Friday, June 25, 2010

I haven't done a Stash Report for a long while, but I"m still keeping track of my purchases and usage.

Used this Week:  17 m
Used year to Date: 141.6 m
Added this Week: 2.5 m
Added Year to Date: 38.25 m
Net Used for 2010: 103.35 m

I'm over the 100 metre mark at last, cause for celebration.  I should say that the 17m used this week is the total of two quilts I've been working on for the last month, and I never counted the yardage used till they were finished.  It's not like I had a wonderful week of sewing, cause I didn't.  And they're commission quilts so I can't show you what they were.  : (

I'm really pleased with the amount I've used this year, and the nearly 40 metres I've added is very moderate for me.  In the not so distant past I could come out of a shop lugging 40 metres all in one go, so it's wonderful to have controlled my aquisitions for 6 months.  Mind you, that 40m has cost nearly $500, which is kind of sobering.  If I stay in control for the rest of the year, and only buy that much again for the next 6 months, it's still a total expenditure of $1000 per annum.  

My Mum would be horrified beyond words at that, but $20 a week seems a small price to pay for a bunch of pretty stuff that makes me feel happy.  I could spend that at the movies, or twice that having my nails done, or I could drink it away at the pub or gamble it on Lotto.  2 packets of cigarettes would cost more than that; it's not even a downpayment on fancy shoes.  I don't have to justify it to anyone, but I do need to make sure that I buy what I actually want, not just something that appeals to me on a whim.  No more 'What was I thinking!" purchases.

It would be nice to say there's a bit more room in the sewing room, but there's not.  Or it's so disorganised that I can't tell.  My goal for the rest of this week and on the weekend is to clear out some of the clutter and make space, so I can work happily in there.

There's nothing new on the design wall, same blocks as last time; I will have to get cracking and do something interesting to show you, won't I?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My design wall is full of projects that aren't the sort of thing I normally make.

I blame the whole jelly-roll thing for that.  I would never buy these fabrics by the metre, yet I willingly pay for a jellyroll of them.  Incomprehensible.The blue batiks are gone, all used up by that top.  However, the Fig Tree fabrics are proving harder to get rid of.

I had a jellyroll and a layer cake of these, plus some strips from a scrap bag from Hancocks.  (must stay away from Hancocks....)

I've cut 20 of these Churndash blocks out, and there is still a great pile of strips and squares and offcuts.

There's enough for at least 2 quilts, and even though these ranges are pretty, they're just not Me.  I'll have to buckle down and use them up, but I do think I need to be more discerning when I buy jellyrolls.  Or not buy them at all.

These Civil War Home Front fabrics are much more to my liking.

As are the French General prints; some of these are wonderful.  But there's that other jellyroll just waiting to be used.  How many quilts can we have in those colours??
 It's so easy to buy a jellyroll, there seem to be so many ideas for them, until the time comes to actually cut into one.  Then it's  really hard to make a decision, you don't want to 'waste' it, but you can't decide what is the 'perfect' pattern.  I should just make a comittment not to buy them in future; I'd be better off  buying a tower of FQs.

What am I saying????  I can't afford to add that much fabric to the stash on a whim!  I think I have to veto all these pre-cut options entirely.  And I will, as soon as I buy the set of Attic Shirtings, and maybe Cocoa Express....


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It was another busy day today, with customers picking up quilts and bringing in tops, Mereth quilting and me slaving away on the computer.  Around lunch time there was a diversion.  Last week I bought some fleeces from a hobby farmer up north, and they were delivered today.  

Can you believe that all that wool came from a single sheep?  The fleece was crammed into a wheat sack, so it's horribly tangled, full of grass and weed seeds, but still useable.  Mereth and I sat in the sun for half an hour, picking out the best bits and throwing away the rubbish.  We filled three grocery bags with locks that I will carefully wash, but the remainder of the fleece still seemed just as huge.  And there are two more like this!!  I will be spinning this up for years to come, and there will be a fleece every year as long as this particular sheep exists.  Good-O!

I think I have a fleece stash; there's a light grey fleece in the laundry, and a quilting customer has a brown one that she'll bring with her next quilt top.   I don't know when I'll find time to process them all, but it's a lovely hobby.  Mereth has plans to make a quilt with a homemade wool batt...

After lunch Mereth and I sorted out the finished quilts on the bed in the spare room; Dolly came in and begged and begged to have one of my teddies, who live on the dressing table in there.

She's already had a go at Ted, on the left, his face is a bit chewed.  Patrick and Olivia are unscathed so far.

Oh she wants them so bad!!!


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A few weeks ago we visited the patchwork shop at Jamestown, delivering a quilt.  I didn't really want any new fabric, but a jellyroll of blue and green batiks caught my eye, and before I knew what was happening, I bought it!!   I wonder if it was something to do with the incredible restraint I showed while piecing this top; at the time I struggled not to buy more of those fabric, and thought I'd done remarkably well.  Then, months later, out of the blue, 3m comes home with me on an impulse.

I cleared my design wall off on Saturday, and began cutting up the jellyroll, determined to use it up before it achieved permanent status on the shelf.  I made sort of  a quarter Log Cabin, which was blindingly simple and went together really quickly.  I didn't want much definition in the blocks, I was after a swimmy sort of underwater feel.  I think I managed that.

Some of the fabrics in this are so ugly I had to grit my teeth and make myself use them.  And they just blend in, which is a relief.  While I was sewing the strips together I had moments of doubt, but the uglies don't dominate.  That's the magic of scrap quilts.

I don't have anything in my stash to add to these strips, so the top had to be complete out of the jellyroll.  I had to piece two of the setting triangles from scraps, but I did it.  Now I just have to get all the blocks sewn together, hopefully sometime today.  The border will prove a bit of a problem, but I will take care of that on the next trip to Adelaide.  I love fabric shopping when there's something specific to buy.

Dolly and I went for our usual walk this afternoon, on the golfcourse.  It's a scene of carnage at the moment, for some reason.  There are rabbit and bird bodies everywhere, rather gruesome; I suppose the cold is killing them off.  Of course Dolly finds it all pretty interesting, and I have to drag her away from some of the more intoxicating  scenes.  At one stage I climbed a stile over the fence, so we could continue walking on the road; I was holding down a strand of  the wire fence, so Dolly could get through, when a strange expression came over her face.  She froze, staring at me; I could see her brain ticking over, thinking 'Hey, if she's on that side of the fence, she can't stop me doing what I want....' And she turned and galloped back to the nearest carcase and started throwing bits of it around in ecstasy.  I was so not amused, but she kept on leaping about, bits of bunny fur flying and indescibable things hanging out of her mouth.  Talk about disgusting!  She kept an eye on me, and when it became clear that I was going to climb back and deal with her, she charged over and got through the fence, good as gold.

Except she stank.  Thank heavens we don't have skunks in Australia, because day old bunny is bad enough.  It was straight back to Mereth's place and into the bath with her, while she grumbled that she didn't want to smell nice, she'd worked hard to build up that toxic-green aura, and it was all going to waste down the plug-hole.  We don't see eye to eye on what smells good.


Friday, June 04, 2010

As Mereth pointed out in this post, we have been working seriously long hours for the last three weeks.  And I don't want to talk about work on this blog, so I haven't had much to say about anything lately.  I think I may be caught up now, enough to just put in 6 hours a day instead of 12, so just maybe I can have a Life again from now on.

Luckily for me, a lot of what I do is on the laptop, and with wireless internet I can work in bed at night.

Dolly adores this.  In fact, she's come to see it as the only place to be, now that the weather is getting colder.  She burrows down under the covers and luxuriates in the warmth, snoring gently and twitching occassionally.  What a life she has, a very spoilt girl. She's an excellent hot-water-bottle, and good company.

Late each afternoon I put on my walking shoes and we're off for an hour and a half, tramping the golf course and enjoying the winter scenery.  Dolly has caught three rabbits to date, and dispatched them swiftly.  That may sound a bit brutal, but the golfcourse is strewn with the bodies of rabbits that the foxes haven't been kind to either.  And in Australia, rabbits are vermin who destroy our environment, so a few less are no cause for mourning.

We've been for a few walks at Bowmans Park too, and came across this sandstone wall, sculpted by wind and weather. 

It is so soft a fingernail left marks, just amazing.  It would be fun to carve something out of this stone, it would be really easy to shape.  Maybe I'll take that up as a hobby, when I need a break from quilting,  (Like NOW).

I have made a few blocks of this Cracker patterns, for stress relief. 

It's so cute, and goes together so easily, perfect for those odd moments when I have time to sew.  Now that things have calmed down a bit I'll tackle my longterm projects first, like the Lady of the Lake blocks, and then jump right into kitting up more of the Cracker blocks.

Oh well, it's time to get to work, much to Dolly's dismay; she'll have to leave her natural environment, my bed, and go sit in the office and keep me company.  Her work is never done.....

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