Thursday, June 30, 2011

re-cutting fabric

A few weeks ago, I was given a big bag of 3" squares. I use 2 1/2" squares for most of the baby and lap quilts, so I've been cutting them down with my AccuQuilt. I've been burned in the past by assuming that sets of squares from thrift store bags would be accurately cut. This way I know they're close to perfect, and it also gets rid of the frayed edges.

While I had the cutter out, I also cut a couple of birds to see if the project that leapt into my head at two am will work by the light of day.

Here's a short video I put together showing how fast it is to retrim squares with your AccuQuilt. I've done it before with my rotary cutter and ruler -- it's much easier to just lay the fabric on a die!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Before life fell apart for the umpteenth time this year, I had lots of projects going. Now I've got to figure out what they were...and where they are. The kids are still asleep, I'm up and about, and it's time to get started.

Cabbage Roses (doesn't that sound much better than "the two color drunkard's path quilt?") is still on the sewing machine.

The Hobo Quilt is packed away in a project box. Except for the last couple of blocks that I finished. Those are ...somewhere... I need to either check the book out from the library again, or go buy my own copy.

The big Circles in Squares quilt is on the ironing board. I've got lots of the dark squares cut and lights picked out to cut for the background.

Texas Braids is ready to go. I need more light strips, which will come from those same fabrics I've got laid out for Circles in Squares.

Scrap Vomit is ...somewhere... I didn't have much of the piecing done, but I do need to find the squares of solid red and black that I cut for it. Now that I've got the die to cut 2 1/2" squares, this one would be easy to finish. If I could find it.

10 minute blocks...were on the sewing machine before I did my pre-surgery cleanup.

And I've got two little quilts ready to finish, the pink drunkard's path baby quilt and the purple 2 color lap quilt.

That's not counting the UFOs I started the year with. I've decided that there's just too much non-quilty stuff to stress about to mess with UFO guilt right now.

I was up for three hours before my boys staggered out of bed, so I spent some of that time reading blogs and enjoying the quiet house. No sense in doing things I knew would wake them up! There's plenty of fun inspiration to be found this morning --

Look at these embroidered dresses on Diary of a Bizarre Quilter.

I'm swooning over Vintage table linens at gen X quilters.

And look at these animal totes! Not totes shaped like animals, these have applique animals on them -- wouldn't they make great library totes for the boys?

And a clock made from a Little Golden Book! This one's got extra squeee! value because I actually had that book as a kid.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weeky Stash Report

I stil have not touched my sewing machine (hubby has been home on vacation for the past ten days and we've been having fun on short little day trips) but I did make five baby hats. Next week, I'm going to sew -- it's been amost a month and a half and enough is enough!

There's a whole stack of new UFOs that I've completely lose track of, and I've got a bunch of new ideas and the weather is actually getting nice enough that I can kick the kids outside....

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 10 yards
Added Year to Date: 676 yards
Net Added for 2011: 640.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 250 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 5840 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7535 yards

This week's new fabric consists of two fat quarters that I got for fifty cents each at the convenience store, a few big pieces of blue cotton that might've been drapes that I got for a quarter at a yard sale, and three black cotton sheets I bought for $2.50 each at Ikea for a new quilt I've got in mind for the boys.

To see how everyone else did, go visit Patchwork Times.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How do you bind a crazy quilt?

I found this gorgeous little bit of crazy quilt today at an estate sale. Now I'm trying to figure out how to finish it. I don't want to add a backing and cover up the evidence of all that hand-stitching, but I want to finish the raw edges.

I'd love to know if this is left over from assembling a larger top, or if these four blocks are all there was.

How did they finish those old Victorian crazy quilts? I've been Googling with no luck.

Friday, June 24, 2011

another machine followed me home

It's been a long time since I participated in Show and Tell Friday, but this is too fun not to share. A couple of Sunday Stash Reports ago, I mentioned that I'd brought home another treadle sewing machine. Here she is!

The cabinet is beyond rough and is missing a drawer, but it's got a mechanism that raises and lowers the machine when you open it up. And look at those decals! Yup, I decided to buy her for her pretty decals -- then I was told that she still sews.


Anyone know where I can get a replacement for the original belt that she still had on?

She's got her bobbins, and different feet, and an owner's manual so old and brittle I'm afraid to touch it because it might crumble to dust.

I love how the throat plate has a chart of which needles to use with which threads. The plate behind that has patent information and restrictions on its sale and use...would love to know what that means!

And I love the ruler painted along the wood in front of the machine. Wouldn't that be handy for quilting?

After carefully loading her into the van, my husband announced that my sewing machines now outnumber his trucks, which means I have too many of them. I insist that my daughter's three machines don't count -- they were all given directly to her and were never mine. We might be tied if we only count the parts rigs, but I think I get to count the two other trucks and the two boats...

I've only got six machines -- the Janome, my other treadle, Great Gradma's vintage machine, my featherweight, and the paperweight. That's not too many, is it?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Stash Report

Not much to report this week. I knit a baby hat, and found eight skeins of soft acrylic in nice colors at the thrift store. And Grandma brought down some scraps that had been given to her to pass along to me....

It's been a month since I climbed the sewing room stairs. I loved all of the suggestions to scoot up there on my butt -- don't think I hadn't already considered it! But those steps are so filthy and splintery I never got quite that desperate yet.

I think I could make an occasional trip up there on my feet now, as long as I go slowly and use the tricks the physical therapist showed me. But I haven't tried it yet.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 10 yards
Added Year to Date: 666 yards
Net Added for 2011: 630.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 50 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 5590 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 1200 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 13375 yards
Net Added for 2011: 7785 yards

To see how everyone else is dong, click over to Patchwork Times.

Friday, June 17, 2011

we went for a walk

Actually, we went for a drive in the woods, then parked and walked about fifty feet from the car, cause Mommy can't keep up with real walks yet... Distance isn't what matters, though.

We found two full sets of tracks from what dh is guessing was a bobcat. And then another set that we think was a raccoon.

And we found pools full of newts by the stream. I know we've got newts here, as close to home as the pond in my own backyard, but it's always neat to actually see them. And to see my six and five year olds see them... I could kick myself for leaving the camera up in the car. This post really needed pictures.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Stash Report

Four weeks in a row without adding any new fabric or yarn. Sounds like I'm doing good, doesn't it? You can have the same great results -- just have surgery with complications that keep you from driving for almost a month.... Trust me, it'd be more fun, and much cheaper, to buy some yarn and fabric.

I did buy a sewing machine, a gorgeous treadle in an ugly case that I'll be posting about as soon as Bill gets it out of the van and into the house. Because I'm sure I needed a seond treadle machine.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 656 yards
Net Added for 2011: 620.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 200 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 5540 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 12175 yards
Net Added for 2011: 6635 yards

To see how everyone else is doing, check out this week's links on Patchwork Times.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

the creature from the black lagoon is not a swamp monster

Or so Quinn tells me. Leif insists he's a swamp monster, but Quinn says that he's from a lagoon and swamp monsters only come from swamps... Have I mentioned that those two can disagree about absolutely ANYTHING?

I was going to post about the creature debate even before I stumbled across the Monsterama fat quarters giveaway over at Fabric Worm. I could make my boys something seriously neat with that fabric!

Look at these prints of women and the sea they're giving away over on Poppytalk -- they've really captured my imagination. I love how the bathing suit reminds me of the one the original Barbie dolls wore.

I'm still spending more time drooling over other people's ideas than working on my own, but I'm getting steadily more motivated. Three new Go! dies are on their way to me and I'm making lists and lists of what I plan to do with them.

The Orthopedist says I can drive! I'm not going far from home, not until I know how well my knee is going to put up with braking, but I can go get my own milk and bread and cinnamon bears and that's a wonderful feeling.

I forgot to ask him about the stairs to the sewing room.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

trying to be patient

Tomorrow we see the orthopedist and hopefully get some idea when I'll be up and about and driving and doing the things I need to do. I'm getting around the house okay now, but I'm desperate to get back to normal, or at least to where I was before the surgery.

While I'm waiting, I'm trying to make the transition from being hopeless (meant to type "helpless," but hopeless is what came out and really is how I've felt) to getting dinners made and laundry done and pulling my own weight around here. Without overdoing it.

I've cut a bunch more pieces for the drunkard's path quilt. Still not as many as I'm going to need for the whole thing, but enough to keep me pinning and sewing for quite a few hours. I don't really feel like doing either, but knowing that I could if I wanted to is an improvement.

Mostly, I'm drooling over other people's projects.

I'm very happy with my AccuQuilt Go. I do not want/need/covet a Studio. (Translation -- I don't have unlimited quilting funds!) But this morning I stumbled across Bunny Rose & Co and 52 Weeks of AccuQuilt. I love her fan quilt. Wouldn't that be a fun way to use up scraps? And I can do a pincushion with the dies I've got for my Go! Except my embroidery floss is all up the unclimbable stairs...

I do not garden. I do not have a metal letter stamping set. Neither of which stops me from wanting these. They sell the stamping sets at Harbor Freight....d they're on sale.... Have I mentioned how desperate I am to drive again?

Spring Frills Scarf I don't crochet, but there's a tutorial.

Get Dressed There's something about dresses on dress forms that makes my heart go pitty pat.

And look at this! I rarely wear makeup, but maybe I would if I had something like this to keep it organized.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

pinning and pinning

I spent yesterday afternoon sitting with my leg up, pinning drunkard's path units while watching season two of Drop Dead Diva on the Lifetime website. These little things are fiddly and take a zillion pins, but I love them. The really great part is that once they're pinned and ready to go, they take no time at all to actually sew. I can get a whole stack done in the twenty minutes I'm allowed to actually sit at the sewing machine.

If I can cut more pieces, I might actually get this top done.

Weekly Stash Report

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 35 3/4 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 656 yards
Net Added for 2011: 620.25 yards

Yarn Used this Week: 200 yards
Yarn Used year to Date: 5340 yards
Yarn Added this Week: 0 yards
Yarn Added Year to Date: 12175 yards
Net Added for 2011: 6835 yards

No new fabric or yarn in for the third week in a row -- not that I can claim any actual willpower!

Friday, June 03, 2011


Remember getting warned as a little kid about all of those shots in the stomach you'd have to get if a rabid animal bit you? They should warn bigger kids about all of the shots in the stomach you have to get if you develop blood clots after surgery. Ten days and ten shots later, I'm finally DONE! (Six more months of rat poison pills, still can't drive, still limping around on crutches, but at least that daily 40 mile round trip to the hospital is over with.)

Knitting has started to lose its thrill again. How many days can you spend with needles in your hand every waking hour before it starts to get boring? If you're not working on anything exciting...if I had better projects, I'm sure my motivation would've lasted longer.

I finished a pair of clunky lace socks for a friend. She doesn't knit yet, but has that deep appreciation for wool that you find in Elizabeth Zimmermann's books. The one that I personally don't share unless I'm knitting lace or something to be felted. Or socks. Because most of the pretty sock yarn is wool.

I'm dying to get my hands on some fabric!


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