Monday, September 6, 2010

What percent of your time?

I was just thinking this morning...How much time do I devote to each part of the quilting process? Why do I have piles of fabric in every room of the house? Why do I have 29 quilt tops waiting to be quilted? Why do I have so many scraps waiting to be cut? What part of quilting is my favorite?

How would you answer those questions? I bet there are some people out there who only buy what they need for each project, never end up with any leftover scraps and finish what they start. Are they normal?

If I want to get a handle on things, I think I need to change the way I do my quilting. Since 99.9% of my quilts are for charity, I am given a lot of fabric. Most of it I do not seek out. But, sometimes I will see a post on Freecycle and ask for fabric. I bring in a lot of fabric every month. Way more than I can ever use. It is part of the feast or famine mentality. I think that one day the fabric supply will run out and I will have to only use what is here. I really haven't purchased any fabric in a very long time. I think the last time I bought fabric it was for a specific quilt (which is still waiting to be made) about 9 months ago. I've picked up a piece or two to finish up something which needed that perfect piece, but as you can see from most of my quilts, they are scrappy and are put together with what has been donated to me. My daughter helps pull the fabrics together and for her to be able to pull fabrics that go so well from the stash I have is a skill I will never posess. I don't know what I'm going to do when she goes off to college. In fact, I had better get her pulling fabrics for me for the next 2 years so I don't have to worry when she leaves :)

SO, at any given time, I have a bag or 10 or boxes of fabric in the front room and on the floor of the sewing room. I have boxes and buckets in the garage waiting to be sorted. I need a faster way of processing the fabrics once they are donated. I've started spending my Binky Patrol weekend (3 hours) just cutting fabric into 6 1/2 inch squares, 2 1/2 inch strips and 3 1/2 inch strips. I find these are the sizes of pieces I am using the most. I also use 6 1/2 inch, 3 1/2 inch and 1 1/2 inch strips for the stripie quilts, but those are cut from specific pieces of fabrics. When I'm ready to make quilt kits, I will have my daughter pull three fabrics that go together and then I will cut as many kits as I can stand. I think I have about 40 kits ready to sew. Most of these I give to other people to sew for me. They are a great beginner quilt because they are just straight seams and you really can't mess it up.

Lately I have been piecing tops more often. That's probably why I'm behind on the quilting and have so many quilt tops. I haven't really gotten too many tops from others lately. I've challenged myself to quilt two quilts before piecing a top. Let's see how long I can keep that up :)

Quilting should be fun, so I don't believe in too many rules, but there has to be some sort of order around here. Things are just starting to get out of control!

Today's goal is to quilt 6 quilts. I doubt I will get half of that done. I'm working on piecing a top right now and my little guy has a friend over and my daughter is off to make jewelry with a friend and then has tennis lessons, so who knows where the day will go from here, but there's always tomorrow :)

PS. clean your sewing machine! Mine was sucking the fabric into the hole and I took the coverplate off and pulled out so much lint from around the feed dogs. I don't remember the last time I cleaned it, but it has been more than 6 months and I sew a lot. Now it sounds different and sews so much better! Took 5 whole minutes and is not giving me any troubles! Why didn't I do this a month ago?

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