Friday, August 21, 2020

The divide and conquer strategy for organizing the UFOs

d in
I'm so excited this morning, I can hardly contain myself. Yesterday was the BEST day ever. And I can "blame" it all on Katheleen. I really, really want to do the art journaling that she's doing. I look at my space, and I sigh. There's loads of room for quilting in  Studio B, but there's no room to bring out the art supplies.

But WAIT! I do have the space to make this happen. It's just filled with other stuff at the moment.

My scrapbooking space

While the scrapbooking space is unpacked and relatively organized, the floor space acts as a dumping group for things that I haven't dealt with. If I were to get myself organized and get rid of this stuff, I would have LOADS of room to set up TWO tables. Then I could work on the art journals.

Let's do it!!! Here's what happened yesterday. I had received some large tubs from someone, and my plan was to empty all the IKEA bags, laundry baskets, and other containers that were under the long arm. The contents would be sorted into brand new projects and UFOs. Lists would be made, of course!

So I took all the bags from one side of the long arm and pulled them out in the open. 

Oh - we have company

Murphy was so excited that she could walk under the long arm. "This is like a cave, Mom!"

The stuff that was under one side of the long arm

I got out my clipboard and two big containers - one for new projects and one for UFOs. It's shocking how much of each I have. There's probably more UFOs than there are new projects. I haven't unearthed anything that I had forgotten about, and nothing that was lost has been found. So far.

Here are some of the crazy things that I found. So that's where my mini iron and wool pressing mat went to. And that extra rotary cutter. Who knew that I shoved it into this container?

Unearthing quilting tools
It makes me think that I was on an archaeological dig. That's what it felt like - I had no idea what I was going to find.

Beneath those tools, I found this tub of stuffed animals. Now, if I saw that tub at my Mom's, I'd tell her to donate it. I'm going to pick out a couple of the cuter ones, and the rest will go. That's to deal with later today. I believe these were part of the Telus promotions over the years, and I had connections, so I got a few of them. Anyone want a seahorse?? I got purple, orange, and yellow ones.

A tub of stuffed animals

Let's see what else I found. Oh - another box of BAG making supplies and this partially completely tote bag. Can you tell me why?? I've no idea why this got shelved. I've set it aside so I can sort through it later today. I'll remove all the extra bag making supplies and put them where they belong. The bag will go in the UFO pile. Or I might actually finish it up - it's a good sample for the use of decorative stitches.

A box of bag making supplies

Wait - there's more.

I also found this bag, and I'm going to hang my head in shame. I bought this bag of stuff while on a shop hop or out shopping (years ago!). It NEVER got unpacked. How wasteful is that?? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not upset at myself. In a way, I'm laughing because I'm such a nut! BUT - before you get on my case about this - how many of you have bags of stuff that you bought, but never unpacked??? 

A bag of unpacked purchases

This will get dealt with later today as well. You know, by the time I go through those bags and actually put stuff away, or find things to donate to the community projects room, I should be able to get rid of a LOT of that stuff that's been languishing under the long arm for YEARS. Why didn't I deal with it before???

I found receipts from 2015 when I bought batting from Greenwood Quiltery. They were taped to a piece of cardboard. Why??? And why did I keep the receipts? Those are GONE!!

Receipts from 2015

As I went through the bags, I sorted out all the handwork. It's now sitting in one of the HUGE tubs. Notice that there's no way the lid is going to fit on this.

The tub of handwork
Now no need to panic. The bottom is filled with three crochet rugs that are almost finished. Even finishing one of them would make a huge difference. Guess what? There's Monday sewing, and there's the Virtual Retreat where handwork works excellent - so I WILL get this tub under control and hopefully can reduce the pile until it's nothing.

I swear by doing what I did yesterday, which really was a bit of sorting, I already feel like I'm on top of things and that I can actually get stuff done!!!

I found a thread box filled with goodies from Missouri Star Company when I was there several years ago. It was "urgent" that I get this box that we received after we had purchased X dollars of stuff. It had never been unpacked. How sad is that? Why do we have this need to get the free stuff? I don't get it, but I'm getting it now. While free is good, it's not good if you don't need it.

Thread box filled with goodies

It amazes me how many people NEED to win. Instagram has made that habit even worse. I don't know how many times people tag me so they can be eligible to win something on Instagram. Don't tag me - I totally ignore those posts. Most of the time, the stuff that you win is not something that you'll use or that you even want. Participating in those contests just encourages and intensifies the NEED to win. Thankfully, I never got into that, and I won't ever get pulled in!

Since I was on a roll, I decided to empty the other side of the long arm as well. I have those four boxes that I had sorted a while back. I'm going to repack those into the plastic tubs. That way, should there ever be another water issue, everything is in plastic containers. I'll work on that another day. I want to empty the bags and other stuff today.

The other side of the long arm is also empty

This is what the area looks like this morning. Yes - there are a few bags to go through, and I've already emptied a couple of laundry baskets. I'm on a roll to be sure.

What I'm sorting through today

I have some tubs of fabric that had been sitting under the long arm. They got moved to the scrapbook area. I'm happy to report that they are now back under the long arm. The plan is that all NINE of those tubs of fabric will be donated to the community project quilts. I'm digging through these tubs when we need bindings, borders, or whatever. Then I'll be going through them to make up kits for someone to sew together into a quilt top. I can only handle so much at one time, and right now, I still have stuff in the community projects area that I'm dealing with. So eventually, those nine tubs of fabric will be gone.

Tubs of fabric under the long arm

Then there are four tubs of samples that fit under the long arm as well. I need to go through those tubs and find stuff that I would like to add to my samples, and then the rest really needs to go to the external storage space (not my external storage space). It will be good to get that out of the way. For the moment, the four giant tubs are staying under the long arm.

The bottom line in all this is - if you don't know what you have, you don't know what you have!! By sorting the new projects and the UFOs, it lets me see what I have and will help to choose the next project to work on. And I would bet that many of those UFOs wouldn't take long to finish. The first tub is almost full, and there are 16 UFOs in that tub. I'm sure I'll find more as I go through the rest of the bags. There are 12 new projects in the new project tub.

So far, that doesn't sound too bad. Once this area is sorted, I know that I should go through my other storage areas and do the same thing, but this area is my priority.

All the quilts that are to be donated are now in the living room, ready to load in the car. I think there are 5 for Quilts of Valour and 20 for Project Linus. That's very exciting to get rid of these!!

Quilts to be delivered today

That organizing task was so exciting, and I'm so motivated to finish the job today. Well, if I don't have time to finish, I'm going to empty a few more containers. Don't forget that I have to find a home for the stuff that doesn't qualify as a UFO or a new project.

But the day wasn't over yet. I received my new Webcam. This was a bit of a pricey item, especially since the darn things are in high demand, but it has a zoom lens on it, so it'll be perfect for getting right into the needle area of the sewing machine or for close-ups of sewing machine feet or stitches or whatever. No time yesterday to hook it up.

I finished an audiobook while all that cleaning was happening, and I did get some gazebo time and almost finished one more physical book. Oh, yes - it was a great day.

BUT - there's more! Remember that quilt with all those little blocks? Well, I got to work on it as well.

Oh shoot, the seams on ALL the blocks have to be twirled. I know - I can't help myself. I just know that I'll be so much happier with the end result. So I take one row at a time. I check the seams on the back. Some just need to have the seam split, and some have to be resewn in that area so the seam can be flipped in the proper direction. Don't ask - I love doing this and find it very therapeutic. I'm not into FAST sewing. I sew for the pure beauty of it. This is my HOBBY, and I was to savor every stitch.

Twirling the seams on the back

There are so many little seams in this quilt that if I didn't nest those seams, the front would be lumpy and bumpy, and I wouldn't be happy. Look at how flat the rows are.

The seams are FLAT
 Oh - looks like I was pretty excited and took several pictures as the day progressed. Look - there are EIGHT rows sewn.

Eight rows are sewn together

Note that the eight rows are NOT sewn to each other. They are just sewn into rows. I still have to cut the setting triangles.

Nine rows

 I was laughing as I saw how crooked my blocks are when I initially laid them out, and now the sewn rows are so straight.

I was wondering how big the quilt was going to be and whether I had the proper layout. I could have done the math, but instead, I fired up EQ8, and in about one minute, I had my answer. I had laid out the blocks in a 16 by 17 configuration, but in fact, it needs to be 15 by 18. That's not bad for guessing!

Using EQ8 to configure the quilt top

The new configuration is now 15 by 18. There is 20 blocks leftover. I'm OK with that. I can make a small quilt with those 20 blocks.

The new configuration

 And this is what it looks like this morning. There are eleven rows sewn. There are still 21 or so more rows to sew together. Then the setting triangles need to be sewn on, and then the rows need to be sewn together. It's going to take a while to make this quilt happen, but I might be able to get it done by next Sunday (not this week), but next week. That's our UFO meeting date, and this was the BONUS UFO that I added to the list.

The disappearing nine-patch with eleven rows sewn

Yep - there isn't much that one can't accomplish when you set your mind to it. I WILL get those UFOs done. I'm not adding anything new to the mix, so that's even better news. And if I take on 12 BIG UFOs each year and getting some smaller ones done as well, it's going to happen. Making the lists, sorting, it's all a good thing. I can do it!!!

Don't forget the Virtual Retreat tomorrow!!! I'm so excited - I can't wait to see you all. It's a chance to meet new people, touch base with ones we haven't seen in a while.

Here's the link for the Zoom call. Remember it starts at 9 AM and runs until 8 PM. EST.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 860 7788 7280 Passcode: 721457

Have a great day!!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment