Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year.... almost!

Yes, I live!!!   I live!!  Woo Hooo... I'm here!!  Okay ... you can sit down now ☺

Checking in just in time to celebrate a new year.  Can you believe that 7 months has pasted since my last post?  I won't go into all that I've done in those 7 months, but rather start "anew" with blogging.  I know - blogging is NOT my forte but we can see about posting once a month for 2014.  No promises!!  I'm giving those up!

With "no promises" comes the thought of New Year's resolutions.  That is something I have totally given up on, will not do, nadda - no way.  Not because I don't keep them, but because I have realized that they are things that should come naturally or be part of everyday life to begin with.  So why resolve every year on January 1st, only to break it come day 30 (if you are lucky!) or day 2?   Really?

Resolutions I've made:
I want lose 20 lbs. - should have done that years ago and each year it makes the list.
  I still have the 20 lbs. to lose and then some, so where has making that resolution got me?

I want eat better/healthier - heck this should be a given at our age!! (okay, so some of you are not at the age of caring how you eat right yet - but it will kick your butt before you know it.  Ask me how I know!)

I want to be a better person - Don't know how I can get much better, but heh I can still work at it. (enter HUGE belly laugh here LOL)  You (meaning no one in particular) should always strive to be the best you can be and don't let anyone or anything stop you or bring you down!  Poohy to those who make it their life's mission to bring people down!

I want to quit swearing/using profanity - Well okay, I don't actually do that one.  Find is most unbecoming of people but to each their own; I am not the judge of right or wrong for others.   You won't hear me use such language.  Unless you have totally and utterly tipped my bowl of patience over.  That bowl is pretty big.  Believe me you best run and heaven help you if a swear word escapes these lips - cause you are going to pay dearly - very dearly for upsetting my bowl of patience!  Ever notice how everyone will listen to someone who uses the cussing words?  No one listens to me ... Hmmm maybe I should start! LOL

See what I'm getting at?   Why resolve to do something on what should be a given every day anyway?  Hence me giving up on resolutions; I have to do all those things for me - not because it's a new year!

For the past couple of years, I have taken a word and made it mine for a year and I've tried to live by it for the whole year.  This year is no exception.  A friend of mine (Sarah Vee) put the meaning of her word on her blog and thought it so very appropriate in understanding the meaning of the word chosen and why.  It's taken over a week to find my word, but I found it!  My word for 2014 is "Realize"

re·al·ize  (r-lz)v. re·al·ized, re·al·iz·ing, re·al·iz·es
v.tr.
1.  To comprehend completely or correctly.  (understanding me, how I work, what makes me tick and of course to comprehend my never ending need to Study - PHD's!!)

2.  To bring into reality; make real: He finally realized his lifelong ambition to learn how to play the violin.  (realizing that my ambition to finish PHD's may or may not come into reality and learn to live with it;  realize I can only help those who want to be helped and don't waste my time on those that don't;  realize I, me & myself is really only one person and quit trying to do the work of 3 - it's time I started to have fun again!)

3.  To make realistic: a film that realizes court life of the 17th century.  (life and work in general not to mention a number of other things)

4.  To obtain or achieve, as gain or profit: She realized a substantial return on the investment. (maybe I will sell some of my items this year.  And to realize that I can make "work" something I enjoy again - that would be a gain for me.  (really??? That's gonna be a hard one - might take two more years for that one! )

5.  To bring in (a sum) as profit by sale.  (same as #4, maybe go into business for myself? hmmm)


So there you have it.  A new word to live by with no resolutions to follow.
I have been writing down in a journal things I "may like to do" for 2014, but that doesn't mean I resolve to do them.  Notice the difference?   I sure did - There is no failure!

Wishing you and yours a very safe and Happy 2014! 
I'm ready - let's ring it in!!

Forever with needles,
Choux

Thursday, May 2, 2013

That "four letter word" got in the way Again!!

Can you believe I missed a couple of posts yet again? That four little word I don't like to say got in the way, yet again. You know the one? Starts with "W" ends in "K" and has "OR" in the middle. Yah! That one!!! But never mind....we will start again.

I've been super busy, as you already have guessed, but not much of it has been sewing. I have put in a few hours at the machine and it sure feels good. I even created a little wall hanging and it won first place at Quilt Day 7. The theme was Canadiana and what would you think would fit the bill? Moose? Beaver? the Nickel? Heck no! I thought of something so very near and dear to my heart!!
Yes, my Timmies!! and the idea came to me the weekend before the event. But that wasn't the best part!!
See I speed read and sometimes "miss" the important part. Well I really did it this time...I thought it was 100" minimum....but it was MAXIMUM!! This was originally approx. 28" x 32", which meant I had to cut this baby down to roughly 25 inches square! What a challenge! and I only started to put it back together the Friday nite before it was to be shown. I did win even though there were only 8 entries, but it was a win. Moral of the story, "as in quilting you measure twice and cut once; so read twice and twice again, then and only then do you proceed!!"

More projects next week ... yes I have some catching up to do!!

Sew happy you read this today,
Choux

Sunday, March 17, 2013

15 minutes anyone??


Trying to fit in 15 minutes of sewing when you are "brain-dead" at the end of a day is truly exhausting!!   So, I started working on my redwork blocks during my lunch hour.  Yes, you heard right.  I am taking "MY" lunch hours to do for me!  Mind you, not every day, okay not even every second day, and not the full hour but I am getting my 15 minutes in every now and then.  Two more days and this is supposed to be a habit - that will make 21!!  Here's hoping!!

I took a free motion quilting class two weeks ago and I totally loved it!!  (Mr. V was along with me that day too!!)   Someone asked, "why are "you" here?"  "To take the course" was my answer!!  For me this course was to take the time to try and then practice all what free motion quilting is about - I don't have that time at home.  When I'm at home sewing, I'm creating - NOT practicing!  Now I don't think I will be afraid to venture beyond the stippling of free motion quilting!  Stay tuned - I plan to work on a project soon!!

Hexies being made into "twosies"
And I'm using up 2 1/2" squares from a swap I did in 2000, known as the "Y2K Swap", and traded over 2000 squares!   Each person who swapped blocks was to send 25 - 2 1/2" squares and a "siggy" square, which has your name and where you are from on it.  I treasured these and could never bring myself to use these squares.  This year I said I MUST use them - somehow, some way!   Finally I found something to use them in and I started to work on a hexagon project doing English Paper Piecing. All by hand!



Hexies being made in to "flowers" all by hand!

And then did a hands on demo thinking I could get "help" to move this project along.  Didn't work quite work out like I had planned - ce la vie.



 Oh well, they have only been hiding in a box for 13 years and want them used up - like now!!
 
The hexie project I do at nite when I need to get my 15 minutes in!


 
So, I started using the "rest" (still many hundreds!) in a quilt block called "Traffic Jam" by Pat Sloan.  http://blog.patsloan.com/2013/02/pat-sloan-name-this-block-contest.html   I followed along with her through her newsletter (that's where we all found out what to do) which you can sign up for about half way through her blog on the link I just gave you.  I still have quite a few hundred left which will be for the hexie project. 

Here are my blocks so far for Traffic Jam.....

Traffic Jam with Pat Sloan


I was going like gang-busters on it and had my 12 blocks all done and ready for the next step.   Then someone mention having all 20 blocks ready to go.  WHAT???
I re-checked the pattern again and low and behold I needed 20 blocks!  So back to sewing I went.

 Today I almost finished the last of them and have also started to add the sashing.  This quilt will be my practice quilt for free motion quilting.




 Hoping I can show you progress on what has now become another UFO next post.  A friend and I started this last Sept and well....  you know the rest! LOL

So till next time - keep your stitches even!!!
Choux

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Not Much Sewing

Unfortunately, work gets in the way of my passion.  My hobby - my sanction - my stress reliever.   Try as I might to change how things are - it just doesn't work out - the responsibility of the job is just too high and my morals will not allow me to be anything other than I am and always have been - reliable, responsible.  And take real pride in that!  But as my saying is to others "Suck it up buttercup and get over it."

So what I will try to do is take 15 mins a day to sew or cut pieces for my passion and hopefully it will become a habit.  Did you know it only takes 21 days to form a habit?   So I'm going to test it....and hope I can make more "Me-Time" in doing so.   The next three months will be a huge challenge, but those of you who really know me - know that I work well with challenges and do conquer them with gusto!  So "suck it up buttercup" and let the challenge begin!

And on that note of  "knowing me", you might know how I love to count the days to an event I maybe partaking in. Today there are 83 days to Camp Wanna Sew - 5 glorious, non-stop sewing/quilting days with loads of great friends!!  Then there are 119 days to our trip to Disneyworld!  A REAL VACATION!!!  First real, true-blue vacation for us in 38 years!  Then there is a new countdown I'm working on ... but it is over 700 days away so I really haven't started to count down this one just yet.  On the other hand - it could come sooner depending on circumstances - sooner is most welcomed for sure, but too soon to fill you all in on that one  ;-)

 



Now I did finish the Grandmother's fan Wall hanging I was working on, and I finished it in time for our Guild UFO Challenge too!!  Now to pick another from the never ending totes and get yet another finished!





So now I head down to do my 15 minutes of sewing.  Here's hoping it is a little more than that!!

Sew long!
Choux





Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Family Day in Ontario!!

Today is family day here in Ontario.  We (the kids and grands) all had a great day on Saturday for our family day, playing in the snow and then had fresh cooked wings and french fries for supper!  What a wonderful day it was ♥

Today, (the real Family Day) is going to be spent in the sewing room doing some much needed organization!   
"WHAT???  Organize a sewing room!!???  You won't find anything afterwards!"

Yes, I can hear it now!   Although this really needs to be done as it is part of my "hobby purging" that I'm doing this year.  In the summer I will sell off many of my patterns/books/fabrics (many never - ever used!!) just to say I get "something" for them.  I quit counting when I hit $1,000 in value, and I'm just shy of being a quarter of the way done!  And that is only the magazines/books!!!  Now you know why I quit counting!  Besides, I will never, ever, never live long enough to even use/make 1/4 of what is here.  Never!

Sewing/Quilting is a wonderful hobby, but boy can it spread to an addiction like wild fire!  Here are my shelves right now - very neat and tidy.  But this is only 6 of 20 plus shelves!!  I have gone though "some things" on these shelves to pass onto a senior group here, but it only cleared up a very tiny bit of space.   It's a shame that when I work on one project - this beautiful picture becomes total ciaos!

Fabric rows run 3-deep on these shelves!



This picture only shows my "yardage".


 Then there are scraps.  Oh, please don't get me started on those!










This tote is right beside my machine and can overflow in no time!



 Oh, alright .... here are the scraps.  This is one "short-tote".

I have 3, or maybe it's 4, three times higher in depth than this one.











 I decided to make blocks from only my scraps...use everything and anything in them, thinking I would really clean up come scraps. These blocks are 11 1/2" x 17" and there are 16 of them.  Yeah!!!! Using scraps!
:-(

Why the long face??









Blocks made only from scraps!!











Because using scraps produce more scraps - just smaller!  All the scraps came out of that one tote above to make all of the blocks and when I placed what I didn't use back in.... I really hadn't made that much of a dent in it after all!  Hence the long face!   I'll be into my next lifetime just using up the scraps!

So the purging will continue - and scrap busting will too!

Happy quilting!!

Forever in Stitches  Scraps,
Choux


Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Past Two Weeks!!!

OH , Yikes!!!  It's been just over two weeks since I last posted - one thing I was going to try and do every two weeks!   Dang-it-all, the time just flips right past yah if you are not careful to watch every second that goes by!!

Anyway.... I'm here !!

Right now I'm on some much needed downtime and enjoying my days sewing on UFO's.  I really don't care for that name.  But oh, man do I have UFO's!  Maybe I should find another name for those items that have been started and not finished!  (UnFinished Objects)  PIG's are Projects In Grocery sacs; WIP's are Works In Progress, but then again I could say all mine are that... right?   No, cause they really are not... some I have not worked on since 1998 - and I think there is one there that is every earlier than that!  In fact I'm positive it older than 25 years!  Thank heavens I used quality fabrics, (very rich for back then!!!) it just needs to be quilted!  I got it!!   PHD!  Yes, I remember that one now.  Going to work on my PHD's from now on!   Projects Half Done!  Doesn't that sound so much better?

I counted my UFO's (yes - I'm going to find another acrynom!!) last weekend and in the process cleaned up my fabric shelves.  They sure look good now; almost don't want to start any projects for fear of messing it all up!  And believe me - it only takes one project to turn it all upside down!
Oh, right!!  I said I counted my UF.... projects ☺  There is a whopping 83 in the works... yes you read correctly.  25 of those are pieces in TopVille waiting to be quilted.  Some of those are very large quilts and I will be farming those out to be quilted - some day.   The others?  Well I might try to get them done myself.   Of course they will be very simply done - BUT they will be done!
Monday and Tuesday nite saw me get 3 of the pesky little buggers off my list.  Oh, yah!  I made a list and I'm keeping track yet again of how many I get done this year.  Wonder if I should add how many I start?  LOL

This is one I'm working on right now.  I machine embroidered the quilting in the center of the blocks.  Then a decorative stitch along each edge of the blocks and free motion quilted in the setting blocks.  And that was just today!!  Wooot Woot!   I only have the border to quilt, but that is going to be done next week. 

And in keeping with keeping up ... I want to keep my posts "short".  Therefore it might able "visit" you every two weeks!!

Till next time - keep those stitches even,

Choux ♥




Sunday, January 13, 2013

♫ ♪ Hello, is it me you're looking for? ♫ ♪ ♫

Bad, bad, bad blogger person!  That's me!  Admitting it is half the problem solved - right??  Sure hope so!

How is it that life (a wonderful four letter word) always gets in the way of doing things you love (4 letter word!!) and it seems to pass (4 letters - okay this is getting ridiculous!) you right by?   I'm not sure how but the last 1 year, 8 months and 18 days have been like that.  (alright! did you see just how many 4 letter words were in that last sentence alone?   I give up!!  LOL)

So without giving you the "Long Version" of my on-going saga, let's just say I will "try" one more time to be a little more regular with blog posting.  Posts may not be long but you will see "something" from me at least every couple of weeks, just to let you all know I didn't fall of the edge of the earth, even if that is where I am most of the time these days, but this is not about "me" but rather about what I create and enjoy doing.  Even though I enjoy my work ... it is not something I care to bring home with me... so it stays at work or rather I'm to find the "strength" within myself to make that happen.  And I don't want it here! 
"Strength" is my word to try and live by for 2013, along with my word of 2012 - "Believe".  There is strength in believing and I will try to concentrate on that this year.

So this blog is officially declared a NO WORK ZONE

 
 There! That takes care of that!  Let's move on!

 
 I have been working on the dreaded UFO's that have somehow accumulated  multiplied on their own!!  There are numerous ones all at various stages of completion and oh so many more I want to do. BUT!!!  I MUST complete some  UFO's FIRST.  I do complete at least one per month, thanks to the challenge at my guild the Next Stop Englehart Quilters Guild. I will "try" to take a few pictures (when I get the nerve up to count them!!) and show you what I have here to finish.  And if anyone one of you get bored - you can come here and do one up for me!  Martha make a mean cup of tea and I sure can do some baking, as long as I have someone else to help me eat it!
 
So let's start anew......

Here's to us inspiring each other to  move forward with those UFO's and new projects, be it sewing/quilting related or just any other little thing that gives us pleasure during 2013 - like spending time with family!

Super big hugs,
Choux