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Monday, July 30, 2012


Since my last post, I've been a busy little beaver! I've organized all the blue fabrics, and the Aunt Gracie's 30's reproductions. I've washed and washed and washed fabrics as I've worked. Of course, I have a little help now and again when I am wrapping fabric on my mini-bolts. Ms. Bonnie is quite happy to help! I am ruler-folding the fat quarters up to 2 yards, and making scrap tubs of each color instead of keeping them with the original color tub. As an estimate, I am wrapping nothing less than 3 yard pieces and mostly 4-5 yard pieces on these mini-bolts. I have one left of the box of fifty I started with. That makes a total of 150-250 yards I have wrapped - and I'm only through TWO hundred tubs of fabric!
Ms. Bonnie anchoring 5 yds to wrap!
     In the background of the last picture, you see my current rescue mission.  The Buggy Barn hearts blocks/quilt.  I've been trying to get a quilt ready for our local Juvenile Diabetes Kids for Courage organization's annual auction in November.  Every quilt I've started has had something wrong with it, or I just haven't liked it.  I was complaining at my last Amazing Quilt Babes stitch day that I didn't know what I was going to do and I was running out of time.  Well, Amazing Quilt Babe Vicky said she had a quilt (that we had all worked on a couple of years ago) that she didn't care so much for, and if I wanted it, I could have it.  So I ripped it from her hands and ran down the street, I said thanks ever so much, isn't that pretty and brought it home to see what it needed.
     I don't remember working on this quilt at all, and come to find out, I was out of town when they all did it.  But, here's what I think went wrong with it after the blocks were completed.  The blocks are a weird size: 9" X 13" and in order to make to fit anything, Vicky (with the advice of the other Babes) added a wide vertical sashing.  Before I finished taking it all apart, I remembered to take a picture of part of the blocks with the original sashing.
5" vertical sashings.
     So, I cut them apart, making the sashings 1.5" and saved the "waste" part that I cut off.
New 1.5" sashings
     Then I added another 1.5" strip of this really cool bubble fabric I found in my hoard resource center.  
Straight 3" sashing
     Not liking just the straight 3" sashing between the blocks, I started using the waste parts and made these cool little setting squared for each joining unit.
Now with a cornerstone
     Look hard, and you will see the one that I tried on for size and style before making a gagillion of them.  Now, this quilt is well on it's way to being completed again, and hopefully it will be to my quilter within the week.
     I've been going to a deep water cardio-blast class in the early mornings for the last 9 months, and this week, the pool has been closed for cleaning.  Instead one of the gals in the class invited us to swim off her dock at Lake Winnebago about 10 minutes from home.  I am not in this picture, but that doesn't mean I didn't brave the water.  I usually don't get in water that I can't see what's in there with me, but with these brave girlfriends, I figure I can do just about anything!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

And sew on or otherwise known as She won't be featured on Hoarders!!

This time last year found me moving in the heat wave of the year. And sew it goes this year too. No, not moving in, but moving around! And another heat wave!

As you might (or not) remember, when I moved, it took an entire POD to move my fabric and junk, sewing supplies, machines and all the stuff that goes with what we do.
Just the beginning, it got filled to the brim!
We moved in such a short time period, and Hubby was away at Mayo Clinic, so when it all got to the new house, it got carried to the unfinished part of the house.  And then it waited for me to get it all organized.  Since that time, we've had more stuff moved in the same part of the basement from my father in-laws place and of course more stuff just multiplied from here and there and everywhere.  And it's still waiting.  Part of the problem has been our indecision on whether to spend the millions finish the daylight basement or not.  It's a lovely space, with adequate light for a stewdio, and it would be nice, but.....I just can't see the money spent there now.

So over the last year, I have waffled tried to decide how to store my fabric and supplies without spending much money.  A long time ago when my "resource center" was in it's infancy, I had a nice system that I could use with it folded flat and stacked in a closet on an installed Rubbermaid shelving unit.  That just doesn't work anymore.  Not only do I not have a closet I can devote to this addiction fabric, but I have far more than will fit in a normal size closet!

Showing you my stash is indeed like showing you my underwear drawer, ratty panties and all.  But someone once told me that if you need to change something you don't like,  you have to face up to what you were doing before that wasn't working.  So here is what ISN'T working!
Resource center explosion!

Over the years, as we've moved, the "resource center" has grown, not only in size but in personality.  There are fabrics for applique. You know those right away.  They are the ones with the hole cut out of the center part or just inside the edge because the design was just perfect for that flower or leaf, right?  There are bolts of fabric with 4+ yards on them to be used for borders and/or backings.  They are the ones where the price was so good you couldn't afford not to save that much, right?  And then there are the fat quarter sets purchased here and there that all matchy matchy and make you feel good when you pet them.  Of course, there are those that you just got because they were pretty, or on sale, or you thought you needed it.  There's the staples of the stash - the neutrals, the solids - the workhorses of most of my quilts.  There are the kids that don't want to play with the others: Aunt Gracie's 30's, orientals, batiks, novelties.  Those of course, must be kept separate from the others to keep them from fighting amongst themselves.

The last organization system I used was  those great big tubs you see in the moving picture.  It sort of worked out OK.  The house we were in facilitated the storage of them easily, and I got so busy with health issues in the family, I never had to pull them out to use them much.  I just worked out of my scraps or projects in process.  When I did use them, I just left the fabric out, and usually the stuff came spilling onto the floor, never to be put away.  That is, until we moved.  And that brings me back to the point of this post!

I have finally decided that I am not going to wait until I have my mind made up on finishing the 1200 square feet downstairs for my studio.  I've decided to start my organization with what I have, with minimal outlay of cash unless the system can "grow" into a new space - or not.  Here's what got me so inspired:   

OK, so I have shelving units, not quite like hers, but they are workable for now.  So that's a go. The BIG tubs had to be winnowed down to something usable and at a reasonable cost.  I found a really good deal on the exact right size tubs at Target and used my Red Card for a 5% discount on top of that. So a couple of weeks of stopping at all the local Targets got me the number of tubs I think I need.  And then I took the plunge.  I brought a tub sack upstairs and began sorting batiks by color.....

Mayo just can't figure this out!
And after a short period of time, another shopping bag and a small tub turned into this:
And it feels soooooo good!
Then it was onto the Aunt Gracie's.  I had no idea that Aunt Gracie had brought all her cousins to town and were sleeping in at least two tubs and who knows in what boxes that are still to be found!
Ruler folding as described in
One large tub, 2 shopping bags and a handful of scraps later.
My goal is to work on at least one tub per week.  BUT!  I kept running across large cuts of fabric and I just couldn't justify putting them into the smaller bins.  So, another pile got started until I found a solution.  And a solution was found just last week!  I was at our guild's quilting bee, and Roberta mentioned these mini-bolts she had purchased at a show that seemed would be just the ticket.  They are from Polar Notions, are acid free, reusable and easy to use.  Besides, they work beautifully.  I decided anything larger than 2 yards would be on one of these bolts.  And even better, they fit onto my existing book shelves, so no new storage shelves will be necessary!  Everytime I walk by a pile of yardage, I bring it upstairs, wrap it on the bolt (they hold 15 yards), and voila!  Stored!!!!
(45 yards)  This is just the beginning - notice the sewing machine to the left to give you an idea of the size.
Now you know what I've been doing with my time.  I'm tired, but energized at the same time about getting all this under control.  How about you?  Are you willing to share your stash hoard resource center?  Any things that work for you?

Monday, July 02, 2012

More quilts from Wichita KS

I have a lot more to share this week, so I'll get right to it and share some more of my favorites from the Wichita KS quilt show. The first one is another one that I'd like to make. I love the scrappiness as well as the geometric pattern. Does anyone know this pattern? I'm sure think I can figure it out, but if someone else has, I'd like to reward them by buying THEIR pattern!
Wowsers!  I love this one too!
Does anyone know the pattern for this?
Stunning Spiderweb!
Do you see what makes the spiderwebs?

Love the quilting as well as the borders.
Another "must make"! 
Another version.
Three friends made these - this one is called Taco Chips - cute, eh? 
Another geometric I love.
Beautiful quilting, too.
Interesting way to use this border print.
Can you see how I am drawn to strong contrast geometrics? 
Simple quilting enhanced the diagonal lines.
A simple cut of fabric all dolled up with an innovative border.
And I think the flowers were ragged edge cut from mor of the fabric and then appliqued on.
Look at that quilting!
A few crystals here and there enhanced the design. 
The circles were tacked on.
That's it for today's entry.  Next up will be my fun weekend of Color....and maybe some more quilts!