Friday, December 15, 2017

Medicated

At some point, probably while I was busy not-blogging, I started taking medication for my ADD.  I am a little sheepish about admitting this publicly, because I was trying so hard to manage my symptoms without resorting to pharmaceutical intervention.  I saw the stimulant meds route as a failure of my willpower, or some other such nonsense.

I think I first entertained the notion after the 3rd time my therapist said, "Are you sure you haven't tried any medications for managing your ADD?"  (Um, I'm pretty sure I would know if I had been on meds for this...)

So I tried a prescription.  Very low dose.  And within a month, my therapist fired me as a weekly client, because most of the source of my frustrations and depression turned out to have been due to  dealing with the way my brain processed the world.  So that was a win.

But it's not all rainbows and bunnies.  I still struggle with my brain wandering off in random directions (see recent blog post, for example).  I am still incredibly slow at doing things.

I have major needs in terms of executive functioning of my brain.  These needs are not addressed by the meds.  As one of my HS students once said of ADD medications, "It helps me to focus, true, but it doesn't help me figure out what is important to focus on."

And so it goes.  Much better in some areas--I can leave a task half-finished because of an interruption and often come back to finish it--but no better in others.  Some days I am sad that I need to take a daily medication in order to "feel normal".  But then I spend some time in the presence of another adult with un-managed ADD, and I feel so bad for them.  I know what pinball game is going on in their brain; I am grateful that the meds allow my brain to have stepped away from that game.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Tutorial: HST 101

HST: half-square triangle, the basis for many quilt blocks

I know about 8 methods for making HST's.  Some of them involve special rulers, specially marked papers, or other tools to simplify the process.  I have my two favorites (a tool and a paper product), but I can and do use others--they each have their pro's and con's.

This tutorial will show the most common method for making TWO HST units.

The math

finished size of HST unit + 7/8"

Cut two squares of fabric this size (coordinating fabrics, contrasting fabrics, or focus fabric + background fabric).  For example, a 2" finished block will use two squares that are 2 7/8" by 2 7/8".  This measurement allows for the diagonal seam allowance, and will result in TWO HST units that each measure 2 1/2" on a side (and will finish within a larger quilt block at the desired 2")

Steps


1.  Marking
On the wrong side of one of the fabric squares (choose the lightest fabric for easier drawing), draw a line along ONE diagonal.


You may use any straight edge/ruler for making this line.  Similarly, you may use any pen/pencil that will make a narrow line; the line will be within your seam allowance and will not be seen.


Alternatively, a tool called the Quilter's Rule Quick Quarter can be used for this marking step.  If you use this tool (very brief video here from Connecting Threads on YouTube), you will mark not only on the center of the diagonal, but along each of the edges of the tool.  This marking should be done in pencil.


2.  Stitching
Place your two fabric squares right sides together, pinning if you wish.  (I pin here because I am cautious when sewing along a bias, and don't want any chance of distortion.)
Stitch 1/4" away from each side of the line drawn along your diagonal.


If you used the Quick Quarter tool, these 1/4" stitching lines have been drawn by you already.  Simply stitch along the drawn outside lines.


3.  Cut and press
Cut apart your square along the center diagonal line.  Open the two HST units, pressing the seam allowance to one side (usually toward the darker fabric, unless your pattern advises otherwise).



Want more HST techniques?  I have written about a couple other techniques here and here (these were not meant to be tutorials, but do include some details)

Can you learn a technique from just pictures and text, or do you need a video tutorial? 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Hawaiian Souvenir Fabric

The recent visit to Oahu featured lots of typical tourist activity: hotel luau, pineapple plantation tour, beach time, and souvenir shopping!



A top recommended souvenir shopping location is the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, which features hundreds of vendors, both the imported mass-produced variety and handcrafted local artisan fare.  Hawaiian print fabric was seen everywhere.  I picked up some off-cuts of fabric from a booth with aprons, hats, bags and potholders.  It made me happy to find bundles of Hawaiian print scraps, but I really had no idea what to expect inside each one.


The squares were about 3 1/2", so not quite charm size.  Each fabric appeared about a dozen times, and there were 20 different fabrics.  They were all heavier home-dec weight.  I was able to make a bundle of fabric squares for each of my co-workers at the shop.  I hope they like working with scraps as much as I do.


The oblong bundle contained similar fabrics as the squares, but in varying quantities.  Each print appears in several colorways, plus maybe a dozen different black-and-white prints.  I'm envisioning a patchwork tote bag, maybe an oven mitt, and definitely a microwave bowl cozy (I like this tutorial from Happy Hour Stitches)

I got to escape touristy Waikiki and go to a fabric store at one point, and I might've gone a little nuts.  Fabric Mart has 4 retail locations and specializes in all things Hawaiian print: apparel, home dec, quilting and batiks.


My favorite purchase: 3 1/2 yards of black rayon with a large chrysanthemum print.  Although the flowers are large, their placement in vertical rows with plenty of surrounding black background means that I can envision this looking pretty and formal, given the right silhouette.


Two other rayons and a barkcloth, all with classic Hawaiian floral motifs.  The rainbow floral in the center will be a challenge, but the blue & green prints seem more wearable--Hawaiian print shirts, anyone?


Finally, some bargain fabrics.  The red and pink were each less than $5 per yard.  I will use one of them as a bag lining, and maybe make a pop-up basket from the other.

Whew!  Twelve yards of fabric--but someone in one of my fabric stashbusting groups said that souvenir fabrics don't count.  Don't you agree?

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quilt hanging sleeve alternative

Found this photo as I was trying to organize the digital clutter.  I took it at Late Night stitch-n-bitch, back when I lived in Oregon.  I thought it was so clever!


Instead of a sleeve: make triangular pockets in the top corners of your wallhanging, then cut a yardstick so it fits snugly.  I suppose a length of inexpensive wooden trim/molding or off-cuts from a lumber yard could also work.  And the *genius* final touch is to attach picture-hanging hardware to the center of the wood, so your masterpiece can be hung on a simple nail.

Ta-da!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Attack of the Open Computer Tabs

Warning: ADD post ahead.
This is what my brain looks like... an ever-shifting random collection of ideas and information rabbit holes, some of which I have clearly abandoned, but which I cannot let go of (why is that?)  Here are the tabs currently open on my browser--I'm sure some psychology grad student could do their dissertation off of this list...

The Technium: 1000 true fans - an online article by Kevin Kelly, which is used in Tim Ferriss' book "Tools of Titans."  An essay, originally posted in 2008, on how small entrepreneurs/artists just need 1,000 passionate customers that they can engage with repeatedly in order to make a living.  Interestingly, a Web search on the title will get you lots of more recent commentary and support for the concept.

Search results for images: "chicken silhouette" "simple cat shape" and "bat shapes for children".  I'm up to something, just can't get myself over the fear of not being able to draw.  Really, I just need to get out of my own way...

Apps to make your own memes - umm, yeah I guess I was into that.  For about a minute.  And yet, the tab is still open on my computer.  At this point, I'm starting to feel like I don't pick up my sweaty socks off the floor...

Slave Chain quilt block, also called Job's Tears.  The link discusses some history of the block but doesn't give a tutorial.  I am interested in this block, because the African American Quilt Guild of Oakland, of which I am a member, is making Underground Railroad quilts this year.  And while the concept of using quilts to send messages to escaping slaves--described and patterned in an Eleanor Burns book from 2003--was widely discredited by scholars, that has not stopped our efforts to publicize links between quilting, slavery, and African Americans.  I had looked briefly through Barbara Brackman's book "Facts and Fabrications: Unraveling the History of Quilts and Slavery" that expanded upon blocks that might be meaningful in an Underground Railroad quilt, and the slave chain block kinda stayed with me.  In a fittingly uncomfortable way, I might add.  So I am sitting with this discomfort, now represented by an open browser tab, as I work (on and off) on the blocks for my guild quilt.

A post on Washing Rayon Clothing and Fabric - rayon is very delicate when it is wet; good tips here

I dreamed of the Convergence Quilt pattern one night (without knowing what it was called, or who the designer was), as a response to working with two Frond Design Studio fabrics that didn't make the cut for the giant quilt currently awaiting binding.  Lo and behold, a customer at the shop the very next day came in with a Convergence top that she needed borders for--along with a host of photos on her phone of various Convergence patterns she had made over the years!  The serendipity, I tell ya.  An almost-tutorial on the process is available on the Adventures in Quilting and Sailing blog, but the author of the post tells you to get your hands on the Ricky Timms book, as it has so many variations, and clearer directions, etc.  Plus, it's always good to support the actual designers who do the work to birth these great ideas!

Amazing Quilts by Grace - saw her value tool on an episode of Fresh Quilting (or was it Quilting Arts TV?)  Really think I need one...  As the saying goes,
"Color gets all the credit, but Value does all the work"


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Visual Diary: Oahu

Hotel carpeting: always interesting
I'm not much of a photographer, even when I go to amazing places on vacations.  This trend has improved only slightly with the age of the camera on one's phone.

So, if you'll indulge me, I have about a dozen photos from our recent trip to the island of Oahu that I'd like to park here in BlogLand.  No selfies.  Very little scenery, especially of the typical sort.  I just pull out my camera when I see something inspiring.

Exhibit A: hotel carpeting.  I have demonstrated before my love of the quirky design that is the hallmark of hotel carpets.  Couldn't help myself.  (Full disclosure, I have snapped pix of the upholstery of restaurant booths, too.  My family knows I have no shame.)

I really found lots of textures and themes in Hawaii that were calling out to me.  Come along for my version of sight-seeing!

 First things first: Hawaii boasts lovely flowers and unusual plants.  And those tropical beauties decorate many surfaces--including this phone booth.  (When did you last see a phone booth?  With a working phone?)

Some actual Hawaiian flowers and plants.  Fun to see plants that we consider indoor houseplants growing much happier in their tropical home environment.  Even Oakie took time to admire a simple floral display (in the restroom of one of the botanical gardens we visited).

The Kapa (traditional barkcloth, right) displayed in our hotel was a true work of art from a woman working to bring back this technique to artisans in the Islands.  Of course, I wanted to investigate becoming her apprentice--how cool might that be?

Another textile-related inspiration.  What is it about textures that I cannot resist?

Somehow, part of our hotel complex was dolled up to look like a village or temple area in Asia.  Not quite sure what that was about...

But the details were pretty cool, so out came my camera...

The memorial atop the sunken USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor features two versions of an abstract Tree of Life.  The Tree symbolizes rebirth and renewal.  I was very moved by visiting this memorial, and equally inspired by the interpretation of this very old Tree symbol into such a contemporary, graphic version.  (Of course it looks like a modern quilt to me.  How could it not?)


Having just worked on a traditional sashiko design, I think my brain was tuned in to Japanese symbols found throughout Hawaii.  The Island culture today is certainly mixed with a lot of Asian imagery and themes.  This picture is from a shopping area that seems to cater to Japanese tourists.

And finally, we conclude our tour of Hawaiian motifs with a t-shirt.  I liked this one because the traditional Honu sea turtle was decorated with a map of the islands.  Good graphic design: combining two appealing, iconic images in a cohesive, new way.

I escaped my vacation without purchasing any apparel.  But those ubiquitous Hawaiian print fabrics did come back with me...  I'll save that tale for later.

Do you take pictures of unusual things while traveling?  What does one do with pix of the hotel carpeting, anyway?


Saturday, December 2, 2017

December Goals

Well hello there, goal list!  The endless ToDo lists may lurk in dusty corners everywhere these almost holi-days, but there is something so wonderful about setting stitching goals at the beginning of a month, and then checking back in to see how it all went down.  I have loved seeing the monthly goals of Barbara over at Cat Patches (plus she's just a hoot to read), but I see that she has abandoned this practice for 2017.  Alrighty then, I will have to supply my own humor as I go thru my list for December.

But first, let me predict the length of this goal list.  I am notoriously good at forgetting half of the WIPs or other promised sewing projects that I have going on... How far away from reality am I here?

My guess: 10

hush-hush quilt feature

Goals for December

1.  Finish super-secret quilt
Not too exciting as goals go, can't show a full picture until the recipient has it in hand.  But let me say
that I am delighted with the quilt!  My largest quilt ever, only the binding left to do.




2.  Finish baby quilt for Guild charity drive
Much as I would love to work on a new, simple quilt designed from fabrics in my stash, the short timeframe until the Guild holiday party requires me to be pragmatic: I am finishing the quilting on a UFO.  Last seen in October 2014, when I reported I had successfully sandwiched the quilt.  I had clearly lost interest in this project, a red-pink-black sampler quilt that was finished piecing in October 2012.  My FMQ skills are still not up to the task, but I have a plan for quilting.  And I think the binding might even be cut out already...


3.  Finish puppy pillow sham
Elizabeth Hartman's Dogs in Sweaters pattern.  So. Darn. Cute.  Most of the quilting is done, just the border area left.  And then to put a back on it.



4.  Hand-stitch binding on Circles BoM quilt
There are a few more applique and finishing bits to go, even after the binding is complete, but December's goal is to use some prime Bowl Game watching time to finish the binding.


5.  Make/complete 3 blocks for Woven BoM
This year's BoM at the shop has the theme Woven from Tradition.  And the color story modern pink lemonade.  It started in September, but I still have some stitching to do on October, November and December blocks.
Oh, and I probably should have a block ready for January--given that I am teaching this BoM and all.


6.  Finish 2 chirimen samples
For the shop: I started two small hand projects using vintage Japanese chirimen rayon.  One of them is an ornament, so it seems like a reasonable goal to finish it for display this month.  But then again, it requires hand-work.  Do I have any air travel coming up?  That's my best hand-work-finishing location.


7.  Finish "C is for Chicken" book
This is a sample for the class I will teach in February.  Need it completed so that it will attract students to take the class.  I have been dilly-dallying because I feel like I can't draw a decent chicken.  But...the collage chicken has the barest resemblance to poultry, and I'm not rushing to remake it for a lack of realism.  I just need to get over myself. 


8.  Memorial stockings for the siblings
Our much-beloved childhood quilt was cut up to make a repurposed Christmas stocking.  Now I need to make 2 more--one each for my brother and sister.


Actual count: 8

Good gravy!  Long list, busy month.  As always, I have several other projects that vie for my attention (new & shiny anyone?)  I did NOT put them on the list, hoping to stay focused on the ones listed here.  As if 8 projects really represents "focus".






In an effort to FOCUS, I am declaring item #7, the "C is for Chicken" book to be my One Monthly Goal for the linky party hosted at Elm Street Quilts.


I will be reporting my progress on the pesky poultry pages later this month.  Wish me luck!




Testing, testing: 31 days of blogging?

At 11:12 pm on December 1st, the following announcement appeared in my Facebook feed:


I'm in!  I hereby pledge to blog every day in the month of December.* 


I had been mildly considering some sort of "Twelve Days of Christmas" style blogging--could I post 12 times in this busy month?  Especially given my essentially absent blogging presence since the fall of 2016?  I was ready to try...

But, YAY, Cheryl Sleboda just gave me my favorite motivation: external deadlines/expectations.

A full list of all the participating blogs is available on the main blog announcement here.

I already found a lovely motivation among the participating blogs listed: Amy from Purple Pineapple Studio actually started a blog just to take part in the challenge!  When someone is going so far out of their comfort zone in order to do that thing, I am here to stand and cheer.

*Yes, I know that I'm a day behind.  Still planning on 31 posts, though.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Miscellaneous Block Parade

Right here, right now:  backlog of completed quilt blocks.

I have made several blocks over the past months (true confession, almost a year); many of them have passed thru my hands and on to others.  This is just me pausing to take note of what got done, what learning took place, and where are they now?

Guild Block, paper-pieced

This block was finished last fall; my quilt guild is doing a different kind of BoM this year.  Made from stash (woot!) in a 12" version that is paper-pieced.  Called New Star, this original block design is from Marcia Hohn's Quilter's Cache.  I was not able to get the paper-piecing templates to print out at the correct size, so I ended up re-drafting them on Carol Doak specialty newsprint.  (Drafting a paper-piece pattern is definitely a new skill for me.)  I really like this block, but won't say I'm a huge fan of paper-piecing that requires lots of repetition.

Challenge Block: pink + gray

You might think, "Pink + gray blocks? Sounds kinda modern."  But you would be mistaken.  Much like the yellow + gray challenge from Quilt Retreat two years ago, the crowd that attends this particular retreat skews toward the traditional: calicos, reproduction fabrics, muddy colors, and well-known block patterns.
 
 Can you guess, from the challenge blocks here, which one(s) might be mine?  As always, I use the challenge parameters to try something new.  This time, I used a foundation muslin to make the traditional Grandmother's Fan block.  This was only my 2nd time making curved seams, and using the pre-marked muslin under the fabrics was like having training wheels for the circular piecing.  I chose to put a single 6" fan on point within the 12" finished block.  The extra negative space makes it feel more modern.
I also added a couple gray quarter-circles in the corners: just a bit more practice with those curved seams!

Block of the Moment: Kaffe Fassett pinwheels

At the end of 2016 I joined a 2nd local quilt guild, in nearby Alameda.  They offer a Block of the Moment, since it is not a monthly occurrence.  If you purchase the fabric pack and bring back completed blocks the following month, you are in the drawing to win all the blocks.  I picked up this pack because of the cute Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  The instructions make a pair of blocks, with pinwheels spinning in opposite directions.  Didn't win, but here are my charming blocks!

Block of the Moment:  scottie dog

C'mon, have you seen any basic pieced block so darn adorable?  This appears to be a slight variation on the 10" scottie dog block available from Quilter's Cache.  Super simple, just squares and half-square triangles.  CUTE!

Class Sample: drunkard's path variation

One side-effect of teaching a block-of-the-month class is that I end up with all sorts of samples.  We made Drunkard's Path blocks this spring in the Circles BoM group.  Some Japanese fabric scraps given to me in January made the step-outs I used when teaching the class.  Afterwards, I put them together with squares in a pattern called Ornament, from the book A Quilter's Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing by Angela Pingel.  No current plans for this block, but it is lovely, don'cha think?

Challenge Block: blue & white


Most recent block completion was another Quilt Retreat challenge.  I used the opportunity to try out a single block from the pattern Urban Nine-Patch, using the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I had not tried the QCR yet, although I own three different patterns that use it.  And I knew, from watching my sewing sisters struggle with the Urban Nine Patch, that this particular pattern might be a bit challenging.  Why not make a single block (which just happened to finish at the required 12" square) and try out the technique before committing to an entire quilt?

Wellll, it took me most of a day   Seriously, like 6 hours to make One. Single. Block.  Good news: I made the block entirely from stash.  Also, it was not difficult to use the QCR.  But, God Almighty, what a complicated pattern.  I might attempt a table runner or something, but no Urban Nine-Patch quilt will be coming from me.  Lesson learned.

Eye Candy: my sewing buddy Lou pulled out the Urban Nine Patch she had been hiding all weekend to have her moment in the spotlight during Show & Tell on the final day of retreat.  Isn't it stunning?!  All the more so because I saw how much work goes into each individual block.


Thar you have it: six miscellaneous blocks, only one of which is still in my possession.  But every one of them taught me lessons and improved my skills.  What new things have you learned lately?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Goals from March? Yes, please

My Finish-it February March blog post had me setting goals to complete 5 tasks.  Chosen out of the 32(!) pesky projects hiding in every corner of the sewing room.  How did I do?  Glad you asked...

Goals for March as seen in hindsight

1.  Finish nerdy t-shirt Pop-up  Done!
 
The Boy received this in the mail just last week--after it spent several weeks decorating the shop.  I have made three of these t-shirt Pop-ups, pattern & springform from the Fat Quarter Gypsy folks.  They are a great way to display a t-shirt (or three), and make something useful in the process.  I have several more in the dreaming phase, but no plans to actually work on any of them this summer.


2.  Finish kimono wallhanging  Rethinking...
Wallhanging (left) and Placemats


After having this incomplete sample hanging in the shop, I realized that I didn't love the fabric combination.  I am getting the feeling that I often make poor fabric choices when it comes to value.  Have you heard the quote, "Color gets all the credit, but value does all the work?"  I removed it as a class sample as soon as I could; this wallhanging is in time-out until I can figure a new fabric combo that I actually love.

3.  Finish kimono placemat  Done
So, my "least important" March goal was completed?  Why yes, I used the more attractive kimono placemat as the class sample to advertise my April class, after abandoning the ugly "not catchy" wallhanging.


4.  Finish blocks for Circles Block of the Month  Done
Finished this in May!  One advantage of not posting at the end of March, I guess.  Stay tuned for the flimsy this summer (and maybe even a completed quilt in 2017).

Improv circle block: my first ever improv curve
5.  Finish Grandmother's fan pillow  Ha!
So darn close to being done: just need to put a back on it and stuff that pillow form inside.  And yet, this one just sits...  Not even on the ToDo list for summer.



The good news is: I got things done!  I will not abandon my list-making and goal-setting, even when I go astray or let things stay on the list for months at a time.  Things happen, projects get sewn, and life goes on.

Some of us just choose to put our goals out there in public.  How about you?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Finish-It February Redux

Back by popular demand: Finish-it February has morphed into Finish-it March. Doesn't quite have the same alliterative ring to it, but I am committed.  It's gonna happen.

The impetus for this?  I counted the WIPs/UFOs that were littering overtaking my sewing room at the end of January.  The count: 32.
Sew very messy: needs a Tidy Fairy
32?  Whaaat??  Something is definitely out of whack.  New projects keep joining the party--except that after so many move in, it's really not much of a party.  More like a horror movie.

PiGS = Projects in Grocery Sacks

So Sweetie came up with the suggestion, "How about if you declare a Finish-It February?"  Great idea!  There were some February finishes (I'll blog about them, really I will), but there is certainly room for more.  I think this calls for a written plan:

Goals for March

1.  Finish nerdy t-shirt Pop-up
Bitten by the recycling/up-cycling bug, I've been so enamored of all-things t-shirt.  But unfortunately, not much more than one t-shirt baby quilt has gotten finished.


2.  Finish kimono wallhanging
Started in September when I was getting ready to teach an Intro to Paper Piecing class.  Gonna teach again in April--let's get that class sample done, eh?

3.  Finish kimono placemat
This item is least important for March... as long as I actually get the kimono wallhanging to the flimsy stage.


4.  Finish blocks for Circles Block of the Month
Only 5 months left in this 12-month adventure!  This goal is about having class samples ready; no need to get the quilt top made this month.  I have high hopes.


5.  Finish Grandmother's fan pillow
So darn close to being done: just need to put a back on it and stuff that pillow form inside.

There you go: a modest list.  I think this represents a welcome maturing of my ability to set realistic goals.  And yet...

I'm so tempted to work on other things.  Prime example: there's a new pattern in my cubby at work... But having this list to refer back to will be so helpful as the month progresses.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

First 2017 finish: t-shirt baby quilt

Huzzah, a finish!  And made entirely from stash (well, except for the t-shirts)


The challenge 

A request from October 2016 was to make a t-shirt quilt for a baby whose mother works at Mills College.  These were the two t-shirts I was given to work with.  And oh, by the way, could I possibly make the quilt entirely out of stash?  Why yes, I'll accept that challenge!

First things first: Mills colors are blue and gold.  And these t-shirts were decidedly NOT blue.  Or gold.  What to do?  Start with the back.


I had one yard of a blue ombre stripe.  Needed it to be bigger, so I inserted a slim strip of the delightful multicolor fabric (I think it has a nice blue-and-gold overall feel) and the long-stashed gold-with-blue stripe.  (Long stash = made a baby hat from this; said baby is now 26)  Proud to say that I used up ALL of the blue stripe and the gold stripe.  Only crumbs left.


For the front, I found a pattern I liked called Fractal, from the book Quilt Lab: The Creative Side of Science by Alexandra Winston.  Although Fractal is not a pattern for a t-shirt quilt, I saw potential in the oversized squares and rectangles.  I adapted the overall scale to be able to use 15" square t-shirts in the corners, with the intention of putting my purple and green lovelies just so.  Then I searched my stash for blue fabric to fill in the large empty spaces.

Blue fabric.  Um...yeah.  Not really a blue person.  Probably can't tell from the photo above, but my only large swaths of blue are really quite navy.  Sweetie looked at the mock-up on my design wall and reminded me that, "Mills colors are blue and gold.  I'm not seeing that.  And what's with the bandana fabric?" 

Indeed: stash, that's what's up with the red bandana print.  Hmph!


However, I am a resourceful person quilter.  I knew where to get some t-shirts that feel more "Mills".  Collected a big selection--not entirely blue and gold, but enough that I felt confident I could work something out.

the finished quilt front

I fussed.  And I fused.  Have you ever made a t-shirt quilt?  Most of the front is exclusively t-shirts--and they all have to be stabilized with fusible interfacing in order to behave.  And in a baby quilt, behaving is important for the usability and longevity of the gift.

Ended up using more of the multi-color fabric from the back: replaced the red bandana bits, and tied together both front and back with binding.


The quilting shows up better on the back.  I used my walking foot to replicate the concentric circles that were shown in the quilt from the book.

I'm pretty proud of my efforts here.  I didn't make it to the baby shower (but the quilt did).  The mother-to-be was delighted, so that's a definite win.

1.  A finish
2.  Entirely from stash (counting this as a 2-yard stashbust)
3.  Done on-time for its intended recipient

Do you like the restriction of having to use only stash in a project?  Or do you chafe and feel like your creativity gets stifled?