Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free Motion Quilting on the Farm

My free motion quilting adventure has taking me to the farm! I've been working on this quilt for far too long and it's time to "git 'er done" My client and friend (very understanding, patient, dear friend) wanted to gift another friend something with a farm theme, but not a cutesy quilt.

free motion quilting farm scene

How often do you get to quilt a chicken, a dog, and even a leaky water trough?


I quilted in some McTavishing to represent the water spilling out of the trough.

free motion quilting

I really enjoyed this overlapping flower design that I worked into several parts of the quilt. I think it would make a great overall design. It reminds me of a Baptist fan design, but with a flower.

free motion quilting

 This quilt is the biggest thing I hope to make for a while. I had told my friend that I wasn't going to make anything big for a while, but she really wanted a bed quilt. This is a bit of a compromise, 72x72inches. Big enough to lay out over a bed, but not entirely enough to sleep under.

free motion quilting farm scene

Now I need to mark and quilt the border. I really enjoyed this project, but I need some smaller projects so I can get the satisfaction of more completed tasks and projects to balance the frustrations of never ending dishes, laundry, etc.

I am feeling very spread thin trying to keep up with all the things I've got going on right now. I'm having a little trouble keeping up with my email and responding to comments, so please forgive me if I don't respond to every comment. I do read all of them and they help me keep writing this blog. I try to answer all the questions that I get in comments, so keep 'em coming!

So, now I've got a question for you: Do you have a special method that helps you schedule or keep up with a busy life? I need to tweak what I'm doing. (Homeschooling, working from home with blog, quilting, etc. Plus the typical appointments and to-do lists) I prefer a calendar on my wall and a huge dry erase board- both aren't very portable! But I'm afraid of going digital- wondering if it will be visual enough for me. Thoughts?

16 comments:

  1. Sorry Amy, can't help you there, but I do love my to do lists when I am feeling busy and make check off boxes so you can see when things are getting done. If at the end of the day though, you find not everything got done don't be hard on yourself just move it to the next day...some days are more productive than others!

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  2. the farm quilt looks great! Can't help you with the scheduling of a busy life - I'll be watching for what you find out, though!

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  3. I too have trouble organizing it all. I have tried going digital, but it is just "not me". I prefer paper to write on, so I have a large dayplanner. I use colour coding ( dots ) to indicate what needs to be done NOW or TOMORROW or LATER. ( like traffic lights) This system only works if I do not underestimate the time needed for tasks and If I keep using it even in weeks when it is not so busy. When a task is completed I black out the coloured dot.
    I created my own dayplanner as I could not find anything I liked in the shops here. I have had succes with a planner from the US that has two columns per day: the left was for work and I used the right for anything else. As I could not get my hands on one like this this year, I made my own in excell. I used a thicker paper for printing. Opening the dayplanner you see the whole week spread over the two pages. Anyway, this seems the best way for me. If you like to see pictures of what these dayplanners look like, please email me and I will send you some!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

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  4. I love the quilt Amy!! Organization... a manual timer so I don't get "lost" on silly stuff and a 3 x 5 card for each of home, work, creative, family, grocery, etc. I can carry them with me when I go to work and add/subtract. The white board is for my ideas/suggestions and the calendar is for appointments. :)
    I'm getting better with using the timer though I forget I have it.
    ~ Christina in Cleveland

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    1. There's something very attractive to me in this index card method! Tend to make lists on scrap paper, then lose them, but with index cards I could use a binder clip on them! I've tried notebooks and they tend to get left behind. I did realize that while I might not go completely digital, I could take a picture of my dry erase board (idea and project board) with my tablet and reference it!

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    2. Binder clips work for me too. I can also then "clip" any coupons, fabric to match, etc., I have so I don't forget them at home. :) I use treadlemusic's method of a small spiral notebook for tracking work/job things but it doesn't work for my un-work/job planning. Plus I can then leave the work stuff behind when I get home. I set the timer on computer/internet romping so I realize how much time I have spent. I really like your dry erase picture idea too so I am starting that tomorrow, thank you!

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  5. Life is busy, especially when there are kids involved. Speaking from experience I can confirm that they will grow up and move out into their own homes. And you will still be just as busy and you will still be thinking you aren't getting enough done! Just do what you can and don't sweat the rest of it! The world won't come to an end if something doesn't get done!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! Hubby is convinced I make it harder on myself by putting too many things on my to-do list.

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  6. BTW, your quilt is looking absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to see the border quilted.

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  7. Love the quilt. In regards to organizing. I had a daytimer before computers. I also homeschooled, ran a daycare, a homeschooling and a camp along with had foster care kids. It was my "life" I kept track of all appointments, activities, events, lists, doctor visits etc. Now I digital for the bigger items that require a lot of steps and for information away from home (Evernote is wonderful for organizing information). For those daily projects, I keep a list on a tile with dry erase marker. For more involved items the paperwork/email/list/note goes in a clear plastic sleeve (so I can see contents but also keep them all together. Those then get filed by day/month whatever is appropriate.

    Good luck, I am sure something will click with you.

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  8. I really love what you're doing with this quilt!

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  9. Your friend is going to love this quilt. The McTavishing that you learned worked out really well in this quilt. The dry erase board sounds best to me for organizing. I too am a visual person & need to "see" things.

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  10. Interestingly, I have a very "low tech" solution that has worked for me for 25+ years....I have a school sized spiral lined notebook that I leave on our kitchen table (the 'hub' of all home chaos/activities). The top page is the current day/date. I date the pages as necessary (some days require more than 1 page.....at least years ago this was true. I never tear the old/past pages out as these sometimes are needed for future reference. I jot down everything that is needed to get done that day.....morning, afternoon and evening (each page varies as the days are different!). For the bigger picture I do use a regular calendar but these notebooks have saved me cuz (when the kids were in school/away from home and I needed to pick them up or attend some activity/event) I can take the notebook with me. I know that most of my friends had "day planners" but these never gave me the flexibility and size I required. Just a thought........hugs.........

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  11. Lovely quilting!! And I commiserate on the balancing act. It's really tough with kids, and especially homeschooling. I'm a paper/colored marker list fan, I've never been able to keep up with digital. I also keep a traveling quilt kit with me at all times (my kids aren't homeschooled, so I typically spend some time each day waiting for them in the car). That way, even on days when I don't set foot in my studio, I know I at least sewed a couple of patches in "spare" moments. It's amazing how those little bits of stitching provide sanity, and add up quickly to completed projects.

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  12. Such a gorgeous quilt! Simple, stunning! I am still not used to digital appoitments, as I feel they get lost, if they are not displayed visually. On the other hand they will beep and warn you when your appoitment times are near. But, like you, I find something visual, like a wall calendar and a white board work best for me.

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  13. Love, love, love this quilt, Amy!! I can sympathize with your time issues. And I also have felt the same way you do about going digital. However, I have succombed to a smart phone that syncs automatically with my iPad and with my computer. All digital quilt patterns I download to the iPad. The screen is big enough to view the details (unlike the phone screen) and it is portable (unlike my desktop computer). But the best thing about my phone is that it is always with me so I always know where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. Adjusting to going digital was painful (and I am still not totally submitted to my phone: my phone calendar is only effective if I look at it!), but because of it I am no longer double-booking myself and I forget appointments much less often! I also like the Notes app on my phone where I can make shopping lists and lists of random-but-important details so they don't get lost.I highly recommend that you "bight the bullet" and get yourself a smart phone. Try it out in the store to find the one that fits you.

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