Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What to do with the things I am Sending out the Door.

I feel like I am making some progress in clearing out fabric that I will never use and fabric that is so thin I can read the can of Scotch Guard across the room.  I cannot believe how thin some of my fabric is.  It is wild.  I mean when you can read the label on a can that is across the room, you know that the fabric has to be way to thin to hold up. I am talking several pieces of fabric. I and giving them to my dear husband to use with his art students, so they are going to a good cause, just not into my quilts.
I keep looking at the shelf of magazines and patterns and telling myself, "you need to go through those and get rid of the ones you know you will never make."  I did that with my clothing patterns this weekend, but quilt patterns are harder to let go of.  I kept the clothing patterns for jackets, as I do make quilted jackets and bags, but sent the skirts, and most dress ones out the door. I kept that few that are jumpers that I do like to wear and may make a few more of, but most of those patterns are in the bag for goodwill.
Now, what to do with all the quilting ones? I am thinking this weekend would be a good time to take them with me to the quilt store to let others go through and see if they find treasures in my trash, so to speak.  First off I would rather they go to a good home than to the thrift store, and secondly, I know I could try selling them online and will consider that options over the next few days. The draw back to that is that I then have to take the time to photograph and post them, list prices, and then make the trek to the post office to mail them.  Plus set up a Pay Pal or some other account in order to receive payment. I think I need to sleep on this for a few days before deciding what to do.
Looking in my sewing room and seeing the mess it is at the moment with things here and there and everywhere, I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to tear it apart and start reorganizing and cleaning.  I know I can do it, but at the moment it looks overwhelming.  "Tomorrow is be another day" to quote Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, and I know things will look better in the morning when I am not so tired.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reorganization Day Two

"Organize:  To put together into an orderly, functional, structured whole.
a. To arrange in a coherent form;...
b. To arrange in a desired pattern or structure..."

Organizing is a very time consuming process and the clearing out of clutter takes a lot of work.
I am having a hard time, but have found some things to get rid of and I still have a way to go before I have the room emptied out.  There is a lot of stuff just dumped in there on the floor.  I have too much stuff. 
I made one decision. Fabric from Joanns from years ago is leaving.  If I have not used it in a craft project yet, I never will. In reality I moving it over to my husband's room so he can use it for projects with his art students. Keeping only LQS (local quilt shop fabric), which is good quality fabric.
Old patterns for clothes are going out the door also. I even have a UFO that I am sending away. It is a skirt I started like 100 twenty years ago and never finished.  I kept thinking, I will finish that and wear it, NOT!  
I spent some time today going through scraps and making a pile of those too small to do anything with, so will take them to the LQS and donate them to the dog beds bag. They are collecting scraps for dog beds for the local shelters.  A couple of the women make them.
I am also trying to organize things that are for specific projects together in bags so I have it all together when I am ready and looking at a few fabrics to move from usable to possible quilt backs, since I have several yards of them. 
At the moment my goal is to empty the room and redo the shelving so I can organize things in a more efficient manner. I am putting fabric into boxes and will sort it as I put things away so they are categorized by color and amount. I do have a lot of the fabric already sorted by color and one yard or greater than one yard increments.  I just need to find a better way to store it.
Beth gave me a great idea. I need to bag and label things with the pattern I plan to use so they are ready to start when I am ready. 
I plan to put kits in fabric boxes on the shelves so they are ready to go, and works in progress in another fabric box, unless it is one I am currently working on. Those are in plastic 12x12 boxes with handles ready for me to carry to class or to workshops.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Sewing Room Reorganization Begins

Tonight I started pulling things out of my sewing room. The room is a real disaster and I am not posting before pictures just believe me when I say it is a total disaster and there is not room to move around.
First was a box of jeans.  I am saving them to make another denim quilt.  I love the one I made before and though I use it in the family room, I like it in the car in the winter as it is heavy and warm.  I am thinking I may make another and back it with fleece to keep in the car.  I thought of making another denim jacket, but decided that if I did I would want to do a longer one and the weight would be too much, so ruled that idea out.  For the moment I am keeping the denim.
Next came the Christmas fabric, or at least most of it. I folded and stacked it in plastic bins for the moment.  I plan to go through it when I put it back in the room and decide if I want to keep it, share it with friends, or donate it.  This is the plan for all fabric.  I have two tubs of Christmas fabric and I know there is more hiding in my sewing room. Will I ever make that many Christmas quilts?
The third thing I pulled out and boxed up for the moment was quilt/wall hanging tops that are done or in need of borders. I have four 31 quart tubs and one 15.5 quart tub.  Now I should say that some of the tubs also have quilt backs or the fabric for backs folded with the quilts. There is one wall hanging pinned and ready to hand quilt as well as a wall hanging and a table runner that just need the binding hand stitched down  I did not count how many items are in topsville.  Plus there is one top and backing sitting to the side that is ready to drop at the quilters.  (She has four other quilts of mine at the moment.)  One goal this year is to finish these, including binding.  I have several backs cut and ready to piece in these tubs, but am waiting a while before sending more off to the quilter.  I also have several smaller ones set aside with backs for me to quilt.
I stopped for the night and will tackle my sewing room reorganization again tomorrow.  
I am hoping to get it all cleared out tomorrow and start putting things back together on Sunday and Monday.  I sub Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday next week and sew all day Saturday and Sunday.  I really do not want this to be stretched out over several weeks, so we shall see how much I can get done tomorrow.  There is an awful lot of stuff hiding in that room, and I have not looked in the closet in several years. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kitchen Sink Jacket

My kitchen sink jacket  is making progress. I am quilting away on it, though it seems to me that I am not moving as fast as I would like. It is a slow process as I cannot quilt for too long in one sitting. The back is looking good so far and I am trying some different stitches as I work.  Most of the quilting is not visible on the back, but from the inside it does stand out on the lime green fleece lining.

I am hoping to have it done to wear when I head down to Missouri, but we shall see as there still a long way to go on the quilting.  I am about half done with the back and still have both sides of the front to quilt, so it may not be done what with my subbing and other things in life.
I am trying to spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day working on it, but when I sub that can be cut short due to being tired.
Machine quilting is enjoyable, but I tense up my shoulders when I am concentrating and that is hard on this old body. The end result of all this will be that I will have a warm colorful coat to wear, so it is worth it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

UFQs Making Progress

I spent yesterday at a LQS (Local Quilt Shop) working on my UFQs (Un-Finished Quilts) during the Block Buster workshops, both day and evening. During that time I busted me some UFQs.  I had several tops that were done, but needed backs so I set to work cutting backs. I cut 8 backs, and pieced 4.  One of them I did a lot of piece on to make it large enough to fit the quilt.

I turned the four I got the backs pieced on over to the quilter last night and hopefully will have the one I asked for a rush on back by the beginning of February. One of her long arms is down.  They are just all over designs, so no fussy quilting. 

Debbie Caffrey Mystery: Cut to the Chase. Pieced background with Navy and the wavy red strip.

Left over Plaid Quilt with Popcorn Backing.

Debbie Caffrey Mystery: One More Time, with Mardi Gra Fabric borders and backing.

Debbie Caffrey Mystery: Simple, Scrappy, & Sensational with a pastel purple backing.

I spent the rest of the day working on the New Year's Day 2012 Mystery designed by Pam V., which has not become a UFQ.  I had the blocks all sewn and the sashing all sewn, but needed to cut the rest of my corner squares and put it all together. I got to work on the top and almost finished it. I got the top with the inner boarder attached, done before the day was over, and cut the outer border, which is the floral (focal) fabric. The backing is ready to sew, and then it will be off to the quilter. I am hoping to finish it up this week, and drop it by the quilt store on Friday, when she works. If not I will wait until the next Friday or the first Friday in February as there is no rush and she has four others of mine already.  As long as the top and backing are done and waiting for the quilter, it is not a UFQ in my book.  Now once they come back and are waiting for binding they are once again UFQs.  
NYD2012M "Surround"
In the next month I hope to work on the other two mysteries that I have started and I signed up for a Heart Crazies, Buggy Barn class the end of the month.  I think it will make a great gift. Can't say for who without spoiling the surprise, because I do not always know who visits my blog.

Until next time, happy sewing.......

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Word of the Year and Goals

Lake in Ireland

I am participating in Quinn McDonald's 30 Day Creativity Practice and Pat Sloan's challenge to pick a word for the year to focus on.  My word for 2012 is    


Lake in Ireland
I plan to celebrate everyday.. It does not have to be a large celebration or even a major event. I can celebrate that I exercised, or finished a block for a quilt, or even that I just got out of bed that day. It is the fact that I will be focused on the positive each day.  Looking at the bright side of things, and not the negative. If you want to join in go to either Quinn McDonald's or Pat Sloan's blog  I also found another blogger who believes in picking a word for the year Ali Edwards  at and I am thinking of joining her class, One Little Word.  To quote Ali:
"Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2012? It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought, or a feeling, or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word - this is YOUR word.
One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet.
Again, be open to the possibilities."

I also made a list of my goals to focus on in 2012.
  • Finish UFQs and try not to add new UFQs, but rather finish projects I start, and this applies to all areas of life, not just quilting, as I have some other unfinished projects I need to finish.
  • Simplify and organize, meaning to clear things out that we do not need. Purge things if you will, and pass them on to those who can use them.  This can be as simple as cleaning out a draw in the kitchen, or clearing your closet of clothes you have not worn in the last year.
  • Focus on my health, meaning eat right and exercise more.
  • Write/Journal, spend more time focusing on my writing and my journals and delving into myself and my creative side. I find I am more focused and sleep better when I write each night before bed, as it clears my head. This includes doing a better job of writing and posting my blog each month.  My ultimate goal is to try to post once a week, but for now I am focusing on once a month and taking it month by month.  I do not know how some people manage to post daily.
  • Explore other creative avenues.  I am considering taking a pottery class, or a watercolor class.  There are two books I am planning to read and explore this year.  Quinn McDonald's Raw Art Journaling and Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.  I have both and have dabbled with them, but I plan to start reading one tonight and take a step forward with exploring this part of me.
  • Read and expand my knowledge.  This includes anything from novels to cookbooks, or travel guides. It is the reading that brings me pleasure and increases my knowledge.
  • Family, chatting with my cousin this morning we realized that we are the only ones in our family who stay in close touch and even then we are not perfect. I think the connections cracked and it started to fall apart when my grandmother moved to a nursing home and passed away.  Before that her home was the gathering place. 
  • Last but not least, is to focus on my word for 2012. CELEBRATE!!