During the summer of 2014 I spent a little time really trying to get organized
and wrote a series of blog posts tracking my steps and progress. You can find the first post in that series here (this post actually contains links to all of the posts in the series in one convenient place). While I was really happy with the series and all of the ideas I was able to share that summer, I was thinking about organization over the past couple of months and realized that it might be more effective to have weekly tasks and reminders which I will do with my Quilt Your Stash 2016 series. Each week I'll post some organizing tips and/or some ways to really start using your stash this year!
Let's get started! For the first week we have three tasks. I did them over the weekend and am already motivated by the fact that these were so helpful:
- First, clean off all of your sewing/quilting work surfaces. For me this meant cleaning off my cutting table, my sewing machine table, and my ironing board. These are the places where clutter accumulates first. Try not to get distracted by fabric and projects you find while doing this task! If you don't have a designated place for some of your sewing tasks make a concentrated effort to keep the surfaces you use extra clean: I did all of my cutting and sewing for over 15 years on our dining room table--not ideal, but you can make it work.
- Second, make a list of works in progress. You can use any method you'd like for this--use what works best for you. I find it's really helpful when I have a paper list I can keep in my sewing room. I'm also going to keep a spreadsheet on my computer as well. For a terrific free download, AllPeopleQuilt has this handy form for tracking 12 projects. I think the most helpful part of this list is noting the status of the project today. I also added my goal for the year below each work in progress on the list. I don't plan to finish all of these projects--for some of them I'd just like to make some good progress.
- Third, make a list of projects you'd like to start this year. This was the most fun: there are always so many possibilities. I try to narrow this list to just a half-dozen projects since I know more will get added to this list as the year goes on. Hopefully you'll also be able to use fabrics on hand for some of the projects on this list.
Here are a few of my works in progress and some of my thoughts on why they haven't been "progressing" as quickly as I originally thought they would:
first, my Tessie Flowers quilt. I started this about two years ago and have never really made much progress. But I still love this project. I decided the reason I hadn't made much progress was that my blocks were tucked away in a drawer. So I put them in one of my new project bags and hung the bag on a hook in my sewing room. Now that this fun project is in plain sight, I believe I'll get going on it again. Another step I'm going to take for this project is to prep some of the applique' pieces and have them ready to go.
My Bonnie & Camille half-square triangle quilt is even older than the flowers project above. I have 17 blocks now (mostly because I turned over 11 to my Bee mates this October). If you are involved in a quilting bee...this is a great way to get a project finished up you've been working on for a while...turn it over to your friends! I'm still waiting for 2 blocks to come back from Bee members and also have 6 more to make myself. I took the step of laying out two blocks and putting them on my sewing table the other day. I'm hoping to finish this quilt in the next month or so!
I've been working on these log cabin and pineapple blocks just since last year and hope to finish the log cabin quilt and just make progress on the pineapples. I'm going to work on these as soon as my half-square triangle quilt is finished. The secret to working on these is to have strips ready to use. So I'm also going to spend a Saturday afternoon working on preparing strips for these.
I'm hoping to finish my scrappy string quilt and just make progress on my Fig Tree strings. The key to making these blocks is the same as for the blocks above: having strips ready to go!
Finally (for today) are my hexie flowers. I've been working on these for a while. And you know, this is one of those projects I'm happy to work on over several years. I do have quite a few flowers now and want to start putting them together with low-volume hexagons. I decided this project needs a project bag and will be making one soon so I can grab this and go when I need a bit of hand-work to take along.
I hope some of these tips will help you get going on your sewing and quilting goals for the new year! Please stop by every Tuesday for more ideas! And if you have any to share each week, please leave them in the comment section.
Thanks so much for stopping by!