Thursday, April 30, 2020

UFO updates

There's so much going on that it's hard to keep track of everything and to keep the blog updated! I know that I'm a bit odd and I don't want to say that I'm thriving on the self-isolation (I am), but it has shown me (and hopefully others) different ways of working. Instead of driving far away to have a meeting - I can have that meeting online and save me a lot of time. I'll be pushing for online meetings for the future!

I've worked hard to get where I can finally wrap my head (almost) around my stuff and my UFOs. Progress is being made and it's all exciting. Don't get me wrong - while I know where most things are when I went to get my bodkins out of their permanent home this morning? They are missing in action. I just checked the spot where I used to keep them. Nope - they aren't there either. AS Pooh would say, "Oh bother!"

ACK -- so now I have to think back to what I was serging months ago and I'm sure that's where they will be. Just when I thought things were going so well. Let's just say that I had a wee chat with myself this morning about that. Oh well - let's move on - it's nothing to dwell on, but it's a good lesson!  PUT EVERYTHING back where it belongs.

This morning, I'm going to share the projects that our UFO group has completed this past month. At the rate this group is completing projects should we want lunch at the end, it might end up being bread and water. They are getting things done and only one person didn't get their homework done! You got to love that. That means the deadline and the $10 incentive is working. Well - it also helps that none of us can go anywhere! Could it be that one day we will no longer have any UFOs?? Dreamer - nothing but a dreamer.................

We'll start with Dede.  Her goal was to quilt and bind four placemats. And here they are - DONE!!

Dede's four placemats
I know these have been kicking around her house for quite some time. I think it was a kit. And now four of them are done.

Her goal for the next month is to get the remaining four placemats done.

The goal for next month - four more placemats

Susan's goal was to get three blocks from her Farm Girl Vintage quilt done.

Spring Bloom 6"
Evening Star 12"

Little acorn 6"

She says those three blocks were so easy that she got one more completed.

Susan's scarecrow block

Her goal for next month is to complete 5 more blocks - all 12" and all from Farm Girl Vintage. Yeah!!!!!

Next up is Jane. Her goal was to quilt SIX blocks on the Christmas tree quilt. She doesn't remember when she started the quilt and is using invisible thread to quilt them which is very hard to see. I know - that's why it's called invisible. Not only is it her first time using invisible thread, but first time quilting a large quilt!!!  Yeah!!!!

But wait - there's more. She got the final borders on the slashed star quilt - 10 years in the making which makes it a true UFO. She has also found backing for it. Jane -- don't forget the binding!

Slashed star quilt top - DONE

The Kaleidoscope quilt top (only NINE years in the making) is also finished!!! It's for her son and so far no backings have been approved! I love this quilt - a LOT of work!!! But worth it.

Kaleidoscope quilt top

Her homework for next month is to bind three quilts. A baby-sized, an almost twin, and one lap. I think the binding is made for all three. Happy hand stitching Jane. You do know that it's OK to bind those by machine!  I've got loads of online tutorials!!!

I have to laugh as she says she needs lessons on how to use her phone and laptop. Hey - we've got loads of time!

Linda's goal was to cut out the last two blocks for the BOM from Cockadoodle. OH - and to sew them together.

Last two blocks completed
Her other goal was to get this string quilt top together. Gosh -- it sure feels nice to be getting all these quilt tops done!!!

String quilt top together

But she still had extra time so she got out her spool quilt top.

Linda's spool quilt 

She basted it and now it's quilted!!!!  Great job Linda!!!!

Spool quilt is quilted

Her goal for next month is to get the binding on the Spool quilt. As she was digging through her stash, she found this pattern. Her goal is to get the top together. I'm assuming that it's partially assembled. Let's hope so as that's a lot of work. I'm going to take her word from what she wrote in the e-mail!

Linda's next project

I'm going through the list in my book just so I don't forget anyone! I'm up next. My goal was to complete ONE of the Night Sky quilt tops.

Night Sky #1

So I got the first Night Sky done. I forged on and got the second quilt done as well.

Second Night Sky quilt

The backings and bindings for both are DONE as well, although I could only find the photo of one of the bindings and backings. Trust me - the other one is done as well and both are logged in the "to be quilted" pile.

Backing, binding and quilt top for Night Sky

And my goal for next month? I pulled this project from my 2017 UFO list. There are this project and ONE more on that list for 2017. 

This is a scrappy red and white log cabin quilt. Just because I like red and white quilts.

Scrappy red and white log cabin
 Some of the blocks are made and some are partially assembled. My goal for next month? ALL 80 blocks to be made. ACK - did I just write that down? I did!!!! It's been sitting in the laundry basket in Studio U. I'd better make it a priority!

Some of the blocks for the log cabin quilt

Sharon is working on her 2000 Piecemaker Calendar quilt. I cannot believe how much she is getting done. Her goal was to get the background set up for this block, but look at how much applique she also did!! I'm so jealous!!!  But I'm focusing on other things so no time for jealousy!

Sharon's Piecemaker calendar block
Her goal for next month is to complete the block. WOW!!!!  There's a water tower, and two barrels to add to the block. Way to go Sharon!!!!!

Ronda's diligently working on her paper pieced wall hanging. She got her six pieces done for the month. I think she should start sewing it together!!!!

Ronda's paper pieced section for the winter wall hanging

Her goal for next month is 6 more pieces and I know she's been diligently working on that!!!

Ronda's homework for next month
Lynne's goal for this month was to make the sashing strips for the cat quilt. Hmmm - I think she finished the top!!!

The finished cat quilt top

Her goal for next month is to get the binding, backing and label made.

Shoot -- I'm running out of time. I'll finish off the UFO homework tomorrow.

It is SO EXCITING to see what everyone is working on. And how much work is getting done and how many projects are getting finished.  Let's just hope that while we're working on our UFOs, that we're NOT starting new things that will become a UFO. I'm not starting anything that doesn't have to be - like a quilt for a magazine. I'm happy as a clam to be working on these UFOs. It's like starting a brand new project that's partially done. Imagine that!!!!

There have been some rumblings on the news and on the internet of people complaining that they are bored at home or want to get out. Please do NOT complain after the economy is reopened that you wish you had time to do something. You have TIME now. Even if you're working, the chances are that you're not having to commute. Use that time wisely!!!  Time is a VERY precious commodity that we can fritter away and we can never get back. Consider all that time a GIFT.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It was meant to be

What's on my reading list at the moment? I'm reading The Missing Millionaire by Katie Daubs. It's a book about a Toronto businessman who owned theatres at the beginning of the 20th century. He sold one of his theatres for $1 million in December 1919 and then disappeared. They never found him or his body. Because there was money involved, the story just never died. Family members fighting over money, shysters trying to get money through the family and well - it just never seemed to end.

It's an interesting read as you get some insight into life in Toronto 100 years ago. How different things are now.

I'm also reading a book about WW2. If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be reading books about the war, I'd have told them they were crazy. It's not my favorite genre - the subject matter makes it very difficult to read. This one is called The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. While we can't compare our current situation to wartime - it does make you think that we're not so bad off after all.

At least when we go to the grocery store, we know that we'll get something to eat and when we go for a walk, that we won't be shot. We have access to computers - heck - sometimes, they didn't have access to electricity or heat. It's an audiobook and I'm 3/4 of the way through. I hope to finish today. It's an excellent read if you're into books about the war.

I know that I'm in a very good mental place as we go through this pandemic. There are a couple of reasons for that. I'm NOT dependent on others to keep me entertained. I think of children today who have no idea how to play on their own as their schedules are constantly filled with activities. I lived in a remote area when I was a kid and had limited access to friends until I hit Grade 6. I know - that's totally crazy. I have hobbies that will take me well into my retirement years and they are hobbies that I can do on my own. I'm not a hugger so if I don't get a hug from friends, I'm OK with that. That's just a couple of reasons why I'm not going crazy with the self-isolation.

I can only hope that once we emerge from this situation that people/children will have learned some good life lessons and not have spent the entire time in front of a screen.

More time on the phone yesterday, and that's OK.

Someone was looking for a particular pattern in a magazine and they thought it was McCalls in 2002 and 2003. I checked ALL the issues - YES - I have them all and I was able to put my hands on them in mere minutes. The beauty of having things organized. I did not find the pattern.

However, I did find this which I thought was hilarious. A comment from me in an issue of McCalls from 2002. It's all about EQ5. How cool is that? I still use EQ8 pretty much every day. I'd be lost without it.  I see a new submission just came in so I'll be hitting EQ8 later today to start figuring out the next quilt design. I know some people are good with graph paper, but you can't beat EQ8 for its ease of use, versatility, and SPEED.

Quote from me about EQ5

Oh - here's the stack of magazines that I pulled off the shelf to search for that pattern. I think this highlights the importance of keeping ALL the supplies, including the pattern with the quilt.

McCalls magazines collection

I tidied up the office table a wee bit more. I had emptied this small basket so I put everything in the basket that I want to deal with this week. Or at least grab one or two items as I pass by during the day. Now the table doesn't look quite so messy and I'm NOT allowed to add anything to the table until this is dealt with. That's going to take a while, but I did manage to deal with a couple more things yesterday. Progress is going to be slow - I totally OK with that. Any progress is better than none.

Paper stuff to deal with this week
I had loaded a quilt last week and it needed custom quilting so of course, it sat there for a while before I had time to get it done. Here's the quilt.

Community projects quilt - DONE

Like almost everyone, I struggle with how to quilt a quilt when a new one comes up and it's not going to get an edge to edge pattern.

I decided to do a background fill. OK - decision number one is made. I did the background fill.

Swirling background fill

As I was quilting, I was contemplating what to do with the star blocks. As I was quilting, I was really liking how the stars popped up from the background. Normally I would do some stitch in the ditch around ALL the edges, but I decided that this wasn't necessary. I stitched in the ditch on all the internal seams, but NOT the outside of the stars. If that makes sense.

The center block has this embroidered saying about Cancer Can't. I stitched the background fill around the stitching, but not over it.

Cancer Can't

Here's the label for the quilt. OH GOD - look at the date! This has been languishing in the "to be quilted" pile for 16 years!!!!

The label

This label is pieced into the backing, along with signature blocks from SOME (not all) of the people who made the blocks in the quilt.

Now here's the story of this quilt and why I dug it out of the "to be quilted" pile. And yes - it did get crossed off the master list!!

Way back at the turn of the century (doesn't that sound weird to say that?) when I was a new quilter, I was involved in The Quilt. This was a fundraising project for Breast Cancer and it was run by Carol Miller. Each year, people/organizations donated quilts (and some of the quilts were stunning), but all were made with hope. The quilts were then auctioned off and the project grew from one show in Stratford to shows and auctions in various locations across Canada. I think the show closed in 2006??

I arranged to get a fabric donation from Northcott Silk (their name at the time) and made kits with blues and white. The kits were sold for $10 and we had 100 kits. People were to send the blocks back to me along with a signature block. The blocks were assembled into quilts - I don't even remember who helped me do that. To be honest, I can't even remember what happened to the other 6 quilts. I think they ended up in some of the auctions. I'll have to check that out as I still have all the catalogs.

This was the last of the 7 quilts to be made and it was made with all the odd blocks that were leftover. I knew the lady who had embroidered the Cancer Can't block. The Quilt project closed down before I could get this last quilt quilted and there it sat. I had spoken to a friend of mine (the mother of the lady who did the center block) and the intention was that she was going to "buy the quilt" by making a donation. Then she could have the quilt and do with it as she pleased.

In an odd turn of events, cancer has arisen it's ugly head in this family. I thought it was time to get the quilt done and they could have it if they wanted. So that's where this quilt is going. It's being picked up and delivered tomorrow. I can only pray that the story behind the quilt and the fact that a family member embroidered that center will bring some hope and cheer to the young (way too young) recipient of the quilt.

And that will bring to an end my involvement with The Quilt project that started over 20 years ago.

Shoot - just pulled the catalogs and I don't see any of the quilts in there. I'll check more thoroughly later. Does anyone remember where those blue and white quilts went? I know I don't have them and I swear they were sold.

You can read back in one of my posts where I chat briefly about The Quilt project.

So I'm truly trying to clear up some of the UFOs that have been set aside for various reasons over the last 20 + years. Slow and steady - that's all that counts. Slow and steady and ZERO guilt. It's called amnesty quilting. NO ONE is allowed to judge. We just pull out these UFOs and get them done. That's all that counts.

I'm not losing any sleep over some of the procrastinating that I've done over the years. I'm just glad to get some of these quilts off to a good home.

Speaking of UFOs, here's the current status of that mini-quilt. There are THREE half star blocks left to sew. THREE!!! Happy dance!!!!!

Mini-quilt block status

I've got a lot of work to get done today. Now that the custom quilt is off the long arm, I was going to load a customer quilt. Then I thought that wouldn't be a good idea. I haven't tried the long arm since I did the update and so I'd better find a small community projects quilt to try - just in case something goes wonky. You just never know!

Bindings to put on quilts, more stuff to tidy up, walking and I PROMISE to put up the UFO homework from a couple of weeks ago. There just seems to be something that I NEED to say so those pictures get put off until the next day. The other thing I MUST do today is to get the vacuum out. I'm so not good with that. I see the dirt and I can literally walk right over it without caring. That's how important housework is to me. I know people who probably vacuum every day. Not in this house. I attribute that dirt to our good health. I know some of you would be shocked, but I don't really care!

On that note, I've got to get the day started. What's with the COLD wind out there this morning? Brrr!!!

Oh - speaking of walks, I have to share this photo with you. On my walk across Canada, I've left Edmonton and working my way to the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Look at the landscape - now that's flat.

Landscape east of Edmonton

I'm almost in Oklahoma City on my Route 66 challenge. I follow the Facebook page of others on their various challenges. It's so uplifting to read some of the stories. A man who has lost 20 pounds during the pandemic. He decided that he was going to come out of the pandemic a different and better person. A woman who has walked without a cane for the first time in 8 years. She walked 1/3 mile. The stories are so uplifting.

OK -- got to go - I have meetings this week and some stuff I need to prep for.

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Let it go.........................

I'm probably the most accommodating and flexible person I know. You may think I'm a bit rigid at times, with my lists and my baskets, but seriously - if something doesn't get done as I planned - I'm perfectly OK with that. Provided there isn't an urgent deadline. Then I do care!

But right now? Believe it or not, everything is UNDER CONTROL. How the heck did that happen? OH - I still have quilts to design (just one) and instructions to write (just one) and other quilts to make (a couple), and a few e-mails to take care of, but nothing that requires my immediate attention. I'm loving this new normal!

As a result, I spent a LOT of time on Zoom or the phone yesterday. Catching up with family and friends. And it was great! Life is certainly way too short to worry about sewing each and every day. Did I just say that????? I'm making great progress and I'm happy with that. Any progress is better than no progress.

I did a bit of tidying up yesterday (in the office no less) and I found this quote.

Strive for progress, not perfection

Yep - got to add that one to the list of favorites. It's so true - get it done or make progress, but if you wait for perfection, it isn't going to happen. That's especially true with quilting!!

And with decluttering. You'll get a laugh out of some of the stuff that I found. As I mentioned, yesterday, I did add some stuff to the table. There was a tote bag filled with stuff and I dumped it on the table. What kind of treasures did I find??  So before I show you some of the stuff - you are allowed to shake your head (I certainly did a whole lot of times), you are allowed to laugh at me (well, with me because I certainly got a chuckle from some of the stuff I found), but you are NOT allowed to judge me. Only my mother and I can do that! Hey - not even my mother because she would be telling me that some of this stuff can be fixed and I should save it!!

I found this embroidery hoop. I love the hoop - look - it has no screw on it - it just uses a spring. I got it a couple of years ago when I took a class at Quilt Market.
Hand embroidery hoop by Cosmo
The hoop is brand new and was still in its packaging. However, there's a wee problem with the hoop.

Oopsy - broken
Was I hoping that the hoop fairy would come along one night and fix this for me? It's a silly story about how it got broken. I had a box of my "treasures" that I was bringing home from Quilt Market. They were in the crate for the company that I worked for. At one point during the transit back home, the doors of the create popped open in the truck, and my box of stuff fell out and split open. Can you imagine? I wish someone would have taken a picture and I'm sure the driver was a wee bit ticked off as he would have had to scramble and pick up the stuff.

Anyway, the crate, which was on wheels, ran over some of the stuff including my embroidery hoop! Isn't that just the wildest story. OK --- so perhaps I thought I could convince myself to use the damaged hoop. But really? That would likely have resulted in snagged threads or damaged fabrics. The embroidery hoop is now in the garbage.

I can only shake my head as to why this didn't go in the garbage when I took it out of the crate. Oh yes - I should say that the driver literally just threw all my stuff back into the crate and not in a box! It was "FUN" to unload the crate at that time. Since it was all my stuff, it was a good thing I was the one to unload or - well - all the stuff would have ended up in the garbage before I had a chance to check it out.

Then I found my old FitBit in the stuff that I was sorting through. OK - seriously????  It's dead with a badly damaged bracelet (on the inside) and I have since bought a new one which is working just fine. Going through this stuff is like going through a time capsule. The stuff I'm going through right now is from 2017. The FitBit is now in the box of electronic waste that will be dropped off when the box is full.

Did you see the discoloration on the bracelet? Yikes - that's ugly!

The old FitBit

Two empty boxes. One for the Garmin GPS which I bought in 2015. I know - this is hilarious!!!  The other box is for the new Fitbit. Both were filled with various bits of packaging and "Start Here" manuals. Everything that could be recycled is now recycled and the rest is in the garbage.

Empty boxes of products I bought

I also found the box for my new phone, bought last year. That was dealt with as well. I feel like I'm an archeologist. Going through layers of stuff to find a tidbit or two of life in the 21st century. I do have an issue with the packaging though. The companies make it so pretty that you think those boxes are going to be useful for something - but they are not. So make them different and less wasteful and people like me won't want to keep them.

OK - how many of these types of cables does one household need? I did keep it and put it with the rest of the cables. One day, that pile needs to be sorted through (it's been done once before) and remove all the ones that we can no longer use. What would be really good is to attach a tag to it and say - cell phone or tablet or whatever. Then when you no longer have that device, it would be easy to toss the cords in the electronic waste as well. Although some of the adapters will work on multiple devices.

An extra cord
 I think this is the charging cord for my new phone, but I just used the old one. When I got my new phone and traded in the old, I asked if they wanted the cables. Nope - they don't want them so that's why we end up with so many. As long as they are all in one spot in my house, I'm good with that. It makes it super easy to sort through.

I've got one other treasure to share with you today. What the heck is this thing??? 

What is this??
As I'm looking at it this morning, I realize that it's the end of a kaleidoscope. Where's the kaleidoscope? No idea. It doesn't matter - I probably wouldn't use it anyway. The kaleidoscope lens is in the garbage. Could I hold it up to my eye and look at my quilts through the lens without the tube? I don't know but at some point, it's time to LET IT GO!!!!!

Part of this decluttering is a bit sad. It's sad to realize that I couldn't throw out a broken embroidery hoop or an empty box. Was it because I couldn't let it go? Was it because I didn't have time to deal with it? Am I a hoarder?  BUT - that's the past. This is the future and the future says - we will continue to work on getting rid of stuff.

Hey - I'm not beating myself up about getting the office cleaned up. If I only work 15 minutes a day or nothing at all, I'm perfectly OK with that. Any progress is good news.

I had to move the table out of the center of the room (to set up the design wall for the video conferences) and I'm loving all the extra space that created. It feels easier to move around and I have a place to work on that table. I might just leave it this way since I'm inclined to look at the table several times during the day and deal with a couple of things every time I walk past. Can this be the start of the end of the clutter? Let's say that very quietly so the hoarding side of my brain can't register what is happening!!!!

Speaking of cleaning, I'm getting all kinds of articles about how good for the body, spirit, soul, mind (whatever) that cleaning and decluttering is.

Here's one of them. I honestly think decluttering is a good thing. I just love walking into my studios to work and not have to clear off a thing to get to any of the important surfaces. It's just fabulous!!!! One of the things to consider is that in this current situation where we cannot control much, we CAN CONTROL what we have in our house.

Put donation stuff in your garage until they are taking new donations. And what you can recycle, reuse - do it. And the rest goes in the garbage. I think this is a task that we NEED to teach to our children. A new toy comes in, an old toy goes out. Otherwise, the situation becomes overwhelming and depressing.

I was walking past a house near me one day and the two garage doors were open. Oh boy - the entire garage was FILLED with stuff. I've no idea what it all was, but I don't think you could even wedge a person in there. I'm so thankful that that is not the case at our house.

Here's another article bout minimalism. I think this is another very important are to consider. I could easily do that for our house, but NOT for the Studios!!!  But something else to consider. It all goes back to buy what you need, not what you want. I have very few regrets in life, but I do wish I realized this about 20 years ago. However, I know better now, and let's just move on!

Because it was so nice yesterday, I was outside when I wasn't on the phone. When I took the girls for their afternoon walk, I didn't wear a jacket!!!!  Oh my!!!  That felt absolutely glorious. I got ambitious and unwrapped the furniture in the backyard and trimmed down the grass clump in the front yard. The yard work is done until I can find some flowers to plant. OH - and I plucked the dandelions from my neighbor's grass.

It's raining today and for the rest of the week which is probably good since I really want to get some sewing done and perhaps find a few more treasures on the table.

I did manage to get a wee bit of sewing done. This was the state of the mini half star blocks when I started.

Before I started to sew this morning

This is what it looks like now. YES - progress is indeed being made. I can hardly wait to get all these blocks done. OK - I can hardly wait to get this project done!!

Over half done

I know that the unfocused me would have abandoned this by now. But my new focused self is saying - you are almost done - just keep sewing!!!! I love the new focused me!!!

Well - that's it for today. I want to get some sewing and quilting done. It's time to take a break from the computer!!!

Oh yes - I've got a topic for the Webinar - sewing machine needles. I'm going to schedule it for an evening next week. I'll be setting that up this week. I hope to get my new data cable before the Webinar so I need to check on the delivery date of that. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

And I should say that I learn a lot from all of you from your e-mails and comments. I learned that using one of those giant candles with three wicks can be a hot mess. The heat generated can cause issues with wax collapsing and all kinds of things. So thanks for that - I sure don't want any burns or fires in the house!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, April 27, 2020

Thinking outside the box

It was nice to get an e-mail yesterday from an online store that had to shut down their ordering process while they caught up on the backlog of orders! That's amazing! I know that some quilt stores are still "open" and doing a thriving business by taking web or phone orders and arranging for shipping or curbside pick-up.

Some have gotten very creative in that process - either by sending out daily or weekly e-mails with the latest offerings or a tip or a video. Others are posting new products or ideas on Facebook and IG daily. It seems to be working as these people are busy!

And one store in the US and I cannot for the life of me remember the name, but they sell sewing machines. So they had the machines in the window with a big sign - MASK MAKING MACHINES. They had a variety of bolts of fabric in the window. You could drive up, call the store, place your order, and after you paid on your phone, they'd leave it outside. Now that's brilliant!!!  Another store is having a live sale on Facebook.

That's how small businesses are going to survive. By thinking out of the box. By trying new things. I applaud the efforts of those small business owners. I wish I could support them, but I really don't need anything at the moment. I have vowed to not spend what I don't have or buy I don't need. So far - we're doing pretty good. I think I bought one thing online and paid for my Zoom subscription.

I am going to buy a USB data cable today to connect my phone to my computer to stream video. We'll see how that goes!

I spent part of yesterday on the phone or Zoom. I did a bit of tidying and I was on the computer trying to get all the written homework assignments done. The last went out yesterday, but as I got thinking later - there are two more e-mails I need to send today with a couple more thoughts. Oh boy -- STOP!!!  But I want the classes to get the advantage of all the things I think of.  I need to be COMPLETELY finished the homework before the class so that won't happen again.

As we're out walking each day, I've noticed several things about the traffic. Well, first, the traffic is considerably less than it normally is, especially at school time since there are a lot of schools in our area. I'm still surprised by the number of cars - the streets are much emptier, but there's still a fair amount of traffic.

The biggest thing? The speed. Some cars are probably going double the speed limit. And they go from zero to 60 in mere seconds - as if they are in a race. It's totally crazy and I sometimes have visions of the car going out of control and hitting whoever happens to be walking along the sidewalk.

The second thing? The number of U-turns is crazy. Right in the middle of the streets. Even this large transport truck did a U-turn yesterday. Enjoy it while you can!!! It won't last forever.

18-wheeler doing a U-turn in the middle of a street

Can you tell me why someone would make such a GIANT candle? This one is huge. Someone purchased the candle and the container for me years ago. You can see that I haven't used it much. I decided as I cleaned paper up that I'd light the candle. I know - all that paper and a candle!! I'm very careful and only have it lit while I'm in the room.

A three-wick candle

Since that empty table was so inviting, I had to make use of the space. I pulled my recycling bin over and pulled out some stuff to sort through.

Getting ready to sort paper
 Ooops - I decided to empty the recycling bin so I could see my productivity.

The recycling bin is now empty

I randomly picked a pile of stuff. Oh boy - this doesn't start well. Here's a photography magazine about digital cameras.

Digital camera magazine

So let's check the date on that. Hmmm - I think that can safely be tossed.

Over 18 years old!!!
I would say that any information in that magazine is probably a wee bit dated. I did have a quick peek through it and found a review on this digital camera that I used to own. I paid a LOT of money for that camera and it was a snazzy camera in its day.

My old digital camera
 How good was it???  Look at the number of megapixels it had. A WHOPPING 5.2.  My phone camera has THREE different lenses and the top one is something like 16 megapixels. Oh yes - times have changed. The magazine is now in the recycling bin.

I also found this ornament. I'm pretty sure that someone gave this to me and I have been meaning to get that thing hung up. Of course, it got stuck in a pile of stuff and got forgotten.

Bicycle ornament

It's now hanging in Studio U where I can see it every day when I'm sewing. Thanks to whoever I got it from. And I apologize that it got hidden away.

The ornament is now hanging up on my new (and mostly blank) inspiration board
 I didn't get as much done as I would have liked because I had some paperwork that had to be done and that took priority. But it's a start. I should NOT add anything else to that tabletop until what's on it is dealt with (oops - too late). I even filed some stuff in my filing cabinet. Now that's a miracle!!!!

Speaking of not adding things to the pile. This is what my "work" for the week looks like in Studio U. Good grief - almost the same as last week. It was all that homework that I had to get done so nothing from the laundry basket got accomplished.

The sewing for this week
Nothing new got added. Oh - that's not right. I have some homework due this Friday so that did get added. A couple of focused days and I could get through all that and then I could go shopping for NEW projects. The weather is not supposed to be that great this week, so we'll see and I do need to get back to the long arm.

So here's what I was working on last week. These are the homework blocks for Summer Moon. It's one of the ongoing classes from The Hobby Horse, but we held the class online and via e-mail.

Block set number one

Block set number two

Block set number three

And then we have also started to work on adding some frames to some of the blocks. I got the frames on all six blocks that were applicable for this month. Six blocks of 72 completely done!

Six framed blocks
 Other than a quick e-mail to the group, this project is now shelved until next month when it'll be time to get the next set of homework instructions done.

This is my Aviatrix Medallion quilt. This is the ongoing class at Oh Look Fabric. Well, the part that has been assigned to date. I'm loving this quilt and excited that I'm using up some of my orange fabrics. Once the fabric has been used, I won't use it again in this quilt.

Aviatrix Medallion
I'm such a bad teacher. Here's what the original pattern looks like. And we've done up to the black line I drew. Looks like a wobbly line, but hey - you try drawing a line with the mouse! Anyway - I've changed the center block as I felt the original one was too busy. Then I changed the half square triangle border by only using two colors, not the neutral as per the pattern. The next border was also changed. I used only one of the five blocks provided. But I think doing this to a pattern is important. It's one thing to copy exactly what the designer did and way more fun to take the structure of the original and make it your own. I used to follow patterns to the letter. No more!!

The pattern for Aviatrix Medallion

I'm having a lot of fun and now I need to come up with some ideas for the next borders. What to do? What to do???

I managed to get TWO more of the mini half star blocks sewn. I think there are still 24 to sew. They are fiddly!!!! And they are slow to sew. But progress is being made and that's all that counts. Slow and steady - my new mantra. There is NO NEED to hurry for any of this. Slow down and do a good job.

I've heard it said several times - if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right!!!

The status of the mini-blocks

So I'd like to do a practice webinar. Something free for you. All you need to do is log into the call. Any suggestions on a topic?? I'm thinking we could do needles? Threads? Rulers? Good sewing habits? I'll try to get that set up for next weekend - e-mail your suggestions and I'll let you know what I choose. If you give me suggestions, I'll just pick something. Remember - I'm at home so I can show you anything.

People comment on my energy level all the time. Hmm - I'm not sure how I got blessed with that, but I think it goes back to my early adult days. From the beginning of my adult life which is a few years ago now, I've always been active. I remember cold winter mornings (5 AM), trudging to the Metro (subway) in Montreal with my gym bag and my briefcase and heading off to the gym. I had asthma bad at that point in my life (it's totally gone now and I attribute it to the exercise but I'm not a doctor - that's just my rationale). I struggled through some of those workouts. Then headed off to work where I had breakfast at the cafeteria at work. Imagine that! I did that for years and if I couldn't get to the gym, I often walked. To me - energy makes energy. So the more you do, the more you generate.

Anyway - that theory works for me.

OK -- I know this is going to sound really bad and terribly selfish and totally a first-world problem. But you know what I miss the most during this self-isolation? My cleaning lady!!!!  I know - I'm such a princess!  I had better vacuum today before the dog-hair dust balls get so large that we trip over them.

 I've got a ton of stuff (again) to go through today and hopefully hit the long arm or the sewing machine.

Have a super day!!!!