Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

2016 Goals

2015 has not been a productive year for me, in many respects, but especially in sewing and blogging. Readjusting to life with a new baby… there’s just things that take priority. Like sleeping, eating, using the bathroom, showering… and sometimes cleaning. Both my kids have been/are clingons so I don’t have free hands or time very often in the baby stage (and even after). And two is more than one! With one, when he napped or was busy I could get stuff done. Now I basically switch from one to the other and grab a bagel and a pee in between. But the little one is starting to have more independent time and he is starting to get mobile. We are starting to work on the sleeping. And the older one is in school. So, it all comes back to the goals. I am taking stock of where things are and where they need to be and how to get there. It is overwhelming.

1. The UFOs

wip

It may be funny that I put this first, but honestly if I have one overriding goal in 2016 it is to tackle the ever growing pile of quilt tops I am amassing. There are a variety of reasons why I “abandon” a project at this stage, and usually a different reason for each one, but I need to make this a focus and a priority.

2. Learn to longarm

This has been a longtime goal. I have a past teacher/friend who has moved near me and has a longarm and has offered many times for me to come learn. I absolutely intend to take her up on this as things settle down in 2016. This should also help to chip away at item #1, above.

3. Get back to sewing

Well, duh, right? Other than a burst of deadline quiltmaking to get my Michael Miller challenge quilt (#quiltconreject) ready in time, I haven’t done much this year. I’ve more or less kept up with my block of the months (usually in three month marathons). I’ve been slowly making blocks for my cousin’s wedding ring quilt. I’ve managed to make some teacher and birthday gifts. But really, not a lot. I want more time sewing, more stuff getting done.

4. Get back to blogging

I’d been doing a pretty good job blogging and reading and making connections. That’s mostly all fallen apart this year. I need to find the time to sit and type at the computer as much as to sit and sew. And rebuild my online presence.

5. Clean. Declutter. Reorganize. Reduce.

And oh, this one is so big. When I named my blog, little did I know how true those words would be.

room

When I say it has all gone to hell, I am not kidding. So even when I do have the opportunity to sew, I walk into this and pretty much either start working on cleaning it or walk right out.

This is a theme for my house and my life right now. Other than the kids, the reason I am not sewing is that this is pretty much the state of my whole house. So when I have time, I feel I need to be cleaning, and even more importantly decluttering.

I kept a delicate balance in my home and adding another person, taking away the space that is now his room, taking away the time and ability I had to maintain and keep any order… it has all caused a perfect storm. This is the road to Hoarders, y’all. I am not kidding. I am so worried. One more life event before I get a handle on things, and that could be me so easily. I know it. So, I am working my way though my house. Trying to reduce, remove, declutter, sell, give away… None of this is easy for me but the overwhelming looming feeling I have when I look around is giving me the drive to tackle this. It means a lot for my house in general. It means less time to sew. And in my sewing room, it means I have to get rid of fabric. I need to use it, and I need to sell it. I just have to. I want to hold on to it all, but I can’t even work in there. I just shift piles from one surface to the other, then spend a lot of time looking for things I “just had”. It’s a waste and I have precious little time and energy to waste these days.

6. Storm at Sea

I throw this one out there for a stretch goal. When I started this blog, I wanted to pick one goal pattern to tackle every year that intimidated me. I did my kaleidoscope one year. I meant to do storm at sea last year, I believe. It didn’t even almost happen. So I’m throwing it out there again.

7. Put myself out there

Ok, one more. This is another hard one. I am so isolated. I’m being honest so far, so I can go all out, right? I said I  am a hoarder. I also have social anxiety. Badly. I have a hard time navigating new relationships. I need to. I have no friends. I want to try to bridge that gap with some people. I want to go to guild regularly. And, you know, actually talk to people there. Not just sit in a corner. I want to see if I can get a sewing circle or something to join. See people who can say more than a few word sentences that revolve around something other than bathroom habits. Y’know?

Thanks Yvonne, for giving me the excuse to sit down and write this. Even though it still took me a week to get it done. And I’ll probably think of 100 more goals once I hit post. 🙂

2016 Planning Party

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4×7 Challenge Week 4: Crib Skirt

This week I buckled down to get my crib skirt done. It was initially challenging as first we had company, then we ended up with several “we thought we might get snow but really didn’t” days which resulted in everyone being home (and in my way and causing extra work for me). But I finally got a couple days to really devote some time to it and get it done.

I used this tutorial I found on Pinterest some time ago. It isn’t the most detailed tutorial but I was able to figure it out well enough. I was hesitant because I am not the most competent gatherer in the world. I used muslin I got cheap for the crib base.

imageThen I cut, gathered and added the fabric strips one panel at a time.

imageAnd then sewed the panels to the base.

imageToday I put the crib bedding together.

image(I bought the sheet. lol.)

image(I also can’t remember how to put the breathable bumpers on. I am going to have to work on that. It’ll be a while before the baby starts sleeping in the crib anyway.)

My son’s crib was set much higher and I made a longer crib skirt for him, which has spent most of its life in a puddle on the floor after we lowered the mattress. This one has a little lowering room, but I think will eventually, despite my best calculations, pool a bit on the floor as well.

So, of my sewing goals for the month, I managed to finish my curtains and crib skirt. As I’ve said, it wasn’t as productive as I’d expected, but I did make progress. I also had to work around a couple of pattern tests, a bee block, emptying and setting up an entire room, lots of laundry, company, unexpected days off of school, and I finally got the hospital bag packed the other night too. So, the end result is though I didn’t finish every single sewing project to make the perfect room, I am pretty much ready for the baby to come when he is ready. And that was really the over riding goal. While we wait, I think I will do the changing pad cover next.

I enjoyed participating in this challenge! I think it gave me a little extra accountability when I might have otherwise slacked longer on some of these things. It really is a relief to have some of it done. I really am ready to get back to quilting though.

You may see all my posts about this challenge here.

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4×7 Sewing Challenge Week 3: We have curtains!

It has been slow going. I am not getting as much done as I’d hoped. But I am making steady progress. I finished the second curtain. They aren’t perfect. But they are good enough.

imageHere they are released

imageHere they are tied up. I do wish the ties were longer or that one tie was longer than the other. I am getting very uneven bows. I didn’t do a great job. Also, ignore my blinds. Someday when I don’t have little kids I am going to have to replace all the blinds in my house.

Next up: I need to make the blackout shades and the crib skirt. Those are my major items left. Anything else I get done in time is bonus.

This is my ALYOF goal post

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4×7 Sewing Challenge week 2

Week 2 went a little better than week one, but I still wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I hoped.

First, Sunday and Monday I spent sorting and sending back my fat 8 swap.

imageThen I needed to do my bee hive block for this month.

The queen chose the tic tac toe block. She wanted low volume text/architecture for the background and vibrant prints like Alison Glass or Anna Marie Horner for the x. I used some of my newly swapped Alison Glass fat 8ths and some fat 8ths from previous text and low volume swaps. I am finding my fat 8 swaps are great for using in stash bees! We are also making signature blocks.

imageThen I made more test blocks for my pattern test, which will be posted on Monday.

Then I finally buckled down to power through my curtains for the baby’s room.

imageI used the sailboats for the top of the curtain and the waves (which I have 8 yards of!) for the bottom. I was going to use the crabs for the ties, but I thought it was too much dark blue. I forgot that the sailboats were on a navy background instead of a lighter blue. So I chose the green anchors instead. I like it because it looks like the ships are dropping anchor. lol.

I measured the windows against the pattern a couple times, and I have 8 yards of the waves so plenty to make them long enough, but they came out too short! Of course, they get tied up anyway so they only cover half the window anyway. So I stalled on the second curtain because I am not sure if I should make them the same or try to remake them longer.

I also hate using patters/pattern tissue/etc. This is why I quilt and don’t do stuff like make clothes, I am reminded. I feel it is so inexact. You can get such perfect straight lines with a ruler and rotary cutter. But pattern templates shift and they are unruly and I get wobbly cutting lines and my fabric isn’t perfectly straight. My hems/seams aren’t either. Drives me nuts. But I am trying to just run with it and get it done already. I am probably the only one these things bother and it is not like I am making for sale. I am so nervous the two curtains won’t match up though, and as they sit right next to each other it will bother me.

Anyway, here is the first curtain!

image imageI have the second curtain cut out but have not gotten to sew it yet. I also am making black out shades to go behind the blinds. As I’ve said, that room gets very bright and very hot and the curtains obviously aren’t going to block it all, nor do the blinds. I am not as uptight about how the blackout shades will look, just more a logistical get-it-done thing. Then I will move on to the bedskirt, which I have nerves about because it is gathered.

We have company coming this week so my focus right now is on getting the house presentable, then I don’t know how much sewing time I will get once they are here. Hopefully I can at least finish the curtains before then. I think I am done with all the other sewing I needed to do for now (til the next bee block) so I can spend my sewing time focused on this now.

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4×7 Challenge: week 1 FAIL

OK. So I totally failed in my challenge goals this week. So I don’t deserve to be entered for the prize! But still wanted to give my update.

What you need to understand is that last week when I emptied out the guestroom-cum-new-baby’s-room to be painted, all that stuff went into my sewing area, which is the alcove across from that room. So I couldn’t get to anything in my sewing room. It was packed with boxes, etc. I spent a good part of the week finding new places for that stuff (or replacing it in the baby’s room) so that I could get into my sewing room. Then, it was a mess. There was fabric and everything else everywhere from the whirlwind of getting my Tessellated Leaves quilt finished on a tight deadline. So I spent a good bit of time getting the sewing room back to a useable space.

Then when I was finally able to set up my ironing board and access my sewing machine, I opted to make a test block for another pattern test that is coming out this month (so I can’t share that at this time). That’s what I accomplished this week, along with about 100 loads of baby laundry. I did spend some time reading over the curtain pattern but the one part still doesn’t really make sense to me. I think they won’t be sideways, at least, though.

I need to buckle down this week!

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February focus

I found a challenge on Berry Barn Designs to focus on sewing for myself in February.This is very well timed as baby will be here in a matter of weeks and I haven’t done the first bit of sewing for him. Last week we got the room painted and the furniture set up. I’ve been going through clothes and attempting to get things put away. Of course, that room was our guest/storage room so all the stuff that used to be in there has now filled my sewing area. I can barely get to my machine let alone have any type of organization or room to work. I am trying to get rid of stuff and find somewhere new to store the clothes (my non-maternity/off season and my son’s too small/save for the baby).

First, here is the fabric I am working with

imageThe room is painted the color of the light blue crabs. The furniture is white. I still have the guest bed in there as well, as we have guests coming in a couple weeks and my mother will be staying with us for a while as well. I got some navy striped sheets and a navy/grey herringbone duvet cover for the bed today.

The wave fabric I got at a clearance sale at my LQS for $2 a yard! I bought everything on the bolt, which was about 8 yards. The sailboats took a lot of searching to find, and I have actually piecemealed it from a couple different shops. I am hoping I have enough for what I want to do. I am still batting around another fabric or two (I really wanted some whales) but I am not sure I will need it.

Anyway, here is my list of things I need to make.

1. Curtains

This is the most important, and also my ALYOF goal for February. It is also the most intimidating. This room has huge south facing windows. The room gets hot and bright. I bought some blackout shade fabric which I intend to put on tension rods behind the blinds (which aren’t enough to block the heat). Then I have a pattern for shade curtains I am trying to decipher. I am so scared of messing this up or miscutting my fabric that I am finding every excuse not to get started. But I can’t do anything else til I do this because I have to make sure I have the fabric for it. Parts of the pattern don’t make sense to me, and I am so scared of cutting sideways. I also have to make a wider space for the curtain rod because it is a wide one, so I have to work that out. Anyway, the waves will be the main part of the curtains. The boats will be the top. The crabs will be the straps. I didn’t finish my older son’s curtains til close to his first birthday, but they are much more vital for this room than his.

2. Bed skirt

I keep debating between the kind I made for my son – which seems too long and took a lot of pleat making – and a tutorial I found on pinterest which looks shorter and possibly quicker and maybe less fabric,  but requires ruffling. It’s a draw.

3. Lamps

I have decided to make my own lamp shades using my fabrics rather than pay ridiculous amounts for the cute lamps I want. I am having a hard time finding white lamp bases that aren’t a ton of money though.

4. (possibly) crib sheets

I bought a couple cute sheets because I knew this would probably not happen in time or I might not have enough fabric. I also have some sheets I could swipe from my son. He still sleeps in his toddler bed and uses crib sheets. As cute as it is to have matching sheets, I learned last time around I really do prefer the jersey or muslin sheets to quilting cotton, so I knew this would probably not be a priority.

5. Other possible accessories

Like a crib organizer. I made (a crappy) one for my son and really it was never anything more than decoration. Or an accent pillow. A changing pad cover. Teething pads?

6. Quilt(s)

Let’s be honest. This isn’t happening this month. But I will get to it. I had planned to make a storm at sea quilt using some nice fabrics, and then I’d also like another with the leftovers from the fabrics from the room.

I am certain there were other things I wanted to make which are escaping me now. It feels so overwhelming when I go to do it but now I am realizing there are really two main things I need to get done. If I would buckle down and do it, it wouldn’t take that long. Anything else would really be bonus at this point.

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ALYOF: Super secret January goal

I can’t say much about my January goal. I am working on a pattern test, and must have the complete quilt done by the end of the month.  I had hoped to have the top done by the time I got back from vacation (this weekend) but apparently that was ambitious. I was making good progress til all the family arrived and we started playing games and going to movies and stuff like that. And my increasingly heavy belly is really slowing me down. If I manage to get a little more sewing time in, I’ll have roughly half of the blocks done by the time I head back.

Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek

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ALYOF October: Economy Block

My goal for this month is to finish my economy block quilt. Top and back are done. I need to baste, quilt, and bind it.

imageimage

I have no idea how I am going to quilt it. I am tempted to just straight line next to the seams, but that seems boring, right? What would you do?

 

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October goals

Man, I can’t believe it’s really October already. Where is the year going??

I haven’t really been posting my goals the last couple months (I haven’t been sewing much either), so let’s see where things stand.

July goals

1. Improv quilt back – no

2. Make back for bloom bloom pow – no

3. Make back for Chevron – I am in the process of this. There was an incident with my fabric order, and a whole other complication that I am going to make its own post about. Cuz I need advice.

4. Finish Anchor quilt – Still sitting basted over my balcony. I’m scared to quilt it.

5. Kaleidoscope – haven’t touched it.

6. economy top – Done! And the back.

7. Finish tula top Done! And the back.

8. Reinstate cleaning regimen – mmm. I am not quite there yet. I try to do what I can but still haven’t settled into a routine and things keep coming up and some days when I clean up and my son has dumped everything out within minutes of walking in the door, I wonder why I bother.

9. Clean and declutter stuff. –I did a massive cleaning of my laundry room. It was desperate for it. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it was and how much better it looks now. I still have some spots on the floor to work on, but I put in a book shelf and things are all organized and off the top of the dryer and it is just great. And that is all I’ve done.

10. Read – I read a bunch on vacation, and things have slowed down again. I have to try to remember what all I read.

October Goals –

1. Improv quilt back

2. Make back for bloom bloom pow

3. Make back for Chevron

4. Finish Anchor quilt

5. Kaleidoscope

6. quilt economy

7. quilt tula

8. Reinstate cleaning regimen

9. Clean and declutter stuff.(I think the focus for the month is on my son’s room/toys, guest room ,and maybe my closet)

10.Mug swap stuff

11. Start another stash only project.

12. Read

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Finish Along Q3

How depressing to be gearing up for quarter three! Where is this year going? Q3 to me means fall, and I feel like we just got out of winter into summer. I am not ready to start moving back into the dark cold months already. 😦  I logged two finishes last quarter, and anticipate several more this quarter thanks to the other thing fall represents – back to school!

Onto the ridiculous WIP pile –

 

 

image

1. My BOM class top. I doubt I will get to this, but here it is just in case.

 

Chevron

2. My Chevron quilt. I am still hunting back fabric for this, but want to get to it soon as it is a thank you gift for a friend.

IMG_1416

3. My Tula Pink “houndstoothish” – still in this state. Blocks are done, need to be squared and sewn together

Bloom Bloom Pow

4. Bloom bloom pow – I haven’t touched this one since I put it away last summer. I need to make the back.

DSC_0233

5. Ribbon Chevron – This one is still festering in my sewing room. I will get to it some day – if for no other reason than to be done with it. I don’t love it as much as I did a year and a half ago. It’s funny to see how I’ve grown/changed.

drowninginfabric.wordpress.com

6. Tula pink sail away –Need to quilt and bind

image

7. Kaleidoscope – Triangles cut, several blocks put together. That’s all.

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8. Economy block – have a few more blocks to finish up.

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9. Improv quilt

 

Is that it? It feels like there is lots more. Well, that’s a good bit to keep me busy. I have a lot of backs to make.

 

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