Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Just a few pretties

It's been crazy at work, and crazy running around getting life things done. My photography class started last Tuesday ( the 19th), and Road to CA was last weekend, I originally wasn't planning to go, but things change, and I ended up going on a result, there wasn't much sewing happening. There was a time in my life when I could live well on 5 hours of sleep, but lately, I seem to need more.... Not sure if I'm just getting older, or if something bigger is happening, so I made a slew of dr appointments to get everything checked out.

In the meantime, I taught on Sunday, and my class showed off some pretty adorable stuff....

Have you heard about the block a day quilt? It's 1 4 1/2" block every day, and build a city over a started January 1 st, in the city center. Skyscrapers, office buildings, a plumbing shop, car repair...the corners of each round have parks and post boxes. So cute!!! I really want to do this! But I'll have to join next year, I don't think I could catch up!

This one is Lee's Cactus Rose. There is still quite a bit of appliqué to do, but the main body is done!!! And it is stunning in real life....

This week looks pretty busy, with taking a class 2 nights a week, and a full work and teaching schedule, I don't anticipate much sewing until the weekend....but I should get a full day, so that should be fun!!!

So, for now, I'll just knit, it's super portable!!! I can even work on it during class breaks!

What are you working on?

Monday, January 11, 2016

An Hour a Day : Week 2

Well, it's week 2 of #1houraday. I did pretty well last week, I got in 9.5 hours during the week, though I only sewed 4 days. This week's goal is to actually sew all 7 days, and get a few things done.

Rocky Mountain Bear Claw just has a few more steps and she'll be all done -- I need to sew the curves that attach the Claw to the Paw, and then sew the partial seams for the blocks, and finally sew the borders on. So, that should get finished this week, hopefully by mid week.

After that, I want to work on my Pepperdish and/or Amazon Star. I'm not sure which one I will actually work on, but one of them will be the front runner, I guess it will depend on how I am feeling about appliqué come Thursday, and how much time I have for the weekend....we'll just have to see.

For the knitting side.....I'm debating between two hats, both of which needs #6 dpns, which I don't have, so I need to go make a run to the LYS during lunch one day this week.

That's about it for plans this week, it's an off weekend for teaching, so I should have lots of sewing time!!!! can't wait!!!!

What are you working on this week???


Sunday, January 10, 2016

What have you been doing????

Just what have I been doing since the New Year???? Here's all the details...

Watching - the Making of a Murderer, I just starting watching it today, and I must admit the story is fascinating, completely creepy, and completely sad. I don't want to believe that our nation would allow this type of systemic abuse of power....yet, here it is right i front of our faces.

Craving - pizza. It has been too long.

Doing - lots of seems to never end!!!

Obsessing - over Dave Ramsey's new budgeting app....Every's the envelopes gone digital!!!

Loving - the rain we have had's made for some interesting journeys, and some interesting dining room decorating, but I have loved the relaxing sound and the quiet.

Reading - The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare  -- I just picked up the first book yesterday, and I will finish it tonight. 

Wanting - a new current one is just a little to's a little too long, and it seems the constantly be in a ponytail, and I am ready for something a little more interesting

Pinning - recipes, lots and lots of recipes

Dreaming - of barns turned into houses....

Writing - not much....I've been busy sewing, so I haven't done much writing lately.

Crafting - not much. I had big kitty goals this month, but I've had a hard time focusing

Sewing - Rocky Mountain Bear Claw. I'm almost done with it, so excited, it turned out really great so far, can't wait to show it off.

Knitting - Not I said, I had big plans, but don't seem to have any knitting mojo lately.

Listening - to Napoleon Hill and Greg Laurie

Wearing - my standard uniform -- jeans and sweaters in this cool weather.

Needing - to clean out my car, but I can't seem to get motivated.

Planning - meals, I've been getting better with this, and it definitely shows in the checkbook.

Trying - Quinoa -- not my favorite. I know some people who love it, but I just can't....I want to, but no.

What have you been doing lately????

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Q1 Class Schedule

I usually reserve class announcements for the shops or guilds, and post a copy on my website ( but I have had a few people ask me to put up the "schedule" here -- so here goes...

Recurring Monthly Classes
1st Saturday and Sunday - Cotton and Chocolate in Thousand Oaks, CA (note : no Feb class due to Super Bowl Sale)

2nd Saturday - The Orange Quilt Bee in Orange, CA

2nd Sunday - The Quilt Cupboard, Placentia, CA

2nd and 4th Wednesday - Monicas Quilt and Bead, Palm Desert, CA

3rd Tuesday - Paradise Sewing, Poway, CA

3rd or 4th Sunday (depending upon date) - the Sew 'n' Sew, Glendora, CA

So, if you are interested in catching a paper piecing class, please give the shop closest to you a call and get the details, and I will see you there.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Quilty Goals

I mentioned yesterday that I made some goals for the year....the thing is, they aren't very goaly (is that a word, oh well, it is now). If you have known me for long, you know that I tend to enjoy planning and mapping and all of the listing components of a project, but seem to very easily overcommit, get frustrated, and eventually quit......last year, I lasted until Aprilish....

This year, I am determined to not let that happen I've really looked at my behavior patterns and processes, and this year, I'm not planning a whole year. I'll work on the next 60 days. Just 60 days, because in the next 60 days someone will release a new quilt (or quilts) that I HAVE to make, and I will need to adjust my priorities, and all of the things that go along with this year, I'm focusing on just 60 days, and I'll review every 30 days to see how it's going....

So, for this segment, from January 1-February 29th (yes, it is leap year this year), I have a couple of quilty goals....

1. Finish the Bear Claw Tablerunner that is currently in process
2. Reorganize the quoffice -- that's the quilt room/office....I haven't properly organized it since I moved in last July, and it is well over due.
3. Create new binders for all of my classes -- and get all of the supply lists posted on the internet for guilds/shops to download
4. Document all of my in process/WIP projects, for both quilting (almost done) and knitting
5. Update my yarn stash into Ravelry
6. Sew 8 hours a week and knit 4 hours a week
7. Post 8 Block of the week blocks
8. Design and make 1 quilt for Spring Market

The goals are pretty lofty, and I know I will need to add some quilty sewing projects if I am going to sew an hour a day, since there are really only about 10 hours of work on the table runner at this point. The issue is, until I finish #4 above, I'm not sure what I should work on next......for once I have all of my class samples done and ready to go (yeah me).

Do you keep a running list of all of your In Process WIPs...???? How do you do it??? I'm curious, as organization is something I love, but am not good I am always looking for ideas on how you track all the WIPs, and completed projects.....

Until Next Time!
Happy Quilting

Monday, January 4, 2016

An Hour a Day

So -- it's the New Year, and like most people, I made a few resolutions.....most of which revolve around my Word of the Year - Balance....starting immediately, I'm going to be participating in a personal challenge to find a little more balance. You see, in my life, I am really a much nicer person if I get a chance to sew every day. For some people, exercise is a great stress reduction tool, for some people it's a glass of wine....for me, it's the hum of the sewing machine and the small vibration of the sewing table. I'm just a nicer, kinder, gentler person when I have done some self care. So, effective immediately, I want to sew every day, that's right every single day.

Now, I realize that this a is fairly ridiculous resolution, that sewing every day isn't particularly practical, or possible, given the schedule and my current commitment load, so my real goal is 8 hours a week, which equates to 68.5 minutes per, roughly an hour a day.....over a week period. with a few stipulations....

To qualify for inclusion in the days tally, the activity must relate to a current prioritized project, which means it has to be a) one of the UFOs on my list, b) some deadline sewing for a class, market or sample, or 3) preparation for a future sewing date -- cutting fabrics, prepping papers, selecting thread, etc, etc, essentially anything in the sewing room aside from cleaning it would qualify.

I haven't decided quite how I'm going to keep myself accountable for these hours or minutes of sewing, so for the meantime, I'll just be posting on instagram daily, and once a week or so, I'll update this forum.

If you want to play along, please post to instagram using the hashtag #1houraday.

Priority 1 for my #1houraday is working on my Rocky Mountain Bear Claw table runner. So, I'm off to the machine to start now.

See you tomorrow with some Bear Claw love.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Word of the Year

Every year, I pick a word related to the goals for the year...I like it to be a verb, something I am going to strive for, or something I can do.....I've focused, I've built, I've simplified, and this year, I'm going to balance....

2015 was a strange year. I had some great struggles, and challenges, and some amazing wins. I moved the business and the house, changed jobs, and went through a period where I literally worked 154 days in a row. I took every opportunity to teach, including over some holidays, managed to piss off just about every member of my family at some point during the year, and dealt with some really scary parental aging issues. I'm not sad to see 2015 in the books. Not sad at all. On the other hand, I've seen the business grow, and found some amazing new friends and a new community support system that I love. Penny is flourishing, and will enter Therapy Dog training school in the next 6 months, so the year was not all a bust.

But 2016 -- She and I have some plans, some rather large goals, and some huge commitments. And the only way to do any of the well is to regain some perspective, and some balance in life. Don't get me wrong, the changes aren't major, I'm not quitting the day job or quitting teaching. I'm still going to teach 10-12 days a month, but not 16-18 that I have this year. I'm going to take a step back from travel, and teach closer to home. I'll still put 25,000 miles on the car this year, but not the 36k that occurred in 2015. I'm going to take a vacation. and not one that is quilty related. a real one, where you don't think about work (okay, maybe not all the time at least). I'm going to learn to be gentler with myself, and not take some things so personally.

SO, that's the word for the year....I haven't yet figure out what piece of jewelry I will add to my collection.....there are so many options....and to be honest, I like to wear both the new ones, and the older ones, so I'm going to have to figure that out. I'm currently wearing my built key necklace, and my simplify ring....and my focus pendant that was on a chain has moved to my charm I need to figure that out. I love having a piece of jewelry emblazoned with my chosen word, that I can use as a physical reminder to focus on the word of the year. I've found the physical reminder to be helpful....but I just can't decide this year....I'll let you know once I figure it out!

Do you make resolutions for the year??? Do you pick words or phrases?

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Lovely 9 Patch

This new feature is really all about learning how blocks work together, and what easy ways you can build quick and simple quilts using quick and simple blocks.....and we'll start with my favorite favorite block. The lovely 9 patch.  It's common and simple, and a simple color change (or changes) makes for an amazing quilt....the key to 9 patches is all about value, the contrast between your lights and's some examples...

The Basic 9 Patch
with a dark x

in a quilt.....

And with a light x

Mixed together in a quilt.....

yep -- that's 9 patches....believe it or not....

Making 9 Patches

Making 9 patches is easy...and very forgiving. Here's the instructions for my favorite size...6" finished.
  1. Cut 5 - 2.5" squares dark
  2. Cut 4 - 2.5" squares light
  3. Lay them out  in an X pattern, and sew into rows.
  4. Press each row toward the dark
  5. Sew the rows together
  6. Your block should measure 6.5" at this point.