Still Not Crafting

I haven’t done anything crafty lately.  I have helped 3 friends move and one do a thorough cleaning of her house, so I have been busy.  I did get a sturdy, plain, solid oak quilt rack for 3 dollars and yet another old sewing machine for 5 bucks.  I will do a post about them with pix and stuff when I find the time.

I hope all ya’ll are having a great summer so far and I feel certain I will be in a crafting mood when we hit July and August as it will be too hot for me to be outside.

My friend, Amber, moved back here from Cape Cod.  She and I haven’t seen each other in 6-7 years.  In that time, we both have gotten interested in quilting.  My other friend, Kate, is also crafty.  I think I wanna start a little group that once a month gets together and makes something.  I actually have the room to have 3 sewing machines running at once, so I could host something.

I joined the Upcycle Exchange, but have not yet gotten to a meeting.  I am also thinking of joining a Hacker Space – more on that in another post.

I still haven’t quilted the waterwheel quilt.  I think it will have to be put off till the hot weather gets here.  I just don’t have the time, nor inclination to do it.  I think, maybe I will force myself to knit a few dishclothes.  We need some more and that is minimal craftiness.

It may be awhile till I post again, but in the meantime, keep crafting!

Still Not Crafting

I have sorted my internet access and all is working fine.  AT&T made it difficult, but not impossible, for this Linux user.  So now I am online, YAY!  I have not been crafting this week, because I have been preparing for a new housemate.

I have been getting rid of stuff via freecycling.  It is a way of giving stuff you don’t want away to people in your area that want the stuff.  I have gotten rid of a headboard, and some moving boxes.  I am in the process of giving away a broken sewing machine and some glass jars.  I could also try to get stuff this way – there are lots of listings for various things.  I am in purge mode, so I haven’t been looking for anything.  But, after I am finished getting rid of stuff, I will look closer at what is being offered.

The way about which I got online disrupted my ability to quilt, but I admit to not feeling crafty anyway.  I have given away some crafting supplies lately, and that is as crafty as I have gotten.  It is a bit of a mood thing for me to want to quilt or knit or craft anything.  I just haven’t lately been in the mood to craft.  The computer has taken up my normal craft time, and I am actively trying to focus what I do on the computer and reduce my time on it.

I am subscribed to about 100 blogs.  Not all of them post everyday, and some post more than once a day.  I spend about an hour and a half reading my rss feeds.  I also spend time on Facebook.  And a good hour on email.  I want to reduce the amount of time I am spending in rss feed reading.  It is difficult to get rid of any of them, but I feel I must.  I will rebookmark them and from time to time surf them. My favorite blogs are ones that don’t have a new post once per day, but that post once a week or so.  They are the ones I look forward to reading the most, and are usually the most thought provoking.

I’d like to be as habitual in crafting as I am in using the computer.  I need to set up my sewing area to be ready to go.  I frequently fill up my work table with stuff that has to be put away before I can craft on the table.  I am not good with regulating myself to doing something on a schedule; I tend to be obsessive about something for a time and then let it go for awhile.  I am gonna work on that by setting aside time each day to practice quilting.  Hopefully, I can achieve that with the stupid water wheel quilt I still haven’t quilted.  Happy crafting.

Fell into Facebook

I haven’t posted in awhile because I joined Facebook. It is a time sucking vortex at first. I had to learn a bunch of stuff – it is much different from blogland, but one’s wall is like a mini-blog. Joining Facebook reconnected me with a bunch of folks, which started a bunch of email conversations, which uses more time, but is so worth doing. But that means I haven’t been crafting and I sure haven’t.

I have, since last posting, helped a friend refurbish a Craigslist find of a sewing machine. I have 2 similar machines and a 3rd for parts. I thought we’d have to swap out the tension mechanism, but when we took hers apart, we found an odd extra bit that was causing the problem. We actually did have to harvest the presser foot pressure thingy for her machine. After that we cleaned and oiled it. It is working beautifully. I am jealous, as her’s is a cam’d machine and can do bunches of stitches. It is a really nice machine and worth more than what she paid.

Four days ago, due I think, to weather, I stopped being able to freely access the internet at home. The last time this happened was a Vista problem; this time suddenly where I was getting 3 bars, I could only sometimes barely get one. My reception of all the networks went down, so I attributed it to weather. Two days into not being able to get my mail had me at the nearest Starbucks, ordering AT&T’s Basic DSL, no contract, $20/month internet service. The $75 modem arrives Monday and hopefully I am geeky enough to install it myself. If not, my computer go to friend will stop by on his way home from work. I think this is the least expensive way to get online. I just hope the connection is as fast or faster than what I am used to using.

I have promised myself that BEFORE I start anything else, I will get that floral waterwheel quilt quilted. You may remember it from months ago – it was the test quilt for thread basting, and I still haven’t quilted it. So that is the next crafty thing. Part of why it has been put off is that I have no idea how I want to quilt it – I think I will just do basic meander to get it done – maybe something different in the borders.

I will post again after I get my home internet access sorted.

Someone’s Trash Is My Treasure

I live in Saint Louis, Missouri, where we have alleys and streets.  Alleys are where the dumpsters are for our trash.  People put all kinds of things in the trash.  I am as careful as I can be to only put real trash in the dumpsters.  If I can recycle it, I do.  I don’t put anything in the trash that still has functionality.  If I don’t want it, I usually donate it to a charitable thrift store, or give it to a friend, or simply hold on to it until I find something to do with it.

I have rescued many things from the trash.  Garden stepping stones, a purple sweater, a super soaker water gun, a swingset, electric scissors, a bright red nylon messenger bag, and a guitar case that fits my guitar perfectly are among the many things I have kept out of a landfill. Some of the objects I find are brand new, like the messenger bag or the electric shears.  Some, like my guitar case, are a little worn, but still totally functional.

The first quilt I found is this big blue thing.  It has 2 holes in it and is faded a bit.

My most recent found quilt is a brightly colored twin size.  It has a small ink stain on it, but otherwise is hardly used.

I found my favorite quilt several years ago in a dumpster in a swanky neighborhood.  Like the 2 above, it was made in China.

It is a 90 inch square, machine pieced, hand quilted beauty.  I love the colors, the pineapple pattern, and the flying geese border.

I found it before I had actually quilted anything.  I had made 2 quilts, which I tied, because I did not yet have a sewing machine that could  quilt.  I have never had an interest in hand quilting.  It would take me forever and I know I would find the work tedious.  But I do really appreciate the work and skill that goes into hand quilting.

None of these quilts are particularly well made.  More than likely, they were made in a crowded factory setting, by young girls being paid far too little.

I don’t love them for their quality.  My first tied quilt was made better than any of these.  I love them all because a quilt, in some measure, represents love itself.  These quilts were abandoned because the people who had them before me were too lazy to do right by them.  None of them are even now ready for the landfill.  They may be old, faded, ripped, and ugly, but they are still functioning as proper quilts.

The pineapple one has inspired and comforted me.  When I study it, I wonder if the person who quilted it thought about where it would end up.  I think she invested it with her dreams as she quilted.

It is sad that so many in America think so little of their possessions that they toss out what still has use.

Upcycle Exchange Loot

A couple of Sundays ago I went to an Upcycle Exchange Open House.  The cost was $10 for a paper grocery bag of items.  They collect a bunch of art supplies and you get to choose amongst the collection.  It was fun and I feel I got more than 10 dollars worth of stuff.  Plus, I now have a place to pass on my supplies I no longer need.

My bag came home filled with crafty potentials. 21 different fabric scraps – some fat quarter sized, with a beautiful skein of purple and white wool are what I found to add to my fabric and yarn stashes.

I also got some pens and drawing pencils, a circular knitting needle, a tiny calligraphy pen, a gouge tool for making stencils, some dye, some magnets, and a very cool wooden box.

It costs $15 a quarter to join.  At the monthly meetings, if you get a bag of stuff, you pay $5.  I will join in May when they have open enrollment.  I had a good time and got some great stuff.

Problems on top of problems

I haven’t disappeared.  My computer quit accessing the web, my car’s clutch cable broke, and my back went out.  Before all that happened, I did finish about 20 little quilts and a couple of dozen knit cat toys which I donated to Clowder House.  I forgot to take pictures – oops.

I more or less finished the double four patch.  It could use a little more quilting, but it is a flannel bat, so it doesn’t require the same amount of quilting as regular batting. I haven’t taken photos yet, but I will eventually.

See, I installed fedora linux on my computer.  It was a windows vista machine.  When it stopped recognizing my wireless connection for no fixable reason, I decided to try linux.  I will be writing more about that at my other blog.

When I photographed my giveaway winnings, I also took some pix of my favorite found quilts.   But I don’t have photo editing software yet, so I can’t do that post.  Nor can I show you my booty from the upcycle exchange open house I went to last weekend.  I am working on this, but I am clueless as to how to install software on this computer.  Linux is different.

So far, fedora linux is better than windows vista.  It boots MUCH faster and is just as easy to navigate.  I like how it looks – it is different – the main task bar thingy is on top. It looks cheerier than windows – more friendly – even though I don’t know how to install software yet, I am confident I can learn.

My car is costing almost $600 to fix! Yipe, that hurts!  But that clutch cable did have about 150,000 hard miles on it.  The car is a junker and I really didn’t want to fix it, but we can’t afford a newer vehicle yet.  Hopefully, I will get my car back today or tomorrow.  No Car And No Internet SUCKED.

My back is giving me trouble.  I have no idea what I did, but I can barely sleep or walk.  I can’t sit and quilt – it’s too painful.  At least I can surf the blogosphere and see what ya’ll are crafting.

I won a giveaway!

I entered Modify Tradition‘s giveaway.  And I won!  Crystal and Jennifer sent not only a beautiful and finely constructed pillow cover, but 5 gorgeous crocheted clothes AND 3 exciting and inspiring fat quarters in my favorite colors, plus a handful of little tags!  It was sooo fun to get home and find this in my mail box!  Thank you Modify Tradition for such a sweet gift.