Fabric Diet: May 2017
I have to say that after seeing my fabric purchases and usage for April, I went on a bit of a quilt-finishing spree. In the month of May, I finished my Lizzy House Mystery quilt from Sewtopia, my jelly roll 16-patch quilt, a fish mini quilt for a fabric challenge organized by my local quilt group (blog post still to come), and my square-in-a-square star cat quilt. I also went to my stash and pulled fabric for a quilt for no reason other than to use up fabric - and made good progress on that quilt! (Shown above.)
For the new quilt, I started with the "I heart to read" fabric from Alexander Henry Fabric that I had always planned to use to back a quilt (purchased in 2013). Then I pulled fabrics to coordinate with that print, including "greige" prints that I've acquired over the years and have never known how to use. Once I had a quilt plan in mind, I went about cutting and assembling very methodically. I'll post the complete story behind this quilt when it is completed, but for now you can see more updated pics on my Instagram feed.
This month I added a low-volume boarder to my double bear paw quilt, and basted it (which was a big feat) once I had some backing fabric on hand. Once again, a complete pic of the quilt top can be seen in my Instagram feed.
This month I only bought 1 piece of fabric: a large piece of 108" wide-back fabric for my double bear paw quilt. I was unsure how to count this fabric yardage in my account system. I purchased 3 yards of the fabric and used most of it. In the end, I looked at the dimensions of the pieces that were left over and roughly estimated that I had 3 yards left over. Man, if you trim 10" off of a piece of fabric 108" long, that makes for a large "scrap." I also returned some pieces of fabric to stash from another project that I finished (fabric I had pulled and tallied, but then ended up not using). So I'm technically up 4 yards of fabric this month.
Fabric Diet Standings
Fabric purchases: 4
Fabric used in projects: 19.25
Net for the month: -15.25
Net for the year: -102
Last month I only managed to go down 1 yard. After seeing that, I started to wonder if my goal of using up (or giving away or de-stashing) 200 yards of fabric in 2017 was unreachable. So this month I really went after sewing projects with zeal. It was fun and felt great to pull stacks of fabric off the shelf and sew them up. I also think that I felt (feel!) a bit fear over the approaching end of school for my kids. With summer break here, I think I'm freaking out a little bit over losing my free days where I can sew to my hearts delight. Soooo now that June is here, I'm curious to see how much sewing time I get.
I finished my Lizzy House Mystery Quilt! I mentioned this quilt in my April summary post (here), but at Sewtopia Denver Lizzy House led a class on her "2017 mystery quilt, which ended up being the very traditional "Square and Compass" quilt. The quilt that we would be making was kept secret until the moment the class started, and then we were asked to keep the quilt secret until the end of the weekend (no social media posts!). Both of those things were so hard!
For the class we were instructed to bring 24 fat quarters of fabric of varying tones. And that was it! (A fat quarter = a quarter of a yard of fabric more or less.) Now, I'm a thinker - an analyzer. I like to stare at fabric that I've pulled for a project for several weeks before I cut it. No time for that this time though! I pulled this for the class...
When Lizzy's project was revealed, I have to say that it took me a minute (or 30) to figure out how I wanted to divide up and use my fabrics that I had brought. I decided not to use several of them, and then I ran to the pop-up shop outside the classroom and bought whatever black and white low-volume and limey yellow green fabrics they had.
I didn't love the fact that the project was a mystery, but I have to say that I really enjoyed seeing how these blocks were constructed, and I really like the pattern. I very rarely make a pattern twice, but I am tempted with this one.
In the name of using what I have, I backed the quilt with bunch of red and white fabrics pieced together. While basting the quilt, I scratched my head a bit about how to quilt this one. I settled on diagonal, interesecting lines: it sure creates an amazingly soft texture!
I struggled a little trying to decide what (from my stash) to use for binding. Red? Purple? Black and white? Stripes? I decided that this black and white cross-hatch dot print was the one.
This is another quilt that finishes around 48" square. (My third quilt in a row finishing at that sort-of off size). This quilt is headed for my quilt-stash at home. I like how it turned out, but wish that I had had more green fabrics and would have been able to make it bigger. Alas, I did not have more greens at the retreat (nor did the pop-up shop), so this is the resulting size. There's still lots to love here!
Thanks for stopping by ~
Quilt Finish: Farm Fun 16-Patch
While I was fabric-shopping with friends before Sewtopia Denver, we went up to Erie, Colorado and visited A Quilter's Corner. While we were there I found the Farm Fun collection by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda. I stood before the shelves for a while pulling fabrics from the collection, and then putting them back...only to pull them out again. I was trying to figure out which fabrics were my favorites and eventually talked myself out of buying the fabrics because I couldn't decide which ones to buy and which ones to leave behind. Then while I was waiting for a friend to get her fabric cut, I discovered a jelly roll of the fabrics from this collection (a jelly roll is made up of 2 1/2" strips of fabric from 1 collection). Only two other times had I purchased a bundle of a collection (fat quarter bundles of an entire collection), I usually prefer to mix and match my own fabrics for a quilt, and I'd never bought a jelly roll, but I was intrigued with the idea of having a little bit of all the fabrics from this particular collection. With some friendly peer-pressure from my friends, I bought my first jelly roll.
A few weeks earlier, I had seen this quilt by Film in the Fridge. She made her quilt using fat quarters, but I thought that I could get a similar feeling using the jelly roll strips. One major difference between our quilts, is that I put 4 rows of the alternating rectangles together, rather than just two. As I was making the blocks, I realized that I was making 16-patches (a la St Louis 16-patch quilts), but with rectangles. Regardless of what we call it, or how it is put together, I'm happy with the result (over all), and enjoyed experimenting.
While I was still at the quilt shop, I purchased enough fabric yardage from the collection to back and bind the quilt. I echo-quilted each short side of the rectangles withing the blocks, and then also echo-quilted down each long side of the blocks themselves.
Today was a snow-day (no school for kiddos) where I live. We got 24" in less than 24 hours and didn't leave the house all day. I took advantage of the time at home to put together the backing, baste the quilt, quilt the quilt, and bind it. No one wanted to go outside to hold the quilt (in knee deep snow) for a picture, so I had to settle for this one folded shot outside (in standing inside with the door open, holding the quilt outside).
This quilt is roughly 49" square. I used all but 4 of the strips from the jelly roll. If I had planned ahead a little more, I would have pulled out 4 of the brown prints from the roll (there ended up being a lot of brown!) and used the colorful ones. Instead I paired up all the strips, sewed them together, cut them apart...sewed them back together, and then figured out how I was going to lay out the quilt. This resulted in 2 extra blocks.
This quilt is posted for sale in my Etsy store. Click here to see the quilt listing.
This quilt was inspired by a block I saw as part of the "Long Time Gone" sew-along that Angie Wilson of Gnome Angel is leading, based on Jen Kingwell's book. The "Square in a square stars" block intrigued me, particularly the way the pattern plays with your eyes.
I decided to make a baby quilt using the block and a couple of my favorite Heather Ross prints (the kitties from her Tiger Lily collection) - from my stash! I pulled some pink and orange fabrics (also from my stash) to use for the front of the quilt, and used the kitty prints on the back. I cut all the fabric ahead of time, and assembled the entire quilt top at Sewtopia Denver. For the backing, I combined two larger fabric pieces, and bound it in green print I had on hand.
I fussy-cut a few of the kitties to use on the front of the quilt.
To emphasize the stars created by the block layout, I added a green "star" to the mix.
I quilted diagonal lines on the quilt using the seams and the edge of my walking foot as a guide.
This quilt finishes at 48" square, which makes for a nice sized large baby quilt.
I did have to order 1 1/2 yards of the kitties on white to make the backing big enough. But other than that, all the other fabrics came from my stash or my scrap bin. Win! Plus it felt great to use up a fabric that I loved and had been saving for something special (the Heather Ross kitty fabrics).
Fabric Diet: April 2017
As I anticipated, April was a big sewing month! But unfortunately it was also a big (fabric) shopping month. This past month, I attended my third Sewtopia and this year it was in Denver. I met up with 4 friends, who I met at my first Sewtopia in Chicago, and we went on a little shop hop. We hit up Fancy Tiger Crafts, Fabric Bliss, and a new store up in Broomfield: A Quilter's Corner. Then there was also the Pink Door Fabrics pop-up shop at Sewtopia. All combined, I came home from my sewing weekend with just under 30 new yards of fabric. Yikes! That's the bad news.
The good news is that I sewed a lot in April. My biggest project (shown above) is a double bear paw quilt that I made out of lots of the 2 1/2 and 3 1/2" squares cut from my scrap bins. It didn't help me in my quest to sew my stash, but it did use up some scraps.
At Sewtopia I did two classes. The first was a mystery quilt with Lizzy House. We were instructed to bring 24 fat quarters of fabric in various colors and tones, and weren't given any more information until the class started. I was really worried that I wouldn't like the quilt, but it ended up being the old "Square and Compass" pattern - and I like it! However, I didn't like the fabric that I brought for it. So I went shopping at the pop-up to buy a little more green fabric and added a few black and white low-volume prints that I had picked up on our shop-hop. This project probably ended up being half stash and half newly-purchased fabric.
The second class I took was with Anna Graham (Noodlehead) where we made her new Traverse Bag. I bought all new fabric for this project, so let's not even talk about it (other than to say that I really liked her class and the resulting bag).
This year at Sewtopia I went with a mission to get some other projects done (projects other than the ones we were doing in the classes). I cut all the fabric for this Square in a Square quilt ahead of time and was able to sew all the blocks from start to finish in to a completed quilt top. Success! (All from stash)
The last part of Sewtopia is these 4 cats I made. This past February at Quiltcon I took Melissa Averino's "Making Cat Faces" class, so I made my Sewtopia friends each a cat face. (All from stash!)
So here is where April ended up:
Fabric Purchases: 28.75 yards
Fabric Used Up: 29.75 yards
Net for the Month: -1 yard
Net for the Year: -86.75
I'm still down (just barely) this month, and I'm happy that I was able to balance all the fabric I bought by sewing a lot. 4 months are done, 8 more to go and originally I wanted to be down 100-200 yards overall. I've gotten rid of a lot of fabric that I didn't want (mainly through de-stashing honestly) and am wondering if it'll be possible to sew thru 100 more yards of fabric. Stay tuned!