Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 - And overthinking overthinking

The new year is always one of thoughtfulness....looking back at the past year, and forward to the new one, assessing what you did (and didn't) do, what worked and what didn't, and making plans for the next 12 months. For me this time of year is always full of decisions, but not a lot of resolutions...not that I don't make resolutions, but that I think you can start them at any time, so why not today or June 16th, when you decided you wanted to do it???

For me, the new year is about refocusing, realigning, and redesigning....and a  lot about planning. So often, the schedule was set up 18-24 months ago, but now is the time for the logistics will I travel, when exactly will  the plane leave, etc, etc etc. The big picture gets drilled down to the specific and the actual plan gets set.

2015 is no exception, I have a lot of things on the plate, from teaching engagements, to our first ever out of California retreat (in August, in Montana), several large out of state teaching gigs, and some big shows that I haven't done before. The things are so exciting, and also terrifying. Don't get me wrong, I love every minute, but sometimes I over think it. Is this the right show to be my first "big" show, is this a good fit for classes??? Etc, etc, etc. This running your own business is not for sissies. The work I love, no doubt, but sometimes the details (like taxes, and P&L statements, and accounting, etc) are just not any fun. I know they are necessary, even desirable. But the process of doing those is a distraction from the real things I want and love to do....

So, today, on this last day of 2014, I will be looking back and looking forward, and planning, lots of planning. While others are ringing in the new year outside in the freezing cold, I will be on my couch with knitting needles and a good glass of wine, listening to the classics, and cooking up new plans for 2015. I can't wait to share them with you, and I hope you will join us on some of the 2015 adventures....

So, happy planning everyone, and I will see you in 2015!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Make a List Monday

So last week, I wrote about the somewhat dicey sewing plans. With Christmas last week and New Year's this week, it's often hard to sneak in any sewing. I was lucky though, I was pretty far ahead, and the work front was pretty quiet, so I spent some time sewing. I didn't get everything done, but I got a lot done, which made me happy!!!

Last week my list included these....

1. Finish up Stormy Seas Tablerunner - done
2. Cut out Prickly Pear - done
3. Work on Paradise in Blooms- done
4. Start on Clue 1 of Grand Illusion Mystery (by Bonnie Hunter) - didn't manage to get any sewing done, but I did manage to finish all of the cutting!

This week, I have BIG plans. It's a pretty busy week....and by the time you read this, I'll already be mid-stride on a couple of these....and I have plans to be a little more accountable, posting pics as we go, so that you can see these build out. Just hoping that I have good light this week for pics.

1.  Paradise in Blooms

  • Outside Border Units cut out 
  • Interior Border Units cut out
  • Baskets pieced
  • Exterior BOP units (right and left)
  • Applique shapes made
  • Assembly
2. Grand Opening at Cozy Creative Center in El Cajon, CA. One of my favorite stores in CA moved a couple of weeks ago, and their official grand opening in the new space is this Friday and Saturday. I'll be demoing wedding rings, and a couple of rulers at the shop, so stop by and say hello!

3. Teaching in Glendora on Sunday, January 4th. Hard to believe the new year will be here by the end of the week, but it's happening and I need to accept it.

4. Finish up the Goals for 2015, and update the spreadsheet with all of my new updated plans!

5. Start my Whole 30. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and have decided it's time to do it, and stop talking about it.

6. Organize the stash. 

What are you working on this week???


Monday, December 22, 2014

Final Countdown of 2014

It seems weird that 2014 is almost over, even weirder that planning for 2016 is in progress, yes that is right, I am in full on planning mode for 2016, and even 2017 at this point....CRAZY!!!!

This is that time of year when we start to look at everything we accomplished and everything we didn't and make the plans for next year. For a lot of people, New Year's Resolutions are part of their tradition, for me, it's all about planning --- I like to devote the final week of the year to planning -- what projects am I going to do, what vacations am I going to take, what experiences do I want next year....and then I build around that...I find that works for me, somehow planning a vacation and completing the research on where and when and wardrobe, always inspires me back to the gym, and since it works, why fix it???

So, I'll be doing that this week, and next week, I'll be telling you all about it!!!

Are you a planner or a revolutionist?


Stormy Seas - Week #6 - Wrapping It Up

Oh my!!! It's the final week of Stormy Seas QAL, which means it is Christmas!!!! And next week is 2015! Holy Crapola this year has flown by. More on the year, and goals for 2015 later this week. For now, let's focus on GETTING IT DONE.

Week 1 : November 17 - November 23 - Bag # 1 Assembly - Done

Week 2 : November 24 - November 30 - Bag #2 Assembly - Done

Week 3 : December 1 - December 7 - Bag #3 Assembly - Done

Week 4 : December 8 - December 15 - Bag #4 Assembly - Done

Week 5 : December 16 - December 22 - Sewing Curves - Done

Week 6 : December 23 - December 29 - Final Assembly - that's now!!!

Did you work on your curves over the weekend??? If you follow on instagram and Facebook, you know by now that I got mine totally done this week, since week 6, I will be testing a new pattern for Quiltworx!!! How exciting right?? But with the holiday and all of the craziness that is bound to occur I figured I better go ahead and get mine assembled. I even went ahead and got the back all done. That is to say, I bought 2.5 yards of backing. That's the nice thing about table runner and bed runner projects, you generally don't have to "make" a back, just buy it and put it in a box and send it off to your favorite quilter! For me, that is the lovely Carrie Barone in Montana for this project, since she already has a digitized version that I love!

How is yours coming??? Are you sneaking in sewing time this week with the family?? Or are you buried in Christmas Magic sewing still??


Friday, December 19, 2014

Stormy Seas update

I got it finished...well the top anyway.

It still needs a good pressing, and some backing.

And a quick trip to the quilter....after some better daytime pictures. But those will have to wait until tomorrow....until then, goodnight!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Make a List Monday

As we approach the holidays, it is always harder to get things finished (or started) and always a bit dicey on how much actual time you will have to sew....and this month is no different. It seems everyone is busy (and slightly crazy) getting ready for the holidays, attending parties, and decorating. Let's face it, a lot of us quilters are home dec enthusiasts, and have pretty extensive decorating traditions, and cookie traditions, among other things.

One of the nice things about December is it tends to be a slower month on the teaching front, I only have a handful of classes to teach this month, and as a result, I have more office time, which means I tend to stay on top of the paperwork as it comes in the door (which is always nice).  Of course that also means that I have more "plans"....

With that being said, I have a ton of things to do, and limited hours to do, here's the proposed list for the week...

1. Finish up Stormy Seas Tablerunner
2. Cut out Prickly Pear
3. Work on Paradise in Blooms
4. Start on Clue 1 of Grand Illusion Mystery (by Bonnie Hunter)

What are you working on this week???


Stormy Seas Week 5

We're in week 5 folks -- which means we are 10 days from the big can that be?? Where has December gone??? It's flying by!!!

Week 1 : November 17 - November 23 - Bag # 1 Assembly - Done

Week 2 : November 24 - November 30 - Bag #2 Assembly - Done

Week 3 : December 1 - December 7 - Bag #3 Assembly - Done

Week 4 : December 8 - December 15 - Bag #4 Assembly - Done

Week 5 : December 16 - December 22 - Sewing Curves - Starts Now!!!

Week 6 : December 23 - December 29 - Final Assembly

If you have been diligently working you should now have 4 corners ready to go!

And that completes all of the paper piecing we are going to do for this project! Everything else is assembly! This week has quite a bit of homework. We have 16 interior curves, 16 exterior curves, 4 corner curves, and 20 S curves, so while you paper piecing is complete, we still have a ways to go.

First, we have to assemble the curves. This is the part that I teach most often -- there are some simple tricks to make them faster, and more accurate.

First, we are going to prep our curved pieces....we start by placing the concave piece on top. In this pattern, that is the pieced corner square or the spiky circle. We will use the same method for the curved piecing for both of these.

1. Line them up with the concave piece on top, with right sides facing. Line up the upper left corner, so that the left edges are straight. 

2. Thread the pins along the straight edge. I use two pins to make sure that they don't "work their way out", and I use an in-out-in format to ensure a solid pinning.

3. Then I turn to the other side, and repeat the same actions on the right hand side. At this point, it will look like a hot mess. 

4. Once both side are secure, we will turn our attention to the curved edge itself, starting at the right edge (the one you just pinned), apply about an inch of glue to the convex edge, and then bend the concave edge to match the convex edge. You will be "pleating" the concave piece (the one on the top) as you go around the edge. Continue this procedure, adding an inch of glue and adhering the edge as you go.

5. When you are done, your unit will look like this. You are now ready to sew a quarter of an inch from the edge of the curve. So, tonight's homework is to prep all of these, and visit us tomorrow regarding prepping your machine before sewing.  

To be honest, I tried to make a video of this process, if anyone is interested, please let me know and I will find someone to help me record it!!!  

So, happy curve prepping everyone!!!

See you tomorrow !!!


Friday, December 12, 2014

It's my birthday!!

Yep!!! It's my birthday tomorrow (the 13th), and just for you I am having a sale to celebrate!!! Everything on the website in 20% through midnight Monday. It's a great chance to get backings and big yardage at a substantial discount!!! Just use HAPPY in the coupon code to recalculate your total.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stormy Seas QAL Week 4 : Mishap

If you have started working on your week 4 homework for Stormy Seas this message is for you....

There is a correction to the template papers...and I missed it when I did my cutting, and didn't catch it until I made my stack for my homework tonight...

Can you tell what it is? I missed it here too!

I even got my first spike on before I found it. I've made this unit so many times, I just stacked it up the way it needed to be! But when I got to the point of adding the new background piece (section 3), I realized the sew side information is on the wrong edge of the template....

So, make that small correction and your pieces will fit just fine. There is a notation online and in the pattern instructions regarding the misprint on the papers, and Quiltworx assured me that all future printings are correct, but there are a few that got out into the marketplace with this, just flip them the other way, and yours will be perfect!

If you have any questions or need further clarification, just drop me a line at and I will be happy to help!

Have you done your homework?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Winner Winner Chicken DInner

Here are the winners in the Timeless Treasures Blog for Reclaimed West. The winners are :

Cynthia Knapp
Nicole Sender
Tina Jeo

Please send me your snail mail addresses to to claim your prize!!! I will get them in the mail on Wednesday!!!



Stormy Seas QAL Week 4

Hoping everyone is finally all caught up from a fantastic Thanksgiving.....I have finally recovered, and am just about ready for Christmas....I even got out the Christmas decorations, and have a rough plan sketched out to decorate....It's been a long time since I had a well decorated house and this year I am ready.

But first, it's time to get some Stormy Seas Tablerunner done....we're over half way there!!!! And starting this week, we are on the downhill to get this one finished.

So, here's the schedule :

Week 1 : This week ! November 17 - November 23 - Bag # 1 Assembly - Done

Week 2 : November 24 - November 30 - Bag #2 Assembly - Done

Week 3 : December 1 - December 7 - Bag #3 Assembly - Done

Week 4 : December 8 - December 15 - Bag #4 Assembly - Starts Now!!!

Week 5 : December 16 - December 22 - Sewing Curves

Week 6 : December 23 - December 29 - Final Assembly

Here's my Border units from last week....I got them all finished....10 rights and 10 lefts all finished. I made mine scrappy, since the center rings are all the same, I wanted these really scrappy -- all the colors in the grouping (red, green, dark gold, navy, burgundy in prints, stripes, plaids, and semi solids, all from various Kansas Troubles lines).

So, since we are on day 1 of week 4, we better get to work on this week's homework!!!

Did I mention this week has the least work??? That's right, last week had the most, and this week has the least!!! So, if you are still catching up from last week, no worries!!! Just do them this week!!! This week is about the corners -- the 4 units!!! It's about an hour of sewing, so if you need to catch up, this is the week, and if you want to get ahead, now is the time....if you are working ahead, start with the C curves.

What will you be working on this week??? How are you coming on your Stormy Seas Tablerunner??? Have you kept up??? Send pictures letting us know where you are....

Until next time!!!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

November -- where did you go??

Well, it is officially December. The end of year is within sight, not to mention the Christmas holiday. We had our first Christmas party of the season last night. We always kick it off at Shawn's house on the first Wednesday of December -- a group of old sewing friends together for finger foods, chocolate martinis and a good game of naughty santa....always fun!!!

In terms of sewing and quilting, I haven't gotten much done this month, it's been crazy busy, but very little sewing has been done. After Market and Festival, I had just a few days before I jetted off again to Nebraska for a family reunion trip. And now working on Christmas gifts, which means no sharing (or limited sharing at least)....crazy town here!

So, on that note, back to the project list....

The goals as stated at the new year are in black, amendments (changes/additions, etc) are in blue, and status is red....

1. Captain's Wheel complete and sent to the quilter in February. I'm about to send a search party for this one!
2. Celtic Wave (Queen) - Piece Along to start in mid-February! complete and sent to the quilter in July.
3. Flower's for My Wedding Ring - Didn't touch this one this month, but happy to say that the focus will return to this one in January, as we will be hosting a wedding ring QAL for it!!! 
4. Scrappy Trip This one is on the design wall, just need to spend some quality time with it.
5. Osprey's Nest Done. Closed.
6. Hawaiian/Prairie Star - Added in April, I have cut it all out. and I will be taking it on retreat this weekend. So fingers crossed a lot will get accomplished. Got nothing accomplished on this one.....
7. Fire Island Hosta Queen - Added in April. I have cut this one out as well. I should take it to retreat, but that might mean I get neither we'll have to see. Done. 

1. Winter Wonderland - I got it back and I love it. I posted some pics, and did a blog post.
2. Glacier Star - Handed over to the quilter while I was in Montana. Headed back my way.
3. Mariner's Compass done. Quilted and bound.
4. Compass Rose - done. and blogged. 
5. Meandering Star - done. 
6. Captain's Wheel - at the quilter.
7. Celtic Wave Queen - sent to Montana for quilting
8. Flower's for My Wedding Ring - 
9. Scrappy Trip
10. Osprey's Nest - Done.
11. Feathered Star Queen - sent to Montana

Pattern Writing
1. 2014 Block of the Month - starts on January 13th! - Done. started February 13th. whole year worth of patterns have been scheduled!!! We found an issue with these....all of the posts that had been scheduled before the July 1 blogger update were corrupted, so once I get back from Market (or maybe while I am there), I will get these reposted!!! Sorry folks!!! Almost done with this one!
2. 5 new patterns for spring market - all done!!! 
3. 5 new patterns for fall market - all done!!!

Other projects :
1. Amazon Star finished
2. Pepperdish finished - no change
3. Crackers finished - complete
4. Feathered Star Queen finished - complete
5. Project Destash - current total as of October 30th is --57.25. November - didn't use much this month, and I went on a shopping spree (or 4).Got some new project fabrics for the family while I was in Nebraska -- 30 yards total for specific projects, which I will cut out and work on later this month!!! Hopefully, this month will be a big one in the fabric busting world! I have big plans!!! With a quieter teaching schedule and some free time, I am determined to get some things done.

December Sewing Plan
1. Stormy Seas QAL
2. finish Disney Swap
3. presents!!!!

How are your quilty goals going this year??? Have you started thinking about next year??? I have begun thinking about plans for next many things I want to do/finish/work on....there is never enough time/always too many projects, but I really want to get ahold of them this year and get organized once and for all!!!

Happy Quilting!!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stormy Seas QAL - Week #3

Is anyone else still recovering from Turkey Day??? Okay, maybe not turkey day, but the festivites surrounding it. I got home from a week log trip to see my family on Monday, and I am finally catching up on the home things that need to be done. I have a laundry list of to dos this week, and the Christmas parties are starting (which seems insane)!!! More on that later this week, now back to Stormy Seas!!!

So, here's the schedule :

Week 1 : This week ! November 17 - November 23 - Bag # 1 Assembly - Done

Week 2 : November 24 - November 30 - Bag #2 Assembly - Done

Week 3 : December 1 - December 7 - Bag #3 Assembly - This week!!!

Week 4 : December 8 - December 15 - Bag #4 Assembly

Week 5 : December 16 - December 22 - Sewing Curves

Week 6 : December 23 - December 29 - Final Assembly

So, since we are on day 3 of week 3, we better get to work!!!

Did I mention this week has the most work??? That's right, it has more units (20) than previous weeks, and more sections per unit (13), so this week technically has the most sewing! It also has 2 opposing units (10 rights, and 10 lefts). The secret to making sure that everything goes together correctly is organization. When bags have multiple units (or right and lefts) in the same bag, I tend to sort, and then sew individual sets, just to keep me organized, so I'll be working in tens this week. It's a busy week, so I am not really sure when I will have time to sew, but I am going to make it work.

I took a few minutes this morning to work on my cutting table, and get everything arranged for maximum productivity. Unfortunately, there seems to be a problem with the iPad linking up to the internet, and I can't get my photos to show up here on the blog, so I'll have to show them tomorrow, for now, it's off to Orange County for business meetings.  

I have appointments this morning and early afternoon and the first of the Christmas Parties is tonight at Shawn's, so likely no sewing for me today, but we'll see, maybe I'll finish sooner than I thought!

See you soon!