Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Decluttering Challenge 2024 - mid-way through

 I joined Karen Brown (of Just Get it Done Quilts) Decluttering Challenge for the second year. I only managed to get through about 4 days last year before all hell broke lose, so I decided New Year, Fresh Start!

So far, I have done well and just completed Day 12. I have cleared the room of garbage, rehomed items, been unsubcribing my emails like crazy, got my magazines together all in one place (still sorting through them) and culled my thread. Last year, I had dealt with my books and scissors so I was able to skip those days. It has spilled over into the rest of my space, so I have made 5 trips to the recyclers, two to the hospice society donation centre and got rid of two bags of garbage.

I still have to catch up on Notions, UFOs and Kits. The last two may end just being gathered up into one area, so that I can take my time going through them. Some kits were purchased with the idea I will do them when I retire (upcoming), so I don't feel pressured to get rid of them at this time. There are some UFOs that may not make the cut, but until I have them all in one place, I don't want to start culling.

Update: I dealt with my notions and ribbons, and continue to find my UFOS.

I didn't take a picture of my notions before. I found them in 1 cupboard, 1 drawer and 3 small bins. Once I went through them, I was left with this:

I had a ziploc bag of zippers, ric-rac, binding and elastics to donate:

And a bag of ribbons that I may put up for sale, as they are mostly new (still thinking about that):

I purchased two laundry hampers after last year's challenge, and have been using them to gather my scraps and UFOs as I come across them. 

As I find my UFOs, I put them in project bags and place them in the right basket:

I realize now that I need to move the hand-sewing projects to my sitting room, where I cross-stitch and do EPP. I'll do that today.

The scrappy basket was full to overflowing at one point as I was putting everything that didn't fit into my fabric storage, so as I'm going through the pile, I box up my unwanted fabrics and send them to my niece for her and her friends near Edmonton. 

They do charity sewing in addition to their own projects and during COVID they made dozens of scrub bags and hats for nurses, and hundreds of masks. I've continued to send her my overflow as it is good to know it's going to a good cause. 

I do mostly scrappy quilts, so I'm okay with with keeping this basket as long as I keep up processing the scraps into my scrap-user system.  I've also been purging these bins so I'm only left with the scraps I like.

Humm, I see a few more UFOs on here so I'll get to that after posting this.

So now that I have gone through the first 16 days, I have all these bins empty. Since they came from a friend, I'm going to check with her first if she wants them back, if not, onto marketplace they go.

Now, back to my reward project - finish quilting a quilt for my son-in-law. It is so nice to have the sewing desk clear and room to set up my extra table to hold the quilt.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

2023 Wrap Up

Despite my fervent wishes that this year my work life would be better, it has gone downhill fast.  I'm considering early retirement in the new future. It has taken the wind out of my crafty sails and needless to say, I haven't accomplished much in 2023.

I have been working a couple of ufos, which I posted about earlier and finally finished the binding and both quilts have now been received by their recipients.

My version of Bonnie Hunter's Rhododendron Trail was finished with flanged purple binding and sent to my oldest friend - we've been friends for 44 years - just in time for her birthday! 

Not the best lighting, but it was a dreary November day and I needed to get it in the mail. I modified it from Bonnie's on-point version and eliminated the aqua micro-sashing that she used. I love how it turned out! And yes, I do have a turned block that I didn't notice until I saw this picture after I had already mailed it.

I had the quilting done by Maple Leaf Quilting Company in Cochrane, AB who offer a wonderful service with all-in-one pricing that includes shipping to and from them, thread and even batting. They also sell backings at a reasonable price, so they make it very easy to get my quilting done.

I choose a panto with butterflies to emulate the purple "butterflies" on the front. The backing colour is closer to the photos below.

I did a two-tone flange binding (my favourite way to bind when I'm in a hurry, and added a label with a piece of ribbon from a Fat Quarter Shop bundle.

Then I finished up On Ringo Lake with an aqua flanged binding and sent it to my aunt and uncle for their 60th anniversary. I love these two so much, and they have set such a wonderful example of love and companionship, something I could only dream of having. 

I forgot to take pictures before sending it off, but luckily Maple Leaf posted pictures on their Facebook page so I was able to scoop these.

I choose a panto called River, in keeping with the name of the pattern by Bonnie Hunter.

There was one more finish this year. I had been procastinating but on December 22nd I finally got down to making a small bag for my grandson's girlfriend. I made them come with me one day as I was doing running around (can't leave teenagers alone!), and when we were in the quilt shop, Tess found a fat quarter that was the same design as a baby blanket she had. So of course I had to buy it, and at Christmas I surprised with this:

The inside has her yellow fat quarter. I made both the cross-body strap and wrist/key chain strap so she can swap it out if she wants.

And that was it for finishes this year. I'm hoping that the new year brings some much needed changes, rest and more fun in my sewing room.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The best-laid plans - To do list - August 15, 2023

My new weekly to-do list appears to be a bi-weekly post! Not much got accomplished because my newly-part-time hours stretched into full-time plus, with a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction. When that happens, I shut down and get nothing done. Combine that with construction happening around me and very little sewing got done. 

I did get a little cross-stitching done (#3 on my list of August 1st), adding some colour with flowers, but not much more than that. My granddaughter didn't end up coming over, but I might have her tomorrow, so hopefully we can work on her project.

This week's to-do list is much like it was two weeks ago:

To do List for 8/15/2023

1.  Modified Rhododendron Trail (pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville): Prep binding while waiting for quilt to come back from the long-arm quilter (which I got word they are on their way back

2. On Ringo Lake (pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville): Same as above

3. Country Garden Cross-Stitch: Get those darn flowers done!

On a more positive front, the trim work is done in my sewing/craft room (temporarily my office!) so I was able to put the furniture back in place. Now the purge begins.

I got the shelves mostly filled, I can find my sewing machine again and my "office" desk is clear (not so much my cutting desk.)

Now that the trim is done on the doorway, my son-in-law is working in my back room (used for fabric and craft supply storage, with a small kitchenette for coffee, etc.

For the first time in a long time, I now have a clear counter to work on. I've started purging the cabinets, which is easier because each cupboard is organized by type (one upper cabinet has cross-stitch supplies, one lower large cabinet has my scrapbooking kits, another has current quilting projects, etc.) Most of the upper cabinets are display, but a couple need to be cleared out and made "pretty" - I'm looking at you on the left filled with fabric!

Joining up with Quilt Schmit's linky party at To Do Tuesday #32 – Quilt Schmilt!

Terri in BC

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

UFO's, WIPs and more!

 Now that my quilts are off to be quilted by cheque (long-arm), I went looking for another project to work on. Boy, did that open a can of worms. Be prepared for a weird wandering look into my mind,

I had a kit (actually 2) that needed cutting before I could start it. I ended up with two at my house because my quilting buddy bought one as well.  We were there when the person cutting them realised she had made a mistake, so we ended up with some extra fabric with careful cutting - which was my job since I "can math". 

I ended up with 2 full quilts cut out, and 3 - 6" x 22" strips of each colour leftover, plus trimmings.

My pretty box of pieces, ready for sewing. I put the cut pieces and leftover strips in separate baggies, but I'm keeping everything together in the event I made a mistake!

I set aside the included background fabric as it was too yellowish for both of us, and starting cutting into my remaining Snow (by Bella) fabric. While I was at it, I decided to cut the triangle pieces for my Flower girl quilt. Most of the blocks are already cut out, but I couldn't move forward without the triangles.

Of course, I ran out! I've ordered a new bolt (praying that it will be close, or else I'm starting over...more pieces for the scrap box).

I started playing with the trimmings, and decided on this layout.

But then, I would need more of that background fabric so it got put aside as well.

Have you lost count yet? That's now 3 WIPs (works-in-process) that have now become UFOs (unfinished objects). My brain says, well I know I have more UFOs so why don't I go back to my list and see where I am at. And, here comes the can of worms: I haven't updated my list since 2016.

I know I have finished some things on that list, so let's update it! While I'm at it, I'll check and see what else I have to add, including projects that never made the list but are now finished.

Back in 2016, I had 46 projects on that list - I know, atrocious, right? Well, brace yourself. There are 4 finishes from the UFO list, 3 spy quilts that weren't on the list, and the last two quilts that never made it on it.  So far, I 

To Do List August 1, 2023


To Do List for the Week of 8/1/2023

I'm going to try this again! I'm going to use a weekly to-do list to try and make some progress now that I have cut back my work hours (yay, moving towards retirement!)

My workspace is in a bit of a state. My son-in-law is doing all the trim work around the windows in my area, after we had new windows installed last year. He is also finishing the trim work around the doors that never got done a few years ago. So this week's focus is getting the room back in order once he is done (hopefully by the weekend


So this week's projects will be things I can work on either by hand in a different room, or things I can do in small spurts when he is taking a break (and I'm not working!). So here goes.

To do List for 8/1/2023

1.  Modified Rhododendron Trail (pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville): Prep binding while waiting for quilt to come back from the long-arm quilter.

2. On Ringo Lake (pattern by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville): Same as above

3. Country Garden Cross-Stitch: This project came to the surface in the last month, as my interest in cross-stitch revived.  I hope to complete all the greenery and flowers this week.

4. Easy Breezy (L&E pattern by Bonnie Hunter): This is a joint project that my 8-year-old granddaughter and I are working on together, for her. I need to cut neutral blocks for 30 more blocks so she can come over this coming long weekend and work on them. (More on that later!)

 She has made 34 blocks so far! She has chosen all the coloured fabrics herself, I cut a bunch of neutrals for her to choose from.

Bonus: Birdie Stitches (pattern by Corey Yoder): Embroider one block.

Birdie Stitches Block #2 – Coriander Quilts

I've only done this cheery little block so far (Corey's picture) back in 2011, so that means it's been sitting waiting for 12 years!!

In the meantime, I have been using the opportunity of shuffling everything to purge! Most stuff I donate, but I do try to sell a few things so I can recoup a little.

Here is the state of my room as it sat yesterday morning, going counter-clockwise:

(I took this picture before the announcement)

Everything is shoved every which way, and into my overflow room. 
Here is my current work-from-home station! 

I took these pictures so I can see the difference once everything is back the way I want it!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

The part of quilting I hate the most!

 I hate the de-threading process! I absolutely loathe it. But it is a necessary evil for a pretty quilt finish. I learned a lesson - never leave a flimsy too long or the loose threads get worse.

So how do I do it? First, I stream a good series on Netflix - this project warranted Bridgerton, Season 2 (my favourite!)

Then I assemble my tools - a good hot iron (love my Oliso!), sharp scissors, a lint roller, fine mist spray bottle (mine is a repurposed Febreze bottle), and light-weight fusible scraps for those edges that are a little to close. And in the case of this quilt, a cutting mat and ruler so I can trim the edge of those pesky on-point triangles.

I start from the top, and fold over one edge so that I can iron in sections, from the backside. I don't use water in my iron because I believe my irons last longer. First, I spray the section with a fine mist. Instead of buying the expensive ones at the quilt shop, I've discovered that air sprays from the grocery store use the same type of bottles. 

Once the section is ironed, I go over it with a lint roller and finally, with my sharp scissors trim off all the dangling threads. Sometimes I come across some seams that might be a little sketchy and narrow, so I use a little fusible to secure that seam. So far, that has worked out will for me.

This quilt is "On Ringo Lake" by Bonnie Hunter and it was her 2017 Mystery quilt. I started it back then, but only finished the top in February 2022 (not the longest finish, I'm afraid!). It seems each year I only did one step, until I finally put a push on it in 2021.

The sun was too bright today, but I love how the border matches the pool liner!

I also dethreaded "Rhododendron Trail", another Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt - thiIs one isn't nearly as old, only from November 2021.  I modified it a little and eliminate some narrow sashing and butted the blocks together. 

The sun blew out the colour in the picture above, but here is a better one on my bed.

I love how the border turned out!  Now they are off to the long-arm quilter!