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. ūüôā

2016 Planning Party

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November ALYOF goal

I am not feeling very optimistic this month, as we are already a week in and I haven’t touched anything since I finished my economy block. I’ve been tearing my house apart trying to get things cleaned up and out. I am desperately needing to get rid of stuff, but it is really hard for me and there isn’t anywhere to put anything in the meantime. Anyway, that’s what I am up to. Plus there’s the holiday season bearing down on me.

So I’ve been debating between trying to chose between getting another quilt finished (I have three basted and waiting) or trying to finish my kaleidoscope top that is my goal for the year. I am not sure which is more likely to get done… I was tempted to choose quilting since my table is still extended and I’d like to get some more finishes under my belt, but I am at a loss on how to quilt some of these. I have most of my blocks done for my kaleidoscope, so that may be the better way to go.

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Here’s hoping

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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.

Supernova

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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

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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.

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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.

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WIP Wednesday: The art of procrastination

I should be working on quilting my Anchor quilt.

I could be working on any number of bees and swaps coming due in July.

I also have multiple other projects in some state of completion.

Did I touch any of those things this week?

No! Of course not! I started something completely new.

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But I am totally in love with it.

Maybe it is all the pixels I’ve been doing lately, but I’ve been really itching to do improv. Just have at it with no patterns and see what comes out. Apparently, it was such a strong need that I pushed everything else aside and completed this top in a matter of days. Just the top so far… adding it to the pile of backs that need to be made. I just need to spend some time making backs.

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Click that close up button to better appreciate the seeds!

This is another (along with my kaleidoscope) attempt to use my stash. Now, that doesn’t mean I am not buying fabric (obviously LOL) but I am trying to learn how to better pull things that I already have into a composition rather than pull a couple fabrics and go buy more matching ones, which is what I usually do. I have an ever growing selection of fabrics that I never touch, yet go spend more money on fabric to use. It’s gotta stop. Space and money are running out!

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I love the Denyse Schmidt seeds. I have lots (and lots!) of each of the reprint colors. They are so versatile, and, I think in this quilt, very sophisticated looking. The pink sketch was left over from my chevron quilt. I am not sure where the RK stripes came from…. I may have bought it as a possibility for my chevron and not used it (because I did not use any white in that quilt – I have a similar print that is grey on black in it). But I am honestly not sure… I have no memory of acquiring it. Isn’t that awful? And, I even have yards of Kona black (and white) that I got in a fabric.com sale. 100% pulled from stash, not a single “new” cent spent. And not a single Tula print!

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I’ve been itching to use this color scheme. I am so pleased with everything about this. I just love it. Now onto the actual To Do list…

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Wip Wednesday: Too many wips!

I am simultaneously working so many projects. And I am itching to start a couple new ones. But I am already tripping over too many piles and pushing too much stuff off my cutting board… I feel so scattered.

My most important wip right now is my Anchors Aweigh. I’ve completed the back. It is huge and I am hurting for space to spread it out. I had yardage of a couple of the coral prints so that is the main part of the back. Then I also wanted to add some other pieces (as usual). Even though it would have made more sense yardage-wise to place the pieced strip vertically, I really wanted it to go horizontally on this one. That took some math to figure out the best way to cut the yardage with as little waste as possible, which also meant more piecing in the background areas. I decided I’d rather do that than cut off another 2 yard piece and waste most of it. I was pretty impressed with myself that even at 3am I was able to calculate how wide a piece I needed to cut to fill that gap.

For the blocks, I pulled out all the water related layers from my huge Tula swap layer cake pile. I think initially, I was just going to sew a row of them together and sew them in between the backgrounds. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to frame them somewhat. In the end it was a good thing I did, because for whatever reason, I needed that extra length. I wanted grey, but I didn’t have enough left over and my closest store doesn’t carry it. I had a scrap with me of the Octos and selected the snow and stone to take home and play with. I really thought I was going to go with snow, but as I laid everything out, I liked the look of the stone. It was more toned down and also reminded me of sand (even though the sand at our beach is probably closer to the snow color. hmm….).

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Here is how it turned out, as best as I was able to photograph it at that time. Now I am starting to baste it. I am really intimidated by quilting this. I know it is going to take forever. But, onward and upward!

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In the meantime, I’ve been pushing through blocks for two other projects. First up, my economy quilt. This is going to be a graduation/college gift for my cousin. I was going to make it 120 blocks (roughly 50×60) but I am wondering now it that’s going to be big enough. I am moving right along on it. I get hung up every now and then trying to pick colors for the blocks, but once I have a bunch of those chosen and cut and ready to go, I make good progress til I get stopped again.

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And my goal for the year is to make a kaleidoscope quilt. As the year is half over, I need to get moving on that! I had cut out about a million triangles and taken them to stash bash, but didn’t actually start on it there. I eventually started putting pieces together and playing around. I’ve tried several times to plot it out – both on the computer and on paper – and it just isn’t working for me. I am such a control freak, but when it comes to quilting, I kind of like to let things happen organically and make decisions as I go. So, here I am playing with some blocks on the design wall.

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This one still has a long way to go. Again, wishing for bigger spaces to work in.

So, that’s a lot of small progress on many things!

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Don’t forget to check out our blog hoppers today:

 

Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts
Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe (http://patchthegiraffe.blogspot.com/)
Daisy @ Ants To Sugar
Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase
Elizabeth @ And Pins
Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer
Alice @ Blossom Quilts
Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute
Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter
Kelsey @ Lovely And Enough
Carole @ 
Fresh Off The Frame
Camelia @ Camelia Elliott
Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts
Paula @ Mud Pies and Pins
Lori @ Sew Psychd
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Christina @ Wips and Tuts
Diana @ Sew Crafty Chick
Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller
Judy @ Quilt Paradigm
Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

 

 

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Wip Wednesday

With my son’s piggy quilt done (post to come) I got to turn my attention to my many WIPs piling up.

First of all, I need to make about 100 quilt backs. That’s probably going to become a big push in the near future. The finished tops are piling up as I move on to the next project and the next project. I need to get some of these finished. One of the more pressing ones is my chevron top which I am giving to a friend as a thank you. I had my eye on some fabric for the back, and purchased it when the shop finally offered a sale. While they said they had 10 yards in stock, I received barely two. Why does this keep happening to me? So, I’ve found the fabric one other place but for a lot of money. I am ruminating on what to do about this. In the meantime, I am playing with the leftover blocks to use in the back as well.

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I’ve also been continuing to work more aggressively on my economy blocks. I think I am putting too much thought into this.

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My machine keeps munching on the corners of the triangles.

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Squaring up has to be one of my least favorite things to do, so while I was motivated to do it, I started working on my Tula blocks as well. Those are actually coming in fairly accurate. A little short if anything… hmm….

imageI’ve joined about a million project swaps this month too. I think I am a little stressed.

 

 

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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. ūüôā

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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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Finish Along Q2

So I somehow completely missed the finish along Q1 finishes link up. I was looking out for it but never saw it. Oh well. I only had one finish – my stack the deck.

So now it is time to link up for the second quarter –

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1. My Citrus Bento – I am currently quilting this. I just need to finish and bind. Almost done!

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2. My BOM class top. I doubt I will get to this, but here it is just in case.

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3. My son’s bad piggy quilt. I hope to have this done for his birthday in May.

Chevron

Chevron

4. My Chevron quilt. I am still hunting back fabric for this, but want to get to it soon as it is a thank you gift for a friend.

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5. My Tula Pink “houndstoothish” – still in this state. I have about 30 more blocks to decide on fabrics and make before finishing the top. This one is huge.

Bloom Bloom Pow

Bloom Bloom Pow

6. Bloom bloom pow – I haven’t touched this one since I put it away last summer. I need to make the back.

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7. Ribbon Chevron – This one is still festering in my sewing room. I will get to it some day – if for no other reason than to be done with it. I don’t love it as much as I did a year and a half ago. It’s funny to see how I’ve grown/changed.

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8. Tula pink sail away – I have my squares cut and ready to get started.

I have a few other projects I am starting, but am just pulling fabrics for so no photos yet. Nothing I think I’ll have completed in the next few months anyway.

 

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Bento back

So my complete focus the last few weeks has been my Citrus Bento quilt. This is the quilt I started at stash bash last year and am determined to bring completed this year. My biggest hold up (other than having other more pressing things to finish) has been my inability to decide what to do for the back, or to choose a good fabric for it. Then a few months back Fabric.com did a super dooper clearance on this fabric, which I thought might work.

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Then they only sent me half what I ordered. Not enough for the back. Though I never really planned to just use this on the back. I like to piece my backs. But I was still pretty uninspired for what to do. I had leftovers of most of the fabrics I used in the front, plus several fabrics that I wish I had had when I made the quilt. I decided to cut layers and bricks and create a back from those.

Here are my (really crappy) pictures of the back:

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I wasn’t as enamored of it as I had hoped (I was hoping to be able to do another stripe of the Beachwood Park in the middle, but not enough) but maybe it will look better when it is on the back of the quilt and not all wrinkly on my grass.

I finally got it basted –

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And am quilting it now.

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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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