Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Where did all this ugly fabric come from?

Did you ever paw through your stash and find a piece of fabric that was so ugly, you could not remember where you bought it, when you bought it, or who gave it to (or inflicted it on) you? Maybe it is the natural consequence of having a decades-old stash. After all, when I started quilting, Jim Croce and the Carpenters were churning out hit singles.

Truly, I have come to believe in Bonnie Hunter's maxim: "If it's still ugly, you haven't cut it small enough." and a lot of really putrid colors have made it into recent quilt tops. There is liver colored fabricin the last few tops I've made, hiding in plain sight, surrounded by snappier and happier colors.

But yesterday, I came upon a real doozy. I said to myself, "how do I dispense with this?" I am too frugal to throw it away, and didn't have an immediate need for it in a backing.  I remembered that a crochet project downstairs involved a jumbo skein of baby yarn, and I was tired of pulling the knot of the AC Moore plastic bag in which it resided. I needed to keep the skein covered and free from cat hair, which seems to always flow in my direction from the quiltorium cats, no matter what room they are in.

So I quickly made a little drawstring bag from the whole fat quarter.

Now, I love my tiger lilies in the summer, but they are orange, not rusty brown like in this fabric. I don't know who came up with this colorway, and I hope I have used up the last untouched piece of it.

Do you have any other strategies for dealing with ugly old fabric. Yes, I use it up in pieced backings, what else do you do with it? Leave a comment and let me know!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ever onward

I am going to make the En Provence mystery as a wallhanging. So, I made slightly more than half of the clue one four patches.

My guilty confession: I never spun my seams before doing this clue. So glad I picked up this new skill along the way! And my accuracy is improving. I only took a few threadwidths off of most of my 133 blocks when I checked them and squared up. So now they are stacked away and ready for clue 2.

I also used this clue as an opportunity to replenish neutrals in my scrapsaver bins, except for the 1.5" bin, which is overflowing right now.

Trying to wrap up my last blanket for Bella's Babies this week. I am almost to the decreases, then will have to do a shell stitch edging.

It is amazing how many of us (over on the open studio at facebook) are saying that just stitching anything can help in times of stress and sorrow.  Last week, even though life is a little calmer, I felt my stress level rising almost to panic attack level at times, and that's scary. I've been plagued by a twitch in my lower eyelid, heart was pounding, short of breath.  Maybe cut back on caffeine? Couldn't decide which of these would help, so I bought both and double bagged it instead of a second cup o joe yesterday morning.

Felt better. However, one of them contains catnip, so Clyde tried to devour the tea bag wrapper. I decided I will only use these in my office with the electric kettle. I don't know what the whole herbal blend would do to him if he ever got hold of a used teabag! Clyde is a honey, he also contributes to the calming effort.

So steady on.  Stitch for sanity, stitch for stress reduction. Just keep stitching!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am so done with Tumblers

This was last year's leader and ender challenge. I soldiered on with it, even though I did not enjoy it.  Anyway, it's done.  I'm not thrilled with this year's L&E either, so I will probably use other strategies for leaders and enders this year. 

Right now, it's making 4 and nine patches out of 1.5" squares. These are useful in a variety of blocks. I've been trimming most of them from my crumb basket, not my strip bins.

And of course, I am ready for this-here are my fabrics for En Provence thus far.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Running on Empty....

I am still all adrift due to the family health crisis, which has stabilized somewhat, but is not without its daily stresses. I am heading into the holiday season with very little reserve energy capacity, so I am not laying any expectations on myself. Just taking life a day at a time.

Handcrafts still provide much needed sanity, although I sometimes have to struggle to pick up a needle or a hook.

Finished my garlic knots wallhanging:

 And my tumblers quilt is ready for binding:

Finishing up some baby things for the Bella's Babies winter drive. Working on an old UFO: The Winter Sampler from Crabapple Hill. Sorry for the bad photo.

Making a few Idaho Square Dance Blocks, trying to figure out what I want to do as the alternate block. I don't think this option is going to make it to the finals. I don't want to do the log cabin blocks that Bonnie did in her quilt, because we sleep under a log cabin quilt every night. Been there, done that.

I seem to start things, then lose steam. Maybe I just need to scale it back and make some string blocks or something.  Like I said: running on empty here. Hoping to get a surge of energy when En Provence drops its first clue on Friday.