Wednesday 31 July 2013

Fabricworm Delivery and Choosing a Solid

Though I am in a fabric fast, I had some packages that were pending. My Fabricworm order arrived and I wanted to share my purchases.

This Fabricworm custom bundle is something I have eyed again and again and when I ordered the other bundle (mentioned in a bit) and the shipping would be the same if I added this beauty, I knew I had to have it. I love the orange, blue, green colour scheme and the science fabric.

 How cute is this graph paper science fabric? Adorable! Not sure which baby will get a Science-themed quilt in the future, but does it matter? LOVE.
 Now, the actual reason I HAD to place an order at Fabricworm is because they were having a 20% off bundles and there was this Star Wars bundle:
 Our close friends have three sons. Son #2 is 5 and got Superhero Mashup for his birthday. Son #3 is 5 months old and received Things That Go and Bouncing Bunnies. Son #1 is 8 and I have not made him a quilt. Solution for this Star Wars-crazed boy? A Star Wars-themed quilt, of course! I'm hoping to make it for his ninth birthday next June.
This is my favourite print.
I HATE these solids. Do you see the texture? I hate that texture. Give me Kona Solids any day. These solids are going in my "ugly" box.
A delicious stack. Stacks of fabric are one of my favourite things!
I also am thinking ahead to after Zipper in Time and know that I have four baby quilts to make in a short period of time. Two of those quilts are for our friends who are having twins in September/October, one boy and one girl. I am making quilts using Bungle Jungle but in different colour ways. I chose the pattern Tagged from Allison Harris' book Growing Up Modern. I didn't think about the fact that I would need a solid to go around each block. I pulled out my Kona Colour Card (so handy) and decided that Kona Canary would work for both quilts (the boy quilt will be blue, green and green with yellow around each block; the girl quilt will be turquoise, grey and white with yellow around each block). 
Finding the perfect complimentary solid.
After some hunting for stores that carry Canary (say that five times fast) I tracked some down at a favourite sort-of local QS, Greenwood Quiltery. They have 3m set aside for me to go pick up this weekend.

Though that raises a dilemma. I am supposed to be fasting. I don't count the yellow since I need it to finish two quilts. But this week is my birthday, so shouldn't I be able to buy a little fabric for fun while I am there? We'll have to see what happens!


Tuesday 30 July 2013

Instagram Update: A Little Something Different

I have been working away on my father-in-law's birthday present for about a week. I now have the top pieced and trimmed and pressed, and the back pieced (just need to press and baste, today, hopefully).

I was starting to get a little delirious, though, and knew to take a break one evening when I did this:
Oops. I don't think 19 is supposed to go with 16. This was one loooooooong seam to rip out.
After the top was finished I decided to work on something a bit different. Here are some Instagram shots to give you an idea what else I've been up to:

I used the very last bit of my Echo by Lotta Jansdotter in my favourite colour to make the binding for a baby quilt (my Plus quilt) that has been sitting waiting for binding.
It does make pretty binding, don't you think?
It was a visual and mental relief to be working on something other than my Zipper in Time quilt!

This is a sneak peek of a secret project that I'm making for an event in August. You'll see pictures after it is safe to reveal!
I also got a good long stretch of time (with energy, for once!) to tidy up my basement including my fabric storage. I resorted and refolded some of my stash and introduced a new bin.

These are all my non-FQ, non-yardage, non-scrap fabrics. They make me so happy!
I picked up a new bin for my solids as the Sew Sisters FQs were taking over my FQ shelving unit.. The pile on the bottom right of this picture are the solids left from my Pink Chalk Solids 1/2 yard bundle bought for me at Christmas that haven't already been spoken for. The top right is bigger pieces of solids that aren't FQ or yardage.
I am now getting on my sewing machine to get more done. I love being productive and (fingers crossed!) I think I might actually finish A Zipper in Time in time for the party!


Saturday 27 July 2013

480 Pieces, 5 Rows, 27 Rows to Go

I spent two marathon sewing days while my daughter was in Kidz Camp piecing together the 480 parallelograms in Zipper in Time into 32 rows. It took FOREVER. It was finicky and I needed to do lots of pressing (one of my least favourite quilting tasks). But, after much perseverance, I had a delicious hanger of rows ready to sew together. Hooray!
32 rows, pressed and waiting
The all-important sticky notes to make sure I put it together in the right order!
Sewing the rows together involves lots of pins and very slow and precise pressing open of the seams. I am HATING this step in particular. I may give up and just press the seams to the side. What do you think? Bad idea? 
It looks awesome as it is shaping up, though!
At this point I have five rows sewn together and just 27 (gulp!) to go. I am determined to have the quilt top finished by Sunday night so next week I can focus on the backing, basting and (hopefully!) begin the quilting (which I am dreading since this is a BIG quilt!).

Your thoughts on pressing open seams?


Friday 26 July 2013

Kona Solids July

I get a monthly Sew Sisters Kona Solids of the Month club delivered to me. I love it. 

Here is the July inspiration photograph:

Makes me want to head to the beach!
 And here are the fat quarters:

Left to right: Kona Sand, Kona Cloud, Kona Regatta and Kona Nautical

The colours really don't translate to a photograph very well, but I do love these choices. Nautical is really perfect sailor blue, so if you are making a seaside, anchors, red, white and blue type of quilt choose Nautical! The Cloud reminds me of Lake which I recently purchased for another quilt. I need to compare them to see the difference.

My solid stash is building up. I need to get on a solids quilt soon!


Wednesday 24 July 2013

A Zipper in Time

I am using Camille Roskelley's Zipper quilt pattern to make my father-in-law a quilt for his 60th birthday. It is using a jelly roll of Reunion and a whole lot of Kona Ash.

I did the layout on my living room floor the other night (excuse the poor lighting in these pics since I had to lay it out while my daughter was sleeping and also had numerous cat-running-over-the-quilt incidents so I couldn't wait for daylight). The quilt is much bigger than I thought and I LOVE how it is looking!

A Zipper in Time! (ignore the mess on the table to the left)
 I was really surprised when my husband (who supports my quilting whole-heartedly but doesn't truly "get" quilts) said that he loves it. He said he is actually a little jealous it is heading to his dad instead of staying at our house. A quilt my husband wants to keep?? Wow! I guess I called it well when I thought this would work for a more masculine quilt!
I now have a giant stack (two stacks, actually) of pieces to sew into the rows. It is a bit finicky.
Now I have to sew, sew, sew so I have time to quilt this beast before the big party in August!


Tuesday 23 July 2013

Step One: Admitting You Have a Problem

I have a problem. I am addicted to fabric. And I can't. Stop. Buying. It. 

Earlier in the year I went on a fabric buying for a month. I have decided that I MUST go on another fast. I am going to say for the rest of the summer (first day back to school being the first day of fall in my mind). 

Here is a delicious package that arrived from Hawthorne Threads:
Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar, various colours of Squared Elements, Sweet Holiday Tweets and some Backyard Baby
I snapped up the Backyard Baby when I saw they had some because I LOVED it when it was out but didn't buy any and then regretted it. I also love the Squared Elements (Art Gallery) as a modern stash builder (so many uses! I'm thinking binding first!). The other two were just because I wanted them.

Thing is I have a package also pending from Pink Castle Fabrics, Fabricworm and Fat Quarter Shop. And I just went on a shop hop and bought 10 more fat quarters just because. I NEED TO STOP.

So. Today is the first day of my fast. I hope I make it. Wish me luck!


Sunday 21 July 2013

Shopping with Friends

I had an absolutely delightful self-designed shop hop with two quilty friends last week. It was mid-week, which made it easier all around (less traffic, less people, etc).

We started out at a place in Buffalo called Elmwood Village Fabrics. It seemed like it would be exactly our taste: modern fabric in a big building.
Elmwood Village Fabrics
This picture, unfortunately, sums up pretty much the entirety of the selection:
Modern? Yes. Limited? Totally.
The place only took up one tiny corner of that big house. It was also HOT (43 degrees or something like that) and this place had no air conditioning. Other than C getting a (shock!) Amy Butler tunic pattern, we bought nothing and didn't stay long.

After a trip to The Olive Garden for lunch (we haven't had an OG in Canada for years!), a trip to Jo-Ann for cheap batting (50% off!!) and a couple of other small stops, we made our way back over the border and headed to Bee Modern fabrics in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Bee Modern
We were absolutely enchanted. Despite the tiny size the fabric selection was delicious! Modern, full lines in lots of colours.

More drool!
Even A bought fabric here and she NEVER buys fabric! C and I don't have that problem, though, and promptly jumped on a deal for 10 fat quarters of our choice. After selecting them we had a good laugh about how we both are "modern" yet chose TOTALLY different fabrics. See?
My choices are on the right, C's on the left. Oh my.
And her Kaffe Fassett fabrics are gorgeous, don't get me wrong. They just don't speak to me personally. I think that is why it is so fun having young quilty friends. You can share your tastes with each other!

We then made a little stop in St. Catharines at Kindred Spirits Quilt Co. We were tired by now, and the fabric selection wasn't stellar.
Last stop!

When is the last time you saw some of this awesome line? Love it!

A sample quilt on the wall at Kindred Spirits.
We didn't buy anything here but headed home to our air conditioning and to fondle our new purchases.

It was a fun day with fun ladies!


Tuesday 16 July 2013

Embellish Me

I am a big fan of fabric designer Laurie Wisbrun. I particularly love her unusual animal choices: I have some lions, llamas and polar bears from various lines.

When I saw her book at my local library, I scooped it up. It is called Embellish Me: How to Print, Dye and Decorate With Fabric. 

The book!
Now, admittedly, I have no intention of dying, printing or embellishing anything. I knew this book would probably not offer me a lot in terms of projects, but I thought it might be yummy eye candy. And it is! Here is one peek at a favourite spread:
Bright, cheery colour inspiration
There are chapters on different techniques: embellishment, dye work, printing, etc.
The chapter numbers are even embellished!
There are lots of interviews with various artisans which can be inspirational:

I certainly enjoyed flipping through this book and getting some hits of colour and pattern for inspiration, but it is not something I would add to my book collection.

I did order some of her fabric line Holiday Sweet Tweets, so I think that hits some of my Laurie Wisbrun fandom in a more appropriate area...buying fabric! (I'm quite talented at this).


Sunday 14 July 2013

Pennsylvania Purchases

I have recently returned from a vacation with my family in Pennsylvania. We went there on advice from a co-worker who recommended Sesame Place, the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia and the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA.  Crayola was amazing and the other two places were okay.

Some observations made on this trip:

  • My husband thinks he knows the lyrics to every song. And he sings along like he knows a) the tune and b)the lyrics. He doesn't know either 90% of the time.
  • Rural New York State and Rural Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful. The rolling hills and miles of forest are so gorgeous.
  • I always forget that in the U.S. there is High Fructose Corn Syrup in everything. I always forget this and then go into sugar shock drinking pop (not that Canadian pop isn't killer sweet, just not with HFCS), chocolate milk (really?), ketchup (my Heinz tastes great without it) and on and on. It is everywhere and in everything. I happily cracked a "Canadian" Coke when we got home.
  • After eating on the road for four days, salad and vegetables are calling my name.
I couldn't make a stop at a quilt store happen, but I did manage a stop at a Jo-Ann.

Wish we had these here!

This selection is crazy. I still didn't buy much since the quality of fabric is super important to me, but still. The eye candy!

The Cloud 9 called my name. This is what I did end up buying.

You have access, Americans, to way more quilting magazines than we do up here.
And here is what I purchased:
4 yards of Kona White and three Cloud 9 prints.

I got a full yard of this one because I think it would be an awesome quilt backing for a baby quilt!
I wasn't too upset about not stopping at actual quilting stores because this coming week I am going on a (self-designed) quilt shop hop with quilty friends C and A. My credit card is ready!


Wednesday 10 July 2013

Zipper Quilt Cutting Has Started

My father-in-law is turning 60 this August and I decided I should make him a quilt. I know this will be a challenge because I want to make a big quilt that he will get use out of, not a tiny lap-sized quilt.

I bought this pattern from Thimble Blossoms:

I'm using a jelly roll of Reunion by Sweetwater that I don't even remember buying (it was very early in my purchasing) and a whole lot of Kona Ash. I think the colours are masculine and the subject matter (dates, mostly) is perfect for a 60th birthday.

I was lucky to have a co-worker make me an acrylic template which eased the cutting burden tremendously.

Here is the pile of delicious parallelogram-ish shapes:

Now I just have to cut 42 strips of Kona Ash and create an equal pile of the solid so I can start piecing. I am not looking forward to that part as much. 


Monday 8 July 2013

Blogger Fan Freak Out

I am a quilting  blog addict. When I decided to tackle my first quilt in January of 2012, I began trolling the internet so I could learn. The very first blogger that I followed was Old Red Barn Co; her fabulous quilt tutorial got me very excited (though I have yet to use her tutorial). I quickly found many other bloggers, and my very favourite (and many other people's favourite based on her popularity) is Rita of Red Pepper Quilts from Australia.

Here is my point. I have been posting #sugarblockclub photos on my Instagram account and the other day *squeal* Old Red Barn Co (whom I follow on Instagram) liked my photo! When I freaked out about her liking my photo, she commented on my block, my comment and she FOLLOWED me! Holy crap! And then, to top it off, when I posted the picture of my collection of blocks using Red Pepper Quilt's Blogger Bundle I tagged her and she COMMENTED! With hearts!

I'm seriously doing a Quilt Blogger Fan Freak Out!
I know, I know, geeky. But what can I say? I felt like a celebrity had talked directly to me. TWO celebrities! (In the quilting celebrity world that is!)



Sunday 7 July 2013

More Sugar

I have been working away on my Sugar Block Club blocks, hoping to get caught up with all but the paper piecing. 

I got to work on another block by choosing and then cutting into these fabrics (note that the majority of the fabrics I'm using come from a Blogger Bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics by Red Pepper Quilts).
The orange dot fabric looks more red in these photos, but it is actually a lovely, deep orange.

Making these little blocks was actually very satisfying.
In between cutting and piecing, I went from liking the newsprint fabric for the middle to the text fabric that I used in my May block for the middle. The scale seemed to work better and I'm happy I switched it.
This is the finished block. Love it! I do need to make sure I use less orange in my next block, though.
And here are all the finished blocks together. I will be redoing the paper-pieced block (top left) but I'm not planning on doing those any time soon.
I am slightly worried about the cohesiveness of the blocks once they are all put together but for  now I am just trying to enjoy the process (and trying not to curse Allison of Stitchery Ditchery Dock too much for her tiny cuts and intricate piecing).