Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Favorite Quilting Tools

The Stashbuster Topic of the Week is Your Favorite Quilting Tool. Mine is obvious, the rotary cutter, but not just any rotary cutter. The OMNIGRID ROTARY CUTTER. The pressure of cutting opens the blade, and when you release the pressure, the blade is hidden again. My daughter bought me one a year or so ago, because I was always leaving the blade open and getting knicks (or dropping on my toe). Now, the only holes are from the new puppy that is teething!

Now, if we could only get Omnigrid to make a 60mm rotary cutter. Currently I'm using Clover's 60mm, but I still forget to shut the blade.

The 60mm cutters are great! When I went to Judy Neimeyers class the first week of February, she was cutting through 40 layers of fabric, and cut out that Raindrops quilt 'entirely' in less than 20 minutes!!! I was certainly impressed. Of course, you do need a sharp blade to do that. I do try to stock them in my ebay store, but the 60mm blades keep getting backordered from the distributor.

I am a sucker for trying (and having) all the new and latest tools. The stiletto is way up there on the list as well. I've got the brass one like what Elenor Burns uses. Tried other items, but it is still the best.

Oops, the studio is calling me. I need to finish quilting some customer quilts for our quilt show that is just around the corner. I think they would like some time to bind it before they turn them in on Saturday.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Project Started.

It was very inspiring to go up and start a new project this evening. I used fabrics from my stash. I had sketched out a simple design from an antique quilt that I had seen a few years ago (but was too pricey for me to purchase). The colors are similar, and I'll post more on that later. Mostly pinks & browns, and indigo blues and shirtings.
I'm almost done getting my studio organized. Here are a couple of pictures to show progress. The first picture shows one of my favorite antiques. It's an Arrow Shirt Display case that I bought at the Tulsa Flea Market about 15 or 20 years ago. Not sure if can tell, but it's mostly filled with 30s/40's reproduction fabrics and sorted by color.
The second picture shows my Gammill in the foreround. Customer quilt is loaded and I'll start on it first thing in the morning.
Time for bed, it's hard work cleaning, organizing and hanging about the house all day!

More Progress - Thread is out of the Bathroom!

Finally got hubby to put up somes shelving that I've had for a little while. Really great as I was storing thread in a box in the shower stall in the bathroom in my studio. (don't generally take showers up there, so it was handy- but not easy to get to).

Anyway, have now emptied 2 mores boxes, and found logical places to put a bunch of other stuff.

The other thing I've been organizing is my fabric. The batiks are all together, but not sorted. The 30's/40's type of fabric are in a antique ARROW SHIRT display chest. (Really cool, about 10 drawers with glass fronts, and about 6 foot tall). The solids and tone on tones (blenders) are stacked on a shelf - by color- in the closet. Batting is easier to get to. (Two most used on the bars under the table), the rest in the closet. Flannels are sorted and in their own area. Projects are all labeled and in plastic see through boxes or project bags and neatly on shelves.

Also extended the anti-fatigue mats under the table, so that I don't keep scooting it back and forth (depending on if I working from front or back of table).

And last but not least, got my design wall up! I think I am most excited about that. It's not exactly where I would have liked it, but it IS up, and I can start using it instead of the floor.

I have the next quilt loaded for tomorrow. So, my reward for all this hard work this weekend is to take at least an hour (rather than 15 minutes) to sew on whatever I want!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Success! A Week of Not Buying!

It's been a week of not buying any fabric! I've been to the New Quilt Shop TWICE - with other quilting buddies and just watched as they bought stuff, and I didn't! What a powerful feeling. Must admit to fondleing quite a few lucious pieces tho! :) I did buy a couple of rolls of batting yesterday, but that's a good thing as I'm using that to finish up quilts!

A week ago Friday, as mentioned in earlier post I took a class from Judy Neimeyer. Since then, I have worked my 15 minutes (OK, more like a couple of hours) a day and have been working on my Conestoga Star quilt. I think I have overcome my fear of paper piecing, and was actually enjoying it! I now have 84 of the 160 wedges required for the quilt completed! Whoo Hoo. I took them to Bee yesterday, and removed the paper while chatting.

Today, am getting hubby to put up some shelves I got at IKEA, and will spend 30 minutes or so on my continual project of getting organized in my studio. Almost ready to post some pictures of that! (Usually when I think of pictures, the camera is downstairs and on the other side of the house).

Now it's on to housecleaning, as I've got 3 customers coming over today to pick up quilts.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Working on UFO's

After taking Judy Neimeyers class (Raindrops - at Quilts By the Bay in Galveston) I am no longer afraid of Paper Piecing! It finally clicked. So, I finished up 10 ( of 30) of the large rings, and then decided to work on the CONESTOGA STAR paper piecing project that was really eating my lunch at the retreat last fall.

I worked on the wedges last night and the day before. I now have 84 of the little puppies done. (need at least 100 to do 25 blocks). My goal is to finish piecing the wedges before the retreat March 30-31.
However, I do need to be working on my customer quilts, as we have our quilt show March 9-10 and I imagine that they would like some time to put the binding on before they have to turn them in. So I will get my butt in gear and work on Gail's StashBox quilt.
Also added more projects to my lists at the side. They are not necessarily listed in order.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Admitting the problem!

As part of my resolution to reduce the stash, I've started listing the UFO's and project ready to quilt in the sidebar. These are the one I could think of right off.

I'm breaking them down into 4 categories for now. More if I feel the need.
1) WIP - Actively working on
2) UFO - Unfinished (for awhile)
3) RTQ -Ready to Quilt
4) HST - Haven't Started Yet

Tomorrow (Monday) is a new week, and a new routine. Last week instead of working on customer quilts, I did clean my studio. Wish I had taken a before picture, but . . . maybe I'll take an after picture. Still have lots of ideas of ways to store more stuff. Hmmm, isn't that part of the problem? I have too much stuff??? LOL.

Already broke some of my good intentions. Not my fault though. I signed up for Judy Neimeiers "RAINDROPS" class last fall, and I bought the fabric at Festival in Nov 2006. This was a GREAT class last Friday at Quilts by the Bay in Galveston. However, it resulted in another project underway. WAIT, I get to move it from HSY to UFO!!!

Saturday was a Birthday Quilt Adventure for Ann, and we visited 2 quilt shops that I had never visited before in Montgomery TX and a great store in Conroe TX. Didn't buy as much as I usually do! Ooops, I did buy a tablerunner kit.. Darn it, need to add that to the HST list. :(

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stashbusters! Long Overdue!!!

Recently joinged the Yahoo group Stashbusters. I stopped counted my UFOs as I neared 100. We recently moved, and I have fabric and projects in rubbermaid containers, boxes, bags and in every nook and cranny.

My New Year resolution was to get more organized and get control of my stash and UFOs (UnFinished Objects).

Well it's now Feb 1, and I've made some progress; but have a loooonnnnggg way to go.

I've ramped up my eBay store and have started putting together some Fabric Kits for auction, starting at .99 each. We'll see how that goes. Mostly I'm starting with flannel, in kits that will make nice lap size throws.

Cleaned up and organized my studio! Wow, was that an undertaking! Found a lot more stuff that I plan to auction off as well. Look for some nice LOTS of cross stitch items. Already sold several lots of longarm thread. Still have a couple to go. Think they would do better if I didn't put them all out at once.

Reorganized the eBay room! Have found all sorts of new quilting supplies that I just didn't have time to list, and am now getting those listed. Most of these are listed at about 10% off. Have you ever noticed that all the 'How to sell on ebay' reports tell you to sell things, but not how to do it efficiently? Maybe I'll write an ebook on how to do that! LOL

Next room to tackle is the Master Bedroom closet. Basically the whole floor is covered with shoes. I'm going to IKEA and see if I can find some shoe racks and clear those out. Then I'm going to use those Space Bags that I bought several years ago, and actully put stuff in them! (Not a lot of need for wool clothes here in Houston!). Also, since I've been losing so much weight, I'm going to purge those clothes that are getting too big.

To reduce (or limit) the growing stash, I'm really going to limit the new purchases of fabric. That INCLUDES buying BOLTS of fabric for personal use!
Here are the new rules:

1- I will SHOP my stash first!
2- I will stop browsing the vintage quilt tops on ebay
3- I won't be afraid to use the 'last' of a fabric.

Whew!~ that's enough to start with.