Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Love Leftovers!!

No, not these kind~ well I like them but I meant the other 
Hello, all!

I'm Sarah from Confessions of A Fabric Addict and I'm so happy to be back on Stash Manicure again!  What would we do without this fabulous blog to inspire us each day?  I'm just happy to be able to be a small part of it.....


I've spent a lot of time this past week looking at magazines all containing fabulous ideas for using up the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner - and it made me think about how we can use the same concept with our stash.  

What do you do with the little orphan blocks and scraps from a project when you finish it?  You know, those small pieces of fabric that aren't big enough to fold up and put back in the stash?  When I first started quilting, I kept the leftovers of a project in a ziploc bag, all together.  I did't know what I would do with it, but it seemed like the logical thing to do.  So they sat languishing on the shelf.......

When I began quilting, I made quilts for Quilts for Kids - a wonderful organization that will send you quilt kits for free.  You make up the quilt and return it to them, and they donate it to a child in need.   But each kit left several orphan blocks, which I faithfully saved.  When my sewing group met last January, we sewed up eight of those kits, and had leftover blocks.  So I took all those leftover blocks, and made this quilt....


Then my daughter needed some quilts for a fundraising auction, and she sent me a picture of this quilt, saying that she really liked the design.   Aha!  A place to use the leftovers from the quilt I made for my granddaughter for Christmas last year!  So I took the leftovers from this quilt....


and made this one.......


Recently, my husband and I were invited to dinner at a friend's house.  She is European, and apparently they eat incredibly large meals there - when I asked her what I could bring (a very Southern tradition!) she told me she thought she had everything taken care of - she was serving soup, two meats, a casserole, three vegetables, potatoes, and two different desserts!!  Well, I certainly couldn't go empty handed, so I dragged out the little bag of leftovers from this quilt.....


And made these.......



Those leftovers from previous projects can be a great reminder of what you've done in the past, too.  My friend Beth of Love Laugh Quilt recently came up with a great idea that would be perfect for using up some of your leftovers.  She is challenging all the members of our great quilt blogging "neighborhood" to create a house block representing their little portion of the neighborhood, and send it to her by January 1st, 2011.  (Be sure to check out Beth's block on her blog - it's so cute!)  Everyone who sends in a block will be entered into a giveaway for 9-12 of the blocks to make their own neighborhood quilt, and the number of winners depends on how many people send in blocks.  (You can read more details about the challenge and giveaway here. I want to make my block to be a representation of my quilting life over the past year - maybe using stripes to remind me of the Stripes Challenge I participated in; there might be a clothesline of quilts in the "back yard" to indicate all the quilts I've made for charity this year; maybe a boat, for my hubby; definitely some of my favorite Marimekko-like flowers growing in the yard - a fabric leftover from the Simple Sampler Quilt-Along!  There's no telling what might make an appearance...  but no matter what, it will use up leftovers from this year's projects!  

So - - - do you have a special plan for using up your project leftovers?  Share with the rest of us!  

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Sarah

Monday, November 22, 2010

QUILT THERAPY


Welcome to Stash Manicure on a what I hope is a lovely warm autumn day...much like what you see on my farm.  Hi, I'm GMAMA JANE, or Grandmama to my 5 Grandpeeps.  You can find me telling my stories and quilting over at my place in blog world  Madamm Samm so graciously asked me to come for a visit and like any good southern lady, I accepted with pleasure.


How can I begin to offer up my quilting skills to all the talented quilty ladies I read about daily here at Stash Manicure?  Y'all are SEW Talented and Creative!!  Sew, allow me to just share some thoughts about our PASSION... something we call, QUILTING!!! 

Just like the stories I tell in order to preserve my family's heritage, QUILTS tell a story! QUILTS more often than not, tell a story about YOU!  The QUILTS you create not only provide warmth and comfort but provide an avenue for YOU...for ME...to stitch through the ups & downs of life. 
I like to call it QUILT THERAPY
For the next few minutes...have a cup of TEA or COFFEE


THINK about your STASH...your QUILTS
and COME WITH ME
 
WEDDING "GUEST BOOK" QUILT... JULY 17, 2004
 My daughter's Wedding Quilt served as her GUEST BOOK.  The colors in this quilt remind me of the color scheme of M.E.'s wedding.  Signed blocks preserve the names and BEST wishes of the wedding guests.  Interestingly, while I was hand quilting this treasure, I was also following the sad story of missing Natalee Holloway in Aruba... the summer of 2005.  My hands were "stitching" through my thoughts of one young woman's life lost too soon and by contrast another young woman, my daughter, just beginning her new married life. \Have you ever made a quilt for a new bride?  What were your thoughts as you sewed each stitch?




In 2003, from June 30-July 8, the medical staff and nursing home staff/workers signed this small quilt offering up hope, blessings, and sympathy for me and my family as we kept vigil over my dying mother.  This quilt reminds me of the love my mother and I received during a VERY stressful time!  Have you been there??? Have you ever made a quilt for an elderly parent, relative, or nursing home patient?  Did you contemplate your own old age?   Did you pray for peace and contentment for your elderly loved one?  Did you Grieve?





MY COAT OF MANY COLORS
From Big Grandma to Jane Ellen
1957 

 Big Grandma was my Great Grandmother.  EVERY year was spent stitching little treasures for all her children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren to receive as Christmas gifts.  Each gift was wrapped in white tissue paper and tied with curling ribbon.  I would receive little aprons, quilts, and handkerchiefs.  The scraps were used to make this precious housecoat.  Although I treasured this coat, as the years went by, it was misplaced and forgotten.  Fast forward to 1982 when unpacking an old box, my son came running to show me the "Hippy Coat" he had found.  I laughed so hard and quickly told him, with tears in my eyes, it was NOT a hippy coat but rather a very treasured "robe" from my childhood stitched with love by my Big Grandma! Don't you imagine, many of our Grandmothers have lovingly prayed over us as they have stitched treasures such as my "Coat of Many Colors" ?  Do you think Dolly Parton's Coat looked like this one?


Big Grandma's QUILT THERAPY


QUILT FOR SWEET BABY JAMES
BORN 2 MONTHS PREMATURE
OCT. 8, 2007

My Sweet Baby James spent almost a month in the NICU while I made this quilt.  Every worry, every tear, each milestone met, each bullet dodged, every good report, every bad report...all were "stitched" into the very fabric of this little quilt.  James was released from the NICU on Oct. 31st  with great joy!  However, in the midst of great joy is often great sorrow.  How were we to know that in a few short months we would learn that James had had a stroke "in utero" and would be diagnosed with mild/moderate Cerebral Palsy?  Today, James is learning to walk on a walker and is the most delightful, smart, and funny 3 yr. old I know! Our tears have turned into JOY!

Have you stitched a quilt for someone who was sick or facing a life changing situation?  Have you looked in their face when you gave them the QUILT?  How did you feel?


QUILT THERAPY
QUILT  "IN PROGRESS" for my BABY GIRL...AGE 26
 I am currently praying for BABY GIRL to finish her college education, wait on the Lord to provide for HIS choice of MATE, and to be content in the PLAN GOD has for her LIFE! 
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  Look it up!!


 QUILT THERAPY in PROGRESS


Therapy comes in all forms


Some go Fishing~


Some Bake!

Some have their hair done, and hopefully not with petroleum jelly~~~



Some travel!


Some confide in a friend!


Some just eat ice cream!




Roy Rodgers had his "Trigger"


BUT WE....................................


We "quilters" have our stash and are only
the next stitch away from our own private
therapy session!











Thank you for visiting with me today~


 Come on over and visit me here
for more stories, more quilting and the therapy bill is on me!




BLESSINGS
GMAMA JANE

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Self-proclaimed Queen of Making Do




Hi, I'm Kasey! You can find me rambling over here. I'm so thrilled that Madame Samm has let me gab away here on Stash Manicure!

I had intended to document the transition from sewing space to sewing room, and moving with my stash... however, we still haven't moved!!! The joys of buying a house....

So, this is my sewing space...


It's the corner of the sunroom/almost porch/really awkward addition to the house we're currently renting. Usually my ironing board would be blocking the view of my mess fabric stash. That's our kitchen table (I was standing in the pass through kitchen to take this)... I have the best husband who, upon returning from Iraq and seeing my "domain" granted me supreme sewing rule. Which is why we eat on TV trays when he's home.

Since I started reading SM, I have been attempting to organize my fabric. The shoebox sized plastic bins are great for strips, and the rolling carts are nice for my folded fabric. But, it seems like the more stuff I pack from our house, the more fabric I come home with during trips to Target for more tape (I swear, ladies and gents, i don't know HOW I ended up at the cutting counter!). So I have now purchased 2 more plastic bins-- one from JoAnn's, the other from Wally World... and they are MUCH CHEAPER at Wally World! I bought them after seeing others have had success with them, and because eventually those handles will come in handy to move.

I call myself the Queen of Making Do because I am currently *employed* as a Homemaker. Y'all know how well that pays... which means I have no budget for investing in fancy equipment. So when I needed a way to grip and unruly table runner for my first go at FMQ, I used these!

To quilt this!

He's such a dear, he'd been home 5 minutes from work and I was prancing around nagging,
"Hold this so I can get it all in one shot!"
Starting at either end, I rolled the well-basted runner up with one roll for each side. That way, i could hold the whole runner and not have so much awkward length dangling as I tried to move it around to quilt it.

I know, most people avoid rolling, but like I said- I make do! I have since squandered away found the money to purchase quilting gloves with those little grippy fingers so I can "puddle" rather than roll.

I also often make do by altering patterns, or straight up making my own to suit my wants/needs/goofy ideas. Like my purses, that have custom cell phone pockets so my iPhone is safely hidden but convenient
The pocket it still "hidden" since I used the same red fabric on the side... it's like Where's Waldo!
This purse is a double make-do since it was designed off of my last purse that I made over the summer... but when I made this one, I kind of forgot to sew the cell pocket in with the lining... so there it is, even handier on the exterior!

And speaking of Making Do... what do you do when you have either a malfunctioning walking foot or a design flaw that lets your walking foot misbehave? MAKE DO! Which, in this case, meant wire...

I rigged it so the wire forces the lever to drop and make it walk... it gets stuck in the up position. My other walking foot for my Fashion Mate is engineered better- it has a little claw that grips the needle screw. Too bad it wouldn't fit on Helga the Viking.

Last but not least, what do you do when you've packed 90% of your sewing and crafting stuff since taking of picture of your mess domain? MAKE DO! Lucky for me, I had packed with planning... Most of my more recent (and more important) UFOs were all packed in the same plastic bin, which I left accessible.... so I have since finished the last 2 pumpkin placemats of a set of 4, my grandparent's Christmas present which happens to be another tablerunner, designed and finished Christmas placemats (ok not a UFO but so fun!), and turned 2 blocks into a completed flimsy that will probably be finished before we move!!!!


Laid out like this, it sure looks like I've been busy!
I have learned in my 26 years that complaining might be a good way to vent, but if you don't do something about it you just wasted your breath and your time. If I'm complaining, I'm probably forming a plan of attack as I speak/type as to how to improve my day/situation/attitude. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes of staring at my packed fabric, dreaming up what my first new project will be whenever we get moved and I get my sewing Room, and then pulling out another UFO and making progress. Other times, it takes sewing, and chocolate, and lots of love from our 2 dogs. But no matter what, if I do something rather than wallow in self-pity, I always feel better.

When life hands you a problem you think you can't solve, MAKE DO!

Happy sewing!!!
~Kasey

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tiny But Efficient Sewing Room



Hello!  It’s me again, Polly from Aunt Polly’s Porch blog!
I’m so glad to be posting here at Stash Manicure again! :-)
I have been BLOWN away by the ginormous and
extremely organized “Quilt Cave” photos
and posts by Teresa of Fabric Therapy.
OH MY GOOOODNESSSS!!
(And I thought I had a nice big stash!! 
NOOO comparison!!)school
This is our fourth home over the past 31 years
but it the first one in which I have my own sewing room.
So however tiny it is,
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it’s ALLLL mine!!
Samme and I were chatting about
 how her sewing room reflects her love
of girlie things… totally feminine
and frilly… mine- not so much!
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I have always loved everything by Mary Engelbreit. 
I have all her books and LOTS of her fabrics. 
I love her use of bright primary colors
mixed with black and white.
So, my little sewing room has her ALL over it-
the curtain valance, the cover of my Big Board,
my sewing machine cover,
all sorts of her  knick-knacks and such.
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Because my sewing room is so tiny-only 10’ by 10’,
I really HAVE to be organized or with all my stuff,
I’d not be able to move around in there,
find anything or even get in the door!

I do share my room, though, with my dog Yogi.
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  He has a comfy bed up on my sewing table
in front of the window which overlooks the backyard…
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man, he gets the BEST sleep there!!
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ANYHOO… my favorite organizer in my sewing room
has to be those plastic drawers on rollers. 
supplies storage 1
I have them EVERYWHERE!! 
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I like that they can fit nicely under tables and can
also stack on top of each other without the rollers.
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I store my saved scraps in these drawers under the sewing table extension.
( My sewing table is the larger “Quilter's Dream” by  Horn.)
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When I have allot of leftover scraps from a whole collection,
I’ll put them together in a Ziploc before putting them in the drawer…
which is good to quickly pull out to make smaller projects
like purses or table runners and wall-hangings.
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  These above are perfect for patterns and embroidery supplies
like rolls of stabilizer and design CD’s.
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When I’m in the middle of a quilt, the design wall
is usually full of blocks, but other times I just pin stuff
up there to inspire me or that I need to work on next!
Just a few months ago, I cleaned out
and reorganized my stash closet,
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which I like to do about once a year.
I have grouped my stash into
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colors, then a shelf of novelties,
a shelf of decor weight fabrics, two
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shelves of garment fabric, a shelf
of flannels, a shelf for fall and winter
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fabrics, a shelf of spring and garden fabrics and
a few shelves of florals separated into main color groups. 
I  LOVEEE Florals!!
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I have a row of plastic show boxes filled with quilt labels
and panels and then above them I have
several plastic bins sitting on their ends
on top of the grey metal shelves
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in my stash closet that house
larger pieces of fabrics for backings
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and several bins with bundles of coordinated fabrics
ready to make a whole quilt with…
just waiting until I make up my mind
what pattern to make or design.
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They are very patient fabrics!! 
I keep a big roll of Warm and Natural batting
in one end of my closet
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and packages of other battings in the other end! 
Above the tall bins on top are packages of Polyfil stuffing
for dolls and pincushions and such!
I like to put on a DVD while I’m
sewing… all chick flicks mostly,
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so I have a little media shelf which as time goes by
is getting taken over by jelly rolls and charm packs.
FQ cab nice
My fat quarters are stored in a little wooden antique chest of drawers…
but I removed the drawers and use the chest as little cubbies!
I stacked 2 of the drawers up on the right side to make a bit more room!
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Here on top of a cutting table that is never empty for cutting,
I have my Alto’s Quiltcut  and Accuquilt Go! and dies,
 as well as, all my rulers.
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And I LOVE quilting books. 
Such inspiration for me… 
maybe some day, I’ll write my own!  :-)
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So, you see, you really CAN fit
ALLOT of sewing and quilting
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stuff in a tiny little room if you take the time
to organize your fabric, scraps and supplies. 
As my dear Mother always says-
“where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
And I AM one strong-willed lady!!
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