Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Sewing Room Makeover Needed

I have a very large room that I use for my sewing room and office (I work from home).  It’s about 17-1/2 feet long and nearly 13 feet wide. It should be plenty big for anything I need to do.  However, if you notice on the drawing which is nearly to scale there is a large window on the west wall, a door into the garage, a passage into the kitchen, a door into the living room (I keep the swing door propped open except when I know guests are coming over) and a fireplace.  Additionally there are 2 AC vents and a return all about 6 – 8″ off the floor.

I’m getting my front window replaced next month and have to pull everything away from the window. Since everything will be disarrayed, I thought I’d take the opportunity to clean up and rearrange. This is the current layout (each square is 6″). At one point I was able to have 4 friends over to sew.  The last time we got together we took over the living room and dining room as over the years I’ve brought more ‘stuff’ into the sewing room.

Currently, on my sewing table I have a printer on the window end and my sewing machine on the other end. There is also a printer on the end of the work table/desk over the file cabinet.  One scans and faxes but doesn’t print, the other prints but doesn’t scan or fax — and I use all 3 functions.  As part of this process I’m planning on getting down to just one printer.

The wire shelves along the west wall is the result of “stuff”. I really think much of the stuff can be gotten rid of or belongs somewhere else in the house. I want at least 2 of those gone.  The ironing station is a large dresser with 3 drawers. That space is not being utilized well – partly because the drawers don’t slide well.  I’ll either replace the dresser or get drawer slides — but I’m not giving up my large ironing board.

The fabric shelves on the west/kitchen wall will be staying. My preference is to keep them together so I can hang tops from them.  The cutting board is one of those fold down boards. I don’t want to get rid of it, but truthfully it is frequently just a flat surface. I can cut on my ironing board.

There are two desks in my office because I have a personal computer and a work computer. At one point I had 3 monitors so I needed the space. I now just have 2 large monitors and they both will fit on the “desk with shelves” – I  just have to get rid of the file cabinet currently under the desk. I think that’s doable. So, I think this is what I’m looking at for the new layout.

 

The plan is to put a single printer on the shelves over my desk. The smaller file cabinet will hold up the work desk which will become my new sewing table. The other end is held up by wire shelves which will now be accessible. The only thing this layout doesn’t have is a 3rd set of wire shelves.  I suppose I could put it folded in against the sewing table in the middle of the room with a set of wire shelves on the west wall next to the fireplace.

Of course in order to remove storage from the room, I’ll need to be ruthless in what I keep. I currently have a couple of under utilized rolling carts with drawers under my sewing table which are not shown and there is a small set of plastic shelves sitting on top of the cutting table, but as I look at what is on those shelves I have to wonder if they are really necessary.  If I have a shelf or flat surface, it just gets filled up as I get lazy putting stuff away.

If you have a suggestion, chime in. I have no budget, except maybe for a new printer and I hope to get the all-in-one working without having to buy a new one.

A Quilting Goal

Way back in 2012 I started the Just Takes 2 Quilt by  Sentimental Stitches.  The pattern was sent out every 2 weeks and there are 100 blocks – excluding the border. I’m doing mine in turquoise and grey.  I eventually finished the first section and a few more blocks, but the quilt was set aside to work on something else and I’ve not gone back to it.

I’ve decided that I want it finished, preferably quilted by November 2019. I had the patterns printed out through Unit 18, block 71, and tonight I printed the rest of the blocks and assembly instructions. Then I counted up the applique blocks (14), paper pieced blocks (9) and simple patchwork blocks (25) I still need to make.  If I make 3 blocks a month, and assemble as I go, I should have the center completed by September 2019. That will give me October to do the border, quilting and binding.

The plan is to tackle one applique block and one paper pieced block a month then as my reward, do a pieced block which should be considerably easier.  I guess I’ll just take them in order which means the first applique block is #34 and the first paper pieced block is # 40.  The first pieced block will be # 53.

 

Bonnie – Again!

 

Yes, I’ve seen Bonnie Hunter twice in 11 days. The first time was when my sister and I attended the Mississippi Quilt Association June Gathering June 1st. I also took her Carolina Chain class. Today I saw her at the Lee’s Summit Quilt Guild meeting.  I think they said there were 150+ members in attendance and another 92+ guests!  I was running late so I don’t think I would have had a seat if my sister had not saved me a seat.  We didn’t drive over together because she took another class. I had to get back to work. 🙁

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been steadily working on my Carolina Chain blocks.  Last night I finished up all of my light chain blocks. I have some of them laid out here with the dark chain blocks that I’m still working on.  I’ve got another 30 or so ready to press and the rest are waiting to be sewn.

And to think I thought I’d have the quilt top done by this morning…

Roof, Graduation & Road Trip

The last few weeks have been absolutely crazy. Crazy good and crazy bad.

The roof started leaking, so there was no more putting off getting a new roof. The good news is there was hail damage, so my insurance covered it. Got new gutters as well, but this picture is before they were put up.

 

Miss Sydney graduated high school!

 

Then there was a Quilting Road Trip with my sister.

 

  • Fabric Outlet, Springfield, Missouri – great prices before sales. The day we were there everything was 20% off. They have fashion fabric in the backroom.
  • FM Stores, Springfield, Missouri – great prices and the largest variety of minkee type fabric I’ve seen.
  • Ozark Patchwork Peddler, Mountain Grove, Missouri – The owner has seen my sister only once before over a year ago. She knew what my sister had bought! I bought a few FQs and if I decide I want yardage, she’ll be able to pull up my order and tell me what I bought.
  • The Sewing Connection, West Plains, Missouri – good prices. Also the local Gammill dealer.
  • Six Sisters Mercantile, West Plains, Missouri – Just opened May 12th.  Great prices
  • Hancock of Paducah, Paducah, Kentucky – An employee took the picture. Apparently that happens a lot. All those women shopping… they weren’t shopping for themselves, but were employees shopping for YOU. Yes, you can go into the backroom – that’s where the pre-cuts and kits are.
  • Naturally there was a stop at The National Quilt Museum. – Pay the extra $3 for the guided tour.
  • Sew Many Ideas, Jackson, Tennessee – This wasn’t on the list, but since we were driving through…I can’t remember which type sewing machines they sell.
  • Sew Carefree, Jackson, Tennessee — A few more FQs were picked up here as well.

We were headed to Mississippi, to the June Gathering of the Mississippi Quilt Association.

The guest instructor this year was Bonnie Hunter!

 

I had a whole table to spread out on for my  Carolina Chain class.

There were 50 students spread out in 3 connected classrooms. By the end of the day we had enough blocks made to make a quilt.

The class was actually the day before the gathering.  The trunk show was Friday night after dinner. There were door prizes. I won one!

Bonnie taught Winston Ways Friday and Chunky Churn Dash on Saturday. Saturday if you were not in one of her classes there were other classes being taught or you could just sit and sew — which is what I did. There were also 3 vendors at the venue. Stitch-N-Frame from Vicksburg, Mississippi; Main Street Fabrics from Ackerman, Mississippi; and Featherweight Works from Columbus, Mississippi. Yes, I left some money at those shops as well.

I totally forgot about the shop pictures at the local shops.  Continental Sewing Center in Jackson, The Cotton Blossom in Madison, and Bernina Sewing Center in Ridgeland. I think all 3 of these shops were with in 10 minutes of my sister-in-laws home where we were staying. We even made it to Tuesday Morning where fabric came home with us.

Yes, there was just a tiny bit of shopping going on.

If the shop didn’t have FQs, or the bolt price was less than $9 (much was less than $6) I purchased  1/2 yard, unless the bolt was on sale. Then I purchased 1 yard as that was the minimum cut. I needed a new mat since my Olfa mats are nearly 30 years old. I was going to get one at Jo-Ann’s with my birthday gift cards and coupons, but saw this one by QuiltersSelect in use at the shop in Ridgeland. When a QuilterSelect ruler is used the fabric doesn’t shift, but yet you can turn the ruler/fabric to get that second cut. I opted for an 8″ ruler, but I think I’m going to want a smaller one as well. The bags, Wonky Wishes and the 2-1/2 x 6 ruler I bought from Bonnie. Everyone got some of my money. Now I don’t have any!

The trip home was done in one day as I had appointments on Monday. But I’ve setup the Genie and I’m sewing away on my blocks. I wonder if I can get the quilt top done by Sunday evening? I’m going to another Bonnie Hunter trunk show next Monday!

 

 

 

More Hourglasses

 

We replaced the light bulbs in my sewing room with 100 watt equivalent LED bulbs.  I can see!  I only mention it because I finally was able to get a decent picture of the work so far on the hourglass quilt.  It goes fast when I’m working on it — but I can’t work on it too long or my hand/wrist starts hurting.  I may have to resort to machine piecing the top.  The stitching lines will still need to be marked. These blocks are wonky.

What’s On My Design Wall

Several years ago when I was helping a friend clean out her mother’s home, I was given a bag of vintage hour glass blocks. They are hand pieced. They’ve been knows as “Jane’s Hourglasses” on my UFO spreadsheet. After counting the blocks and extra pieces in the bag I have 285 hourglass blocks that finish at 2 – 1/2″.

It took me a while to figure out what these units were going to be. Last year’s Leader/Ender challenge, which I did not do, apparently took hold in my brain. After drawing for a bit in my spreadsheet (my computer was just limping along and I couldn’t run EQ) I came up with a trip around the world design which will finish approximately 62″ x 72″.

There will be 5 rings of hourglasses separated by a 2-1/2″ ring of the solid, finishing with 5″ borders. I’m hand piecing this partly to keep with the original blocks and mostly because these blocks are not precise and have bias edges.

This much went pretty quickly, but I’m not holding my breath on finishing the top anytime soon. Hopefully the next time you see this quilt top I’ll have a decent photo. The photo color is not true, but I’m tired of messing with it.

Shop Hopping

Yesterday my husband and I drove down to Springfield. The reason for the trip? To purchase a French Horn case for his Conn 4-D horn.  Apparently his older horn is not wrapped as tight as the newer horns and it will not fit in just any case.

There are two great quilt shops in Springfield — Merrily We Quilt Along, and Quilt Sampler. Additionally there are two independent fabric shops in town The Fabric Outlet and FM Fabrics.

I wanted to make it the last two shops since they carry more than quilting cotton, but I allowed my husband to talk me into stopping at the quilt shops – he didn’t have to twist my arm too hard.

When I shop hop, if I don’t have anything specific I’m looking for, I tend to buy “neutral” FQs. The prices were so good at FM Fabrics, I purchased 1/2 cuts. The blue/green solid is to go with the vintage hourglass blocks I was given several years ago.

This wild fabric is an ITY — 95% poly / 5% spandex knit that I’m planning on making into a dress. Is it me? Who knows. but at $4.50 a yard I can use it to make another Agnes – this time with sleeves.

Oh, and the French Horn case? No, we did not buy it.

Socks and Quilts

I’m not one for patterned socks, but found these at the grocery store. I think I’ll wear them when I go the quilt retreat later this month.

Speaking of the quilt retreat — I’m  taking Bonnie Hunter’s Carolina Chain class. I’ve been busy cutting 2″ strips. I’m doing mine in “brights” and “neutrals”.  Lots of pinks, blues, greens, yellows, purples, oranges, bright on black, etc.  In fact similar to the colors in the last pair of socks. When I started gathering/cutting fabric my goal was to create 1 dark chain and one light chain from each fabric — that’s over 300 different fabrics – half “bright” and half “neutral”.

The “brights” were easy to come by. In fact I didn’t use everything I pulled.  The “neutrals” on the other hand surprised me. I never would have guessed that I could come up with 150+ neutrals from my stash. I was digging into my shirts, vintage, and music fabric to get there, but I did.  I even opened the holiday box looking for “neutrals”. No Christmas, but there is one Halloween fabric in the mix. I’m ready for class now.

This particular bag is big enough I was able to slip my book and 6 1/2″ ruler in a well.

Now back to cleaning the sewing room.

Scraps Before and After

It’s gotten so deep in my sewing room I have got to stop and clean up.  Of course I’ve been saying that for about a month now.  I really meant it this time, but you know how that goes. A while back I was given a box of “scraps”. Some of it is truly scraps, then there are parts and pieces of project and some yardage.  While working on the cat quilt, I pulled some of the brights from the box. I’m not sure if any of it made it into the quilt. As I was gathering it up trying to figure out what to do with it, I thought I could sew it together and have a small baby quilt. Actually, I was eyeing the black print for Carolina Chain and when I realized just how much there was, that’s when I thought “baby quilt”.

This is what I came up with.

 

I cut a strip off of the large piece which I pulled out of another box and started chopping and sewing. There’s not enough of the green and black to do the backing, nor is there enough of the black for a binding (Yea! I can use it in my Carolina Chain). I found the light blue and plan to use it for the binding and also waiting to be put up was the purple which I will use for the backing. If I don’t get lazy, I may find that I have enough batting to do a Frankenbatt. The little quilt measures 33 inches square.

Of course the sewing room STILL needs to be cleaned up. But what is new.

The Wind Stopped Blowing…

…at least long enough for me to get a halfway decent picture of the Cat Quilt.

Stats:

  • Started 3/18/17 (I’m using the date that I made the star blocks as the start date)
  • Top Done 3/31/18 (3 AM!)
  • 100% cotton batting, lavender thread
  • Quilted by David Hurd of Quilting by David using the edge-to-edge design “Splat”
  • Bound using Susie’s Magic Binding
  • Measures 72 x 91 after washing
  • Finished 4/9/18

There is no pattern — I used two cat panels – Caterwauling and  Cool Cats, orphan blocks and some of my stashed cat fabric.