Pages

Friday, 8 March 2013

What's been happening

So I admit, I've been a bit absent. 

It's not because I don't love you!! I promise!!  I've just been so busy reading what everyone else has to say that I've had no time to say anything myself.  I've even been very restrained on the commenting. I am reading what you're all up to and loving the stuff everyone is making, but sometimes the only comment I can make has already been said!! Or it seems hilarious in my head, but when I type it I look like a crazy lady so it gets deleted and I have no normal sounding words to replace it with.

But enough with the lame excuses, what's been happening in my world??

Well I have felt like a busy little bee.  I have been working like a demon at my job, staying back nights to try and get things done.  I had a junior girl helping me out and she quit before Christmas so I have been covering all the work.  Nervous breakdown coming my way.  Thankfully we hired her replacement at the start of February so I was very excited to get help.  I forgot that the new girl knows nothing and needs training in EVERYTHING.  OMG this takes so much time. So I am behind on my work because I have no help and the help I have takes twice as long to do anything and I have to constantly stop what I'm doing to show her things and explain things and teach things - this will be worthwhile in the long run, but right now, I am ready to stab someone with a pencil.

And then I spend my nights reading about what all you creative types are getting up to when I get home.  I have seriously got to cut down the number of blogs I follow, because I spend hours every day just catching up with you all.  I'm not commenting, because there are usually 6 screens (minimum) open at once. I just don't know who to cull... I love you all too much! I WANT to know what you're making. I WANT to see what fabulous fabrics your using.  I want to see the glories and the failures and the hiccups and all the goodness of quilting that goes on in all of your work rooms.  It makes me happy!! So I guess I have to become more efficient at reading them :-) lol

But these two time challenges have meant I have had limited sewing time.

I have taken to doing handstitching on the train on my way to and from work, just to keep progressing.  The looks I get from fellow commuters confirm I look like a psycho, but it's time I need to try to keep up to date.

I am loving my handstitched class, but I have fallen behind.  Well behind. So far behind I think I will never catch up.  Luckily I signed up for the level of class where I get an ebook so after the class proper has finished, I'll still be able to work on the projects.

Here's where I'm up to with the centre:

I am still slowing stitching around the centre. I haven't even completed a full side yet!!

I took a day off sick and added my patchwork.  But I still have to do my paper piecing or my applique. And this week we're up to hand quilting, so I really need to get my act in gear.

I originally started the patchwork with just the red, white and black solids.  Then I added in some of the prints, but I couldn't help but think I need some more grey in there to help balance the colour.
Patchwork of black, white, red and some pattern
I sneaked off to my LQS and bought some Stone and I am really happy with the result.
With a little bit of stone.

I am also going to skip the paper piecing on this project. I have done/am doing the mini project, so I've still learnt the skill.
(See look at my pretty hexagon tree!! I'm still stitching them down but I used some of the basting glue to I can take it with me and keep the layout I wanted.)

Pink trees.  Maybe not accurate, but I love the concept.

But back to the quilt.  The storm at sea blocks just don't feel like the right fit to me for the quilt itself.  I'm going to do a second set of dogwood blossoms in the corners.  That will match with the round to come after, so I'll kind of just do two at once.The round after that should come together pretty quickly. So fingers crossed I can knock this off this weekend. I'm so confident I've even added the solid stone ready for the blossoms.
With corner"stone"s - I crack me up!! I just realised this is the only photo of the whole top! Oops.
That being said, I'm also considering not doing the off-set squares for the next layer. Would that be cheating? I'm thinking that if I do some simple borders of different widths, it might work for me.  I think it's because I'm using so much fewer colours and patterns that the slightly scrappy version that is the goal doesn't quite sit right when i lay it out.  I am trying, but I also want something that I love at the end, so I have to do a little bit of compromise.

Too many thoughts, not enough time.

One of the things I'm struggling with with this class is the time frames. Not that Rachel hasn't been generous with spacing the lessons out, but I am not loving having so many deadlines.  A bit of a deadline is good for me to try to get things done in a timely manner.  I am a fan of a deadline.

The problem is that I am trying to do too many things with deadlines.  I want to get each project plus the quilt done on time for Handstitched.  I am in the middle of the Swoon quilt-a-long which is wrapping up in about a week. (hold on for three seconds and I'll update you on my progress with this. OMG you people are sooo demanding!)  I am also ridiculously busy with work deadlines.  I haven't even STARTED by Skill builder BOM. But I can't justify starting another project when I've still got so much left to do... Luckily Alyssa has a much slower schedule. I'm only two...three months behind :-)

I love all of these projects (and the non-deadline ones I have sitting around), But having these deadlines is starting to make this sewing caper a chore.  And I don't like that.

What I have to always remember it that I don't quilt for deadlines. I don't quilt to have something to blog about. I don't quilt for anyone but me.  So if I'm not enjoying it, or I'm not in the mood, or the fabrics are not speaking to me then I'm just not doing it. And bugger the deadline.

I will not ruin a perfect hobby by pressuring myself to achieve beyond what i am capable of achieving.

I love to read what everyone else is making, but ya'll give me a complex at how much and how wonderfully you make things!! I am sloooow. But I am only learning.  I do not have perfect points or seams or quarter inches... But I am getting better. And as long as I am having fun, that's what matters.

And I know you will all love me just the same :-)

E xx

Oops!! I almost forgot to give you the Swoon update!! I have all my blues and cream cut out and sewn into my central star. I have to cut up my browns, but once I do that I should smash through it.  See!!

The start of my Giant Swoon
 (I swear that I did another of those sets of points, but I couldn't find them in my rush to take pictures this morning.  You get the general idea though.)


Up close and personal with my patchwork

Look at these beautiful colours!
Shades of teal

Shades of cream
Shades of Brown
I love it!! It is going to be my favourite-ist of all the quilts ever in all the world!!

If I ever get it finished :-) 

 E xx

20 comments:

  1. Agreed Erin - definitely don't pressure yourself and ruin your lovely hobby! I totally hear you though - I feel the guilt too sometimes. I love picturing the faces of the commuters as you sew on the train - you made me giggle for sure!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so hard when so many of the bloggers out there are so ridiculously efficient. tehre is one woman I follow who can make a quilt (from cutting to inding) in a day! A DAY!! That's crazy!!! It takes me a week just to cut my fabric!! But I have a fulltime job and a life, so I have to cut myself soem slack :-)
      And I swear one woman took a photo of me on her phone while she looked at me sideways. I have never felt more conspicuous in my life. lol. The things we do for love (of quilting).
      E xx

      Delete
  2. Wow, that's a whole lot going on! No wonder you're feeling overwhelmed!
    Here are some things I thought while reading your post:
    #1. Please don't ever feel like you need to censor comments over on my blog, because I'm about as cray-cray as they come, and I like it when I don't feel so alone in the loony bin.
    #2. AHahhahaha corner "stone"s. I see what you did there!
    #3. OMG I love the way your handstitched quilt is going! And if you don't want some design element, don't do it! This class is teaching me that I do better when I have a better overall vision of where I want my quilt to go. I'm so out of my comfort zone with this class quilt! (Which I suppose is probably a good thing. Bah.)
    #4. It's a hobby, not a job. Don't let it stress you out. For me, it's part of my job so I gotta keep up with those deadlines. Poop. And I totally fell behind in that class too. Although I just finished the storm at sea round. Now onto figuring out wtf I want to do for the next one.
    #5. Your swoon blocks are awesome!! I can't wait (when you have time) to see those progress. :D
    #6. Why do you have 6 windows open when you're reading blogs? Do you/have you considered using an RSS reader like google reader?
    #7. Now you're going to get behind on deadlines while you try to reply to this dang book I just left on your blog. You're welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Miss Anne, i love that you are as cray-cray as me. It is why I almost always comment on your posts :-) and then I look forward to our email chats after :-).
      Who doesn't love a pun!!!
      I'm trying to stick to the rules as much as possible with this quilt. i've not really worked off a pattern like this before. And I am taking the class to learn things, so it feel like cheating if I skip steps, but I also want soemthing that fits me at the end. I have almost convinced myself that I just have to do one element each lesson - either the project or the quilt. I can always come back and make a fabulus storm at sea quilt another day!!
      I am auditioning fabric for the next round and I think I have it figured out. I'll try and take a daylight photo. you have some lovely fabrics (and lots of fabrics) to choose from to get that gorgeously scrappy yet coherent feel. my fabrics (or maybe my mind) is too linear. i like structure way to much.
      And yet there we have the scrappy swoon. I love this quilt. Like love love love it. I can see myself making another. And I promise to put photos up as I chop and sew and get this finished in record time!
      I looked at the googel reader, but I like going to the pages themselves. I makes me feel properly committed. And I'm scared I'll miss all the good stuff if I switch to a reader.
      And now I have totally wasted half an hour of work time replying :-) Ah well, that's what the internet is for :-)
      lmoa!!!
      E xx

      Delete
  3. And breathe! So much to take in there. i love the look of your handstitched work, and if you want to finish it in a different way, well why the heck not, it's not an exam, and the quilt police aren't going to come and arrest you. You pick up the skills you want to, and if you want to try them later, then great, if not that's also great surely. Loving the swoon, there are some gorgeous blues included, really pretty. I see some bloggers who seem to be absolutle machines, and i have no idea how they manage it, my little one is in nursery 3 full days, and sometimes i am really productive, other times, not even slightly, it's not the end of the world. Some of these lovely ladies either have full time jobs, or several kids at home all day, and how on earth they manage so much i don't know, they are either ignoring their kids, or spending all evening, every evening sewing and never sleeping! There really is no pressure to "keep up", no-one's perfect, however they like to present their lives on their blog!! And people love a funny comment on their blog, most of us will "get" it, don't worry :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Miss Ange.
      We have to remember that we are well rounded women. We are going to have a job, have a life, have a relationship with our adorable partners/children, and we quilt. We need to find our happy balance :-) Sometimes together time becomes sewing time and sometimes sewing time has to give way to the friendships and other goals that take precedence.
      And I will continue being my crazy self in all my comments :-) I got told yesterday that I win the enthusisam award for commenting. Apparently I was a little exuberatnt with my use of exclamation marks. lol.
      E xx

      Delete
  4. The fabrics in your star are gorgeous. Well, you said it yourself - you sew for pleasure, so don't let it become a chore. As for sewing on the train - oh bliss, quality time with a needle. Don't worry about the funny looks, they are only jealous! Have fun and don't worry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lin. I'm really happy with the fabric choice. Was a wrench to use it, but I love it.
      I actually wish my train ride was longer so I could get in more stitching time! lol. Think that's the first time in history anyone has ever wished for a longer commute.
      E xx

      Delete
  5. Looking great Erin! and you are making huge progress! Heck Ive only finished 3 Dear Jane blocks since I saw you! and I dont work FT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you talking about!! You help run your husband's business!! And those DJ's are teeny tiny!! To get even one finished would be an achievement.
      E xx

      Delete
  6. Working eats in to my quilting time too! Loving the red/qhite/black on the handstitching! Adding the grey was perfect! Loving the aqua's in the swoon too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell me again about the magical world where someone puts money in my bank account while I potter away at my sewing (but not doing real sewing "work". I don't want to do commissions or have deadlines or anything).
      E xx

      Delete
  7. Sweetest, dearest Erin, you are wonderful and incredible, you quilting is coming on leaps and bounds and you are getting through so much while you're holding down a job and getting on with things in your life that are so huge it's quite unimaginable just where you're getting the energy and strength from. Please carry on blogging whenever you find you have the time, you brighten my day and I love your comments on my blog too. Sending you the biggest hugs ever, yours Miss Chrissie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My lovely Miss Chrissie. Thank you fo such lovely words. You are too kind.
      E xx

      Delete
  8. oh my god, this is what i just emailed you about. And you said it all so much better! (you can now tell how far behind on reading blogs I am - there are over 300 I haven't gotten to in the last two weeks). i love seeing how you are doing, whenever you are able to share. defo don't push yourself too hard, there are no really true deadlines or regulations in this only the ones we self-impose. but, unfortunately, i think we're often our hardest taskmasters :) PS i particularly love your 'crazy lady' comments, mostly cos it's often exactly what i'm thinking and not crazy at all! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!! It's like we're in sync!
      I'm pretty sure most of us quilting ladies are also crazy ladies. At least we're in good company :-)
      I guess it's important to remember that those big fancy blogs with thirty million sponsors - that is their job. I am a normal person who quilts and I want to share about it, so if I only write one post a month, that's ok. And if I am on an amazing sewing streak and have something to say every day, that's ok too.
      I think the first rule of blogging should be that if you have nothing to say, save it for another day. After all, I don't want you all to get bored with my repeating myself over and over, or showing you the three stitches I managed to complete because my blog is yet another chore - "must post today". I am thinking that if we all have 300 posts to catch up on, I should only post if I have something to add to your day :-) Or maybe that's my excuse not to do anymore work than I have to :-) lol
      E xx

      Delete
  9. Lovely girl! You are fantastic, and so is your quilting. Your handstitching is lovely, and I love your hexies, and your Swoon? Ummm...SWOON! I hope your job eases up a bit, and soon, and not so that you have more time for quilting and blogging, but so that you have more time for yourself and whatever you choose to do. I love your bloggy presence, both in posts and in comment form, but I hate the idea of that stressing you out, so please, write when you'd like and know that you're fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, everything you are making looks fantastic! I know what you mean about spending so much time reading other blogs - at the beginning of the year, I narrowed down the number of blogs I regularly follow for the same reason. And I wouldn't pressure yourself to finish these projects on a certain time schedule - if you are not having fun because you are looking at the calendar, then just don't - just finish them on your schedule!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I took a break from blogging and quilting for a few months last year, it was all getting to much for me too. All the 'must have' fabrics and 'must join' quiltalongs... maybe I don't manage my time as well as other quilters because I certainly can't churn out quilts at the same rate but I'm happy with where I am now and I'm back but I'm finishing a few WIP's before starting anything new. All of your projects look great but remember to have fun :o) xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love your modern medallion! The red and black are so striking. I'm still working on mine from last summer...oops!

    ReplyDelete

I'm still working out how to make email reply's work, but I promise I read every one and will reply by email or on the blog.
E xx