For the last few years I have been contemplating moving to a paperless office but was not convinced that I could do it easily. In December I attended a Webinar where they talked in detail about the process and equipment and I made the decision to make it happen. I purchased a second monitor for my computer and have plugged it in using an HDMI port. I was afraid that I would have to restart my computer every time I unplugged the monitor, but it seems that will not be the case. So far it is working great and I have already avoided printing about 100 pages so hopefully the monitor cost will soon be absorbed. On a lighter note, this was my fortune from today’s lunch….. Since this week we are hosting TWO receptions for the Genetics Department (for my husband) AND our Church Community Group, I think that the fortune will come true!!! Hope you are finding time to create!!!!
Well, my week has not started out great in the creative department. It got off to a bad start when I had to have my eyes dilated early Monday morning and couldn’t see for the rest of the day and it was NOT a day that I wanted to sit and “watch” TV. Since then I have been trying to get caught up and studio time has not been in the cards.
I did however make a wonderful discovery. For years I have fought with finding a place to put my shoes. I have a small closet and had initially put a shelf in the bottom so that I could have more room. But, when push came to shove, the shoes were stacked up on top of each other, thrown in the floor of the closet and the door was never closed.
The other day I started looking in the closet and realized that most of my clothes are pants, skirts and tops. I no longer have a bunch of dresses that need the full length of the closet. So, I went out and bought another shelf to sit on top of the first one.
There is now a place for every pair of shoes, I can see them easily, it is super easy to put them away, and I can close the door whenever I want to!!
After the Fiber Frenzy meeting that I talked about in the last post, I started thinking about my quilting “voice”. I believe that I have developed two different, but harmonious voices with my quilting.
Firstly I LOVE scrap quilts, particularly the piecing of them. I love the way that you can select a pattern and fabrics and then simply sew….sew….sew. No thinking, no planning, just putting pieces together and sewing!!!
Now, the second part of my quilting voice cannot just sew and sew….it needs lots of thinking, planning and experimentation. The quilts found in this voice are often based on photographs. This is the voice that I want to work on and try to improve!!!
In thinking about all of this, I realized that the shelves of my bookcase do not reflect the importance of the artistic side of my quilting. I had tons of old magazines, mostly “Quilter’s Newsletter” and “Miniature Quilts” dating back to the 1980’s. As I started looking thru these, I realized that there were very few ideas that I would ever use anymore.
SO…..as I flipped thru them, I tore out the page or two that still appealed to me….mostly scrap patterns.
‘Then I bundled up the magazines in groups of 25-35 and put them away to be taken to the “Yard Sale” of the Lake Oconee Quilter’s Group.
…..there are about 250 magazines here!!!!
So, now there is plenty of room for my “Quilting Arts” and “American Quilter” magazines, along with a whole shelf that can be devoted to my recent art quilt book purchases!!!!
During tax season I really enjoy working on simple and mindless quilts….they are a wonderful way for me to relax for a few minutes each day. Once I have them planned, I can just sit down at the machine and get something done quickly.
The next quilt that I am starting is from the book “Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles”. I am making a quilt that uses eighteen 1-1/2 by 3 inch (finished) rectangles for each block. AND, it takes 63 blocks to make a 60×80 quilt. So, today I spent my time cutting out dark and light rectangles.
However, I have made a very interesting discovery…..I DONT HAVE MANY LIGHT FABRICS!!! Obviously I lean toward brights and darks. I found this a bit worrying since I was trying to make this entirely from my scrap box. However, I then remembered all of those 5 and 6 inch charm squares that I have been given over the years so I am pulling all of the light fabrics out of those as well. I have already cut about 120 of the needed 570 rectangles, and hopefully I can get the rest of them without having to go into my actual stash.
One of the thoughts that has been at the back of my head for a few years is that I dont make good use of all of the scraps that I have. About a year ago, I pulled them all out, ironed them and placed them neatly in a plastic box. I then promptly forgot about them!!!!
While working on these past two scrap quilts, I realized that I dont use them because I forget that they are there, so I found an old unused basket and simply dumped them in. I am hoping that if I see these bits and pieces sitting in my sewing room, I will be more likely to use them when I am looking for “just the right” bit for some pattern.
We will see how this plan goes, but, if nothing else, I am enjoying having a bit more color out in the open.
A few weeks ago I was doing my round of the blogs and seeing what various people had posted about. One blogger (sorry I dont remember who) talked about a new way to fold her fabrics and referenced a You-Tube Video that showed this new system. Check it out here……
The idea was to fold the fabric in half from selvage to selvage and then roll it over a 6-1/2 inch ruler. When you get it rolled, you pull out the ruler and fold the piece in half.
Anyway, back to my story…… I am very happy with the way that my color groupings of fabrics work….they are folded and stored in plastic boxes. It is very easy for me to pull out the box and look for the color that I need. However, I knew that there were several boxes of fabrics that didn’t easily fall into a color category and I felt like I was missing those fabrics because I would forget to look in those particular boxes.
SO, I took all of my larger pieces (2yards and larger) and all of those “too many colors to categorize” fabrics and folded them in the above manner. The only difference that I made was that I used an 8 inch ruler as my guide. It made the pieces a little bit wider, but not as fat.
Here is the finished result. I really enjoyed handling the fabrics and now have a few new quilts in mind to use some of those pieces.