Thursday, September 22, 2022

And the clean up continues!

It happened. I've become obsessed with these darn quilts, and I can't stop working on them. I have a goal, and nothing else will get done until that goal is met. Why couldn't I be like this before and with everything I touched? What makes me very happy is that there is no deadline, no need to get them done, yet I'm motivating myself to keep working at them. I'm afraid of being unmotivated one day because something doesn't have to be done! 

Yeah -- it's all good, and I WILL get caught up! Just not all at once. The thought of having fewer things around me and working on something for "fun" is exciting. Don't worry -- I AM enjoying what I'm doing, and having fewer things is all part of every day. 

The day started well, and I got one more quilt done before leaving for a fun afternoon. 

And this is the current status of all the quilts laid out on the floor. 

Where are all the quilts?

 Ooops -- where are the quilts and the batting? Well, the batting is pretty much used up. The last of it is on the long arm, waiting to be quilted into a quilt this morning. And the quilts are in various stages of preparation. Some of them need backing, so they are by the sewing machine. Four are pressed and ready to load on the long arm, and one is at the ironing board waiting to be ironed! Yes --- there are still NINE small quilts to be done, but I'm almost at the end of this batch. There are still the Quilts of Valour quilts to be done. 

Here's what's left of the polyester batting. 

The last bits of the polyester batting

With the extra that is attached to the quilt on the long arm and the above, I may be able to eke out enough for one of the smaller quilts? We'll see what happens later today. But I must say that I got quite a few small quilts quilted using up all that batting, and that is AWESOME!!!! One partial roll of batting and one big bag of batting -- GONE

See how close I'm cutting it for the batting. This just happened to be the size of one of the leftover pieces, and it worked like a charm. 

The batting is the perfect size

I had another instance where I wasn't so lucky and had to join the batting while it was on the long arm, which I've done in the past. I don't like doing it, but I will if I must. 

Here's that first quilt. 

Community project quilt - DONE

Then I was off for a couple of hours on an adventure - more on that in a moment. But when I got home, I was fired up and returned to the long arm. I already knew that would happen as I had left the long arm on! And so this quilt got done! 

Community project quilt - DONE

I did have a wee issue with the join on the batting on this one. The machine got caught in the tape I used to join the pieces. But when it's very tight like that, I babysit the quilting, so I could catch it, and it was on the side. A pair of scissors soon fixed this problem. 

An oops moment with the batting join

I was determined to keep going, so I loaded one more quilt, and it also got quilted. 

The third community project quilt - DONE

So that was THREE quilts in one day, so I'm now ahead by one day for my schedule. That doesn't mean one can take a day off; it means I can push more through! No -- I have a goal, and if I can finish the goal ahead of schedule, I'll be happy as I have other things I need to work on. This is technically my downtime when I wasn't supposed to be here!  

All the bits are cleaned up and sorted, so I am keeping on top of the cleanup. I used to have "sew days" at my house, meaning I had to put everything away. While I miss having people here, I'm glad I'm not. I can't imagine moving all that stuff. It's not a mess -- it's just a working studio, and moving my current work would be a pain!

Then to top it off, I went to Diane's and picked up a bag of scraps. There is NOT much left when she's done, but this will go to Cathy to see what magic she can conjure up. 

A bag of scraps from making quilts

And I picked up three more quilts from Diane!

Three more quilts from Diane

I am so blessed that I have Diane and Cathy. They have helped more than they realize to get this mess under control. It's giving them the chance to do what they love, and the recipients of the quilts win when they get their quilts! The ultimate winner is ME, as I'm learning to let go, and this is a priceless lesson that has taken years to learn, but I'm so happy! So THANKS to Diane and Cathy for all their help. I know I thank them a lot, but seriously? Without them, I would be in deep trouble with loads of stuff and unwilling to part with any of it. And I have to thank COVID for bringing this out in all of us! There is a silver lining to most things -- you just have to look for it! 

I dug out some fabric to make more pet mats as I will be running out soon, although I've kept the scraps of batting to a bare minimum and utilized about 99% of that batting! The fabric I'm using for the pet mats is upholstery samples, and at one point, I had a HUGE box of it that I could barely lift. Now I'm down to a reasonable number of pieces I can easily move around. I pulled a few nice ones for a friend who makes bags for walkers. And I pulled nine of them to make pet mats. The rest went back on the pile. 

Upholstery samples used to make pet mats

The blue bags remain from the scraps that were generously "donated" by people. I asked for scraps at one point (what was I thinking), and I got tons of stuff. Sometimes, I have these grand ideas, and well --- what the heck was I thinking? The space under the long arm used to be crammed with all the stuff, but this is all that's left. I've no idea what's in those bags, and I should get at least one sorted through. I've moved them several times, but this is the last spot. It probably wouldn't take that long to go through a bag, but I don't have time right now -- I'm focused on something else!

Bags of other people's scraps to sort through

Sitting on top of that stack is this box which contains parts for the long arm. What parts? New leaders, as the ones on the machine, are pretty crapped out and need desperately to be replaced. New side clamps, new bobbins, and probably a couple of other things. I need to take an afternoon and give that machine some tender loving care!

A box of supplies for the long arm

And I think the bobbin sensor is in this box with leftover bits from when I installed QuiltPath -- the long arm software. 

Another box of bits for the long arm

Yep--- I'll try to schedule that for December. It won't get done if I don't mark it in my calendar! There is just so much to be done and not nearly enough time to get it all done. However, I don't worry about that. I'm happy that I accomplish something every day and can stay motivated. 

By the way -- the next quilt and the batting are loaded and ready to go at 9 AM!!!

And I had an epiphany the night before when I thought I might be able to rip off the collar band of the sweatshirt jacket, so I don't make the neckline any larger, and guess what? I can!!! This light band was hidden under the seam, but I'll find a way to disguise that with a strip of fabric or something. So once that is gone, I'll be able to put the binding on and then disguise the band, and my sweatshirt jacket will be done. Only a "few" years in the making, but the jacket still fits, and it looks great. 

Removing the collar from the sweatshirt jacket

By the way, speaking of clothing fitting. Several years ago, I gave up sugar, and over time, that sugar crept back into my diet. Although I did learn a few good habits along the way. I have NEVER eaten candy again. I am tempted --- oh, I am tempted, but I resist because I know what it does to my body. And I'm quite proud that I can resist. I still have a daily piece of chocolate -- preferably dark and only two squares, so I'm trying to keep that sugar under control. But it was desserts that were the killer. Personally, I would never eat dessert, but DH kept bringing it (and ice cream) into the house. I caved on more than one occasion. 

Now, I know -- you're saying -- what's the harm? There is no harm -- it's good to have a treat, but here's the thing. I can feel my body change physically when I overeat sugar, as I get bloated with a lovely muffin top. If I cut out the refined sugar, the muffin top is gone! So guess what I'll be telling myself the next time someone offers me dessert? No, thank you! I'll still have some from time to time, but I don't want a muffin top!

And in line with clothes fitting or not, I stopped at the New Balance store yesterday to go shoe shopping. I forgot to take a picture of the way they measure feet now. But you step on this sensor thing, and the results appear on a tablet. Size 9 is SMALLER than the shoes I had on the Camino, but it's all relative, and size from brand to brand can change. By the way --- I still think about the Camino a LOT, and I WILL return. Once it gets under your skin, you can't let it go!

These shoes are WIDE, and I feel like there is quite a bit of room in the shoe, with the right foot being larger than the left. It was about 2 PM when I got to the store, so hopefully, my feet were swollen! I have 45 days to return them, so I'll be testing them out in the house for a couple of days. But I must tell you that I"m dying to put them on and go for a good walk outside! 

Size 9

What do they look like? They are BLUE!!!!! And they have a mesh toe, so I'm not thrilled about that. But they'll be toast in three months anyway, so what the heck. I don't care. They better be good -- they were NOT cheap. And the socks I took with me and will wear with these were different from the ones on the Camino. 

My new running shoes

This following picture could gross you out, so don't look! But in case you thought I was joking about my feet, here's a picture of the two blisters on the side of my left heel. This is after almost THREE weeks after I left the trail. And this is one of the prettier ones!

Two blisters on my left heel

But everything is healing nicely, and I can see that toenail lifting, but it's still attached on the sides, so I'm just being careful with it. Hopefully, it'll be gone soon enough. But it doesn't hurt, and that's all I care about. 

OK -- sorry for posting that gross pictures, but the healing is happening! And I pray I never get that again!

This is a picture of the forest, but I took the picture because there was a monarch (or it sure looked like one) flying around. I just couldn't get close enough to get it with its wings open! 

A butterfly is flying in the forest -- I swear! 

And look at this --- OMG -- fall has arrived. Well, it's Autumn Equinox today, so it's to be expected. 

Fall has arrived!

So what did I do in the afternoon? Katheleen and I went to a fiber art show to die for!! We were so inspired when we walked out of there. What a great show. Here's a link to the information, but it's in Oakville until the middle of October, and this cultural center housed in a converted high school is AMAZING. I would LOVE to live closer! 

Here are a couple of examples of the work. I apologize profusely to both artists as I did NOT take a picture of the artist's statement with their name. But there are quilts, dolls, 3-D art, and mixed media. We were there for two hours! We also ran into people I know, so that was fun to catch up! Hi Sandy and Val! 

Hand embroidered piece of art

Detail of the hand embroidery

More detail of the hand embroidery

Two dolls on display

And there's another quilt show this weekend. It's this weekend, but this is the first I'm hearing about it.

Hmmm --- I might go since I'm on track with my quilting?  

And don't forget there is a virtual retreat this weekend. Watch the blog for the links as they are posted in a separate blog post. 

I MUST hit the computer today as I have stuff that needs to be done, and I have another errand, and that long arm is calling my name!!!! It'll be a fun day. And I bet if someone came to my house, they would think I'm the most boring person in the world. No audiobook, no radio, no music. Just me and my thoughts as I bustle around getting stuff done. There are ZERO distractions! 

Have a super day!!!


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