Thursday, December 10, 2015

Storage and Quilting Studio Overhaul Part 2

I have been working on some aspect of this overhaul for the last two weeks.  I'm tired and I'm getting a little cranky.  It's a huge task to pack up all of your stash and then to refold it so that it looks pretty.  I keep visioning how the final product will look and how organized I will be; that's what keeping me going.  In the meantime, my entire house has been disrupted with the emptying out of my storage area.  The items I removed are in the garage, kitchen, dining room, and bed room.  Because we were painting yesterday and today, some of my rolling carts were put on my deck overnight.  I will be bringing them in after I make this promised post.

This photo is of my main working area for sorting out items and refolding my fabric stash.  So far, I have refolded seven moving boxes; I have seven more in the garage.  On the middle shelf, I will store yellows, oranges, and pinks.  The mini bolts are two stacks deep. The stacks on top were improperly stored and are waiting to be put in their new homes.

In the kitchen sink storage cabinet, I'm storing reds, blues, and greens.  I added a shelf to make the stacks smaller so they'd be less likely to topple.This is the left side.  The fabrics are two stacks deep on the bottom and one on top.  I wanted to be able to get light from the room to enter and I didn't want to have the opportunity to bump my head on the shelf so I opted for a half shelf that we stabilized very well.

Left side of the kitchen sink storage cabinet.

 I have also refolded my background and patriotic fabrics.  The backgrounds are on the three shelves and the patriotic fabrics are in the red bin on top.  (I've removed the extra mini bolt to be stored with my one-half yard or less patriotic fabrics because I didn't like it being crammed.)  I also have some books on the right side of the shelving; I'm not sure if these will stay here or move elsewhere.  I just sorted them to get them out of the way.   All the other bins are empty, awaiting fabrics and tools/notions.

To the right is my office.  I have added slots for sorting my "to-dos", bills, guild info, flyers, etc.  Now when new mail comes in, I can not only put it away, but sort it too.  I'm still working on this area as I plan to put a bulletin board on the wall.  At the same time, I'm logging my quilt tops and their statuses (that's the pile on the floor.)

I'm using a curio to store all quilt tops, sorting by WIP.  The top shelf holds tops ready to be quilted with backs already made; the 2nd shelf holds tops ready to be quilted but need backs made; the third shelf holds tops needing borders.  In the bottom of the curio (not shown) I store quilts I'm quilting and those that have backs and batting.  I added some more items today that's not in the photo...I will post final photos when I'm finished with the project.  You can say, "I'm long arm machine ready!"

This is the storage room that has made the rest of my house unlivable.  I painted it a neutral color as eventually I want to make this a sitting/TV room.  The color is darker than the paint card so I'm not sure I like it, but I didn't have money to purchase another color.  I'm adding a futon to this room that's neutral in color so hopefully it will look fine.  I will have to temporarily store quilting stuff in here too as I don't have time to purge/sort/organize all the items.  I will put back most of the items and deal with that part later as I have to have a livable home by the Christmas holidays. This photo is the facing wall as you enter.

Wall to the right of entrance

Entrance wall; the left wall is almost entirely a closet.

I plan to come back with final photos.  I have too many things to do to get this in order, but I'm determined!

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Reorganizing, Moda Sampler Shuffle, and Scrap Quilting Club November 2015

November was a very busy month.  It started with my group hosting our annual line dance party.  It was filled with activities the first weekend in the month.  It was fun hosting the event, but I'm sure glad the planning and preparing is over.

My husband received layoff papers earlier this month from his machinist job.  This is the third time in his career.  We were preparing for him to retire next year so it isn't too stressful, just a curve ball being thrown.  This reaffirms my decision to keep moving along with the professional side of my quilting business.

I'm in the process of moving items between two rooms in my home.  It's going to be a long and tedious process as I have outgrown my quilting area, especially since I retired and need office space, instead of just working from my laptop.  Since I have to move all my fabrics, I'm downsizing my older scraps (because I'm tired of looking at them and need new materials for motivation), redefining my new size of scraps I will be keeping if I don't cut it immediately, and refolding any yardage over 1/2 yard.  In the photo below, here is my green fabrics that I started with.  I now have the red and blue groups sorted.  While refolding the fabrics, I also pulled fabrics that I don't "love" anymore and am using them for quilt backs.  I have already made ten quilt backs from this group.  If I remember, I will take photos as I work to share this process.

In addition to reorganizing, I have started the Moda Sampler Shuffle.  You actually get the links from any online quilt shop.  However, the block patterns are only available for two weeks and then the links are disabled.  Three blocks are assigned each week.  Here are my blocks 1 through 12 on my design wall.

And here are this week's assigned blocks.  I'm using scraps that were out from my previous project so nothing has to match, just getting the blocks completed.

Now, on to the Scrap Quilting Club's show-n-tell.  This was out last meeting of the year and we had a holiday potluck.  This is always a fun event because we do more socializing than sewing in November.  I demonstrated how to make a gift box from two pieces of paper which will come in handy during the holiday season.

This is Connie's year long project.  She worked very hard to get caught up in the last month.

Rita also completed the yearlong project. She changed the border.

Elsie is still working on her yearlong project.  Keep going!

Jennifer completed her yearlong project bus is adding more applique to the border.

Jennifer is also working on baby quilts.

Sarah quilted a quilt top she purchased from a local quilt shop years ago.  Yeah!  One UFO almost completed.  Its for a soon-to-be-born baby.

Kathy is working on coaster sets for Christmas presents.

Kathy is sewing together blocks she won from optional blocks a few years ago.

I can't remember the story behind this quilt, but Kathy did an excellent job piecing the top.

Gwen's quilt is made only with HSTs.  I love the design and that it makes your eyes pop to various secondary designs.

Lee Etta showed this awesome patriotic quilt top made all from scraps.

Lee Etta also show her completed top from Bonnie Hunter's mystery two years ago.

So sorry this picture is sideways...  Laura showed this piece of cloth that she wants to enhance and asked the group for ideas.

Judy made fabric gift tags and gifted each person in attendance with one.  Thanks so much Judy!

This is my yearlong project where I changed the side border to make them longer; I also added cornerstones and the pattern didn't look good coming across the side borders after I changed the size.  I also changed two of the row patterns, row 4 and 8.  I love how bright this quilt is.

The Scrap Quilting Club members!  About seven or eight people were unable to attend the meeting.  I love this group of ladies.  We have so much fun each month while sewing, socializing, and providing advice (sometimes it's unsolicited, but in good faith).

Girls just want to have fun!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Finished, WIPs, Future Plans, Social Media

A great big HELLO from me to you.  I truly thought retirement would mean that I'd have more time to devote to my social media sites, especially my website and blog.  However, I seem to use Facebook and some YouTube, but am not coming to the blog like I wish.  Again, I'm promising to post more.  However, you can also follow me on my other media sites:

Facebook:  Teaquilts
YouTube:  Teaquilts

Earlier in the year I wasn't very busy with actual quilt making, but lecturing and providing workshops.  I'm now Vice President of my quilting guild and that took a lot of my time to schedule programs for 2016.  Also, we had a quilt show as the end of September that I hope to post video footage on YouTube.  I also taped me sorting through some scraps and will get that video edited as well for uploading to YouTube.

 In October I had to buckle down and work on the commissioned t-shirt quilt I started in July of this year (probably my previous post) as this is a Christmas gift for the buyer's hubby.  It's called Jason's Obsession and is 95" square.  I'm super glad that I got this one completed.

Since I was in the t-shirt finishing mode, I decided to finish I Just Want to Dance 2 t-shirt quilt as well.  I started this one in February 2015 and put in on the back burner as my "life" took over and eliminated my quilting time.  I have a close up shot so you can see the setting fabric.  I love this print.

Lee Etta comes to the Scrap Quilting Club meetings with a Quilt Carry Bag from the booklet "Jelly Roll Quilts" and everyone loves it.  I decided to make my own version.  Instead of cutting the jelly rolls at the stated measurement, I left them long to carry large size quilts.  In addition, I used fabric straps instead of webbing, fabric strips instead of cording, and Velcro instead of snap tape. I used any previously cut 2.5" green strips that I had in my stash.  I also added the outside pocket to I can just take in a few dollars and keys to meeting when I used this bag.  Basically, I used what I had at home.

Since I made the first bag, I decided to make some more.  I made two of the Tote-Ally Yours tote that was featured in Quiltmaker May/June 2010 magazine. They have outside and inside pockets.  Yeah! I love, love pockets to sort my items.

I worked the pattern as described in the first tote.  I plan to give this one to my mother for Christmas; she loves brown and I love color so I mixed the two.  I figure it will be a great tote for her to take her belongings to church and bright enough not to be left.  Of course, everyone will know that it belongs to her.

On the second version, I made some changes to the bag and it took my longer to make this one than the other.  I used some denim I purchased from a estate sale.  I don't visit many estate sales, but I purchased the material knowing that I'd make a memory bag.  I sketched a template for the pocket so I could cut a solid pieces from the fabric scraps I used on the back of Jason's Obsession (quilt above).  Since I love all things bright, I decided to pop the denim with red and I'm very glad I did.  I also added interfacing on the lining to give the bag more body and to stabilize the inside pockets.  I used red accent thread on the outside pockets for another pop of color.  I had so much fun with this version.

Since I was making bags, I decided one more wouldn't hurt.  I've been meaning to make this bag for a year.  It was a guild's special project.  The Back to School Grommet Bag can be found on  It is a very quick bag to make and I used scraps I purchased from a sale of quilting goods of a guild member that past last month, Beverly.  The original pattern uses charm squares, but Beverly had 3.5" x 16.5" strips already cut so I used those.

Beverly also had a few pieces cut to make seven of these block units.  As I was going through the scrap bag, I noticed she had some scraps that would match the ones she'd cut.  After I depleted the scraps large enough to cut into these shapes, I raided my stash.  I plan to make this one a charity quilt name Beverly's Mix.  I still need to find something for the borders but I was motivated to get the center pieced.

This is the finished top from the Scrap Quilting Club's yearlong project.  I only had four rows completed and it is due next week.  I actually got four additional rows, setting, and borders completed in ten days!  The original patters in in Moda Bake Shop and was a sampler distributed in weekly installments (I can't remember the name right now).  We worked on this project by the month, with participants being able to modify up to two rows.  I modified the 4th and 8th rows.  When I got to the border, the quilt was not wide enough so I elongated the side borders but left the top at the original size.  Then, I didn't like the top border crossing over the side borders so I made corner blocks.  Whew!  It was a chore to get done, but I adore this quilt.

Here are the left over blocks I would have used in the top and bottom borders.  Maybe I will put them on the back of the quilt.

If you are still here, I appreciate you! :0)  I'm in the process of major overhauling my home.  Come January I will become an official long armer!  I need to switch out two rooms which also means I have to pack up two rooms, storing the items because I may as well paint while I'm at it!  Wish me luck and hopefully I'll return soon.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Scrap Quilting Club July 25, 2015

We had a great meeting.  The monthly project is to make a zippered bag.  I gave those present a zipper and a d-ring to use during the construction of your bag.  If you missed the meeting, I will have them available at the next meeting.

Sharon J. won door prize and Jennifer won t-shirt drawing; they both won 3 fat quarters.
Monthly project prizes were Lee Etta and Kathy and yearlong project prize was won by Sharon S.; they each won a kit with thee Stack Four Runners pattern and four fat quarters.

Thanks Sue for the wonderful birthday dessert you brought to the meeting; it was delicious.

Here is the monthly show-n-tell:

I cut hockey themed t-shirts for a commissioned quilt

My string quilt ready for quilting

My Felicity quilt top; needs borders added
Sharon S. has a few projects; string quilt in progress, yearlong project that only need the border, Felicity quilt top completed, and some of the border units for the yearlong project

Judy also completed a lot of projects this month; the Quiltmaker annual Christmas project, Staycation, string quilt, Warm Wishes, and a charm quilt

Jennifer finished row 7 of the yearlong project

Cynthia finished row 7 of the yearlong project

Lee Etta finished some projects too; string quilt, 3rd row of the yearlong project, two non-scrap club projects, and she showed a gifted tote made by Janice

Judi finished her Disappearing Hourglass blocks; now she needs to decide borders

 Sarah made two charity quilts and is working on a third.

 Doris' daughter colored her scrap quilting club t-shirt and Doris added a scrap necklace to complete her outfit.

 We had great fun today and I hope to see you next month!

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