23 November 2007


There are quite a few people out there in blog-land who are doing their best to bust that stash ! And there are oodles of wonderful blogs with easy-to-do scrap-quilts for people who want to make something from their stash and start using it.

Now, my stash is ... a nice size.
On the right hand shelves, two top shelves are batiks, two bottom ones are multi-colours and kiddie-freindly ones.
On the shelves that holds books and sundry stuff, bottom-shelf is clothes-fabrics, second-from-bottom shelf is quilts, and then comes a shelf of "other" fabrics , which mostly means silks and velvets in small quantities, and then comes a shelf of orientals ... which in this case includes japanese indigoes and daiwabos.

Now, it looks messy, but it actually isn't as bad as it looks. The "sundry fabrics" are organized according to colour. One shelf with neutrals, one with pinks and black-greys, one with reds-to-yellows, one with greens and browns, and a full shelf of blues ! I don't use much blue, so whenever I acquire some, it seems to stay on that shelf forever.

Not tooooo big, but big enough to enable me to pull just about anything from it and make something. The problems with my stash are not in its size. At least, I'm not at the point where it feels too overwhelmingly big.
Still, it needs management. And by this I do not mean simply folding and putting in neat stacks (that will be nice too, but not strictly necessary). No, I mean to buy most of that which I use most, and buy least of that which I use rarely.

... and then I need to start using some of the multi-colours. I don't. Which is also why there is so much of it. The problem is, that while kiddies were small, I bought the novelty and "pictorial" fabrics. And with each buy, there was a dream to make something for my babies. Most of these dreams never came through ... which means that compared to any other "style" of fabric (except batik, but I use that a lot !), the kiddie-freindly type is abundant. Further, when I look at what fabrics I have in big pieces (to me, that is more than 1 yard), there is practically nothing but kiddie-fabrics (lovely shirt / dress / shorts -dreams)

Unlike many others, I don't feel a driving need to do stash-busting. I like the variety and richness of my stash. And yes, I do realize, that compared to some my stash is a puny little thing. It is, however, big to me :-) big enough.
SO, stash-management in the coming year will include a pledge, given here, in full public ! to not buy more than I use. From now on, and until I say stop :-)
Can't be fairer than that, can I ?

Oh, and to counteract all this super-woman planning and plotting and managing, and to counteract the impression of messiness given by the picture of my the stash (which doesn't seem as messy in real life as it does on pictures ... guess I've gotten used to it), I'll end with a picture of my work-station in the sewing-room. On the chair to the left (barely visible), Pushkin, the tail-less gentleman, in the quilting-frame, Allsorts, on the design-wall, nothing at all, and on the table, Josephine, my velcro-cat, draped over : notes to the book of Isaiah in Hebrew , dictionaries, grammars and the Hebrew Old Testament.

14 November 2007

Which Moomin Valley Character

Don't usually post these things, but I just happen to love the Moomin books by Tove Jansson, and I just happen to loooove the character I turned out to be :-) I believe he's called Snufkin in English. Sorry, but the text presumes that you read Norwegian. If you do : enjoy !

Hvem er du i Mummidalen?

Mitt resultat:
Du er Snusmumriken! Du er modig og rolig. Du er også selvstendig og kan ta vare på deg selv, men du er likevel venn med alle.
Ta denne quizen på Start.no

11 November 2007

Moving ahead

Well, the quilting of Allsorts is going well, thank you for asking :-) but it is slow work, and really, there is nothing much to show. All the blocks are quilted just the same. Around the applique, and then in square "frames", so you have seen it all in the post of Nov. 5th. The only difference between then and now is, that more blocks have been quilted, but the basic look is the same.

Usually, I would be starting a new quilt now (or 2 or 5 ... well, yes, it has been known to happen), and I will soon start preparing a new applique-quilt, but I'm not starting just yet. I'm knitting instead.
I've been knitting "seriously" since I was 13 (and that is now so many moons ago that I don't care to think about it), Kaffe Fasset style from his first publication in "Creative Knitting" (a book released by Penguin back in the 1980es, not the now magazine), Scandinavian style two- (or more) colour knitting, just about any wild thing you can think of.
Unfortunately, my wrists don't hold up well to lots of knitting or really big projects. It has helped enormously that I changed my needles from steel to hard-wood, but still, I can't overdo it, so a balance between sewing/quilting and knitting is nice :-)
And for knitting in front of the TV, I need something mindless. This is where the Opal-yarns come in. No-brainers with lots of patterning and stripes. Not always beautiful, but always interesting. Besides, who's ever going to see them, apart from yours truly ? so if they turn out hideous, it doesn't matter.

And then, yesterday, I went shopping
Small basement-shop going out of business. I only found out she exists 2 weeks ago, so yesterday was probably a 3-in-1 shopping : first, last and only. Too bad. She had some nice yarns
One of the nicest was the St. Magnus angora. Six skeins went home with me, and the first skein is almost knit up :-) Scarf on your right. It will get another skein, and then - hopefully - be large enough to look good as well as be warm and nice.
I might be looking at getting more ... wouldn't it be gorgeous with a triangluar shawl, knit up in the softest of angora-yarns and lace-knitting ?
But not now.
Particularly not seeing that I got something like 20 skeins of the Opal-yarns. Kiddies will get socks as well as myself, but even if DMiLaw gets some of it (and she will, if she wants to), there will be plenty of yarn to keep me in knitting for the rest of this winter ... and probably some :-)

08 November 2007


No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
Thomas Hood

That about sums it up.
November is hitting hard this year.

07 November 2007


Well. Hand-quilting is slow work. And I will no doubt bore you to tears with my moanings about it in the months to come.
And when I work on something this slow, I like to have an idea about when my tribulations will be over, so I've been doing some math on the Allsorts Applique-album, trying to gauge how long I'll be quilting this one. Here it is :

There are 96 blocks and a border.
Now, if the border - quilting-wise - equals another round of blocks, the total would equal 10 x 14 blocks, and that gives me the equivalent of 140 blocks, each of them 6" square (and that is including the sashing) to quilt.
So far, the average number of threads involved in quilting one block is 3, so a fair estimate of the total is 420 threads.

If I do an average of one thread a day, it will therefore take me 420 days from start to finish, and that will mean something like 14 months from quilting was started, until its finished, putting the finish right around Christmas of 2008.
IF, however, I do an average of a block pr. day, the finish-line will be around the end of March 2007.
Now, I could choose to become depressed over this, but I've tried that and it really isn't very conducive to progress. I did it with QD, and the enormity of the task (trimming the blocks, joining the sashing and getting it all together) made me stop completely in my tracks for close to a year ! If I had just trimmed one block every day, and/or joined one sashing-star every day, it would have been finished long before it was :-)
And with that lesson still alive in my mind, I will not despair, but persevere.
I will quilt (at least) one thread a day, and keeping that up, it will be finished. Yes, it will take time, but it will happen.
I will, however, aim for quilting an average of 1 block a day, and if I can keep that up, it will be a finished quilt (quilted, bound and signed) by Easter 2008. A noble goal, surely :-) Not realistic if life starts happening too much around my ears, but ... every day where I quilt a full block, and not "just" one thread, is 2 days less quilting in the end.
So : finish-line on the Allsorts is anywhere between Easter and Christmas, 2008.

I'll keep you posted :-)

05 November 2007

Another bag is finished

This really seems to be the year of making bags for me.
ANYways, on your left is the knitted and felted bag, with silk-lining and a wonderful, real mother-of-pearl button to keep the ends together and form the "handle"

I love the textured play of colours in mother of pearl, and this particular button has been with me for quite a few years now. Waiting for "that perfect project". That has now been found.

Unfortunately I'm not very good at photographing things like that, and to get the full enjoyment of it, I would need (at least) 10 pictures from different angles and with different lights. HOWever, I hope the picture will give you a small idea about what it "does". Oh, and it's 2" diameter. Quite massive.

Next picture is the Allsorts. Quilting is in progress, and things are moving according to the ambitious (and probably impossible in the long run) dream-plan of quilting a block a day. I know there will be days when this is not possible. On those days, getting one thread done will be good.