Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Random Notions - 2014 Send Off

I’ve been gone a while.  Not that I wanted to be gone for a while.  Life has been busy – when I added a part time job to my life, I didn’t realize how it would affect me. You would think 4 hours a day, 3 days a week wouldn’t be that bad, but for someone that spent over 30 years in jobs where she sat 8 hours a day, it is killer!  Never in my life have I spent as much time on my feet.  By the time I get home, I am just beat, so not a lot gets done.  I hope that over the next few months I will drop some weight and it becomes easier. 

However, some things have gotten done over the last few months.  Layla’s Irish Chain quilt and the I Spy quilt that she and I made for Harry got finished.  They both turned out really great –

Layla also made a quilt for her dad for his birthday in November and it came out quite awesome.  He is an Oakland Raiders fan, so this was perfect for him–
He really loved it.  That was another disappearing 9-patch that was put together in a pattern, rather than randomly like we did for Harry’s I Spy quilt.  I really like how that block can look so random or intentional, depending on what you want.

Layla had to dress up like a Christmas character for school and she wanted to be an elf.  Finding all the bits was not easy, but once she had a top, we made a skirt out of a table cloth from the dollar store before school in about 15 minutes.  She looked pretty cute – 
For Harry’s pre-school teachers for Christmas I made change purses his mom put gift cards into – I thought the fabrics were just right –
The dresses from Layla’s wall hanging are on the wall mocking me – I really don’t know what to do with them.  I borrowed a really terrific video from the library that has given me some ideas, I’m just trying to put them together in my head before I venture forth.  The video was called Jane Davila & Elin Waterston Teach You Art Quilting Basics – here is a link to it on Amazon.  It is just awesome.  I had to find the companion workbook on  There are so many things I would like to try now, especially with applique, beads, and found objects, since I have so much of that kind of stuff sitting around.  

About those cheap rotary blades from Harbor Freight.  They work, but every once in a while you will get one that is thicker and duller than others.  I’m okay with that because the package of 2 is less than $2.  I sure don’t mind tossing one that costs me less than $1 instead of buying them for $5 apiece all the time. 

A friend of mine was cleaning out a rental property and found a valance the tenants had abandoned.  She removed it and asked if I wanted it.  Free fabric and trim – even sight unseen, of course I wanted it!   It’s made from a taffeta that has a very pale green/pink-orange plaid on it, and there is an overall golden glow.  The trim is gold and orange with a bit of green.  It was a bit more than 6 feet across -
I took the trim off carefully and even though I have no idea what I will ultimately do with it all, I’m sure I can think of something.  Maybe a couple of throw pillows, or maybe a bag of some sort. 

Having been too busy to do much sewing I was itching to sew some blocks so I pulled out a piece of floral I wanted to try a kaleidoscope with – 
I have no idea why I wanted to work with florals again so soon after the Dream Garden quilt.  I just really like this fabric.

To find the repeats, I did as I usually do and ripped it apart at the same place.  But this time, I got a little smarter and when I laid them out to match up the repeats, I stapled them together at the selvages.  Why didn’t I think of that sooner?!?  I had enough to cut 4 10-inch blocks, which I then cut each into 4 – half into 5-inch squares, the other half diagonally into triangles, so I will end up with 16 blocks, each about 8.5-inch square.

At first I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like it as k-blocks because the colors are fairly pastel with not a lot of contrast, but after getting a couple of the blocks together, I changed my mind –
I like them a lot better than I thought I would, and this time I will a dark sashing between to really make them pop. 

Something absolutely amazing to report – for the first time in my life, I have kept a new year’s resolution all year – well, so far so good and I think I will make it since there isn’t much of 2014 left.  I decided last year that I was no longer going to buy myself a coffee or anything else from Starbucks every once in a while, and I haven’t.  It’s not that I was constantly going there, I only went maybe 3 times a month at the most.  But each time I went, it would usually cost about $6 or $7 plus a dollar for a tip. My savings were probably less than $300 for the year, but that is money that could have been spent elsewhere!   And when you think about it, $300 is a lot of money to spend on less than 40 cups of coffee!  However, I do admit buying 3 small bags of Starbucks coffee that I used in my own coffee pot, but they were less than $10 each, and I really do love the Verona blend.  Hard part is that at this time of year, I am really missing the eggnog lattes.  I received a $5 Starbucks gift card for Christmas – I am going to check right after the 1st to see if they still have the eggnog, and if they do, I don't have to pay for it! 

My plans for this coming year include trying to use up lots of the fabric I already own.  I am going to try my best to not buy too much more so I have a feeling I will be doing a few scrappy projects in 2015.  Maybe I will be able to save some more money.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve!  Best wishes for 2015!

Thanks for stopping by! 

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