Hot July!

“Youʼre under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.”

— Alan Watts

 

I don't know whether the weather this July is worse (or better) than last year - I just know it is HOT and HUMID outside. Sigh. I tend to get cabin fever in the summer because I stay in so much. The winter weather here in Maryland is easier for me to bear than the summer. I can always wear more clothing to stay warm in winter but it is difficult to take my skin off when I'm too hot. :) I should complain - if that is the worst thing life has to hand me, I live on Easy Street! :)

My sense of time is still on Covid-float ... the days roll past and I do pretty much the same from one to the next. Today I did something different. I drove my friend Patty to Reisterstown to renew her driver's license at that area's DMV office (where she could get an appointment). I took the easy way out and stayed in the car while she dealt with the bureaucracy and got her new Real ID driver's license. She gave me a lovely two yard chunk of Hoffman 1892 batik ('watercolor' in pale blue) for my trouble.

I had an immediate use for the yardage - as a background for my Earth Made Paradise project. 2 yards won't be enough for the entire quilt but it will make a lovely central body for the medallion. I spent the time during this evening's (zoom) modern guild sit & stitch meeting putting the first border on the center of my quilt. Feeling my way at each stage, like I did with the Aboriginal medallion quilt. Fun!

Yesterday I went to bed really pleased with myself. I finished my fabric covered book project yesterday evening! Ali Manning of the Handmade Book Club led a five day challenge to create this book and I was very pleased to finally take the plunge and work along. Here's my book (there are lots of mistakes - as anyone of you who is a book maker can tell, I'm sure - but it is finished and I can use it:).

 

Book front

Book back

Book open

Book spine

In a way this was an up-cycling adventure, too. The cover fabric (designed by Laurel Burch) was given to me as a freebie by a fellow quilt guild member. The book board used for the covers was recycled from a broken log book I had (the original was spiral bound and the wire was broken and mangled). The pages were recycled from a school essay paperback book. As you can see, the pages are grid paper (4 to the inch). I will use this book as a maker's journal for my various fabric and fiber projects. :)

Another paper arts project that I finished recently was making four swap pockets to trade with a fellow paper artist named Lydia in California (the swap was arranged by the Handmade Book Club leaders). I thought I would share the pockets I made today and the ones Lydia sent to me maybe in my next post. The idea behind these pockets (which are made from single sheet of paper and then embellished/filled) are that they can be tipped into (added) another book, scrapbook, or other paper project. :)

Far east front

Far east back

Ballet front

Ballet back

Sewing front

Sewing back

Vintage front

Vintage back

I haven't done anything I would call 'creative' for a while. It was a real joy to sit and dream these things up and then make them to my imagination. :)

Summer rolls onward. I have quilts to make and things to do before I sleep.

;) Linda


Fireworks Plus

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Yesterday I was sitting in my cushy armchair in the living room, eating my lunch and filling in my daily crossword puzzle (on my smartphone:). Suddenly, I heard a loud bang - a bird had bashed into the big glass door beside me. Startled by the noise, I looked to my left to see not only the bird fluttering away into the bush nearby but also the red fox that was trying to catch it! I am pleased that here in suburbia we see so much 'wildlife' that has adapted to living near human busy-ness - squirrels, rabbits, coyote, ground hogs, skunks, raccoon, and now foxes. This is actually the second time I've seen a fox in the daytime in our neighborhood but the first time so near a house. :) The fox I saw was slender and somewhat small. I couldn't tell its sex or age from looking. It/she/he looked disgusted with itself for missing the bird and then walked off through the bushes, obviously keeping its eyes open for more bird-jumping opportunities. I have heard them barking and calling at night (the breeding call of a female fox is an eerie scream like a terrified woman).

Life has a too-quiet-for-me pattern here chez Schiffer. Broken occasionally by trips to the post office or for doctor's appointments, I generally sew or do other hobby working in the early afternoon for two or three hours. I spend the rest of the day reading books, visiting Instagram to look at quilts or playing solitaire on my computer. I have a number of regular weekly Zoom meetings that keep me socially engaged (as well as one can be engaged without face-to-face meetings). Otherwise, I rather feel as if I'm composting. :)

Lately I have been spending an hour or two in the early evening watching my husband play video games and chatting with him. Since he doesn't watch television, it's our only opportunity for screen time together. :) Anything video-wise I watch is done streaming from my desktop computer as I long ago canceled our cable tv service.

Once a week my daughter calls and I get to chatter with her and my two grandsons (6 and 3 years old now). I deeply enjoy those chats even though they are generally small talk about our daily lives. One thing about the virus lockdown is that I have become convinced how important simple daily life is to my well-being. :)

I have two new projects going on at present in my sewing room. Earlier this year I bought a half-yard bundle of Kathy Doughty's newest fabric collection Earth Made Paradise by Free Spirit. It is rare for me to buy that large a selection of a collection - usually I limit myself to fat quarter bundles. I really like the colors and 'feel' of this one, though, so I splurged. Now I am finally starting on making a quilt with the beauties. :) I dug out my Go! accuquilt diecutter and cut a set of 4" tumbler patches using one strip of each of the  17 prints in the collection. 

Now I am sewing them together in rows, trying to do a somewhat random arrangement of each print. Here is my first four rows:

Tumblers startI've hung this piece vertically for space but I imagine this as a horizontal beginning to a central medallion of eight rows of eight tumblers each. As you can see, two of the opposite edges are slanting. I think I will use those two spaces to do some applique work a la Kathy's book, Organic Applique. I decided as I sewed a second section this size today that I will make another medallion quilt with my fabrics (rather like the Aboriginal medallion I made last year which now lives on my cushy living room armchair). I will decide as I go along what borders to create/add. The only decision I need to make soon is what color the 'background' fabric should be (I'm thinking to find a soft blue-gray like the background of the print with pink parakeets you see above). Market forces will determine what I find, of course. :)

The other thing I'm working on at the moment is a fabric covered book with sewn binding. Ali Manning of the Vintage Handmade Books group is leading a week-long challenge and teaching this project. So far I have made my two fabric covered book boards and the eight signatures of paper (I'm using quarter inch grid paper as I expect to use this as a quilting journal). Still to come are punching the holes and sewing together the book. I probably won't do that until early next week as I need to prepare for the Modern guild monthly meeting on Sunday afternoon. :)

So, not bored but not too busy, either. Life is flowing along here ... with a summertime casual beat.

:) Linda


Interlude

AquafrontHere is a teaser of something that I'm working on sporadically these days (waiting for shipments to complete). I quite enjoyed the 'boro' style hand sewing I did on this little cloth sandwich - I expect to make more of these over time. :)

The weather has been more-or-less glorious so far this month. We did have one unpleasantly hot and humid day on Monday last week - the effective temperature was in the low three digits (about 95 degrees and 59% humidity outside). I had to run errands that day and felt like I was going to expire every time I had to get out of my car. That kind of temperature milieu totally wipes me out. :P 

Tuesday it rained heavily all day, on and off. I had to go out to my hairdressers for my every-six-week cut, mani/pedi date. Self indulgent to the max! :)

By Wednesday a cold front had blown in (with the rain) and it has been gloriously in the mid70s with blue shiny skies ever since. :) Wednesday I had my first dentist appointment (cleaning) for a year and a half. New dentist (Dr. Fixelle) in the practice whom I did like quite a bit. My technician was her wonderful sweet self (Felicia).

Meanwhile in the background there are various 'arguments' going on (tax people in Kansas who lost my check; various sew-alongs and classes; block made for the guild's raffle quilt; etc...) and activities happening. None of them leave a lot of imprint on my mind (this is why I keep a calendar, still, and this blog - so I can have SOME hope of remembering what I actually do with my time:). I feel like I'm not getting much done ... and I'm really not, compared to what I COULD be doing ... but there is quite a bit of niggling detail in each day. :)

I did manage to finish doing the embroidery on my most recent Haunted Halloween mystery block:

ToadyI like this old toad and his stools (I wonder WHY they are called toadstools?:). I am in the process of sewing together his Dresden frame today (during my Friday afternoon Sewing Together zoom with Patty and Barbara). Hope to finish it tomorrow. 

Meanwhile all the plastic shoeboxes filled with fat quarters are sitting every where in my sewing area. No job worth doing is worth finishing, apparently. :P Gotta get back to clearing away the mess and tidying up. I bought a rolling cart at IKEA last week? month? to help with that - gotta put it together and install some order! :)

Every day has a pattern now - sleep, wake, eat/read, sew, cook, read some more, play solitaire, sleep. All the other happenings fit into the open areas between those activities. Not the pattern I had thought I'd use in retirement but it seems to suit me.

:) Linda 


Pleasant

Pleasant.F
Pleasant is a very old-fashioned name. The only person I've ever known of, personally, to bear that name is the lady who started Pleasant Company, to make American Girl Dolls. :) I'm sure there were a number of worthy Quaker and/or Pilgrim ladies with that name, too, but I don't know any. 

The weather here in the Balt-Wash region has been incredibly pleasant for the past couple of days - mid 70s to 80s in temperature, blue sunny skies and breezes. We did have a day of outright rain, mostly heavy with some thunder and lightning thrown in occasionally, on Saturday. I expect the grass and trees are happy about all that! I finally took my few houseplants out onto our back deck for the summer - they enjoy the boost in growth in the free air (on the north - therefor shady - side of our house). 

Things have been mostly quiet here. I did have a glorious outing last week on Friday. The Quilt Vine in Trappe, MD is closing (the owner wants to retire) and three of us (myself, Barbara and Polly) went out there to shop their sales. This required crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which is a major bottleneck for traffic journeying shore-ward. 

We had lunch at a very nice place in Trappe, Coffee Trappe. Built in an old bank, they had good food and a lovely staff. :) On our way home, we stopped at Bonheur Pie & Ice Cream in Easton. Talk about tasty!! I had a single scoop of butter pecan with dark chocolate shell. Delicious! 

The Quilt Vine itself was pretty busy - I heard the clerk say they were really slammed on Thursday (the first day of the sale). I managed to stick to buying some fat quarters and a nifty pattern for a crab-themed quilt. Polly found some real treasures including several great background prints. Barbara and I had a huge laugh at ourselves - she tried to find some things that Patty was looking for but none were to be had ... so we found a butterfly print in the scrap tidbits bin and bought it as a consolation. Both Barbara and I saw butterflies on the print ... Polly saw puppy dogs and we teased her about needing her glasses to shop ... until we took a good look at the print and realized that Polly was RIGHT and we were deluded:

Bfly

Mind you, this little bit is about 2" square, folded as it is. We had a huge belly laugh on ourselves over it. :)

The BEST part was just being out with friends! Been so long since we could go out day-tripping together. I'd have been happy to just ride and chatter. Happy sighs! :)

Things are hot at the Space Telescope this weekend - Skip is working about twice as many hours as usual this week. Hope they settle down, soon. I think he's getting closer to thinking about retirement - he says his stamina is not up to full time work any more (and his sleeping cycles are kind of messed up).

I started in on sorting out my fabrics and boxing them into the cartons (shoe box sized plastic bins) I bought at IKEA last week. I'm at that stage where your mess covers twice as much space as it did before you started. :) Another day or two should be good to finish it and I can move on to sorting out my projects. Happy times. :P

I did manage to finish the spiderweb block for the Haunted mystery:

Spiderweb

Yesterday I took a (Zoom) class with Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession (in Sydney, Australia) on Organic Applique (her most recent book) which I REALLY enjoyed. Love her color sense!

:) Linda


Returning?

“Do things for people not because of who they are or

what they do in return, but

because of who you are.”

                    Rabbi Harold Kushner

 

This has been my philosophy for treating fellow humans most of my adult life. My husband who swears he is _not_ a 'people-person' taught me to respect others and take into account their foibles. Good lessons. :) Without him, I expect I'd be more gruff with others.

I have been doing things but slowly, slowly. We have moved from late spring into real summer weather here in Maryland with hot days (well, by Alberta standards - 90 degrees F is just warm by local standards:). 

I had a zoom workshop with a Canadian quilter/designer last week (learning to make improvisational Economy blocks) and she was panting with the heat (of 90:). 'Course, no air conditioning up there - very, very few houses here exist without a/c; generally they are much older (pre-WWII).

The 17 year cicadas are still humming loudly on any day when it doesn't rain. My car windows look like I've been driving through the midwestern farm country - lots of bug splats. :P Every day there is a new layer of dead ones on my front step/walk.

Much of the sewing I've been doing has been for making gifts, so I won't share any of that until the gifts are given. I did make both the May (late!) and June blocks for my Stash Bee hive (#4):

MayblockThis was the May block - I enjoyed making this one. I was thinking this might be a good block for my guild drawing as it uses scraps really well.

Junepumpkin

This was Carrie's chosen block as the June Queen. I enjoyed this one, too, since I'm such a Halloween lover. :) I was tempted to make an aqua pumpkin like the ones Farmer Frank (who bought my Mom's farm) raises ... but decided to do the traditional (had more orange scraps:). You can see one here

I also finished the embroidery for the third Halloween mystery block last night. Here's the state it is in now - still have to add the Dresden framing:

SpiderwebLike my spider? That's the special orange edition belly color. :)

This week marks our household's transition back to 'normal' life. All three of us are fully vaccinated so I told Hugh and Skip they had to go back to doing the grocery shopping in person (we've been having our food bought and delivered by Instacart since the local area Covid surge last November). 'Course, Hugh felt unwell today and I ended up going shopping with Skip ... in 92 degree weather. I am so spoiled - the heat was really hard to bear after all this time indoors. :P Gotta go outside more!

I have to drive up to the White Marsh area (north east of Baltimore) tomorrow for a nutritionist appointment (bariatric surgery prep) ... and am thinking of stopping by IKEA (about a mile from the medical offices). We'll see how the drive goes and whether my physical energy holds out. :)

One of my favorite quilt stores - Quilt Vine, out on the eastern shore - is shutting up shop soon. They are having a closing sale so Barbara, Polly and I are planning to go there on Friday to browse. The shop has lots of wonderful modern fabrics and great patterns ... mostly I am looking forward to having a day out with quilting buddies!

:) Linda


Behind the Din

Ememem-9-1536x1024There is a French mosaic artist called Ememem doing amazing work near Lyons - using his skills to repair/refresh the city's potholes and erosions. If you click on the photo above, you can go read about his work - I personally think it is exquisite! :) Here are two more examples:

Ememem-8-1536x1078

Life is flowing along quietly here chez Schiffer. I sew a couple of hours every day - I always thought I'd sew all day long when I retired but I have found that my body just cannot perform for more than about three hours before I have to sit quietly in a corner and rest. Looking down at the machine (which is supposed to be the best angle) aggravates my neck and my hands go numb. :P My attention span appears to be about 1.5 hours before my mind wanders off what I'm doing. (That _is_ an improvement from the 45 minutes I could manage when running my store:) 

One good thing that I started during the pandemic is cooking real food for our suppers ... I manage maybe three or four evenings a week, which I count as a success. Especially considering how much I do not enjoy meal planning/meal production/grocery shopping, etc. LOL.

Today I finished making and attaching the Dresden frame to my second embroidered block for the Halloween mystery bom:

Raven

I love his ruff! This is another design by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio. I was just thinking today (as I gathered the fabrics to make this frame) that I want to incorporate some of my other archived Halloween patterns in this quilt when I finish the embroideries. :)

As I'm sure you know, the big environmental news in my local region right now is the eruption of Brood X of 17 year cicadas. I took some photos in my front yard and made a video to remember the sound level of their cries, fairly early on in the whole process.

Cicadason azaleas


Cicadason azaleas

If you look carefully, you can see some of the cast off shells of emerging cicadas along with the more mature bodies of older ones getting ready to fly upward into the trees. They chew on the growing tips of leaves and the males make a high-decibel cacophony while calling to the females to mate. If you sit and watch anywhere under trees right now, you will see regular flights of females dropping out of the trees onto the grass to lay their eggs and start the cycle again. Apparently the females lay their eggs in the leaf tips (where the larvae hatch, eat and then drop to the ground to burrow down to the root level); those females flying down must be exhausted and going off to die? Cycle of life stuff. :P

We will have a quiet holiday weekend - we never travel during holidays if we can help it (got enough of that when our kids were little, going to see family:). Hope to do some meaningful sewing.

:) Linda


This Day in May

MWH_6925

I saw a really exciting (well, to me:) article in National Geographic recently about research being done on an area of Maryland very near to me. If you click on the photo above you can go read about a rock outcropping near here that is a piece of a long ago ocean's seabed - a piece of the crust that has been thrust up to our surface by plate tectonics and is now exposed for study. Here is a picture of the geography (little tiny box shows 'us'):

Ngscience-2104-appalachian-ophiolites_primary_ai2html-desktop-smallI think I actually know where these rocks are ... but am not sure enough to find them. :) Just a bit of local news.

My days are flowing past, growing increasingly summer-like. The cicadas have emerged in my front yard as well as the rest of this area - I need to take some photos of our trees covered with spent cicada shells. :) Haven't found any wings, yet, but it is still early days. Brood X has a ways to go before it is finished with it's every-17-year emergence. Luckily I am NOT a bug phobe so I find the entire event rather exciting. :)

I have been sewing a bit but have rather less than usual to show for it. I did manage to finish making a new workbasket for myself - this is a Juniper Basket from Sew Modern Designs and I really am happy with it! I made the size large and I think I could house the knitting for an entire sweater in this. :)

Juniper2
Juniper2
Juniper2I only had enough of that sewing machine fabric to make one side of the basket (my last precious bit:) so the other side is a remnant of the canvas I used to make my Sandhill Sling. Notice that there is an external (inset zipper) pocket and an internal pocket (simple slip in).

Remember I showed you my avatar and the first (unfinished) block of my self-portrait in fabric for the Grad Class swap? I've made progress and finished my blocks through May to be mailed off. Here is a representative sampling of them (I ended up free-hand drawing the features because my hand shakes too much to trace them).

Lindamay2
Lindamay2
Lindamay2
Lindamay2
Lindamay2I'm sure you can see the variations in features ... none of which actually look like me, of course, but realism was not the goal with this project. (thankfully!) :)

I also finished the embroidery for my next Halloween block from Crabapple Hill. I LOVE this raven:

RavenI think his ruff is hysterical - and very a propos. :) I think he should be named Nevermore. :)

I went in search of some brainless sewing to do today and found a roll of 1.5" strips from the Cider collection by Basic Grey for Moda. I decided to make quarter-square log cabins with it ... happy sewing! :)

:) Linda


Wayside

Orkney-potters fingerprintDo you ever think about the past - as in the distant past, prehistory, and such? I like to think about (and read about) what life might have been like long ago ... back when there were few of us on Earth and growing plants in one place to harvest later was a radical idea. :) The photo above shows a small piece of pottery - fire-hardened clay, nothing fancy - with a fingerprint from the pot's maker baked right into the side of the pot. Kind of like looking at the fossilized footprints of early people ... a 'we really were here' signpost. :) That particular piece of pot was crafted in the Orkney Islands (North Sea, distant northern edge of what is now the British Isles). Gives me shivers when I think about it. :)

I have been living in a semi-random pattern for some time now. The weather is improving daily - we have started to enjoy late-Spring/early-Summer environs here in Maryland. The trees are all green, lots of pretty flowers are blooming, grass gets cut every day (almost eye-searing green this time of year:). People are enjoying the outdoors more and more. According to the local news blogger the county I live in has a 75+% vaccination rate for 16 and older residents ... and the governor has agreed with the CDC that fully vaccinated folks (like me:) can do without masks for the most part. 

I went into my local quilt shop this past Saturday without my mask ... quick trip to pick up some zippers ... and felt naked without my mask. :) I felt so daring! LOL Maybe some 'normal' will resume?

I've been sewing and making but not keeping very good records. My 'what have I done lately?' photos are kind of random here:

AvatarI am participating in a 'me' block swap with members of Mimi Dietrich's Grad Class this year. I am woefully behind in my production ... and am waiting on some new Pigma pens I ordered to arrive so I can finish a big batch to mail out. My block is based on an avatar I cobbled up for myself from FB:

Image-1

I have chosen a series of seasonally appropriate fabrics for the backgrounds of my blocks. Originally I thought I'd use a scrappy set of flesh and hair prints, too ... but that scissors print makes me giggle so I'm using that for all my blocks, so far. My hair is dark (not black but dark brown) and shot with gray (in what my hair cutter calls a 'distinguished' pattern:) ... but scissors just seemed so appropos. :)

BlaackcatblockMeg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio is slowly releasing a block of the month Halloween series that appeals to me. I've embroidered the first block (black cat, above) and made the framing 'Dresden Plate' applique. Now I'm working on the second month's design which features a raven wearing an Elizabethan style ruff. ;) Hand embroidery is what I save my hands to do (too much arthritis makes me limit my hand work pretty strictly) ... so I am loving this project. :)

BlackcatembroideryHere's a close up of the embroidery, pre-pressing.

WishThe round robin project I've been working on with members of Faithful Circle quilters has finally ended and I've gotten my own piece back. I LOVE it. You might not get the full impact of the cheerful pink and blue palette in this photo - I think this fabric is just plain happy. :) I'm not sure what size this piece is (maybe 45" square?) ... but I plan to use the remainder of my prints to make more borders to at least size this up to a lap quilt. 

This is the block I started my round robin with:

FirstblockMy Columbia Friends group has been doing a challenge every month or so for a while. Our current topic is to use something from either the natural or the architectural world as inspiration for a piece. Pretty broad ideas, for me, but I've settled on an attempt to interpret this photo into patchwork:

MyhandThis is the back of my right hand, showing the loss of subcutaneous padding on my skin (lizard skin) as it ages. I remember distinctly when I first noticed this happening to me (being, as I am, somewhat, ahem, overabundant in flesh, I have mostly looked younger than my age for most of my life; poor hands put paid to that!). Ought to make something interesting in stained glass or some such. Plotting patterning.

Today I finished making my version of a large Juniper Basket by Sew Modern. Forgot to take a photo (hope to remember tomorrow). Intend to use it for holding my handwork near my comfy living room chair. 

:) Linda


Saving Scraps

SCRAP SAVING SYSTEMS
Summary by Linda Schiffer

Originally given as a demo at Faithful Circle Quilters guild

*There is an excellent discussion of this entire issue on a blog I read regularly - check it out

Why Keep Scraps?
    Do I want to use scraps?  If not, find a friend* to gift them to

        (*’friend’ could be literal or freebie table at guild or student/seniors group, etc.)

    If so, what will you make with scraps? experiments? utility quilts? gifts? charity?

What is a SCRAP to me?
    What size is ‘too small’ for regular stash for YOU?

    Do I need an organized system? Do you use your scraps immediately - maybe you don't need a 'system.'

    The key to any system you choose is that it must be EASY for you to use when you want to use it. It must be EASY for you to maintain.

    Starting a new-to-you system can be a burden (Queen of Procrastinators speaking!:). Try to take advantage of your own daily rhythms and play habits to make it more fun.

    Ideas for FUN: get a buddy to work with (work on each one’s mess together via Zoom or in person; you cut mine, I’ll cut yours exchange, etc).

MY PERSONAL SYSTEM - your mileage will likely vary.

    For years I gave my scraps away - to friends in the guild and later to my Aunt Jean.

    MY personal definition of ‘scrap’ is smaller than most makers’ - smaller than about 10” square. (Really tiny trimmings and such go         into a cloth tote bag for recycling.)

    After retirement, with more time to sew, my scraps started piling up and annoyed me. I decided to dedicate my scraps to making charity quilts.

    Here is my highly evolved (chuckle) current method, built around my own slap-dash personality:

    This is a common wicker laundry basket. It sits to the left of my sewing table and I toss ‘scraps’ into it as I make them, in whatever shape. My goal is to never allow the basket to fill (Scrap Overload!!).

IMG_6480
    When I am between projects or just not up to thinking very hard, I take an afternoon to cut up the scraps I’ve put in the basket. My cutting guidelines are, depending on the size of my fabric bits:

2.5” wide strips or squares
1.5” wide strips or squares
Sometimes* 2” strips or squares

*but I try to minimize

    I keep the cut up scraps sorted by size in ziplock bags in my basket (to separate them from new ‘scraps’). When I sew with my scraps, I further sort them by value NOT color, generally.

    This ‘system’ is simple - easy for my brain and organizational challenges to create and maintain - easy to sew into quilts. YES, this limits my quilt design choices but the ‘system’ works for ME.

    When I choose to use my cut up scraps, I can create simple quilts that satisfy my need to sew without taxing my brain or patience. I save experimenting with new designs for non-scrap sewing, usually. I use my scraps to sew for charity - usually baby quilt sizes:

Fourpatchbaby

Locabinbaby

OTHER SYSTEMS:

    *Some quilters like to make nice colored baskets or bins to sort their scraps by color (use some scraps to make these!).

      Complete set of boxes

    *Others sort them by size like my friend Barbara Bennett - into baskets/bins with fabric bits in sizes “strip,” “crumb,” or “chunk.

Scrapbins

    Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System: 

        Bonnie lectures and teaches with her methods regularly. She cuts her scraps into useful-to-her sizes and keeps them in drawers. She uses scraps in almost all her quilts. Many quilters swear by Bonnie’s method.

    Scrap Therapy by Joan Ford: 

    Joan also cuts her scraps into useful-to-her sizes. She has a number of books of designs using these sizes. I used to teach her method at Seminole Sampler. It works for most quilters.

    Quilter’s Lumberyard by Cheryl Coffman and Patty Bowers:

    These quilters travel/teach their system and how to use it. I found a good YouTube video by a devotee to explain the basics:

    Just Get It Done by Karen Brown:

    Karen has several Youtube videos about scrap saving and using. Here is a beginning. Here is one about starting a new system. Here is a video by her about using your crumb scraps. Here is a video featuring blocks that use up strips/strings.

   

SOCIAL MEDIA:

    There is a group of scrap-using makers that meet via email called Stashbusters:  Participation is free and the group is moderated.

    Likely there are similar groups on Facebook, Instagram, etc.


13 Days!

Violet
Spring is still bursting into bloom here in my neighborhood. It's all beautiful ... from tiny violets ... 

Japanese maple

... to the Japanese maple trees  in our front yard that leafed out overnight one day last week ...

 

Pansies... to the lovely pansies planted beside my doctor's office with their glorious colors.

I keep telling my husband that I want to move back to Madison (WI) to live - near my daughter and her family - but I would truly miss the beautiful spring flowering that happens here. The time between the end of winter and the beginning of summer is protracted and verdant here in our climate zone (7A) - much longer than it is in Madison, fer shure. :)

I can't believe how lazy I have been with posting here. Technically, I could be going out quite a lot more now that I am fully vaccinated ... but my days are still flowing together and oozing into one another memory-wise. I lose track of the days easily and the hours are even harder to separate. Sigh. I am actually sewing and doing things, I just somehow can't assort them on any kind of logical memory trail. :P

I did get to go to a friendly get-together this past weekend. Faithful Circle Quilters (my 'traditional' guild) had a trunk-swap-meet event on Saturday afternoon. You can read more about it and see some photos at my friend Barbara's blog. I took only one item to give away - a big bag full of yarn, enough to make a nice sized afghan (that I will never have the attention span to make). The woman who took it does a lot of yarn bombing with a local group - hope I get to see some of my yarn in use (acrylic, so weathers well, and bright flowery colors). :)

I told myself not to take stuff at the swap ... but I did. Barbara found me some lovely kokeshi (Japanese folk dolls) prints ... and I got one of brightly colored wild horses ... and a lovely batik elephant ... and a truly adorable tiny ironing board ... and a gorgeous framed redwork swan that will go up on our living room wall as soon as I can get my sweetheart to help put in tacks. :) So, restrained but useful (in my book:).

In no particular order, here are some of the things I have sewn recently. Well, other than the first quadrant finished quilting of the Hope quilt which I have not taken photos of.

 

Bananaleaves

These are 'banana leaves' by Elizabeth Hartman ... made in

odd moments here and there ... and will be used in my Leafy

Greens quilt (whenever I get back to working on it).

Giftbox

This is the April Stash Bee block ... the dark print

(the 'giftwrap') is a double weave forest green.

Puppylove

This is my oldest (I _think_) UFO - it's about 16" x 22" or so in size. It is an original design I made in the mid90's to be included in my third book of foundation piecing designs. It needed to be bound which I managed during a zoom sew-in with modern buddies last week. Puppy Love. :) I could not help but laugh over the asking price on Amazon!

Sewingbag

I made a very nice (imho) wide open zipper pouch for a friend

using somesewing machine themed fabric I've been

hoarding. Glad to use it for a good cause. :)

Stripes

The Columbia Friends group has been having challenges this year (one every two weeks or a month). The most recent one was offered by Heather Kojan - 'stripes.' My response to the challenge is not very original but I certainly enjoyed making it! I bought a fat quarter bundle of Kaffe Fassett yarn dyes and double weave cottons to make this pattern by Swirly Girls called Fractions. Since I took this photo, I have appliqued the circles onto the top (see the link). 

 

So, spring is passing and I am doing some things. Not nearly enough ... and not much is getting finished around the house ... I'm still reading a lot though I have gone back to a little bit of video streaming from time to time. I seem to alternate the two. I am pondering buying some furniture for our deck so I can enjoy the outdoors a bit more often.

:) Linda