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What A Mess!

Today’s Plan

My plan this morning was to photograph the 16 quilts I recently finished. To get the process started I carried my photography supplies downstairs to my studio and started pulling out props to help with staging. After documenting the smaller ones and trying to reset for my larger pieces I got frustrated. The table I wanted to use was filled with segments of an in-progress art piece. Everywhere else I looked there were stacks of supplies waiting for my attention.

My Mantra

We make frequent trips to our little cabin in the woods (lcitw) during the months of May through October. Many of those trips are for seven days or more. The visits north, with all of the related commitments, eat up a large portion of our available time. During those months I have this mantra running through my head, “Not until after October 15th.” The 15th of October is the last day our lcitw is open. With colder weather just around the corner we use that date as our deadline to close-up and winterize the cabin.

Tasks, other than those that are essential, typically must wait until our lcitw is closed. Adhering to the mantra can at times be challenging. As long as I keep reminding myself that superfulous projects will receive their needed attention after October 15th I can overlook those elephants in the room.

My Propensity

For the women of my family the propensity to rearrange furniture is common. About three years ago we moved into a smaller home. This smaller home leaves very little opportunity for reconfiguration. Even though we custom designed my studio to fit my long arm quilting machine it takes up the majority of my space. The constraints it puts on the rest of my work area greatly limits the ability to move things around.

Today the challenge of overlooking my studio’s on-going condition became overwhelming. It was disappointing that my mantra failed me but I just had to remedy the situation. Without a resolution I wasn’t going to be able to proceed with my photography. Thus, I bit the bullet and tackled the problem.

There Has To Be A Better Way

In my studio, as I’m sure most of you do, I have a sewing area, a cutting or design area, a storage area and a pressing or ironing station. Efficiently fitting all of these spaces into a studio can be challenging. With careful planning this hurdle can usually be overcome. So far all that my careful planning has accomplished is frustration. I’ve tried configuring my furniture into several different arrangements but have yet to find one that doesn’t leave me feeling cramped.

Before

The first step in achieving a peaceful studio was to rearrage my work spaces. Here are a few photos of my studio before completing the task.

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After

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Sewing Area
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Storage Area
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My View
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The Other Half of My View
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My Design Area and More Storage
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My Pressing Station

While rearranging my work area I neglected to consider a place for my ironing board; thus it has been assigned a floating area. Thankfully my ironing board is very mobile so as long as there is power available it can function just about anywhere.

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My Long Arm Machine Serving Double Duty

My long arm quilt machine with its rollers and available table top make a great place to temporarily stage some of my supplies. Obviously it’s not to practical because the items must be relocated when the machine is in use. But, since I can’t long arm quilt and create new art pieces or quilts at the same time it has to serve two purposes. I guess that is the compromise I had to make when I decided to purchase the machine.

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Accessories

Goal Accomplished

Once my frenzy to re-establish order was complete I returned to my original plan of photographing my 16 quilts. I am happy to report that I was successful in conquering that task and was even able to spend time doing a little sewing. The photos of the 16 quilts will be shared in the days ahead.

Thanks for visiting and listening to my rant!

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Four Score Quilt

One of my favorite quilt shops, Life’s A Stitch, closed recently. When the news first came out I was absolutely shocked and at the same time completely heartbroken. Through my patronage of their establishment I had grown fond of the employees. So much so that I almost felt like we were friends.

The owner of Life’s A Stitch Quilt Shoppe was also a quilt pattern designer. She had a wonderful inventory of traditional type patterns. Her patterns were offered for sale under the name Washboard Quilts. Whether they are still available today I don’t know.

Quite sometime ago I purchased one of Washboard Quilts patterns called Four Score. I first came across it while shopping in the quilt shoppe. A sample of the quilt hung on display in a prominent area. The minute I walked inside the quilt caught my eye. I was drawn to the design like a magnet to metal. The pattern as well as the fabrics were so eye-catching.

Life’s A Stitch had kits put together for the pattern. While I absolutely loved the combinations they had chosen I wasn’t sure they would blend well with my decor. Instead I opted to make my own selections but not right then. As is often the case, the pattern sat in my TBS (To Be Started) basket. It languished there until my oldest daughter and I decided to join in on a day of sewing in Ripon, Wisconsin at a modern fabrics quilt store called Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. I took the pattern with me with the intention of purchasing fabric for the Four Score quilt.

My daughter and I had a blast pulling bolts of fabric from the shelves. Exactly how many different colors were needed I don’t recall. What I do remember is that we had stacks and stacks of bolts precariously perched trying not to topple them over. Something else I don’t remember is how much the fabric cost. That little tidbit is irrelevant because no matter how much the damage was I was pressing on with this train and not getting off the tracks.

The pattern itself was relatively easy to follow. The rows of quilt blocks are set on point. Getting use to putting them together was the trickiest part. I’m a fairly quick learner so mastering that technique was a fairly short learning curve. Before sewing the blocks into rows I laid them out on my living room floor. Through my talented discerning eye I was able to juggle blocks around forming what I thought was a very pleasing arrangement.

One of the Many Arrangements

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In April of 2014 I packed up and moved our belongings to a new home. Before moving I frantically finished and quilted as many items as possible on my long-arm quilt machine. Not knowing how soon after moving in my machine would be reassembled and back in business I wanted to make certain all of my projects that were waiting as well as my customers quilts were done. The binding on my Four Score quilt was finished just days before we moved.

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I’m so pleased with the quilt’s outcome. The quilt was made with my husband in mind. He retired after 30+ years in law enforcement. Throughout his career he was employed by several different departments. Many of the colors chosen reflect the colors of the uniforms he wore.

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On June 8, 2015 I opened my Facebook account to a wonderful surprise. Earlier this spring I attended a Sew Day at Bungalow Quilting and Yarn, another one of my very favorite fabric stores. Taken with me was my finished Four Score quilt. I had been wanting to share my finished project with Judy, the owner of the shop. I knew she would want to see how the pile of fabrics had been used. While there she took a photo of myself and the quilt.

As any curious person would do, ever since that day I had been watching her site for my photo. There’s something about seeing the fruits of your labor shared with the world that makes you feel all giddy and excited. Well on June 8, 2015 I was absolutely thrilled to see, there in print, on the internet, MY quilt. You can see the post here.

Without further delay, here’s my Four Score quilt. Enjoy!

IMG_8394Vital Statistics:

  • Quilt Size – 77″ x 91 3/4″
  • Hours Spent Quilting – 14.75
  • Number of Quilt Stitches Applied – 315,751
  • Thread Used – Omni Goose & Perma Core Black
  • Stitch Patterns Used – Swirls & Bubbles

Thanks for visiting!

Cindy @ In A Stitch Quilting

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Finally!

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Long, long time ago I told you about the saga of selling my home. Things were moving so slowly and it looked like everything would fall through. Well, surprise, surprise! My house sold, just in the nick of time I might add, and I am now enjoying a new adventure. We downsized to a home half the size of our former one with a yard to match. It took two and one half hours to mow the grass and countless hours maintaining the gardens. I can only imagine how long it will take to mow our small piece of earth. In fact…at this point all we have is clumps of soil. The only thing growing in my yard are a few brave weeds.

Since moving-in 5 weeks ago I have managed to paint all but one room. The pile of unopened boxes has dwindled to only a few. Gone are the table cloths and such that covered our windows. In their place are shiny new shades. The makeshift wood sidewalk has been replaced with concrete. The rocky driveway is now finished as well. Left on the To-Do-List is the leveling of our soil and the planting of grass seed. Once that task is finished we will find ourselves mastering the art of growing grass.

This is the first day I have had to sit, relax and enjoy my new location. As I recline on my back patio, amidst the soil and rocks I’m daydreaming of what is to come. I’m imagining how different my environment will look by the time snow flakes fall. How many trees and what varieties will be planted. Where will the flower beds go?

For now I’m content with things as they are.

Cindy Anderson
Cindy Anderson