October 7, 2007

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Another long day here in our little town. Daddy left for a golf weekend with his buddies and wanted to walk Aine to school. My girls are a bit of mommy's girls and she was refusing to let her daddy walk her to school. Makes me feel loved, but I hate that poor daddy feels slightly put out!! In the end she went happily skipping off to school with her daddy so all was well!

Aisling was invited over to her little friend Sophie's house (I suppose I should call her her big friend Sophie, as she will always be called "Big Sophie" by Aisling, despite the fact that another girl she calls "Little Sophie" is a year older than Big Sophie and is one of Aine's good buddies... I remember listening to an argument one day in the car over which Sophie was which... life is never dull). Anyway... Sophie's mom very kindly gave us a ton of great clothes and toys for the kids. Aine is in the photo here putting together their new alphabet foam mat...she loves it!
Aine installing her new Alphabet Mat

It kind of got me to thinking about the many ways people these days are so much better about recycling and doing other thing more environmentally conscious. Don't get me wrong, we all have a long way to go, but there is definite improvement over the last few decades!

I love getting hand me downs from friends, clothes and toys get a new lease of life, and it lets us spend what money we have saved more frugally.  I never understand people who buy their children only new clothes of the best labels, they get dirty and stained from the normal life of kids the minute they put them on! That is not to say that I don't love and appreciate these gorgeous trendy clothes, lol, I just love to get them in charity shops instead of new! When the kids outgrow clothes, toys and even furniture (just gave friend Kathleen our changing table now that Aisling is potty trained!) it gives me a greater sense of satisfaction to pass these on to friends or charitable organizations than to add to landfills...

Aine's school is doing a great job with the kids teaching them to recycle. Aine was "on jobs" this week, she got to lead the class and got to bring the bread crusts out to the birds during lunch, the other girl on jobs with her did the compost with their apple cores and orange peels... It is great that they are learning so early! Both my girls help recycle at home, and help me take peelings out to our own compost bins.

All our lovely swaps we do through our internet and blogging connections help us all to reduce or recycle too! Our giveaways help us reduce, lol. (Thanks everyone for taking everything off my hands, all the patterns and magazines are gone now!) Swapping might not help us reduce, but it gives us variety without having to buy more stuff in and that has got to be good right? Look at this gorgeous fabric Karol Ann sent. I swapped her some rose fabrics for these gorgeous African ones!
Karol Ann's African Fabrics

As a scrap quilter, I find it hard to thrown anything but the smallest bits away...and come to think of it, I bet those cotton scraps would do fine on the compost heap instead of the bin! I even keep small pieces of batting, figuring I'll use them for either rag quilts, or other small projects eventually, or maybe even as pillow stuffing... I'm slowly trying to reduce my stash as well, and have very little yardage, mainly scraps for my projects... I love it!!  I also love that we crafters and quilters can take scraps of things and turn them into useful beautiful objects, repurposing old dresses, shirts...

Just a bunch of random thoughts I had this weekend, but somehow they all link together... It has been a long weekend alone with the girls, and not much quilting was done till today when daddy came back from his golfing weekend. I made a blitz to finish a whole row this week, and am now up to 116 blocks on the Dear Jane!! I only have 4 rows of squares left, then the quilt must come off the frame to quilt the triangles...should get to start on the triangles before Christmas at this rate! When I started my Dear Jane, I didn't have any reproduction fabrics, but through meeting wonderful people on the Dear Jane mailing list and online, I have been able to trade for most of the fabrics I used in the a few scraps I was generously given at the start of my journey and amassing a larger collection as I went along, I called her my Frugal Jane! I remember trading Irish thimbles and siggies and scraps... Why buy more when you can share and trade? And I've continued to share what I've been given, passing scraps on to fellow and future Dear Jane quilters! Reducing and recycling some more...
Dear Jane Row (really column 1) quilted

I'm off to work on dad's Bend mountain quilt upstairs...if the kids ever quiet down and go off to sleep!!


Hedgehog said...

I'm amazed at home you're coming along with Jane! Went to a charity shop today and picked up some fabric for future projects - I want to do more of that with my quilting. Hope your girls' generation will really put into practice what they're learning now about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Love those African fabrics, too!

Holly said...

DJ is looking so good! I love seeing pictures of it.

Julia said...

Your DJ is looking good..
what a great acheivment it will be to see it finished.

Tazzie said...

Sharing fabrics and scraps is how our pioneer quilters did it. So, I guess in some ways we're heading back to the roots of quilting. Way to go on your DJ, you'll be finished before you know it!

Jessica said...

Your DJ is so pretty! I can't wait to see it finished!

Verry Sherry said...

hi Cathi
that DJ quilt is going to be a such a beautiful work of art! it is already!
yes, compost your scraps--if they're cotton. I do with all mine. Even most big recyclers (ie., our recycle center in Wicklow) take fabrics to tear down into useful shreds. But I'm a scrapper too-mine don't go til they're less than 2 inch pieces and even then I hesitate.

I'm organizing my fabrics so I always have a steady stream of FQ that I might be unattached to and willing to swap next time around. I'm never that together to act!

anne bebbington said...

You know Cathi - patchwork and quilting really has its roots in recycling - I love reusing charity shop finds - it all makes the world go round and as my mum has always said 'Never refuse anything but blows' - afterall even if you can't use it yourself there's bound to be someone you know who can :o)

Andrea said...

Lovely post as usual. I can't believe I used to throw away my scraps - a big pile of them made me nervous. Now the more the merrier. I love charity shops and love seeing what other people no longer want. I'm also a member of Freecycle and have got rid of loads of stuff that way. I have a friend who only dresses her 2 girls in expensive designer gear and I think how that money could be spent in a better way. Not for me to interfere though !

ruthsplace said...

The DJ looks amazing.

My youngest brother is 12 years younger than me and his school experience was much different to mine. In the 80s we worried about the USA and USSR blowing each other up. He got to learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle. I love sewing and quilting for that very reason, that every scrap can be used up.

colleen said...

Hi, I appreciated what you shared about recycling.Love what your girls are learning in school.I also enjoyed the pics of the African fabric...I live in South AFrica right now..and have been quilting with the Schwe-schwe...geometric prints on the top row. I love using it.Thanks for sharing with us. Colleen

Sarah said...

Birds and other nesting critters might appreciate the itsy bits quite a bit! Good idea.