Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Saturday Swap #4

So I’ve had a lot of swap deadlines I have been working against this month. One of those is my scrappy trip block swap that I kind of joined on a whim. I made a Trip quilt for my aunt last year. It was a huge undertaking and consumed my life for several months. I figured I’d make another one sometime, but didn’t think I’d jump on the bandwagon so soon. Oh well, this way I am really making the blocks for other people. LOL. Keeps it interesting and also helps me USE MY STASH! Which is seriously multiplying in the night and slowly taking over.

Here are the blocks I made for my bee mates:



Ok. This one is mine. I told you I’ve had this color scheme on the brain lately. I actually picked this before I made my improv top, and now I wish I had gone with something else. LOL. It’s ok. I am liking it.




This one asked for blacks, whites, and brights.




This one said Anything Goes but no black! I was really nervous about this one, but got an email from her today that she loves it.




This one asked for Orange, yellow, green, lilac, red, no blue.




This one asked for V and Co., Violet Craft and Bonnie and Camille.


I have one more that I made a cutting error so I need to redo it.  I’ve gotten two of mine, I will wait til they all come and show them off then!


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, we are still new) Comment on a few other links!



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Wip Wednesday: Whole lotta wips going on

So I’ve felt very scattered. I am working on many things at a time. My sewing room and cutting table are a cluttered mess. This is why I often scale back on bees and swaps, but I have myself in a bunch of them right now, and there are a lot of July deadlines.



I am working on the supernova friendship swap. We are working with Nordika. I am loving these blocks, and can’t wait to have them all together! My swap mate is Rachael and she lives in the UK! We were late to join, took time to make a plan, and time for her fabric to get to her, so I am actually making two blocks and sending them together. Check out my bias seam line! I’m getting a lot of practice at this (and getting better!) because….

Mini Quilt Swap


I am also in the mini quilt swap. I am not going to say much about this as my partner is still meant to be secret. The above is my mini quilt top, done with the mini northern lights pattern. As you can see, many seams to line up there! Most were dead on. I did rip and redo a couple rows, and there are a few that are off a tiny bit, but overall I did a good job.


Scrappy Trip Bee

I am working on my trip blocks for my bee. These are three of the six. I was given colors to work with and am pulling from my stash to make them. I can’t believe I am working on another one of these so soon, but again, I couldn’t resist joining. I have a strict color scheme for my blocks. These blocks are quick and fun to make so why not? And good chance to use my stash.

Anchors Aweigh

Well, I didn’t think I would finish my ALOYF goal this month, but I honestly didn’t think I would be this far behind. My quilt is basted and I am still buckling down how I am going to quilt it. I started practicing some designs, and I am a little discouraged. This is going to take a lot of practice and I am especially nervous with how big this quilt is. It is a lot of quilt to be pushing around smoothly through complicated quilting. This is supposed to be done for my mom’s birthday in July, but I just don’t know right now… I don’t want to go with simpler quilting, but I don’t want to ruin it being too ambitious or rushed either.


Wordless Wednesday… Happy New Year.













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Many Trips, continued

Found my picture of the completed top –


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.


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.



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


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.


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…