Hi everybody! I hope you are all well and staying safe in this new world we find ourselves in. It’s strange and very surreal, but it is what it is and we are all in this together. We will make the most of every day! It is beyond normal comprehension that it is August and we are still seeing numbers climb. So we do the best we can to survive this once in a lifetime experience. Keep your spirits up as best you can, stay safe and be respectful and kind. I think that is the best we can do, always. So life marches on, even if a bit crippled, it’s still moves on.
The focus on our little vacation cottage project has shifted to the exterior. The old cedar siding has weathered over the years with no protection. It is scorched by the sun and ravaged by the wind and rain. Every square inch of it needed to be wire brushed and then blown clean with compressed air. And of course it’s summer in south Texas and it’s hot and dry. That means up early with the daylight and working before it gets too hot. So every day, we worked 2 or 3 hours preparing the surfaces for paint and painting. What a dirty, sweaty job!! Ick and double ick! 😝 We got the south and east walls prepared and started the long and tedious task painting. The surface of the siding was too uneven to use a roller, and using the sprayer was out of the question. So good old-fashioned brush in hand it is. It gets two coats of primer and 2 coats of topcoat. After a month of work, I finished the primer and 1st topcoat on the south & lower east walls. Next, I will start on the 2nd top coat on those two walls. The upper east wall brushed and primed, but it has to be painted in the evenings as the tin roof makes it blazing hot up there really fast in the mornings. I’m very excited about it. It looks like a totally different building now. But, I am at an impasse as to what color to paint the front door. I want it to be bright and welcoming. It needs to be a nice contrast to the soft dove grey walls and white trim. I’m open to suggestions, so please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas for the door color.
I have finally found the style of porch railing I want and we can’t wait to get it done. There is still a lot of work to do, but it’s coming along. The 2 new, smaller replacement windows are now installed in the west wall. It makes the loft bedroom seem so cozy. We are still waiting for the smaller octagon window to arrive so we can install it and get the interior walls closed up and the exterior siding back on the west wall.
The very complicated plumbing is slowly going in. It’s very trick figuring out how to work in a bathroom when the rooms below are all finished. But, I’m married to an engineer and he comes in pretty handy once in a while. LOL It’s going to be great. 😊
Meanwhile back at the quilt shop, we are busy every day. Being open only 4 days a week now, makes for really compact days. So much to do, so little time.We are still getting new fabrics arriving slowly. Festive Christmas fabrics, a magnificent buffalo by Riley Blake.
Lots more panels like this wonderful barn by Northcott,
or the “Spooky” panel by Robert Kaufman.
I kind of went crazy ordering panels last year !! What was I thinking? We have well over 150 different panels, but they are so versatile. 😉 They make great wall hangings, quick quilts, bags or aprons. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. New Halloween prints and panels including a great new Halloween apron panel by Northcott.
Tip of the Month
August 2020 Tip:
Creative Stitcher’s Club : After much consideration of the circumstances surrounding our situation this year, we have decided to permanently cancel this event here at the shop.
Warriors Heart Quilt project: This is a great project, for a fantastic cause. Use up some of your stash, or you can order a kit from the shop. Check out about Warriors Heart on their website. www.WarriorsHeart.com
Organizing your Creative Space
We are all spending a lot more time in our sewing spaces with this pandemic. With much more time spent at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your sewing room/studio back into working order. I know with all the mask making and graduation quilts and now heading into Christmas sewing, we need more than ever to put a bit of organization back into our creative spaces. Time to clean up girls!
Are your scraps in a heap? Do you know where all your rulers are? How about your fabric stash, how is it? Patterns lost? Threads all tangled? There are so many components that make up our sewing spaces, it can get overwhelming. So let’s break it down and make it manageable.
Scraps: I’m a scrap hoarder. There, I’ll just admit it. I cannot throw fabric away!! There are several approaches to “taming the scraps”. Let the sorting begin! First you will need some containers. Baskets, boxes, bins, what ever works for you. I like the clear plastic bins so I can see at a glance what’s in there. (An added bonus of being able to see the scraps is the inspiration that comes with looking at them.)
Next, decide how you want to organize the scraps; by color, shape or size.
Once you have divided your scraps by your choice of color, size or shape, iron them so they are flat and smooth. You can store them folded to fit your container, or you can cut them into squares or strips, place them in labeled plastic bags and then store them in the container. Label your containers so you can easily find that color or size or shape when you need them. The choice is yours to have a simple system or a more defined system. Either way, your scraps will not be taking over your sewing room.
Stash: Now that you have become the ruling Queen of Scraps, let’s move on to the next big hurtle of the sewing space, “The Stash”. It’s my favorite !! All that beautiful fabric that you so painstakingly selected for that perfect project or just because you couldn’t resist it. There is a small fortune tied up in that beautiful and treasured collection, so let’s treat it like the jewel it is.
Sort and organize your stash with your system of choice, as you did the scraps, by color, yardage or projects. Sort it into categories so you can assess what storage system will work for you. Clear bins, boards for wrapping, baskets, decorative boxes, hangers & a closet rod or shelving, etc. Pinterest is loaded with fabric storage ideas, but keep it simple for success. Be creative if you are short of space. Organizing is the key. The dust and bugs and UV take their toll on your precious treasures. Also remember that bugs like starch, so do not starch your fabrics before you store them.
Thread: Here is another item that is affected by sunlight especially. Plastic storage bins or drawers will keep the dust off your thread spools.
Opaque containers will keep the UV rays from destroying the thread fibers. You may want your thread on a rack on the wall or a pegboard. Cover with a decorative cloth is you choose this type of storage. Labeled decorative boxes on a shelf work well too. The key is to keep them free of dust and protected from daylight as much as possible.
Projects: Have you heard of PIGS ?? That’s quilter’s code for “Projects In Grocery Sacks”. If this is how your projects are kept, you need to work out a new system for them!! We all have multiple projects that we are working on simultaneously. (You know, the UFOs) Individual clear plastic bins complete with the pattern and all fabrics needed for that project works pretty well. You can see at a glance what is where and which one is next on the list to be done. Or you may want decorative boxes instead of clear plastic boxes. Projects organized in a dresser with the drawers labeled, is another method. One system is labeled paper bags on pegs or hooks hanging on the wall or back of the door (if you don’t have too many). Find the system that works best for you.
Tools: Tools and rulers and gadgets, OH MY! Everywhere!! It’s an ongoing battle. A big tool caddy/pin cushion you can make yourself is really helpful. (ask me for the pattern)
Rulers are a big investment and you want to protect them. A ruler stand is an excellent way to keep all them in line.
Canisters, pegboards or hooks on the wall, trays in drawers, portable plastic drawer units, are just some of the methods for keeping and storing all those helpful gadgets. Organizing is always a good thing.
Books & Patterns: With the price of books and patterns anymore, it is well worth giving some serious thought to their preservation. Shelves on the wall or a small (or large) bookcase works well for books. Consider a 3 ring binder with clear sleeves to store your quilt patterns in. A file cabinet with hanging files could serve as a pattern cabinet. Magazine files work well for those 8 1/2 by 11 “booklet” style patterns too.
Be creative in your storage systems. Think outside the box so you don’t get stuck in a rut. Consider how you have organized your kitchen or your office and use some of those systems. Whatever you do, a pleasant, well organized space is a creative space! 2020 needs a bright spot to remember, make this the year you revamp your Sewing Space J I hope I have given you some ideas to jump start your creativity. Have fun!