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Continued Attempts at Organization

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Last week I didn’t really do much sewing. I meant to, it just never seemed to happen. Partly, it was because I kept pondering the latest Project QUILTING challenge. I wanted to make something for the challenge, but could never settle on what to do. By Tuesday I had narrowed it down to two choices and made the mistake of asking my husband what I should do. By now I should know not to ask for the input of others because if they don’t like what I am going to do, it completely throws me off my game and ruins whatever small amount of confidence I have mustered. (It is time to vote by the way, check out what folks made and place your votes!)

Hubby liked one of the two things I had in mind, but of course the one he disliked was the one that I felt I had the right fabric for. I could never find fabric that made me happy for the other. By the time I gave up on finding the right fabric combination for my project, it was too late to start on the other idea and too late to find something new to make. Curse my indecision and lack of self confidence!

I haven’t been completely idle though. Thursday night I sat down to dig through my stash, thinking it was the last night I could start anything with a chance of finishing it. Somehow searching through my fabric stash turned into organizing said fabric stash. Or at least starting to. Lately, mostly thanks to Project QUILTING, I have realized more than once that I am starting to lose track of what I have in my stash.

My ever-growing stash is still very meager compared to many, but it was beginning to become unmanageable. The stash occupied multiple small plastic bins, and had no order whatsoever. I really need to get my stash organized to make it easier to find what I need, and I want to get it to a point where I can see everything without sorting through bins.

First night’s accomplishment

The first attack was aimed at the fat quarters, which were spread throughout the bins of fabric. As I sat catching up on TV shows, I uniformly folded fat quarter after fat quarter for hours… and still had more to go by the time midnight rolled around. As I folded them, I tried to sort them according to color and tried to keep like things together – prints, solids, batiks, homespun/reproduction, etc.

They ended up roughly 4″ x 6.25″ folded, which means I think they may fit perfectly on the Elfa media racks. This would mean I could make use of the space on the closet doors to store fabric, or maybe even hang the racks on the wall. I want to try out that theory out soon. My other thoughts for storage include using a small book shelf or adding shelves to the closet. For now though, they are all sitting in a plastic bin. I also folded my fat eighths and placed them in the same bin, although I left those grouped by coordinating fabrics since there weren’t many of them. Next I will have to figure out what to do with my other yardages, perhaps I will try some fabric boards for those. I think I have done enough organizing to keep me happy for now though.

FQ CollectionNow that I have all the fat quarters in one place I was able to do a quick count, and it looks like I have around 136. Wow… that is more than I had expected! Too bad there aren’t enough of those that coordinate with one another to actually make a quilt. At the rate I seem to collect them though, I am sure one day I will have many a quilt hiding in my fat quarters.

When I wasn’t folding fabric over the past few days, I was working on my Under the Veranda block. I thought I would finish it last night, but when my columns didn’t line up I discovered the hard way that I cut two of my blocks too small. Unfortunately they were both pieces with appliqué, which means it wasn’t a quick fix. I will have to redo everything from the cutting of those two background pieces to the tracing and cutting of the semi-circles, and then the blanket stitching on the appliqué before I can put the blocks together again.

It was already way too late in the night when I got to that point though, so I just ripped out the offending block and will have to fix it next time I sit down at the machine. You can see the mistake in this photo, just look at the difference in space above the round appliquéd section in the lower left block (labeled “I”) compared to all of the others. You can clearly see that it is about 1/4″ smaller than the rest. And of course, I did not discover this until I had already sewn the sashing to either side of the too-short column and was in the process of joining the next column. Now I get to redo the two appliquéd pieces, and piece some more fabric to my sashing on either side of that column to make up for cutting it too short. Sigh. I suppose it could have been worse though.

On a brighter note though, I will be taking another long arm class on March 21! An APQS show room opened about six months ago, and they also do long arm rentals. You may remember I took the long arm certification class at My Sewing Shoppe not long ago, but I have to take another class to be certified at this other store. It is completely understandable that they would want to train you on their machines before turning you loose with an ungodly expensive piece of equipment, so no complaints here. Plus it means I get another two hours of long arm time that I can probably use for my Japanese Water Garden quilt, and it is always good to have more instruction from a different point of view.

Luckily, the owner seems pretty cool and is giving me a discount on the class since I already did the one at My Sewing Shoppe. It is normally $100 for the class and $25 for the zipper kit, but she is only charging me $50 for the class since I already have zippers from the other class. Pretty cool of her. Plus, it sounds like she will teach me more about the use of the machines than My Sewing Shoppe did, which makes me happy since I feel most comfortable when I know how things work. My Sewing Shoppe mostly seemed to want to set the machine up for me, and then basically just have me hit the start/stop button. The whole time my brain was screaming, “But, what do the BUTTONS do?!”

And the best part? They have tons of donation quilts that I can practice on. That is truly exciting! First, I get to help with quilts for charity (something that has been on my list of ‘want-to-dos’ for a while now) and second, it completely allays my worries about never being able to practice without completing a quilt first.  If you had read my Japanese Water Garden posts, you will know that the only reason I threw that one together was for long arm practice before tackling my big Elegance quilt. Now my only worry will be finding the time to practice.

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