Thursday, April 16, 2020

And so it goes...............

Here's another day! They all seem to blur into one another and yes I have to remind myself what day of the week it is. But then I had to do that pretty much before as well. My calendar for April and May is pretty much empty except for one phone meeting and all the dates for the online classes and meetups. AND we have another retreat scheduled for the end of May. I'm very hopeful and keeping my fingers crossed that the rules will be relaxed enough to be able to go.

 At some point, I'll start to clear June as well, but for the moment, I'm leaving all of the events as we wait to see what happens.

What am I grateful for today? Well, it's a person. That person is Ronda. Why? Because she spent some time with me a while back and helped me get all the yardage organized for my quilt backings. All the backings have been measured and labeled and shelved in ONE spot. Except for the stuff on the bolts. So when I went to find a backing yesterday, it was a snap. Less than one minute and I found exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, Ronda!!!  Oh - I'm grateful to her for more than just this, but I wanted to be specific!

I came across this article yesterday which I'll share with you. Some of the things he chats about are a bit too dramatic and graphic, BUT there's a good message there. None of what we are experiencing is NORMAL. NONE. While I seem to be coping just fine, my normal is not far off what I'm experiencing right now. That means my life hasn't really been disrupted too much. Yes - I'm not teaching and go to events but most other stuff has remained normal.

I'm also an optimist and I'm pretty flexible so that helps a whole lot. My other saving grace has been my daily walks. I'm aiming for at least 7 MILES each day. Oh yes - there are days when I don't want to  - it's cold, I'm tired, my legs or feet hurt, but I go. I make myself go. When I come back, I feel great. And I get to spend some quality time with the girls who LOVE to go for a walk. Let's just say that most of that time is spent 100% focused on trying to stay ahead of Murphy. I have to be on the lookout for anything that moves - be that a bird, a squirrel or blowing leaves so I can be ready for her attack on said moving things. It's truly a physical effort to walk those 7 miles with her.

But I love her and she loves me. She loves to jump up on the window seat in Studio U and I happened to be watching my video so she was right behind me. What a goof!!!!

Murphy and me

And if I'm in Studio B? She loves to sit outside the window. What a dog!!!!

The watcher

I noticed on our walk yesterday that the guys ripping up the neighborhood to install some new cable or whatever they were doing have left terrible messes everywhere. I think I did see them compacting some of these areas, but look at what's on top?? Gravel and concrete. Yep - the grass will grow there no problem!! Thank goodness we have no grass on our property. But then they weren't digging on our property either.

A mess left by the cable guys

Elle said I must be getting positively giddy about the work tables and you know what? I am!! I can't wait to pack the laundry basket for next week as that will remove more of the stuff off the tables as well. But this is what the situation looks like now. Yes - the end is in sight and so far, I've only filled three and a half boxes. A lot of this stuff is current and shouldn't really be packed in a box or it could be and marked CURRENT - just to get it off the tables. I'll see how it goes.

Progress on the work tables

I found a metal bar downstairs and decided it was time to use it. I have this space over my cutting table where I normally pinned a small quilt. That left holes in the wall so I decided to put the metal bar over the cutting table. Yep - got out the hammer and whacked two nails in the wall. So much for small pinpricks!

I found this set of sewing themed magnets on the work table and so now the magnets are holding this small quilt in place.

Small quilt held up with magnets

I was hoping to find some earth magnets as they are stronger, but these ones seem to work just fine. And now I've filled that space above the cutting table. Oh yes - this clean-up/organizing is getting exciting. Oh - it's not centered very well - who cares! I sure don't. That little quilt was the quilt I received in the mini-swap from 2019 Quiltcon. I love it!!!!

The new quilt hanger over the cutting table

Then it was back to the long arm where I got the third quilt of five quilted for Quilts of Valour.

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

Even though I have the computer do the quilting, it still takes time to get a quilt done and I wasn't able to get much else done in between the babysitting.

However, I did get the binding completely sewn onto the first of the five quilts. One done and four more in various stages of completion. I have other quilts on the list for April, but they are mostly my quilts! There are a couple of customer quilts that have been left on the porch so I have quilts to work on for the remainder of the month.

The binding is on a quilt

As I was sewing, the light above me started to flicker and yep - sure enough, it died. But - not to worry. I have a box of lights so I'll dig one out this morning and replace it. I'm gradually getting rid of the old lights and installing new daylight ones. I love them so this is going to be brighter in that corner.

The light died!

I was on the phone for a couple of hours yesterday and getting some new stuff to work on. More on that when the time comes. The sleeve got sewn on the magazine quilt, while I watched one more episode of The Quilt Show. I have to get to the UPS office this morning to drop off the box.

Matter of fact, I have a list of things that NEED to get done today - requests for fabrics, writing instructions for quilt patterns and getting some of that e-mail out of the way!!!

That didn't leave a whole lot of time for actual sewing. So while I did get some work done on the Night Sky quilt, it's not quite finished.

All the columns are together and there are TWO seams left to sew. I just ran out of time this morning. While the rest of my day is pretty flexible time-wise, the morning (until 9 AM) is NOT. I'm on a very tight schedule.

The Night Sky quilt is almost done

Here's the backing that I found for it. There are two pieces of fabric and it'll need several seams to get the backing out of it, but that's OK. This is part of my UFO homework that is due on Sunday. I think I should have no problem getting it completed by then. Probably three more hours at the most and it'll be completed.

The backing for the Night Sky quilt

Now I have to find another UFO for my homework for next month. What will I choose?? Something from the UFOs lists for sure. There are two items left on the list for 2017. I WILL pick one of those. I know exactly where both of them are located but which one to choose?

I have to press those long seams open on this quilt. I hate pressing seams open and I was reading the other day how people use all kinds of tools to do that. The best tool? My finger. OH - actually my thumb. You just run your thumb down that seam and follow along with the iron. I do NOT use steam at this point. Just the heat of the iron is enough to get it open. Then flip it over and give it some steam and that seam is now set and nicely pressed open.

Pressing the seam open

There are times when a tool is good, but there are many times when a tool is not necessary. The fewer tools one uses, the fewer there are to lose, the fewer to manage and things look a whole lot neater! Yep - neat freak me!!!

I'm going to have to dig out another spool of dark thread to finish the quilt off as I don't think I'm going to have enough here.

Going to need more thread

No worries - I've got an extra spool and it was right by the sewing machine.

Since Lexi is so laid back these days, I have to share this photo of Murphy with you. That dog is just a crazy dog. She can run around like an idiot and then the next minute she is just lazing around watching the fish in the pond. What is going through her mind? Oh - I know!!  "I wish my Mom wouldn't yell at me when I go swimming in the pond!"

Murphy surveying the pond

What a silly girl. Both of them are totally silly and we love them very much. Honestly, having them around is hugely entertaining. I never feel stressed when they are around. That's usually because we're laughing our heads off!! Or yelling at one or the other of them. Did you notice that Murphy is a big attention hog???

On that note, I've got a HUGE list of things to get done today and I'd better get started. OH - I promised to talk about cutting mats. I'm going to do that tomorrow as I ran out of time today. And if there's any other quilting tool that you'd like me to touch on, let me know and I'd be happy to oblige.

Have a super day!!!!


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