How Do You Organize Your Sewing Area?

I hope that your sewing area is a lot more organized than mine.  My sewing area is a disaster zone in my basement.  I have an old desk that used to be one of my son’s, a filing cabinet that needs all the files purged, a large work table that really belongs to my husband, but that I have taken hostage of, (you would understand if you saw it in person… it’s just the right height for cutting fabric with a rotary cutter) A two-door cabinet that has fabric kind-of sorted by color, but not really, a sewing table that has a mountain of clutter on it…

You’re not going to make me go on with this, are you??

Anyway, the basement is cold and damp.  I am always cold no matter what the temperature is outside, so having a cold work area is not very inspiring for me.

I know I’m not the only quilter in the world that struggles with “Sewing Area Dis-organization.”  My goal over the next few months is to de-clutter, purge, organize and add some warmth to the basement.  (I would like to call it the studio, however that would be jumping the gun and dishonest).

Please share your sewing area with the rest of us so that we can set more reasonable goals and end up with a lovely work area.

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QUILT SHOP COMPARISONS

Durham Feathers

Photo above: Preparing a quilt for hand quilting

In my neck of the woods (Mid-Michigan), there are very few quilt shops.  Many have closed over the past few years, leaving quilters with few options available to them.  Yes, we have larger stores such as JoAnn’s, Michael’s. Walmart, etc.  But if we want a good selection of fabrics and tools for hand quilting, we are out of luck.

Most small quilt shops don’t carry much in the way of hand quilting supplies.  I have heard from many quilters that small shops have even been rude to hand quilters asking for supplies.  Why is that?  Word has it that quilt shops that carry larger ticket items such as sewing machines can make a LOT more money from their customers than they can from hand quilters.

Quite often when I visit quilt shops it is not unusual to see classes in process.  The classes I usually see are centered upon sewing with a machine or following a specific pattern designed by the shop owner.  I would LOVE to walk in and see a hand-quilting workshop in process. I would LOVE to walk in and see an instructor guiding a class in the design and creation of their own art quilts.

What has been YOUR experience with small quilt shops?  What do you see on a regular basis?  What do you like?  What don’t you like?  What would you like to see more of?  Shop owners, please join in on the discussion.  Quilters, please leave your responses in the Comments section below, and feel free to tweet your remarks as well!

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Music to Quilt By… or T.V.? What’s your pleasure? and Ken Burns collection!

My quilting time is for me… a time to relax, think about what I’m doing or ponder the universe.  It’s also a time for listening to some good music or some television show the hubby probably wouldn’t listen to if I paid him… Generally, it’s a quiet time.  Right now as I write this, I’m listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Stones in the Road.”  For me, it’s perfect quilting music.  It relaxes my muscles and clears my head; I think even the furry girls in my house enjoy it.

What do you listen to while you are quilting?  Share it with other quilters by using the Comments section below.

The Quilts of Ken Burns:   You WON’T want to miss this… click on the links below!

Ken Burns  

“Filmmaker Ken Burns has collected quilts since the 1970’s, but he’s never publicly shared his collection… until now. Burns once said, “I make films for other people; I collect quilts for myself.”   In this interview with Nebraska Stories, Burns shares why he’s become a collector of this beautiful and functional art form.”

Writing and Quilting – a Big THANK YOU!

I like to write.  You may have discovered that already.  I’ve written two quilting books, a number of magazine articles, and lots of blog posts.  I am a quilter.  A HAND QUILTER.  I do most of my quilting by hand, as I find it relaxing.  A few years ago, I started a Facebook group called “Celebrate Hand Quilting” so that other hand quilters could connect and share with each other, regardless of where they live, what their background is, and how much experience they have.   https://www.facebook.com/groups/handquilting/

I received an email the other day from a gentleman offering “help.”

I thought I’d share it with my regular readers.  Here’s what it said:  “Hi,  My name is Ryan, I’m a freelance writer and I’m a long time reader of your blog. I’m writing to you because I’d love to contribute a guest post for your website. What do you think about it? I’d be happy to know your opinion about guest blogging opportunities. Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Ryan

Well, Ryan, That’s an awesome offer!  Since you’re a long time reader of my blog, I have some questions for you!  Would you please respond to them by leaving your responses to the questions below in the comments area so that others may read them as well?

  1. What is your favorite kind of hand quilting thread?

  2. Do you double thread your needle all the time?

  3. How do you feel about pre-washing batting before you hand quilt?

  4. Batik fabrics are lovely in quilts, aren’t they? Do you find them harder or easier to hand quilt?  Why?

  5. Ryan, do you prefer a long-arm or a short-arm machine for hand quilting?

  6. Would you please share the link to your own blog with my readers? We’d like to know what you are currently working on.   A picture or two of your work would also be appreciated!

  7. The Celebrate Hand Quilting group on Facebook welcomes male quilters. We would be happy to include you in the group.  Please don’t hesitate to join by clicking on the link above.

  8. Since you are an avid quilter, I am assuming that your offer to be a guest writer on my blog means that you will be willing to contribute free articles on my blog on a regular basis. On behalf of my quilting friends, I’d like to share a hearty Thank you!  

Hand Quilting In Progress!

1cdba-twitter_newbird_boxed_blueonwhite-759183I’ve been working on a quilt for my youngest grandson for several months now.  I think it’s coming along nicely! The quilt is a mixture of different blue printed fabrics that I had lying around the studio. I have made this pattern before for another of my grandsons… I like how it’s shaping up!  How about you? I always use Presencia thread for hand quilting.  I love how it feels and how it slides through  100% cotton fabric!

HandQuilting

I would also love to hear what you’re working on!  If you have a blog and have posted your most current project on it, please comment below with a link to your blog so others can see!

Are you on Twitter?  If so, would you please add me to your Twitter list? I will return the favor!

1cdba-twitter_newbird_boxed_blueonwhite-759183

Tweet Caron @cmosey

 

Huff and Puff… Nope, better not even come near our house!

For the THIRD time in about one year, hoodlums in our neighborhood have destroyed large windows in my husband’s fairly new woodworking studio.  Yesterday, hubby had an opportunity to meet up with them BEFORE they did any new damage.  They were in our back yard looking in the window, and hubby and our neighbor  had a brief chat with them.. a few kids, not very old.  All seemed “almost well,” but something was fishy.  You could feel it in the air.  Then this morning while out walking the dog in our yard, hubby discovered one of the large windows in the back of his studio had been broken with a large rectangle paving stone.  An immediate call to the police was made, and plans are in action… This is the THIRD time… and it’s getting old and expensive!   huffNpuff

3pigs.jpg

 

Passing the Torch

So many changes…

When I was little, my parents wouldn’t let me have a pet.  Until, that is, our next-door neighbor gave me a kitten.  A fuzzy, adorable little white kitten that I named “Snowball.”  I loved that kitten SO much, but my father could not tolerate the cat going potty in OUR bathroom, so the cat became an “out-door” cat.  Until the wonderful neighbor next door had an accident in the driveway that prevented Snowball from ever going potty again.  Anywhere!

My Grandpa Covert was an avid hunter.  He and his buddies loved to go out in the country and hunt.  Everyone at that time who hunted had a rifle and a hunting dog or two.  Grandpa’s dog’s name was “Jody.”  But Jody left this world before I could ever pet her.  She was a beautiful black and white Springer Spaniel who looked much like this:

Grandpas.Dog

I don’t know where he got this little girl… she’s quite heavy to pick up (for a 3 year old, that is).  I wanted a dog that I could walk on a leash.  So Grandpa made this leash for her so that I could pull her around on top of his desk.   The leash is still on her, and she sits on the ledge in my kitchen.  When my boys were little, one of them tried to take her leash off, and I got REALLY upset!  Nobody takes Jody’s leash off except me or Grandpa!  The leash has been there since I was 3, and to this day, I refuse to take it off.  It’s a connection to Grandpa.

This Memorial Day marks a special day for me… and for my father.  Every Memorial Day since I can remember (or a few days before Memorial Day,)  Dad and I have made a trip in the car to Davison Cemetery to put flowers on his parents’ graves, as well as a few other relatives’ graves.  This year, Dad will not be going with me.  He now lives in Arizona near my brother, so the torch has been passed and I will keep it going for him.  It gives me a chance to talk to Grandpa, and let him know that I still think about him, Grandma and Jody with her leash.

 

covert-george-edith