Thursday, February 19, 2015

studio organizing, week 7

For week 7 of the studio organizing challenge, lead by Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts, it was to learn to use a new tool. I chose my diamond Fons & Porter ruler, which I hadn't got around to trying yet. I did some searches, and came up with THIS  free pattern called Ozark Star, which happens to use another ruler I already had, as well. I didn't have the pyramid ruler it calls for, but was able to use the paper template that the pattern provides.

I decided this won't be a table topper for me, but will hang in my sewing room, along side my Hazel Ilene quilt. So I used some of the same fabrics that are in the quilt, for it. I did have to do some ripping of seams a few times to get things to line up okay. I can see making this in Christmas fabrics!
I should have got it done by now, but for the last few days, I've been debating on the quilting and the fabrics for the backing and binding. I think I'll use this one for both, but not completely sure yet...
So this was a fun challenge to do and I learned how to use some new tools!

Now, for week 8, Shelly just posted the challenge to:

put away stray fabric and other items.

Well I actually just did this over the past few days, as I was contemplating what fabrics to use to finish the Ozark Star.
One thing that has helped me to keep from having a huge mess when I pull out fabrics, which you can read about HERE on Sew Many Ways, is to wrap your fabrics around a file folder. I don't have too many good quilter's cottons, as most of my fabrics are poly blends or old clothes, so I was able to do this with my quilting fabrics and fill a file box. It worked great, until I decided I wanted files with actual paper patterns, in there! So I placed them in those plastic drawers, that are on wheels. They fit in great and the fabric stays neat and tidy!
I did just pick up some more file boxes on sale though, so I might just go back to using them and do even more of my stash this way.

My file folders were blue, so just incase of any color bleeding onto the fabric because of dampness(my sewing space is in my basement), I do wrap tissue paper around them first.

So, since my area is fairly neat for now, I do have mending, that a certain 6 year old, would love mommy to get done!
They all have wee holes in them. It shouldn't take long and will clear off another spot.
Happy stitching!

Monday, February 16, 2015

a V-Day mug rug

 I had an orphan heart block in my scrap bin, so I thought, why not make hubby a mug rug for Valentine's Day? I then randomly pieced some strips for the other side, to make it reversible. Inside, is just a thin piece of batting, so it wasn't too puffy.

The fabric line is called Greetings from Canada by Thimbleberries for RJR Fabrics.
If I recall correctly, I think the heart block pattern came from Kathleen Tracy's small quilt Yahoo group.
It was nice to use up some scraps!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

studio organizing, week 6

I'm trying to catch up with Shelly's challenges. So for week 6, the challenge was to:
clean off your cutting table or main work area.

I'm attempting to keep my tables clean, by working in my sewing space each day, even if it's just for 15 minutes. It's helping, so it didn't take too long to clean the surfaces up.

One thing that has really helped me to tidy up quickly, are mini design boards. Here is one of mine:
They are super easy to make, and oh, so useful! You can find the tutorial for them HERE at Bee In My Bonnet. You can lay out small pieces for a block on the board, and move it easily to the sewing machine or to your ironing board.
I need to make more of them, all the same size, so I can stack them, with multiple projects and pieces. They really are great to have!

Now for week 7, Shelly posted it today.  It is to:
learn to use a new tool. 

I do happen to have a ruler that I've never used before:

So now I need to do some reading, to see what I can make with it.
Happy stitching!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

studio organizing, week 5

I've been working away at Shelly's challenges. For the 4th week, it was to organize your marking pens and pencils. I don't have many of those in my sewing space, but I did find an old bag of markers that I'd been meaning to go through, and tossed out most of them...gee, some went back to my school days, which is a looong time ago!
Now my daughter's stash of crayons and markers was in need of sorting out.
Keep in mind, this is a 6 year old's desk...

So we made a game of it, doodling and scribbling, testing out her markers and sorting them. I think we filled her trash can with one's that didn't work! And this is the 'after':

It's basically all her markers, pencils, crayons, stencils, rulers, and glue. She even made sure to sharpen all her pencil crayons!

Now, for week 5 of the challenge, it is to:
clean out and organize one drawer.
This desk has 3 drawers to it, and they were crammed pack full! There was so many books in the one drawer, it really was too heavy for her to open. The others just had piles of scribbled on paper and old art work.

So we dumped them out and started sorting. We ended up with heaps of paper for the recycling bin and got rid of old coloring books. The top drawer now has just a few activity books, the next drawer is some art kits and the bottom drawer is all her construction and drawing papers. 

She likes it! Now we just have to pick one of my sewing room drawers, and do that next.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

a quick pincushion

Because a snow storm is upon us, I'll make this quick before I lose my internet connection.
Kathleen Tracy does small quilt challenges each month. For January, she provided this fun block to do, found HERE. I've got too many small quilts to finish up already, so just thought I'd do a pincushion. I made it from scraps of Aviary fabric by Moda.

For the backing, I followed THIS method. I hand finished the binding though, as I'm not great at doing it by machine. I use crushed walnut shells, found at the pet store, as the filler. The paper funnel works well to fill it.
My cat took over my quilting project, so I'll work on that another day...
Happy stitching!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

another project bag

I'm having fun with these, experimenting on the size and how I install the zipper. Here is another bag, made from one of my favorite flannel shirts, packed full with a project:
I know, it's not very exciting. But hey, it's just for storage and it's helping with my organization of all my projects.
Again, when I went to find the project, I found parts in different places. I also found fabric that shouldn't have been with it. This is all the pieces to the project:
Now it's all together and ready to grab and get to work on.
Happy stitching!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Studio Organizing, week 4

The task Shelly has for us this week, is to:

Organize your marking pens and pencils.

Well, I only have two marking pens and a few pencils in my sewing room, so that's easy for me. But I need to do this for my six year old, in her craft desk. She has waaay too many, and some must not be Crayola, meaning water soluble, as evident by large red marks on my carpet that won't come out! So this will be a good job to get done.

I'm still working on my project bags. I changed my needle to a Sharps 90/14, and I think the stitching is better...except where I messed up top-stitching with my zipper foot, but oh well. It's all good practice for me installing a zipper, as I really haven't done too many.

This one, I started with cutting the vinyl the size of my 12.5" square ruler. The previous one, I had used my 9.5" square ruler. For me, this is an easy way to cut the vinyl, and the end size of the pouches are ideal. Likely, the rest of the bags will be these two sizes.
Just to show how I did have this project stored...
In putting it all together, I realized that the pattern is missing, and the white fabric is not the correct one...it's a very similar white-on-white pattern, but not the same as I'd used in the blocks. So I'm hoping that I haven't used the background fabric up in other projects!
So needless to say, making these project bags is going to be very helpful in organizing my sewing room and projects. I'm getting re-acquainted with my old UFO's and I'm getting excited about finally finishing them.