Quilting&Crafting For Creative Stress Relief
Have You Captured
YOUR Undiscovered Creativity?
MACHINE EMBROIDERY -- IT'S THE NEW 'MAGIC' FUN
I tried machine embroidery in '07 while I was learning to make quilts. Didn't take long for me to lose interest, although I did make the Singer Quantum 6000 my machine-of-choice. I've used it almost every day since then for all my regular sewing. Still love it.
But fast-forward to this year and you'll most often find me at the Baby Lock Spirit learning something new about machine embroidery. Photos coming soon -- and on Facebook at my Crafting Photo Album and the Crafted Items and Gift Sets for Sale group page.
WASTE NOT WANT NOT?
YOU CAN RECYCLE EVERYTHING 'LEFT OVER'
FROM YOUR QUILTING PROJECTS!
I was amazed to find how much waste was accumulated from everything that went into my first quilt.
There were a few blocks of various sizes (no two alike, of course) that I knew to put in the 'scrap' box. These will eventually wind up as patches in some project -- no great stretch of the imagination there.
But what about the rest? There were strings of fabric, narrow strips of batting, tiny wads from clipped corners and tails, and a surprisingly measurable pile of thread clippings. I'm ashamed to say for my first two quilts most of the 'tailings' went into the trash -- and I really, REALLY, hate to put anything related to fabric and quilting into the trash.
So here are a few alternatives every quilter can consider:
First the obvious -- batting scraps -- I have a 13-gallon trash bag to hold batting scraps that are less than 36-inches square.
I pull from this bag for extra tufting (quasi trapunto quilting), placemat-coaster-tablerunner projects, and for decorative pillows and soft toy stuffing.
When the bag is too full and needs to be reduced -- I cull the smaller pieces and drop them into a charity 'Doggie Bag' to be used as bedding at the local animal sanctuary.
I like to sort fabric scraps (less than 1 yard) into 3 container types:
Whatever is used, the goal is to balance the need to limit the amount of light (especially sunlight, because it fades and degrades lovely fabric faster than we realize), along with the need for visability (see-through containers that keep out dust and still let us see what's inside).
And if you don't want to be bothered with any of that, just drop everything into a box or bag and donate it to one of the groups who make pet bags and need filler. Even our smallest scraps can be put to good use with nothing wasted.
Waste not, want not!
PERSONAL GIFTS ARE ALWAYS A HIT
BUT REMEMBERING YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY IS THE BEST GIFT OF ALL!
SOME EXPERTS ARE PREDICTING EXTREMELY COLD WINTERS ahead. We've certainly had our share this year, even some new entries in the record books! We're definitely feeling it in our homes and on our utility bills.
But the people who feel the most are those who have no home. I'm talking about the many homeless families caught jobless in the Foreclosure mess, and those showing up on the ever increasing list of abuse victims. They are feeling the cold winter like most of us can't imagine.
Maybe this is the year some of us should 'rotate' some of that stash we keep juggling. I know I have a 36-gallon tub stuffed full of left-over scraps that don't have another home yet. There's no reason I couldn't use that fabric to create something warm for children and families in need.
How about you? You'll be giving YOURSELF a wonderful gift, too, if you dig out your scraps and let your creativity run wild. Let yourself go! Bring the orphaned pieces together in any crazy pattern of colors and prints that appeals to you. Believe me, there will be someone exceedingly grateful for your artful kindness of providing warmth against the cold.
When you have a finished piece to donate, contact your local churches or local charity organizations to reach someone who can put them in the hands of abuse or homeless victims.
Be sure to ask first if your item will actually be given to a victim. Some well-known charities sell donated items to raise money, and often have to price them at less than the value of the fabric to make quick sales. That may not be what you intended, so plan to investigate more than one option for your donation.
My personal favorite charity that I KNOW makes sure my donated items go where I intended them, is Project Linus. You can learn more about at their national website: Project Linus. They also have listings of local contacts, and those often can lead you to others who meet in your area.
I hope you will all join me to the extent your resources will allow. We can use our creativity to make a difference where it is so needed.
THE QUESTION HAS BEEN ASKED . . .
WHY DO I LIST SO MANY RESOURCES FOR THE SAME THING? . . . and the answer is --- to provide a variety of styles and more choices.
In my search I find some constants at all the shops -- if they carry a particular brand, almost all of them will stock the newest line. But not always for the same price.
Some shops have end-of-line sales to clear out inventory. Some are bargain priced all the time. All of them have ways of grouping colors and prints for display that are unique to that website, and the wealth of ideas is sometimes the best gift for time spent looking.
We all have a few favorites that we visit often. I've received several suggestions from regular visitors for new sites to add, and now there's been a second request to include what state the shipment will come from if an order is placed.
That one surprised me. Most orders are shipped for the same fee regardless. Now I understand it's not the fee that is questioned, but the length of time to wait. If you're in California, you'll get it faster if you order from a shop closer to the west coast. My friends in Georgia would like to know if they're web-browsing can be guided to east-coast suppliers.
Makes perfect sense to me. I'll try to have that information posted when I can.