OK, so I said two weeks ago that I was going to quilt the baby quilt at the weekend. Well, I have done exactly this much…
I guess two blocks is better than none, and I tried out two different stitches on my sewing machine the straight quilting stitch and the built in stipple stitch.
The stipple stitch is quite nice, but it is quite small so wouldn’t be great for across a really large area. The straight stitch not so much as the fabric was bunching when I sewed towards an area I had already stitched, but pretty good considering I don’t have a walking foot for this machine yet.
The weather is finally turning cooler here. So much so that I have had to drag myself out of bed the last couple of mornings. It is however perfect weather for hand quilting as I can tuck myself under the quilt to keep warm and sew away. Even better because I am not doing so well on my no/less TV watching pledge and at least if I am watching something I can feel like I am being productive at the same time when I am hand quilting. So I rescued a half quilted quilt from the cupboard where it has been sitting since last winter, and got stuck in last night. .
It was the perfect end to a day that involved an outing to one of my favourite places – the botanic gardens. They have an auditorium there which different plant groups use for putting on shows and exhibits and yesterday it was the rose society. Here are some pics just to spread the joy. It makes me realise I need to take better care of my rose plants.
Here’s me thinking I was having a slow start to the year goal wise, and in the first month I managed to tick off one of the big ones. I now have a new job which I start in a few weeks. Doing a bit of an internal happy dance. It’s nothing super exciting, but it’s a bit more money and work that I will probably like more, in what looks like a great team. But, also celebrating the fact that I can now focus on some other stuff for the rest of the year. Putting together an application can take a whole weekend if you are doing it properly, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things. Plus, I really hate applying for jobs. I suppose like a lot of people, I struggle to sell my skills and don’t get me started on interviews. So, its nice to think I don’t have to worry about it for a little while at least.
I have been feeling a little bit more energetic and have managed to fit in a fair bit of sewing, reading and baking over the weekend. So, the freezer is restocked and I managed to finish making an advent calendar for a lady at work.
Elections aside, it’s been an interesting week all things considered. I started out strongly, completely unmotivated but forcing myself to do stuff just by sheer will power. I finished a quilt and got a few other things ticked off my to-do-list. Tuesday I pottered along and then Tuesday afternoon we had a massive hail storm. Still managed to stay on task Wednesday despite excessive heat (and another big storm) and semi-finished another quilt which has been sitting in my cupboard for over 5 years because I wasn’t sure how to quilt it. Now the binding is on and ready to hand sew down at my sit and sew group on Saturday.
Today, woke up with a cracking headache and then spent way too much money buying new toner cartridges for my printer. It’s a good printer but getting to the stage where it would be cheaper to buy a new printer than buy toner which is not a good place to be, especially since I swore I was going to stay on budget this pay cycle. Other than that I am struggling to focus today even though the headache has started to clear up. But after a week of hot, we topped out at 37C today and my aircon is struggling to deal with the humidity so I am feeling hot and sticky. But I think most of my lack of productivity has been due to indecisiveness about what my next project is going to be. Do I start something new or finish something old? Do I want something by machine or by hand? Do I sew or read or work on the house? Do I try to learn a new skill or go with tried and tested? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.
What I am finding is that I need to narrow the field a little. Plus, I think I need to decide my projects the night before and get everything set up and ready to go so in the morning I can just get up and get started.
I am meant to be studying for an online test which I have to do by the end of tomorrow. It’s just multiple choice but they cram so many questions into such a short time that you actually have to know your stuff, no time to think about it or reach for the text book to double check. Of course that means I am doing anything but studying. The annoying thing is that I never used to be a procrastinator. I was always the finish early, do the worst tasks first so you can get on to the stuff you enjoy person. I guess as we move through life we change, and, unless we are proactive about developing our characters, not always in ways we like.
On a positive note, I am making good progress on my stash of ufos. Finished quilting this one…
…and pinned another one yesterday.
Now… I am just going to go peg my washing out. Then I’ll start studying. I promise.
In the interest of sanity I have decided to remove somethings from my to-do list. Namely, some of the things that have been on the last three to-do lists, which keep getting carried forward but never get done. I know…to-do list scrubbing can be a bad thing if it is something that is really important which you are putting off – like getting a nasty mole checked out. However, I think in my case it’s more removing things that are desirable but non-essential. Things like answering all 53 questions at the end of each chapter of my uni textbook. The course outline says you should try to do them all but I think there has only been one week where I have actually managed it. It would be nice if I could do them and catch up has been on my to-do list for a while but how necessary is it? I am doing the reading, listening to the lecture, getting my assessment in on time and the results I am getting for the assessment say I am doing well enough. So going back and finishing the last 20 or so questions for each week of the term so far? Off the list. However, it is done with the proviso that I start each week with the intention of finishing the current weeks set of questions. If I set my self the goal of only doing as many questions as I could, I would probably do far less than if I set myself the goal of doing them all.
As well as procrastinating about study I have also been putting off machine quilting. I think the one thing that has been letting my last couple of mini quilts down has been the machine quilting. I decided to do a couple of small samplers to practice and try out new patterns. I got as far as marking the first one up but then nothing. So I went to the library this morning and got a DVD. Hopefully it will inspire me.
I really enjoyed the weather over the last couple of weeks. Just the right temperate, warm but not sweltering. Now? Now I am sitting here with three layers of clothes on my top half and my bottom half wrapped in a quilt and I think I need to go and get my fingerless gloves from the winter clothes cupboard. It is freezing. My house doesn’t really heat up til after lunch on those cold days, so maybe it will get a bit better this afternoon.
On the upside…I am powering through things. My first uni assignment is finished and submitted and I have started on my second one. The garden is reasonably well gardened. The laundry is almost done and a bit of sewing has been done. I still have a stack of uni work to get through but nothing urgent, so I think I can pretty much relax for the afternoon – do a little bit more study then get started on quilting my next mini quilt.
This is the mini quilt. It didn’t turn out too badly. Not all the vertical bars line up but I think it is busy enough that you can not notice. One thing I am going to have to think about if I keep up the foundation piecing is what to do with the seams. They get very bulky as they are usually all pressed the one way. I might have to see if I can press them open.
The other thing I am working on is these 6 inch hexagons. I am loving it because the quilt is growing really fast even though I am only adding one or two at a time.
I swore last time I posted that I would be a more diligent blogger; but once again weeks seem to have past and I haven’t written a thing and my list of things to do before Christmas has accumalted almost no ticks against it.
I did go to the Craft Fair at the convention centre yesterday but came away very uninspired. There wasn’t a lot that was new. I know this sounds strange but I actually think they have done something to the lighting in there. I was sitting in the eating area looking out over the stalls and thinking that everything looked very grey and drab. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I have just been to so many now that the novelty is starting to wear off.
I have almost managed to get back into sewing though – just. After weeks of doing 15 minutes at a time, I managed to finish an advent calendar for my Grandma this afternoon.
I did machine on the binding, so it feels a bit like I cheated somehow. Not sure why. While the quilt police might be shuddering I think it looks ok.
Cripes…I can’t believe it has been over a month since I last posted. This year is just speeding by. I haven’t actually been up to much. Working, of course. The odd bit of gardening when the weather permits. Mostly I have been curled up on the couch under a quilt, with the heater on, reading library books and knitting.
A while back I did finish quilting the quilt for my brother’s birthday, and I have been working on finishing another but it is slow going as I have done something to my neck and anymore than 15 minutes machine quilting at a time seems to make it worse.
The knitting is going well though. I am making all my odd left over balls of wool into scarves and hats. A good activity for the cold weather.
For some reason this year I seem to have completely lost the goal-accomplishing plot. I stopped for a moment during the week to think about whether I was on track and realised I had completely forgotten what my goals were. I suppose it had to happen at some point.
At least I am sewing again. I managed to get two quilts finished in the last couple of weeks (photos below). Plus I have a couple of days off work this week which I can use to regroup, refocus and get moving again. And…there is still more than half of the year left. Plenty of time to get things finished.