Saturday, April 10, 2021



Oh my -- I'm losing it! Why? I'm so focused that I'm not thinking of everything that I have to do. 

When Diane dropped off the mask the other day, I had a small thing to do for her. I totally forgot about it. I'm meeting up with someone today and totally forgot that I have to put the binding on her quilt. Oh well!! And they say focusing is a good thing!  

I have to say that it's been great to have this mini-vacation - even though I didn't go anywhere. There are no presentations to do, and while I've been working (sewing and paperwork), it's been like a mini-vacation, and I still have two days left! I need to do this more often. No classes, no prep work. I'll pay the price starting on Monday with getting back into the swing of things, but I'm OK with that. 

I'm happy to report that the quilt top is done! The binding is cut, and the backing still needs to be made. No worries - it's all under control. I have to say that when you design a quilt based on digital images of fabric - well, sometimes when it comes to sewing it together - things don't always go as planned. 

I changed the quilt's size - made it a bit smaller - who needs a giant quilt? I had the color of setting triangles, sashing, borders, etc., all planned out. But when I started to sew the quilt together, YIKES -- there's one spot that just didn't look right. Now what? How am I going to fix that? 

After a moment of panic and a night of sleep, I decided I had two choices. One involved a major ripping session, the second involved switching a fabric. Guess which one I chose? So that's set aside for the moment. I do have some writing to do for that one and then hopefully on the long arm later this week. 

At last, it was time to get to work on the other quilt that's supposed to be in the mail by Monday. It's time to pull some fabrics, and this is why a stash is important. I went shopping in the stash room, which is always so exciting. Because it's super organized, it's so easy to find anything I want. I know there are loads of people who use a ruler to neatly fold all their fabric. Oh my -- I just couldn't be bothered with that. Fortunately, the basket system works for me. 

Shopping Chez Elaine

All the fabrics are neatly folded in baskets by color. Then I tip the basket upside down, and one by one - sort through - the rejects for this project - back in the basket, and the potentials go to the right. I can go through that basket in about one minute to get what I want. It just doesn't get any easier than that! I don't have to worry about taking something from the bottom of a neatly folded stack. This is the grab and dash method of stash shopping, but hey - it works as I don't have time to be super neat -- neat - yes, super neat - no. 

But let's talk about the inspiration for this quilt. I can't go into a lot of detail because the entire inspiration story is going into the magazine. I was watching another episode of The Quilt Show. OK - so I'm hooked! Often the audience will ask a designer/quilter - where does the inspiration come from?

So here's where my inspiration comes from. Most times, when there's a magazine submission request - there's also a theme. Let's say the theme is dogs. Now, are they looking for a dog portrait? or things related to dogs? Do you make it abstract or realistic? I want to say that it's sometimes easier when there's a theme than when it's wide open. You have to take into account how much time you want to spend on the quilt and what skill level you have, and what fabrics you have to use. 

I try to keep up with the world of quilting, but my inspiration mostly does NOT come from the world of quilting. That would be copying, and I like to make things original. And sometimes, it's not necessarily the style or design you choose that's original, but the story behind it is original! 

I find that I do a lot of thinking on my walks, especially through the forest, and many ideas have popped into my head during my walks. It's not just for physical exercise! My brain gets stretched as well, which is why I don't like to listen to music or audiobooks on my walks. That's reserved for brainstorming and problem-solving. Something that we do NOT do enough of these days. 

Anyway - there was a theme for this project. I came up with a couple of ideas, but I couldn't get started on the project. Then I came up with another concept and BINGO - that's the one that I went with, after getting approval. And the quilt is amazing!!! So simple, yet I think it's brilliant. One-third of the blocks are sewn and trimmed, and the remainder is cut out and waiting to be sewn together. My goal is to get that top together today - I found the PERFECT backing and hope to get it quilted tomorrow. Quilt in a day, and they said it was a myth!!!

This is what my scrap box looks like this morning! Very pretty! And that's all the information you get!

The overflowing scrap box - again!

And now for the comic relief part of the blog. Yes - I sat in the gazebo yesterday. It was glorious in the afternoon, and of course, Murphy was there to entertain. 

MOM - I found this long stick. Can I bring it into the gazebo? 

She managed to maneuver that big stick into the gazebo, and it was quite entertaining to see her brain figure it out. But when she started swinging it around and almost knocked my glass of water off the table, well, I had to stop that fun. 

Then we have Miss Lexi, who is - well, totally different. She would NEVER play with a stick or a ball. That's beneath her. But she does love to be close, and so she'll pop UNDER the gazebo to be close!

Hi Mom -  I LOVE YOU!! But KEEP OUT!!!

She's so calm - well, not really, but they are so different. And why would you eat your dog food when you can lie beside it and savor it. Thankfully Murphy knows NOT to touch that dish until it's empty. But it can sit like this all day before Miss Lexi decides that she wants to eat. Let's just say that bones are not necessarily a good thing at our house because even if they both get one, only one of them actually enjoys the bones. And we do NOT keep their dishes together on the eating mat. Oh no - that doesn't work at our house. Miss Lexi has to eat near the table! We had a massive fight one day soon after Murphy arrived. Their food dishes have been separate ever since! 

Savoring her food

And not to leave Little Bear out of the picture; he likes to sit on M's desk while she's working. He's the helper! What a little goof!!! Little Bear and M - we miss you!!!! 

Little Bear hard at work on the computer

Seriously, those dogs are the daily source of entertainment around here. I know that dogs are scarce these days - I just hope that when people's lives get back to normal, they don't ignore their furry friends. They have personalities and lives - just like us!!!

There it is - the first dandelion (at my house) of the summer. While we don't have grass, we have dandelions!!!

The first dandelion of 2021

I decided to dig out my hiking boots. I had no idea if they even fit me. You know how it is when you age - everything starts on the downhill course and ends up on your feet! Imagine my surprise when I looked inside and found one of them was filled (well, not to the top), but full of birdseed and dirt. Why? I've no idea - it's been a while since I last wore them. And look what else I found! The missing tip for my walking poles. I thought I had lost it, but nope  - there it was  - in my boot!!!

Hiking boots fit, and there's a missing part of my walking pole

Good grief -- and we wonder why things go missing! Anyway, the thing - I don't even know what that thing is called. They are called BASKETS -- who knew, and their job is to prevent your poles from sinking in snow, sand, or soft trails. 

It's supposed to be a glorious day, which means it's going to be very hard to keep me inside. I really must move my sewing table to the backyard. It would be perfect in the gazebo! I do have a portable table. Just a thought!

On that note - it's time to get the day started!!!

Have a super day!!!


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