Folding FUN!!

I have had a couple of people ask for a demonstration of exactly how I am folding the fabric.

The technique that I use is NOT my own creation. I saw this idea many years ago on some Youtube video and I have used it successfully on a portion of my fabrics during the last 10 years.

The first step is to figure out how big you want your folded fabrics to be. In my case, the shelves were 13 inches wide, 15+ inches deep and 13 inches high

I knew that I wanted two rows of fabrics in each cube so that meant that they could be a maximum of 6.5 inches each. After lots of trial and error, I decided on a 6 inch fabric width.

Since most fabric is approximately 44 inches wide, that makes it 22 inches wide when folded in half (selvedges matching). If I fold it in half again, it is 11 inches “deep” which would fit perfectly in my 15 inch shelves.

And so it begins………

Not all of the fabric pieces are as easy as the ones that I demonstrated. It has been interesting to try to make every piece fit in some way, but I have honestly been able to fold more of them than I thought I would.

Today I found a few minutes to finish one of the blue boxes….only 3 more to go…..

Stay safe and sane!!!!

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Spring Cleaning

Or maybe it is COVID cleaning!!! This weekend I knew that I needed to spend some time getting the house cleaned up and some spring decorations out…..I have had enough for blue for now!!!

The first stop was the second floor!! I hadn’t done a good clean since the studio remodel and everything was still covered in a fine layer of dust. My first priority was my studio….naturally!!!

After dusting and sweeping everything in sight, I wanted to get some projects on the design walls to inspire me to keep creating. Then I moved all of the unsorted fabric boxes out of the bathroom and into my room……

I have worked thru 6 boxes and have 17 more to go. Yikes…..I may be folding fabric for the rest of my life!!!

I put quilts on the wall to add a bit more inspiration……

Here is the entire room in one photo……

And the best thing is that the bathroom is empty again……

I finally got the new hall (that leads to a bedroom and bathroom) decorated…..

….and I especially like the view as I am walking down the hall to my studio…..

Finally, to add a bit of color to the stairs, I decided to hang one of the quilts that my Mom made……

This quilt has a great story. She started it back when my Dad was away serving in WWII and remembered that it was the first time she had ever purchased fabric to make a quilt. She pieced the top but never got around to quilting it. Over the years her interest in quilting waned and it sat, unfinished, in a small cardboard box!! In the early 1970’s her interest in quilting returned and she offered to finish the quilt for my “hope chest”. Unfortunately, the white fabrics had yellowed badly so she carefully un-pieced it and re-pieced it with new white fabric. She added her gorgeous hand quilting to finish it…..

Anyway, on Monday it was back to work as usual, but at least with a cleaned house and lots of colorful, Spring decorations…..

Busy, busy weekend

As you might imagine, I spent a lot of time in my studio this weekend but am super happy with the progress that I made.

I did a bit of fabric folding just to see how the new shelves are going to work. After trying several different sizes of folds, I discovered that the 6 inch width worked best. But, I did use a smaller one (5-1/2) to fold the larger lengths. They just get way too wide when you start with the 6 inch ruler.

This process is pretty slow but I think that I will enjoy it once I have everything out to see!!’

The one problem that I have to solve is what to do with all of the pieces that are too small to fold this way but too big to toss into the scrap bin. For now I am just putting them aside and will think about it at the end.

I debated long and hard about what type of storage to use under the cutting table and finally opted for 4 drawer systems……

These hold all of my cut strips and leftover bits. I need one more small unit (like the one on the left) to finish the storage. I especially like that the units form a surface for the ruler rack to stand, making everything right at my fingertips. And, there is just enough space between the drawers to stand my light board!!

On the other side, I put a small shelf system that holds my cut scrap squares, and my bead and embroidery supplies. The basket will hold all of the scraps that need to be sorted and cut.

I built this IKEA drawer system with the idea of using it to store all of my thread…..

….. but it didn’t end up being the best solution for my Gutermann threads so those will stay as the are right now (in plastic cases on the left). The top works perfectly for a small ironing station.

However, I LOVE having these drawers close to my machine. The top drawer has all of my bits and pieces……

One has my quilting rulers…..

And one has all of the cone threads that had previously been hanging on the wall….

There are still several drawers that are empty, but I am sure that I will find a good use for them before long.

This is how my sewing station looks…..

This is my new ironing table.

The original ironing board belonged to my Grandmother and it is SO sturdy!!! I was mentioning to one of my friends that I was planning to build a new top for an ironing surface and she said “I have one that I don’t need anymore…..do you want it!!!”. It works wonderfully!!!

I am pleased with the flow of the work stations……

I am thinking that it will be super easy to move between ironing, cutting and sewing.

I have partially finished the design wall, but ran out of oomph so it will wait until a later date.

The list of things to finish up is HUGE and I know that it will be much later before I get it all together, but I am happy with this basic setup.

Now…..to work….the real kind and not the fun kind!!!

Picking out furniture!!

The painter’s arrive on Monday morning and hopefully my expanded studio will be finished early next week. As the end has come closer, I really started thinking about how I wanted to arrange things and also make decisions about what furniture I wanted to add.

My first decision was about fabric storage. Previously my fabric has all been stored in plastic boxes which get HEAVY and, when I am working with many colors, REALLY messy. I knew that I wanted to have everything out on the shelves and easy to see (and get to)

After LOTS of searching online, and reading TONS of opinions, I have decided to go with Ikea Kallax shelves…..

…and have figured out that I have space for 2 sets of 5×5 shelves. From what I have read online, I can fold my fabrics to be 5 inches wide and get two columns of fabric into each cubicle.

Next was a way to store threads….. again I went to Ikea and decided on the Alex drawer system…..

I have some ideas about how to set the drawers up but will have to try it first before I tell you about it!!!

Finally, I wanted a new cutting table. Because I am taller, I really wanted something that could be 38 or 39 inches tall. Those are NOT easy to find. I had planned how to build one but knew that it was going to be difficult, time consuimg and fairly expensive to do!! My plan was for it to be 36″ x 60″. The first step was to buy a cutting mat that was the correct size……PROBLEM…..they don’t make them anymore!! I only found one online and it had horrible ratings!! I did find the Martelli mat and knew that it would be a good product, but it was only 30×60.

I took this as a sign that my cutting table should only be 30×60!!! When I started looking for cutting tables I ran across the idea of using a standing desk…..and magically, they are 30×60!!! I have ordered this one…..

It comes with very high ratings and, when I tried one in a local store, it seems to be very sturdy and steady. It can rise to over 40″ tall but can also be lowered if I ever want to work from my chair.

So now I wait…..and wait……and wait!!! Not really…… most of this should be in next week and I can finally get it all in place.

I can’t wait to get up there!!!

Wall down…..wall up (almost)

]The construction crew arrived early this morning and immediately started pulling up carpet, knocking down walls and starting on the new wall!!

The only thing that they ran into was an exhaust pipe mysteriously hidden in the wall that was coming down. The plumber is coming tomorrow to re-route it!!!

At days end, this is where it stands……

….dang that pipe!!!!

I am already thinking about the fun projects that will happen in here!!!

Weekend Progress…..

Well, the studio and sitting room are now empty, waiting for the contractors to come tomorrow and tear down the adjoining wall!!! And, most of the stuff fit into the bathroom…..

Having said that, my books and book shelves are in another bedroom and my sewing machine table is still in the corner of the room!!

It was interesting to think thru all of my “stuff” as I was moving it. I know that I did a pretty big purge last summer, but I am thinking that I may need to do some more!!!

I was amazed at how many pins I had on my design wall……

I have struggled to find pins that work well on my design wall. I kept thinking that I needed longer ones but they tend to bend easily so I am going to see if I can find some that are shorter and sharper….any suggestions??

On the sewing front, I have continued working on the “Color Wheel” applique and now just have one more set of circles to sew down. They are basted in place here….

My plan from here is to add triangles in the corners (make it a square in a square) and add another (yet unknown) design element!! As I look at it, I feel certain that it needs more swirls of some sort.

Finally, I have been quilting on the Henna Girl…..

When I first started doing the echo lines, I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but as I have done more, it has grown on me.

Finally, the weekend was made even better by ……

SNOW!!!

We don’t often get it in Georgia so this was a nice change. Even better, it was gone within 12 hours!!!

The last excitement of the weekend was learning about the iPhone app…..Marco Polo!! You can record a short video to send to someone and then, when they have time, they can video back. It’s like a video chat but you both don’t have to be on the same time schedule. My excitement today was getting to “talk” to our friend Ruth and see her sweet twin boys (that I haven’t met yet) and the ever sweet Bo……