Work-in-Progress Girl


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Pushme Pullme Florence Baby Quilt

This newest finish is not one I’d really had on my horizon to get finished, but rather out of nowhere I got a bug up my ass about finishing it, and so I did.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

The last time I wrote about this quilt was in January of 2013. (Yikes! I need to finish more and start less if little, easy to finish quilts like this are sitting around for nearly 3 years!) You should go check out that post – in it I talk a lot more about the pattern, which is the Pushme Pullme block, designed by Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts. I was one of Michelle’s pattern testers for this block and I think the only one who didn’t actually finish what I’d created with it. I’m really glad to have it done now, though – it’s one more thing off my list and better: it’s going to be donated to a Linus blanket charity and is a part of the 100 Quilts for Kids campaign.

100 Quilts for Kids

I really don’t know why I took so long to finish this – with a very simple pattern (a loopy meander), it took just a couple hours to get the quilting completely finished. I think I spent more time trying to decide what binding to use than it took just to get it all finished. I was helped out by it being a fairly small quilt: just a teeny-tin itty-bitty 30.5 inches square.

Both the best and worst places to see the quilting on this is on those dark blue bits of fabric. I will quilt with white thread over pretty much anything and it pretty much always sinks into the background even when you use it on colour, but it sure does look awful on that deep blue! From a distance you could almost imagine that’s a print on the fabric, rather than free motion quilting!

I spent a lot of time contemplating a more complex straight-line quilting pattern that would emphasize the arrows in the blocks, but decided that after 3 years of inaction, I needed to do the fast thing instead of the intricate thing.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

Every print in this quilt is a Denyse Schmidt print, front, back, and binding. All of the prints (except the two binding prints) come from Schmidt’s Florence line – I’d bought a 12 print bundle of blues and greens, and all 12 prints made their way into this quilt. The solid fabrics are all Kona cottons and I pulled most of them out of a jelly roll, so I’m not actually sure what colours they are! The dark blue is Nightfall, which is a really beautiful deep colour (and I wish I had yards and yards of it instead of scraps after having used it in a couple quilts). Its hard to tell in most photos, but there are two different light blues and two different greens – since I only had jelly roll strips, I think there wasn’t enough to stretch out each colour over two blocks.

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt

The binding fabrics come from Chicopee and (I think) Shelburne Falls. Schmidt creates magnificent plaids (and I’m sort of having a plaid moment right now!) so there are four different plaids in just this one quilt. Too much?

PushMe PullMe Florence Baby Quilt
Obligatory windblown shot!

Anyway, I suppose that’s all there is to say about this little quilt! I really like it and am really pleased to see it finished and ready to find a home with a child in need.

Some quilt stats
Name: PushMe PullMe Florence Quilt
Pattern: Pushme Pulle by Michelle Wilkie
Size: 30.5″ x 30.5″
Fabric: 12 FQs from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line, plus assorted Kona cottons (featuring Nightfall on the back and in the corners of the front)
Batting: Some weird all cotton no name from Michaels
Thread: White Guttermann (piecing), White Aurifil (quilting)
Backing: Assorted Florence prints, plus Kona Nightfall
Binding: Plaids from Denyse Schmidt’s lines Chicopee and Shelburne Falls.

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Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I finished a thing! And this thing was both my A Lovely Year of Finishes January goal AND my first project on my Finish Along Quarter One list!

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

This photo was just for my sister who, when I was lamenting the lack of clean outdoor places to photograph this quilt, suggested that I use her fresh-from-the-car-wash car as a backdrop. There was too much sun, but the car was nice and clean… The quilt, too, was sort of for my sister. She commissioned it for a friend of hers who was having her first baby. The new parents didn’t know if they were having a boy or a girl, so they were doing their nursery in browns and lime greens, and so that was my only requirements for the quilt. I gave my sister a few options of things I wouldn’t mind to try making, and she choose the one I was rooting for all along, a pattern published in the Spring 2014 edition of Fons and Porter’s Scrap Quilts magazine called 42 Hashtags by Tanya Finken of Squares and Triangles.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

The original version was made with 42 charm squares plus a little over 1.5 yards of white fabric – I made mine with 2 yards of some random brown in my stash (I think it was a Kona cotton, but I’m not sure) and 42 self-cut charms. I pulled all my fabrics except one out of my scrap drawer, leaning as much as possible on lime and grellow sorts of colours, but with a little bit of sky blue, darker greens, and some yellow mixed in as well.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

Fourteen of the blocks are made with a solid background rather than a print, which I think gives that hashtag centre of the quilt a bit of a twinkliness, as silly as that sounds. It just changes the way your eye moves around, somehow.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

Even though it’s a baby quilt, I didn’t want to have too many children’s prints involved. There are a few novelty-type prints to give a nod to the fact that it is a baby quilt, but otherwise it’s just dots and stripes and other mostly geometric prints. These few animals and the airplane are all I’ve got in that line of things! (And aren’t those sheep from Laurie Wisbrun just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?)

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I quilted this very simply so that it would remain soft and drapey, creating two sort of ribboned lines horizontally through each row of hashtags, plus through the borders. If I’d had enough time, I’d have done the same thing vertically, but I was a little short, so I did the vertical borders as well, so that it created a row of hashtags down the sides of the quilt. After that, I went back into the centre of the quilt and added vertical quilting lines to each of the blocks with the brown background, so that they have a completed ribbon hashtag, while the rest of the quilt just has the horizontal quilting. I used a green variegated thread, so that I didn’t have to try to colour match the variety of colours in the hashtags. I kind of like the green quilting on the brown – it gives it a little lift where otherwise it’d be a too big, too brown expanse of fabric.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I backed the quilt in a flannel with elephants to tie in with the elephant block on the front of the quilt. Colourwise, it doesn’t match my binding very well, which was largely done with that awesome plaid of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee line, but to be honest I don’t really care. I love how the binding looks on the front and the flannel feels nice on the back. That’s good enough! It’s not visible in this particular photo, but one corner of the binding was done in the same solid brown as the majority of the front.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I really love this quilt and it was the tiniest bit hard to give up. I may have to make another, larger one some day. Love.

Some quilt stats
Name: I mostly call it the Brown and Lime Hashtag quilt, but that’s because I’m never creative with names.
Pattern: 42 Hashtags by Tanya Finken
Size: About 39″ x 43.5″
Fabric: Assorted green, yellow, and blue prints, with a Kona cotton background, which I think is Espresso, but I can’t find my colour card to doublecheck.
Backing: Cheapie green and white elephant flannel
Binding: Denyse Schmidt’s Simple Plaid in Lime from Chicopee

Posting a #fridayfinish on my blog today about my green and brown hashtag quilt... Love these fabrics I put into it!

So if you made it all the way to the bottom of this ridiculously long post,.. you can be entered to win 42 charms in lime, grellow, green, yellow, and blue fabrics, all cut straight from my stash! They’re not an exact match to the 42 from my quilt, because some of them I didn’t have enough fabric to make two charms, but there are 42, which is enough to make this quilt (or something like it!) for yourself. If you’d like to be entered to win, just leave a comment telling me what you might do with these charms if you won them. (I’m perfectly okay with you saying, “I have no idea!” or that you’d filter them into your own scrap stash to be used as you find the perfect place for them.) [Edited to add: please don’t add this to any sites that compile lists of giveaways. I don’t care who enters my giveaways – they’re open to anyone – but I prefer they go to someone who is reading this because of a link-up I’ve joined or because they just read my blog, rather than because they’ve hit on a site that links them all up.]

Also, edited to add: I forgot to say when I’d do the drawing! All entries need to be in by Thursday, February 5 – I’ll do the drawing when I get home from work on Friday morning.


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Sew My Stash 2015 (and add to it a little…)

So if you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen a dozen or more reposted SewMyStash2015 pics in the last couple weeks – down on the right somewhere is the image I’m talking about. It’s an idea started up by Leasa of Project: Leasa. Every year there is some variation on the theme – last year was the (failed, in my case) six month fabric fast. The idea, always, being to use more and buy less. Last year I discovered that I really don’t react well to being told No, because as soon as I said No to myself, I just started buying wildly every time I turned around. What I like about Sew My Stash is that it’s focused more on doing rather than on not doing, if that makes sense. It doesn’t say Just Say No to new fabric, it says Try to Use What You’ve Got. I probably appreciate the distinction a little more because it means I can still buy 2.5 metres of Denyse Schmidt’s Simple Plaid from Chicopee if I want to…

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Granted, I might not have bought it if I’d realized it was going to come in five pieces. I bought this from a new-to-me Canadian shop called Flare Fabrics. When I was piecing together my hashtag quilt top, I had this moment of fear that there was going to be Too Much Brown and so I started thinking about fabrics I thought would make good borders. I settled on that plaid from Chicopee and went looking online for someone in Canada who was selling it. Google lead me to Flare Fabrics, which is a shop that focuses on batiks, but had a small selection of Denyse Schmidt prints and 2.5 metres of that very plaid in stock. When I was looking around their site, I did notice a few different fabrics that specified that the last x-number metres were pre-cut into 1/2 metres, but if it was mentioned with this particular fabric, I sure didn’t notice it. Thank goodness I didn’t buy it hoping for a backing fabric – can you imagine trying to piece 5 cuts of the same fabric into one sheet of not-too-terribly mismatched plaid?

Anyway, I also picked up an embroidery kit, which I didn’t photograph, and this quilt pattern, which is a chevron pattern I can get behind.

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I don’t ever foresee myself making a chevron quilt out of half square triangles. It’s not that they don’t look nice, but I suppose I’ve just seen a few too many. I thought this one was an interesting take on the chevron idea, though I’m not sure how keen I am on working with 60 degree half-rectangles.

Anyway, Sew My Stash has also not stopped me from joining up with Fabric Spark‘s Blogger Bundle subscription for the year. I dithered about joining it for a little while because I’d been signed up for Blogger Bundles from Fat Quarter Shop ages ago and quit when I had to request that I not be sent a couple bundles in a row – someone had put together a bundle that was 90% one line, plus the few solids (I forget how those bundles worked exactly, 12 prints and 3 solids? 9 prints and 3 solids?) and if I’d wanted 9 prints from that line, I’d have just bought the whole line, you know? – and when I hit the third “give it a miss” month, I decided I should just give the whole thing a miss and stop hoping it’d be something good.

But I did sign up for Fabric Sparks and this is the first month’s bundle, curated by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches:

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I find it both mystifying and intriguing. I’m not remotely sure if I like it, but I am curious to see if I can put those 12 fabrics together and come up with something I like.

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It’s obvious what the through-line is with these – the colours in all the prints can be found in that one floral in the centre. But that chartreuse green sure does get over-powering in this grouping. I keep reminding myself that once it’s all cut up and sewed back together, those bright splashes of green will pull the eye around in a good way, but laid out like this I can’t help but wish I’d put it underneath something so that so much of it couldn’t jump out and over-power these peachy pink tones.

Where it gets weird, but also intriguing for me, is the addition of the blacks.

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I don’t, by and large, have an issue with putting black in with florals. I think a little bit of black gives a good contrast in a quilt and it can help ground things and blah blah blah. It maybe feels like a lot of black, instead of just a little bit? Maybe too much. I don’t know. What I do know is that in the spirit of Sew My Stash, I’ve already got an idea for sewing this brand new part of my stash. A magazine I recently bought has a pattern that I think could work well and would maybe make the most of that too bright green and maybe once I see it all paired together, I’ll even like all that black and white in the mix. So I guess I should get to working on that… or maybe to finishing something else, so that I can justify starting something new!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to track my fabric purchases vs use for real… but if I manage to make a quilt top with that bundle of fabrics before the year is out, I’m counting it as a neutral in the great fight to use more and buy less. I could add three yards and take three right back out of the tally for the year. It’d practically be like I hadn’t bought it at all.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.


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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?)


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Pushme Pullme quilt top

Back in September, Michelle of Factotum of Arts and Squeek Crafts debuted a new pattern she’d created for a block that used nested arrows. Then called This Way That Way, the block plays with value and kind of tessellating pattern to create a really neat design that’s almost like an optical illusion: if you look at it one way, the In arrow stands out and the rest fades into the background, but if you refocus your eye, the opposite occurs and the Out arrow stands out. When Michelle was looking for pattern testers, I was only too happy to help!

Push Me Pull Me quilt top

Michelle has made several blocks in a (mostly) monochromatic colour scheme, using dark and light value blues with white and grey borders, so I wanted to try something a little bit different, to see how it would work out using fabrics with varying colours (not that I went so wild with that, sticking primarily to shades of blue and green, all from the same line). So I made four Pushme Pullme blocks using 8 prints from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence line of fabrics and five different shades of Kona cotton for the borders. (The darkest blue is Nightfall, but the other four were pulled out of a design roll of “New Colours” from… several years ago. I don’t know what their colour names are.)

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I did all the blocks one at a time (rather than chain piecing the units of multiple blocks) and they took me a little longer than an hour per block – I’m a pretty slow sewist, though, and was also watching a new-to-me movie at the time (“Highway 61″), which was a bit more distracting than I prefer when I’m sewing. Still, they come together very easily. I had been a little concerned about matching up the cross in the centre of the blocks, but that didn’t give me any trouble either.

The blocks are a bit larger than standard – 15 inches finished – which is nice for quilt making because it sizes up a quilt nicely without having to add sashing or borders. My blocks came out a touch small – about 15.25″ rather than 15.5” unfinished. The centre unit was the correct size in every case, but I didn’t measure anything after that, so I think I ate up an eighth of an inch with each of my borders. I rarely sew with a scant seam, but I think I probably should have in this case!

Push Me Pull Me

Regardless, I love the finished top! (And my obligatory wind-blown shot, since I can’t seem to manage a photo shoot in my backyard without it!) I think it turned out as well with my (controlled) blend of colours and prints as it did in Michelle’s monochromatic version, and I think it’d work also with a more chaotic blend of colours as well. I’m imagining a child’s quilt with rainbow blocks, for instance. As long as you maintain the value differences, I think it’ll work out with nearly anything.

I was really hoping to have this quilt entirely finished in time for the mini-blog hop for this pattern, but I got held up making the backing for the quilt. I’m using four more prints from Florence for the back and was going to have a blue cross through the centre to break it all up and to mimic the sashing a little bit, but I went and cut my Florence prints an inch too small all around and so I need to re-cut the blue cross to be a little larger, so that it’ll still be big enough. Anyway, hopefully I’ll finish it up soon. I’m thinking about putting hanging tabs on the back and putting this one up on an empty wall in my bedroom.

In any case, definitely head over to Factotum of Arts, where Michelle is hosting a giveaway and then go check out the posts of my fellow testers. I haven’t seen what they’ve made yet, but I’m willing to bet they all look amazing!

Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day
Mara at Secretly Stitching
Sarah at Sarah Quilts


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WIP Wednesday: Needlebooks and Quilt Blocks

Well, I don’t think my busy job of catching up on old Doctor Who episodes counts as a Work in Progress (and I have seen it all before, I’ve just been in the mood to watch the David Tennant years because *swoon*), so I guess I can talk a bit about the things I’ve been doing this week.

First up is a needlebook. It’s for the Simple & Sweet Scrappy Swap group on Flickr. It looks pretty well finished in these photos, and really it’s just like… 3% away from being finished:

Outside of the Needlebook

No photos of the inside, but it’s a taco-shaped needlebook from Suzuko Koseki’s Playful Patchwork book.

Taco-shaped Needlebook

This is how it’ll look if I ever get that last 3% done – it’s just a snap closure that I need to add, but I need to find some to buy! I’ll show off the inside, anyway, if I ever get this thing finished! (It’s due out by next week, so I had better get to it!) I keep posting pictures at the swap group in hopes that the recipient will show up and comment, but so far no dice!

Anyway, since I haven’t got any snaps and can’t finish things up just yet, instead I’m working on a different project. This will likely wind up a mini quilt, which I may hang on my wall:

Block in Progess

Well, it doesn’t look like much right now, but I’m really loving these Denyse Schmidt Florence prints and the blocks I’m using them in are coming together really well. I’ll be talking more about the pattern at a later date, but it’s been really good so far and I’m excited to see the finished mini-quilt. What I want is to do is four blocks and then I’ll get it all sewn up and quilted and everything else as quickly as possible. Right now, the block in the photo is actually finished and I’ve got another one just steps away from being completely. Hopefully I’ll manage to get two more done tomorrow, and then it’ll just be the finishing work left. I think it’s going to be pretty sharp looking in these limes and blues.

I’m linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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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:
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Sunday Stash Magentas

Things are a little upside-down at my house right now, so I might only be posting intermittently until things go right side up again. Or alternatively, I might do nothing but post mindlessly to try to escape the upside-downness. Anyway, a post about fabric, because fabric is fun and what I need right now is fun.

I’ve been a little obsessed lately with this one quilt someone made in the Star Surround quilt-along – you can see it here, and when you go (because you MUST go look!), you should click on that top photo and see it all closer up. Gorgeous. And then there was this beginning, which leans a little more in the magenta realm, rather than the more purple side of the berry tones. So I’ve got this raspberry/magenta + black/grey thing on the brain and it won’t quite go away.

I’ve never been a particular fan of pinks of any shade, which means I haven’t got a really big collection of pink fabrics. What I do have tends to lean more heavily in the just the right direction. But still… if I’m ever going to make a quilt with it, clearly I’ll need more fabric than the little bit I’ve got. So I bought myself a nice selection of magentas and greys to supplement what I’ve already got:

Sunday Stash

In columns, top to bottom from the left:
1 – Trellis in Tulip from ‘Floressence’ by Art Gallery Fabrics, Ladder Dot in Black from ‘Chicopee’ by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit Fabrics, Sonnet in Ruby from ‘Poetica’ by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics, Scratched Lines in Grey from ‘Scraffito’ by P & B Textiles
2 – Ladder Dot in Fuchsia from ‘Chicopee’ by Denyse Schmidt for FreeSpirit, Bicycles in Raspberry from ‘Uno’ by Stof, Crosshatch Sketch in Grey from Timeless Treasures, Ribbon Lattice in Fuchsia from ‘Heirloom’ by Joel Dewberry for FreeSpirit
3 – Scribbles in Grey from ‘Scraffito’ by P & B Textiles, Crosshatch Sketch in Lipstick (or is it Berry?) from Timeless Treasures, Beaded Wave in Raspberry from ‘Uno’ by Stof, Crosshatch Sketch in White and Black from Timeless Treasures

Because there is always a disappointment, I’m a little disappointed by the Joel Dewberry print. On Hawthorne Threads website, the photo is taken from such a distance that it looks like a teeny tiny print, when clearly it is not. It’s not that it’s a bad fabric, it’s just that it’s more difficult to use when the blue (or is it periwinkle? it’s hard to tell in the yellow light of my bedroom) pops so prominently. I much prefer the background layering of the blue in the Art Gallery print from the first column, but who knows… when I finally figure out the depth of colour (and the pattern it needs to be used with) for this imagined quilt, maybe that bit of blue/purple will be exactly the extra colour it’ll need.

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1. Alexandra’s magnolias, 2. LIFE PATTERNS MAGENTA, 3. magenta rush, 4. Magenta and Gray II

Just a bit of inspiration from Flickr… So pretty!

Linking up to Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth:

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