My new batting arrived this week (I ordered it in May when I was at Quilt Market in Portland) It's made by Quilters Dream Batting and it's called Dream Green. It's a polyester batting made 100% from recycled plastic bottles and can be quilted up to 12" apart. I'm not sure what project I'm going to use it in but I can't wait to get started!
I needed a birthday gift for my cousin-in-law Camille so I made a quillow on Monday. If you are not familiar with this term it is a quilt (and I use this term loosely) that folds up into a pillow. I absolutely love these things- I have 3 of them on my couch that I curl up with in the evenings, but I had never made one before- the ones that I have were all gifts. Now I know that there is a pattern for these suckers floating around somewhere-I've seen it once- but any quilter can look at them and know how to make it without the pattern. I'm not talking about anything fancy- the front is solid cotton (no piecing) 2.5 yards long and the width of the fabric determines the width of your blanket, so somewhere between 40 and 45 inches wide. The back is polar fleece with a pocket of the front material sewn on it- this is what the blanket folds into to make its' own pillow, but when the blanket is open it's the perfect size to shove your feet in so your toes don't stick out of the blanket. There is no batting in the main body of the blanket and the back and front are sewn together pillowcase style and turned inside out so you don't even have to put a binding on it. There is a square of batting in the pocket on the back, but the pocket was made in the same pillowcase style. I quilted a few horizontal lines across the blanket because the polar fleece sagged so bad but you don't even have to do that- 1 of the quillows that I have doesn't have any quilting at all and another is just tied every so often and they have held up very well (they are now about 10 years old and have seen heavy use and the hot cycle of my washer many times.) It was nice to have a project completed from beginning to end in one day, but I've decided that I hate polar fleece and I hope to never work with it again, so for my next quillow I'm thinking something pieced with batting in the middle and a real binding around the edge. I know, I know... another picture with crappy lighting- to give you an idea of what this really looks like the polar fleece on the back is sort of a sagey olivey green and the fabric in the front is a Hoffman batik from over 5 years ago- the print is of grapes and the colors are a mottled brown and green with a splash of gold and purple every once and while.
I just finished reading "Composting" by Liz Ball and "The Urban/Suburban Composter" by Mark Cullen and Lorraine Johnson and was itching to start my own compost pile, so Ryan built me a holding unit yesterday out of 4 old pallets that had recently been delivered to his store. The back and two sides are held together with screws and a couple scraps of wood and the front panel is loosely held in place with a few zip ties so that it can open for easy turning. I am very excited about the whole process and I can't wait to see how much this reduces our weekly trash output. A few interesting things I learned from the books- you can put dryer lint and the contents of your vacuum bag in the compost, also natural materials- so that old clothing that is too stained or damaged to give to the Salvation Army or any little bits and scraps of 100% cotton quilting materials can now be composted instead of tossed- just make sure to cut it up into little bits first (I think they recommended 1" squares) so that it doesn't take forever to decompose.