Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January Tracking

Why did I feel compelled to - starting in 2023 - participate in fabric tracking? I guess I thought I'd be the quilter who decisively uses-up more of her fabric stash than what she takes in.
Fabrics from Sew Modern Chicky (Jacksonville, FL)

January is already proving me wrong. 
  • Why did I wait nearly two years to spend a $50 gift certificate to Feel Good Fibers? I placed my order in December; fabrics arrived in January. 
  • I received a thank-you-for-participating-in-our-challenge fabric bundle from Central Florida MQG.
  • Then, Showcase (quilt show) was last weekend, and there was a vendor... Sew Modern Chicky
So with 12 incoming yards in January, my measly efforts, making several small items, didn't do much to offset gains that total 9.77 yards. 

To clarify, this is not a fabric tracker of one's TOTAL stash. I did not spend days measuring and calculating the yardage I already have. Rather, this fabric tracking effort is meant to monitor one year's worth of incoming and outgoing fabric. 

My friend Debbie at www.aquilterstable.blogspot.com regularly tracks her fabrics, which is where I learned about this intriguing idea. In an email conversation she opined:
Invariably fabric will come in! In fact sometimes it needs to for you to accomplish something in particular, or for a variety of reasons. Take it in stride and just keep sewing!
I love that bit... "Take it in stride and just keep sewing." That's my plan! 

And for what it's worth, I did give away seven quilts this month - three 36" X 48" baby quilts to Healthy Families Florida, and four to friends in Minnesota.

My latest efforts have been to cut fabrics for a 42" X 54" scrappy baby quilt.

The pattern is one I saw on Instagram called Crossroads quilt design by @treehousetextiles, I figured out my version of it using solids from my scrap bins, and lots of novelty prints. See those Angry Birds in the lower left block?

As I cut out pieces for 36 blocks, I listened to audiobooks.

Book Recommendations
Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock is about Nate, a firefighter in Colorado. He's one of those fearless men who jumps from a plane into the heart of a raging fire. When he sustains second degree burns while saving a family and their dog, he returns home to recuperate. He hasn't been home for more than a decade. Staying with his brother while healing, Nate reconnects with Brenna, a woman he hasn't forgotten since high school. She's going through a difficult time, adjusting to a divorce from a power-hungry man who wants full custody of their two children. While Nate is ready to give Brenna all the support she needs, he's adjusting to being around his father who has just been released from 14 years in prison for a murder - of Brenna's father! - that he claims he did not commit. Tensions are heightened because Nate too has been accused of something he didn't do - burn down a church. It's time for all of them to support, forgive, and love each other. 

I enjoy Terri Blackstock books because characters seem real. There's no profanity; no sleeping around; and protagonists have a wholesome spirituality. This story includes several lovely nuggets of profundity that I found very encouraging.

Linda's score: 4.1/5.0

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six
 by Lisa Unger is a story about the interesting and possible negative outcomes of genetic testing. Tracking one's parents may provide information a child really doesn't want to know. 

Mako is a successful tech entrepreneur. He and his wife Liza are hosting a get-away weekend for Hannah, Mako's sister ,and her husband, along with a family friend and her new boyfriend. They head to a very remote location in Georgia as a tropical storm is coming in from the Atlantic. 

Hannah is uncertain about the weekend. Not only must she leave behind her baby girl, but something doesn't feel right - like they shouldn't go. So, on the first evening of their arrival, when the power goes out, the backup generator doesn't kick in, no one has cell phone service, and Liza is missing, everyone wants to leave. But they can't. The storm is too violent, the road is blocked, and truths must be revealed - ones that will prove costly to every person there. 

While this was entertaining, its use of profanity and promiscuity gave it the opposite feeling of Smoke Screen, 

Linda's score: 3.7/5.0 

Recapping January, these two books bring my total listened-to/reviewed/scored total to eight audiobooks. Two of them earned scores of 4.5/5.0 - Long Way Gone and Wrapped in Rain, both by Charles Martin.

In the continuing saga of the unavailability of spice drops... 

As I'm waiting for the promised February 14-16 Amazon delivery of spice drops ordered December 17, on Monday I stopped at a Dollar Tree store to check for them.

Coastal is the brand of candy that Dollar Tree typically carries. As you can see from the empty pegs, and after a brief chat with a Dollar Tree clerk, spice drops still are not available. Only peppermints are in stock.

I shared this picture and my disappointment with two South Florida friends: Sherry (who generously mailed me spice drops in December) and Maureen. 

Maureen said she too couldn't find them at Dollar Tree, nor the orange slice candies she favors, stating "empty shelves here too." 

Her sage observation:
As if the world hasn't gone crazy enough... now they are trying to take our candy away!


  1. I've never tracked fabric useage in and out, it just takes away from my precious quilting time! One thing I do when I'm looking for a larger piece is measure the ones that may work, and if they don't work for the particular project, I'll write down the measurement on a slip of paper before returning the piece to its bin, so I won't have to unfold and measure again at another time. As long as there is still dark chocolate available, we'll be happy campers!

  2. Isn't that how it goes - trying to limit fabric and all sorts of it comes in. ;-) It evens out over time....

  3. You work out your blocks on paper just like I do! Love the Crossroads block. I have made a few, but not as cute as yours! The phone fabric is just too cute!!!

  4. I began tracking my fabric in 2022 via Jeni B's method, which is probably what Debbie is doing as well. It was so beneficial as it definitely cut down on impulse purchases, and I also donated yards and yards to our church quilting group. I feel like my stash is much more representative of things I would actually sew with now.

  5. I've never tracked my fabric in/out but I know Jenni Baker does it monthly on her blog and I think that's what Debbie does too. The past couple of years I have committed to use what I have and refrain from buying without a need. It sort of works. My problem is I use so many different fabrics in a single quilt that I don't use much of any one fabric so the stash never seems to go down. It helps to unsubscribe from fabric newsletters so I'm not tempted.

  6. I pick up a lot of fabric at guild sales and free tables and I think it would be very hard to track, but interesting~
    who is "they" in the spice drop saga????


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