Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Year's Resolutions are Time Consuming

Everyone makes them, and everyone has the best of intentions to make them come true.
 It's good to set goals, and especially good if you make reachable/attainable goals.  I've made some that I believe are attainable.

I have the usual one of losing weight and I started that in September because friends of mine had lost weight and they encouraged/motivated me to start.  So far 27 pounds (5 telephone books!!).  I'm proud of this accomplishment and I'm keeping it up, hoping to lose about 15 more.  It's a realistic goal, not a goal to be the same shape and size as when I was a teenager, but to a healthy and slim look.  I have the items I need to accomplish this (got some healthy cookbooks, a scale, joined Weight Watchers online in September and for the last 15 joined Weight Watchers meetings because I read that the meetings really help in the end.  Goal #1 looking good.

I also wanted to increase my exercise time.  I had let some things slide last year because of all the hardship I was going through.  So in December I got the things I needed in place to reach my goal:  husband got me a fitbit that reads to Weight Watchers, joined some challenges that encourage me to do it, got another pair of runners to leave at school so I don't have to carry shoes all the time when I do my walk at night.  Things are looking good here as well, went from 10,000 steps a day (what everyone should do in a day) to 12000 this week.  Meeting Goal #2.

They say only have three goals because too many started and you'll drop them.  Goal #1 and #2 were started previously, and the 3rd goal was also started in September, that was my acrylic painting.  I resigned for more lessons and I'm enjoying it tremendously.  Goal #3 to paint a rather large scene of a wave hitting a wall.  It's a fantastic picture and I'm painting a small version right now to learn how to do water, but I have confidence in myself and my teacher that I'll do it.

My final goal for this year (yes I have a Goal #4), to enter 5 quilts into the quilting guild's show.  So far I have two completed.  But the other three?  Who knows.

So why this rant (is it a rant???)?  It's time.  I love all my goals, and I want to accomplish each one, but with a job, it's very hard and quite tiring to do all of this.  What do I mean?  Well, lets see:

Every morning trying to walk at the school from 7:30 - 8:15

Monday:  Acrylic Painting 6:00 - 8:00
Wednesday:  Weight Watchers 6:30 - 7:30 sometimes 8:00
Thursday:  Laundry for the house.
Friday:  vacuuming, cleaning the place
Saturday:  time with the husband but also grocery shopping
Sunday:  Cook all the meals for the week which takes about 4 hours.

And in between that there's the correcting and prepping for my job as a teacher, exercising after we have supper to run for about 30 minutes on the treadmill, and getting some "me" time and seeing my friends that I don't see during the week.

OK, see the pattern here?  I want to paint at home and I want to quilt to complete some of the great quilts I'm making, but where is the time?  

Sometimes goals are good and changes are good.  They say that what ever changes you make, do them one at a time and do them for 30 days to make it a habit.  This Ted Talk changed my life 4 years ago.

Take a look:

So, if Matt can do it, I'll try.

As with my students I always ask them for "Evidence of Learning".   Here's some evidence of my painting improving (this entire blog is of my quilting getting better).  They are in order.

Here is some of my quilting that I've done since this new year has started, for relaxation.  Already showed them to my guild:

Pat Sloan Splendid Sampler is almost over with 100 blocks in total.

My "Owl" pin cushion for a friend at the Guild.

Just started, Flying Geese

Manitoba block completed from a BOM for a Canadian Quilt.

Christmas quilt that I got during Christmas.  Just completed it with quilting around each square.  Flannel at the backing, of snowmen :)

Table topper for a house warming gift for friends that moved into their new place about 4 months ago.  At least I got them something.  Look at the quilting below.

That table topper is my own design.  Love how the black pops things.  None of these quilts are on my list of goals to complete, or my goal of a month.  But I did have fun finishing off some UFOs, so that's important to me.

So can I keep this up?  Who knows, but it would be interesting to see how long I can keep it up.  Just remember (and it took me a long time to know this), you don't have to complete everything on your list (see my Finish Alongs lists which are crazy!!), just as long as you have fun trying.

So far I'm still having fun.
And I'm still smelling the flowers
From my husband  :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017's New Quarter Start.

Well, another year's gone by with a lot accomplished (see the tab above marked 2017) to see all that I've accomplished in the way of quilts.  And a large part of it is thanks to the 2016th Finish Along (FAQ).   I've always been a big fan of making lists and the group at the Finish Along has always helped me to think about it, as well as enter all my list of items.  And as luck would have it they're doing it again.  

So here it is, another list for me to try to complete.  If I do two or three of them I will be very happy, but I will try to list all of them.  I'm hoping for two very special ones to be completed.  You've seen them often on my list, but here they are again.

Goal #1:  I've completed 6 of the wool projects, and I'm hoping to complete the other 6 of the Midnight Garden.  Here is one example, 6 more to go....  I love doing these but it takes at least a month to do it.  So keep an eye on this blog to see what can be done...  It's a beautiful quilt.

A 2nd goal to to finish at least 8 more fibre art leaves to add to one of my quilts.  The quilt is called Canadian Parks, all green, yellow and red.  But now I'm adding a fibre art tree that is over 5 feet tall (already started), and all the leaves (10 leaves) that will be splattered around the tree.  I have to do this, as well I quilted this king size quilt (I have quilted the death out of it) so much, but when quilting it I wanted to quilt around the word "Canada".  But unfortunately (really feel stupid about this) I quilted the word "Cananada".  That's a big "Ops".  

So now I have to go over a "na" but unfortunately it's in the middle of the word, so thus the leaves. I'm hoping the tree will cover it and then the leaves to do the rest.  It's all about planning, and seriously, I don't have a big plan, I'm just letting FATE guide me.

Now on to my 3rd goal.    Another job I started when I did a fibre art course I practised on two  different flowers.  Both are not completed, but I would like to do so when I'm making the leaves.  So here's the plan, complete these two flowers and put them on a bag or purse.  I would love to have these on that or even a T-shirt .  Would look spectacular.

I even have a picture of my cat that was put on fabric so I can have that completed as well.  I'm counting it as my 3rd goal though, just because it's the same thing.  But the bag is the main thing and I'm excited about this one.

Here's my 4th goal.  This one was constant on my list.  I got the whites, I got everything together, and I even printed out the letters for the "you & me" writing.  This should not take any time at all, so I want this one done probably this weekend.  It will look spectacular!!   And I want something nice and easy as well as big (65 by 85), something great to cuddle by.

Here's my 5th goal.  It's one that's been on this list about five or six times.  It is suppose to be for the guild show, and I need to add beads to it.  So all that's left is to quilt it then bead it.  That should take at least seven hours.  Simple and easy to do.  I'm so excited about this, my own design, my own pattern, everything is mine on this one.  I'm so excited!!!

Goal 6th:  This is another one that's been a constant on this list.  It's the quilting of the quilt that I made two years ago.  This quilt is spectacular, it's all done, but now I'm learning how to quilt it through Leah Day.  There are twelve squares and each square is done differently.  I'm learning to quilt through this course, but I also love the quilt that I made because of the colours of the quilt.  Here's a picture of the quilt as is, with 3 blocks completed.  I have the nine left to do.  Above is an example of one of the blocks that was completed.

Here's the final one.  Goal #7.  The Vice Versa quilt Block of the Month Club form 2014.  I have all the blocks but the last two months done (it's two blocks a month), and then adding the plain material in between the strips.  So this one is also doable in one day.  It's the quilting that worries me.  It is suggested to do straight quilting at an angle to complete this one. See an example of one of the blocks I have completed above.

That's a big list but one that is doable in my books (or at least a couple of them :)  So wish me luck, I want the quilting done and at least two more that will be ready for quilting for the next quarter.  Good luck to us all.  

A great start to the New Year.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

One Monthly Goal for January

Like everyone else I'm making a New Year's Resolution, but not about losing weight (started this in October and have lost 25 pounds so far), or to exercise more often (I got a new FitBit and I'm working at over 11,000 steps a month), or eat healthy (I've been doing that for two years now).  No, this year's resolution is to take it easy this time.  

My lists of things to do for One Monthly Goal have been 4 - 20 different things, which now I look back at it, I've been reacting like a mad woman trying to get all of it done.  I mean really, I'm a high school computer teacher who works very hard all day with no prep time to assess students formally in school, so I take their work home and mark it which takes approximately 2 hours a night.  Then I need to relax and de-stress by sewing quilts and painting, and I sew one to two quilts a month.  Most of the quilts are queen size.  And I go to a painting class every Monday, then come home and try to fit in painting at least 2 hours a week.  Enough already.

It's called "One Monthly Goal" for a reason.  ;)  

So here's my ONE goal.  Finish quilting my pixelated sunflower.  Anything else is a bonus.  I've sandwiched it and now for the quilting which are tiny little circles to represent the seeds, and then the pedals.  It will be beautiful when done, and this one is close to two years old, from the sewing and quilting already.  If done, the blog entry will be a post of major pictures.  I want to put this into the Fraser Valley Quilting Guild Show this June with the theme of Canada 150th.  It's my own design.  It's for the farmers of the prairies, growing sunflower crops.

Elm Street Quilts

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another quarter here and gone, as well as 2016

2016 FAL
Well the 4th and last quarter is here, and it's done.  I'm hooking this up to Leanne at "She Can Quilt" for the 2016 Finish A Long.

OK, in the last three months I have once more purchased some quilt blocks, so I'm upset.  It's over 60 quilts to make now.   Remember, I am a fabricaholic....  But I did complete many quilts this year, and many of them are queen size so I'm still feeling good about the entire thing.  So lets get to it, and show what I did complete this term.  And if you want to see the entire year in review, you can go to my page of the 2016 quilts completed at this link.

My original list is here, and many of them are not done, so I won't bore you with the ones partly, completed, I'll get right to the ones that are fully completed.  

Here's a list with diagrams of where I was at and where I am now.

Got two potholders completed but I gave them away before I could take a picture.

I got one done for a very good friend of mine.  So even though I wanted to get more done, I'm happy with at least one.

All quilted and all completed.  I'm extremely pleased at how the pattern took off.

Well, although this was my list (above) I did do a number of extras, and they were on the list at one point of time, so I'm OK with showing them all.  See below:

Premie quilt for the hospital.

Gift to my aunt for Christmas.

Quilt on my bed.  A queen size quilt.

Pillow case for star wars.

A wall quilt from Manitoba.

My table topper - Butterflies.

A quilt for my cousins in Manitoba.  Art Deco - beautifully quilted.

Well, it was busy, but not with what I signed up for.  Still, a great year of sewing.  Thanks for helping to push me to get going on some of these  :)