Frugal Tip: Batting for Toys!

Tonight, a few friends are coming over, and we’re sewing some cloth dolls. At lunch, I was making sure I had everything – patterns, scissors, yarn and floss for hair… batting.

I had ONE bag of batting, and it wasn’t full. What could I do?

The Scrap Exchange, one of my favorite local reuse stores, had no batting for sale… but they did have this enormous stuffed Christmas bear for $1.

Only a buck.

Sold.

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Sorry, Christmas Bear, my son needs a rag doll.

(And, bonus, the poor empty bear will have all the bits that could hurt a dog snipped off and become a dog toy – how frugal is that?)

Poppy’s First Quilt – Cutting!

Okay, let’s be real here. Cutting sucks. Maybe it will stop sucking eventually, but damn, I hate this part. I told my husband last night that I was pretty sure I was going to hate every part of quilting except¬†actually having the finished quilt.¬†Only then I remembered that I actually like ironing, so there would be one part I liked.

I think I’m hilarious, so I texted my mother-in-law the same thing, and she replied¬†“Only you and my Grandma Edna like ironing. In the world.” Come on, that can’t be right? It’s not just me? Maybe?

So, anyways, I was all ready to start cutting, until I realized… I didn’t have a cutting mat. Sure, I had a rotary cutter, but no mat. I could have run out to the store, but I was cheap frugal and lazy. I made my own.

No, this isn’t permanent. Yes, I’ll probably look back on it and cringe… but you know, it’s working fine.

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So, I have my cutting mat, and I even made a template on it in tape. That’s making it a lot easier to cut! You can see my messy piles up there – scraps worth saving, and stuff yet to be cut. My pile of cut squares was out of the shot.

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Even more piles! It’s getting messier, because I’m going through my fabric stash and choosing more fabrics to go with the main fabrics I had picked in my first post. I’m trying to get all the cutting done in three days so that I can put the fabric away and have my dining room back.

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With bonus toddlers running around, I haven’t been able to get a good shot of my stack of squares, but there it is.

Thirty out of a hundred down.

Shoot me now.

Poppy’s First Quilt – Choosing the FABRIC!

I’ve finally chosen the fabric for my very first quilt, thanks to a very lucky find at a thrift store I love…

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I got two cotton pillowcases with this print! I love it – the neutral floral print with touches of red and blue? YES. That is right up my alley. I was already pretty sure it had to come home with me… and then I found more!

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A bright red sheet – the main solid to go with the pillowcases? Check. The large tan plaid is a flannel sheet, just the right colors to be the backing for my quilt! I’d gone to the thrift store with my mother, and, providentially, she was donating that dark plaid shirt. Nope. Just the right colors to join my quilt.

I have some more fabric from my stash to round it out, I haven’t chosen those quite yet – I’ll totally have to take plenty of pictures when I do! I’m SO happy with these four, though. Just the right start.

I got the batting, too!

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This flannel sheet actually looks way better in the pictures I took. In person, it’s pretty dingy and sad. Yellowed, aged, pilling horribly… not worth putting on my bed. It should be absolutely perfect to round out my quilt sandwich, though! I prefer thin quilts, it’s too warm in North Carolina for high-loft quilts ten months out of the year. Two layers of flannel and a quilt top should be plenty.

So, the total damage for my first quilt? $5. Plus some stash fabric and thread.

I think I can justify that.

SMOOTHIE!

This is not going to be a very detailed post, because, well… smoothies aren’t the most fascinating subjects. At least to me. They’re pretty, though, and delicious.

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I started with frozen berries – strawberries and blackberries from the store, and blueberries we picked ourselves!

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I could find absolutely no way to make this stage look appetizing. It’s not. It’s just some crushed fruit and spinach – but add a banana and some pear juice, and the magic happens!

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See? Look at that. Totally magic. Like, one hundred percent. I enjoyed the hell out of that smoothie.

Poppy’s First Quilt: Choosing a pattern.

Okay. I’m starting my first quilt. This is cool, right? WRONG. It’s terrifying. I don’t even know why. I’m just convinced that whatever quilt I make, I will ruin badly, and it will be a¬†waste of fabric.

Crazy, right?

I need to get over that, like, yesterday. I’ve wanted to quilt for years. No more excuses.

Step One: Choosing a Pattern. 

I’m going to do patchwork squares, because I like them. Now, this is simple, right? Well, no. Do I do big squares? Tiny ones? Medium-sized? Do I do them randomly, or in a pattern? Do I have an overall background color? Do I go totally random? Do I assemble them nine-patch style, or do I sew the squares into strips and then sew them together?

There are so many questions, guys.

This is what I had in mind at first. Georgina Giles has a great tutorial¬†for exactly what I was planning on doing, and doesn’t it look great? Really impressed with it. Nice big squares, put together simply, to become so much more.

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I found this quilt I really adore at Sweet – Unwrapping Life. Doesn’t look like the blogger has been around since 2012, but she can certainly make a lovely quilt. I had pretty much decided not to have any white in my quilt, but she totally unmade my decision. I’m questioning everything now.

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I’ve ruled out smaller squares, even though I love them, because damn – just too much work for my first quilt. I need a more instant-gratification project, to prove to myself that I CAN DO THIS, you know? I found this great example from Film In The Fridge. The larger the squares, the fewer I’ll have to do.

See? There are¬†too many choices. I think I’ve settled, though – a randomly-placed strip-piece quilt with 8″ square blocks. Probably. We’ll see.