Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Year In Review

Well, once again I left my camera at work - so no photos today.

If you've been with me for the year, you may recall that I spent all of last New Year's weekend cleaning and organizing my sewing room. I swore that I would keep it picked up (you know...that "clean as you go" thing). Well, in the frenzy of the last few months, the table was piled up again and the Sophie hairballs were thick. I decided last night that if I cleaned up then, I could sew without guilt on New Year's and start clean again.

I was derailed last night by a broken vacuum cleaner belt.

Russ solved that problem this morning, and after I got home from work, counting fat quarters at the shop (over 12,ooo!), dinner, Target and WalMart, I finished cleaning up. I started to sew, but it was almost 10 so I decided to tally up my project index cards for 2006. (To catch everyone up, I decided on New Year's that I would try to track all my projects on index cards - I did pretty good on remembering to do it!)

So, here's 2006 in a nutshell:

25 shop samples (5 quilt tops, 7 pieced by others but quilted by me, and 13 complete quilts)
7 other quilts completed from start to finish
1 quilt quilted for someone else (can you say barter?)
4 UFO's finished
6 quilts donated
52 yards of stash used (I could use more if I weren't making all those darned shop samples!)
37 other projects finished (postcards, tote bags, night shirts)

I didn't get as many UFO's finished as I wanted - and I only created 2 tops that need to be quilted. But I guess I came out ahead - I finished more than I made!

But I have learned one thing about myself. I don't go backwards. If I don't work my way all the way through a project at one time, I have a hard time going back and finishing. I blame most of this on my chosen profession - owning a quilt shop, there's always something new to be made for the shop. I fantasize about having a whole month to sew on MY stuff, but that's not the real world I live in. Oh well, I'll retire someday. I can console myself with the fact that I have plenty of projects and fabric to keep me busy!

My goal for 2006 is to make more personal time to sew. Think I can do it?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So, whadja get for Christmas?

I got a new recliner for the bedroom. This is the chair where I do all my handwork as well as work on my laptop.

It's a pretty good improvement over my old chair, doncha think? This chair is 11 years old and completely worn out!
I did my best to crop out the "nest" of clutter surrounding the chairs - someday I'll make time to actually clean things up!

I've spent the last 2 weeks really humping to get my on-line store set up before the 1st of the year. My web design guy still has not delivered my "new look", but I went ahead anyway. I've decided web designers are just grown up gamers who have no concept of time or space. Go ahead - take a look!

I feel a chest cold or bronchitis coming on, so I think I'll just sit in my new chair and watch tv.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Farewell, Dear Friend

Yesterday I lost a dear friend. This is Toby - a member of my family for the last 17 years - longer than my husband. Her age finally got the best of her and I had to make the horribly difficult decision to let her go. I know she's in a better place, but it still makes me sad.

Today is Christmas Eve. We'll go over to my in-laws' house this afternoon for the Allen family Christmas. I still have cooking to do, so I'd best get to it.

Happy Holidays to you all,

Monday, December 18, 2006

Postcard Q&A

I've received several questions regarding my Christmas postcards - but all comments were sent "anonymous" so I can't respond directly. Let's see if I can cover all the bases.

1. All 29 postcards were made the same. I saw the design in one of the books on fabric postcards at the shop. I didn't make a design template; I just eye-balled (or "free-eyed" as my friend Sarah says) the placement of the strips and the star.

I figured that since I had a boatload of cards to make in a day or so, I didn't have much time to be individually creative. I had to find a groove and stay in it.

2. All the elements were fused to a background cut 4-1/4" x 6-1/4" and then top-stitched with a straight stitch.

3. I used Fast-2-Fuse cut 4" x 6" in the middle of the card. This product is like Timtex, except it already has the fusible on it. I fused the face of the card to the Fast-2-Fuse before I stitched the design elements down.

4. I made postcard backings out of cardstock. I then fused the cardstock to the back side of the Fast-2-Fuse.

5. I then trimmed everything flush with a rotary cutter and buttonhole stitched the edge.

6. After I finished the edges, I applied hot-fix crystals to the star.

7. I took the cards to the post office with regular 39 cent stamps and had the cards hand-cancelled. Of the 3 people I've talked to who received them, 2 people had some crystals missing. Don't know if I didn't apply enough heat (I was kind of in a hurry!) or if crystals just don't mail well. Further field-testing will be required.

Maybe tomorrow I'll snap a pic of some other cards I've made.

Good night!

Christmas Cards

I forgot to tell you all about my new addiction. I know I am slow coming to the party, but I am absolutely in love with fabric postcards!

I made 29 of these guys as my Christmas cards this year - and it's been years since I've sent out cards! I couldn't show you until now because I had to wait until they were delivered - I wanted them to be a surprise.

You've gotta love the magic properties of Wonder Under....

Happy holidays to you all,

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Art of Procrastination

I have a dual personality, it seems. On the one hand, I am never idle. I can accomplish many things in a small amount of time. On the other hand, I can put off certain things indefinitely. Unfortunately, for me - procrastination is a dramatically downward spiral. When I finally decide to do whatever it is I have put off forever, I then wonder if it's even worth doing - because I know it will take longer to get it done than if I had just started it when I was supposed to. Surely I am old enough to know this lesson - yet I keep repeating the cycle.

Like blogging. It's been forever since I have posted. I read my blog lists every day (and sometimes more than once a day). I ENJOY when people put a new post on their blogs. Every day I think - "I really need to put a new post on my blog". I write blog posts in my head. I sit at a computer most of the day. Why can't I just get this done? I don't have my camera with me. I forgot to take a photo of something. I'm just too tired once there's a bit of quiet time. Whatever the excuse, I seem to find it. Then I start comparing myself to other bloggers - "Well, SHE hasn't posted a new post since November 20 - so I'm not THAT bad about posting." The procrastination continues. Why? This blog is a voluntary thing. There are no grades or monetary ramifications. However, I feel a certain amount of responsibility to my small readership base. And I apologize profusely for my procrastination. Is all this way too deep for a Thursday morning? Can I blame it on the margaritas from last night?

So, let's play catch-up. Since we last met, I have begun sewing on a block-of-the-month sample for the shop. I have appliqued (5) 12" blocks and pieced (4) 12" blocks and (4) 6" blocks. I have made 29 fabric postcards for my Christmas cards - all have been adressed and mailed except 2. I have become the homework monitor since I found out that Audrey is slightly behind the 8-ball and the semester is rapidly coming to a close. I have endured and recovered from a computer crash at work. I have written and published a 6-page newsletter. I have done a marginal amount of Christmas shopping, but nothing's wrapped. I sometimes feel like George Jetson - 'Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!". I am SO ready for January and the end of the silly season.

But I have no pictures for today. My camera's downstairs and some other photos are on my computer at work. But stick with me. This post is a first step. I think I can conquer my procrastination.