Sunday, October 27, 2013


Yes, I know it is somewhat overused, but that is exactly where I am right now. You see, a few months back a builder we had worked with in the past came in and did a bid on updating the bathrooms and doing an overhaul on our kitchen. The design they did was gorgeous but involved a LOT of tearing up and reconstructing. And, the price tag was more than we paid for the house a little over 20 years ago. Well, let's just say we started thinking, which I know is dangerous, and wondered if we should take a different approach.

We live on the far north side of a large metropolitan area. Our son and his family (translated- two of our grandchildren!) live on the far south side. I am fortunate to be able to take care of the children for a number of weeks during the school year but the commute is long...over an hour one way when the traffic is good, and it rarely is.

Soooo... we decided to downsize, sell this place and move to the south side. If you are a stitcher you know where this is heading! Yep. I need to go through my stash and carefully think about what I want to keep.

Over the years I have cleared out my sewing room. I've gone through magazines, kits, fabric, etc., but I still seem to have a lot of things hanging out in that room. Things I couldn't possibly finish should I live to be 150 years old! How do I do this? How would you do it?

I started first by taking a long hard look at my magazine collections. Recently several publishers have offered back issues in digital form. Just Cross Stitch has a 10 year collection on one CD, and it includes the ornament issues. I purchased the CD and have now cleared up quite a bit of shelf space.

I also did this for my Piecework collection. They don't offer as many issues on one CD, but it is still a great space saver.

The one magazine that is available in digital form that I can't bring myself to replace is Sampler and Antique Needlework. I really enjoy flipping through those and reading the articles and doing it on a laptop just isn't the same.

I then went through the remaining magazines and (now don't hyperventilate!) ripped out the projects I really saw myself doing one day and then I recycled the rest of the magazine. I purchased those plastic sleeve protectors, placed one project facing the front and one facing the back, and put the sheets in a three ring binder. I have a binder for Quilting, Hardanger, Tatting, Needlework. I also have one that includes a variety of interesting articles I want to read or refer to later on. 

I did save some complete issues, but this process cleared out a lot of shelf space and that translates into not needing to box and move them later!

I still have a lot of cleaning out to do. The home is being built and we won't move until late April or early May. Still, it's a large task. Hopefully this downsizing process will help me focus on what I truly want to spend my time stitching on.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A quilted yurt

While at the Quilt Expo in Madison, I came upon a quilted yurt. I had never heard of a yurt, let alone one that is quilted. A yurt is basically a tent like structure that was used by nomads in Central Asia. You can read more about them at Pacific Yurts and Wikipedia. (No, not everything on Wikipedia is true but this article does have a variety of yurt photos that are interesting.)

The quilted yurt I saw was a project by the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts. You can read more about the project and the current Yurt Challenge at this link.

The current yurt has been on display at the museum and other venues. You can see that it isn't large, but is very nice and cozy.

The quilts both inside and outside the yurt are all very different and fun to look at. I think this is really a doable project, especially if you know someone who is handy and can build the frame for you. All you would need is to cover it simply with fabric and add your own wall quilts. Or, why not have your own challenge and invite your friends to create a quilt? If that sounds like something you would like to tackle, you can find yurt building instructions at this link.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Few Online Freebies...

Yes, I know I promised Part Two of the Quilt Expo, but I wanted to let you all in on a few fun things I found online!

First, if you like quilting and embroidery and do not already subscribe to the Little Bits of This & That blog, you should! Sherri just finished up a Mystery Monday project and has posted the free pattern and instructions on her blog. Click on this link and then scroll down for the various parts. If you click on the links on the right hand side of the page you will find other Mystery Mondays projects.

If you enjoy cross stitch and/or the offerings of Plum Street Samplers, you won't want to miss Paulette's free mystery project, Mary's Sampler. Each Sunday she will post a new part to this Christmas piece. She offers two versions, one is a little more densely stitched. Follow this link and keep scrolling to catch up on all the parts. It began on September 29 and runs for 9 Sundays, finishing up just before Thanksgiving.

Another "one piece at a time" project I found is from Needles at Work. This is a 'Vernaaide linten' sampler and features motifs found on the folk costumes of the island of Marken in the Netherlands. An overall placement is provided and the meaning of each motif is explained. This one is a little trickier than others to save and print. I did a right click Save Image As. Be sure to bookmark this link and note when the next part will be available by scrolling down to the bottom of the page. The image below shows the layout of the various parts.

One last SAL project is from Nathalie of Jardin Prive. Each part of this delightful piece is presented as a PDF file with your choice of a Black & White or Color chart! It also comes in a variety of languages. Click this link for the PDF files. You may use your own supplies or order from Jardin Prive.

Happy stitching!