I’m feeling rather pleased this morning — the ugly baby quilt that I just wanted to get done and out of my life has turned into something I rather like, now. Adding the borders and cornerstones definitely quieted down the busyness that really bothered me in the earlier rendition and I think that the eye can more easily trace the pattern with the sashing/borders than when the blocks were huddled up close together. The bottom border will probably give me problems when quilting — hanging here I can see that it is way less than perfect, although it’s not as visible when hanging on my design wall. I suppose that perhaps the way my husband is holding the top might have an effect? I don’t know.
As a reminder, this is what it looked like before:
I really think the changes I made improve this by about 100%. I’m also really trying to embrace the idea that finished is better than perfect and am making it my motto for 2018. I think this qualifies! ;) Here’s another shot, with slightly different lighting — the sun was a little tricky this morning.
I plan to quilt it in a simple grid. I am using stash fabrics for the back and binding — a seersucker with navy and red anchors/life preservers on it, and a blue flannel combo for the backing and then a solid red for the binding. I have three random cuts of seersucker to use up and am happy to get some of it out of the stash and into a project!
Quick, while it’s still today. The cushion insert and burp cloths used nearly a yard this week. And I miscalculated last week on the actual yardage for the burp cloths so had to adjust for that. Although it’s not something I’m tracking, I was also pleased to use up a bag of polyfil…one less thing!
Here are my numbers:
Used this week: .92 yards
Used YTD: 2.56 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added YTD: 24.75 yards
Net Used Yards (Used YTD – Added YTD): 22.19 yards
Just a quick post to share that blue cushion cover I mentioned in my stash report last week — I ended up having to make the actual cushion insert, too, as the one I had on hand was smaller than I thought. I was focused on getting this done and so there are a number of imperfections that will bother me but not enough to keep from throwing it on the guest bed. Or my husband borrowing it while watching tv. The block is one that I made a couple of years ago from blue scraps but was not paying enough attention to my seam allowances so it came out smaller than I planned. I never made any other blocks so it truly was orphaned. I did add a simple border and then used a scrap of batting and more scraps for the backing. I didn’t take the time to use a walking foot or change to quilting thread and really just motored through the quilting, so the fabric pulled a bit and became a bit unaligned. I’m not that concerned about it for this pillow, but it’s helpful to see how those things really do affect your end results. Probably I also pulled it a bit through the machine.
The back is just a simple envelope backing using up yet more scrap fabric, from the County Fair line by Denyse Scmidt from years and years ago. Which you can’t see, but which I am terribly happy to finally move out of my stash — I really like this fabric, but it has a muted tone that is hard to pair with other fabrics in my stash, plus it’s home dec weight canvas. I bought it before I really knew anything about how fabrics would work together. The inner cushion (also not visible) is made of fabric culled from a total wadder of an apparel project — I had great plans to make myself a nightgown using quilting cotton, which, when I tried it on, was both too large and so stiff that the thought of sleeping in it was not a dream. So. Not perfect, but done and serviceable, which suits me today.
I also made a couple more burp cloths to go with the one I finished last week. Again, more random fabric out of my stash! I am especially unsure as to why I bought the blue print — it has Easter eggs on it, I believe. I am not the kind of person who does a lot of seasonal quilting or decorating so I’m at a loss. Although as I’m typing, I think there was a period of time that I collected cute prints for an ISpy quilt. There is probably a stack of squares cut out somewhere, even! Anyway, these three cloths will all go to my sister, who is rather unexpectedly pregnant with her third child and having to collect all the essentials again. The pattern is from Stop Staring and Start Sewing and in my opinion is the best burp cloth shape — I like the gentle contours but appreciate that there is still plenty of coverage.
I’m quite pleased to have these little projects done and am ready to move on — it’s always amusing to me how starting out on one project leads to working on something entirely different! At least that seems to be my path. I found these pieces when I was looking for fabric for the drawstring bags…and they were small enough and quick enough to do that I just wanted to get them done rather than stashing them back into the bins where I found them. There should be no other squirrels in my path to completing the bags, though, so hopefully I’ll have a post up sharing that completed project soon!
I really need to do something about my photography — these didn’t look too bad on the phone, but look awful in this collage. I’m walking a fine line of wanting to have nice photos and keeping myself from getting hung up in perfecting the photography or allowing the less than nice photos to keep me from doing and posting. Ugh. Anyway.
The last of the items I ordered in December came in. We’ll go counterclockwise from the top right: I picked up 3.5 yards of Essex Linen in Steel from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and while I was browsing their site the daily deal caught my eye, which was the layer cake of Aflutter in the next photo. I don’t have a ton of purple in my stash but these saturated colors really appealed to me. I have an idea for the pattern I’d like to use, although I suspect it will be a while before I get around to it. Finally, on the bottom are all the materials assembled for the Paint Pots quilt I’m planning to make. I’d already had the Kaffe Fassett design roll and, in addition to the Essex Linen, I picked up 5 yards of the floral print (also Kaffe) for the backing and two yards of two different green shot cottons as I wasn’t sure which would be best for binding. All that remains is to get started! But a few other projects take priority right now.
I did finish a couple of small projects this week and hope to get more done tomorrow, since it is a holiday. I found an orphan block and decided to finish it up into a cushion cover. And I also found a burp cloth cut out and just needing to be topstitched, so I did that as well. Finally, I pitched another burp cloth that had awful stitching (looked like it was eaten by the machine) and that I messed up further when I tried to salvage it. Each burp cloth uses almost a third of a yard, while the cushion cover used up three quarters of a yard. Right now my intake is far out pacing my usage, but I’m not planning on any additional purchases this month, so I hope I can catch up at least a little!
Used this week: 1.34 yards
Used YTD: 1.69 yards
Added this week: 13.25 yards
Added YTD: 24.75 yards
Net Used Yards (Used YTD – Added YTD): 23.06 yards
Ok. I’ve never actually managed to finish anything that I’ve ever listed but…with hope springing eternal in the new year — and a good start on at least one project — I’m jumping in and posting a small list for the first quarter of 2018. Four projects sounds reasonable, right? Maybe a stretch, but not such a big one that I end up feeling defeated by my goals.
By far not my favorite, but I just want it gone. And it won’t take long to finish once I actually get started on it.
Six Lined Drawstring Bags (#2)
Done/To Do: Fabric is mostly selected and some pieces cut. Just need to assemble then send to their future homes.
This should be my first completed project, as I want to get these to my nieces and nephews ASAP.
Bri’s Quilt (#3)
To Do: add wide border, back, baste & quilt, bind, finish in time for my parents to take back with them when they visit! (late February/March)
I got annoyed when I sewed the HST blocks together and they didn’t line up perfectly (and won’t, due to a combination of sewing and cutting errors, I think) and set this aside. But Bri is 2 and about to have a baby sister and her older sister already has a quilt, so…it needs to be finished!
No photo because embarrassingly I can’t find my bundle of fabrics and notions that I collected to make this tote. So perhaps my first step should be find the project. But I know it’s close by, just got shuffled up in a reorg before I snapped any photos. Anyway, I’ve wanted to make a Noodlehead pattern for a while and this one works really well for my needs. I’m excited to make something functional for myself.
That’s it! I think a doable list, but I’m not going to beat myself up if it doesn’t all get done, either. I started this post over the weekend before my internship started up again and the view looks a little different this morning as I’m back to my crazy schedule!
I want to keep track of how much fabric I bring into my stash this year and how much I use up. I think I may also randomly highlight fabrics I’ve been holding on to for years just to help remind me of what I have on hand and maybe get some ideas percolating on how to use it. I have NO IDEA how much in actual yardage my stash really is. But I can keep an eye on what I bring in (minimal is my goal for the year) and use some very basic formulas to calculate what I use.
Although my goal is to buy very little fabric in 2018, I took advantage of some end of year sales to buy a few things at the end of 2017. So technically the purchase didn’t occur in 2018. One area that I’ve recognized as a limitation within my stash is a collection of fabrics that work well as neutral backgrounds. I am a huge fan of a white or light solid backgrounds, but also like tone on tone neutrals and modern low-volumes as well. I was able to get three yards of two Carolyn Friedlander prints — Architextures in Grey and a white on white from her Doe line — at half price during a recent sale at My Fabric Shop. Both of which will be perfect for backgrounds. I also indulged in a number of other prints from Doe and and yard cut of Architextures in Shadow, simply because I couldn’t pass up the prices. I’ve always been on a fabric diet when considering her fabrics, so am excited to add some to my stash. But my little indulgence added 11.5 yards to the stash and wasn’t my only end of year purchase…😊
I did use a small amount of fabric making up a lined drawstring bag. I also started collecting fabric I just won’t use to donate to either a local quilt ministry (if I can find one) or maybe a 4H club?? I may end up just listing it on Freecycle — whatever I need to do to get it out of the house. That won’t be counted until it’s actually gone, though.
As I was putting this post together, I was also thinking about how exactly I want to keep track of what I’m using. I found this post by In Color Order to be particularly helpful, and because I am somewhat exacting, I am calculating use by square inches. I am only calculating quilting cottons and maybe garment fabrics if I actually sew any. I’m not counting batting or notions like elastic, lace, etc. I am counting fabric as used when I:
complete a small project stem to stern (bag, clothing, accessory)
finish a quilt top
finish quilting up a finished top (backing only)
finish binding a quilt (binding only)
get rid of fabric by some other method
If you calculate your stash usage, what method do you use? Do you include batting or notions sold by the yard?
I was really hoping that this week off before school and my internship start back up would be a hive of productivity, both creatively and professionaly. Instead, I picked up the mother of all colds over New Years and have been reduced to just making it through. That’s been kind of a bummer. Today, though I am finally feeling better and took the opportunity to make up a lined drawstring bag. I’ve had this pattern from In Color Orderforeverbut never had gotten around to making up a bag using it. I’m glad that has finally changed!
In addition to the pink fabrics on the exterior, I used a yellow zebra print for the lining. You can see it in the pieces I’ve laid out for other bags. And some rainbow striped ribbon for the drawstrings. I actually started to make a fabric drawstring but broke my needle somehow. That’s usually a sign to step away from the machine!
Although I’m linking up this up as a finish at Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict, I’m not actually totally done with this pattern. I’m planning to make several more to use as fun packaging for the January mail surprise I send to my neices and nephews. I need six more. You can see some of my fabric considerations and some of the goodies in the photo above. Anyway, those six additional lined drawstring bags will be my January One Monthly Goal, which I am linking up to at Elm Street Quilts.