Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quilting slump

I’ve had them before, but usually had a reason, illness, vacation, moving etc… This time I just don’t have any inspiration.  I have BOMs to do, and I have new patterns to write and make and I have zero willingness to even walk into the sewing room. 

Yes the cutting table is cleaned off, well most of it anyway.  And yes I have fabric and stuff to do… I just don’t have any desire to even work on quilting on the computer…  

I’ve tried, for the last week I’ve tried to make myself do something…..  but that’s all I’ve done. 

And don’t tell me not to worry about it… I have BOMs to do and I have mysteries to finish and I just don’t want to... 

I think I’ll go read a new book. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My gift to you

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Christmas too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Yes it’s been a while

Quite a few friends have asked what’s wrong, are you OK, and one friend wanted to know if I’ve been on vacation since October.  I’ve decided it’s time I reply honestly so you will stop worrying about me. 

I had two enjoyable but stressful weeks of retreating in October/November.  It was only stressful to me and I wasn’t real sure why.  The conference room was bothering me for the first time ever for one thing.  See I have claustrophobia and have for years, but thought I’d beat it.  However I found it was gradually creeping back and more and more things were bothering me. 

Because the conference room has no windows I'd tricked my mind into believing there was a huge picture window behind me as I sewed.   For some reason it wasn’t working this year and between that and all the normal chatter and noises, I was more and more uncomfortable.  Some of you noticed I wasn’t joining in the group meals and was keeping to myself a lot. 

I already had an appointment with my family Doctor when I got home, and he noticed something was bothering me.  (OK, I broke down while waiting for him in the examining room so it was hard not to notice.)  We had a good talk and he put me on some new meds. 

If you know me you know I hate taking medicines.  Adding another one to my already too many was stressful in itself.  But that I needed it was even worse.  And I realized that I did really need it when my house filled up with eight extra people on Thanksgiving.  All that “company” even though it was all family was just too much for me. 

And we had this planned vacation to Disney, the most magical and crowded place I can think of.  I wasn’t sure how it would go and well… it went so so.  I had a panic attack the first day, and prepared myself mentally for the rest of the week, and I made it through with some anxiety and a lot of encouragement from my dear sweet John.  In the end I can say I had a delightful but chilly trip but boy am I glad to be home.

Please understand I am fighting this, but it’s going to take a while.  Just don’t crowd me and don’t push me into something I am uncomfortable with.  I’ll be OK.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Packing.. unpacking and packing again…

First I was going to take this, then I decided to take that, then I decided to take them both of I could get them in the same container and now I want them both if they fit or not…  I’m sure everyone goes through these decisions when heading on retreat. 

And I took a serious look at my “stuff”.  If I was not the host of these retreats I would be taking my sewing machine bag which has all my sewing/cutting/measuring tools in it, a project bag with things to do, and a suitcase.  When I fill my car tomorrow it will be full, barely any empty space, and a friend is bringing up three totes for me. 

What could I leave home?  That is the question of the century! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Almost ready

Not leaving for a few more days but I think I am almost ready.  I have all the sewing stuff ready and all the retreat stuff ready.  I just need the “me stuff” like clothes etc.  I think I will get it all done.  Now I just need to figure out how to get it all up there… that may be a problem!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Almost retreat time

You would think after 18 years and 49 retreats I would have this routine down by now, but that’s far from so.  And I’m not real sure why, but this fall I seem more disorganized than ever.  I can’t decide what projects to take, I can’t decide what clothes either… will it be hot or cold?  I know… layers, t-shirts and sweaters.  And a jacket, I always forget a jacket if it’s a warm day when I leave home.   

But ready or not, it’s almost time and I need to start packing up the many piles I’ve made on the back porch and start getting ready… the way I’m going that’s what I’ll be doing all week long!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

More bulbs planted

Yesterday we worked in the yard because the weatherman said it was likely to be our last warm day of the year.  We still have a half a bucket of tulip bulbs to plant.  We went out and decided where we wanted the tulip bed to be, in a circle around my thorn bush.  Just deciding where was probably the hardest part… we thought.

John got the tiller from the shed, brought it to the front yard and tried to start it, and tried to start it, and tried to start it.  And that’s all we got done. 

Well not quite true.  While he was trying to start the tiller I dumped a bag of potting soil in to the old wheelbarrow that sits under a tree in the front yard, kind of our country decoration.  In the summer it’s filled with petunias and I decided it needed crocus for the spring.  I stuck a whole bunch of crocus bulbs in there and now just have to wait for spring to see if they come up… will be a while before I can show it.  
 
PS, glad we did go out yesterday, quite chilly today!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More work done

I can’t say finished because nothing new is, but I’m working on things.  I’m more packed than I was the other day and all the patterns are printed.  I planted another 500 and some bulbs this morning, mostly because I was up early, it was cool, and it’s going to rain which will cover all the holes I made. 

Now I’m going to spend the rest of the day (maybe) in the sewing room cutting strips and squares.  I cut more 3 inch squares yesterday and got a start on my own 2 1/2 inch strips, but I still have a long way to go on both. 


No, I don’t think I’ll have any finishes to brag about for a while, but I’m making progress.
   

Monday, October 13, 2014

I’ve been busy

It’s almost retreat time so I’ve started putting together my “stuff” to take with me.  When you’re the host, you have a lot of stuff, an awful lot of stuff…  more than my car can carry so I’m very thankful for a local friend who is coming up too. 
 
And I’m working on a few new projects.  I’m making sampler blocks from some of my BOMs, some old and some new too.  And I am starting my postage stamp quilts. 

Yes quilts… I’ve decided to make some eye spy postage stamp quilts for kids, using up fabrics I have on hand.  I thought I had enough to make some great quilts and started cutting.  With two of each square in a quilt, how much of a fabric would decide how many quilts I could make…  I cut and cut and cut for three days and ended up with 18 piles of three inch squares.  However, there are only sixty some squares in each pile and I’ve used up all of my kids fabrics… so I have some digging to do and maybe even some shopping. 

In the meantime I also starting cutting for my own postage stamp quilt or maybe quilts, time will tell.  I’ve decided my squares will be 2 1/2 inches, that way I can use up some of my left over strips from jelly rolls and other projects.  There is lots and lots of cutting in my future before I can even begin to sew. 

Yesterday I got sidetracked… the yard needed some work.  I have had a huge bucket of bulbs that needed to be put back in the ground.  And since it rained all day Saturday I thought the ground would be soft and easier to plant some of them… and I was right.  We worked about four hours, me digging holes and putting bulbs in and him weeding another small garden.  I only got half the bulbs planted but he got all the weeds pulled, until they come back.  And when we finished we were both too tired and sore to do much of anything else, so we didn’t… he watched TV and I read.... and thought about what other fabrics I could add to some eye spy postage stamp quilts…   
 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Yesterday and today

Yesterday I added this quilt to my for sale page.  Within a few minutes I got a message from a friend that she wanted to buy it and offered me $250.  A little while later someone else sent me and email and offered me $200, and I could happily tell him I already had an offer of $250.  I emailed my friend and thanked her and she said she didn’t want to not get it and said she’d pay the full $300.  This morning the gentleman offered me $275 and I told him I was sorry someone else had purchased the quilt already.

SO… I’m putting another one up for sale.  This is Scrappy Bricks.  Jan Davis came up with the pattern and gave me permission to use it with the Mysteries For Relay group and for sale on my pattern page. 

This Scrappy Bricks is made of 100% cottons and measures 59 by 77.  I would like $300 for this one also.  If you are interested or would like to make a serious offer email me.  QuiltersRetreat at Hotmail dot com
Thanks
 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Uh oh

About three hours ago I went into the sewing room to make a few sample blocks.  However the cutting board is piled with fabrics for my postage stamp projects and retreat stuff so I started to clean it off.  But then I decided I might as well start piling retreat stuff on the back porch since retreat is just three weeks away.  So I started and ran into some Relay For Life tote bags that would make nice gift bags for retreat.  Then I wondered if I had anymore and I went upstairs looking.  While up there I found a whole bunch of stuff I could use as my Relay For Life fundraiser at the October retreat this year and took all of that to the back porch.  Then I started counting, seeing how many I had of what and thinking what could I add to that stuff and I remembered something else very nice upstairs so I went back up and pulled that out of its hiding place and while up there found some more goodies which I added to the pile on the back porch.  Then I went back in the sewing room but forgot why I went in there to start and had to come back in here to figure it out… after nine or ten emails and checking in on facebook I finally remembered what I started to do… but I’m hungry so I think I’ll have lunch then go make those blocks.  

Another finish

When I updated the web site at the beginning of the month I realized I had not updated my UFO list since April, meaning I had not finished a quilt since then.  I started the year with 35 UFOs and one WIP.  The WIP is now a UFO and I’ve made 14 new quilts.  Two I am not counting on the UFO list as they will be donated as tops to Bob’s Blankie Brigade

Regardless, since I hadn’t finished any of the new quilts that meant my UFO number was going up instead of down and I had to do something about that!  So when I finished the special project I decided to do some bindings. 

Since my fingers don’t work well holding little things it had to be by machine.  I’d tried different techniques before and thought I had one down…. But … well the first quilt I did just wasn’t great.  I started on the front side and turned it over and finished on the back.  It’s OK, binding is secured all the way, but it wasn’t as perfect as I wanted.  So the second one I started on the back and finished on the front and it looked pretty darn good to me.  

I finished four smaller quilts and decided since I was on a roll I’d try a bigger one.  It’s done and the binding is pretty darn nice if I do say so myself.  I do prefer bindings finished by hand, but if the hands don’t work and mine won’t, I’m just going to have to settle on machine.  

Now on to something new!
 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Accomplishments

I finished that special project, but can’t show pictures of it just yet, it’s a gift.  And I had promised myself that I would do some finishing before I started anything new, so that’s what I’ve done.  I have three fewer UFOs as of this afternoon.   And I have one more on the machine now, but I’m taking a break.  Tomorrow I will finish that one, God willing and the creek don’t rise… and then start cutting postage stamp squares and strips!
 

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Made possible by many

Way back in 2005-2006 American Cancer Society announced that Relay For Life would be doing on fundraising line.  I was literally “drafted” to be the on line chair for our event that year.  It was something no one knew anything about and everyone, including me, had to learn as we went along.  At the end of that Relay year our event, one of the smaller events in our region, won the top on line fundraising award. 
Fast forward to 2014… that little event is no more and I’ve moved on to a different event looking for the Relay spirit I missed so very much.  I found it and last night was given top individual and top team fundraising recognition.  (And FYI was the second top individual fundraiser too!)
Thanks to all of YOU who made that happen!
 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Comments

Comments are once again moderated so that no one has to see the spam that some robot keeps trying to post.  (Two dozen comments in the last three days) Your comments ARE important to me, and I will approve them as long as they aren’t smutty or trying to sell something.  And if your ID is not accepted, send me an email, quiltersretreat at hotmail dot com.
Thanks for understanding