Category Archives: Organization

Prep & Progress

ItPBG02XSoCdvUpSSioEAw (Medium)

Lots of prep has been going on here.  Saturday I leave for the mountains for the Fall Quilt & Sew-In! Even though I’ve been doing retreats for thirteen years, I still get a little antsy and anxious a few days before it begins.

75U6n6L8RGCx5ZBCs0sYRQ (Medium)

Blocks have been prepped for the charity quilts from the bin of precut scraps above. There are a couple of layout possibilities for one:

And here is the layout for another quilt:

rftpchjttoytbaattwchgq-medium.jpg

A bucket of blocks with instructions are available for anyone who chooses to complete one or more blocks. They then put their name in for a drawing and on Show & Tell night names are drawn for prizes. I and another quilter put the blocks together for a quilt –  it certainly helps to get more Hospice quilts completed!

My projects – I always bring more than I could possibly complete. When you are the facilitator, time sewing is reduced. I love it though, and wouldn’t have it any other way! First and foremost, I plan to work on my Tula strips.  I already have several blocks complete and all is very organized (completed block above).

img_1641.jpg

A nine patch I worked on at a recent sew-in is also in the queue.  The plan is to do a disappearing nine patch, but I just haven’t decided which pattern I will be using.

img_1639-medium.jpg

For when I don’t want to actually sew, there is this bin of half-square triangles that need to be trimmed to size.  There’s a bunch, so trimming a little at a time will make the task less daunting.

IMG_1631 (Medium)

And finally, a bin of 3 1/2″ squares for a leader-ender.  I recently spent two (exhausting) days sorting my batiks by color.  There is now a bin full of scraps, and six bins of larger pieces.  The batik squares will be paired with black and white squares.  I think this will be quite stunning. I love to have a leader-ender project going – makes me feel so productive!

IMG_1640 (Medium)

A fun and productive week is ahead! I can’t wait to share all that is Quilt & Sew-In!

 

Prepping and More Prepping

Off to another retreat! I’m a  guest at this one, so I get to do a lot more sewing. Prepping has been going on for about a week and I am SO ready! There’s something wonderful about being in a room full of creative quilters that serves to feed my creativity and productivity.

First – a scrappy flimsy that needs a border. It’s a strip quilt and I’ll be doing more strip blocks, making them into small half square triangles with a white-on-white, and adding as a border.

img_1225-1.jpg

Second – a baby scrappy quilt that was started a very long time ago. The paper piecing portions are complete and now I need to do the curved piecing. Each block is cut, pinned, and on its own paper plate.

img_1224.jpg

Third – Log cabin wall quilt. I worked on this last year at this same retreat – made many, many blocks but didn’t like the way they were squaring up. So now I am starting all over but this time on a paper foundation. I’m definitely committed to accuracy on this one!

img_1226

Fourth – not that I’ll really need it, but just in case something goes awry with one of the other projects, or I just don’t want to work on one of them. This will be a queen size for our bed.  Very simple – green leaf prints and white on white, all 3 inch squares finished. Simplicity is what I’m going for.

img_1223

Hopefully I’ll be back next week with some impressive results!

The Last Scrap Attack

At least for now, that is.  I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had my scraps sorted by color. None had been precut to any particular size. I devised a plan to get a better grip on things (or at least my scraps!)  There were a lot of larger pieces which I cut into 5 inch strips.

142AEA8B-0E90-4A63-827D-BF68FF6CBAC4

I also cut 2 1/2 inch strips:

2A1C24E9-5385-4B6B-AF6F-61C814A66A95

1 1/2 inch strips. I have a scrap string quilt in the process for these.

3 1/2 inch squares and 2 1/2 inch squares. There is a leader-ender quilt in the process for the 2 1/2 inch squares.

7623E7CC-5953-4076-838D-50CDC28CB683

There were fabrics in the bins that I have used many times and have had around for up to ten years. I am very tired of looking at them so they are headed to my next guild meeting to give away. No doubt they will make one or more other quilters very happy.All these scraps are so neat and tidy! I do still have a bin of black and white scraps that I will not cut until needed. I also have a bin of Kaffe scraps that will stay in their bin of disarray until I have a specific project for them.

098DD14B-C9D3-4499-968D-506173C40DFF

I used my two fabric cutting machines – the Sizzix Big Shot Pro and the Sizzis Big Kick. Oh how much easier and quicker it was with those two work horses.

And the very scrappy scraps? They’re packed tightly in this bag and will be going to someone who stuffs dog beds with them. I like that so much better than putting them in the trash. Yes, mile a minute quilts could be made from them, but I don’t have the interest nor will I live long enough! If you think about it, there are the equivalent of many yards of fabric in here (the contents are quite compacted).

6A4A55CD-35B8-4E19-BC5C-4011DAD9D42A

Now, feeling quite accomplished, I can proceed to finish a project or two!

tenor[1]

Lots of Cutting & Retreat Prep

Sewing retreats – so very much gets done! To prepare for a 4 day retreat I’m going to, I cut out not one, but two new projects! The first is for a gift for a little boy. I’ve never done an “I Spy” quilt before and thought it would be the perfect gift for the little guy.  Unfortunately, my stash is not very supportive of this quilt. I did manage to cut 9-five inch blocks and then the request process to friends and my guild for more. I’m going to do “square in a square” blocks, using various colors of polka dots for the outside of each I Spy block. This should be so colorfully fun! Yeah for my quilting buddies – they surely came through with squares. What I have is cut, pinned and ready to sew.

thumbnail_IMG_1044[1]

And I cut the Egyptian fabric I had. I’m using a Kaffe pattern, “Mardi Gras Star” from the book Kaffe Quilts AgainFirst time I’m using the paper plate organization method a friend recently shared with me. I love this! Every block is in it’s own plate. So much better than plastic baggies. This too is all ready to sew.

IMG_1043 (Medium)

Of course, that’s not all that’s traveling with me.  The leader-ender project I have at my machine at home will go with me and so will the string quilt I started recently.  One more WIP that’s been around for a while is going also. Hmmm, only 4 days. Too bad I’ll need to stop to sleep.

dream pic

Scraps, Scraps & More Scraps!!

This is a song every quilter I know sings! “They multiply on their own” is definitely a favorite phrase. I was looking through my scrap bins – they are separated by color. One bin is all Kaffe scraps. Hmmm…I feel like I’ve been looking at these same scraps forever now. I’ve never used one of the many “scrap saver systems” that others use, but wanted to do something to empty these bins and start fresh. So….out came the studio Sizzix and the Big Kick.

I cut many of the larger pieces into two and one-half inch strips.

img_1026 (medium)

Then I cut more of the larger pieces into one and one-half inch strips.

img_1027 (medium)

Finally, I cut scraps into bunches of two and one half inch squares. The squares are now leaders-enders for a scrap quilt. How quickly they get put together this way! The 2 1/2″ strips will sleep in their bin for a while. I will use them for scrappy quilts and will most likely be for Hospice donations.

img_1029 (medium)

I’ve wanted a simple straight stitch project to be at my Featherweight now resting comfortably in its new home. That’s what I’m using the 1 1/2″ strips for. I scored a great deal on very light weight interfacing (only 39 cents a yard! Hello 15 yards!) and am using it for a base for string blocks. Oh how I love the way the Featherweight sews. This is the perfect project for when I just don’t feel like thinking – mindless sewing. Very therapeutic!

img_1028 (medium)

Lots of fun sewing ahead. Now, if I could just figure out how to survive on less sleep!

 

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!!

thumbnail_0ea33c09-8a06-4e42-80fb-213386d533ef1-large.jpg

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.

thumbnail_571412CB-FE5F-49FB-8A4D-ACD006006CBA[1] (Large)

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!

thumbnail_8431D26A-5627-4621-BF52-1104C6A4BCA6[2] (Large)

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.

Sewing Machine Pin Cushion

img_1471-large.jpg

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

IMG_1469 (Large)

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.

img_1466-large.jpg

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!