Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fabriholics Anonymous

I said awhile ago that I may have a fabric addiction.  I even said that an intervention may be necessary.  Well, the blog-o-sphere has provided an answer:

The Elven Garden posted about a 12-step program for Fabriholics, to start on January 1st, 2014.  Step one, buy no new fabric for the first six months of the year.  I got to thinking about that...

1)  It has given me great joy to make aprons for family members from my fabric stash.  Sure, I bought a couple pieces of fabric specifically for this project, but I tried really hard to use what I already had. And it made me happy to use things up.  (What a concept!)

How long I have wanted to make this coat!
Used to have a dress from this fabric; still plenty leftover
2)  I have a lot of garment and home-dec fabrics.  While some of these might be usable in quilts or piecing projects, I either have to start sewing garments again, or start purging.  I glanced through my swatch notebook.  I had an idea from The Sew Weekly in mind: how many weeks' worth of sewing-a-garment-a-week could I manage with my available fabric?  Would I have more than 52 items?  (That's a whole year of sewing a new item every week!  I already have a day job, thank-you-very-much.)

3)  How many UFOs do I have?  How many "projects" do I count (because I have purchased the materials and am holding onto them along with the pattern for that elusive someday) in addition to those UFOs?  Can any of these be disposed of?

4)  And what if I have to move?  Would I really pay to transport all of my fabric?  (Sweetie has said a reasonable short-term goal is to just get all the fabric in the same storage location, rather than spread out over 2 different rooms and the garage attic.)

Ok, I'm taking the plunge: signing on to the Fabriholics Annonymous challenge for 2014.  There are rules.  Not joking around here.
- To use the Stash I already have!
- Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to other new beautiful fabric.
- Stop the insanity of buying fabric when I'm bored or feeling uninspired.
- Save the $$ I spend on stashing. (I have a wedding coming up; maybe some extra cash would come in handy there.)
- Destash the fabrics that I realize I am never going to use.

1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible.  However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric.  Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception - who can blame you?

Modifications?  Well, since I am committing to sewing some garments and home-decor items in addition to quilty projects, I think the "backing" exception might go for "lining" as well.

I wanna have less fabric.  I am looking forward to both starting some new projects, and finishing some UFOs in 2014. 

Feel free to join in: the more the merrier!

Monday, November 18, 2013

More T-shirt quilt ideas

In the midst of Christmas sewing, so I can't post pictures or status updates or I'll ruin the surprise.  But this doesn't mean my mind has been idle while my iron is a-steamin'.  Oh, no: I am busy planning next year's projects.  Always save room for new and shiny ideas to invade and take over.  I have decided to work on the new t-shirt quilt for my youngest daughter during winter retreat.  Which is not until January.

Meanwhile, however, I saw another idea for sashing and setting the t-shirts: flying geese!

This quilt was seen at October's quilt market in Houston.  (Thanks to Becky at Piece by Piece Fabrics for posting this picture.)

The flying geese idea is clearly a winner.  Looking back on the blog post for the original t-shirt quilt dreams, I see that the San Francisco-themed quilt had a lot of flying geese in it, too.

Okay, storing this idea away for later use.  Back to Santa's Workshop for me...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Let Me Think About It

A friend asked me how I feel about my relationship with a different friend lately, and I was unable to answer.  My initial reaction was, "Good Question:  let me think about it."

This tends to be my reaction to a lot of questions regarding my feelings.  How is it that I don't know my own feelings?  Is this normal--for someone with ADD?  --for a horrible introvert?  --for one who was socialized to be a pleaser?

"Will you marry me?"  "Hmm..."

Quick side tale: it took me three weeks to come up with the answer of "yes" when Sweetie proposed.  The unfortunate first words that came out of my mouth were (you guessed it), "Can I think about it?"  Ouch.  It's just that the proposal was such an unexpected event; hadn't even crossed my mind.  So, of course, I hadn't plumbed the depths of my feelings to come up with an answer.

In both cases (then and now), I turned to my journal to sort out my feelings.  That's normal for an introvert, I have discovered.

I write when I want to figure things out.  I write to clear my mind so that a path or a decision becomes clear.  I write out all the questions that are chasing each other around my brain.  Very often, I don't answer my own questions in my writings--simply writing them down seems to be enough to guarantee that the answer will show itself.

I occasionally give myself a stern talking to in my journal.  Lately, however, I've been trying to be kinder and gentler to myself.  After all, I am only doing my best.

Monday, November 11, 2013

For the Nephews

[Spoiler alert for any relatives who know they are getting an apron for Christmas.  Turn away now, or the surprise will be ruined.  Camillia White, this means you.]

Today is my day on the For The Boys blog hop, sponsored by Sew We Quilt, and cheered on by Amy.  I have had a super-busy fall at school, so just barely managed to finish these projects in time to share with you.  Thanks for stopping by!

I have had an idea to make aprons for family members for quite some time.  This just turned out to be the year to do it.  These are the aprons for the nephews; I still have to work on the ones for the nieces.  Big family.  (Shh: these will be Christmas gifts, so don't spoil the surprise!)

I asked for input as to a style or a color, and went from there.

Bold, kinda plain

Retro (for the chef in the family)

Modeled by my cheerful neighbor, Josh

Have to highlight the heirloom family recipe on the pocket of this one.  If this family has ONE recipe, it's Grandma's cheesecake.  I photocopied the recipe, which Grandma had handwritten on an index card as a gift early in my marriage.  A group of students at the high school runs a screen printing business, so I had them screen print the enlarged recipe onto muslin, and sewed it up into the pocket here.  I am especially proud of this touch.


As my nephew replied, "Can Star Wars be an adjective?"

Notre Dame

Pretty proud of the football fabric on this one


I didn't hear back from this nephew, but I feel pretty secure in the red-white-and-blue theme.

Every picture I see of him on Facebook has him wearing some loud, patriotic outfit, a la the dojo master Rex Kwan Do from Napoleon Dynamite

I have really enjoyed working on the aprons.  I don't get to see my nieces and nephews much, as they are adults and now live in scattered locations.  Trying to make something personal to each of them has made me feel closer to them.  As the (self-proclaimed) nerdy one said, "I trust that you'll do the magic to make it awesome."

Please go and visit all the others who are showing off their creativity today:

 rainbows.bunnies.cupcakes (that's me!)


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pocket Trick

I have a patch pocket construction technique that I have used for many years.  As I am using it again
in the pockets for the Christmas aprons, I thought I would share a little tutorial.

This method makes a 1/2" contrasting edge and lining on any patch pocket with a straight upper-edge opening.  Bottom shape of the pocket can be other than rectangular.

For a rectangle, no pattern is needed: cut the pocket exterior 1/2" taller and 1" wider than the desired finished pocket.  Cut the contrasting pocket lining the same width as the exterior fabric and 1" taller.

Contrast lining is 1" taller; same width
Sew top of pocket to top of lining, right sides together.  Press seam toward lining.

With right sides together, lining up the sides and bottom, sew pocket to lining along three sides (not the top), leaving an opening in the bottom for turning.  Clip lower corners.

Turn pocket right side out through opening.  Press flat.  Topstitch or stitch in the ditch along the contrast edge at the top of pocket, for stability.

Topstitch pocket in place along sides and bottom.  Done!

Example of the way I like to stitch the upper edge of the pocket, for reinforcement.

GALLERY: I love this pocket treatment so much...

Pocket set into side panel

Interior pockets deserve pretty linings, too!
I even used this pocket treatment when making Oakie's backpack.  A traveling penguin needs to be stylish (also, I wanted to combine as many fabrics as possible in one small item).
Teeny-tiny pocket

Contrasting fabrics: more choices to audition.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rainbow chevrons - yummy

No plans to make this design anytime soon.  Just want a place to hold onto it.  I have some stash-busting to do in 2014, maybe this will fit the bill.

Seen at Quilt Market 2013 in Houston.  Thanks to Becky at Piece by Piece Fabrics for posting inspirational pictures of many of the displays this year.

Looks like about 4" blocks?  Gosh, I really love rainbows...