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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Organizing Series: It's a Wrap!

Many thanks to Sherri at A Quilting Life for hosting this productive and fun series.  The time it took to go through everything in my sewing room and organize it was time well spent.

Here is the finish…

Day 11: Sort and Organize Quilting Books
Day 12: Sort and Organize Patterns
Day 13: Sort and Organize Magazines

I possess very few of the above in hard copy but what I do have was placed in these handy banker’s boxes and binders.



The embroidery designs that I have on CDs are stored in this little box.

Day 14: Plan Quilt Storage

This is easy.  If it is a table runner or topper then it is kept in a drawer in my china cabinet. Larger quilts are kept in a linen closet (you really do not want to see a picture of that right now).

Day 15: Make your shopping list

The only items I needed were the bins I bought at Walmart to store stabilizers and supplies for making bags.


Day 16: Take a final review

Here we were to re-evaluate what would stay, what would go and also the lists we made on Day 2.  Well, I’m keeping everything…even those rulers that I do not know what to do with.  However, I did make a plan.  I ‘calendared’ projects to be done, leaving myself the weekends for something new.


I changed my mind about keeping zippers in the little wooden box.  I took those and other notions that I do not use very often and organized those in a large Tupperware container.



Day 17: Donate or sell items you won’t use

Nothing from me here J

Day 18: Revise your project “to do” list

I simply ‘prioritized’ my list.

Day 19: Shop for needed items

Done

Day 20: Take an ‘after’ photo

Before:


After:







Now I am back in business.  First up is a another project from my favorite book…


Enjoy your weekend, you know where I will be J



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Organizing: End of Week Two

Sherri, A Quilting Life, is hosting a great summer organizing series and this week’s task was to tackle our fabric.  I do not have a huge ‘stash’ like many of my blog friends so this was a fairly easy one for me.

Day 7: Fabric Management Part 1 - Gather

I brought fabric and other ‘stuff’ out and placed it on the cutting table.  Then I separated everything into groups:
  • Garment or project fabric
  • Quilting fabric - yardage
  • Quilting fabric - pre-cuts or smaller than one yard
  • Felt and wool pieces
  • Items for machine embroidery projects (towels, diapers for burp cloths, etc...)


Day 8: Fabric Management Part 2 – Inventory

This is where we decide what to keep, trash, sell or donate.  We also placed our unorganized scraps into bins and inventoried our storage options.

I had already ‘purged’ fabric I no longer wanted or needed a while ago so all I had to do for this step was collect the scraps and better organize by ‘groups’ from Day 7.

Day 9: Tackle Scrap Storage

I kept only scraps that I think I will cut into smaller, usable pieces.  Everything else went into the trash.


 Day 10: Move In Day

Everything has a spot except yardage.  I have to get clear storage bins for that fabric so in the meantime, it sits on top of the fabric cabinet.


 Pre-cuts and smaller pieces  fit inside the little cubbies.



Seasonal yardage, felt, wool, backing  and garment fabrics are stored in the bottom of the cabinet.

I look forward to having a REAL room for my sewing space one day.  I could use my son’s room but I just do not have the heart to make that change… not sure I ever will.


Hope you are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More Organizing, A Gene Black Original and a Surprise from Sinta

Sherri’s Summer Organizing Series over at AQuilting Life is well under way.

Day 6: Notions

I only pulled the items that I used the most and organized those such that they can be placed in easy to reach places…I’ll save some words and just show you the finished photos for this task.

Zippers, extra rotary cutter blades

Marking tools, pins, needles and thimbles

Bottled items, alcohol & q-tips to clean the machine, tape

Everything will stack on shelves or be placed close to the sewing table

I have TONS more notions that will be organized by type and then bagged or boxed and stored in a large Tupperware container.  I’ll show you what I am talking about when the room is back in order.

I mentioned last week that I had received some mail and I’d like to share it with you know.

Do you know Gene Black?  He is an artist, quilter (sews other things as well) and weaver.  His creativity goes beyond my wildest dreams.  Oh, and he happens to live in my home state of Alabama.

When I saw some of the scarves Gene had made I knew I needed really wanted one.  I am an Auburn fan, all things blue and orange.  If anyone could understand that, it would be a fellow Alabamian.  Therefore, I emailed Gene and shared a few details of what I wanted.  Within a very short time I received this…


Gene made it so it is very light weight and I can wear it here in South Florida.  Even though college football is a fall sport, we do not enjoy that change in weather here.  THANK YOU GENE….YOU ALREADY KNOW I LOVE IT!!!

And....

Our dear friend Sinta at a Pink Pincushion sold her home and is getting ready to move.  (How exciting… a new sewing room and all)  In her packing up she uncovered some lovely vintage aprons.  Even though I did not win one of her giveaways, she kindly sent me one anyway.  Love her to pieces!  Check out this cute pink and white apron.



Thank you so much Sinta, I am honored and I absolutely adore this treasure.

I’m still waiting for Sherri’s next assignment so check back later for more organizing progress.


Hugs!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer Organizing Series: Day 5

Today I am reporting my results for Day Five of Sherri’s Summer Organizing Series.  If you click the button on my sidebar “Ready, Set Sew….” it will take you to Sherri’s post for an explanation of the series.

Day 5: Organize Thread and Bobbins

Pretty self explanatory...


Most of my thread is for machine embroidery, there is also some piecing, quilting and silk thread which I like to use to hand-stitch bindings to the back of my quilts.



The machine embroidery threads went into the blue boxes and smaller spools are stored in the clear box, bottom left of the photo above.  The remaining threads went onto a small wood spool holder.

Pre-wound bobbins for machine embroidery are stored in one of those little donut holders.  My sewing bobbins fit into little plastic clips inside the lid of my sewing box.

Very simple task which left me a lot of time this weekend to run errands and exercise (which is something I desperately need).  My DH and I rode our bikes this morning...to the bakery (coffee and danish...yes, please!).  If you follow me on instagram you can see the picture there.  To make up for it, we rode quite a distance again after dinner.

Thanks for popping in...enjoy your week ahead!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Organizing Series: Days 3 and 4

Sherri of A Quilting Life posted days 3 and 4 of her Summer Organizing Series.  Here is my progress:

Day 3: Clear off flat surfaces – the sewing table, ironing board, and any other surfaces in your sewing area

We are to empty and clean all surfaces... 


 Shelves and sewing table

Corner shelves and top of storage boxes under table

Top of cabinet and cutting table

Where did it all go?

The dining room, of course.  (We eat in the breakfast nook anyway.)

Day 4: Gather rulers, rotary cutters and scissors

In this step we are to exam these tools; Do we have what we need? Do we have too many? Does anything need repair? Do the scissors need sharpening? Do we have extra rotary cutter blades? Do we need a new storage solution for these tools?

My scissors and rotary cutters are in great shape and I have what I need, I even have extra rotary cutter blades.  (Thanks to my BFF who found a BOGO sale at Joann's a while ago)

I can't say the same for my rulers...


My 6 1/2" square, 15 1/2" square and my 6 1/2" x 24 1/2" rulers all have chipped corners. (Sorry for the bad picture but as you probably noticed from previous photos, I do not have any natural light in my sewing space)  I've added these to my shopping list.

Then I found a couple of rulers that I have NEVER used.  I bought these at a great discount when our LQS was going of business.  I thought I would give them a try...but I haven't.  Hmmm, what to do with those?

As for storage, I know a lot of people do not care for peg boards but it works in my small space.  My rulers, scissors and rotary cutters are out of the way but still quite handy.


And there you have days 3 and 4. 

I've added Sherri's button to my sidebar.  If you click on it, you will be directed to her first post regarding this series.  She will then add links to that post for each added topic.

Day 5 has been posted so I better get to it...

Have a wonderful weekend, you know what I'll be doing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Quilting Life: Summer Organizing Series

Sherri of A Quilting Life has initiated “Ready, Set, Sew: 20 days of Tips and Resources for a More Organized Quilting Life.”  Sherri will give us tasks to perform during the week that will get us organized such that we can sew (wow! actually sew) on the weekend.  Please click here to read more about her plan and structure for the program.

I decided to participate and then share my progress with you.  Sherri will be posting tasks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so I plan to post on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Since today is Wednesday….here it goes:

Day One: Take a “before” picture and list your "works in progress" (WiPs)

YIKES!  This is the current situation of my sewing space…

Before -







Is it bad that it took more than one photo to capture my mess?

Now for the projects: I consider WiPs something that I am actively working on…you know, it’s physically out and on the sewing table, knitting needles, etc.  Then I have those Unfinished Projects (UFOs), items that were started and somehow got lost.  I am going to include a list of those as well.

Works in Progress –

Goodnight Irene (From Terry's Sew-Along)
This is the last month.  We are finishing our border blocks and assembling the quilt top.

Operation: Warm & Fuzzy (Helmet Liners)
If you would like to be reminded what this is all about, click here.  Our campaign started on Memorial Day and will run through Veteran’s Day.  I have completed two liners so far, the third is on the needles.
         
UFOs - (this is where I really get embarrassed)

Willow Weave (From Doreen’s Sew-Along last year)
I just can’t seem to get those rows sewn together…it is taking me FOREVER! All my fault…this was a great sew-along.

          My DD’s quilt binding
The quilt, shams and throw pillows are all complete.  I used a different method for attaching the binding and I HATE strongly dislike it.  So…the binding is coming off to be re-attached correctly.
         
Summer table runner
Quilt top complete, needs to be trimmed, quilted, bound and labeled (Do you label small quilts like table runners / toppers?)

          Small Halloween Quilt (Jack)
Needs to have its binding re-attached…this should have been a lesson.

          2009 (ugh) LQS Saturday Sampler
                   Blocks are complete.

Four seasonal hand stitcheries to be framed or made into a pillow
                   One piece has been stitched.

          Birdie Stitches Quilt
This was a BOM from Little Miss Shabby.  Some blocks have been hand-embroidered…most have not.

          Thimbleberries 3’s Company Sampler (again, from 2009)
LQS turned this into a block of the month…six months complete.

          Sewing machine cover
Since I no longer own the sewing machine, I would like to finish this for the new owner.

          Halloween Baltimore Quilt
                   Block #1 out of 13 complete.

Day Two: Make a “To Do” List of projects you want to make

This is by no means a list of everything I want to make but a list of projects that I actually have what I need to get started.

Two more Travels with Lou / Lilly totes from Stephanie’s book Uncommonly Corduroy

          Dish towel / pot holder to hang from my stove handle
         
Kaaren’s Bells & Bows
         
Wool July 4th candle mat
         
Small quilt – Sailboat
         
Knit two scarves for my Mom
         
Wool Halloween candle mat
         
Small quilt – Pumpkin
         
Wool Thanksgiving candle mat
         
Small quilt – Reindeer
         
Wool Christmas candle mat
         
Knit a drop-stitch beaded scarf for myself
         
Free-standing lace village – Church
         
Free-standing lace village – Town Hall
         
Watercolor heart quilt

That’s it for the first two days. 

I will also be back to show off share a couple of items I recently received in the mail J


Monday, May 26, 2014

From the Recipe Box: Miss Lou’s Pound Cake

Good evening my friends.  I hope that you all have had a relaxing day, reflecting on the true meaning of Memorial Day.
  

My Daddy J

I have been a horrible blogger lately but I hope to “sweeten” you up by sharing one of my favorite recipes.  I had promised Vicky from Life on Willie Mae Lane that I would give her this recipe and I thought I would offer it to you at the same time.

First, I should tell you a little bit about Miss Lou and why this is my favorite pound cake…which, technically, is a half-pound (I’ll explain why in a bit).

Miss Lou is a wonderful, caring, talented lady from my hometown in Alabama.  She and my Mama have been best friends for 51 years.  Miss Lou used to make me this cake for my birthday every November.  It would be covered in home-made caramel frosting…oh yes, Happy Birthday to Me! 

I moved from our little town in Alabama 31 years ago but Miss Lou was very kind to give me the recipe so I could make this cake for myself.  She explained everything step by step and also mentioned that the recipe had been used in her family for over 100 years.  So by now, the recipe is over 130 years old.

I make this cake many times throughout the year and it has become one of my family’s favorite…especially my daughter’s.  It’s topping depends on the time of the year and what is available, so today…we have strawberries.

Miss Lou’s Pound Cake
This is really a half pound cake because it only take ½ pound of butter and a ½ dozen of eggs

I start with ALL of my ingredients at room temperature:

½ pound real butter
1 ¾ cups of sugar
6 large eggs
2 cups of plain flour (sifted)
Dash of salt
1 tsp of vanilla

Heat oven to 300o

Cream butter
Add sugar and cream until smooth
Add eggs one at a time, cream well after each addition (IMPORTANT)
Add flour one cup at a time and cream well after each addition
Shake in a dash of salt
Stir in the vanilla

I pour my batter into my favorite Nordic Ware tube pan.  Original instructions tell us to butter and flour the pan first but I have started using Baking Pam and found it to work just as well.

Pound the pan on a towel on the counter top to get rid of any air that may be in the batter.  No bubbles!

Bake for one hour.

Cool in the pan...

 ... then transfer to a cooling rack

Cut the top (bottom?) until it sits evenly on a cake plate

Serve with your favorite topping.  

Tonight is was sugared strawberries 

and my sweet husband’s homemade whipped cream.


This cake is very moist and delicious.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Thank you Miss Lou!