September 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday--Just Takes Two

A few more Just Takes Two blocks.......but many, many more to go before I'm caught up. 

Maybe my goal should just be to keep up with the new ones! 

September 10, 2012

Just Takes Two...

Two hours, two days...maybe two weeks or two months--hopefully not two years :)

Lately I've been working away trying to catch up on Just Takes Two.  I thought I'd done pretty well keeping up with the first group, so I was surprised that even after sewing for several days, I still have roughly 20 more blocks to go.  I guess since I used more than two fabrics for my Just Takes Two, it's only fair that it seems to be taking two=too long.

I had planned to use only my plaid scraps, but often the size just doesn't work. And yes, cutting different fabrics, and hauling them out and putting them away after cutting for one block is more time consuming and makes a lovely mess, which I had to clean it up last night--to find one of our phones.  So these will be the only new Just Takes Two blocks for awhile.

I figure if I work on the rest of them as they come out, plus add 3 more each time, I may be able to catch up.  I decided not to begin stitching the sections together since mine are so varied, that I'm afraid it would end up all unbalanced in color.  So they'll remain as blocks until most (or all) are made.  Also debating just how badly I want to hand applique the remaining blocks--I'm thinking machine applique may be the way to go.  (I'm sure this indecisiveness is what's holding me back on those 20 undone blocks, don't you think?)

In other news, I was lucky enough to win something in a giveaway that I didn't know I'd entered!  Doubly exciting!  I won a Spirit of the Bear Snap Sack kit, with yummy batik fabrics in gorgeous colors from Kelly who blogs at I Have a Notion.  Kelly also sells lots of quilting goodies at IHAN, so it's a good place to check out if you are needing something.  (I was going to steal a photo of my winning kit from Kelly's blog, but since it's protected, and I'm really too lazy to ask or to find my camera, you'll just have to wait until I stitch it up to see it!)

Now I'm off to figure out what to work on in my relatively clean sewing room.  Only one more missing phone to find--surely that is lost in the garage--thank goodness for old fashioned corded phones that can't wander off!  Happy Stitching!

September 05, 2012

I'm Sorry Amy! ;)

What kind of fabric shopper are you?  Do you buy a little here or there--just things you like? Or do you shop for specific projects, buying only fabric that you have a plan for?   Do you buy practical fabrics that you can always use?  Or splashy inspiring ones?  Only your favorite colors?  A variety for stash building?  A fat quarter here or there?  Only a particular designer's line?

When you love a line, do you buy the full group of fat quarters like these?
Chicopee - Fat Quarter Bundle Complete Collection



Or do you buy fabric because it just makes you happy, is just the color you need, or is just plain cute (like these little pigs)?  Or do you buy for no reason at all?  Or maybe all of the above!
Nursery Versery -  Piggies in Hot Pink
Nursery Versery

I usually buy fabrics for projects I'm working on when I need more of a certain color or style that I didn't have in my stash. New fabrics spice up the old and make me see them differently too.  And some things just don't substitute for others.
Medium Chevron Fat Quarter Bundle
Riley Blake Chevrons
And, if while shopping I see something I especially like or that is different from what I have in my stash (like these popular chevrons), I may buy it without a purpose, because you never know when you might just need a chevron, a robot or a witch! It just depends on mood and budget.  

Of course if I've been to the dentist or doctor or done anything yucky that I can reward myself for doing, then I get at least a fat quarter of my choice!    But, one thing I really haven't done much of is to buy precut bundles.  They are certainly tempting--just too hard for me to justify, given my stash. I've rarely bought more than two or three pieces of any line, and only a couple bundles of fabric my whole life (and that's quite a long time!)

Lark Fat Quarter Bundle in GlamourLast fall when Amy Butler's Lark line came out with all the hoopla, everyone online seemed to be buying it and talking about how pretty it was.  So I caved to all the peer pressure and decided to see what I'd been missing, and when there was a good sale, I ordered a selection of Lark--and more fabric than I have ever purchased of any single line at one time.  Very daring!!--I blame it on the bright harvest moon, a sleepless night, and a sale combined with late night online shopping. :)  

On the exciting big day when Lark finally arrived, though, I hated it.  Ok, that sounds too mean, but I didn't like it.  At all.  I use and buy all kinds of fabrics, but Lark was disappointing to me.   Apologies to Amy Butler, but I just didn't like it, and I didn't see what everyone else saw in it. 

I thought this yellow/grey one (Souvenir in Lemon) was fairly disgusting, and was certain I would never be able to use it with anything other than its fellow Larkians. 

And I didn't like these black ones because they weren't really black and they weren't grey and my eyes just kept telling me that they looked faded. (River Shine and Ivy Bloom in Cinder)

 There were some pieces I liked, and some were ok, but some I just couldn't see me using--ever. Definitely not a good use of my money, and rather depressing to boot. So I thoroughly reprimanded myself for buying something unseen and online, promised myself to only shop in person, and quickly packed Lark up and put it away where it wouldn't make me feel so bad, and then forgot about it.

Then this summer a funny thing happened.  As I was digging to find fabrics to use for the Capriccio pillow shams, a piece of ordinary solid tuquoise fabric just happened to fall against the stack of Lark while I was moving things around.  The turquoise didn't really even match, but it was close enough.

Suddenly I heard music, the light changed and the room became magical.  Lark was beautiful.  Lark had possibilites!  That turquoise changed everything.   I fell in love with Lark.   LOVE.  Well ok, maybe not love--this is fabric after all--but I loved all the Lark possibilities.

I pulled fabrics from my stash and played for hours with different fabric combinations.  (My husband thought I was crazy, as I sat on the floor playing until well after midnight.)  They all looked so marvelous together.  The question became not if I would use it, but what would I make!   I immediately began searching my mind and books for an idea that would be grand enough for my Lark.

I'm not sure what the problem was last fall.  Perhaps the fabric (or I) had to age a bit.   Maybe I'm not keeping up with new things as well as I thought I was.  Maybe I just need to give some of the new fabric that strikes me as odd and unworkable more of a chance.  I still am not wild about the green/yellow Souvenir in Mineral piece. But the black ones mentioned above will be great as "neutrals" and the Lemon Souvenir somehow ties it all together.  I'm definitely looking forward to playing more with Lark--I've even purchased a bit more of some pieces--a girl's gotta be sure to have enough! ;)

I'm sorry I doubted you Amy! I humbly apologize. Lark is lovely!  Hope I can do it justice!

Happy Stitching!

September 02, 2012

Pillow Shamming!

Do you ever have a project that you drag your feet on or one that just seems to be full of problems from the start?  That's the kind of project I've been working off and on for the past few weeks.  Last summer I finished this Capriccio quilt for my daughter, and this summer she finally started using it. 

She is living with friends where she has a queen size bed , and amazingly the "twin" quilt fits it pretty well. (The "twin" size fits because I made it to cover the sides of her bed while up on double risers--luckily!)  But since there is no headboard there, she's asked me to make her some matching pillow shams.

Which should have been easy enough. But I hate having to work on the same colors again once I've finished something, and matching things from a distance is challenging, and I'd already used up the leftover strips, and well, I wanted to work on something else.

I also purchased the wrong zippers, accidentally cut a hole in the middle of one sham, sewed black borders to BOTH shams only to decide they looked awful,  and then--when it was all pieced--found a strip that was stained/flawed and had to be replaced,  and, well you get the idea.  But progress has been made.  Here's the front of one in process:

And this is the back of one after quilting, which was done in the same design as the quilt.  The invisible zipper is on the left hand side between the red and black strips, and is pretty well invisible.

Both zippers are in now, and the sides sewn together.  They're just waiting for me to sew the binding on (fingers crossed that these will actually fit her pillows).

If you make shams that you plan to quilt, be sure to allow extra for what the quilting shrinks up--I was surprised by how much (and no, I didn't think to measure it, but before quilting they were way too big, and after, I only trimmed 1/2 inch off the width).  Also realize that 2 shams front and back is equivalent to one small quilt--and it has to be the right size when finished or the pillow won't fit--such stress! :) 

Also this month I was lucky enough to win a copy of  Patchwork Sassaman Style by Jane Sassaman in the book's blog hop.  Whoopee!  Full of absolutely stunning quilts made with just a few fabrics and very clever cutting.  Definitely something I need to study further.  Thanks so much to Jane and Lyric of  for hosting a blog hop day!  The book has so many gorgeous ideas!  Of course this means I will have to buy more fabric....much more fabric, right?!

Happy Stitching!