Weekend Roundup

This weekend was a busy one!  Mama S and I went to our quilt retreat, and then we left early on Sunday to make it to our guild’s show.  Lots of quilts!

Considering we were only at the retreat Friday evening and Saturday, I got a lot done.  I can’t show any of it to you yet, since everything I worked on was for presents, but hopefully in the near future I can share.

The guild show was a lot of fun.  My roommate J and psychoticrayofsunshine joined my parents and me.  Mama S won a ribbon in the rookie quilters category!  We saw all the beautiful quilts made by the talented men and women in the guild.  I love seeing the diversity of styles and techniques – we had modern and traditional, scrappy and monochrome, crazy quilts, heavily embroidered, creatively hand and machine quilted, large and small, jungle scenes, city skylines, kaleidoscope quilts; you name it, we saw it.  Tomorrow I’ll share my feedback from judging.

Between the guild show and the upcoming holidays, I’m keeping the posting light this week.  I have three hectic work days left, then I go home.  I’ll be running around even there, errands with Mama S, a seder at a friend’s house, then back home to help host the whole family for Easter before I return to my apartment.  I wish all my habibis a safe and happy Passover and Easter, if you celebrate, and a wonderful (hopefully spring-like) weekend to all of you.

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Stash Report!

Here’s my three-month stash report!  I should keep up with it better and do it monthly…

My intake has been a grand total of 1/8 of a yard of Kona Snow for my February bee block.  (I’ve also been keeping track of my sewing spending and it’s been pretty minimal so far this year: I bought a small embroidery hoop, some embroidery thread, and needles for the Handstitched class, and then I bought the 1/8 yard, a little stuffed animal pattern, and some batting – but I had a gift card, so I’ve spent a total of $7.50 thus far.  That doesn’t count the quilting retreat I’m going to with my mom soon.)

My outtake has been gargantuan in comparison.  (Note: A lot of these are estimates.  Generally I’m calculating based on finished size, so I think my margin of error in terms of estimates is probably okay.  I calculated that a yard of fabric is 36″ by 40″, or 1440 square inches, so I’ve been calculating the square inches of everything I made and then dividing it by 1440 to get my approximate yardage.)

January:

3.6 yards for doll quilts

8 yards for dog bed (the giant one I made out of my bedspread)

1.6 yards for 4 pillows

.38 yards for bee blocks

Total: 13.58 yards

February:

5.1 yards of shirting for baby quilts

.125 yards for scrap sewing (needle book and scissor holder)

2.4 yards for shoe bags

1.4 yards for my project bag

fat quarter donation to my guild

.11 yards for bee block

.04 yard for a bookmark I made that I never posted

Total:  9.425 yards

March:

.14 yard for March bee block

.53 yards for sleeve for magnum opus

donations to my guild (scrap tops, shirting tops, and other donations): 31.65 yards! (That’s not counting the batting I donated to my guild.)

Total: 32.32 yards

My three-month total is 55.325 yards!!

My arbitrary goal was to get 50 yards out of my stash by the time I moved, which isn’t happening for several more months. So the good thing is that I’ve already met my goal, and I have a lot of projects I’m working on or planning to make, so I’ll keep moving fabric out of my stash.

The bad thing is that I have so much fabric in my stash that I was able to get rid of almost 55 yards and it doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent!  I bought a lot of fabric last year in anticipation of projects, some of which I haven’t completed yet, so I’m making a concerted effort to only sew out of my stash, as much as possible – pieced backs, scrappy bindings, etc.  It helps that scrappy is my aesthetic, anyway.  After I’ve moved apartments, which will give me an excellent opportunity to destash, I can reevaluate and determine whether I need to start purchasing fabric again.  I have enough fabric to make tons of quilts, obviously; usually I end up buying fabric because I don’t have the fabric to make the quilts I want.  Maybe that means I need to be smarter about my stash.  My “fabric diet” this year hasn’t been that difficult, but that’s because I already had the fabrics I needed for the first half of the year.  When I move into the second half of the year and the quilts I want to make then, my stash may no longer be sufficient.

I hope my stash musings haven’t been too boring.  I’ll try to be better about posting at the end of every month, and my tally will definitely go up.  Should I reevaluate my goal?   I’m going to say 75 yards for my goal now – and I’ll aim to surpass it.  The more I get rid of, the less I need to pack!

Tune in next week for (hopefully) an update on my Handstitched projects.  I think I’m only about a month behind…

My Magnum Opus: Show Prep

I’m showing my magnum opus in my guild’s quilt show, so I had to put a sleeve on it.  I used this tutorial:

http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2012/02/hang-your-quilt-hanging-sleeve-tutorial.html

I don’t think an 85″ wide quilt was the best choice for my first quilt sleeve.  I spoke to other, more experienced quilters afterward and they said I should have made several shorter sleeves and sewn them along in a row.  I’m not 100% sure it’s going to hang straight, but oh well.

I also had to sew a period that had somehow disappeared.  Did I miss it when I did the initial quilting?  Not sure.

I’d originally planned more rows of stars, but I decided I didn’t have time for that.  I’m glad I decided not to – between the Handstitched class and all my other sewing stuff, I definitely would not have had time.

I didn’t wash the quilt.  I think it’s pretty clean.  Z had a detergent accident with the quilt – somehow he managed to spill some on the quilt, and I’m not sure how he cleaned it up, but it bled a bit.

I submitted the quilt for judging anyway.  I’ve never had a quilt judged before!  I’m very curious to see what kind of feedback I get.  I don’t think I’m the most technically skilled quilter (and same goes for my piecing) but I think I’m creative when it comes to my designs.  I’m preparing myself for some negative feedback.  I’m so happy with this quilt, and Z loves it, so the judging is really an academic exercise.

Here it is, all rolled up in its pillowcase.

Charity quilt tops

My guild’s yearly charity sewing day was this weekend.  I brought five quilt tops to donate and I was so happy to have them all done in time!

One is old: do you remember the low volume quilt back I made and then discarded for my Hunter’s Star quilt?  I finally decided to donate it.

Three tops were from the shirting fabric.  The first one is a baby quilt top and the other two are improv-pieced twin-sized tops.  Recognize all those half-hexagons?  Leftover from my hexagon charity quilt.  I found them in a plastic bag while I was putting together these tops.  All I wanted was to get rid of all this shirting fabric!  Ignore all the wrinkles – I later paid for not bothering to iron or trim the tops when we were putting them together over the weekend and I had to trim one right there!

  

The last top is made of extra pieces from this quilt I made for my goddaughter N.  It’s approx. 45″ square.  I pieced four large squares together to make it.

That’s five tops out of my stash!

March Bee Block

Hi habibis!  I’m sharing my March Stash Bee block, which went in the mail this weekend and should reach Melissa from http://sewgreenm.blogspot.com/ this week. Melissa asked us for Sister’s Choice blocks, using Bonnie Hunter’s tutorial.  She asked for the star points to be purple (and all from the same fabric).  She wanted the centers to be alternating neutral and a color, and everything else neutral.  I had fun looking at my fabrics and I picked out a warm purple for my points and a rich blue for my color.  For the neutrals I went with all white-based prints – white on white or white with light polka dots.

I was careful with my seams but it still didn’t come out even!  Melissa said she kind of eyeballs her corners, and I thought “I do that too!” but then I regretted it when I had to rip a couple out.  What wouldn’t bother me if I were sewing for myself bothered me when I was sewing for someone else.  And I worried that I went to monochrome with my neutrals, but I hope Melissa likes it.  I think the blue and purple really pop against the white, which I why I didn’t use scrappy cream prints.

Melissa asked us to send her the triangle scraps if we wanted, so I passed those along to her.

I have loved seeing everyone else’s Sister’s Choice blocks.  They’re all so cute!

 

Elephant Parade!

Here are some more baby gifts: stuffed elephants.  I used the same pattern as here, so I won’t go through the whole process here.

This was a baby shower present for a mom who loves green. I used a print from my Aunt D’s stash. Aunt D knows this new mom and I thought she’d be extra delighted. Plus the print is adorable!  The eyes are sewn with purple thread.

This is another from Aunt D’s stash, for a friend who had a baby last year. By the time I found out I was pretty much booked solid with sewing until January so this was my first chance to make a present. I thought the fabric was super cute and bright.  I sewed the eyes with bright green thread.  I’m not sure how well it shows up.

Elephant number three is for the sons of a coworker. When I showed her the elephant I’d made for my goddaughter she exclaimed how it was like Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, which her sons love. I decided I’d make them one. I used red, blue, and yellows scraps. I sewed them into sets of strips and then cut out the pieces to make I extra scrappy. So cute right? It’s not the same colors as the one in the book but I really liked it.  The boys loved it, too.  The eyes are sewn with blue thread.

Baby gifts

Hi habibis!  It’s still technically winter but it’s finally starting to feel just a bit spring-like, isn’t it?  I’m so ready!

A few of my friends are having babies or had babies, so I’ve been making some baby gifts/baby-themed gifts. Here are a few of them:

Here are mom and dad mug rugs – for a pair of new parents-to-be. I hand embroidered “Mom” and “Dad” in stem stitch. Then I pieced the tops and backs from scraps. The mom one is machine quilted with a freehand heart and then a wavy box surrounding everything.  I used bright green thread.

 

The dad one is machine quilted with concentric rectangles.  I filled in the remaining space with other geometric shapes using dark blue thread.

Here’s an uncle bookmark for an academic and bibliophile. Again, “uncle” is hand embroidered in stem stitch and then I machine quilted rectangles around the center rectangle. The blue book print is from the same line as this bookmark and mug rug.  The back is the same print.

A grandpa pillow for a baseball lover: I saw a tutorial on sew mama sew handmade holidays for a pennant pillow and loved the idea. (I didn’t actually follow the tutorial.)  I hand embroidered “Grandpa” on the light blue fabric and then added a darker blue border to get the size I wanted.

I chose baseball fabric for the back because this grandpa is a huge baseball afficianado.  I added the blue to the back side, too.  I sewed them right sides together, stuffed it with loose batting, and handstitched it closed.