It's been a tough 4 days! I headed to the surgeon on Thursday for Day Surgery and had a whole bunch of injections in my left hand. Good thing I remember my Lamaze breathing from over 31 years ago! I was breathing in and out in the surgical suite as they were putting the injections in. This is the fourth time to have injections, but the last ditch attempt to buy me some time before taking the big plunge into removing joints. Today has been the first day I was up to doing anything and felt that typing was ok as well! I am headed back to work tomorrow and I NEED the use of my hands to do my computer work! EGADS. I have been a good girl though and not overdoing it!
So...onto the picture! I thought it would be interesting to take a snapshot of what my work table has on it! I am trying ever so much to use up my scraps. I feel horrid if I throw out anything! My basket is an old wicker one that is overflowing! I always, like you, have too many projects on the go, but I am so very limited with time. Further distressing is when I do have time, my hand isn't "ready"! I so feel for all of you out there with arthritis! It sucks getting old! (and those who have had arthritis before aging, my heart goes out to you).
My favorite quilter is Bonnie Hunter. She is so inspiring and has such a huge following! I've been sewing "with" her while watching her Quilt-Cam! It's great to watch and just listen to what she has to say. It's like sewing with a best friend! I do wish I had more sew days with my daughter or friends, but life gets in the way! Sewing with Bonnie IRL would be wonderful, but....at least I have Quilt-Cam! Check her out on YouTube -- better yet, you can join her blog and actually sew with her in real time! I just got my first book from her and LOVE it! More Adventures with Leader's and Enders.
One of the other books I have is by Joan Ford! Cut the Scraps. I have been cutting my scraps to her method, but am now intending on cutting scraps to both Bonnie's and Joan's recommendations. Each of them have their own system and I can see the need for both. Until I find what works for me, I'll be cutting to each project on my bucket list.
Bonnie has a great idea where instead of using your little scrap to start off your sewing, without getting a rats nest on the bottom -- use two "scraps" to start off and also to end. Thus leaders and enders came about! I used to have so much thread littering my sewing room, my clothes and around my work area, it was nuts! Check out Bonnie's blog!
Joan Ford has not been around as long as Bonnie Hunter, but I love her book as well. Her blog isn't as "newsy" as Bonnie's, but well worth a look!. Check out Joan's blog!
I am working on simple half-square triangles, using 5" charms. Before my hand issues, I was using a HERA marker. Now these markers are great! The harder you press, the easier it is to see your line -- but you don't have to worry about getting the line out by washing, or erasing. It is just a simple crease line. They don't bleed or leave marks you don't want. It simply leaves a crease that you can follow. With arthritis, it is difficult to hold and press firm enough to mark your fabric. Maybe I will be able to use it again down the line, but right now my hand a bit too inflamed.
FRIXON pens. For me, right now, for the purpose of marking a simple half-square triangle - it works perfect. Even if it doesn't come out, I am not worried. However I have used it to mark a quilt top and it came out with a simple press of the iron. Check out the blog post from Lee on Freshly Pieced. I bought mine at the local quilt store, but I know you can buy them at your local stationery shop. Just make sure you check out the one you want but doing some research first. I just recently bought two Frixon Color erasable markers -- in lime green and a bright yellow, for those darker fabrics. I am not sure about them yet, but if it's a bad review, I'll be sure to let you know!
You'll notice the dual chalk marking pencil. Tried it, didn't like it. It was hard to mark on the fabric. Maybe I was pressing on it too hard? I found that the fabric was bunching under it and there wasn't a nice crisp line. It also took quite a bit of brushing to get it off.
RULERS: all around me. You will notice all the different rulers I have. I know that people suggest that you should stay with the same brand -- but an inch is an inch and you can't change that! What I do recommend is that you check the accuracy of your rules. The more you use one, the faster the edges will wear out - thus changing the size of your piece. So if you are wondering about whether the piece you just cut is "right" -- try measuring it in the middle of your rule, instead of from the edge. You will be able to check pretty quick whether you need to replace your ruler. I have all brands of rulers and not one is "better" than the other in my books. The more you pay for a ruler does not mean that it's any better than another one. You'll find the ruler that works for you. Don't be intimidated by others with their huge batch of rulers -- you can do just as well with what you have!
You will note I have papers littering my table as well! Take photo's of what inspires you! If you have a quilt that you would love to make, get the pattern! Pay homage to the artist and buy their book. Trust me, time passes by and you can try and find the pattern or the book again and it will never be found again! I borrow books from the library on methods that I would like to "try" and I buy books that I know will be keepers that will keep me motivated! Quilt artists and bloggers are very generous as well by offering "free" patterns. Thank them by buying a pattern or a book that you like!
ROTARY CUTTER -- of course is a wonderful tool to have. When I started in quilting, it was making cardboard templates and tracing out the pattern on fabric and cutting them out with scissors. You CAN do that if you wish, but rotary cutters are so much faster ... and dangerous! YE OUCH! Check how the cutter feels in your hand. I'm using the little one just for quick cuts -- and something that is great for smaller pieces. It's not bulky either, but I am not using it for layers and layers. I want to check out a more ergonomic shaped cutter to see how it is. Would love feedback from anyone out there that has one!
The nice thing to have is a TV to watch your DVD's on, instructables or even just a corny tv show in the background. I love catching up on shows that I've missed an Quilt-Cam with Bonnie Hunter is easy!
The TIMER -- is to remind me that even if I only have 15 minutes to spare - it is still time to be creative!
Last, but not least... Quilting can provide you with great benefits that you are not even aware of! Check out the eZine article that Nimble Thimbles Quilt Club posted! No wonder I was so happy when I walked out of the studio today!
Happy Quilting Everyone!