It’s THAT time…..

For the past 6 weeks, I have been seeing Facebook posts from the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

They have been showing the winning quilts in many of the categories…..

….and I keep having to wipe the drool off of my screen!!

Then they posted this photo…..

….reminding us that the hanging is underway!!

And …….

My friend Linda and I fly out of Atlanta later today and expect to be eating Mexican Food at Pappacita’s by 5:00pm!!

After dinner, we will enter “Quilter’s Mecca”……

Photo from 2021 Show

….and will spend the next 4 days oohing and aahing over quilts, talking with quilters from all over the world, spending our hard-earned money on gadgets and doo-dads that we simply can’t live without, and enjoying classes and lectures from some of the world’s best quilters!!

Can it get any better???

If you are at the show, please message me, and maybe we can meet up!!!!

Nothing important!!!

This past week I had a Colonoscopy!!

All of you readers who are older than 50 are saying “Oh man…..I am SO sorry”! You younger ones are shaking your head and wondering why I would even tell you that!!

Everything was good and the medical procedure is NOT the point of this post.

Since I was the first procedure of the day, I was back home by 8:15 which meant that I had the whole day ahead of me. Even better was the fact that I hadn’t planned ANYTHING for the day.

Following medical advice, I was told not to make decisions, operate equipment, or do anything really important for the rest of the day.

So, I chose to sit in my recliner, with my computer in my lap, and spend the morning surfing. In particular, I was surfing for project ideas….as if I didn’t already have plenty!!

I was rewarded when I ran into this block called “Dizzy Geese”…..

I searched further and found a great video tutorial for an easy way to make it…..

And……because I couldn’t do anything else, I watched the entire video and learned several new things!!

I then remember several videos that I had put aside to watch at some point so I pulled those out and started learning about making Instagram Reels & Stories. I even had time to play on my phone a bit to learn a bit more about Instagram.

Finally, I had signed up for the Modern Quilt Guild October conference and hadn’t finished watching the videos, so I sat in my comfy chair and watched several of them….again learning so much!!

In the afternoon I spent a bit of time in my studio, first learning how to make one of those fun slo-mo videos that everybody loves……

This is actually harder than you would think and I need to practice it a bit more!!!

Now, none of this is life-shattering, but it was sweet to have a day where I was Free…..COMPLETELY FREE!!

I don’t know about you, but I am really bad about filling in every minute of every day and this day reminded me that I need to also schedule in some days to do just what I did…..

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IMPORTANT!!!

Preparing to quilt!!

This past weekend, I showed you the finishing steps for the Star Explosion Quilt Top……

Now it was time to make the back and get it basted.

For the back, I decided to throw in a row of rectangles from the front fabrics…..

The problem with doing this is that it is too easy to get the front on at a different angle so that the back looks lopsided!! Ask me how I know this???

The method that I use to fix this problem (or at least make it less visible), is to mark both sides of the quilt with masking tape that extends beyond the edges….

Then, when I lay the top onto the back and batting, I can still see those markings and line my quilt up appropriately…..

As I spray-basted this top, I kept finding snippets of thread and corners that needed to be trimmed so that they wouldn’t shadow thru to the top. Although I ended up with this pile of Smutz…..

….I obviously missed a bunch because I ended up having to fish out two orange threads and there are a bunch of orange and navy points that are showing thru…..VERY.BIG.SIGH!!!

Once I had laid out the top and trimmed the bits, I folded the top in half…..

…..and spray the batting….

I can then work from the center and carefully position the top in place.

Then, I repeat with the other side.

The final step for me is to add a few safety pins to the edge to hold them in place….

Now is the big question…..

HOW WILL I QUILT IT????

Planning time….

Do you take time to plan your upcoming quilting?? I am trying to do that but am not having a huge amount of success!!

At our last guild retreat back in May, I spent some time in my “planning/sleeping” swing and came away with some good ideas.

But when reality set in I wasn’t consistent to stick with my plan!!

I can look back and see a number of things that I have finished since that retreat, including four tops for charity….

Quilting on two major projects….

….and made two small quilts from scratch….

And I have been working on two more tops.

Yes, I did accomplish quite a lot in the last four months, but much of it wasn’t in my original plans.

Is that good or bad??? I don’t really know!!!

So how do you do it? Do you plan months in advance or just let things flow as they go??

Why do we retreat?

I have been attending guild retreats for the past 10 years and have LOVED every one of them!!

In many cases over the years, I have headed to the retreat with the idea that I FINALLY had time to do some creative things. It was almost a sense of urgency that I HAD to be there!!

The last retreat, held in May, marked the end of my really busy work season and I arrived with a long list of projects that I wanted to work on.

But, in the 4 months since the last retreat, I have had lots of creative time, and I arrived at this retreat wondering if I really NEEDED this time away.

What I found was that, since I didn’t have a long list of projects that NEEDED to be finished, I was able to…..

After spending a few hours finishing up one project that has a deadline, I pulled out a circle ruler and learned that I CAN PIECE CIRCLES…..

Who knew???

I can even piece circles INSIDE of circles…..

I played more with bargello……

….and learned a bunch of new things!!

I spent some time in my planning/sleeping swing at the lake…..

I finished up the days by digging into my stash of 30-year-old marbled fabrics and coming up with a fun pattern!!

Now, could I have worked on these things in the comfort of my own home?

Definitely YES…..

….but I know that I would have been working on projects that I NEEDED to do instead of ones that were just fun.

Do you have trouble giving yourself permission to

Well, I am giving you that permission right now, so stop reading and get to it!!!!