Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My to do list

Oh oh - the wonders of technology..  I had a post all typed out and ready to go.    And then something was wrong with the post - it wouldn't save.  I knew that - the system told me that and INSTEAD of copying all the text and then hitting RELOAD - I just hit reload and POOF - it was all gone.

Part of what I talked about was decreasing stress levels - eliminating technology from my life is going to be the only way to reduce my stress levels.   I'll fill you in on that stuff another day.

Today - I'm going to share with you the quilt that I made this week.  It was on my list of 12 goal items for the week. How am I going with the list?   Well - I now have TWO of TWELVE items done - I still have until Saturday at 8 PM to get the other 10 done.  Some of them are very fun - like designing quilts!!!!

Here's my clip board with the GOAL list for this week

I'm thinking it might be fun to keep track of all my goals over the year and I have MANY journal/notebooks - perhaps I can recreate my lists in a notebook and then each week - write a new weekly goal list in the notebook.  Would be a good keepsake for the year.

The other thing that I forgot to include in my list making was a list of MY quilts that I would like to get done this year. In the past, I have set aside projects and put them on a shelf - next day - they are forgotten as I look at the stuff on the cutting table or wherever.

So I am going to add a list to my clipboard/notebook - MY quilts to be completed this year.

All of you need to figure out some way to keep track/make goals for this year.  I am very tired of this mess, I'm tired of not seeming to make headway and I want the stress levels and frustrations to go away or at least be greatly reduced.

I'll be working on that over the next couple of days.   My first hurdle is going to be "defacing" a new journal with my chicken scratch of hand writing.  I need to get over that hurdle and once that happens - I am sure the flood gates will open and I can start to use my journals.  For goodness sake - I bought them to use - why am I not using them??????

OK - so let's look at the GOAL list - what's been done???   The two customer quilts are done and gone  - I don't think I posted pictures of them?  or maybe I did.

I have also made and quilted a quilt.  Here's the scoop on that.

A while back - OK - a LONG while back, someone (OK - Ronda) gave me a kit that she had purchased and didn't want to make. I think technically she was trying to sell the kit, but well - I just hung onto it.  I decided that I would make the kit for her.  

Now why didn't she want to make it?????   Could it have been the mess that happens when you cut fireside fleece????

Fireside fleece is a mess to cut
Could it have been the mess to sew the fleece????

Linty stuff from the fleece all over the floor

Could it have been the nastry stretchy seams that she didn't want to touch?????

I serged all the seams

I bet it was all of the above!!!!!   Love the end result, but boy what a mess to deal with!!!!!

But between my kitchen scrub brush and the vaccum, the studio is more or less cleaned up.
Cleaning up the cutting mat
And there is the finished quilt top!!!!

Quilt top from fireside fleece

 There were leftovers once I got the top together.  Hmmm - what to do with them?????

Leftovers from cutting the quilt top
 Thre were 16 squares and so technically - I could have made the quilt a smidgen longer (more on that in a moment), but I decided to cut up the remainder of the pieces and this is what I got. Hmmm - it could be a rug or a dog bed.

Leftovers from the quilt top!!!

Actually - I could take it apart right in the middle and make a nice dog bed from it.  I'll see how the girls like it - otherwise - it becomes a rug.

Once that top was done - it was whipped onto the long arm.   I love having the freedom to finish a top and whisk it right onto the long arm for quilting.  That does happen from time to time, but not often enough!!!!

Starting the quilting process

Now I knew there was going to be a problem, but there was NOTHING I could do about it until it happened.  Yep - the backing wasn't long enough!!!!

Backing is too short for the quilt
 And I didn't waste much at the top - heck - you need an inch or so at the top to hold the quilt to the long arm.
Nothing was wasted on the top

To all quilt shop owners/workers - if you are cutting backings of plush/fleece or minky - please ensure that there is about 6 inches MORE than the length of the planned quilt top.  So if quilt top is supposed to be 72 - cut the backing 78.  If I were basting and quilting this in a regular way - it wouldn't be such a problem, but on the long arm - there is a slight bit of stretch to the way the backings get loaded and it is frustrating to have a backing that is a mere two inches longer than the top. It just won't work.

Trust me - I would have gladly paid another $5 for a couple more inches than to spend an hour fixing this problem.

 So I had to unload the quilt from the long arm.  I trimmed off one side of the backing from where I had already quilted.  Then I added that trimmed off strip to the bottom of the quilt.  I used the serger.

Serging the cut off strip to the bottom of the backing
 And then without changing any tension on the serger (there aren't even dials to change the tension) - I serged the bottom of a pillow case to make a pet mat.   I love my enlighten Baby Lock serger.  It was worth EVERY PENNY (make that EVERY NICKEL) that I spend on it and I would buy the same serger in a heart beat.  Threads like a charm,   no issue with tension EVER.  It just doesn't get any easier than that.

Serging pillow cases for pet mats
 Then back to the long arm where the quilt was reloaded onto the machine and now the backing is long enough.
Backing is now long enough
 When I trimmed the side - I had to make sure that I left some part of the backing on the edge where I had not quilted yet so I could clamp the backing.  You see where an extra 4 inches of backing would have saved a LOT of hassle.

Leave enough on the edge to reclamp the unquilted part
 When I took the quilt off the long arm - I marked the positiong of the various pieces and I didn't do too badly getting it back in place.   See that red dot - it is supposed to be in the center of that hump created by the red dashed line.  Not bad!!!   A quick twist of the laser and everything was lined up and and I could finish the quilt.

Not bad at getting it realigned
 And at last the quilt was done!!!!

Quilt is quilted!!!!!

I didn't put on my goal list to trim and put the binding on - so I am going to keep that for next week.

I'm part way through a couple more goals on that list so I had better get myself organized and get that done - the clock is ticking.  So far I am liking the list (it's been three days!) But I just have to look at that list to see what the priorities are.  No more having to rely on my memory or picking up the first thing I see.  AND I set the priorities for the week ahead.  I get to see what is due, and it's a way to tell people - not this week - I'm already booked up!!

Could it be that I have finally found a system that will work for me????????

Stay tuned for that!!!

On that note - I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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