Posts Tagged ‘stash’

When you fall off the horse …

May 29, 2019

Get back on. No, I haven’t been horse riding. The horse I fell off of was keeping notes about what I’ve done in the studio and writing about them. Even though I wasn’t keeping notes all the time, I’ve got a lot to share.

4/23 – I sorted the scrap bin from the garage. Yay! All the scraps have now been sorted and I have an empty bin to put to use doing other things.

I also completed the assembly of the fussy cut animal quilt body (i.e., no borders yet). I have since ordered and received fabric for the outer border and backing. Inner border comeing from stash. Hopefully, the piece I have is large enough. More about that soon, with pictures. Here’s a picture of the body sewn together.

4/24 – Linda, Patty and I went to the Blue House fabric sale in Westminster, MD. I didn’t find much, even at 40% off. They used to have a lot of grunge colors so I was expecting to find some of those. There was very little, nothing that interested me. The sale made me suspicious. Sure enough, a few weeks later Linda got the email that they are going out of business. Linda is sad because their fabrics were in her wheelhouse. Me, not so much.

4/25 – I had sweatshop with Polly at Spring Water Designs. I did the inking on most of my ship blocks.

When I got home that afternoon, I worked on the step-outs for my guild demo scheduled for May. The demo has since been rescheduled for August.

4/26 – Linda came over. I worked on prepping one of the Baltimore Garden bird blocks.

4/27 – Baltimore Garden class.

One of my ship blocks had bleeding from the ultra-suede. I took a deep breath and followed Vicki Welsh’s instructions and started the block soaking in hot water and Dawn (some clear version with no dyes or perfumes). The bleed did come out. Whew! Polly did like the idea of making the ship look like it was burning because the bleed looked like smoke around the masts. I’ll post pictures of all the ship blocks one of these days.

I worked on the hand stitching of the binding on the T for Two quilt.

4/28 – More work on the T for Two binding.

And, here’s where I fell off the horse. No notes for the next month. I was in Illinois for Dad’s 96th birthday so no sewing happened while I was gone. His birthday is Star Wars day (May 4th). I asked him if he knew that. He just keep saying, “Huh?” He’s extremely hearing impaired so it’s very exhausting to talk to him. Mom said she didn’t think he knew what Star Wars was. I said I’d wondered about that. He looks pretty good in this picture but he’s gotten quite frail.

Red Lobster is Dad’s favorite restaurant. He had been talking about the Red Lobster lobster fest promotion for a couple of months. He fretted because it was over. My brother and I kept telling him “if you want lobster, order lobster.” Usually he orders coconut shrimp, probably because that’s what mom orders, and then complains about the breading, insisting that it didn’t used to be so thick. Mom and I and the waitress always tell him it’s always been that way and to order something else but he never did. This time they had a new lobster and shrimp dinner so he ordered that and, as you can see, was quite happy afterwards. My brother and I also ordered it. It was pretty good. Came with corn on the cob and roasted potato wedges and some sausage. Too much for one meal but made for nice leftover meals.

My brother and the dog sacked out. Smokey is his last dog. Smokey has really declined in health since the previous dog died. Sounds like he may not last much longer. He’s the last dog because my brother wants to travel and he can’t do that with animals to care for.

I was only there a few days so Becky and I didn’t get to do our usual get together stuff. We met for dinner one night and I gave her the T for Two quilt. I wish I’d gotten better pictures of it but I didn’t.


A couple weeks later I was off to my guild’s spring retreat. Four days at the Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville,  PA. Actually, the retreat center is out in the country in the middle of nowhere. I took eight or nine projects just to be sure I didn’t run out of things to do. I didn’t touch two of them, which is fine. I try to take things that don’t require much thought because with 28 people in a big room, there is lots of distraction.

I assembled two smaller quilts the first day.


Ignore the extra bits on the left. I didn’t hang this straight enough to crop out the other project on the design wall. This 16-patch from strips from Genie’s scraps. It will be donated to charity as that is what her family wanted done with her fabric. Charity was a big part of Genie’s being. I’m calling it In the Pink.

I also assembled the Jacob’s Ladder blocks.


I’m working on the borders now. You can see a little of the inner borders on the sides.

The second day of retreat I assembled Sweet Poison. I don’t seem to have a photo of that. More on it when it comes back from the quilter.

I spent the third day making blocks for 9-patch Madness. I’d been using the broken dishes blocks as leader/enders the entire time. This happened.


It’s hard to see because of the dark fabric. This is a connecting corner square. I cut off the outer bit and then the following piece appeared out of nowhere.


Something definitely wrong here. This was my leader/ender. Where did it come from and why isn’t it square? Here’s why.


The bottom triangle is the piece I cut off the 9-Patch Madness block shown earlier. My leader/ender got caught up and sewn into the 9-Patch Madness block. Sigh. I’ve probably made every mistake in the book over time but this is a new one.

The last day of retreat is really only a half-day and not much work happens. Around 10 or 10:30 we have show and tell where we go around the room and everyone shows what they worked on. Then, it’s mostly pack up and leave because we have to be out of the room by 1 p.m.

Nothing to do with quilting but this happened. My handyman finally came over to install the ceiling fan in the living room. It’s the weird looking round thing – a bladeless fan. I also had him help finish assembling the dining room chairs.


He also attached my design wall to the wall. It’s no longer just leaning against the wall. I’m beyond thrilled. I did have to move a heavy piece of furniture though so the design wall didn’t block the outlet. Bless whoever invented hand trucks and those furniture slider things. I was able to move the cabinet all by myself.


I must have done other things but no idea what they were. Actually, one is the project on the left of the design wall. More about it at another time. The one on the right is the May snowman.

Last Friday Linda came over. I realized at one point that she had stopped working and packed up her stuff. I was wandering around trying to find something to focus on. I had a brainstorm and said, “I’ve got something we can do!” Here’s the result.


We placed all the embroidery hoops I’ve been collecting for the last several years. Some I had, some came from guild freebie table, some from silent auction. Now, I have to choose fabric to fill them.

5/25 – Baltimore Garden class.

5/26 – Sew and Tell meets at my house. I cut and fused pieces for the June snowman. After S & T, I assembled the April and May snowman tops. So, during my not taking notes, I must have cut and fused the April and May snowmen pieces.

5/27 – I finished assembly of the April Snowman. No picture of the April snowman right now.

I made the back for the Genie 16-patch quilt. Was going to use a bunch of different blue fabrics but found this backing yardage, so used it. It’s an old Jinny Beyer print.


I also cut up the leftovers from that yardage. Some squares for the guild’s love quilts. Some for my pre-cut stash.

I started the back for Sweet Poison.

5/28 – Finished the back for Sweet Poison. Stay-stitched the edges of the top. Will have piectures when it comes back from quilter.

I nailed the hangers in the wall for the embroidery hoops. The picture I showed earlier was after this happened. When we were arranging them they were held on by blue painter’s tape. That made it easy to rearrange them until we were satisfied.

I filled two of the smaller hoops with scraps from the Sweet Poison backing.

I traced the four carrot embroidery sections for the June snowman. Selected the thread and embroidered one of them in the evening.

I cut the inner border for the Jacob’s Ladder and attached the two long sides. It occurred to me after I cut the two side borders that maybe I should miter them so the corners look better. The perfectionist in me wishes I’d done that but I’m going to live with butted corners.

The house cleaners just left so I’m going to get a late lunch and, maybe, head to the studio. I really need a cook. I’d be in hog heaven then.


State of the Stash February 2018

February 28, 2018

I belong to a Yahoo! group called Stashbusters where we are asked to report on the state of our stash during our birthday month. Since this is the last day of the month, I’d better get busy. The state of my stash is — Awesome!

One year ago today I closed on the purchase of a new house. I narrowed it down to three choices, all very similar layouts, 55+ communities, main floor owner’s suite, garage. I felt like I was on HGTV’s House Hunters. Did she choose the large country house with shared well and septic? The cozy charmer next to I-95? Or the newly constructed house (my friend Linda dubbed it the posh house). I chose the new house because of the finished basement space that makes a practically perfect studio. The open sewing area is something like 12′ by 32′ with a sliding door that backs onto forest retention area.

I have a fabric room! Yes, a room, about 10′ x 13′ if I remember correctly. For the first time, all my fabric (except for fabric that is in project boxes) is in one place and relatively organized. I’ve been collecting fabric since the mid-90s so I’ve amassed quite a collection. One can acquire a lot more fabric in an hour of shopping than can be used in an hour of sewing. While I was working I had lots more shopping time than sewing time.

For several years I started trying to track fabric in and out. That always fell by the wayside fairly quickly. I’ve given up the idea of tracking fabric use. As long as it all fits in the room, I’m good, although I would like to see some shelves empty so I’d have some place to put the finished quilts that aren’t currently in use.

They say confession is good for the soul, so here are pictures. I prefer to have my fabric on shelves where I can see it. When I want to pull fabric, I pull out a stack and rifle through it, then put it back on the shelf. The lightweight ladder came from The Container Store. I like it because it has a high frame that I can hold onto and all the steps are usable, unlike most ladders that try to knee-cap you when you get close to the top. I use the ladder to get to the top of the color wall. Those bookcases are 8′ tall. I’m only 5′ 4.5″.


View from the doorway. Cutting table is in the middle of the room. The rulers are on the table but eventually I’d like to hang them on the wall and free up the cutting space. I’d also like a more sturdy table with storage underneath. Two wastebaskets – one for pet bed scraps, one for trash.


The color wall – tone on tone fabrics. In the old house the batiks were separated but I thought I wanted them with their colors. Found out I’d prefer them separate. That’s a task for another day. As you can see, I’ve managed to cover most of the cutting table with stuff, leaving only a quarter of it clear for cutting. In my defense, it’s mostly current stuff on there. Once I finish with it, that space will be clear again.


Hand dyes, flannels, and other. The two rolling carts are overflow of unsorted novelty/multi-color prints that doesn’t fit on the bookcases. A couple of boxes of non-fabric stuff that hasn’t found a home yet. The bins in front hold batting.



The rightmost case and the bottom shelf of the next case is all cat fabrics. The other shelves are stripes, border stripes (mostly Jinny Beyer), holiday, Christmas, food, Kaffe Fassett collective, Tula Pink, William Morris, patriotic, floral, oriental and unsorted novelty and multi-color prints. Fabrics on top of the shelves are mostly assigned to existing or future projects. The bookshelves are all bolted to the wall so they don’t fall over and bury me.


Bins of Kaffe Fassett Collective, food, Flower Fairies, large yardage for backgrounds, backings, borders, etc. The stuff on top is fabrics for the On Ringo Lake mystery, scraps from current cutting and other things being cut. The wall above the bins is where I’d like to hang the rulers. There’s also a project box sitting there behind the scraps. The scraps are sorted into strings, chunks (pieces big enough to run through the die cutter) and crumbs. Color sorting of scraps may occur one day. There’s also a string project on the second bin that’s waiting to be trimmed to size.

Lost and Found

May 20, 2016

Years ago when I didn’t have broadband internet access at home I bought a USB drive so to transport files between work, where we had a T1 line,  and home. That worked great until the day I couldn’t find the drive. I worried that it might have fallen out of my bag somewhere away from home – I had personal financial files on it that I wouldn’t want in other hands. I mostly thought it fell down into the loveseat which is a double recliner.


When I change purses, some stuff always seems to get left behind in the old purse. The other day it was time to change purses again so I took my current purse and 3 prior ones and emptied everything out to decide what should go into the new purse. I know you’re already ahead of me – I found the USB drive tucked away in a small pocket in one of the purses. I KNOW I checked the pockets of that purse when I was actively looking for the drive and didn’t find it. I guess it tucked itself away in a lining fold and hid until now. What a relief!

At some point at work, they started encrypting files copied to removable media. Now, I need to find the paperwork I brought home with the password and instructions on how to access those encrypted files. I should be able to access the files added to the drive before the encryption began being used.

Wednesday I went to the library and then to the battery store to get a new battery for my cell phone. When I got to the battery store, my reading glasses were gone. I hang them on the neck of my shirt and the seat belt often flips them off. Did I leave them at home or did I lose them at the library? They aren’t my only pair so it wasn’t that big a deal. I figured if they flipped off and out of the car at the library, they would have been run over by now. I had to go back to the library today to pick up a hold book. Someone had turned in my glasses. Yeah!

The quilt shop in town decided to feature a guild every month starting with Faithful Circle Quilters. During the month of May we get a 15% discount instead of the 10% Monday guild discount. I took advantage of it and bought 9 yards of the row by row houses fabric for the back of That Town and Country Quilt that I am 5 months behind on.


Perfect, right?

I followed that by a visit to JoAnn’s to get some solids for machine quilting practice. There was a display toward the front of the store with solids that were 30% off so I picked things from that shelf. After pulling several bolts down, I happened to notice the price – $14.99 a yard. What!? They were very nice but I’m not paying that kind of price at JoAnn’s. I looked a little more closely and discovered they were Cloud 9 brand, organic cotton, made in the USA. I put those back and pulled from the $7-8 range. After getting cut, I discovered cheap solids father back in the store.


Each of these is 1/3 yard so 4 yards.

Today was a perfect spring day, weather-wise. That has been very rare this year. It has rained most days for the past month. So we had about 36 hours or so without rain. Of course, the rain and cold are returning tomorrow to mess up the Preakness weekend. We have hope that next week will be warm.

When I drove to Illinois last month I put something out of whack and my right leg has been bothering me ever since. This week I started having tingling and numbness down the leg. Patty and I were supposed to go to the York, PA quilt show today but we’re going tomorrow instead so I could go to the chiropractor today. I’ve never been to one before although I have considered going when I’ve had problems like this in the past. Would you believe that what prevented me from going was all the new patient paperwork? That’s finally behind me.

After I made the appointment yesterday afternoon, there’s been quite a bit of snap, crackle and popping which means things are moving around. I was sure that by the time I got to the appointment, whatever was wrong would have fixed itself, finally. It didn’t. This practice is owned by husband and wife who are both chiropractors and also offers physical therapy, massage and acupuncture. Everyone in the office was very friendly and things felt very peaceful. The wife was my doctor. I really like her. She explained things very well and I never felt she was in a hurry to get rid of me. She didn’t do any manipulations today, just evaluation. My right sacroiliac joint is stuck, not moving the way it is supposed to. When the doctor finished with me I was turned over to the physical therapist to learn some stretches to do. I go back Tuesday to discuss a treatment plan.

Procrastination report

May 8, 2016

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve successfully managed to procrastinate working on quilting the baby quilts. I dragged out the first set of twin quilts last week, fully intending to finish them. I managed to do the ditch quilting on the one that wasn’t pieced as quilt as you go. Then I started procrastinating because I didn’t want to do the quilting that shows. Here’s what I did instead of quilting the quilt.

More double 9-patch blocks:

Some leader/ender spools:


My string piecing during the news is working out for the most part. I don’t manage every week day. Monday is guild night so I don’t see the evening news. Friday night I woke up from a little nap just about news time but was too tired to be messing about with dangerous machines. I added these blocks to the collection:

Once a month I get together with a group of people that started as a lunch time group at work. I decide it was easiest to do something mindless so I have a bin of random scraps that I’ve been working from for the past 2.5 years. This bin is dedicated to the once a month sew-in so it isn’t the same container I’m working from during the news. So far I think I’ve made the string pieces for 4 quilts. The bin still looks full, doesn’t it?


Most recently I’ve been working on the pieces for a String X quilt – a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. Monday I bought fabric for the background and border. The majority of the fabric in the strings came from Amy. There are a lot of turquoise and green so I thought these fabrics would work well.


I need to update my stash accounting to add 3.5 yards.

I was able to borrow a die for the triangles from Patty. Cutting a lot of pieces from one fabric is where the die cutter definitely saves time. So, in my ongoing quest to not work on the baby quilts, I started assembling blocks for String X. Here are 4 of them to show the design. I still need to make 6 or 7 more string pieces to have enough for 12 blocks. I’ll decide on an inner border and binding after the body is finished.


Yesterday, after finishing all the String X blocks that were ready, I decided it was time to get back to the baby quilts. I’m only doing walking foot quilting so how hard can it be? You’d be surprised. I started stitching and saw this:


What the hell!? Look at those loose stitches! I had to rip it all out and come up with another plan. I reverted to straight stitching instead of the serpentine. I need to give it a close examination today to see if it is acceptable – I saw some stitches that looked a little loose. I may have to revert to quilting it on my Janome Jem Gold or wait until I have a new machine. I don’t want to have to use the Jem because it is a 3/4 size machine and doesn’t have any decorative stitches. I also hate to delay longer because the girls are already 2.5 years old. I want to use the alphabet on the Bernina to quilt the girls’ names into their quilts. I’m going to give it a try and hope it works better than the serpentine.

This is on a Bernina 1230 using the walking foot and the serpentine stitch. I didn’t notice any problem when I did the ditch stitching with the edge stitching foot. I did some test stitching on a practice piece and it was okay. Why is it okay on the practice piece but not on the quilt? I’m going to take a closer look at my piecing to see if there is a problem there. The machine had its maintenance and repair several weeks ago so it shouldn’t be misbehaving. Could it be a bad walking foot? People claim this is the best Bernina ever made but I never bonded with it the way many people do with their machines. In other words, I’m not in love with the Bernina brand.

I am so ready for a new machine. I put it off until after I retired so it would do more than sit unused in the cabinet. I retired 2 years ago so it’s time now. I do love my Jem so I’ve been holding out to get the latest and greatest Janome. The 8900 came out in 2012 so I figured maybe this was the year they’d introduce a new machine for quilters. I was right! Thanks to Linda for letting me know that a new model is coming at the end of the month. I can’t wait to see it. I’m hoping for a special introductory price although I’m a little leery about buying the 1.0 version of a new model.

Rescue Mission

February 29, 2016

Took a long walk the other week when we had a nice, warm day. I was surprised to see ice on the pond given how warm, relatively speaking, the winter has been. I thought the shadows of the branches made interesting patterns.


I’ve been in a slump since coming home after Christmas. Some days I don’t even go down to the sewing room at all. Am I hibernating because it’s cold? Or am I avoiding the sewing room because there are too many have-to-dos before I can return to want-to-dos?

What are my have-to-dos?

  1. Allietare – I want to get the top done so I don’t add another UFO to the pile. I’m at the bordering point. The back is designed and partially completed. Can’t continue with the back until the front is done.
  2. Bindings and labels and sleeves, oh my! – My guild’s quilt show is in April. I have to bind, label and sleeve my entries. My quilter returned five quilts to me last year that I was saving for binding until winter. Three of the bindings are finished. One side is left for the fourth quilt. One quilt for the show has a sleeve. Part of the problem with sleeves is that I don’t know how many of my entries will get into the show. Too many large quilts are being entered and we only have so much room for large quilts. I don’t want to sleeve the quilts that aren’t going into the show.
  3. Twin quilts #1 – I never got into the position where I was expected to gift quilts to every co-worker for whatever occasion like some people I know. Only one of my direct co-workers got a quilt because she is special. The co-worker who had twins is also special to me so when I heard he was having twins, I immediately picked a pattern and fabric. The twins for these quilts turned two in November. The quilts have been sitting waiting for the quilting. Time for me to get on it so I can give them.
  4. Twin quilts #2 – I used Jo Kramer’s Pinky Swear pattern to use the bonus triangles from Bonnie Hunter’s 2014 mystery, Grand Illusion. I had two colorways of triangles so made two quilts – pink and brown and blue and brown. When I showed the tops at guild, I said it was too bad I didn’t know anyone having boy and girl twins. A few weeks later I got a Christmas card from my oldest friend with the news that her daughter was expecting boy and girl twins. The grandmother-to-be bought the backing fabric for the quilts and now I need to quilt them.
  5. Mimi’s grad school BOM. I want to keep up this year. My January block bird still needs an eye and feet. I’ve got a week to get February’s block done.
  6. Jinny Beyer BOM – I’ve got the border fabric and the background but haven’t made any blocks yet. I’d like to keep up with this one also.
  7. 365 block challenge – This is a free block of the day. So far I’m only collecting the patterns. Can’t decide what color to do. Today’s choice is rust and orange. This is more of a want-to-do than a have-to-do.
  8. Town and Country block a day – This is a purchased pattern. Haven’t started it either. Linda and I were going to work on it together. She’s mostly been out of town since Thanksgiving dealing with family issues. I don’t expect her to be back home for good until summer. I’m holding off until she gets back. It’s also more of a want-to-do.

Last week while I was working on the one sleeve I’ve done, I broke my Bernina 1230. The sleeve was all sewn except for the basting for the ease. I tried to use the long stitch and the basting stitch on the Bernina but it just stitched normal stitch. I tried all the things like pressing the clear button and turning the machine off and on with same results. I wondered what would happen if I changed the stitch length. When I did that I heard a clunk and the needle didn’t move any longer. The take-up lever moved, the feed dogs fed but the needle didn’t go up and down.

Packed it up to go to the repair shop. Took off the next day after guild, not knowing that the shop is closed on Thursdays. It’s an hour or more drive depending on traffic. Sigh. Decided to wait until Patty could go with me. We went up last Friday. Having a companion makes the ride seem shorter. I talked to a technician the day before. His analysis of the problem is that the needle bullet is stuck. What is a needle bullet, you ask? The way I understand his explanation, there’s a piece that moves in and out of a hole to keep the needle up to skip stitches to make the long and basting stitches – the difference between the two stitches is the number of stitches to skip. The bullet wasn’t moving during my first trials so it stitched normally. When I changed the stitch length the bullet moved but got stuck so kept the needle from moving to make stitches. If that’s what’s wrong, it’s a $5 fix.

She’s overdue for regular maintenance – like a horse that’s been “rode hard and put away wet” as the saying goes – which is probably why the bullet got stuck. So she’s going to get her checkup and some new light bulbs and probably a new light switch. I didn’t even know there was a light switch on the back of the machine. Perhaps I knew when I first bought the machine but forgot. The lights come on when I turn on the machine and they go off when I turn it off so who needs a switch. The technician said that on this machine that switch has to be changed out periodically. Who knew? He also said that the bulbs rarely burn out, they just get dimmer over time. They’re so dim right now they’re pretty much useless.

Patty and I came home via Patches in Mt. Airy, MD. I finally found my gift card which is why I wanted to go there. I had no intention of buying a bunch of fabric because I’ve got more than plenty at home. As we walked in the door, we saw the sign for a sale where you get 20% off anything you could fit in your bag. We turned around and went back to the car to get bags. I’m sure you can figure out what’s coming. I had to rescue a few things from the store.

I promise I wouldn’t have succumbed if it weren’t for the magic word, “SALE”. I couldn’t resist. What is it about that word that dissolves all self-restraint? I picked up a few fat quarters of bird fabrics to add to the ones I already have for the back of the grad school BOM. I didn’t find any fat quarters of them in the bin but the cutter offered to cut them. Nice!


I had to get a half yard of the pirate parrots to have some for the back and some for stash. If I ever need a P novelty for alphabet or name quilts I’ll have it. I won’t be able to find it but I’ll have it. Also got some male and female cardinals.


The color and feel of this flannel grabbed me. I kept going back to pet it so finally agreed to get enough for a back. There was a paisley in the same color next to it from a different company but it didn’t feel anywhere near as nice. I left the paisley on the shelf. The color doesn’t show very well in the photo.


I love making quilts where you stack a bunch of fabrics, cut them up, shuffle them, sew them together then trim the resulting blocks. This book of holiday designs from the now defunct Buggy Barn has several that appeal to me.


The gift card has been a problem since it was purchased. I received it in a class where we each brought something to give to another member of the class. I got a call that there was some problem with the system when the card was bought. I called back and it was supposed to have been fixed. I wanted to use the card when I was at the shop in November but I couldn’t find it. They were too busy to look it up at the time. I found the card recently so gave it to Jackie as part of my payment. She looked at me and said, “There’s nothing on this.” I told her it had never been used and reminded her of the problem when it was bought. She grumbled about people not following through but took off the $10 that was supposed to be on the card and said she’d figure it out later. Thank you, Jackie.

The real rescue mission was at guild on Thursday. I’ve been doing pretty well at avoiding picking up fabric from the freebie table. No one wanted this box of homespuns. The powers that be were going to throw them out if no one took them. Well, we can’t have that. Homespuns for me are like civil war fabrics – I like the resulting quilts but I don’t often buy the fabrics off the bolt which makes it hard to make the quilts. Just before we left Margaret M. said she was glad I took them because if I hadn’t, she’d have had to take them and she didn’t need them.


I’ve washed and dried the homespuns and folded them. I always try to wash fabrics from a non-store source as soon as I bring them home because I never know what kind of conditions they’ve been stored in. They need ironing but I won’t do that until I’m ready to cut them.

After I got them all folded, I trimmed the edges on the fifth quilt waiting to be bound. I could set up my Janome Gem Gold but I think I’ll wait until the Bernina returns. I’ve got enough hand work and prep work to do before then to keep me busy.

State of the Stash 2016

February 6, 2016

Today is my 65th birthday. My mother had to take to her bed, horrified at the thought that she is old enough to have a child my age. I belong to the Yahoo! group Stashbuster. Every year during our birthday month, we’re encouraged to write about the state of our stash.

The last two years I claimed that I was going to start tracking yardage in and out but that didn’t last long. I’m going to make another stab at it this year, hoping the third time is the charm.

I’ve definitely bought less fabric locally since my home quilt shop closed in 2014. I have monthly meetings at two area quilt shops but hardly ever visit the very small shop a couple of miles from my house. But, the Row by Row experience made up for less local shopping. In 2015 the Row by Row frenzy found me visiting at least 53 shops in 7 states. Of course I had to buy something at each shop to support them. I wish I could say that I haven’t bought any fabric so far in 2016 but that would be a lie.

I fell off the wagon pretty quickly and bought these Doctor Who prints online from Missouri Star Quilt Company. That’s 2.5 yards plus a panel. JoAnn’s had some different prints. I don’t often buy fabric from JoAnn’s any more but the Doctor Who prints are enticing. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.


I bought 4 yards of background fabric for the Jinny Beyer 2016 BOM. Nothing in my stash went with the focus border print I’m using so Jinny picked out this pale green print to go with it.


My team bought 7 yards of fabric to make kits for our bird for Mimi’s grad school BOM but since that most of that doesn’t go into my stash, it doesn’t count. Yeah!

On the outgoing side, I’ve been more prolific since I retired than before. My quilter returned 5 quilts last year. Although I didn’t get around to binding them until this year, I’m not counting them as outgoing stash for this year. I suppose I could count the bindings that hadn’t already been made as being used this year. Then there are labels and hanging sleeves to make.

That’s why I have so much trouble accounting for things. What counts, what doesn’t, how do you count it, etc. If I weigh it, what conversion equivalent should I use – 4 yards per pound, 3 yards per pound, split the difference? It’s hard to believe that a 5 pound bag of trimmings that fits in a plastic grocery bag is 20 yards of fabric. What about kits that I’ve added fabric to? It’s very easy to forget to include the stuff off the freebie table at guild.

I hope to complete more projects this year. I’ve been spinning my wheels. Is it because it’s winter or because I have things I have to work on instead of the things I want to work on?

Stash accounting 2014

February 8, 2015

Sometime last year I rashly claimed that I was going to track fabric coming in and going out. That didn’t happen. What did happen was this:

Row by Row + Quilters’ Quest = too much fabric = Stash Overflow.

While I was in Houston with my brother our cousin kidnapped me for a few days while he was in the hospital. She is not a quilter but wanted to provide something quilty for me so took me to Tea Time Quilting. I had to pick up some cowboy toile and barbed wire prints as well as a 30s charm pack and a layer cake of Little Black Dress. Unfortunately it was the day before Row by Row started. If I’d realized they were participating I’d have begged for the pattern early.

Tea Time Quilting

Once my brother improved enough that I didn’t need to be there 24/7, I took a day each of the last 2 weeks I was there and visited some Row by Row shops in the Chicago area. I managed 4 shops each day.

Quilter’s Quest, not to be confused with the Maryland-DC-Virginia shop hop which is Quilters’ Quest.

York 2014 and row by row 112 This was my favorite shop. I almost wish I lived near there except I don’t want to move back to the Chicago area.

York 2014 and row by row 115York 2014 and row by row 116

Gentler Times

York 2014 and row by row 121

York 2014 and row by row 122

Fabrics Etc. This was a huge store.

York 2014 and row by row 134

York 2014 and row by row 133

I seem to be missing pictures of the loot from the other 3 stores in the Chicago area.

In August Patty, Linda and I went to Lancaster County, PA where we visited 8 quilt shops in a single day. Seven of them were Row by Row shops. I had never realized how close all the shops were. This is not the order we visited them.

Log Cabin Quilt Shop. When we first entered, we thought it was just selling completed items. The fabrics and supplies were in the back room. I picked up a Nancy Drew panel.

York 2014 and row by row 124

The Old Country Store. We’re happy to see this store reopened under new management. Linda and I were choosing fabric for a quilt for our hairdresser’s first baby. We found the crayons for the outer border and the gray for the inner border and binding.

York 2014 and row by row 126

Dutchland Quilt Patch

York 2014 and row by row 127

Family Farm Quilt Shop

York 2014 and row by row 128

Piece by Piece Quilt Shop

York 2014 and row by row 129

The Quilt Shop At Miller’s. This one is part of a complex that includes a large buffet restaurant and other shops. This quilt shop doesn’t sell supplies, only completed items. They did have fat quarters of the Amish buggy fabric which they had used in their row pattern.

York 2014 and row by row 130

Sauder’s Fabrics Shop. This is always the first stop on my guild’s annual bus shopping trip. I don’t go on that trip anymore because I have too much fabric. As you can see from this post I need to not put myself into the path of temptation.

York 2014 and row by row 131

Sashing and backing for the baby quilt Linda and I were making.

York 2014 and row by row 132

I’m missing pictures from 2 of the Lancaster shops.

Around Maryland and Virginia, I visited the following shops.

Ellicott City Sew-Vac

York 2014 and row by row 125

Jinny Beyer Studio

York 2014 and row by row 120

Capital Quilts

York 2014 and row by row 119

I’m pretty sure I managed to get to one or two others but I don’t have anything to show for it. I do plan to account for my stash comings and goings in 2015 so I’ll know if it’s going in the right direction. But, I’d better get busy tracking it because I fell off the wagon on Jan 6th. Sigh.

2014 Stash Update

February 17, 2014

I know this sort of post is boring but it’s primarily for me. I decided that this year I would start keeping track of what’s coming in and what’s going out to see whether I’m adding to or reducing my vast fabric collection. Counting what’s coming in is reasonably easy to do by yardage but that’s not very workable for measuring what’s used.

To measure outgoing I will be weighing items that are ready to be quilted. I have a hand-held luggage scale that may work for this purpose. I remember an appraiser saying a pound of cotton quilting fabric is about 4 yards. I need to weigh a known amount of fabric to calibrate my measurements because I don’t think it’s very accurate, especially at low weights. … 15 yards weighed 4.6 pounds according to this scale. But, when I weighed about that much of batiks, it never registered over 1.6. What??? Does that make any sense? That’s what it said when I weighed 8 yards of batiks and why I don’t trust this scale. Maybe I need to try my food scale. Another day.


These were my last purchase from Seminole Sampler before the store closed forever. The pink is just because it’s beautiful. The giraffe because I love animal prints. The purple is intended to be binding for a project I inherited from Amy with a little extra for stash.

6.5 yds pink, 1 yd purple and giraffe

6.5 yds pink, 1 yd purple and giraffe

I bought some AccuQuilt Go dies from Mountain Lake Quilting and they included an unexpected gift of 8 wonderful black and white fat quarters. The blue piece is so I can finish the 2012 Saturday Sampler star quilt from Seminole Sampler.

8 unexpected FQs and 2 yards to finish a work in progress.

8 unexpected FQs and 2 yards to finish a work in progress.

Birthday goodies! The top 2 were used as wrapping for gifts. The cat fabrics on the bottom were the gift.

2 FQs and 4 half-yards

2 FQs and 4 half-yards of cat fabrics

Yesterday at Sew and Tell Sharon gave me a plastic grocery bag full of strips. I forgot all about figuring out how much I was adding. I just dumped it into my string bin and started sewing. The stuff in the bin has been thoroughly stirred up so there is no way to extract the new stuff. I may have to make up a number to account for some of it.


At the end of January I took Colette’s quilt to the quilter. The top and backing fabric weighed 4.8-5 pounds. That should be about 19-20 yards. The backing fabric was a little heavier so I’m going with 20.

In: 15 yards    Out: 20 yards     2014 total: -5 yards

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!