Monday, January 12, 2009

Sewing room changes, quilting goals, and Ruthie update

It's not a clever title, but tells you exactly what you'll get!

Before Christmas, I decided that my sewing room really needed an overhaul. It felt cramped and was very cluttered, as I'd gotten into the habit of placing some storage on the floor in front of existing storage. I also had a stack of bins that looked messy and had a tendency to lean. I was just not happy with it all anymore. I did manage to wait until after the holidays to pull it all apart, I was itching to do it the week before Christmas, but knew I had way too much to do Christmas week to have the room in disarray!

Our bedroom was also getting the same feel, so I tore both rooms apart, moving some storage between them, and revamped both rooms.

In the first picture, the area on the right is the "clutter" spot and tends to gather the bits and baubles that need to be put away. It used to be the cutting area, but I now use my table for that as I can clear it off easily and have plenty of room. The old cutting area tended to be a bit cramped when working with larger pieces of fabric or making larger cuts.

The middle area is a dresser, which contains "office" type supplies, along with some bags and a couple of works in progress. I can put them away out of sight, but have easy access to them. On top of it is a small ironing board, which can also be easily moved to the table if I need more space. For most of the pressing involved in quilt piecing, it will be just fine where it is and be right behind where my sewing machine will be set up, providing easy access.

The second picture shows my table, which has an extra leaf available when needed. I placed it on an angle, which really opened up the room a lot. The shelves full of bins don't look nearly as cluttery in person as in the picture to me, but it is what it is!

The bookshelf is all the way to the right and has a small quilt hanging on it. I plan to make a couple more that size so I can change them out with the seasons. This one says "Let It Snow" much to the chagrin of Rachel (16) who really doesn't like winter once we get past the holidays.

The biggest change is in the third picture. I brought down my chaise/couch (sits like a chaise, looks like a couch) from our bedroom and put it in front of the window. The dresser that was there went to our bedroom. The dresser in the earlier picture was in the corner, but I brought down some storage boxes from our room for that spot. Because of the angle of the boxes, there is a small space between the couch and the boxes that is just perfect for my sewing machine in it's case. It's out of sight, but quite easily accessible. The couch is not only nice for doing handwork on, but will allow me to keep an eye on Lucas and Ruthie when they are outside and I would rather not be. The seat of the couch lifts off and provides a bunch of storage underneath. I took all the basted quilts and finished tops out of the leaning tower of boxes and they ALL fit in this space. Again, easy to access when looking for a project, but totally out of sight.

So now I love this room more than ever. When joined by one or more of the kids, I don't feel like we're all crammed in a small space, and I can't get to what I want/need.

With that big project out of the way, I'm turning my thoughts to my winter quilting. The stained glass quilt, "Joyful", is nearly done. I have 3 1/2 more blocks to quilt and then the small borders. I'm hoping to be binding this by the end of the week. Once it's finished, I'll be taking a couple more pictures and hopefully the colors will be more true. I love the picture, LOL, but the colors are much brighter than the picture shows.

As soon as Joyful is done, the ring block quilt will be next in the hoop. This one will take a long time, it's very large, 98 x 98, and has a lot of quilting on it. I've been looking forward to this one since I finished it and even moreso since I revamped the outer border. I'm hoping to make quite a dent before the weather gets warm and then the small frame might make an appearance again. With my room redone, I should be able to have it out without it being too disruptive to the space.

Also on the agenda is assembling the posy and celtic top. The blocks are finished now and I had planned to put the top together over the weekend but got waylaid so it is still needing to be done. I've decided not to get out the sewing machine until I have to bind Joyful, so this won't be worked on until then. Once out, the machine will stay out for a while as I have a couple of other tops that I want to work on as well.

One is a new strip quilt. This one has background fabric on half of the block and will be set in a zig zag setting once finished. With only half of the piecing of the other quilt, this one should go much faster. There will be a motif quilted in the large triangle and when set together it will nearly look like a continuous design.

I've also pulled out an old project. Many years ago, my first foray into the internet quilting world was an IRC chat line. We did quite a few swaps, and one of them was a flying geese swap. Usually when I did a swap, I made enough blocks to make a whole quilt top, but way too many of these would have been needed. I have several strips of 6 geese from the swap and also traded fabrics with a good friend who designed this paper pieced foundation. We also both received some fabric pieces from other friends, the goal being to have no two geese the same. These were out of sight, so out of mind, but a few months ago I came across them and really want to finish. The blocks are nearly done, will be set into long, vertical rows, and there will be a print strip of fabric between the rows. That's the plan, anyway, I won't know for sure until I lay it all out!

Writing it out makes me even more excited about it all. I've been doing chores while waiting for pictures to upload, so once I'm done posting I should be able to quilt for a good part of the day. It's supposed to snow here again, and I'm hoping it starts while still daylight so I can quilt and watch it fall.

And finally, Ruthie. She's doing so well, and is more verbal every day, it seems. The baby look is totally gone and she's quite the young lady. She looked so adorable dressed for church yesterday so I tried to get some pictures. Of course, getting her to sit still long enough AND look and the camera made things interesting!

At first, she just ran away.

Then she wouldn't look at the camera, though at least she was standing somewhat still.

At right, I coaxed out a smile.

She decided this still displaced storage box (it will soon hold some of the hand-me-downs we've been given for her that are still way too big) was a good place to sit for a picture, though didn't sit there long enough for me to get one!

She's quite the busy girl these days, going from her movies (she sometimes watches two at a time, one on the small TV in their room and one on a portable DVD player that she uses when Lucas is using the TV) to checking out what everyone is doing, playing with her new dolly, and "helping" the kids play games.

With her currently occupied, it's time to fix a quick lunch for me (everyone else has eaten) and get to my sewing! After listing out all the fun things I'm looking forward to, I really want to get to them.
Happy Quilting and Stay Warm!
Sue and Ruthie


Winona said...

Hi Sue, your sewing room looks great. So glad you have gotten it arranged to be more useful for you. I love that stained glass quilt. I hope you post a picture when you get it quilted. Love the pictures of Ruthie as usual. She is growing up. Hope you get your afternoon of quilting while watching it snow. Winona

Connie W said...

It seems many of us quilters in the blog world are in the cleaning out and organizing mood. It always hits me at Christmas time when the time comes to get everything stored away again. I'm working on mine in stages and also some general around-the-house cleaning up. Today I got out a couple of my Emilie Barnes books on organizing and even took one with me to the dentist's office to read during my waiting time.
Ruthie looks so sweet in that dress!

~Bren~ said...

Your sewing room looks GREAT!!! I have always loved it and I am always reminded of what a generous husband you have for giving you over such an incredible know what I mean ;)
My husband spent ALL day yesterday (from 7 am til 7 pm) completely re-doing my entire sewing room. I love it!!! He even built me a REAL (not a thrown together) design know I have always wanted one! 2009 will be a year of quilting for me and now I am ready!
Ruthie is adorable and has certainly lost that baby look!

Belvie said...

I've got the de-clutter bug too. I'm planning to work on my sewing room today, but first I have to run errands before this artic blast hits us.

I'm also going to try to work on more of those UFO's this year and get a finished product from them.

Ruthie sure is growing. She sure looks pretty in her dress. Please tell her so!