Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jelly roll rugs!

There's a lot of random stuff that's been happening so this post is going to be totally random in its subject matter.

I've posted pictures of my sometimes messy kitchen table and countertops. Well, some of that mess is still there - I'll show you why I'm struggling in a day or so. I did get rid of some stuff so I'm making progress, but I just can't seem to motivate myself to really tackle the job and get it done. I've got a thing for that. For the fun of it, I just googled "fear of finishing things". Yep - a quote came up. It appears that we're afraid to finish things because we're afraid of being judged or evaluated on the finished project.  Good god - you'd think I would WANT to finish cleaning up the paperwork so I could be judged in a POSITIVE light by actually getting the mess dealt with. It's probably my family history that keeps me from throwing a lot of stuff away. I feel comforted (seriously?) by having stuff around.

Speaking of which, someone who reads my blog and is in one of my classes (sorry - I can't remember who)  recommended that I read the book "They left us everything" by Plum Johnson. I was on the hold list (it's a pretty popular book these days) and it came in yesterday. Oh my! Yes - I started the book and can't wait to get into the meat of it when they start to clean out the 4,000 ft sq home that the parents lived in for 60 years. 

Anyway, I wanted to move the stuff from the kitchen into my office but the table was jammed with stuff. So I moved EVERYTHING off the table onto the desk. Now one surface is really bad and I'll pull stuff gradually off of that surface.

The desk is heaped with stuff
But the table doesn't look too bad and I think I could actually work there. Hopefully, this will help to keep the mess off the kitchen table. I have something hilarious to share with you about this process but I'll save it for tomorrow.

The table at least has some open space to work
 Now I know that there are those of you who would say - just take two hours and get it tidied up, throw away what you don't want or need. Yes - in theory, it's simple. In practical terms - it's not. I'll share that process with you as I work through it. You'll see what I mean.

Bottom line - the kitchen table is clear and there's barely anything sitting on the floor in the office. That is HUGE. That means that progress is being made - just not super fast. It used to be a whole lot worse in here.

The other day, I thought I MUST get that jelly roll rug finished. So I got myself installed at my sewing table. My table is built by Horn and it's heavy, but I love it. Here's a link to my cabinet. I don't have the fancy set of drawers as shown in the picture - I bought two plastic rolling drawer units that fit perfectly under the left-hand side of the cabinet. Much cheaper and probably more storage space. On the right-hand side is that little shelf. Mine didn't come with that, but I had a friend build one and attach it. Mine is also NOT an airlift (whatever that means).  But I still paid a lot of money for it.

There are other brands out there and all of them are probably equal in quality and value. This was the one available to me when I needed one. I really need to be using it more!

Anyway, I knew that setting my sewing machine into the cabinet and having all that space around was going to make finishing off the jelly roll rug a whole lot easier. I was right. It was a snap to get that rug finished. Gosh - I'm running out of chairs in the studio. It appears that there's something on almost every chair so I had to resort to my stool and even that I had to move stuff off. It's a HUGE mess down there. HUGE and I have 8 people coming to sew on Sunday. A wee bit of work to do before they come.

This morning as I was working, I thought to myself that I really ought to move everything out of the main space and bring in ONLY what I need/want to finish before the end of the year. Who am I kidding when I think I can get everything done? Mind you there is a LOT of stuff to finish before the end of the year so that probably won't help the situation at all!

Anyway, here I am stitching the rug. BTW - mine was NOT made with a jelly roll. I just cut strips from leftover yardage.

Stitching the rug

Let's just say that making a jelly roll rug is a PHYSICALLY demanding job. Not that it's super difficult, but turning those corners - yikes. That was hard.

I decided that I needed more room to support that rug so I opened up the drawer and added the top to it. That was much better. I seriously can't imagine sewing this rug without the sewing cabinet.

Much better to have that extra work surface
 And look - I'm almost done!!!! That big ball of "yarn" is now much smaller.

Almost done!
I've managed to keep it pretty flat. There are a couple of ridges in the rug but I'm hoping that after the rug has been pressed under a flat surface for a while that it will compress.  I was thinking of slipping it underneath the mattress. But I delivered the rug to Oh Look Fabric where I'll be teaching a class and she was going to slip it under a big heavy mat that she had in the store. Hopefully, that'll flatten it out a wee bit.

Notice that the rug is pretty flat!
Here's the final rug. If you want to see it in person, it's at Oh Look Fabric. When I posted the picture on Instagram, everyone loved the color. This is a Northcott fabric from a couple of years ago. It was called Artisan Spirit Nature Studies in the teal colorway. This was the first collection that I got to play with when I started and we made a ton of quilts for Quilt Market. I have a few scraps leftover. The rug used up some!

The rug is finished
That makes finish number 54 for the year. I'm sure that Diane is ahead of me by now. I'm not getting much finished these days although I have TWO more items to finish today.

I'll be teaching the jelly roll rug at Oh Look Fabric on October 17 at 7 PM. I should mention that we are making the RECTANGULAR rug in the class. All the techniques are the same and WAY easier than the oval, especially in a classroom setting. You'll get all the techniques to do the oval but you can do that when you're at home and have tons of space to work.

You can buy rolls of batting to use in the rug, but I had TWO bags of cut off pieces of batting from trimming quilts. I've sorted through one of the bags and I got this. Well, this is what I didn't use in the first rug. I think I have a wee bit of strips ready for the next rug.

Batting strips for the jelly roll rug
Got the fabric chosen, just need the time to make it happen.

I taught a rope bowl class the other night at Oh Look Fabric and look how happy the ladies are with their finished bowls.

Happy participants in the rope bowl class
Seriously, these two were rock stars. They just got to work and zipped through those bowls like they'd made them before. Notice how different the shape of each of the bowls is? Yes - you can never guess how they will turn out. I really want to make some more and I've quite the stash of clothesline in the studio. Got a couple of ideas. But no time.

What was really nice was to see these ladies who were both moms who worked full-time, but they want to sew! And they are sewing clothing and other small items. One of the ladies is a new mom and making all kinds of baby things (burp cloths, receiving blankets, etc) for her friends who were also having babies. It's nice to see the younger generation sewing!!! 

I thought it was time to empty my scrap basket on the cutting table. It was getting a wee bit full and nothing would stay in it anymore. It's now emptied and ready for the next cutting marathon.

Overflowing scrap basket
Yes - I did dump those in the garbage. I thought of saving them for Diane who is making cat mats but she has enough of her own scraps. I think I can afford to throw something out.

Well, I had loaded more pictures, but I'm running out of time so I'll reload them tomorrow.  Oh shoot now I have to change the title of the blog because the original title was related to the pictures I saved for tomorrow.

In case you're wondering about that errand that I needed to get done or I'd go to jail. Well, it wasn't quite that bad and certainly not jail worthy, but I could have got a fine for it. Yes - the silly license plate sticker on my car had expired at the end of August. Now I know that it's not a huge task to renew, however I needed to get an emissions test. That got done last week and I was all prepped to go into the office to renew the plate earlier this week. Then I noticed on the form that I could do it online. Hmm - will they let me renew even though the plate is expired? Why not give it a whirl. It worked!! I was able to renew that plate online so now I'm waiting for the sticker. At least I've paid! I won't get a fine.

Speaking of paperwork, I'm having some pretty productive mornings with the paperwork so that won't happen again, although I'm now set up to get the notification on e-mail, not in the mail. I'd better start paying BETTER attention to e-mail although I have two years before the renewal is due.

Have a super day!!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here. I almost couldn't sleep last night as I contemplate what the next couple of days holds in store for me as far as prep work, classes, lectures, and blog posts. Never mind the long arm or the sewing machine. I'm not going to think about - just do what I can.


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