With thanks to Jaye of artquiltmaker fame for the phraseology...
I had planned to spend a lot of Saturday sewing but, while I was still caffeinating first thing in the morning, I got this text from BFF/BQF Katie.
Who am I to say no?
So (after a quick slog down of the rest of my coffee and getting myself prepared for public viewing, and some quick measurements of WIPs), off to the quilt shop—Mt. Pleasant Quilting Company in York, NY— I went. To move most of my UFOs forward, I did need to engage in the "hunting and gathering" phase for borders in a couple of cases, and backing in all cases.
I dropped an inordinate amount of money. But with the 25% off sale, I saved a lot from what I would’ have had to spend eventually anyway. I could piece backings from stash but I hate doing that. Once I get the top pieced, I want to move on as quickly as possible to the finished product. Plus, I generally do try to coordinate my back with my front in style and color. Frankly, backings are my least favorite part of the entire process, hands-down, so whatever I can do to expedite that part, I do.
Grand total, I got what I needed to complete five projects. So I rewarded myself with a little extra.
By the way, I’ve decided not to count fabric needed to complete current projects (backings, borders, etc.) in my stash-in-stash-out count. I always “shop my stash” first, but if I don’t find what I need, I have no choice but to purchase. If I didn’t buy it, I wouldn’t finish the project, and it’ll get used as quickly as possible. So I’m only counting the fabric I didn’t actually need in my stash-adding total. That blog post happens in a couple of days. But, on to the pretty pictures.
This will be the backing fabric for my current 9-Patch Pizazz project. It’s from the same line as the focus fabric I used on the front—in fact, it’s one of the two companion fabrics I used. I rarely stay matchy-matchy like that for my backing (I coordinate, but I don't always use fabrics from the same line) but since I had so many projects I was purchasing for, when I saw this I grabbed it to take one set of decision-making off the table. The line is Serenity by Daiwabo for Maywood Studio. I don’t recall for sure, but I think it’s 4 yards.
I’m not 100% sold on this one yet. I really struggled to find border fabrics I liked for what I’m calling my Shabby Chic Jelly Roll Race. I was hoping for a large floral that would fit the same mood but the quilt shop had very, very few large florals to choose from.
The fabric on the left (1 yard) was my final “settling for” possible border fabric. (Bear Essentials 3 by P&B Textiles.) It’s actually a lot closer to a darker tone of the rose colored strips than it looks in this picture. But I want to keep looking for a large floral while I'm finishing up other projects. I have another fabric from my stash I’d originally chosen as an inner border that, if I can find a good large floral outer border, I’d use instead of this one. It’s a closer colorway match. This new one is a good stash fabric one way or the other, though—so I’ll add it to my stash accumulation figure and then count it as used if it does actually get used.
The fabric at the bottom is what I bought as backing. (Riley Blake Designs Pattern C4546.) I’d looked at it originally as contender for the border and it may still end up being that, but it is the perfect backing. Sheesh: Who’d have thought this JRR would end up being my trouble-child?
For my other Autumn Jelly Roll Race quilt, I found a border fabric that I love (far right), although I’m not convinced I love it for this particular project but it definitely works. (Plush by Sandy Gervais for Moda). Since I don’t love this JRR to begin with, I decided that maybe having a border fabric I loved on its own would help. We’ll see.
The light inner border fabric (between the JRR and the new border fabric) is from my stash. I don’t think it comes across as bright in person as it does in this picture. The fabric at the bottom is backing fabric purchased Saturday (Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini for Red Rooster Fabrics DSN #26104). I hadn’t noticed until I was folding it to put it on my shelves that it’s actually got a bit of a gold metallic thing going on with it—subtle, but works well for an autumn/seasonal quilt. It’s nice when you discover a fabric you bought works even better than you thought it would!
I haven’t posted pics of these next two projects anywhere yet, that I remember. These are the two baby quilts I want to get done by March 1, given one baby will be turning one very soon, and the other will be about 5 months old by then. You'll get full shots when they're complete.
This first baby quilt was made using the Little Golden Book Poky Little Puppy fabric collection. I’d bought it with a pattern years ago before I had any next-gen-babies in my life. It’s good to finally be able to use it. I still have to add the borders on this but I’ve already got them cut and ready to go. I only needed backing.
The fabric on the left is what I found for that purpose Saturday (Jurassic Jamboree by Abi Hall for Moda Fabrics). This is a crib-quilt size, so I needed about 3 1/2 yards of fabric for backing because of the shape and size of the quilt and how I’ll have to cut the backing, etc. The footprints are actually dinosaurs, but who cares? The colors matched well and it’s just dang cute.
This baby quilt got pieced at a retreat I was at in September, maybe? Last year February? I don’t remember how long ago it was now. 2017 is a bit of a blur. In any case, again, I’d had the Goodnight Moon panel and coordinating fat quarters for a few years and loved being able to finally use them.
The blue fabric on the far right is stash fabric I’d already picked out to use for binding, but I had nothing appropriate for a backing so the project languished. Finally found the perfect backing at Mt. Pleasant (ABC Safari, Diane Eichler Design Studio by Studio E Fabrics). It’s not the same line, but the dots speak to the dots in one of the coordinating fabrics and the colors are perfect.
I usually try to stay away from really light fabrics for baby quilts but I decided that it was too perfect to pass up and keeping it clean was the parents’ problem!
So, those are the five projects I brought with me to the store to problem solve. Once I did that, I finally had to go back and look at a couple of bolts I’d walked by multiple times in my hunting and, every time I saw them, thought, “Holy cow, that’s just beautiful.” We all know, of course, that they’d have to come home with me.
First, have you gotten the impression that I’m a sucker for a large floral, especially an abstract one? The fabric on the far left called out to me every single time I walked by it. (Main floral and deep rose linear floral are from the line Blushing Peonies by Robin Pickens for Moda Fabrics. Green is Flower Mill by Corey Yoder for Moda Fabrics.)
It’s hard for you to get the full impression of that floral without seeing it in person. It is literally such a large repeat that I can’t get it all in the picture at the same time. I got three yards of it, assuming it will end up as a border.
The other two fabrics were right next to it and all three attracted me (1 yard each). They work together well. I could see myself using the green in the same project with the large floral (an inner border, perhaps), but I’m picturing the more linear deep rose fabric as a great border for an embroidery block in a small spring wallhanging. That's a definite maybe possible perhaps.
The owner of the shop pulled out the triangle mirror tool (do you have one? I do—handy!) to see how the large floral would look as a kaleidoscope and that’s a definite possibility. I did a Bethany Reynolds’ Stack and Whack years ago and I've always wanted to do another, but I’m not sure I want to chop up this particular floral like that. These three will likely live in my stash a little while as I ponder their best use. The green, by the way, works perfectly with the green fabric I got from my Cotton Cuts box last week—a nice happenstance!
What can I say? I love everything about this—the abstract design with a mix of geometric and organic shapes. The colors.
How could I possibly have left it in the store?
I was waffling how much to buy and one of the staff talked me into 3 yards as it will most definitely be a border fabric for something.
I could easily use this as color inspiration to pull a bunch of 2 1/2” strips for a project out of my jelly roll books that I’ve been looking through. Or it would make a great fabric for another 9-Patch Pizazz type of quilt. Or something. I don’t care. It's mine now. I can love it and pet it and gaze adoringly at it any time I want. (It's True Nature by Flora Rowley for Red Rooster Fabrics DSN 26705).
Oh, my. I haven’t fallen in love this hard with a fabric in a long time!
And because I was there, and everything was 25% off, I did pick up a couple of other things.
I follow Sharon Boggon's Pintangle blog and recently bought one of her sets of crazy quilt embroidery templates, so I picked up her book. I do plan on getting back to my crazy quilt embroidery soon. I’m still learning how to “see” what stitches to put where, and how to combine stitches for different designs, and so forth. This book is wonderful for all of that. And the templates will help me have more consistent stitching.
The other is a storage tool I’d had in my shopping cart at the Fat Quarter Shop for awhile and hadn’t clicked the “buy” button yet. It’s the It’s Sew Emma Stash n’ Store. Again, at 25% off, I decided to support my local shop. I have good tool storage at my sewing machine (you saw that in an earlier blog post) and on my cutting table (3M containers to the rescue), but this will be great on retreats. I have problems with things “wandering” about on my sewing station when I’m at retreats. It’s remarkably stable!
Finally, it’s a long story, but I ended up stopping at another quilt shop (Chestnut Bay) that I hadn’t planned on but had to drive by it multiple times and finally succumbed. I've been there a few times before. It's small, but in addition to fabric she carries a lot of wool embroidery supplies, which don't exist in other quilt shops in the area. She recently remodeled and I was curious, but I really didn't need to spend any more money. Curiosity got the best of me the fourth time I drove by the place and I stopped to see the new interior. I felt bad about the fact that I mentioned to the shop owner that I had gone to the sale at other shop and really didn't want to buy any more (I was overtired and therefore over-candid), so I did buy some stuff.
I don’t have solids in my stash—I’m not particularly interested in doing a full-solids quilt, although I never rule anything out. However, I do sometimes use solids alongside other stuff and, since I’ve got a boatload of jelly roll projects in my future, this jelly roll of American Made solids seemed like a decent idea. This shop has a ton of fabrics from the line. I don’t like the hand of Kona solids and, having heard Frances of Off-Kilter Quilt talk about American Made brand solids I was interested to try them out. They do have a much nicer hand. Getting a jelly roll was an easier decision at the moment than trying to figure out what solids I might actually want yardage of, and it'll give me a chance to work with the fabric to form a better opinion of it.
I also picked up a glue applique pen I’d been looking at, and a pack of micron pens as mine is just about dried out.
So there’s my shop-hop expedition. I’m now ready to go full-steam ahead on getting some UFOs off my shelf!