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?

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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?

Somewhere in North Carolina

021I am still here.  To be honest, I haven’t been quilting much.  I did quilt a couple of quilts for Quilts of Valor.  I have even made a few blocks. Like this silhouette of Holiday.  I know, I know.  And they eyes don’t look orange up close.  They are just dark brown.

I also made this bowl from clothesline.  Yes it is completely made from two different batik fabrics.  It was a bit of challenge to figure out how to do it, but I did.  I took photos to do a tutorial, but then thought no one would be interested.  Would that be of interest to anyone?

I also took a class with my local quilt guild.  I learned how to make a couple of blocks.  But I still haven’t finished them. It was just something cute that I thought was interesting.  But something else happened that day to upset my apple cart and I was out of sorts again.  It doesn’t seem to take much to throw me off my stride.

Over mother’s day we went to visit my oldest in his new city & state.  We met his girlfriend, her parents, and even got a tour of his office.  It was so nice to see him again and to meet her.  She is very pretty, and her family was very gracious.

021

I have been working more hours lately, and more than I would like.  I am now fostering TWO (yes, two dogs).  The first was to try to help Carter to have a friend and to heal.  The second was because the poor fella was just an old guy that needed a place to go.  He is 10, when boxers seldom live past 10.  So now I have 3 dogs that fill my days, but do not fill my heart.  I have a job that fills my time, but not my imagination.

And the path in the back yard has filled in.  What I once thought would be healing” just feels like something is missing.  Don’t worry, I’m not nearly this maudlin all the time.  That’s what blogs are for.

 

Grand Illusion Top Complete; Celtic Solstice Done!

002Well, I did it.  I completed my Grand Illusion mystery.  I am fairly happy with the results.  I saw the pattern getting a bit “mushy” due to the dark colors–the blank, red, and dark blue.  So I decided to use a constant on all my cornerstones.  I  am glad I did.  There is a lot of motion in the blocks, and by adding a constant cornerstone, there is a little less in the sashing.  I think there would have been too much motion if the cornerstones were all different fabrics of blue.

When adding the inner border, I thought white wasn’t right.  I went shopping in my stash and found a brown that had “splotches” on it that ranged from a perfect match to my beige blocks  to a kind of olive-y color, which went well with my green.  I considered black, and red, but finally went with the brown.  And am I glad I did–look at the frame!  It pops the red out of the border, and you can really see where the illusion ends, without looking abrupt–like the white would have.

And on top of it, after Christmas I quilted my Celtic Solstice top and took it with me to Indiana and back and worked on the binding in the car.  Done!  Except for the label.  Which I suspect will be done sometime about quilt show time.  Wonder why……Now I’m off to find something else quilty to do.  How about you?

For more Grand Illusion mystery quilts, visit:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2015/01/grand-illusion-mystery-link-up.html

 

I Completed Clue 5

001As I said, I now have a house full of visitors, but Clue 5 was a pretty small one, so I managed to do it quickly while everyone was sleeping in.  So it didn’t take long for me to put together the few blocks that we needed for this clue.  Then my daughter and I sat down and did some arranging with them.  I’m not sure if this makes sense given the number of each units, but it does make some interesting blocks.

I (Think I) Win the Scrappy Challenge!

003Early in 2014, Judy L at Patchwork Times issued a Scrappy Challenge.  I started doing her January Challenge and by the time of her link up I had made 30 blocks.  If you find her January link up, you can see mine there.  I put a red in the center of each block, but after that, I gave no thought to anything except 1)  neutral background 2) light on the rectangles around the center 3) mediums on the big triangles, and 4) darks on the smaller triangles.

So with 64 “Big T” blocks, I took my selection of blacks and added them as sashing.  The red cornerstones in the sashing is a constant fabric.  I PURCHASED the border, which is black with multi-color polka dots.  The backing is also scrappy–I used yardage, but there are 4 fabrics in it–in long stripes.  Other than the border, I purchased NOTHING for this quilt.  Which is 98 x 98.  I quilted it myself using the a panto called “Hearts a flutter” and I love the way it looks.  Here it is on my queen size bed.  There is a full row of blocks hanging off either side.

Did you do anything scrappy this year?