Archive for January, 2009

Update on Swapping Studio Rooms

January 31, 2009

I haven’t updated my blog much as swapping the sewing studio with the knitting studio has taken much longer than expected.  Both rooms are still pretty much well a mess. 

The original cutting table placement turned out to be a bad idea.  It just didn’t work.  That meant moving 2 big pieces again. Luckily, my Horn cabinet is on wheels. 

The new arrangement lets me have 2 short ends and 1 long side of the cutting table for use.  The other long side is against a wall.  Much as I hated to lose that long side, this is a much better ergonomic set-up for me. 

Two new wire carts arrived – Ikea’s Antonius carts.  Their online ordering system is slow and sorely needs to be updated.  I called 3 days after placing the order to request the total cost (they don’t add shipping automatically) and paid by credit card then.  Was told delivery would be in 2-3 days, and that didn’t happen, so had to call again.  Finally got the delivery, assembled them, and I love them.  The really sad/funny part of this is, I received an email from them 11 days after the initial order with the final price, and a message saying if I didn’t pay for the order in 48 hours, it would be cancelled.  They need to add tracking info on their website, and add shipping to their shopping cart so you can check out in one step. 

The carts hold a lot of fabric.  I’m very glad I ordered the casters so I can move them around the room, plus they fit perfectly under my cutting table.   Optional stops on the rails would be a good idea.  Originally, I liked that they didn’t have them.  Then I could pull the baskets from either side of the cutting table.  Now that the table is against the wall, I’m going to have to place something behind the carts to protect the wall.  The baskets glide on the rails like soft butta, and it’s very easy to push just a bit too vigorously. 

I’ll take pictures as soon as the move is completed, and that could take me another month.  Everything is getting put where it will stay for a good long time, and nothing is being relocated until I know it will be useful, and used in my lifetime.  LOL  That means sorting through everything, and I have a lot of “everything”. 




January 21, 2009

We had to say good-bye to our beautiful cat, Coco today.  She was a 4-5 year old rescue cat when we adopted her in January 2005.  The hair on the side of her face is a bit wet from the ear drops she needed.  She came to us with a long standing ear infection, but she brought much joy and love to our home.


She was my shadow.  If I was sewing, she was with me.  If I was knitting, she made sure the yarn flowed smoothly.  She slept at the foot of our bed – ignoring her plush cat bed.  Here she is “helping” me tie a Comfort quilt.


She did love fabric.  Here she is making sure the shibori I dyed this summer matched her blue eyes.  Yes, it did:

One of her very favorite things in the world, was to lie on her back and get a tummy rub.   She was such a graceful lady. Notice her gracefully folded paws:


She became ill suddenly, and I knew she was in trouble Sunday, confirmed by the vet on Monday.  She did not suffer.  She was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.   

We remember the laughter and joy which Coco has given us.  Help us to share kindness and care with all living things.  St Francis Blessing for deceased pets.

Last Fabric Piece for Painted Fusible Swap

January 18, 2009

Yippee, I was able to reach my camera today to take a picture of the last painted fusible piece for the Dye Hard Painted Fusible Swap.  This one is my favorite:

I didn’t do a lot with the piece itself, but love the way the paint moved on this piece of Wonder Under.   I used lots of metallics and pearlescent shades from the Golden paint line, and the dark green was a Jacquard paint. 

It was left unembellished because I wanted the recipient to be able to easily see and feel the 3 different approaches to this piece.  I cut the painted fusible diagonally, leaving the paper on the bottom left and removing it from the upper right.  I had to soak that piece to remove the paper, as I did for the other piece painted on the Wonder Under.  Next I patted it dry, then used a sewing machine zig-zag line to connect the two pieces of painted fusible to a white fabric background. 

You can’t tell from the photograph but there is a big difference in touch.  The bottom left – with the paper – is stiffer than the section on the upper right and is more dimensional. 

The middle section – on either side of the zig-zag, is flat – even on the paper side.  I did not think the iron would flatten the paper backed fusible as much as it did.  It looks no different from the side where the paper was removed, but is stiffer because of the paper backing. 

The upper right section is flat and soft and this piece of Wonder Under fused beauifully to the fabric.  I gently rubbed it and it doesn’t flake at all.  I plan on making some  test pieces to see if this will go through the washing machine and dryer – on cool dry – because I’d love to use fabric made with this painted fusible in a wearable art garment.  And the section with the paper behind it would be fabulous in an art quilt for rocks, pathways, anything that would be enhanced by a pebbly texture.

I am so glad I participated in this swap from the Dye Hard Yahoo group.  I learned a lot and I can’t wait to see what the other members have done with their painted fusible pieces. 


Swapping Studio Rooms

January 16, 2009

The past 3 days have been spent swapping the entire contents of my knitting studio with my sewing studio.  One room held my knitting machines – I’m now down to only one – my blocking table, computer desk, and yarn – I have a lot of yarn for my business inventory, plus a lot for personal use.  The other room was dedicated to sewing and had my 2 sewing machines, serger, cutting table, ironing board, design wall, laptop, and lots and lots of fabric, trims, buttons, etc…

The reason for swapping?  I enjoy watching/listening to TV when I sew.  The sewing studio had a tiny 9″ black and white TV that will no longer work in February. The knitting studio has cable – for the computer.  The only way to get cable into the sewing studio would be to drill 2 holes in the wall – one into the closet in the knitting studio, and one out on the other side into the sewing studio.    My husband DID NOT want 2 holes drilled into the wall.  

Now the man is a good man, but he has this thing about not putting holes in the wall.  I’ve hung most of the pictures – when he was at work.  He is now retired.  The mere idea of me using the drill to slide the cable through the closet walls pained him. Being he really is such a good man, I didn’t drill the holes, and we spent the last 3 days moving thousands of pounds of furniture, fabric and yarn.

No, I’m not nuts.  There were a lot of reasons for making the move.

1.  Having the sewing machine in the same room as the desktop makes a lot of sense.  I was using a 10 year old lap top that was slow as molasses to update my sewing machine and it was driving me crazy waiting for it to boot up, let alone accomplish anything.  Now that laptop is being wiped clean and donated to whatever charitable organization I can find who might like it.

2.  My husband really is a good man.

3.  The knitting studio room was larger than the sewing studio room.  Now I can walk around 3 sides of my cutting table, and if I really wanted to, I could place it so I could walk around all 4 sides. 

4.  My husband really is a good man.

5.  I can watch/listen to TV when I sew and I can even watch more than local channels now. 

6.  My husband really is a good man.

7.  I can watch shows on the computer when I sew – catch up with Brothers and Sisters or watch sewing and quilting podcasts. 

8.  My husband really is a good man.

9.  The new sewing studio has lighter painted walls and better lighting. 

10.  My husband really is a good man….
Notice how often the even numbered reason is repeated.  After 3 days of hard work, I had to keep on saying it or I would have been in danger of forgetting.  😉 

I can’t take any pictures to show you how the move went, because the camera is in the cabinet under the blocking table and it has bolts of fabric against the doors.  Speaking of the blocking table, it was assembled in the knitting studio and when we went to move it, realized it wouldn’t fit through the doorway.  sigh  I suggested that we cut an inch off the top board, but my husband wanted to remove the top instead.  After he got the screws out, he realized it was glued down on the other sides.  Back went the screws and out came the circular saw, with the long metal guide bar that was clamped to the table top, so my husband could make a straight cut.  Sawdust smells so nice, but gets EVERYWHERE.  We still had to remove the door to the room, but the blocking table safely made the trip to its new home. 

Ahh the memory of Tuesday night being up till 1 am moving a 7 foot tall wooden shelf by myself.  It had 236 pounds of fabric on it, plus boxes of stabilizers, drawing pads, papers, etc…  All that was moved to our bed – as my husband was  sleeping trying to ignore me coming in out of the bedroom with yet another pile of fabric.  Then the shelves were removed so I could drag the emptied wooden shelf unit to the other end of the room.  Then the shelves replaced and all the fabric put back into place – so I could get into bed and join my husband in dreamland – who really is a good man.  LOL 

He’s not a night person.  I am.  If I had wanted help, he would have helped the next day.  I wanted it done that night because I knew the next day was going to be the day of moving the really heavy stuff, and I pace myself.

The worst is over.  Now it’s going to take me at least a week to organize, then I’ll start with the closets, and maybe, I’ll get the camera unburied to take some progress report photos, but I wouldn’t hold my breathe. 


4th Painted Fusible Postcard Completed

January 8, 2009

Yet another painted fusible was used for this 4th postcard.  This was the light blue and yellow Fine Fuse piece, and I thought it would be interesting to see how it would look with different colored background fabrics:


The bottom layer is a dark green paisley print fabric.  I used some simple stitches from my Jem Platinum 720 Janome sewing machine to embellish it.  Sulky 12 wt cotton variegated thread was used – stitch # 7 between the green and white fabric – then stitch 11 was sewn under it so there would be little thread lines go into the green.

The medium background fabric color is white and I used some Mettler 30 wt white cotton thread so whoever receives this card will know that the background fabric is white.  My Pfaff sewing machine has some candlewicking designs and I used the zig-zag one for some vertical interest. 

The top layer has blue background fabric so I used blue YLI’s Jeans Stitch thread to emphasis the blue fabric.  All I did was loop it around and fuse it in place.  Then I sewed around all the edges with invisible nylon thread, like I did for the first fusible postcards. 

This swap has gotten me excited about going into my sewing studio again.  I was bogged down in another project – a block quilt.  Now it’s a pretty block quilt that is a twist on a traditional applique quilt.  I’ll like it when it’s finished, and it does use lots of different fabric prints, so it has some variety to it.  The thing is, I’ve discovered I like a lot of variety.   Anything goes with this painted fusible swap, and that fits my personality much better. 

I’ll finish the traditional quilt because that’s also part of me – I’m a finisher – and I do want the quilt for my home, but it will be a long time before I start another traditional quilt.  It’s way more fun to participate in swaps, learn new techniques and then use them to enhance my fiber art.


Happy New Year

January 5, 2009

Happy New Year to one and all !!!

Traditionally, this is the season to make resolutions – no longer for me.  I hardly ever kept them and then felt let down when I didn’t.  This was counterproductive to the way I like to live, so decided to throw away tradition and do what makes me happy years ago. 

I love numbers.  Always have, always will.  Balancing a checkbook is fun for me.   I worked as a bank teller between college semesters, and graduated with a degree in Business and Economics, and was employed by General Motors as an accountant before I “retired” to raise my family, so I have a long history of working with and enjoying numbers. 

A dear friend had to pack her entire house a few years ago for a quick move, and it was a nightmare for her.  A lifetime of acquistions had to be sorted through and packed in a month.  How does this relate to numbers?  Well, she was charged by the pound by the movers.  I took a good look at my home and shuddered.  Yes, I actually shuddered.

Eventually, my husband and I will probably relocate to a warmer climate.  What would it cost to move us???  A LOT !!!  My nest is very nicely padded, but did I really need everything I own?  Not really.   It was time to start sorting through my acquistions.

Slowly but surely, I have been destashing, organizing, purging – whatever you want to call it – lightening the load in my house.  To make it fun, I decided to weigh what “left the premises”.   My goal was to reach 2,000 pounds out of here – a full ton.  I thought I could do it in a year.  No way.  I’m on my 5th year, but have reached the 1,915 pound mark. 

Along the way, I was saddened, elated, and bogged down as I took walks down memory lane.  So many of my friends have passed away, and I’m only in my 50’s.  I hardly did anything the year my mother was so sick and eventually passed away, yet I stuck with the concept of lightening the load.

Now that I am close to my 2,000 pounds out of here goal, I realize what a benefit it was to me to do this slowly.  It gave me time to remember dear friends, contact others to catch up and share past memories, and I have given myself the gift of creativity.  You see by lightening the load, I am able to locate what I need for a project quickly – most of the time.  No more spending hours trying to find the supplies I need.  You notice I said most of the time?  Yes, huge progress has been made, but my family room still looks like it is one big storage unit.  I’m not done yet, but I will reach my 2,000 pounds out of here goal soon.

Time to come up with a new idea for 2009.  I needed a new motivational trick to keep me focused on organizing and simplifying my environment.   Ta-da, I came up with one – I’m going to keep track of new purchases, and make sure that equal weight or more is removed to make room for the new. 

Go ahead and laugh all you like.  My entire family thinks I’m cuckoo.  But you know what? It makes me happy and if we ever do relocate, when I move what I still own, and it still costs a fortune, I can say – see how much I saved us?  I got rid of xxxx number of pounds.  It could have cost us a lot more.  You see, I have a method to my madness.  😉  I still have A LOT of stuff, and it goes where I go.