Sunday, December 6, 2009

No Stash report

Still no sewing or stash usage around here. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, I have a couple of project in the works. These are my fabric choices for Ann Smith New Year's mystery. We recently replaced our living room set and the chosen tan, brown & green colors match the new furniture. I Also started cutting scraps for Bonnie's Carolina Christmas mystery. My dear friend Ann parted with a nice gold piece big enough for this project, her generosity bumped up my quilting mojo 200%. My hands have been busy with some more knitting. A few months ago (maybe last year?) I bought some chenille yarn so I started another scarf with the first skein I pulled from the bag. I don't own any pattern books so I tried to knit a pattern from memory. knit 4, purl 4 and alternate stitches every four rows. I remember the pattern being more defined but I'm loving the chenille's softness and texture.
I'm very eager to start sewing again and hope the sewing will be started this week, maybe I'll have some numbers to report next Sunday. I'm also trying to come up with a new stash busting plan or approach, next year could be much better. I have a couple of weeks to work on it.....
Now, for the customary little peanut picture, she wore her fist "dressy" dress on Thanksgiving. She also started to "talk" and is keeping us amused and entertained.

Also, other blogger's projects and progress are a great source of inspiration and motivation, let's visit some today.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unfaithful Gal

I have been cheating on my sewing machine & fabric stash with my knitting needles. I learned to crochet when in middle school and have been a crocheter on and off thru the years, I mostly crochet baby blankets for my nieces and nephews, almost a tradition that every new baby in the family would get a blanket, but I've never really knitted. I was taught to knit and purl the continental way by one of my neighbors, I've tried to teach myself to knit "the normal" way unsuccessfully, I suppose I thought that collecting needles sets would turn me into a proper knitter. Earlier this week, I wanted to do something with my hands and decided to give knitting another chance, would not try the normal way but just do what I know. The first yarn skein I pulled was a black and brown boucle, the label said 5 ounces, well, I knitted two and purled two and kept on until I used all the yarn. This is the result, all 88 inches of it:And a little detail of the texture. Are scarfs supposed to be this long? Maybe it is too long, but I love it! What I love the most is that this is my first ever completed knitting project!

By the way, last Sunday and before the affair with the needles, I put together my Jacob's Ladder blocks. I'm happy with the layout and how it turned out.
Not forgetting that today is Stash report Sunday, I have to say there was no change in the quilting stash..... BUT I gave away two - full to the brim - 30 gallon bags of fabric, including what looked like almost twenty (didn't count) commercial garment patterns. I had major heartache while filling the bags and had to keep saying to myself "if you have not sewn a garment in more than 10 years, it's likely you won't in the near future". Not that I ever was a serious sewist, just another well kept collection. I didn't count and don't care how many yards of fabric left my house, but I can honestly say that my heartache left with the bags, the fabric went to a great home and left a very nice empty spot in my hall closet. I'm happy.
Another source of happiness in my life is the little peanut, here's a picture I took of her before she went to church on a Sunday.
Maybe I'll continue the affair with my knitting, What is that saying?..... You always return to your first love? Doesn't sound like the right saying but it sure sounds appropriate in my case. I hope to pull from the stash for a couple of new projects that are tempting me, might as well do it while and happy and content.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stash Report Week 45

Fabric Added week 45: 3 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 86 yards
Fabric Used week 45: 2 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 76 1/8 yards

I finally finished something!. Made a little bag for my daughter with some tiny scraps from a very generous friend, Juanita was getting rid of her leftover pieces (I posted about her quilt here ), but instead handed the little 1 1/2" inch strips to me. I pieced them randomly and let it grow as it wanted, the new fabric grew enough to allow me to fold it in half and box the corners. I just had to add the linning, handles and a small front pocket. That's were my three yard purchase came in, perfect print to finish this off. Of course it didn't require all three yards, but the other 2 1/2 yards would be used to make that apron I've promised my daughter.
My Saturday sewing group is working on a Jacob's ladder project, I choose a two color way and non scrappy, I thought I would be bored with it, but found two fabrics that play together very nicely. Here's a block:
There was only one yard of the tan piece and a little less than 2 of the navy blue, that yield 12 12" blocks, I wanted this layout, but it just didn't work. Instead I will set the blocks in a 4 x 3 straight grid with navy blue sashing, it will be finishing at about 44" x 56", perfect for a little boy's baby quilt. It feels good to enjoy and want to sew again, finishing a project is even better.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stash Report Week 41

Fabric Added week 41: 10 1/2 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 83 yards
Fabric Used week 41: 0 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 73 5/8 yards

Well, retail therapy has somewhat helped with my funky mood, I bought 8 light brown/tan FQ's , a white & black FQ bundle (5 pieces), a dark blue FQ and 4 different fabrics in yardage for a total of 10 1/2 yards.
The new fabric stayed on the dinning room table while I worked on my summer mystery. I was motivated to try and finish the top so I can start something new soon. Five completed blocks, 7 more to go, they are almost done as they only need one last row sewn on. I have also been playing with my doodling with the intent of using this design on free motion machine quilting. So far, it's going good on paper, I just don't feel confident enough to try it on a quilt.
While I was relocating some of my storage boxes last weekend, I found a candlewick project I had started and abandoned last summer. These stitches are my inspiration for the doodling.

By the way, I received two of these candlewick kits as a gift from my sister in law a few years ago, I've never heard of this type of embroidery and the kit looked like fun. I tried crossstiching in the past (without success), this looked easier so I started them. Not too bad for my first try, but again, a couple more of unfinished projects. What else is new? At least I'm sewing again.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stash Report Week 40

Fabric Added last three weeks: 3 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 72 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Last several weeks: 0 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 73 5/8 yards

With this post I'm trying to catch up with Judy's show-you-stash challenge. A couple of weeks ago we bought new High efficiency, stack able washer and dryer, which entailed the removal of shelving in the laundry room and re-location of storage boxes. I've forgotten what these boxes had in them and it turns out it was a lot. I managed to clear out four copier paper boxes by re-distributing and compacting the fabric in other boxes that were half full. They now reside in my bedroom closet.
This is the left side, two top clear containers and cardboard box on top of them are flannels. Shoe boxes next to the flannel are 1/2 yard pieces sorted by color.Below the flannel are more shoe containers with fat quarters and more 1/2 yard pieces. Turning to the right are the evicted boxes from the laundry room, these are full of 1 yard or bigger pieces of fabric, fleece scraps, yarn and batting scraps.The last side is more of everything, fat quarters, larger pieces and more scraps. This is only about a quarter of my stash,since I don't have a sewing room or corner for that matter, the rest is distributed amongst two bedroom closets, the hall closet and under my bed.

Other than the re-location, there has not been any fabric usage or sewing around here. I plan to concentrate on re-organizing the stash and reducing it to a more manageable size by passing it on to other people. I know some of the ladies in my Saturday morning class have been hit by the "cutting back hours" trend and can't afford to spend too much money on fabric. Ideally I want to reduce it to a point were it all is in the same room. Am I realistic? Will it be easier said that done? I hope it works out as planned.

To end and just because I am so proud of the little peanut, here are a couple of recent pictures.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Where's my quilting groove?

I was on vacation for an entire week, had plenty of opportunities to sew since I stayed home 90% of the time and only had to babysit a couple of days, I just couldn't make myself do it. Maybe a visit to the fabric store would help?
I brought home 6 fat quarters of white prints to replace the yardage used for Ann Smith's summer mystery and 2 fat quarters of black & white prints for a future project. All the fabric and notions at the store kept silent, none of them (except for the needed pieces) asked to come home with me. Shopping expedition did not help.

OK then, maybe if I worked on the summer mystery for a bit, the instructions for a full size quilt calls for 12 of these partial blocks, managed to make 8, still not much improvement in my non-quilting mood. How about if I did something sewing related? there are at least 1/2 a dozen pairs of pants that need hemming? NOT! There is a reason they are still hiding behind furniture.... I dislike, OK I admit, HATE altering clothes. That was a bad idea. Bummer, all this time to sew and I'm just not in the mood......

Then the light bulb came on, don't force it! just let time run it's course. After all, there are no rules that say I have to sew all the time or even on any available free time, I don't sew or quilt for a living and most importantly there is no pleasure or satisfaction in doing anything that feels forced weather is sewing or anything else. So this morning, I decided to make my dinning room table my design wall, sorted my little 1.75" 1/2 squares into color families and will just let them sit there for as long as they need. I feel a little quilting groove awakening, not much yet, but these little guys and maybe other people's design walls will help me find it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stash Report Week 34

Fabric Added: 3 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 79 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Last several weeks: 25 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 73 5/8 yards

I'm so excited the stash was used this last few weeks, my sister and her daughter's visited for summer vacation and slaved me to the sewing machine. I did not mind it as the house was clean, dinner cooked and laundry done by the time I came back from work so it was a good trade of skills. I just wish we lived closer to each other, I can get used to having my housework done for me in exchange of fun, play time, I mean, work.
My niece made three tote bags, two pillows and a throw blanket for her bed. I made two crib sheets, a child's apron, 2 fabric baskets and I cut 10 1/2 yards of fabric (mostly scraps, except for the 5 1/2 yards of white background) for Ann Smith's Summer Mystery. These are the units I've done so far Not much progress for a one day mystery, in my defense, I got sidetracked by the little triangles from the flying geese corners. These little gems were so cute that I just started playing with them instead of the main units. I have trimmed about 300 of these into 1.75" squares with about that many more still to be made and or trimmed. Now for the added fabric report, my daughter requested an apron with the stipulation that it be "funky" I don't know if these fabrics are funky enough for a teenager, but I liked them.

Overall, a nice dent in the stash. I have intentions to keep it up this week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another month gone

This last few weeks have been busy.

I help a friend select fabrics for a new project, she had done great on her own already but just needed a little confidence boost.

Taught a very enthusiastic and eager 14 year old niece how to sew.
There is great untapped talent here, she designed this little raw edge applique for her tote. Unfortunately she lives in a foreign country and won't be visiting soon, but I'm excited to had opened her mind and creativity to the world of sewing.
My sister made me make her curtains for her bedroom.
Celebrated a birthday with my big, loud, fun and very much appreciated family
Best of all, spent time with the little peanut
Although it was a fast paced month, the stash was used more in this short time than it did since the beginning of the year, I just didn't have the time, energy or frame of mind to kept tabs. Now that everyone is gone back home and the household is getting back to normal, I'll tally it up for the next report. It will be good! curtains, pillow cases, tote bags and crib sheets do take a nice chuck of yardage. Yeah!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stash Report Week 28

It has been a hectic week at home, the little peanut developed a staph infection and had to go to the ER. A trip to one or another doctor was made almost everyday so no time for any sewing or energy at all. Needless to say, there is no change on the stash from last week . The Saturday class was also cancelled at the last minute and the group won't get together again until August 17th. I did spend sometime yesterday at Sandie's place, she bought a new Janome DC2010 and asked me to help her learn the machine feature's since I own a Janome myself. At least I got my sewing fix by playing with the machine and Sandie's material. Did not take pictures, but we will get together again next Saturday, I'll make up for it then.
Plans for today: if time permits, I'll work on a crayon roll (found the tutorial here ) and an apron for a little girl's birthday present.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I got the blues

Last week I mentioned I should probably start using blue since my last few projects have been red & green combos. Here is proof that I kept my word for once!

I found this and this tutorials for the little basket, there were techniques on each tutorial that I liked so I combined the two with great results.
I even tried a decorative stich on the little handles just to make the basket "my own".

This little top is 42" x 42" and I plan to free motion quilt it on my John Flynn frame. I bought the frame on the Road to California show about 3 years ago, tried it once and it worked out ok, It deserves another chance.

I'm guesstimating these projects only used about 1 yard of stash since most of the strips used were given to me as scraps, I pulled a couple of 1/2 yard pieces for the linning of the baskets and the borders on the top. I did manage to find a 3 1/2 yard green piece for my Rectangles, a Gudrun Erla pattern from Fon's & Porter's Love of quilting Easy Quilts magazine

With that said, here is the stash report for week 27
Fabric Added Week 27: 0 yardsFabric
Added Year to Date: 76 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Week 27: 4 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 48 1 /8 yards

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stash Report Week 26

Fabric Added Week 26: 0 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 76 1/2 yards

Fabric Used Week 26: 5 1/2 yards
Fabric Used Year to Date: 42 5 /8 yards

I AM HAPPY to report there has been some stash busting going on around here. Finally! I used 1/2 yard for Sandie's Quilt binding. The other usage happened while I worked on and off for the last few weeks to turn this twenty fat quarters Into this top:I'm having a hard time finding a suitable backing in my stash, hopefully I'll find (decide) something soon, the binding has already been prepared from left over strips, so it will be just the backing on next week's report. It seems like I'm stuck on those red and green combinations, this one has a little brown and yellow but still the red and green are louder. The next project will be either purple or blue, something more male orientated.

On the Saturday class, it's going well. Here is Mickey reading our schedule for the next two months, we managed to secure our meeting place for the summer, although, we had to exchange Saturday mornings for Friday evenings on some dates, but overall I think it will work out just fine.
I was wondering... How does a group became a guild? I suppose I'll be doing some research on it, as it seems like it will the next obvious step for our group. Thank God for this great resource known as the Internet.

To close and just because, here are a couple of pictures on my two favorite beings, little peanut, my favorite grandbaby:And Swiffer my furbaby:
Edited: I still haven't figure out how to respond to comments, so I'm responding here. Sheila asked about the pattern for Sandie's Quilt, it's called Dandelion wishes on the American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, issue April 2008.