Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fabric, fabric everywhere

-but when am I actually going to sew anything...? I usually hate shopping. Not so when it comes to fabric, though. It is all too easy to pop out that little piece of plastic with the magic word "VISA" on it when I come across tempting pieces of cotton. I have great plans for some of them, but others are bought on a "need to have" basis.

The first group here looked so good together, I couldn't bear to split them up, and I decided they would look good in a table runner - brown, tan and cream with turquoise binding. The question was when I'd get round to making it, though. Yesterday I signed up for a workshop at my local quilt shop where we will make table runners in just the kind of technique I wanted to try out. I usually work on my own, and I could probably work out how to make that particular pattern as well, but then I'd miss out on the community feeling and fun of spending a day among people just like me - people who don't think of me as funny-peculiar just because I spend my time cutting fabric into pieces and stitching them back together again... So that fabric may rest until April.

I try to support my local shop, but the lure of the internet is there, and occasionally I succumb. I started seeing those "measuring stick fabrics" on blogs everywhere and just had to find them for myself. A quick search later I found them at eQuilter and in four different colourways too, so I just had to get them all!

I also came across those turquoise and brown fabrics there, and as turquoise is a colour I can't resist, I just had to have some of those as well. The one to the right got a bit too much light so it doesn't show up to well - I'll have to take a new picture. It has pieces of newsprint in a collage-style all over, and looks really great. I love fabric with any kind of writing on them: newsprint, numbers, measurements, "handwriting", whatever - I'm building up quite a stash of these. I have seen them used to great effect in Japanese quilts, talked about in Juju's blog a while ago, and I intend to let them show up more frequently in mine as well - because I will cut into them, I will....
The last lot was a clearance offer at my quilt shop and are part of Jan Mullen's great fabric line, which for some reason never was a success here. I love them and have used them to great effect before, so these will fit in quite well with the rest of my stash.

I realize that this is beginning to sound a bit defensive ;-) But I suppose that's to do with not finding enough time to do any actual sewing lately. I have decided to take a day off my usual chores today though, and maybe finish quilting that baby quilt I'm working on.
Off to the sewing machine!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Taupe

My quilt shop got a new line of fabrics last week. I have been admiring those Japanese taupe fabrics from afar for a while, thinking that they weren't really my cup of tea - "I'm more into bright and cheerful colours, really", is what I have been telling myself. But then I saw this bundle lying there so innocently...
"Hm, that's nice", I said to myself on Tuesday (when I popped in to buy a birthday present for a friend), "but I'm not buying...".
On Thursday I had to pop in again to get some pink quilting thread for my current project, and I noticed that same bundle again. "Hm, that's ever so much nicer than the others with those pinks and blues included" I told myself, paid for my thread and left.
On Saturday however (yes, I know - three days a week - I confess - I'm an addict!) most of the other bundles were sold, but "mine" was still there. And what do you know - before I knew it it was mine!
Not a big surprise really - I'm a pushover when it comes to fabric! So now I'll have to come up with a project to justify the purchase. I'm thinking handbag/tote or something - these nice subdued colours work so well together and won't clash with whatever I'm wearing, is what I'm telling myself. I have been noticing a lot of nice Japanese handbags in magazines and books lately, so now I'm on the lookout for a nice pattern. There was mention of a new book that would be in at "my" quiltshop this week - but I'm not even going in just to look - I think...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So far so good



I've been promising to post pictures of my scrap quilt, and here it is. The first twelve blocks are ready and I'm more than halfway on the next twelve. I decided to make it in batches of twelve at a time to allow for string piecing without getting too bored.There is something said for actually finishing some blocks so you can show them off - it makes it seem like you have actually accomplished something. The blocks are 11 x 11" and "extremely scrappy". I was worried at first, because I didn't really like the look of them up close, but laying them out on the floor and getting gut reactions from people around me has convinced me that I am on the right track after all. This was going to be a predominantly blue quilt (in keeping with Project Spectrum guidelines), and I think I'll use less of the contrasting greens, yellows and pinks in the last 24 blocks and then alternate them with the colourful ones I have made so far, to give a slightly calmer impression. I like how the varying widths of the strips set the blocks off from each other by not letting the seams match, while still giving the overall impression of big blocks.

The funny thing about piecing with scraps though - as I'm sure others have noticed before me - is that they multiply! I started with a full bag of strips. I have made almost 24 blocks and been ruthless about throwing out the smaller pieces and the bag is still full! How does this happen? The whole point here was getting rid of some fabric, but by the looks of it I can make several quilts from what I have left in the bag ;-).