Sunday, December 16, 2007

What did I say about 9-patches? 80 more on the to-do list now. I think after this lot of blocks I'll either have got over my 9-patch dislike, or I will never make one ever again. Time will tell. Doing these as leader and enders has been quite painless, I think I'm coming to terms with them.

I have been keeping very busy organising the stash and trying to rationalise all my storage. I don't know what is worse, not having enough places to put your things, or not having the time to get everything just the way you want. The lack of storage and space can be dealt with, the lack of time is more difficult. But I've been using up every moment I can setting out the workroom, and I'm beginning to be happy with it. I'm having some work done on the room this weekend, so no photos until that's over.

The Anvil quilt has been stalled for weeks while I try to decide what border to put on it. Finally I think I have decided on this fabric; it keeps a lighter feeling to the quilt, and with all that red it could be too overwhelming, especially as it's destined for a room with red walls. Nice and cosy in winter maybe, but I don't want it to be overpowering. I will breathe a huge sigh of relief when this is in one piece!

Mereth and I have been comparing our attitudes to our stashes over the last few weeks, and I've come to a few conclusions. I am comfortable with the amount of fabric I have, I certainly don't want to whittle it down to a few boxes and drawers. On the other hand, I don't want to have a greater amount than I have, or it will be too difficult to manage. So what I am striving for is Stash Equilibrium. Yardage In = Yardage Out. Simple.

I also want to buy fabric that will fulfill a purpose, not just add to the pretties. I get so stumped when it comes to borders, because I haven't conciously bought lengths for that purpose for a while. I have smaller pieces, or backing lengths, but often there isn't a lot of choice for borders. So I need to ignore all the FQs that call out to me, and go for fabric lengths that will help to finish the projects I have started.

And I need to buy whatever is missing from the Stash; white shirtings for a start! I have drastically reduced those, until I can't even finish the blocks for the blue and white quilt I'm working on. So I can see a foray into an online shop for those sometime soon.

But I need to balance that buying with using up what I have. Last week I made another three backings, one from about 5 strange pieces from the Blue drawer. That felt good. Another backing was a huge green and brown and blue affair, 99" x 110", made from 10.5" squares of unlovely pieces. I thought that little puppy would never be finished, it went on for days! The other backing was a straight 5m from stash, but that brought the total up to around the 14m mark there. In Stash Equilbrium terms, I have earnt myself a 14m shopping spree!

Not content with that, I weeded out 10m of little bits and pieces, and cut it all into bindings, strips, squares and triangles. I sat and watched Mereth deal with her scraps one night, and I was so impressed with how methodically she works through the pile. And horrified! I kept saying, 'Surely you'll have to put THAT in the bin!" and she would smile and pick up a different ruler and cut yet another shape. And finally she would hold up the tiniest shred and triumphantly put it in the bin, with the stacks of cut shapes growing higher and higher. I don't think I'm that dedicated.

And she's taken to going through the bins in the workroom and salvaging my rubbish. I will have to dispose of my scraps more thoroughly, or she'll never get to cut into her good fabric.

I was bad and bought myself a Christmas present on Ebay, all the way from England. It is the most fantastic quilt, I'm thrilled with it. It came from the Allendale area, where Elizabeth Sanderson worked, which makes it more special. Some of the motifs are very unusual, and so individual; I'm sure the quilter had a lot of fun making up the shapes to fill the odd spaces between the large motifs. I could look at it for hours.And then, because my quilts are piling up at an alarming rate, I invested in some shelves. This will be called the padded room from now on. What made my day was realising how many empty shelves there are; all the other side is empty. That gives me permission to make another 40 or 50 quilts, bcause I already have a place to store them.And finally, another machine to add to the collection. I don't even have a reason for this, except that it was only a few dollars and I don't already have one. I was talking to another collector during the week, and she has at least 15 machines on shelves, and more stored elsewhere; I only have 5 old machines and 3 new ones. And a Gammil....It's a 99 I think, doesn't have anything to identify the model. However, it was made in 1948 in Clydebank in Scotland. I'm sure she'll be very happy with my other machines.


Vicki W 10:18 AM  

I love that quilt you purchased! It's beautiful, what a special find. Your quilt storage room is awesome!

antique quilter 11:27 AM  

had to laugh at your comment about the nine patches I am stillworking on the 100 , can't beleive I have to make another 80!
LOL good think I love nine patches.
I just love the quilt you bought it is beautiful and the quilting looks amazing from the picture. I can understand how you could look at it for hours.
The shelves to hold your quilts was a great idea.
I like that you can walk in the room and see them
Very nice.

Anonymous,  11:51 AM  

I love the quilt from England, and your idea of Stash Equilibrium is just fabulous. It's how I think and feel about the stash too.

Mary Johnson 3:50 PM  

I think my goal is similar to yours in regards to my stash. I love being able to walk over to my shelves and pull all the fabric I need to make a quilt so I'd never want to use it all the way down (not that I'm in danger of that). I just don't want to purchase fabric that's going to sit unused.

I love your padded room and the quilt from England. What a great purchase.

Helen in the UK 7:19 PM  

The fabric you've chosen for hte Anvil border looks great and the inner border fabric is perfect!
Your stash of quilts is amazing!!
Keep on plugging away at the 9Patches and you'll soon get there. I'm confident the finished result will be worth it :)

Bonnie K. Hunter 11:12 PM  

Sorry about the 9 patches..but I can assure you that you will love the quilt when it is done!! Just keep piecing on! I love your comment about stash equilibrium! I'd like to whittle mine down a bit..still too large,but you are right,I don't want it too minimal either because that limits choices and creativity..BALANCE!!

Donna 2:19 AM  

nine patches aren't my favorite either -- somehow they each block just seems to take too long for what you get.... Hang in there it'll look stunning I'm sure :-)

meggie 7:41 AM  

Yes, I am sure that Singer will be most comfortable with your other machines! It looks happy already!

I love reading about your stash adventures, & your progress.
When I looked at all your neat quilts on the shelves.... sigh.

Jenni 2:56 PM  

Some great purchases. I only have 1 machine - I seem to have been reading all over the place lately about the number of machines people have. I need to catch up, but then I think I'd rather spend the money on fabric...

Anonymous,  5:46 AM  

was looking at the picture of our 99 Singer. do you have a serial #?? Terribly curious as it LOOKS like a 99 or maybe a 66, but has the stitch plate of a 15. Could you satisfy my curiousity??

Kyra 6:57 AM  

Gorgeous pink quilted top! Thank you for sharing!


bingo~bonnie 1:20 AM  

If I'm ever declared crazy enough and have to be sent to a "padded room" I sure hope it's yours! ;) Love all the quilts folded neatly along the shelves. :) Lucky you to have such. :)

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

karen hopkins 10:22 AM  

I love the fact that you are an identical twin sister, and that you quilt, and that your name is similar to mine -
I am 51, soon to turn 52 in 3 weeks, I am an indentical twin as well, and I adore quilting and using up my scraps.. I look forward to checking out more of your blog! Thanks so much for making me smile today as I came across your blogsite!

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