Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Practice Penny Managing

While I could use another pat phrase - all's well that ends well - to describe what's come about, I'm not real fond of that one either. All is not well, the same questions are swirling, but what is, is and there's been some interesting coincidences and timing.

When I booked the hotel rooms for the workshops, the accommodation was supposed to be 100% refundable but you wonder if when you cancel it, will there be issues. No. The refund showed immediately on my credit card. The workshops were refundable except for the $100 per course deposit. The school refunded two of the three deposits which they did not have to do. And...

... about an hour after sending an email to a friend saying that I totally understood why she needed to cancel a shopping trip, my husband received an email saying that the union had served the company strike notice. It doesn't come into play until after the scheduled mediation end of the month but if mediation is not effective, we could be on strike. It's good to have notice, to pay attention, to practice penny managing, and to continue using what I have.

My original intent was to use red thread to applique the letters as I showed in yesterday's posting with the sample of stitch widths and lengths but I found the red was too strong and created an additional element that overshadowed the letters. Can't have that. It took a long time to stitch those letters. Grey worked much better.

After the letters were appliqued, I stitched down the spine of each signature to hold the pages together, trimmed to size, and then stitched around the outside edges at 1/4" and zigzagged over the edges with a medium width and length.

The cover is two of the original strip-pieced blocks joined with a rectangle of the current calico I bought to put the play quilt together. It was the only fabric I could find with a thirty-year-old feel that went with the other fabrics. I'll use it to bind the outside edges of the cover as well.

I'd bought a meter of the calico and used part of it for sashing on the play quilt and part for binding leaving me with triangle shapes. To get enough backing for the quilted cover, I pieced one end BUT... I didn't have to buy any more. LOL - this is good. I find that once you embrace a goal such as use what I have, it becomes a challenge... and I get competitive... and I want to do well... even against myself. It allows for growth in so many ways.

While placing the letters, I thought about how differently - how less fearfully - I am working with these blocks now. The original quilt was only the third that I'd ever made. Random was a fearful concept back then. Twenty-seven years makes a significant difference.

I've never made a book like this but I know it'll be a lovely one. Arranging the letters, I knew the pages would have to be trimmed to size after the letters were stitched on which would alter the placement somewhat BUT... I couldn't control the final outcome and it didn't matter. At one time, it would have been a big issue. Now, I made my best decision with what was in front of me. My grandchildren won't be measuring letter placement; they'll be enjoying the bears.

I free form cut the letters, estimating the edges, without measuring or drawing the shape, and I didn't worry about getting it right. I could make it work. And then, I fused the letters. They're permanent. I can't change my mind if I get it "wrong" and that didn't worry me. I didn't even think about being wrong. I thought about the best creative answer for the step I was on.

I'm almost done.

Twenty-seven years ago, this book would have been a HUGE project, taking at least a week, if not longer. Now, it could have been done in one good day, two at best and I've spread it over three by choice. It's good to reflect on and to celebrate our growing confidence and skill set.

Thank you so much for all the comments yesterday. They gave me a lot to think about. Barb wrote : my pat phrase that I hold on to is that God must want me to be here, because He hasn't told me to be anywhere else yet. Yes. That seems true for me as well because every time I attempt to venture in a different direction, the answer comes back no and whatever I'm attempting to do doesn't work out for one reason or another.

My current study is called The Naked Gospel and talks about how so many Christians are miserable because they're living under some churchy combination of the old testament laws mixed with the new testament commandment of Jesus + Nothing. No religiosity. No jargon. No legalism.

The section I read yesterday was about the Sabbath and about resting next to God. I mentioned a while ago that I felt I was in a fallowing stage. Apparently, I don't fallow well. I keep popping up attempting to "grow" something when my "soil" isn't ready. It appears I'm meant to rest, ignore anything to do with "what's the point" and explore what I know and what's in front of me. That sounds too easy, too fun, too not making any money to be what I should be doing and even so all answers come back to this so... LOL ... it's something else to "challenge" me. I'm attempting to learn how to rest.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - so much helpful input. Thanks again.


  1. You sound like you're in a better "head-space" today. Still scary to be under strike notice. I'm a teacher and we had contract negotiations this past year. Hopefully the union and company will be wise and fair with each other - especially in this current economic climate. Fingers crossed!
    Your book looks terrific and it will be a beautiful gift for your grandson and future grand-children. Especially when it has been made from something made for your daughter. My grandmother was a Home Ec teacher as well (like I am), and an amazing knitter and sewer. But more a knitter. I've some beautiful sweaters that she made me - I don't often wear them, but will never part with them. One in particular she and my Mom made together, she knit the back and the sleeves, my Mom pieced and quilted the fronts. It's in black (knitting) and many small jewel toned colours. They made it for me when I first started teaching so that I would have something to wear in a cold classroom that "went" with everything. A beautiful gift and I will treasure it always.
    Keep resting - I guess! You and me both apparently and I agree - it is VERY hard to do. Even with good intentions, I manage to be busy a lot of the time.
    Have a good day

    1. LOL - it's always interesting how people interpret what you write. From a few of the comments, I realized that some readers thought I was really depressed, upset, angry or something along that line. It was more a urgh, here we go again, why can't I figure this out, familiar level of frustration kind of thing. Not desperate. Just really, did I need to take that detour again.

      How lovely to have that sweater. And it still fits. That amazes me. I'm one of those people with great weight fluctuations. Something I wore way back when doesn't have a hope.

      It is quite a job to rest. I imagine with practice we'll get better.

  2. A verse I remind myself oh so often to help me through life's struggles, Philippians 4:11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. RSV (I can always count on Paul.) Content, it's a good thing.

    1. Thanks for the verse. Content is a good thing although on some level isn't it true that it requires a lack of content to move us forward? I wonder how we balance that. Perhaps, it's partly the definition of content. How do you define it and how have you learned to be content?

  3. To me, contentment can often be found in the little things, even if I'm stressed or worried about something else. My own balancing act, I guess. Just a thought.

    Anyway, I mainly wanted to tell you that you're not alone in this cycling back/reworking/revisiting things. I've been through it, as have several friends of mine. I wonder if it's something about our 40s and 50s...?

    1. There are things that give me contentment but I often wonder about being content with the unknown. It's not nearly as easy - and probably everyone's balancing act.

      THANK YOU - it's nice to know that I am not along in this cycling. My age is definitely a factor when I'm (attempting) to figure things out and it seems that women my age are either settled or trying to figure out what's next.

  4. I'm not good at being content. Learning to be content is a work in progress. I'm learning to stand still and just wait to hear what God is telling me. It is frustrating because I'm not sure what direction I should be moving or what choices I should be making so standing still seems to be the logical choice. Faith tells me to hang in there but sometimes...... it is hard. Your conversations give me food for thought and reminds me that sometimes you need to stop and wait. Everything will work out because he always gives you what you need.

    1. I hear you. I'm learning to stand still too and it seems like such a non-answer when it's really THE answer. I'm learning to accept that. It is hard. How wonderful to be able to support and encourage each other though. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.