Envelope Project

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Patience . . .

the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Frustration - a feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting from unfulfilled needs or unresolved problems.

Hmm . . . which was it . . . patience or frustration . . . or both?

When the longarm runs smoothly it hums so sweetly and the sewing is FUN and effortless.  When the longarm is tempermental, that's when patience turns to frustration.  It's best to walk away.

And so it was over the weekend.  Two simple little quilts needed some quilting and what should have been a couple hours of JOY turned into 5 or 6 hours of torture.  Yikes!  On the second quilt, I finally admitted defeat, turned the machine off and took a nap.  Later I rev it up again and continued on with the patience/frustration journey.  In the end I got 'er done, but it was painful.  Looks like this weekend I will allocate some time to take the machine apart again and try to get it right.   . . . all because I just had to change that needle!!

Last week we had our company end of year party.  I know, it's March . . . but an end of year party for us is after the December year-end accrual is finished and the auditors and tax people have signed off.  This was our reward:
How FUN is that?  I highly recommend the Cirque du Soleil shows if you get an opportunity to see one.

And last but not least, I went out for a 6 miler on Saturday, 2.5 miles yesterday before work and 4 miles tonight.  Yay me!  Hopefully I'll be ready on May 1 for my next half marathon.  Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"It's Never Too Late. . .

to be what you might have been" - George Eliot

This is the same George Eliot (a woman) that wrote Silas Marner (I think I was the only one in my 8th grade class that enjoyed the book!).  I wonder what she wanted to be . . . or was she content with her life.

Some days I'm restless in mine.  So, to appease my right brain, this is what I do doing the day.  Shh . . . don't tell on me!!

I found a block of these 4" x 4" sheets on top of a filing cabinet at work and decided that I needed them.  I just pull one off the top and 2 minutes later, I've doodled me a design.  It makes me happy.   At night I usually transfer these to an envelope and color them in, write a note and send them on their merry way.

Tonight I finished sewing the binding on the pink quilt.  The lighting is pretty bad, but here's the result.  It feels really soft and I think some little girl will enjoy it.  It's going in my charity pile.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Need More Time

In a few hours it will be Monday morning and I'll be back at the office doing my left brain activities.  This weekend has been FUN yet too short.  Aren't they all??!!  My project Saturday morning was to finish longarming the little girl's quilt that was 2/3rds completed.  I figured one hour (two hours max) and it would be finished.  Since the thread had been breaking and shredding, I decided that a new needle was in order.  To make a long story short, changing out the needle became quite an ordeal that began with the missing allen wrench to unscrew the old needle.  After changing the needle a new problem developed and now I had skipped stitches.  Major skipped stitches!  So, after much fiddling B. took the machine apart and adjusted the shaft that holds the needle, the machine was oiled and cleaned and we were back in business.  We're now two hours into what should have been a 5 minute job.  And in the end it turns out that changing out the needle didn't solve the problem of the thread breakage.  Go  figure!  So, I chalk it up to cheap cotton thread.  Luckily the quilt is small so I only had to bury a couple dozen threads (due to all the starts and stops) instead of a whole bunch more.  I usually use King Tut thread in the longarm, but I didn't have the correct color so I went with the cheaper thread that I purchased at JoAnn's.  It's a crapshoot and this time it didn't work out so well.  Moving on.

I did finish the quilt, buried the threads, made binding and am almost finished with handsewing the binding down on the backside.  I'll post pictures later.  Today I started making some pinwheel blocks and I'm still deciding on the design of the quilt. 
And I drew some more drawings for my envelope project.  Unfortunately I haven't transfered them to the envelopes yet so I've got a bit of catching up to do.  Maybe lunchtime tomorrow!!

Throw in some cooking, a few walks with the dog, a 5 mile run for me and filling out my personal tax return and POOF! like that my weekend was over.  Until next time . . .

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Dreaded Sickies

This past week has been a killer.  First it was a major all day allergy fest on Tuesday when apparently the tree mold count was so high my stock in Puffs surely took a bump!!  Next up on Wednesday the fever spiked at 102 and chills and chattering teeth had to have burned quite a few calories.  For nearly an hour I could not get my teeth to stop clacking.  I had to stay home on this day.  Thursday it was back to work and although my nose was still going strong, I was capable of functioning.  Friday was my day off and I was once again sick, sick, sick.  It continued on through Saturday and today I still have a stuffy nose, but I am determined to not get beaten down by this monster.  I have not been sick in a long time so the past few days have been quite miserable.  But, I'm back . . . at least until the next allergen decides to take root in my system and wreak havoc on me.  Fun!

I did manage to get the baseball quilt shipped off to the little guy.  I threw in another simple quilt for his little brother so I hope they both enjoy them.  Yesterday I made a little girl quilt top and today I attempted to quilt it up, but after quite a few stops and starts with the thread ravelling and breaking, I decided it was best if I just walked away and go draw some envelopes.  So, I'll attempt to finish the quilting tomorrow.  I think maybe I just need to change the needle out.  I had the same problem on my domestic machine last week and once I changed the needle, I was back in business.  I hope that is the solution here also.  When the longarm machine is tempermental, it does not make for a very FUN time!!  At that point, Patience becomes the new mantra!

I managed to eek out a 2.5 mile run this evening.  I hadn't been able to run since almost a week ago and it felt good.  I'm about 6 weeks out from my next Half Marathon and the training has been sidelined with injuries and sickness.  Oops.  I better get serious now. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week in Review

This week included attending two days of tax seminars.  I'm not particularly fond of attending these classes, but they are a rather inexpensive way to get in lots of CPE hours to keep up my license.  As usual, the room was freezing and the food was bad . . . really bad.  My next round of classes is in May so there's that.

Friday's class was extremely awful due to the woman next to me doused in perfume.  For anyone with allergies you know what I'm talking about.  I came back from lunch and she had reapplied and I was gagging.  Painful.  So, to get some relief after a miserable day, I started making blocks for the baseball quilt.  Saturday I finished sewing it and today I quilted it.  Next up . . . binding.  This quilt was made for my niece's nephew who was just diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma and is on his second round of chemo.  Hang in there, little guy.

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