Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Bastrop Donations are DONE!!!

I don’t know about Shari, but some days I’d look at all the Bastrop donations stacked in various corners of my house these past several months and wonder if the day would ever get here when those donations would actually be in Bastrop ;-). The good news is that tomorrow they will!!

(I didn’t realize when I took the photos of the filled containers that you wouldn’t be able to see the depth of loot inside — duh!! There are some older “see the loot inside” pictures here.)

First up are the three containers filled with fabric:

The front container is filled totally with “yardages” — cuts bigger than 1-1/4 yds. The back container has more yardages, as well as various bags filled with yardcuts, fat quarters, fat eighths, different sizes of quilting-ready precuts, and some quilt WIPs that some folks might be interested in finishing off. The smaller container has more of the same. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but those two larger containers are about 3-1/2 ft long and about 20″-24″ deep. All of the containers are packed FULL. I had callouses on my scissors’ finger & thumb from cutting fabric into fat quarter and fat eighth sizes!

Next up are the needlework-fibers containers:

These are filled with yarn,  yarn, and more yarn, with a nice dose of wool embroidery floss included as well. The wool embroidery floss came to me sorted by color — I dumped it all out and made up baggies that each contained a rainbow of colors, so that each person would have a nice variety of colors with which to work. I *love* looking at the variety of colors and textures in these three containers!

These smaller containers are filled with needlework charts/patterns & kits & supplies, beading supplies (including some beautiful beads!), and sewing supplies.

The following sewing machine table (with built-in sewing machine) + chair and Anchor floss cabinet were donated by someone I came to discover is actually a neighbor of mine! Small world :-). That Anchor floss cabinet is all kinds of awesome!! These will both be fabulous door prizes for some lucky folks on donation distribution day.

And these are the odds-n-ends :-). A Q-Snap quilting frame, a couple boxes of books, a big box of magazines, a bag filled with batting (or maybe it’s fiberfill? I haven’t looked inside that bag in months!), a knitting bag that’s filled with assorted other totes, a big container for beads or buttons, and a tabletop-size needlework stand.

And here it all is loaded up and ready to take to Shari!

Many thanks to my brother, Rex, for the loan of his trailer . . . and many, MANY, thanks to my hub for (a) not grousing about the fact this stuff has crowded us towards the center of our living room for months, and (b) for being my heavy-lifter, and also my trailer-pulling chauffeur.

I won’t be at the donation distribution, but I look forward to hearing about it and seeing pictures!! I hope there’s a nice-sized turnout, and that everyone leaves with armloads of loot :-).

Thanks to Shari and the other members of StitchMAP who have been doing so much to make this outreach effort a success, and to bring happiness and needlework-zen to folks who lost everything in the blink of an eye. You ladies (and your helping-out hubbies) R-O-C-K ! ! !

Edited to Add: Geez Louise, I can’t believe I forgot to thank EVERYONE WHO DONATED GOODIES!!! Many of the donations were dropped off at a local yarn shop, so I’m not exactly sure who donated what, but I do for sure know who 3 or 4 of the generous souls were :-). Thanks a million, those of you who donated!!

Almost at the Finish Line! (Bastrop donations)

I’ll be passing the Bastrop donations off in a week, for the distribution to be held in Bastrop later next week. I accepted four (or five?) bags of donations after the cut-off date — there was a good reason for accepting them late, but since they contained mostly fabric, including lots of small cuts, I put them aside to do “later”. Guess what this week is?!?! Why, it’s LATER!!!

So I’m working through our DVR list and doing lots of On-Demand watching while I do this:

I’m taking the fabric a piece at a time and determining if it is yardage (more than 1-1/4 yds.), yard-cut (3/4 to 1-1/4 yds.), fat quarter, fat eighth, 3″x6″ up to 18″ square, sashing, or scrappy-quilt size (2″ up to 3″x6″).

For pieces that are irregular in size (have had chunks cut out of them, or have a curve cut into them), I’m cutting them down however possible to get as much of the fabric into any of the aforementioned categories. It’s slow-going, but is just fine to do while watching tv and movies.

See that storage container against the wall? I already have one of those filled with only “yardage” (fabric bigger than 1-1/4 yds.)!! I can see I’m going to exceed the storage container in this photo, as well, once I’ve finished with the last three bags of fabric. (I have three containers that same size stuffed full with a variety of yarns that have been donated.)

Before we load all the donations into a trailer, I’ll take pictures of the end result of all this organizing. It will be so pretty seeing all the donations organized and ready to load up for distribution!!

~~~~~~~~

Very little stitching has happened since, well, my last post about stitching! I did 6 or 8 stitches on my “over one” ornament one night, but I really wasn’t in the mood to putz around with it.

I saw a cute design on Urban Threads’ website that I’d like to stitch up (“Sweet Dreams“), so I have a feeling that’ll be hooped up and embroidered before I get back to my “over one” ornament. But no embroidering will be happening until I finish sorting these last three bags of fabric!

~~~~~~~

Our chickens are now averaging 7 eggs daily — woot, woot!! As we start accruing an extra dozen or two, our kiddo’s going to sell them to local family and friends. He’s the one who feeds them and collects the eggs, so my hubby (who does the dirty work of cleaning the coop weekly) suggested the money go to him. I thought that was a very sweet idea, and our son was tickled pink at the suggestion. He won’t be making a fortune, but if he sells a dozen or two a week it’ll be a nice little boost to his piggy bank :-).

Some of y’all may be old enough to remember getting double-yolk eggs in your grocery store eggs. I’d forgotten all about them because you just don’t seem them in grocery store eggs anymore, amiright? But our girls gift us with a double-yolk egg a couple times a week. And those things are ROUND!! They don’t even fit in the egg slot of the Jumbo-size egg carton! I bet those particular eggs are no fun to lay.

Hubby has some of our garden planted; once things begin sprouting I’ll snap some pictures. We actually had snow this past Sunday, but were fortunate that the temp warmed up enough to melt it quickly rather than turning it into ice — our plants should be just fine, thank goodness! This year, in addition to the backyard raised beds, we also have some edibles growing in what used to be our frontyard flowerbed — my hubby pulled up everything that wasn’t edible (which means everything instead of the rosemary) and we’ll be growing carrots and peas there instead. Awesomesauce, right?!! It’ll be an interesting experiment, and if we are successful in growing carrots and peas then all the better.

Sewing Kit Additions

This week was the cut-off locally for Bastrop donations. I’d held off on sending to Shari (the outreach organizer) the knitting needles and other goodies (third picture in that post) I’d boxed up over the weekend, in case there were more sewing kit supplies donated this week. Sure enough, there were :-).

Someone, or several someones, gathered up much-needed scissors, thread, safety pins, and buttons for the sewing kits, along with more pincushions.

These are now boxed up with the knitting needles and ready to go out in tomorrow’s post to Shari.

Kudos to my fellow local donators for all the goodies they shared for this outreach effort! We did great, y’all :-).

What A Difference A Day Makes

I was feeling hemmed in by all the Bastrop donations so decided to “just do it” and get them totally sorted tonight. First I had to de-Christmas the living room, but that went quickly seeing as how the only decorating we did was the tree + our advent calendar + our stockings. It only took me about twenty minutes to get everything put away. I’ll have to remember that next holiday season!

(As a reminder, just last night our living room/dining room looked like this.) A full night’s work later and we have beautiful organization!

 

Like has been sorted with like. I still have some detail work to do before this all gets passed along to Shari, but the brunt of the work has been done.

I’m planning to send the following items to Shari next week, as most, if not all, can be used in the sewing kits that are being made.

Y’all, there are FIFTY-FOUR sets of knitting needles there . . . and that doesn’t include the DPNs and circular needles! (I’m thinking I owe thanks for all those knitting needles to Vanessa, right Vanessa?)

It feels good to have this done and to be able to walk through our dining room again ;-) and also to have a pretty firm idea of what fine-tuning type of sorting I’ll need to do in coming weeks.

Now I’m ready to spend some time doing updates for my other blog (which I’ve neglected in recent weeks) and start on TAST2012 and the Embroidery Journal Project.

This’ll Keep Me Busy . . .

I picked up a trunk full and back seat full of Bastrop donations this afternoon, and I thought y’all might get a kick out of seeing just how much has been donated locally. (The things I’ve already sorted and sent on to the outreach organizer are shown here.)

Things I’ve already sorted are in the following photo:

Those are the things that will be hand-delivered to Shari, the outreach organizer, when she and her hubby pass through Texas on their way to take all of the donations to Bastrop. From left to right, there’s oodles of magazines, a tote filled with more totes, yarn and more yarn, a big bag of batting, two bolts of muslin with a huge yardage of fabric stacked on top, a PVC standing quilt frame, various kinds of needlework patterns, a couple bins of fabric (from yardages all the way down to scraps), various kinds of needlework kits, and an assortment of books.

My hubby and I are donating all the clear plastic containers in that photo, because needleworkers and sewists need storage, dontchaknow!

That clear container at the bottom of the middle stack of containers is full of bags containing smaller cuts of fabric and fabric scraps. Shari’s explained to me how they are sorting and organizing those, so that’ll be one of the last things I do, once I’m sure I’ve picked up the last of the donations.

Now, here’s what’s still left to be sorted:

I’ve only done a cursory look-see, but it looks like the box and bag at the front left of the photo are full, and I mean FULL, of floss. See that box right behind the clear bag full of yarn? Inside that box (underneath the tacklebox) is a smaller box FILLED with knitting needles.

I hope to sit down tonight and empty out the boxes of assorted goodies and see what I can mail on to Shari for the sewing kits they’re putting together. The next pictures I post about this outreach effort should be of organized-prettiness rather than disorganized-prettiness :-).

Stash Replenishment Outreach: Box 1

Last month I posted a picture of some ornaments I embroidered as part of an outreach effort for families who lost their homes in the Bastrop, Texas, wildfire this past September. There’s a post with pictures about that stockings-n-ornaments distribution on the K.N.A.S.S. blog — fair warning that you want to have a hankie handy!

Now we’re on to part two of that outreach effort, which is stash replenishment. Folks from various areas in the U.S. have been donating all sorts of goodies one would need in order to begin rebuilding a stash for quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidering, needlepointing, cross-stitching, tatting, beading, rug punching, creweling, etc. Little things like pins and needles, big things like sewing machines, and everything in-between. The distribution to the folks in Bastrop is tentatively planned for some time in February.

My local needlepoint and knitting shop has been kind enough to serve as a drop-off point for donations, which I’ve been gathering up and sorting so they can be passed along to the folks who are spearheading this outreach effort. I love organizing, so this is right up my alley!

Now it’s time for me to start sending these goodies along to the outreach organizer, so here’s the first box of goodies I’ve sent her way.

The Rocky Mountain Crazy Quilters have volunteered to make drawstring bags, which will be used to make Sewing Kits, so my goal for this first box was to include what I’ve received thus far that would go into a sewing kit, which will be the square and the tomato pincushions, the needles and straight pins, the thimbles, a big ziploc bag of general-sewing thread (not shown in the photo), and possibly some of the floss. The wool and non-wool felt will be used inside the needlebooks someone has offered to make (if I remember correctly, she’s planning to make fifty of them!).

Then I filled the empty areas in the box with knitting markers, polymer clay buttons, and lots o’ floss/thread.

You guys, I have only ever embroidered with DMC stranded cotton and the random DMC metallic floss, so it is not an understatement to say I am a floss virgin! Going through these gorgeous flosses that have been donated has been so much fun!! For me, going into a shop and facing walls and walls of flosses is overwhelming; being able to encounter them a little bit at a time, like I’ve been able to while putting together this box of goodies, has been perfect. I now have a little wish list going in my head of flosses I want to buy.

Have any of y’all stitched with DMC 16 Floche? There was a whole lot of it donated in a wide variety of colors. It has such a lovely feel and sheen to it, and the colors are so vibrant. DMC’s site says the floche does not kink, knot, or fluff. I will definitely be ordering some of this sooner than later.

If any of you have any of the following Sewing Kit items that you’d like to donate to this outreach effort, please email me at “wrenandstitchy [at] gmail [dot] com”. The donations would need to be received no later than January 10th, to allow the outreach organizer time to get them into sewing kits:

~ Straight pins of any kind (desperately needed)

~ Measuring tapes, 6″ rulers, or anything else of that nature (desperately needed)

~ Needlebooks; felt (wool or non-wool) to go inside needlebooks that are being made

~ Pincushions

~ Needles of any kind

~ Safety pins

~ Cutting tools (scissors, snips, small rotary cutters)

~ Basic sewing thread in rainbow colors + black, brown, white

~ DMC stranded cotton floss in rainbow colors + black, brown, white

~ Threaders

~ Thimbles

~ Basic, plain buttons (like you’d use to replace buttons on a man’s shirt or a pair of pants)

~ Cording, grosgrain ribbon, double-sided satin ribbon to use for the drawstrings in the sewing kits

Additionally, there’s been lots of yarn donated for knitting and crocheting, but far fewer needles. If you have any of those you’d like to donate, they’d be appreciated.

Well, That Was A Long Break!

Hey There, Stitchy Peeps!! (I borrowed that phrase from Kristi at Stitchy Stitcherson; love that phrase!) Let’s blow the dust off this here blog, shall we???

This year has seemed, to my guys and me, to go by at least twice as fast as any other year ever has. Does it feel that way for y’all, too? It’s been a rocky year for me healthwise, but I’m finally on an upswing with my health and anticipate that to continue as we barrel into 2012. For the past couple weeks, my energy level has noticeably increased and I’m beginning to feel like the “old me”, but a healthier version of “old me” ;-). One of the things about which I’m the happiest is that my crafting momentum is the best it’s been in at least a year’s time, which feels WONDERFUL!!

I recently stitched up some ornaments for a relief effort that’s happening for Bastrop, Texas, folks who lost their homes in a brutal wildfire this past September. (More info about that relief effort can be found at the K.N.A.S.S. blog.) I’ve already posted individual pictures of the ornaments on my Flickr photostream, but here’s a group shot:

Other members of my local Embroiderers Guild also contributed handmade ornaments, as well as some holiday fabric, a variety of needlework kits, and some snips:

Our donations are being combined with donations received from many other folks and will be distributed in early December. The purpose of this phase of the relief effort is to help families begin to rebuild their supply of handmade ornaments and stockings.

In other needlework news, tonight I started embroidering myself a Victorian Pin Cushion, as part of a needlework challenge to be completed by the end of this month. The pattern I’m using is a French Script “G”, which Kathy Shaw offered as a freebie on her blog. I’m filling in the “G” with all french knots, which I’m thoroughly enjoying!

I also have some stitchy goodies completed and some in-progress for a couple craft swaps I’ll be wrapping up in December, and will post pics of those goodies once the recipients have received them.

My mind is full of needlework ideas I want to try in 2012, and I look forward to sharing those with y’all. It’s good to be back, and to be stitching again!!

P.S. — If you’re reading this in a reader or by email subscription, click over and check out the new blog background — it’s very bright and cheery :-). I’m working on an About Me page, but don’t have it up yet. Soon!