Wednesday, February 4, 2015

15 Minute Studio Spiff Up #5

I have to admit I am avoiding certain areas of my studio because, um, er, because I can't do do a 15 minute clean up/organize on them.   It will be more involved and I have to commit to a much longer time frame.  Pretty soon I'll pull up the big girl pants and do at least one of them.  But NOT today. 

Today's assignment is: 

Organize and Straighten Up Your Batting Collection

Not everyone will really need to do this, but as a long arm quilter, I do. Luckily I'm pretty organized with my batting already.  So here's the organized part although I did spiff it up just a bit.  All unopened packages went to the bottom shelf, the top shelf has remnants of batting.  It looks so much better when I've got mostly new, unopened batting packages, especially if I buy the rectangle versions rather than a rolled version.  
Here's what I do.  I tend to buy batting from Jo-Ann Stores when it goes on sale and I have a 15% off all purchases coupon.  It can be darn right inexpensive that way.  So that is mostly what you see on the botton shelf.  I use a permanent large tip Sharpie to write what batt it is, the size, fiber content and what I paid for it on the side of the plastic bag.  As I use it, I measure and mark how much is left on the outside bag and stash it on the top shelf. (Ok, I confess, I really did move the used ones up just this week but it looks so nice to have that row of unopened bags ready to go.)  I tend to look at the used bags before I consider the new ones unless it is a big quilt.  

Once pieces get smaller they move from the plastic bags to a clear storage bin usually stored under the long arm.  You can't see it here and I failed to take a picture of one, but every one of the pieces of batting until that hot pink paper, has a note pinned on it saying what type of batting it is, whether it is washed and the size. I've been doing this for years and it does help when I need to find a smaller piece of batting or if this tub is getting too full and I need to use some up.  Since I make smaller quilts too this is a good place to find littler pieces without cutting into a bigger,more useable piece. 

This time, I decided it made a LOT of sense to list these on a spread sheet on the laptop.  Hey, I wouldn't have to go through each piece to find something that might be usable.  So that's what I did.  I'm sorry to report that I didn't even THINK of adding the new batting packages and the somewhat used batting packages that I store under the cutting table.  That would be great too. 
I also have a bag in the closet that I stash smaller pieces of batting.  Sometimes I do throw stuff away, but I try to find a use for all of it.  One thing I've been doing for years and really like is cutting the cotton battings into smaller pieces so when I clean out a bobbin area or oil a machine I have something close at hand to wipe off the lint and oil.  So I cut 3 x 3" pieces or so and store a pile of them by my two major machines.  I don't go through them quickly but I do put them to use.  (Feels great to use this before throwing these pieces in the trash can. Did I ever mention I'm from California and I really try to recycle, compost, reuse stuff?) 
This wasn't a very time consuming job for me because I do keep up with my batting pieces.  It has proven very worthwhile and helpful. Hopefully you can organize your batting and measure and mark it so you can find usable batting more easily.  I love my system but think about what would work for you.  And, if you don't want to tackle batting this week, pick an area you want to work on.  We don't have to be in lock step.  I've got to decide on my next area and get on it.  

With all the great spiffing up happening around here I've had a set back of sorts.  Someone has brought me some fabric that had been their mother's and grandmothers'.  There are quilt tops, blocks, cut pieces and just fabric.  I've agreed to make or finish a few quilts for them. Several of the boxes went back as the fabric was for dressmaking.  Here's a pile of what is left.  I need to organize it and restore it in the boxes and bins it arrived in.  Some will be going back to the mom because she has a hard time letting go.  The fun part is that several of the blocks and pieces are wonderful 30's fabric.  It will be time consuming but I think it will be fun to work on. 

I was so excited to finish quilting and binding one of my UFOs this past week. I am definitely motivated by drawing lines through lists.  I went to my spreadsheet of UFOs ready to mark something finished and realized I didn't have it listed.  WHAT! NOT LISTED?  But, it was a UFO.  What happened to my hands on every UFO event? It finally dawned on me that this was a top (and had been a top for 6+ months.) I have most of my tops sitting in my closet either with a backing or in need of a backing.  Can you imagine how disappointed I was because I couldn't mark it off as finished  Yea, silly but what can a girl say? I do need to start a spreadsheet for finished projects so I can easily see what has been done this year. 

Now, it's off to a haircut, lunch with friends and a little quilt store shopping.  

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. I'm withnyou. I love lists! I find them very helpful and motivating.

  2. I went through the patterns in my sewing room - discarded a few and pulled some for possible future projects. Good thing I did this before recycling day - now they are on their way to being reused and repurposed.

  3. I blogged about what my batting supply looks like, and it's at this link
    This is a good task for me. I did it not too long ago, but it is in need of some adjustments.
    Thanks for the great idea of using small pieces when cleaning the machines. Perfect.

  4. Your batting stash looks nice and tidy. Do you prefer packaged batting to rolled? I always buy rolls (at Joann's, with a sale, with a coupon....of course!). My tip: cut batting scraps approx. 10 x 11 and use them as Swiffer cloths.

  5. Sounds like you made some progress on improving the organization of your sewing space. Good for you.

  6. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how you've organized, labeled and spread-sheeted your batting! You are an inspiration! Now I have to run up to my sewing room with my black sharpie and get labeling! Thank you! I've jumped on your bandwagon with gusto!

  7. Hi, Bonnie,
    I see you're on The Quilt Show today with this organizing tip. Nicely done! It was fun to see someone on there that I actually know! Hope you and Pat are well. Gail


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