Saturday, February 6, 2021

A needle in the haystack

 So one of the things I love about audiobooks is that when you read a really good one, you don't really care what you do, as long as you're doing something when you listen. That's my case! I had a couple of Zoom calls and the audiobook, and well, I got stuff done that I would have put aside for another day. The book I'm reading is called Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. I LOVE his books. I've got ONE hour to finish reading, and the book will go back today. Yes - I'm a little behind. 

I had three Zoom calls or online sessions yesterday. One was with Quilts of Valour - not sure if any of you were in the audience, but I presented my video - only one since I had only so many minutes to share. I learned something new with Zoom - sharing a video requires selecting a setting to share the sound. That was my first time sharing a video directly, and so that was good to learn. 

There were a LOT of experienced Zoom users online from the sound of the comments and suggestions, but there were equally a LOT who had no clue that if you unmute yourself, you have an open microphone in your house. That should be the first thing that people learn - how to mute and unmute, turn the camera on and off. 

Zooming with hundreds of other quilters

But it all worked out OK, and it was fun. While I listened to the presentations, I was busy working on the third quilt that I'm making with my Beads and Baubles pattern. At the time, I didn't have a panel that I could use to make the quilt. Now I have the panel and all the fabric. I spent yesterday making all the hour-glass blocks. 

Hour-glass blocks for Beads and Baubles

Then there was another author talk last night at our local library. Remember this is FREE for anyone to join in. I just love them and the speaker last night was Jennifer Robson, who wrote The Gown and five other historical novels. What a lovely person and she loves to talk!!!! The session went over the time. I must confess that I scrolled through the names on the screen and saw a few people I recognized, and I got a couple of notes back from people who "saw" me. 

I hope they continue the program because it's wonderful, and we get to "meet" some amazing authors that we would never have access to. 

And then one last Zoom call. It was getting late in the day, and I wasn't that keen to start. But you know what? There were just two of us, and we had a great chat. I'm so glad I "attended". I was only going to stay until 9 PM (way past my bedtime), but I stayed longer. I even managed to get the embroidery finished on the last two butterfly blocks for Quilter's Patch. Now it's all about getting that applique onto the border and stitching it in place. The end is close!

The embroidery on the butterfly blocks

I popped out for my curbside pick-ups. I had to stand in the COLD outside Fabricland until someone saw me and brought my bag out, but it wasn't that long, so I can't complain. 

Eight spools of orange thread

And there you have it - all eight oranges of Guterman polyester thread. Hopefully, ONE of them will work for my project. I also got one other thing, but I'm going to experiment with it before showing you. 

Then I stopped by Staples to get my presentation books. There they walk the order to your car. Now, how civilized is that? I could get very used to curbside pickup!!

I got a customer quilt done as well. Thanks to listening to the author talk, the quilt is trimmed, and since it has plush on the back, there was a huge mess on the cutting table. That's all cleaned up!

Customer quilt - DONE

I LOVE the wireless earbuds that I use to listen to Zoom calls. I can wander almost over the entire house - OK - the basement and the main floor and still listen. I'm not tied to the laptop. I LOVE them. The battery lasts about four hours, which is a perfect length of time. Oh yes - I have three different sets of headphones/earbuds depending on which device I'm listening to, what I'm listening to - it's stupid, but it works. 

I had some time to sew yesterday, and I have that huge stack of prepped projects, so what should I sew? I'm not quite finished with all the prep work, and maybe later today, I'll make that happen. 

Most of the projects have a due date, so it would be logical to grab one of those. Oh no - that would never do! Just because the projects are cut doesn't mean they'll get sewn in a timely manner! Nope - I grabbed this scrap quilt to work on. 

When I had the second issue with water in the basement, this project got hit the hardest. There were some batiks near the project, and some of the dye ran into these pieces. The entire quilt was cut, and while the half-square triangles were made, there are still many pieces in each block. I had to separate them all out to dry the pieces. NOTHING was too damaged to throw away. Hey - it's a very scrappy quilt, and there's even some polyester in there. So if one or two pieces (OK - a bit more than that) are stained, who's going to care?

Oh my - my attitude is so different from when I started to quilt. I'm positively liberated when it comes to quilting. Well, maybe not completely liberated, but I'm enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with letting things go. I still aim for accuracy, but if things don't match - I'm good with that. 

Stained fabric in the block pieces

I managed to get NINE blocks completed last night. Four of them just needed the large triangles attached. 

Nine scrappy blocks finished

They got added to the stack of blocks that are sitting on the current projects table. Oh yes - I might be able to pull another project off that table. I really need to free up the spots on the design walls where two quilts are languishing and need to be sewn together. That should be the focus of my next sewing session. Because I'm going to want to lay these blocks out before I sew them together. 

The rest of the scrap blocks

So I was on a roll and sewed six more blocks this morning. 

Six more scrappy blocks

I picked this project for two reasons. I really want the little design board that the block pieces are sitting on. I have two of them, but both of them are tied up at the moment. And the stack of pieces is thick and messes up my stack of prepped sewing!  Oh yes -- I'm obsessed with organizing! 

I counted that pile of cut pieces, and there are 11 or 12 blocks left to sew. Ooops --- that's 11 or 12 sets (each set is two blocks). I can't remember if there are 11 in the stack and one laid out or 11 in total! 

The set of blocks is laid out

I think I might just plug away and get this DONE! The other stuff that is prepped is easy and won't take that long. I don't have any pressing deadlines, so I'm good. 

I have a guild talk later this week on scrap quilts, so it would be good to get the blue one and this one done! A goal!!! I'm very good with goals!

Do you want to see the table runner that's in the McCalls Quilting January/February? 

McCall's Quilting January/February

Here it is. Can you guess what it's made of?? Cork - the entire thing - front, back - it's entirely made of cork. No batting. I did some machine embroidery on it, and YES - it's pieced in a sort of fashion. I learned a LOT when I made that table runner. I LOVE it. 

My cork table runner

Lady luck was on my side yesterday. I wanted to find a picture of those little Inukshuks alongside the road. You know - the ones that people build onto the rocky sides of the road. As I've been doing my cross-Canada walk and I'm in the part of the country where one would find those, I've been searching the Google pictures each day in the hopes that one would appear. Nothing. 

Then in desperation yesterday, I opened up Google Maps to that rocky area along the highway. Don't forget that most of the terrain in Northern Ontario is rocky, so I just randomly picked a spot. I dragged the little yellow Google guy to the map and opened the picture. OH MY GOD - when I rotated the picture, there was an Inukshuk on the top of the rocks!! WOW - that was a needle in the haystack for sure!!!

Well - what do you want to clean up today? Let's aim for writing instruments—pens, pencils, erasers, markers, etc. You know you have them. Do they all work? Are they all in one place? Are the pencils sharpened? I assembled a ton of pens and pencils several years ago and donated them all to the local school. I have one cup of writing instruments on my desk, one in Studio B, a few in the "junk" drawer, and I use them all, so nothing needs to be thrown away - well, there might be one or two that are dried up. And there's the start of another container that can be given away at some point. 

It's huge to get that stuff organized because we have so MUCH of it. 

I'm constantly surveying my desk to see how I could change it up. I think I've got a plan. But to execute it, I need to move the stuff OFF of the computer desk. And that can't happen until I clean up the other desktop. How's that for incentive? Oh yes - I want a better surface to work on, and now I'm motivated!!!!  Oh my -- I just poked into a box - a pretty box, but it's empty - I'll share tomorrow. I don't have loads of time to do more sorting at the moment. And I want to dive in. Did I just say that? The problem is that there's so much to deal with, and well, I need to have time to do that. God - that's sounds contradictory. Anyway - it's going to happen. 

I like taking pictures of what I throw away. It makes me feel better. Perhaps it's my way of "thanking" the items. Getting posted on the blog is their fifteen minutes of fame!

Well, on that note, I'm off to brave the cold. I think it's a flannel lined jeans kind of day. 

Have a super day!!!!


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