Saturday, March 28, 2020

So much fabric and nothing works!

Hmm - I'm listening to and reading news about the current situation. What will we call this period when it's over? This time? The current situation? We'll have to come up with a name because it's pretty serious and is something that'll be remembered and its effects will be felt for years to come.

I see the library sent out a note that if you're looking for recommendations that they have lists of recommendations. NO - I am NOT going to check that list. I don't need any more books to read at the moment.

Speaking of which, it appears that I like to have a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go at the same time (always). Oops - make that two fiction books - one is audio and one is a physical copy. I just finished reading Over-Dressed - The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. Hmmm - I would tend to agree with most of what she includes in the book. Unfortunately, the book was written in 2012 and there have been NO major changes (to my very limited knowledge) in this area.

Wages and working conditions are down to bare minimums while clothing companies demand even lower and lower prices so the consumer can pay less and buy MORE. I hate to say it, but quilting cotton is in the same boat. How much is too much fabric?? Could this current situation be a wakeup call? I doubt it - the moment that we're allowed to get back to business, those fabric companies will be cranking out so much more. I'm glad I'm over the buying frenzy. It's just a sad state of affairs that we can't be content with what we have.

But it all boils down to money and how everyone wants to more. A good example is the buying season for clothes. There used to be two - fall when you bought your new school clothes. And then spring. However, that offered only two (new) buying seasons for consumers. Clothing companies decided that if customers had NEW stuff every month or even every week, well - they would buy more and they did.

The same thing in the fabric industry. There used to be two fabric releases per year. Now there are four. And that is simply because the fabric companies wanted to make more money so they are offering more to the consumer to buy. Consumers feel the need to buy because they won't ever see this fabric again. Well, I hate to tell you, but if you start to go through the archives of fabric releases, NOTHING is new. And what company X puts out this release, company Y puts out the next release.

If you look at a particular fabric designer - let's say we look at Me and My Sister. They have 24 different collections on their web site. A good number of them have the same look. The only thing that has changed is the design - cute florals. I know - I got caught up in that and then realized what was happening. Pick ANY fabric designer and look at their fabric archives. How much of the SAME thing do we need???  I don't have an issue with Me and My Sister - I just randomly picked them because I have a LOT of their fabric. And I've NEVER used any of it.

And here's the problem - what I bought before is NOT what I like now. So I'm sitting with baskets of fabric that while I still like, I don't know how to use it in a quilt. I much prefer tone on tones instead of prints, yet I was attracted to the prints. This morning, I was looking for a small amount of red that I could use for the border on a small quilt. I'm in the prep stage for the upcoming retreat (remember - it's a virtual one).

I haven't dumped the basket out yet, but just a quick peek tells me that there is NOTHING in there like what I envision.

Red fabric basket

I will dump the basket out later today and search for something. I WILL find something. It might not be exactly what I'm envisioning, but I refuse to buy more when I have this obscene amount of fabric. That's why buying just for the sake of buying or because something is on sale or because it's pretty - is NOT a responsible way to buy something. Yet those marketing people are doing a great job of making us feel that we absolutely cannot live without it!

I did get some sewing done yesterday, but only after I spent a HUGE amount of time on the computer. I still have more computer work this morning, but not nearly as much so that's a good thing.

OH -- I did get the next assignment done for Vintage Christmas and that homework got sent out. I love VIRTUAL sewing groups!!!

Block on of the Vintage Christmas homework

And here's the second block. As you can see - I'm working with a very limited palette. Just because I wanted to try something different. So each time, I do one block with a bit of red and one block with a bit of green. White for the background and greys for everything else. A very good experiment.

Block two of the Vintage Christmas homework

Here are all my blocks to date. There are 42 blocks and we have 12 done. Only 30 to go!!!  Then I need to start thinking about how to put this together. I think I'll keep it simple and just sash the blocks like the quilt on the cover of the book.

Vintage Christmas blocks so far

Let's see - Oh yes - I got the backing sewn together for Pieceful Year. I used three different fabrics but it doesn't look half bad! I used up two smaller pieces and one large piece. That was a bonus. It's not pressed, but I'll press it when it's going on the long arm. I still need to make the binding, but it's a yarn-dyed fabric and I need to put a new rotary blade in to help it from fraying to death.

Backing for Pieceful Year

I managed to get the binding completely on that other quilt as well.

Binding on a scrap quilt

Then it was time to tidy up a bit. I seem to have amassed a lot of embroidery hoops. This is from four different embroidery machines and a few extra I bought along the way. Yikes - what a mess.

A laundry basket of embroidery hoops

I'm not sure that I like this solution but it was one way to get them out of sight and not get damaged. I found an over the door rack for towels. I tucked it inside one of the closets in Studio B.

Embroidery hoops are now hung up

I do have a drawer that I could put some of the smaller ones in. And I could buy one more of those racks and put it on the back of another door. Because I know when I want a hoop, it's going to be the big one in the back and it's going to be a pain to get it off the rack. Does anyone have a better solution???

I got out my zipper box to look for a zipper for my backpack.

The jam-packed container of zippers

AHA -- I found a package of zipper tape in navy. That'll work perfectly for the backpack. DONE!!

Navy zipper tape
 I decided it was time to find a second box for the zippers. Remember all the zippers that I found the other day? Well, they were NOT going to fit in the original box. I HATE having two boxes - but at least all the zippers are together and when I want to find one - I know that I'm looking at all that I have. Well - I hope so. Until I find the next project filled with zippers!

Two containers of zippers

I went to order the zipper tape (in green) for the yoga bag. Hmm - $15 US to mail one package of the zipper tape. They are going to check on Monday for me if they can drop the price by a wee bit. DH said - the shipping is not expensive if you need the zipper. Well - I like that philosophy and I might just go ahead and pay that price. I haven't been buying anything so it's not that big of a deal. And the color I'm ordering just might work better in the backpack than the navy. I'll see what happens on Monday.

I did a bit of organizing, consolidating on the worktables. They still look full and are still a mess, but progress is being made even though it doesn't look like it. There's still a lot that just needs to be put away! Why can't I get it put away??

Worktables are still covered with stuff

 But I now have an empty laundry basket and a couple of other containers. I need to set the timer and spend ONE hour to get more of this cleared up!!

An empty laundry basket

I was up in Studio U yesterday watching some videos. The sun was out and it was glorious up there. I had borrowed a CD player from Katheleen so I could watch some videos that I purchased years ago and had never watched. I've been negligent in doing that so now I'm going to cram watch those videos. I want them watched and out of the house!!!

As we went for our walks yesterday, especially in the afternoon, there were a lot of people out. As I passed through one area, two men were sitting in lawn chairs (more than 6 feet apart) in the driveway of one house. We had a wee chat. Did I notice they were social distancing? Yes - and they had glasses of wine in their hands. It was hilarious!! I was even offered a glass! I declined. And one of my neighbors had a friend deliver coffee and they proceeded to visit on the little patio in the front of her house.

I think it's important to remember that we are still allowed to visit people, we just need to keep our distance from them. But get outside - the weather is amazing. I walked almost 8 miles yesterday. And then I sat in the backyard for longer and watched the girls play and read my non-fiction book. I'm not getting nearly as much sewing and quilting done as I would normally - I don't have a deadline.

You know what? I'm perfectly OK with that. There's MORE to life than sewing and quilting. GASP!!!!

I have a show and tell from our Aviatrix Medallion class which would have happened last night. This belongs to Cathy. She made the simple version of the center star and I have to say that I LOVE this version better than the original. The original is just so busy compared to the rest of the quilt. Nicely done Cathy!!!!

Cathy's Aviatrix Medallion quilt (so far)

One thing I'll say that has surprised me in this current situation. I haven't seen any noticeable decrease in the speed of the internet. Perhaps it's just that I'm not on it a whole lot, but I was expecting to go to dial-up speed which hasn't been the case. Yeah - to all the telecom workers for keeping the internet in tip-top shape!!!!

On that note, I"m out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Shop local for your zipper tape and support a Canadian small business.

    1. Kate -- thanks for the link (and the reminder to shop CDN)! They didn't have what I was looking for, but I got a link for another CDN store and ordered the zipper!! Elaine