Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Just for Fun Outings

Sandy Klop, designer of American Jane fabrics and patterns holds an open house quarterly at her home in Walnut Creek, California. I have been to her February 2017, August 2016, and June 2016 events, each time showing up with a different friend. Sandy this time called me an ambassador for American Jane. Since I have used up only a small portion of my purchases there from those previous visits, I was determined refrain from buying any more kits and to acquire only fabric with a specific purpose. I was pretty successful. My friend Renée who accompanied me this visit did not show as much restraint; however, I was very happy to shop vicariously through her!

My previous DL2Q post was about a spur of the moment quilt top I whipped together from a Moda Storybook charm pack in coral, aqua, taupe, and yellow. I needed backing fabric. Pinks are hard to match and so are blues so I thought a backing out of yellow would be the easiest. I found this cute fabric which is really four in one. I thought it would add interest if I ran it crosswise and used three of the four bands, eliminating the heaviest darkest one. I needed to back a 54" x 54" top and so calculated I needed twice the width, 108". I bought 3¼ yards crossing my fingers it would go with the yellow of the Storybook fabric.

I had some fabric swatches with me but only in the taupe, coral and aqua, none in yellow. This meant I had only cell phone pictures to go on - not a wise approach, I know. They are shown them in the next picture. I knew that banded print was not the true lemon yellow of the upper left corner of the nine-patch. It had more of a gold tone but I hoped it might read like the yellow chickadees on the taupe background in the lower right of the nine-patch. I would need to wait until I returned home and could see the top and backing together to be sure.

Once home, when I saw them together for real, the blend was not as pleasing as I had hoped. Bummer. At least I was very fortunate that those 3¼ yards were of a fabric in 4 bands. I now had about a ¾ yard of each of four different yellows to pad my stash. I could easily incorporate them in quilt blocks since each was a fairly workable mini-print type blender. Those 3¼ yard strips of the alphabet were a nice bonus for accent stripes or narrow sashings. Also ¾ yard is just enough for a binding. That is my recovery plan and I am sticking to it.

I also picked up a packet of one dozen jelly roll width strips at the American Jane open house. I like that Sandy Klop repackages her strips in quantities less than a jelly roll and in a self-consistent color palette. It makes them much more useful. I think the previous time I was at her quarterly open house (in February 2017) I bought a similar packet also in oranges. The strips are originally intended to go into a paper-pieced mandala like I'd made once before and liked. This second packet will allow me to double up on some of the prints I like and substitute out a few that are cute but sort of seem to stick out. The zippers and multi-colored pezzies can be grouped by themselves for example. I had checked out at the register and was feeling pretty proud of myself that I had limited my purchases. Then a tote bag pattern caught my eye and I added it to the mix. I may or may not use the multi-colored strips omitted from the mandala to make this carryall, but the pattern looked easy enough and very scrap friendly.

After leaving the open house, my friend and I went about 15 minutes south to stop at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville. I was browsing the 50% off sale rack and POW – I spotted it – the perfect backing fabric. I did have some fabric scraps with me that I laid out on the bolt and I knew instantly that this backing option was just right.

The wavy lines give a bit of whimsy but still echo the grid idea. The darker tone offsets the abundance of white on the front. I bought 3¼ yards at half-price.

Also in the bargain bin I found a yard of a green grid fabric that reminds of a Frank Lloyd Wright window.

I'd seen this lined grid fabric, shown on the left, the previous time I'd been at Wooden Gates and liked it, but passed it by. The fact that I still liked it and it was still there was a sign, so I bought it. I also saw among the fat quarters a funky dot shown on the right. It is from the Tula Pink Tabby Road line and is called fur balls. I thought it was oddly ugly enough to be super cute. The periwinkle and barfy green color combination and irregularly shaped splotches called to me.

Renée was not as enamored with it as I was until, when we got home, I looked up the Tabby Road fabric line on the computer. She is a cat lover and when she saw the line had kitties and cans of tuna she was determined to get some of those food tins for herself. I teased her that I had unleashed the fabric monster in her.

We left the Wooden Gate quilt shop and had a pleasant relaxed lunch before heading home and re-examining our purchased treasures.

The next day I headed out to the downtown quilt shop of my home town of Livermore to spend a gift certificate to In Between Stitches. I selected a pattern and a book, still trying to rein in any impulse purchases for my stash. A patriotic quilt pattern called to me. Look at all the reds, white, and blues I can use up! Zinnie's Choice is by Lynn Wilder, a local designer we are lucky to have live and work in our area. She has a blog of her own titled Sew'n Wild Oaks and here is the link to more details about this pattern.

Then I bought the book Angles with Ease 2 that is to be used with a wedge ruler. The back cover is what drew me in. I think those monsters are outrageously adorable.

I liked the winter quilt within called Let It Snow. I am attracted to houses and trees in quilts. I am not so sure about all the white to FMQ however. That could be a challenge for me.

The other patterns in there all had an appeal and a charm of their own. The third one in from the right, Petals on a String was featured on the front cover. But I think it was really the monsters from the back cover that sold me.

I have shared my purchases to a sufficient level of detail to satisfy my quilty daughter. Also I have procrastinated long enough with seaming the backing and creating the quilt sandwiches for my Storybook quilt above and my Whirligiggles top, that I am off to do that now. Yee gads! I just noticed that the last time I'd touched my Whirligiggles quilt was three months ago, with a lot of activity back in February, my most recent DL2Q post being February 22nd. There are certain transitions in quilt making that always seem to halt my progress. Seaming the backing in order to make the quilt sandwich and then deciding on the FMQ pattern are two of them. Maybe with practice or an attitude adjustment I will get better at these steps. After linking up to Let's Bee Social #180, I really will get to those quilt sandwiches. Hmmm. I hope I have enough batting...


  1. Hi Diane,
    What a nice newsy post! You did yourself proud on the shopping with so many good finds! I love the backing fabric you ended up with - the wavy lines are fun. You could easily use that same pattern for quilting . . . I love the monsters on the back of that pattern book too - especially those little guys laughing, and Let It Snow looks like a fun one. I look forward to your next update. ~smile~

    1. Thanks for encouraging my spending habit... I think. Yes, I do like my purchases and thank you for taking the time to enjoy them with me and tell me about it.

  2. Wow... lots of good buys! That second backing fabric *is* perfect, but I hear you on the challenge of trying to color-match from photos... that's definitely a reason local quilt shops are so important, even in this internet age. I am jealous you have so many! That tabby Road Fabric looks very Kaffe-esque, and that Monster pattern is truly adorable! Looks like you've got lots of ideas, so I'm excited to see where you go next.

    1. Perhaps that monster pattern will see its way into one of your kids' future...? Maybe in just a pillow at least?