Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Short N' Sweet but Still Totally Useless

It's the New Moon! Do you have your ORTs sorted? My first TUSAL post of 2015 comes to you from my ironing board where sits my giant new ORT jar for my quilting obsession ORTs along with my usual jar that has been emptied for the new year. 


Lots and lots of quilting ORTs! The small jumble of red in there is threads from practicing my quilting skills on potholders. I am NOT showing those efforts ~ I need much more practice! I promise, there are three orange ORTs in my little jar, I actually stitched a bit but not a lot. 

The blue and green fabrics my jars are sitting on are the fabrics my daughter chose for the quilt I'm making her. It was her birthday last week (#27) and we took her to the fabric store and out to dinner. Her dad joked she had five minutes to find fabric and be darned if she took that long! She must have really had a strong image of what she wanted because she picked these out lickety-split. I'm now hard at work on her present. Having a blast doing it too!

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your January TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Totally Useless Stitch A Long 2015



The 2015 TUSAL is launched! 

Get to stitching and save those ORTs!

What is an ORT? ORT or ort ~ Capitalized, it stands for Old Ratty Threads. These are the cast-off thread ends a needleworker cuts away. These ends are often saved in clear jars as a decorative object. The word, "ort" does appear in the dictionary, meaning: a bit of something left over; usually concerning food. 

Why would you save ORTs and why on earth post a picture on your blog? Not everyone saves them. Some stitchers just toss them in the trash or let them decorate the sofa and floor. Sometimes this inadvertent decorating draws ire from those living with us. Saving these clippings in one place creates a random tangle of lovely colored thread. Posting a photo of this pile is "progress" of a sort and thus, the Totally Useless Stitch A Long was born. 


If you would like to join the Stitch-A-Long:

1. Comment on this post.

2. Get a glass jar or other container and save your thread clippings. Some stitchers include fabric trimmings, thread bands, empty spools or any other stitching cast-offs they gather. You may continue filling this jar throughout the year OR you may empty the jar and start over each month ~ no firm rules here!

3. On (or about) each New Moon take a picture of the ORTs in your jar and post it to your blog. This is a blog game so YES, you MUST have a blog to be included.

4. Yes, you can use your current ORT jar or jars. This is no contest...the stitcher with the most ORTs doesn't win!

5. You should post a picture each New Moon, even if there has been no "progress" to show. We are aiming for "once a month" here...no whippings for being late, early or absent!

6. When you have posted the picture of your ORTs visit my blog and comment on my ORT report for that month's TUSAL. If I have a Totally Useless Giveaway these comments give you an extra entry. Make sure you comment on the right post, a few comments seem to sneak onto other posts!

We follow the Lunar Cycle so every year these dates change! Some years they are very evenly spaced, one New Moon each month and some years have 2 New Moons one month and skip a calender month altogether!

The New Moon dates for 2015 are:

January 20
February 18
March 20
April 18
May 18
June 16
July 16
August 14
September 13
October 13
November 11
December 11

In years past, I have made up a "guest list" by adding a blog link list for everyone that joined ~however~ this year I probably will not do that. It takes hours and hours and hours of visiting blogs, editing the post, checking links, editing the post, correcting mistakes, editing the post. I'd much rather be stitching or visiting your blog on a recreational basis. Therefore, consider your comment to be your entry. Make sure either your profile is set to "open" so people can visit your blog or leave a link to your blog in your comment.

A request: I notice there are a lot of bloggers completely in the dark about your Totally Useless posts. They see lots of people posting pictures of ORT jars but they have NO IDEA why. They might want to join in the fun too! Please put a LINK to THIS sign-up page when you make your TUSAL posts. A link in your sidebar is great but ONLY if your readers SEE it and realize what it is.  

If you want to add the TUSAL link gadget to your sidebar (in Blogger): right click on it and save the photo to your computer, go to your blog's layout and choose "add a photo" and put the address to this 2015 TUSAL post in the link option. Upload the photo and save.

A shout-out on your blog to let other stitchers know about the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long would be greatly appreciated! Plus, please change the links in your sidebar to this new post!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Totally Useless Tableful

It's our last New Moon of 2014! Have you enjoyed posting photos of your rubbish this year? I know I have! I spent the first half of the year cross stitching and collected a small jar full.


The 2nd half of the year was spent learning how to quilt. I swear it has completely taken over my crafty life. I haven't done any cross stitching since our last TUSAL meeting. I've been too busy finishing my second quilt. So I will show off the ORTs gathered from making it. There is a pile of bits from trimming fabric to make blocks and from squaring blocks. A pile of trimmings after quilting and a tangle of threads from all the sewing. Yes, I am obsessed enough to save them...


A table full of ORTs!

And here is what I created! The quilt is a full/queen size. I also made two queen size pillow shams and two standard pillowcases, plus a small throw pillow. Not too shabby considering I could barely sew when I started this adventure. The bedding is all machine washable and nothing has exposed seams to fray. I'm quite pleased by how nice everything turned out!


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your December TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!


Yes, I will be continuing our TUSAL next year! Watch my blog for the 2015 sign-up post, coming soon!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Present Reindeer

Most everyone I know (in the United States) puts their Christmas tree up right after Thanksgiving. Couple that with those that either do the Black Friday Shopping or have already completed their holiday shopping that means it's time to start wrapping presents! Gift wrap needs ribbons and bows and we all know how tricky tying bows can be!

Present Reindeer

My 2014 reindeer seems to be having a bit of trouble with the bow on her gift! A little practice and she will get the knack of it!

=^..^=


Please email me to receive a copy of the design at daffy-cat AT hotmail DOT com. Tell me the name of the design you are requesting. This one is Present Reindeer.

Respect my copyright and do not upload my designs to any website or share with other people. Yes, they are free but I still retain copyright.

My designs are published as PDF. You must have the free Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view/print my patterns ~ or a similar PDF viewer.

As always you can click the cat in my sidebar to see my other designs. They are all still available for the asking.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Totally Useless November Quilt Top

I've been hard at work filling my ORT jar! "Jar" in this case, is a relative term though because I had to save my ORTs in the giant bowl that usually sits on the dining table, filled with fruit. I'm afraid all my ORTs this month are quilting ORTs, hope you don't mind!


Here is the reason I have no cross stitch threads to show you...


I finished my second quilt-top! Here it is laid over the guest room bed. Sorry for the wrinkles and wonky looking blocks...they truly aren't wonky just completely un-ironed! This top turned out fantastic. I'm getting much better at piecing - most of my points align! The top is now in the basement, getting sandwiched. I'm almost done pinning and will be able to start quilting it very shortly. Maybe by next TUSAL I will have a finish to share with you!


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your November TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Too Busy to be Totally Useless

If I had known this week was going to end up so busy I'd have created this post last weekend and scheduled it to post on the correct day. I didn't know...so I ended up missing the New Moon and I'm late for the Totally Useless Stitch A Long! I know many of you started the Party without me and that's OK!

I'm still cutting squares so my fabric ORTs are piling up and I've stitched a teeny bit to add to my thread ORTs. I decided to snap the photo of my ORTs with a view of my very cluttered desk! I'm a closet packrat and tend to have too many projects going at once...




I got crafty last Saturday and made this little tomato pincushion with a strawberry emery...




That one was so much fun to make I promptly made another one...




Aren't they just adorable? I looked at several tutorials online about how to make them, then just went for it. I was pleased to be able to do an entire craft project from stash! I even had the emery on hand. If you don't have real emery you can just use a fine craft sand. I love creating things!

I know you do too. Tell us...what craft project do you have planned next?


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your October TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's A Wrap!

My 1st quilt is done! I'm so proud!


After I finished, I tossed it into the washer and dryer to let it shrink & pucker. That may have been a little scary.


But it came out perfect! It's so snugly and warm. 


Best of all, from start to finish...I made it myself!


This spectacularly crappy photo shows it on a full-size bed. Wow, quilts are harder to photograph than stitching is! 

The quilt turned out approximately 60 x 80 inches after washing. I had the time of my life learning how to do each step. Is it mistake free? Not even close! Seam points don't all match up. There are a couple spots where the inner top pleated while quilting, and the border has some pleats...there is a special way to put on borders but I didn't know that!

If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be sewing on the binding.  From cutting & sewing the binding strips, to creating an invisible join, to hand stitching it closed...I rocked that like nobody's business!

Least favorite, pinning, hands down. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed doing it...I did not like being unable to work on it due to sore fingers and an aching back. I know one can use spray adhesive to sandwich the layers but I am not sure how well that works on large quilts.  


What is that? More squares? 

Indeed, I've started another quilt. This one is going to be giant! I want a bedspread to fit my king-size bed. This will be a charm-style quilt. It can't be a true charm quilt because I don't have enough fabrics to make each square different. (but I am saving one 5 inch square from each fabric I have...maybe one day I will have enough!) Shown here are only a few of my fabrics, I think I have around 70 different ones.

Not to worry, I have been stitching as well as quilting, and I'm close to a finish. Stay tuned!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox 




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Pumpkin Day


Happy Pumpkin Day!


I miss you, Cathey.


Posted in remembrance of our beloved Pumpkin, taken too soon. 

 .)\ 
.....' `--` '.. 
. / .. ^ ^ .. \ 
. \ . \/\/\/ . / 
....'---------' 


If you don't know what this is, I was never able to bring myself to remove the Pumpkins for Cathey link in the top left sidebar, read about it there.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Totally Useless September

It's that Totally Useless time again! 

Don't mind me...I've been busy quilting and a few cross stitches here and there. Not much new in the quilt ORT bowl but there are a few new threads in the stitchy jar!



I'm to the actual "quilting" point on my quilt. Exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! Am I doing this right? Is this going to show? How exactly do you sew on binding? (quick visit to YouTube) Binding looks easy enough, no problem! Hmmm, that is not how I sewed these borders on...they might be a little wavy when this is done. I will know next time around. I keep telling myself, "This is a practice quilt!"


Have you tried anything new lately?


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your September TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Basted My Quilt With Sticky Plasters...

...and other random/ridiculous thoughts by a new quilter.

It takes 45 35 minutes to open 600 597 safety pins and if one is OCD you spend another 10 looking for the 3 pins you dropped into the box before opening them. I ended up buying another box of 300.

OMG I own 900 safety pins.


The person that invented this Kwik Klip tool is my hero.



One obviously needs a few different projects on the go, in different phases...it's impossible to close *that many* safety pins while bent over, even if you are pinning your quilt on a table. My back is killing me! My fingers are sore! I'm having a blast!

Here my quilt is about half-pinned. I clamped it to a big table in the basement instead of taping it to the floor. My knees were very happy about that. Note: that table is 8 foot long by 3 foot wide! Quite a bit of the sides is tucked up under the clamps.


I know you are thinking, "She said she used sticky plasters to baste her quilt...those are just quilting pins, liar!" 


No, seriously, they truly helped me finish pin basting this sucker. My finger got so sore in the spot I use to push the pins with I could not pin for days. But I was anxious to finish basting. I tried using a rubber thimble but it made it too clumsy. Ha! A sticky plaster to the rescue! Those little dot bandages worked like a charm. I could still feel the pins but I had a little cushion to help with the initial push.

Now, I am American. In real life I call these band-aids, like everyone else here. But Brits call them sticky plasters. I thought that was so much fun I had to buy a box when I was in London.


Now my quilt is basted. I can start quilting it! I've adjusted Fern's tension, put on her walking foot and loaded up a few bobbins. Then I had to run to Walmart to buy a card table to put behind Fern to support that ginormous wad of fabric & batting. 

I have discovered quilters "see" quilt patterns. Walking through the hallway of our hotel I explained to Dash the carpet was a rail fence...

Irons that shut off automatically are a pain.

Speaking of irons, Molly spent a week flatly refusing to enter my craft room after I set up the ironing board. She didn't even want to go down the hallway it made her so nervous. Border Collie theology prevailed, "If you can't beat 'em - herd 'em!" Now, I have to lock her out of the room when I iron as she tries to "herd" the spray starch.

Nothing is so frightening as being charged by a snarling sheepdog while holding a flaming hot iron. One of us will get hurt! Idiot dog also wants to herd the salad dressing bottle. Have I ever told you how bored Border Collies invent stupid games? Oh, just did.

There are stray threads everywhere. On the floor, glued to the ironing board cover with spray starch, in pockets, in the dryer, the shower and I've even found one in my dinner. Stitching ORTs are much more containable.

If I would quit blathering more stitching could be done!


Thank you for visiting my blog today!!!
xox