Monday, October 23, 2017

Ready to Begin Again

I finished almost all the cleaning and organizing work in my studio, & of course the housekeeper comes on Wednesday to do mirrors, windows, the ceiling fan and light fixtures. There is one more bin of papers I plan to sort later today. 

It really feels good in here and looks organized. My project table is as clear as it was the day I put it in here. It took me awhile to straighten wires for the computer parts. Three of them had one end unconnected. I want to go back and tag each one with its function so I don't need to spend so much time trying to figure out what they do or where they go.

This is the shelf/area I have for shipping resources. The door opens to hide it, but it also is organized. I plan to make and send cookies to Family before the holidays and bought tins and have some boxes to put them in. Also, some of this is for Swap-bot exchanges. Having everything in one place makes it easier to remember what is there as well as putting more into each package. This all represents things that can be passed along that served me well at one time, and no longer spark joy.

My last quilt (finished a couple of months ago) is ready to ship in a few weeks, as is the 12 Days of Christmas swap, both of which can go out on the same day.

As soon as the bins near the shelf unit are empty, they will go into the closet and hold quilt projects. I can tell I feel better about getting back into the past time. 

Three Good Things / Day 38:

  1. I feel a sense of hopefulness about quilting again, which is different from what I felt when I first started
  2. What I did here in the studio created a more healthy space to continue quilting
  3. Lord of the Rings audiobook playing in the background.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

What Happens Next

As I organized again today, I found things in containers & on shelves that are actually UFOs. I don't know how many years ago I started some tree skirts. I saw the pattern with the foundation fabric in the bag (yes it was a project in a grocerybag - PIG), and just shifted it into a different container, and put it away. I have no intention to even go forward, however, Its not getting tossed or passed along. I need a new UFO list. It is a UFO now. Officially.
One of the things discussed on the Jungian Webnar today is how we fall in love and how that cycles from passion to death of the relationship, and back again. It was meant to examine people relationships, and I could relate to it. However, as the day progressed, I thought how it relates to my quilting. There is this sort of attraction and passion when a person first starts... a relationship or a past time. 

It ferments and grows. But then there is this death to the illusion of what we think it is or who the person is to us. That is the time we start seeing flaws. And then the cycle continues with the vapor of the dying essence where you either run from it or stay for a rebirth. This is the third stage and time for the FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE syndrome to kick in. If one is healthy, this is the stage that they leave a dysfunctional relationship. 

But what about a past time like quilting? I mean there are no angry arguments, nothing to push your buttons. Its all about you and what you do and how you do it. Oh sure, I could find all sorts of reasons to bail on quilting, but no one would be pushing me away.

Now, rebirth, whether it describes a relationship or this love of quilting is never the same as it was the first time around. It cannot be. When one thing changes, everything changes.

I have been having a very hard time getting on with my quilting projects these last few weeks, and have been doing all sorts of different things as a distraction. Maybe I do that every year after finishing up the quilts I want to send out for the holidays. This year was particularly difficult.

There is one more quilt that needs to go out, but not for a couple of weeks. Soon.

And then my sidebar here on the blog shows me the way to go on. 

Questions the instructor asked about why we stay in relationships included what the benefits were to staying. For some of us, its financial. Secure. But then we might stay and the partner could leave after all we did to negotiate. You never know.

The big message he had for us is to be fiercely real. To recognize that we often have lied to ourselves and others to stay in the relationship, but there comes a day when telling our truth is the only way.

So to my quilting.

I have learned my limitations in what I can do. I see my shortcomings, for instance reading patterns. Its not about beating myself up for the negatives I have come to see in myself. It IS about figuring out the raw truth. I like making lists so I can see what I think...

Pro side:

  • I have quilts planned to finish and to start
  • There is a lot of fabric still good enough to make beautiful quilts
  • I do see an end to it
  • Using the fabric I have and shopping from my closet first is good for the environment
  • I have an entire bin of projects ready to go
Con Side:
  • I hate how the machine quilting turns out
  • I feel driven as a perfectionist
  • Quilting stops me from writing because I run out of steam
  • Scrap quilting doesn't always turn out to be as lovely as when a person buys everything new from the fabric store
  • I may never finish what I have in my life time

Three Good Things / Day 37:
  1. Life is getting more clear
  2. I attended a Webnar for my Jungian Psych course
  3. I am keeping the candle this week.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Clean Up, Clean Up

I thought about moving into the great room of my home. I was able to do that with the IMac, but now, everything is connected to the router. My studio is painted a light blue for walls and a darker blue ceiling. It faces west, and I have a large wall in back so it doesn't get as much sun as the rooms in the east. 

So, oh well. 

For the goal of making this room 'winter-worthy', I am dusting what I can reach with the ladder and from standing on the floor. I rearranged what was on the shelves so I could get layers of dust. It surprised me how much dust there was. Some items went into the thrift store box.

How is this quilting? Even better, how is it spiritual? When I move things, from my body to my stuff, my awareness goes with me. When I focus my awareness on something, I see that thing, whether it is my body or my environment with a lot more awareness.

For me, order is important. It helps clear my thoughts if I don't have to focus on dust or something that no longer sparks joy for me.

Lately, this cold & cough have taken my energy. How much of that is dust related, who knows? I haven't felt like doing anything. Yet, this morning, I felt like my own inner tornado wanting to get this studio clean. I know I am not as flexible on the ladder as I used to be. I know that my energy is not as strong. Maybe this will be one of the last times I get up on that ladder. Maybe next time, my housekeeper will handle the task. 

Three Good Things / Day 36:

  1. The studio is dusted, re-organized with clear energy
  2. Studio windows were washed down from the outside
  3. I am keeping my Elliptical Trainer, after considering its sale.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Making Backs

One of my goals in cutting and saving various sized squares is to make quilt backs. It takes a bit more time than if I were to go to the fabric store and buy either a 108" piece to fit, or to join two lengths to fit. We are not owed conveniences as much as we take them without a lot of thought about how our actions might impact the greater good.
When I realized how much waste the average person on Earth was generating, especially here in the USA, I decided to incorporate practices that were ecologically better. I don't always do as good as some might, but do as good as I can.

These 8" squares come from projects I did or from fabrics given to me from others.  I've joined 7 blocks across and down to make the start of a back that will work on a future quilt. The way it works is that either squares will be added or removed to fit the top. I am going to start a bin with these backs, with sizes noted for easy matching. Also, if enough of them are made, it is possible for two of them to make a quick quilt.

Three Good Things / Day 35:

  1. I am making quilt backs again as a way to conserve resources
  2. My Older Son (a plumber in MN) told me that it is wind from above that might blow out pilot light
  3. Leaves are turning colors.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Weekender Tote

The Project was pinned to attach straps and I remembered, so that is what part of it I did today. I've bought magnetic clasps but am not sure how to proceed with that part and may go back to the store for help.

I double-stitched the strap at the pockets for my own peace of mind. I like how it looks and decided to give it to my younger Son for his birthday in Februrary rather than to send it for Winter Solstice. Two things. First, by delaying it, I won't feel pressured to finish it. By delaying it for a birthday gift, I can take my time to make the Outhouses quilt for my older Son's birthday.

Meanwhile, I made Crock Pot VEGAN Split Pea Soup. I started enough for two pots so let it cook on the stove awhile and then divided it. One half is in jars and will go to the pot when this part is eaten. A taste test surprised me at how much it is like one made with a ham hock.

Three Good Things / Day 34:
  1. I am here
  2. October Birthday quilt boxed and ready to ship
  3. I got a good night's sleep and feel refreshed today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Block #3

I kept going with the Appliqued blocks and am now caught up with the blockpattern releases. This one was easier to do because I was in the space it takes. The way the pattern maker had the work portioned was to cut all the pieces in advance so it was more assembly when you got to this stage. 

The applique work meant that you traced the pattern onto iron-on paper, select fabrics & press pieces in place. Then the pieces get cut and laid out on the white square. The trick is to put bigger house parts on first and then simply layer roof, door, windows, trees or flowers and finally add grass.

Three Good Things / Day 33:

  1. Made another crock pot soup, which was quite yummy & was a corn chowder, more to be made as needed
  2. Leaves in the gardens have begun to turn from green into reds, and then go brown
  3. It seems that Boo, the Cat from next door, is keeping ground critters away.