Saturday 2 April 2011

Stash use report for March

This should be the beginning of Spring, and the shops are full of daffodils in yellow pots. They can cope about -10C /+14F, and I planted some to replace the faded Callunas of last Autumn. After their first day we had some new snow again, and then two nights with -15C/+5F. About half of my flowers have frozen to death, but many have survived. I hope the nights will be warmer from now on.

One more birthday present, a rusty brown and red shawl knitted by my sister Maija. I'm wearing it now around my neck with my winter coat, but it will be lovely in Summer on my shoulders too. Kiitos, Maija!

As you can see in the picture, there is quite a lot of snow on the ground and it will take weeks before the first Snowdrops raise their heads through the last snow.
My stash seems to be growing, but there is a perfectly good explanation: My favourite fabric shop will close in the Summer when the owner lady retires, and she started selling everything 30 % off the normal price from the 1st of April. I was looking for some white flannel for baby quilt backings, and as she didn't have any, she sold me some in red, and gave me the special price in advance. As the cotton prices are expected to go up, it is only rational to buy now.

This is the pieced backing of my 9-patch quilt, with some 9-patches in different sizes just for fun. I had to piece the backing as I couldn't buy new fabric for it, to meet Anne Marie's challege rules.

I wondered how stupid a quilter can be. You see, I straightened the edges for the binding and cut exactly at the points of the red sashings, thinking the white points will be sharp anyway. And then I machine stitched the binding on, and spent three nights hand sewing the three edges before I was too annoyed with the cut-off red points.

So the stupid quilter unpicked the binding, ironed it again , cut a bit from all 4 sides of the quilt and started sewing the binding back on. It is almost done now, so I can count the backing and binding to my March fabric use.

This is something else I did in March, after Melanie sent me the adorable book on Celtic, Viking and Anglo-Saxon Embroidery by Jan Messent.  The book is about ancient embroidery and the new use of the stitches and pictures by the author. Beautiful, inspiring pictures of her work. Melanie had sent me some plant-dyed threads earlier, and some perlé threads a year ago, so I thought I would use them to make her a small picture of the Kalevala Jewelry bird I sent her for her birthday. I added some antique silk threads from my Great Auntie Saima. My design and stitches reveal that this is my very first attempt, but I had great fun while making it, and Melanie understands all the hidden meanings important for both of us.

A few weeks ago we had a visitor from Belgium in our sewing class, and to give her a feel of quilting I helped her sew one QAYG block from my strings for the Oz Comfort Quilts. I made one too, and hope to get at sewing some more for a new delivery later this month. Counting all these projects together I have used 4.5 m of fabrics from my stash in March, but also bought 5.5 m new fabris. Increase: 1 m. I need to finish lots of projects in April to make the figures look better!


  1. What a lovely post, Ulla! I feel sorry for you for still having so much snow. The sjawl your sister made you is beautiful. And wow, what an incredible project you made from the book Melanie gave you
    Have a lovely Sunday (:

  2. That shawl looks lacy and delicate from the photo. Lots of talent in your family. I admire your patience with the 9-patch quilt. Love the bits of red. What a gorgeous project from Melanie's book.

  3. Irgendwie "beruhigend" zu sehen, dass erfahrene Quilter auch manchmal Fehler machen ;-) ! Die rote Umrandung hätte ich auch nicht mehr verändert! Der Hauch von einem Schal, den dir deine Schwester gestrickt hat ist ein Traum....und auch so passend für einen kühlen Sommerabend! Mein Stoffvorrat ist diesen Monat auch gewachsen und die Balance im Moment unausgeglichen, denn ich brauchte neutralen Stoff für meine Quilts. Wahrscheinlich sollte ich erst Ende Jahr eine "Stoffbuchhaltung" machen ;-) !! Ich wünsche dir, dass es auch bei euch bald Frühling wird mit wärmeren Temperaturen (dafür ist es dann schneller Sommer, nicht wahr?) und du keine weiteren Pflanzenverluste mehr vermelden musst.
    Viele liebe Grüsse

  4. A gorgeous shawl from Maija! I hope the snow goes away soon so you can wear just the shawl and not the coat over it! I love the pieced backing and I think I probably would have done the same thing with the binding - probably no one else would have noticed, but it always makes the sewer feel better ;>) The little bird is so sweet and your work is gorgeous, Ulla!

  5. I think your embroidered bird is very pretty, and a lovely gift. The scarf your sister knitted is amazingly fine! and such a useful colour too.
    I agree that a closing down shop sale is just too good of an opportunity to be missed. I think you really should rate any fabric increase from it as being a thrifty investment, not an addittion to your stash...that's my opinion!!

    As I've been travelling and living out of a suitcase recently I've been mostly doing crochet and sometimes knitting. When I finally get to stay at home I'll be glad to get back to my sewing!

  6. What a gorgeous shawl from Maija. Sorry to hear about your bulbs. Hopefully things will warm up for you soon. I will take photos of the blossom in the garden for you.

    The Kalevala Bird is breathtakingly beautiful and so accurate. Thank you so much for him. He is on the wall at the moment where I can be inspired by him everyday.

    Well done with your 9 Patch even though you are re-doing the edge. It is better to be happy with something.

    I don't think you should really count sale fabric in your calculations. :-)I have yet to show what I bought in Amsterdam. I am getting there slowly. New fabric here is already noticably more money.

  7. The nine patch quilt is comforting and thrifty while the bird embroidery is a jewel. Two so different projects and both wonderful.
    The shawl is stunning. Hope the daffodils survive and your weather warms up.


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