Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going Green

Have I mentioned that my friend Sarah is a troublemaker? :) I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. First she gets me hooked on the Yarn Harlot and knitting, now she's got me going green(-er). We were having an email conversation with some friends about various projects, and Sarah mentioned she's been making and using cloth napkins at home instead of paper ones. She said you can use them for more than one meal without washing them, "even with messy boys," and they're small enough that you don't really notice any extra laundry. She sent me this link to the tutorial she used to make hers and I spent several hours yesterday making cloth napkins:



This is a Good Thing, for two reasons. First, I'm sure it's better for the environment than using paper napkins all the time. Second, it's helping me use my stash, which is threatening to overflow my closet. The fabrics I pulled are ones that have been aging in my closet for a long time and I really couldn't think of anything I'd actually ever use them for. I made my napkins smaller than the instructions said, based on width of the fabric I had. I wanted to get at least 4 of them out of this piece of fabric. I actually got 6 but 2 of them are smaller than the others. They're still a bit bigger than the paper ones I have in the kitchen, so I guess they're fine. We used them at breakfast this morning - definitely prettier than plain white paper.

Sarah also sent me this link for making your own grocery bags. [If you plan to print the directions, only print the first 10 or 11 pages -- there are 100+ pages of comments!] I've heard that one of the local grocery store chains will take a nickel off your total for each of your own bags you provide, even if they are plastic ones. I haven't tested this out yet, but I'm going grocery shopping this afternoon, so I think I'll try it.

I haven't tried making the bags yet. They will definitely be more time consuming than the napkins, but if I make a bunch of them at once, maybe it won't be too bad. I have lots of cool novelty prints in my stash that I don't have plans for, along with a large box of plain solids that I rarely use these days. I should be able to find lots of nice outer bag/liner combinations. I'll have fun with these when I get around to them. I'm going to "quilt camp" at the beginning of next month, so maybe that will be one of the projects I take with me.

The cats had a good time with Mama in the sewing room yesterday. I had the window open so they could get some fresh air in the kitty hammock. Here's Blue "helping" me with the napkins:



They all like to lay on the cutting table because the (non-green) incandescent bulb in the lamp there gets nice and warm. Blue is a Siamese/tabby mix, as you can tell from the blue eyes and striped points. His hobbies include following Mama everywhere, playing fetch, and going down to the basement to listen to his voice echo. The first two have earned him the nickname puppy-cat. :) His following me around is pretty amazing considering that for the first 3 weeks or so after we brought them inside, he and Runt wouldn't let us touch them at all. They'd hiss, run and/or hide as soon as we got close to them. Neither of them spends a lot of time on our laps now, but they're usually in the same room with us, and Runt likes to sit next to us on the couch.

They had a third sibling who was tan with brown ears and a white muzzle, but it disappeared not long after the first time John saw it. I asked him about it, and he said that if it was still around when we took in Blue and Runt, we'd probably have 6 cats now instead of 5. If any more stray kittens show up, we'll have to build an addition on the house. :)

1 comment:

S said...

Hey, what do you mean I'm a troublemaker? Well, maybe. :-) But I made a set of napkins this weekend, too. Hmmm, what should I get you started on next...maybe I'll trace my backpack bag pattern and send it to you...