Monthly Archives: March 2015

Getting Organized is Messy

getting organized is messy Getting organized can be so messy! I’m looking forward to getting into my new studio soon. Really, like soon soon. We need to give the wood a few days to acclimate to our house then glue it down and install the trim. Then I can move in.

In the meantime I’m getting some sorting done. The more organized I get now, the easier it will be to load up the shelves and get to sewing. I’m starting with my fabric stash. Here are the new categories:

  • Donate
  • Solids
  • Tone-on-tone
  • Batiks
  • Hand-dyed
  • Holidays
  • Floral
  • Prints with animals
  • Prints with fruit
  • Dots and stripes
  • Flannel
  • Everything else

It’s so nice to be able to find everything quickly! Some of these are further sorted by color or type. I started with yardage (anything 1/8 of a yard and up) and am going through my scraps now. I also have boxes for types of items for sale in my shop. The baby quilts are all snuggled together and when one sells I won’t have to search twelve boxes to find it.

march stash bee block Of course, I need to take sewing breaks. So I made this month’s Stash Bee block. Then I traced some baby bibs which’ll be sold in sets. tracing baby bibs
What about you? How do you organize your stuff?

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Lemonade Mode Table Runner for Project Quilting

This week’s Project Quilting challenge is to make a quilt out of charm squares. I had a pack of 5″ squares from moda called Spring House. I thought it’d make a cute baby quilt. charm challenge first cutSo I started by cutting all of the pieces at the same spot. This was done in groups of five so my rotary cutter would go through the layers. I used a piece that was already cut as the template for where to cut the next sets. charm square quilt second cutI mixed the fabrics up and sewed ’em back together then made a second cut. And again.
charm square quilt squaring blocks I squared the blocks up and laid ’em out. Well, this certainly won’t make a baby quilt. It’s too small. There were some leftover charms so I cut ’em in half and sewed them into a long line. My art told me it wanted to be a springtime table runner. Sounded good to me so I went with it. 🙂

pansies and charms on floorThe chop and sew blocks became rows which alternated with the half-charm bricks. I was also working on a pansy-center log cabin quilt.

charm table runner on shelf
So what’s with the name, “Lemonade Mode”? Making lemonade when life hands you lemons is all about problem solving. Even more than that, it’s focusing on solutions rather than on problems.

 

I’ve been in lemonade mode recently and it’s helped reduce my anxiety and increase productivity. While I deal with some health issues I’m feeling fatigued. Instead of overextending myself I’m prioritizing and getting more efficient. My husband and I take turns cooking and make sure to plan for leftovers. I save up errands and do them all at once. (No driving across town just to do it again tomorrow!) I multi-task when quilting. Chain-piecing is great for this. My appointments are in the afternoon when I have the most energy. I read and write at night.

What problems have you solved / can you solve by switching to lemonade mode?

 

Window to my Art

Soon I’ll have an art studio! Hubby and I installed a new window today. Yup, all by ourselves. 🙂

Milo hides

Our cat Milo didn’t approve. His hiding spot is under the covers. (I see you!) He’s not going to be happy tomorrow when we replace the bedroom window. The kitties will be locked out of the bedroom while there’s a gigantic hole in the wall.

Milo hears a noise

My husband started the job by unscrewing the window and removing the frame and track. We set those aside to deal with after the installation.

Out with the old windowWe discovered that he’s much better with the caulking gun than I am. So my job was to squish the silicone into the holes and smooth it out.Caulking to seal
The window easily slid into its space. I pushed from the outside and Jeff screwed the frame into the wall from inside. It’s a nice tight fit. The window on the left in the photo below is the old style. How much nicer does this one look?! All of the windows in the house will be replaced. First one’s done!
new window vs old
Clean-up was fun. It’s not everyday you get to smash a window! We hammered the glass out, swept it up, and put it in the bin for recycling. The metal track and frames were sawed smaller and recycled too.
smashing old window

 

I’m excited to see things progressing! The studio will be ready for me soon. We’re going to put bamboo flooring in. The closet doors need to be put back up (we took ’em down to paint) and then… and then… and then… well, I guess there’s nothing left to do but move in!

 

 

Linking up with Thankful Thursday.

When the Playground’s Crowded

I went to the park today to photograph some baby quilts. I talked about using appropriate props in this post and aimed to do that. Things don’t always work out the way you think they will. The playground was crowded and I wasn’t going to ask all the kids having fun to get out of my frame. So I took the quilts back home and looked around my yard for other options.

blackwhite crumbs backMy fence is actually a pretty good backdrop. I pinned a string of fabric on the back of each quilt for hanging. The strings loop around two nails on top of the fence where we hung Christmas lights last year. I like the natural look of the wood and the contrast it adds.

blackwhite crumbs frontHere’s the front side of the above quilt. How cool is it that this crumb-pieced baby quilt is double sided?! The front has crumb blocks pieced into black, white, and red fabrics. The back has crumb blocks appliqued onto a green, red, and white floral.

raggedy ann frontHere’s a Raggedy Ann and Overall Andy quilt. I paired this sweet fabric with a solid red to merge modern and traditional. The chevron zig-zag looks a bit like a crown too.

floral baby front This one is a simple floral patchworkcharm challenge first cut
I’m working on two more baby quilts. (And I have several more in mind that haven’t yet been started!) One is for this week’s  Project Quilting challenge. It uses only 5″ charm squares of fabric. I’ll be cutting them up and piecing ’em back together. Here’s the first cut. I have one week to finish and enter it.
three more

Quilts and more are for sale in my etsy shop! Here’s a sampling of other baby-sized ones that are ready today. Want something specific you don’t see here? I specialize in custom orders. Let’s talk.

 

Linking up to Oh Scrap!

 

Tiny Roller to the Rescue

Paint’s drying in my new studio as I speak. I used a brush and the tiny roller in this photo on the door jam. The ceiling, walls, trim and closet doors (on the floor) were all sprayed. The room’s so shiny and white now!
tiny roller painting

Next up is removing the tiles and installing the ceiling fan. We’ll also put the covers back on the outlets and replace the doorknob. Hardwood flooring and a window are on order and should be here in the next week or two. It’ll be move-in day before you know it!

Our other big project this week was making and canning soup. Two large pots of turkey, vegetables, spices and pasta made for fifteen quarts of soup. All of the lids popped so they’re sealed for the pantry. I loooove my husband’s soup recipe. Now it’s easy to open a jar and have some anytime I want.turkey noodle soups 15

Canning soup is cheap too. The lids and ingredients for this amount comes out to around $28. I’m not including the cost of the jars and bands because they’re an initial expense but will last forever. We get about 3 servings out of each quart. Price per serving is $0.62…. and this tastes much better than any canned soup at the store. Win!

What projects are you working on?

 

 

Linking up to Thankful Thursday and Let’s Bee Social and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

It’s a Girl Quilt.

My friend Katie posted photos of a gender reveal party today. Look at their sweet happy faces.

katies having a girl

The baker was given a piece of paper with the baby’s gender written on it. Parents didn’t find out until the moment this photo was snapped. Pink cake = baby girl! (Check out Katie’s blog for her chocolate covered oreos recipe. )

Baby girl might need something special from Aunt Megan! Let’s look at some cute baby quilts. These designs can all be altered to be for boys or girls. I haven’t yet made any of these. Click on ’em for more information including designers and makers. Which are your favorites?

scary monster squares quilt

 

goldfish quilt

paper airplane quilt

purple circles quilt

argyle quilt

 

Check out my quilting Pinterest board for more inspiration.

I’m working on a floral baby quilt and one with Raggedy Ann fabric. I’ll show them to you guys once they’re complete and photographed! Maybe I’ll head to the playground to take the pictures.

 

Linking up with Weekly Inspiration.