Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Use your time wisely

Things are settling back to normal! As we get back to normal, I think we all need to take stock of our lives and see what changes need to be made. We CANNOT just go back to normal. We need to evaluate what we what in life (we only have one, and the clock is ticking!), how and who we want to spend our time with. What projects will we work on, what groups will we join, what classes we'll take, etc.? 

Helen recently listened to a decluttering your life lecture from TWO different organizations, so we know it's on everyone's mind! She mentioned a book, and once I dig out the title, I'll share it with you. 

Why should we do this? Well, I'd say a HUGE one would be guilt. You signed up for a class because you thought you would miss out on something -- that's the BIGGEST issue -- FOMO (fear of missing out). Well, guess what? Now you feel guilty because you're in the class and have nothing to show, so you feel guilty because you signed up for something that you really shouldn't have signed up for in the first place. Why not sign up for ONE project you have time for and do it to the best of your ability. There will ALWAYS be another class. Teachers are not just going to stop teaching! 

I know a lot of people in my industry are in burnout mode. I'm not sure I'd call myself in burnout mode, but I certainly bit off more than I can chew, and I plan to rectify that. I'm making lists of what I want to do personally (notice that came first), then what I want to teach, and I'm going to be very picky about what and where I teach those things. 

I've also decided that I'm going to be RUTHLESS, and if you want to be part of my club or groups (note -- NOT classes), you need to be a CONTRIBUTING member, or what's the point? I know that seems harsh, but seriously, when I look at a list and see people who have never participated or attended the group in a very long time or ever, do they need to be on the list? Nope --- why should I fill up their e-mail box. I went through one group yesterday, and I'll go through more later. 

Before you all start to panic --- this will happen in the fall! I will NOT remove people with temporary issues for not attending or completing the work. And if you can only occasionally come because you work full-time, I'm OK with that. I'm talking about people who have never shown up to a Zoom session in two years. I don't think they need to be on the list. Sounds harsh, but it's being realistic. Most people can't say, "please take me off," so I'm doing it for them! I bet most won't even know they are no longer on my lists! 

If people paid for a spot, they would remain on the lists for obvious reasons, but I will be questioning people going forward and making it very clear that I'm looking for contributing members. I don't care if I only see that person in ONE group, but if they are actively participating, that's all I care about. And if I only have ONE other person in my group, but they are contributing, then I'm good with a group of two!

The bottom line is that I want to grow, and I need others to help me do that. I can't keep giving and giving -- then I will go into burnout mode. 

I tidied up (Studio B is a disaster!), and I got some sewing done. I have much more on my plate today and for the remainder of the week. And if anyone lives near K&A Studio in Ingersoll and wants to take a paper piecing course, I'll be there IN PERSON on Friday. It's a small block, and you'll learn about paper piecing and angles. You do NOT need to come if you already know how to paper piece. 

As I sat down to sew on the Monday Zoom call, I had so much to do and no idea where to start. Lynn suggested I make those two half-square triangles for the pinwheel quilt. Thanks, Lynn -- I needed a start point, which was perfect. I dug out some batik scraps, and can you tell which are the imposters???

The pinwheels are together!

Then I got some white fabric and a batik fabric to see what color border to put on. 

Auditioning the borders

Which one did I use? I chose the white, which is on the left above. 

The top is done!

Then it was time to get the binding made and find some backing. 

Ready to be quilted

I may change that backing and find something a bit more multi-color. YES --- I'll do that later today. I grabbed pink (no idea why), but I do not like it. It needs to be multi-colored, and I must have something with multi-colors on it. 

And YES -- all the seams on the back are twirled. How could they not be? 

Twirled seams

I have a big day planned, and the machines are ready! The embroidery machine is out, and so is the Scan and Cut. 

The machines are ready to rock and roll!

I am determined to make this machine embroidery applique happen. OH -- I've done lots of machine embroidery applique -- what I want is to take a paper applique pattern and convert it to machine embroidery. I've done it before, but I'm still learning the software as each type of applique brings a new challenge. 

This is the design that I'm currently working on. And I DID IT!! I need to go back this morning and check the width of the stitches as I forgot to do that last night. 

My machine embroidery applique project

And as easy as pie, I had the embroidery files and the SVG files for the digital cutter. It was pretty seamless and took maybe five minutes, including scanning the file. 

Saving the SVG files

I need to learn a few more digitizing tools (cleaning up curves - Bezier curves), and then I think I'll have it figured out. OH -- I need to cut shapes in the software as well. I hope to try stitching the tree out today. I know it'll stitch  -- I watched it stitch out in the software, and everything is in the proper order. I can pick ANY stitch that comes in my embroidery machine as the decorative stitch -- I'm not restricted to satin stitch! So that's another area to play with. 

I still have this stuff to put away, and I hope to do a bit each day. It takes a lot of time to put things back, and when you get something new, you have to find a home for that item!!

Stuff still to put away

But look what I found! My mask! Diane made this mask, my favorite one, and I have been careful during the lockdown. It was always in my jacket pocket to be handy when I needed it. Then I went to those in-person events, and after two days, I couldn't find it, so I had to go to my backup. 

My lost mask is FOUND

I thought it was a goner as I checked the car and my backpack. Nope -- it was in the bag with the sewing machine accessories! 

And we still need masks. I went to pick up my package at CrossBorder Pickups, and I needed a mask inside the facility. 

My package!

And inside the box??? My book!!!

The Diane Cherrywood book

Their location is right under the flight path, and as I got out of the car, this gigantic jet from the United Emirates flew overhead. Sorry -- it doesn't look that large here -- it took me a minute to dig out my phone. This plane is so large, you have to wonder how it can fly!!

A massive jet in the sky 

And now back to more sewing. I got the border on the jelly roll quilt that I made last week. 

Jelly roll quilt top FINISHED

I needed to do that because the next batch of fabric for Diane, who is sewing the community projects quilts for me, is all the Oh Canada fabric I have. There are four bags/boxes, which should keep her busy for a couple of weeks!

Fabric for Diane to make quilts 

Some of these bags contain panels that will make suitable backings or the start of a quilt backing, and there are bags of scraps that can be used to make those slab blocks that we made several years ago. My goal -- it all needs to be stitched up into quilts. I'll have to make several trips to get this all to Diane's. I thought about taking my wagon, but I can walk over twice, and I should be good. 

I see this month is promoting walking to school. Let's see how well that goes over in this car-focused city. 

Walk or roll to school!

And someone got a new ball yesterday. Let's say that she's a happy dog. Oh, Murphy!!!

I GOT a new ball! Thanks, Mom!

She killed or lost the balls from last summer, so she played with this one in the house for a while, but she loves it when I throw it into the bushes by the pond. Sometimes, she finds it right away, and other times, she has to search for it. She's such a goof!!!

MOM -- this balls rolls!

I'll get that list of quilt shows back up tomorrow. 

In the meantime, you have HOMEWORK today. You need to start looking at everything that you have signed up for. Can you possibly do all those projects? Do you even want to do all those projects? If it's a project you haven't started, then perhaps it's time to say, I will NEVER make this so I can continue to sit in on the class, but do NOT feel guilty. 

You should NEVER feel FOMO. This is YOUR life, and you do not want to miss the things you want to do with your limited time because you think what someone else is doing is more fun. Make what you want to do FUN, and you'll never have FOMO again! 

I don't have FOMO; I want to do too many things that I can't worry about what others are doing! So I'm going to be very diligent about what I take on, and I'm going to be very clear to people signing up for groups or clubs about the expectations. And I will refuse to sign someone up if I think they can't handle the extra workload. This is for my PERSONALLY run stuff. If you have a class pass and want to sign up for every class, that's your choice, but do you want to?

I'm being totally selfish about this -- I want to be around people who will get me excited to try even more new things and inspire me. This is about every participant giving a bit of themselves to the collective whole of the group to make it a truly inspiring group. We all know the 80/20 rule, and I want a 100/0 rule! 

You may not think you have anything to contribute, but you do! If you make your quilt in a different colorway from the pattern, use your fabrics differently, try a new technique, or think outside the box to construct a block? You are contributing, and that's what I'm talking about. If you're in the newbie stage, you have LOTS to learn, but if you just remain a by-stander -- you won't get to the good stuff!! I don't care how minor your project is -- I just want you to do something! From chatting to other teachers/store owners, I know that we are ALL in the same mindset on this -- this is NOT just me saying this --- it's everyone! 

All of this is going to take place in the fall. For now, it's all status quo, and we're just trying to get through what we signed up for. That's great, and if you want to continue to audit a class, that's totally your choice; I'm not going to discourage anyone from doing that. But you must think of your time -- -could you use that time more wisely with something else. And let's face it, sometimes people are auditing classes/clubs for ENTERTAINMENT. 

Anyway -- I'm sure I'm going to offend people with that, but I offend people with every decision I make, so this won't be anything new. I'm a big girl - I can handle it. 

And on that note --- I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!



  1. Good post. It made me think. FOMO is something I wrestle with all the time.

  2. The majority of my UFOs are from classes that I took. I was working on something at home before the class. I signed up for the class, then went to the class. I work slow, so I usually didn't get all that far into a project during the class. Once I was back home, the class project went into the closet and I went back to working on whatever I was working on before the class. I did this for years because my friends were taking the class, so I should too, right? I finally woke up and realized all I was creating were UFOs. I then decided that I would not take more classes. I don't need the class for learning, I know how to sew and quilt. I need to clean up my UFOs, so that is where I am at now....working on UFOs that have been hanging around, some for more than 20 years. It feels good to get the backlog moving forward.

  3. I am taking your FOMO messaging to heart and am trying to a) list all the projects and UFOs that I already own (despite not having started quilting all that long ago), b)decide which I will put aside for now (just audit the class until it finishes) and c) not sign up for any more gorgeous BOMs until I have gained control of those I already have!