Friday, May 31, 2024

One thing leads to another!

Yeah for BANNING multitasking! I'm all for slow and methodical work, which suits me perfectly. 

Having said that, I am doing one task in quilting but also trying to clean out the kitchen, and one thing is leading to another. 

I've been "nagging" about cleaning out drawers for the last while. Right? You're doing that, aren't you? I decided to clean out the spice drawer. 

DH went through them and decided what he wanted to keep and what to throw. I then washed the drawers and ordered something because I couldn't find it in the stores nearby. 

The box arrived the other day. 

The box arrived

Hmm—one of the items was a bit misleading. When I checked, what I received was what was mentioned, but at first glance, it didn't appear so. I got the impression that I had enough slots to expand from a 13" wide drawer to 26" wide and fill the length. NO—there were four slots in total. So, it is a maximum of 13" wide unless I purchase a second set, which I don't need. 

The spice drawer organizer

They are slightly narrower than my drawer, which is a bit over 14" wide, but that's OK. I can only fit three deep, not four. I need to figure out a good way to position them so they don't slide around. That is the one issue with buying these drawer organizers—they don't fit the drawer exactly, so there are gaps. 

The organizer in the drawer

I'm in the process of putting the spices into the jars and labeling them. Although that was a separate purchase, it came in the same box. 

New jars and labels for the spice jars

And there's the first jar in the drawer. I used some of the foam padding along the side, but I know that will get dirty, so I've got to think of another alternative. A piece of wood would be great, both along the side and the back, so things don't shift. 

The first jar of spice

Then, I looked at two other drawers in that area. Oh gosh—why did I do that? There is a drawer with straws and plastic cutlery. I'll deal with that another day, as I already have enough of a mess on the counter. 

A drawer for straws and plastic cutlery

Then there's the drawer with placemats and aprons, most of which we don't use. I'm not sure what to do there. I might keep one set of placemats and an apron, and the rest can go. 

Aprons and placemats

There's a drawer with the cutting mats, which we use constantly, so that stays as is. 

A drawer of cutting mats

I had already gone through the cupboards below these drawers but decided to look again. OH MY GOSH—after I moved some napkins from one of the drawers to put them all together, look at all the napkins! I don't think we need to buy any for a long time!!! Those can stay—we'll use them. 

A supply of napkins

There are a couple of old canisters, some vases, and a couple of jugs. Do I need that many? I'll go through this as well. I'm happy to report that there isn't much in there—at least compared to what it was a few years ago. Yep, to the left in the corner, there isn't much, as you can see in the photo above. 

A few things to deal with

Then I looked in the two cupboards to the left of those two. This is where our meager supply of appliances is stored. Yes, while we don't use these all the time, they get used, so they stay. But notice how empty that space is! I will take everything out and clean the cupboards. 

Our few appliances

This is the final cupboard in that area. There are a few things here that I think we can part with. I need to go through it and see what we need to keep. One of the hinges needs some repair, so that is on the list. 

One more cupboard to deal with

Here is the area in question. Overall, it's pretty tidy, but even more can be parted with. I'll work on this area, but first, I need to deal with that spice drawer. 

This section of the kitchen is under attack

Inside one of those cabinets, I spotted a cutlery tray FILLED with odds and ends of cutlery. I even found the manual can opener. I was sure we had one, but where was it. So that tray needs to be dealt with as well. 

The manual can opener

I also found this. What the heck is it? It looks like some kind of measuring device, but for what? 

Do you know what this is? 

OH MY GOSH --- I just did a Google search on that photo! Do you know what it is? It's for making mini patties!!! Who knew, and why the heck do I have it? 

While I should be in the office cleaning up stuff, this little corner of the kitchen will be my focus for the next while. YES—I know I could rip through it in a day, and I just might once I get those darn spices in the jars! 

I bought some drawer organizers the other day for the utensils, and when I opened the drawer on the island and sorted through the stuff, I almost died. How many spatulas does one household need? 

But three of those organizers fill the space beautifully. I found a few more things in that drawer that were "missing," so the most used stuff will stay in that drawer, while the occasionally used things will go in the overflow drawer. Good grief --- how come so much stuff? Technically, I could get rid of some of the spatulas. We would never need more than 3 at any given time. Perhaps I'll do that before I put them away. I need to wash the drawers first. 

The utensil drawers

And then there is Studio B. I swear I can pass that Swiffer ten times daily, but I still miss stuff. I love how clear the floor space is, so using the Swiffer is a breeze and takes mere seconds. 

My trusty Swiffer

That's one of the areas! I aim to eliminate that extension cord from that area, and I'll do that later today. 

Wide open areas!

Before bed, I grab a few small things on the cutting table to deal with in the morning. But most of what is on it now are several quilt backs that have to be made. I'm so close!! But I figure it will take me a week at least before I'm done! More on the green coat tomorrow. 

Things to deal with this morning

I found a box of these little crocheted skates at the farm, and I stole one. They are darn cute. My Mom had many of them, but they were donated to a good home. 

A pair of crocheted skates

Yes, having all that open space is so inviting to work that I'm actually giddy each morning as I pop downstairs to work. What a dream this is! And I'm trying desperately hard to keep it that way. There are a few things strewn around to deal with this morning, but they're leftovers from what I was working on yesterday. Just do not add to it before it's done! 

Wide open spaces! 

Some HSTs got trimmed. I'm keeping up with the trimming as I sew these darn things. There will be no more huge stacks to deal with in the future. 

Trimming HSTs

Murphy loves to spend time downstairs with me. I don't think it's because of me, but because it's cool down there. But at the moment? It's freezing everywhere! I resorted to sweatpants and thick wool socks yesterday!

Murphy having a snooze

But there are times when I'm working and probably have my headphones on, and all of a sudden, there she is - watching me!!! It's unnerving, to say the least!

MOM -- I'm watching you!

I got another quilt done, and the next one is loaded, except I have to piece the batting. The next one is for QOV, so I'm OK with piecing the batting. I never do that for a customer. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I even walked to the thrift store with money and didn't buy a thing! Yes - I'm getting good!!

Here's the link to the  Thursday post for QUILTsocial. It's all about making piping. 

And here's the link to the Friday post for QUILTsocial. I made cushions with piping AND an invisible zipper!! I've never done that before and was thrilled with how they turned out. But check out the final pictures of how it all came together in my backyard!!

On that note, I'm out of here. There's still lots of toing and froing in the house, making it challenging to focus these days. I suspect today will be somewhat quieter!

Have a super day!!


Thursday, May 30, 2024

Leaky irons

Before I forget, here's the latest development on the Gordie Howe International Bridge: The gap is almost closed!! It's been fascinating to watch, and it will still be approximately one year before the bridge opens

Much has been happening here, and getting work done is hard! But I did. 

The quilt back is finished. Yes, I was short fabric by a smidge, so I added another piece. No big deal! That got rid of the remainder of a bolt of fabric. 

A quilt backing

So another quilt got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. 

This quilt is now in the "to be quilted" pile

I'm trying to tackle the simple projects that are still on the cutting table. I must deal with them once and for all. This was a project that I took to the quilt retreat. I had made good progress, but the blocks needed good pressing and verifying their size. The smaller pieces in the bag needed to be trimmed down. 

Everything is up-to-date on this project

All is done, and it's back in a bag and sitting in the retreat box. I'm all packed for the next quilt retreat! 

It took me all day to quilt this quilt (T-shirt quilt), and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it—it was just my crazy schedule and what else was going on in the house. So I'll trim that later today and hope to be back in business with the long arm. I have a few customer quilts, some QOV, and some of my own. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I have a small applique quilt that needs to be done quickly, so I worked on it this morning and made good progress. Sometimes, tracing applique shapes and cutting by hand is way faster than using a digital cutter! 

My iron has started to misbehave, or more likely, the operator isn't using it correctly.

A leaky iron!

 I keep getting water spots on my fabrics. 

Water leaking onto the fabric

It's not like I don't have other irons around the house. I think there are two new irons in this box. 

A box of ironing supplies

And here are FOUR that need to be checked. 

Four irons that need to be checked

Part of the problem with irons is they leak. Why do they leak? Because the operator doesn't operate them properly! I plug it in and set the temperature, but I cannot wait until the iron is heated to use it. And since I use steam, that is a bad thing. It causes the iron to leak. 

I tested the iron by leaving water in it overnight. There was zero leakage. When I tried ironing with it cold, it leaked like a sieve. The moral behind that story is PATIENCE. So, before I toss these irons, I'm going to do some more testing and see what can be rescued when I apply some patience. 

So here are some tips to prevent your iron from leaking: 

1. NEVER start to iron/press until it has reached the desired temperature.
2. Turn the steam to OFF when filling the iron with water

I can only think of two tips this morning, but I thought there was something else. So, I'll keep an eye on all those irons so I can clear out the junk and keep those that work properly—when the operator is doing what is right! 

It seems like we had loads of rain later. The garden WAS weeded, but the weeds are growing like mad. I must get some mulch and the hoe and get to work. 

Raining in the backyard - AGAIN!

Look at that rain teeming down, but it filled the pond, which was needed. Our water supply to the backyard is compromised at the moment - more on that another day, so the rain was much appreciated, and the fish are happy again! 

The pond is filled with rainwater!

Remember when I mentioned that the city had brought in some equipment and some gravel to try to prevent the rain from eroding some of the small hills? Well, they failed yet again. 

Erosion on the paths

There was a rut after the first major rain a couple of days ago, and now it is even deeper. This has happened in multiple spots. 

Murphy and the rut

I must find the pictures of the spots along the Camino where they have put small channels in the path to move the water off the main path and into a channel along the side. The city needs to address this issue. I don't care that the path is rutted, but to keep fixing it, and the fix doesn't work? They need to try something else. One of the other small hills is paved. They NEVER have to maintain that! So why don't they pave these two areas? Do it once and be done with it!

I've been watching this huge tree for a very long time. I'm surprised it's still standing. The center of the trunk is entirely hollow. 

Inside the tree trunk

I notice some cracks in the front of it, and I'm not sure how much more it can withstand. 

The front of the trunk is cracked to the base

The tree is a glorious big tree, and you wonder how the heck it is still alive. I don't know how long this trunk has been like this, but I don't remember the one side being cut down, meaning it's been many years like this. But the front of the trunk is deteriorating! 

That's a big tree

It's the circle of life. There are many new trees in the forest, so at some point, the old has to go to make way for the new. But it's not gone yet!

While at the library the other day, I spotted this book. Now all I have to do is read it!!!

A great book to read!

And I found this decal you put on a car - it says Run with Scissors. If anyone wants it -- it's yours! I always wanted to get a tattoo with that saying on it. Maybe I should still go for it! 

A car decal up for grabs

Here's the latest QUILTsocial post. I had never sewn a flat-felled seam, but it's so easy!!! Remember, at the bottom of that post are links so you can read the posts from the previous two days. The final reveal is almost here! 

QUILTsocial Wednesday Post -- All about sewing a flat-felled seam. 

The calendar looks pretty open for today—there is a meeting that I can sit in on, and I might just do that, and then the day stretches out before me! I said this yesterday, but I'm going to say it again today. And I swear I would NEVER say this before, and I can't believe I'm saying it now! 
I used to be able to multitask, and I still can, but I'm finding it super therapeutic to take one thing at a time and work until the assignment or the next step is done. Then, I'm happy to put it away and get out the next thing. 

Having messy work areas now drives me crazy, and I'm almost to the stage where that entire large room has NO PROJECTS in it, except the one I'm working on. Everything else has been tucked away or is on that rolling cart, which thankfully is an industrial strength cart! I'll show you a picture one day. 

But having so much space to work in and clear everything makes my brain very happy, and I have zero distractions. 

Yep—I'm a happy sewist, and I need to try to keep it that way, even when things get crazy. Wish me luck!!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

When something goes BUMP!

Hmmm—interesting about the bananas. I buy them for myself and eat one daily, so I used to buy a bunch with five or possibly six. They will last that long without going mush. Anyway, I'll keep buying the single bananas!

I have so many pictures to share—there will be lots all week! But it's spin class morning, so there's not much time. 

A few days ago, I heard a bump and thought it came from upstairs. I checked but didn't see anything, and there isn't really anything that could go bump. 

Yesterday, when I was puttering in Studio B, I went to put something in the storage room. This is what I saw. I suspect this is what went BUMP!


ACK -- I thought that might happen to those boxes one day. They have been stacked there for a few years. Look at the bottom box. 

A not-so-solid base

There were SIX boxes of novelty prints stacked on top of each other. We are not even going there! Let's say that novelty prints were my go-to thing to buy. I was obsessed. 

So I moved the boxes out of the way, which was challenging as they were on their side and heavy. Oh gosh—I found an entire box filled with bicycle fabric, and I already have another two tubs filled with bicycle fabric. 

The mess got cleaned up!

And they got moved into Studio B, so I could assess the situation. 

The boxes are now in Studio B

The bicycle fabric got moved into the other two tubs, but only after I removed the Halloween fabric from one. So that is sitting loose in the storage room but neatly stacked. That leaves five boxes. 

I decided I needed one of those rugged plastic totes for the bottom, as the cardboard box wasn't strong enough for all that weight. I walked to the hardware store and bought two heavy-duty plastic totes. It was fun to walk them home, and I'm waiting for them to air out a bit because of their strong smell. 

Yes, I know plastic isn't the best for fabric storage, but in this case, neither is cardboard. And YES, I know I need to deal with the fabric, but for now, it's neatly stored in that corner, and I know it's there. I refuse at this point to sell it and most certainly would NEVER give it away just to saddle someone else with it. I have a plan, but it's not the time to execute it. 

I should write notes on these boxes if I'm not around to deal with them. The notes should say what is in the totes, what to do with the totes of fabric, and how much to sell them for!

In the process, I realized an ironing board in that corner could be donated as it's been there for a long time. I have two big ironing boards, and DH has his own. I don't think we need a fourth. 

This is what the cutting table looked like in the morning after my previous clean sweep. I got all the tripods put away, as well as some other stuff off the table. The one end is still covered, but it's mostly quilt backings and bindings that would be easy to deal with. 

The cutting table

And there is this table, which I dealt with yesterday. 

One more table to deal with

I had a box (red one) to pack up the cute Singer SE9180, and the Momento needed to be unpacked (brown box). Both tasks were accomplished, although putting a sewing machine back in the box can be a puzzle. This didn't disappoint, and I eventually got everything back where it should go!

A box to unpack and one to pack up!

That container of elastics got culled, and it's back in its place in the desk drawer. 

The culled container of elastics

I also got the backing made for this small quilt, which is now in the "to be quilted" pile. 

This project is now moved to the "to be quilted" pile

Now that one more table was freed up (the Singer was sitting on it), I placed all the items that needed to be cut on this table. My goal is to get things off the floor and into categories or their respective homes. I don't want this to be put away; I want to deal with it, so it's here. I hope to do some cutting daily to progress on all these projects. And I could FREE up another plastic tote! A double goal!

Projects to cut!

Digital cutters better be a big focus in my life since three now occupy three tables! But now that they are handy and the mats are handy on my shelving unit, I can quickly move from one to the other, and both heat presses are out. 

The digital cutting station

I now need to sit down and plan for one of the upcoming exercises I want at the next meeting. 

After a long day, I managed to get this quilt top together! This quilt was started in the PRE-CUT class at Hobby Horse several years ago. I LOVE the quilt top even though it's square—it has to be for this pattern. But I've learned that not all precuts are cut the same! 

Another quilt top is done!

The binding got made, and the backing fabric was pulled, but I was getting tired, and some thought was required to make it happen. I'll deal with that today. 

Then, while I listened to the end of my audiobook chapter, I sorted through this basket of brown fabric. I'm cutting pieces of the brown to make a scrap quilt—2" squares and 2" by 5" pieces. The only problem is I don't remember what pattern I was going to make! Seriously? 

Sorting through the brown scraps

But now I can go through the basket with large enough pieces and cut them. That's one of the baskets on the cutting table. I want to go through the two shoe boxes of brown fabric a second time and pull out any long pieces (strings) to make a string quilt. 

Loads more happened yesterday, but I've run out of time. 

Remember to check out QUILTsocial. 

Monday's post - Collecting supplies

Tuesday's post - Cutting the large pieces for the placemats and the cushions

And on that note, I'm off to spin class!!

Have a super day!!!