Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Divide and Conquer

I need to use The Task Master more often. I got a lot done yesterday. YES - in the back of my head, I know what needs to be done, but that doesn't always mean that I focus on that. I'm easily distracted! 

Knowing that I have a list that I can check off and keeping it open on the ironing board makes me focus on what I should be doing, not what I want to do!

So there are 13 items on the list this week - that might be a bit ambitious, but some of them are not very big, so I think I'm OK. And I have already crossed TWO items off the list and partially completed two other tasks!! I guess when (and if - of course, I will!) finish that list, then I can do whatever I want? I'll see how it goes. 

It is a busy week with appointments and Zoom meetings. Things are starting to open up around here, and I can already feel the "pressure" to go places. Well, not really, but there are some places that I need to go to now that things are opening up. I LIKE my cocoon!!

Anyway, I like The Task Master. It's like a "Divide and Conquer" strategy. I MUST keep using it, and then I'll have a record of what I worked on when. So what was I working on yesterday? 

Well, I have 30 pillowcases to prep this week. I'm happy to report that 20 of them are ready to be sewn. The next ten will require searching for matching fabrics, washing and ironing them before I can cut them. I'll try to search for fabrics this afternoon. 

Five more pillowcase kits

So that was good to get those organized. I also got the bindings on my two magazine projects that need to put in the mail later today. I'm thrilled with both of them, and every time I make something, it becomes an experiment. I think experimenting is the most important reason for me to make something. I don't care (more or less) about the finished item, except what did I learn from it! I quilted them two different ways - well, two different types of patterns. That was fun. And the blocks themselves? They were made with scraps several years ago. 

For the life of me, I can't remember why I had these weird-shaped offcuts. I recognize the fabrics, but not the project where they came from. It doesn't matter - those scraps are now a couple of cute little projects. And that gives me so much satisfaction! It's weird - I have all this stash, and yet, I have the most fun with the scraps! I have another bag of similar-shaped off-cuts. I know what I'll be doing with them!

Plus, the bindings, which got put on with the sewing machine, are PERFECT. I think I've got this technique down pat, and I LOVE it. But here's one of the biggest issues. I need to find a thread that matches the binding. 

Can you believe that I had to use this NEON yellow yesterday? 

Neon yellow thread

I mean, first off, who in their right mind buys neon yellow thread? Well, for some reason, I did. OH - I remember; I recently found this in a bag of supplies. Well, it wasn't recent, but within the last year or two. I wouldn't even have known that I had that thread if it wasn't put with the other threads. See how important it is to have all your supplies in one spot? Within seconds, I found this thread. 

And YES - it matches my GREEN binding. It's not a perfect match, but so darn close, you can't see the thread. I'm happy!

The neon thread matches the binding

I managed to get one more of the small flannel quilts for the community projects quilted!! And the best news? It's trimmed and ready for the binding to be put on. Diane had already made the binding, so that helps. That was NOT on the list of things to do this week. That was a bonus, and I did it while we were sewing for Monday Sewing. See? I got a LOT more done by sewing at home with Zoom than if I had gone to sew in person. Time is important for me, and I can still keep in touch with my friends!!!

Community projects quilt - DONE

I want to get one more small quilt done this week, so there will be three when MIL needs more work to do. YES -- I can keep ahead of her, and I WILL get rid of this pile of quilts that Diane has put together. It's a WIN-WIN!!!!

It was a weird weather day. It was cold in the morning when I went out, and then it started to rain, so the walks got cut a bit short. And right after Monday Sewing, I went out for my afternoon walk. Thank goodness for that because around 4 PM, the skies opened, and it poured for a LONG time. This wasn't just rain; this was a torrential downpour!

It's a downpour

It was crazy!!! And oh boy -- these pictures look like I've messed up the setting on my phone again. They are very long and narrow. Hmmm - I have to remember how to switch that back. 

Pouring buckets!

So this is what I worked on this morning. I'm participating in the barn block sew along with Thimbles and Things. Each month we get a new barn block to sew. The pattern is written for an 18" block. But that is just too darn large for me, so I've been downsizing all the blocks to 9". The reduced size is a much nicer scale, and I'm using the same colorway (for all the blocks) instead of using the mixed colors from the original blocks. Since each farm chose its own colors, they have been all over the place in colors.  

Some of the blocks have been super easy. And some, not so much. This one was a challenge to design. While you could technically call it a 9-patch, the three sections are NOT equal, and well, it took me a while to figure it out. Usually, I can just look at the block and recreate it. Not this one; I needed the actual original measurements so I could figure out the ratio between the corners and the center section. 

And then, even though EQ8 gives me cutting instructions, I don't always follow them. I like MY way of cutting better than EQ8. So that required a bit more math. Again, I applied that divide and conquer technique. I started with the corners and worked my way out. 

I'm happy to report that the center section is together, as are the four corners. The middle sections are cut and just need to be sewn, which won't take that long. I thought it was going to be worse than it really was. This one is called Moonstone's Twist Star. If you check out the original color - it's ORANGE and yellow, but I stuck with my neutral colorscheme. Check out this map if you want to see the other blocks. There are a LOT of them now. It would be fun to take a Barn Block Trip!!

My barn block

To give you an idea of the scale, those little black and white half-square triangles are ONE INCH finished. The bonus task this month is to make the block that appeared on the side of the garage at Fireside Retreat. Since we spent so much time there, I really want to make the block. It's a bit complicated, and YES, I could reproduce it, but I decided to ask for the resized pattern, and then all I have to do is make it. 

Once I get these two blocks done, I'll take a picture of all the blocks I have so far. I'm not sure how many we'll have at the end, but since my blocks are smaller, I need 18 blocks to make the lap-sized quilt, and after these two blocks, I'll have 10. I think we go until August with this session of the blocks, so that'll give me three more, and I think Sue was going to continue the project next year. I'll see how it goes; otherwise, I'll choose another 5 blocks to fill in my quilt. I might just do it on my own - I'll go to the map and select blocks that I like. One of the blocks would be good to use as the label. Another project to make up as I go!!

As I was making this block with a deadline of Thursday- HEY - I might have it done a few days early! I remembered one year, where I spent most of the year making things that had a deadline. Block of the Months, sew along, etc. The ENTIRE year was devoted to things that had been decided by others. YES - I was the one that chose to do those things, but still, you didn't want to fall behind, or there were deadlines. 

I'll never do that again. I want some freedom with what I do! Even now, I'd say that I'm at the max. So next year, I might back down on one or two projects to have a wee bit more flexibility. But I'm getting stuff cleaned up, so I'm good with all that. 

Well, that's it for today. Our embroidery software club is today (I LOVE the embroidery club), and one presentation. Then the rest of the day is MINE, but the next quilt is loaded on the long arm, and I really want to get that one done today. The list of customer quilts for this month isn't huge, but it needs to be done. After this week, I'm going to have a ton more flexibility with my schedule. I can hardly wait.

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Have a super day!!!


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