Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Hey hey it’s my birthday.

More and more my birthday, much like new year, depresses me. I am getting shockingly old, yet still look, act and feel like a teenager. How does this happen? And then I start lamenting all the things I was meant to accomplish by now, and….

Enough of that. I just did some retail therapy damage at Fabric.com. Oops. Happy birthday to me.

I stayed up quite late last night suddenly inspired to finish my last 3×6 block. I had left this one so late because the person wanted “rainbow”. The block is quite an easy block… when made with two colors and all you have to do is cut squares. But I had to use 8 different colors, which meant I had to determine the size of triangles to cut. And the basic color wheel is only 6. So I had to add two more colors. It was all too much for me to deal with. So, I finally buckled down to do it. I picked my colors, plus black and white, and through a little bit of trial and error, got it assembled. I did have to do some ripping and resewing because I was stupid tired. But actually once I got past that, it went together quickly and easily and is actually a perfect 12.5 inch square. I like it a lot and am quite proud of it. Now I can wrap it up and get all these sent out finally this week. What a load off.

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I am also really pleased with my mystery border quilt. WHICH I CAN’T SHOW!! I did some paper piecing and some resizing and everything all on my own. I think it works with and balances the theme so nicely. And I am just impressed with myself that I pulled it off. It took a lot of time, but it was worth it. I really hope the person likes it.

The other night in a fit of frustration, I finally pulled down part of the baby gate around my fabric.

Excuse the mess!

Excuse the mess!

I had fabric just piled everywhere all over the floor, because it is so difficult to get to my shelves. I also find that I am less likely to sew when it actually involves me visiting my stash because the gate is such a physical barrier (it is really tall). I pulled off a section of it (the baby was sleeping and I didn’t want to risk waking him trying to take down and fold up the whole thing) and spent some time putting fabric back away. It needs some neatening and my husband even suggested I need another cube, so it must be real obvious that I am overflowing.

Here’s the thing that I find so frustrating:

I always thought I had tons of fabric. I have hundreds of dollars of fabric there. I love almost all of it. It is over flowing. I need more shelving. I want to limit myself to using fabric I already have. But if I go to pull fabric for a project, suddenly I feel like I don’t have anything useable. Case in point: I want to do the bloom bloom pow a long. I want to use fabric in my stash. But I have nothing acceptable. A large portion of my fabric is multi color. A large portion is on a white background. And almost none is tonal. I’ve also become a designer fabric snob somewhere along the way (Ugh… I remember the days when $5/yard was expensive), I have fabric that is off limits, fabric I don’t have enough of to use for whatever project, fabric that is being saved for certain projects… suddenly, all that fabric seems useless. I don’t know how to handle this without just buying more fabric. I guess I need to do some stash searching and start finding some real staples to add instead of just buying fabric because I like it… then never use it. Is this a normal problem or am I just strange like that?

Regardless, I will be able to spend a lot more quality time with my fabric without the gate barring my way now. It opens the room up a lot too, and makes it a lot less dangerous for me. I am glad to see the gate go. Just gotta keep the baby out.

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April Goals

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Complete Ispy tops and backs for nephews.
  3. Bento Box top
  4. Pick fabrics and follow along for bloom bloom pow.
  5. Finish and hang the fabric hoops for the kidlet’s room.
  6. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  7. Plot and sew rainbow twister quilt. And start twisting, if I get that far
  8. Finish last 3×6 block, April mystery border, send all.
  9. Go to Stash Bash!!
  10. Make any things that need to be made for stash bash. (I am seriously lacking in information)
  11. Pick off a few things for the city craft pinterest challenge

Swaps –

  • waiting on abc blocks
  • waiting on tula pink rounds 3,4,5
  • Send back polka dots
  • send back Lizzy House jewels
  • send back ocean i spy
  • send back jar i spy
  • open April f8 swap

Cleaning-

  1. Finish office bookshelves
  2. Work on garage on weekends with hubs
  3. Get the baby’s swingset installed!!! (why did I list this under cleaning?)
  4. Closet
  5. Hang photos
  • Weight loss
  • smoothie diet
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make.
  • Read read read!
  • Green focus on the bathroom
  • Cleaning focus on guest bedroom

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WIP Wednesday: All over the place

I seem to have 100 things going on, in all stages, and I am unsuccessful at focusing on any one thing.

First and most important is my March mystery border, which I cannot show you. I am mostly done with it, but I have been working on it over a week. I still have the corner pieces to make, then sew it all to the existing quilt. I am pretty happy with it.

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I have all my 3×6 blocks packed up to send except the one I still have to make.  This becomes priority #2 once I finish my mystery border.

Next, I still have to border my ribbon quilt. I am stuck in some sort of decision making paralysis on this one. I am having a hard time choosing which fabrics to use and I am scared of not having enough for the border. I am also a little scared of the border.

Ribbon fabrics

Ribbon fabrics

I finally got my order today that included my citrus fabric possibilities. I made my final choices (it wasn’t easy) and got my 2.5 inch strips cut for that. I have to cut a lot of white strips now, then I can start sewing that top together.

Final citrus color scheme choices

Final citrus color scheme choices

I also started cutting the tumblers for my nephew’s big brother gift quilt.  I used my accuquilt to cut them, so it went fast. I have a whole bunch cut, but I am not sure yet how big I want to make it and if I will need more or less. I just started throwing some up on the design board to get an idea of size and check orientation. This is not the actual placement for the quilt.

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My list goes on from there…. but other than swaps that have my attention, these are my immediate projects.

I also just cut out May from sewing, so I suddenly feel I have a lot more to do in a lot less time.

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Wip Wednesday

I feel like nothing is getting accomplished. Between the cleaning, the pretty weather, the shop hopping, the mess in my sewing area…. I feel like I am doing a lot of moving around and not much doing. This weekend I finally buckled down and finished my card trick blocks: (these are bee blocks to be sent out to different people.)

Now I just have one more to finish for my pinwheel group, then these can all go out.

Yesterday, I spent the day cutting and sorting for my fat 8 swap:

We still have one person we are waiting on, then I can package these up and get them back out and take a picture of what was swapped. Then I have the polka-dot swap right on the heels of this one. We are signing up for Lizzy House Jewel print now.

My next most important project is my modern round robin block. I actually have two of them here to do, but one is due at the end of March. I have a plan for what I want to do with it (which is going to take a bit of pattern work on my part) but I have no fabrics to match one of the major colors. I wish I had realized that when I was going to 100 quilt shops last week. I thought I had some things that would work, but they are the wrong color. I can’t be more specific, sorry. 🙂  It’s a mystery! So I am going to go out to my shop this afternoon with the block and see what I can find so I can get to work on that.

Also on my to-do list is to finish my ribbon quilt top. I have picked out a rather ambitious border. I had a little fussy fit trying to figure out the directions in the book. It isn’t difficult, but it is a bit of math, and it doesn’t give actual measurements to cut so I am never sure whether it is finished measurements or actual in their diagrams. I find it very confusing. And I don’t want to waste fabric doing it wrong! I think I have it figured out though, and hopefully will get to that soon.

I have some fabric OTW to try out for my citrus theme. Yellow is impossible to find, and it is stressing me out a bit that I have a disproportionate amount of it. Once I am able to focus on it, we’ll see how it looks. I also had to buy full yards of these fabrics and won’t need anywhere near that much. 😦

My I-spy quilt is still waiting for me to attempt quilting it. I went to order a walking foot I have been considering for a while, and they are sold out now (due back in stock soon). I also want to make some smaller projects first to quilt before I attempt that giant quilt. I also want my sewing table complete for extra space and support – and comfort. Did I mention I sew standing up right now? A post for another day.

And once I get some of these things done, I will start cutting tumblers for my nephews. Hopefully those will go quickly!

I am ready to start seeing some progress!

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Spring cleaning

There’s not a lot of sewing going on around here these days. In fact, I packed up my machine for my sewing class Saturday, and still haven’t even unpacked it. Here is my block for this month, though:

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I have also gotten some fabrics cut for some swaps. I am swamped in swaps right now. I need to cut back, seriously. I am going broke buying fabrics for swaps, and can’t buy the fabrics I want/need for my stash and projects. I have a very large cart sitting in one of the fabric shops, and I just can’t buy it. Plus, shop hop is coming up this week. I am not sure if I can participate too much. Lots of the stores are a good distance from me, and I can’t see schlepping the baby all over the city and being in the shops with him. I try not to take him places that don’t have shopping carts.

So, anyway, what I have been doing is cleaning. This weekend I tackled our refrigerator. Like, seriously. Had my husband pull it out and everything. It wasn’t quite as neglected as the oven, but it wasn’t good.

Not quite a "before", but early on in the cleaning process

Not quite a “before”, but early on in the cleaning process

Ugh. look at the mess on the side. Got that all washed up too.

Ugh. look at the mess on the side. Got that all washed up too.

Gross. Behind the fridge. A mess for another day.

Gross. Behind the fridge. A mess for another day.

Yeah, look at the bottom of the fridge 😦  I took the shelves out, one by one, and washed them in the sink. They actually cleaned up pretty easily with dish soap and hot water. Then as they dried, I worked on the inside.

racks drying

shelves drying

Pinterest has plenty of ideas for how to deal with future messes. I went with using clear vinyl adhesive that I got at Dollar tree. It took just over one roll to do all the shelves in my fridge, and I have a couple more rolls stashed for next time.

Adding the vinyl

Adding the vinyl

It took me a good part of the day just to do what I did. My husband helped with the baby when he was up, and I worked through both naptimes. I still haven’t done the door section of the fridge, but it isn’t as bad. I don’t even know how to go about dealing with the freezer section.

All clean! (Mostly)

All clean! (Mostly)

Since then, I have been systematically going room by room and quite literally washing it from ceiling to floor. I really only get naptime to work, so I aim to get 1-2 rooms done a day. At this pace, it is going to take about 3 more weeks just to get the downstairs done. Right now I am working from ceiling to floor, then I have to go back through and do windows, then floors. Then there are always the closets and pantries and stuff to work on, but for now I am just trying to tackle what can’t be closed behind a door. My husband has invited the entire family for dinner at the end of the month, so I have a hard and fast deadline for the downstairs. Then I will head upstairs, which will be harder in some ways, since there is a lot of organizing and decluttering that needs to take place up there. I have the downstairs mostly under control in that area.

I have a lot of moldings and chairrails and ornate baseboards and wainscoting downstairs, and I do have to say, the rooms I have finished are noticeably whiter and brighter. I am really pleased. They are far from perfect, but so much nicer than I can remember being in a long time. I remember reading somewhere (flylady?) that any cleaning is a blessing. Even if not perfect or spotless, it is certainly far more than I have done in a looong time and looks far better.  I have been using the vinegar solution, but thinking about switching to the castile soap for the baseboards to help with maybe a little extra scrubbing power. I have already destroyed three magic erasers in this process. They are amazing, though. They seriously get scuffs and marks and pencil and crayon and everything off of the walls and baseboards. I washed everything down and scrubbed with the vinegar, then went back over everything with the magic eraser, then wiped down with a dry cloth because the microfiber really does leave a lot of dust blobs around. This is what I see as my immediate future. I am hoping to get most of it done before the weather starts getting really nice, though we have had a couple pretty days lately. I gotta start finding some ways to fit some sewing in again, though. I have two Modern Round Robin quilts sitting here needing my attention, as well as I think I still have 4 more 3×6 blocks to make.

The remains of my magic eraser after today's cleaning.

The remains of my magic eraser after today’s cleaning.

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WIP Wednesday: Think Spring

Anyone looking at my pinterest can probably tell I am so ready for spring. I hate winter. Even though this has been a very mild winter – we’ve even been outside playing every day that wasn’t raining – it has been grey and raining a LOT. I hate rain. I hate grey. And, even with the hustle and bustle and excitement of the holidays, the time since has seemed to just drag. Not that I want time to pass, but the weather sure could. I am ready for bright blooms, sunny days, swimming pools, the warm sun on my skin, cold tea and lemonade, eating on decks, 9:30 sunsets….

So no wonder even though I have a list of things to do, all I have on the brain are the bright sunny colors I long for. I am ready to throw over the projects I have in process to start a new one, with a bright, happy, citrus color scheme.  So, I started pulling fabrics…. and I am not thrilled.

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Excuse the baby toys. This is my life.

First, I am seriously lacking in yellow. There seems to be a yellow shortage. I even looked at my LQS and didn’t find anything.

Second, I just don’t have the kind of neon citrus colors I really want to see. A few of them are, but not enough.

Third, Few of these are the kind of patterns I want to showcase in this quilt. A lot of these are the sort of low-key “background” type prints, not the show stoppers. Sadly, my show stopper showcase prints that could work, aren’t limited to these colors – they have blues or reds or pinks in them as accents, and I am really trying to keep to lime, lemon, and orange.

I guess I keep dreaming for now….

In the meantime, I am working on my sampler 3×6 group. Here is my test block:

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March goals

I am afraid several of these are going to look familiar…

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top – border. Back?
  2. Work on I spy quilts for nephews.
  3. Plot and sew rainbow twister quilt. And start twisting, if I get that far
  4. Bento Box
  5. Finish and hang the fabric hoops for the kidlet’s room.
  6. Finish and send 3×6 blocks.
  7. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  8. Put my sewing table together – Want this done!

Cleaning-

  1. Finish office bookshelves
  2. Work on garage on weekends with hubs
  3. Get the baby’s swingset installed! Want this done for spring
  4. Closet
  5. Hang photos
  • Weight loss
  • I have a lot of dr appts to make.
  • Read read read!
  • Green focus on the kitchen again this month – there are still a couple things I need to tackle.
  • Reach out to a couple friends – must do

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WIP Wednesday – 3×6 blocks

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I’ve been working the past few days on one of my 3×6 bee groups. This is my pinwheel group. I have 7 in my group, including me. I have completed 3, but may pull them apart and resew them. They are slightly large (12.75 instead of 12.5) and a couple of the outer points do not have a 1/4 inch of background extending beyond them, so they will be clipped when sewn together. I haven’t quite worked out why that is happening, but I know that I was erring on the side of too large rather than too small. Maybe I need to aim for just right? I have three more cut and partially sewn together. If my sick baby had taken a nap today, they would be done.

I realized I only have another month to get these done, and I have a whole other group I haven’t thought about yet. I think I took on a little more than I maybe should have, doing two groups. I think I will just sign up for one again next quarter. The good thing is that these are going together rather quickly, if inexactly. The longest part has been picking out the fabrics. Once I settle on that, the rest goes quick with this pattern. The seventh participant designated rainbow as her color scheme, so I am saving that for last, trying to work out how to handle it. I am going to have to cut each triangle individually, I think, and that makes me nervous for accurate piecing. My machine doesn’t like triangle corners.

At the bottom, on my ironing board, you can sort of see my basketball fabric that I am about to cut for the ABC I Spy swap. I have three letters – B, T, and G. I am using these and the boy swap that just finished to make quilts for my nephew and soon-to-be nephew. I think I have til June to get those done.

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WIP Wednesday: It’s a mystery!

So I got my first mini mystery quilt block at the end of January, and I have spent most of the month kind of staring at it. I can’t show it to you — It is against the rules (even though at this point, the owner knows I have her block). I had a couple of ideas, but I had gotten some books on borders…

(one of those I got for a dollar on half!)

So after reading through those, my head was swimming with coping strips and repeats and decimals and I was trying to figure out how I was going to make all that fit into a measly 3 inch border allowance. I got stressed out, put it aside and worked on other things. After my sort-of break from sewing last week, I knew that my bee commitments had to be my priority over the next couple weeks, and picked it back up yesterday. I spent some time looking at some of the past round robin reveals, and realized they aren’t necessarily looking for perfect repeats or even necessarily matching borders. I was over-thinking again. I don’t think I can say much more, but I got three of the sides done yesterday, and should finish today depending on naptime (sleep did not go well last night).

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Here’s your peek.

 

Good news! My first swap group finally filled and we are having fun picking out our fabrics to swap. I still have 3 openings in my polka-dot swap, and will be opening a new swap either after our mail date on the BWG swap or when the polka-dot swap fills, whichever comes first. I have some completed swaps to share this weekend, too.

Next up, I need to start working on my 3×6 bee blocks. I think I have the blocks picked, but need to test them out and get moving on them. I am way behind one of my groups. The other has been pretty quiet.

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Visit your local quilt shop day

Today was visit your local quilt shop day. I snuck out during nap time (daddy was home with kidlet) and raced out to my local quilt shop this morning. Any excuse. heehee. I wanted to see some of the demos for some classes they have coming up, but kidlet and the hubs were not having a good morning, and I wanted to get back before he woke up, and I still had to get to the PO to mail out my swap squares. They seemed to be running behind, so I did get to see the examples, but didn’t stay for the demos.

They were having some specials so I got a fat quarter pack of Lemon Grove, which I have been drooling over for a while. I have been waiting for it to go downstairs (the clearance room) but it just keeps hanging out there taunting me. Now I at least have some of it til I can get yardage. I also picked up a couple turquoise fq to make my modern mini square, which needs to go out soon. I got a yard of Kona white too. I pulled out my white yesterday to cut squares for my ribbon quilt I am going to work on next, and I had very little left. My 3×6 group used up a lot of it. Strangely, even though both are supposed to be RK Kona white, they are different shades. *shrug*

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(I forgot to take a picture of the white, but white fabric isn’t that exciting anyway, right?)

On the left is my modern BOM pack for the class I missed this month. I picked it up as long as I was there. They gave me the fabric for the block, but not the book or the background fabric. Oh well. Guess I won’t be getting that homework done. Oh, I also got a bag o’ scraps, but I had already dumped them into my scrap box before I took the picture.

They also had a lovely food spread (with yummy homemade pimento cheese). I restrained myself nicely in the clearance room. I am interested in more of their classes and looking forward to the class I am in. Now back to my mystery block, which I believe will be done tomorrow. Wish I could get it out before rates go up.

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