Category Archives: Organization

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.

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I also cut 2 1/2 inch strips:

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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!