Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

ALYOF: March finish

For March my goal was to finish my top from my BOTM class last year. I got busy on it right away and had it completed pretty early in the month.

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I was only able to get one picture of it before my son ran by and pulled it down. The clothesline isn’t working for my pictures for a number of reasons lately… I need to find a different solution.

Anyway, there it is. I wish I had placed a couple of blocks differently now – I was trying to balance both the colors and the surface area of the blocks. I played around with it quite a bit, but it is always different when you have it done and can step back from it and see the whole thing. Anyway, I am proud of myself for completing it. I signed up for the class again this weekend and it starts in a couple of weeks. I will be glad to show my teachers my progress.

You can see my March goal post here

You can see (most) all of my posts about this top here

I’ve been busy this month. I need to catch up my posts!

 

 

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WIP Wednesday: BOTM

I have been diligently working on my BOTM. At the expense of my spring cleaning? Well, not entirely sewing’s fault. I am still not 100% from the flu. I’ve had a fussy tummy and am very low energy. The dreary weather and dwindling naps haven’t helped my motivation either. Oh well.

I completed the blocks pretty quickly. It goes a lot faster when I am not in class socializing. But, that’s the fun of going to the class. I’ve mentioned before I have no discipline to finish BOTMs if I am not in a class for them. They pile up in my email.

All the blocks

All the blocks

paper piecing

paper piecing

I know paper piecing is all the rage, but I really dislike it. I am sure I said this when I made my pineapple last year, but I find it incredibly wasteful. It wastes paper. It wastes fabric. It wastes thread. It wastes tons of time. And there’s so much getting up and down. Maybe it is different if you are doing many blocks at a time. I don’t know. Someday I will tackle Prism or a Pineapple but the time consumingness of the paper piecing has them low on my list. Look how long it takes me to do the simple ones.

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I have the sashing between the blocks attached. Then my rotary cutter broke. I hope to finish the row sashing and the first border today.

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WIP Wednesday – Chevron top

 

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So, I’ve mentioned my chevron top from time to time here. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually shown it or discussed it really. I’ve been working on it on and off for a month or two. It’s been put aside as I’ve had other things come up or needed more fabric for it. After I finished the piggy top, I briefly considered my bento back. Well, I need fabric for it. Some is on order and some I still need to order. So that’s on hold again.

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And next up was the chevron. At that point I had most of the blocks made. So, I finished up the last few blocks, trimmed, plotted and assembled. It took maybe a week? Not even. I used several different prints – had to do some editing on them too. And printed black or charcoal for the background. So now that top is done!

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Which means I have another back to make.

 

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WIP Wednesday: Pixel quilt

I’ve been diligently working on my pixel quilt. I have 6 blocks done, but as one is just a white square I guess it doesn’t count. I am working my way around the outside first, mostly to use the large white pieces to get them out of my box of cut pieces so I can see and easily get to the smaller ones. I am able to do 2-3 a day as long as I really focus on getting them done. Today… I am having a couch day. LOL. I need to do some cleaning.

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It has been fun to work on. I took the Craftsy pixel class and followed that course to make this quilt. I enjoy the process of using the spreadsheet and calculating and plotting and everything. It is fun to me to have to think through how to sew the pieces together in the most appropriate way. And, because they are just squares and rectangles, they go together quickly. If I had more time in the day to sew, I could easily have this done in a day or two.

I see you!

I see you!

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Those are the blocks I have done so far, but they aren’t in proper order or orientation. Just however I threw them on the board to get the picture. My son saw me with the plan printout last night and shouted “Piggy!” and oinking and stuff, so at least the plan is clear enough for him to tell what it is. I hope he will like it. I have no less than four piggies in my line of sight at this very moment. Time to clean.

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ALYOF February

Oh my goodness you guys, I am so undecided! I have been going back and forth on my goal pick for February. Do I pick the one I want to do? The one I know will get done? The one I need motivation on? The one that is closest to done? Furthest? Grr.

Even as I write this, I am waffling back and forth. Of course, I hope to get several of these done regardless, but I know I will put the effort into making sure my finish pick gets done.

Ugh. So the winner is….?

pixel quilt

pixel quilt

These are the pieces I cut last month for my pixel quilt while my machine wasn’t working. My goal is to get the top pieced this month. I had a lot of fun plotting it out up to this point, but I am guessing I will need an extra kick in the pants to get to putting it together, because I have several other things I am itching to get to more.

I’ve mentioned before my son LOVES bad piggies. I have a whole collection of these little critters now (which believe me, they are not as easy to find as angry birds! So when I find them, I grab them up.) He carries them around the house, has a plush one he loves to cuddle, plays them on the various electronics. Until recently, he didn’t know the birds existed. He is all about the piggies.

So, I haven’t plotted it out yet, but this is what my top will (hopefully!) resemble when I am done:

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I am a bit behind because of my trip, but will be back with further goals for the month.

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Wip Wednesday…

I am still without my machine. I get it back tomorrow, and I really have been going nuts. It is one thing to take a break when my sewing machine is readily available, but I want to sew so badly and I can’t! I feel like I have a pile of things to do that I just can’t do!

I haven’t totally wasted my time… I’ve been doing a lot of cutting.

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I’ve got a bit of a pile up on my cutting table and ironing board.

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I have my entire pixel quilt cut out and ready to go! I have never cut an entire project before starting before. And I have to be honest, if it weren’t for my forced sewing break, I would probably have put this off for months. Now I have no excuse not to get it put together relatively quickly.

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I’ve also decided to jump on the economy quilt along bandwagon. Again, I am not sure I would be getting to this if I hadn’t had this time. I am fussy cutting my centers.  Even though I have an extensive novelty collection, I really don’t want this one to be an overly juvenile quilt. So you know that I am showcasing my favorites – a lot of Lizzy House, Tula Pink, Heather Ross, and Sarah Jane. The centers are the easy part. Picking the rest of it is going to be harder.

I’ve also pretty much finished cutting my chevron quilt.

So, the order of events, starting tomorrow –

I have to finish my mug rug swap and get that sent outI have to finish my stack the deck ASAP to make it in time for my January goal. I have 6 days. Plus, dudes, it is getting COLD out!
Then I will focus on getting my chevron put together.

I am going out of town next week, but I am going to use that time to do some sketching of some ideas I’ve had bouncing around.

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WIP Wednesday

I’ve been working on a couple of things. I have basted my stack the deck quilt. After the behemoth quilts I’ve just made, this one seems really tiny. Basting went very quickly. I spent hours basting my aunt’s quilt… of course, I did it crooked the first time.

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I realized I’ve never officially shown the back.

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I used my leftover blocks in the small squares and in the large rectangle is my inspiration fabric, which didn’t actually get used in the front of the quilt. I believe I will be binding with it as well.

I am hoping since basting went so quickly, it will be quick to quilt as well, but I am nervous. Remember how I had all kinds of issues with tension while quilting my aunt’s quilt? Well, they are ongoing…. I started working on my chevron top and had to pull out and redo a lot of it…

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I re-threaded everything and put in a new needle and it seems to be running well again (if noisily), but what I’ve been finding is that it runs for a while and then gets messed up again. Also, now the bobbin winder isn’t working properly either. The round part keeps throwing off the thread. I had to hold it in place while it wound. I think I need a trip to the service guy. 😦 But I don’t want to be without my machine! I have to finish my goal!! I may think about a nicer machine next holiday season. 😦 This is a pretty fancy one, but it’s a Singer.

So, here is a peek at my chevron top so far… I have many more fabrics going into it, but I’ve run out of black. I’ve been stranded for a week as my car has also been in the shop (it isn’t going to last too much longer either.) so I need to get out this weekend and go shopping so I can finish this one up. I am still not sure of the color order or anything yet. I’ll play around when I get to that part.

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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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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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