Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Soooo, what are you doing?
It's a beautiful sunny day here in Northeast Ohio and we have a fresh covering of snow!
Very cheerful view if you overlook the 9 degrees F.
I'm tidying my studio and from the looks of my Instagram feed, I'm in good company.
Apparently, lots of us trashed our stitching space (as usual) in that big push for the holiday gift giving season.  I'll be at it all week.

To begin -- this is going to be a year of eliminating ancient UFO's!!
Okay, so it's going to be "another year" of dealing with UFO's but the number has shrunk steadily over the past few year.  
However, this year I am determined to finish up or throw the oldest ones overboard!
Watch my #noancientUFOquilts hashtag on Instagram in 2018!!

As we speak, my APQS George has this beautiful blue and yellow one under the needle!
I could be binding this during the first weekend of 2018!!
Pieced around 2004?
   I started at the north end of the studio by plowing through the UFO shelves.  I emptied every shelf, reviewed every bundle keeping a tally as I went of just how many are there!!
I'll reveal that number next week . . . . maybe!?!
It looks like I forgot to do the top shelf doesn't it -- argh, what is lurking up there?
The bottom shelf is mostly large cuts of fabric -- first stop when looking for a backing!!
All four shelves were stuffed with UFO's 10 years ago -- progress!!

I sorted out a half dozen projects that have been malingering in the piles -- I'll pass off them off to my gang to re-purpose for donation quilts. 
 I pinned notes to each UFO about what needs to be done -- it's so much easier to pick up one for a fast finish if a quick review of "the note" tells me I need to add 4" borders and piece together the rest of the stack into a 48" by 62" backing.  
My brain says -- "that's all?" and I'm in business!!
On an intellectual level, I understand that working in a tidy space is more comfortable for me, but my inclination to start a new project at the drop of a hat means I'm often leaving a mess in my wake -- "can't put that pile away because I need it for that project".
When I left the studio yesterday, I was 75% finished with the area around my sewing machines so that's where I'll start today.
The original purpose for this little shelf unit was to keep things handy near the machines but it's grown quite a few "layers".  That box lid on the top had all sorts of "treasures".
Funny, I was just thinking about this quilt the other day?  And here it is!?!
Pretty sure it's my oldest UFO!
Started it after I opened my shop (1979) and lost interest in hand piecing when I started teaching machine piecing ala Mary Ellen Hopkins (1982).
It's now in the re-purpose box and will meet my quilting gang later this month to be finished into a useful lap robe for someone!!
The flat surface (known as the cutting table) is too large for my own good.  
When I had a shop, my desk was the catch-all for anything and everything -- someone found a cartoon and left it on my door that pretty much summed it up.
Mother to child -- "I want you to clean off your desk."
Child to mother -- "I have a desk?"
That's my cutting table!!
(This picture has not been edited.)
I'm tidying it in spurts and hoping it gets completely cleared off except for my tools.  It's tricky though because each little pile requires "decisions" about what to do with it or where to put it.  Do you have a decision-making threshold?  I certainly do and I've learned not to try to exceed it!
My incentive/reward for staying focused is to work until I can't make another decision, then I can stitch!!
This is my version of Lorena Uriate's Opal Essence.
I'll finish setting it together this week and prep it for quilting next week.
 It's my annual workshop during the Lake Metroparks Farmpark Quilt Show in mid-February.
(Interested in joining me?   Details are HERE.)
Time to go back at it!
Here's to a new year of reaching towards our goals!!
Happy New Year!!


  1. Your version of Laura's quilt is stunning. I need to get back to organizing my space again. Had a couple of starts I wanted to get going and they threw my meager efforts back into chaos. Happy New Year!

  2. I am trying to tame UFOs too, Mary. Even if I just finish a few this holiday season, it will mean less hanging over my head throughout the year.
    We must be kindred spirits. I like a tidy workspace too, but I too 'can't put that pile away because I need it for that project'! I am trying to finish a few UFOs to free up some of the clear plastic boxes I bought for UFOs to tidy those piles.

  3. The yellow and blue squares is so pretty! I like the wonky. Hey! My cutting table looks just like yours! lol

  4. I think it is always fun to go through things and see what UFOs I no longer "love" or intend to finish. I love a tidy workspace so I have a couple spots I put odds & ends I am working on and then take time to sort them out. Best of luck Mary!