Friday, January 26, 2018

A New Way to Destash

Those of us who are artsy/crafty people tend to collect things that may someday be used in a project.  Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in a situation where we simply must cull our collection of stuff.  It's time to destash.

I have hit this point, even though I disposed of all kinds of minuscule fabric and yarn scraps when we moved.  I still have more fabric than I have room to store.  So I am making a quilt out of it.  I'm calling it a Pioneer Quilt, since I am only using what I have.

Looking through my piles of fabric, I simply couldn't come up with an idea on my own.  My wonderful husband came up with the idea to cut it into squares.  This is exactly what I did.  I decided on 4 inch squares, meaning they would be 3.5 inches sewn.  Considering that I wanted this to be crib or lap size, I needed to cut at least 220 of them.

The cutting phase took a bit more than two days.  Then came the sew-them-together phase, or another two days.  Since I didn't have equal quantities of squares, I chose to sew them together in no particular order. Yesterday, I laid all of my strips out on the floor (17 of them!) until I was satisfied that no two identical squares were aligned with each other, and began the assemble-the-quilt phase.

And today, I have a quilt top.  Tomorrow, I will decide what to do for the back.  Then, all that will be left will be to quilt and bind it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Have Been "Sewing Woman" Lately!

We have needed a new quilt or comforter for our bed for a while.  The one that has been there for a bit more than 13 years owes us nothing!  It's been slept under every night for all that time.  It's been washed and dried I-don't-know-how-many times. But it's been showing it's age for a while.  Having made that quilt, I'm really happy with how it has stood up to the test of use and time.

I really didn't want to make us another quilt, and have been shopping for a replacement for almost a year.  We actually did buy a quilt from Wayfair.  But when it arrived and we put it on the bed, we both agreed that it did NOT look like the picture online.  I guess it was at that point that I knew this was going to be my quest.  By the way, returning it to Wayfair was pretty painless.  I would recommend Wayfair.

It took six full days of sewing and 19 yards of material, but it's done and on the bed.  Paul picked out a really nice wood-plank pattern for the base and a beautiful digital print for the panel/pillows.  It must be okay because this new quilt has passed the "Maggie test;" she's snoozing in the sunshine at the foot of the bed.

We are hoping that this quilt will last as long as the one it replaced.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What Would You Like?

Actually, I like to write.  But you would never know it from this blog.  It's been over a year since I wrote a single word on it.  Amazingly, this blog still has followers.

It's been quite a year since I last wrote....  filled with an interstate move and some health concerns.  But all in all, it's been a good year.  And since we're now settled in many ways, it's time I get back to writing on my blog.  So the question is....  what would you like to hear from me?  What would you like to read?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Over

The American people have voted, and in doing so, they have elected a candidate who has made it okay to slur entire races, pigeonhole women as sexual objects who exist for nothing more than providing sexual pleasure to superior males, give huge tax breaks to the richest among us, and other ideas such as privatizing infrastructure at the expense of us working stiffs who will be paying the tolls.  When the leader of the Ku Klux Klan makes the announcement that, "We've done a wonderful thing," we should all be so very afraid.

This is the United States of America, and because it is, I am allowed to have an opinion.  It may be different from yours, but it doesn't make either of us wrong.  Today, I am sad and embarrassed for us as a nation who elected a racist, elite, misogynist to lead and represent us for the next four years.  It is where we will be lead that scares me to the core.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The One & Only FurPet© - Still Made By Me One at a Time!

I am still making each FurPet© one at a time, and I am tickled to report that I've just completed my 300th one! FurPets© are great listeners, love to play catch, eat nothing and make no noise!  And - they are unbreakable and guaranteed to last!

FurPets© started out available in only 4 colors, all of which were short, curly hair.  But they have rapidly evolved! FurPets© are currently available in more than a dozen colors and in short- and long-hair styles.  The lime green (shown) is our best-selling color.  We have heard from a number of people that they glow in the dark, although the manufacturer of the fabric makes no such claim.  It must have something to do with the color and the finish on the fur.

FurPets© have been purchased as toys (the original intent), as key fobs (never, EVER lose your keys again!), as cheer-up gifts for sick friends, as therapy aids for use in a nursing home (they are fun to stroke and squeeze), as stress relievers to live in peoples' offices, as rear-view-mirror hanging decorations, and as party favors for children's birthdays.  It really is incredible how they have just grabbed everyone who see them!

FurPets© are still affordable at $7.50 each.  In fact, the price has never changed.  They are even less in multiples!  If you want a FurPet© in a color I don't currently have, let me know and we will see what we can do!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Who Am I?

It recently occurred to me that I've had this blog for years now, and my loyal readers don't really know anything about me.  Yes, the very first article I wrote was about my quilting history, complete with pictures showing how my quilts evolved.  But still, all you really know is that I'm a person who likes to make stuff.

Living in this internet world, where one must be incredibly careful about giving out too much personal information makes it difficult to share.  But I think I can give you a bit of insight without giving identity thieves too much to work with.

I'm the eldest of five children.  I grew up in a middle-class family which was very much into appearances and keeping up with the Joneses, as the saying goes.  The minute I graduated high school, I bolted to look for those precious intangibles.  I was very much then - and still am - a hippie.

I protested the Viet Nam War with vigor.  I also burned bras and marched for the rights of people - it was irrelevant to me if it had to do with gender or race.  I'm a firm believer that people should be treated equally and fairly.

I love the outdoors and have nearly 500 miles of high country wilderness on my hiking boots.  Yes, I've walked much of the John Muir Trail.  In fact, my husband and I back-packed into a wilderness for 16 days for our honeymoon!  We would have been married at that trailhead, but we couldn't find someone to preform the ceremony.

I've raised four children, spaced over two decades.  They've all grown and gone their own way and are dispersed all over the country.  Our goal was to produce self-sufficient adults, capable of living their own lives. Happily, we succeeded!

I have 7 granchildren, none of whom are anywhere geographically near me.  But I get lots of pictures and phone calls.

I worked for nearly half a century in technology - I was on the "user" side of things and evolved with it.  I finally decided it was time for me to make my time my own and do what I want instead of being a slave to a paycheck.

I'm a happy person, with no time to hate - time is far too precious to waste on hating.  These days, whatever seems right at the moment is.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Now It's Easy to Find The Perfect Handmade Gift!

If you have been searching for the perfect handmade gift, you are probably frustrated.  You go here, there and everywhere and keep finding things that are NOT handmade, or just not what you want.  Well, here's the site that is just perfect for you!

The Handmade Gift Guide Shop at On Fire For Handmade is just full of all kinds of unique, hand-crafted things. Are you looking for something for Mother's Day - no problem. A shower gift - no problem. Something absolutely hand-crafted and unique - No problem!  The owner of the site, Anne Hopfer, has done all the leg work for you, giving you assurance that everything in the Handmade Gift Guide is in fact handmade and not mass produced.  It's a terrific place to find that perfect something for any reason!

The Handmade Gift Guide Shop is incredibly easy to use. You can scroll through the thumbnails until you find what you're looking for in a myriad of categories, from a variety of artists.  Many of the artists also offer custom work - just right when you want to create something special.

Easy to use, great variety, all handmade - The Handmade Gift Guide Shop at OnFireForHandmade will quickly become your go-to site when you're in the market for something as unique as you are!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Way Better Than Mini-Blinds!

I saw this on Facebook and couldn't resist sharing it since it is such a wonderful idea!  No special skills required, as everything is glued!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Value of a Mental Health Day

After cleaning up my workroom yesterday, I stood in the middle of it and thought, "I should do something."  But nothing struck me.  I had done my daily marketing and such, and no projects were hanging in the lurch.  I decided that a bowl of popcorn and a movie sounded like a terrific idea. Hubby came home from work toward the end of the film, Forty Carats, and the two of us finished off the popcorn while watching The Rock.

Many would say that this day was a waste; nothing was accomplished.  I completely disagree.  Absolutely everyone needs a mental health day every now and then; a day where there are no deadlines, no stress and no pressure.  It's completely freeing and refreshing, especially if you are a cottage industry.  A night's sleep is supposed to be refreshing but no so much if you are dreaming about all the things that need to be done to maintain and advance your tiny business.

Mental health day...  try it - you'll love it!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Can Knit This Easy Infinity Scarf!

A dear friend on mine's birthday is soon, and I decided to knit her an infinity scarf.  And thinking about it, I thought that there might be some of you out there that would like to knit one, too, and don't know how. This tutorial will fix that for you! This scarf is suitable to beginning knitters and can be finished in an afternoon.

You will need 24" circular needles, size 10.5, one 6 ounce skein of a bulky yarn (I used Red Heart Light & Lofty which is machine washable/dryable - any yarn that has a gauge of about 2 stitches per inch will do), and one stitch marker.  You can use regular straight needles. If you do, your infinity scarf will have a seam where you weave the ends together.

Make sure that the work isn't twisted on the needles!
Cast on 91 stitches. At this point it is VERY important to make sure that the stitches on the needles are not twisted!  Place the stitch marker after the last stitch cast on so you know where the beginning/end is.

This scarf is knitted using a seed stitch (knit 1/purl 1 all across). On each subsequent row, you will be purling the knitted stitches and knitting the purled stitches (thus the reason for casting on an odd number of stitches). Knit around in this manner until the scarf is at least 6 inches wide, or until your yarn is almost gone(my preference since I hate storing small bits of yarn!).  Be sure to leave yourself enough yarn to cast off!

When it's off the needle and laid flat it should look something like this.  Mine is 7 inches wide and 52 inches long.  This is an easy scarf that will definitely keep you toasty warm and can be tossed in the washer and dryer making care a snap.  It is sure to become your favorite!