Momma Says Quilts Speak

Momma Says Quilts Speak

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Did I lose my head too?

I have been trudging away, trying to kick the chaos out of my quilt room.

This morning I wanted to take a picture of my progress. Some would not call it much progress but- awww, I know that its progress. There is more air to breathe in there and I can get around the place with out holding the piles up as I pick my way around the room. However, I have already noticed that
I will have to move some things back the way they were-- the cord for my iron is just not long enough
for freedom where it was, so the roming board is already moved back in front ot the fabric closet and by the heater again.

I have had, still have, remnants of a flu, so struggled hard with the decisions of getting out yesterday.
Was I still contagious? Was I in good enough shape to not have side effect problems with a  60 mile trip going, and 60 miles comming. When I had my grccery shopping done and the side trip to Craft Warehouse and JoAnns done, would I still have the energy to put the stuff away, and make dinner?

Decisions, Decisions--.
Just as we drove into the  outer suburbs of the "City", my husband told me that by the way, we were going refridgerater shopping. Not for me, but for the Church kitchen. Life just piles things on you, have you noticed? Well, three stops later, he had decided that there was one "maybe" and that he needed to gather some more info for comparisons and look on line.

Then I went to craft warehouse. This time of year they usually have sales on stuff they dangled in front of us Christmas shoppers and so I was looking for acid free photo boxes to sort and store my scraps in.
They did, and several different colors, so I bought green, deep violet, black on white, white on black, red, dark bright blue, pastel blue, and a blue and white stripe. Total $19 rounded off. These boxes are not large but I figure that they are a start, and with neat pressed fabric you can get a lot in there. I already have a green tiny print one that is going to be my "bit" box for applique etc. The stipe will do for sized strips and as I find more striped boxed I can devide and conquer finding my strips. But I will be able to know from the color of the box what to expect inside.
Then I went to JoAnns. There was not a price anywhere on their photo boxes and most colors I had. But I picked up a nasty pale pink roses one for shades lighter than red and a delightful red-orange print that I couldn't resist. Total price was $9 and something. Humm. I did better at craft warehouse didn't I?
I know that I have at least two suppot braces  somewhere and a 4-5 foot long white shelf plank and the plan is to put a low shelf behind the cutting table for those scrap boxes.

Groceries and home and ugh! Husbands like to eat. Energy is gone so we did tacos because we love them, they are fast and easy and little clean up too.

Then the house went to bed and I sat up working on a DNA puzzle, my FF Finder Tests ,and a letter from a match. When I was so tired, the brain wouldn't work, I went to bed. And now I have a problem. Where are my glasses? They are not in any of the acceptable places that I put them. So-- I am rambling around this morning blind as a bat! And the long and short of it is, I can't find my camera, since I can't find my glasses-- you got it!

So busy work in the quilt room this early am. Its the 21st of January, so I ironed 21 pieces of my washed stash, and put it away, plus a stray pillowcase that was mixed up in there. Now I feel virtuous, blind, but virtuos.

The trouble with ironing and sorting stash is there are so many old ideas that pop into your head again, or fresh ideas, as you fold and fondle your fabric. This morning it was a lush vintage look piece by Laudrey Basket for Moda, called Aloha. My daughter and I were on a shop hop this fall, when I spotted the last of a bolt on a back clearance wall in a shop on the Cascade Highway.. I had saw a quilt in "Material Obsession 2" quilt book by. Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke that just kind of has hung around in the back of my mind and this "Aloha"  fabric was perfect. Well, not perfect, it had a somewhat limited color range and mostly colors that I avoid, but what better way to stretch my space than working with it? It had the FEEL  that I wanted.
So, I had no pattern, didn't quite remember the quilt and so had no idea how much fabric to buy. I am the type, that figures that if a yard is probably close to enough, I had better buy a little more. So I bought 2 yards.

As I ironed the delectable stuff this am, I wondered where the rest of the oddball, ugly colors were that  I have picked up to go with it on that shop hop. But they are washed and will turn up in one of these overflowing laundry baskets and then the fun can start.
But why wait? I found my book and cut the center square of fabric out and put it on a design wall, to dream about as I piddle around in there.

Oops, its daylight now. I better eat.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Yesterday was a buzz saw day

Yesterday I was still on that road trip high, only now it was in reverse.
Suitcases were emptied and put away. Top priority wash was done and since much of the stuff
is hang dried, this morning was put away time. I can almost see my dining room table again. There are two huge piles of laundry to sort and do yet.But I am shifting into think mode, slow down, how do I handle what needs to be done.
I thought that I would involve my self in Judy's, at Patchwork Times, scrappy quilt, but I am not interested in making small stuff just to get rid of fabric. and the more I thought about it I knew that I was going to have to parcel the Celtic Soltice Quilt out to portions to finish each day. And really, I have to get my quilt room into a state that I can enjoy it, instead of the push, push mad dash that I have been doing to complete stuff. What I want is steady and sure progress without stress and hyperventilating.
So what are my goals now and how to go about them.
The quilt room is a horrific mess. I can work fine in chaos, but not for a long measure of time and the bottom line is I don't want to live like this.
Rule 1. Wash my new fabric along with the laundry loads and put it away as I do the folding.
Rule 2. Think about what I want to change in the Quilt room to improve it.
           a. lets get the bits and pieces off the floor.
           b. lets think about scraps and how they need to be organized and how often do I do an update on this to keep things moving along well and be on top of it.
           c. Lets look at the quilt room and figure out how to utilize the space and store my scraps and still move around and not create bunches of dust bunny spaces.
Rule 3 Make a list of $ things that need done and insert them into the budget.
           a. get a plexiglass form for my new sized sewing machine. Budget for it.
           b. Get the Long Arm timing fixed. Budget for it.
           c. what and how do I want to store my scraps.What do I use for there storage? Do I need to buy anthing.

So, went to my computer and typed in Organizing quilting scraps and started reading. There are lots of quilters out there with good ideas. They all work different, think fabric differrent. A lot of things sound good, but some I have tried before, and some are not me. I am not the same person, with the same methods that I was and I need to think about that and adjust it.
1. I love working with 5" charms. So I need a box of my collections. Now they are just here and there. That idea of using photo boxes is a good one. Acid free is good. They are small enough so that hopefully I won't get carried away, They do not have dips and ridges to collect dust and can just be wiped off and if stacked. There is no where for dust to collect.
2. The 2.5" strips are very handy, just too contolled and bland. I like to mix all kinds of fabrics across time, form and color, so one box will do.Maybe one for uncuts or for 20" size by 2.5 and a box for 2.5" scraps any smaller size peices.
3. I have small stackers for leaders and enders, small squares of 1.5 ". Perhaps I need more of these plastic boxes that stack for triangles and such. Think about this one. We will call all these triangles, bricks and squares, Body Parts. And I need a place to put the body parts. By the cutting table.

Since I never know what direction I am going to take off next, I am not sure that a lot of planned body parts are a good thing, so I need a place for scraps. Less than 6" cuts of fabric should be thrown into the scraps, over 6" into the fat quarter area. But to sort my less than  6" or weird shapes,hey can just be tossed into a container and sorted by purples, reds, pastels, neutrals light, neutrals dark, greens and blues oranges and yellows. I do work by color to color. Do I want a pink bin? Pink is not usually my thing. Think about that. We are talking 9 or 10 bins. Lets find the space first and then decide.

I have my goal set for the Bonnie Hunter Celtic Solstice and some mind turning stuff going on. Thats good enough for today.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Still on the road

My husband does not understand me_

Here we are, traveling, eating out, spending time with Loved Ones, at the beach, down long untraveled roads and I am restless. Pathetic isn't it. But here is why.

First of all, my relax time with genealogy after everybody else went to bed, was messed up because of computer trouble. I had bought a new laptop to use for travel time and research and the company had put
their own web page on it that the  computer kept going back to. Scandle, Scutt, and yuck. So after that
first trip with it, I took it to  Aaron, my go to for computer man, and had him clean it up. He suggested that I bring it home and do an update that he hadn't had time to do for me in my "rush state". Thats part of my all time problem, I either live in a state of inertia, or a state of rush. Well, I did that and never opened it up again until we were in California.
It won't open. The password is wrong. I have only used this password for umpteen years for all of my computers. I just don't like to spend braintime on things like keys, passwords and tidying up.
So for the whole trip, if I wanted to unwind with genie I had to use my husbands laptop.
It really helped but I am seething still. Microsoft said that I could write them my problem and they would address it in 24 hrs. 32 Hours later, they got back to me. No Do. Not enough information.
Here is this specially purchased computer sitting still because I cannot even get into it! What an angry, frustrated ulcer this mess is.

Now I resign myself to eating, chatting, smiling and having fun. How long can you do that?
Patience is not my middle name!

so----on our 6th day of this trip I spied a quilt shop in the beach town we were staying in. On the 7th day I wrangled a "few minutes" to stop there. "nonquilters waiting in the car " my friends! So I did a flyby check, pulling a few fat quarter colors that I needed for the staht but being selective. And then I heard the girl say to another customer" Our sale room is to the right and around the corner. So eventually I headed that way.

It was assorted fabric, but good grades of Moda and Michael Miller types,stacks of it. I rummaaged and sorted and stacked. It was on sale for 3 dollars a yard, so of course I am looking for things for quilt backs. This is not stuff to die for, but still lots of interesting things, two color things or bold stripes mixed with white, Aunty  Back porch types and crazy directionals, and all of it could be used so well for quilt backs. Even so, I gasped to myself when I paid the bill and mind soaring headed to the car with my two bags of fabric, my back bending alittle from the weight..
Did I mention that we were traveling, 3 adults and two energetic grandsons in a small Volvo?

We lingered another day and then packed up to head home. We had decided not to backtrack, so parted with our loved ones there and headed inland to find a fast highway north. But DH, who really is a dear, offered to find me a quilt shop on the way out. Always semi prepared for shopping I pulled out my list of addresses and we stopped at the Quilt Cupboard in Atascadero.

It looked simple and innocent enough but when I stepped down the first aisle, I was lost in a sea of color, form, direction and desire. Ohh MY GOODNESS! Just a little country girl presented with so many selections of color! Civil War and Kaffee Kassett, and everything inbetween. I went crazy, Way Crazy!
When I paid the bill, I had to juggle two credit cards and empty my wallet.

Now I am living with a goodly supply of guilt and embarrassment. How could I have succumbed to all the heady lure. Naturally, I needed to stockup on some really interesting neutrals, some power backed color candy, a roll of Kaffee Kassett, a pack of civil war and a few mingling prints that were soo delicious, and
I had just utterly lost every bit of control that I had ever gained.

Now I have to limp home,counting my pesos and dreaming of washing, drying, sorting and admiring my new color box and to live with, the guilt!!! I remember the state of the quilt room, the tons of fabric that I have but oh it is so sweet, the urge to cut into this new candy. And let me tell you, it was not easy to find space for two more shopping bagsin that little car that is virtually nearly sitting on the ground!. Oh but the heart sings, the mind hums and when oh when, will this vacation end???