Work-in-Progress Girl


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Sunday Stash: Totalling the Diet Train

If there’s anything I’ve learned from 15 years of failed attempts at dieting, it’s that I’m not really very good at dieting. Chocolate, fabric; it’s all the same. I did great in January, I crashed and burned in February, and now in March I’ve… well, crashed and burned again? I don’t know. Certainly the fabric diet train has been totalled by this second crash, if it wasn’t already written off in the first.

Well, this week I’m hosting Molli Sparkles‘s Sunday Stash link-up and giveaway – arriving a day early here because it’s already tomorrow in Australia 😉 – so I guess it’s good that I’ve got a lot of things to show you…

Molli Sparkles

The Mad About Patchwork Stuff:

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I was looking for the pattern on the left and came away with it and the pattern on the right (which, omg, SO MANY PIECES… it turns out the answer to the Enigma – how to make this quilt without y-seams – is all the Half-Square Triangles EVER… seriously, making this quilt will use up your yearly quota of HST).

And somehow all this stuff hopped into the envelope as well:

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The top two are Anna Maria Horner prints from Field Study and as with so many AMH prints, whenever I look at them I wonder WTF I was thinking because I don’t have one sweet clue what to do with them to make them turn into something good. But then someone else will use them and they’ll be brilliant! and amazing! and I’ll have to have them! And so now I do, but right now… I kind of hate them. I suspect I’ve actually bought the bottom print before, one of the prints from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer line… I really need to clean up my sewing room and get my fabric back in order by colour so that I can actually see what I have.

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There was also a bit of Joel Dewberry love going on because I also bought two different Tile prints from his Notting Hill line as well as the Frames print. Love the colours in these ones. I always say I hate pink, but I LOVE that pink print ridiculously.

The Hawthorne Threads Stuff:

This is still en route and I’ve deleted the email with the invoice so …. it’s a mystery. But I bet it’s good.

The Fabricland Stuff:
I shit-talk Fabricland a lot because mostly it has a lot of not terribly great fabric, but I went there looking for hardware to construct a bag and discovered that they have a new collection of fabrics they’ve got labelled “Anna’s Fabrics” and if you read the selvedges or even the bolt ends under the Anna sticker, they are actually designer fabrics from companies like Andover and Robert Kaufman. I don’t actually love any of the fabrics I picked up from that line, but I was so weirded out that I somehow walked away with .5 metres of each of these:

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Ric Rac Rabbits by Marissa and Creative Thursday for Andover fabrics

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Fiesta by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman.

They also had a section for fat quarters:

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I picked up a handful of different things, aiming mostly for ones that had the printed side of the selvedge. No info on the blue strawberries or roses. The blue and white is from Paris & Company by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake. The grey with dots is something Christmas related also for Riley Blake (the selvedge is too hard to read). No info on the elephants, I just thought they were sort of fun and weird. The next two are both Rocket Launch Club prints by Sarah Jane and the last one is Ombre Dots from Riley Blake.

And finally… The Craftsy Stuff:
It’s just that Craftsy is having a Tula Pink workshop and and and… I barely like most of the prints in this line, but it’s Tula Pink! I love Tula Pink!

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And it involves a lot of 2.5″ strips of fabric, which made me wonder if the mystery is going to be something like her pixelated Anchor quilt! Or maybe it’ll be something like the butterfly quilt! I do know that, no matter what, my quilt will have a lot of horse’s asses in it:

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A 2.5 inch strip is apparently NOT the thing to do with that print. Besides horses’ behinds, there are also hoppy bunnies, which feel like a weird addition, as they’re too sweet and simple and graphic compared to the more realistic style of the rest of the animals and the… busy-ness of many of the other prints. It’s like some kind of Easter novelty fabric that accidentally slipped into the mix. It’s pretty cute, though. Wouldn’t it make a great skirt for a little girl?

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Love that geometric print too. I’ll have to dig through those jelly roll bundles and see what I think of the other fabrics, because I didn’t really like Acacia much either until I saw it in person and then suddenly all those bits I thought were weird seemed to come together.

Anyway… that’s it for this edition of Kristel Has No Self Control. Except that there is a giveaway to go along with the link up! Link up any time this week and you’ll be entered to win…

A fat eighth of the only sparkly fabric I own, something or other from Kokka:

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Two charm packs of Parson Gray’s World Tour line (they only have 12 charms each! why so stingy, FreeSpirit?!), because we all know how Molli feels about David Butler:

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And one charm pack of Amy Butler’s Belle line:

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Now, show us what you got!

1. Link up a blog post welcoming any new sewing supplies to your stash.

2. If it is fabric from your existing stash that you’ve showcased before, please use new photos with as much natural light as possible, and provide as many manufacturing details about the fabric.

3. Try to leave a comment on at least two other links. We want this to be a safe space for sewing supply collectors, after all!

4. Grab the button from Molli Sparkles, and proudly proclaim you endorse Sunday Stashing!

Sigh. I wish WordPress would let this be hosted on site, rather than sending you away to link up! In any case, I’ll let Mr Random pick a winner – you can be from anywhere – after the link up closes at the end of the week. Best of luck and can’t wait to see what’s new in your stash!

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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.