Tag Archives: organization

AG Challenge Finish: Noodlehead Diaper Pouch

Sometimes you just need a quick finish. Something small and beautiful that you made with your own hands, but that takes only hours (instead of days) to create. When Yvonne announced her Quilting Jetgirl Alison Glass Challenge as an incentive for the rest of us to get one of our Alison Glass fabric makes into the finished pile, I had a few different ideas of which of my many Alison Glass-influenced projects I should finish first. At first I thought I’d focus on the table runner I started late last year using the Insignia and Seventy-Six fabric lines, but then thought it might be the perfect boost to finally finish Max’s Eye Spy quilt that has a dominance of bright Alison Glass prints from across the years. Then I gave myself a reality check and decided to select something small. I have two big deadline projects to finish within the next month, so to be real I decided to pull a diaper pouch project off of my WIPs shelves and finish it up. I’m so glad I did!!

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelI made this Diaper Pouch using a free tutorial by Anna Graham of Noodlehead, found here. It took me about two (2) hours to make, start to finish, which is pretty awesome as far as projects go.

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelI used my all time favorite Alison Glass Print, the Art Theory Panel from her Ex Libris line as the outer panel, and lined it with Artifact in Charcoal from her Abacus line (Andover Fabrics). I was lucky enough to buy all of these fabrics, AND the cotton webbing strap from my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply.

I used my go-to 50wt Aurifil thread 2600-Dove for all the piecing and 50wt 2692-Black for sewing on the velcro so that the stitches would not stand out. I love that Fiddlehead also carries a good selection of Aurifil threads! One stop shopping for the win!

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelOf course I had to plan it so that the rainbow star from Artifact was visible right on the top. I should have given myself a tiny bit more space in that seam, but I’m not losing sleep over it. It’s gorgeous anyway!

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelNow instead of having a purse filled with diapers and wipes floating every which way, I can have a beautiful and function space to store them compactly, not only making the inside of my purse a bit more organized, but also making it easy for me to visually check that I have a diaper for my little one before I head out!

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelSince pens are another item I’m often digging for in the chaos within my gorgeous bag, I decided to store two of my favorite micron pens tucked in the corner of the diaper pouch, so that they are easily found when I think of something to add to my Quilter’s Planner Mini–my traveling to-do list, grocery list, and inspiration keeper. Pst… you can now order the Quilter’s Planner Minis individually, here. Just a PSA for the day!

noodlehead diaper pouch alison glass art theory panelThis pouch also perfectly coordinates with the amazing Alison Glass fabric bag my husband bought me for my birthday last year, made by the ever talented Kristy at Rock Baby Scissors. There’s no such thing as too much Alison Glass fabric, right?! No way!! What next?…. I’m thinking a few zip pouches to help organize the other contents of my purse. What’s your favorite simple zip pouch pattern? (Noodlehead’s Open-Wide Zippered Pouch is a fab one, but should I know about others?)

I’m linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and of course Yvonne’s Alison Glass Challenge. Yippee for gorgeous and functional finishes!

Down the Deadline Rabbit Hole & A Lesson in Organization

Hi! Remember me? I’m currently stuck down the deadline rabbit hole, but am very much looking forward to returning here. I am nearing the finish line for a couple more projects, and then I will have MUCH more time for slow, leisurely stitching and lots of sharing my projects and progress here.

The funny thing about the past few months, which have seemed filled to the brim with exciting, albiet deadlined projects, is that ALL of the projects were taken on in the span of one particularly ambitious-feeling week back in March or April. It was right when I was finishing the final touches on my first commissioned quilt, Kittens at Play, and I was feeling on top of the world, having knocked out a few big deadline projects. Within the span of a week, quite a few project opportunities presented themselves to me, and in my feeling of boundless ambition, I said yes. Then I said yes again. Then I said yes a couple more times. Do I regret it? Nah. There’s no sense in that, and the projects have been fun and exciting. But I certainly will learn from it, and by sharing my story here perhaps you can, too. The lesson? Know your limits.

Leanne from Devoted Quilter emailed me a few weeks back asking if I would be willing to participate in a blog post she was writing about staying organized. Last week, she posted her compilation post, filled with tips from some of her favorite quilters on how to stay organized with quilting.

12-tipsfororganizingyourquilting2*Spoiler alert* My tip for her was to know your limits. When every project is a priority with a quickly approaching deadline, it’s difficult to make a prioritized list and keep yourself organized. On normal weeks, the prioritized list I make in my Quilter’s Planner each week is my saving grace. You can head over to her blog to read more great tips for staying organized, and I look forward to joining you soon!

I couldn’t write a post without ANY photos, so here are a few quick photos I took along the walk to pick up my daughter from school today. Autumn is officially here in midcoast Maine!

birch trees maine october
The birch leaves are *just* beginning to turn.
queen annes lace winter weed autumn maine
Queen Anne’s Lace is fully seeded and ready for winter.
red maple leaves autumn maine
The maple trees are really putting on a fiery show!

How do you manage to stay within your limits even when presented with fun and exciting opportunities!? Clearly, I need some pointers!

Planning a Colorful Year {& Giveaway}

I have spent the past three months or more psyching myself up for the Quilter’s Planner designed by Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. I’ve dreamt of a year during which I’m organized, on time, and actually accomplishing my goals in a somewhat planned and consistent way. One month into using the Quilter’s Planner and I’m excited to report that it has helped me create a life that fits my vision! I also finally finished sewing the cover, which adds even more color and cheer to the year ahead. To celebrate, I’ll be giving away a Quilter’s Planner! Now is your chance to get one since they are sold out everywhere else! To be clear, the giveaway is for a planner and fabric only. The planner cover shown in this post is mine… BUT there will be instructions on how to make one just like this available soon, and I’m including the fabric needed to make the outer panel in the giveaway!

alison glass quilters planner coverEver since Stephanie announced that she would be teaming up with Amanda at What the Bobbin to provide a tutorial for sewing a personalized planner cover, I’ve been planning to finally cut into my cherished Art Theory panel from Ex Libris by Alison Glass. I am absolutely smitten with the result, and am planning to create a tutorial and piecing instructions for the outer panel in case you would like to make an Alison Glass-themed outer cover, too. (I’m hoping to have it to Stephanie some time next week and she will make it available on the Quilter’s Planner website.)

alison glass quilters planner coverThe cover has the Art Theory panel as the center focal print, with Essex linen in charcoal and coordinating Sun Prints 2016 on the sides. Sun Prints 2016 are arriving in stores now, but Alison was kind enough to send a bit my way in advance for this project. I love how all of her fabric lines coordinate and compliment each other so well!

alison glass quilters planner coverHere’s the full outer cover, without the planner in it. As you can see, I chose cool colors for the front and warm for the back, complete with the appropriate Sun Prints 2016. As I mentioned above, cutting and piecing instructions for recreating this outer panel will be available on the Quilter’s Planner website soon. I absolutely love it!

alison glass quilters planner coverHere is the inside without the planner so that you can see the Bookplate in Charcoal (Ex Libris) pockets paired with the Sticks and Twine in Charcoal (Abacus) lining. I added two ribbons; one marks the current weekly calendar page, and one marks the page on which I’m currently sketching new ideas.

alison glass quilters planner coverI used a bit of Artifact in Charcoal from Abacus as a pen/scissor holder, too. It fits perfectly! Realistically, I most likely will keep my pencil and micron pen in the zip pocket and my scissors in my sewing kit, but I know I have an option to carry them along if need be. Plus, BEAUTY!

alison glass quilters planner coverI found a perfectly coordinating zipper and some fun eggplant colored elastic at my local quilt shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply. The elastic is designed for bra straps, so it’s sooooo silky smooth.

alison glass quilters planner cover
View of the back of the planner cover, with the gorgeous elastic holding it all together.

I love how the elastic holds the planner together when it’s closed. I have big plans to make a coordinating Super Tote (a Noodlehead pattern) and carrying my planner with me everywhere (scheduled for sometime in the future! LOL).

quilters planner cover alison glassAs you can see, I absolutely love my planner and am very excited to have this finished cover to show to you. I am a big list person, so making the decision to set goals and write out my lists at the beginning of each week and again every morning has been monumental. Not only am I improving at setting and staying on top of realistic sewing and blogging goals, I’m also keeping my house nearly completely clean for the first time ever. The change? A switch from “I should do…” to just doing it. Instead of looking at the dishes and saying “I need to do the dishes” I just put on my dish gloves and dig in. I also space out tasks so that laundry is done in manageable steps instead of left until it’s a mountain with no end in sight. Did the planner work some magic over me? Who knows. Either way, knowing that I have a paper planner with actual listed items I need to cross out each day has made me much more accountable for actually doing the things on my list.

Giveaway time!

Now, for the giveaway! Stephanie was nice enough to send me an extra planner and I want to share it with YOU! I’m also going to include a charm pack of Alison Glass’s Sun Prints 2016, one Art Theory panel in charcoal, and a bit of Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen in charcoal–in other words, all of the fabric needed to create the outside panel for a planner cover just like mine!

Giveaway Quilter's Planner and Fabric BLOGTo enter the giveaway today, tell me your favorite feature of the Quilter’s Planner, OR a feature you’d like to see next year. You can read all about this year’s Quilter’s Planner and can sign up for email updates here. Leave a comment and make sure I’m able to get ahold of you if you win.  If you’re a follower of Night Quilter, leave a second comment telling me how you follow for a second entry.

For those of you who want to be in the loop for next year regardless of whether you win this planner, I definitely recommend signing up for the mailing list at http://quiltersplanner.com/. When you sign up, you’ll also immediately receive a PDF of the Individual Project Planning Page. Stephanie will periodically email you new PDFs as she develops them to thank you for your support, and you will be the first to know when preorders open for next year’s planner.

This giveaway is open to US and international participants.  The giveaway will be open until 8pm Wednesday 2/10 when I’ll select the winner randomly with random.org. Good luck, and spread the word! This giveaway has ended. The winner will be announced shortly!

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and I’m so excited to have this gorgeous finished planner cover to brighten my days!

Please note that while I usually try to reply to every blog comment by email, due to the volume of comments during giveaways I will not be able to reply to all comments on this post. Know, though, that I read every one and appreciate all of your kind words!!

**Sponsor News**
All Night Quilter love-themed patterns are on sale through Valentine’s Day on Craftsy and Payhip. Sew up some hearts for your home!
Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is having a Cabin Fever Sale this weekend! Use code “CabinFever” on their site this Friday evening through Sunday night to receive 20% off of your total purchases (not including shipping).

Farmer’s Wife Sew Along: Getting Organized

As this crazy month of November winds down (already!?), I’m trying to get a bit organized with my sewing projects. I truly enjoy having a lot of projects going, and I’m excited about all of the different quilting adventures I’ve joined lately (mini mini quilt swaps, Sizzix Design Team, a small private swap, my first commissioned quilt, and the Farmer’s Wife Sew Along as an official blogger, among others I’m surely missing). But life happens, and when it does, it can certainly throw a wrench into best laid plans. Yesterday I decided it was time to reevaluate, make some lists, and wrap my head around a plan for creating with little stress.

First up is the 1930 Farmer’s Wife Sew Along, hosted by Angie at Gnome Angel and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell.  As you may remember, in planning my quilt, I literally planned to be behind and to skip a few blocks so that I could sew along without stressing about being behind. After a crazy month of travel, visitors, and sickness all around, I may have taken that “it’s ok to be behind” a bit too far.

1930 farmers wife sew along organization
Time to get serious!

Yesterday I plopped down on a quilt on our living room floor, pulled out my notebook, my Farmer’s Wife book, and my laptop directed to Angie’s block tutorials page, and made a list. Per my calculations, 21 blocks have been released and I’ve made 6. Oops. I guess I’m just a BIT behind. (Update while writing this post–another block was just released! Make that 22 blocks!)

1930 farmers wife sew along organizationI made myself a comprehensive list complete with a space to check off when a block has been released or made. I LOVE checking things off a list, so I am hoping this is just what I need to catch up a bit.  I also put post-its on the pages of blocks that have been released so that when I have a free minute, I can easily flip to one, grab some fabric, and dive in. My mind is much more at rest knowing that everything is written down and ready to check off.

Now, for the fun update! Here are the blocks I’ve created so far.

1930 farmers wife #8 aunt1930 farmers wife #14 betty1930 farmers wife #16 bonnie1930 farmers wife #20 caroline1930 farmers wife #49 katherine1930 farmers wife #94 susannahI’ve decided on a photographing style, organized my notes, made a checklist of released vs finished blocks, bookmarked pages with blocks I need to make, and am reenergized and ready to do some catching up!

I’m linking up with Lee’s Works in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. These “easy 6-inch blocks” (insert maniacal laugh) will be works in progress all year!

**Sponsor News**
Online Sale – This is their big online sale for the holidays!
Take 15% off online starting Thanksgiving Day through Monday, November 30th. Please use the code “Thanks2015” to receive a 15% discount on your entire order (before shipping) anytime over those five days.
In-Store Sale – For those of you in the Belfast, Maine area, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply is also having in-store sales during this long holiday weekend, AND an early bird special sale day on Saturday December 5th. Check them out!

 

 

Heart + Community = The Quilter’s Planner 2016

Do you ever meet someone and know immediately that you will be fast friends? Stephanie from Late Night Quilter is one such person; I truly feel like we are sewing soul sisters despite our proximity across the country. She’s the mom of 4 little ones; I’m the mom of 3. We both love quilting and designing and try to juggle our busy lives to find balance with family, other obligations, and of course, creating. We both began blogging mere months apart, and named our blogs essentially the same name! While we’ve only spent time together in person once, we talk daily thanks to the convenience of Facebook messenger and texting. I’m not exaggerating when I say she’s my rock.

night quilter and late night quilter
Me and Stephanie in Austin after QuiltCon, right before parting ways. *tear*

A few months ago, my daily conversation with Stephanie began the way so many do: “Hey! So I have this idea…” Since that paramount conversation, I have been privileged to be part of Stephanie’s sounding board along her path as she researched, designed, redesigned, adjusted, and tweaked a true labor of love, all in the name of helping busy quilters like us find a bit more order, organization, and help in planning a balanced life. Today I’m excited to tell you all about this labor of love, which has now been released into the wild in the hopes that it flies.

Quilters PlannerThe Quilter’s Planner is 8″ x 11″, made in the USA, and includes everything you need to organize your life, plan and track your sewing projects and be inspired to create something beautiful every day! Here are some more peeks at some of what’s included in the planner, but you can see so much more HERE. I also suggest you watch the video Stephanie made about it. (Get your tissues handy–I totally cried!–then again, maybe I’m just sappy)

weekly calendar
Weekly Calendar with larger to-do list areas, and a new block pattern for every week.
Project planner to help keep on top of UFOs.
Project planner to help keep on top of UFOs.
graph paper
Graph paper for sketching ideas and visualizing quilty math.
quilt references
Quilt References
MakeRoomArtPiece low res (1)
Inspiring pull out art prints by Kelsey Boes of Lovely and Enough.

Not only is the Quilter’s Planner a labor of love created by Stephanie while supported by her BQF (best quilty friends) and family, but it’s also a melding of the quilting community unlike any other. Stephanie has been working with the quilting community throughout the entire process; everything from asking what features should be included in the planner to actually including 52 original quilt block designs from awesome quilt bloggers AND 8 full quilt patterns from amazing designers (Cheryl Brickey (Meadowmist Designs), Yvonne Fuchs (Quilting Jetgirl), Amy Garro (13 Spools), Lee Heinrich (Freshly Pieced), Mandy Leins (Mandalei Quilts), Pat Sloan (Pat Sloan), me! (Night Quilter) and Stephanie herself (Late Night Quilter).  She also worked with another quilt blogger friend, talented artist and designer Kelsey Boes from Lovely and Enough, to include gorgeous and inspiring artwork pullouts. Yes, you read that correctly–the planner also includes a whole bunch of patterns to help inspire you to create something beautiful every. single. day. It is a real passion project of Stephanie’s and she feels strongly about making it a community-based project including lots of people’s work who want to share their creativity with others. What’s not to love?

I invite you to visit the Indigogo Campaign to read more about this planner and all it has to offer. If you’re like me and can’t wait to have a one-stop-spot for all of your day to day appointments, obligations, AND quilty project goals and to-do lists (not to mention ample space to sketch new ideas and record inspiration), you can preorder yours now, too. There’s even a 95% guarantee that you’ll get it before Christmas. (hello, Santa!)

I do want to note that this post is purely my desire to share a heart-filled, community-based project that I’ve been honored enough to see grow from infancy into near-adulthood. I have already ordered my own planner and would not let Stephanie gift one to me. I share this project because I believe in it, and I honestly think that many of you probably will love it, too! I am very much looking forward to getting organized in 2016! So much love for Stephanie and all of her hard work that has gone into making this planner a reality, all for the sake of helping her fellow busy quilters find a bit more balance and organization in life.

Tutorial: Embroidery Floss Organization Made Easy

In the weeks leading up to QuiltCon (yes, I’m still talking about it), the Instagram hashtag #quiltconprep made it easy to see what others were doing to get ready for the big event. During those mad dash prep days, one of my IG friends posted a picture of a whole bunch of 2.5″ fabric squares of Carolyn Friedlander fabrics that she had cut in preparation for Carolyn’s Aerial Grove class. She noted that all she needed was a few squares of the architextures crosshatch and she’d have enough for a fully-Carolyn Friedlander aerial grove. What does this have to do with embroidery floss? I’m getting there! Long story short, I offered to give some squares to her at QuiltCon, and when she asked what she could give me in return, I said “knowledge.” I asked her to share a tip or trick that she found particularly helpful. It’s such a useful tip that I decided to share it here, with her permission, of course! Today’s tip was taught to me by Rebecca Cleaver (@cleaverr on Instagram), who learned it from Maura Ambrose (@folkfibers).

tutorial embroidery floss organization made easy

How to Organize and Store Embroidery Floss
So that it’s super quick and easy to use!

I’ve seen cringe-worthy photos of tangled piles of embroidery floss, and I admit that I am not that person. Even before learning this tip, I stored my floss on a wooden dowel, hanging in its original skein. This looked pretty, but when it was time to actually use a strand, that’s when it became tricky. I’d have to take all of the skeins off the dowel and gently and painstakingly remove a thread a tiny tug at a time (yes, I’m nutty).

embroidery floss organization tip

Here’s a much better way.

Step 1:

Embroidery floss tutorial Step 1- Remove papers and unwind skeinCarefully remove the paper holding the skein together and untwist the skein.

Step 2:

Step 2- Extend flossExtend the floss, holding the fully extended loop in your hands.

Step 3:

Step 3- Cut one endCut one end, cutting through all of the embroidery floss strands.

It should now look like this:

IMG_9732

 Step 4:

Step 4- Divide into 3 equal sectionsDivide the floss into three approximately equal sections. This doesn’t have to be perfect; I didn’t sit and count out the strands to make it perfect. If that’s your thing, then feel free to do so, but just eyeing it will be sufficient.

Step 5:

Step 5- Loosely braid (1)Loosely braid the three sections together.  If you have a willing and capable helper, you could ask them to hold the looped end while you braid. My 2 1/2 year old was not willing today, so I used an “S” hook to hold the looped end while I braided. You can hook the “S” hook on just about anything, but I used the cuff of my jeans. Here’s a behind the scenes peek:

hook to cuff of pants to braid

Step 6:

Step 7-Using a separate, short length of floss, tie a knot around the end of your braid to hold it in place.

Now you have your floss,  ready to hang in an aesthetically awesome, organized way, AND ready to go whenever you need a strand.

Here comes the really awesome part!

How To Remove a Strand of Floss from your Braid

Holding the top of your braid, gently pull one strand away from the rest of the loop.

removing strand of floss from braidThen, get a bit better grasp on the rest of the braid–no need for a vice grip, just hold it steady as you pull out the single strand–and pull the strand out completely.

Pull strand of embroidery floss out of braidThe braid will bunch up when you pull, so don’t be alarmed. Once the single strand is out, just smooth out your braid again and you’re ready to go. Your floss is the perfect length for some hand quilting or embroidery, and the rest of your floss is sitting pretty in its braid.

Single thread removed from embroidery floss braid

Go ahead and braid all of your other skeins of floss, and you will never have a tangled pile of embroidery floss again!Rainbow embroidery floss braids

I think this method is genius, since now not only is my floss gorgeously organized and displayed, but I can get a single strand without even taking the braid off the wooden dowel!

rainbow floss braids on wooden dowelI just hold the braid right below the dowel, separate a single strand, pull, and viola! No muss, no fuss.

Many thanks to Rebecca for sharing this tip, and I hope you find it helpful, too. I’m linking up with Stephanie & Michelle’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday.

Did you know about this tip? How do you store and organize your embroidery floss?