Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lazy Days

We have really been enjoying our time off with the boys. We have been off almost the whole time they have been out of school. It is going to be hard to go back on Monday. I have done some more sewing, cleaned out drawers and toy boxes and finally got the Christmas stuff packed up and into the attic. Not to mention all the other normal things: laundry cooking and cleaning up after the cooking, and picking up hundreds of toys!

I am excited about my next project! One of my New Year's Resolutions is to try to use up a lot of the fabric that I already have. I am really bad about saving it but then buying new fabric to start another project. I have tubs of fabric everywhere. Tubs in the garage, in Bryson's closet (which has never been his closet because of the fabric!), and tubs under my bed. I have fabric of my own, some that belonged to both of my Grandma's and fabric that people give me after loved ones pass away and they know I would like to have it. I have had a tub of fabric that is a combination of both my Grandmas. It is full of little bitty scraps that were left over from making necessary things. I can remember asking my mom why in the world someone would keep such small pieces! Then she told me that my Grandparents came from a time when you had nothing and when you actually did have something you didn't waste it. To have to make things out of old clothes that had been outgrown by literally everyone in the family. As I sit here and think about how I quilt for fun, it is hard to imagine having to do this out of necessity. Having to make sure they had enough covers for the cold snowy winters. I am sure it would take some of the fun out if it, for sure. I pulled it out and started looking through it all and I could see where clothes were made from them. Shirts, aprons or maybe even the house dresses my Grandmas used to where. I could see where the notches to match the seams were cut. A few are in the shape of sleeves. Some I could see seams where maybe something was too long and it was shortened. Some have ink lines where my Grandma would cut quilt blocks for her own quilts. I think of my Grandparents often but going through all this fabric has made me really think about them. It also makes me wonder if my parents or their siblings would recognize a fabric that maybe they had worn in a shirt or dress as a young child.
What I have decided to do is make a quilt for our bed. Queen size! I have never made one bigger than a twin. All of the scraps are gaudy and crazy looking. I have always referred to it as my "ugly fabric". This is fabric that you would never buy these days if you went to the store and saw it. Most of it looks like it is from the 50's and 60's. Maybe even older. There really isn't anything that I can think of as far as a pattern goes to use this box of "ugly fabric". So what I have decided to do with it is called a strip pieced quilt. Back when quilts were made out of necessity, people made these kind of quilts with scraps that were too small for anything else, but you didn't dare throw something away! Women would use old newspaper and sew these little scraps to the paper, and then back it with a solid piece. Maybe an old bed sheet or if they were lucky, a piece of new fabric. Sometimes the backs were pieced together too. The newspaper stayed sandwiched in the middle as an extra layer of warmth. Of course, I won't be using newspaper. I will be using muslin, which an inexpensive plain fabric that usually runs around $1.00 a yard. Very cheap! Than I plan to use an old sheet that is still good but doesn't match my room since I repainted two years ago. All of this will make this a very special "ugly quilt" and when finished will lay on my bed for years. I hope that my boys and their wives one day will appreciate things that we had when they were younger too! But it does make me wonder if they will when I have to go through toy boxes after Christmas to make room for their new things.

The box on the left is a photo of what I have to work with. The photo on the right is a few of the strips that I have finished. When I get the strips done then I will sew all of them together to make my quilt top. It actually doesn't look as gaudy on these photos as it does in real life! And if anyone has wondered what Bryson has been up to while I am sewing, I am including a few photos of that too!

This is his new pint sized Dirt Devil that Santa brought! You go Santa! We have thought about renting him out at a small fee to compensate for all the diapers! Stephen even had to empty the container today because it actually picks up a little!



gabgirl said...

i have to admit...i LOVE the strips you've made. i mean LOVE them! it makes me love it even more thinking that they've come from your grandparents stash. that's priceless.

again, i wish i had your skills!

the rambler said...

i think an ugly quilt is an awesome idea...especially because all the fabric belonged to your family. that's something you will treasure forever!

i have saved all of my kids' vacation, ball team, and dance tshirts with hopes of making a quilt when they are grown up. my intentions were to give their quilts to them, but i don't know if i'd be able to part with them! kinda like their christmas ornaments!

you can send bryson to my house with his vacuum cleaner anytime!! :)

Toby and Terra said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea and I think the quilt will end up being absolutely beautiful!


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