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Thursday, December 8, 2016

I will get it done - some day......

I got sidetracked and I forgot about blogging today!

I had a very productive day yesterday - got loads written and hopefully able to share with you all soon. 

In addition to cleaning up the sewing UFOs, I'm trying to make a dent in some of the other areas of the house. Well actually, there is only ONE area, besides the studio that needs some work. The dining room/my office has become a dumping ground for anything that doesn't fit in the rest of the house. And wouldn't it be great to have room to actually work on paperwork -  my favourite thing. 

So what happens when people give me stuff?  Yep - it usually ends up along this wall. There are quilt books, pet mats, stuff from the guild, and stuff that is waiting to be donated. 

Stuff to deal with

As much as I do find the occasional treasure among all this stuff, I'm going to start saying NO. I just don't have time to deal with and don't want to deal with this kind of stuff anymore. So if you're thinking of giving me something, don't ask!

I received a number of bags of quilting books.  Most are older books, but I did (finally) sort through them.  I'm not done, but it was easy to sort out the ones that I for sure don't want. There is still a stack on my kitchen table that needs to be dealt with.

Three bags of quilt books
Then there were the other books. A box of novels that I'm finished with and they need to be donated. Let's not forget that almost TWO years ago, we emptied our kitchen of everything. While most of it was dealt with - at least half of it was given away, there remained TWO bags of stuff pulled from the recipe drawer.

Two bags of recipe books and a box of novels

So the other night, I went through the two bags of recipe books.  I kept ONE book - the original cookbook that I have had for years. Not that I ever use it, but well - I had to keep one. There is so much on the internet these days, who uses a recipe book?

Then there was ONE bag full of recipes clipped from magazines, recipes given to me by others.  What am I going to do with all that????

One bag of magazine clippings and other ????
I will go through this bag in more detail only because there are some hand written recipes that I want to keep. The rest is being tossed!!!!

And so, there is one box of recipe books, one box of quilting books and one box of novels that are waiting to go.

The donation pile begins

I need to find a nice dry spot to store this until I can go through more stuff and then call the donation people to come pick up everything. Plus there is stuff in the garage!

There are a few more things in that dining room that don't belong to me or are slated for another home. What I need to do is to get them to their proper home.

I have some free weekends coming up and I hope to get myself busy and make a good dent in there. At least now, I'm motivated to make it happen. Just need the time.

And on that note, I'm off to get more stuff done today!

Have a super day!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Check, check and check!

Even though I have stuff that I'm SUPPOSED to be doing, I did take a couple of days off and work on some fun things. Well that's not entirely true.

I'm participating in a group project. We each chose a theme and every month, we got someone else's project and have to make a block.  I was doing great at keeping up and then one meeting, the person who was to pass to me wasn't at the meeting so I didn't get the package and I missed the following meeting so now I was TWO behind.  Not good, especially when the reveal is THIS WEEK!!

That was my errand this past weekend. I had to go and retrieve both of the projects so I could get my blocks done.  Last night, I got one of them done (checked off in the Task Master!) and started and almost finished the second one this morning.  Yeah!!!!   It's a great feeling to get these things done.

Yes - there are people waiting on other stuff from me and I'm changing gears to get some of those things done. The list is pretty small and I'm very happy about that!

I used to participate in a fair number of these group projects until it became the ONLY thing I had time to work on.  I said I wouldn't do any more. But I caved on this one and it hasn't been too bad to keep up, but in light of my goals for 2017 - I'm NOT going to participate in anything like this for 2017. Some of us might extend the project by one or two months and I'm OK with that.  I can't wait to see the reveal this Thursday!!!!

While I was working on those blocks, I did manage to get some enders and leaders through the machine. What did I make with those enders and leaders????  Not one, but TWO sets of blocks for the 150 Canadian Women (and TWO red/white quilts for my collection!)

Blocks from last week 7-8-9 - Checked off in the Task Master

Blocks from the previous week  4 - 5- 6 - Checked off in the Task Master

The previous week blocks were done, I just hadn't had time to post them.  I did print off the next three blocks and hope to get them cut this evening. That's NINE out of 150. 1/15th of the project.  Can I keep up?  Well, if they remain this simple - yes I can!  Great enders and leaders project!

And on that note, I'm sequestered at home today with a TON of writing to do. It'll be posted on the Northcott website this week.  If you do NOT get the monthly newsletter, you should scoot on over and get yourself signed up.  It's ONCE a month - we do not have time for more frequently than that. You'll get notification of new collections shipping to stores, a monthly quilting tip (by me) and a free pattern (also by me).  The sign up button is in the top left hand corner.  The next newsletter comes out this Friday so sign up now!!!

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What what I made!

I have a couple of days that need to be used up before the end of the year, so why not take them to sew with the Monday Maniacs!

Instead of being good and taking something that is on my Task Master list  - NO - I threw all caution to the wind and sewed on something just for fun!  It doesn't happen often, but I looked at it like this - yesterday was a bonus day and I could do whatever I wanted. 

So I took those 8 blocks from the string pieced quilt that I had made YEARS ago.  You can see the 8 blocks in this blog post - they're in the third quilt picture. 

Can't do much with 8 blocks so I decided to make more.  What had happened is that I had a FQ (I think) of that fabric used in the center of each block.  Couldn't get more, so couldn't make more blocks.  Then somewhere along the way, I did manage to find a bit more yardage and there the project sat.  

I roughly calculated how many blocks I could make.  Hmmm - got 8, can eek out enough fabric to make 34 more blocks to get a quilt that is 6 by 7.  Seriously - these things just happen!  I cut the foundation squares a couple of days ago and cut the fabric strips. While I still had some of the fabrics used in the original 8 blocks, I didn't have all the fabrics so I had to get creative. It's a scrappy string quilt after all!

I sewed my heart out yesterday on my little Husqvarna Viking 100 H Class 100Q  (it's so perfect to take to a sewing day).  I took ONE bag for my project and my tools and I was set. I'm practicing for that laundry basket challenge at the next retreat. 

I had to leave at 1:30 and by the time I left, this is what I had accomplished on my 34 blocks.  

Almost done 34 blocks
After dinner, I decided to get this quilt done!  At least finish piecing the blocks and when I was finished, this is all that was left for strips.

Leftover strips

Blocks are trimmed

A smidgen of the center fabric is all that remained
There are several seams in some of those blocks. I dare you to find them!!!!

And here it is - all 42 blocks are DONE!!!!

Another string pieced quilt

I didn't have a chance to sew the blocks together, hopefully, tonight even though this is NOT on my list of things to do this week.  I can't even tell which blocks were the original eight?  Can you????  Of course, you can't!!!!

It was a super day, I had fun visiting with the group and can't wait to do it again in the near future.

I've been up for hours (it pays to go to bed early) and knocked at least one thing off my Task Master list!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Motivational Monday - choosing the dirty dozen!

Good morning - today is the day!  We're all going to take a pledge that we WILL get our sewing areas under control, we WILL complete UFOs in 2017.  How much we're going to complete depends on our level of motivation.  I'm VERY motivated.  Hopefully you are too and together we're going to get a lot done this year.

Today, it's all about choosing that dirty dozen. Those 12 projects that you WILL get completed in 2017. Now, here's where you're allowed to bend the rules.  Perhaps you only have three projects, perhaps you have one massive one - whatever, the important thing is to flag something that you can work on. See the guidelines at the end of this post.

I'm going to help you get each one finished (NO - I'm not going to sew them for you - nice try though!), but today, I'm going to share with you the 12 projects that I choose. More importantly, I'm going to share the WHY as well. And so in no particular order, here they are:

1. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie pattern
 I choose this one because it's been hanging around for a long time. I like dogs. The pieces are all cut out (or they're supposed to be. I've carried this project to several quilt retreats and well - it's time to get it done!

Supposedly all cut out????

This is the "leftover" fabric in the box
 I can't begin to imagine how much "leftover" fabric there is in all the project boxes.

And the same pattern, but for cats. Why???  Who know!!!

2. Half Log Cabin
The Half Log Cabin Bok
 In total, I was going to (am going to) make THREE quilts with this fabric. Why?  Who knows.  But one is already done, quilted and donated years ago. One of the quilt tops  is complete (without borders) and in the project box, while the third (the most complex of the three) is still in pieces in the box.

Partial blocks

Below you can see the quilt top in the background. The idea was that I would finish this next set of blocks and then use the leftovers to make borders and binding for both of these quilts. 

"Leftover" fabric
 3. Flannel - Rose quilt

I choose this one, also because it's been around for a long time. All the components take up a lot of real estate in the studio.  All the components are in these boxes.
Rose Flannel quilt

Some of the strips are already cut
 And here's the leftovers!
Leftovers for the flannel rose quilt

4.  Construction quilts  - yes that is quilts with an S.  There are four quilt tops in this laundry basket. They each need TWO borders and they're ready to be quilted. I'm counting all four as ONE project because technically they are supposed to be a gift for four boys and can't you give one a gift without giving the others a gift as well.

Constructions quilts
 I chose this project because it was an "easy" way to empty a laundry basket and I'm going to need that basket for the next retreat!!!

One of the construction qilt tops
5. Lone Star Tree Skirt

OK - let's face it - each project got chosen because it's been hanging around for a long, long time. This was a class sample MANY years ago. Even though I'm not putting up a Christmas tree, every Christmas I dig this out and do a bit of work on it.  It's time to get it done and I may leave it as a table topper!  Depends on how nice the center is!

Pattern for Lone Star Tree Skirt
 The center is pretty much complete - just needs four triangles added and the borders

Almost complete!

And yet MORE leftovers
 6. One Block Wonder

I choose this one because its been on my design wall FOREVER and I want it off! Plus this is about the third attempt I've made to complete it!

One block wonder on the design wall

Not much leftovers - this will become the backing
 7. Night Sky

This isn't that old of a project (OK - two years), but it would be nice to complete it. And I had the project out recently as we worked on Gravity quilt by the same designer.

Night Sky pattern

Project box
 8. Christmas embroidery

When I wasn't working, I hosted an embroidery class on Wednesday mornings.  While that group still exists, sadly I can't go and I haven't done embroidery since. I came across the box and ALL the embroidery is complete - it just needs to be assembled.  It's now on the list!   It's Christmas and would be awesome to have this done for next Christmas and it's RED and WHITE!!!!   One more quilt to add to my red/white collection. I think for anything to be called a collection, you need at least three items. So far, I've only got two red and white quilts, so technically, I don't have a collection yet!

Christmas embroidery pattern

The box of blocks/fabric and embellishments!
 9. Amish with a Twist  (I and II)

Yes - I might as well put both of these quilts on the list.  BOTH are pretty much complete - they just need borders!!!   I believe this first one is missing the last three borders.  Since I rarely finish any of the Saturday Sampler quilts, it's time to get cracking and get some of them done!  One of these is from a Saturday Sampler class a couple of years ago. The other one was a block of the month at Cockadoodle.

Amish with a Twist - Series II

The quilt

Amish with a Twist
 And this one needs the applique stitched down - the applique pieces are prepped

Ready for stitching
 10. Safari quilts

BOTH of these quilts are done!!!   All that remains is blanket stitch the edges.

Reflections of the Serengeti - Elephants and Giraffe

The quilts!
 And besides - I want the cool basket these quilts are stored in!!!   That seems like a good excuse to finish a project!

11. Batik??? squares

For some reason, this one had the label "batik" squares.  NONE of the fabric is batik.  Who knows....  However all the blocks are together for this one - just need to sew the blocks together for a LARGE scrap quilt. That just sounds way too easy - let's get it done and I get a second cool orange basket to put a new project in!!

"Batik" squares
12. Fall scrap quilt

This one was carried to many retreats and is almost complete.  I believe I started off by making one big quilt and then I switched to making two lap quilts.  Not sure how much work is actually left to complete the quilts, but we're going to get that thing (s) complete.

Maple leaf scrappy

Blocks are made!!!
 13.  I couldn't help myself - this is a bonus project and now I have a project to work on in December.

I have NO IDEA when I started this one. No idea why I started it but I'm guessing this was around the time that Ronda was working on her log cabin????  and I had loads of red/white and remember how I want a collection of red/white quilts?   That's my guess.  

Red/white log cabins

Some blocks are made!

And there you have it - my Dirty Dozen (thanks to Maria for that name) or should I say my Baker's Dozen (which is 13).

So, what are you going to do???   Well, you've already been thinking about what projects you want to work on for 2017. Here are some guidelines.

1. The project SHOULD be a UFO. Something that has gotten shelved over the years and you would like to get it complete.  Now if you have NO UFOs or would prefer to put your current stuff on the list, that's OK. but if it's a project you're actively working on?  Well, I guess you could put that on the list as well.

2. The project SHOULD be cut out or partially together.  In other words, don't start a project specifically to add to the list. The idea of the list is to CLEAR up the old stuff.  However, it's your list - if you want all new stuff on the list, go for it!

3. Most of them were sitting on a shelf in the studio - I didn't have to dig too deep to find 13 projects.  If 12 is too many for your schedule, then pick 6 and every two months, you work on one!  But I would bet that most of you have MANY projects that you could easily finish up in a couple of HOURS.  Pick twelve of those!!!!  The idea is to get rid of those projects that have been in the back of your mind for years.  And wouldn't it be nice to have finished 12 projects (even if sewing on a label is ONE project), than just one big one????

4. Prioritize when choosing.  If you have a gift that you really really must get done (like a baby quilt) before the kid graduates from college - then pick that over something that you were working on just for fun!

5. Don't pick 12 HUGE projects.  Notice that all of mine are almost finished. The blocks are together, just needs borders or something like that.  If you have a bigger project that you want to work on, perhaps you pick ONE big project and then some small ones.  It's all about making lists and checking things off and I don't want you to miss out on completing items!  I dont' care if your project is as small as a pencil case that you cut out, but need to sew.  How long would it take to finish a pencil case?

6. No need to put all those projects in a separate pile. Nope - just know where they are.  No need at this time to search through the boxes to see if everything is there.  Nope - now is NOT the time.

7.  MAKE A LIST!  Don't make a mental list.  WRITE THOSE 12 projects on a piece of paper.  NOT in a book - not yet.  I just want a written list.  Trust me - if you don't write them down - you are NOT committed to completing them!

8, If you come across a project that you have NO INTENTION of ever finishing, perhaps it's time to get rid of it.  How about a project swap???   That might be something to think about.

9. It's OK to choose a project that you put away because you needed help on it.  We're here to help each other.  So if you have no idea how to proceed - pull it out.  With the aid of pictures/phone calls/texts - I'm sure we can help anyone out.

10. HAVE FUN!!!!!   While this effort is about clearing up our studios and our lives, it MUST be fun.  If you don't make it fun, you won't be successful.

I have created a Facebook page - Motivational Monday.  At the moment, it's pretty basic and I'm not sure that I have set it up correctly.  Here is the link.....    It is a closed group so you have to ask to join - hopefully I did that right as well.  I'll be prettying up the page.   Write down that list and we can all share the list and a picture of one or two of your projects - like I did above.

On that note, I''m out of here.  Next week, we're going to chat about the Task Master!!!   That is the notebook. There are many planning helpers out there, and I'm going to review them next week.  BUT - I just used a $2 notebook from the dollar store and I made a pretty cover for it.  If you want to make your own journal cover, check out this tutorial - there are oodles of different versions and here is a collage cover. Get creative and show me a pciture.   And if you don't want to make a journal cover - just go to the dollar store and get a $2 notebook or dig one out from your stash of notebooks at home.  But get a notebook!!!  BUT don't write anything in it yet!

Have a suepr day!!!!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Set up for failure.....................

I'm super excited - one more sleep and then I'm revealing my list of 12 projects for 2017.  I've been bustling around this morning taking photos so I can share it with you.  Make sure you wach for that blog post - it's going to be the start of something awesome. I can't wait to get started!

I do think I'll have to reboot my computer today though as there are a lot of pictures and the computer is super slow.  We don't have time to waste!

I'm making great progress on my list of things to do which I'll be sharing with you as well.  Let's just say that I can't wait to get home tonight after my class so I can get started on something new!  Well, not new - just a different item on the list.

I did my pick up yesterday - 2 1/2 hours to complete that errand but it had to be done and all will be revealed on Thursday night.

Today I want to share with you a complete fail.  It's hilarious and based on our situations, I had to share it with you.

You're out there shopping for presents for people?  I know you are (thankfully, I'm not buying ONE single present this year - not even for Miss Lexi!)  OK - I'm lying a bit as I'lm going to buy two things - both for me!

Let's say that you're at the bookstore which is an excellent place to get gifts.  You see this stand.......

Page a day calendars!
AHA - look at all those cool topics - that would be perfect for Bob and Susie and Barb, etc.

Well - let me tell you a little story about those calendars.  In my cleaning up, sorting through, guess what I found????

Word of the day calendar
 Note the date of the exposed page - yes, the rest of the calendar is intact.  What year is this??  Well, TUESDAY, January 3 was in Jan 2012.

Then I found this calendar from Modern Family.

Modern Family page a day calendar

GOD - January 1 - I didn't even take one page off.  Thursday, January 1 was in 2015

But I'm not done!    Here is a Scrabble calendar.

Scrabble page a day calendar

Monday, January 9, 2012!

And then there's this calendar - not Scrabble, but that same type of thing.  Note the year is right on the calendar!  January 8, 2010.

Word play of the day
 BUT wait - there's more!!!!   Look at the date on this one!!!

Dog picture - page a day calendar
 Yep - no pages ripped off from 2005!!!!!

At least this one was slated for a project.  I think we had two of them that year and one was used to decoupage a box.

Decoupaging a box with dog pictures

I don't think I'm very good with this decoupage stuff
 That darn box is sticky - well not sticky, but it sticks.  Does that make sense???

Now you see why I failed at The Town and Country quilt which was making ONE block per day - I didn't even get started on that one, although I did buy my fabrics.

At least, I made it to February 17 with the 365 Block a Day challenge - the scrap one.

Now, not all is lost.   I have TWO page a day calendars this year.

TWO page a day calendars
I keep these on my desk and you can see that the one on the left is UP TO DATE.  The picture was taken a couple of weeks ago.  It's a beautiful calendar - art/inspiration and I have many of the little pieces of art hanging around my office.  I don't have time to load the picture this morning, but I'll find it.  The second calendar, I was doing great until I got stuck on a word and then no time to get back to it.  But I will - it's a good diversion.

Is there a lesson in all this????   Yep - be careful what you buy for people as many gifts will NEVER be used.  It's the thought that counts???  Or are we simply adding to their stress level?   Me?  I won't buy this for anyone ever again, BUT I'm going to buy the Inspiration one for me again this year.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that calendar.

Best Page a Day Calendar in the world!!!!

I also have this calendar for 2017.  Will I keep up???   Nope - I already feel myself behind!  But it might make a good take along project for road trips.

The New Hexagon

And then I received this calendar the other day.  (Thanks Elaine) This is perfect, as I keep a calendar of my schedule on my office door so people know where I am.   I plan to be very creative with my work schedule this year (OK - who am I kidding!)  But I do have a wicked travel schedule and vacation and so I'm going to post this calendar on my door to keep the others informed of my whereabouts. And a nice list to keep things under control!

Calendar for the office

Isn't that hysterical????   I couldn't believe how many of those calendars I had.  I can reuse the word a day one in 2017!!!!  (And one of the Scrabble ones as well.)   I have a feeling that is why the year got knocked off the calendars!!!   Anyway, if I take it to work, I'll be that much smarter by learning a new word everyday.  Here's the thing - if I could remember each new word, great!  But I can't and that is why I feel failure with these calendars.  I can't find the expert word score in Scrabble so I wait, hoping that one day I'll find the word.

Hello self????   It isn't going to happen, so rip those pages off, have fun, learn something that you will retain for 5 minutes and MOVE ON!!!!!

I love it!!!!!!

On that note, I'm a bit behind this morning because of the slow computer and I still have to finish quilting a quilt for a customer.

Have a super awesome day!!!