Sunday, January 23, 2011

Introducing Geese Crossing

Yup...that is the name of my string quilt. I got all the remaining center blocks made today and got them all put together. What do you think?

I have a couple of ideas for the borders, but not sure what I am going to settle on. I REALLY like how this is coming out. The bad news is that I started by making little string blocks because I had 3 overflowing bins of strings. Now that I have all these blocks made..I STILL have 3 overflowing bins of strings! lol

Here is what I have done with the tiny 9 patches that I made as leaders and enders. I am putting them together as leaders and enders, also.

I think that about wraps up the sewing for today. Time for some dinner then wine and a movie. Hope you all had wonderful weekends!!

Frugal tip: Tell your friends and family about your obsession with quilting and fabrics. I did and now EVERYONE saves me all their cast off cotton clothing!! Wooohooo! Free fabric!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Moving right along

I didn't get much sewing done this week due to work and not feeling well. I am determined to make up for it now, though! I did get my first two test blocks done for the 100 Blocks magazine. I wish I could show you them..I love them!
Today I kicked into action. So far a mountain of laundry has been done and all kinds of odds and ends in the sewing room. Here is the list so far:

I got the first two blocks done on the Folk Art Tribute block of the month. That is being offered over at Linen Closet Quilts. The pics turned out brighter than the colors are in real life. I tell ya, I am LOVING this machine applique stuff!!

I finished up this drawstring bag for Hannah. She LOVES it!!

I finished up all the string blocks for the rest of the blocks for my as yet unnamed quilt. That was 60 more string blocks.

Finished making the flying geese blocks for the same quilt. That is another 60 of these units today.

I got the Trees of Life wallhanging all sandwiched up and ready to quilt.

Last but not least, here is a pic of the tiny little 9 patches I have been making as leaders and enders while stitching the others up:

I am hoping to work on putting all the units together to finish the big blocks for my unnamed quilt tonight. I also would like to kit up some ideas I have had in my head, work on my swap blocks, and I really HAVE to start working on cutting up my scraps...they are taking over! With the way today has gone, I will probably work on a little bit of all of them. I seem to work better a little at each thing right now.

Frugal tip:

Use the library! I love books and could spend a fortune on them, but really..why bother when I can have any of them for free? This also goes for movies. It is amazing the choices our local library has on these.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sorry for the dark picture, but my light is awful in the house for taking pics! I finished my Trees of Life wallhanging. The pattern is by Edyta Sitar and this measures in at 40" x 60". I had the top and bottom applique done a while ago. I had done it by hand and I was not happy with it. I know that is something I need to practice, but I LOVE this wallhanging and wanted it to look great..not with my lumps and bumps! So, I ripped it out and started over using machine applique. I am MUCH happier with the look. Plus, it is DONE! Woohooo! Okay, well, the top is done..still have to quilt it, but I will take this accomplishment for the day!

Here is a closer pic of the applique:

I will post a better pic as soon as I can find the light! lol

That is all I got done this weekend. My rheumatoid arthritis is kicking my butt. The fatigue that comes along with a flareup is ridiculous, and the painkillers I take make me not able to sleep, so I am whooped. Hopefully this flareup will past quickly. I do NOT have time for this!

Frugal tip: Make your own mixes! Stop running out and buying things like cocoa mix, taco mix, biscuit mix, etc. It is soooooooo easy and much cheaper to make your own. There are a lot of recipes online for these items and so much more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A new challenge

I have never really done applique. Nope. Until now. One of my blocks for testing for the 100 blocks magazine involved fusible applique and machine blanket stitching. The directions were so good, that this was amazingly simple! Why did I not know this? My Trees of Life quilt top involves applique. Turn needle applique. I loved that...and got 1/4 of the way through the handstitching and didn't love it so much anymore. I am thinking I am going to redo those applique this way..fusing and machine blanket stitching! woohooo!

This block I did reminded me of a project I saw a while ago. It was a Folk Art Tribute BOM over at Linen Closet Quilts. I really love folk art and folk art quilts, but all that applique that can come with them scared the bejeezus outta me. Now that I have done this technique, I have decided I am jumping right in with both feet on this BOM. I think she is on the 4th block now, but after looking at the blocks, they are large simple blocks, so shouldn't take long to catch right up. I am SO excited about this! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE learning new things like this and finding new ways to be creative! I sure would like some company on this. It would be fun to work along and share our progress and pictures. Anyone interested? The blocks are not linked on her webpage, so you have to look back through older posts to get to the blocks she has done already, but it is not a big deal. I think the first block was in her Sept 2, 2010 post. Sure hope you decide to play along!

No other sewing for me lately. Just working away and wishing for more blizzard!

Frugal tip:

Use cloth napkins and rags, not paper napkins and paper towels. How simple is it to whip up lots of cloth napkins out of our stashes and save on all the money??

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Calling it a night

Well, I didn't do half bad today. I got 15 full blocks put together for the string quilt:

If I go with what I have planned in my mind, that is half the blocks I need. So, I figured I needed 60 more string blocks, so I got to work on those and got 26 more done:

So far the non spending has been a piece of cake. I really am not much of a shopper. The non smoking isn't going so well. I don't have to buy those as hub smokes and I cheat and just smoke his! Monday is my official quit day, though. I work 9-7 and that should keep my mind occupied. I did have to go out today to bring Hannah on a job interview and since we had some time to kill, it was difficult to not just pop into a shop and browse..which would have led to purchasing something. So, that goes with my next frugal tip:

Stay home! Lot less temptation if you aren't around the things to purchase. Plus, it saves on gas, which is absolutely ridiculous right now AND since you are home, gives you more time to accomplish what you need to!

Simply Saturday

I love Saturdays. They hold such potential for the next 2 days of our lives! What we can get accomplished, what we can avoid accomplishing, who we will spend it with..ah..the possibilities!!

My plans are to sew today. I want to work on my string block quilt some more, I have a Chunky Churndash to quilt and of course, more ideas floating in my head to start! We will see what happens.

I wanted to point out to you two very special blogs. One is Granny's Place. Jackie makes the most AMAZING plarn bags I have ever seen. Don't know what plarn bags are? Just pop over to her site and check them out. I know she sells them, so don't be shy about putting an order in for one...or five!!

Also, make sure you stop over at Highland Monkeys. She makes the most ADORABLE sock monkeys I have EVER seen. You can't tell me that you don't know someone who NEEDS one of these!

Btw..I get nothing for telling you about these guys. I just am simply amazed by what these 2 ladies do and wanted to share!

Frugal tip: Cut your fabric softener sheets in half! I have done this for ages and have never had a problem with using only half. Works just as well!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One down..many to go!

Yay! Jitterbug is finished other than the handsewing on the binding. That will be done tonight. I ended up spending last night watching tv with Hannah and handquilting Giant New York Sunflower. Here is a pic of Jitterbug:

Shellie and I worked on these together via texts. Here is a pic of hers that I snagged from her blog:

The first completion of the year!! Boy, amazing how completing a project motivates you to finish more! LOL..also makes me think I can start something new!

Frugal tip:

When was the last time you read the directions for a product you use all the time? I found I was overpouring the amount of laundry detergent I needed because I assumed it was the same as the old. Using the amounts that the directions stated, I will get lots more loads done!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Almost done Jitterbugging!

My Jitterbug quilt is 2/3 of the way quilted! This will be an easy finish tonight as I am doing a large meander on it. Sew the binding on it then I can handstitch it down while watching tv tonight. This will be my first finish for the year. Yay! I will post a pic later when I am done quilting it.

Still no buying! So far so good. One thing I had a hard time with today was not buying socks. When you work at Target like I do, temptation is everywhere! Plus, I am a sockaholic. I love socks..all socks..especially goofy socks. Well, the craving to buy new socks created my frugal tip for the day:

Sew your holey socks, darn it (pun intended)!! Since I was good about not buying the socks, I came home and went through my sock drawer and came up with these:

Now, I have always known I SHOULD stitch them up..and COULD stitch them up..but I never have. I just throw them away and buy new. So, I put these in a little basket with some thread, needle and scissors and tonight while watching tv I WILL stitch these babies up. How easy is that? For that little amount of effort I will regain 10 pairs of socks that I haven't been able to wear. The socks I looked at today were only $1 a pair, so sewing these 10 pair up saved me $10 today. Plus..this was my first cigaretteless day..a savings of $10 here in NY.( Yes..cigs cost $10 a pack here and I smoke a pack a day!!). So, here is my total savings average for me so far in my 3 days of non spending:

$124.95 geraniums
10.00 socks
10.00 cigs
$144.95 in just 3 days!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pinwheel Party top done and plans are being made

Yes, I know. I was too lazy to press it, so you get to see the wrinkly Pinwheel Party top! lol I am so glad to have it done. I don't know why I didn't finish it right away. That is so not me. It might take me forever to get something quilted, but I generally finish the tops fairly fast. It's only 2 in the afternoon, so I have more sewing time, now to just figure out what I want to work on!

I have a few ideas that have been thumping around in my head for the New Year. I am not as worried about ufo's as some are as I know me..I go through times where I get a bunch of them finished at one time. I completed at least 25 projects last year, so I am very pleased with that and not going to change anything about that. The only quilty thing I have planned for this year is doing something with the shirts that I have collected for quilting. I have 50 of them, I think! I think I am going to make myself a 10 shirt challenge and see how many projects I can complete using 10 shirts at a time. I will have to mull that one over and see what I can come up with.

Most of my goals for the new year are ones of being a better steward of what God has given me, I want to lead a simpler life, I want to be more frugal and live better on less. I still dream of the day when hub and I can live a life of supporting ourselves off our land and not living life in the rat race. I know we can do this. I also know that all my goals that I listed all tie in to each other. If I am more frugal with our money, I am being a better steward. The more money I save by doing these things, the closer we are to our ultimate goal of self sustainment. Changing ONE little thing won't do it, but changing LOTS of little things will.

I am also going to give myself a HUGE challenge for this month. I am going on a spending freeze for the month of January. I am not going to spend one cent. Period. End of conversation. Regular bills will be paid, of course, but no extraneous spending. Hmm..this will be interesting. I am a smoker. I have 6 cigarettes left. Looks like I am going to be doing a LOT of praying! No fabric, no batting, nothing sewing wise. I have plenty of fabric, but only one batting here, so that will prove interesting also. No lunches at work, no magazines, etc.

So, in addition to my quilting updates, I will also be posting a frugal tip each time I post and an update on how the non-spending is going. None of the tips are going to be mindblowing. We all know most of these things. These are just reminders to actually DO them! So, let the games begin and here is today's frugal tip:

Last year I bought a geranium for $4.99. This fall as it was dying down, I broke it apart and stuck the pieces in a seed tray to root. It is sitting ugly on my windowsill in the kitchen for now, but this spring I will have 25 geraniums for FREE. 25 x 4.99= $124.75 is what I saved by spending 15 minutes doing this plus my gardens will be beautiful!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Back to work

Well, I think I have around 600 flying geese made. Whew. That is a LOT of flying geese!! I laid them out tonight with the string blocks to see if I still like the two of them together. Here is what I did so far:

Still not sure this is how it is going to turn out. Definitely going to keep playing with these blocks. What do you guys think?

Almost done with Pinwheel Party. I have all the blocks made and all the sashing pieces, now just to put them together. I have tomorrow off, so I think I might just ignore the whispers that the house is making to me to clean it and might just have my own sew in. I NEED some sewing time. Funny how just sitting and stitching can calm the nerves and keep the world at bay. I have really enjoyed the hand quilting I have been doing in the evenings, but if I want to get finish up some of these other projects, I have to return to the sewing machine. Wish me luck and will send some updates as I accomplish some things!!