Category Archives: Organization

Falling into Fall

My goal for 2018 has been to reduce my Works in Progress (projects that have been started.)  These do not include Hospice quilts.  I had about 25 in January and now I have exactly 11 in project boxes.  In addition, there are  2 quilt tops that need a border, another that needs stitching around the appliques and one quilt top that I will quilt. One quilt top is on the way to the longarm this week and another that I am hand stitching the binding.

Then there are the projects – yummy fabrics and a pattern or sketch in a box that hasn’t been started. There are 8 of those. I could easily add about a dozen more, but am tying myself down! Chasing less squirrels!!

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Something fairly simple and fun planned for these great prints!

There are labels to be added to several Hospice quilts and bindings on a few that are being quilted by other volunteers. I love looking at the pile of quilts being donated this year. It warms my heart knowing they will be giving comfort to those in need.

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Oh the fabulous colors of Blueberry Park – can’t wait to dive into these!

Three of my WIPs are going to retreat with me in a few weeks. It’s a four day retreat so I’m hoping to get lots done!

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A fun kit waiting patiently for its turn.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with the progress. I’ve committed next year to more finishing. I want to get the WIPs down to four before I begin one of the projects waiting in the wings. (I can hear my quilty besties laughing wildly). I will be opting out of some obligations which will give me the time to enjoy my projects more. The tendency to over commit is crazy and I know I’m not alone! I am also looking forward to more travel, 5 or 6 retreats (2 are my Quilt & Sew-Ins) and day trips with Hubby.

Do you have or make goals in your creative life?

Project listing Sept 2018

I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey. I really appreciate all my readers and love all the comments – thank you! Your support means so much to me.

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Sewing Machine Pin Cushion

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Here’s a quick and fun little project – and it’s very handy! I wrote this pattern and prepared little kits for a quilt retreat as a make and take for each person attending. I find this very handy on my Passport sewing machine which is the one I travel with. Hope you enjoy it and I would love to know if you made one!

Materials:  Strip fabric 2 1/2″ wide x size needed. (Decide where on the vertical portion of your sewing machine you want your pincushion and measure around, add 2 1/2″.)

Batting: cut rectangle 4 1/2″ x 4″ ; Velcro – 2 one inch squares; Tacky Glue or “Okay to Wash It” glue

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Press under 1/4″ on one lengthwise side. Press under 1/4″ on each short end.

Batting: Starting at a short end, fold batting over 1 inch, then continue to end. Secure with a little glue. Place batting on center of strip.

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Fold over raw edge of fabric, then finished edge. Glue the length in place. Stitch beside both sides of batting, as close to batting as possible.

Stitch short ends closed. Place around sewing machine and mark where Velcro should be placed. Sew Velcro in place.

Attach to your machine, fill with pins and enjoy!

 

 

New Sewing Machine Table

This quilter is so lucky to have a hubby who is not only very handy, but very willing to improve my creative space! I recently got a new Jazz machine that I blogged about here. My Bernina is set into my big sewing desk and I love it.  We talked about the possibility of doing something similar for the Jazz with the craft table I had. It proved to be easier and much better to just make a whole new one.  Hubby sketched it out and went to work.  Amazing – he had it built within two weeks! I had the chore of sanding and painting.  Not my favorite chores, but not to complain when the end result was a great table complete with bookshelves!

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Hours after the paint dried we carried it to the table’s new home. It took me about two seconds to begin rearranging things and filling up the shelves!  I have even quilted one Hospice quilt on it and am prepping another.

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There’s a back shelf for the Jazz’s parts and bobbins, and my empty project containers.  The front shelf has my books, small dies for the Big Kick and photos that I plan to get to (someday). I recently mightily downsized my book collection and have found that I now enjoy them more. The top of the desk is also home to my Scan n’ cut.  Hmmm…now I’m thinking it may be fitting to recover my chair…

What I’ve Been Working On

I’m a planner. It seems to be my nature. Some of it probably comes from years of administrative work and deadlines. I’m the one when going on a retreat or trip is packed days ahead of time. (Spring retreat is in four weeks and my projects are packed!) I do think it’s a good thing although it tends to make a few folks think perhaps I’m a bit off balance!

As an Island Batik Ambassador, we’re sent the year’s calendar events with project themes.  I’ve combined getting ready for retreats with my Island Batik Adventures – I’ve sketched, written plans and cut fabrics. My April project, “Vintage made New” is done and here are the fabulous fabrics I used. I can’t wait for my reveal very soon! I am ridiculously giddy about this one.

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“Playful Pillows” is the May event, and I’ve got a real cutie planned for a much needed new pillow for our sofa in our TV watching area. Here are the fabrics all ready:

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June’s event is “Modern Batik Challenge.” I have a really fun baby quilt planned, combining a scrappy modern look with applique. It will make a terrific baby gift using these fabrics:

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I found July to be somewhat challenging. Not so much in finding a pattern, but finding one I wanted to use. The challenge is “Pattern Play, Secondary Pattern.” These too are all cut and ready to sew at retreat:

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August is our Great Outdoors Blog Hop. This is when all the ambassadors reveal a newly released fabric line using a Spring/Summer 2018 bundle. I was so excited about the beautiful fabric line I received I went right to work. I had an idea all sketched out, but one evening I went through my pattern bin and found a pattern I’ve had for years and have always wanted to do. Yup – next day I had it all cut out and it is now nearly done! Just a bit more quilting and binding!

There may not be a lot to show here, but you can see I have been busy planning and prepping. I have a few ideas for the rest of the year, but will hold off as we’ll receive a new shipment of fabric in July and the fabric will be part of the inspiration. Now I can go ahead and pull out a work in progress bin and make some progress there. Should have something to share soon!

Lots of Prepping

12687[1]Finishes – I’ve had a couple but they are “secret” for now. I am also spending much time prepping – prepping for the Fall retreats and what I’ll be sewing at those retreats.

First up is my December Island Batik project. Yes, I work ahead – it’s just my nature. I actually have September’s project done (to be posted on September 27 with a give-away), October’s project done and just need to quilt January’s project. We have the month of November free, with no project. I’m so thankful we are given our full list of projects in the beginning of the year. Without revealing too much, I’ll just say that I cut all these most gorgeous blue, purple and silver batiks into strips. It will be such fun, easy sewing at retreat!

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Project Boxes (Medium)

Secondly, I am doing a scrappy quarter square log cabin. I was inspired by Stitched in Color. This is so truly scrappy – I went through each of my six scrap containers and cut, cut, cut. The sashings are with a turquoise grunge. I know I will love this quilt!

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Do you work ahead? Do you plan your projects or work purely by inspiration?

Three Hospice Finishes & July Round-Up

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One of my goals the last couple of weeks has been to move along the Hospice quilts I have to be completed.  The bright one above is a smaller lap quilt. The blocks in this next quilt were all pieced at a retreat by all those in attendance and I put the blocks together at my residency in June. This week I finally got it quilted and bound and am quite pleased with the results. I’ve also been working on my free motion quilting and think I’m finally getting the hang of it with simpler designs. Yes, I know, “practice, practice, practice!”

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The third quilt top was donated by a reader and quilted by a friend on her long arm. Thank you so much Cindy B – it is such a time saver for me and she does such a great job!

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My big goal for August is to just enjoy working on some of my many projects.  I reduced my list quite a bit, only listing those projects I have been working on or will work on in the next month. The others are still in their boxes on the shelf and will be gotten to eventually. Up to now I have never minded having so many projects in the wings. Lately they have made me a bit anxious and other than the monthly Island Batik Ambassador projects, I will not begin any new ones until the number is greatly reduced. A by-product of getting older maybe? This has been the case in my whole house. Every closet, cupboard, drawer and storage space has been cleaned out and many, many things donated. It has been VERY freeing! I will not stress about completing the projects, however, I will continue to enjoy the process.

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Linking up with Jo’s Country Junction  and Needle & Thread Thursday

Boredom and Polka Dots

Boredom – something I do not experience. Except for yesterday. Oh my, it hard! Way too hot to go outside. Wasn’t feeling the sewing vibe which resulted in unsewing. Became a couch potato for a while and that was really not fun – increased the boredom a gazillion percent! Cleaned up my studio – oh boy, that took all of 30 minutes! Couldn’t work on the computer because Hubby was rebuilding it. Finally, I pulled out my bin of polka dot fabrics.

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And do have a fair amount of polka dots because I really love them. I laid them all out by color. Most were 6″ wide strips so I rolled up each color. The fat quarters were stacked together at one end. Oh how much nicer it looks. I should have taken a before pic – it was pretty bad (worse than that actually). The colors were all jumbled up and nothing folded nicely. I like the finished bin much better. And YES – I plan to do a polka dot quilt. A wild Dresden Plate maybe? A Scrappy Trip Around the World? Just not sure – any suggestions??