So Quilty I Haven’t Quilted

October 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm 2 comments

suitcase sculpture, Indianapolis airport

I've been on the road!

quilty:  quilt-y [kwil-tee] –adjective quilt-i-er, quilt-i-est.

1.  Related to, but not specific to the act of, quilting.

2.  Characterized by, connected to, or involving quilts.

That’s my made-up word of the day.  I’ve been very wrapped up in quilty activities lately, to the point of being too busy to actually quilt!  This has happened to me plenty of times before, and I know I’m not the only one:  shop owners have frequently spoken to me about how they spend all day surrounded by quilts, thinking about quilts, but not finding time to make quilts.  My free time has been consumed by some very quilty adventures, each of which is deserving of its own post, but I wanted to give you an overview:

Sept. 16:  PA National Quilt Extravaganza and quilt guild meeting

Sept. 23-25:  Quilting with Machines, Huron, OH

Oct. 2:  The Airing of the Quilts, Tunkhannock, PA

In between, I’ve been working, traveling, and sometimes doing both simultaneously; I left the day after the PA show to work a weekend military dental event in Edinburgh, Indiana, then left again for Ohio two and a half days after getting home.  I’ve also been trying to reorganize the studio, because machine quilting requires lots of space, and little things I hadn’t dealt with were piling up and getting pushed off the edge of the table as I quilted.  (At least I didn’t do what I once did, and inadvertently quilted a piece of scrap fabric ONTO THE BACK OF the quilt I was quilting.  That was damn unpretty.)  I now have new thread racks on the wall, including one for cones, so I don’t have thread stacked precariously on the closet shelf any more.

thread racks

I have also continued a project I started last spring, tracing my quilting stencil collection out onto paper so I have a hard copy of the designs I already own, without having to pull the big portfolio of stencils out of the closet and rifle through them for ideas.

stencil binder

I like the portfolio for storage (an idea I got from Karen McTavish when I took her wholecloth design class many years ago) but it’s a little unwieldy for casual browsing, and leads too often to my ignoring my stencils when choosing quilting designs.

stencil portfolio

Now I’m well on my way to having a full-size catalog of my stencils that will be much easier to deal with.  I’m also flirting with the idea of photographing all the pages into a notebook on my phone so I have a portable reference for shopping; I have to investigate whether that would be a poor use of phone memory or not.

I’m also trying to get caught up with my magazine filing.  [Warning:  if descriptions of borderline OCD behavior disturb you, you may not want to read about how I organize my quilting magazines.] For the last approximately six years, I have made an effort to stay on top of my ever-increasing collection of quilting magazines by periodically going through them, tearing out the pertinent articles, photos, and patterns, and placing them in plastic page protectors.  I then organize them in binders, with subject tabs separating them first into articles, patterns, and inspirations, then further subdividing the articles into topics such as how-tos, history, and interviews; the patterns into paper piecing, curved piecing, applique, big prints, holiday, etc.; and the inspiration photos just into roughly similar groupings.  [Look, I warned you.  I also sort my M&Ms by color before eating them, you got a problem with that?]

magazine binder

Every year or so I also purge the existing binders of things that no longer appeal to me or that I have better examples of, but the acquisitions far outweigh the deletions.  Suffice to say I currently have four 3″ binders absolutely bursting at the seams.  They are extremely useful references, though, and I consult them often.  It’s much easier than having to sort through piles or magazine boxes full of intact but unindexed issues; and I’ve resigned myself to the idea that if I missed anything, it surely is counterbalanced by the usefulness of the system.  (Not to mention, these days, no information is ever truly lost, even if I recycled the magazine it was in.)  But as with so many other ongoing quilty projects, I’d gotten behind with it, and now I’m almost caught up.

magazine binders on shelf

And finally, before all this new learning had a chance to get old in my brain, I’ve organized all my handouts and class notes from Quilting with Machines into yet another binder.  Once again, I had started this project last year, adding to a kind of half-assed “quilt class notes” binder that I’d started years ago but hadn’t given a good effort to.  Now both years’ worth of QwM notes are in one binder, properly organized, to which I’m even adding photos I took of class samples.

QwM binder

So while I still don’t have any completely finished projects to brag about, I’ve been making the most of my last month of permitted travel before “my confinement.”  All I mean is that the OB doesn’t want me to be more than an hour from the hospital as of 36 weeks, which falls October 23; I  just like phrasing it that way because I sound like a character from Jane Austen or “Gone with the Wind.”  And I now have a much better organized sewing space, which will allow me to spend more time quilting and less time trying to move or find things as I deal with significantly curtailed hobby time once the baby comes.

More on the actual shows and events soon!  With pictures of quilts instead of binders!  I promise!


Entry filed under: Organization, Quilt Guild, Quilt Shows, Time Management. Tags: .

Gearing up for Quilting with Machines PA National Quilt Extravaganza 2010

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Barbara Colvin  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:59 am

    this was so interesting that I printed it out.
    I think I also have OCD tendancies.
    Keep bloging. I love it!

  • 2. Corinne  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    “significantly curtailed”? I love your optimism! I have hazy, sleep-deprived memories of feeding baby, changing baby and napping with baby, round and round, every 2 hours, for *months*. I even have journal entries to prove it!

    (I only started a baby journal because the pediatrician suggested that it would be much easier to monitor the little guy’s health if we wrote stuff down instead of trying to remember it. I am still writing in it.).


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