying it like I’ve been saying. But we’ll see. If I do tie it, I’m thinking I should just tape it down and tie it while it’s on the floor instead of pin-basting first then tying it. Tying is basically just basting anyway, just slightly more securely and one hopes with longer lasting results.)

2. Craftsy Mystery Box Saga
FreeSpirit Garden FQ Pack

The end of the Craftsy Mystery Box saga. If you remember, I’d asked to have 6 additional FQs sent out to me to complete my order. The terminally chipper Bob sent me this 20 FQ pack of FreeSpirit Garden fabrics. It’s not exactly what I’d have picked out, if I’d picked out my own replacement fabric, but it’s fabric I’ll use and some of it I even like quite a lot. (There’s lots of fabric in the world I wouldn’t buy but like well enough. This is some of it.)

3. Fandom Stuff
Sherlock and Watson charms

I bought some Sherlock charms from RedBowTie on Etsy. I’ll talk more about that later, though. In the background of the picture is some fabric I bought, printed to look like the wallpaper in the lounge/living room at 221b Baker Street. I’ll talk more about that later too.

4. Hey, it’s Kristel in person!

I haven’t posted one of these here in a while. If you’re curious what’s up with the Sherlock stuff, you could watch the video. But it’s 12 minutes. And I say um a lot. So, you know. Entirely up to you 😀 Also, if you’re curious what the video is about, me and some friends on Livejournal post Talk to Me Tuesday videos on as many Tuesdays per year as we can manage. I aim for one every other week, but sometimes do them more often than that and sometimes less often. This one I recorded today… I’m behind on EVERYTHING this week.


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Fabric Binge, Post the Second

I’m really hoping to talk about the fabric diet thing sometime this week, but I’m going on holidays out of town next week (nowhere very interesting, just back to my hometown in Saskatchewan – I’ll be flying in to Saskatoon, so if you’ve got an suggestions for fabric shops to stop by, other than Periwinkle, let me know!) and I feel like I’ve got so much to do before I go that I can’t really take the time to write up a proper entry. Also, it’ll give me something to talk about while I’m out of town! (My hometown has a Fabricland, which is a fabric store with a lot of home decor and clothing fabrics and some lines of fairly cheap quilting cotton, but fortunately hasn’t got any proper quilt shops, so I won’t have that distraction/damage for my bank account.)

In the meantime, here’s some more of that fabric binge I referenced last weekend.

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I’m starting with a bit of an easy one. Easy in the sense that it doesn’t exactly count as binge buying. This is what I’ll need to finish up the Confetti-Go-Lucky quilt. The big pom-pom type print is going to be the main backing fabric, but I couldn’t get quite enough to cover the whole back, so I’m going to piece in some of the other stuff. I was planning to use the garland type one, but I think it’s going to be too busy/distracting. I don’t know! I bought the two dot prints so I could audition them both for binding, but maybe I should put in some of that instead? I don’t know! And I’ve got one single spare hexagon that didn’t get used in the quilt top, so I could piece that into the back somehow too, maybe. But I don’t know! (All these fabrics, by the way, are from Bonnie and Camille’s Happy Go Lucky line.)

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But, you know, I did binge buy this pattern, which I don’t need at all, but just think is pretty neat. (What a great reason to buy something, eh? It’s “pretty neat”.)

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This next one I can talk my way into claiming as non-binge buying – it’s a border for a quilt I’m going to make in order to fulfill a 2014 goal of sewing my way through a Craftsy class instead of buying them and occasionally thinking about watching/sewing along with them. This fabric comes from Tula Pink’s Acacia line, it’s one of her hidden animal prints – see the butterfly? (I like this one better than some of her others- the cabbage rabbits are not my favourite.) Anyway, I say I can talk my way into calling this non-binge, but I did use it as an excuse to buy some Comma fabrics, which I never bought much of despite liking it so very much. (A rare instance of not over-indulging myself. I do kind of wish I’d indulged in the black/grey prints, but never mind that.)

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So sorry Comma – I washed you out and made you look so much less attractive than you actually are! Well, try to imagine these in the citrusy palette!

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But now comes the proper binge. The Black Friday PinkCastle binge.

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In a way, this is a kind of wasteful purchase. Wasteful in the sense that it’s basically a scrap pack, but because it’s been curated and chopped down into sixteenths of a yard (which must, admittedly, have been time consuming), it wound up costing me $14/yard instead of Pink Castle’s more typical, say, $10-13/yard. But it’s 32 different 1/16 yards in jewel tones.

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And look at those luscious colours and lovely prints. Some of these I’d love to go back and buy entire yards of. (But I’m not going to.) The plan for this pack, and the whole reason I bought it, is to put it to use in the Gypsy Wife pattern that I showed last week. I want to make that quilt as scrappy as the pattern, but scrappy within a certain set of colour values, I suppose.

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Since I was there, I didn’t waste any time snapping up these Bike Path prints from Alison Glass’s Sunprints collection.

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Or these texty prints either. I keep wondering when the text print explosion will die out, but I’m happy to keep it going as long as it wants – it’s nice to have a neutral option that doesn’t involve floral and that adds something interesting to background, rather than just sinking back and taking up space. Anyway, that’s it for me today – can’t wait to go check out what’s in everybody else’s stash for Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth:

Finding Fifth

Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow for Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway Day, wherein I’ll be giving away an entire Sunday Stash post worth of children’s fabrics. If you’re in love with canvas elephants or little dinosaurs or ladybugs… this is the place to be.

giveaway_2013_Dec9


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Mini (mini!) Calgary Shop Hop

I had family up last weekend (Thanksgiving in Canada!) for four days, but somehow that four day stay magically turned into seven days! Which seriously messed with my blog posting schedule! Sorry Mum and Dad, you’re too distracting! Why can’t you let me get on with my busy Internet-time-wasting schedule, like god and nature inten…. oh right. Anyway, my parents, younger sister, and grandma all came out for four days – a longer than usual trip because they were dropping my grandma off at the airport on the fourth day (Tuesday) so that she could fly further west to visit my aunt/cousins in BC. But then my sister was leaving for India for three weeks (work trip) on Thursday, so when my brother-in-law wound up in hospital on Monday (personal information short, he had a couple head wounds, one of which required stitches, and he was left with a concussion and some woozy-making drugs) for several hours, my parents decided to stick around until Saturday to make sure he’d be okay. They ended up leaving Friday because bro-in-law swore he’d be okay (they were concerned that he’d go to work and be too pained/tired/drugged up to drive home – it’s a very long drive to his work) and that he’s got several co-workers in the neighbourhood who could drive him home if necessary. (But then he’s solved the potential issue by just not going to work.)

In any case, since they were here for so long, they decided to spend Thursday doing whatever I wanted. Because I don’t have a car, there are a lot of parts of the city I just never get to (in fact, I don’t go anywhere more than about 2 stops beyond the train stop that gets me to work, 99 days out of 100), so they figured… hey, let’s take Kristel wherever. Well, there was no where I needed to go, so I decided we’d go to a couple quilt shops. Just two, because I had to work a night shift on Thursday and needed to get some sleep beforehand.

So first we went to Traditional Pastimes. I’d never been to this store before. Once, when I first moved here, but after I had a job and could afford to waste money on fabric (rather than just on food and shelter) my mom and I went on a day-long shop hop in Calgary, but we ran out of time before we made it to Traditional Pastimes – it was the last store on the list and traffic was so slow on the way up that it got too late and the store would have been closed before we made it there. With the whole no-car thing I never went there afterwards because I assumed the transit would be ridiculous – probably in the neighbourhood of an hour’s trip one way. Ridiculous!

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I wasn’t going to buy much of anything, but I let myself talk myself into things. Too many things. Lovely things.

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Two very different patterns. The stitchery one is very… not to my taste. But my mum loves it, so I’m hoping to make a wall-hanging for her with it. I’ll likely change the ‘Spring’ caption at the bottom to just ‘Welcome’ since I didn’t also buy the other 3 season stitches. (And they’re costly patterns, nearly $20 just for the one pattern! They do come with an iron-on transfer, but I think $8-15 is pretty standard any more, at least with more modern patterns, so $20 felt expensive.) The Canada flag… I don’t know. I’ve kind of wanted it and talked myself out of it before because it’s just raw edge appliqué and I feel ripped off (even at $8) paying for an appliqué pattern I could very easily draft myself. But I decided in favour of supporting Cheryl Arkison, even though I think it’s too simple a concept really to need a pattern.

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These wool scraps are for a couple different things. The green is for a needlebook I need to make, like, last week. The rest is for the stitchery pattern up above – I decided to do the house and bee-hive with wool appliqué, though the yellow is too bright and so I’m going to have to figure out a way through using a darker colour in the stitching to make it more bee-hive-ish. The houndstooth will be the roof and the grey the house itself.

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There’s a project I haven’t shown you yet (because my parents just. wouldn’t. leave.) which is actually finished and which my sister liked well enough that she would like me to make a larger one for her. I enjoyed making that project – which you can see on Flickr if you like, but which I’m wanting to re-photograph before posting about here – so I think I will make a version of it for her and these dots are going to be a part of the new fabric additions.

I find it quite interesting that Traditional Pastimes sells so many rolls of long quarters of fabric. The fat quarter has really taken over the world of small cut sizes, so it felt kind of strange to see so many long quarter cuts in the store. Still, without delving too deeply into the bolts they had on display, I would venture a guess that they tended to stock more in the small to (maybe) medium size print range, rather than anything very large scale, so the long quarter works out well enough. And for this quilt project, I need the full width of fabric anyway, so the long quarter was perfect.

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I dithered over this for a long time, picking it up, putting it back, picking it up, putting it back. When Tula Pink’s Acacia line came out, I didn’t think I liked it very much. I made exactly zero plans to buy any of it (and I’m a long time Tula Pink fan), but seeing it in person, in this particular combination of prints/colours, I found myself liking it quite a bit more than I previously thought I did. And now I’ve got to figure out what to do with it! I think it’s pretty awesome, but… I need some plan. I can’t keep stock-piling all her fabric and never using it!

As for the store, should any of you decided to hit up Calgary quilting stores: I think I might like it best of all the Calgary shops I’ve been in (I still haven’t been to all of them, but I have been to most). It sort of feels right to me, in an older building with creaky wooden floors and beautiful things everywhere and bolts and bolts of fabric. They stock a lot of fabrics that aren’t particularly to my tastes, but they did have a nice selection of lines I did like, as well as a fair number of solids, and a lot of books with pretty widely ranging styles. Neither of the ladies I saw working there came up to greet me or offer me help, but that’s not something that bothers me – I prefer to find someone if I need help, and one of them spoke at length to my Mum and the other was helping someone find The Perfect Fabric, so it’s not like they weren’t occupied (at least part of the time). When I did go to pay for my purchases, I talked for quite a while with the lady at the till, which was nice. We commiserated over not much liking Cheryl Arkison’s newest book (sorry, but lifestyle books from pretty much anyone are not my thing, they just make me throw up huge Eff Off signs because oh, for fuck’s sake, get over yourself and your favourite recipes. I’m happy to see a blogger post things like that, but I don’t ever, ever want to pay anyone to offer me tips on how to live my life) and talked about how compelling Acacia is even though we didn’t much think we’d like it (she liked it better once she saw it in use, I liked it better once I saw it in the real world rather than just online). Anyway, she was nice to talk to and that was a bonus.

After that, we went to a quilt shop I’ve been to before, Out of Hand. If you’ve ever been there before, I’m about to make the most obvious of puns, but their stock situation is entirely out of hand. The first time I went there, I was afraid to walk down the “aisles” because there was so much fabric EVERYWHERE that I felt like the entire store was going to collapse in on me. This time it was a little more pared back, but still pretty, um,… overwhelming. I couldn’t tell you what types of fabric they sell there because there was so much to look at you could go down the same aisle three times and see something different each time. One of the ladies who was working spoke to me twice to see if I needed a hand, which was fine, but then she kept wandering by where I was looking at things and staring at me, which sort of made me feel like she thought I was either hiding an ice cream cone in my pocket and intending to maliciously drip all over everything or else like she thought I was planning to steal a bolt or two and felt she had to keep an eye on me. Maybe it was nothing nefarious, but who knows where thoughts come from, they just appear, and that’s the thought that came to mind with her. The lady at the till also seemed… I don’t know. Off in some way. She didn’t greet me, she just took my fabric, wrote out the receipt, then put it on the counter and said “there’s that then” and then rang the total into the debit machine and put that on the counter and said “there’s that” and then put all the fabric in a bag and put that on the counter and said,.. you guessed it, “and there’s that.” She didn’t say goodbye or thank you or fuck off and never return or anything at all. Just “and there’s that.” I don’t know if someone had a burr up their bum, but I certainly didn’t feel welcomed (which wasn’t the case the first time I shopped there – the owner was present that time and she was lovely). And I rather regretted spending nearly $80 there. (Which, as I said, the owner wasn’t present and when I met her, she had a nice long conversation with me about finishing projects and using long-arm quilters and all sorts of things. I’m can’t remember what if anything I bought on that first visit, but we still went away feeling we’d had something enjoyable out of it besides the adventure of possibly dying in a fabric avalanche.)

In any case, fabric:

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I started out just with these red and blue fat quarters and I was planning not to buy anything else, but I found (down an aisle I’d been in twice) the 1 yard remnant of the green comma fabric. And then .9 yards (metres?) of the grey pin dot fabric (also from Comma, I think) and the fat quarter of the grey comma fabric. Then I found a rather pretty stack of green and blue fat quarters:

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I didn’t think I liked Florence very much, and I still think some of the prints are kind of ugly, but they’re the kind of ugly that plays really well together. I think it could turn into something quite interesting, if I can figure out how to use it. So purchase wise, it was a pretty successful trip. Even if it was kind of unsuccessful from a comfort level. And unsuccessful from a Stop Buying Fabric Until You Start Using Fabric perspective. I think I need to take an inventory of all the fabric I own, and then start keeping a Fabric In, Fabric Out chart.

Linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth:
Finding Fifth