Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keeping the weekend in mind

It's the last day of the fiscal year. It's a holiday week. I'm racing around like a loony trying to get things done since I'm only working three days this week. And boy am I ever looking forward to this weekend!

What do I hope to accomplish on my little at-home retreat?

--Finish the top I'm working on for Project Linus. All it will take is a middle sash and final border. I'm putting this aside for finishing when it's not going to be 80 and humid. My guess it will be tied this fall.

--Use my mornings, when it's cool, to wash, dry and iron all of my new yardage, for infiltration into the stash. (hehe, sounds like an alien invasion when I phrase it like that. Or else I watch too many movies...)

--Machine-piecing--work on violet and green 9-patches. I'm hoping to have all 25 pieced by the end of the weekend.

--hand-piecing--draw sew lines for chain squares. Piece a few of these, as well as pinwheels, each evening. Time provided, cut pieces for the next Xmas Star.

--Have fun! Watch movies, listen to music, take a nap, snuggle a kitten, relax, chat with my fellow holiday-weekend retreaters on the list-serv. Do easy things for dinner--preferrably minimal cooking involved.

Ultimate goal: to be productive in a relaxed atmosphere. (Wishful thinking, yes, I know.) And to blog about it!

OH! I almost forgot. I'll be doing a give-away at some point in the next few days. So stay tuned for more info!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Quickie Monday Update

No photos today, I'm afraid. I managed to be quite industrious on my day off yesterday, and sifted through my stash, coming up with one half-yard cut of background fabric, as well as a dozen FQs and a couple large scraps and sat down to cut. And cut. And cut. I now have enough 5" squares cut to make 24 large 13.5" (i think?) 9-patch blocks, in green and violet and cream. Sashed, this should make a long twin quilt or if I make another 9-patch, I can do a 5 x 5 setting for a large throw. OR two large crib quilts. I haven't sewn a stitch yet, but I'm so excited! And the best news was all of the fabric I used was in my stash already--NO new purchases. A drop in the overall bucket, but a small victory.

I would've started sewing right on the spot, but my back was really bothering me yesterday, so I spent the afternoon on the couch and the evening in bed with an ice-pack. I slept ok last night--the pain didn't keep me up too much. (I had a ruptured L5/S1 disc back in October, and had surgery to "fix" it in December '08. The result is that I still have back pain and numbness down my left leg/foot.) But I did manage to hand-piece another 5 pinwheels, bringing me up to 12 pinwheels and one chain block. Good gods, it sounds endless when I say it like that! >.<

There is literally no time to sew again until Thursday--the DH and I are going to dinner and a movie (he picked Transformers this month. I'm holding out for Julie and Julia in August!) for our monthly date-night tonight, then I work late tomorrow and have plans Wednesday, too... But my little at-home retreat starts with a cup of coffee and some gorgeous 9-patches bright and early Thursday, and that's enough to get this librarian through the end-of-the-fiscal-year nightmare at work this week!!

ETA: Nedra is doing a week-long Blogiversary giveaway! Go check her out!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

As promised: Stash post!

As I read the blogs of other quilters, one of the things that I am most intrigued by is what their stashes look like. How do they store it? What colors do they favor? Are all of their WIPs stored together or separately? So I figured I would share mine, too. :)

This is my stash (just the tupperware bins, not the boxes behind--this is our "storage/kinda-guest-room", perpetually unfinished--as is evidenced by the painters tape that won't come off the wall... *sigh*). The big bins on the right-hand side are the bulk of it--FQs, yardage, etc. The smaller bins on the left are separated out by WIPs, UFOs, and in one case, WHIMMs. The WHIMM box is my 1930s prints, which are currently earmarked for a couple of baby quilts. I haven't started them yet, so they're just hanging around right now.

Inside one of my big bins. This is my uncategorized, catch-all, not earmarked for anything bin. Yardage, FQs, etc. When I talk about using up stash, this is mostly the one I want to work out of and finish off. Maybe it's a librarian thing, but having this big box of fabric that doesn't "belong" to anything kind of bugs me. The good news, for me, is that when I got home last night, I sifted through it and picked out a bunch of purples and greens for my next project, so I busted several yards. Hardly looks like I made a dent, but it's a start!!

Here is the innards of another bin--my Civil War repros. Some are slightly looser interpretations, and solidly half of it is care of my bestest quilty friend, Wendy, who decided the best way to get me moving on a Dear Jane project (or three) was to give me more ammo! Currently, I am still so awed by my embarassment of riches, I'm at a stand-still. Sorry, Wenders!

This is the innards of my handpiecing WIP bucket. A little pair of scissors, the horrifying pincusion I made a million years ago from some old scraps my mom had (my younger brother had a pair of jams made out of that fabric back in the 80s, to give you an idea!), spools of thread, and HSTs for pinwheels. This is what I do when I'm watching TV, etc. at home. The little bucket has a handle, so it's nice and portable. :)

This is what I mean by categorizing. In this bin, I have fabrics which are divided into batiks (lower right), oriental fabrics (top--I have plans for a flying-geese quilt with these), and paisleys and accents fabric (lower left) for my Stars over Kasmir quilt, which has yet to be started. I don't sort by color or value, but by what I envision them becoming a part of in the future. Again, I think it may have to do with the librarian thing. I don't shelve books together by color, or size, or what's on the cover. I shelve all the ones with the same subject together.

Oh, and even more of an embarassment than my "everything goes" bucket? Is this:

I know that Wendy, among others, is crying looking at this. This is my box (cardboard, yes, I know, bad quilter, no cookie) of "what the hell was I thinking??" fabrics. Enormous florals, novelties in a variety of flavors, animal prints--EEK!! Yes, they are going to find another home--and most of them will wind up in charity quilts of one form or another. In the meantime, they just make me absolutely crazy.

Want to share your stash with me and other quilters? Post it in your blog, and leave the url as a comment!


PS--I am so totally going to join some of the challenges at Stashbuster.com next year--I want to get rid of some of this!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

At the library

Well, it's a gorgeous (!!) Saturday morning here in CT, the first really sunny, blue-skyed morning we've had in a month. And it's the town's annual fair-day. So my best guess is, people will be mowing lawns, doing chores outdoors, and going to the fair, and not coming in to see me and my coworkers today.

Which honestly is ok by me. It means I can sit and finish up some orders, and drink my coffee (which I'm drinking with soy milk this morning since the DH forgot the half n half when he shopped on Thursday. Yeah, he forgot, but he also does the shopping, so I suppose it evens out in the end... :P), and clean off my desk a bit.

Lord knows, I'd rather be home with all the windows open, book on CD playing (my library book club is reading Three Cups of Tea for our July meeting), and stitching away to finish the Project Linus quilt before sitting down to cut blocks for the green and lavender 9-patch quilt, or handpiecing HSTs into pinwheels. *sigh*

There's always tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009


So, I'm coming clean with my reverse stash-bust here. *looks sheepish* I got some more goodies in the mail today...

FOUR charm packs, three by Moda and one from RJR. They came care of EverythingQuilts.com and FabricShack.com. There are some great deals to be had online, folks. And these charm packs are DELICIOUS!

The spoils do not end there, I'm afraid. There was *gulp* yardage involved...

Fabric Shack had some amazing deals, so I picked up a half-yard each of the Scott Jarrard whale print and stripes (they were on super mark-down, and SCREAM to be made into a sweet baby quilt), as well as the wonky plaid from Windham and the tiny geometric print from Play Date (both also on super sale, a yard and 2 yards, respectively). I foresee the plaid becoming binding, and the geometric becoming the backing for the current Project Linus quilt top.

Speaking of which... I came home from work today, and after dinner, just flopped on the couch and vegged in front of the TV. I started thinking about heading for bed, but looked at the clock and realized it was only about 8 o'clock. Well! That's way too early to head for bed, in my humble opinion. Sure I have to be at work at 8:30 tomorrow morning (yes, I work Saturdays), but still. So I decided to go ahead and spend a little time at the sewing machine, and here is what I wound up with:

I put the borders on the second panel for my Project Linus quilt. They're here auditioning with my one non-brick red fabric, which will be the final round of borders. At this point, I'm really fairly pleased. This means that if I can hack it, I will be finishing this top on Sunday, and pair it with its backing, reading to go to the longarmer. AND, it means I will likely start another quilt top. I have this itchy little need for a lavender and green and white 9-patch. No idea what will come of it, but I'm ready all the same!

However, I also have a 4-day weekend coming up over the 4th of July weekend. And since I am a guild-less quilter with no plans for four days, and a spouse who works retail and will be gone the majority of the time, I decided to join some of the ladies over at the Stashbuster Yahoo Group for an on-line quilting retreat. My plan originally was to finish the Project Linus top and then work on piecing some more pinwheels for the pinwheel chain quilt. Since it looks like the PL top will be done THIS weekend instead, I'll likely split time between a machine project and the handpieced pinwheels--the last time I tried to hand-piece for a whole day, I spent the evening with my hand in a bowl of ice, and the next day I finally dragged out my machine. I'd like to think I've learned from that experience...

Still coming soon: stash pictures!

Oh, and since I might as well start sharing these, here's a photo of one of the Christmas stars for my sampler:


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Separation anxiety

Have you ever had to work late, and had the knowledge that a beautiful package of fabrics was sitting at home on your dining room table, waiting to be opened and fawned over?

8 yards and a charm pack, to be exact.

A yard each of pink, cream and white solids, a yard each of blue and yellow paisley stripes (I think these will make awesome bindings for kid quilts), a yard and a half of sprigged green calico that I got on ridiculous sale, a half-yard of yellow/orange batik with blue dots, a half yard each of 2 Oh-Cherry-oh prints (lime green with cherries & red with white blooms), AND a Moda charm pack (Aviary). Pictures obviously will follow shortly this evening.

But OMG, I still have a half hour at work (and thus, should be working *guilty look*), but I am constantly distracting myself with the deliciousness that is waiting at home for me!!


ETA: So shiny!

The charm pack is adorable, and will make a beautiful baby quilt, or two. The pink solid matches the pinks in the charms perfectly. The two paisley stripes are gorgeous, and that batik makes me want to dance!

I know, I know. Gotta bust. AND I still want to do a LQS hop at the end of the summer, so I have to rope it in and keep my hands to myself for a bit. I THINK I can do that. I'm really not sure, but I'mma try. Now, off to sleep with visions of quilt blocks dancing in my head!

*grabby hands*

I am the worst Stashbuster ever. *sigh* Maybe it's the gray days that just won't let up that make me crave bright colors? I am being good and shopping sales, if at all, and cut myself off at $30. But I need to go back on buying hiatus--my stash is kind of ridiculous. I have pics, which I suppose I should post later today. Getting into this Project Linus thing is kind of dangerous, I think. I can piece a LOT of tops from stash, but here's the thing.

Most of my stash is NOT kid quilt material. I have a lot of Civil War era repros, a lot of tone on tone and darks and neutrals. I have a small amount of fabric that is novelty, and a very small amount of pastels. I don't do brights, or pink, or pastels, by and large. So what I have to work with that would be remotely kid-appropriate for what my local chapters want would probably fit into a shoe box. So, I'm doing a bit of sale shopping to boost that part of my stash. I'm having such fun with the current top--I love the bright yellow with the denim blue, the primary colors, the small size of the project that allows me to finish in a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months...

See, I basically only get to quilt on the weekends. And every third weekend, I only get one day off. My evenings have already been spoken for by work and friends and my husband, so I might get one evening a week to myself. Sometimes I read, sometimes I quilt, or watch a movie, or just go to bed!! I just feel like I need more time!!! Don't we all?

Until next time,

Oh, but ps--there is still nothing like finding an amazing fabric from a great designer for only $2.98/yard. I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A weekend's work...

So, I pieced and pieced and pieced yesterday, and by this morning, I had this:

I have to rearrange my office/sewing room in order to set up my design wall. So in the meantime, I'm using my dining room table. This also counts for Judy L.'s Design Wall Monday post over at PatchworkTimes.com. :)

So this morning, I laid out all of the HST blocks. And then walked away for a bit. I set up my sewing machine. It's kind of broken (the foot lever snapped off), and desperately needs to go and visit the Sew N Vac, but it's working well enough to piece. And I honestly couldn't stand the thought of hand piecing all the little blocks together. SO, I went ahead and pieced a few double strips. And came up with this:

I did two long strips of double chains, and then walked away again. And thought. I was having a wicked time trying to match all of the seams and points--it has been a LONG time since I've machine pieced, and my accuracy is not what I'd like it to be. The thought of doing a whole top like that, when I'm trying to get the majority done in a weekend was enough to make me want to cry.

So I thought, and I ate grilled cheese, and I thought some more.

And I came up with this:

This is one of two panels. I have the blue and yellow borders cut and ready for the second strip. I'll do a final round of borders in red, and join the two panels with a strip of red. Kind of thinking of binding in green scraps. I haven't picked out a back yet, but I'm thinking of trying to machine quilt this, after I've had the machine serviced. Just in a plain grid. I dunno. Maybe. For now, it will get stacked in wait for quilting. Any longarmers want to help out Project Linus with a bit of time donation? :) I'd be happy to pay postage.

In any case, the finishing will be tomorrow night after work. I'll post more pics when it's done. :)


Saturday, June 20, 2009

mini at-home retreat weekend

Well, the DH is working crazy long hours this weekend, and I'm off for 2 days on a muggy, rainy weekend. What to do? SEW!

This morning, however, I got caught up on a little cutting, AND a little picture taking!!

Things to be cut. I needed more light HSTs for my ongoing pinwheels, and to finish up the cutting of the light strips for my chain squares.

I decided to throw in a few brights to do HSTs with, too. My mini-retreat project is a flimsie (quilt top) for Project Linus, of HST blocks, to use up some of the leftover blues. I had a few extra charms in primary colors (not shown) that I chopped up and threw in the mix, too.

The ironing board, complete with FQ and iron piping hot and ready to go. I cut at my dining room table, and have the ironing board right next to me so I'm not having to run all over the place. If I ever manage to clean out the other half of my office (currently taken up by a shoe organizer and 5 boxes of my husband's junk that needs to go up to the attic) then I hope to move this in there.

Not bad for about an hour's work this morning. I have the rectangles (top right) for my chain blocks, a couple of bright charms (bottom) for my ongoing stack of precut 5" squares, light and bright HSTs for the Project Linus quilt, and a big stack of 5" background fabric charms. My best guess right now is that they will either become HSTs at some future date, or perhaps will become part of a scrappy 9-patch top. I can't say for sure at the moment. More WHIMMs. Also, at the very top of this pic, you can see my little waste pile of trim and schnibbles too small to do anything with. There was a casualty in that pile, however--I was cutting a white FQ, and found that even though I'd washed it, it had stayed stained along a fold line. It was, unfortunately, how I'd received it. :( So I used all but the dirty bit, which I tossed.

Finally, this is my scrap bag. I also have a second bag for strips that are destined for wonky squares or log cabins someday. No idea what these will be, I guess we'll see. For now, I'm off to mark seam lines and get to piecing! I'd like to try to finish all the HST piecing today, and then put the top together tomorrow. I have Monday evening to myself, so if needed, I'll finish the center and put on borders at that point. The top will likely stay a UFO until autumn, when it will be cool enough to do some lap-quilting. Anything bigger than a lap quilt gets sent to the longarmer's these days.

I've also taken pics of my stash, and of my completed Xmas stars, so those will be posted in the coming days. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring...AGAIN

Well, the rain is back, after a single spectacular day of sun yesterday. And it is TEEMING! I can sit in my office and listen to it pound on the roof, two stories up. Yes, I work in a library, and yes, it's fairly quiet today (no story-times--woo!), but still.

I realize I talk a lot about quilting, and not so much about the library thing so far. Part of that is, when I'm frustrated with my job, I have a different outlet for that. But part of it is, well, sometimes the job is just kind of dull. Common misconceptions? That it's really quiet, that I shush people, that all I do all day is read.

Yes, it can be really quiet, like right now. But the design of the building is quite open, with the exception of the children's wing, so ringing phones, beeping of barcode scanners, and conversation noise all carries. Most days, we get about a thousand people through our doors, especially busy are weekends and just after people get out of work/school in the afternoons. So it is NOT your ideal space for silent study. Sorry!

I am not a shusher. As a matter of fact, neither are my coworkers. If you're having a loud conversation in the middle of our balcony, so that it echoes all over the main building, we will come up and quietly ask you to take your conversation (and/or your cell phone--that's a nono in here) to the lobby. Beyond that? We don't. We don't yell at kids, either. Do you remember being scared of the librarian when you were little? I do. A lot of people carry that into adulthood. We like to be kinder, gentler librarians than the stereotype.

And finally, if I got paid to read all day, I would be among the happiest people alive. I love books, and I love to read. But my job as a department supervisor means that I count fine monies, do statistical reports, organize the service desk schedules for 5 desks in our 2 buildings (and deal with all of the vacation/time-off requests), work at the service desk, supervise my department staff including our teen shelvers, and order books for our fiction and young adult collections. And I'm always on-call in case of a cranky patron. I DO read on my lunch hour, but alas, that is an unpaid break. I'm currently finishing the new Laurell K. Hamilton, listening to Jen Lancaster's new book "Pretty in Plaid" in the car, and will shortly be starting "Three Cups of Tea" for next month's book club.

Sadly, my little shopping transgression yesterday has snowballed a bit, and I signed up for *gulps* a "Strip of the Month" club. I have become so enamored of strip quilts lately, that the opportunity was too good to pass up--a jelly-roll and a new pattern every month? From what I see, a lot of them look like quickies, too, so they'd be nice breaks from the bigger projects, like the star sampler and the endless pinwheels I'm currently working on. I figure I now KNOW I have something new coming every month, so perhaps that will curtail some of the additional spending? Yes, I know, I'm delusional. But it sounds good, yes?

(And omg, fabric. I have been particularly "want-y" lately, and this has totally hit the spot, at least for now. I am in a dither of wanting to see all the new stuff, and impatiently trying to wait for it. *makes grabby hands* When I'm like this, I honestly don't trust myself in a fabric store, for fear of caving in to the desire to roll around on bolts of fabric like a puppy in the grass. I would be very sad if my behavior meant they would ask me not to come back. :P)

As far as WIPs, I am piecing HSTs in the evenings. Still. It is the life of a handpiecer. I admit to a twinge or two of envy when I see machine piecers and quilters whipping through projects at a rate of 1-2 a week. But I know that I cannot tie myself to another machine in the evenings, and I don't really want to. I find handpiecing quite soothing. I'm not saying that I won't break out the machine at some point in the future. I'm just saying that for right now, I'm happy with what I'm doing. :)

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A very bad stashbuster am I...

I actually bought fabric. Granted, it was all sale stuff from FatQuarterShop.com, and all colors I do not currently have in my stash (baby pink and lime green aren't my normal thing, but they go together nicely for a baby quilt I have in mind for Project Linus). But I just added 8 yards AND a charm pack. So bad.

But it felt sooo good! I promise to share pictures of the spoils when they arrive this weekend. :D


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project Linus

I blogged earlier today about finding inspiration through my online quilt groups and all of you amazing quilt and craft bloggers out there. And one of the things that I've run across a number of times in the last few weeks is references to Project Linus. It's a national organization with lots of local chapters (I was surprised to find one only one town away. I don't even have a GUILD that meets anywhere near the town I live in, for Pete's sake...) and their focus is providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in times of illness and trauma, via shelters, hospitals and other local facilities.

I have had an odd urge lately to make baby quilts. I don't have any friends or relatives who are currently expecting. I had thought to perhaps make a few and just keep them on-hand for when an occasion arose. Project Linus sounds like an awesome way to focus some of that creative drive. (Cuz lord knows, I won't be making them for kids of my own.)

So for those out there wondering what to do with small scrap quilts, orphaned blocks, that jelly roll of brights that's been sitting in your stash for months? Consider taking a weekend and making a crib quilt--a break from whatever you're working on, nothing fancy. Contact your local chapter (listed on their website by state) about what they need most. I'm waiting to hear back from mine. :)

Til next time,

So much inspiration!

Every new quilt blog or site I go to, every Yahoo Group digest I get in my email, it all seems to give me more and more new ideas. I know I need to clean and organize my office/sewing room, and all the talk over on the Stashbusters group is spurring me on. I just need time, and a day that my back isn't killing me, to move some things around, and hopefully unearth my sewing machine. I tend to be a handpiecer, but a lot of that is simply from necessity. I have located a local repair shop, and god knows the poor machine, if not actually broken, is in sore need of a tune-up--it's a 1970's Singer, originally my mom's. If I can get it up and running, it could make some of my projects move along a bit faster. Though I will continue to handpiece things like the stars for the Xmas sampler, because I am a bit obsessive about my points. :D

I also found a pattern, in sorting through photos posted by other Stashbusters group members, of jar-shaped blocks. Hers was done with bug and frog prints, and it immediately made me think of a friend and former roommate, who was a biology major in college. She actually flagged me down on-campus one spring afternoon our sophmore year to warn me not to open the shared mini-fridge in our dorm room, as she had stored some enormous bug in there. Blagh!! Twelve years later, it still gives me the creeps!! But I have some fabrics with frogs, lizards, fish and butterflies, and thought perhaps those might work well in a jar quilt. :) Looks like a quick project, at least, I hope so! Add it to my list of WHIMMs...


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sore thumbs...

After a good night's sleep, I was much more productive today. Not every Sunday I'm up ironing batiks before 8am, haha. Before coffee, even! It was a cool day, not too humid, and we even got some sun late in the day. That probably helped with the motivation.

I marked sewing lines on the rest of my HSTs for my pinwheels, and spent a quiet afternoon piecing more of those. I have enough for about a dozen more blocks now, so I will spend part of the evening working on those.

I have a bit of a confession to make. I'm a handpiecer, but I hate thimbles. I mean, HATE them. They never fit comfortably, they make my fingertips sweat, and honestly, I tend to push with my right thumb and catch with the index finger of my left hand--have you tried to find a thimble that fits comfortably on your thumb?? I have callouses. I am inordinately proud of my callouses. I know that most people, especially women, would hate the mere thought of calloused fingertips, but I love them. It's a little bit of my quilting that I carry with me, and when I'm on a hiatus from stitching, I find that I really miss my rough bits. :)

I was supposed to take pictures of my Xmas stars blocks today, and unfortunately, that hasn't happened. I wound up reorganizing my stash instead, sorting by projects, and discovering that I have about triple the amount of Civil War era reproduction fabrics than I had previously thought--enough for a giant bin filled to the brim, just with those. Yikes!! I also found a wee stash of batiks, which means that I don't have to go shopping for my batik WHIMM. I sorted out my 1930s repros for the baby quilt projects, as well as stacked all of my paisleys for the Kashmir Stars.

So, better organized, sans photos. Those should come sometime this week.

Until next time,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Woohoo, my first picture post!!

Well, with some help from the hubby (ie, he borrowed it then forgot where he put it), I found my digital camera, and I can now start to add some pictures to my posts!! This post will be my trial run, so bear with me.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon cutting all of the pieces for my chain blocks for my pinwheel chain quilt. Then I spent part of the evening piecing more HSTs to make pinwheels. Today...was not quite as productive. Something about day 7 of gray and cloudy yick weather straight (unless you count 3 hours of sun yesterday afternoon--I really don't) just made me kind of lazy. I read, I pieced another block, this one to see how I like the chain blocks (I very much DO), I watched an NCIS marathon and didn't even stitch. I could give some excuses like my back hurts (it does) or I'm tired (I am), but I was really just very lazy.

BUT. I did find the camera and Jay helped me get set up, and so here we go!

Obviously I was also too lazy to press them both, but you get the general idea. The way everything has been cut, every pinwheel will be different, though there will be some repetition of some fabrics throughout the quilt. Each of the chain blocks will have consistent colors within the block, but each block will be different. I'm really glad that I've been able to bust some of my stash with this project so far, about 4 yards worth after all the cutting was done. At some point I'm going to have to sort through and take inventory to get a better sense of just how enormous my stash really is. It will have to wait for less humid weather, though--it's so sticky, my hair has its own zipcode.

Now that I've got a sense of what I'm doing with this whole picture things, I'll make a concerted effort to post more of my progress.


ETA: I have to admit--after all of the cutting yesterday, I wound up with a bunch of strings. And a String Quilt has entered the category of WHIMMS...

Friday, June 12, 2009


So, one of the things I've done is join the stashbuster.com Yahoo group. There's a TON of activity over there, and the listmoms keep everyone up on the weekly and monthly challenges. Some of the cool things going on over there are:

Fling It Fridays: Those books, fabrics, patterns and tools that you are hanging onto even though you know you will never wind up using them? Pay it forward. Sell it on Ebay or Craigslist. Bring it to your next quilt guild meeting and swap with other people. End result? Get it OUT of your house, your sewing room, your stash!

Also, Uglies. You know you have them. I know I have a ton of them. Those fabrics that you either bought SO much of that you've used it in every scrap quilt you've made, you've backed a half dozen quilts with it, and you STILL have more, OR those that you look at now and go "What the hell was I thinking to have paid money for this??" I'm not currently participating, because a) they're 6 months ahead of me and b) I'm not allowed to have any more WIPs until I complete at least a flimsie (top). BUT. They are running a "Not so Ugly" block a month group, and I have to say, some of the pictures are hilarious. Some of the fabrics are truly awful, but get them in a few blocks next to one another with some accent fabrics and they're really not so bad after all. Some of them will turn out to be stunning samplers at the end. :) It's something I'm keeping in mind for when they start it up again next year. I could get rid of quite a bit of my stash that way AND make some cute baby quilts with all of my novelty fabric. (I swear, it must have been all I bought for a solid year, judging by the entire BOX of it in my stash.)

Also on the agenda for this weekend? Finding my digital camera so that I can share some of my WIPs with y'all!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

I found a new quilt shop!

So, last fall, I hurt my back. I had surgery on a ruptured disc in December, and was laid up for 6 weeks, returning to work this past January. It was a LOT of time cooped up inside, and I did most of the handpiecing for the Split Nine Patch quilt during that time (currently a UFO, but I intend to change that by this fall).

As my first solo outing, other than doctors' appointments, before going back to work--I went to take a trip to my favorite quilting store. It was about a 20 minute drive, and I couldn't wait to get there. Imagine my shock and horror when I pulled into the parking lot, and saw the FOR RENT sign in the window. I sat and sniffled for a minute, then drove home, crestfallen and emptyhanded.

I went online to look for a new shop, and there really wasn't anything nearby that was JUST quilts--there's always Joann's, but that's more like "lots of craft stuff, oh, and some fabric, too". And I won't lie, the last time I went to Joann's, the selection was eh and the quality wasn't that impressive. So I shopped at my favorite online stores, and made do with my stash, and tried to put it out of my mind.

As I've mentioned, I'm totally addicted to quilt blogs, so when I ran across the blog for The Quilt Shop in Danbury, CT, I hopped around like a mad thing for a minute, then quickly wrote down directions. THEN I found that there is a second fabric store in Danbury, The Fabric Tree (over 4k sq ft of quilterly goodness??! Oh baby!). And wrote down more directions.

Now then.

I've pledged to myself that I am NOT purchasing for projects when I can work out of my own stash. And for my last few projects, I've really been quite good. I bought some background TOTs (tone on tone fabrics) for the Xmas Stars quilt, and beyond that, I've been a model citizen in recent months. (Mostly.)

BUT. I also know that I do need to go out to buy fabric for borders for the Split Nine Patch so that it can be a finished top, ready to head to the longarmer's. And now I don't have to do that online! My plan is to save up a little extra money, and then go on a shop-hop at the end of the summer, and case out the two places. YAY! *prepares to pinch pennies til they squeak!*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've become an avid reader of quilting blogs these last few weeks (part of the reason I decided to start one of my own). And yesterday, in my reading, I learned a new term: WHIMM. This stands for Work Hidden In My Mind, and basically, this is kind of like a UFO (Unfinished Fabric Object) or PIG (Project in Grocery bag), but it just hasn't gotten started yet. And if I'm counting my WHIMMs as UFOs, BOY are there an awful lot of them!

So, here's the list:

WIP (Works in Progress)

Jay's Xmas Stars Sampler

Pinwheel Chain Wedding quilt


Split Nine Patch lap quilt (have one more seam, and border--why do I drop them with so little left to do???)

Red White & Blue Sampler (Finish quilting and binding)

Autumn colors Churn Dash (I have about a half dozen blocks of this, and I'm thinking of turning them into a table runner for the dining room table)

1930s Baby Jane Crib quilt (I am counting this, as I have the layout worked up on the Dear Jane software, the fabric ironed and set aside with all of the patterns printed and ready to go)


Stars over Kashmir--I have the layout set up on EQ6, and some of the fabrics set aside--it will be a paisley-based star quilt. I am addicted to paisley. Admitting I have a problem is the first step...

Dear Jane--I have an embarassing amount of Civil War era reproduction fabrics, and my friend Wendy sent me more, so it is either piece it or drown in it. I'm still scared of applique, though.

Flying Geese--I KNOW I have too much Civil War fabric. I'm thinking that a scrappy Flying Geese quilt (or two) might be kind of awesome, for what I can't/don't use for the Dear Jane.

Batik Churn Dash & Chain--Ear-marked for a friend. I have most of what I need, fabric-wise. Just need to get on it. Someday...

Feathered Star Medallion--Planned as the beginning of a Round Robin exchange with Wendy. May wait til she moves, though. Cuz I'm nice like that.

Ok, so, that's not overwhelming. Not at all. *chokes*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First post!

My name is Meg. I'm a married librarian in CT, owned by many cats. And I quilt. I taught myself how to quilt just after graduating college, back in *cough* 1999. My thanks to Roberta Horton for her book "Scrap Quilts: The art of making do" (1998), as that was what got me started.

I have a personal blog on LiveJournal. I'm on MySpace and Facebook. But what I found I didn't have was a place to talk about quilting. And that was how this blog was born.

The sad fact is, I'm great at starting projects. To date, I have completed (quilted, bound) three projects--two lap-size quilts as wedding gifts for friends, and a third bed-sized quilt as a going-away present for another friend. I have about a half-dozen UFOs, and a stash that fills 4 oversize Tupperware tubs, plus 4 smaller tubs.

I am trying to limit myself to only working on 2 WIPs at a time, currently a bed-sized quilt of Christmas stars (sampler) for my husband (who was born on Xmas Eve), and another bed-sized quilt of alternating chain and pinwheel blocks for a friend's daughter, who is getting married in January.

I tend to do most of my piecing by hand, so I am not a fast quilter, by any means. And I'll be honest--it is my intention to send out most of my larger pieces to be machine quilted by someone with a longarm machine. I love the smaller projects, but to handquilt something bigger than a twin? Just too daunting.

My intention is to use this blog to chronicle my quilting, the completion of projects, the depletion of my stash (I hope!), and to connect with other quilters out there.

Welcome, and thanks!