Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015, part 2

This is my fabric cabinet.  My husband made this cabinet from leftover wood from the log home.  It weighs a ton, empty, and full I'm sure it weighs two tons!  After they put the carpet down in the basement, I made the carpet people move it, empty, to the spot it's in now - never to be moved again! 
Anyway, it doesn't look like I have much stash, but trust me on this, I do.  It does look like it's a mess and needs to be cleaned up -- and that it does!  So, this is one of my goals for 2015:  clean out this cabinet, refold the fabric and make it more accessible, and then start using it up.  Most of this fabric is quite a few years old.  When I started quilting back in the 90's, it was the fashion to build your stash.  So, I bought fabric - and lots of it.  I didn't really develop a favorite style back then- I collected plaids at one time, homespuns, lots of fabrics with applique possibilities, baby fabrics; went through a Sandy Gervais phase where I bought a lot of her fabrics, early on I bought Thimbleberries fabrics - and I'm not fond of them at all, and then Kansas Troubles -- still love Kansas Troubles fabrics, some thirties, some civil war, flowers - had a whole stack of flowered fabrics too, and of course Christmas fabrics too!  You get the picture.  
Nowadays, I rarely buy fabrics at all unless I need something specific -- like baby fabric I bought for a couple of baby quilts in December.  So, the goal for 2015 is to whittle down the stash.  I think I'll be donating a lot of it to the homeless quilt project at church.  I have some fabrics that were donated by a former quilt shop owner that need to be cut, but when I'm caught up with those, I will be working on my own stash.

That leads me to another goal for 2015:  Cutting fabrics for the sew-in we have each month at church.  I'd like to cut enough fabrics to make up at least 5 kits each month.  We have a few quilters in the group, and they've provided a lot of already cut fabrics that we've been teaching our non-quilters to put together to make quilts.  But, as the non-quilters get used to piecing the quilts, they are getting faster at it, so just to keep up I need to make up kits each month.  We started this group last spring, and we consistently have about a dozen people show up every month to sew with us - it's amazing to me!  One lady even asked her husband for a sewing machine for Christmas because she enjoys sewing with us so much!
So that brings me to my final goal for the new year:  Putting together all the kits and projects and ufo's I have in the cabinet, in drawers, in bags -- you know how it is.  The above quilt kit was a gift from a friend a couple of years ago.  I pulled it from the depths of the cabinet the other day and actually cut it out yesterday and started stitching it together while the longarm was busy quilting another homeless quilt.  I'm sure I won't make it through all the wips and ufo's, but I'm gonna work towards that goal.  And I'm going to concentrate on making larger quilts in 2015.  2014 was the year of taking classes (Jo's Little Women and Kim Diehl's new class) and all but one of the projects were small quilts -- not only small finished size, but also smaller pieces and I think I'm done for awhile with both!  I'm going to work on lap size or larger and make them for certain family members in 2015.  Like the above quilt -- it's lap size and I think one of my nephews might like it.

So, that's my goals for 2015.  And, since tomorrow is the new year, I'll start cleaning out the cabinet tomorrow, and work on the above quilt.
Until next time....blessings, and I hope your new year is filled with happiness, and hope.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Getting Ready for 2015

A Blank Slate (Wall)
(Actually took the Christmas quilt down and haven't put up a different quilt yet!)

I've taken down Christmas and have spent a lot of time thinking over the past month.  I like to make New Years' Resolutions, but this year I'm just going to make goals.  You know the usual ones:  lose weight -- only I'm already working on that.  I spent a lot of money in 2014 taking two big trips and finishing the basement and remodeling my bathroom and putting in new floors and painting, etc.  So, 2015 I won't be spending much at all!  I'm not going to be a miser, but I've been working on decluttering a lot, so I will think twice about buying anything that I really don't need.  I do hope to be able to buy a whole new wardrobe after I drop a size or two!

I've had a lot of trouble this past year with my hands -- I have degenerative osteoarthritis in my hands (I just thought I had arthritis, but now my Rheumatologist has given me a name for it! vbg). Basically it means I've had numerous cortisone shots in my thumbs and fingers, especially this year and it's never going to get better.  So, I've been thinking about what that means for my quilting.  I love to hand applique, but eventually I probably won't be able to do much of that. So, as often as I can, with probably lots of rests in between, I'm hoping to finish off my appliqued Merry, Merry Snowman quilt, by Bunny Hill.  I only have a couple of more blocks to do.  I also have a couple of other appliqued quilts in the queue that I started years ago, so hoping to work on them as I am able.

So here's more goals for 2015 - quiltwise.  I bought the Statler stitcher for my longarm last May.  It came with Creative Studio 5.0 which is the program that moves the machine head to the patterns I've selected.  We've just been notified that CS6 is coming out in January.  So far, I can only do edge to edge quilting well and this machine can do so much, and I haven't had time to learn 5.0!  So, I'm going to be learning CS6 in 2015.  I really would like to learn all the machine can do.  And I have plenty of tops that I've saved for years to quilt once I learn to do some custom quilting.  And that includes the appliqued quilts I'm hoping to finish. The quilt on the machine in the picture is one of the quilts for the homeless that I quilt for my church group.  The group makes the tops and I quilt them.  We've had backing fabrics donated by a quilt store owner - that has been a godsend in itself.  The quilt shop is in Pecatonica, IL, so if you're ever in the neighborhood, the name of the shop is Lucky 2B Quilting.  Polly has donated more than half of all the backings we've used.
I have more thoughts and goals, but I'll put them in the next post. What are your goals for 2015?
Until next time, blessings....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas....

A little early, but apparently I don't post much!  Just wanted to show you what my brother gave to me today:

Completely hand made by my brother and I totally love it.  I had asked him to make me a table/desk for my laptop.  It's all oak.

So that's my post for today! LOL  To catch you up:  I'm done remodeling the house -- it didn't really take that long to do, but I was surely tired of people in and out of the house constantly.  I have beautiful hand-scrapped 5" hickory hard wood floors in the kitchen/great room and hallway and I love them.  I have new tile floors in the bathrooms and new carpeting in the MBedroom.  And the rooms were painted.  I may have my fireplace converted to gas log -- but not this year!  Otherwise, house is done and I can get back to quilting.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Until next time...blessings.