Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

WIP Wednesday

I have been working on my ribbon chevron quilt. I am using Gypsy Bandana for the ribbons as well as some other Michael Miller lines for the background ribbons. It is going together fairly quickly, considering I really only have an hour here and there to work on it during the day. It is really just a whole lot of HSTs which I am quickly chain sewing. Just the squaring slowing me down. In the background on the pictures you can see the start of my rainbow layout, which has fallen to the side when I got frustrated because I don’t seem to have enough green and my design board isn’t large enough to plot it. I will get back to that.

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In retrospect, I am not sure a white fabric was the best choice on a white background, but we will see how it turns out.

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BOM Monday: Mini Mystery send off

I have finished my mini mystery block. I have always wanted to try a pineapple block, but have been scared to try. It looked far too difficult and complicated for a relative beginner. I thought someday down the line when I was more experienced…. Well, I decided to just give it a try anyway, and that this was the perfect opportunity. I could just make one block and see how it goes.

I spent a lot of time looking at and studying pineapple blocks. I watched youtubes and read tutorials. In the end, paper piecing seemed to be the easiest and most used option. I printed out a pattern, picked out my fabrics, and set to work. I had paper pieced once before long ago. While paper piecing makes a lot of sense, and allows for some clean, accurate piecing and sharp points that may not otherwise be possible, it does have its drawbacks. First, it is terribly wasteful. It wastes paper (the patterns), thread (not really possible to chain – I tried), and fabric (you use a much larger piece than you need and trim down). It is time consuming. You have to cut, place your piece, make sure it is placed properly, pin (I have to pin), sew, trim, set and press, repeat. It did speed up as I got more comfortable and practiced. I started yesterday evening and was done by the time the baby got up at 1 am, except for removing the pattern. That is also time consuming and messy. It seems a fine and practical technique for a block here or there, but I cannot imagine doing an entire quilt this way. I suppose you could work on several blocks at a time, but that doesn’t help much with the waste issue and would still take a lot of time.

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Ultimately, I think it turned out pretty well. A few points aren’t perfect, and a few seams are a little wobbly (sewing on paper is slippery!) but I got better and quicker as I went along, and I am fairly pleased. It certainly serves its purpose for this round robin and I tackled two new things at once.

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I would still love to make a pineapple quilt someday. I think it would make a beautiful quilt. I just can’t imagine how time consuming that’ll be. This is the only time I get to post one of these til the round robin is over, so enjoy. Now I get to send it over seas to thecheshirequilter.blogspot.com  and when I see it again, it will look quite differently!

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Swap Sunday: Color wheel swap arrived!

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This fall, I participated in a “huge color wheel swap”. There were 56 spots. Each spot consisted of 5 yards of fabric in a specific color cut into 56 charms each. These were sent in to the host who sorted them and sent them back to us. I had two spots. That’s 560 charms in a rainbow of colors, literally! I really love some of the fabrics, and there are many many I am unfamiliar with. I will be looking for some of these. My (first, because there are so many!) plan for these charms are to do a twister quilt. I recently got a twister ruler and I am excited to try it out. I’ve cleared the design board and will start plotting these out. I plan to do them leader/ender style while working on my other projects.

Here were my contributions:

(not in order:)

R Kaufman Treasures Tidbits Bulls Eye
R Kaufman Satsuki Japanese Engraved
Dear Stella Heirloom Blueberry Flower
Dear Stella Heirloom Fez Indigo
Dear Stella Lanikai Mumsy Blue
Timeless Monica Lee Now We’re Going Places
Timeless Treasures Hoodie Citrus Slices
Timeless Mosaic Flamestitch Navy
Timeless Mosaic Lattice Tiles Blue
Timeless Monica Lee Cardigan Girls

 

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Saturday Stash: Valori Wells

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Valori Wells’ Wrenly; Free Spirit. I love love love this line. I have managed to get many scrap size fabrics from my favorite fabric store, but I really wanted some yardage to use for some project someday. My inlaws gave me a fabric.com gift card for the holidays and they had these on sale and coupon code, so I finally caved and stocked up. Oh, and the Gypsy Bandana at the top is for my ribbon quilt I am about to start.

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You have to want it more than you fear it

I came across this quote, which according to pinterest is attributed to Bill Cosby, a few months back. And it stopped me dead in my tracks. I feel this simple sentiment is a huge commentary on my life. I have allowed fear to keep me from so many opportunities and experiences. I always had other excuses, but ultimately that is what it came down to. In pursuit (or lack thereof) of my art, I think a lot of it is actually perfectionism. I am so scared it won’t come out as I want it to, so I don’t try, or give up at the slightest difficulty. Do or do not, there is no try, right? It doesn’t help that the times I did put myself out there, it didn’t go well. Instead of fighting harder, as I should have, I crawled into a hole in embarrassment. Now, I am just embarrassed at my behavior.

This is my motto for this year. And hopefully, many years to come. As I near the end of the first half of my life, I am wiser, more mature, and full of regrets. What could I have accomplished if I had put aside fear and excuses and perfectionism and put in the time it takes to perfect a craft? If I had stuck to something instead of flitting from one interest to the next? If I had tackled a challenge head on, instead of crying and hiding in shame? Any failures or lack of accomplishment are my own fault and responsibility.

As I have so many times over the last year and a half, I look at myself through my child’s eyes, and think what kind of example I want to set for him and how do I want him to see me? Not as a failure for lack of trying. When we cleaned out my grandparents’ house after my grandmother passed, we found many books of art, quilting, rulers and art supplies. I knew my grandmother was a patron, but did not know she was a creator. When I asked my mother about it, as I packed those items to take home, she said that she thought maybe my grandmother aspired to create. That has always stuck with me. I remember thinking at the time, “I won’t let that happen to me.” That was more than ten years ago. I don’t believe I am any further from that statement now than I was then.

Even with all my new challenges and time suckers that have come with parenting, I am making every effort this year to create. Put fear aside and tackle things that are hard or scary. Stop making excuses. Chalk my mistakes up to lessons learned. Use the eraser and seam ripper without shame. Show people what I have done. And Just Do It.

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Visit your local quilt shop day

Today was visit your local quilt shop day. I snuck out during nap time (daddy was home with kidlet) and raced out to my local quilt shop this morning. Any excuse. heehee. I wanted to see some of the demos for some classes they have coming up, but kidlet and the hubs were not having a good morning, and I wanted to get back before he woke up, and I still had to get to the PO to mail out my swap squares. They seemed to be running behind, so I did get to see the examples, but didn’t stay for the demos.

They were having some specials so I got a fat quarter pack of Lemon Grove, which I have been drooling over for a while. I have been waiting for it to go downstairs (the clearance room) but it just keeps hanging out there taunting me. Now I at least have some of it til I can get yardage. I also picked up a couple turquoise fq to make my modern mini square, which needs to go out soon. I got a yard of Kona white too. I pulled out my white yesterday to cut squares for my ribbon quilt I am going to work on next, and I had very little left. My 3×6 group used up a lot of it. Strangely, even though both are supposed to be RK Kona white, they are different shades. *shrug*

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(I forgot to take a picture of the white, but white fabric isn’t that exciting anyway, right?)

On the left is my modern BOM pack for the class I missed this month. I picked it up as long as I was there. They gave me the fabric for the block, but not the book or the background fabric. Oh well. Guess I won’t be getting that homework done. Oh, I also got a bag o’ scraps, but I had already dumped them into my scrap box before I took the picture.

They also had a lovely food spread (with yummy homemade pimento cheese). I restrained myself nicely in the clearance room. I am interested in more of their classes and looking forward to the class I am in. Now back to my mystery block, which I believe will be done tomorrow. Wish I could get it out before rates go up.

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Sunday Swap: 3×6 Quarter 4 Hive 10 blocks

This fall, I joined a block bee. This bee is different than the traditional monthly bee. In this bee, a group of about 6 people have three months to make and send blocks for each of the people in their hive. Each hive has a theme, so you have an idea of what type of block you will get, but the sender chooses the actual block within that theme. Each person give the colors they want used, but each sender chooses and uses the fabrics.

I always had a hang up about bees. I really didn’t get why people would farm out their work to others – dictating blocks and fabrics – and why they’d rather a quilt made primarily by strangers rather than one made by themselves. If you are going to spend the time making the blocks, why not make them for yourself? However, I like the setup of the 3×6 bee. Having a quarter rather than a month to get the work done affords you to work around your own schedule, especially nice in quarter 4 which is riddled with holidays. I enjoyed the “surprise” of the different blocks I got and the assortment of fabrics used. There are several fabrics people used in my blocks that I never would have known about if it weren’t for them – so it exposes you to fabrics you may not have otherwise chosen. I also got to know people all around the world. People in my group hailed from New Zealand, Netherlands, Hawaii, UK…

Here are my results from my first quarter:

Here are all the blocks I made

This was my favorite – Cobalt, black and white

Green, Fuchsia, blue

“mix of warms and cools on grey”

Aqua, white and red (I actually remade this block, but don’t have a picture of the remake.)

 

Orange, aqua, grey

Blue, green, aqua

My block: Turquoise, purple, black

The blocks I got:

Signups for quarter 1 2013 begin 1/21

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2013 BOM “commitments”

Well, my inability to say no and my eagerness may have gotten me into a bit of a predicament. I have very many block of the month programs that I want to follow. I have the best of intentions, I really do. But I know with minimal accountability when other things come up, some of these will fall to the side. Hopefully not, but we will see.

1. I have signed up for a monthly modern BOM class at my local quilt shop. Two blocks a month. This has the highest level of accountability since I will be there in person. And it cost me a freaking fortune. So I will be doing this one. However, I am already missing the first class since I am out of town. *sigh*

2. I will continue to participate in the 3×6 bee which results in 6-7 blocks every 3 months. I make the same block for 6 different people in their colors, but my fabrics. I like that aspect of this bee as opposed to traditional bees where you send your fabric. I still have some issues with the concept and ownership of a bee, which I am sure will be a blog post at some point, but for now I will just say that I do enjoy the surprise and randomness factor. And I am not someone who likes surprises. It is fun to give up a little control and see the result. As this one requires me to be responsible to other people, I will keep up with this as well.

3. I signed up for the Quilts from my Crayon Box mini mystery quilt. I plan to use this in conjunction with my 3×6 blocks. Again, as this requires me to do for others, I will keep up with this. It is a half year commitment.

4. I paid to join Don’t Call me Betsy’s Lucky Stars BOM. I am a little nervous about this since it is paper pieced. But hopefully I will give it a shot and it won’t be too bad.

5. I intend to simultaneously do the Craftsy 2012 and 2013 BOM classes. That’s 4 blocks!

6. I am considering doing the Sister’s Ten BOM.

7. I am also considering signing up for Stitchery Dickory Dock’s Sugar Block club. That costs a little bit too. And I am not sure what the piecing is like.

8. I would also love to pick up the Grandmother’s Choice block of the week, but I have already missed several weeks of that… I just hope she makes it into a book as well. I love all the historical information.

I think that is all. LOL. I am going to have a million sampler blocks floating around. I intend to do all of these from my stash/scrappy.

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January Goals

Well, I am out of town most of January, so not a lot is going to get done except planning. I am participating in 2 swaps and a round robin this month, so the minute I get home I have to get cutting and sending. The swaps I am participating in are a Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet charm swap and a Tula Pink 10 inch swap.

I am also trying to start my own F8 swap. I chose this size, because I have a hard time finding things to do with the little charms, but it is still small enough to get a good swap yield without having to buy a ton of fabric. My first swap is a black, white, and grey and tonal swap. Please spread the word.

 

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I am participating in Quilts from My Crayon Box’s mini mystery round robin this year. It is my first round robin, but looks fun and like it’ll give me some good experience. I am still deciding what block to do, but I plan to use it as the center of my 3×6 bee blocks. I will do another post about that when I get all my blocks from this round so I can add pictures. But anyway, I need to figure it out and get it sewn up so I can get it in the mail by the end of the month.

That should really take care of January. I don’t even think I will get to my BOM this month, so I am already starting behind. 😦  No more signing up for swaps right now either! I just can’t seem to pass them up, but I have a fortune in swaps right now. Gotta use them!

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2013 Resolutions

1. Lose at least 25 pounds. And I really mean it this year. It is important.

2. Get back on a budget. Get the car paid off. Get things balanced and get our savings back in line. Think about what house repairs need to be tackled this year. Cash flow tuitions (we will hopefully have). Get a part time job. Figure out what to do with kidlet so that working isn’t counterproductive.

3. Make friends and be a better friend to the friends I have. Get out more (which is sososo hard for me. I have gotten more agoraphobic as I have gotten older). Keep working on not being as judgmental or obnoxious.

4. Find more ways to make our life greener and stick to them. Reinforce and expand the things we have been doing. Start a garden finally. Will this be the year of family cloth?

5. Clean out the garage. Clean out the basement. Systematically clean out and declutter and organize and get rid of things throughout the house. Have some garage sales.

6. Read more.

7. Sewing Goals:

*Complete at least 12 quilt tops

*Complete at least 2 quilts

*Keep up with my BOM (already signed up for 6 :/)

*Take some classes

*Use what I have

*Organize the sewing area so that it doesn’t become a huge mess every time I am working on or starting a project.

*Get my swap up and running

*Create a quiet book or two

*Keep up with my blog

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