Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Before and After

 OH MY GOD!!!!!   I have to laugh because some of you and maybe more than I know are busy cleaning up their sewing rooms or certain areas of your house. 

I got two pictures yesterday that put a HUGE smile on my face. A brave reader shared her before and after of the coffee table at her house. Are you ready???



Apparently, there was a Christmas table runner beneath all that stuff, and it got swapped out for a new one. But isn't it amazing how much stuff accumulates, and we don't really see it? A HUGE thanks to Cathie for sharing her before and after. Don't worry - I have another assignment for you today. Let's move back to the quilting area. 

Pick ONE project box and clean it out. WHAT?? Yep --- identify first if you want to finish the project. And if you do, then clean it out. What can be put away? Perhaps you can do all the cutting and put the excess fabric away. Are there extra tools or supplies in there that shouldn't be there?

Remember the other day, I posted a picture of what my neighbor did with her snow? She insists on using one of those giant scoops to push the snow into the street instead of using something smaller so she can LIFT the snow onto her front lawn. When the plow came by, he was very kind and left that huge mess in the street, so it wasn't going to get plowed into my driveway. That plow operator needs a quilt from me!

As I approached my house yesterday after walking Lexi, I heard a truck slowly rumbling down the street behind me. I glanced over my shoulder, and it was a city plow. Not the contract ones that usually do our street. This was from the city. It appeared he had a mission - to clean up the mess in the street. Granted, we live on a wide curve in the street, so none of the snow was blocking traffic. 

I ran into the house and upstairs so I could survey the situation. I wanted to be ready in the event he plowed any of that snow into my driveway. He started by pushing a huge pile onto the boulevard where the neighbor could easily have put the snow with a SHOVEL, which would have prevented the whole mess. 

Then he very carefully scraped the snow until the mess was clean. I notice that he put some snow back in her driveway (YEAH), and some went into the next neighbor because they had not done a great job at cleaning either, but he barely touched my drive. You could tell that he was meticulous. Not sure that he was conscientious, or he knew I was standing watching him with my phone in hand!!!

Easing off the snow going into our driveway

Snow got put back into the neighbor's drives

Just a bit of snow at the end of our drive

I did NOT contact the city about the situation, so I can only assume that someone else did. I hope she got a fine or at least a warning. She should be charged with the visit for yesterday. As a homeowner, if you can't do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. It's not that difficult. 

I hate to call about something a neighbor did or didn't do, but going forward, I don't care. Obviously, others do as well. So if a neighbor chooses to NOT shovel their sidewalk and we have two on our street, I'm calling. The next time I see this other neighbor pile snow in the street, I'm calling. 

It was Monday sewing yesterday, and I decided to tackle a challenging and boring job. My UFO project for this month is to get the applique on a quilt border. I started by tracing the shapes. There weren't many pieces, but I had to make lots of some of the pieces, and they were small. I cut the shapes from freezer paper, and those that required lots of the same shape were made with two layers of freezer paper for stability. I managed to make 35 leaves from the SAME template—no time to stop and make a new one. 

Cutting the freezer paper templates

Then I grabbed all the fabric scraps to see which one would work with the template sizes. 

The fabric scraps

Oh - in case you're wondering where the decluttering assignment came from for today - it's from this project basket. This is all the stuff that was in the basket for this quilt. 

The contents of the project basket

I set up my applique prep station right beside me. I had applique circles to make, so I dug out the Perfect Circles shapes; I've got starch in the container along with a stencil brush. And all of that is contained in ONE container on the shelf with the tools. 

The applique prep station

I found a yo-yo maker in the box. Why? No idea since there are no yo-yos on the quilt. I suspect I showed people that if they didn't want to applique flowers, they could use yo-yos. This project is one of my year-long projects from 2016. So it's a UFO, but not that old. 

A yo-yo maker

Then I started dealing with the fabrics. I was finished with the pinks - they got filed in the pink stash basket. 

Finished with the pink fabrics

Oh - here's one of the shapes that I was prepping. I had to made 16 of these flowers. Boring!!!!

The flower template ironed to the fabric

This is what I do when I'm getting ready to shelve fabric that I'm finished with. I pull out all the small scraps and put them in the scrap box. The bigger pieces go in the stash basket. And there are matching baskets and boxes. So if I have a yellow stash basket, I have a yellow scrap box. It's easy!

Sorting the scraps from the larger pieces

After Monday was over, I went back to it. I had an audiobook that I was trying to finish before it disappeared at 5:03. So I stuck with the applique prep, but at one point, I was so tired of doing it that I had to stop. I have EIGHT little circles to finish and 12 short bias strips. YEAH!!!!  That is a HUGE accomplishment. 

Almost finished the applique prep

And the audiobook? Well, it disappeared at 5:13, but then it came back right away so I could continue listening to it. I finished it last night. I need to return it today. That was great, and now I'm onto the next one as a few got piled up last week. 

Gosh - I also found this book in the project basket. I remember meeting Edyta Sitar at Quilt Market in 2016, and she sent me this book. It's now on the shelf with the other books. How much more stuff will I find as I sort through all these boxes???  

Little Handfuls of Scraps by Edyta Sitar

Then I got on a roll this morning and decided to cut everything that remained to be cut to finish off all the borders on this quilt. Oh boy -- that was a HUGE job, but it's done, and all the fabric got filed back into the stash room. The only thing that remains in the project basket is the fabric for the binding. Yep - the rest is gone, and I might be able to finish this UFO this month. That would be awesome, and then I get to pull a new UFO from the shelves. 

The binding fabric left in the project box

And here's my stack of prepped projects: some applique, loads of piecing. I still have four or five projects that need to be prepped for this month. Then everything that needs to be sewn this month is prepped, and it shouldn't take too long to get them sewn up. I'm totally ahead of the game here, and it feels great. The cutting table is almost clear, and that's great as well. 

The prepped pile of work

Hopefully, I'm learning some time-management skills (not likely), but at least I'm giving it a try. I was so focused on the applique and finished that audiobook that I didn't get back to the office at all, and well, the e-mails have exploded again! And tonight is my first of several event series, so I have to get myself organized for that!!

It's going to be another super busy day. I have TONS more to share with you, and I have NOT forgotten the UFO homework. It's coming! 

So don't forget your decluttering homework for today. Pick a project box - could be current, could be a UFO, but go through it and see what you can do to clean it up! That's easy - well, hopefully, it'll be easy. 

You know, in all the decluttering thing, there are several issues. We can declutter any surface. It's actually quite easy - you just move the junk to another location (I'm very good at that - but I'm way better than I used to be) or you can deal with it - which is what we should do, and that's what I'm now doing. The other thing to consider is how to prevent the clutter from happening again. I'm very good at this now. I'm putting things away because everything in my house has a home, or I don't buy junk or receive junk that will clutter up the house. Something to think about!!!!

I know that Cathie dealt with everything on that coffee table - she didn't just put it on the dining room table. Right, Cathie???? 

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


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