De-Stashing: June 2014

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The majority of June I have had “The Voices” on the frame, so that has limited the amount of stash usage I have had.  Most of my usage has been for a backing, binding the Hospice quilts (Have I uploaded pictures of them?  No….soon…they are on my other computer), and finishing the Twisted Kitties top and backing.  Not a big stash usage month, but still on pace to finish 2014 well in the De-Stashing department.  My only purchase was backing for “The Voice”.  I did decide to go for a solid backing after all.

De-Stashed this Month:               7.50
De-Stashed year to Date:           64.00
Stashed this Month:                      4.00
Stashed Year to Date:                 31.25

Net De-Stashed for 2013:  32.75<<Goal for 2014:  Greater than 50 yards De-stashed>>>
Additionally, I want to limit my purchases to no more than 5 yards per month.

For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

Quilting the Voices



I have started quilting “The Voices” as I have come to call it. I appreciate now more than ever how tiny those silly HSTs are.  Quilting it is tedious, and after two weeks I have only managed to quilt about 1/4 of the body of the quilt.  Borders are just stabilized for now.  In fact, I haven’t decided what I will do with the borders…..

To break up the monotony of quilting the tiny terror, I stopped and took the blocks I made at quilt camp last month and assembled them into a baby quilt.  I used the Twisted Sister template to make the blocks and used a fun little cat fabric to insert faces into the blocks.  I’m calling this one “Twisted Kitties”. 002

Right now I still have about half a dozen quilts to quilt, so I hate to start new ones, but oh my I have so much fabric to use up!

Life Keeps Taking Turns


In a few days, my son will be moving to Florida. I know, such is life. He has been offered a good job and he has to go follow his future. But it struck me the other day that now I will only see my children once, maybe twice a year. If I am lucky.

So in a few days we’ll go down and help him pack up his things, clean out the condo and put it up for sale. And that will be it. The nest is completely empty. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband broke his arm (Friday of Memorial Day weekend). He had surgery the next week and will soon have his cast off. So most likely, I will be doing a lot more of the packing up/fixing up next week. I don’t mind. I want to give my son a good send off.

But knowing I probably won’t see my kids much, if any, in the future I’m thinking of tossing out the Christmas and Easter stuff. And maybe a bunch of other stuff. It all kind of seems pointless now.

The Voices


031And I have something to report.  I have finished piecing a top.  A long time ago I started making little bitty blocks from all the cutoffs I had leftover from making flying geese and other blocks where you cut off the leftover after sewing on a triangle.  I trimmed them up into 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inch blocks.

One day a little voice in my head told me that I had enough I should do something with them.  So I made the little bitty blocks.  I kept making them and making them and then I added some pinwheels.  Then I made some more for a border around the bigger blocks.  A week or so ago in quilt camp I had 64 bigger blocks made and then when I got home I laid them out and sewed them into rows.  This takes quite some time because, as you can tell, there are a few points to try to match.  People were telling me I was insane.  So the working title of this quilt top became “The Voices Told Me To”.

It is 72 x 72 and contains 3,016 half square triangles.  So that’s 6,032 triangles in it. That’s 18,096 points.  One of the points is perfect. Good luck finding it.

BUT! except for the borders of cream batik, it is all cut off of yardage that was counted, so only the border counts toward de-stashing.  Now I need to make a backing for it.  It is almost tempting to buy a wide backing.  But, I’ll think about it  :)

De-Stashing: May 2014


024003My sewing room is mostly back together after adding a door and closet.  It does make the room slightly smaller–but then again, as you can see with the stairway there, some of that room wasn’t usable anyway.  It also makes the loft into a bedroom, which means one more bedroom in the house when we some day sell.

I finished quilting my row by row  and bound it.  However, that got me nowhere for yardage. I did purchase a bit of fabric, primarily to help me catch up and finish some projects that are “in progress”.   Several borders and backings in there, which adds a lot of yardage used.  The good news is that now that my sewing room is all moved back into my sewing room, I have quickly been making progress and hopefully should have some finishes to announce soon.

Note:  I know I don’t do it the same way as everyone else, but to me it is “used” when it is committed (cut and sewn), so all the backings with committed fabric are sewn and ready to be put on the frame before I count it as used.

De-Stashed this Month:              14.50
De-Stashed year to Date:           56.50
Stashed this Month:                      5.00
Stashed Year to Date:                 27.25

Net De-Stashed for 2013:  29.25<<Goal for 2014:  Greater than 50 yards De-stashed>>>
Additionally, I want to limit my purchases to no more than 5 yards per month.

For more stash reports, visit Patchwork Times.

Quilting and the “L” Shaped Mow


This morning I was mowing the lawn.  I had figured that was going to be my job for most of the summer since my husband has been recovering from his back issues–and heaven forbid he did anything to make it worse.  Friday, he had the foresight to break his arm, as his back has been getting a lot better, and that really makes it difficult to get out of mowing.   And may I add that if your ladder is situated in a way that you cannot reach what you are working on, MOVE it!  Do not lean!

But, as I mowed away, I pondered the relationship between mowing and quilting.  On many quilts, I have done sashing and cornerstones around the blocks.  When I do this, I typically dislike doing a row of blocks, then a row of sashing+cornerstones, then a row of blocks (lather, rinse, repeat).  My solution to this has always been to attach the blocks to the left and upper side of the blocks–an “L” Shaped corner on the blocks.  After I have completed all the rows, I put them together, just adding the bottom and right row of sashing.  It doesn’t eliminate any sewing, but I like doing it that way.

And as I mowed, I realized I have somewhat adopted the technique to mowing.  Ah, you were wondering how I was going to link them together, weren’t you?  Well, after I do one cut all the way around the yard  to “edge”, I then pick the longest two sides of the yard and mow, turn down the next longest side, then turn back the way I came, mowing only the two longest sides.  Of course I didn’t always do the two longest sides in an “L” shape.  Many times, I’ve mowed the yard going round and round into a smaller and smaller square–or rectangle–and I find I spend a lot of extra steps on each turn.  I think I end up turning less by doing the “L”.

So there’s three tips:  move your ladder, sew your sashing to your blocks before assembling, and mow in an “L” shape.


The Mythical Pieced Orphan Block Backing


001We all say we want to use up scraps, but well, most of us don’t make scrap quilts.  And if we do make scrap quilts, we march right out and buy that big extra wide fabric for the backing.  Guilty!  But as you know, I keep trying to do some stash reduction.  For my most recent quilt, I pulled out a few blocks I had already made (see my gadget challenge) and another one that I made in complimentary colors for the quilt.  I did have one piece that was 2 yards that was in my stash.  The rest is just smaller pieces from my stash.

Please don’t think I invented this method of taking a block or two and putting it in a strip of fabric so that it makes a “panel”.  I’ve done my own version of it for a while, but I usually only use cutoffs from the front or leftover pieces.  And note, I am not trying to center anything.  The lighter blue on either side of my panels is actually a two yard strip.  I started with it, made and added the red panel.  Then I had a small piece of the same light blue (oriented the other direction–it’s a directional fabric) that I added to the red panel.  Then I used up several blocks and made the darker blue panel and sewed it to the right of the narrow blue strip.  Then I sewed the light blue fabric (2 yard piece) to that panel and made a tube.  At that point, I had 4 panels joined in a tube.  To finish the backing, I randomly selected a spot to tear the fabric so that it looks like I have 5 panels.  And neither of my block panels are centered either horizontally or vertically.  That’s too much pressure.

Honestly, I could have made a couple of more panels and maximized scrap usage.  But that’s enough for today.  How about you?  Do you ever make scrap backings to use up your orphan blocks?  I only used 5 on this backing, but I have used more.  And used those big purchased solid backs too.

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