On the cutting table

Whew, sorry about the blog hiatus that was happening for a minute there, friends!  It drives me a little bit insane when the bloggers I read are all “I have a million things going on behind the scenes that I can’t wait to share with you, but I’m sworn to secrecy right now!”, but I’m totally going to do that to you.

We have a million things going on behind the scenes that we can’t wait to share with you!  But it’s not quite that time yet!

 

 

Sorry to do that to you.

But in the meantime, here are some of the things on my cutting table that I’m super excited about.

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The fishies!  And the whales!  Boats!  Polka dots!!!

I bought this little packet of beauties at Sew to Speak when I was picking out sample fabric knowing that I wouldn’t get to it for a while, but very much looking forward to the day that it would come to the top of the stack.  I’m not sure of the brand of oilcloth, but the cotton is Janet Clare’s Hearty Good Wishes collection for Moda and I luuurve it.  These beauties are going to become a new tote bag/ diaper bag for baby #2 (plus Jack, because let’s be honest – the chances of me having him completely potty trained by July are basically nil).

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I’m using Anna Maria’s Multi-Tasker Tote pattern for this one, with the oil cloth as a lining (as recommended for diaper bags on the back of the pattern – brilliant), and the dark blue background whales on the outside and handles.   The coordinating fat quarter pack was an impluse buy, if we’re honest, but I like having all kinds of little ditty bags to wrangle my quelques choses, so I’ll make carrying cases for extra outfits, Jack’s toys, my phone/ wallet/ keys that travels between my purse and the diaper bag and all those sorts of things.  I couldn’t say no to the little blue fish.

Another stack of fabric that has migrated between the cutting table, the sewing table, the storage tote of quilting cottons under my bed, back to the cutting table and (sadly) most recently back to the storage tote is this collection of 12″ patchwork squares that will someday become a quilt for our bed.

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I’m still quite new to quilting, having made exactly three baby quilts in my entire life, but we need a lightweight quilt for our bed for the summer and one day (*cough three years ago cough cough*) Paul and I were in JoAnn fabrics and started pulling out bolts of fabric that caught our fancy.

My plan is to make a raw-edged circle quilt inspired by this one from Cluck Cluck Sew (follow link for tutorial), but maybe with solid colored sashing between the squares to break them up a little bit.  I originally wanted to do white sashing, but I have a black dog and a black cat: any white bed covering quickly turns grey because as soon as we leave the house they’re on the bad despite the fact that they know they’re not allowed on it.  So if anyone has any great ideas for a solid color that will coordinate and not show black fur too badly I’m all ears.

And finally, because I like to see how other people do things, here’s the “backdrop” setup I used for the above photos.  I’m slowly, painfully working on improving my photography (because who wants to look at crappy pictures on a blog?), so I used Simple Simon and Co.’s “Object Photography Tutorial” suggestions and taped a piece of posterboard to the wall under our bedroom window, which gets great morning light.  The pictures were coming out a little darker than I wanted, so I set up another piece of white posterboard to reflect some light back onto the fabric.

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(I realized after I took this picture how horrifyingly dirty my windowsill is.  I just moved a bunch of plants that were overwintering there and apparently they had overflowed while I was watering them more than I thought over the past six months.  Eww.  Also, can you tell that today’s laundry day in our casa?  Excuse the piles of clothes on either side of the window.  Just trying to keep it real up in here.)

And, because I’m beginning to dabble ever so slightly in Photoshop, I took my raw image into Photoshop and used the “auto level balance” to even out the colors and true the whites.  Here’s the before and after:

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Not a huge difference (and I’m sure a pro photographer would still find lots to tweak in my “after” image), but it does brighten things up a little bit.  Baby steps!
With any luck, I’ll be carrying my snazzy new diaper tote bag at Quilt Market next weekend.  We promise more substantive posts coming up soon, including (finally!) the big announcement that our patterns have been released (alllmost there…), the requisite Quilt Market round up, an interview series we’re all sorts of jazzed about and a bunch of tutorials we have in the works along with our usual brain droppings well thought-out, clever and witty posts.  Happy May!

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Parting shot of my “assistant”.  This is why my photo shoots have to be very, very short….

 

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