Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eating an Elephant

Hi Everyone!

Have you heard that joke about How do you eat an Elephant?

Click to viewAnswer: One bite at a time.

 Well I am eating my elephant  er, quilting my quilt, one bite stitch at a time.  It does seem like an elephant, it is an enormous quilt!  It's been years since I have attempted to hand quilt anything and now I find myself with needle and thread in hand. It is so ridiculous to even THINK about this gigantic task before me, hence the elephant joke.  I hope you don't think that is in poor taste. 

Do you have a few spare minutes? I'll tell you the story of the gigantic quilt.  It all started about 19 years ago <cringe> on Labor Day weekend when my BFF came down for her first visit to our new home in south FL.  We had just moved here in June and I was SO excited to have my friend come for the long weekend and to start this new quilt project (back then we were both into quilting BIG time). We cut and we sewed and we put together blocks all weekend, and almost had the queen-sized top completed.  Eventually she went home and I continued to work to finish the blocks needed to finish the project.  

Fast forward another eight years.....My daughter has bought her very first home and I'm thinking I'll make her a quilt as a housewarming present when I stumble across the quilt in the closet and asked her if she might like it.  She loves the colors and we measure her bed, I add more blocks to increase the size. Then she gets a new bed and it is higher and the quilt needs borders and she asks if could I incorporate some brown into it??  LOL!   Oh sure, I add the borders (and brown fabric as requested) and then.......

Fast forward another two years.....daughter is in Texas now and tells me she would really like her quilt. It's become the "housewarming" joke between us. Meanwhile I get the quilt layered to be quilted and it is gigantic and there's NO WAY it is going to fit in my sewing machine to be quilted.  So, I think it went back into the closet while I tried to think of a way to afford to have it professionally quilted. 

Fast forward three years......daughter is married, has a baby and lives in Michigan.  Okay, time to get serious about that quilt, because it is FREEZING cold in Michigan and she is a FLORIDA girl.  Finally, I get the bright idea to ask two ladies from the quilter's group at church if they might like to take on the project of machine quilting it.  They were willing and took the quilt to see if they could find a quilting machine that they could quilt it on. That was 6 months ago. Just the other day they told me the quilt was TOO BIG to go on their friends machine.  Back to square one and time to eat humble pie......

That brings me to the needle in hand and the realization that it's been 20 years since I've quilted by hand and I'm sorely out of practice!

I'd forgotten how to tie a quilter's knot and my stitches look more like Morse Code, (dot, dot, dash). 

Rather than the 12 stitches to an inch I used to quilt, it is more like 6 stitches to an inch (being generous) and they are rather wobbly like a drunkards path. It is a humbling experience (one deserved) after all these years. 

 But I'm getting the hang of hand quilting again and trying not to think too much about how gigantic a project this really is. 

She's waited this long......what's another 6 months to a year?  

You'll have to excuse me now......I have an elephant I need to eat.    

Say, where did I put my fork???

Bee Creative!


Friday, August 15, 2014


Hi Everyone!

A steaming hot cuppa coffee in my hand and the mouse in the other, scanning down the page, clicking on this and that, pinning a few, that's how I started my day off !  Don't judge IS my day off from work.  Yes there are a zillion things I need to do today...that blasted phone keeps whistling to remind me of the TO DO list that awaits. 
 You know what I'm talking about too. <wink> It's easy to fall down the (Pinterest) rabbit hole, so limiting my time is important while taking time to be inspired.
My Spring Door Wreath inspired by Pinterest

Spending time being inspired by others adds to my creativeness and that leads to thinking about my work area, better known as the studio.  Cleaning and rearranging the work areas in my studio (AGAIN) helps me realize what my current interests are and where I need to focus my creative attention. That might not be your situation but for me, it is a huge problem.  I have many interest and find it hard to concentrate on one at a time.  So I find what works for me is having specific areas or zones that concentrate on one or two crafts. 

 For instance my sewing area has long been neglected, mending piling up and several (back burner) projects need attention. I take a hard look at each area, make note of unfinished projects and then schedule in some time each day to work on them. Each area or zone has its own projects to be completed. 

 After several weeks of devoting time to the mending project, I'm happy to say the mending is finished! Mending you say? Who exactly mends these days?!? I do, especially if it is a favorite piece of clothing I enjoy wearing.  The mending gives it character and individuality and extends the life of  the garment.  It's an old fashioned idea, but one learned from my Granny and my Mom who were thrifty sewers.  Next on the list and a long time coming is a slipcover for a foot stool. Stay tuned for that!

My little desk wasn't functioning as previously envisioned for sewing so I switched it out for a larger/longer work surface which also doubles as a crafting surface when Little Misses Sunshine and Lollipop come over. The larger work surface seems to be working well with plenty of room for sewing, painting and craft projects for both the little ones and for myself as well. And the smaller desk is conveniently located to allow both girls their own space if needed <wink> or for me to supervise the activities. 

After setting up the sewing/craft area the little desk now doubles as a beading and stamping area. This area/zone is where I will spend hours making beaded jewelry and working on my journals and stamping projects.  The drawers conveniently hold the on-going beaded projects and houses the stamps and journals so the area can be easily converted for Misses S & L to use if necessary.


                                                     It's a happy area!

 I continue to purchase beads (but on a more discriminating basis) to add to the collection.

                                       Several new designs are in the works.

One of the beading projects involves these shiny pink faux crystal buttons pictured above.  But you'll have to stay tuned for that one, I'm not giving up the details yet.

Over at the art table where I confess to spend most of my leisure time, I've been working in one of my art journals and there will be lots to share with you soon!  Yes, it looks messy but that's how I roll! No matter how big the surface area it seems I only use a very small area to work within. 

Happily the summer is rolling along and we are enjoying it.  What are you doing this summer?  I hope you are finding time to......

Be Creative!