Well, I wasn’t deported!

May I just say that the INS officers are almighty powerful folks who scare the living be-jesus out of me.  I am never ‘natural’ around them — I turn into a nervous wreck who says things like ‘I my kids love a lot’ ?? or ‘I working at home for California’ There aren’t even sentences that make sense in there!

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Luckily they do understand nervous and let me rephrase!

We were interviewed for 2 hours — Can you imagine me on my best behavior for 2 hours? Yeah, me neither, but somehow, I ‘think’ we pulled it off.

Apparently, while the officer had the physical file, the electronic version had not been transferred from Texas to Durham yet and so not action could be taken! Government at its best – wait 2 years for the interview and they aren’t ready…

So – the dude said ‘if you don’t hear from here me in a couple of weeks then its good news’ – to which I replied ‘I don’t plan on answering the phone…’ See? I told you, nervous!!

Our lawyer emailed us yesterday to say that she received notice that our file was being electronically transferred, so we are hopeful that he is moving forward on our case!

Last night began Channukah, and unlike last year, there will not be 8 nights of gifts, talk about a) expensive and b)they just wanted to know what was coming next… Made us feel like not giving them anything at all!

As we were at a Channukah party last night – we are starting our family celebration tonight and it shall last all of one night! (we’ll light the memorah for the next week but all gifts will be exchanged this evening)

And I have been waiting for the magical year when my daughters age matched the age on the box of the kid section sewing machine and it’s here it’s here!!!!

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She LOVES to make things and has been saying things like ‘I guess when I’m like 18 you will let me sew on your machine?’ Yup, that sounds about right, actually, but she now has her OWN machine to play on!! I hope she likes it.

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Why do I hear crickets?

<enter left> Clearing dust off the shelves and poofing up pillows…

Many things have changed since I last poked my head in to look around. First of all – SeamedUP is closed! We gave it a fair (2 years) shake and decided to know when was ‘when’. Building a site of that magnitude was a programming nightmare and every time we thought we had it right–we didn’t!

Brye and I fell out of love. It happens. (but not with each other – I love you Brye!)

But good things come from everything!

SeamedUP put me ‘in the action’ — I learned about all of the social media/marketing aspects of running an online company. Did I become an ‘expert’ – no, I didn’t– but I did get to be pretty darn good at coming up with ideas and (mostly?) seeing them through! I really loved the marketing part of the site, building contacts, talking with people (lots of people), and decided that that was what I wanted to ‘be when I grew up’.

Just around that time; the ‘work card’ from INS showed up–we have been in the process of applying for a green card for about 2.5 years and as part of that process, I could not work as a dependent on my husbands visa until the magical card came in the mail. (side note: TOMORROW morning at 7:30 is our green card interview – anything can happen, sh***ing bricks as the saying goes, wish us luck!)

So it was time to go back to work. The twins were starting Kindergarden (I know!?) and while sitting around eating bon bons all day is a good life (please read the sarcasm in there) another paycheck would definitely help!

But darn it all – I have a total accounting background, from post-graduate degrees to 10+ years of industry experience in pretty fancy schmancy positions. The thought of getting up early — getting the twins off to school – getting myself ‘readied’ – driving to work – juggling a high pressure career with my littles who really know me as ‘momma’ – and still being the one who takes care of everything household related because trust me, magical changes in that department were simply not going to be appear — made me weary.

So I started calling all of those nice folks I met through SeamedUP and put the word out that I was looking for a job! And wouldn’t you know, the lovely Karen Johnson (director of marketing for Martingale) pointed me towards a linked in job posting for C&T Publishing – they were looking for an ‘interactive marketing specialist’ read: if its online – its yours- and I typed up a cover letter as quickly as possible and sent off my accounting resume with SeamedUP right at the top and hoped for the best.

I have been working at C&T for just over 4 months now and I have the best job in the world. I work with creative, smart, kind, talented, and funny people who value what I have to offer. I work from home so I am not running around like a maniac in the morning. I am here after-school (although we did hire an after-school nanny because the thought of after-care sounded like a really long day for 6 year olds and especially for Max!) so I get to see them during the day and hear about who their best friends are today and see the projects they made before they are too tired to care to show them to me. I can put a load of laundry in — but let me dispel the myth right here and now — people who work from home are actually working. So just as you sit at your desk and think ‘as soon as I finish this I will pee’ and then 2 hours later you remember ‘oh yeah, I had to pee’ it happens to me at home! I cannot tell you how many dinners I have BURNT!

But it’s a good life.

Who would have thought that at 41 I would have a complete career change!

From the accounting to the marketing department. It is pretty handy that I have those skills because you gotta know that I am running the numbers a lot – but the numbers just represent different things. Instead of dollars they are site visits!

So that’s what is going on around here.

And no, my husband did not magically turn into a more contributory partner in the household department but we are considering hiring a housekeeper — anything to keep the peace! And the kids are still learning that even though I am home, I am working and the other end of the conference call doesn’t necessarily need to hear them saying ‘I want a snack’!

SO – here’s hoping that everything doesn’t go to shit tomorrow. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be approved but man it is really scary to think that we may have to move back to Canada! Not that Canada is scary but you know what I mean!

I will keep you posted.

Oh and on the quilting front – SO MUCH TO SHARE WITH YOU!! please come back:)

 

 

A Wee Bit of De-Stash

Hello Friends!

A wee bit of De-Stash for some items that need new homes:)

Prices are on the photos. Prices INCLUDE SHIPPING.

Everything is from a smoke-free, pet-free home and they have been lovingly cared for while under my domain!

If you are interested – please email me mail@withinaquarterinch.com SUBJECT LINE must be the name on the photo (example J1 refers the Jelly Roll with J1 on the photo).

First to email AND send payment (paypal required) will get the item.

THANKS everyone!

Above: Miss Jump’s Scrap Bag Jelly Roll

Above: Shangri-La  Jelly Roll

 Above: Mother Goose and Friends Jelly Roll

 Black and White Jelly Roll

 Whimsy (by Fig Tree Quilts) Layer Cake

ABOVE AND BELOW: Same Fat Eighth Bundle on Tone on Tone shades of green and gold – lovely!

Aqua Do-Doo

You know those blue pens that are handy for marking your fabric?

Kind of like this one.

And they leave a blue mark? Because they are supposed to. Which is great because I marked it for a reason.

But I don’t always want to ‘wash’ what I have marked to remove it. And I don’t have a sink nearby in my basement.

Aqua Do-Doo to the Rescoooo! (max calls it do-doo and I see no reason to correct him).

Aqua Doodle (for those without young one’s and therefore no idea what I am talking about) is a kid activity thingie where you fill this ‘pen’ with water and the write on their special (read: pricey) surface and it changes color when wet and goes back to blank when it dries. Hours of entertainment. Or heartache when they try non do-doo pens…

but I digress.

This little toy is GREAT for removing the blue pen marks without washing the item you marked! I am so pleased with myself about this one – I really am. Never mind hours of entertainment for them, I now have minutes of sheer pleasure for me:)

(ps – I have seen these pens sold separately from the kid activity thingie at stores like target and wal-mart)

 

The ‘I spy’ swap!

I am taking part in my first online swap! I couldn’t resist a swap hosted by Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts.

5 inch squares of 55 different novelty prints such as these are heading my way.

Here is my offering.

These green apples have been in my family forever! I had a beach cover-up in this print when I was about 5! I really thought that this was the end of it (with a bit of sorrow, actually…) but I found a heap more as I continue to fold my fabric around cardboard!

Speaking of fabric and cardboard – I have the photos ready for a post and just need to get it written. Soon, I promise!

A lucky day

Last week – I went into the LQS because I needed more ‘white’ fabric. Having not brought a swatch with me – I bought 2 different whites because I couldn’t remember if it was a moda or a kona – and I still don’t know because solids don’t have selvedges!

While I was there – a overheard this sentence ‘I will put it up on craigslist’….

My head immediately whips around and asks the owner -‘huh? what? something on craigslist from the LQS?’

She had just replaced her cabinetry! Lucky Day! I asked to see the old stuff and it was out back under a tarp and I said ‘I’ll take it! How much would you like for it?’ She said, if you just take it away, it’s yours!

And so yesterday – I had it picked up and delivered by Earl from ‘Early delivery’ (cute, no?) and you may be thinking that it went in the studio – but nope!  I needed it for the family room! Yeah!!!

Somewhere to keep the kids crap! I mean, toys. No I don’t, I really meant crap.

Isn’t it perfect there? It needs a little lovin’ but wow – I am so pleased with it!!!

See the blue sofa off to the right? That was in that little alcove before the delivery.

Am I wrong to be proud that this is all I found underneath it?

The evolution of my stash… and how I organize it

When I first started quilting, I was not a new hobbyist. I had already been through another major craft cycle – scrap-booking – and all that is entails. That means I thought about scrap-booking, I shopped for it, I attended classes, and conferences and accumulated a stash like you wouldn’t believe.

I remember sitting at a common table, eating lunch, during a ‘sewing expo’ in San Mateo, CA, and having a nice lady ask me if I had a big fabric stash.

My response went something like this:

“Oh no, I only buy fabric for a particular project.  I have enough stuff from scrap-booking and I have learned my lesson – don’t buy unless you know what you are using it for!’

I know at least a half dozen people spitting coffee out of their nose right now because that is not exactly what happened…

It started quite innocently. I would buy several charm packs and think ‘such a good price, and they are small‘. Or the Fat Quarter sale at the LQS ‘ these are pretty small, too….’

And so to organize it in an already bulging craft room.

I had (and still have, because they are fantastic boxes) clear 12*12 boxes from the scrapbook store that I stored the fabric in by color and they fit neatly on some shelves. Need pink? Grab the pink box. {note: I will find out where to get the boxes if anyone requests!)

Need Black? Blue? Wow 2 boxes of browns!

Then I heard about Japanese Fabric. The adorable, cute (but not cutesy), and even nostalgic fabric that I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT. (I am currently resisting the urge to see if sonatine is still an ebay seller – so I will not provide a link – and if they are – I don’t need to know!)

So we need an additional organization system because they simply could not be ‘mixed in with the colors!’ and I had to SEE THEM. (this need of seeing will continue as the stash evolves…)

I heard about (read about) these fabulous mini bolts that you wrap your fabric around. Awesome! The answer!

And so I wrapped. I wrapped the Japanese Fabric. And the Denyse Schmidt Fabric. And the Joel Dewberry. And the Heather Bailey. And the Amy Butler.

I added the cutest little hang tags with each collection and designer labelled on them! So cute!

Do you see what is happening here? I already know designers names. And the names of their collections. I am in big trouble now. Well on my way to the stash.

Now I do like the idea of wrapping fabric (I really do) but the problem with this idea is that I always need the fabric IN THE MIDDLE of the mini bolt. I would have to unwrap the whole thing – pull out the fabric I needed. Re-wrap it. And then open it up again to put the fabric away.

When I was disciplined and cleaned up after myself – it was just time-consuming. When I was not disciplined – it was a mess – fast!

Then we moved!

Bye Bye tiny craft room in the Bay – Hello Studio in Ohio!

By now – you can see that I am no longer pretending that I do not stash fabric.  I am a certified stasher and I have some fuglies to prove it!

It a long time to get from this pile of fabric

To this.

I used a lot of kitchen ware to add extra shelving for the precisely folded, glorious piles a reds, blues, yellow, greens (who knew I had so many greens?), and all of their color-wheel friends.

I had smaller pieces, just as precisely folded, tucked inside drawers absconded from Ikea organizing bits and bobs.

I used the ‘tried and true’ ruler-folding method for all of this fabric. But with a twist. Instead of using just the 6.5″ width of the ruler, I made plastic templates for the smaller sizes, such as these drawers, so that everything would be uniform.

Not sure what the ruler method is? I have a tutorial post on it. {edited to add – the link works now}

And then…

We moved again. Bye Bye custom built studio in Ohio and hello 800 square foot basement in North Carolina.

I have a whole slew of the ‘before’ pictures if you care to see them.

And now the available storage has changed again.

I no longer have built ins. I have pre-fab shelves from ‘insert big box x’ store.

{{side note: the built-ins in Ohio, while custom built – were not the right size. I had them built thinking about the 12*12 inch clear boxes that I had been using in the Bay. That is – 12 inches deep and 25 inches wide – and tall enough to fit 5 boxes….

I didn’t think about how I would store the fabric ‘currently’ which is always a consideration. }}

Pre-fab shelves can be hacked, though. I will show you how I added many more shelves than came with the unit in a future post.

But now – instead of using a ruler, a template, and a lot of time spent getting it smooth, and fitting it to the ‘T’ – I am using the comic book board method instead.

Of course, I still have the lovely Japanese fabrics set aside.

And the solids, as seen above.

But mostly I am sorting my color. It’s how my mind works. I realized long ago that I don’t always want to use a collection all together. I am digging the color matching or mis-matching, if you will between designers, collections, and even manufacturers.

Lest you think I am all finished with the comic book board re-fold empire – take note of the pile below. This is a spit in the proverbial stash.

I have already used 1,800 comic book boards at the time this post is written.

I wonder how many I will need!

I will link you to the original post where I learned of this myself as well as a few other crafters that have taken the plunge!

Smashed Peas and Carrots

The Ornament Girl

Feathered Fibers

That Girl That Quilt.

But I will be back with the details on my latest organizing fabric frenzy. I have been working with what is already folded and so I have a little insight into the ‘working’ side of the organizing equation. I mean, pretty and organized is great, but can it stay that way if you actually sew?

I will also be back on what to do with the scraps…. This picture below is a bit anal,  even for me!

And so I say ‘go forth and fold’.

Get your fabric out where you can see it, if that’s possible. I will add that my shelves are on the far back wall of the room – as far from direct sunlight as possible.

And the boards are acid-free and archival so they won’t eat my fabric. (heaven forbid!).

You can find comic book boards on Amazon – but I highly recommend googling your own town for comic book stores. The prices are much better!