Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Moving On!

I did very little quilting yesterday despite my plans to spend a good portion of my day at it. I sometimes find the day after I finish a big project, especially if I really spent a lot of time and energy finishing it, that I can't focus on a different project. Sometimes the problem is the project that I decided was next isn't inspiring me enough to spend time on it.

I told myself I'd finish piecing the strip block top when I wasn't hand quilting, but I just don't feel like machine work right now. When I realized that, I pulled out the two projects that are in the works, in addition to quilting on the frame quilt. To the right is the alternating block. This one is really fun to quilt on, the long lines with gentle curves make it relaxing and enjoyable.

The other blocks are appliqued flowers. They are scrappy and were great fun to work on. These are just outlined, with a triangle quilted in each corner. I expect this one will go rather quickly, the quilting is simple and it's not a huge quilt, it measures 60 x 60.

The other projects in the works are two applique quilts. One has considerably less applique per block and it's simpler to do. This one also has flowers and alternating blocks. It's scrappy and there are 32 of these flower blocks alternating with 32 'plain' blocks with a feathered wreath to be quilted on them.

The second applique project is more tedious and is one that I consider more of a long term project. With my Christmas quilting on the horizon, this project is more of a diversion and it will likely be some time before it gets a lot of undivided attention.
There are 13 of these blocks, alternating with 12 flower blocks which are also all white on the blue background. When set together, the idea is that the block shown will "frame" the applique blocks. We'll see if it works! This one will also have an appliqued border.

So there it is! The next few weeks of quilting and applique laid out for me. In that time I'll also be marking and basting the two quilts I need to make for Christmas (the tops have been pulled from my UFO stash.

Also in the works is another slight reorganization of my sewing room. My son wants to add a fish tank stand in his room so has hung all his clothing in his closet so as to move the dresser out and make room. I'm taking the dresser for extra storage and to put a TV on it. My Grandma passed away nearly two weeks ago, we are being given her big screen TV, which leaves one I can put in my sewing room.

Somehow this room is ever changing, it seems I just get it how I think I want it and something else comes up!

Here's to a happy, quilty day for everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another UFO finished

I'm so excited! I've been working on this one for a couple of months now and am so glad to have it done!

Here is a closeup of one of the center blocks so you can see the quilting on it. I like to have a combination of straight lines and curved motifs for the quilting on most of my quilts.

To the left is a closeup of the 1/2 square motif that I used. When viewed from even a short distance, it looks like a fancy curlique motif fills the white zig zag when in reality it's a series of 1/2 square motifs. I was too chicken to try to draw in my own design that had to make that many turns!

I was going to quilt this top for my niece's wedding present last November, but my daughter said that she was hoping this one would stay at our house because she loves it. I decided right then that this will be her wedding present some day, or perhaps her housewarming gift when she gets her own apartment.
I got this idea looking at log cabin settings...I don't particularly like to make log cabin blocks, but Amish Bar blocks also work in this setting. It's the "frame" setting so I had to find something to go in the middle. I LOVE this particular block. It's fun to make and really is striking finished, yet quite simple to do as well.

In the course of doing this, I realized how quickly we could be having weddings popping up, not only with our own children but nieces and nephews as well, so I have wedding quilts on the brain. I had Rebekah help me pick out a pattern for hers, with the caveat that should she change her mind (or her young man not like it) that I could surely make another.

Lately whenever anyone asks "who's that one for?" my answer is usually "for me!"...something it took years for me to do. Several of our friends and family don't get how I could make quilts without a designated purpose, but my purpose is clear to me. The creative outlet and sense of utter peace I get when quilting is hard to explain, but I know many reading here totally get it.

The new frame quilt will soon get some attention. The first needle is threaded and the knot popped into place, it's just waiting for me to have some time...probably later today.

After the crazy busy-ness of the past couple of weeks, I barely know what to do with myself. It's a wonderful feeling to have a day stretching in front of you and being able to choose what goes in it.

My day today includes a perm, some quilting, and practice tonight along with my regular tasks of the day. Just the kind of busy day that I like!

Happy quilting!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Passion Revisited

I've been doing some form of needlework since I was 10 years old. It started with knitting and progressed to crocheting, stamped cross stitched, needlepoint, crewel and finally a long stint with counted cross-stitch. When I found that, I felt that I found my niche (that is, until I discovered quilting!)

As I thought about the coming school year and the idea of having more time than in years prior, I got to thinking about my cross-stitching again. I've always said that someday I would pick it back up again. I think that day has come.

I love this picture of the Chicago skyline. I found the pattern in a shop and just had to have it. I've lived all my life within about 50 miles of the city, went to many Cubs games, visited museums and the lakefront. My teens now go to the city on the train with a group of friends and go shopping or to dinner to to visit friends in school there. Though I don't get there often, the sight of the skyline as we travel through on trips makes my heart beat a little faster, there is something about it that excites me. This picture measures 27 x 13 (without the mat) and right now doesn't have a place to hang, though I'm sure will again someday.

This next picture hangs in my dining room. It used to be in our family room, but then I painted the family room for my husband in camouflage colors. Our dining room has red walls and this fit right in. It measures 27 x 32 and took me two years to complete. I did work on other smaller things while working on this one. I finished it about 20 years ago, when our oldest was small.

In thinking about cross-stitching again, I remembered the wonderful frame I'd bought. We pulled it out of our crawlspace yesterday and it even had a new project mounted on the roller bars. The threads were all pulled and the pattern still on the frame. I'm ready to roll!

While finishing the ex-frame quilt is my first priority for the next few days, I'm looking forward to adding a bit of cross-stitch to my weeks. While I probably won't do it daily, as I do quilting, a little bit each week will eventually get something finished...and as the weather sours and the sun sets earlier, I like the idea of choices as to how I'm spending my time.

Today we have a rather busy day, I'm going to visit my friend's grandma for the last time (they come home tomorrow) then I have to get ready for an anniversary party. I hope to squeeze in a bit of quilting before I leave for friend's house and after the party (we don't plan to stay too late, we have church and a funeral tomorrow, so another busy day.)

I'm longing for Monday...I told my kids after 10 days of running multiple times every day, I'm staying home all day on Monday. If I knew no one would come to our door I'd even take a jammie day...but I've learned my lesson on those!

Happy stitching!

Friday, August 24, 2007


I'm slowly making progress on the ex-frame seems oh so slow now that I'm nearing the end and anxious to be finished. I haven't been working on anything else, not wanting to delay the finish any longer and not wanting to get so caught up in something else that this just sits.

So I grab what spare time I can during this busy week and dream of pulling the first needle full through the new frame quilt, mounted and waiting for me to be ready.

This one will not take long at all, it's not very big and has the advantage of me being ready to start my Christmas quilting so I'll be anxious to get it done in short order.

In and among the errands, etc, yesterday, I did a big clean on my bathroom and kitchen, it feels good that both are neat and nearly sparkly (as sparkly as things get in a nearly 22 year old house.)

My two youngest have had hefty colds. Yesterday morning I was up early in anticipation of babysitting, our 13 and 15 year olds were up as they were going fishing, my husband was about to leave for of course Ruthie woke up, not being used to so much activity in our house early in the morning.

Once things settled down a couple hours later, I realized I hadn't seen or heard her for a bit so I went looking...this is what I found.

I've been thinking about my applique again and think I'll pull out the two latest applique projects and try to muster up some excitement for them. Maybe pulling them out and posting a few pics will get me going. I love to applique and have only hand quilted and done a bit of piecing over the summer. With Autumn on it's way and school about to start, I should become much more productive. We homeschool, so handwork (whether it be quilting or applique) is perfect to sit and do while I'm waiting on kids to finish their pages or come with questions.

Usually I rather dread the start of the school year and the curtailing of the freedom of summer, but this year I feel oddly energized and excited for the start of the year. Perhaps because I'm longing for an end to the humidity! Also, Ruthie is much more self sufficient and able to entertain herself this year, so I should be able to get a lot accomplished this winter. Not only quilting related, but in my house and perhaps there will even be time to pick up one of my old abandoned crafts...I used to love to do counted cross-stitch and would love to pick it up again.....hhhhmmmmm....maybe that's tomorrow's post. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Really Still Here!

What a crazy time we've had here! I've had a lack of time and not much to say so haven't posted in a while. I don't feel like I have a whole lot to say this time, either, but here we go anyway! I'm up early today as I was supposed to babysit, but it got cancelled. I'm short on sleep as we stayed up late to watch the Cubs game...not exactly a good combination for being productive!

Since our mall trip, I've been quilting a fair amount on the quilt that was removed from the frame to do the outer blocks. I have one side left, so 14 seven inch blocks.

Usually at this point on a quilt I'm quilting constantly to get it done, but I've had so many other things to do that I just didn't have the time. While I did manage a fair amount of time, in spite of the busy-ness, it hasn't been as much as I'd like!

A good friend of mine is on vacation, her grandma lives with her and she needed someone to check in with her to see if she needs anything and visit for a little while each day so I've been doing that as well.

We've also been working on finishing paperwork for our oldest daughter to start cosmetology school in a couple of weeks.

So today I'm hoping to squeeze in some heavy duty quilting. I need to run to the store and visit friend's grandma, but still have this morning and this evening to mostly quilt...I hope...LOL.

I'm really hoping to finish these blocks by the end of the weekend, but in addition to grandma visits I have another trip to the school with my daughter, a 25th anniversary party to go to and possibly a funeral as I found out my own grandma is doing very poorly after her stroke last week.

Next week should be much quieter and I'm planning on hiding and quilting for as much time as I can muster before our school year starts the following week!

All in all, though, it's been a wonderful summer here and it really seemed to go nice and slow...but it never quite seems slow enough come Labor Day weekend!

I think the frenzy to finish this quilt might be connected with summer ending, now that I'm thinking about it. It's about this time of year that I begin to work on my Christmas gifts. I have a quilt in the frame that I haven't touched yet, knowing enough about myself to know that if I start on it, the other might never get finished! After that one, I'm doing the two cover up quilts for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for Christmas gifts.

It's a little hard to imagine Christmas right now, with the morning sun shining on the tree I can see from where I sit, the air fresh and clean from recent storms (though I STILL am waiting for the drop in humidity!)

So here's to a productive quilty day...and sleeping in tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mall of America Wrap Up

Whew! What a couple of days!

We set our alarms for 6am, hoping to be on the road by 7:00. We were in the car and rolling by 6:40, so we were off to a good start! The heat wasn't too terrible until about 11:00 and it started to get pretty stifling in the van, but by then we were close enough that the excitement overshadowed that. One girl brought a six pack of mini sodas and they opened them and 'toasted' their trip as we crossed the Minnesota border (mini sodas, Minnesota, get it?) LOL.

We stopped at our hotel hoping for early check-in to no avail. We were only a mile from the Mall so we proceeded there. We sat at a stop light with the Mall straight ahead. I turned right, as the parking garage was on the right....OOOPS...we were back on the highway....bye-bye mall! Did you like it girls?? We got turned around pretty quickly and found our way to the parking garage. Of course by this time I was so turned around I had NO idea how to find our hotel again!

Their excitement as we headed to the elevators was at a fever pitch. The side of the elevators facing the mall was windows, they practically had their noses pressed against the glass looking at their destination, now only feet away. We pressed the button for the lowest floor (not realizing we were on the side the subway was on....) and when we passed ground level out the window was girders and cement. They were so close to the window (and not expecting it) that they all jumped back and screamed, which made Ruthie scream. I have to wonder what the people outside the elevator must have been thinking!

FINALLY, we were IN the mall and settled down for some shopping! I have a friend who lives close by, she met us shortly after we got there and we set out searching for bargains.

Here is a view from the third floor, you can see the 2nd and first floor in this view. This is just a very small view, this place is enormous! The girls did some serious shopping this day, spending a fair amount of time in a few of their favorite places. I was wondering if we'd even see the whole mall in our two day trip!

My big purchase was a portable DVD player to keep by my quilting frame. I love having movies on during the day, especially when I'm quilting. I've been putting them on the computer, but then it's not available for anyone else. The portable player will also be good for car trips. I'd been shopping around online and had an idea what features I wanted and what price range I wanted to be in. We used it on the way home and listening to it really helped pass the time in the car.

Day one at the mall ended at about 9:00 pm, we went back to our hotel weary, a bit poorer and very happy. After one wrong turn and a few extra driving minutes, we were back at our hotel, checked in and the girls were heading to the pool for a quick swim, after which they settled in for the night after a bit of chatter and one more look at all of their purchases.

I don't sleep well the first night in an unfamiliar place, so after a bit of TV I finally felt ready to sleep. I woke with a start at 2:30 am, there was a storm raging outside and the power had just gone off. We had set an alarm for the morning as the girls wanted to get all dolled up for day 2 at the mall, so I lay there, expecting the power to click back on pretty quickly. It didn't. I lay there for quite a while and finally fell back to sleep. We awoke just after 8...and the power was still off. The room was warm and stuffy. Without power we had no blow dryers, no curling irons, no light in the bathroom.

I've told my husband and friends that kids' attitudes can often be molded by how they are presented with things, here was my chance to test my theory in a big way. They were a little dejected over the late start (we had the alarm set for 7:30) and not having their 'makeover' morning, so I said cheerfully "it will be ok. Anyone who wants to shower can leave the door open for light, we'll just stay over by the beds so you have privacy. You all have such pretty hair you don't need to fuss with it to look good, we can get ready and be on our way."

They perked up, took turns taking quick, cold showers. And as fate would have it, the power went back on as we were getting ready to leave the room!

Tradition (if you can call the idea of continuing something done for only two years tradition) dictates a trip to Build-a-Bear. The idea was for our girls to each buy one for herself and for the friend they brought. This was to be our first stop in the morning, we intended to be there before the mall opened to get in line and do it quickly. We got a little later start than intended because of the power outage, so I was concerned that we'd have a much longer line to deal with. We actually got in and out fairly quickly. Here is Ruthie with her new Koala bear. The bear's shirt says "shop til you drop" which was really appropriate for this trip!

My other purchase was a new pair of shoes for the Fall. I liked these right away, they feel wonderful and will go with both nice slacks and dresses for church. They are black, actually, they look navy in the picture. I have visions of a nice black dress, textured black hose and these shoes.

Another thing on the agenda for day 2 was riding the roller coaster. We made a quick trip to the car to drop off our purchases and headed to the amusement park. Time was starting to run out, so while they were waiting in line for tickets and to get on the ride, I quickly went to the last store that I wanted to see. I got back just in time to see them on the ride.

We spend the last couple of hours having a meal before the ride home and making one last visit to favorite stores or seeing missed stores that they just had to have a peek in. Before we know it, the whirlwind two days are over. One of the last things they do is to get in a photo booth to take pictures. All four of them cram in there for one last tangible memory of their trip.

Now our thoughts turn to the beginning of the school year. I'm looking forward to less heat and humidity!

Today's agenda includes several small chores, driving a friend to the doctor's office and, I hope, lots of quilting. The same will hold for the rest of the week. Our oldest three are going on a camping trip next weekend and will be gone from Thursday morning until Saturday dinner, so I hope for a very relaxing, quilty week overall. The frame quilt is just about ready to come off and then I'll have to quilt the outer row of blocks in a hoop. I'm optimistically hoping to have the quilting done and be able to bind it at my quilting bee next Tuesday night.

So off to quilt I go, still smiling from our very enjoyable Mall of America trip.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

We're Leaving on a Jet Plane.....

(anyone else remember that song??) Ok, well, we're not really leaving on a plane, but rather in our full size van with broken air conditioning.

My girls and I are making our 2nd annual trip to the Mall of America. We're bringing two of their friends on our foray into the wild world of oversized shopping malls.

My husband and sons hunt, so have a long weekend away every fall. He calls this our hunting trip...which is actually a pretty good description of shopping, especially in a place with 3 floors, hundreds of stores and accompanying 4 teenagers with an eye for bargains...ours just ends with oodles of packages and not gutting an animal in 20 degree weather.

We're spending one night in a hotel near the mall and Rachel (15) said "packing for this trip is so easy, it's like going to a sleepover." While her list may contain only her makeup, purse, a change of clothes, her swimsuit and some pajamas, mine is considerably longer! Packing for an overnight trip isn't much different than packing for a few days for me.

We eat our breakfast and lunch in the car on the way, to save the girls money on food and leave them more for shopping. We also eat our own food for breakfast in the hotel and we bring snacks for the car trip home. With Ruthie coming along, we need a stroller and all her paraphenalia, too. I've learned a lot about myself over the years and know that the more work I do ahead, the more I can enjoy a trip, especially a short one. So yesterday I did the grocery shopping (usually a Thursday job), baked cookies and gathered up as much of what is going on the trip as possible, leaving only the final packing for today.

Also on my agenda today is as much quilting as I can squeeze in as there will be little, if any, time to do any while we are gone.

So think of me over the next two days, in a van full of giggling girls in 90 degree heat and no air conditioner, walking the biggest mall in the world, getting swollen feet and entertaining a two year old along the way...and know I'll be having just as good a time as they are!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I was really inspired by Bren and her bags!

I love bags...all shapes, sizes, styles and colors. I have a book on how to make a few different styles and am always drawn to books on bagmaking.

In the last couple of weeks, I was toying with the idea of making a new bag for our Mall of America trip this weekend, but dismissed it as unnecessary as I have many bags!

Seeing Bren's new bags got me thinking about it again, so I went to the store and got some supplies and dove in.

I had to do a couple of things I'd never done before. When first talking about this bag, I told my husband I needed a grommet setter, that I had no idea how much they cost and where to find one.

He said he might have one among his Dad's tools that were given to him when his Dad passed away 18 years ago.

Since I had no idea what I was looking for and I really didn't want to bother him to search for something I didn't need at the moment, I filed away that information and decided that 'someday' I will make this bag, but I didn't want to invest in a grommet setter if we have one here somewhere.

In searching for a tool for our son, what does he find? The grommet setter and a bag of grommets (isn't it weird how if you say a word enough times it starts to sound really odd? grommet, grommet, grommet....I'm now doubting that's a real word!)

It's a much simpler tool that I imagined, and of course had no directions with it, so I ruined 3 sets of grommets while trying to figure out how the thing worked.

That left me one short as the package had 10, I needed 8 and ruined 3. ugh. I asked Rachel, who is 15, has her driver's permit and will drive me anywhere, to take me to the hardware store. It didn't take too much searching to find this 24 pack of grommets...and to find they had 2 other sizes. One larger and one smaller. My mind is already creating cute little smaller bags with those smaller grommets!

In my pattern directions, one of their suggestions for the handles was braiding together 4 strands of suede, leather or decorative cording. Hmm. I checked Walmart (where I had already found the tapestry fabric for the bag) and couldn't find anything that seemed to fit that description, though I did find some decorations that could be used around the top edge. I filed that information and moved on to Michael's craft store.

Sure enough, they had leather lacing. It's sold on a card and relatively inexpensive. I picked two colors that worked with my fabric and went in search of something pretty to put along the upper edge. I found some beautiful prestrung beads and added them to my purchases.

The only part of this project that gave me fits was braiding the handles! I've never braided with four strands before. My pattern book had instructions on how to do this and it looked quite easy! Ha! While it should have been easy, I still kept getting mixed up and restarted at least 5 times before I finished the first one. I did finally figure out how to find my place if I got mixed up in the middle and I LOVE how the handles came out.

I had some corduroy fabric that was given to me years ago in both blue and burgundy. Both colors are in the tapestry fabric and either would work with the fabric I bought (though the blue was definitely more prominent.) My fashion conscious daughter who is into matching said the blue was better (I thought so, too) so I began to cut.

I'm quite pleased with the finished product, so much so that I think it will become the every day bag when I need to bring my purse along with necessities for Ruthie and other odds and ends. I can put my purse and everything else we need in one bag and be on my way!

The other thing that I added to the pattern was a cardboard bottom for the many purses and bags have. I took a piece of cardboard, covered each side with fusible fleece and then slipped it into a corduroy sleeve. It gave the bag more shape and stability and I really like what this little addition has done to it.

Below is a side view, where the beading is shown a bit better.

I really enjoyed this little foray into bag making and have come up with some ideas to alter this pattern to make some smaller ones to be used as project bags, or even purses.

While I spent lots of time in my sewing room yesterday, only a couple of hours of it was hand quilting, so that will get my attention today.

And now, I'd better get to it, or I'll never get anything done!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

My Other Love

is food. I love to cook. I love to bake. The creativity factor gives me nearly the same satisfaction level as quilting does. One of my daughter's friends decided he was going to open a restaurant someday and he wanted me to cook, LOL.

Anyway, yesterday I spent the bulk of my day baking. We're visiting with friends this evening and we take time it will be at my house, then I make dinner, she does dessert. The next time we'll meet at their house, she'll make dinner and I make the dessert.

When it's our turn, we usually make 2 or 3 dessert items. Combining the families, there are 14 of us with different tastes, plus it's just fun!

I tend to bake extra so we have some left around here for the week, my husband takes a lunch to work every day and I like to include something home baked whenever possible.

To the left is my sourcream cheesecake. This recipe has spoiled me for any other kind of cheesecake, including that found in nice restaurants. Sometimes I make my own graham cracker crust, but I find I really like the storebought ones as well. When I buy the crust, the filling will fill two of them as opposed to the one 9 inch springform pan cake I get otherwise.

A favorite of both families is frosted brownies. These are made nearly every time because if someone doesn't like the other choices, they always like these. I'm almost embarrassed to say (after going on about how much I love to bake) that these are made from a box mix (2 actually) but they are so good! When I bring these places no one knows they are from a box unless I tell them.

My friend's husband's favorite is pineapple upside down cake. I have a wonderful recipe for this that is moist and delicious. The big secret is saving the pineapple juice from the can of rings and using it for the water in the cake (a bit of water has to be added to make the full amount needed). This adds a moistness and an extra hint of pineapple flavor that really makes the cake. I also add extra cherries dotted around the cake...who doesn't like cherries?

I bake cookies nearly every week, in triple batches or they never last around here, with my husband dipping into the cookie jar each time he's in the kitchen and my kids' parade of friends in and out of our house. I ringed the cake with cookies for an easy way to bring a few and to fill out the edges of the platter.

In addition to my baking yesterday, I was able to squeeze in a little over 5 hours of quilting time. I used this time to baste the next quilt to go into the frame as well as quilting at the frame.

Today I'm "free" until we leave at 5:00. I have a bit of finishing cleanup in the kitchen from yesterday's baking and should do a couple of loads of laundry, but without dinner to make here, I should get some quilting time in for sure. I plan to bring a bit of hand applique tonight, my friend is a quilter, too, and we usually have handwork with us when we visit and play cards. Our husband's have raised card shuffling to an art and we can usually get some stitching time in while they shuffle and talk!

Happy Quilting!

Friday, August 3, 2007

This and That

Thursdays are busy days in my house. I rarely think of them as 'quilting' days as I run my errands in the morning, then my husband is home for a while, and in the evening I've got some kid running to do. Yesterday was no exception. While the 'schedule' of the day was different than it usually is, it still didn't seem to leave much solid quilting time.

As it turns out, I got in nearly as much as the day before. Partly because I made a concentrated effort to do so. The timer is helping me to spend some focused time on my quilting rather than randomly sitting to do it.

I was all geared up for a mostly quilting day today when I realized that I have to bake for tomorrow. This should still leave me a fair amount of time. I often have baking days, and I usually end up frittering away the time while things are in the oven, today I hope to be more diligent as the frame quilt is calling my name.

My piecing has taken a back seat this week. I'd planned to both piece and quilt, but the frame quilt is now getting so close to coming off the frame that I can't make myself work on anything else. If I want to have a quilt ready to go in it when this one comes off, I'll have to baste this weekend because I anticipate only a few more days of work before the switch can be made.

I'll still need to quilt the outer blocks, but that will be done in a hoop. I'm guessing another week or so of quilting once it comes off the frame.

So while my desire is to park myself for most of the day at my frame, the reality is that the quilting will happen in fits and starts today, amid baking two cheesecakes, a pineapple upsidedown cake, brownies, and a triple batch of chocolate chip and nut cookies.

If I can finish all that baking today, though, tomorrow (in theory) will be free to quilt until we meet up with our friends.

So now I've got to run and get the first goody in the oven or there won't be enough time in the day to finish! I will leave you with another teaser from the frame quilt.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Looking Ahead

As the frame quilt approaches the end of it's time there, I find myself looking ahead to what I want to accomplish for the rest of the year.

I already have a quilt picked out to go into the frame, it will be basted soon...possibly even today depending on how my time goes.

After that I'm finishing two UFOs as Christmas presents. If I have the time figured right, this should leave me plenty of time for other small projects as gifts. I'd love to try my hand at beading, but I tend to put off learning something new (it's easier to just spend the time doing what I know and love.)

So while sitting at my frame, my meandering mind is mulling over Christmas. What I can make that is different, but not too terribly expensive or time consuming. How much I want to stretch myself in the skill department. I have one particular thing I'd love to try, but it involves putting in zippers....something that has given me fits in the past.

While I could sit here and let my mind wander some more, tapping my thoughts through keys on a board, what I need to do is start my stopwatch and let it wander while pulling the needle instead. Something about thinking while quilting makes things seem clearer to me.

And the bonus is I accomplish something at the same time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Timer is Ticking!

Better get to work!

In talking to Bren about time spent quilting, she told me of some ladies who keep track of how much time is spent each day/month at their craft.

I liked that idea, I think it will make me feel more accountable for my time. There are days I have a lot of time now, with my youngest 2 1/2 and often occupied with her older siblings, but I often spend a good part of that time sitting at the computer. While I don't feel it's wasted time, I think it's sometimes too MUCH time.

So here's my attempt to be a better steward of my time and to increase the amount of time that I actually spend quilting and not just thinking "I should be quilting"

I was thwarted for a few minutes as to how to keep track of this time. Checking a clock and writing down times every time I sit down and get up again would never work as I often don't sit for long at once. I remembered the stopwatch on my cell phone, made sure I could stop and start the time without it resetting and was ready to start timing.

I'm excited about this latest challenge as I'm coming up on the time where I need to really buckle down on my quilting. I have a quilt nearly ready to go in the frame and after that one will be two for Christmas presents. If I can focus and spend more time quilting and less time thinking about it, those will be done early enough to make some other things as gifts also.

I've also decided to list my finished tops and completely finished projects in my sidebar. I started keeping track last year during the top challenge that Bren and I did and decided to keep that going each year. I'm glad that I did because trying to recall what was done in months past was pretty difficult, I like having that tangible evidence of work finished.

So after a few adjustments to my blog page, my timer will be ticking....and hopefully getting quite a workout today!