Friday, July 31, 2020

Retail Therapy

I'm happy to report that yesterday was a much better day than the previous day. 

While the boomerang project is still on my plate, a good portion of it got cleaned up yesterday, and that was great. Now that the new formula is figured out, the rest of it should much quicker. I'm not big on change - OK - I don't really mind change, but it takes a while to figure out how to work with the change.

That change was part of the problem - I struggled with that. But all is good now. I've got a plan, and I'm good to go!! Yeah! I don't know that I'll get all of it completed today - I do have a couple of other things that also need to be done, so I'll work on several of them today. 

I had a couple of errands to do yesterday, including some retail therapy! For some reason, my FitBit has gone wild. It cycles through all the mini-programs on it, and it can completely lose power in one hour. That's not acceptable when every step counts!

I did some research and found the same price online as in person, so I went in person to buy it. At first, I thought the long line in front of the store was because the store was that busy, then realized that the store hadn't opened yet! Phew! I had done some research before I went in, so I knew exactly what I wanted, and I knew the store had the item.

One thing I've noticed is that people are starting to get more comfortable with the COVID issue. People are wearing masks because they are the law. But NO ONE sanitized their hands unless they were explicitly asked to do so. That's been the same everywhere I've been in the last couple of days.

Back to shopping - when I looked at the options available, I almost caved and bought something else instead.

This is what caught my eye - hey - it's orange!!!

The Ionic by FitBit

This is what I went to buy.

The Versa 2 by FitBit

I was comparing the two on the chart when someone came up and asked if they could help me. Thank you, BESTBUY, for your excellent customer service. Something that you would NEVER get online. The Ionic was cheaper by $50, but the salesperson told me the difference between the two and suggested that the Versa 2 was the better of the two and newer. I would be happier with the Versa 2.

The comparison chart

So - I stuck to my original plan and bought the Versa 2. It's charged up now and ready to be synced this morning so I can start wearing it.

In the meantime, I'm charging the old one yet again this morning. It's a daily ritual with that Charge 2HR. Oh well - it's been around for a while as the Charge 4 was released last year. I think Charge 2 was released in 2016, so it's probably time to get it upgraded. And now, I have the same tracker as the others in my walking group! I wonder what happens to my step count? Theoretically, it shouldn't change.

Later in the day, I walked to Indigo and the grocery store as I was looking for the latest issue of Quiltmaker. Gosh - the darn thing still isn't on our shelves, and yet my friend Susan bought it out west. Hmm..............

The book selection sure isn't what it used to be. This is the Crafts and Hobbies section (doesn't include the knitting, crochet, etc.). Half of those shelves are coloring books for adults!!! And notice that there's nothing on either the top or the bottom shelves. Yep - the instore selection is getting really scarce.

The Crafts & Hobbies section

This is the magazine section, which is even more sparse than the book section. This section might be a thing of the past in the no so near future. I don't just mean quilting magazines, but all magazines.

The magazine section
 I do try to buy local if I can. If we don't, and in these very uncertain times, it's even more critical. Make sure that you go shopping to get your stuff. Try to avoid online shopping, especially from those big stores. They are going to be the death of a lot of smaller stores if we don't watch out, just like Wal-Mart killed so many mom and pop stores when they hit smaller towns years ago.

No magazine at Indigo, and since the grocery store was on my way home, I stopped in to see if they had it. Nope. I'm happy to report that there's a LOT of toilet paper though! And iced tea!

Lots of toilet paper

I did find a small book in the bargain section at Indigo on Walking, so I bought it!

A book about walking

Remember that walking is one of the most important things that you can do every day. You don't need to walk far, but you should attempt to get out of your house/apartment every day for a walk, even if you walk the halls in your apartment building. If you don't, you will not forget how to walk, but your ability to walk will become restricted, and you'll end up with all kinds of health issues. Besides walking is so good for your mental health!!!

I had one other stop yesterday. I had to pick up some samples from a colleague. She used to be an educator with SVP but has moved onto another job. Would I like her samples? Sure - so I went with an IKEA bag.

Four huge tubs of samples

OH my - that's a LOT of samples. I ended up bringing all the samples home, and I'll go through them at my leisure and then return what I don't want/need to the company. Those four GIANT totes just fit in the back of my car!

Well, today is going to be another great day! I'm going to go for maximum impact on crossing off items on my "to do" list for the week. The good thing is, I don't have much to add to it for next week. Yeah!!!

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Mental Health

I'm a pretty upbeat person, and it takes a lot to drag me down. Even with the pandemic, I've had no issues until yesterday.

I don't know what hit me, but it was one of those days. I heard of two people whose fathers had passed away recently—another person whose mother is in palliative care and father not well. Someone's dog died, and another person is dealing with an elderly dog, and "that" question is looming. To top it off, I have a paperwork issue that just doesn't seem to go away. I'm calling it the boomerang project because it keeps coming back to haunt me.

And it would appear that I'm having an issue with the battery on my phone and my FitBit. Both are needing to be charged way too frequently. I did have a wee bit of fun as I searched the internet for things to buy!!!! I have FOUR items in my shopping cart. I haven't hit send yet, but I likely will today, and I'm going to add a new FitBit. Mine is totally out of control.

All that just put me into a tailspin! I was so out of sorts that I couldn't even nap, and I didn't go for a walk last night! Yikes!!!  But I knew that it was temporary and that today is a new day and all will be better today.

I didn't get to sew anything yesterday, and that didn't help the matter. I should have just walked away from the paperwork, and eventually, I did!

I can't imagine what my life would be like if I watched the depressing news every day. I'd be a zombie each and every day! OK - let's hope that the bad day was just for yesterday. Today IS a new day, and let's move forward and get that boomerang project DONE! If I work hard, I should be able to clear it off the desk by noon - and then get moving forward!

This morning, I got myself organized and managed to get a bit of sewing done. I need to start prepping for the next sewing retreat, which is coming up way too fast. This is the one that was scheduled for March and got delayed until August. Then that's it for a while!

I started to make these little zippered pouches at the last retreat. They are made from pre-quilted fabric. But how do you nicely finish off the edges inside? YES - I could use the serger, and that's what I was going to do. Then I decided to line them. I like that style much better. So I had to rip out the topstitching that I had done on the zipper. I told you that I love ripping things out!!! And I only ripped the topstitching out, not the zipper. That was a wee bit of a challenge.

One is done, and the new lining is cut.

One zippered ouch ready to sew together

See that lovely line of topstitching around the zipper. It's got to go!!! There were only two, so it wasn't a huge deal.

One more to rip out

I started to sew the last two Snail's Trails blocks. These are likely the LAST two of these blocks I'll ever sew! I've done my share and don't need more! I'm becoming so wise as I get older.

The second to last Snail's Trail block

The last Snail's Trail block

But what I'm really happy about is that the homework assignment for our Celebration quilt got done and sent out! Yeah!!! One more homework assignment to finish off today.

And then I retook the picture of my quilt.

My Celebration quilt

Remember what the original picture looked like??? I was in such a hurry that I didn't notice that one of the blocks was backward. Usually, something like that will pop out in the picture, but I didn't see it.

Oops - a block got turned

Why did I put that quilt back on the design wall? Because now that I had more blocks made, I really didn't like the coloring of the center block. The rest of the quilt is somewhat subdued, and there's this center block made bright teal green and pink fabric. That had to go.

The old center block

And here's the new version. Much more subdued.

The new center block

And this is what it looks like in the quilt. MUCH better.

The new center quilt

Here are the two side by side so you can see how much better the new block looks. Well, they can't be side by side, but at least you can see them both at the same time.

We have 20 blocks left to sew, and then we can start to assemble the quilt. I'm getting excited about it. I did change the design around as I didn't like it - what else is new? So far, I haven't changed ANY blocks - just changed the coloring. But I think the quilt is much more balanced now, and the coloring is more coherent. Just wait until you see the final quilt. Even I don't know what that'll look like. I hope I have enough fabric left to finish it. OH - I do - I just don't know what fabrics I'm going to use. I'm making it up as I go along.

I did take a wee walk yesterday as I had to go to the library to pick up a book for DH. We made the appointment last week. It's crazy, BUT we can return and borrow books. Who cares if it takes a couple of days to make that happen. I always have a few books sitting here to read, so it's not like I'm going to run out.

I also got a notification the other day that my books are due tomorrow. That's the first time in months that I got that notification. That means I have to start paying attention to due dates. And I have quite a few books on hold. I did suspend them until July 31st, so I'm going to have to watch that as well. I do NOT want 30 books arriving on my doorstep at once!

I had company on the walk. Three times, he plopped himself on the grass in the shade and said, "I'm tired, and I don't want to walk anymore." 

Taking a break
 So he got put in the book bag, and we carried on.

This is much better

He sure doesn't have the same stamina as the big girls, but then he's one-tenth the size of them.

Well, it's time to get the day started and if things start to go wrong? I'm just going to bed to sleep the day away and get back tomorrow. But I have hopes for the day - not high hopes - not until that boomerang project is gone. Then I can have high hopes for the remainder of the day.

Have a great day!!!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What I found on the internet

I did accomplish a lot, but not really anything that I can share with you. Gosh - the secrets still abound. The QUILTsocial blog posts will be up next week, and it's been a wee bit of a learning curve behind the scenes, but all is good.

I got about a third of my "to do" list for the week done! How cool is that? Even if it mostly meant dealing with events in my calendar and making a few phone calls. It doesn't matter - those things are done now, and I can move on to the next bunch of things to do.

Holy - I found some embroidery patterns yesterday, and well - I need to be stitching out at least one embroidery design EVERY day. There's so much that I want to stitch out - there just isn't time to do it all.

But it was kind of a nice relaxing day - no immediate deadlines and that felt really nice. I did have a wee nap outside but spent most of the day puttering around. Collecting supplies to do some embroidery, getting organized, and well just puttering!

I saw this sign somewhere recently and took a picture. Doesn't that look awesome! Make the best of every day! No hiding!

A cool quote

At one point, I was looking for some yarn. I came across this in the yarn stash. Now, what the heck is it?? I've no idea - something started - no pattern. It almost looks like a sweater for Barbie. I put it back like that, but I really should have ripped it out.

What is this??

I did spend some time looking at things on the internet, and a while back, I found this quilt. It's part of the Row by Row Experience. Ooops - It's now called the Quilter's Trek. This is a collaborative quilt by 9 shops in the Chicago area.

Winter's Window collaborative quilt

Here's the list of shops that have put the quilt together.

You could get just the free patterns, or you could purchase the laser cut kits. You can even order the kits this year, which is something we could never do before. I LOVE the quilt but figured that it was going to cost too much, and I still haven't done the one that we collected from these shops last year. But isn't it an awesome quilt????

Thanks to Daphne, I'm all signed up for the Kimberbell Love Notes mystery quilt. I signed up at Snip and Stitch, which is in Nanaimo in BC. I know - there's no reason for me to have signed up for this quilt. I don't need it, but honestly - I love anything that Kimberbell puts out. I should just say to them - send me one of everything. Thanks to Marianne, who also let me know of a shop in NS (Quilts by the Bay) that is doing the Love Notes Mystery. The first installment should be sent out on August 3rd.

And that new Halloween bench pillow? Oh god - I don't need this, but it's absolutely adorable.

Halloween bench pillow

What I need is a bench, so I can put the pillow on. Kimberbell has the best bench pillows ever. There are so many of them, and they are all adorable.

Then I found this as well that I think is a great idea. It's an iron caddy. 

That's why I don't go shopping much anymore. It's too easy for me to find things that I want. I seem to do a good job on the internet. However, other than the Love Notes Mystery quilt, I did not buy anything.

However, I'm happy to report that I've received all (I think) of the video equipment I need to get my live presentations up and running. Now to figure out how it all connects. That's a job for the weekend. I'm sure it's pretty easy - mostly plug and play. I may need to buy another tripod or two - I'll see how the set up goes.

Oh - before I leave, I see that Miss Lexi has finally got herself together and actually wrote a blog post. Now, what could be so important to pull her out of her laziness to make that happen? I guess you'll have to check it out.

On that note, I'm out of here to try and get a few more things off my "to do" list today. It would be great to get everything done by the weekend, so I could be a total slug this weekend.

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

UFO Show n Tell

I thought I'd share the UFO show and tell with you today.

Last year, I started a UFO club. Each person paid a fee to join the club and then put some money in the kitty that they would get back once they finished their assignment for the month. Each person gets to choose how much or how little they do, depending on their schedule for that month. I think that at least half of the group members work full time - some at home and some at their actual place of work.  It's a small amount - $10 per month, but that's enough to get people fired up!

I don't think that it's just the money. I think many of us are sitting on a bunch of UFOs and well - we know that if we don't come home one night, who is going to clean up our studios? Many of those UFOs will get tossed as no one will be able to figure out what was supposed to happen - some parts might be missing or the pattern.

The purpose of the club is to get everyone on track. And that's what has happened. Everyone who signed up for the first year resigned up for year two, and we added a couple of people. We've been doing the show and tell on Zoom, so anyone can participate! Watch for the sign-up for next year. That'll be coming in the fall. I'll keep the groups small (in case we need another group), so we can get our show n tell covered in one hour.

Now we had not planned to work through the summer, and so there was no money in the kitty for July or August, but the group really wanted to have a deadline and to "meet." So I made that happen. Even with NO money on the table, the amount of work that got done was crazy. Let's have a look.

Katheleen is working on Snow Days - a pattern by Crabapple Hill. She now has Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 together with all the embroideries done. There are something like 14 sections in the quilt - I didn't remember that there were that many. The blocks for the center are done as well, and that's her goal for the upcoming month - sew the center together and join a few more sections. Oh yes - there's no stopping these guys! They wanted to meet in August as well!

Katheleen's Snow Days UFO
Thankfully, there wasn't money on the table this month because I didn't get my homework completed. I did, however, start to sew the red and white log cabin blocks together. It shouldn't take that long to finish this off as I now have 16 larger blocks and that one row to sew together.  That's ONE of my goals for August. This quilt top, the binding, and the batting need to be organized.

My red and white log cabin quilt

I was very ambitious and wanted to have the Snail's Trails blocks completed as well. As you can see, that didn't happen. However, the good news is that all the components for the remaining blocks are cut out. I was lamenting that I still had TWELVE blocks to sew together. Then when we were sewing for Monday yesterday, I realized that I only have SIX blocks to sew together.

My Snail's Trails blocks

I'm happy to report that I got four of the remaining six blocks sewn yesterday, so that leaves TWO blocks left to sew. Then each block needs to be trimmed and then to sew the quilt top together. That's on my list to finish in August as well.

Those two items are the LAST two items on my 2017 UFO list. I will get that list done by the end of August, even if it kills me!!!

This is my yoga bag, and it needs the end seam allowances to be finished. That's on the goal for this month as well. This project is on my 2020 UFO list. 

The yoga bag is almost done

AND - I have one border to add to finish this project. That's also on the list of goals for this month. None of those jobs should take more than an hour or two. This quilt is also on the 2019 UFO list. I'm determined to get as many of those projects off the lists as I can. There are four still on the 2018 list, so those will become a priority for the remainder of the year.

The Easy Street quilt needs one last border sewn on

I also pulled a project from the 2020 UFO list that has to be sewn together. It's a quilt, and all the blocks are done. So that will be a bonus. And there's no money on the table so if I don't get it all done, that's OK. But I WANT it done.

Technically, Shelly didn't put anything on her list for this month. But that doesn't mean that she was slacking. Her son got married, and he wanted her to refurbish this wagon that I believe had been made by her son's grandfather. It's adorable and so yes - she finished something!

Shelly refurbished the wagon

Her goal for next month is to work on the embroidery on two blocks for Winter Wonderland. This is another Crabapple Hill pattern.
Block one for Shelly to finish

Block two for Shelly to start
Dede's goal was to get 124 half square triangles completed, and here they are!!  Dede will now be working on adding a border to the Patchwork Sampler quilt, and then these half-square triangles make the next border.

Dede's half-square triangles - DONE

Diane had these three peacock embroideries done and didn't know what to do with them. So over the last couple of months, she's been turning them into cushions for her sofa. The last one was completed this month! They look awesome!!!

Diane's three peacock cushions

Lynne wanted to get ONE of the 52 designs on her Dream Big panel stitched out. That was a bit dicey since she got the thread days before we met. But she did get the stitching done. This is tricky because the placement of the design is critical. I think she did a great job!!  She's going to be working on this project for August and wants to get at least 4 more designs stitched out.

Lynne's first design stitched out on the Dream Big panel

This is the layout of the Dream Big pattern

Diane P. is working on Stitcher's Garden. This is the FOURTH of these quilts that we've worked on in the UFO club. The other three are done, and this one is close.

She had three blocks to finish off, and all three got done.

The first block

The second block (which is actually two blocks)

The third block (which is actually 6 blocks)

Her goal for next month is to finish the last section of the quilt, which equals seven blocks. I know she can do it!!!!

I swear that Jane was looking for a gold star this month. Her goal was to get two borders on a quilt. That got done, and I believe the quilt is at her long arm quilter to be quilted.

Two borders added to this quilt

She wanted to get the binding on this quilt - one that she was working on throughout the UFO sessions. 

Jane's starry purple quilt
The binding is half on. She was experimenting with thread colors and stitches, and so it's not quite finished, but it's very close.

Working on the binding
She got the batting and backing together for another one of the quilts that she worked on during our UFO sessions, and that one is also with the long arm quilter to get quilted.

Off to the long arm quilter

She finished quilting this Christmas quilt and got the binding on it as well. See - what I mean about that gold star???? 

Jane's Christmas quilt is done

WAIT - there's more. She was also working on this quilt during our UFO sessions. It went to the long arm quilter, and now the binding is on, and this one is ready to gift!!!! I LOVE the picture - it's a perfect setting for that photo. Way to go - Jane!!! And YES - you get a gold star.

Jane's sailboat quilt

Linda was also on a roll this month. She's been quilting her own quilts and went gangbusters. This is a panel that she added a border to. Then quilted it and got the binding on. This one will go to the local guild's community projects.

Linda's child's quilt -- DONE

Another panel that's quilted and bound.

Another panel quilt - DONE

This was a top belonging to the community projects at the local guild. It's now quilted and bound.

Community projects quilt - DONE

BUT this is what her real homework was. To get this Christmas quilt done, and it's done!!!  I love it when we get on a roll and get one thing done and then keep going. That's called motivation. I LOVE IT!!!

Linda's Christmas quilt - DONE

Isn't that exciting to see the progress made on some quilts and see so many finished quilts? There are others in the club, but they didn't have anything on their plate for the month, or I didn't get the homework pictures. A few of them set a goal for the summer, so their work isn't really due until September!!!

It's all about moving forward, however slowly.

Great job to everyone, and so today, I'm scheduling ONE DAY where I can work on those UFO projects and get them done for this month. I want to move on to something else.

Have a super day!