Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sewing Room....After!!

Well, I am finally done! I have dusted, vacuumed, sorted, sorted, Sorted! and thrown out a lot over the past week or so and here is the fruit of my labor. What do you think? This first picture is a view from the door. The ironing board on the closet dor is great for most of my ironing. I get out the big board for larger projects. Under the window is a counter my husband attached to the wall;that is my "desk" and is great for my laptop.

These pictures my cutting area and sewing table. I have a small shelf against the wall. I labeled and sorted into baskets notions such as elastic, ribbons, buttons, etc. I tend to move the sewing table to suit my mood but the way it is now is good for general sewing and machine quilting.

These are pictures of the closet. My husband had originally installed the shelves for fabric which I had put in baskets (to sort fabric by color). While it was great to throw the fabric in the baskets, I soon ran out of room and had to stack baskets and things got messy quickly. After a while the fabric was just getting thrown into the first basket I saw. Now I have my books on one shelf and WIPs and fabric kits on the other shelves. Right now the books are in ABC order but I am not going to make myself crazy if a book is not put back in the exact same place.

This is a big part of my fabric collection. It does not look like a whole lot but I folded well over 300 pieces of fabric, each a minimum of 1/4 of a yard. So I figure I must have at least 100 yards of fabric-just on these shelves!

While the folding took a long time, I am going to work very hard to keep my fabric organized this way. There are many advantages: first, it takes up much less room than my fabric baskets did. I can kind of tell by feel approximately how much I have. When I pull out fabrics to audition them, the amount showing gives me a good previw of how it will all look together, w/out having to fold and unfold. And, I feel like I am shopping when I look at my fabric!

Do you like my curtains? I made them a few years ago with my Viking D1. The border looks like a shelf full of flowers. My husband and my oldest daughter, Adrienne, helped me so much when I first decorated and moved into the room in 2005.

Finally, this is the area on and above my cutting table. I just wanted you to see the organizer on my cutting board-it is the silverware basket from my old dishwasher! Also, this is my collection of jelly rolls and charm squares. (I need to find a permanent spot for them)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making Progress??

I have been busy working on my sewing room but it is going more slowly than I expected. The room is looking worse instead of looking better. So far I have folded lots of fabric (so far I have used 325 comic boards!!) and sorted through my books and magazines. When Adrienne was here this weekend, she took several yards of fabric with her. I have one tote so far full of fabric I am donating somewhere and I bought a new trashcan today to use as an indoor dumpster-if I can bear to throw anything away. Here are a couple of pictures:

This is a picture of all the folded fabric. It took
me about 16 hours to get it all folded. I have about 20 pieces more to fold; then I need to take
care of charm squares and jelly rolls.

These are the magazines I am keeping.
The containers are from Staples: I went in
to price magazine holders and I thought they
were too expensive so I asked the manager if I
could have the displays from the back-to-
school items. I spent about 15 minutes
condensing the folder display into less
containers and in return, I was able to take the
holders. (I hope what I said makes sense!)

Back to the trenches!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Sewing Room....Before

This is just some of my fabric; there are shelves above and to the sides of the door entrance.

This is my desk for my laptop. Yeah, right.

My cutting area.

Have you seen the tv show "How to Look Good Naked"? I have never watched it but I think that taking pictures of my sewing room may come close to taking pictures of yourself naked. The room is pretty bad but I am thinking that if I show them I will work harder to get to the point to take the AFTER pictures. So this is the plan:

1. Sort, fold and organize fabric. I got myself some comic book boards to fold the fabric around. I got 200 of them for $17.oo. This is much cheaper than boards advertised for quilters. They are also acid free.

2. Go thru my books and magazines. I have some that I have forgotten about and some magazines I don't think I have read thoroughly.

3. Clean out some of the stuff that is really not sewing related. I just don't know where to put it...

4. Give a good dusting and vacuum, clean the windows and woodwork (before I put things away).

Today I will pick up my living room (hardly used) so I can work out there on the fabric. Since Adrienne is coming home I don't want a huge mess up there. I can bring out fabric as I work on it and once it is folded it will look a lot neater. (Ok this is internal thinking-did I really need to post it?)

If you have any good organizing tips, please send them along.

How does that sound? I will keep you posted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Completed Quilts

As promised, here are some picture of quilts I have completed recently. This Dogwood Flower Quilt has been a work in progress for about 3 years. I hand appliqued the flowers and then the quilt sat for about a year. (I used to work on it while meeting monthly at the library with a group of stitchers.) This past July I attended Quilting By The Lake in Morrisville, NY. I took a 2 day workshop with Sue Nichols and got a good start on the quilting. I also learned a lot-Sue is a great teacher. Anyway it is now completed and hanging in my guestroom. Yes! I have a guest room! And it is clean and the bed is completely cleaned off!

Below is a closeup of the quilting:

This quilt is another quilt that to a long time to get to completion. The quilts are the easy part; it is the quilting that takes a while. This is a mini quilt that I completed for my quilt guild challenge. The theme was "Summer Memories". Some of the quilting I am really proud of; some shows that I am still a beginner. The quilt measures about 12"x 14" and was paper-pieced.
I had fun looking for the embellishments.

Here is a closeup. BTW, the flowers are paper cuts and the kitty is a button. This quilt is hanging in my hall. I like to look at it!

So I do finish things!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Momo Strikes Again!

Here are some more pictures of my beautiful grandsons:

I think Michael really likes Dylan!

Michael being Michael.

First day of Second Grade

17 weeks old-time flies by!

I am getting ready for a personal challenge. I am completely overrun with fabric, books, magazines and necessary paraphenalia in my sewing room. So I am planning a major overhaul of it all. It has gotten so (sew?) out of control that it is almost impossible to work in there so something has got to be done. I will be uploading some before pictures tomorrow and I will keep you updated on my progress.

I also have to hem some drapes for my brother, Dylan is being christened next Sunday and Adrienne and Joe are coming home next week. Busy, busy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Food for Thought

I have never thought of myself as a good cook. My brothers will tell you that I still don't know how to make spaghetti and meatballs and my husband will say that there are some favorites his mom used to make that no one can duplicate. But I hope my family will tell you that there are a couple of meals that I have put out there that are not too bad.

The funny thing is, the recipes that enjoy are not necessarily those that I have perfected after many trials and errors. The best meals are those I put together out of desperation or just pulling ingredients out that should go well together. And then there are those that my daughters call "mom cleaned out the freezer". I thought I would share with you one of my latest freezer creations. Please feel free to ignore, change or enjoy.

Several months ago my youngest went to the grocery store for me. I mentioned that sirloin steaks were on sale and she should by some. Lauren mistakenly bought rump roast steaks.(Never complain if someone will shop for you.) I have always thought that rump roast was rather tough and why would they make these into steaks? This is totally confusing to me. Into the freezer they went.

Sunday I decided I needed to do something with them before they were totally freezer-burned and way too old to cook. So this is what I did:

1. Throw the steaks (semi-thawed-it was getting late) into the crockpot.
2. Mix leftover pizza sauce with a packet of beef stew flavoring I found in the back of the cupboard.
3. Add the half bag of stir fry peppers and onions from the freezer.
4. Start the crockpot on high for a couple hours, then on low until dinner time(approximately 7 hours total time).

I made this with oven roasted potatoes, sweet mashed potatoes (I made both because I did not have enough of either), mixed vegetables and applesauce.

My family actually enjoyed this meal. We probably should have had more veggies but that would have required going to the store. (I did have broccoli but my son-in-law does not like it).

So let's see if my kids read my blog. If they leave a comment about one of their freezer favorites, I will post the recipes.

My next post will get back to sewing AND will be within the next week. Pinky promise!