Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Sewing Studio

My frazzled doll still needs a face.
I'm not quite as frazzled as this doll looks although I still have lots of work ahead of me to get truly organized. Work on organizing my Sewing Studio is progressing slowly. I seem to be working so slowly because I get sidetracked with other tasks. I did some straightening and organizing of other parts of our home the last few days. Those areas needed it, and I'm glad to have made so much progress elsewhere, but want to continue downstairs now. So this is my task today.

By the way, the doll is from an on-line class I took some time ago from Judi Ward. It is her "Whatever, Whatever" doll. She still needs a face. I have only pinned the head in place for now until I finish the face (in case I mess it up it will be easier to replace). The hair is from one of those scrunchies that was made up of synthetic 'hair' we used to sell at Claire's Boutique years ago when I used to manage one of those stores. I kind of like the 'all over' look of the hair like that. It looks like bed-head when I wake up in the morning. Right now she is just tucked away behind this older Compaq computer watching me as I compute and sew here in my studio. One day I want to set up a better display area for some of my dolls where they can be showcased with more flair. For now she's just a bit shy.

Button Heart has old collectible glass and shell buttons sewn to it.She's holding a stuffed heart filled with sewn-on glass buttons from my old button collection. Years ago I had a sewing machine that stitched out alphabet letters and I sewed up a bunch of fabric strips that said, "I Love Buttons." At that time I made up a lot of these hearts with old buttons and sold them through a craft sale (years ago when the kids were little).

Fabric wrapped around foam core and some beautiful decorative threads in a jar.
I purchased some of those stiff boards to wrap fabric around similar to like it comes on boards at a fabric shop. The purchased fabric storage boards worked nicely, but seemed a bit expensive selling at $1.69 for each piece. It occurred to me to cut some foam core I had sitting around my studio to the same dimensions to use for this purpose. The foam core might not be acid free because foam core is made of paper card stock mounted to a rigid plastic foam core, but they are sturdy and serve the purpose well. I had a few pieces sitting around, then went out and got more at a discount store. I decided to wrap some of the larger cuts of yardage like a mini fabric store. It is easy to unwrap to cut off chunks of fabric when needed, and makes it super easy to store fabric while being able to see it all on the shelf. In typing this up and looking for links I see there is foam core available that is acid free. I'm sure the kind available at my local discount store is not this variety, but I'm still okay with it. They look so nice lined up on the shelf this way!

Some of my fabric stash: folded and stacked as well as wrapped around foam core boards.
I still have quite a bit of fabric folded and stacked on my shelf, but the larger yardages of fabric are easier to work with when they are wrapped around these foam core boards.

In order to wrap the fabric around the boards (which measure 10" x 14") I took the 45" wide yardage that comes already folded in half, folded it in half again along its entire length. This way it fits the 10" x 14" board better for wrapping and is a manageable size to fit the shelf I store it on. This means there is an additional crease the length of the fabric, but I usually press my fabric as I cut and sew my quilts anyway. So far the additional crease has not posed a problem. I would love to have the big, long fabric boards from the fabric store, but do not have the proper space on my shelves to store fabric that way.

A close up of these fabric boards reveals the first in this row is one of the original corrugated plastic boards I purchased (with nice rounded corners). These are entirely made of plastic. The rest of the boards in this row are made of foam core that I cut to size myself. I am completely pleased with my own boards as a slightly less-expensive alternative to the purchased ones. I was able to cut four fabric boards from one large piece of foam core. I considered just using a couple layers of cardboard from salvaged boxes. The cardboard idea would have been cheaper, but it doesn't look as pretty as the white foam core boards, and cardboard is not acid-free either.

A start to a strip quilt.
While sorting through my stuff I came across this box of strips I started sewing for a strip quilt. These were started before all the rage of the jelly roll quilts and all the new patterns and books we currently see available. I really like those jelly rolls that have 2 1/2" fabric pre-cut for quilts. It makes it so much easier to just get right to the sewing process.

More 2 1/2 inch strips cut and ready to go into a quilt.
These are some 2 1/2" fabric strips I currently have sitting on my cutting table. I decided I would cut up all my smaller scraps of fabric into this 2 1/2" jelly roll size strip. I love having pre-cut strips ready to sew when I want to just sit down for some sewing relaxation, some sewing therapy!

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