Sewing Room Cleanup ~Part 1

We made it through the holiday season. Projects were finished and now our sewing
space looks like a tornado went through it. Or maybe it isn’t so bad for you but you just want
things to be organized again or even just a better organization than before. Over the next
couple of weeks, I will be sharing some hints and tricks to get your sewing space back to a
usable and easy-to-find items space.
Getting started is one of the hardest parts of cleaning up because it is so easy to get
overwhelmed. This time around I decided to take “before” pictures. This allows me to look
back and see what I accomplished. Sometimes it takes knowing that even though I just did a
little today but I can already see I made some difference helps. When I took the photos it was
hard to not try and make it look cleaner than it really was (mostly because I knew that I was
going to be sharing the photos and hoping that I wouldn’t be judged too hard). The holiday
season is rough for me. I am working on a million things at one time and trying to get all the
deadlines finished. I literally had a path to my cutting table and that is it.

There is it in its full glory. My sewing space is a mess. It is not going to be fixed all in
one day and it is a process. No one should feel bad about the mess they have. We all have it to
some degree. Fear not! I will help give tips to make it organized.
Let’s get started! You are going to need a couple of boxes or bins. We are going to label
them yardage, scraps, fat quarters, notions, books/patterns, projects, donate and trash. I
originally had other labels but as I started I realized that these work better. The next thing to do
is to start in one spot. I started with my cutting table because I could then use the space as I
cleaned other areas to organize.
As stuff came off the cutting table I sorted it into the different bins. Now, I did not go
through the bins yet. I just wanted to have a clean space to sort and go through. If there was a
project I did try to keep all the pieces together along with the pattern. I did not separate that
pattern or book from it.
You can put most things in the other boxes and as you go through you might move
things to the donate and trash so don’t stress about it.
The goal for the week is to take before pictures and clear off one section by separating
things into piles.
Next week we are going to go through what we separated and start organizing and
putting away before we tackle the next area. If you want to share your before pictures we
would love to see them! Remember there are no judgements!

Happy Sewing

~Laura

New Year, New Me?

Every year on January 1 we make resolutions on the things we are going to do this coming year. But how many do we really stick to? Are they the same ones each year? Eat healthier, exercise more, and finish projects? While I am not saying that there is anything wrong with these resolutions, this year I want to do something different.

Being a quilter, each year I take a look at my stash, quilt tops, and unfinished projects and proclaim that this year is going to be different. I have written down all the projects to finish and vow to finish an old project before starting a new one. It is overwhelming when I look at the list. Last year I separated out my list into different categories. It helped some but when I look back at the list it doesn’t appear that I made a dent in it. Not buying fabric until I use my stash doesn’t last either. I end up buying fabric to finish a project or there is a new collection that I have fallen in love with and can’t live without for a someday project. Why would I deny myself the joy I get out of buying fabric because I have a stash? I am not saying don’t have these resolutions or goals because they are important and helpful, what I am saying is, this year I am going to do something different. (If these are your resolutions, don’t worry I am still going to give you some hints and tricks to help you with them.)

So here we go…

For 2022, I want to do something that is going to expand my sewing knowledge and push me creatively.

Laura’s Resolutions/Goals for 2022

  1. Each month I work on a different sewing project. 
  2. Get better at using a serger/coverstitch machine.
  3. Try different fabric types in quilts. 

For most of my sewing life, I have made quilts. Quilting is my forte and I love making a variety of different quilts using different techniques. I will usually try something at least once. Piecing and quilting bring me joy. However, over the past few years, I find that I am lacking in the sewing department. I have made pillow shams, pillowcases, a simple bag here and there, basic curtains, a maxi skirt, and many failed pajama pant attempts. Making clothes is a challenge for me. For me, it feels like I have to change the way I think about things. 2022 is going to be a year of growth.

How am I going to accomplish my resolutions/goals? Each month I will be sharing the project I am working on. Many of these projects will also require the use of a serger/coverstitch machine. I hope that by using a serger more I will become more comfortable with them. My third resolution is to help expand my quilting world. So many different types of fabric are available to us and are being used in different ways. I will share along the way different types of fabric and how I am incorporating them into quilting.

If your resolutions/goals are to decrease your stash, work on projects, have a more organized sewing space, or learn a new skill- be sure to stay tuned because I will be giving you some hints and tricks from what I have learned over the years. 

We would love to hear what your plans for the new year are. We also look forward to helping you with them this year!

Happy Sewing!

Laura

~Scissors~

This post is the beginning in a series about scissors. We will talk about what separates the good scissors from the great scissors, what kinds of scissors there are, and what they are used for.

The first and most important thing to know about sewing scissors is to never use them on paper. It is important to have a separate pair of scissors dedicated to paper since paper can dull sewing scissors making it harder to cut through fabric.

Sewing scissors are made at a different angle to paper scissors. Most fabric scissors are around a 45 degree angle where as paper scissors are often at a 10 degree angle. This is why when you use paper scissors on fabric they can tend to mash the fabric rather than cut it. It is also why using your fabric scissors for cutting paper can dull the blades faster.

Paper scissors at a 10 degree angle.

Notice how blunt that blade edge truly is.

Fabric scissors at a 45 degree angle.

The blade is much finer and sharper. Cutting paper with these can blunt the edge.

Something you may notice from these images is that the blades on scissors are actually curved. This helps to keep pressure agains the blades and help prevent skipping a cut.

The upcoming posts are going to go over the different types of sewing scissors from tailor shears all the way to duckbill scissors. Want me to talk about something specific? Leave a comment and let me know!

~Fray Check~

If there was any sewing notion that I believed should be a household staple it would be Fray Check. It is known most for its use in sealing the edge of fabrics to prevent fraying but it can be used for so much more than that. I have found that I tend to use Fray Check on most of my ready-to-wear store bought clothing.

For example: When I get a shirt that has buttons on it the first thing I do is put a dab of Fray Check onto the back of the stitches, on the inside of the shirt, which will keep it from unravelling the whole thing if I break one thread. (Honestly who actually keeps track of the extra buttons they attach to the tags?) If I find that I have a hole in my shirt I will also put a bit of fray check on the edges of the whole to keep it from getting bigger before I am able to mend it.

In my sewing I tend to find myself using fray check in tight areas that I am unable to overcast as well as using it to finish off a serged edge. Silk ribbon unravelling at the cut? Fray Check!

Comment below your favorite use for Fray Check!

Try it out for yourself!

Click here to try it for yourself!