Sunday, February 28, 2016

Aurifil Stash

Today I want to talk about one of my stashes.  It's probably my most favorite stash of all, my Aurifil thread stash.  Let me start off by saying I am not affiliate of Aurifil Threads (though would jump at the chance in a heart beat, just saying), I just have a huge fan girl crush on them.  After I discovered their thread and started using it, I have not looked back or found a need to deviate from using it.  One of my favorite things about the thread, is I hardly ever experience breakage while quilting and that is a HUGE deal.  Nothing gets me speaking the language of a sailor like having my thread break every few minutes.   A good quality thread can take your quilting from okay to wow.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, Aurifil thread is like a great lover, it is beautiful to look at, strong enough to hold you, yet light enough to give you what you need.  Therefore, I want all of it I can have.  Insert big smile.  With that being said, my thread stash is starting to outgrow the containers I was using for storage.

After hearing me complain several times about needing to find a better storage method, my big brother Doug surprised me at Christmas with storage containers he picked up at Harbor Freight.

The sections inside the storage boxes are deep enough that several spools could be stored in each compartment.  

How about a few pictures of my thread collection before I stack them in their new homes?

All that rainbow of colors makes my heart beat fast, I love them all.  I searched around on Pinterest for some spool/bobbin storage ideas that might work with my new storage boxes.  One idea suggested using a golf tee inserted into the top of the spool to hold the wound bobbin with the matching spool.  Since, the hubs had a ton of tees I gave this a try.  Great idea, but just wouldn't work for me.  The tees were slightly too big in width to fit through my bobbin holes.

Next I tried a method that used rubber bands around the spools.  This worked like a charm and
still allowed the spools to fit nicely in the compartments.

After some rubber band twisting, all of my threads found their way to their new home.

Watching you, tiny coffee mug Yoda is.
I LOVE these boxes for my thread!  The spools fit perfectly and I still have a few empty spots to grow into (really that won't take long).  But when the time comes (and it will), ordering more boxes shouldn't be that hard.  Or I could just send ol' Dougy boy to the store.

I did have a few fabric purchases this week that I was excited about.  Recently I purchased Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts  pattern Squirrels in the Park to make as a graduation gift for the daughter of my dear friend.

I am hoping that these grays and browns will make for some darling frisky squirrels.  And for the background I found a lovely white one white with little leaf shapes.

That concludes my stash additions for the weekend.  Although I'm not an affiliate of Aurifil (sniff, sniff) I am for Craftsy ( love EVERTHING Craftsy).  If you haven't heard the news, right now Craftsy has a huge Winter Clearance Sale going on as we speak!  Who doesn't love a good deal?  Click on the picture below to hop over and check out the awesome deals just waiting for you.

And guess what?  There just happens to be some deals on Aurifil Thread in the Tools and Notions section.  Ok, well time for me to go, I hear some Aurifil Monofilament thread calling my name.

Come join the party!  Today I am linking up with Let's Bee SocialMain Crush Monday and Sunday Stash.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mini Swoon---OMG

February flew by like a shot.  It almost feels like I blinked and poof it was gone.  This month I decided to participate in Red Letter Quilts OMG Linky Party.  For my one monthly goal (sometimes that feels like all I can handle) I chose to make a Mini Swoon quilt with my left over Miss Kate fabrics.  So when our story left off earlier in the month,

Oliver was napping in my fabric tote and...

I had decided on my fabrics and neatly stored the rest away.  Of course I put everything up after he had finished his nap.

Thanks to some planned out chain piecing and Netflix my blocks went together pretty quickly.

And in no time I had a completed flimsy.

Then I hit a brick wall.  My original plan was to do some all over simple quilting. You know I couldn't possibly do that, right?  I pulled out my Plexiglas and auditioned some simple line quilting.  Before I knew it I erased them, and lines and curves started going everywhere.  But I just couldn't settle on a design I loved.  This flimsy set on the table under glass for days.  

I love note from my daughter on her snow day
  Finally, I had an idea of where the quilting would be going...well except for those pesky sashings, so I decided to just jump right in and put some thread to fabric.

Don't let this mini quilt fool you, it contains an Aurifil cast of many characters.  Rule #1 of quilt club (okay maybe not rule one) you can never have too much Aurifil thread.  So without further ado, let me introduce you to...

I keep the threads I'm using in this ceramic dish so that Caroline Kitty Cat doesn't run off with them.  She realizes how much fun Aurifil thread is too. 
#2780 Dark Delft Blue, #1148 Light Jade, #2886 Light Avocado, #5011 Rope Beige, #5002 Medium Red, #2250 Red, and last but not least, #2021 Natural White.  Natural White has to be the star of the show. I go through more spools of it than anything.

Once I got into the groove of things with my dot to dot quilting skills (read more about it in a post here) the quilting inside my swoon blocks was completed.  It is so liberating to be able to create interesting designs with hardly any marking or none at all.

A peek from the back to see the dot to dot quilting.
 I chose two different quilting designs for the four blocks for a more balanced feel to the quilting.

Close up shots of the dot to dot designs from the front.

Okay, I kind of feel like maybe I just gave up and took the easy way out by adding the ribbon candy in the sashings.  I tend to just throw it in when I'm stuck.  It's always good to find a design that clicks in your head that you can fall back on.

So after using my favorite binding method (Susie's Magic Binding over at 52 Quilts) I could call my OMG complete.  One of my favorite things about making this quilt, is that I wasn't alone.  A few of my blogging friends decided to jump in and make one too.  I'm not exactly sure where everyone is in the process, but when they get them finished I can't wait to see them.  Have you ever participated in a sew along with friends?

Before we wrap things up, how about a few more pictures to swoon over?  Today the weather here was awful.  Dark billowing clouds, high winds and of course rain.  But right after I got home for about 20 minutes, the clouds parted, the sun came out super bright and the wind stopped just long enough for me to drop the dish rag, grab my camera and quilt, and bolt out the door.

I'm not quite done with my Swoon fix yet.  I'm thinking I might just have to have a normal size one as well.  But that will have to be sometime in the future.  Now it's time to focus on my OMG for March.  I'm thinking there are a few different ways it could go.  I hope you'll stop back and see what I decide on.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Covered In Love Feb Blocks

One of my favorite uses for my stash, is making blocks to send to Kat (Kat and Cat Quilts) for her charity Covered In Love.  I am hoping to be able to donate a few blocks each month this year.  Helping others is always a rewarding use for one's stash.  For February she put out a call for Split 9 blocks in the following color ways.

Photo from Kat and Cat Quilting

So since my stash is nice and organized, I was able to quickly pull some greens, blues and creams.

 And the cutting process was able to commence.

The blocks went together super quick, being made of two HST's and seven squares.

After everything was completed and I was cleaning up, both Oliver (the cat) and Princess Caroline of the Fuzzy Butts (her official kitty title) approached me with their thoughts on the matter.  They felt if I was going to send something to Kat, I should probably send something to Cat as well.  They kind of had a point.  I told them not to worry I would take care of it.  

We have a thousand (okay maybe 6) of these little mice around our house.  We call them the moo-sa moo-sa's.  Oliver loves to find them and leave them "dead man" floating style in the water bowl for the dogs to find.  Occasionally, he will retrieve them when they have reached a suitable water level and place them strategically on the floor for us to step on, hopefully with socks on.  Miss Caroline carries them around in her mouth and wrestles with them.  You never know where one will turn up.  I thought this sounded like a suitable gift for young Rory (Kat's cat) and set out to find one.

As soon as I purchase a new moosa for the house, the tag and elastic cord are immediately removed.  Oliver has an unhealthy obsession with eating them. 
The whole time I was assembling the package to mail, I felt like I was being watched...and I was by my tiny chocolate colored ninja.

Like most little kids, Miss Caroline didn't quite understand why I wouldn't let her play with the new moo-sa moo-sa.  

Hopefully, when the package arrives in the next few days, both Kat and cat will enjoy their happy mail.

If you would like to help contribute to Kat's charity or just learn about it, you can check it out here.

Today I am linking up with The Year Of The Stash and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Gooseberry Secret Garden

For the past few years I have participated in Pat Sloan's Mystery BOM's (Globetrotting and Vacation Time).  As soon as the fabric requirements where released for this years block of the month, Secrete Garden, I headed to one of my favorite LQS's (Country Roads Quilt Shop) and chose my weapons of quilt creation (or is is weapons of bolt destruction?).

I was quite happy to see several bolts from Moda's Gooseberry line.  I had received several fat quarters from the line for Christmas and fell in love.  So like all fanatical quilters I began pulling bolts off the shelf, lining them up,  adding bolts, subtracting bolts, polling other shoppers in the store, until I found what I felt was just the right combination of fabrics for my quilt.  So let's look at what I walked away with.

Six of my fabrics came from Moda's Gooseberry by Lella Boutique line.

I can't help but be in love with those tiny little gooseberries and the pinwheels.  The baby blue piece second from the left has a Mother Goose feel to it, but works in the overall color scheme.

The next three prints are from Moda's Tucker Prairie by One Canoe for Two.  From left to right; Tiny Crosses Stormy, Tiny Crosses Winter Sage and Prairie Bubbles Stormy.

I had to do a bit of searching on these three pieces because I forgot to write them down.  Left is Moda Tucker Prairie Gingham Coral Bells by One Canoe for Two, Windham Fabric Oh Clementine (I'm 90% sure) and Windham Fabric Hazel Dotted Stripe by Cluck Cluk Cluk Sew.

For the background prints I have decided to pull from my stash and use my fat quarters of Zen Chics Moda Modern Backgrounds-Paper.  I also have two more fat quarter bundles unopened, so that should be plenty.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how they are shaping up in the two blocks that have been release so far.

I always enjoy splurging for new fabrics when I start a new project, but I'm giving myself a big pat on the back for also remembering to pull from my fabric stash as well.  Now I guess I will sit around until the 1st of March when the next block is released....or maybe tackle the huge pile of projects that are pilling up.

Or I could head over to Craftsy and check out the sales going on right now during the Craftsy Sweetens Up My Quilting Life Blog Hop.  Over the past few days, Julie (Pink Doxies) and Sandra (mmm!quilts) have been hosting this amazing blog hop full of sales and a pretty sweet give away. (the sales and give away are good till February 21st)

Thursday Feb 11th
Cindy--Stitching At Home--Amy Johnson Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine
Vicki--Vicki's Crafts--fabric purchases, deals

Friday Feb 12th
Zenia--A Quilted Passion--Elizabeth Dackson Start FMQ, Christina Cameli Secrets of FMQ, and Angela Walters Help! How Do I Quilt It?
Jayne--Twiggy and Opal--Supplies: Pressing/cutting mat and Mini iron

Saturday Feb 13th
Tish--Tish's Adventures in Wonderland (Me)--Angela Walters Dot-To-Dot Quilting, Caro Sheridan Shoot It!, and Jessica Marquez Product Photography At Home
Anja--Anja Quilts--Patterns; Postcard from Sweeden, 1 hr Basket, Star Bright, and Reusable Handwarmers

Sunday Feb 14th
Beth--Cooking Up Quilts--Amanda Murphy 20 Fresh Applique Techniques
Preeti--Sew Preeti Quilts--fabric purchase, Kaffe Fassett Classics Design Strips

Monday Feb 15th
Julie--Pink Doxies--Joan Wolfrom Color Play for Quilters
Sandra--Musings of a Menopausal Melon-mmm! quilts--Angela Walters Machine Quilting:Small Changes, Big Variety and Free Motion Quilting With Feathers, and review fabric purchases and patterns Sea Glass and Snowflake

If you get a chance, stop by and show all these lovely ladies some love and take advantage of the great deals and maybe win a give away.  What a great way to treat yourself.

Today I'm linking up at TGIFF, Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!Midweek MakersLet's Bee SocialFabric TuesdayFree Motion By the RiverSew Cute Tuesday, and  Sunday Stash with the fantastic Molli Sparkles.

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