Thursday, December 31, 2020

Review of 2020

 Despite the lack of blog posts quite a bit of sewing took place in 2020.

The Carnival Auction Quilts for the D class and the G class got done just in time for the Spring Carnival which was the very last big event at school before the lockdown.  6.6 yards out for borders, backing and bindings

On our last day of school before Spring Break I took the sewing machine one more time (they had done much of the sewing on their signature quilt blocks) and we made scrunchies.  That was a huge hit with the kids.  The principal walked in and I wasn't sure how that would go, but he was impressed!  1 yard out. 

I also made 24 student aprons for grade level science investigations.  That project came before the spring lockdown and distance learning, but I made them anyways over the summer.   I was able to use lots of heavier weight fabric from the stash, so that was a bonus.  12 yards out.  

Cut fleece into strips for a "Snuffle Mat" for Grown Up R's new dog.  Little S put it together when she went for a visit.  Pretty clever.   That used up all the random fleece.  1.63 yards out

We made a Felt Craft Kit for a 9-year-old family friend who had a birthday early on in the lockdown.  She really liked it.   1.05 yards out.  Didn't make a dent in the felt stash!   

Microwave bowl cozies for the older girls.  Clever idea.  8 cozies = about 0.75 yards 

In the summer I decided to start "quilting by check" to get projects finished.  Moving to distance teaching/learning and all that that involved made me realize that I need to stick with what I enjoy - the piecing.  Now that I am gainfully employed and seem to be an essential worker I am going to slowly work my way through getting my tops quilted.  

The first quilt was the curtain quilt, which is made from curtains of the house I grew up in.  It has been ready for years.  It appears as though I never posted about that quilt - or took pictures.  11.75 yards out for everything.  

Next up was the Tropical Hexagon baby quilt.  This went to a cousin's granddaughter born in the summer.  I found the perfect backing when we got a bright sheet for masks.  Backing didn't count, but binding used 0.38 yards from the stash.

Currently waiting for pick up is the quilt I finished at the end of the year 2019.   The borders and backing were from my mother's stash, so this will stay in the family.  4.68 yards out.

The biggest stash outtage was masks!  Like most quilters, I dug into my stash to make masks.  My sisters and I have made and donated over 3,000 masks so far.  They have gone to nursing homes, military, churches, students of all ages, medical workers of all kinds, prison hospital workers, coworkers, neighbors, and random  strangers.  We have made a variety of styles depending on supplies and needs of the recipients.   The evolution of the mask is a good story all by itself. 

One of my early pleated masks with ties when elastic was unavailable and then the Jesse mask, which was a game changer for comfort for me. 

I keep all the donated mask supplies separate so that I can track what actually comes out of my personal stash.     109.14 yards out.

The only fabric that has come in this year has been for masks, so that does not count as my regular stash.  People have donated fabric and/or money for supplies to keep us going and going and going.  One person donated over 100 yards of fabric!  It is so much that she gave approval to use in any way that was useful.  My next quilt backing will come out of that box!  My favorite thrift store gave us fabric for free on several visits and let us pick and choose what we wanted from supplies in the back when things were at the height of high demand, low supplies.  We gave away hundreds of adult masks through them and then hundreds of kids masks for their back to school drive.

My total for 2020 is 148.98 yards out.  Wow.  Usually I am happy to just break even.  

May 2021 bring more fun sewing!


Thursday, January 2, 2020

Year In Review - Final Stash Report

Since I have a few more days off I will try to finish out the year with a final accounting of my sewing efforts.  Having a final accounting of the year helps me to focus better on using what I have on hand when I do sew.  And, I really just like working with numbers.

When I went back to school at the end of the summer my job went from associate teacher to lead teacher.  That was very good and very exciting, but also much more time consuming.  I knew from last school year that I just wouldn't have much time to sew and this year, even less with the added work responsibility.  Basically, my sewing time is non-existent now.  So I showed restraint and didn't buy much fabric at all since school started in August.  
Not too bad for 5 months!
Fabric In from my favorite thrift store:
Minions - 1.25 yds  75c
chevron flannel - 0.61 yds  50c
blue bees - 0.31 yds 25c
yellow w/ colored dots - 0.61 yds  50c
Winnie the Pooh blue - 0.67 yds 50c
red w/ stars - 0.4 yds 25c
orange on orange - 1.53 yds 75c
dog flannel - 0.61 yds 50c

Yard Sale Find:
pink butterflies - 2 yds 50c
green butterflies folded inside - 0.86 yds bonus!

Actual Purchase at the Fabric Store:
Univ of Florida fabric - 0.25 yds  $2

As expected I didn't use any of that fabric for my end of the year projects except the UF fabric.  That was bought specifically to make bean bags for one of the themed Corn Hole games my husband made for Christmas gifts.

Fabric (& other random stash stuff) Out:
24 bean bags for 3 Corn Hole games - 1.62 yards + box of poly pellets

6 aprons for daughters & their roommates - 3 yds + 2 pkg bias tape
Destined for Savannah.  The Charlotte aprons got packed before I got a photo.
birthday blues - gift of fabric to Little S's friend - 3 yds
D Carnival Quilt signature blocks - 1 yd
D Carnival Quilt hourglass blocks - 1 yd
G Carnival Quilt signature blocks - 1.2 yds 
G Carnival Quilt sashing strips - 2 yds
donated - 5.62 yds

End of the Year UFO flimsy:
sashing strips - 1 yd
setting stones - 0.10 yds
black border - 0.30 yds
pink border - 1 yd
UFO blocks -  4.2 yds

I had to go back 5 years to make sure I had not already counted out the UFO blocks, and no, I had not.  Woo hoo.  That helped my numbers.


Fabric Purchased Since Last Report - 9.1 yds
Fabric Purchased YTD - 79.6 yds

Free to Me Since Last Report - 0 yds
Free to Me YTD -  14.37 yds

Fabric Used Since Last Report - 25.04 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 97.06 yds

Fabric Movement -  3.09 yards used !!

Total Spent - $49.75
Price/Yard YTD - $0.53 / yard

I am going to count the year as a win.  More went out than came in.  In this new school year I recognized my limitations and mostly stayed within them.  I would like to find a way to sew more in 2020, but I'm just having too much of a learning curve and with professional development courses thrown in I don't see it happening.  

I do have to finish the Carnival auction quilts by March, so that is something to look forward to.  I had thought to work on them over the vacation, but with the notice that a new student is coming to the D class and the strong possibility that there will be a new student in the G class I figured I better hold off.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Trying for One Last Finish

I have a few days left of the Christmas vacation and now that the holiday excitement is over I am trying to sew enough to hold me for another few months.
Auditioning Borders
I pulled out some UFO blocks and discovered thankfully that they were farther along that I thought and I had even left myself a note of what the plan was.  So I cut the needed sashing and started webbing it together.  At that point I wasn't loving it, so I auditioned a few borders, but for the sake of time I didn't agonize over it.  I made another round of white sashing with turquoise setting stones.
I think I like this.
The narrow black border was made from some strangely shaped pieces that I cut and pieced.  I wasn't sure there would be enough, but I had a back up plan just in case.  Turns out there was more than enough!  Next is a pink border.
Covering up the mess!  The yellow walls make it seem very yellow.
Since the girls were all gone on New Years Eve I was able to sew, sew, sew.  I got the last borders on.  Done! 

Looking good on the banister.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Stash Report - July 21, 2019

Fabric In: I got some pretty pink scraps at the thrift store.  Half yard $0.50.  I used self control and left lots of other fabric behind!  As summer (vacation, not temperatures!) draws to an end the reality is that I won't have much stitching time in the coming months and I have plenty of fabric to work with if I need.

Fabric Out: 

I finished the Ballerina Quilt.  Backing & binding.  1.48 yards

Finished the Scrappy Mountain Majesty baby quilt.  Backing & binding.  1.48 yards

Finished the Brown & Brights D9P.  Backing & binding.  1.48 yards

Sent 6 unfinished baby quilt tops + miscellaneous backing, binding and orphan blocks for donation to someone who will finish them and pass them on.  That is the most reasonable thing for me to do.   I really enjoy the piecing, but finishing is my weak point.  11 yards

Made a chair cushion for my sewing chair.  0.66 yards

Made an apron to send down to a niece in Guatemala.  0.5 yards

I also made 2 bags for College E to store/carry her 5 lbs weights.  I used old jean legs and they seem to be pretty sturdy.  But I had to make 2 to carry 10 lbs each.  20 lbs was too much to handle comfortably.  This is a much better arrangement than the shoe box she was using.  0.46 yards

I spent 10 hours over 3 days making 8 new dining table chair cushion covers for my sister.  The old ones had zippers in the back even though she had never taken them off to wash in upmteen years.  I suspected the zippers made finishing the covers easier than hand sewing the edge closed.  After making a sample that proved to be true.  The process went relatively quickly and most importantly I did not end up doing it at the last minute before going back to school so I was pleased.  Lots of time and learning involved, but not a drop of fabric from my stash used in the process. Too bad.

Fabric Purchased Since Last Report - 0.5 yds
Fabric Purchased YTD - 70.5 yds

Free to Me Since Last Report - 0 yds
Free to Me YTD -  14.37 yds

Fabric Used Since Last Report - 17.06 yds
Fabric Used YTD - 72.02 yds

Fabric Movement -  12.85 yards stashed 

Total Spent - $43.25
Price/Yard YTD - $0.52 / yard

Realistically giving away what I will not use is working well.  I am okay with sewing for pleasure and giving away for pleasure as well.  When I need fabric for something specific I have no doubt that I will have what I need on hand!!  

2019+15+minute+To+Stitch_2-001.jpg (1600×1600)
Kate from Life in Pieces has challenged us to try for 15 minutes each day of stitching.  I worked hard on finishes this week.  I only missed Friday because I spent the morning with College E (we are running out of days), the afternoon with my sisters, and the evening at Buddy Break.  Sewing didn't even cross my mind until about 11:30 pm.  Nope.  Not happening.

My numbers might seem a little off, but that is because I didn't start the challenge until May.

Days spent on sewing related tasks since last report: 6/7
Days spent on sewing related tasks this month: 18/20
Days spent on sewing related tasks this year: 75/81
Percentage of time on task: 93%

Linking up to QuiltPaintCreate and Life in Pieces to stay accountable.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Tutorial - Lined Tote Bag

  Lined Tote Bag
½ yard focus fabric
       ½ yard lining fabric
       1 ½ yard 1” grosgrain ribbon or webbing for handles
       coordinating thread
Cut focus fabric & lining.
1.  Cut 2 16” x 14” (or whatever size you desire) rectangles from the focus fabric.   

2.  Cut 2 16” x 14” (or whatever size you desire) rectangles from the lining fabric.
Sew side seam.  Decorate if desired.
3.  Place focus fabric rectangles right sides together.  Sew 1 short side.
Open and press. If you are adding decoration or pockets now is the time!

4.  Place lining fabric rectangles right sides together.  Sew 1 short side.
Open and press. If you are adding inside pockets now is the time.
Sew remaining 2 sides.
5.  Fold focus fabric panel in half and sew 1 long side (bottom) and the remaining
short side (side).  

6.  Fold lining panel in half and sew 1 long side (bottom) and the remaining
short side (side).

Three sides are now sewn.
This is the tricky part.  Boxing the corners. 
7.  Grab body of bag between fingers and pull apart near the corners. 
Line up seams so that the corner creates a right angle between the front and
back section and the seam is in the center.
Pin, mark, and .......
8.  With a ruler - preferably with a right angle marking - center the seam. 
Draw a stitching line. The length of the stitching line will be the width of your bag. 
Pin in place.

9.  Repeat on all corners of outer (focus fabric) bag and lining bag.
........ Sew!
10.  Sew corners.  
Cutting off the excess fabric is optional.
Square them up nicely!
11.  Poke out corners so the bags are nice and square.
Pin straps.
12.  Cut straps the desired length.

13.  Using a ruler as a guide place straps 3” to 3.5” from the side of the outer bag. 
Make sure right sides are together and straps are not twisted.
Use 2 pins to pin in place so it will stay even with the top.  
Right sides together - very important!
14.  Turn lining bag inside out.  Place outer bag inside lining bag. 
Right sides should be together. Line up tops neatly.  Pin tops together.
Leave an opening - very important!
15.  You will sew around the top leaving a 3” - 4” unsewn opening
Do not leave the opening where the straps are or between the straps. 
Double pin the outer limits of the place that you will leave open.  
Leave an opening - super important!!
16.  Begin sewing the bag top at the double pins on the right and continue
sewing around until you reach the double pins on the left.  Make sure to
back stitch at the start and stop.  

Note: I like to backstitch over each strap after I’ve sewn over it to reinforce it.
Turn right sides out.
17.  Carefully pull the bag sections through the hole that you left open.  
Press the top edge neatly, especially the opening.
18.  Make sure the corners are nice and neat and press everything carefully.

19.  Press the top edge of the bag.  Make sure to press the opening so that it
visually matches the sewn edge.
Top stitch.
20.  Sew around the top edge of the bag making sure to sew the opening closed.
Two-color version.
Inside pocket.

Fill it with goodies 
and go show it off !!

Last Saturday Sewcial of the Summer

School starts for teachers on August 1, so this was the last Summer Saturday Sewcial at the Library.
We made lined tote bags.

Each participant brought their own fabric which lets us all "oooh" and "aaaah" over the beautiful finished products that are unique to each participant.
This is a good project to practice straight line stitching, pressing, turning, making boxed corners, right sides together and many other practical sewing techniques.
I checked out a few tote bag tutorials before the class and didn't find one that was detailed enough for my beginning beginners.  So I made some samples and wrote my own.  The Lined Tote Bag tutorial is HERE.  Check it out. The participants followed along with the printed tutorial even though I walked them through it step by step and it seemed to work well so I will add it to the blog.
Hopefully we will be able to meet again in September once school has settled down.  Zipper pouch is next on my radar!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Long Overdue Carpenter Star

When we went to Guatemala for Christmas the girls and I helped prep this quilt for my MIL to make for my niece.  I had just made a blue one and she liked the look.  They aren't hard to cut or sew, just tricky to layout.

We figured out the layout and numbered the pieces to help her keep it all straight when she sewed it up.  There was even an extra bed to keep it out on. 
I wrote about the process.

She got the center star sewn and started pinning pieces to sew together when an urgent sewing job came in and she had to set it aside.  I heard what had happened, so that was the first thing on my TO DO list when I went back to visit.

When she unrolled the sheet it had been on I wasn't sure what we would find.  It was a big "wad" of pieces.  I was very pleased with all the pinning.  That helped a lot as far as getting the layout right.  And we found the photos on the blog and I was able to work from that to get it set up again.  Once I got it right, she pinned the pieces to the sheet just in case!  The sewing was pretty easy once I got used to her machine. 

Ta..daaa....  The center is all sewn.  She thinks she will add two borders to make it a little larger.  I am so glad that I was able to help her straighten this out and that it will eventually get into the hands of a cute little girl. 

Now I think I need to make a pink one for me!  I really like this design.