I've got a new project on my brain and I'm so excited to get to work on it! But I can't start yet. I don't have enough fabric. Let me rephrase that. I don't have enough different fabrics. And since I'm on a strict fabric budget, I can't just run out and get what I need. Here's why......
I saw this Fandango fabric by Kate Spain months ago online and fell in love with it. I've been wanting to make a new quilt for our bedroom that included the green of my walls (because I'm lazy and didn't want to repaint), aqua, blue, lime green, and then a splash of red or orange. Fandango has ALL these colors and it isn't too froo froo, so the Gardener Guy agreed on it. I hopped online and bought myself a layer cake of Fandango with a plan of making a queen sized quilt using the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern. I knew that I wanted to incorporate some other fabrics I'd already started accumulating for this quilt and I figured I was on my way to making my FIRST queen size quilt. That is, until I realized I didn't have nearly enough 10" squares. I should also explain here that I want each square to be different, I don't want any repeating fabrics. Crap. Now I have to sit down and figure out how many 10" squares I'm going to need for this pattern. That's going to involve some math. Double crap.
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate math? Just the mention of number crunching causes an instant glazing over of my eyes, and I start to pay attention to things in the room like how many holes are in the ceiling tiles. It probably makes you wonder why I love quilting so much. I'm wondering the same thing. I mean seriously, not only is there some major math involved, but it's FRACTIONS, which is even worse. Ugh.
Well, I manned up and did a few equations, and got a impossible really big number. Like a 3 digit number. In order to make this quilt the size I want, I am going to need 108 squares. In case you didn't get that, let me repeat. I'M GOING TO NEED 108 TEN INCH SQUARES. Seems like way too many. Certainly that can't be right. Well it is.
I did math 4 times just to make sure.
The layer cake came with 50 squares, and I went through my fabric stash multiple times to add to the end number, and so far I'm at 86.
Amazing what one whole day in the craft room does.
Even though I feel like I wasted a day that could've been spent crafting, it feels nice to look around and not instantly feel overwhelmed by the chaos. It's handy to know exactly where my fabrics are, so when I'm looking for a particular red, I can go to the container it's in, not the bottom of the last pile where I think I saw it. You know what I'm talking about.
Considering how long I've been working in chaos, it may take me a while to get used to this. I'll bet it takes way less time to turn back into chaos. Just being honest.
Here's a breakdown of how I organized my fabric:
Top shelf middle and left in plastic bins are fat quarters.
Top shelf right are quarter yard cuts of solids, in color order. (kind of)
Bottom shelf is everything one half yard or bigger. (the little pile on the right are
precuts for my pincushions)
On the counter in plastic bins are pieces that are bigger than scraps, but not fat quarters.
What you can't see is the bottom of the cabinet where I keep my containers of scraps. Yep, I said containers. Like plural. Maybe I'll show you that next time, it's pretty bad.
I don't know if I've ever told you this before, but I always have really great plans for the New Year. I'm always going to lose 30 pounds by Valentine's Day, stop spending money on lunches and be a millionaire by the end of the year, and of course, keep my craft room organized. All very realistic plans, don't you think? I should also tell you that I stink at follow-through. For example, it took me approximately 6 hours yesterday to cave on the diet plan and start shoveling left over fudge into my face.
This year, I'm going to focus on one thing. Keeping the craft room clean.
My main focus is to get my fabric under control.
I've attempted this before, and it never takes me long to get frustrated and give up. I can never figure out the best way to organize all the scraps and cuts I have, but I think I've got it figured out. I've got a plan.
People, I have a confession to make. We have lived in this house for 8 YEARS and I've never had curtains in my living room. Never. Ever.
I've never really been much for window dressings. I don't get fancy, I don't spend a lot of money. And for some reason I'm really intimidated by them. Silly huh?
So my goal for the last 8 years few months has been to finally make a decision on what I'm going to do with my big front window. It's a bay window, but not a cool seat type of bay window as it's 3 ft from the floor. The total dimensions, including the trim around it is 6 ft wide by 4 ft 2 in tall.
I know what you're thinking. Just make two long panels on each side of the window to kind of frame it. Yep, I've thought of that, and that's what I'm trying to go for. I even bought a curtain rod 3 YEARS AGO which you can see in the picture. It's been on the wall, taunting inspiring me for that long. But, (and it's a big but) there are heat vents against the wall directly below where those nice panel curtains would hang. Because they have to go to the floor. They can't be the same length as the window. They just can't. I'd feel like I was living in a Super 8 hotel. Not even a Holiday Inn Express, a Super 8. And even I don't sink that low. (Plus there's a little thing called money missing from my life these days, so there's another obstacle. Just throwing that out there.) *sigh
Well let me tell you, I was at Target doing some Christmas shopping (with that money I don't have) and came across these shower curtains ON SALE. And there were a crapload of them. In my color none the less! I heard the angels sing, and then they started hacking and coughing like they were lifetime smokers because I realized that these shower curtains won't be long enough to reach the floor. But then they cleared the phlem and started singing again, because I realized I can just add a panel to get some more length! YAY!
But, (and it's a big but again) I can't for the life of me figure out where exactly on the curtain I should add the panel, AND (the most important part) which color I should use for the "extender piece". *sigh My living room colors are tan, white, red, and dark chocolate brown. Walls are tan, trim (except for said window) is white, hardwood floors are the ugliest scratched up Golden Oak color, along with the bay window trim, but accent shelves and such are dark brown.
HELP ME PEOPLE. What should I do? Do I use dark brown for the "extender piece"? White? God knows I don't want to try and match this red, you know how that can go. AND, do I insert the "extender piece" at the bottom? Somewhere toward the top, but a little below, so there's red on top? Gawd, I just can't make this decision. This is worse than trying to decide what to use for the binding on a quilt. *sigh
(and yes, those are also white shower curtains in the picture, and they're for my next meltdown project.)
I have a White Elephant gift exchange at work tomorrow. I almost forgot about it.
So.......in a pinch, I went through our old CDs and found this Holiday CD from Old Navy. I think it was like $3 when I bought it, and I don't love it, so maybe some lucky sucker in my office will appreciate it more. Or not.
Since we don't have our Box O' Christmas Wrap down yet, I went with the old stand by - aluminum foil.
Now, being the crafty chic I am, the plain ol' foil wouldn't do, so of course I had to jazz it up with some painters tape as the ribbon. And a bow. Perfect.
I seriously LOVE White Elephant parties. It's so fun to see what kind of crap will get unwrapped next. The first White Elephant gift exchange I ever attended, I unwrapped a pitcher that looked like a monkey humping holding a pumpkin. It was awful. And awesome.
I had a great time, sold a bunch, and have had a post craft show hangover for a week.
This was the first time I've ever done an 8 x 8 booth, and although it worked well, a few tweeks need to be done before next time. Like finding somewhere for me to be instead of hiding behind the champaign crate. I swear I scared a few people jumping out to say hi. Also, having some kind of check out station would be nice. Trying to write receipts, run credit cards on a knucklebuster, and count money in 10 square inches just doesn't work well.
It was interesting to see what did and didn't sell this year. My pendants that almost sold out last year, didn't do so well this year. I sold more moleskines than last year, but hardly any pincushions went out the door this year. Maybe it was my pricing changes, maybe it was the fabrics used this year vs. last year. I've heard it said by craftshow veterans, every show is different. You just never know.
I do LOVE doing these shows. I love chatting with people, processing the transactions, seeing people's reactions (good and bad) to my products. It's fun. It makes me proud. And it wipes. me. out.