Wednesday, January 20, 2021

All in a Day's Work

The other day, several of the Monday sewing group talked about their screen time and how they felt they weren't necessarily the most productive they could be. Now, if you are retired, does it matter how productive you are? Not exactly, but if you want to spend more time on your hobbies - quilting, reading, gardening, exercise, or chatting with friends or whatever, it does make sense to see how you're spending the day. 

So one of the ladies is using a tracking app to track what she does in a day. I can't remember the name of the app. 

I thought I might have a look at what I did yesterday - just for fun. So I'm going by memory here. 

  • Zoom meetings: 3.5 hours
  • Morning blog writing/e-mail: 1.5 hours
  • Walking: 2.5 hours
  • In Studio B but not sewing (trimming quilts, loading a quilt, prepping some work): 2 hours
  • In Studio B in the afternoon (no sewing - but prepping): 2 hours
  • Writing: 3 hours
  • Reading: 1 hour
  • Dinner: 30 minutes

I know it's bad to admit this, but I eat lunch and breakfast with the computer, so I didn't count that time. I don't' think I even had time to check IG or Facebook yesterday. If I did, it was perhaps a few seconds. I did listen to an audiobook for a couple of hours while I was in Studio B. 

Oh well - so looking at my day- the amount of time spent on various things doesn't surprise me. I wish I had more time for sewing, but yesterday I had meetings, which took up some precious sewing time. Today, I'm on my own, so I expect to do the same amount of writing and then spend the afternoon prepping for the next writing session and getting some sewing/quilting done. 

The best part is that I've become super focused. When I'm in front of the computer, I don't end up surfing the net. I get the information I need, then move on. I've ZERO time for random surfing, and I'm glad. I'm creating good habits for when I don't have to work! 

Games and TV?? Nope - I'd have to give up some sleep for those activities, and that's not going to happen. But for whatever reason, I insist on checking the weather app before I go to bed. This is a bad idea since I had a crazy dream about a HUGE accident. We were running when I woke up and not sure what happened. 

Speaking of writing, I'm addicted to numbers. I love looking at them but am not obsessed with them. I just quickly glance at the e-mail when it comes in. Here's the latest update I received from Grammarly about my writing. Such fun facts. 

That's a lot of writing!

Holy -- that's a LOT of writing and 40,000 words last week? What the heck was I writing?? I know the blog takes up lots of words, but the rest? 

And now Grammarly measures the tone of what you write. I'm happy to report that most of what I write (according to Grammarly) has a good quality to it! 

The one area that bugs me is this. So I'm more productive than 98% of the users. Seriously? Well, I'm OK with that. But it's the mistakes that drive me nuts. Some of the errors that Grammarly shows are stupid and result from my personal choices. I don't like putting the period at the end of a caption, for instance, and sometimes Grammarly wants that. Thank god for hitting delete on the suggestion, but then it gets marked as an error. Oh well - I don't care!! 

OK --- so I was a crazy person at school. I loved getting my marks and seeing where I went wrong, and learning how to fix it. I think that's why I'm such a stickler in the quilting world. I'm much more relaxed, but I want to know WHY something doesn't work. Then I can make a choice to fix it for next time or let it go. 

The inbox is out of control, and MORE people keep signing up for all the classes. I'm good with that, but soon all signups are going to be shut down! It's a huge job to keep everyone on the right list. Well, not keep them on the list, but GET them on the right list. I have two more assignments to write, and they have to be done TODAY. 

Then it's time to start the prep work for this weekend. But I love it, so I'm not complaining. Writing it out makes me calm and helps me to focus. And you get to read about my idiosyncrasies!! And I can't say enough about that little green folder I found. It's a GODSEND!!!

So here's something to contemplate. When I first started to quilt, I HAD to follow the pattern instructions to the letter. If they used a particular green fabric, I searched and searched until I found that same fabric. Oh - you do NOT want to hear the stories of what I did and how much I paid to get certain fabrics. Someday when the kits emerge - I might confess then. 

But if I couldn't find the exact fabric, then I had to use the exact color. And god forbid that I change the pattern. When I started teaching and trying to keep ahead of the students, I started to experiment with how things looked. I was learning that just because the designer made the pattern in a specific way didn't mean that I had to do the same thing, especially if I didn't like the result. 

Here's a case in point. This is NOT my quilt, but I was given permission to use the photos. 

Sophie is working on the Grassy Creek Mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. I have to say that I was very impressed that she kept up with the assignments, and we watched the blocks building as the weeks went by. Remember, Bonnie releases a new clue every week, and there is a LOT of work in each clue. 

As she finished the blocks (I think Bonnie always has two blocks in her mystery quilts - well, many of them do) and the sashing, she put the pieces on the design wall. Hmmm - while it looks great, Sophie wasn't happy with it. She felt the grey sashings took away from the blocks. 

Round One - using the original blocks and sashing

So she started to play, which is totally out of her comfort zone. But look what happened!!!  When I saw this last Monday on the design wall in her studio (you gotta Zoom to get a peek into our personal spaces!), I was totally blown away. She did NOT change the blocks. All she did was change the sashing and WOW. Look at those circles that got created with the new sashing. The new quilt looks like a very intricate tile floor in some ancient European building. 

A new sashing 

I love this, and I'm so glad that she persevered (it took a few iterations and mistakes in drafting the new sashing) to come up with this. 

An amazing secondary pattern is formed

The moral of this story? If you don't like something, think about how you can change it!! A new sashing made a very nice quilt into a show-stopping quilt!!!!

So how is the cleanup situation coming along? Are you still setting that time for 10-minutes? I'm not going to get to touch any cleanup for quite a while now that I'm back to work in full force. That's OK as I'm happy with the progress that I did make. Let's see - what about magazines?? You don't have to get rid of them today but make a plan. I'm sure there are some that you want to keep. Then get them organized. And for those that you don't care about - perhaps they can be tossed or put by your cozy chair so that you browse through one or two a day INSTEAD of playing games or trolling through Social Media!!

On that note, I'm off for my walk and then back to the computer. 

Have a super day!!!!


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