Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Keeping Busy in the Car

We are back from my DH's grandmother's funeral. It was a quick trip, 500 miles in the car Sunday, funeral on Monday, and 500 mile car trip back on Tuesday. The twins did very well in the car aside from some motion sickness issues on Sunday, which we prevented further with liberal doses of gingersnaps. Ginger always worked better for my kids than Dramamine, and the twins are too young for any of the anti-emetic drugs anyway.

Since the trip was expected, I had gotten some little toys for the twins to play with in the car that they hadn't seen before. A couple new books as well as DVD players in the car made for easier traveling for them. They were still more than ready to be home and out of their car seats by the time we arrived though.

I knew DD#2 and 3 could keep themselves entertained in the car, I had the twins taken care of, and DH would be driving. Now I had to come up with something for me to do in the car. I have issues with motion sickness myself, and unlike most people I know, I do best when looking down doing something in the car. I can read, stitch, do pretty much anything but look out the window. If I look out the window I feel sick. Yes, I needed a project.

I had all of the squares cut for the snowball blocks for the twins I Spy quilts, but I hadn't drawn the diagonal lines on them yet.  That was a good thing to do in the car, and I got them all finished on the way to New Mexico. I plan on sewing all the snowball blocks on my Singer Featherweight.

I knew that wasn't enough to keep me busy for how many hours I had in the car, but I did have an idea that would take a while. It required a lot of prepping though, and left me no time to work on that dress for Miss S.

I have a box of denim in my sewing room, but as with a lot of things, the box of denim had become a box of denim, a huge pile of denim on top of the box, and even a big pile of old jeans on the floor. One of the denim projects I want to do is the denim circle quilt, which is a faux Cathedral Window. I knew cutting all of those denim circles would take quite a while. I have never made a quilt with this method, so I don't know how I will like it, I just wanted to cut enough for one picnic quilt, I'm thinking 60x70 inches, so I needed 168 circles for the size circles and squares I chose. I knew Accuquilt had circle dies for my Go cutter that would have made easy work of cutting the circles, but until I know if I'm interested in making more than one of these quilts, I didn't want to invest in the dies.

I dug out the box of denim, the pile of denim, and the pile of jeans. That made a HUGE pile and completely covered my Juki sewing cabinet. I have quite a bit of printed denim, and I didn't want to use any of that for this project, so I set all of that inside the denim box which I had emptied. I then started de-constructing the jeans, and tossing all the parts I wasn't interested in using in any imminent project. I have seen projects done using all the parts of old jeans, but I am not interested in doing every project I've seen, so I tossed the zippered areas, waist bands and bottom hems. I left the flat felled double sewn seams in the legs, but cut out any regular seams. I kept all the back pockets, as I've seen several fun projects using pockets. Front pockets got tossed, again, I've seen projects with those, but right now I am not interested in doing those. Very worn, torn or stained areas were tossed. I was shocked to have two kitchen trash bags of bits I was not going to use! That really made my pile smaller and more manageable.

I made a circle template out of some template plastic I had, and started tracing the circles onto the denim pieces I had left. I traced about 170 circles so I had a couple spares, and then I rough cut those apart. I was surprised how much denim it took to get that many circles. I am so used to cutting tessellating shapes out of fabric, where there is no waste, that circles really seemed to waste a lot of fabric. While I was rough cutting the circles out, I sorted the scraps of that. If I couldn't get at least a 2" square out the scrap I tossed it. I have a pile of small denim scraps on my cutting table that need to be cut to certain sizes for the other projects I have in mind.

Once I had all the pieces rough cut, I made a nice neat pile, put them in a plastic grocery sack with my spring-loaded scissors, and I had a second car project. That was a LOT of prepping for a car project, but I am so glad I did it. All the big pieces of denim went into the denim box, along with the pockets I kept. Now all of the denim I have left is in the denim box, with some room to spare. No piles falling over, no piles on the floor, and I am one happy quilter! I now have a good idea that the projects I have in mind for my denim will likely use it all. Tossing the unusable bits gave me a much better idea of how much usable denim I actually have. I will end up with more denim, all my kids know not to toss a pair of jeans, give them to me. Denim quilts were some of my first quilts, so I've been saving old jeans for a long time!

Here are my denim circles all cut out. I started them in the car on the way, and actually finished them in the hotel. It was a good thing I had my kindle with me, because with my car projects finished, I read on the way home!

Before we left on that trip, I dropped off seven quilts for Project Linus. I always drop them off at Hancock Fabrics. I avoided the yardage without a problem, but I always check their remnant bins, at $2 a yard they are hard to resist. I happened upon the remnant bins at a good time,  someone had returned a bunch of fabric, and they put it all in the remnants. The piece of red on the far right is a 3 yard piece, and I got it for the remnant price. SCORE! I ended up with 11 yards of fabric for just over $24 with the tax added on. I left more fabric than I took, but I am happy with the variety I chose.

1 comment:

Stephanie Newman said...

How cool was your find at the quilt shop? Good on you for supporting Project Linus.