Thursday, May 25, 2023

Oganizing My Stuff

Last week, I finally got the hubster to move some things out of shed 1, so I could put up more shelves to store and organize my crafting supplies.

I have 4 shelving units on that side of the shed, and room for one more on the other side.  I have 6 units that can go in Shed 2, once I get more boxes unpacked and out of the way over there.  Now I need to figure out where I'm going to put everything so I can find it when I need it and keep it organized.
I also added a couple more shelves to a rack similar to these in my studio.  I didn't get a picture of it, but it is deeper and wider, and I plan on storing my threads there, so I can get to them when I need them.

I have decided that I need to get my fabric better organized.  I don't have enough room on my bookcases to get any more in there, and I have a stack of fabric sitting on a chair needing to find a home.  Also as I was going through the remaining 15 to 20 boxes that need unpacking from the move, I found 1 box full of fabric.  I haven't been able to get to the other boxes yet, so there may still be more fabric that needs a home.
Yesterday I spent my day refolding some of my fabric.  I got one shelf done, and there is room to add more fabric to it, when I get more folded.

I took this picture before I was finished, but it will give you an idea of the before and after of how I'm folding my fabric. 

I started on the top shelf. Right now, I'm not worried about sorting by color, I don't have enough room to keep piles on my table, or an empty shelf to put them until I get more of the same color families.  As I work through each shelf, I will be putting color families together.  I want to keep all my solids, or reads as solids together, so they won't get lost in the sea of prints. 
While I have the fabric out, to refold, I'm measuring each piece, and getting a picture of it.  There were a number of people in a group I belong to that measured their fabric to see how much they actually had.  I thought it would be fun to find out just how much fabric I have, so I decided I would keep track of what I have.  The picture is so I can add it to my Electric Quilt program, so when I'm designing a quilt I can use my own fabrics, and not just images of fabric I don't have.

That's it for today, will try to keep updating my refolding progress as it happens.

Until next time...Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Cabinet has been delivered

 My new sewing cabinet was supposed to be delivered on Friday Aug 26th, and was even on the truck and almost here.  However, that day we got a LOT of rain, and the truck driver was concerned that he would get stuck in the mud on our roads, so decided to not attempt to get to our house and deliver it.  Since it was being delivered by FedEx Freight, the truck was much bigger than the usual trucks used for delivery, so I don't blame them for not wanting to get stuck, and then having to figure out how to get unstuck when you are out in the middle of nowhere.

The next date it could be delivered was Wed Aug 31.  No rain in sight on that day, and I was the last stop of the day for them.  They were able to get it off the truck, and into my Studio with out any issues, and they removed all the packing materials!!! Here is what it looks like when it's all closed up.

I doubt that I will ever close it up, once I start sewing again, so this may be the only time I will see it like this. 

When it's open, there is plenty of space to sew.  The back panel isn't as deep as my old cabinet, but I think it will still allow me enough space if I'm quilting something on my domestic machine, rather than my mid-arm.  But most of the time, that back panel will be down and the cabinet closer to the wall. It is the same height as my old cabinet and drawer chests, so if I needed more area, I could roll one of those behind it to help hold up any large quilts I may work on.  The hooks on the door on the right are for holding embroidery hoops, so they will be convenient when I'm doing embroidery.


I was happy to find out the drawers in the little pull out cabinet are deep enough to hold smaller cones of thread. Most drawers are too short, and cones need to be laid down on their sides to fit in them. These are my Superior Threads Bottom Line collection and one of my Floriani cones.  They fit perfectly inside the drawers and they can still be closed with out issue.


The top two drawers have the thread racks in them, however, both are removable.  What I'm considering is keeping the front 10 or so pegs empty, in the top drawer, so that I can place the colors for any embroidery project on those to keep them in order and out of the way.   I haven't decided if I will take the thread rack out of the second drawer and use it to store any notions I want to keep handy.  I have more thread than will fit in those drawers, so I really don't need them as storage.  I think I would rather use them as a place to keep what I'm using for any current projects I'm working on, instead of them sitting on top of the cabinet and being in the way. 
The bottom drawer is much deeper, and I haven't decided what I will keep in there. Possibly the boxes of all my extra presser feet for the machines, or something else that I want/need to keep close at hand.

That drawer unit will slide into the opening and be out of the way, and there is an ironing surface that still needs to be sent to me (they were out of stock) that will fit on top of the shelf. I also am waiting for the insert to give me a flat surface to sew on, and that should arrive in a week or so.  I'm not sure how often I will change out my machines, since the Solaris is so heavy, but I'm considering ordering an insert for my other two machines that I would set up in this cabinet, so that if one is in the shop, I can still sew on one of my other machines.

When I was opening the drawers, I found a cute little surprise...

Since this is a Kangaroo cabinet from Arrow, they tucked this cute Roo in there to keep watch over my projects when I'm away.  And my new chair works perfectly with the new cabinet.

Now I just need to get everything  unpacked, and get my sewing machine set up and I can start quilting again!! 

Until next time... happy crafting!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Cleaned up and ready for new cabinet

 I ordered a new sewing cabinet last week. It is the Outback from Kangaroo Cabinets, a division of Arrow Sewing.  It is the only one I found, in my price range, that had an opening that was large enough for my Solaris. Here is a picture of it I got off their website.  Mine probably will never look this "clean" after I start using it. But there will be plenty of space for me to work on my projects.  I'm told delivery will be 2 to 4 weeks, and it has already been one week, so hopefully it will be here soon.

  I also bought a new sewing chair, from  Horn. It is a 6 way adjustable deluxe chair, and should work nicely with my cabinet.  I got the blue, and it has already arrived.


What really surprised me is that the company said my zip code was in an area that they do their White Glove delivery service.  They will deliver the cabinet, put it together and remove any trash from the packing materials.  So we opted to spend a bit more for that, rather than have to assemble the cabinet ourselves.  I'm sure we could have put it together, but it would have taken us hours.  It may take them hours, but they should be familiar with how to put them together and should be able to do it faster than we could.

In order to get ready for delivery, I got into the Studio and started cleaning and putting furniture where I think it may live.  The bookcases in the back will hold my fabric, and  books, and near the front, on the right, is where the sink and refrigerator will be placed. (Where the vacuum is now)  The front table on the left is my old table, and that may or may not stay.  I wouldn't mind having some extra horizontal space to work with, but I still need to move in my old sewing cabinet, that will have one of my older machines set up in it, and a 6 drawer cabinet that I use for storage of rulers and other small notions.

The back wall, where the black rack and my quilting frame is, will become my design wall, so those aren't staying there, but they are out of the way for when my new cabinet arrives, to give them plenty of room to put it together.  The open wall on the right is where the new cabinet is going to sit.  If I still have enough space, my old sewing cabinet will go next to it, otherwise, I may have to set that up along the left wall.

I don't want to start unpacking until my cabinet arrives, just in case I change my mind about where everything is going to go.  It will be eaiser to rearrange things if they aren't filled up, or boxes are in the way to where I want to put them.  And it's possible, I may change my mind about shelves, and get rid of the bookcases, and find something else that will work better.  But for now, I will use what I have, and see how it goes before I decide to get something else.

The space has come a long way since we first moved into the house.  In case you don't remember what it looked like, here is the picture of the space right after we purchased this property.

I should be able to start sewing again soon. I know I won't get everything unpacked before I do some sewing, but I need to wait until I find all my notions and tools that I use all the time.   Hopefully they won't be in the "last" box I unpack and can start sewing as a "reward" for getting boxes unpacked and organized.

Until next time...happy crafting!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The shed is built!

So, it has taken longer than expected, mostly because of the weather. We had lots of rain the past few weeks, and couldn't work on the shed.  But the shed is finally up, and in a few more days, we will be able to start moving things into it, as I start setting up my Studio.  Here are some in progress pictures of the build.

This one the walls are up and the doors have been installed.

We are almost done putting the roof on.  A few more panels, then the top peak, which has spaces for some panels to let the light in. 


Here is a look into the shed, after all the roof has been installed.

And here is a look at the shed next to the Studio.

The shed is 8' by 15' and we will be putting some shelving units in there to better organize what I will be storing in there. I plan to store things I don't want to get rid of, but don't use regularly, so they aren't in my way in the Studio.  But before we start moving things in there, we want to make sure that it is waterproof like it was advertised.  It should rain again in a few days, so we will be able to check that out soon.  We plan to put some caulking around the seams just to be safe, but just want to make sure there aren't any major leaks because of the way it is put together.

I have found a new sewing cabinet I want, and will get that ordered after I get some things in the Studio in place.  It will have to be assembled, so I want to make sure we have enough room to work on that before it's delivered.  

I should be able to start unpacking and putting things where I want them soon.  I can't wait until I can get back to sewing and quilting again.

Until next time...Happy Crafting!!

Friday, July 15, 2022

Just a few more days...

And I can start moving things into place, and unpacking.  The flooring has been installed, and yesterday the trim around the floor was put into place.  Today, the caulking will be done, then I can start moving my bookcases and shelves where I want them.

He put my TV up on the wall, and it is all hooked up and live, so I can have that on for "company" when I get out there to start working.

There is still insulation to go up in the rafters, but that has to wait until we take down all the boxes, so they are out of the way.  Since they need to be brought down for me to go through them anyway, that will be done in the next day or two. Then he can get the insulation up, and should be about finished with what he needs to do out there.

We are waiting on delivery of a shed, that is going to become my "Annex".  Any of my crafting supplies that won't fit, or I don't want in my Studio will live there.  We already have placed some concrete pavers as a base for it, now just need it to show up, so we can put it together.   It is going to be close enough that I won't have to go too far, if I need to get something out of it.


Unfortunately, living out in the middle of nowhere, we have to wait until the delivery company has other deliveries in the area, to make it worth their while to drive this way, so the shed is sitting in Albuquerque for now, and they said it could take up to 30 days before they will bring it out.  Since we don't have a way to go pick it up and get it here, we will just have to wait for them.   I would assume that even if they don't have another delivery out this way, they will still bring it out to us, no matter what, but it sucks we have to wait up to a month just to see if they do get another delivery before they will bring it to us.  Even with the issues of trying to get large items delivered, I will take our location over living in a city any day of the week.  The longer I'm here, the more I'm liking it. 

Until next time... happy crafting!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Getting closer and closer...

Work on the Studio is coming along.  The painting has started, and we need to run into town to pick up more.  We thought 2 gallons would be enough, but the drywall just sucks it up, and this was supposed to be a primer/paint all in one.  At least we were heading to town tomorrow anyway, so it isn't an extra trip we have to make.

After the painting is done, the flooring will get installed.  Then a few more odds and ends projects, and I should be able to start moving in and unpacking soon.

We unloaded my new cutting table from my car, where it was staying until we had room for it.  And it looks good in my Studio. It is about the same size as my old cutting table, but stands higher, so I shouldn't have to lean over when I'm cutting fabric as much.  I still have my old table, and will probably find a good use for it.  Like a lot of quilters,  I have a habit of stacking stuff on my cutting table, and not cleaning it off until it gets so full I have no room to cut. So the old table may be a good place to stack things, and keep my new table clean and give me lots of room for cutting.  The drawers go all the way through to the other side, and will be a perfect place to store rulers and rotary cutters.  I don't know if I will keep it pushed up next to a wall like this.  But it's on wheels so if I need to get around to the other size, it will be easy enough to move it away from the wall when necessary.  I think this table will work out great for basting my quilts, and I may figure out a way to put both tables together, if I need more room.  I'm sure there is some way to raise the old table, even if only temporarily when I need a larger work surface.

I think the old table will be a good work surface, for times when I need something to work on.  I have some Tsukineko inks that I want to experiment with, and that old table will be perfect for that.  And I won't have to worry about making a mess or staining my cutting table. I may even start using my rubber stamps and all those supplies again. 

I'm getting excited with all the progress that is being made, and looking forward to getting all my things unpacked and organized.  

Until next time... Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Morning Visitors

Since we moved into our house, the back deck has been redone.  We tore out all the wood, as a lot of it was dry rotted, it seems the previous owners didn't take care of it as it should have been.  We replaced it with Trex, a composite material that looks just like wood, but has little to no maintenance.  We used the railing as most of that was okay, but it still needs to be painted. 

The table and chairs, we moved from where you see it in this picture to closer to the house, so that we won't scare the birds away.  The feeders hadn't been put up in this picture yet, but they are just above the flower bed you see behind the table.

We started sitting out on the deck in the mornings with our coffee and waiting for birds to show up.  And we haven't been disappointed.  Some mornings we get more visitors than others, but we usually get a couple of birds showing up. (Or it might be the same bird showing up multiple times).  

Here are a few hummingbird pictures I managed to capture in the month of June.  



Not only are we getting Hummingbirds, but there are other birds that will come to the bird bath and drink the water there.

This first one is one of the baby birds, that was at the bird bath, after Mom flew off.  I managed to time it just right to see water dripping down after it had gotten a drink.

This is one of the red birds we see flying around the property.
This blue bird is one of my favorites, although we don't see many of them come to the bird bath.  So I was happy to get this picture when I did.

It's such a nice way to start our day, sitting on the deck, watching for birds, and drinking our coffee and chatting.  Now that it's July, the mornings are getting hotter, so we may have to get out there earlier.  I'm not sure on the Hummingbird migration path or times, so the feeders will be out there as long as we continue to see the Hummingbirds use them. As for the bird bath, I intend to keep that up year round, as long as we don't have freezing temps, as we have seen many birds this past winter.

Until next time... Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Should I or Shouldn't I?

Recently I've been reading some blogs, where people are measuring the fabric in their stash, and keeping track of what comes in and goes out.  I've been thinking that it would be fun to join in, and start keeping track of how much fabric I have.  The problem is, I'm not sure I want to measure everything I have.  Since everything is packed up right now, it might be a great time to measure it all as I unpack it.  However,  if I stop to measure it all, it could take me much to longer to get my studio unpacked and set up.  If I put everything on the shelves, then I would have to take the time to pull it off, and measure it later, and that takes time away from being able to actually sew.

There was talk of weighing it, instead of measuring it. Which most have said is fairly accurate, to within a half yard or so. And it would take a lot less time to put a stack of fabric on a scale, vs unfolding, measure, then refold. That would still take more time than just taking it out of the boxes and putting it on a shelf. But that sounds like it is something I could do with out slowing me down too much in the unpacking.  

I know I'm going to have to take time to organize my fabric no matter if I measure or weigh it before putting it on my shelves.  But do I want to take more time, to find out how much fabric I have??  I can see by looking at it, that it's a lot.  Do I need to know the yardage??  Will knowing how much fabric I have motivate me to use it more? 

With the cost of everything going up, including fabric, I tell myself that I was buying as a hedge against inflation. Even while I was working, I would justify my purchases by saying, I may not be able to buy as much once I retire.  But if I'm not using it, was it really a good purchase?  Spending money on something you aren't using, isn't a good use of your money.

Before our move, I was doing better at using my stash, and not buying anything, unless I needed it for a project I was actively planning or working on.  I was able to walk into a quilt store, and not feel the need to buy yards and yards because the fabric was just too pretty to leave in the store or even worse, it was on sale, and I couldn't get it at that price again.  

Since I'm not close to any quilt stores now, I think it will be really easy to keep using my stash before running out and purchasing more fabric.  Of course, my stash has some areas where I lack a lot of variety, and I may need to supplement what I have if I'm using those colors in a quilt.   However, if I want to go to a quilt store now,  I would have to plan a day to go into town.  If I were to buy online, I don't want to buy just a yard or two, or even a few FQs, I would want to get as much as I could for the shipping charges, so I would buy more than I really needed, so it's easy for me to say no to buying online.    

I think I will not measure or weigh my fabric, I do like the idea of keeping track of what comes in and goes out. I would like to be able to look back over time and see that I used more than I purchased, and I think that is something I will be able to keep track of, especially since I won't be buying a lot.

I will leave you with a quilt I designed in Electric Quilt 8.  I wanted to create a quilt with the grey and off white fabric that I purchased.  Both were End of Bolt purchases, so I couldn't get more, and the project I purchased it for, I decided to do something different.  So I needed to come up with a project to use the amount of fabric I had, and by adding in the red, I had enough of both to create this quilt.  My plan is to bind it in red, and if I don't have enough, or I can't find it, I know what the fabric line is, so I should be able to buy more when I get this quilted.

Until next time... Happy Crafting!!