Greetings! This past week has been very busy! On the 10th I attended a retirement party for 2 people I worked with closely for over 20 years. It was great to see a lot of the folks I enjoyed working with day to day for many years. As I’ve probably said before, since my own retirement almost 2 years ago (!!!), I miss socializing with the people I used to see every day, but I don’t miss the work itself! Earlier last week I came across this quote, which I think was on the “Brain Pickings” web site (which is great):
“We know of individuals who are – or have been – spontaneous, whose thinking, feeling, and acting were the expression of their selves and not of an automaton. These individuals are mostly known to us as artists. The artist can be defined as an individual who can express him(her)self spontaneously.”
That started me thinking about “spontaneity” and I realized that retirement has allowed me to be a lot more spontaneous in my actions. This is a major gift of being retired! Not having to be at the work place all day, not having to follow a schedule so rigidly allows for many more spontaneous actions. It’s wonderful!!! I’m grateful!!! I believe it’s been good for me artistically.
On the 11th I participated in the annual music group concert, playing a set of pieces with the rest of my “band.” We decided to rename ourselves “Tutto Bene” i.e. “it’s all good”!! We used to be “Quatro Formaggi” but sometimes there are more than 4 of us playing together so this new name was suggested and we embraced it! I spent a lot of time with “Diana” (my Accordiana accordion) in the weeks leading up to the concert:
All my practice paid off and it was a fun concert. I’m so lucky to have music in my life and to be able to play music with others!!!
Over the Mother’s Day weekend, I attended my granddaughter’s annual dance recital. I love dance recitals! My daughter took ballet lessons for years and I loved all the practices and shows. Here are my lovely daughter and granddaughter before the performance:
And after the recital with my grandson who had come straight to the show from a soccer game:
Then to top off the sequence of events, yesterday was my 41st wedding anniversary!!! And would you believe that Al suggested we drive up to Keepsake Quilting so I could shop and then we’d have lunch afterward? He’s so supportive of my quilting!!! It was a gorgeous day, the drive there is beautiful along Lake Winnepesaukee, and we got to enjoy the wonderful spring green colors along the drive:
I splurged on these fabrics to supplement the ones I already have for the new project:
I dug out the Quilters Newsletter magazine that had the cover quilt I mentioned in my last post, which is an updated version of the antique quilt I showed:
Then it hit me – this is not the block I want to make!!! This is not the block I showed you from Jinny Beyer’s and Barbara Brackman’s books!
Look at the block on the left and compare to the one on the right:
I finally saw that the geese sections of the block on the left go to the corners diagonally whereas the geese sections of the blocks in the quilt on the right bisect the sides. Duh!!!!
I decided I don’t want to remake the same quilt and decided to challenge myself to make blocks with the geese going from corner to corner. I want 4 geese, not 3 and I found this block in Jinny’s book:
It’s a 10×10 grid and it took me a while to decide how to draft and make it. I ended up deciding the easiest way was to make the geese 3 inches across the bottom and 1 1/2 inches tall and then make the rest of the block fit. I finally got all the measurements figured out and the block is 11 inches unsewn, 10 1/2 inches finished. And here’s the first block!!!:
I love the colors and am really excited to make more blocks. The plan now is for these to be set on point alternating with appliqué blocks on a pretty light green fabric. Stay tuned!…..
Meanwhile, I continue to clean!!!! My main fabric closet in in wonderful shape right now. The top of the cupboard was jammed with “stuff” and now houses nicely organized plastic tubs of fabric that I didn’t want to give away (I’m giving away plenty!!) but am less likely to use for now:
There are no more tubs of fabric all over the floors in my sewing room!
The closet in my sewing room is cleared of all “stuff” I don’t need anymore and nicely organized with still some space to spare:
I’ve gone through almost all my magazines, e.g.:
And saved only all my Quilter’s Newsletters:
and all my Quiltmanias and Japanese quilting magazines:
These 3 magazines have lots of pictures and projects worth saving and revisiting from time to time for inspiration. I don’t see getting rid of them until I’m forced to downsize and leave the house.
Stuff I’ve gotten rid of:
Class samples that I don’t need anymore and don’t want to make into a finished object
Projects that I don’t want to spend time finishing (mercifully few)
Templates (for an untold number of appliqué projects over the years!)
Duplicates of notions
Judging sheets (from shows/competitions I’ve entered)
Old show programs – why did I save these????
Show ribbons – saved only the really special ones; decided I didn’t need most of the ones from my local guild shows
Left over pieces of batting!
Bags!!! I attended numerous medical conferences over the years and often was given a bag. I have had a serious bag and container problem! Am getting rid of most.
Patterns that I know I’ll never use (luckily I didn’t buy too many because I like to design my own things)
Magazines (tore out articles or patterns I might use and kept these to a minimum)
Fabric that I no longer like or am not likely to use
Still to do: Books, though I don’t see getting rid of too many of those until I move.
I even washed my curtains!!! I feel so good having done all this cleaning. I now know 1) what I have, 2) where things are, and 3) have a clearer sense of what I want to do in the future.
The frightening thing is that I realize I need to do this with every drawer and cupboard in the house in addition to the garage and attic!!!!!!!!!! What I’ve done with my sewing spaces should be just the beginning of this type of cleaning and getting rid of stuff!!! We’ll see if I can maintain this as the weather gets warmer and the outdoors beckons…..
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi