Monday, May 28, 2012

Stashy Quilt

Long ago, like 3 apartments ago, I began a very basic one-patch quilt with stash fabric.  I used 30's repro fabrics that never seemed to blend in with anything else. The quilt top came together quickly.  The rest came together slowly.  Ellis wasn't even born yet when I started!

In the interest of stash-busting, I have at last gone back to this project.  Yesterday I made the quilt sandwich and started quilting.  I was going to machine quilt it, but it didn't look right, so I am going with hand quilting using perle cotton.  A quick trip to Sifu to bulk up my perle cotton stash (which I know goes against the notion of stash busting. . . ) and I was ready to go.

Right now, I have the quilt spread out on the floor and am sitting on it to stitch without a frame.  This is possibly not the best way to stitch it, but it is very relaxing and I can be down on the floor, playing with everyone at the same time.  Also, this is a 90-degree week-end, and sitting with a quilt on my lap seems like a distinctly bad idea.

Even hex bug got in on the quilting action.

I am enjoying the slow pace of hand-quilting this.  The summery light is so pleasing on these colors.  It all feels kind of dreamy.  Hand-quilting is such a deliberate act, so meditative, so in the present, and yet also so connected to the past.  A fitting task for Memorial Day week-end, I think.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crafty Sunday

Sarah is home all day with Ellis.  I am planning to get some stash busting accomplished.

Friday, May 25, 2012


It seems that summer is in full swing, no matter what the calendar says.  I offer photographic evidence.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Art and Gardening

Life is kind of messy, lately.

And I've just been making it messier and messier.

It's been messy in bigger ways, too, ways that are too big and too tied up in other people's privacy for this forum.

Around the edges of the crazy comings and goings and changes, I'm squeezing in some art time, seeing where it takes me.  And for good measure, I'm distracting myself with worrying over the garden.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gardening Notes

On Mother's Day, we finally got around to getting our 2012 garden going.  We have big plans to grow a lot more of our own food this year.  We have a good-sized area.  I've never been a very successful gardener.  I'm going to keep trying, though.

Things were looking pretty sad before we got going.

However, Elly's chives were flourishing with neglect.

We had a number of random tomatoes sprout from last year's dropped Sungolds.

We also had a celery seed that overwintered.

Sarah in sunshine; it was a gorgeous day.

This is mud Kombucha in progress in Elly's mud kitchen.

The mud kombucha was inspired by actual Kombucha that I've been working on.

I received a SCOBY from a good mama friend of mine to get started.  Initially, handling the SCOBY seemed like possibly the most disgusting thing ever.  And my first few batches were yucksville.  But I think I have the hang of it now and am officially a Kombucha devotee.

I like it even better in a mason jar with my new CUPPOW lid.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Craft Reorganization

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday.  I know I did.  I started out on Saturday morning with some awesome thrifting.  I bought the perfect gift for myself.  It's a tiny dresser for the dining room to hold kid's craft supplies.  Doesn't it go well with our other kid's dresser holding craft stuff?

I've long admired Soulemama's craft cupboard.  I've wanted to create a central place for our family crafting materials.  Over the past year, I've been hunting for a mid-century china cabinet to serve this purpose.  Luck has not been on my side. Finally I got tired of disorganized supplies and brought out the larger vintage dresser that had been living in my own craft area.  It really worked out well, but I still wanted a bit more space.  And here it is.

On Sunday, I spent the morning reorganizing my art and craft stash.  That may not seem like a traditional Mother's Day activity, but I loved every minute.  Then Sarah's sisters watched Ellis while Sarah and I went shopping ALONE!  Can you even imagine going to the grocery store and taking your time?  No one pestering you for anything?  It was heaven.  Finally, we worked in the garden, getting everything ready for our favorite organic plant sale of the season.

As for my stash organizing, this project is taking awhile because I both have so much stuff and and haven't organized it lately.  In fact, I doubt I've ever organized it so thoroughly.  I'm tackling things a little each day.  I'm hoping to be done soon.  Check out what I've sorted so far.

My supply of vintage trims:

Small but usable fabrics:

Felted wool cut into squares for a quilt I never made:

 Vintage tablecloths, curtains, and sheets:

Yarn odds and ends:

And Winnie helping me sort scraps once Ellis got bored of it.

I'm looking forward to the end of the project, but I'm also really enjoying the process of going through everything and getting rid of what I don't need.  It's very cleansing.  I feel like it's making room in the house but also in my mind.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stash Busting Plan

What a busy time!  I've been feeling so overwhelmed by day to day life in the wake of art week-end.  I know I promised you details, and they are coming, but somehow, I haven't been able to process it into words yet.  It's my goal for the week-end.  I suppose it doesn't help that Ellis has been my ever-present companion since I got back.  I was only gone two days and one night, but it made him cling to me like a crazy person.  I've hardly been able to do dishes let alone anything else.

Meanwhile, I've been reorganizing my art and craft supplies.  I realize one thing:  I have too much.  I am hereby declaring a stash busting extravaganza!  I have too much of many things.  And I'm tired of a lot of it.  I don't feel inspired by the same old fabric.  However, I can't really justify new fabric when I truly do have plenty.  Here is the outline.

  • I have already begun my crocheted washcloth project using my stashed cotton yarn.  I'm hoping to finish a dozen washcloths by the week-end.
  • Stashy blanket is on the horizon.  I'm thinking crocheted.
  • Socks with sock yarn.  I have at least 5 pairs worth.
  • Yarn bombs!
  • I have a completed quilt top that's been sitting in a drawer for years.  It's time to finish it.  In fact, I even have the batting at the ready.
  • We need new napkins.
  • I need a new mama bag.
  • Pillows!
  • Another quilt.
  • Appliqued t-shirts for the kid and every other child I know.
  • Clothes

  • Rag rug, if I can figure out how.
  • Fillings for pillows and softies
Vintage Linens
  • Tea towels
  • Aprons
  • Things for my forthcoming ETSY shop!
Felted Wool
  • Softies galore!
  • Wool quilty blankets

Collage and Paper Materials
  • Handmade envelopes
  • Birthday cards
  • Gift bags
  • Collage kits for gifts
  • Boxes
Random Other Stuff
  • Hand-carved stamps
  • Wind chimes
  • Mobiles

I'm sure there is more, but that's the general plan.  What's your plan for your extra materials?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still playing catch-up.  Here's the sweater vest I made for my sweet niece Cecelia, complete with vintage buttons, tricked out in a Malabrigo Silky Merino in Amoroso from my favorite LYS, and inspired by this.

Here's Ellis learning to hula-hoop from his hula-hoopin' grandma, sporting his new Cubs hat for his new big head.

I'm still processing my Mama's Art Week-end, but do promise details this week-end.

Meanwhile, here's what I'm planning for dinner over the next few nights:

Thursday:  Easy Chili

Friday:  Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala (inspired by Emily's awesome meal at Art Week-end)

Saturday:  Meatloaf with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sunday:  Dal Mahkni with Roasted Veggies

Monday:  Leftovers!!!

That's all for today.  I'm off to wash a million dishes.