Kathleen's Blog
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 21:30

Have I mentioned that I just love the invention of the "CONTAINER"?  I am actually slightly compulsive about it...ok, I am really COMPULSIVE about it.  Embrace your weaknesses, that's what I say!  Here's a picture of one of the container areas of my studio.  Notice these containers are all labeled...it really helps when you have more than one or two or TEN containers at one time.  My family says the labeling of the containers is just part of my whole neat freak tendencies...can you believe that? 

I like to use the larger containers to store those "special" fabrics I have purchased that are for one particular project, because if it goes in my regular stash it may get used up in something it was not intended for.  In that case I would simply have to buy more fabric...and we just can't have that now, can we?  I use the smaller shoebox size containers for those little strips of fabrics organized for any of the many paper piecing projects I have going on.  Believe it or not using the container system of organizing projects, or fabrics for projects is really a great way to keeping things less cluttered in your sewing space.  It's not just for us NEAT FREAKS any more!




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Wednesday, 21 January 2009 23:49

Have you guessed what this beautiful group of red, white and blue blocks are going to make?  I stuck to my 4 blocks a day and before I knew it, all 64 blocks were complete.  It seems less daunting to me when I break the quilt down to small increments of time per day.  I needed 64 blocks total, divided by making 4 blocks a day, equals 16 days.  Once you make a few of these blocks, you can whip each one out fairly quick...I have it down to 20 minutes per block...no blocks are the same in color sequence.  I love the play you get when you use a lot of different reds, whites and blues.  It also hides a multitude of sins when piecing.  The more different fabrics you use in one project will keep the eye from seeing any flaws in the piecing.  My students love this little quilting fact!  Try it, you're gonna love it!  I simply love what I do!

PS...another little tidbit about this particular project...there are almost 1200 pieces in the completed wall hanging (YES, it's a wall hanging)



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Sunday, 18 January 2009 22:10

This is what my studio looks like when I have it set up to work on a containerized project.  I like having everything at my finger tips and anything that keeps me from wasting time moving from one work station to another during the block construction phase of a new project makes me HAPPY!  As you can see my sewing machine sits in the center with my big board to my right.  My TV is to my left, so I can multi task and watch a tv program at the same time...most of the time I have it on CMT and watch all those "make me cry country videos" while I am working.  I have the ironing station set to the end of my big board and if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see a small cutting area and my new little fabric basket that my friend Sandy made me for catching scraps off the big board.  My container that has my fabrics all cut in it is sitting on the opposite edge of the big board.  This may look like utter chaos to most people, but to a quilter it is sheer heaven!  I also use a rolly type chair so I can move with ease from the machine to the cutting and ironing station...and guess what, my butt never leaves my seat!  It really saves me a lot of time, and since most block contruction is a continual and repetitive set of events I get more done in less time.  Give it a try...and don't worry that you aren't getting any exercise while staying in your rolly chair, because you just need to throw a load of laundry in the washer and put something in the crock pot so you "have" to get up to check those things.  Multi tasking at it's finest!  I can hear my sister telling me that I have truly exhausted her and she needs a nap!  Sorry Mic!



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Wednesday, 14 January 2009 09:36

Here we go... a quick update on the Red, White and Blues container of strips.  The pile of blocks is getting bigger and bigger each day...I organized this project to make 4 blocks a day, while I work on another two or three projects at the same time.  This is why the container is so important, I have all the supplies I need in there and it helps me stay focused on a project even when I get interested in something else.  If you are finding yourself bored with a project or dreading working on it, then try containerizing it and give yourself a goal of so much sew time on it each day.  I tell my students all the time that the most important thing to overcome is figuring out where to find the "time" to devote to a quilting project.  My best advice is to just allow yourself 20 minutes of time a day to work on something, and if it is containerized your time is more wisely used when you're not spending most of that 20 minutes looking for the supplies.  When you add up that 20 minutes each day it really produces a finished project quicker than you would think.  So, the next time one of your projects becomes a UFO, try containerizing it and think about it in small increments of time instead of the whole project at once.    Now, if I could only be that diligent with the housework!



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Monday, 12 January 2009 21:04

Do you have a new favorite item in your Sewing Room/Studio or Sewing Area?  Well, I sure do!  My friend Sandy made me this really neat basket for Christmas and I just love it!  I keep it on my big board where I not only press blocks, I also trim up pieces and tend to accumulate a ton of little pieces of fabric, thread and paper (when paper piecing).  This cute fabric basket is just perfect for all those little trimmings...it's kind of like a mini trash can, but much nicer!  Thank you Sandy, you're the BEST!

Now, my husband walked into my Studio the other day and saw this little basket sitting on my big board and he says, where did you get this, and puts it promptly on his head!  Hey, this is a really cool hat...can I borrow it to wear to work and show all the guys?  Uh, NO!  Get it off your head!  It's a basket... goofy!  Isn't he cute?



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