Sunday, June 19, 2016

Packing responsibly

Another fun day yesterday.  Yes, I did go to work, but I wasn't there long before I had to get back to Quilt Canada!  I did have a few "official duties" to perform at Quilt Canada so might as well get those started. Then I thought, I was there, what was the point of going back to the office.  I was able to get around and chat to a few more people, always making new contacts - networking is very important!

Took lots of pictures and chatted to people.  Gosh - I seem to know a lot of people!  A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to everyone I chatted with yesterday.  It's so much fun to see you all and catch up.  I don't even want to begin listing names because I know I would miss someone and they would feel left out.

I'd also like to thank everyone for their kind words on my Row by Row quilt.  It was a hoot to put together and well, who knows what I'll do with the 2015 plates. I really must count them - I think we'll all going to be shocked!

I think I left around 5 PM.  I can't help myself, but I get so pumped up with the entire show that well, I did want to stay until the end, but I had to get home for Miss Lexi!

However when I got home, I was still full of energy and I wanted to do something. So I started with some responsible packing for the upcoming retreat.

Have you ever gone on a sewing retreat?  I've been on MANY sewing retreats and I wouldn't miss them for the world.  They are the best thing since sliced bread, they are fun, they are relaxing and well just so worth it.

Whether you have or not, here are some tips:

  • Prep your projects before you go - that means do all the cutting. There is less danger that you'll make a mistake and usually, the cutting areas are not the best at a retreat. 
  • Label al the parts and put them in ziplock bags and then put those zip locks into a larger bag.  In other words, keep the project separate from all your other projects. 
  • Make sure you have all the tools required for the project. Which rulers? what thread? what other speciality items do you need?  Now you can do one of the two things with those tools. You can put them in the specific project bag that you're taking or you can have a tool bag/box that will have all the supplies you need.  When you get home, you won't have to search through all the project bags to remove the tools and put them in their appropriate place. 
  • Make sure you have all the non-fabric items you need - like stabilizers, zippers, batting or whatever.  If you aren't sure of the size needed for the battings, fusible fleece, etc., put those supplies into another bag.  You can cut as needed and you won't end up with pieces that aren't quite the proper size.  
  • Make sure your "out of the studio" basic sewing kit is complete.  This includes extra bobbins, piecing thread, seam ripper, snips, extra needles and so on.  You should have one of these packed and ready to go always.  It should NEVER be touched unless you are on the road.  Get duplicates to put in this tool box. 
  • Get a couple of big bags to put your stuff in so they are easy to carry. I like my Everyday Totes - so much fits in each one and they are fabulous!  
  • How much should one pack?  Well you don't want to run out of projects, but we all tend to take way too many projects!  Pack a variety so if you need to, you can switch them around. I laugh because when I'm at home, I tend to jump from project to project. When I'm away, I focus on one at a time! Weird!
  • Don't panic pack at the last minute.  I normally do this and I end up with an entire car full of stuff that never gets unpacked at the retreat and I can't find things. 

So speaking of the above and in keeping with my lecture the other day, I was very busy in the studio last night and this morning. 

This is something very important that we should all be doing from time to time. OK - ALL the time.  I pulled out this bag.  I know what's in the bag and I know (more or less) what the quilt is supposed to look like.  There is a pattern in the bag, but I'm not following the pattern exactly. 

While the bits and pieces were in the bag, I had no idea what state the project was in.  So I counted all the bits. Wrote them out on a piece of paper. 

The bits laid out

Then I calculated what was missing - about one hundred 3 1/2" squares are missing. Well not missing, but not cut and not in the project bag. When I lost my glasses, I had been searching for bags of squares and found a bag with some 3 3/4" squares.  Perfect.  I'm not cutting them down until I need them at the retreat - I know, I could do that now, but a small trim is easy enough to do at the retreat.  I don't need to cut all the squares down (that are in the 3 3/4" bag) so that is why I'll wait and do it there.

Project ready to go

Now this project is ready to go.  The notes are clear (well to me!), there are enough pieces to finish the blocks.  And it's packed in an Everyday Tote!

I do believe there are THREE totes filled with projects now.  There are two more to sort through and then maybe I'll allow one final project in the bags.  All that's left is to pack some tools, but that is pretty simple as I think everything I'm taking does not require speciality tools. 

I also started to do some serious tidying up.  Over the last couple of months, projects have been pulled from shelves and cabinets. They are sitting on the table tops and never got put away.  So that is my task tomorrow (and I'm going to do some sewing - some LEISURELY sewing).   

Let's face it, I can't work on every project at once.  The idea will be to put the rest away after carefully selecting what will stay out.  Then try to be as focused as I am at the retreat and get each one to completion.  

That is going to require a lot of discipline, but it is necessary. 

On that note, I'm off to finish prepping for my two short classes this morning and then I'll be back at the show and tearing down quilts once the show closes.  My "favourite" part of any show. 

Have a great day!!!


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