Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The new Studio

This will be my sewing studio. It was designed as a sun room, and so faces south, and hasn't got a lot of wall space. I've worked out three different layouts, and haven't decided which to use. I'm pretty sure I'll only work it out until I actually start using the space.

Moving day is a few days away.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Before and After

I have a Before and After for you. It's really another post about how it's OK to change your mind when you get a better idea.

 My "new" house is a kind of a creamy khaki color, but not so green.  Yes, it's dull, but the co-op limits the colors of the houses to white or "neutrals."  Doesn't bother me. 

I bought a front door mat in a lovely navy blue, like the "Nocturnal Sea" in bottom blue color chip. I thought I would paint the front door, and I didn't want it that dark, so I picked the "Neptune Blue". I knew it would be a very pleasing color combination.

While I waited for the paint to be shaken after it was mixed, I looked around, and saw this flyer.

I didn't even need to open the flyer, because what hit me was that can of magenta paint at the very top.

I knew instantly the magenta / hot pink would ALSO look terrific. It would be a show-stopper for sure, but when you get a BETTER idea, you have to go for it.

So I went back and got a can of Hot Pink

Oh, I can't wait!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Funny for You

Packing (and purging) unearths some pretty interesting things.  I found a folder with a page cut out from a Playboy magazine. It's got to be at least 30 years old because I divorced my husband in 1984.

The line at the bottom reads, "Before you go, honey -- a souvenir for my patchwork."

Friday, September 26, 2014

I was just thinking...

Pat left a comment yesterday. She said, "I haven't moved for thirty years and expect to do so next year so I'm really watching your progress with interest."

This post isn't quilt related, but I had to have some kind of photo. Fortunately Millie volunteered to pose.
 Well Pat, I have something to tell you. START NOW! If you've lived in your current home for over 30 years I guarantee you have more stuff than you think you do. Start with one room, and go through every single thing. Every closet, every drawer, every box. Don't just rearrange. PURGE! If you haven't used it in over a year, get rid of it. If it's torn, worn, out-of-date, or it doesn't fit, get rid of it. You don't have to throw it away, you can donate it to Goodwill or your local Homes in Transition. But don't set it aside "for now."  In my experience, "for now" becomes "forever."

It's a whole lot easier to do all this when you aren't up against a deadline.

You all know I'm moving, but what you didn't know is that I've been on a de-cluttering mission for over two years. By the time I started packing four weeks ago, I knew that if it was in my home, it was coming. All I had to do was pack it, I didn't have to think about it.

So Pat, get going. Set a deadline, make a plan, make a schedule, and follow through.

Is it work? You bet.  Is it easy? Hell no. Is it (was it) worth it?  Ask me next week, but so far the answer is yes. Having done all the de-cluttering ahead of time has taken a lot of the stress out of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life is 'Tweet, almost complete

Life is 'Tweet arrived in New Hampshire yesterday. Because I'll be moving in a week I won't be able to work on finishing it any time soon, but I am excited to do so.  I have to figure out what I want to do with the binding. I don't really want it to be a color, and I don't want it to be white (been there, done that), so I am thinking of mostly white with little color accents every so often, all around the quilt.  I'll try it out and decide, but in the meantime I can think about it.  Sometimes I think it's a good idea to NOT be able to work on something. It forces you to give more thought to it, and also provides the opportunity to come up with more, different, and better ideas. The first idea is generally pretty standard, and we all know I don't do "normal."  If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

It's getting to be crunch time for the big move. I've got all the big stuff packed. I've got the contents of all cabinets, bookcases, bureaus, desks and drawers packed. I've got a travel bag ready, and have plans for what to do in each of the last days leading up to the move itself.  I don't know if I'll be posting much, but I'm not going far and I will be back soon. I promise to give you all a full report of the process! The sewing room will be one of the FIRST things I set up in the new place. I can't wait. I've been away from the sewing machine for far too long.

The Black Box quilt will be traveling to the Des Moines AQS show. If you go to the show I'd love it if you could send me a picture of yourself with the quilt.

Monday, September 22, 2014


When you're used to a fridge that looks like this:

this just looks wrong:

And for those of you with extremely sharp eyes, the notepad on the wall to the left of the fridge is a countdown. The number of days until Moving Day is now in the single digits.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Julie!

This is my best pal, Julie.

Julie lives in Tennessee. Last year I visited her. This past June she came to NH to visit me.

This photo was taken at the Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Today is Julie's birthday, so I got her a present.  I asked Terri from Quilternity to make one of her Grab and Go bags in fabric that I knew Julie would love.

This elephant fabric would be the lining.

This Jane Sassaman fabric would be the body of the bag.

This is the finished bag.

As you can see in this photo, Julie loves her bag.

Happy Birthday Julie!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Life Is Tweet Sneak Peek

Chris sent me this photo of my Life is Tweet quilt, which she just finished quilting. I didn't want the usual, and I don't like quilting that looks like a machine did it. I told her to let herself go and just have some fun with it. You can see that she did, and I am thrilled.

It's funny. Folks around here (New Hampshire) can't understand why I send my quilts 1,200 miles away to Tennessee to have Chris quilt them. When I was showing off some of my quilts at my class in July, one of my students exclaimed, "Well all they have to do is LOOK at your quilts to get the answer.

Well, yes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thank Goodness for the Internet

I spent last night parked in front of my laptop filling out change of address forms.

The Post Office

The Division of Motor Vehicles

The Bank

The Credit Cards


The Magazines


The Online backup service

EZ Pass

The Utilities


Voter Registration in the new town.

And I also have to change my next-of-kin contact information also since my Son and DIL have also moved.

I've already ordered new checks...

I'm really glad the internet has so much of this readily available.

Because I'm really getting tired of this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tired Tuesday

I took a cue from Millie last night, took a break from the packing and went to bed early.

Of course I was wide awake at 3:00 AM so I read for a while before going back to sleep.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments yesterday.

Julie and Poppy Q: Yes, I also plan to pack a suitcase with clothes and I already have my travel toiletries bag packed. I plan to pack the entire bathroom this weekend and use the travel toiletries bag until the move. You're right, that way I won't have to worry about where stuff is.  As for marking the cables out of the back of the TV - good idea. Since I'm a geek I know where all the cables go on all computer equipment, but the TV is a different story. No real worry though, as I won't be able to use the TV until the cable installer comes the day after I move to the new place.

Pat: I am not a coffee drinker, but when the weather is cool I like hot chocolate. I have packed all but one mug and left the kettle out as well. As for the cooktop, fortunately my favorite pots and pans are suited to a flat cooking surface.

Felice: I have no valuable jewelry, but I do have a lot of flat artwork. My quilts are all separately insured and are coming with me, as is my laptop and a few other high-value items. All the files on my laptop are backed up on line, so I don't have to worry about those. And my cat, Millie, is traveling with me. The movers told me to pack a "last in, first out" box so I'd have what I really needed at the other end. I'm only moving four and a half miles away.

Mrs Goodneedle: The DW (dishwasher) tip is indeed brilliant.

I cannot tell you all how eager I am to get back to SEWING! While many think I will set up my bedroom or kitchen first, I really think it will be the sewing machine and the iron. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Best Piece of Advice...

This past weekend I packed my office, cleared out my kitchen pantry, and packed all my serving dishes and stemware. I've sorted my pots and pans and have set some aside to donate to Goodwill. (The stove at the new house has a ceramic cooktop, rather risky with big cast iron skillets). My new bed was delivered on Saturday, and I tested the tranquilizer I'll be using on my cat, Millie. I removed all the artwork and quilts from the walls. The house looks naked and sounds echo-y.  I won't move for another two weeks, and I have had it. Cardboard boxes line the walls of my dining room, living room and practically fill my sewing studio.The liquor is sitting on an end table in the living room because I haven't packed it yet. I had to move it to clean the cabinet where it was stored.

Take a break, you say. Sure, I'd love to watch a DVD, since TV is so crummy, but oops, my DVD collection is already packed.  Bake a batch of cookies.. Oh sorry, the baking supplies are packed too.

Argh! (And it isn't even Talk Like a Pirate Day yet! That's September 19th.)

As I pack I clean the shelf, closet, cabinet, drawer or bin. This reminds me of the best piece of cleaning advice I ever got, so absent anything quilt related to show you, I'm going to share it. Here it is:

If it fits, put it in the dishwasher.

Yeah, I know it sounds almost stupidly simple, but it's true and it works great. You know that glass ceiling fixture? The one in the kitchen that gets greasy and dusty? How about the glass globe in the porch light? The ones that collect dead bug bodies inside? They're almost impossible to clean by hand, but effortlessly simple when you stick 'em in the dishwasher. You know those stacking plastic file trays?  Into the dishwasher they go. Soap dishes, yup. 

Those magnetic plastic bins that hold paper, pens, files? (I use them for pot holders and most commonly used recipes.) Yep, stick 'em in the dishwasher. Plastic baskets used for storage?  Yup, those too. I have a storage thing that attaches to the wall in a workshop that has eight little tilt out plastic bins used for storing small things like screws and picture hooks.

It was filthy when I brought up from the basement, but it looks brand new after a trip through the dishwasher.

So give it a whirl! As you can see it works for me.

OK, back to the boxes...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

AQS Chattanooga - Black Box & See Rock City

Check this out!  That's my quilt, The Black Box on the left, and Julie's quilt, See Rock City, over on the right. How cool they are displayed so close together!

If you will be attending the show in Chattanooga, take a selfie with my Black Box quilt and send it to me. I'd love to see it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Julie and The Black Box

This is my best pal Julie with my Black Box quilt, which is currently on exhibit at the AQS show in Chattanooga.

If you are planning to attend the show, and if you see my quilt, take a picture of yourself with it and send it to me!  And if you can't send a photo, tell me what you think of the quilt!


oh, and in case you don't know... my quilt is completely "free-pieced" which means it was made without patterns or templates, and it is NOT paper-pieced. If that isn't enough, I do not completely plan my quilts out in advance. I start with a half baked idea and see where it takes me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Black Box, AQS Chattanooga

My quilt, The Black Box, will be on display this weekend at the AQS show in Chattanooga. If you see it, please take a picture of yourself with it and send it to me at patcherymenagerie AT gmail DOT com.  (You know how to put those together properly.)

Julie's quilt, See Rock City, will also be there, and you should check that out too! (She'd like a picture too!)

I'll be packing, and any photo of you and my quilt will brighten my weekend. THANKS!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Lies Beneath

I'm packing (still), and as in all rentals, I've got to leave the place more or less the way I found it.  That means removing the burlap from the walls, revealing the style-less fake flock wallpaper underneath.

I will not miss it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Smart Thing, Dumb Thing

OK, so I'm packing. I'll be moving in less than a month. Boring boring, I know. Believe me, I'd much rather be sewing...  A couple of things I have learned so far:

Smart thing:
Taking pictures of your belongings in the drawers or locations where you store them so you can put them back the way you had them before you move. Trust me, your head will be so full of stuff you won't remember.

Dumb thing:
Underestimating just how much stuff you have. I never thought I had "a lot" of fabric. After putting it in bins and boxes, I can see how much space it takes up.
These six bins
and these five (soon to be six) boxes are filled with fabric. When I can make a quilt solely from fabrics in my scrap bins, like this...
and I hardly put a dent in my stash, that's a wake up call.  I need to make MORE quilts, not less, and I need to be LESS fussy and Arty. After all, like I keep telling my students,

"It's only fabric. It isn't Gold. It isn't doing you any good in your stash."

Must Make More Quilts.

Oh gosh, I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Christmas Random Plank

It was nice to have something easy and creative to do during the hot weather of the last few days. I watched a lot of tennis while pinning the binding to the Christmas Random Plank quilt. Since this quilt is going to live on my dining room table during the Holiday season, I didn't want to spend a lot of money of a fancy fabric for the backing, so I bought a cute holiday fabric that was marked down after the holidays.

 After pinning and pinning and pinning, I selected a thread color and starting sewing the binding down.
After a trip through the washer and dryer, it's finished.

 (I have to work on getting better "beauty shots" for my quilts.)
Here's the whole thing spread out on the driveway and I think it looks pretty good!

Monday, September 1, 2014

More more more...

My sister asked me once if Pink was my favorite color.

"NO!" I replied, somewhat miffed. "I love RED."

"So why do you wear so much Pink," she asked?

"Um, I dunno? Because it looks good on me?"

This conversation happened a few years ago, but I never forgot it, and every time I look at my stash of Pink I think of it.

I thought it was amusing while packing my fabric how I kept finding pieces of fabric all over the studio.
And I found two yards of this, which is much too good to ignore or give away. This fabric needs to be celebrated on the back of a quilt, don't you think?

In the end I needed SIX bins to store all the fabric I had, and I topped off the last bin with all the small quilts I have around the house.

I also finished the Christmas Random Planks Quilt. That's enjoying spin in the washing machine to get nice and soft and wrinkly. I'll show you how it came out tomorrow.