Here we go again…. Monday

I have been working hard on my January projects. I have been slowly spending a little time daily on the great reorganization project 2015 where we are rearranging furniture and making the music room and Quilting room more useable. I have been sorting through papers and filing them in the filing cabinet. We have the big pieces of furniture moved. We are focusing on the music room first because it needed the  bed moved into it. Painting and trim work will be coming up in there! I am so happy because this has been a long process to get to this point and can see light at the end of the tunnel. I am finding lots of dusty things under furniture that hasn’t been moved in a while …yuck. Now the house doesn’t feel so dusty!

This week I am focusing on storage solutions for my fabric and preparing for a cutting table/workbench to be moved in. I will still sew in the dining room but the quilting room will have all the fabric, storage and ironing board too. I have a small house so getting all this in one room is a big accomplishment. Overall, the overflow area with my quilts is the front porch and that will be in better shape because of the added totes filled with my trunk show. We may actually be able to use the space more.

I have to say that I am feeling very good about it all. Deadlines include me hosting quilt group in March and my husband starts highland games practice as soon as the weather breaks so time will be limited on DIY projects. We will be in good shape I do believe to get it finished. He has been a workhorse. Thanks so much to his hard work!

And I would be remiss without some pictures….2015-01-26 18.54.31

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nope no pictures of the great reorganization project but a sneak peak at a completed  quilt that just came off the long arm frame….. one of my favorite stitches in my favorite color on a fabulous fabric.

And a couple of pictures of a Robert Burns Dinner we attended on Saturday. I love this event, it is a time to hear Celtic music, hear poetry being read, listening to bagpipes and see Highland dancers. We dressed with our tartans displayed, had a wonderful dinner and celebrated all things Scottish. Of course,  there was Haggis, but I passed on it and had Bangers and Mash.

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Vicki

 

Living in denial so living it up

2015-01-19 08.32.23 I have sewed these little 3.5 inch blocks this am. They are part of a block I am testing for Quiltmaker 100 block magazine. I sew lots of these test blocks over the year so I stack them up in my orphan block bag. I have quite a few now, and I need to make a few tops out of them and go hog wild on my long arm quilting. Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

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This weekend we picked up a waistcoat styled vest for my husband from his kiltmaker and she had this bundle for me. I am in a quilters dream, I have so many ideas for quilts and things to make with these scraps. And lunch with them and some of our friends in SE Michigan was nice. We also saw my parents, sister and nephew on Sunday. I was happy to see everyone.

Overall, I really feel like I am behind. I hope to change that this week. I am spending today sewing and quilting on dead lined projects. Work will sort it self out over the next two months and I am thinking it won’t change for me after all the talk and worry. I am happy about that.

I am just pretending that the van repair won’t be a big deal. I am spending today indulging my creative process , getting my hair cut, quilting and maybe a little cleaning. After all, we have to make every day be special regardless of bad transmissions, winter, money and sickness (in my friends and family). I choose to make today a special one, just because. Tomorrow I am sure that reality will be all to clear when I get back to work and the mechanic calls.

Vicki

a typical week in January

2015-01-14 20.39.22 I decided that January should be the month to work on UFO, catch up and clean the slate of customer quilts. I have been working on this star Block of the month kit quilt. And when I have a final pressing, bam, one of the wedges is not right. I have been debating on taking it apart or leaving it. I may just leave it because the fabrics are pretty close in value. Ugh and this has been my week. The harder I work the more behind I get.

2015-01-11 17.31.47This block went together a little bit better (points aren’t perfect so I was a little bit sad ) and it shows the completed quilt on the cover of the pattern. I love it and don’t know why it is taking me this long to move on this quilt. I have to get it done. I bought a new Janome machine and there is a little bit of a learning curve with this simple yet wonderful machine and paper piecing is a newer thing on it this month.

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2015-01-12 11.03.25 Monday was a long day. We spent the day in the surgical waiting room. I knitting and took pictures that were inspiring for quilts. I love the wavy texture and color placement. The mural is cool.  It was many hours of waiting with other family members who were tired and stressed. I was so appalled at peoples behaviors, it never ceases to amaze me. One family didn’t follow the rules of 2 people only. Another lady had a blanket and pillow. She spread out all over a couch. She got up for an hour and when returned her blanket and pillow had been removed by staff. She was mad that her seat wasn’t saved. Ya real grown behavior. Yikes what is this country coming to. By the way, my mother in law had her bilateral mastectomy and is home healing. Now the flurry of follow up appointments to come.

2015-01-13 07.39.34 2015-01-13 07.39.47 Here is Tues Am. It is nearly -20 F. Life really slows down here. Everything is more difficult. My car started. My body ached and I can’t breathe when it is this cold. I am so glad that today it is 20 above zero.

I did get started on the great organization project. Some furniture is moved, some stuff is being sorted and an overall game plan is being made by my husband and I. I am to a point I just want it done before Highland games start again in the spring.

Off to test some blocks and get a quilt pressed for long arming.

And I have my day job to squeeze in the work day too.

Vicik

Storm is over!

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Today the snow storm has stopped. See the banks and whats on top of the still frozen van? It kept me home yesterday. But today,  the clouds started to break up and the clean up is underway. Its the little things today that make me happy. We were able to get the snow moved to take delivery on a new matress set. Yay, the old one was over 20 years old. Maybe we will feel better with improved sleep.

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The sun started  to shine. The house had been cleaned and the Christmas  tree is down….time to sew in great lighting. It has been a long time with poor sun and it gets really, really old.

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I have been making small blocks. I have  this block made from a block of the month that I got out to finish this afternoon. It felt good to work on this ufo. I have a few to do this winter, some larger finishes  than others.

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Here is a bitty block. Quiltmaker magazine is sharing the free pattern as a block of the month at their blog http://www.quiltypleasures.com , join me for these little 3.5 in blocks they are addicting!!!!

So its sll about the little things today,  both quilt blocks and simple pleasures.

Vicki

Lemons=lemonaide

Yes we all know the saying that when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade. But since I returned from our trip at Christmas time, life is giving me nothing but crap on a stick. I shall call it Craptuary not January .

Hey this is how it went— we left Virginia Beach in bumper to bumper traffic for hours. The weather held until we got to  our home on exit 279 on I-75 when it started to snow. It’s been cold. Sub Zero and windy with some snow ever since our vacation. Life has become a Darwinian experience trying to drive to work and get things accomplished that needs to be done in this cold sluggish weather.
Our son drove back to college last weekend and I was anxious mama bear. Overall work has been difficult with lots of changes and unkowns and my husband is working 10 to 12 hours every day in this miserable weather. We all came back from our vacation with a cold that seems to be lingering and making life difficult. And then the winter storms. The van has had problems in the past with the transmission, and currently the transmission is frozen solid.  We are down to one car and  I’m working in 2 cities 40 miles apart. My husband has no transportation home. Blah.

The snow becomes problematic and tomorrow they’re forecasting a blizzard-like conditions. So my husband gets home from work last night and he has troubles starting the snow blower and on the last pull it starts, however, the pull cord snaps in the cold temperature.

All this to say the January has been Craptuary. Next week my mother in law has double mastectomy with a cancer diagnosis,  this is also been stress in the background. Winter is nothing that we can’t get through because we do this every year, however, January seems to pile up all the years trouble until one month and then it becomes crap on a stick.

We can solve the cold weather problems one by one.  I have decided to take that crap on a stick and place it in the snow bank,  smile and go make myself a cup of hot chocolate. Or maybe eat some peanut butter and Hershey’s kisses.

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Vicki

Snowballs and Economy

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I have been thinking about what I want to do this year in my quilting goals. I have a couple of quilts to bind and a few tops to long arm. I have several blocks made to put together 2 or 3 tops.  I have no new big ideas brewing so I was thrilled the that the local quilt shop is having a Snowball block exchange. I only have to make 20 and they mix up the blocks and I get 20 back. Easy, instant gratification and in my favorite color palate– blues and whites. This is a nice way to ease back into sewing after having several weeks off due to the holidays. They are 7 inch blocks so maybe the snowballs will be the center of a star.

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I have 4 Economy blocks to make for quilt group. Yes, the lone anti joiner has found a group of friends, not a guild, that I have been part of for a year. Wow, huh.

These economy blocks are 6 inch paper pieced blocks. This is a block lotto, winner takes all for those in the group who participate. The host likes using Vellum paper and gave me a few to try. I have decided that I like paper piecing papers because I like to steam my blocks. It is much easier to see the fabrics on Vellum but the slippery paper and curling edges are problematic for me.

Winter is back so hibernation mode is on. Football is over for my college and pro teams. I guess that means I need to start organizing my house on top of the usual stuff. Yawn, boring but necessary.

This is my first full week of work in a month so I am expecting it to feel extra long and extra annoying because I have to drive in this extra crappy snowy weather. I am not bitter about winter or the fact work wants me to drive 40 miles or more to work in other offices. It is reality, winter can be pretty draining and difficult in itself. That’s why quilting, exercise, music and Zentangle gets me through!

Vicki

New Years

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What is New Year’s day without football , Chili and time to think about what resolutions to make for this year. I still have some of the same resolutions from last year to carry over- get organized, lose weight, try to sell a pattern but I have made strides in all departments but I dont think these are attainable in a year,  looking back now. My house and sewing room is always a work in progress for organizing. I have lost 15 pounds and I am going to continue to work on that. Patterns, well that may be a lifetime project to be self published as I have had several rejections on book pitches this year  as well as magazine rejections.

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So with these ongoing goals listed above, what are some resolutions for this year? Hmmmm, I need it to be simple,  so here goes :
1. Get to the gym 3 or more times a week which is doable.
2. Enter in the Grand Rapids quilt show
3. Read the hobbit and Lor trilogy

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Thats it. My job is up in the air again with what office I will be in. Commuting eats up my free time and project time. I am not going to make this lofty or too stressful. If I have customer quilts that’s great , and  if I have time to write a pattern I may try to send it off to a magazine. But overall, I need to take better care of myself and learn to relax more. I am just going to settle in and take it as it comes.

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Happy 2015 everyone, it should be a wonderful year.

Vicki