What I’ve Been Doing Lately • May 2019

Gridster_May 2019

Since I hadn’t posted in a couple of weeks, I did want to blog, but felt pretty scattered about what to write.  So here it all is: from finishes to starts, from garden news and quilting to a Trunk Show.

So, to start with, Simone and I got together to make blocks for Rachel‘s Queen Bee turn in our Gridster Bee: Scrap Jar Stars from Gigi’s Thimble.  We’d made them last year for another bee member, so these blocks, in the requested red and green, went together quickly.

May 2019 Gridster layout.png

Rachel laid out on her floor the blocks she’d received so far, and this is going to make a terrific quilt.  She blogs at The Life of Riley.

Rachel Beeswax.png

Something interesting about Rachel is that she raises bees.  This screenshot is from her ETSY shop, where she sells beeswax for hand-sewing.  I’m lucky enough to have one of these!

Shine Blocks in the wild

Imagine waking up one morning to a tag from a friend about this quilt.  I recognized the block immediately, as it was the final block I designed for my Shine: The Circles Quilt.  This man sells a shot cotton (in Australia), and they’d contracted someone to make a quilt showing their fabric line and that person used my quilt design.  After a few back-and-forths, I did get attribution for the design.  Peony_2019

Moving right along, the peony bush in the garden bloomed.  I have two exactly-the-same bushes and they each have a slightly different flower.  Just like people, just like quilters, who can make the same quilt and have it look quite different.

And…after a visit to my doctor and the A-OK from him and from Kris, my physical therapist (above right), I started using the Sweet Sixteen quilting machine again.  This is my first attempt at quilting, so I took it in to show her.  They chart everything you do, asking seemingly innocent questions like, “How are your household chores coming along?”  or “Take any long drives this weekend?” so they can monitor my progress in recovering from rotator cuff surgery in January.  Nearly five months out, I’m in the “danger zone” where most re-tears happen, so I’m very careful not to stress the repair, or mow lawns.  (Kidding.  I never mow the lawn, because my husband does a very fine job and I wouldn’t want to interrupt his successes.)

Prepping Quilts for Quilter_1

This past month I also proved to myself, once again, that texting can be a horrible way to convey complicated information, given the strange timing you get in texting (answering one text while that person is answering your text, creating an asyncronous conversation).  Because of this, I was unsuccessful in communicating with a new quilter I’d previously tried.  She was frustrated. And I was BEYOND frustrated.  (One unsolved topic: using vertical seams in your backing.) And yes, she only uses texts, so we parted ways.

Prepping Quilts for Quilter_2

I bundled up my three quilts and their backs and took them to my regular quilter, Cathy of CJ Designs.  I asked her about vertical seams on the back, and she said she had no problem with them.  And her costs were more reasonable. So what felt like a set-back  really turned out okay in the end.

Merrion Square2

Over the last few weeks, I have sewn three of these mini quilt tops.  At the Meet the Teacher event I recently went to, I signed eight contracts for teaching, and many of the guilds chose this as their workshop.  And everyone likes samples to be sent.  This is the second one I’ve quilted, and it made me feel more at home on the machine.  I still have to take frequent breaks and can’t go too long in any one session, but I’m making progress.

Backing of Merrion Square2

I think the backing fabric is awesome.

I’ve also been sewing up some of my new designs, working out the bugs and kinks of the patterns, but am not ready to launch them yet.

Sample Checklist for Guilds.png
Finally, when I was sorting out my contracts, I developed a form to help me keep track of critical information, which was missing from several of the contracts I signed.  Only one Guild so far (I’ve gone through about half my contracts) had everything I needed to know.  I realize that if I flew into a city, the Guild Minders would take me around, so I wouldn’t need all this info.  But since I drive to all my gigs, it’s critical to know.  If you would like an editable MSWord version of this for your own personal use (the above is only a screenshot), I’ll be happy to send it to you. Just leave me a comment on this post, or email me.

Organizing Blog Content

And even more interestingly, I couldn’t find a lot of relevant information on Guild Websites.  So, if you are a guild board member, please make sure that people (strangers) can easily find the time and date and place of your monthly meeting, and the same for your workshops.

I know how this happens, as I’m guilty of it here sometimes: you just start throwing up blogposts, forgetting that some visitors come for specific information.  I’ve revised the organization and wording of this blog mulitple times, always trying to make it easier for people to find my quilts (links and titles) as well as other info.  It’s a never-ending task: like trying to keep the junk drawer in the kitchen cleaned out.

Best Wishes on Trunk Show

My husband left this sign for me on the kitchen counter while I was at PT.

I’m looking forward to a lot of fun teaching and meeting people, beginning with tonight, at the Valley of the Mist Quilters Guild in Temecula California.  I’ll be teaching a Merrion Square Workshop for them on Saturday.  Please contact them if you are interested in coming.

Temperature Quilt_April 2019.jpg
April’s Temperature Quilt Blocks are all done…moving into May!

10 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Doing Lately • May 2019

  1. I love that backing! My pet peeve- companies not having their address and phone number right on the first page of their site

  2. I know you will be terrific at the Trunk Show!
    Only one problem, I can’t be there and wish I could.
    Enjoy the evening!

  3. So much goodness in this post! I wish I could attend one of your trunk shows! And a class. Definitely a class.

  4. Also, I’m SO glad to see you quilting again. And I agree, that soda can fabric is such fun. I have a yard but I wish I had more.

  5. You’ve accomplished a lot more sewing than I have with gardening. It was nice to see your pattern in another setting. I love that smashing and hope to use it somewhere. Glad to see you back quilting again. I wouldn’t take any chances either.

  6. This is just a wonderful blog post that shred so much pertinent information! You are a dynamo! I don’t think you ever sleep- you just quilt & sew all day and night long. I would LOVE a copy if your contract. I hope you had a grand time in teaching in Temecula. If you ever need a buddy or right hand woMAN I’d be happy to assist.

  7. It looks like there are fun times coming up for you as long as you stay away from the lawn mower! I smiled at the Doris Day reference- what a lady she was! I wanted to grow up and be just like her! And what a sweet husband you have! Awesomeness all round!

  8. So glad to see you are quilting again. The Marrion Square quilts are so fun! And thanks for the “free publicity” It’s not like I’ll retire from the sales, but its fun to have something to do with my beeswax.

  9. So glad you are quilting again! You seem to have healed well but still be careful. It sounds like you are being cautious. I love the red and green blocks. I am such a Christmas person all year long. 🙂

  10. What a great assortment of activities! I enjoyed reading all of them, and want to remark on everything! I’m impressed with all the red and green blocks you and Rachel made. They look great! Interesting that she raises bees, and sells beeswax. With the demise of Thread Heaven, this is just what quilters are looking for. Can’t believe that shop owner didn’t THINK about crediting you for the pattern used to make a quilt from their fabrics. That’s unconscionable! How can a business owner be successful if it doesn’t know this basic thing? Also about texting… I sure get that. I’m just sorry that it ended with dissolution between the two of you. But I’m glad you have a longarmer you trust. Eight contracts is fantastic, but re-making quilts… ? Merrion Square is lovely, but I don’t know that I’d enjoy making the same design again and again. Good for you! As for that form, I can already see one thing I would add. What if you’re on the road and have a problem. Or run into unavoidable traffic? And you’re delayed? I think you need a cell number for someone who’s at the workshop, so they know if you’re in a pickle. You definitely have the right idea here. If I scheduled more presentations and workshops, I’d be interested in the form. Thank you! But as I have only two scheduled for the rest of the year, I think I can manage. I love, love, love where your temperature quilt is going! It’s fantastic! Keep up the good work.

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