Sew…

I got through my first (the smaller) box of scraps, I cut them all down to 2½” or 4½”  squares, anything smaller than that, I threw away.  I have gotten rid of 2 shopping bags full of ticker tapes and die cutting scraps.  Now just one more box to go.

I got an order a couple of days ago, so I pulled all of the strips for that.  They all came from my precut strips or from my stash (the background for that quilt requires about a half-yard of fabric).  I am psyched that I haven’t had to buy any fabric for my quilt orders yet this year.

In other news, I have started a secret project today.  It is going to be super awesome, I’m excited to see how this one comes together.  I spent a ton of time working with the layout, and I even put it into EQ7…  I’m still getting the hang of that, but I’m figuring some stuff out here and there.  I got the exact layout I wanted, so that is an accomplishment, in and of itself.  I also got the whole center section cut out today.  So now I’ve got some piecing to do.  I probably won’t get to share this one for quite a while (end of the year) so I will try not to talk about it too much. :)

Well that’s all I really have for now.  So…

Piece.

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No MORE

I got to a point in going through all of my small scraps, die cutting them into 2½” and 4½” squares where I wanted to simply gouge my own eyeballs out with a grapefruit spoon.  Yes, really it was that bad…

I decided I had to do some sewing, so as I went through the very last pile of 2½”x WOF strips, I decided to pick 15 out and do a quick strip race style baby quilt.  Super colorful, super cute, I think!  I love the way it turned out, would be perfect for any new baby girl, although, the colors are a little bit Glitter Pony! :)  While I was doing art camp, anytime a girl would ask me for pink and purple paint, I would say, “Glitter Pony” coming up!  It made me laugh, even if no one else understood.

ANYWAY, back to the quilt…  I picked out a cute grey, pink and white cherry blossom print to go on the back.

More of these may be coming as I am only about ¼ of the way done with my scraps at this point…

I am off to cut scraps.

Piece.

It Came as if a Dream…

Do you ever have a conversation with someone who has not only no vested interest in the topic, but also doesn’t fully understand what you are talking about?  I do that sometimes to my husband, who always knows what I’m saying, and absolutely cares about what I’m saying, but, has little to no vested interest in the process of my quilting studio.

He loves the process, the outcome, and all, but the daily workings allude him, like they do most.  It’s like when he is telling me about coding software, I have a basic understanding, but I just don’t get it all the way.

I find, at least for myself, that these brief conversations really go a long way into shedding light on a subject where you tend to be stuck maybe unnecessarily.

I had one of these very conversations with my husband yesterday wherein I posed my scrap problem.  I said, “I just don’t know what I’m going to do with all of these scraps…”

To which he replied, “Just throw them away!”

I hemmed and hawed for a brief moment.  Wasteful, I like to have small scraps various colors, leaders and enders, appliqué, etc, etc, when it hit me.  I had myself contemplated throwing the small scraps away, but I really didn’t want to.  I knew it then.

I also knew how much work it was going to be to process all of those small scraps down into either squares or ticker tapes.  When I also realized, I have no desire to have ticker tapes, and waste, eh, I am not too fussy about, I want to maximize my fabric, but not to the point of crazy obsession.

It came out of nowhere, don’t worry about the waste, don’t worry about the rotary cutting:  just die cut the scraps!  That way, I can cut like 6 at a time, I can get perfect 2½” and 4½” Squares, no muss, no fuss, and probably in a quarter of the amount of time of pressing, and rotary cutting those suckers! :)

That way, I will also have 3 extra boxes, just what I need for my second set of warm, cool and neutral large scraps.

It’s all coming together!

Piece(s)!

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Quiet Sunday

I am sitting in my studio today, I have already hemmed a pair of the hubby’s new pants, but that’s it on the sewing front.  I have been on a tear to get these scraps dealt with. Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed.  There are a LOT of scraps.  I think that I have at least figured out what my system might be going forward (granted it might change, but for now, it might work…  Maybe? :)

So right now, my stash consists of half yards and over on mini-bolts and fat quarters on super-mini-bolts.  Everything else is considered scraps.  I have, for a while been processing down to 2½” squares or 2½” x WOF strips.  So anything less than a half-yard x WOF, I just cut down into strips, any strips (I do a lot of strip quilting) that are not WOF, I cut into squares.  This has served me well.  I have a box of 2½” squares that I have pulled from to do Leaders and Enders, I just picked out 2 colors (blue and white last time, I think Brown and Pink will be next), and go to town.  I have also been collecting strings and selvedges.

But there was always this weird middle ground, and stuff that wasn’t WOF.  So I took all of that (a HUGE reusable shopping bag full) and sorted it into BIG scraps (about a fat eighth or larger) and small scraps.  The large scraps I right now have separated into Warms, Cools, and Neutrals, but I have already outgrown those boxes.  Eek, not sure yet how that will work itself out.  Then I have 2 big bins of Small scraps, and right now, I’m waffling between processing all of those down and throwing/giving them away.  :)  I think a little time might bring me some more clarity on that.

So right now, the job is half done after 2 days of working, and I’m getting the urge to move on.  However, I can’t stand when my studio is a shambles, I just can’t focus on what I’m doing.  So I know I need to see this through, but without the proper vision on what to do, I’m kinda stuck in neutral.

So I think separating everything into categories is going to be my best bet.  Right now I have one (or in a few cases 2) rubbermaid shoe boxes for each category.

Here are my categories at the moment:

  • 2½” Squares
  • 2½” x WOF Strips (2 boxes at the moment)
  • Strings (2 boxes at the moment)
  • Selvedges
  • Binding Scraps
  • Large Scraps (Cool)
  • Large Scraps (Warm)
  • Large Scraps (Neutral)
  • 4½” Squares
  • 1½” Squares (This may just become ticker tapes)

Plus I have 2 overflowing boxes of unsorted smaller scraps, a very tall pile of large scraps that won’t fit in the boxes (I am also out of boxes, did I mention that?), and a small pile of WOF that needs to be cut into strips/strings.  Basically, a mess. :)

My featured picture is the NICE looking pile.  There are a couple of much uglier ones elsewhere in my studio.  I guess just one pile at a time, right?

Back to work!

Piece (or in this case process scraps)

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It’s a Red Letter Day!

I had to look up what it meant when it was said “Red-letter day”.  Have you ever noticed on calendars sometimes the holiday dates are printed in red?  That’s what it means, it’s just a special day. :)

IMG_2842It’s a special day because my Plain and Fancy top is FINISHED!  Here the last seam is pinned up, ready to sew.  I zipped that one up, did a little pressing, and layed tIMG_2844he quilt out on my bed.
Here’s that last seam sewn and pressed.

What can I say about this stunner of a quilt?  Well, I learned a lot.  I learned the values of Best Press, I learned the correct setting for a scan quarter inch on my machine with my quarter inch foot.  I learned that big projects are big projects for a reason, but when you get to the end?  They’re worth it.  This one was definitely a IMG_2850HUGE project.  It took about 14 months, obviously that wasn’t constant work, but I tried to work on it fairly consistently for the last about 6 months, at least weekly, but sometimes that was more, sometimes less.

Next step:  Quilting…  I think I’m going to do something new here too.  I think I’m going to have it long-arm quilted.  Now, to make some calls…  :)  I will keep you posted.  IMG_2848
So that’s my big news, a second finish off of my deadlines board this week.  Yesterday I finished a Princess Peach order.  It’s also one completed goal for this year!  I think it’s the first one to be completed.  I only have two more deadline quilts on my board for this year, but that can fluctuate with orders and whims.  I think it’s time to move on to my next long-term large project now, but to decide will it be Moda Modern Building Blocks or Eleanor Burns’ Egg Money sampler quilt?  Hard to tell with me. :)

I might have some more info later, until then…

Piece!

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Thursday=Saturday

So my hubby took Thursday and Friday off this week.  So today seems like Saturday.  Since we don’t want to spend any more money this month, we are laying pretty low.  But I did get a BIG check off of my list this morning already.  I made my cutting table into a pressing table!  Now it can serve dual purpose, and I only need half the furniture.  I didn’t do the worlds cleanest job, but it will do just fine.  I used a layer of fleece, a layer of insul-brite, a layer of batting and then my cotton top.  I should have stapled everything but the cotton down first so that I could replace the top easily when it got stained, but of course, I didn’t think of that.  I just layered everything, then stapled it around the bottom of the table.  It worked out just fine, it doesn’t look the best, because I just sort-of hack/trimmed it, but it’s totally functional, and that’s mostly what I care about.  Plus it matches my cute purple wall. :)

In my last post, I was talking about prepping for rearranging.  Which I did!  My books have all been sorted, my closet has been cleaned out, floor swept, furniture completely rearranged.  I made it so the left side of my sewing cabinet was in the dead center of the room, no more hitting walls when I am quilting, or not being able to get the table far enough away from the wall!

I still have to tackle the great scrap pile…  I kinda want to donate the whole thing and start again, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of it all. :)  So for now, it’s in the corner of my office under the drafting/computer table.  The only other homeless pile is my completed quilts.  The ladder I had been using had to go, there just wasn’t space for it anymore, plus it tipped over every time the dogs went near it, freaking them out completely.  So those are the only two mystery piles, everything else is in it’s place.

Speaking of dogs, they are definitely enjoying the gorgeous wIMG_2827eather today, maybe a little too much, Taco came inside smelling distinctly of having rolled in something gross, so he got his long over-due bath and nail trim.  Pixel was freaking out because she thought she would be next to have to go in the tub.  She didn’t smell nearly as badly, so she got a pass this time.  This was him from a couple of days ago basking in his favorite sun puddle… He will be back to that later today, once his fur is dry again.  For now, he’s hanging out in my studio, chilling.

Well, I should be off, maybe I can will myself into starting my last batch of tiny sashing stars for Plain and Fancy…  Ugh, I just want to be done, but I can’t seem to start the last batch. :)  Ok, just start!  Then I won’t want to do anything else until it’s finished, because I won’t want to clean it up, right? :)

Piece

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Coming out of the Dark

It seems I may be turning a corner with this bronchitis thing.  Thank Goodness.  I was going a little nutso, but thanks to a lot of reading, rest, and a lot of episodes of Sons of Anarchy, I may be pulling through.  As we speak, I am almost 12 hours medicine free.  That is my longest stretch in over a week.  The way I feel today compared to 1 week ago?  1,000,000% better!  I mean, last week at this time I was in the urgent care, so obviously, it was bad.

So what does this newfound freedom from the evil sick-germs gain me today?  But of course time in my studio and that time is being spent…  You guessed it?  Cleaning.  Ugh.  Has to be done, I know, especially after two solid weeks of ignoring this room save to throw piles of crap that didn’t belong in other parts of the house here.  So now, all piles have been eradicated and plans are being made for re-arranging.  I want to get my sewing cabinet free-floating in my office so that it is easier to wrestle quilts through, I don’t have to worry about hitting the wall, or trying to get far enough away from it.  I also want to turn my current cutting table into a pressing surface with some insulbright, batting and fabric, then it can serve two masters, cutting and pressing without sacrificing pressing space!  (plus it’s much wider than my ironing board, and doesn’t have the curvy part, even though it is shorter than my ironing board, overall, more surface.)

I also am plaining on paring down my library, I have SO many junky books that I have picked up because I was too nice to say “No” and because I didn’t have ANYTHING when I was starting out.  But now that I have been amassing books that speak more to my sensibilities, I need to get the rest of them the heck outta here.

The one last part of the plan I have yet to figure out, however is my scrap storage.  Right now, I have 2 systems.  One of them is from when I had no stash and was just starting, and didn’t have a system for fabric.  It is from before I started processing leftovers the way I currently do (2 ½ inch wof strips or 2 ½ inch squares, and strings) so who knows what the heck is in those boxes.  They are at least, however sorted by color.  My other piece to the scrap puzzle is a GIGANTIC cloth shopping bag that is now OVERFLOWING with randomness.  Big pieces, little pieces, I am not even entirely sure what, but everything less than ½ yard cuts (larger are stored on mini-bolts with my stash).  Ugh.  I loath the idea of going through this bag!  I scraped off the top layer to get scraps for my Apple Core quilt, but who even knows what lurks underneath that!  I guess I will have to just bite the bullet and process it all.  (Good project for a hot summer day, right?  Maybe next time hubby is washing records.)

I should be off, I want to accomplish something today, we’ll see where it takes me!

Piece!