Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Scrap Bagging it

There have been many great ideas and I am still exploring the options for a place to explore and share scrap work.
Stay tuned.....

Catching up on finished projects

a couple of wintery post cards:




And the Mazey Daze quilt is really done, given and received with happiness




If you click on the image here you will be able to see the Fleur de Lis quilting that I used in the blue floral areas.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Scraps and challenges

It would be great to find a place for people to just list what they are making with scraps - a long list of wonderful ideas and successes.

Not a groups site but more of an open blog --hmm. Anyone have any good suggestions for something like this.

Sorting the scraps

The labelled boxes in the photo (previous entry) are reused boxes from supplies used at work. They are very sturdy and close up tightly - thus they can be stuffed quite full!

When I am cutting fabric for a project I put all the cutting leftovers (greater than 1" big) in a basket sitting at the end of my cutting area. Every so often I sit down with the basket, sort and stuff my boxes.

Sometimes I have had younger visitors to my home and given them the sorting project. Of course when you do this you have to sacrifice any pieces the littles see as treasures.

When I need pieces I pull out the box and look for the pieces that will fit- then stuff the box back down and close it up as tightly as I can :)

Confession time : I have 2 bags worth of pieces waiting to be sorted into their boxes but the boxes are too full to be added to.

I do prefer the boxes to bags since the scraps can lay flat rather than turn themselves into little pig tails or origami boxes when they are not supervised.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Scraps are so underappreciated and a Challenge issued

Our guild hosted a rummage sale at the January meeting to help raise some $ for batting. Our outreach project is making quilts for kids taken into care by the local Children's Aid Society. I think we have donated 78 quilts this past year. So we use batting up at a good rate. The guild members were invited to clear up some no longer needed quilty items including fabric, UFO's, books, magazines and whatever. There were great bags of scraps that really were well appreciated , for example Nancy a fellow quilt blogger wrote me a note saying how much she enjoyed the scraps, click here for her blog entry.
This is the segue for my thoughts on scraps. The great number of quilters that I know underappreciate their scraps. It is like tossing your spare change into the wastebin.
Scraps were the main source of many, if not most quilts that built this hobby.
So many of us are wastrels. Myself included. We obsess over the newest designer fabric collections, choosing the perfect colour balance under ideal lighting conditions, and NOT CUTTING into the special fabrics. What reckless extravagance. I am so guilty I know.
I think that we are devaluing the history of quilting patchwork. I would love to create great art pieces and I dream of making awe-inspiring quilts but if we counted all the quilts that have been made over the last 150 years how many were made "for the art of it" compared to those made "for the heart of it".
I know I will not really stop buying fabric, stop coveting fabric or stop saving my special collections altogether but I think I want to respect the scraps more.
I save them, I sort them, I dig through them to make scrappy projects but I want to make more plans for them. I think I will try to learn to become excited by them again.
My scrappy quilt that was made earlier this year felt like it was a free quilt. After digging through my sorted scraps and finding enough pieces to make a whole quilt, the boxes were still as full as before I started. I could make 6 quilt tops if I just worked through these scraps.
I think we should challenge ourselves a bit more, greater than stash busting, to valuing the scraps. All the green eco-friendly living that we all will be aspiring to should help to remind us of expanding our RRR to the sewing machine and design board.
The challenge: if you save scraps, make a project using them and if you do not save scraps, start saving. Let this appeal to your inner designer, thrifty self, eco-warrier self, traditionalist soul, just can't resist a challenge self.
And me... I am going to work on this challenge. Let me know what ideas you come up with. I am a big fan of string piecing and foundation piecing of random scraps. I have particicpated in swaps of these scrappy blocks before. Aren't these pretty...!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Taking a moment to stop in, routine

Routine has taken over again. It sort of feels good to have a good idea of what will be happening in my day at various stops on the clock but I will always wish I was living off the clock altogether.

The sewing studio is the "Land of No Time", no clocks and no schedules to meet. There is however "the list", the candle and my little Sanyo to bring me news, CSI, music or movies.
The routine here is to set myself at the work table and either cut, sew, plan, organize or play with my fabric. Then when I realize I am tired and recall that I do have to head out the door in the morning I crawl upstairs, give the 4-footeds a few moments outside before we all head to bed. Usually it is about 2 AM. I guess I must really get tired at 1 but it takes that last 45 or 60 minutes to realize it and then make sure the iron is unplugged, morning clothes are ready and my teeth are clean.

What else is routine? If I am left to wake up all on my own it would usually be 8 AM. I start to feel hot (as in rising body temperature) and want to take off my evening sweater and it is usually pretty close to 11PM. I don't think it is menopause as it has been like this for at least 10 years and my body sure does not want to give up that routine whether I like it or not.

Routine is Tuesday evening with the Bag Ladies, Wednesday night TV time with the honey, Thursday morning cappuccino with Penny, hey every morning cappuccino to go to work with and very wonderfully, the nice cup of herbal tea that is at my bedside table every morning when I wake up , followed by its sister pot of tea ready to fill my thermos every day (a thanks to my Honey routine).

And my home from work routine, let the 4-footeds out for a bit, organize what I am preparing for supper, making my bed (I always fold it back to air for a few hours) since I prefer to get into a freshly unmade bed at night, checking the mail and looking after some minor household task. Dinner is just about ready and Honey comes home from work.

I really want to add to my routine though: more journal time, more blog time, more be good to my body time and definitely, always welcome, lots more hugs with my Honey time.

And so... hurrah to routine and to hell with the clocks.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Looking into January


Already 3 days into the 31 alloted and I have not moved towards any accomplishments much less have I made decisions on what to do first. Inclination-wise I think I will complete some small commitments which are close do being due, perhaps overdue, perhaps are not really commitments but rather "want-to-do's". Then of course there is a time line commitment on one project which still needs about 16 - 20 hours of stitching (both by machine and by hand).

I realized that I did not have any leftover day-books with which to journal my quilting/sewing life so I stopped at Coles enroute home from work. 50% off, a snazzy little red daytimer with lots of room to track time, projects, plans and commitments. I find that having the daybook (with the days labelled into their own little spaces)is a lot more conducive to maintaining it. It is so easy to see the hours and projects logged. There is a great satisfaction to seeing lots of notes slowly overwrite the waiting blank pages.

I keep a regular journal as well on blank pages which invite me to wander with my meandering mind or bang out frantic rants. That is satisfying in its own way but not helpful for my ever-needing-organizational-structures self.

So I am undertaking to track not only my hours and projects but also all the time that is remotely quilting connected and all the pennies that find their way into the quilting/textile/fibreart economy.

So. Project #1 of 2008 = make some decisions and take notes

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

All the best for 2008

2008 is here, full of promise and possibility. What ever happens
throughout the coming 364 days will bring us even closer in friendship,
more experienced as quilters, more creativity as artists, and
hopefully with few tears along the way. I wish you all health, wealth
and happiness in the measure that will make your life good for you and
yours.