Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tiny Tuesday: #23 Valentine

Another Tiny Tuesday successful week!
This week:  #23 Valentine... an easy block when it comes to the art of applique. 

There were no frustrating snafus to work through; it was very straight  forward and quick.

The directions mention needle-turn applique, but that is a technique I have not had success with.  Rather, the fusible webbing came out again.

Has anyone else joined in on the crazy tiny world besides Angela, Jill and me?  
It took me a year, but I MAY have my groove back for these little guys.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Procrastination meets Deadline.

So, recall last Tuesday when I loaded Diamond Fields onto the quilting frame and only did a couple of bobbins worth before walking away from it.  At that time, I had said LOTS of time was available without much of a rush needed to meet the Wedding deadline (this Saturday).
And honestly...I'm still not in too much of a need for a big crazy push to meet the deadline, even though I'm at a workshop for 8 hours today and tomorrow.... and appointments on Wednesday.... in addition to the afternoon swimming lessons as well, and the gardening that will be screaming at me Thursday, and an early Friday-morning departure time for the 10-hour North Dakota road trip.  Really!  I should have plenty of time to meet the deadline 8-)


as long as everything keeps running smoothly......

Holy buckets!!!!!  Imagine the noise that came from my machine when the bottom of the quilting foot broke clear off its shank!!!  It nearly gave me a full-blown heart attack!

And then....the PANIC!  
You have GOT to be kidding me!!!  I mean.....what???  Thankfully the machine wasn't damaged.  Thankfully the quilt wasn't damaged.   The needle (obviously) lost its life, but I have PLENTY of those!  
But a quilting foot?!?!?!?  

Who do I know that has a Juki?  What company do I know in the area that even carries Juki accessories????

 And then.....Good ol' Murphy lost at his own game!
When I checked my accessory bag..... A SPARE quilting foot was in it!   I had had the 1/4" quilting foot on the machine, and I completely forgot that a 1/5" quilting foot also came with the machine!!!!

...and the Heavens opened up and the Angels sang...

So, after a little loosening and tightening of some screws....I was back underway.  Tragedy escaped.

And I ALMOST finished it!  Almost.  I finished up the last bobbin I had prepped, and with the Olympics full underway, I simply wasn't in the mood anymore to wind up one more bobbin and finish it up.
Tomorrow, once I arrive back home at 4:00, I'll finish this up and hopefully get the binding on too.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Something new

Once the beans were FINALLLLLy finished this afternoon (even after gifting a bad full to my MIL who showed up on their way back from the up north), I cut up a couple of peppers to give dehydration a try!  Paul and I talked about trying dehydrated peppers;  not really sure how/when we'll use them, but....**shrug**??  We have enough that a couple in here won't hurt us.
Has anyone else dehydrated peppers?  What do you use them in??

Another something new....Giant Dill pickles.  And it comes with a story:
We planted SOME of the garden SUPER early this year due to the amazingly warm Spring we had.  We put 12 cucumber seeds in the ground....... but sadly after the first down-pour we had, most of the seeds were dudders.  They are in a new (lower) spot this year...and they simply were covered with layers and layers of erosion from higher up in the garden.
SO.....about two weeks later, we planted another 11 plants to have them fill in what didn't come up early on.  And sadly---ANOTHER big rain happened;  and only TWO of those came up.  SO about a week-n-a-half later, we planted all the empty spots again......and only THREE came up then.  SO, going from 18 plants last year to only 6 this year is a bit of a difference.  
But now...back to the picture:
The first plant has been producing strongly for the past week, but I've let them go and go and go...in hopes that some of the other plants would start producing in order to get some decent batches of Dill and Baby Dill pickles.
The cucumbers were simply getting too big, so rather than have them COMPLETELY go to waste, I grabbed a Gallon jar we saved (from store-bought pickles) and packed it with the big cuks.  Giant Dills---something new for us.  Plus, as you can see, the other plants are slowly starting to catch up :)

The day FLEW by!  Paul was able to finish up 11 chickens;  11 more remain. 

We didn't do much to celebrate his birthday;  we don't really go crazy on our birthdays.  BUT, I did whip up a batch of cookies :0)  {{I wonder who ate that missing one!!!}} ;-)

Happy Sunday!

Knock Knock... [update]

Who's there?


Bean who?

Bean awhile since we've had a harvest like this!

And we haven't picked the upper garden yet!!!!
Yup...I know what my day consists of; and it's not the Sewing variety of handwork!

At least it's mostly cloudy out there....

And what is Paul doing today? (his 41st Birthday, might I add :-) )

He's butchering the meat birds.

10:20 AM Update:
Mental note:  We do not need 103 bean plants next year
If we get a bean harvest like this every three days for the next week or so.....
OMGoodness!  We'll be eating beans at every meal until NEXT year's harvest! :-)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A productive Saturday (despite a snafu)

With coffee cup in hand this morning, I headed downstairs around 7:30 after sending Paul off with a kiss to one of the jobs he needed to work at this morning.  First up on my list was to complete Step #3B/4 of the QOV Mystery #28: Star Path.  And believe it or not----I PINNED those star points because the square-in-a-square units weren't quite coming out at 1/4".  Definitely worth the little bit of extra time needed :)  {{And notice the almost empty cup of coffee?  That may have been cup 3 or 4!!!!  Yikers!}}

THEN!  Since it is Rainbow Scrap Saturday AND the fact that my Jamestown Landing units were still waiting in layout stage on the floor (which I need SOON for when I finish up 'Diamond Fields.') I started piecing the top together.  It was either that, or pick up all the units for storage for some other day (aka: the start of a UFO).  :D  And you should notice----the right side of the screen is showing my Framed Rectangle leader-ender area.

And I was sewing along........finding a great rhythm......

I finished up the 36 block C(1) units for Framed Rectangle as my leader-enders between piecing rows for Jamestown Landing.....so I started leader-endering the 36 block C(2) units......

and....ummm.........**scratching head**......

Huh?  Okay...clearly there are measurements "off."  So.....I sat....LITERALLY for probably 10 minutes, TRYING to figure out what was going on.  The lower 6.5" strip NEEDED to be 6.5" in order to have the complete block C finishing at 12".  So, what on EARTH is going on?  Clearly the top unit is pieced correctly......using 4" center and 2" side units. ????? NO matter WHAT I did....I.  Was.  Confused.

I looked at the picture OVER and OVER and OVER......recalculated OVER and OVER and OVER.
What. Is. Going. On?

And then............LOOK CLOSELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The blocks don't finish at 10x12!  They finish at 10X13!!!!!!!!!!

For crying out loud!  How on EARTH did I miss that??????

And OF COURSE I had already cut out all 36 sets of matching units!  Goodness golly!

So.....what to do, what to do.  I couldn't see trying to cut more units at the correct size!  Besides, many of the scraps aren't available anymore in order to even DO that!

So....I thought!  Well...."this is Framed Rectangles!  What if I were to add MORE rectangles??!!?"

Hmmm?  Maybe?......
And then, when piecing the next row of Jamestown....I thought...."OHHH!  What if I were to add a splash of color????"

And then, as I pieced a few more rows.... and a few more leader-enders.....
I started playing on the design wall.

What if they BOTH were used in the quilt?.....

Maybe a MIX of both of them!??!??  For now...these idea are stewing in my brain.

 At least Jamestown Landing's center was pieced during all of that.

Timing was perfect too!  Just as I was putting the final stitches into Jamestown, Paul was arriving back home.  The boat was loaded up....a snack was had by all.....and we were OFF to the Lake to meet up with friends.

I hope your Saturday was amazing!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Swimming chills....

Week #1 of swimming lessons has come to an end.  I haven't done any sewing or midget prepping on the beach as I had hoped---simply too sandy for all that.  Instead, I've taken the iPad everyday with my Kindle APP installed, and have read, read, read and soaked up LOTS of Vitamin-D.

Sure, sure.....there were times I jumped in the water too!  In fact, today, when the last lesson was completed, the beach surprisingly cleared out down to almost no one.  We weren't in a hurry, so I jumped in the water with the girls and floated around for a bit with most of the swimming area to ourselves.
{{Do you see the two chairs along the waters' edge in the picture?  Do people do that around your areas too?}}

But now.....I'm home.  Wearing a performance-long-sleeve race shirt;  velour long snuggly pants, and warm, fuzzy socks.  The "after-swimming-chills" have crept in....the AC is a bit too much for me right now :)

Happy Weekend everyone!!!  Anyone have any amazing plans??
Me?  Gardening; quilting; boating..... the usual story :)

Tiny Friday (?): #22 Kaleidoscope

WOW!   Still on a Midget Blocks roll!!!  It's not Tuesday, but some midget inspiration was in my blood this morning, so....yeah :)

After attempting and attempting those frustratingly SMALL paper-pieced center sections of this block...with the partial seams:  I finally threw my hands up and said "If this block is ever going to get finished, it'll have to be appliqued!!!" :p

The center pieces of each section were eliminated;  Sorry!  But I'd rather have a finish that STILL is a cute 4.5" finish than have units of a block that sit and sit on the "will be done someday" pile :)

Every piece shown (pink and red) has been fused to a white background square and then machine stitched in place. 

Yay....some more Midget Mania progress.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tetris Week 2 and Family time :)

Yesterday morning, before the ickiness of the day hit me.... I had a successful couple of hours, "playing" tetris and piecing together the blocks into Week #2's placemat.

It was a great project to use up some batting strips from former projects.  They were pieced together with my walking foot and a wide zigzag.  With four more placemats planned over the next 4 weeks, I may tackle some of those strippy batting scraps :)

Regarding the end of the day yesterday...
We DID go out to eat at a local bar-n-grill.  And my mood DID improve while playing tic-tac-toe with Candace on the brown-paper tablecloths they use :)
PLUS, while there, it hit us:  It's WEDNESDAY NIGHT!!!  Many of our former volleyball teammates were showing up right around 6:00...decked out in flipflops, shorts and tank tops-----it was VOLLEYBALL NIGHT!  OMGoodness!  We haven't played in a few years, but it was nice to chat with everyone for a bit ... and even enjoyed watching some of the action before leaving to head to the library.  At the library, the girls and myself picked out some movies, ONE of which I've been meaning to see for quite some time....
So today, while cutting beans, I slipped the DVD in.  
WHAT a great great great chicky-flicky love story! :..)  (those would be tears falling from the eyes of the happy face)  Yup!  Big ol' tear jerker :)

And right now....we just put in....
We're ready for some laughs,..... hopefully :)

Happy Thursday!

Laundry detergent - test case

While sorting through the girls' clothes from the hamper this morning, I found THIS!...
And knowing that a few of us (myself included) really wanted to know what Elaine's Homemade Laundry detergent recipe could do, I determined this to be an EXCELLENT test case!
What a MESS!!!!  Set in dirt....berry juice....ugh.  Yup---a GREAT test-trial case.

No part of the shirt was pre-treated since it was buried in the hamper, however I gave the tougher-looking stains a spray of Shout before throwing it into the washer.  This shirt was included in my 'bleachable-whites' load....and of course, the homemade detergent.

The outcome.....
MOST of it came out and turned out white again.  And honest-to-goodness truth-be-known.... that one lower stain probably wouldn't have come out with commercial-brand detergents either.  Is that oil?????    What on earth did she get into????

So, it was not put in the dryer yet.  I sprayed those stains once more with Shout stain-remover and will let it sit and soak in a bit before it gets washed again.

Overall.... I'm pretty pleased with how clean it got.  That was one dirty shirt!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


One of those days today....
I don't think it necessarily started out that way, but is sure ended that way.

I finished sewing the Tetris week #2 blocks and turned them into a placemat.

I started prepping another Midget block

Then I needed to pick up Cassie from Volleyball camp.  From there, it kinda went kaphoey.

While picking up Cassie, I realized the "insurance person" was at school answering questions and meeting with people.  I realize our School Board has some tough decisions to make due to budget concerns {{Still wondering how lovely Scott Walker is so amazing for our State :| }}... and I wasn't really mentally prepared today for some impromptu insurance questions and concerns.  Short story:  there are two options the Board is offering us;  one seems incredibly STUPID as an option ($6000 deductible) while the other doesn't ($200 deductible), but the Board is offering some incentives for signing up for the higher deductible plan ((clearly it would save the District money in premiums costs))
So, much of the early afternoon consisted of looking over medical bills from the past two years to see how much money it WOULD have cost us had we had the higher deductible insurance plan.....
yada-yada-yada.  Not to go too much in detail there.....

And then it was some shortened-what-could-have-been-lengthy phone conversations with some coworkers who had a stronger working-knowledge of the two plans.....

and then some lengthy discussion with Paul...

and then Paul hits me with the $$ of his upgraded phone.  !?!?!??  Ummm...... what happened to just having a "simple" Text&Talk plan??? 

So anyway...yeah.....that's still kinda where I'm at.  Just too much $$ decision making at the same time.  
At one point, I was going a bit stir-crazy.....was NOT in the mood to sew....NOT in the mood to research phones and plans on the Internet anymore......so I paced a bit up on the deck....

...and then headed to the garden to pick beans.  


and now I don't have to pick them in the morning.

So dinner time.....What's for dinner?  Gah!!!!!!
I'm grabbing my car keys and we're going out.  SO not in the mood to cook.

Blah!  I'm trying to work out this mood.... I haven't felt this way since school let out for the summer.

New contacts - why did I wait so long?

If you wear contacts (disposable variety), I bet you know what I mean by the title of the post.

For those of you who don't wear contacts..... maybe I can make an analogy with quilting rotary cutting blades.

We go on... cutting away... knowing that cutting seems to be getting a little bit tougher... but we carry on.... prolonging the ultimate moment when we need to trash our current blade for a new one.

And then one day, we finally break down and put a new blade in.

Smooth cutting...
No fighting resistance...

Well, the same is true with my contacts.  When I first started wearing contacts, "my" brand was an annual variety;  not disposables.  Sadly, they were discontinued about 8 years ago, and I've lived with disposables since.  Two summers ago, my eye doc talked me into buying toric lenses due to my worsening eye astigmatism.  Okay.  I could do that.

At my appointment in April, he informed me that THOSE lenses were discontinued :\  BUT "the company was planning to bring them back on the market - late summer."  So, he sent me on my way with a 30-day trial disposable pair to help me "get by" until I could order my normal lenses.





My lenses were getting a bit bothersome (they are only 30-day lenses!) so I called last week to see if any information came through on my lenses.  Good news:  the lenses were back on the market!  I ordered a box for each eye (different prescriptions for each), picked them up yesterday before swim lessons, and......
ahhhhhhhh........putting my lenses in this morning;  .... it was like cutting with a brand new blade:

No fighting the terrible blink-blink-blink, waiting for the burn to go away

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My run with Cassie

The date of my last run:  June 27

.... ALMOST a full month ago....

Ugh!  Not good :|

Having spent two days at the beach, seeing members of my running email list out-n-about.... I felt the urge to find some motivation again.
I asked Cassie if she was interested in signing up for Cross Country now that she is a 6th grader; she said 'yes.'
We talked about the importance of being in some running shape before season starts (mid-late August). So, for the past two evenings, she's asked if it was cool enough outside to go for a run.
Tonight...we finally hit the road.

When we started out, I gave her a few pointers..... remember to breathe .... keep feet light.... use your arms.... be tall.....

And after our first planned walk break, I gave her the okay to pull ahead if she wanted to....


and by the time she hit the next planned walk-break location (foot of hill), she had increased the distance by quite a bit.

When I caught up to her, I asked her how she felt.
Seeing tears in her eyes when she looked at me.....she said.... "my toes hurt.  I think I have a blister between them."

So, after a little discipline, we started jogging again after reaching the top of the hill, but it was short-lived, and our 2 mile run was cut short to 1.67 miles.  Cassie's skiis feet have grown so much lately that she's outgrown her shoes.  Therefore, there may not be much running for Cassie until we get her some new shoes {{and those blisters heal}}.

The numbers:  1.67 miles (19:31; 11:43/mile)

QOV Mystery #28; Tetris; and some quilting

After dropping Cassie off for Volleyball camp, I came home and started sewing right away.  No gardening needed today since we took care of picking produce yesterday.

QOV Mystery #28: Star Path was first on my unwritten agenda.
Forty flying geese blocks were asked for, using the stitch-n-flip method.  With these units finishing at 3"x6", double-sewing for bonus HSTs was a definite!!!

The top stacks show the 40 units called for in this step;  3.5"x6.5" (unfinished)
and I elected to sew up the bonus HSTs right away into similar flying geese units; roughly 3"x5.5" (unfinished).  I can only only ONLY hope that ladies are NOT throwing away that "waste"!  Still incredible to think about all the bonus units possible by simply double-sewing. 

Melissa posted week #2's Tetris blocks, so I played the game twice and got to work laying out the pieces.
They haven't been sewn yet, because I needed to pick up Cassie from volleyball camp.

When returning back home, I got busy loading Diamond Fields onto the quilt frame and everything that goes with setting up a new quilt (cleaning, oiling, winding bobbins...).   
Before quitting at lunch time, I sewed through 2 full bobbins worth.  The wedding is next weekend;  I should have no problem getting this finished without even needing to push for the deadline.

Shortly we'll be heading out for day #2 of swimming lessons.  And you know what?!?!.......I can see taking a nap on the beach today;  I'm a bit tired.

Happy Tuesday.

Tiny Tuesday: #21 Snowball Flower

I don't know how long this Midget inspiration will last, and I'm not about to make a commitment that I know I may not be able to keep, BUT.....

Considering this is my 2nd midget block in two days, I am happy.

Block #20 really put me at a stand still!  But, today's block #21: Snowball Flower was pretty simple to create.  ((*Sort of.  Continue reading*))

I came across a HUGE roll of fusible webbing the other day when looking for another seam-ripper (when Cassie joined me sewing the Tetris blocks); I think some of it actually came from my grandmother's inheritance in 2007!  

I haven't been in the applique world for quite some time!
I pressed the fusible on the WRONG SIDE (actually, the "right" side) of the block!  The MOMENT the iron touched the paper, I realized what I had done (duh Amy!!!), but it was already too late!  The block was gunked up, so had to be tossed and redone.

The mistake wasn't enough to have me put the block away for another year, though.  And Block #21 is finished!  Really cute, too.

Now I wonder:  how long can I keep up with the Tiny Tuesdays????

Monday, July 23, 2012

A summer schedule

{{Candace chasing Ms. Emma, playing duck-duck-goose at the end of swim lessons}}
So this is and will be my view from 2:00 - 4:15 everyday for the next two weeks.
The day's tasks were getting met;  
beans picked with Caitlyn and Candace's help this morning;
Cassie was dropped off and picked up from Volleyball camp;
And Caitlyn and Cassie were taken almost directly to swim lessons at 11:00.

This is the first summer that the girls are able to take swimming lessons without any other task planned!  Having a lake in town, swimming lessons are given by the dock right in the lake.  I grew up with a large outdoor swimming pool in town, as well as a large swimming pool at the local high school;  my lessons were in the indoor HS pool.

Not having had them in lessons yet, it was a bit of a crap-shoot to know exactly which level to sign everyone up for.  Candace was pretty easy:  Level 1.  She hasn't even held her breath under water yet (until today, this is).  But the other two....??  
Caitlyn in level 2 seemed to make sense;  she can swim a short distance under water and has really taken to the water this summer with her "Beach Fun" summer school class.  But she can't float on her own.
Cassie---???  Jeez!  I've been working with her from time to time while at the beach, but she still hasn't mastered the back float, so....Level 2 seemed to make sense.
I know the instructors and shared my questions and wonderings with them, so they said they would evaluate Cassie during today's first lesson.  Results:  She graduated to level 3.  So then, this spurred a reshuffling of classes for the girls.  But it's actually a much nicer schedule now :D
Caitlyn:  Switched to the 2:00 Level 2 class
Cassie:  Level 3 at 2:45
Candace:  Level 1 at 3:30
Back - to - Back - to - Back
And for me---it means either LOTS of sun time;  LOTS of swim time;  LOTS of reading time;  LOTS of hand sewing work time..... :)

{{Caitlyn motoring around with Levi.}}
What a beautiful 1st day of swimming lessons.

Design Wall Monday 7/23/12

My Christmas Goose is on my design wall right now (Bonnie Hunter's Goose in a Puddle).   20 total blocks needed;  I have many block units cut and ready for piecing.

However... LOADED day today.
Drop Cassie off to Vball camp (8 AM)
Come home to pick beans and raspberries
Pick up Cassie for mid-morning snack (10 AM)
Take Cassie and Caitlyn to Swim lessons at 11AM (lasts 45 minutes)
Come home for lunch
Depending on how successful this AM picking is, preserve beans and make jam from berries.
OR do some sewing
Take Candace to Swim lesson at 3:30PM

The next few days will have this same schedule ('cept the beans and raspberries only need to happen every couple of days)

I have another Midget block I'd like to make before tomorrow
I have Step #3 to finish up for QOV Mystery #28
I need to load Julie's Diamond Fields to the quilting frame now that the backing has arrived and has been washed.
Jamestown Landing still awaits in layout stage on the floor
And Christmas Goose units are taking up my sewing table space.
The Framed Rectangles in blue have taken over the Leader/Ender table since Jamestown Landing graduated.
so much to choose from :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Midget handwork Sunday

Brace yourself Angela and Jill!!!!!

Yes...the Midgets made their appearance again today----after a one-year vacation!

I have NO IDEA what prompted me to stop mid-seam with my Christmas Goose piecing to pull out the midget blocks and take a peek at what the next few blocks were.  But, .... a little kick of motivation from SOMEWHERE had me prepping three blocks for applique.  LOTS of red!

I even completed the 20th block!;  the one that stopped me in my tracks last summer.
And you'll see----I altered it.  There was NO WAY this baby was going to get finished with those saw teeth in place.  Nuh-uh!  

A new kind of cooking: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Morning everyone!!!    
Something new in mind today:  Homemade Laundry detergent.  Little did Elaine Adair know that her off-topic comment about homemade laundry detergent would take the world by storm in the QuiltvilleChat yahoo chat group.

Since she posted it a couple of weeks ago, it has been nagging me in the back of my mind:  I wanted to try it!  With a working (smelly, stinky) husband and three tomboy girls, we go through laundry soap like there's no tomorrow!  One lady wrote in that this works out to be about 1 cent per load;  Hmmm... I'm determined to see how accurate she was!  {{and poop!  I can't find the receipt, but I'm pretty close on the price estimates}}

Liquid/Gel Laundry Detergent
Recipe courtesy of Elaine Adair; via QuiltvilleChat yahoo group with my own comments in italics :)
Ingredients:  All "Made in the USA"
1/2 cup: Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soap (Princeton, New Jersey).   ~$3.50/box  
1/2 cup: 20 Mule team Borax  (Scottsdale, AZ).   ~$3.50/box
1/3 bar: Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (Scottsdale, AZ).  $0.98/bar
{{All the these ingredients were found in my local Walmart, badabing right next to each other in the laundry area}}
3 pints hot water
1 quart hot water
2-gallon bucket
4 quarts hot water 

Grate 1/3 Fels-Naptha bar.   Mix in a large saucepan with 3 pints hot water.  Heat to melt, but do not allow to boil.

Stir in Super Washing Soda and 20 Mule Team Borax.  Stir until thickened.  (Ummm......I stirred for a few minutes; it didn't seem to get any thicker than when it started out, so.....??)

Remove from heat.  Add 1-quart hot water to a 2-gallon bucket.
Add soap mixture and mix well.

Fill bucket with more hot water, leaving a few inches at the top.  Mix well.
{{HIND SIGHT:  I was fortunate enough to have a 2-gallon bucket handy.  Yeah Paul!  This is a loosey-goosey measurement statement;   I should have kept track of how many pints/quarts of water I was adding to the bucket for those people who don't have a 2-gallon bucket.  I measured to 3" from top of mine;  I'll have to measure a little better the next time I make a batch.}}
UPDATE:  My 2nd batch, I kept track!  Add 4-quarts of water to your bucket.

Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens.
Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

 We ALWAYS have milk jugs laying around;  we use them in gardening quite a lot! 

Here are a few comments that have come up via the chat:
* Quite a few ladies say that their mixture never gels up.  Probably has to do with how much water gets added in the last step?
* There was some discussion on what to use to cook it and grate the soap.  Umm.....it's soap??
* Regarding the fragrance:  The fels-naptha bar has a pleasant light lemony-ish fragrance.  I still have the fragrance in my nose from making the batch moments ago;  I like it.
Okay... check it out.   And mind you---this is only QUICK math estimates on the fly!
Barely a DENT in the two boxes of dry ingredients.  
Guesstimating..... at LEAST 6 batches (maybe as many as 9?) per box!   
Since only 1/3 of the soap bar is needed....I'm imagining 2 bars (maybe 3?, so let's work with 3!)  3 bars at $0.98/bar....that's $3.00.  (I'm keeping amounts simple!)
Each box of dry soap:  ~$3.50each.  
So total:  $10.00 for 6 - 9 batches.  {{I'll be sure to keep track!}}
This produces roughly an equivalence to 1.75 gallons per batch (2-gallon pail not full)
therefore:  10-16 gallons total for $10.00.  {{Can you even get ONE gallon of Tide at that price?}}
Low end estimate:  $0.65 per gallon
High end estimate:  $1.00 per gallon
How many loads can go into one gallon?  
Well...there's 2 cups/pint;  2 pints/quart; 4 quarts/gallon.  So that's 16 cups/gallon, BUT the mixture only needs 1/2 cup per load.....
so.... 32 LOADS per gallon!  
Low end estimate: $0.02 per load
High end estimate: $0.03 per load

Hm.....seems like that lady who commented about 1 cent per load may not be exaggerating!

But even MORE impressive.........
I want to do a load of laundry !!!!!
Go figure.

How does it work???  Here's a test-case we documented:  Cassie's Test-Case shirt!