Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That

On Saturday morning I took a Cathedral Window workshop at Jinny Beyer's Studio in Great Falls, VA. For some strange reason, I was totally in the dark on cathedral windows until this past Spring, so when Jinny's newsletter mentioned a hand sewing class for 3 hours, I thought 'what have I got to lose? sign me up'.

 Let me tell you what I liked about the class....we all made this one block in class. Everyone finished it. And that was it.....Brilliant!  If I have the urge to continue on to a wall hanging, or a pillow, or a queen size quilt, I can add on to this.  If I just want a mug rug, I'm golden. I learned something, I finished something, and I don't feel obligated to continue. Best of all, I don't have another UFO to add to the growing pile of unfinished class projects.  All classes should be like this...a mini-project that you can finish before the end of the class.

And because I was all the way out at Jinny Beyer's (seriously, it takes me like 35 minutes to drive there), I HAD to purchase fabric. That orange print really grabbed me, so I picked up it's brother from another mother to go with it. And all through class I was staring at this fabulous tote bag made from a Bali Pop, so I had to have the pattern to make one for myself.

Okay, so with that out of my system, I came home and sewed a bunch of varied-width strips together for Jenifer's 72" Halloween table runner. I was thinking maybe cutting off  a couple of strips, sewing on a border and then reattaching the strips. I'll figure something out tomorrow.

Instead of returning to that project today, I gave some thought to the jelly roll quilt I'm going to make with my sister and her quilting friend. We were going to do the Jelly Roll Race quilt but that is just so gosh darn boring, so now I've decided to do the 3 Dudes jelly roll quilt. Of course, there's no explicit instructions for this one regarding yardage and finished size and cutting borders, so I think I'm going to have to pretty much make the pieced top in advance so I can tell them what they need to purchase for borders and binding.
My sister and I had Jinny Beyer pixie strip rolls tor this, so of course I had to obsess over which strips to sew together, so I probably spent an hour laying strips next to each other to come up with little 4-packs to work with. Once I had those sorted, they went back in the basket and I switched gears.

 I pulled out the basket with Gyleen Fitzgerald's Summer Camp quilt that I started back in June or July.

  And I sewed together all those little squares that I hadn't done before I left for Portland
And then, because I was feeling a little claustrophobic last week and took the design wall down, I tried to lay it all on the floor to figure out how I was going to put it all together (and yes, Gyleen had a plan for assembly, but I'm not enamored with the layout or the finished size, so I'm trying to apply some alterations.)
And that's my quilting life for the past couple days...scattered, as usual. How's your project progress? Are you on the straight and narrow?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Get More Sewing Done at Work Than I Do At Home

I had to go in to my office today to attend a meeting his afternoon. Since I wouldn't have time to run out at lunch, I brought a salad and some sewing to amuse myself.

The Jingle quilt has been up on the design wall for a few weeks now, and I've had a lot of time to scrutinize every little stitch and applique piece.

This is the center medallion.  See the little leaves on the pomegranates? Notice how they kiss each other?

 Well, I must have been sucking down frozen drinks on the cruise ship....or maybe it was the martinis in my hotel room in Portland....or it could have possibly been the vodka rocks on the plane ride home where those fool asphalt salesmen were throwing a party in the row behind me and up and down the aisle....at any rate, look at how far apart the leaves are on this area.

It was quite obvious that half the leaves had been sewn on properly, the other half...well, not so much.

So during my lunch break on Monday I picked out stitches and managed to resew those leaves to make everything close together and uniform.

Yay me! Another accomplishment. I also managed to get my mailbox all straightened out now, too...it really was a productive day at work. I should go in to the office on Monday more often (Not!).

Moving right along...I wonder what will be a good Tuesday project? Maybe you've got a handwork project that you could chip away at during your lunchbreak too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hubs-less Weekend

The hubs was away at a softball tournament this weekend. You would think that I would have managed to finish 7 or 8 quilts while he was gone, but noooooooooo.

I'm not a fan being by myself, I need someone to talk at (which is what I do mostly to the hubs, at least that's his claim for why he can't remember what I've told him). For the most part, the dogs serve this purpose, but unless there's a deer or a bunny out back, or a kid on a bike out front, they tend to be about as participatory in a conversation as the hubs so I usually invite someone over who can carry on a conversation.

On Friday I decided to have the Happy Hour ladies over for dinner again (I had a few of them over last weekend when 3 of us were softball widows for the night).  On Friday, I cleaned the house and got everything ready for dinner--pumpkin soup, kale salad, hot crusty bread and plenty of wine. After opening the wine bottles,, fanning out the 'Eat, Drink and Be Witchy' cocktail napkins, and setting the table for dinner, I ran upstairs for a quick shower. On the way past the studio, I popped in to take one last look at my work emails.

And then, in a fraction of a second with some weird Mojo touch on the work laptop's keypad, I somehow managed to delete my ENTIRE work Outlook inbox. Something in the neighborhood of 1400 or so messages I'd been too lazy to slip into file folders for the past year were now co-mingled with the 2400 or so messages that were already in my deleted items. Great!

What to do? It's 6:00 p.m. and my guests will start arriving at 7:00. The first thing that came to mind  was to quickly transfer, before I could permanently delete,  those 3800 messages from deleted items into my inbox and sort through them later....MUCH LATER!

And then I took a shower and made myself a martini and switched into 'Ladies Night-Let's All Drink Copious Amounts of Red Wine and Forget About The Horror Awaiting in Our Outlook Inbox' mode.

The last of my guests left just past midnight, so after cleaning the kitchen (for the second time in 12 hours), I went to bed...avoiding the studio where the dreaded Inbox full of Deleted Items was waiting.
In fact, to further refuse to face reality,  the dogs and I stayed in bed until very late Saturday morning (10 am), which was quite miraculous because those yappy little monsters are usually pawing at my head, demanding their breakfast by 7 am at the latest.

When I did drag myself (kicking and screaming) back upstairs to the studio later that afternoon, I spent a couple of hours sorting through emails, and then made myself pin the fabric choices for Jingle that had arrived Friday afternoon on the design wall--just so I could say I did something quilty.

I pretty much ruled out the gold holly print right off the bat. I didn't even bother to photograph it. It was that wrong.

And while I thought I was going to go with the red holly print with a green flange for a more subdued Christmas quilt...
the longer I looked at the obvious Christmas-in-your-face green holly print with the gold flange, the more it grew on me (it was also the favored choice of my Facebook friends).

And that's my weekend...no actual sewing happened, but I did make a decision related to quilting, so I'm going to count that as progress made and feel good about it. (Though I'm not going to feel good about that Inbox for another couple of days--sigh.)

Enjoy your week (and remember to clean up your deleted files regularly).