Thursday, May 31, 2018

Getting Organized - AGAIN

Being organized is helpful on so many levels. First of all, removing clutter helps me think more clearly. I try not to be that squirrel who forgets where the nuts were hidden for safe keeping.

Stuff sitting around the studio actually stops the flow of my thinking and creativity, and I forget what I was doing or what was next. It takes time to put things away after working with it, and yet, the time is well spent.

Then, of course, there is the advantage of finding something without a lot of time spent looking. As the stash diminishes, this is an important aspect. If I make a plan to do a quilt, then finding the color or fabric means not having to shop. I can use up what I have.

I made the corrections to the squares for the BOM I worked on this morning. It all needs pressing before going onto the next step. Also, more of the BOD pieces were added finishing up May. The new monthly spreadsheet is printed and ready.

Part of the morning was spent filling out forms and getting ready for the trip. I've printed off the short stories, stapled pages and have index cards to plot out the story line. Good to be organized. Really good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


I will be gone this weekend and am taking a couple of maps as well as the printouts to my Befana book. 

The unfinished book has been sitting in the Cloud since the IMac died and honestly, for as much as I tried to get back to it, nothing worked. 

While it did print, there was no pagination nor chapter headings. I can align them when I am laying in the hotel room over the weekend. After all, there is only just so much time I want to spend in the pool and hot tub, right?

Here's the plan. I am making index cards to get a story board done with it, and need to learn a technical thing that gives the language codes so I can dictate on my IPad. And of course, I need to read the copy just printed off.

No quilting today though it was on my plan. I am working on one of the BOM's and realized that some of the small squares got assembled incorrectly. It was the pattern this time. I said to cut four 4" squares and meant five of them. I do have enough of the print to correct it. Just not today. I was able to rip three incorrectly pieced squares and next need to cut the triangles for them. Not today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Shopping for BOM

This one is for a graduation gift for my #4 Grandgrrrl. She wanted yellow when I asked. I asked if she wanted a quilt and if she did, what color. Yellow. I shopped at both fabric stores in town before settling on these. I am not using a scrappy look on this one.

Fabric requirements suggest a good contrast between the light, a medium and a dark. The lighter one has light gray leaves and stems with yellow flowers. It would have been the background except that the pattern said that a print might be too busy. I shifted it all and will use the darker yellow as the background. I am behind on this one as step 4 is being released soon. I am ok with that and will spend time, catching up on this and the other BOMs that are going strong. As yellows go, this grouping serves my idea for the quilt well. I know that she will like it and has been one of the grrrlie-grrrls who holds onto the ones she gets from me. 

My essential tremors are in full force in both hands now, so hand quilting is most likely not an option.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Erratic Blogging

I would like to honor my personal commitment to blog, and well heck, to quilt each day. However, life is changing for me and I am doing what I can while I can and when I can.

One more lap/nap size comfort quilt that was finished this week. This pattern "Blocks & Strips", was made from FQs I had on hand. Binding is a white print.

The back side is created from my stash collection of blocks that are randomly joined. It makes a nice 2-sided quilt for a guy. He had a stroke last year and is doing good.
I did two things differently on it. One is quilting with the wavy river stitch next to the ditches. The other is binding in white and machine stitching it rather than hand sewing. Usually binding is a darker fabric but there are no rules. And the double machine line to reinforce it is different for me but is used by many quilters who avoid hand work on their binding. Its done now and will ship out later this week.

As for my blog. Well, today, I worked to sort photos for my scrapbooks. I set a timer and worked for an hour and walked away from it. That walking away after an hour no matter the task is so new to me and hard on my formerly extreme methods of working myself to death.

I did blog.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Yah Right

Its going to be quite the challenge for me to devote only one hour to each of my past times...I quilted an hour on the machine, rested for, oh maybe 15 minutes and then went back to it. The current project is quilted, and I have started on the fabric boxes for the August 1 birthday gift. Then after trimming the quilt, I also cut 5" charms for the BOD Mood quilt from the leftovers and, have strips of fabric to trim smaller for the Pet Beds.
Plans change. We change. I KNOW that it is better for me to do a major shifting of how I go through my days. I am starting to feel better each day, but know in my heart that it is like experiencing a false thing. My health may improve, but there is no cure for aging. Changing my life style and the way I work IS ESSENTIAL to my complete well-being. 

Maybe change comes hard because the patterns I set for so many decades did work for me, or at least I thought they did. I do realize that 'the bill comes due' eventually. Lately I have been paying those bills. I used my body hard all through my life and am grateful for that. I was lucky. Resting is a HUGE challenge for me now, and almost becomes the only way I can exist when I hit the wall. This time it was a stomach virus. Other times my back went out of alignment. The clue here is whether or not it is rest of my choosing or rest because my unconscious chooses.

I'll cut the scraps and get them into the small fleece bags I made for 2 of my Grand-cats. No hurry. Just part of the way I quilt 'green'. They will go in the holiday box of gifts closer to the end of the year. What is nice is doing a few things here and there and not feeling pressured.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Basted & Ready

I basted the comfort quilt yesterday and today loaded bobbins and threaded the machine. These are small details for quilting projects. And because I choose to only dedicate one hour per day to quilting, time goes quickly. 

It is difficult for me to portion out tasks into hourly sections. The person I was could be called an extremist. This person worked on a project until falling into a state of exhaustion as well as one of high intensity stress. I am changing that habit. Oh sure. I could fall back into it. I spent a lifetime learning how to be an extremist, so change often brings with it resistance. I know it also would be easy to change the plan and get back into the old ways. I am going to give it a try.

Blogging here is also part of the quilting process. It has to happen during the hour portion for it to work. It would be easy to use it for other sections such as Writing or Computer. It belongs in Quilting. 

The quilt is set up to work on at the machine for the next hour block. Part of me wants to hurry it because of how crappy I felt last month, its like I am behind. I am not behind and need to give myself credit for setting up the plan, watching videos, purchasing fabric and deciding on the next steps.

After I finish this comfort quilt, I plan to finish the Bargello, work on the Cat Fabric Boxes, and start the Befana pillows. In each case, they are ready to start or work on. Its not going to be easy to stick to an hour slot. I am going to try. To do what I can and if plans change, then they do.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

YT Videos

I spent enough time in the South garden this morning that I was too exhausted to really quilt with full attention, so decided to watch some instructional videos on You Tube. I want to make my younger Son's partner some fabric boxes for her birthday. 

There are endless ideas and sizes, so before I start, I want to gather enough of the fabrics here in my closet & make a plan. I've made this one a number of times and its a cute, small box. I have a few cat prints that I want to use and do have just enough of one to make this version.

I've also made a larger sized bucket for a baby shower gift. The Mother says her little grrrlie still uses it to curl up in and store toys. 

The goal, if I made one this size again would be like a laundry basket. Its been awhile since I watched them so did learn a lot more about construction. In being practical, I need to measure what I do have and start thinking about what I can do. Last year, I made her a quilt and a mug rug, so this would be different. 

Part of the transformation I am feeling is in how I plan before acting. Lists. Schedules. Its different.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Changing Me

This new approach to transformation is both exciting and potentially exhausting. Quilting is on my schedule each morning from 9-10. Now I can start earlier if my first morning tasks are done...these are the computer tasks, some of which might dovetail into other topics, and include answering mail, checking my Facebook account, and following up with some printing or research. My goal is to set my new IPad up so I can write the historical fiction on it.

The first quilting task I set for myself, each day, is adding the BOD or block of the day to the Mood Quilt. The individual rows are a bit boring right now. My plan is to make 2 rows and then join them to the previous ones to make them easier to handle. The charts are quite clear and I have marked the dates on them so I don't loose my place. As is seen in this row, most are light beige which indicate how badly I was feeling with that stomach virus. Today starts the first square of the next row. 

Yesterday, when I set up the pressing board, I sprayed some WD40 on it to reduce the squeak when it is going up or down. This is the block for the blackwork, orange, black and white quilt. It is the last one needed and will fit on it nicely. It took me the full hour to get it cut, pieced, pressed and photographed. Done.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Another Row

I've begun a new plan for the rest of my life. First of all, no matter what stage or age a person is, when they start to think about who they are, where they came from and where they might want to go, they realize that life changes. 

Buddha taught that there are 4 Noble Truths: 1. Life is Suffering. Things change; 
2. The origin of suffering is attachment. It hurts when things change
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable. Accept that things change; 
4. There is a way out of of suffering. By changing yourself. 

I am not a Buddhist, but appreciate the concepts.

To this end of change and all its values, I spent time creating a weekly schedule for myself that is broken down by days and hours. Its not much different from my Franklin Planner days, except that the breakdown is hourly and gives me time to do various tasks I want to accomplish. In my past, I was quite the extremist. I would work on something until I was exhausted or it was finished. I cannot do that now. I only have energy for shorter time frames.

I plan to set a one-hour timer on each project and work until it goes off. Stop and move onto the next part. If I actually finish a project and there is time left, I will do fill-in tasks like laundry or meal prep. Its a work in progress to change. And it is a challenge.

Today, for my quilting project, I got caught up on the BOD for the Mood Quilt project. This row is done. Then I came here to write, to blog. I want to set up my other BOMs and catch up from what I could not get to when I had that awful Stomach Virus. I will set up the pressing board again, dig out the BOM's and get ready for tomorrow.

I am learning, as I move into this new phase of life, to be more gentle with myself, to try and understand the aging process, to get over myself as one of my friends just posted, and to get on with what I can do, with what sparks joy and passion. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mood Quilt Row

I had energy to join squares to the current row of my Mood Quilt. Clearly, beige's and some pinks illustrate how punk I felt this last week, and how I tried bucking myself up when company came.

It will finish off by Saturday, and maybe I will have energy to start up on other quilting projects here. This was an interesting challenge for a BOM because it was first of all, a BOD or block of the day. It will end up as the back on another quilt planned so as a back, is a bit more forgiving.

Hah. Lesson learned on that statement. And a question. Can I be more forgiving of myself? I ended up whining and sick-y, and that is so not my style. This virus took me out harder and longer than I have ever experienced and when I tried to push my way through, it pinned me to the bed. Ah well. I am trying to learn

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Only Now

Its taken this long for me to feel better. As some of you know, I do not touch a quilt unless I feel good emotionally, mentally, physically and especially spiritually.

As a woman of deep spirituality, like others who have gone before me, all bets are off when I feel like crap...literally. I couldn't write, could barely get my head up. Its taken lots of lab work (still waiting for results) and whining. I hate whiners, but that was what I could do. 

I knew I was on the mend when I started looking at the quilt projects others were showing. But not yet. I looked and didn't care. Funny thing, I don't want to project this kind of image...the sick, vulnerable.

What I have done is to set in place tools for this next phase of my life. There is no guarantee that I won't get sick again with this or something else. The woman I was in my 40's-50's simply is not me.

I re-signed up for, and they still tell me I don't eat enough. I can record food and water and exercise when I feel good enough to do some again.

I hired a housekeeper and looked into grief counseling. Yes there is grief in not being able to ski, to play volleyball, to run a dogsled or even have dogs. I don't have the agility, the stamina, or flexibility. Fact, but a hard one to accept. 

No one ever told me about retirement or getting older. No one.

So enough of my whining. I just wanted to check in.