Monday, May 31, 2021

On writing and sewing

 It was a very long day, and well, the days have the same number of hours, but the number of things to do doesn't seem to get less. Now, why is that? I know people say that I'm doing too much, but I'm not on ANY committees; I'm not doing many magazine quilts these days, although I'm still designing and making them. It's just stuff in general. Trying to keep on top of it all, and that's never going to happen, so I'll just muddle along. Honestly - it's the small, seemingly endless number of silly tasks or follow-up that seem to consume the day. 

I do like my little shelf. It's a small thing, but it seems to help me get more work done? I doubt that - but it really helps to have the extra space. 

I got another writing assignment done yesterday and one more finished today! I know- ALREADY!!! Have you ever wondered how many words I write in these assignments? Well, they average around 2,500 words. I know - who knew that I was so verbose. OK - so you all did! But I'm getting faster, and I can usually crank that out, including editing in about 3 hours. The amount of work required to get subject matter to write about - well, that's a whole other story! 

I should check the number of words in an average blog post. I think I did once before, and it's about 1,000 words. No wonder my total number of written words is huge. That's a lot of words in the last couple of years.

Words I've written since 2016

My grammar is getting better (hopefully), and well, it's just easier. Perhaps one day, I'll think about writing a book. I have a couple of ideas, but right now? There's no time. 

We had LOADS of fun at the Virtual Retreat yesterday. Oh my goodness - I got several projects done, and the motto of the day was slow and steady. And by the end of the day, the items were done. I can't share them with you just yet, but you'll see them either later this week or next week. I didn't touch any of my own projects, but that's OK. We have Monday sewing today, and I have several small things that I need to clean up. It's stuff for other people, and it would be nice to get those done. I'll see how it goes. A couple of things require some programming in the embroidery software. 

If I can get that programming done before Monday sewing starts, then I can stitch them out and tidy them up today. These small things have been on the "to be sewn" pile, so it's not like something new is added. One of these days, these niggling little projects will be all tidied up (HA - don't worry - I'm laughing with you on that one!). 

There was no bike riding or long arm quilting that got accomplished yesterday. I've got a lot of stuff happening this week and more stuff on the weekend, so lots of planning and prep work need to occur. But I'm OK with that. I'm getting much better at sitting at the desk and doing that. I never was good at that before. 

I did get out for a long walk before the Virtual Retreat started, so I'm keeping my miles up, and I'm now in Connecticut on the Appalachian Trail. Just shy of 70%. I think there are three states to hike through! 

Now in Connecticut

I'm making a quilt from this fabric. It's called Hi de Ho by Maywood. Does anyone have any that they would like to part with?  My preference is for the more solid prints, but I'll take the plaid or the large yellow or red florals. I need it for binding a quilt. I need about .6 meter of a meter. E-mail me if you have this and want to part with some. 

Hi-de-ho by Maywood

OK -- so I've never heard of Halston. I know - GASP!!!  But anyway, I came across this link. Apparently, there's a show on Netflix about his life. And here's a story about the actor who learned to sew because of his role in the show.   It's quite interesting. 

Well, it's going to be short and sweet this morning. My brain is already working on the next thing - oh yes - it's an e-mail!! I HAVE to get some e-mail answered this morning. 

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, May 30, 2021

I have sewing tools and I know how to use them

 Oh my gosh -- you guys are the best!!! There are times when I think I live in a vacuum waiting to be rescued by you all!! I will NOT be buying a new rain jacket - I just need to find some waterproofing stuff. So that's on the list of things to track down. See how those errands accumulate!! I can barely keep above the water on the errands, but I did manage to get a few off the list yesterday. You know how it is - one errand leads to another and so on. 

We have some house repairs that we've been putting off, and well, now is the time! At least to start the investigation and get on a list. So I've got some appointments lined up this week to chat with people, and if we decide to go through with it - well, it's going to be a mess for a while. I still have a couple more people to contact before we go into decision-making mode. 

So yes, my morning was spent at the computer, but I'm loving having that little shelf. It was definitely worth the purchase, and I feel more in control, even though I'm probably not. The key now is to NOT put anything on the desktop except what I need to get done in the timeframe I have set aside for paperwork. Why is there so much? Appointments to make, phone calls to make, e-mails to answer - I swear it doesn't seem to stop. 

Slow and steady - that's how I have to look at it, and getting one thing done is better than not getting anything done. So some stuff will be late - I just can't help it - I only have so many hours in the day, and I'm not frittering them away. At least, I don't think I am!

I listed and got rid of one more item yesterday. That was through the Facebook Free Stuff group. Oh boy -- I wonder what I can get rid of today? I've got some portable radios - I wonder if someone wants those? I'm new to this whole business, and there seem to be some rules. Like you have to say how you are going to award the item. Sometimes, people do lotteries if there are lots of people asking for the item. Some people say "my choice". Good grief - I give it to the first person who asks. 

My giveaway item yesterday

But I got a comment yesterday that people are only allowed to be awarded one thing per day, and I think the person to who I gave my item might be a frequent user? I don't know, and frankly, I don't care, but the more I post, the more I'll get to know people. Watch out - nothing is sacred!!! Don't worry - the girls are safe - pets are not allowed on the listings!

Then it was downstairs to get some quilt work done. I got this customer quilt done! This design is the cutest quilt I've seen. It's the second one created like this with the last name on the back of the penguins, and YES - it was made for a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Super cute. I believe the pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. Yes, it is - Penguin Party. Except that this customer and the other person who made a similar quilt altered some of the blocks, so it looks like the BACK of the jersey. 

Customer quilt

This one JUST fit on the fleece. There is a HUGE (2") white selvage along one edge on these licensed fleeces. The quilt JUST fit between that white selvage, and there was about ½" on the other side. Not ideal, but it worked. And the next one I get to load later today - it's got a Minky backing. Good grief - where are the easy quilts? Actually, the more I work with fleece and Minky, it's not an issue at all. You just have to be careful when loading to not stretch the backing. And the top has to fit the backing!

As I watched that quilt, which required a bit more babysitting than normal, I was at the sewing machine. Sorry - can't share the project with you as I'm making it into a blog post for this coming week, but let's say that it's done! And well - just wait for the story - it's hilarious, and sometimes, I wonder where my head is!

Let's just say that I dug out some sewing tools to help me. I had the serger out. Gosh -- I love the PFAFF admire air 5000 sergers. It's so easy to thread with air threading, or if you're lucky, the threads are already threaded, and you just tie on your new threads and go. That's what I had to do, and within mere minutes, this thing was up and running, and the seam was perfect. I recently had to switch this serger for the Husqvarna Viking branded one, so that's why it wasn't already set up. 

PFAFF admire air 5000 serger

As I was pressing part of my project, I thought - good grief - you have a heat press - get that out. So I did, and it worked like a charm for my project. I didn't get a chance to put steam in it, which would have been better, but it did the trick! So - if you have one of these - get it out. It's the Singer Heat Press. I LOVE it. 

Singer Heat Press

This is my power cord tower on the sewing table. There are six plugs and two USB ports. It seems to be constantly FULL, and I had to unplug something to plug in the heat press. But that's OK as I can't use all the machines at once and with the computer there, it takes up an extra plug. Normally, the computer is on another table, but it's beside the sewing machine for the Virtual Retreat.  And if you're still putting your power cords on the floor - STOP doing that. Put it on the table where you can actually reach it. 

Power cord tower

Here's something that I can share with you—one more Snail's Trail block. 

Snail's Trail block

And the best news? The last one is almost together. Yes - FINALLY - hey, if you think you're relieved that you won't hear me talk about them again, think about me!!!

Almost all the blocks are DONE!

Since the serger was fired up, I emptied the scrap bin on the cutting table and made another pet mat. 

A pet mat

Oh my gosh -- we had so much fun at the Virtual Retreat last night. It was hilarious, and we talked about everything and anything, and it was fun! It was the perfect way to finish off my project and chat with friends. I'm so thankful that we have Zoom to stay connected. This is one super POSITIVE thing that has come from the pandemic. Where would I have the chance to chat with Daphne from BC, or Mary from Athens (that's Ontario!), Megan from North Bay, and everyone in between. There's no way it could be done in person. So this is super!!!

Don't forget that we have a Virtual Retreat today. It starts at 2 PM. So be sure to stop by and say HI. It's loads of fun, and we get stuff done, and we help each other should someone have a question. I hear there's a $5 charge for questions!!!  You had to be there for that one! 

We have a lot of fun on the retreats, but here's the thing that makes them extremely important. It helps you to realize that you are NOT alone. We have people whose family members are in the hospital for various ailments. They can't visit their family members, but they have concerns, worries, etc., and guess what? They can be shared. Same thing with the show and tell - show us your victories and your failures! Zoom sessions are meeting the need of feeling connected and NOT being alone. I look forward to all the Zoom calls for that very reason. 

Here are some things to check out this morning. The last post of the week for QUILTsocial. I got all my cushions done. And I played with some piping. 

We didn't see anything too interesting on the walks yesterday. WAIT -- I took two pictures. 

The first is this leaf. Look at the gorgeous colors in that leaf, and I love the two-toned effect. 

A two-toned leaf

People leave cars parked on the street even if they are not supposed to. A house was recently vacated on a street near me, and they cleaned TONS of junk out of that house. They hadn't lived there long, but boy - it was full of junk. Stuff would get left on the curb. Some disappeared, some did not. Well, I noticed that the leftover junk got piled in this car, and then the car got parked across the street. It's been there for almost two weeks now. I wonder why????  Perhaps we need to call the city and report it. 

An abandoned car?

And before I go, here are those silly girls. I swear, I run around the house snapping photos of them. I'm worse than a parent with a newborn. They are hilarious. 

This was Murphy this morning. "MOM - I need a belly rub!!" What a silly girl. 

Murphy asked for a belly rub

And Lexi? Well, sometimes, she's just creepy. If you approach Murphy, she gets up! "You need to touch me," "I need to lick your feet," or whatever she needs. 

Lexi? Totally different. You walk into the room, and she doesn't lift her head. Oh no - that's too much work for a princess. Nope, she follows you with her eyes!! It's pretty creepy but funny at the same time. 


Well, that's it for me. I've got more computer work to get done this morning, and I have to get my walk in before the retreat starts at 2 PM. Be sure to stop by and say hi!!!!

Sunday, May 30 - 2 PM -- 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 5474 6667
Passcode: 457858

Have a super day!!!!!


Saturday, May 29, 2021

A quilt road trip

 I went on a little shopping trip yesterday. I got to walk amongst bolts of fabric, look at kits, spools of thread, look at samples. It was quite a heady experience. I will NOT mention the name of the store - I don't want them getting into trouble. But I was in the store by myself. I did a little retail shopping, which I'll share with you either today or tomorrow - it depends on how much time I have this morning. 

Initially, I went to do curbside pickup, which went a bit further than the curb. I'm OK with that. The shop isn't close to me with an obscure address. I didn't think the wacky navigation system in the car would not find it. Oh yes, it did. No wrong turns - except that it wanted me to take the toll highway. I must figure out how to turn that off. 

I'll try NOT to mention the navigation system again. I know it sounds silly, but trust me, getting this thing to work was a big issue. I had to reboot my phone before I got going yesterday - for some reason, it wouldn't sync with anything - even my FitBit. But once I rebooted, I plugged in the address, and away I went. 

The navigation system working once again

I'd like to thank Rose as she was the one that identified this shop to me. They ordered the product I needed, and all was good to go. 

I passed a barn quilt on the way. 

A barn quilt

This is as close as I could get with my camera. I'm not sure if that's a real quilt block or one they made up. I should check the map for more details. I did spot another one, but too late to stop and take a picture. The next time that I'll be in that area, I'll stop. Oh yes - there'll definitely be a next time. 

Closer shot of the barn quilt

Let's not forget the country roads! Yes - roads without pavement! I thought those only existed in Saskatchewan. Thankfully, it was teeming rain, so the mud is gone from the car. 

Country roads

Oh - one last thing about the navigation system. It brought me home a completely different way. I wonder how and why it does its calculations?? 

What was with the weather? It started off cold and rainy. OK - we can all live with that. I have a great raincoat - but I'm noticing that it's not as waterproof as it used to be. My sweater was wet when I took the jacket off. The jacket is over 20 years old, so I guess it might be time to buy a new one. I like the jacket and nothing wrong with it. OK - so there is something wrong with it. I didn't take an umbrella, I just put the hood up, and I'm good. 

At one point, it really started to rain, but thankfully, I was in the forest at that time, and the canopy of leaves really makes a difference in how wet you get. 

A beautiful walk in the rain in the forest

Speaking of the tree canopy, did you check out the latest issue of A Needle Pulling Thread? The theme of the magazine is trees, and my quilt is my interpretation of the tree canopy. Check the pictures are the top of that link. There are four banners, so you may have to wait to see my quilt. 

Lexi and I had quite the adventure. We were following a man through the forest, and all of a sudden, he turned back towards us. A fox had crossed the path. Why he turned his back on a wild animal is beyond me. But the fox was RIGHT there. He looks pretty healthy, and he's about the size of Lexi. He trotted across the path and into the section behind our house. He was scouting for breakfast. We did NOT see as many rabbits as we normally do. 

No picture as my phone was tucked in a pocket beneath my raincoat. Drat!!! 

And we also saw these fungi. I had NOT noticed them before, but they are both HUGE. At least 12 inches across. They are gorgeous. Now that could become an inspiration for something. 

Triple-layer fungus on a tree

Single-layer fungus

When Murphy and I had our "urban" walk, this is what we found. Yep -- a roll of toilet paper in a plastic bag. This occurred near where I found the eggs. So what's with this? 

Toilet paper?

And a bit further down was another roll. Now that's a mystery. If you needed to borrow toilet paper, you sure wouldn't leave it on the ground. Unless you were being chased by a fox? Another neighborhood mystery. Both rolls were gone when I took my afternoon walk. Yep - a LONG walk in the rain in the afternoon. Why not - I'm not a sugar cube - I won't wash away in the rain. 

More toilet paper

I saw that Tesla again - the pearlescent gold one. It's beautiful. I wonder what a pearlescent orange would look like? I need to win the lottery for that!

The quilts are all trimmed and ready to go. Yeah!!!!  I'll be working on another one later today. With a fleece backing! Oh, joy! Actually, once the quilt is loaded, it's easy to quilt. You just have to be careful to not stretch the fleece. 

I watched a bit of The Quilt Show and did some trimming. All the components for the double wedding ring that are sewn together are now trimmed. 

Trimmed components for the double wedding ring quilt

 I've now got everything that was cut sewn together, except for these units. There are less than 20 units to sew. I've no idea how many blocks that will give me. I'll just sew away. 

Components left to sew

I've got a lot of sewing to get these blocks together. This is part of the components. Once these blocks are sewn, I'll lay them on the design wall and see what I have. Hopefully, there'll be enough to make a second quilt. There is still a bit of fabric in the containers. Let's just get this next step done. 

The pieces for the block construction

I realized that I've been slacking off in giving you assignments for decluttering. Well, I've been decluttering myself. Slowly - ever so slowly. This corner in the kitchen was piled with stuff, and look - it's empty now. WAIT A MINUTE - there are two light switches there. What are they for?? The higher up one is for the outside light, but the other two? No clue. 

An empty corner in the kitchen

I've discovered the FreeStuff page on Facebook. Yesterday I got rid of my water cooler. I used to be a picky water drinker and could NOT drink water from the kitchen tap. Don't ask me why. Then I decided that was silly and started to drink it from the tap. It's fine!!! The water cooler has been sitting for over a year. And now it's gone! 

The water cooler - GONE

I've got many other things that I'm going to try and get rid of on FreeStuff. I have a couple of things to sell, and then whatever is left over will go to the community recycling depot in hopes that someone can use the stuff. 

I'm also happy to report that the last massage I had has finally broken the knot in my neck. It's still stiff, but the "drive a knife in my neck" pain is mostly gone. So more manipulation by me and stretching should have it back to normal in a month or so. Good grief - let's hope that doesn't get repeated, but I hear the darn thing clicking and clacking away, so god knows what's going on there. 

So your task today is to check out the FreeStuff website in your neighborhood and find stuff around your house to list. I see a LOT of stuff that we no longer use, and why are we hanging onto it?? Oh boy -- we could have nothing left in the house if I keep this up. OH -- how I fantasize. That's going to take a LONG time before that happens. 

OK -- the shopping trip stuff will have to wait until tomorrow. 

I did get a lot of sewing done yesterday - homework for the Urbanologie class last night. I'll share that with you later this week. 

I forgot to post the QUILTsocial link yesterday. Here's the post from Thursday.   Easy ways to put in a zipper in a cushion. 

Don't forget that there's a Virtual Retreat this weekend. Just because it's an extra weekend. Here's the information you need. Stop by and say HI!!!

Saturday, May 29 -   6 PM -- 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 862 9003 3234 Passcode: 016601

Sunday, May 30 - 2 PM -- 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 5474 6667
Passcode: 457858

Good grief -- I see it's still pretty cool out there this morning. All well, bundle up! I wonder what mysteries I'll spot on the walk!!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, May 28, 2021

Some assembly required

You know that I've not been happy with my desk set up for the computer. When I didn't spend much time here, it didn't really matter if the desk was messy. But now that I have more and more work on the computer, it's become an issue. There is zero room on the right of the mouse to work, and the left side was covered with stuff that needed to be done—just a disaster. 

My messy desk

I had tidied up the little shelf that's behind the monitor, and all the cords and such were taken care of. But no place to work. And I've been contemplating whether I need a second monitor. I want one, but not sure that I'll make enough use of it. It's easy enough to switch between windows using the taskbar on the bottom of the screen. 

A lot of the paperwork lives on the floor, which isn't the best, especially when Murphy decides to get lovey and walks all over it. 

Paperwork on the floor

There's space beside me on the left, so I was looking for something inexpensive that I could put in place of these two chairs, which could reside at the table. 

Two chairs filled with stuff

I knew I didn't have anything in the house that could be repurposed, so I went surfing the internet to see what I could find. And I found something at IKEA, so that's where I was the other day - picking up my order. Do you know they charge $5 to do curbside pickup? What's that all about? Then Carol said that they are a self-serve warehouse, so we're getting charged to have someone pick up the order and deliver it to the car. Oh well. 

Then I got the box in the house. 

The box from IKEA

I'm usually pretty good with assembling stuff. I'm a maker, after all! Well, I should have guessed that something was wrong when the piece wouldn't fit properly, and I grabbed the mallet to put it in place. Then onto the next step, and OOPS - I just put the wrong piece in the wrong place, and it's really tight. I told myself that I could live with the thing upside down and no backing on it. 

DH suggested that since I hammered it in place, I might have to hammer it back out. "That'll never work," says I. I set it aside as I didn't want to deal with it at that moment. Five minutes later, I had the entire thing out on the deck with the mallet to see if I could, in fact, hammer it off. And YES - it worked. Now, why didn't I think of that? 

Then it was a snap to finish the assembly. My hired help wasn't much help, but she's darn cute. 

Murphy supervising the build

I swear, she has to be everywhere. She just can't help herself. Lexi? She was likely under the shed, having ZERO interest in anything unless it involves cuddles JUST for her or a treat. 

And then it was done except for the castors. Yep - it's got castors on the bottom. And this thing is pretty solid. You know how the backs of some IKEA stuff are just cheap. This was the real deal. It's fairly heavy. 

It's together, and no pieces left over

I quickly moved the chairs out of the way and moved the shelf unit in. It would have been nice if it were a bit shorter to fit under the desk shelf, but I don't care. I couldn't even wait to take a picture as I grabbed some of the stuff on one of the chairs and put it on the new shelf. 

My new shelf

I cleared the paperwork off the desk and put it on the shelf. Oh yes -- I'm going to like this. I kind of need a staging area to have things to work on. So this needs to be sorted and organized, and then hopefully, it'll help me get stuff done, stay organized, and give me a bit extra space to work. Since it's on castors, I can move it to the other side of the desk if I need a bit of extra space to lay stuff out on that side. I need to make sure that I deal with at least THREE items on that shelf EVERY DAY. It's the only way to get this mess cleaned up, and while three pieces aren't much, it's way better than ZERO. 

More junk on the shelf

OK -- so here's some good news that we've all been waiting for. That custom quilt is OFF the long arm. It's DONE!!!! I'll trim it later today. I was so excited that I couldn't even celebrate when it was done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

Why did this need to be custom?  Each of those borders has a black FLANGE between them. There was no choice but to quilt each border on its own. 

Flanges between each border

And since I was doing that, I used a wide variety of threads to make it happen. There were those bold Celtic prints on most of the borders, so the trick was to not have the quilting compete. By using the right color thread, the quilting does NOT compete with the design. I'm pleased with it. 

Thread colors for the quilt

I have to laugh at how long it took me to get that quilt done. We all have things that we just don't cope well with. Plus, I had a busy week last week, and other things were occupying my mind. It would appear that I wasn't coping very well. 

Here's a book that I'm currently reading. 

The Pursuit of Endurance by Jennifer Pharr Davis

It's about long-distance endurance athletes and how they cope with pain, adverse conditions, mental boredom, etc. I can so relate to this. While I would NEVER want to attempt the type of feats that these extreme athletes are doing, I've done my fair share of crazy stuff. And when you do crazy stuff, you quickly realize that the task is about 10% physical and 90% mental. How do you keep cycling when every day is the same? How do you keep going when it's rainy and cold and wet and no place to warm your toes by the fire? How do you cope with the death of two members of your group in an accident? How do you deal with the tedium of riding your bike for 8 - 10 hours a day, every day (well - there were some rest days in there), for 10 weeks? 

Somewhere along the way, I've learned many of the techniques described in the book. The ability to remove your mind from your body - I know that sounds weird, but it's how I gave birth without drugs. The ability to love yourself (yep - I'm big on this one), the ability to let the small things slide, and so many other traits. 

I really think that's how I can get so much done. I don't care for fancy details, I'm pretty level-headed in a crisis, and well - I just move on. Oh - having a mantra is another one, and I remember being hospitalized years ago with a severe asthma attack, and I said "warm sand" over and over - a million times to get me through that one. 

It's weird how I developed that mental toughness, but I have NO desire to push myself to that limit. Here's a story on the person who holds the current record on the Appalachian Trail - 2,190 miles in just over 41 days. That's insanity!!

Me - I just need to learn to challenge my mind so that future custom quilts don't become a mountain that I can't get over!!!

And I was listening to an episode of The Quilt Show and listening to an artist (Laura Cater-Woods) explain how she sets her day by starting with a little session, outlining what she was going to get done, and I swear that's what happens to me with the blog. As I write, I reflect on what happened the day before and what needs to be done today!!

Oh - back to the mental toughness. I swear that we don't have enough people in the world with mental toughness. It seems that today, failure is a bad thing. The author talks about welcoming failure in the book, and I welcome failure every day! Mistakes are the ONLY way to really learn something. People are making safe choices for fear of failing - they will never get mental toughness if they do that. People are just taking the easy way out these days, and what is the fun in that? There's no ability to cope with the slightest hardship. 

Anyway, I digress, but you have more insight into how I function and why I usually get lots of stuff done in a day. 

Seriously?? I just put the dogs out - it's raining, and it's cold!! Suck it up, sister, and get out there and walk those dogs!!    😉😉

Don't forget there's a Virtual Retreat this weekend.

Saturday, May 29    6 PM -- 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 862 9003 3234 Passcode: 016601

Sunday, May 30 2 PM -- 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 5474 6667
Passcode: 457858

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, May 27, 2021

A mental health day

I know we've all had those days. You have the best intentions, and you're fired up to get lots done. Then POOF! You need a mental health day! 

After I finished the writing assignment, I couldn't get myself motivated to do anything. I had to laugh, though, as I needed one last picture for the article, and I was going to take it outside. As I went to go outside, it had started to rain! So I had to wait! 

I wonder if my motivation had to do with going for a car ride. It was something to anticipate, and therefore I couldn't focus on anything else? I know that when my day gets broken up, I lose focus. That's why I love the stay-at-home thing. I'm productive the entire day, not just part of it. 

However, all that doesn't matter. What matters is this. 

The navigation system in my car

This is the navigation system in my car that I purchased in January of 2019. Getting connected to that system was a NIGHTMARE, and that's putting it mildly. It was so bad that I didn't even bother with it. Then COVID hit, and I didn't really need it. A month ago (I know that I already mentioned this), a new app was introduced, and I managed to get the navigation system working. Was that a fluke? 

It was NOT! Yesterday, I plugged my phone into the car, and everything connected AUTOMATICALLY. Trust me that may sound stupid, but the old was far from automatic. Within 30 seconds (more or less) of turning the car on, I plugged the address for my destination. Oh yes -- I was a happy camper. Shame on Toyota for even putting something so terrible on the market, but a HUGE THANK YOU to them for finally fixing it. It only took over two years. That's bad!! But I don't care - it's fixed. 

It was still relatively early when I got back, but I wanted to sit outside in the gazebo for a bit. The lilacs are out, and with a slight wind, it was glorious. I have to admit that it was a tad chilly, so I got a quilt, and well, I had a great sleep!! I needed it, and I felt much better. 

The lilacs around the gazebo

And then I managed to get some tidying up done downstairs. It doesn't matter whether your space is large or small; if it's cluttered, you are NOT going to want to go in. And you certainly are not going to be able to work. I don't know how I did it in the past. OH - maybe that's why I have so many UFOs. It only took me about 1 hour to tidy up. That's the beauty of everything having a home. 

Anyway, things look a whole lot better today, and I think I'll finally be able to get back to work. The first thing I need to do is get that custom quilt off the long arm. Then I can have a couple of days of "fun" sewing for ME!!!

Here's that second mystery quilt with the backing and the binding. It's not in the "to be quilted" pile. 

Quilt moved to the "to be quilted" pile

When I started to clean up the area around the sewing machines - note that is plural, I found bobbins everywhere. So now all the bobbins are back in the bobbin drawer. I know - that's a bit obscene to have an entire drawer devoted to bobbins. But when you need bobbins for machine embroidery and sewing, and there are two different sized bobbins, well, you need a drawer. It's all organized, and I'll be able to find anything quickly. 

The bobbin drawer

And doesn't this look a whole lot more inviting

A tidy work area

Than this? 

Not so tidy

The problem is that stuff gets mixed up with your project or falls on the floor, and you spend a lot of time retrieving the stuff. But all is good now. I feel much better. 

But I didn't stop there. Oh no!! I did a lot of tidying. The ironing board got cleared as well. AH -- so much better. 

The ironing surface is clear

The fabric scraps from paper piecing are gone, and the area around this machine is mostly clear. The stuff that is sitting there is my current project, so that stays. 

My paper piecing area is clean

My spare table is also nice and tidy. Nice and tidy? It's empty!! That's almost unheard of at my house. I hope to get the embroidery machine out later this weekend, and there's a perfect spot to put it. The table in the film studio area is also pretty clear, except for what should be there. Those wires are a huge mess, but not much I can do about that. 

An empty table - unheard of!

All the embroidery units are parked, and the embroidery hoops are back in their appropriate spots. WOW!! What I need to do is take a picture of that poster that's at the bottom of the picture. But there's so much glare that I'm not sure I know how to do that. OH -- I could get it scanned perhaps at the copy shop. That's probably the best solution. OK - so can I get that done during COVID?

Parked embroidery units

The cutting table is almost clear. There are a few things that need to be cut, so they stay until they are done. 

The cutting table - almost clear

So there are a few things on the stairs that need to be brought upstairs to do some computer work. But everything else got put away. WOW!!!  This makes me feel so happy, and I think I will be very motivated to get some work done today. I have computer work - that will never go away. I'm amazed at how much time I spend on the computer, and most of it is NOT frivolous surfing, but actually doing e-mail, designing, learning software, or whatever. 

I hope that I can soon get my computer desk organized the way I want. More on that tomorrow. I will MAKE this happen. 

And here are two pictures from our walks yesterday morning. OK - so this first one isn't the best, but I thought it would be rude to stoop down and take a close-up. There's this house that I pass that is getting some major work done in the front. They started off with a new LARGE concrete path from the sideway to the house. The whole thing (on both sides of the driveway) is several inches HIGHER than the driveway. OK - so I could live with that, I suppose, and I see that they are getting a new driveway as well. But the end of that piece of concrete where it joins the sidewalk is TWO INCHES higher than the sidewalk. That seems like a major fail to me. Perhaps they are not finished in that area. But if they match the driveway to these huge hunks of concrete, there will be a two-inch height difference between the sideway and the driveway. That just begs an accident to happen. Not my house, not my problem. 

A height difference in the concrete to the sidewalk

The second is Miss Lexi. OK  - she gets super excited about all kinds of things in the forest and loves to jump up on the trees. She's a total goof, not a Murphy goof, but a goof in her own way. She thinks she's a jack-in-the-box. All springy and wiry and can twist and turn any which way. 

What's in the tree?

I have several things to leave you with today. The first is my blog post on QUILTsocial. Today it's all about cutwork embroidery. I had a lot of fun with this project. 

And I stumbled across this article on delivery issues during the pandemic. I'm a little disappointed because there was no mention of the mills being late because of COVID issues - Abby mostly talks about logistics and fabric companies, but most stuff is out of their hands. I've heard that actually finding a shipping container in the right location is a HUGE issue. And some loads are being offloaded if a more lucrative shipment is sitting there. Oh yes -- stuff that we want could be sitting on a dock somewhere waiting for a container to put it in. And some US ports are experiencing huge delays in offloading ships - sometimes up to three weeks? Seriously?? That's huge. 

Many people are getting wage supplements from the governments, which is equivalent to their work salary. So if you could sit at home and get paid the same as going to work - which would you choose?  It's time to stop that and get these people back to work! There were several other comments in that article I didn't like. This one in particular "“Both us and the fabric companies could be making more if we were able to take pre-orders, but since the arrival dates seem to just be a shot in the dark, we’d rather sell less and have happy customers.”".  That just seems to totally disregard the entire situation. Do they not realize that it's the entire world that is struggling? Bottom line - higher costs for all of us! 

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Have a super day!!!!!