Quilting: Fabrics

Lost in a maze of sorting I came up for air and decided I needed to stop sorting, I was seeing spots — literally polka dots. I thought, I’ll check out this box — part of my sorting to smaller containers.

Fabric solids 001

I was looking for an empty box or one that had a color in it like red or green. I opened the box and wondered why I had given this fabric it’s very own box separate from the regular stash of solids. I pulled out individual pieces and set the smaller pieces of fabric aside. I decided I would Iron them and sort them by size and cut them into either strips or square of useful sizes, 2″, 2.5″, 3″ and strips of the same sizes. More organizational busy work that will get me back on the road to sewing more efficiently.

I lay them out on the ironing board and looked at them — odd colors — dull, muted, I must have made something from them. I was ironing and trying to pull from my memory banks what I could have used them for.

Was it when I spent the Summer doing Seminole Piecing?  No the colors were too dull. Then I ran across strips of fabric that was obviously used for bindings. Nothing was coming to me.I took a lunch break, food always helps. I came back with my stomach and my small spray bottle filled with distilled water. I don’t like using steam — my iron spits.

Fabric solids 002None of these fabrics were from any quilt I have in my possession. That narrows it down. It was a quilt I sold. The color-ways are also old. Could it be from my Genesis quilt that is buried under several layers of batting on my design wall? I worked in solids back then — But those were mostly grays. No that couldn’t be it. But I was mentally in the right time period.

Fabric solids 004

When I found this piece I knew it wasn’t Seminole. Maggie Kaplan and I made six quilts for a commission consignment for Patty F. Smith. She owned an Art Gallery that supplied art prints and other art work to industrial sites. The six quilts we made were to go to a high-end Adult Community Living establishment.

Mystery solved . . .  now back to cutting up.

Studio Space: Quilting

I have one section of shelves almost finished. I may have about four cubbies left. The slots on the bottom are open for fabric but I could see cat finding that very inviting.

If a cat won’t sit on your quilt you might think twice about your work.

I promised myself when I finished one area of shelves I would stop sorting and do some sewing. What will I make?quilt sunflower 003Rty-red+yellow 3x3

These are two WIPs (works in progress), that could be finished. The one on top will be a queen sized. The one on the bottom is approximately 50″ square.

Studio Space for Quilting

I have a loft space which could easily be two small bedrooms. I coveted this space and took it over when the pool table left. Little by little I added more stuff to it. There were books, fabric, items that couldn’t find a place in another area of the house. And little by little it got out of control. There were areas that worked but I couldn’t get to them easily. Before I could work I would have to stop and  move something. clearing the floor 012

Then there was the bribe. The big guy would agree to put new flooring down if I would agree to emptying the room. It was a stalemate. One, I told him I didn’t want to do it and you can see why. Two, it was a huge undertaking. He did say he would help. Uh-huh. I warned him that even though I agreed to empty the room don’t count on me getting rid of anything.  We packed everything in boxes and the room was empty in three days.

In three weeks almost everything was back in the room. The shelves took up half the room. The floor was beautiful and clean and clear. Now to put thing on the shelves. Because the packing was finished so quickly there was no rhyme or reason to how things went into boxes. I tried to label as I went but even that wasn’t successful.

Studio floor - cleanStudio fabric sorting 001Studio fabric sorting 002

I took fabric from boxes and plunked it onto shelves. At first I tried to put it in color categories then I gave up. That brings us to March 2015 — two years later. Frustrated with opening and closing boxes to find out what is inside I said ENUF! How am I going to get this back to where I can actually find what I need when I need it? Yes my former workroom was a mess but I knew where everything was.

I started by removing two shelves of fabric. I had a brilliant idea I would sort it into stripes, geometrics, colors, floral, ethnic, regional. I started dividing them into groupings. I looked at what I had and again I said, “What a mess.” I had too many groups — I needed to simplify. I had two empty shelves not TEN. As you saw yesterday I started with hand dyes and black and whites. That emptied two more shelves. From there I could pull from the shelves without sorting on to the table. I decided where to put it by what the color looked like to me first . To that I also added what I had sorted on the table. It wasn’t 100% perfect but it was better than it had been.

Fabric - black and white008frabics - red

Which leave space on other shelves for more sorting.

Studio fabric sorting 005Studio fabric sorting 006

Open shelves, more space. If I refolded the fabric I would have more space still. That will be another day.

Nature abhors a vacuum — I imagine this vacancy too will soon be gone.

Quilting: Reorganizing Studio Space

I had new flooring put down in my studio. Together the big guy and I packed all it’s contents into boxes and moved them to a storage unit.  Once the hardwood floors were in shelves went up. The big guy and son assembled what seemed like way too many shelves, but the engineer with his calculator said you will fill those up — trust me. He was right, all the boxes were brought back in and I emptied them onto the shelves helter skelter. My suggestion should you think of doing this is DON’T.  For two years I haven’t been able to find what I am looking for. SO — of course I go buy more fabric. It is painful process walking into a quilt store to buy more fabric. AND YES –  the shelves have filled up.??????????????????

Here’s Riley enjoying the empty shelves.

But once the decision to stop procrastinating about reorganizing happened it was HOW? I decided to just take it one shelf at a time. I emptied the top of my sewing table and emptied the first two shelves and began. I would start with Black and White.Fabric - black and white008

then I would move through the color wheel. Red would be next.frabics - red

It feels good to have forward momentum again. It is also inspiring because I am seeing the fabric again with fresh eyes.  I’ve decided to just work on one section at a time. In the past I have torn everything up at once and found myself in the center of chaos. At that point I will walk into the room, look around and walk right back out overwhelmed with the job in front of me.

I am also finding old fabric friends, and pieces I may need to make just one more block is an almost finished WIP quilt.