Saturday, October 29, 2011

Memory filled quilt

Almost two years ago, I started collecting strip scraps to make a Log Cabin quilt, thinking it would be a baby quilt when done. When I finished it this fall, I realized there are memories connected with so many of the fabrics, I think I'll hold on to it. Here are some of the uses the fabrics were first bought for: a pillow for my Dad depicting his Covered Step brand, two dresses for me after Arthur was born that Mimi helped me chose fabric for, 4th of July prints she bought and gave me at that time that I used for her Sara's baby boy, Hanna's bridal quilt that Ellie and I made, the first dress Annie made, my blue and yellow era, fabric Ellie left me when she died, Grace Chavala's baby quilt.

Shasta promptly adopted it to sleep on but the rest of us here may all make use of it this winter to keep toasty when the cold winds blow.

The quilt that didn't work

Not everything turns out like you want it to. I still can't quite figure out which fabric(s) put it over the top, but it does not work. I was going for bright, not garish!! I like the pattern, I like all the fabrics but it just did not work together. I really don't want to rip it apart but I cannot think of a single use for it!

Family Room Reclaimed

We've had our PA system in the family room for about three years. Since we have a large room available at Artmil that we've just made into an auditorium, it was time to take the PA over there. Also, Dennis stripped the white paint off the mantel this summer. And we decided it was time to get Dennis set up with his desk and computer and music stuff in the family room. He had been using the red desk in the guest room. The whole reorganization is drawing to a close so it was time to take photos before we decorate for the holiday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nanny Quilt

Annie is a nanny to three young children in Manhattan. She reads to them books like All of a Kind Family and Wind in the Willows. When this quilt came together this summer, it seemed too floral for a baby boy and too brown for a baby girl. So I asked Annie if she would like it for their reading times which they enjoyed together this summer out on Long Island in Quogue.

Greta's Quilt

Greta was born to Heather and her husband and three boys in Phoenix on September 28. Heather is sister to Bethany, who is wife to Keith and mother to my grandchildren Evangeline and Keith Zebedee. Evangeline's baby quilt, made nearly four years ago, has some of the same fabrics and pastel feel that Greta's quilt has, a cousin connection.

Isaac's Quilt

A long story goes with this that I will shorten. Months ago, I put the center together and really liked it. Zach's good friend, Drew, was expecting his first child and is in the Navy. The center 16 patch block has Navy sailors as well as several of the same fabrics that Zach's son, Zion, has in his quilt. So, seeing how this was put together with Isaac in mind, there was no abandoning it even though it took three tries to find the right fabric for the border! Then, when I finally had it complete and Isaac already two months old!, I mailed it to the wrong address!! Thankfully, Drew and Joanna were able to retrieve it from their old landlord and Isaac is actually using it now, six months after I started it!

Summer's last hurrah

I found these dahlias and asters at the Farmer's Market and couldn't resist buying them. The frosts are due any night now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Old Fashioned Recycling: Cotton Rags

Nowadays, there are products to purchase for every every possibility, occupation and hobby that would make the need for humble rags obsolete. But I still prefer cotton rags for their feel and their cost. They are an old-fashioned method of recycling that makes a lot of sense to me.

The most absorbent rags are made from worn out or stained towels, worn out cotton athletic socks and worn out or stained cotton t-shirts. Other cotton clothes like worn out flannel pajamas work too. Worn out cotton sheets have other uses, like becoming drop cloths for painting, but don't make very good rags.

To make sock rags, cut or rip socks open on the bottom where they are most worn so the unworn top surface becomes most available to use. For t-shirts, cut off and discard the sleeves, neck, hem and seams, then cut or tear the body into the size rags you want, usually 4 to 6 pieces. Also, cut off any screen printing so all the surfaces are soft and absorbent. Towel rags are nice cut into approximately the size of hand towels.

Keep rags handy in the kitchen, bathroom and shop. Sock and towel rags are very useful for all kinds of cleaning jobs, for spills and messes, and for any job that may stain, like wiping up muddy footsteps or cleaning food off little children's hands and faces. T-shirt rags are nearly lint-free so work great for applying furniture polish, etc. We use t-shirt rags to dry our eyeglasses each morning and sock rags to wash our cars. In all these cases, the rags are rinsed and hung in the laundry room to dry after use, then washed and dried each week along with our bath towels.

Rags are also unmatched for any job like waxing your car, painting, furniture refinishing or working on greasy machines where you will need to throw them away afterword.