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!

The Final Countdown -Task Two

I'm loving this Final Countdown challenge! It really gets me motivated to change things in my sewing space. So not only did I clear off the change table the other day, but I had to move it so the iron was closer to the electrical outlet, which in turn, made me move a sewing desk...you know how it goes! I'll post a pic when I get it all finished.
But the second task Shelly challenged us to do is to:
Organize part of your stash.
And stash did not have to mean just fabric. So I chose my pattern stash to work on. I tend to print out patterns or tutorials alot from the web. I've done this for years and have piles of paper clutter in my sewing area.
So recently, I started using a filing box for this. Works perfectly!
I filed away these papers in no time! It's so much easier to just grab a file like 'pincushions' and quickly find what I'm looking for, than going through stacks of papers. I've tried using binders for this, but this works even better for me.

Now I'm looking forward to the third task of The Final Countdown!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Final Countdown

As I mentioned in my previous post, Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts is once again, hosting her Final Countdown challenge. Check it out HERE and join in the fun!
Today's task is to:
Clear off one flat surface.
I chose this unit which is an old change table.
(Sorry, guess I should have moved that wrapping paper bin before I snapped the pic.) But it holds my iron and there are two baskets of scraps and drawers for other sewing supplies. Lately, it just was piled with Christmas supplies. But under the boxes, is my sweet kitty's bed. I lost her last month. She was almost 15 years old. She loved being up on that change table.
She was always with me in the sewing room. Here is a pic of her one time, when I'd taken my thread box out of this drawer and turned around to find her like this:
So anyways, I thought it would be good to clean it off. It now looks like this:
I'm going to use it as my pressing area now. The wee ironing board fits in there nicely. Sometime, I might cover a board the size of the unit and attach it with hinges, so I could store small or flat items under it, and press on top of it. Feels good to get this done!
Looking forward to tomorrows task....

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Catching Up!

I think I have some catching up to do! I'm hopeless at this blogging thing. I have done a bit of sewing this year, but never seem to get around to writing about it. But I'll do a quick update now, since it's almost 2015!

Shorts:
I took an old pair of my shorts that were a colour that my daughter loves...
And using the free Oliver + S Sunny Day shorts pattern found HERE, I cut them apart and made a pair for my daughter.
I liked the fact that I had ready-made pockets and re-used the back tag. They fit her well, and she got a lot of use out of them, so I'll be making more, for sure!

Drapes:
This was a project I'd been putting off for some reason. Finally got them done using a pillowcase video found HERE. Just instead of doing the final steps to make a pillowcase, I finished the sides to just hang them.
I made four other ones like these. In case you are wondering, this is just for a little room, which we call our mud room, outside our back door; nothing fancy. But I liked that all the seams are enclosed. It was really quite fun and fast to do.

Happy and Scrappy quilt:
This was alot of fun to put together with my daughter.


 We followed the instructions so kindly provided by Shelly's quilt-along found HERE. on her blog, The Life of Hazel Ilene. My daughter chose the fabrics, which includes an old sheet, some yardage, scraps from her scrap basket, a charm pack of candy pictures (The Sweet Scoop by Dan Morris of RJR Fabrics) and pink minky will be the backing.


The minky is only about lap size, so that is why we had to alter the size and layout somewhat. I plan on hand quilting it, with big stitches. I really must get this one done shortly! We both love that it is so bright, happy and scrappy!

Tomorrow, I believe Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts, will be hosting her year-end challenge again, called the Final Countdown. Read about it HERE. It's a great way to start the year off, so I plan on trying.
I won't make any promises, but maybe next year I'll blog more than a few times :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

my February block report

Well, I'm afraid there is not much to report in the way of sewing for this past month. Other things in my life took priority.
I made two wee heart blocks for a Valentine's Day card for my hubby:
I did machine embroidery around the edges and mounted it on felt and cardstock. I often make cards to test out blocks. I'd love to make a table runner now, of hearts for Valentine's Day.

Also, to decorate for Valentine's Day, I made this heart garland out of craft felt:
You can find the tutorial HERE for it. It was easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, as my little girl likes to say!

And that's it! Hopefully March will be more productive in the sewing room.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

my January block report

As part of Shelly's challenge on Prairie Moon Quilts, each month I'll do a post of my progress for the month.


I made a mini bear paw quilt top. This was for Kathleen's challenge of making a small quilt each month from one of her books. You can read about it HERE.  I haven't decided whether to quilt it by hand or by machine, so it sits for now.

Since it's basically four 'paw' blocks, figured it could count as four. Then there is the disappearing pinwheel block I mentioned in my previous post, so guess that makes my monthly grand total of 5...considering some participating in the challenge already have over 100, think I'd better pick up the pace, eh?!
Oh well, at least it's some. I'm sure next month will be better, as I've bought some yummy fabrics from the Jefferson County line of Windham Fabrics, and can't wait to get started on that quilt.
And just for fun, I'll add a pic of my 5 year old's latest card coloring. She made it for friends of ours, that had generously given their old toys to her...think she does a great job of it!


So till next time, happy sewing!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

experimenting

I'm experimenting here with two things...making a new block and learning how to watermark my pics.

I'm a big fan of the Missouri Star Quilt company's video tutorials. Recently Jenny did one on the 'disappearing pinwheel' and i thought it would be fun to try. Here is my attempt at it:
Also, I'm trying out Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 to watermark my pics. I've been meaning for ages to do this, and just never got around to it. But since I recently had my blog content stolen, I figured that I'd best learn now, as I do hope to post much more this year. I'm still not quite sure what I did, so hope I can figure it out again!
If anyone cares to suggest an easy, free way of watermarking, I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

350 blocks in 2014!

Shelly, of Prairie Moon Quilts, is once again hosting her challenge of making 350 blocks or more, this year.



You can read all about it HERE. I've never joined in, because I'm rather new to quilting compared with those that have quilted for years, and am not exactly speedy when it comes to making blocks. But I have so many quilts that are incomplete, that this year I thought, why not? Give it a try and maybe I'll finally get those half-finished projects done!
So what about you? Up for the challenge? There are even great prizes to be won, as well. Hop on over to her blog and check it out. I'm sure it's going to be lots of fun!

Monday, January 13, 2014

a denim tote

My first finish for 2014, is a denim tote for a friend.
This one took about six pairs of my son's jeans, to make. I'm finding as he gets older, he's harder on his clothes, so I mostly have to use the backs of the pant leg. But I love working with the worn denim...it's so soft! The tote has lined outer pockets on either side and a large pocket inside. It also features a bottom plastic canvas piece slipped into a pillowcase sleeve, for added bottom strength and structure to the tote.


I also did a wee notebook for my friend, to use as a grocery list. I plan on making more of the totes for her to use as shopping bags.
You can find the Idea Notebook tutorial HERE, on Wedding Dress Blue. I love Deanna's tutorials! So fast and fun to make.