A Quilting Blog

Named for my ancestor,
Thankful Day

Monday, July 16, 2012

More sewing room organization ideas.....

My room is relatively small - maybe 10 ft x 12 ft.  And I have a lot of STUFF that needs to be in there - 3 sewing machines, computer desk, and visible storage for fabric and tools etc.  So I wanted to put as much as I could on the walls to make more room in the already packed closet and floor space.  I found this toilet paper holder and mounted it on the wall to make a handy ruler and cutting board holder.  I holds rulers and boards up to about 14 inches wide.  Here it is  - on the wall!

I also have a small basket mounted on the wall close to my sewing machine to hold very small but handy rulers and cutting boards.

This shelf is a free internet swap find - a nice sized CD/DVD holder that I painted and now store the remainder of my fat quarters.  ( I know - I have a ridiculous amount of fat quarters)!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rethinking My Sewing Room
After carefully maneuvering over and around the stacks of tubs and projects on the floor and looking for fabrics I knew I owned but couldn't find, I decided that I'd come to the last straw; the end of my rope.  This room had become a stress point instead of a DE-STRESS area.  Some things HAD to change.
Number one - I have decided that I HATE STORAGE TUBS. At least - I greatly dislike storing things I need to find again in them. It requires - removing said tub(s) from the closet, going through them and then replacing the tubs - which are often heavy and stacked on each other. All of this to find some fabric that I may or may not use and thus may or may not have to replace into the tubs again to put away. So I have been brainstorming some solutions - to keep my fabrics and often used items handy and visible but neatly stored. My room, at this writing, is still a work in progress but I am sharing "the journey" ! Enjoy!

I organized all of my one-yard + lengths of fabric onto 7.5 x 11.5 pieces of cardboard that I cut from boxes and then stored them on the bookshelf.  Between the Bookshelf and the closet I hung a hanging shoe rack on a dowel I installed and all my half yard cuts are stacked here.

On the left of the bookcase (for now) is an old CD tower that the kids had - into which I placed a fat quarter in each of the CD slots.  A bit time more time consuming than just stacking the fq's but still easily accessible!

This is a CD storage rack I ordered online and then we mounted a shelf to hold it on the wall.  I LOVE this!  It easly holds about 850 fat quarters!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This post is more for myself than anything, to buoy my spirits on a day when I feel depression tugging at the edges of my conscious thoughts. Life is unpredictable. It seems to often challenge our happy successes and exploit our every weakness to the maximum. A favorite LDS saying is "He never said it would be easy, He just said it would be worth it"; but there are days, like today, when I have to force myself to believe it is "worth it".
When I sew, I often begin at the edge and blaze right through to the appointed stopping place. Many times I do not hit the reverse on the machine to backstitch and reinforce the edge stitches. In fact, I often purposely do not backstitch, because, should I need to rip out my stitching and start over, I might struggle against the backstitches and even rip the fabric. However, I have also found that the stitching at the edges will sometimes pull apart once it is even mildly stressed, if it isn't locked in place with a backstitch. Dilemma. When to backstitch and when to not.
And such it seems with my life. I think at the moment I have literally miles of life "stitching" to unravel and rip out so I can remake it. But it is all backstitched. Many things badly need reworked but I am mired in the mass of tiny stitches that seem to hold me in place, pinning me to the ragged consequences of my poor choices. I am struggling to free myself and start reconstructing but I am still held fast.
So, what is the path forward? Shall I allow despair to overcome me and simply throw the faulty seams and fabric away? Can I take scissors and surgically whack the offending seams? At this point I want to put the entire project in the closet and move away from the house to forget about it, but that isn't the right answer either. So maybe the answer is to step away, take a breather, and then change glasses and pick up my seam ripper again. Even though the project is huge and even though it may take the rest of my life. There is no one to help but God; it is a one person job for me. And if the frustration threatens to deliver doses of depression, I must keep the end goal in mind. And find daily joys along the way, somehow, to make it "easier" until "worth it" comes into completion.
And when I have ripped out all my offending seams I will carefully plan and re-sew my life with the wisdom I have painfully gained. And most definitely backstitch the edges.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Connections to the Past

The first quilt I ever made was in about 1985. I had made pieced and quilted pillows to give away for Christmas gifts and had sewn many little girl's dresses and little boys outfits. But my first full quilt wasn't attempted until my oldest child was about 8. Although torn and somewhat ragged now from years of use, it was a compilation of pinwheel blocks made from bright tropical prints and put together with royal blue solid for stripping and borders. We lived in the New Orleans, LA area when I made it. After tracing around my cardboard templates, cutting out and piecing the many triangles into their places, then adding the strips and borders, the quilt top went onto my grandmother's old quilting frames. I sat in the dining room after the children were in bed, night after night, hand quilting all alone with my thoughts and the night sounds that filtered in through the closed windows. It was a peaceful feeling and somewhere amid the stitches I began to feel as if I was connected by some invisible, eternal thread to my female ancestors. Their stitches had sewn together the generations of love and family that had been blessedly passed to me. And here sat I, carrying forward the love and devotion they passed along with my own stitching. What a privilege; what a feeling.
And about mid-quilt came the Hurricane. I don't remember the name of that hurricane. It was not one of particular note and it didn't strike us directly but rather caught us on one edge of its fury. Squalls. The word so aptly describes the experience: pelting rain, wind that shakes the windows, and more pelting rain. Throughout the ruckus and bluster outside I quilted quietly and peacefully inside until the rains were spent, the skies were cleared and I was done.
The name I gave to this quilt was "Louisiana Hurricane". But the memory of making it always brings me peace.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sew much to do - sew little time

Wow - working full time really gets in the way of my fun. I also had 3 grandchildren visiting for 1 1/2 months this summer so practically  no sewing got done - except for teaching the girls to make pillowcases.

I am backlogged now on baby quilts so I need to get busy - more grandchildren on the way!  Here is a photo of a Stomp Chomp Roar quilt I made for my grandson (pattern by Pam Manning).  After I made it - several of my friends ran out and bought her book and made quilts for their grandsons!

My favorite method of applique, which I used on this quilt, is using templar, a heat resistant plastic that allows you the starch and iron your fabrice around the template shape.  Then I love to hand stitch it down but I must admit, I may start doing a little more machine stitching from now on.  The backlog of projects is growing!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This quilt is Named "A Trip Down the Arkansas River" and was a block of the month quilt for Nature Programs I gave at the Delta Rivers Nature Center when I worked there.  Many of the blocks are my original designs and techniques range from piecing to applique and paper piecing.  This photo was featured in the Pine Bluff Commercial on Tuesday April 19, 2011.

If I didn't have to work full time....

Well, making a living and paying the bills definitely gets in the way of the really important things in life.  Can you tell I haven't had much time to sew recently?  That equates to base-line grumpiness of attitude for me.  At any rate, I finished my block testing last month for Volume 3 of Quiltmakers 100 blocks.  It was a lot of fun and used a variety of techniques that made it interesting.  I even got my name in the front of the book!

Although the craziness of my husband's impending research schedule has caused me to scale back other activities, such as block testing, I hope to be able to participate for further issues.

In addition I am currently working on Halloween 1904 by Blackbird designs and also getting ready to start on another dozen or so charm square tote bags.  Probably a few baby quilts too.

Recently one of my quilts was featured in our local paper because I gave a presentation to the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter and showed them my quilt.  I was actually substituting for my hubby who had a schedule conflict ... and they most heartily expressed after my presentation that they were very glad he wasn't able to make it!