Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stashbusting 2011 - Week 17

Not a whole lot of sewing going on the past few weeks.  I actually haven't posted since Week 13, but I have done a little bit of sewing since then.  We have finally moved from our house to the rental.  It was an uneventful move, but a very tiring two days.   On Thursday, we moved all the boxes ourselves with the help of R's parents and one of my brothers and one of my sisters.  Then Friday, the movers came to move all the furniture.

The old house is now ready for closing, which is scheduled for Wednesday.  Its a little sad to leave the house since it was our first house, but on the upside, we're going to be able to start building soon.

So here's the stash report for the past few weeks:
Added This Week:       0.0 yards
Added Year to Date:    37.64 yards
Used This Week:         0.49 yards
Used Year to Date:      16.66 yards
Net Year to Date:        20.98 yards

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Thoughts...

Back in January, I was unfortunate enough to get called for Jury Duty.  I was extremely glad after the 2nd day that I was dismissed (apparently they didn't want a woman engineer on the jury).  I only had a few details of the case when jury selection was started.  We knew what the charges were against the individual (the biggest being attempted murder for shooting a woman in the face), but we didn't know a lot of the details.

As I sat through jury selection, I honestly can't say whether I would have been able to give this guy a fair trial.  The few details that came out were that he had shot a woman in the face....not once...but 4 times!  While I don't understand why someone would shoot another person, I could see that maybe the face was an accident (doesn't make it any better that he shot the woman, but maybe he had really bad aim).  However, 4 times!  That's not an accident...that's intentional.

After I was dismissed, I went and read some more about the case.  It was a 19-year-old who was infatuated with a 29-year-old woman.  They both did drugs, and she was a dealer.  He was jealous that she was spending time with other men and when she told him to go away, he decided to shoot her.  The case came down to whether him shooting the woman was intent to kill or just to get back at her.

The jury ended up finding him not guilty on the murder charge, but guilty on everything else (assault, burglary, and weapons possession).  The kid turned down a plea deal where he would get 9.5 years in prison...dumb kid.  While I feel badly that the guy is going to prison for quite some time, I'd rather have him there than on the street.  The judge recently sentenced him to 31 years in prison.

One of the weird things in the article was that the probation officer said that the suspect was "pleasant", but the judge's comments were that he wondered how a "pleasant" man nearly killed this woman.  The defense attorney at the end tried to pin this all on the kid's upbringing...that he had a difficult upbringing and that's why he shot this woman.  Its a load of baloney!  If a person doesn't understand that shooting a person in the face is a bad thing...they DO NOT belong in society.  It doesn't matter what sort of upbringing a person has, the way to resolve a problem is not to shoot the other person!

I'm definitely glad this guy is in prison and that he will be there for a long time.  Now, if only I didn't have to pay the taxes to keep his sorry behind in jail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goals - Week 15

Goals from Week 14:

  • Post pictures of quilt blocks from week 5 of class --  Does it count that I took the pictures?  ;-)
  • Post pictures of needlepoint progress --  Again, took pictures, but haven't had time to download them from the camera to the computer
  • Post pictures of baby quilt for cousin --  Again, took pictures, but haven't had time to download them from the camera to the computer
  • Quilt commission quilt with fixed sewing machine --  COMPLETED!
  • Pack some more  ;-)  -- Completed
I've been doing pretty poorly with the goals lately.  So much so that I'm tempted not to post any for this week.  We've been fairly busy at home with preparing for the move.  We've been able to throw out a lot of stuff along with packing up things that we won't readily use in the next few months (i.e. heavy winter sweaters).  We have a large garbage bag full of items to donate along with about half a dozen pairs of shoes.

Goals for Week 15:
  • Put binding on commission quilt --
  • Complete hand applique on main heart block for quilt class quilt --
  • Start hand applique of one (or four) leaves for quilt class quilt --
  • Update stash reports --
  • Finish packing sewing stuff :-(  -- 
 Hopefully I'll do a little better this week than I have in the past few weeks....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Goals - Week 14

I was bad earlier this week about not posting updates to Goals, Stash Busting and the quilt class.  Its been a hectic week to say the least.

Goals from Week 13:
- Post pictures of quilt class blocks and Starry Night sewing. --  Posted quilt class blocks, but not the needlepoint.  Its coming along fairly well though.
- Wash fabric for baby quilt -- I was able to wash the fabric on Monday or Tuesday evening.  I also cut out everything and even started sewing a bit.
- Setup fixed sewing machine and quilt commission quilt -- Bust!  The sewing machine was setup, but not fixed properly.  Back to the sewing mechanic.  I have it back again today (4/8), but I haven't put it on the frame yet to see if it will completely behave.
- Complete all 4 Flying Geese blocks for quilt class -- COMPLETE!!

So I did fairly well last week.  The only items I didn't complete were items I couldn't (broken sewing machine) or I really didn't get around to (Starry Night needlepoint).

I'm not really sure where all the time went this week.  Somehow its Friday already, which is usually a good thing. ;-) 

Work has been a bear lately.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have 7am meetings at work.  Tuesday and Thursday I have 7:30am meetings.  yuck!  This means that every day during the week, I'm up at about 5:30am and out of the house by about 6:30am.  I used to be able sleep until 6:30am. ;-(

A few of us at work have noticed things getting earlier and earlier in the morning.  When I first started 4.5 years ago, it was rare to have a meeting before 8am.  Now, 7:30am meetings are routine and meetings are being pushed earlier to 7am.  Before I know it, 7am meetings will be routine and I'll be coming in at 6:30am for certain meetings.

The sad thing is...with the meetings being earlier and coming into work earlier...I'm still not leaving any earlier.  I still leave around 5pm or 5:30pm in the evening.  So the company is getting another hour out of me every day.  I get paid for 40 hours per week, but I'm routinely working closer to 50 hours now, which pretty much stinks.  It would be nice to get back to working "normal" hours again, but that probably won't happen for another 2 months or so.

Anyway - on the house front, we are closer to closing on selling our house.  We are about 80% packed right now with the stuff that's unpacked being items that we use frequently or can't pack up yet (files).  We're looking at a rental house again this weekend, so hopefully it will work out for us and we can start renting it soon in order to move some stuff over ahead of time (yay for renting from our builder's dad who is ultra-accommodating).

Goals for Week 14:
  • Post pictures of quilt blocks from week 5 of class --
  • Post pictures of needlepoint progress --
  • Post pictures of baby quilt for cousin --
  • Quilt commission quilt with fixed sewing machine --
  • Pack some more  ;-)  --
Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

House Shopping

Last week, Rich and I spent Friday off from work "shopping" for things for the new house.  Its really insane how many different choices there are.  Who would have thought something as simple as a toilet had so many options (color, tank type, bowl shape, height, style...)!

It was a very busy day, but I think we made some pretty good progress.  While the choices aren't FINAL yet, we were able to make some decisions on:
  • toilets
  • bathroom faucets (for all baths)
  • kitchen faucet
  • kitchen sink
  • hardwood floors
  • molding
  • kitchen countertop
  • kitchen hardware (for cabinets)
So we did pretty well.  For the bathroom faucets, our primary choice right now are these:

They are the same faucet, just different finishes.  Depending upon the final counter-top choice for the different bathrooms, we'll pick either the stainless (1st picture) or the oiled bronze.

Its exciting to be making the choices now and to see the picture in our minds starting to come true.  :-)

Quilting Motivation

I was reading Jill's blog today where she was discussing different techniques of how to get, or stay, motivated while quilting.  I do sometimes get frustrated like Libby and find it hard to sew.

Sometimes when I have no desire to sew, I'll kind of "force" myself to sew a few pieces for a scrap quilt.  The scrap quilt I'm working on now is just random 2.5" squares throughout the entire thing, so I don't have to think at all.  I find that I sometimes lose the desire to sew when I've been working a long time on a quilt that is tedious or requires a lot of though.  Being able to just sew simple 2.5" squares lets my mind not think about what I'm doing and I can just relax and enjoy sewing.

I also make lists like Jill does.  I have a "sewing priority" list where I put my projects with deadlines on the top and those without deadlines on the bottom.  Each project gets 5 or 6 items to do on it.  I usually break things down into very simple steps so that I feel like I'm accomplishing things.  For a basic quilt, I'll have steps like: design quilt, determine fabric amounts, purchase fabric, wash & press fabric, cut fabric, sew blocks, press blocks, sew rows & press, sew rows into top, add borders, quilt, trim quilt, add binding by machine, hand stitch binding and photograph.  That way even if all I do is buy the fabric, I can cross off something on the list.

I don't usually "treat" myself to things when I finish up a project.  However, the "treat" that I do get is that I'm done with the project and I can add a new project to the list.  Usually its a project that I've been wanting to do for a little while, but haven't allowed myself to start until I finish something I'm not as enthusiastic about.  I find that if I have the motivation of starting a really fun project once I get the current one done, it keeps me sewing and finishing what I have started already.  This way, it also keeps my UFOs to a minimum.

I definitely agree with keeping multiple projects going at one time though.  However, the multiple projects have to vary in difficulty and there can only be 3 or 4 at most going at one time.  I try to have one difficult project, then maybe two easy projects going.  That way I can work on the difficult one for a while and when I get frustrated or annoyed, I can work on something easy.

I hope some of these tips help others who have a hard time being motivated or keeping motivated with quilting.  I think all of us go through phases where you "lose your mojo" and just don't feel like sewing.  When I truly don't feel like sewing, I'll do some needlepoint where I really can let my mind just wander and think about whatever it is that's bothering me.