I cannot believe how fast this past week has flown by!
Kids are back in school. Retail merchandise and displays are making their seasonal shift replacing outdoor furniture and pool side toys with Halloween, fall themed (and in some cases Christmas) decor.
As much as I love the scent of pumpkin spice, watching the transformation of color to the typical red/orange/yellow hues in everything from nature to fashion, snow flakes and jingle bells I’m not yet ready for any of that. Not yet.
Today, my main interest is the coming weekend and as I have been doing every Thursday for the past month, providing you with a handful of ideas to inspire that spark of creativity you need to make the most of your weekend.
Let’s enjoy these last few days of August and who knows, you might also find something that helps to be a little more prepared for what fall and winter will soon bring!
So with that in mind let’s head…
1) On the Road Again
If the combination of a road trip and quilt festival is on your agenda for the near, mid and/or not-too-distant future, now would be a good time to start making plans for one of American Quilter’s Society (AQS) sponsored Quilt Weeks. Their first is already underway in Grand Rapids, MI, but if you hurry and don’t have to travel too far, there is still time to attend on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th!
This is too far a drive for me right now and if the hubs and I hadn’t made a trip to Michigan a few months back I would very likely be there now! Reading about this brings back memories of the Kansas city Regional Quilt Festival (KCQRF) I attended back in June. I loved every minute – especially the class learning to use the “Clammy” template and being able to take a test drive on a high an end Janome and Juki sewing machine.
I will admit, my bucket list does include another trip to Paducah, KY – this time to hopefully attend an AQS Quilt Week (I’m not going to make it there this year) and visit the National Quilt Museum.
2) Getting Things Done
So, let’s assume you’re simply not in the mood for another sewing/quilting project. Typically, when this happens to me it is largely due to feeling overwhelmed and nothing makes me feel more overwhelmed than disorganization.
I cannot live in clutter – everything must have it’s place and when not in use, it must be IN that place!
When I began quilting as a serious hobby, I soon realized (like after about 15 minutes or so) that this new hobby brought with it a new set of organization and de-cluttering challenges. There are a multitude of issues regarding storage alone – fabric, patterns, thread, bobbins, presser feet, rulers, scissors and rotary cutters and cutting mats – and this is just for starters. From this, you need storage for quilt kits and works in progress. And beyond storage, is the need to be able to access what you need, when you need it and be able to do without wasting a lot time searching.
Having a small space to sew is a double-edged sword. While there isn’t a lot real estate to store and display my quilting items, when I do find myself having to search for a particular item the space in which it is potentially located isn’t large, so… it should take too long to locate “that” item, right?
As much as I’d like to answer in the affirmative, most of the time the answer is no. If I had space to devote to the storage unit in the image above (hat tip to myblogika.com) I would be able to report that a majority of my storage issues would be solved!
However, until that day arrives, I have discovered a couple of very useful and efficient strategies that have helped immensely – especially in keeping up with my works in progress.
Kate Colleran of Seams Like A Dream reports she is currently working on “about 14 quilts”. I am finally down to 2 but the prospect of a third and fourth in the planning stages has me a little anxious – I cannot imagine how many anxiety-reducing medications I would need if I had 14 quilts PLUS a multitude of other projects in the works, and ALL with October and November deadlines!!! Wow.
So how do I stay organized and keep up with my handful of projects?
~~~ These handy, dandy storage bins with lids – Snapware 16″x3″ Storage bin w/ Turquoise Lid:
I have a stack of them – they are the perfect size to hold all your cut quilting pieces, backing fabric, pattern and thread. If you are like me, when you have o stop in the middle of a project – sometimes for a stretch of several days and do not have the space to leave everything out until you return, being able to pack everything into one stackable, covered bin is a lifesaver!
Another go-to storage item is from Sterilite – these are another of my favorites!
~~~ Utilize a Design Wall for Multiple Purposes:
To channel Kate Colleran once again – she speaks of using her Design Wall to help with visually organizing quilt blocks and has taken the idea one step further through the use of a curtain rod for a similar purpose.
You can read more about my thoughts on both of my design walls here.
The more of use them (both the large wall mounted shown above with, if all things, a UFO from Kate Colleran’s Road Trip Quilt Along!) and small portable shown below with an empty surface…
… the more I rely on them not just for quilt top design but to keep me on track. It is my intent that as long as an unfinished quilt is still up on both walls I won’t begin a new project until at least one quilt top is ready to come down.
Looks like I can start something small 🙂
3) Vintage Quilting with Jo Morton
I can’t talk about Jo Morton without revisiting the KCRQF where I was able to view and vote on several beautiful quilts however, the ones that really struck my eye were those in that warm, primitive style that is so Jo Morton.
One of my favorite online fabric and quilting shops: Connecting Threads has available for sale (and on sale!) a book by Jo Morton entitled, “Hearth & Home”. I think this book paired with these fabulous fabrics would be the perfect ticket for some serious weekend sewing!
4- Words to Live By
For those of us with an interest and desire to be our own boss – earn a living without corporate 9-5 grind, building an online business – at least today – seems like the most sensible and profitable way to achieve that.
The days of receiving any type of reward for company loyalty are gone and what has evolved is an entirely new mind-set. One that allows each of us to be in charge of our own financial destiny. The new start-up culture is slowly but surely replacing the oppressive corporate ladder that only a few were allowed to climb.
I will admit here today, one of the purposes of my website is to use it as a tool to earn income in my retirement (I actually have a 5-year plan for that), and a large part of that success is by harnessing the power of social media.
If your weekend plans – this one or any other weekend – involves building / tweaking / updating / branding or re-branding your online business image, Melissa at Tailwind has a ton of information to help you take your brand or business to the next level.
Here is an excellent and timeless article (note the date) on how to “Plan the Ultimate Pinterest and Instagram Visual Marketing Strategy”. However, after all is said and done, the key to success be it blogging or social media lies in knowing your audience. And this is the one main aspect I continue to struggle with. (I do have one solution at the end of this article!)
5) Saving the Best for Last
Adding this little jewel to my weekly blog was a complete surprise! Just as I was putting on the finishing touches, adding images, editing, etc., with only an hour or so from hitting the button to publish this blog another email from Kristi at Addicted2Decorating lands in my inbox! I was not expecting this but what a happy surprise this turned out to be!
Her newest project really speaks to me… actually, it’s practically yelling at me! This large Craft-Sewing-Workroom table is exactly what I’m looking for. As much as I love power tools I don’t have the tools (or right now the time, space or motivation) required to build a table like this but it doesn’t stop me from wanting one nor does it stop me from thinking of ways to acquire one (or two) as she plans to do.
Building two of these tables that can be pulled together when a larger surface is needed or separated when a smaller work surface is needed is a brilliant idea.
So where am I right now? On pins and needles waiting for Part 2 of this project!
So here’s my plan for this weekend:
~ Finish a couple of charity quilts
~ Organize my sewing space (gotta make room for Christmas!) and,
~ Continue the quest to define my audience. This article may just what I need to better understand how to define my target audience so I can continue delivering high (maybe even higher) quality content to my loyal followers each week!
Now it’s your turn! What will you be doing this weekend?