Success!

Today I put the finishing touches on my fabric reorganization! There are still a few odds and ends to take care of, but most of the heavy lifting is done. Before:

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After:

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I didn't take a "before" picture of the bins, but odds and ends of smaller fabrics were crammed in there and now they're neatly cut into 5" and 10" squares:

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And I can actually get to my machines:

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I'm already reaping the benefits of being a little more organized. Last week hubby bought a backpack at the thrift shop, but didn't like the logo that was on it. He asked me to embroider a WSU logo. Formerly I would have put him off because it would have taken me at least an hour to find my supplies and uncover the machine. As it was, the whole project took just a little less than an hour and he had a great backpack for $2.99.

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Other than that project, I haven't been doing any sewing because I've been too busy organizing, but am hoping to get back in the saddle next week. In the new year I do need to start looking at some projects that will use up my 2" strips. I ended up with a lot more of them than I expected!

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I'm sure I'll be able to talk Mei-Mei into coming up and helping me with that. 

This past weekend we took our annual trip to Tall Timber Snow Camp with our church. We missed it last year because of my back surgery, so the girls were very happy that we got to go this year. There was lots and lots of snow, but fortunately the roads were fairly clear.

Isobel and I did some cross country skiing, but I think this may be my last year of that. I fell four times and felt pretty banged up by Monday. Next year I think I'll do snow shoes instead!

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Mei-Mei played a little in the snow, but for the most part felt content to stay inside the warm lodge. I taught knitting classes and she brushed up on her skills and perfected what we referred to as "yoga knitting."

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On the way home we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow on the ferry.

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Right before we left, Bill took delivery of his new classic car – this time a truck! It's a 1972 Datsun pickup. It was pretty funky from being carried on an open transport from Texas, so the first order of the day on Monday was a bath.

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I had mentioned before that I was reaching the end of a longterm project – Aunt Gracie's Garden (pattern by Cynthia Regone). At our last guild meeting I was lucky to be able to display it on a quilt rack and get a good picture. The colors are a little bit washed out, but here it is – and I love it!!

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Right now we have a down comforter on our bed, but I can't wait until spring to be able to use this instead.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Those of you who know me or have followed my blog for awhile will get a chuckle out of this post. It's a repeat of one that I seem to post at least a couple of times a year, but usually around the first of January. Maybe it's the flurry of last minute sewing before Christmas, or the fact that my sewing room becomes a dumping ground when we're getting ready for company, but by the first of the year, it's an epic disaster.

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That probably doesn't look too bad, but if you turned around, you'd see more piles. But I think I've come up with a system for organizing my fabric that might actually stick. The problem is not pieces 1/2 yard or larger. If you look at the neatly stacked shelf, those pieces lend themselves to being folded nicely. The problem is all the other smaller pieces, that are too big to discard, but too small to fold into a uniform shape. So here's the plan: Pieces 1/2 yard or larger are folded neatly on the shelf and organized by color/theme. Pieces smaller than 1/2 yard are cut into 10" squares. Pieces smaller than 10" are cut into 5" squares and pieces smaller than 5" are cut into 2 1/2" strips. Voila:

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The 10" and 5" squares will be stored in bins by color. The 2 1/2" strips are proving to be a little problematic because I already have a bin overflowing with them!

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I also have a few jelly roll and fat quarter packs (mostly received as gifts) that will probably be kept as is and go into their own bin.

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It's not a quick and easy fix and is proving to be quite time consuming, but I'm hoping it will help keep me more organized. I can't tell you how many hours I spent last year searching for things in my sewing room!

Now that Christmas is over, I can show some of the stealth projects I was working on. First – I made the girls owl purses:

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And for my sister, a coat for her American Girl, here modeled by my doll Ivy Ling (the first Chinese American doll and she has the names of both my granddaughters – Ivy is Mei-Mei's first name and Ling is Isobel's middle name).

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We also tried something different this year – instead of having both of the girls over Christmas, we had Ivy come three days before Christmas and Isobel three days after. This gave us dedicated time with each of them to accomplish the projects they wanted to do. Ivy was insistent that she make a quilt for her teacher, who is having a baby. She proved to have a great attention span while sewing and finished her quilt. She did most of it all by herself. All I did was help a little bit with the quilting and I applied the binding.

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Isobel had a recipe that she wanted to make – a four layer gingerbread cake. It took us about 3 hours and a gazillion dishes, but it turned out beautifully.

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Sadly, she got sick and spent the next two days on the couch. We managed to somewhat salvage the time by binge watching Star Wars movies.

And one of the best things about Christmas – we had a white Christmas! This is only the second time in the almost 40 years we've lived here. It started snowing Christmas Eve and stayed until a day or so after. Perfect!

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Ok, enough break. Time to get back in the sewing room to iron and cut! Maybe by next post I'll have some "after" photos.