Nearly Normal

Everything is unpacked and mostly put away now. The last bastion of disorganization is the sewing room. Saturday night, Mike went to bed before I was ready and so I spent some time in the sewing room sorting through my newly acquired fabric. Some swatches were cut from the regional prints. These will be made into a Quilty 365 starting very soon.

It's not really going to be a Quilty 365...it was just the inspiration for what I'm going to do. I have in mind to do a quilt with different sized blocks of the regional prints I've picked up from all over the country. I'll frame them somehow and then embroider the name of the quilt shop and the city where it was located below the fabric. The layout hasn't been fully thought out yet, but once I have the fabrics all sorted and counted, I'll be able to pull it together in my mind...or what's left of my mind...you know what I mean.

As I'm cutting those, I'm stacking the leftover fat quarters in stacks to go into my fat quarter bins. Also, I have some scraps from projects I worked on while we were traveling. It'll all get put away eventually.

Some of the fabrics accumulated on the trip were in larger pieces, and those are being folded to go into my yardage bins.

The one in the front left there is a panel of blocks that I'll cut apart and sew into a quilt at some point in time.

All that remains are these fabrics. It might not look like it, but I've sorted through approximately half of it by now.

Some things have been paired up with existing patterns or fabrics to be sewn together in the near future. I've had this beautiful tomato print in my stash for years, and so it was easy settling on those printed-on-fabric tomato seed packets when I found them recently.

Also, remember this pretty fabric panel gifted to my by my dear friend Sharon when I visited with her in New York? (Thank you, Sharon.)

While we were traveling, I found this embroidery pattern online and fell in love with it instantly. This is called Appalachian Memories and it's available from Primrose Lane.

It might be hard to see it, but each block is a barn with a quilt block on it. The one I saw online was done all in black, except that the quilt blocks were done in colors. It was so pretty. So, anyway...I'm thinking I can use Sharon's panel along with this panel of quilt blocks I picked up in Fredericksburg, Texas, to make something really special.

That will be my next embroidery project once I finish up one of the ones I'm working on right now.

Also, I've been considering a new way to organize my work in the sewing room. For a long time I've wanted to work on more scrappy quilts, more art quilts, and more mini quilts. As we've traveled along, I've been considering different categories of quilts I'd like to make, and I wrote them up on my white board yesterday. I'm thinking I'll go through them one at a time until I've covered all the categories and then start again.

The categories are fairly self-explanatory (and in no particular order), but I'll just say that the "Ugly Blocks" category refers to a Facebook group that makes blocks from so-called ugly fabrics. The blocks are sent to a central location and then sewn into quilts for charity. I can tell you that the blocks are anything but ugly, and the resulting quilts are beautiful.

Finish-it-off refers to quilt blocks that are finished and just need to be sewn together into a flimsy. I have a couple of those.

Remember my new acronym PINS? It stands for "Projects I Never Started." Those are the patterns I fell in love with, brought home, and put away, never to be seen again. It's a take on Sharon's "Let's Book It" from blogging days gone by. I'm going to get to work on some of those patterns I like so much.

And along the way I've committed to using more of my scraps, so a lot of these categories are designed to use up scraps while also making something fun or utilitarian. The Charity Quilts for Kids refers to the Downy Quilts for Kids. I've made quilts for them before, always requesting a kit when I didn't have such a sizable stash of my own. Now I want to use my own scraps to make some quilts. It's a great way to practice free motion quilting while also creating a quilt for a good cause.

So that's my plan. I have every intention of sticking to it, but a plan is only a plan until it's actually put into motion. I'm hoping I'll be able to turn it into a plan of action. For such a long time I've been trying to catch up on my UFO's, and I've finally got them paired down to six. The category called "Blockbuster" is when I'll work on those existing UFO's. With that in mind, I've selected my goal for the April OMG Challenge.

Just by sheer luck, the next block for Tuxedo Tales is the April block, and so my goal is to finish this one by the end of the month.

Also, I'm hoping to keep up with this month by month so that I'll have it finished by the end of the year.

And this here is Oregon, so you might guess that we're having April showers. I ran outside to take pictures of every blooming thing before the rain spoiled the petals. Here you go...Spring Flowers to go with your April Showers.

These are the hyacinths the squirrels planted a few years ago as penance for eating all the tulip bulbs. (Honestly, I did not plant these. I have no idea how they ended up in one of our whiskey barrel planters.)

This is heather that blooms all winter and into the spring.

This is a star magnolia. I absolutely love these. They are so delicate and beautiful. Sadly, the rain usually bruises their petals, and so we rarely see a perfect one. It's just a drizzle falling today, and so I'm hoping they'll survive without picking up brown spots on their pretty petals.

This is the daphne...a Christmas present from Mae several years back. It took it a while to get established, but it's grown fairly large now and it's covered with the most fragrant blossoms. The winter snow and frost always wreaks havoc on the foliage, but the blossoms don't seem to mind.

And look at these happy daffodils!

We have some white ones too.

And that's about it for now. There will be lots more blooming things to come. We're just barely getting started.

Today is Matthew's birthday. We're celebrating by taking him out to breakfast, and Erik is meeting us. I'm not sure yet if Mae will be able to join us, but I'm hoping we'll have the whole family there. After that...errands, errands, and more errands to run. Time to catch up on life here in Oregon.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lyndsey said...

Your fabric acquisitions are amazing. It never looked very much when you posted during your journey but all in one place it's like several Christmases all came along together. I like your plans for future projects. Although it's raining here (again) I know spring is here and it's like a new beginning and has also made me start planning but nowhere near as writing stuff down yet. A very happy birthday to Matthew.


It sure sounds like you have your 'sewing life' all planned out for now!!
It is good to have a plan--then there is those of us--who actually seem sometimes to get more done--just by not planning!!!
Did Sadie get outside and how did she do--seems the last time way before you left on your adventure--she disappeared for awhile--and maybe now after seeing how Smitty got to go out on the leash --she might tolerate a lease now--???
Happy family time today--
enjoy, di

Quilting Tangent said...

Welcome home! Nice fabrics. Good plan. Pretty flowers.

WoolenSails said...

I love the fabrics you will use for the barn stitcheries, that is going to be a fun project to work on.
No flowers were, just more snow and camping in two weeks, this is getting crazy.


quiltzyx said...

I think you're doing a great job sorting your new fabric into your existing stash. I admire your white board planning too. I am so looking forward to getting rid of this cataract so that I'll be able to see clearly again - and have better depth perception too!

Lovely flowers! I'm so excited, my new gardener started on Saturday with a big clean up of all the weeds, etc. that the rain brought to my house. I swear the weeds were growing an inch a day!!

crazy quilter said...

Wow you must have been working like a mad woman to have everything unpacked from the journey and sorting the fabrics picked up along the way. You pretty flowers are so inspiring. My iris have really been blooming up a storm. Hyacinths only bloom here in February or early March so they have played out by now. I only have a few planted many years ago. But I always know when the appear and start to bloom spring is just about here. You doing fabulous and I know you and the kitties are so glad to be home.

piecefulwendy said...

Ah, the joy of being home after a wonderful trip! Fun to see you getting organized in your sewing room, and enjoying your blooming things, but especially great that you get to spend time with your family today. Enjoy all the laughter and hugs and, of course, food!

Kate said...

Whew, I'm tired just reading about all the organization and planning you've gotten done. I like your categories for new projects. Hope you've about gotten to the point you can start sewing again. Happy birthday to Matthew!

Brown Family said...

It is good to have a plan. You have a lot of new projects to keep you busy. I am glad you have so many blooming things. We are headed for another freeze! And we thought it was April and Spring!

Patty said...

Such a cute block. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.