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Friday the 13th

Ok, everyone knows you just can’t do anything productive on Friday the 13th, right? I mean, black bears (ahem.. cats), large ghostly apparitions (oh wait, those are elk) and… WHAT WAS THAT NOISE?… Oh… a tom turkey yelling at his harem…

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Rainbow on the ridge. Picture taken from my front porch Apr 8, 2018.

Today was to be the day I finished at least one of my many projects cooking on the back burners. Instead it was spent making phone calls to find out how much rock and dirt and HOW MUCH IS THAT BILL? (paying bills) day. Sorry, yes I know I have rocks and dirt here, just not top soil for a garden. And if you like boulders then I have plenty of those. I need crushed rock for the shop hubby is building in his non-existent spare time. I need wire or some type of fencing to keep the wild life out of my soon to be garden. And I need to find time to finish at least one project.

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Well I did actually finish one project this week. I tend to save my Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club shipments to complete when I am in-between projects or just need to think about something else instead of why my project looks so great on paper but is totally off the beam when sewn together, kind of days.

So I made this wonderfully fun tote and now it’s waiting to be put in use. I love Hydrangeas. We had two huge bushes in front of the house when I was a kid. They were my mom’s pride and joy, besides her roses and azaleas. I would try to grow them here but I am afraid the deer and elk would think they were being served salad. So instead I will enjoy my tote made with hydrangea printed fabric and be happy.

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Spring Tote From Annie’s Creative Quilters Fabric Club, Heavenly Hydrangeas Collection by Clothworks

I did get to play a little with a couple of free motion quilting rulers I have. Before you sew the outer shell of the tote together you have an opportunity to quilt it any way you like. So I did some stitch in the ditch using my Slim ruler and then I made arches with my little Archie ruler. Both of those were designed by Angela Walters and made by Creative Grids.

I did design a place mat set which will include coordinating napkins and coasters. I completed to placemat tops and have started on the napkins. The coasters will be paper pieced because the pieces of fabric will be little and I think it will be easier to paper piece it instead of trying to cut it.

I am using fat quarters and jelly rolls from my stash to make these. The fabric is a combination from Moda (purchased from the Fat Quarter Shop) and Connecting Threads (Hudson Valley by Country Essentials). Unfortunately I misplaced the tag that identified the Moda design. It happens when all the fat quarters are separated by color and put into a large storage tote.

Barring any other interruptions I should have the set completed, backing and batting as well as quilted, by Sunday. I hope. Then I plan to start on another project.

So in the meantime, you all have a safe Friday the 13th and a wonderful week-end.

Until next time – I’m not superstitious, I’m a quilter!

crafts, hobby, Home and Garden, home gifts, Montana, quilting tools

Setting Up My Space: Part 2

Sewing table
Sewing table in front of the window

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you set yourself a goal and at the end of the week you realize you didn’t quite make that goal? That is where I am right now. Granted I technically have one more day to this week, and with that in mind, I may reach my goal after all. But I don’t feel too bad. In thinking about Part 2 of Setting Up My Space, I spent two days reorganizing and cleaning my sewing/quilting/office room. I even tackled my little closet space and made room for some things that were cluttering up my room. Don’t worry, everything isn’t going to fall out if you open the door. It doesn’t even have a door! I did find an unused curtain and managed to hang it up in lieu of a door! Now instead of a gaping hole I have a pretty curtain to look at when I am pressing blocks.

I like to be organized as much as possible. Some times when you have limited means, like most people, you have to improvise. Think outside of the box. Go with something different yet functional in a way that will work for you. Hmmm, I think you get my meaning.

WIP/Design board
My Design/WIP board

My “design” board which is really my WIP board is made from cork boards. I bought them at Walmart. I use it primarily to hang up my little pieces to 1) keep them organized 2) keep them out of the way and 3) makes it easier to find them as I follow a pattern. I also tag each stack with a little post-it. Each stack of pieces has the corresponding letter or number assigned to it from the pattern. Eventually I will put up a different design board but for now it works for me. Oh, I bought the white clamps from Walmart as well.

Space being limited on the floor and walls I had to think of where I would put my thread, rulers and cutting mats. On the wall behind the door my husband, Wes took two white shelf units and put them together to make a place for me to store my thread. On the top of the shelf I put some of my favorite birthday cards from my best friend, Mary. There is also a very old oil can. On the bottom of the shelves there are knobs where I can hang things, like a Mother’s day gift I received from my grandchildren.

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Re-purposed White Shelves with baskets

I took small white baskets and put them in the cubbyholes. Under each basket is a label denoting what thread colors are in each basket. Now I can find what I am looking for and see what colors I need.

These shelves were going to be thrown away. I feel pretty good that we were able to re-purpose them and find a home for my thread.

If you have ever cut 12 inch squares you know how difficult it is to keep them square just using your 6.5×24.5 inch ruler. That’s why companies like Omnigrid and Creative Grids make the big boys. I have a few of those big boys. They are hanging on my walls. I also have my smaller rulers hanging on my file cabinet. My 6.5×24.5 inch ruler stays on the cutting table. I have a handle attached to it so it makes it a bit awkward to hang. The big rulers are heavy so I used a screw instead of a nail. It made things a bit more secure.

Well that just about covers how I set up my space. The only thing left is my sewing table. My original sewing table was accidentally destroyed when it was being moved. Not any one’s fault, really. It was something I had put together from a kit. My husband felt bad though and bought me another sewing table. Nothing expensive. It came from a second-hand place. It has one large drawer and that’s fine. I keep my book about my sewing machine in the drawer with a few other items. I did however need the well to be modified in order for my sewing machine to fit. So Wes did a wonderful job of doing that. It involved saws and other sharp objects. I’m not very good with those things. The large extension does need to be propped up because the hinges are giving a bit and when I have a lap quilt on it, it will sag under the weight. But other than that it does what I need it to, hold my machine.

Now you know how I did it. Now it’s your turn! Go set up your quilting area, get organized and get quilting! I would love to hear how your space is set up! So send me an email and pictures if you have them to lodgepolequilting@gmail.com, I’ll be sure to post them in a blog. How fun it will be to see what other people have done with their space!

Until next time – Are you organized?