Tuesday, February 21, 2023

On being MINDFUL

 OH --- there are days when I throw caution to the wind. Like signing up for a new project - I mean, how hard can it be to add another project to the schedule? I will NOT be held responsible for adding another project to your list! However, we have enough people to make Barn Star Sampler a go!!

Barn Star Sampler

I will use batiks since I have so many in that box! I checked out Shelly's sew-along, and there are hundreds of people in that sew-along. We'll get lost! If you are still debating, the book is available at her website -- hard copy or pdf, and I'll send out a confirmation e-mail before the end of the week with dates. While it's a big quilt, you don't have to make the entire project -- more on that in the sessions, and it's not a ton of repetitive stuff, making it interesting! 

Here's the deal with this kind of quilt. You could buy a fabric bundle to make your quilt EXACTLY like the original. Although the fabric bundles are currently sold out and may or may not be available. But WHY would you want to make this quilt in EXACTLY the same colors? That's the beauty of signing up for a new project. Here's an opportunity to try out a new colorway. Try out a new fabric collection you found, or simply use up stuff you have in your stash. As mentioned, I'll use batiks because I found several boxes. What color? I might go for green and cream? How about blue and white? Or maybe I'll make it multi-colored. I need to do some fabric pulling and quick! 

Send me an e-mail if you want to join the fun!!! elainetheriault@gmail.com   And let your friends know as well. We do not need to be lost in a sea of hundreds -- we can have much more fun in a smaller group. 

While on the Monday sewing Zoom call, I puttered and managed to get quilts trimmed (now to send e-mails to the owners), and I ripped out that border for my 150 Canadian Women. OK -- so I'm obviously having an issue with my seam allowance. Each section in the border is supposed to be 8½" long. Oh -- they were consistent but at 8¾". If you take that extra ¼" over 11 sections, that's almost 3 extra inches. How the heck did that happen? 

The border sections are too big! 

So I ripped the pieces back until I had pairs of strips and trimmed off some excess. This doesn't look like much but can add up, as we saw. Now I aim to sew them back with a slightly larger seam allowance. I'll MEASURE each section as I go. I usually do, but I was in a hurry, and there was no time for measuring. If I had measured, I would have known immediately that there was a problem. If only I had followed my own advice! 

Trimming my border sections

But that's OK -- It's sometimes a good thing to have a humbling moment! I had to cough up $10 for not finishing my UFO, and I have only myself to blame. It would have been fine if I had started earlier than the night before. Did I really have time to start earlier? Oh yes -- I spent how many days at the retreat working on something that I didn't need to do!

As I was quilting another quilt yesterday, I noticed something funny. Remember that gold thread from several years ago that I couldn't get rid of? Well, now it seems to be a red thread.

A stray red thread

This is a blue and white quilt, so it's not stray from that quilt, and it's not because I just ripped out something red. Those darn red threads show up all the time. From where? Another of life's little mysteries. 

But here's the customer quilt - DONE. 

Customer quilt - done

This is one of those tricky ones. Why? It's the color. Significant areas of high contrast, so do you use a white thread to blend in the background but show up like spotlights on the dark blue? Or do you use dark thread that shows up on the background but blends into the border? 

I didn't like either choice, but if I had to go with either of those two options, I'd choose the white thread to blend in the background and show on the border. 

However, I used a light blue thread that shows up equally on both. If you're close enough to the quilt, you can see the light blue thread, but it doesn't scream at you from the dark blue or the background. Was it the best choice? I think so. 

Can you see the light blue thread?

And so more work got done yesterday after Monday sewing. More writing, and there's still more to do. I have three classes today, so I was working on some prep for that, but there is more to be done today. 

I was chatting to someone about MINDFULNESS the other day. Do we even know what that means? 

Here's a definition from Google. 

Reading about habits and how habits can save time and improve our lifestyle is interesting. I would say that habits are almost the opposite of mindfulness. Habits are performed subconsciously, while mindfulness is when you are in the moment.  

Which is better? Both are important. Let's take TV watching. I haven't watched TV in a long, long time -- since 2010, so that's 13 years ago when I decided not to watch TV. Zero regrets. I was in the habit of watching show after show, which is a habit, and I was NOT deciding to stop watching. It was a habit to spend the evening watching. Can you believe that about me? Yep -- I was a reality show junkie! 

Now if I want to watch something, which is extremely rare, however, I do watch shows from time to time. I never sit on the couch in front of the TV. I will watch whatever I can stream on my computer, and it's usually one of three things. The baking shows (British or Canadian), a Youtube video on digital cutters, embroidery, or The Quilt Show. 

But here's the thing -- I will watch ONE show when I have time (which is rare these days), and then I shut that off and do something else. 

So while you may say I'm still watching TV, it's extremely mindful. I make a big deal out of it and plan it, and I don't just plunk myself down and watch endless hours of something - just because. 

While I appreciate my habits to take over the mundane part of my life, I want to be MINDFUL in relationships with other people, in my neighborhood, and in many other aspects of my life. I don't want to get to the end and wonder how I got there! 

On that note, it's time to get moving! Loads of things to get done today, and one must make it all happen -- MINDFULLY!

Have a super day!!



  1. The Barn Star Sampler is such a beautiful quilt! I'm very tempted to join your sew along. But I already have too many quilts started and in progress. Which projects would I have to put aside, maybe to turn into a UFO, to do it? I will try to heed your advice on not becoming a victim of FOMO instead. Hmm, may still try to buy the book though.
    Sharon F.

  2. I love how you used the light blue on your customer quilt. It's perfect!

  3. The light blue is perfect. I'll often resort to a light grey when I can't decide.

    The paper book is a pre-order set for release March 23 according to the multiple sources I've investigated. I might be persuaded to join in the sew along ;-) I thoroughly enjoyed the Kingwell classes!

    Happy Mindfulness to you and all your readers!!!