Work-in-Progress Girl


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December Giveaway Day!

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway is now closed and the winners – Mom C from Utah and Susan Holden Hutchens from Kelowna BC – have been notified. Thanks everyone for playing along and entertaining me with your comments! Better luck next giveaway day!

I thought I was going to miss giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew this year – we’ve been going through a huge software change at work that has led to my working so very much overtime that I have hardly opened my laptop in the last couple weeks and I’ve hardly read any of my blogs (I think I’m down to about 50 unread posts now!) and I haven’t answered any email in all that time… But here I am! I always love doing giveaway day, so I couldn’t avoid it, even if I don’t think I’ll have time to enter too many giveaways myself!

Typically I’m going to give away two prizes, both for craft supplies!

Giveaway One
A $25 gift certificate to my favourite online shop, Mad About Patchwork!

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Mad About Patchwork is a shop in Stittsville, Ontario… which I think is near to Ottawa (I’m from the West of Canada, so I’m pretty shaky with my geography out East). Pam, who owns the shop, has been wonderful to me over the years, largely because of just how much she’s helped contribute to my fabric stash… but she even let me mail her a swatch of shot cotton once so that I could have her tell me what colour it was so that I could buy enough for the background of a quilt. (It was Jade, I think… but I could be wrong because I never write these things down!)

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This is the shot cotton in question… photographed in some pretty poor light and on my phone, so I’m not sure it’s the best Jade representation going…

She’s got a fantastic selection of both Kona Cottons and Kaffee Fassett shot cottons and all sorts of assorted other print collections, books, patterns, and notions. One of my favourite things to get sucked into buying are the curated Monday Mosaic bundles, which I think are usually put together by Laura who also teaches classes at the in-store studio. Here’s a fairly new one, Rustic Winter:

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Love!

I also really like the Stash Bundles, which are grouped together by colour. Here’s one I don’t think I’ve bought, in fuchsia, which is a colour I always used to hate, but have really come around on over the last year:

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Anyway, all this by way of saying: imagine what you could buy, gift card in hand email!

Giveaway Two
A 5-fat quarter collection of Tula Pink Moon Shine fabrics plus some as yet undecided bonus prize… which may or may not be crafty in nature. Maybe I’ll make something. Maybe I’ll include a mini-charm pack. Maybe I’ll top it up with some coordinating non-Tula fabrics. Maybe I’ll put in some cute bottles of nail polish. Maybe it’ll be Christmas candy, I really couldn’t say!

Moon Shine

Okay, I cannot tell a lie… these are my least favourite prints from Moon Shine and won’t be terribly sad to see them go. But there’s a lot of Tula love out there, so I think these fabrics will shine a little brighter in someone else’s life – maybe it’ll be yours!

The Details
I always choose one winner from Canada or non-US locations in the world and one winner from anywhere in the world. (So, in theory, there could be 2 Canadian winners or two Malaysian winners or one Brazillian and one American winner or whatever combination you want to come up with… but there can’t be TWO American winners.) The reason for this is that sometimes those of us from non-US locations get excluded from some pretty amazing prizes. This is a teeny tiny way I’ve come up with to give the rest of us a little bit of a boost for winning. (It’s important to note, I don’t particularly care what nationality you are – if you’re an American living in Paris, you count as “non-US location” because your mail is going to Paris, not Omaha. Likewise, if you’re Romanian, but are living in Pensacola, you count as US.)

I will draw the winners on Saturday, December 13 using Random.org, which means you MUST enter by 11:59 PM PST on Friday, December 12. When I do the first draw, if the winner is from the US, then I will continue drawing numbers until I find someone from outside of the US. If the first winner is from outside of the US, then the second number drawn will be the second winner, regardless of location. I’ll need to hear back from the winners by Tuesday, December 16, so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

If you want to be entered, I need to know…
1. Where you live!
2. Anything else… what you like about where you live, what the weather is like, what you’re planning to do this week (besides enter giveaways…), what your crafting goals are for next year, what you’d like to receive as a surprise gift if you win the Tula Pink fabric, what you’d buy from Mad About Patchwork if you win the gift certificate, etc… Anything your little heart desires.

I will delete your comment if you don’t include your location and some other comment besides “thanks for the chance to win” because those are my least favourite comments to receive. Do not include your email in the body of your comment – WordPress will provide it to me (and keep it hidden from everyone else).

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Work-not-in-Progress Wednesday (plus Birthday! plus Giveaway!)

Work NOT in progress? Yeah. Well. You may have forgotten, but back in March I got my hands on a Juki straight stitch sewing machine. Which wouldn’t work for me. It took me half an age, but I finally took it in to a sewing machine repair shop in mid-July to have it looked at. I’m not honestly sure what they did with it – the feed dog lowering mechanism was broken so they repaired that and they got it stitching again, but it didn’t seem as if they needed any parts to get it working again. They did charge me for (and sent me home with) a packet of specialty needles, which I’d read in the manual that it needed, but which I didn’t know if I was using (because I just used a needle from one of the packets that the former machine owner had stashed in the ziploc baggy full of spare machine parts). So maybe it was as simple as swapping the needle!

In any case, I brought the machine home and I sewed an entire quilt top on it and it was great and running smoothly and happily and I was impressed and pleased and all things wonderful and good. Until I switched to a new project, which was going to be a quilt from John Q Adams/Quilt Dad‘s Beyond Neutral quilt book (not an affiliate link). It’s using all that green fabric I showed off on Sunday and 5 yards of a blue I’d bought for something, which it turned out not to work with, and I was really excited to get working on it. Until something weird started happening:

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I started getting runs in my fabric. It’s just like when you catch a toenail on a pair of stockings and suddenly there’s a run up the side of your leg, except it’s my fabric that’s being ruined! My exciting new project!

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Looking at it from the reverse, it looks like the needle is catching a single strand of thread on the fabric, pulling it through to the back (the biggest loop here is the pale blue you’re seeing the wrong side of in the top photo), thus pulling a run into the fabric. In fact, all those little loops of whitish looking thread are blue from the front. It’s not just ruining one of the fabrics, though, it’s ruining both layers — all the fuzzy looking blue blobs are bits from the bottom layer of fabric (bottom when it’s run through the machine, top when you’re looking at it above), which are pulling runs into the bottom as well.

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I think this is the worst one I had — it pulled the thread through so far that it pleated/puckered the fabric!

My only real thought as to the cause is that there must be some kind of flaw in the needle, maybe some kind of rough spot that is catching the fabric on the way by and causing the runs in the fabrics. It’s the same needle I used to sew the aforementioned quilt top (which you can see in my Instagram stream or can wait to see when I finally get it quilted) and it didn’t cause any problems then, but it seems (to me) the most likely cause. Feel free to prove me wrong, though! I tried to do a google search on the subject, but I didn’t really find any suggestions or answers!

In any case, since I have no work in progress to show you, I might just as well jump on to the next part of today’s post: it’s my birthday!

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And birthday’s mean giveaways around here! Last Sunday I talked about buying a nice big stack of (kinda sorta) peridot coloured fabrics from Mad About Patchwork and some of that bounty of greens could be yours… or possibly better yet (I dunno… maybe you hate green?), you could pick out your own fabrics to celebrate my birthday!

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(The very lovely) Pam at Mad About Patchwork is sharing a $50 gift certificate with one of you to help me celebrate! Just think what you could do with $50 at a fabric shop….

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You could pick up a kit for Lorna McMahon‘s adorable Fox & Friends quilt pattern.

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Or you could pick up a Chasing Fireflies curated bundle of Fat Quarters.

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Or you could curate your own bundle, as I did with my collection of greens (though, admittedly, I did also pick up a green stash bundle to round out my choices.

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Or you could save it for a little while (yeah, right!) and pick up something from the coming soon section, like this Kate Spain Horizon jelly roll. In any case… I don’t think anyone would have too many problems finding a way to drop $50 at a shop like this one!

Greens

I haven’t been flashing this green around for nothing, though, because if you don’t happen to win the gift certificate, you might just win a Fat Eighth bundle of all 18 fabrics that I picked up from my last virtual shopping trip at Mad About Patchwork. (They’re all approximate cuts, by the by. I took the super scientific approach of not pressing the fabric and then just cutting them up the fold line in the middle, so they’re… approximate.) I don’t know what you’ll do with them, but my brain flashed through a dozen options before settling down on the pattern I mentioned above. Green is awesome – you can do something fresh and spring-like with leaves or trees or you could add reds and go holiday or add a bunch of blues for a more soothing watery palette or add purple for something floral and vibrant…

So if you want to enter: please leave a comment below. Maybe tell me about your birthstone and if you like it (or don’t) or (if you read my Sunday Stash post) about your favourite gemstone for jewellery or about your favourite famous piece of jewellery. (Yeah, okay. So I’m not a very girly-girl, but among my favourite blogs are From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault and The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, which I mostly only like when they’re talking about jewels. I’m not a jewellery person, but I do like to look at all the amazing sparklies locked up in the royal jewel vaults of various European houses.) Or maybe you could tell me about the kind of day you’re having – I’m writing this post a day ahead, but I can almost certainly guarantee I’m at work and grumpy about it while most of you are reading this. I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but my back-up broke her foot and is off work, so I had to cancel and… well, I’m a little bitter about it! Maybe you could tell me about your up-coming weekend. I think I’m going to go check out the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaentology, which I haven’t been to in years (and years and years…). In any case, the point of all this: leave a comment. I WILL NOT count your comment if you only say “thanks for the chance” or anything along those lines – I’d like to hear something a bit more interesting than that! You don’t have to wow me with your witty repartee, I’d just like something more interesting to read!

I will draw the winners on Tuesday, September 2, so enter sometime before then! (Or anyway, sometime before I come home from work that day. I usually get home around 3:30 pm MST.) The first name drawn will win the gift certificate (unless you’d prefer to win the fabric bundle, in which case: say so in your comment!) and the second name will win the fabric.

A very, very special thank you to Pam for providing the gift certificate (and for always providing me with the sweet, sweet hits of fabric that I sometimes need to get me through a crappy week like this one, when I’m meant to be on holiday but am not).

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And finally, finally… linking up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social, The Needle and Thread Network, and finally Work in Progress Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sew Fresh Quilts wipwednesdayneedleandthreadnetwork WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Sunday Stash: Heather Bailey and Hawthorne Hues Edition

So I was not a winner this past Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew or not a winner of stuff, anyway. Per usual, I found a bunch of new blogs to add to the rotation, even though some weeks I don’t have enough time to read all the blogs I already follow. (Fair question: how much more sewing would I get done if I spent less time reading about sewing?) Point being, that’s winning of a different kind, right? I like finding new blogs and new Canadian blogs (or just new to me ones). And also, I kind of won by finding this gorgeous pattern for the Infatuation quilt, which I bought right away (forget waiting to see if I’d win it or not… let’s face it, with 500+ entrants, I probably wasn’t going to!). I thought it would be perfect for using this bundle of Heather Bailey’s True Colors line that had stumbled into a Mad About Patchwork order some time ago.

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The bundle wasn’t quite big enough for the size quilt I want to make, so I started picking up some bits and pieces of Lottie Da, another line by Bailey, to add in with it. Here are a million and one (3) photos of the original line, plus the assorted Lottie Da prints I picked up:

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I didn’t plan it out very well because I got enough prints, but I didn’t get enough of the right sort of prints – I’ve got a spare one that doesn’t fit in, plus I need one busier print to go along with two of the blender prints. Each set of nine fabrics will make up three blocks – except the particularly leafy green one (in the bottom photo) won’t be in the quilt and… something else will be. It’ll probably be another butterfly print from Lottie Da, but I’ve ordered two choices so we’ll see what happens.

I was really undecided about what sort of background to use – I don’t want to pull in pure white (since the fabrics have an off-white background) and so I’d checked Hawthorne Threads to see what solids they recommended and they’d suggested a Michael Miller Cotton Couture grey as well as a few of their own Hawthorne Hues fabrics. I happen to know someone with a nice big stack of Hawthorne Hues in her possession – Michelle at Factotum of Arts – so I fired off an email to see what she thought of the fabric itself. You never quite know with solids – Cotton Couture and the Art Gallery Solids are probably the best feeling solids out there, Kona Cotton is nice to work with but less luxurious to touch, Moda Bella and I have had some tiffs in the past (omg the ripples in the fabric, even when I’ve neither pressed nor ironed), I’ve used solids from a local fabric chain store that was much thicker than quilt shop quality solids, but much more shred-happy… anyway, the point being, without actually seeing and touching the Hawthorne Hues, I was a bit nervous to buy 6 yards for a quilt backing.

Michelle was absolutely magnificent and didn’t just tell me what the fabric was like – somewhere between a Kona and a Cotton Couture in terms of feel – but also got out her own bundle of Heather Bailey’s True Colors line and photographed it up against a dozen or so different colours from the HH line and posted it for me on Instagram! She’s the awesomest! I can’t access IG right now (the last couple updates have made it so the app doesn’t function on my phone any longer), so I can’t show you all the photos she took for me, but from her selections I picked out three different Hawthorne Hues fabrics, plus a light grey Cotton Couture to audition for background fabrics.

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This orange solid from Hawthorne Hues, Pumpkin, was my total wild-card pick. I think it’s interesting and it lifts up everything and makes it all seem even brighter and happier than it already is… but oh my god does it scare me to think of 5 yards of quilt background done up in pumpkin orange. I don’t actually think I can do it!

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Jade, another Hawthorne Hues fabric, is probably my favourite choice. It’s lovely and not so overwhelming as I think orange would be… but I’ve got a finished quilt top that is almost this exact same colour (it’s done in cross-weaves, but it’s a very similar jade). It feels like I should do something different, just because I’ve done that colour before. (I should really get that quilt top basted and start quilting it…)

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Plum Azalea (I think? I’m questioning everything right now!) from Hawthorne Hues is my other favourite. It’s very, very similar to one of the colours from the True Colors line, which is a little scary, because I’d hate to piece it and have those purpley-pink prints kind of disappear against it, but look how the oranges and greens pop up off of it? Lovely.

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I keep calling this grey, but Michael Miller calls it Khaki. I picked this one up because I thought I’d be too scared by the bold colours and need something lighter to fall back on for the background… but it’s awfully dreary, isn’t it? Or maybe I should say that the only reason it doesn’t wind up dreary is that I cropped enough of the grey background out that you get drawn into the bright Lottie Da and True Color prints and sort of forget that background behind it.

But here’s the real issue with this colour:

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What’s that? You can’t tell what you’re looking at because it’s just a big sea of grey? Yeah. Kinda samey, isn’t it? Super duper samey.

I had bought these four colours so that I could do test blocks and see which I preferred, but then I got thinking about it and realized that if I do four test blocks, I’ll have sewn up a throw-sized test quilt! The blocks are 30″, it’ll be a 60″x60″ test! That’s an enormous test! (And yes, okay, I could do a maquette, quilt-style. But I’m not sure I could scale down the curved piece for a maquette.) So yeah, I haven’t quite decided what to do as far as that goes. I’ve got enough of the print and solid fabric to actually make 4 test blocks, so I technically speaking COULD do it… but if I put in that much effort just on the test, am I actually going to want to sew the quilt?

I do need to do at least one proper test block because there is curved piecing and that’s something I’ve never actually done before. Well, I say that. I’ve done it once before. I had gotten some swap blocks long, long ago and one of them was all curved piecing, but kind of badly done, so I pulled the block apart and sewed it together again, to fix the curves. But that was probably eight years ago and I was just fixing a block that had previously been sewn, it’s not like I was starting with crisp new fabric. And I think I did it by hand, which must also make a difference. Anyway, I do need to do at least one test, just to get a bit of curved piecing under my belt, maybe I’ll stop being so scared of it. But I’m not sure I want to do four test blocks. I dunno, I dunno.

Anyway, linking up with the always fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:

Molli Sparkles