Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thread with Attitude

So, I've been making an effort to get better organized. I recently added a spacious cabinet to the sewing studio, so the time seems ripe to purge and compress.

Everything was moved out of the studio to the adjoining room temporarily. Now that the carpet is installed and the cabinet is in, one by one, items are finding a home where they belong.

Except for that drawer full of thread. . .

Where on earth did all this thread come from? That old drawer was full to overflowing and tangled with unruly loose ends sticking out everywhere! Some spools new and untouched, some with just a few yards wound around the sorry center.

Roll up the sleeves, time for a thread attitude adjustment!

First the near-empty spools. Found a cardboard basket and in they go. They'll be the first to go when I'm piecing something scrappy. Ahh, feels better already!

Next, the 'ugly' colors. Oh, I know, "I might need that color . . . someday." If I haven't used it - or thought about using it - in a year or more, it's got a target on it. Into the piecing basket it goes.

Finally, the unruly threads. Now this is cool! Hugo's Amazing Tape. Have you seen this stuff?? It doesn't stick to anything, except itself. Wrap it around the spool capturing the loose end, and VOILA! It's clear, so you can see the thread color. Comes on a huge roll - so there's enough for those of us who have lots of thread, a-hem! And it works on other stuff too, like electrical chords (can you say, 'computer spaghetti?').

Ask for it at quilt shops and craft stores - I got mine at Calico Gals. It's about 2" wide, but it can easily be cut in half to fit nicely around a thread spool. Shops can order it from distributors, like Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies.

Problem solved. Well, sort of. Let's say problem's improved!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fresh Air

This past weekend, I headed to Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, about 15 miles north of Old Forge, New York. About 25 quilters gathered there for a quilting get-away.

The conference center is a perfect spot for a quilting retreat - there's plenty of room to sew and, back up at the spacious, rustic lodge, lots of time to socialize over a glass of wine or a tumbler of Bailey's (with a hint of carmel!).

Despite frigid temperatures, on Saturday, the clouds cleared away, and the sky turned a brilliant blue - perfect conditions to venture out for some fresh air.

You can only imagine the hidden summer treasure that sleeps below the surface of the Blue Mountain Lake ice.

A couple of white-tail deer greeted me along the path. They decided I presented little danger. They were right!

On my short 'adventure,' I met the property caretaker and chatted with him. He mentioned he had a pet macaw. We conversed about our mutual interest in birds, and he invited me inside his cabin to meet Cara. She is a beautiful Catalina Macaw and keeps him company inside the cabin while the snow falls just steps away outside the cabin through the winter.

Back in the conference center, Donna worked on her first quilt ever! Welcome to the world of quilting! Great job, Donna, can't wait to see what's next!

Do you have a mid-winter get-away planned? You never know who you might meet!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Defying Gravity

In December, I decided it was time for a little change. The sewing studio is getting a bit of a make-over. New studio equipment on order, new carpet. Exciting. But. . .

I think the panic set in for real when the carpet guy said I have to clear out the room for the installation. Obvious, right? Now, picture that movie, "The Blair Witch Project" - the woman with the flashlight at her chin, scared out of her socks over what might lie ahead. Funny, that's what flashed through my mind when Steve said, "See you on Wednesday!"

No, I'm not going to bore you with the 'before' pictures of the sewing room. Suffice it to say, the Scrap'Therapist' is doing a little self-help these days! (Where did all this stuff come from??) Will keep you posted on progress.

In the meantime, as long as half the country is currently enjoying chilly temperatures, I thought I'd share a couple of frozen images, right from my own back yard.

We've had a bit of snow here in Central New York. That's nothing new. But it's not how much has fallen, it's how it landed that seems to defy gravity!

Stay warm, and make more quilts!