Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Cleaning up in the sewing room

 OH -- I learned something this morning. Greenish bananas have ZERO taste. These ones aren't bitter; they just seem to be tasteless. Sigh......  All we have right now is green bananas. Hopefully, by tomorrow, they will be ripe!

I must say I had a little shock this morning. I went to the sink to get some water to make my oatmeal. Wow -- I feel a draft. OH -- that window is COLD. Then I checked the temperature. Yikes -- MINUS 21. Now that's not as cold as it's been out west, but it's quite a change for us. Thankfully, it's not staying. I'm guessing it's lined pants for the walk this morning, and perhaps we'll cut it short. I'll go for a long walk later in the day. 

This custom quilt has been a STEEP learning curve. I'm almost done with the quilt, and I'm still learning! It's not perfect, and I see there is one section that I have to rip out this morning. The spacing isn't quite as precise as I'd like it to be, and it shows. I would have been finished last night, except that Jack (the ripper) and I had a date. I used the wrong color thread in one section. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was so mad at myself that swear words didn't even happen. 

I put on an audiobook and ripped it. It didn't take that long, but still -- I could have been done! I'm pretty happy with it. It's far from perfect, but I think it'll work for where it's needed. I learned a ton that I probably would never have done otherwise. Now that I know what I'm doing in that software (more or less), I want to try more. BUT only for myself. 

However, there are some changes I'd love to see in that software. I see some extra steps that need to be taken, and they could be eliminated. I'll be writing them some feedback. 

Here's the beauty of being organized. Someone was searching for a specific pattern, and when they did a Google search, my blog came up. It was one of our annual sew alongs from 2012 or something like that. Did I have the pattern, and would I be willing to part with it? Well, yes -- I was done with that pattern, and YES, I was ready to part with it. I'll never make it again. 

It was with the quilt in the "to be quilted" pile, which you know is enormous. Because all the quilts are listed in my master book, it was a simple matter to look through the book to find which tub the quilt was in. 

The book of lists

And why is the quilt I always want in the bottom tub? Anyway, the pattern was with the quilt, and I took a picture of the front cover, and it's on its way to its new home!

The tubs for the "to be quilted" pile

So here's another decluttering tip  -- any time you store ANYTHING in a large tub, label it. Put the contents on the outside of the bin, or do like I do and number the bins and then have a corresponding list somewhere handy so you can cross-reference. 

I have a few more tubs in the basement that need to be done. I did write out the lists of what was in the tubs, but I seem to be missing one or two pages. So it's time to redo that. Well, not time right now, but I need to do that at some point. It's so much easier to find things. And that is what I'm doing in Pandora's Closet as well. Each shelf will have the projects listed that are stored on that shelf. The list will stay in the closet, or I might just consolidate ALL my lists into one book. That would be the intelligent thing to do. 

Here's something else I found when I was in the closet. A whole basket of scraps. Hmmm -- what is this doing in there? 

A basket of scraps

And I found this bag that I inherited from someone that was also filled with scraps. 

More scraps

And then I found all this. AHA -- these scraps were set aside to make rugs using the Locker Hook technique. All the supplies are there; books, the hook, the cording, and the mat base. I do NOT want any of this. IF someone is interesting, let me know. I'm going to keep the scraps to make a quilt -- I love doing that, but I've no interest in making any more rugs from fabric. We have about 4 or 5, and I think four is enough! 

Locker Hook supplies

Here's another handy tool in the quilting world. If you need to trace circles, get yourself one of these. You can find it in the office supply store  -- it's a circle maker! I needed this the other day and thought I'd share the tip with you. 

A circle maker

Here's a good reason why you need to check your fabrics in the proper light or daylight. I pulled out these greys for the background of a new quilt. Hmmm -- that bottom one is NOT grey. In the stash room, it looked grey. But it's NOT grey -- it's more green. So be sure to check!!!!

An imposter in the grey fabric bin

And I had to switch one of my UFOs for this month. The long arm is tied up, and I had no time to quilt my quilt, so I pulled out a small project (on the UFO list), and I'm working on that. I think this project was in the mini flood we had in the basement a couple of years ago. Once the project is together, the pattern is getting tossed! 

A water-damaged pattern

I found this EXTRA fabric in the project box. Why didn't it get put away? I know why the fabrics on the left are there -- that's the main part of the project. But the checked fabric? Why is it there? I have no idea, and I suspect the bits of blue and the small square of white are for a Shop Hop block from years ago! Why aren't those bits in the box with the other patterns? Hmmm -- I must make that happen. But there is NO time to waste at the moment. 

Extra bits

Here are some more before and after pictures that people sent. 

These pictures are from Linda. This first one is the side of the cube storage that she uses for her cutting table. The perfect place to store rulers. 

Awesome ruler storage

It looks like she used Command strip hooks which are brilliant and a great way to store all those odd rulers!

Ruler storage

Beneath the table, between the cube storage units, is a spot to store more stuff - on the back of the cube storage and in between. I think quilters were all Tetris players way back when!!!

Storage under the cutting table

There's the top of her cutting table. A bit too much stuff for me, but we each have to work with our space. OH -- I know why -- my cutting table is against a wall, so I have a tool caddy on the wall that gets rid of those bits. But I LOVE how long that space is -- two cutting mats. A luxury, but if you have the room -- go for it!! You will NOT regret it as long as you can keep it clean. 

Clean cutting table

The ironing surface is big and looks like a board supported by two cabinets. Again --- great use of space. 

Ironing surface

She has a smaller ironing surface next to the sewing machine. That's a great idea - this one is small but still very substantial, so you could easily press a block. 

Ironing surface

There's her sewing table -- see how the bits are stored in BASKETS. That makes it so much easier to move things around. I LOVE baskets or containers, and they are easy to find. And the tissue box? That's where she puts her bits!!! That's a great idea -- when it's full, you can toss it!

Sewing area

And there's the end of her sewing table with the ironing surface right beside. 

End of the sewing table

I think everyone has been so creative in setting up their spaces. I have a few more pictures to share tomorrow. OH -- go back to yesterday's post and read Elle's comments on how she stores her scraps. The best thing about this is that we have to find a solution that works for our studio. You CANNOT copy what someone else has done. Use these pictures and ideas as inspiration, but then tweak them to work for you!!! And it doesn't happen overnight. You will change it once you understand how you work. 

I had to laugh yesterday as I was shopping Chez Elaine and I found something. By the way, did you know there was a TV show called Chez Helene? But in French, my name is Helene (sorry, there should be some accents there!)  So I always related to that show! 

Oh -- so this is what I found in my fabric basket with words. Yes -- I have an entire basket devoted to fabrics with writing or words on them. I found the backing for a Tinner's project (group project) for words. I don't even remember that project. I have another use for it, but in the meantime, it's going into that pile of backings!!!

A note on fabric for a quilt backing

On that note, I'm out of here. I have a ton of stuff to do. I'm not even going to tell you what's happening this week, other than it's crazy busy. 

Have a super day!!!!


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