Sunday, January 26, 2014

What I've been working on

This week I started deconstructing some vintage flying geese quilt blocks.

The problem with the blocks is the setting:

Yup. Swastika blocks. The blocks are clearly 30s/40s vintage, and my supposition is that WWII changed the original maker's perception of how the quilt would be viewed. I thought briefly of just putting the blocks together, but since the original maker of these blocks clearly couldn't finish the quilt with the blocks in this setting, it seemed disrespectful to her, whoever she might have been.

So I'm taking them apart. There is a mix of hand stitching and machine stitching to be ripped:

At least I have the lovely turned ripper TMOTH made me to use on this project.

Also, more vet time. The dog ate a big chocolate bar on Friday, and wound up overnighting at the vet. Fluids and activated charcoal, and he's doing fine.

In fact, he's ready to go back if it involves a ride in the car!

2014 Stash Report Week 4

Yards in: 0.0
Yards out: 7.5
Cumulative yards in: 3.5
Cumulative yards out: 11.3
Net gain/loss: 7.8 USED

Spending this week: $1.75
Spending this year: $4.25

The 7.5 yards out is from finishing an old UFO, blogged about here.

The $1.75 spent is from another thrift store buy. I'd made up my mind not to go this week (it's COLD outside!!) but TMOTH called from karate, and The Karate Kid had forgotten his gear bag. Since I took it over, I stopped and bought the bag of buttons I didn't buy last week ($1.50) plus a bag with a couple of bracelets I can scavenge some beads from (a quarter).

These are the unopened bags:

For some reason, there were also a dozen shark teeth in the button bag!

These are the buttons. Mostly modern buttons, mostly boring (but useful), but there are a few nice vintage buttons in the mix and a couple of really pretty modern ones.

Bead bracelets. Also, a baggie with some seed beads and sequins, likely from a beaded sweater.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OLD (very old) UFO completed

I acquired the plaid flannel orphan blocks in the late '70s or early '80s, during thrift store outings with my Memaw. It's not at all clear, actually, whether I bought them myself or inherited them from her. All handsewn, and VERY VERY wonky.

I bought the camel and blue flannel to border the blocks and get them to square a few years ago, finally finished the top late last year (process photos here), and got the quilting done over this last MLK weekend. Finished binding late last night, and now I have a very soft quilt to snuggle under.

I just quilted straight diagonal lines - detail below. I used a blue variegated Aurifil; I was a little concerned it would be too heavy but it worked absolutely perfectly.

I almost finished off a spool of plain blue Coats & Clarks I used for the bobbin and sewing down the binding.

Finished size is 60 x 72, and my yardage estimate is 7.5 yards busted. (All from "this year's" stash, although I bought wide backing late last year for finishing.)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 3

Yards in: 3.0
Yards out: 1.0
Cumulative yards in: 3.5
Cumulative yards out: 3.8
Net gain/loss: 0.3 USED

Spending this week: $2.50
Spending this year: $2.50

Still in the red, if barely!

The yardage in? I had to drive to the post office yesterday to pick up a certified letter, so I rewarded myself for getting it done by stopping at the little thrift store. This tiny church thrift store in a tiny town has by far the best chance of having any crafting supplies, way better than the bigger ones in the greater Metro area. Anyway - two bags of scraps, about 3 yards worth:

 I could've bought more - but I didn't have much cash on me. If the bag of buttons is still there next week, it'll be a sign.

Usage this week was a new cover for my table-top ironing board. The cover was getting a bit worn, and was even ripped in a couple of places. And the padding was really, really sad.

First step was to draw a pattern on some plain fabric (using some from the thrift store!).

I then went into the "deep stash" that I've been carting around for years. I found a piece of but-ugly navy material of uncertain fiber content and some mattress ticking that it's almost certain I inherited from my Memaw. Leftover batting for more padding.
I layered the plain beige with the navy and batting and did some minimal quilting. I cut the ticking a couple of inches larger all around.

I sewed a casing and put in half-inch elastic. It's been a while since I had to feed something through a casing - my hands hurt like heck doing that!

And, voila - a newly covered ironing board.
I spent much of the rest of the day working on one of my older UFOs - I don't remember when I acquired it; my best guess is sometime in the mid-80s. I finished the top a month or so ago, and today I sandwiched, pinned, taped, and started quilting.

I should finish quilting it tomorrow, and bind it by next week, yay!.
And now for gratuitous pet photos:

Ralph is obviously feeling much better, and back to annoying Cookie:

Cotton hangs out on the bed when it's cold:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 2

Yards in: 0.5
Yards out: 2.8
Cumulative yards in: 0.5
Cumulative yards out: 2.8
Net gain/loss: 2.3 USED

Spending this week: $0
Spending this year: $0

The usage this week is from Toffee's quilt; the half yard in is from winning at the guild raffle this week. I REALLY need to find my thread for quilting the Irish chain quilt. Also, I hope to get the flannel quilt based and quilted next weekend - I want to just do straight lines, so it should go fast.

Toffee quilt done!

Ralph found the pinned quilt on the table a nice place to rest.

I started quilting a little before noon, and was done before 4.
You can see from the close-up there are some loooong stitches - my machine doesn't much like seams, and there a lot - plus the extra thickness of two layers of batting and a heavy backing.
I machine-stitched the binding, so that went a LOT faster. The backing is an old piece from the stash, likely inherited from my grandmother. It's heavier than quilting cotton, maybe denim weight or light canvas. It had grommets from where it used to be a curtain.
Anyway, it's DONE. 51.5 x 37.5 = about 2.8 yards stash busted. YAY!. I think he approves.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday sewingI

I got a lot done, considering I spent 3 hours in the bathroom with Ralph the cat, waiting for him to pee.

I've been threatening to make a quilt for the dog (to put on the floor for him to lie on, since he's not allowed on the furniture) for a while. Finally, I did it. I pulled a bunch of scraps from the stash, mostly reds, browns, and blues, with a few others thrown in, sewed them up randomly, until they were the size of my backing-to-be.

Chunks to start:

wound up this big:
I got it pinned tonight and will hopefully get it quilted tomorrow.

And Ralph finally peed, maybe 5 minutes before I'dve had to haul him back to the vet for a professional check!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 1

Yards in: 0
Yards out: 0
Cumulative yards in: 0
Cumulative yards out: 0
Net gain/loss: 0

That was easy :)

I did start a floor quilt for our dog today, so should have a bit of usage pretty soon. I'm also pretty close to the top of the list (top 40 at least) in the Stashbusters UFO challenge, so will need to get busy with a UFO finish.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

How big to be a "project"?

One of my goals is to complete at least 14 projects this year.

Yesterday, as part of my Creativity Every Day, I made a catnip birdie for Ralph the cat:
He's not big - but he's done. But I would feel kind of guilty counting this as a Project.

Today, I drew a cardinal. Definitely not a project.

Final stash results for 2013

Two FQ went to join the UFO challenge on Stashbusters, and about half a yard was used in a scarf for my lovely SIL for Christmas.

I end the year in the red, yay!

Yards in since week 49: 0
Yards out since week 49: 1
Cumulative yards in: 25.3
Cumulative yards out: 48.7
Net gain/loss: 23.4 USED

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

UFO accounting and dream quilts!

1. Blue and yellow quilt
2. Black/white/red quilt
3. Frances' flowers
4. Flannel quilt
5. Birds-in-the-air
6. Colonial ladies
7. Blue cathedral window
8. Green cathedral window
9. FSQ challenge quilt
10. Wild fall wallhanging
11. Swastikas -> some other pattern using flying geese

Quilt wish list:
1. Red/white dove in the window
2. Blue/white lone star
3. Kittens fabric - hexagon log cabin?
4. Blue/brown/cream string quilt
5. Felix quilt
6. Jude quilt
7. Simon quilt
8. Violet quilt

New year, new goals

Last year's goals are here. Very similar goals are copied below :)

My word for the year is NOW. My biggest issue is procrastination, and if I can just go ahead and DO what needs to be done instead of thinking, "Oh, I'll get to that later" then things will run much more efficiently.

N:  Nudge - one of the theories of behavioral economics is that a nudge is a very effective way to change behavior
O:  Organize - welll, duh.
W: Willpower - I'll be working on improving mine. In all areas.

My goals are:
1. finish 14 projects. (I actually finished at least 15 things last year!!)
2. Spend 14 minutes a day sewing OR in stash management.
3. 2014 in 2014: Sometime around the time things got crazy last year, I stopped keeping track, but I'm pretty sure that although I didn't reach my 2013 things goal, much more left than in previous years. This year, I'm shooting for 2014.
4. Keep track of what I'm doing by starting blogging again - I feel much more productive when I have a record of what I've done.
5. participating in the weekly stash report will help me manage my stash. I'm also setting a $10 per week budget (that I feel no compulsion to spend) but I want to make sure that I'm not spending more than I think I am. The $10 includes EVERYTHING, not just fabric -thread, storage stuff, equipment, gadgets.