Kathleen's Blog
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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Saturday, 10 January 2009 04:35

Today is a very special day, it's my mom's birthday...she's the big 7-0!  After 8 children, lots of grandchildren and great grandchildren, she still looks great.  My mother is a true inspiration to others, and she amazes me everyday.  It is because of her that I have pursued my sewing and quilting life.  From the beginning of her insistence that all her daughters learn to sew all the way through her encouraging words of wisdom whenever I made something new, my mother has always been a  positive force in my love of sewing and quilting.

As a young girl I sewed most of my own clothes, and a lot for my brothers and sisters.  Mom was always the one to say in the store while shopping..."Oh, Kathleen, you can make that yourself".  I can't remember one time that my mother has ever made a negative comment about anything I have ever made...she always knew what to say, even if I had made a mistake in the pattern.  She'd say..."You planned that right?"  She taught me to step outside the box and just because none of my friends really sewed, I had a talent unlike no other.  "Don't waste what you know the best" she would tell me.  My mom may not really know that my sewing was a part of me that I knew would always keep me close to her, simply because she encouraged me so.

My mom is the one that will brag to anyone, and I mean ANYONE who is willing to listen about something I have made her or anyone else for that matter.  She is constantly reminding everyone..."Kathleen made this and Kathleen made that".  She's my one member fan club!  So, this is a very special day indeed, just because it is my mom's birthday!  Thank you mom for everything you have done in your life that inspired me to be who I am today and encouraged me everyday to be the best I can be!


PS...I'll go ahead and let the "other" 7 of your kids know that I'M YOUR FAVORITE...it's okay, say it out loud!


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Thursday, 08 January 2009 19:22

Does this kind of container look familiar to you?  Well, it may not look like much to my sisters (NONE of my 5 sisters sew today, even though Mother insisted we learn what she called "The Skill").  To a quilter, this box is pure Heaven!  Hundreds of strips cut from reds, whites, creams, tans and blues.  How could you ask for anything more?  I am currently working on a new class project and store sample that screams patriotic and it is really beginning to take shape.  You'll have to check back and stay tuned for more on this project update.

This container also brings to mind as to how I organize my ongoing projects and class/store samples.  My whole studio has been what I call "containerized"...by project, color, size, theme or pattern.  I label all my containers, so that when I have several projects going on at once (oh, that's right, no quilter ever worked on more than ONE project at a time...right?) I can pull the container that has the project I need to finish that day, week or month and all of my supplies are neatly tucked inside.  With the exception of when the lid won't stay on simply because there are too many supplies in that said container and it is busting at the seams...literally!  I just hate it when a container won't cooperate with my plan!


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