I am more focused this month!

Giving myself a deadline is definitely a good move for me.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been working on the Shelbie quilts and nothing else. Now the deadline is looming and I realise I will not get them all done by the date I set myself. That’s OK, as I will have completed at least 3 by then and hopefully started on the last 2! For the last three, I have decided to use the quilt as you go method as 1. It’s easier to manoeuvre a block than a large quilt through the throat of my machine and 2. if I decide to use templates for quilting, they are easier to use on one block. Once mid-April comes, I will give the Shelbie quilts a break (I am assuming I will still be doing them) as I have another charity quilt I have committed to that needs to be finished Mid May.

I started the month off doing Zentangles but realised that it took away valuable time from quilting. I will be back doing them as I know they help my creative progress, stinted by my obsession with reading or watching anything to do with politics or world affairs. I particularly like the top three in this gallery block!

I barely started the #the100dayproject, but once my commitment to quilting has eased up, I will restart it to finish the sketchbook by the end of the year. I have a clearer idea of what I want to do now, making it a better challenge and they will relate to all my creative outlets, not just painting! My last piece was associated with the current Ukraine crisis and, to be honest, seemed a bit pointless when millions of people’s lives are being destroyed. Unfortunately, the one war that is being totally ignored is the one in Yemen. From what I can tell, it is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the poor population of Yemen stuck in the middle, suffering the most (dirt poor, back to the dark ages poor🀬). It’s all too much for my brain to comprehend, and I cannot do justice to either conflict with my rather feeble attempts through art, so I won’t be doing anymore.

That about sums up the last 5 weeks. Next month will be even more different, no doubt. A good chunk of my time (2 afternoons) during the week is taken up by trips to the Swim Center in Cedar Park, where my granddaughter trains. I love it as it takes me back to my days with my kids, who all swam when we lived in Scotland. This is the last week my husband is a WFH worker after 2 long years. I will miss the regularity his schedule has given me for the past 2 yrs. I will miss his company at lunchtime and just popping into his office for a chat if he wasn’t busy with a meeting (which he has endlessly!) Fortunately, he will not have to go in full-time. He will be one of those lucky workers who can choose to WFH for 2 days a week. It will be a nice easement into retirement in a couple of years.

My brain is in overdrive!

My brain is all over the place. I need to focus on one thing, but that seems impossible.

I have continued with the Zentangles; these seem to keep me calm and focused even though my desk where I do them is constantly a mess. My whole art room is a mess at the moment. When isn’t it?

I have also started Shelbie’s T-shirt quilts, and I plan to do 5 in total. They will be wall-hangings (about 50″ x 50″) for her Mum to give to close family in memory of Shelbie. They are not that difficult to make (so far) but time-consuming as the t-shirts have to be cut up, and then interfacing has to be ironed on to stabilise the fabric. The panels are all different sizes, so I am using the remnants of the cut-up t-shirts to make the blocks the same height in each row. I have finished one quilt top and I should finish the 2nd one tomorrow. I have not thought about how to quilt them yet, but I should start to plan. I am going to quilt one as I make another quilt top. I aim to finish them by the end of March, so I have about 6 weeks to do all 5 quilts. Phew!

t-shirt quilts

I was looking at some posts on Instagram and I saw something called #the100dayproject. So, much as I enjoy the Zentangles, I am basically copying someone else’s work. With the t-shirt quilts plus the zentangles, I felt I wasn’t really being that creative. I have a large sketchbook I purchased for the Susan Shie workshop and apart from a couple additional sketches, it has been largely abandoned. So, in my weird wisdom, I thought this looked like something I could do and challenge myself to keep up a regular drawing/painting schedule. I always feel bad that I don’t use my sketchbooks. I have a ton of them! Plus, I have a lot of supplies that need to be used. Already I have discovered that leaving your gouache paints for months is not a great idea as they just dry up in their tubes. I solved that problem simply enough by cutting open them with a craft knife and using them like pan paints. I haven’t started off well. Today would be day 7 and I have done 3 with the 4th in progress. I will catch up! Changing bad habits doesn’t happen overnight, as I keep telling myself to stop beating myself up about not doing it.

Then there are 2 other things pulling me in different directions. First, last night I attended our quilt guild meeting and I signed up for their annual charity quilt project with the Linus connection. They had been given hundreds of Batik samples and they want 35 quilts which are given to children in crisis within Central Texas. They have to be completed, pieced and quilted by the middle of May. I already have ideas of how I am going to do mine.

Lastly, I have a friend who is a fantastic sewist. She has been making bags, pouches and wallets for the last year or so. One particular wallet she made using her circuit cutting machine. This got me thinking that is precisely the sort of thing I should try on my Brother Scan n Cut. I don’t plan to do it in the next month or so, but it is on my increasing list of things to do this year. I might even make a bag!