Checking In

Balance (for me) is never easy. Lately I feel I have ignored my blog slightly as I work to get my fabric shop up and running. There are a limited number of hours in the day and I find myself divided between regular life chores, sewing, writing, listing items on Etsy and shipping a few orders here and there. The other distraction for me is social media. Oh how easy it is to be sucked into it and look up 30 minutes later, wondering how to get that last 1/2 hour back. This week I have tried to stay with one task to completion before moving on to the next.  I have also tried (with limited success) to stay off of social media and check it less frequently. I love seeing everyone’s posts on Instagram but really, it isn’t the best use of my time!

Earlier in the week I made it my top (sewing) priority to finish quilting the Harmony quilt that I made last fall for my nephew. I really wanted to quilt it at the long-arm shop where I can rent time on their machines. After scheduling and rescheduling appointments several times, I gave up on that wish and decided to quilt it at home. As luck would have it, my Janome 6500 (which has a nice big throat) is being very cranky. This means I am quilting it on my little workhorse – an older Janome with a narrow throat. As a result, I switched over to standard straight line quilting. To add some interest, I am quilting it in two halves. Starting on the center diagonal line, I began vertical straight lines. Those vertical lines continue to the far corner. Then on the other half of the diagonal, I am quilting horizontal lines. (Does this even make sense?)  At first I spaced them out about eight inches to anchor everything down. Now I am working on filling them in to about two inches apart.

I think it is working quite nicely and I should be finished with the quilting in the next couple of days. Selecting a fabric for binding it is still up in the air. I am aiming for a scrappy binding with the leftover fabrics but I am unsure if I have enough.

Moving on, I have been playing catch up with the Sewcial Bee blocks. This weekly bee is hosted by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland. The blocks are fun and relatively simple. But I got behind and have to make about three more blocks to catch up. (Remember the first paragraph – just not enough hours to get it all done!) I am (was?) trying to use only my Fleet & Flourish scraps (by Maureen Cracknell) for the print fabric and various solids to tie everything together. As I create the blocks though, it is becoming clear I won’t have enough Fleet & Flourish to stay with this plan.  Now what to do???  Decisions, decisions. My choices are to:

  1.  Add in some Garden Dreamer (also .by Maureen Cracknell and would probably blend reasonably well) and since I carry it in my shop, it is readily available to me
  2.  Buy more Fleet & Flourish.
  3. To be very careful with the scraps I have and make it work by adding in a larger percentage of solid fabrics for the last 12 blocks.

Looking at these three incredibly important choices, my thoughts are these. Buying more fabric is silly.  I have more than enough fabric on hand and should be able to avoid buying anything.  Number three would probably be unsatisfying because I would have to use a whole lot of solid fabric to make it work and I don’t think the result would be to my liking. So, number one for the win. I will go slice six inches or so off several of the Garden Dreamer bolts downstairs in my shop and combine both lines. Phew! I am relieved to have gone through the process and made up my mind.

Before I close and go off to quilt a few more lines and make a Sewcial Bee block or two, I want to share some pictures with you. Remember I mentioned Julia was going to raise two piggies for her 4-H project? I have to say, these animals just crack me up. Here are some recent pictures with photo credit to my daughter. She is really enjoying this project and has done a great job with these two goofy pigs. They are growing like crazy but then that is to be expected considering the amount of feed we are going through!

Daisy and Ella Napping

Eating, always eating!!

Daisy, after playing in the mud.

Silly Ella!

Off to the sewing room now. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!


22 thoughts on “Checking In

    1. Bernie Post author

      I think it is something we all deal with – I know you are often juggling many projects at once. Have a nice weekend Yvonne!

  1. Melody Srygley

    I may join Daisy in a mudbath! No power since yesterday, and none forcast until tomorrow. Ah, I miss the treadle machine I learned on!
    It sounds like you’re going about as fast as possible without a burnout. Just enjoy your many projects!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh how I hate to be without power. What happened? Has it been stormy? That is not fun at all.
      Aren’t those pigs hilarious? I didn’t know how smart they are until now. Very entertaining!

  2. Gloria Cotten

    I think you will be happy with your fabric decision, Bernie. Fleet and Flourish is one of my all time favorite collections so I don’t blame you for using every square inch, but I have seen some quilts that combined it with Garden Dreamer and the blend was lovely. Maureen’s designs are all beautiful to me!

    1. Bernie Post author

      I agree. The two lines will work great together. Now if I could just get those blocks made! We have a busy weekend but hopefully soon…. have a great weekend Gloria!

  3. Claudia

    I’m off balance completely this month. My daughter came up to visit from California. The only regular thing I did while she was here was to feed the farm critters. Then after she left I was getting back to my normal and had something tragic happen, which threw me completely in a tizzy.
    I’m trying really hard to get back on track, but I can’t focus on any one thing long enough to do any good.
    Looking forward to progress!
    Your daughters pigs are adorable! Makes me think I should get a few. I have the space, I just don’t know that I have the time!

    1. Bernie Post author

      I am sorry to hear things have been tough for you Claudia. I hope life is getting better now. It makes one realize how nice “normal” is. When things are upside down, we just miss normal.
      Where in CA does your daughter live? (I think I have asked that before but I forget!)
      As for the pigs, since there are two of them they keep each other pretty happy. They are incredible diggers tho and it is a good thing my husband buried the wire deeply (and cemented it in large portion) — They haven’t been able to dig under it.But yes, they are really cute.

      Take care and enjoy the weekend!

  4. Cheryl Brickey

    I so agree that balance is difficult. I so often have little bits of time throughout the day that with planning I could make productive but instead I wind up on social media using the 15-20 min bits up.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Me too!! Then when I look up from the iPad, I think dang it you should have been sewing for that fifteen minutes. So I am trying to leave IG and FB, etc for early morning and a check in the later part of the day. Maybe that will help. Have a great weekend Cheryl.

  5. Mari

    Your Bee blocks look great! I think the mixture of the two lines will be fine. Is your background gray or white? The piggies are looking good, too. Who knew pigs could be cute? And I love your idea for quilting lines in two different directions. That will look awesome! As for balance, getting the shop going is important and ought to take more of your time, as should your family. It will all even out in the end.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Mari. That is how I have been approaching it.
      These bee blocks (everyone’s) are so pretty. I love looking at the different color/fabric combinations people are using. Each one takes on a very different look. So fun.
      Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Cynthia Brunz

    I am always struggling with balance too. I try to adhere to a strict schedule on my media time. It is too easy to get sucked in!

    Loved the piggy photos. They are one of my favorite farm animals. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF.

  7. Linda

    Yes the alternate straight line quilting makes sense! I love it and used a bit of that on a past quilt. Looking at yours reminded me how good it looks!
    Your Sewcial Bee blocks look really good all together like that. I have gotten far behind – life happened and also I didn’t like the direction mine were going with my fabric choices. I may have another look – I can always catch up!
    Hubby and I are planning to get pigs (and chickens) by next spring; we have to get some pens built and figure out how to keep feral hogs off the property first! I’ve really enjoyed your posts and pictures about Julia’s project. Has she considered veterinary school?

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Linda,
      I hope you will revisit the sewcial bee project – the blocks are so pretty and as it grows, I am really loving the look of it.
      Make sure the pen for the pigs is so secure. I am really amazed how strong they are and how much they love to dig. Chickens are a breeze though. How fun!
      I don’t see Julia as a vet – but I am fairly certain she will have a science focus when she goes off to college (which will be before you know it, right?!)


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