Thursday, September 26, 2019

A sweat shop

I'm exhausted! My brain hurts but what a day! That one is going down in the memory books.

Yesterday was a community projects quilt day. There were three of us - Helen Anne, Diane, and myself. I don't think we've ever worked harder.

What is community projects day? I received a couple of tubs of fabric from someone who was downsizing and I've also been going through some of my stuff. It was time to get this mess under control. I could have donated the fabric to a guild but what's the fun in that? I bought my stash to have fun with, not to give it away. Otherwise, I might as well stand on the street corner and give cash away.

Please NOTE:  If you are thinking that we might want your scraps - we do NOT. However - this is what we will take. And I'll be EXTREMELY rigid about what I accept and I'll check it BEFORE I accept it.  So you CANNOT leave your donations at any store or with any friend - you MUST give it to me so I can personally check it. Otherwise, it won't be touched. I've been the dumping ground for donations before - NEVER AGAIN.

  • 100% GOOD QUALITY COTTON  - 3-yard pieces or larger that can be used for quilt backings. NO EXCEPTIONS. We do NOT want small pieces. Not one single scrap. 
  • Batting - larger pieces that may need to be joined, but not small pieces. I'll check through whatever you give before I accept it!!!!
  • FINISHED Quilt tops that you no longer want and if you have batting, binding, and backing to go with it - that's even better. 
  • Cash - to buy batting. 

Our quilts will be going to Quilts of Valour if they fit the requirements and Project Linus - again if they fit the requirements. Otherwise, they'll go to other local charities.

Helen Anne was the sorter and she's darn good at it. We pulled out a couple of tubs of fabric that she had sorted by color last time. We had two goals in mind for the day. One was to make up kits so when someone asked if they could help, they would get a kit. The other goal was to get some quilt tops prepped for quilting. That included making the binding and the backing.

I did the cutting, Diane did the sewing and we could barely keep up with each other.

We must have worked about 5 hours or a wee bit more, but I do know that about 2 PM, we had to stop. My brain just couldn't function with the math for making backings any longer and Helen Anne's was fried as well. Diane had been making miles and miles of binding, so we all just stopped. We did tidy up and did a tally of what we had done. Then we sat around and decompressed until Diane's ride came.

HOLY!!!!   What a day!! We couldn't stop beaming at each other as we admired what we had done.

So - do you want to know what we accomplished???

Here are two tubs. What's in the tubs??? Thanks to Helen Anne's efforts, there are TWENTY-FOUR, yes TWENTY-FOUR KITS in those tubs. Ready for someone to ask "may I sew a quilt top for you?" There's cutting involved - we didn't go that far!

Two tubs of quilt kits

Doesn't that blow you away?????

What else happened???  As I mentioned, Diane made miles of binding and I cut miles of fabric.

We now have this stack of quilts that are ready to be quilted. The backings are made as well as the binding. I think there are close to 20 quilts in this pile.

Quilts ready to be quilted

There are three or four quilts that needed a bit more work before they moved into this pile, but we just couldn't make that happen. That means if we can clear up the tubs and this pile, that we have FIFTY (50) quilts!!! And it doesn't even look like we touched the pile of fabric.

That was one of the most productive days I've ever spent!! Thanks so much to Helen Anne and Diane for a most memorable day. What a FUN way to use up a stash! NOTHING (almost nothing) was sacred yesterday. We only dipped into my personal stash for one or two backings as most of it came from the "supply". This is just opening the flood gates to get rid of more! I'm loving this and I'm having FUN with my destashing. Giving it away would be so boring.

While I was cutting the last binding, Helen Anne was back in the storage room tidying things up. This is how it looks.

The community projects section of the storage room

There are a couple more tubs of stuff here.

More of the community projects fabric

Isn't that crazy????  How could one amass so much stuff and this is just a teeny part of my stash. Doesn't matter - it's getting used up! I'm good with that.

I did have a couple of quilts that I was going to work on last night but I ended up putting them back in the storage room until the next sit n sew day.

What I was going to continue to work on last night

Can you believe that? I'm still in shock that we accomplished so much. While we took a much-deserved rest at the end of our session, we strategized on what to do at the next Community Projects day. We've got a plan and it's all good. I moved the quilts to the "to be quilted" pile and I need to get myself in gear to get working on those quilts.

Once I'm back from the convention, I'll be focusing on these quilts.

As if that wasn't enough to show that Helen Anne and Diane aren't slackers - this is a quilt that Helen Anne finished at the Monday sewing this past week. This is Common Bride by Laundry Basket Quilts. Five years in the making and apparently two years in the contemplation stage! I love that!!!

Common Bride

The applique was done by hand and the blocks in the photo below were mostly pieced by hand. I'd like to take credit for pressing parts of those four patches. Those were made back in the day when I had fundraising Sit n Sew days and I pressed fabric for people. I think Helen Anne took advantage of me!!!

Blocks that were pieced by hand 

Look at that border. Those squares are tiny!!!! I didn't get a picture of Helen Anne doing the happy dance, but she did!!!

The borders on Common Bride

I worked on this project the other night - I'm way behind in pictures to share with you. My project pales in comparison to Helen Anne's, but I'm OK with that. I started it years ago and I'm happy to report that it's almost done.

The border was appliqued on and so I got out my applique tools and away I went.

Working on an applique border

While the small blocks had been hand appliqued, there's no time for that. Once the yellow border was glued in place, I stitched it down by machine. There are some small circles to go into the border and those are in the Monday sewing bag so I have something different than embroidery to do. But only once I finish that last embroidered block!

The final border is on this quilt - at last

I only wear one ring that I've worn for many, many years. When I was in high school, my four girlfriends and I each bought a small ring with our initial on it. I know the others long ago abandoned that little ring, but I wore it constantly for MANY years. I'm not sure what happened, but my knuckle started to swell???  Something happened and I had to get the ring off. But it was STUCK. And it was starting to really bother me. I was even going to go to the jewelry store later today to get their help in getting it off.

Yesterday morning, my hands were cool and thus slighter smaller and I managed to tug that ring off. OUCH!!!!!  But my finger is feeling much better today, but gosh - it hurt for a long time yesterday. God - look how swollen it is.

Swollen finger

After the sweatshop crew left yesterday, I needed a nap and after that, I was at the long arm trying to finish a quilt. I have ONE row left to go. I had to teach a class last night and there just wasn't time to do that one last row!!! That'll be on the plate for first thing this morning and then to get the next one loaded. However, I have a full slate today. It's a "play" day with Ronda! Oh boy - I wonder what will happen. She's so HOOKED on machine embroidery! Seriously hooked! Should be a fun day.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

No, wait - I have a couple of links for you!!!  Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial. Today's the day, I make the quilt. It's so cool and it was FAST.  And Murphy had to help!!!! Oh, and someone gave me a suggestion on how to rip out the serged seams without the huge mess that I made. I MUST try that. Hey - I'm new to sergers and just having fun!!!

Here's a link to some IKEA hacks for your sewing room. There's a couple here that I want to steal. They look awesome. I love the ironing board. I just wonder what happens with the steam?????  Does anyone have one of these setups??? Do you get mold from the steam???

OK - now I'm gone.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. I would be VERY fearful of clicking any of those links in the first comment.

  2. A tremendous day of fellowship and work. You are all amazing! I've long said, 2 people working together get much more done than 3 people working alone :-) I wish I didn't live 2500 miles away-I'd come play too.

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your community is blessed to have you all.

    1. Elle -- yep - didn't click on those links. Deleted as SPAM. You are so right - and we all feel much better about ourselves, for strengthening friendships, building bonds with the community, etc. Thanks for following along!!!