Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

First 2014 finish!

I can’t believe I made it! Everything was conspiring against me, from my machine not working to my trip cutting my month short…. But I’ve always said I work best with my feet to the fire.

I was so excited to get my machine back and the first order of business was to get my mug rug swap completed.





With that pressure off, I moved onto my quilt. Imagine my disappointment when, after all the trouble and service and everything, this is what happened right away:


Oh my goodness! Did I just waste that money? Is my machine broken?? One thing the guy told me was that this is caused by bad top thread. I was using a good brand and a new spool. I thought he was nuts, but it seemed I had ruled everything else out. I had a trip to Joann’s planned anyway and considered picking up a new spool while there, but “Visit your local quilt shop” day was Saturday and they were having a good sale. I was nervous losing even more time on getting this done, but I decided I wasn’t going to screw around – I needed to get the Aurifil.

I was so skeptical and hoped I wasn’t throwing more good money after bad, but it really did work! I spent most of Saturday quilting. Around 2am I was distressed to find I was looping again. Luckily, I caught it quickly and took it as a sign it was bedtime. After unpicking and rethreading things ran fine the rest of the time, but I honestly am at a point where I am not really trusting my machine anymore. That isn’t good for our relationship.

This is a much smaller quilt than the ones I’ve been working on. I tried to really focus on developing my control and plan. Since the blocks look like butterflies to me, I quilted flying butterflies. I found it was easier to get what I wanted pushing the quilt away from me, both because I was able to move in a more intuitive way and also I could see where I was going. I started to learn how to maneuver the quilt where I needed it by traveling instead of by physically moving and turning the quilt through the machine as I have done with the previous quilts. Even though it was smaller, I still had a hard time working in the middle of the quilt. I also am still getting some knotting or jumping when I stop. Some areas look better than others, and I did cross paths in a couple spots, but overall I am pretty happy with the quilting.


some areas are bad

DSC_0697 DSC_0698 DSC_0699

OK. I can’t see those well enough to tell which are supposed to show the good quilting and which the bad and which are duplicates. 🙂 (you can click the pictures to see closeups)

So, here it is completed:





I actually think it is upside down in the front picture. Oh well. It is about 50 x 68.  The back showcases my inspiration fabric, which I also used for the binding, but is not anywhere else in the quilt. I still need work on binding as well. There are several spots where I sewed through the back of the binding. I didn’t miss any spots this time though. I love it and am excited to already have a finish this year. It took 6 months to get to that point last year. 🙂

Now I am trying to decide on my goal for February. I have several things to choose from.

Here is my goal post from the beginning of the month

And you can see all of my travels with this quilt from start to finish by clicking the stack the deck tag


Wip Wednesday…

I am still without my machine. I get it back tomorrow, and I really have been going nuts. It is one thing to take a break when my sewing machine is readily available, but I want to sew so badly and I can’t! I feel like I have a pile of things to do that I just can’t do!

I haven’t totally wasted my time… I’ve been doing a lot of cutting.


I’ve got a bit of a pile up on my cutting table and ironing board.


I have my entire pixel quilt cut out and ready to go! I have never cut an entire project before starting before. And I have to be honest, if it weren’t for my forced sewing break, I would probably have put this off for months. Now I have no excuse not to get it put together relatively quickly.


I’ve also decided to jump on the economy quilt along bandwagon. Again, I am not sure I would be getting to this if I hadn’t had this time. I am fussy cutting my centers.  Even though I have an extensive novelty collection, I really don’t want this one to be an overly juvenile quilt. So you know that I am showcasing my favorites – a lot of Lizzy House, Tula Pink, Heather Ross, and Sarah Jane. The centers are the easy part. Picking the rest of it is going to be harder.

I’ve also pretty much finished cutting my chevron quilt.

So, the order of events, starting tomorrow –

I have to finish my mug rug swap and get that sent outI have to finish my stack the deck ASAP to make it in time for my January goal. I have 6 days. Plus, dudes, it is getting COLD out!
Then I will focus on getting my chevron put together.

I am going out of town next week, but I am going to use that time to do some sketching of some ideas I’ve had bouncing around.

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Nothing to sew here…

I am in a mug rug swap on flickr. Our theme for this swap is hearts. Because, you know, for Valentine’s day next month. I decided to chance it and try to get my mug rug made since it has to be mailed out by the end of the month, and I am going to lose time having my machine serviced and going out of town. I think my design was heavily influenced by my chevrons that are staring at me, forlorn, from my design wall.


This is the front of my mug rug and the binding. I am really pleased with it so far. I also FMQ’d hearts in red thread. It went well and looks really cute, I think.


This is the back. You can see the quilting better here.

I ran into trouble when I tried to attach the binding. I was actually surprised I got this far. It started skipping stitches and looping again while I was doing the binding. So, I pulled it off and took my machine in yesterday morning. I was there soon after opening, hoping against hope he might be able to get it back same day, but he had a pile of machines to work on. So I have a whole week without my sewing machine. I will have 6 days, roughly, left in the month where I and my machine will both be here. That should be enough time to finish up my stack the deck January goal. I wish I had taken my machine in earlier though, so I am not so up against the wall.

I am really thinking about getting a second (better) machine for times like this. Maybe a Janome or Bernina? A good quality machine that can be my main quilting machine and this one can be a backup. The Singer’s been a good machine to me, and has quite a few bells and whistles. It wasn’t cheap either. But maybe it is time for a good quality quilting machine. I don’t know, just something I’ve been mulling over.

Anyway, the service guy is at my favorite shop on Thursdays. So, as long as I was in there I thought I’d have a look around. I haven’t been there in a few months, because the good cotton went away and usually it is many months to a year before it resurfaces. They were having a “year end clearance sale”. They did have about a half a table with some designer cottons. I grabbed a few of them. I wonder if there were more a few weeks ago or if they will be putting out more. Oh well. It wasn’t the piles and piles they have when they are doing the cotton only sales.

my fabric grabs.

my fabric grabs.

So, while my machine is away, I am doing some cutting for swaps. My swap is doing Denyse Schmidt and I am signed up for I spy and Lizzy House swaps. And some drawing/planning for future quilts. And lots of shopping.

I’ve also been working on cleaning. I have been following along the 52 week challenge, more or less. Last week was to clear off the counters. I did ok there, but it really does pile up. I am trying to be better about cleaning up and clearing off daily, though. Especially as we have been battling really bad ant invasion for weeks. I’ve been doing the borax traps that can be found on pinterest, and it works like a charm getting rid of them for a while, but then they came back. 😦 Not in as great numbers, though. So I am hoping as I keep doing this they will get fewer and fewer. I’ve been working this week on our drawers and cabinets. Just the lower ones because I can’t reach the uppers. And I’ve worked a section a day so it doesn’t take too long or isn’t too overwhelming. I probably won’t finish, but any work I do is better than I was.

I am also working on the toys. I’ve decided to divide them up and do a weekly rotation. Less toys out, less toys to clean up, less cluttery looking, “new” toys to play with every week. We’ll see how that goes.


Finish Along Q1

Don’t you love the new year? So many lists, resolutions and things to jump on board with.

I found another one.

So allow me to make yet another post of my WIPs. 🙂 In order of most complete to least….

1. Stack the Deck


This is also my January goal. It is basted. And I am attempting to quilt it.


See how well it’s going? 😦 I am going to have to part with my sewing machine. I really want to get this quilted this month, but I don’t think any successful sewing is going to happen til I give in and take my machine in. I appreciate all the suggestions, and I do have it sort of working again, but it’s still funky tension and knotting and stuff.

2. Citrus Bento


Stash Bash is approaching. I made (most of) this top at Stash Bash last year and I refuse to go without having it done this year. (OK not really. I already paid and can’t wait, and will go, done or not. But really don’t want to be all shamefaced having not completed this in an entire year.) My holdup here is the back. I have no idea what to do. Here are some possible fabrics I have collected:


3. Bloom Bloom Pow

Bloom Bloom Pow

Bloom Bloom Pow

This one is from last May. I have all the back fabric and know what I want to do. This is just pure laziness and other-stuff-got-in-the-way.

4. Ribbon Chevron


Ugh. This one goes back to what, last December or so? I want to put a border on it. I am scared of the border. And again, another one that’s just kind of been pushed to the side and forgotten about. I have back fabric for it as well.

5. Tula Pink Houndstoothish

Laid out on my living room floor - about 100 blocks done.

Laid out on my living room floor – about 100 blocks done.

I have about 30 or so more blocks pick out and make for this top. Then assembly. I have backing for it.

6. Chevron


This is current. I need to cut out the rest of the hsts, assemble, etc. No fabric for back yet.

7. Pixel Quilt


These are my fabrics and plans for my son’s pixel quilt, which I also believe I will do as a weighted blanket. I hope that will work.

8. Class Blocks


These are my blocks from my class I took last year. I have three more to make, then I need to sash and assemble, etc.

9. 9 patches


I participated in a 9 patch swap. I have plans for these, but may want to do another swap to get more.

I think those are all the actual, tangible wips I have at the moment. No way at all they are all getting done in the next few months, but a few might.


WIP Wednesday

I’ve been working on a couple of things. I have basted my stack the deck quilt. After the behemoth quilts I’ve just made, this one seems really tiny. Basting went very quickly. I spent hours basting my aunt’s quilt… of course, I did it crooked the first time.


I realized I’ve never officially shown the back.


I used my leftover blocks in the small squares and in the large rectangle is my inspiration fabric, which didn’t actually get used in the front of the quilt. I believe I will be binding with it as well.

I am hoping since basting went so quickly, it will be quick to quilt as well, but I am nervous. Remember how I had all kinds of issues with tension while quilting my aunt’s quilt? Well, they are ongoing…. I started working on my chevron top and had to pull out and redo a lot of it…


I re-threaded everything and put in a new needle and it seems to be running well again (if noisily), but what I’ve been finding is that it runs for a while and then gets messed up again. Also, now the bobbin winder isn’t working properly either. The round part keeps throwing off the thread. I had to hold it in place while it wound. I think I need a trip to the service guy. 😦 But I don’t want to be without my machine! I have to finish my goal!! I may think about a nicer machine next holiday season. 😦 This is a pretty fancy one, but it’s a Singer.

So, here is a peek at my chevron top so far… I have many more fabrics going into it, but I’ve run out of black. I’ve been stranded for a week as my car has also been in the shop (it isn’t going to last too much longer either.) so I need to get out this weekend and go shopping so I can finish this one up. I am still not sure of the color order or anything yet. I’ll play around when I get to that part.




Some more challenges I am jumping on board with…

Well, I love to be a joiner. I found out about the NewFO challenge recently.

This is a challenge I can get behind. Here, we merely have to start projects each month! I can handle that. Here is what I am starting this month:


These are the fabrics I have been gathering for my next chevron top. I am very excited for this one. I am in love with the color scheme. I just hope they work well together in this pattern. I did a lot of calculations and test blocks tonight and then started cutting into the fabric. I believe it’ll be 140 blocks. I’m gonna need more black prints.

Another challenge I want to join in on is

Of course, I have my own cleaning/organizing goals and plans, but who doesn’t want someone to spell out an entire organized home for you? Now, I am skeptical at my long term commitment abilities. I am going to try, but I am already intimidated reading over the first challenge. But, as I’ve said before…. anything I do is better than it is now, right? I just know how I started out all gung ho last year, then life got hard and a lot of my goals went out the window and didn’t seem so important.

I’m going to try, but I am much better at starting stuff and not finishing than at cleaning and organizing my entire home. 😀

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Lovely year of finishes January goal

I learned of LYOF late into the year last year. This year they are doing it again, and I am going to jump on board, since I generally list my goals monthly anyway. I’ve spent several days going back and forth on what I should select for my January goal, since I have several projects I am anxious to jump into.

My quilting table is still extended, and even though I am kind of quilted-out, I think it may be nice to get another finish out of the way early in the year. So I have settled on finishing up my stack the deck quilt. Currently top and back are both completed, so I need to baste, quilt and bind it.

I was going to take better pictures, but it has been raining. I am going to post the pictures I have and maybe update them when I get a chance. Even though the back is not complete in this picture, it is actually completed now.

Stack the deck front

Stack the deck front

Stack the deck back (is complete - finished photo to come)

Stack the deck back (is complete – finished photo to come)

Better pictures:

DSC_0689 DSC_0691 DSC_0692


Hello 2014!

Happy new year! I am so glad to see the last of 2013. This has been a trying year for us and much of our family. Through it all, I have managed to stay committed to my sewing goals. I have learned and grown a lot this year, both personally and creatively. 2014 is uncertain at this time; we are still faced with many challenges, but I am hopeful the road ahead is less bumpy than the road we have already travelled.

Goals for the new year:

Sewing –

Finish WIPs

*Ribbon chevron
*citrus bento
*BOM class
*Stack the deck
*Tula pink
*whatever else I can’t think of right now.

Specific projects I’d like to attempt this year

*kaleidoscope and/or storm at sea (this is my big challenge goal for the year)

Overall sewing goals

I think I’d like to stick with my 12 top goal, but raise my finished quilts to 5? We’ll see where I land.

I would like to try to keep up with BOMs.

Join MQG and participate.

Stop buying fabrics with white backgrounds. I have a ton of these, and then I never know how to use them. And generally use more of what I have and less buying (though that may be a hollow goal. LOL)

Other Life goals –


*I’d like to systematically take a room, maybe monthly, and go through – declutter, deep clean, decide what it needs to function better and get it and install it. This helps to spread the cost and work while accomplishing what I am realizing I desperately need.
*The garage.
*I’d really like to make a playroom.
*garage sale and otherwise get rid of all the clutter I am gathering.
*start a toy rotation for the baby

I need friends.

I’d like to meet my 36 book goal this year

Less tv – more exercise, sewing, cleaning and playing.

Sew regularly. Blog regularly.


For this month, specifically:

1. Finish stack the deck

2. start chevron

3. Room to work on: Baby’s bathroom

4. establish toy rotation

5. go through, cull and store clothing

6. read


Wordless Wednesday… Happy New Year.













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