State of the Stash

I published at the end of July that I was going “no buy” until I reached 100 yards used or until a year had passed….whichever was first.  So I have made some backings and started assembling some blocks that I had set back for Hospice and added borders.

Net usage for August:  21.50  Yards!*

*I did get a small gift of about 1/3 yard.
*And some projects are not finished yet, but the fabric is “committed”

But I definitely made some progress.  Here is one of the backings I made using blacks/charcoal grays:

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Which I think compliments the scrappy top.  The top is not counted in my fabric usage.  I think I counted it last year, so…..not now.  Only counting what I’m SURE isn’t counted.

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The good thing about this is that I also am finishing some of these tops.  The quilt above and the one from my previous post are done and bound.  Another quilt that I made last summer (picture on next post, I promise), I also made a backing for, quilted, and am working on the binding.

The bad part is, once I’ve completed these quilts, and my hospice quilts, that usage is going to slow down quite a bit….but we’ll see how creative I can get then!

The No Buy Pledge

If you’re not a quilter, you may hear quilters talking about “stash” and “no buy”.   When I walk through a fabric store, pretty pieces of fabric just jump into my hands and I take them home.  And I create a stash.  Pretty pieces of fabric waiting for me to use them.   Of course, that’s both a good and bad thing.  It enables me to make lovely quilts without buying much, if any fabric.  But I seldom do that… because….I like buying fabric.

A few days ago, I decided to take the “no buy” challenge. These things have “rules” as most challenges do.  Legal to buy is backings, borders, and backgrounds.  And while those are legal, I’m going to try to make do without purchasing them.  Because one challenge to myself is that I will go “no buy” for a year–or until I reach 100 yards, whichever comes first.  Since I have a full-time job, and have other things in my life (running, dog rescuing, family, and home), I would expect that I won’t be able to use 100 yards of fabric in a year.  And since I have set this up with legal purchases, my yardage count will be NET.  So if I buy 5 yards of backing, which is entirely legal, I’ll have to use up 5 yards elsewhere to offset it on that 100 yards.  And, I won’t count as yardage things I’ve already committed–like completed tops.

I don’t buy a lot of pieces 3+ yards.  Heck I don’t buy a lot of pieces over a yard.  So, if I want to not end up in the hole, I’m going to be piecing some backings.

I made this wonkly log cabin top before I got distracted last year.  The top, obviously won’t count toward my new pledge.  BUT,  I pieced this interesting backing, and of course the binding will.  So I will end week 1 with about 2 1/2 yards used.   I’ve been a bad blogger this last year, but I’ll try to check in at least once a month with how my “no buy” pledge is doing.

What are you doing to simplify your life?

Who’s in Control Here?

About 7 months ago I walked into a doctor’s office.  I was feeling very bad.  I was sick every day.  I couldn’t sleep.  I have a horrible doctor. She was very curt and blunt.  She told me (and this is nearly a direct quote): I was obese, old, and had an unhealthy lifestyle, and that she couldn’t help me.

That was not what I wanted or expected to hear.  So I asked her to recommend the best way to lose weight and she said that she went to Weight Watchers.   Two days later I was at a meeting.  I really wanted to be anywhere else.  I was embarrassed that I needed help.  Heck, I was embarrassed to ask the doctor for help and I didn’t get it.  Now I had to ask for help again.  And I didn’t get it again.  What I got, instead, was them showing me a plan, but they told me that it was up to me, and that I was in control.   So, I decided to be in control.

It was  a week before Thanksgiving–NOT a good time to go on a diet, so I’m told. And I was leaving town the next day on a trip.  I don’t really think there is a good time to go on a diet.  However, there is no BAD time to change your lifestyle.  And that is what I have done.  I eat mostly fruits and vegetables and some lean meats.  Almost never do I touch sweets or processed sugar, and very little bread.  I have found that those were the things that were making me feel bad.  I don’t want to feel bad anymore.

And, I started a Couch to 5K program and I have run 3 5Ks races so far this year. I know I am lucky to be able to run at my age and am thankful for that.  I feel great.

Yes, I’m still quilting, but not as much.  Yes, I’m still losing weight, but not as much.  I am nearly at the weight I was 20 years ago.   I hope to get there by the 4th of July.  But if I don’t, it doesn’t matter.  My lifestyle has changed, and I’m the one in control of that.  I could have changed my doctor, but it turns out that, although her bedside manner stunk, she was right.

Getting Things Done

I have had more energy these last few weeks than I have had in a while.  Perhaps it’s because I’m losing weight, perhaps it’s desperation that the end of the year is approaching, perhaps it’s to avoid doing things I shouldn’t.  Whatever the reason, early in November I made myself a promise to finish 6 projects.  Well, as of last Tuesday, I am done.  The final one went out Tuesday night.  Here is the final quilt I did.

After returning from Fedex (who apparently delivered the package to the wrong address, and I’m still looking for it…..), I started Bonnie Hunter’s Allietare Mystery and am doing my dutiful Monday morning link up.


I did manage to get Clues 1-3 done so far, and will start Clue 4 today.

And how about you? Are you doing anything productive?

Simple Destashing

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Sometimes, destashing is simple.  I was reorganizing my sewing room (smelling salts, please.  And found these panels.  Actually, the one on the right was a panel and a backing.  I cut the backing into strips to make a border–so it’s now a little bit bigger baby quilt and pretty much fit the panel that I used for the backing.  Then I pulled out another fabric to add for the binding.  Yes, I have a little bit of that border fabric left, but I think I will make some of the Victory Junction Bears.  I made about 20 last year, and there should be enough of the cute animal fabric to make at least 2 bears, using the checkered flag fabric for arms and legs.
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I figure this little pull from my closet used about 2 1/2 yards of fabric. Incidentally, I originally purchased this fabric to make a quilt for the local women’s shelter. And that’s exactly where it will be going–just a couple of years later than I first intended.  Done anything to clean out your stash lately?

Good Luck With Your Quilt Show

I got a lot of comments to my post Is Computerized Quilting Killing the Local Quilt Show? Some of them came in the form of private emails.  Most people seemed to think I was trying to rehash the debate about technology moving forward.  I was not.  I was trying to spark a conversation about why quilt show attendance is down, generally.

I think computerized quilting tends to make one quilt show very much like another, which might be one reason attendance is down.  I can go from quilt show to quilt show and actually know the name of the longarm quilting pattern that was used on the quilt.   In some cases, patterns are made for certain types of quilts, so you might go to two quilt shows and see a computer-quilted quilt nearly identical to previous show (for example, wedding ring patterns are made to fit the melon and arcs).

I am not a snob who says we shouldn’t use technology.  But, I do think that beginners who come in and see the super-perfect quilting and embroidery that can only be done by a computer can be discouraged.  And as a hobby, we need new quilters.  This particular hobby tends to be picked up by many after their children leave the home.

Try to remember when you started quilting.  I remember going to Paducah after I had been quilting for about 5 years.  And for several months afterwards, I was completely discouraged.  I thought I could never achieve anything half so wonderful.  And the quilts then were less perfect.  But now, the quilts are getting somewhat “cookie cutter”, as are the quilting patterns, and therefore, the shows are also becoming cookie cutter.  Something must change, or quilt shows will start to lose money, and guilds will fail.  It may be a while down the road, but if we want to keep our hobby fresh, we can’t keep doing quilt shows the same we we did 30 years ago with today’s technology, and we need to inspire new members, not discourage them.

I hope everyone’s quilt show is a success, but I think we’re all going to have to make some changes to continue to succeed.