Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Feeling blessed, and getting organized!

Hello my dear blogging friends.  I have been surprised by a couple of wonderful stitching friends this week, and I have to share.  These random acts of kindness have touched my heart, and made me reflect on my responsibility to do more for others.

First off, I won Jennifer's blog giveaway a few months ago.  Woohoo fabulous Gingher scissors!  I was the last person to comment on her post, and  you can imagine my surprise when my name was picked by the random generator.  Jennifer was going through some very difficult stuff in her personal life, so through an e-mail I told her not to worry about sending anything, which I really meant!  I was the last person I wanted her to worry about.  How sweet of her to still send the scissors to me.  She even threw in my favorite kind of candy bars!  Beautiful scissors and fabric Jennifer?  You totally went beyond anything I expected, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Do you remember this sampler from my 2012 goals to finish this year?  This was a Round Robin that I did in 2007 with my local stitch group.   I had decided to just stitch the last section so I could get it up on the wall.  Well last week, I received an e-mail from Edgar, who volunteered to stitch the last section for me.  I was completely surprised by his offer.  I really could not believe that someone would volunteer to do that!   I am honored by his request, and thank him so much for being willing to share his stitching with me.  It will mean so much to me to know that the whole sampler was stitched by people I admire and consider great friends. 
What else have I been doing this week?  Well, Deb and I had been e-mailing back and forth about getting organized and getting our sewing mojo back.  One thing that I know I have been needing to do for a long time, is improve my sewing space.  (Thanks Deb for the gentle push in the right direction!)   My husband was on vacation last week, so I was showing him my completely overstuffed closet, and asking his advice on how to get things under control.  The next thing I know, the whole loft looks like a bomb went off!  It's hard to believe that all of this...
and this...
and into my tiny closet!  What an embarrassment!  I ended up taking all of my fabric out of my drawers (below), and if it had 2 or more yards, I wrapped it on bolts.  I now have about 3 times this amount, and my daughter keeps calling it her quilting store.  LOL!
Now with the fabric out of here, I organized all of my quilt kits into the drawers.  I also organized a drawer for wool.  My DMC floss is now in it's case, and there is nothing in front of it, so I can open it easily. (big sigh of relief!)  The blue shoe boxes still need labels, but they are holding my bindings for quilts that are at the quilters, and fabric that I have cut into various squares and rectangles.  I also have one with card making supplies.   
DH built in an extra shelf, and reinforced the ones I had.  Fabric is very heavy, and it was making the shelves bow.  I was worried that if we had an earthquake, there would be some serious damage done to my stash.  I organized all of my fabrics that are less than 2 yards into these drawers, and you can't really see it, but I also have shoe boxes stacked on the left side.  There are 12 boxes for fat quarters, and every color has it's own box.  I also added another filing cabinet below these bins, and all of my cross-stitch kits and patterns are stored there.   
This is one of my favorite things we did.  I don't have a lot of pre-made frames, but I thought this was a good way to store little frames that I have purchased for certain projects.  This is inside the closet above the door.  My husband reinforced it with an extra piece of wood as most of the nails would not have been in the studs.  Now they are not getting scratched and taking up a lot of valuable shelf space.
The other thing I have been meaning to do for a long time is to recover my sewing chair.  This is a chair I have had for 11 years, and I love stitching in it, however the cream color was starting to look really dingy.  Yuck it was time to replace it, but new cushions would have cost $279.00.  I was really intimidated to tackle this project, and even though I have had the fabric for over a year, I have had to sit and think about how to do it for a long time.  Finally I decided that I needed to get it done, or get a new chair, so I went at it, starting with the foot stool.  I was able to get it done in ONE day, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  It only cost me $24.00 for the fabric, kaching!  I am really pleased with the results. 
I still want to stain my little drawer unit to match my chair, and I want to cover my computer chair with the same fabric as my accent pillow, but WOW what a difference it makes.  It really has motivated me to get projects done, and I'll show you more pictures when I'm done organizing everything.  Right now I am working on putting the past 9 years of pictures into albums and getting that out of the way.  It feels good to get things under control.  Hope you all have a little time to organize your sewing space, and to do something nice for someone else.  Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving me your wonderful comments.  They make my day!  Until next time...Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Goals

Hi to all my blog friends.  It's hard to believe that it has been so long since my last post!  A lot has happened in my life the past 6 months.  My daughter's ballet and school schedule have been responsible for most of my absence, but I also have been put in charge of the 14-15 year old girls at my church.  Teaching on Sunday and having an activity every Wednesday for10 girls, has been really fun and exhausting at the same time.  I have not done a lot of stitching in the past 6 months, which makes for one cranky mom!  The reason I started this blog in the first place, was to be able to post some stitching and sewing goals.  It was a great bonus to meet some wonderful friends and be able to be inspired by your work.  I found myself buying 2 projects to every one I finished. I even found my stitching style changing as I looked at everything out there.  I definitely started to do harder projects, and found myself buying 40 count linen!  Yikes, my eyes are regretting that!  Well, I have a closet that is pretty much out of control, and a stitching drawer that cannot handle one more project!  It's time to make some goals to finish what I have, and hopefully I can be happy with my stash and not be tempted to add to it every week!   
I have been noticing a lot of challenges going on for finishing WIP's, and am going to add my list here. If anyone is working on the same projects and wants to do a SAL, please let me know.  It's always more fun to work on something with someone else.Sorry I didn't bother to iron all my linen before pictures.  You get to see my goals, wrinkles and all.
I really, really want to get this one done soon.  I love this project, but it doesn't love me!  I have had to unpick a great deal on this, for some reason.  Despite that, it's still one of my favorite samplers, and I want to see it hanging in my living room real soon.  This is a sampler called Mary Allen.  I am doing a SAL with Deb.  What do you say Deb, are you ready for more? 

I showed incredible restraint at the Shepherd's Bush sale last Saturday, and this was the extent of my purchases.  The frames were only $7.00 for both!  Can you believe that?  I could not pass them up.  Jolene gave me the little kit in the stocking for one of my fabulous Christmas presents, and I bought the other one at the sale.  One of my goals this year is to start a collection of small pincushions to rest in a bowl.  So many of you have these, and I just love them!
I want to finish Shores this year if it kills me!  Why I put it down in the first place, I will never know, but picking it back up again has been so hard.  My goal is to get one block a month done until it is finished.  My Mom and SIL are going to start a SAL with Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow, so I hope to finish this before starting that OWB  (overwhelming Beast!)
I started this on a plane ride to Philadelphia a year and a half ago.  I'd love to have it framed and displayed by July. 
This is Drawn Threads, Random Thoughts.   I realized that I stitched the center words in the wrong colors, and I haven't been real happy with it since. I don't think it would take long to finish, so it's on the list.  I'll have to get the whole thing done before I decide if I need to frog  the center. 
I started this on Thanksgiving, thinking I could get it done by Christmas (yea, right!)  It's such a cute design.  It's called Joy to the World by Heartstring Sampling, and those cleaver ladies at the  Shepherd's Bush changed the linen and thread colors.  It's wonderful in person.  I want this hanging up for Christmas next year.
I took this class from the Swan Sampler Guild several years ago.  I love this design from Ellen Chester, and I have no idea why I put this away.  I have all of the things in it to make it into a huswife, but it would be lovely framed as well.  I will have to finish the stitching and decide what to do with it. 
This is Little House Needlework's, Hillside Traveler.  This is the one that has been getting most of my attention this week.  I love working on it.  My husband took the kids out for a couple of hours on Monday, and the house was quiet for the first time in months!  I filled in most of the green hill and stitched the little people, and watched  "The African Queen" with Kathryn Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.  It recharged my stitching batteries.  I forgot how much stitching can calm the nerves!
This is a Round Robin that my local stitching group did in 2007.  I have been waiting to have one more friend stitch on it, but I think I will complete the last section so I can get it up on the wall.  This was really fun to do, and each motif was stitched by a dear friend which makes it special.
I think this is my oldest WIP.  I don't know what possessed me to buy this other than I was dazzled by the pretty colors.  This is stitching for the crazy person!  Better get it done before my eyes are completely shot.  I love this design, but it is very tedious to work on.  The Heart's Content, English Carpet.
I had the pleasure of attending the Swan's Sampler Guild retreat this summer.  I intended to post about it, but never got around to it.  It was a wonderful event, and I met new stitching friends, and got acquainted with old friends as well.  Betsy Morgan was a fabulous teacher.  I would love to finish this before next Christmas so I can display it with my antique toys. 
This is another class that I took at a retreat in Park City several years ago.  It's a lovely needle case, and a girl can't have too many of those, right?
I bought this from The Silver Needle, the minute it came out.  I love Halloween, and this Etui by Just Nan was so clever.  I stitched the first section on the way to Quilt market in Houston, and then got sidetracked by quilts, and didn't get back to it.  I want this done by Halloween this year!

I have been doing some mystery quilts with a darling, new shop near my home called"My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe".  The designer is the twin sister of the owner.  So far I have completed the Halloween, and Christmas quilts.  This is the January quilt that should be on my wall right now, but I didn't get it to the quilter's in time.  I start the Valentine one this week.  So I need to get this one completed first.
I worked on this over Christmas.  This is from American Patchwork and Quilting August 2004.   It's a beautiful table runner, and I just need to sew on the tabs and the back.  It's a Blackbird Design.
Bunny Hill's, Vintage Christmas.  I worked on this at the last quilting retreat that I attended.  I am so close to finishing it, just need to do the embroidery, and put it together for the quilter.  If I get it in soon, she should be able to get it back to me before next Christmas. 

Well, I have several other quilts and small projects that need attention, but I think this is enough for the goals this year.  A goal unwritten is just a wish, so hopefully this will propel me to complete these things this year.  If you are still with me, I thank you so much for your comments and support!  I miss all my blog friends, and hope you have a wonderful and great stitching year!  Until next time.