Monday, January 25, 2010

Using UGLY stash

I have a piece of fabric that I just do not like.  Do not ask me why I bought it in the first place.  I can only tell you that I was a new quilter, the fabric was on sale and I thought it would be ok in a border for a Bible quilt that my quilting group was making.  After making only 4 blocks and deciding I would never complete the quilt, I was left with this fabric.

So - what do you do with several yards of ugly stuff?

I think it makes a decent ironing board cover.  Now that I am looking at the photo I see that I could have done a better job of centering the fabric's design.  In making the cover, I used my rolled hem foot for the first time.  I have been sewing for over 40 years and had never even attempted to use that foot.  It is a little tricky getting started but I love the finish on the edges!

You may have noticed the strange feet on my ironing board.  It was my grandmother's.  It is very sturdy, has a solid wooden top and a metal frame.  I love it because it belonged to my grandmother.  I just wish it didn't weigh so much!

Friday, January 22, 2010

And THIS is why I don’t do “resolutions”

Yeah, I am big and bad declaring that I will stay out of Fabric Mart.  Who was I kidding?  Not you, dear readers – especially Kim!

Take pity on me for my inability to drive past a fabric store.  I had an awful morning yesterday at work.  One of those days when you ask yourself “Why do I even bother"?”  I have vacation time I can use so I called my quilty sister to see if I could entice her to hang out with me.  I thought maybe we could mount one of her quilt tops on the long arm so we would have Saturday free.  I also know that when I am down if I call Julie all will be well.  She couldn’t meet me at Fabric Mart but was happy to spend the rest of the afternoon with me.  (Love her!)

The new delivery at Fabric Mart is wonderful and I am almost inspired enough to make clothing, however, the quilting fabric is very limited.  They have a lot of Rowan fabric designer’s fabrics – Kaffe Fassett, Martha Negley, Carla Miller, Amy Butler - but I think I only saw 3 bolts of Moda.  I know there is more in the basement that they haven’t brought up but at this point there isn’t much.  However, they have a boatload of Moda charm packs.  They are only discounted to $5 a pack which is ok but I think realistically they will move a lot more when they drop a dollar or two.  I bought 4 charm packs.  I have coordinating fabric in my stash for all of them so they will become pieced bags…or table runners.  (I am adding products to Hazelnut Hill.)

When I got to Julie’s she showed me a quilt she is working on and needs some additional fabric.  Uh oh.  Guess who didn’t put a quilt on the long arm?  Instead we drove over to Burkholder’s since they are having a 20% off sale until the end of January.  OMG!  They have added so much fabric and there were bolts sitting on the back cutting table just waiting to be put on the stock walls.  It is a delight to go back in there again.  3,000 bolts added since the beginning of January and more to come.  I picked up just a yard of some fish fabric I needed and Julie found a fabric she thought would work in her quilt – until she saw it in the daylight and decided it just wasn’t exactly what she was looking for.  What’s a girl to do?  Head to Martin’s Fabric Barn!…where we found two perfect fabric choices for Julie’s quilt and I found piece of green Metro Blues on the flat fold table.  I just needed 1/2 a yard and at $3.29 a yard, I HAD to buy it.

So, I am ashamed (kinda) that I added to the stash although nearly all is really for my business.  (Justifying!)  The best thing was spending the afternoon with my sister, forgetting my troubles and the transformation of a bad day into a good one.  Thanks, Julie!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's here!!

For those of you in the Reading, PA general vicinity, the new shipment of fabric has arrived at Fabric Mart!  My sister called and they are still unloading it off the truck.  They should be better organized by tomorrow.  Charm packs are $4.95.  That is the only price I know at this point.  This shipment is 3 times larger than the last, however, there is a good portion which is fashion fabric as opposed to quilting cotton.

Do you have any idea how hard it will be for me to just drive by and not stop to shop?  (Get behind me, Satan!!)

Getting ready for the tax man

This is what I have been doing…IMG_7465folding Hazelnut Hill fabric so that I can determine an expense and inventory figure.IMG_7466 This is only a portion of the fabric.  These are cuts between 1/2 and 2 yards.  I have 2 plastic stacking boxes with pieces less than a yard and another with useable scraps.  I decided to re-organize the studio…again.  I think I needed to do it anyway because of taxes so I am separating Hazelnut Hill fabric from quilting fabric and setting up two different work areas. 

What I have discovered is that in addition to all my bag making fabrics I have an inordinate amount of quilting fabric stash at this point and it is making me feel very guilty.  I am going to go by Joann’s this afternoon and ask for about 10 empty bolt cardboard thingies.  The number of pieces of fabric I have that are significantly over 3 or 4 yards is crazy!  I think I may have lost my mind just a little bit when Fabric Mart had all that wonderful quilting fabric on sale.  Once it all dropped to $1 a yard, I lost all self control.  (Not that I have that much!)  No more shopping unless it is to finish something already started.  I have quilt tops that need to be quilted, quilt tops that are in production (and have been for nearly a year!) and assorted PIGS that absolutely must be completed.  I also know that until I have this mess straightened out, I will be unproductive. 

What I needed was a good kick in the pants and I think I gave myself one.  Ouch!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Back to "Blogland"

Another extended absence from blogging - I took several days off from work and went down to Virginia to visit my children.  It was a lovely visit.  Nothing better than getting a "Good morning, Grammy" to start my day!

So, there is a "sew in" this weekend.  I thought about it but haven't decided.  I am torn between laying around surrounded by books all weekend and sewing.  If I sew, I am going to have to organize the studio first and that will be a monumental task.  And, seriously - someone has GOT to clean my house and put away Christmas.

Yes, I said "put away Christmas"!  I leave everything out until Epiphany (Jan 6th) and then I usually put it all  away the following weekend, do some serious cleaning and put out transitional decor items.  This past weekend I was in Virginia so that didn't happen.

I need fairies to come in the middle of the night and take care of a few things.  Some days I wish my life were a Walt Disney cartoon!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bring on the New Year!

I am not going to do a duplicate post so if you would like to read about my thoughts regarding the new year, please go to my other site, "I was just thinking...".

On to other things...

Wanda from Exuberant Color had a give away on her post several weeks ago.  I adore her use of color and her quilts are just so much fun!  I won a bundle of batik scraps.  I have been playing around with them a little bit.  I have no idea what the end result will be but here is what I have done so far.  There are lots and lots of more strips to use so this quilt top will grow and grow.  I am thinking about doing something a little "edgy".  (Well, as edgy as I can be!)  This may end up with some log cabins thrown in for good measure and maybe some simple strip blocks.  The really nice thing is being able to play with someone else's scrap stash.  Thanks again, Wanda!!  (By the way, the blocks are laid out on my design futon!)

Is it really cold wherever you are?  Zowie!  It is crazy cold here and the wind is just howling.  I took two Nyquil cold capsules before I went to sleep last night or I am sure I would have never slept through the night.  Downside of the Nyquil is that it takes so long to get out of my system and I am a little (!) groggy this morning.  Even after two cups of Kenya AA coffee (purchased the other day at the Green Dragon and so, so good!) I am still feeling really drawn to head back to my bed.

Last thing - I have written before about how much I love Burkholder's Fabric store in Denver (Pennsylvania).  For years it was my favorite shop.  A few years a couple of women bought the shop and really updated the facility, started having classes, were available for color and fabric selection, etc.  In the past year, we had noticed that the shelves were looking pretty sad.  The color walls were sorely depleted and new fabric was in short supply.  I actually overheard 2 women talking and one whispered "Maybe they are going out of business".  We discovered just the other day that the business has now reverted to the prior owner.  My sister and I went in yesterday to check things out.  Already there is a huge improvement in the number of bolts.  One of the women at the counter told us that the new owner is committed to bringing Burkholder's back to its original state.  I am really torn about that.  The original Burkholder's was just a fabric store.  Great prices and lots of variety but no one was a real quilter and it didn't have the typical "quilt shop" feel.  When the woman quilters bought the shop it began to feel like a real quilt shop with classes, great sample quilts and a lot of energy.  I am going to miss that.  And I have to be honest, I am really going to miss the 12% guild member discount!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

And now, back to reality

Every year either New Year's Day or the Saturday following (if they can wait that long) the company that I work for takes inventory.  It's the big year end inventory so numbers have to be accurate which sometimes can mean counting the same product two or three times.  Today is the day.  I would rather be doing ANYTHING other than counting inventory.  I don't remember this task being part of my job description but I am sure it is in there because they are pretty precise about such things.  At any rate, I have to be there at 6am (are they insane?!?) and may be finished by 10am...if all goes well.

So, while the rest of the world is enjoying sleeping in or a leisurely breakfast or some quiet time being productive in a studio, I will be counting cases of beer.  I seriously need to start playing the lottery.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 4:30 in the studio sewing – for me, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Hope today finds you doing something that you love surrounded by people that love you. 
What a great way to start the new year!!
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