Friday, December 29, 2023

On writing a quilt book

I don't know about you, but all this decluttering and keeping things up to date is EXHAUSTING. I literally fall into bed shortly after dinner. I'm trying not to, but I'm tired! And that's a good thing - I'd rather go to bed tired than lie there unable to sleep. 

I'm not a messy person by nature. I used to be super neat and tidy until M came along, and then my brain went to mush. This "new" philosophy of tidying and cleaning started well over ten years ago, but getting back on track is a long haul. I'm a Virgo, after all, and I can see the tidying thing becoming VERY addictive. Oh gosh -- I can't even leave a dirty dish on the kitchen counter. Not MY dirty dishes, that is. And how many times does one need to pass the Swifter on the floor? 

I thought you'd get a laugh from this. When I had my old car detailed, I had to empty EVERYTHING out of it, which makes sense. I grabbed a bag, and in about one minute, the car was empty. Everything fit in this bag. 

The entire personal contents of my old car

And that includes the extra lug nuts and the lock nut for the extra tires, the old GPS, and the few things I kept in it. I hear stories of people who "live" in their cars, and the backseat is filled with junk. Nope -- I've always kept a tidy car. When I return home, I remove everything from it - shopping, garbage, or whatever. It takes a few seconds to gather everything up, otherwise, it would be just like my office! 

Speaking of how small my car was -- here's a great picture of it sandwiched between two trucks! Yep - it almost looks like a toy car!

My old car sandwiched between two trucks

Oh -- I thought this was a picture of the new car - oh well. This is what the old one looked like, and yes -- It was a nice car! But no regrets!

The old car

So far, we're managing just fine with one car. We're pretty much the same height, so we don't have to readjust lots when switching drivers. I must see if we have two driver-seat settings, but I don't think so. We just need to get better at indicating when we want the car. I used it to do an errand yesterday to find there was 45 KM left on the approximation for gas. Hmmm --- so I had to fill it up! I hope that doesn't become a usual thing. It's like having a teenager drive the car and return it empty!

I'm not going to mention the name of the book or the author - I don't know why, but I won't. But I grabbed a modern quilt book from the library a couple of weeks ago to see if there was anything interesting. The book was published in 2021. I was reading it at lunch yesterday, and thank goodness I was home alone because the more I read, the louder and louder the groans got! 

Just because someone thinks they should write a book doesn't mean they should! It amazes me how people can assume that they are NEW to quilting and so they should document their experience because they had to learn by making it up! Good grief -- have they not done some research? Have they not talked to other quilters? There's a HUGE world on the internet, so there should be no reason to have to learn on your own! 

But this is where the situation gets weird. And it's almost like a teenager saying to their parent - "You know nothing - I know everything!" Not that any of us had to experience that from our teenagers! 

Just an example -- the rulers she recommends. 6" by 24". Seriously? Why would you want a 6" wide ruler? If you are going to cut 6½" squares (a common size), then you at least need a 6½" ruler. I'm not sure if they even make a 6" wide any longer. Oh -- I'm sure they do, but they shouldn't. Her second recommended ruler was a 6" by 12". Yes -- I love that ruler, and yes - it could be wider, but I've never used that ruler for cutting squares, so I concur with her on that one. The third ruler was a square 12½". OK - I get that the third ruler should be square, but 12½"? How are you going to square up your components? Nope -- you need a 6½". 

So, while some of the information is OK, there is a lot that just doesn't make LOGICAL sense. And I need logic. I will never tell you to buy or do something if I can't justify why you would need it. Then, people can decide to buy based on logic, not "because!" 

There were many other instances in the book (the quick version of A to Z of making a quilt), and OH MY -- if I was new, well, I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone learning to quilt. There are much better books out there. It was published by Blue Star Press, and I'm not sure if they have a quilt editor, but some of this stuff wouldn't or shouldn't get by a quilt editor! 

Oh well --- thankfully, I'm past the point of learning the basics, but it's super frustrating when I see stuff like that. Someone will buy that book and learn from it, but there are much better ways of doing things. It's the same with Pinterest and any other site on the internet. If someone can find a way to sell their gadget to encourage people to buy -- then they do so. And the only reason is monetary gain on their part. How many gadgets have come and gone? Go back to the OLD quilt books, as that is where you really learn how things were done, and they make logical sense! 

The decluttering in Studio B continues. WAIT --- there was only one area to declutter, and it got done yesterday. I didn't take a picture. I'm now saving all pictures of Studio B until New Year's Day. 

I attempted to get more of what was on the cutting table done. Why are all those jobs taking so long? They are time-consuming, and that's probably why they've been sitting there for over a year. 

One more sleeve got prepped and ready to hand stitch in place during the next Zoom call. 

One more quilt sleeve is prepped

I dug out the button jar to find two buttons and pressed the label so it could be stitched by hand to this quilt. Do you even want to know the date on the label? 2008! Sigh...................

Another project for hand stitching

Two pet mats were finished with the serger. 

Two more pet mats are complete

And you have to love those air-threading sergers. I'm using the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S 600, and it's a dream to use. It was threaded for a 4-thread overlock in mere seconds, and the stitch was beautiful. 

Perfect four-thread overlock stitch

And one more customer quilt was done. It's trimmed and waiting for pickup. Well, I have a second one to do for this customer, and it's loaded and ready to go later today. 

Customer quilt - DONE

But not before I ran out of thread on the top - again! But again -- I had a second spool, so all was good. 

One more spool bites the dust

Oh -- I should mention that the morning was devoted to computer work. And YES -- I made a huge accomplishment. I'm behind, and I owe a lot of e-mails, but they are coming, so just hang on. Today, I have another "topic" of paperwork lined up. It's great to get some of this stuff cleaned up, but boy, oh boy -- computers can be frustrating. 

My printer recognizes my desktop computer, BUT only for scanning. It doesn't recognize it as a printer. Can you tell me why that is? So, if I want to print something, I can send the document to my phone or print it from my laptop. Yes -- it's totally ridiculous, but I know how to make it work. But since the e-mail of all three devices are linked, I have to wait for e-mail to sync and I don't know how to force that on the computer. 

The printer is in another room, so I get loads of steps running back and forth to make anything happen with that. 

I tell you, there are days when I even wonder if I should be allowed to touch a computer. And I really need to learn how to "move" versus "copy" files. Then I'm going to have a couple of days where I need to DELETE many e-mails from my computer. Now that the classes are over for 2023, I don't think I need to keep the e-mails. I have copies of everything I sent them, so there is no need to keep all that. I think some of that is clogging up the memory in the e-mail program and making it very sluggish to use!

It's all fun and games, to be sure. 

Another area that hasn't really been touched in this house is the laundry room. But then, there isn't much stuff there. But I found a portable vacuum. Hmm -- does it work? I charged it up, and YES -- it works. So maybe the cleaning lady can use that one as she doesn't even use the new Dyson I bought. She prefers to use a broom. Sigh..........................

A Swifter Vacuum

I got a chuckle at lunch as I looked over at the sofa. Wait -- what's that I see? 

MOM -- I can hear you!!!

Oh -- that would be our lazy girl Lexi! Yep -- she's made a huge mess of the couch. It's filthy. Well, that's her couch now, and I don't sit there, so she can make it as messy as she would like! 

MOM -- Just chilling! 

I have to say that I'm impressing myself with my newly acquired ability to FOCUS. I would have abandoned many of those projects on the cutting table. Hey -- I've done them many times before. But my brain isn't even allowing me to think about what's on the table with all the projects. The FOCUS is to get the stuff on the cutting table out of the way. 

I'm not sure how long that will last -- all it's going to take is an unscheduled class homework, and caution will be thrown to the wind. But, if I sit down once a week and plan the week ahead, I should be able to stay ahead of the game. Yes-- that requires some thought and a little bit of time. But I bet it's going to save me a whole lot of grief. Of course, I'll put some "fun" time in there, but I have to give the scheduling a try if I want to make headway here. 

We are still behind on the EXIT Game Advent Calendar. I confess that last night, we were stumped. Even when we finally looked at the clues -- the puzzle was a bit far-fetched. OK -- so it wasn't when you applied the logic, but it wasn't the logic that either of us identified with. Oh -- that's a bunch of crock! The logic was there, and it was logical - we just didn't figure it out! We still have five puzzles to go! I hope they are all easy ones. Up until yesterday, we've been doing pretty well - at least for the last 6 or 7 puzzles. 

I see it's going to be warm and wet AGAIN! I'm not complaining - that was an observation. I think we are getting sun next week! 

Remember, the Virtual Retreat is on Sunday! So get some handwork prepped or some sewing for those who are not a fan of handwork, and you know who you are! 

Sunday, December 31st - starts at Noon

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 8633 2961
Passcode: 084495

And have you been giving some thought to what you're going to start decluttering on January 1st? Or that first week in January? I'm going to return to the office since my plan is to have Studio B all done by then. Oh gosh -- that's only three days, and I don't know if I can do it, but it'll be close! 

Have a super day!!!



  1. What's wrong with a 6"x24" ruler? Although I have another ruler or 2, the ones I use all the time are the 6"x24" and a 6.5"x6.5". I haven't really found much of a reason to have a lot of other sizes.
    Sharon F

    1. Sharon -- there is NOTHING wrong with a 6 by 24" ruler. The problem is what if you want to cut 6 1/2" squares -- a very common size or a 6 1/2" border -- also a very common size. How do you cut that with a 6" ruler? This was a major issue in the quilt world and when I checked online yesterday, I could NOT find a 6" ruler to buy. I found PLENTY of 6 1/2" rulers, which is much more practical. The 6" was very common when rulers first hit the market, but the market soon said -- we need 6 1/2". If I were buying one, I would buy at least 6 1/2".