scraps thrifting/ yard sale

No Waste

Normally, my idea of a fire starter is a crumpled piece of newspaper with sticks on top. Apply flame with a lighter, match or torch.

Our wonderful Michigan neighbor, Sheryl , made us some of her special fire starters. Got damp sticks or slightly wet firewood? These are the answer!

They are made using a cardboard, dryer lint, finely chopped up fabric scraps, and melted ugly or broken candles. Combine in layers. I put a piece of foil or a cookie sheet under it until the wax sets, to protect my countertop.

Fire starters in a chunk

To use these, I will simply rip off one “egg cup” at a time. I place this on top of the newspaper…between the sticks, then light.

WV fireplace
Michigan cabin fireplace

This is the best use for those garbage fabric scraps ever!

Have you ever tried making or using these? These are the best! I love hearing from you in the comments.




Restoration…The Beginning

Recently, my sister sent me a family quilt to repair. Restore really isn’t the correct word. It can not be brought back to its original form with the pieces that are left.

It was most likely made by our great grandmother, Mettie Marie Cole McCullough. She lived most of her life in the rural farming village of Pine Glen, Pennsylvania. She was a farmer’s wife and mother of 10. Her quilts were utilitarian…the original weighted quilts.

This quilt was at my grandmother’s house.

utilitarian weighted quilt

This quilt is constructed from anything and everything that was at hand. It has wool patchwork. Straight seams were not important in construction. Warmth was the goal. Sashings are tan denim or duck, wool, and flannel. It is tied with green yarn. The batting is a badly deteriorated wool blanket. The backing looks like piece goods. It was seamed together in the middle of the back. The dark blue backing fabric is severely dry rotted. The binding is a rolled around portion of the backing. There is no label of any kind.

Back and batting

I need to do more documentation as I work on this quilt. I do have wool and denim fabrics in appropriate colors available. Some of the patches are in poor condition…falling apart at the seams or other holes.

Complete block

This quilt should be an interesting project. I think I will try to have it refashioned into a useable quilt as a Christmas present for my sister this year.

Have you ever tackled a project like this? Please share your projects and your thoughts on mine.



goals tranquility

📚Library Update

Our house is a modified A-frame. The loft above the living room is our “library “. Years ago, we built in bookcases on wheels (so there is storage behind the shelves, if needed). We added books…and then more books. Until it looked like this:

A miracle has happened!

Notice the shelves are hidden by bins, baskets and bags of books. Nothing was accessible. What a nightmare! It was no big deal…we were both so busy teaching that neither one of us had much time to read for pleasure. That all changed when we retired in June.

While we are awaiting the arrival of our first granddaughter, we are trying our best to stay busy. It took 3 days to transform this space. That kept us busy. Always be careful what you wish for!

First step, bring all of the stuff blocking the shelves downstairs to the living room…and sort, sort, sort.

Large bins are by author of multiple books. Small bins (not pictured) are sorted alphabetically by author.
Small bins are on the counter.
Look at the beautiful shelves!

To finish this project, we bought 3 mighty mover dollys (from Harbor Freight) for under the large, now sorted, bins. They can be easily moved from place to place to access any book in the room.

Example dolly…12” x 18”

What project have you been putting off? I am so glad this is finally completed! No more shame over this space ! 😁

Please share your thoughts in the comments!


quilting scraps

Sampler Spree Block Finale

I started the blocks from the Sampler Spree block in September 2022. I finished all but 1 block on January 4, 2023. (That unmade block needed templates…uh, no…never.) Here is the final tracking sheet:

Tracking sheet helped move this project forward.

Here are the final blocks:

And the last few:

I love that little star!

I am planning to use the layout in the book to assemble the top. I am going to sort the blocks a little differently though.

What project have you made progress on recently?

Later, Lorrie