Category Archives: Fabric Stash

It’s Not Looking Good for the Home Team

I finally got around to my Lovely Year of Finishes goal and started machine quilting. I LOVE the Timeless Treasures Sketch Flannel… LOVE IT! But, this is a decent size quilt and it’s heavy!

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My strategy involves slinging that roll over my shoulder and leaning in as I quilt. This is my first time quilting away from seams, so I did a lot of marking.

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I was worried about the charcoal thread showing up on the back (and showing off all my mistakes), but I actually love the way the star pattern shows (and I know that when it crinkles up you won’t be able to tell if it’s straight or not).

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Still not thrilled with the stay stitching knots. I know this quilt is going to get heavy use, so I want to know it’s secure and I don’t have enough confidence in a couple back stitches. I am trying to reserve judgement until I have it all washed up. I will definitely take lots of before and after pictures. This photo shows the knots a little bit more.

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I had just started in on the background sections when this happened.

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I was able to wrench the needle out without breaking it, but it went downhill from there and that put an end to my weekend sewing. Hopefully I will be able to start up again tomorrow. There’s still a slim chance I’ll get it done by the end of the month, but if not I have plenty of hand sewing to do. I’ve been fussy cutting Cuzco.

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Obviously its been making its way into my bee blocks, but most of it’s destined to be hexies. I won’t be abandoning my beloved one-inchers anytime soon, but I decided to play with scale and go with big six-inchers too. I just need to decide on a background fabric.

I am still obsessed with scrappy neutral backgrounds, so I splurged on a Kona bundle with my birthday gift certificate. I usually just stick with a few standards, so this feels especially indulgent.

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Meanwhile, today was my 18th wedding anniversary. My favorite flower and the first flowers my husband ever bought me were Daisies. I also love yellow roses. Excuse the iPhone photo (and Cate eating yogurt). He did a good job. It feels like Spring!

Anniversary Flowers

Wishing everyone a Happy Monday!

Linking up to…

Plum and June

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WIP 2.13.13: Instant Gratification

After a rocky start to February, I finally had a chunk of sewing time this past weekend. As much as I’m committed to clearing my WIP;s, I had a hard time getting excited about my current projects.

I’ve been slowly quilting my You’re Never A-Lone Star 1 and am happy with my progress. I decided to quilt the star in a lone star pattern which is requiring a lot of starts and stops. I decided early on not to bury my knots and am utilizing my machines automatic stay stitching feature. My one complaint is that it stitches 5-6 times at the end of each row, creating a sizable knot on the back. I’m using flannel for the back and don’t think they will show much, but I do wish my machine would allow me to change the number of stitches taken. As for this weekend, I wasn’t up for the heavy lifting required to quilt this project.

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The next project under consideration was my 1/2″ hexagon mini quilt. I pulled this project out at the beginning of the month and got the rest of my sewn strips joined. My current piece of patchwork is approximately 12″ X 18″ and I can’t decide if I want this portion of the mini to be bigger or not. I plan to add a border of charcoal hexies and then a final 3-4 rounds of the scrappy hexies to finish it off. Right now, this center section seems like it would be proportionally right given those plans. I also like the balance of color and value in this section. I’ve attempted to lay additional hexies out to see what it would look like bigger and can’t quite seem to keep these elements consistent. I also question whether a bigger center will add much impact given the extra time it would take. Which is to say I “think” I’m ready for the charcoal border, but am still indecisive enough, that this project was set aside for the weekend. Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

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The rest of my early February sewing has centered around paper piecing bee blocks. I really love the Cartwheel Block from Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced that I chose for this round of the 4 X 5 bee and I need to get them finished up. For some reason, this just wasn’t the type of sewing I was looking for.

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I just didn’t feel like I had the energy to focus on paper piecing and was really wanting to feel like I was making progress towards a finish. What I needed was mindless sewing and instant gratification. A simple, straight-forward patchwork project was just what I was looking for. Fortunately, I had one on my¬† Q1 FAL list, cut and ready to be pieced. In the past I have chain pieced pairs of charms, then joined them into 4-square blocks, then continued doubling until I had rows and then doubled up rows until I ended up with a finished quilt. I remembered another chain-piecing technique I saw on a quilting show where you joined the first two columns and then added the third one on without cutting the thread between rows. You end up with all your rows formed and attached to each other by small lengths of thread. I’ve also decided I”m going to try minky for the first time on this quilt. Since it’s for a young child, I was able to keep it small enough that I won’t have to piece the back.

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Despite this quick finish (about two hours from layout to done), I wasn’t very happy with my final product. I knew I wanted to use solids to break up the charms, but didn’t have enough of any one color to use in the entire quilt. I thought these four colors would work well together, but I don’t really love it. Too sherberty for my taste. Fortunately, the mom of the little girl it’s intended for likes it, so I will go ahead and finish it up.

Since I was luke-warm at best with this side project, I was still feeling restless and unable to jump back into one of my other WIPs. What I really wanted to do was play with some of my favorite fabrics. I fell in love with Svetlana’s Pixelated Heart Pillow and having collected quite a few low-volume, neutral and text prints was itching to cut into them. My problem was I have been collecting them for specific projects, none of which would satisfy my desire for instant gratification. I didn’t want to cut into them randomly and end up short when I finally found time to execute my plans. With that in mind, I set out to liberate some scraps. I made a list of six different projects and the cuts required for each, along with some criteria to determine which fabrics would work best in each application. Only one project utilized them all and when I was done I had enough fabric cut for the neutral (used loosely) parts of 110 blocks (2 from each stack).

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I have to say that I was feeling a bit giddy looking at these piles of fabrics. There are just so many favorites here and I can’t wait to start on these blocks. In the meantime, after a full day of cutting, I took the scraps from the lightest of these fabrics, cut some 2 1/2″ squares to pair with squares of pink scraps and pieced together a Pixelated Heart Wall Hanging for Cate and Ava’s room.

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Ahhhh, that’s what I was looking for. There are a few misplaced squares (I really need a design wall!), but all told, I really love how this turned out. I’ve already finished up the quilting and have the binding attached to the front. I hope to get it sewn down while the kiddos are at their dance classes tonight and to have a post up for Finish It Friday. As an added bonus, this little bit of quilting was just enough to motivate me to jump back into quilting my You’re Never A-Lone Star 1, so I’ve come full circle.

On tap for the coming week….

  1. Finish quilting You’re Never A-Lone Star 1
  2. Finish up and send off 4 X 5 Bee Blocks and February Color Bee Shocked blocks

Linking up….

.WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday Stash: Going Dotty

The worst thing about being a new quilter is seeing all the wonderful scrappy quilts made from stash and not having a stash of your own. The best thing about being a new quilter is being able to create a stash from scratch. What a great opportunity to make sure that every fabric you sew with is a favorite! As I’ve bought fabrics over the past six months, both entire lines and individual fabrics, I’m beginning to learn what type of fabrics I reach for time and time again. Since I like all things scrappy, I’m all about little bits of a lot of different fabrics. Like most quilters I like having a good stock of fabrics that are primarily one color in different patterns mixed with white. Of course that includes lots of polka dots in all shapes and sizes. When I heard that The Quilt Studio in Omaha was having a fat quarter sale this past weekend, I went with the thought of filling out a few colors in my stash particularly those colors that I didn’t have in polka dots. Knowing they have a large collection of art gallery fabrics, I hoped that I might snag a few oval elements, but really any polka dot fabric would do. Imagine my delight when I came home from this…

At a dollar a fat quarter, I couldn’t bear to leave any of these in the bin. I could just sit and look at these wonderful colors all day. I couldn’t resist playing with a few of them right away. After I finished up a couple flying geese blocks for December Color Bee Shocked, I had to make a few more for my sampler quilt. Ahhhh, polka dots…

I’m still a bit giddy.
Linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth