Solids For My Stash

I allowed myself some freedom to shop recently when I took a trip to a local quilt shop with a good friend. I went in search of solids or low volume fabrics, especially if I could find a good deal on them.

I did come home with a grey charm pack and two layer cakes by Jen Kingwell, and all at a discounted price. I picked these sets because they felt like great filler sets. Some simple, small polka dots and some neutral colored fabrics.

Recently I shared some tips in a Youtube for beginning quilters. One of the tips was to document the fabric or patterns you are working with so that if you ever lose sight of a project, you have pictures or posts to go back and look at for reference. I noticed on the back of the Moda sets, they list ID numbers for the colors and even some suggestions for cutting the fabric to get the most out of it.

I figured it was good to listen to my own advice and take a picture of it so that I have it documented somewhere in case something gets thrown away or lost over time.

This behind the scenes layer cake is simple and neutral. I look forward to using it with some of my other, more colorful fabrics.

The Just A Speck set is simple and colorful. Lots of variety to play with and match up.

I went out looking with my Cotton and Steel box set in mind. It’s been sitting there for two years and I’d like to play with it but needed something to balance the colors already included in the box.

So far I think these sets will work well with the fabrics in the box as you can see below.

I’m looking forward to trying something new as soon as I wrap up the few quilts I have already started.

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Beginning Embroidery Floss Tips

I’ve recently picked up my embroidery projects again and I’m loving the simplicity of stitching while I watch TV at the end of the day with my husband. I’ve got my big zenbroidery project that I’ve been playing with again which meant I needed to pick up a few new colors of floss to round out my collection that I’m using.

That got me to thinking about the way I’m organizing my stash. Originally I had my floss collection all wrapped around some plastic Darice bobbins and tucked away in a clear box that was falling apart and looking pretty shabby. I mean, to be honest, it was the same box I used as a teenager to make friendship bracelets.

With my new floss in hand, I sat down to declutter and organized my collection. I’m a huge believer in using the plastic Darice floss bobbins* because I find that these are more sturdy than the cardboard ones.

I also don’t write my floss ID number on the bobbin. Instead, I cut the number off the floss and wind it with the thread.

It makes for simple identification of each color and also makes organizing super simple.

I added those hearts when I was younger and I’m thinking of sticking to it. It adds a little pizzaz to each bobbin.

I have an adopted set of floss from a friend and those are wrapped on cardboard bobbins and a pen and/or pencil was used to mark the colors. Those, I’m finding, are fading and can be hard to read. A good example of why I choose to mark and store my floss the way I do.

By some luck, my husband had some clear plastic cases in his new tool kit that he wasn’t going to use. They are meant for nails and screws. I took one look and realized they would be the perfect fit for my floss stash. And they are smaller so I can take them away with me and carry them in my purse rather than hauling along the big ol’ plastic cases.

Ah! There is something so satisfying when I see all those well wrapped and organized colors lined up. Very comforting.

Well, hobbyists, if you are a beginning embroiderer, these might be some worthy tips to consider. Now if you search on Pinterest, there are LOADS of other tips so use your fingers and do some Googling to find the methods that work best for you!

And if you want to see more on my reorganization of craft room and all my supplies, check out my Youtube video on my recent decluttering! Don’t forget to subscribe that you don’t miss any new videos!

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Life Strikes Again!

Hey hobbyists and crafters! It’s been a while since our blog was updated with the latest and greatest news from yours truly. In all honesty, life has, once again, gotten in the way of all the fun things we like to do here at Hobbies Up To Here.

Between Dori’s travels to Ireland and with my work load at school plus job hunting cutting into my free time, not many hobbies have been kept up with and are sadly on the back burner as of this moment.

But fear not! We’re always around and ready to share when we can. We hope everyone is staying crafty and creative. And although we are away doing whatever is calling our attention at this moment, we’re still collecting and keeping our hobbies close at hand.

Dori is currently living it up on the Liscannor coast and sending us all some beautiful pictures of the scenery and of the local quilt shop goodies she’s picked up!

And while I’m not currently keeping up with the Splendid Sampler, I’m still printing and saving the patterns for each block so that I can come back to them when life settles.

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Quilter Question: Hand Piecing or Machine?

About seven years ago, while building her quilting fabric stash, Katie bought an unfinished Bear’s Claw quilt top on eBay.  It came to mind last night as I was falling asleep, because I was thinking about taking some hand piecing on my flight to Ireland next month.  I didn’t know if the finished squares were pieced by hand or machine….I’d have to wait until I woke up in the morning to find out.

I poured my first cup of coffee and pulled out the four bags that held the quilt top pieces in various stages of completion.  There are three completed blocks;  one almost done; lots of half square triangles, sashing and squares; and some triangles that have been traced on squares of fabric, waiting to be cut out.

  

I immediately picked up the finished squares to see if they had been pieced by hand, or by machine.  Obviously, they had been done by machine.

Here’s my question for you all….if I wanted to tackle this quilt top (with Katie’s permission, of course!), should I continue to piece this quilt by machine?  Or would you switch it up and hand stitch the rest of it?

I realize that even if I use my machine, I run the risk of my blocks looking a bit different simply because I’m not the original quilter.  Would you agree?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

DoriSignature

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Something for Our Stash!

Oh goodness, how I love getting new fabric. Whether it’s bought, gifted, or won through a drawing, new fabric makes me happy. It’s like a soft rainbow on a warm sunny day.

New fabric is, to me, a sign of new things to come. Possibilities. Opportunities. A new creative mess! And I drool over the various colors and patterns that float through my Instagram feed or my Facebook page. I want to BUY ALL THE THINGS! But, alas, I can’t. I have bills to pay and groceries to buy for my growing boy who eats non-stop!

So when Christa Watson from Christa Quilts informed my mom and I that we had won a drawing for some Kona fabrics in a jellyroll, my day was completely made!!

I mean HELLO!!! Kona: Yes please!!! Robert Kaufman: OH YES! Bright beautiful colors: OH HELP ME, I’VE DIED AND GONE TO QUILTING HEAVEN!!!

At first, I was just happy to have something new to look at and play with. I had no real idea of what I wanted to do it the jellyroll but I knew an idea would come to me.

So I just snapped a few picture, fondled the fabric for a bit, then stashed it away to take out when I was good and ready to start working with it.

Just a few weeks later, long after I took these pictures and had put my fabric away, I signed up to receive updates for Christa’s website and read that by doing so, I’d receive a free pattern.

Well then, I thought to myself, it must be a sign. I happen to have a jellyroll (1 of the 2 I’d need) and I’ve been debating starting a new project. So I signed up,confirmed my email address, and BOOM! There in my email inbox was the free puzzle box pattern as promised.

Now I KNOW what I’m going to do with these lovely colors. I’ll buy another roll and use the pattern included with my subscript to make a beautiful, colorful, vibrant quilt!

I mean who could say no to this delicious fabric!

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I’ve already read through this pattern and I was happy to see it’s written in a way that speaks to my learning abilities. There are clear and written precise directions, simple pictures that are easy to understand, and there are tips along the way. There is even a suggestion as to how to quilt this project!

I’m super excited to start working on this quilt top. I have a few WIPs I need to wrap up but, come on, what’s one more project!! Especially one that will challenge me but won’t wear me down with too many new techniques. It’s just challenging enough to make me learn something new or practice in areas I need improvement but won’t deter me from finishing it!

Definitely check back as I share my progress. Don’t forget to check out Christa’s fabric shop on Amazon, The Precut Store, where you can find beautiful jellyrolls like the one shown here!

Full disclosure, this post was not required of me to write. Hell, Christa doesn’t even know I’m doing this. I’ve written this post all on my own and for a good reason: Christa is one of the most supportive and enthusiastic voices for quilters and crafters, from beginners to professionals. She works hard to put out her own professional products and to promote her store and book but she does it all while lifting others up and encouraging us all to do what we love and what makes us happy.

I’ve come to know Christa through the honest craft roomies periscope hops and since that all began, she’s been nothing but supportive of our endeavors here at Hobbies Up To Here. So I wanted to take a quick moment and give her a shout out. To lift her up and support her in all she does.

Now in the quilting community, she’s an author and a teacher and an all around beautiful quilting Jedi while I’m just a padawan still learning the ways of the Quilt Force but, as a thank you and to show my support in return, I write this post with no strings attached and with no motives other than to point you in her direction. She’s great! I promise! She’s relatable, caring, energetic, and beyond encouraging so make sure to stop by her site or her Facebook and Instagram to say hello!

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Joyeux Noel! 

Thanksgiving is finally over. The turkey had been eaten, thanks have been given, and our tryptophan comas are wearing off.

You know what that means?

It’s time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas. Winter. The next big celebration with family and friends and lots of food. Along with all the bright lights and tightly wrapped presents, my mom and I have been drooling over some lovely fabrics.

Especially this joyful and beautiful set of fat quarters by Moda called Joyeux Noel!

The stack is nicely organized with patterns and solids in each set and each set ranging from deep cheery reds to light creams and greys.

I broke into this bad boy and took a look at all the lovely fabrics we can play with!

I loved the addition of the grey to this set of traditional holiday colors. It brings in a feeling of winter to an otherwise normal Christmas set.

And the combination of the grey and cream with the little tones of red really give us a lot of options.

And then the stash flips entirely from reds with a hint of grey to grey with a hint of red and it’s still just as lovely.

It’s hard to tell but there is a hint of red running through one of these fabrics, it’s just not visible here in this set. But even these muted greys are lovely.

Now for the hard part…picking a project to make with them!

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Stash Building: Dori Discovers eBay!

eBay is a magical place. You can buy anything from memorabilia to cheap electronics. It’s an odd place with a lot going on at all times from bidding to straight buying.

Years ago I discovered eBay as a great place to build my stash. For a decent price, I could buy and collect fabric sets. Fat quarters, pre-cuts, full yards. You name it, they have it. I’ve yet to use much of that fabric but it’s there for me to play with.

Not long after starting our little blog here, I told my mom about eBay and even showed her a little of my stash I had built when I had that nice disposable income. She oohed and aahhed over my pretty fabrics.

Recently, I found out that she had finally took some time to shop eBay and bought a few things herself. And boy did she shop! The joke at my parents’ house is that my dad needn’t check the mail any more because the majority of it is all for my mom!

She picked up two Robert Kaufman towers of fat quarters.

There was also a tower of fat quarters by Riley Blake Designs. I totally see a baby girl quilt in this set!

To go with the fat quarters, she also picked up some pre-cut 5×5 squares of the same patterns. Such cute little monkeys!

Oddly, as she was showing me her last bit of her fabric haul, I felt like I recognized the fabric.

That was when I looked at the salvage edge and saw that it was a Judie Rothermel set for  Marcus Fabrics, a fabric designer I have a WHOLE box of fat quarters from. Without knowing it, she had picked up fabric from the same designer as I had, just in different patterns and colors.

What can I say! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Check out our side bar on the right for some great website and link ups around the blogosphere to enjoy!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #12

It’s hard to believe but summer is officially over. The kids are going back to school and homework is now an evening activity instead of swimming until bedtime.

While it’s depressing to think that beach days are over and sleeping in is a thing of the past, now we have the holidays to look forward to!

So listen in and join us as we start talking about holiday crafting ideas, especially for Halloween, my personal favorite!

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Can you tell we’re excited about starting a project together? I think we’ve decided definitely on a table runner and going with a Halloween theme first. If we’re lucky and we like the process, then maybe we’ll do the same for Christmas and Thanksgiving!

If you haven’t had the chance to check out our vlog on opening and going through our stash, be sure to watch our Youtube video on it.

Any holiday projects on the books for you??

 

Shop My Fabric Stash!

The holidays are around the corner and I’m gearing up with some holiday projects in mind. But instead of buying something new, I went through what I already own to see what I could put together!

Found some cute stuff in that box and now I’m excited to get started on something fresh like a table runner or some placemats!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for updates on our newest adventures!

The Friendship Quilt

There is nothing like a fresh set of nicely matched fabrics all wrapped together in a pretty yellow ribbon. At least those were my thoughts when my mom brought home this beautiful kit for a quilt pattern called Friendship. She sent me a picture of it via text messages and I was a tiny bit envious of her new, shiny things.

To my surprise, she showed up yesterday with the set in hand and gave it to me as a gift! My dad had spied this quilt in the Orange Quilt Bee in Orange, CA and thought it was beautiful so they purchased the kit for me to have fun with.

Some girls like jewlery and some like flowers.

I’m happy with some fabric and a new sewing project any day!

I was so floored and a tiny bit confused (wait…wasn’t this her kit?) but also super appreciative that they had thought of me. It’s not everyday you get a gift of new fabric in beautiful earthy tones to play with!

I didn’t get the chance to dive right in due to nursing a severe sunburn but today I finally got to break into the kit and look at all the lovely fabrics and colors I have to play with.

I can’t pick a favorite because they are all too beautiful. I like the differences in the greens and the yellows and the little pop of color the blue lends to the whole thing. Just stunning!

Here are all the fabrics on display, organized by color family. It was a beautiful sunny day so I took advantage of that natural sunlight to really bring out all the beauty of these swatches.

  
  
  


  
  

Now I’m not done with either my Playful Colors Quilt or my CIRCA 1934 quilt but having this new project in my hands has made me itchy to start something new.

After talking with my mom about my “quilters guilt” (the feeling you get when you put aside an almost finished project to start something new), I’ve decided to do what I want and not what I feel I’m obligated to do.

I have this strong need to complete the work I’ve started and feel bad about starting something new without finishing the others first. But my mom reminded me that it’s pretty common for crafters to have multiple projects going at the same time. If a project isn’t fulfilling something in the maker, it’s perfectly fine to jump to another project to keep them happy and creative.  
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