Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just An Experiment....

I’ve always felt the ideal way to store spools of thread is on wall racks.  Not only do you get to see your inventory, but the colors are so pretty, they can be an art form in themselves.  Unfortunately, I have no open wall space in my sewing room. 

I've been wasting a lot of time going through drawers just to see if I have the color I need to stitch down a binding or attach a label.  Since I used to be into sewing clothes, I have a lot of colors, if only I could find them.  I decided to try organizing my thread by color in resealable bags and keep them in a basket.  Maybe that will make it easier to see if I have the colors I need.  I would love to hear other ideas.  Please share.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Clutter is Winning!

Here is part of the reason I feel like the clutter is closing in.  This basket holds cuts that will eventually go into string quilts and pot holders as well as left over bindings.  It is only the tip of the iceberg of my growing collection of quilting remnants, UFOs, gadgets and whatnots that has become unmanageable.    My sewing room is periodically dismantled so that air mattresses can be put down for our grandsons.  When I could no longer stow all my project boxes and other paraphernalia in my “quilting closet of shame,” I knew I had to do something.

I spent part of last week trying to bring a little order to the chaos.  One of the things I want to do is get all of the non-sewing related items out of the closet, like the clothes steamer I haven’t used in 5 years.  I have a lot of work left, but it was actually fun rediscovering some of the goodies available in my stash.  The process spurred me to go through my collection of scrappy quilt patterns looking for a way to use some of the smaller remnants I can’t bring myself to discard.  I’m not ready to launch into something new yet, but it was an enjoyable diversion.

One of my goals for 2011 was to complete 12 pot holders in order to replenish my gift drawer.  Here they are, plus two knitted dish cloths. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 03/28/2011

My collection of big star blocks from the Wisconsin kit is growing.  I love the rich warm colors that were chosen for this project.   Sometimes I enjoy simpler projects like this one where the blocks are large and someone else has done the work of selecting the fabrics.  These projects are relaxing and perfect for retreats or group sewing events where there will be a lot of distracting chatter.  Having said that, more and more often I find greater satisfaction in making projects that are challenging and not exact duplicates of someone else’s creativity.  Since January I have been trying to clear out some of the unfinished projects lurking in my sewing closet so I can start something new without feeling guilty. 

I will have to pause on these star blocks for a while and refocus on this month’s blocks for my Civil War Chronicles quilt BOM.  April is usually filled with family visits and celebrations, and I must be more deliberate in how I budget the time I have to sew.

Be sure and visit Patchwork Times and see what others in the quilting community are working on today.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Give-Away Alert!

I just love the connections with other quilters we can make via the Internet. Mary Ann, who hosts a blog I recently discovered, is having a give-away to celebrate her 100th post.  As a fairly new blogger, myself, I find that a noteworthy accomplishment!  Be sure and stop by  Rocknquilts  to enter for a chance to win.

Design Wall Monday – 03/21/2011

My design wall shows three completed blocks and two in the process of being laid out from a kit I purchased two years ago while in Wisconsin.  Bob and I arrived too early to check in our hotel so he dropped me off at a quilt store while he walked around.  When he came back I was holding two kits and debating what to do.  He said, “Oh, get both of them and let’s get out of here!”  …and I did.  If he hadn’t said that, I probably would have talked myself out of buying either of them.  I’ve already named this one “Wisconsin Stars.”  It will have 20 blocks when completed and will be a throw.

Be sure to see what other quilters are up to at the Patchwork Times site.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday – 3/14/2011

I managed to finish this month’s blocks for the Civil War Chronicles quilt five days before our club meeting.  It was a real challenge and, if I hadn’t been working on them at a quilt retreat, I probably would have procrastinated until it was too late to meet the deadline. 

The the location of our retreat was at a Texas Hill Country Ranch perched high on a hillside that overlooks the head waters of Lake Travis.  I'm not at liberty to post pictures of the actual facility as it is privately owned, but I will share this photo of part of the view we enjoyed from the patio outside her work room.  We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time there working on quilts and enjoying the company of others who love this craft.  It was a productive three days, and a special time with good friends.

As part of our participation in the Civil War Chronicles Club, we were asked to make heart shaped name tags, and we were given our name spelled out in beads in February.  I made mine from batik scraps trimmed from  my Spiral Lone Star quilt.

Visit Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to this week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clutter Closing In

I actually have a rather high tolerance for clutter, a good thing if you want to be a quilter since the craft is a messy one.  I’ve reached my limit, however, and have begun culling out things as I can.  This batch of quilting magazines (minus pages with projects I found particularly appealing) has been passed along to my quilting friends.  I find parting with magazines much easier than parting with patterns, books or scraps.  Looks like I have a long haul ahead of me.

Here’s Chloe … in the hunt for an available lap.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

“Scraps Have Value” -- Bound, Labeled, Done!

I finally finished the binding on this quilt last.  It is now ready for service wherever it ends up. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday – 03/07/2011

This is a class project from an appliqué workshop I attended last week. It was a real treat to be a part of a small day-long class that offered lots of hands-on experience and one-on-one assistance from the teacher.  We worked on making templates for the six basic shapes:  leaf (outside curve and points); inner curve; heart; circle and bias stem.  It was a fun, relaxing day.

Be sure to check out what's going on today at Judy Laquidara's site to see what other quilters are up to.