Sunday, October 17, 2010

Project 333 and packing

Well, here is an update on how packing and traveling using the Project 333 wardrobe went.  We were going to Annapolis, Md, this past weekend for my husband's 30'th year class reunion from the Naval Academy.  We would be gone 3 days and nights, so what to pack and how quickly did I get packed.  Well, several things played into figuring that out.  We would be going to dinner one night with friends so I wanted something a little dressier than jeans, we would be going to the football game/tailgait/reunion festivities on Saturday so wanted jeans for that day and the weather was on the cooler side with possibility of being windy, in which case it could get cold. 
Packing didn't take too long, 1. my khaki jeans, 2 my blue jeans, 3 dressy khaki pinstripe pants 4. orange boucle jacket 5. 2 tshirts 6. coral mock turtleneck sleeveless knit top 7.  beige beaded neckline knit top
8.  Navy mom sweatshirt.  It didn't take long to pack but even so I still took too much.  Not knowing what the weather would be like and the fact that we were driving and not flying I felt I could take the extra stuff. 

I ended up not wearing the dress slacks because I never had time to go back to get changed for our dinner out with our friends, but I feel like I still showed up looking dressed up enough not to feel out of place.  I wore my khaki jeans, the coral/orangish top with my orange jacket. 
For the game I wore my blue jeans, my husband had bought us special tshirts for the occasion and I didn't even need any of the ones I brought. 

Today for the trip home I wore my khaki jeans again with the beige top and orange jacket.

Once I got home it took me a whole 5 minutes to unpack and put everything away or in the laundry basket.

Reflection:  I took too much stuff.  I couldn't make up my mind what I would need while gone so therefore put in things that really didn't make sense for what I really was going to be doing.  I never pack so much when I travel but I do know that I take things that I never use.  I will have to think about that more the next time I travel. 

While gone my daughter and I did go shopping but rather than look at a bunch of stuff that would be extraneous, I got a couple of new bras and spent the time to get good fitting ones and looked for a really versatile LBD but I didn't fin d one that I felt would be me, so I opted to wait until I find the perfect one for me. 

So that was it for the weekend, one great time and little fuss. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Additional benefits of Project 333

As I have been clearing out all the extra stuff from my wardrobe I have discovered several things. 

1.  With a little more rearranging and editing of things I could completely do away with my dresser.  That would open up a lot of extra room in my not so large bedroom.  This dresser has 4 drawers and 2 of them are empty right now and the top drawer is sort of a catch all junk drawer.  I can find places for the few items in it that I need to keep.  The next drawer has more undergarments and sleep wear that can be put with the other stuff in the closet.  Sop this found space opens up possibilities.

2.  By limiting my clothing items I have to look at the pieces and decide what speaks to my authentic style/self. 

3.  I also have to be more creative in how I put the  items together for different looks and different needs.

I am really excited about this challenge and the possibilities that it is going to open up for me. 
Thanks for following along and let me know what you think about this. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Revised list

I am revising my list a bit. After sleeping on it overnight I know that I will not use the scarf or the belt. So I am going to swap those things out for another pair of casual shoes and a t-shirt. I am also going to switch out the red and brown skirt for a plain brown skirt. Everything else will stay the same. I am now off to my closet to make those changes and to get the rest of my shoes packed away. My 3 months will begin on Monday, Oct. 11. (Just in case I need to do a little more tweeking before I start.)

This is my closet now that I have eliminated everything that is not part of Project 333.
In the small drawers are my undergarments and my socks. 
 You can see my 3 pair of shoes in the cubbies.  The tennis shoes I only wear to work. 
 These are my clothes for non work hours. I can get everything hung up on hangers and still have room.

 These are my scrubs for work.  I did eliminate about 6 tops that were summery and my white pants.  I don't need those going into winter in Pennsylvania.
 On the shelves, the top left are my casual tops, on the left are my work t-shirts that I can wear with my scrubs.  Those I am not counting in my 33 items.  On the bottom shelf on the left are my yoga workout cloths along with bicycle shorts.  I don't know that I will need them but since they don't count and we still might get some nice days this fall to ride, I didn't want to miss out on the chance. To the right on the bottom shelf are my jammies.  On the floor are my casual boots and my dressy boots.
These are my long hanging items.  One dress, one skirt and a sweater set-dressy for Christmas. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

My 33 items

I went through my closet and selected my 33 items for Project 333.  Here it is:

  1.  Black heels
  2.  Brown ankle dress boots
  3.  Black suede casual boots
  4.  Purple dress coat
  5.  "Kate" blue jeans
  6.  Bandolinoblue jeans
  7.  Khaki dressy jeans
  8.  Black/white print dress
  9.  Brown paisley skirt
10.  Red and brown skirt
11.  Black pinstripe dress slacks
12.  Tan pinstripe dress slacks
13.  Gray slacks
14.  Yellow blouse
15.  White blouse
16.  Blue blouse
17.  Pink wrap sweater
18.  Cream front tie sweater
19.  Black button sweater
20.  Pink "Navy" sweatshirt
21.  Beige beaded tank top
22.  Brown tank
23.  Coral mock-turtleneck sleeveless top
24.  Purple mock-turtleneck sleeveless top
25.  Pink sleeveless knit top
26.  Black Coach purse
27.  Purple suede gloves
28.  Orange Boucle jacket
29.  Black/blue/beige jacket
30.  Black/gold/blue glass necklace and earrings
31.  Shell necklace and earrings
32.  Turquoise and rusty orange skinny scarf
33.  ?????  I will add my brown belt but I usually don't wear a belt.  Maybe that will get changed out.

I do work in a medical facility and have to wear scrubs to work and special t-shirts that are for different events, ex. Hope T-shirt for any number of cancer benefits, like Relay for Life,  so I did not count those things in my 33 items.  I do not wear them outside of work.  My tennis shoes I wear for work only and I didn't count those either. 

I tried to keep a very basic and versatile core wardrobe but I did have to add color to my tops or else I would have been one very depressed puppy by the time the 3 months are over.  I have to have color around me to be happy. 

I do plan on posting pictures of my outfits at least once a week.  I haven't gotten everything out of my closet yet.  I do have the clothes out but the extra shoes , not yet, I need to get a box yet to pack them up in.  My closet is looking pretty neat and orderly and spacious for being a little closet. 

Sorry for the lapse in posts

This year has been full of new beginnings and fast paced.  I have been so negligent of my blog and hope to correct that problem now that I am participating in a new challenge/project.  Project 333.

I am hoping that this will get me motivated and comfortable with making blogging a daily or at least 3 times a week habit that I get good and faster at it.  Check out the project and follow along and if you get inspired to join the adventure, jump right in and get started.  It is ok that the project has already started.  This is something that can be started at anytime and you can set your own 3 month window. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Projects that are finished

Well, I don't have much in the way of pictures but I have been busy busy busy quilting up a storm.  I finished quilting a queen sized block of the month quilt for a local shop owner and from her response I think she was pleased.  The shop is Shaffer's Countryside Quilting and Judy has an amazing shop.  Lots of activity going on there.  She was preparing to go to a show and wanted the quilt to be ready to take to it, which is going on right now.  After I finished her quilt, I finished up two small baby quilts for a customer and she also was thrilled.  I got a big hug from her when she picked them up. 

Lindsey's quilt is coming along quite well and I have the most difficult part done.  I have it resting on my laundry folding table the edge hanging off the edge of the table so that as I am working on another project I can take a look up and get some ideas on how to finish it up.  Several ideas have been running around in my head so I just have to settle on something but for now...

 I am working on our quilt groups raffle quilt for this year.  Our group is The IQ Quilters.  We are not an official guild but we do have an annual quilt show which is the last weekend in September.  We are a rather small group, somewhere in the teens in members, and it is an invitation only group.  Anyways, the quilt this year is a gorgeous French Braid design in stained glass colors.  It is beautiful and I feel honored to have been chosen to quilt this fantastic quilt.  I got quite a bit done on it yesterday and am now getting into the fun part of the quilting.  There will be a extra surprise on the back of the quilt as the thread work is going to make an awesome colorful design on the back.

I will have some photos to add soon.  I have been so busy quilting that I haven't had time to do too much else. 

Lindsey and Katie will be home this weekend.  Lindsey is on spring break from the Air Force Academy and will be home to do some wedding preparations/planning, and Katie is throwing Lindsey's bridal shower this weekend.  I hope that we have a nice day. 

Lots to do with so little time to get it done.  I best be getting back to work. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Progress Report-1

Lindsey's quilt progress report.

I have started to actually put stitches in her quilt.  Actually I have done a fair amount for only starting this week.  I decided that I was going to trapunto the monogram and the 4 corner roses so I used poly batting scraps for those areas.  I put my water soluble thread in the needle and regular Bottom Line thread in the bobbin and stitched my monogram and the roses and then cut away all the extra batting away. 

I originally had a solid white extra wide backing that I was going to use but decided that a white on white backing fabric would be nicer so I stopped by my favorite quilt store,  Shaffer's Countryside Quilting, in Sharpsville, Pa.  to pick up the backing. 

I had bought  Warm and White cotton batting but also wanted to use wool on top of the cotton to give my quilting that faux trapunto look.  I heard that tip at the Quilting with Machines weekend in Aurora Ohio last October.  I am not sure which of the teachers mentioned that but I had it stored in my memory banks so I thought that I would try it out to see how it would work.  I don't know if it is possible to find white wool batting, I have not had any success yet in my search, but I would prefer white so that the top of my quilt would be whiter and crisper looking.  Anyway, I got it basted together on Saturday or Sunday and have started the quilting. 

The center.
The center where I have the monogram, I used a dark pink poly thread to outline my M,  and then I switched to a lighter pink for the background "Diane-shiko"  which is 1/2 inch apart crosshatching.  I put together a half dozen quilt sandwiches of my left over backing, 2 battings and topped with more of the backing fabric as I didn't have any extra fabric from the top.  I marked out several sample sections to warm up and perfect my Diane-shiko.  It took a while but by the end of the second practice piece I felt confident that although it might not be perfect I wouldn't ruin it either.   I took a deep breath and started filling in the background fill.  I haven't taken a photo yet of that. 

I am very pleased with how the monogram "M"  really pops out, even from the back it is nicely framed.  I can get a better picture of how it looks from the back because I don't have the blue marking lines distracting me. 

Next, I did a rather flowing what I would call "bleeding heart" design in the top and bottom portion of the inner oval.

The bleeding heart stems have circles in them and the plumes of the bleeding heart feather are alternating heart shaped and  regular shaped petals  There are 3 stocks of the bleeding hearts, with short offshots coming off to fill in the extra areas.  These offshoots have the heart shaped petals off both sides of the stem. 

I have some more done but at this time that is all I am going to post.  I will be working on it some more tomorrow and will post more updates soon. 

I hope that you will all take time to do something that you really enjoy doing. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beginning a new project

Photo of the center wreath.  Wrong orientation,  it goes vertical not horizontal.  Hand appliqued by Rhoda McCartney. 

I am beginning to work on my daughter's wedding quilt.  Lindsey will be married in May, just after, and I mean just after her graduation from the Air Force Academy.  Her fiance also graduated from the AFA several years back.  This quilt is the completion of my mother's work.  She began the quilt top after asking Lindsey what she would like as far as a quilt, she made quilts for all the kids and grandkids.  Lindsey said that she didn't care about the pattern or anything as long as it was pink.  So Mom did a hand appliqued pink rose wreath quilt.  She got the top finished but never got it quilted before she passed away.  So my gift to Lindsey is to machine quilt this for her as a wonderful heirloom from Grandma.  My goal is to post my progress and also to discuss my decisions on what and how I am going to do this special piece. 

I started to mark some of the quilting motifs that are on the top so that I can see them better and also to get an idea of what motifs I am going to  use and what I will need to replace with different patterns.  So I marked off the rose motifs that go around the outside and the scalloped edge border feathered motif.  Those I will do for sure.

Monogram linen hanky for center.

The next thing that I did was to go through some of my mom's old hankies and linens and found a white linen hanky with a corner rose embroidered motif on it.  I will use it in the center of the rose wreath to put her monogram on.  I also have yards and yards of Alencion lace that was on my bridal veil that I might recycle into this piece, I haven't decided yet how or where but that will give the piece a little more texture and richness. 

So this is the beginning of this project.  I will post as I can on the progress.  I will also give credit to those great teachers and companies that help me out along the way.   At the same time as I am working on this I will be making the brides maids dresses.  This is going to be a very busy several months. 

Check out Cindy Needham's blog, she has given me much inspiration and the goal to do this type of beautiful heirloom quality work and has been generous enough to personally answer my questions on cleaning this beauty.  That was one of the first questions I had to find the answer to.  The quilt top has some minor yellowing and small perhaps blood stains on it.  Quilt it first or clean it first?  That was my question.  I have decided to quilt it first and then clean it.  Hopefully, all will go well with that step after it is all done.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Think outside the box

We are encouraged to think outside the box when we are creating art, and when it comes to organizing all of out quilting supplies we need to stop and think about what it is that we need before we go out and spend a lot of money on all kinds of things that are supposed to make it easier to get and stay organized.  Well, I have a thread storage issue and I have been thinking about getting some sort of small chest of drawers that would hold my extensive thread collection.   I wanted something with shallow drawers so that the thread could be single layer, and also that would accomodate the thin spools as well as the larger cones of thread.   I also wanted to be able to put it underneath my counter top in my studio where I use to have the cheap plastic storage drawer units.  The space measured 33" wide x 35" tall. 

This is what I found . 

As you can see, it fits into the space perfectly.   The five drawers get progressively deeper so that I can have the right place to store all the threads that I have.

Here is the top drawer.  Check out the dividers that keep the thread from rolling all around when you open and close the drawer.

Second drawer.

Look how neat and tidy this is.

Third drawer:

These are heavier weight variegated threads on the left and cones of polyester and rayon threads on the right side. 

Fourth drawer:

These are larger cones of Superior Bottom Line and serger cones, along with some other odds and ends that will find new homes later on as I need the space for more threads.

The bottom drawer:

I have put my machine quilting stencils, books marking tools and supplies in this drawer.  This small chest really is the perfect piece for getting some mega organization and it is really sturdy.  The drawers open and close smoothly, no sticking drawers. 

I found this little beauty at the AAA Antique Mall in Ravena, Oh.  It is off of Interstate 76.  Fun little place to spend several hours roaming around. 

So don't forget to look at pieces that you might already have in your home with fresh eyes and think outside the box in how you use them.  Even though this is a dining room side board it works perfectly for my needs in my quilting studio. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More photos.

I am not sure why the pictures didn't all load before so lets try again.  Here is the photo of the swag and the lint.
Here is the photo of the peach octagon.  The quilting really pops on this fabric.  Lots of nice detail.

My next post will be about my newest organizational find and all the stuff I am able to keep in it. 

Photos Venetian Tile

Here are some detail shots of the quilting done on Venetian Tile quilt.  Here is one of the small squares.

The black border has a feathered swag with a heart.  The lint was a problem showing up on the black fabric.

Jan picked up the quilt today and she loved it.  I am so happy.  I really enjoy machine quilting and then seeing the reactions of others when they see the quilt.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Venetian tile quilt done

I finished quilting my first customer's quilt.  Venetian tile.  I had a lot of fun quilting it.  I repeated several different motifs in the center of the octogans done in purple thread.  In the small diamonds I did a melon motif around the seams.  In the peach half octagons I did the same motif, melons around the seams with a curly-cue in the centers of the wedges.  The focus fabric outside border has a meandering leaf pattern done in a peach color.  The outside black border has a scalloped swag pattern with feathered plumes on the inside and at the upper points a heart motif.   The black borders around the octogans where outlined 1/4" inside in black.  It turned out well I think,  I hope that when Jan comes to pick it up that she likes it. 

Photos to follow. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Water lilies wallhanging done

I just finished this wall hanging.  It is a hand painted silk piece that was approximately, 16 X  20" of water lilies.  I fused it onto a silk painted scarf that I also had painted that was appr. 30" square.  It is china silk.  I used wool batting and a hand marbled piece of silk for the backing.  This was definitely a learning curve for me since I have not quilted a piece like this before.  I tested out fusing some scraps together to see how they would react to the fusible and it worked out great.  The purple ribbon border is also china silk.  I used some eyelash yarn and couched it down along the cut fused edge of the water lilies panel and then also at the outside edge.  I thought that the yarn added a playfulness without being too much.  Since this will be a gift for a baby girl it will be something that will be young and playful but as she gets older it will still appeal to her.

It was a lot of fun to work on but as I said it did require learning how the silk would respond to the fusing, quilting and overall handling process.  I love running my hand over the piece because it is so soft and luxurious feeling. 

I have several other hand painted silk pieces that I have done that I want to do some really awesome quilting on, but that will have to be for another time.  I have 6-8 quilts coming in the near future to quilt for others so that will keep me quite busy. 

Happy quilting.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I was beginning to get a little panicky around here thinking about everything I need/want to do and so yesterday I just decided to sit down and quilt for a while. This is the stack and whack quilt that I have to quilt. Six hours later I said enough and looked at how much I got done  and guess what, I have about 3/4 of the center quilted.  I have 12 more of the blocks to quilt and   the outside borders.   I stitched around all th black gridwork and then did various quilting motifs in the          

I discovered a new blog that has fast become one of my favorites.  The link is included.  The blog is about machine quilting and the premise is 365 free motion filler designs.  Leah Day is the owner.  She has an online store and is extremely talented, and busy.   She has motivated me so much to get at everything that I want to accomplish and don't let excuses get in my way.  One of the reasons I got so far with my quilting yesterday.  I ordered her Ultimate Quilting Kit- it includes Machingers quilting gloves, The Supreme Slider and Magic Bobbin Washers.  They arrived yesterday and so I put them to a good work out.  No couch potatoes around here.  If you show up at my doorstep I am going to put you to work.  Kidding aside.  These products are wonderful and really helped moving that quilt around under that machine.  I  think that the stitch quality was better too.   I also used many of her ideas for fillers for the blocks and it was so easy to get 24 of those blocks done.

So, I hope that you will check out her blog and store.  I am off to see what other fun things I can get into.

Have fun and remember to keep the peace.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolutions and Past Years Accomplishments

As I have been contemplating my New Year's Resolution I have to look over the past year and see what I accomplished and what I did not get done.  I am excited to say that this year has brought tremendous growth for me.  First of all, I started managing my finances more consistently by balancing my check book and increasing my savings.  This small change in my attitude towards balancing my checkbook on a monthly basis has created a wave of ongoing improvements.  Next, I went to a machine quilting expo in the fall that snowballed into deciding to machine quilt for others.  I sold my quilts this year with greater frequency and even started to make custom order quilts.  This fall, I took a financial Bible study course which brought me full circle again into knowing that I must do this.  This December I launched my machine quilting business. 

A lot has transpired over the past year and I can see that this year is going to be even busier. 

I have a grand-daughter now to sew for and to bond with.  She is a beautiful baby and it will be fun to watch her grow.  My son and daughter-in-law will be having guests frequently, I am sure, to see this bundle of joy as much as possible.  Next, my daughter is getting married May 29 and I will be finishing up the brides-maids dresses and preparing for her special day.  Lots of planning to do and executing that plan.

This is Michael, Meghan and Avery Morgan.

I also have to build my machine quilting business especially my skills to run the business and to do the machine quilting, along with continuing to work a full-time job and all the duties of running a household.  I am sure that there will have to be some changes and some letting go of some fun things in order to get everything done.  I know that I will find a groove and get into a rhythm but sometimes when I think about all that is about to happen I  get an overwhelming feeling that this is impossible. Yet I know best way to get it done is to break it down into baby steps and do one thing at a time.  This will be a very fun and exciting year.  I am looking forward to the challenges that it brings and the rewards that will also follow. 

So to all of you, may your year look a little scary to you.  If you are too comfortable with everything you are not growing and if you are not growing then you are not living up to your potential.

Have a great new year ahead.