Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Committed? or is that a commitment?

It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Oh, having a deadline also helps. It's the third year I've run the UFO club, and the amount of work I've completed is insane. I can vouch for everyone in the two clubs when it's been a godsend in getting some of those old projects done. I'm shocked actually because there isn't anyone policing us; however, there is that $10 per month that we could lose. 

And who wants to always miss the deadline in front of your peers? Not me! 

Well, the same thing is happening in some of the other clubs. This year I also started the MANY blocks projects. These are the quilt with many blocks, like Dear Jane, the 365 Quilt, and Town and Country, to name a few. 

There's no money involved in that club, but it's the PEER pressure. I don't want to let the group down, and I certainly do not want to let myself down. 

Here's an update on the 365 Quilt. These are the blocks that I finished while at the retreat. 

And to appreciate how small those 3½" blocks (unfinished) are, look at this flying geese unit. Now that's small!!!!

Teeny tiny flying geese units

Feb 21

Feb 22

Feb 23

A component of that block is wonky, but in the scheme of things, it'll work out just fine. 

And then the remainder of the month got easy. 

February 24

February 25

February 26

February 27

Can you believe it? I completed my homework this month, and I still have loads of time left. So I forged ahead to get February completely done. 

When this quilt came out, it was a leap year, and the assignment for Feb 28 and 29 was to make the center block. I cut out Part I of the center block. 

Part I of the center block is cut

I managed to get it partially sewn. I'll finish that off today and work on Part 2. 

Partially sewn together

That will leave the bonus block for February 14 (waiting on the pattern to come), and there is also a bonus block for your birthday, which I might as well do now. It came in the preamble stuff on the 365-day quilt website. If you go into the TEACHABLE version of this quilt, there is all kinds of information and a checklist to help you remember what you have read and not read. I LIKE lists. 

Yes -- I'm trying to follow along with the website, although the patterns are only released that day. So today, the pattern for January 31 will be released, and I'm ahead. But I'm still going to make it happen. I need to figure out how to create an icon on my iPad for a specific website. I know you can do it --- I must search that out. Just found it -- now I have to do it when I get back from the walk. 

Let's go back to February 1. I thought I had changed up the block, but upon further study, I realized that I used ONE extra color than the designer, which changed the look of the block. 

The pattern

She used the SAME fabric for A and B, and I used two different colors. Get over it! Besides, someone mentioned that February 1 is their birthday, and they are a rebel, so this will stay to remind me it's OK if it's not 100% by the book. 

My version

And when I started to cut the center block, I had to dig out the second main color for this quilt - cream. 

The cream scrap box

I am upping my homework assignment to not only complete the blocks up to February 27, but I want those two bonus blocks and the center block done. I'll be ahead of the game, and then instead of waiting for next month for the "next" assignment, I'm going to keep plugging away at it. The more ahead I stay, the more likely I'll be to get it complete. 

And getting all the blocks done this year would be HUGE. Let's see how it goes. 

So onto the next commitment, which was for the Remedial Jen Kingwell class, for anyone working on a Jen Kingwell and fell behind. I wanted to enlarge the BOHO Heart quilt and finish blocks and that applique border for Green Tea, plus quilt all of them, including Wanderer's Wife and Long Time Gone, so I've got a lot of work to do. 

But I made significant progress, and my homework this month was to add the border to the top and both sides of the BOHO heart quilt. What happened? 

After finding a substitute fabric for the missing one (I dare you to find it!), I got the top border on. I opened up lots of seams to make that happen, but it was worth it -- I LOVE the floating effect. However, it looks out of proportion this way. And my intent always was to add to the sides as well. 

The top border is complete

Well, here it is!!! DONE. Well, the top, at least. Adding to the sides was super easy, and adding to the top was a pain. But now that it's done -- I'm thrilled that I went through that exercise, and I'm sorry I didn't think of it at the beginning of the class for the others. Sorry!

BOHO Heart quilt top - DONE

I have to make the bias binding from my striped fabric and use the continuous binding method. The strip is cut and waiting to be pressed. Then this one will be ready for quilting!! WOW!!!!! I'm super excited!!!

So this happened yesterday as well. Someone asked me for something, and while I knew where it was, there were seven tubs it could be in. I searched the first tub, and it wasn't there. 

Searching through a tub of things

So I dug out the rest of the tubs from under the long arm, and while they were mostly sorted, a little arranging needed to be done, so I did that. 

Tubs to sort through

The tubs are now properly sorted AND labeled and back under the long arm. 

OH -- I did find what I was looking for, so that was good. 

I still have that first tub to finish going through. It's sort of a junky tub with samples of stitching and embroidery. A good part of it could go, but I need a bit more time to figure stuff out. 

One tub that still needs a LOT of sorting

And for some reason, that precipitated another search. I spotted this drawer in the cabinets beneath my cutting table. Oh yes -- it was clearly labeled what was inside the drawer, and I knew it was there. But yesterday, I questioned why it was there. Why do I need these novelty prints? What was I going to do with them? 

A drawer of novelty prints cut into squares

I opened up the drawer and discovered that it resulted from several exchanges I had done over the years. WHY or why did I think that was a good idea? There were bags from people all over the place. I still have SIX boxes of novelty prints, so I think I can let these go. They are now in a bag for Diane to make children's quilts. HA --- you thought I was going to offer that up! Well, NO fabric will be up for grabs -- it all goes to Diane to sew! 

Bags of novelty print squares

There is a scrap box of novelty prints on the scrap box shelf, and I need more room on that shelf, so I moved that container of scraps to the drawer and swapped the labels. 

A box of I Spy fabric scraps

There are some decent-sized pieces, but not as large as 4". That'll be another project for a retreat one day. Or when I retire and downsize --- I will have LOADS to keep me busy, but none of it will take a lot of room!

And I got a call from someone who gets the scraps from what Diane sews and she is coming to pick up two bags, which is good because my staging area is overflowing with stuff on its way out the door. There is more stuff now than when I took the photo, and it'll look better on Friday! 

The staging area 

 A couple of years ago, I would have cringed at the thought of donating those novelty squares. Yesterday? I didn't even consider keeping them. How I have changed, and as I keep saying -- there is NOTHING sacred in that fabric stash any longer. I'm free!!! I can't wait to start seeing empty spots on the shelves so I can consolidate stuff even more. The day will come when those shelves will be empty or close to it, but we've got a long, long way to go. 

How I wish someone would have had a serious talk with me years ago. The amount of money I spend, the time I've "wasted" managing it, and now having to deal with it. What the heck was I thinking? I don't want to be the other extreme and only buy and do one project at a time. That would be too boring for me, but MANY at the same time? And buying just for the sake of buying? How silly I was. 

I'm older and wise,r and if there is ANY advice I could pass along to a new quilter --- DO NOT OVERBUY and do NOT overcommit on what you want to do. Just because others are doing it -- doesn't mean you have to. Those projects will still be available to buy when you are ready. New ones might be out that you will like better. Work on what you have and enjoy the process. DO NOT try to do what everyone else is doing -- you'll drive yourself MAD.

Today, it's all about the embroidery machine and the long arm. I also have an urgent quilt to make, so I'll be busy. 

While I enjoyed walking in the country at the retreat, it was WONDERFUL to talk on bare and non-slippery sidewalks! I got in my distance yesterday and made a trip to the mall. 

Bare sidewalks!

I decided I needed a reliable phone for my landline (yes -- I was going to get rid of it, but thankfully I didn't since I can't use my cell phone in the house). This is my new phone. I had to laugh as I tried to listen to all the crappy voicemail on the old one, and I couldn't even get through all the messages before the battery died! Yep -- it was time for a new shiny phone. 

My new phone

While at the mall, I checked out the guys at the Bell store again. I keep hoping to meet someone who says, "oh yes, this is what is happening," but I'm a dreamer. Although he said there could be a problem with the towers switching from 4G to 5G service, I'm not getting a clear path. I'll call technical support again and see what happens. 

So I finished my 2022 Virtual Challenge, and the medal was supposed to have shipped on January 4, but I have yet to see it. So I contacted customer support (do you see how much time we spend on follow-up stuff?), and I got the tracking information. That parcel sat somewhere for over three weeks in limbo land. Now it's in Chicago, so hopefully, it'll be here soon. 

I finished the day off by watching some videos on digital cutters. Yep --- there are classes this weekend, and I need to prep for them! And I have to laugh -- where do people think I learn stuff from? I certainly don't have the knowledge off the top of my head. Nope -- I get out the manual, watch tutorials, or whatever, and I PRACTISE. I've learned tons over the years, but I still have LOADS to learn. 

Well, I'm off and running!

Have a super day!!!


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