Monday, February 27, 2012

A Creative Mess

I have routinely had people comment or email me and tell me how neat my sewing room is. My stash is well organized, just the way I like it, but when I am in the middle of a project, or several projects in this case, it looks like this.

What a mess, right? There are a lot of things in this mess, my Orca Bay quilt top, most of the pieces for the pink/black beast, including the backing fabric for it, pieces to the two quilts I cut out yesterday, and some fabrics for the parts I haven't cut out yet. There are some finished blocks for the penguin quilt (finished except for eyes of course) Some fabrics that need to be cut for sashing for my Quiltmaker test block quilt. Oh, and in the far corner of the sewing cabinet, behind my Juki, is some fabric I still haven't gotten put away after rejecting it for Orca Bay. I think there is only one piece left, I've been working on putting stash away regularly. Oh yeah, there are some strips to go into my strip drawers too. I have been cutting so much, and my personal policy on fabric is that if there is less than a foot of it left, it gets cut up for the scrap system. I have a couple pieces of really rare novelty fabrics I break that rule for (like the 8 inches of Space Invaders fabric I have) but for most fabrics, they get stripped for the scrap user system at less than 12 inches.

Obviously, I won't be using my Juki any time soon, but I wasn't planning on it anyway. I need to get some piecing done before I start quilting. I only quilt on the Juki, I piece on my Bernina. The Bernina cabinet looks exactly the same as it did in the last post. I spent Saturday cutting, not sewing.

These are all pieces for the two quilts I was cutting out. The stacks aren't even sorted by quilt, but one will be mostly red, white, and blue and one will be mostly burgundy and green. The piles don't look that big in this photo, but some of them are. To give you an idea of what I cut, I needed 102 2 inch finished blue/white HST's, and 80 green/cream flying geese.

I cut all of these pieces out with my Accuquilt Go cutter, and oh, how I love that thing! I can cut 36 2 inch HST's with one pass through the cutter, and they are all perfect with no dog ears to be trimmed. How great is that? I actually planned these quilts based on which Go dies I have. I still have more to cut out for both quilts, but I am done what I can use the Go cutter for. I need to cut some sashing and borders, but I don't have any of the strip dies, and both quilts will have appliqued areas which I will cut by hand. I also need to rotary cut four cowboy boot blocks, which have some weird sized pieces. The Go cutter will never be able to cut all my pieces for me, but it sure saves wear and tear on me when I can use it.

I didn't figure out yardage until I was getting ready to cut each size piece. I ended up having to make several substitutions from what I had pulled. Usually I am making multifabric quilts, so if I run out of green, I just grab another one. These quilts need to be more cohesive than that, and I wanted all the fabrics for each unit to match. This was one of those times I was really thankful my stash is so well organized. It took time to reselect fabrics, but not that long since I could go right to the color I needed and see what I had available. I usually pull from the small minibolts first, which are 1 yard and less pieces. I have finished off several of those pieces lately. If I needed more than 1 yard, went to the larger minibolts. I have finished off a few of those lately too, and moved others of those pieces to the smaller minibolts if they are now less than yard. My system may not work for everyone, but it is working great for me! I was good and put all the fabrics I had pulled for these quilts away if I was done with them or decided not to use them.

Tomorrow is my day off, and I am hoping to get quite a bit of sewing in. I'd like to get some of the thousands of quilt pieces sewn together before I cut the rest of the pieces I need.

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