Monday, March 1, 2021

The best quilting tip EVER


Happy Birthday, M!!!!  It's hard to believe that my little kiddo is 25 today!!! I have to say that I'm quite proud of her. She's fiercely independent, although she's still just a kid - at least to me. She'll always be a kid! That way, I never age! 

She was born around 2:30 AM, and it's bizarre because I woke up at 2:30 last night. I NEVER do that. Perhaps I was reliving the moment 25 years ago. Have a great day today!!!! Love you lots!!! 

Yesterday was our Virtual Retreat, and oh my - we had a blast. We had the usual culprits who joined us, and we had some new people as well. Welcome to everyone!! It's so nice to put a face to a name. I'm a very nosey host - I like to know about everyone and what they are sewing or what's going on in their lives or where they live. 

It sounds like the pandemic situation in Germany is pretty much the same as here. Some of our local regions are in lockdown, and others are not. I don't even bother with it because it really won't change what goes on in my life, so I only go and FIND the information when I need it. I don't see the point of hearing the same thing over and over again. It's depressing. So I stick my head in the sand and just ignore it. 

I don't care when I'm eligible to get the vaccine. When it's my turn - it's my turn. I can't change that - I don't really care since I'm socially distancing, staying at home, etc.  My brain just doesn't have the capacity to deal with the stress of all that. When it's time - it's time, and that's all I care about. There are so many variables, and they change daily; why get myself worked up about something that will probably be different tomorrow. 

So - I bet you are wondering what the best quilting tip could be. Any thoughts? I mention it pretty frequently, and it has taken years for me to grasp it. 

Are you ready? 

OK - it's a one-word tip! 


I know - seriously? Focus? That's it? You bet. So here's how I've been focusing. First - I have that list of UFOs that I need to deal with. It's going to take years to get them all completed, but that's OK. The point is that I'm focusing on them a few at a time. See what I did by making those lists? YEP  - it's called FOCUS. 

The one that I'm currently working on is from the 2018 list. Yes - a bit behind, but that's OK. If I didn't have that list, this project would likely still be sitting on the shelf - NOT touched.  

The second part of my focus is the UFO club. Each month, I commit to the group and myself that I'll get a certain part of one of the UFOs completed. If I don't, I have to pay money into the kitty. Not only that, but there's the pride of keeping up, making commitments, and knowing that we're all in this UFO club together and we're all struggling to finish projects. It sounds super silly that I need others to help me finish my projects, but FOCUS and FRIENDS are good when you're overwhelmed. 

The third part of my FOCUS strategy is to MAKE the time to actually get the work done. That's where the Virtual Retreat (and Monday Sewing) come into play. I sat in front of the computer with my Zoom friends, and I stitched blocks in place, I did applique, and I stuck with it the entire day (except when I took a break to go for a walk). When we closed the call down at the end of the day, I was THRILLED with my progress. I was on a high, knowing that I'm almost done!!! This project was started in 2017, so not that old of a UFO, but still a UFO. 

Thanks to a wee bit of FOCUS, the project should be finished TODAY!!!! And that's well in advance of the UFO deadline later this month. 

I'm thinking of which UFO I should work on next. After this one gets finished, there will be two projects left on the 2018 list. One is a heavily appliqued quilt - UGH, and the other is almost together. I'm going with the easy one, and then I swing back to applique. 

If you're struggling to get things done - you have to ask yourself why? And then figure out how to combat that. In my case, it's all about focus. I'm like a feather in a tornado - I can fly around and get nothing done, but when I buckle down and have a focus, I'm great. And if I don't have my virtual friends to keep me company, an audiobook will do the trick. 

Speaking of audiobooks, the one I'm currently reading is creepy. It's called Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon. Oh boy - talk about revenge, self-loathing, mental health concerns, and well - something bad is going to happen. It's good, and I need to finish it by tomorrow!

Let's have a wee peek at what I worked on yesterday. And as usual, I'm always "shocked" at how long it takes to do things! 

This was the status of my board of cut-pieces after I came back from my walk. There were still a lot of pieces to deal with. 

Progress was being made on piecing the borders

After cutting and piecing and pressing, I got the borders pieced together, and I had all this leftover. Hmm - a bit overzealous in the cutting process!! 

The leftover pieces 

Then it was time to start the rest of the applique. I had prepped all the shapes a couple of weeks ago, and since I'm machine stitching them down, they all have to be very secure with all the thread ends tucked in before I can start to sew. 

The bird applique in the middle of the quilt

Stitching the bird down wasn't hard, but it did take a bit of finagling since the applique was pretty much in the dead center of the quilt top, so a lot of twisting and turning. I don't think I got the angle of the bird correct, but you know what? It's staying this way!!!

The bird on the garden shed

I still have a bit more applique to do today. It's Monday sewing, and so this project is once again on my MUST-do list. The little project board is put away as there are no more little pieces to sew together, but this bucket of thread, applique shapes, and applique tools is all that remains to be dealt with. Yeah!!!!

I think there are about 15 applique pieces left to stitch in place. They have to be glued down, and lots of thread changes, and I think I have to make one more flower, so that's going to take a bit of time today. 

My applique bucket for today

There are five border sections on this quilt - two on the top and one on each side, and the bottom. Three of the five are completely done and stitched to the quilt!!!  YEAH!!!!!  Let's just say that I was jumping up and down this morning when I pressed the bottom row. 

The quilt top is ALMOST done

I have to open up a seam on the left border to stitch the applique in place, and that's my focus this morning. Then it'll get stitched in place. Then I have to open up a seam on the right side and repeat the process. That's for this afternoon. So it would be AWESOME if this is done today. The binding is cut, and I'll have to find something for the backing. But it wouldn't have got this far without FOCUS. It's a lot of work, but I love it, and I'm thrilled that I persevered to put those remaining borders on. 

I also got this mini quilt together. Each of those half-square triangles measures 3/4" FINISHED. So yes - they are teeny tiny. But I love them. I need to put a border on the quilt, and then I can call it finished. 

My mini quilt made with half-square triangles

How exciting. I still have Summer Moon on the design wall, which I can't seem to get enough time to stitch together, but I will. I'm so focused on this Quilter's Patch that everything else is taking a backseat. But I'll play the rest of the week, and then next week, I need to buckle down and get back to prepping the homework. 

There are so many e-mails to respond to and homework assignments to finish - that's my focus in the afternoon today. 

And why does everyone laugh when I say "in two weeks" things will quiet down. No one believes me anymore - they just laugh!!! Actually, looking at the calendar, I have eight presentations, two classes, and one author talk. That's it!!! That's an easy week! But it's the timing of events that has me sticking close to my computer since there's something every day! But that's OK. It's all doable. 

Well, on that note, I'm out of here—a wee bit of paperwork to be done before we start Monday sewing. 

Have a super day!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Good Morning Elaine...I’m sure you have mentioned this but what is the name of the pattern with the house, fence and birds?