Wednesday, October 13, 2010

So Much to Do, So Little Time

It seems there just aren't enough hours in the day. And for me, there are definitely not enough quiet ones. I find myself staying up until the wee hours as often as possible to find some uninterruped time to sew, work on new quilt patterns, watch a TV show, or just gather my thoughts on things.

I also have to find time to work on projects that are surprises. The first is the quilt for Rachel's new room. When Rebekah married and moved out, that left Rachel with her own room for the first time since she was a toddler. She and Rebekah had painted the room bright yellow and orange a few years ago, it was fun and cheerful and they had such fun working on it (having done all of the work themselves), but Rachel was ready for a change and to make the room her own.

The week after the wedding, she enlisted the help of a couple of friends, who came and went as they needed to, and she painted the room in colors she chose in the weeks prior. They did a wonderful job and the room looks more grown up and sophisticated.
The orange, yellow, and green quilt from the old room just won't do. I told her I'd make her a new quilt as soon as I could. I decided to get it done for Christmas, without her knowing. A tricky proposition when she is in and out often. I've been using her time at school and work to work on her quilt as much as I can. I had to quickly hide it a few times when I tried to work on it when she was out and about, so I will have to be more careful once it's in the hoop and more difficult to hide quickly.

Here is one of the blocks from her quilt. It is a combination of blocks and I got the pattern out of a Quilting Pattern-a-Day calendar. I've made quite a few tops from this collection. The blocks are nearly done and I'll be starting to assemble it soon, hopefully the finished top will make an appearance here within the next week.

Another set of projects that I'm doing on the sly is a set of table runners for Rebekah. These are easier since she doesn't live here, but they do live right around the corner and stop in occasionally either to ask us something or borrow something they can't keep (or don't have) in their small apartment.

Here is the first one, just the thing for those patriotic holidays.

And Halloween. This one has a cute pumpkin quilted into the center black block.

A cheery message to start the new year.

And one for Valentine's Day.

Still to come are a floral one for spring/summer, one with leaves for fall, Happy Birthday, and Christmas. There will possibly be a snowman one for general winter, too.

Rachel is in her first year of college, taking courses for certificates this semester and contemplating going full time next semester. In one of her classes, they had to do a "bigger and better" trade. The teacher gave each of them a little 9 cent clip and they had to make at least 3 trades, each one for something bigger and better than what they were giving away.

Rachel ended up with this desk, which is wonderful. She didn't want it in her room, and other than using the computer doesn't really work at a desk, so this has become my alternate work space...I love it. I was afraid it would crowd my sewing table too much, and it does crowd the area some, but leaves more space between the desk and stairs than there was before. It's also much easier to keep neat than the old one was.

Things are beginning to fall into place for a new venture. I've always wanted to be able to earn some money with my quilting and over the years have taught classes at quilt shops, done hand quilting for people and have even basted and bound quilts for people who didn't like those tasks.
Recently Bren asked me if I'd be willing to make a topper for her Mom's table. Her Mom really wanted one and she didn't have time to make one. I asked a few questions and came up with this. She has an octagonal table and wanted a round topper to go on it. I couldn't find a pattern with a sunflower on it, so I drew out this one.

When I told Bren that I drew it, she told me I really should be trying to sell my patterns. That got the wheels turning and she's been encouraging me and letting me bounce idea off of her since then.
When I posted a picture on my blog and someone else asked for one. Bren also plugged my hand quilting services on her blog and I've received a request to quilt a top, and one to make a quilt in it's entirety as well.

Perhaps this time, the timing is right. I have more time than in many years, my family is becoming more and more self sufficient (as they should be!) and how I would like to be able to add to the family income! We re-evaluate our situation often, but without a second car and still having younger children at home, me working outside the home causes more stress than help for my husband.

I came up with an idea for a quilt and quickly realized this one had to be drawn all the way out to make sure I could place the units correctly. I also wanted to get an idea what it would really look like. While I'd love to have some quilting software, for now, I do things the old fashioned way. I needed some colored pencils and even with this 50 pack, I had trouble finding the right ones.

I came up with this idea late in the evening and stayed up until the wee hours figuring and refiguring to come up with just what I wanted. I spent all my available time yesterday drawing it all out. I can hardly wait to start on it, and I'll work on it in bits here and there until the Christmas work and quilting job are done.

In the meantime, I'd love to figure out how to not need any sleep! LOL. I've always said I'd love to not need sleep, but I'd want the rest of my household to need it!

As for Ruthie, she's doing great. With her speech improving daily, it seems, she's also starting to make more general comments on things, which is a hoot. She's wanting to do more and more for herself, and shows interest in many things.

She was quite thrilled with the rolling pin as I was making pizza so I gave it to her and her whole face lit up. She rolled a bit on her own, and then I helped her push out to the edges of the pan. She helped spread sauce....
She put on some mushrooms and pepperoni and even wanted to try her hand at the microplane. She was quite proud of herself.

Her sense of humor comes out more and more. Here she is with stickers all over herself. She was quite amused.

I love her in this outfit. She looks like a little school girl, and did even moreso on Sunday when Rekekah had french braided her hair, which fell into pigtails. It still takes me off guard that she is so grown up!
So there is a lot going on here, but it's a fun kind of busy. It's time for me to get to work, with so many enjoyable things waiting for my attention, I have to be sure to prioritize!
Happy Quilting!