Monday, August 25, 2014

Ending of Summer

Hard to believe it is nearly the end of 'official' summer. The temperatures will remain warm for a while, around here, but Labor day is just around the corner.  Schools have started, colleges are also back in session. Summer canning and freezing of the garden produce is in full swing, or already over. And all those quilts we wanted to be working on all summer....... are still waiting. 

As for me.... I've been busy quilting after a few weeks of being slowed down. I'm back in the swing of it (although I am taking this week away from any major quilting as we have a family reunion to prep for).  Customer quilts are again in a short pile, other quilts to be pieced are waiting to be touched, and while one is already loaded onto the longarm, another 3 are waiting in line and a 4th is waiting for me to make the backing. 

I hope you all have had a great summer doing what you love to do. I know many take time away from quilting to spend time with family, in the garden, at the shore, at the lake, traveling and just taking a quilting break.  Now it's time to get back into quilting.  Summer is ending and last I heard Christmas is only 18 Fridays away!  YIKES!  

I will leave you with this thought. Take a deep breath; survey your stash; make you Christmas list of gifts you want to make; pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy creating!  

Have a great end of summer week !

Til next time....
Keep those needles stitching. 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Month Off

Yes, somehow I managed to take a month off..... from here. My plan was to take the month off from quilting for customers, and do some of my own quilting.  But, the customers kept coming, and I couldn't turn them away! 
I did take a break from a few other things, such as my blog (so sorry) and took some time to do some local traveling. 
DH and I went to Roan Mtn. TN, for the Rhododendron Festival. The blossoms were about gone, but the views were wonderful as always. 
We also went for a short overnight trip to Gatlinburg, TN and enjoyed just getting away and relaxing. 

We all need to do that from time to time. 
This summer I hope you all get a chance to take some time to: forget all your worries; don't fret over deadlines or requests coming in for quilts to make; or stressing over what you are going to make for everyone for birthdays and Christmas.  

Take time to enjoy summer. 

4th of July is rushing in around us. The fireworks are already going off in the neighborhood, and people are planning picnics, family time, parades, and other summer activities.  Go out over this holiday and enjoy yourselves. Everything else will wait. 

I am also going to take this opportunity to share the thoughts of a fellow quilting/crafts friend who recently lost her husband unexpectedly: paraphrasing

 Cherish each moment you have 
with those you love. 

Signing off 
Til next time.... 
keep your creativity flowing. 



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

So Much, So Little

So much to do, so little time to do it. 
So much to say, so little time to say it.
So much fabric, so little time to use it.
So much time...... nope,not usually.

View from our deck May 2014

Many of you who read this are quilters, some are not. For those that are, you know what I mean with so much/so little. For those that have other hobbies and things you like to do in your 'spare' time that in return gives you less 'spare' time you also understand. 

There are times in our lives when what we do for fun, turns into being very time consuming. For those that turn that fun hobby into a business it becomes very time consuming. 

At times that business then isn't fun any more. (not in my case- I still love what I do!) We've all heard that work isn't work if it's fun!  How true!  

For those who have started a business that now isn't as much fun as it was when you started it, take a break. Take a deep breath and look over what you are doing and why. Time for a vacation? Just a few days off?  Have you forgotten to take a look outside and enjoy the blessings and beauty around you? It doesn't matter if you life in the country, city, or back in the woods, there is beauty and blessings to be seen. Enjoy them.

And then there are those folks who get bored. A friend of mine and I don't understand that concept. As creative people even if we are not working, quilting, designing, organizing, shopping for fabric and supplies, we are dreaming of our next project or admiring other's work. We have things to do, places to be and quilts to quilt. 

This is the time of year when the kids are out or soon will be getting out of school. For the first week or two they will be excited, they will find lots to do, friends to hang out with, places to go. Then they will get 'bored'.  As much as they may say they don't like school it seems when they are out of school with nothing planned to do they get bored. Now is a great time to introduce them to a hobby (depending on their age as to what it will be). Find out what they like to do. Quilting, drawing, photography, painting, helping others, horseback riding, swimming, acting... the list goes on.  Get them involved with it beyond just something to do for a few hours. Get them involved so they have a task to do with it each day. Teach them the responsibility of it and the discipline of being on time, taking care of things, sharing with others.  By learning what they like to do, cultivating it into something important for them.... you never know where it could lead them in the future. 

Yes, there is a time when you get so busy you forget to rest, there is also a time when you rest so much you get bored. And there is also a time when you are so busy you continue to find other things to do so you don't dare get bored. 

I do stay busy. I add things to my to do list all the time.  And for fun?????? I quilt, create, and take photos of life around me. And once in a while - I sit and do nothing.....just before I fall asleep sitting there. People wonder how you have time to get it all done.... that's when I tell people that "sleep is overrated." Just kidding of course.

Enjoy your time. Your work time, your hobby time, your family time, your down time, your 'do nothing' time. 

Til next time ---- 
AJ smelling the Iris
 Stop and smell the flowers.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there. 

I know the day is just about over, but like many of you, my day has been a busy one. 

Full of 'Mothering' things. Laundry, paying bills, and work.  BUT it was interrupted by a visit from my daughter, her husband and little AJ (who is getting bigger and bigger every day). They had made chocolate covered strawberries for me (and other moms). They are soooo good! 

I also got a phone call from my son, which is special as well since he lives so far away. He is also still in the Army so we don't see much of him. 

I'm so proud of both my kids. They each have had struggles, as everyone does. They have been through a lot as kids and as adults. Ours is a long story, but in the end we have survived and I am blessed by their love. 

Our lives get so busy most of the time. The days turn into weeks, into months and then into years. As Mom's we are busy raising our families and hoping the kids all turn out o.k. Then, we turn around and the kids are grown, out of the house, on their own with kids of their own. We look at them, when they don't realize it and smile ------ yep, we've done o.k.

Our one day a year when they acknowledge Mother's Day, is surrounded by all the other days of the year we function in Mom mode. And, yes it's true, no matter how old we or they get, they will always be our little boys or little girls. 

Also on this day, I'm missing my own Mom who passed away in 1990. She was the inspiration to my sewing and now quilting. She was a very special person. I wish she was still around so I could share with her my life as it is now. I think it would make her happy. 

And so, as this day comes to a close, I again wish you a Happy Mother's Day. May you find time each day of the year to look at your children, or your own mother and smile over a special memory, a fond moment, or just in the overall joy of motherhood. 

Til next time...... 



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Walking for a Good Cause

AJ on his birth day
AJ just shy of 20 months!
On May 4th my daughter, Katrina, will be walking in the March of Dimes Walkathon here locally.   She is trying to raise money to reach her goal that will help the organization in research to help other preemie babies and their mommies. 

Her son, the AJ I talk about from time to time, pictured above, was a preemie and is doing remarkably well at 20 months old.  

Research has come a long way but more needs to be done to help babies and their mommies go to full term and be healthy.  
If you can and if you will please follow this link to donate to her team.  Any amount will help.

If you can't donate that is fine, I just ask that you keep them all in your thoughts and prayers as they walk for such a good cause. 

Thanks again to all my readers.

Til next time -

 Tiny fingers and tiny toes
Tiny quilts, tiny clothes.
Watching each breath they breath
Watching they grow and achieve.
Little babies growing up
Learning, caring, loving.
Wrapped around our hearts - always.

written by Phyllis Dewey



Friday, April 18, 2014

Time Management

Glass etching by Phyllis Dewey

Here I sit with a list of things to get done by next Wednesday. I've already crossed off the things I needed to get done by this weekend.....well, almost. 

We all tend to get busy. At times it feels like we get TOO busy. We find ourselves with way to many things going on at the same time. Multiple places to be at the same time. Multiple things to do over the same time frame. Demands from others for our time. And things we want to get done for ourselves.

We have families, we have jobs, we are members of organizations, we belong to quilt guilds, we attend church, we attend school functions, we attend or give parties. 

We take care of our homes (some have spouses and others to help with that, others don't). We cook, clean, do laundry, get our vehicles repaired, we garden or take care of our yards/land. We pay bills, do paperwork. We have deadlines we meet.  We have pets to take care of and love. We take care of loved ones, and ourselves. We get hair cuts, get our nails done (or not).

We spend time on the internet. (and I thank you for taking time to read my blog). 

And --- we quilt, we create, we have hobbies. 

Once in a while ---- we take time to breath!  

While I'm winding down after a busy week and face a busy weekend, yes, even with it being Easter weekend, I realize I need to take time to breath. And I will.....right after I go get the clothes out of the dryer, fold the towels,finish an ornament, pay some bills, finish writing this blog entry, while drinking another cup of coffee. 

Welcome to my real time management:

I set deadlines, make a list of things that need to get done and do my best to stay organized in my mind as well as my desk, my orders, and my work production. 

I get up at the same (or close to the same) time each day whether I'm working in my quilt studio or my other job. I go to bed at the same time each night. I work best with less than 8 hours sleep, and generally get 6 or 6 1/2 a night. Once in a while I sleep in later. 

No matter what you have on your plate, what you have to get done, what you want to get done and what other obstacles may be in your way take a deep breath from time to time. Take a few minutes in the middle of it all and take a break even if it is a few minutes. 

Set your goals. Be realistic. If you have a business let your customers know the time frame when their job will be done. Estimate it for longer than you think it will actually take. It is better to get things done ahead of time and impress your customer than have to contact them and apologize for being late. 

Set time aside each day for yourself. It may only be a few minutes, or an hour. If you don't take some time out you will get burned out. As quilters we are always looking at the next quilt we want to make, the next line of fabrics we 'need' to have, the next step in the quilt learning curve, the next class to take, the next show to attend, the next technique to learn. We also find ourselves burned out and at an end of our enthusiasm for quilting. We ask other quilters how to get our creativity back. We fear we will have lost our desire to quilt. We may even panic. 

Don't panic. Take a break. You may need more than an hour, you may need a few weeks, or a year. Try new things. Enjoy what you do, whatever it may be. Don't make your hobby that you love, something that you dread needing to do. 

Relax. Accept the things that life throws at you. Count your blessings. Put everything in prospective. List them in order that they need to be taken care of. If life gets too busy and you can't quilt, or work on other hobbies that you have, for the amount of time you would like to, take just a few minutes to work on it. By taking just a few minutes to craft (quilt, crochet, knit, paint etc) you will be less stressed. I've talked with many people who seem anxious and on edge because they don't have time to quilt at this time in their lives. I feel the same way after just a few days. But I have found that by just spending even 30 minutes at it I'm o.k. I can get back to what I need to take care of. 

I may have rambled a bit here. If I have, sorry. I may read this and delete it later who knows. For now... I still have clothes in the dryer, an ornament sitting here waiting on me, a cold cup of coffee and  the only sense of accomplishment.... the rambling of words I've just composed. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend. May you have time to spend with family, take time to relax, and remember what Easter is all about. 

God bless you all and thank you for being here to read what I write from time to time. I hope you enjoy it. 

Til next time...
take time to relax, 
to breath, 
and to quilt. 



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Welcome to April

Quilts by Phyllis

Good morning and welcome to April! 

Temperatures have become warmer, grass is turning green, buds and tiny leaves are blooming on the early trees and plants. Flowers are growing and blossoming!  Spring is in the air --- along with a few rain showers. 

Many people slow down in their quilt making at certain times of year, starting in Spring and into Summer. Other things take the place of #1 importance and quilts get put away. And then we begin the feelings of withdrawal!  It's a true emotion felt when we separate ourselves from something we love. Don't let this happen to you this year! 

Set a time aside each week to quilt. Since there are many phases to making a quilt you can deal with the withdrawal in many ways. Go fabric shopping! Stitch just a seam or two on a single block. Cut out pieces for a quilt...... even a little at a time. Design your next quilt. Attend quilt shows. Reorganize a room or area in your home for quilting. Buy containers to hold your fabric. Make or buy a quilt hanger to display your favorite quilt. Stay up with quilt blogs or forums just to stay in touch with other quilters. When you travel, stop in a quilt shop. Take a quilting class. Read a book related to quilting or quilts. There are a few novels out there to help with that. Read quilting magazines. And, as comes so natural for quilters to do, talk about quilts and quilting with those you meet. Share your love of quilting with others. 

I don't have time NOT to quilt. Orders are coming in and I'm booking into the summer ! Love it!  I will take some time this summer for ME. I promise. Of course ME time will still be quilting, but it's on personal quilts that a long overdue.   I deal with deadlines with my customers, so have set deadlines for my own quilts as well. (well, unless something comes up). 

Classes to plan as well....never a dull moment. 

May your day be special today, may you not be hit by April Fool's jokes or if you are may they be fun and silly. 

Til next time---- 
Keep those needles stitching, your creativity flowing and your imagination wide open.