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Archive for the tag “organization”

Darn you, Bonnie!

Darn Bonnie Hunter!

Why does she have to make such awesome scrap quilts?  And why does she have to be so darn organized?

I love my scrap boxes!

scrapsI love digging through them.  I pull out little reminders of quilts completed, waiting to be completed and those booted out of my life forever! The red, green and black quilt comes to mind…a challenge quilt that my sister and I were going to do.  Fabric looked great in the shop…not so much on the design wall.  No matter how I arranged those squares and triangles, nothing looked right.  I waited for my sister to throw in the towel.  She didn’t.  I blinked first and she happily agreed to trash the project.  So all of those squares and triangles went into the scrap box.  I still shudder when I pull one of them out remembering what almost was.  Then a little smile because I still like the darn fabric!  But, of course. I digress!

As much as I love pawing through the box when I have nothing else to do  (like when does that happen?), I hate digging through it in search of that one print/color for a scrap quilt.  What a time suck!

Enter Bonnie Hunter by way of my sister.  (I have to start ignoring her. 🙂 ) She purchased one of Bonnie’s books and bought into the whole organize your scraps theory.  I can see her now, feverishly cutting strips and squares in various sizes.  Well, maybe not feverishly–but cutting none the less.  What I can’t see is me doing the same thing.  If there’s one thing that anyone who knows me knows it’s that I do nothing-and I mean nothing-feverishly!  But my dear sister (the Enabler) convinced me to try.

OK…my turn.  On her recommendation, I purchased this book.

bookI discover that I love the quilts.  However, I’m pretty sure I’m not cutting up shirts to make scraps.  Here is what I would have to work with.  Obviously, my husband is neither flashy or flamboyant.

shirtsEven if I wanted to go that route (I don’t) I couldn’t.  He’d be a little upset if I did.  He’s still mad at me because I gave away his safari jacket.  Seriously, he still brings it up in the occasional argument.  Now, I have thought about cutting up his Cubs shirts…for that just right Cubbie blue triangle but I like living in this house. 🙂  Would probably be a deal breaker.

So I started slicing and dicing my scraps into usable squares and strips.  I was a human Vegomatic!  I’ll admit it will be very useful when I have enough.  (Do we ever have enough?)  But it will be a long road from this

scrapsto this.

organizedCuz I’d rather stitch ’em than cut ’em!  How about you?


Almost summer….

This quilt makes me think of summer!

It’s almost summer and I’m almost on vacation.  I have six wonderful weeks away from the daily grind.  Just enough time to get used to being a lady of leisure and then BAM!–back to reality.  My days with umbrella drinks on the deck are severely limited.  So, for the first time ever, I’ve decided to go into summer break with a plan.  This post is the kick-off to the inaugural “At Least Do Something Constructive”  summer break.

I’m putting my plan out here for all the world to see…and to shame me into completing at least some of it!  There are those of you out there (and you know who you are) who will push nudge me along in this endeavour.

So, here is my summer To-Do list–in no particular order:

  • Finish quilting Gettysburg Sun
  • Quilt this guy with feathers
  • Quilt Midnight Stroll
  • Quilt my coneflower quilt  with Leah’s “zippling”
  • Make mug rugs and assorted goodies for my guild’s boutique in the fall
  • Get my Civil War Tribute quilt to the long arm quilter.  I know this probably really shouldn’t be on my to-do list but I think I can actually do this one!  🙂

OK….that’s enough!  I have to leave some time for the umbrella drinks on the deck!

Happy Summer!!!!

At long last…

…I can sew again!

Last week I was jolted into action when my sewing cabinet was delivered days before it was even scheduled to ship.  It was a very long weekend of cleaning, tossing, assembling and reorganizing.  I’m not sure what was my least favorite.  I can say that the tossing was the hardest.  After all this time I’ve developed a relationship with my “stuff”.  But all things must end, so toss I did.  Fabric, patterns, threads, software–seriously, who has a floppy drive any more?  It was amazing to me that I could haul out so many bags and boxes of “stuff” and still have “stuff” left over!  Where in the world had I been putting it?

My husband assembled the cabinet in two days with little difficulty.  Ran into a few missing parts but Kangaroo Kabinets mailed them out immediately and sent along a cute little tote for my trouble.  Great…more stuff!!

Saturday morning was the trek to Ikea.  What a cool store!  My first time in an Ikea but not my last, I’m sure!  By late Saturday afternoon, my husband had the cutting table assembled and I could begin to bring things back into the room.

Here’s the biggest lesson learned!  My focus was on the cabinet.  Where would it fit the best?  Would there be an issue if it were completely opened up?  All of those measurements were taken before (know where I’m going with this?) we built the cutting table.  It’s not as wide as the table I had been using (good) but deeper than said table (bad).  The sewing cabinet doesn’t reeeeeaaaally fit with the quilting leaf opened up in the back.  Thanks goodness both pieces are on casters..  So with a minor bad word or two and a little maneuvering, I can make it work.  That was close.  Moral of the story….measure, measure, measure!

My husband installed a shelf for my stereo and another above the computer for my pictures.  Add a mini fridge and I may never have to leave!  My little kangaroo, Pockets, has a home near my machine.  Cute little guy has his ears on backwards!  MiniQuilter wants to know how he can talk on the phone.  Wow!  Is she a child of the times or what!

Sunday began the great migration back to the room.  The grands were over and MiniQuilter decided to “help”.  I told her she could have a little cubbie in the cabinet for her “stuff”.   Believe me–she crammed a lot in a little space!  She’s certainly Grandma’s girl!

In the past, I left my ironing board up all of the time.  (Couldn’t see the top of it half of the time!)  Without the ironing board in there, I have so much breathing space!  I’m almost giddy–I could dance in there if I wanted to dance. Ooooo…that’s not a pretty picture!  🙂  The euphoria didn’t last long.  Enter my husband with the darn ironing board.  Right now, it’s folded up behind the door and I’m using a folded towel on the cutting table to press seams.  I figure if we need to iron a shirt (does anyone really do that anymore?), we can set it up and take it down…My question to you:  What do you use in your sewing space to press seams?

Enjoy my little slideshow of the “after”.  You’ve seen the before here!  I’m going to go sew….finally!

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It’s here!

My cabinet was supposed to be shipped on Friday and delivered next week.  I planned on organizing the palace this weekend.  I came home from work Wednesday afternoon and hit the couch for a well-deserved nap when there came a knock on the door and my husband answered.  I was expecting a new light for my new cabinet.  The light doesn’t come in four boxes.  Mr. Fed Ex Guy kept bringing in boxes.  We closed the door and stared at the boxes.  No nap today.  The best laid plans…..

We sprang into action.  I went into the palace and opened the closet door.  I nearly wept with frustration.  Oh dear!  So  many boxes and piles.  I started to pull down boxes from the top shelf labeled with #2 son’s  ten year old penmanship.  They were filled with crap baseball cards.  Not wanting to be the mother that accidentally throws away a potential fortune, I called him.  We went over each box–want it or not?  Not too many “no”s.  Hmmm…this wasn’t going to be easy.  I asked him about a particular game and he informed me that it wasn’t even his.  So I’ve been storing someone else’s stuff for twelve years!  As if I don’t have enough stuff of my own to store!  We decided what would make the trek with us this summer and what would wait and vacation with us next year.  I gained a half of a shelf.

Packed up the magazines and hauled them out before I could change my mind.  I did find some old flour sacks and 50s era kitchen linens and embroideries.  Kept them.  Put UFOs that are in the “dream” stage–pattern, fabric thread, no stitches (essentially “kits”) into a pile.  I piled the true UFOs together so I know where each and every one is.  I also found a stack of orphan blocks that I can use for fmq practice.  Now, I can open the door and see what I have.  It’s still jam-packed but it’s organized chaos!

Convinced the husband to order pizza for dinner so we could continue working.  Moved out the cutting table and the old computer table.  Moved my current sewing table to the other side of the room for my computer.  That was a challenge because the table is actually a big corner unit and there wasn’t a whole lot of room to turn it.  But after several bad words (my husband even made some up when he ran out of the standards) and some smashed appendages, it’s found its new home.  Set up the computer, turned off the light and had a glass of wine.  Whew!  I was tired!

So here are the last photos I took in there before the “renovation” began.  The Gettysburg Sun is coming along nicely.  I have two spots where I didn’t stitch in the ditch very well.  Looked like I fell into the ditch once too often.  I totally roamed.  When I feel like something doesn’t look right, I walk away from it and the next day the mistakes are not so glaring.  Coming back two days later , these still jumped out at me.  There’s nothing to do for it now except to “unsew” them.  I don’t think I’ll be happy with the quilt if I don’t.  So “unsew” I will!  😦

Here’s hoping I’ll have things back in place soon and the “magic” will once again flow from the palace!

I’m so excited!

And I just can’t hide it!  I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!  OK…we can all stop dancing now.  Except for me!  I ordered my sewing cabinet yesterday and it should be delivered next week!  Uh oh!  Stop dancing, Candy.  This means you have to empty out the palace!  Egads!! But  I do have a plan…of sorts.

Stage One is emptying out the closet and rearranging it.  Oh how I dread this!

See, I told you it was messy!   This is just a peek inside.     << Insert horror scream here!>>  Most of the things on the top shelf belong to #2 Son.  He left the nest–flew the coop–around twelve years ago.  Initially, he didn’t want any of the stuff–I was the hoarder who kept it.  Sunday, I told him I was getting rid of it and now he wants to know what’s up there.  He’ll find out in July when we go to visit him–it will all be in the trunk!  🙂  Won’t he be surprised!

I save dumb things–like empty boxes from Apple products.  Yes, Apple devices come with awesome packaging.  But do I really need the ipod box?  Really, Candy?

I have a partial shelf stacked with Quilter’s Newsletter magazines.  I haven’t looked at them since I stacked them there.  And I seriously doubt that I looked at them before I stacked them there.  But I’m torn…I don’t want them any longer but I hate to just toss them out.  But I also hate to take them to my guild meeting because if no one adopts them, I have to haul them back home with me.  I’m not wanting to do that!  I’m looking at their shelf space with the green eyes of envy.

The embroidery blanks–some I’ll keep, some I’ll donate.  I always have such grand intentions.  But I can never find that 25th hour in the day.  So this closet is where those intentions go to die–they languish in the land of what might have been!  Hopefully, they can find a place where they can revive their dreams–preferably in someone else’s room!  🙂

This will be a daunting task and not for the faint of heart for sure!  But I know I can do this.  Hard hat is ready!!!!


The following images may not be pretty!  They are a peek inside my sewing palace.  If my husband (aka Felix Unger, neat freak supreme!) knew I was sharing these images with you he would probably turn purple and pass out.  Before you view this little slide show, please know that the rest of my house does not look like this.  I’m truly not a slob.  Only in this room.  My issue seems to be organization.  I do not have a place for everything and everything in its place.  I have too many “things” for each thing to have its own place.   Which brings me to the reason why I’m even letting you glimpse the chaos in which I create!  I need help!

I’m planning to purchase this baby here at the end of May.  To be able to assemble it in the room, everything must come out.  This seems like a good time to organize…maybe find a different method of storage.  I’m getting a headache thinking about it.  I may have to lie down for a while!  🙂  I know I’m not the only one of us who has an extensive fabric stash and too many books and tools that just can’t be thrown away.  My question is this…how in the world do you organize your space?  How do you store your rulers and cutters and scissors?  Where do you put your books and patterns?  How do you hide your UFOs?

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present my chaotic sewing palace!  Please don’t judge me!  🙂

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