Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Organizing my Farmer's Wife blocks

Through many of the Farmer's Wife blogs I have read, not many have discussed the organization method that appealed to me. 
I have a tendency to start a project and then fall off the bandwagon, so to speak, for lack of proper organization.  I know this will be a long term project for me, because I am hand piecing the blocks--sort of a challenge to myself to see if I can do it.  I'm no Jane Stickle, by any means, but I can dream, can't I?
The colors I chose were scraps from the quilt I just finished, and I'm quilting now.  It's a queen sized bed quilt made from The Charlotte line by Debbie Beaves of The Violet Patch, (RJR Fabrics 2008.)

Another gorgeous piece is the rose floral near the center of the case, it's  Heaven on Earth by Ro Gregg, Northcott, Quilt for the Cure #2761.  I couldn't find a year on the selvage, sorry. That will likely be my border fabric, it just sings to me!
I pulled out all my fabrics and lined them up in this vintage makeup case I snagged at a "primitives" sale.  It had a broken mirror, but that doesn't bother me. I don't check the mirror much while I'm sewing.
Dragging large pieces of fabric out each time I started a block was inconvenient and cumbersome when I want a hand project, so I knew I'd have to do some pre-prep in order to keep things tidy.

I have this little stationery box that fits my pincushion, scissors, thread and pencils.  I also stack my prepared blocks inside and pull out one at a time to work on.

I look at the layout and cutting instructions in the book and determine the colors, and templates, I lay out the templates and over estimate the amount of fabric needed for each block and fold the fabrics, templates and a sticky note with brief cutting instructions together.  I found some old clear envelopes from my card-making days to seal them in.  They look pretty just like that!

Once the block is finished, I place a small sticky note on the corner with the block number and name. ( I just had an idea that I should mark the date it was finished, that would be nice to add, too.) Then I slide each block down into a page protector in my binder my sister made me. 
The templates are in the binder too, under the first tab, and the completed blocks are in another tab.
I hope this gives someone an idea on how to organize any small quilting project. 
I tackle any large project just like Melinda Mae, one bite at a time.

Melinda Mae by Shel Silverstein

Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.
And everyone said,"You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all,
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a good girl should...
...and in eighty-nine years she ate that whale
Because she said she would!
 

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