Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

A quick sewing project…

I’ve had quite a long sewing break. I was on vacation, had other things going on, etc etc… My son started preschool last week. I have to send him with a little snack when he goes, so I thought it might be fun to make him a lunch set. He loves Thomas, of course. I was at Hobby Lobby buying white Kona (never ending purchase!) for my next (current) project and came across some Thomas fabric there, so I got some. I found a green QSQ Thomas line as well at my favorite shop a few days later. Unfortunately, I didn’t take process pictures, but I followed some online tutorials. They were super easy.

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Tutorial for bag: http://whipup.net/category/whipup-tutorials/ (scroll all the way to the bottom)

Basically, you cut two pieces for the bag and two for the lining. I interfaced all four pieces since the HL Thomas was pretty thin, and I was using fabric, not stiff towels like the tutorial suggests. That really was the most time consuming part. After that, it went together quick and easy. I attached one of my hair bands in a matching lime and a big yellow button for the closure.

Tutorial for snack bags: http://www.sewcando.com/2013/05/super-simple-reusable-sandwichsnack-bag.html?m=1

This held me up a lot because of anxiety about food-safe coating for the inner part of the bag. I researched oilcloth (definitely not safe), laminated cotton (probably not safe, but no one will say for sure ), and fusible vinyl (they give a very non-responsive answer to if it is safe, but really, nothing vinyl is safe, right?), even PUL (nope). In the end I waffled between the laminate and vinyl (I really loved the idea of using my own). I had the Heat n Bond in my cart, and ultimately put it back. The risk is probably pretty small, but, without saying too much, we are having enough issues right now that I don’t want to take any additional or unnecessary risks with my son’s health or development. So, I just went with plain cotton and I guess I will still continue to use ziploc for anything messy. 😦 But the point is, they are cute.

Other than the research and conscience-wrestling, this was a super quick and simple project! You cut two pieces, fold it up and bind around them! I still had some problems catching the fabric in the binding, so had to go over it a couple of times. But that was the hardest part. I added snaps and it was done!

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My Favorite Store!

Oh, I have been waiting a looong time for this. I am about to tell you about what I consider the best kept secret in my state. Sadly, I didn’t know about this place for a long time. Then, I drove by it a million times before one day I finally decided to stop in. Knowing what I know now, I know that if I hadn’t gone in at just the “right” time, I probably never would have stepped foot in there again.

Start digging!

Start digging!

As it was, what I found were tables and tables piled sky high with fabric. For next to nothing. The best I can figure, they buy up damaged, cancelled orders, overstock, end of bolt, etc, and resell it in a less than aesthetic manner for cheap. I frequently find fabrics tagged with fabric.com or other shop cutting labels.

Now, two years ago when I started going there, I wasn’t so much a quilter and I had a very fledgling knowledge of fabric quality and designers. Unfortunately, I bought a lot of fleece and flannel back then because that’s what I thought I would be using. I’ve barely touched that stuff. 😦 Over the months, I went maybe once a week and left with a bag of fabric each time. I paid anywhere from $3 a yard down to 25 cents a remnant once they finally started clearancing out. I began to focus on the quilting cottons and started watching for certain designs and designers. But still, I was mostly buying then for my Ispy swaps and not so much for general quilting. By last August, I had started more quilting and refining my fabric knowledge. I had a better idea what I was looking for. And I was taking it for granted that this would be a constant supply for me.

And then the supply stopped. They changed over their inventory. For a long time it was apparel fabrics. Then upholstery. Then bolts and bolts of just crappy blah cotton fabric. Really bad stuff. Fleece. Then back to upholstery. I was really losing hope that I would ever see my remnants again. I’d had to buy more and more fabric at retail and had gotten into more and more swaps that I was shelling out for – not to mention running my own swap now as well, which carried a monthly obligation. I lamented how I misused the opportunity when I had it. (hear the violins?) I missed my weekly outing.

I would still run in once a week at first… then once every couple weeks… checking.. I was out nearby last week and almost didn’t stop in. I really expected the same ‘ol. But there it was! My wonderful cotton remnants again! I was so excited! And took full advantage. Now, this whole thing is an experience… You have to DIG. And the fabric is heavy. There are all kinds of different weights mixed in. My arms usually hurt the next day. But if you are willing to work for it, you can find the good stuff. It is also a good idea to come back. Things churn and they put more out. That’s why I’d go weekly… but even in the course of my one or two hours searching, by the time I get to the back, the landscape at the front seems completely different. I pull whatever I like, then go through and throw stuff back before I check out. If I leave it, I will never find it again. I spend most of my time there sneezing and sniffling. Everything is different sizes. You can find fat quarters all the way up to several yards ( I got three yards of Joel Dewberry last year for $1 a yard. That was my best find until recently). Some of it has cuts, rips, or writing on it, but most of it is beautiful. I still buy the damaged pieces (sold as-is) if I think I can cut around the damage or it isn’t too bad.

Making decisions

Making decisions

Check out this lady's awesome find! (I got to chatting with her and got a picture.)

Check out this lady’s awesome find! (I got to chatting with her and got a picture.)

 

I usually go in with a plan, but since you never know what you will find, it has to be general. My plan today – I have an animal and a food swap coming up; I have a quilt to make for my aunt that I haven’t even started on, which I am looking for travel motifs for; and I always have an eye out for certain designers like Tula Pink or Lizzy House. I also have to cull through my cart and make sure I am buying both what I want and what I need… not stuff I already have tons of or stuff I think I should get because other people like it. Both can be hard.

Today's Haul

Today’s Haul

Last week's haul

Last week’s haul

 

I’ve come away with some good Tula. I didn’t know about her last year, so I can only imagine what I’ve missed in the past, but I’ve been finding a lot this time around. There’s about a half yard of the pink frog price, a yard of the stripe, and two of the turtles. A whopping 3.75 of the blue frog prince! Plus I got a couple yards of the laminate as well. Lizzy has been really slim this year, which makes me sad. I got a lot of her stuff (mostly 1001 and some Pilgrim) last year. But I did find a couple of pearl bracelets today and some guising last week. Other notable collections: Wrenly, which I love, and am actually having to leave a lot behind because I am hoarding so much of it. Les Amis and Comma, both of which I have wanted and haven’t any of. Some Denise Schmidt, Riley Blake, and Sarah Jane. One lonely Simply Color. Lots of good options for my swaps and aunt’s quilt. But oh, if I could only show what I left behind. 😉

This becomes like a drug. After a few days I find myself itching to go back. Wondering what’s there. What I might have missed. What they might be putting out RIGHT NOW. Thinking of all the people buying MY fabric. There’s no harm in taking a peek. But – I think I need to take a break. Money’s tight these days, and as much as I justify this by being pennies on the dollar…. well, eventually the pennies run out. LOL.

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July review/August goals

I guess I got a lot done last month sewing wise, but I’ve taken a bit of a break the last couple weeks. Looks like nothing got done cleaning wise. This coming month is going to bring a lot of transition and adjustments to my family. This is a lot of the reason I have been pretty quiet around here – Things I can’t or don’t want to discuss, and too much real-life keeping me away from sewing and computer time. (I am way behind in blog reading too) We’ll see how things fall in my new routine and circumstances. It’s been a crappy few months.

 

July goals:

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Complete 2nd Ispy  Done and sent
  3. Send both the nephews’ quilts
  4. Make a quilt for my friend’s sick child (surgery is the 5th)
  5. Start Prism QAL
  6. Start Tula Pink quilt top
  7. Bento Box back (no ideas on this)
  8. finish bloom bloom pow. (back, quilt and bind)
  9. baste and quilt twisted ispy
  10. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  11. Catch up BOM?

Swaps –

  • get 2.5 square swap
  • get trip swap sent not received
  • get Tula Pink charm swap sent not received
  • PBJ I spy swap sent not received
  • research who is missing their Kona and straighten that out
  • send back text swap
  • send back chevron swap
  • Open July F8 swap being sent in to me now

Cleaning-

  1. Closet no
  2. go through baby’s toys no
  3. guest bedroom no
  4. garage no
  5. laundry room no
  6. Hang photos no
  • Weight loss still mainly hoovering around the same number, feeling defeated
  • plan for next trip  If this means what I think it does, I am on it right now
  • start planning for school year…Still haven’t gotten much information, but we have open house next week
  • update Baby’s baby book no 😦
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make. I got one or two in but still have more I need to attack.
  • get our house and life back in order
  • Pay off repairs in process, but our car got paid off finally.
  • Get 2 year pictures done no
  • Read read read!

 

August goals:

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Start Prism QAL
  3. Start Tula Pink quilt top
  4. Bento Box back (no ideas on this)
  5. finish bloom bloom pow. (back, quilt and bind)
  6. baste and quilt twisted ispy
  7. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  8. Catch up BOM?
  9. swap items for two different swaps

Swaps –

  • get 2.5 square swap
  • get trip swap
  • get Tula Pink charm swap
  • get PBJ I spy swap
  • send back writing swap

Cleaning-

  1. Closet
  2. go through baby’s toys
  3. guest bedroom
  4. garage
  5. laundry room
  6. Hang photos
  7. Consider basement renovations
  • Weight loss
  • get ready for school
  • update Baby’s baby book
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make.
  • Pay off repairs
  • Get 2 year pictures done
  • Read read read!
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