Wednesday, March 25, 2015

East Coast and West Coast Purchases

I've been traveling. I was in North Carolina last week visiting my sister and the weekend I returned my husband and I took a 90 minute drive up north to Sacramento so I could check out a quilt show there. Here are some of my purchases.

In North Carolina...
I picked up a half-yard piece of each of these boy-like flannels for burp cloths.

I bought three fat quarters of this orange and white  stripe to go with some bathing beauty fabric I already had at home. It is a pretty darn good match on the oranges based on memory alone.

It also reminding me of summertime as a kid and the Creamsicles brought by the ice cream truck in our neighborhood.

Somebody else must like Creamsicles, too. While searching for an image I came across this wall sculpture on It really tickled my fancy.

I bought some pinkish fabrics. The one on the left is 1 yard, just enough for an apron for my sister. The one on the right came home with me because I liked the squiggly pattern and it reads like an interesting solid. I plan to use it as sashing so I bought 1½ yards to minimize piecing long stretches. It seems versatile enough that I am sure it would also be good filler somewhere.

I've noticed I am into asymmetry of late and I bought a card of three buttons because I liked the offset flower. The gray and yellow combination seems to be everywhere now, but this gray had a slate-like bluish tone to it that caught my eye for some reason that I could not quite put my finger on. When I got home it clicked. These buttons will be the perfect accent on a periwinkle sweater I am knitting for myself. It is one of the projects that just got set aside and others intervened. I bought a second card of three buttons at my local store. The buttons are large but then the knit is rather bulky so I think it is fitting. Funny, but just a acquiring a set of stimulating buttons has renewed my interest in this project.

And in Sacramento...
At first I was practical, buying only fabrics that read like a solid. My sister in North Carolina had been unable to find turquoise pin dot for an Easter dress for her granddaughter. Believe me, we tried and hit every store for miles around while I was visiting there last week. Of course I had to buy it when I found it out here in California and mail it back to her.

But that purchase whetted my appetite for pin dots so I got a yard each of grey and orange for my own stash.

I have a boy grand baby on the way, so these two blues will definitely be useful. They read like a solid and I think the term for that these days is low volume fabric...? I bought one yard of each.

I bought one yard of this purple because I liked the whimsy of the irregularly shaped polka dots.

Then that whole "stick to practical solids and low volume fabrics thing" went awry. I could not pass up these fat quarters. I think they will add great dimension to a quilt so I bought one in each colorway. Although I could only get one fat quarter of each, that is a good thing since a fabric like this is best taken in low doses. A little goes a long way. Crazy! I hope I do not get dizzy working with them!

I bought this pattern. I was drawn to its asymmetry and think the construction will be quite different and maybe a bit challenging. I actually like the colors and fabrics it is made up with. I may keep the white, gray, and charcoal but tip the orange more toward red and tweak the turquoise to a blue that better matches my d├ęcor.

My daughter has a friend who loves pirates so I bought this pillowcase kit. But then my granddaughter loves pirates, too, so... ♫ YO-HO, YO-HO, a pirate pillowcase will be ♫.

Ok. I have not determined a use for this fabric, but how could I pass it up when I have two granddaughters?

Then at home...
After traveling I am usually tired and take a couple days to recover. So I launched into a couple of quick projects to relax. Doing this also further delays my FMQ in waiting, which demands my courage and concentration. I made four burps cloths, each of which take two fat quarters or a fat quarter and a regular quarter yard. And I made an apron that took 1 yard of fabric.

I paired the race cars flannel I'd bought in NC with a multicolored chevron graphic print from my stash to make two burp cloths. I made both cloths the same, instead of complements of each other as I usually do, since I had the chevrons in a quarter yard cut and not a fat quarter.

The two blue zoo animals burp cloths I made today are not complements of each other, either. Again, the orange flannels I had were quarter yard cuts and not a fat quarter format. I'd bought a clearance kit of fat quarter cuts about two years ago that was intended to be made into a patchwork flannel blanket. I have been pirating the pieces for the central section of burp cloths instead.

Here is the apron for my sister, also sewn today. The night before I'd left from visiting her we had hastily traced her favorite apron on a sheet of newspaper for a pattern I could take back with me. The waist ties are extra long, just as she likes them so she can criss cross them in the back and tie them in the front. The neck tie is not adjustable simplifying its construction. It is attached at just the custom length that is comfortable for her.

I got to practice using my handy-dandy Clovis Bias Tape Maker. I only steamed my thumb twice! Ouch! Not with using the bias maker, though, but afterward when ironing the tape output from the end of it in half along its length. I've got to get better at that part of the process. I made the ties along the length of grain and did not bother with making them bias. They are simpler to cut out this way, the straight of grain feeds though the bias tape maker just fine, and in use they are not as stretchy, so they work well.

Here is the apron all tied up with a scrap of leftover ties and ready to mail off.

Now I am linking up to this to look at others' Works In Progress at this week's Freshly Pieced.


  1. I love those burp cloths! And that witch fabric is so adorable, I would definitely love to have something for A made with it :-) For the record, my understanding is that a "low volume fabric" is a light fabric that reads as "white" or fairly pale despite having a pattern of some sort. So those two blues, while definitely low-contrast, wouldn't really be considered "low value" unless everything else in your quit was super, SUPER dark.

    And one of these days, I am totally going to try that bias tape maker you got me: you know, once I actually gen enough of my backlog out of the way that I can sew again!

    1. Thanks for the corrected definition of low volume. I guess I better stick to the terms I know like "reads like a solid"