In The Attic

Our attic is about 110 degrees in the summer, and dusty and dry. The air is heavy with insulation particles. Why clean the attic now? Because just a month or two ago, it was freezing up there! This is Wisconsin. When June finally chases away the winter, we have a few glorious days before summer hits hard. And who wants to spend those rare glorious days in the attic?

As I mentioned earlier, I get distracted in the attic. (Was cleaning the attic a squirrel?) I burrow through the disorganized totes and shove things into whichever is convenient. What was a perfectly organized system became a polyglot mess. The label might say “rayons”, but the tote might contain calico, corduroy, tulle, and swimsuit material. It was like having every one of your kitchen cupboards spill over with pots, Tupperware, coffee cups, silverware and dishrags. I’m better with the quilting calicoes than the dressmaking fabrics, but those weren’t in good order because I had so many pieces down in my sewing room.

So yesterday, I cleaned it all up. There are still some heavy totes in my sewing room, awaiting some male muscle, but the task is finished. After throwing out 5 – 25 gallon totes of “stuff” that I had been hanging onto for many years, moving from one home to another over the past twenty years, I have neatly organized and labeled:

4 – 20 gallon totes of quilt batt (but two only hold one large natural wool batt each)
28 – 18 gallon totes of quiltmaking yardage, pieces, strips and projects
20 – 18 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
4 – 18 gallon totes of denim for quilts, rugs, mending and various other projects
10 – 10 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
4 – 3 gallon totes of dressmaking and craft fabrics
7 – 3 gallon totes of unfinished projects and notions/sewing supplies

Oh, and although I am a big fan of Rubbermaid, I also have at least 30 of those clear Sterilite containers and stackable drawers for trims, craft supplies, unfinished projects, thread, notions, patterns, tools, misc business stuff…

And then are are the binders and file cabinets for patterns, client information and other records. Bookcases filled with books and stacked fabrics and (unfinished) quilts. My really important records are stored in my computer, of course.

My husband put in the air conditioner and rebuilt my big beautiful cutting table. All of my fabric is under control. I have no more excuses… back to work on those unfinished projects. I found 33 of those Cowgirl Boot blocks, so I made one quilt with 20 blocks, one with 9 blocks and I am currently working on 4 totebags. After this, I have an odd sort of panel quilt project. A friend and I picked up a line of pre-printed quilt blocks at the International Quiltmarket in Kansas City in 2004 for her (now defunct) local quilt shop. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We made some samples, taught a couple classes and sold some. Most ended up on the clearance table. I’m sure I will think of something good to do with it.


Look! A Squirrel!

I love to start new projects. I’m easily inspired. I go up to attic to find a piece of blue fabric and end up bringing armfuls of things back down to my sewing room: fabric for a dress for one of my granddaughters, a backing for a tablerunner, some fabrics to make a new tablerunner, a piece of wool to use for an interlining for some potholders I want to make, a piece of lace that may be big enough for a curtain for the back door… Then, if I have time, I might actually start some of those things. Frequently, I cut out all the pieces and maybe even do some sewing. But then I need a piece of blue fabric and run up to the attic to get it.


I have been cleaning out the attic, finishing some of the many projects I have started and abandoned. In the past six days, I have finished up a flannel baby quilt, two tote bags, and a tumbling blocks wall quilt. Just the top – I can’t afford to buy battings and backings for everything!

Now I am working on another kind of unfinished project. I’m making a Rodeo Princess quilt — cowgirl boots in pink, purple and other girly fabrics, sparkly whenever possible. It’s so cute! I had all the boot pieces cut and coordinated, so last night I cut out the background and heel fabrics and even got two boots finished. Those pieces were cut when I was making another one, and I decided that while I had the appropriate fabrics out and I was already cutting, I might as well cut out enough for a second quilt. Or maybe a couple more quilts. It was fun to select fabrics for that one, so I just kept going. I finished one of the quilts and – SURPRISE! – stuck the rest of the pieces in a box in the attic.

I’ll post some pictures later, but I am easily distracted by the computer, so I am staying up in my sewing room as much as possible. With my netbook and very close to the door to the attic, of course.


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A new generation of women is reaching adulthood. These women value family history and relationships, and they want to establish extended family ties that will last beyond their own lifetime. Separated by busy lives and distance, many of us seldom have the opportunity to really visit with our mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, nieces, and old friends. A quilting bee provides this opportunity. Conversation is easy when the hands are busy. There will be time for leisurely reminiscence, catching up on current events, advice on marriage and motherhood and life in general, laughter and maybe a few tears. New brides and new babies are wonderful reasons for women to come together.

Red, White and Blue

I love red and white! My bedroom is all red and white/offwhite. I have a lovely little statuette of the Apple Girl from the painting by Carl Larsson. My bed is covered with red and white quilts, and I have red and white pillows and wall hangings. Last Christmas, all of my decorations and paper were red and white. I collect red and white coffee cups!

But since I have used up all of my red fabric (the quilts, pillows and wall hangings!), I have decided to do some blue and white this winter. I even painted a small bedroom in preparation for it. (We have an empty nest now, so there’s plenty of room for creativity!) The walls are blue, and the trim is white. I found a lovely, long-ish white lace valance at the thrift store and painted an old dresser. My sweet sister in law made me some pillowcases with handmade lace trim. It’s all quite feminine, which is fun after raising three sons!

In addition, my kitchen is (and has been, through many moves) blue and white with yellow highlights. One of my bathrooms is blue and white, too! It’s a classic combination. Antique blue and white quilts are valuable collectibles.

I will also be making some doll quilts for etsy and my website, so be watching for them!