Studio Organizing, Week 7

Posted on February 12, 2015 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio Organizing Challenge

Well, I don’t know about you, but I reached a conclusion about last week’s task:

If my cutting table is completely clear, then it means I’m not working!

Here’s my after picture:


It’s a little bit, but not a whole lot, better than the before picture — but these are all things I’m working on! Yes, yes, all at the same time . . . really!

I did put away the things I was done with and I cleaned it up some. What’s left is just my daily work, and it has to be out so I can actually do the work. I’ve decided that this is just the way it is, and that this surface is never going to be empty. Ever. Empty = not working. Right?

So that makes me feel a little better about it. I do intend to be better about putting away the stuff I’m finished with, just to keep it as clear as possible and make it easier to work. That will have to suffice. And if you read last week’s comments, Kathy says that’s OK!

I am, however, a teeny bit jealous of THIS, as seen over at Meloney’s blog. Note how when she cleaned off her surface, her entire cutting mat is clear? Yeh, that’s the part that makes me jealous. I can only seem to keep just a small area of my entire mat cleared off. Seeing hers gives me something to strive for!

So with that, we’re on to this week’s task:

Learn to use a new tool

Now, in my case, this is a tool I already own and just haven’t tried out yet. Do you have any tools you haven’t tried yet? If you don’t have such a thing, then consider getting one you’ve always wanted and give it a try.

And along with this, if you’re busy cleaning and organizing, and you run across a tool you own and you don’t ever want to use, then it’s time to pass it on. Get rid of it and make room for something else. It’s a good feeling!

Here is the tool I’m learning to use this week:


It’s Darlene Zimmerman’s Easy Dresden Tool. I’m using it to make a Dresden Plate block, and I’ll be back soon to show you the block and tell you all about that and how it went with the ruler.


I’m also going to use these:


It’s Darlene’s set of mini Double Wedding Ring templates. I used her large set to make this quilt for Michele Muska’s book, Quilting the New Classics, and it went together so easily!


I’m ready to try it on a smaller scale . . . I’ll let you know how that goes.

So how about you?

What tool do you have that you need to either learn how to use or just get rid of?

Or what tool have you been wanting to get ahold of and try out?

Let us know in the comments . . . you might have something up your sleeve that I need to know about!

17 responses to “Studio Organizing, Week 7”

  1. Lori says:

    We are in the same boat…empty cutting table=no work. Also, I find that if my space is too tidy, I can’t work. I’m afraid I’ll mess it up!

    I have my DWR template set out yo play with too…let’s see where we get to with it, huh?

    I looooove my EZ Dresden. The blue quilt you did for me used it….and I’m playing with a new idea with it right now.

    As usual, great minds think alike! đŸ™‚

    • Pam in KC says:

      Lori – I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. I once (a really long time ago) had my house “spotless” and I couldn’t sit still to work on anything. After about a week of that antsy feeling I decided the lived in look simply felt better.

    • Meloney says:

      Now, you have to realize it was cleaned up and then I messed it up again to be creative.
      I like putting things away when I’m done with them and had not done that.
      Mine has 2 projects and a notebook on it now. LOL
      though, I do use the side to store fabrics on when I’m using them.

  2. I want to learn how to use my Quick Curve Ruler. I brought it with me to Texas where I am caring for my granddaughters. Illness and a 20 month old have so far foiled my plans!!

  3. Pam in KC says:

    New tool? I’ve got a Squedge ruler kicking around here somewhere that I want to try, but that feeling wars with the desire to focus on my UFOs — or the graduation quilt which I’ll be starting next week and working on the UFOs is winning.

  4. Scarlett says:

    I have the dresden tool that I haven’t used either! However, I have too many projects going on right now to start another one. Maybe some day…

  5. Meloney says:

    So, I think I have a plan I posted on my blog
    I think the plan to make the St Patrick’s day door hanging should work with this 8 pointed star template.
    I shouldn’t start anything new, but I really need a door hanging for Mom too.
    I’ve not started anything new, so this will be fun.

  6. Cindy says:

    My cutting table is still clean. I love the Dresden Plate Template. I didn’t know she had a mini wedding ring set. That would be cute. You’re trying too suck me into starting another quilt and adding to my UFOs list!!!!! You are already getting blamed for six of them as is. Going to have to think about this one.

  7. Kathy says:

    My very first quilt I made way back about 40 years ago was a Dresden Plate. But, it was not like todays with a point. It was rounded on the edge. I wish I would have kept the template I made from a piece of already cut out fabric. I also made 2 twin pointed Dresden Plate quilts for my boys. I am thinking about taking some pictures of my sewing room and letting you see how small and how compact everything is. But it works for me. Hopefully when all the DRAMA is done here, I will be able to have a lot larger one down in the basement. MAYBE someday? Not holding my breath though.

  8. Elaine Walker says:

    Well—–I did have my cutting table fairly clear, but then I had to decide what to take to the retreat I am going to this weekend.So now it is more covered then it was when I started. Oh well.
    I also have a squedge ruler I really want to give a try. We’ll see how that goes.
    I would like to try the double wedding ring quilt, but it scares me.

  9. Linda Knight says:

    Looks like you need several smaller tables around the big one.

  10. Barb B says:

    Ok, you did make progress! Keep working at it.

    My cutting mat is clear. The current project is stacked neatly to one side. There’s a big surface cleared and ready for me to use anytime. (I am lucky to have a 7′ cutting table, too.)

    As I end my sewing session, I take 2-5 minutes to clean up and straighten up before I leave my room. I can’t believe how much better it looks when I just tidy-up a bit. I have to have a somewhat clean surface each time I start to sew, or I feel overwhelmed and can’t function. My creativity is blocked if it is messy. If it is clean, I feel energized and excited and I get so much more done.

    I also do this in my stained-glass studio. It’s just something that I learned to do years ago and it works for me.

    Now, not all of my house is organized–goodness no–but this area that is totally mine, IS organized. I’m continually working on the rest. đŸ™‚

  11. I agree about the cutting table, it’s sort of a magnet for clutter…but I did get mine cleaned off. I have a tool called the Sew E-Z Tube Turner designed by a local quilter. You stitch tubes RST and turn them so they are finished and then weave them to create any number of different patterns for runners, toppers, placemats, wall quilts. The store samples were really cool, but I still haven’t tried this tool. So now it’s moved from my pegboard to my cutting table…we’ll see what happens đŸ™‚

  12. Rose Marie says:

    I bought a tool to make Lemoyne stars of any size and no y-seams. And because you reminded me with this blog post, I looked at it again and lo and behold! there is a pattern in the plastic bag that I completely forgot I bought. So next week I gotta call in sick and start two new projects. Oh wait, I work for the church…………..can’t lie to them……… what?

  13. melfunk says:

    I made the block using the tool I’ve not used before.
    Check out my blog post
    It was not difficult with the template being so thick. I don’t enjoy templates

  14. Sue H says:

    I don’t really tools because I tend to not use them. I did make a quilt from the square in a square tool but didn’t enjoy the process and wasted a lot of fabric. I have want to learn paper piecing – I know that is not a tool but I do have several small things I have purchased to make but haven’t – maybe I will work on them.

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