Multi-tasking..

Multi-tasking.. it seems like a good idea but I think but for me this is one that has gone gotten out of hand.  I have so many ideas, and have collected so may lovely fabrics and I want to sew all kinds of projects. This time, I have used my  AccuQuilt Go cutter and I have several new dies.  I want to try them all out so the cutter is sitting on my table and I have piles of fabric and piles of cut shapes and now I have a huge mess!  When I picked up the fabric for my nieces quilt and then used the wrong die to cut the fabric I decided I need to change my ways. I’ve taken a picture to remind myself of the disaster and started to pick things up and put them away.  I do have piles ready to cut for quilts but now it’s one at a time and it goes into a clear plastic box with the pattern. The leftover shapes are in another box along with the oops cuts and I’ve decided that I need to sew up what I have and then I can cut more.  Do you have a problem multi-tasking? If you do multi-task, what is your secret to stay organized?  I’m ready to try some new ideas.

messy table

New Projects

It’s nice to be at a point where I am starting on new projects.  It’s always fun and exciting to plan a new project, think about the fabric, the details and who will be receiving the end product.  Sometimes I make something just to make it but I do find that I’m more productive and apt to stick with it and finish it if there is a time line or a reason.  I’m not good at just sitting and playing.  I need a purpose.  I recently got a die for my AccuQuilt Go  cutter.  This cuts simple 5″ squares.  I love to cut the fabric with this die.  It’s fast and easy and accurate.  The package insert always has a pattern idea.  When I saw the pattern I knew I had the perfect fabric.  Last year when I first started to sew and quilt again one of the first fabrics that I fell in love with was the green fabric with the Swiss houses on it.  The pattern was big enough that I knew I needed a bigger block and I really didn’t have too much of the yardage.  I had enough other fabrics in my stash to make the rest of the blocks and I spent an hour or so happily cutting and placing this on my design wall.  It has been sitting in a box waiting for the day to sew it up and now the day is here.  I’m going to make this for a young friend who is having a baby girl and doesn’t like pink.  This quilt has flowers and butterflies and these darling little houses and I think it will be perfect.  Now I’m off to sew and already planning another new project in my head.

blue and green baby quilt

Rag blanket finish

A rag blanket finish happened this week.  It actually was fun to do and I’m pleased with the finished product.  When I first bought this die I thought this would be a great way to use the flannel remnants.  As it turns out, because you use two pieces of fabric in each block the remnants don’t go very far. I knew that I was making this blanket for a little boy and have since learned that the mom is already in the hospital waiting for this little one to appear.  It’s a bit early for his arrival however so they hope he will take his time! In the end, I was able to mostly use fabrics from my stash.  I did end up buying a small piece of yellow.  Hubby was a bit reserved about the project but was also impressed after it had been washed and dried.  Like he said, it almost makes a chenille type fabric after it’s been in the wash and I’m sure it will get softer with each wash.  I think I’m off to make another.

rag blocks

rag quilt before

Making Lanyards

Making lanyards for the girls was lots of fun.  I started with one of the Robert Kaufman Girl Scout roll ups and separated the strips into the Girl Scout prints and the coordinating prints.  For this project I knew that I wanted to the use the fabric that was specifically Girl Scout themed.  Becuase the strips were two and a half inches wide, I cut my light weight interfacing two inches wide and ironed it to the inside.  Then I folded and pressed the fabric so I could add the lanyard clip and finish the seam and do the top stitching.  This was a fairly quick project for one but of course did take a bit longer to make 24. That way we did a few extra for special staff and other gifts.  The girls were able to use their lanyard for their whistle and their schedules which they put in plastic name tag holders.  All in all, making lanyards was a very successful project!

roll up

zippers and lanyard clips

lanyards

lanyards

The Next Step

The next step in my adventure was to match up the strips and the zippers.  I knew that I wanted each of the zip pouches to be unique.  I wanted the strips in pairs of patterns and also didn’t want to be too random and stuck at the end with odd color combinations of strips and zippers.  I took the roll ups apart, matched two of the plain prints with a patterned print and then added a coordinating zipper.  I laid them out on the cutting table about 20 at a time and them clipped them together with a binder clip and put them in a basket.  My friend and co-director volunteered to sew the strips together and press the seams open.  That was a life saver for sure!  With a few strips isn’t not so bad but when you are talking in the neighborhood of 70 or so.. this accounts for some extras and several “test” pouches.

 

pairs of fabric strips

strips on the table

strips with zippers

When I got the strips back from Linda, I cut the strips in half and restacked them with a layer of batting.  At this point I could baste them and head for the sewing machine. Now it’s on to the next step.

 

Camp and a Girl Scout 100th birthday celebration.

Camp and a Girl Scout 100th birthday celebration.  What do they have in common? Well of course, this is a Girl Scout camp so we have to celebrate the birthday.  As a co-director my thoughts deal with staffing as much as girl activities.  The adults spend many hours planning and preparing for camp and then volunteer to spend a week of their summer as camp counselors so 160 girls can spend a week out doors cooking, canoeing, swimming doing crafts, archery and nature activities.  Of course there is singing and learing to work in a team environment as well.  We are an all volunteer run camp so money that is collected from the camp fee is used for the camp rental, food and camp program. At the end of the week we like to celebrate with an all camp campfire and thank the adults who helped with a small token of our appreciation.  It’s always a challenge to think of something that might be fun, meaningful, useful and not just a trinket. Last year I realized that the Robert Kaufman company had produced a wonderful line of Girl Scout fabric.  I knew it would be fun to make something for the staff and for the high school girls who worked as program aids. The dilemma was as we are a non-profit organization and volunteer run camp we did not have much money for thank you gifts and buying fabric to make gifts for 80 people was in our budget.  I also was concerned about sewing 80 items in enough time for camp.  My original thought was pillow cases.  I knew from experience that I could make pillow cases in an assembly line fashion and with several months lead time I could probably make 80.  The Robert Kaufman company agreed to donate Girl Scout roll ups.  If you are not a quilter you may not have figured out that pillow cases were not happening with roll ups. Roll ups consist of 40  2 .5″  strips of fabric.  I was thrilled with the donation but knew I would have to come up with a different plan.

roll up bos of roll ups

The thinking cap went on and now I was to plan #2. After a bit of experimentation and discussion with my co-director we decided that zip pouches for the adults and lanyards for the girls would be perfect for the fabric available. The adults would love the Girl Scout fabric in the zip pouches and the girls would find the lanyards useful for their schedules and their whistles.

The next project was to order supplies and make a few trial versions.

zippers and lanyard clips

All was ready for step number two.

 

August already?

August already? I just looked at the date of the last post.  I can’t believe it’s been two months to the day!  I’m back to more regular posting.  The big Girl Scout project has been finished and I’ll do several posts about that in the next week.  I have to go back and gather all the photos so I can document the project.  For now, camp is finished, birthdays have been celebrated and we’re into August.  I think the next few months will be many baby posts.  I know of at least 4 babies in the next 4 months.  They will all need different levels of acknowledgment which means a large variety of projects for me.  I’m excited.  I have soo many ideas and love the excuse to try them out.

The first project was just a couple of baby bibs.  I love to make these bib.  I had some like them when my kids were little and loved the extra coverage.  I made one in the size the pattern suggested and then put the pattern in the copy machine and enlarged it 129%.  So pleased with they way they turned out.  I often times buy remnants and this is the perfect pattern for a remnant.  I can see how the fabric looks made up, the parents get a bib that’s unique and I have lots of fun.  Win win for all!

Bobbins!

Bobbins! I mean bobbins and more bobbins.  With this big project I’ve been working on I’ve been winding and using bobbins at an amazing rate.  I’ve never wound so many bobbins in such a short amount of time.  Jim gave me a  “Singer Sidewinder” for Christmas and I thought it might be a nice addition to my sewing junk equipment but I didn’t realize how much I would really appreciate it when I was using bobbins at an alarming rate. I’ve just wound an additional 9 bobbins.  I’m estimating that this brings the bobbin total to about 40 so far. It also takes a huge amount of thread.  I have used almost two entire 100m spools of thread.  Amazing! Funny thing about this however is that I’m not really tired of project.  It will be nice to have it finished because then I will feel that I can make some other items but for now I can see the finish line and I’m satisfied with that.

Mixed review

Oldest daughter is going on a trip at the end of the week.  Off to Minnesota where it might be warmer that the Pacific Northwest!  I thought I would make her a new sleeveless top to take with her.  Now this is not always a successful action when you don’t have approval of the pattern or fabric.  It’s also been many years since I have made her any clothing so it was an educated guess on many accounts.  So this is a good news, bad news story.  The good news is that I enjoyed the clothing sewing. The patterns have certainly improved in the 10 plus years that have passed since I intentionally purchased a pattern for a garment other than pj pants. The other good news was that I only spent $5 on fabric so it wasn’t a complete loss.  The bad news was that a) She didn’t like it and b) it was a little snug.  It’s too bad too because I serged the seams so they didn’t ravel, I made my own bias tape for the armholes and everything went together exactly as it should.  Oh well, I knew it was a long shot but thought I had made good guess on the size and style so there was some room for error but I guess not quite enough.  Maybe daughter #2 will like it and it will fit her of I can cut it apart and use it in a quilt or even find another person to give it to.

Sleeveless top

A tag blanket for baby

A tag blanket for baby is a popular gift. When I first saw them I thought it was kind of silly but as I thought about it I realized it was actually a smart gift and something a baby would enjoy.  It’s small enough to put in a diaper bag or use in a car seat or stroller and might even be good in a crib at nap time.  I know that when my kids were babies they liked to rub things between their fingers and it helped to sooth them.  This blanket has something for every mood.  It has lots of color and many textures.  When I was making it I did wonder if there were too many tags or too many colors.  I opted for many textures and many colors. I think this will make the blanket useful for a longer period and should appeal to every childs fascination with color and texture. The front of the tag blanket is a piece of fabric that has cute little bunnies.  The back of the blanket is a piece of fabric I purchased that has alternating squares of flannel and chenille.  Lots of interesting things for baby to look at.  I’m also going to enclose a couple of link toys so mama can attach toys to the ribbon tags or even attach it to the side of a stroller or car seat.  When baby gets tired of it and throws it, this tag blanket for baby will not go very far!