Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

4×7 Sewing Challenge week 2

Week 2 went a little better than week one, but I still wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I hoped.

First, Sunday and Monday I spent sorting and sending back my fat 8 swap.

imageThen I needed to do my bee hive block for this month.

The queen chose the tic tac toe block. She wanted low volume text/architecture for the background and vibrant prints like Alison Glass or Anna Marie Horner for the x. I used some of my newly swapped Alison Glass fat 8ths and some fat 8ths from previous text and low volume swaps. I am finding my fat 8 swaps are great for using in stash bees! We are also making signature blocks.

imageThen I made more test blocks for my pattern test, which will be posted on Monday.

Then I finally buckled down to power through my curtains for the baby’s room.

imageI used the sailboats for the top of the curtain and the waves (which I have 8 yards of!) for the bottom. I was going to use the crabs for the ties, but I thought it was too much dark blue. I forgot that the sailboats were on a navy background instead of a lighter blue. So I chose the green anchors instead. I like it because it looks like the ships are dropping anchor. lol.

I measured the windows against the pattern a couple times, and I have 8 yards of the waves so plenty to make them long enough, but they came out too short! Of course, they get tied up anyway so they only cover half the window anyway. So I stalled on the second curtain because I am not sure if I should make them the same or try to remake them longer.

I also hate using patters/pattern tissue/etc. This is why I quilt and don’t do stuff like make clothes, I am reminded. I feel it is so inexact. You can get such perfect straight lines with a ruler and rotary cutter. But pattern templates shift and they are unruly and I get wobbly cutting lines and my fabric isn’t perfectly straight. My hems/seams aren’t either. Drives me nuts. But I am trying to just run with it and get it done already. I am probably the only one these things bother and it is not like I am making for sale. I am so nervous the two curtains won’t match up though, and as they sit right next to each other it will bother me.

Anyway, here is the first curtain!

image imageI have the second curtain cut out but have not gotten to sew it yet. I also am making black out shades to go behind the blinds. As I’ve said, that room gets very bright and very hot and the curtains obviously aren’t going to block it all, nor do the blinds. I am not as uptight about how the blackout shades will look, just more a logistical get-it-done thing. Then I will move on to the bedskirt, which I have nerves about because it is gathered.

We have company coming this week so my focus right now is on getting the house presentable, then I don’t know how much sewing time I will get once they are here. Hopefully I can at least finish the curtains before then. I think I am done with all the other sewing I needed to do for now (til the next bee block) so I can spend my sewing time focused on this now.

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Saturday Swap. But not.

So, I haven’t had any swaps come through recently. BUT I have two that should be completed next week.

So instead I will share what is back up on my design wall right now.

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My Kaleidoscope is my goal for the year. It’s been put away for some time. After the focus on quilt backs, I was itching to start something, but found myself turning back to the kaleidoscope instead of starting something new. It is probably the smart choice.  I also am not sure what I was thinking…. I apparently thought I was going to need about twice the blocks that I now think I need. I am kind of getting worn out on these huge quilts (that I am scared to machine quilt) so maybe I just want to scale back a bit. This is so totally not the final layout, just the blocks I was working on today.

 

Ok. Maybe some of you are in some fun swaps right now??

Here are the link up rules:

1. Link up a post about a recent fabric, block or hand made item swap. You may share both what you sent and received. You may also post about an upcoming swap you are hosting.

2. In the post, link up back here to my blog.

3. Comment on a few other links!

 

 

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Saturday Swap: You are here mugs

I’ve been out of town most of the month, so I haven’t been getting my Saturday Swaps up. 😦 I should have them back on track now!

During my travels, I accumulated many Starbucks mugs. I am not a coffee drinker, but I love hot tea or chocolate in the mornings in the winter or when I am ill. I love the designs of the mugs and I know they are quite popular on the internet.

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So I have opened a swap for them. It is open to US/Canada with a mail date of 10/10. I am limiting this one to 20 participants to keep it manageable. Assuming all goes well, I will run again in the future. Handmade or other accessories are encouraged!

To sign up and for more information, you can check here.

What have you guys been swapping while I’ve been gone?

Here are the link up rules:

1. Link up a post about a recent fabric, block or hand made item swap. You may share both what you sent and received. You may also post about an upcoming swap you are hosting.

2. In the post, link up back here to my blog.

3. (Assuming there are multiple linkups, as this is the first one) Comment on a few other links!

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Saturday Swap #3

This week I am sharing the Supernova blocks I have made so far for the Supernova Friendship Swap.

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I am swapping with Rachael, who is in the UK. We chose to work with Nordika (after many many back-and-forths)

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We also debated the background color. I really wanted to go with Burgandy, but we were worried about color matching, so Rachael came up with the idea of using various shades in red/burgandy. She found this cute quilt which we are basing our idea on. Hopefully it comes together as well! So far I love it.

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We each make two of the same block each month, then keep one and send the other. We are supposed to have 10 at the end, but we are going to try for 12 so we have a rectangular quilt instead of a square one.

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Since we got started late (plus international postage), I went ahead and made my first two and will send them off next week!

OK, your turn! What are you swapping this week?

 

Here are the link up rules:

1. Link up a post about a recent fabric, block or hand made item swap. You may share both what you sent and received. You may also post about an upcoming swap you are hosting.

2. In the post, link up back here to my blog.

3. (Assuming there are multiple linkups, as this is the first one) Comment on a few other links!

 

 

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Saturday Swap #2

Welcome to another Saturday swap!

This week I got back my scrappy charm swap. This swap was run on flickr by Amateur Quilter Mike. We are instagram friends, and that is how I found out about the swap.

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This was a standard charm swap: 56 spots, two yards per spot. I had two spots. Scrappy swaps are always iffy…. There’s always the chance you get someone else’s ugly fabric, or poor quality fabric. And, to be honest, that happened. But there was some cool stuff too. And even some of the not-so-nice quality stuff was still cool.

These were some of my favorites.

Some cool geometrics

Top row: Stuff in my stash

Bottom row: what I sent

Confession time. There is a part of me that really loves dainty calicos. I try to keep that at bay. They can be sooo drab and old fashioned when used, but when they are just fabric, I love to look at them.

Mike was a great and very enthusiastic host. He is signing up for round two, and don’t you know I’ve got two more spots?

Seriously, how cute are these extras he sent?!?

Seriously, how cute are these extras he sent?!?

So, seriously people – What do you do with charms?!? Especially scrappy ones where you don’t necessarily love them all?

And now let me know what you have been swapping!

Here are the link up rules:

1. Link up a post about a recent fabric, block or hand made item swap. You may share both what you sent and received. You may also post about an upcoming swap you are hosting.

2. In the post, link up back here to my blog. Let others know about our new linkup!

3. (Assuming there are multiple linkups, as this is the second one) Comment on a few other links!

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Sunday Stash: Nordika

I’ve decided to participate in the Supernova Friendship swap as one of the million swaps I joined lately (what am I thinking?). I’ve paired up with Rachael of The Floral Suitcase. She’s in the UK! So I am planning all kinds of goodies to include in the swap. We kind of randomly found each other, but we have a lot of common taste, luckily. After a flurry of emails we have settled on working with Nordika for our swap.

I’ve loved Nordika from the start, but haven’t had excuse to get it yet. So I am so excited to now have the entire collection (plus some solids) in my possession.

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(excuse the mess from my economy blocks in the background)

I got a half yard of each, so hopefully I will still have leftovers as well after this project. I was excited I was able to still find it all. I am looking forward to digging in, but we still have to pick our background!

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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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Sunday Stash – Shop Hop

This weekend is shop hop, and I am hopping the shops. I’ve shown a lot of restraint, gotten some things I’ve needed and caved on some unnecessary purchases. My biggest disappointment is that I have NOT found the fabric I need more of to back my bento quilt. I was really hoping I would. I have found a lot of other nice things.

Oh, Have I mentioned I have fallen in love? Like, love. L. O. V. E. Love. His name is Jason Yenter and he designs for In The Beginning. I don’t know what rock I have been under, but I decided the back I had picked out for my chevron wasn’t good enough and started searching and in my search came across Musings. I really want the print with the birds and large flowers, but at the first shop I went to I came across this in the sale room:

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So I bought a whole bunch of it.

And I just couldn’t resist the Saltwater. I should probably have bought yardage (I am seriously lacking the saltwater on my Tula shelf) but totally caved on a kit. I’ve never bought a kit before. I just couldn’t resist.

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I’ve already cut out all the squares and this may be a stash bash project. It’ll make a great quilt for my parents’ Florida home.

Today while I was out I was informed one of my picks for Michele‘s Kate Spain swap was duplicated and I needed to repick. Luckily, one of the shops I went to had TONS of Kate Spain. Oh, I wanted to buy tons of it, but I am having a lot of spending guilt. So I was good and stuck to picking just one for the swap.

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Look familiar? I bought this exact print at this exact shop last year at shop hop for my bento top that I am currently trying to finish. A year later. We’ve come full circle.  This caused me to do a lot of reflecting that I am sure will be its own post soon. But I didn’t even know this was a Kate Spain print. I remember wondering if it would even work in the quilt. Isn’t that funny. I got a little extra so it may end up in my bento back too (the scrap I had left was too little).

I also found the treasure chest of Lemon Grove in their sale room. Also, very hard to resist. I picked up a couple yards of the tree print that I love.

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So, those are my shop hop purchases so far. That last shop forgot to give me my charm for making a purchase. 😦  I have three shops left. One is my regular shop and the other two are real country shops. One is actually in a feed store.

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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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