Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Update from the plague ward

I've been pretty absent lately and part of that is because a plague descended upon my household and I haven't wanted to move or think or breathe for DAYS. The kids had it first, and whenever they get sick the question I always ask is: Will this be one of those viruses that is mild in kids and worse in adults? And this time the answer was oh, hell yes.

Before the ague of death took hold, I had started mucking about with all my fabric, trying to weed out the stuff I'm clearly never going to use, and getting the bits I had tucked away in drawers out where I can see them. I haven't been sewing much in the last year or so, and I feel so stuck creatively (in quilting anyway), that I thought maybe if I had things better organized and in my line of sight, I might get inspired to actually use some of it.

I have been collecting fat quarter, fat eighth, and half-yard bundles over the last 6–8 months, but I've been keeping them in drawers, where I never see them, unless I go over and pay them a visit, which always makes me feel a bit foolish. ("Hello, my lovelies—mommy just wants to stroke you for a bit before she is forced to play Mario Kart with her children again.") We have been cleaning out the girls' room and they had a bookshelf that was mainly being used for stuffed animals they no longer play with, so I made the executive decision to carry that bastard from their basement room up two flights to my room all by myself. Even the girls were like, "Damn, woman. What's gotten into you?"

But now I can see all my pretties, even if I can't quite get to them without a bit of awkward contortioning. There's a table right in front of the shelves, but I've determined that it will hold my weight for short periods, so, you know, no big.

The only thing I have managed to sew is this lovely Kitchen Aid mixer from this pattern by Sew Ichigo.

I doubled the size of the pattern  to make the block 12 inches, and it went together very smoothly. I even dipped into my precious Tula Pink stash to make it.

I also made this little froggie wall hanging back in May and June for a birthday swap group I am part of. My assigned recipient loves and collects frogs, so I had to find a paper pieced frog pattern. There are some insanely small pieces to this pattern, and there were many times I thought I'd have to chuck the whole thing and just send her some frog fabric.

I used fabric from a FQ bundle of Valori Wells Blueprint Basics I scored at Market. I still have a layer cake and a charm pack of these and I really love them. I just wish I had picked a better color combo than the red and pink at the end—the contrast in the others was way better, but I had already rejected one panel I made in grey and green for the same reason and I didn't have time to try again.

In the course of cleaning and rearranging, I have also discovered a lot of forgotten stuff. Embroidery projects I designed and started but never finished. And fabric! I love Lizzy House with the same fervor as I love Tula Pink, and I discovered I had a secret little stash of Castle Peeps! This might have been her first collection, if I'm not mistaken, and it's very hard to find anybody willing to part with it. I had purchased a kit from a vendor at the Annapolis Quilt Show the first year I went (and that vendor has never been back, dammit—hers was the only shop that had anything other than civil war repro and nautical prints), and had no intention of actually making the quilt in the kit. I cut a bunch of it into rectangles, for some reason, and then put it away and never did anything else with it.

That made me quite happy and I placed it lovingly next to my Constellations and 1001 Peeps yardage

Then I pulled out my dilemma fabric. My "can't live with it, can't live without it" fabric. When my mom foisted a lot of her unused fabric on me, I discovered this collection amongst all the other flotsam and jetsam. The selvedge says it's called Blooming Glory designed by the Woodrow Studio, London, England. You can still find some of these on Etsy and eBay, but I don't know much more about it.

These are VERY large-scale florals in amazingly rich colors. Do I like them? Can I use them? Will I use them? And if I do, exactly how will I use them? I can't figure out what they want to be, or what they want to be that fits within the kind of stuff I tend to like. So, every few months, I pull them out and stare at them, until I finally give up and put them back on the shelf. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

If the fabric gods are smiling on me, more fun stuff should hit my doorstep today. I've been hitting online sales and Instagram destash sales, and have fallen in love with Quilter's Square in Lexington, Kentucky. They recently started carrying my book (only the third shop to do so - COME ON, SHOPS) and they have some great fabrics. Kela, who owns the store with her mom, participates a lot on Instagram, and I find out about their sales and promotions that way, as well as the fact that Kela will cut a custom jelly roll for you out of Kona solids and Bella solids if you tell her what colors you want. So, yeah, I've got a box coming from them that BETTER BE HERE TODAY. Sometimes I think the post office toys with me just because they can. But really, follow them on IG if you can: @quilterssquare. John Q. Adams is doing a QAL of a Tula Pink pattern with Indelible fabrics, and Quilter's Square is selling kits, and all the deets are on IG. (And if you don't follow me there already, I'm @meganzdougherty.)

And seriously, please help me with those damn mongo flowers, y'all.

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