A recent getaway to quilt retreat!

In 2021, our 10 year running quilt retreat in January went on hiatus. In March of this same year, the retreat center folded due to being closed for over a year due to the Pandemic. The organizers of my favorite getaway said that they were unable to keep the tradition going and would not seek a new location. This was sooooo hard to hear, since this retreat was ostensibly the only sewing I do truly for myself all year.

My friend Amy of Purple Pineapple Studio said that she and her mom run a retreat in Door County WI each year and did I want to go? DID I WANT TO GO???? You bet I did.

I brought three projects and really only worked on two, but I did REALLY enjoy getting away and sewing for myself (which also happened to be for the business)! I can’t show you yet what it is, but I am sew excited to show you soon!!

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Oh Christmas Tree… but not cards!

It’s time for the annual Christmas tree decorating, and this year we had Dad’s help.

Things around here are busy, and I totally forgot to buy Christmas cards. I wanted to have some made with the family picture on it, but I’m sure it’s pretty late in the year to do that.

At the top is the adorable pic I wanted to use on the card!

I’ve added some new dates to my calendar, which I would hope to see some of you in 2022!

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It’s Been A While….

Wow. It’s been more than a while, really. But that’s life in the Pandemic, as they say.

Things during the pandemic have been hard. Real hard. But I expect everyone can say that.

I got this adorable sewing themed Advent Calendar, and thought it would be fun to share it with you as I open it.

Day one is a travel kit! A good omen perhaps for traveling more in 2022? Let’s hope so!

If you want to join us on blogging these next 31 days, join us here!

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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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