A t-shirt quilt for dad…

This winter, Dad dropped off a bag of shirts, and asked for a t-shirt quilt. I had been asking him to give me shirts to do this with for a while now, and I had thought he’d do it with the vast amounts of Hard Rock Cafe shirts I have bought him over the years from all of my travels. Instead he surprised me with a bag of Harley Davidson t shirts! After deciding this was going to be his Father’s Day present, these shirts sat in the bag until I was ready to cut them up.

The only other t shirt quilt I made was done “Quilt as you go” in strips. That was so easy to manage under my machine I decided that was how I would tackle this one.

The first thing to do was to cut the fronts and backs out, and separate them into piles based on the width of the graphics. I ended up with a pile of 15 inches wide shirts, a 13 inches wide pile, and a 11 inch wide pile. There were also three “pocket” emblems that I just included where there were fewer shirts.

There were enough shirts in the 15 inch pile to make two strips in this quilt. After trimming the shirts down to the right sizes, I put them up on my design wall and started to measure the spaces between the shirts so I could add my “spacer” fabrics. I have a whole lot of flame fabric. Like a real lot of it. So I just pulled the car flames from my collection. Then I sewed the strips together. The goal was to make each strip the same length, so if I had to remove fabric, I wanted to take it out of the spacer fabric, than cut it off of a shirt.

At this point, I needed to add the sashing that would be the strips between the “quilt as you go” but not the strips holding the panels together.

Now is when you quilt the quilt! I made a little video of me quilting the strips together on my Instagram… It was easy to do with only the width of the strips to worry about!

Now, you have to sew the strips together.

This is accomplished with a 1 inch strip sewn to each side of the strip. With a 1/4 inch seam, you then end up with the raw edges of the strips butted up against each other, and enclosed in the sashing. Sew another 1 inch strip to the back and then hand sew it down. This is a great tutorial on how to do this technique as blocks. I just did the rows instead of blocks… And of course, it needed orange binding!

Anyway, Dad is happy with the quilt, he’s said he’s already used it. And I am happy to make them, as long as they are as easy as this one!

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My turn on the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2021

Hey folks…. OMG. It’s been seven years that I have been running this blog hop, and it’s crazy that this year my studio looks SO DIFFERENT.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how even clean, my studio was just a HOT MESS.

So here’s the TEA. For the past 13 years in this house, I stuffed EVERY single sewing thing into this room and the crazy closet in the corner there. Like many other people, I have things I bought or was given over the years that I haven’t touched since I moved them into this room.

One of the amazing things about my husband Charlie is his lack of attachment to things. Don’t get me wrong, he owns things, and has dear items to him personally, but generally he doesn’t put his attachment in the thing, but in the memories around the thing. He lives a very non cluttered life, and well…. It’s safe to say that I do NOT. I’m super attached to THINGS. Not just my own things, but things that were important to other people. (I collect other people’s collections, after all…) I love my things. But there is a point where I have to admit something.

I have too much stuff.

This closet was supposed to be “clean”. This was what it looked like “tidy”.

Enter the pandemic.

Like many people who are sick to death of their four walls during quarantine in 2020, my rooms felt so overstuffed that I had to do something DRASTIC and fast. So I moved my sewing table. And it was an INSTANT mistake! I hated it!

Enter the Great Room Rearrange of 2021.

It had to go somewhere and into our home library it went:

God bless my patient husband.

With a new clean slate, and an arrangement I now am happy with, this pile of stuff has to do one of two things:

-Go back in the room.
-Go away.

I made the decision to make 99% of it go away. I took out close to 50 lbs of fabric, cleaned every single closet item out, and put only back what I could thoughtfully use.

Now, I still have my fun inspiration stuff on my walls, so those look the same, but I can tell you this room feels SO MUCH BIGGER when it’s literally the same square footage with all of the same major furniture pieces.

And that closet?

This closet may not very different or less cluttered to you, but TRUST ME, it’s 10000% different to me. Not only is everything boxed, but half of the stuff that was in here was removed.

Where did it all go?

The library held the stuff as I spent weeks evaluating if I keep it or let it go. I sold some, I’ve got some put aside for giveaways, and I also just gave a bunch of things away to people in my neighborhood. Yarn, fabric, tools, you name it…. And I haven’t ever really felt better! It went to people who could USE it. Because I certainly wasn’t.

Folks… this was all inside a supposedly CLEAN studio! I will admit that it took a lot of hard work to do this. It was hard. It got worse before it got better, and it’s nearly all gone. There’s a few more things I still plan to sell on my “Destash” Instagram account.

So yeah. I took the Spring Clean Your Studio Challenge to the limit this year!

Please do me a favor, and visit every single one of these amazing people’s blogs and if you can, tell them how much you enjoy them!

March 29 – Raylee Bielenberg – http://sunflowerstitcheries.com
March 30 – Jen Frost – http://faithandfabricdesign.com
March 31 – Tara Gebhardt – https://quiltspluslove.com/quilt-stories
April 1 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://prettypiney.com/blog
April 2 – Leanne Parsons – http://www.devotedquilter.com
April 3 – Rebecca Lidstrom – http://Www.studiorquilts.com/blog
April 4 – Amy Bradley – http://purplepineapplestudio.com
April 5 – Sue Griffiths – https://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
April 6 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
April 7 – Tammy Silvers – https://tamarinis.typepad.com/
April 8 – Jessica Caldwell – http://Www.desertbloomquilting.com
April 9 – Monika Fritschi Henry – https://www.pennyspoolquilts.com/blogs/news
April 10 – Sara D Flynn – https://www.offbeatquilts.com/blog
April 11 – Bobbie Gentili – http://geekybobbin.com
April 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.Muppin.com

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Welcome to the Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop 2021!

Can you believe another year has passed? This is my seventh year running this blog hop, and I’m super stoked with this year’s list of awesome studios to share with you!

Each year, we love to show you that we are real people too. We have messy studios, we have clean studios, we have disaster areas, and we have perfect organizers. The variety of studios and sewing spaces you get to see here is awesome. I always get a few organization tips from the hop each year.

It starts today, so let’s reveal this year’s group of Spring Cleaners!

March 29 – Raylee Bielenberg – http://sunflowerstitcheries.com
March 30 – Jen Frost – http://faithandfabricdesign.com
March 31 – Tara Gebhardt – https://quiltspluslove.com/quilt-stories
April 1 – Becca Fenstermaker – http://prettypiney.com/blog
April 2 – Leanne Parsons – http://www.devotedquilter.com
April 3 – Rebecca Lidstrom – http://Www.studiorquilts.com/blog
April 4 – Amy Bradley – http://purplepineapplestudios.com
April 5 – Sue Griffiths – https://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
April 6 – Kate Starcher – http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
April 7 – Tammy Silvers – https://tamarinis.typepad.com/
April 8 – Jessica Caldwell – http://Www.desertbloomquilting.com
April 9 – Monika Fritschi Henry – https://www.pennyspoolquilts.com/blogs/news
April 10 – Sara D Flynn – https://www.offbeatquilts.com/blog
April 11 – Bobbie Gentili – http://geekybobbin.com
April 12 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.Muppin.com

Please visit each of the stops along the way and see some studio goodness for yourself! Enjoy!

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Hari Kuyo – The Festival of the Broken Needle

Today is Hari Kuyo, the ceremony in Japan to honor your broken needlework tools. On February 8th, in Shinto and Buddhist temples across Japan, needles, pins, and small scissors are laid to rest in soft jelly or tofu. Kuyo is a redemptive fire ceremony for tools by artists, chefs, and others to burn their worn tools, brushes, and knives to honor them for their work in their art. Needles and pins have a different ceremony, called Hari Kuyo, meaning Needle Memorial. No fire, but a soft cake to pierce one final time.

I know we have all been seeing the Marie Kondo Tidying Up series on Netflix being discussed, and much has been said over her “thanking each item for it’s service” before it’s discarded. But I don’t know that we really think about how useful, yet disposable, items help us do the work we need to do each time we sew. I think this ceremony speaks to me in a strong way, above my love for the Japanese culture.

I will spend about 10 minutes going through all of my pins looking for the truly crooked and broken ones. It is a nice way to assess my collection of these little sewing helpers. Now my pins are refreshed and ready to help, and these broken and bent ones will be retired.

I also decided to buy some new pins today. I often tell my students that they are “worth a new piece of thread” on their needle. But have I considered that the needle itself is something I am worth? The thrifty sewist in me wants to keep every scrap and sew “down to the nub”. But I know I will be less frustrated with my work if I am using the proper tools, and good, new needles and pins help me do that.

My favorite pins are these Magic Pins that are fine and have comfort grips and are heat resistant to my iron! Of course, you know my favorite needles already… You can get them in my shop!

For those of you who are curious, after I honored my needles and pins, I removed them from my little square of tofu, and wrapped them for the recycle bin.

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Things to reflect on…

I got a very lovely gift of bath bombs for Christmas. They are from a small business. They are really well packaged and smell divine.

This has me thinking about a book I’m reading called “Win Her Business” in which it relates how women consumers appreciate details like this.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot in my own business too. I’ll be doing some discussions of it on my Patreon this week. Join me over there on Tuesday and Thursday’s 3pm cst. Http://Patreon.com/muppindotcom

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