STASHING #9

Remember the spoils of the #greatukfabricdestash I mentioned in my last post?  Well, they’ve all arrived and the stash is swelling.  The point of destashing wasn’t entirely lost on me and I did sell more than I bought, though only just!  The event was a great way to give those fabrics you know you’ll never use to somebody else whilst maybe acquiring some things you’ve long coveted.  For me that was anything Tula Pink, and I was lucky enough to score some pieces from her earlier collections.

Clockwise from left:

Tula Pink – Prince Charming Turtle Bay in coral, Flutterby Snail in olive, Flutterby Bee in forest

Another fabric line I missed first time around was Alexander Henry’s ‘The Ghastlies’.  There are many great pieces to this collection and I was so pleased when this piece of yardage appeared on my Instagram feed.  I had to have it!

Alexander Henry – A Ghastlie Night in natural

Despite the vast and somewhat overwhelming amount of fabric being offered that night, I did show some restraint and came away with only a few more things.  I don’t have much information about the following pieces but I love them all the same.  The spiderweb is a perfect addition to my ever-growing collection of black and grey prints and the Japanese linen robots was too cute to leave.

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I’m still waiting on my Dr Seuss ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ bundle which is being kept safe in California for me.  As well as fabric, I used my destashing fund on something I’ve wanted for such a long time.  My quilting life is about to get much easier as I finally have a Robert Kaufman Kona Solids colour card.  Matching colours and planning quilts is going to be a breeze now.  These cards are notoriously difficult to get hold of in the UK, particularly the most up-to-date version with all 271 colours.  If anyone wants one then one of my favourite online fabric shops M is for make has them in stock.  Be quick though, because they go fast!

This week I’m linking up with Sarah Quilts, who’s taking over hosting duties from Molli Sparkles for this week’s Sunday Stash.

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(DE) STASHING #8.5

About a week ago, a hashtag swept though Instagram, leaving in its wake a trembling mass of excitable  fabricholics.  It was #thegreatfabricdestash.  A simple conception where by you post a picture of fabric you’d like to sell with said hashtag and anyone wishing to take it off your hands need only comment with their PayPal address.  First come, first served.  Simple.  I watched in awe, constantly refreshing my screen to see the newest offerings.  In the aftermath, there was a lot of commentary from UK-based quilters who were saddened that so much awesome fabric was out of their reach, either due to the sellers refusal to ship international or the sky-high prices of such shipping.  I was fortunate that my amazing American ‘”mum” Debi allows me to use her home as a makeshift post office.  I secured a great deal on a Robert Kaufman ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ bundle, though I could have spent more…a lot more.

The success of the event caught on and a few days ago an Instagram friend, lovestrawberrypatch, suggested a UK destash and I was sold.  Great fabric, without the high cost and long wait of international shipping!  Last night, everyone in the house got fed earlier than usual; me, the man and the dog, for 7pm was the time of the #greatukfabricdestash and I had to have my wits about me.  Who knew what delights might be waiting to tempt me?   I needed funds, and I needed them quick.  A quick rummage through the stash and I had a some things I was willing to part with.  Some of it was duplicates and things I’d bought far to much of, but a few were pieces I really loved, namely some of my Heather Ross Munki Munki.  I thought long and hard before deciding to destash them.  My reasoning was that I’d already sewn with them in some form or another, and unlike my stash staples; the stripes, the crosshatching and the chevrons, these pieces were a one time deal.  I’d used it and now I had to lose it.

The event was a huge success and so much fun!  A frenzied evening of fastest finger first.  There were some awesome things available.  I had my eye on some Heather Ross ‘Mendocino’ but I wasn’t quick enough and they went within seconds of being posted!  Whoever destashed them had more willpower than me; my Mendocino is stored under lock and key!  I managed to sell a fair bit and restrained myself just enough to make a profit.  I scored some great Tula Pink pieces, some ‘Ghastlies’ by Alexander Henry and a few random bits and bobs which I will share with you all in my next stashing post.

Looking at Instagram this morning, there’s  word of a #greataussiedestash so it looks like the idea has gone global!  There are still some great things to be had, so if you’re looking for a bargain or a certain fabric be sure to check the out the hashtags.

Did you get anything great from the great destash?

ACCENTUATE THE NEGATIVE

As many a recording artist has told us, in life we have to “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive“.  Lately I’ve been doing the opposite and giving prominence to the negative, that is, negative space.  With my January blocks for the #NGAQB in the safe keeping of their recipient, it was time to get back to old WIPs abandoned in the name of Christmas and camaraderie.  Top of my list was the Gossip Quilt, which I desperately want to finish.  As I pulled out the blocks and put them back on the design wall, creativity, much like Frodo and the One Ring, took a path I did not expect.  I had negative space on the brain from the ideas formulating in my head for the February #NGAQB block and the more I looked at the Gossip Quilt blocks the more I liked the idea that was forming.

You see, my original plan was to have each 12.5″ block  be a full log cabin, joining them all together to make a 5 x 6 block quilt top.  I took some solid black and began revising the arrangement, adding areas of negative space to and around the log cabins.  I loved it!  Such a simple thing, similar to what I did with the Dinosaur Quilt.  So now, as well as the full size blocks, I’ve started to make smaller log cabin block and sash them in varying widths of black.  I might even have some full 12.5″ square negative space too.  That’s the joy of the design wall; nothing’s place is permanent on it.  Now that the some of the blocks have been reduced in size they’re coming much quicker, and I hope to have the top pieced by next weekend.

Today, I took a break from the Gossip Quilt to work on my February #NGAQB blocks.  All was going well until I came to square up one side…

Yep, I was that much short.  You know those days when nothing seems to go right?  When fabric doesn’t want to play ball and you drop your pins all over the floor, well today was one of those days in the attic.  The negative, the real negative, was well and truly being accentuated.  Apart from some paltry scraps, I had no more of the background grey and didn’t have the patient to order more and wait for it to arrive.  I panicked and got stressed.  I called out to my bee mates for suggestions, taking myself away from the machine whilst I waited for their responses.  A calm descended after a dog walk and a cup of tea.  On my return I looked at the block differently.  They say things happen for  reason and I think they really do.  A quick slice and dice of the block allowed my to add some wonky sashing that has totally transformed it to something I never envisaged.  A happy case of measure once, cut twice!  Don’t you just love it when things like that happen.  My quilting  is far from perfect but sometimes, in the mistakes I make, I see the potential for something closer to it!

Have you ever turned a problem into a positive?

NO GIRLS ALLOWED QUILT BEE – JANUARY

You hear that?   That’s the sound of a quilt bee swarming through the blogsphere.  But this isn’t just any old quilting bee.  This is a beer and brawn, all signing, all dancing, all male quilting bee.  You may remember me mentioning the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee in my last post of 2013.  Well, January has arrived and the Boys are buzzing!

For those new here, a recap.  Last year, as I admired the quilts of The Blogger’s Quilt Festival, a particular entry caught my eye.  Despite being colourful and modern and very much me, it wasn’t the quilt I was so intrigued by but it’s maker, who was a man; the “Gone with the Wind fabulous” Molli sparkles.  I was overjoyed to have found another like me!  Of course, I knew there were other male quilters out there;  I’d been an avid reader of Quilt Dad’s blog when I first found quilting, and my first completed quilt was made using one of his quilt block tutorials.  In the spirit of the festival I commented on Molli’s entry, congratulating his efforts.  Little did I know how much of an impact this seemingly simple interaction would have on my quilting life.

Fast forward two month and we’re here, in January, for the first month of the #NGAQB.  That’s right, we’ve got a hashtag!  The thing has gone global.  Shortly after our interaction Molli posted an image to his Instagram feed and the idea grew wings.  People commented, the buzz got louder and before we knew it we had 13 guys ready to quilt, including Mr. Quilt Dad himself, John Adams.   A…ma…zing!  I give you the #NGAQB class of 2013

Whip Holder: Andres Rosales

January’s gentleman is Mr. Sandy Greenberg; UK Chicagoan, husband of Brioni Greenberg of Flossy Bossy fame and all round great guy who likes reading and watching Science Fiction, motor sports, travelling and having fun with his 4-year-old boy.  The members of the bee have been so forthcoming with tidbits and tales of their lives it feels like we’ve been friends for years.  Sandy has a great attitude towards quilting.

“I approach quilting as a technical challenge.  I am less bothered by the outcome and am more interested in the process.  I LOVE paper foundation piecing! I have no interest or love of fabric however. I pay no attention to lines or designers, just pretty colours and patterns. I’m a fearless skilled amateur. My second ever project was a pattern of curved flying geese of my own design and everyone thought I was brave and crazy. I just did it because no one told me that I couldn’t.”

Check out Sandy’s work over on his blog and Flickr feed, and by following him on Instagram (Curly_Boy1) and Twitter (@Curly_boy1).

For his month, Sandy asked for Lone Starburst blocks, one with a light background and one with a dark.  For those of you who follow me on Instagram you would have already seen the blocks I’ve made.  I really enjoyed picking the fabric for these.  Sandy told us he was interested in colour theory so I really wanted to make something zingy.  You know that anything Tula Pink is gonna work!

These are ready to go into the post today.  I’m so excited!  It’s been awesome to see all the blocks the other members have made and I can’t wait to see how sandy puts them together.  This whole experience is promising to be something really special and I hope you’ll follow along to see what happens when a bunch of guys are let loose with a rotary cutter and a fat quarter!  Who knows what we’ll have to share at the end of it all.  You can follow along with the hashtag #NGAQB on Instagram and Twitter or click on the badge in the sidebar to link to the Flickr page.

STASHING #8

Doesn’t your heart just melt when you hear that four-letter word.  You know, the one that gives you goosebumps and makes you flutter your eyelashes at your significant other.  That’s it, sale, or more specifically, fabric sale!  I know that’s two words consisting of ten letters but who cares; this isn’t a Scrabble board!  After all the over-indulgence of the festive period I need to shed a few pounds and so did my wallet.  My inbox was full of newsletters and ads detailing all the wonderful fabric sales that were taking place.  I didn’t really know where to start so I just dove right in!

M Is For Make had a great selection of reduced fabric and I indulged my love of graphic neutrals.  There are still bargains to be found, with up to 70% off some lines.  New items have recently been added, much to my chagrin, including Feathers and Bike Path from the Sun Print collection by Alison Glass.

Clockwise from left:

Riley Blake – Small Chevron in black, Timeless Treasures – Sketch in charcoal, Robert Kaufman – Owl Nest in Black, Uno – Raindrops in white, Stitch Floral – Stitch Square in stone, Michael Miller – Random Pencil Check in denim, Michael Miller – Random Pencil Check in linen, 2wenty Thr3e – Modern Girl in pavement, 2wenty Thr3e – Fox Trot in pavement.

The Village Haberdashery had a great sale, with up to 65% off some fabrics.  I added to the stash with simple chevrons and some more pieces from the ‘Uno’ Collection, a few of which are still available.

Clockwise from left:

Riley Blake – Chevron in grey, Uno – Floating Axes in turquoise, Riley Blake – Chevron in navy, Uno – Half Moon Stripe in teal, Riley Blake – Small Chevron in grey, Uno – Half Moon Stripe in navy, Riley Blake – Chevron in aqua.

Finally, some bargains a little closer to home.  I was hoping that the haberdashery department at work would be putting the Tula Pink ‘Acacia’ prints into clearance, but alas I had to make do with these.  I’m not usually fond of these types of novelty prints, but having finished a baby quilt recently I guess I was thinking with that cap on.  The stripe will make great binding and The Hungry Caterpillar print was too cute to leave behind.

That’s it!  What bargains have you added to your stash recently?