Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

ALYOF: March finish

For March my goal was to finish my top from my BOTM class last year. I got busy on it right away and had it completed pretty early in the month.

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I was only able to get one picture of it before my son ran by and pulled it down. The clothesline isn’t working for my pictures for a number of reasons lately… I need to find a different solution.

Anyway, there it is. I wish I had placed a couple of blocks differently now – I was trying to balance both the colors and the surface area of the blocks. I played around with it quite a bit, but it is always different when you have it done and can step back from it and see the whole thing. Anyway, I am proud of myself for completing it. I signed up for the class again this weekend and it starts in a couple of weeks. I will be glad to show my teachers my progress.

You can see my March goal post here

You can see (most) all of my posts about this top here

I’ve been busy this month. I need to catch up my posts!

 

 

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WIP Wednesday: BOTM

I have been diligently working on my BOTM. At the expense of my spring cleaning? Well, not entirely sewing’s fault. I am still not 100% from the flu. I’ve had a fussy tummy and am very low energy. The dreary weather and dwindling naps haven’t helped my motivation either. Oh well.

I completed the blocks pretty quickly. It goes a lot faster when I am not in class socializing. But, that’s the fun of going to the class. I’ve mentioned before I have no discipline to finish BOTMs if I am not in a class for them. They pile up in my email.

All the blocks

All the blocks

paper piecing

paper piecing

I know paper piecing is all the rage, but I really dislike it. I am sure I said this when I made my pineapple last year, but I find it incredibly wasteful. It wastes paper. It wastes fabric. It wastes thread. It wastes tons of time. And there’s so much getting up and down. Maybe it is different if you are doing many blocks at a time. I don’t know. Someday I will tackle Prism or a Pineapple but the time consumingness of the paper piecing has them low on my list. Look how long it takes me to do the simple ones.

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I have the sashing between the blocks attached. Then my rotary cutter broke. I hope to finish the row sashing and the first border today.

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March ALYOF Goal Post

Last year I participated in a BOTM at my LQS. There were 12 blocks. I have 8 done, 2 partially done, 2 not done at all. The class starts again in April and I want to at least have my top completed to show off. I figure as long as I have black thread in my machine, now is the time to tackle it. I originally was only going to make the blocks my goal, but I really should just finish off the whole top while my attention is on it. Otherwise, it’ll never happen. Everything else is held up for the time being anyway.

Here are my blocks:

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Here is the shop example of the finished quilt:

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Back on the wagon.

So, I had my machine unpacked just long enough to get my (rather tardy) mystery border block put together (Another one I really like how it came out) and then had to pack it up again for my class day today!

It’s fun to get out of the house and spend the day sewing somewhere else without interruption or “help” or distraction.  Especially after how busy, upsetting and exhausting my short time back has been (no time for sewing either!).

So I was up bright and early today to head to my LQS for my BOTM class. I have missed the last two (shame!). April because I was at Stash Bash and May because I was in FL. So, out of 6 months, I have a stellar record of finishing three of my blocks. This month we were piecing curves.

I hate templates!

I hate templates!

I don’t know why this was so stressful for me. I mean, I did a lot of clothing sewing long before I ever started quilting. I got spoiled with rotary cutting, strip piecing, HSTs from squares and the like. If I have to bother with a template or pattern or anything, really, that can’t be mass produced from rectangles or squares, I don’t want to mess with it anymore. I am really lazy I guess!

Here's my finished block.

Here’s my finished block.

I love the yellow. A couple of my seams are off, but overall a pretty decent looking block.

Then I took a little lunch break over at the mall, where I completely disregarded my (slow going) diet and ate at Wendy’s. But I got some sort of roasted flatbread sandwich instead of the whole breaded and bunned chicken, and I resisted the frosty! Then I wandered around Ross, Marshall’s, and Macy’s (when did they get so expensive?!?) looking in vain for cheap, summery maxi dresses that short fat chicks with huge boobies can wear for our upcoming trip.

Then it was back for my second class, which I have so been looking forward to. Free Motion Quilting! Now, I haven’t gotten to mess with FMQ since Stash Bash where the likes of Elizabeth and Becky told me I did a great job! Wait til you see today’s efforts. LOL. I need a lot of practice. The teacher was an absolute riot. But, like, without trying to be. Just the way she would say things was hysterical.

First we started practicing some basic lines:

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Ok. Here’s the deal with this. My thread kept jamming and breaking and stuff. So, after a stern lecture about the kind of thread I was using (oops!) I switched the pink for the brown. I was also messing with my tension a lot and stuff too. I still had problems, including running through two bobbins (!) but it went better. I couldn’t get straight lines to save my life. And those waves are supposed to be spirals.

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After passing that by the skin of my teeth, I moved on to the second assignment. This is such a mess, but I do believe you can see progress from the top to the bottom. Oh, and that’s a big loose thread on the top there that I should have removed before I took the photo. Anyway, for this we traced patterns with markers then had to FMQ on top of it. The lessons here were 1. Following a path throughout the pattern without breaking or going over thread. 2. “I am making you do marking so you realize how much you hate it and never do it again.” LOL. It has its place, I think.

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Here is the third assignment, which was really assignments 3-6. In the top two I failed miserably at doing it all in one pass. I had to go back and fill in parts I missed. Other than that, I don’t think the loop one is too bad. The bottom two I did better both in controlling, meeting at intersections, and doing it in one pass. The fourth, if you ignore the border, actually isn’t that bad.

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And this was the last assignment. She wanted us to try doing stars, daisies, fireworks and suns in a meandering sort of thing. I got into a little improv toward the end there. She told me not to go so much in rows, but I was trying to maximize space. After that I started on a stippling project (which I was really sucking at) but my bobbin ran out, then it was time to go.

I did a little shopping (bad me!). While the clearance section was seriously reduced (I missed the hot Memorial Day sale 😦  ) there were a couple new things down there I needed to get. I was bummed I missed on some clearances I had wanted, so I snapped them up. Additionally, they had this darling Storybook Lane panel all assembled, and I decided I had to have them. But there are no directions. So I am not sure what to do. Boo.

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Packing for Stash Bash

I am very excited to be going to Stash Bash this weekend. This will be a sewing retreat in a beautiful area. We will all be sharing a “cabin”, which sleeps 40 with a kitchenette and common room. Then we will have a devoted sewing room to set up in for the weekend and work on projects. There are very few other things scheduled, so we can really devote a lot of time to our personal sewing projects. I am sure there will be lots of talking and visiting, we will be learning screen printing, having a pj party, and going to the largest quilt shop in the state as well. I am so excited to hopefully make many new friends, learn some new things, and get some stuff done unencumbered by my family and household obligations for a whole weekend!

I’ve started packing. So here is my task list for the weekend. LOL. I am being extremely optimistic.

In order of importance. Starred items will qualify for the City Craft Pinterest Challenge:

ribbon quilt top and fabrics

ribbon quilt top and fabrics

I must must must complete this top! I have to face head on my fears of this border and just do it! And hope I have enough fabric to do so. I am not certain I have enough fabric to do the same border all the way around, but maybe two sides and two sides. It takes more work and thought and not something I seem able to devote my energies to at home. I will probably throw in the backing fabric too in case  want to make that as well. I am debating doing a ribbon down the middle of the back, but will think more about that later. (This would qualify for the challenge, but I started it before the challenge started.)

Citrus bento box

Citrus bento box

*My strips are all cut and ready to go for my bento box. This is the project I am most excited about and should go fairly quickly, if everything goes well.

tumblers

tumblers

These are my tumblers for my older nephew’s quilt. I have no idea if I have enough or too many. I figure I will just start plotting it out and putting it together and see where I end up.

April mystery border

April mystery border

These are the fabric possibilities for my April mystery border.

bloom bloom pow

bloom bloom pow

These are the fabric possibilities for my bloom bloom pow a long. I am not committed to all of these yet, and I have some others I am considering, but this is the basic idea. I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and getting fabrics I really liked, and mixing in some from my own stash. I wanted to do something different, but just couldn’t do the expensive designer fabrics. Hobby Lobby was a quick and not-so-expensive solution. The fabrics still seem nice and they are certainly pretty.  I need to cut and then do whatever piecing is released in this week’s installment.

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*I have a couple projects to finish for the nursery (for my two year old! LOL).

scraps

scraps

*I’ve packed up a lot of scraps. Now that I have a nice and large sewing table, I am suddenly acutely aware of a desperate need for mug rugs. I also believe I can get some good quilting practice in by making some. So I want to make at least one this weekend. I am also hoping maybe we will do a community scrap swap.

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Here are my swap items. My zipper pouch and a bunch of fat quarters. They said to bring 6, but I have extra. I may still make one more pouch. We’ll see how the week goes.

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And I packed a pile of neutrals.

*I also may pack some fabrics to make a clothespin holder, but I honestly don’t think I will get to it. It can’t hurt to throw it in, can it?

I should also work on some of my BOTM that I haven’t been doing, but again, not sure I will get to it. I am going to miss my BOTM class this weekend too.

My May will have almost no sewing time, so I am especially thankful to have the time to devote to getting things done.

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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: 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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Modern BOM class and quilt back complete

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Last weekend, I attended my first session (since I was out of town for January) of my modern BOM at my LQS. Above is my completed February block (still need to make January’s). The solids are given to us each month, and we were able to choose our background color. I love black backgrounds. I feel like it makes the colors just pop. All my 3×6 bees are black background too. They were encouraging grey backgrounds because it is considered more modern, I suppose? But I really don’t like the grey. I feel like it washes everything out.

We learned a neat trick (which I am never going to be able to describe here) where you chain your rows in such a way that they are all connected in proper arrangement so that you know exactly which way to iron your seams so they nest. The little squares do get in the way a bit when you are trying to iron the others. I think I needed more length in my chain. I have done so many HSTs with my ribbon quilt that this wasn’t a problem for me at all.

I had one of the instructors look over my issue I have been having with my machine jamming when I try to start sewing seams that have corner seams (does that make sense?) as above. I pushed through my whole last two tops dealing with this issue. Unfortunately, the consensus seems to be that my machine can’t handle a 1/4 inch foot. It doesn’t give the width or pressure to push the fabric through. So I had to switch back to my standard foot. So annoying. It is working like a dream now, which of course is nice, but I really liked certain aspects of the 1/4 inch foot – especially when doing the hsts. Which, I guess I can just switch my foot back and forth in the future when I need to. I think I am taking a break from hsts for a while though, lol.

I also got my quilt back done for my I spy quilt. And we finally had a pretty day today so I could take pictures. (lots of pictures to follow…)

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Not-Quite-finished-Friday

After spending a lot of time rearranging them and trying to settle on an order, I finally took some time to just bust through and get my ribbon quilt rows put together. I finished just before the sun went down, so I managed to grab some pictures.

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This was modified from a tutorial by Ryan Walsh.  The fabrics are Gypsy Bandana and Botanika from Michael Miller. This quilt actually started out as a “use fabrics I already have” quilt. That’s part of why there are so many different colorways in it. But then, I didn’t have enough of most of what I had to get a row out of any of it, even with reducing the square size. So then I started buying more just so I could make the quilt. Oops. But it is a problem I have – I buy fabrics I love, but then when I go to make something, I don’t have anything that really goes together. And then there is the added problem that I never want to cut into those fabrics I really love. I have problems. I didn’t necessarily love Gypsy Bandana, and I had quite a few pieces of it, which is why I thought it would make a good project. But like I said, I ended up buying quite a bit more. Luckily a lot of it (including the yardage I bought for the back) was really good price clearance. And I had been buying bits here and there for months before I finally started cutting in January. It has taken me about three weeks to put this together.

Here is the part where I regale you with all of my imperfections. But actually, once it was put together, they weren’t as noticeable, which is a relief.

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Points don’t quite match up

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Points are short and/or overlapping

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Seams don’t meet up

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This is what drives me nuts about piecing. See how the patterns are going different directions? I want them all to meet up perfectly. It was pretty much impossible with this pattern, but it will bother me. I also had a really hard time choosing the order for the rows. I didn’t want the same prints next to each other, but then I didn’t want the same colors clumping together… In the end I chose color over pattern. The front ribbon patterns are less distinguishable than the background patters, so I kept the background patterns apart but the front patterns are lined up next to each other. That wasn’t really so much planned, but an outcome of trying to balance everything else. I still wish I could have worked out a way to get a bolder color on the bottom end, but every time I tried, the two white ribbon or two same backgrounds ended up next to each other , and that bothered me more. I eventually decided I just wanted to get it put together rather than spending the rest of my life rearranging ribbons. I think too much.

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I intend to add a border in the near future. But, I am out of white, and I have to decide how to border it. I am kind of leaning toward a smaller ribbon or just a chevron going around, but haven’t really thought it through yet.

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Now I am going to work on the back of my twisted I-spy. Then I have to pack up my machine and stuff for my Modern BOTM class Saturday morning!

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These are the 2.5 inch squares I put together in the course of making this top.

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February goals

I am trying to organize what I need to tackle now that I plan to be in town for a while…

Sewing-

  1. Finish ribbon chevron top
  2. Make the back for the twisted i spy top (and sandwich?)
  3. Plot and sew rainbow twister quilt. And start twisting, if I get that far
  4. Finish and hang the fabric hoops for the kidlet’s room.
  5. OMG catch up on all my BOTM obligations.
  6. Next project?
  7. Finish cleaning and reorganizing sewing room
  8. Put my sewing table together

Cleaning-

  1. Get the house back under control in general.
  2. Clean up office (which has somehow become the junk room the last few months)
  3. Work on garage on weekends with hubs
  4. Get the baby’s swingset installed? Weather and helper permitting
  5. Closet
  • I’d also love to start my juice fast this month, but we are on a budget crackdown and juicers aren’t cheap.
  • Read read read!
  • Start detoxing – I think this month I will tackle the kitchen
  • Reach out to a couple friends
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