Friday, December 11, 2015

Where have I been? Busy (is that good?)

This is a "business" blog.
Being a creative person, my business is creativity.
I feel lucky that there are people that will pay for my creative ideas.
I pay someone else to do my taxes, my car repairs, and getting food for my sustenance.

If you like what you read, then you'll be back. If you don't, you won't. I won't know either way, unless you comment. But right now, I'm just recording my thoughts.
I've read blogs with no comments, and blogs with so many comments that there is no way one person could read them all unless they stopped writing the blog.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

I've been told in no uncertain terms, that people like to sit next to me when I sew. Mainly because I tend to talk out loud, answer mumbled questions from across the room, and generally share my knowledge unabashedly. (that must be a word because my spell check didn't flag it)

Since I haven't posted since last January (or February with the update) I figure that something is better than nothing.

It's not that I don't have anything to do.
Just the opposite, I have too much to do. Or rather my curiosity, imagination, and interests are such that a lot of things attract my attention. (That's why my Attention Deficit Disorder seems mis-named, unless my attention is supposed to be on something BORING. Then I have no attention.

A friend asked me to help her find some templates. The local quilt shop was hesitant to order some for her. Curious, I researched where she was using them.
Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt.
Here's a link to the blog that got her (and yes, us) started.

A bit of background, then, the rest of the story.
Upon clearing off a horizontal surface in my quilt studio (see Jan 2015 post) I determined that I have too many UFOs. UnFinished Objects. Not like this is a new revelation, just that interior space is finite. (More on that in a future post, just remind me to tell you about it)
I will never finish all of my projects, even if I do nothing else, including fix dinner, and we know most husbands will not last that long without dinner.

Applying what my late father's wife said about stuff in their motor home, Every item must have more than one use.
I didn't quite understand the application, but I did understand that a motor home is small. Even the big ones. I guess my dad did more than just drive. He fixed stuff.

(What does that have to do with UFOs you ask?) Getting there.

Any new project worth my time must satisfy more than one need.

For example. I have been in the BBBee for several years now. (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)  Most of them are current or former schoolteachers. That means they have no problem getting up early on a perfectly nice Saturday morning and meeting at 7AM. In. the. morning. I'm usually there by 8, but I digress.
We meet for free in a commercial building with the agreement that we do charity work. So we make quilts. Lots of quilts. 36" x 36" is a great size for hospital wheelchairs. There is always someone that can use a good hug with a quilt.
The Bee knew me before I started my accidental pattern business. They have watched with pride as I blossomed from learning how to quilt, to re-designing "incorrectly sewn" mystery blocks, to sharing my knowledge and good fortune. But I get kinda busy.
For next year, they wanted to challenge each of us to make (and finish) more quilts than last year. Yea, I said, one is more than half of one. I'm in.
Then someone else offered to do a fun mystery quilt, and who wants to participate? (Another quilt, hmm maybe sit out on that one)
In a flash of inspiration, I said "Me, so long as it's 36" x 36 inches."
Yea! One quilt satisfying two objectives!! Fun mystery, and a charity quilt to donate!

Back to the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.
I tend to immerse myself in projects. It's called hyperfocus. My business has been quite a project. I felt that if I am not working on it, no one will. But there is a limit. I wore myself out last year. Missed lots of my quilting friends.  Figuring out what I want to do with my business and my life.
When my friend asked me to help her find the templates, she said that several of our friends, and some new ones were meeting at our favorite quilt shop to sew.
Hmm, new project.
Paper piecing, or templates.
Quilt-along. (More on Quilt-along as a spectator sport later, remind me)
Meeting with friends, social outlet.
Sharing myself, teaching foundation piecing and templates
The first template directions I looked at had a technique that I had figured out myself for one of my patterns. This was a sign that I needed to investigate more.
What fabrics would I use?
I have plenty of stash. Sometimes too much. Too many choices can take too much time.
Hmm. 30s quilt. I can use 30s fabrics. Too obvious? Well, no one else is using them in the group. What else will I use them for now that my other 30s quilt is done (well, at least the top is done. Still needs quilting. . . . What's new.)
Perfect. Use Stash. Get out. Socialize. Sew. Share knowledge.
Turns out I shared fabric, too.
One friend, new quilter, no stash to speak of, needs fabric. Doesn't know where to start. Likes my 30s prints. Favorite quilt shop we are in doesn't have 30s prints.
I have > 40 fat quarters. (If I get up to count them right now, I won't finish this blog post)
I say, have some of mine.
Let's go to the cutting board, open my fat quarters, cut them in half, we can each have fat eighths.  You can buy me (us) some solids and we're good!
She shows her hesitation at picking colors. I start grabbing my fat quarters, and say, do these go together?
I don't know, she says.
Do they look bad?
More colors, all 30s look fine together. You can't make a mistake! I already made sure they go together in my 30s FQ stash.
Pick some more, I said. See, You can do it! those look great.
She says timidly, I need more of the purple/lavender.
Great! Go for it.
She is pleased she picked some fabric for herself.
Then we walk over to the wall of solids and she freezes.
No problem, I say. and throw a bunch of (carefully selected) bolts on the cutting table. See any that stick out? Hope I'm not to obvious in my "sticks out like a sore thumb" bolt.
The orangey tan one? She says.
Good Eye! White works better with 30s.

Enough for tonight. Gotta get ready to scrapbook tomorrow.