Four for the MIL

So I’d been trying to be “good” by not buying any more fabric for awhile. “Why?” you ask. I have no clue, really, except that I already have so much.

Anyhoo, during my recent cleanup and reorganization, I was flipping through some of my quilting magazines and came across an ad in the back of last November’s American Quilter for a company called Thousands of Bolts. “Over 5000 fabrics under $5.00 per yard!! All FIRST quality quilt shop fabrics,” it said. The cynic in my head assumed they’d all be “fuglies,” but I took a look. Especially given that one of my truly two local quilt shops closed because the owners retired and the other moved to a new location that is better for them but not so local for me. (I say “truly” because I do still have plenty of options across the river in Portland, but that’s not always convenient.) Plus, what quilter can resist good yardage at a great price?

I would describe the majority of their fabrics as blenders, and I haven’t seen any indication of designer collections, though I didn’t expect to. I am a big fan of tone-on-tone prints, however, so much of what they offer is right up my alley. PLUS they have Moda Bella Solids and Robert Kaufman Pure Organic Solids in every color I can imagine. SO, they are going on my list of stash-building resources for sure. I took the opportunity to try and round out a collection of fabrics I’ve been accumulating for my mother in law’s quilt. Her favorite colors are “deep teal and true red.” This is what arrived yesterday:004The whole bottom row is way too green, so they’ll go into my stash. This is not supposed to look like a Christmas quilt! Also, the two ferny prints aren’t quite what I expected based on the online images–maybe they just focused on a part where I couldn’t see that there were ferns there…? I’m not anti-fern, entirely, I just didn’t want them for this quilt.

Luckily the four across the top are winners. The solids are Moda Bella, and the print collections are, from left to right: Spin by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics, Out of This World  by Jill McDonald for P&B Textiles, and Snowfolk by Cheryl Haynes for Benartex. They will be added to this stack005and eventually be sewn up in Julie Herman’s Lotus pattern. Sometime this year, I hope. I’ll find out once I give it to my MIL whether I got the “deep” and “true” parts of the colors right, but I already know I’ll have an extremely difficult time giving this one away.

First-time link-up to Sunday Stash! Whoop whoop!molli_sparkles_sunday_stash_button

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Not a Quilt But

I’d hoped/planned to have one of my projects from “SnowDown” completed for my first link-up to TGIFF (hosted this week by Devoted Quilter) but my week didn’t quite cooperate. But this makes me happy, too, and is just as important a project to have completed: I re-organized my stash. 🙂 001

The last time I did this I used it as an excuse to buy fabric, as I discovered that I was sadly lacking in the warm color ranges. I love blue, so that will always fill more cubbies than any other color, and the green cubby is stacked three piles deep, whereas the others are only two, or are forced to share a cubby with another color (gasp!). But at least now I have enough warm colors that if a friend’s favorite color is orange or yellow, I can at least begin the making process with a pull from my stash.

This time I was pleased to find a bit of still-empty space (see bottom left corner of photo above) on the blacks/multicoloreds/batiks shelf. (Sorry, the closet door is too small to allow the whole thing to fit in the pictue.) So in theory I could use this as another excuse to fabric shop, but right now I’m more excited about all the ideas this clean-up gave me. First up will be this:004Right now the plan is to use the “Wonky Roman Stripe” pattern from this book, but that could change. Regardless, I am torn between my desire to finish other projects vs. start a new one. If you’re at all like me, that’s an ongoing battle. 😀 (That’s what WIP Wednesdays are for, right?)

Celebrate again.

Thank you so, so much for each of you who commented on my previous post. I was ambivalent for several months about starting a blog. Most of the quilt blogs I follow are pattern or fabric designers and/or authors. Since I don’t have a business of my own to grow, I debated with myself over the value of this little exercise. Would it be worth my time? Time spent learning how to blog, maneuver my way around the hosting platform, interact with other blogs, time spent NOT QUILTING or cleaning my house, etc. Moreover, I’ve never considered myself much of a writer. I can edit the heck out of things, but the first draft has always been a struggle. So: Why do it?

Then, in February, I actually verbalized the idea to a couple of non-quilty friends (and a new quilty friend–hi Nellie!–thanks to MQG’s Portland Sewdown) and received far more encouragement than I expected. So my feelings moved from ambivalence toward “this could be fun!”

I considered all of the knowledge I’ve gleaned through visiting quilt blogs over the past year (two? not sure) since I first discovered the wealth of free tutorials available. Leah Day and her Free Motion Quilting Project was the first. My skills and confidence level have grown exponentially since that time, and I have the online quilting community to thank for it. So, I decided that even if I am unsure of what contributions I might make, I wanted at least to be a more involved part of that community.

Which brings me back to my purpose today: thank you! To those first six of you who commented on “Rainy Day Garden,” thank you so much! In all the mental mulling over that I did prior to my first blog post, I never considered how HAPPY it might make me to have other quilters take the time to say, “Hey, I think that thing you did is fantastic.” Excuse the Sally Field moment, but “thank you” seems so small compared with how I’m feeling today.  🙂

Finally, since if you’re at all like me and you read quilt blogs for the PICTURES, here is a shot of my completed quilt from the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone QAL: the project that started it all.

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And the flip-side.

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Celebrate

Oh, yeah. Do a happy dance. I finished the quilt top. 2014 Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge, I give you “Rainy Day Garden.” Current size is 73 x 65 inches.

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Having started this little journey, I’ve realized that in addition to learning how to create & maintain a blog, I really should also work to improve my quilt photography skills. To that end, the first thing I did was take the flimsy outside. Good thing it isn’t raining today. The second thing I did was borrow Husband’s camera. His is MUCH nicer than mine. Next on the agenda will be to make better use of said camera, but there’s only so much a girl can do/learn at once, right? Anyway, since I was playing, here are a couple more shots of the top:

505 508I may even have managed to successfully link up to the Challenge.

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Progress

I might actually make the deadline for the Pantone Quilt Challenge. At least with a “flimsy.” I just learned that word for a quilt top a few weeks ago and am still getting used to it. I haven’t decided if I like using it or not. Compared to the completed quilt, the top on its own is lightweight and thin. On the other hand, I make a lot of effort to sew things that will last, so using the word flimsy feels a little like ignoring or overlooking all that is involved in doing so.

Anyway, back to the fun stuff: I’ve passed the half-way mark in stitching down all the blooms, AND I’ve managed to spend some of that quality time with the husband. Look at me go.  🙂

Note to self: If you ever do another project like this, go buy a roll of fusible web tape so that you don’t have to spend time cutting little strips from a larger sheet.

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It’s Molli’s Fault

Blame Molli Sparkles. He blogjacked Freshly Pieced last fall. He got me all excited about the MSBHQAL. And I realized I could WIN FABRIC?! Then I realized how difficult it is to participate in this online quilty community without a blog of your own. So here I am. With my first blog post. Trying to figure out how to make it work before the deadline for the 2014 Radiant Orchid Pantone Quilt Challenge. Oh, and I still have to finish the quilt. In seven days. While working full time and occasionally sleeping, eating, and paying attention to my husband. We’re about to find out just how fast/well I work under pressure. Image