Quilt National 2015

I’m heading out this morning to go to Quilt National at The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio. We’ve gone for years now and have a whole list of places we love to stop at on the way there and back.
I believe there is also a SAQA exhibit at or near the OU campus, which is also on our list.
For the first time in all the years we’ve gone, it will not be 100 degrees this weekend. We usually pick the most miserably hot weekend to go, but not on purpose. It just always worked out that way.
Hope there is some quilty fun in your weekend too.

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What If Wednesday – Momentum

Last week we left off with the concept of a daily task list as an organization tool to free up more time to do the things you love. The goal here is to build a life full of joy, energy, health and creativity.
The daily task list has worked better than anticipated. I’m amazed at how much I’ve accomplished in the past week and a half, way beyond my expectations. I’ve made more progress at work and on one particular home goal than I have with the sewing, but at least I am sewing. I figure different areas will take the leading role at different times. Unless I abandon a focus area, it should all even out.
I’m also surprised at how forward movement created a lot of momentum. Once things started moving, they took on a life of their own.
Momentum is a funny thing though. You can ride the wave for a while, but eventually you either hit the beach or need a break. When things happen fast, you need time to absorb, adjust and regroup. As much as I would love to run at the top of my game 24/7, rest is required. A little down time goes a long way.
So where do we go from here?
Since it’s so close to month-end, I’ll align The Short List and the daily task list as part of the creation of the September Short List. I plan to stick with what I’m doing at work because it’s going well. I’m in the regroup phase at home, gearing up for the next wave of that project.
I finished quilting the Craftsy class quilt and made the binding and the sleeve. I’m heading out of town Friday and want to have the binding attached so I can hand stitch in the hotel Friday night.
What if all that momentum continues? How much change can a person absorb? How fast?
Ten different people would answer those questions ten different ways. The question for each of us is how fast can we (as individuals) adapt to change? And it all comes down to how bad you want it.
I watched a friend bury her husband last weekend. He died way too young and it got me thinking that we never know what life will bring. It reminded me to keep the most important things the most important things.
That life I have pictured in my mind. I want it bad.

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Stash Report And Tension Problems

No fabric in or out this week. I’m quilting the borders on the Craftsy class quilt and expect to report that out next week.
I’m having intermittent tension problems with my machine that make no sense. It sews fine for a good stretch, and then I get loops on the back for an inch, and then it sews fine, then loops. The bad tension runs are so small and far between that it seems like a waste to rip them out. All I can figure is that I don’t run my machines enough and the sewing room has too much heat/cold/humidity/whatever and the machine doesn’t like it. Annoying.
I’m also debating whether or not to add more quilting in the blocks. I planned to echo quilt around the appliques, but I didn’t want the quilting to compete with all the color and pattern. I would like the background flatter so the appliqués stand out more. I may have to try quilting a block to see how it looks with the understanding I may have to rip it out.

quilted-bird-blockThe quilting shows in real life more so than in the picture.  I’m sure it will all work out in the end.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 8.2 yards
Fabric Out: 18.15 yards
Net Fabric Used: 9.95 yards

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Something Different

The sewing room has finally lived up to its name this week. I quilted on both the Still Life and the Craftsy Class quilts and stitched on this appliqué block.

dresden-blockI’ve worked on this block off and on for years. It will take some serious pressing to get all those wrinkles out. That’s what I get or folding it up and storing it all that time. I believe I started this project over ten years ago.

Although this quilt could be on the Short List as a UFO or an appliqué project, it isn’t. How it came to be the project of choice is a story for another post. I only have a couple more spokes to stitch down and then I can move on to the next block. I only have a few more blocks to make and I can set them into a rather large bed quilt.
That’s taking slow cloth to a whole new level.

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What If Wednesday – Quilting Consciously

Last week I posted about doing something you love every day as a means to improve the overall quality of your life. I’ve had a lean spell with quilting lately and need to get back in the habit, for my own peace of mind. I needed a plan.
My interest in this runs deeper than just the quilting. I have two other situations in my life that cause me a great deal of stress, and they both involve digging out from under an overwhelming amount of crap. I figure any process that gets me back in the sewing room can also get me out of the shit pile, so to speak.
This week I tried consciously planning my day first thing every morning. I have a work list. I have a home list. I have a sewing list. The lists are short and task oriented. If I don’t complete a task one day it moves to the next day’s list. It’s a little like The Short List, only with a narrower scope.
So far this method has worked well at the day job. I’m hit or miss at home, but the laundry is caught up mid-week, which counts for something. I sewed four of the last five days. I call that a victory.
I waste less time because I default to my small task list. I don’t have to think too hard about what to do next. I don’t drift in indecision and accomplish nothing, a subtle form of procrastination. I have focus.
Is the shit pile noticeably smaller? Pffff. As if. What took years to create cannot be shoveled away in a few days.
My stress level is down though. I don’t feel as overwhelmed because I’m doing something to change my situation. The mental game is everything.
Have I mentioned the laundry is caught up?
The next step is coordinating the monthly Short List with the daily task list so they both play nicely together. The Short List may have to take one for the team.

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Stash Report And Show Purchases

We got back from AQS Grand Rapids yesterday. The lack of a crowd or buses surprised me. It’s nice for the attendees, but can’t be good for the show. They already announced the dates for next year, but I have to wonder if they will move to another city after that.
The only trend I noticed was the dense quilting on almost every quilt. I also saw a few quilts with the white spaces quilted in colored thread that extended the pieced/appliquéd design. Although I like over-the-top quilting, I think it has its place. Just because something can be done doesn’t means it should be done.
I managed to behave myself while shopping, even though there were many good fabric deals. I find it hard to buy fabric if I don’t have a project in mind unless I really love it. I limited myself to a half yard of a black solid. I depleted my stash and seem to need it all the time, and it cost less than what the shops charge here.

AQS-purchasesI picked up the thread and lotion as planned, and also picked up a book at the $5 booth and some paints at ProChem. I had to guess at what colors I needed. The brown was a right choice and the red not so much, but that’s fine. I know I’ll use it eventually.
No fabric used this week.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 8.2 yards
Fabric Out: 18.15 yards
Net Fabric Used: 9.95 yards

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QuiltWeek Grand Rapids

We’re heading out this morning for Grand Rapids. It’s not my favorite of the large shows, but it is my favorite venue. There’s a lot of green space around the convention center. The area feels safe with lots of restaurants within walking distance. It’s a refreshing change from the concrete jungles in other large cities.
This trip is for the quilts. I have a very short shopping list of thread and hand cream. A company located in Grand Rapids vends the show and their skin care products are the best. I plan to stock up at YLI too. I’m almost out of piecing thread.
We’ll see how I do on Sunday’s stash report.

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