Thursday, December 26, 2019

Trust your instinct!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! It was a very quiet day at our house - just the way we like it. We had popcorn for lunch while we watched the new Star Wars movie. I'm not going to say anything about the movie today, as I know some of you haven't watched it yet. It was an awesome way to spend the afternoon!

After we got home, I took a long walk with the girls to compensate for the popcorn (which had no butter, so it wasn't that big of a deal), but still, a medium popcorn has 430 calories and 20 grams of fat). That's almost ONE-QUARTER of what I'm supposed to eat in a day! It was a treat so I wasn't worried, but imagine if you did that regularly. And if you added butter. Oh boy!

I got myself busy trying to finish that UFO. Here's what happened.

Remember how I did NOT really calculate the measurements. Oh sure - I did in my head, but I wasn't writing them down. Well, after the third row was almost together, I was sure the row was going to be longer than it was supposed to be by one-half inch. So I chopped a half-inch off the last block. Guess what? I was a half-inch SHORT. If I had trusted my instincts, I would have been just fine.

Oops - now the row is ½" too short

So I ripped out one of the red pieces and made it a half-inch wider and all is well in the third row.

The third row now fits

It's very deceiving if things are going to fit - it totally depends on how many sections there are and how they are laid beside each other. See how row four and five do not look like they will fit at all.

Will rows four and five fit?

Wouldn't you know it - I did the SAME thing on row four. I was certain that I was over so I chopped down some of the red inserts only to realize that I shouldn't have chopped them at all. TRUST - where's the trust???

Row four is now too short

Thankfully with the improv style of piecing that I did, it was easy enough to fix. I made the red piece beside the PEACE block larger (after I had cut it down) and then row four fit perfectly.

A larger piece of red was required to make row four fit

Notice how the LET IT SNOW blocks on rows four and five are on the extreme right of the quilt. They're not supposed to be. Yep - made a mistake there too with the piecing! It was just one of those days. And I had inadvertently put some white blocks touching in rows three, four and five and so with a little bit of magic, it got fixed. There's only one small spot where two white backgrounds touch each other and I can live with that. I'm much happier with this improv setting than I am with the original one. I'm happy, I decided to change it up.

Work in progress

The bottom line is that it's all together - the top is anyway.

The top is finished!

I used the leftover 2 ½" wide strips as a starter for the binding. It's now completely made and I found something that'll work for the backing. It'll get made later today and that's going to be one more to cross off the 2017 UFO list. That'll leave THREE items on that list. This is SUPER EXCITING.

The backing (to be made) and the binding

I pulled the backing from this project box. This is one of the three remaining on the 2017 list. It's a red and white log cabin. I'm tempted to start working on it and NO, this isn't the one that Shelly is going to get excited about. That one is also pulled and well - I need to be working on other stuff, but I have a couple of UFO days left this year. Could I get THREE projects completed before the end of the year?? Hmmm - I could try.

The red/white backing was pulled from this box

There are loads of reds and whites in the box. I won't miss the backing that I pulled.

So does that mean the Holiday Redwork project box is empty? Of course not!!!  There was a hunk of white fabric in there that I used for the background. It's now back in the basket of white fabric. The embroidery floss is with the other embroidery floss. The crystals, which will go on after the piece is quilted, are in a plastic bag with the pattern. That bag will stay with the quilt until it's quilted so it'll be easy to make a label.

The bits from the redwork project
Is the box empty now? You'd think, but sadly it is NOT.

OK - so I confess that I'd bring home a stray puppy. Heck, I'd bring home anything stray. Well - I would have in the past. I might still bring home a stray puppy, but I won't bring home a stray project. So during one of the garage sales at The Textile Museum, I came across this.

OH MY GOD - it's the same pattern (by the same designer) as the redwork, but it's applique. I MUST have that. So I rooted through all the boxes that were there and I found patterns 5 - 12.

Holiday Sampler - Applique version

For each of the 8 blocks that I acquired, there is a fabric kit for the applique and the pattern.

The pattern for the applique and the fabric kit
Yep - I've got patterns for 8 blocks and 8 fabric kits. I paid $3 per pattern. Someone out there has the blocks 1 - 4. The scale of the blocks is slightly larger than the embroidery version.

However, it wouldn't take much to enlarge the embroidery patterns to the same size as the applique patterns and find some matching fabrics and finish (OK - start) the quilt.

Seriously?? Why oh why did I think this was a good idea at the time? The patterns and the fabric kit have gone back into that project box. I don't want to have to deal with this at the moment and my goal was to finish the redwork quilt, not the applique quilt. There is embroidery in the applique quilt as well. Hmmm - it might be fun to recreate the embroidery with the embroidery machine and get it done quick. It would be a great exercise in digitizing. And I could learn to digitize the outline of the appliques as well. Oh, shoot - that would be an awesome exercise to undertake. Ah - maybe that project needs to be pulled back out.

As I was cleaning, I've come across the oddest things. Do you know what this is?

What is this?

Well, it's the purse strap for my orange purse that I bought years ago. It was a "fancy" purse so the thing was completely wrapped in tissue paper so the leather wouldn't get damaged. Normally, I would just whack off the hardware and throw the strap away, but this is too nice of a strap to do that. I put it with the rest of my bag hardware and hopefully, I'll find something that it can be used for.

The leather strap - unwrapped at last

 I HATE straps on my shoulders. Rather, I should say that I can't use a shoulder strap for ANYTHING. My neck doesn't cope well and it's not good. So I refrain (and have for years) to use a shoulder strap for anything. I wonder if the strap is long enough for a crossbody strap? It could be shortened and used for a handle???

I wonder if the company that made my "fancy" purse would offer to give me a new one if they saw how the old one is wearing. Don't get me wrong, it's actually wearing very well as I would expect it to for the price I paid. I was just trying to get a new purse - which I don't need. So I won't even bother!

We didn't move the long arm back into position, but we need to get that done today so I can get back to work. And I was looking for two particular quilts this morning to get quilted. I have a burning desire to quilt them. I'll share them with you tomorrow because guess what? I couldn't find them. They are supposed to be in tub 15, but there isn't a tub 15 in the "to be quilted" pile. Hmmm - what does that mean? And I'm looking for a binding that got misplaced along the way. I think it's time to revisit those tubs and get things in order. Tubs 1 - 14 are in good shape - it's the ones NOT in tubs that have the issue.

I did pull two of my own quilts out that I would like to get quilted as I use them for trunk shows. It's a pain to have to pull from the "to be quilted" pile. They are now in the URGENT pile for me. A job for later today - to sort through the tubs to find the missing quilts and the missing binding. It won't take long - things are in pretty good order. I don't want to buy more tubs - I need to quilt faster!

I'm working on the class list and it should be finished by tomorrow.

Here's something to contemplate as the end of the year approaches. Some people like to make resolutions. How they want to become better or do more things or do better things or whatever they resolve to do. Most don't follow through. So here's something to contemplate. Think about all the GOOD things that you are currently doing. Give yourself a pat on the back for those things and then see how you can add, subtract or modify the good things you do to incorporate something you'd like to change. Be absolutely sure that those changes have consequences, goals, timelines, etc. I'll be chatting more about that in the next couple of days. I'm in the process of evaluating that for myself and I'm also in the process of CAREFULLY choosing my next 12 UFO projects. Two down, ten more to go.

All food for thought as the year draws to a close!!!

On that note, have a wonderful day!!!!!


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