Life is Messy – KonMarie Process continued

I’ve tried to think about how to apply the Konmarie techniques for decluttering to my fabric stash. I mean, that category just embodies so much for me, it’s sentimental, it’s precious, it evokes joy in some way or form. But if I touch every piece of fabric (which I’ve been known to spend an hour or two just re-folding it to put on the shelf) will I find that every piece brings me joy? Truthfully, no. In 2015 I not only tried to refrain from buying new fabric, but I also decided to gift some fabric that I had remaining from when I had a fabric shop, I purchased it a long time ago and it was not anything I was in love with. I feel like I passed on a lot of joy to other people who seemed so happy to get that fabric! I know they will put it to good use and it gave me joy to give it away! I also recently sent a priority box full of fabric to a woman who is teaching second graders how to sew. How exciting is that!?

I think I will find more joy in making quilts out of the fabrics that bring me the most joy than just keeping them there to look pretty on a shelf.

Here’s the funny part. The fabrics on my fabric shelf are sorted by color and they are in ROY G BIV color order! Plus a separate cube each for grays, black and white, and low volumes. But the fabrics in the color cubes are not my MOST favorite, MOST precious. Those are stored in other places. Maybe in a plastic container on a top shelf, maybe stacked on top of the cube bookcase, maybe in that red cabinet with my Quilt Books. I don’t know why but I haven’t even given my favorite fabrics the place of “honor” Maybe because I didn’t want to break them up to store them with the color groups. That makes sense. But if I were to sort through all my color fabrics and determine what I want to really keep for future projects, I bet I would have room left over for those favorite fabrics.

People often ask if they should store their fabrics by color or by designer (or both). Sorting my non-precious fabric by color made a lot of sense, because then I could see that I had a TON of blues and reds and greens so I consciously stopped buying those colors. I was low on purple, orange and yellows, so those became more appealing to me once I did the color sort. But now, I’m considering the need to have them sorted this way. Then again, I also really love how they look in order like that. Maybe I just need an extension to my current bookcase (the one I have is the Kallax from IKEA which has 9 cubes but they have a variety of configurations).

As I said before though, the process of sorting through all of this should be devoted to a special Fabric Sorting Day. A special day when the kid is at school and hubby is at work and the rest of the house is clean so that I feel like I can give myself permission to enjoy the process.

It is definitely some food for thought.

Happy Stitches,

Anna

P.S. Did you know that my friend Kristan has a FREE 7 day mini course about how to declutter? You can enroll for FREE right here!

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Do you dream in color?

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I absolutely love color. I think my favorite part of the quilt design process is choosing the fabrics because it means I get to play with color. Yet I hear that so many people feel lost or stuck when it comes to choosing the colors for their next quilt.  Do you use Pinterest?  I have one main board just dedicated to color combos but I’ve also started other boards for specific projects and for those I typically start with color pinspiration (see what I did there?) This picture is from Pinterest and it’s a stretch from the colors I typically choose. Normally I lean toward aqua and coral and maybe a pop of lime green (and my wardrobe reflects that as well). But when I was pinning color combos for my Sewing Buddy project with my friend Emily, I saw this combo of green, blue and deep purple and jumped on it. Oddly enough, today I’m wearing my one outfit that doesn’t have coral and the color combo is very close to the image above and that was a complete coincidence! If you need some other color inspiration, check out the #fridayfabricmix tag on IG. The hostesses chose a theme each week and asked people to pull fabrics with that theme. It was really fun to see the different combos people chose based on their interpretation of the theme. I hope they will continue the challenge beyond May! If you get stuck when choosing colors, try this: Pick one fabric that you know you want to work with and look for colors within that fabric. The coordinates don’t have to be solid and there are a ton of amazing geometric designs out there (I believe quilters call them blenders) that would play so well with a main fabric.  I just need to warn you, if you are choosing colors based on a main fabric on a website and you have all 12 fabrics in your virtual cart, don’t wait overnight to order because the next day your feature fabric may be sold out! (ask me how I know this). If you decide you want to play with color combos, I’d love to see what you put together! Feel free to tag me in your IG post about color!

Happy Stitching,

Anna

Insta-Friday: So you want to share that post?

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Hi and welcome back to Insta-Friday! I hope you enjoyed last week’s post. I had a few people ask why they should bother with IG and I just wanted to say that the purpose of my post was just to share knowledge. That’s just who I am, when I find something I love, I want to share it, but if you have no desire to dive into a new social media format, that’s perfectly fine too. This week, I want to cover a few features and tips for IG that I wish I had known about when I first started using it.

Repost App

If you start to follow lots of people on IG, you may start to see that people will re-post or share a post that someone else in their feed has posted. Lots of people do giveaways and one of the criteria for entry (or to get a second entry) in the drawing, you are asked to repost or share the original post about the giveaway.  In the old days, bloggers would ask that you comment and repost on your blog about the giveaway, this is the same idea. I always thought that the only way to do that was to take a screenshot of the post and load it as an image to my feed to repost it. Well, that was NOT fun because as awesome as my Galaxy phones are (I’ve had an S2 and S4), in order to take a screen shot you have to have the perfect coordination of pressing the home button and the power button and it’s not overly easy (although you’ll get a lot of practice on IG if you decide you want to share screenshots). I eventually found an actual APP that allows me to immediate go to the feed of a person I’m following and hit a button and it will share the image and the text they originally posted to my feed! It’s called the Repost App (check Google Play or the Apple store to get it). It’s absolutely free and it works really well. You enter your Instagram information when you first join and then it can open your IG feed so you can repost anything you see in the feed.

A note here, of the almost 1000 people I follow, generally a good 10 or 20 will post the SAME giveaway (because we all LOVE free fabric and stuff) so I always try to go and find the ORIGINAL post about a giveaway so that the correct hash tag comes through and credit is given to the original post. Also, try not to get sucked into the giveaway world and only post giveaways. I always check the feeds of the people who follow me and if the majority of what they are posting is giveaways, I won’t follow them back. I want to follow people who share their stories on IG and are not just using it to try to win free stuff.

No Crop App

I think it was back around the time I was at Quilt Market in October and I had JUST gotten my new (to me) S4 that I realized that the camera on my phone was funky. Two things were happening, first, when I took a picture from within IG (using the camera function) the picture would look bright when I took it but when it went into the editor part of IG, the picture automatically darkened. I couldn’t figure out what was going on with that! The second thing was that when I took a picture with my regular old camera app on the phone and tried to import it into IG, I had to crop the picture to the SQUARE format that IG uses, thus losing a lot of the awesomeness of the picture! (The iPhone has an option within the camera to take a square picture, which I think is so clever.)  Somehow, and it might have been something someone mentioned to me at Quilt Market, I found out about the No Crop App. This app has several great features, but mostly it allows you to take a picture and then pull it into the square format before directly posting to IG! That allows you to crop it and fill in some space around or zoom in on the picture which are features that IG doesn’t have. This app also has the option to add text or cute “stickers” like smiley faces with heart eyes or cute call outs.  I also love that some of the background fillers look like quilts to me, so I will fill in white space with a “quilt” pattern. I almost always take pictures within the No Crop app now instead of using the camera and I really never use the camera option in IG. If you like the filters that IG has, you can apply those after you pull the picture over from No Crop App.

Instanote App

One more app that I find useful is called Instanote. Sometimes, I just want to post something to ask a question of my IG friends and I don’t have a picture to go along with it, or I want the text to be center stage. The Instanote app allows you to select a background and then use the text option to add text to the image and, of course, post directly to Instagram. This is great for asking questions and I use it on occasion. I usually try to use a picture as the background for more impact but if I don’t have one that applies to the question, I’ll just use Instanote.

Direct Messaging in IG

The final thing I want to talk about is the Direct Messaging (DM) option in IG. I’ve only seen this option available on my phone through the app, so I don’t think it’s available on the web version.  The DM option is a way for people to send each other private messages. Similar to the the messaging option in Facebook. It’s sort of like getting an e-mail within IG. This is great if you won a giveaway and someone wants you to send them your address but you don’t want it to be public. The catch is that you have to attach an image to your message, usually not a problem but it is a requirement. I recently offered a giveaway to celebrate 700 followers and asked the winners to DM me their address. I thought it very clever that one of the winners had an image with their address on it as the DM image. It was easy to find and reference later when I was prepping the package to send out.  To access the direct message box, you need to tap on the Home icon, then find the icon that looks like an old fashioned inbox letter tray, on my phone it’s in the top right of the screen. You’ll see any messages that have come through and have the option to create and send a message. You can also send one message to more than one person if you’d like. The TRICKY thing about DM is that the notification on IG is sort of sporadic. There isn’t much in the way of a visual notification that there is a message, so if you’re expecting something from someone, you might check that to see if you had something come in.

I hope that this glut of information has provided you with some helpful tools to make using IG even more fun and easy! I do appreciate your comments and feedback, even if you are still wondering why you should bother with IG. I promise I won’t take it personally if you don’t join in the IG craze.

On a final note:

I just realized that 99% of the listings in my Etsy shop are going to expire in TWO DAYS!! That means, they fall off and I do NOT plan to re-list them  on Etsy. (I’ll talk more about #thegreatfabricdestash in next week’s Insta-Friday post) So if you are looking for some fabric that only $5 per yard and is fun and bright and maybe even completely random, it would be so awesome if you’d go look at my shop. There is a link in the sidebar or you can click in the gallery below. I will of course combine shipping and refund any over charge. Just TWO days left to get some awesome deals on pretty 100% cotton fabrics that will be great for backings, even for charity quilts! The honest truth is that I want to use any money I make selling that fabric to load my Starbucks app so I can keep buying coffee in the morning! It’s like my little treat to myself and hopefully this fabric will be a little treat to you too!

Happy Stitches,

Anna

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