The Four Remaining Boot Blocks

I admit… I was very tempted to throw them out. I thought there were three left, but when I cleaned my sewing room, I found another. *sigh*  I made two totes and two little wall quilts. The binding on the wall quilts is not stitched to the back yet, so it looks a little messy here.

The bags are lined and have interior pockets. The back of the pink one is pieced . The drawstring bag is made  with Michael Miller’s medium teal Fairy Frost fabric.

Now I have to take a break to do a current project – making a bench cushion for a client. But I’ll be back to my UFO Reduction soon!

UFO Reduction Report

This flannel baby quilt is made by sewing pairs of circles, having right sides together, cutting a slit in one side and turning them right side out. Find the inscribed square and sew along the straight edges. Open up the sides and stitch them down. Hey Presto. Instant quilt.  The pieces for this instant quilt have been sitting in my attic for about four years.  They were already turned right out; I just had to sew them together.

I think the reason I abandoned the project was that I started cutting slits on the solid side of the circle (WRONG!) instead of the printed side (RIGHT!), so I had to sew it in the pattern opposite of what I intended.  This is the one I finished four years ago. I like it much better:

I had three pieces left over, so I stacked them up, quilted a spiral through all six layers, and cut the edges so it would “rag up”.  A hotpad for my kitchen table!

Then I moved on to a Tumbling Blocks quilt. I cut the pieces many years ago, intending to piece it by hand while traveling or sitting on the bleachers at Little League baseball games.  (My sons are now 22,24 and 31.)  In the interest of finishing it in my lifetime, I just pieced it together by machine. Still a lot of work, with all those short little inset seams! I made it a nice wall quilt size, about 49″ square, because it wouldn’t have the same visual impact on a bed. I confess… I threw out the remaining 100 diamonds.

About six years ago, I made tote bags for all my female friends and relatives at Christmas time.  These two never got sewn up and have been sitting in a bag in the attic:

Then I moved on to those Cowgirl Boot blocks I mentioned earlier. I had 33 of them. They were kind of boring sitting up straight, so I set them cockeyed with spiky triangle borders.  I made a 20-block quilt, a 9-block quilt and am currently working on 4 totebags.

I’ll post pics of the Boot Bags when they are done.  I’ve also started on the pre-printed fabric project. I’m mixing up that fabric with some cute Noah’s Ark fabric to make a baby quilt. It’s pretty wild… I’m not sure the baby could actually sleep with it!

In the Attic

Our attic is about 110 degrees in the summer, and dusty and dry. The air is heavy with insulation particles. Why clean the attic now? Because just a month or two ago, it was freezing up there! This is Wisconsin. When June finally chases away the winter, we have a few glorious days before summer hits hard. And who wants to spend those rare glorious days in the attic?

As I mentioned earlier, I get distracted in the attic. (Was cleaning the attic a squirrel?) I burrow through the disorganized totes and shove things into whichever is convenient. What was a perfectly organized system became a polyglot mess. The label might say “rayons”, but the tote might contain calico, corduroy, tulle, and swimsuit material. It was like having every one of your kitchen cupboards spill over with pots, Tupperware, coffee cups, silverware and dishrags. I’m better with the quilting calicoes than the dressmaking fabrics, but those weren’t in good order because I had so many pieces down in my sewing room.

So yesterday, I cleaned it all up. There are still some heavy totes in my sewing room, awaiting some male muscle, but the task is finished. After throwing out 5 – 25 gallon totes of “stuff” that I had been hanging onto for many years, moving from one home to another over the past twenty years, I have neatly organized and labeled:

4 – 20 gallon totes of quilt batt (but two only hold one large natural wool batt each)
28 – 18 gallon totes of quiltmaking yardage, pieces, strips and projects
20 – 18 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
4 – 18 gallon totes of denim for quilts, rugs, mending and various other projects
10 – 10 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
4 – 3 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
7 – 3 gallon totes of unfinished projects and notions/sewing supplies

Oh, and although I am a big fan of Rubbermaid, I also have at least 30 of those clear Sterilite containers and stackable drawers for trims, craft supplies, unfinished projects, thread, notions, patterns, tools, misc business stuff…

And then are are the binders and file cabinets for patterns, client information and other records. Bookcases filled with books and stacked fabrics and (unfinished) quilts. My really important records are stored in my computer, of course.

My husband put in the air conditioner and rebuilt my big beautiful cutting table. All of my fabric is under control. I have no more excuses… back to work on those unfinished projects. I found 33 of those Cowgirl Boot blocks, so I made one quilt with 20 blocks, one with 9 blocks and I am currently working on 4 totebags. After this, I have an odd sort of panel quilt project. A friend and I picked up a line of pre-printed quilt blocks at the International Quiltmarket in Kansas City in 2004 for her (now defunct) local quilt shop. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We made some samples, taught a couple classes and sold some. Most ended up on the clearance table. I’m sure I will think of something good to do with it.