5/1/20

Sewing Discipline

My first thought was to title this post with "Di-Sew-Pline," but then I knew you'd pronounce it with a long "i" on the last syllable, and the whole thing would be lost. And you'd be walking around saying, "Huh?" Or..."I really think she's losing her marbles in the quarantine." And, of course, we can't have that. So anyway...in a minute or two, I'll take you on a tour of the white board in my sewing room. It's how I stay organized. But first...let's just take a little walk outside, shall we? The weather is beautiful.

Can you tell the lilacs have captured my fancy just now? I kind of decided against making any jelly from them. For one thing, I have more jelly than years left in my life, so maybe next year. And I can't bring myself to cut all the blossoms off the bush just as they're getting so pretty.


The bleeding heart is getting more flowers as it gets taller.


I meant to show you the mint yesterday, but somehow that picture didn't make it onto the post. When I went down the list of herbs growing in the herb garden, I forgot about the mint. It's not actually in the garden, but in a whiskey barrel nearby. Now here's the thing about mint: It will spread out and take over if you don't watch it every second. Ours was first planted in the garden, but when it started taking over, we dug it up and planted it in pots, and then buried the pots in the garden. Only then...it escaped from the pots and started taking over again. So we dug it up and yelled, "Be Off With You!!!" Only then, it snuck back into this whiskey barrel, where we allow it to grow. As I've mentioned, anything that will grow in the whiskey barrel is allowed to stay. It shares this barrel with a few other volunteers. Occasionally, it still tries to invade the garden, and then it is pulled up faster than you can say, "Bob's Your Uncle." Not that I ever say that, but you might.


While I was surveying the blooming things, I heard a crashing in the cherry tree nearby and looked up to see Smitty just jumping from the branches.


Sadie was up there too. Partners in crime...always.


It's a sure sign of spring when the Goldfinches make an appearance. We're still awaiting the Black-headed Grosbeaks. They'll be here soon enough, I imagine.


So our grocery shopping trip wasn't too bad yesterday. Our list was fairly short. On the way through the front door, I spied these yellow calla lilies. I thought if I brought home a pot, the ones in the yard might be tempted to poke their heads above ground. And if not...well, I'll just plant these and be done with it. In fact, it really doesn't matter what the calla lilies do. When these are finished blooming, we'll plant what's left and mark it with a stake this time.


Back in the sewing room...Sadie's tree climbing efforts resolved into a nap on the quilts to be quilted pile.


Working with so many little pieces for the poppy mosaic, and trying to keep the color values organized, she's been banned from my work space. I had just two more sections to bring this up to 80% complete, and here's how it looked.


Before I quit for the day, I had two more sections finished.


Okay now about that white board...and sewing discipline. I keep track of my projects thus:


Where "embroidery" is concerned, I'm generally working on four large projects and one that can be finished in a single go-round...ordinarily #3. Only, the snowflakes snuck in there while we were traveling, and so all of these are more long-term projects. Mulligan Stew is the hand-quilting project that always has me dragging my feet. And that's where I am now...Mulligan Stew. I've grown to hate working on it as much as I really, really, really want to finish it. And there's the dilemma, right? You want to finish because you hate working on it. And, besides, I just want to finish. Period.

And I've not yet found a way to force myself to work on it. And since I'm sew disciplined, I haven't allowed myself to move back to "I Believe in Snowmen," until I make some progress. So yesterday, I decided to do what I always do when I can't discipline myself: I'm breaking it in to ridiculously small pieces. My newest commitment is to finish up one corner of the quilt interior and then move on to something else. When it comes up on the list again, I'll finish another corner, then another, then another. Then, I'll start with one side of the border, then the next. And with all of that, I figure another year will go by before it's finished...which will be faster than the rate I'm finishing it now. So anyway...let's see if this new commitment works. Starting this morning. (Bangs gavel. Dismissed.)

Okay, and so then there are my WIPs. Five WIPs seems manageable to me, and everything gets a chance at my work space approximately every month. When I've worked my way through the first five, I get to choose something not on the list. The Poppy Mosaic is my current "Quilter's Choice." It's like dessert after the meat and potatoes.


And these are various categories I can pick for my Quilter's Choice. The Poppy Mosaic is a PINS (Projects I Never Started). In general, I try to keep these to projects that can be finished before month's end. I'm not quite there with the Poppy Mosaic, but I'll only miss it by a day or two. For my next "Quilter's Choice," I'll make one of the many panel quilts I have waiting in the wings...and just know those also fall under the PINS category.


And that brings me to this...the tops that need finishing. I have so many quilts with all the blocks made, that just need sewing together. These are those. My goal each month is to finish one of these. The "Triangulation" designation is a continuation of the "trashy" series. I think I can get one more quilt out of those bonus triangles, but I was kind of tired of them. They were put on the list for later this year.


For May, I'll be working on the "Sweet Land of Liberty" table topper. The embroidery for this was finished months ago. My OMG for May will be to get it to a finished flimsy stage.


Here's what I have so far.


It shouldn't take long. I'll be adding some borders to it and then tossing it onto the Quilts to be Sandwiched pile, which currently contains these quilts:


And it makes no sense to sandwich anything until I've finished with these quilts that are ready for quilting.


For May, I'll be finishing up the Shop Hop quilt. It's been waiting very patiently for an impossibly long time. It's the quilt I made with all those regional fabrics collected during visits to quilt shops from all over the country.


So there you go. A little tour of my white board method of staying organized and cracking the whip. Somebody's got to do something. Cats can only do so much.

Finally, I received a little surprise in the mail from my friend Doris. You might remember when I visited a quilt shop in Cottonwood, Arizona, and I saw this pattern:


I really liked the pattern, but I didn't purchase it. And my friend Doris knows begging when she hears it. She had the pattern and sent it to me. It arrived in yesterday's mail. Thanks, Doris. Very sweet of you. I have some great fabrics to use for this quilt. It'll be added to the white board soon.

Okay, so I don't know how much sewing I'll get done today. It's going to be a kitchen day. I'm getting some bread dough going, and I'm making a potato salad, and I'm making a 7-Layer Dip. Tomorrow I'm making a lemon meringue pie. If you're looking for me today or tomorrow, that's where I'll be. It's going to be a beautiful day here at the Three Cats Ranch. I hope your weather treats you well today too.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

The day began with torrents of rain lashings~~ oh now, not again!!

But then The SUN yes ole Mister Sunshine deigned to come out--
and we have been sitting on our deck --a May 1st--first I think--we got to about one hour before the cold wind began again--but it was lovely and relaxing to sit out there and gaze at the big puffy clouds...

This morning I tried making an ear loop mask and it was an utter utter failure!! Totally awful...so for now we will stay with our ties masks...
I really am enjoying seeing you progress on your poppies piece (say that 3 times fast ;}}})
Hope your weekend will be "sew-full" of fun things...
~ ~ ~ waving in the sunshine Julierose

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Like Julie - we have had a torrent of rain with flooding and roads/bridges closed. Wonderful May Day!! Oh, love the lilacs and can't wait for them - always have a huge bundle in the house as I adore their aroma.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Hi,
We have our goldfinches too at the feeders all of a sudden but it's going to be ages before my lone lilac bush is in bloom. Love to see your photos.
I read all your post with great interest. Interesting to see how we handle/juggle our projects. I have to machine quilt my blue strings and I really don't like that so after a stern talking to, I do 15 minutes and then reward myself with time on a project I'm loving. It may take a year but I figure I will get there...eventually.
You sound like your time is being filled just like me.

Brown Family said...

I have that pattern, too! I have not made mine, yet!

Karen said...

Glad you are one with your white board. It would be too much like someone standing over me with a whip. No thanks. I like shelter shelter for my method of creating. I do admire your many projects and how fast you do them.
Thank you for all your beautiful flowers and plants. I do know about mint. I finally dumped mine on the walking trail. It's nice to walk and smell mint. Mmmm.
Our lilacs are just budding. Patience. NOt. Thanks for sharing yours... I can almost smell them.

piecefulwendy said...

Thank you for another stroll through your garden. I needed it today. If I lived closer and we weren't in this pandemic mess, I'd come over and help you finish Mulligan Stew. :-) Enjoy your day - it sounds like you have a good one planned!

kc said...

What a pretty bunch of posies you've got going on, both in buckets and on the ground. And in fabric too. Those poppies actually look real! I'm guessing that's due to great color and value choices.

Guess SnS are real lions at heart, eh?

That whiteboard is something else.remibds me of that juggler that successfully keeps a machete, a bowling ball and an apple going in circles around his head then under his leg, then he takes a bite out of the apple each time it passes by his mouth. Amazingly entertaining!

Patty said...

Sweet stitching. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.