Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Little Bit at a Time

So ... if sewing soothes the soul, why don't I do it every day? Well, the answer is simple - time. One has to think ahead and plan a little so that when one has the chance one can just get going. I'm working on this, so that I can make good use of the snippets of time that appear in my life.

Having goals also helps to make wise use of time. I have a dear friend coming to visit me in approximately 3 months. She will be staying in our "guest bedroom/husband's hobby room." The bed we have for this room is a futon (we hear it's hard as a rock, so we bought an egg-crate topper, but I digress). I would like for my dear friend to be the first to sleep under an Americana quilt that I hope to have complete at that time.

I bought the parts for this quilt in a kit series from Jo-Ann about 10 years ago. I thought it was so cute back then. Over time I grew to be less enamored with the quilt top. But as it's completion comes closer I am once again finding it attractive.

The goal for this week was to contact the quilter and find out when she could pick it up. You see, this quilt is rather large and I'm a little out of practice when it comes to the art of machine quilting, so I opted to have someone else tackle this job. I was a little surprised when she told me she was available the next day, which is today. So last night, my next goal of seaming the backing fabric, was set for me.

Here's a little peek of what the backing looks like.

When I get the quilt back and have finished binding it (in less than 3 months, hopefully) I'll post a pic. I'm excited for this quilt to be completed and this goal to be met. But it didn't happen quickly. It took a little bit at a time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sewing Soothes the Soul

The days when I get to sew are the best days of all. There's just something about sewing that soothes the soul. Not just any kind of sewing will do. It's the creative/productive kind of sewing that we quilters enjoy.

I'm currently in a new experience called a Block-of-the-Month. The quilt I am assembling is The Romance Continues, by Marti Michell. This quilt calls for templates - little plexiglass shapes that create perfectly cut fabric pieces that fit together perfectly and create the perfect quilt block.

Well, being the cheapo that I am, I decided that I didn't want to purchase the templates and would try to create the blocks using some other, more standard, rulers. But before I actually make the block I'm supposed to be making with the fabric that comes as part of the block of the month program, I am cutting all the pieces out of some scrap fabric I have, to make sure that things will go together as planned. This is what I call fun. After I make the "trial block," I then go on to make the official block.

Today I cut out my trial block and laid it out to make sure I understand how the pieces to together. This is all I have time for today. This counts as sewing. This soothes the soul. Another day I will stitch them together. What fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Positive Attitude Can Make A Big Difference

Fred and Johnny are two guys who made a difference. They both had what others would consider to be menial jobs. One was a postman and the other was a grocery story bagger. But both were genuine in their care for others. And that is what makes them special. Read more about Fred here and watch this video to see Johnny's story.

What you choose to focus on is so important that it can spill over to how you treat others. If you want your interactiions with those around you to be positive then take time to make sure you are getting that positivity into your psyche. Read books about thankfulness, success and overcoming challenges. Listen to motivational audio files. Go to church. Study people in your own life who are upbeat and hopeful. Take cues from others who have mastered the art of encouragment ... like Fred and Johnny.

Say something nice to someone today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Renewed Focus

If I have so much to be thankful for, then why have I only written one blog in the last year or so? I think that I sometimes have difficulty acknowledging publicly my belief in God's provision for my needs. And yet, I wholeheartedly believe that all I have is from God.

It is much easier to complain about all I don't have than to take the efffort required to focus on the many blessings I do have. It just seems to be human nature (at least for this human) to gripe. And yet, I know that it is better, for many reasons, to focus on the positive.

Today I am thankful for where I found the tastiest Barbeque Chicken Salad recipe to have for dinner last night. We didn't have all the ingredients on hand, but I was able to zip into our local Target and quickly grab them. Zipping into Target was an option because, in a surpising twist, I got off work early yesterday. After dinner there was time to watch some TV with my daughter (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) while working on my hexagon quilt. Another flower is complete - Yay!

Hopefully this will be the beginning of a renewed focus on thankfulness. Stay tuned.