Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

WIP Wednesday

So I am currently in Florida with my parents and the baby.

My view :D

My view 😀

Initially, I didn’t think I was going to be able to bring my machine with me, and I wasn’t sure I’d have time to sew if I did. But I managed to be very selective in the projects I brought and fit the machine and a duffel of fabric in the car. I’ve been sewing at night after the baby goes to bed and today it is raining so I should be able to get some time in. Here is what I brought:

  • Bento top to be bordered
  • Tumbler top and backing – to make the back, and baste and quilt it.
  • Ribbon top to be bordered
  • Ribbon back to be made
  • Bloom bloom pow top and back
  • scraps

I decided to start with my bento top since I thought that would be the quickest and easiest to cross off the list. Even so, it was not without its challenges. Mostly because of my stupidity.

Strip piecing the border

Strip piecing the border

Holes in the sashing. Ripped that out and replaced it.

Holes in the sashing. Ripped that out and replaced it.

Sewed sashing on upside down. Ripped that out and fixed it.

Sewed sashing on upside down. Ripped that out and fixed it.

finished top!

finished top!

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And, of course, the errors:

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These are the sort of things that will drive me insane. But I guess not enough to rip out everything I have done and fix them. Oh well. I am not sure the corner one could have been avoided, but maybe if I had been paying more attention and tried. The double white was from sewing two strips end to end and I didn’t pay attention.

The other one I have been working on is my bloom bloom pow QAL. After checking many stores for a 60 degree triangle, I finally just ordered online and had it sent to me here. It arrived yesterday. I don’t know why they are so difficult to find. I started cutting my triangles while watching tv last night. I got about halfway through. I am going to get back to work on it once I am done here.

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I have also made some tough decisions. My 3×6 bee started a new quarter today. I did not sign up this round. I am going to be away a lot over the next few months, and I have already been feeling that it takes away from my own sewing goals. I just want to be able to focus on what I want to work on during the time I have. I have passed up some other opportunities for the same reasons. Shipping has been getting expensive too.

There’s one more WIP going on… When I arrived back from Stash Bash, I happened to notice a large section of the underside of our roof had collapsed. It was in an area of our house we don’t see often, so who knows how long it has been like that. We have critters getting into the attic. And upon further inspection, they are chewing holes in the trim in other areas of our house. We had the repair people out… Part of the issue is that there is apparently NO paint on our house, when it was done it was done wrong, and our wood trim is rotting. That’s allowing the animals to get in and make things worse. So, in addition to repairing the damage, we have to have the entire house painted. Now, we have been talking about getting the house painted for about a year. We knew it needed it, but we thought it was purely cosmetic. Something to make our house hold its own as the only wood home in a subdivision of brick. But it was a lot of money to spend on something cosmetic, and other more necessary things kept coming up. And, honestly, if I were going to do cosmetic work on the house, I can think of several other things that rate more highly for me. I have such a love-hate relationship with my house. The money pit. Oh well. Now it is a necessity. With everything going on lately, our savings is pretty much shot now. We have to get really strict with our spending, and I am considering a part time job.

Anyway, we figured as long as we had to paint it, maybe we should take advantage of it.

Here is my house now

Here is my house now

testing paint colors

testing paint colors

 

And here is what it will look like. You know, paint wise. We aren't ripping the whole house down and rebuilding, as much as it might need it. :D

And here is what it will look like. You know, paint wise. We aren’t ripping the whole house down and rebuilding, as much as it might need it. 😀

 

Work is starting right now, and my house will look completely different when I come home. As distressed as I am about money, it is exciting to get this done.

 

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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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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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Thinky Thursday

Who do you like to sew for the most?

Apparently, I like to sew for strangers. I have so many different bees and round robins and swaps and stuff going on… I had to cut myself off. I had two opportunities recently I almost joined and really thought it through and decided against it. I just have some sort of joining complex. The reasons why I enjoy doing these things:

  • I have a deadline. I do well with deadlines. If it is something for me, the deadline is whenever, it never gets done.
  • I feel more responsible to other people. I have to get it done. It is for someone else.
  • I enjoy the challenge of the new design or color scheme or finding things in my stash I might not otherwise have put together.

For example, the mystery border I am working on right now is sooo not anything I would ever have done for myself. Not my colors, design, size, or method. But I have drafted and resized block designs and I really like how it is turning out. I have had to work with very small bits of fabric and methods I am not as familiar with.

It is starting to wear on me, though. I feel like I am always making for others and don’t have the time or energy to get to my long to do list (some of which IS for others – family members). I also am getting anxious having so many projects in unfinished states.

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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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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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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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Sunday Swap: 3×6 Quarter 4 Hive 10 blocks

This fall, I joined a block bee. This bee is different than the traditional monthly bee. In this bee, a group of about 6 people have three months to make and send blocks for each of the people in their hive. Each hive has a theme, so you have an idea of what type of block you will get, but the sender chooses the actual block within that theme. Each person give the colors they want used, but each sender chooses and uses the fabrics.

I always had a hang up about bees. I really didn’t get why people would farm out their work to others – dictating blocks and fabrics – and why they’d rather a quilt made primarily by strangers rather than one made by themselves. If you are going to spend the time making the blocks, why not make them for yourself? However, I like the setup of the 3×6 bee. Having a quarter rather than a month to get the work done affords you to work around your own schedule, especially nice in quarter 4 which is riddled with holidays. I enjoyed the “surprise” of the different blocks I got and the assortment of fabrics used. There are several fabrics people used in my blocks that I never would have known about if it weren’t for them – so it exposes you to fabrics you may not have otherwise chosen. I also got to know people all around the world. People in my group hailed from New Zealand, Netherlands, Hawaii, UK…

Here are my results from my first quarter:

Here are all the blocks I made

This was my favorite – Cobalt, black and white

Green, Fuchsia, blue

“mix of warms and cools on grey”

Aqua, white and red (I actually remade this block, but don’t have a picture of the remake.)

 

Orange, aqua, grey

Blue, green, aqua

My block: Turquoise, purple, black

The blocks I got:

Signups for quarter 1 2013 begin 1/21

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2013 BOM “commitments”

Well, my inability to say no and my eagerness may have gotten me into a bit of a predicament. I have very many block of the month programs that I want to follow. I have the best of intentions, I really do. But I know with minimal accountability when other things come up, some of these will fall to the side. Hopefully not, but we will see.

1. I have signed up for a monthly modern BOM class at my local quilt shop. Two blocks a month. This has the highest level of accountability since I will be there in person. And it cost me a freaking fortune. So I will be doing this one. However, I am already missing the first class since I am out of town. *sigh*

2. I will continue to participate in the 3×6 bee which results in 6-7 blocks every 3 months. I make the same block for 6 different people in their colors, but my fabrics. I like that aspect of this bee as opposed to traditional bees where you send your fabric. I still have some issues with the concept and ownership of a bee, which I am sure will be a blog post at some point, but for now I will just say that I do enjoy the surprise and randomness factor. And I am not someone who likes surprises. It is fun to give up a little control and see the result. As this one requires me to be responsible to other people, I will keep up with this as well.

3. I signed up for the Quilts from my Crayon Box mini mystery quilt. I plan to use this in conjunction with my 3×6 blocks. Again, as this requires me to do for others, I will keep up with this. It is a half year commitment.

4. I paid to join Don’t Call me Betsy’s Lucky Stars BOM. I am a little nervous about this since it is paper pieced. But hopefully I will give it a shot and it won’t be too bad.

5. I intend to simultaneously do the Craftsy 2012 and 2013 BOM classes. That’s 4 blocks!

6. I am considering doing the Sister’s Ten BOM.

7. I am also considering signing up for Stitchery Dickory Dock’s Sugar Block club. That costs a little bit too. And I am not sure what the piecing is like.

8. I would also love to pick up the Grandmother’s Choice block of the week, but I have already missed several weeks of that… I just hope she makes it into a book as well. I love all the historical information.

I think that is all. LOL. I am going to have a million sampler blocks floating around. I intend to do all of these from my stash/scrappy.

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