Monday, December 31, 2018

The end is in sight

It's the last day of 2018! While it seems that time just zoomed by, it really didn't. I've had some great long days of work. It sure makes a difference when you're not panicked! Not that I get panicky, but when I end up with two or more jobs to do at the same time - that makes for a less than comfortable situation.

I quilted and bound another quilt for a magazine. It's going in a box today. That is finish number 94 for the year. NO - you can't see it yet, but it's unusual and very interesting. I can't wait to see how they style it. It's small. The design is very simple, but I LOVE the coloring. Blue and green!  I only have two quilts in the funnel for magazine quilts. I think there's a call for submission due on the 2nd so later today, I'll get to work on that.

So we're down to the wire today. Six items left and one day to complete them. Don't worry - all is good. This is what's on the agenda for today to finish off those 6 items. There are two small items that need binding. When those are done, I'll have NO quilts in the house that need binding. Can you believe that???? There's a sleeve to sew on a large quilt. Some topstitching on a bag and finish off the legs to my tuffet. Six items - mostly done - barring any major catastrophe in the house, it should happen. I'm super excited about.

The remaining six items to make 100 for the year

Some of those are items in the list of 100 were ones that I needed to finish off, some of the items were brand new and they came in all different sizes and configurations - bags, quilts, tuffets, mug rugs, etc. I'm thrilled with my accomplishments over the year. Jumping up and down excited!!!  I'm going to set the same goal for next year and as I mentioned yesterday, there are about 10 items in plain view in the studio that would fit nicely into the finishing list for 2019. The idea is to keep working to make it happen and not on the last day. But I don't feel pressure - it's my own deadline. I do need to focus a wee bit more on those UFOs. I've decided that I'm going to focus on those on Mondays. There's a lot of hand applique, hand embroidery, and a lot of prep so that will be easy to take on Monday - no sewing machine.

What's nice about getting these projects completed is that I won't have to keep moving them when I have people over to sew. That's a bonus. I remember that binding pile was so huge, I couldn't lift it at one time. Now it's down to two teeny quilts.

The other thing is that I get to finally put some fabrics back in their respective color bin. Take this fabric for instance. This is the backing of the large quilt that needs the sleeve sewn on. I want to hang the quilt - that's why it's getting a sleeve. I kept the fabric with the quilt so I could make the sleeve. Well, the sleeves are now made and pinned on so the remainder of the fabric went in the brown bin. The pattern? It's a photocopy from a 1996 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. That's going in the recycle bin. The block is super simple - trust me - I've made MANY of that block - I won't ever forget it.

The extra fabric from making a sleeve and the pattern

And here's the quilt with it's sleeve pinned on. I'll sit down with my audiobook later today.

The sleeve is pinned and ready to hand sew in place

I need to make labels for four of those items as well. The labels are created in a Word document. I need to print it and proof it, then print on fabric. That won't take long either. I had to call Elaine S yesterday to get the information for one of the labels as I had given her the pattern. Within minutes, I had the information and was able to finish typing up that label. I'm still torn about the labels, but I think I've got a good plan. I insert my small satin label in the binding and then another small computer printed label with the name of the pattern and designer and my name and the year. DONE!!!  If a story is needed for the quilt - then that goes on the computer printed label.

I was also doing some machine embroidery at the same time as I was working on finishing the quilt for the magazine. Oh - I used my long arm computer to do a border to border design - not edge to edge of the quilt but in between the borders. Oh - I love it!!!!  I've got to work a wee bit more on placement, but for the small item, it worked like a charm.

As I was running between machines, I noticed that I've been using up a lot of thread lately.  I finished off a couple more spools yesterday. This is how many spools, I've finished off in the last week.

Lots of empty spools
Oops - there's one more!!!

One more empty spool
I'm not running out to replace them. Some of them I already have another spool of the same color. At some point, I'll run into a thread crisis and have to go and buy more, but for the moment, I'm good.

Remember those nine tubs of fabric that needed a new home???  Well, here they are - nestled nicely under the long arm. This is probably a better place for them. They are now only two high. I don't have to lift up those heavy tubs. They're not crushing each other and much easier and faster to get what I want.

Fabric tubs fit nicely under the long arm

I displaced a number of bags in order to make room to put the tubs there. Today, once I'm finished my 6 projects, my intention is to do a little bit of clean-up. I need to go through the four displaced bags and consolidate the stuff that's in them. The bags were NOT packed very well so once I do that, I would say that most of the stuff will fit in two bags and there's room for those two bags to the right of those tubs. Yeah!!!!  I might just even find a project or two that will go on the finishing list for 2019.

There is some stuff on the cutting table that I'd like to tackle today as well. A couple of quilt backings to make and well - just stuff that needs to be put away.

Stuff on the cutting table to sort through and put away

And I have this big orange tray which is going to become my place to put stuff before it gets put away. You know - the stuff that always ends up on the ironing board or the cutting table. Once it's full, then it needs to be dealt with or even sooner. So it's full right now and needs to be dealt with. That's also on the agenda for today.

More stuff that needs to be put away

And YES - I found another Halloween fabric in a bag that was on the cutting table. Yep - it's a disease.
Yet another Halloween fabric

I promised that I'd show you what I made Ronda while she was here sewing. This is a new design by Kimberbell Designs. It's a mug rug with a cute little penguin on it. I think you can only get this pattern from your Kimberbell dealer. I think it's like a make n take or something (don't quote me on that as I'm likely wrong about that). Anyway, the little mug rug is super cute, made entirely in the hoop - even the chenille. MY Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC (yes - I now own that machine - don't ask!) is having a grand time cranking out these cute things. I think this was finish number 90 or something like that.

Kimberbell Designs mug rug

 Not happy with just one - NO - I made four more yesterday which is why I didn't get more items finished on my list. I counted all five of the mug rugs as one finish.

Four more penguin mug rugs

If you're into Kimberbell Designs, check out the other mug rugs that they have to offer. They have two CDs of seasonal mug rugs. I think they match the bench pillows.  Anyway - super cute.

And it's time now to start working on samples for 2019 classes and there are a few Kimberbell Designs in the mix. I need to pull some fabrics and start working on those. My goal has been to finish off my list of 100 for this year and I've almost made that goal happen.

So if you haven't had a chance to think about what you what to accomplish in 2019 - whether it's your personal stuff or quilting stuff or whatever stuff - you should think about it!!!  I'm going to share with you tomorrow something very funny that I found when I was cleaning. Just goes to show that it's one thing to make goals, but if they're not SMART goals, you might as well save your time and not make any goals.

Have a super day on the last day of 2018.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

The ART of finishing

As the end of the year closes in, it's time to reflect on the past year and figure out how to go forward. What do we want to do with our lives? our hobby? our stuff?

One thing I came to the realization is that in the quilting world, we all have a tendency to shop like we're running a business, yet we use it up like it's a hobby. Does that make sense?? Most of us do not just buy for a specific project. We see something we like - we buy it! We end up with so much.

The same would ring true for projects. We see something so cute that we can't resist starting it. Then we get distracted by the next cute thing and well - you know what happens.

I know that there are a LOT of projects hanging out in my studio that are not finished. Some are close, some are far from that final stitch. This past year, I decided that I need to get my act together and made myself a goal of completing 100 things. I set my own rules for this.

  • I did not count any quilting/binding for paying customers. 
  • I did not count any quilts that went in the "to be quilted pile". 
  • I only counted items that I had actually finished. The majority of those items are mine, but there were a couple that I finished for someone that had passed and I counted those. 

So it didn't matter if the item only needed a label, I counted that as finished. Cheating? Nope - they were my rules after all and my goal was to get stuff cleaned up that wasn't done. It's so easy to let things slip. No labels, no sleeves, no bindings. Why oh why did I not put them on at the time?

This coming year, I'm going to keep track of three categories - quilts that get moved to the "to be quilted" pile. Things I work on for customers and things that I completely finish. That will give me a much better picture of everything that I worked on in the year. I'm OK that I didn't count the other items - well, I could count the customer quilts I quilted and I could find the number of items that went into the "to be quilted" pile, but there's no need. Going forward, I'll have three lists.

I have two days left in the year to complete stuff. Thankfully there are no urgent deadlines. Well, that's not true as I have an item for a magazine that I'm finishing off today and will get in a box tomorrow. I also have my little book with all the deadlines listed so I should be able to avoid issues going forward. This one is a bit at the urgent point because the backing for the item had to come from California and it only arrived on Friday. I thought it wasn't going to make the deadline!!!  That little item will be quilted and bound today.

Ronda was here bright and early yesterday and we sewed all day. The day passed so quickly that soon it was 4 PM and she left. Then I scooted to the library and the hardware store to do some errands. My FitBit was in heaven and did almost 17,000 steps yesterday. It was a beautiful day for a walk.

Then I got down to business and started some hand sewing to finish some things. Here's what happened. Oh - I did make Ronda a wee thing - I'll show that to you tomorrow.

As you may know, I've been debating about the label thing. Should the quilts have labels or not?? Well, darn it - I'm still torn, but I really think that listing the pattern name, the designer and the darn YEAR are important. That means I have a lot of labels to sew on!!!!

I mostly sewed labels and sleeves on last night but before I could sew the labels on, I had to make them. And in order to make them, I had to do some research. Yes - if I would have made the label at the time I finished the item, it wouldn't have been so bad. I even had to go back into my old blog on LiveJournal to get some of the information.

I do not believe that this quilt has ever made the blog. It's an Ocean Waves as you probably guessed.

Ocean Waves quilt

But read the label. You see why this quilt needed a label! When was the quilt was actually finished? I'm not sure. But I'm guessing that it was the year after I started it. I can't even remember if the quilt ever was on her bed. Isn't that awful????  Now it has a label with some of the dates on it. That quilt has been sitting in a bag under the long arm for a long, long time.

The label on THE quilt

I knew exactly what the book looked like that I had used for the pattern. Now that all the books are on the shelf, it was pretty easy to find it. It'll be even easier when they are completely sorted into categories.

The book that I used to make that quilt
I got the label on this table runner. Technically Diane finished it by hand stitching the binding down, but I put the label on so it's completely done now. Thanks, Diane for helping out!

I had to dig back to find the name of the ruler that was used to make it. It was made in 2014! That runner was sitting in a bag in the storage room for a couple of years!

Curved table runner made with Simple Curves tool by Phillips Fiber Art

The next quilt to get a label was this one. This is a version of Hopscotch by the girls at The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw. The shop is no longer open, but boy - I loved that store and have many fond memories of Jeanne and Shelley.

Hopscotch by The Quilt Patch

I made and quilted it in 2013. No label, but now it's completely done.

Next up was this one that I designed with a Northcott panel. The panel was part of their Naturescapes collection and is long gone although you may find it in a shop. The sleeves were made, the label was made and the binding was partially attached. The binding is now on, the sleeves are hand stitched in place as is the label.

Fields of Gold panel by Northcott

I think that takes me to finish 93 of the year. Something like that. There's another stack of small projects that I hope to get done before the New Year rings in tomorrow night.

I didn't take a picture of the stack, but there are three small quilts left to bind, a bag that needs a row of topstitching and a quilt that needs a sleeve and a label.

And there's this pile as well. A rug and my portable display boards.

Things to finish before the end of the year

I think you get the picture that there's so much that is so close to being finished. That's my goal - finish those things. As I was searching for a date for a project, I realized that the date is one of the most important things to put on the label. I was searching for information about a quilt challenge that I had made years ago. After some searching, I realized that the owner had passed in 2014. And a previous challenge for the shop was made in 2008. My guess is that this challenge was made in 2009. A quick text to Carol and she'll let me know next week - so that one can't quite be finished this year!  What was on the back of the quilt? A paper label with not much information on it!!! 

And I've already got two piles of stuff for finishing in 2019. The back pile needs to have backings and bindings made and I think one small project needs the border put on. Oh - I have a FULL tub of other projects in the same boat!! The pile at the front needs some quilting or other work in order to complete the items.

Projects to be finished in 2019

I'm sure if I looked really hard, I could easily find 50 small things like above that are very close to being finished but are not. And let's not even think about the labels!!!!!

In the new year, I'll be sharing with you the mess of quilts upstairs and what I'm doing with them. You'll be shocked. I'm shocked. Let's just say that we have a very large hallway upstairs and the "walls" are closing in! OK - time to start selling some of these things! How to pick the favorites that I want to keep?????

Here's your assignment for today. Oh yes - If I'm going through the agony of all this - I don't want to go alone.

  1. Make your list of 12 UFOs for 2019. I've made mine. I haven't been that great at finishing the items on the 2017 or 2018 list, but those UFOs are constantly on my mind and I'm getting them done - slowly. I wasn't kind to myself when I chose them. May were huge projects and some resulted in multiple quilts. The list for 2019 is much friendlier and will allow me some time to finish off the 2017 and 2018 lists. 2017 is almost finished. 
  2. Find yourself a notebook so you can keep your lists in. 
  3. Decide what lists you want to keep - things finished? things labeled? things started? things quilted? You decide - it's your rules!!!
  4. Set some goals for yourself. Can be only one, can be small, can be huge. You decide - again - these are your rules! Remember goals need to be SMART. If you're not familiar with the SMART goal setting process, check out that link. 
  5.  DO NOT attempt to keep your goals/lists in your head. It doesn't work. You MUST write them down. 
  6. Set up a Task Master if you need help to break down the larger goals (like a full-blown UFO) into small chunks that you can achieve each week. I set myself small (SMART) goals (tasks) for the week. Look at your schedule for the week and determine how much time you can devote to sewing and then write down your tasks for the week. I don't roll anything over if I couldn't finish it that week. I left the task unchecked off and some weeks, I didn't add anything new - I went back and finished those tasks that I had not had a chance to accomplish. 
  7. Remember that EVERYTHING takes at least twice as long as you think it will. Start off easy and only put ONE task on your weekly list. But BREAK IT DOWN into manageable chunks. 
  8. It's OK if you don't get it done when you thought you would. Life happens. Be flexible. 
  9. It's OK to buy, but try to buy only what you NEED to finish a project. Don't buy if you don't have a home for that item in your house. You're just adding to the existing clutter. 
  10. Don't start anything that you have no intention of finishing that year. 
  11. "Finishing" an item may be as simple as collecting all the bits and giving it away. You personally don't have to complete the projects if you don't like them. Count it as a finished item since it's no longer in your house!
If that isn't enough for you, here's a couple of handholding things that can help. 

  • We have a Facebook page called Motivational Monday that has helped myself and others document what we finished and encourage each other to get things done. 
  • If you live in my area, I'll be hosting a UFO class in my studio. Once a month, you'll come with your UFO project to get help, motivation, and assistance to break the project down into manageable pieces. You set your own goals. There's a class fee of $25 and there's a "bank fee" of $100.00. If you accomplish your monthly tasks, you'll get a portion of the "bank fee" back. If you accomplish everything, you get all your "banked" money back. If you don't, then I get to keep it!!!  I'll be posting more details on my blog in the next couple of days. 

On that note, I"m out of here. I'm on a mission and I will NOT miss that goal of completing 100 items for 2018!!!!!! 

Have a great day and happy finishing!!!!!


Saturday, December 29, 2018

What's in a quilt magazine?

Yesterday, I had the best day ever! A totally relaxed day with a wee bit of quilt related stuff.  Actually, I had a few errands to run in the morning and then had lunch and spent the afternoon with Vivenda! We're in the process of tackling a Laura Heine (collage) pattern. While we did a little bit of work, we mostly chatted and then we were off to visit a quilt shop that I've never been to before.

The pattern has a collaged background but we wanted to do a different thing for our background. After much discussion, it was time to cut and see what we could come up with.

Vivenda cutting her background fabrics

While we had a lot of the same fabrics for the background, we also each had different ones that we shared. Then we drew up a "firm" plan of the background on a piece of paper, made a basic (more detailed) cutting plan and we were golden. Once we get the backgrounds together, we'll meet again and discuss how to put the bee together. I do love these quilts, but not her method. So we make it up!  Vivenda finished her giraffe - I have not! But since that was a quilt that I started this year and technically, I'm supposed to finish everything that I started - I'd better get busy!!!

This store (new to me) has been around for a couple of years. It's mere minutes from Vivenda's house and we decided to pop over to see if there was anything else we might like to add to the background. Oh my - I think we found four more fabrics. The more the merrier!!!

The shop is called Owl be Sewing (the name used to be Arts and Crafts for you). It's in a very neat little neighborhood. There's a long block that's built with shops on the ground floor and two floors above that where the owner can live. There's angled parking out front and it's really a quaint little neighborhood. Anyway - she does have an amazing selection of fabric in a small space and we happily took some of the fabric (and patterns) home with us!!!!

Owl be Sewing storefront in Brampton

If you haven't visited, then you should take a trip there.

As I mentioned the other day, I NEED to start going through those magazines. Me nagging my kid about stuff is like the kettle calling the pot black. So now that things are out in the open, I feel very ready to deal with it.

It's a hoot. I'm not going to share every magazine with you, but there are a couple of things that I thought were blog worthy.

McCall's magazine has been around for a long time. Oh - I should mention that I've been quilting since 1998, but at quilt shows or through "friends", I've acquired a bunch of magazines that were published before I even started to quilt.

This first lovely magazine called McCall's Country Quilting is copyright 1990. And I am the proud owner of not just one copy, but TWO copies of the same old magazine. Now how did that happen???? I almost died laughing when I saw that.

Not one, but TWO copies of the same magazine from 1990

Here's something to keep in mind if you're making a quilt for someone. Look at these old quilts. These are vintage quilts - each one is a two color quilt. But they are so classic that they do NOT look dated. Both are very appealing - at least to me.

Two color vintage quilts

Now have a look at this one. This is from fabrics in the 80's/90's era. Would you want that quilt on your bed today??
A quilt made with fabrics from the 80's/90's
I think the pattern would easily translate to today with that giant Dahlia, but the fabrics? Oh boy - they are dated. And that darn puffy batting that was all the rage back then. I think I'm actually grateful that I didn't quilt in that era. 

The cover of the magazine said "easy photo printing on fabric."  I opened to that page to find that you could buy cyanotype kits called The Blueprint Printables. Oh my - times have changed on the technology side as well. Yep - the patterns (even the squares) are cut with templates and scissors. I'm very glad that I didn't have to go through that! GIve me a rotary cutter any day!

Cyanotype photo printing

Keepsake Quilting was in existence (founded in 1986) and they were advertising their free catalog in the magazine. The shop remains open today (after passing through several different owners) and still offers the free catalog, although now you can view the entire thing online. I remember getting this catalog when I started to quilt and drooling over page after page of neat patterns, kits, and fabric.

Keepsake Quilting advertisement

And there's a buyer's guide on the last page of the magazine. Oh my - you have to send a SASE (I bet that the younger quilters have no idea what that is) for information and in one ad that was selling ribbon floss, the colors were listed by name! No picture. I wonder what color Mist Green was???

Anyway, those two magazines are now in the recycle bin. I had fun going through them. Did I learn anything? Yes - I learned that making quilts with trendy fabrics is RISKY!!!! But I love going through those old magazines. Good thing because there are a lot of them.

Here are two more that I went through. Both from McCall's. I think I had sorted all the McCall's into that first box to go through. One of these is from 1993 and the other is from 1988.

Two more dated magazines, one from 1993 and the other from 1988

I noticed that in the 1993 magazine that there were phone numbers which you could call for more information rather than requesting it by mail. That saves a wee bit of time. In an article on "care of fine textiles" (which basically said if you have trouble with stains of any kind, write her a letter and she would respond to each one. Good grief - why not put the information in the article? Anyway, the one thing that hasn't changed, she provides a recipe for removing stains. I'm going to copy it here for you. The article was written by Maryon Pittman Allen - the magazine is McCall's Needlework from December 1993.

"Here is my formula: fill up your washing machine or tub with hot water (heat is a must when removing stains) and pour in equal parts Dove Dishwashing Liquid and Clorox 2 Powder. The entire formula is heat + Dove Dishwashing Liquid + Clorox 2 powder + plenty of water + soaking, soaking, soaking + washing + rinsing, rinsing, rinsing at the same temperature you used for washing."

Not sure if we still have Dove Dishwashing Liquid around, but Dawn Dishwashing Liquid seems to be the go-to for stain removal today. So why don't they market that product as a stain remover???  Anyway - I thought it was funny that nothing has really changed in this area. Not sure about the heat part to remove a stain??  Any takers? Maryon was an expert on textile restoration. I say was - she could still be alive????

Irons were made by Norelco. You could get a Nancy's Notions catalog from the 1993 magazine. Jinny Beyer had already designed her iconic Eyelash fabric. I noticed it was used in one of the projects.

And what was it with all these baby bonnets???  Seriously??? Did people use them???  What do people use today?

Baby bonnets were a popular item!

Notice in the box to the right of that picture is an advertisement for the Quilt Festival in Houston! You could send a SASE for more information on the 2,500 quilts and 100 classes. What a hoot!!!!

Oh god - I also found a C&T book catalog and a Connecting Threads catalog - both from 2009.

Catalogs from 2009

Yes - all of the above magazines/catalogs are now in the recycling!!!!

After I got home from my little day trip, it was time to get back to work. Oh - we're still eating leftovers, but I had the last of the lentil soup for dinner. I think we'd better get the recipe from James and make up another batch with all the veggies still in the fridge. However since there are so many leftovers, no one has been the grocery store in days and there was no banana for my oatmeal. Oh well, a few chocolate covered almonds will suffice!!!  Oh god!! Well - I have 10 days left to eat badly and then I'm giving all the bad stuff up again. I see that I'm on the high end of my 5 pound buffer zone and I can feel the difference. Actually, it's not so much the weight that I can feel - it's the fat content. My pants just don't fit as well because of the happy little fat cells around my waist!  I'll be putting them in their place soon!!!!

After dinner, I was down to the studio to get something concrete done. The end of the year is fast approaching and I still have things to finish!!!! 

I had put the binding on this quilt earlier in the day, but it needed to have the sleeve hand stitched in place. I had to dig through those tubs of fabric from Northcott to find the matching fabrics. There were just scraps left from the backing and I used those to make a sleeve.

This is finish number 88 for the year.

Finish number 88
I know - isn't that exciting?? I can still make 100 finishes for the year. It's going to be a stretch, but not really as there is enough stuff sitting there that's so close to being finished. And I have a sewing day with Ronda planned for today. So lots should get done.

Look at me - I've emptied three spools in the last couple of days. 

Empty spools!!!!

I did have to clean off a spot for Ronda to sew today. Oh, shoot - I found two more small boxes of magazines. Those are now on the shelf. And there was this stack of books on the table. I bought these when I was in Houston. The price was a steal and I couldn't resist. I was going to pick them up at the publisher's location in Toronto, but on one of those crazy days when stuff was being delivered, the box arrived. Oh boy - how much did they charge me in shipping???  The box was very heavy! It wasn't that bad considering the books were a steal. Can you guess how much I paid for all these books?? They are all hardcover.

More new books to add to the bookcase!

I paid $162 US including shipping and tax. That's a good price even considering the shipping was $50 US.  The top book alone was $50 US. But buying more than 4, I got a very good deal. I love this type of book - coffee table kind of books. They're the best! Now to include those in the reading mix!

Speaking of reading, I finished TWO audiobooks in the last two days. Yikes! I'm getting very used to the audiobook thing.

Thanks to Shelly, I got my Cherrywood Challenge fabric bundle. They are NOT cheap to buy, but the cost of the bundle includes your registration fee to the challenge and all the shipping costs related to the challenge - well for them to ship the challenge back to you.

Cherrywood challenge bundle
 The thing is going to be to start NOW so that the piece will actually be ready by July 1. That's for the new year!!!!

And it even came in an orange bag!!!!   Thanks, Shelly for being my fabric mule!!!!!

Orange shopping bag

So much more to say and no time!!! 

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, December 28, 2018

It's time to get organized!

It's that time of the year. Everyone (except DH) makes resolutions. OK - not everyone. I don't really make resolutions either. But I make goals. Goals are way easier to reach because there's a definite end to them. I was digging through some paperwork and found some resolutions (goals) from a while back and I'll share them with you another day. Very interesting!

But one of my challenges is that I have a lot of stuff. Is it too much? Probably, but my mindset is that if I have the room to store it, then I have the right to own it. But if it's not neat and tidy, it becomes an eyesore and hard to manage. I've made leaps and bounds in the studio over the past couple of years. I would say that for the most part, things are where they should be and I can easily find pretty much anything. There's still work to be done but the more projects that I finish and NOT start any new ones, then the outflow is greater than the inflow and that's a positive.

On that front, I made HUGE leaps and bounds this year. Despite everything that happened in the house yesterday (wait for it - it's HUGE), I did manage to get two more finishes done. I was aiming for three, but that didn't quite happen.

I got the binding on this 30's half log cabin quilt. And now it's in the pile of finished quilts. That's finish number 86 for the year.

Finish number 86 for the year

I also managed to get these small journal covers completed. They're from the same set of embroidery files as the medium ones I posted yesterday. They were designed specifically for SVP by Kimberbell Designs. I love the small ones - they're so adorable. I'm counting this as finish number 87 for the year. Kimberbell Designs Creative Journal Covers. Or if you don't have an embroidery machine, you can always buy one from me!!!!

Six mini journal covers

I was hoping to get more stuff completed yesterday, but there was just too much going on. I managed to get very close to 20,000 steps on my FitBit. I did walk to the library as I needed to transfer some files from a CD to a USB stick and return some books/magazines.

Paula came to cut M's hair. She's had long hair for years and decided that now is the time to let it go!!!!  It's not an easy decision. I'm sure that most of us were in that boat at some time.

M and her long hair

The first snips..............

ACK - there's your hair M!!!!

Lexi had to get in on the action to see what was happening. She, however, was NOT interested in a haircut.

Lexi watching the haircut action
This is the final pile of hair!!  That's a lot of hair! 

That's a lot of hair

I'm just realizing this morning that I did NOT get a picture of the new M. And it's a wee bit early, I don't think she would appreciate me waking her up to get a picture. There are photos on IG and Facebook I'm sure. Let me see if I can snag one.

Oh - here's one.

M's new do!

I know - you're thinking that was NOT enough to keep me away from the sewing machine. But wait - there's something HUGE that happened downstairs. Let's take a peek. I'm so flipping exciting, I was like an adult in a calorie-free candy shop!!!!

For anyone who has been in the studio, you've probably noticed that there was an issue. A BIG issue and it involved this.

Books in front of the small bookcase

Books in front of the project shelf

Box of books hidden in a corner

Books on the newel post

And more books on the floor in front of the large bookcase

There were two other spots where books were residing in magazine holders or in a box. Let's just say that it was a major problem. You're not allowed to judge me. Yes - I have way too many books and magazines. I know I do. I have one weakness (OK I'm in denial - but just follow me here) and it's that I LOVE books. Whether it's to buy them, read them or just possess them. I have a definite weakness for books.

I must admit that I'm much more careful about what I buy these days, but I still buy, but not nearly as much as what I used to.

So there's a lot of books that will not fit on the already huge bookcase.  What to do? What to do??

Well, there's this big empty wall in the studio and I've been thinking of doing this for several years and decided to buckle down and make it happen.

Big empty wall

I had someone in a while back (before the fender bender) or I might not have gone ahead with it. Yesterday was delivery day. I moved everything out of the way.

Stuff is moved out of the way

And this is what was installed.

My new bookcase!!!!

Oh my - doesn't get your heart racing???  I could barely wait for them to leave.

Once they did leave, I had to decide how to tackle the mess and what to do with everything. I decided to tackle the magazines and started sorting them by title. Obviously, some of the titles are more popular than others.

Sorting the magazines
Remember - you are NOT allowed to judge. We each have our skeletons in the closet - this is mine.

Most of the magazines have been roughly sorted by title

Now there are many of those magazines that will be read and tossed. Some I might offer to someone else to read, but not many. There are some that I do want to keep, but I'll bet that there are lots that can go. I'll be devising a plan with the magazines as I go through that mess.

I did go through some older ones last night - I'm going to save that experience for another day. Oh yes - you get to share vicariously in my magazine fetish.

And now look at the place.  This is the big (now middle) bookcase. No books in front. I need to get rid of that blue tub in the corner. That's for later.

The middle bookcase is now easy to access all shelves

It's now easy to access all shelves on the project rack

No books in front of the small bookcase

No box of books to trip over by the cutting table

Anyway - I think you get the picture.  It does make that corner a wee bit smaller, but I'm sure we can all manage on a sit n sew day. I'm so excited and I have to make it a goal for this year to keep slogging at those magazines. I need to whittle the piles down.

There'll be lots of gaps in the large bookcase and I'm hoping to put some of the projects that I'm working on, on the shelves. I'm not there yet.

But it does mean that I need to find a place for these nine tubs of fabric. This is my Northcott stash. One bin for solids, a couple for blenders, etc. This is leftovers from projects (I've made a LOT of projects with Northcott fabric) and I don't want to get rid of it because I'm still working with them a lot and need it to make projects. I use a lot of it for my QUILTsocial posts as well. I do have an idea where the tubs can go. But that's going to have to wait for another day.

Nine buckets of fabric stash that need a new home

It's all about taking one step at a time and making it look good while I'm at it.

The table tops are covered with stuff, but that's stuff that I hope to get cleared up by the end of the year. Well - and my samples that need to be made for upcoming classes. Oh yes - there's never a dull moment or lack of something to do at my house!!!

I hope you get a chance to do some purging, sorting, organizing as we move forward into the new year. There's nothing like having a clean slate of some sort to work with. Goals are important as well so if you haven't started to set goals - set them!!!!

Don't forget that we have the Facebook group - Motivational Monday.  It's been great to have a like-minded group of people who are focused on finishing UFOs. This group gets stuff DONE!!!  If you're interested in joining, head on over to Facebook and make a request to join.

On that note, I'm out of here for today.

Have a great day!!!!