Showing posts with label Stash Building. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stash Building. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Berlin Quilters Let's Meet

It's a patch
Picture courtesy of It's a Patch

I have accepted a challenge. Looking at my impressive list of WIP’s, I know I should not have but it was presented in such a charming way. Last Sunday, I spent the best of afternoons with fellow Berlin based quilters. I was excited because it is definitely like having a blind date when you go to meet people in real life that you have only ever had contact through Instagram before.

Last Autumn Issey (It’s a Patch) and Caro (Petite_Reine_Coud) had the wonderful idea to try to get the Berlin based quilters to meet.  I could not make the first meeting, so I was all the more excited for this second one coming up. Issey welcomed us to her home where we sat and had home baked cake and coffee and a little bit of a show and tell as well. There were four of us this time. Issey, Caro, Yara (qvilted) and I. Yara brought her fantastic ‘Farmers Wife’ quilt top and Issey had really cool blocks up on her wall too. There is so much to be said about the tactility of an actual quilt, quilt top or fabric over just seeing them online.

Yara, Caro and Issey also destashed some fabric and I might have …hem hem… picked up a fat quarter or ten… Yes, that is right, the other girls de-stashed and I … build stash. Anyway, they are beautiful fabrics and I am looking forward to using them. In the same instant I accepted a quilt challenge. Issey did curate this pretty fabric bundle in Lavender, Pale Blue and Yellow and had commenced sewing with the fabrics when she found that she was not in love with Lavender after all. 

I often look at other sewist’s fabric selections and like what I see even though that particular combination might not have occurred to me. I even had the fanciful idea to organise a fabric swap initiative, where I invite people to curate a fabric bundle of a pre-agreed number of fat quarters which subsequently would be swapped with someone else, so that people get to try out fabric combinations that might not have occurred to them otherwise. I can see a host of problems with that proposition not at least the widely differing style in fabric tastes but the idea still appeals to me a lot. 

Therefore, against better knowledge of course, I adopted Issey’s begun project and challenge myself to work with the fabrics she selected. One more for the to-do-list.

It is endlessly exciting to meet people whom you share a passion or an interest with. No raised eyebrows over excited squeals concerning fabrics and sewing notions. Caro also had a clever idea and proposed to jointly throw a project together from our de-stash fabrics to make a charity quilt together. That idea too has appeal. First things first however and that means finishing the Rakish Needle Round Robin.

The next meeting of the Berlin based quilters is on the 8th of April 2018 at my place. I am looking forward to it.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Puppilalla Fabric Fairy

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the long anticipated #getyourquiltywishesgranted Instagram initiative – Round 3 - had kicked off again. So I posted my wish for ‘Heartwood Scenic’ by Makower and any ‘Ghastlies’ by Alexander Henry. Then I took to reading wishes to find some I could grant. 

Grant some wishes...

…some encouraging words to brighten up my new studio space – check
…modern fabric 2.5 x 2.5 or bigger fabric scraps – done
…Tula Pink selvedges – check
…fussy cuts – OK
…pink, grey and yellow fabric squares for churn dash blocks – alright
…some fabrics for an ocean themed quilt – can do

Tula Pink befor line (insert line name), Tula Pink – the old lines … Tula Pink OOPs

While I have not got an excessive Tula stash, I happen to have some of the by now out of production prints of the lines ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Hushabye’, ‘Plume’ and single prints of various lines like ‘Moonshine’ or ‘Saltwater’ (You just had to have that cute Octopus print, right? =) 

Unicorn spotting

Use it or lose it and too much hoarding is a bad habit anyway, right? Right. 
Therefore, I decided to try to help out some of the Tula lovers hoping to get sight of their out of print unicorns just maybe.

I photographed this fun postcard, I that never fails to cheer me up and announced that I just might be able to assist with unicorn spotting. I asked the other readers perusing wishes on IG to direct the parties asking for Tula Pink to me and I would see what I can do.

Oh dear! What followed next was a wave of increased interest coming my way. Luckily, there were wishes I could help out with.

Given the interest, I just had to get organised. I collected the prints I was happy to cut into, assigned them numbers and photographed them. That photo I sent to those who had approached me and asked them to pick any two prints that I would cut into on their behalf. Some had specific print requests – that ‘Prince Charming’ frog in dark green – which I helped out with. There were also many wishes I just could do nothing about as Tula Pink has published a great many fabric lines, most of which I did never own.

In the end I granted 15 wishes, among which I managed 10 out of print Tula Pink ones. That green froggy fabric was the most popular one and the one I had the least amount of. I had to refuse wishes here and the remaining wishing parties got exactly one frog each.

Incidentally, I also set out to surprise each of my Round Robin friends with fabric I had purchased whilst being in Japan around the same time. You can see, I have sent out a lot of envelopes. Might just have earned the post office clerk his keep this month. =)

Wish Granting Central...

I have therefore decided to award myself the title of ‘Fabric Fairy’ having done my bit of gifting. The intended recipients were very happy, so happy that some of them felt they had to reciprocate. That was sweet though kind of not the point in my opinion. My approach is too look for wishes that I can grant effortlessly. I would not look to receive anything in return from the same parties I send things to as I would expect, that they in turn too look for those wishes that they can easily grant, rather than going out to specifically purchase fabrics or similar. Would you agree to that or do you have a different approach? As I am always up for some Anna Maria Horner (the happy colours), Pat Bravo or Carolyn Friedlander, I wasn't had to convince to accept a bit of those in return though when they were offered.

Fellow fabric fairy 'nanraylittle' offered to share some of her 'Heartwood' print with me AND even asked me if last year’s wish for some AMH ‘Mod Corsage’, especially the ‘Centered’ in Seafoam, had ever been granted? She had gone and looked it up. How considerate is that? Incidentally, it had not been. She offered to send a bit of both and I had to keep myself from ambushing the mailman in anticipation.

Puppilalla, Fabric Stash Building, getyourquiltywishesgranted
Yeah! Happy Mail

The best part about this initiative are the participants. Every year the level of excitement and genuine generosity is incredibly heart warming. Simply reading along is already jaw dropping. I had some amazing moments this year. I got to grant a wish to the alleged founder of the initiative 'raven2006'. I of course pestered her with questions as to how it all got started three years ago. I had to.   =) It turned out she had not started 'getyourquiltywishesgranted' but had heard that it came about via some private IG account and someone musing 'If I could have wish for something this Christmas...'. Could be true or not.

I am also a bit awestruck. Cath of 'Wombat Quilts' whom I have admired for a long time and whose pretty (also generously free) FPP star templates are my go to favorites whenever I need a star block, has granted one of my wishes. (Swoon ) Wow!

I was also much impressed with another participant's determination to grant at least one more wish than was granted to her. That I consider very admirable. While there is a percentage of freeloaders - there always is-, the majority of people is truly invested in making somebody else's wish come true and likewise grateful for wishes granted.

If you could see the big smile plastered on my face, you would know just how much fun I had with this these past weeks, though I admit packing all those envelopes was a bit of a chore. =) As for myself, I feel thoroughly spoiled by happy mail, positive IG messages and good vibes all around.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - October Block - A Masculine Treasure Hunt

Queen Bee, Puppilalla

Bee Hive Queen Magda asked us for the 'Treasure Hunt' block this month. Magda looks to create a modern and masculine quilt in different shades of grey with some low volume and just a bit of citrus yellow. The fabrics were to look modern, with geometrics and text prints being perfect and florals or animal prints to be avoided.

This was the first month, where I actually could not accomodate the block wish working from my stash. It called for various degrees of grey and I simply did not have any, certainly not enough. Therefore, fabric shopping I went. I got this lovely graphic selection of greys and a few extras for fun.

stash building, modern fabrics, Puppilalla, monochromatic fabrics

I was however mindful of the fact that I had also pledged the 'The Year of The Stash' pledge at the beginning of the year, which was about less stash building, more stash using in 2016 and restrained myself from going over board.

Truth be told, I had already splurged my Christmas money on a lovely stack of fabrics back in March - it did not take long to break the pledge ey? - but was very good this year otherwise. I just stayed away from the temptations. I even did NOT get the 'Mendocino' line by Heather Ross I wanted so much. In other words I have mostly been good. And fabric wins do not count anyway!

I had won this lovely and very soft fat quarter bundle of solids from Cloud 9 Fabrics during the 'Cloud 9 Fabrics New Block Blog Hop' in September. =)

Anyway, I seem to be digressing. Including some of the new purchases, I created this lovely monochromatic looking 'Treasure Hunt' block sporting citrus for a pop of colour. I love how modern it looks. Magda's sample blocks are a treat for the eyes as well.

Quilting Bee, The Bee Hive, Bee Block, Treasure Hunt Block, Puppilalla, monochromatic quilt

Burp Cloths Interquiltinental

And because there is cause, I also went on sewing this pretty little elephant fabric burp cloth as an extra goodie for Magda. Incidentally, using a free 'Cloud 9 Fabrics' pattern to do so. Back in March  Magda told us that she had a baby bee on the way. After some background consultation we remaining bees agreed a secret baby-shower mail project. I like practical gifts and thus proposed to sew burp cloths. As babies are known to be notoriously leaky, burp cloths are just the thing.

Burp Cloth, Puppilalla, Cloud 9 Fabrics, free pattern, baby shower

We agreed to use the same pattern and then everybody was free to design their own, provided they found time to do so. The idea was for the mom-to-be to have an individually designed set by the end of her month as queen bee.

The burp cloth is also a project of my last quarter 2016 FAL list. (A finish - woohoo =)

Bee Block, Quilting Bee, Puppilalla, free pattern

The project however has a somewhat sombre note as well. A second swarm mate told us at the same time that she too was pregnant. The baby shower project was initially aimed at both moms - and dads but that little baby-to-be stopped growing around week 13 or so. I felt very saddened about that and my thoughts were with the grieving parents for the last few months. The hard and the easy, sweet and bitter always side by side. Here is a song I would like to share with you. It is about celebrating life.

The Bee Hive

The end of the bee year is near and I am already thinking about taking stock but that warrants an entire post of itself.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Bee Hive - Double Stars #2 or Preying on the Mailman

March is drawing to an end and it went seriously fast. At the moment I keep hopping impatiently from one foot to the other - metaphorically speaking - while I wait for my interquiltinental bee mail to arrive.

Let me show you the blocks that have reached me so far.

This beauty was pieced by Maja and arrived on Thursday and therefore in time to be an Easter treat. I fell for the birdie immediately and got extra lucky there because Maja included a very generous extra amount of the prints she used, to enable me to make some more. I know, right? - I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky...

The Bee Hive, Double Star, Puppilalla, patchwork, block, quilting bee


These are from Anita and came all the way from Norway. Apart from the one requested block, Anita treated me to second one in spring colours in bright green, yellow and navy blue. 

The Bee Hive, Double Star, Puppilalla, patchwork, block, quilting bee

Neat huh?  =)

However, some of my bee mates are getting somewhat antsy as the blocks that they have painstakingly put together for me have not yet turned up. I keep telling them that this is the way of international mailing but the nervousness starts rubbing off on me too now. 

The Bee Hive

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Stash Surprise - A Chance Colourway

Fabric, stash pull, Puppilalla, colourway, colorway

Look what I found. I was chosing fabrics from my stash for the two February quilting bee assignments (both got completed today - yeah) and piled up fabrics all over the apartment when I spied this. 

Fabric, stash pull, Puppilalla, colourway, colorway

Sometimes chance does it all for you. Is this not a lovely colourway? If anyone can suggest a pattern to use those fabric to their best effect, please feel free to comment. =)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

My Alltime Favorite Colour Scheme - Time and Time again

Do you recognize that? Always reaching for the same - not prints - but fabric tones and values? Imagine me wandering around my apartment sorting through my newest fabric purchases, whistling away, then catching a glance of the quilt on my bed or a few blocks in progress and stopping in my tracks. For I just noticed that the fabric in my hand has pretty much the exact tone and colour as one of the fabrics in my previous projects. So there, I did it again.
There is a certain colour palette of olive, mint, aqua, turquoise, petrol, lavender and mustard yellow tones that is appealing to me. It draws me in. Even my bedroom is coloured in dark and light shades of aqua (and don't I love it).

I found a picture of scraps at 'Blue Elephant Stitches' displayed further down and there it is again. So I think it is safe to assume that these colours are equally appealing to other people. Still, I shall have to work hard at not buying the exact same colours over and over again. It does not make for a very varied stash. *Must not eye the 'Fibs and Fables' collection in blue green by Anna Maria Horner, must not eye... well at least not until having used up a bit of the already existing stash*

I briefly considered a fabric swatch diary to take with me when physically, rather than virtually, shopping for fabrics but I cannot bring myself to cutting into my fabrics for the mere sake of comparing tones and shades just yet.

Blue Elephant Stitches

Do you end up with much of the same? Have you found avoiding or coping strategies? Do you need them at all? How do you go about stash building and fabric selection? Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy to discuss.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Fall Fabric Market in Potsdam - An Attempted Treasure Hunt

A bustling market always holds some appeal, especially so when it is a fabric market, oh my! The firm Stoffmarkt Hollandstoffe specializes in organising fabric markets around the country and held a fall market in Potsdam on the 1st of November.
Fall Fabric market in Potsdam 2015

So friends of mine that are interested in sewing and with whom I swap photographs of projects in progress - and I got up early to peruse the market for treasures. I had hoped to find some regional producers and desingners to check out the local talent but unfortunately it was not that kind of market.

The market was not specialising in quilting cottons and supplies but displayed anything and everything from bright oilcloths, via textured ribbons, lining fabric, wool fabrics, jerseys and jeans to cottons and flannels. And as the market merely consisted of a town quare full of open market stalls there was not not much variety, where each commodity was concerned.

How I do long for the quilting fairs and cons in the U.S., where you find huge beautifully decorated exhibition spaces with workshops and talks and goodies galore. *sigh*
I suppose we will have to make do. 

Stash building quilting cottons and fabrics

Here some pictures of my spoils. From left to right. I picked up two packets of solids because they are essential to have and I definitely lack solids in my stash. Also the choice of solids in the local quilting shops is usually limited to two dozen or so which can hardly be called variety.

Next we have some cotton prints and a few woven ribbons. The ribbons will used in yet another pillow case. The print in the upper right hand corner will either find its way into the Up The Ante Sampler Quilt top or - if it does not want to play there - be part of its backing. I also fell for the blue-ish grey graphic low volume print in the back.

I missed this particular Tula Pink print in the local shops when it came out and was glad to be able to pick it up at the market. It will go onto my orange, pink, yellow fabric stack. I should snap a picture of it at some point, it starts to look really lovely.

And finally some Japanese woven ink blue and mustard coloured fabrics. How nice. As the cover of my e-reader starts to come apart, I will make the new one from the ink blue fabric. The rest might make a nice bag.

After two hours of being shoved and elbowed we fled the market to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the autumn sunshine.

Albeit not having lived up to my high hopes it was a lovely outing and a fun trip to the market.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Surprise, Surprise - A Scrap Bag Treat

My birthday is coming up and so I thought I treat myself to a little extravagance.  I ordered some Anna Maria Horner studio quilting cotton scrap bags. Have I mentioned that I love surprises? Not yet? Well then - I LOVE SURPRISES! Good surprises anyway. Thus a fabric swap or scrap bag always holds some allure for me. Yes, of course it can go horribly wrong (and has gone so) but I figure it is still worth the risk occasionally.      =)

Anna Maria Horner Studio Quilting Cotton Scrap Bag Puppilalla Mail

What I like about scrap bags and swaps is that you are being pushed out of your comfort zone by being confronted with fabrics that you might not have chosen yourself necessarily. Unless the fabrics received in this manner are downright horrid (no danger with Anna Maria Horner fabrics there), the relatively small amounts of fabric add to the variety and liveliness of any project, by getting in the mix of the fabrics I might have already pulled from my stash. So lets unwrap some goodie bags, shall we?

Anna Maria Horner Studio Quilting Cotton Scrap Bag Puppilalla
Here we go. Three solids and sixteen prints, of which I only had one in my stash already. Albeit having been a pricey foray considering the relatively small amount of fabric received, I like the result. Again I found a few prints, I might not have chosen myself whilst fabric shopping but that I can see scope for now that they found their way to me. The green striped print with flowers, the yellow flower print and the purple suggest another pillow case to me. 

Anna Maria Horner Studio Quilting Cotton Scrap Bag unwrapped Puppilalla

Keep your eyes peeled for those pretties popping up in future sewing projects.

Surprises. Yeah!