Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday to me. :D

Happy Birthday to me and a big THANK YOU to all those in my life that I treasure and who help keep me creating, sane, and happy. It is an honor to have all of you in my life.

I talked to my mom last night (herself 74 years young) and she mentioned needing some veggie seeds for her spring garden. She is out west in a much warmer zone and virtually months ahead of me here in MN for growing time. So, I pulled together some of my seed packets to send out to her. SPRING IS COMING!

Yeh! Went out to lunch with a dear friend and  I even got a Skype call from Basel, Switzerland where my daughter Jen and her hubby are vacationing and enjoying the Fastnacht festival in Basel. It's like a cross between Mardi Gras and Christmas and Halloween. I was very happy to hear from them and see them on screen.

Hubby and I will go out tonight too and celebrate my 53rd year in style. I don't hide my age or color my hair. I am who I am baby! :D I would not trade one minute of my life to be younger. Live each day creatively. Treasure the day. Best wishes to all.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February Projects!
I just finished 3 more Works in Progress projects this week. Here are some pics.

Don't you just love these 6 inch clam shell style cases? Adorable! These coordinate with the tote bags I have been making lately. 

I call this next bag the red tote bag even though there are many more colors to it than that.  Truly beautiful in Moda fabrics called Marmalade. Most of my tote bags measure 12 inches high x 15 wide x 4 deep. I give them as gifts and want my friends to be able to use them for scrapbook papers, albums and project boxes if needed.

 Below is my second sunflower tote bag with this combination of fabrics. I have used up this part of my stash now (YEAH!) and will move on to my other lovely stash fabrics. After the photo was taken I added an accent sunflower button yoyo to the center upper green pleat square.

This weekend we are having a cyber-sewing-retreat from the Stashbuster quilt group and for it I have been working on my son's blue Lone Star quilt again. I fixed a problem with a too-small backing and have basted the rest of the quilt with my handy-dandy speedy basting gun. I decided that the zillion straight pins I was using were NOT working for me. Pins work for small projects but not big ones. Straight pins and safety pins are not a great way to baste this double to queen sized quilt. The pins were a problem.  I don't like getting poked when free motion quilting. And even closed safety pins snag on things and impede my sewing movement when the project is this big. So the basting gun came to my rescue. Luckily I had one in the drawer and lots of those little red refill baste-ey-tags.

I hope to continue quilting it tomorrow and sunday and make some real progress on the Blue Lone Star. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Purge 1 item in 5! Challenge 2013 for February

February's Challenge room is the bedroom. So off I went to purge 1 item in each category where I owned 5 or more of something. Five pairs of sneakers? Get rid of one! Either the master bedroom or kids rooms works for the challenge but I worked mainly in my master bedroom and closet.

I read that we really only need to keep about 3 weeks of clothing for any one season (if your climate has true seasons) 21 days. For me in MN that means 21 winter outfits and 21 summer outfits. I am sure I can fudge a few of those into Fall and Spring. Well I am not sure I am down to that yet suggested number, but maybe someday. I did do a big master closet purge though! Go for it and try to purge 1 item for every 5!

From my closet:
32 winter blouses and non-sweater tops. I decided to get rid of 6. That took about half an hour.

Next I went through my winter cardigans and zipper front sweatshirts and sweaters. I have 26 of these so I got rid of 5. Great progress!

Skirts: I had 7 skirts which I almost never wear so I got rid of 2 of them.

Slippers: purged one pair out of 3 of my house slippers. Time to use up the other two! :D 

Swimsuits, I purged 1 in 4, 

Swim Coverups purged 1 in 4, 

Dresses purged 1 in 6, 

Shoes purged 4 pair in 19, 

Short sleeved summer tops purged 6 in 18!! 

Long pants: I donated 5 pants in 21

Capri length pants: These are my summer staple. I don't own shorts. Had 13 pair and purged 2. I am sure the remaining 11 will suit my summer needs just fine! LOL

The grocery sacks of these purged wardrobe items went to Goodwill and Savers and I feel so much more streamlined. Everything actually fits in the closet again and I actually LIKE the items I kept. This makes it much faster and easier to find what I want to wear each morning. By putting my hands on every item, trying them on, and purging out the extras, I now know what I actually have and what I might need. 
Lessen the load by 1 in 5! You will be glad you did.

I recommend everyone clean out their closets this month!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Finishing What I Start. 


One  of my goals this Fall 2012 was to try to make each gift given in 2012 Holiday season as well as into 2013 all year. Many of my Christmas gifts 2012 were scrapbooks, quilted items, genealogy gifts or food gifts. This worked very well for decreasing my pantry, my Christmas fabrics, and some scrapbook papers as well as digital photo files that needed sharing into digital scrapbooks. I wanted in 2013 to get more of my sewing underway and to finish projects that I either had the supplies specifically for or had bought patterns for. I also wanted.  I decided that after focusing on my scrapbooking for soooo many years it was high time for me to get on to using my lingering quilting stash before it was completely classified as pre-historic!

In January 2013 I continued my focus on the sewing stash. Joining a group called Stashbusters (for quilting and sewing) I kept myself motivated. I joined in three specific challenges that I thought would keep me on track. The No Buy 3 month challenge insured that I didn't buy more fabric. This really was not an issue for me but joining this challenge insured that I did not purchase except for bindings, battings, and backings to finish current projects. If someone gives you a gift card, that is ok as are donations of fabric from others. This was a good caveat for me because I had received two gift cards to my local quilt shop for Christmas! LOL I used those buying only necessary fabrics for specific projects.

 There was a Works in Progress (WIP) challenge for new items planned and cut in 2013 and well as a more retroactive Unfinished Objects (UFO) challenge for items cut and started anytime before the current year. Now I am not a person who has hundreds of these things undone. That's just not how I think. I generally get an idea or pattern, start that same thing, and finish that same thing in relatively short order. But I did start 2013 with 9 older UFOs and knew I might be doing about 6-7 new WIP.

Here are my results for January:
Works in Progress finished = 6 completed

 Flannel pillowcases for charity

13 Wool felted pincushions for friend gifts

Disappearing nine patch Christmas table runner for me to keep

Disappearing nine patch table centerpiece mat that matches baby quilt below

 Mug rug for my hubby


I love this one! Quilted tote bag 12x15x4 with 5 inside pockets made for my mom's 74th birthday.

And my UFOs for January: 4 completed

 Two flannel baby boy quilts

 A cotton disappearing nine patch baby girl quilt. Same fabrics as the above table centerpiece mat and will likely be a gift set together.

A wedding gift for a May bride.

I am also finishing up a 7th WIP which is a pastel block tote bag. Just need to put the handles on that. But now that it is February, that will go into the Feb statistics. :D

Next up is to finish a big quilt for my son that has been in my workshop in progress for about 3 months now.

I would love to make some more flannel pillowcases for charity in Feb. with the remainder of those flannel fabrics you saw above. I will finish one more baby girl quilt in corals to have in the 'ready to give' pile. Sometimes you need a gift right now!  Remember, I want to make my gifts, not run to Target every time.  LOL That means thinking ahead, using the tools and stash I have and enjoying the process creatively.

So far, so good!

2013? Bring it on!