Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

April review and May goals

April:

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back? no
  2. Complete Ispy tops and backs for nephews. I completed one top. Still waiting on swap return to make other top.
  3. Bento Box top I have two pieces of border to assemble and this is done. Will finish tonight.
  4. Pick fabrics and follow along for bloom bloom pow.    I have followed to the point where I need to cut my triangles. The ruler came today. I plan to start cutting tonight.
  5. Finish and hang the fabric hoops for the kidlet’s room. YES! YAY!
  6. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room  This is an ongoing endeavor.
  7. Plot and sew rainbow twister quilt. And start twisting, if I get that far no
  8. Finish last 3×6 block, April mystery border, send all.  all done and sent
  9. Go to Stash Bash!! YAY!
  10. Make any things that need to be made for stash bash. (I am seriously lacking in information)
  11. Pick off a few things for the city craft pinterest challenge Ive made a couple, but not officially added them.

Swaps –

  • waiting on abc blocks still waiting
  • waiting on tula pink rounds 3,4,5 still waiting
  • Send back polka dots sent
  • send back Lizzy House jewels this got held up waiting on one set. Will go out soon.
  • send back ocean i spy sent
  • send back jar i spy waiting on them to arrive
  • open April f8 swap  opened and filled

Cleaning-

  1. Finish office bookshelves *sigh*
  2. Work on garage on weekends with hubs this is disgraceful so far
  3. Get the baby’s swingset installed!!! (why did I list this under cleaning?) it gets worse!
  4. Closet OMG did I do anything this month?
  5. Hang photos I’ve hung several, but still have a couple leaning against the wall to be hung.
  • Weight loss maintaining, but not losing 😦
  • smoothie diet no 😦
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make. Oh geez. Can you tell I have an issue with doctors? I did make the baby’s 2 year appt, but that wasn’t even on the original list of appts that need to be made.
  • Read read read!
  • Green focus on the bathroom never did any posts about this
  • Cleaning focus on guest bedroom haven’t done much in there either.

Ok. Wow. So I had mixed success last month. Here we go for this month: (keep in mind I am not home for most of this month)

May goals:

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Complete Ispy tops and backs for nephews. (finish tumbler quilt – back, quilt, bind; make second top)
  3. Bento Box back (no ideas on this)
  4. finish bloom bloom pow. (top, back, quilt and bind)
  5. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  6. May mystery border
  7. Pick off a few things for the city craft pinterest challenge

Swaps –

  • waiting on abc blocks
  • waiting on tula pink rounds 3,4,5
  • send back Lizzy House jewels
  • send back jar i spy
  • open May f8 swap

Cleaning-

  1. Get the baby’s swingset installed!!!
  2. Closet
  3. Hang photos
  • Weight loss
  • Baby’s birthday party planning
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make.
  • Read read read!
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Stash Bash, part 3

So after shopping fun and finishing up my bento, I moved on to the tumbler quilt I am making for my nephew. Now, if you want a project you can do in a few hours, this is the one for you! No lying.  I basically randomly ran tumblers through my machine and it went together very quickly. I just made sure I wasn’t putting two of the same color or theme next to each other, and made pairs, then fours and so on. An hour and a half or so later, and I had run out of tumblers. I hadn’t brought quite enough with me. So I had to stop.

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I have actually since finished this top:

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It is about 45×66.  I am desperately trying to come up with a backing for it so I can get it finished up asap.

My sister had gotten me my walking foot that I wanted for my birthday. So next I went looking for volunteers to teach me how to attach and use it. I don’t know why I was so intimidated by it. It did help a lot to have someone else show me how to attach it, but it isn’t that complicated. Or intimidating. So I made what was meant to be a mug rug, but is more like…. a mini quilt. Oops.

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quilting

quilting

I have still not bound this one… and I don’t have pictures of the back. But I was rather embarrassed by how easy this was to do. I’ve only ever done straight line quilting with a regular foot. I don’t have too many finishes, see… But I felt confident enough to move on to free motion. I was able to get the foot on without much difficulty, having learned the basics with the walking foot. I was also fortunate enough to be next to Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy and the Birmingham Crew. Elizabeth answered all my nervous questions and the others were great cheerleaders.  Here is that (much more appropriate sized) mug rug:

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FMQ was somewhat invigorating. It was terrifying, hard, fun and exciting all at the same time. You can actually see how I gained more control as I moved across the quilt. I also remembered part way through that I have a needle down on my machine, and that made it immensely easier. I am excited to go again… I’ve just been bogged down by many other things – sewing and non – and haven’t been able to try again. This is what retreats are perfect for, I think, though. I was able to try my first time supervised with others to show me, help me, and answer questions. I think now I will start having more finishes under my belt and less tops folded in my linen closet.

I have bound and completed this mug rug. Here are some action shots (again, forgot to show the back):

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I spent Sunday morning doing the cutting for my bloom bloom pow. I didn’t quite finish there, but have since finished cutting and assembling the strips. Apparently, 60 degree triangle rulers are hard to come by in stores (who knew?) and as I am headed out of town in a few days, I am holding off ordering one til I can have it delivered to me there.

Here are some pictures of my progress, both at and after the retreat:

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So, that was stash bash! Thanks so much to Chris for dreaming this up and hosting us all. I had a great time and met a lot of great people. I am very excited for next year!

Linking too…

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Stash Bash, part 2

The amazing thing about stash bash was that I left with a lot more than I came with… Let’s take a peek at some of the swag, winnings, and stuff!

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Here is my swag and some of my winnings… We got a canvas tote stuffed with neat and useful things, including our stash bash cup, a scrap catcher (in my favorite color – and I almost bought one of these not too long ago – great gift!), some comic boards, a large binder clip, a pad of graph paper, the makings for a zippered pouch from Amanda, truecut adhesive rings, Fat Quarter shop coupon, Art Gallery fabric, Our Epoch fabric, fabric and tape measure from Stash Modern Fabric.

The darling bag was from our pouch trade. It is so well made and like a little clutch purse. And filled with candy! I never did find out who got my pouch. I won a bags, pillows and pincushions magazine and Ruby Star Wrapping book in giveaways.

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Oliso irons were also a great sponsor! They provided irons for us to use. This is a really cool iron. It lifts and sets down with your touch. It took some getting used to to not set it upright, but now I have gotten so used to it, I am forgetting to stand my home iron! The coolest part is the little side filling reservoir for water. It has a spout with a channel, and you can pour it right in without spilling. This is a real change from my little sunbeam I’ve had since college. I was hoping to take advantage of their offer to us, but then I came home to a huge roof mess and that on top of some other family emergencies this month…. we will not be spending any money for a while. 😦

Our leader, Chris, made the awesome pressing boards. That’s on my to-do list for the summer. I think it’ll work great on my new dedicated cutting and pressing table.

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We took a field trip Saturday to the largest quilt store in the state. When I was there for shop hop, I wanted to pick up this Tula Pink dandelion print and the grey DS seeds, both of which are difficult to find online now, but didn’t so I knew I would be getting those (I could find them “cheaper” online, but with shipping and all that….). They also had the green seeds so I picked those up as well. I have a little bit, but wasn’t sure how much and while I am not a FMF fan, I love these seed prints and wish I could have gotten more. They had the Wrenly stripes on sale, and I love Wrenly, but don’t have the stripes, so I grabbed those as well. The darling love birds were in their “yard sale” (cute!) bin and I took the remnants too. They still had their shop hop strips available, so I got those as well. I think I have 5/10 now, even though I only got two during shop hop. We also got a little goody bag and coupon for being there with Stash Bash.

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I did quite a bit of shopping with Beth of Stash Modern Fabrics. She was our onsite vendor, and boy did we descend on her like a pack of wolves when she got there. I wasn’t quick enough to grab some of the things I wanted, but she is local, so I will be shopping with her a lot now! All the Kingdom prints on the right I had preordered. Several of them were possibilities for my Bloom Bloom Pow (I was having a terrible time finding “lights”) and then I decided I just needed the whole collection. She brought a lot of fat quarters to sell at SB, so I got some Tula Pink and Color Me Retro (I am going to need that whole collection too). She offered some fabric for giveaway, and I selected the Sarah Jane prints. (Love the balloons. That has been on my list for a long time. So has out to sea). And, the pink one I don’t even know what it is. I needed it for a project I worked on at SB which I will show off in my next post.

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We played a fun game Saturday night, which was basically gambling with fabric, based on a game called LCR. We started with 6 FQ, contributed 3 to the pot, and this is what I ended up with (plus one of my own, which I didn’t include in the picture). A couple of these were actually donations after the game from people who didn’t want them, or had brought them and ended up with them. I was all about those strawberry stripes, and I have no idea what I will do with them now. There were many many cute things that passed through my hands before I ended up with this. I brought extras, hoping we would play again, but we didn’t get to.

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Stash Bash report, part 1

There is so much to tell; this is going to have to have many multi parts.

Stash Bash was awesome. I am so glad I went. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, since I found out the last day of registration. It is really hard for me to do things like this – go somewhere I don’t know, all alone, with people I don’t know who all seem to know each other already. But I am so glad I did. I met so many cool and fun and talented people. I had a lot of fun and a lot of inspiration. And a lot of sewing! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

The only picture I took of our surroundings.

The only picture I took of our surroundings.

I think the best way for me to tackle retelling is chronologically. We were at a camp. The grounds were beautiful, and luckily, so was the weather. The bunkhouse was right next to the large dining and meeting building, where we spent the majority of our time. We had a lovely view of the lake from our sewing room. I set my stuff in my spot in the sewing room, then went to take the rest of my things to the bunk. I was actually the first in my room, and even though there were detached beds I happily claimed this corner bunk. I like the cavelike security. 😀

My bed.

My bed.

Once I got settled back into the sewing area and got my things unpacked, I had to decide what to start with. After briefly considering my ribbon border, I grabbed my citrus strips, because that was what I really wanted to work on. The online tutorial states, and I quote, “Here is the finished Strip-Pieced Bento Box lap quilt top (and assembled in only a couple of hours!).” (Now, I did do the twin size, not the lap size, but still….it’s only a few more blocks.)  So I figured, I’d spend a few hours putting it together, have a quick finish under my belt, then move on to my ribbon border. Yeah….

So I chain sewed the strips

So I chain sewed the strips

Then pressed and cut them

Then pressed and cut them

And again...

And again…

and again....

and again….

13 hours later...

14 hours later…

Yes, FOURTEEN HOURS I spent working on this on Friday. Pretty much straight. I wasn’t doing tons of socializing or breaks. And it wasn’t done. I didn’t even spend tons of time working on layout. Not as much as I would have if it was earlier and I wasn’t hurting so much. I actually did get the first couple rows sewn together before I packed it in at 1:30 AM. I was the lone holdout. I probably would have kept going if others had stayed as well, but everyone else turned in early. I unplugged the iron, turned out the lights and crawled into bed. And I HURT. My back, my shoulder, my head… everything hurt.

Oh, that bottom corner… One of my strips didn’t cut enough squares for some reason. I was going to just leave it and finish it at home, until I finally realized Saturday morning that I brought a bunch of scraps with me. I took a chance and luckily did find a big enough scrap of the fabric to finish that last block.

First thing Saturday morning, I was back at it. I thought things might move a bit faster at this point, but I actually didn’t get it finished until around 4 in the afternoon. Now, to be fair, we took a field trip for a couple hours to a quilt shop and I did a lot more visiting and socializing Saturday. I was more relaxed about it and not as rushed.

and here it is

and here it is

This is my finished top. Well… I still have to do the border. I seem to have a problem with finishing borders. I didn’t bring extra fabric to make it, so I knew that part would get finished at home. The top row has full squares, it is just folded over that rail so I could take the picture. Whenever I look at it, I think I sewed some on backwards, but they are all correct. It tricks my eyes! I am pretty pleased with it. There are only a couple places where seams don’t line up, and I think I only had to rip three or four blocks that were missewn. So, I think that is really good progress… especially considering my marathon work on it and how late I worked. (Couple of hours my @$$!)

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Finished!

So with my machine and the bulk of my projects packed up, I finally picked up the large bag full of fabrics and embroidery hoops I still needed to assemble for my son’s nursery. It helped that I was taking the opportunity to try to pick up my sewing room and this was a huge need-to-be-dealt-with eyesore in the middle of the room. So I spent some time cutting the fabrics, then later we went outside to sit in the pollen snow. The baby had lunch and ran around (as we do everyday) and I sat on the laminated picnic blanket and put them together. Then I couldn’t take the pollen exposure, plus the heat, any longer and we went inside to hang them up. I am not certain this is final placement. In fact, I am almost positive they will get rearranged, but I wanted to get them put up finally! It feels so good to finally have them done.

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Packing for Stash Bash

I am very excited to be going to Stash Bash this weekend. This will be a sewing retreat in a beautiful area. We will all be sharing a “cabin”, which sleeps 40 with a kitchenette and common room. Then we will have a devoted sewing room to set up in for the weekend and work on projects. There are very few other things scheduled, so we can really devote a lot of time to our personal sewing projects. I am sure there will be lots of talking and visiting, we will be learning screen printing, having a pj party, and going to the largest quilt shop in the state as well. I am so excited to hopefully make many new friends, learn some new things, and get some stuff done unencumbered by my family and household obligations for a whole weekend!

I’ve started packing. So here is my task list for the weekend. LOL. I am being extremely optimistic.

In order of importance. Starred items will qualify for the City Craft Pinterest Challenge:

ribbon quilt top and fabrics

ribbon quilt top and fabrics

I must must must complete this top! I have to face head on my fears of this border and just do it! And hope I have enough fabric to do so. I am not certain I have enough fabric to do the same border all the way around, but maybe two sides and two sides. It takes more work and thought and not something I seem able to devote my energies to at home. I will probably throw in the backing fabric too in case  want to make that as well. I am debating doing a ribbon down the middle of the back, but will think more about that later. (This would qualify for the challenge, but I started it before the challenge started.)

Citrus bento box

Citrus bento box

*My strips are all cut and ready to go for my bento box. This is the project I am most excited about and should go fairly quickly, if everything goes well.

tumblers

tumblers

These are my tumblers for my older nephew’s quilt. I have no idea if I have enough or too many. I figure I will just start plotting it out and putting it together and see where I end up.

April mystery border

April mystery border

These are the fabric possibilities for my April mystery border.

bloom bloom pow

bloom bloom pow

These are the fabric possibilities for my bloom bloom pow a long. I am not committed to all of these yet, and I have some others I am considering, but this is the basic idea. I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and getting fabrics I really liked, and mixing in some from my own stash. I wanted to do something different, but just couldn’t do the expensive designer fabrics. Hobby Lobby was a quick and not-so-expensive solution. The fabrics still seem nice and they are certainly pretty.  I need to cut and then do whatever piecing is released in this week’s installment.

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*I have a couple projects to finish for the nursery (for my two year old! LOL).

scraps

scraps

*I’ve packed up a lot of scraps. Now that I have a nice and large sewing table, I am suddenly acutely aware of a desperate need for mug rugs. I also believe I can get some good quilting practice in by making some. So I want to make at least one this weekend. I am also hoping maybe we will do a community scrap swap.

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Here are my swap items. My zipper pouch and a bunch of fat quarters. They said to bring 6, but I have extra. I may still make one more pouch. We’ll see how the week goes.

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And I packed a pile of neutrals.

*I also may pack some fabrics to make a clothespin holder, but I honestly don’t think I will get to it. It can’t hurt to throw it in, can it?

I should also work on some of my BOTM that I haven’t been doing, but again, not sure I will get to it. I am going to miss my BOTM class this weekend too.

My May will have almost no sewing time, so I am especially thankful to have the time to devote to getting things done.

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Notions bag, reprise

Remember my ill-fated, yet semi-successful attempt at a notions bag? For better or worse, I made another one.

pieces cut

pieces cut

I am going to Stash Bash this weekend (so excited!) and we are doing a zippered pouch swap. I decided to try another vinyl notions bag for the swap. I figured since I had already made one, it might go better or quicker and there were some annoying kinks I wanted to try to work out.

Quicker, yes. Better, questionable.

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I started out sewing the pieces together, then got it in my head that I would save a step and go ahead and topstitch everything while I was at it. DON’T DO THIS! I totally forgot about needing to add the lining, and that is caught in the topstitch. So, I had to pull the topstitching out.

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I remembered to unzip it this time to sew the sides together. I did kill a needle on the zipper again.  I sewed through the metal stopper. I went slower and more carefully the rest of the time. I didn’t have any issues with the vinyl this time, and did a better job with my phonebook trick.

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For the most part, it went together pretty straight forward. I took extra care to square up so that things would go together more correctly than mine. I am still having an issue with the bottom though. This one lines up correctly on the bottom, but I had to cut off most of the bottom segment for it to do that.

bottom seams line up.

bottom seams line up.

What the bottom is supposed to look like.

What the bottom is supposed to look like.

What mine looks like.

What mine looks like.

See how it is missing the bottom panel? I made a note on my pattern to either cut the vinyl smaller or the backing and lining longer.

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I am somewhat happy with it. For some reason, mine seems a lot stiffer. I don’t understand why. I used the same exact interfacing. My sewing is definitely nicer and neater on the new one. The zipper leans a little to the back on it, instead of directly on the top. Also, the end of the zipper is still split a bit even though I tacked it in place on this one. Other than those minor things, I am pretty happy with it. I hope my swap partner will be. I am thinking about making another little pouch (another type) in case we trade more than one, but we will see what time allows. It has been a really difficult week for my family.

 

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Hey hey it’s my birthday.

More and more my birthday, much like new year, depresses me. I am getting shockingly old, yet still look, act and feel like a teenager. How does this happen? And then I start lamenting all the things I was meant to accomplish by now, and….

Enough of that. I just did some retail therapy damage at Fabric.com. Oops. Happy birthday to me.

I stayed up quite late last night suddenly inspired to finish my last 3×6 block. I had left this one so late because the person wanted “rainbow”. The block is quite an easy block… when made with two colors and all you have to do is cut squares. But I had to use 8 different colors, which meant I had to determine the size of triangles to cut. And the basic color wheel is only 6. So I had to add two more colors. It was all too much for me to deal with. So, I finally buckled down to do it. I picked my colors, plus black and white, and through a little bit of trial and error, got it assembled. I did have to do some ripping and resewing because I was stupid tired. But actually once I got past that, it went together quickly and easily and is actually a perfect 12.5 inch square. I like it a lot and am quite proud of it. Now I can wrap it up and get all these sent out finally this week. What a load off.

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I am also really pleased with my mystery border quilt. WHICH I CAN’T SHOW!! I did some paper piecing and some resizing and everything all on my own. I think it works with and balances the theme so nicely. And I am just impressed with myself that I pulled it off. It took a lot of time, but it was worth it. I really hope the person likes it.

The other night in a fit of frustration, I finally pulled down part of the baby gate around my fabric.

Excuse the mess!

Excuse the mess!

I had fabric just piled everywhere all over the floor, because it is so difficult to get to my shelves. I also find that I am less likely to sew when it actually involves me visiting my stash because the gate is such a physical barrier (it is really tall). I pulled off a section of it (the baby was sleeping and I didn’t want to risk waking him trying to take down and fold up the whole thing) and spent some time putting fabric back away. It needs some neatening and my husband even suggested I need another cube, so it must be real obvious that I am overflowing.

Here’s the thing that I find so frustrating:

I always thought I had tons of fabric. I have hundreds of dollars of fabric there. I love almost all of it. It is over flowing. I need more shelving. I want to limit myself to using fabric I already have. But if I go to pull fabric for a project, suddenly I feel like I don’t have anything useable. Case in point: I want to do the bloom bloom pow a long. I want to use fabric in my stash. But I have nothing acceptable. A large portion of my fabric is multi color. A large portion is on a white background. And almost none is tonal. I’ve also become a designer fabric snob somewhere along the way (Ugh… I remember the days when $5/yard was expensive), I have fabric that is off limits, fabric I don’t have enough of to use for whatever project, fabric that is being saved for certain projects… suddenly, all that fabric seems useless. I don’t know how to handle this without just buying more fabric. I guess I need to do some stash searching and start finding some real staples to add instead of just buying fabric because I like it… then never use it. Is this a normal problem or am I just strange like that?

Regardless, I will be able to spend a lot more quality time with my fabric without the gate barring my way now. It opens the room up a lot too, and makes it a lot less dangerous for me. I am glad to see the gate go. Just gotta keep the baby out.

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April Goals

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Complete Ispy tops and backs for nephews.
  3. Bento Box top
  4. Pick fabrics and follow along for bloom bloom pow.
  5. Finish and hang the fabric hoops for the kidlet’s room.
  6. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  7. Plot and sew rainbow twister quilt. And start twisting, if I get that far
  8. Finish last 3×6 block, April mystery border, send all.
  9. Go to Stash Bash!!
  10. Make any things that need to be made for stash bash. (I am seriously lacking in information)
  11. Pick off a few things for the city craft pinterest challenge

Swaps –

  • waiting on abc blocks
  • waiting on tula pink rounds 3,4,5
  • Send back polka dots
  • send back Lizzy House jewels
  • send back ocean i spy
  • send back jar i spy
  • open April f8 swap

Cleaning-

  1. Finish office bookshelves
  2. Work on garage on weekends with hubs
  3. Get the baby’s swingset installed!!! (why did I list this under cleaning?)
  4. Closet
  5. Hang photos
  • Weight loss
  • smoothie diet
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make.
  • Read read read!
  • Green focus on the bathroom
  • Cleaning focus on guest bedroom

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