Each year at Christmas my dad’s side of the family does a Secret Santa gift exchange. The idea is to do something creative and hand make a thoughtful gift for one person. Another person gets you and this counts as your gift from the whole family.
The gift I made this year didn’t make it there on time before my person went away for the holidays. It should be waiting when he returns so I’ll blog about it then. No need to ruin the surprise!
Kacee was my Santa. She made me cupcakes! Sorta. They’re pieces of fabric folded and set in cupcake wrappers to look like sweets. How cool is that! The colors she chose are from the state flag of Colorado, which we’re moving to soon. Creative, thoughtful, fun, and useful. It’s the start of my next quilt! Thank you Kacee I love it.
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:
Prints with animals
Prints with fruit
Dots and stripes
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.
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.
What about you? How do you organize your stuff?
I painted my toenails just to stuff my feet into sneakers. I put lipstick on to sew in my pajamas. I do my hair up nicely to watch TV with my husband. I put a dirty fork on the counter so the sink can be empty. Aaand I cut up perfectly good fabric just to sew it back together.
These things may be a little nutty but they make me feel good. What are little things that make you feel good? I challenge you to do one of those things today.
Speaking of cut up fabric that’s sewn back together, I showed a sample of my letter pillows in this post. Well, the time has come to reveal the etsy listing. Get ’em while the getting’s hot!
Here are the options on the pillow covers. I’ll be adding more sizes and colors as we go. They’re envelope-backed. And yes, as part of my prep work for launching these pillows, I made sure they actually fit into the pillow form. Who’da thunk?!
Four background colors to choose from: Black, Beige, Grey, and Teal.
Buy just the 12×12 inch pillow case, or add-on a pillow form to save you a trip to the store.
I can do any letter, uppercase or lowercase. For now, it’s one letter per pillow.
Prices increase on custom orders beginning tomorrow, February 1st. Everything that’s already listed as a completed item in my shop will stay the same price. New items and custom orders increase by 10% tomorrow.
I’m on my way back home tomorrow! I’ve had such a super wonderful time in St. Louis and am looking forward to a nice long hug from my husband. And some kitty snuggles. I’ll have a bunch of posts for you guys as I download photographs, experiences, jokes, and life lessons. For now, here’s a little insight onto how I’m able to turn trash to treasure with a little help from my friends.
Some of my quilting buddies have taken to collecting and saving their scraps of fabric for me. I love using teeny tiny pieces of fabrics for my crumb piecing projects, and they feel good that these bits aren’t ending up in the trash. My friend Melissa says it’s like going back to the origin of quilting, sewing together every usable bit of fabric. It was out of necessity way back when. You know, keep the family bed warm with what’s left of dresses and flour sacks. When I get scraps, they come in “Megan Bags” which look something like this:
Yup, this one’s mostly batiks. Aren’t they pretty?! I turn on the TV or Hulu and start the sort. The pieces that are too small even for me (yes, there are a few) go in a bag for community service at one of my quilt guilds. They stuff pillows for the homeless with those bits. The rest, I sort by color into bins.
When I stop for the night, usually when the show is over or the Megan bag is empty, I transfer the sorted fabric into the larger drawers that I use to store scraps. Here’s what some of them will become:
I had intended to check out a quilt shop or two while I’m here in St. Louis on vacation. Maybe on one of the days when my Dad’s working and brother’s in school. Apparently my friend Sheri is a super-networking queen because almost immediately she knew exactly where I should go. When she told me they even sell long-arm machines I knew it was just the spot to check out.
As soon as I walked into Jackman’s Fabrics I saw that they’re serious about quilting. There are displays, examples, samples, whatever you want to call them, everywhere! They have a great class space and lineup. Their batiks selection is awesome and the sewing machine department has lots of options. I got to try out a mid-arm and a long-arm. This shop balances the modern and traditional pretty well so every kind of quilter/fabric artist/embroiderer is catered to.
Okay. Here’s the BIG part. No matter what quilt shop I go to, my very first reactions as well as the lasting impressions of the shop are of the workers there. These ladies were super welcoming, passionate, and informative. There was a class listed as meeting this Saturday that I was curious about and I got to go back to the classroom and speak to the teacher right then, even as she was in the middle of teaching. Sheri came with me and realized that she hadn’t been in a fabric store in a few years and had lots of questions…. which ended up with a personal tour of the store and someone walking around answering anything and everything she thought of. Again, super welcoming. If this store were in my area I’d be a repeat customer. As it is, next time I visit I may have to schedule some shopping time there.
Alright, photos time. Here’s what I bought:
Here are a few of the sample quilts that were hung throughout the store. The pattern was always nearby and often fabrics were kitted, too.
I’m working my way through Tula Pink’s newest book City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks with some quilty friends of mine. One of the cool things about this book is that the author encourages you to name your own blocks, providing numbers to reference them by.
Here’s my version of #87. I call it “Hide the Cottons!” It reminds me of a map of a fabric store. Not a quilt shop, mind you, but a JoAnns-ish fabric store. Where are buttons? All over the store. Where’s the fabric? Easily accessible and plain to see. How about the quilting cottons? Well… those are hidden in the dark recesses of this itty-bitty corner where the dust bunnies breed. Ugh!
Speaking of bunnies, I had the chance to meet one that wasn’t made of dust (or cat hair) this weekend! Our neighbor’s cat chased him into the garage, where we had to move a bunch of boxes and poke him with a 2×4 before he was caught. We decided to put him in a cat-carrier cage until the neighbor’s cat had been let in for the night, hoping to save little cotton tail from becoming dinner. I even offered him some carrots but he was busy being scared out of his mind. Here’s the little guy in the carrier.
When it was time to let him go, my husband picked him up with welding gloves on. Wild animals are known to bite, right? Safety first!
I gave him some pets before he hopped home. He calmed right down and squinted his eyes when I stroked the top of his head and the base of his ears. Hubby said his heart-rate slowed way down, too, from what he could tell through the gloves.