Monday, January 9, 2023

You will never be bored if you have a dog or two

WOW --- -what a wild weekend. I'm almost thankful for Monday and only a sewing Zoom to attend! There are so many lightbulbs going on, and people are getting excited about the possibilities of what they can do with their tools. I don't know how the rest of the groups felt, but I was WAY overstimulated yesterday. My brain was going in a thousand different directions, so I decided to walk to calm everything down. 

Of course, Miss Murphy was right at the door, begging for a second walk. I told her I would take her if we could QUIETLY leave the house so Miss Lexi wouldn't know we were going. Lexi was out like a light on the couch with DH. As quietly I as could lift Muprhy's leash, the next thing I knew, Lexi was at the door, and I had no choice but to take them both! 

But we had a talk at the beginning of the walk. There would be no dilly-dallying. This was a walk, not a leisurely stroll, and both of them (for the most part) did very well. The leashes got twisted around (always Lexi's fault) once, maybe twice. Minimal stopping and sniffing were allowed, and I'm sure if anyone saw us, they would think, "poor dogs." 

Well, that was not the case, and perhaps others would think, "that lady needs a wagon to hitch those dogs up to!" Yep --- they are two crazies, but they are so much fun. 

I swear Murphy has a long-memory brain. Years ago, I used to take her to the park, and we would practice jumping up on the bench and turning around and various other things. Whenever we walk through that park, she MUST jump on that bench. The first time she went to the bench after we had NOT walked in that park for a long time, she took me by surprise and struggled to get to the bench. Oh, Murphy!!!

Look at me!!! I'm smart!

Lexi just looks on in disgust. 

MOM -- I'm saving my energy - I don't jump

And they even sat nicely and LOOKED at the camera simultaneously. This is a miracle! 

After the walk

And then what's this all about? Murphy wanted to play when they got in the house, and Lexi jumped on the couch to get away from her, and then Murphy was halfway on the couch, and OK -- so I encouraged her to plunk herself up there. She does NOT like the sofa because it's too wide open, and she prefers cozy little spaces. 

HEY -- I can jump on the couch if I want to!

Our embroidery group has extensively discussed Mylar, and I hit the jackpot. An industry expert with whom I had a chat yesterday and much more research to do. You'll see why once I get things together for that. But when I passed this dead Mylar balloon on the walk? I was tempted, but I did not pick it up!

A dead Mylar balloon

Pray that your house never gets damaged. In April, a car ran off the street, through that big fence, and hit the corner of this house! They are ONLY now repairing it. Can you believe that? Like that house that had the fire damage? It took almost two years for the family to move back in! 

A house under repair

No -- this post is not all about the dogs! But it seems like it! The message here is -- get this quilt off the wall! I hope to be sewing on it today! 

Mom -- these block things fell off -- I did NOT touch them

And seriously? How did this happen? The block fell on her, and she carted it on her back for a distance before it fell off. OK, Murphy -- I get the message. The sashing pieces are all cut, and I must get to work. 

Now how did this block get from the wall to this spot?

I have some work that I can share with you! I finished cutting up all the large pieces of paper on the cutting table. As I was cutting, I remembered what these were. When we had to design fabric for the college drama department, I was to make fish and perhaps one other thing. These were large-scale drawings of my test pieces. These sure look like fish scales to me!

Large-scale drawings for the drama department

And there were lots of wavy lines to emulate fish. But they are all gone, and I'm not sad. I'm actually happy that this is off the cutting table. There is still a lot of paper to go through in those buckets, and I might have to find a home for the buckets as I need more time to continue sorting through them. I'm OK with that as I made tremendous progress in that area, and if I don't finish a particular area, that works for me. The more I do, the easier it becomes, and I almost feel lost in the decluttering area since so much is finally in place. 

More large-scale designs

Now that the cutting table is almost clear, it's a great place to dig out fabric baskets and work without having to move stuff. Yes -- this is tulle, and I have lots of colors, and I found exactly what I needed. 

Working with tulle

Then after the Zoom calls, I got to work to finish this sample of sewing machine stitches that has been sitting around FOREVER. The trick is to bring the sewing stitches into embroidery mode, which makes it way faster than doing it in sewing mode. Say what??? You can do that? Yep --- if you go into the programming mode on your embroidery machine, you can program ALMOST any sewing machine stitch into a pattern, and then you can bring that "new" stitch into embroidery mode and design stuff with it! Yep --- I've been doing much of that lately, and I've had so much fun. 

Stitching out sewing stitches in embroidery

Well, in this instance, I've been working on these dimensional stitches which require tulle. It's a bit hard to see in the picture; the white and purple bits of tulle are now stitched into the stitch. 
Dimensional stitches

Here's a close-up of one stitch. They are cute stitches, and some people would claim they are fussy to do, which they are a bit, and they take time. The key here is KNOWING how to fold the tulle to make it fit, and then it's super easy to do! 

One of the dimensional stitches

I have a few more stitches to stitch out; they are all programmed and need to be brought into embroidery mode, and I hope to get that stitched out today. 

I got all the yarn stitches stitched out a couple of days ago. Yep--- these are all sewing machine stitches, but they were programmed (to get the required length) and then assembled on the embroidery edit screen of my Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 (You have to LOVE that large screen), and then I used the yarn couching foot to stitch the yarn in place. I always babysit stuff like this, but thankfully, it takes little time to do. 

Samples of Yarn Stitches on the DESIGNER EPIC 2

Samples of Yarn Stitches on the DESIGNER EPIC 2

And then I'll have THREE stitches left to stitch out, which are tricky. I want to do them in embroidery mode, and they need to be modified before I do that. So last night, I was back in the 333-page manual for Stitch Editor, trying to decipher how to make that happen. 

Editing a machine stitch in mySewnet embroidery software

Will this translate into something that can be stitched out? I'll test it later this week!!

And the last of that stabilizer is removed from the lettering for the quilt backing. Yeah!!! This is a good thing because now there are three more pieces that require the stabilizer to be removed. Thankfully, they will take little time. 

The last of the stabilizer for the lettering

And this is what the cutting table looks like this morning. It's in very good shape since almost ALL the stuff on the table are things that I NEED to take care of this week. A couple of things still need to be put away, but I'm so close! SO CLOSE, and the trick will be to keep it this way. Well, with all the talk about habits, I want this to become a new habit, and I can make it happen. Seeing that table so clean and knowing I could put borders on a quilt without moving anything? That should be enough incentive. 

The cutting table in the PERFECT shape

The issue that will arise is what to do with the stuff on the table when I need to switch gears in a hurry? Well, that's where the current projects table comes in. Instead of the stuff staying on the cutting table, it'll go back to the current project table. It all seems simple, so let's see how it actually works. 

So you think that quilts on the floor are magnets to dogs? How about quilts on the wall? We've already seen that Murphy likes to sleep against my design wall; Miss Lexi thinks it's OK to sleep next to my WHITE quilt. And before I snapped this picture, she was leaning on the quilt. It's time to change the quilt!

MOM -- this quilt is comfortable

OH MY GOSH --- Murphy is SO entertaining. At dinner last night, when DH and I were having an earnest conversation (not an argument, but a serious topic), Murphy was playing with her squeaky toy and moving the dog bed around as well as the blanket. How could we keep serious faces? It was impossible. I swear she is the kid who NEEDS your attention the moment you get on the phone. 

MOM, DAD! look at me! 

It's only recently that I've been back on Zoom on Sunday mornings, and I swear, she's right there wanting to be with me! MOM -- you're not paying attention to me! Oh, Murphy! Let's say there is rarely a dull moment at our house because of these girls. And we're going to enjoy every minute we have with them!

I'm not going to think about the amount of work that needs to get accomplished this week, and I'm going to focus on ONE task at a time and go from there. The biggest problem is that everything takes so long or longer than you planned. However, baby steps! 

So how is the decluttering coming along at your house? It is a horrible job and mentally stressful, but if you don't do it, the stress level will go up! I've said this before, but it took me almost TEN years to get my studio under control. Yes - TEN years!! The first step is to STOP adding to the mess. Stop acquiring new projects to work on! Or stop buying fabric, books, and tools UNLESS you are prepared to put them away immediately. That is a learned behavior (a habit), and the book I'm rereading right now on habits (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg)-- well, it'll blow your mind how the marketing people take advantage of OUR habits and help us create habits that make us buy (think of that huge online store --- they made buying from them a HABIT that is very hard to break!)  

So as you are cleaning and decluttering, think about EVERYTHING you do -- I bet 50% of what you do is a habit. OH -- here's a good one. How often have you been on a committee, proposed a different way of doing things, and someone shoots you down, saying, "we've always done it this way?"  That's a habit! Break out of the mold -- do something different. 

And on that note, it's time for my HABITUAL spin class at 6 AM. LOL -- some habits are good! 

Have a super day!!!!


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