Friday, December 31, 2010

Look if you dare!

I might as well tell you that I am declaring 2011 to be "The Year of the Quilting Studio".  That's right, bye-bye sewing room and hello studio.  It's not getting any bigger, I am just going to treat it differently.  But first,  I need to show you what happened when I lost my mind the other day.  I have known for months that I needed to reorganize, I just didn't know I was going to start this week.  So first I'll show you some pictures of the 'in progress' clean up/redo.  Here's a corner, a vignette, a pile of birds that have been waiting forEVER to be made into a mobile.                                           

Oh dear, this just gives me palpitations.  See that pile of stuff in the back?  There's a sewing machine under that.  And in the foreground is a portable table (I got it for dyeing fabric last summer) piled high with stuff.  All along I had planned to empty the room and slowly bring things back in.  Instead, I just kept moving things back and forth from surface to surface.  Ridiculous!                     

Here's my ironing surface.  It's a big board on rolling Ikea storage carts.  I just love that I can move this around the room.  Very very handy. I used to have a table top on more of these rolling carts for my cutting table.  But those carts are very 'visually cluttered' so I took the table top off.  Oh gosh, I'm jumping ahead of myself, I'll get to that later.                                                                   

Ugh, What to do with this corner?  The TV was on this antique sewing table but during this overhaul, I have moved it several times. 

Aaagh!!  More palpitations.  Keep in mind that my 'studio' is also a laundry room.  Wanna hear something funny?  When I was a teenager, this was my bedroom.  And I used to rearrange it every couple of months, just for fun.  This washer and dryer are in what used to be my closet.

I can't explain why I felt the need for a close up of the pile of laundry on the sewing machine.

Look what I found during the clean up.  Inspiration, ha ha.  Would you believe that the author, Lois Hallock, insists that you should MEASURE your stash!  No kidding! 

She even includes a form for you to fill out, including your UFO's etc.   OMG!!  Sorry Lois but I just couldn't bring myself to do that.  Guess I'm just a free spirit, har har.                      

All right, it's time for the 'after' pictures.  BUT,  I'm not done!! Ok?  This is still very much a work in progress.  This is my cutting surface.  It's the table top that I took off the rolling carts,  I put it onto some shelves.  It's way too long and I plan to have my handy contractor brother cut it down.  I want to have the cutting surface be an island in the room.  It's higher than recommended but I think I can work with it.  I like how the old sewing table looks as a little side table.  That big basket has my white and neutral fabrics in it.

TV corner!!  Yup,  I may be a TV junky.  I refuse to feel guilty though, because I watch while I'm sewing, blogging, and doing laundry.  I'm not just vegging out, you know!  And check out Mark Harmon on the screen.  He's aging well isn't he?  There's nothing like an NCIS marathon while puttering around.

Be still my heart!  I can see clean floor.  A combo sewing/laundry room sure gets dusty.  My secret weapon is scraps of batting.  Perfect for dusting corners and baseboards.  See that sewing machine?  That's what was under cover earlier.                                                                                                       

The current view from the doorway.  The hardest thing so far has been deciding where to put the sewing machines.  I keep the Bernina on my Sew-ezi table.  It looks like it's in the middle of nowhere right now, but sadly it's important to face the TV.  Go ahead and laugh, I am baring all tonight as the decade winds down.                                                                         

It is now 10:30pm on New Year's eve and I am alone, in my sock monkey pajamas, sipping sangria, and happy as a clam.  My husband, the musician, is out playing the trumpet in Washington, DC.  He's happy because there is nothing more pitiful than a musician without a job on New Year's eve.  And both my kids are in their 20's so you know they aren't home.  I'm pretty sure I have them convinced that all cars on the road are driven by drunks tonight and they should stay away from all other cars.  Let me wish you all a Happy New Year. I was on call today and, yes, I got called at 6am to go in for a few hours.  I work  tomorrow so I will  be up at 5am. That means it's time to get in bed with a good book. 
Good night and see ya next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh NO!!!

Wait a minute! 
What just happened?
Eeks,  it's happening!
But,  I'm not ready.

     I haven't even posted any resolutions for 2011 and yesterday, without any foreplay (planning/cogitating/marinating/ just plain thinking),  I lost my head and jumped right into the middle of something.
  I have torn apart my sewing room and begun rearranging.   I must have been possessed because there wasn't even any sangria involved.  My husband heard horrible thumps and bumps and ventured up to see what was going on.  So I put him to work - lift this, push that, take this to Olivia's room, etc etc.   It's a dreadful sight and now Olivia's room isn't any better.  Oy!  I haven't taken any photos yet but I suppose it's the least I can do for you.  I know it's a kindness to make people feel better about themselves, and believe me you'll feel better about your sewing space when you see what I've done.  Come back later for your free warm fuzzy.
       It is a truth (all of my research supports this) that cleaning and organizing creates an even bigger mess.  It is a disaster when one does not complete the task and this is what strikes terrible fear in me.  Right now I am  oh-ver-whelmed!!  Why do I have so much stuff? 
     We are visiting the in-laws today and I go back to work tomorrow (well, I'm on call and I fully expect those dopey surgeons to want to operate).  Please repeat after me - BAD TIMING LISA!!!!
      I will be accepting all prayers and positive thoughts sent my way.  Thank you in advance. 
      Farewell my faithful friends.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Playing with my toys!

Here ya go.  This is what I did with my goodies.  I took my new Drunkard's path Accuquilt die and my new FQ bundles, did some chopping and cranking and......wah lah!  I whipped up 40 blocks.  This is a view before I sewed the blocks together.  Lots of rearranging.   Wanna hear a little confession?  I can't bear squaring up blocks.  Booorrriiiiinnnnng!  So I didn't.  Some of these blocks were pretty wonky (curves, you know) but I say,  too bad!  If you watch Project Runway, then you know how Tim Gunn always says, "carry on."   Well, my first quilting teacher always said, "make it fit".  Sometimes I can still hear her voice when I'm sewing.                                                                                        
 All 40, sewn together.  With some pinning, stretching, and lots of STEAMING,  my seams are matched up.  And no time consuming squaring and cutting.  Hee hee, ha ha!    As I was putting this together, I discovered that the fabric with the letters actually spells 'baby' so I guess this will be a baby quilt.  I have a friend at work who's expecting and doesn't plan to find out the sex of the baby.  I guess this will be perfect for her.  All I need are some borders.  I'll root around the stash and see what jumps out.
Quick, easy, and most of all  Fun!    Now, I'm gonna go and find something else to chop up.  Wheeeee!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Very QUILTY Christmas!!

I must have been very good this year.  And I didn't even know it.  How else can I explain all the quilty goodness I received.   Would ya just look at this!  Do you know what it is?
Does this help?
How about this?

Surely this will give it away!

Look closely for a hint.
Too darn cute!

Just love it.  Check out the detail of those little starbursts.

Oh my,  I feel faint!  A friend tipped me off to an etsy shop that had Lizzy Dish, so I tipped off my hubsy wubsy.  That man sure can take a hint!  I really like Lizzy House and  regretted not snagging any Lizzy Dish while it was first out.  Thank you etsy!                       

But wait, there's more.  And it's no ginsu knife either.  Castle Peeps in the blue colorway.  Mmmmm.

My peeps!  My lovely blue peeps!

Half yards too.  What should I do with them?

I'm not done yet.  But, in the spirit of 'full disclosure' , I have to admit something.  Yesterday I went to JoAnn's.  I needed something, honest.  All out of red thread and I am still quilting a Christmas gift.  While I was there, I had to check on something this same friend told me.  I'll share it with you but you have to promise to treasure this VERY hot tip.  If you snoop around the little fat quarter bundles in JoAnn's, you can sometimes find designer fabrics mixed in.  No fooling people!  Look at this.   Two Lizzy House FQ's, from Red Letter day, bundled with some coordinating fabrics!  Seriously, this was deep in the bin, I had to do some digging.

And while I was digging, some other bundles fell (unnoticed of course) into my cart.  Poor little bundles, all they wanted for Christmas was a new home.  You wouldn't like to be stuck in a wire bin getting pawed at all day  would you?
This was such a tasty combo that I got two.  Listen, I had a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase, there's no sense in wasting it.

You might think I got these bundles for these showcase fabrics.   Wrong!!

I fell crazy in love with these subtle dudes.  The gingham is a lovely grey.  If I had seen it on a bolt, I would have gotten 2 or 3 yards, just because.  Same with the windowpane fabric.  It is such a nice sage green and so nice and calm, not showy at all.  Don't these just make you want to go cut up some men's shirts?
 Oh dear.  I just can't put it into words. Only a FQ of each!  And most SHOCKING of all is that I have already cut these up.  Let's blame the sangria, shall we?

I always tell my kids that alcohol can lead to bad decisions.  I'm hoping that it will turn out to be tipsy inspiration.  I'll share soon and you can decide.           

When I look at all of this luscious fabric.........I try not to think about the haul I brought home from the Black Friday Midnight Madness field trip. 
Luuuuuuuucyyyyyyyyyyy!!!  You have some sewing to doooooooo!  I am planning some New Year's resolutions to handle a syndrome I call    "Stash Overload".  There is a cure.  A sometimes painful but ultimately rewarding cure. 

And that brings me to some more of my quilty goodies.  Honest, when everyone in your family knows that all you want for Christmas is quilt stuff, you really get some cool stuff.   Remember when I said that I got the Accuquilt Go so people would know what to get me?  It worked.  Looky looky, lots of toys!  I tried out one of these last night (yes yes, after the sangria).  I'll get to that another post,  first I have to finish my shocking display of gifts.                                          

 Inspiration abounds!!   These books are so cool.  I can't wait to have some fun.

Thank you, Tonya, for writing  this book.  I tried free piecing words in Bonnie Hunter's workshop, and I discovered it is not easy for me.  I really have to work on the 'visual' of the word in my mind. 

Even Santa got in on the action and slipped a few mags in my stocking.  Thank you Santa!

I don't know about your household but we always seem to have one or two things show up that are fodder for lots of fun.  I bet you don't know what this is!    A keychain  Breathalyzer!  It only has two readings,  .05 and .08.   But, it also has a timer (?) and a flashlight.  I had to test it out of course.
 So, while we played a rousing game of Five Crowns (if you don't have this card game, you NEED it), I drank sangria and intermittently blew into my keychain.  I only got .05 but that's just fine with me.  I also lost the game.  Hmm, What does that tell you?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who's hiding behind this quilt?

Hey look!  Santa dropped something off for me!  My mother stumbled across this quilt when she was having an antique family sampler refurbished by a textile expert.  It 'spoke' to her and she came home with it.  Poor Mom, she doesn't have any where to put it. it's mine!  Yay!  I love the soft colors and I think it will look lovely against my pale spring green walls.  Hopefully it won't take me too long to get it hung up.

Like these little trees?  I made them last year and I have a little forest of them on the shelves in the kitchen.  They sit on little sticks so they bobble.  So cute!

Hey Charlie Brown!  Whaddya think of this tree?  Jealous?  We procrastinated so long that finally Mr. 9patch dashed out looking for a tree.  Most places were closed so I said go to Lowes.  Ta dah, this little number cost $15.  When we decorated it, the lights were on and it looked a lot better.  Tonight I'm going to finish putting more ornaments on it, then move it to the side.  And maybe I'll wrap some presents to put under it.  Have a wonderful Christmas everybody.  Prepare for New Year's resolutions soon people!  I've been thinking of things already.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We have a Winner!

Sorry I'm late.  I had to go straight to bed after work, bad headache. 

The winner is:    Montana Rose.   clap clap!
Guess where she's from, lol.

Thank you all for visiting and all the wonderful comments.  Please come again.  For now, I have to go fix food, mix sangria, and make my home look festive for the big family party today.  Or maybe I'll just boss my kids around.  My butt's dragging today. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Many many thanks!

  Wow!  So many wonderful comments with lots of feedback.  And new followers too.  I tried to answer all of them.  Many of the comments were 'no reply' ,  I don't know exactly how that works because my response seemed to go but I suspect Blogger has a gigantic bin of no reply mail.  I am at work right now but I have a random number generator that I will power up at midnight when I get home. I am leaving the comments open until then.   Good luck to all of you and Thank you!  for taking the time to give your tips and feedback. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What does Santa have for you?

Last year at this time I stumbled across the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day. All I can say is Wowee, yowzer, whaaaaat?, and Golly gosh! If you didn't come here from there, click on the button at the top right and check it out. Links, links, and more links to all kinds of blogs with giveaways.

Well, this year I decided to join in. Why not, right? Tis the season and all that. I like my little blog but I have to admit, I don't get too many comments and I am definitely motivated by comments. This is a good way to round up some readers and I think it's time for a giveaway too.

So here you go. As my gift, I will give one person two of my folios. One is my favorite with the little birdie and the other is rather traditional with a blue toile. There are pockets inside, handy for keeping your current quilt patterns or household info or lists of things to do, blah blah blah. Can you see the pattern I have in there? Birdies! I really have a thing for birds lately. Sorry but I'm going to keep the pattern, I tore it out of one of my quilt magazines.

Since I'm not sharing the pattern, I'll be nice and toss in six fat quarters of these lovely shot cottons.

Shot cottons are delicious. Soft, almost delicate, and they have a depth to the color from being woven with two different colors.

So there you go folks. Two folios and 6 FQ's. All you have to do is leave me a little comment. Just tell me what you like in a blog. What draws you to a blog? Humor? Great pictures? Just quilty stuff? A range of crafts? I will pick a random winner on Dec. 17th, so don't worry about giving the right answer. And you can wish me a happy holidays if you like.

Following is certainly welcome but not necessary.

Good luck with all those giveaways. Don't forget to come back and see who wins!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Psst! Hey! C'mere. Need help organizing?

I have some super secret tips for you. I am so organized and prepared for the holidays that I feel guilty if I don't help others stay the same way.
So here it big tip. My little green moleskin notebook. This fits in my pocket and I've been keeping it with me all day every day. Last week I had a workshop to attend at work and some of it was a snore, so I made some lists in my little book. I also sketched a quick quilt design for a co-worker who is ill. I shared the sketch with my friends at the workshop. I felt it was my duty to keep them awake. There are all different kinds of lists. Shopping lists, gift lists, blog ideas, a list of brilliant ideas (I haven't got one of those yet), and several to-do lists. On the right is my to-do list for yesterday. Uh oh! I didn't cut greens, put away the laundry (I'm not sure but I think my husband is doing that right now, cross your fingers for me!), decorate, or talk to my son about his xmas list (he got out the door before I got to him).
Aside from the fact that my brain is so scattered, why would I need to write so much stuff down? Hmmm, I'm going to take a risk and show you something. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I lied about being organized and prepared. Scroll down and I will show you My Truth.
Ta-dah, voila, and OMG! What the hee haw happened in here? Well first I got busy and did some online shopping, and then when the boxes started arriving I piled them in here. Then I brought up the box of xmas wrapping stuff and you can see in the right lower corner where it blurped itsself all over the floor. See the Macy's bag? I shopped yesterday for my daughter's birthday. I can't explain the sweater on the ironing board or the belt on the table. I think one of the cats put them there.

Here's another, less shocking view. Notice the coffee mug? VERY important. Want another fast tip? Check out the little bag I looped on the table leg. So convenient and guaranteed to keep me tidy. Or maybe it's there because the other trashcan was full.
Don't judge me people!

Oh the time I wasted yesterday when I wanted to work on a quilt and needed to turn the iron on. Where is that %#&! iron?

Last night I decided to have some fun and make a Christmas garland. I've been itching to make a garland and I have a bunch of xmas fabric cut into pieces. I do. They are......................? Crap, I couldn't find them. I went and got my box of xmas fabric to see if I put it in there. Nope. More time wasted looking for it before I gave up. What do you think? Will it show up in January or February? Maybe I'll just wait and make a Valentine's garland.

I did make a couple wool ornaments and I got out my xmas buttons.

And my box of ribbon. Everything in it's place, you know.

Beads and floss and perle cotton.

And let's just bring in the big box of wool and find a spot for it.

All for these. Yes!! I am the Master of Time Wasting.
And the backs. I found leftovers from this quilt and just cut circles out of scraps that were already pieced together.

And there you have it. Holiday preparations Lisa Style. Please ask first before copying my work space, ha ha hee hee!