Friday, 21 June 2013

Do something scary - Meet your objectives

Twenty five years I worked for a major corporation where objectives were established and regular evaluations measured my performance. Objectives were usually clear, concise and achievable even if they were a stretch.  Now that I'm closing on three months of retirement I'm considering my next evaluation.  What were my retirement objectives? Have I achieved?

When I mentioned my concerns about setting and achieving my retirement goals to my daughter she said "If you want to know if you're making the most of your time and achieving your goals ask yourself 'What have you done that's scary'?"

Hmmm.....interesting. I thought about it and I realized I'd done lots of scary things since I retired, actually retiring was first on the list!

Let's see:

Retirement objectives: Start an online quilting business and work at it full time. Complete my nine UFO's (unfinished objects!)


I opened an Etsy shop. Scary: lots of techie stuff to learn. Then I actually made my first sale after 2 weeks! I can't say I'm working at it full time but I do several hours a day.

I joined a quilt guild. Scary, not good at groups, shy meeting new people, Everyone was wonderful, nothing to be scared of.

At the insistence of my new guild friends I entered a quilt in a show for the very first time. Very scary! I won a Viewers Choice Award at my very first show! What was I scared of exactly?

I started this blog, writing about all of the above. Scary, would I have something interesting to say? Would anyone want to read what I write?

I started a Facebook page for my business: Not too scary after all that other techie stuff.

Last but not least, I completed a dozen cat quilts, 2 table runners (one of them was a UFO), and made progress on a full size quilt (another UFO) - only a little left to do on that one!

Only a few days to go until my evaluation.....I hope it goes well! Maybe I'll give myself a raise! What do you think?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

UFO # 2

Seems I'm always on a cat theme. One of my objectives for retirement was to finish up all those UFO's clogging my storage cabinets. This is what I managed to get done this week:

I started this quilt top several years ago for another cat lover in the family. (Shhh, it's a secret)

Got to this point and decided that maybe the colours were too dark. Then it got added to the UFO pile.

Took it out last week and thought it looked pretty good. Maybe the colours are in style now!All that was left to do was add the pieced borders. Easier said than done. What is it with pieced borders. They never fit on the first try! Only 75 more to make and string together, then attach to quilt. Easy Peasy!

Corner blocks: pattern called for plain squares, hmmm.....that won't do. Lets make it more complicated. Add an appliqué fence post. No problem. Love the blanket stitch on my Bernina.

Okay, borders fitted and attached. Time to piece the backing and pin baste the quilt "sandwich". 84 x 98 inches. Do I have a work surface that big? Does anyone?

Time for hubby help. Two folding tables, clamped together, plus the dining table, plus hubby's extra long arms. That should do it.

Take 1: tape backing to table #1, layer on batting, add quilt top. And, pray! Smooth, pat, pin, hope. Moment of truth: turn over and check. Oh God, pleats. Remove pins, remove top, remove batting. start again.

Take 2: Start over at beginning. Use basting spray. There's not much but it should help.

Success! At least it seems to have worked. Time to try quilting and see what happens. A few straight rows first in one direction and then the other. It's working!

Ok, all the horizontal and vertical rows are done and no pleats or folds. Yay! Now for the free motion quilting: A flower on each cat? Or a heart? Or both? Hearts and Flowers? What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions.

Oh, I bet you noticed that this blog was named UFO #2. Wondering what happened to UFO#1?

Here it is. Finished Chicken table runner!