Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year; happy quilting!

It is only Jan. 8th.

My apologies. for starting my first blog of the new year a full eight days into it.

The truth is I've been busy following my primal instincts to organize. My body clock is somewhat confused. It can't discern whether it wants to warm the nest for a long winter or start cleaning for the coming of spring. Darned climate change has me so confused. I'm working entirely too hard on this nest! Being the consummate optimist though, I see this as a positive. I love being organized, although most people who know me think my chaotic surroundings are simply messy. To me though, my messes are methodical.

Anyway, I've been trying to get my quilting life in order. Order is the key word in our tiny retirement mansion that consists of only two bedrooms. We previously lived in a huge two-story house. There I had a sewing room on the second floor. The problem is, I had just begun sewing. When we left there I was working on only my second quilt. Now that I am really into quilting; I need lots more room and I just plain don't have it. No problem though. A little organization can do wonders. It is something I have been working on over the last couple months as I continue to collect a fabric stash and get more involved in quilting projects.

My quilting areas can be broken down into three main areas. The first is the most important.

It is where I can get creative--where I sew. I just converted what was supposed to be a breakfast nook just off the kitchen into a mini sewing room. It is a perfect out-of-the way place, with natural sunlight streaming through the window and in close proximity to the ever-hungry felines in our house.


The 'bar' is divided into three sections.

The first is a cutting area. This is where I keep all my rulers.

TIP: I keep my rulers handy and accessible by using two plate holders--you know those little plastic hinged pieces that fold up when not in use. They are expandable, so they are perfect for the many different sizes and types of rulers needed. I have one ruler that is about 24" long--way too long for one holder--but not too long for two of them side-by-side.

There isn't much that can be said about the middle space. It is my sewing area and contains my sewing machine. I have a Jenome that I bought at Sears many years ago. It was probably the cheapest machine they made, but it is a little work horse. I keep it on a cutting mat for last minute trimming.

It is very convenient to keep my pressing area close to where I sew. My husband made a little ironing board out of plywood on feet that I covered with fabric and batting. It is perfect for pressing those perfect 1/4" seams.

The other parts of my sewing life would not be complete without storage areas. I keep all my fabric in shallow bins that store under my bed. I sort it all by color. I generally buy 1/2-to 1-yard pieces of many different fabrics rather than large yardage of a few. I love the variety. I love the colors and feel of the fabric. I love just having it; looking at it. I'm the same way about yarn, although that has taken a backseat to quilting of late. I have been crocheting and knitting since I was a youngster, but quilting is still fairly new to me. I have so much to learn.

I also have a bedroom closet converted into a sewing storage space. This is where fabric goes before it gets sorted. I consider sorting fabric into bins rather like filing paperwork. I don't do that often either. I just happened to have taken these pictures after sorting. Otherwise there are stacks and stacks of fabric in there.

This closet has lots of goodies in it--knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing and embroidery thread, rolls of eyelet lace, ribbon, quilting magazines, batting for the next several quilts, and all kinds of stuff. Those tubs are filled with fabric scraps. The cedar chest on the bottom left, contains my husband's grandmother's tatting shuttle, which I've yet to learn how to use. One of these days, if and when time permits.





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