Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Mini Quilts

Mini Sawtooth, #32 8/3/09

Starry Nine Patch Mini, #59 11/26/11

Stash Project Begins...Inspiration!!

I washed and dried some of the knits I just bought, which got me in the mood to sew with some knits I already had. I was wearing very comfortable pajama pants...hmmm, they fit so well, and had the newer low waistband that my old patterns don't. Ma's old patterns have waists that go up to about my nipples. Not cool, not hip. So I stripped those babies off, threw them on the floor, and laid some Do-sew on them. That's the poly pattern making stuff I got probably when I was a teenager for tracing the old Stretch and Sew Patterns, (think waistbands at nipple height.)

Here's the miraculous, liberating thing: I traced the pieces and made a pattern, then gathered my fortitude and cut them out of some of my least favorite knit fabric, which I had thought about donating since I wasn't inspired by it. Serged up the seams lickety split, and those pants fit me perfectly! I'm feeling pretty smug about now. I used up the rest of that buffalo black plaid on pj or workout shorts which don't have elastic; just the knit fabric folded in a wide waistband.  I'm making two pairs of giraffe knit pj pants, one a little longer for Alexandra, and one for me or Sophia, who by the way is now 2 inches taller than I am and 1 inch taller than her big sister. I guess the longer ones are for her, yes?

So much success inspired me to trace a pattern from the skirt I bought in Boulder, where I was thinking cowgirl thoughts, (as if that's even remotely possible!) That baby has 6 panels, a waistband, and a waistband yoke. So I did it. I'll try that pattern after finishing up those giraffe pjs.

Stash used: 4.5 yards
Stash used total: 4.5 yards
Stash acquired: 0 yards
Stash acquired total: 0 yards

Whenever I go shopping, I always make a point of telling Constantine, "You should see the stuff I DIDN'T buy!!" Well, you should see the fabric I didn't buy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stash Happens

There's a woman named Nancy who writes and shares quilt patterns in small steps, called Mystery Quilts, for quilters who wish to donate their time, effort and stash to military service people who are injured while serving our country. Her quilt patterns are available only through the yahoo group, MysteryQuilts4Military, and she also writes a blog, on which she frequently reports how much fabric she is using from her considerable stash. She also blogs how much she "stashes," which to me means how much fabric she acquires.

As anyone who knows me knows, I have a little, ahem, "problem," with the acquisition of fabric. My other problem is that even though I quilt and sew a lot and am relatively prolific, the projects just seem not to use enough fabric to make a difference! Also, when I am very productive, it inspires me to buy more fabric. I make stuff and give it away, I make stuff and keep it, I make stuff and leave it sitting in a pile, and the fabric piles just seem to grow. They're neat piles, and they are really beautiful, but they do grow and grow.
I would estimate that I have thousands of yards of fabric in my sewing room and the adjacent bathroom. I realize how that sounds, fabric in the bathroom. It's not as bad as all that, but there IS truth to it. Nobody lives up there, so nobody has to use a bathroom also being used for overflow fabric storage. Still though, now that I've made that confession in writing, I am going to remove the stash from there. It's not acceptable. One day, I will have to move it to wherever I move next. That is not going to be easy, and it is not going to be funny to whomever has to haul it down from the third floor. I am going to make it my goal to stop the growth of the fabric stash in the year 2013, and to begin the downward spiral in subsequent years.

I would like to carve out an exception for the fabric that my mother has acquired in her house; I've already given away bags and bags, hundreds of pounds of fabric from her old stash, (seriously, how much polyester double knit does anyone need?) When she dies, I will be partly responsible for the cleaning out of her house, where she no longer lives, and I will merge her good fabrics with mine. I won't count her fabric as acquisition. Maybe I should limit their impact by choosing only as much as will fit in the shower in that adjacent bathroom.

Anyway, I'm going to try to start tabulating a stash count. Starting now. So the 4 skirts I made this past weekend from stash don't count, (That was 6 yards!!) but neither do the fabrics I ordered last night from Connecting Threads, (14.5 yds). Deal?

Next stash busting project: knit maxi skirts, this weekend. One in the Olive and Purple stripe, another in the blue heather stripes. That fabric is reversible. Could make a matching cardigan, preferably reversible. Need to find out how to make the serger do flat seams for reversible clothes. That will be in my owner's manual.
The knits I bought from Girl Charlee, (9 yards,) a few days ago haven't arrived, but they don't count. Also, pajama pants for Maboo and the girls. Giraffes for Alexandra, Otters for Sophia, gray waffle weave for Maboo.

It's becoming clear to me that I have to get there and start sewing, and fast!! I found great tutorials for making the maxis, as well as the cardigan. Check out my pinterest board for those links.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lolita Skirts!!

I went Lolita crazy this weekend!

I have this pattern, recommended by Peggy Anne Klinker, of Peggy Anne's, and I'd made an adorable skirt many months ago. Sophia needed new clothes, since suddenly hers didn't fit her. She was not happy about the new brace for scoliosis that gives her "Barbie hips." I don't know about you, but last time I checked, Barbie's hips looked pretty good, but you get the point. It didn't help matters that my clothes fit her. She wants her own clothes, not her mother's clothes. Now, mind you, her mom has clothes like this:
The original Lolita, meant to be worn with cowboy boots.
which begs the question, "what's wrong with wearing your mother's clothes?" But of course, she has her own taste and who wouldn't rather make her own combinations? Which she did...
Lolita 2: Sophie's summer choices

Lolita 3, my personal favorite

Lolita 4, How 'bout them ruffles? Thanks, Peggy, for getting me hooked on the ruffler attachment!

Lolita 5; this one is mine. Sophia wants nothing to do with this one. Shouldn't the seamstress also get another Lolita?
So, it's cowboy boot weather here in NH, and I'm going to be showing off my knobby, scarred knees, (sorry 'bout that,) until it's time to put on the leggings. That'll be when the snow sticks.