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

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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.

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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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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.

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front

back

back

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:

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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.

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some areas are bad

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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:

front

front

back

back

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2013 goal review

1. Lose at least 25 pounds. And I really mean it this year. It is important.

Yeah. This didn’t happen. Which sucks. I haven’t weighed myself in a while, but I think I was down ten pounds or so from the beginning of the year? I forget where I started.

2. Get back on a budget. Get the car paid off. Get things balanced and get our savings back in line. Think about what house repairs need to be tackled this year. Cash flow tuitions (we will hopefully have). Get a part time job. Figure out what to do with kidlet so that working isn’t counterproductive.

Wow. If I only knew then what I know now. We did pay off the car, but the other car is on its last legs. When I said house repairs, I was thinking maybe refinishing the floors or getting nice countertops. Taking care of odds and ends. Instead, we had to repair and repaint our house, exterminate the attic, replace the a/c and thermostats, fix a plumbing leak… am I forgetting anything? Tuition became sticky when my husband was laid off, but we’ve worked around it and he’s still working and in school. Job thing didn’t happen. It’s been a heck of a year.But financially, at least, at this point at this moment, we are not worse off than we were.

3. Make friends and be a better friend to the friends I have. Get out more (which is sososo hard for me. I have gotten more agoraphobic as I have gotten older). Keep working on not being as judgmental or obnoxious.

I made some efforts at this, but became more self absorbed as things were falling apart around here.

4. Find more ways to make our life greener and stick to them. Reinforce and expand the things we have been doing. Start a garden finally. Will this be the year of family cloth?

I guess we maintained status quo here. Didn’t really embark on much new.

5. Clean out the garage. Clean out the basement. Systematically clean out and declutter and organize and get rid of things throughout the house. Have some garage sales.

I don’t know if these things will ever be accomplished. I feel I am constantly doing them and nothing’s getting done. We’ve made a dent in the garage but have a long way to go. But so much is storage… classroom storage, baby storage, furniture storage… I haven’t been in the basement in a couple of years. I can’t imagine the state it is in. I’d love to make it a playroom. I am always working on cleaning and decluttering, but with a 2 year old the house is always a disaster. This will still be a top goal next year and I hope to have a garage sale to get rid of stuff.

6. Read more.

I started so strong on this. But distractions and non fiction books have slowed me down. I think goodreads has me at 33 of the 36 goal I set. I will probably finish one more.

7. Sewing Goals:

*Complete at least 12 quilt tops
*Complete at least 2 quilts

I made a page of my finishes. I am not sure how to grade this one… I completed 5 quilts. I have 3 more tops completed and one almost completed. And 4 backs which took some work and should count I think. I feel like I am missing something. So I guess I came out ok. Not as much as I hoped, but probably more than I really thought I would do.

*Keep up with my BOM (already signed up for 6 :/)

Oh, this is so sad. And you know I signed up for more in 2014 right? Even the one I actually went to class for, I only have 9 done. Any virtual ones weren’t touched.

*Take some classes

I did! I took my bom class, an fmq class, the stack the deck class… and many Craftsy classes.

*Use what I have

Yeah. No. What I’ve learned is that none of my stuff goes together. Or I don’t have enough. Or I need more fabric that does not have a white background.

*Organize the sewing area so that it doesn’t become a huge mess every time I am working on or starting a project.

It’s come a long way this year. I got rid of the baby gate around my fabric. I got my sewing table. I installed shelves. I got bins. And I still make a mess with every project. Especially when I am working on multiple projects.

*Get my swap up and running

I’ve been very pleased with how this has gone. Please join!

*Create a quiet book or two

I haven’t, and I haven’t found mine either. 😦

*Keep up with my blog

Not as well as I’d hoped, but I am still here!

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Many Trips, continued

Found my picture of the completed top –

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So I stalled a bit on making the back. Here’s what I knew:

– I had a bunch of 5 inch squares I wanted to use. But I didn’t have enough for a full back or border or anything.
– I had some leftover fabric I could use.
– I wanted to use a world panel in the back. In fact, I had collected several in my searching and needed to make some decisions about what, how many, and how to include them.
– I needed to do a lot of calculations to make sure everything fit, was big enough, centered, and didn’t get cut off after quilting.

I had a horrible time deciding with the panels. One was a standard map with all the countries listed. Another was just really cute with a lot of sights listed. I had the viking world map fabric too, which I loved – and they just got back from Greenland/Iceland too. I initially thought I was going to do one map with the quilt landscape, but found it fit fine with the quilt portrait too.

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For the squares, I eventually decided to make 9 patches with cuts from leftover fabric. Then I went through several placement sketches…. ultimately deciding on a strip of them through the back. I couldn’t choose between the panels, and after a lot of calculations to make sure everything would fit, I decided to use both, and hoped it wouldn’t be overkill.

9 patch messages to my aunt

9 patch messages to my aunt

In the tiny bit of leftover space, I used some fabric that didn’t make it into the front: I bought a piece of darling feedsack, but when I got it, it was a smaller cut than the seller had told me and I couldn’t use it in the quilt. I also thought it would loose a lot cut down in 2.5″ squares, so opted to use it in the back. I had also come across a Munki Munki print that was sooo perfect…. but flannel. I finally did buy it after trying to resist because of the flannel. I had to have it, and decided it would go in the back somehow.

feedsack

feedsack

Heather Ross Munki Munki Flannel travel print

Heather Ross Munki Munki Flannel travel print

I chose a blue solid to fill in the rest. Can I tell you how much I am in love with this back??? I am sooo happy with how it turned out.

Finished back

Finished back

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I also included squares that listed everyone in attendance at Hawaii as well as my own messages about the quilt itself and my reasons and process for making it. (pretty much everything I said in the first post)

So, the pictures above show the quilt already finished, but at this point it wasn’t. I stalled again trying to decide how to quilt it. In the interest of time (remember, I was up against a fast-approaching deadline!) I chose to just do a basic stipple. I had all kinds of problems quilting this thing, and I really don’t know why. It should have been so easy. But I was running into all kinds of tension issues so I was getting large loops on the bottom. I had to keep pulling it out and redoing it. One time I think I had the wrong bobbin in the machine, and another time part of the machine had gotten unthreaded, but there were lots of times I just couldn’t figure out what the issue was. I had just finished my son’s quilt with no such issues. So the quilting took a lot more time and effort than it should have.

I also did stupid stuff like this.

I also did stupid stuff like this.

I chose a cloud print I had for the binding, in the interest of finishing quickly. I was not real pleased with how the binding looked, but after many 3 and 4 am nights, finished with a couple days to spare.

….Then everyone got sick and we cancelled the party the day before.

So, I pulled off the binding and reattached it. I am much happier with it now. We have rescheduled our party for New Year’s Eve, so I am still waiting to report on her reaction. She has an idea of what I am doing (because she was there in Hawaii when everyone was making their squares) but not the specifics. I hope she loves it as much as I do. I’ve gotten quite attached to having a big quilt on my lap in the colder weather as I’ve worked on it. I need to finish some of my own quilts so that I have some for me!

These photos are before I washed it…. (which I am glad since it was pretty muddy when I took it out for pictures). I tried to take some closeups so you can see the fabrics – I used over 70 different ones. It is roughly 72×96.

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Many trips around the world

This post is a long time coming. I have been planning this quilt for over a year. Soon after I decided to start quilting, I came across the online tutorial for MTATW. This was long before I knew what a blog was or that people all over the interwebs were going nuts making this. I only knew I had to make this quilt for my aunt.

My aunt, who turned 75 this year, made it her goal to join the Traveller’s Century Club. This is a club for people who have visited 100+ countries.  At this moment, she has been to 142, including Antarctica at 72, with many more planned. She also has gathered her own collection of quilts. She says she found many of them at goodwill. I don’t know where she is looking! I’ve never come across anything like these at goodwill! Who better to have a many trips around the world quilt?

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Initially, I had hoped to have this for her 75th birthday, which we celebrated this summer as a family in Hawaii. That was so far from happening. I was still new to quilting, and scared to take on such a huge project. I was trying to get my nephews’ quilts done on a deadline, was searching for fabrics (which happened right up til the last stitch), and decided to get my family involved as well. While we were in Hawaii I had everyone write messages for my aunt on 5 inch squares to incorporate into the quilt somehow.

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I wanted to use fabric that reflected all of (or as many as I could) the places she had been, as well as travel in general. I searched my favorite store, had a travel fabric swap in my Flickr Fat 8 group, and scoured etsy, ebay, sales at my online shops, google images and so on. At first I was trying to be economical, but really, in the end, I spent an absolute fortune on this quilt. There were fabrics I just couldn’t pass up, or had to buy in a quantity, or which were really old or rare (I even have feedsack in it). I finally decided just to go with it. The quilt would be that much better for it and I wouldn’t have fabric regret. Even so, some areas of the world were impossible to find or represent. So, some of my fabric choices cast a rather broader net than I wanted to.

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Then I started assembling. I finished my first blocks at the end of September.

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And, OMG I hated them! I was so disappointed. I couldn’t see the pattern and hated the colors. But friends on instagram urged me to push forward, many of them telling me they hated theirs as well til they could see the full picture.

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And it did start to come together. There were many breaks in between as I worked on other things, dealt with life, and awaited more fabric. The last picture there was taken when I had my carpets cleaned the week of thanksgiving, with 9 blocks left to go.

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I finished the top that weekend, and for some reason can’t find a picture of just the finished top except for this one. 🙂

Then I had to figure out what I was going to do about the back…

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Stack the deck, class 2

I had my final class for Stack the Deck this weekend. I had worked primarily on completing my blocks since the last class. The teacher had suggested 30-36 blocks and I did 42. The number of blocks was determined by the number of fabrics I used. I also hoped to use the “extra” blocks to make a bigger quilt.

I had a plan for how I wanted my quilt to turn out. One of the ways to set the blocks makes like a zig zag pattern. I liked that look and expected to copy it. I laid my blocks out, and either because of the different colors or values or prints, you just couldn’t see it. I think you need a stronger contrast and less stuff going on.

Class example of zig zag placement

Class example of zig zag placement

So I started playing around. We found I got the most successful design with the star placement. Against my instructor’s advice, I tried placing the same fabrics at the center of the quadrants. I found I really liked the look, and it gave my quilt some focus. I have a thing for bugs, and felt they looked like different butterflies in flight (once you see it, you can’t unsee it!). My instructor came back around and decided she really liked what I was doing. We played around with value placement and “wing” shapes for a while and I got to work putting it together.

My completed top

My completed top

I also like the fractured shapes made by the randomly placed background. As far as the class was concerned, I am “done”. However, I think I am going to make a few more blocks and add another two rows. I used 12 fabrics, so I should be able to have 12 individual butterflies, and that will extend it to a better size for me. I am glad I had the extra blocks. It allowed me to pick and choose and have enough “center” fabrics to complete this much. I also have several I can use for the last two rows, and some extras to add in the back.

I had thought this might be a donation quilt for my son’s school, but now I don’t think so. Between the colors and the pattern, it is just so me. Most tops I start because I love them and love the fabrics and can’t imagine parting with them, and by the end I hate them, or at least am indifferent. This one went the complete opposite way. I had no connection to the technique, pattern or top and I really like it now.

Here is some of my classmates’ work, and you can see how different they all turn out –

The only one that managed to pull off the zigzag/lightning bolt

The only one that managed to pull off the zigzag/lightning bolt

More randomly placed

More randomly placed

I loved her colors.

Working on the star shape

Working on the star shape

She was planning to sash.

 

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ABC Polaroid finish

(ETA – I was just informed this is my 75th post)

Confession: I have been sitting on this post for months, not wanting to post it. It is, in small part, another reason for my hiatus this summer. Certainly not the main one, but whenever I sat to post and was faced with making this post, I was not encouraged to continue. I had such high expectations for this quilt. Up to the moment I sat to quilt it, I was certain it was going to be the best one for some time to come.

Basting

Basting

Then I quilted it.

And, as far as I am concerned, ruined the whole thing.

I still sent it, and still got many thank yous and cute pictures from my sister-in-law, but I know in my heart I ruined it. I am not even sure the pictures will be clear enough to show the issues.

I FMQd it. I tried to use a pattern I learned in the class I took in May. It wasn’t a huge quilt- I don’t remember the size but somewhere in the neighborhood of 42×48″- but the blocks were large. I had a lot of trouble navigating the entire block without stopping to readjust. And when I did, my needle would still take many stitches in place, making like a knot in the back.

Can you see the knotting?

Can you see the knotting?

My stitches didn’t meet, were wobbly and uneven, I broke my thread several times, I had to unpick a few mistakes, and at some point kind of just gritted my teeth and busted through it, unhappy as I was.

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Bobbin ran out on second to last block

It came out very wonky. I like wonky, but not so much in the quilting. It looks like a mess ,which is what it is, not like intentional wonkiness.

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Wonky quilting, a look at border quilting and binding

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Some more close ups of the quilting

Some more close ups of the quilting

The back, which I also loved up to this point

The back, which I also loved up to this point

A look at the quilting from the back

A look at the quilting from the back

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Backing and binding are from Mischief, which I got on 50% sale from Fat Quarter Shop, just as I was starting to look. Perfect timing and the perfect backing for an ABC quilt. Second time that has happened.

Here are some finish pictures

Here are some finish pictures

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Close up of blocks o-z

Close up of blocks o-z

close up of blocks a-l

close up of blocks a-l

My nephew

My nephew

Older brother nephew with his tumbler quilt

Older brother nephew with his tumbler quilt

That’s all I have to say about that.

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Tula Pink modified houndstooth WIP

So, as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been in Mama Spark’s  Tula Pink layer cake swap for many months. We are on round 9, now, I think, and I only missed the first round since I hadn’t heard of it yet. I was also in another charm swap for TP prints. I have a huge stack of TP squares, not to mention my yardage. So I set out to do something with it. I am starting to feel like a hoarder with all these fabrics that I have but can’t use. Silly, right? Whenever I go to start a project, I look over my fabric and mentally eliminate at least half of it because it is “special” and can’t be used.

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I decided to pick a pattern that would work easily with charms and showcase as many prints as possible. I selected what I’ve been calling the modified hounds tooth. They call it houndstooth, but it just isn’t. This is very easy to put together as long as you pay attention to your order. It is two squares and two hsts per block. My blocks are 8″ finished. I am – at this point – planning on 11×12 blocks, so 132 total. It’ll be queenish size. I’d love to keep going, because I have the fabric for it, but I am already terrified of quilting this thing eventually.

First 60ish blocks - floor of my sewing room

First 60ish blocks – floor of my sewing room

The problem I am already having is finding a place to lay it out. It takes up a ton of room! And while we have a roomy house, the rooms have furniture in them. I currently have it laid out on the floor of my living room with all the furniture pushed to the walls, and it still isn’t big enough! I’m going to pick it up for a while though, because we are about to do a few more rounds of the swap and some really cool prints are swapping through now. I have almost 100 (98 I think?) blocks made already, so that only leaves a few more. I am going to have such a hard time narrowing down these fabrics, though some of my choices will be made by color – I need more yellow, for sure. I was hoping to be able to get most of the fabrics represented, but that is certainly not going to happen. And her next release has been announced already! Wow. Well, I have the fabric to make many more, I guess, but I was planning on having this one for me, and was really hoping to have it for the winter. I think that’s a long shot, though.

This pattern can be found in Quilty. It’s floating around on Pinterest and they also have a Quilty video for it. I don’t remember which issue it was – I am not at home right now – but like I said, it is really easy to do. I chained, pressed and trimmed about 40 blocks at a time.

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

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

 

OMG! I can finally join again!!

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Stack the Deck

I am taking a Stack the Deck class at my LQS right now. It looked like an interesting system, and I had a discount, so I thought it would be fun. I am glad I chose to take the class, because I didn’t find the instructions in the book very easy to understand as far as the shuffling (which actually isn’t that complicated). On the other hand, I don’t know that I would ever have heard of it if it weren’t for the class, so there you go.  I am the only one in the class not working with batiks, which I find so interesting. I suppose the pattern does lend itself more to working with color more than prints/ solids. It will be neat to see how they all turn out and differ. We are working with the block shown on the cover, however, depending on how you lay out your blocks, you can make many different patterns.

stack and whack

stack and whack

You start with many square sets of contrasting fabric. They recommend light/dark; I am using two colors. You cut them in a stack, shuffle the stack so that you have all different fabrics in each block, then sew them back together in the reverse order than you cut them. That is the shorthand description. 🙂 Then depending on how you position your blocks, you can make many different designs.

IMG_1429

I have no idea how to lay these out.

For homework, I am finishing 42 blocks. The instructor wanted us to do 30-36, but because of the number of fabrics I am using I will have 42. That way, I can possibly make a bigger top and/or pick and choose blocks and have extra for the back. I have 20 done now, and the above shows my first ten. Next class, we learn our layout options and start sewing the top together.

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