Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Auspicious Fits and Starts

One would think that as the head hottie of Drop and Give Me Twenty, that I would be way out in front, racing along and generally killing it with my piles of projects moving from the UFO/not even started piles to the done piles while stopping now and then to wiggle my fingers on the side of my head and stick my tongue out at you because I am so awesome.

One would be oh so wrong. Charlie Sheen could use me as an example of the antithesis of winning.

A smattering of things which have gotten in my way of impressing the heck out of you this week:

  • Bronchitis mixed with a sinus infection, resulting in a face three times its normal size (or so it feels) causing me every now and then, and normally just when I am on a piecing roll, to suddenly have to lie down for a moment. Or ten.
  • Discovery of a dead mouse in a trap we hadn't checked for months behind a filing cabinet that is LITERALLY inches from where my feet are when I am pattern writing or otherwise on the computer. 
  •  Girl Scout Cookie Mom hell. I won't go into it further than that, but every aspect of it is driving me batty this year. 
  • A run-in with Overzealous Cop of the Year, while I was on my way to finally buy some spray baste so I could do some machine quilting. He was so not a quilter, but he did let me go with a warning to stop fully at all stop signs, because spray baste will wait for all men.
  • Tracking down a rogue package for the Taking Names project.
 So sunshine and roses and the hum of machinery for 90 minutes plus a day it has not been around here. But if I am being honest, I have made SOME progress on my ridiculously long list, so let us examine the photo evidence as it relates to my goals from a few posts ago

1. Get this tree skirt/topper pattern done before I throw it out the window. It currently needs one more binding, photos inserted, a final run through with my red pen, and a name. Seriously, like two hours of work and it's done. Someone metaphorically kick me!

 So yeah, you all seem to enjoy the fun of kicking me, but I needed it so I thank you. All of these items have been accomplished with the exception of "photos inserted", but that is only because I am waiting on my aforementioned photo fixing woman to finish her portion of the fun. Some of the various photos she is fixing for me for "Ripple Effect"- woo hoo a name!-, a four size/permutation topper/runner/tree skirt pattern that will be out on Craftsy as soon as I get the photos in it. Print versions available by Spring Market.

This one was made by Barbara Townsend and as you can see, it has been made into a tree skirt.

I made this one, and it's the same size as Barbara's but is not cut out in the middle. I love giving more options when I can and this pattern has lots of them!

 This pattern may look fairly different for me upon first glance, but quilting for me really is all about constantly trying new things and then seeing if other people want to try them too. I designed it in EQ by blowing up a block and then converted it from a pieced curves situation (like I would do that to you or to myself, ever) to make it from appliqued circles and half circles. I really love how it turned out and my testers - Linda, Angie, Nancy, Melissa, Barbara, and Barbette - were amazing. So we can ALMOST check off item #1.

 2. Blocks for all eight members of Taking Names group

On this one, I actually have made some progress, and with four of eight of my envelopes done, even my math challenged child Paige could tell you that that is over a 33% completion rate and that the train will arrive in Stockholm at 5:45pm.

Kelli's blocks done. She wanted totally scrappy, so she got it. Next up is Lou Ann, who also wants totally scrappy. Thank God I have a scrap or two.

 Perhaps my biggest excitement relates to item #4:

 4. Border, quilting, binding on two small wall hangings

 because for the love of all that is holy, today - TODAY! Three months later! - I finally used my quilting machine for the first time! Allow me to break down my 90 minutes of sewing on it for you:

  • Locating bobbins, which I had forgotten I had put in the attached drawer: 13 minutes
  • Winding bobbin, including set up of external bobbin winder thingy, google of "industrial bobbin winder help for dummies", and actual success at winding and inserting of bobbin into machine: 25 minutes
  • Searching for thread I just had in my hand and now cannot find: 8 minutes
  • Giving up and auditioning different thread: 2 minutes 
  • Threading machine: 6 minutes. A record breaker for sure!
  •  Quilting: 30 minutes
  •  Rethreading machine due to thread breakage: 6 minutes
So all was not amazing, but there were moments of joy. I was using a variegated thread, which historically has it in for me at every turn, so I am hopeful that if I use a different thread next time I might have better luck. And due to general malaise, I had to lie down after all that excitement. But isn't this an encouraging photo?

 Another view, just so you can see how vastly improved the situation truly is

 And one more, to show that when it isn't breaking thread, it actually sews quite nicely:

DaGMT sometimes is all about baby steps on the road to a finish. This week has certainly been that for me, but I'm hoping for better once my face goes back to normal.


Kim said...

LOL! I love reading your posts! Great work so far--especially since you haven't been feeling well. Love your last one, the quilting looks great!

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

Love the Charlie Sheen reference. bahaha!! It looks like you've gotten a lot done. And your machine.. how cool. I'm intimidated just looking at it. I hope your face has gone back to its normal size/weight, sinus infections are the worst! xo

Unknown said...

Thank goodness for your blog because you make my day look fabulous!!!!!
Oh had the bronchitis sinus thing
it takes forever to go away.
Good Luck and maybe if we have a blizzard I could finish one UFO!!!!

quiltyVal said...

Hope that you are feeling better soon. I know I am counting every little thing I do towards my 30 minutes a day - you know ironing, cutting, shopping... lol Still getting in at least 20 of sewing a day. Only on 10 from before work for today, on way up to get another 20 or so in before my night meds conk me out.

Lisa Lisa said...

I don't think I could do anything at all if I had a sinus infection. Blah! I've been working on lots of stuff but haven't been posting....I should do that :)

Tammy said...

Calm down ...Life will wait for you and teh spray baste too.....Thank goodness he gave you a warning and not a big fat Ticket...Cops reallyjust don't car to listen these days...So I think u lucked up on that account...

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

I hope you start feeling better soon... I have a "thing" for bronchitus and it can really lay you low.

cyndiofthevortex said...

I love the quilt you are currently quilting. It's colorful and fun. Show us when you've got it finished!

Kate said...

I love your new pattern.
Meanwhile, thanks to DaGMT, I am getting lots of things finished. Yeah!

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