Thursday, May 29, 2014

Home At Last!

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This is the view on my dining room table this morning.

Holy cow! How can so much stuff pile up after only 10 days gone?  But pile up it did.

And two of those things…ugh..the things I hate worse….notifications that there is something waiting for me at the “Main” post office about a 25 minute drive away.  I live very rural, and if something needs a signature and I’m not here to sign for it, I have to go get it.  There are a gazillion things that need to be done today, but I will find a way to get down there during post office hours to pick it up and see what it is.

What amazed me the most?

This load of scrap!

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Two priority mail boxes worth!  Holy Scrap Enhancement, Batman!

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And a hand knit scarf!  I could have used this on Mackinac Island!

These two priority mail boxes stuffed to the gills are from my friend Frieda who is moving ---and I know what havoc that causes when you come face to face with the fact you are going to have to MOVE that stash and resettle it in a new place.  I’m happy to be the recipient of her gifted goodies.  The boxes were filled with strings, strips, hunks and chunks and even fat quarters.  If only I had time to sew today!

I did do one thing that has been waiting since just before I left for Los Angles:

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New June Taylor Press N Cut mat.

I never use these for cutting – the pebbly surface on the back side is bad for rotary blades.  I just don’t think they last as long if I cut on this plastic. 

I needed a second one because I am forever leaving the ONE I have up at the cabin, and then I don’t have one here in the studio when I need one ---if I am paper piecing or string piecing, I like a small mat next to me for pressing between seams --

The  pressing side of this mat I love – HOWEVER ---I have had the canvas cover rot out after a while due to heavy iron use, and it just crumbles and rips away.  My solution?  Make it a “pillow case” style cover out of an old bath towel.

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Old bath towel with the hems and shrinked up decorative bands removed…

And yes, OLD bath towel, as in why spend money for a new one to do this?  This is a towel that was relegated to the car wash supplies in the garage.

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Fold it in half and sew up two sides!

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Turn it right side out, and slip in the press and cut mat!

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Things I like about pressing on a terry covered surface:
  • Fabric does not slip around, it stays put while I press.
  • Threads stick to the terry cloth.
  • My mat does not get all gross and rotted.
  • Terry cloth cover is easily washable
And best of all – because it came from an old towel, it’s a repurposing thing!  And I can slip extra rulers and stuff into the cover when taking it to retreat, etc.

It may not be pretty ---but it works for me!

Speaking of work, there is a ton of stuff to be taken care of today, starting with the mail order that has popped up over the past week+ that I’ve been gone. 

If you ordered Pat Speth’s Nickel Quilts and Borders book from me, and were one of the ones who reached me after it was already sold out on my site, I have more in stock and those are going out today!  If you didn’t order it..click HERE to see what it’s all about!

You will WANT this book!

I better get down to it!  ((And yes, it feels so good to be home!))

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  1. There really is no place like home! Hope you get all your tasks done and are able to get some sewing in!

  2. Old quilter8:52 AM EDT

    Great solution to the burned/crumbling matt.
    I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the suggestions you've offered that fall into the "why didn't I ever think of that" category!
    So simple, so smart ! Thank you!

  3. Glad you're back home safely and what a great gift to come home to. I love scraps. I have been sitting here cutting strips and hexies from a bag of scraps I had.

  4. The wonder of surprise new gifts and old things.

  5. I used an old tv tray to make my personal ironing board. I made a cute top and the bottom of the mat is an old towel. I was not going to waste a new towel on it either!

  6. I am so glad you are home, love being home and hope you go to the cabin. I have been working on my scraps and I love it love it. Scraps make me happy.

  7. wow--what a load of scrap! hehehehe hate to bust your bubble--does Frieda knit? because your scarf actually looks crocheted from my angle :-) :-) also--how soon can we expect another Bonnie mystery with all the new scraps? :-) I think I will donate a bunch of mine....because for some reason, they keep multiplying ;-)

  8. Anonymous10:16 AM EDT

    I save my pressing side too but I just cut a large square of freezer paper and press it shiny side down onto the service. Use for a while, peel off , and then press down another.

  9. So glad you loved all the scraps. The scarf was knit using a pattern that makes the scarf reversible. I hope you will enjoy wearing it on your many travels.

  10. Glad you made it home! I love your ideas, thanks for sharing. I understand the rural thing...just takes so much time to run those errands when you could be sewing ;) Enjoy your time at home!

  11. The fabrics under the scarf look like leftovers from Celtic Solstice!

  12. Anonymous2:35 PM EDT

    I was gone for 12 days to WA and CA and my envelope pile was huge! Bills for my business and personal life and two birthday cards. No fun boxes for me. Enjoy your new fabric and your time at home. Lisa in AK who's gmail account is not connecting correctly...

  13. Great tip about the small ironing surface. It sounds wonderful. I will give it a try next time mine needs a new surface. Enjoy your time at home. I know how I love to be at home after I have been away awhile!

  14. Kim in AB6:10 PM EDT

    I have a question about using older fabric in quilts. I know you use any fabric, Bonnie, so I hope you have an opinion on this.

    I made a lap quilt and a couple of the older fabrics have fallen apart near the seams before I finished quilting it. It is largely strip pieced, if that makes a difference?

    I'm mending as I go and quilting very closely and definitely through each piece if it is a crumb. I knew it wasn't great fabric, but I didn't think it would fall apart BEFORE it was finished.

    Are there any 'rules' about using older (but not used). It might be 10 years old, washed once and stored pretty safely.

    It really turned me off from using crumbs and strings, though. :-(

    Kim in AB Kimfry @ telusplanet.net

  15. I'm glad to see you made it home. I'd probably be in a coma but you've hit the ground running I see.

  16. I did this once with my mat. I love that little mat us use just like you described.

  17. Anonymous10:42 PM EDT

    I use an old cotton pillowccase to cover my JT pressing board with. I use an old faded-out 2 yd piece of percale yardage folded in half and lay on my regular ironing board, to catch magic Sizing overspray, etc and just toss both/either into the wsher when is used and tacky ...

    Someone could make $ having a premade JT pressing mat changelable cover ...

  18. Anonymous12:54 AM EDT

    I love coming home after a trip and going through the mail. I have a system throw out circulars,then make four piles, 1) personal cards,letters. magazines and packages. 2) stuff that looks like mail but is probably junk mail, to open just in case, 3) for sure junk mail, 4) finally bills. So I can get the bad with the good, I take care of 2 and 3 to recycle. then take piles 1 and 4 alternating opening good and bad always ending with a good. (helps my blood pressure). Now that I think about it I approach emails the same way... lol

  19. What a great hint...I will cover my mat...

  20. Brilliant idea for the pillowcase. My June Tailor Mat is a disaster on the pressing side. Now I can lengthen its life. I had not thought about the effect on the rotary blade with the cutting surface, but it makes sense.

    Looking forward to meeting you in two weeks (DOQ Guild in Chapel Hill).

  21. I love my June Taylor cutting and pressing mats. I only use it to cut for paper piecing (I don't like to stand up every time I have to trim). I have 3 of these in various states of disrepair. I love to put them in my lap and use them as a base to pin blocks (it reduces the tension in my wrist that has tendonitis).

  22. Love the towel idea. We have a guy around here that makes an insert (really an on-sert I guess) that fits to a regular ironing board squaring it up so you can use it for getting those big pieces of fabric and quilt tops all pressed nice and neat before sandwiching then take it off for clothes ironing. Going to see if I can make a cover for one out of a couple of old body towels. I hate it when at the beginning and end you get the top just right, reach for the iron and everything slides off the board onto the floor. Repeatedly! This should stop that right fast. THANKS.


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