Archive for January, 2018

January 21st, 2018 - The Stash and Sewing Goals

Well, this week sucked, big time! My sewing machine just stopped sewing. It was like the stitch length was at zero. That was on Monday night. I turned it off and tried it again with no luck, I thought ok let’s leave it overnight and see if it fixes itself. Run down there on Tuesday and it still doesn’t work. So I thought it could be a couple of things like maybe the feed dogs or the computer board. And then I thought what if this machine is toast? Yikes. Anyway, I got out the Featherweight and I’ve been sewing on that until I can get my machine serviced.

So on Thursday, I took my machine (Bernina 450, bought in 2010) in and the tech guy looked at it. He took the back cover off and said it looked like it had never been cleaned. I said really!, I take my machine in yearly for service, as soon as I see the icon come up that it needs service, I take it in. So what were those techs doing all those years? Anyway, this new tech guy said he wouldn’t waste money fixing it, that it was an older machine and I should probably buy a new machine. See where this is going. He had a saleslady show me the new and improved machines at the tune of  $5499. US and that converts to about $7400 Canadian with the exchange and taxes. So I said I’d talk it over with my husband and left. As I was driving home, I was a little upset about my machine but then I started thinking about it and came up with the thought that they just wanted to sell me a new machine. The tech guy said he’d give me $100- for parts. Are you kidding me? I have over $5000- invested in this machine with the BSR and the walking foot and the embroidery module. Time for a second opinion! I will keep you posted on that. And there’s no new machine on my horizons unless it’s used or free or I win the lottery and we know what the odds of that are.

Now for that stash report. I finished cutting up all the parts for ‘On Ringo Lake’, the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. Boy, did that take a lot of fabric.

Fabric used this week: 12.36 yards and that’s the complete top

Fabric used year to date: 13.33 yards

Fabric added year to date: 0 yards and let’s keep it that way

Net fabric busted: 13.33 yards

Now I need to finish up the top, I have a couple of steps left. I can’t believe how long it takes for each step! I’m itching to start something new. And it won’t be anything that needs any funky stitches, just a simple straight stitch.

My 15 Minutes to Sew Challenge is coming along great. I’ve sewed every day except for Thursday when I took my machine in. It was a busy day with a couple of appointments also. But my total for the week is 22 hours of sewing. That’s like a part time job! I even babysat my granddaughter one day and had both grandkids for an overnight on Friday. The minute they went home, zoom to the sewing room to try to get this quilt top done. I will post pics when I’m done assembling the top of ‘On Ringo Lake’. I’m getting anxious to see it done.

I’m linking up with Donna at QuiltPaintCreate for the Stash Report and with Kate at LifeinPieces for the 15 Minutes to Sew Challenge.

Until next time!



January 14th, 2018 - The Stash

Nothing really new here. I’ve been working on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake and I’m only just finished Part 2. Holy mackerel, it took forever to finish. And the next part has even more pieces. Looks great though! I’m really anxious to see the colours all together. I decided to stick with Bonnie’s colour choices. I’ve seen some other colourways and I like Bonnie’s colours the best.


Here’s a peek at my pieces. I want to hurry up and make some of the blocks with just the aqua and brown. I did use 2.91 yards for Part 1 and 2  and there has been nothing added. Hopefully next week, I will have the final totals for this quilt.

I’m linking up my stash busting at Quilt Paint Create.


I also joining “15  Minutes to Stitch” with Kate over at Life in Pieces. I’ve excelled at sewing this week. I’ve  managed to sew for 20 hours and 35 minutes. And I’m just starting Part 3! You’d think I was a really slow sewer but I’m not. First I had to pick my fabrics, then I needed to press them, then I made Part 1 and then Part 2 which took me a couple of days. And I actually cut some pieces for the other parts too.

Another cold week. Stay warm.  Stay in and sew!

January 7th, 2018 - Stash Report Jan 7 2018

Once again I’m going to try to do weekly stash posts. Last year I kind of fell of the wagon but I did keep track on paper just not here. So here goes.

Fabric used this week: 0.97 yds

Fabric used year to date: 0.97 yds

Fabric added this year: 0 yds

Net fabric busted: 0.97 yds

I’m also trying to sew at least 1 hour every day. Whether it’s hand stitching or machine sewing, I need to be doing something. I have too much stuff to let it sit and way too many projects that I’d like to get done in my lifetime.

So this week’s projects will include making 2 little zippered bags using my die cutter, which I fixed last night, from fabric that’s not even mine. But if there’s a lining involved, I can count that. I will post pictures when I’m done.

See you next time!

January 6th, 2018 - The Stash 2017

Here are my final stash totals for 2017.

Total fabric used for 2017: 193.3 yds

Total fabric purchased for 2017: 151.04 yds

Net fabric busted for 2017: 42.26 yds

This is my best year since I’ve been keeping track. I also keep track of my expenses and it’s also my best year. Funny that in 2016 I bought 10 yards more and spent $1100- more. Those 10 yards were really expensive! Actually most of the fabric I bought in 2017 was on sale and I mean on sale! I bought about 80 yards for 75% off from a store that was closing. And the owner was very generous in her measuring. One yard was more like 1 1/4 yards. I think she just wanted to be done. And I included the generous amounts in my tally.

I hope to do even better this year. I only need flannel backing fabric for comfort quilts. I will use what I have and then look for a sale. I did buy some on Black Friday from Joanns but it ended up being out of stock. Lucky me!

January 6th, 2018 - Sewing Room Organization

In August of 2017, I ended up with another IKEA shelving unit in my sewing room. I didn’t really want to get more shelves because I thought it would mean that I would be tempted to get more fabric. Well, that’s not true. For starters, there’s no room for more fabric. I really need to use a lot of this fabric up before I add any more to this stash. I emptied out 27 bins of various sizes into the shelves and cupboards. Let me tell you that it’s so amazing to see 90% of your fabric at a glance. Picking fabric for a quilt is a breeze when you can hold up a piece of fabric against what’s on the shelves and see what goes and what doesn’t without taking one piece of fabric off the shelf.

This was a giant mess for the longest time. I had to take all the fabric out of bins and the shelves and try to figure out how to set it up to be the best possible arrangement. Once I figured out how I was going to store my fabric then the work began.



I piled the fabric by colour and then began refolding. I used a 6×24″ ruler and used it like a cardboard bolt. I wrapped the fabric around the ruler as it came off the bolt and then folded it once in half. So when I need a hunk of fabric, I unfold it and unroll it like they do at the fabric store. Fabric folded on my shelf measures 6″ wide by 12″ deep and I stacked 2 rows on each shelf. The shelves measure 13″x13″ and are 15″ deep. Anything smaller than a fat quarter went to the scrap bins



You can just see in the bottom left corner a stack of Rubbermaid bins. I used to have them labelled and stacked in the corner. When you wanted some fabric, you had to pull them out and it was always the bottom bin that I wanted.  I even had a chart made so I knew which stack of ins to pull out.



I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The white shelving unit holds mostly fabric. The drawers have fat quarters, batiks and some fabric collections in them. The bottom baskets have more batiks, flannel, yarn and a few kitted up projects.



The black shelving unit has books across the top. The cupboards hold quilting supplies like starch and basting spray and kits. The bottom drawers hold a couple of BOMs that I have yet to start and more kits.




And those 2 white cupboard units are under my cutting table. The fabric is piled 2 layers deep but it’s all very organized and I pretty well know what’s in the back row. One whole shelf is Christmas fabric and another shelf is children’s fabric. And the bottom shelf is fabric collections. You know when you buy a yard of the whole fabric line that you just had to have and can’t think what to make with it. And then there’s the shelf of stabilizers beside the bolts of Christmas fabrics that are too big to fold in half. I guess I better get busy and use more of it up.


On the top of both shelving units are my scrap bins. There are 20 shoebox-sized bins, 10 for strips 1″ to 6″ and 10 for squares 1.5″ to 6″. I’ve been making myself cut up the scraps as soon as I’m done making a quilt instead of the pile I usually have on my cutting table. It keeps  my room looking tidy and if I keep it up, there’s never that daunting pile that stymies my creativity.

Anyway it was really easy to do, it didn’t cost me anything as I had both shelving units and the cutting table already. All from IKEA. Now that I’m done my room, I feel like I can go make something without having to clear up a mess.  I guess I’m a little OCD but I like it!

January 6th, 2018 - 2017 Sewing Recap

Here’s my 2017 accomplishments

I made 76 fabric items which includes the following:

-12 pillowcases

-39 quilts completed entirely

-11 quilt tops

-6 embroidered tea towels

-2 embroidered pillows

-1 embroidered t-shirt

-1 pajama pants

-2 Featherweight case covers

-2 custom pillows

and I’m sure there is more that I forgot to record. Here is a small sampling of my 2017 projects.

I finally figured out how to do some embroidery on my machine rather than just names on stockings and Pin wallhangings. I made 9 Pin wallhangings and 5 Christmas stockings. Then all of a sudden, one day I just decided to embroider multi-colour projects. I even bought a couple of patterns from ETSY. Some are good and some not so good. At least they are relatively inexpensive.

My favourite thing from 2017 is the “Marvel-ous” pillow I made for my oldest son. I love the embroidery and the fabric that I just happened to have on hand. How cool is that!