Getting Organized

I hate to let any sort of quilting or crafting scraps, or odd found objects go out in the trash. Somehow I feel it’s my duty to rescue all bits and find them new homes or save them until they can be re-purposed. All my little fabric bits go in a bag to make pet beds. My selvedges go in a another bag for my future selvedge quilt, squares go together, strips are in different tubs sorted by color. Zippers, ribbons, cords another tub. You get the idea.

However, as good as that sounds, there is still more to do! And although I can pretty much put my finger on anything I need, to the casual observer it could be interpreted to be chaos or Mayhem (you know that guy!) like there’s been a bull in the china shop as my Mother, Beth Henry, used to say. Today I’m not going to prove her right by sharing a photo. 🙂

I thought I was doing okay with my paperwork too. Heck I had them all in a plastic tub and a some drawers. Done. My daughter, Kaitlyn Ross, has been a great influence in helping me get/keep all of my horded goodies in their place, bless her heart. But much to my surprise she FOUND where I paper stash the other night. Granted it was my bedtime, but right then and there we attacked my paperwork, everything from receipts to tons of quilt patterns and craft patterns, etc. I think we got it all organized and in the process created many notebooks to make things easier to find and in a logical order that makes sense to me. It feels so good to have that done! What makes it even better? We used old notebooks, sheet protectors, dividers, etc from when my daughters were in school. Gotta love that.
I have to add that Kaitlyn’s so good at what she does, she’s started her own business. Check out her Facebook page called “In It’s Place”, for more information, or send her an email at

blog post 04192017 organized

Blog post 04192017 Kaitlyn nitsplace

“Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you GIVE.” Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic

How Did I Become A Quilter?

I had always loved quilts but never knew how to sew, and I really wasn’t interested in learning how to sew. I just wanted to make quilts and have quilts.

In 1997, I inquired at the local quilt shop in Cary, NC called Etcetera crafts. They asked me if I could sew a straight line and unfortunately I could not. I went to another local sewing shop called Elegant Stitches who took me by the hand. I took their basic sewing class and made a pair of shorts and a ladies top. I knew nothing about fabric or sewing. They were both hideous! They also sold me a great Elna sewing machine called the “Quilters Dream”. How could I not buy it??

I returned to Etcetera Crafts for my first quilt class. That’s when I found out the beginners class was to be done all by HAND! Hand piecing and hand quilting! Were they kidding me? I was not looking for my grandmother’s quilting class! But they said it was important to take this class first. Thus, I made my first hideous quilt. It was slow and painful but I was persistent. And glad when it was over.

After the beginner class, I ready to take the intermediate quilting class and could NOT wait use my new machine to piece the quilt together. We were to make a twin size Sampler.  Of course it took forever because with each block we were learning something new like applique and sewing curves, etc. BUT I was so excited that instead of just making a twin quilt, I decided to make a humongous queen size quilt. I thought, “What’s a few more 12″ blocks”? Of course when I made that decision I had NOT considered how the quilt was going to get quilted!

Long story short, I hand quilted the entire thing; borders, sashing, corner squares, and each blocks differently.  I even quilted in my initials and the year in the border! That was 1999 and I have never hand quilted anything since. Amen.

Afterwards, I struggled to teach myself how to machine quilt. Although I had my awesome machine, The Quilter’s Dream, it was not a dream experience. It was more like a nightmare. At the time, there was not much information available on exactly how to pull off this magical feat called machine quilting. I suffered with every kind of problem. Why did I have puckers on the back?, folds in my fabric?, uneven stitches?, why did my curvy look square? what kind of needle and thread and batting did I need?, and why did my thread keep SHREDDING? My shoulders hurt! UGH. But I learned so much in the process. Again, it was slow and painful, but I was persistent.

Eventually I did improve and starting quilting for other people on my Quilter’s Dream.  It was fun, but hard work. Then on a whim, I asked for a job longarm quilting at Archangels Fabric quilt shop in Raleigh, NC.  I knew nothing about a  longarm machine but was dying to find out. They had a Gammill machine with a 14 foot table. It was the best on the job and stressful at the same time. Who wants to mess up someone elses quilt?!?! I jumped in, learning by trying, and flying by the seat of my pants.  I worked there part-time for about 3 years until the shop closed. A few years later we moved to Smithfield, NC and I was able to purchase a Handi Quilter longarm machine of MY OWN. I know! Right! Shut the front door!  It’s been like a dream come true to have this machine at home and be able to quilt for others … and myself of course. Smile.

P.S. I still have The Quilter’s Dream and it still runs perfectly.

“There is no GIANT step that does it. It takes a lot of LITTLE steps.”
Peter A. Cohen

Ready, set, go

I just got my HQ Avante back from having it fully serviced. I’m thrilled! Its running like dream again and I’m having so much fun. Shredding thread and skipped stitches are no fun, time consuming to fix, frustrating as all get out, and makes me cranky.

TIP: If you’re machine is shredding thread or skipping stiches the timing could off. On my HQ, if I’m pushing the head of the machine away from me while I’m sewing, and it skips a stitch, then I know the timing on the machine is off and I need service.

Anyway I figured that I needed to give my machine a good test drive before I put a new quilt on. So I put on some fabric and some batting and played around. I’ll fill in more later.

Blog Post 04022017

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