Friday, January 1, 2016

Day One of 2016

Happy New Year to everyone!   Did you have an exciting evening?  I'm too old for this celebration stuff - went to bed early and read.  I was awake at midnight and heard the neighbourhood fireworks.  Yeah!!!!   Yep - this is what happens when you get older (not old - just older!).  You value your sleep over everything else.

Did you make resolutions???   Lose weight?  Eat better?   I didn't even think about making any.  I made goals which I suppose are the same as resolutions. While I'm far from perfect, I think I can live with who I am - I just can't live with all these commitments and the quantity of UFOs that exist in my studio. So this is the year that I take the bull by the horns and try to get a handle on the situation.

In previous years, I've kept a book where I marked down the projects that I finished. Yes - it was nice to go back and have a look at what I had accomplished. But it was all willy nilly - there was no focus.  The KEY WORD for 2016 is FOCUS   (well right after PRIORITIZE).  

Well - remember that little sign that I have.   This is the bulletin board over my cutting table.

Bulletin board - can you see what's on the very top????

I got that from work many many years ago.  I might have been in sales - I can't remember exactly, but I have loved that saying for a long time.  I haven't always been the best at implementing it.

So as I mentioned - in the past, I had a book and I wrote down in the book what I accomplished which isn't a bad thing.  I made lists of things that needed to be done - but then I never consulted those lists!!!

Book of accomplishments - quilting accomplishments that is!

This included projects finished, blocks done for exchanges, stuff I did for others, stuff I did for me.  All of it - but it was sporadically used.  I used it heavily in 2012, then on and off in 2013, not bad in 2014. Not at all in 2015.  Many of the UFOs hanging over my head have been around since before this book was started!!!!

I decided to take a different route this year.  I'm making a list of things that need to be done. I have made several categories which I'm refining as I go along.  I counted the pages in my new note book - there is enough room to have a separate page for each week's goal list (and a quote of two or perhaps a doodle) and lots of pages left over to write down these lists and then other stuff as well.

Now when I finish something - I can highlight it - rather than writing it down.  I hope to see pages and pages of highlighted stuff this time next year!!!!!

On Saturday evening, when I have that appointment with myself - I am going to peruse those lists and then schedule things that I have time to do for the coming week.  By Saturday night, I should know what my schedule for the upcoming week is.  Yes - there are going to be some glitches, some time issues that arise, but if I have to carry one or two items over - no big deal.  If I start carrying a LOT of items over to the next week - then I am scheduling too much for the week.

I'm also hoping that by sharing this with you and SHAMING myself - that I will once and for all get a handle on the mess.  I can't imagine starting a new year with little to write in the book.  Wouldn't that be amazing????  Or everything that I wrote in the book was just for me and  my learning pleasure!   Oh yes - that would be the jackpot!!!!

This morning - I grabbed that duplicate book of POSITIVE sayings and I browsed until I found a nice quote for the inside cover of my new book and I RIPPED the page out.  GASP CHOKE - where's my mother to berate me for defacing a book?    Sorry Mom - I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!     Not listening!!!!!!     Then I trimmed the edges off with the rotary cutter (notice - they are NOT straight - oh my god!!!!!) and got a glue stick and put the quote on the front page of my note book.   I think I found a great quote to get started!!!!

First page of the new book - very appropriate for me!

So where to start????  My first list is projects that won't take long to finish and I should be able to finish ONE a week.  I have many many quilt tops that need a border, binding or a backing or some combination there of.  I mentioned the other day that I did a great job of this in 2012.  Well - time to do it again.   I have two baskets FULL of quilt tops.

The borders/backing/bindings projects for 2016

As I went through the boxes and made my list - I also found lots of extra fabric that is slated for backings????   Which quilts????   I found THREE bindings already made but for which quilts????   And I found a couple (OK - more than a couple) that require a bit of work before they are at the backing/border/binding stage.    I am going to sort though this pile today and try to match up the fabric and the bindings to the appropriate quilt top or else it gets put back on the shelf. The tops that need to be finished (and most require minimal work)  will go in the projects to be completed basket.  More on that another day!

Extra "stuff" in the borders/backing/binding basket

 I mentioned that there are a lot of pages in my note book so can be generous with my lists.   Hey - if I only get half of the stuff listed done - I would be a happy camper - make that a happy quilter!!!!

I grabbed my Sharpie pen - OK - it was a BIC Pilot, but same principle.   I just cannot write with a ball point - they are too hard on my hands and I should technically throw each and every one of them in the garbage.  Unless someone has a better use for them?????

For some reason I numbered my first list

      1. Borders/bindings/backings   -

I just started with number 1.  Then I didn't want to number the individual items with numbers so I used letters.  And guess what - there are exactly 26 lines per page!!!!!   So I went from A - Z on each page.    YES - I know what you are thinking.   That is 26 on the left page and there are 11 on the other page for a total of 37 quilts that just need backing/binding and/or borders.

Quilts that need borders/backings and/or borders
   I told you this was going to be a shaming session for myself. I can't leave that kind of mess to anyone.  I'm perfectly happy to get the bindings and backings and tops completed and then leave them in the "to be quilted" pile.  I'm perfectly OK with that - but the rest of this mess.  It's just unacceptable.  Anyone in their right mind would just torch the place if I weren't around.

 So how am I doing on my first week with the goal list???   There were 12 items on the list - 6 remain and there are only TWO days left.  But two days where I have nothing else to do but focus on that list.  And some of them won't take long.

One of the items on the list was to make two pet mats and so I spent my New Year's Eve making two pet mats.   I used up two bags of scraps

I did salvage a few scraps and then I got MAD.  I got mad because while these mats are going to a good cause, I'm doing it alone. Now I realize that I'm the one that volunteered to do it - so I have no one to blame but myself. But I have decided that NO MORE SCRAPS.  If you bring me a bag - I will politely refuse it so don't bother!!!!!

Two pet mats
And why????   Well - my time is valuable and while I love the animals, enough is enough.   I am going to finish off the scraps that I have and that is it.  I will have done my service!!!!!   By the way - look at all the scraps there are to process.  Bags and bags of them.  It will take forever to get through them.  Hence NO MORE SCRAPS.

Bags of scraps waiting to be processed
 The other thing I got accomplished yesterday was the design for this new quilt I want to make. Instead of using EQ7 - I used Word.  I wanted a quilt with circles on it and so I tried different layouts.

Circle layouts
 I think the one below is the one that I'm going to go with.  I'm not sure it is the best design for this project, but I'm tired of the same old - throw a sashing around square/rectangular blocks. And besides, I will be able to use this as a sample/example in my curved piecing class at Quilt Canada in 2016.  (scroll down - the class number is 213 - going to be oodles of fun!!!)  Can't wait for that!!!!!   I might tweak this design a smidgen more, but the basic shape is this.

One quilt designed - two more to go this week

Now here is a dilemna for 2016.  How do I ensure that I don't lose any of my tools required to keep track of things for the year?

Organizing tools for 2016

There is my quotation book, my glue stick and my pen.  Oh yes - I need a highlighter as well.  Those are my tools to make the book FUN and functional.  Then there is the actual book with the lists and the weekly goals.  The blue book lists the homework for my on-going monthly classes. The tiny book is my TO DO list (non quilting) and the yellow book is the accomplishment book.  I think I can do away with the yellow book this year and just use the Paris book. But I need all the rest - I might find a CLEAR shoe box to put it all in so the items will always be visible and always handy.  Nothing worse than trying to find the homework book an hour before class!!!!

Here's an interesting thing - I had a dream last night. Normally I don't remember dreams at all.  But two ladies came to my house. I didn't know them.  At one point, one was outside - we were watching the dog or something and the other lady was in the house.  She was in my laundry room and was in there a LONG LONG time.  At one point, I realized that I had some thread in the laundry room and sure enough - she was unwinding the thread and rewinding it on something in her purse.  Essentially she was stealing my thread.  How bizarre is that for a dream.  So I looked up the meaning of theft in a dream.  WARNING!!!!!!!

Dreams about theft usually indicate being taken advantage of.    I pulled this definition from the internet:  

When you have dreams about theft, consider your own feelings of security in your waking world. These dreams can also be an indication of someone who is trying to take advantage of you. Often, theft dreams should be taken as a warning for the future.

Hmmm - I guess those pet mats were weighing heavily on my mind when I went to sleep. Sounds pretty heavy - but I think it was just the pet mats.

Here is one last item that I found on Facebook.  I think I posted it a couple of years ago and you know how those memory posts come up.  I like this and perhaps I can put a list in my 2016 notebook.  There will be extra room.  

Good advice!

Imagine how much fun I will have on New Year's Eve in 2016 as I peruse my HEAVILY highlighted book. And as I prepare another book for 2017 - I will be AMAZED that I am done in mere minutes.   OH boy - if only that were true.  However - I AM THE ONLY PERSON who can make that happen.  And I'm going to give it my best shot!!!!

On that note - I'm off to quilt a quilt today - well actually several of them and design a couple more and make some more lists.  I'm pumped!!!!!

Have a great day - no have an AWESOME day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1 comment:

  1. Looks like you certainly have your work cut out for you, Elaine. Just remember.... Prioritize-Focus-Win! You can do this!