Tag Archives: long arm

Summer Pattern Sale!

Three of my favorite summer patterns will be half price on Craftsy all summer long! You can find these three patterns for $5.25 each HERE.

Nautical Table Runner QCP-304

Seaglass QCP-109

Third Seasonal Trio QCP-103

So come and get your summer patterns while the weather is hot and the sewing room is hopefully cool!

This week I’m still plugging along on quilting the love notes quilt for Lindsey. I am enjoying ruler work for the lines on the  inner border and the center block flower motif. The outer border is getting a stipple treatment. The corners of the love notes are getting a free motion back and forth squiggle. How’s that for a technical term?

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I have this much left to do…
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This is taking time but as I mentioned, I’m ok with that because I like the results. The rulers are fun to work with and I’m discovering more things I can do with the ones I own. It’s also the first time I’m floating a quilt top which simply means the top is not attached to a roller. I’m using the painter’s tape that you see in the photo as a guide on each end of the pole. I know my quilt top must line up with the tape or it will be quilted crooked. It’s good to keep learning and using easier ways to quilt.

Have a super weekend, everybody!

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Projects And An Assistant

It’s been a good week of learning new things. I bought a new applique book by Jeanne Sullivan.
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It has a lot of information in it and many beautiful patterns. I’m struggling to find the method of applique I like the best. I can tell this is going to take some time to get right but I feel like I’m on a good path. Next week on the blog I’ll talk more about the methods I’ve been trying.

At Leah’s dance recital I had time backstage during the first of two shows to work on a project. I brought this ice cream applique with me and I was able to finish it. The pieces were glued down so all I had to do was stitch them to the background.
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When my mother saw it, she really liked it and we decided it should be hers to finish as a pillow for a gift. This is the pattern I had drafted in EQ7 and she’ll finish it with this cute border.

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From the book above, I’ve decided to go with this project…IMG_4989

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the simplest one in the book which works for me! LOL!!! So far I’ve made the heart…IMG_4990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made definite progress on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. The borders are on and the quilt is on the long arm!

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And today I began quilting it. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this! It’s THAT much!! I love texture and this is so exciting to me.

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The best part of the week was when I decided to hire an assistant to help out with errands, cleaning, and social media for my two businesses. I hired the most adorable college girl named Amanda…does she look familiar? IMG_5014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda (my daughter) is in need of a summer job and I’m in need of a reliable helper. We made a great team this week and I feel less stressed as does she. Finding a summer job when you’re not around for a good chunk of August is a little tough. This is a great arrangement for both of us and now I think I’m not going to want her to go back to UNH at all! LOL!!! I’m getting so much done and my house is clean for students and social media posts are scheduled…ahhhhh. Feels so good.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!

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For long arm quilting service information, please visit my website www.quiltcabanapatterns.com

For Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies, please visit my website https://www.creativememories.com/user/sandic

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Love Notes and Applique Wannabe

I find myself obsessing lately about applique methods. I haven’t done much traditional applique as I’ve been a huge fan of fusible applique since I began quilting in 2004. Thanks to quilt stars like Karen Kay Buckley and Jill Finley, I am now obsessed with learning how to do it correctly and efficiently. I purchased some supplies, of course. I bought freezer paper, a tailor’s awl, Roxanne’s Baste It Glue, thimble dots, and starch.

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I decided to follow Jill Finley’s applique method with stacking four pieces of freezer paper together to make the pattern templates. That seemed to work out ok except that I got the templates too wet with starch when I was brushing the starch on the seam allowance. I dried it out with the iron but I think the templates still bent a bit. I thought it would be good to have an applique project with me tomorrow at Leah’s dance recital. I’ll be backstage for hours and having a hand project sounded good. The other 28,000 hand projects I have started  would also have been good. None the less, I made an ice cream cone pattern on EQ7 and prepared the pieces for applique.

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I wish I had made the pieces larger but this will have to do.

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All the pieces are glue basted to the background and ready for stitching.

This week I got the white borders on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. Today I got one outer border on as well.

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Next week I’m going to be marking this for the long arm. I just purchased a six pack of blue washout pens. I’ll be ready to mark it up in Judi Madsen fashion and do some custom quilting in all that negative space.

But tomorrow is Leah’s dance recital and that is what I’ll be focused on. I had posted lots of pictures from dress rehearsal on Instagram and Facebook but here are my favorites. This is the debut of Leah’s pointe class on stage. They are dancing to Phantom Of The Opera and it’s really amazing.

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What are you all working on this week? I’d love to hear about it. I’ll be posting a podcast episode hopefully the week after next so stay tuned for that. Feel free to ask me questions and I’ll answer them on the podcast.

Sandi

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NYC and a Long Arm Finish

It’s been a few days since I blogged but I have a good excuse. Leah and I took a trip to NYC with her dance studio. We had a fabulous time traveling with friends and seeing the sights. This is the second time we’ve done a weekend in NYC with this group and we all travel really well together! We arrived in Times Square on Friday afternoon and we shopped a bit, had dinner at Guy Fieri’s restaurant, and then we saw Get On Your Feet which is the broadway show of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s story. It was amazing! It was at the Marquis Theatre which is just beautiful.

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Saturday the girls attended a workshop with a cast member from Get On Your Feet then we shopped til we dropped. We had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Cafe and then we pretty much fell asleep. While we were walking around we came upon the ballerina balloon that is currently displayed at Rockefeller Center. We knew it was there, we just didn’t know it was so huge and amazing.

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Sunday morning the girls had another workshop at the same dance studio. We picked them up and headed to the 9-11 Memorial before heading home. It was a strange experience being there with so many kids who weren’t even born when that tragedy occurred. I think they all appreciated seeing it. I was in awe of this national quilt that was hanging on display. Every victim has a block. It’s very large and evokes all kind of emotions when you see it.
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We got home late Sunday night but it was worth it! It was a great weekend.

Last week before I left, I finished the quilting on the Hawaiian flower quilt. I used a hibiscus pantograph and I love how it came out. So now it needs binding.
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Yesterday I spent time getting these Love Notes blocks sewn into rows. If I have time today, I’ll stitch rows together. This one is for Lindsey.
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For Mother’s Day, I ordered Judi Madsen’s new dvd on background quilting for applique quilts. She has so much information in her dvd’s. I just love them. I’m a little more than half way through as it’s pretty long – 158 minutes. Hoping to catch the rest of it tomorrow morning.

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That’s about it for today. What are you all working on?
Sandi

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Long Arm, Site Update & Give Away Winner

Happy Friday and congratulations to Margaret M. who was the winner of my 100 Blocks Blog Tour stop! Margaret has won a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 15!

The sun is shining today which seems like a giant prize for the cruddy weather week we’ve had around here. It has been conducive to quilting which is nice! I was able to get the borders on the Hawaiian flower quilt. I have it loaded on the long arm and ready to be quilted with a hibiscus pantograph and one of these pretty threads!

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So many pretty ones to choose from!

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Yesterday my Red Snappers came in the mail. They are a Mother’s Day gift from my mom! For those of you who are unaware of what these are, they are a quilt loading system for the long arm machine which eliminates having to pin the quilt layers to the leaders. The snapper clamps hold the quilt tight where it should be. That being said, I installed them yesterday and this Hawaiian quilt will be the guinea pig for using them. I’m pretty sure it took me longer than pinning just out of ignorance today though! Wish me luck! It typically takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to load a quilt so cutting that time will be a big help.

I spent the week trying out pantographs to see how I like them. I also practiced a bit of custom work.

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I also updated my Quilt Cabana Patterns website this week. It was in need of a facelift and boy did it get one! I added a menu tab called Long Arm Service which has information about how I can help you get your quilt tops quilted! Pricing and design information is all there and I’d love to help you get those tops done!

Last week I had a such a fun day teaching fusible applique to Nancy and Priscilla! It was by far the best morning of the week! Nancy and Priscilla learned how to make the Sail Away Mug Rug using paper backed fusible web and the blanket stitch technique for finishing the applique. They are fast learners and I can’t wait to see how they finished their projects up. Here are my ladies hard at work! If you’d like to learn this technique, contact me at colwellsg@comcast.net.

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That’s all for today! Be sure to check out the newly updated website!
Sandi

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Fillers, Favorite Rulers and a Selfie

I’ve happily spent the last two days working on quilting the blue monochromatic quilt. I had to laugh at myself that I finally got the long arm machine extended by two feet and then I put a super small quilt on it! LOL! One of the reasons I made this quilt was to practice ruler work and fillers. The other two reasons were to play with color and to figure out improv piecing.

Because this piece is small, the quilting also had to be small. I had a few doubts as to whether my machine could handle going as slowly as I needed it to. That might sound weird because typically you see long arm quilters buzzing around at a decent pace. But when the mission is accuracy and you are using rulers, you have to go slow. The slower I went on the machine, the happier I was with the results and I’m thrilled to pieces that my long arm can work well in a slower speed.

Using Cindy Grisdela’s improv style and Judi Madsen’s methods of marking and quilting, I was able to tap into techniques I haven’t done before. I keep wanting to call this quilt Small Blue for some reason so that shall be its name and here she is…

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Each pieced curve has a different style of filler quilting. I used several designs including wishbones, geometric squares, pebbles, meandering, half moons,  paisleys, swirls, and continuous line curved squares. The top and bottom borders have curved lines.

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In deciding whether to use the continuous line curved squares on that last bottom strip, I knew I had to go very small. I marked a half inch grid and then set about quilting in between the lines. It was exhilarating to quilt! Each row was inspiration to keep going.

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My favorite rulers so far in this long arm journey have been the ones you see here in the picture. The A1 Straight Edge which is yellow and has the
handle on it and the set of Mini Curve It rulers. Both of these were ordered from Judi Madsen’s website, Green Fairy Quilts.

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While I was quilting, I knew my face was holding a very serious and focused expression. I started to wonder if I might be one of those people who sticks their tongue out or something while they work lol!!! Curiosity got the better of me and I set my phone up on a timer for a selfie. No tongue is wagging so I guess I’m good!!!

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The black straps on my shoulders are the straps for my back weight. I try to use it when I’m long arming or piecing for a long time at the sewing machine.

If you listened to the last podcast episode, you’ll remember I mentioned having joined the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals led by Morna McEver Golletz. One of the benefits of belonging to this organization is being in contact with like minded individuals in the craft business world. This week I started up with an accountability partner. Her name is Janice. After an initial phone call where we got to know each other and get a feel for each other’s businesses, we set up our weekly goals and plans for how to achieve them. We will talk again on Monday night to check in and share how we did on meeting those goals. I have four areas to work on this week and I’m feeling pretty good about them. One of my goals includes getting 10 hours on the long arm and I’m halfway there. Getting time on the machine gets a little bit difficult on teaching days but I will have to work around that to get to ten hours. I find myself thinking about Janice all week and wondering how she is coming along with her goals. Hopefully we’ll both hit the mark this week!

Have a super day today!
Sandi

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So much stuff….

I didn’t realize how many days had passed since my last blog post. I thought about posting several times over the last few weeks but each time I got overwhelmed by how many pictures I had so I bagged it. It has been a fun and busy few weeks here with the junior prom and Lindsey’s trip to Paris. She’s due home tonight and I can’t wait to see her! I’ll just jump in with what I’ve been working on. First off, I’m thrilled to say that my long arm frame was extended from 8 feet to ten feet on Wednesday. We didn’t have space initially to set it up to the full extent but after some furniture maneuvering, it does fit! I am so happy that I can now quilt a queen size on the frame. I’ll be updating my website this month with information on my long arm and the designs I offer.

I’ve been working on the small color theory quilts again and this time I worked in a monochromatic blue scheme. I wanted to continue my study of color and creating improv quilts by piecing gentle curves without pinning! GASP! I know, right? Unbelievably, I found it very easy and relaxing. The curves came together nicely even though I could have sworn they weren’t going to! Convex and concave can be con-tricky!!!

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Here is the final piece which I’ll mark for quilting next and then put on the long arm for ruler work practice. I love that by working on these small pieces, I learn color theory, improv piecing and ruler work! It’s the perfect hat trick!

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This week’s fun news is that my bunny block made the inside cover of 100 Blocks this time around!

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I will be hosting a stop on their blog tour on May 2nd! Here is the awesome thank you gift I received for being part of their magazine! I love it!

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While Lindsey’s been in France, I began working on her Love Notes quilt. I made the same quilt for Amanda when she went to France two years ago. Back then Lindsey asked if I would make one for her when it was her turn to go on the trip! I ordered the fabric two years ago and now I’m making it!

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I have the half square triangles done and in piles for 42 blocks. This afternoon I pieced the first two blocks. I love making these cute little love notes!

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and…
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For Easter I decided to surprise my mom with a bouquet she could really get into…who doesn’t love a flower pot filled with fat quarters!

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This week I also treated myself to new fine and extra fin pins! What a difference these make!

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And lastly here’s a little peek at my Lindsey and her prom date, Alex. They had a great time!
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Have a wonderful weekend, I’ll be back next week with more to share!
Sandi

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Didn’t Love This Week!

Oh what a long, strange week it has been over here at casa Colwell. Not much quilting has been going on as we’ve been in the middle of health emergencies and blizzards and a lot of snow days!

Last Thursday Leah fainted in the bathroom while I was trimming her hair (for the first time, quite possibly the last). She slumped forward into the sink and then fell backwards bouncing her poor head off the floor tile. She looked like she was having a seizure which we later found out she didn’t but then she came to, vomited and did it again. My mama heart just about died. Greg, Lindsey, and I got her into the car and set out in the middle of a nasty blizzard and got her to the ER. She was monitored for a few hours and then we made it back home again safe and sound. We have no idea why she fainted and probably never will know but she is doing well despite a nagging headache this week….oh and yesterday we finally finished the hair cut! Here she is smiling in the hospital because they finally said we could go home! LOL!

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And here’s the latest trend…it’s called the half cut! LOL!

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While we were in the ER, I was getting text messages from Amanda who was sick as a dog at UNH. We could tell she needed to come home, go to the doctor, and get rest. Greg and Lindsey headed up to her college the next morning and brought her home. She is still sick but happy to be here with us! Hopefully, she’ll turn the corner tomorrow as she needs to get back to her classes. The college had a snow day today as they are getting 12-16″ of snow.

Last night as we were hanging out in the living room, I did spread out my hexagons to get an idea of how many I have and what I can possibly do with them. I love the fabric and I have more cut to keep going. I do love them!

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I was super excited when the mail came this week and my pantographs arrived! These are an early birthday present from my mom! I can’t wait to try them out.

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And I did manage to get Nancy’s awesome star quilt on the long arm. I’m ready to quilt this just as soon as I can get a normal working day! Isn’t is beautiful?

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So here we are with another snow day and everything has been canceled! The girls are working on a huge puzzle, Greg’s working from home, and I’m thinking about how much I love having them all home and in one place.

Have a quilty week!

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Planners, Proms and Projects

Happy Sunday to all! I hope you had a good and quilty week! I was blessed to be able to meet with all three of my lovely students this week. I loved every minute of it! I started my week helping Priscilla with her basting of a beautiful pink churn dash baby quilt. Later in the week I saw Gail and we measured up her awesome t-shirt quilt for the long armer and then we worked on her binding of a super cute Disney Princess quilt. At the end of the week, I had fun with Nancy getting her gorgeous star quilt ready for the long arm and also planning out her next project! I love spending time with my quilting ladies! It fills my heart and soul.

This morning we are getting ready to bring Amanda back to UNH. She’s had a nice long break and she’s ready to get back at it. I’m feeling weepy and sad, of course. I love having her home and knowing my family is all together. We (the four ladies of the house) spent quite a bit of time in our living room being goofy…

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Watching Lindsey learn to embroider and give us the hairy eyeball…

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And just being with each other. When the girls were little and the mommy work was exhausting, I used to wonder what it would be like when the girls were teenagers and we’d be hanging out with each other, what kind of conversations would we have? Would we all get along? And I realize that this is THAT time! All my wondering was about this exact moment. It’s far better than anything my tired, weary, mommy mind could imagine way back then. I am completely filled with joy and thankfulness.

My own projects are moving along too. I finished my loom scarf and I’m working on getting my Quilter’s World project onto the long arm. I have finished piecing and now need to quilt and draft the pattern. The deadline is Feb. 10th. I think I’ll make it. The project will be in the Autumn issue.

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I’m also still practicing ruler skills on the long arm. I got very motivated after watching Judi Madsen’s Quiltiing Makes A Difference dvd. I loved this dvd and Judi’s methodical way of marking and quilting. It made me realize taking my time and relishing in perfection is ok! I have a long way to go but I think with practice, I’ll get this thing!

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I have been on a quest for the perfect planner as have a lot of you, I know. Sandy from Quilting For The Rest of Us has been blogging about her quest as well. There are just so many planners – DayTimers, Day Runners, Passion Planner, Happy Planner, Quilter’s Planner, the list goes on. I decided to go back to what I used when I had my first job out of college with Marriott. We all received beautiful Franklin planners and had to take a class on using the Franklin system. I did very well with that system and though it’s pricey, I’m returning to it. I ordered the Franklin pages but I couldn’t find a binder I liked, so I ended up with a DayTimer binder. It is all due to arrive today! I can’t wait. I need a planner where I can list out work things, home things and use time blocking to stay on track. What type of planner do you all use?

And lastly, my girl is going to Junior Prom in April! After much searching and dress trying on…and I mean a lot of dress trying on…Lindsey said yes to this beautiful red dress! It’s going to be a fun year!

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Have a wonderful day today, everyone!

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Finding What Feels Right

It’s so cold here in MA! It’s the face stinging kind of cold that makes you feel like hunkering down indefinitely. On Saturday our town won the ‘snow derby’ by accumulating the most amount of snow in the state for this storm. We had a whopping 19.5″ and this is what my backyard looked like. We always guess the amount of snow based on how high it’s piled on the patio table!

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On Sunday, the roads were clear but I didn’t have to be anywhere so I put Judi Madsen’s dvd in the player and watched her quilt for two mesmerizing hours. Quilting Makes A Difference is the name of the dvd and it is part of the AQS Iquilt series.

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This video was amazing to me because it made me realize it is ok to mark your quilt, it’s ok to take a long time preparing the quilt to go on the long arm, and it’s ok to take all the time you can to make sure the quilt looks good. In a hurry-hurry world, this gave me permission to take it slow. Thank you, Judi Madsen! I love the way she marks her quilt with a ruler and disappearing ink. She is meticulous and it just tickles me to see it.

Coincidentally on Saturday, I put a practice cloth on the long arm and pulled out the two rulers I own. Nothing I did felt particularly good but it was practice. I did a few clam shells and other things but now I can’t wait to mark up a cloth and try it Judi’s way. Here are a few pictures of my practice session.

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I ordered Judi’s book and it will be here on Wednesday and I’m practically giddy about it! I also tried ordering her ruler but it’s out of stock at the moment. I’ll keep trying back though.

 

So let’s talk about that hexagon calendar…I bought the perpetual hexagon calendar and felt I could handle one hexagon a week instead of one a day. Well…I did all the work for the first one as I talked about in the last blog post. This is the one I was prepping for…

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On Saturday when I was hunkered down, I began stitching the teensy tinesy pieces together and guess what? I didn’t enjoy one minute of it. Not one. I got this far…

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And now I’ve quit. I just didn’t find it satisfying in any way. I do enjoy regular hexagons that I’ve gotten so used to, it’s mindless work. I guess at the end of the day, mindless is what I want and need. I felt terrible guilt over it for a few minutes then I thought to myself that it was silly to continue to say yes to this project when it didn’t make me happy. Saying yes to this would mean saying no to things I do really like to do at night or in the car or on a plane. So the calendar will remain just that, a calendar. I like to flip the pages each day and see beautiful work and I can smile to myself that I don’t have to replicate that work.

How about you? Have you ever given up on a project and then felt guilty about it? How did you handle the feeling?

Sandi

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