Look What I Found!!!

It’s been my theme lately: fabric discovery! I’ve been weeding through my boxes of fabric, unearthing old UFO/WIP bits and pieces I like to call Forgotten Projects. I’ve found bundles of fabric I completely forgot I had and discovered whole kits of jelly rolls and precut fabrics. It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks! Like Christmas or my birthday everyday!

Then I found the ultimate Forgotten Project: my very first attempt at quilting.

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Ok now, let me set the stage. My mom bought me my sewing machine (whom I lovingly call Shelby) when I was 9. Sewing was interesting but not a hobby I wanted to take up so young. I’d seen my mom sew and quilt but wasn’t ready to attempt it myself. So that sewing machine sat until I was in college. My sophomore year at SFSU I dug up ol’ Shelby and drove her from my home in southern California to my new apartment in San Francisco. There I helped my roommate cover some ugly ol’ couches we were given to decorate our apartment with.

And then nothing…

Shelby moved with me from apartment to apartment, collecting dust in closets or on shelves. I rarely used her until after we graduated and moved into our own places. My friend was now married and I was ready to live without roommates. It was during this time that my mom gifted me a Pooh Bear fat quarter set and a book about making a simple quilt. Those fat quarters became the baby quilt I made a while ago. That’s when it started. My friend and I both fell deeply in love with fabric and the colors upon colors and patterns to choose from. Our initial attempts at quilting were pretty pathetic. Nothing cut right and everything was crocked!

I remember being SOOOOO frustrated! I would look in these books my mom would send me, drooling over the intricate patterns and beautiful fabrics. Then I would attempt to make my own quilt and it would never turn out right!

When I discovered I was pregnant with my son, I moved home from San Francisco to start our lives with my family. I was taking on the job as a single mom so I would have little time to quilt. Shelby once again found a home on my shelf and there she waited till I was ready again.

Since that time, my original attempt at quilting was stocked away to be forgotten about. I haven’t seen this thing in a decade and then some! But just a few days ago I discovered it in the bottom of a basket. Seeing it for the first time in year, I had a few reactions.

Firstly, I was impressed with my attempt at a smaller more intricate design for my first quilt. Lately I’ve stuck to strips and squares because I know I’ll finish them! I’m not up to the task of cutting smaller bits and making them into bigger bits…yet. I will someday, just not right this moment.

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Secondly, the colors! Oh my goodness are they bright on their own but man are they blinding together! I think this was a fat quarter kit I grabbed up and figured they’d look good together because they were the same colorful palette just in different colors. Blimey…

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Also, it looks like I made the same mistake in each of the squares. I can’t actually tell what the pattern is supposed to be BUT I think there is a corner on each square that is flubbed. I can’t be sure but something doesn’t look right.

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And lastly, it’s a mess. Very all over the place with the cutting and the stitching. I can’t really make heads or tails of it but there it is, in all it’s Technicolor glory.

But I must say, I kinda love it. Maybe it’s like your first child, the one that puts you through your paces and teaches you how to parent. It’s the one that you look back on and see ALL your mistakes but you still adore it to pieces.

This quilt is technically my first although it’s only being completed now. And, although it’s messy and kinda ugly and not nearly big enough to be a full sized quilt, I love it!

I went out last week and picked up some fabrics to complete this little project. I figured with all the color black would be a good backing to it so I picked up a clean Kona black. I couldn’t help but grab up some rainbow polka dots to kinda tie in all the colors.

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I also grabbed a couple of yards of this mellow yellow that was on sale for like $2 a yard. When she said that I about had a heart attack and flew at the chance to have more! I could also use a good solid in my stash!

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So now to work on putting the colors together and making something out of this ugly yet loveable mess. It’s my new work in progress!

 

Fresh Poppy Design

WIP: Forgotten Projects

If you float around the blog-o-sphere and read quilting or sewing blogs, you’ve probably come across the acronym WIP. It stands for Work In Progress and it means exactly what it says. A WIP post is sharing a quilt or sewing project that you’ve been working on and it’s not done.

I find sharing projects that aren’t done and in the process of becoming something else a positive thing. It’s motivation to keep going. People share what they are working on and also share their stories. And knowing you aren’t alone in the sea of unending projects, is comforting.

But today I want to share a different kind of WIP. A project that is not only in progress but it has also fallen by the wayside. Those projects that got started, something got in the way of finishing them, and BOOM!!! Years later they are found in a pile of fabric with no idea HOW it got there.

In my new found motivation to sew and get things done around my crafty center, I decided to take advantage of the WIP Wednesday and dig through my stash to find those lost nuggets, unfinished, forgotten projects.

This first project is fairly recent, as in I remember starting it and I even wrote about it. It’s called the Fresh Pears Table Runner. It’s a simple pattern with a pear applique. I picked a Moda pack with some cream, red, and black fabrics and got pretty far into making the runner itself. I also had some nice mellow lime-olive green fabric to cut my pears out of.

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But then my brash self got too far ahead and messed it up during a Friday Night Sew-in.

Fright Night Sew-In: What Have I Done?!?

This project has been buried. I was so frustrated with the way it came out that I shoved it aside and haven’t looked at it in years. So I dug around and got lucky. It was all put together in a baggie, waiting for me to return!

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The only issue is that the instructions are no longer with it. And it was just printed on a simple piece of white paper so it could be anywhere. Or it could have bee tossed. The desk I was originally using for my quilting back then has been repurposed a few times over so I have NO CLUE where those instructions went to.

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Looking back at my original post, when the whole thing came together, there was a hitch in the center of the four squares. Turning it over, I could see why. The seams were all pressed in different directions and when the four corners came together, they made a jumbled heap of fabric that didn’t work together. Some were turned under, others were hitched in the opposite direction making the whole thing buckle. It wouldn’t lay flat no matter how hard I tried!!

So I pulled out my seam ripper and worked everything apart. I also noted that my hurried style had left this project in a few different stopping points. I had strips cut but not sewn together. I have squares of four strips ready along with pairs of squares already joined. Then I had scraps and raw pieces just floating around in the baggie.

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Such a mess!!! After pulling apart the one big square, I set about to press all the seams open and make life easier on myself. My next steps will be to finish sewing all the squares and then pressing the last seams open so that everything is ready to join up into bigger squares. And if I can find the instructions, I hope to have this project done before the year is over.

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Along with that forgotten project, I also found a batch of rows all sewn together. I knew it was a moda charm pack but couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Then I found it! It’s the Moda Lollipop kit.

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I have no clue what I was planning with this set but it would seem to be ripe for a nice patchwork quilt. One charm pack has been all sewn together in rows of four with two random pieces left over. I pressed the seams on this project and laid everything out to get a good bird’s eye view of the whole mess.

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Pretty cute, I’d say. I will need to do the same with the second charm pack to make it big enough. I’m thinking just a big messy patchwork quilt with a border, backing, and binding. Nothing too fancy. And maybe I won’t quilt the top but instead will tie it down.

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Lastly was this gem. It’s an eBay purchase with the best of intentions. From the emailed receipt attached to the baggie, it’s a Bear Claw pattern in red and black. This thing is an assorted mess. There are four bags of fabric in different states of completion: one completed square, some partials squares, bits and pieces of other soon to be made squares and then just random bits.

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Again, this was bought with the best of intentions in the heyday of my stash building and fabric buying. Had I started to work right away on this project, I bet it would have made more sense. But now, years later and in the chaotic state that it is in, I’m baffled. I mean, where does one even start with a project like this? I don’t even have instructions in hand so I’ll be left to searching the web for a general idea of what to do. Although, with one completed square, I can probably piece it together.

To say the least after my long winded post, I have a lot of work already in front of me. I’d say with patience and time, I could have a few projects finished before the end of the year without starting anything new. There is enough here to keep me busy for a long while!
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As if I wasn’t busy enough, I finished The Book Thief and I moved onto a new book in progress, A Vision in Velvet. LOVE this little series! It set in San Francisco (probably my favorite city) and it has magic and vintage clothing and mystery. All fun stuff to read!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts