Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stash update week 17

This week I added three yards of almost solid fabric that I bought for a 10" square swap. It is a 'rainbow' swap and my assigned colors were red and red-orange. I didn't have anything suitable in the stash so I ordered some sale fabric from

And, since there is free shipping if you spend $35, I filled out the order with some Suzy Ultman dolls and some coordinates for a story book /dollhouse panel that I got last summer. The order totaled 5.5 yards.

Finishes this week:
I used 1.5 yards for the Baby Animal Blocks.

Not much progress, and still going the wrong direction. I thought I would have the Punctuation quilt done, but the embroidery took priority.

Fingers crossed that I will get some projects wrapped up this week!

Fabric added this week - 5.5 yards
Fabric added YTD - 63.58 yards
Fabric used this week -1.5 yards
Fabric used YTD - 55.68 yards
Net Stash change -+7.9 yards

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Embroidered Baby Animals

 It is almost not Wednesday, but I have just finished the last of these blocks!

Good thing, too, as I need to hand them off to Dear Sis this weekend (along with the feedsack fabric I set aside for the quilt for her Grandbebe Girl Five).

The designs are Aunt Martha transfers, "#3738 - Baby Animals".  Like many Aunt Martha designs, there were 7 in the set - the seventh was a baby elephant which I didn't feel quite fit in with the rest.  I needed 12 blocks, so I left out the ellie, and did two of the remaining six.

This is the first time I have done duplicates of the same designs in the same set of blocks.  I think I will try not to do that again.  The last few were kind of a grind to finish up.  I do think they are very cute, though!

Here is a closer view of a couple of my favorites:

The rest are in my Flikr stream here.

Fingers crossed that spring will come for good this weekend! I am excited for a mini road trip to hook up with Dear Sis and her Guy and hand off this project!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stash Update - Week 16

During the KCMQG retreat, there were many shopping opportunities. There were two quilt shops within walking distance.  One quite small shop that gave us each a 20% off coupon and one very large shop, packed with fabric, but no sales, discounts, bolt ends, or remnants. 

The large shop had just about every line of fabric that I have ever heard of and not just current lines. Since they don't discount, they also have lots of fabric from 2012 and earlier. It was fun to look around, but I was not tempted to buy anything (rather, I could not justify it...) 

I did buy the variegated thread and 6 fat quarters that I used in the batik quilt at the small shop. 

At the retreat, I used half a layer cake (1.25 yds) for some wonky cross blocks for a group effort donation quilt. 

I also won a French General Layer cake (3 yds) and was given two fat quarters by Tammie of Marmalade Fabrics.  Tammie brought a gazillion Kona Solids fat quarters and let each of us pick whichever two we wanted. I picked Bright Peri, and Crocus because my stash is purple deficient. 

Marmalade Fabrics  was our meeting sponsor at guild last week, too.  I always like to patronize our sponsors, but I only bought 2yards. Three Kona half yards (rich red, red and pink) and a half yard of a print from Mod Century, by Jenn Ski. 

I originally didn't report the fabric for the batik quilt since my niece bought most of it for the project. My thought was that I wouldn't count it coming in or going out.  In order to have these numbers reflect the true picture of how much sewing I have done this year, I decided to add it into both totals. It doesn't change the net, but it gives a more accurate picture. 
She sent me seven yards and I added four for a total of 11 yards.

My other finish was the Poor Sad Quilt.  I used 4.75 yards for borders, binding and backing.

Fabric  added this week - 16.5yards
Fabric added YTD - 58.08 yards
Fabric used this week - 17.0 yards
Fabric used YTD - 54.18  yards
Net Stash change - +3.9 yards*

I think I am caught up on reporting all the fabric I have added and used in completed projects. I hope I will have a couple more finishes to report next time and get the trend 
line reversed!

Linking up here to stay on track!

*I found a math error after auditing, so I fixed it this week.  I know you probably are not going to call me out on it, but I thought I would disclose!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finished - The Batik Quilt!

I finished the batik quilt!

 Lots of firsts with this quilt. Besides the ones that I mentioned here, I also used a 40 wt variegated thread for quilting and I sewed a hanging sleeve on with the binding. 

I quilted wavy lines along the diagonal 'stripes' , the lighter stripes more densely than the darker stripes.  I also quilted a smaller scale of the same thing in the little squares. 

I need to hand stitch the bottom edge of the hanging sleeve to the back, but I  am still calling it a finish.  

The next quilt in line for finish is this ABC quilt that I started before we went on vacation in March. I had the blocks put together and sewed them together at retreat last month. 
I have never heard of quoits!
Very sweet vintage images!

After a photo of the completed top was posted in our guild Facebook page another member 'Crafty Tammie' offered me a panel of "Recess" if I wanted it for the back.  I traded some Denyse Schmidt fabric for it, since she is hosting a DS swap and I thought it might come in handy. (and, so I wouldn't have to report it as an addition to my stash!)
I assembled the back today.

And I think I like it better than the front!
I am debating using it for a top, and backing it and the ABC quilt with solids.  If I use them both as quilt tops, then I would have two to donate. 

What do you think?  Can it stand on its own as a quilt, or do I use if for the back?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Finished! The Quilt Formerly Known as Poor and Sad!

 My thread came yesterday and I finished up this quilt today.

It is quilted, bound and washed.  And, the stains came out!

I tried out a new motif and refined a couple of others.  I still have opportunity to improve in consistency in my fmq, but making progress.  I do feel good about the pieced back and the binding.  The binding is pretty even, front to back, and that was an area that I really worked at on this quilt.

This quilt measures 49" square and it goes in the donation bag!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Trip Back to the '70's

One of the fun places within walking distance of the KCMQG retreat headquarters was an antique mall. It was not huge, probably a hardware store or small department store in generations past. Big enough to have a few interesting things, though. 

Of course, I always look for vintage linens and sewing items and there is always at least one quilt top to evaluate for possible adoption. 

This time was no different.  There were several tops of various skill and artistry. One, however, stood out amongst all the rest!

Behold the epic polyester double knit "Trip Around the World"!

This quilt top is amazing! (and to spare you the suspense, it did not come home with me!)  I wish I had a helper to hold it for the photo, because it was gigantic. You can see in the way the hangar is strained that it weighs a ton!  

I have seen many polyester quilts over the years and lived with several, as my mother went through the classic 'polyester double knit pant suit phase' which generated many squares of leftover textured, striped and solid, indestructible PDK.  
There was even a PDK crazy quilt on exhibit at QuiltCon from the collection of Roderick Kiracofe, author and artist.

The Trip Around the World is the best PDK quilt I have ever seen. If anyone ever buys and finishes this quilt, I hope they label it because it could be around for 600 years, even without archival treatment!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Poor Sad Quilt

This Poor Sad Quilt came to me as a work in progress. I bought a bundle at an estate sale that included the four blocks and the blue border, along with all the rest of the fabric in strips and scraps. Upon closer look, the bundle had not been stored well and there were water marks and some discoloration on some of the prints.  Most noticeably, the yellow and blue prints in the bottom two blocks have some brown stains.

So, the question became, should I finish the quilt and take the leap of faith that the stain would come out in the wash, or just cut my losses (one dollar, including the batting!)and put the whole thing in the Goodwill pile. 

I decided to take the leap and finish the quilt as an opportunity to practice FMQ .  I added the two outer borders to make the top bigger, which meant that I had to use up just about all the remaining fabric to price the back. I kind of like doing that, though.  It keeps the scrap bins from filling too fast!

I used a small spool of yellow Aurifil thread for the quilting. Most of the quilting, anyway. I ran out halfway through the red border!  

I am awaiting delivery of a 2200 meter spool to finish the quilting and then I will bind it with the blue print.  I was surprised that the small spool didn't go further. I did not quilt very densely and it is not a large quilt. I guess the small spools are meant for a color change in a small area! 

I tried a different motif on the red border, kind of a loopy daisy. I think it adds interest without adding too much quilting stiffness.  And the daisies are kind of an echo of the print.

My thread order should be here by tomorrow, so my goal is to finish quilting it and have the binding on by the end of the weekend!

Then we will see if my leap was a good idea...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Design Wall Monday -Batik Back

Over the weekend I got lots of sewing in, because The Mister has taken an unexpected road trip. So nothing to distract me - except the newspaper and blogs and fabric folding... But really, those are minor distractions and I made lots of progress!

I sewed the batik blocks together. And then took two rows off and resewed them in the proper order. Curiously, I did not notice the error until I began thinking about how I would quilt it. I now have a better understanding of how quilts end up with a 'glaring' mistake, because it only glares when you have finished it!(or in my case, almost finished)

I have enjoyed sewing with batik fabric, but I don't see myself using it for any other projects in the near future, so I wanted to use it up as much as possible. Piecing the back also saves having to buy more fabric, when as it turns out, I had plenty!

Today, I am going to try and get it basted and maybe start on the quilting!

What are you working on?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stash update week 14 and 15

I have been trying out the Blogger app on my IPad the past few weeks, using photos taken on my phone for convenience. Some times I write a post and publish it and see it in my reader, even - but then it disappears. Since I don't re- check after the initial posting I don't always realize what has happened.

This is one of those posts. It should have been posted last Sunday, so I am updating it and combining weeks 14 and 15.

I forgot one other vacation fabric stop! On the way back south from New York, we stopped in Mt. Airy for a couple of days. We went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was lovely, and had lunch at Tuggles Gap. Part of the parkway was closed due to ice and snow, so we went back a different route and stopped in Floyd, VA at Schoolhouse Fabrics.

The fabric shop is in a schoolhouse that last graduated a class in 1939. But, it is essentially the same as it was then. (photo from the

The classrooms on the main floor, are filled with fabrics and notions. One whole classroom just for Novelty fabrics and another just for fleece blanket fabric in pictorial panels? On the upper floor, the music room was full of wools and fleeces (the stage had some cutting tables). Another room was full of Christmas and patriotic prints. Downstairs had a huge room with everything you might need for a wedding dress or reception decor and a smaller room with silk flowers and other 'fancy' fabrics.

Their prices were very reasonable ( I would guess they had 30 or 40 different Kona solids at $5.79/yd).

I bought two half yards of novelty cottons with vintage pattern envelope pictures.

Luckily, they had 'man chairs' for The Mister as it was not quite as much fun for him...

Fabric added this week -1 yards
Fabric added YTD - 41,58 yards
Fabric used this week - 0 yards
Fabric used YTD - 37.18 yards
Net Stash change - +4.4 yards

I did add some fabric at the retreat, but I will have to tally that up I'm the next report!

Shool House Fabrics - three floors of fun!

My school house treasure!

You can see more reports here...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Batiks!

I started this quilt at retreat last weekend. I made great progress, but I needed some different colored thread for the appliqué part. (the small 'accent' squares are appliqué). I was too lazy and cheap to walk back downtown to buy thread that I knew I had at home, so I rolled it up in the tablecloth design wall and worked on something else until time to go home.

My sewing room is such a mess! I need to take a few cubic yards out of it so I can work, but it is overwhelming me. So instead of making room to work, I am sitting on the sofa doing embroidery.

What are you working on?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

KCMQG Quilt retreat

I am packing for retreat tomorrow! I am taking the travel projects that I didn't touch on vacation, but also another project for a niece. She asked if I would make her a quilt if she sent me the fabric and pattern. It will be the first time I have really followed a pattern (other than just block tutorials) and the first time working with batiks.

She ordered some from Hancock's of Paducah and I have supplemented to replace the ones that were not available after she ordered. ( I am not counting these fabrics either in or out of my stash, since they were furnished for the project)

Another first is that every piece has curved seams. At guild last month, Trisch demonstrated the Curvemaster foot. I am thinking it might have been a good idea to order it. I will have plenty of alternate projects to work on, though it it gets too frustrating.

The retreat is in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. I have not spent any time there in many years, but it has always been a favorite of mine. I am sure it would be a livelier place if the Jayhawks were in the final four, but I know we will have a good time.

This is the pattern. I don't have the book with me, so I will edit later with the 'credits'.

Not all the fabric is represented, but this is the color scheme.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stash Update - week 13

We are home from our road trip and catching up! This post should have been done on Sunday, but better late than never!

What a great week of fabric shopping!
First, I got 5yards of the Ikea "numbers" fabric. I love it that you can find the same fabrics at Ikea months or years later sometimes, if it is a good one. I have not used this one before, but I have seen other folks use it to make great quilt backs, so I bought 5 yards. It is wider than 44", maybe 56 or 60, I think.

From Philly, I went to NYC and shopped at Purl Soho and Brooklyn General! At Purl, I got one yard of Shelburne Falls Dress Floral for a Denyse Schmidt charm swap. And, I bought a mini rainbow stack of 20 Liberty Lawn prints. A total of a yard and a quarter.

At Brooklyn General, I bought one yard of vintage cotton - off the bolt! (I thought I had a photo, bit I can't find it. I will share after I am unpacked!) They had about a half dozen vintage light weight cottons on bolts and 3 or 4 bolts of bark cloth. It was new old stock from a store on Long Island. Early 60's I would say, judging by the original marked price of 28cents a yard.

The total is 8.25 yards added. I have to say, though, there were many more yards that I was tempted to get, so I feel pretty good about it

Fabric added this week - 8.25 yards
Fabric added YTD - 40.58 yards
Fabric used this week - 0 yards
Fabric used YTD - 37.18 yards
Net Stash change - +3.4 yards

Rainbow of Liberty!

Ikea numbers classic!