Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Stash Bash update

So, I’ve been mostly out of commission the last week or so. My computer inexplicably (well….) stopped working and so I’ve been mostly mobile, My husband finally opened it up last night to investigate and found the hard drive was simply unplugged. He plugged it back in and it is running fine! We backed everything up! So now I can start catching up.

Who packs light? (actually half of this was for dropping my son at Nana's)

Who packs light? (actually more than half of this was for dropping my son at Nana’s)

In the end of April, I went to Stash Bash. If I thought I had a great time last year, it didn’t even compare to this year. This year I was reuniting with the wonderful people I met last year as well as meeting many new friends. I even met several people I know from online and my swaps. I had a great time. I made some progress but didn’t really finish much. And I was fine with that.

The first day I started out cutting a lot of fabric for swaps and for a bag we were going to make as a group. Then I started in on my Tula Pink squares. I completed all my squares, and initially was going to finish the top, but I really didn’t want to spend my time there squaring up 130 blocks. Especially since I was having some issues with the cutting table.

Just a few blocks left

Just a few blocks left

So next I started in on my Tula Pink Sail Aweigh top. I made good progress and had hoped to complete it over the weekend, but didn’t quite make it.

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Oh, and I don’t have pictures, but I worked on my economy blocks as leaders and enders as I worked on my anchor quilt. They really are perfect for that. I got about 25 done just doing them that way.

We also worked on the sew together bag as a group. I didn’t quite finish it there, but enjoyed working on it. Mine has some pretty noticeable errors, and I spent seriously HOURS choosing my fabrics, but it is still a cute bag.

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We also did a secret sister throughout the weekend, and mine turned out to be my roommate! Here are some of the great goodies I got from her.

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And some of the ones I made for mine:

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And the sponsors really spoiled us this year. I don’t have pictures uploaded of everything, but everyone from Moda to Oliso, Omnigrid, Olfa, Dritz, Aurifil, soak….

 

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Already counting down for next year!!

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Ambitious much?

And I’ve been prepping and packing my projects for over a week now. I can’t believe how much I have crammed into my purple tote and there is still room for my tools!

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Want to see what I’m taking?

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Project: Ribbon chevron

Needs: Border and back made

Priority: Very low. Probably will not touch

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Project: Bloom Bloom Pow

Needs: Back made

Priority: pretty high, but I can’t find my plan I drew up for this nearly a year ago. Imagine that. So, it’s gonna take some planning to do and may get sidelined for easier things.

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Project: Tula Pink Houndstoothish

Needs: 30ish more blocks and top assembled

Priority: highish. It wouldn’t take long if I would just buckle down and make my final fabric selections.

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Project: Tula Pink Craftsy Workshop

Needs: to me made

Priority: Honestly, pretty low. I’d rather tackle some of my other stuff before starting yet another new thing. However, I know a lot of the girls will be working on this and I may succumb to peer pressure/feather showing.

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Project: Fabric for swaps

Needs: to be cut (and some are for trading in stash bash events)

Priority: Very high

Project: Tula Pink Anchors Aweigh

Needs: top made

Priority: Honestly, pretty low but I bet this is the one I come back with completed. 🙂

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Project: Economy blocks

Needs: to be assembled

Priority: Medium. I have decided this would make a good graduation gift for my cousin and I am a lot more excited about doing it now that I have a plan for it. So again, this is one I bet will gain some headway this weekend. I didn’t pack enough to make the whole top but I could put a good dent into it.

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Project: Kaleidoscope

Needs: to be assembled

Priority: Medium with high excitement factor. However, I don’t know if I will have the room I will really need to plan this one out. I’ve put so much work into prepping it though and I am very excited to get to work on it. So I would say it is one of the ones I most want to get to but don’t know how well it’ll work out there. This is a huge goal for me for this year.

 

So, there you have it. That’s a lot of Tula Pink in there, huh? I am so excited and can’t believe this weekend is actually here! Now I might want to think about adding some clothes and a toothbrush to the pile!

 

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April ALYOF Goal – Citrus Bento

So, it is April.

That means Stash Bash!

Last year at Stash Bash I spent a day and a half psychotically slaving away on my Citrus Bento top. I completed the top in May and then it sat on a shelf for most of the year as I prioritized other projects. I had sworn to myself some time ago that it would be finished before Stash Bash this year. As much as I’d like to show it off and all that to the people who watched me obsess over it, it is more that Stash Bash marks a year since I started it. I hate to know that this quilt top has sat that long, untouched.

At that point I was still so new to sewing and even though I had made a few tops, didn’t really believe I would ever find the guts to actually finish a quilt. Though I thought at the time I had tons of fabric (HA!) I had to scour sales to find the colors I wanted in this quilt. I even used several (GASP!) non QSQ prints.

So, anyway, That’s my goal. To arrive at Stash bash with this quilt completely finished. I finished the back a couple weeks ago (which I still need to post about) and basted it and started quilting it. I need to finish quilting, bury the threads, and bind.

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Stash Bash registration is open!

First, I want to mention that for a while there I had some normalcy and was getting regular time to post (and sew). Then, things got rough with my son again and my time and attention has been preoccupied with him. I have completed my stack the deck front and back and have been working on my aunt’s quilt and some swap blocks. I also got my Tula swap back today and can work more on that top. So, I have posts to come when I get a chance.

But really, I want to plug Stash Bash. Registration opened today. I went last year on a whim, knowing no one and a as new quilter. That was very hard for me, but I am glad I did. I had a great time and am really looking forward to (and registered for!) next year. I feel like it is a great value. There are many accommodation choices, and everything is included except travel. The food is great. The scenery is beautiful; the sewing room is 50% window and looks out over a lake. We had Beth from Stash Modern Fabric on site and also took a field trip to Scarlet Thread. Iron and cutting stations were provided (though I recommend you bring your tools, leave your iron). We tried to do design walls unsuccessfully. I think they have a new plan for that this year. There are three meals a day and water, tea and coffee provided at all times. You can also bring drinks and snacks and we did a party one night. Unlike many other retreats, it is very laid back. We were in sweats and PJs most of the time. Other than meals, there are no time requirements. We got up, slept and sewed at our leisure. There were some pop up tutorials and activities that happened, usually with plenty of warning to schedule around. We did some swaps and games. But mostly hung out and sewed. If you want to read more about my time there (including my all nighter to finish my “it only takes an hour” bento box) click on the stash bash tag. If you are interested or want more information, feel free to message me or Chris!

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Stash Bash, part 3

So after shopping fun and finishing up my bento, I moved on to the tumbler quilt I am making for my nephew. Now, if you want a project you can do in a few hours, this is the one for you! No lying.  I basically randomly ran tumblers through my machine and it went together very quickly. I just made sure I wasn’t putting two of the same color or theme next to each other, and made pairs, then fours and so on. An hour and a half or so later, and I had run out of tumblers. I hadn’t brought quite enough with me. So I had to stop.

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I have actually since finished this top:

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It is about 45×66.  I am desperately trying to come up with a backing for it so I can get it finished up asap.

My sister had gotten me my walking foot that I wanted for my birthday. So next I went looking for volunteers to teach me how to attach and use it. I don’t know why I was so intimidated by it. It did help a lot to have someone else show me how to attach it, but it isn’t that complicated. Or intimidating. So I made what was meant to be a mug rug, but is more like…. a mini quilt. Oops.

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quilting

quilting

I have still not bound this one… and I don’t have pictures of the back. But I was rather embarrassed by how easy this was to do. I’ve only ever done straight line quilting with a regular foot. I don’t have too many finishes, see… But I felt confident enough to move on to free motion. I was able to get the foot on without much difficulty, having learned the basics with the walking foot. I was also fortunate enough to be next to Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy and the Birmingham Crew. Elizabeth answered all my nervous questions and the others were great cheerleaders.  Here is that (much more appropriate sized) mug rug:

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FMQ was somewhat invigorating. It was terrifying, hard, fun and exciting all at the same time. You can actually see how I gained more control as I moved across the quilt. I also remembered part way through that I have a needle down on my machine, and that made it immensely easier. I am excited to go again… I’ve just been bogged down by many other things – sewing and non – and haven’t been able to try again. This is what retreats are perfect for, I think, though. I was able to try my first time supervised with others to show me, help me, and answer questions. I think now I will start having more finishes under my belt and less tops folded in my linen closet.

I have bound and completed this mug rug. Here are some action shots (again, forgot to show the back):

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I spent Sunday morning doing the cutting for my bloom bloom pow. I didn’t quite finish there, but have since finished cutting and assembling the strips. Apparently, 60 degree triangle rulers are hard to come by in stores (who knew?) and as I am headed out of town in a few days, I am holding off ordering one til I can have it delivered to me there.

Here are some pictures of my progress, both at and after the retreat:

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So, that was stash bash! Thanks so much to Chris for dreaming this up and hosting us all. I had a great time and met a lot of great people. I am very excited for next year!

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Stash Bash, part 2

The amazing thing about stash bash was that I left with a lot more than I came with… Let’s take a peek at some of the swag, winnings, and stuff!

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Here is my swag and some of my winnings… We got a canvas tote stuffed with neat and useful things, including our stash bash cup, a scrap catcher (in my favorite color – and I almost bought one of these not too long ago – great gift!), some comic boards, a large binder clip, a pad of graph paper, the makings for a zippered pouch from Amanda, truecut adhesive rings, Fat Quarter shop coupon, Art Gallery fabric, Our Epoch fabric, fabric and tape measure from Stash Modern Fabric.

The darling bag was from our pouch trade. It is so well made and like a little clutch purse. And filled with candy! I never did find out who got my pouch. I won a bags, pillows and pincushions magazine and Ruby Star Wrapping book in giveaways.

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Oliso irons were also a great sponsor! They provided irons for us to use. This is a really cool iron. It lifts and sets down with your touch. It took some getting used to to not set it upright, but now I have gotten so used to it, I am forgetting to stand my home iron! The coolest part is the little side filling reservoir for water. It has a spout with a channel, and you can pour it right in without spilling. This is a real change from my little sunbeam I’ve had since college. I was hoping to take advantage of their offer to us, but then I came home to a huge roof mess and that on top of some other family emergencies this month…. we will not be spending any money for a while. 😦

Our leader, Chris, made the awesome pressing boards. That’s on my to-do list for the summer. I think it’ll work great on my new dedicated cutting and pressing table.

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We took a field trip Saturday to the largest quilt store in the state. When I was there for shop hop, I wanted to pick up this Tula Pink dandelion print and the grey DS seeds, both of which are difficult to find online now, but didn’t so I knew I would be getting those (I could find them “cheaper” online, but with shipping and all that….). They also had the green seeds so I picked those up as well. I have a little bit, but wasn’t sure how much and while I am not a FMF fan, I love these seed prints and wish I could have gotten more. They had the Wrenly stripes on sale, and I love Wrenly, but don’t have the stripes, so I grabbed those as well. The darling love birds were in their “yard sale” (cute!) bin and I took the remnants too. They still had their shop hop strips available, so I got those as well. I think I have 5/10 now, even though I only got two during shop hop. We also got a little goody bag and coupon for being there with Stash Bash.

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I did quite a bit of shopping with Beth of Stash Modern Fabrics. She was our onsite vendor, and boy did we descend on her like a pack of wolves when she got there. I wasn’t quick enough to grab some of the things I wanted, but she is local, so I will be shopping with her a lot now! All the Kingdom prints on the right I had preordered. Several of them were possibilities for my Bloom Bloom Pow (I was having a terrible time finding “lights”) and then I decided I just needed the whole collection. She brought a lot of fat quarters to sell at SB, so I got some Tula Pink and Color Me Retro (I am going to need that whole collection too). She offered some fabric for giveaway, and I selected the Sarah Jane prints. (Love the balloons. That has been on my list for a long time. So has out to sea). And, the pink one I don’t even know what it is. I needed it for a project I worked on at SB which I will show off in my next post.

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We played a fun game Saturday night, which was basically gambling with fabric, based on a game called LCR. We started with 6 FQ, contributed 3 to the pot, and this is what I ended up with (plus one of my own, which I didn’t include in the picture). A couple of these were actually donations after the game from people who didn’t want them, or had brought them and ended up with them. I was all about those strawberry stripes, and I have no idea what I will do with them now. There were many many cute things that passed through my hands before I ended up with this. I brought extras, hoping we would play again, but we didn’t get to.

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Stash Bash report, part 1

There is so much to tell; this is going to have to have many multi parts.

Stash Bash was awesome. I am so glad I went. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, since I found out the last day of registration. It is really hard for me to do things like this – go somewhere I don’t know, all alone, with people I don’t know who all seem to know each other already. But I am so glad I did. I met so many cool and fun and talented people. I had a lot of fun and a lot of inspiration. And a lot of sewing! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

The only picture I took of our surroundings.

The only picture I took of our surroundings.

I think the best way for me to tackle retelling is chronologically. We were at a camp. The grounds were beautiful, and luckily, so was the weather. The bunkhouse was right next to the large dining and meeting building, where we spent the majority of our time. We had a lovely view of the lake from our sewing room. I set my stuff in my spot in the sewing room, then went to take the rest of my things to the bunk. I was actually the first in my room, and even though there were detached beds I happily claimed this corner bunk. I like the cavelike security. 😀

My bed.

My bed.

Once I got settled back into the sewing area and got my things unpacked, I had to decide what to start with. After briefly considering my ribbon border, I grabbed my citrus strips, because that was what I really wanted to work on. The online tutorial states, and I quote, “Here is the finished Strip-Pieced Bento Box lap quilt top (and assembled in only a couple of hours!).” (Now, I did do the twin size, not the lap size, but still….it’s only a few more blocks.)  So I figured, I’d spend a few hours putting it together, have a quick finish under my belt, then move on to my ribbon border. Yeah….

So I chain sewed the strips

So I chain sewed the strips

Then pressed and cut them

Then pressed and cut them

And again...

And again…

and again....

and again….

13 hours later...

14 hours later…

Yes, FOURTEEN HOURS I spent working on this on Friday. Pretty much straight. I wasn’t doing tons of socializing or breaks. And it wasn’t done. I didn’t even spend tons of time working on layout. Not as much as I would have if it was earlier and I wasn’t hurting so much. I actually did get the first couple rows sewn together before I packed it in at 1:30 AM. I was the lone holdout. I probably would have kept going if others had stayed as well, but everyone else turned in early. I unplugged the iron, turned out the lights and crawled into bed. And I HURT. My back, my shoulder, my head… everything hurt.

Oh, that bottom corner… One of my strips didn’t cut enough squares for some reason. I was going to just leave it and finish it at home, until I finally realized Saturday morning that I brought a bunch of scraps with me. I took a chance and luckily did find a big enough scrap of the fabric to finish that last block.

First thing Saturday morning, I was back at it. I thought things might move a bit faster at this point, but I actually didn’t get it finished until around 4 in the afternoon. Now, to be fair, we took a field trip for a couple hours to a quilt shop and I did a lot more visiting and socializing Saturday. I was more relaxed about it and not as rushed.

and here it is

and here it is

This is my finished top. Well… I still have to do the border. I seem to have a problem with finishing borders. I didn’t bring extra fabric to make it, so I knew that part would get finished at home. The top row has full squares, it is just folded over that rail so I could take the picture. Whenever I look at it, I think I sewed some on backwards, but they are all correct. It tricks my eyes! I am pretty pleased with it. There are only a couple places where seams don’t line up, and I think I only had to rip three or four blocks that were missewn. So, I think that is really good progress… especially considering my marathon work on it and how late I worked. (Couple of hours my @$$!)

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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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Notions bag, reprise

Remember my ill-fated, yet semi-successful attempt at a notions bag? For better or worse, I made another one.

pieces cut

pieces cut

I am going to Stash Bash this weekend (so excited!) and we are doing a zippered pouch swap. I decided to try another vinyl notions bag for the swap. I figured since I had already made one, it might go better or quicker and there were some annoying kinks I wanted to try to work out.

Quicker, yes. Better, questionable.

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I started out sewing the pieces together, then got it in my head that I would save a step and go ahead and topstitch everything while I was at it. DON’T DO THIS! I totally forgot about needing to add the lining, and that is caught in the topstitch. So, I had to pull the topstitching out.

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I remembered to unzip it this time to sew the sides together. I did kill a needle on the zipper again.  I sewed through the metal stopper. I went slower and more carefully the rest of the time. I didn’t have any issues with the vinyl this time, and did a better job with my phonebook trick.

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For the most part, it went together pretty straight forward. I took extra care to square up so that things would go together more correctly than mine. I am still having an issue with the bottom though. This one lines up correctly on the bottom, but I had to cut off most of the bottom segment for it to do that.

bottom seams line up.

bottom seams line up.

What the bottom is supposed to look like.

What the bottom is supposed to look like.

What mine looks like.

What mine looks like.

See how it is missing the bottom panel? I made a note on my pattern to either cut the vinyl smaller or the backing and lining longer.

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I am somewhat happy with it. For some reason, mine seems a lot stiffer. I don’t understand why. I used the same exact interfacing. My sewing is definitely nicer and neater on the new one. The zipper leans a little to the back on it, instead of directly on the top. Also, the end of the zipper is still split a bit even though I tacked it in place on this one. Other than those minor things, I am pretty happy with it. I hope my swap partner will be. I am thinking about making another little pouch (another type) in case we trade more than one, but we will see what time allows. It has been a really difficult week for my family.

 

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