Work-in-Progress Girl


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APQResolutions 2017

So All People Quilt runs a yearly UFO challenge designed to get people working on old and unfinished projects. And I’ve got plenty of those.

apqresolution

I haven’t been updating in a while, so I’m hoping to get back to updating at least a few times a month and some of those posts will hopefully be about me working on (and finishing?!) some of my UFOs. This list contains just twelve (of many!) and each month APQ will choose a number and that number is the project I’ll attempt to finish in that month, so here’s my twelve…

ONE
All Solids Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash

This project was begun as part of the Simply Solids Bee in… 2013 (?) and then again in the Stash Bee in 2014. I can’t remember how many blocks I have, either 30 or 42 and they’ll be pieced together like this, staggered with partial blocks on certain columns. I’ve got all my blocks, but need to piece them into a top, which then needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TWO
Baby Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love

A baby quilt (or very large mini quilt?) using the Moda Love Charm Quilt pattern. It looks brown in this photo, but it’s actually a burgundy/maroon sort of background. I wanted to put a border on this – it’s only 32″ square – but wasn’t able to track down any of the prints that I thought would work best for a border (namely one of the burgundy/maroon-y ones), so it might just stay a small quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

THREE
Blue Nine Patch Quilt

First Project Ever

This was my first project ever and has been a UFO for over 10 years. The top is pieced (the blocks by hand, even!), just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

FOUR
Blue-Orange Big Block Quilt

[No existing photo?!]

My second oldest UFO, this was in progress when I moved to Calgary almost 10 years ago. I might be wrong, but I think it’s basted and just waiting to be quilted. For all I know, the pins are rusted into place. I think I won’t like this one much when I fish it out from the closet again, but it’d be good to knock such a long-standing project off the list!

FIVE
Carolyn Friedlander Rando Patchwork Quilt

Botanics Random Patchwork

A truly dreadful photo – I should pull this one out of storage just to get a better shot of it. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

SIX
Charity Quilt-as-you-Go Quilt

QAYG

This quilt doesn’t look like much in photos because I’ve got so little of it done – 1/6th of the rows – and couldn’t think of a good way to photograph a single column of a quilt. It will be donated to a charity that benefits my younger sister (who is disabled). It’s following a slightly modified Herringbone quilt pattern from Maureen Cracknell’s Craftsy class, Quick Quilt As You Go. I need to finish sewing up the columns of fabric, then piece them into a top, which then gets lightly quilting to hold it and the back together.

SEVEN
Dad’s Quarter Section Quilt

Quarter section quilt

This one is further along than the picture implies – all the blocks are sewn, they just need to be pieced into rows and then a top and then to be basted and bound.

EIGHT
Doctor Who Quilt

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

I had big plans for the border on this quilt, so most of the quilt is pieced… just the side border needs to be finished. Maybe the answer will be to scale back the border idea,… but I like that border idea. I guess we’ll see what happens! Once the border is worked out, then it needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

NINE
Halloween Plus Quilt

Halloween Plus Quilt

I usually don’t go for holiday specific quilts, but this one is pretty subtle and in slightly unusual colours – rust, teal blue, deep purple. I don’t have a good photo of it, but the top is completed, it just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TEN
Midnight Mystery QAL Quilt

Midnight Mystery Quiltalong

I really don’t like to finish quilts, do I? This is another, yet another, that just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

ELEVEN
Mom’s Hexi Quilt (Confetti Go Lucky)

Q1 FAL projects

This one is getting to be a pretty long standing UFO of mine, and as it’s meant to be a gift, I’d really, really like to get it done! It’s partially quilted, but there’s still a long road to go (because I had the GENIUS idea of quilting it with quarter inch spacing around all the main units.. quarter inch!!). Quilting and binding is all that’s left.

TWELVE
Plume Quilt

Fabric Friday: Tailfeathers in Lime

I seem not to have a picture of this quilt top, which is about throw sized and has been laying around for several years. I wanted to try to quilt feathers on it, but was terrified of trying. I think I’m finally ready to just give the feathers a go, whether they turn out good or bad. So basting, quilting, and binding is all that’s left.

apqresolution

So that is where that is at! Twelve projects desperately in need of finishing! All People Quilt has already revealed their pick for January, so I suppose I can reveal that Number Six – the Quilt as You Go Project is my goal for January! Just as well because it has a due date early in the year, if I’m going to donate it to my charity of choice!

I’ll also be participating in One Monthly Goal, hosted by Elm Street Quilts, and so that same project will be my goal for that linky as well!

OMGjan


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Talk to Me… Thursday?

A belated Talk to Me Tuesday video. There are a few Gypsy Wife blocks on display, a bit of talk about my Citrus Swap package (which I posted about here), and then a whole lot of chit chat about my most recent attempts at Free Motion Quilting. There is, per usual, some pretty shoddy edits – the program I use doesn’t have an “Undo” button, so if you mess something up, you can either live with it or you can close the program without saving – thus losing all the “good” edits – and start over again. So, you know… I live with the bad cuts.

The Craftsy class I mentioned was Start Free Motion Quilting with Elizabeth Dackson (not an affiliate link). It’s an interesting class and taught in a rather different style than a lot of classes I’ve seen. She sort of jumps right into quilting and then stops periodically to offer information about various different things. For instance, you don’t find out about her basting method until the fourth lesson. It bothered me a little to begin with because I felt like I’d have to watch the entire class to get some of the tips and hints I might have needed nearer the beginning of the class, but in the end I appreciated it because it broke up what could otherwise have been a couple lessons of Too Much Information At Once and then a long line of “Here’s how to stitch this design, now watch me stitch it for 20 minutes.” I think she’s a very good teacher, she speaks a bit too quickly (particularly in the intro where I felt like she was reading a pre-written blurb, but was speeding through it), but she’s very calm and precise. I appreciated that she gave information about the other ways that different quilters do things, for instance, spray basting vs pin basting or hands on top the quilt quilting vs clenching the quilt in your fists quilting. The one thing that did bother me about the class is that she only ever showed us her quilting methods on practise sandwiches – there are three provided projects, but other than showing us where the different quilting designs appear on the projects, you don’t actually see the projects being quilted. There’s often a world of difference between quilting a practise sandwich and quilting a finished quilt top, so I would have appreciated seeing her stitching, say, the tiny stippling in the pillow rather than just the larger stippling on the practise sandwich.


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Sunday Stash: Totalling the Diet Train

If there’s anything I’ve learned from 15 years of failed attempts at dieting, it’s that I’m not really very good at dieting. Chocolate, fabric; it’s all the same. I did great in January, I crashed and burned in February, and now in March I’ve… well, crashed and burned again? I don’t know. Certainly the fabric diet train has been totalled by this second crash, if it wasn’t already written off in the first.

Well, this week I’m hosting Molli Sparkles‘s Sunday Stash link-up and giveaway – arriving a day early here because it’s already tomorrow in Australia 😉 – so I guess it’s good that I’ve got a lot of things to show you…

Molli Sparkles

The Mad About Patchwork Stuff:

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I was looking for the pattern on the left and came away with it and the pattern on the right (which, omg, SO MANY PIECES… it turns out the answer to the Enigma – how to make this quilt without y-seams – is all the Half-Square Triangles EVER… seriously, making this quilt will use up your yearly quota of HST).

And somehow all this stuff hopped into the envelope as well:

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The top two are Anna Maria Horner prints from Field Study and as with so many AMH prints, whenever I look at them I wonder WTF I was thinking because I don’t have one sweet clue what to do with them to make them turn into something good. But then someone else will use them and they’ll be brilliant! and amazing! and I’ll have to have them! And so now I do, but right now… I kind of hate them. I suspect I’ve actually bought the bottom print before, one of the prints from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer line… I really need to clean up my sewing room and get my fabric back in order by colour so that I can actually see what I have.

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There was also a bit of Joel Dewberry love going on because I also bought two different Tile prints from his Notting Hill line as well as the Frames print. Love the colours in these ones. I always say I hate pink, but I LOVE that pink print ridiculously.

The Hawthorne Threads Stuff:

This is still en route and I’ve deleted the email with the invoice so …. it’s a mystery. But I bet it’s good.

The Fabricland Stuff:
I shit-talk Fabricland a lot because mostly it has a lot of not terribly great fabric, but I went there looking for hardware to construct a bag and discovered that they have a new collection of fabrics they’ve got labelled “Anna’s Fabrics” and if you read the selvedges or even the bolt ends under the Anna sticker, they are actually designer fabrics from companies like Andover and Robert Kaufman. I don’t actually love any of the fabrics I picked up from that line, but I was so weirded out that I somehow walked away with .5 metres of each of these:

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Ric Rac Rabbits by Marissa and Creative Thursday for Andover fabrics

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Fiesta by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman.

They also had a section for fat quarters:

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I picked up a handful of different things, aiming mostly for ones that had the printed side of the selvedge. No info on the blue strawberries or roses. The blue and white is from Paris & Company by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake. The grey with dots is something Christmas related also for Riley Blake (the selvedge is too hard to read). No info on the elephants, I just thought they were sort of fun and weird. The next two are both Rocket Launch Club prints by Sarah Jane and the last one is Ombre Dots from Riley Blake.

And finally… The Craftsy Stuff:
It’s just that Craftsy is having a Tula Pink workshop and and and… I barely like most of the prints in this line, but it’s Tula Pink! I love Tula Pink!

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And it involves a lot of 2.5″ strips of fabric, which made me wonder if the mystery is going to be something like her pixelated Anchor quilt! Or maybe it’ll be something like the butterfly quilt! I do know that, no matter what, my quilt will have a lot of horse’s asses in it:

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A 2.5 inch strip is apparently NOT the thing to do with that print. Besides horses’ behinds, there are also hoppy bunnies, which feel like a weird addition, as they’re too sweet and simple and graphic compared to the more realistic style of the rest of the animals and the… busy-ness of many of the other prints. It’s like some kind of Easter novelty fabric that accidentally slipped into the mix. It’s pretty cute, though. Wouldn’t it make a great skirt for a little girl?

020

Love that geometric print too. I’ll have to dig through those jelly roll bundles and see what I think of the other fabrics, because I didn’t really like Acacia much either until I saw it in person and then suddenly all those bits I thought were weird seemed to come together.

Anyway… that’s it for this edition of Kristel Has No Self Control. Except that there is a giveaway to go along with the link up! Link up any time this week and you’ll be entered to win…

A fat eighth of the only sparkly fabric I own, something or other from Kokka:

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Two charm packs of Parson Gray’s World Tour line (they only have 12 charms each! why so stingy, FreeSpirit?!), because we all know how Molli feels about David Butler:

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And one charm pack of Amy Butler’s Belle line:

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Now, show us what you got!

1. Link up a blog post welcoming any new sewing supplies to your stash.

2. If it is fabric from your existing stash that you’ve showcased before, please use new photos with as much natural light as possible, and provide as many manufacturing details about the fabric.

3. Try to leave a comment on at least two other links. We want this to be a safe space for sewing supply collectors, after all!

4. Grab the button from Molli Sparkles, and proudly proclaim you endorse Sunday Stashing!

Sigh. I wish WordPress would let this be hosted on site, rather than sending you away to link up! In any case, I’ll let Mr Random pick a winner – you can be from anywhere – after the link up closes at the end of the week. Best of luck and can’t wait to see what’s new in your stash!


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Sunday Stash: The end of the Craftsy Mystery Box Saga

I said last week that this week would be my Post of Shame wherein I’d show you all the yards and yards of fabric I bought in my half-day long rebellion against the Fabric Diet. But it hasn’t all arrived yet, so I’m going to wait another week (the stuff from Hawthorne Threads should arrive this week) and try to do it all in one big post of Yeah, I Tried. Until I Didn’t. And Then This Happened. Instead we’ll go back to Craftsyland…

FreeSpirit Garden FQ pack

I mentioned last week that the saga of the Craftsy Mystery Box of Ugly Fabric had to come an end. I’d been waiting for them to send me 6 more Fat Quarters to complete the Mystery Box of Horrors (since it had only contained 44 out of 50 Ugly Fabrics it was supposed to contain). I’d been corresponding with someone at Craftsy called Bob and that FQ pack is what he sent — 20 FQs rather than the 6 random ones I’d been expecting.

I said in that last post that it wasn’t something I’d have picked out for myself, but that I liked some of it quite a bit. Here’s a closer look at what was in that bundle, which is called Garden and is by FreeSpirit fabrics. There’s no other information on the selvedge (about a designer or production year or anything), so that doesn’t feel like much information, but it’s what I’ve got!

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This is my favourite print and I like it in both colours (though I prefer it in teal). I think these ones will work in my Gypsy Wife quilt pretty well.

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This kind of paisley-like one is called Floret apparently. You’ll see most of these are kind of busy in a way I don’t often buy — a lot of colours and a lot of pattern.

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This is my least favourite of the bundle – it just feels… I don’t know. Too sketchy compared to the others, maybe? The print is called Oasis.

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I didn’t really care for this one – Promenade – to begin with, but I’m starting to come around on it a little. I like it best in the teal, but it’s not too bad.

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I wish the colours in this one were clearer and brighter, they feel a bit greyed out to me. Anyway, this is Terrace.

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I never really love border prints – Field Double Border – but I think this could have made an interesting (insane) apron or something along those lines. Or a pillowcase.

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And finally Courtyard, a big old crazycakes print.

I do have some thoughts on the use of these – a couple of them might wind up mixed in with the General Population part of my stash, but I’m thinking I might maybe chop this up into 5-inch squares (or maybe I’ll figure out something better divisible by the size of a Fat Quarter) and turn it into another wonky star quilt (with white stars) or maybe just plain patchwork squares quilt. I don’t know, we’ll see!

Anyway, one more bit of fabric, and that’ll be something I swapped with someone on Instagram — no money changed hands and I sent away a little more fabric than I got back in return, so I figure it doesn’t break my Fabric Fast rules…

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This is a Stof print, Vine Stripes in purple and white from Pure. I traded this for about a yard of Joel Dewberry stuff I had but couldn’t see myself using. I like how simple and graphic this one is.

Linking up with Sunday Stash, hosted this week by at Kate Quilts:

Molli Sparkles


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Last December Stash

Okay, so… usually Sunday Stash posts are fun ones to write – who doesn’t love showing off brilliant new fabric?

Here’s some brilliant new fabric:

Joel Dewberry Bungalow

It’s a gorgeous bit of Bungalow by Joel Dewberry. (Did you see what I did there, letting part of the selvage show with just that bit of info? Inspired, says I.) This, as with everything I’m going to show you today, came from Craftsy. It was the fabric selection for the December Stitch-along workshop. I don’t know if I’ll use this for the intended projects, but if I were still buying fabric, I’d be buying a whole lot more of this. Love it. The fabrics, from the left, are Swallow Study in Teal, Doily in Grassland, Zigtone in Grassland, Dainty Daises in Lavender, and Empress in Grassland. The daisy print isn’t my favourite, but I love the colours so much (and how it fits in with the rest of the prints) that I really don’t care that I don’t like the actual floral print. It just works together.

New rotary cutter...

I also picked up this rotary cutter. I’ve been a Fiskars user my entire quilting life and I love my Fiskars cutter, but a lot of people really seem to love the Olfa products so I decided to try one out. I’d tried Olfa years (and years!) ago and hadn’t liked the way the handle felt in my hand, and I think I still prefer the shape of my Fiskars cutter, but this one isn’t so bad really. My biggest issue with it is that I find the locking mechanism kind of… counter-intuitive, maybe. Whatever it is, I never remember to close it after using it. And I dropped an open rotary cutter on my foot once, so I’m usually extremely careful with closing the blades. Maybe it’s because the button on my Fiskars cutter is right by my thumb, so it’s just instinct at this point to shut it, but this one I have to kind of go out of my way to close and it just doesn’t happen a little too often.

Anyway, you may have had the impression from my opening line that this wasn’t going to be a good happy fun post full of good happy fun fabric. And your impression would be right. Because at the same time I bought the gorgeous Bungalow fabric and that nice cutter, I also bought a 50 fat quarter Mystery Box.

Worst ever fabric purchase?

I don’t, as a general rule, buy things that I can’t see first. If I don’t know what I’m getting, generally I’m not going to bother. Too much risk, and I’m not much of a risk taker. But Craftsy had them on for a good price and I thought… well, I like most of what Craftsy sells, fabric-wise; not all of it, certainly, but more than enough. It didn’t seem like such a bad risk, because even though I assumed they’d be selling 50 FQ they hadn’t otherwise been able to sell, surely it’d be part crap, but also part good.

It wasn’t.

What I didn’t know, and what most people probably don’t know, is that Craftsy doesn’t compile their Mystery Boxes themselves. They come to them from their manufacturers, with a set value. This box contains X-amount of fabric/products, but no guarantee as to what those products actually are. So even though I think I probably like, say, 80% of the fabric Craftsy is selling, the Mystery Box might not actually contain anything Craftsy sells at all. It comes from the same manufacturers as their existing products, but that doesn’t mean there is ANY overlap at all. This is what I got:

Mystery Box Fabric

Mystery Box Fabric

Mystery Box Fabric

Mystery Box Fabric

Mystery Box Fabric

Now, the particularly detail oriented among us might be thinking, But wait, didn’t you say it was a 50 FQ box? There weren’t 50 FQs there! And you’d be right, not only did I get fabric so ugly not even a (grand)mother could love it, they also sent me 6 fewer ugly FQs than I was supposed to get.

(Okay. My grandma would probably love some of this.)(I don’t despise all of it. Most of it, but not all of it. The aqua with white circles from Laura Gunn is okay and the elephants are cute enough. Some of the more blendable fabrics will be usable chopped up and mixed into other things.)

You might be wondering what became of this. Did I contact Craftsy to complain, how did they react, etc. I did contact them and let them know how disappointing it was to not only get a box full of fabric I didn’t like, but that there was less of it than there was supposed to be. It took a day or two, but they did get back to me and had this to say:

Thanks for taking the time to reach out to Craftsy, I hope your having a wonderful day! I would love to answer any questions your having regarding your recent purchase of the Craftsy Mystery Box.

When customers buy our Mystery Boxes we can’t guarantee that every customer will be 100% satisfied with the colors and patterns of the fabric. We can guarantee that the fabric will be of the highest quality from our manufacturer. Our manufacturer puts these Mystery Boxes together so even we don’t know what colors and patterns they contain. They do try to add colors and patterns that they feel people will enjoy and use.

That particular Mystery Box did come with 50 Fat Quarters for you to use for any of your future projects. I have mentioned your feedback to our ecommerce team who will follow up with our vendor to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again. We do want to make sure that our members are getting exactly what they paid for. If you’d like I’d be happy to send you 6 more fat quarters to complete your order.

Typically, we do not accept any returns on Mystery Boxes. But if you are totally unsatisfied with the fabric in general I will make a one time exception and accept a return for you.

[…]

In the meantime and as a token of my appreciation I would like to offer you a free class. If you could please let me know if there is a course you are interested in I would love to enroll you in it for free. Please let me know and if you have any other questions, I am always happy to help.

I found myself in a bit of bind after that because one of the things my parents were very big on was Personal Responsibility and in this case, I paid a lower price based on the higher risk of not getting any choice on the contents of my Mystery Box. Personal responsibility says that I need to accept the consequences of my actions, so long as I get what I actually paid for, and they did offer to send out an additional 6 FQs to complete the order. Which is why, as tempting as it seems to return the box full of ugly, I didn’t. I requested they send out the fabric (if it’s en route or not, I don’t know – the specific person I was corresponding with has said that he will “do [his] best to pick out something more to [my] liking that way it’s something [I’ll] want to use” but didn’t mention a timeline) and accepted a free class. (Which might be the easiest offer they’ve got, when a customer is unhappy. I picked the most expensive class on my wishlist. Because I might believe in taking responsibility for my actions, but at least I’m going to get something hopefully good out of the deal!) Another part of the reason for keeping the box was just the shipping costs – it was $15 to have it sent to me and it would have been about $20 to send it back. If I had taken the return option, not only would I have felt guilty for not accepting the consequences of my decision to buy, but I ALSO would have spent $35 for guilt plus nothing concrete. That’s a lot of money to spend on negative feelings – I can generate that kind of stuff for free!

So that was my exciting Craftsy purchase that I was so anxiously awaiting all those weeks after Christmas. Sigh.

But hey! Come back next week to see what the Gods of Gift Certificates and Quilt Backs brought for me. Because that, at least, was a fun purchase, and I love every bit of it.

Which is a good segue into the How Am I Doing on My Fabric Fast portion of this entry. Answer? Not bad. I did make one really big purchase in January — come back next week to see it! — BUT I didn’t break any of my rules to do it. I had a gift certificate from Christmas to spend, so I did that, and I bought the backing for a quilt I haven’t shown here. It’s a completed top, and my rules allowed for purchasing border and backing. No border necessary, but I did need something for the back and now I’ve got it. I think my February goal will be finishing up that quilt. (I might tie it. Probably.)

Linking up with the Fabriholics Anonymous January Check-in at Making Rebecca Lynne and Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles Sarah Quilts:

FabAnon Molli Sparkles