Tuesday, April 30, 2013

15 Minute Challenge, Experimenting with Shower Curtains

For years I've used a clear plastic liner as a shower curtain. Not pretty, but lets in light so we can see to shave. I hate taking a shower in the dark. However, a plastic shower curtain doesn't draw back well and is hard to clean. I put it in the washer and it does fine, but being plastic, it doesn't spin well and doesn't do well in the dryer at all.

I used to have a cloth shower curtain made by a name brand company and I liked it, except it was too short for my current shower. I did like the way it hung and how easy it was to throw into the washer with the sheets every week. But I also wanted to cover the shower rod, and most shower curtains don't do that, so I decided to try making one out of a queen sized sheet. I bought a set with 600 thread count, but it must be a cheapo brand because the hem started fraying after the first wash. They also don't feel like 600 thread count. When I make another, I'll buy some that are better quality, but these were fine for experimenting and now I know what to do next time.

This month, Kate at Life in Pieces has been talking about observation. Last week in particular I wanted to chime in and tell her how observation affects my quilting. Take, for example, my bottle of shampoo. There is a design on it that I just love, kind of a spirograph flower, and I've been contemplating a quilt with that design for several years. Or sometimes I watch shade filtering through a tree, changing the colors of the flowers and grass underneath, and think what a pretty quilt could be made from those colors. Sometimes I see a shape that could become a cartoon character or a cute character for embroidery. Design is all around us; sometimes I just have to take off my glasses to see it.

When I picked up mom's machine from the repair shop, I also shopped for some fabric to make a pinwheel type baby quilt. I ended up with these fabrics (and the quilt pattern is in the book opened beside it).

So, on to the business side of this post, or how I've spent my sewing time. I spent four of the last seven days with needle and thread and the last three days measuring fabric. I'm still trying to get my sewing stuff unpacked and organized, and then I need to find a place for everything in the guest room I'll use as a sewing room.

Next is my stash buster report, which should be named stash collector as I seem to be adding rather than subtracting from it.

One reason I have added when I should be subtracting to the stash is that it is so hard to get to find a fabric in it. My stash is kept in nine plastic boxes under a guest room bed, and four of the boxes are fairly difficult to reach. My stash inventory just lists general colors which doesn't help at all when it comes to finding a fabric for a project. Like the six yards bought for the baby quilt I need to make. I knew I had some fabric in my stash, but I hadn't been able to find it. But I had an aha moment this week and decided to not only measure each piece of fabric in my stash, but to photograph them and put them on a spreadsheet. That way, I can easily look through pictures of my stash, see the amount of fabric for each, and choose a quilt pattern that uses what I have. It looks like this:

I'm joining Kate at Life in Pieces for her 15 Minute Challenge. Pop over there to see how others have met the challenge this week, and don't be shy, join in and show us what you've been working on.


Nancy said...

Now that is what I call organization - a spreadsheet for fabric WITH photos. Nice job!

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

That fabric spreadsheet is the best idea I've seen in a long time!

Jan said...

I need to create a yarn stash spreadsheet now that I've seen your control systems!!! Jx

thea said...

Love the shower curtain - what a great idea. I bought some 500 thread count sheets recently that must have meant a total of 500 thread were used. They are so thin -- not at all what I was hoping for .. have your finished photographing your stash? is it something you can carry with you when you are out?

Marti said...

I'll let you know if it really is a control system. I never thought about it for things other than fabric, but I bet it would work for any kind of craft now that mention it.

Marti said...

These sheets are like that, very thin and not really what I hoped for, but they will make fine quilt backs when I find some better sheets to make a shower curtain. This one has some booboos that I covered up and I would make the tabs a little bigger too.

I hadn't thought of carrying the inventory with me, but that's a good idea. I wonder if I could load it on to my phone? I didn't really want to print it because then it's something else I have to keep up with, but I do know people who have a notebook that they carry around samples of fabrics they want to match. No, I haven't finished photographing yet, but I've done about half.

Cheyenne said...

You are quite the busy lady, aren't you? I on the other hand am a big slouch. But when one does not have the incentive to do things like that anymore, well...what can I say?
I have shower doors for our tub and shower and always have a fabric curtain up which I do manage to change every couple of months and only because I get bored with them after awhile.
When my daughter was younger I used to sew clothing for her and I would love going to the fabric stores and picking out really neat things for her.

Kate said...

I must have missed your link on Tuesday, my apologies. You had a great stitching week last week, hope this week is even better. I scan all my photos (easier to control lighting and it's effect on the color). I have two letter code that is added at the front of the file name that indicates color family and then at the end of the file name I add the amount of yardage as Xy. That lets me sort my fabrics by file name in Explorer. I like your spreadsheet option.