Tuesday, August 4, 2015

600th Post!

It's hard to believe I've been blogging long enough to hit 600 posts, but this is it! I wish I could say I had something really cool planned for it, but I don't.

I have things settled in the sewing room again. I can use three sewing machines and hardly move my chair! The sewing room has more walking area now, and so far I'm really liking it. Today I finished half the chevron units for a pieced border for the pineapple quilt. I set up my pink Atlas sewing machine, and I'm anxious to use it. I got it all cleaned and oiled last weekend, so it's ready to go.

Moving a sewing room around at all is always enlightening. Sometimes it's a, "Wow, I have too much fabric!", or "How did I get so many rulers?", or "Why do I have this pile of HST's?" This time when I was rearranging, my "aha" moment was definitely, "I need to get some of these projects at least to a quilt top!" I have a LOT of projects going on right now. I have a couple long term projects that aren't out, and that's fine, but the number of projects I am actually working on simultaneously is ridiculous.

My basic theory of cleaning a sewing room is really simple. Finish stuff. If you finish the projects you are working on, they leave the sewing room, you deal with whatever leftovers that project created, and then it's clean. My problem right now is I have projects everywhere! I am getting close to having a few things finished, so clean-up is getting closer to happening. I have three quilts that must be finished this year, and a fourth I'd love to finish this year, but it's not the end of the world if that doesn't happen. I am well on my way to having three quilt tops done. The blocks are finished for two of them, one has a border already pieced, one pieced border is half done. The third won't have a pieced border, some of the blocks are done, and all the sub-units are done. Those three projects are rolling along, and I'm not too worried about getting them done this year. The fourth quilt I'd like to do this year has only been designed, nothing cut yet, though I do have the fabric set aside. Will that one get done before December 31? I honestly have no idea.

I was not overwhelmed at my fabric collection, partly because I didn't move around much fabric, but mostly because I'm fine with how much fabric I have. I use a LOT of fabric, around 300 yards per year. I've not been buying much in the way of fabric, so by using what I have, my fabric stash is doing what it's there for, allowing me to create things for people I love.

I did find something want to cut down on, and that is plastic containers. I have plastic containers everywhere in my sewing room, and I'd like to weed some of those out. That's really where finishing some stuff comes in. A lot of my plastic containers have projects or the stuff for projects in them. I'd like to whittle down how many containers I have, and to do that, I need to finish some stuff. A few of my containers have a set of fabrics I put together to make a quilt. I don't consider that a UFO, if it's just a collection of fabric, and nothing is cut. I tend to raid those containers of fabric if I need to, so I'm not opposed to breaking up a set of fabrics I chose, if I need one of the fabrics for a different project. I haven't put together a set of fabrics like that for a while, since that's not very motivating for me. I've actually emptied several containers over the last month, and I am working on emptying a few more. When I get the three deadline quilts done, I'll have three more containers empty.

Things go so much better when you figure out what works for you. Pre-cutting strips works for me. Making myself kits of sets of fabrics does not. Cutting out multiple quilts at once works for me. Working on one quilt at a time does not. I haven't been reading much in my yahoo quilting groups lately, because I've been pressed for time, but I am in a couple facebook quilting groups and I see some good ideas in them. I love seeing what other people are doing, how they arrange their sewing rooms, how they plan projects, their color choices, it's all fun to see. There are so many great ideas out there, the trick is finding which ones work for you!

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