Wednesday 11 June 2014

Organisation & Method

Foresight and planning - these are phrases I recall from my younger days as a (very) Civil Servant. I think they might have been categories in our annual reports on which we were marked.
So I reckon to be quite organised, I like a list as much as the next one.
Last week I revealed my recent obsession for Home Organisation blogs - I have lost my reading mojo and drift off to sleep planning neatness and waking hours I even followed a couple of suggestions- this is the inside of my OH's T-shirt drawer. Normally they would be piled one on top of each other with the poor ones at the bottom never seeing the light of day. Can't believe I have reached such a ripe old age without thinking of this, I mean, it's only filing after all, and one extra fold. He LOVES it. I put it into practice in my own chest of drawers and have achieved an empty drawer.

Next up, is the simple but effective way to store those long rolls of gift wrap that have a tendency to attack you when you open a cupboard. Using a £1.50 Ikea plastic thingy for storing plastic bags you do this - I had to add my own extra strong sticky fixers. It's mounted on the back of a cupboard door.

Neither of these ideas are my own but I am sorry, my bedtime blog hopping has not extended to saving or bookmarking inspirational sources.
This quest for better organisation stems from my sewing room, and the desire to find better ways to keep my fabric. My sewing table is big, sometimes I think too big (yes) as my OH has a theory that I am unable to see a flat surface without putting something on it. E.G., I have acquired three little fabric baskets in swaps over time and much as I love them, I just cannot display them - however, I can put them to work for me - all three fit beautifully into a drawer in my little plastic chest of drawers that I tend to keep little stuff in - you know, zips, ribbons etc - I plan to make more of these for the other drawers. Originals are made from Ayumi's well known pattern.

In a short break from all this organising, I got another Big Churn Dash cushion front assembled - Road 15 plus some lovely textured linen. Had to stop whilst I waited for a wadding delivery but good to proceed now.

Yesterday I was on Grandma duty and while she napped I thought I would make her some matching patches, the idea coming from more recent blog hopping that started with Craft Passion - check this lady out, she has a huge amount of ideas on her site. I saw the matching game on Pinterest I think and there are different versions but here is what I did.
First of all I grabbed some felt (from my felt drawer of course) and the colour was dictated by the biggest bit. I cut some 4" squares. I then went to my "Novelties" box and pulled some fun scraps. Those were cut to 3.5" square.
Pair fabric with felt
and stitch. I used a machine applique stitch but a straight stitch would be fine too, maybe you would get a bit more fraying.

I matched my bobbin thread to the top thread so the backs are quite pretty too.
Make 2 of each scrap. Before a rude awakening occurred due to a "Big Noise" (petrol mower outside), I had made these and have a few more cut to go -
So I thought I'd share with other grandmas and mums out there, such a good way to use up silly scraps. And they were a success.

If anyone is still reading, I might as well batter on and tell you about my morning's efforts. I did go into my room planning to sew, honest. But in the back of my mind was a feature I had stumbled upon when reading Lori Holt's blog. Now, when I started quilting my friend Sheilagh (whose fault it all is) used to keep her scraps, all in different dimensions and stored in ice cream tubs. I openly laughed at this and although it all makes sense to cut leftovers from projects as you go, this was not for me. Maybe since I joined in on the Zakka Sew A Long a couple of years back and realised how much fun it is to make little things too, I can see the sense in organised cutting. I have for some time, stored fabric by colour - oh, and novelties and pretentiously, batiks & atmospherics & linens....
Ikea Samla boxes
Last week I asked the question, when is a scrap, a scrap? So I have decided, that for me, it's when it's less than a fat quarter, but maybe an odd shape?? On my desk, I have a basket where I throw the offcuts from a current project, to be "filed" at a later date. So today, I started in on them. First of all I found some that suited The Matching Game, so cut and laid them aside for sewing.
And then, armed with my selection of rulers and a fresh, sharp blade, I cut. I made 5" squares, very useful as leftover charms can join them; I cut 4.5" and 3.5" squares; 3.5" strips, 2.5" strips & squares. I indulged my scraps and cut 2" squares but no smaller - I did do some 1.5" strips because these are useful for binding wee things. I also manged a few 6.5" squares.
The eagle eyed will spot some batiks - I don't have much left in this category - I don't hate batiks, but have always found them tricky to mix with other fabrics. Some of mine have been languishing in that drawer for - well, years, so along with some African prints and Aboriginal prints, I cut them into useable sizes - I was thinking they might play well with linen and of course, solids.

This will have to do for now until I decide on my pre cut storage solution

Despite all this thrift, I have indulged in a little online therapy but will keep that for another day. I really must go and make the most of our sunshine. (or maybe not, the "Big Noise" is at it again, sounds like a Monster Mosquito, think it might be one of those slab cutting saws, maybe I'll watch the tennis instead, who needs a tan?)


  1. Fabulous tips! Wish my drawers looked like that!!

  2. So much organisation Sheila, you won't know yourself before too long!

  3. Oh lordy, you are putting me to shame. I love the t-shirt idea other than himself would reduce it to a shambles the first time he pulled a shirt out. He's like that! ;-)

  4. What a brilliant idea for keeping a jumper drawer tidy. I shall try it tomorrow! I'm glad you found a way to organise your scraps. I think everyone has a different system depending on which sizes of fabric they use most. I'm still trying to find my system!

  5. I read it all with much interest. I do love organising!

  6. Now you're making the rest of us feel really bad! Jxo

  7. Great idea for the game! Now I think if you have a spare month or two you need to pop round... ;o)

  8. Handy tips . . . thanks, Sheila x

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  10. Oh Crap.
    You've put me to shame.
    I am hanging my head.
    I've always insisted (to hubby/family) that true creativity comes from a shambolic and certain "arty-lets-not-get-too-tied-down-by-tidyness" approach.

    Wah. You are creative AND tidy.
    Wahahaha *sob*

  11. Just can't seem to manage to do tidy for long! But I do like looking at it!

  12. I love the idea for the wrapping paper, just need to find a spare door to put it on!



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