Creative Spaces… Week 3, Day 2

On this 2nd day of our 3rd Week in the Creative Spaces Blog Hop

we have some wonderful tips on organization from:

Reeze of Morning Glory Designs

and Jessica of Sew Many Creations

 

Did you miss Pauline’s post on favorite tools? You can see it here!

How cute are these puppies? Designed by Pauline of Funky Friends Factory and super easy to make! My sister-in-law who hadn’t sewn in years, was able to follow Pauline’s easy instructions and really enjoyed the process; her little Pete, on the left, is sewn in my new collection Words To Live By. The Little Pete on the right, and I guess I need to give him a different name… any suggestions? Well, I made this little guy in my Let It Snow fabric and had so much fun making it, now I want to make several of Pauline’s beautiful creations… the fox is calling my name right now…

Creative Spaces… Week 3, Day 1

Week 3 is here and our focus is organization… yes, a place for everything and everything in it’s place, right? Well, that doesn’t always happen, but for me, a messy space isn’t very productive, so I try to stay on top of things, especially with the tools I use regularly and my work spaces… and for work spaces I try to brake things into zones when possible: sewing, fabric, rulers/embellishments, patterns, etc. We’ll share a bit more on that in the next three weeks.

Some of the things that help me stay organized are…

Everything that I make “usually” get’s a label. I enjoy writing/drawing/coloring my labels with fabric markers, so I keep these handy, especially because they’re so colorful and pretty in this little trio holder I found at a big-box store near me.

One of the most important spaces in my studio is my cutting table, and boy is it hard to keep it clear!

We found this old office table over 15 years ago; it’s been stripped down to the bear wood… yes, that took some serious elbow grease and several cans of stripper, and it was beautiful at the time, but, if it doesn’t move, it usually gets painted, haha! And since there’s so much color in my room, and especially because of all the odd little pieces I’ve collected over the years, when possible, it all gets a coat, or several, of white paint. I love the size of this table, not too large, not too small, and the two drawers are perfect to hold cutting tools……the drawer on the left holds my scissors grouped in little inexpensive trays. The shorter bin holds a variety of small scissors, the bin in the front holds my serrated scissors, next are cutting shears, and the last bin specialty scissors that are used occasionally……the drawer on the right holds rotary cutters that are easy to reach for but can be tucked away in an instant. I found the small tray with all the dividers at a local office supply store… makes it so easy to find all those small tools and blades.Besides painting everything, if it can, it will have wheels! I find these at a local home improvement store and really love the ability to move the cutting table away from the wall when I need to trim the excess batting and backing from a quilt, then I just push the table back in place and lock the little wheels. 

This was another fun and very useful find. This old card file sits right next to one of my sewing machines, and yes, it also got the white paint treatment! The only thing missing? It needs to be labeled!I love being able to find all these tiny supplies/tools so easily… extra bobbins, machine needles, machine specialty feet, pins, marking tools, etc.And of course, wheels…

And speaking of things on wheels, yes, I had to have one of these carts from that very popular big-box store! The top tray holds threads grouped by the various projects I’m working on, so it’s easy to grab the little basket and bring it to the sewing machine or my desk when I need to add thread colors to a pattern. The middle tray holds various brand thread charts, and the bottom holds embroidered projects that must be completed soon.I love all that color…

I have a second one of these trays and it’s perfect next to my longarm…… it holds all the little tools I need while quilting, extra bobbins, needles, marking pens, different presser feet, and on a side note, I love that the Q24 can use the same presser feet and needles as my sewing machines!The middle tray hold the rulers and threads for the current project, and the bottom tray stores my machine’s manual and tools, plus small quilt sandwiches I use to test tension prior to beginning a new project.

My ironing station is an old kitchen island with, yup, white paint, haha! I substituted the original top for a slightly larger 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood I picked up from the home improvement store, covered it with cotton batting, topped it with white fabric, and voila, a perfect ironing table! I can’t remember where I found the cord holders for each of the irons, and you ask, why two irons? One is for steam and the other one, well, since it can no longer hold water, it’s perfect when a dry and very hot iron is needed.The drawers in the island are perfect for holding everything related to ironing… smaller irons, pressing sheets, iron cleaners, lint rollers, glue… yes, I am a fan of glue!These baskets help hide the starch and fusibles while still easy to reach for!

Going back to my cutting space, to the left of my cutting table I have a cart that holds thread… more on that later in the hop, but the top holds my Crossover and some of my favorite dies.The brochure holder is perfect for the machine’s cutting platform supplies!And I’m loving this ArtBin magnetic storage case! It has magnetic sheets to hold your dies securely and holds up to 21 of these sheets, plus room to keep the little idea cards included with each of the dies.

This ruler holder was another fantastic find, it can stand on the table or hang. I have it on the wall next to the cutting table and it helps to keep the cutting space clear. I love having the rulers I use regularly only a few inches away!The mini quilt above the rulers is a fun colored-in project from many years ago using fabric pens.

Love, love my Daylight LED Slimline lamp, so bright and perfect lighting when choosing fabrics/thread. And under that fabulous light is a favorite organizational tool that came from a hobby store. It holds supplies used constantly and the little handle makes it easy to move when I need the entire cutting area.

It holds a few cuties that make me smile, tweezers, pins, glue, the fantastic Quick Ripper, marking pens… 

I have a similar tray next to my sewing machine that spins……and holds everything I use regularly… marking pens, extra needles and bobbins, sewing machine cleaning supplies, and old medicine bottle to collect used needles, a dusting wool puff I absolutely love, clips, thumb drives…

I have these child plates next to both sewing machines… well, they were the right color! Okay, they hold small tools that are used constantly within easy reach and help keep the little screwdrivers used to change needles from rolling off the table and getting lost.

I could keep going, but I hope seeing my space will help with a few ideas on getting your space organized. Don’t forget to visit Tammy! She’s also sharing some of her favorite organizing tips today.
An what better way to organize your space than with the perfect lighting provided by a Daylight LED Slimline Table Lamp?
A huge thanks to the Daylight Company for giving a Slimline Table Lamp to one of the readers of the Creative Spaces Blog Hop!

Enter below. Contest open to all, International winners pays for shipping.

Jan, you are the winner! Congratulations!

 

 


Creative Spaces… Week 2, Day 1: Favorite Tools

It’s week 2 in our Creative Spaces Blog Hop and today we change themes to talk about our favorite tools.

Over the years, I’ve collected a few gadgets, some have become favorite tools and others, well, they patiently sit in a drawer/closet waiting to be rediscovered! So these are just a few tools I use on a regular basis… they truly help make my happy place even more enjoyable.

 

The Crossover II by Crafter’s Edge is a magnificent tool with many uses! Perfect for cutting applique shapes, I especially love it to cut circles out of wool… and you know how much I love circles!

I’ve had English Paper Piecing on my wish list for a very long time and recently gave it a try… yes, I’m totally in love! Crafte’s Edge open die made it so easy to fussy cut my hexies out of fabric, but not just that, there is a second die to cut the hexagons out of paper! Of course, I’m new to this technique, but you know I’ve been collecting a few EPP supplies and tools and find this tool to be an absolute joy when prepping my little hexies!

But wait, there’s more! As a machine embroiderer, the squares die set is a wonderful way to trim your appliqued blocks down to size. These are some of the blocks in my Holly Jolly pattern that were machine appliqued and trimmed down to a perfect 6 1/2″ square in seconds!

The squares die set includes 12 dies from a 1 1/2″ to a 7″ square, in increments of 1/2″. So many possibilities, right?

I used the 6″ circle in the circles die set to fussy cut the little animals in My Little Sunshine panel…

…this die set includes 11 dies from a 1 1/2″ to a 6 1/2″ circle…

Voila! Perfect for these little pillows.

And another wonderful feature of the Crossover is the ability to use dies from other die cutting systems!

 

I love applique… turned, reversed, raw edge, etc., but I mostly do fusible applique, so you can just imagine how many irons I’ve gone through, but not so much that, but the time it takes to set the fusible onto the fabric, and after searching for a quicker option I decided on this Heat Press.

An oh yes, it was a very good decision! Love the 15″ x 15″ pressing area, the ability to set the temperature and amount of pressing time, and of course, the right color… an important factor, haha!

I set the temperature based on the fusible, but it’s typically around 300 degrees. … yes, hot and easy to burn my little fingers! After mentioning it to a friend, she suggested these little gloves sold at a beauty supply store. Awesome idea!!!

 

Next, is a tool that sat in a drawer for a very long time… no, not the sewing machine, haha! I had a crazy deadline and decided a needed to speed things up, so I pulled out the “knee lift” and after just a little while realized what I had been missing all this time! With just a slight push with your knee, the presser foot can be lifted just enough to allow you to pivot the fabric without taking your hands of your project

Oh yea, it changed everything and now I use my knee lift for not just applique, but almost all sewing.

Do you have one stashed away, waiting to be loved?

 

Scissors… I love my scissors, especially these Kai scissors! They have a serrated edge, perfect for cutting out applique shapes, and I use all three, depending on the size of the shape I’m cutting.

 

The Gypsy Quilter’s Cutting Gizmo… yes, it sat in that drawer until, yup, a deadline, lol! It’s the perfect tool when chain piecing, and now, it has a special place right next to my sewing machine.

 

So one day, while shopping at my local quilt shop I saw this cute little pair of “scissors”… yes, I do have a thing for scissors, and this unusual little thing just called my name! And oh my, what and awesome find!

The angled blade of the Tool Tron Sidehopper snips is perfect for trimming little threads that are hard to cut with regular scissors.

 

Did you know that Schmetz color codes their needles? As a fan, I find their pocket guide very useful when choosing needles for a specific project, and love the Color Code Guide luggage tag with an at-a-glance way to identify the needle in my sewing machine.

 

Love, love free motion quilting, both on my longarm and domestic sewing machines, and gloves help to push all the bulk of a quilt through the small opening of a sewing machine. The gloves by Swan Amity Studios are fabulous! The palms are padded, the wrists are adjustable, providing wonderful support, they breath, and the tips are touch screen friendly, so no need to remove or cut them off to change the settings on your machine!

 

And last but not least is the Zirkel magnetic pin holder! I love it so much, there’s one next to each of my sewing machines. It has a strong magnet and the best thing is how it fans the pins out, making it easy to grab the pins without poking your fingers!

 

So these are just a few favorites and I may share a few others over the next few weeks as we talk more about our creative spaces. I’d love to hear about your favorite tools! Enter below to win some of my baby fabric and Schmetz guides.

Don’t forget to visit Tammy! She’s also sharing her favorite tools with us today.
And if you haven’t already entered our Grand Prize, visit my first post in the Creative Spaces Blog Hop!

Congratulations Nancy B!

You are the winner!

 


Creative Spaces… Week 1, Day 4

It’s day 4! And today we can peek into the creative spaces of

Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works

and Vicki at Cranberry Pie Designs!

I love all things color and a couple of year ago, while visiting a local quilt shop, spotted a fabulous umbrella made in quilting cottons! Sadly, the shop closed but I still wanted one of those umbrellas, so in my search for a custom umbrella, I found Umbrella Joan

And look at the fabulous umbrella she made using my Front Porch fabric, isn’t it gorgeous?

 

Creative Spaces… Week 1, Day 2

Hello! I hope you enjoyed our posts yesterday!

Today, we have two new designers sharing their spaces:

Reeze of Morning Glory Designs and Jessica of Sew Many Creations

 

Yesterday I shared a few pictures of my studio. Did you notice the flamingo on the table and the flower on the floor, next to the basket?

They are beautiful pincushions designed by Kim Borowy!

The first time I saw her pincushions, I fell in love with the flamingo…

…and the pincushions…

…and well, just about everything I saw in the shop where I was teaching in Florida earlier this year. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Kim and was so excited when she wanted to make samples for my booth using my new collections, Front Porch and Words To Live By! Isn’t that wonderful? So, you’ve got to visit Kim’s page to see more of her beautiful quilt artistry, I know you’ll agree with me!

Have you entered our hop’s Grand Prize? If not, visit this post to enter!

Hugs,