Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Most Thankful for...


I'm a very blessed person, and I am reminded of that every day. But the reason why I am most thankful is for this little family.

My husband Bill is an amazing dad. He loves his kids so much and enjoys nothing more than doing fun things with them. He is always ready to plan an adventure or take them on crazy outings. Last weekend, he and the boys jumped of the Stratosphere building in Las Vegas for fun. They also went on all the roller coasters and saw the Chris Angel show. A few weeks ago they hiked the tallest mountain in GA. Next, he plans on teaching all of them how to fly a small plane. I love to watch how much joy he gets from being a father. Seeing how he fathers our children makes me love him more every day.

My daughter Kelly is the best girl any mom could ask for. She is all tom-boy and loves riding her horse more than anything else in the world. She is also funny, and sarcastic, and makes me laugh every day. She is kind and gentle and caring with her brothers and our fur babies. She takes her responsibility as a big sister very seriously, and really looks out for her brothers.

My sons David and Danny are pure joy. They are quiet but rarely serious. They are focused and determined to meet any goal they set. They work hard and play hard. They are becoming men that I am so proud to call my sons. And the best part is, they still let me have all the hugs and kisses I want.

I hope that you are feeling blessed and spending the holidays with those you love the most.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Diane


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for...



my quilting friends who support me every day.

Thankful for Mary Ruth who is my mentor, my confidant, and my reliable adventure seeker. She has been making me laugh and inspiring me for over 15 years now! (We met in grade school *wink*)

Thankful for my Bee group friends: Anne, who is so interesting and skilled, Darlene who has a huge heart, Patsy who is always good for a laugh and Kathy who is the quiet balance to my sometimes crazy.

Thankful for Martha who is always ready for a trip to the quilt shop and willing to eat BBQ for lunch no matter how many times I ask!

Thankful for Betty who is quilting my quilts with so much skill and thoughtfulness.

Thankful for Janet, Randy, Joseph and Stacia who welcome me to the local quilt shop on an often daily basis in spite of my many crazy requests. They always seem happy to see me and offer encouragement and chocolate. They make buying fabric even more fun than usual!

Thankful for my guild friends who celebrate this fabric craft right along with me. They understand the joy and the reward that stitching offers and they inspire me constantly. They encourage me with their support and kind words. They really are so much more important to me than I ever take the time to say.

So today I just wanted to say...
I have much to be thankful for,

My heart is full,
Diane

Monday, November 24, 2014

So Thankful...



for my blogging friends who inspire me daily...

Thankful for Audrey at Quilty Folks for always encouraging me to see things in a new way.

Thankful for Angie at Quilting on the Crescent for reminding of my hometown through fabric.

Thanful for Barb at Fun with Barb for always making me laugh.

Thankful for Christine at Quilting Stories for her gorgeous photography and quilts and kindness.

Thankful for JulieRose at Julie Rose Quilts for her encouragement and love.

Thankful for Karen at Log Cabin Quilter for her heart and her amazing way with a needle!

Thankful for Kelly at Pink A Dot for her fun perspective and incredible talent.

Thankful for Missie at Traditional Primitives for her inspirational way with wool.

Thankful for Rachel at BlueMountainDaisy for her gorgeous way with color.

There are many others, but these ladies need to know that I am so very grateful for the words we share, the fabrics that inspire us, and the ideas that fly back and forth! My life, and my quilts, are more colorful because of these quilters!

Thank you so very much,
Diane

Thursday, November 20, 2014

TBT


Throw Back Thursday this week features a quilt I made in 2012 from a Bonnie Hunter book called Adventures with Leaders and Enders. I made the quilt larger by adding more rows of trees so that it would fit my full size bed in the guest room. I also added a row of border blocks to the back for a 'turn down surprise'. I like to do that because it looks pretty when the quilt is folded back on the bed and it saves money because a the backing only requires two lengths of backing fabric rather than three. So it's a win/win!

I sewed the blocks together at a retreat in 2012 when I went to Toccoa. I was sewing in a room of folks called "Sew on Your Own" which meant that we brought our own projects to sew rather than taking a class together. It just so happened that every person in the room was working on tree blocks of some sort, all trees, but no two alike! How funny is that? One girl was paper piecing Christmas trees, another was string piecing, and a couple were doing different wall hangings. I think there was even an advent calendar in the works that featured a tree. It provided endless hours of jokes and riddles as you can imagine...

This quilt is currently on the guest bed and will stay there until I change out all the quilts to the Christmas quilts. It is one that I don't think I will ever tire of because it is classic and it has some of my favorite fabrics. I went back and bought the rest of the bolt of that red sashing fabric because I liked it so much! LOL

If you would like to link up your 'Throw Back Thursday' quilt below, please do! If you would just like to leave a link to yours in the comments, that's okay too. I really enjoyed the links from last week and I am looking forward to more this week!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review(s)



Recently I have aquired three of the wonderful quilt books by Rosemary Youngs. She's written other books and these are not her most recent. I was gifted one, found another used, and bought one on sale...so it was a win,win,win.

The books are not traditional or typical quilt books. These are smaller and thicker and feature stories from the civil war, journal entries or letters written by real people at the time. The letters or journal entries are paired with a quilt block. The quilt block is shown in a color diagram which can be traced or measured or even copied for piecing. Some are very simple and some are much more complex.

Sample quilts are given in each of the books but I haven't made the first block from any of them. I do plan to take my time reading the stories and trying to imagine the strength and courage it required to live and survive during such a difficult time and dreadful war. The simple acts of daily life and the gratitude for the tiniest of blessings is so inspiring.

I hope that if you see these books you will pick them up and take a peek. They are some of my favorite types of reading because they combine my love of history and my love of quilting. Finding a story written by a woman from long ago is a special treasure.

Enjoy every page!
Diane

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Minute Tip

(just one of the piles on my table that needs to be dealt with)

I've been following Bonnie Hunter for years (and if you don't you should!) She's been showing progress of her daily 5 minute purge. She chooses a drawer or shelf of cabinet to clean out every day. The woman is amazing (for her quilting too!) but I was inspired so I did a few little 'purges' that led to a few more this weekend. I am happy to say, that my children's sheet music from piano lessons over five years ago is now in the recycle bin. The desk cabinet has been cleaned out and tidied up. The quilt room has a huge box by the door that is getting filled slowly as I sort through every bin and basket, one by one. I'm sure I won't get as much done as Bonnie does (will anyone ever? hahaha) but I do feel good about the progress so far.

So go choose one drawer, basket, bin, shelf or cabinet and get busy...who knows what it will lead to...or what you might find!

Diane

Monday, November 17, 2014

Take a peek...


 Okay, I realize most people aren't as curious nozy as I am, but I love looking into other quilters' sewing spaces. I think it's fun to see how some people organize their supplies and set up their work spaces. I have a laptop that sits on my sewing table until I start quilting something big, then I move it away. But it's nice to sit and write while I'm surrounded by my favorite things. Here are a few of the things I do in my quilt room:


The top two shelves of my bookcase are shown above. I have some fabric bundles and jars with buttons and trims, as well as a stack of my favorite magazines (and the ones my work has appeared!) There are also some children's quilt books and a basket of misc. trim, ribbons and embellishments. The binders hold patterns that I've torn out of magazines to save for future use.


These two shelves hold most of my books. I will admit that there are several stacks in various places (like my bedside table) that I'm currently reading, but for the most part this is it. Also, the basket of pearl cotton thread and a jar of batik scraps. I do organize my books by author's last name only because I usually know which book I'm looking for and generally I know the name of the author.


I have a work table in the middle of my room (that was in the photo from last week) and it is filled with these bins from the Container Store. This side of the work table holds all of my smaller fabric cuts. Anything less than 1/2 yard in in a bin sorted by color. The top bin has all whites, creams and light backgrounds, the one below it has all yellow and browns, below that is the pinks and reds and the bottom has orange and blacks. The right side has misc. scraps from current projects in the top bin, the next bin has 30's, dots and brights. The bin below that has greens and the bottom bin has purples and blues. 


The opposite side of the work table has kits and pre-cute in the top two left bins and backings and borders (large cuts) on the right. The bottom bins hold leftover batting pieces and quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

This little bin holds my favorite magazines and is getting very full so I'm going to have to re-think this one. I'll probably put these on a shelf and just toss my newest magazines into this bin until they are ready to toss or store.


This is the large laundry basket on a stand that I ordered online. I use it for tossing my selvages into. There may be a few stray bundles or scraps, it needs a regular sorting. You know how that goes.


This is a pile of strips waiting to be sewn on my cutting table. They've been there for a few months because I keep changing my mind about what I want to do with them.  Chances are, they will be there for a few more months too. I'm a realist.


This basket sits on my sewing table and has the most reached for items that I use. Scissors, snips, pencils, pens, tweezers, and a seam ripper. Tissues and lotion are always nearby too.


This is the top drawer of my sewing table. It holds threads, bobbins, pins, extra feet for the machine and various tidbits. This is the drawer I open most, so it's the easiest to reach.


The second drawer has some other necessities like machine manual, ruler direction cards, extra parts for my machine, and pipe cleaners for frequent cleaning. Also, notice the chocolate, a necessity of course!


As I'm sitting at my machine, this little bookshelf is to my left. It has a pincushion and extra bobbins on top along with all of my rulers. The bins contain smaller scraps and strips sorted by type: wool, plaid, brights, batiks, strips only, and novelties. The basket holds all of the ironing supplies and extra note pads. The five drawer set holds pencils and marking tools, needles and notions, extra post its, etc. These I my supplies that I use to replenish what's in my sewing drawers or are not used quite as often but still need to be handy. I can easily pull a bin out and bring it to the ironing board when I need a few extras of something. Sometimes, when these bins start to get really full, I'll sort through them and use them to start a new project.

I do have one more basket of magazines and I have lots of thread in the printers trays on the wall, but the only thing I have in the closet is a large roll of batting. I have a couple bins of finished quilts that are waiting for shipping or publication, but that's it. I don't have a wall of fabric or a walk in closet of bundles. I think that might feel overwhelming, (but I would be willing to find out if someone wants to donate! LOL)

I do have a small shelf unit that houses all of my patterns, pattern supplies, and files for my business. I like to keep that very organized and in one place. It makes it feel more manageable to have all the important stuff in one binder that I can find quickly. Once the year is over, I do all the paperwork, file it, and start the binder fresh for the next year of contracts, calendar and events.

If you're still reading you deserve a prize! That was a lot of information about one little sewing room. I hope it gives you some ideas about how you might better use your space or organize your sewing things.
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