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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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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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!

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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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Stash Love: An Amish Collection

Hey Fabric Fiends! Today I’m sharing a fat quarter set I’ve had for years just sitting in my stash waiting for me to come up with a plan for them.

During our podcast last week, I shared that this bundle was given to me as a gift. I love its earthy tones and the little pattens mixed in with some simple solids.

I noticed recently that this had a theme and it was Amish with the little people and the buggies and bonnets. There are even little cows!

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It really has a nice simple tone to it a very salt of the earth look. Plus purple and blue are my favorite colors.

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I hadn’t planned on using this yet but after talking to my mom, I’m itching to do something with it. Maybe I’ll give quilting-as-you-go a try and make some place mats or a table runner.

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How can you NOT love a fabric with little buggies?!

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What should I do? I know I need to work on my binding techniques so a little project that I can knock out quickly but use to focus my attention on making improvements would be good. This way I can really take the time I need to do the binding right.

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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!

 

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Avengers ASSEMBLE!

I’ve been on a quilting roll lately, finishing up older projects or starting new ones and sticking with it till they are done. So much so I actually allowed myself some fabric shopping for a future project.

After my son’s quilt was done, my husband pointed out that a) it was too small and b) it was a little on the babyish side. He said it with the sincerest of tones and I didn’t even take it personally. I saw what he meant. What started as a quilt for a little guy ended up a quilt for a much taller and older guy. A little man who is into Transformers and comic books.

My husband suggested I look into fabric that would suit my son’s interests currently. I agreed. He deserved a quilt that not only fit him but also his age. After thinking on it some time and knowing Joann’s has a sale going right now, I convinced my son to hoof it over to the store and show him what they had. I had already scoped out the character fabrics for my own possible project. I spotted the Batman fabric for myself but I knew my son would LOVE the Avengers when he saw them.

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My son ogled and ahhhhhed all the different Avengers fabrics they had in stock. Along with these, they also had Spiderman, Superman, and even Star Wars. In the end we picked up these two Marvel fabrics, one with the characters in action and the other a handful of comic book covers. I’m seeing a quilt with windows of fussy cut squares, bordered by the red, and blue with the yellow as the binding. My son loved the idea of having a blanket he could read!

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A few aisles down I found this great fabric with the thought bubbles and all the action words used by many of our fearless heroes. How great is this? I bought enough of this for the back of the fabric although I’m not set in my ways. I definitely have room to wiggle in while I set down how I want it to look. For now this is what I have in mind.

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Don’t Mind The Horrible Rendering

I bet there is a name to this pattern that I don’t know. I just like that it looks like the superheroes are framed in action!

Now I have all the bits I need to start and even some black if I need to add to anything, but I won’t begin this quilt any time time soon! I plan to finished a few other projects first and then maybe take a bit of a break to go through my crafting room and reorganize. With all the projects I’ve got going right now, things are a bit messy and I’ve got team-mom duties that start this week so my time will really be divided until Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, here we are dressed as the Avengers a couple of years back. Not only is our little guy a comic book fan, so are we.

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This reminds me, it’s time to start thinking of our costumes for this year. Hummm…..
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Quilter’s Question: Storing Your Stash

Recently, I convinced the husband that I needed a new desk and filing cabinet from Ikea. I’d seen enough pictures around Pinterest to know that this set-up would work well for my beauty supplies and would relieve my bathroom stink from all the clutter. So I sold it to him on the premise that our bathroom would be cleaner and we’d have more room on the sink.

Low and behold I got my desk and filing cabinet! It took me some time to fill it out and rid the bathroom of all my palettes but we’re now able to see the tile around the sink and all my stuff is better organized. Yay for organization!

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Along with all my makeup things, I realized that this desk would be a great place to set up my sewing machine and there was enough room to start storing my fabric stash here, too. So it doubled as a beauty/sewing center. Score another point for me!

But as I started to dig into my fabric and move it to my new craft center, I realized I had no method at all to my madness. I had a box from work that used to hold reams of paper on a shelf. I opened that sucker up and BAM! I found loads of fat quarters and bundles of fabric I forgot I had.

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A Box O’ Fabric

Then I found another bin with lots of loose material floating around, some finished squares I bought on eBay to be put together to make a quilt (what was I thinking!) and jelly rolls for those quilts I had the best of intentions to make as gifts.

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In short, things were a mess. I started moving some of the stacks to my desk and filled two shelved built into the side of the desk. Then I started to filter through the boxes and bins but got so overwhelmed I had to put them back together and store them in the closet as they were. Then I went to start the binding on my son’s quilt. That’s when I realized I didn’t know where it was!!

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My disorganization was coming full circle and now I couldn’t find the last bit of material I needed to finish his quilt. After some searching, I found it tucked away in some vintage inspired fabrics. It was probably stuck with all of that fabric because the common color schemes are browns and yellows. But it definitely was the last straw.

I need a better way to store my fabric. And preferably a system that won’t require me to spend a lot of money.

My question to all of you fellow quilters is this: What is your preferred method of organizing your stash and storing it? Bucket? Hanging files? Do you wash, press, then fold them into neat stacks? Do you organize by color? Theme? Fabric type?

I’m curious to hear what everyones’ method is and maybe it’ll give me a direction to take when I start to get my mess of a stash organized.

For now I’ll show you the jelly rolls I found in a box tucked into the closet.

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I had completely forgot about these. I think I found them on sale at a Wal-Mart near us that was closing down its fabric section. They have a nice beachy feel so I think I’m going to use these for my next quilt. And instead of using the same four strip squares I’ve been sticking too, I’m going to change it up a bit.

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More to come…

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