Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

WIP Weds – Polaroid top

Stack of polaroid blocks

Stack of polaroid blocks

I completed my polaroid top.

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My backing fabric arrived just as I was assembling rows. I have decided to go with the cream for the back. I am even more glad that I used the off white instead of the white for the polaroid frames. I’ll save the green for the future.

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Once I completed the top, I was kind of stunned how small it was. I mean, I know it is a baby quilt, but I’d like it to last longer than his babyhood. I dithered for a while… I considered a border, but I really didn’t have enough backing to add a good sized border. In the end, I settled on a small border and I will be doing some piecing in the backing.

Completed top

Completed top

Here is a really bad picture of the completed top with the border. Also, our newly assembled playset! (Yay if you have followed my monthly to – do lists for the last 6 months!) I also meant to take up close shots of the pictures so that you could see the alphabet representation, but I forgot and we have had tons and tons of rain. Maybe once I am done.

I have had to set this aside now to focus on getting the things done that I need to have mailed out before we leave on our trip. My SIL is in labor as I type this. Oh well. I will finish it quickly when I get back and have these sent to the boys asap.

One of the things I am working on is my last mystery border block. I don’t feel bad showing a few spoiler pictures since this is going back to the owner this week anyway.

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Those are my first ever geese! I had started on these, then stumbled on the perfect fabric in the perfect color and design the next day. Ugh. I didn’t want to remake everything I had done – and didn’t have enough of the new fabric anyway (It was a fat quarter pack), so I am mixing a little of both in. I am still assembling the rows. But trying to get this done! I hope it turns out cute. I am excited for the reveals. It is neat just looking at my before and after pics, so I can’t wait to see the total evolution of all the blocks.

I can't get anything done -

I can’t get anything done –

I keep trying to tell him he isn’t big enough yet, but he is totally obsessed with (the buttons on) my sewing machine. He keeps unraveling my thread and changing my settings.

Donation #3

Donation #3

I got my hair cut this weekend! This is my third donation to locks of love. I hate my hair, so if it can make someone else happy then I am glad. My signature butt-length hair will be back before I know it, and I will do it again. That’s about two years growth there. It grows super fast, which is why I am never concerned no matter how many times the stylist asks if I am SURE I don’t care how short she cuts it. 🙂 At least this time I went to a real salon and attempted to have some sort of actual skillful cut done. It is cute. We will see how I like it. It sure takes less time to wash and brush now.

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Wip Wednesday: I love to take a phooooo to graph ~\.

So I have been working again. The new nephew is due any day now. I need to get his quilt done. I am going away soon. I need to get this quilt, my June mystery block and about 5 swaps done and mailed before I go! Wow. Don’t know if the quilt will make it. We’ll see. And I am going to try to get my machine in for servicing while I am away.

Originally, I was going to do a mini tumbler quilt to emulate big brother’s Tumbler quilt. But somewhere along the way I changed my mind. I wanted to use my ABC ispy swap blocks and there are only 26 of those… Not enough, especially for a mini tumbler. So I decided the polaroid quilt might be a good decision.

Some helpful tutorials if you are interested:

Well, I didn’t want to do the itty bitty polaroids that everyone did not too long ago. My swap blocks are 6.5″ and I wanted to use as much of it as possible. And, again, only 26 blocks. 🙂  So, I had to do some math and drawing and stuff. So, in case anyone is interested in making larger blocks, I will save you some trouble. Here is what I did:

I determined what size grid, quilt and blocks I wanted. I came up with 7.5″ blocks in a 5×6 grid making the quilt 35x42ish.
I spent some time trying to decide on paper piecing vs. chain piecing. I went with chain piecing, and I am glad. It is going very quickly.
I cut my 6.5″ prints into 5″ charms.
I cut white strips at 1 inch and 1.5 inches.
Then I sewed the 1 inch strips on the sides and trimmed them even.

White strip chain

White strip chain

Then I sewed 1 inch on the top, and 1.5 on the bottom. I trimmed the bottom to 1.25 and the top and sides to .75.

Polaroids!

Polaroids!

Then I cut the background fabric to 2.5 inches and sewed to the sides, trimmed, and top and bottom.

Chain sewing background

Chain sewing background

I made a 7.5″ paper template, tilted it, and trimmed around it. And that is my block.

Finished block

Finished block

Incidentally, this is similar to the twisted block I made for my son’s quilt, but was a much easier way of doing it. One of those smack your head, why didn’t I think of this myself sort of things. (And I altered the size of those blocks on my own as well.)  It does waste more fabric, though.

Once I finally got started, it was moving pretty quickly. I feel like I say that a lot. I guess I spend way too much time thinking and planning and then finally get around to it. This is where I’ve gotten hung up in the past, and I am learning to work through it. I would just think and think and never DO. And the more I thought, the more convinced I got that I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do.

Where I am now.

Where I am now.

So, currently, I am halfway through adding the background strips to my polaroid blocks. Hopefully I will make it to sewing them together tomorrow. I ordered some of the mischief fabric that was half off on Fat Quarter Shop last week. They always seem to have the perfect sale on the perfect fabric when I need it for backing. I bought the City Streets backing for the kidlet’s quilt when she had that on sale, and I was just about to go shell out for it at my LQS. The mischief was just so perfect. The blue sold out while I was debating, so I ended up getting the cream and the green (I think. or brown) and some of the plaid for the binding. I think I’ll probably go with the cream for the baby’s quilt, but will choose when they get here. Then I can use the other for another quilt for my baby. Because, you know, I’ve never finished the first one anyway…. and he has totally been trying to steal the tumbler quilt. I’ve had to hide it. I really need to finish one for him. I am also debating embroidering the letters and/or name of objects onto the bottom strip of the polaroid.

I am pondering my mystery block for this month. I think it is the last one. Then my little pineapple will find its way back to me. We will do a reveal. I think I know what I am going to do, but it’s something I haven’t tried before… and I am still trying to figure out if I have (enough of) the right colors. I really hope so. I gotta stop spending…. (not just on fabric, but that isn’t helping…)

New chair

New chair

Here is my new sewing chair. Yay. This is care of my husband’s job’s discards. Don’t be too jealous – it is quite literally the least they could do. At least I don’t have to use a dining chair anymore.

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Back on the wagon.

So, I had my machine unpacked just long enough to get my (rather tardy) mystery border block put together (Another one I really like how it came out) and then had to pack it up again for my class day today!

It’s fun to get out of the house and spend the day sewing somewhere else without interruption or “help” or distraction.  Especially after how busy, upsetting and exhausting my short time back has been (no time for sewing either!).

So I was up bright and early today to head to my LQS for my BOTM class. I have missed the last two (shame!). April because I was at Stash Bash and May because I was in FL. So, out of 6 months, I have a stellar record of finishing three of my blocks. This month we were piecing curves.

I hate templates!

I hate templates!

I don’t know why this was so stressful for me. I mean, I did a lot of clothing sewing long before I ever started quilting. I got spoiled with rotary cutting, strip piecing, HSTs from squares and the like. If I have to bother with a template or pattern or anything, really, that can’t be mass produced from rectangles or squares, I don’t want to mess with it anymore. I am really lazy I guess!

Here's my finished block.

Here’s my finished block.

I love the yellow. A couple of my seams are off, but overall a pretty decent looking block.

Then I took a little lunch break over at the mall, where I completely disregarded my (slow going) diet and ate at Wendy’s. But I got some sort of roasted flatbread sandwich instead of the whole breaded and bunned chicken, and I resisted the frosty! Then I wandered around Ross, Marshall’s, and Macy’s (when did they get so expensive?!?) looking in vain for cheap, summery maxi dresses that short fat chicks with huge boobies can wear for our upcoming trip.

Then it was back for my second class, which I have so been looking forward to. Free Motion Quilting! Now, I haven’t gotten to mess with FMQ since Stash Bash where the likes of Elizabeth and Becky told me I did a great job! Wait til you see today’s efforts. LOL. I need a lot of practice. The teacher was an absolute riot. But, like, without trying to be. Just the way she would say things was hysterical.

First we started practicing some basic lines:

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Ok. Here’s the deal with this. My thread kept jamming and breaking and stuff. So, after a stern lecture about the kind of thread I was using (oops!) I switched the pink for the brown. I was also messing with my tension a lot and stuff too. I still had problems, including running through two bobbins (!) but it went better. I couldn’t get straight lines to save my life. And those waves are supposed to be spirals.

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After passing that by the skin of my teeth, I moved on to the second assignment. This is such a mess, but I do believe you can see progress from the top to the bottom. Oh, and that’s a big loose thread on the top there that I should have removed before I took the photo. Anyway, for this we traced patterns with markers then had to FMQ on top of it. The lessons here were 1. Following a path throughout the pattern without breaking or going over thread. 2. “I am making you do marking so you realize how much you hate it and never do it again.” LOL. It has its place, I think.

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Here is the third assignment, which was really assignments 3-6. In the top two I failed miserably at doing it all in one pass. I had to go back and fill in parts I missed. Other than that, I don’t think the loop one is too bad. The bottom two I did better both in controlling, meeting at intersections, and doing it in one pass. The fourth, if you ignore the border, actually isn’t that bad.

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And this was the last assignment. She wanted us to try doing stars, daisies, fireworks and suns in a meandering sort of thing. I got into a little improv toward the end there. She told me not to go so much in rows, but I was trying to maximize space. After that I started on a stippling project (which I was really sucking at) but my bobbin ran out, then it was time to go.

I did a little shopping (bad me!). While the clearance section was seriously reduced (I missed the hot Memorial Day sale 😦  ) there were a couple new things down there I needed to get. I was bummed I missed on some clearances I had wanted, so I snapped them up. Additionally, they had this darling Storybook Lane panel all assembled, and I decided I had to have them. But there are no directions. So I am not sure what to do. Boo.

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