Let the quilting begin!

The first official week of retirement was spent decompressing from a very challenging school year. Lots of naps, walks with the dog, reading, dinner with a friend, gardening, a weekday outing with hubby and prepping for next week’s quilty activities.

First up: Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge June 6-9. This will be my first trip to this particular show. I’m excited to see the quilts, vendors, shops and meet up with some friends. I look forward to taking a class with Edyta Sitar. Her designs (and fabrics) are lovely, but more involved than I typically liked to attempt when working full-time. I’m taking her Sweet Mint class which involves curved piecing and some machine applique. Glad I watched her YouTube video on how to make a block. The published supply list didn’t include some items she specifically mentioned in her video as being very helpful. Definitely taking my Elna STAR machine (straight stitch needle plate), 10″ Sue Daley turntable, my 28mm rotary cutter and some superfine thin pins.

Then: Georgia Celebrates Quilts at the Cobb County Civic Center June 9-11. This will be my first individual entry in TEN years. (My last entry was my kid’s club entry in 2015.) I actually completed the quilt in late 2020 with the anticipation of entering it into the 2021 show, but COVID had other plans. So, it was accepted into this year’s show. Yesterday was spent prepping the quilt for the show: hanging sleeve, quilt label and a last minute labradoodle applique. It’s my version of A Quilter’s Cottage by Lori Holt. Charlotte and Angela also had their blocks accepted into the kid’s exhibit. I’m taking both girls to see the show on Friday and eat lunch on the Marietta Square.

Finally: The Atlanta Quilt Study Group has its symposium at the Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum next weekend. I hadn’t planned on going, but single day tickets are now advertised and I’d love to take Tara’s vintage quilt class on Sunday 6/12. We’ll see what happens.

Sewing space update: I’ve made the first pass through my sewing room. Three machines, patterns and one bag of stuff are now gone. My bookshelves are next. Once my two big WIPs are off to the long arm quilter, it’ll be time to go through the “Lori Holt-ish” fabric collection. I’ll continue going through one bin or drawer a day to further organize/cull my sewing stuff. This will clear out the main sewing space. Then, I’ll attack the closets!

The value of enough

To me, having enough means I have what I need and can find it easily. There’s a sense of satisfaction I get after a decluttering/reorganization session. Keeping inventory at the “enough” level requires routine curating and ongoing maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s not a once & done thing.

One year ago, I pared our cooking utensils, pots, pans, cookie sheets, baking dishes and Corning Ware down to only what we actually use on a regular basis. It’s made meal prep/baking much more pleasurable and efficient for me. With our BBQ event on Sunday, my concern was that we wouldn’t have enough platters or large pans. I was right, but we made it work with what we had. No need to invest in another platter or large baking pan. Extra-large, super heavy duty disposable foil trays are on my “watch” list. When they go on sale, I’ll buy a set and store them in the pantry for when we need them. I already do the same with foil pans for lasagna and brownies that we take to events/gift to others.

This summer’s major purge involves my sewing studio. Everything that I wanted to keep from school has been incorporated into my stash and craft closets. Now, it’s time to “refine” things and free up one hall closet. Three mechanical machines I have in inventory (people still think I am the home for wayward sewing machines) will be donated to a teen sewing academy located in the inner city. Once I outfit my two sewing stations and my travel machine with the necessary notions and accessories, I am getting rid of the excess. It’s time to be ruthless. If I haven’t touched it in a year, it’s time to find said item a new home. Ideally, I’ll have room to store everything in my sewing studio and not need the hall closet. It’s doable, but will require serious purging of the existing stash and sewing room closet. It will also require reconfiguring how I use the existing furniture/storage areas. Wish me luck!

The end result is that I wind up with enough inventory on hand to whip up most any desired quilting project and be able to easily locate needed supplies.

Dueling Quilt A Longs

QAL #1: Farmhouse Star QAL with Lori Holt begins on Memorial Day. I have the shapes and circle templates. Apparently I also need a pattern, which is on backorder. Isn’t there usually a free sew along guide that goes with each pack of the Sew Simple Shapes? Looks like participants must now pay $12.00 for a pattern on top of the $$ spent on plastic templates. That’s just crazy. I’d rather have a book of projects than have to collect individual patterns.

QAL #2: Great Granny Squared hosted by Fat Quarter Shop begins 6/6 and lasts through the end of August. Guess this will be the one I do since I already have the book and fabrics in my stash. It’s two blocks per week, which is totally doable.

While I’m glad to still have an online option to keep me feeling connected to other quilty peeps, I miss sewing with friends. Stitch N Quilt’s closing left me without a “quilty home”. It feels strange to be out of school and not able to stop in to see Miss Pat.

The other LQS have pretty much put most classes in vacation mode until Labor Day. They host open sew days in the shops 1-2x per month. Guess I will be making the rounds to see if I can find a new quilty home. Quilt guilds are starting to come back to meeting in-person, as well. I’ll have fun visiting area guilds to see which one clicks.

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