Thursday, December 31, 2015

Not for nothin', but...

...I did get G8 done tonight, a few hours ago.

And -
Happy New Year, everyone!


UPDATE: G8 and stuff

Had a visit from the boy, so it put a bit of a crimp in the day's activities.  But, it's all good, and here's why:

 1) G8 is now only missing three inches. [cue hysterical crying]
 2) Dinner will be tilapia and stir-fried rice
  - tilapia was in the freezer and
  - we won't have to face NYE knuckleheads in the store.
 3) Bank run can wait until Saturday
  - mostly because I don't want to go out for just that.
 4) May still be able to wedge in some work on the new clothes tonight.

Unscheduled drop-ins are few and far between, so it is fun to chat it up for half-an-hour or so.  Plus, I managed to guilt/force him into walking out of here with a little bit of his leftovers.

They never fully move out, do they?


Priorities

Just for today, my priorities are:
 1) Finish that doggone G8
 2) Figure out dinner
 3) Accomplish some simple banking
 4) Work a little more on new clothes for the new job

It's a short list so - totally doable.  In that particular order?  Mmmm-maybe not.

Number one is going to be a bugger.
Number two - salmon, because Karl and I deserve it; it means a trip to the store.
And three?  Since I have to go out for dinner stuff, three is easy-peasy.  Or vise-versa.
Last but not least - hey, as soon as G8 falls into place!  Why am I sitting here?

What are your priorities for the last day of 2015?


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's official

G8 is only missing five inches... unless I get within two feet of the layout board.  Then it's missing anywhere from eight to twelve inches, because I can't stop thinking I find better color pieces - then it becomes a swap-o-rama.

Would someone mind standing behind me with a baseball bat and just giving me a decent thump when I begin to undo my good work.  Please?


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Yes...

... I am spending too much time and energy swapping inches.

Grrr!

Eighty down

What did you get accomplished today?


A little bit here and there

G8 is over half found.

If there was only better light (it was very grey yesterday, and not much better today) and more table space. Oh, yeah, and I've managed to misplace my 1.5" square ruler, so fussy cutting is a real chore at the moment.  Making headway is quite a kerfuffle without the proper tools.

One final thought:
SO many medium browns.  How is this possible?


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Drawing to a close

The blogger challenge is drawing to a close; I wonder how many participants found the adventure to be useful/fun/horrific/easy to take part in.  Personally, I have a lot to say, but will keep my thoughts to myself.

Not only is the blogger challenge drawing to a close, but so is 2015.  No news there, right?

Managed to accomplish a good deal on the postage stamp quilt this year, and have desires to finish at least one more block before the year ends.  It could very well be a reality, so no wincing or scoffing out there. [jabbing an Uncle Sam finger in your direction]  In hindsight, I wish I had begun working on it again much sooner in the year... but I didn't, so no what-ifs or tears.  It's just what it is.

Cleaned out an older portion of my stash and have it boxed, ready to send to a new friend in the UK - when I can finally afford the shipping.  She has said she will reimburse the postage costs, but I am counting nickels and pennies until the new job begins.

Used a bunch of scraps to create little experiments here and there.  Liberating and useful attempts at a new way of piecing, but I am so hyper-focused on the postage stamp quilt, I have a hard time making myself do other things away from it.  OCD much?

Work on the current crazy quilting project continues (you can view the progress at www.madasahatter.blogspot.com if you're interested).

Still too many quilt tops (some with backs, some already sandwiched and languishing in 'the pile'), but it's sort of cool to think I could make/finish a quilt right away - if I had the fortitude to walk away from you-know-who.

Three local quilt shops (that I am aware of) closed this year - two of them just over the past six weeks.  It's a shame.  Would I consider opening one?  Yes.  Yes I would... if it weren't for the red tape and MI taxes, you bet I would.

Are my lights on in the sewing area and burning energy that I am not using?  Yes.  So, if humans must set concrete resolutions for themselves for the new year, then I suppose I can task myself with being better at turning the lights on only when I am ready to head to the 'drawing board' and actually work there.  I guess this is my way of drawing this entry to a close, but I'll be back tomorrow... will you?


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Will surprises never cease

Decided to take the day 'off', it being Christmas and all.  And since the views of the blog were negligible, I figured it would be no big deal if I used the time more productively.  Surely I am not the only 'challenge' participant foregoing a post yesterday.

Had a lovely day, hanging with my two sons and Brian's (eldest son) girlfriend.  We went to a late- afternoon showing of "Star Wars: The Awakening,"and then they came back to my house for a pseudo-dinner and presents.  Hobbes was glad to see Bud and Angela, and she sat between them on the chair - until clamboring into Bud's lap to reclaim him.

Climbing back online today revealed an odd spike in readers over the last two days.  Perhaps I should say nothing more often.  Hmmm.

Will work on dishes and amassing G8 today - it's a Christmas present to myself.  I've already finished a load of laundry.  Here's hoping everyone had a lovely celebration, or gathering, or whatever you chose to do, and that you remain, healthy, happy and fulfilled.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

This is how I see the world

Everything is in bits of color.

You have to look past the fringes and the other stuff that could get in the way; anything that clouds the vision must be filtered out.

Trust me,
everything
looks better
when you can
see past the extraneous.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Next!

By the way, I did finish G7 last night - worked on it speck by speck, in between doing other things.

I felt like a sparrow all day yesterday; hopping here and there and everywhere - pecking at bits of needful cleaning and then VG.  Hop, hop, hop away for something upstairs... then back to G7.

It makes much more sense to concentrate on one thing at a time and get it accomplished; check it off the list before moving on to something else to start and finish. But of course, my mind (and my heart) are always going to boomerang back to VG.

Well, G8 is now underway - but I need to concentrate on some dirty dishes.  Oofda!

What's...
- on your plate?
- in your heart?
- on your mind?
- top of your agenda?


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A little progress

Five, maybe six more inches to go.
I'll know better when I can see it in the daylight - that'll be in eight, maybe nine hours from now.

Then, it's back to the 'shadows.'


Monday, December 21, 2015

19...

...or so.  The total on piecing together G7 stands at nineteen missing inches.  Feels good.

But, it's a little too grey to do much good working on VG today, so cleaning and prepping continues for whomever may come through the door this week.  And maybe a little bit 'o' somethin'-somethin' spent timewise in the reclaimed bedroom, too.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Up with the sun

Hobbes and I lounged in bed until I could no longer remain horizontal, and she could no longer remain awake.

Slipping out of bed, I turned on the lights and went to work.  Somehow, I managed to replace about five of yesterday's inches before making finding another dozen or so.  Hard to believe but G7 hasn't been touched since the eleventh of this month.  How is that even possible!?!?!?  The spiderwebs were thick, let me tell you.

Happily, the light is brilliant this morning, and after having a glass of chocolate milk, I am eagerly heading back down for a little more fun.  Before too much longer, I will need to dash out and take care of something else... so VG will be back on hold.

Admittedly, the time spent straightening and locating buried yardage has proven to be a boon.  The count is 55 pieces strong at the moment, and I am nearing the chance to begin G8.  I don't usually feel excited until I am well past the halfway mark on any block, but I am excited right now.

What slice of happiness are you enjoying today?


Saturday, December 19, 2015

A little here; a little there

The day began with some fairly decent light, and I took full advantage (for about an hour) and placed right around fifteen-to-twenty inches onto G7.  Then, it grew dark and I decided: since I most likely would play 'devil's advocate' and end up swapping anything I might find for better results later, give it up before madness sets in.

So I did.

I moved to the empty (not really "empty" so much as 'vacated') bedroom and sanded all that lovely new filler. Sanded and sanded and sanded.  Man, can I make a mess!  Wiped one wall down completely and set to work filling and making smooth the areas I could see with the grey daylight and one light bulb in the overhead light.  The daylight would grow bright and obliging, then clouds would crap on my parade.  The entire morning passed in waves of undulating light.

Time went by like cold molasses until... BLAM!  All of a sudden it was noon!  Spent the better portion of the remainder of the day moving stuff to get to new areas - 'rinse and repeat' - and I ended the day feeling as though I'd got a lot accomplished, but somehow it looks more like I was working in reverse.  Grrrrr.

I'm beginning to think a match would be a better alternative.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Update

Here is a photo of the finished top I began September 2014.

It's a finished top, but not a finished quilt.  Just needed to get this off my mind.  Phew!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yeah, no.

Not so much.

I did not get one thing quilty in nature played with, finished, progressed on...nada.  I know I said yesterday that I intended to.  I didn't lie, it just didn't happen.

On the plus side: Karl is one happy young man, so I suppose that counts for something.  I asked him, one last time, if there was anything specific he would like for Christmas, to which he responded he would like a ride to Micro Center (computer/nerd heaven, if you've never been to one) so he could get a new graphics card for his computer.

Long story short - we cruised to 'nerd Mecca' where a fairly informed (but indifferent) employee helped explain the difference between what Karl wanted and what was really necessary to make his computer work better.  Of course, it was a bit more money, but it was necessary for the performance of the whole unit.  Sadly, the new processor wasn't totally compatible with the new motherboard, so we had to drive back a second time to purchase a missing piece to the puzzle (a new hard drive).  We could have gotten away with a simple card/cable to make the connection from old-to-new-to-new, but we would have been back in a month or two when one of the old, overworked pieces decided to crap out.

And that's why there is nothing quilt-worthy to show.

Should-a just said: "My dog ate it."


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Time out


Just a quick timeout to say thank to Cheryl Sleboda for hosting the challenge which most likely brought you here.

Tomorrow should find something on the ol' blog wall good enough to look at, and not just words, words, words.  Since I've been sitting in a car - or at appointments - for the last three days, there isn't much in the way of groovy new sewing/quilting to crow over.  ut I'm going to try and homebody it tomorrow, if at all possible.  That should give both of us something to enjoy looking at for a change.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What a day

Look ma, no quilting.

The day was bound to be a bust - but we knew that it would be.  Our first tell was the end of yesterday (just about 2AM this morning) colliding like a freight train into today.  I'm big on getting sleep - oh, so big - and I am fairly militant about getting my 'zs', too.  As a matter of fact, I am crazy concerned about the boys not taking advantage of the ol' eight-hour rule, preferring to stay up way too late, online, and then sleeping well past 8AM (make that 10AM... 11AM. You get the idea).

But, Brian is out of the house and on his own now, so he's going to have to bear the brunt of his lifestyle choices on his own.  Karl is my major concern now, and I am hoping to help him regain some stability in the coming months.  My efforts will be helped by my moving up to the main floor and taking the bedroom next to his.  From that vantage point I can keep tabs a little better.  I'll let you know how that works.

The space I am vacating will become MORE SEWING territory - and who can't use more sewing/quilting room?

No.
Seriously.
Is there someone who would turn that prospect down?
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Holy smokes, did I ever sidetrack this train of thought!  The whole point of this post was to say the day was filled to the brim with Karl-based activities, and that we've survived.  We have no answers to any of our questions.  But we survived - and on a minimum of snoozing hours to boot.
What sort of grade will he get on his final paper for the semester?
Will he be accepted into the MORC program?
Will I fall asleep before 9PM? (most likely)

The answers to those questions will simply have to wait until they present themselves.  For now, I believe I will head into the empty room and sand a little, maybe spackle a tad more, then dust off and plop into a soft chair and nod off.  There is no chance I will be doing any sort of quilty activity tonight; I am plum tuckered out.  But tomorrow has lovely possibilities, since it's the first day of freedom for both Karl and myself.  No shackles, no real big chores, just endless hours of possibilities.  What a day that'll be.

What did you get up to today?


Monday, December 14, 2015

Wow, lots more cleaning

Aaaah, maybe not "cleaning" so much as 'neatening'.  Lots of useful fleshy stuff and shadowy material bits unearthed, with much more identified background loveliness amassed.

Truthfully, it seems to be something of a reclamation binge that I accomplish with infrequent regularity (can that really be a thing - "infrequent regularity"?).  My intentions are also the best of the best.  I always intend to clean up as I go, or get to the end of a color group and clean up then carry on... OR,  get to the end of a row then tidy as much as need be, but it is always forgotten in the excitement of the moment.

"No, no, no," my eager self yells.  "Don't lose momentum. Everything is right here where you left it.   Keep going.  Keep going!  We'll clean up in a bit."

Trouble with that is that, well, er... it never happens.  Eager self is a pretty unrelenting bitch, and we just keep mucking through until the piles of cast-off material begin tumbling over us like tsunami waves on the New Zealand Pacific shoreline.

No, I have only recently adopted the policy of putting Unrelenting Bitch into a headlock at the end of each row; and then throwing her into a closet when the need arises to actually grab a pitchfork to clean out the work area.  See, if you can't find anything you know you saw just 'an hour ago', and
you can't make a spot big enough to use a tiny cutting mat for one inch squares, and
you can't move freely without knocking something over...

So, I guess you know a little of what took place today.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Slightly off topic...but only slightly

I belong to a few groups on facebook - I have limited myself to less than ten on purpose - and the few groups I follow are of the quilting/art variety.  Can't help it if I am filled with class.

As it so happens, my chosen groups (or, the administrators of these groups) are of the sort who fairly well harbor the same sentiments I feel surrounding decorum, information sharing, types of 'posts' from members, etc.

Listen, I am an administrative type; I've worked in the corporate world and in the film industry - and in the many grey areas in between and all around those two fields - and if it's one thing I think I have a handle on it's process and guidelines.  The work world does not function well without some sort of order or process...it doesn't matter what industry it is.  Truth be told, nothing functions without process, not driving your car on the road, buying groceries, mowing your lawn, flying a plane (or taking a flight somewhere).  Whatever.

As for fb groups, it's like this:
When you join a group, take the time to read the group description, and any little 'by-laws' or addendums the person who created that group wants you to know.  It may be a 'pinned' post (that will be the post that is constantly at the top of the timeline), or it may be something the admin posts as a casual reminder from time to time.  Take heed, these are the operating standards for the group.  If it states you should stick to the topic, like quilting or applique', and you want to post images of your Christmas tree or craft items....think twice, and then DON'T post those photos.

A fabric-decoupaged wine bottle is not appropriate fodder for a hand quilting site - neither is a photo of your pet chihuahua wearing handmade elf ears (I don't care if they are hand stitched, and the pet in question is adorable in them).

Think about the audience of that group.  You may receive a few 'aw' comments, and a number of 'likes', but by and large, the greater majority of the members are going to bombard the poor administrator with questions about why those photos are on the timeline.

Seriously, if you feel a need to share your crafts and pets and such, do you really have to be reminded that you have your own fb timeline?  Share those sorts of things with your own set of friends and relatives, please.  You may receive a delicately worded message from the admin asking you to please remove those images and why, before they have to do it; that's not a fun note for an admin to write.  Don't make the admin don a Snidely Whiplash moustache and become the Gestapo - you are going to feel picked on and unwelcome because your photos will vanish.

Don't make it necessary, just play nicely and follow the rules (hate that word), and everything will run like silk ribbon through satin.  Ah.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

I was feeling pretty good until daylight showed up

Managed to clean up the table - well, not the entire mess on the table, but more than none at all...so that counts, right?  Sorted, pre-cut, and manhandled yard upon yard of mountainous material.  That activity created a little more elbow room on the work surface, but just barely.

There is still a need for more room.
And more neat.
And more 'taming of the mess' to cull out the color selection that already exists.

It's just, in its present state, you wouldn't know that underneath all of the madness there is a method to it all.

I suppose I know there is a good deal more cleaning that should be done before I can really get back to the piecing.  In all honesty, I am usually mad at myself about one thousand pieces later, when I unearth something I could have used to perfection, and I just didn't find it at the correct time.  I cannot (should not) let laziness and overeagerness stand in the way of doing the best job possible.

Besides, there's an ironing board and a chair I haven't found, yet.  At least, I think there is.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Minor recrimination

Sad to say I futzed with G6 a little more today.  The daylight was so much better, and I was fairly certain I could do better if I could give it one more shot before committing those 100 pieces to their final resting places.  Needless to say I didn't get G6 sewn together, but I did move on to hunting and pecking for the next one hundred inches.

G7 has proven itself to be somewhat more elusive than I thought it would be - but I do have just under one-quarter of the block located and in place, so the day wasn't a total loss.

What have you been working on?


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Know when to say "when"

Not entirely satisfied, but maybe that will happen once the pieces are stitched together.

I did end up moving quite a bit around this morning, but didn't get a start at it until nearly noon.  Crazy!  Putzing and searching, fussing and swapping - then re-swapping (not really a word) - it all left me questioning my eyes and my common sense.  But after a good two hours I said to myself, "Self, leave well enough alone.  It's okay just the way it is."
And here we are.

These are the windows to the soul, and I am concerned that I may misrepresent this poor soul.  Anyway, I have a date with a sewing machine - and then later, a sanding pad and a vacuum cleaner.

What are you working on?


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I've been playing

I spent the last half hour to forty-five minutes just playing with my stack of fleshy stuff - and even though I will have to wait until there is confirmation in the daylight - I believe I managed to bring the missing inches of G6 down to a blissful 7.5.

I can hear you: "How do you come up with half an inch? You deal in inches...solid inches, Beth.  You either have seven or eight - not seven-point-five."

Yeah, well...there is one spot possibly filled, but it's iffy.  I have the color, but it might need replacing/fine-tuning/rethinking with the morning light. Ya dig?  Hey, just be happy with me that the total has gone from the fourteen/fifteen range to less than ten!  That's reason to celebrate.


No reasons, no excuses

Life, man.
Life has gotten itself all tangled up in my day-to-day, ya know?
All of that stuff which happens in a day that requires coping with.  It's a bummer, man.
I need to floss my life and get the 'stuff' outta the cracks of my life.

Hoping that I can happily create tomorrow.
I miss creation.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

G6 still vexes

A day without quiltmaking (or quilting...or chocolate) is like a day without sunshine.

Anyone old enough to remember an old Florida orange growers television ad with Anita Bryant spouting: "A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine" will be smiling just a teensy bit at the recollection.  That little tagline has morphed over the decades; having been rewritten and bumbled with by folks who think they've been so terribly clever and original, they feel compelled to take credit for the whole premise.  Shame on those unoriginal, plagiaristic knock-off artists.

Without question, it was best put to use by Steve Martin - in my humble opinion.  "A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."  Even Robert Mondavi tried (with a limp shellacking) when attempting to give the domestic wine industry a shot in the arm - "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine."

Yeah, I dunno about that, wine dude, but I can attest to the whole sunshine-less thing for this quilter. And I apologize most sincerely to all those quilters in Michigan for having such a grey day.  In fact, I totally feel responsible for the funk we find ourselves in over these past couple of days.  The remedy will land on our 'doorstep' come Thursday, and improve dramatically for Friday - I promise.

Until then, here is a little bookmark of sadness; this is where I have been stuck since Sunday night.  I can't wait to get my hands back into my piles of flesh tones.  At this rate, my high-minded goal to get to RowH will not happen on time.  Bummer, man.

Vexed, perplexed, but not Tex-Mex'd.  Here's hoping your goals are being met.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Feelin' groovy

G6 has less than twenty inches missing!
:v)


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Time flies

It was this time four years ago I was finishing the piecing on PQ1 (Peace Quilt 1).

One day away from finishing construction of the top, and less than two weeks from the day that I would have it stretched and basted, and ready for quilting.  The FMQ began a few days before Christmas, and I can still remember all of the butterflies, the excitement, and the insecurity I felt all along the way.

Many mornings I would rise to find at least one of the girls curled up within the folds - Cleo and Flop had absolutely no issues claiming quilts for themselves...no matter what state of completion they were in.  If I had any issues with the possibility of them being on a quilt in process, I would take the pains to cloister the piece under a sheet or reams of paper, or fold it and keep it out of reach of my fuzzy people.  But rarely did I keep them from the quilts; they were family, and I love family feedback.  And I rarely received a negative comment from them when it came to my quilts, so naturally they deserved first dibs.

Besides, I can understand how my girls felt about quilts - comfort, love, and warmth all in one neat package.  Quilts and cats are synonymous.

Some of my favorite photos are of the family monkeys hanging out on a quilt - or under a quilt, or thinking about trespassing on some portion of a top in progress.  In fact, the only photo we have of Flop actually smiling is when she was caught chillaxing on my mother's quilt in process.  And the sound of Cleo's Mack-truck-purr still fills my ears, while I imagine her ears peeking over the top of generous folds in the material.

These are thoughts and images I will treasure for all of my days.  Hard to believe it's been four years since I worked on PQ1, but there you have it.

Thanks for walking down Memory Lane with me.  Have a great Sunday. >^..^<  =^..^=


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Carry on: Day 5

Outside my windows I see stunningly beautiful sunshine, and it is a key component for getting the colors perfect.  So I hope you will excuse me whilst I revel in it, and don't waste any more sitting at a keyboard.

Update (and photos) later.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Sunrise brings us to: Day 4

Well, ^ that could get old very quickly, but for the moment it gives me a chuckle.

Performing my routine things in a bit of a different order today.  No rhyme or reason for it, I just am.

Went to bed last night having sorted through a little bit of the mountainous mess on my sewing table.  Happily, I managed to locate a lot of usable (and timely) colors.  Even happier to say G6 is over fifty percent there.  But this morning, I looked at the table where I slave over my master, and I saw a huge problem.  The fix is not as simple as I would have myself believe.

Why is it that creating the mess is always so much easier than putting it away?  Okay, maybe not "easier" so much as more fun.  Hmmm...and maybe not "more fun" so much as a transparent component of making a quilt (or anything, really).  It's mindless...except for the thinking part, and fairly spontaneous...except for the whole specific planning and need of a certain specific color thing.  Huh.

See, and I don't even mind the cleaning.  It's cathartic in a way; a grand accomplishment; freeing.  I only mind the time it steals away from the activity of searching for more pieces, and compiling more of the next 100-piece block.  I've tried (in vain) to remain orderly about the whole thing - several times over the course of finding, cutting, and placing 7,300+ inches I have attempted a process of orderliness.  Really!  I have.  But you'd never know it to look at the table at any given moment.

Okay, the table...and the back and arms of two chairs (and the seat of one)...a rolling book cart...and a large Rubbermaid container filled with all of the identified materials that may (or may not) work when their time comes).  I don't need an intervention, I simply need more workspace.  Scout's honor.

Alright, this is me heading back to the sewing hole to clean up the TABLE a bit more...before becoming distracted by forty-five (or so) missing inches.  Yeah, good luck with that.  I wish I felt as compelled to clean in the evening hours only, when the daylight wasn't so empowering.  What a waste.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Upon further review: Day 3+

Clearer heads have prevailed.  I did swap out two inches, but only two inches - and even those were tough decisions.  I can live with it/them, though, because the alternative means never moving on to G6, or G7, or....well, I think you see where this could lead.

So, I've made a promise to myself - a pact, if you will. (Do you want to know what it is?)  It's to do my utmost to get to that very tangible halfway point by the start of the new year.  It's less than ten full blocks away!  Roughly 970 inches away.  I've estimated this may be something I can achieve by mid-February.  End of Feb if things go awry or I get a job.  We'll see.  Keep an eye on it with me, won't you?

Oh, by the way, in all actuality, the count is 969 pieces...but who's counting?


Ugh: Day 3

Once I finished placing the pieces for G5 last night, I had a hard time being totally satisfied with the whole thing. To me it was an utter disappointment in colorwork.  G5 came together like gangbusters for the first fifty pieces or so, but quickly went sour, taking far too long for the final twenty to thirty inches.

Don't get me wrong, I was glad to be done but it wasn't a triumphant feeling.

Perhaps I'll feel more charitable after it's stitched together and in place beside G4 - and under F5.  Golly, I hope that's the case, because right now I am just not a happy quiltmaker.  Let's see what the daylight tells me  (shows me) and go from there.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Onward and, well...onward: Day 2

G4 - in process.  Still needed to stitch the rows together. One 5.5" square to come!
Accept this token of my insanity as the entry du'jour.

Thankfully, I have enough to keep me busy for thirty-one days.

The 'challenge' in this thirty-one day challenge will be in wringing out the words, and them faithfully placing here.  Obviously I have no issue with 'sharing' - it's just the duty-bound feat of making myself sit and do it, when I could be off this chair and in front of George or at the layout wall.

By the way, if you are new to my blah-blah-blah, my machine's name is "George" - and all the parts associated are variations of George (think: George Foreman).


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

For better or for worse

I am accepting Caron Mosey's challenge to join in
on the "31 Day Blog Writing Challenge"
(at http://muppin.com/wordpress/index.php/).
I figure I haven't anything to lose since I am most often posting an update here anyhow, or at the Crazy Quilting blog - www.bethsmadasahatter.blogspot.com.

My challenge to you readers is to:
let our 'host' know that there truly are folks out there enjoying the extra reading material we bloggers are providing by leaving a comment that can be seen when she peruses the participating blogs.  Can you do that? Will you do that? ?

Day 1 - For better or for worse; in silence and cacophony; whether job seeking or disappointed binge eating; through grey days or deliriously brilliant sunshine, you - my dear readers and delightfully nosey friends - you will benefit from daily ramblings.

Geez.  Now that it will be a daily occurrence (throughout the whole of December only), I suppose this may be extra incentive to accomplish SOMEthing of substance every day from here on out.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

>23"

At least.

I mean, I could say there are most definitely twenty-three inches (or fewer) before I can sew together G5. But, when I shut off the lights and moved upstairs to spackle and sand some walls, I am fairly certain 23 was the 'magic number'.

Gotta laugh, though, cuz as sure as I'm sittin' here - once there's decent morning light - I will most likely be fiddling with some of the stuff I put together today. Still, with less than one-quarter to go on this block, I am a happy, happy camper.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Not a perfectly sunlit day

In fact, it's dreary.  Managed to put together fifty pieces for G5, but the ambient outdoor light is inadequate to keep going, so I am done for the day.

Sad but true.

What are you working on?


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Perfect sunlit day

Yes, perfect - and I will have to be wasting some of it away from G5. Boo!  Ah, well, it's a worthy cause (I suppose) so there isn't as much regret as there could be.

G5 will progress, just not as quickly as I would have liked.

What are you working on?


Monday, November 23, 2015

The eyes have it


And yes, I meant "eyes."

When I had to stop working on this a few days back, it was missing seventeen pieces.  This morning I managed to locate eight of them before frustration set in (and a desire to have breakfast).  As you can see, I am currently dumbfounded by a measly seven remaining inches.

Why is it that the fewer I need, the more I feel like drinking?

Hint:
Try not looking at this too closely.  Leave it small, and move back from the screen - say...five or six feet.


Friday, November 20, 2015

G4

This is what it looks like with just 17" to go.
Please forgive the late afternoon daylight - it's pre-snowstorm - but I really wanted to get an update 'out there' in case anyone is watching.

What are you working on?


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Perfectionism - what is it good for?

Lights out last night happened around nine o'clock with eight missing inches, but I was resolved to get an early start this morning.

Happy to announce I did just that, a-n-d have cut the gap down to just two missing inches....after having replaced three other pieces I was not overly fond of (there's that nagging perfectionism).

[sigh]

So, if you will excuse me, I am heading back to the lair to finish this block while I can take advantage of this gorgeous morning light.  There are others things I must get to today, and these two inches are a tiny - but most important - hurdle I must tackle before moving on.

What are you working on?


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ah, those subtle little nuances

Can you see it?
Likely as not, most people wouldn't see it or discredit the overall image (once it's finally completed) for the use of one light, sort of smudgy-tan-over-pale-greyish-blue versus any of the rest of the choices, but I still had to make a tough decision.

This is what I went with.








Let's see how well you can identify it in the whole piece one row from now.



Thursday, November 12, 2015

A little old, a little new. From funky brown to palest blue.

Since there's nothing new to report, I offer a random sampling of the color changes I'm experiencing of late.

This was (is) an in-process snap of G1 and G2.  I'm glad to be so far away from yellow.

200 little pieces of happiness right here, and roughly another nine-thousand, five-hundred to go.


Monday, November 9, 2015

At the very least

I have a part time job at a local market.  A job which happily began with me in the role of the outdoor floral person.  That position was to last until mid-August, but because of idiotic reasoning (read: poor management decisions), it ended way too early, and I was transferred indoors to a register/clerk position.

Let's just skip past a lot and I will tell you I was transferred to Produce and Floral, where I had a fair amount of hours.  Not enough, but at least it was work.

Well, let's skip a little further ahead.
This week is a full forty hours - because the dept mgr in floral is on vacation, so I am splitting the hours with another floral clerk.  The thought of absolutely no quilting or VGS - or anything creative - is twisting my brain in knots.  And not those sweet little French knots, or Picots, or Bullion knots, either.  But...at least I am allowed to work with the lovely flowers, from which I derive an immense amount of happiness and creative inspiration for my silk work.

Have a good day, everyone.  And for Heaven's sake, tell me what you're working on, please.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Yesterday

Over twenty-nine years ago my life changed forever.  The first of my babies was born, and we became a unit of two.  Mother and child.  A beautiful piece of creation.

It happened for me just one more time when I gave birth to his younger brother.  Ah, true love.

It's taken twenty-nine years for the separation process to finally become a thing.  I didn't have to kick him out of the nest, but truthfully, there were times when it felt as though a stick of dynamite may have been in order.

Last night I went to bed relieved, and strangely not the least bit weepy or melancholy.  I turned the locks on the front door and shut off the living room lights with the full knowledge that there would be no 3AM entrance and interruption to my sleep.  Not a shred of motherly angst was given to thoughts of the lateness of his arrival or safety on the roads.

It wasn't until just a couple of hours ago I had comprehension.  The reality of a lifetime of work has come to fruition.

When Hobbes began her deaf-kitty chatter early on this morning, I didn't beg her to quiet down.  There was no useless shushing or urgency to stifle her loud pleas for breakfast.  There was no Brian to worry we'd awaken after too-little sleep.   There was no Brian.

Karl....heh.  He can sleep through pretty much anything.

Today will be a series of phone calls for necessary things; a trip to the bank, a stop at the recycling dropbox, and a trip to the market.  Cleaning and laundry are a portion of the agenda, and a visit from the liberated boy.  Most likely there will be many visits from Brian - he will be slowly gathering and removing items for some time to come (since I couldn't get him to do any of the sorting, packing, or tossing business before yesterday's grand exodus).  Plus, some of that laundry I mentioned is his.

All of those mundane activities will be interrupted by fits of quilting activities, because that's the way I roll.  I wasn't able to 'play' at all yesterday, too much life-altering stuff to do.  But today is a completely different story.

What was your yesterday like, and what's on your agenda today?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I'm comin' for ya, G3

Finally managed to get G2 together, but when I turned out the lights in the sewing corner to head over to the machine - gasp.  It was Just. So. Dark.

Nothing more will be done (can be done) on VS tonight, sorry...and I'm afraid I'll have to give you an I.O.U. for a photo of the row up to this point, too.  Thanks for being so understanding.

You're going to love the not-so-subtle bit of color change.  I promise.

For now, I'm rolling up my sleeves.  Tomorrow: G3


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Too bleary-eyed to see straight

Besides the fact that it's nearly midnight (plus one hour), I am heading to bed knowing I only have four inches to locate for G2.  Hot dang!  That oughta lead to some excellent dreams, oui?

What did you work on today?


Sixteen away from sewing

Feels good to be moving along on RowG; block two is almost completely laid out.
[stifles hysterical gleeful giggling]


Friday, October 30, 2015

A quick "thank you"

Dear Judy Martin,

Your inclusion of Peace Quilt 1 onto your Pinterest account page called "Postage Stamp Quilts (Exceptional Ones" totally made my year.  I am honored you liked it enough to add it to those other lovely quilts you admire.  The description you gave the collection was equally groovy:

"I love a Postage Stamp Quilt! Traditionally, these were made with patches the size of a postage stamp, and that's the way I like them! I especially love a Postage Stamp quilt with hundreds or thousands of different fabrics and some pattern besides the scrap squares. I'm making one now."

I am doubly honored that you also liked my Reading Rainbow quilt, and added that one to another of your Pinterest pages.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for that Titanic-sized boost of confidence.  Good luck with your own postage stamp quilt endeavor - I am looking forward to seeing it in all of its glory in the future.

Again, MANY thanks for the tremendous compliment of my work.

Best regards,

Beth Waldon


Already a better day

There are over 40 pieces in place - nearly fifty, even - and much more sun to work with today, so I am going to "get jiggy wiff it"...I hope.

However, my son brought to me another several sets of jeans requiring mending.  Those will need to be done toot sweet to get them off of my pile of needful things, and out the door with him when he and his girlfriend move into their own place!  So, some of my free time will be given over to three sets of jeans.  Boo!  I feel it's a worthwhile loss of time on the quilt (if there can be such a thing), but it's still a setback.

Ah, well.  Let's get back to a little more searching and placing before I need to step away from it for a bit.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is it good for?

Today is a Thursday.
Another day in the week.
Another week in another month out of the year.
Another year coming to a close.

October is spent and just limping to a close.  It's a cold, blustery, inevitable end, covered in leaf-strewn yards, bare trees, nearly dormant plants, and chimneys puffing madly at the approaching November chill.  Soon enough, crates of pumpkins at the supermarket will be replaced by red kettles and bell ringers.  The smell of Thanksgiving diners will be overtaken by the aroma of pine trees and baking cookies.  New Year celebrations will give way to school kids wistfully dreaming of the end to the school year, while parents long for a more tangible mid-winter break.

Me, I simply see the day as a way to spend several stolen hours either FMQing or - since it's mostly sunny - trying to finish up G2.  Hey, there are only 75 inches or so to find.  LOL

Of course, there is a trip to the bank, some cleaning to get knee deep in to, jobs to search for and apply to, and undone yardwork to attack.  Decisions, decisions.

A semi-sunny Thursday...what is it good for?

What will you do today?


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happiness. Happiness. Happiness.

G1 completed within the last twenty-four hours, and 24 inches are in place on G2. [happy sigh]

Sweet dreams in this little one-inch-square corner of the world.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oh, bother and dagnabit!

This photo shows where I began this morning, but not where I ended up.  Three niggly pieces stand in my way.  THREE.  Wasting a couple of precious daylight hours on a couple of things completely unrelated to this happiness is what kept me from meeting my goal, too.  Darn.

And tomorrow will be a total drag since I will not be able to finish this up as I would like to.  Darn, darn, darn.

What are you working on?


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why so much cleaning?

To put it simply, if your workspace looked like this, and you had gone from a color palette of golden browns and ooshy-colored oranges, tinged with green under- or overtones, to lightest smokey lavenders and baby-to-sky blues, you'd have to make room and find the bottoms of your piles, too.

I've been amassing and putting aside particular bits and pieces, swaths of perfect background material for quite a while (well over two years), and now I am getting the chance to use them!  Wheeeeee.  Unfortunately, that means clearing space and shifting piles - and finding the stuff my dreams were made of.  [groan]

The palette board is going through a huge change, and I have very nearly collected and stored most of the unnecessary inches.  All of that (now-no-longer-needed) meticulously cut material will have to go somewhere a bit more permanent, but for now I am only concentrating on forward motion.  I began assembling the layout of G1 in earnest, but have taken some time to also (smartly) sort and clean along the way.

Who knows.  Maybe I will get everything back to a state of very little confusion and piles of perfection (as when I began this whole undertaking)...but even I wouldn't hold my breath.  Happiness is knowing most of everything I will need is down in that area somewhere.  LOL

One smart thing I did do was move my machine out of the work space and to another location entirely.  There is now quick access to more of the table for cutting and sorting, and the machine doesn't require a clearing off when it's time to sit and sew.  Also, I won't be turning on four bulbs overhead for three hours at a time whilst I stitch the 100-piece blocks together.  That should become a bit of a $aving$ factor from my wallet to the power company, and in costs for replacement bulbs.  We shall see.

For now, G1 is better than one-third complete, and I am tickled to be so close to the halfway point.

What are you working on?


Monday, October 19, 2015

I think it's time

Time to invest in the experimentation portion of VS thread painting.

My little postage stamp monster will have a two-fold thread/quilting finish - each step to be completed at different points during the quiltmaking process.  Even though there is progress in the piecing, I am feeling  a need to 'color outside the lines' a bit.  Just to do something a little different...beyond the routine and monotony.

Now is the perfect time to investigate whether my idea for accomplishing a brushstroke-effect is possible using a method I've not encountered before - either in print or in person.  I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meanwhile, here's a neat image of the goings on today.  Pinning and sewing rows E and F together.  Don't you just love it!?


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Phwew!

Mop that sweat off your brows...I've OOHHH-ficially moved on to RowG!

[cue the marching band and acrobats]


Sadly - it will have to wait until tomorrow.  :v(
Today will be taken up entirely by working in 'that dreadful place'.

What quilty happiness are you creating today?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Eight more to go

However, the lighting has become hideous, so I am finished for the day.

Tomorrow will see this block - and row - at an end!


Holy moly

UPDATE - 4:32PM
Whoop-eeee! Seventeen to go.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Down to a scant twenty-one missing inches for F11.3.

Picture Snoopy dancing over his food dish.  That'd be me right now.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happiness comes in small bites

UPDATE: 12:29PM -
Currently at 101 in place, missing twenty-nine.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
We begin the day with only 35 missing inches.

"Only?" I hear you questioning.

Yes, "only" - and here's why.  Remember, I am at the last block and one-third of the row.  All the rows are comprised of eleven full blocks, and a final three full columns of ten pieces.  One-hundred-thirty pieces to finish the row; and way back when I began assembling these as one whole block instead of the normal 100-piece block...and then the last thirty pieces.  It's just more expeditious (sometimes).

Anyhow, I am thrilled to have located and placed several more at the end of the day yesterday.  I am filled with hopefulness and cheek, and have decided I am finishing this row TODAY!

What are you slaving over?


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Using my 'free time' without guilt

Heading down to my little sewing hole and licking some emotional wounds.  In the meanwhile, I will find and place more of F11.3, and hope to get within the strike-zone of assembling it today or tomorrow.  RowG has been mocking me mercilessly forever.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In the 'Notfernuthin' category

Have you ever had a moment when you felt as though what you did actually meant something?  I mean, "meant something to someone else other than yourself?"  Not just to your friends and family (who we all know love us, but say things to make us feel better) - but we understand their admiration and compliments are maybe not representative of the general population.  Oh, it's appreciated - and well-intentioned, sure - but a little, shall we say... 'suspect' in its objectivity?

That sounded a tidbit harsh (- sorry), but I want to remain unflinchingly honest here.

If you are a creator of some sort, and you put time and energy and creative juices into something, and it comes out at least as well as you planned for it to, you admittedly enjoy receiving positive comments (of some nature) from those who encounter it.  Right?  Let's face it, even though we should be creating for the sake of making ourselves happy, we like the adulation from others to validate the whole thing. [feeling others nodding vigorously in agreement]

So, when I say I like to know that something I make (or do) has a meaning or purpose, or finds a thumb's-up from another person, I am decidedly pleased and do feel completely validated.

Case in point:
For the second time this year, something I have made (or am in the process of making) has been featured in a very public way before a group of like-minded creators (quilters).  When I found one of my photos of an unstitched blocks from VGS as the banner image for an online group, I was astounded.  At least the administrator for the group said she "admires" my design work.

Earlier in the year, she posted another image from my current crazy quilt project as the banner image.  That one she said was "exquisite", and that it added "class" to the group.  The whole of the group is not the least bit effusive, so it garnered not much n the way of comments, but I was pleased that it should be given so prominent a position by someone - and to receive unsolicited praise.

The fact is that she chose to look through my work of her own accord and select some of it to lead with, well... it meant something.

[happy sigh]


Friday, October 9, 2015

Over the hurdle and past the bend

Happily, happily, happily I have cruised past the halfway point of F11.3.  Currently the block is missing a 'mere' 47 inches!

Yes, I know - I am excited, too.

That's still a lot to have to find, but I am happy at the progress.  No, really.  REALLY.
I am.  I promise.  There hasn't been much time dedicated to working on it (as I would like), so my thought is that for the time that has been afforded, it's not too shabby.

My desire is to get RowG underway as soon as possible. But I suppose that is always the desire after the seventh or eighth block of every row.  Yellows are nearly a thing of the past (thankfully), and pretty soon oranges will be a once-in-awhile thing, too.  Can't tell you what a blessing that will be.

Been thinking of creating a much larger layout board to put future blocks together on.  The forward thinking seems to spur me on and work a little freer, especially when I run across a wealth of certain colors that are perfect for one section or another.  Perhaps allowing myself the fun (read: "luxury") of assembling a block in totally far-flung colors (compared to a current area) might be a boon - instead of always making little piles for 'later'.  I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a try, eh?

What are you working on?

UPDATE - 9:12PM
Only managed to place five more measly pieces before turning off the lights for the night.  Sadly, I found myself swapping more than placing new - and all due to the lighting.  I may be in for a sorry shock tomorrow, when I find I don't like what I've rearranged.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As for F11.3

I haven't worked on it over the last two days, but I did scout out several more colors for the shadows I am currently trying to piece together . . . and for the multitude of shadowy pieces to come.  I didn't score a very large haul of necessary delicious bits, but I did find (perhaps) enough to get me through this painful portion.

So it's off to the salt mines I go.  There's a little feeling of justification in my decision to burn a little daylight today.  There are 2.5 pounds of seared country pork ribs becoming dinner in the slow cooker, and a second load of laundry churning - so as to keep me from feeling too lazy.

The block is currently half there - exactly half!  I am buoyed by this revelation, but hardly satisfied.

What are you working on?


Sunday, October 4, 2015

UPDATE: F11.3

Sixty-one down, sixty-nine to go.


But who's counting?


Progress on 11.3

Fifty-one of one-hundred-thirty pieces are in place.  I should be happy, I know, but it's a drop in the bucket.   It feels like a drop in the bucket.

I really want to move on to the next row.

I really want to be working with the coming new color-ways - the tortured texture of the skin and the lovely soft tones of the background.

I need to be away from the yellows and oranges which have consumed so much time and effort.  The yellows and oranges that have become muddied and greened; smudged and grotesque.  It too closely resembles an emotional state for me.  Somehow it mimics a mental reflection of loss - mostly from this summer, but also of my life over the past several years.  I want to run from it.

Run and run and never look back.

But, I know if I walk away from this block for the time being and focus on a new start, I will find it even harder to return at a later date to finish; to drive the final nail into its 'coffin'.  Somehow, I need to find more pleasure in the completion than pain in slogging through it.

Fifty-one down, seventy-nine to go.  Happy thoughts from any of you would be greatly appreciated.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

F10 done!

F11.3 is still in the layout process...but that is to be expected - I mean, it is 130 pieces.

As of last night (10/2), I had thirty inches in place, so I really only have one hundred more to find.

[whimper]


Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh, geez. Wrong direction

Last night I ended my search for completing F10 relatively early, mostly because my foot was a-hurtin', and partially because the light was hampering things.

Then there's the whole aspect of: I began to remove (and replace) pieces I wasn't 100% happy with, causing the count to climb to nine missing pieces - up from seven.  WTHeck?!

Today, I am back on track (for the most part), and have redeemed myself with 'counter-insanity' measures.
Here is an image of the melee.  On the bottom left is F10 with those four missing inches (evident by the white spots), and to the top right you see the beginnings of F11.3.

Bottom right you can see I clearly have not made myself clean up and adjust the color palette by much - this is making the process move more slowly than necessary.

For those of you looking for my crazy quilting items, please go to  http://bethsmadasahatter.blogspot.com/


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Grammar lesson (yes, in regards to quilting)

One thing I have been pondering lately are the words "quilting" versus "quiltmaking".

I saw that someone had read the entry entitled "I think, therefore I quilt", and thought to myself how wrong that seemed.  I began to realize what I actually meant (and should have written) was, "I think, therefore I am a quiltmaker".

For those of you who don't make quilts (either at all or on a regular basis) you may not think there is a difference, but believe me when I tell you that there is.  There really is.

A quiltmaker is exactly that - a maker of quilts.  I am a top-to-bottom sort of quiltmaker...from beginning to end.  I cut and piece the top; I sandwich the top with batting and the backing; I quilt and then bind the piece, and regularly add a sleeve, too.

I take part in every aspect of the quilt creation.  
I make quilts, I don't simply piece the top and get the backing together then hand it off to someone else for the quilting portion.  

I am a quiltmaker.

I am also a quilter.  I quilt my quilts, and I quilt other people's quilts as well.  That is to say, I do that decorative/utilitarian/very necessary stitching you see all over the quilt.  You know, that stitching that keeps the layers together and embellishes the quilt piecing.  Yeah, that 'stuff'.  I quilt.  

But make no mistake.  Quilting and quiltmaking are two different things.  Quilting is an act of quiltmaking - a very important piece of the quiltmaking process - but it is still just one component of the overall activity which is quiltmaking.  

Do you see the difference now?  Can you get behind the theory and the practice?  Good.  I knew that you could.  It's a very big distinction, don't you agree?

So when someone tells you they are a quilter, you can feel free to ask them if they quilt for themselves or if they quilt for others, as well.  Otherwise, you could (if you were so inclined) feel free to press the point by letting them know they are, in fact, a 'quiltmaker' of the very highest order - and not simply a 'quilter'.  A very good thing indeed.
_______

Oh, and before I forget, I am seven inches away from completing F10.  Seven inches of torture, but I will persevere.  ;v)  What have you been working on lately?


Thursday, September 24, 2015

A little progress, a little sad news

F10 is now underway, and it is still somewhat slow going.

[snorting at "somewhat"]

The finger is still tender, but healing.  Amazingly better than it has been, and for that I am grateful to the medical peeps at the Wayne State University Physician Group in Rochester, MI.  Handwork is infinitely frustrating due to the nature and location of the injury and the s-l-o-w healing process, but I am overjoyed to be able to hold and manipulate a needle and Perle cotton again - albeit clumsily.  In time I will be back 100%, but until then, I am happy to at least be slowly working at my loves.  For now, my crazy quilting is on the back burner.

Nothing much to say or show on the PSQ front, but I can admit to trying my best at identifying and cutting bits and pieces for F10 and F11.3.  I tell you, you have no idea how much [we] take for granted the simple tasks of holding our quilting tools is.  Gripping the rotary cutter is a real chore, as is pinning.

With a gimpy digit, it's even taking a lot longer to machine piece the blocks together.  The normal 2.5 hours for one hundred 1" pieces is up to well over three hours!  Allowances have to made for how I hold and push the glass heads into the seams for meticulous matching of every joint.

So when I tell you how happy I am for each completed block in RowF, I am not blowing it out of proportion.  Also, this row represents a huge familial loss for us.

The second of my beloved quilt testers and sewing buddies has passed. On the 19th of September, we had to help Flop move on to a better place.  This wound will take longer to heal than my finger, and the pain of it will linger far longer.

Rest in peace, Flop.  I miss you and Cleo more than words can say.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Just a quickie

Took some doing, but I found the missing F7.

[sigh]
Yes, I managed to misplace (OK . . . 'lose') one-hundred little joined pieces.  Never fear, after a certain amount of searching it's back in the line-up!  Phwew.  There's a load off.



Now, the longer version:
Thing is, I had really planned to pick out several seams in order to replace one of the objectionable bits and swap it with a better fitting color piece.  But, then I became distracted by the whole tidying up thing, and trying to locate more bits for the growing F8.

Then, suddenly I was on to F9, and I realized I didn't see F7 anywhere.
How did I misplace a whole piece of my postage stamp puzzle?
WHERE did I lay it? [smacking forehead]
When did I do it?
If I could answer even one of these questions I would be on the road to locating 100 inches of specific color, I thought.

Well, Q&A did not work.  It took Brian's help (and about 1.25 hours) sorting through three rather large piles of material to get to the bottom of my issue.  Yup, the missing F7 was at the bottom of a bunch of material I had planned to harvest for F9, F10, and F11.3.

Sheesh.

Thank you, Bud.  Now, I need to resort all of that material again.  Whatchya doin' for the next two hours or so?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

F9, 10, and 11.3 to go

However, now it's time for bed.

There is a mountain of fabric to sort and cut, so tomorrow's daylight is spoken for.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Not much

Not much to report.  Certainly not much crowing to do.

Still working with a 'gimpy' finger, and so cutting pieces is a slow-going pain in the thimble.

Happily, I am powering through (to the best of my ability) the piecing of F8, and have approximately one third of the pieces to locate.  That's a lot better than having only ten pieces in place.  So, I am content enough.

What are you working on?


Thursday, September 10, 2015

A little teaser

This is an image of a-l-m-o-s-t
half of what is complete on the
current postage stamp project.

Happy?

You're welcome.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fini!

OK, finished with F7...not the entire quilt.

That's alright, though, because that means I am now on to F8.  Four-and-one-third blocks to go, then - bazinga!  RowG!  ;v)  And yes, you perceptively brilliant readers, that was a nod to the Big Bang Theory.

So much excitement, can you feel it?  Can you?  Oh, c'mon...you know you can feel it.

Tell me, what's your little bit of excitement?


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ten whole inches

Just ten inches lay between me and assembling F7.

Pity of it is that there is more of the same for F8, and while I have put some of it aside (as I've found it), there is still an awful lot of cutting to do.  Yuck.  And it's difficult without the use of an index finger.

By the time I am an old women, I will have very little I take for granted anymore.

UPDATED -

Managed to cut the gap down to five before shutting off the lights for the night.  Poor lighting - no matter how good it is - leads to a lot of swapping pieces later.  Just do it right the first time.

What have you been working on?


Monday, September 7, 2015

Patience is a virtue

Working without the use of your index finger is akin to having no thumbs.  It's darn near impossible to manipulate and coerce fabric to do the things you want on the bed of your sewing machine when it's humid, but add the inconvenience of not being able to use your index finger to guide and pull and prod - and pin - and you have a whole other realm of frustration.

Sewing together F6 has taken a great deal of patience, and two days.  Two!  The process of joining 100 pieces into a block is generally takes less than three hours, so you can imagine my frustration.

Couple that with the inability to properly hold/use a rotary cutter, and there you have complete quilter's annihilation.  I even managed to lose control of the thing once.  It tumbled out of my hand, across the table and to the floor, where it fell on my foot creating a three-quarter-inch gash.

Voila!

F7 is currently two-thirds of the way laid out.
Funny, though.  I don't feel any more virtuous.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Good news, though

When I can get back to it, I will be able to assemble F6 right away.  I have a mere four pieces to find and place, so I have that to keep me buoyed while I wait for my finger to 'normal-up'.

What are you working on?  No. Really...tell me, I'd like to know.


Putting the breaks on

Yesterday was not a great day, in the grand scheme of things.  Took the lovely, reclusive Flop to the vet - her eating has been almost non-existent of late.  Turns out, she has lost 20% of her weight since early July.  She is a small Maine Coon, but still, a stocky, box-y girl, and we could see (and feel) the difference.  But it was her running away from the food dish that had me worried.

On a good day, m-a-y-be she would eat a handful of meager bites, but then would run from the plate as if she had seen a ghost.  And that seemed to have begun overnight in late June/early July.  She has been reticent to approach the canned food at all - even though you could see she wanted to eat.

Well, long story short (mostly because my finger is throbbing), the vet asked me to assist by moving Flop's tongue out of the way...with my finger...while she held Flop's scruff and chin - her mouthful of teeth wide open.  Against my better judgement, I did it.  The next few seconds were swift and shocking.

Her jaws came together and my index finger was impaled on one tooth.  When the vet finally opened Flop's mouth for me to attempt to retrieve my finger, I only partially managed to turn it off of the tooth enough so that the second bite resulted in another - even more brutal - bite, and this time it included a couple more teeth...several more holes - including cracking my nail bed.

It's excruciating, that's all I can say.

I will have to put any handwork - and cutting pieces for VG - on the backburner for a short while.  So please, forgive my absence for the next several days.  I'll keep you posted.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Just about one dozen to go

Twelve short inches separate me from completing F6.

That's all.  Just twelve.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Not truly a waste of time

At least, it wasn't entirely a waste of time.  The cleaning helped to uncover a good deal of badly needed color - so that made it a worthwhile use of time.  It's just that I would like to make more progress on the piecing and building of the top...but I can't do one without the other, and I get that.  Truly, I do.

Today will find me in that horrible place for a long shift, and despite the fact that I am scheduled to be in the floral area (I love that portion of it), I will most likely not get to spend any time there.  When my days are scheduled in floral, I am almost always pulled away to cashier at the front end. [unhappy sigh]

When I return home I will dive into F6, hopefully finishing the block.  That will rinse the bitter taste of the day away.  Currently, it is 2/3s laid out - and that is a happy thing.

Happy.  Happy.  Happy.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Wrap-up

The week is nearly over, and it's been eventful (in a tiny way).

Completing F5 put the total of constructed pieces at 6,150!  There's a big 'woohoo'.  Half way is still a bit off - but it is ever so much closer.  8,249 (the halfway mark) is only 2,099 inches away.  Just under half of the way through H4 will see this quilt top at 50% complete.  [deep breath]  Twenty-one squares...I can do this.

As for yesterday's interview: I feel as though it went well, but now [we] have another waiting game to contend with.  The team of three interviewers had several more candidates to interview (which I believe ends today), and then the decision-making process begins.  Only time will tell, I s'pose.  News will be available sometime around the tenth of September.  Please keep good thoughts in your hearts and a prayer on your lips for my success in this.  Thank you.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today is an interview day

Please pardon the lack of sewing/quilting words as I prepare for a job interview.

Thank you in advance for your prayers, good thoughts, and wishes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

And this hot mess is...

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to F5.  One. Hot. Mess.

I'll have it together a little later, but for now I am resting my foot and icing it up.


Fewer than twenty!

Fewer than twenty inches/pieces to go before I am ready to stitch together F5.

Oh, and do you realize that the last image I shared represents four-hundred pieces of 1" squares?  That's right...400.

So, what are you working on?



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Breathing a sigh of contentment

Guess what I have done for the day.
Go ahead - guess!

OK, I think I heard you all say the same thing . . . and you were right.  So, here it is, F1-4, in all its glory!

An update to the update about the updates re: F4

And the UPDATE to the updates?:
As of 2:45 PM (eastern time zone) the joining of block F4 had begun.  Photo in a little while.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

OK, I am now down to three missing inches.  A mere three pieces before the seaming for the block can happen.

Talk about frustrating.

I am supposed to be staying off of my foot, and for the most part I am (also very frustrating), which makes the search and placement process next to impossible...and very slow.  I will elevate my foot quite often throughout the day - and ice it periodically - spending countless hours pseudo-cutting pieces and sorting through much of the mess, but at certain times I just have to stand (one-footed) for a bit so that there can be some progress made.

Sorted through the large box of reserved palette material to find anything that might help move past this current roadblock.  Eh, there was a little here and there.  Mostly, the tidying up has helped to uncover a lot of useable color that was lying buried.  And I even managed to add a bit of new stitchwork to "Peacock" - the CQ project - but all I really want to do is keep moving forward on this postage stamp quilt!

Tomorrow will see my return to 'work' for a shift of all day walking and standing - and will probably undo all of the good that has been accomplished.

Perhaps there will be some good news (and a photo) tonight.  Fingers crossed, people.

What are you working on?




Saturday, August 22, 2015

UPDATED - Whimpering along

With a small update to the count:
Eighteen more pieces to acquire.  18!
It is progressing slowly today.  Taking lots of time-outs to nurse and rest my foot - and it's not helping to complete the laying out of F4.

grrrrrrrrr

Blast it all with thunder and tarnation!


UPDATE:
As of 2:30PM, I still have 14 to go!  Ugh - I think I did more replacing and rethinking than actually finding new.

The magic number is 25

Twenty-five inches away from completing the layout of F4, with a really good head start on F5.

Is someone excited?




Ooooooooh, yes! 'Someone' IS excited.




But 'someone' still need to clean up, too.  That's a boo.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It's been a bear

This block has been a bit of a nightmare, and I have no doubt - when I begin to really clean up - I will find copious amounts of the very colors I was looking for, right in plain sight.  Wouldn't that just be the way it goes?

Ah, well.

Karl and I have eaten, so now it's time to get down to stitching these one-hundred bits together.  [insert happy dance here]  I'm including this photo to whet your whistle, because the colors are yummy and I don't think it would be right to keep it to myself.   Enjoy!

What did you work on today?


If you ask me -

It's taken too long, if you ask me.  Entirely too long to assemble the necessary bits for F3.  Holy cow.

I seemed to have developed a pretty healthy pattern of late, and it included beginning the layout and finishing the sewing of the blocks (each 100 squares) within a four day period, but this particular block is ruffling my four day feathers.  I suppose I was leaning too hard with my expectations.

And then there's the indisputable fact that not all of the squares are going to be "a piece o' cake" - and I guess I need to face that fact, too.

Not to mention, there is a massive amount of cleaning that needs doing at present; lots of sorting and clearing the decks of colors no longer required.  The searching has become a lot more complicated because of the new colorway - I mean, with all of the older things spread far and wide.

To be fair to myself, I do have an out here for not accomplishing the four day standard.  But...

If you ask me, I need to step it up a bit.  I should have finished this quilt last year - and I could have been a lot closer to the finish line had I not squandered my unemployed free hours.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Oh, yeah, and there will be a photo later today, because I do intend to find those last blasted 15 pieces for E3 and get it stitched together BEFORE nightfall - even with the housekeeping that needs doing.  Stay tuned.

What are you working on?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Perseverance

You've got to have it to finish the things in your heart which seem to be unrealistic or never-ending.

I was making fairly good progress, finishing a new block about every four-to-five days, but this block has me spinning my wheels.  It doesn't usually happen until I reach the middle of a row, but F3 is kicking my fanny.  Lots of brown tones mixed with the deep orange-yellows (and green overtones on top of burnt yellows and oranges), and so I have had to dig into the stash crate and search.  This has created a sluggish sort of forward movement.

I am so eager to get into the reds and vibrant blood-pinks, that I am sorely tempted to drop the current block and just use the little bits accumulating in the periphery.

And then there are the soft greens, greys, blues, lilacs, and creams of the lower background that beckon to me - they lie just below the current block.  What a change those will be to assemble. [insert squeal of childish glee]

Is it any wonder I love working on this quilt?  It's just taking too long to search and amass the necessary components.

What are you working on?


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not my best work

Over the many, MANY hours spent working on this quilt I have learned a few things.  First (and first-part-B) do not do any piecing while extremely tired, or while sick.  Do not!

I really should have waited to put these together until I had had some sleep.

Ah well.
Once the other 16,400 pieces are in place around it, the poorly matching corners here and there will never show.

I think.




I hope.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Know when to say "when" [yawn]

Went to bed last night, bleary-eyed and disappointed.  Disappointed with being SO close to having F1 (first block) completely laid out and ready to stitch together this morning, but still missing three pieces.

That's right.  I went to bed with three pieces missing.

Rather than forge ahead and choose 'whatever' I could find that would have been 'close enough', I decided to wait until the morning light and sort through additional fabric I could pull from the VG stash I assembled back in April - two years ago.  And I am so glad I did.

I will not sort any further through the stash, looking for - and replacing - a dozen pieces or more (which I could probably do standing on my head).  I will not waste the time.  Instead, I will clean out the cat box, clean up Beana's morning throw-up, then sit down at the machine and whip this fresh pair of one-hundred pieces together before heading off to work.  I will enjoy the fact that RowF is legitimately underway, and that I have a small start at F2 already on a layout board.  Whee!!!

Oh!  I will post a photo tonight (I'm so happy).  Will do so before leaving the house, if I give myself the time.



Friday, August 7, 2015

UPDATED - Renewed vigor

The way I am looking at it, I totally "knocked it out of the park" last night.  Managed to find and place 75 pieces before my eyes closed - and I am beyond excited this morning!  My hope of finishing the first block of RowF over the weekend may just be within my reach after all.

Color me 'geeked'.

UPDATE -
Need to step away from the fun for a while, and get ready for the day.  BUT, I have eighty-two . . . YES! 82 pieces in place!

BOO-YAH!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Half is good

Complete (or whole...or all) would be better, but in this instance, half is good.

I have half of square one from RowF laid out as of mid-afternoon.  Perhaps I can manage to take that total up to 3/4s before dinner (or bedtime) - but there is a huge palette change from the right-hand side of the image to the left-hand side, so maybe a little cleaning, cutting, and reconnoitering wouldn't go amiss at present.  I am finding it time-consuming looking for things that haven't yet been cut...and there's a lot of that popping up throughout this row.

Yeesh.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to possibly having this first block finished by the end of the weekend, and making progress throughout RowE on a regular basis.  [happy sigh]

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

UPDATED - A mere twelve

A mere twelve pieces are all that stand twixt me and completing RowE.
[happy, happy sigh]


As of 7:00PM EDT -
I have begun to stitch the 130 pieces of E11.3 together.  The full RowE will be joined tonight, and if I don't make it in time for a photo by daylight, I will post an image tomorrow. [insert excited squealy noise]


Thursday, July 30, 2015

With a smile on my face

I am going to bed tonight with a smile on my face, because
1) I did get E10 together, and
2) I have than a good start on E11 and E11.3.  In fact . . .
3) I have over sixty-five pieces in place (out of 130 total) for the set, and
4) I stitched together the four whole blocks that had been accumulating (E7-E10)

Row E is nearly a memory - after sitting idle for nearly an entire year. I am happy, happy, happy.

Tomorrow I will let myself 'play' for a small amount of time, but will devote more time to absolutely necessary things.  Or, at the very least, I will allow myself to think of those necessary things - a lot - while I am piecing VGS.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

UPDATED - 10 pieces to go

That is . . . ten pieces if I don't get caught up in replacing/swapping some of the pieces already placed for things I think are better.  I can kill a lot of time doing the old swap-a-roo thing.

Deepest desire is to have this block stitched together (and dishes washed) before I have to leave the house this afternoon.

Finger's crossed.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

UPDATE:
Thursday, 7/30 10:28 AM
Guess I didn't cross my appendages hard enough, because I ran out of time before running out of spots to fill (and yes, I did wind up swapping a few things here and there...so I definitely put myself way behind in the process).

HOWEVER, I placed the last of everything for E10 a few moments ago, and will head to the sewing machine to 'put the pedal down' - completing E10 this morning - as soon as I finish this update.  With any luck, I will get a good start laying out E11 and E11.3 before losing too much of this gorgeous light.  Perhaps this weekend will find me assembling the final 130 pieces into a block, and then stitching the entire E row together.  Wouldn't that be grand!?!  I will keep you updated . . . but hopefully there will be a photo to prove the accomplishment, and then a huge move forward for August!

What are you working on?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Happy birthday to my lovely mother!

In honor of my mom's birthday, I have given myself permission to use a few hours of the day today to work without guilt or care on VGS.  Yes, that means some wanting things are further back on the ol' burner, but ththththppppbbbbbbt!  Ask me if I care today.

Go ahead . . . ask me.

Congratulations on a milestone day, mom.  And, thanks for the 'time off' to play with the crazy Dutchman.  I know it's not your favorite, but it will be time well-spent.  Just wait and see.

I love you, and I hope to look as beautiful as you when I finally grow up.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oh, boy

I really should be outside gardening (= cleaning the front flowerbed and planting), but I am moving along fairly well on E10, and am too jazzed to quit at the moment.

Is that wrong?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

E9 is complete

Yup . . . it is!

Forward momentum (at the expense of getting anything else done - most notably any garden work).  But it feels so good, especially since it's been one year since I last touched it.

Two-point-three blocks to go before I am really moving on.  Watch out, Row F - I'm comin' for ya!
From left to right these show: the loose pieces; the joined pieces; the same portion of an image I am re-creating.
This is a comparison shot showing the layout of the pieces and what it looks like sewn together.  One-hundred 1" postage stamp bits, stitched into one block (almost exactly) 5.5 inches square.

I should mention that the last photo, to the right, is much brighter ('yellower') than it really appears in person.  The lights in the sewing area bounce off paper, making it appear more vibrant than reality.  Fear not, I haven't lost my color-sense.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Final E8 update of the day : )

TOTALLY finished E8, and have moved on to E9!  Must work tomorrow, so very little will be accomplished on VGS.  : (

Rain, rain; came to stay

...Giving me time with VG today.

Alright, so the pentameter is off.  However, "this concerns me not," as one of my former managers would have said.

For those of you in the know, VGS is a project I have been working/not working on for a couple of years, now.  Lacking the sunshine necessary for finding and placing pieces will make today's efforts a little sketchy, but I am resigned to the idea of it somehow, and that feels very liberating.

Just an example of the block configuration. E8 is very different.
There are two 'squares' - or, patches (100 piece blocks) - that have been left largely untouched for the better part of a year, and I am picking up there. One was slightly more than 50% complete when I walked away last year sometime, and the other block was less than 20% laid out.  I am finding the return to matching colors difficult after such a lengthy lapse.  I will have to take my time to allow my eyes become familiar with the pallet once again - not an easy process.

I've not been in this portion of my brain for a while, so it will be a slow go for a bit.

Photos later.  For now, there is some picking up and sorting to do (a little cleaning) in order to get back into the swing of this particular quilt and its process.  Here are the notes I managed to unearth; they tell me where I left off precisely, and how far I've yet to go:
 ~ Left off on Row E, Column(s) 8 and 9 - '8' would be the 50% completed block I referred to earlier ~

UPDATE -
It appears that I walked away mid-August last year.  Yikes!  So it has been nearly a year.  I'd made the notation that as of July 12th, 120 blocks remained to be put together for this quilt.  Somehow, I let my enthusiasm wane, and more's the pity.  In only 29 (and three partial squares), I will have HALF of the quilt complete.  Now that's a target worth sticking to for the summer.

Of course, 29 squares also means 2,900 pieces (not to mention the addition of those partial blocks, at 30 pieces each).

Be my cheering squad, won't you...shore me up and bolster me on?  What else have you got to do?

UPDATE - as of 5:30PM, EST
Ready to stitch block E8 together!  This process takes anywhere from 2.5 - 3 hours for seaming the perfectly square 1" pieces into rows, then the row-to-row joining, until at last . . . the one-hundred bits make a 5.5" square unit.   Stay tuned ~