Sunday, July 30, 2017

Pushing back the walls

I have been my worst enemy here loading more and more on my plate and getting myself overwhelmed but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not the oncoming train that I thought it was.   Whew....I just had so many weekends with either travel or house quests.  Both things I love and enjoy.  There have been so many dinners, picnics, evenings out and obligations.  Then the rains came.  The yard suffered, the to-do list suffered.  And then I got overwhelmed.    I actually had 9 Blue Apron meals I had to freeze - multiply that by Mr. W. being away and I  was 18 meals behind.   Good thing Blue Apron is EZ-PZ to cancel a week.  (I celebrated two years with Blue Apron in June.   It is not for everyone but I love it.)   So I actually took my birthday off from work to catch up.   Some didn't understand why I didn't treat myself to a spa day or mani-pedi but I nurtured my inner me by checking a lot of things off my to-do list that were building up and overwhelming me so ultimately I was treating myself.   But enough......I am in a better frame of mind and that is all that matters.

I finally spread my last 5 bags of mulch this past week.   Yes, I should have been done but the garden bed in question is one I have let grow over the last several years.   It is at the back corner of the property and where I toss the extra Iris and Daffodil bulbs,  the extra lilies and wildflowers seeds for a meadow like bed.   The result was not meadow-like but over grown. It was long overdue for an overhaul and seeking out the time was the issue.   But I am happy to say I am 75% done the garden but better 100% done what I plan to do it this year.   This should be one of the last garden overhauls I need to do and from here forward will just be maintaining with mulching every spring.  Before I started to clean out the bed, the brick path was totally obscured.   These bricks were laid when our front steps that were demolished years ago when we added a front porch added.   More work and mulch is needed but for now I am putting fork in this one for 2017.    I still do have my secret garden project that I hope will turn out and will share come the fall if it does develop as I hope it will.

For stitching, I finally, yes finally, I have picked up Corsica River again.   I am not too much of a SAL leader with benching this project to two months.   I think it was part of the whole I am-too-overwhelmed-to-think-about-it phase I just went through.   Now that I have picked it up, I am enjoying it.  It has become my Monday-Friday morning stitch.   I know at about an hour a day I may never catch up.  Hopefully I will take this monster (36 inches wide) on a stitching retreat in the fall and make great progress.  And then there is Camp Wannasew in January where much can be accomplished!  

My Longaberger Apple Basket is close to finished and may be my focus today.   What remains is something I need to pay attention, lots of counting on the last three colors that are close to each other in  in color and then the top stitching.  This one doesn't suit for Thursday stitching group.

I picked up My Stitchers Heart by Cathy Haberman of Hands On Design to start as my take along piece.   I feel in love with the simplicity of this and the beautiful colors the first time I saw it.   I was quick to contact Elegant Stitch and get on the list for this limited edition stitch.

This is the back - with a doggie theme for him.
I have also been working on 'the anaconda' aka my son's quilt re-do.   It was his childhood quilt that I made when he was about 5.  He requested I remake it queen sized.   The re-made quilt top has been done for awhile.   The quilting part has been started and stopped.   I actually bent my machine (the whole shaft part that holds the needle) to the tune of a $170  repair so the quilt has sat for more time than I care to acknowledge.     My mission is to sew one (or two) quilting lines a day until I can get the binding attached and take up the hand sewing to complete it.  The central portion s quilted.  I only have the border on four sides to quilt.   I think I may have to spread this on the driveway to lay it out smooth and spray baste the next section to quilt.  I had originally thought I could finish by son's next visit in late August.   I have revisited that and now have a goal of Christmas because I am all about no pressure.
The front is R-W-B and the binding is ready to add.
My daughter snagged this Standard sewing machine for me from a friend who had several old machines in cabinets to get rid of.   For now it is making an excellent plant stand for my orchids which might I add by my-green-thumb-self are still blooming since March!  They must like this spot.    The machine works while hand cracking but needs a belt for the treadle.  I don't think I will electrify it; I think I may leave it as it is.   This is a project I will pursue once retired.  

Yesterday I spent the day in Philly with No. 1 daughter.   My daughters gave me a serger for my birthday.   I had thought about one before but then convinced myself I didn't need one.   When they were both here over the 4th, they were using one and my interest was piqued.   And they noticed.  So for me and my inaugural plunge into serging, I took my entire stash of linen with me and worked on serging the edges.   Wow, that is a crazy amount of linen and that is the  pile before I was done.  I used to just zig-zag the edges with my regular sewing machine but like the merged edges better.

We also worked on yet another secret project that I can only share limited details as the final products will be gifts for stitching friends.    I had a bunch of little motifs that were stitched and didn't know what to do with them.   All those smaller motifs stitched that lay languishing in a basket.   I bought coordinating fat quarters and started making project bags.   It was not without trial and error.  There are many tutorials out there on You Tube which helped but I wanted a zipper on the front and not at the top and I didn't want a velcro closure so we had to adapt.  Here's a snippet of the first two I have finished.   Refinements will continue.

Some of the fat quarter pairings I have for future project bags.
And on top of all this, I taught a class at my EGA Chapter.   I thought I might throw up on my ride there but I talked myself in from the ledge, had a lifesaver and did relaxation breathing.  I am a more of a behind the curtain person than a center stage person.    It all worked out great.   We did three Christmas in July projects.   I made the kits and did the instructions for the Gingerbread Boy and Girl.   They were stitched on switchable cork from DMC.   That was something new for all of us.  

Thanks for stopping by and bearing with me and my (once) overwhelmed self.  I am off to stitch the day away on my deck!  I hope to post more often with less War and Peace like length!   Keep on stitching.


Stasi said...

Wow...I'm overwhelmed just reading this! LOL You have your fingers in a lot of pies but are making progress! Remember, it's the journey that counts!

Robin in Virginia said...

Very cool gingerbread people you created! The project bags look good and how fun you could use the smaller motifs. Congratulations on your new serger. Your back garden is looking good. Glad you celebrated your birthday by marking things off your list; I say do what makes you happy. Enjoy the coming week!

Karyn said...

You have been busy, my dear.
Your yard is coming along beautifully, and I had to LOL as I currently have 7 (2.2cu) bags of mulch waiting to be spread out in my yard, and I still need 3 more! I am waiting for it to cool down a bit so that I can work and not melt into a puddle :)
Corsica River is gorgeous! The black and crimson floss against the fabric are stunning...I'll look forward to watching your progress.
Apple Basket is progressing nicely, and it looks like a fun those Longabergers! My bucket list includes a trip there someday.
Love the floss colors of your take along WIP.
Anaconda! ROFL, you kill me! Christmas is a good goal...I have changed the sampler for my kiddos to Christmas, twice.
Your treadle machine is in great condition, and makes a great plant stand...thats what my uses hers for too. I love the look of one sitting in a room, it brings back fun memories of sewing with my Mom, when I was had been her grandmothers and still works.
Your sewing projects are amazing, and your friends will be thrilled to receive them.
What an honor to be asked to read a class for your EGA, and what a fun one you chose...I just love the little gal and guy, they are too cute!
Thanks for the update, and sharing your pics, I enjoyed reading it all.
Have a great day

Anna van Schurman said...

Phew! I had to have a rest just reading this! My garden became overrun with weeds while I was gone and I was hoping that I could tackle it a little at a time at dusk while the temps are still so high. But now I have a cold. Love the project bags!