Color Crush, Fabric, In Progress

Coloring in the Lines

When I was fabric shopping a couple months ago, I went on a bit of a binge with V & Co’s Color Theory fabric.  I bought two charm packs and a layer cake.  I had a great idea of how I was going to use them, and then that idea dissipated.

I flipped through the patterns I have accumulated to try to find something I could use to make a baby quilt for a friend using the color line.  My friend is not finding out the gender and the teal and yellow in the line seemed perfect for a gender-neutral baby quilt.

I landed on this pattern.  And it does work wonderfully with these pretty blenders.  I love the fabric.  I respect the pattern.  It does make a lovely quilt.  But goshdarnit that’s a lot of 1/2-square triangles.

IMG_2391I took a break from the quilt to make this vase cover for my mom for Mother’s Day.  The pattern is Spring Star from Farm Girl Vintage.

IMG_2376I have enjoyed working within one fabric line, one color palette, but I am bursting to start having some crazy, scrappier fun.

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Fabric, scrappy, Ta Da Done

Scraps!

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I have a lot of scraps.  When I populated my new Raskogs, I did a scrap purge.  I had to face the fact that I will not use a lot of the scraps I had saved.  I saved about 75% of them and organized them by color.  It was sad to see the rest go, but I thought it was more important to have my scraps in a usable state than to save every last one.

I used my newly-found, calm-inducing scrap organization to start making slabs ala the instructions in Sunday Morning Quilts.  It was fun to make these blocks for sure, but more time intensive than I had hoped.  I was looking for quick if the blocks were this improv-y.  But each block took a bit of time.

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I also made some “wonky” stars for the yellow color.

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And I backed in my second favorite fabric of all time, this floral from Denyse Schmidt.  Which they still sell at Joann.  Because the financial gods are against me.

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I wanted a blue binding to pull out the little bit of blue in the quilt.  I had this adorable stripe in my stash.  No idea where it came from.  After cutting out the binding I had a thin strip left.  That I put in my scrap bin.  Sigh.

I don’t think I like working with scraps.  This project felt like a bit of a slog until I got to the quilting part.  Pure joy.  I used a wood grain pattern.  My stitch consistency is still all over the place, but a bit better.  And it was so much fun.  I found myself wishing I had another top finished that I could quilt.  So I will get on that.  🙂

After washing and drying, the texture of this wood grain became just amazing and soft and quilty.  Seriously, can’t wait to do this again.  Motivation to finish a quilt top for reals.

I hope the recipient will love it for her daughter.  I do think I am pushing the boundary of how close a friend has to be for me to give her a baby quilt.  I might be handing them out on the street corner this time next year.  The great news is that a *very* good friend just told me she was pregnant.  Woot!  And so I can give her a quilt (or quilts) without it being weird at all.

Color Crush, Commissions, Fabric

Colors for Her

My stepdaughter (SD) has basically eschewed all things girly, especially girly-colored for almost as long as I have known her.  When I was a tad bit churlish / naive / selfish, it used to bug me.  Because I like girlie things, particularly colors.  But now I correctly see this as just part of the tapestry being woven to make the spectacular person she is.  Completely and totally unique and awesome.

There are a couple things I need to make her this November.  She is at the top of my to-do sewing list.  Most needed is a canvas bag.  This year she downsized her school bag because the school was moving to books on iPad.  (Sigh).  Well there ended up being a TON of stuff still to carry around.  So I coaxed her to let me make her a bigger bag.

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This is the color combination we landed on.  Not girlie at all – but very stylish.  The pattern is “Plaid” by Ty Pennington – I will go with a navy canvas for the lining.  And I used my The Kona Color Card of Many Hours of Frustration To Make to pick the perfect colors for accent colors – Glacier and Copen.

I will be making the Poolside Tote by Noodlehead.  Definitely big enough, I think.

And then there is her quilt.  She doesn’t want or need it, but I want to make it.  There are some fabrics that are just her that I want to include in something for her.  And she is always cold, so it isn’t like she won’t use a quilt.

 

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This is the fabric stack – 60 different fabrics – mostly low volume with pops of orange, yellow, navy, green, and mint.  Woot.  I will power through the bag so that I can move to this pile of joy.

Fabric, family fun, Not About Quilting or Sewing

A Perfect Day…

On Friday, I had a day off.  My second day off in a row.  I usually don’t enjoy my first.  I stay worried about work and what I am missing and have daydreams of getting fired.  Neurotic, party of 1.  But by Friday, I was ok.

And so we did one of our favoritest things, go to Lawrence.  Free State. Record Store (for DH). Sarah’s Fabrics (for me). Brits. Home.  A perfect day.

At Free State, there was beer and delicious food…

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And Sarah’s is always just the best.  Truly like a bazillion candy stores for me.  I always go in with the best intentions…

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This is me *not* buying fabric.  IMG_1982In that stack is the back of the Celestial quilt I am working on, some pillow backs (shhhh… don’t tell DH), a second 241 tote made from delectable echino, and some lovely low-volume and polka-dot stash builders.  Woot.  

Fabric, Ta Da Done

Liberty Chevron Pillow

Along with the awesome mini quilt I received in the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap, I received some beautiful Liberty fabric.  I love it so much, and immediately wanted to make something out of it.  I got 75% of the piecing done, realized I was ONE HST short, and lost steam.  And it sat in my to-do pile since then.  It was on my August WIP list, so I powered through the last day in August.  Not really enjoying the process, but wanting to have another checkmark.

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I might not have loved the process, but I LOVE the result.  This is a sweet little pillow (14″ square), and I love, love, love the Liberty chevrons.

I quilted it in-the-ditch along the chevron lines. Simple.  I like simple quilting.

And I did a simple pillowcase back, in a salmon broadcloth from JoAnn.  I was going to use something more luxurious, but I had (and still have) so much of this fabric.  And it is the perfect salmon color to coordinate with the bright florals.  So I made piece with having some of my most valuable fabrics (Liberty prints) in the same project as some of my most inexpensive fabric (JoAnn broadcloth).

It now sits on my sewing chair – a testimony to doneness!  🙂  Woot.

Color Crush, Fabric, Ta Da Done

241 Tote: Love and Hate and Purple

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Oh, 241 tote – you temptress.  When I first saw the swoon block, a drum beat started in my head that I *had* to make it.  The same drum beat started when I first saw a picture of the 241 tote – not so much that I wanted to make it, but I wanted to own it.  I knew that my bag making skills would be total crap.  So I admired 241s from afar.  Beautiful, but beyond my brief.

And then Rita.  Oh, Rita.  Her photographs, her designs, her choice of fabric.  I would definitely jump off a bridge if Rita told me to.  She made some 241 totes and I swooned.  And so I bought the pattern, secured a time when my mom could help me, and started praying to the bag gods (Hermes?).

When it came to the fabric I wanted to use, that was a whole new challenge.  My personal home decorating quilt style is bright, bold.  If I was single, my house would be decorated in the tones of unicorn vomit and all the quilts I would make would be PINK! PINK! PINK!  I am allowed full crazy reign over our bedroom, and limited crazy reign over in almost every other room. There is a lot of color in our house.

My personal wardrobe is completely different.  In a style forged in the fire of obesity, unkind comments, personal lack of confidence, whacking hormones, and hating discomfort, I have a wardrobe that is almost solely dark colors and soft, thin fabrics.  In over 30+ years of dressing rooms and fashion misery, I know what I like.  It may not be what other people may like, and they most likely wish for me an injection of color and skirts.  But those people don’t have to live in my brain, and my skin, and my clothes.  I do.  I know what makes me happy and I know what makes me uncomfortable.

And so the answer is this dark storm.

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Grey, black, purple, and black. And grey. And purple.

So when I started thinking about my 241 tote, I really wanted to use the navy arrows fabric from Cotton and Steel.  But then I wouldn’t have anything to carry it with.  And so I decided on purple and grey.  It definitely is on the bold side of my personal style.  I think I love it – but I also think it may be too cutesy.

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Definitely a weekend bag.  Grrr… not sure.  Here are some notes:

1. I sort of ignored the fabric suggestions.  I didn’t have easy access to pretty canvas or home dec fabric – so used linen and quilting cotton for everything.  I think it will be ok.

2. I scoured Pinterest to find 241 totes that spoke to me and found this one

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I followed the tutorial roughly to create the braid pattern and added fusible fleece and did some in-the-ditch quilting.  Fusible fleece helped stabilize the panel, but it is so yucky feeling.  But not a problem now that it is on the inside of the bag.

3. I made pockets!  And made as much scrappy as I could.

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4. Purple is a funny color – it can be brown, pink, grey, blue.  I decided to just go for it and use all the purples.  And most of the greys.  I think it works.  And looks awesome with my custom chucks and charm bracelet.

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5. This was a giant challenge for me.  Having very limited experience making anything but quilts, I learned a lot.  And had help from my mom.  There are some flaws, but all that I can live with.  I sewed in the zipper three separate times before I knew I could live with it.  My lifesavers on this project:  glue basting and a walking foot.  And letting go of the need to be perfect and have everything come easily to me.  hashtag life lesson.

Thank you for reading my 241 reveal / rant!  I still have an itch to make one with the cotton + steel arrows.  Maybe I’ll make it and go crazy and buy a couple dark blue t-shirts.  Crazy, I know.

Happy weekend…

Fabric, Not Quilting

Quilting Minimalism

I have been on a slllloooooow path to minimalism.  I discovered that I wanted to embrace some of the tenets of minimalism earlier this year – about the same time my fabric obsession kicked into full gear.  I have done pretty well with my foray into minimalism – I have a very small wardrobe now, have cleaned out lots of things, really don’t buy many consumer goods at all.  EXCEPT for fabric and patterns.  Oy.

I love fabric.  And I have experienced scarcity first hand (uh, Ledger by Carolyn Friedlander) so feel compelled to buy in case I can’t get it later.

Well, that is silly.  And it isn’t.  I love fabric.  And I have found that the whole quilting community is great, but it very much is a capatilistic endeavor, of course.  Giveaways, blog hops, vendor postings.  I.want.it.all.

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But I really do have it all.  In the past six months, I have developed an awesome stash.  Truly wonderful piles of gorgeous fabrics in all the colors.  I can stop buying and have enough fabric for projects for quite awhile.  But I know it will be hard.  Because I love fabric – and I am not the best at “making do”.

But I know I will be happier in the long term if I stop buying and start finishing.  And so I try to embrace quilting minimalism again.  Here is my plan:

1. Do not buy any non-fabric quilting stuff EXCEPT for thread, batting, needles, and replacementrotary cutter blades.

2. The only fabrics I am going to buy are Kona Solids as needed and my Fabric Shoppe color bundle club. 

2a) I don’t really like using or working with solids – I see them as a necessary evil tokeep quilts looking fresh by balancing all of the prints I love and use.  So I know I won’t go overboard.  (knock on wood)
2b) I love the color bundle club unreasonably.  I have built my stash with so much cute stuff I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen – and I love that it is a surprise every month.

3. Stop following blogs that are heavy on product endorsements or sponsored giveaways vs. finished projects, patterns, and inspiration.  I definitely see the point of all of that – this is ‘merica after all – but it just builds up all this desire in me – unneccessary desire.  Here is an example – did anybody else feel like they would get kicked off the island if they didn’t buy a shitton of cotton + steel?

Here is the downside:

1. I HATE piecing backings and batting. HATES it.  But it will build my character. Or something like that.

2. Much fewer endorphin rushes that I get when I receive fabric in the mail.  Gawd, I love that feeling.  Happy Mail, indeed.

Waaaaay much more upside!

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1. Lots more endorphin rushes of using up scraps and stash.  Turning fabric in drawers into cool and pretty quilts and things.

2. More money in the bank.

3. Building my creativity while “making do”.  Although calling working with my stash “making do” is a bit of a stretch.

4. Not being distracted by shiny new things so that I can finish the patterns and WIPs I want to…  V’s houndstooth, Allison Glass’ Celestial, Gypsy Wife, my pending Project Linus quilts.

So the adventure begins…