Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Year of the Stash

Look what I found in my sewing room...

Regular readers will know that I've been looking for these two books for years. I had a hunch that they would be together when they finally turned up, but it's anyone's guess what they were doing buried in the middle of a box of yardage. If I absolutely had to come up with an explanation, it would probably be that I was picking up in a hurry. That might also explain why there was a pair of clean swim trunks in with the books and fabric.

A Quarter Inch from the Edge

Over at A Quarter Inch from the Edge, it's The Year of the Stash. I was all set to write my own manifesto, but today I'm sick and stuffy and finding it very hard to care. (That's a great reminder to get ideas into words while I'm still excited about them.)

So here's what I know in my sick stuffy haze:

For most of 2013 and 2014 I was stuck in survival mode. Survival mode sucks and I want to get out of it and try to stay out of it.

I can't keep shoving stash and projects into the sewing room. It's time to take a good hard look at my fabric and yarn and get it organized. I need to go through absolutely everything and I need to do that while inconveniencing the rest of the family as little as possible. That's going to mean a stolen hour or two here and there.

I'm not going to do any brutal purging. If it's awful quality or something I really can't stand, it'll go. (Big hunks of ugly cotton go into a special pile for Teenage Daughter's trial runs.)  If it's something I might use someday, it'll stay. While I was in survival mode and knitting pair after pair of stockinette socks, I used a lot of that "someday I'll get to it" yarn, if only because it was there and it was a different color from the last pair. I'm glad that I used it up instead of only using the best stuff, because I wasn't having much fun with those socks. If I'm going to use the special stuff, I want to enjoy the process.

I am not on no-buy this year. I already shop my stash for most of my projects and I've been limiting my purchases for two years already.

I'll make up the rest of the rules as I go.

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric used this week: 1 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 4 1/2 yards
Fabric added this week:  0
Fabric added year  to date: 1 yard (+2 sheets)
Net used for 2016: 3 1/2 yards

Yarn used this Week: 750  yards
Yarn used year to Date: 400 yards
Yarn added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net used for 2016: 1150 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ready Yet?

Isn't this lady elegant and poised? I can almost smell her perfumed powder.

I'm not sure about her face and hair, but that dress! I can't get past those wonderful pleats and the way they drape. She's straight out of an old Fred Astaire musical, or maybe one of those original Barbie catalogs.

I found the pattern for this one online somewhere and I'd love to see what makes up the rest of the set. Anyone know? (I thought for a moment that it was this gal. The hair style is right, but the lettering and background are definitely from a different set.)  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/29/16}

I spent this week working on a little quilt for my own kitchen, but I've got a new tutorial in the works for you, assuming that it looks as cute in pink and white scraps of fabric as it does in my head. 

Thanks to everyone who linked up last week. There were a lot of great baby quilts, including this trio of rail fences posted by Joanne from Quilts by Joanne

So, what are you all up to this week?

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Black and White Appliances - Quilted, Bound, and On the Wall

These are the sort of appliances you don't see much any more except in old black and white movies and television shows...and stitching them in black meant that I didn't have to choose realistic colors and still somehow make all of the blocks look good together. Building on that idea, I had a piece of fabric in my stash that's white on white with little dots. The dots made me think of static, which fits with the whole "black and white television" idea.  So that was my background fabric. I think the black is what was left over from the nail polish quilt, fabric which was originally purchased for something else entirely.

My family owned an appliance store when I was growing up and I love the look of old television sets -- although the one depicted here is way before my time.

I've got a washing machine that's similar to this one out in the barn. The friend who sold it to us says it worked the last time she used it. It's my backup plan for the next time the "real" one gives out.

We had a telephone similar to this one (ours had buttons, otherwise the shape and style were the same.) I had to give up on it when it stopped ringing, but while it worked it was my favorite phone ever. You could actually hear it from across the house! That's why I replaced our cordless phone with the old one. My last cell phone had a ring tone that sounded just like it, which was wonderful unless I was watching old movies or Perry Mason reruns.

And I just think canister vacuums look neat.

The quilting does a pretty good job of hiding my cutting mistake.

No pattern for this one -- I bought the embroidery patterns at Grandma's Attic last spring. There were others available, but these were the four I couldn't live without and thought would make the cutest quilt. The blocks are 9" finished and I made the pinwheels with my Easy Angle ruler and 2" strips of fabric.

I'm linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I was afraid that the wicker weave wouldn't show up in a photograph, but it stopped raining long enough for my to take my project out into the daylight. The texture shows up better in the picture than it does in real life. 

The pattern I'm using is The Wicker Socks, inspired by the movie The Wicker Man. It was one of the patterns from the Super Sock Scarefest and I was looking forward to casting on as soon as I finished the Fly socks, but I got bogged down with all of those bobbles and then distracted by the Scroll socks.

In addition to the knitting, I've been reading...

Over the past couple of years, I've read a lot of memoirs. It's wonderful to get glimpses into difference places and lives, but I keep wondering what inspires some of these writers to share so much detail about their private lives. When I saw Why We Write About Ourselves: Twenty Memoirists on Why They Expose Themselves (and Others) in the Name of Literature by Meredith Maran, I thought it might provide me with some answers. The book was an interesting read, more geared toward readers who plan to write their own memoirs than to readers like me, who are just curious about how the books get written. The advice each author offers to aspiring memoirists is a bit repetitive, mostly along the lines of "be honest and don't deliberately hurt people." I wound up with a list of memoirs to reserve at the library, which is definitely a good thing.

Dearly Departed is the second in the Amy's Travel mystery series by Hy Conrad. After her last big trip included a real murder, Amy is determined not to put on a second murder mystery road rally. She wants to distance herself as much as possible from those awful memories. Organizing a round the world trip to scatter the ashes of a dead woman will be difficult, but she's sure that it will be safe. Until the accident...and the murder. I enjoyed this one even more than I did Toured to Death, the first book in the series. The mystery is more complex than most of the cozies I've read and it kept me guessing until the very end.

The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post is linked to Patchwork Times, iknead2knit, and Yarn Along

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cutting Things Down to Size

I took a deep breath. I checked and double checked my measurements. And I cut one of the embroidered blocks wrong. You can just see the seam where I had to add more fabric and then readjust it so that the embroidered bit wouldn't be way off center.

I'm telling myself that the quilting will hide it and once the finished piece is hanging on my kitchen wall, I'll forget about my little mistake. Because the alternative is leaving it in a drawer until I redo the embroidered block and I'm not about to do that!

This little quilt is just for me and I am not a perfectionist.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Meat Mountain

My youngest son told me that the only thing he wanted for his birthday was a Meat Mountain from Arby's.  Teenage Son has been online lately researching "secret menu" items from different restaurants and this thing, which comes with every meat on the menu captured their imaginations.

How often can you make your little boy's birthday dreams come true for ten bucks? He did get a couple of other things, but I'm sure this is the present that's going to stick in his memory.

I called the local Arby's to make sure that we really could order this thing, then we went onto Youtube together and watched videos. There are a lot of them.  (According to people who've weighed it and done the math, this enormous thing actually has less calories than a  lot of other things my boys are likely to eat and costs less than buying several smaller sandwiches. Not that I was fussing over calories or cost when it came to this once in a lifetime splurge.)

It turns out that a Meat Mountain is just about enough food to stuff a fifteen-year-old and a ten-year-old, with a couple of sample bites for their mom. According to the boys, "a different meat flavor dominates every bite" and "Oh God, it's even better with Arby's Sauce!"   I'm so glad I bought him that sandwich.

I'm guessing that the moms who are all excited about providing their children with experiences instead of physical gifts didn't have this sort of thing in mind. But it works for us. After lunch, the boys spent the afternoon swimming (he's finally tall enough for the water slide!) and climbing the rock wall at the Kroc Center.

Sorry the pictures aren't great, but I really wanted to share the story.

What I'm Working On ... a Week Later

The pile of projects I showed you last week is mostly done. The cherries are stitched. The fabric and zipper have been sewn into a bag.  I've embroidered most of the lady's fancy dress.  

And I'm making good progress on the pieced blocks for the black and white appliances. Trimming those embroidered blocks down to size feels me with dread, but tomorrow I'm going to have to take a deep breath and double check my measurements and do it. 

This post is linked to Patchwork Times

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Sew Fresh Quilts

Have you seen the Ugly Christmas Sweaters quilt along over at Sew Fresh Quilts?  I've got a small stash of brightly colored Christmas fabrics and I'm thinking that this would be a good way to use it up.

I'm also drooling over the 365 challenge, which is an amazing sampler quilt.

Carol at the Polka Dot Chicken made socks by alternating patterned sock yarns.  I've got some leftovers that I think might work for that.

Isn't it fun when you get excited about projects that will use what's already in your stash? 

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric used this week: 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 2 1/4 yards
Fabric added this week:  1 yard (+2 sheets)
Fabric added year  to date: 1 yard (+2 sheets)
Net used for 2016: 1 1/4 yards

Yarn used this Week: 400  yards
Yarn used year to Date: 400 yards
Yarn added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net used for 2016: 400 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Aren't red cherries one of the most perfect subjects for embroidery and quilt blocks? They're pretty and cheerful...and quick to stitch. This transfer was from my stash of old ones, so old that the ink didn't do anything but leave a faint red shadow on my square of muslin, just enough that I had to toss it out and trace the image by hand.

I fussed for a while about what color to make the border. I thought of doing it in pale green, or yellow, then pulled out this light gray. I think it gives it the look of an old doily, just perfect for this quilt.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/22/16}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

We Have New Neighbors

I haven't seen them yet, but they've been sneaking around in the back yard and cutting down some of our trees. As much as I love the trees, I'm good with that.

We've got beavers! How neat is that? We haven't seen him or her or them yet, but there's plenty of evidence that they're here.

See the little tree that's lying across the puddle that used to be my lawn? That will be gone by tomorrow, or dragged into another position. We haven't found what they're building, but they're definitely liking that patch of little saplings which are growing up from a willow that fell across the stream when we first moved in.

Have I mentioned that I love living in the country? Between the coyotes we hear now and then, the  owl who kept flying to the dining room window, the frog eggs in the pond, the three legged deer and the squeaking snake, and the really really big snakes it rarely gets boring.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Scroll Socks

These may be my new favorite socks. I think the stitch pattern pulls a bit too much when I wear them, but they're so pretty

My big knitting goal for 2016 has been to focus on more complicated projects instead of the mindless stockinette that I've submerged myself in for the last two years. Scrolls has been on my to-knit list since the book it's in, More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, came out in 2007.  I've lost track of the paperback copy I bought. (Wherever it is, I'm sure it's right next to Sensational Knitted Socks and those Workbasket transfers!) The library no longer has the book in their collection. I thought it was out of print, but Martingale has it available as a pdf download and when they had ebooks on sale back in September, I broke down and bought it.  I thought my copy would show up as soon as the credit card transaction went through, but so far it hasn't.

I'm glad I did rebuy the book. These socks are a great example of "what was I scared of?" procrastination. The stitch pattern is pretty straightforward and it's an 8 stitch repeat so I could use it with my sock pattern that isn't one. They worked up fairly quickly...and did I mention how pretty they are?

I'm not loving the tweed yarn. Those loose black and gray flecks distract from the stitch pattern, but I can live with it. I just won't buy any more of the stuff.

This post is linked to Stitch Along Wednesday, Patchwork Times, Yarn Along, Crazy Mom Quilts

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I've Been Reading...


Cass Adams buried her husband Roland in the koi pond. It's not until she tried to move the body that one of her friends catches her in the act and calls the authorities. No one in town is terribly surprised - they've known for years that Cass was off her rocker and most of them weren't too fond of Roland. They Call Me Crazy by Kelly Stone Gamble is a light, sort of romantic read that I really enjoyed. All of the characters have their own particular quirks, including Cass's brother-in-law, who bakes worms into his spice cakes in addition to selling them as fishing bait. I found myself really hoping that things would turn out okay for Cass.

That's a big change from Season to Taste by Natalie Young, which I tried to read a few months ago. In that one, Lizzie Prain  is disposing of her husband's body by cooking it into as many different recipes are possible and using every scrap. I never made it to the end, so I still don't know if the author ever explained why she killed him or why eating him seemed like a good idea. It was a tedious read with occasional bursts of gruesome detail.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix left me a little bit giddy, wishing that there was a sequel. I love haunted house stories so after I heard about this book, which is set in a wanna-be Ikea clone, I grabbed it at the library the next day and read through most of  it that same night. The story is fast paced and fun and even though the book is marketed as a spoof, once the store closes and the lights go out it's just as creepy as most of the horror movies I've seen lately. Over the course of their night in the store, the characters evolve from stereotypes into real people who care about each other. I don't want to spoil the plot by giving away too many details, but if you like built-on-a-burial-ground type of stories that aren't really trying to give you nightmares, I think you'll like this one.

Disclosure - The publisher provided me with an advance review copy of Call Me Crazy. I got Season to Taste and Horrorstor at the library, but the publisher of Horrorstor had already provided me with an advance review copy of the author's next book...which is why I kind of hate writing these disclosures. I always give you my honest opinion no matter where the book came from, okay? 

A Quiet Day at Home

Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one I know who is content to just hole up at home for a few days at a time. But my idea of heaven is knowing that I can stay put unless I want to go somewhere. Which is different from being truly stranded.  

We're back to sharing two cars between three drivers. That's a big improvement over a couple of weeks ago, when it was one car between the three of us.  If I really wanted or needed the van for something, I could work it out, but this week I had enough advance warning to get my ducks in a row and the boys and I are enjoying ourselves here. 

My day yesterday was filled with knitting and embroidery and some sewing and a fancy breakfast (and dishes and laundry and math and reading...)

I finished another little bag based on the Zip A Bag tutorial series, the darted pouch. This is the first time I've gotten my zipper stops sewn together the way they should be. (We were supposed to make this bag without them, but I was using a recycled zipper that I had to cut down to size and I knew how to make it work if I used the stops.) 

My pouch is floppy. At first I thought that I'd messed up the darts, or gotten the dimensions of the exterior and the lining different, but that's not the problem. The corduroy and quilting cotton I used for the lining just don't have enough body for my bag to hold its shape.  I can see how to fix it next time around, but I'm not expecting to work with corduroy again. This was my last piece.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What I'm Working On

Most of what I've worked on over the past couple of weeks doesn't make it into design wall posts. They're quick finishes, or embroidery, or knitting. I'm not complaining about that, though. I'm having too much fun playing around in my stash and getting stuff done.

After months of mulling it over, I think I've finally decided how I want to set the black and white appliance blocks. It's going to take lots and lots of little black and white triangles. They shouldn't be too much of a pain to piece now that I've found the right ruler, but I'm not looking forward to cutting and counting them.

This post is linked to Patchwork Times and Bits 'n Bobs.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Weekly Stash report

I've never found a full yard of  fabric in the bins at the Goodwill outlet, let alone a full yard of quilt shop stuff, but Teenage Daughter dug out this! It's got devils and skulls and scorpions, and I've got boys, so it came home even though I had no clue what I might do with it. I checked the selvedge and it's Loteria by Alexander Henry. A couple of etsy listings claim that it's rare and out of print... which makes me think that maybe I should think twice about what I wind up doing with it.

All on my own, I found a couple of sheets. One is pretty vintage blue flowers and the other is a solid brown. I know I'll use both, so they joined my stash. I haven't decided whether I'm counting sheets as yardage this year or not, or just keeping a tally of sheets.

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric used this week: 1/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 2 yards
Fabric added this week:  1 yard (+2 sheets)
Fabric added year  to date: 1 yard (+2 sheets)
Net used for 2015: 1 yards

Yarn used this Week: 0  yards
Yarn used year to Date: 0 yards
Yarn added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net added for 2015: 0 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Totally Useless Stitch Along

I've got a new block finished for my vintage embroidery quilt. I love crows in general, and I really like this fellow's hat.

This is my first month participating in the Totally Useless SAL.  I've been seeing it on other posts for quite a while not and thinking that it looked like a fun idea. I try to put my orts in an empty plastic cup on the table next to my stitching spot. The only difference now is that I'm putting them in a prettier container and not using it for random little bits of trash.   There are hardly any bits of thread to show, but the year is young.

I picked up the Pyrex measuring cup at an estate sale.  Judging by the kitchen I found it in, it's fairly old. I can't see myself cooking with it, since the measurements are embossed and not terribly easy to read. But it's pretty and old and Pyrex and it was dirt cheap. And now I've got the perfect use for it.

This post is linked to Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, January 15, 2016

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/15/16}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zip Your Lips

I'm still planning to follow along with the Zip A Bag series over at Ikat Bag, but I was feeling too nervous to tackle the darted pouch this week.  That makes no sense.  My Nancy Drew bag is darted and lined and I did that without a pattern.  Same with Quinn's Bigfoot Hunting Backpack. But I'd had a migraine for a couple of days and just reading the tutorial and thinking about making the darted pouch work made me a little queasy. That's no reflection on LiEr's instructions -- my eleven-year-old's math problems were having the same effect on me. 

So I tried this instead -- 

I used the Zip Your Lips Pouch Tutorial from A Beautiful Mess, which I found on Pinterest ages ago. Instead of following her instructions for the lining and zipper, I used the tricks I learned on my last zippered pouch.  This one isn't as perfect as I'd like, but it came out much better. I think my pattern pieces printed way too small, which gave it an extra challenge.

The zipper is from my estate sale stash. I wanted something metal that would draw extra attention to itself. I cut a couple of inches off of each end after adding the zipper stops, which gives me hope for the rest of that random pile of zippers.  And I colored over the top stitching with a red marker to make it a little less obvious. Next time, I'll be better about using thread to match the bag instead of the neutral spool that lives on my sewing machine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Not Quite Mindless Knitting

Instead of mindless stockinette and k2p2 ribbing, I've been knitting away on the Snoqualmie wrap from Wanderlust. With the garter stitch borders and simple lace pattern, it's been almost the perfect project to work on while we watch the Godzilla movies that Hubby recorded on Christmas day. The only problem I run into is when one of the boys asks me a question about the plot and gives away the fact that I'm not paying enough attention to what's going on with Mothra and Mechagodzilla. I don't feel too badly because even if I was devoting my full attention to the show I still wouldn't know what those glowing eggs under the ocean were.  

I cannot get a decent picture of this project. The flash keeps making the yarn shiner than it looks in real life and it's too wet and muddy to drag it out to the yard. Just trust me -- it's pretty and squishy and lacy and it's going to be wonderful to wrap up in!

My youngest son asked me who Lizzie Borden was and, being the good mommy that I am, I taught him the rhyme. A few days later, there was a documentary on the history channel and he learned that a hundred years ago, the police weren't able to use fingerprints or DNA. When I saw The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, a new children's book, I decided to see if it would explain things any better. After reading it, I know a lot more about the murders and trial than I did before. The publisher recommends this book for ages ten and up, but I don't think my own boys are quite ready for it. They could probably handle the description of the investigator who "boiled Mr. and Mrs. Borden's heads like soup bones until the flesh - their very faces - dropped off," but I don't think they'd understand the pail of bloody rags in the cellar, or that they'd have the patience for the lengthy trial. The author does a great job of explaining what's known about the murders and uses sidebars to explain things like the odd layout of the Borden home, the difference between slop buckets and chamber pots, and other historical details that would otherwise puzzle young (and adult) readers.

Not long after I finished that book, I got the opportunity to read an advance copy of The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy. After the first few paragraphs, I was hooked. One of the things that had disappointed me most about the documentary and the children's book was that there isn't much detail about what actually happened that day, or about Lizzie herself. This, however, is a novel and the author paints such an amazingly vivid picture of Lizzie and her life. The murder of her father and stepmother is only a small part of a much larger story.  I'm glad I'd read the other book first, since it was interesting to see how the author explained some of  the real facts of the case.

This post is linked to Patchwork Times, Yarn Along, and iknead2knit.

Monday, January 11, 2016

{Thrift Shop Temptations} The Old Oaken Bucket That Hung in the Well...

Teenage Daughter went into town with the boys and I to run some errands before she started her new job this week. Where does my girl head when she's looking for some new office attire? The bins of course!

I wasn't looking for anything myself so I wandered over to the furniture section to see if there was anything interesting enough to take pictures of. Old radios always catch my attention. I've got one of my own and can't possibly justify a second, so they're safe to drool over.

When I saw it out of the corner of my eye, I thought this might be a sewing machine.

But nope. It's another pretty radio to drool over.

The dial is labeled with "California" and "Pacific Northwest."  That's one of those things, like the postcards I wrote about last week, that makes me wish I had a better understanding of how things used to work.

Once I ran out of furniture, I poked around in the bins a bit. There were some scattered bits of a felt set, obviously from Sunday school since they included Jesus, a hospital, a primitive hut...and body parts. I'm thinking that's part of the respiratory system and the big red thing might be a liver.

After I'd taken the picture and moved on to another bin, I found the main portion of the body. If it'd had the skeletal system I might have been tempted, but I don't need a felt torso and some random organs.

Is anyone even a little bit surprised that a few minutes later my youngest sons found the lungs and heart and announced they needed it to hang on their bedroom wall with the life size plush trophy of the purple cow? It came home with us, along with the green quilt underneath, which is destined for Teenage Daughter's bedroom.

Back before Christmas, I was looking high and low for 78 rpm records for my dad's Christmas present. He has a wind up phonograph and not nearly enough stuff to play on it. When I saw 78s, I was excited. Then I saw that the one on top was Bing Crosby singing The Old Oaken Bucket.

I've got a vivid childhood memory of my dad singing that song. Badly. When I saw that the record itself was missing a chunk, I was a little bit crushed. But the rest of the records in the set were all Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller. If I'd found them before Christmas, it would've been a perfect gift. But they worked fine as a "just because" surprise.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Planner for 2016

I needed a new planner for 2016. For the past couple of years, I've wound up going to Walmart and buying one exactly like the one I had the year before, which I guess is fine but I wanted something a little different, even if that was only the color of the cover.  This year I tried a few different stores and couldn't even find the kind I used last year.

So I went online and WOW! I didn't realize that planners were such a big huge deal. I found some gorgeous ones that were way out of the price range for a gal who invariably loses her planner halfway through the year and winds up writing notes on the blank pages of last year's book until she  finds it again. I want a planner with a full page for each day, not because my days are all that busy, but I wind up using the space for lists and designing quilts and all sorts of stuff. Weird system, but it's mine and I like it.

The best one I found on Amazon was for moms and had "motherhood tips and checklists included throughout publication." The sample in the description was a page of safety tips for packed lunches. I don't pack many lunches -- that's one of the perks of homeschooling. And if I did pack lunches, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need a page in my planner reminding me to clean my cutting board after using it for raw meat.   But that's the planner that was in my shopping cart until I took one last look at the grocery store and found a planner with a separate page for each day.

Last Sunday night, I pulled it out to transfer the important stuff from last year's calendar and realized  that it has a page for each day, but there are no actual calendars. How did I not see that? There's also no page for phone numbers -- but there's a list of all of the holidays for the next two years. I don't have the energy to take it back and I kind of want to have a planner right now, so I'm going to print out some calendar pages and glue them in on the pages for October thru December of 2015.

I have a feeling that I'll be designing my own planner pages for next year. There are pages to help you track absolutely everything ever, but I don't think there's one set that'll cover managing a house and blog, designing quilts, and also homeschool schedules for three kids. I'm sure I can come up with something that will work very well!

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric used this week: 1 3/4 yards
Fabric used year to date: 1 3/4 yards
Fabric added this week:  0 yards
Fabric added year  to date: 0 yards
Net used for 2015: 1 3/4 yards

Yarn used this Week: 0  yards
Yarn used year to Date: 0 yards
Yarn added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net added for 2015: 0 yards

This post is linked to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Well, That Almost Worked...

While I was waiting for Teenage Daughter to get home with the zipper foot (she was out of town making a dress for a friend and technically it is the foot that came with her machine and therefore hers not mine), the next post in the Zip a Bag tutorial series was published. 

I read the instructions and I got scared. For the past couple of decades, zippers have been high on my list of things I-don't-want-to-do-and-you-can't-make-me.  A woman can get through her entire life and make a couple hundred quilts and knit a bunch of lace shawls and pairs of socks without having to sew a single zipper, right?

But I've been determined to keep up with this tutorial series and conquer this zipper thing once and for all. If I still don't want to do them after that, I don't have to. (I suspect I'll want to.)

I pulled out some fabric and a zipper that was roughly the right size and made my way through the instructions step by step. I've got a bag to show for it -- 

There's an owie at each end of the zipper, but I can see why it happened and know how to avoid it next time. Instead of ripping this one out to make it right, I think I'll just move on to the next bag in the series. I can always salvage this zipper later if I decide that I really want it for something. 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {1/8/16}

I've got a new tutorial for you this week  River is a quick way to whip sixteen 2 1/2" WOF strips into a cute little baby quilt.  You can find the instructions in yesterday's post. I'm already eyeballing my pink and green stashes and wondering how this would look in those colors.

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


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