Work-in-Progress Girl


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Sunday Stash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And of course a bit of text fabric from Architextures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I’m covered in bees! (Sunday Stash)

Since I’m fabric fasting, more or less, I decided to go back in time, all the way back to early 2010, when I first got a credit card (I resisted for years out of a terror that I’d turn into one of those people with no income but credit card debt in the thousands, but you know… they’re just kind of useful sometimes) and discovered the things you could buy on Etsy! I fished all these out of the stash the other day because I was talking to Mari-Ann/Rockislander about her teal bees fabric (talking to her about how much I want some!) and it reminded me how much I love this collection of Patty Young’s Flora and Fauna.

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I’ve said all over the place that I don’t like fabrics with bugs on them and I may never have told any of you this, but I have a deep-seated, gut-wrenching terror of moths (seriously, if you ever want to see me freak the fuck out, put me in an enclosed space with a moth – of all the things with wings that freak me out, it’s things with fuzzy wings that careen drunkenly around me that bother me the most). But omg I love this fabric.

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If I could get my fingers on the keys to Michael Miller’s kingdom,.. this is the line I’d reproduce. Even just select fabrics – bees, moths, dandelions. But this is the one, definitely. (And from Freespirit, select prints from Mendocino. From Moda… I don’t know. Maybe some old Tula Pink.) If I could find it, I’d buy a yard each of the bee prints (but I probably wouldn’t want to pay what people would be charging these days!). The print is small enough to be useful in all kinds of things and the colours are just gorgeous.

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I don’t love the floral prints. Well, these ones, there were some more daisy like ones too, but I think they might have been just a border fabric and I rarely buy those. Anyway, these flowers are the kind of flowers I draw, because I’m not an artist and big, round, five-petaled flowers are about as complicated as I can manage, but I don’t need to pay someone else to make them for me.

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A couple years ago I completely randomly found a couple bolts of this line of fabric at Fabricland, which is a Canadian chain which mostly sells not-that-great fabric. But, every so often they’ll pop up with something kind of amazing, like Flora and Fauna fabric 2 years after it’s gone out of print and can’t be found anywhere else. I didn’t buy much of it then because it was my other less favourite print – those big hummingbirds on the left side of this photo and the green print up in the collection of raspberry ones – but I kind of wish now that I’d bought enough to back a quilt with it – it’s a big print that I don’t really want to chop up for other things, you know?

The real question, though, is why didn’t I buy the teal prints when I was buying it? So much love and I never even considered it! (I guess I was poorer then and had to be more choosy about what I bought – I couldn’t get a little of everything.)

Anyway, linking up with Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Alissa at A Stitch in Between:

Molli Sparkles


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Sunday Stash: Crash. Burn.

I’ve kind of been missing in action for a while – and the important things I’ve missed talking about: the winner of my giveaway was Sarah at Thrift Store Crafter and although I’d said the Gypsy Wife link-up would be happening here at the end of February, plans changed and it’s actually being held by Jo at Riddle and Whimsy – and that’s mostly because I sometimes wind up a depressed headcase in winter (I don’t say that to make light of depression, but to try to downplay it for myself a bit because I’ll do whatever I can to talk myself out of sinking further into all this), it’s a depressing season and I haven’t really been capable of doing much the last couple weeks. I’ve got a couple half written entries spanning all sorts of random topics (for example: why I don’t go look at the blogs of Dudes who favourite my blog – sorry if there are any dude quilters out there who have avatars that looks like ‘dude’ is the only appropriate word to describe them: you know, fedoras, sunglasses, goatees… – I just assume you’re all trying to sell me on your 10 point plan for making mad bank via blogging), but anyway… I’m back for now at least. Hopefully for a while. Hopefully I’ll even have something to talk about and show you that isn’t just fabric I’ve bought. Fabric I’ve illicitly bought. Fabric I’ve bought even though I’m on a fabric fast.

When I crash, I crash hard. Fair to say.

It all started on January 31. I was looking for a copy of the Gypsy Wife pattern because I wanted to run the aforementioned giveaway and I was hoping to find a copy that was actually in Calgary so that I wouldn’t have to have it shipped to me and then have to turn around and ship it away again – why pay shipping twice, you know? So anyway, I went to a local fabric store – Traditional Pastimes – which is (was?) doing a once monthly get-together for people working on Jen Kingwell patterns (Gypsy Wife and… the medallion one that I can’t remember the name of right now). I thought to myself that if they were doing a Wednesday night thing on the subject, then perhaps they’d have the patterns in stock. They didn’t, but as always happens when I walk into a brick and mortar fabric store, I got a bit sucked in.

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Just in the door they had a display of Parson Gray fabrics, the Vagabond line, and a gorgeous quilt using it, and then I conveniently remembered that I’d been buying some Parson Gray fabrics to eventually make a quilt for my dad and bam, 30 more FQs!

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It’s a kind of interesting line. There are a lot of bits of it that I don’t really love, but it works together really well and of course it’s a bit more masculine than your standard fabric choices. Which is exactly what I was aiming for. And I’m hoping that these prints will mix in with another FQ bundle of Parson Gray fabrics that I’ve got (World Tour) so that I can get a nice mix for the quilt, whenever I make it.

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I think I’ve at least half-ways settled on a quilt pattern, even, but I need to fiddle around with the concept. It’s a pattern by… Ashley of Film in the Fridge (oh, I hope I got her name right, wouldn’t I feel like a dick if I’ve misnamed her!) that was in a recent quilting magazine – Quilty? or something else… I bought two magazines in the same day and forget which it was in) which kind of looks like flags, I guess, or pennants, rather. But I want to make a paper-piecing pattern for it, rather than the pattern’s general idea of Just Wing It and Trim Off the Excess. I just can’t with all that fabric waste. Yeah, there’ll be a lot of weird, lost triangle points either way, but at least the background can be a bit less wasteful.

Anyway, then I kept looking, which wasn’t a great thought because a 30 FQ bundle is already a lot when I’m supposedly fabric fasting.

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Back when I’d been to Traditional Pastimes for the first time I’d run across this long quarter roll of fabric from the Styl Mod line by Newcastle Fabrics and I hadn’t bought it because I was trying to be well-behaved… (and that was BEFORE my fabric fast even started).

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I caved and bought it. Another 29 quarter yds/metres of fabric. And then, you know, since I had an uneven amount, 1 FQ short of a full 60 quarters…

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I bought a FQ of this Amy Butler print. From the way it was a folded, I thought it was a different AB print than it turned out to be. This one is Twilight Peony in Amaranth from Soul Blossoms. It’s not bad as florals go, but they’re still not generally my favourite type of print ever.

When I opened that last FQ up and realized it wasn’t the print I thought it was, I talked myself into finding (online) and buying the print I really, really loved so that I could use it for the backing of my Gypsy Wife quilt:

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Sketchbook in Spring from Alchemy. Love the colours, love the sketchiness of the print, just LOVE. Anyway, Hawthorne Threads didn’t have enough to back a whole quilt, so I bought what they did have and then decided that even though I didn’t love it as much, I could instead use the other colour way of the same print for the quilt backing:

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Sketchbook in Fresh. I did get enough of it to back a quilt, so that’s what I’m going to do. But the idea with buying quilt backings it that I’ll only buy backings for FINISHED quilt tops, not ones so far from finished it’s barely beyond the infancy of the idea! (Seven blocks do not a Gypsy Wife quilt make.) I’m still a bit back and forth on this blue and green version of this print. I find it appealing but strange. (And I have a huge hate for blue roses — they just spray/dye them that colour, it’s not like nature produces this sort of blue in a rose!)

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Anyway, since I was already shopping Hawthorne Threads, why not throw in a little bit of extra goodies? I had thoughts about these, but I forget what those thoughts were! I should really write these things down when I think I have a genius idea for something. (These will come back later, anyway, because there are certainly new plans for them.) These are World Tour and Belle, from Mr and Mrs Butler.

So my bad behaviour at Hawthorne Threads over, I turned my wicked eye toward Mad About Patchwork instead. Because my February Stash Bee block was posted and the recipient asked for something in the Radiant Orchid line…

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I didn’t have much that could even charitably be called Radiant Orchid, so I ordered these and then posted a photo on Flickr of the 3 or 4 choices I did have in my stash, which I was sort of hoping my recipient wouldn’t like, so that I could justify having bought these. My recipient did okay a couple of my choices and then when these arrived I decided that they were too pink from the top (Oval Elements in Crocus) and from the left (Diamonds in Raspberry from Tula Pink’s Acacia) and too green in the middle (Pixel Dot in Pomegranate, also from Acacia) and too lavender from the bottom (Deco Dots in Aster from Amy Butler’s Gypsy Caravan). So I wound up using my stash anyway.

Anyway, whenever I shop at Mad About Patchwork I always find myself adding extra because, you know, there’s a flat shipping rate, so I might as well get my money’s worth, right?

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Why not add a charm pack of Botanics? And the matching charm pack of Kona solids? (These were intended to be a giveaway for my 200th post, but it passed unceremoniously, so maybe I’ll save them for a different giveaway. Or maybe I’ll keep them, because I’ve been all about the Emerald Greens lately and there’s a colour I don’t really have in my stash. Like, at all.)

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And how about Pippa in Citron from Michael Miller’s Citron Gray. (Which, by the way, is not citron in colour at all.) Lovely.

You might think that was all that I managed to buy in my two day reign of fabric buying terror, but it wasn’t. No. No, I also hit up Etsy to see what could be seen from the Canadian sellers.

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I finally bought a collection of fabrics I’ve been eyeing (from a destash seller, Liette at Coudsdonc) for a long time. First up, 5″ strips of a selection of Nicey Jane prints. These strips are intended, eventually, for the Gypsy Wife quilt, where long pieces of fabric will become my friend. (Come December. But hey, let’s buy them in February!) The white is a half yard of a white on white dot from Lakehouse Fabrics – hard to photograph!

Also, I picked up a mixed lot of Atelier & Akiko prints from Lecien. I don’t know the name of the line/lines these came from, but first there are these four fabrics, which are not quilting cotton but feel like… I don’t know, kind of like gauze, I guess, so maybe this is double gauze fabric?

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I had been charmed by the hand-drawn, children’s art aspect of these fabrics, but as it turns out, I don’t really love them up close. The lines look kind of… like they were badly rendered. I don’t know. They’re kind of made of dashes or slightly jagged lines, rather than smoothly drawn lines. (Even accounting for crappy children’s drawing, it looks odd.) But it sort of looks (to my eye) like when you have a flaw in printing and every line is just ever so slightly offset so that nothing quite matches up. I don’t know.

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These are the regular cottons from the same line. Fat quarters and cut squares and all sorts of bits and pieces. I still like the idea of these ones, but I definitely like them better from a distance rather than up close where the jagged lines stand out so much to me.

So that was two days worth of Grabby Hands buying of fabric. I wish it had stopped there, but it didn’t. Because I mentioned at the top of my entry that I’ve been kind of depressed and I mentioned back in January that a part of the reason I want to fabric fast is that I often fabric shop when I’m depressed because it’s that brief high of Oh Pretty! which feels good for about five minutes, until I remember I actually have to pay for it all and then it just re-depresses me because it’s wasteful to shop just for those brief bursts of joy. Well. Let’s leave alone the ridiculous psychology of why people shop for happiness (because it IS a ridiculous cycle!) and instead look at some more of my later February purchases. There were only two, so I think that’s not too bad, but I wish there weren’t any, so that’s not great, but I’m trying not to beat myself up, so let’s just say I’ll do better in March.

First, I finally had an idea as far as the whole 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge, which I won’t talk about, lest I decide not to do it. This whole Radiant Orchid thing is really mystifying me because if you go to Pam’s Colour of the Year page at Mad About Patchwork and then compare the Pantone swatch on the lower left of the page to the photo at the top of the page…. there’s a whole world of difference between them! I don’t know which is the “right” colour and every single fabric I see that’s somewhere in that pinkish-red purple range somehow feels right until I compare it to either of those two images and then they just all seem wrong. Anyway…

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I still think none of these are quite right, but I’m planning to change their looks by heavy application of coloured threads. The print is Tangle in Lavender from Anna Maria Horner’s Dowry, and I think I probably won’t use it for this project. Too busy. The other three are Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in Grape, Granite, and Lilac. (Lilac is the palest colour, Grape the darkest.) I think I’ll just use the three shot cottons for this idea, with the binding in the darkest colour. The Dowry print… it intrigues me, as AMH prints often do, but also makes my brain hurt because it’s not the sort of thing I can really imagine using. I really don’t tend to buy these busy prints too often because I find it hard to mentally place them into projects. There is just so much going on that I can’t figure out how to give them room to breathe.

Anyway, I think I mentioned flat rates and always adding just a little more to “make it worth it” so…

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I also added Pam’s most recent Low Volume Bundle. From top left: Botanics Leaves in Curry, Botanics Graph Paper Garden in Curry, Stitch Squares in Sea, Pearl Bracelet in Glacier (LOVE!). And again from the left: Sun Print Text in Mulberry, White on White Basics Medium Dot from Riley Blake, Prisma Noir from Minimalista, and La Creme Swiss Dots in Red. I also bought a couple yards of an off-white Kona cotton… or maybe that was with the other Mad About Patchwork purchase, but either way it’s a basic and too boring to photograph.

And so was the couple yards of Moda Bella cotton I bought in an off-white from Fat Quarter Shop along with these two half yards:

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On the left is Cherry Candy in Robin’s Egg from Fig Tree & Co.’s Avalon line and on the right is Mezzanine in Seashell and Coral from Fig Tree & Co.’s Tapestry line. These didn’t photograph too well, the blue should be more blue and the off-white should be more creamy.

And that, my friend’s are the full depths to which I crashed this month on the whole Fabric Fast. But as I said somewhere in all this mess: I’ll do better in March.

Linking up with Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Sarah at Mila + Cuatro and Fabricholics Anonymous:

Molli Sparkles FabAnon


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Fabric Binge

So I haven’t really talked about it yet, though I’ve kind of hinted around it I think, but I’m going to try to challenge myself to a six month fabric diet. I’m still not going to talk about it much, because I’ve got a half-written, insanely long draft post on the subject that I need to weed down into something manageable before I really do. But there’s a button off to the right that reads Fabricholics Anonymous, and that’s what I’m talking about when I talk about a fabric diet. (If you’re interested.)

The funny (and slightly pathetic) part of this whole proposed fabric diet is that I’ve spent the last month or so in a vague sort of panic about What I’m Going To Miss (Botanics! Which, yes, I know can already be bought, but I don’t know of any Canadian shops that are already selling it and I do try, generally speaking, to buy from Canadian sites if I can) and What If I Need Colour X and all kinds of ridiculousness. So there’s been a little bit of binge shopping.

This is the first wave.

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Oh look, it’s more quilt patterns! Just what I need! But I REALLY love that Gypsy Wife pattern and I’ve seen a small quilt-along for Midnight At The Oasis, which is producing some really interesting quilts and and and… I just couldn’t help myself. Every year I have lots of little goals about how I hope my crafting will go for the year – 2014 is meant to be the year of One Step Closer – and making myself a Gypsy Wife quilt is one of them. What I love about it is that it’s slightly crazy, but it should never be boring because it’s made up of a pile of different blocks (so none of the repetition that turns into work instead of play). Midnight at the Oasis? Well…. I liked it better when I was reading about it but not realizing that those Churn Dashes are actually 52 churn dashes, 3″ tall each. ACK. That’s a hell of a lot of work right there! And then after that comes the million and one Nine Patch blocks, also, I think, 3″ tall (I’d have to go fish out the pattern to be sure, but that’s A LOT of 1.5″ squares to be cutting out – and it doesn’t even recommend strip piecing! Which I’d totally do, just with lots and lots of colours, so as to minimize the amount of bitty little squares to be piecing). Anyway, if that one ever happens, I think it’d have to be a in a leader and ender type project, where all those little squares get pieced as you’re doing other things.

This next group of fabrics is really the fault of Sarah at Sarah Quilts because, you know, she held a gun to my head from all those miles away and MADE me purchase this fabric:

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Sarah made a Pushme Pullme cushion cover featuring this fabric and if you read through the comments there, you’ll see me asking her just what that fabric is… See. Her fault. I just kind of love that it looks like an illustration in an old encyclopaedia. I bought two yards of it. Sarah’s fault. Also her fault? I had to fill up the shopping cart to Make The Shipping Worth It.

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I always feel like I don’t have enough neutrals for using in the backgrounds of blocks, so there’s this bit of fabric from the Little Black Dress line (which I think was produced by Moda). It’s not true that I don’t have neutrals for backgrounds… I just tend to use solid neutrals all the time instead of prints, so really I’ve got a metric tonne of unused neutrals going back to the dawn of my quilting career, as it were. Just one more for the pile.

Three yards of fabric does NOT a full shopping cart make, so I added a few pre-cuts as well:

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Two Simply Style honeycombs. The Confetti-Go-Lucky quilt pattern, Confetti by V and Co., was designed to feature this particular pre-cut. I haven’t decided if I’m going to make another Confetti quilt to use it in that way (although, the temptation is there, so long as I’ve got enough background material because I won’t be able to buy it, come January) or if I’ll make something more traditional with it, like hexagon flowers or whatever. The two mini-charms are Road 15 – another thing I’ve not no particular plan for. I just thought they were cute. There was also a third mini-charm pack of Kate Spain’s Sunnyside fabric, but it’s already pulled apart for use elsewhere.

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Then I had to hit up Hawthorne Threads because they sell Emily Herrick’s Technicolor line and I wanted to get a little bit more of that green and navy tile print on the right side of that photo. That was my favourite print in the Double Hourglass quilt I made and so I used it as binding, but then I didn’t have any left! Since I was buying just that little bit more, I also picked up the same print in orange and then the two leaf prints, also from the same line.

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And I thought, well, since I’m here… maybe I’ll also pick up those two Joel Dewberry honeycomb prints I’ve been wanting for ages. (Actually, it might have been the other way around: stopping by for the honeycomb and adding all the rest.) These were another case of being surprised by the scale of Joel Dewberry prints – somehow I’d imagined them being quite small and actually the overall print is quite large. It’ll work either way; it just surprised me. And, well, since I was there, I also picked up those four prints from JD’s True Colors line. (Man does it hurt to take the U out of the name of these fabrics! Technicolor. True Colors. It just looks WEIRD.)

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And then finally it was the sale section. Subway tiles! A gorgeous purple print! Chartreuse! And some grey variegated Aurifil thread for a future project. I’ve used Aurifil off and on for a few different projects now and I’m still not convinced it’s the best thing since the rotary cutter and self-healing mat. It’s fine and has a nice sheen and my machine likes it well enough, but it makes WEIRD fluffy lint in my bobbin case. (I mean, all thread leave some lint, this is just sort of… different textured lint.) I’ve always had good results with Guttermann thread and it’s cheaper and I can pick it up at a store two stops down the train from my work, so I’ll probably mostly go on using it for regular piecing and if I need to colour match. I’ll use the Aurifil if I’ve got it or if I find a good deal for it (or if I someday buy a new machine and it doesn’t like the cheaper thread!).

Linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles:

Finding Fifth


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Double Hourglass Quilt

This post has been a long time coming, but I didn’t like my photos when I first took them threeish weeks ago, and then kept putting off taking more.

Hourglass Quilt

Not that this is such a great photo, stuffed into the bannister of the stairs, but it seemed like the light was going to be good for once (and then it turned out kind of weirdly overlit anyway!). Winter in Canada. A whole season of everything being underlit or overlit via light bouncing off snow. Yay.

Anyway, I finished this one around Thanksgiving, maybe October 14 or 15. It’s a baby quilt, about 36″ x 43″. I didn’t follow a pattern, but this is a very jelly roll-friendly quilt, and a very easy one to make. (If anyone wants to know how, ask and I’ll let you know, but the gist is “sew two strips of fabric together, cut into triangles, rotate to create hourglasses, sew together into a square.”) This quilt was all tailored for an old friend who hadn’t been super into baby themed items for babies (you know, little teddy bears and… I don’t know, whatever), but I didn’t wind up sending it to her in the end. (And when she sent me a picture of her baby, he was wrapped up in something with cute child themed prints anyway – maybe she’s loosened up in the intervening years on the subject. It has been 6 or more years since we’ve seen one another!) I let my mom talk me into sending her the Star Surround quilt instead, so this one will get donated to a Linus group, which is a great way to use it regardless.

Hourglass Quilt

I talked a lot in the past about the fabric selection process for this quilt (here and here) and still wound up changing things a little (I took out one of the fabrics and swapped in a different one), but generally speaking it fits the colour scheme and the type of prints I was aiming for: orange, green, blue, and red using stripes, dots, and other geometric prints. The rope text print doesn’t quite fit, but I let it slide on the basis of it’s a baby quilt. The two Stof prints are certainly more organic than geometric, but they both created a striped effect so I thought that was okay too.

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The fabrics I had the most difficulties with were the off-white ones. As a general rule, I don’t ever put an off-white print together with a pure white print, because the off-white one comes out looking dingy and dirty in comparison. But I bought the fabric online and some of them were more off-white than I was expecting. I even added in the blue/off-white loop print to try to tie in the three existing off-whites. I kept telling myself that all colours go with white and thus off-white also should go with white. It’ll be fine, Kristel. Don’t worry about it so much and nobody will even notice! But it does bother me if I spend too much time looking at those particular prints. (Colours pop so beautifully against pure white, it seems a crime not to use it!)

Hourglass Backing & Binding

I used my favourite print for the binding – that green and navy print from Emily Herrick’s Technicolor line – but it really wasn’t a great choice for a binding (seriously – scroll up to a picture of the entire quilt!) because the look varies so much from one part of the print to another. Still, I love having that green around the edges (and my different coloured corner, of course, in the red and white stripe). The backing you can see is a flannel version of one of the chevrons I used on the front of the quilt – it’s also a larger size chevron. (I think that is a medium size, where the front has a small size on regular quilting cotton. All three of the chevron fabrics I used are from Riley Blake, anyway.) This picture also shows the quilting. I went pretty minimalist with this one and only quilted on the diagonal, a little more than a quarter inch away on either side of the seams. (The foot I use has a marking on the inside of the foot at the quarter inch, but I lined it up with the outside of the foot, so there’s probably an extra 1/8-inch.) I had thought about adding something more, maybe on the white parts of each block, but didn’t want to overkill it, and anyway I find quilts more comfortable when they’re not quilted too densely (though it sure does look good!).

I always have a list of things I’d like to change about the quilts I make – there’s always something in retrospect I wish I’d done better – and in this case, I wish I’d pressed all my seams open. I’m pretty back and forth on that one, but in this case, all those dark edges of fabric that got pushed toward the white (this happened when joining the rows, generally I press toward the dark if I don’t open my seams) show through. When I first took it out of the wash, I was terrified that it had bled because I could see all these kind of streaky bits of colour, but when you get up close, it’s just the fabric pressed under in those particular places. Sigh. Oh well, as far as things I’d like to change go, I’m happy that that’s my only real complaint. I’m usually pretty good at picking apart my flaws, so that one little thing isn’t so bad at all. (Okay. That and those off-white prints. I mean, seriously, designer types: why the off-whites? Do you want dingy looking fabric, because I don’t!)

Anyway, done is good. And that’s another finish for the year. I’m not a terribly prolific quilter (like some bloggers are) and I tend never to finish things, so every finished piece is a bit of a victory.


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First Snow of the Year (and a bit of Sunday Stash)

First snow of the year. Ugh.

I don’t know who the people are in this video – presumably whoever uploaded the song to YouTube. The music is First Snow of the Year by Hawksley Workman. He had a fun album several years ago called Almost a Full Moon, which was partly a Christmas album, but also contained a few songs like this that are more about the experience of winter than necessarily the holidays. Anyway, I was working on a mix cd with some autumn songs on it (including Hawksley’s gorgeously melancholy song Autumn’s Here), but too late for that, I guess!

Anyway, fabric! Surprisingly, I don’t have new stash to share. (Also thankfully? Well, my credit card thanks me. The credit card company probably doesn’t.) What I’m showing you today is something I bought a little while ago, but there was such an influx of fabric at the time (I tend to shop when I’m depressed, and this fall was a bit of a miserable one for various reasons – it’s something I’m aware I do and I try to combat it because it’s such a useless, pointless exercise and one that typically leaves me feeling worse because it feels wasteful to spend money on unnecessary things and, well, I’m sure you’re aware how negative thoughts can spiral) that I never ended up talking about it.

Stash stash stash

So this fabric all came from a shop on Etsy called Sew Fine Fabric. This shop is kind of unique in that her shipping to Canada is so reasonable, it’s almost like purchasing fabric from a local shop. (Seriously: 4.50 US$ flat rate to Canada. Unless you a request a custom order that is over 4 lbs, which price she doesn’t mention except to say that it’s still cheaper than standard.) Some of her fabrics might be a touch more expensive than elsewhere (probably to off-set the shipping costs), but I think it still comes out better for the average Canadian shopper than almost any other shop I’ve seen out of the US.

"Floret" in Raspberry from New Leaf Collection by Daisy Janie

This shop focusses a lot of organic fabrics, which is something I don’t buy a lot of. I have a bit of it, here and there, but it is quite expensive and that does put me a off a little. Still, I loved the colour of this print: “Floret” in Raspberry from New Leaf Collection by Daisy Janie. Lovely. (It didn’t photograph particularly well – it looks most like itself in the first shot with all the fabrics.)

Circle and Square Stitch from Michael Miller

And then there’s the well loved Circle and Square Stitch prints from Michael Miller. They’re just fun fabrics (and I gave away a chunk I had in orange) and I think they’ll be useful for a lot of things, so there they are.

Starcomb from Curious Nature by Parson Gray

And finally some Curious Nature. These are actually two different Starcomb prints, one of them has a kind of blueish-grey background and the other a… kind of greenish stone grey. I guess I shouldn’t have photographed them together. I was thinking that while I’ve got plans for a quilt for my mom and my sister (and a finished top for my younger sister), I’ve never put too much thought into a quilt for my dad. So Parson Gray/David Butler, right? I don’t think my dad would turn up his nose at anything I made him, even if I made him a pink floral quilt like I made for my grandma, but I might as well aim in a slightly more masculine direction, right?

Anyway, linking up with Finding Fifth‘s Sunday Stash, this week hosted by the lovely Michelle, of Squeek Crafts/Factotum of Arts:

Finding Fifth

And now I’m going to start pressing fabric – running the iron and having billowing steam (not that I will – my nearly brand new Rowenta iron has started leaking water from the base, so I’ve been running it water free the last few days) might warm me up a bit!


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Work in Progress Wednesday

It’s work in progress Wednesday and I’m a little torn on what to post about because the thing I’m actually working on is something I don’t really want to talk about! It’s a project for a swap and if the recipient sees it she’s going to look at it and know immediately that it’s for her. But I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog, so I’ll just lock the photo on Flickr (where she might see it) and post it here:

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What is it, I wonder? Well, not much to see there, but I like it that way. For now anyway!

I’m also thinking about working on my Star Surround quilt, but no photos because I haven’t gotten past the thinking stage yet. (Haha. That’s how I am with everything. My work has decided not to give me the boost in pay that my new job requirements entitle me too, which means I SHOULD be emailing the guy at the union so that he can have that fight with them – which I anticipate losing, but feel the need to fight anyway before stepping down and thinkingreallyhardabouttellingthemwheretoshoveit going back to doing my old job because hell no they don’t get my work for free – but I don’t like making phone calls so I’ve been sitting on the info for a week now and just thinking about calling the union guy.)

Instead, let me tell you about the work-in-progress that is 1. the spending of all the money ever and 2. the acquiring of increasing amounts of stash. And stuff. We can’t forget the stuff, no. Stuff like these shoes, made with Liberty of London fabric:

Liberty Shoes

Cutest shoes ever. Am I wrong? Because I don’t think I’m wrong. As a general rule I don’t like Liberty fabric all that much – it might be the bomb to work with and feel better than any substance known to mankind, but I find so many of their fabrics to be stuffy little florals that just don’t appeal to me. But this stuffy little floral is so sweet it could rot my teeth. Also, they were 70% off at The Bay and for $23, I didn’t have to work hard to talk myself into buying them. (I didn’t have to work too hard to talk myself into buying Lush’s Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub or their Sweetie Pie shower jelly or a Stila eyebrow pencil either, yesterday. It was a spendy day. I got my hair cut and coloured too.)

It’s a good thing I didn’t get over to the Japanese store full of weird and wonderful things like paper balloons and washi tape because a couple weeks ago I found a couple great Canadian online sources for washi tape, Omiyage, which has gotten even more and an even awesomer variety since I bought the tape below, and GreenMunch, which I haven’t bought from yet, but which has some of the coolest eco friendly things I’ve seen in ages alongside a fairly impressive collection of washi tape and bakers twine.

Washi Tape and thread

The thread didn’t come from Omiyage, but from Hawthorne Threads. It’s more drinking-the-koolaid: Aurafil thread. I still haven’t tried either of the spools of it that I’ve got, but I bought this one for quilting a project that I haven’t started yet. (A quilt for my mom, using honeycombs of Happy Go Lucky fabric.) I didn’t order the thread on it’s own. No. No… I bought another pile of fabric to try to put together that baby quilt for an old friend that I talked about in the early days of this bout of stress shopping. On the last go around, I started with 12 fabrics plus a backing material and then only liked 4 of them enough to put them to use in the quilt top. And I’d said I was going to try “shopping my stash” to fill out the rest of the quilt, but I didn’t do that even a little bit. Nope. These were the 12 fabrics, of which only the four in the centre row were going to get used (and four of which have since been re-purposed into the aforementioned Star Surround quilt):

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And these are the new purchases, of which… some, but not all, will get used:

Fabric Stash

The obvious outs are:
– the white with green loops, Bekko by Trenna Travis for Michael Miller, which feels more like home decor weight (and is 50+ inches wide, so probably is) (and I have no idea what I’ll do with a half yard of home decor fabric in those colours, it doesn’t match anything in my house!)
– the blue and white cross-hatch fabric, from Mini Mikes for Michael Miller, which is just the wrong sort of blue, somehow
– the aqua text print, from Remember by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake, which is also the wrong sort of blue
– the blue running stitch print, from Michael Miller (I forget which line), which is also (say it with me) the wrong sort of blue

I’m left with this batch of fabrics (including the original four):

Fabric Stash

…which does come out to 12 fabrics and which, despite it’s range of blues and reds (the rope letters one is a very orange red compared to the more blue reds in the rest), somehow feels a little more cohesive to me. I may yet dig through my stash for a third green and another orange to tie those colours in a little better or maybe I’ll throw in a scrap or two here and there of fabrics that play with two or more of these colours, so that it’ll all feel a bit more like it fits, but overall, I think it’ll work (with all the extra white fabric that I’m planning to introduce). Now I just have to get it started!

[The unnamed fabrics, for the curious, in that last circle photo are, from the centre, then up and around clockwise from the green/navy circular print: Spot On in Red, wide width for Robert Kaufman; Tile in Navy from Technicolor by Emily Herrick, Michael Miller; Stamen Stripe in Navy from Pure, Stof; Half Moon Stripe in White and Navy from Uno, Stof; Medium (?) Chevron Tone on Tone in Navy, Riley Blake; Small Dots in Navy, Riley Blake; Medium (?) Chevron in Boy, Riley Blake; Bubbles in Orange from Full Moon Lagoon by Mo Bedell, Andover; Small Dots in Red on White, Riley Blake; Sailors ABC in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, Michael Miller; Pirate Stripe in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, Michael Miller; Side Step in Green from Ikebana, Dear Stella.]

Does that seem like 1. Spending all the money ever and 2. acquiring increasing amounts of stash? Well, the second, certainly, but the money situation hasn’t shown itself to be too out of hand yet… but that’s only because that’s not the end of it all!

This also came from Hawthorne Threads and Bobbie Lou Fabrics, an Etsy shop that happened to have the elephant print in blue:

Fabric Stash

I stumbled over the elephant fabric on someone’s blog a couple weeks ago when I was checking out various Work-in-progress Wednesday posts. I am not a particular fan of elephants, I mean.. I’m all for elephants being in the world, but they affect me not at all. (Except that I really, really loved this elephant statue at the Calgary Zoo and I wonder how it fared in the flood in June.) But I have a friend who has an elephant obsession. She’s one of those people who owns jewellery and figurines and cookie jars and napkins and table trays and every other thing with an elephant on it. She loves them ridiculously, but only if their trunk is facing up. So I stumbled across that fabric and thought, Mandy will love that, I should make her some pillowcases.

All of the prints are from the Madhuri line by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake. The two solids are Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture, in two colours who’s names I’ve forgotten. (Aqua and…?) I don’t know why I had to get SO MUCH of that fabric, I only needed two yards (one each of two prints) and a bit of something else to make two pillowcases, but instead I have two yards each of the elephants and one yard each of the prints and a half yard of the solids. Whatever thought was rolling through my brain at the time, I really can’t say. (And you’ll note I still haven’t made the pillowcases. So. Go me all around.)

That still still wasn’t the end because one thing I actually needed was enough fabric to make the binding on a quilt I’m working on, so I bought that from Mad About Patchwork, and since I was already there, I added a little more fabric to make it worth the shipping price. (That’s an old, old trick of mine. “I should just add a bit more to make the shipping cheaper per yard of fabric.”)

Stash

I forget what colour it is, but that beautiful red Kona Cotton is going to be a binding (maybe a boring binding, but it’s going to look stunning). The stripe is Kortek from Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter and the yellow is Dandelion from the same line. I saw a guy walking up the street wearing a windbreaker that inspired a mini quilt I intend to make with these two fabrics. (I have it drawn out an everything. Just need to get around to it…) (His windbreaker was not yellow, but black and white. Yellow felt more interesting.) And the final print is that lovely Pebbled Path from Indian Summer by Sarah Watson. That one was just because I like it and because it feels like it’d work for a low volume quilt.

Anyway, 1600 words later, I should really wrap this up. (I talk too much. Mostly its because I don’t have people in my day to day life to talk to about fabric and quilting and to spend time with on these hobbies, so I spew it all out here, where even if people are skimming they’ll still get it in a way the people I know don’t.)

Also, if you’ve made it this far, you should know that yesterday’s post about the Flags for Lac Megantic was my 150th post here at WIPGirl and as such, I’m going to run a give away. If you’d like to be entered, just leave a comment. Maybe you can tell me about something you’ve stashed recently – yarn or fabric or thread for some future project – or… whatever really. Just a comment of some sort. You don’t have to be a follower or anything, if you’ve popped by from one of the Work in Progress link-ups, you can feel free to enter as well. You’ll have to put in your email address to comment, so I’ll be able to contact the winner that way. The giveaway will likely be for something I’ve made, but to be honest… I haven’t really decided yet. (Let me know if you don’t fabric craft – if the winner doesn’t, I’ll make sure not to send fabric :D) Edited to say: I’ll draw a name next Wednesday, so you’ve got a week to get entered, if you’d like to be.

And finally, 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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Modern Scrappy Bits Mug Rug

Modern Scrappy Bits Mug Rug
(Artwork by Liese Chavez.)

I’ve talked about this one a few times and shown a few pictures, but here are my final pictures of this finish before it gets sent away.

This mug rug was made for my partner at the Flickr swap group Modern Scrappy Bits. This is the fourth round and the fourth time I’ve participated. (There’s some discussion going on already about the fifth round, so if you’re interested in joining a swap where you make something small – from a list of 2 or 3 types of projects – for someone to send away with about a fat quarter’s worth of scraps of modern fabric, go join the group and keep an eye on the discussions! It’ll likely be a couple months before the next round starts, usually there are 2 or 3 between.)

My partner and I have some fairly dissimilar tastes in fabric, which left me a little undecided about what to make – I didn’t have the right types of prints, so instead I decided to use mostly solids in her favourite colours (with a few colour additions of my own just to round it out and some bits of prints for some interest) and I used the triangles because it’s something she had a few photos of in her Flickr favourites. She’s left some nice comments on the previous photos at the Flickr group, so I really do hope the blending of her tastes and mine will work out for her. (It works out for me! I’d love to make a bigger quilt using these same colours – teal, sky blue, lime, and a very minimal scattering of pale pink, yellow, and grey. Much larger triangles… could be fun!)

This wasn’t my first time working with triangles – that was Deanna‘s triangle block! (See here for the one I made and here for the finished, amazing, top) – which is probably a good thing since that previous experience helped me work out what to do with the seams on the back so I didn’t end up with a ginormous wad of fabric at any of the join points. I also kind of took from that experience the attempt to keep from making patterns with my colours – I struggled to keep from making a star on the inside or having hexagons that stand out too much

Modern Scrappy Bits Mug Rug

The fabrics are a real mish-mash of different things – the green is a Kona cotton, but the rest of the solids are some combination of Moda Bella, Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture, and Art Gallery’s Pure Elements solids. (I’m pretty sure the purple is Art Gallery, but it might be Cotton Couture – they have a similar feel. The others I’m pretty sure are Moda Bella, but I could be wrong.) Of the prints, the pink triangle is a Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet and the two roundish lime bits in an otherwise blue triangle are from an Amy Butler print. I think the blue dots are a Kei honeycomb print. The two teal blue prints are maybe from Art Gallery (certainly the one beside the yellow triangle is – it’s from the Nature Elements collection). I don’t know what either of the text prints are – someone told me a little while ago what the yellow one is, but I’ve gone and forgotten. The grey one looks a bit like some Benartex ones that I’ve got in different colours. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. It’s scrap happy.

Modern Scrappy Bits Mug Rug

The back is a little different. I used some of the spare triangles I’d cut to make a strip and then used some scraps of a print from the Cloud 9 line Across the Pond to fill in the rest of the back. The little (ugly) bits of ribbon you see there are for hanging, if the new owner would like to hang this rather than leave it flat. I think the back would be prettier without it, but I couldn’t find anything in a more appropriate colour (and really didn’t want to make little hanging tabs of my own). They’d be pretty easy to cut out, anyway, if she wants to get rid of them.

The quilting was done by hand (obviously) using 3 strands of DMC Satin floss. (I don’t know the colour number – I lost the sleeve for it. It’s a whitish-silver, anyway.) When you look at the quilting on the back, you can see that I lined up the strip of triangles on the back with one of the strips on the front. I don’t know why that felt important to do, but it did and so there it is!

So yeah, that’s that. It’s about 8.5 inches across from point to point (or about 7.5 across from side to side). Just big enough for a mug and a snack (which, why? does anyone actually use mug rugs for that?).

Modern Scrappy Bits Mug Rug

(That cupcake? Delicious. Lemon sugar on top of lemon icing on top of lemon cake stuffed with lemon filling. Yum.) (That mug? Empty. I don’t really like hot drinks.)


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Stress Shopping

A couple of weeks ago I said this: “I can tell I’m stressy because after ages of not spending money on anything unnecessary and especially not on fabric for my stash… I spent like $150 on fabric/notions today without really noticing it. I hope I don’t have buyer’s remorse when it all shows up.”

It’s all showed up now (well, it had earlier this week/last week, but I chose to spend my time stitching, rather than talking about it), so I thought I’d do a picture post and kind of hash out some of my thoughts. (Buyer’s remorse? Not exactly, just not quite Buyer’s Super Excited Awesome either.)

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My first purchase was 4.5 yards of fabric from a Canadian shop on Etsy, Kloth Shoppe. The text print up top is Merci Beaucoup from Stof and the one on the bottom is from the Bon Appetit collection for Michael Miller. The green and blue is from Amy Butler’s Lark line. I wish I’d bought more of that one because I really like it, it’s a lot less busy than a lot of Amy Butler’s prints these days.

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What I was really needing was fabric for a baby quilt for an old friend of mine; she’s having her first baby in fall/winter and I wanted to make something for her even though we haven’t been in contact in years. (Her mom and my mom are friends, and occasionally my mom sees this old friend of mine, so I still hear bits of news. When I was living in Saskatoon, the friend was in Regina, and then I moved out to Calgary, and now she’s living in Saskatoon. We haven’t been in contact since we lived in the same city, though, so it’s been probably 6 or 8 years since we’ve really spoken.) Anyway, back in the day she wasn’t really into anything very cutesy, especially for boys, so I wanted to make something that has a slightly masculine colour-scheme, but wouldn’t be particularly cute about it. No animal prints, no little boy robots or animal prints or whatever. So the thought was to make something using only striped fabrics, using a red, navy, light blue, and green colour scheme. (Yes, please do scroll back up and see how well I stuck to that thought.) I figured I’d make a double hourglass block with either white or a light grey as the solid.

Since I didn’t find anything on Etsy (from Canadian shops) and since I didn’t find anything from any of the non-Etsy Canadian shops either, I went to Hawthorne Threads. I love Hawthorne Threads, their shipping rates are relatively reasonable even to Canada (they undercut themselves on large shipping amounts because it’s gotten HELLA expensive to ship to Canada), they have a TON of options, and their colour matching tool lets you have a reasonable idea about how things will work together. I figured with them I’d be able to find a dozen prints for the top, plus a backing fabric. And that is what I bought, but…

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Two of my fabrics are flannel and the rest aren’t. It’s not that HT doesn’t say what type of fabric it is, I just wasn’t paying attention. (Did I say I was stress shopping? I was. I wasn’t paying attention to ANYTHING as closely as I should have been.) Fortunately the chevron print was meant for the backing material, and I’m definitely okay with flannel as a quilt back. It can shrink A LOT though, so I usually buy extra just in case, but I didn’t. Which I guess means it’s okay that the dot fabric is flannel too because if it does shrink too much, I can still piece the back a bit and keep it up to size. Still, that’s one fewer fabric for the front of the quilt (because I’m not going to mix flannel and cotton on the top.) The Chevron fabric is Medium Chevron in Boy for Riley Blake, and I think the dot is Circle Dot in Medium Blue by Alpine Fabrics.

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Anyway, I got distracted from my plans pretty quickly because one of the stripes I found was in a kind of aqua, red, orange, yellow and grey, and it matched to a bunch of other fabrics that also had blue and green. And then I expanded my definition of stripe to allow rows of cars and then I found a grey star print and and and…

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And hey, if I’m letting cars through, why not ships. And ships lead to a text-in-rope print and then dots. And if I was breaking all my rules, why not a cute squirrel print anyway? It fit the colour scheme, right? And that tree fabric is kind of stripey and it’s just awesome, so why not? Well, throw away the ships because they’re too tall for the hourglass pattern! And once all this fabric arrived… I don’t really want to use the ones with the orange in them or the grey star because they’ve got that sort of dingy colour scheme that I often find (and don’t really love) in Japanese fabrics and the squirrel and tree are too far off message.

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Which all means that of the batch, the only ones I really want to use are the four in the middle row. Maybe I should just try shopping my stash to see if I can scrounge up enough fabrics in that red, blue, grey and orange scheme to make a quilt top. I’d still like a good variety of prints, twelve if possible, and I’d still like to keep it fairly simple (meaning no floral, no animal, no modes of transportation, but yes to stripes, dots, and other geometrics), but I don’t want to have to buy another 4-6 yards of fabric (HT only sells in half yards and larger) in hopes that this time I’ll be happier with the outcome. (And maybe I’ll be able to slip in a little bit of those striped ones, but not the car ones, in the dingy looking fabric, if they’re present in smaller amounts rather than making up 4 of 8 fabrics.)

Anyway, the fabrics are:
Top Row: My Favourite Ship in Sky from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Crazy Stripe in Multi from Boy Crazy by My Mind’s Eye; Crazy Cars in White from Boy Crazy by My Mind’s Eye; Stars in Grey from One for the Boys by Zoe Pearn; Stripe in Cream from One for the Boys by Zoe Pearn
Second Row: Sailors ABC in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Pirate Stripe in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Small Dots in Navy from Riley Blake; Small Chevron in Boy from Riley Blake
Bottom Row: Squirrels and Nuts in Navy from Get Together by David Walker; Birch Forest in Aqua from Backyard Baby by Patti Sloniger

While all this shopping was going on and I was still looking around on Etsy, I found a shop that sells Sewline Supplies. I’ve previously bought all my Sewline stuff from a Canadian Shop Which Shall Not Be Named (because of a bad experience earlier this year while trying to buy some refills for my glue pen, I don’t think anything malicious was going on, but certainly a big bout of laziness/not having enough staff maybe and some misfortune getting their products across the border, but it was still a piss-off for me) but haven’t found a lot of shops that sell it, and so when I did find Our Epoch, I thought I’d better buy enough to make the shipping worth the while.

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So the necessary stuff was the Sewline Glue Pen refills (I only bought one package, but they accidentally sent me two, which they’ve told me just to keep – I was willing to mail it back because I don’t use SO much glue that I need four refills right now) and the Ceramic pencil leads, in white and pink. (I’ve been using white and green, but I don’t think they had green, so I figured I’d try out the pink for a while.) The Magic Bobbin Washers are always recommended by Leah Day of The Free Motion Quilting Project, so I’ll try them out. The lime green ric-rack is just because I liked the colour, and then two honeycombs of Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille, who somehow manage to break past my general dislike of florals. I always love how their collections look when they’re all together, they’ve got a great colour sensibility.

I bought all of that in the space of maybe 45 minutes online, but I wasn’t done. Nope! The next day I went stress shopping to Fabricland. I don’t know if Fabricland exists outside of Canada, but it’s a chain that sells all sort of fabrics (quilting cotton and a lot of clothing fabrics, home decor, etc.). I find most of the quilting fabrics to be somewhere in the poor-to-middling quality, but they occasionally get in big name fabrics. And if you’re a member, they’re the cheapest place to get batting, locally, because it’s really expensive to ship something as bulky as quilt batting. They’re good for notions too, though only if they’re on sale. (If you’re a member you get an automatic 20% off notions, which tells me that their mark-up is 20% higher than it needs to be. Subtract 20% and you’re probably at the price that it SHOULD be set at.) They fairly frequently have 30-50% off notions, so I tend to buy all my rulers from them and cutting mats and that sort of thing. Anyway, they didn’t have any big sales at the time, so I didn’t get the ruler I wanted (a while ago I mentioned losing my good 12.5″ square ruler – I still haven’t found it!), but I did pick up some more thread and some other interesting looking things:

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Okay, looking at that photo… Fabricland doesn’t sell Fiskars, so I’m not sure where I bought the blades (probably Michaels, for 40% off), but I’m glad I did because I accidentally ran my most recent blade (and it was REALLY new!) over a pin yesterday and now it’s skipping a thread every turn around when I cut. The thread is just basic Gutermann thread, which I use for piecing. I know everyone online has drunk the Aurafil koolaid, but I haven’t tried it yet and my sewing machine likes Gutermann, so I’ll go on using it. (I do have one spool of Aurafil thread that I bought a while ago to try. I haven’t got around to it yet, and I’m a little scared to try because maybe my machine will purr like a kitten and produce the World’s Most Amazing Stitching Ever if I do and then I’ll have to start buying more expensive thread that has to be shipped to me because nobody nearby sells it.)

The Grip Disks are just for a couple of my cutting rulers that don’t have very good grip and slid all over the place. (The absolute worst is a Dresden plate ruler I’ve got. I’ve had it for years and it’s so slippery it’s a wonder I’ve never chopped off a finger tip while trying to cut with it. Then again, I’ve never made a Dresden plate because every time I’ve tried cutting the fabric, it’s slipped all over the place and I’ve not gotten appropriately sized units.) And last up are the oval quilt clips, which just seemed like a neat idea: when you’re quilting a large quilt in a home machine, you can roll up the excess quilt and hold it together in a roll with those clamps. Seemed like it might be worth a try.

Anyway, that’s it for my ridiculous shopping extravaganza. Now I just need to reevaluate all the fabric choices for that baby quilt in the making. (And why couldn’t she have a girl? I’ve got a spare girly quilt top that just needs to be quilted!) And then get to work.


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Fabric Friday?

Just a quick one today – a Fabric Friday post, since I don’t foresee myself making anything you can actually look at until Monday or Tuesday at least. (Maybe Sunday, if I can manage not to sleep the whole day away – I work nights this weekend.) I was going to write about a quilt my sister wants me to repair (which I think might be too difficult a task), but that seems like too difficult a task to write about right now! So many pictures! So many details! Maybe next week…

Fabric Friday

Anyway, all of that came in the mail this week from Hawthorne Threads, which remains my favourite shop to buy fabric from, even though I’m generally speaking avoiding buying fabric because the cost to ship has gotten so astronomically high.

All the fabrics on the left are from Lizzy House’s Constellations line. From the top, they are Star Charts in Blue, Supernova in Purple, Constellation in Blue, and (just barely peeking out from the bottom) Asterisk in Black. I’ve been wanting to buy some of this fabric for ages, so I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and ordered it. The rest of it is just random oranges – ZigZag in Orange from Dear Stella’s Garden Party, Robert Kaufman’s Metro Living Tiles in Marigold, and Circle Stitch in Orange from Michael Miller’s Mod Basic. I never seem to have much orange around, so I bought those to fill in a few corners on that neglected section in my fabric stash.

What have you been buying lately?