Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

My cousin’s birthday

My cousin turned 18 recently and we celebrated tonight with a family dinner. I realized the gift I had intended to give her wasn’t going to make it in time (I will save it for the holidays) so that left me scrambling for an alternative. At first, I ran out and got a gift card (which was what she had asked for) but it just didn’t feel special enough for the occasion. Then I realized, I can sew something! I have been so immersed in quilts (I have upwards of 7 in wip status, off the top of my head) that I kind of forgot that I can whip something else up relatively quickly. I also have a pile of fabric that I am hoarding and not using, and I felt I needed to use some of it for this special occasion. The fabric wouldn’t necessarily be as meaningful to her as to me, but my sacrifice is what makes it special. LOL. I feel I need to use it to justify having it, but not for any old run-of-the-mill project.

So, I pulled my Hello Pilgrim for this. I feel it is a good sophisticated teen fabric. I changed my colorway choice several times before settling on the green. I pulled some tutorials from pinterest. I started with this zippered bow pouch tutorial. However, those instructions left all of the raw seams exposed on the inside, so I did some tweaking so that it was fully and neatly finished and lined. I also adjusted the pattern to make it a bit bigger.

bow pouch

bow pouch

Inner lining

peek at inner lining

I finished it in a day, working here and there when I got the chance. It probably took me a few hours.

I decided it wasn’t quite enough and wanted to add a wallet to it. Again, I spent a lot of time looking at ideas before settling on this tutorial.   I used two more complementary prints for the wallet.



peek at lining

peek at lining

It included a D ring. That’s my first time doing that, but I liked that feature. Again, fully finished and lined. I made this with a teeny bit of turquoise thread. I spent the entire time scared I was going to run out (especially since I messed up a few times and had to rip), and in the end, it barely showed anyway. Even with the mess ups, I completed it -from cutting to pictures- in about an hour and a half.

I placed the giftcard in the wallet and the wallet in the pouch and packaged it up.

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In the end, I think she was way more excited by the gift card than the pouches. Oh well. Hope I didn’t waste my precious Hello Pilgrim!! At least I got some good zip pouch experience in. I may need one of those wallets for me. 😀


August review/September goals

So… We are ten days into September, and I am just now getting around to my goals. With a good bit of the month gone already. Where did it go?!? I can’t say I am expecting my August goals to look good. I’ve spent the last month in a whirlwind of adjusting to preschool, my husband’s new job, school and schedule, and the culminating fallout from everything that’s been happening over the last 6 months. I’ve kind of just been waiting-and-see-ing and getting by, honestly. My hope is that now that we are on this side of things we can finally start to deal with the realities instead of the speculation and make adjustments and plans, and ultimately get back on track. Maybe the house and car will stop breaking and start cooperating too. I am also trying to plan ahead and focus in on what really needs to get done, sewing wise, over the next few months as we enter into the holiday season. (Seriously?!?)

September goals

  • Work on aunt’s quilt
  • Make a plan for auction quilt (Can probably wait til next month)
  • Work on Tula quilt (though I am slowing down on this since the swap is running again and I may want some Acacia in it)
  • Make a plan for teacher gifts (Can probably wait til next month)
  • Figure out how I will quilt the baby’s quilt and do it already. I started this thing a year ago, now.
  • Should I find myself with the time: Bloom bloom pow, bento, chevron, prism and anything else I’ve started and not finished.
  • Pick a room/closet a week and go through and clean/declutter/get rid of/organize, etc. And I mean seriously.
  • Get serious about weight loss again
  • Figure out what sort of income we are dealing with and get back on a cash budget to replenish savings and pay off repairs. Get my spending (Looking at you Fabric.com (among others)!) under control again.
  • Get my little free library up and running!
  • Read read read!

August goals: (Get ready for a lot of NOs!)


  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back? No
  2. Start Prism QAL No
  3. Start Tula Pink quilt top I have about 80 of 132 blocks made
  4. Bento Box back (no ideas on this) No
  5. finish bloom bloom pow. (back, quilt and bind) No
  6. baste and quilt twisted ispy No
  7. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room I did a big clean up, but it is far from done. See previous post.
  8. Catch up BOM? I made two during the class last month. Have class again Saturday. May try to do that again.
  9. swap items for two different swaps Yes. Done.

Swaps –

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


  1. Closet Is a total disaster again
  2. go through baby’s toys Every time I try, I decide he still plays with it all.
  3. guest bedroom Mostly the problem here is the clothing storage, and I haven’t really dealt with it.
  4. garage No
  5. laundry room Ooh. I did a teeny bit in here. But needs a good cleaning.
  6. Hang photos Heh. Why is this here every month? I have three family photos from WHEN HE TURNED ONE! that I just haven’t decided where they are going yet. I need to just do it. And, uh, need to get the two year photos done sometime.
  7. Consider basement renovations Pfhhhh. I have plans but no time or monies. It’s be great if we could.
  • Weight loss Same as it ever was
  • get ready for school
  • update Baby’s baby book I’ve done a bit but not enough
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make. We have (expensive) insurance again. Need to do a dental for the baby. The other things are back on hold for a while, I think. (This includes the stuff I’ve been putting off – like dermatologist and foot x-rays – which I don’t really want to do/am scared of)
  • Pay off repairs Hopefully soon. Paid a good chunk. Then the car needed work too. It’s never ending lately.
  • Get 2 year pictures done Oh! Ha! See! I had this on the list! And we haven’t done it. I signed him up for school pics, but would still like family ones done.
  • Read read read! Didn’t get to do a lot of this either. However, according to Goodreads, I am 9% ahead of my goal for the year. Going to try to remember what I’ve read…

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It’s a Sister Thing swap reveal and a bit about my sewing room

I recently participated in a swap through

The idea was to follow a secret pal’s blog and make them some end-of-summer goodies.

I was assigned Heather at

Her posts (like mine, LOL) were sparse over the summer, but I picked up on a few things. She definitely likes flowers – both in fabric and real. She likes blog hops and handmade items with a function.  I made her a (rather large, it turned out. Oops.) mug rug in bright, flowery fabrics in a plus sign pattern. I also made some cute chicken pincushions to match. I included some tea and other drink mixes to use with her mug rug. I hope she likes it.


Making a mug rug also gave the added bonus of some more FMQ practice. You can’t see it too well in the thumbnail, but if you zoom in I did loops along the seams. The back is a purple and blue flower print and I bound with Children at Play stripe which matched perfectly.


I also got a package!


My package came from Utah from Rachell at http://claddaghsquiltsandstars.blogspot.com/

She sent such a nice long letter explaining what she sent and why and who she is. She sent me two nice – sized quilted fabric buckets with outer pockets (modeled by my scissors and rotary cutter LOL) and a zipper pouch, also with outer pockets. She also included the instructions for how to make them! Ha – It’s from a free Craftsy class that I am probably enrolled in but never got around to doing! She certainly picked up on my colors. 🙂

She was inspired by my ongoing need to clean up and organize my sewing area. She felt the baskets could help – and they will! It just so happens I spent the better part of this weekend cleaning up my sewing room. It still has a long way to go, but at least I can move about, cut, fold, iron, etc now without killing myself or feeling overwhelmed. I’ve not had tons of time to devote to sewing lately, but when I did have time, I would walk in there, get frustrated or overwhelmed and give up. So, I finally just had to push through and get it to be a useable space again. I still have a long way to go, but at least I can work in there again. I took some before and after photos which I shudder to share, but…. maybe it will better illustrate how my life has been going lately –


You may have to enlarge to read my captions. This is my cutting/folding area. In the corner is a built in cabinet that is full with things like fleece and minky. Things I really don’t use and should probably get rid of. On top is my tv, some doll models from when I made doll clothes, my snaps, thread, bobbins, a stack of things I started making and never finished, a stack of bee blocks, and random other stacks. The cutting table was just littered with everything. Fabric that needed to be cut or folded or put away or sorted or … The floor was a combination of fabrics I have pulled for projects, fabric needing to be put away, and all the ziplocs, buttons, velcro, rick rack and other stuff my son gets into and redistributes around the room. (I am mess enough on my own. I really don’t need his help!) My long term goals include putting shelving on those exposed walls so that I can get a lot of the bins and things off my cutting and sewing tables so I can better utilize them. That one wall used to be my design wall until I moved my cutting table there. Now I can’t reach it for that use, and half of it is cut off by the table.


This side is where the majority of fabric is stored. On the floor is more mishmash of scrap bins, bins of fabrics that have no where else to go, swap packages (ingoing and outgoing), fabrics I’ve used and not put away, and mess and trash. I want to move the bookshelf into my bedroom and replace it with more cubbies. There’s a bunch of fleece, terry and flannel which, again, needs to be sorted and destashed to make room for my quilting fabrics. The cubbies have mini bolts and then folded smaller yardage in front and on top. The unit also has more folded mostly fat quarters fabric and ribbons. There is also a closet door in there that you can’t see that houses batting, interfacing, poly fill, etc and drawers that I keep my patterns in.


My sewing room shares with the laundry room. So, I generally have clothes in various stages of laundering around the room as well. I sort, de stain, hang, and hold piles throughout the room. I generally fold on my bed, but sometimes in here too. I never iron. LOL. It’s enough that I iron my fabrics. 😉 You can see my son’s diapers drying here, as the ongoing never ending rains continue (actually, it’s been really pretty the last couple days). This is also where I moved my design wall for the time being. It isn’t ideal as it covers the thermostat and some switches.

So, here is the state now, after quite a bit of time cleaning and putting away:

IMG_1376 IMG_1377

Still desperate for some attention and storage, but much more useable. I am able to find what I need and use my tables now. I bought a few bins to store some fabrics for swap or certain projects. That helped a lot. A bit better, but still a long way to go and I can’t wait to add the shelves and cubbies. Those cardboard boxes are mini bolts that need shelf space. It is on the list but may be a while. 😦 I keep spending my monies on fabric.

So, I am not kidding when I go on and on about it. 🙂  And it seems as soon as I get involved in a project and/or laundry, the mess evolves again. I am certainly going to put the baskets to good use in here!

Thanks again for the swap, Michelle and Rachell!