Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Thinking ahead!

I didn't get a lot of sewing or quilting done yesterday. I'm going to have to rejig my schedule a wee bit in order to not lose that quilting/sewing time.

I'm doing the 60-day challenge at the gym with the intention of losing 10 pounds of FAT!  Every Tuesday, there's a class to introduce us to different classes at the gym. Yesterday was bodyweight training. Simple exercises that didn't require any equipment, but I was dead at the end! A very effective workout that you could do anywhere or only do part of them. Bottom line - it was great! There were 6 of us in the class - new gym friends!

Then I was off to do some errands in the afternoon - got rid of the old laptop - traded it in for a $70 gift certificate!, donated some Easter decorations and a few other things, dropped my book off to have the spine cut off and a coil inserted so the book lays flat.

From the errand perspective, it was a very efficient day!

But here's something else that I did on my errand day (besides watching a movie with Lynn).

Let's go back to the 150 Canadian Women quilt project.  What did/do you do with the blocks when you have completed them? And what do you do with the patterns? I was putting the pattern pages and the blocks in a page protector. However, you can see the problem with that.

The binder is exploding
 I've barely done a third of the blocks and I really didn't want to keep adding page protectors.

So I did this. I took all the blocks out of the page protectors and I combined the pages so that on the front is the write-up of the block on one side and the write-up the second block appears on the other side of the page protector.  Perfect - the binder is much thinner and I need half the number of page protectors.

The binder lies flat and has plenty of room for future pages
 How what to do with all those blocks?  You see, the blocks (hopefully) won't need to stay in the binder forever. They will be made into a quilt and so I might as well think ahead and plan accordingly.

The blocks so far for 150 Canadian Women
 I could put them in a Ziploc baggie, but those darn things are slippery. A HUGE thanks to Mary, Jane, and Rose who came to one of my classes this past weekend with the PERFECT solution. Look at the cute container that they found!!!!

Blocks are contained in a nice plastic case
Where did they get the case and what is it?  It's a mini scrapbook case that you can buy at Michael's. When I saw that on Saturday, I was so excited and I stopped at one Michael's on my way home. Nothing - they had NO mini scrapbook containers.

Yesterday when I was doing my errands, I stopped at a different Michael's and found the shelf where they were supposed to be, but there were NONE on the shelf. DRAT!!!!!  I really, really want these containers. I asked one of the staff and he asked me to show him the spot on the shelf where they're supposed to be. He scanned the bar code - they had FOUR in the store. Now to find them.

Two were in the drawer beneath the shelving unit and the other two?  Who knows?  I bought two of them.

Two mini scrapbook containers
 Here's a close up of the label in case you want to try and find some yourself. Good luck with that!

Label of the mini scrapbook case
I'm going to try and get two more and then I'd be happy. Trust me, I have several other projects where I'll be making small blocks and these are perfect to keep them from getting messed up!!

Thanks again to Mary, Jane, and Rose!!!

In an attempt to tidy up the office (well - it's all baby steps at this point), I decided that it was time to unearth this item that I bought several years ago. It's a weight scale that connects to the internet and the Fitbit stats. I told you - I love technology. I'm just not married to it!!!!

Fitbit scale

I tried to set it up this morning and darn - I think the batteries are dead!!!!  Even though it had that little paper in there to prevent the connection. So I'm off to the mall later today to find batteries as I don't have any of the required size in my battery drawer. Yes - I'm that organized that all my battery supplies (chargers, etc) are in ONE place.

I was at spin class this morning and already got my stats from that. Why is this so important to me? I've lost almost TEN pounds since I gave up sugar about 6 weeks ago. I know - that's hard to believe but true. I don't crave sugar AT ALL. I even bought DH dessert at the grocery yesterday and didn't drool once. Sugar is pretty much not in my vocabulary any anymore and I also watch what I eat, but I'm not starving or depriving myself of anything that I want to eat. It's a whole lot different when you eat because you need to, versus eating because you're looking for comfort.  I have another 8 pounds to go and then I'll be happy. Then it will be all about maintaining that weight and in the meantime, trying to lose only FAT and not muscle.

The only thing now is to figure out how to prevent my protein powder from clumping in my oatmeal. According to my research, it will clump no matter what I do so I should have oatmeal and a shake!  I could do that!!!  That's the experiment for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

On that note, I'm out of here - I've got a long overdue date with the long arm!

Have a great day!!!


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

There's an app for that!

I'm very happy to report that the seam ripping experience for yesterday was greatly reduced from the previous week. I'm guessing that it was MY fault for last's week seam ripping escapades and NOT Lynn's because she was sitting beside me yesterday. Oh boy - I guess we all have days like that!!

Even though it was a productive day, there isn't a whole lot to show for my efforts. But here they are.....

Back to work on the 150 Canadian Women project.  I was certain that I had prepped 12 blocks, but it appears that I only prepped 11. I got 9 of them completed yesterday - took all morning! And the very first block I started with, I had miscounted some of the squares I cut and I was short by 4 squares. I fixed that when I got home so 10 got made yesterday. One of the blocks needs the ends of the triangles cut off for easier sewing and I have templates for that at home, so that block and the templates are in the bag for next Monday. And I prepped eight more blocks last night.

Blocks for 150 Canadian Women
Once I get the 8 from next week sewn, I'll have 66 blocks completed and only 84 more blocks to go. Oh my - I'm close to halfway! If I can continue with 6 blocks each week, that will take me 14 more weeks. Yikes!!!   But I'm determined to not let this sit as a UFO.

However, this is all the red fabric that I have left after prepping the next 8 blocks. I think I might have to add some reds to my shopping list.

Reds for the 150 Canadian Women project
 I don't want to make a big quilt using all 150 blocks so as I'm sewing, I'm thinking of various ways to split the blocks and come up with some creative ways to sew them together. I haven't done any planning yet, but I might get started since (hopefully) before I know it - those 14 weeks will have zipped by!!

Speaking of buying fabric, someone left a comment on my blog yesterday that is hilarious, BUT very serious at the same time. Someone has created a spreadsheet (that we can all use). You enter what you use from your stash and what you buy with the end result being a deficit at the end of the year. Just like if you're counting calories and wanting to lose weight. See - quilting really is like eating!!!

Here's the LINK to the blog.  Scroll down in that blog post to get the download link to the spreadsheet. It's really very simple, yet an ingenious way to get PERMISSION to buy more fabric. It's also a way to really identify if you're reducing your stash or not. Since I'm really focused on finishing UFOs, I might calculate approximate yardage in a project when it's finished, although technically it's out of my stash already. Anyway, read the blog, it's an eye opener!!!

And thanks to whoever it was that e-mailed that link!!!

I also got a couple more blocks completed for the National Quilter's Circle Block Challenge. This is a free pattern and I don't really follow the comments on Facebook, but thank goodness I don't because it appears that there are a ton of people complaining because the patterns are hard to read (NOT!), there are errors (I think I found one in 6 blocks).  The blocks, although they are large, are a wee bit of a challenge especially since I changed the colors compared to the original. When will people ever become grateful for something free and stop complaining!

Two more blocks for the National Quilt Circle Block Challenge

I have two more blocks ready to sew next week. I'm happy with the blocks, they are huge - 16 " square and the quilt will certainly be bright. Gosh - I was marking some lime green squares yesterday and almost went blind!

Am I dedicated to this weight loss/eating better thing? You bet. I got home from Monday and realized that I was doing great on the calorie intake, but my Fitbit steps were down for the day. Should I run around the house to get to 10,000 steps?  No! I decided to go for a walk after dinner. Well, if I was going for a walk, I certainly couldn't go by myself so I had to get the girls ready and there we were walking in the rain, in the dark just so I could get Fitbit steps. And they say technology is bad for you!!! 

Technology is good as long as you use it wisely!  And so today is a new day. New calorie intake and a new goal for Fitbit steps.

On that note, I've got a lot of work to do today and I've got a lot of errands and the errands are taking precedent over the studio. Yikes!  I'll have to play catch up tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!


Monday, February 19, 2018

Motivational Monday - progress report

There is NOTHING like a sewing day with friends to get you motivated!  Yesterday, there were five of us. Remember we had to cancel the sewing day last weekend and I offered up TWO alternate days instead of one, so the numbers got split up and a few took advantage and are coming to both Sunday sewing days. They are very clever!!! 

I was in slow motion mode, but I was determined to get that flannel quilt done. And it's done!  I didn't take a picture of the top with the borders on, but you can see that it has TWO borders. It's funny how we sometimes don't think too far in advance when planning something. OK - I'm not so good at planning as I prefer doing! I had a piece of flannel that I was going to use for the inner border and the binding. Since this quilt is made from flannel, I like to use a little bit wider binding - 2 3/4" instead of 2 1/2". Well, if I would have figured out how many strips I was going to need for the binding and that inner border, I would have cut the inner border a wee bit smaller - 2 1/4" instead of 2 1/2". So the binding had to be cut at 2 1/2".  DUH!!!!   Not to worry - that piece of fabric is GONE!!!

Binding, backing and the top are ready for quilting
Oh - here's the top without the borders.

Flannel scrap quilt without borders
This is one of my UFOs from 2017. So that's good that this is finally done. I'm not worried about the quilting. It will make a good cuddle quilt for someone so when the need arises, it won't take long to quilt it up. BUT there is in fact way more fabric in that bucket so technically I'm not done this project yet.
The leftovers!
I've started to cut another scrappy quilt from these pieces and I'm thinking there might even be enough for a third quilt. The UFO project was to FINISH off this basket of fabric and I intend to! No wonder my UFOs take so long!!!

It took longer than normal to make the borders because the outer border had to be pieced as well. And the quilt is longer than two widths of fabric so a third strip of backing had to be added to the two pieces of yardage. Oh yes - nothing is easy!

Speaking of long projects - look what else I was working on as my ender and leader project. I finished the fourth block of the pixelated apple and I decided to go ahead and assemble them. Keep in mind ALL the seams on the back of this quilt are twirled. I should have taken a picture.

Four blocks together in the pixelated apple quilt
 And why stop there? I laid out the fifth block and the little four patches are almost together. Then it gets easier from there. Well - faster, not easier!

Fifth block in the pixelated apple quilt
 I counted the number of blocks - there are 16 full blocks (10 little squares by 10 little squares) and there are 4 half blocks - (5 little squares by 10 little squares). I'm just going to keep working on this and it's another attempt at using those busy prints for the background. I'm LOVING the effect, but that's because there is such HUGE contrast between the red and white and there is ONE central image.

Then I went for something that was almost cut out and super simple!!!  I got the top done as well as the binding and the backing.

Backing and binding for another quilt

I'm not going to show you the top, although you did get a preview a couple of days ago. Now, where is that picture?

Some of the blocks for the new quilt

I won't show you the top today because something occurred to me when I got it done and it's a perfect situation to talk about in a separate blog post because I laid out another quilt on the design wall this morning and - well, we have a problem that's a good lesson for all of us!!!!

Yesterday I tracked my food intake on my app. Well - the first day is always the hardest as you input your foods. Once you have the basic stuff you eat, it's a lot faster. So - I did great at lunch. I was super focused in the afternoon so no snacking - in the morning or the afternoon until about 4 PM. So far so good. A yummy dinner of chili - that was easy. I went for a long walk (4,000 steps) with the girls after everyone left. It was too nice a day to stay inside. Since my FitBit is linked to MyFitnessPal (the food diary), I got a bonus of 500 calories that I could eat!!!  I texted Ronda to ask what I should eat. Her response?  NOTHING!!!!   God - she's wicked!  So I didn't! A calorie deficit on the first day. I think that's a good thing!  That's how you lose weight!!!!

I have to say that tracking your food (like tracking our projects) makes us 100% accountable. Oh gosh - this is great. Now I have to think before putting anything in my mouth because I have to write it down and having the app makes it easy because you can scan items and then it calculates all the calories, the fat, the carbs, and protein. This is PERFECT for me.   I like all that kind of stuff, but I'm NOT married to the thing. I look at it, then shut it down.

Now I'm off to Monday sewing where I have a bag of totally different projects to work on. I'm thinking I'm NOT sitting beside Lynn because I seem to spend a lot of time ripping when I sit beside her. I didn't rip at all yesterday!!!  And some of these projects for Monday sewing are a bit more complicated. I'm getting my own table!!!

On that note, I'm off to make my smoothie and get the day started. Well, not really since I've already been up for hours!!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why buying fabric is like eating food.................

Another great day yesterday - we had our group classes for machine quilting and Vintage Farm Girl. I've got pictures - they are loaded in the editor and I'm going to post them this week. I have a Sit  Sew today and so I don't have time to edit the pictures.

I did a bunch of cutting for my new projects that have deadlines and I'll be doing the preliminary sewing on those today. The deadlines for a couple of them are not far away!  The world of magazines sometimes leaves you plenty of room and sometimes it does not. I have several that don't have a lot of time - thankfully they are small!!

When I got home from class, I had some grocery shopping to do (almost all in the outer aisles of the grocery store which are the healthiest aisles in case you didn't know) and then I vegged in the chair with my book. And just the most exciting point of the book was approaching, I fell into a sound sleep - I blame those darn flannel quilts - they are just too snuggly.

Doesn't matter how exciting the book is - when my body says it needs sleep - I shut down. Not sure why I was so tired - I blame the quilt. I did finish the book before I went to bed. A highly improbable ending giving that this is a series and we can only presume that the hero lives on. But how did he live and everyone and everything else was decimated? Well - now you have to get the next book and hope they say. But that next book isn't on my list - time to move to a different author. Which one of the 60+ in the series will I choose?  I have some non-fiction books that I should finish first. So one book non-fiction and then a fiction - that's my goal for the moment.

My problem is that when I go to the library, I search around the new books to see what's interesting. And I always seem to come home with a book or two - mostly non-fiction. But the last two times I was there, I didn't pick anything up so that is GOOD! I'm learning restraint in all aspects of life!

I'm doing OK on the eating thing. However, every once in a while, there's a day when you just can't seem to eat enough. Why is that? So I've decided to track my food. It isn't hard - there are lots of apps on your phone (Oh god - another technology app!). I downloaded the app this morning and input my goals and then off to make breakfast. Yikes - by the time I input my breakfast - steel cut oats, blueberries and a scoop of protein powder - 1/3 of my calories for the day are GONE. This will be a bit of an eye opener for sure and hopefully, it will be the deterrent to NOT overeat. Not that I do - much, but if the goal is to lose a pound or two, then one is supposed to eat less than you need.

I'm thinking it's going to take a day or two to adjust to this.

And I cheated - well sort of. That day I was hungry - I ate chocolate. But not just any old chocolate - I had dark chocolate which is supposed to be good for you. But look at the chocolate that I ate. 90% Cacao.

That chocolate should have been bitter as ever, but it actually tasted not bad. I ate a couple of squares in tiny pieces and I savored it! It really isn't that hard to resist the "bad" foods even when they are in the house. I have regular chocolate and I have cookies and I haven't touched them in over 6 weeks. Not sure what to do with them - I hate to throw them out.  I guess DH will get my chocolate stash.

Now - here's the thing. I need to take these same disciplines and translate them to quilting. When I go to a quilt shop, I need to think about my "calorie - i.e mean fabric intake" for the day. How much do I need? Am I trying to loose "stash weight"? And how does one go about doing that? Wouldn't it be funny if there was an app to track your purchases for the year (OK - so I could do it on a spreadsheet, but that's boring). Yikes.  Well, I was at the new quilt store twice this past week and I bought a few things and I'll say more about those in a post later this week. And I was in my regular store yesterday and I bought ONE pattern there. I think I'm doing good. But it all goes back to my column on the advice to the fabric companies. There's going to be a market correction - it's going to happen, but when and who else will go down?

For fun - here are some comparisons to eating and buying fabric:

  • We eat/buy for comfort - that makes us emotional eaters/buyers
  • We eat/buy out of guilt - oh Aunt Sue made those cookies for me/oh the owner showed me this fabric and I feel like I should buy it or I popped in for a book - the book isn't there, but I feel like I should buy something
  • We binge eat/buy - I just want MORE and lots of it without thinking of the consequences
  • We eat/buy because of peer pressure - as your friend says to you  "oh come on  - it doesn't matter - you know you want to eat/buy that"

I'm sure there are more scenarios, but I bet those four cover most of the reasons why we overeat/overbuy.

Hasn't one or more of those things happened to you?  I'm guilty of all of them.  No more - I won't encourage anyone and I won't encourage myself. I want to do things that I want to do, not for guilt, not for a friend, not for comfort (that's going to be the hardest one!). I guess I'll be hugging and petting the dogs a lot! They can provide plenty of comforts.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Progress report

I heard last night on the John Tesh radio show that journaling is a good thing. Why? Because it makes us accountable for what we say and what we do! That statement is so right on the money and it's for that reason that I'm as productive as I am. I need to have things to write about and if I don't sew, I've not much to talk about. Hence I'm more productive because I journal (write the blog). I love it and it's one of my favorite times of the day. Mostly I write for me, but I think of all of you who read (and a HUGE thank you to you all for reading) and sometimes I wonder - what will they think of me for writing this (whatever this is?) and then that thought goes out of my head and I write whatever I want to write!  I do try to keep it entertaining and mostly about quilting.

I made great progress on the paperwork yesterday. I even dug out something (for me) that I had wanted to do for quite a while and yes - I managed to find all the paperwork. A little more sorting and that job will be done and ready to be filed away. It meant diving into the boxes of paper that I brought home from the office, but I zeroed in very quickly on what I needed.

I must say that I'm not getting as much quilting on the long arm that I had hoped to be doing, but I'm doing great everywhere else.

And the weather is so nice that I NEED to take a walk every day. The other day, DH came home with a cup from Tim's in his hand and I said - where's mine? AH -  This was his cup from the morning so he didn't toss it by the wayside when he went to get a new one. Anyway - that was enough for me, I grabbed my coat and I was off for a walk to Tim's. I had a couple of errands to do and on the way home, I stopped for tea. I figured that justified the tea  - even though there was no sugar in it. I'm getting pretty used to it and I don't miss my old standbys - the hot chocolate and the steeped tea with sugar. But I do need to watch because I asked for large decaf, black and I got COFFEE.  Shoot - I forgot to specify that it was tea!!!

It's weigh-in day at the gym - I'll see what's going on there this afternoon.

You know how good we all are at procrastinating? Right?  Come on - you're just as guilty as I am. Well, I'm sure I posted this picture a while back, but my lovely Murphy LOVES thread and one day, she grabbed a spool that I was using to hand stitch something and look what she did with it!

How Murphy uses thread
 The little plastic sleeve that is supposed to keep everything neat and tidy on the spool was still on when I rescued it. She managed to unwind the thread for the top part of the spool. Silly! She doesn't eat it - she just likes to mouth things.

So I sat down with my trash can and the spool and a pair of scissors to see what could be done.

The trash can and the spool
And after cutting that big whack of thread that she reeled off the end, I was able to salvage a good part of the spool. Hey - it's the only one I have of that color. But I cut out a LOT of thread.

A lot of thread went bye bye
 Murphy is like a cat - she loves to play with sewing things! Lexi couldn't care less. Now that job is done and I put the spool away and I've learned to NEVER leave anything sewing related laying around.

I managed to get all the blocks together for the scrappy flannel quilt. Yeah - this part is done and it's off the design wall. I hope to cut the borders later today and might even get them on. This is one of my UFOs from last year and it would be nice to put this one to bed. But there's fabric for a second one in the box, so I had better keep working away so this UFO can be completely finished.

Scrappy flannel quilt
 Guess what?  I started a NEW quilt this morning. No wonder I'm not getting those UFOs done. But as I said before, I'm NOT starting anything new that I don't plan to finish in the very near future. This one is super simple and I'll tell you where it's going when I'm done. But it's very cute and definitely NOT my normal choice of fabric, but I LOVE IT!!!!

Blocks for a new quilt
 And while I've been working on things, I'm also working on my pixelated apple as my enders and leaders. Very close to finishing the fourth block. That is super exciting and hey - if I keep this up, I might actually get this project finished this year. I want to say there are 16 blocks in the quilt?  Maybe 20.

Progress on 4th pixelated apple quilt block

I'm also happy to report that ALL of the homework for today's two classes is DONE!!!  Yes - I'm up-to-date!  I hope to keep that up all year. It really shouldn't be that difficult? Right?  I was hoping to get a couple of my table runners quilted, but that never happened so that is homework for this coming month.

And that's the progress report for today. Tomorrow is a Sit n Sew day and there's no danger of the weather being a deterrent like it was last week. Am I allowed to actually say that? We do live in Canada after all where the weather changes on a dime.

That means no long arm quilting until Tuesday. Oops - OK - this coming week, I've got to be super focused to get caught up!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Quilting books

There are a ton of quilting books on the market. Loads and how do you decide which ones you want to buy.  Just like the recent closure of two fabric companies, quilt book publishers have come and gone and changed hands. It's inevitable. I recently heard that one well-known publisher canceled SIX titles because they didn't think they could sell them. And the price of books has gone crazy so it makes it harder for quilt stores to sell them. Which is a shame, but I get it. The price on ONLINE shopping.

The other day, I was near an Indigo (big bookstore in Canada) and I had some time on my hands so I thought I would stop in to browse the magazines and craft books. There were THREE quilt books on the shelves. THREE!  Why is that? Well - we all know that we can go online and buy them cheaper with a much bigger selection so why would we buy them in a shop - one even as big as Indigo?  Oh - I have an article to share with you about online shopping. I'll try to get to that tomorrow - it's buried in this pile of paperwork.

All three were titles that I don't have, but after browsing them, I didn't buy any of them. I have a huge collection of books and I have to be very selective about what I buy. I do like coffee table books on quilts as well as historical books on quilts. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like picture books of quilts rather than patterns. But I'll buy technique books if it's something I don't already have.

Here's a new coffee table book that I want to get my hands on.

Quilts and Health

If you go to the link above, you'll get a description of the book.  I'm happy to say that I know ONE person who has a quilt in the book. Here's a link to Doris' blog where she describes her quilt. That's exciting. But look at the price of the book - it's not cheap. But I love these kinds of books - they are full of inspiration.

The other book I wanted to talk about today is a technique book by a friend of mine. I only recently learned that she was publishing a book and it'll be out soon.

Contemporary Paper-Pieced Quilts by Jeannie Jenkins

Here's the link if you want to order the book as I don't think it comes out until May.

That's super exciting for Jeannie!!  I think that a couple of the quilts in the book will be on display at Quiltcon next week. And Jeannie won a prize at QuiltCon last year. Hmm - I wonder???? Good luck Jeannie.

Speaking of Jeannie, she has a quilt in another book. This one is called Modern Quilts. It came out last year and I have my copy.

Modern Quilts

A number of other Canadian quilters have quilts in the book - Jeannie, Libs Elliot, Rebecca Burnett, Jennifer Johnston to mention a few. I've seen many of the quilts in person at the past two Quiltcon shows. And I've met a few of the US quilters in the book as well. It's a great book with a great representation of Modern Quilts!

I've thought of writing a book, but what would I write about? Well - I'd write about my favorite topics of course - quilts. And it would be a coffee table book. I even have a topic, but I'll wait until I'm retired! 

I didn't get nearly as much done as I wanted yesterday and now I'm very behind. That's not good, but we're not going to panic. Take it one step at a time and do what I can - that's all that I can do. But I see that I need to sit down and set out those deadlines as there are a number of looming deadlines have accumulated and those quilts need to be addressed and scheduled.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Farm Girl Vintage update

OH -- guess what happened yesterday. Abby Glassenberg has a blog, a creative business making stuff animals, and she also writes a weekly newsletter about quilting industry news. The blog is called While she naps. I love the newsletter as it contains all kinds of info on stuff that's happening in the industry as well as new ideas. As you know, the big news this week was the closing of Westminster and FreeSpirit fabric companies - home of some very big name designers. 

As I was reading the newsletter yesterday and she chatted about the closures, I saw a link "Elaine". No - could that be me? Sure enough, Abby picked up my blog post about my "Advice to fabric companies".  Let's just say that there has been a lot of traffic on my blog.  Here's the link to another person who posted about the closure on LinkIn

If only the consumers ran the show!!!  

I'm bound and determined to make the best of that 50-hour gift that I got last year. I have to say that I'm very happy with the results. I'm learning new ways of managing my time. Instead of trying to shove paperwork into a few minutes here and there and getting nothing done on time, I'm devoting the entire morning to paperwork. I hope the amount of time will decrease as I catch up but for the moment, that's what I want and can devote to the effort. And I don't feel cheated because that is what my schedule is. Plain and simple! I fell like I'm actually working a real day job!!!  Well almost. 

I certainly feel ahead of the game - well not entirely as I'm behind on a few things, but at least there's a plan in place and it's working. I'm extremely happy with the routine.  And no interruptions from colleagues - only two very active dogs. But once they get settled, they are fine. 

That leaves the afternoon for quilting. That's not a ton of time, but if I'm efficient and schedule properly, it's plenty of time. I'm catching up with the customer quilts - I'm in the single digits at the moment and hope to keep it that way with efficient planning. 

The evenings are the best as I get to do whatever I want! And for the moment that's reading. I'm reading another very interesting book about the addictive nature of digital devices.  I have to share this with you because it blows my mind. The book is called Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi who is the Host of WNYC's Podcast "Note to Self". Anyway here is the gist of why the developers make these games/apps so addictive. 

Bored and Brilliant by Manousch Zomorodi

Facebook, Google and any other big players out there base the success of their apps/products on NUMBERS. Things like number of times the app was opened, how long did the user spend in the app. These stats (analytics) are readily available to anyone who has a Facebook page (not a Facebook account).  Company's measure their success on how many times the app/page is opened so guess what - they make it so that you NEED to open that app multiple times in one day. Like some of the farming apps (for instance), you need to check your "farm" multiple times a day to get points or free food or whatever you're supposed to get. The more clicks, the more success and Facebook, Google and the rest of them are happy. 

They DO NOT take into account things like - does the app provide a service to the user. Nope - they count success as time in the app, number of clicks (on a computer) and times opened. And here's the shocking thing about all of these companies and their apps - they are making their BILLIONS off of YOUR TIME!  The more time you spend on an app (including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the rest of them), the MORE time you spend - the MORE money these big companies make.  Isn't that shocking??????    I'm glad I never got addicted to any of these apps. I use some of the apps, but only a handful. I don't play games, except Scrabbble where I spend maybe 10 minutes a day. I'm sorry to Facebook, Google and all the rest - MY time is MY time. I'm only going to live so long and then I'll be gone and I would hate to be on my death bed and say - I wish I hadn't spent so much time on my phone. 

I'm not sure that I'll read another book like this - this is my second, but the psycology behind the addiction phenomena is fascinating. But time to move on and get back to quilting books and I have some quilting books to share with you tomorrow. 

But today, I'm sharing my Farm Girl Vintage. I taught this class a while back, but GASP - I never made one block. I honestly don't know what I did with all my time way back when.  

Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt

It's already time for our second class and we'll get to see some show n tell. I think one of the reasons I didn't make the quilt before was I didn't know what fabrics to use.  When I was in the US at a retreat last year, I stumbled upon this FQ bundle called Farm Fun by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics. Well - that looks good enough for me!!!

Fat Quarter bundle 
I also found a mini charm pack somewhere of the same collection.

Mini charm pack
Isn't is silly how we buy these pretty bundles or little packs of fabric and we never use them!!!  Why is that?  I'm determined to start cutting them up and using them. I was able to use the 2 1/2" squares in a couple of the blocks and here are the first blocks that I made. This was the homework assignment from last class.

Homework blocks

There was one more block but I haven't quite finished it. All of the block instructions come in two sizes - 6 inch or 12 inch. I made ONE twelve inch block to show the class the difference in size, but I do believe that I'm going to make all the rest in 6 inch. I haven't quite decided what my final quilt will look like. That's part of the fun of this class - it's a design class so we can make whatever blocks we want and put them together however we want.  It's going to be fun. I can't wait to see the first show n tell on Saturday!!!

As part of the NEW ME, I'm getting my butt to the gym more often. Today was a yoga class. Oh god - while I love yoga, I've a lot to learn. There were only three of us in the class. My knees are much better than they used to be, but still not 100%. So a couple of poses like Child's pose are harder to do. This yoga was called ROOT - slow movements that you hold for longer periods of time. I like that. But after the instructor guided us through several movements of a "Flow", we had to continue on our own!!!  ACK!!!!  I did not bad on several of them, but one I simply couldn't remember the moves. I must have looked like an idiot!!!  I did a lot of downward dog for that session!!!  All is good - I was definitely looser by the end of the class and that's what it's all about.

On that note, I had better get the day started. There are a number of things that need to get completed today.

Have a super day!!!