Thursday, May 21, 2020

Organizing, Donating, Quilting, Reading

It's the usual. 

Last Friday was when my she-cave closet was too much of a mess to continue to ignore. I'm not one who enjoys organizing, but sometimes it just has to be done. 

The mess got worse before it got better. 

I found a box of quilting books and patterns I thought I'd already donated, an empty tin, a partial skein of yarn, and several other small items like an old plastic tack basting gun. Remember those?! When our weekly Big Cypress Quilters group starts meeting again, I'll donate it all.

When reorganizing fabrics, I even noted which piles are where - multi-brights, stripes, novelty prints, ombrés, and wide backs. The rest of my stash is in another cabinet.
It was good to revisit what I have, and count only six WIPs. Four are long-term projects that I will pick up again - a failed original design; hand-piecing; embroidery; and English paper-piecing. Two are small items that only need to be sewn into their final form - a pillow and a wall hanging. Neither have a home... so why bother finishing? 

These blocks were in a set-aside pile - another failed attempt to create an original design. When I looked at them, I couldn't help but notice that these blocks are mostly the same colors as the blocks I recently made for the Boulder MQG improv challenge! Aquas with yellow, and a strip of tiny pieced rainbow colors inside. 

So I tossed a few of them on the design wall with the improv blocks. Maybe I'll be able to do something with them. These are by no means arranged,  but will do for visual contemplation until I decide how to begin joining them. 

This Canvas Pencil Pouch, a free pattern and tutorial from Anna at Noodlehead is a recent finish. 

That turtle batik-looking fabric was given to me. I paired it with a piece of linen that I hand-embroidered, and will gift the pouch to the person who gave me the fabric.

I chose linen fabric for the inside, but covered it with adhesive-backed, iron-on vinyl before sewing it together. Now, whether it's used for pencils or cosmetics, the inside can be wiped out.

This week our Big Cypress Quilters group hosted a "shower" for Children's Home Society of Florida. We've done this before, and had hoped to do it in person again this year. However, given the pandemic, donations were collected to be delivered.

I unearthed a couple quilts that were made at least 12 years ago. Yes, it is terrible that I still have them and haven't already given them away!

I hung onto them in case I'd need them as teaching examples in a beginner quiltmaking class. This quilt is about "how to sew half-square triangles." It's high time to give it away. Very traditional, isn't it? Those borders! Well, once upon a time, this is the only kind of quilt I made.
47" X 59"
I began honing my free motion quilting skills by quilting lots and lots of donation quilts. I can't emphasize enough how valuable it was for me to keep making, quilting, and giving quilts away. This quilt was stipple-quilted in the center, with loop-de-loos for the border. Thread is rainbow variegated.

This "angel" quilt - and I do use that term loosely - was meant to teach how a combination of 3-1/2" X 3-1/2", 3-1/2" X 6-1/2", and 6-1/2" X 6-1/2" fabric cuts could be combined to create a shape.
42" X 48"
It was intended as an example of using a minimal amount of machine quilting, and ties. Many of my beginner quiltmaking students owned only a basic sewing machine, so it was important for them to learn how to tie a quilt, which I think is especially appropriate for a child's quilt. 

On Monday I began quilting my long-waiting Linda Nova (Tula Nova) quilt. 

I began with walking foot quilting, working from the center outward to stabilize the quilt sandwich. I've learned that the puffiness of wool batting may cause some shifting between safety pins. This walking foot quilting should eliminate that. 

Custom quilting is next, though not as much as on my temperature quilt! I'm not up for that again!

For weeks, I've been no good at choosing good books! Remembering that decades ago I enjoyed Danielle Steel book, I read Beauchamp Hall (pronounced Beecham). It's about Winnie, a middle-aged woman living in small-town Michigan, sharing her house with her 11 year-long boyfriend, and working a dead-end job. After Winnie watches a British TV series called Beauchamp Hall, she begins to question her life, and dream of more. When everything she knows turns upside down determines to pursues her dream, travels to England, and through a series of being-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time moments, she begins to find happiness. If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, you'll figure out that that Beauchamp Hall is Downton Abbey.  Really, this is a fairy-tale story. Predictable. Happily ever after.

Linda's score: 2.8/5.0 

I did a whole lot better choosing this book! The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler that kept me enthralled. I listen to it in two days!

College student Sienna Scott literally stumbles across the body of a dead young woman. When the killer isn't found, Sienna is sent to London to live with her grandmother. After 11 years away, she returns home to live with and care for her psychotic mother... just as the murder investigation is reopened. Sienna questions her mother's certainty that their house is being watched; relives the murder scene and conversations; and pursues her own hunches. Jonathan, a handsome home-flipper working at the house across the street, attracts her attention. Does she now have another suspect?

This story kept me guessing, though I was certain I knew who did it. I sure like this kind of engaging story. Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

I'm wondering how everyone is holding up through these days of slowly being released (phase 1 to phase 2) to activities. I got a haircut! Who knew that would feel so good?! I also visited my cardio-vascular doc for a put-off blood test (more extensive than routine blood work). Even these small steps away from home have felt good. Hopeful. Are you feeling a small amount of hope too?

Pastor Mike shared this during last Sunday's sermon.  The man knows how to preach! Go here to watch. 



Chris Bero said...

Thanks so much for sharing your organization methods! I'm in the never-ending process of decluttering my office/sewing room. I avoid sewing at home because it's such a mess. I am, however, actually getting some things done. Love all your quilts, as usual... Will check out your second book recommendation... Where did you get a haircut? My hairdresser has moved "up north.' Thanks again for your cheerful outlook on these current challenges. I'm afraid I'll be coming out of this as a "chunk."

Nancy said...

Oh my, Linda! Your clean up struck a chord, or should I say a nerve? My sewing room is so in need of an overhaul. Maybe soon. I love the blocks you unearthed and put on the design wall- can't wait to see how that unfolds. Will check out your pastor's message. Did I mention to you the Louise Penny series with Inspector Gamache for listening? I started those recently and am up to book 4. Interesting mysteries and they take place in Canada, so the narrator's occasional accented French is nice to listen to.

Shasta Matova said...

I've been doing a big cleanout of the sewing room, but other things keep getting in the way. Right now, I am just aiming to make small progress a few minutes a day. You've done great at keeping your WIPs to a manageable number. Your improv blocks look wonderful in that quilt. I am definitely choosing CHUNK!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

I'm liking how the aqua/yellow blocks you unearthed are working with the improv blocks. If I may make a suggestion, try them in small clusters and all going up and down. That might give some unity and rhythm to the overall composition. The ones along the sides (in the middle turned sideways) seem to draw my eye away. Maybe not so many on the edges. Anyway, you know I'm just offering suggestions. I'm so glad you took part in our guild's challenge. I can't wait for our library to reopen. I've been rereading a few books from home but need something new. Cheers.

The Joyful Quilter said...

I'm close to starting reorg in my studio. Not QUITE there yet. LOVE the addition of those older blocks in the mix for your challenge piece!!

Susan Snooks said...

The unearthed blocks certainly look like they will play very nicely with your guild project! That would make your clean-up worth it. And donating two quilts to a worthy cause is a win-win too!

Deb said...

I enjoy seeing what other people unearth when they are reorganizing. I've found some uglies in the past but quilted them any way for the practice. Those found blocks look good on your design wall and really pop the quilt, not that it needed it. Oh, how well I remember those plastic tag basting guns. I bought a ceiling light grid so I could lay out the quilt on it without tacking the tags to the carpet. Thought it was a good idea at the time. I, too, got a haircut today. Used a pen from the clean pen cup to answer a questionnaire, then had to put the pen in the dirty cup. She gave me a different mask so she could get it my hair. She did blow dry it, to my surprise, but there was no one else within 30 feet of us! It was good to get out. Also spent some time at my sister's which was great. Taking baby steps and being careful. Thankful that you are doing the same.

Deb said...

One more thing. I noticed that Nancy commented about the Louise Penny books. They are marvelous and I think I've listed to every one now. I am currently listening to books by David Rosenfelt. He is a lawyer and huge dog lover so they are somewhat funny and serious at the same time. I am hooked. I can concentrate on my quilting and listen to them at the same time.

Debbie said...

Gotta say I'm anxious to see what you do with that aqua/yellow project. I think it has possabilities!

KaHolly said...

Isn’t it amazing what we uncover when we 'dig deep'? I’m definitely attracted to your aqua and yellow design wall and think it has the potential to be a beautiful quilt. I enjoyed reading about how you’re keeping busy during the shelter in place orders. I wish I was as productive!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

these are times when we do look at little corners of our house that have been ignored and need clean up. During usual life we have good reason to ignore that. Now, I have had a few moments of inspiration to actually want to clean up those areas. No great strides in progress, but still I am happy to have some.
My sewing office looks like a jumble, and I am not inclined to address it, just be in it.
Hubbs had open heart surgery so now I am taking care of him, he is doing terrific
I am sewing.
I can not see my dad.
Keep having fun Linda

Anonymous said...

Those aqua blocks look great already on the designwal. Will love to see how the quilt turns out.

Antoinette (NL)

FlourishingPalms said...

Hello Anonymous! I’m sorry I cannot reply to you directly, but you have set your Google profile to “no-reply,” so I can’t comment back. But I want to say thank you for your compliment about these blocks. I too will love to see how the quilt turns out! :-) I’m not skilled with improv, so it will be a test for me.


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