Work-in-Progress Girl


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Sunday (Scrap) Stash

So last week for Sunday Stash I started the slow reveal of all the stuff I bought from Hawthorne Threads in the month of Misbehaving March (I’ve decided it needs a name – February Fabric Fast Fail and Misbehaving March?). Part of it was due to a gift certificate from Michelle, but part of it was just me having grabby hands. Most of it was me having grabby hands, really, and I extended it by also buying some fabric from Warp and Weft, which remains one of the loveliest online fabric shops I’ve ever found. (Seriously, Esmari’s just got such interesting fabrics… things that you don’t really tend to find elsewhere. It’s a well-curated collection, I suppose.)

But today, I’m just going to keep on picking away at the Hawthorne Threads loot… I picked up a scrap bundle in the “Fresh” colourway. I’ve bought scrap packs from them quite a few times and for a long while now they’ve had them on sale – $6.99 for about 2 yards of scraps by weight – so it’s usually hard to resist. This time I got mostly larger scraps (some of these are over a quarter yard, close to a half yard I think, though I didn’t get out the ruler to check the width) and unfortunately I’m pretty split on liking it vs. not.

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Last week I showed you all those lime fabrics I bought… I felt a little like they continued the theme into my scrap pack choices! I am not the biggest fan of the Denyse Schmidt print, Pie Basket, from Hope Valley, but I think I’ve probably got a half yard of it in my stash somewhere! The print beside it, that lime green… poppy print feels like a Laura Gunn print, but I’m not sure that it is – the painted background says yes, but I can’t find confirmation anywhere. On the bottom left is Poppy Modern by Jane Dixon for Andover and on the right Turtle Parade by Patty Sloniger from her Les Amis collection. I just.. I wish Hawthorne Threads had separate packs for children’s fabrics. They’re cute, those turtles, but what on earth am I going to do with a 6″ x WOF strip of turtle fabric? A lot of that children’s fabric that I gave away on the last Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day actually came from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs.

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I really don’t like that big chevron top left. It’s from Riley Blake and the colours are probably significant to some American university or football team or both, but they’re horrible. That yellow and that green do not belong together on the same giant chevron print. Next up is a print from Rashida Coleman Hale’s Washi line… I don’t know what the name of it is, but I know it’s getting pretty hard to find. It’s cute, but you know… I never felt inspired to buy anything from that line. I’m certain I’ll use it, but I just didn’t care about it that much. And finally another chevron, this one from Robert Kaufman, though again I don’t know it’s name. I think I’m just bored of chevrons because meh. It’s rather too pink for me, though the green does liven it up a little, but on the whole I feel pretty meh about it.

The rest of this post is going to be devoted to the fabric and scraps that Mari-Ann (@rockislander on Instagram) sent me in exchange for a bunch of Mendocino scraps I sent to her. I think some of this she sent me just because, but we both left feeling like we’d got the better end of the deal, so I think that’s a sign of a pretty good swap.

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I don’t know what almost any of these are, though if anyone is particularly curious, I might be able to find out if you ask. My single favourite piece is the second in from the right on the top row. Love that one. If you go see my March Gypsy Wife blocks, you’ll see a bunch of these fabrics in action — the swap was kind of set up so that she would send me things I’d be able to use in the Gypsy Wife quilt, either bright fabrics like this, or more muted ones for my Lower Volume version.

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Again, I don’t know the names of any of this stuff, but they’re going to be great for the quiet Gypsy Wife. When Mari-Ann was showing me fabrics that she could send, I was surprised by how easy it was to love love love the bright fabrics and how much less easy it was with the low volume. I like every one of these fabrics, but they sure don’t set me on fire the way that hot pink one up above does. Maybe that’s why I keep thinking I have no low volume fabrics – they just sink back into the background until I forget they exist, even when I think they’re lovely.

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Old School Tula Pink! So old school it’s printed by Moda, this print is from her Hushabye line and when it came out I kept wibbling over it because I couldn’t figure out why or if I liked it at all and I never bought it, in any case, but now I have a half yard of it, so I’m going to have to find something fun and interesting to do with it!

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And finally, the awesome and luscious and wonderful Hive in Turquoise from Patty Young’s Flora and Fauna line, another oldie but goodie that nearly passed me by back in the day. I bought a bunch of it in a couple of the colours, but for some reason never bought any of the turquoise. Clearly I was nuts because this is so awesome.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash!

Tune back in next week for even more from my March Hawthorne Threads purchases. I’m trying (trying!) to let it be enough to talk about fabric I bought last month, so that I don’t break down and buy even more fabric this month. I’ve sort of decided I need to adjust my goal as far as this fabric diet goes, so that instead of trying to buy nothing just for the pat-myself-on-the-back of it, I need to have a particular goal in mind. And that goal is a new sewing machine.

I’ve wanted a new sewing machine for ages, but for a long time I worried that I’d give up on the sewing and then I’d have an expensive machine I never looked at. And then I started thinking, well, the one I’ve got isn’t special, but it sure does work and I couldn’t justify buying a second machine when the first one was functional. But facts is facts and I’d like a machine with at least one or two bells and whistles. My current machine is like… wood blocks and hand claps, so even just one bell and one whistle… I could be happy with that. So the new goal is… try not to buy fabric until the end of August (my birthday is at the end of August, so it feels like a good time to treat myself), and if I’m successful, then I’ll buy the new sewing machine then, rather than waiting until next year, which had kind of been my loose plan.

When I say one bell and one whistle…. that’s because I want a machine that’s pretty low tech, compared to some of what is out there. I’ve been leaning more and more towards getting a straight-stitch only machine. If I still have my old machine, I can use that for zig-zag if I need it (and I rarely use it, to be honest). The couple straight-stitch only machines I’ve read about – I haven’t sewn on one yet – have more harp space and needle down functions and come with an extension table (a much larger one than my current machine has) and more useful to me accessories and so on. They require a little more fiddling – you need to oil them frequently and you have to do all the tension adjustments manually (which I already do anyway) – but I’ve never wanted to pay for a bunch of embroidery functions I would never use or 399 stitch combinations or whatever else. I like the thought of a machine that isn’t 90% computer because omg do computers cause problems or what? (Also, they’re a lot cheaper than machines with all the stitch bells and computer whistles.)

Locally I could buy a Brother PQ-1500S or I could buy a Juki TL2010Q from a store in British Columbia (I’d have to go visit my aunt in BC and bully her into driving me into Richmond to try it out). In general, I’d prefer to buy local, so I’ll likely go try out the Brother one day and see what I think, because I do want to try before I buy, and if I like it well enough, I won’t even bother about the Juki (where would I get it serviced? am I going to go back to BC if something goes wrong or pay shipping to get it back there every time?). I hope, when the day comes, that I wind up liking it as much as I’m hoping I will, because I sure do hate trying to learn anything about sewing machines online. There’s so much mixed information out there and without actually trying a machine, you can’t use online opinions for much… there are as many people who love machine X as people who hate it, and that seems to hold true across pretty much all brands and all price points.

Anyway, yes. Running off at the mouth. So that’s my new goal – stop buying fabric, buy a machine sooner. Otherwise it’ll be August 2015 before I do and I’ll likely wind up changing my mind another half dozen times about all the potential sewing machines I could buy.

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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

When I was thinking about writing today’s entry, I was just going to show you my newest influx of fabric…

Sunday Stash

I’m always buying something. No matter how often I say I’m going on a fabric fast or whatever, I always wind up stumbling over a 30% off sale or I just need a red stripe for a binding or in this case, I’m just super uncertain what to send for a Fat Quarter swap and so I wind up buying a pile of stuff to potentially give away. My swap partner didn’t give a lot of direction as to what she was hoping to receive and though she commented on several pictures, she didn’t really comment so much on MINE, so I compiled a great big list of stuff she mentioned liking and then thought, ‘oh god, I don’t own any of that!’ Some of it I knew I could get from Mad About Patchwork, so I started loading up a great big cart of potential fabrics.

Starting on the left is Folkloric Blooms in Fuchsia (Robert Kaufman), Architextures Scribble Notes in Navy (Robert Kaufman), Architextures Landscape in Grass (Robert Kaufman), and Architextures Blueprint in Grass (Robert Kaufman). Then from the top right, a Pepper print (don’t know it’s name, by Robert Kaufman), Waterfront Park’s Domino Dot in Clementine by Violet Craft, Just My Type’s Letterpress in Red by Patty Young, Waterfront Park’s Domino Dot in Jewel by Violet Craft, and Just My Type’s Grosgrain in Red by Patty Young.

Interestingly, I didn’t wind up using any of these new fabrics that I’d bought with the swap in mind. Nope, I wound up pulling things that have been in my stash for a little while:

FQ Blender Swap pkg

I don’t really recall the names of the fabrics or the lines they come from and it’s already in the mail, so I can’t even go look it up. The bird print on the bottom is by Aneela Hoey and the red is a Cosmo Cricket print. The other two, I don’t really know. I wound up choosing three fabrics that my partner had specifically mentioned liking in a couple of different posts and the fourth one, the Cosmo Cricket print just felt like a fun choice. Of course, looking at the photo now, I really don’t think that red print is a very good choice because the point of it all was to swap blender fabrics and I think there is too much contrast in that print for it to be strictly a blender print. Anyway, as long as my partner likes it, I guess that’s all that really matters.

As for the rest of it… it’s always my goal to have my stash get smaller (through use) rather than bigger, but maybe I’ll succeed a little better another day… (That won’t be for a few weeks at least, though. I’ve got two packages coming from within Canada and one from without. Ahem. And I may have a cartload of stuff at Super Buzzy that I’m trying to talk myself into hitting the “Remove” button for because I. Do. Not. Need. More. Fabric.)

Anyway, few days ago though I got talking with Paula from The Sassy Quilter about some of Moda’s business practises. I mean, she brought it up in one of her posts, that they only print a fabric line once and then when the fabric is gone, it’s gone. I think it’s a kind of crappy thing to do, a bit of a bully’s move. You have to buy it now, even if you’re not 100% you want it, because if you don’t, it might be gone and you’ll never have a chance at it again. It’s just like Disney and their films in the supposed vault: it’s a way to pressure people into buying Just In Case. I understand the thought behind it, it’s supposed to make the fabric seem more special, more precious, and therefore make it more likely that you’ll buy it early and in greater quantity. Moda seems to be doing well, so I think it’s working for them. On the other hand, it’s really damned annoying.

I didn’t start buying fabric online until a couple years ago – I didn’t have a credit card until about 4-5 years ago (because I had a paranoia that if I had one, I’d just spend a ton of money on dumb crap and then wind up one of those people with $10,000 credit card debt and nothing much to show for it, which I should say hasn’t happened, thank god), so most of my nice fabric was bought within the last couple of years. But there are a lot of really lovely fabric lines that I either didn’t know existed (because I lived a long ways off from good fabric stores, and still do) or that were already hard to find by that point. I think of fabric like Tula Pink’s Neptune line, which I didn’t like very much to begin with and so ignored until it was too late to get the “good” prints. At some point you’re just left hoping you’ll stumble unexpectedly over something amazing in a random store somewhere.

So a few weeks back I was in Lethbridge and went to a couple quilt stores there. I posted photos back then of the stuff that I’d bought, including this bundle, which was labelled as a 12 FQ pack of Amy Butler prints:

FQ Bundle

I had laughed a bit at the time because that lime and white print in the middle is actually a Heather Bailey print, but what I didn’t noticed when I pulled it apart at the time was that that pink and blue print on the bottom row is actually a long out of print Tula Pink fabric from her Hushabye line:

Hushabye Bunny Damask

I was never a really big fan of the Hushabye line, mostly because it was too Children’s Fabric to me, so that’s not one of those Out of Print lines that I pine for (I might still buy the Circus Dot in Sage if I could ever find it, I find that print oddly attractive, but ONLY in that colour-way), but it’s kind of hilarious to me that tucked away with those Amy Butler prints was this one OOP HTF fabric that some people probably do pine after and wouldn’t ever get their hands on because Moda’s got it Locked In The Vault. (If someone has that Circus Dot in Sage and wants to do a trade, this FQ for that one, I could get behind that. Just saying.)

I wonder if some day they’ll make the (probably sound) business decision to Unlock their Vault and reprint either selected lines or select prints from some of their old lines, just to make another stack of money to swim around in like Donald Duck, before locking it all back up again. Anything you wish they’d reprint?

Linking up with Finding Fifth’s Sunday Stash, this week hosted at Blossom Heart Quilts:
Finding Fifth