Archive for November, 2010

One Thousand Pins Later….

safety pins

Do you know how many safety pins it takes to baste 5 quilts? It took me approximately 1,000 pins! I owned 300 and had never needed more but decided to purchase an extra hundred before heading down to my Dad’s for my basting marathon. When I used almost 300 on one quilt I took an emergency trip to the store and purchased 600 more. I’d apparently forgotten how many pins it takes since I hadn’t basted in so long…

I don’t normally let quilts back up like this but I have no space to baste in my apartment so I have to go to my Dad’s six hours away. Understandably I don’t want to do this every couple weeks so I let the quilts pile up figuring it wouldn’t be to hard to get a bunch done in one trip. It wasn’t so bad although I don’t plan on doing that ever again, I think basting three quilts in one weekend is my new limit.

Of course having gotten that done and patting myself on the back for being ahead of the power curve for Christmas gifts my sister in law decided to throw me a curve ball. Apparently my brother (her husband) wanted a quilt from me for Christmas but no one told me. He told her and his mom but the message didn’t get passed on….. It would have been nice to know since I’ve been struggling with what to make him, never thinking he would want a quilt. So despite the fact that I have five quilts to finish and the fact that I have zero fabric in my stash suitable for him and the fact that I only have six weeks until Christmas and no clue when I can baste it I’m going for it. I went online and spent a small fortune on Echino fabric, picked out a pattern and once it arrives I’ll start burning the midnight oil to get it done.

In the meantime I really need to get the five quilts I basted this weekend quilted so that I can get started on binding them (my least favorite part). To make myself focus I’ve put away all my other projects so I won’t be tempted to work on them instead.

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Yes, I said It, I love my right to be a little bit negative. Part of my current mood is due to my computer crashing yesterday and knowing that I will not see it until sometime next week. Even when I get it back I may lose all the data on it…. Thankfully I had backed up everything a week ago but between then and my computer crashing I’ve saved some pretty important things that could be gone now.

Since 95% of the work I do is on my computer I called my boss, let him know the situation, and took a couple personal days. I should be excited for the long weekend, I can certainly use the free time to work on Christmas crafting but instead I feel bummed by the forced hiatus.

In the absence of work I spent a lot of time “chatting” on the Flickr discussion boards. My favorite topic is “One line/design whose popularity I completely don’t understand” I love that everyone feels free (myself included) to admit not only do they not like but they don’t understand the popularity of some of the modern designs who are so revered in this group. I’m not trying to put down or diminish the skills, creativity, and hard work of those designers but I don’t think respecting them means I have to like their work or pretend I like it for fear of being judged for my opinion. Not everyone finds this fun, people in various ways implied that this was not a good topic. That it put down designers, that we should focus on what we love. To me the point of the discussion is to embrace our right to different opinions. To say that even if you don’t like some of the “modern” designers you are still welcome in this group. Your opinion, whether or not it coincides with the majority, is welcome here. It is not about putting down designers and in my opinion no one did. No one was rude, insulting, degrading in any way. Most people just said I don’t like x because of the colors or the scale or whatever. I don’t want to belong to a group that in any way sends the message we all have to like the same things or if you don’t you have to keep silent about it.

After all, as I understand it a major part of the drive for the “modern” quilting movement was that they didn’t feel welcomed or accepted by traditional quilters? That they felt ostracized or judged because their taste in fabric and quilts was different? It doesn’t need to be an all or nothing situation. Within any movement or group there is a spectrum of individuals and it is their differences as much as their similarities that make the group better.

What do you think? Is it okay to foster discussion about dislikes or is it better to focus on the positive? Whether you or agree or disagree please say so but be respectful when you do so.

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Do you think Amy Butler carries a small purse? I mean 95% of her bag and purse patterns are HUGE so I think it would be funny if in real life she carries a little purse or even a wristlet.

I bought the Echino bird fabric specifically for this project and when the new Fall 2010 Echino fabrics came out (and I proceeded to splurge on 5 1/2 yards of it) I decided it was time to make this bag. I find it challenging to work on a project because I “need” to get it done, instead of sitting down for hours at a time I’ll work on projects like this for 30 minutes here and there. I actually think this strategy works well for the prep phase of Amy Butler projects. If you look at pattern reviews of any of her bags you will notice people complain or at least make note of the massive amount of time it takes to cut out the fabric, interfacing, fusible fleece etc etc. Me, I’m not into marathon cutting sessions so I work my way through this phase slowly and only when I’m ready to get down to the actual sewing will I sit down for a couple hours and power through.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been wanting to make this bag for a long time and have had the fabric set aside for awhile. I even made sure to purchase all the interfacing during one of JoAnn’s 40% off sales. But I’m not making it now because I need the bag, I making it now because I’m worried that my stash is getting out of hand.

Am I the only one that has noticed the destashing bug that seems to be going around? I can think of 5 or 6 ladies off the top of my head who recently opened Etsy stores or announced their destashing on Flickr. Some need the money for everyday living expensese, some have gotten interested in other hobbies, and some have realized they will simply never use all the fabric that they have. I’m a big fan of a varied stash, especially since all my favorite quilt patterns call for a couple DOZEN different fabrics, but I don’t want to spend money on fabric just to have it. Putting aside the fact that fabric sitting on a shelf for years isn’t doing anyone any good, there is the simple fact that the money spent on it was essentially wasted. Sometimes destashing can result in money made but many times you break even or come out a little ahead. When you think about what you could have spent that money on or the interest that money could have been making for the past couple years you realize how wasteful it can be to have a stash of fabric that you don’t use.

I’m not planning, nor do I think I need to destash. But I have been making a concerted effort to sew from my stash, complete the projects I specifically purchased fabric for (like the Weekender) and be much more selective about the fabric I buy. The reality is I love lots of fabric and even if I don’t get “enough” fabric from a fabric line if I wait a couple months I will fall in love again. Instead of spending money on yards and yards of one collection I would rather buy a little bit of each one and make things that pull those pieces together into cohesive projects. I realize that this means I may want to make a quilt or project in a year or so and find myself short of a certain print or collection but instead of worrying about what might be I’d rather face that challenging should it occur.

What are your thoughts on fabrics stashes? Are you a bigger means better person? Are you a fan of a smaller, curated stash? Do you keep it super simple and only buy fabric for specific projects?

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It's A Hoot Mini Quilt

Tell me the truth, am I the only that’s made a quilt for a pet?

I guess it isn’t technically a quilt since there isn’t any batting, it’s backed and “filled” with fleece. I made our dog a quilt because our house in the winter gets pretty cold. TH and I like it to be that way when we sleep so we can curl up under the covers but that leaves the dog out in the cold. Now she can curl up under her own quilt.

I made this using a charm pack of It’s a Hoot by Momo. I bought it a couple weeks ago so I could see all the prints in the line and decide which ones I would buy yardage of. For about $7 I think it was worth it since I wouldn’t have had any opportunity to see the prints in person otherwise. But I still wanted to do something with it. Normally I think a simple patchwork square quilt like this is a little plain jane but since our puppy is likely to chew and terrorize this one I’m okay with that.

What did you make this weekend?

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I’m traveling again today so I thought I would share some of the awesome artwork I’ve found on Etsy lately. I don’t know about you but my walls could always use a little more ornamentation.

For sale here.

At first glance I realize it comes off a bit creepy but TH is a nursing student and I know he would appreciate the literalness of it.

For sale here.

I love the colors in this one.

Similar prints for sale here.

I think this actually looks like a grown up version of the one before. Unfortunately she’s not available any more.

For sale here.

This one just makes me smile when I look at it.

What’s making you smile today?

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My cats have lodged a complaint with their union representative, their charge is cat abuse!

Exhibit A: A brand new puppy bed made for the newest member of the household.

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The cats firmly believe that dogs should always come second to them and are highly offended that we would invest time and effort into a project for the dog before creating something for them.

Exhibit B: While the dog can stretch out on a comfy, fluffy and large bed. The cats are stuck in a tray that barely fits one of them much less both of them together.

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In our defense the tray is padded with a couple layers of fleece left over from various quilts. The cats, however, organized a strike in accordance with union rules. There will be no lap sitting or leg rubbing until their demands have been met.

With an empty, cold lap and a sad sad heart I set to work on making their royal highnesses happy.

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The pattern is the better than a box pet bed from “One Yard Wonders” and the fabric is “Sew Now, Sew Wow” from Alexander Henry. I love this fabric and knew to make my cats happy I’d have to part with one of my favorite prints. I think the large design and bright colors are perfect for this project. The bed is my favorite project so far from “One Yard Wonders.” It’s unique design and functionality make it a perfect project. The most time consuming part was drawing the pattern pieces out on the fabric, the sewing itself is a breeze, then you stuff it and your done! The entire thing took less than an hour to make.

Of course the true test is the cats. I went and got Bear, thinking at best he would sniff it and move on (he hates to be put some place and usually runs off on principle alone). But he must really love this bed because he immediately laid down

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and stayed there all afternoon.

For photgraphing purposes I put the bed on our kitchen table but the bed will permanently reside on a corner of my sewing table hopefully preventing my cats from feeling the need to lay down on one of my in progress piles of fabric. As I write this, Maggie, is currently napping on it 🙂 So I guess they both approve. it’s a good thing too, now that it is getting cold I’ll need a sweet kitty to curl up with me on the couch.

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I’m traveling for work most of this week so not much crafting will get done. While I may not craft every day when I’m home something about not being able to do it makes me miss it more. Times like these I like to brainstorm new projects 🙂 Right now I’m feeling very inspired by text.

Me & You Show Sign
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I love lit signs and this homemade one is a tempting project if I could find a better way to disguise the multiple cords. You can find a tutorial here.

The Stars at Night
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I love, love this idea. I’ve been stumped about what to make my middle brother (he’s very emo, hipster) but I know he’d love some song lyrics on something like this. Hmmm…. I know his favorite band but I bet I could find some quotes or lyrics on his facebook page.

something's hiding in here
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This is from the “your message here” art installations. Click on the link and check it out- very cool!

new banner, new blog
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This sign is more my sister’s style, maybe I’ll make signs for everyone for Christmas 😉

Kisses quilt number 2
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I want to find a way to incorporate more text in my quilts but I’m not game for free piecing letters like this. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s awesome but the idea of it kind of makes my head hurt. Of course I’m not really game for appliqueing a bunch of letters on so….. I guess I won’t be doing any quilts with text in the near future!

This makes me want to learn to embroider. (Sorry I can’t post the picture here, they don’t allow it.)

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This is the picture that inspired me to make these

Felt Letter Magnet Tutorial

You can find the tutorial here.

Love, Love, Love
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I’d like someone to buy me this (pretty please?)

this is how i roll
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It makes me smile every time I look at it!

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I’d love the opportunity to walk around the neon boneyard in Las Vegas and take photos of all the old signs. It would be a “sin” not to (okay corny I know…)

What’s inspiring you lately?

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