Always distractions…

The top for my grandson’s quilt is done and I got to show it to him. He loved it! He knows nothing about quilting and thought it was ready for him to use. Bummer! Now he’ll have to wait until I get it quilted, but it was so wonderful to know that he can’t wait to use it.

I got it basted today and it’s ready to go. My self-imposed due date on this is his birthday at the end of the month. No problem, right? I should be quilting on it right this minute, but I got distracted.

My friend Linda, in my Wacky Quilters group (aka Knot Even Quilters), gave us all a package of ‘stuff’ for a challenge. We are not good with deadlines, so we extended our Dec. deadline to Jan. and I still haven’t started! But the package was laying on the table and I had to move it to start quilting……………..and that’s where things went off track! I’ve known since I opened that package exactly what I was going to make. Sometimes these projects just leap out of my brain, fully formed and the components in this package were just right. Or almost just right…they needed some specific colors, and the dye was only a step away, so it seemed only natural……………

And you can’t waste dye, even when you only mix up just a little–

So now I’ll have to clean up all the dye stuff tomorrow before I start quilting.

But…but…but….I have another challenge that I have not worked on, that is due in two weeks. I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, but as I bent over to get the tray for the dyeing, my eyes fell on the snow dyes that I did last week and another idea was sparked.

Look at these fabrics! Aren’t they gorgeous? Even prettier than they were last week! Of course, that’s only because I have a project for them. Otherwise, they would just be filling up the shelves!

I’ve barely got a start on this idea, but I think I’m going to like it!

Ordinarily I’d plan a lot of extra embellishment as this progresses, but it IS due in two weeks! I think it will be machine work all the way…………..but who knows?

My goal now is to finish all three of these projects, by their due dates! At least they are all started, and they WILL all get finished. It’s that ‘due date’ thing that might present a problem or two. However, I am even willing to give up a nap or two to finish on time—that should tell you a lot!

 

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Slow sewing time

It’s been a busy time lately and not much sewing has been done. I’ve been adding vintage buttons to the red houses, and once started, I keep wanting to add them ALL!

And when I don’t sew, I don’t post! Projects tend to drag out when you only get to work on them 10 minutes at a time. And then when you start¬† quilting and it goes wrong…

A couple of minutes of quilting and a half hour of UN-quilting! It will totally change my plan for quilting this! The problem is all those loose edges that I love. When you try to quilt cross-wise over them, you have to stop every couple of stitches to flatten them down. Not good.

When I try again, I think it will be a vertical quilting plan!

In the meantime, there are Christmas decorating things to do, hockey for us and for the grandson, lunches with friends…all the normal fun of a retiree’s life!

Clean and finish

Yesterday time spent in the studio was mostly for cleaning up and putting away the stuff from this weekend’s class and demo.

Add fabric to blank cards–easy peasy!

It seemed to take forever, and I’m always fighting distractions that take me away from cleaning! I stayed on track today and got the job done.

I figured the best way to take care of the demo stuff was to finish them all off and then all the pieces parts could be put back in storage, not left in the to-be-finished pile!

Success!

My class project is the only thing left sitting on the table and I’ll try to get at that sometime over the weekend.

I was struck by something I read today, though, about an individual’s creative process. She uses another person as a sounding board to move her work along. Just talking to her friend, even with minimal response, helps her to firm up her ideas as she works. We talked about the creative process in class on Friday, too. For me, I have always worked alone and those class situations are good for starting something but I can’t get too serious until I have quiet contemplation time. And since I have been doing this blog for a while, the pictures and pauses and comments have become a part of my process, too. It helps to take an occasional look at how you do things and assess if it’s working for you. This holiday weekend, which is an interruption of routine anyway, might be a good time to do just that!

Absent and busy!

Sorry I haven’t posted lately, but new floors apparently require more work than I thought! Busy with family stuff and routine appointments. I am looking forward to taking a class tomorrow with Paula Golden…but I don’t have my stuff gathered and ready, yet!

I have always said that I can do a demo whenever our guild needs one, and I got tapped to sub in this Saturday. Well, let’s just say that I was not really ready to immediately step in with a demo!

I’ve spent time working up a little presentation for making postcards, mostly with a Christmas theme. I think I’m ready for that! Nice little stack of finished projects and ideas for lots more to present!

Then perhaps I can get back to some artistic-feeling projects, including some dyeing that I’ve been anxious to get done!

 

This has been my week!

New flooring in my living room has been happening this week. I have furniture piled in my kitchen, my garage and some lamps are even upstairs! Everything is covered in dust so I have to clean it before I can move it back in, but the floor is done!

Before:

Looked good from a distance but it was falling apart. It was glued down so much better than the guys thought…it took them the entire first day to get this removed!

Day two was mostly prep and a start on installation of the new…

I started to get excited when the first few rows went down! And now I have a beautiful new floor in my living room!

Just need to get everything dusted and dusted and dusted…..and dusted and we can sit in here in comfort again!

Flittering and Floundering

A funny thing happened as I was working my way down the pile of unfinished projects. I picked up a piece that was prepped so that I could get the quilting done. When I picked it up and opened it out……………

It was already quilted!¬† I don’t have the least bit of memory about quilting it, but there it is! All I had to do was trim it and bind it. Oh, yeah…add that sleeve and label, too. But it’s done.

Those Flying Geese blocks jumped the line and called out to me next. I played with arranging them for a bit and finally told myself to quit procrastinating and get them sewn. To keep it simple, because they were lovely all on their own. The hardest part was finding a border that was the correct shade of blue, and right now my stash is loaded with blues. Again, I was surprised at how many shades were NOT right.

This batik is probably 10 years old, so it justifies the reason for having a stash! I kept the quilting simple also, so it didn’t take very long to finish it up.

And now I have one more finish…with the sleeve on it, too!

On to the floundering part…there is a large stack of kinda Christmasy fabrics staring at me. My ideas are not flowing for what to make with them. I got this far and don’t have a clue where to go next.

I like the little trees but the whole thing does nothing for me. It will be set aside until inspiration wanders by and I grab an idea or two, but that stack of fabric is making me feel very guilty. This is when the stash is NOT justified!

And the pile of to be finished items is down to full size quilts and only one large piece with a mounting problem.

So it’s wander around the studio, pretending to be busy time. There are a lot of final touches that are needed, but I’ll do those on one big assembly line day…which isn’t today. I’m hesitant to start a big project because I know it won’t get done before the show and I guess all my thoughts are really centered on that.

Blah, blah, blah…my thoughts go round and round, like circling the drain, and nothing gets started OR done. That show deadline is actually hindering me right now.

Today–yes, today–I must gather my wits about me and be productive, even if it’s a project that could take months. I need to be engaged in my work, not doing it because I have a pile of fabric to use up. Go, Kathy, get to the studio and find some fun!

Moving ahead

There was progress made in the studio today, but it did not come easily!

Planned on getting all those canvases wired up and ready to hang today. See that drill with no battery pack? I have TWO batteries for it and both of them were dead as a doornail. Delay number 1.

Thought I would relax and quilt a bit while the battery was charging, but that didn’t work out so well , either.

I finished it later in the day, but I broke two needles in the first 15 minutes of working on the background. Thread was catching on the spool and when I got that adjusted, there was a cut spot in the thread so I had to unroll through that…………..sigh! But at least I did finish it. I’m going to add some small beads to this one.

This is the stack of stuff that needed to get ready to go to an exhibition. I needed to get these ready, at the very least. Time was getting short, so I had to screw on the hanging hardware by hand—-oh, the rigors of manual labor!

See the green and black piece on top? 30 minutes before it was to be picked up, I took it off a hanger and discovered that I had NOT made a sleeve for it! Seriously? How lame is that? Thought it was ready to go. I did a quick search in my scrap basket because I thought I had an unused sleeve there–and I did! Phew! Quickly cut down to size and then I pinned it on. Good enough for this exhibition and if someone wanted to actually buy it, I’d be happy to put a real sleeve on it! And ready before the girls came to pick up the stuff. Hooray!

And as I sighed in frustration from a broken needle, my gaze crossed an older, unfinished piece on the design board and I had a lightbulb moment on how to proceed. Much of the problem I had with it was solved with machine stitching, rather than more of the hand stitching I started with, which you can’t see well in this photo. Sometimes letting things sit in time out is the way to find a solution.

Finally, I was able to really relax and the rest of the planned screws and wires can wait until tomorrow. I made this little piece for an example of fabric manipulation and I’m going to use it without any additional stitching, but I’m going to add beads. It’s only a 6″ piece so I’m hoping I can handle it without any more delays or issues!

Today was another case of the hurrieder I go the farther behind I get. Looking for better results tomorrow!

And every day until Oct. 14, this will be on my mind!