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.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another vinyl pouch

I'm having fun, experimenting with sewing with vinyl. Before I forget, some things that have helped me are:
-increase stitch length to 3.0
- keep fabric next to feed dogs, with vinyl on top.
- use the walking foot and zipper foot only.
- use binding clips to secure vinyl while stitching.

Now, after playing with a few methods, I like this one the best:

The back is the same red plaid fabric as the front. I like it this way, because it doesn't use a ton of vinyl and I'm wanting to make a bunch of these, in various sizes...depending on the shirt sizes I have. Why shirts? Well, I'm using our old cotton shirts. If you haven't "de-boned a shirt" as Bonnie Hunter calls it, you'll have to try it. It's actually quite fun and rewarding, to see all the fabric you get out of just one shirt. View her video HERE.
My daughter has been helping me with this, and we've already got a bin full of fabric!
My daughter likes keeping all the buttons and tags we get out of the process, too.

So back to the pouches...for the zipper construction, I found Jenny's method on her video, very helpful. You can view it HERE. I just love Jenny's video's! She always makes it look so simple and fun! And I had this done in no-time!
Now I just have to make about 10 more of these pouches!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Studio Organizing, week 3

Shelly's task for week 3 of studio organizing, is to:

change your rotary cutter blade(s) and/or sewing machine needle.

I definitely needed to do this, after this sewing...

In my quest for more organizing of my projects, I decided to try making a bag with clear vinyl like I'd seen here, on Crazy Mom Quilts blog. I thought it was such a great idea, as I could customize the size to fit my favorite storage bins. It would help to keep all the pattern pieces together, too.
I researched tips on working with vinyl, and tissue paper used under the plastic, works well to keep it from sticking, while sewing. My binding turned out terrible, as there were lots of skipped stitches; hence I need to change my needle.
But it was a good experiment. I'd love to make 11 more...one for each of my UFO's that I'd like to get done this year. Hopefully, the next one's will come out better, as I have ideas to make it easier to make.
And changing that blade and needle, dulled from paper and vinyl, should help a lot!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Studio Organizing, week 2

I think Shelly's Studio Organizing Challenge  is going to be of great help to me. For the first week, we were to organize our oldest project. I dug it out, found the pieces and have actually made some progress. I cut up a bunch of random sized pieces, then had my daughter match them up and hand them to me, to chain piece. I didn't even look at them as I sewed and went with her decisions on what to combine. It was a fun way of doing it together! So I now have all four sides ready to attach. This is with three sides pinned up, as we were working on it...
(In hindsight, I now wish I hadn't let my hubby take one of the insulation boards that I use for my design wall, to be used in our laundry room renovation...my design wall isn't big enough now!)
Now I just have to attach the border, and then get on with the backing.

For the second week's challenge, it is to:

work on organizing your magazines or books.

Well, this is one area that I've neglected for quite awhile, so it will be a work in progress. One bookcase is hidden behind my sewing room door. It has looked like this for a long time, so it's time to change it...

It now looks like this...

In those long brown boxes, were the patterns. I decided to ditch them and put the patterns in the plastic unit, so I could more readily access them. Then the fabric went on the shelf. I removed alot of the books and binders and they went onto these shelves...

The top shelf has ribbon embroidery books, the one below has sewing books and the one below that has quilting books and magazines. The baskets in the front have the binders which hold patterns, that I plan on filing in a filing box instead.
So it's a start...I actually have another shelving unit of magazines to sort, but that will be for another day.
I'm not sure any of this looks a whole lot better, but it's a change and a bit more organized.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Procrastination Challenge

Well, Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts has come up with yet another brilliant idea to help get our projects done...

The Procrastination Challenge!

You can read about it HERE. This is exactly what I need! I'd love to finish up some of the larger projects or quilts I've had stuck on a shelf in various stages of completion this year.
So I made a list of 12 of my projects...
Some of my projects are not quilts, but are things that my 6 year old would really like mommy to complete! So if I designate a whole month to getting these done, surely I can do it.
For January, I'm not going to randomly draw a number, just for this time. Only because after doing Shelly's last challenge of pulling out one's oldest UFO (unfinished object), I'm rather motivated to keep working on it, now that I have it out. To get that race car quilt off my to-do list, would be HUGE! And I'm still working on the Happy and Scrappy quilt, which also would be great to finish this month.
So there you have it...I'm committed to it now! And even if I don't finish them in a month, I'm sure each project will be further along than it is right now.

Happy stitching in 2015!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Studio Organizing Challenge, 2015

Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts, has another wonderful idea! She is hosting a Studio Organizing Challenge for the year, which you can read about HERE. I love the idea and will definitely be following along.
I'm already having fun with the first challenge...

to organize your oldest UFO.

Well, in going through my photo files, it appears my oldest quilt that is still unfinished, goes back to 2008, when I was teaching myself about quilting. I had done a small baby quilt for a gift, and my son wanted one out of the same fabrics. The poor guy still doesn't have his quilt and likely doesn't even want it now. But I think I still want to finish it...perhaps it will just stay in the van as an emergency blanket if he doesn't want it?
So I pulled it out and this is where it's currently at:


(sorry, not the best of pics and I didn't press it, as I just wanted to get on with this)
Alot of the blocks, which I have nine more of, were made during a quilt-along I tried to follow, found HERE. Others, were just stars and patterns I liked. Then I decided to change the setting to an on-point one with the cornerstones...that is where I got stuck. Also, since I was just learning and not wanting to invest in much fabric, I used my husbands' old dress shirts for the white portions. Yes, big mistake! Fabrics range from cotton, poly, and blends. I wasn't happy with it, so it has been stuck away till now.
The patchwork on the left side is not attached yet. But I have a bunch of it already made.

So these are my options and questions:
- is it okay to leave the cornerstones on the edges half finished? Or is there a way of finishing them before a border or binding is put on?
-should I not bother with the scrappy border and just bind it as is, with the black and white fabric?
- the scrappy border is 4.5" unfinished but I could cut it down smaller, if that would look better?
- the nine remaining blocks, I thought I could piece together for a backing.

If anyone can provide me with suggestions and help on this, it would be greatly appreciated. I don't know anyone IRL that quilts. Feel free to comment here or email me at mom2j at hotmail.com

It actually feels really good to start the year off with this project. I'd love to get'er done!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Final Countdown - Task Three

Shelly's last challenge in the Final Countdown, is a good one! It is to:

Pick a new habit to start (and keep).

This is a great idea! I'm a big fan of daily habits, thanks to Flylady. If you haven't heard of her, she gives great advice on decluttering your home and establishing habits. Each month, she encourages a particular habit to help run your household.

Well I just finished tidying my sewing room. This is what it looks like now:

Prior to this challenge, I'd had my cutting table, that is now to the left, in the middle...(Sorry, no 'before' pics as I hadn't thought I was going to change things about.) In the middle are two sewing machine tables put together now.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have started to file patterns in a filing box. I need to do this more, as we are talking years of stuff to go through to see if I still want it.
If I spent just 15 minutes each day, purging and sorting my papers and patterns on these tables, it would add up to alot of decluttering! So that is what my new habit will be!

Thanks Shelly, once again, for helping me get the New Year off to a great start!