Thursday, August 26, 2010

91 and counting!

The sweatshop was a success! Quynh and Robin came over, and there was much sewing (with bonus baby snuggling!). We got a dozen pillowcases fully made, plus a bunch more in various stages of completion. I been continuing to work on them, and I'm now up to 91 completely done, and 9 more in progress! That's 100 pillowcases, soon to be off to ConnKerr Cancer!!

I'm so excited. It's such a worthy cause, and I'm loving the stash-busting. Each pillowcase is just a smidge over one yard of fabric, so that's over 100 yards of stash busted! Believe it or not, I still have a lot of fabric left. So, I'm continuing to cut out more, and plan to keep going (though at a slower pace for sure!). Here are a few of my favorites, from fabric I've blogged about...

From the coordinating prints that I picked up at the Purge Party in April...

From those coordinating bowling prints that I picked up at a stash sale a couple months ago...

From the vintage ballerina print I found last summer, and the great curtain fabric I found last fall...

And just a few from the epic cat lady estate sale. I'd say at least 2/3 of the pillowcases are from fabric I got at that sale. I'd like to think she would have approved of her kitty fabrics being used for this cause!

I realized a couple things as I was working on these. First, pillowcases are perfect for large prints that aren't easily used for quilting. It's nice to know that I can put them to good use. Second, I now have a greater appreciation for "blender" prints. It was fun to pick out prints for the borders and trims that coordinated with the main panels, but I couldn't always find a perfect match. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more fabrics like that in the future.

Lastly, this really showed me how much I dig sewing like this. I imagine most people would find it totally mind-numbing, but I find it meditative and downright addictive. I think it means I must really be a quilter at heart. :-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

my little sweatshop

So... you all know how crazy my stash is... (this isn't even half of it!)

Yes, I am a fabric magnet, and I have no self control when it comes to bringing home orphans, especially novelty prints. I just can't help myself! Somebody needs to love the poor things, and make them into something useful! I've been making Project Linus quilts as fast as I can, but I am a slowwwww quilter, and I just can't keep up. It's been really weighing on me - should I stop looking? But I really enjoy it! Stop buying? Um, I can try, but not likely gonna happen! Donate it to Project Linus? Well, yeah, but that seems a little pointless (especially when they pretty much won't let you leave a meeting without taking a bag of fabric home with you!). What to do?

Well, have you seen the latest Craft Hope project? It's pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer ("giving sick kids a reason to smile... one pillowcase at a time"). I can't tell you how excited I was to see this project! I love to make pillowcases (see this post), and it's a perfect use for all those orphan novelty fabrics!

I started whipping some up, wondering just how many I could crank out in a month. I was making great progress, but I still have WAY more fabric than I can process. So I started wondering... how many could I make if I pulled in some friends? Maybe my sewing buddies would like to help out? And maybe there are some lurking local readers who would like to meet us and help too??

So, how about it? This Friday afternoon (1-5pm), my place, a pillowcase making party! You don't even have to bring anything, or have any sewing skills, or stay the whole time. You can even bring the kids (I'm talking to you, Robin!). Don't be shy - I'd love to meet some more local folks, and now's our chance!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

winner, and an overdue finish

Congrats to lucky #11 - that's Alexandra of Right-brain Release. She said she loves all colors, so I'll have fun putting together a multicolor set for her. And she's from Albuquerque - that's where my SIL lives! Thanks everyone for entering, and for all your nice comments about the pink quilt. It went off in the mail today (that card was such a hard one to write...).

I realized recently that I never shared pictures of my finished table quilt. You should have seen me standing on a chair, holding the camera over my head, trying to get a good action shot! This was the best I could manage...

The colors are so pretty!

It ended up being almost exactly the right size, even though I should have started with at least an extra 6 or 8" in both dimensions... Because I didn't have any extra width to trim, I ended up with a really wavy edge. Lesson learned!

I *love* the back! This print (also a sheet) is definitely one of my favorites. The large scale is not so great for piecing, but it makes an awesome back. I was so excited to find a couple more of these recently, and I can't wait to use them on future projects!

I wanted to say thank you once again to Mr. Monkeysuit (now blogging at Bread and Buttons) for the inspiration. Though to be honest, I have to admit that it's in storage for the moment. I didn't really think about how a table quilt would work with a pre-schooler who still likes to swirl yogurt around with her fingers, slurp her applesauce, etc. It pained me to see how quickly it got grungy. So, I'll just tuck it away for now and try it again in a few years. Meanwhile, maybe I should make a couple dozen matching placemats instead! :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

pink quilt #2 done!

It's officially finished... Now I just need to stop procrastinating, and get it in the mail!

I went with Psalm 91:4, which Amy suggested:
"He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

Thanks, Amy!

I ended up having to redo the label, and I was so bummed!! For my first few quilts, I used the Sharpies I had on hand (green and black), and had no problems with the label fading in the wash. So, I ordered a whole set of Sharpies in pretty colors. I made the label as usual, and washed and dried the quilt like normal, and this is what came out. The lighter the ink color, the more it faded!

Oh well. Looking on the bright side - I didn't really like the shape of the label anyway, so it gave me a chance to redo it. I went back to my trusty old Sharpies, and tried again. This time I washed and dried the label by itself before I attached it to the quilt (once bitten, twice shy - I hate ripping out stitching!). It looks so much better, with no fading at all. From now on, I'll just use the pretty colored pens for decoration and not for the actual text!

I was thinking it would be fun to start a tradition of having a little giveaway with each major quilt I finish. I love doing giveaways, and maybe it will help motivate me to finish what I start more quickly. I can only hope!

So, how about a charm pack of 70 6" vintage linen squares? You can add a "solid" (like the gingham I used here) and make a quilt just like this one! If you're interested, just leave a comment about what color(s) you'd like. If you choose a single color (pink, blue, green or yellow), I'll pick two each of 35 different prints. If you choose more than one color, I'll pick 70 different prints. International shipping is fine, and I'll pick a winner on Thursday evening.

Now I'm off to catch up on some bee blocks...