Category Archives: random

Tuesday Tip! Scheduling Projects

It’s time for another Tuesday Tip!

It seems that we quilters/crafters/makers have a lot going on.  We’ve usually got several projects going at once & many times are working under deadlines, even if this isn’t our “work.”

I think I’ve used almost every kind of planning system out there & I’ve recently discovered one that works best for me (so far!)

The post-it note on a whiteboard system (like my super fancy name?) finally gave me everything I needed in one place.

To Do System by Ormond Beach Quilts

I simply write each individual project on a post it note & the note on the upper left hand corner has 1st priority.

On each note I quickly jot down the big bullets of the project & any pertinent notes I need to be aware of. For example, let’s say I was working on a quilt where I making the entire quilt- from choosing fabric to binding.  These would be my bullets:

  • Choose fabric/quilting pattern
  • Piece quilt
  • Longarm quilt- XXXX design
  • Bind quilt
  • Invoice quilt

Whenever I come down to the studio I can quickly assess what needs to be done that day & I can shuffle projects as needed.  I love how this gives me the flexibility to move projects around as deadlines change (which let’s face it, happens everyday).

It’s also very visual for me, a key piece I’ve learned in helping me stay organized.

I’ll add that I got inspiration for this from Pinterest but that I really simplified what I saw.  They made this very complex with different colored post-its, & categories & I have no idea what else b/c at that point my eyes glazed over.  I can see how it would be very easy to make this a “super duper organizing board,” but I noticed that when systems get involved like that, I can’t keep up.  And if my organizing system creates too much for me, well that’s not very helpful is it?  So simple & boring it is.  And it works for me.  Hopefully it might work for you too!

Piece of Cake Dress

Occasionally I get the urge to sew clothes.  It seems to come & go in waves, so I try to pounce on it when it comes around.  For me it’s about being a maker & aware of what you have & appreciating a few well made items instead of having 100 poorly made ones.

Anyways, I saw Anna Maria Horner’s “Piece of Cake” dress pattern back in the spring & fell in love with it!

Piece of Cake dress by Ormond Beach Quilts
(Confession, when I have to get some work done I’ve been known to give her a box of fabric to play in.  Fabric goes everyone.  It’s chaotic.  We both have a great time!)

I used some cotton fabric from a big box store (honestly, Teapot grows too quickly to justify using expensive fabric) & had a great time making the dress.  It’s a free downloadable pattern that came with excellent directions & required few skills/tools.

Piece of Cake dress by Ormond Beach Quilts
(I was trying to get a picture of the bias casing, but someone was having too much fun taking selfies!)

It was the first time for me to make a bias casing for the elastic around the neck & it came together well.  I did use my serger to finish the edges, which I’m glad I did since this dress has gotten a lot of use.

The only step I didn’t follow was to make a blind hem.  For some reason it wasn’t working so I just made a folded hem about 1″ from the edge.  Again, it’s a dress for a baby/toddler so who really cares about the hem- as long as it’s durable, it’s fine.

Piece of Cake dress by Ormond Beach Quilts
(Why yes, that’s an ice pack to the side & some advertisements above her head that she was playing with while eating a cheese straw on the kitchen floor. Some days are like that around here.)

The only downside was that the pattern only goes up to 12 months!  I love this dress & want to make this for Teapot again & again!  (I guess I could draft a larger size, but really, that’s not going to happen.  Anyone have a recommendation for a larger size pattern I can buy?)

Piece of Cake dress by Ormond Beach Quilts
Afternoon adventure in the sand box! 

Random Thoughts on Tuesday

  • We’re all moved into our new home!  (well mostly, you know, there are always things to be done…)
  • I have a studio again, & it’s wonderful to be able to work in a good usable space.
  • I have (almost) mastered quilting in one hour bursts.
  • I’ve been piecing string blocks since they require little thought & can easily be picked up/put down.
  • It is a fact that no mater how many string blocks you piece, your stash of strips will never decrease.  I have pieced 20+ blocks & still have two shoe boxes full of strings.
  • Teapot is ten months old today!
  • I found this Piece of Cake dress from Anna Maria Horner that I *need* to make for her. (& while you’re looking at that picture, scroll on down to the Paper Fan Dress!  Adorable!)
  • I finished two UFOs in February!  Once the weather isn’t so glum, I’ll take some pictures outside.
  • I’ve been quilting beautiful cross stitched & embroidered quilts for customers!  Seriously, my clients give me the most amazing pieces to quilt.

Happy Tuesday everyone!  (& if you’re in the path of another snow storm or winter weather- stay warm & safe!)

Random Thoughts on Tuesday Morning

– We’re in the middle of moving to our new house & my studio is now at the other house.
– It’s snowing & generally nasty today.  Since NOVA folks aren’t the most adept at winter driving, we’re staying in today.  This means I’m knitting (& apparently blogging.)
– I’ve almost finished a cute hat for Teapot.  I first made one for a friend’s baby & it was so addictive, I had to cast on a second immediately.

– Back to moving, I really dislike moving
– After moving the studio twice in 18 months I’ve realized…
– I have a lot of quilts that need to be quilted
– I have a lot of quilts I’m in the middle of piecing
– I have a lot of sewing projects (this one surprised me.  I didn’t think I was much of a sewer.  Clearly there’s disconnect between my thoughts & reality.)
– In general I have too much stuff
– Therefore things are quickly leaving the studio

Would anyone be interested in a giveaway of some patterns & threads?

Big Chalk Draw

One of the advantages of moving around is that I’m constantly meeting people smarter than myself that challenge my thinking in ways I never imagined.

This move back to Virginia led me to met Kathryn who runs Art at the Center.  Aside from teaching me the wonders of process art & inspiring me creatively in innumerable ways, I admire her pursuit of community art.

Last Friday she hosted the “Big Chalk Draw” & Teapot & I walked down to join them at the insanely early hour of 8am (we take mornings easy around here.)  We discovered the parking lot empty of cars & filled with buckets of sidewalk chalk.  Parents & kids had already started drawing and the parking lot was slowly being remade into a giant canvas.

Here’s a labyrinth (they’re nuts about labyrinths at A@TC!  You should really read Kathryn’s musings on them):

Chalk Labyrinth at the Big Chalk Draw

I added a chalk quilt- a simple sampler quilt with nine different basic quilt blocks:

Chalk Quilt at the Big Chalk Draw

Before we left though, I noticed that someone/someone’s had added to my quilt:

Chalk Quilt After at the Big Chalk Draw

I love their blocks!  See that middle block on the third row from the top?  I envision enlarging that & turning it into a baby quilt!

On the way home I was thinking about the morning & here are my thoughts:
– Art was built upon art.  I may have started a drawing, but it was fair game to be added upon & become something new.  This didn’t ruin my work- just changed it.  I wonder what new things we would discover if we approached more situations like this in our lives.

– You can always start something if you’re willing to move to a new place in the parking lot.  I’m guilty of this- I get in my comfort zone & I don’t want to move, but if I just scooted 2 feet, I’d find the opportunity to work on a new project in a new light.

– Most drawings start with a line.  A LINE people!  A simple little line.  You don’t need some impressive plan in your head, you just need to start with a line.  We can take this into the quilting world too- what if we just started a quilt with a block & looked to see where it can take us?

– Draw with your kids.  I noticed striking moments of bonding when kids & parents worked together on a drawing.  The art connected them together in a new way.  They both contributed to the final piece.  They were both makers for something that wouldn’t have been without both of them.

Finally, here’s a time lapse video of the entire morning in 2 1/2 minutes!

Camera Case & A Little Story About Me

J recently got me a new camera.  Nothing big & fancy, just a small point & shoot, perfect for tossing in the diaper bag or my back pocket.

Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

Obviously it needed a case with my tendency to toss things in the bag of the day, & I’m never quite happy with the selection of cases, & there’s my “be a maker not a consumer” philosophy, so last weekend I dug through my stash & drafted a nifty pattern.

Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.  I’ve never made a zipper pull like that before & while it was a bugger to make (note to self, leave 2″ of zipper at end, not 1″), it adds the professional touch I wanted.
Camera Case by Ormond Beach Quilts

I pre-quilted the pieces with straight line quilting on my domestic machine.  Normally I would have done the quilting on my longarm, but the pieces were so small it wasn’t worth the time.

Speaking of my domestic machine, here’s a story you might find humorous.  Do you know I have a degree in Economics?  Even studied it in grad school.  At one time I wanted to research Labor Economics, but I decided to move to Alaska (yeah, that’s another story.)  Anyways, the point is that I’m from the business/finance world & I never even took Home Ec in high school.  So when I decided to leave that & become a longarmer, let’s just say there were some transitions to be made.  I remember coming home from my first longarming convention & telling J “these people kept talking about their domestic machine & I don’t get it.”  He gave me an appropriate stare.  I went on to say “I can’t think of any sewing machines that’s made in America anymore- they’re manufactured overseas.  Any anyways, I have a Pfaff, it’s German.” (Well *mine* was made in Germany, but let’s not get into that discussion right now).  He then burst out laughing.  I still didn’t get it.  (You do of course, right?)  Yes, he had to explain to me that it’s not an issue of foreign/domestic, it’s an issue of a machine made for commercial versus domestic use.

Yeah.  I know.  I love quilting & longarming life, but there’s still a part of me that thinks like an economist!

 

Tuesday Tip & Goodies

The Tuesday Tip will have to be delayed again, as June is wrapping up to be a very busy month.I have updated the Classes though! Through October even!And here’s some quilting eye candy for you:

feather longarm quilting

And check out the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt-Along over at Quiltinggallery.com! I’ve given a $25 gift certificate for edge-to-edge quilting services & it’s been included in the grand prize!

Waking Up From a Long Nap


You may have noticed the inactivity recently.  Let’s just say the blog needed to nap while other things where being dealt with like….

– Selling my old longarm
– Buying a new longarm
– Playing with the new longarm
– Quilting for customers
– Doing guild stuff
– Working on church stuff
– Going my to niece’s beautiful wedding
– Helping family in Texas
– Getting sick
– Getting migraines
– Going on quilt retreats
– Resting my body

I’m sure I left out a bunch, but you get the idea.

But we’re awake over here now (the chilly morning help that!)  So expect some more blogs about goings on & happenings.

In the meantime, have a great quilty weekend!