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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A Lovely Year of Finishes: January 2015

I often lose too much of the month with these things by dithering until the last second before deciding what my goal will be, and by then I’ve lost a week of time I could have spent sewing! But I only really have one big goal this month, and that’s to finish my 42 Hashtag baby quilt that my sister commissioned for a co-worker friend who is having a baby. If you follow me on Instagram (@clumsychord), you’ll have probably hit your tolerance level for how many times you want to see the unfinished bits of this quilt…

Forty-Two hashtags, finally. #sewmystash2015

but here is a little more. To be honest, in the last couple days I did get the entire quilt top pieced, but I’m very reluctant to show it because I want to just show the finished piece, when I finally get it there, instead of spoiling it by showing the whole thing now!

43 Hashtags

The mama of the baby this is intended for doesn’t know if she is having a boy or a girl, so she did the nursery mostly in lime greens and browns. So my sister asked for that and then I dug around in my solids stash for a good brown (with enough quantity – I don’t tend to stash a lot of 2 yard cuts of solid fabric in anything but black or white!) and fished around in my green scraps for fabrics large enough to cut 5-inch charms. I wanted to get a good blend of greens, leaning as much toward lime as possible (though I think I tended to hit grellow more – you know, that yellow-green colour that’s kind of like chartreuse I suppose), and then I wanted also to add in a little bit of sky blue and some yellow, just to make sure there was a bit of depth and interest.

43 Hashtags

Piecing all these hashtag blocks together, I noticed that I’ve got a metric ton of dot and… dot-adjacent fabrics. So very many dots!

43 Hashtags

Anyway, the goal for this month is just to get this little thing finished. All that’s left at this point is basting, quilting, and binding. And it’s a pretty small quilt, so it shouldn’t take too long. As always, it’s the basting that’s holding me up. I do love to avoid that particular nightmare as long as possible… but needs must. So my next day off work, that’s going to be my goal – basting. And then after that I think I’ll fly through it. I’ve got a fairly simple plan for the quilting (since my good machine is still in the shop and I don’t want to rely on having it back soon enough to use) so once I get it going, it should be a pretty quick project. And then binding and it’ll be done!

I’m really loving this quilt. I mean, usually I have a half dozen things to point out and say that I’d change this or I’d change that, but assuming all goes well, this one should just be a straight up pat-myself-on-the-back quilt. I need to get it done because I’m just actually kind of excited to show it to everyone!

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.


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Bits and Bobs (June Goals)

I’m feeling very talky today, so naturally I’m home alone all weekend AND I don’t have to work till Monday. No one to talk to! GAH. I’m going to go crazy. A little bit.

Anyway… I spent so much of May not sewing that I got way behind on my just-for-me sewing plans – I didn’t even look at my May A Lovely Year of Finishes goal (which was my Layer Cake HST Quiltalong) and I didn’t touch my Gypsy Wife blocks at all. So I’m behind by all of May and now need to get June done for two quilts… so that’s going to be my goal for the month, getting all those sets of blocks finished!

My Button

Here’s where I’m at:

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By the time I’m caught up, I won’t be able to fit all my blocks on the design wall any more! (And so probably I’ll wind up taking down the low volume ones and leaving the brights up instead.)

I’ve only got five more blocks to sew for the Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong

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which means I could finish them by the end of the day if I’d just focus on them. But I’m too distracted! Too distracted by sewing up a block of the Infatuation quilt:

Infatuation block

I went and fished another solid out of my bin of solids, one which I fortunately had about three-quarters of a yard of (it takes 5/8s I think to make a single block). I really like this blue, but I think I need to learn to label my solids when they come in the door because I have no idea what colour it is. I’m pretty sure it’s a Kona cotton, but when I compare it to my colour card (which is out of date), I can’t decide what colour it is. I thought at a glance that it was Midnight or Nightfall, but when I put the fabric up closer it looks more like Navy or Indigo. I tend not to find the colour card all that useful in that way… the swatches are two small and I often think I have a match, then when I get it in yardage I discover that it’s really not at all what I thought. Anyway, I actually really like how it looks with a selection of fabrics from Lottie Da and True Colours (crappy Instagram photo):

Lottie Da, True Colors, and an indeterminate blue...

But whether I love it or not, I don’t know what it is to order more anyway! How much would it suck to make a guess, order 6 yards, and then find out I’d got something a shade or two off?

I’m starting to think that’s what’s going to happen is I’ll make four of these blocks, with four different backgrounds and I’ll either crap out and decide that a 60″ x 60″ throw is enough (or I could slap a border on it so that it’d be big enough to be useful… I’m short, but I like a quilt to wrap under my feet and over my shoulders) or I’ll find something much more neutral and make four coloured background blocks and five neutral ones so that I could mix them all into one quilt. (But then I’d probably not find it that aesthetically pleasing, so. I don’t know.)

Anyway, I also have five or six small things to make, a couple pouches and some hot pads (and I need to find my Insulbrite for those… I know I’ve got two opened packages of the stuff, so I really do need to look) and some other little bits and pieces. None of it sounds like so much when I lay it out like this, but I never seem to sew half as much as I want to, so I never can tell if these ideas of what I should do are realistic. In any case, these are only the things I hope to get done this month… and the Gypsy Wife stuff is the actual proper goal.


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Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Sunday Sunrise (de)Stash

The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is now closed – the winner will be notified today and the winner will be revealed Sunday, May 18.

If you’re here for the SMS Giveaway Day, just scroll down a bit till you see the SMS logo – there’s a bit of bloggy housekeeping up top here! Feel free to stick around though or just to come back when the craziness of Giveaway Day is over – I’d love to have you back!

So last week I did a bit of a giveaway with my Sunday Stash and in the end I wound up with three winners — I had chosen two people who both wanted Strawberry zip-up pouches and then I thought and thought and thought and decided that I’ve got more than enough fabric to make pouches for both of them, so I decided to do that, and then found a third winner for the gift card. So my winners are Jo at Riddle and Whimsy, Mara at Secretly Stitching, and Katy at Lethargic Lass. So congrats to all three of you!

Just for a change, I haven’t got any new fabri…. okay, I lied! I just remembered that I went to my local fabric shop for some sewing machine oil and came home with these beauties I’d shared on Instagram:

Fabric fast schmabric fast...

I didn’t, incidentally, come home with sewing machine oil because I got so distracted by the mirror ball fabric and Lizzy House’s jewels prints that I completely forgot the oil. When I did go back the next day, I did walk out with oil and without fabric! Success! (Of sorts. The oil was my last attempt at getting that Juki sewing machine working. It didn’t help, so I think it just needs to be serviced to see if there’s something wrong with the machine or with the way I’m trying to use it.)

Anyway, in light of the fact that I thought I had nothing to share, I decided to do a Just One Day Early post of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway prize, which is a little bit of a destash, since the two fat quarters are fabrics I’ve had in my stash of “uglies” for a while and since the charm pack was something I’d bought with the intention of eventually using it in a giveaway. (I’ve had it for some months, these are neither of them recent purchases.)

Sew Mama Sew giveaway day prize

The two fat quarters are both from a Dear Stella line, which I think was called Mimosa, which I haven’t been able to confirm. (Dear Stella doesn’t list the line on their site any longer, but Google suggests I might be right.)

008

The charm pack is the very lovely Sunrise collection from Kona. I just love that photo of it – makes me want to buy a bit of all the colours and just stack it up somewhere to ooh and ahh over. Lovely!

So my giveaway is open internationally and will be awarded to someone who leaves a comment… oh, I don’t know… telling a story about a favourite sunrise you once saw or maybe a link to a photo you took of a beautiful sunrise. Or maybe you can tell me what you like to do with charm packs or with layer cakes (since I’m working on a Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong, I’ve got layer cakes on the mind… I’ve got at least three or four more stashed away in the closet!). Or tell me about your fabric stash: do you have an uglies pile for things that come into your possession that you don’t like (or things you’ve changed your mind about and then wonder what the heck you were thinking when you bought them)? What do you do with those fabrics? (I’ve heard and even believe that adage that if you still don’t like it, you haven’t cut it small enough. It’s true, you can do a lot of good with a lot of ugly when it comes to fabric, if you figure out the right thing to do with it, but sometimes I just don’t have the patience.) In any case, leave a comment! And leave a comment that’s more than just “thanks for the chance” because if that’s all you say, then you’ll be disqualified immediately. Also, please don’t leave your email address in the body of your comment – WordPress gives me (but NOT my readers) access to your email address so as long as you type it correctly, I’ll be able to contact you.

Best of luck and remember to hit up Sew Mama Sew from Monday through Friday this week (May 12-16) to enter as many giveaways as your little heart desires.

ETA: I always do my best to respond to all the comments people leave on my blog – and will even be doing so this week! – but I WON’T be forwarding them to your email like I usually do. If you’re interested to see my response, feel free to pop back in another time, but I’m not expecting it, so no worries! (Mostly I’m just using my comments to number label all the entrants so that Random.org can do an easier job of drawing a winner.)

Also, linking up to Molli Sparkle‘s Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Emily at Sewing by Moonlight.


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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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ALYOF: I got sunshine…

So back at the beginning of the month, I set a few goals for myself:

1. Two bee blocks
2. Sunshine Pillow
3. Cat Faces
4. Confetti Go Lucky quilt

The one that I cared about the most, that I set as my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes was the Sunshine pillow. And it got done slightly last minute, but done it is!

Sunshine cushion

This cushion cover was based on Katherine from Sew Me Something Good‘s Joy cushion that she created for Blogathon Canada last November. I don’t generally decorate with holiday things, but I really liked the idea of the pattern, so I kind of thought about it and sat on it and downloaded the pattern from Craftsy anyway (I think this will take you where you can get it…) and then I’d ordered some fabric from a shop that was giving away mini charm packs with purchases over x-amount of dollars, and I’d told the shop owner to surprise me. She sent me Kate Spain’s Sunnyside and I thought… sunshine? Yeah, I can do something with that.

As a bit of an aside, I was hugely amused by how few “sunny” prints are actually in the Sunnyside line: there are eleven or twelve that you could call orange or yellow, and then 28ish that are green, blue, or grey. Anyway, I arranged them from orange through yellow then green and teal to indigo from the left and light blue to grey to indigo from the right so that it would be like the sunshine was pushing in on a cloudy day, pushing away the clouds and wind and rain. The gold is just a Kona cotton that I had enough of and which worked the best of all the yellows I have. It was dark enough to provide some contrast with the lighter yellows in the line and didn’t seem to actively clash with any of the other colours (though that teal in the raindrop print is a near thing… it’s a bit of a strange colour choice in the line).

If you go check out Katherine’s Joy pillow, you’ll notice that I got lazy pretty quickly. I couldn’t settle on two different fabrics for the words, so that I could have the shadowed/layered effect used in the pattern, so I decided just to use one and then have a contrasting stitch instead. But then all I had was a copper coloured thread (I don’t have a lot of coloured threads) and it didn’t really contrast as much as I’d hoped.

I got...

Anyway, forget that, who cares?! It gets the job done and it doesn’t look bad. Let’s talk about embroidery instead – I loved the font I picked for the embroidery. I forget what it’s called, but I need to find it again because I’m totally using it for my next embroidery pattern (which will be part of the As You Wish quilt and stitch-along at Fandom in Stitches… and let me further interrupt myself to say how AMAZING the patterns are for this project… I’m not working on it right now because All The Projects Ever, but I’m totally keeping this one as a future thought because LOVE, and if you’re a fan of The Princess Bride – and how could you not be? Westley! Inigo Montoya! As You Wish! Giants! Adventure! True Love! (is this a kissing book?) – then you’ll love it all too). Anyway. Font. I love the shape of the letters, the curves and it stitched up beautifully with my favourite stitch, the split stitch (it kind of got mashed down when I pressed it the last time — forgot to put a towel under it!), and I think it’d work well with a stem stitch too (though maybe not with a back stitch, which a lot of people love, but the curves might be too tight for that). In another bout of laziness, I didn’t want to go buy thread that would work for the pillow, so I just used something I had – “Bell Pull” from Sublime Stitching’s Parlour colour palette – which is too near a match to the background fabric. But the stitching came out nicely and it’s readable if you’re not half-way across the room, so forget that, who cares?! It gets the job done and it doesn’t look bad.

You know what else gets the job done and doesn’t look (too) bad?

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Grey zipper! If you were around on WIP Wednesday, then you know why I used a grey zipper. But just in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the original gold one:

Sigh.

This is why we shouldn’t sew when we’re tired. I didn’t want to go back to the store to buy another 22″ gold zipper (it’s an 18-in pillow, but that’s the size I had to buy to get a gold one that wasn’t ludicrously small for the size of the pillow), so I went with grey. I really should have made a flap to hide the zipper, but after sewing my zipper closed and then cutting off the business end of the zip, I thought I’d better stay away from anything more complicated than just stitching fabric onto the zipper and then top stitching it to make it look nice. The grey line isn’t horrible, but it sure does stand out, doesn’t it? Anyway, the fabric is Hive in Maize from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line. I love this print and am slightly appalled that I wasted so much of it on the back of a cushion (why didn’t I just use a solid gold? It’s not like I didn’t have more of the gold from the front of the cushion!) and I want to buy more! more! more! But I am supposed to be fabric fasting (and I totally crashed and burned today, but that’s a story for another day), so I’d better hold off and hope it’s still available in 5 months.

Anyway, back to my generalized laziness with this project. I really wanted to try out Katherine’s binding method for the edge of the cushion, but lazy. So very lazy. I even had a pretty orange fabric picked out that would have helped tie in the orange from the words, but nope. Lazy.

005

The quilting is kind of lazy too – a lot of organic lines, where organic means “can’t be arsed to make it straight, so I’m going to make it curve and call it intentional”. It’s a look I like though, so that helps! I had very little copper thread left, so I used up the spool and then used a basic off-white for the rest of the quilting. I also did a very, very quick and dirty stitch in the ditch around the four-patches, which I’ve very helpfully shown off in this picture where I just didn’t, couldn’t, you’re not gonna make me! stay inside the lines.

But you know what, for all my picking apart of the bits and pieces I don’t think are as awesome as they could be, I really love how this cushion came out. It makes me smile and it’s warmer and brighter than this miserable snowy winter we’re trudging our way through. This part of the winter (late January/February) is always sort of the worst for me.. it’s the bit when it feels the most never-ending, like we’re going to have snow for the rest of eternity because Winter isn’t just Coming, it’s already here and it’s got no plans of letting go. So a happy bit of sunshine is just the thing.

Linking up with TGIFF, hosted this week by the lovely Jo at Riddle & Whimsy and A Lovely Year of Finishes with Melissa at Sew Bittersweet Designs and Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts:

A Lovely Year of Finishes


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Ramble Ramble (Random Thursday)

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

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

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

Heat Pad

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

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

Design Wall

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

Now this is all that’s up there:

Design Wall

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

Hive 12: January Block

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

Aeneous - January block

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

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

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

randomeer LinkyBees


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Ellie-cases and Valentines in December

I’m in Saskatchewan now for a week or so, but before I left, I had a mad rush to get a few things done for Christmas gifts. I’d promised to bring one of my friends some shortbread cookies on the Saturday before I left, but I forgot to buy butter, which kind of put paid to that idea, so instead I decided to make her some pillowcases using fabric I’d bought months ago with her in mind. She’s a huge fan of elephant everything, but only if the trunks are pointing up (because it’s supposed to hold in the luck?), so when I stumbled over this Madhuri line of fabric, I’d had to pick some up for her.

Ellie Cases

I made two pillowcases for her, and kind of did it in a fabric wasteful way – I wanted the elephants to be running left/right rather than up/down, so I cut the forty-four inches down the length of the fabric and then trimmed the 26″ from the width of the fabric – so many prints run in the wrong direction for the hot dog pillowcase method and that’s the only way around it, other than just living with it. Normally I am okay with that, but I guess the luck would run out if they’re sideways? I don’t know – this friend has a thing about the trunks so I indulged it!

Elephant Pillowcases

Fortunately, these are pretty quick and easy to put together, even with the additional odd cutting. Not too much time or effort required to make them, and they look pretty great. She was also pretty happy with them, though I’m sure her husband wants to kill me. (Poor guy – I wrote him an apology on the gift tag.)

The other thing I needed to get put together was a wall-hanging for my Mom for a Christmas gift. Last year my sister and I made a Christmas wall-hanging for her and we also gave her a vaguely Halloween-ish quilted owl wall-hanging and for her birthday I gave her a more generic spring/summer wall-hanging, all for a quilt rack we also gave her for Christmas last year. So we’re trying to give her an option for every holiday, but we’re spreading it out a bit, rather than giving her a pile of them all at once. This is a Christmas gift idea that can go on for a few years!

Valentine's Wall-hanging

We needed something pretty quick this year because my sister was in India for a good chunk of the fall (for work) and then everything after that just seemed to come too quickly and we kept putting it off and putting it off. Suddenly it was 5 days till I was leaving and my sister was so slammed at work that her job gave her carte blanche to work as much overtime (from home) as she can in order to get it done.

Valentine's Wall-hanging

The only craft she really does (besides a tiny bit of scrap-booking) is cross-stitch, so we chose a really simple pattern from a book called Stitch Graffitti (the Christmas wall-hanging came from the same book) and she did a row here and a row there while waiting for her work program to load or run updates and so on. She got it done on the Thursday before I left, so Friday I pieced the stripes around it to bring it up to size (it’s about 15.5″ x 18″ I think – I don’t have it here to measure!).

Valentine's Wall-hanging

I did matchstick quilting, which was unbelievably time-consuming, but which I think looks pretty great. The worst part was hiding all the gazillion threads on either side of the cross-stitch section – so very many starts and stops!

I was vaguely concerned the stripes of colour really didn’t work together that well, so I thought maybe quilting closely with the same thread over the whole thing would kind of help tie it all together a bit, as if it were one weirdly striped print, rather than all the random long strips of scrap solid fabric I had in a colour range between pink and burgundy, with a little purple and pale blue throw in for good measure. I was going to quilt it with a grey thread all over, but discovered a variegated thread in my stash that ranged from the palest pink to a deep burgundy – the perfect choice!

Valentine's Wall-hanging

I bound it mostly with a grey dot, but also used a little of a pink flower dot that I’ve had in my stash for ages and ages. I intentionally avoided prints in the main part of the quilt – I thought it would be too distracting, and I wanted as much of the focus as possible to be on the cross-stitched area – so I thought the binding would be a nice place to add in a little printed texture. I had the whole thing quilted by Sunday, but then it was getting the binding done. It’s small enough not to take an enormous amount of time, but I didn’t want to have to bring it back to Saskatchewan with me – too easy for my mom to find it in my things. Monday night I stayed up stupid late to get it finished, since I was flying out Tuesday morning. I took my photos sometime after midnight, under the light of my harsh overhead CFL light – I’m surprised these photos came out as well as they did.

Valentine's Wall-hanging

Except for this one. Washi tape sucks!

Do you follow me? Via feedly or email or bloglovin’ or just popping by every now and again to see what’s new? Leave a comment below – anything you like, you can tell me know you follow me or how you found me or whatever – and I’ll pop you in a special post-Sew Mama Sew giveaway draw for two mini charm packs of V and Co’s Color Me Happy line.

Color Me Happy Mini-charms

I picked these up especially for this giveaway when I was at Periwinkle Quilting when I was in Saskatoon on Tuesday. I wanted to do something special for those of you who’ve been around a while (even if it’s a very short while!) but without pressuring the entire Sew Mama Sew commentariat into following me just to get included. I’d always rather people follow because they want to, not because they think it’ll give them a better chance at winning a draw. I’ll draw names whenever I wake up on December 28, so try to enter by December 27, I suppose. It’ll probably fall to Random.org to draw the name. But maybe I’ll write them out on slips of paper and pull it out of a bucket. We’ll see.


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Sunday Stash: Scraps and Solids

I’ve talked a bit lately about being on a Clean It Up and Clear It Out mission – in the kitchen, I’ve now progressed to having cleaned and emptied of expired or unwanted stuff the fridge, both freezers, the spice drawer, and the pantry cupboards – and it’s still not going super great in the sewing room. I have sorted more fabric out of my stash that I want to get rid of (mostly the previously mentioned children’s fabrics, as well as my non-quilting cottons like voile and canvas – I found a little more of both). Then yesterday I went through all my piles of scrap fabric and threw away anything that wasn’t at least 1.5″ square (I know, I know, there are people who use that or would stuff it into dog beds or whatever, but I don’t know any of those people and so it’s going to go away) and resorted everything by colour, removing solids, cross-weaves, and linen pieces.

Fabric scraps

I do keep my scraps sorted by colour in baggies like this, more closed up than that, obviously, but I don’t ever zip them up – I don’t know if this has happened to any of you, but I find fabric will get an odour if you close it up in anything for too long. I used to keep all my fabric in plastic tubs and after I moved to this house, it took me several months to get the fabric out of the tubs and into use… and every bit of it smelled musty. I had to wash and press everything, and since I don’t use fabric softener (and since I use unscented laundry detergent) I was worried it wouldn’t get rid of the smell. It did, thank god, but I might have had a much smaller stash if it hadn’t.

I’ve put my name into the Stash Bee pile, so as long as I get in for next year, I’m planning on requesting large kinda scrappy log cabins. I’m going to make two or three blocks ahead, so it was good to see what I do and don’t have much of in my scrap piles these days. I was surprised to see I’ve got virtually no purple and that my reds are dwindling. I was sure I had more purple (and there are two boxes in my sewing room that are full of junk – I have a tendency to stack things up if I can’t decide where to put them, so who knows what’s underneath – so I’m hoping there will be a stack of purple scraps in there), but I’m not surprised about the red, since I seem to make most use of it. I have piles and piles and piles of blue and green scraps though. Piles.

ANYWAY, my big cleaning/organizing goal today was to deal with my solids.

Solids stash

Fair to say I have more than I thought I did. Somehow I always think I haven’t got that many options for solids, but clearly that’s not true.

It might not look like it...

These weren’t in the photo above because I don’t want to mix them in with the rest: it’s all the fabric I’ll need to make the Mario quilt designed by Angela at Cut to Pieces.

Solids stash

And then there are all these – amounts of 2 yards or more. Seriously… where does it all come from? (Oh, that’s right. My bank account.)

Essex Linen stash

My bit of Essex linen is smaller than I thought it was, but that’s probably a good thing – it means I’m mostly using it up as I’m buying it.

Cross-weave fabrics

And finally my cross-weaves. Well, some of them anyway. The rest (I’d bought a FQ bundle of Moda cross-weaves some time ago) are in a box with a project-in-progress. These ones I’d bought (mostly) to make a Twelves Trees quilt. Obviously I haven’t done that yet. (Much like many of my ideas… I buy all the necessary components, and then never get around to making the thing.)

So that bit of my sewing room is cleaned up. Which is good. I’m going to store all these fabrics in the plastic bins I mentioned earlier, but I’m going to leave the lids off so that the fabric doesn’t get that cooped up smell. I just have to figure out where to store them…

Linking up to Finding Fifth‘s Sunday Stash, this week hosted by Lisa in Port Hope.

Finding Fifth