Saturday, October 14, 2023

Conquering roadblocks

We still have beeping in our house. It's not the smoke or carbon detector. I have a suspicion it's the sensor in the side door that needs a new battery. It's powered by something, so there must be a battery. 

One more thing to deal with! It's these niggly little things that are time-consuming because you have to figure out how to fix them! And yes -- I checked the thermostat -- the batteries are fine. 

My stretch session was excellent. I sure wish they would have classes for stretching. I know -- it's easy to do at home. Well, if it's so easy -- why don't I do it? Because I don't think of it. So I must put this on my calendar! 

So, let's zip back to what I did the day before since I ran out of time yesterday. 

Here's the customer quilt that was done two days ago. I MUST trim these quilts later today. 

Customer quilt - DONE

And I got another one done yesterday, so there are three to trim!  

Customer quilt - DONE

And I plan on getting another one done later today. 

Look how forward-thinking I am. I pulled out TWO jigsaw puzzles to work on. But I can only work on those once the December classes are done! I know -- I'll be teasing myself for two months, but that's OK. It's something to look forward to, among MANY other things. 

My winter jigsaw puzzles are lined up

Last night, we had our Jen Kingwell remedial class. Oh my --- I can't tell you how excited I was. So many of the tops are getting finished. A few of us are still working on our Kingwell quilts. Some quilts are even quilted and bound, while others are currently at the long-arm quilter, waiting to be quilted. That remedial class was a great idea!!

I have worked on FOUR Jen Kingwell quilts, three of which are entirely done thanks to the remedial class. But the fourth one remains - Green Tea and Sweet Beans, which has applique. Now, I love applique, but I have a mental block sometimes that applique takes forever, and it's hard. Why do we wind ourselves up like this? 

So, I got myself organized on Thursday night. I set up the computer to watch the finale of The Great British Baking Show, and I prepped all the applique pieces for one of the two remaining blocks for this quilt. 

Prepping the applique pieces

I had finished the applique prep long before the show was over. See what I mean? We get these roadblocks in our heads, and it's really not a big deal when you set yourself down to do the task. 

I HAD AN ISSUE when I went to glue the pieces in place. The darn glue was very much dried up. Well, not so much the glue, but the applicators. I HATE these applicators --- the long needle-like spout is a pain, yet I LOVE it for the fine tip; but does it need to be that long? I suspect they used some already existing part, and rather than shorten it, they left it as is. 

Dried up glue bits

So I got some boiling water and immersed both of the applicator tips. 

Soaking the applicator tips

While they were soaking, I pulled out the NEW bottle with a shorter, plastic applicator tip. 

New design of glue bottle

While this tip doesn't get clogged, it doesn't give quite the neatest glue dots like the metal ones. But it's better than nothing. After soaking those tips for quite a while, I still could not get them unclogged. Hmmm --- I might just use this small one, and then I can transfer the glue to the small one when it's empty. 

The other thing that helped me enormously was to switch sewing machines. That wasn't a big deal, but I'm doing an invisible machine applique with a small zigzag, and I would love to be able to stitch with a width of 1.0, but I can't. Wait -- I didn't even try it yesterday. DUH!!!! 

So, with the Husqvarna Viking brand of machines, I can set my stitch width to 1.5 or 1.0. I want a number in between those two. I am sewing on my PFAFF these days and can set the width to 1.2. This is PERFECT!!!!

The other thing that immensely helped was the new magnifying lens I can install directly on the machine. 

Magnifying lens

So, as I was working, it was easy to see exactly where I wanted that needle and thread to be. 

So easy to see the detail

OK -- I love these magnifying lenses; the set has three strengths. Yes -- I could wear reading glasses, but then I have to find them. This thing attaches directly to the machine! And since I have it -- I should use it! It only works on the large-bodied machines on either Husqvarna Viking or PFAFF. 

There are four sections to Green Tea and the borders. I have two sections completely done and sewn together. I pulled out another section, and that was my focus. I was hoping to get it done for last night's class. 

A section of the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt

But as the day went on and I plodded with that challenging block, I was THRILLED beyond belief to get the block completed, and I had 30 minutes to spare before the class started. 

THE roadblock block

You can see this block's challenge as some of the applique pieces were underneath other pieces, and the whole background was pieced. So it was a bit crazy. 

Some CRAZY assembly required

The bottom line -- the block is done!!!!

One more part of the section is complete

I need to add a few more leaves to the dancing flowers on the bottom left and fix the bottom of the block on the bottom right. Then, both of those will need to be trimmed. I have a few more strips to cut for fillers, and this section can be sewn together. 

There is ONE more applique block to finish the final section. Can I get that all done before the next remedial class? I'm going to try, and that will leave the applique borders! I want to make them, but I'll see how it goes. It would be nice to get this quilt off my plate by the end of the year. 

The presentations for today are ready to go - OK -- so there is one more picture I want to add. I have one thing left to finish for tomorrow's UFO class, and I need to finish my challenge piece for next week. I've abandoned that to get all this other stuff done, but hopefully, it will be easy to finish off. I might be hand-stitching on the plane! 

If anyone has signed up for my classes at The Hobby Horse (Free-motion quilting and panels), I will send out confirmations sometime next week. Hopefully! I'm away, so I will see how it goes since I won't have my contact list with me, but I should be able to make it happen. 

If you are in the panel class -- you want to search out ONE panel you want to work on and send me a photo. It can be anything, and it doesn't have to be for the first class, but it would be nice. 

If you are in the free-motion class - you will want to have your machine set up with practice quilt sandwiches ready. 

Those take little time to prepare!

In all of the homework prep, I'm still sewing and trimming those little triangles. I have a few on the cutting table to trim, which I'll get to later today. 

Trimmed half-square triangles

This little guy is everywhere! He's downstairs with me and the big dog. 

Little dog - big dog

Then he went outside with the other big dog. 

Little dog - big dog

Did you notice he is always in front of the big dog? That's because he's so small; we wouldn't see him if it were the other way around! 

He is such a goof and actually a cute little guy. I will confess that in the past, I never felt his personality. That's a mean thing, but while he was cute, I don't think we had bonded. OK -- now we have connected, and he isn't allowed to return home! Home -- this is his home! We have a routine!!!

Speaking of the big dogs, look what Murphy did. I have no idea how she split that bone apart. I've never seen that happen before, so there must have been a crack in the bone? I sure hope her teeth are intact. Needless to say, she wanted the stuff inside, and she got it! 

Murphy figured out how to split this bone

And there's the new roof line on the one half of the Loblaw store! This was on my way home after I stopped at the thrift shop to pick up a few things I had spotted the day before, but since I didn't have money with me, I hoped they would still be there, and they were! I had a 20% coupon (from donating some stuff), so that was great. I think I can get a rebate of $2 by answering a survey, so if I do that, I save a lot of money!

The new roofline

That's it for today! I'm so excited about my Green Tea quilt. Getting that block done was HUGE; hopefully, the floodgates are open to finish it. 

What obstacles do you have to overcome, and how can you get motivated to overcome them? I had a deadline, and that was good enough for me. I had to laugh because a few others were in the same boat as me, and I think a lot of work on Jen Kingwell quilts happened yesterday!!!

Have a super day!!!


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