Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finished! Liberated Churn Dash Quilt Block

It's finished, and I still hold to what I said: This is a fun block to make! You don't need a lot of precise measuring. I enjoyed the color scheme Toni chose; I had more red than I thought I did!  If you quilt or just want to try a block, this is a great one to try!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Sneak Peek: Liberated Churn Dash Block

I'm working on my second MSQB block this weekend, and I have to say this one is truly *fun*.  We are making a Liberated Church Dash Block, and even making the initial cuts was a thrill because there was no measuring.  It's an improv style block with a basic layout and structure, but not a lot of precise measuring--which I love!  It's so different than the last block which involved incredibly precise measuring and cutting.

This also makes me really thankful that I have my own space for sewing.  I am making quite a mess with this block, and being able to close the door and walk away from it until tomorrow night is something I'm thankful for.

Oh yes. The sneak peek.  I have finished 2 of the 9 sections.

I will be finishing the rest the weekend and show you the final results just as soon as I can!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New project idea: Placemats!

After finishing the pinwheel block, I am feeling more like I actually want to go sew.  (yay!)  I still have one more bee block for this month plus my mom's seriously-overdue birthday gift to finish, but after that I want to make something for my home. Sara just posted some gorgeous place mats that she made using this pattern from fabric designer Amanda Murphy.  {photo from SewSweetness}

I have a beautiful stack of Parisville fabrics that I have been trying to decide what to do with, and I think the place mat project will be perfect.  I love table linens, but our little Ikea table is too small to accommodate 4 standard place mats. These should be perfect!

Monday, February 21, 2011

MSQB: Pinwheels

I knew doing the Quilting Bee would be a good thing, but I didn't think it would be the one thing getting my butt to my sewing machine this month! I'm thankful to have a solid motivation to get me there!

One of our hosts this month is doing a pinwheel sampler, and she left the interpretation of pinwheel up to us.  I decided to go with this tutorial to make mine and am so glad I did.  I love the way the colors go together, and this was a fairly simple block to make (although all of the cutting was definitely enough to make me glad I'm not making 12 of these blocks!)

My energy levels are not what they were pre-winter and pre-everyone in our house being sick for a month, but it's been wonderful to use some of my free time to do something other than cleaning :)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February shall be my organizing month.

January turned out to be a month of rest for us.  Della had Croup, I ended up with a two-day flu that took a week to recover from, and my hubby seems to be recovering from 4 1/2 years of seminary.  I couldn't believe I was turning a page in the calendar this morning, but sure enough, here we are in February already!

Can I say that it's been really nice to not do any sewing this past month? I'm looking forward to getting going on my bee blocks and making my mom a bag for her birthday (which was 2+ months ago...sorry Mom!), but that may be it for me, and that's OK.

Our house has been in a sad state of disarray, and I am channeling some of my creative energies to focus on taking care of it! There's a good chance we could end up moving into a smaller space in the next year, so I need to get things figured out here or there may be no hope for any apartment of ours!

I just found the 52 Weeks of Organization Challenge, and I think some of it may be helpful for me. I'm not quite ready to commit to 52 projects, but I do have 6, and that's a good enough start for me!

Organizing Junkie

[this is a total side note, but I highly recommend the book, Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lanna Nakone. This book really helped me to understand how I function best, and it isn't the way most "organizational tips" tell me to do things.  This is a great starting point for figuring out what you need to do to get control of the clutter in a way that really suits who you are.]

It helps me to set really specific goals, so here is what mine look like at this point.  You really don't have to read this, but if you're in need of some de-cluttering, maybe this will help!

1. Tackle the Paper Piles
  • Gather all piles from bedroom, living room, and kitchen
  •  Sort piles for recycling, filing, and action
  •  Go through current file drawer and get rid of files we no longer need.  Be sure files are in appropriate folders.
  • Act on "Action" items
  • File "File" pile.  :)
  • Hang the new letter organizer and figure out how to use it effectively.
2.  Clean the carpets
  • Vacuum main bathroom (yes, it is carpeted...we rent.)
  • Clean all carpet in main bathroom with cleaner (I borrowed a carpet cleaning machine from a friend)
  • Clean carpet in walkway of both bedrooms
  • Clean rugs in living room and dining room 
3. Improve Recycling System/Shoe catch (this is our version of a mud room...a 3x5 foot corner between the dryer and wall when you walk in the back door)
  • Determine "inside" and "outside" recycling items
  • Don't be lazy about putting stuff outside!
  • Clean out the recycle can
  • Mop the recycle area and make space for shoes
4. Bedroom Closet
  • Pull down everything off the shelves and determine whether we still need it
  • Get rid of what we are not using. If it isn't in season, put it in the storage room for later use
  • Go through shoes and get rid of ones we never wear
  • Get a hanging shoe rack and start putting our shoes in it
5. Living room closet
(last time I did this, I found one of those grody bathroom rugs left over from previous tennants...nice)
  • Pull everything off shelves and sort into giveaway and keep piles
  • Be sure to put things back either in their boxes with labels or in a way that makes it easy to get to the item and whatever is behind/under it! (I hate trying to get something down only to have to go through 5 layers of junk that are on top of it!)
  • Utilize filing cabinet space for storage
  • Make the vacuum easier to access
If you have been counting, you know that's only 5.  Number 6 is already finished. I did it last weekend before I knew about this, but had the two events reversed, I would have had this as #1: Clean out the pantry.

I can't tell you how many times I buy a bag of spaghetti at the store only to come home and realize I already had two!  So I pulled everything off the shelves, cleaned the shelves, and then wrote down each and every single item in the pantry. Except for the too-big-pile of stuff that had expired. I just dumped it and resolved not to let so many non-perishable perish ever again.  Each of my meals (dinners) this month must have at least one pantry item in it.  The more the merrier, of course.
So, that's been January and I look into what I'm hoping for February.  Please note: No flus, colds, or other illnesses or injuries are invited.