Sunday, February 27, 2011

Boy Stuff

HPIM1420

I've been missing out! While I was distracted by blogs full of mermaid tails and fluffy glittery tutus, I was oblivious to the fact that there is adorable stuff to make for little boys. Like a Jet Pack. Or Paratrooper Softies. And monstery Shadow Makers. There is boy stuff out there!

It's not like I never made cute stuff for my little guys....but I never would've thought of a jet pack!

I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that instead of the Accuquilt dies I was hoping to buy in a couple of months, the money will be going toward a root canal. For me. Because I lost a big chunk of tooth Friday while I was helping Quinn with his speech therapy homework.

Stale red licorice is good for building the muscles in his little jaws. It's apparently not as good for mommies.

So much for getting back to my normal routine this week.

Weekly Stash Report for week starting 2/20/11

Fabric Used this Week: 0
Fabric Used year to Date: 17 1/4 yards
Added this Week: 7 yards (two sheets Mom bought me at the thrift store)
Added Year to Date: 195.5 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 178.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 750 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 3150 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3250 yards
Net Used for 2011: -100 yards

Look at those yarn numbers! I might not have finished the three lap quilts I've had pin basted since Monday, but I did knit fifteen baby hats.

You can find the rest of the stash reports at Patchwork Times.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I guess this is another of my semi-weekly "I'm not quilting" posts. Partially because there's still no time, and partially because I'm not jumping desperately at every scrap of time that comes my way. To be honest, the last time I had a decent chunk of time, I was too distracted to decide what to do with it.

All's not lost -- I'm still knitting a lot of little baby hats. As long as the needles and yarn are where I am, those don't take much thought or concentration or motivation, and I can do them while I'm doing something else. My goal has been to have a hundred to send off by mid March, and I think I'm almost there. Then I think I'm going to take a break from baby hats for a while, or at least try some different patterns!

This has been done for almost two weeks, but I didn't get around to taking a picture until today. It's a Heartstrings top that was sent to me to finish. I don't know who made the top itself (I'm guessing one person because the same fabrics are repeated in so many blocks), but it's wonderful and I was very anxious about quilting it.





Now to make sure there's nothing scary lurking in the washer so I can get it laundered and off to its final destination.

Once the dust settles around here, I'm hoping to come up with some lime green fabric and make a set of blocks for the Lime Green Project.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a little time to play with fabric

I've made a couple of asterisk blocks...



They're fun to make, and cute, but I'm not sure what to do with them now. I don't really want to make an entire quilt worth...or maybe I do. this quilt is awfully cute.

The quilter responsible for one of my thrift store scrap bags left me eighty-two half square triangle blocks to play with. I always wonder about these odds and ends. Were they extras? Was it a project she abandoned?



It was a lot of work for someone to just give up on. And now it's going to be two little lap quilts for the nursing home. I suppose it could've been one bigger quilt, but I'm thinking lap quilts this week.




While I was writing this all, my mom called to tell me about the reporter who started speaking incoherently on the air. I just want to cry for that poor woman. I thought having it happen to me in the middle of a play date (not to mention in the checkout line at walmart) was awful.






I've posted before about how much I like Swagbucks, a search engine I've been using since October to earn free stuff. So far, I've earned almost $50 in Amazon gift certificates. Which I've been using to buy new dies for my Accuquilt Go!

There are lots of ways to earn points on Swagbucks -- surveys, playing games, watching videos, hunting for codes... But just using the tool bar for searches you'd be doing anyway is by far the easiest.

This week, Swagbucks is celebrating its third birthday. If you use the code 3rdBirthday114 when you sign up, they'll reward you with an extra 50 Swagbucks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stash Report for week starting 2/13/11

Fabric Used this Week: 7 1/4 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 17 1/4 yards
Added this Week: 9.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 188.5 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 171.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 250 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 2400 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3250 yards
Net Used for 2011: -850 yards

I did manage to use up some fabric this week. And Grandma showed up with some unexpected yardage and sheets -- which I wasn't about to turn down!

Life will settle down. I will be able to do some serious stash busting. Soon, I hope!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I've really got to keep my camera in my purse. We stopped at an estate sale and the house was an absolute time capsule of mid century modern goodies. Which was great when it came to the furniture (not for me and my 1920s farmhouse, but I'm sure someone went absolutely ga-ga over it!)

The time capsule effect wasn't as appealing when it came to the fabric for sale. Imagine a whole bed buried in bundles of double knit polyester. I wasn't even the slightest bit tempted.

And then I got distracted by the kitchen and its fantastic double oven and pull out stove top. I thought about driving back today to take pictures, because it was just so incredible. But that wasn't necessary. Turns out it's a Frigidaire Flair and there are whole websites devoted to it. And Samantha had one on Bewitched!

Honestly, I get more excited about old kitchen stuff, or stuff that's trying to look old, then I can get about granite countertops and brand new toys.

Monday, February 14, 2011

using up some fabric

Jo commented yesterday that if I ever want to get rid of my fabric I can easily donate or sell it. (Or, in the case of some of my fabric, throw it away or stuff cat beds for the animal shelter!)

That's it exactly! I don't have to use it all. I probably won't use it all in this lifetime. Except for the newest bags, and some yardage I've bought for specific project or just because it was pretty, I've already used enough to get my money's worth and justify the purchases.

But I'm not getting rid of the rest because I want to use it up. I don't look at fabric and think "that's dated.....that's too thin....that's not cotton....why does that have hot pink gambling coyotes on it?" I look at fabric and think "What could I do with that?" If it's dressmaking fabric, I probably won't want to do what I could do with it and will pass it on to someone else. If it's something I think I might ever actually use, I hang onto it.

How much fabric I've got doesn't bug me, but I would like to get it a lot more organized. And use a lot more, because that's kind of the point of hoarding it in the first place.

We've had a rare string of calm days, so I've taken full advantage of the chance to stay home and play.

I've made some cat quilts to take to the local shelter --



And used someone else's cast off nine patch blocks to make a little bee quilt --



This isn't how I would have done it if I'd started from scratch, but I challenged myself to work with what was already done and it's not a bad little quilt. It's even got bee backing and will have bee binding when it's done.

And I've got enough bee fabric left over for another complete bee quilt. I'd love to see what the original quilter did with this project. The way some of the scraps were cut makes me think there were wide borders involved. And the way the nine patch blocks were pieced just confused me. Which is why I hacked them into a disappearing nine patch.

And when I haven't had time to quilt, I've been finding new projects to try:

This heart wall quilt at Remember Your Karma, which is made from a recipe at the Moda Bake Shop. It's 40" square, and I think it would make a great baby quilt.

This one from Crazy Mom Quilts looks like a great way to use up some of those shirt pieces I cut a while back.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekly Stash Report, Week 7

Fabric Used this Week: 3 1/2 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 10 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 179 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 169 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 350 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 2150 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3250 yards
Net Used for 2011: -1100 yards

Last week, Bonnie asked when my year started. I did start January 1, and I have really bought 179 yards so far in 2011.

But I've got my reasons!

Cheap second hand fabric is more plentiful in January. I'm sure it's because other quilters have made New Year's resolutions and decided to cut down on their stashes. Which I'm happy to take advantage of. I found two good scrap bags last month. That accounts for fifty yards (a wild guess that might be a little low.)

I also bought 120 yards of really nice yardage on Craigslist for fifty dollars. I had hoped to go back and buy the rest of her stash, but it didn't happen.

When will I ever have time to use it all up? I don't know. I'm not stressing about that too much.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

staying home

Today is the first day in far too long that I've been able to just stay home and play with fabric. I actually got to use my newest Go! cutter die.

If the only thing I ever did with my Accuquilt Go was cut 2 1/2" triangles with the bonus die that came with the cutter, I think I'd still love this thing. There are a lot of projects I want to tackle that use triangles. But there are a lot of other dies I want to add to my stash.

The ones that were my top three choices when I was entering some of those Accuquilt giveaways have scooted down the list to make room for others.

The isosceles triangle? It makes kaleidoscope blocks, which is what I did today --



I posted last month about how desperately I want a Drunkard's Path die. Then I saw what I could do with a triangle in a square and I couldn't decide which one I wanted more.

I'd settled on the triangle in a square, then was browsing on Amazon and saw that the price for the Drunkard's Path die dropped to $29.99...and I had to make up my mind all over again. First to decide which die I wanted most, then whether I should wait a few more days for my latest two gift certificates from Swagbucks to post to my account, or if I should just pay cash and not gamble that the price wouldn't jump back up. I did wait, and the die wound up costing me fifteen dollars or so of real money and $20 worth of gift certificates I earned by indulging my children's' curiosity. Which works for me!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had a few brief and scattered chances to quilt.

I was looking for yardage to back a quilt and stumbled across a box of cut pieces I'd stashed up there months ago. I knew that I had those pieces, but I thought they were all diamonds. The top layer is diamonds. Then there's a layer of squares. And at the bottom is a layer of Drunkard's Path pieces.

The fabric is seriously weird -- I'm not even going to guess what it was intended for. Too thick for clothing, too think for upholstery, definitely synthetic. Definitely old. It'll make great animal shelter quilts. So I'm practicing piecing curves without pins while I wait for my die to be delivered.

Whoever cut them out was even less concerned about accuracy than I am, so it's a little hard to tell how I'm doing.

I pieced some of the diamonds into a cat quilt, which was anything but flat until I stippled it into submission.



And I got that backing I was looking for into a quilt that just needs me to stitch down the binding. I'm going to work on that tonight. And tomorrow I'm staying home again.

Monday, February 07, 2011

my new hobby

I've apparently given up quilting for a new hobby this week -- trying to keep four kids quiet in one end of a very small house while their daddy recovers from surgery. Hopefully I'll be back to the quilting soon, because that's a lot more fun.

At some point over the past week, my rotary cutter and both of my seam rippers and the little stand that the seam rippers have vanished. This isn't good. I'm going to need those when things finally settle down.

And things will settle down. Someday.

Weekly Stash Report (a day late this week)

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 6 1/2 yards
Added this Week: 3 yards
Added Year to Date: 179 yards
Net Used for 2011: - 172.5 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 450 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 1800 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 200 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 3250 yards
Net Used for 2011: -1450 yards
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