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I’m finally showing you the quilt I finished last month. Several years ago I was using Bonnie’s Scrap User’s System, which was a great way to get scraps used up. I never made any intricate traditional quilt patterns, but I did a couple like this. Shortly before we started major remodeling and I moved all my sewing stuff into bins in the attic, I had put several strips together in a blue, green, yellow/brown color scheme.

A few months ago I started bringing sewing stuff down from the attic, and I found these. Everything that survived the attic exile had to be washed, and these were no exception. Some of the strips lost some width in washing. I sewed the strips together side to side and then had the start of a quilt, but it was far too small for an entire quilt top. So I added very wide borders from thrifted vintage sheets and used a second vintage sheet of the same pattern on the back. I like the way it turned out.

This has become Hannah’s quilt.

Forgive my crude sense of humor, but every time I repurpose old sheets, I want to use this joke.

I’ve been washing and cutting fabric for the shop and have lots and lots of extras that don’t make fat quarters or yardage. So I’ve been slicing it up into 5-inch squares and 2.5 inch strips, oddly shaped strings, and pieces too small to eek seam allowances out of.

What better to use up strips than a log cabin?

I can’t wait to see how this will turn out!

Today I added borders to this quilt top. I just need to find something to put on the back and pick up some more batting. I’ll post more pictures when it’s finished.

I have lots and lots I want to post about but haven’t had time to do it. Quickly, Taste Of Home Magazine is offering a free Casserole Cookbook in PDF if you sign up for their e-newsletter.

Two dresses to share today.

Same pattern as the little pink dress. Stash fabric was bought at an estate sale for $1. Contrast was from scrap. Ribbon from stash.

This is the third incarnation of this pattern. This time from brown floral stripe that almost makes this look like a nightgown. Again the fabric was $1 at an estate sale, and the contrast was from stash. Hannah is posing like a model. Silly girl.

7_quick_takesClick here for more 7 Quick Takes.

Let’s see if I can think of 7 things to share quickly.

1. I’ve been yard saleing the last couple of days. Yesterday, I got a vase cut from a single piece of rock – maybe agate – for 50 cents, an outdoor rug for 25 cents and an indoor rug for 10 cents, a trash bag full of gift wrap for $1, several books at 10 cents each, and a set of curtains with cute embroidery that will become a girl’s skirt for $1. Today I found even more great stuff – more paperback kids books marked 10 cents each, but I got an armload for $1, five color injet refill kits for $1, a bag of lace and a bag of zippers, each 50 cents, a small set of shelves (think spice rack size) for $2, and other odds and ends. Charlie went and found a Fisher Price picnic table for $3.

2. I made a blouse, but I’m not sure I like it. I still have to get a picture of it in which you can actually see the details. When I do, I’ll write a post about it.

3. Thinking about frugality lately. One of the things that facilitates a frugal lifestyle is seeing potential in things. (That can be painted, used in a different way, etc.) Unfortunately seeing potential in things can also lead me to buy stuff I don’t need and won’t ever use, which isn’t a good deal no matter how cheap the item is. It also leads me to have too many projects going, which means some never get done, so the supplies/materials are wasted. I’m trying to find a balance and would welcome suggestions or musings.

4. I’m making a Fathers’ Day gift – hacking something I saw online – and even though it’s not going according to plan, it’s going to be loved so much I can hardly wait to give it.

5.We’re having company with gluten intollerance this week. I’m thinking roast and either rice or biscuits made with gluten-free flour, veggies, and homemade ice cream with homemade cherry sauce from last year’s cherry crop. I don’t know how you gluten-intollerant people do it all the time.

6. The Toy Society looks like a fun charity to get kids involved in.

7. I still refuse to start using Twitter, but I’m trying out Springpad. So far I especially like the calendar feature, and I like finding and collecting recipes from other users.


Our house is constantly in a state of being improved. Right now we’re focusing on one of the bedrooms, which had this fan in it. Sometime in the last couple of years, one of the fan blades was broken off. (There was a bunk bed in the room – that had something to do with it.) And when Charlie got read to replace the blades (already making-do), he found a wire inside the fan that didn’t look right. The pull chain also had to be replaced. We thought the fan might be unsafe and would have to be replaced. But a friend who knows about these things said it was fine, as long as the wire was replaced. So the fan has now been rewired and had new blades put on, and a new pull chain assembly.  Ceiling fans on craigslist seem to start around $30-$50 and go up. New ones start around $60 (and that’s for cheap ones we don’t really want.) We spent around $15 to fix ours. Less money, less waste, just a little bit of effort.

As you can see, we haven’t gotten to painting walls and ceiling yet.

I picked this tip up from a sewing magazine several years ago. Use an old pill bottle with a child-proof top to store discarded pins, needles, razor blades, craft knife blades, etc.

This keeps dangerously sharp objects away from children and pets, some of whom will dig in the trash. When the bottle is full, the entire thing can be tossed, and even if said children or pets get it out, they can’t get at the bent pins and razor blades inside the bottle. And no rusty needle will poke through a trash bag into a garbage worker’s hand.

Ruth’s t-shirt inexplicably got a hole in it, but I don’t like to throw things away if they could be made usable. I chose a vintage floral to patch.

I traced circles from a tomato paste can, a medicine bottle, and a sippy cup onto wonder under, ironed them to the floral print and cut out, then ironed them to the shirt and satin-stitched around them.

Lessons learned: 1.Use a stabilizer. 2.Use a narrower zigzag stitch. 3.Little girls don’t care about imperfect sewing. Finished is better than perfect.

See other Make-Do Monday posts here.

This idea was in Family Fun magazine first. Here’s our version.

It’s one threaded steel rod with a nut at the bottom for a stop. There are 15 washers on the rod, that rest at the bottom. When you push the washers up the rod and let go…

They make music as they slide back down the rod.

Here’s how we hung ours on the tree.

The eye hook is attached to the threaded rod via a nut-like connector piece, which you can just see in the bottom of this picture. I don’t know technical terms for hardware, so you probably shouldn’t ask the people at Home Depot for a “nut-like connector piece”.