Saturday, January 31, 2009

So, Do Something About It!

I woke up today resolved to do something about my sewing room. It is just totally out of control. Every time I start to clean up , I get sidetracked by a project as soon as I have just enough room to work. So I'm going public with the mess and my intention to clean it up. I have recently rejoined Flylady and am going to try to apply her principles to this situation. #1 Baby steps. In place of the shiny sink I need a clear cutting table. Today I will be focusing on that. And I will also use a timer to keep me on track and take breaks. Everyday I will end with a clear cutting table before going to bed. SO between now and 3:00 this afternoon am going to work on this, then I get to sew. I have a table set up in the living room and will take all the stuff from the sewing table in there and then set the table up to start cutting those scraps into usable sizes also Bonnie Hunter's scrap user's system. I have bins in the closet that I intended for that, and even started with some already. Babysteps...15 minutes a day after the big push today. Here are pictures of my starting point.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Enough is Enough!

Yikes! I was ready to leave today...just pack up and go live somewhere else. No one was cooperating. I want to get laundry done without the dryer and asked the kids yesterday to be sure and get their laundry into the laundry room and sorted so I could easily get it going and hung out in plenty of time to dry. Did they? NO!! And then when I do get in there to get a load going, I find clean folded clothes they were too lazy to put away thrown in with the dirty stuff! ARGHH!!! The house is a disaster after 3 days of non-stop playing in the snow. And we've used up all the firewood I cut last week for Denny's birthday present. And I had to pay bills. And I started doing taxes and unless Mimi's tuition costs help we will owe a few hundred to the IRS. At least Oklahoma will be refunding some to us. And how am I ever going to get to sew if I'm having to do things the kids were supposed to have done? By golly I spent all that money on a new machine, I better get to use it!!!

SO when Denny got home from work and headed out with the kids to cut some wood, I headed into the sewing room. I needed to just get something! SO I pulled out the remainder of my blocks from the Tipsy Drunkards Path swap I did, and started putting them up on the design wall. I grouped them with same color backgrounds in 4's to form blocks and alternated blue and yellow background was okay I guess, but not good enough. When Denny came in he I asked and he really didn't care for it. RoseE said have both color of background in each block. I tried that and was pleasantly surprised...not half bad. SO I got the blocks all sewn together while Deny fixed salmon for dinner. After dinner I went to find border fabric. Dark blue check with gold stars looked okay next to the blocks, but again, it could be better. Denny suggested put another color between blocks and border. RoseE suggested red. I tried a small strip of red I ad laying on the table and it did look better that way. But I didn't have enough of that red. So I ended up with a red backgroung plaid with yellow and dark blue in it...fussy cut down the lines of the plaid. It went together without a problem. And it turned out a good ending to an awful day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going Around in Circles

I feel like I'm stuck in a vicious circle. I need to get projects done, but it's too messy in the sewing room to work efficiently, so I start cleaning up and get just far enough to work on something, which creates more mess, so I'm paralyzed again and the cycle repeats....but I just can't make myself stop working on things until the sewing room is all done. Having just spent all that money on the sewing machine and fabric mover, I ought to be producing some finished products.

So yesterday I cleaned up a bit and decided to get a block done for the Birthday Block Swap. Amy requested circles in green, blue, purple,white and black color scheme...COOL! I wanted to try something new, so I pulled out the Jan Mullen's Magic Ballz book I bought last year and gave it a try. I pieced the circles on paper foundations, backed them with fusible interfacing, turned them, fused to the background and satin stitched in place. Then I cut away the background fabric to reduce bulk. The background was a 10" squarefrom a swap and of course the applique process shrank it slightly. Amy can trim to the size that works best for her (could be 9" finished, could be 8").

I rejoined the Stashbuster's list in hopes of motivating myself to use up stash and get things finished. Hopefully, now having DSL, I can keep up.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today was a long quiet day at home. I quilted borders on a quilt for Mom (no picture) then decided I better get to work on the Birthday Swap block for Helen. I was unsure about the fabrics I bought, as they didn't exactly fit her color choices. So I found a few in my stash to add to the group and sent a picture to see if she thought they'd fit in. Meanwhile I did some looking at African art to find some inspiration. This was way outside my usual comfortable box. In the end I decided to use some of the fabrics, not use one and send it to Helen along with the block I did do. Her guidelines were African or African feeling fabrics:brown, orangey brown, blue, green and some black. Block size divisible by 2", at least 10", doesn't need to be square, and has to include applique of any type. I decided to do an African Mask with a pieced, mitered frame aroungd the block. I'm pleased with how it turned out and I sure hope Helen likes it. My new machine does a nice satin stitch. I've not worked with mitering much in the past, and haven't done much applique, so it was a good thing to try some unfamiliar techniques.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Time Flies!

I haven't posted in a while. I attended the OKC WInter quilt show, and won a fat quarter pack as a doorprize. Nice! But better than that, I bought a new sewing machine. Itwas an impulse buy, but the price was too good to pass up. Denny agreed, and I am now the owner of a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 85 with a Fab-U-Motion fabric mover system with stitch regulator. This machine has a 10" throat space and will be great for quilting. 137 stitches, 4 alphabets and lots of nice features. I only picked it u Wednesday afternoon, and we left Friday morning to visit Houston family, but I did get to play with the new machine a bit. I sewed 9 lotto blocks....the 1/4" stitch is dead on and they came out pefectly sized.

And then I pulled out a charity quilt that has been waiting to be quilted for a few years. I set up the fab-u-motion and did" scribble" quilting to get used to it...different designs on each block. There will be a learning curve to get good on this , but the stitch regulation worked well and the stitching looked good front and back.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3, 2009

New Year's day was a lazy day around here. Church in the morning and lunch out. Then home and Denny and the kids went to find some firewood. I stayed home and did computer stuff. Printed out lists for Sunshine Lotto and QBL so I can try to do some blocks each month. Later in the evening I decided to make crumb blocks for a while....20 blocks didn't even begin to make a dent in the scrap drawer I need to set a deadline and sew crumb blocks everyday until then and then throw away the scraps that are left (I'm talking about the small stuff here...) .

After sewing 20 crumb blocks I pulled out my stash of crumb blocks (lots!) and played with laying some out. Then I had a flash of inspiration for a setting with the sashing strips looking interwoven. I tried it using some solid strips I had in the drawer but it didn't really work with so many colors of strips. It was late so I put it all away.

Friday I decided to make QBL Lotto blocks...the block is Amish Diamonds from The Quilter's Cache. Fabric choices this month: solids. Now I don't use solids much, and I don't buy fabric specifically for Lotto has to come from my stash. I was surprised to find as many solids as I did. I cut components from each color and then did mix'n'match to make the blocks.

In the process I found I had enought of 3 fabrics to use with crumb blocks. After finishing the 12 Lotto blocks i set to work. I statred out thinking I'd do a 5x5 block layout, but changed it to 5x6. It took a bit of pondering but I finally figured out how to do the construction and spent a few hours on it.I really like how it turned out.

Ihave a busy week coming up. I volunteered to help hang quilts for the OKC Winter quilt show. Hanging is all day Wednesday and the show runs Thursday through Saturday. The Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece By Piece display will be at the show and on Thursday I will be taking Mom and my friend Donna to the show. I will probably go at least one other day...I want to find some embellishments for the jacket I'll be making soon. Now I need to get busy. It is a beautiful day outside and I want to hang laundry out to dry. And I want to do some more cleaning out and sewing in the sewing room.