Roadtrip / I-Spy

I went on another organizing rampage this morning. I decided to gather all the fabrics and supplies for several bag projects I have planned. This task has been on my list for awhile, so I decided today was the day. In the course of this effort, I tidied up some project bins that were stuffed full of fabric, patterns, etc.

I-Spy / Roadtrip pouches
I-Spy / Roadtrip pouches

In one of the project bins I found two of the smaller, completed Crafty Gemini Organizer Club projects. I know I left them there so I could put them together with the last two projects. The last two projects, the Retreat in a Bag and the Ultimate Project Bag have not yet been made, but are on the list. Thus, they were two of the projects for which I gathered supplies and materials.

One of the projects I found, which will be clipped into the Ultimate Project Bag was the Roadtrip bag (right, photo above). Seeing this project again made me think of the templates for which I made a number of pouches.

The Roadtrip bag (pouch) was not used for the templates, but it could be. It looks very similar to the I-Spy pouch by Sew Sweetness (left, photo above), which I did use for the templates. Not counting the size differences, the main difference is the side strip on the Sew Sweetness bag. I made several of the I-Spy pouches for acrylic templates.

The reason I am talking about these is that I thought I would make a larger one, adjusting the size, to suit two sets of templates which don’t fit in the sizes given in the pattern.

The Sew Sweetness I-Spy pouch comes in 3 sizes. The largest size is 10.5 in x 8.5 in high, which is great except that it will not fit the larger templates that need a home. I want to make a pouch for the Chickadee Backpack templates I bought last year when the pattern came out. The templates need a pouch that is about 8 in by 19 in.

Yoko Saito's Natural Patchwork bag
Yoko Saito’s Natural Patchwork bag

I know I talked about the bag from Natural Patchwork**, which I still want to make, but I don’t think today is that day. I do like the idea of handles (makes me think of the Grab & Go pattern, also from the Minikins patterns) and I may use foam instead of batting since the templates are quite large and I don’t want them to break.

What did I gain by today’s organizing effort? 1. I have everything ready when I decide to cut new projects out; 2. I have zippers on order, which weren’t already in my bin of zippers; 3. I have more of an idea for securing some templates; 4. Bins with less junk in them.




**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need at quilt shops, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Bookcases Sad Face

I am disappointed in the IKEA bookcases I bought. The Billy bookcases are very popular with a lot of people. I liked the options, look and feel.

Billy bookcase damage
Billy bookcase damage

What I found, however, is that the 66 lbs each shelf is supposed to hold isn’t true. The shelf holders are very substandard and have damaged the inside of my bookcase sides.

The shelves involved are the ones I can easily access. Those are the shelves I use for my block dictionaries, class related references and color books. I use these particular volumes all the time.

New fir shelves
New fir shelves

My DH looked at it and had a plan to fix it. He is really busy, though, so I called my handyman. After taking a look, he brought some new L brackets and some new Fir shelves to try. I installed them. They look ok. Not bright white like I wanted, though we will paint them if we decide they are the ones.

Shelves refilled
Shelves refilled

They work ok and the bowing of the outside pieces has stopped, but I lose and inch or two that I need, so I can’t fit the books on one whole shelf. I put the books sideways, but that doesn’t help me much since I can’t see the spines.

DH checked Home Despot for other shelf holders and we have a few options. I am really annoyed that these shelves have only lasted for one year. Yes, I have filled them full, but each shelf is right around the max weight, so they should work fine.

One option I have is to get bookshelves built out of wood rather than particle board. My handyman told me about a place in the City that will make custom shelves. Stay tuned.

2022 Cutting Chart

2022 Cutting Guide
2022 Cutting Guide

I finally figured out what I was cutting during 2022.

This guide details many fewer pieces than previous years. I have a lot of pieces I have cut and need to make into quilts, so I am scaling back.


3 1/2 x 12 1/2 – this piece is for the Half Hexie Star quilt

2 1/2 x 4 1/2 – blue gradation quilt

2 1/2 x 2 1/2 – FOTY 2022

2 1/2 x 2 1/2 -I cut 2 1/2″ squares to have them handy in case I need them. I can’t seem to give it up.

1 1/2 x 2 1/2 – pieces for another Scrap Dash. I am not sure I am cutting all the pieces I need to be ready.

1 1/2 x 1 1/2 – More for another Scrap Dash

I am not sure what happened to cutting charts for 2020 and 2021. Can we blame that on COVID? Based on my 2019 cutting chart, I may need to cut more for the pink gradation quilt. I also need backgrounds for the Spin Wheel quilt, which I’d like to get off my to do list this year.

Full Shelves

Shelf replacing old brown shelf
Shelf replacing old brown shelf

I spent time filling my shelves and emptying boxes. The boxes went out with the recycling (except for some DH hid from me) and my shelves are now filled with my quilt books.

I am really happy that my books are more accessible. Before, some of them were on the floor in big stacks, which was not conducive to browsing.

Last week after I had done some of the work, I spent time leafing through some of the books that were more accessible to me. I also leafed through some while on work calls, though I have to be careful, because I tend to tune out work and focus on quiltmaking, which is not what they pay me for. 🙂

Shelf replacing old desk
Shelf replacing old desk

Before this whole workroom redo I had collected books, run out of space which meant all the books on one topic were scattered. As I was putting books in boxes, I made an effort to arrange them so that like books were together.  All quilt history in a group of boxes, all art quilt books in other boxes. This made it easier to shelve them all together when I unboxed everything.

The very top shelves are less useful *to me* because I can’t reach them without a stool. I wanted them (the top shelves are add-ons to the Billy bookcases not part of the shelves) for two reasons. First, stuff will get crammed up there anyway, so I might as well have a shelf. Second, dust. I prefer cabinets and bookcases to go to the ceiling because that open space just becomes a dust collector. With these shelves, I put books and stuff up there that I don’t access often. For the books housed there, they may be candidates for weeding in the future. We’ll see.

My shelves are not 100% crammed full, which is great. I am glad to have some growth space. I do feel like there are a few books missing, so there may be another box somewhere.

Next project is to put up the design walls. I want to work on some quilts again soon, not that I am short of bag and other projects, so I can mark some fabric off my ‘fabric used’ list. DH is busy with clearing out his parents’ house (still) so I have to fit this in or get the handyman in.

More Workroom Shelves

Second Shelf
Second Shelf

DH came home from the football game Saturday night and put together the second shelf. My room has that new paint or furniture smell again and is a complete wreck.

I really like the clean, white look of the bookcase next to my desk. It is beautiful. It is also a lot better than a pile of cardboard boxes.

Big mess in the workroom
Big mess in the workroom

Cardboard boxes don’t just magically unpack themselves, though I wish they did. The rest of the room is a wreck. I have a lot of work to do reshelving books and arranging stuff on the shelves.

DH has to get some anchors, so I am not allowed to stand in front of the bookshelves during an earthquake for the moment.

See that computer set up in the picture (above right)? That is where I spend my days. That particular computer is my personal computer. I swap it out for my work laptop at about 8am every morning. One reason I need to clean this area up is that I have to get that blue chair out from the boxes, so I can “go to work” on Monday. Currently, it is stuck behind some of the boxes because we quickly moved the boxes out of the corner of the room so DH could install the second bookshelf.

More progress! Yay!

Workroom Shelves

Bookshelf #1
Bookshelf #1

Some progress is being made on my workroom. I retrieved the purchased bookshelves about two weeks ago. It seems like an eternity.

I asked DH if I should get the handyman to put these shelves together. (I am sure they are relatively straightforward to assemble, but my shoulder can’t handle such work.) He said that he would put them together. Time went on, we went to San Bernardino ? for an event (it was a good event, but an icky town) and still he insisted he would put them together.

When DH told me he had to go work at his mom’s house over the weekend, I asked him when he was going to put my shelves together. While I was gone at Sew Day, he put the first one together. Then he came home from the football game later  the same day and banged around putting the second one together. He is a really great husband.

Got ’em!

My friend, Cyndi, sent me a text saying that the bookshelves were in at a local IKEA. I couldn’t get them delivered, so I had to arrange to go and pick them up. The packages were longer than my car so I had to borrow a van.

Bookshelves to be
Bookshelves to be

Now the boxes are laying on the floor of my workroom and DH is studying the instruction manual.

Workroom Sad Face

Billy Bookcases
Billy Bookcases

The bookshelves are delayed again and I am getting annoyed. Well, I was already annoyed, but now I am more annoyed. Pandemic. Supply chain. First world problems. Blah blah blah. I know. I know.

Gammel bookcase
Gammel bookcase

Scandinavian Designs has some very basic bookcases, which might be a good solution if they are in stock. They do not have the added height shelf that the Billy bookcases have. Also, one thing I like about the Billy set is the accommodation at the bottom for the baseboard. There is a little cut out so you don’t have a gap against the wall. Also, apparently, they no longer have white in stock and I refuse to introduce anything even approaching life-sucking beige into this room. Finally, they are much more expensive. On the plus side, we have an entertainment unit from Scandinavian Designs and we are very happy with it.

Why hasn’t anyone tried to copy the Billy bookcases? I know I should be promoting intellectual property theft. I really want the chaos in my house to end.

Tools Bin Again

Tools Bucket - 3rd pass
Tools Bucket – 3rd pass

I worked on the Tools Bin again on Saturday. I decoupaged paper on top of the blue described in the last post on this topic.

I found some pictures I liked and decoupaged them over the blue paint. I was still not thrilled. For some reason, it wasn’t working for me.

I am building up nice hard layers, however.

Workroom Refresh Gets Real

A few months ago I started clearing off the bookshelves in my workroom/office/yoga studio in anticipation of painting, buying a little new furniture and giving the room a basic refresh.

I worked on this project in a desultory manner, but the project just got real. DH said he wanted to paint the room instead of me hiring someone and he took time off work next month to do it. I spent time last weekend clearing off more shelves and putting my workroom stuff in boxes.

Books and other Workroom stuff
Books and other Workroom stuff

The YM’s room is looking pretty full at the moment. Good thing he doesn’t need to sleep there as more stuff needs to be stored there. I am out of the boxes I have been using boxes that stack up nicely together and need to find others.

I-Spy Pouch Finished

I-Spy Pouch Finished
I-Spy Pouch Finished

I might be having a fit of reorganization. At least you might be thinking that after seeing yesterday’s post and reading today’s. I am sort of.

I have a number of acrylic templates for various projects. Many are for pouches and bags that I will make over and over. They come in thin plastic bags. Ideally I would like a set of map drawers in which to store them. Until I can take over the entire house, that isn’t happening. I have been looking at various bag patterns for ideas on how to store them.

I-Spy Pouch Finished with templates
I-Spy Pouch Finished with templates

This is my first attempt. The I-Spy pouch from Sew Sweetness’ Minikins Season 1 fits my templates for a Minikins Season 2 project called the Day Trip Wallet. Not all of my templates will fit in the various sizes of the I-Spy pouch, but some will and that is a start.

The pattern comes with 3 sizes (this is the medium size). It is a very quick sew, so I can look through my other templates to see which will fit in the various sizes. I am thinking I can easily adjust the sizes to fit other templates. Finding the right-sized zipper will be the challenge if I change the size. I have a bunch of different sizes, so I should be able to manage.

Yoko Saito's Natural Patchwork bag
Yoko Saito’s Natural Patchwork bag

I am still looking for a bag pattern with slots in different sizes that I can just slide the templates into and not worry about resizing. I have been looking at Yoko Saito’s bags, especially this rectangular bag from Natural Patchwork. It might be too small, but I like the shape. I’d have to make different blocks for the front.

Stacking Up Books

My workroom is also my office and workout studio. Since I have been spending so much time in it, I am getting sick of the life-sucking beige walls. I do have a lot of stuff on the walls, but that beige and the various places that have uneven paintwork are icky. I am sick of them. I have decided to paint. And remove the beige carpet.

I don’t like beige.

That means I have to clear out the room. I started with my quilt books. I plan to replace the ugly wood-like pressboard bookcase with two white bookcases. I hope two bookcases will be enough to get all the books off the floor.

Quilt Books in Boxes
Quilt Books in Boxes

While I am putting the books in boxes, I am taking the opportunity to reorganize them. All the art quilt books together, all the quilt history books together, etc. It is fun to see books that have been hidden for a long time. I am also taking the to weed books that I won’t use anymore.

I am slowly filling up the YM’s room with boxes. He doesn’t know.

Another Drawer

Some time ago, I lined one or two of my dresser drawers with fabric. Earlier this week, I heard a cracking sound as I rearranged one of my drawers. This led to the unloading, the sorting of clothes, the repair and eventual reloading of the drawer.

Forced Reorganization
Forced Reorganization

Fortunately, I am not rushing around early in the morning to get dressed and get to the office. Lately, my commute has been pretty easy, so the turmoil of my clothes being everywhere was minimal. It did look bad. I am also pretty sure the mess annoyed DH. There wasn’t anything I could do, however, until I had some time to sort everything out.

The dresser is old, but solid wood with dovetail joints, so worth repairing. DH was able to fix the drawer during one of his work breaks (we are both working from home) earlier in the week. It has been waiting for me to deal with.

Vestige by Bookhou fabric
Vestige by Bookhou fabric

Friday, I took a sick day off of work. I don’t have vacation, but my boss is pretty understanding about the need for rest and for the need to get paid. It is a bonus that it is a 3-day weekend. I have a lot on my to-do list including cleaning. This project was one task. The first order of business was to choose a fabric. I thought I had one selected, but I looked through some of my fabric and decided on a Anna Maria Horner print that Friend Julie gave me recently. I used this fabric, because it made me happy to look at and I couldn’t think of an immediate use for it. I still have a little of it to use in another project. I will definitely see it pretty often as I rummage around in my drawer.

Completed drawer
Completed drawer

I took the opportunity to cull some clothes I don’t wear or had forgotten about. Some will go to donation organizations and some went into the wash so I can actually wear them.

The execution didn’t succeed as well as my first effort, but since it won’t be scrutinized by judges, I don’t care. I am pretty happy with how it looks. Now I just need to get a boatload of sachets or potpourri or lavender to keep the mustiness out of the drawer and I’ll be all set.

Sewing Machine Suitcase

Sewing machine cart
Sewing machine cart

I was very fortunate to receive a nice gift card. I have wanted a suitcase in which to put my machine. SIL #2 and I share a wagon, but it is often overflowing so I didn’t think a suitcase would go amiss. I saw one that Amy has and really liked it.  It is called the 360 Crafter’s Bag**. She and I have been looking for one for me at Tuesday Morning, but never found one. This gift card was my way forward. I bought the aqua. 

Sewing machine cart - main compartment
Sewing machine cart- main compartment

I tried it out today and my small on-the-go machine/ Janome DC-5100 fits nicely. I measured everything before I bought it, but when it arrived, I didn’t think the machine would fit. It does exactly, as you can see.

There are several pockets on the inside. I haven’t figured out what to do with them. You may also be able to see some of the clear plastic pockets housed on the inside of the main compartment. I don’t know if the stuff in those pockets will get smashed when the main compartment is closed and I am on the go.

Sewing machine cart - front pocket
Sewing machine cart – front pocket

The suitcase also has a separate front pocket area with more pockets. This area is on the front of the main compartment. If you look carefully, you can see a separate zipper on the sides of this shown compartment.

Again, there are more pockets and pouches and I still don’t know what to put inside. I am thinking of putting the items from my Quiltmaking Go Bag in the various pockets so I just have one thing to take to class or Sew Day and to store. I am reluctant to make such a big change, especially since I don’t always bring my sewing machine to Sew Day. My Go Bag is getting pretty ratty, though, so it might be time to make a bold move.

Sewing machine cart - sides
Sewing machine cart – sides

The sides have even more pockets. I kind of wish there were some taller pockets like for scissors, but I can see the benefits of only having short pockets – items don’t get lost in the depths.

Another bonus is that the Quiltessa bag’s suitcase slip handle (not sure what to call it) is a snug, but good fit on this suitcase.

The one thing I don’t like about it is the handle on top. It is attached to a pocket that can be unzipped. I am afraid it doesn’t have  enough support and will rip away. I plan to hold it as much as possible by the retractable handle.








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The Things I Need to Do to Get Ready for Quiltmaking in 2020

In no particular order:

  1. New Goodreads shelf
  2. New blog photo folder on my hard drive
  3. Move old blog photo folder to archive folder
  4. Organize projects so I know what to cut in 2020
    1. Once I decide, make a list for my cutting table
    2. Write a post about what I am cutting in 2020
  5. Add a new blog category for 2020
  6. Set up posts I work on all year long.
    1. all donation blocks
    2. Year in Review
    3. All donation quilts
    4. Gift Bags in July
  7. Update my fabric usage spreadsheet
  8. Organize FOTY 2019 units
  9. Decide on a shape for FOTY 2020
  10. Update my fabric/quilting purchases spreadsheet