September ALYoF project

ALYOF logoLast year in August I made a special trip down to Invercargill – w-a-y down south – to help a special friend celebrate her 90th birthday, for which I made her a batik jelly roll quilt.  This year when I rang her on her 91st birthday, I was delighted when she asked if I could make a second, similar quilt for the other bed in her room, as a companion to the first one which she has on her bed.  I’ve decided to make this my September ALYoF project, albeit with a shortened timeframe as I’ll be away for the last 10 days of the month, meaning my deadline is necessarily brought forward.

I’m backing it with a sort of minky fleece, making it soft and cuddly, and it’ll be tied rather than quilted, to match the first one.  Just got it basted together this afternoon, so now I’m ready to start tying it, before adding a label and then binding to finish it.  Easy-peasy!  (I hope! 🙂 )

DSCF7923 cropped  DSCF7933 cropped

 

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What a difference a day makes …

… Twenty-four little hours …  (Are you all singing along yet? 🙂 )

The day that has made a difference for me lately is Friday.  Every Friday.  You see, at the beginning of July I moved onto a four-day working week, in preparation for … RETIREMENT. NEXT YEAR.  What???!!!  I can’t be that old just yet, surely …??  Yup.  Gulp!

Anyway, I thought I’d try easing into it gradually, rather than moving from go to whoa in one fell swoop.  Given how much I’ve always enjoyed a 3-day or occasional 4-day holiday weekend, I tossed up between having Mondays off, or Fridays off, and Fridays won out.  And I have to tell you,  I’M LOVING IT!!!! 🙂 🙂  By about 3 o’clock on Thursday afternoons I’m starting to smile in anticipation – and I love it when people leave the office at the end of Thursday and say, “See you tomorrow”  and I gleefully reply, “Nope, not me you won’t!”  (It makes some of them quite cross!)

What I find really strange is how long my Fridays seem now, and how much I can do in that one extra day off:  lots more quilting, lots more reading, lots more napping … 🙂  I’ve enjoyed a couple of long lie-ins, curled up on the Lazy Boy with a good book and read all day, moseyed into town to have lunch with friends, pottered around several fabric shops, taken the cat to the vet, watched the US Tennis Open – oh, all sorts of random, ordinary things that I would normally have to squeeze into a lunch hour or do after work or fit into my precious two days off over a weekend:  now I can have my cake and eat it too, if you get my drift, because no matter how much or how little I do on a Friday, there’s always Saturday and Sunday waiting in the wings as well!  So Fridays have sort of become “it’s all about me” days, when I relax and chill out and do whatever takes my fancy – and if my fancy is to do nothing much at all, well, that’s absolutely fine 🙂

So, about all that ‘lots more quilting’ I mentioned …  I have to confess that in the last couple of months I have relapsed into the bad habit of starting lots of quilts, getting them to the stage of a finished top, and then moving on to start another one, instead of finishing off the first one.  I decided not to nominate a project to be finished in August for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), the online challenge which I’ve been doing this year, and that was a mistake, because it meant my focus and commitment strayed and I ended up starting five new quilts instead of finishing off one 😦  However, one good thing that did happen was that I was selected as one of the winners in the July ALYoF finished projects draw, and was lucky enough to win a US$15 voucher from the Fat Quarter Shop (woohoo!).  I’ve never bought anything from them before, so I quickly got onto their website and found a bargain offer of 12 fat quarters for US$19.95, so my voucher almost covered all of that and I only had to pay for the postage:  good deal!

Fat quarters

(I know the more observant among you will quickly have noticed that there are only 11 fat quarters in this photo, and not 12 …  And that’s because one of them has already been snaffled for the latest project!  It was a rather nice purple paisley … 🙂 )

 

 

And that was followed a week or so ago by a special offer of 20% discount from my very favourite online fabric store, Hancock’s of Paducah, to say thank you for being such a good customer – how could I resist such blatant flattery?  You’re right, I couldn’t!  So now I need to get back on track and select an ALYoF project to get finished in September – and it’ll have to be something I can get done before 20 September, as I’m heading across the ditch (sorry, local lingo:  across the ditch = Australia) for a month’s holiday, and I do not intend to take a quilt with me to finish over there!  I shall decide which project later today and let you know.

In the meantime, I’d better get back to the sewing machine and get on with the latest project – a disappearing 9-patch:  I’d never done one before, and now I’m on my fourth one in a row – I just love the way you can turn an ordinary old 9-patch block into something exciting and entirely different!  And it’s also a good way of using up some of my scraps, which have been quietly multiplying of late …

Hope your Friday is going as well as mine is! 🙂