Work-in-Progress Girl


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Sunday Stash

This post has taken me a ridiculously long time to write – I spent half my day fighting with lighting and colour of the photos, as you’ll see below. Most of these fabrics came from Sew Sisters via a gift card from the very lovely Michelle at Factotum of Arts. Michelle had a giveaway for her top commentors and I was one of them! She gave me a gift card to a Canadian shop so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the shipping costs – how sweet was that?

Sew Sisters was one of the first sites to have Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe fabric in stock… but somehow I managed to avoid buying it from there and instead spent the card mostly on discounted fabrics. (You get a lot more that way…)

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On the left is natural light in the morning, from the north east and then on the right is natural light in the afternoon, from the south west. Neither of which is remotely close to the real thing.

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I started trying different settings in my camera, to see if I could sort something out. The left is was “vivid colours” – that bit of carpet left in the photo is actually beige, so you can imagine how much effect there was on the fabric colours. And yet it’s still not as egg-yolk yellow as the actual fabric should look. On the right was a “snowy scene” setting on my camera and it’s the closest I managed to come up with.

I don’t even know how the same piece of fabric could come out so wildly different! Anyway, it’s a Living Elements fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics, and if you go here to their website you can find their picture, “Old Yellow,” which is certainly a better representation.

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When I’m buying fabric without a specific purpose in mind (buying a certain line because I like it or buying for a particular project), I tend to look for fabrics that will fill gaps in my stash – colours I don’t have a lot of or print types that I don’t tend to buy. Considering the size of my fabric collection, I have a surprisingly small amount of orange fabrics, so that’s how this print from My Sunshine by Zoe Pearn wound up in the purchase.

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This orange wasn’t from Sew Sisters, I forget where I bought it, but it’s adding to the orange collection too. This one is from Petal and Plume by Bari J. Really great print.

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But back to the Sew Sisters fabrics, here’s a bit of Pepe in Paris from Riley Blake Designs. I picked it up in two different colourways. I was drawn first to the blue one, below, but I liked this low volume version of it too. The one downfall I would say is that the print is quite large, so I think it’d be hard to really showcase the print in a quilt. It’ll work just fine in small pieces, but it’d be harder to show off the whole row of houses.

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Anyway, I really love it in blue. I should have photographed the selvedge – it’s so cute on this line! The colour marks (why can’t I think what those things are called?) are of a little man in a beret. So cute.

I also picked up a bit of sale priced Carolyn Friedlander, from her older lines Botanics and Architextures. This blue didn’t come out so well in the photograph. It’s a tough one to capture:

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Just like the yellow print, I tried photographing this one in a few different locations and levels of sunlight. It just didn’t take well to photographs. I probably already had some of this (I haven’t put it away yet, so I haven’t even checked!) but Botanics is such a great line and it’s so usable in pretty much everything. So you know. Why not? Despite my enormous collection of blue fabrics, I don’t have a ton of dark blues. Actually dark anything – dark orange, darker yellows, dark purples, etc. This one is probably a bit of a medium blue, but it’s still darker than my usual sky blues and aquas.

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These stripes are some of the best low volume fabrics out there. Love love them.

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And of course a bit of text fabric from Architextures.

I think I’d also got some Aurifil thread, but I can’t remember where I put it, so I didn’t photograph that!

Anyway, it was a pretty good fabric shop. I don’t really love Sew Sisters that much – their fabric focus just doesn’t line up that closely with mine (which is fine, I’m sure there are hundreds of quilters who’d turn their noses up at my favourite fabrics) and their website is also unwieldy at best. I think I’ve been spoiled by sites like Fabric Spark and Mad About Patchwork and Hawthorne Threads that let you search in several different ways – colour, designer, fabric line, etc. Anyway, they do have enough bits and bobs I like that I’ve bought from them a handful of times – most recently during a 20% off yardage sale (which might not be over yet, depending when I get this entry posted), when I ordered a few metres of some Kona cottons and a little bit of Cherie fabric – and I’m certain I’ll be back again in the future (especially with the Canadian dollar so low – I don’t see myself buying from American sites, anyway!).

Anyway, I’d shown an orange print above, which didn’t come from Sew Sisters, and when I bought it, I also picked up a few dark blues. (I forgot where I got it from! They were all in the same plastic bag though.)

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This is one of Art Gallery Fabrics new Prisma Elements fabrics. It’s got a metallic silver print over the blue. Very pretty! I like that the metallic is pretty minimal – I find it makes for slightly stiffer and less comfortable feeling fabrics when it’s applied too heavily.

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This is Metro Living Diamonds in Navy. I’ve had a few different Metro Living prints over the years and they’re always great. And good solid colours – navy, orange, red, etc.

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And finally we’ve got Deco Geo in Navy from Michael Miller. Another good navy, though there’s a lot of white in that print.

So that’s kind of an enormous collection of fabric being added to my shelves instead of taken away… I almost hate to add up the yardage and see what it comes to!

Linking up with the always fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. (Link and blog button on the right.)


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30/30 Sewing Challenge: Month End

You know, I keep thinking I should have more to show because I’ve spent SO MUCH time crafting this month, but so much of it was absorbed in the beginning of the month with the Radiant Orchid challenge mini-quilt, that once I was finished with that, nearly all my time went into making things I had to make – bee blocks and swap projects. Which, hey, nothing wrong with that, but I still have so much more I wanted to finish this month!

It’s the last day of March, for example, [or the first day of April, even… I fell asleep before I could finished editing this post yesterday] and I didn’t even touch my Gypsy Wife booklet! Not a single Gypsy Wife block sewn in March! But if I get them done by the weekend, I’m still linking up with Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day.

Beginnings of two #quilts -- lowish volume and loud for the #gypsywifequiltalong

This (rather dreadful Instagram photo in a too-dark room) is where both my Gypsy Wife quilts are at. I’m really, really wanting to get working on these, but that Pershing block is really kind of scaring me – I’ve been having issues with details lately and none of my blocks lately have been working out quite like I hope. Pershing is not a good one for when you’re feeling wibbly about your sewing skills.

I’m also six blocks behind on the Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong! Six blocks!

Layer Cake Sampler QAL... so far...

This is where I’m at though! Loving how this is coming together, although I do feel a little bit like it’s too pink. I’ll have to wait till I have more blocks together, but maybe I’ll need to sash it in a dark purple or burgundy or something. I think I have a bunch of yardage from this line (Eva by Basic Grey), which was meant to be used as backing for a different Eva quilt-in-progress, but depending what the fabrics are, maybe I’ll be able to use it for finishing the quilt.

So what have I gotten done since finishing my Orchid quilt? Well… a couple bee blocks:

Stash Bee Hive #12 March Block Stash Bee Hive #12 March Block

Neither one of them turned out exactly as I’d hoped – I don’t know… the first one came together pretty well, but that second one is a mess of bad points and it’s a little too small and I was really not happy with it. But I kind of love the colours – that domino dot was a great match for that centre print, although I think it’s a lot more green than the recipient was looking for. In any case, I had changed the needle (and thread) in between sewing the first block and the second and it was just a fight to get anything to work properly. I’m not sure what’s the culprit – maybe the bobbin is wound crookedly, maybe the needle has a bad point or it’s slightly misshapen or the wrong size or maybe I’m a poor craftsman who is blaming her tools. In any case, I’m going to start swapping things out and see if something helps.

I also finished a few things for the 4S swap on Flickr… I don’t want to write a full post about those yet, but here is a shot of the drawstring bag I created and the pincushion I tucked in along with some other treats (fabric and candy and chocolate…):

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I feel like there must be more, but I’m drawing a blank on it, so I guess that’s what I’ve been up to with all my 30 minutes (and more) of crafting every day for the last while! Truly, the majority of the month was taken up with this guy, time hog that it was:

Radiant Orchid mini quilt

Linking up with Sarah at Berry Barn Designs for the 30/30 Sewing Challenge. In general I was pretty successful with the 30 minutes a day thing, I think I only missed once on a weekend when I was unexpectedly working nights (but had expected to have time off). It feels like not very much stuff, considering the time I put into it, but crafting really can be a huge time suck. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a speedy thing, even when something moves along quickly.

Berry Barn Designs

Linking up also to WIP Wednesday at Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Sew Fresh Quilts


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Lime

[Edited to say: Is anybody else annoyed with Flickr for changing yet again? Where did all my pictures go? Note to self: it now overrides to an embed code automatically (or it is right now…) and I need to change it to HTML and the size I want every frigging time, instead of it remembering what I asked for the last time I got an html code from them.]

So last week in my Sunday Stash post I alluded to the fact that I had a package of fabrics coming from Hawthorne Threads, which contained I couldn’t remember what… well, I actually had two packages coming from them. The first one was illicitly bought (illicit because I was supposed to be fabric fasting), but the second was a gift from the ever lovely Michelle at Factotum of Arts – she sent thank you giftcards to her top commentators when she reached 500 followers. Even though they were ordered and sent about a week apart, they both arrived on the same day last week, and so I’ve gotten the two bundles of fabric all mixed up. In any case, I decided to spread out the sharing of these fabrics, so hopefully if I’ve got something new to photograph and look at all month, maybe I won’t keep wanting to buy more…

So this week it’s all about the greens. I was clearly feeling in a very lime sort of mood when I bought these. I had a bath yesterday that smelled like a pina colada (something from Lush) and my sister thought maybe I’ve turned into a secret drinker, downing cocktails in the bathroom on Saturday evenings, but maybe I’m just in the mood for something tropical. Because it’s snowing. Again. Or maybe I should say Still.

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From the left, we have Squared Elements in Lime and Nature Elements in Lime Sherbet both from Art Gallery Fabrics and Cherries in Key Lime from The Henley Studio’s Retro Bake line for Andover.

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Okay. I’m going to have to stop saying that I hate florals. Maybe I’m just picky about florals? Maybe I just like occasional roses? Whatever the case, from the left we have Vintage Rose in Lime and Featherleaf in Green from Heather Bailey’s Lottie Da and Delhi Blooms in Lime from Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms.

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In slightly quieter greens, I picked up Finery in Cream from Heather Bailey’s Freshcut line, Confetti Dots in Grass from Dear Stella (I think I should have gotten lime, this is a bit of a dreary green in comparison to the others), and Boho Stitches in Sand from Pat Bravo’s Rhapsodia, which is nearly not green at all.

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And then finally, one very dark emerald green, Foliage in Fern from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line. This one feels quite different from anything else I picked up in these two bundles of fabrics, but it was bought with a specific purpose in mind: to be binding on a quilt I’d eventually like to make, using the Botanics charm pack (and the charm pack of Kona cottons matching the Botanics line). I don’t know what size that quilt will wind up, but I’m thinking I should have bought 3/4 of a yard (instead of the half I did get) just in case. Ah well… I do have some other cuts from that line, so I could just piece it, if I wind up needing to do that.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:
Molli Sparkles

Later this week I promise to be back with, you know… posts about things I’ve sewn, rather than fabrics I’ve bought.

Oh! Oh, also! I should say who won my giveaway from last week’s Sunday Stash! The winner was lucky #13: Cristina from Pretty Little Quilts.


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Sunday Stash: I swear I didn’t break my fabric fast for this…

…but I totally broke my fabric fast. Sigh. I think this bundle of stuff — bought within my own rules, using a gift card given to me at Christmas and buying backing material to finish a quilt — was like a bug bite and I was left with a really, really intense urge to scratch. And scratch that itch I did. (If you follow me on Instagram — @clumsykristel — then you may have seen a picture of a receipt for some fabric I bought. $225 worth of fabric. 15 yards worth of fabric. Well, more, really, since 29 of the quarters were actually quarter metres, rather than quarter yards.) I made the mistake of going to a quilt store, and as an actual fat kid, I should know better than to let loose a fat kid in a candy store. The best solution is always to just avoid the candy store entirely! But I went to a quilt shop – I was looking for the Gypsy Wife pattern by Jen Kingwell, and they were out of stock – and I found a bundle of FQs that I think will be great to make a quilt for my dad and another bundle of fabrics that was there the last time I was in the shop and which had dug into my brain and made me want it. What’s worse is that it didn’t stop there, no. I came home and instead of telling myself that tomorrow’s another day and it’s okay and I’ll do better in February… I went online and bought a bunch of fabric from Hawthorne Threads. And some scrap packs from a seller on Etsy. And some more fabric from Mad About Patchwork. Crash. Burn. But tomorrow’s another day and I’ll do better in the rest of February.

Anyway, here’s the ‘within the rules’ purchases. I’ll save the ill-gotten gains for another week.

Acacia Racoons

Acacia racoons. This raccoon print had put me off the Acacia line entirely and it wasn’t until I actually saw the line in person that I bought any of it. Normally I’m a pretty big Tula Pink fan so I had been surprised to like Acacia as little as I did. But yes, seeing it in person made me want it and I’d bought myself a roll of long quarter metres. I finally turned it into a quilt top — hopefully I’ll have that to show you soon — and so I needed a backing material. I guess I’ve come around on the creepy raccoons a little because I found myself amused by the thought of a quilt back full of raccoons peering out at you.

So next up was a little Amy Butler. When I first started sewing, I’d bought a fair bit of Amy Butler fabric (because she was about as modern as any of the local shops got), but then I got a little tired of her Super! Busy! Prints! and Colours! because all her lines are everything she can think of and then a little more added on after that. There’s pretty much nothing pared back about an Amy Butler line. (It’s true the Midwest Modern prints were fairly restrained.)

Amy Butler

But this print here. Oh my god it’s gorgeous. This is the kind of pink that makes me want to have a pink house (and normally I’m a big mean pink hater) and then the way it looks against that blue is just… sublime. Love it. I didn’t let myself buy it for ages, but then Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day made that incredible log cabin quilt and I had to buy a bit of it. I bought a fat quarter of this print, French Wallpaper, and then a charm pack of the whole Belle line. I haven’t opened up the charm pack yet and I know I’m only sort of in love with some of the prints in there instead of all the way in love, but I’ve got plans for a (hopefully) sweet little baby quilt using it. And I’ll put a few chunks of this wallpaper print on the back and then want to have my own baby so I can keep the quilt instead of giving it away.

Sunrise palette

Next up was another charm pack, this time the Sunrise palette in Kona cottons.

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This is going to be a giveaway and it’s going to hurt just a tiny bit sending it off. Look at all those luscious gorgeous colours!

Catnap FQs

Then some assorted prints from Lizzy House’s Catnap line. The red one is Catnip in Raspberry, below it is Chasing Butterflies in Clementine, and then on top right is Cats Cradle in Raspberry.

Botanics FQs

Some super quiet Botanics prints by Carolyn Friedlander. Let’s see. Top left is Foliage in Charcoal Metallic, then Hand Drawn Stripes in Garden, then Leaves in Charcoal, and across the bottom is Leaves in Curry. I’ve been quite undecided about this line – I like how it all looks together, but suspect that I’d really dislike some of the prints on their own. Still, I haven’t actually seen it anywhere – none of the shops I’ve been to recently carry it – so maybe I’d like it all better than I think. Anyway, it was good just to pick a couple prints I think I can make use of, rather than buying it all and feeling a bit meh about it.

Assst FQs

And finally, three randomish ones. The two on top are from Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma line with Soba in Grey and Kulla in Rosey Cheeks. The bottom one is Denyse Schmidt’s Sparse Floral in Maple from Shelburne Falls. I’m not quite sure why I picked that one because I don’t usually go for that type of floral. Maybe I was half asleep when I picked it out? I don’t know. It’s kind of cute, but yes… an unusual choice for me.

So that’s that. I’m linking up, of course, with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. Hope to see you there too!

Molli Sparkles

Come back next week to see the spoils of my rampage through the fabric world. It might have been glorious, but I’m too busy berating myself to be completely sure! (I always tell people not to feel guilty for indulging themselves, so long as they’re not hurting anyone. But it’s hard not to feel guilty when you’ve got a relatively simple goal – just don’t spend money on stuff you don’t really need – and you crash and burn so very hard. I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough. And I am giving at least some of it away, so that’s something…. right?)