Saturday, January 30, 2021

Getting Projects Prepped and Ready to Go

 I've been trying to get some of the endless applique projects prepped. The list is a little overwhelming at the moment and I know from experience it helps a lot to have things ready to go. Plus, hand work is seriously calling my name of late. So soothing when the mood is right!

Ormes Inspired getting a word added on

First up was to finally settle on a word to add to Ormes Inspired. I've know for awhile that something needed to be done about that bottom left corner, but nothing ever seemed right. Last week I took a seam ripper and just removed it completely from the quilt top. The word 'Inspired' is what I ended up with, though honestly, I don't feel especially inspired right at the moment.
AHIQhourglass Tulip blocks

Then I decided to get the third? round of tulips blocks prepped and ready to go. These are the blocks that I've been positively itching to get started on and have been making myself do other things in that 'carrot and stick' sort of thing that I do to get through the tedious stuff! I'm not 100% sure about the raspberry pink backgrounds, but I do get tired of cream and bland backgrounds. Nice to shake it up occasionally!

Big Kiss needs a border

These borders should be a very quick wrap up for the Big Kiss quilt. Totally unnecessary as the quilt top is already plenty large enough to finish as a lap quilt. However.... the quilt top just hasn't felt like a 'me' quilt and quite frankly, it looks boring as is. While I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the applique work, it needed something fun looking. I especially love the little pointy top on the pomegranate-look flower. When I free cut that part out during auditioning time, I almost jumped for joy! Yes! It's totally the little things that make us fall in love with our quilts. Why do we ever forget that?

More progress on Melon Patch Rows

All the melon petals have been sewn onto the pink chain rows and are now ready to be further stitched down to the dark red background lengths. This project is taking FOREVER and I'm not at all sure it will even be worth the effort. Still trying to come up with a brilliant idea for the every-other rows of whatever block that seems appropriate. I've mostly settled on an x shaped block, but we'll see. This could end up being an incredibly boring looking quilt too!

Moody 9-Patch quilt blocks

Then there's these very simple 9-patch blocks taking shape on the wall. I had completely forgotten that the parts and pieces were cut out back in November. Too much water under the bridge since then and for some reason I failed to add this new quilt start to my list of ufo's. Which really wouldn't have mattered too much because that list has been ignored much more than looked at lately! Sometimes when there is an excess of hand work, it just feels good to grab something and chain piece. Funny how forward progress happens so much faster with a sewing machine! 

In other happenings, I've been washing up another batch of fabric given to me of late. One of my aunts is moving to another state and wanted to know if I'd like to have the bulk of her fabric? She didn't have a lot, but the trouble is, it all smells heavily of moth balls. Ughh... After trying for most on one day and about to give up on ever eradicating the smell, I finally stumbled upon the answer. Have any of you ever attempted to wash the smell of moth balls out of fabric? The smell is so pervasive, it's almost impossible.

What eventually worked was to soak the fabric in med. sized totes with approx. 1/3 to 1/5 parts white or apple vinegar {both worked fine though I've heard apple vinegar can stain fabric?} to water for 20-24 hours. Then I washed the fabric in the washer with a cup of cleaning strength vinegar. After that I washed the fabric with 1 cup of bleach. Uh huh, really. Then after that I washed it again with about 1/4 cup of bleach and a very small amount of some lightly scented detergent. At that point there is still a faint whiff of moth balls, but after running it through the dryer, out comes wonderfully fresh smelling laundry. Am I crazy?

Okay, so why bother? What a risk! It's not like I need the fabric and we all know what bleach does to color. Mostly I wanted to be able to honestly say to my older aunt that I am using and appreciating some of her fabric. Though I did dump the lower quality and decor style fabrics, it's good to be on the list of give-Audrey-all-the-fabric-you-don't-want-anymore. Right?  Also, it became quite a challenge. And... I got some free quilt backing fabrics out of the deal. Very interesting to see how bleach can massively change the colors in a piece of fabric OR barely change it at all. What made it easy to take the risk of possibly ruining any and all the fabric, was that it was already a lost cause due to the odor issue. My family was laughing at me. Apparently I will do almost anything for free fabric!


  1. I bet the bleach lightened the fabric a bit - wow glad you figured out using vinegar and water and repeat and bleach too - why anyone would store fabric with moth balls though - that stuff sinks!

  2. Oh, I love the mothball solution - good grief! I can imagine your family was giggling. BigKiss - you are SO right to add YOUR borders to it (boring is correct in its current state). Prep work is so necessary but doesn't seem like much fun while it is happening. Hang in there!

  3. Loving your border treatment to your 'big kiss' quilt, very pretty! And yep, it's well worth spending a bit of time getting the prep work done, I'm like that with making up backings & joining battings.

  4. That mothball odor is so pervasive--you really did well to eradicate it--what a big job that was!! But now you have all that delightful and (I'll bet) softened fabric to work with...
    I love your Tulips blocks so pretty...
    You have a lot of nice projects to choose from...
    hugs, Julierose

  5. Your Big Kiss borders are going to knock that one out of the park! And, of course your Ormes Inspired needed a lift in that corner and text on a text background will be a sweet addition. Not sure I'd be doing that much work on mothballed fabric, though I'd probably have hung it outside in the rain/snow for a few days before chucking it all. Getting lazy in my old age I guess, lol.

  6. Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry Pink!Soometimes we just have to give it a serious shake. I love your scent method. Free fabric needs to pass the tests for sure. Some times even a faded strip is a keeper, and sometimes the back side of fabric works for a vintage look. Your hand work prep is resonating, I have to have projects at the ready. Who can just sit and not stitch??? Hugs

  7. Never give up. Never, never give up. You're so industrious! I hope all those UFOs get finished soon. Lovely.

  8. Your raspberry fabric is a beauty and very daring!
    What will come next?
    And I never knew you were a chemist extraordinaire?

  9. You prep work on you word "inspired" inspired me. Things are always so much better with words on them. I also like the idea of prepping a number of applique projects so you can just work on whatever you choose when you're in the mood to stitch. I have a tendency to just work on one applique project at a time so if it's not prepped then I either need to interrupt my mood and go down to the sewing room or just not stitch - highly disappointing. Love that plump tulip-looking flower on your border strip.

  10. Lovely to read about where you are with various projects in the works. I'm all about the raspberry lately, so I am heartily thumbs-upping that background color. Moth balls has to be one of the top 5 worst smells for me, and it was really interesting to see what worked. I was wondering if a good baking soda soak after the vinegar might have helped vis-a-vis the bleach. I've purposely bleached fabric to discharge some of the dye, though, and it can make for an interesting color change (or not, as you've noted).

  11. Getting parts of projects prepped just seems to make everything flow better and there is never down time. Working on your free fabric seemed quite labor intensive but it appears the results worth it. I can see the family giggling and wondering what potion you were trying next.

  12. Audrey, you are so dedicated! I understand why you wanted to save your Aunt's fabric and I'm glad you were able to. Of course, I love all your projects and you always inspire me even though mine are so predictable.

  13. It is a great feeling to have things prepped and ready to roll. I'm one of those strange people who actually likes the smell of moth balls. The smell reminds me of helping my Dad open up summer cottages for people in the spring. However, I would not want my quilts to smell like that and I admire your dedication to your aunt's fabrics!

  14. Years ago I worked at a fabric store chain, and I could definitely tell when a new shipment of flat folds came in, because of the smell of moth balls! Thankfully just running them through the wash got that smell out. So sorry you had to go through all that trouble with Aunties fabrics!

  15. I love the raspberry background of your hourglass tulips. And I know what you mean about all the light/white backgrounds. They get so boring after a while. This will be such fun.
    The extra bit on the pomegranate border for Kiss could be the base of the fruit or... it could be a crown. Your granddaughter wanted crowns on her quilt so you need at least one for yourself. ;-)

  16. Interesting infomation about washing out the moth ball odor. Your projects are coming along very well.

  17. I like the idea of a strong pink for your tulips - I reckon it will be perfect. You are good, doing all that prep in one go; it's the sort of job I put off for as long as possible. Now you just need to get on with adding it all to quilts!


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