Friday, January 29, 2010

Scrap Reduction

I am on a mission to do some "stash busting" in my sewing room. It seems like I have been cutting fabric for days and I don't feel as though I have made any head way. I went through two rather large garbage bags of fabric that were given to me. I pulled out anything with any amount of yardage and put it in a box. Then I pulled out all of the little pieces, pressed them and cut them into pieces for quilts. I decided that while I was doing that I would cut fabric for several quilts. I am so proud of the organization that I did for this huge undertaking. I labeled several boxes with quilt names and fabric size requirements. I have been cutting 3 inch strips, 2 inch strips, some 5 and some 7 inch squares and then cutting 1 1/2 inch strips for scrappy log cabins. I did manage to get to the bottom of the large box of bits and pieces of fabric so I guess that I am making some progress. I am anxious to just sit at the sewing machine with a box and sew the pieces into a quilt. I have already decided that I am not going to be able to just cut, cut, cut. I need some sewing time too. In the bottom of the box of bits and pieces were some juvenile pieces. I am currently in the process of cutting them for yet another quilt. I am almost finished cutting them, so the next step will be to sew the pieces into blocks. Maybe once I get some sewing time in I will be feel like doing some more fabric cutting.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Great Day of Sewing at Quilt Guild Today

I enjoyed another great Scrappy Quilt Day at Guild today. We had 15 women there all working on their own projects. It was really fun to see the purses, quilt blocks and even Christmas stockings in various stages. My beautiful little Featherweight and I worked on the Trail Mix quilt again. So far I have not worked on it at home, only at Guild. Well, I take that back, I did do some ironing and cutting when I got home today. The pile of little pieces on the left side of the picture are 1 1/4 inches by 2 inches and will be sewn into 4 patches.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Thaw

Where did all of our snow go? We have had some warmer temperatures in Hillman during the last couple of weeks (warmer for January here means high 30's, low 40's)! Today it is in the 20's and we are getting a little bit more snow. The flakes are falling so slow that I can almost count them as they come down. I do enjoy the winter weather so it almost feels like a winter slump to me. Yesterday when I was in my sewing room I almost felt like I was in a quilting slump. I had pushed so hard to get the baby quilts done and right now I don't have anything ready to sew on. As I mentioned earlier I am working to use up some of my fabric stash and work on some scrap quilts. Yesterday I had a couple of hours of free time so I spent it cutting fabric scraps for a couple of quilts. Although I enjoyed it I just wasn't as excited about the quality time spent with my rotary cutter instead of my sewing machine.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Missions Accomplished

I hope you were able to get your missions accomplished this weekend. My main mission was to attend our Grandson Cameryn's (#6) first basketball game. He and his team mates looked so cute out on the court (ok, Dad and Papa probably wouldn't use the term cute). Their team of 7 players was missing two players so the kids got lots of play time and boy were they tired by the end of the game.
I also did some playing in my sewing room. After Church today I was able to get this quilt sandwiched and pinned. The name of the quilt is Tilt A Whirl. I hand pieced the quilt and plan to hand quilt it. I also finished cutting out the 2nd Guild BOM for January and got everything cut out for our Guild's mystery quilt. I also stitched some more 4 patches made with 2 inch scrappy squares for a project I have in mind (stay tuned for details as they progress). I finished machine quilting the second of the baby quilts for our twin grandson. After dinner tonight I plan to work on hand stitching down the binding. All in all it was a great weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Little Bit of Organizing

I decided it was time to do a little bit of organizing in my sewing room. Honestly I need to spend a day or two in there but at this time I don't want to give up that much sewing time. Yesterday I attended a class on color at my Guild. It was very interesting but for some reason my mind turned to organizing - or was it this green dresser that has been in my garage for about a year and a half? On my way home from Guild I decided to devote an hour to cleaning and organizing, an hour to watch Dr. Phil and an hour to sew before it was time to start dinner. It worked out perfectly. About a year and a half ago I received a phone call about a woman in our area who had died (I did not know her) and the family was trying to clean house and get rid of her craft supplies. I called the house and made arrangements to go out and see what they had. When I arrived at the house I was met by the woman's daughter who was here from California and the woman's son who was here from Ohio. They were in the process of cleaning house, painting, getting carpets cleaned, etc. They asked me if I was there for the early garage sale. I didn't realize they were having a garage sale but that sounded like fun to me. The daughter took me to a large pole barn where they had boxes and boxes of crafting supplies. The deceased woman was into all kinds of crafts, doll making, knitting and crocheting, quilting and wood working. I had a great time digging through boxes and finding all kinds of treasures. The daughter came out a few times to add more boxes to the pole barn and to see how I was doing. She also took me to the attached garage to show me more boxes. She told me that they were busy in the house and when I was finished just walk into the house (I love living in a small community). I had a great time going through this woman's stash. Her quilts were mainly utility quilts made with polyester double knits so I did not pull any of those pieces out but I did manage to find a few pieces of cotton. I also found boxes and boxes of rick rack, bias tape and thread. I filled a rather large box up of thread, including 18 spools of hand quilting thread. I was very curious about this green dresser and another one that was there. The husband came home from the dentist and came out to the pole barn to introduce himself and to see how I was doing. I asked him about all of the wood working supplies, tools and projects. He told me all of that had belonged to his wife - she was the wood worker in the family. I immediatly went through all of the boxes again. I decided that both of the dressers needed to go home with me. Our grand daughter Allie is using one of them. The green one is very small, only 30 inches wide and although I didn't measure it I am sure it is shorter than that. It probably could use a new paint job but I just feel that it has lots of character and I like the way it looks in my sewing room. Yesterday when I hauled it into the house from the garage and cleaned it up I noticed that I could see some printing on the boards on the sides of the dresser. It reminded me of my grandfather who was also a wood worker. I am sure both wood workers were from the generation where you re-use and recycle. The dresser is very crude but I love it. I spent over two hours looking through all of the craft items and filled my car with all kinds of treasures. I wonder if someone will have that experience with my "stuff" some day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fun at my Quilter's Retreat

I was able to attend a retreat earlier this week with 12 of my quilting buddies. Because of family circumstances I wasn't able to spend the night at the cabin but I was able to go on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. While there I finished up the mystery blocks from Thunder Bay Resorts Murder Mystery retreat from last fall. I also completed the machine applique on all of the flower blocks that I had prepared. The blocks are from a Guild Block of the Month from probably 6 years ago. I used a black background and made the flowers with my hand dyed fabrics. I have taken those blocks to camps and retreats for almost 6 years now. I don't think I have enough blocks so will have to get some more of them fused to the background fabric so I can get them machine button hole stitched. I also cut out Block #1 of our current Block of the Month. I have decided to use my 1930's reproduction fabrics for this quilt.
JoEllen aka Queen of the Log Cabins completed 2 log cabin tops at camp.
Karen completed her scrappy top. The name of the quilt escapes me right now but the designer was Edyta Sitar.
Everyone had a great time at camp and we are certainly looking forward to going back next year. Thank you so much Sandy & Larry for sharing your beautiful cabin with us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I hope you got to do some quilting this weekend.

My friend Judy from Patchwork Times hosted a virtual retreat this weekend. If you get a chance go and visit her site. You will be able to see lots of great projects that were completed this weekend. I had a few other obligations so wasn't able to quilt for the entire weekend but I did get quite a bit done. This picture shows the sashings for a quilt that I am making as a gift, actually 2 for twin grandsons. I got a good start on quilting them this weekend and will share pictures of the finished quilts after I give them to the new Mommy and Daddy. This week is our Samp Camp, a camp for 13 members of our Quilt Guild. Because of health issues with both my Mom and I we have decided that we will be day campers this year. Steve and I took my sewing machine, chair and projects to the camp today. Eleven of the campers were there, set up and sewing. I will be glad to share a few camp pictures and stories in the next few days.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am not a loser, I am not a loser, I am not a loser

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! A fews posts ago I stated that this is my year to use up my huge fabric stash and make some scrappy quilts. But I also stated that I had found a pattern (Jewel Box) and knew that a piece of polka dot batik I have would be perfect for the quilt. Of course I have 2 yards and need 3 yards to make the quilt. Although I stated that I was not going to buy any more fabric I did crack on the 15th day and bought enough to make the quilt. Actually I needed to buy 1 yard and I had decided to buy 1 1/2 yard to be on the safe side. My husband suggested that I buy 2 yards (I love him!!!) to really be safe. When I got to the store they had 1 yard and 17 inches of that particular fabric so it came home with me. I am blaming my blogger friends as they strongly urged me to buy the fabric!!!!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Scrappy Quilt Day at Guild

Today was Scrappy Quilt Day #2 at our Guild. We had several ladies there with sewing machine humming, all working on their own projects. Once again I took my Singer Featherweight and my Trail Mix Quilt. The pattern is broken down into 7 steps. Last month I finished Step #1. Today I got 1/2 of Step #2 done. Either I talked to much (not me!!!) or Step #2 is a bit more involved.
Lenore was working on a pineapple type block and put everyone to shame with her organizational skills. All of her strips were lined up nice and neat and she was able to just pick up each strip and do the paper piecing. Quilter's Retreat staff member Karen was working on a full size quilt using some odd sized shapes. Both she and Lenore were working on some Edyta Sitar patterns. Speaking of Karen, have you had a chance to check out her winter edition of The Quilted Elk newsletter? JoEllen is also a staff member but is very camera shy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Am I The Only One Who .........?

I only have two television shows that I like to watch on a regular basis. One is the Dr. Phil show and the other is The Biggest Loser. Usually Steve falls asleep while watching a hunting show with the remote in his hand. I enjoy doing some hand sewing, quilting or lately crocheting and dreaming about future projects so it doesn't really matter to me. Dr. Phil fits into my schedule right after work and before I start dinner and I like the way he "tells it like it is." Last week he had an episode titled "Am I the only one....." Guests had several questions ranging from relationships, quirky habits, wierd likes and dislikes, etc. So I started thinking -
Am I the only one who still has her Christmas tree up? Our 4 year old grandson London was over about 2 weeks ago and gently reminded me "Christmas is over, Nana." I started taking down some of our decorations yesterday and hope to finish that job today. Steve and I both love Christmas and we do a lot of decorating.
Am I the only one who sits at the sewing machine sewing on a quilt and dreaming about the next 3, 4, 5 or even 6 projects that I want to work on?
Am I the only one who wishes she was sitting at home in front of her sewing machine right now and not in the office in front of the computer? Oops, maybe I shouldn't be thinking (or typing) that!!!!

Send me a comment and answer the questions, Am I the only one ..........?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What's a girl to do?

MY STORY As I posted yesterday I am on a quest to use up my stash, make 5 scrappy quilts this year and not buy any fabric. Last night I pulled out a magazine that had a scrap quilt pattern that I am interested in making. While looking through the magazine I found another pattern that I really liked and then thought of a piece of fabric that I had just bought in December "just because".
MY PROBLEM Of course I bought 2 yards and fabric and the pattern calls for 3 yards.
MY SOLUTION Would it still count against me if I had someone else buy a yard of fabric for me? Or does it make sense to buy one yard of fabric so I can use 4 yards from my stash? What's a girl to do?

Friday, January 8, 2010

No pictures today but I do have a plan!!

I have a plan to help clean up my sewing room. I am telling all of you about this so you can help "hold my feet to the fire." I learned many years ago that there is no sense in trying to make New Year's Resolutions, I just don't seem to keep them. In past years I have set goals to try to finish up some of my quilts. I have managed to do quite well but I do have some to finish yet. I have decided to set a goal this year of trying to use the fabrics in my stash and make some scrappy quilts. I love scrappy quilts and have lots of patterns. So I am going to try to be realistic and set a goal of making 5 scrappy quilt tops this year. I am hoping for more but will set 5 as my goal right now. And I am also going to try not to buy any fabric and that will be very hard. When I went to the Resort office on Wednesday there was a Connecting Threads catalog on my desk showing lots of beautiful fabrics - TEMPTATION. Then yesterday I had to stop at Wal-Mart so decided to buy a couple of spools of thread and the young girl working at the cutting tables asked if I was going to have any fabric cut - another TEMPTATION. I managed to resist. Thanks to my friend Sandi for telling me about Judy's Patchwork Times website and blog. I have only been following the blog for a short time but it looks like she is challenging quilters to use up their stashes. She has even gone to the extent of making up a spread sheet listing all of her fabrics and measurements. Then she keeps track of fabrics added to her stash and fabrics used. It is quite impressive. I don't have yardage, just small pieces and I don't plan to go to that extent. Perhaps I will count the totes that I use up. I have a couple of scrappy quilts in the works and am anxious to get back to them. While cuttting my scraps I was thinking that I wish I could cut for more than one quilt at a time. But I am afraid that the quilts would all look alike. Stay tuned for the progress.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More Sewing Room Pictures

After yesterday's terrible picture I decided that I had better do a bit of a clarification. I do keep my cutting table (this is the small one, my bigger one is currently being used for my Christmas village) and my sewing machine table cleaned off. That way when I do have that 15 or 20 minutes now and then to cut and/or sew I have room to do it. That is what I did this morning before work, I had a few minutes to do a little sewing and I loved it. I plan to go back to that project later this afternoon. Sorry that I can't share the project yet, it is a gift. Actually I am making 2 gift quilts for twin grandsons that we are expecting early this spring. We are so excited. Once the quilts are done and have been given at the baby shower (hopefully they will be done in time) I will post pictures.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I am in big trouble - seriously. I have a small piece of heaven on earth also known as my sewing room. I have a room all to myself for my quilting and I absolutely love it. I am sure that many of you can identify that there just aren't enough hours in the day and I don't get to spend as much time in my sewing room as I would like. I am only showing you one corner so you can get an idea of my problem. I usually am pretty organized in my professional life but certainly not in my personal life and especially not in my sewing room. I do take time to clean and organize and once I start another project you would never know that I had spent (wasted!!) time organizing. For me so far the best solution is to just close the door. Can anyone identify with me and share any solutions?