Saturday, December 23, 2017

2018 Planning Party

2018 Planning Party

Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl is having a link up for sharing our quilty plans, goals and resolutions for 2018. In the boating world, "plan" is a four letter word. The humans make a plan, and the boat laughs and laughs and laughs! The mechanical state of the vessel and the whims of the weather are really in control here. So we always use the word "goal" to talk about where we might wander next.



My quilting path also wanders. I buy lots of weird, used fabrics and get inspired by them. My scraps pile up, getting in the way, so I stitch up a scrap quilt. Babies are born, friends suffer losses, quilts are needed for comfort. Another blogger posts a fabulous finish and SQUIRREL! I gotta make my own version!



I'm extraordinarily lucky to be able to quilt whatever I want, whenever I want. Therefore, I resolve to keep on doin' what I'm doin'.



{Lowers voice to a whisper so the boat doesn't hear} Just between you and me, though, we're hoping to cruise for about six months through the Bahamas and Caribbean islands. That means my access to quilting supplies will be extremely limited from late January to around June or July. {Something goes TWANG, CLUNK!! on the boat} It's a goal! Only a goal! Not a plan! Sheesh.




Anyway, I'm kinda sorta thinking I should maybe probably have about six months worth of quilting stuff on board, just in case. Last year I finished 37 quilts, almost all of them baby, toddler, or lap sized. That felt like a good pace for me, around 3 per month, so I'll use that number as a guideline. And this blog post is a great place to calculate and record what I need to continue that pace.

In the first half of 2018, I will need the following items:



Fabric: I'd only be fooling myself if I said I needed any more fabric. My stash is up to the task, I'm pretty sure. The only exception might be light/low volume pieces, which is what I run out of the soonest.



Best Press: I don't use conventional starch, because I really don't want anything that might attract bugs. There are plenty of bugs in my life already, living on the water as I do. I have one of the big refill bottles of unscented Best Press and it's about half full. I think that's enough. If I run out, I can live without it. I do carry a spare iron, just in case!



Batting: 3 quilts a month for 6 months = 18 quilts. Let's round up to 20, just in case. My quilts average about 50" square, or 2,500 square inches. So I need at least 50,000 sq. in. Wow, that looks like a really big number! However, a king sized package of batting is 120"x124"=14,800 sq. in. So four packages should be plenty. I also have some batting already on hand and some scraps to make Frankenbatting, which gives me some wiggle room.



Thread: I have at least 50 full spools of thread. I use mostly Aurifil 40 or 50 wt in the larger size spools. Should be plenty.



Needles: OK, confession time. I don't change my sewing machine needle often enough. They say you should install a new needle when you start a new project, but my projects overlap and intermingle, so I forget until I get the dreaded clunking/popping sound. So I resolve to change my needle more often, and I'm going to buy at least 10 shiny new ones.



Rotary cutter blades: Like needles, I know I don't change 'em often enough. I have four new ones on hand, three of which are the titanium ones. What do you think? Is that enough?



505 Basting Spray: This is my preferred basting method, so I use a lot of it. I get 2-3 quilts from one of the larger cans, so I need at least 3 to last six months. I only have 2 small cans on hand, so I'll order 3 big ones. Aerosol cans aren't supposed to be shipped via air, so they need a longer lead time to be ordered. Better get cracking on this one!


Freezer paper: I've never used it, but who knows? This season might be the time I'm inspired to try it. It's about $6 at Walmart and I'm guessing it's $20 in the Bahamas, so it's a no-brainer to just stock some now.



Shipping boxes: I typically mail off my charity quilts after I accumulate 2 or 3 of them, but paying overseas postage for that will probably be pricey and hard to track. However, we'd like to stop in the US Virgin Islands for a while, so I should be able to use the US Post Office there at standard shipping rates. After this year's terrible hurricane season, I know some supplies might be limited, so I'll bring my own Priority Mail boxes. 6 Large Flat Rate boxes should do it.


As Provisioner in Chief, I'm responsible for making the same sorts of lists and calculations for everything else except boat maintenance items. I have a big spreadsheet that shows our monthly needs for food, paper goods, toiletries, the kitty's needs, etc. Most of it has to be purchased and stored before we leave the USA.



Our previous experience in the Bahamas has showed us that some fruits and veggies are readily available, but expensive. (Yes, that's a $3.30 cucumber and we were happy to pay it.) Decent meat is very hard to find. Beer is plentiful, but outrageously expensive. Toilet paper is scarce and precious. And our cat's prescription diet is impossible to buy. So my first several weeks of the new year will be filled with trips to the store, most of them aboard my little motor scooter. Then I'll remove all the packaging and tuck stuff into every nook and cranny of the boat. Our freezer will be stuffed to bursting with protein, and our bilges full of beer. Then we'll sail off into the sunset!



21 comments:

June D said...

What a full life you have! Love making lists so this is just up my alley. But you are making your lists backed up with history so it's very good. Do you also track the costs of things? Just wondering how much you spend on quilting and then for postage too. I try to track what I get new, but have so much that is already here - don't track that or drawings I win at various places - or fabric the charity places give me to use for them. Know this year will be great!

Mystic Quilter said...

What an amazing post Louise!! Love your detailed plans and where you're thinking of spending six months - lucky, lucky you.

Janice Holton said...

You always say at least one thing that makes me chuckle. Today it was Frankenbatting. Love that word. :) I am fascinated by your extremely organized pre-planning for trips. I am curious how many boat trips it took before you got your supply list perfected?

PaulaB quilts said...

We are so alike in Quilting ways. Can't remember when my last needle change was. I use rotary blades when I'm having to snip uncut portions. Found a new pack hidden in a junk box. It's about saving money now. I was spending about $100 a month online for fabrics. Use it up is my 2018 goal, mainly on UFOs. I'm doing the Scrap Attack and have my 12 goals already to go. Good luck stocking up on all that. I guess you willl be riding low in the water and can always throw fabric overboard?!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Love your planning post it sounds like you are going to have a wonderful trip and I can appreciate the need to plan and be organised. One thing you don't have on the list is machine oil, make sure you have a spare bottle. My current machine is very thirsty, I oil her every week, seriously, she is a thirsty girl. I get kingsize batting and cut it up too, much more economical for smaller quilts. I never heard of frankenbatting before though, so funny, and like Janice I'm giggling my head off.

Debbie said...

Insightful post! Never realized how much planning it took for boat living, and for a tropical adventure cruise! The one item I noticed you did not mention needing was backing fabric! Or does your stash cover that well? I know we are all guilty of not changing needles and blades....I am trying to do better. Your plans...oops...goals sound grand!

Vicki in MN said...

Wow, that is going to take lots of careful planning and your boat is going to be so loaded down going and so lightweight coming back to the states!!! Your travels will be so fun-wishing you all the best weather and that your boat has no troubles. Maybe you'll find some quilt shops to tell us about also:) We honeymooned on a cruise that took us to Nassau, San Juan, and St. Thomas.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, I just bought a box of Microtex needles on MassDrop. Now I'm thinking I should send them to you. Haha! You are doing well in prepping for your upcoming goals for the next leg of your adventure! If I were going, I'd have to have some fusible fleece. I can't live without that for little projects. I'm still in the process of thinking through my goals for 2018, not to mention reviewing my year!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wow, sounds complicated. But you certainly know how to assess and execute. Should be a tropical blast!

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

How about you treat yourself to a new rotary blade on the 1st of every month? I think with as much as you are sewing / cutting, it will be a very nice thing for you. Thank you so much for linking up and I hope you (and your boat) enjoy the year ahead. :)

Needled Mom said...

That is a lot of organizing, but it sounds like it is crucial to do so. Enjoy those sunsets and warm days.

JanineMarie said...

It is always fascinating to read about your life quilting on a boat, and I can say without a doubt that your planning--I mean, goal setting--post will be the most interesting 2018 planning post I read. I burst out laughing when I got to the part about needles and rotary blades. I use needles way too long, and then I stick them back in the original packet so that I have no way to know what's old and what's new. Even though I labeled the packs as "new" when I got them. Why to I do that?? I must think they'll come back from the dead. And rotary blades? There's a lot of cursing when one thread fails to cut on every rotation, but I just carry on. I guess I'd rather complain than switch out the blade. Your anticipated voyage sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures and your prolific (!) quilting in the new year.

Kate said...

Sounds like you've got a great set of both quilting and sailing ambitions and some work to do to make both happen. Good luck!

Sandra Walker said...

LOL I read a few of the comments and it’s good to know that I am in that needle and rotary blade not changed often enough camp. I’ve been better this year, especially since it’s almost orgasmic LOL when you slice through fabric with that brand new blade!! I keep an old plastic film case in which I store my used and broken needles and pins; after many years it’s still not full! Idyllic indeed is the sound of the next six months though I know from reading that book An Embarrassment of Mangos that getting to the Caribbean can be dicey. So much planning, wow. So much fun to read and travel along with you my friend!

Sandy said...

Wow! Are your ship will still float with all that on it? I do change my needle after 2 projects and use a new one whenever I FMQ, but the changing the blades is another story! You must be doing something right with all those finishes!

Fiona said...

oh goodness, as a very poor planner I do so admire how you sort and have things you need. also being a bit pragmatic that if you don't have it you don't helps.... some exciting times ahead that I look forward to reading about....
Hugz

Kate said...

Hmmm, I should probably change my sewing needle and rotary blade... I love how prepared you are - which of course, you should be! Just make sure you don't mail the cat in the box. ;)

Lynn said...

I am in awe of your organization and planning. When I come to our holiday place (which is four and a half hours of driving) I also try to plan projects and try to ensure that I have the fabrics I need. I am very fortunate that there is a fabric shop about 20 mins drive away - but I really want to be self sufficient to some extent. Well done you! Hope you have a marvellous trip. Look forward to seeing your lovely projects in 2018.

Anne Johnson said...

Of all the links I found on the #2018 Planning Party yours was the first one I clicked on. Love the boat! My husband and I were live aboards on a 34' sailboat for a very short time - until my Mother sold her house and said she was moving in with us. (Did she not realize we lived on a boat???) She was 83 years old and that was 14 years ago. (97 now). Still dreaming of living on a boat again, but will probably be a Trawler. The Great American Circle/The Loop is still on our bucket list. Looking forward to your posts.

Anonymous said...

Can you post some pics of your sewing setup? We own a boat, not that big, but would love to see how you find the space! Do you also fish? That's the hubby big thing so we HAVE to have that gear! hah! Great post! enjoyed reading it! I hope I can figure out to sign up for more news from your voyage. Bon voyage!

Louise said...

Hello, Anonymous! You can see a bit more of my studio set up in this post:
http://myquiltodyssey.blogspot.com/2016/01/from-guest-stateroom-to-quilting-studio.html

I hope you'll come back and leave your name :)