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I’ve Finally Done it!!!

So, remember how it’s now the END of May, and remember how I told you at the end of LAST YEAR that I was going to go through and set my quilting goals for this year.  Yeah, well, it has FINALLY happened…  I understand if your enthusiasm is mock, but in my defense, the year did not start all that smoothly.

So let’s just say that by the end of 2015, my goals were a mess.  No where near where I wanted to be, but my life is so much different than it was at the start of 2015, that is mildly understandable.  This year, my quilting goals are just that, and life goals, well, that is still to be sorted out…:)  Someday, I will get there, I’m sure of it!

Today, I have IMG_3473finished the top of my Niece’s graduation quilt, it goes with me to long-arming on June 2.    That I showed you in my last blog.

I have finished the top of my Shine quilt…  OMG, I have to show you my Shine quilt!  So, the photo is not that good, and I apologize for that, but, I’m not shooting for a monetized blog here, just mostly personal memories.  So this Shine quilt won’t really be complete until the quilting is done, but it was inspired by a song by the band, Transatlantic.  I have had this in my head for almost a year, and took the last few days to get it out.  The quilting will really tell the story, though.  I’m excited to get it done, I’m not sure if it will go with me to the long-armer or if I will just try to do it here on the domestic, but either way, I feel like it’s pretty epic.

Here I am a page in, and haven’t talked a bit about my goals, but I’m telling you all of the back story because I hit a lull this morning, I have the major things that I wanted to get done recently finished, and so when I sat down in my studio today, I was like where next.  Time to re-evaluate.  So with no further ado, my 2016 Quilting goals!

  1.  All of my deadlined work, that at this point includes the graduation quilt, and my youngest nephew’s 3rd birthday quilt (not until next April, but planning ahead), and then any orders I get, which right now includes a set of Mario and Luigi crib quilts for a set of twins due in July.
  2. Get all of my closet quilts (which at last count was 8…  oy) quilted.  They don’t all have to be bound and tagged, but I want them quilted by the end of the year.
  3. Glass-Half Full kit, I want to get that one made, it seems to be the simplest of the kits that I have right now, and I want to get those on the move.:)
  4. Moda Modern Building Blocks.  That seems to be a stretch-goal.  I don’t know if at this point (when I have 2, count them 2 blocks done) can I finish this top by the end of the year, but I will give it a shot, as it has been on my goals board for almost 2 1/2 years now.

And that, my friends, is it.  It doesn’t seem like much, but considering that I only have a half of the year to work on them, AND that they are pretty involved, each of them, I think it’s enough for now.  I think today would be a good day to make some Needle catches.  I’m off.

Until next time…

Piece!

 

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A Big Finish

Yesterday I finished the top of a big project.  It was a project I had done twice before, it’s kinda my go-to now.  I have posted about it here, here, here, and here before. This time, I basically made it twice, and sewed the two together so that it would fit on a Twin X-Long, so that if my niece so chooses, it shall fit on her college dorm bed.

I used a cool science-y fabric bundle from Gotham Quilts on a background of AMB #06-Grey.  My niece is thinking of going into something in the science/medical field, besides, she’s geeky like my husband and I are, so I am hoping that even though it’s not necessarily her favorite colors, that the subject matter will win her over.  This project is probably the biggest one that I have done to date, I believe.  It measures 66×108!

IMG_3456Please excuse the low-quality photo.  I had nowhere to put this huge thing besides on my bed, and as you can see, it didn’t fit there very well either.  The greens photographed “hotter” than they actually are, as well.  I was having this problem all through-out the photography process.  So next, I have to make a back for this monster and then long-arm it.  I have a half-day appointment for long arming next week, and one the start of June, I haven’t decided yet which session I am going to quilt this one in, it may all depend on what I decide to do for the back.  I do have my binding already, I’m doing the orange screen fabric.  I have half yard cuts of all of the fabrics left-over, so I might just start there, and go from there.  I know I’m going to need a HUGE back.  I also have to figure out if I can load the quilt long ways, so that the quilting goes up and down.  That’s my quilting vision right now.

I have 8, yes, that’s right, 8 quilt tops that need to be quilted right now.  So, I think it might be time to start the subscription long-arm quilting.  Especially since I have at least 3 more tops that I am going to make in the next few months.

So it’s time to move on to the next one!  Now to decide which one…

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On the Nature of Things

So here we are, hurtling closer to the mid-point of the year, and I haven’t blogged in two months.  I never even blogged my start of the year goals, heck, I never even blogged my end of the year goal wrap-up from last year.

Do I have excuses, of course, am I going to make them.  No…  I will say that the last couple of days of March and almost all of April were a swirling hot-mess of hospital, funeral, death and grief.  My father-in-law passed on April 20 after a harrowing fight consisting of 26 days in the ICU.  It was a long and difficult process for the whole family.  I am just now starting to come out of the fog of emotional and physical exhaustion, and the process is really just starting for my husband, his mom, and his brother and sister.

But there were many blessings during that time, my husband got to be with our niece when she found out about her  Ivy League university acceptance, we got to spend time with and know the family in a more real way and we are able to move forward into the continuing difficult days as a single unit.  It is also working to hone my faith in God and that of my husband.

I started long-arming, which I believe I mentioned earlier in the year.  I have had two sessions now, and have been able to finish one of the quilts.  The other has binding on it, ready to be turned.  In the many days I spent waiting in the hospital waiting rooms, I was able to turn two quilts, my first long armed one and a second baby quilt that I quilted quickly while I was home between trips I am starting to hack away at my “tops finished” list, but there are still about 10 to get to, not to mention my next two to-do’s which more information will follow about shortly, but for now, let’s just say one has to be done by graduation season!!!  Luckily I have two long-arming sessions before my niece’s graduation.  Hopefully a half-day will be enough to finish the gianormity that I am making is done!  I know the top will go fast, it is about a quarter finished, just after 1 day of working.  I should only have a couple of days more to go one it before the pieces are done, and one more for me to put it together.

Ok, so I just wanted to get checked in, now I am off to work on graduation quilt!  Take Care out there and Piece!

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A Partial…

So I got my blocks done on my Je Suis Charlie quilt!  I chain pieced this whole bad boy, which meant it took for freaking EVER at the start, but the blocks came together pretty quickly at the end. The only bad part was some of my seams could have been pressed apart better. But it still turned out pretty well. 

At this point, I am contemplating borders. I put it on Facebook, and everyone thinks they are an artist, so I’ve gotten a lot of opinions. I pretty much knew what I wanted to do, I mostly put it out there for people to see what I’m working on.  

 

I have my long arming time coming up next week. I have picked out my charity quilt top to be quilted, and I have backing for it already, yay!  Now I just have to clean up my studio enough to get those pressed and squared up.  It has been a struggle to get into my studio and do sewing as I have all of my paperwork in there. I always seem to get distracted by paper…  

Paper, paper, paper…  Maybe I should paper-piece my next quilt…  That might get me actually sewing. 😌

Free Motion Life

I took my first dip into long-arm quilting yesterday. I did my intro course at a long arm studio that rents long arm machine time. It is a cool concept for those of us who want to complete our quilts but don’t have the space or money to buy our own long arm. 

It was so much fun and I have my first studio time in 3 weeks. I am going to all-over quilt one of the about 10 tops that I have in my closet done.   I just have to decide for sure which one it shall be. I think I might be able to get 2 done in my 2nd half-day. They are small. They will be easy. I am excited. 

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5 Years and a Big Sigh

So, yesterday was a day I have been looking at on a calendar for several months…  Oh gosh, that day is coming up.  I have panicked, I have cried, I have been excited, I have been all those things at once.  Now that it’s over, I have been humbled.  My church is doing something big.  We are trying something, that I don’t know is being done in many other places.  We have a Food Program, not a Food Pantry, and I find myself as the coordinator somehow.:)  Well I thought that it might be a good idea to host a program that included a dinner last night.  When we firs planned on having it in like, October, it seemed like no big deal, I had plenty of time.  I had lots of ideas…  As the day came closer and I realized that there was more to go into it, I freaked out.  I tried to plan, I felt like I couldn’t plan, no one was coming, my helper dropped out, it was turning into a hot mess.

I could feel that this was a test.  This was a growth experience…  This was one of those steps that I needed to take and knew I was taking it.  I had to trust that this was going to be what it was, I also had to trust that God was going to make this work in the way it was supposed to work.  I knew that my trust, faith, patience, and resolve were being tested, and they were going to be stretched though this experience.  And all those things happened, but I decided to let it go, to trust that what was supposed to happen would, and it turned out better than I ever imagined it could.  So yes, it was worth it.  Hard, but worth it.

On a completely different note, today marks our little Pixel’s 5 year Adoptiversary.

She has been sleeping on the furniture since day 1, and we have the photo proof for it.  Pixel came into our lives two months after our first fur baby, Po passed away suddenly at only 2 1/2.  We were nervous about getting another dog, afraid she might be sick like our first one, but we needed to fill that hole in our home.  We were also passionate about rescuing.  Now that we’ve done it twice, we are COMPLETELY passionate about it.  We will always rescue from now on.  We are also sold on our Pibbles.  It was a great decision our little girl made 5 years ago to adopt us, I’m glad she found us.

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It’s Slipping Away…

So I promised that I would get a post up recapping my 2015 goals and setting my goals for 2016, and I said as long as I got it up by my Birthday, I would be fine…  Well, my birthday is tomorrow, and not only have I not set goals for 2016, but I just BARELY looked at my 2015 goals…  UGH UGH UGH.  Time is going so fast this year already.  I keep moving from one thing to the next, but it seems like time passes far quicker that way!  So anyway…

Ok, let’s pull up those 2015 goals yet again, shall we?

1.  I want to teach at least one class this year, I’m not sure where or how, but I want to get that in somehow.  This didn’t end up happening, I was in the process of putting together a group of ladies to form a guild (see Goal #2) and teaching group, but it turned out to be more work than the other lady I was talking to could handle, understandably.

2.  I need to find a new guild.  Mine is in the process of dissolving, and I am not going to be attending this year.  Also didn’t happen, (see Goal #1).

3.  Make a quilt for my Aunt.  She always gets me something great for Christmas and I never expect that she is going to do it.  This year she sent me a beautiful flower arrangement.  I not only have to send her a Thank You note, but next year I am going to be ready with something really nice! :)  Now trending, “This didn’t happen either”, however, it is because I made a quilt for my Uncle, her husband, when he was going through chemo and radiation.  He keeps it on the end of his bed.  That’s kinda cute.

4.  Make at least 2 quilts for charity.  I made 5 this year, 4 went to the Visiting Nurses, and 1 for an adopted family.  I also actually sent 2 to a family whose house burned down.  So from 7 to 2 seems like a bit of a let-down, but 2 were already finished and 2 were from fabric kits from my guild.  Did it happen, I mean, technically, no.  I did completely finish one and I have 4-5 tops that need to be quilted.

5.  Spend more time in my studio sewing and designing.  I spend time in there paying bills, wrapping gifts, watching Netflix, etc, but I want all of that to be out of my studio activities.  Since my husband went all out and got me a new laptop (blogging from it now), and EQ7 for Christmas, I really want to get the most use out of them.  I have a few ideas of quilts that I want to design, and I have figured out the basics of EQ7, so here I go…  This I actually have done for most of the year, that is until I took my volunteer position at church, but now that it is slowing a bit, I can start to focus on a little more life balance.  I had been down to just Etsy work and volunteering, I can add a little bit of fun quilting and design.  I also made an effort to make my studio more streamlined for creativity, and not outside work with organizing my office stuff into drawers, etc.  Soon, my husband will be moving to his man-cave downstairs and we will be making his current office into a guestroom/office, so I will be moving ALL of the office-y things out of my studio and into the office (YAY!), so it should be even easier to keep my studio just a studio.

6.  Make an apple core quilt.  Maybe it will be one of my charity quilts, and it will probably be scrappy, but I got the apple core die for my Go Baby! last year, and I am itching to use it!    So I did start this.  I cut a bunch of Apple Cores with my Go Baby! from scraps, and I got about 2 rows sewn.  I also kinda realized how much I hated sewing curves, but now that I’m doing Leaders and Enders, I should probably dig those cut cores back out and throw them in my L&E basket.

7.  Finish Plain and Fancy.  This I am happy to say that I have finished, topping at least, I am still thinking on whether I should send it out to be quilted or try to quilt it myself.  I’m leaning toward the former, but have made no solid decisions as of yet.

8.  Moda Modern Building Blocks, I just want to figure out how I can do it from my stash. :) Well, I only had to add a little bit of fabric to what was already in my stash, and I have actually started work on it.  However, I JUST started work on it, and I only have 2 blocks done.  I am doing it with all Fig Tree fabrics from a couple of different coordinating lines.  I am psyched with the fabric choices thus far, and I think the quilt is going to turn out beautifully when it is done…  Now to quit blogging and actually sew…  ;)

9.  Buy less fabric, and not be afraid to cut the fabric that I do have.  I have a ton of fabric that I LOVE, so I need to just use it!  So by and large, I did not add too much to my stash that wasn’t for a specific project.  I did buy a few kits that were on super clearance right before Christmas, I gave 1 to my mom as a Christmas gift and kept the rest, but I those will eventually be gifts.  I do have two bundles of some killer stuff that I want to work into a quilt.  I just need to figure out some patterns!  I also have got to start buying smaller scale prints!:)  I always buy the large scale prints, and then I’m stuck with all large scale prints, so I can’t work solely out of my stash unless I do some big chunky simple patterns!

So seeing as I actually finished very few of my goals this year, what did I do, and what does that mean?  Well, for starters, I finished a quilt for a 3-year old, one for my Uncle, sold around 15 quilts, totally rearranged and revamped my studio and reorganized everything (which I am actually in the process of doing again), survived a snowpocalyptic winter, made a gift for my husband, and for a wedding, went to the World Series, and at least 3 distinct vacations.  Yeah, I guess I did accomplish a few things.

Next time, Goals for 2016.  I learned from 2015 that I need to make fewer of them!  More manageable!:)

Until then, Piece!