Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Snuck in an August Finish!

Considering my sewing room was trashed most of August, I really had no hope that I would actually finish anything this month, but I did indeed finish this baby quilt this afternoon. I took this photo when it was still warm from the dryer. If I hadn't had the pink and brown strips already cut in my strip drawers, I wouldn't have even tried it. I had a pieced batting that was just the right size for this, so I actually used one of the battings on my large shelf in the closet (you know, the one I didn't clean ;-) If I get lucky with a few more baby quilts fitting the pieced battings, I'll be able to clear that shelf off faster.

I'm making another scooter themed quilt for DH's scooter club. I had just a bit of this frogs-on-scooters fabric left, all in odd sized pieces. I also knew I was going to have one extra applique block, so instead of starting with the front of the quilt, I started piecing the backing. I want to get rid of the rest of this frog fabric from the last quilt, and I had 10 appliqued blocks with scooters that I had planned on using in the border on the last scooter quilt, but I changed my mind. The other 9 applique blocks will go on the front of the quilt, but none of the frog fabric will be on the front, I'm just ditching it on the back. I will need to make the back bigger, this is small, but it was how much fabric I had. I've already chosen the fabric I will surround this block with to make the backing the correct size.

I finished cutting out the front of the scooter quilt today during baby's nap. Actually, I will have a little sub-cutting to do once I sew some strips together, but for the most part it is cut out. I 'think' tomorrow should be a good sewing day, but we'll see, a lot of times I think that, things come up and I don't sew much or at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Little of This, Little of That

Here is what is on my design wall, that impromptu baby quilt. I really need to get the blocks together. I did buy some border fabric for it, but just enough, not yards of it. It is a brown with pink paisley.

I decided after spending 3 solid weeks reorganizing my sewing room, I deserved some time to play with my new toy! I probably only used the Accuquilt Go for about a half hour, but I can already tell I'm going to like it. I made my girls watch me use it when they came over, I was so impressed with it. They thought it was cool, either that or they were just humoring me! I think it will make quick work of cutting my scraps, which is usually so time consuming. I find cutting yardage for a whole quilt fairly quick, but cutting up odd sized scraps very slow. I love using my scraps, as scrap quilts are my personal favorite, but cutting them is not always what I want to do.

I went to the Accuquilt website, and printed out this sheet. I have the mix and match 12" block set, and this sheet tells you a bunch of different blocks you can cut out with that set of dies. I was so impressed with the sheet, I printed out a second copy on cardstock to keep with my cutter and dies.

I also started quilting one of my basted quilts yesterday. I wanted to try the loop d loop pattern, and honestly, I don't think my mind thinks in loop d loops :-( This has been much harder for me than stippling or the fans I did. Even following a pattern is much easier for me. I'm not ripping the quilting out, so I'm just going to go ahead and continue. The quilt is just a large lap quilt, so I figure by the time I'm done with it, I'll either be better at it, or I'll decide to not try that pattern again for a while. I'm hoping as I get better at free motion quilting I will be able to conquer more and more patterns, and become proficient at several. Since I'm fairly pleased with how some of my other quilting has come out, I do think I can get better, but if a design is just not working for me, I figure there is not really a problem with leaving it until I have more experience. I don't see any reason to kick myself if I can't "get it" right now. Quilting is supposed to be fun, right?

I never know who is going to be here for dinner, and tonight I had seven here. DH was working, but I had all of my local kids and one of their friends. Fortunately, the last time I made lasagna, I made an extra one and put it in the freezer. DS the Elder was headed to the grocery store anyway, in between college classes, so he picked up garlic bread for me, and we were all set. I did take the time to make some dark chocolate and mint brownies.

DD#3 was here to tell me about her first prenatal appointment, and she and DSIL were so excited to hear the baby's heartbeat. Next month she gets an ultrasound, so we will probably find out who this little person is then.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Done Reorganizing for Now

I worked in the closet, but not on that big shelf that is a mess. I'm leaving that for another time. This is in my closet looking to the right. These shelves were in the closet before, but set up as organizers for a normal clothes closet. I detached them from the back wall, stacked them and moved them to one side. They are mostly holding fabrics I had set aside for quilt backings, but there are also a few groups of fabrics for specific projects in there too.

It's funny, I had set several fabrics aside for quilt backings, but I really never considered them when looking for a backing. I think they were just too buried before. I have about six quilt tops done right now that need backings, and I found backings for all but one top in this mix of fabrics. I'm hoping now that my batting will be stored in the same closet, I will automatically check these shelves first.

To the left in the closet is this set of shelves I moved in the closet at the beginning of this mess. They are now holding juvenile novelty fabrics, and a few fabrics I had set aside for backings.

This is what my closet looked like right before I shut the doors, with my rolls of batting sitting in the middle. The batting is not really heavy, just bulky, so it's not really a problem to move it when I need the fabric in there.

I had a lot more 1 yard or less pieces than I thought, so I reorganized my multimedia shelves yet again, and stuck the extra shirt backs and the novelty fabrics in this drawer. This little cabinet has 4 drawers. The top drawer holds all of my patterns, this is the second drawer, the third has interfacings and fusible webbing, and the bottom drawer is felt. If I get motivated to work on the small novelty pieces in another room, I can empty the bottom two drawers and store the small minibolts in them. I rarely use felt anymore, so I'd consider giving it away, or stashing it in the very top of the closet where it's hard to reach. The interfacings I could probably make room for on my workbench. I am pretty sick of folding fabric right now, so I doubt I'll be tackling that any time soon.

My workbench a.k.a. cutting area, is ready for duty. I have some scraps on top of it from my last couple of quilt tops waiting to be cut to to size for my scrap user system. The workbench drawers are holding a few garment projects that are cut out and not sewn. Most of the other containers under the bench have specific projects in them. This area will be in a constant state of change as projects get finished, and are replaced by new ones.

The sewing room is ready to sew now. There is one pile of heavyweight fabrics near the door, the ones I plan on using for grocery bags. I would like to get those at least cut out in the next week or so. I have no plans for keeping any of those scraps, so once they are cut out, my pile will be much smaller. I still have my scrap basket to deal with, as well as a partially filled trash bag I threw everything smaller than a fat quarter into while I was refolding everything. I think I am going to make that my babysitting days project, something to work on during nap time. Goodness knows, he wakes up every time I try to sew! I can play with my Accuquilt GO while baby sleeps. I need to pick a couple of patterns to cut for, so I make good use of my scraps.

I have worked some on that baby quilt that came up. I have the blocks done, but need to sew them together, and cut the border. I found a great fabric for the back in my pile of fabrics set aside for backings. How awesome is that? Maybe now that my sewing room is "done", I can get going on the fun stuff.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm getting there, sort of...

I ended up rearranging my small mini-bolts yet again. I found a lot more 1 yard or less pieces while I was folding my fabrics. Anything less than a fat quarter got thrown in a scrap basket, and hopefully I'll be playing with my Accuquilt Go! soon and cutting those scraps up. I had to move most of my shirt backs, to make room for the new fabrics. The small cabinet that used to be next to these shelves is now in another room with novelty fabrics in it. These plastic drawers have pre-cut strips in them. They are full right now, but I routinely use them and I usually cut a few strips every time I cut fabric, so I keep them full on purpose.

Here are my new shelves, full of beautiful fabrics. I love the way this looks! The box on top of the shelves has shirt parts in them, and I moved the shirt backs that didn't fit on the multimedia shelves anymore right next to them. Now most of my shirt pieces are together. I'd like to find something different to keep the shirt parts in, so I'll be looking for something else besides that box, preferably something in the house that I can just repurpose.

So now that that all looks lovely, am I done? NO! I told you at the beginning of this I was going to show the process, so here are the parts of the room I haven't worked much on.

The closet is still a mess. If you look at the black shelves in the closet, you'll notice there is now room on the shelves. I moved a lot of that fabric onto my new shelves. I am hoping to get quite a bit of my juvenile fabrics on these shelves. A lot of that pile of fabric is juvenile prints, so I'll be putting as much as I can onto mini-bolts and storing it in the closet. Anything that won't fit on these shelves will go into the small cabinet I moved into another room.

Here is my workbench area. It's actually not as bad as it looks. Most of that pile of fabrics is either muslin, which will fit in my small cabinet, or it is upholstery fabric I plan to use for making shopping bags. Most of the things on top of the bench will go in drawers below, but since I haven't moved the muslin and upholstery fabrics, I haven't put it away. Some of that muslin I will probably use to line the shopping bags, so if I just spend a day cutting out grocery bags, a lot of this fabric will be kitted to sew as I have time.

The workbench area I think I can get cleaned up in about a day. The closet will still take several days, and honestly, I don't know that I'll do the whole closet right now. That large shelf in the closet is a mess, and almost a third of what's on it is batting or quilt tops. I may just leave that large shelf until I use up the batting and get the quilt tops quilted. That will give me room to organize the other things on that shelf. I will work on the closet enough to get the fabric off the floor, and be able to close the doors. I really need to get back to sewing, because I have deadlines coming up. I will work on the room for just this next week, then it is time to get to some serious sewing. Whatever is not done by next weekend, will have to wait. I do think I can get enough done to at least close those closet doors ;-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Filling Up

I've pretty much finished with the neutrals and warm colors. Onto the cool colors! I'm really trying to show the process, to encourage other people that changes don't happen overnight. I'm sorry if some of you are just bored at watching my progress. It is a lot of work refolding all of my fabric, but I am loving the results.

I had something come up, and I need a baby quilt in pink and brown. With my stash in such a state, I was debating what to do, and I realized my strip drawers are still accessible even with my mess. I dug out enough pink and brown strips for a quick baby quilt, and I hoping to get it done, start to finish, this weekend. We'll see what happens. Tomorrow is a fun day with DH and DD's #2 & 3.

Yesterday our inground pool was removed, and now our backyard is just an ugly, dirt covered mess. We can't afford to landscape right now, and boy, would I love to be able to just make a giant quilt to cover up the dusty, hideous yard. I certainly have enough fabric to cover the yard, but it wouldn't last long in the AZ sun.

First things first, and we have several expensive repairs to do before landscaping gets top priority. Remember that old movie, "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long? Right now our house is a money pit, and for the next year or so it will be sucking down every dollar we can find. I will be glad to have my sewing room all organized, and have a safe place to retreat to when life is so chaotic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Shelves

Here are the new shelves for my sewing room, and I am thrilled with them! I looked at ones with frosted glass doors, but I liked the clear glass better. I'm not that worried about the fabrics fading, just getting all dusty, so these doors should do the trick. I'll have to put up another picture when I get more fabrics in there, they are going to be so pretty!

My old cabinets were much deeper than these shelves, which has it's pros and cons. The old cabinets held more fabric, I'm sure I won't be able to put everything that was in them on these shelves. The plus of the new shelves, besides looking much better and working better with my mini-bolt system, is that they are not as deep, and therefore make the room seem a lot larger.

I sold my quilting frame, and my Pattern Perfect set that went with it to two different women. I'm selling the stitch regulator separately, and I am waiting on one woman to decide if she wants it before I contact the next woman who asked about it. Selling some of my old toys leaves money and space for new ones, so I got these shelves and an Accuquilt GO! cutter. I have the cutter, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I am having a lot of problems with numbness in my hands, amongst other places, so rotary cutting has been a bit of an adventure lately. I'm hoping the Accuquilt GO! will at least help me get a handle on my scrap basket. I found a great deal on a bundle so I got several extra dies with the cutter. I really want to play with my new toy, but I am not letting myself play until my new shelves are at least half filled with my mini-bolts.

I ended up having about 10 people here for lunch on Saturday, and DH came home from his scooter rally a day early. I don't think I sewed at all on Saturday.

I had been planning on sewing all day on Sunday, but since DH was home, he put my shelves together, so I had to move all of my fabric again! Nothing like having to move something over and over again to make it really sink in about how much you have. Now that I am refolding every piece of quilting fabric I have, and it seems like it is taking forever, I really get it. I am going to stick out the no-buy challenge for the rest of this year (it ends November 1st), but I am going to do my own challenge for next year. I tend to do a lot of themed quilts, and I hate having to send in penalty squares if I buy a focus fabric that I use right away.

I think my personal challenge is going to be something along these lines. No buying fabric for backings at all, until I can fit my quilting stash on my new shelves. I don't have any extra-wide fabrics in my stash at all, so that means piecing all of my backings, but hey, backings use up a lot of fabric, so it will help me get to my goal faster. The other part of my personal challenge is going to be no buying fabric unless I will be using it on my next project. This gives me the freedom to buy new fabric, but since it has to be used right away, it won't be stashed. I have gotten pretty good about only buying what I need for a project, but sometimes I just really want something I don't have. My stash is not really that varied, I have a lot of yardage, but not the variety I'd like.

I finally got the rest of the flannel 2 1/2 inch squares sewn into four patches. I did that during baby's nap time today. I have baby again tomorrow, so we'll see what I have time for. I'm hoping to finish putting my red and pink fabrics onto mini-bolts. I decided to refold by color, since that's how I shelve it. The shelves are bolted to the wall, so I can load them from the top and it's not a problem. I didn't want anyone to think I might get crushed my my own fabric stash ;-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Busting Flannels

Remember this picture from last month? I cut up all of my flannels into burp cloths and specific sizes, and my goal was to have it all used in the next few months? I've been sewing up the burp cloths as I get scraps of batting large enough to use for them, almost half of those are done. In this pan were my four inch squares, 2 1/2 inch squares, and 1 1/2 inch strips. I haven't messed with the four inch squares at all yet, but as for the others, I've made progress.

I had been wanting to make Chunky Churndash blocks for a while now. I saw them on www.quiltville.com quite a while ago, and was just waiting for the right project. I think it will be a great baby quilt pattern, and since most of my flannels were pastels, it was time. I started out making the matching blocks, where the four corners matched the connecting lines. When I was out of enough pieces to do that, I switched to contrasting corners.

I ran out of contrasting corners that I was happy mixing with the centers, and I had odd amounts of several connecting blocks left. I decided to make some paddle wheel blocks with the extras, starting with four matching pieces when I had that many. When I ran out of fours, I switched to the two color version, and my last couple had all mismatched blades. I am completely out of flannel 1 1/2 inch strips.

I still had more squares left, so I decided to make four patches, starting with matching fabrics, and eventually getting to the one on the end with all mismatched squares. I only have a few more four patches to make to be out of 2 1/2 inch squares. I'm down to the brights, which I had the least of anyway. I wanted to finish them tonight, but I'm just too tired. I should get a chance to finish them tomorrow, as it will probably take less than an hour to finish up the rest of the four patches.

Wondering how my sewing room is coming along? I've been rearranging things on my pegboard, and making a few more mini-bolts, but with my nephew in town and babysitting multiple days, not much else on that front. I did go get new shelves, and the next batch of corrugated plastic is here. Unfortunately, DH is not here to cut my plastic or set up the shelves, he is at a scooter rally. Depending on what goes on this weekend, I'll either work on making mini-bolts, or on quilting some of these quilts I have basted, or neither. Sounds like I could have quite a bit of company tomorrow, so Sunday may be my only big sewing day of the weekend.

Next week, when DH is back, he will probably get my plastic cut, and get the shelves together. It will be so good when it's all done, but for now, it means moving almost all of my fabric yet again! The fabric really has to be on the mini-bolts to fit well on the new shelves, so it could be a while before things are back to "normal" in the sewing room. I do have a few projects I really need to work on, so I'll need to get the room somewhat functional pretty quickly. The flannels blocks I've been working on, are just to give me a break from all the reorganizing, as well as getting the flannel out of my way!

As far as cooking goes this week, I had one dinner for 13, and 6 for breakfast this morning. Tomorrow is an unknown, so I could be cooking for a bunch, or not... either way is fine, I have ideas to feed a crowd or if there is only a couple we'll eat leftovers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Small Mini-bolts Done

My multimedia shelves are now filled with multicolored fabrics! I used the magazine backing boards for this small sized mini-bolts, and I'm very happy with the results. Personally, I don't think the magazine backing boards are strong enough for the larger size mini-bolts, but it works great for this.

Just in case anyone is debating on doing this, I'll give you an idea of how many I used of everything. For the magazine backing boards, I bought 100 Life magazine sized acid-free boards.
I could get five of the small sized mini bolt forms from each sheet, so I had 500 total. If you look at the second shelf down, you'll see the extra boards I didn't use (maybe 150, possibly less), all of that white area next to the red fabrics. I could actually fit more fabric onto the shelves, they are not packed that tightly. I put fabrics 1 yard or less on these. If I had more fat quarters, I would have used a lot more boards, since the fat quarters take up less space. Most of these fabrics were about 1/2 yard, with at least a couple dozen of them being a full yard. If you are interested in duplicating this idea, perhaps this would give you an idea of how many magazine backing boards you'd need to start with. As I use more fabrics, the amount of boards I need will change, so I am just fine with having extras. I also got a bulk price by buying 100, so even if I had purchased exactly the right amount, the cost would have been similar. BTW, the multimedia shelves are 32" wide, and 45" high. That's another thing to consider, which size shelves to buy.

I just spent 10 hours watching baby, and he was good as gold today. I actually wrapped a few dozen of these mini-bolts while he played on the floor of my sewing room. Ah, the wonder of empty thread cones!

I am hoping to be able to make some more of the larger mini-bolts tomorrow. I've used about half of the corrugated plastic I bought for the first round. I ordered some more today. I'm hoping to get my new shelves later this week, and the mini-bolts will fit perfectly on them. DH had no problems cutting the corrugated plastic, and it didn't even take very long as he cut several sheets at once. I am so excited with all the changes I'm making! It will be my own personal wonderland when I'm done!

Tonight I am going to mend a few things. I have a couple of quick projects that I can then get out of my sewing room :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Oops, Never Posted the Finished Quilt!

Now that DD#2 went back to her house, I could take this quilt off the guest bed and get a photo of it finished! Well, DH actually took the picture for me ;-) At any rate, since I hadn't posted a photo of the quilt completed, here you go. The quilt is sideways in the picture. It is one BIG quilt, and can fit a queen sized bed with no bedskirt needed. It is like queen bedspread sized. I only have scraps of Hawaiian fabric left now, this used almost all I had.

I've still been busy making my mini-bolts. I think I am going to get the shelves I was debating on. If I'm going to rearrange all my fabric, I might as well do it right. I can use the cabinets I have now elsewhere in the house. Of course this means moving all that fabric again! If moving all this fabric this many times doesn't get it into my head that I have enough for lots of quilts, nothing will.

Tomorrow I'm babysitting, but I'm hoping to be able to snag some working time in my sewing room too. I'd like to get the sewing cabinet cleaned off enough to be functional. I could use an hour or two of piecing to save my sanity!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Little Progress

I've only done a bit on my small mini-bolts. I love to use men's shirts for quilting, so I'm starting with the bottom couple of shelves, putting the backs of the cut-up shirts on the tiny bolts. The other pieces from the shirts are in a box, or already cut up in my precut scraps. I did go through my blacks/browns and got out the less than 1 yard pieces, and I've got some of those on these shelves too.

I finished refolding the last of my cotton bolts onto mini bolts while dinner was in the oven tonight. I can't believe how much space it saved me to get those cardboard bolts of of my way! My recycle bin is full of cardboard bolts, and now all of my fabric from the bolts fits on this smaller set of shelves I put in the closet. I still have a lot of work to do in the closet, but I'm getting there.

I didn't get as much done today as I had hoped, because I ended up babysitting again. I have a lot of babysitting days coming up, so I'll just do things as I can. I just found out my nephew is coming to town next week, so I'm sure there will be some big family dinners to prepare too. It will be so good to see him!

I am debating buying some new shelves for my fabric. I have some money put aside and it's almost enough to buy what I'm looking at. The cabinets I currently have are a bit too deep to work well with the mini bolts, but I'm not sure I want to spend any more money right now. I am loving the mini bolt idea, and I think this will be a great long term solution for me. I am an avid reader, so I think the idea of my fabric sitting on my shelves like books really works for me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day Four

I needed to get the old cutting table out of the room, so I had to clear it off and move everything. I'm trying to get my workbench (new cutting area) settled, but I just can't do everything at once. That is one of the reasons I have been posting everyday. Not that I get so much done, but to show the process. Eventually, I am hoping to have this area all neat and tidy.

The plastic containers under the workbench on the floor are new, and they are the perfect size for this space. I am trying something new for me, and putting a different project in each container, so these containers should always have new contents as things get finished. I always have multiple projects going at once, but I'm hoping having them in containers will help keep my surfaces a bit neater.

None of my old plastic drawers will fit under the workbench like they did under my other cutting table. I piled up most of my old plastic drawers between the workbench and cabinets. The top drawers may look precariously balanced, but they aren't. They are wedged between the workbench and cabinet and aren't going anywhere.

This area is the one giving me the most problems. I had considered moving my large sewing cabinet under the window, but this room is just not very big, and it didn't really help much. I was debating on setting up the Brother again, and for now, I decided against it. I bought the multimedia shelves, so I could put the small sized mini bolts on them, and I think at this stage it is a better use of space. I don't use the Brother that often, and I can always use the Bernina or Juki instead. If I really want to use the Brother, I can set it up elsewhere in the house.

I had originally wanted to take the small cabinet out of the sewing room, but for now I need the storage space. If I move that bucket, the drawers in the corner do open all the way, so it is all functional like this, just not my ideal. That's the thing about rearranging, I may have an idea of where I want things to go, but it doesn't always work. The great thing is, I can move things around later if it's not working for me.

Have you ever looked at before and after pictures, and just didn't consider the time it took to get from before to after? While you are rearranging, it can be so discouraging, and the domino effect always takes place. The whole "to move this you must first move these other three things" can drive us all crazy. I am hoping by showing the process, I might encourage someone who has been putting things off, because they couldn't get it done in a day. I can't get this done in a week, and I know it. I'm OK with the time table, even though I know a couple of projects will be rushed next month because of the delay.

I doubt I will post tomorrow. I'll be babysitting all day, and any time I have to work on the room, I will only be making mini-bolts, either the small size or the larger size. I moved all of my large bolts of fabric into the kitchen so I can work at the kitchen table. This is definitely not a situation that will work for long, so I'll be busily refolding fabric any chance I get tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Musical Bookshelves

Here are my quilting and craft books and magazines on their new bookshelves. You know the dark brown bookshelves that were in the sewing room? Those are now in my bedroom with DVD's and such on them.

These shelves were in my bedroom, and now they are in the hallway. My quilting books were on a different set of bookshelves in the hallway, but that bookcase is shorter so it's going to be used in the sewing room closet.

It got even more complicated because this set of shelves wouldn't fit where the old ones were in the hallway, so I had to move yet a third set of shelves and swap their locations in the hall. That is all I got done today on the reorganizing, and I'm exhausted! Dusting everything on three sets of shelves got my allergies going, and it was a lot of stuff to go through. The real plus is I actually went through everything on all the shelves, and got rid of a bunch of stuff and organized things better. (I had more books on free motion quilting than I thought)

This was DH's project for me, and he's not quite finished. I decided to get a workbench to use as a cutting table. We went to Harbor Freight this morning, and I bought this workbench. I picked this one after looking at several places online. This one has a light under that top shelf, pegboard on the back, and extra outlets on the side. The best part- it was on sale for $99 which made it cheaper than almost everything else I looked at, including the tables made for cutting. DH says it's pretty sturdy, but as a warning, the directions were awful and he ran out nuts and bolts before it was finished. Tomorrow he'll make a trip to the hardware store and get it finished. All in all, it still looks like it will end up being a good buy.

While I was at Harbor Freight, I bought some rotary blades, called carpet cutting blades there. They are the equivalent of 45 mm blades, but they are only 2 blades for $1.49. On Stashbusters everyone has been raving about them, so I figured they were worth a try. I also got a pegboard hook assortment. The workbench came with some hooks, but I needed more hooks for the pegboard I already have up in my sewing room. I'm hoping with the different types of hooks, I can hang up some things I haven't been able to, like my Martelli rotary cutters.

Dinner for 7 tonight. I tried something new. I cooked a turkey in my Crock Pot (or slow cooker). After doing a bunch of internet research, I found directions for cooking a turkey on high in a Crock Pot. I read cooking a turkey on low is dangerous because the temperature doesn't get high enough to kill the bacteria, even though the meat will cook.

I had a 9.5 pound turkey, and a 7 qt. Crock Pot. The recipe I read said it would take about 5 hours for that size turkey on high, but my Crock Pot runs a bit hot, and it was done in 3 1/2 hours. I used a meat thermometer to make sure it was done. The skin did not brown, but the meat was moist and yummy. I just had DH discard the skin and carve it up before it made it to the table, so no one saw the pale skin but us.

I love using my Crock Pot when I'm busy, or anyday in the summer. It was well over 100 degrees today, and I cooked a turkey without heating up the house! How cool is that? Even cooler that that, tomorrow we're all going out to dinner to try a new restaurant so I won't have to cook dinner at all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reorganization Day 2

The artist portfolio I ordered last week got here today. I've collected several quilting stencils now, and storage was stumping me. I was keeping them in the box they came in, but they were hard to look through. I am very happy with how they fit in the artist portfolio, and now I don't have to worry about them getting bent.

Yesterday, these cabinets were on the other end of this wall. It seems an insignificant change to move cabinets down on the same wall. I did this so that my new cutting area can go over by the closet. These two cabinets are full of fabric, and I had to empty them to move them, then refill them when they were moved. I'm tired now ;-)

Eventually, I hope to refold all the fabric in these cabinets, putting them onto mini-bolts, but for now, I just needed things up and out of my way. When everything is rearranged, I can refold the fabrics one shelf at a time, and not be all stressed out trying to do everything at once.

I decided that reorganizing the closet first really won't work. With everything from the closet dumped into the room, I had no room to do anything else. So the first thing I did today is stick everything I could in the closet, so I had room to move those cabinets.

This is what is dumped on the floor today. If you look at yesterday's pics, you can see I had a set of brown shelves in the corner with all my bolts on it. Next to that were all the plastic drawers piled up. The brown shelves are in the hallway for now, and I'm not thinking they will be coming back in the sewing room. All the fabric on bolts will be refolded onto mini-bolts, and probably be stored in the closet when I get that done. The plastic drawers will stay in the room, but the location is iffy.

I came up with today's plan of attack last night. I knew I was babysitting for a while, and I had 8 people here for dinner, so I wasn't sure how much I would get done. I actually did more than I thought I would.

Tomorrow's plan? I'm not sure. I need to go shopping for my new cutting table. I picked it out online, but I don't know if the store has them in stock or if I'm going to have to order it online. That will have a huge influence on what I end up doing tomorrow. I think I'll spend at least part of my time taking the fabric off of the big bolts and putting them onto the mini-bolts. It takes longer to do one that I thought it would, but it takes up a lot less space once it's done. I would imagine I will get faster at making the mini-bolts.

That's the status of my mess today! It's a no holds barred "Yes, I have a lot of stuff" expose' on myself!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Before-ish Pics

Standing in the hallway, looking in my sewing room.

There's a floor?

The cutting center or sorts

Still no curtains on those windows?

The closet, which I've already started rearranging.

So has the heat gotten to me or what? My sewing room is normally pretty neat, and I rarely have to search for much in there, so what is the deal with the disaster?

I'm blaming it on changes of plans on many levels, and the domino effect. For months I have known that August was not going to be a good month for quilting. After all, I was supposed to be going to South Africa to see DD#1, DSIL, and DGS. I mentioned a while back that our trip was canceled due to DD#2 needing surgery. No one's fault, these things happen.

DD#2 is recovering nicely, and without the surgery nothing would have improved. The docs were wrong about her main problem, but when they got in there, what they did find was fixable, so we're happy! She has another issue they confirmed, so she'll be starting some new meds, but overall it was good news. I've been trying to baby her a bit, as she's recovering at our house. There is so much relief here though, it's all been a good thing.

Now, DH did not cancel his vacation time, so he has three weeks off. Today he cut all the corrugated plastic I bought to make those mini-bolts of fabric I wanted to do. I just made my first minibolt, but with my room such a mess, I don't really have anyplace to go put it :-)

Here's the thing; I had several issues I wanted to change in my sewing room.

1) I don't like my cutting table because it's bowed pretty badly.
2) I don't like storing my batting in another room.
3) I feel too crowded when I sew on the Brother.

Now, since I was already going to be rearranging all of my fabric, wouldn't this be the perfect time to fix the other problems? I just bought two new rolls of batting because I was out (one poly [yes, I know I don't like poly but I keep having people ask for it], one cotton). With two new rolls of batting to deal with, it was the perfect time to deal with issue number 2.

Issue number 1 is an ongoing irritant, and although I don't use the Brother (issue #3) that often, while I'm rearranging things, I may as well take it into consideration.

The batting thing only really had one solution. I read about someone who hung their batting from the ceiling, and that's an excellent idea. Unfortunately, that excellent idea is not an option in our house because of the slanted ceilings that are not high enough to hang batting from. Putting the batting in the closet was really the only way to bring it into my sewing room, it was the only place large enough.

The thing is the closet was already full! That is how the mess you see in the pics started, so this is really the beginning of the story. I was dumping stuff out of the closet, so I could rearrange and re-evaluate it all.

I have some ideas on how to fix the other problems, but I won't ruin it for you. I will just do a blow by blow, here is my mess, and here's what I'm doing about it series. Hope it doesn't bore everyone too much, and you never know, you might find an idea or two!