Monday, August 31, 2015

Fear of FMQ

I've been following the stashbusting sew-along all year, without really participating in the "sew along" part of things. But August's theme really grabbed me: face your fears.

I realized that fear had been holding me back. No garment sewing had taken place because of fear of cutting into those special fabrics. You know, the stashed fabrics that I have held onto for so long, just waiting for perfect to happen: perfect pattern, perfect fit, perfect execution of some tricky sewing detail (like welt pockets, or an invisible zipper, or a curved dart, etc.)
But the stashbusting community was behind me this month. We were all gonna face our fears together! A garment was finally gonna come together in 2015.
Only thing is, I told myself I had to finish the quilting on a little ol' wallhanging before I could start something new (like a garment). And guess what? Fear had been holding me back from finishing that, too!

I didn't even realize... Didn't acknowledge to myself that I was procrastinating on the quilting--I just knew it wasn't getting done in a timely manner.

Followed the mantra

Practice session: ewww
Dived into a bit of FMQ (Free Motion Quilting--last seen publicly in this post from 2012).

Does it look like bubbles? Or sea foam?
And the quilting is DONE. Fear faced.

Not afraid of a close-up: perfect in its imperfections
Not perfect by any means, but it beats the heck outta hiding in a paper sack for another year or more. Win!

Now, can some elves come over and whip up a binding for this one so I can count the stash that was used? So very close to done done.

Thank you to all the Stashbusting Sewalong followers on The Facebook!  Seeing your work has really encouraged me.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tote-ing my License Plates

Part of a winning quilt in Redding, CA
Have you been Row-by-Row-ing this summer? I had a 2000-mile road trip in July, which took me near more quilt shops than I could possibly visit (given that I was traveling with non-quilting family members).

Totally enjoyed collecting row patterns, seeing the quilts completed (most shops already had a winner--less than 1 month into the challenge!), and buying license plates.  

Yikes!  After only a moderate amount of shop-hopping, I am awash in license plates.  What to do with them all...?

Well, it just so happens that the friendly folk at Row by Row Headquarters provided a free handy tote bag pattern--and I think it will be the perfect canvas for displaying my license plates.

When last I blogged about bag-sewing, I showed the fabrics I was considering for this tote.  Fortunately, Sweetie talked me into the less is more camp; I maybe have a tendency to overdo it on the funky fabric mixing.

Fabric audition!!

Finished: basic tote bag

I am delighted with the handles--which I lined with a polka dot grosgrain ribbon (leftover from my wedding last summer). The license plate fabric was used for the outside pocket: cute & packs a graphic punch.

For now, I have just pinned a couple of the license plates in place.  I mean, I don't know how many more plates I might need to make room for, right?

This is me, tote-ing like a boss.

Happy to have another finished project.  Eagle eyes will note that this is not one of the UFO/WIPs I listed on my goal check-in--because it was done when I made the list.

Linking up with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, being hosted this week on Quilt Matters.

Stash accounting:  used 1 1/4 yards of fabric

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Month 8 already!

Way back when the New Year was young, I set 15 goals for 2015.  July done, August well underway: this year is more than half over (how did that happen?!)  'Bout time to check in and see how those goals are progressing.  (Well, at least the most measurable of them...)

1.  Use up, donate or dispose of 100 yards of fabric.
...about 2 yards of fabric a week...  all the fabric I haul around keeps me bound to the past...
I will have to count up and post an update soon, but I know I'm nowhere near halfway a quarter of the way toward meeting this goal.  However, I am cultivating a different relationship with my fabric stash.

I have willingly cut into several long-stashed fabrics (examples here and here).  At this point (some decades after many of these were purchased), letting go of the original purpose of the fabric has finally freed me.

2.  Get my UFO pile down to single digits. sounds reasonable...
Keep reading below:

3.  Track my progress.
...record-keeping required...
Well!  Since I didn't bother to count or post my UFO's at the beginning of the year, I don't even know if I've really made progress toward Goal #2.  Need to recommit to Tracking my Progress, definitely.

UFO/WIP list - What IS, August 2015

* = projects shown above
Quilts or big projects:
(1) Grandma's bedspread  (2) Drama t-shirt quilt*  (3) Relaxing Robin*  (4) Barnyard Play Quilt*  (5) Love in my Heart  (6) Wordy Wallhanging*  (7) Red/pink/black baby quilt*  (8) Ocean Waves wallhanging*  (9) Cuppa Joe wallhanging*  (10) Scrappy 1930s checkerboard*  (11) 2013 buck-a-block monochrome*

Smaller projects:
(12) Striped placemats  (13) Hurry Up Pizza Man  (14) mystery cube puzzle  (15) paper-pieced daisy pillow cushions

(16) jersey pj dress  (17) red linen dress  (18) wool cape/coat

(19) coin purses  (20) rag rug*  (21) headwarmer  (22) neck ruff

Alrighty, I've got my work cut out for me.  Twenty-plus UFO's doesn't seem like an insurmountable pile.  My only problem is that I keep getting excited and starting new projects.  This list lets me know that I should
Finish AT LEAST TWO projects for each ONE that I begin
 --for the rest of 2015

Anyone with me?  Or just willing to chime in and help keep me honest?  I promise to come to your blog and cheer you on, too!