Thursday, March 26, 2015

a Spring mug rug

Kathleen Tracy of A Sentimental Quilter recently did a tutorial, which you can find HERE, on a fun mug rug. It was just the thing I needed to do. I'm tired of the cold and the snow, and wanted to do something with Spring-like colors. I chose my scraps of the Aviary line by 3 Sisters for Moda, which is one of my favorites, to do this:
The side pieces are actually selvages from the Aviary fabric. To quilt it, I just did a bit of hand stitching and some machine embroidery.
I use my mug rugs all the time instead of coasters, so I'm sure I'll be making more of this one.

As for the studio organizing, last week Shelly challenged us to:

clean out one drawer.

Instead of a drawer, I picked bins on a shelf (I needed some bins to put toys). One was filled with clothes that I thought had gone to charity years ago! And even though this pic isn't at all exciting, I'll post it to keep this real and to see the size of it:
 Upon going through it, I didn't want any of it. I had been keeping it, thinking they were clothes I wanted to re-purpose. I should use labels!  So great, I emptied a bin and it all went to charity!

Then I pulled out another, that I thought was just jeans to be cut up for tote bags.
Turns out there was much more, including bits of pants that I have no idea why I kept, shirts, sheets, even some yardage! I had a good pile to toss away!
I'm still working on cutting up the jeans and shirts in that bin. This will take awhile, so no 'after' pics yet.
Now I have a good size space where those two bins were kept, and I was able to put my file boxes, that I've been working on, in that space.

I'd love to know from others...do you prefer to stack your fabrics on shelves, so you can see them and access them easily?
OR do you put them in bins?

As for the next week, Shelly has challenged us to:

work on your one UFO that is closet to finished.

I've got several close to finishing, so I'm still deciding which one to do.
Happy stitching!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Studio Organizing update

I've been working away at Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts studio organizing challenges. I've made good progress with my paper clutter, namely my collection of tutorials that I've gathered from the web over the years. They used to be stored in binders like this:
Problem was, that they weren't in any particular order, so it took me forever to find what I was looking for. So I've been filing them in a file box instead.
This is so much easier to find them. I found numerous patterns that I had duplicates of, which I could toss. I now have a pile of binders for my kids to use. I've kept two binders for quilt-alongs, and that's all.
I am also starting a file box for each of my kids, and am filing their old school work, art work, school pictures, certificates in swimming, etc. I'm really hoping to purge a great deal of their old paper clutter by just keeping the best or most important things in these file boxes.

I decided to go back to using the file boxes for my quilting fabric as well.

Now, onto last week's challenge. It was to:

Organize your thread.

I have not done this in ages, so it was long over-due. They were a mess! I don't have any wall spool holders and can't keep threads out, as I've always had cats that like to mess with them! So I like to keep the spools with a filled bobbin together, in baggies in my desk drawers. I dumped them out and this is what I had:

 I decided to sort them by brand, as I mostly use Aurifil white, grey or tan for piecing and Gutermann for machine embroidery. So my top drawer now looks like this:

And the other drawer has all my Gutermann colors.

I do have older, polyester type threads sorted by color in baggies elsewhere. But these are what I use most often, so I keep them in my sewing desk. This was a good task to get done!

As for my embroidery floss, well this is the system I started using decades ago. I marked off what I had on this chart:

Inside the box, the floss is sorted by number.

But I really do not like this system. I've got bags of floss to be put on those cardboard bobbins. It's too time-consuming for me now. I'd love to find a different system for floss!

As for this week, the challenge is to:

Clean out one drawer.

I've got lots of drawers to work on, so it won't be hard finding one to do. 

Happy stitching!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Procrastination Challenge and Studio Organizing

For Shelly's procrastination challenge for February, I had chosen #6 on my list, which was pajamas for my daughter. She has grown so much lately, that most of her jammies are too small, and it's been so cold here, that she really needed some warm pants.
I used an old pattern for these, but afterwards, I saw THIS video on making your own custom pj pants by Shabby Fabrics. I'll have to give that a try!
 
I'm working on a nightie of the same flannel fabric, but it's not quite done yet. So I'll continue with that project into March. Once I get that done, the next old project that I want to finish, is #1 on my list. It's a quilt that just needs it's binding finished.

For the studio organizing challenges which you can find the list for, HERE , I've done lots of mending of toys, and filing of papers, to clear off surfaces. It feels great!

Thank you, Shelly, for the continuous nudge to get things done!