Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Okay, let's clean house!

No, not the dreaded housework!!  As much as I love quilting, in equal measure, I dislike housework.  Unfortunately it has to be done.  My quilting room has to be cleaned occassionally also.  Now my quilting room is a mass of projects in all stages of completion.  I really do generally know what I have and a large part of the time I can even find it without too much trouble, but occassionally I do misplace something and I have to hunt.  I really hate the hunting part.  I always feel so stupid that I didn't put it where I should have and that I can't remember where I put it!  When I start having to search for things I know housecleaning in on the agenda.

Such a weekend this was.  Typically when I start cleaning out my quilting room I begin by trying to pick up all the different scraps of fabric and sorting them into the scrap heap, or folding them to be put away in the bins and I just start making a stack of folded pieces to be put away.  My first goal is to get to the bottom of the chair where I pile "stuff".  Now along with various fabric pieces, there will be various pieces of batting that have been trimmed from the edges of quilts.  I don't mean just slivers of batting but pieces can range from  45" wide down to about 6" with lengths varying from 36" all the way to 120".  Typically I cut up the smaller pieces and stick them into a bag hanging on the end of my quilting machine to use under the hopping foot when the machine is not in use.  Usually I keep a good supply of approximately 3" square pieces for this and they always work very well for wiping the dust off the machine and cleaning out the tracks and little things of that nature.  Use them and toss them.  They are also great when the string supply on my floor reaches epic proportions.  Strings will cling to those little pieces of batting, and when the floor looks like it may have a shag rug on it this will grab the strings in a hurry.

Alas, I wander.  I hate to toss those large pieces of batting and realistically there are only so many small wall hangings I am going to make so what next....Wwwwwweeeeeeelllllllllll.  I have these lovely little dogs, French Bulldogs, and they all love their little doggie beds.  Goodness those little things are expensive.  Now when I am testing out a new pattern with the quilting machine I take those pieces and cut them up to the appropriate size and bind them for dog beds.  Well guess what...those excess pieces of batting are now going into those doggie beds, but I don't just use the scrap fabric where I practice new patterns.  I just take a couple of yards of fabric, not quilt quality but some I have purchased cheap to make dog beds, and layer in several layers of batting, cover it with another pieces of fabric and quilt the whole thing.  I wind up with a quilted piece of fabric that is the standard 44-45" width and 70-80" long and much thicker than your regular quilt.  Then I cut that up into rectangular pieces the size I want and just sew a quick binding, all machine sewing, no hand binding for these babies and I have 6-8-10 dog beds done with 2-3 hours of work.  I've cleaned out my chair and used those scraps of batting.  Typically I will have also found, in that same chair various pieces of binding that were left overs from some quilts I have bound and I just sew all those bindings together and use those to bind my dog beds.   All of this gives me a great sense of satisfaction.  I've used scraps, leftovers that most people toss and made something very useful that we would have had to purchase otherwise.  Now I can play Mrs. Thrifty Homemaker and my doggies love their beds and we keep an adequate supply of clean beds for my little darlings.

I frequently toss these on the end of the sofa, that's where my Dorothy
likes to sit, and they gather all the doggie hair and dirty paws.
I really love the fact that after I have spent hours, literally hours, cleaning up the living room then someone always comes in with mud on their shoes and of course they have to sit down and then prop up their feet on the footstool.  If I throw one of these little pads on the footstool then it makes cleaning  up the mess so much easier.  Sometimes I can just open the door and give the thing a good shake and it's fine, but if not, no biggie, just toss it in the wash with the rest of the dog beds and it's ready to go again.

These just happen to be the right size for my husbands foot stool.

While you may not have dogs or cats who would love their own little bed, or a hubbie that tracks in dirt and mud and props his feet dirty shoes on the ottoman, there may be some other activities you or your family participate in and you could use a few of these wonderful pads.  Do you have a child or grandchild who is active in sports.  If you ever go to those games you know how dirty the bleachers can be at the ball park, or stadium.  In the summer you don't want to lug a blanket around, but a 24 x 18 seat cover is great, especially if there was a shower of rain just before game time!  Even if you have stadium seats those little seat covers just add a nice little layer of comfort and are so easy to toss in the washer.  They are also a great item to toss in the trunk of your car just in case you have a breakdown of some kind on the road.  Great for kneeling on when you have to change a tire, great to sit the kids on so they are away from the road and out of danger.  Great for tucking into a diaper bag to have a pad to lay baby on for changing instead of laying them on that changing table you have never seen before.  They are even nice burp pads when you don't have a burp pad.  Nice little pads to have at church if your small child tends to lay down on the pew for a nap during services, or to let them sit on the floor with their toy when you take them somewhere like the doctors office.  Sizes can be adjusted for your specific purchase.  Bet if you think about it you will think of a hundred different uses for these little free pads.  You may even want to make a few as gifts for your friends because they are sure to comment on their usefulness and how creative you are to have come up with this ideal.

Happy sewing....

So sorry to be late in posting, but due to the severe weather we had yesterday, we were without power for about 18 hours yesterday evening and last night.  God blessed us with no storm damage and family who came through safe and sound.  Hope you all were likewise blessed.

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