Feb 28, 2010

Stash Stewardship and Giveaway

 Simplify Sunday
In the interest of my family's sanity, I'm working on fitting The Stash into a couple dressers and a few boxes (instead of spread out on all 3 floors--that's another post). I read somewhere that we should only have 6 months worth of fabric. I don't know how to measure that, but I do know that I would like to wrap up all my WIPS in the next 6 months. And that I'm trying not to start something new unless I have finished a WIP.

In a wonderful little AHA moment, I realized I could give away sets of fabric for someone else to use (!!!). Someday soon I hope to give away large sets from The Stash, but for now, I'm having fun giving away bits and pieces. 

So here's the deal: Even though I love The Stash, I want to sew more and dig less, AND I want all this perfectly good fabric to be used. It has something to do with stewardship.

If you think you could use the pink fabrics above (or know someone who would), enter this giveaway by Tuesday, March 2, 10:00 pm. Leave a comment sharing one way you care for your stash.

I know, the photo color isn't perfect, and all the fabrics do not go with each other--although they all go with at least 2 of the other pieces. But these pinks are so sweet. All together, someone will receive at least 1 1/2 yards of fabric (the first 5 are fat quarters). Good luck! The winner will be announced Wednesday, March 3, 8 am. Giveaway now closed.

  • Stash abundance soon to be stash reasonable-ness
  • Hubby sweetness--he really does put me first, or at least lets me go first.
  • Hot coffee first thing in the morning. I LOVE that.

Feb 26, 2010

DQS8 Finished!

Sew & Tell Friday

 I'm so excited to be finished with my Doll Quilt Swap 8 mini. It will be in the mail today to someone special somewhere in the world (it's still a secret!). Go here to see some other great doll quilts.
Lessons Learned
  1. When what you thought was linen is really just stretchy (yet beautiful Daiwabo taupe) cotton, it might not be the best choice for whirlygigs or other blocks with anything like bias edges. Three of these turned out to be enough.
  2. Lace edging is beautiful, but when you are just showing the tiiiiniest bit of it, it just might shrink so much that your partner won't even notice it--after all the tries it took to get it straight, etc.
  3. If you continue to use pink fabrics because you really think your partner will like it, be prepared to be teased mercilessly by your friend at the LQS about your so-called hatred of pink (BTW, we will be giving away pink on Sunday).

  1. I really DO like all the texture in this little thing, which shrunk to smaller than the required size :(
  2. I really DO like the taupes and pinks here, my two least favorite colors (never say never!)
  3. When your machine seems to hate all pink/red threads (justifiably so, I think) and produces only ugly stitches with it, it is indeed a good idea to try a little hand quasi-quilting with some of the heavy threads you've been hoarding.
Come back for Simplify Sunday's Pink Giveaway! Check out the other Sew & Tells here.

  • Finally discovering the secret to excellent French toast--awesome eggs (doh!)
  • Ready to sew on the binding for Grandma's quilt tonight while Apolo wins more medals.
  • 4 out of 5 days of sunshine to get me through a cloudy weekend.

Feb 24, 2010

Wednesday Winner

You all had some fabulous ideas for these sweet fabrics. And you've given me another idea--I'll post about that on Sunday.

For today, the randomly chosen winner is . . .
Kristen who said:
I would love to combine these with linen. So pretty. Maybe a bag or journal cover too!
Check out her blog here. She has some cute little linen mice!

Congratulations, Kristen! Email me your address, and I'll get those out right away.

To be honest, I nearly forgot to announce the winner today--hit the ground running at work. Nearly finished with my DQS8, slightly panicking over my BFF's 50th birthday gift (got to get it in the mail, too). I had wanted to make her a fabulous apron, but I always forget how long it takes to travel clear to Montana. Friday is my main sewing day, but this Friday would be too late. I think I have something else fabulous figured out. (Think olympic doilies. . .)
Come back Sunday for ANOTHER giveaway (I'm doing at least 4 in a row). And Friday for Sew & Tell.

  • Incredible sunshine (even if only ZERO degrees!) The birds are still singing.
  • Apolo is on again tonight.
  • Great respect for the Canadaian figure skater who is performing through her grief--God gives us such strength--his creations are such a blessing.

Feb 21, 2010

Girly Giveaway

Simplify Sunday

Posh by Chez Moi for Moda + a bit of Alexander Henry's Aragon Swirl

In the name of simplifying, I'm going through my stash and trying to either (a) use it or (b) share it. So what have I discovered? Even though I bought nearly every piece with a specific project in mind, I have collected too much over the years to ever actually sew up, at least with the time I have. I have lovely sets of fabrics that coordinate beautifully--and I can't even remember what the project was. Sad.

I still like most of the fabric, but really, I'm more interested in a different style now. And frankly, what I need to spend time on is FINISHING those projects already started. My brother, for example, is about to graduate again, and I haven't quite finished the quilt I started the last time he graduated! And I need the space to sew in. Lucky for me, I find the swaps and quilt alongs really help me stick with a project, so that, at least, is progress.

Today I had planned to giveaway some charm packs, but then I found this set of scraps someone else had given me. This Posh line is lovely; I used some of it in this STUD mini. They go beautifully with Kona cotton in stone. The lucky winner of today's giveaway will receive enough scraps to make a doll quilt, or even enough for a baby blanket if you combine it with something else like a fab solid. There is nearly a 1/4 yard of the big piece you see. (BTW, I will continue to giveaway pinks--I really don't like them, I just seem to have them.)

To enter, just leave a comment sharing what you might make from this set--I don't want YOUR stash to become full of fabric just for the sake of fabric :)

Comments close Tuesday evening at 10 pm. The winner will be announced Wednesday 8 am. Good luck!

  • Time with my family watching the Olympics
  • Another great band concert--our school has the best music program
  • Some quiet time to just putter around (my stash)

Feb 19, 2010

A Baker's Dozen

Sew & Tell Friday

Not sewing, but crochet couch potato olympics.
Using stash yarn, I've made 12 plus 3 of these cute little doilies from Crochet Today.


I have no idea what to do with these--oh, guess what all my friends are getting instead of cards this year. Really, I love these chunky doilies. Crochet Today has a whole retro thing goin' on in this issue. Next I'm going to try granny squares, since I'm down to just little bits of each color.

Tomorrow is Doll Quilt Swap day for me--I think I will have time to get all the blocks done (come back next week to see). Sunday I will continue the quest to SIMPLIFY--check out my next giveaway--hint: it will be charming!

Check out Amy's Sew & Tell for more great finishes!

Feb 17, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Wednesday WIP

And the winner is . . . (picked by my personal random number generator, DH, who did not read the comments in advance)
Blogger Ginger and Pickle said...
ooh! I LOVE the ugly bag idea! Thanks for the generous give away chance! We have stopped using wrapping paper - it is so much fun using handmade and recycled items (fabric, magazines) to make a gift look special and garbage free!
Ginger and Pickle, please send me your name and address, and I'll get Betz White's Sewing Green out right away.
I loved everyone's ideas, from baby food jars to hold used needles (I use them to hang minis on the wall) to making ugly fabric bags for the grocery store to lend out to reusing containers to store works in progress. I really like the idea of using fabric trimmings to tie plants (I have no pantyhose because I'm always willing to sacrifice them for the clematis). And upcycling clothes into bags and and quilts--the rag bag really holds riches!
I'm realizing once again (how many times until something is actually learned?) how better stewardship of stuff gives one not only more room but also more satisfaction--truly waste not, want not. Instead of so much stuff, more creations that one treasures and shares with others. 
A stash is great, but if you have more stash than finishes--is that really what we want? That just makes us stashers instead of creators!
WIPS: By the way, crocheting through the Olympics works well for me--I have doilies and granny squares so far! Just the right level of creation to keep me from turning into a couch potato but not so taxing after a day of work. Now for an afternoon to really get going on my DQS8 (above fabric is really tan, not green--must be my crazy blue table).
Come back Sunday for another GIVEAWAY.
  • Incredible sunshine all day, even if it means slush (we have had 60 inches of snow so far this winter--also incredible!)
  • Chinese food made by someone else (and leftovers for tomorrow's lunch)--our own version of Fat Tuesday
  • Fabric cut for my Doll Quilt Swap 8

Feb 14, 2010

Simplify Sunday 2

Plus Giveaway!
 As I mentioned last week, I love quilting and sewing and beading and generally crafting so much that I have acquired a lot of stuff supplies over the years. To top it off, I'm better at starting projects than finishing them. So I have lots. Make that lots of stuff. In the interest of simplifying my life, I'm trying to use things up and share them with others who can use them now instead of trying to use them myself SOMEDAY.

So during the Olympics, I am using up my yarn with lots of crochet. Now most of these have to be small (like the cute doilies above, pattern from Crochet Today) because my yarn stash consists mostly of single skeins. In the end, it's mostly eye candy to me. So far I have 6 of these little cuties. (Above, though, I'm going for the Olympic look.)


 To giveaway today, I have Betz White's book Sewing Green. Last year I won one in a giveaway at The Long Thread, and then someone gave me another copy. So, I'm passing my extra copy along to one of you, lovely readers. This is filled with some great projects that make great use of our resources, as well as great gifts. Really, it's a great book. For Christmas, I made several produce bags for my anti-plastic bag friends. They were easy and fun.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment by Tuesday, noon (central time). Share with us your favorite recycle/upcycle idea--something SIMPLE that makes better use of our resources. Or tell us something green you would LIKE to do. Wednesday 8 am central I'll announce the winner.

And check back next week--I'll have something else to share with you in another giveaway. For now, the Olympics beckon!

  • Home to watch Apolo Ohno win a medal.
  • Hot fudge sundae for Valentine's Day.
  • Nearly 20 years with same SWEETIE

Feb 12, 2010

Feb STUD Finish

Sew & Tell Friday
Sunday Giveaway

"Love is in the Air" IS finished and ready to mail to Norway for the February Swap Til You Drop (STUD), but I can't show it to you yet! However, I CAN show you this cool & easy way to display those minis-- Fast Finish Triangles! I've seen this around the blogosphere, but the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has a great tutorial here. It's so easy to add some small triangles to each corner when you sew on the binding. Then simply add a dowel across the top and hang your mini just like a picture!

You can also weigh down the lower edge if necessary OR use a lower triangle as your label. (The pink paper is just so you can see the triangle.)

Are you ready for the Olympics? We love watching all the Olympics at our house--from figure skating to skiing to curling--the spirit of the Olympics is just contagious. And to justify all that couch time, I've been digging out all my yarn and getting it ready for some hooky crochet fun.

I should have at least a dozen dishcloths and part of a sweater by the time the Olympics are finished! What is your favorite part of the Olympics?

Come back Sunday for a special giveway--in an effort to simplify my stash, I'll be giving away some fabric selections every Sunday for a month. You never know what might be up for grabs! And check out Amy's Sew & Tell Friday for more great finishes.

  • The Olympics--go TEAM USA!
  • Chili & cornbread for supper
  • Great Middle School Band concert with the cutest bass/trumpet player on the planet--even if he has to wear that uniform.

Feb 10, 2010

Whirlygig WIP

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Playing with scraps & whirlygigs.
Counting down to the Olympics!
Giveaway on Sunday. . .

Feb 7, 2010

Simplify Sunday


Do you have enough fabric to start your own store? Do you have so many craft supplies that if you even if could make them all into "things," you could still have your own craft show without renting out any booths?

Maybe it's just me, but after making things off and on (mostly on) for the last 25+ years (read "since high school"), I have collected such a substantial stash of fabric, beads and yarn that I could buy another house and move it there. Furthermore, the sheer volume of my stash makes it difficult to find what I want when I want it AND keeps me from purchasing newer, more modern fabrics (well, mostly it keeps me from purchasing more).

I'd be happy to sew it all up into many, many quilts and give it away--except I don't have time to do that any time soon. And I'd rather spend what time I do have on new projects. 

My DH and I have decided to try to simplify not only my stash but much of our house. For my part, I will try to keep making things with what I have as much as possible. And I will seek out others who want some of what I have (e.g. my sister-in-law has started quilting and lives in the middle of nowhere--I think I can fill a box with a nice variety of fabrics in colors she likes, maybe even a book or a magazine, and ship it off to her). 

For his part, he will begin going through our library. As former college professors, we have plenty of books, many of which we will never read/consult again. We have 5 book cases. From now on, if it doesn't fit in those, it doesn't stay.

Wish us luck. We suffer from "someday I might need that" syndrome. I will be reporting back each Sunday our progress on Project Simplification! And let me know how you might be trying to simplify YOUR LIFE in order to live more purposefully and fruitfully. Look for a giveaway next Sunday!

  • Just enough snow to freshen things up.
  • A 14-year old who decided to make his own lemon cake (and shares).
  • Time to finish a swap mini.

Feb 5, 2010

::Aviary Mini::

Sew & Tell Friday

This little one-patch is made from a Joel Dewberry Aviary charm pack and Michael Miller Krystal. The pattern is from Bits and Pieces by Karen Costello Soltys, a sweet book with some great starting points.

I actually put it together awhile ago and am now ready quilt it. I would really like to machine quilt it with a lovely heavy thread in a kind of milk chocolate color (despite this cruddy photo, it would match), but my machine is a little picky. Today I will experiment to try to get that to work.

I think my next project should be to learn how to use my camera--the colors are always a bit harsh and gaudy. In real life, the pink is much more subtle. And yes, I could edit more, but I'd like to start with better pics. :) I might have to read the manual instead of just look at the illustrations!

For more Sew & Tell projects, click on the button in the sidebar. You'll see some great stuff!

  • My family is making it over some tough bumps in life--thankfully God makes it work out.
  • I'm falling in love with my stash again, instead of wanting "new" and "more."
  • Tonight is pizza night!