Thursday, February 28, 2013

Holding my breath

Tomorrow is the day!  [sommersaults and cartwheels]

Tomorrow is the day the AQS has designated as the first opportunity they will take to begin sending out notification letters for the final jurying of their 2013 competition!

Sometime next week I expect to find something exciting in my mailbox.

My own personal countdown has been running close to a month, now...but it's nearly over. [phwew]  Can you feel the excitement mounting?  Think I'll try to calm myself by sorting some material from the wall.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Success and sour grapes

One of my returning pupils (from an earlier class as a "sewing" instructor at JAF) brought in her last project to show off - and it was hard to say who was more proud: mama or pupil.  I was pleased they were so happy.

The youngster was attending another project session, a much simpler project than the previous one, and by all rights, even simpler than the first class that I instructed and she attended.  Yes, if you're keeping score, she was having a third class with me.  I now have that "following" the 'educational director' spoke about.

The folks at JAF are not fond of thinking about the order of the classes according to skillsets (of the attendees) and simplicity-to-difficulty for the learning process.  Nope.  For the corporation, it'$ all about getting customer$ $igned up for the cla$$e$ and letting the instructor deal with any/all of the fallout issues.


And now I am understanding that the inane cheapness of JAF (as regards the PITIFUL wages earned by the contracted instructors) has sunk to a new low.  BOGO!  That's right - BOGO!!

Buy one, get one.  I know, I know. You thought that was just for shoe stores. Me too!

Nevertheless, here we are.  Now, not only am I making a mere 60% of the class price (most often sold at half-off. Ex: $55 full price is usually sold at 1/2 off = $27.50 -- 60% of $27.50 = $16.50...divide that by hours spent teaching AND the add'l 1/2 hour we are to be there BEFORE the start of the session{s} to ready the space, and there's the hourly 'pay'), but with the BOGO factor customers can buy two different classes at the half-off price, lowering the contractor amount even further!

I now have three new sessions scheduled, but unless they amend the amount to be paid to the contract instructor to remain at no less than 60% of the half-off amount, I am going to resign.  It truly doesn't pay!

Yes, I need a job - and the capital it should be paying - but I refuse to make less than a panhandler on a moderately busy street corner in Detroit City!

Oh, and the kicker?  I still (to this date) have not received a payment for the last 10 classes taught since mid-January!  Oh, yeah.  I'm excited to be working, but not in a good way.

Sorry about the sour grapes today.  Hope I didn't splash anything on your quilt projects. 

Does anyone know of a quilt shop or group looking for a real, experienced, excellent instructor?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

All a-quiver

It's j-u-s-t over a week before the AQS begins to send out their notification letters to those whose quilts are selected for the final jurying process (for the 2013 Paducah competition).  I've been trying to maintain a calm demeanor and relax about it all, but the butterflies have risen in my soul and in my psyche.

I'm ready!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just do it!

Holy crap.

I was looking back through the blog for something [else] when I [read an earlier entry and] realized it had taken me one month to [start and] finish the [or, at least it took me that amount of time to finally begin the actual moving and] reconfiguring of my sewing space.

But, in all honesty - and fairness - to myself, I truly believe my intentions were good and my heart was in the right place, but that I kept putting it off and working on projects that were simply too loosey-goosey to move.  When I finally did pack up and make the decision to move my tail feathers (and all of the walls and material and table and machine, etc., etc.) it really wasn't such a long and arduous endeavor.  I should have done it months ago!

I guess my message for today is simply this: 
Whatever you make up your mind to do, just dive in and begin.  Don't doubt yourself, and don't allow the words of others to sway you from your desires - no matter what "it" may be.

See you back here later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By the way

I can't remember if I mentioned that I re-worked the layout of the sewing area, so here is a quick snapshot of the new configuration.
Obviously, this is a composite picture, but I will have a better photo or two (or three) to share with you shortly.  Plus, the bag of trash is no longer there, the purses and other items have been put away, and the paper towel squares (under the wet table feet) have been replaced with felt pads to make moving the table a breeze (and less harmful to the floor). 

Managed to unload the more than 6'x6' storage 'wall' of its material hoard; move the wall to it's new position/location (with help from Karl); then reload it before Downton Abbey aired - all in one  afternoon-into-early-evening (not long ago)!  The purpose for pushing myself on one Sunday afternoon (before my beloved DA) was to be certain I would get it done!  And it worked!!

I know myself well enough to understand I can become easily distracted and fall off task in the wink of an eye - especially in the sewing realm.  There was a need for speed and high momentum....and, since I had dragged my feet long enough in even beginning the whole rearranging bit in the lower level, putting it off was no longer an option I wanted to exercise.

"Move it! Move it! Move it!" the drill instructor in my head kept yelling.

There is space to the rear (far left) of the table (with another smaller storage system holding books and extra material, projects in process, etc.), and since moving the larger table into the expanded sewing space, I have managed to change my mind several times - pushing the table here and there, turning it lengthwise across the floor space - and then back again - to find the best working set-up.  Yes, there is ample room for the ironing board (no matter how I position the table), and I can always access the wall of lovelies whenever I want.

More photos another time, for now I need to get back to looking for work and getting little nagging tasks done.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Goal almost met

I had wanted to get two blocks sewn together, but ended up laying out three and piecing one, so....nearly the same effort/accomplishment.

Other plans have been scheduled for the better part of the day, but sewing will factor in somehow.  I'll let you know how it all shakes out.  Enjoy your day - I hope you can get some quilting in!  :)

Friday, February 1, 2013

P.S. on the day

The blogger is finally working properly once again and I am able to load photos!  So without further delay, here are a couple of pictures of Black Widow I.
This was taken upsidedown, as I forgot to snap a pic before stretching.

More another time.

Lofty goals

I have set a fairly lofty goal for myself for today. My mission (and yes, I have chosen to accept it) is to get two more blocks completed before end of day.

"Why is that such a lofty goal," you may wonder; and if you're not wondering, well, I'm gonna tell you anyhow.

I am working on a slightly miniaturized version of PQ1.  It will be 36" square versus the original 65", so....yes, 'slightly.' 

That nearly twenty-inch difference will mean a world of difference during the quilting process!

Incidentally, I've managed to streamline my quilt design even further, and have come up with a much smaller version - so 'quilt legal' miniature copies can be made (24" or smaller).  Although, if I had made this current version with 1" cut pieces, it would be a 'quilt legal' miniature version, because the scale would have been correct, and the finished 1/2" blocks would have made an 18" finished quilt top.  (Did you follow all of that?) 

Ah well.

"OK, but you still haven't answered why two blocks is a lofty goal," you insist.

Ah, my bad.  Sorry. 

"Lofty" = 162 pieces.  Yup, each block is 81 pieces of one-and-one-half-inch cut squares.  Meaning the finished quilt top will contain 1,296 1" pieces.   But that's nothing.  PQ1 is 4,225!  Of course, I also intend to lay out another block or two to have ready for assembling the next time a few hours presents itself.  There is an urgent need to get this quilt top copy finished before mid-February, so I am trying to be a good girl and work diligently on this one.

This one's a cinch (comparatively speaking).

What are you up to today?