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Saturday, August 25, 2012

And sew it goes!

    I am still using every spare moment to organize.  It's been interesting as I've fondled handled all this fabric while it is finding it's new home.  When I first started quilting, there weren't that many quilt shops, and if I saw fabric I liked, I bought it, without thinking about what I was going to use it for.  At that time, I did primarily hand applique work.  Hand quilting was my game, and hand stitching was in my hands whenever I was idle for any time at all.  Many small cuts of fabric with textures was what I bought.
     Then, machine quilting became accepted, and I could make even more quilts in less time because I could finish them faster.  New tools like the rotary cutter, and marking tools and specialty rulers came on the market along with many classes on how to speed things up.  That meant I mostly started piecing and not doing much hand work. I learned a lot of techniques, some pretty nifty, others I know I won't ever use again.  I bought a lot of the new tools, and only use about half of them.  
     More quilt shops came around, and now I see many of the same lines in all the stores I go to, regardless of the region.  Sure, some of the shops lean more toward a particular personality....say, for example, Civil War reproductions, Modern prints like Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler, Aunt Gracie's 30's and brights.  When I saw fabric I really liked in the past, I bought three yards of it - that always worked for borders OR backings.  Neutrals without paint on them (WOWS) also started showing up, and I bought yardage of that, too.  Here's the result of that yardage shopping.  What's so funny, is I can tell you where I bought each piece, regardless of city or state - but I can't remember where I put my reading glasses!
Progress heading toward the bottom shelf - about 150  mini-bolts
     While pawing through the fabric sorting the fabric, I've found that my taste in fabric hasn't changed much - just the quality of the fabric.  I cleared out much of the early fabric pieces that were stiff with sizing, and just hadn't been out of the box in years. They will be good for charity quilts - nice enough fabric, but just not for me.  
LOOK! Only 12.5% of available storage to go!
    The funny thing about all this (today) is that I used to store all my fabric together in one large tub.  The bits that had been cut off from a larger piece were folded back, ever so nicely with it, probably to be used when that piece came out again.  So, now, they scraps been separated into a large tub (times 2).  It surely looks like I have enough strips and scraps to make at least 4 quilts!  So, that is the plan.  When I am all finished with the bigger sorting, these tubs will be sub-sorted into lights and darks.  Then whenever I have a bit of time on my hands, I will cut them into usable strips, squares, or whatevers.  Looks like a lot of strip scrappy quilts will be made here in the Midwest for a while!
Only the second of two tubs of scraps
Sometimes, it's easier to see the progress by looking at the empties than what has come out of them.  This is a total of 9 LARGE tubs, and 7 half tubs.  The multi-color drawer unit is also empty of the junk that was in it.  I have two half tubs of paints etc. and 4 large tubs of fabric to go.  Getting there!
Empties!  I hope the remaining fabric fits in the available space!

     And last, but not least, I found exactly what I need to take to my Gwen Martston retreat in two weeks.  A medallion or two........(from so long ago, they are hand pieced!)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stewdio Rebirth

I've been working every spare minute I have, wrapping fabric on the new mini-bolts, and re-packing stuff to leave the house. So far, I've taken two car loads of things out of the house to be donated - things that I thought I would use at this new house, but now I find I don't miss them, and I don't really want them anymore. So gone, gone, gone!  
I also have been loading a box here and there with sewing things for friends that I know they will like. My new friend, Carol, got the benefit of several yards of various Kansas Troubles fabric that I know will never use. My stitch buddies, Carol, Shirlee and Vicky all get a small box or a big bag or a big tub of things that are just up their alley; yarn, patterns, fabrics and sewing notions.  
I am encouraged about just how much stuff is leaving - and how much more room I will have to store my things that I will really use!
So, with that said, here's the progress in the basement so far:
This is the mini-bolt progress.
Soon to be wall-o-fabric.
East wall (project boxes and mini-bolts at the far right).
My sewing center with a nice big window behind me, and windows on the east side. 
This is the faux wall that I use for my design center.
1 large design wall, and 2 small ones, a cutting table, sewing machine and notions rack. 
My proud installation!
I still have a lot of fabric to sort and fold, but it's getting there.  I think I might even be able to sew in this space as soon as we get the lighting sorted out.  We are still considering whether to finish the basement or not.  In the meantime, I am getting excited about having my own space once again! 

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Happy Hearts

Today was a stitch day with the Amazing Quilt Babes. We all worked on our own projects, and surprisingly we all got quite a bit done! Vicky worked on her piano key borders for a Dresden Plate from several years ago, Shirlee worked on getting her "project to go" applique freezer paper patterns. Carol cut backgrounds and sashing for an embroidery project. Ibby worked on completing some Lil Twister place mats in addition to keeping her two young grandchildren stitching. I got the border on the Happy Hearts, and I hope to get the backing finished tonight.
Happy Hearts
Vicky, Shirlee, Carol
Ibby and Sharon
And yes, the first thing Vicky said was "Wow, can I have it back?"  LOL!  It will make a great auction quilt for Kids for Courage in November!