Thursday, June 16, 2011

A bubble for me

Today while my girls napped I sewed. That's right, I ignored the huge pile of laundry, the dish washer that needed unloading, and the toys scattered all over the floors. After attending to a few household items online and checking in on my online students, I sat and pretended I HAD to get the embroidery done on this first block for my Stitch and Quilt Along quilt. And it felt good!

Green by necessity

As time goes on I seem to get more and more 'green'-conscious. Maybe it has to do with being more concerned about my kids than myself, or living in Colorado, or widening my circle of friends as I move away from family. I try to buy natural products and make things myself if I can (for example, I now make our laundry detergent). We try to keep our waste down by doing things like recycling, composting, using re-useable bags at stores, cloth diapering.

Some of these things took some effort or diligence to stick we (we still don't have our vermicomposting set-up figured out completely), while others felt so natural we didn't have to think twice. And sometimes being green comes by necessity.

Last week my husband's truck broke down. He currently has a job where he is out-of-town all week and he has to have a vehicle. So the girls and I are left with our feet and bicycle. This wouldn't have been a problem in Cambridge where most necessities were in walking distance or at least accessible by public transportation. Not so here in beautiful Fort Collins.

A LOT of people bike here. For fun, for exercise, for errands. And I always thought it would make me feel good to ride my bike instead of driving to do things like grocery shopping. But I can't carry as much on my bike. And, having my little one on the bike seat and the older one in the bike trailer, that's some extra weight! (Not to mention that the little one REALLY doesn't like wearing her bike helmet!)

Well, we made it work. Only got the absolute necessities and made it to the store and back without too much ado. We were all a bit cranky but some nice cool watermelon remedied that. We even jumped back on the bike to visit a friend that afternoon. And it did make me feel good to know that we could do it but it was definitely a lot of work, something I don't feel I need more of these days. And if the car were here, I'd go back to using it in a heartbeat. But for now, we are green by necessity.

I imagine that must be somewhat common these days, being green by necessity. With the way the economy is now, families are having to own less vehicles, live in multi-generation households (smaller carbon footprint, sharing of resources etc), carpool, and more. I wonder what changes ir trends will stick even when the economy improves?

When we got home from the store, I opened the big tub of my daughter's favorite yogurt and found mold growing. I called the store and they said to bring it on back. Needless to say, we haven't gotten around to that yet!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Piecing together...

The title of this post could actually lead into a number of stories but this time, it's quite literal. There are quite a few things I could/should be doing this evening, including loading the dishwasher and picking up all the toys from around the house. But instead I HAD to get back to my quilt. Quilting may not be the best pastime for me. I love sewing and patterns and a finished project as a goal. But when I am in the middle of a project I enjoy I am too tempted to set more mundane tasks aside to keep going until I have finished. Ah well, I'm having fun and I need the mental relief.

So I've sewn three full blocks and two other partial blocks. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rest of my fabric that I ordered from Etsy (the Stitch & Quilt-Along organizer suggested I look up 1930s fabric on Etsy to find some fat quarters to go with the rest of my prints and it was a success! Dangerous but I managed to limit myself to a set of four FQs that I think will work really well).

And I can't wait to get started on the embroidery!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Embarking on a Stitch & Quilt Along

Ah, so this evening I'm taking a mental break from everything going on and sewing. Well, starting a sewing project anyway. That quilt-along I wrote about hasn't started yet but I found a Stitch & Quilt Along on the Clover and Violet blog to get me going. From what I understand, the quilting will be basic but the blocks will incorporate embroidery so that should be fun.

I started cutting fabric this evening. It's the first time I'm actually following directions for any quilting project and I must admit I've never been very organized about my quilting (which is probably why I have many unfinished projects!). Another element that makes this tricky for me is that I'm on a really tight budget these days so I've resisted (very hard) buying a lovely new set of fat quarters and am trying to use what I have. I'm starting with a set of seven vintage floral fat quarters I have that are almost intact. Well, three or four of them are.

I've been noticing lately that sewing enthusiasts refer to fabric by name, designer and print. Although I've been sewing for as long as I an remember, I've never really paid attention to fabric names. So I don't know I'd that is because I often buy fabric at discount stores or what, but then I noticed that my fabric has names printed on the selvage end! Names like 'Sail Away' and 'Just Makin' Conversation' by Maywood Studio. Fun!

Okay so I think my cutting and blogging is coming to an end for the evening. I've cut the pieces from four different fabrics:

The other three FQ's have been cut away at too much (another eye-opener for me, I never really understood the point of FQs before!). But I'm too tired to turn on more brain cells and figure out what to do now. So I'll have to go through my stash and see what I have. I can probably find some plain colors to use. But five of those would be boring. So I may need to go to a fabric store to find some prints that will go with the ones I have. Or maybe I can use this as an excuse to go to a local antique store to look for some sheets or something. Probably not more thrifty in the end.
So, for tonight, bed calls (as soon as my husband is done watching this episode of 'Mythbusters'). And here's hoping the little ones sleep well tonight so we can too!