Sunday, March 27, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 30 - Repurpose-Along 2011

Join us in the Repurpose-Along! Here's the link to this week's broadcast.

Now that I've figured out the Flickr thing (I think), here is the direct link to the Repurpose-Along 2011 photo group. You need to have joined Flickr and put you photos on your own photostream in order to put them in the group. You have until April 22 to be part of the drawing. So, that's plenty of time to do a bit of a repurposing project and share it. Give it a go!!!

You can also use the Ravelry thread that Shilo links to from the Spin Control podcast blog.

These three rumpled shirts are the basis is my own Repurpose-Along project. What sort of backpack will they become? I'm not certain yet, and I'm OK with that. Stay tuned!

And speaking of that -- treat yourself to reading Lainie Lipson's full post about the Slow Cloth concept. If you're working on something where you can relax and savor the process, please do so!

And regarding spring cleaning:

Oh, and here are the results of the latest survey - way to go, cloth napkin users! :-)

Do you use cloth napkins (serviettes)?

Yes, all or most of the time
12 (38%)
Yes, sometimes
10 (32%)
No, but I'm thinking about starting
9 (29%)
No, and I probably won't
0 (0%)

Votes so far: 31

Sunday, March 20, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 29 -Report from the retreat

Three days of nonstop sewing with friends - what could be better? Here's the link to this week's episode. (Above is the baby quilt I made - pieced on Day 1, quilted on Day 2, and bound on Day 3.)

But first, here's the skinny on the Spring Repurpose-Along that we're doing in collaboration with Shilo at the absolutely awesome Spin Control podcast.

  • The challenge will be easy - find something in your closet and around your house and do your repurposing/upcycling/transformational magic.
  • By Earth Day (April 22), post before-and-after photos on my Flickr page (yes, there's not much there yet...let's change that!) If you don't have "before" photos, post the afters and tell us about the befores.
  • You can also post on Shilo's Ravelry thread (she posts as aJoyfulGirl - if you're a Ravelry user, follow the link on her blog.)
  • Multiple entries per person are welcome!

Any photos posted by the end of the day Earth Day will qualify for some awesome prizes from Shilo and me. Hope you'll join us!

Now, a glimpse of the spring quilters retreat at Watson Homestead.

I made plenty of Morsbags at retreat. The ones above are from some old tablecloths and a piece of fabric fellow quilter Amanda had in her basement.

In the foreground are two of the three pet beds we made for the animal shelter. Actually "made" is an overstated term -- we just used our fabric trimmings for the stuffing. Below, you can see just how easy it was.

The collections started out small, but in no time, it seemed, each pillowcase was filled with fluffy stuffing - ready to stitch shut and pop into a fleece outer bag.

I'm mad at myself that I didn't snap a photo of Sandy's adorable pillowcase dresses, because they were so cute with all the embellishments she added. In case you haven't made any yet, here's a good basic tutorial.

Pat and Sandy mentioned an all-green quilt batting - here's a link. Click the "purchasing" tab for information on retailers carrying the product.

Here's the "interesting" panel print that someone gave schoolteacher Barb who-knows-when. Not wanting to throw it out (but not about to make a jumper out of it!), Barb simply cut it into squares for future foundation piecing. The muslin is of good quality, and nobody ever need see the print again!

This was another fun little project we did - keychain fobs. Easy to adhere a patchwork strip of scraps to a piece of webbing and add keychain hardware.

This photo came out awfully dark, but this was the first project I made at retreat on Friday afternoon. The pincushion up top is filled with crushed walnut shells, and the attached lined bag is made entirely of scraps - perfect for tossing in little clippings and threads (which later made it into the mega-pouch). A little scrap of non-slip shelf liner stitched to the bottom of the pincushion kept the whole thing in place, even during hour after hour of vibrations from the sewing machine.

The Corning Quilters Guild is terrific! Here is our blog (wonderfully done by Amanda.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 28 - A stitch in time

"A stitch in time saves nine," or so goes the old adage about mending. It's a humble art, but apparently a disappearing one. Let's change that. Listen to the episode here.

Here are a couple of YouTube links to show you some simple repair techniques:

Here's my handy-dandy mending kit. No rocket science here - just an old peanut butter jar with a pincushion glued up top. But it's amazing how having everything all in one place makes a difference between "I'll mend a few things tonight" and "I'll get around to it someday."

The key, for me, is having just enough in there - not too much. I try not to let this become just another junk drawer.
Finally, here's the finished chorale quilt. I don't think the photo shows it that well, but the antique lace embellishments scattered throughout add a lot to the visual depth of the quilt.

I also think this is the first quilt I've ever made without a border. I've been seeing lots of borderless quilts lately, and they seem to have a more contemporary feel, so I thought I'd see how it worked. I liked it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 27 - May I serve you a serviette?

In this episode, I talk (and talk and talk) about cloth napkins, or serviettes. They're great! Listen here.

Above are a few of the calendar napkins I made this weekend, inspired by Ginger. (BTW, I realized that in the recording, I referred to Ginger as "our old friend" -- a comment referring only to her revered position in the GreenStitch community, not to an actual span of years!) Super idea. I think I'll keep some to use and share the rest with my daughter. I think she'll love them.

A few other links from this week's episode:

These cloth napkins from Williams Sonoma are so adorable. They really are. But do you want to spend $28 for a set of four? I didn't think so. Yours will be even cuter, I promise.

Here's the quilt basting tutorial - pretty amazing. This is part 1 - be sure and go on to part 2 as well.

Oh, and here are the results of the most recent blog poll - looks like nearly 90 percent of respondents either craft actively for charity now, or are eager to begin. This may help inform some future podcasts - thanks for participating!

Yes, a lot
7 (17%)
Yes, some
17 (42%)
Not yet, but I want to start
11 (27%)
Seldom or never
5 (12%)

Votes so far: 40
Poll closed