Monday, December 12, 2011

Dolls Clothes Extravaganza

So it has been months, but that is also the way this blog works. I blog during the summer and during my Christmas break and work seriously hard at 3 jobs the rest of the year. I still sew and craft, but I don't take the time to post my work. I only get to work on sewing stuff after I finish house chores, which means it is usually 10pm before I get started and I need to be to bed by 11pm.

So, todays post is pretty much in request from several family members who would like to see what I have been working on. ya, I wasn't very smart and lost a few sets of clothes that I had made this month, but here is most of my work. For my husbands niece this Christmas I decided to make her doll some clothes. However, her doll is a 21" doll which means that I have to make all patterns bigger. I practiced on Madalynn's doll first, gave a few outfits away and came up with the beginning of a great journey.

Ok, so Maya had a coat like this last Christmas and I have been wanting to make a doll coat like hers all year. So here it is. I made it from a light canvas fabric that holds form really well and it fits all of Madalynn's dolls. I actually made three of these coats. One was large enough it fit my best friends daughter. It was really fun.
I wanted to make one outfit for Christmas where Maya could wear the same outfit as her doll. So I bought some fun pre-made knit fabric that only requires sewing a gather seam, sewing on the elastic and a seam down the side. A skirt like this takes max 15 mins. I end up making a matching one for Madalynn and her doll too. I love the waist band fabric and it was so cheap too. I couldn't believe it.Here is the outfit all together with a white shirt I made as a generic shirt to go with all outfits.
This outfit was made from old used levi's on the pants and scraps around the house. I love how it turned out.
This was also made from old used levi's on the pants and scraps from one of Madalynn's infant blankets. I still love that fabric and wish that I had bought more to make Madalynn a top as well or a skirt.
Flair jeans!!! Seriously I think that they are so cute. I love the waist band even though it was really hard to sew on. Actual levi is so thick! It was a great use of some old jeans.
While I was on a jean kick I made the following skirt.
I also made several other pairs of jeans but I can't find them now. I guess I will post those later.

So, I guess her doll needed some skinny pants. Seriously, they were not supposed to be this form fitting. My sewing machine finally went to the repair shop last week. It had finally hit its last days. So I borrowed my sister-in-laws amazing sewing machine, however, it took me an entire outfit to figure out the settings and needle positions and didn't want to unpick the seams that were too tight. Laziness I know, so where I started sewing seams, I just stuck with it. I think that they turned out super cute besides that fact and I am going to have to look for more stripe fabric.
The white shirt was made from old large scraps from quilts I have made. I love finding uses for scraps. I hord them like nothing else and am really happy I did..most of the time.I have made several peasant tops like this one from all my old knit tee shirts that I simply can't fit in anymore, however I don't know where I put them the week before I left on vacation for Thanksgiving they all disappeared. However, I am going to make several more this week so I will have to post those soon.
Well, that concludes the show and tell for today. I have an extra special dress that I am making right now for the doll, but I can't post it until after Christmas because I am hoping to make one for Maya as well and I don't want her mom too see (sorry Tiff if you read this. I just thought there should be one surprise for both of you in her Christmas present.) Maybe this week I will find the pictures of the doll shoes I made last Christmas. They were super awesome. Ok enough for now I am off to bed. Maybe I will get to posting all my projects I have been working on for the past four months. It has been a great four months.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can't live without it- part 12

Since starting to sew, each time that I have moved I have realized more and more how much I need one of these. A broom. yes, a broom.

Right now my sewing area is the kitchen table right in the middle of the walkway from our only outside door. Whenever i have to put my projects on the floor to add edges, place pieces in the right place, baste batting and backings to my projects I have to sweep first. Every night after finishing sewing I have to sweep. When I have had sewing rooms where I had carpet on the floor, I have always put down a computer mat for my chair and have had to clean that up. I know that if I was in a carpeted area I probably would have taken a picture of my vacuum. Cleaning up is an inevitable part of sewing and therefore I have to put it on my list of things I can't live without.

Hope that you enjoyed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Can't live without it- Part 11

OK, so I know that it has been at least a week. But, here I am again. I know that this is the most random sewing tool ever! However, I can't possibly work in my sewing area without it. A lint brush.
I clean projects, my mat, my chair, my clothes, my ironing board, my shelves..etc etc with it. I was reading a forum the other day on Quilter's Club of America about the different things that various people use. They had some great ideas that is for certain. I love this brush because you can clean it easily by pulling off a layer at a time. They have replacement ends which is great. They come in various sizes so you can travel with one or just have one sitting in your craft area.

Hope that you enjoyed.

Christmas and Halloween Countdown

One day my mom gave me a bunch of her old fabric. With the batch of fabric came a pattern book from Nancy Halverson. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to make my dream quilt, the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is on my list of dream quilts to make. I have been collecting fabric for it for a few years now. However, this post is not about my dream quilt. But, I have to share one more story, sorry. I served a mission for the LDS church in Uruguay several years ago. While I was there I bought a few gifts to bring home for my family from Uruguay. I brought home a little wood engine that I thought would match her decorations in the kitchen. It was a changeable calendar in Spanish. She actually put it out and would change the date on the engine. I was happily surprised. I tried to take a picture of it the last time I was at my mom's house and she has put it away. I will have to post a picture later.

So, in the same pattern book she gave me there was a Christmas countdown. It was kind of the same idea as the engine, but something that would be put out only at holidays. Since my mom loves Christmas I thought that it would be a great to make a set of the countdown Christmas numbers. So I probably spent a year working on this project. Other's got in the way and in the end I didn't even finish before giving it to my mom. Terrible huh. I have not finished the block that stays up the whole month and says Countdown To... I will have to get that done this year.

Then again...when I first gave it to my mom it was missing the 6 and it took me all of Oct. last year to get the 6 to her. Ah, some projects just take forever.

The last story I promise to share in this post it the following. Looking at this project really makes me sad. I started working on this while I was pregnant. At the time I would take all of my sewing stuff to my grandma's on Sat's while Russ was at work and work on my sewing projects. I started cutting out the numbers while i was at the farmer's market that summer selling baby blankets. When I think of working on this project I think of my grandma. I got out their old card table to sew on and sat there next to my grandma's arm chair sewing. I miss her terribly. I miss taking by all the projects that I am working on and showing them to her. I could go on and on about the things that I miss, but I won't.

Here is a picture of the holder my husband made with his welder and spray painted gold.
He used hot glue for the feet. I now need him to make me one. :)
Here are some of the Christmas numbers.
Here is the Halloween side.
When I made this set, I made a matching set for me. I however, have not finished sewing all the layers together on mine. Maybe I will finish it for Halloween this year.

Hope that you enjoyed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

4th of July pillows

I had a few blocks left over from my English paper piecing quilt. I have had them sitting on my table for a few weeks. Every time I see them I think about ways that I can use them. I have seen many different pieced pillows online when I have goggled English Paper Piecing.

So I decided to attach the blocks to a white background, added borders and sewed them to a back. As I was sewing the front I was realizing what a great quilt it would make with just the front of these pillows sewed together as blocks. I may need to do that with some fabric in the future.

After deciding to do pillows I realized I would need pillow forms. ya, they are not the cheapest things in the world. I got them on sale which was nice. However, that is when I realized that I was going to make sham and be able to change out the pillow covers along with my other seasonal decorations. It is a great use of small pieces of fabric that I don't know what to do with and don't want to store. So here they are. (The small one in the front is just stuffed an permanent.)Here is the back.Hope that you enjoyed!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Picnic

Here is my newest excitement.

Yep, can you guess how many pieces are in this quilt? A whopping 467. ya, I know. Why on earth would I spend hours putting that many tiny pieces together. Most of the squares and pieces are like 2 1/2 inches in size. Sometimes it just doesn't matter how much work something is, I just get going and have to get it done. I will did take longer then I expected the other day to cut the pieces and sort the fabric and sew it.

I have to write about the pattern though. Oh my goodness!!! I hate patterns that tell you you need more fabric then you really need. I cut up the fabric that I had used for my mom's quilt at Christmas into the amount of charm squares the pattern called for and had at least 7 un-used ones and the strips I made for the borders- ya I had enough left over I could have not cut 5 of them. On top of that, I had to trim all the pieces before sewing them together....alllllll of them. Every strip that it called for was a least 5 inches to long and so I have tons of pieces left over that I could have just saved in bigger pieces to use for another project. I mean, i do love the pattern and did finish a project that I LOVE LOVE LOVE, but I was just a little bit frustrating.

The pattern was called Picnic or Schinibbles (I actually can't tell which title it is) by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.

This is just the top and I will have to finish quilting it, but I couldn't wait to post it. I want to put it up this month so I will have to finish it this week. Cool huh! I really wish that I could bind it will red fabric. However, I already have binding made from the yellow in the quilt left over from making my mom's quilt. So, hopefully you understand that complicated sentence.

Ok, hope that you enjoyed. I am off to finish a few projects and play with my little girl.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yo-Yo Coverlet

While I was sitting surfing on the internet (the worst thing in the world for me to do) I found a tutorial on purl-bee for this wall hanging. Hm, I think that it would make a really cute blanket for the end of my bed, or a great scrappy quilt. I am going to have to make this I think. It would be a great take to work type quilt.

Now to figure out what fabric I am going to use....

Can't Live Without it- part 10

Today I am surprised to find that I am posting about something that I already posted about...again. However, it is the newest addition to my house and seriously I have missed having one of these for a while.

YEP, here is my new ironing board. I love it. I bought one that was a little wider this time. I love that it is almost the same height as the counter so that I can actually push it onto the counter as I sew. So, cool. yep, i know that this is probably so far from everyone else's excitement in life. However, for me to be able to iron a whole section in on sweep and not have to bend over on my table top one and then only get to do one side then adjust to the other side...etc. is wonderful!!!
That's all for today. Hope that you enjoyed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My 1st purple quilt

I have been collecting purple fabric forever. It has always been in the back of my mind to find a pattern that I really liked for it. So, it did take me by surprise when i was frantically looking for a pattern the other day and I re-found this pattern that I had bought. Yep, I am still in love with it. (I did change and add an extra flower on the large flower applique and I like it a lot better with the buttons that I chose.)That is when I realized that all I needed to be able to make this quilt was a lighter fabric with sparce print. yep, I went over to my favorite quilting store and asked them to help me find a white fabric with a small sparce purple print and this was the only one that they had in stock. The pattern called for 1 5/8 yd of fabric and that was EXACTLY what they had left on the bolt. (which of course meant that I got it off 10% for finishing the bolt.) Then I went to Abby's house for a sewing day and after a while of trying to decided what purple fabrics I was going to use, here is what I chose and how the top turned out.
It took me forever to decide on the inner border fabric. I had all sorts of shades and hues of fabrics, but I think that the light purple helps draw away from the darker colors in the middle and get ready for the really pretty border. So the reason that I finally decided to start working on this quilt is kind of interesting. I was looking at my blog stats the other day. My most viewed post is my post on Back Porch Bouquet fabric. I thought that was interesting because it has been a while since that line of fabric has been in the stores and yet I still have at least one search for that on my blog a day. So, I was looking at the pattern and had remembered the purple pattern I posted and went and looked at it. It is simply too modern for me.

I am waiting for a new book to arrive. I finally ordered 501 Quilting Motifs. I really hope that it is all that the reviews say it is. When I get it this week I will certainly have to do my own review. It is supposed to have great diagrams and instructions on some different quilting designs. I am waiting to decide how to quilt this quilt so I can try something new and interesting. We will see how it goes.

I have been making quilts and wall hangings to put up on my ladder that I can change out monthly. I am going to be making a hexagon purple quilt here in a little bit. So I am deciding the month that I would put purple up in. I have though about maybe Sept or April or May. April usually has Easter so I think I would put up spring colors then. I will put up fall colors in Nov and so I am not sure yet what to do with Sept. Back to school colors? That would just be weird. Fun random quilts, that might be likely. Ah...I just love creating things and so it won't really matter, but it is fun to think about.

Hope that you enjoyed my new project.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

4th of July Stripes, Stars and Stiples

Well, while I have not posted in a good week or so, it does not mean that I have not been working on finishing projects. When it got to be July and I didn't have anything to put up as decorations I decided that this was the summer to do something about it. I have been collecting 4th of July fabric for almost 5 years now and I have quite the little stash. I was hoping that by working on all these projects i might reduce my stash....and sadly, the small quilts that I have been making require almost no fabric and so my stash still feels about the same size. However, I love love love what I now have.

So, as a side note, I know that none of my projects really match together, but I really like that. I really like that everyone of them is varying shades, hues and colors. They all tie together because of their theme, but I don't have too many of the same thing.

All of these projects, except the first one, I made from scratch with no pattern to follow. Certainly they are not hard to figure out and you will see that on the last two, but they were fun regardless. I decided that I would post pictures in order of my work and a final picture of their resting place. Unfortuately I can't show you the whole picture because my favorite picture of George Washington kneeling down next to a horse praying, fell off the ledge the other day and I still need to replace the frame. Russ felt really bad when he knocked it over, but it happens. It was an accident.

So, here is the count down. I think I will start with my most recent and go to my very first, which I have posted before.

1. The table runner. I cut my fabric in 13in wide sections and then cut them at various points to make varying sized strips. As I was cutting the strips I had my calculator out and just added up the widths until I got to 59inches, the length of my piano table runners. I sewed them together, added a few white stars for a cute applique, quilted it and bound it. Yep, super easy and only a couple hours of work. Here are a couple pictures to show the finished product and finished resting place.2. This is my 4th of July coin quilt. I simply decided on a size for each one of my coins (6 inches by 4 inches) and sewed them together. Then I measured the length of the rows, cut white stripes equal widths to go between the rows and on the top and bottom. I love the bright reds and blues in this quilt. I looked at a lot of finished coin quilts online before I decided that I was just going to quilt it with stiples in the colored sections and leave the rest just plain. It took me a long time to decide whether I wanted to do a border quilting in the white, but I decided against it. I guess I can always go add that later if I want and redo the binding. Maybe next Here are the rest in their final resting spot. I have my quilting ladder that Russ made me in the corner behind his recliner so Madalynn can't play with it. We live in a basement right now where they left the edge of the concrete foundation as a ledge in the rooms. It is great. I don't have to hang any of my picture up and can move them wherever I want to in the room. So, it is a great place to place my little quilts. Behind the picture is my flag, below it is my connecting threads kit wall hanging I made a couple years ago. Then I had to place my most intricate on on the top of the was only fitting. And then below my coins quilt, you can see my levi quilt. I had it sitting on the couch arm, but Madalynn started throwing it all over and I decided to leave it on the ladder this year and teach her not to play with it next year.So, there we are for this year. I have to admit I have one more project to add to the bunch before I put it all away in August, but it is not a quilt. I still had some blocks left from the English paper piecing project and I am going to sew them together and make a small pillow with them. I think that will be a great addition to my other decorations and the most common use of English paper piecing I have seen out there.

Hope that you enjoyed. Wait until my next post. I can't believe how my current purple quilt is turning out. Ah....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Can't Live Without it- part 9

So, it has been a few days. Life simply gets busy and fun. Wait until you see my next project post. I finally got pictures of a project that I worked on for a couple years. I am just waiting for one more picture to be emailed to me and I can post it :)

So this is going to be a quick post. I have posted this toy before, but I thought that I would post it again in this series. Seriously I could not live without it. When making binding I really like to have it pressed like the double fold binding you can buy at the store. Ironing each side of the fabric takes forever, esp. when you are making small binding for children's clothes or doll clothes. So I bought these to help:

They are called bias tape makers. All you do is put the fabric through the tool and iron. As you iron you pull the fabric through. It sometimes get a little stuck at the seams of your binding, but it takes like maybe 3 minutes to iron a binding for a large quilt. Here is what it looks like when it is done.I have done everything from thick canvas home decor fabric to levi's to thin cotton fabric in this tool. While the heavier fabrics take slightly more time they work just fine. If you are going to be making your own binding this is the greatest way to go: it is cheaper than buying it, it takes very little time and the tool is very cheap for a onetime cost. Here is a link to search of the bias tape makers on JoAnn's website. I waited and bought mine on a notions sale when everything was 30% off. I use a clover bias tape maker, but I know that their are several brands online to choose from.

So give it a try the next time that you need a binding. Just follow the instructions included in the packaging for cutting widths for the heaviness of your fabrics and off you go.

Hope that you enjoyed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Serendipitous Snowman Wall Hanging

Around Christmas last year I was in Gracie Lou's a quilt store in Salem, Utah. They had the most awesome Christmas quilt patterns. It was a bit hard to shop and really look at everything because I didn't have my stoller and so my 7 month old was trying to crawl around and cried a lot. However, the pattern I made my sister's purse out of was at the store. I had been looking for that pattern for a while. Then I found this pattern. And it is 5 feet tall, it is so fun.
I had been looking for a cute Jan quilt pattern for a while. I think that in Dec you can decorate with Santas and that in Jan you can decorate with Snowmen. I had not previously been able to find something that I really liked. So, Abby's birthday is in Feb and I knew that we needed to make it. So I looked through all my fabric and found everything that I needed except the orange for the nose. (Which who keeps that bright a plain orange fabric lying around. Well, apparently not me.)

Ya, the pattern is killer. It is call Serendipitous Snowman by Geralyn Powers and put out by Thanksfully Sew. The shear amount of parts and little parts just to cut first out of the pattern, second out of the fabric, third out of the steam a seam 2 i used....took FOREVER!!!! Ya, Abby finally got it in May nearly four months after her birthday and I started it in Dec. After cutting out several parts, I just couldn't keep working on it. I got so burned out. And of course if I don't finish projects during my breaks then they don't get done until the next break. It is just how my crafting life goes.

I used left over blue flannel for the background, muslin for the body, scrap fabric for the rest and red flannel for the binding. Ok ok. I am looking at the pattern right now for the first time in months and I forgot to attach the buttons!!!! Oh my goodness. I am still not finished!!! Ugh. Oh well, I am posting the pictures that I took today. Of course this is one of those projects I gave away and then had to go back and take pictures. Ya, I need to just take pictures first. It is so much easier.

And her a few pictures close up of the various parts.Here is a picture of the backing.Hope that you enjoyed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Christmas Cheer

Well, as I was going through my old blog posts I never took a picture of this quilt finished. I gave this to my mom for Christmas two years ago and it now sits on the piano in her "Christmas piano room." Literally if you have ever been in my mom's house there is not a question of whether my mom likes Christmas or not. She has such a love for Christmas and for really deep Christmas colors. This is how it turned out and I thought that I would share a finished picture.
Here is a look at the back.
Hope that you enjoy.

Can't live without it- part 8

So anyone that sews will tell you that the following item is a necessity in a sewing room.

Yep, I love my iron. When i first got married I was using my husbands extremely small iron that I had to fill up with water like every half hour. It smelled and it never turned off without being unplugged. I can't tell you the number of times that I went home to unplug it when I left the house. On top of that, I had my parents old ironing board that didn't stand up straight. How annoying. So, at a sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond one day I bought a small travel ironing board for $2. I am all about nice but as cheap as I can find and that was the perfect price. I thought that maybe I could just use a small table top ironing board for a while and it would work and I wouldn't have to replace my ironing board.

Oh, I was soooooooooooo wrong. It is just toooooo small. It is great when I am piecing something small and just don't want to get up to iron. However, for my big quilts, it sucks. So one day I just broke down and went to Walmart to buy a new iron and ironing board.

I decided that if I was spending money on an iron that I would buy something reasonable but with the features I wanted. I wanted something that I could press the steam button to get some extra steam, a good sprayer so I didn't need a spray bottle with me anymore, an iron that had the safety feature of turning itself off, and a retractable cord. So this is what I chose. I don't remember spending more than $30 for it, but I don't remember the exact price. Everyone just needs a good iron that can either steam or iron dry...and if you are going to take it anywhere with you, a retractable cord is soooooo nice.

I now take my iron everywhere with me. I really can't handle using a basic regular iron anymore without my extra steam press. And seriously why would you own an iron without an automatic shut off. So much safer, you don't have to remember to turn off the iron everytime you run out of the room and it doesn't sit there completely hot the entire time that you are sewing.

Now I have to quickly tell you why I no longer have a large ironing board and am waiting to buy a new one. The day I bought my iron I bought an awesome ironing board and then posted about it. I was sooooo excited to have one that didn't rock everytime i touched it. Well, somewhere in our last move the latch that helps it collapse fell out! Russ who is very handy with fixing things, could not get it to go down again. So, much to my mother's frustration it is sitting out on our patio holding all my wood for my wood crafts. I really can't wait until I can reasonably afford a new one. I am going to buy a nice cover for this one too, one that can withstand really high temperatures so it doesn't warp the board when I am ironing for a while, or burn. The cover on my table top board smell each time that I iron. I hate that.
Well, hope that you enjoyed my ramblings.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Can't live without it- part 7

So, at this point I have now posted a weeks worth of posts in my Can't live without it series. I know that to some of you it may seem like the things that I am posting are pretty random. I mean, why am I not posting pictures of things like my sewing machine and basic things like that. I actually will be getting a post like that later this week. Every day when I decide what I want to write about it is the thing that I am the most grateful for that day. Most of the things that I am posting are things that save me time while I am trying to find those few spare moments to sew and craft.

If you haven't noticed by now, I am an obsessed crafter. I wrote down the list of projects that I want to finish in August while I am not working one of my jobs. The list was full of over 50 things I want to get done. Yikes! I think, well how am I going to be a mom, a wife, housekeeper, good employee and employer and still manage everything that I want to do on the side. It is because I have a lists of things that help me do what I want in either a short amount of time or quicker than I would have got it done without it.

Today's post is on: my thread.

Thread is probably the most basic part of sewing. For me for quick and on-the-go sewing it is a necessity to have a small stash. While I was sewing blanket for the farmers market two summers ago I decided that I would invest in buying a large quantity of colors so that I could match all the colors of fabric I was sewing on. At first I would buy the small spools of colored thread at JoAnn's. However, those small spools cost about $1.50 for 125 yards. I would go through my thread so fast. Then I decided to buy the white serger spools for $1.99 for my bobbin thread. That was nice. I didn't go through white thread nearly as fast.

But then the problem came...I bought about 5 spools of white thread one day and with every spool of thread it started unraveling as I would sew and break. I thought maybe my tension was off and I adjusted that. Then I though something was wrong with my bobbin casing, but nothing was wrong. After three spools of thread...I had had it!! I was re-threading my thread on my machine almost every five minutes as it would break. If it had been one spool that would have been ok I think. But three spools was rediculous. I know that I probably got a bad batch of thread, but I was determined to find something else that fit my needs better.

That was when I got my connecting threads catalogue. I knew that I had seen thread in there before so I thought I would check out the price and shipping to see if it was worth it to have it shipped and still not cost me more than going somewhere in person. Well, i was totally in luck. They were having a 30% off sale (which they are having right now too by the way). Each spool was around $1.80 and there were 1200 yards of thread on a spool not just 125 yards. Just by the shear amount of thread that I was going to get per spool I knew that it would be worth it. I read some reviews online and decided that I would just take a stab at it, invest in the thread and get what I wanted. I ordered each of their color sets and a set of 5 white spools. (Around 50 spools). Totally worth it. Two years later I still have not bought any thread. I have almost finish the white spools, but seriously with the amount of sewing I was going before I would go through a spool almost every week. Now with my white spools I go through like one every other month.

The best part of connecting threads is if you order $50 worth it is free shipping. So, you are paying slightly more than a spool at your local fabric store, for almost 9 1/2% more thread and not paying shipping if you are ordering in a larger quantity. All of the cotton is grown in the USA too for the thread. So, you are supporting American farmers (if you live in the USA and care too know about that). ya, I was hooked.

The biggest problem with my thread has been: figuring out how to store it.

Originally I stored it in the box it came in.
Then on this rack on my table (which then moved to the dresser, the couch the floor and simply all over). Eventually when I own my own home with a permanent craft area I am going to use this again for my most common threads to have close easy access. I bought this at JoAnn's with a 50% off coupon so I couldn't tell you how much a spent on it at the time.
Then I put it all in a drawer in this storage container.
Then I put it all in my tool box because I needed it on the go.

Then I finally recently invested in this container my by ArtBin. While I can't use every spot in the container because the spools are too large I finally have a container of good quality with great clips to keep it closed. I love it. I can take it on the go and it is really so nice. I like that it is clear too so I can see each of the colors inside without having to open the lid.
Here is Madalynn the day that I got it, sitting on it. She thought it was her new seat and loved it of course :)
So in short, I really can't tell you enough how much I can't live without my thread. I know that I can start any project at anytime of the day or night and I have what I need to finish the project without having to run to the store. I joined Quilter's Club of America a couple years ago and in the forums several ladies have asked other quilters what thread they use. Most have said that they have switched to this thread and have never had any problems with it and they love it. I will say that i do have other kinds of thread like: invisible thread and elastic thread and such, but for basic sewing, piecing a quilting I used this.

Hope that you enjoyed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Can't live without it- part 6

Organization is key to my crafting obsession. While I may not be "organized" in the sense of everything put in order, clean or even having a craft space in one area of my house, I know where everything is. One of the hardest parts about organization is the fact that we have moved 4 times this last year and a half. I will be forever grateful to my best-friend Abby who came by my house the first time I moved and helped me pack up my fabric. Much to Russ's irritation I went and bought some moving boxes for my craft stuff. We had plenty of boxes, but I told him that I wanted all my fabric in matching boxes that were different from everything else so they were easy to separate. Abby folded each and every piece of fabric to fit in the boxes and then we labeled them. I still know where everything is because we labeled each box so specifically.

Over time I have bought clear boxes to put everything in. It just makes it easier to find things. Right now I have craft stuff in my daughter's closet, the coat closet, the kitchen, on our storage racks in the kitchen, in a filing cabinet, piled on the filing cabinet, on top of the deep freezer (that is my ironing board), stashed in a corner behind our deep freezer, on my old ironing board on our patio, in my car (the projects that I take to work) and last but not least in our storage unit. I can honestly say I am impressed everytime I think about what I want and I know just where it all is. When we first moved into this place in Feb I had everything packed into Madalynn's closet. Lol, it lasted in that closet I think two weeks before it got strewn across the house. I am grateful for a husband who seems to be ok with things spreading themselves out. It is insane.

So, last year I was carrying around this box.
It was my tool box and small supply box. It is a Christmas decorations storage box. I love the tray. It fit all of my scissors and little stuff great. However, I started to not be able to handle the fact that the lid would pop off because it didn't lock into place and I only had most of my tools in the top because they would not all fit. So I would just carry around what I needed for just that specific project and nothing else. So I started looking for a new tool box.

I bought the following tool box at home depot. It was on clearance at the time and only cost $6. I thought that that was a great price for a tool box. When I was looking for this box I decided that I needed something with:
1. A tray
2. Locking lid with a place for an actual lock so I could keep my daughter out.
3. Area's that were separate for my notions and my projects and preferably removable.
4. Sturdy but not too big or heavy

I love this tool box.
I have all my bobbins in a removable container on the top that I can either simply open or remove. While it does not have specific slots for bobbins, I just tape the ends of my bobbins so the thread does not unravel and it works great.
I have another removable container for all the other notions that I use for projects and simply never know when I am going to need them.
I have a small opening for my needles, chap stick, and other small square items.I love my tray. I have all my necessities on this tray.And...the space inside the tool box is just perfect..big but not too big that I can't fit it on the front seat of my car for on-the-go crafting or too heavy when it is full that I can't pick it up.
As part of my post I thought I would make a list of the items that I keep in my tool box. I do pull them out to use, but every night when I am finished working I try to take 5 minutes and put everything back where it goes. Here is my tool box at a glance:

Scissors: my two pair of nice ones, a pair of paper ones, rag quilt scissors, rotary cutter and replacement blades
all my bobbins,
all my sewing machine feet,
pencil, pen, fabric marking pen, chap stick pad of paper,
all my needles (hand stitching, machine needles),
my two small acrylic square rulers, hemming ruler,
my 505, my quilting gloves,
two boxes of pins, my magnetic pin holder,
white thread, elastic thread, invisible thread,
my sewing machine oil and other cleaning supplies,
my clover binding makers, magnetic snaps for making purses,
thread wax, seam ripper, measuring tape,
my gypsy (cricut designing tool) and it's power/charging cord,
projects that I am finishing,
lint brush, safety pins,
click and stick scrapbook adhesive, scotch tape,
crochet hook
bandades (for when i cut myself with my scissors :( or poke myself with a needle)
elastic, steam a seam 2
a lighter and fray check for finishing items
paint brushes and sponges
various keys (to things that I am not going to mention :) haha)
and magnets.

The only item that I wish fit in my tool box that doesn't is my acrylic cutter ruler. It would be nice if it fit, but it is ok that it doesn't.

Now, I know that everyone has their own style and way of organizing things. I probably wouldnt' have a tool box if I didn't craft on-the-go. However, most of my craft days during the summer are spent at a friends house, my in-laws cabin or simply moving rooms in my house to be with my daughter and watching her, but crafting at the same time. I would suggest to all that are looking for a tool box...don't buy the ones in the crafting stores. They are just sooooo expensive. While it is true that is the only place you can buy ones that are 12" by 12" and there are some great sales on those, find a hardware store to buy your toolboxes.

I bought these at Harbor Freight for $4.50.I have two of these and use them for my buttons and scrapbooking brads, eyelets and other small items. After buying this tool box I saw the exact same one a year later at Archiver's for almost $20. Sure the ones at Archiver's put out by Creative Options are a cute green and purple, they were exactly the same in size and function. Just do your research on what you think is the best for what you need to store and then go and buy. Check Craigslist, KSL or whatever your local online used market is first. It pays off to be patient and find what you want.

Hope that you enjoyed.