Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making Time to Sew

Husqvarna Viking sewing machine logo clock I purchased at the Viking Convention in 2006.I have been thinking about how to make more time to sew lately. It's an activity I enjoy doing. I like sewing so much I seem to lose myself in the act of sewing where I lose all track of time when I sit down to sew. So I don't know why I sometimes put off sewing and get side-tracked doing other activities that aren't as enjoyable. I know there are the everyday household activities that need to be done. Things like getting groceries and shopping, cleaning up the house, laundry, cooking, etc. Then there is the time I spend sitting around watching tv or working or playing around on the computer. These are things that usually keep me occupied. Some of these things I really enjoy doing. Things like time spent on the computer and cooking are enjoyable. And I seem to lose all track of time when I'm on the computer. I think being in virtual world (on the computer) and sewing world are my two most favorite things. They sometimes compete with each other, but they don't need to. If I were to plan my days a bit better I'm sure I could work in the time to do more of the stuff I enjoy.

That's one of my objectives that I want to work on more. I want to be more organized and schedule more time for the fun things in life and work more quickly to get through the things that are neccesary but less fun. So scheduling my time better is one way to make more time to sew.

Another thing I have been thinking about is fine-tuning the layout of my home and studio to make working, sewing, cooking, cleaning and family time flow better. I got a huge amount of work accomplished the last time I spent a concerted effort on re-organizing my studio. The new organization that resulted from that de-cluttering process made the sewing and art supplies and tools more readily accessible, easier to find and use when I needed them. Lately I have been noticing there are still some things that could be fine-tuned a bit more to enhance those benefits even better. So, de-cluttering, re-organizing and fine-tuning my environment periodically is another way to make more time to sew.

During that last re-organization there were a few areas of the house that were left alone. I have been thinking about those rooms lately. I want to do some further de-cluttering then re-organize and re-decorate those rooms in my house.

This time I will be drawing out a floor-plan of the house and re-thinking what each room is used for. The floor-plan will help me to see at a glance if an idea will be feasable before I commit to moving things around. We have several rooms in our house that are under-utilized. This isn't the best use of our space. My goal is to re-vamp the rest of the house to make better use of all of our space here. After all, why have a home with rooms you barely ever enter? Why not re-think the use of those rooms to allow you to use them for the things you enjoy . . . the things that bring more enrichment to your everyday life?

Re-thinking and re-decorating to enhance your space makes the time there more useful and enjoyable. I think we should have beautiful, uplifting and enjoyable spaces surrounding us. After all these are the places we spend our days living and working within. We can chose to make them pleasant and refreshing. Even small changes made over time will be of great benefit if you are not able to make big changes all at once. Sometimes I think we become too comfortable in an existing setting just because it's familiar. Sometimes it slowly becomes a rut to the point we cannot or do not know where to begin to make a change.

I am one of those people who likes to make small changes fairly often. I am feeling a need for some change now. Recognizing and identifying a rut and taking action to make changes is another way to make more time to sew. It may take some time to do this, but in the long run you will be able to accomplish so much more. Plus you will have the added benefit that comes from beautiful and inviting surroundings that lift your spirits. There will be more peace of mind.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cutting Scrap Fabric for Quilts

I love making scrap quilts! I've been cutting up my scrap fabric pieces throughout the summer. Most of what you see here in this post was already cut prior to getting my AccuQuilt Cutter. But now that I have it I have been adding to the pile of five inch charm square blocks. Plus I've started a new pile of tumbler blocks. Years ago when I was in my 20s I made a tumbler quilt. I cannot say what's become of it after all these many years. It's gone now. But I remember tracing around a tumbler shaped template and hand cutting all those tumbler shapes for that quilt. The sewing went much faster than the cutting in those days. That was before rotary cutters existed! Now with this new cutting equipment the cutting goes a lot faster than the sewing. It's fun to have these handy tools! I'm enjoying this one. My sewing friend was here today for our weekly Sew-In. Guess what we did? That's right - cut fabric!

I know my first quilt using these five inch charm squares will be the Disappearing Nine Patch. Ever since I read about, and saw samples, of this quilt I knew what I would be doing with my charm squares. I need to do some research into seeing how many five inch squares are needed for a lap-sized and a full-sized quilt. I have a feeling there's quite a few quilts sitting right here in this pile of 5" squares. I think I'll get my little assembly line started on these this week and see how fast those quilts go together.

This summer I was cutting fabric squares in a variety of different sizes - just to get them cut and organized. My thinking was that regardless of the size, I would use them up eventually. I tried cutting the largest size strips and squares first. Then made use of smaller scraps to cut the smaller 2 1/2" squares. That's the smallest size in this range of quilt squares. I will eventually use them all - it seems better to me to cut up all my smaller fabric scraps rather than have them taking up space on my shelves and bins. There was just so much fabric, smaller than a fat quarter, that seemed like so much clutter using up space in my sewing studio. Now it's getting more organized and ready to use. Makes me happy to be organized and know they are there, ready to be put to use.

I ended up with two bins of 2 1/2" fabric strips for jelly roll quilts, a huge overflowing bin of 5" charm squares, and two bins of assorted squares ranging from 2 1/2", 3", 3 1/2", 4" and 4 1/2". Perhaps I'll sew up a bunch of table toppers with these odd-ball variety of squares just to be done with them. I decided I want to just collect the 2 1/2" strips, charm squares, 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 4 1/2" size squares. It seems to me these would be the most often used sizes to make 12 1/2" quilt blocks - handy to have around for quick-to-make gift projects.