Wednesday, January 12, 2022

DONE but not finished

So -- the good news is that the first custom quilt is off the long arm. It's trimmed, and I added the binding this morning. The hanging sleeve is pinned on, and while I'm on a call this morning, I'll hand stitch it in place. I don't want to tempt fate with the UPS shipping, so I will take it to the UPS store this afternoon and get this one on its way. 

It turned out pretty well, and it was only ¼" out on the bottom, which is a pretty good feat considering this is my first time being so super precise. I mean, it's pretty bad when you are trying to keep within 1/8" tolerances between patterns. It's not perfect, but it's the best I can do at this point. 

The second custom quilt is loaded, and while it will have its challenges, it will be a breeze compared to the last one. Should I even say that out loud? Which is good since I need to have it in a box by Friday. Nothing like cutting this one a bit close, but it took way longer than I expected to do the first one. 

OK -- I have no idea what's wrong with those bananas, but they are still pretty green this morning. A bit more flavor, but not like a regular banana. Hmmm -- what's going on? 

Despite the cold and the deadline pressure, I still got out for my walks yesterday. It was a two-pair of pant day in the morning, and I dug out a heavier jacket, and I was toasty warm. The girls couldn't have cared - I don't think either of them even noticed the cold. WOW -- I just checked, and I walked 13.3 KM yesterday. How did that happen? Considering that I was on conference calls for 4.5 hours, that's remarkable!

This morning, I had a few spare minutes and grabbed a couple more things sitting on the floor from the closet. I found a piece of chocolate-colored brown canvas. OK -- my supply of canvas is building! Don't tell Katheleen! 

A large piece of canvas

And there was a hunk of this shiny vinyl. Well, it's soft and pliable, so I think it's more like a pleather. But that would be cool to experiment on with machine embroidery. 

A piece of shiny pleather

And a container with two panels and three fat quarters - no pattern. I see a trend here -- I've bought a grouping of fabrics because I liked it but never found anything to do with it. NO MORE buying fabric just because! 

A grouping of fat quarters

I also found a partial bolt of solid black. Why was it in the closet? No idea, so it went with the other bolts of fabric. 

I'm tempted to throw everything back in the closet to get it out of the way. But if I putter and tidy up three things every day  - I could get through it. I MUST make that a priority. I'm good at starting the tidying up process, not so good with finishing it up. 

But at this rate, the list of UFOs that I thought I had is diminishing! And that is good news. However, it will be many years before the UFOs will be done! There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, and that's a positive. 

I haven't had a chance to chat about my lists this year. I'm a big fan of lists, as I think they help us stay on track, and more importantly, things don't get left behind or forgotten. 

Here are some places where I think lists are essential. Did you notice I made a "list" of this? 

  1. Any time you put multiple things into a large tub. Make a list of what's in the tub so you can easily find what's in there. This is especially important if you have a lot of things in the same container. Now -- if your tub is filled with Christmas ornaments, it probably doesn't make sense to list each item. But if you have several tubs of Christmas ornaments, you should specify which type is in which box to quickly find something specific. That's what I've done with my quilt tops. I have enough to sort them by type or style or ones I want to keep. I put the quilt tops (with the binding and the backing) into a tub, and I listed each quilt (so I knew what it was). The tubs are numbered and correspond to the list. All the lists are in a book that sits next to the tubs. It's now super easy to find ANY quilt top in the "to be quilted" pile. 
  2. A list of UFOs. Now, this could be a complete list of the UFOs or just those on the priority list. In my case, I keep the priority ones on the list. Actually, I add 12 new ones to the list each year. I started in 2017. That list of 12 UFOS is now complete, as is the list for 2018. There are still 5 projects on the list for 2019, 9 for 2020, 12 for 2021 (oops), and of course, 12 new ones for 2022. I know --- you are asking why I continue to add when I'm not done with the previous lists. Well, it's a way to keep on pushing. There are a lot, and I won't have the push if I don't do this. This past year, the ones I worked on were HUGE projects, and I got bogged down. The ones on the list for 2021 are small and could quickly be done, so they will be the focus this year. And one day, I might just get ambitious and list all of them in one master list. NO -- I'm not going to do that. But I do need to cull out the projects that I will never make, and that's what I'm doing in the closet. I've found tons of stuff set aside, but for what? That goes in the stash. 
  3. This is Mary's idea -- a list of 22 things for 2022. This is a list of small things that can be completed very quickly. While they are a UFO, they are small and could be finished in an afternoon. I'm making a list as I go through the closet, my retreat bag, and stuff on the current projects table. I'm at 15 items so far, but I don't think it'll be hard to find another 7 small projects. It would be great to work on those at the Virtual Retreat or take them to the actual sewing retreats. But the point is -- they need to get finished and leave the big projects for the real UFO list. 
  4. Lists of where you have stored projects. Like what I'm doing for the closet. And this is pretty inclusive -- shelf one - list the projects, shelf two - list the projects. Once the boxes are labeled, it'll be super easy to scan the shelves and find exactly what you're looking for. NO more lost projects. 

So that's what I keep for lists. OH -- they need to be updated once you move things or finish something, and that's very important! Once I get finished, I will put them all in the folder where I keep the "to be quilted" lists. A little bit more work is required, but once that's done -- I'll never lose anything again!

Here are a couple more photos from Gail's sewing room. Well, I'm not sure what's under all that, but it looks like a cutting table. AHA -- can you spot the labeler? I tell you ALL quilters need a label maker!

Where's the cutting table?

And now it looks a lot neater and tidier!! I love those plastic drawer units beneath the table. You can store a LOT of stuff in them. She has a Lazy Susan for pens, scissors, and other tools and a cake stand to hold other stuff! It's a big table, she has the room!

Much easier to work on!

Here's a neat idea. This little trolley is from IKEA. It has wheels, so it can be moved around, which is excellent. It's like a crash cart for sewists! You can have all the tools you regularly use in there and move the trolley from space to space. She has also put some pegboards on the side for extra storage, and it looks like she's added a tray on top to get another flat surface. Looks pretty versatile!!!!

A crash cart for quilter's

And she has a pull-out tray on her sewing table, so she can put a cutting mat there. 

Pull out tray on the sewing table

Wow -- so many good ideas!!! I think I have one more set of pictures for tomorrow. If you have a great idea or sewing room hack, don't forget to send it to me. 


Now that we've been at this for almost two weeks, what's the condition of your space? I don't care if it's messy because you are currently working on something, and it's OK if it's messy if you still cleaning (like me), but if you put stuff away and it's messy all over again -- why is that? Working on too many projects at once (GUILTY), or didn't put something away -- try to identify the problem area and brainstorm ways to prevent that from happening. 

Now you should start to focus on smaller things. Rotary cutting supplies -- cutters and blades. Are they all together? Why not? Marking tools -- extra ones and those currently in use. Are they all together? Why not? So that is the task for today. I find that those supplies fit nicely into those plastic drawer sets. OH -- and while you're going through the marking tools, test the ones that are "in current use." Do they still work? If not, toss them and open a new one or put it on your shopping list. 

I did two good deeds yesterday. Well, one was for my sanity. The neighbor's gate no longer latches properly, and in the wind, it just bangs and bangs LOUDLY. The dogs go crazy. So I got a bungee cord and secured it shut! The parents have moved to Asia (pre-COVID), leaving their young adult son alone in the house. Well, I think he has a girlfriend now, but he doesn't take care of the house. Now it's super quiet when the wind blows. 

The second thing was when I walked past that house under repair (the one with the missing shingles), a man drove up in a van from a restoration company. I think I threw him for a loop when I asked if he was associated with the house. He didn't know how to answer. I helped by saying that shingles blew off the roof over a month ago. No one knew. So now they have been alerted! My good deed of the day, but the work has stopped on the house after they rebuilt the roof, and there was NO ONE to tell what had happened. Now they know. Whether they do anything about it is no longer my problem. 

And on that note, I'm out of here. What a difference 24 hours can make. The temperature is 20 degrees (Celcius) warmer today than it was at this time yesterday. That just doesn't make sense! 

Have a super day!!!


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