Friday, January 24, 2014

No sewing

I’ve not been doing much sewing at all.  After the holidays, I really felt the need to get some quilting done.  I have two quilts quilted and waiting for their binding and one on the frame that I will get done today and then I’ll get all three bound and sent off.

I did take 2 days to do some rearranging in the sewing & quilting rooms.   As you all know, I love thrift stores and have my favorites.  I stopped into one of my favorites and ended up coming home with a cabinet that I think was meant to be a wardrobe of some sort.  6’ high, 4’ wide and 20” deep.  Inside a shelf across the top about 20” down then the bottom  was divided in two with one side having 3 shelves and the other side having a hanging bar.  So the sewing room went from this:

IMG_0001Note: I had already started packing some stuff up…  To this:

IMG_0003My cutting table was in the corner before and had rounded ends.  I had hubby just square the ends off and now it sits flush with the wall and I can work on the 3 sides.  It also is on wheels so I can easily pull it out to utilize the full length of the table which I think is close to 4’.  I kept my peg board and even my ruler rack where it was as I still have room to squeeze into that corner.  I had my DH cut about 9” from the top of the book shelf and moved it into the quilting room:

IMG_0005The filing cabinet holds fabric, too.  Usually 10” to fat quarters and is a mess Smile  I had a short shelf where this one is now sitting and because I really wanted to keep it, I moved it to the other side of the room:

IMG_0006It sits in the corner now and still gives me enough room to scoot around to the back side of the frame.  That’s my design wall with my sheets storage chest underneath.  The black you see is one of those plastic drawer units that I keep a variety of stuff in.  I have my tools for the quilter as well as my circular knitting needles.  I have patterns that I plan to sew up within the next few months (okay, it’s my dream and I’m sticking to it…) in another drawer…  Under the frame I also have large totes of fabric, yarn and other miscellaneous..

So that was my big project last week.  It was nice to get some organization.  I told my daughter that I like having the doors on the cabinet because now I can do what the kids used to do – shove it all in, slam the doors and say “done”  Smile   No, I wouldn’t really do that, but it is nice that the smaller storage containers are now nicely put away..

Next time I hope to have a few pictures of completed quilts to show…


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sewing desk organizer

I love gadgets!  And I have more than my share.  I am always on the look out for ways to better organize those gadgets and came up with this:
IMG_0017It starts as a small milk crate type basket that I got at the dollar store:

IMG_0015I do wish they’d had it in a different color….  Everything you see laying around on the desk came out of the organizer.

IMG_0024I think this basket is about 7” square and about 6” deep.  I made it with pockets inside and out.  On one set of the outside pockets, I added elastic as I wasn’t sure what I would be putting in all the pockets:

IMG_0025IMG_0026These pictures show the organizer from opposite angles.  I used ribbons in the corners to secure the flap sides.  I did not stitch the corners down as you would when making one of those can organizers because there is a small lip on the edge of the basket and I just felt the ribbon closures would allow the outside flaps to hang more smoothly. 

I am considering making another one of these as I already have the basket and I think I’d like to put deeper, narrower pockets that would hold a few different gadgets…  I also like that this has the deep space inside for tossing in a pincushion, pieces of fabric of whatever I need to toss in there….  Oh, and yes, I do use the toothbrush in the cleaning of my machine.  I find it does a great job of getting all the lint out of the feed dogs and for dusting around knobs and such on the machine.


Monday, January 13, 2014


That’s the number of this blog post!  I started my blog in October 2010 and I still haven’t reached 300 posts!  I haven’t done much work in my sewing room – simply haven’t had the inclination or much time, for that matter.  I’m getting ready to put the repaired quilt on the frame and do some very simple stitch-in-the-ditch type quilting to simply secure all the layers.  When I took on this repair job, I didn’t really take the time to look closely at the fabrics.  I knew it was a variety of different types of fabric but I didn’t realize how delicate some of them are.  And maybe I should be saying ‘fragile’ instead of delicate…  I took several hours yesterday to do the hand repair work and I discovered that most of the damage to the quilt is where the squares were sewn together and then stitched over to secure to the top of the bedspread.  I will need to be vigilant in trying to avoid stitching over any previous spots.  I’m thinking I will do some very randomly placed stitching where the quilt is more stable.  This is my job for today and hope to be able to deliver the quilt back to it’s owner tomorrow.

I have a few quilts that were sent to me for quilting for QFC that I need to get done and sent off.  I also have to finish up Tiffani’s quilt before her birthday at the end of the month.  Also for her birthday, I bought an old ‘train’ case at the thrift store and tore the lining and everything out of the inside of it.  I’m going to reline it and repurpose it for Tiffani to put her Barbie princess dolls in.  I’m thinking I will make simple doll sleeping bags for her to put the individual dolls in.  Do I really think that’s how it’ll work out?  Not really, but who knows??? If nothing else, she will have a refurbished overnight case for when she comes to visit Grandma!

I don’t know what it is about January and getting focused.  I have so many different things I’d like to do on top of the things I feel committed to do.  I start on one thing then side track (yes, big surprise, huh?!) to something else.  I find myself starting new projects that I have no business doing until I finish up some of my other things.  I know, I know… one can never have too many projects.. But for me it’s a case of organization.  The more projects I have going or started, the bigger mess my sewing room is and then I don’t have any desire to work in there!  So maybe I need to get some of my obligations out of the way and clean the sewing room, kit up all the ‘projects’ and move on!  Okay, SELF, good luck with that one Smile

Hope everyone has a great Monday…


Wednesday, January 8, 2014


That’s as in number 1 not hash tag 1 – and no I don’t do Twitter!  But you hear about those Tweets and Hash tags…. so I’m just clarifying.  This is my first as in number 1 post of 2014.  And I’ve actually got something accomplished to share!!!

My granddaughter, Tiffani, will turn 4 the end of January and she’s getting her ‘big girl’ quilt:

IMG_0001IMG_0002The fabrics look quite a bit lighter than what they actually are.. but they are pastels.  The print fabric is Fairy Princesses but Tiffani wanted florals for her embroidery.  We sort of planned this quilt together as far back as August.  When I talked about making it, she said, “Gramma, I will help you with that!”  So she got to pick designs Smile

About a week before Christmas I was in my favorite thrift/estate store and Kevin (the owner) said, “Hey, I’ve got something for you.”  He proceeded to fill 8 of the large lawn & leaf bags with sewing patterns, some fabric and notions.  One bag was full of shoulder pads!  He told me he figured I’d use it and it wasn’t going to sell anyway… There must be 200 patterns!  Stretch n Sew, Vogue, some I’ve never heard of.  Most, I’m guessing, are from the 80’s / 90’s.  Most are uncut!  Here’s a sampling:


I’m using the chair in this picture to give an idea of the size of the box.  The box is a medium sized packing box:

IMG_0007IMG_0008I’m not sure what I’ll do with all these patterns.  As I went through them originally, I pulled a couple out that I think I might use.  Some of the more common brands patterns are smaller sizes and I’m not a small person!  But I know what I can’t use will not be thrown into the trash.  I’ll take them to few different thrift stores – sort of share the wealth…

On the quilting front, I’ve been asked to repair a simple patchwork quilt for a friend.  The top was simply appliqued to an old polyester bedspread.  She asked me to put a new back on it and I’ve decided to add a batting and backing and bind it as well.  The fabrics used are a variety from old sheets to polyester pants.  A mix of flannel and wool also.  Simple squares, but means a lot to my friend’s guy friend as his mother made it many years ago.  So it will be nice to give it a little life extension…

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm in this crazy winter weather that the eastern states are experiencing.