Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh My!

As you know, I've been working my way around my sewing room, sorting and organizing. I never realized how long this would take! My head is seems that everywhere I look I find UFOs. Add to that all the "wannados" I come across. I'm thinking that I need to stop organizing right now and get busy sewing! That's much more fun, anyway! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Papers, Papers, Papers

Several days have been spent sorting papers--copies of quilt patterns from magazines, books or the internet, quilting articles saved from newspapers or magazines, etc. Over the past few years, these have just been stacked in a box. I figured it was time to put them away in the file cabinet that sits in the corner of my sewing room.
The file cabinet has 4 drawers. Each drawer was already pretty full because I've been saving files of quilting articles and patterns for YEARS. Plus, anything that didn't seem to have a place got stashed away in one of the file drawers. The drawers are now a bit more organized and the sorted papers have been filed.
One day I should just concentrate on that file cabinet. Leafing through the files, I realized that some of them are no longer relevant. If those were removed, there would be more room for future pictures and patterns. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fabric Play

Yesterday was "put away fabric" day. The "falling over" pile of fabric is gone and all the large pieces of fabric are now back in their proper places--reds with reds, blues with blues, etc. As I was sorting through project boxes (I keep the fabrics and pattern for each project in its own separate flat box, and have the bad habit of just leaving everything there when the project is finished...) I came across bags of squares, half square triangles and extra blocks. I pulled them out so they are visible and accessible. For me, these things are the beginnings of charity quilts. What I found will keep me busy for most of the year!
Last night I thought to myself "this room is actually beginning to look organized." But I still have a long way to go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Container Search

After reading a recent magazine article about creatively using containers, I've been on the lookout, both at home and in the stores. I found a canvas "basket" that was on sale at JoAnn's and that now holds all my embroidery patterns and projects. I bought a couple more scrapbooking storage boxes (~12" square and ~4" high). They are great for projects, especially projects that I want to take somewhere. I put the word out to my quilting friends that I was looking for a large glass jar--like a big pickle jar--in which to put the collection of wooden spools I'd discovered.
When we had a gathering of quilting friends on Friday, one of them walked in with a jar for me--perfect! The spools now have a new home, and look great atop one of my bookcases.
Friday I took with me several bags of items that I'd weeded out from my sewing room. But I ended up bringing most of the items back home. My quilting friends have enough "stuff" of their own, and weren't really interested in mine! I'll find a good home for these things somewhere...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Floss

Just when I thought I had my embroidery floss all organized, I discovered more!!! I've been sorting my wool embroidery box and my regular embroidery box--I found skeins of floss tucked in with patterns I've used. More to wind and file. Will that job ever be done?
I also found a few UFOs and sorted out patterns that I will probably never use. I have decided that my paper piecing patterns will "go", too. I do not enjoy that technique, so might as well pass those things on to quilters who do!
A quilting friend reminded me of the Bloomingdale Sale that takes place at Quilt Camp each April. I'll probably have a whole trunk load of things to add to the sale this year!

I Cheated

I have to confess. I cheated. Being surrounded by all that fabric and those projects made me want to do some sewing. I came across a collection of someone's leftovers, cut in the funny shape you see in the picture. Those leftovers said "piece me together" so I did. I put 4 of them together randomly and then trimmed them into the rectangles you see in the second picture. Now those are waiting to be set together to make a baby quilt. I have an idea, just haven't acted on it. (I did pick them up from my living room floor--my design wall--so they are no longer in the way.)
I also cut and attached binding to one of the quilts waiting to be finished, and I made one more block (so I now have 9 to work with) for the project I started in a class with Gwen Marston over 4 years ago. Time to finish that up and put all the extra fabrics back where they belong!
The urge to do some sewing was just too strong, but in a way, this is helping to clean my sewing room, right???

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reporting Progress

I didn't get as much done in my sewing room this weekend as I'd hoped. My husband decided to finish the redecorating of the 1/2 bath that we started MONTHS ago, and I was enlisted to help a bit. Final coats of drywall paste were put on (in removing the old wallpaper, we also removed chunks of the drywall. Obviously the previous owners did not properly size the walls!!!), sanding was done and everything taped. Yesterday we purchased the paint and by last night it was applied and drying. Today we did touch up work and I cleaned everything up. Now to put the toilet back together, cabinet doors back on, light fixture and mirror back up, towel bar and paper holder on the walls and we're good to go. It looks so much better than the 15-yeqr-old wallpaper did!
In between being called on to help, I worked on my sewing room. One reader suggested that anything that doesn't apply to sewing/quilting should be removed from the room. Well, that meant a large part of my teddy bear (Boyd's and others) collection went into a box. It does make the room less cluttered, but now what do I do with the bears??? Another dilemma...
I dug out one corner that contained a stack of boxes and some bags and went to work on those containers. I sorted cardboard templates that I'd collected. The ones that use unique cardboard are definitely "keepers." The ones that are pretty "rough" went in the trash. I came across my whole collection of wooden spools and I want to find a large glass jar in which to display them. Fabric for blouses and skirts that I know I will never use will be donated. Odds and ends of batting were measured, labeled, rolled and tied, and stored in a big box that is in the closet. And I sorted and organized embroidery floss, merging my mother-in-law's collection with mine. Four boxes went down to three. Still so much to do...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting Behind

I'm getting behind on my goal to do a little bit in my sewing room every day. I started teaching income tax to AARP volunteers on Tuesday and have come home tired. I've also spent the evenings getting ready for the next day.
But that doesn't mean my mind hasn't been busy. I stop in front of the sewing room door and look inside, wondering "If I moved this there and put that over there and got rid of that..." I'll be back at it this weekend, hoping to put into action the things I've been planning in my head!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Magazines Sorted

While sitting in front of the TV this weekend, watching football, I sorted through quilting magazines. I am happy to say that I have a 7" high stack of them ready to go out the door. Hopefully other quilters will find them interesting. I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the old (I mean REALLY old) magazines are more interesting than the current ones. The old ones will definitely stay in my collection.
As I went through the magazines, I bookmarked some designs that I thought would work up well into scrap quilts. I sketched out those designs on graph paper and added notes for how I would "scrap" them. I also bookmarked a few interesting articles which I will photocopy at the library today.
This was time well spent while the games went on in the background...I knew the Lions/Saints game would end up the way it did, but there's always next year for our local team. Guess I'll cheer for Drew Brees as the playoffs continue.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Magazine Collection

I'm feeling good about the progress I've made--all the little odds and ends are in their proper places right now. The next steps will take longer, however. I've decided to postpone the fabric sorting for now--seems every time I have a piece of fabric in my hand, I start dreaming of the possible uses for it. Not good!!!
So, I've decided to attack the stack of magazines. Time consuming, because I'm flipping through them for scrap quilt ideas (as if I need more!!!), but also interesting. The old saying "everything old is new again" keeps coming to mind. The newest edition of APQ magazine advertises a book on big-stitch quilting. Well, guess what? A 1997 magazine features a pattern that is big-stitch quilted, with instructions on how to do it. And, even before that, I did big-stitch quilting on a Blizzard Quilt that I made in a class at my local quilt shop. Definitely not a NEW technique (but fast and fun...have you tried it?)
Going through these magazines will take me several days, but it's a fun thing to do while sitting in front of the TV. I'll be watching the Lions tomorrow night, hoping that they make a good showing against New Orleans (but I'm a Drew Brees fan, too).
PS: The magazines I no longer want will be passed on to fellow quilters.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I've started! I decided to work with the things on the floor first, so I finally opened shopping bags and emptied tote bags. I came across the things I'd bought at antique shops while on vacation in the Paducah area. One was a grungy bag of (what I thought were) scraps of vintage fabrics. Imagine my surprise--and delight--when I discovered that the "scraps" were actually these blocks along with LOTS of cut-out butterflies! What FUN!
The floor is basically cleared off now. I also put loose spools of thread away in my thread box and put balls of pearle cotton in the drawer where they belong. Progress, and it feels great!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What A Mess!

When you take a look at these pictures I snapped today, you will agree with me that my sewing (?) room needs help. My biggest problem is that there is too much stuff for the room...if the spare bed weren't there (yes, there is a twin bed in the room...can you find it???) perhaps that space could hold a storage unit of some kind. But, that is not to be, so I need to get very creative this month and figure out where everything is going. Will I ever be able to sew in that room again? We will see...