Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 2015 thoughts

I have done some blog reading here and there, enjoying posts on choices of word for the year, goals for the year and in general looking ahead plans for projects.

Last year I did lots of quilting  until around May or so, and then really slowed down or turned my attention to other creative projects.  In the fall was a great quilt retreat-it revived my resolve to finish a ufo from 2008.  That turned out to be more complicated as I could not remember the specific directions for the totally cut out paper pieced quilt top.  I found a friend who knew the method and with her help made about 10 more blocks and worked on them a bit here and there.
Yesterday was hard rains all day and I never left the house.  In fact, I never really left the sewing room.  I worked really hard for most of the day and evening ending with only 7 blocks left to sew.

This morning I picked up and finished those blocks.  However, these are really half blocks.  A total of 84 of them in fact.  The next stage is stitching these all up into final blocks.

I may have mentioned the back story on this quilt beginning and fabric selection etc.  Or maybe not.
As fellow long time quilters can understand, a lot of these fabrics are no longer favorites of the person who chose them way back then.  Most of them never were my choice in the first place.  However, I am very inclined to buy fabric of a loved one's palette even when it is as far away from mine as possible.  In this case, a lot of the fabric tab was picked up by said loved one.

  So, I find it quite funny that now, the comments are; "are you sure I picked this fabric???"  After rolling of eyes and a chuckle, I always say, oh yes...I have never been a fan of autumn colors for the most part.
I admit  some of the fabrics with red or purple I probably did not mind buying.  Some of them I had to buy to supplement what was needed to meet the needs of the pattern design.  Like neutrals.  As fast as I buy them, I use them up it seems.

So...here is a photo of the half blocks- with a limited design wall - it looks crazy messy.

Obviously, I will be stitching these together and then, I will play with those blocks that remain "favorites"- likely, I will be adding more "brighter" fabrics to lighten the overall feel of the quilt.

I won't be show the finished blocks until we come up with a final design.
This quilt is on my 2015 PMQG UFO list.  Yes, I gave in to joining to help motivate myself in finishing those neglected and long ignored quilt starts.  It was not hard to come up with 14.
This quilt is one of the oldest left on that list, though I think another 3 may actually be even older.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A few December thoughts

The older I get, the faster time flies by.  In the blink of an eye, it's one week into December already!

So....each year I get the Friday after the US Thanksgiving holiday off.  And, most years I find that bonus day my day to be creative time for quilting.  Often I also put up our outside Christmas lights.
Christmas celebrating inside is always the first weekend in December, as my sweetheart's birthday is December first, and I support celebrating birthdays independent of any holiday.

 This year, we left on that bonus Friday off for Seattle WA.  We celebrated her birthday with a longtime friend who also shares that same birthday date.  What a fabulous time we had!  We woke up to snow Saturday morning and what a delightful surprise that was!  Back home late Sunday - picking up our dog, Murphy (have I mentioned him?  more on him another post).
A big birthday party Monday night with dear friends.  Of course my day job has kicked into even higher gear of work piling up on my desk.  The running joke is I am still catching up from going on vacation back in September!
However, I had shopped for Max (grandson who lives in Texas), early and was able to wrap and ship all his Christmas gifts by the end of the week.  I also bought a copy of the current book club book I read and sent it off to my sister as a bonus gift yesterday.  I belong to an amazing monthly book club group (women only) and we read always inspiring and thought/conversation provoking books.  A few I have already read but most I have never even heard of...so it is always fun to vote on which new book we will read next.
I then often share that choice with my sister so we too can discuss it.

Today, it is all about putting up those Christmas lights (bonus, the sun is out today!) getting a bit of sewing of those pp blocks done, and the start of Christmas cookie baking.  My quilt guild meets Thursday night and my contribution to our potluck is something sweet, so cookies fit right in for that as well.

As I am sewing on these blocks I take breaks to read emails and/or chat with a friend online who is also doing much of the same as I am today...some laundry going, some sewing, whatever.

December brings so many opportunities for socializing and enjoying family and friends.  This year I am not filling in every spare moment ...each time something gets on the calendar I smile and look forward to that event.  Whatever hits first, is what we are doing...with regrets to any other invitations that may come for the same time. It is not required to do it all..and with that attitude, I stopped sewing and wrote this post.
I hope December is filled with joy for everyone who reads this post.

Enjoy your day!   

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Update on Indian Summer quilt

I am over the half way mark for this quilt top.  25 blocks out of 42.  I have taken a lot of time off to do other non-quilting related stuff.  Like most working quilters, it's a challenge to juggle all the demands on my time and match up time available with desire and energy to work on a slower than my usual quilt project.  Paper piecing is not my favorite type of block making.  However, this was back in 2008 a special quilt, most of the fabrics collected by my sweetheart who is a huge autumn color fan, and the resulting quilt will add to her collection.  Currently the comments go; did I really pick that fabric???  As I keep saying, I am not a particular fan of autumn colors I can say yes, the majority of these fabrics were at her request.  The lights however, were all chosen by me, back at that time too. I used what I had and then went shopping for more as I never seem to have enough lights!

I am being resolute about not starting anything new but plugging away on this project.  We are going away for a three day trip the day after Thanksgiving.  Dog sitter arranged, it will be a nice break from home and the usual stuff.  So, no time will be available to make progress on this quilt.  

I don't usually talk much about my day job here.  I will only say that a few months ago, it changed in a big way and the impact on my particular desk has meant considerably longer hours than I am happy about.  Sometimes the powers that be, simply do not do their homework on the reality of deciding to make BIG changes.  By the time they figure out they need to hire more people, and factor in the learning curve for those new people, the end result is my desk is two weeks behind.

I have been chipping away at that...some days I seem to gain, some days bring big setbacks as yet another new change goes into effect and I reap the fallout.  The last meeting I had with the CFO was pretty amusing...not much of a glimmer of the true impact of the real work load for me,  but concern about too much overtime.
 I held my ground on the reality...take something off my desk, or accept the fact that there is no way eight hours is going to cover it all.  So...while the powers work on that solution...I put in extra time as I can.  Our department has this coming Friday off , unpaid.

 So, I have 8 hours I can put in without it counting as overtime, lucky me.  I chose not to use a vacation day for Friday.   I have 5 vacation days left and they are already booked for March.


Ok...time to get off the computer and help my sweetie learn how to make skype work for her.

Enjoy this wonderful day!