Sunday, July 3, 2016

And the work continues..............

OK - the weirdest thing just happened.  I came across the same QUOTE TWICE in one morning.  And the first time I saw the quote, I thought it was profound but the second time I came across it - well it made me realize that it is so very true. What's the quote?  "The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
Mark Twain

I'll show you where I found the first quote later in this post, but the second time I found it was in a newsletter by Louise Penny.  An author whom I love and I realized that with my e-mail fiasco that I haven't been getting notified when her monthly newsletter comes out so I popped over to her web site to read them.  I just love her, not just her books but her entire style, her outlook on life, just a most fascinating person! So down to earth despite her fame!

And now onto the regular post that I started days ago!

There are many times when I think the only reason I get some sewing done is in order to have a picture to post on the blog!  Hey - if that`s my motivation, I`m OK with that. Otherwise, you would have to read my babble and pictures make it so much more fun.

I didn't get too much done since yesterday (Friday) despite the fact that I was out of the office a bit earlier, getting a head start on the long weekend,. I sat in the backyard and enjoyed the day. I read a book and Lexi and I were having some discussions.

Speaking of reading, I`m trying to read the books that have somehow accumulated on my own library shelves. There aren`t too many - about 125 - which is doable in my lifetime. But many of them are part of a series and I hate to read books out of the sequence. It does require borrowing library books. But the book I just finished was written in 1986.  Not that that is a bad thing, but WHOA - the style of writing, the very unpolitical correctness (not that that bothers me), and the Twin Towers in New York still exist - well, it`s a bit like reading in a time warp!  The one I`m about to start is no better - it was written in 1990.  It`s huge and not sure I`ll get through it, but I`ll give it a try.

First up, all five columns for Tonga Rhapsody are done!  This was a class I taught last year and I`m very happy to report that me getting this much done AFTER the class has probably never happened. It usually takes me years to complete a quilt after the class ends. Now, I`m nowhere near finishing it - remember, I have to sew those five columns together. Normally that isn't a problem, but there is a very distinct pattern and all the seams have to be matched. Again, not usually a problem, but everything is on the diagonal and bias edges - it could take a while, a lot of patience and probably ONE chance. Then there are FIVE borders!

Tonga Rhapsody
 Then I prepared my list of weekly goals.  I must confess that I haven`t done that in a while and well, I have a lot to do. Instead of just grabbing a piece of paper to write down the things I want done before I leave for the retreat, I just put them in my book where I will be able to find it when I need it!  Now that makes a lot of sense.
List of things to do before the retreat

So now, it's Sunday morning.

ACK - there is so much to post, but the good news, all the pictures are edited. OK - that's a lie. I still have loads of class photos to edit and I made a promise. That's a job for later today.

I mentioned that I was going to cut some of the blocks for Gypsy Wife.  My new policy - get things done!  There are 15 main blocks in this quilt and I had made ONE.  One of the things on my list is to get the remaining 14 cut so they would be ready to sew whenever.  Not sure what quilt is Gypsy Wife?  It looks like this.............

Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell

It is a very busy quilt, but I have seen it done in less busy colors and I really like it.  I'm going for busy. It's something I have an issue with and so busy it is!  I searched for months for the fabrics and well, let's just dive in!

As I prepare to cut block two, I noticed that something was awry!  It appears that Block Two had already been cut. GREAT! Now where was Block Two?

Hmmm - fabrics for Block Two have been cut!

Yes - there are leftovers from cutting!
 I was very particular, at least in the main blocks, that the fabrics got used ONCE!  That's how I knew that this block had already been cut.  But where was it???

OH - then I turned over the bag that contained Block One (which was sewn) and VOILA - there was BLOCK TWO!

 Well - that saves cutting and sewing that block. Leaving 13 more to cut. I did manage to get 3 more cut so there are 10 remaining. Can I cut them today???

Back to the long arm.  I'm really trying to clear up the back log.  There aren't that many customer quilts left to quilt, then there are a bunch of guild and community services quilts and a couple of favors!  Imagine what it would be like to get all that off my plate!!  I'm doing serious damage to the list!

I was trying out a new pattern and I was having some issues in getting it to work just right.  All operator error of course. But as I finished the "second" row, I realized that I had left one row completely blank!  Roll back that quilt and insert the row. No big deal, but I got a good laugh out of that!  I almost did it again several times. It's just the way the pattern repeats on the paper!  My brain couldn't deal with it!

Ooops - missed a row!

Customer quilt - DONE!

New (to me) quilting pattern

In my clean up process, I came across this. It's one of the Trend-tex challenges from 2016.  They were up for grabs via silent auction at Quilt Canada.  I found several I liked and put bids on them.  No idea when the bidding closed and while I was on my way to check out the bids, I heard an announcement saying come and pick up your pieces!  AH - obviously the bidding had closed.  But I did manage to get this one which is very nice. It goes to support CQA and it's always nice to buy other people's art work.  Why not!  Gets boring with just my own stuff.

Trend-tex challenge piece that I purchased

We had a great time yesterday and I'll post pictures about that tomorrow.  But I did manage to get more stuff done!

Customer quilt - DONE
Yes - it was back to the long arm and got another customer quilt out of the way. That list is diminishing and I'm very excited about that.

Remember my plea for phone books?  Well - ask and you shall receive.  I got SIX books the other day from Janice!   Thanks so much. These were on their way to the recycling bin and I rescued them so I can use for string piecing!  Probably won't need to ever get more, but you never know!

Phone books for string piecing
The books are now stowed in the home for phone books. One more thing off the floor.

When I was trying to empty out the stuff that is still sitting on the floor, I found this.  What a cute way to package a bundle of Christmas fabrics.  Very funky fabrics I might add.  Not sure what to make with them, but it was cute!
Cute packaging for Christmas fabrics

So after my guest left yesterday, I needed a nap. What a slave driver!  But then I was back at work and besides getting that customer quilt finished, I decided it was time to get that darn cutting board cleaned up.  So everything that I didn't have an immediate home for went on that processing table.  I even took the plastic off the brand new cutting mat!

Cleaning up the cutting mat

 And now look!  I even took all the dust out of the ruler holders and everything is just so nice.

Cutting station - the way it should be!

It makes trimming a quilt so much easy and faster to trim!

Trimming a customer quilt
This morning, when not distracted by the crap on the table, I glanced at the calendar on the wall.  While the calendar is a few years old, it is one of those with inspirational sayings on it and I just love them.  It was here that I found the first reference to that Mark Twain quote. And remember yesterday when I said that unless you really really want something, (like quitting smoking or losing weight or cleaning up your studio) and you are prepared to make the first move, it isn't going to happen.  Well I think finding this quote TWICE on the same day is the key to making to this happen.  Unless I begin (and keep things tidy), it's never going to happen!!!!

I have to confess that I was excited to get up this morning and go and work in the studio.  It was so open and inviting - well, it's a sickness and I'm OK with that.

And here we are three days before the retreat and I'm calm. There is no panicking (although I'm still missing those two patterns).  But here is another of the inspirational quotes that I thought was fun.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."  by Benjamin Franklin

Inspirational quote
 Now I'm just preparing for a retreat, but there will be no mad panic packing - there is nothing left to pack and nothing to pack stuff into. All my bags are already full of projects!!!  All the tools are in the tool bags - it will be a breeze to work on anything. I'm pretty excited!

And then there is the ironing board.  Nice and clear so it's easy to iron the backing for the next quilt. This backing is already on the long arm, the top is pressed and ready to load.  Yes - one more quilt to get done today or tomorrow. Notice how nice it is to have this rectangular shape for ironing.  Makes life a whole lot easier!

Ironing quilt backings is a snap with this ironing board

The list of things to get done before the retreat is slowly being reduced.  Started with 17 items. I think 6 are done, leaving 11 to go.  Only ONE is truly a MUST-DO before the retreat.  I made great progress on about 3 of the other items and now waiting for more fabric or for someone to answer a question.  Those may or may not get done before I leave, but good progress was made.  Yes - LISTS ARE GREAT!!!!

The book of lists - quilting lists!

The normal after a guest leaves is to heap the tables with stuff.  I refrained.  I did have a few small things that need to be put away or can be easily dealt with and those items got placed on that guest work table.  I'll be chatting about a few of these tomorrow.

A few things to take care of today

The pile on the floor got smaller!

On that note, it's been a busy morning already and I need to get to work.

Have a great day!


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