Friday, August 17, 2012

Revived by the outdoors....

J picked up her quilts this morning, she loved them. She is so sweet and such a prolific quilter. She is heading off to a cabin retreat next week and will be taking her machine and projects along to work on so I am sure she will be calling me soon with some more to quilt for her.

The 2 new quilts that were brought to me yesterday by B are gorgeous. I know I will enjoy quilting them up. Did I ever mention that I have the best job in the world? I love to create beautiful things and to me quilting is a very meditative activity.

I plan to put 3 more bobbins into the quilt I have been slaving over quilting on all week. After I do that I will run into town to get a few groceries that I need for this weekend and on Monday when we, Tina and I, are hosting another fabric dyeing workshop. I plan on doing up a wheelbarrow full of ice dyed fabrics so that they will be ready to reveal on Monday morning. I can then put them in the washer and dryer and anyone wanting to purchase any of these can do so and if not I have more for my stash. When I get back from the store I want to put another ceiling panel on Lola and get 'er quilted up so I can get that last bare spot covered up before Monday. I would like to give the ladies a tour of my studio while they are here too.

I have a few photos of my work space yesterday to share with you. I spent quite a bit of time in the morning on the back deck doing computer work and learning some new tips on how to use my new iphone more effectively.

There was a pin on Pinterest with 40 tips for your iphone. You can sort of see that on the screne. I was trying some of them out. Ok maybe it was a lot of them. I did wastespend a lot of time but everything comes with a learning curve and sometimes you just have to set aside some time to learn this new technology.
Of course if I am outside then Georgie has to be outside with her ball too. I have to throw the ball for her.
Doesn't she look sad? She couldn't understand that I was trying to focus my attention on learning how to use my phone and couldn't throw that dang ball for the 169th time as quickly as she wanted me to.
And this photo was taken just before we took another walk last evening.
She had planned on taking the ball on the walk too.

Have a great day and take the time to learn something new today that you have been putting off.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A change of pace...

Doing something different from time to time can be the thing that renews our energy and helps us to refocus. Yesterday, I worked a little and played a lot. To start off, I finished quilting J's quilt. It is a wool applique on cotton blocks done in a 9 block arrangement.
You can't see all of the blocks well in the photo as I had it draped over the bars of the longarm machine, but I have a few detail shots of it. Here you can see one of the blocks.
I stitched around the applique shapes and then did a background fill. You can see the sashing design that I did also in this photo. Here is another one of the blocks.
The border is a somewhat free form stylized feather design.
J is going to come by this morning to pick up her 2 quilts.

I thought Georgie wanted to go outside just before lunch, so, I opened the door for her but she wouldn't go outside which was fortunate for me. As I looked out I saw this butterfly sitting on the step. I was able to take one step out the door without scaring it away and I got this photo.
I had noticed a rather large butterfly flying past the window while I was quilting several times and I think this was the one.

After lunch, I called J to let her know that her quilts were finished and then took a took a break. I had promised my M-I-L to go for a walk with her as she is to walk 20 minutes a day and work up to 30. We went to Lake Wilhelm for our walk. There is a paved trail that goes around the lake. I knew it would be easy enough for her yet challenging at the same time. The entire trail is 12 miles long. We determined to walk 15 minutes out and then 15 back. She pushed her wheelchair so that she could sit down if she got too tired. Here are some photos taken along the way. Georgie got to go along also. She likes to walk over at Wilhelm.
This is the path that goes around most of Wilhelm, there are several spots that you have to ride on the road which is also paved. Georgie is smelling the smells along the path.

These photos show some of the beautiful scenery that we saw. Enjoy.

Can you smell the fresh air? How about hearing the sound of the birds singing overhead?
Can you feel the warm sun on your back?

We even found a little path that led to the lake. I think people use to get down to the lake to fish and so we explored it.

Lake Wilhelm is a man made lake but I remember going down around this area as a kid and fish out of the creek that ran through with my dad. One of only a few memories I have of him. I remember the big ole catfish he would catch from that creek.

On our way out of the marina, I saw a bald eagle sitting on the very top of a dead tree. I was not able to get a photo of him as we were already on the main road and past him. I would have loved to been able to get a photo of him.

So yesterday was a good day even though my self imposed work schedules and deadlines did not get completed as I had hoped. Instead I took time to enjoy God's beautiful creation and I think that pleased Him.

Have a great day and remember to enjoy the small butterfly that crosses your path or the magnificent bald eagle when you have a chance. Don't take these wonders for granted.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting a late start today...

Working as hard as I have the last 2 days to play catch up has caught up to me. I am getting a pretty late start today. My plan, originally, was to do the same amount of work on the 2 quilts as I have the last 2 days, but I think that might be a bit too ambitious for me today. I have been putting 4 bobbins worth of quilting into the Grandmother's flower garden quilt and then quilting on the other one for about 1 1/2 hours. Too much. If I am able to keep up that pace I figured I would have both done by the end of the week, but my new plan will allow me to finish the one on Lola today and I will work on the other after that for as long as I am able. If I get it done on schedule, great if not I will just keep plugging away.

I figured out approximately how many hours it will take to complete this quilt. I am winding 7 bobbins at a time. I have just finished putting 13 bobbins in to it. At around bobbin #11 it looked like I was about half way done. So I have approximately 9 more bobbins to go. It takes just under 1 hour to use up a bobbin. So if I use 22 bobbins it will have taken 22 hours to quilt it. If my calculations are right, if I added 3 more bobbins a day I still could get it done by the end of the week. That is a lot of time and work put into the quilting of one quilt. So you can see part of the expense that goes into the making of a quilt. We all want to find a bargain but think about the hours that someone put into something handcrafted and don't begrudge them their livelyhood. I won't even earn minimum wage on this one.

On to a more cheerful note, I am going to call my step-sister today and set up a fabric dyeing play date. She wasn't able to come a couple weeks ago and so we are going to get together for a little fun.

Have a great day and don't let deadlines or schedules rule you. You rule them. They are there as tools to help us, use them to your advantage and don't become a slave to them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Playing catch up...

Today's post will not only divulge those things that I finished in my catch up game but also several things that I forgot to mention too. First of all, I set my goal yesterday to quilt until I got 4 bobbins worth of quilting in the Grandmother's flower garden quilt since I didn't get any work done on it over the weekend. I kept track of how long it took me to finish off a bobbin. I averaged just around one hour per bobbin, that is pretty intense quilting too. So after the first 2 bobbins I took a lunch break and after lunch I loaded another quilt on Lola's frame (my longarm).
Here is a peak at that quilt.
I figured that I could get some more relaxing quilting done in between the intense sessions on the other quilt. That was a really good idea. I finished up the other 2 bobbins by about 4:30 and quilted on Lola until supper time. I was able to get about 1/3 of that quilt done. Woo Hoo. If I can crank out about the same today, I will be able to have some time to work on some of my own pieces by the end of the week. I am so excited. So this is one thing that I got caught up on.

I forgot to mention yesterday in my post that I took some time to enjoy the meteor shower Sunday night. I took a blanket out and laid down in the driveway away from the lights and studied the sky for glimpses of shooting stars. I saw 6. They were pretty spectacular. The sky started getting clouded over after about 45 minutes and I could not see many stars then and I was getting cold so I headed back in. To look up into the sky and contemplate the vastness of the universe, I don't understand how anyone could still deny that God exists. It's just amazing.

Now on to the story that I promised you yesterday on how God provides. Late Saturday evening, I was talking to God and said to Him, "You know I sent 2 quilts back to there owner's this week and I haven't gotten any more in to do." Usually, I get one in for everyone that leaves the house finished. Well, I had been gone most of Saturday and I never looked at the answering machine when I got home. Sunday morning as I was getting dressed for church, I noticed that the light on the answering machine was blinking. I pushed the play button and it was a previous customer saying that she had a quilt she would like quilted and proceeded to give me the dimensions of it, then she said that she also had another one and also gave me the dimensions of that one. Immediately, I did a little woo hoo, woo hoo dance and thanked God for the provision. I was sharing this with a quilting friend before church and she said isn't that amazing how specific God gets with us, that the customer even mentioned the sizes on the answering machine. I thought about it for a second and said you know God is amazing. Those are nearly the same sizes of the 2 quilts that I finished and returned last week. Isn't God truly amazing. I am down to 4 customer quilts and I was getting a little concerned that I wouldn't have any income once I had those 4 done. No! God is good and He is helping me to pace myself and still have time to do the other things that I need to do. God gives us spectacular shows in nature to enjoy and He provides our needs too. How awesome is that?

Well, now it is time for me to go and play some more catch up games in my studio. So have a great day and be on the look out for how God meets your every need.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thank God for weekends...

This weekend a lot of projects got done between friends and family. First of all, I finished these pillows up Friday evening. This blue and white Hawaiian applique is for the bedroom.
It will go with the new quilt so well. It should as I used the same fabrics.

The redwork pillow is for the couch in the living room now I just need to get the redwork wallhanging quilted so I can hang it up.
This is a free pattern that was offered on by Alex Anderson.

On Saturday, I went to Tina's house to help her and Essie paint barn signs. Have you seen the big painted quilt blocks hanging on the sides of barns? Well that is what we were doing. Essie got the plywood, had it cut so they were 4' X 4', primered them ahead of time so that we were ready to draft out the designs and start painting. Essie wanted to do flying geese and use the color salmon to honor her mother. She was so animated as she added the colors and just loved the whole process. Here she is working on it and admiring the colors, they worked so well together.
Here is her finished block.
Isn't it gorgeous? She did a great job.

When Tina told me she was going to be making a sign too I asked her what block she would be doing and before she even answered me I knew what she was going to say. The Lone Star is her favorite, she has made this so many times over and here she knocked it out of the park again.
She used her favorite football team's colors and it turned out beautiful.
She even has it hung already, the over-achiever that she is. LOL. Doesn't it look fantastic on her barn?
She even put another coat of stain on the barn door before she hung the sign so she wouldn't have to take it down later to do it.
During the entire painting process we kept saying "You won't be able to see that going by at 55 MPH." But I know you won't see any mistakes going by at 10 MPH either. They both turned out so clean and crisp and guess who will be making one very soon. Yep, I want one too. I have decided to do....Drum Roll please....A Mariner's Compass....It will go on DH's workshop and that was the first quilt I made for him, A Mariner's Compass.

My mother-in-law moved back in with us over the weekend so she has been trying to get settled in. We went to church together and on the way home I got a text from DS saying he was back up here this weekend as he had plumbing problems at his apartment so he and his sweetest ever girlfriend were able to come have lunch with us at a local restaurant. He fixed grandma's TV for her and fixed a picture frame that he made too. So all in all, a lot of people got a lot of minor and bigger projects done. Also last evening M-i-l got involved in a sewing project for a dear friend of hers so she did some creative work too.

Today, I am going to try to put 4 bobbins into that large quilt I am quilting since I did not work on it over the weekend at all. I also plan to put another quilt on the longarm frame so that when I need a break from the intense quilting of the big quilt, I can do some loose less intense quilting.

I have a wonderful story to tell you but I will leave that till tomorrow as this post is getting a bit lengthy as it is so come back tomorrow to find out how God provides for our needs.

Have a great day and remember to acknowledge all of those small tasks that you get done here and there. They might not look like they are anything great but when you add them all up you see a great accomplishment that occurs when all of these smaller accomplishments are combined together.