Tag Archives: fabric

50 shades of… yeah, not going there.

It’s January 20th and I am very nearly done with my first quilt of the new year! This is kind of amazing to me. Especially because I feel like we’ve already been crazy busy this year. There was seeing Star Wars for the 2nd time, checking out the lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens, going to the National Western Stock Show, and still working to integrate our new kitty into our family…

Working around all of that, I started a quilt. I thought I’d have more time- the baby is not due until later March- but it turns out that the shower is this weekend- so I sprang into action! Fortunately, I had a plan in mind all along- Star Bright by Swim Bike Quilt. The baby is a girl, and the mom and I share a love of a particular color scheme.

I had a false start- my original batch of greys was way too brown. So I replaced some and was much much happier! Honestly, the trickiest part of this one is truly picking the fabrics… Also really neat about these greys- some from my scrap bin go back a decade or more, and some are brand spanking new. I love that!

The three-day weekend meant that I had enough time to baste and quilt this sucker- using my brand new quilt bar. I wish the arm(?) came further forward to line up with the walking foot, but, it was still a help.

I tried a pop of aqua for the binding- and I have to say, I’m loving it. Not loving so much the self-threading needles I bought as an experiment. img_2354Not all that easy to thread after all, and then I broke my thread several times when it caught on the top of the needles. I quickly went back to my old needles…

Meanwhile, I thought you might like to see all my helpers. George (top right) is the newest member of the family (adopted 12/18/15) and as such, hasn’t yet learned not to climb on the sewing machine table. He was deeply offended that I wasn’t petting him at that moment. Wally, bottom right, at least had the decency to wait until I finished basting before he sat on the quilt. And Bob, normally the worst behaved of the lot, actually was happy to snuggle on my feet while I hand bound the quilt.

 Even with all this help, I still managed to almost finish the quilt last night. A teensy bit more hand sewing and then burying a few quilting thread ends, and it will be good to go! Whee!

Then back to the Tardis quilt- which has actually been started! Annie and I are still in the cutting tiny squares phase, but now that the design wall is free again, we can start laying it out.

Linking up with Sew Cute TuesdayWIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baby quilts, Pinned it AND made it!, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

I Don’t Have the Blues, But I’d Like Them…

Annie has been pestering me to start her Tardis quilt. We’re working from this as our inspiration. And this cross stitch chart will also be very helpful… Many moons ago, Annie went through my stash and pulled out blues that looked good to her, and purples for the background. (She wants purples to look space-like rather than the yellow of the original.) As you might guess, purple is NO problem. But we just don’t have enough of the deep blues. And I would prefer not to buy a ton.So I’m putting out a call: can YOU spare any scraps of blue? I think our squares will be 3.5″ inches, so nothing smaller than that. I will happily swap for things in my stash- need purple? No problem! And lighter blues and greens galore… And wow, do I have novelties…

For your reference:

t blue 1 t blue 2

Yes, I do realize they give different Pantone numbers, but each image is a good representation of the types of blues we need. Deep and bold, not flat. Slightly jewel-toned, but not over the top. Thank you!

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Sunday Stash: The All Lizzy House Edition

I may not have been doing a ton of sewing lately, but I haven’t let that keep me from acquiring some new fabric. And it’s all by the amazing Lizzy House. Natural History is one of my favorite lines in ages. I’m already doing that thing where I kick myself for not buying more. Which is totally insane, seeing as how I have more fabric that I can use in a lifetime. (Especially with me sewing so little of late!)

But I did buy a pile of my faves. Full yards of the blues, 1/2s of the greens, all from my fave LQS.

IMG_6181The dinos and the minerals make me soon happy. One of my grandpas was a geologist, and they make me think of him. The stars are for Annie my astronomer. And the whales for Henry, my marine biologist.

And then… I was drooling over the new mini pearl bracelets, and low and behold, an FQ bundle appeared on Massdrop. I’ve made a few purchases through them, and have been very satisfied so far. I’m waiting for another package to show up, that I can’t wait to show you. If you haven’t signed up yet, and you’re so inclined, you can sign up through my link and I might earn rewards. Meanwhile, aren’t they soon pretty?

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My only regret is that there’s not a better purple. But you can’t have it all… I’m hoping this line will be followed by a mini TONAL pearl bracelet release. That would be perfect.

I think these pretty fabrics are helping me get back into the groove. Stay tuned to see what I’ve gotten up to. Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sunday Stash.

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Scraptastic

Before my week off, I set myself a goal: to deal with my scraps. They were seriously out of control. Some of them were sorted by color into small containers. Most of them were in a giant pile on the floor. A while back, I dumped them out of their big container to force myself to deal with them. And then I didn’t.

Here’s what that pile looked like when I started:

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And that doesn’t even include the stuff that was stored in bins…

Oi.

I started by sorting them into piles by color, and also chose which ones to throw away, or give away.

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Then, color by color, I sorted and stored. I thought about cutting pieces to certain sizes, but since I don’t have a go to piece size, that seemed like a lot of work. Instead, I just checked to be sure pieces were of usable sizes and tried to gather like with like. Very technical, right?

Slowly but surely, I made progress.

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When I got to purple, I had some fun surprises.

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The first and biggest surprise was that I had more blue scraps than purple. Shocking! And also nearly as much green as purple.

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The next surprise? Pieces of fabric from my first ever quilt, way back in the 90s. Very cool to have found them. I’ll have to work them back into something. I also found some bits of my elusive sugar block backing fabric, and I’m hopeful I might be able to squeak out one more block. Or maybe, please, 2.

Here’s a look at what a color bin looked like when it was nearly done:

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When I finally finished, I had bins for purple, blue, green, red, pink, yellow/orange, brown, black/white, and grey. Phew!

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Plus, a big pile of novelty bits that I have yet to decide what to do with. And a big bag of totally useable bits that I know I’ll never use, so they’re going to the art room at my daughter’s school. Win/win!

It feels so good to have this done. Now, I’ll just have to keep the bins in decent order. Hah.

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Sunday Stash, Supersized Edition

Overall last year I was really good about buying fabric. Not a ton came into the house. Blenders, lots of blenders. And some other tasty treats, of course. But my resolve has been weak as of late. I blame Tula Pink and her awesome new Elizabeth line. Before it was even released, I placed a preorder through QuiltHome. They had a fab discount… and I was certain I bought all the pieces I wanted.

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It arrived, and I loved it. And I wanted more. Way more. But of course, the discount coupon code was expired by then… What’s a girl to do?

Answer: check out the LQS going out of business sale. This particular store was lovely, and carried a great selection of modern fabrics, but their prices were at the higher end of the range, and that kept me from going too often. But when the closing sale got to 40% off everything (last week) I couldn’t resist. The Aurifil was totally cleared out, and the fabric was close behind, but I managed to find a few treasures.

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They had quite a few Tulas from Moonshine and Foxfield left. And even an Acacia. And some good blenders.

But by now my fabric willpower was shot to hell. So when the Equilter sale email popped up in my inbox, I couldn’t resist it.

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In my defense, this is only half of what I originally had in my cart. Equilter is in Boulder, just up the highway from us- so I should have had this practically overnight- but they didn’t ship it for a whole week. THEN I got it practically overnight. This is all novelties, something I do don’t need. But the glasses in yellow? I have some in pink but needed, yes needed, more. And the space text purple is for Annie. The awesome Alexander Henry sewing theme print is one I’ve been eyeing for ages. 3 deer head prints, yum. And the piece de resistance, the kittens- with yarn!

Meanwhile, I went looking for more Elizabeth online. Hawthorne threads had it all, and at a great price, and some other Tula pieces I wanted.

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And just in case you thought that wasn’t enough, I bought an Allison Glass FQ bundle from Massdrop.

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More blenders! My first Massdrop experience was great. I didn’t commit to buy unless the lowest price was unlocked- and it was a good price that included shipping. The shipping was fast, too- I had these FQs in my hands very quickly. If you haven’t checked out Massdrop yet, it might be worth it. If you sign up and eventually make a purchase through my link, I met get a cool swag box. The prices range from great to not really better than you might find elsewhere, so it’s worth shopping around before you commit.

Finally, I have a sweet prize that I kept forgetting to photograph. I won it from Blossom Heart Quilts and the Fat Quarter Shop a while back (um, in November last year)- a fat eighth bundle of Moda Grunge Basics.

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Aren’t they pretty colors?

Phew. That’s a lot of fabric. Probably time to go on a fabric diet again…

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

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Sunday Stash, Wherein I Too Succumb to Cotton & Steel Mania (with bonus yarn)

I’m not certain I have ever seen a fabric launch as widely covered by the quilt blog world as Cotton & Steel. I admit, I quite like the line, but goodness, it’s crazy out there.

And yet.

I wanted some for myself (especially the basics/blenders- I’m crazy for those!) I had a brilliant plan. I had a 20% off one item coupon for Fancy Tiger, so why not use it to buy a FQ bundle? Here’s why: they hadn’t actually got any in 😦 They had the entire line…

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…but not any of the precut bundles.Since I had arrived in the store ready to splurge, I did go through and pick my absolute fave individual pieces:

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I could have bought that diagonal dot print in every color, I love it that much. But, I wasn’t THAT ready to splurge. Which turned out to be a good thing, because…

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Right there at the register was the leftover yarn from the Stephen & Steven Tour 2014. (For the third consecutive year, I missed Stephen West’s teaching and tour stop at Fancy Tiger. I am starting to believe that he checks my vacation schedule before booking time in Denver…) Several friends went to the trunk show and/or took classes, and offered to pick me up some of the exclusive yarn. But it is VERY spendy, and I responsibly declined their offers. And then, over a week later, there was some just waiting for me. And I still had that 20% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket (or actually, on my phone, since it was from an app.) So when that gorgeous skein called out to me, I was able to answer it.

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The yarn is Galaxy by Wild Hare Fiber Studio and the color way is called Neon Zebra, and it is shot though with metallic silver. I have spent the last 2 days petting it. I cannot wait to find the perfect project for it…

Here’s hoping your week was full of delightful stash additions! (Linking up with Sunday Stash…)

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Filed under Sunday Stash, westknits

Gone to the dogs… Bloggers Quilt Festival Entry #1

For the first time this year, I’m on the ball enough to enter the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy’s Creative Side.

AmysCreativeSide.com

I thought long and hard about what to show you… and what category it would fit into. Finally, I decided on what might be my favorite project ever- Annie’s doggy quilt. I blogged about it ages ago, but that was before my giant blogging break, and I bet most of you have never seen it (especially as it was over on my old typepad blog, which I stopped paying for, and so now looks terrible.)

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I decided to submit it to the Scrappy category, as every block was made from stash scraps- except for the centers. The center of each block is from a different piece of fabric featuring dogs. Many I bought myself, but other quilt bloggers sent me pieces as well. The fabrics in this quilt represent my tastes so very very well- mirror gal dots, kaffes, herringbones, batiks, and bold graphics- and color! Lots and lots of bright color!

I intended this to be a gift for Annie’s 9th birthday, in 2010. We redid her bedroom that year, to make it more grown up- a desk for homework, bookcases instead of toy bins, etc. And we repainted from the purple I’d picked for her at age 3 to the blue she really wanted now. i actually made her an entirely different doggy quilt first- but I really wasn’t happy with it. (Apparently I was so unhappy with it I never took a photo of the finished top!) So I started over!

I approached each block as its own unit- picking the fussy cut dog for the center first, and then pulling fabrics for the block. I deliberately made each fussy cut center a different size, and tried to keep the surrounding fabrics to different widths. I chose 2 or 3 fabrics to complement each doggy.

And for some reason, this process took me FOREVER. Annie did not get this quilt until Christmas Eve 2010, many months after her April birthday.

annie dog quilt

Fortunately, even with the delay, she was thrilled by it! I made matching curtains, and eventually pillowcases as well. The framed prints on the wall came from a local thrift shop for just a few dollars each- score! (And on a side note, god, she’s grown sooooo much. But she still sleeps under this quilt. In fact, I had to steal it from her bed to take some new photos for this post…)

The entire family seemed to approve.
Bob T. Cat on the Doggy Quilt

 

I thought I’d show you a few of my favorite of the 40 blocks…

This purple one- I love the way the Brandon Mably fabric worked.
mably purple chihuahua

This one, featuring that Heather Ross fabric that I love so much (and just got autographed by her!)
doggy blocks- orange and pink

This little blue guy, because I love how graphic and bold it is.
scruffy blue dog

And finally, this one, even though it’s super simple and more low key. Because when I was younger, we had an Old English Sheepdog named Spencer and he was the best.dog.ever.
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If you have any desire to check out all the blocks up close, you can check out this Flickr set of mine. They’re all there.

Since I bought so many pieces of doggy fabric, only to chop up tiny bits of them for block centers, I used the leftover bits to create the back. I even used bits from the pieces I couldn’t make work on the front.

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I used big squares, as well as 4 patch blocks, and while it’s super busy, it was a fun economical backing…

The binding is a fun blue-green polka dot, I think a Michael Miller, that I also used in the curtains.

I truly wish that my machine quilting skills had been better then- they’re only marginally better now, but I think it would have made a difference.  I just did some straight line quilting, near the ditch. Probably not enough, actually. Still, she’s happy. And I do truly love this- it makes me smile every time I look at it. Each block was made with love, and each one is a combination of my favorite colors and prints.

And on that note, I’ll leave you with some more photos.

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Thank you for visiting, and I hope the doggy quilt made you smile, too!

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Sunday Stash, with bonus yard sale score

Over the past few weeks, I’ve piled up quite a few pieces of pretty fabric, but haven’t told you about them. This is sort of the April catch-up Sunday Stash post- and if you hang out to the end, there’s a surprise!

First, the pinks:

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I’m trying to add some more pinks to my City Sampler blocks- #9 is still hanging out there all alone, and that needs to change.

Next, the Tulas. Because apparently, there’s always new Tula here.

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Acacia, Saltwater, AND Foxfield all in one. And from 3 different sources to boot.

Then, the AMH. Because I always need new Anna Maria Horner, and Fancy Tiger just got in her new line…

IMG_8393I love the whole line, but these birds called out to me…

And then, I am SOOOO happy about these next pieces…

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Yup, Lizzy House’s Constellations in both light and dark blue. I thought I had totally missed my chance at the dark blue, and had looked for it online several times recently to no avail. And then I happened to visit Leigh Laurel Studios…where she mentioned that Sew Fresh Fabrics still had it in stock! Hooray! The darker blue is intended for the Tardis quilt that I am apparently going to be making with Annie. And I think the lighter will find its way into my City Sampler blocks…

And finally, the unicorns.

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Because unicorns. And because Annie loves ponies and horses. And because the colors are fun.

And if you’ve made it this far, you can see my one final Sunday Stash item. This item is totally NOT fabric. This item is around 60 years old.

 

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Yesterday was our neighborhood’s annual yard sale. We tried our luck, and sold some of our stuff. The rest is loaded into the back of my minivan, ready to get donated… When it got boring to wait for customers, the kids headed out to check out the other sales. Around the corner from our house was this little guy, sitting in a driveway with a $25 price tag- Annie texted me photos…

I totally have no need for it. I’m not sure I have the skills to use it. And $25 would be 2 yards of new fabric. But, I really wanted it. I love to look at vintage machines. They’re so nifty! And I’ve never owned a Pfaff. When it came time to pack up our sale, I went to see if I could bargain with them. They agreed to take $15.00 for it. And so I have a new, old machine. The absolute best part is that they still had the entire original manual, encased in protective plastic sleeve. The manual itself is a treasure. The machine works- light comes on, pedal and needle work, etc. We’ll see if I learn to use it, or just keep it as decor.

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Sunday Stash: All Tula All The Time

This lovely fabric became mine right before we left on vacation…

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A bundle of lovely, lovely Tula Pinks. From top to bottom: Acacia Raccoon in Blueberry, Salt Water Sea Debris in Aqua, Fox Field Pony Play in Dusk, Fox Field Happy Dot, and Fox Field Foxtrot (my favorite fabric in years and years…)

I dithered around when Quilt Home was having their Tula sale, and by the time I decided to place an order, half the fabrics I wanted were sold out. Bad for me, better for my budget. The top 4 fabrics came from Quilt Home, and the bottom, the fabulous amazing signature Fox Field Foxtrot print, came from a local store.

And I only got one yard of it.

Because I hadn’t been into this shop in ages- they carry delicious modern fabrics by all the designers I love, but I remembered them as a bit pricey. And I remembered right- $12.99 a yard for the Tula! Ouch. They had the whole line, but I couldn’t afford any more at the moment! Sigh.

Meanwhile, I have this excellent pile of Tulas to go into many projects, but especially my City Sampler blocks.

Hope you had a wonderful stash week! Linking up with Sunday Stash.

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Sunday Stash: blenders… and news!

Working on Meow Mix has pointed out the holes in my stash- especially yellows and oranges. (And it has also confirmed that I loooooove purple.) I need more fabric like I need a hole in my head, and yet, when I got an email from Fabricworm with a good coupon, I placed an order… which contained yellows, and of course, more purples… I was thinking blenders. I need more blenders. Don’t you kind of always need more blenders?

(But stay tuned until the end for a total impulse buy, which is part of a very exciting pending project.)

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Violet Craft Waterfront Park Domino Dot in Starfruit and Joel Dewberry True Colors Wood Grain Yellow…

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Violet Craft Waterfront Park Domino Dot Jewel, Anna Maria Horner Field Study Fine Feathered Whisper, Studio E Modern Age Chevron Purple

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Joel Dewberry True Colors Herringbone Pink, Anna Maria Horner True Colors Crescent Bloom Fuschia

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Anna Maria Horner True Colors Haystack Bouquet Moss

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Timeless Treasures Sewing Machines Multi (Not a blender at all!)

But it is intended for such a wonderful project- read on.

I am lucky enough to have a room dedicated to my sewing. It used to double as an office, in the time before we all used laptops and tablets for everything, but for the last few years, it’s just been for sewing. And storing fabric and yarn, of course! Over the past few months, as I’ve been getting my sewing groove back, I’ve been thinking about ways to better utilize my space. The furniture in the room is a miss-mash of leftovers, most of which do not work so very well. The book shelves I use to store my fabric have shelves that are too deep, and it’s so hard to look get the fabric out and use it. And then putting it back away neatly takes sooooo much time. I have a “design wall” (felt backed plastic tablecloths tacked to the wall) but my cutting table and ironing board make it hard to use them. My cutting table is oval in shape, and takes up more room than it needs to.

So what to do?  I started searching Pinterest and the interwebs for crafty space inspiration. I’ve long wanted to use Ikea Expedit bookcases, and when I mentioned that in passing to my husband, he let me know they were being discontinued! Noooooo… Time to speed up my plans! A quick trip to Ikea netted a few pieces, in black instead of white as the white selection had already been decimated. I not so subtly hinted to Rich that he should start putting the Expedits together right away, but he pointed out that maybe I should finish my overall plans first.

I hate it when he’s right…

But he was, and it has worked out really well. Part of why we chose our current house was the finished basement. It has a guest room, as well as the laundry room, and one large room that became the playroom. We stashed most of the kids’ toys down there, and also a TV and some comfy furniture, so they had their own space to enjoy and also mess up… But at nearly 13 and 10, they don’t really use it anymore (we moved in when they were 3 and 1.5 years old.) I sat down and talked with them, and they agreed that it would be okay for me to turn the playroom into my sewing room!

It’s about twice as big as my current sewing room!

And even though it’s in the basement, we have a tri-level house, and the basement has windows. So, double the space along with light? Hooray!

The big move is planned for mid-April. When my office (a school) is closed for Spring Break, I have 7 days paid time off! (Plus a weekend in there to boot.) I’m planning on spending nearly all day every day of break setting up the new room. I am so excited!

And all of that still doesn’t mention what the sewing machine fabric is for. Curtains!! The colors work perfectly with the carpet and wall colors already in the space. Cute machine curtains will totally set the mood…

Do you have any tips for storage or setting up a workspace that have made your sewing experiences better? I’d love to hear them!

Linking up with Sunday Stash.

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