Do you live in an area where the weather turns bad in the winter? You know – snow, ice, or just plain cold. If so, please do your prepping for winter quilting now. Planning now will make you a happier quilter later.
WhY preP for winter quilting?
Prepping for winter is different than just normal day to day quilting. For some quilters, when they run out of some item (say sewing machine needles) they just run to town or the nearest fabric store. But what happens during winter when the roads are icy, or the temps are cold, or the power is out?
Here in central Indiana, some of the leaves are starting to change at the tops of the trees. This is even with 90-degree days. It certainly appears that winter may come sooner than normal.
In an average year here, there is at least 1 – 2 days each winter that it is recommended we stay home due to the roads. In other words, the ice and/or snow is not cleared off the road. Or the power may be out in various places, so traffic lights do not work (usually stores are not open either).
On days like these, in my opinion, I would just rather hibernate at home. Power or no power, I can find a quilting project to work on.
PrepPING for Winter Quilting:
Do a basic inventory of quilting and sewing supplies you have on hand now. Then it will be easy to figure out what you need to get through those winter days you cannot shop, or simply want to hibernate at home.
The list may include these items:
- Sewing machine needles
- Sewing machine light bulbs
- Sewing thread in basic or specific colors based on your projects
- Rotary cutting blades
- Iron that works properly
- Batting for hand and/or machine quilting
- Any needed fabric in order to continue or finish a project
- Hand needles for said projects
- Quilting pins
- Sewing gadgets that are specific to your needs
The first item on my personal prepping list is to make sure my sewing machine is clean, oiled, and in complete working order. In other words, it has had its’ annual “tune-up”.
I usually have my machine “tuned-up” in the summer since that is the time it is used the least due to spending my evenings in my flower beds. My machine was done in early July and is working great.
“Quilty” things that can be done ahead of winter:
We live in an area that our power goes off randomly all year round. However, the high winds and ice of winter tend to make it a more common event. So, I keep several things in a pile that I can work on while the power is out. This solves the need to work on something quilt related.
Some items that I have ready for the possibility of no power, or necessary hibernation:
- 2 quilts that are waiting on the binding to be completed. In other words, the binding is machine sewn on, but the hand sewing to finish is not. This is a fairly easy project even in candlelight.
- Applique or hand piecing that is ready. All the pieces are cut and in a container with the directions so they can be pulled out and worked on.
- Hand quilting.
- Tying (with yarn) three baby quilts that are to be donated.
- If you have fabric that is ironed and have good light (such as at a window) cutting can be safely done. I have scraps that were ironed in the spring and put on hangers in the closet. They are ready to be cut when I have time.
- A box of hexies that are already basted to paper that I can make designs with.
No doubt, you can think of quilt parts or entire projects you can work on if the prep is done while you have power.
A thought on other supplies for DURING POWER OUTAGES:
Everyone will have some non-quilting items that you should have on hand for your specific needs. It may be medications, food, snow boots, pet supplies, etc. Think of entertainment items too such as books, cards, or board games. Little people may be content to color with crayons or play with toys.
A hand crank radio is a good investment for the minimum of listening to the weather reports.
We have a wood stove that we can (and do) heat with or cook on if necessary. But if this not an option for you, what will you need to stay warm and have warm food? Now is the time to think about this and prep so you are happy and comfortable when needed.
For me, the first thing I think of is lamp oil and/or candles. Believe me, I truly appreciate electric lights, especially when the power goes off in the middle of machine sewing. However, by lighting several candles or oil lamps, I can see well enough to work on a hand project.
Another quilter’s fun and not so fun observations of not really being prepared for power outages.