Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Psycho/Smokin' Sewing Room. And a tutorial.

My sewing room needs help.

A couple of years ago, I asked my friend Carol if she'd like to trade cleaning for quilting.  It was terrific, and oh, so organized!  I even waxed poetic about it:
Jars, tins, racks, pins,
Threads and notions, books and bins,
Baskets to keep other little things in.
UFOs in the window seat,
Drawers organized to keep things neat.
Sewing with an old friend, sewing with a new;
Stop by anytime!  I'd love to sew with you!
see blog post HERE.

Then we moved.  Then a daughter came home for the summer and she moved all my sewing things down to the semi-finished basement so she could use the sewing room for her room.  It's great down there - lots of room, lots of storage, a giant worktable, and nice and cool for summer sewing.  ...And sewing adventures...

One night last summer, my girls and I were watching the movie, "Hitchcock", about the making of the movie Psycho.  It was a beautiful stormy autumn night complete with a terrific lightening show.  Ah, I love summer rain.  A great setting to watch the movie!  We giggled and ate our popcorn.  

Afterward, the girls and I went downstairs to work on a quilt.  We opened the basement door to cool things down, plus, I love the smell of rain.   We flipped on the light, and saw a little shadow scurrying inside the light fixture!  Gah!!   Then we saw another big old spider over in the corner!  Aaaagh!

(cue the Psycho slasher music!)  Bonding time:  Yeah, we squealed and did the Mother-Daughter Creep-Out dance.  You, know.  Creepy.  I got out the fly swatter.

Then, just when we thought we were safe, we spied earthworms coming in over the threshold of the open basement door!! You have GOT to be kidding!  We giggled histerically, threw out the creepy crawlers, shut the door and got to sewing.

Then life piled up in the sewing room (quilts, deadlines, wedding stuff, Christmas jammies for everyone, more deadlines). Does this ever happen to you?  And I may or may not have to clear a trail to the sewing machine every time I want to sew.  You know, check for critters...

Now it's January.  And it's cold in the basement.  But the other day my sewing room was smokin'!  Usually that means I'm getting a lot done.  But no, there was smoke literally pouring out of the space heater.... yup, it was toast.  Time for a new heater.  Or a new sewing room.  Time to move everything back upstairs, maybe?  Or maybe, it's just time to sweep out the cobwebs, clean up and organize!

Anyway.  I've begun folding my fat quarters to organize a little better.   Here's my favorite way to fold a fat quarter.   Plus, they fit perfectly into my shoebox bins.

My friend Barb's husband would always say this ↑↑ when he walked in to a quilt shop with his wife.  I think it's funny. Ü

1)  Start with a fat quarter.  For those new to quilting, a "fat quarter" is one quarter of a yard of fabric, which is anywhere from 42" to 45" wide (selvage to selvage) by 36" long.  The yard is cut in half horizontally, then the half yard is cut into half vertically, yielding an 18" x 21" or so piece of fabric.  This is a more user-friendly piece of fabric for quilters than a regular 1/4 yard cut (about 9" x 42).
2)  Fold short sides together, right side out.
3)  Fold into thirds.  Left side...
4)  Right side.  You now have a 6" x 11" rectangle.
5)  Fold into thirds again.  First the folded edge, up about 3"...
6)  Then the raw edges.  Open the folded edge which forms a pocket.
7)  Tuck the raw edges in.
8)  Smooth out the fabric inside the pocket.
9)  Perfect.
10)  Now do it with all your fabrics, even yardages.  Grab a bin and put on a good movie.
11)  Pull out smaller scraps and cut them into usable sizes like Jodi did in her recent scrap-happy post HERE.  Or just tuck them into their corresponding fat quarter pocket!
12)  Shut the lid and don't let the spiders in.

Now I have to unfold these cute little FQ pockets and work them into a project for my turn on the "She Who Sews" blog hop.  Be sure to tune in Friday.  Things are hopping in my basement!


  1. The spiders would have sent me scurrying for higher ground...ewww! I have containers in the garage and in a storage unit (moving is no fun.) I hate when I have to go out there to get something because it seems like something creepy and crawly is usually under the box I pick up. I'd love to have a friend come organize my sewing area, but it would probably scare them just looking at it. :O) Great way to fold those fat quarters! P.S. Guess who I saw last Sunday on TV? You! That's the first time I've manage to catch a glimpse of you. You are so dang cute when you're singing!

  2. what a lot of visitors you are getting in your sewing room! The worst place I ever found a spider was in a bottle of wine opened on Xmas day 3 years ago, what a shock it was massive but of course very dead, whether from drunkedness or drowning we will never know! Trading standards took it away but it was a spider that is found both in Australia where the wine came from and here so could not prove it happened when bottled, never mind I had a spare bottle to open.

  3. Eeew! I would be keeping a can of aerosol hairspray nearby, as long as those spiders were not on my fabric, they would get a new "do"

  4. I just stumbled on your post, and OMG, now I want to fold up all my fat quarters too. This looks awesome!
    As for your creatures. eeeeks, hopefully the smoke ran them all out! LOL! Glad there was no big fire!

  5. I think I might have turned around and run right back upstairs! Yes, my sewing room might be in a bit of and uproar too and I might need to (gasp) clean it up a bit.

  6. What fun memories with your girls. Sorry to hear about your space heater. Hope you find a new one soon. It's cold outside and unfinished basements are not much better.

  7. Great tutorial Deonn. I do fold mine similar to the way you have shown, although I use my quilting ruler to fold around. For whatever reason though, I have not folded in the end. I do fold them in such a way that I don't have raw edges though. Mine are also stacked on the shelves in my closet of my sewing room and not in the shoebox sized containers you use. I'll have to remember that because I've asked hubby to redo the shelving he made for that closet so I have put all fabric in there into the storage containers I use so I can stack them two high and three deep as it's hard to reach, or even see the fabrics in the very back because the closet is so deep. I think the fat quarters will be finding a new home inside shoe box sized containers in there when it gets done too. They'll stack onto the other containers very nicely. I buy all mine from The Container Store and most fabrics are stored in their sweater box and a lot of other things/supplies are stored in their shoebox size containers. I have quite a large number of those and have no clue why I have never thought to put my fat quarters into those. Thanks for showing how well they do fit nicely in that size. It probably makes it easier to pull certain colored fat quarters out to choose which fabrics you want to use, assuming you store them in the containers by color. How do you store them? Do you store by color or some other way? I have such a hard time in separating fabric collections and tend to keep those together. By not separating them it makes it easier to find the same fabrics from one specific collection. On the other hand, it then makes it hard to choose fabrics and include any of my designer fabrics because they aren't separated by color and kept together. Any good hints there?

    Now ~ I WILL admit that I had to scoot past the first part of your post, while reading it very quickly. Ewwwwwwww There is NO way I would be sewing much at all if I had that many creepy crawlies spotted in one day! I think I'd leave and lock that door behind me and then start moving furniture out of another room to begin bringing my fabrics and machines up to safety. LOL I'd never get much done because I'd be too busy looking around constantly for more spiders, or other creepies that may not have shown their little faces yet.

    I'm sure you and the girls were still laughing while probably screaming once in awhile taking care of the uninvited guest stitchers. Ok I do have to ask - WORMS? Me sitting here where we've had temps and/or wind chill temps as cold as negative 36 below zero and then reading about worms made me raise an eyebrow. Of course, then I realized that not EVERYONE is in the deep freeze right now like me. This is the one (and probably the ONLY one) good reason for living where it gets cold - the yucky bugs die, or at least hide during the winter. Of course, the icky spiders do tend to come inside and can be found in my basement too, but I haven't been in my basement in probably three years now. I don't NEED to go down there and don't want to either because it's yucky down there. LOL

  8. Deonn ... you need a new sewing space. Somewhere nice and no creepy crawlies and smoke free. Thanks for the FQ folding tute ... :) Pat


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