WIP Wednesday: 01.15.14

Welcome to WIP Wednesday, Jan 14th Edition – the one in which I grabbed my recent fabric acquisitions to photograph and realized I had a lot more than I thought…

First off – thank you all so much for your views/comments on my recent finish, Kyle’s #NerdAlert Quilt.  Finishing a quilt on Jan 1 felt like a great way to start a year of quilting!

So what’s up next?  A bunch I hope.  The last two weeks have had low productivity in the quilting realm, as I have been swamped at work getting a research grant in and running.  Research grant got submitted Monday which means now I just need to juggle my two main post-work-hour loves: running and quilting.  My mileage is in the process of doubling (~25 miles/week to ~50 miles/week) as I train for a few marathons this spring/summer.  Doubling mileage means halving quilting time?!?  Never!  I just need to get my ducks in a row and keep things planned out.

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Even though I haven’t cut into fabric yet for a new quilt, things are piling up on the sewing table.  Let’s work our way through the pic above…

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Towards the end of last year, I caught the bug and decided to join Pink Castle’s Stash Stack Club.  I joined the half yard – half stack monthly club and love it!  I’m trying to build a stash and the colors so far are NOTHING like what I already had.  I tend to buy in collections, so having a stash will hopefully make me more creative about picking quilt fabrics.  Here’s a pic of the first four months of fabrics I’ve gotten (the next stash – purple! – will arrive in about a week!)

I also won a layer cake of High Street by Lily Ashbury from Sarah over at Georgia Girl Quilts (thanks again!).  I loved the bright cheeriness of this collection and have a special quilt in mind for it.  Stop by Georgia Girl Quilts and have a read – Sarah’s an inspiration with her productivity and fun quilts!

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Putting the layer cake up against the half yards from the Stash Stack Club caught my eye…may have to snag a few from this stack for that quilt!

I also bought the Vintage Quilt Revival book  – you know the book I’m talking about… written by all of our fav bloggers…I can’t wait to try some of the blocks and maybe use it for a baby quilt or two this spring.  My childhood was filled with traditional quilts, so this book marries my interest in traditional quilts/blocks with a modern twist of color.

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While I was digging around in my stack of new fabrics (I need to find a good storage option other than stacking on a bench in the guest room), I found this hunk o’ Aviary fabric I bought at my LQS on clearance last fall after Ashley (of Wasn’t Quilt in a Day) had seen it on her trip.  She reminded me end-of-bolt clearance is a great way to get backing fabric and since I have a quilt started around the collection, I bought up the last 3 yards of this print for use on the back.  Ashley’s a seriously talented stash builder and quilter, so I’d listen to her if you know what’s good for you.  I’m hoping to get back to the Virtual Quilting Bee blocks sometime soon…

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Still with me? One more stack of fabric.  My friend, Amanda, had twins last July and I am getting around to finally cutting fabric and making the quilts.  I bought the fabric in July from two LQS on my trip to Florida and sadly it has sat in a tote bag neglected.  (There’s also a 3 yd cut of Bella Snow somewhere to go with the prints…hmm…)  This is the first stack I’ve made on my own and after buying at the 1st quilt store, I bought more at the 2nd quilt store because I liked the greens I saw there better.  Hey, more for the stash right?  I plan on getting them cut this weekend so I can use my work holiday Monday to start piecing.  The quilts will be matching rounded-corner chevron quilts with different backings (sketched up in this old post here).

And one last buzz here on Quasi-Quilter…I signed up for a Free Motion Quilting class at a LQS later this month (eeek!)!  I’ve been trying to for about a year and between work, vacation, running races out of town, etc…it just hasn’t happened.  I’m stoked!  And yet more reason to go buy some extra fabric this weekend – practice quilt sandwiches need to be made!

Last night I grabbed the twins’s chevron fabrics and started one of my least favorite parts of quilting – pressing fabrics!  I learned from my mom to not wash, but always always always press with sizing (NOT starch).  And good golly, Never Ever Ever IRON.  Press only.  The fabrics are then nicely flat for cutting and have a bit more body to them.  But it takes foreverrrrrrrrrrrr.  Fortunately (for me, not the hubby), I drag my ironing board into the living room and do it while watching TV with him.  Sir Oliver (the puppy) watches from his royal throne (the sofa).

A big question for you readerswhat do you do with your fabric before you cut?  Do you wash?  Do you press?  Do you press with starch or sizing?   (I’m secretly hoping that all of you reply with “I do nothing and the quilts turn out beautifully!  Don’t waste your time!”)

~Mrs QQ

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12 responses to “WIP Wednesday: 01.15.14

  1. Stash building is hard work. I tend to buy for projects, and so end up with say, piles of red and blue fabrics but not much else for ages. Looks like the stash club has given you some real gems!

    I press my fabric before I cut, but at the moment that’s about it. I’m kind of curious to experiment with starch and see if that affects the end result, but that seems like extra work and I don’t like that part.

    • Thanks for the comment Sheryl. I think starch doesn’t make much of a difference in the end product because you’ll wash it out, but I suppose it’s helpful for adding body to fabric if you are piecing little bits together.

  2. HAHAHAHAH! I do nothing and the quilts turn out fine once I was it – but I also don’t pin. Laziest quilter ever. OK, I iron when I’m piecing, but that’s the extent. I try to never iron when I’m cutting, even though I know I should. But, I like to call it character building for my quilts. I only wash after the quilt is made, and then all the little mistakes disappear. So glad you bought that fabric – they had such good clearance this summer! Yay for stashing!

    • You are my quilting hero Ashley. Brazen girl with the patience of a saint. I’m going to have to adopt your philosophy on the next quilt that I’m not gifting…I’m a big chicken but you haven’t led me astray before!

  3. I have been trying to get better at building my stash. Thinking long and hard before buying! I always wash and press my new fabric. I know many don’t. I use starch on shot cottons, but need to experiment on regular fabric…I’ve seen great results from doing that!

    • Jayne – I haven’t worked with shot cottons before. How do they compare to regular quilting fabric? I’m learning a lot about stash building and doing the Pink Castle club in the meantime has been really fun!

  4. I used to be a pre-washer but have given it up. The only difference I notice is that I have a lot more free time from not doing all that washing. Now red fabrics, that’s a different story. Many of those still get washed. More and more, I’m loving starch.

    • More free time sounds like a win-win, Sarah! I haven’t pre-washed my reds, but I do add 2-3 color catchers (overkill, maybe?) at the end when I wash the finished quilt. I have a red/white quilt on my bucket list and I’m betting those reds should probably get pre-washed.

  5. Hey! Another biomedical engineer (by degree) doing academic research (I’m in physiology/immunology now) who enjoys quilting in her spare time here! I am loving all the new fabrics you’ve gotten!

    I don’t pre-wash or starch or anything with my fabrics. I just do a quick press to get the wrinkles and creases out and head to the cutting table.

    Kim
    http://tiesthatbindquilting.wordpress.com/

    • Hi Kim! Go BME!! Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂 I tried the quick press this time around and I think it’s going to work pretty well. Thanks for the comment!

  6. I press fabric sometimes with starch (Mary Ellen’s). Never prewash. I do use lots of steam when I press which some quilters think is a no no. Don’t tell the quilt police on me! Visiting from WIP Wednesday.

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