Sunday, June 30, 2024

How small is too small?

Some of that euphoria popped out of me yesterday as I attempted to play with some technology! I almost gave up technology at that moment! 

So I have a couple of digital cutters and I needed to cut a file using one specific one. I turned it on and went to connect it and NOTHING, despite the fact that it said it was connected to a network. Why??? I was frustrated! 

Then I went for a walk, and when I came back, I realized that this cutter had never been used by me! It appeared to be connected to the last network it was connected to. I've no idea, but that's what it said. Once I got it connected to my network, it worked like a charm. 

When troubles hit, take a walk! 

I finished my project last night while chatting on the Virtual Retreat. I'll share it tomorrow, and it involves more learning. Why is there always something new to learn? 

Remember that little bag of HSTs that I unearthed? Well, look at their size. And a couple of them are sewn. 


I opened up one of the sewn ones. Seriously? What was I thinking? That entire bag is now in the pet mat scrap bin! 

How small is too small?

In chatting with others last night, I found what people keep and throw away amazing. I know we may not want something, but it seems a shame to throw good stuff away. I do NOT want to become a broker for scraps, but if you have scraps that you don't want and they are of a reasonable size, PLEASE let me know. I'm sure there is a reader who would be interested. School groups love scraps (although this is the wrong time of the year), and I bet there are people on fixed incomes who would LOVE to get a bag of scraps. 

DO NOT fill the landfill with your "good" scraps! Someone would love to have them. OR -- they can be recycled through a textile recycling program, which I'll share once I do some research. 

Also, as you are sorting through your stuff and finding homes for everything, be sure to check if that tool/supply is still useful! Look at this dried-up glue stick! It's a good thing it's dried up because I know I have a spot for glue sticks, but I wasn't sure yesterday. This is now in the garbage!

Dried-up glue stick

What was the new project that I could finally remove from Mount Projects? It's the backing for a Quilts of Valour quilt. These are leftovers from other backings, and in total, I think there'll be enough to make a new backing. YES—there are people who would throw this away because it's too time-consuming. Good grief—I have all the time in the world, and to me, it's like a puzzle. 

The bits to make a pieced backing

I pressed all the pieces and squared them up. Now, I need some quiet time to match up the pieces and sew them together. I will NOT be doing that today during the Virtual Retreat. 

The pieces are pressed and trimmed

I had several things sitting on another table (I'm going to call this one the Puzzle Table because I have a jigsaw on it that I want to work on). But in the meantime, I had put stuff on it that I could easily do without thinking or making a mistake during the Virtual Retreat. 

My project table for the Virtual Retreat

I got all the threads on the pet mats taken care of. Those took up a lot of visual space, and I completed my project, which involved HAND STITCHING. 

Pet mats ready for delivery

There is more stuff on that table, which I'll tackle today. My goal is to have it clear so I can open the puzzle. 

This was the cutting mat in the morning. There's the quilt that needs the backing, some stuff for the digital cutter, which is gone, and some bits I'm collecting for the next blog posts for QUILTsocial, which I hope to write next week. 

The cutting table is exactly how I want it!

I needed to look for a zipper, and it's your lucky day when you open the box and find the color and size you want right on top. 

My zipper box

Once I got that digital cutter working, I had to update it, which happened with zero issues. I LOVE technology, but only when it works. In this case, it was not connecting, and it was a total operator error! 

Updating the digital cutter software

I showed this before, but it's time to let it go. Is anyone interested in locker hooking? I have books and supplies. If not, they're going in the giveaway box. 

Locker hooking books

Locker hooking supplies

Something shocking happened yesterday, and well, I'm still stunned. I know for most of you, this would NEVER be an issue, but for me, it's always an issue. I got a reminder email the previous day to renew my driver's license. It expires at the end of August, so it's a bit early, and I would leave it. Sometimes, I renew it in mid-September. But NO—because I'm on the ball, I renewed it yesterday! WHAT? 

And I responded to all the emails that needed to be sent. WHAT? I probably missed one or two, but I was making invoices and responding to emails, and well, it was a good morning! Actually, there are two people to whom I need to send a message!

There is usually something in the day that makes me chuckle. A sense of humor is a precious thing, but some people think they are funny, but it falls flat. I hope people think I'm somewhat entertaining, but no worries. At least I can see that humor is a lot of things, and that's entertainment for me. 

When I work on the long arm, I need tape as a marker. In some instances, I need to remove the marker before I start the machine, so I stick it on the bar. How many times have I returned to the long arm to find the tape missing? I've learned that if it's missing from the long arm, it's on MY ARM!!! 

The missing painter's tape

Do you see the green painter's tape on  my red shirt? Yep --- that's where it was. I had to look hard for it yesterday as it was really stuck and on the back side of my sleeve. I guess as I'm working, it grabs my clothes and sticks! 

We have a cardinal in our backyard who is pretty insistent. He's loud, and I guess he's saying that he wants me to fill the bird feeders. He's pretty cheeky!

Hey LADY! Fill the ^&^% feeder - I'm hungry! 

It was raining when I walked the girls, so I had boots and an umbrella, and we survived. But look at the deep rut in the path. OK, so they need to resolve this once and for all instead of coming back with the SAME methodology to fix it. I might do some research and send it to the city. Or they pave it! 

A deep rut!

You couldn't miss me in my bright pink umbrella. 

My bright pink umbrella in the rain

It's hilarious because Lexi often lies outside DH's office, and I caught Murphy lying outside mine! The better to keep an eye on my movements!!! Those girls are so silly!

MOM -- just doing my guard dog duties!

I have two presentations this morning, and they are mostly ready. I have one more picture to take and then rearrange a few slides. I've got loads of time! 

Here's the link to the Virtual Retreat today. Oh boy -- we had some interesting conversations yesterday. We recapped Quilt Canada, driving trips across Canada, how guilds handle Zooms, and much more!! Be sure to stop by. 

The times are EASTERN, in case you didn't know that. I know some people tried to log in early, but I was busy, and perhaps they got the time zone mixed up. 

Sunday, June 30 - STARTS at NOON EASTERN

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

On that note, have a super day!!!



Saturday, June 29, 2024

Prioritize - Focus - Win

Oh gosh—I'm not even sure where to begin or how to say it. The NEW Studio B is a dream come true! If only I had known years ago what I know now! Would I still have tons of UFOs? I might, but I sure would have looked at my buying and making habits a whole lot differently. 

I guess it's like trying to tell a teenager to do something differently based on your experience. They don't want to do it and must learn their way. 

Please do NOT be jealous of me and where I am. I've worked my butt off for many years to get to this mindset and to have my space more or less where I want it. It's been challenging, frustrating, and time-consuming. But now that I have the room where I want it, I'm excited beyond belief and feel so much better. 

OK - enough of that, let's see what transpired yesterday. FYI, I made it to Studio B after 3 PM as I had other things to do, including sending out some e-mails concerning my fall schedule. So, I hope to put my entire schedule for fall classes up sooner rather than later. I'm waiting for confirmation from the shops. I also had my walks to get in, and there was a "little" bit of decluttering. Don't worry; for your sake and mine, I'm trying to keep my schedule limited and focus on things that help us, not give us another project! 

I am PROUD to say that the decluttering/tidying thing is getting under my skin in a good way, and, dare I say, it's becoming a habit? I can clean up some areas in a matter of minutes, so it takes zero effort to get the area clean. The office is getting there, but it's still a struggle. 

I texted M about her stuff that I am storing that hasn't been touched in years—TEN YEARS! I hope to keep at her because I'm working hard to make life easy for her in the future, and I feel she should return the favor!

I returned to Studio U to clean up the stuff I left on the counter. Within minutes, all that was left were the HSTs that needed to be sorted. And YES, everything went to its home; nothing was set aside to be processed later. 

HSTs to be put away

I sort my pressed and trimmed, scrappy HSTs by size. I used to cut the maximum size from the scraps, like 2¼" and 2¾", but that's weird, so I keep it to inches and half inches now. A few need to be trimmed down, but I can do that when I start making something from them. 

HSTs sorted by size

The bottom of that container holds the 1½" HSTs, which is just one place where they are stored. 

1½" HSTs

I put all the 1½" into the container and then all the bags of other sizes on top. Phew—it just fits back on the shelf. I'm going to have to find another place to store them when I work on the next batch, but that's a task for another day. 

A bucket of trimmed HSTs

This shelf in Studio U holds most of my scrappy HSTs. The blue bin and down are HSTs that are pressed and trimmed. The buckets above are bits that need to be sewn together. There's a lot of sewing there that'll take years—something I can do when I downsize! Or, I can just start going through it slowly and do some every day/week. It's off my radar at the moment as I have some downstairs that I'm working on. 

A shelf of HSTs

The bottom line I've learned is that if you are going to keep something—like scraps—you MUST keep on top of it, or it becomes a huge job. I'm keeping on top of the HSTs now, but a lot needs to be dealt with. What I mean here is that if you're going to keep scraps, sort them so it's easy to find them again. If you keep off cuts of batting, label them with the size so they are easy to find the right size. DO NOT stack up stuff and say you'll get to it one day because that day will be so overwhelming that you won't know where to start. 

And so you know I was once an idiot, I found this bag. More on this tomorrow. 

What's this little treasure?

Since I had some space to spread out, I took all my non-wall-hanging samples and sorted them—journal covers, cushion covers, etc. 

Samples are sorted

Then I went even further, as there were some oddball samples in the spare room and two tubs of stuff in another bedroom. 

More samples

Two tubs of finished projects

Don't panic. There isn't a whole lot in those tubs; it's mostly some tote bags that I made. I don't really want them, so I must find a home for them. I would prefer to sell them rather than give them away. 

But the next goal is to empty the tubs and put everything in the appropriate pile. Then I need to sort out what I want to keep personally, what I need for traveling samples, and what I don't want. Then I can make some decisions. 

I wouldn't have been able to do that without having some space and the mindset. OH --- this is so wonderful! I know you must be absolutely tired of me saying it, but I don't care! I've worked hard for these bragging rights. I've still got a long way to go in some areas, but every little bit helps. And trust me, the more you do, the more you want to do. The more you get rid of, the more you want to get rid of other things. I'm eying some books on my shelves in Studio B that have to go. 

I am back at Studio B, where I did some work. I finished the top of the dust cover! 

The top of the dust cover is done

Then I got the fabric for the backing out and pressed it. 

The backing fabric

I made the binding, and the "top" is loaded on the long arm. I'll quilt it later today. Phew—guess what that means? YES—I can take another project off Mount Projects!! I did take one off last night before bed, and I'll share those adventures with you tomorrow. 

I trimmed the last of the three piles of HSTs that I had pressed the other day. I still have a few scraps to press and put in the scrap boxes and I hope to do that tonight during Virtual Retreat. 

More HSTs pressed and trimmed

I got this customer quilt done and it's trimmed. 

Customer quilt - DONE

Even though my dust cover is small, I'm not sure I will get another customer quilt on the long arm today, so I'll aim to load another one, but not get it quilted. I plan to experiment with my dust cover. 

And YES - my helper was right in the way! I swear, she does it intentionally so I will pay attention to her! Of course, I'm always talking to her, but that doesn't seem to be enough! She says I only speak to her when she's in the way! 

MOM -- TALK to me!!!

At one point in the clearing process, I glanced at my watch, and YEEZ - what happened? 

I've been wounded!

Somewhere along the line, I scratched my arm, and it bled like crazy. I was so focused that I didn't feel a thing! 

Speaking of focus, I've shown you this before, but it's becoming so true. Who knew when I got it MANY years ago how important that phrase would become?  It's the one at the top—PRIORITIZE—FOCUS—WIN. That was when I worked in sales for a computer company. How come it took so long for me to realize that? The other two quotes are also pretty cool, and all this hangs over my cutting table. 

Important words of wisdom

As I was winding down for the night, my life took a silly turn. I have a Rowenta in Studio B, but it's not an iron! It's a cordless vacuum and I LOVE it. When I was using it earlier in the day, it had stopped. Hmm - it didn't even slow down as it usually does, it just stopped. So I looked at the basket, and yes, it was overdue for being emptied. But it still didn't work, so I plugged it in to recharge it. I decided to turn the header over. YIKES -- there's a lot of crap in the roller and the wheels. Most of it was gone when I took this picture. 

The underside of the vacuum

I had out my tools of the cleaning trade - hemostats, and my stiletto. This is all the dust and crap I took out of those tiny wheels on the front. 

Dust in the front wheels!

Call me crazy, but I found sitting and doing a mindless task very therapeutic. Plus, knowing the vacuum was clean and ready to go made me feel like a million bucks. At this rate, you're going to find me on my hands and knees washing and painting baseboards! 

Murphy was in my office telling me something was under the buffet beside me. Murphy, there is NOTHING there. I bent down to look, just in case. Nothing. But she insisted, so I moved the set of drawers on wheels, and voila -- there was a ball! Oh Murphy -- you are so smart!!!

So we played fetch with the ball for a bit. She made me feel guilty because we hadn't played ball in a while, which is one of her favorite things. I should have taken a video of her trying to find it in those bushes. She's such a goof and tried to stand on the branches, not the rocks. Thankfully, she did NOT go for a swim!!

MOM -- I will find it!

That's an important reminder to play with your pets, children, or loved ones NOW because if you wait until tomorrow, they may not be here! Thank you, Murphy, for that lesson!

I see it's raining this morning, but hopefully, it'll stop by when we need to walk. 

And YES -- it's Virtual Retreat today!!!

Saturday, June 29 - Starts at 6 PM. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 1648 3795
Passcode: 248667

Sunday, June 30 - Starts at NOON. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

And I'm off to find more stuff to tidy up - what will I do when I'm done? LOL - I'll never be done, I'll just keep giving away things until nothing is left. I told M that she had better hope that I would live at least until I was 80 because that's my plan! By 80, most of the stuff will be gone! You never know!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, June 28, 2024

Slow and steady!!

I will post the information on the textile recycler when I have the specifics. I have two potential contacts, and once I firm up, I'll share. That might be an incentive to go through the remaining three blue bags of scraps. 

Something profound is happening to me, and I'm so excited. But it's not really exciting, it doesn't involve anything exciting, and most people would say that I've become a very boring person. 

I have found the BEAUTY of downtime! I have a few classes to finish off the summer, but I booked myself off for August and a significantly reduced schedule in July and September. June was relatively quiet. I'm NOT running around trying to fill that time. Instead, I booked that time for ME!!! 

Do you know what? I'm learning so much about myself because I have time for ME!!! The intent was to finish up some decluttering and just enjoy life. Now, I'm not out of the woods because my enjoyment of life is (self) restricted to being in Studio B and listening to audiobooks, but that defines enjoying life for me at this point in time. And I'll confess that I've become a bit obsessed!!

Despite passing that Swiffer multiple times a week, look what I discovered this morning!

Where does all the dust and lint come from?

I cannot imagine a sewing room with carpet. Not only would I be inhaling all the fabric fumes, but the dust bunnies? I'd be coughing and choking! Not everyone has the luxury of a hard surface, but I wouldn't be without it! We have ZERO carpets in our house. It's the first thing we do when we move - if there's carpet, it's gone! 

Then I serged up those pet mats, and I've set them aside. Finishing off the threads is a great thing to do on a Zoom call, which will be tomorrow since we have a Virtual Retreat. 

The pet mats are almost complete

Once I was finished in that area, I unplugged the serger, brought up the foot pedal, and put it in the basket for the accessories. I know—I'm totally obsessed—but this gets the foot pedal off the floor, and it takes two seconds to plug it in. Everything is right there!

The secondary work tables - clear!

I need to make a dust cover for that machine! The other machine in the background is my personal sewing machine, and it has a nice dust cover that I made. Three half-square triangles on the ironing board need to be pressed. 

I can't tell you how exciting it is to have all those table surfaces clear. Yes, Mount Projects is in the room, and plenty more projects waiting in the various closets and storage tubs. But I've become so disciplined at working on what is out that I've shocked myself. I am ENJOYING this entire process. 

I used to "love" working in total chaos. I told myself I thrive in a messy space, but I've learned. I am a Virgo so that probably helps me love what I've done. 

So here's what I love about the new space and how I'm working: 

  • The mess is controlled to ONE area—Mount Projects—with the intent that it won't get that way again once it's clear. I need to work on that. 
  • All my machines that I want or need to work on, have a work space so they are easy to access. 
  • Everything has a home, so putting things away is a snap. If it doesn't have a home, then it needs to go! Fortunately, I have a lot of space, but I am at capacity and have some openings on shelves that will NEVER be filled! 
  • Working on one project (more or less) at a time allows me to see progress. Yes, I'm still decluttering, sorting, and trimming HSTs, but I'm only working on one main project. 
  • The floor is clear, so it's easy to pass the Swiffer. 
  • I have no deadlines at the moment, and that makes me very happy. 
  • I have a good set of noise-canceling headphones, so I can buzz around the house and not miss a part of my audiobook. 
  • Slow and steady is key! There is no need to rush—quilting is my hobby while I'm in downtime!
  • I don't care about perfection. I'm enjoying making stuff to the best of my abilities and resources. 
  • Lastly, I'm not looking to fill that downtime. I'm happy to putter alone all day with some breaks here and there. But I don't need to work on the latest sew-along. Trust me, I get emails daily, as I'm sure you do, with invitations to join the newest sew-along. Why would I do that when I have perfectly good and AMAZING projects to work on right now? I also will NOT be influenced by what others are sewing!  
  • I will NOT let M deal with my disaster. It's coming along nicely, and because I'm dealing with the emotions of letting go right now, it's going to be so much easier when I really need to let go. 

WOW -- who knew that was coming today. But honestly, I've never felt better about my situation!

We all know there is a Studio B, but there's also a Studio U, and it hasn't been used in a while. It became a bit of a dumping ground for some of my samples, so yesterday, I was up there dealing with it. 

Stuff that I need to put away today

While this may look bad, it's actually not. Many HSTs need to be put into the appropriate bag according to size. Some of that stuff needs to go in the closet, and I'm sure I can have that all tidied up within an hour. Remember—if things have a home, putting them away is easy!!! I got a bit lax!

Then I did something I've wanted to do for a long time - sorted my samples. This pile is everything that is NOT a quilt - cushion covers, journal covers, etc. I'll sort through them further and pull out what I always use as a sample and then what could be let go. The question will be --- how do I get rid of the stuff I no longer need? 

Non-quilt samples

Then I sorted the small quilts—one pile is all my Trend-Tex challenges. I think I counted 15, but I might have to count again. The other pile is all my wall hangings, and I need to sort through them, pick out those that I use as samples, and then decide what to do with the rest. There's a pile behind with table runners. 

My small wall hangings

I now have a home for them, so that's exciting and I'll share that with you another day. That'll free up several tables in that space, so I could go up there and work. The shades are drawn now, but it's a glorious space to work. The only issue is I can't Zoom from there and if I'm quilting a quilt, I don't want to be way up there. But on the days when I'm just puttering for myself? I could get a lot done in an excellent space. It's a complete studio with an ironing board, cutting table, and workspace! All that's missing is a project to work on and ME!

Speaking of quilting, I finished a customer quilt, and the next one is loaded on the long arm. It's all trimmed! 

Customer quilt - DONE

Then it was back to trimming HSTs. I finished the second pile that I had pressed the other day, leaving one more stack. That's great progress!!!

More HSTs trimmed! 

I've trimmed some of the ones leftover from the dust cover I'm making, and I've been contemplating what to do with them. I think I've come up with an idea, and I might just make that my next project—it's something that I could use right now! 

The leftovers from the dust cover

I'm so obsessed that when I passed the Swiffer in the serger area, I put the chair on the table and cleaned off the dust. I noticed that one leg was missing a felt pad, so I dug the felt pads out (readily available in the storage closet), and that is now done. The old rushed me might have left it for another day. 

The chair got a new felt pad

Throughout the day, the cutting table had stuff on it, and then it didn't, and this is how it looks this morning. 

The cutting table is super inviting!

The few things on it are what I need to cut for the dust cover and the remaining groups of HSTs. Do you know how exciting it is to go downstairs and see all this wide open space? It boggles my mind and I think I'm having trouble sleeping because I want to be in that space sewing! 

The center panel of the dust cover is together. It's a trade-off between random and planned!! Now I can add the sides, get it quilted, and finish it off. I'm practically giddy about getting to choose something else from Mount Projects, but I'll wait until this is complete before I even touch a thing on that table. Patience! 

The center panel of the dust cover

And look at that Sweet Lexi -- what the heck is she doing? It looks like she is in the corner and being punished for something, but nope -- she just likes to sit against that wall. She's a leaner! 

Mom - just hanging out!

I had a massage yesterday, and for the first time, I wanted to cry out in pain—serious pain. I've been making an effort, but not enough. My shoulders, my legs, my upper back—everything is tight, and it hurts! So, more stretching is needed. 

I'm trying to get my slow, methodical way out to the garden to weed, and I attacked a small area last night. I'll be back out tonight to finish that area, and then I need to get some mulch, so once the weeds are gone, the mulch can go in. Slow and steady!

On that note, I'm out of here to enjoy my S L O W day. Honestly, I can't believe how amazing it is. I know it won't last beyond the summer, but that's OK—having almost three months of quiet downtime will allow me to get my space organized, and hopefully, when it does get busy, I'll have learned new habits, and it won't be so bad!!

 Remember to keep plugging away at those drawers! HEY --- DH commented last night on how much nicer it was to use the spices with the organized spice drawer, and I'm so in awe of the organized utensil drawer. Both of those took little time, but the result is AMAZING. And the rest of the house can be the same!!!!

Here's the information for the Virtual Retreat: 

Saturday, June 29 - starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 1648 3795
Passcode: 248667

Sunday, June 30 - starts at Noon

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Rescuing scraps

I seem to be relegated to saving stuff! OH - I mean rescuing, not saving, although those words could be used interchangeably. That story to come in a minute. 

Since we were not supposed to have electricity in the morning, I had planned my day accordingly. Part of that planning was to pick up tea since I couldn't boil the kettle when I returned from walking the dogs. 

I also had to go to the bank, so I altered Miss Lexi's walk to do both. She is happy to walk a new route since there are new smells. 

MOM -- hurry up! 

Lexi doesn't like being told what to do, especially sitting, so imagine my surprise when I parked her under a tree at Tim's, and she sat down. I bet she was trying to show me how good she was, so I'd buy her a Timbit! I never even thought of it! Oops - sorry, Lexi. 

MOM - did you buy me a Timbit?

Murphy is getting much better when we meet other dogs on the walk. She's all happy (always was), but at least she isn't barking her silly head off. She sniffs a few times, and then it's time to move on. There's no time to waste sniffing other dogs!

The power did not go off. The weather was nice, so I've no idea why they didn't show up. It's supposed to be maintenance for a group of houses on our street, but I was OK that we didn't lose power. It's just that they will likely show up unannounced the next time. 

I had pulled out two of the four remaining bags of scraps that I had collected a few years back. Now, here's the thing—I said I wanted scraps that I could put in a pet mat. I will say that people abused my request, and I got all kinds of crap. In the past, I've found pins, but no pins yesterday. However, I found fabric with fusible on it, paper, and sample swatches were still attached to the headers. 

I will NEVER request this again. It was very silly of me to do that, as I had no idea what would happen. It was an easy out for lots of people, and I ended up with a huge mess. Let's say that I only had time to go through one of those bags, leaving three more to do. 

Don't get me wrong—I've had fun going through these treasure bags. I've found a few neat things, but what people will throw away as scrap boggles my mind. I think it's very irresponsible, and throwing away those bigger pieces is expensive with the cost of fabric! 

Inside each blue bag were separate bags, and I grabbed them one at a time and dumped them on the cutting mat. 

Bags of fabric scraps

Then, as I got down to the last few bags, I put the remainder on the cutting table. 

The remaining few bags of scraps

It's hard to see in this photo, but those pieces were huge—at least compared to what I keep as scraps. 

A bag of LARGE scraps

There was a header with decorator fabric, which I kept. I like the fabric and might be able to make some excellent decorator cushion covers from it. 

A large bundle of fabric swatches

I found some other weird fabrics, which I kept because I could use them to experiment with machine embroidery. 

Some weird fabrics were kept

There was ONE box with bits exactly like I was looking for. Everything was small in that box and couldn't be reused for anything. 

ONE box with tiny bits

This particular bag came from a local store (now closed) that was cutting kits for their 2015 Row by Row, and I got the leftovers. There was a lot of blue fabric. Most of these bits were at least 2½" wide. 

Larger pieces of scrap

As I sorted the larger scraps that were too good to cut up, I placed them on the digital cutter. 

Sorting the scraps by color

By the end of my sorting, I had rescued this: A lot of fabric. I found fat quarters and fat eighths, some of which I never cut into. That's just sheer laziness from whoever put it in a bag. 

The scraps I kept

I only got three pet mats from the bits in that blue bag. But that's OK. 

I made three pet mats

I started with one color at a time and pressed everything in the fabric I saved. This made fitting into the plastic shoe boxes easier, and I could test for polyester. It smells artificial when you apply heat to it! I also separated out the batiks and then dealt with the sub piles as I created them. 

Separate piles for fabric content

I have an issue with some of my shoe boxes, as the lids are already exploding. I'm trying to contain the brown scraps now, so the others will have to wait. 

 The purple bin is already overflowing

It appeared that the polyester was restricted to a few solid fabrics. Almost all was quilting cotton, or decorator stuff. 

A few polyester bits

For any of the larger pieces that were not cotton, they went into two bags that will be sent to a textile recycling place. That bag is now stored in the utility closet to keep it out of the way. I put the paper bags in the IKEA bag as it will sit on a concrete floor, and I didn't want moisture migrating into the fabrics. 

Donation to a textile recycling

I found part of a Husqvarna Viking tie! What happened to the rest of it? 

The tip of a tie

This is what's left of the fabric scraps I kept. I only have the blue and the green left to press and sort through. So I did an amazing job. Yes, some of you would say, why bother? But I have Job's patience regarding this, and it's a great way to putter. No mental thinking, just mechanical movements. And when I downsize, I expect I'm only going to take my scrap boxes with me as I doubt I'll have room for the fabric baskets! Let's just say those shoe boxes will keep me busy for years! 

What's left to press and sort

Here's one example of what I found: some shapes already cut from 2½" strips, layer cake pieces, and some yardage. There is enough there to make a child's quilt. And people think this is scrap? I don't get it. 

Enough coordinates to make a quilt

The word of the day was focus! I'm learning to focus like I've never focused before. I get a good audiobook going, and I'm motivated. I don't find it boring. I take a break when I need it. 

I also trimmed a lot of half-square triangles, but I still have a couple of piles to work my way through. I cannot imagine a day when I'm not "managing" my stash. There are half-square triangles to sew and trim, those three bags to sort through, and then I think all the fabric will be sorted and dealt with. But that's still going to take a long time. 

Trimming half-square triangles

I wish someone had told me to keep that stuff under control when I started, but I'm learning now. At the same time, I'm learning to keep that cutting table clear. I'm not even looking at Mount Projects' table, but I will be able to in a couple of days when I finish my dust cover. 

Here's one version of the layout for the dust cover. I wasn't happy with this, so I switched it around, and you'll have to wait to see what it looks like. 

One version of the dust cover

If any of you think that you are being productive by working on several things at once, think again, as I might be inclined to call you a liar. I stood by this philosophy for years, and that's why I had so much clutter. Before you call me an enabler, I'm OK with working on a monthly assignment, and when that assignment is done, to put it away until the next installment. 

However, leaving out one project while you work on another is clutter, and each project takes longer. YES -- I know there are exceptions to the rule. Overall, I'm focused on one project. Am I bored? I could be, but I listen to my audiobook and sort and press those fabrics, or I might be quilting a quilt or trimming the HSTs. So right now - I'm not bored. If I were making a king-size quilt with very repetitive blocks? I'd be bored! 

You could say I'm multi-tasking as I move between various things, but these are time fillers and allow my brain a break from the main action!

It helps when you are asked to recharge your Fitbit to ensure the charger is attached to something! I've done it several times: I plugged it in and couldn't figure out why my Fitbit died later that day. AHA—the charger wasn't attached to anything! 

By the way, I put that second blue bag back in the pile and'll deal with it another day. There are three - perhaps I can take one bag a week in July and be done with it!

I have a very aggressive walking goal for the year - 4,500 KM, meaning I had to walk 12.3 KM daily. I'm a bit behind, and that daily average is now 12.7 KM, which is still good, considering I slacked off on a few trips. 

I made up some KMs yesterday and arrived home just in time. It had started to rain a bit, but it really rained when I was in the house! 

It's raining!

I should be out in the garden to get a few weeds, and I might attempt to do that today. But otherwise, it's back to sewing and trimming as I want to move to the next project. 

Remember, there is Virtual Retreat this weekend. 

Saturday, June 29 - Starts at 6 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 1648 3795
Passcode: 248667

Sunday, June 30 - Starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 829 8351 7671
Passcode: 117636

And I need to do a few emails this morning, then I can sew and quilt all afternoon. Oh wait - I have a massage this morning. ICK!! Torture!!

Have a super day!!!