Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Find a Match" is Now a Flimsy

My Photo Stream-255 by stamdl
My Photo Stream-255, a photo by stamdl on Flickr.
This is a Quick Quilts pattern from the September 2009 issue, which makes this one of my newest UFOs since that was the month I broke my leg!  It uses 49 sets of charm prints and I remember that it was a lot of fun to choose the charms and lay them them out in a pleasing way.  Fortunately I had pieced the middle and the 8 side strips 3 years ago (whew!) so all I had to do was add the red and black strips and then figure out where the side strips fit.  I am really pleased with how it turned out!

The magazine quilt is quilted using diagonal lines and I think that's what I'll do too.

Can you find some matches?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thrift Store Makeover Part 2

Here are my paper scraps cut from old quilting catalogs along with a jar of Mod Podge and my $3 thrift store find.
Just a short time later...
Voila... a perfect storage tote for my cutting table!  It measures 6x12" and has plenty of room for my cutting tools, notepads & pens.  The rest of the paper scraps have been stored for some future makeovers.  Now that my table is actually clean I turn around to find my inspector has arrived.

Tucker says "Hello".  He knows this table will be a mess again soon and wants to enjoy the view for the time being.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thrift Store Makeover Part 1

I came across this collection of old quilting catalogs yesterday while sorting out some storage bins and tossed them into the recycle bin.
This morning I noticed this cute wooden tote perched on a shelf in the garage, thought "hmm" and rescued the catalogs.  
Thrift Store Makeover Part 2 coming soon! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Joining the 100 Day Hustle!

I'm so excited to have found another group challenge that matches up to my personal goals... Kelsey Sews is leading The 100 Day Hustle to challenge us all to finish up some quilting projects before the end of the year (it was 100 days as of September 22).

After spending some time today digging around in my UFO piles and also keeping in mind that I would really like to get some Christmas projects done this year I came up with my list...

1.  Finish my Halloween table topper (pic on last post).

2.  Finish this batik table topper.
3-5.  Sew down the binding on these 3 quilts.
6.  Finish my "Find A Match" kids charm quilt.
7.  Turn this pile into a Thimbleberries Christmas tree skirt.
8.  Finish the last 2 (!!) blocks of this "Four Patches and Friends" quilt, assemble and send to long arm quilter.
9.  Make 4 stockings from this Thimbleberries book.

10.  Make 1 project from this Nancy Halvorson book.
11.  Finish piecing the rest of these log cabin blocks for a wall hanging.  I think I'm about 1/3 done but most of the strips are cut.
12.  Turn these cute Santa faces into a Christmas wall hanging (Debbie Mumm pattern).
13-18.  Quilt, bind and donate 6 of these UFOs to Project Linus.
19.  Finish my quilt room organization.

20.  Learn to free motion quilt using an online class.

I think I've come up with a good mix of hand sewing (football watching), new project excitement, piecing some projects with bits laying around and, most importantly, FINISHING some UFOs.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

UFO #1

I chose (rescued) this cute table topper out of my stack of UFO's because:

1.  Finishing this might inspire me to pull out my pumpkins & decorate.
2.  It's a small project and even though I haven't located the pattern yet I don't really need it to finish.
3.  Stitch in the ditch or simple cross hatch machine quilting are all that is needed to finish it.  Binding cut & ready!

Let's go...

Starting Out in my Craft Room

During my crafting life I've always wanted a space to call my own. When we bought this house 11 years ago I was thrilled to have a little closet off the laundry room to set up my sewing machine in.  All of my supplies & fabrics fit nicely on the shelves and life was good... until I started quilting.  Stash, patterns, tools, books, more stash... then I started crazy quilting which added even more stuff to keep track of.  Pretty soon I had taken over most of the laundry room storage and stuff was spilling over into the rest of the house.  3 years ago when my daughter went off to college it was time to move out of the closet and into a spare bedroom.  Woo!  I was so excited.

So, we started planning and decided to move our teenage son down stairs for more privacy and make his old room into my quilt room.  My 1st task was to remove the adorable wallpaper I had selected when he was in kindergarten.  Let's just say it was stuck on good~!  I searched the internet and our local hardware stores for tips and tools to get that paper off the walls. Then, one afternoon I fell off the step stool I was using to strip that nasty paper and badly broke my right leg.  To make a long story short: ambulance, surgery, week in the hospital, no weight bearing for 3 months, wheelchair, walker, blood clot, crutches and months of PT.  A year later I was finally walking without a limp.

While I was focused on my recovery I totally lost my crafty mo-jo.  Which kind of makes sense, since I couldn't get around easily and/or clean up the big messes I tend to make when I'm quilting.  My leg didn't cooperate with sitting at a table for long periods of time and it would start to ache if I stood too much.  Over time, that got better but my quilting room still sat empty waiting.  I'm not exactly sure why.

During the last few weeks some people I care about deeply have been struggling with their own life challenges.  And, that got me thinking about my own choices and priorities in life.  I realized that some "Craft Therapy" was needed ASAP.

I pulled out a table topper kit (deciding to not deal with my massive UFO situation/guilt issues/whatever that's all about) and just start making something fresh.  Just sew!  Yay!  I can still make HST's and thread my machine.  Loving it all over again!

I'm not going to let go of that excitement yet, but I do need a game plan to finish what was started 3 years ago.  Create a quilting space that makes me happy and productive.  Start actually finishing some projects.  I'm hoping that blogging about this process will help me to keep at it.

So, with that in mind...

Here is my sewing corner. Notice the bare walls waiting for some TLC!  The table is on wheels so I can move it into the middle of the room for machine quilting.  Our cat Tucker likes to sleep in the chair so the classy towel catches most of his fur.

Next is my cutting table, a stuffed bookcase and storage units. One of my goals to purge my book collection so that it is easily contained here.
The closet is full of more storage units, books and other goodies.  I've collected lots of nickels (5" squares) and noodles (2.5" strips) from swaps.  The middle tower holds lace, trims and other beauties for crazy quilting.

Let's zoom in on my hanging UFO's.  Yikes!!!  Some are ready for binding, some need to be quilted and the rest are in various stages of construction.  I might be the all-time Queen of UFO's, because I have many more in bins & drawers.  Yes, I have a problem finishing projects.
My stash is still in my old sewing space... more on that later.  Thanks for reading!

Getting Started...

is not easy.  The planner/procrastinator in me says wait, research and map it all out.  My creative side says just start, have fun and figure it out as you go.  Today, the creative side wins.