Sunday, May 3, 2020

I've got your back

Even though it was a warm day yesterday - at least by the thermometer, it wasn't warm at all. It was windy and rainy and a perfect day to stay inside. Oh don't worry - I still managed my 7 + miles for the day by having two outdoor walks with the girls and walking around the house getting stuff done. I'm on track with my challenges and I'm not finding it hard to get that mileage in every day.

Now if I were a snail? That might be 7 inches in a day! Although I didn't see these guys on the sidewalk when I passed by later in the day.

A snail on the morning walk

So it was a perfect day to stay in the house and get stuff done. Oh yes - please! I was so productive. I did get a wee bit of paperwork tidied up. I think I'm on a roll with the situation the way it is. The tabletop is showing more and more bare space each day and my recycling bin is filled, the garbage bin is also full. A few more things to take care of today. But a few things each day? I can handle that.

Where my productivity really shone was in Studio B.

Enough procrastinating about the long arm. It's time to fire up the computer after it had been updated the previous week. Let's hope that everything works. Except for a few small changes (mostly in the messaging) and a new interface, it worked just like the old one did and no glitches. Yeah!!!!!  I figured as much, otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to get the interface up at the end of the upgrade exercise.

The long arm robot is working!

Thanks again to American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS) for making that upgrade totally seamless. Seriously - it didn't take long at all and I've no idea why I put it off for so long. Now I really need to read the manuals so I can get more creative with the robot. The support from APQS has been exceptional in all the time I've had the long arm. I don't need them often, but when I do - they are there for me.

While it was merrily quilting away on a community project quilt, I was doing some more tidying. Hmm - a power cord. To what? Oh - it's a cord for a sewing machine, but which one? I didn't think any of them were missing a cord. It's now on the table with all the sewing machine bits so that if I need one - there it is.

Swing machine power cord

As the weather is getting nicer and it's so hard for me to stay in the house, I'm finding a bunch of things that need to be addressed that don't require power or a machine. I found a couple hunks of fabric that had been loosely quilted together for a jacket or something. I'm not sure where I got it - I didn't quilt it. That would make a great afternoon of sitting in the gazebo with the audiobook and ripping. I also found a knitting project that is almost done and a string art project. All good projects for the great outdoors.

Handwork items to work on while sitting outside

It's not that I would feel guilty about sitting out there and reading or just sitting, but it would be nice to get these handwork things done. I already have a box sitting under the long arm with other handwork items. Bring on the good weather!

I was also looking for a specific pattern which I know is in a RED bucket. Do you think I could find that? Nope - but I did find a laundry basket that was filled with more scraps. Yikes. So that can also be done outside, but not on a windy day! I also found so many other things that desperately need to be sorted and put into those boxes and labeled. It's all coming together, but the quantity is totally obscene.

Scraps to be sorted

Someone mentioned to me the other day that I am always starting new projects. Oh NO! It might look like I'm starting something new, but in fact, I'm resurrecting a UFO. There is NO starting a new project unless it's for a class (and five of those got started this year) or if the quilt is for a magazine. I think there's been two or three of those and a couple more that need to be started, but I'm waiting on fabric to arrive. Nothing else new is getting started this year. Well - that's a bit of a lie since I did make a backpack and will be making another one. Those are new, but my intention is to get them done! Not get started and leave it as a UFO.

Let's just say that I'm very happy about my progress. I did NOT add anything to the weekly laundry basket in Studio U. Oh - that's not true - the homework for Christmas Vintage is due on Friday so that got added, but nothing else did. I did a quick count and I think there are 15 small UFOs in that laundry basket. No NEED to add anything more until what's in there is done. A lot of them won't take that long to finish up - nothing complicated like the mini-quilt. One good rainy day and I could make a good dent in there.

So I got this first quilt quilted.

Community projects quilt

Back to sorting. OH - I found a whole carton of doll patterns. Both for Barbie-sized dolls and the 18" dolls. The box was also filled with other stuff. The other stuff has been removed and the carton of patterns is on the shelf with the other patterns. How hard was that?

Patterns for doll clothes

I got a chuckle as I found half a felt pad in that box. Some half-square triangles that need to be trimmed, a grippy strip for long arm rulers, and a button. All of which took no time at all to find their proper home. Seriously? I can't believe that I was so lazy?? so busy?? so out of sorts???  that I couldn't deal with this stuff before. Whatever the reason, it became a huge mess. It doesn't matter - we're moving forward and each day, it gets better. That's all that counts. The past is the past!

More stuff that got put in a proper home

I was on a roll with the long arm and got a second community project quilt on the long arm. I figured since it was on the machine, I might as well let the computer do its job. And it got done.

Second community projects quilt
Don't get me wrong - I don't just hit START and walk away. I have to monitor the quilting process. These rows aren't that long and I have to watch the bobbin and I have to watch the edges of the batting (I was using scraps that JUST fit) and so the edges had to be closely monitored so they didn't go wonky.

I was so on a roll, that I got a THIRD community projects quilt loaded. Let's just say that it was a good day to use up batting scraps. I think I used 7 pieces in total. Now that's a good feeling.

I managed to get the binding made for a wall hanging of mine. And the first round of stitching happened as well.  I'll try to get the binding stitched to the front today, but it's going to be a NICE day today and I hear my bike calling my name for the morning and the gazebo for the afternoon. It is Sunday after all!!!

The binding is half sewn on this quilt

Oh, what else can I take care of in Studio B? Oh yes - there's that tub of orange fabric. I measured and folded NINE hunks of orange. They ranged anywhere from 3 ½ yards to 6 ½ yards. Yep - you do the math. At the minimum, that's over 30 yards of fabric. Seriously????  What the heck was I thinking????  Well - let's not dwell on it and let's hope that we find a few quilts that are going to need ORANGE backings. They are currently in the temporary pile of quilt backings as there isn't enough room on the shelf to house them all. I should do the math one day and count the yardage in those piles.

Orange fabric backings

Just took a quick peek. There are FORTY-SIX yards of fabric in this stack of backings, including the four non-orange fabrics on the bottom!!! A quick count on the shelves and there are TEN more stacks of backing fabric. Not quite as tall as this so let's say that each stack has THIRTY yards in it. TEN stacks x THIRTY yards equals THREE HUNDRED YARDS of backing fabric. Plus the FORTY-SIX yards in that temporary stack.

How did it get this way? Easy - SALE FABRIC. Oh - that fabric is on sale - it would be great for backing and VOILA - huge amounts of yardage started to fly into my house. NO MORE SALE fabric. I just won't do it. If I had been smart and kept it all in one place, I could have seen what was happening. Even then, I don't think it would have fazed me. But now that I see it all together? Well - that's bad.

And that's NOT counting the FIFTY bolts of fabric sitting on another shelf. Each with various amounts of fabric on them.

Let's look at this in another way. Let's assume that each pile has 10 fabrics in it. Each one is enough for ONE quilt. In total there are eleven stacks of fabric, each with ten backings in it? That's enough for 110 quilts. Plus whatever is on those bolts. Do you see the problem here?

So yes - it's good to buy those backings on sale, but BEWARE. Keep them all in one place and don't let it get out of hand.

It's kind of like the toilet paper situation during this crisis. I was replacing a roll this morning and I'm still on the same 12 pack that I had at the beginning of the self-isolation period. I wonder what people are doing who stockpiled the stuff? Now they have to store it. That all run on toilet paper makes me laugh, but then I stockpile fabric!!! 

I do have enough UFOs here to use up those backings and the 50 bolts so it won't go to waste. Far from it.

I did reject one piece from the orange bucket. It was only two yards and one end had been cut into. So that went back into the stash basket.

This piece is too small for a backing

I'm not done - there are still another 7 or 8 pieces that need to measured and put somewhere.

More orange fabric to measure

I'll be honest, I don't know where to put these backings once they get measured. I don't want to make that temporary stack too high as it'll collapse. I'm certainly not giving the fabric away or selling it. So I'll carve out another niche in this area to house those extra backings. I know there'll be more large pieces as I start to go through the other stash baskets. But for the moment, they stay where they are.

The weirdest thing I found yesterday?? These two pieces of fun fur. In brilliant green and yellow. Apart from making masks that will make people look like Big Bird, what the heck can I do with them??

Fun fur

I had posted this picture on social media yesterday to see if anyone had suggestions. There was also an orange version, but it never came to our Fabricland. I got all kinds of bizarre things, but the best two were pillows and fidget quilts. YES to both. However, I'm not making anything with it. I'm approaching our local high school fashion teacher first if she wants it for her classes. If she doesn't want it, then I'll contact someone I know who makes fidget quilts. Either way - I'm finding a home for it.

And if any of you would like it for either of those two things or something else, let me know. It's a freebie and I just want it out of the house!

I did other stuff, but you have to wait until tomorrow to see that. And the reading? We won't go there. I'm more than halfway through my two mystery thrillers. One is a physical book, the other is an audiobook. I really needed a break from the war and non-fiction stuff.

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day and enjoy the beautiful day!!!



  1. OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE that stack of oranges! I love to use orange as a 'background'. Colorful quilts? Yes :-)

    I, like you, have no concerns about the quantity of quilt backings you have on hand. I've got enough fabric on hand for at least 500? quilts? We're still young. We can sew our way through it :-)

    Happy Sunday!

    1. Oh your optimism!!! Sew our way through it!! You bet. But I'm still not buying more until I need it!!

  2. I'm going through my UFO kits I cut up for our 5 month RV journey last year (I had made 10 kits and only sewed 2 and a few cuddle quilts). I made a rule that I couldn't buy any backings for them, I HAD to use what was in my stash. I was surprised how easy it was to compromise. Where before I might have thought, "gee I don't really have anything that would look good as a backing on this quilt", I am now happy to find something with a similar colour, or tone or just will just add a bright colour if the quilt gets flipped over. And I am finding homes for every one I'm making. I think about the people I know who might appreciate one and then ask them if they would like it. (I tell them to be honest and some have said "no" they aren't quilt people, lol!) It's satisfying to see bins being emptied and I'm looking forward to the day where I only have 10 UFOs. Thanks for the blog!

    1. Judi--- you got it. I used to be fussy with those backings. Well - fussier. Now - I make do with what I have! I guess this little hiccup has put your RV plans on hold for a bit?? 2 kits done is better than none!! I'm kind of doing the same things with the laundry basket and it's working!!! Enjoy!