Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Birds -- One Stone?

Not that I would actually throw a stone at a bird -- after all, birding is how I spend a good part of my non-quilting time! 
For those of you who don't take on more than you can handle, today's musings may not be helpful.  But if you are like me and take on most of the opportunities that come your way, this strategy might be useful.
This year, I'm making an effort to tidy up and thin down this palette of fabric one month at a time, one shelf at a time.   
For the month of April it's the black shelf's turn.  At the same time, I'm making a twin size charity quilt to thin it down and use up about 10 yards of that color. 
 (So far I'm three for three!!!)
A touch of black in a quilt adds sparkle and drama to a print or a quilt and so I've hoarded the best of the best for years.  What I've noticed though is that I use it in rather small quantities so it has really piled up.
The shelf is now tidy -- that's good!!  But what about the quilt?
I need to make new steps samples for my workshop later this week in Florence, Kentucky for the Stringtown Quilt Guild.  They have invited me to teach my pattern, Courthouse Stars.  It was the last mystery quilt I wrote for my shop back in 2005 and has been a steadily popular seller for me since then. 
This is my first version of the quilt which I quilted in four sections -- it's done now but when the group got together for the show and tell that summer, it was still in pieces.
So over the weekend, I began my new teaching sample for Courthouse Stars from the black shelf in the twin size and it will eventually become a charity quilt.!!  The floral has a black background so it was allowed to live on that shelf.  I've cut up some of it for the centers of the stars and courthouse steps blocks which will be blacks and whites.  There are stacks of strips ready to use in demos for the log cabin cutting and piecing.  And this afternoon, I'll piece a few blocks.
Still not sure what the accent color (the green in my first one) will be, but right now I'm thinking polka dots!!!  Need to audition that idea.
So my strategy as often as possible is to merge several goals/needs into one project.  I'll have a new set of teaching samples, the black shelf is thinned and tidy, and eventually there will be a lovely charity quilt to share with someone!
Two birds, one stone!!
How do you manage your overzealous ambitions?
Have you discovered #sewmystash2015 on Instagram and http://www.projectleasa.com/category/sewmystash2015/?  There are great ideas popping up over there as dozens of sewists share how they are sewing through their stashes in 2015!
Mary Huey


  1. I love it when I can make one project work for two, and I'm really looking forward to the new Courthouse Stars sample. I'm a sucker for quilts that use black and whites effectively and I have no doubt that yours will be stunning. Thanks for the Sew My Stash link. It sounds interesting and something I really should consider.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Joanne and the encouraging compliments!! I started piecing the courthouse steps blocks last evening and they look great!!

  2. A very smart move Mary! You new selection from your black and white shelves is looking great.

    1. Thanks, Karen! I started the blocks last evening and they are looking so great it will be hard to slow down so I can use them as step samples for a couple workshops!?!

  3. Your fabric is so neat and tidy and very well organized. I try to do that but then think I want to keep certain styles of fabric separate from the colour sort and so the piles just grow. But I can usually (not always) find what I need.

  4. Ha, ha, Karen -- you are just seeing the "neat and tidy" section. I have some pretty untidy areas, too. What shows is the "color" palette -- there are also globs of "style" in bins and other shelves?!?!

  5. Great job on thinning down the herd! The shelf looks great and I agree about adding a little black. It definitely adds drama and I love how it can punch up your colors.