Wednesday, January 16, 2013

OCD, Using One's Powers for Good

We were talking about stash-tracking over on Stitchin Fingers.  Now, I know a little something about this subject, having spent about two months this fall organizing Larry's Grandma's stash.  She's 101 now, and has the stash to prove it.  Grandma moved into assisted living and I promised to organize all her craft stuff as a housewarming gift.

I had no idea how much craft stuff she had.

For heaven's sake, she had been living in a one bedroom efficiency apartment!
She had six dressers and only two drawers had clothes in them.
And project boxes.  OMG the project boxes.  Nothing sorted or put away, she had duplicates, triplicates, even octuplicates of so many things.

There was a sorting frenzy that went on for weeks. 

But it's all much better now.
I borrowed a label maker from Liz, my "work niece", bought the extra-large tape for it, then labeled everything in nice big block letters.  (You get the discount if you buy clear shoeboxes by the case from the Container Store - ask me how I know!  lol)  I put her beads & yarn below where she can get at it, and tucked the less likely stuff up high.
"That Susan, she sure knows how to get things organized."
"I bet you didn't know I had that much stuff!"
It makes finding things a snap, and best of all, she loves it!
I made a sweet little old lady very happy. 
(If you look closely, you can see I even labeled the phone for her; she likes that too.)
Always use your powers for good.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative Round-up

The Blanketeers managed to create six AAQI quilts in 2012 to help generate money for Alzheimer's research.  From the left, I'm pictured holding Rachel's light Guadalupe quilt and my own Clothesline Capers.  Sheila is holding Mary's Butterfly quilt and her mother's (Bea's) applique quilt.  Dorthy is holding Rachel's dark Guadalupe quilt and Jonquele's tiny little Baltimore Beauty.
I found it lots of fun to work on something this size.  I really want to make some more!  Life interfered with the plans of so many Blanketeers this year that we have decided to continue making AAQI quilts as a group throughout 2013.
I'm hoping by this time next year we'll have well over a dozen little "Priority Quilts" ready to send off.  Hope on, hope ever!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Twister Quilt and a Big Decision

This Lil' Twister has been in work for over 6 months.  I love the results, but I thought the process was a pain.  I started using the Twister as a cutting template, but it has feet where it should have sandpaper and my cuts looked awful.  I then used it as a template, penciling, then cutting with a scissors, and that was better.  Rosa said she had no problem cutting with the smaller Twister, so maybe it's just me.
My Blanketeer buddy, Rachel, was dismayed by the amount of fabric wasted in the Twister process.  She was happy I put all the scraps to work in the outer border.  I just love the narrow red border, and to think, I only put it in after the twister/block seams wouldn't match up!  I'm going to bind it in the same red fabric for some extra pop.  I think it turned out well for two charm packs and some leftovers. 

The twister flimsy is actually laying on its backing fabric; I just have to complete the sandwich and it will be ready to quilt.  I pieced enough batting for two quilts out of all my leftover scraps on Wednesday and spray-basted them to their respective backs yesterday.  I have another flimsy completed out of the fabrics used in the following blocks, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet.
And now for the big decision.  The blocks above are laid out to audition the strip color, which will go all the way across the quilt.  Initially I thought I would use yellow, but after looking at it I fell for the intensity of the blue.  I asked my husband's opinion (thinking he would confirm my blue choice since he ALWAYS goes with blue, no matter what else is available) and he prefers red!  He says it makes the colors pop more and I think he's probably right.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Valentine Bears

Larry and I decorated a small tree for Grandma Vivian with all the Christmas decorations she had made over the years.  I put her favorite dolly underneath the tree, and it looked so adorable that she wanted to keep it up all year.  I convinced her that the CNAs would think we pretty lazy if we let that happen, so I promised her a seasonal tree (because, you know, I really just don't have enough to do. lol)
We were cleaning out more of Grandma's stuff at Dad's house when I came across a whole box of these tiny little bears.  I took them home, stabilized some red velvet with tear-away, then figured out how to do a "combi" stitch on my new Bernina.  Fortunately that turned out to be very easy. 
I drew the hearts right on the stabilizer and cut them out, then I hot-glued some red floss to each heart and tied them onto the bears.  Now I have a whole army of adorable little Valentine bears to put on her tree, with a few left over for a matching wreath.
Too bad the Bernina doesn't have a shamrock embroidery option.  I'm not above flogging a good idea to death; I even have bears left over.  I wonder what the original plan was for all those bears?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sabra's Christmas Present from Plastic Canvas UFO

In moving Grandma Vivian this past fall, numerous of her UFOs saw the light of day for the first time in years.  One of our "finds" was a bag of 7 completed pieces of needlepoint plastic canvas; clearly a tote bag that had never been assembled.  Now wouldn't a group gift from Grandma, Larry & me make a terrific gift for Sabra?  She does so much for Dad, driving him around and looking out for him in general as his fogginess increases.
I explained to Larry that lashing plastic canvas with yarn was exactly the same thing as lashing leather with lacing and put him to work (because I really hate messing with plastic canvas.)  I showed him how to get the handles positioned correctly and explained that, yes, you do have to lash all the edges or it looks icky.
While he got to work on the lashing, I added one set of missing antennas to the blue butterfly.  I also thought that some feet would make it extra special, and help keep the tote clean too.  In the stash of buttons I gleaned from cleaning out Larry's Dad's house, was a perfect match of four shank buttons.  I sewed them to the base piece and wound them tightly with the lashing yarn until they stood up nice and straight.
When Larry was done I added some yellow taffeta from my stash for the lining.  I auditioned several fabrics and almost went with a dark blue that looked very nice, but I decided to go with yellow in the end. The light color will make it much easier for Sabra to find her keys & sunglasses, and I've noticed that she spends an inordinate amount of time fumbling for things at the bottom of her purse.
We had a Christmas party at Dad's house on Sunday before Christmas, and Larry, Grandma and I gave the tote bag to Sabra then.  She was absolutely thrilled with it.  It was great to give her a gift from all three of us and I loved seeing another completed UFO, even if it wasn't one of my own.