Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Stash - January Acquisitions

If you're documenting signs of the Stashpocalypse (© Val @ Purple Boots and Pigtails), a major one occurred today. The ever entertaining Molli Sparkles has drafted a Stash Manifesto and linked it up. Yup. That's as sure a sign as earthquakes and Aurifil thread going up 70% in price.

All that said, we're one month into The Year of The Stash and I'm feelin' good. Yes, I've been to the fabric store. And that's okay. To keep myself honest, and to encourage all of you, I'm sharing this month's additions to the stash - keeping in mind that this might have been one trip to the fabric store a year ago!

Sometimes fabric just shows up in one's mailbox! This FQ bundle of Tula Pink's Eden is courtesy of Fabric Please! Soon it will be made into something lovely. And when it is, you'll have a chance to win this same bundle! Winnings don't count as stash acquisitions... kind of like broken cookies.
Those tigers must be fussy cut. And don't get me started on the selvages. Ah, sweet selvages! I feel like I hit the jackpot with 5 out 8 FQs having printed selvage.

Oh, Konas... how can I resist your siren's song? I've been doing really well resisting, except that Quilting Protection Program Project #1 required a few more green for its pieced back. So I snagged hunks of Leprechaun, Jungle, and Basil  I know I've been teasing you forever on this one, but a reveal is imminent. Let me say it again -  imminent.
And some Timeless Treasures Crosshatch Sketch in Red. I'm sorry to say that J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game is in need of some repairs Appliqué and I are not friends. 
Last week-end, DT, Himself and I took a little road trip to Cape Breton. And since that's well outside of my 2 hour radius when it comes to quilt shops, I popped in to The Mira Stichin' Post and picked up a couple treats.
Some low volume and a pretty grey by Stof. Not a company I'm familiar with, but apparently it's based in Denmark. I'm plotting some low volume shenanigans for my month of the Birthday Bonus Club and a little more might be needed!
Who can resist a wee bit of sunshine? I have Michael Miller's Mod Basics Stitch Square in a couple other colours, but no yellow. (Thanks to Vicki Price for filling in the blank for me on this one!)
The elusive Wonder Tape! For those members of the Mighty Lucky Quilt Club, this is an essential tool for January's bias tape challenge. That's why I haven't done mine. No Wonder Tape. Yup. That's my excuse.
And because he linked up with me (insert me, squealing like a teenage girl at The Beatles' first Ed Sullivan performance, here), I'm linking up with Sunday Stash @ Molli Sparkles. Oh. My. Blog. Is it wrong that I very much want the fabric he feaured showed today? If I beg my friend in Australia to send it to me, it doesn't count as a stash acquisition, right?


P.S. It's never too late to jump on the Stash Manifesto bandwagon. Even with Molli's collection of feather boas, there's still lots of room. Get some inspiration for your Stash Manifesto here and link up here.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Coming soon... Throwback Thursday {Volume 7}!

Things have been pretty focused on The Year of the Stash around these bloggy parts lately. And with all the time spent frolicking in one's stash à la Scrooge McDuck (go ahead... click it. You know you want to.), you might have forgotten that this coming week is the monthly installment of Throwback Thursday!
There's still lots of time to take some pics and write a post. And it's well worth it this month. Fabric Please! is sponsoring another wonderful giveaway!

See you on Thursday, February 4th!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Finish - Another one in the bag!

Don't you love a well-written tutorial? Well, I do. Jeni Baker from In Color Order knocked it out of the park on this one.

DT are going traveling soon and needed somewhere to store their blocks. They LOVE blocks. This bag fits the bill perfectly.
Jeni Baker's tutorial for a very practical little drawstring bag was so good that I went back and bought the pattern. Eight more sizes of fun! I especially like the double drawstring closure system and the way she explains how to leave the openings. Easy to do and tidy when complete!
 Turns out that DTs blocks actually came with a bag...
But it's not as nice as this one! It's so nice that Anja @ Anja Quilts couldn't resist sewing up a pile of them herself!
This bag was my OMG goal for January. But once I had it finished, the goal seemed a little... well, small. Who knew it was going to come together so quickly? So off I went to my Christmas print stash stack. And I whipped up three more!
I love having some pre-fab presents set aside when Christmas rolls around. Ain't nobody got time for last minute sewing. So much stress.
I'm linking up today with TGIFF @ Busy Hands Quilts, as well as Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts. And let's not forget the monthly OMG It's Finished Party @ Red Letter Quilts. Now to get thinking about February's goal! 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Finish - A Mini Mini Cuppa for Q-D

Yup. I'm addicted. Another mini mini.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, at our very first Q-Squared Quilt Therapy session, Q-D brought a certain quilt to work on. When I hadn't seen it in forever in a day (much less completed), I asked after the "Hot Chocolate" quilt. She looked mystified. Apparently, what I remembered as paper pieced mugs of hot chocolate were, in fact, mittens.

And thus, the idea for a mini mini was born! I got to digging about on the  internets and then I found the fabulous paper piecing patterns of Tiny Toffee Designs. My goodness, she has some tiny, tiny paper piecing patterns! Given how tiny these pieces are, it seemed best to do a little colouring to keep things straight.
The funny thing is I coloured willy nilly - before this fabric pull! Q -D loves, I mean LOVES, Carolyn Friedlander prints. So it was my goal to get lots into this wee quilt.
And off I went! These pattern pieces are very, very wee.
I used this little pic as a test to see if the mug would have enough contrast with this background. Digital cameras - not just for documenting your progress!
Mini minis are so very satisfying! And entirely doable during naptime... so long as DT (visible on screen in the blurry background) stay asleep.
I love my 12 inch rotating mat. Not so much for the rotating aspect, but more so because it fits so nicely beside my machine - perfectly positioned for trimming paper piecing.
Because I actually shortened my stitch length before starting (as recommended by pp experts everywhere), it wasn't a nightmare to take the paper off. Go figure!
All quilted and ready to bind... I kept it pretty minimal. The wavy lines are meant to be steam coming off the hot chocolate in the mug!
I planned to use Yvonne @ Quiting JetGirl's tutorial for selvage binding, but none of the CF prints used in the mini mini actually featured her name. Ack.
I had to break one of my hard and fast rules ("NEVER remove selvage before using the yardage"), but Q-D is worth it!

I carefully positioned CF's name for maximum readability. Q-D cares about that sort of thing! And I care that this fabric was "Kona Coordinated" ☺
In a break with my usual handstitching shenanigans, this binding got machine sewn. Quick and dirty! And voilà... complete with an inscription on the back!

I'm linking up today with TGIFF @ Quilt Journal as well as with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts.


P.S We swapped last night at our MMQG meeting. Q-D loved it! But I bet she'll leave a comment saying as much! ☺

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How you doin'?

You're 21 days into 2016, The Year of The Stash. According to the internet (well, at least this site), 21 days how long it takes to make or break a habit.
If you haven't succumbed to fabric acquisition by now, you're well on your way. And if you have, enjoy your fabric-y goodness and keep soldiering on, comrades. Review your Manifesto if you need to.  And get ready. The first TYOTS link-up is coming! Mark your calendar for February 14th. Yup, show your stash love on Valentine's Day! It's a chance to celebrate the progress you've made to date. It might be a stash based project (or seven) or the improved organization of your fabric hoard stash.

See you (and your stash!) on Sunday, February 14th!


P.S. Yes, that blog title should be read in the voice of Friends' character, Joey Tribbiani.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WIP Wednesday - An oldie but a goodie...

With my design wall emptied of QPP Project #1, it was free and clear for me to pull out a long standing WIP. Remember this one? Yup, it's the Polaroid I Spy quilt.

Once I figured out just how many more blocks were needed, I set to trimming. I might have gone a little overboard in the making and swapping of Polaroid blocks. But it was so much fun!
When I was getting ready to cut more coloured strips for the edges, I came to a realization. The offcuts from my other blocks could be used for more coloured edges. Less wasted Kona AND a tidier scrap bin. Score!
Squee! Blocks edged in coloured scraps, all ready to be trimmed during another naptime.
Rainbow happiness!
In other WIP news, I've been stitching away on my iPhone case (though I'm on a little hiatus due to an injured wrist). Many thanks to the generosity of my MMQG peeps, Jeannette @ Stamp Stitch Create and Karen @ Sugar Free Quilts.
Progress so far. 20 of 60 triangles done!
I also decided what fabrics I'm going to use for my Quilter's Planner cover. What do you think?
I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, as well as with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

S.O.S #1 - ViSiT your stash!

I'm sending out an S.O.S to my quilty comrades who are getting on board with The Year of The Stash. Nope, I'm not drowning in scraps and stacks of stash, I'm offering up some Stash Organization Suggestions!

Part of the reason quilters don't use their stash is that they've forgotten what treasures are in there. There's gold in them there hills! Okay. Maybe not actual gold. But potentially the perfect gold fabric to go with that Hanukah fabric. You know, if you have Hanukah fabric.
Wanna get organized? Well, here's my handy acronym for you - VST. Think ViSiT. Like visit your stash, not your LQS.

I like to be able to see my fabric. Yes, I know all about the deteriorating horrors of sunlight. The bulk of my stash lives in a closet, but the door is always open. (No, you can't come take some.) But my Konas live on open shelving. They make me happy to look at and I have good history of inventory turnover with Konas, so I don't worry so much about sun fade. The pros outweigh the cons for me.
I sort by colour. But also by type. For example, I have folded stacks of the colours of the rainbow (except yellow & orange - they're one stack). But I also have a stack for Christmas prints, for batiks (yes, there are still some in my stash), as well as for neutrals. I have a large stack for fabrics destined to be backings. and Konas live apart from prints.

Full disclosure: I used to have a sign rather like this one on the door of my childhood bedroom.
A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind. (with Garfield sitting at a messy office desk.) 
But honestly, how can you use your stash if it's a mess?! And if it's spread all over the house? Here's my system. I wash my fabric when I buy it (well, once I get home). And I wash it with clothes. And regular laundry soap. Yup, I'm a pre-washing rebel. It gets stored on the shelf of my ironing board until I can iron it... ASAP. It gets measured, folded, and added to the stacks. For Konas, they get labeled by name. More about my OCD labeling system in the S.O.S. #2!

So there you have it. ViSiT your stash today. Pull it all out of the boxes, bags, Rubbermaid totes and really look at it. You can do it. It's all part of the fun of...
If you've got an S.O.S. to share, give 'er. That means "Go ahead.. leave a comment!" for those of you not familiar with Nova Scotian vernacular!


P.S. I've linked up with Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night Quilter now that it's back up and running!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Very Merry Do Bee Christmas!

What's this, you say? Christmas is over! Well, one of my quilt bees, the Dartmouth Do Bees, celebrates the season in January. It takes the pressure off over the holidays and gives us something to look forward to in the dark, cold days of January. Our bee has undergone some changes this year. Not always easy, but in the end, it's lovely. I always look forward to getting together with these ladies - to talk, to quilt, to talk about quilting!
Our tradition is to exchange gifts, typically the same one to each member. This year, I was struggling to come up with an idea. When in need of inspiration, I go to the stash - at least that's what I said in my Manifesto for The Year of The Stash. And the presents for my bee mates were sitting right there! Custom charm packs!
I went on our FaceBook group and asked about fav colours. Miss K said blue. I started with my scrap bins and went on to my colour stacks. It gave me a great opportunity to go through and examine all the lovelies in there.
And Anja @ Anja Quilts? Well, I didn't really have to ask her! I made myself cut into absolutely every print that was appropriate. No fabrics were "too special to use" (as per my Year of the Stash Manifesto!)
Fancy Nancy (for whom I made the pink elephant 1 Hour Basket in our swap) went for green, as did Miss A. I made true charm packs with 40 squares, rounding out the prints with Konas from my hoard stash.
I included a fancy, shmancy Christmas ornament from one of my favourite shops to match each charm pack. I really should have taken a pic of those too! But for Anja, I opted to give her a rotary cutter case stuffed with some of my favourite orange selvages.
And what treasures did I receive? Well, Anja made us all a lovely bee pillow (with a little help from Q-D).

Miss K beefed up our stashes with these fun food prints, thread, and needles. Not to mention a jar of her homemade marmalade. Oh... and chocolate!
Miss A gave us lovely pewter hooks... wrapped in tissue and selvage. I'm planning to use mine in the studio. And the selvage? Well, we all know where that's going!
And Fancy Nancy gave us each a kit to make a pin cushion and some fresh pins. Better yet, it's a pattern designed by Karen @ Sugar Free Quilts, another member of Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.
I am very blessed to have such kind, generous, talented ladies in my life. Thank you, Do Bees!


P.S. If you're interested, you can see my gifty posts from 2014 and 2015.