Monday, August 4, 2008

A little bit greener...

Today my son and I went in hot pursuit of school supplies. Yes, he is only three, but his preschool supplies list was impressive in length nonetheless. It is a relief to have all of the items checked off the list and taken care of, and all from one store to boot. At the end of our little excursion, I purchased two of the reusable shopping bags in the checkout line.

Every time I see them, I mean to pick up a couple, but I always forget. Disclaimer: if you are against shopping at the big-box store, you'll have to forgive me and at least offer me a pat on the back for trying to go green. And please don't have a heart attack when I tell you that not only do I pick up my non-grocery items at the big-box retailer, but I also shop at their smaller, grocery store chain as well for most of my food items. I'm sorry, but in this economy, their prices are certainly hard to beat. Up until now, I'd been trying to figure out how to take in reusable bags to the grocery store because of how their bag carousels are already set up and preloaded with the plastic bags, but to my delight, I noticed an extra little loop sewn in the top of their reusable bags that is meant to clip specifically onto their bag carousels. Eventually I will only own reusable bags (at $1 each, I couldn't make my own any cheaper) and completely do away with using any paper or plastic. At least up until now we have been reusing the plastic bags as "poo-poo bags" to tie up the stinky diapers in. Baby steps, baby steps...

My son, who is supposed to be napping, just wailed "Mama! Mama! Mama!" from his room at such an alarming decibel level that I figured I should go in to see what the problem was. Perched on the edge of his bed, he happily informed me, "No hittups, Mama!" and repeatedly pointed to his throat. I congratulated him and ordered him right back into bed to try closing his eyes and resting since naptime is far from over. How random and silly he can be, especially since he didn't even have hiccups, but was apparently on the sunny side of the street today and dwelling on the good things I guess?

Sometime last year I won a "layer cake" from a great quilting blog. A layer cake is a stack of 10" squares (mine had 38 squares), and I won the stack of April Cornell's collection, "Portugal", from Moda fabrics.

(image via Fat Quarter Shop)

It's been sitting in my big container of fabric for quite a few months, so I figured I needed to get it out and do something with it. Normally this fabric wouldn't be what I would pick out from the fabric store myself, but I do love it and think it is perfect for, yep, you guessed it, a cozy throw quilt. I looked at pattern after pattern online, but when I found this Threaded Pear pattern, I knew I'd found the right one.

(image via Fat Quarter Shop)

I decided I liked the smaller of the two quilts pictured on the pattern (which worked out since I wouldn't have had enough squares for the larger one), so I laid out my squares haphazardly on the floor in the same fashion. Once I had them laid out, I cut out the smaller filler squares (along the edges), and voila! All it needs now is to be sewn together into a quilt top. My intention was to order the pattern, but after laying all my squares out on the floor, I realized I wouldn't even need the pattern after all. And all for free -- free fabric + free brainpower to figure out the pattern = free quilt top! The only thing that will cost me will be the fabric for the binding and the backing (unless I have something that will work already in my stash, which I don't believe I do), the batting, and the cost to have it quilted (we already all know how much I love having them professionally finished). But still, not too bad. Depending on how it turns out, I may keep it (the good Lord knows I need another lap quilt like a hole in my head) or I may gift it. We'll just see.


Karen said...

I have those bags too and I love them 'cause for a buck I can just toss them in the back of the car and if they happen to get lost, who cares? They are really durable too - we got ours last year and they still look like new! What a deal!

We got our school supplies there too!

tag's team said...

Hey I need some of those bags, I saw them online, but I haven't seen them at the grocery store... I get dirty looks when I do the self check-out and just set my items on the scale and then put them in my own bag. I feel good about saving plastic... but I don't think the workers see it that way!

Way to go on making some changes... it is hard to do (and remember to take the bags)!