Thursday, April 27, 2023

Sorting thread and giant quilts

I need to get back to answering those comments! I find out all kinds of stuff from you! It looks like the robotic vacuum may not be the best for dog hair, so I will save my money! What's the point of sweeping to eliminate most of the debris and then letting the vacuum run at night? Nope -- might as well clean properly. OK -- who am I kidding -- I don't vacuum or sweep -- it gets done once a week and not by me! 

I grew up on a farm -- I'm OK with a bit of dirt and dog hair on the floor. 

I'm glad yesterday is over, not because of the day but because I had that giant quilt to quilt. As I suspected, there were a few issues, but nothing I couldn't handle. It was huge, approximately 116" wide, which took up nearly all the space on the long arm.

 A giant quilt loaded

I measured the backing, 108", and the quilt, 103". That is NOT nearly enough backing on such a large quilt, and I took a risk that I wouldn't run out of backing. I had about 1½" to spare at the end, and there was NOTHING at the top. Too close for comfort! This would NOT have worked if I didn't pin my quilts on the leaders. 

Barely enough backing

But here it is! I'll try to trim it later today, and then it will need to be laid out somewhere and trimmed square. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I won't go into detail on this quilt, but please -- when you are sewing LONG strips of anything together, you MUST measure and pin. Do not just sew, as it will distort things! 

Enough said -- the next quilt, at less than 80" square, seems like a miniature after the several huge ones I've done. Even though I'm out speaking this afternoon, I plan to finish it. It's loaded, and I should be back in plenty of time to finish it. I'm back on schedule, and that makes me happy. 

I wanted to dig out the next quilt (well, the next, next quilt) that I will do for myself. Do you think I could find it? I searched in the two green tubs and the two to the left. OH WAIT --- the most current stuff I've completed is in the one with the red lid. It was so close to me that I couldn't see it. 

Which tub is my quilt in?

I opened the lid, and there was my quilt! That's MY quilt for May. Just trying to stay organized. 

One of my tubs of quilts

So if you have dogs, you can appreciate this. I went to the vet to pick up their medication for ticks/fleas, heartworm, and Murphy's meds for her bladder. OUCH!! That little bag of goodies wasn't cheap. 

A "gift" for the girls

Thank goodness we love them, but since the pandemic, we don't get asked for checkups; we just buy the mediation. Hmm -- why? But that would have added a significant amount to the bill. 

Meds for the girls

I said I wasn't going to the quilt stores when I was on retreat. Well, I've changed my mind. I found the pattern I was looking for, and I've decided I need some fabric for it. And I have something else I want to make, and I'm not happy with my original fabric. So the bag from the vet is now the shopping bag with stuff I need to match or patterns. 

My shopping bag for the quilt retreat

The pattern was NOT in that second tub of stuff under the long arm because that tub is filled with projects, NOT garment stuff. However, I found a nice pair of shears. OK -- so how many shears does one person need? I must have 4 or 5 pairs, and I never use any of them, but I want to! Now this pair of scissors is in the drawer with the others. Actually, I have two drawers -- one in Studio U and one in Studio B. I know -- not super practical, and I should put them together. 

Another pair of shears

And I was back sorting threads. Good grief --- what a HUGE mess, and so much of the "collection" I haven't ever used. 

I have put all the light 50-weight thread in one box, so when I need something to piece with, I have ONE spot to get thread! It will be several "years" before I buy more piecing thread. A hedge against inflation! 

Piecing thread

I did the same thing with the black and grey threads. 

More piecing thread

Then it was on to sorting the remainder of the 50-weight colored threads. I started to sort before I took this picture, but what a mess. I use these primarily for bindings or topstitching. 

50-weight thread in the sorting process

I'm happy to report that all the 50-weight threads are now sorted by color, and these three drawers are back in the cupboard in the stash room. 

50-weight threads are sorted!

However, there is still a ton of thread to sort. I've pulled out all the 12-weight thread, and it's in a box, but not the final box because the lid won't close. 

12-weight thread

And then I still have to find a container for these. 

And this still needs to be sorted. 

What's left to sort

It is a crappy job, and DO NOT let me buy more thread unless I have a specific reason to use it! We won't even think about how much money is sitting on this table in the "I don't know why I bought it or how I'm going to use it!" pile. Again ---- HUNDREDS of dollars, and it wouldn't surprise me that there is more than $1,000 worth of thread there. 

I saw this cool thing at the gym. I had seen them the day before and didn't notice what they were doing. But they were blowing mulch into the flower beds. HEY --- I need that for my backyard. I've asked the landscaper several times, but they are so busy. I might have to buy some bags and carry them back. Getting it by the yard and putting it back there with the wheelbarrow is not super convenient. 

Blowing mulch into the flower beds

And I was trying to tidy up the pantry in the kitchen, and when I went to put the rest of the bag of birdseed into the container, I missed! Good grief --- trying to clean up and make a worse mess. 

Oh crap!

So what is this all about? Oh - pathetic me! I can't sleep on the sofa, and my blanket is not on the bed, so I'll lie on the floor! My sister did this!!!

MOM -- I'm confused

I prepped some homework that now needs to be sewn. What I really need are TWO days of concentrated sewing. I won't have time at the retreat since I already have stuff prepped for that. I doubt I'll get a chance to turn on the sewing machine today, but a Virtual Retreat is coming up, so I hope to get some of the sewing done then. 

It's Saturday evening (April 29), starting at 6 PM. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

And Sunday morning (April 30) starting at Noon.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1959 8156
Passcode: 053861

I'll also be at the Simcoe County Quilter's Guild today. I'm a last-minute fill-in, so you won't find any information on their website, but you can come as a paying guest, and the topic of my lecture is Scrap Quilts. It's one I love to give, and I'll be running around the house assembling and packing quilts this morning. The meeting starts at 1:00 PM. 

And that wraps it up for today! 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Those KAI scissors are the best. I have this one plus the one next size up and I won't let anyone touch them. They mold to your hand and cut through anything. Certainly worth the money.

  2. I would guess you have in the neighborhood of $10,000 in thread. Aurifil cones alone are $60. Other than thread for your professional quilting service, I'd bet you're good for life :-)

    I buy a light cream Aurifil for all my piecing regardless of color-yes, including black fabric. It never ever shows! I go through 3 cones in about 2 years and I finish 50 quilts a year since retiring.

  3. I read your missives daily and you do inspire me to continue to clean up and organize even though I think I am done but we will never be done! However, your message today with pictures of your thread - it made me feel really good because that is one thing that I have under control. When I saw the pictures over the last few days, it actually bothered me that you have so much and there is no possible way that you can use it all and to me, even though you are sorting and organizing, it feels like clutter? I would be tempted to get some sandwich size baggies and fill them by colour with threads that are extra, that you know you really don't need... just to clear up space. Then I would take those baggies to your retreats or classes you teach and either give them away (funky doorprizes) or, if you feel the need to recoup some of your costs, price the bag at something reasonable... $10? If you can bag up threads and move them out of your house, I think it would give you more space and less time looking through a bin of 30 threads to find one spool. Of course, I would never, ever get rid of my Aurifil thread. I go through one a half of one of the large cones per year in my piecing...and I do use my colours for stitching binding so you do need a variety. Just thinking my thoughts out loud and sharing with you. You are my inspiration and have taught me to let go of a lot of my quilting 'stuff'... and there is lots more than can easily go to new homes but you never know when I might want to start stitching postcards again? Or start doing hand embroidery again? Or maybe hand applique? My supplies are tucked away neat and tidy but out of sight... well labelled!