Tag Archives: quilt shop

How far behind can I get before I need a time warp or worm hole to find my way back to any possible sense of normal?

I wonder who holds the secret to time management and time organization? I can’t imagine there are too many books and articles I haven’t read. I tried the time diary, but that just took too much time. I manage all of my lists (a master list for the week with a daily list of necessary items, a grocery list on the fridge, a pocket list for daily notes and the list of lists in my office… not kidding), I keep an eye on my calendars (one I carry with me, the mat calendar on my desk, the family calendar on the fridge and a write on/wipe off in my sewing studio… again, not kidding), and I set my timers/reminders every morning (I love that little ding on my phone… it saves me at least twice a day). But sometimes those things are just not enough.

I read that 8.4% of Americans suffer from “emotional chaos”; 40% of us do not take our allotted vacation time because we don’t want to deal with the mountain of work when we return, and a full 65% have daily feelings of “being overwhelmed  by inadequate time.” I can be found in all three of those demographics.

There was a good article in the Huffington Post by blogger Vanessa Loder about a new book by Brigid Schulte, who is an award-winning journalist for the New York Times. She is the best selling author of a new book: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time. In her book, Brigid discusses how time pressure and modern life have led to a constant feeling of being overwhelmed which is affecting our health and even the size of our brain. She shows us how role overload, something called  “time contamination” (I’m sure I suffer from this), social structures, and even our own subconscious beliefs can lead to this constant sense of urgency, consuming guilt, and a certainty that we are inadequate both at work and home.

The article is very interesting, and if Brianna gets ahold of this post, maybe she will link it for you (yes, I am inadequate both at work and at home). It compares American mothers and workers to Danish counterparts. We stay late to get everything done but if a Danish employee stays late they will be reprimanded as it would seem they must not be as productive as a fellow employee who can get all of their work done in the same 8 hours. Interesting. How can they be so much more focused?  It is certainly true I am distracted by all things shiny and anyone who speaks to me. We call it ADOP (attention deficit… Ohh Pretty!!), and it is equally true I could never complete my daily work in only 8 hours. That it just funny.

I wonder if I just take my leisure time for granted. My job is also my hobby so I think I forget to count all of the classes, samples and patterns I work on at home as “work”.  I sew in the evening but I never seen to get everything done that is on my list. And when I stay home during the day to get something done, people wonder if I have retired because they don’t see me at the shop.  A slippery slope down a mountain of sewing. A rough life….

I am going to spend the next two afternoons at home catching up. The tutorials, posts and patterns I have on my “to do” list are important. My secret weapons are loud music, ginger tea and warm socks.  I have to get caught up so I can enjoy my weekend. I have a retreat planned that I am hosting at the retreat house and I am REALLY looking forward to it. We have a fun group signed up and the casual comfort of a house vs the classroom will be fun.

so… watch for my videos and blog posts… my plan is to be caught up by Friday morning… (but no breath holding… just wishful thinking and prayers will do).

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DIY Design Wall

Our Retreat House opened two months ago and has been VERY popular! It is a beautiful, comfortable, fully equipped home that sleeps 10. There are ten tables, ten adjustable Koala chairs and ten portable 4′ x 6′ design walls.

We wanted a design wall for each ‘retreater’ (nothing worse than one person monopolizing the design wall all weekend…)

So the design walls have been a big hit and we’ve had lots of requests for directions to make them. They are very light weight, easy to move around  and very easy to use with the flannel ‘grippy’ wall along with the added ability to use stick pins.

I made all of the design walls in the garage. Each one took about 5 minutes and $40 worth of supplies. I started with a foam core insulation board. These can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. They are 1″ or 2″ thick and 2′ x 8′ or 4′ x 8′.   I selected the 2″ thick boards, and 4′ wide by  8′ tall. It cost about $15.IMG_1224[1]   I cut 24″ off of the top of the board so they would fit nicely in the house without rubbing up against the ceiling. Also, not many quilters are tall enough to use the full 8′ of space. So this made the boards 4′ wide by 6′ tall. They can be easily cut with a box cutter or sharp kitchen knife and a ruler.

Once cut, I laid the board on a set of draped saw horses.

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Then I cut 2 1/8 yards of the gridded flannel fabric. It is 54″ wide, so the 76 1/2 cut is perfect for the 4′ x 6′ board.

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The next step is to lay the flannel over the board, but first I sprayed it with 505 Basting Spray. This just made it easier to keep everything neat and right where I wanted it. I was able to make all 10 boards with just one can of 505.

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When you smooth the fabric down, just make sure you have a couple inches hanging over each side.

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Continue to smooth until the top looks nice, then flip it over and begin securing the fabric. Staples made sense at first, but they were difficult to use with the soft board so we chose a strong, clear packing tape which worked very well.

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The corners are finished just like a present.

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The pictures may not show clearly… there is a lot of tape. Two layers. I don’t want anything to come loose.

After the taping… the design wall is done! Ready to use.

I hope you found this helpful, maybe you have need for a lightweight designwall!

Happy designing!

 

Rainbow Garden Block

Last Saturday we worked on our fourth block in the Rainbow Garden Series. It was a lovely peach flower, but the best part of the class was the show and tell…..

Class participants brought their previous blocks, now decked out with terrific hand stitches, bright threads, and brilliant beads.

They all look so different!

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Here are a few more…

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It’s always fun to see everyone’s homework. There are so many possibilities with stitches, threads and embellishments, it is so interesting to see the variations.

This month our block is a large blossom with two little buds.             After tracing the pattern onto freezer paper – we laid it out on the following wool pieces:

IMG_1285[1]Then we cut everything out and arranged it on the design wall:

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This will be a fun one to add stitches to. Some french knots and beads in the center, tufted stitches on the petals and some bright additions to the buds.

For those of you that are doing this project at home, I would like to invite you to send pictures of your work. We would love to see what you are doing, I will post them on this blog.

I know it can be hard to stay caught up during summer. Kids are home from school,  gardens need attention and the lakes are beckoning,  but this is a year long block of the month… you will have time to catch up if you are behind.

Happy stitching!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peek-a-Boo Bag

It seems I have a fetish for bag patterns. Or maybe we can just call it a quest. I’m always looking for that perfect bag with potential for organization that is easy to construct in a lovely custom color….. mmmmm. In yesterdays purging and reorganization of my project closet I found 14 bag patterns. Almost a cry for help don’t you think? It’s funny that I keep looking for that “can’t-live-without-it” bag, but it seems the looking hasn’t included sewing… hmmmmm. I am going to initiate a study… on bags. I am going to make at least 1 per week, and test it for ease of construction, usefulness, and gorgeousness (yes, that is a word). If I find the “perfect bag” I can stop collecting bag patterns…. I should mention… confess really…. I have a small basket where I found 16 more bag pat-terns. ….oooo ooooooh.

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Tonight I am making an easy bag called “Peek a Boo Bag” by Terri Staats. It looks pretty cute, clear vinyl front to see your projects. It would serve nicely as a project pouch, notion tote or a make up bag.

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Step one is to prepare your fabric. I have to iron a fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric to make the bag slightly stiffer. That makes sense. I wonder if I could use a fusible batting? Or my favorite… soft and stable? The thickness of your interfacing would of course depend on the purpose for your bag. I always make a bag with the suggesting filling first, and check out how much room I have with zippers, turning, etc to be sure I can modify the thickness of the batting on a second bag if I want to.

Step two is to cut an inside and outside back of the interfaced fabric.
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Step three is to construct the front of the bag. That was pretty easy, just three pieces. But you have to sew through the vinyl. That requires a piece of paper under the vinyl so it doesn’t draaagggg on the machine. Very necessary step whenever you sew vinyl. The paper is just regular copy paper, after you sew it you just tear it off.

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Step four is putting in the zipper. Not a horrible task. Her directions are pretty good. Good diagrams. You can easily use one of Terri Atkinson’s 14” zippers and cut it to the size you need. The directions are given how to cut it and add two tabs.

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Step five is construction. Simple, but there is some top stitching. I always feel a little self conscious when I have to do visible seams.

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Last is the nice box bottom. I think it would be easy to make it slightly boxier if necessary. Again, I guess it would depend on what you want to use the bag for.

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This was pretty easy. Super cute. Large enough for small projects, notions, make up. I made a second one using the chalkboard fabric. A labeled bag… definitely!! I liked this pattern. It was easy, the bag is cute and will serve several purposes. You can add a custom zip-per pull and make it in cute fabrics. I made the first one in 45 minutes, second one in 30 minutes.

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Oliver, however, remained unimpressed.

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