Saturday, December 28, 2013

And they said it couldn't be done...

Sue came over on Thursday to sew with me in the Studio. I was working on some new dog jackets for Romeo, Elvis, and LarryPug.

Each coat will have the brown printed dog fleece on the outside with a different color collar and lining accent. LarryPug is getting orange; Elvis is getting lime green and Romeo is getting turquoise.
Sue was working on a Chubby Charmer tote bag from her stash of projects in progress. She was happy to report that she had given away a few of her finished lap quilts and tote bags for her sister to give as Christmas gifts.

Earlier in the week, one of my coworkers brought me an old sewing machine that his daughter was no longer using. He had mentioned it in passing and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Best case: vintage Singer featherweight. Worse case: piece of junk corroded from living in his garage for ten years. In this instance, it was a happy medium, a fairly modern Singer, that was just a little grimy from lack of use. Thursday, I got it up and running. Sue is going to take it in to Rosie's Place where she teaches sewing. So she was quite happy to gain another machine for her ladies.

After a quick lunch, Sue offered to help me "organize" one of the corners of the Studio. Secretly I was worried that this was an Intervention sponsored by the noticeably absent Joannie (felled by stomach flu) and Marion (visiting friends in Chicago). I asked Sue if she was certain this was how she wanted to spend her afternoon...
Before the cleaning intervention.
This space is a deep corner at the top of the stairwell. It is too skinny to do much of anything except store stuff. In fairness, Joannie and I had organized most of the stuff in the corner months ago, it was just really hard to get at...

Sue is amazed with some of the loot we've extricated from the corner.
After we unloaded the corner, we decided that I should buy a shelf to put in the corner. That would make it easier than stacking all the boxes on top of each other. The space is narrow, only 30 inches wide, and since the ceiling is slanted, we had to account for the shortest height which is 59 inches. So, off we went back out to Lowe's.

Shelf in cart, we head for the register.

Check out all the plastic boxes. Looks like a lot of
people want to get organized after Christmas.
Thus began several hours of work. Sue was a trouper. When I would begin to tire, she would urge me on. We went through all of the boxes. We organized batting scraps by size: large, medium, and small. I will never have to purchase batting again, and neither will any of my friends. Joannie will be able to make place mats until the next millennium. Sue and I folded fabric and sorted fabric and unearthed some projects that I hadn't seen in a long time. Among our finds were the purple printed batik that I needed to finish the border of my pineapple wall hanging, my Deb Tucker Rangeley Star, my Deb Tucker Hunter's Star and my very first quilt block.
This poor little block was wonky before wonky was popular.
Luckily, my quilting has come a long, long way!
I made this block in a quilting class in 1980 at The Fabric Place in old downtown Framingham in a class taught by Sue Turbak. I was in the 10th grade. This was in the days before rotary cutters. This is it...I made exactly one block as far as I can remember. I think the colors are still kind of pretty. As you know, I still like pink. I'm going to have to frame this and hang it somewhere.

Sue left around 5pm, but the cleaning bug had bitten hard and spread to all corners of the Studio. Mike finally came over around 7:30 pm to see if I wanted to come back to the house for dinner.

Corner storage post intervention.
Although this may look messy to you, all of the boxes are sorted and labeled. The shelf I bought at Lowe's fit in the corner, but the large totes were too tall for the shelves. I was still able to use it for some project boxes. Happily, I visited my friend Linda at The Container Store today and she has the perfect solution. She recommended the Metro Commercial shelving, which is very strong shelving that can hold a lot of weight and is the right width. They will cut the poles to the height I need for my slanted ceiling. I am going back in two weeks to have dinner with her and will purchase it then. That will make my corner storage even better.
I can now see the top of the counter!

I hung up some decorations. My friend Dianne at work painted
these letters for me. My Studio theme is hot pink and zebra.

On the right side of the Studio, I have space for two friends. Joannie and Sue keep an extra machine here and I have an extra machine here for Marion also. I have a third table on the other side of the Studio, so four of us can sew at once. I ordered the cute signs you see here online from Joann fabrics. "Create" came in green, so my friend Dianne painted it pink for me.
I am really excited that the Studio is so clean and organized. Unfortunately, now my Mom wants me to help clean out Dad's garage when I visit her next week in Florida...
Dad's garage on a good day...if you look closely,
you can find my Dad in this picture.
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Sue--Thanks a Million!!!!!

Linking up on Sunday to Sew Many Ways Sew Darn Crafty Party. Adding a link on Tuesday to Freemotion by the River: Linky Tuesday. Adding a link on Wednesday to Sew Fresh Quilts: Let's Bee Social. Lorna invited me to participate! I am so thrilled!

Pugs and kisses,


  1. Looks good! Have a great Florida trip -The weather here is wonderful!

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I liked your post and am amazed at all your projects! I'm your newest follower. :-)

  3. Good for you getting organized-but whenever I clean in my sewing room and move stuff around I can't find it next time I want it, LOL

  4. Being organized is a good thing I need to learn from this post LOL

  5. You girls did a fabulous job! It will be sew much nicer to work knowing what all you have and where it is. That's a great idea to frame your first block! Good luck with the organizing job in Florida!

  6. I also organized my craft/sewing room today! Yours is looking fantastic! Visiting from Sew Fresh Quilts! Happy New Year!

  7. good for you getting organizing-that is always so difficult to do-I am sorta organized but I have a very small space-so its always a "mess"

  8. It is looking good! How neat to have that first block you made!! When I first started quilting it was before rotary cutting also. Cute photo of your dad in the garage.....have fun! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  9. Way to go, friends make it so much more fun to clean and organize! Looking good!