Monday, July 31, 2023

Stitching Up A Little Sunshine

 Hello Quilting Friends!  My Quilt Studio clean up is almost complete.  I had a set back or two over the last few days but things are moving along pretty good once again. So when I ran across the yellow gingham porch quilt UFO I thought, why not get this girl made into a finished quilt top.  It shouldn't take long since she is about halfway pieced.

Oh how it made my little ole heart go pitter pat to hear the sewing machine humming along.  An hour and a half later the top was complete.  While things seem to be going smoothly why not go ahead and make a pieced backing for my little ray of sunshine.

Wham Bam! An hour or so later the scrap backing was complete.  I'd really like to put her on the frame and get her quilted up but I'm sticking to my new plan of making and quilting a charity quilt first.

For now she's safely tucked away with the rest of the quilts waiting to be quilted.  Now it's time to get back to dealing with the blue jean and flannel quilt I was cutting up last week.  Then I'll start the first charity quilt.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Day 11 ~ Die Cutting Denim and Flannel

 Hi Quilty Friends.  Just when I thought I had reached the end of the fabric sorting, folding and storing, I found these.   How did I not see the big bag of blue jeans and shirts?  Oh, I saw it but I thought it was one of my half quilted quilts.  As soon as I tried to pick it up and it weighed a ton I knew there was more fabric sorting to be done.  This sent me down a rabbit hole of checking every box and bag for fabric.  Thankfully this is the last of the fabric to sort and store.

Most of the jeans and a few shirts have already been deboned.  Deboning is the process of cutting away the seams and buttons. I could leave them as is and deal with them when I'm ready to make the quilt but they will take up less storage space if I debone them. It only took a couple hours to get them deboned.

I could have stopped there.  Did I do that?  No, this morning I had the bright idea to go ahead and cut them into squares.  This will reduce the space needed for storage even more.  

Since denim dulls a rotary cutter faster than paper or batting I decided to use the Sizzix die cutter.  It may also speed up the cutting process once I get a good assembly line routine going.  

The Sizzix can typically cut 8 layers of quilting cotton at a time, but I don't think it can handle 8 layers of denim.  So, I started out with 4 layers.

 Maybe 3 layers might work better.  A few threads in the corner need to be clipped.  Maybe running it through twice would help?  Who knows, I've only used this contraption a couple of times. I might be doing something wrong.

From the scraps I'll cut 3.5" squares because I can't toss out good denim.  The smaller die cut through the 4 layers of denim like butter.  Yep, I must have done something wrong with the bigger die.  Of course it could be a faulty die.  These Sizzix dies with straight edges need to be a little crooked when you run them through.  Was it not crooked enough or too crooked?  Hopefully I can figure it out and zip through these by noon today.  Wish me luck!

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Huge Project Day 10

Welcome Friends to my still messy studio!  Day 10 of rearranging, decluttering and sorting. Finally, there's light at the end of the tunnel. If all goes as planned, all the fabrics should be in their new homes by this afternoon.  It's been hard to stay on task while fondling so much pretty fabric. So, I took a little break and looked through all of my Bonnie Hunter books. 

Then it was time to get back to work.  All the fabric in yesterdays post was sorted and most of it stored.  I was shocked at the huge pile of low volume prints to be put into the scrap bin.

I was also shocked to find a few Christmas prints.  Not a fan of Christmas prints.  I think they are well suited for the charity fabric box. 

All the prints in this pile are large multi colored prints.  They didn't seem to fit in a specific color bin so I'll put them is a bin labeled Large Prints.  A few of them may also be moved to the charity box.

After thinking through my storage options mentioned in yesterdays post. The decision was made to use the system I already have in place.  Most of the newly sorted scraps have been added to the plastic drawer storage. 

There's a few more scraps needing a home. The plan is for more two more plastic drawers like the ones above.  Then I can use the baskets below for UFO's currently stored in plastic bags.

Hopefully tomorrow I can share with you a clean cutting table.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Monday, July 24, 2023

Mountains Of Scrap Fabric

 Hi-diddly-O Friends!  The beautiful piles of scrap fabrics are continuing to grow.  I must say I love walking into my studio and seeing the burst of color.  Eye Candy for the quilters soul.  It gives me a little giggle to think "My very own Cotton Candy Shop".  

As they are being sorted into piles of fabric by size my mind is working up plans for new quilts.  During break time I'm on Pinterest looking for ideas.  Years ago when bright happy fabrics were very popular, I started a Pinterest board called Scrap Happy Quilts.  I have found when I click on the images it brings up even more bright happy quilt ideas.  So I started pinning more new to me scrap happy quilt ideas.  Over 1000 pins of scrappy quilts on this board and I can't decide which one to make first.

Of course the powers that be keep reminding me about the many UFO's I planned to finish this year.  How does the power that be work?  Here's how... HST's are popping up in some really strange places.  Why would orange HST's be in with pink fabric?  Yes, something very strange is happening in here!  A little gremlin is planting these HST's as a reminder of the thousands of HST's I have yet to make into anything. I would never put orange HST's in with pink fabric. It's a gremlin at work, I'm sure of it!😉😁

Miscuts and test pieces are another issue, I need to think about how to use them.  Do I simply sew them together as orphan pieces?  Or try to use them as fabric scraps? Only time will tell. These will be added to the many other miscuts and orphan blocks collected over the years.

Today, is all about deciding what to do with the 3 drawers of random fat quarters.  I need a new way of storing them.  Thrifty Lea Anne says "make fabric storage bins".  The not so practical Lea Anne says "a shopping trip to Target for small clear stackable storage bins and sort by color".  

While the two Lea Anne's battle things out over fat quarter storage I'll be sorting the low volume fabric stash.  

And then the last of the fabric to sort will be the scrappy work baskets.  These are the baskets I keep on the cutting table at all times.  Most of my quilts are all the same colorway, bright and scrappy.  I work from the baskets and add to them as needed.  With all the changes going on in here it might be time to change this system as well and start with a clean slate. Perhaps anything in these baskets that is less than a fat quarter should be added to the scrappy fabric bins stash.

The only problem I see is, storage. The small scrap storage is pretty full.  More drawers might be needed.

Of course letting go of some of the tiny scraps would also work.  I'm saving them for a masterpiece applique quilt that MIGHT someday be made.  "Waste not, want not" is a polite way of saying "hoard everything".  Does this put me in the same category as the crazy cat lady? 

On a more positive, not so crazy side of things, the box of charity fabrics has now also become the box of quilt tops and fabric I can let go of for making charity quilts.  It's growing rapidly with both fabric and quilt tops.  So maybe this balances out the fabric hoarding craziness.  I'm looking forward to digging into the the box of not so loved fabric and making charity quilts.  
Well, now that I think about it, me longing to work with unloved fabric sounds kind of crazy too.  
Maybe I should change my blog name to "As The Crazy Quilter Quacks".

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Friday, July 21, 2023

Fabric Friday ~ New To Me

 Hey Quilty Friends!  The last week I've been up to my ears in fabric sorting and making plans to use up some unloved fabrics for charity quilts and then this happens.  I promise you, I was not shopping for fabric.  Sure, everyday I take a walk around my favorite online shops, but it's just window shopping.  

A few days ago I got a private message on Facebook from a quilter named Judy.  We met about 4 yrs ago at a quilt guild trunk show.   She too has been sorting and purging her fabrics when she stumbled upon a bunch of Lakehouse Drygoods, She remembered me saying how much I loved them.  

She offered them to me at a price I could not refuse.  Sight unseen I jumped on the deal and met with her a few days later.  Let me tell you, the angels sang as I opened the bag.  I've seen these online and they never look as bright and happy as they did in the bag.

There were more prints than what is shown here.  My friend/neighbor Judy(not the same Judy that sold me the fabric) came along with me on this fabric run.  She too loves bright and happy fabrics so I gave her some of the duplicates and a few others that she loved.  There was also some I thought I would have a hard using in my quilts.  They looked more 30's reproduction, which is her quilting style.

I  love all the blues in the picture above and below.  Well that yellow plaid doesn't really do much for me but the rest are screaming to be used. time for designing right now.  There's still much to be done in the Studio.  

The fabric sorting is going well. I've manage to sort and store all the backings and yardage.  A few more pieces have been added to the charity box. 
 Tomorrows plan 
1. sort through a couple boxes of fat quarters
 2. sort scraps by color and store them in the proper bins.  

It would be nice to never need to do this again.  Is it possible?  Are you the type of quilter who can keep it organized as you go? 

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Thursday, July 20, 2023

Mini Quilts Spa Day

Before washing the quilts on display in my home I always check them for issues such as rips or stains.  It's rare for one of them to have an issue.  But there was the one time I washed and dried a quilt that somehow had what looked to be blood.  Even with trying every blood stain trick on the internet the stain is still very visible after many washings.  So as this little cabinet of quilts was emptied I checked every quilt.

While checking each quilt I tried to remember the last time they were washed.  To be honest I can't remember.  What I found was the good, the bad and the ugly.  The good thing is there's no bugs of any kind.  I hate bugs and spiders.  I found plenty of dead ones under and behind the furniture as I moved them around in the last week.  Even when dead they give me the creeps and I don't want them on me.  The bad thing is I  found three mini quilts with the binding not completed.  Shame on me!

They look like they have been washed before.  What was I thinking?!  Silly woman.  I'm pretty sure the bindings were probably glued to the back of the quilts with the intentions of finishing at a later date.  That date is today....finally.  

Since I sewed the binding to the front I'm pretty sure my plan was to hand stitch the binding to the back.  But that's not happening.  Machine binding finish, I don't care how it looks I just want them finished.  I almost forgot to mention the ugly...THE DUST!  Sorry, no pictures of the dust. Just take my word for it, they were filthy.

My little quilts have had nice spa day and are looking pretty cute once again.

Now the question is....Do I put them back in the cabinet, hang them on the walls, or store them in totes?  Lazy Lea Anne says simplify life and store them in totes, no washing needed next spring.  Little girl Lea Anne say hang some of them on the wall because it would look so darn cute!  But then what do I put in the little green cabinet? 

There's plenty more yet to wash and fabric to sort while while I think about the options.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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