Friday, November 6, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 11/06

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Last week I mentioned that comments on my blog postings frequently refer to my free motion quilting practice. Perhaps the second most frequently commented on topic is about my habits. If you have been following my blog for a while, then you have probably picked up that I am up by 3 a.m., an avid exerciser, write a combination of morning pages and gratitude journal, and have specific days assigned to specific areas of my life. The fact that I adhere to these habits is described as disciplined by others. The advantage for me is not having to worry about what to do first (journal, of course) or what to do with my day (if it is Monday, I am in my studio.) It leaves my brain free for creative thought and problem solving. 

Deconstructed Sunrise #3
60" H x 40" W
All three suns are quilted and I have
started to quilt the sky.
Another habit that I have is to listen to audio books as I work in the studio or whenever I am doing things such as laundry, getting dressed, getting ready for bed, housework, etc. that allows me to listen and do the mindless activity. My local library provides audio books that I can download on my iPod, making the books free, portable as I go about my business and with my earbuds in, I can hear the book over the "roar" of my sewing machine. 

This week's audio book was "Better Than Before," by Gretchen Rubin. The topic - habits. :) Rubin looks at how they come to be, how difficult it is to develop new, good habits or break old, bad habits. What Rubin doesn't do is tell you what habits to have or even specifics about how to develop habits. However, she does strongly suggest that it helps to pair habits you want to keep and unlink those you want to drop. For example, if you hate to exercise but love spending time with friends, set up a time to walk with a friend. 

Detail from Deconstructed Sunrise #3
The thin white lines are water soluble thread. They will
disappear when I wash the quilt. On most systems if
you click on an image in my blog you will see
an enlargement of that image.  This is a good way to
see the free motion quilting in the sky.
Do you need to rigidly adhere to your good habits to maintain them? Yes, no, maybe so. I have made it a rule to work in my studio all day Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. This week I had three midday hour long conference calls scheduled for Tuesday. What should I do? I swapped Wednesday (attend to business) for Tuesday. It worked as you can see by the progress I made this week.

1)  Continue quilting Deconstructed Sunrise #3 (Due November 30, 2015) - Done!

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done! I am counting the work I did on Deconstructed Sunrise #3 as my FMQ.  

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 92.5/126

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

How will next week go? One thing I can count on is being in the studio on Monday morning to work on the following:
1)  Continue quilting Deconstructed Sunrise #3 (Due November 30, 2015)

2) Free motion quilting practice. 

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015

4) Perform a random act of kindness 

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. As always, I love your posts, Gwyned, and hope I am getting back into a flow where I read blogs more regularly. I do admire your discipline....I haven't reached a point yet where I can set definite days every week for specific activities. Instead I think I look at a week and plan time for each activity. Doesn't always work I admit but at least I know what my goals were.

  2. I am curious to know - do you go to bed early or just not need much sleep? I like Deconstructed Sunrise #3 a lot - lovely colours and I like they way they shift through the quilt.

  3. Deconstructed Sunrise #3 is a gorgeous piece!

  4. Now I see how you get so much done. I don't really schedule but am a creature of habit so when I think about I do the same things every week at the same basic time every week. For instance on my days off, I walk the dogs at the same time on the same day at the same place every week and so do others. There are a few of us 9 am dog walkers and we kind of get to know each other. Cool. I love the sunrise piece - beautiful work.

  5. A friend once stated emphatically that I was "the most organized person" she knew. I guess I've always been pretty organized -- had to be, to get anything done! Now that I don't have a 5-days-a-week job outside the house, and have no one to care for but myself and the cat, I prefer to think of myself as more flexible. In reality...I'm probably not! I work in a shop 2 Tues/Thurs each week, so try to devote M-W-F-S to mainly studio/SAQA time. That said, the definition of "studio/SAQA time" is pretty broad...and I often take a bit of time on one of those days to meet with a friend or to do some volunteering. Also those are the only days I have to take care of the house/ too get up early (4 or 5) most days, and go to bed early...I too write Morning Pages (most days) and jog at least 3 of my days off, varying the time of day to match daylight hours (very few streetlights out here). And Sunday I reserve for sabbath rest -- time for faith practice in community, time for naps, reading, a long walk...a slower pace.

    Your latest sunrise piece puts me in mind of those prehistoric shells...ammonites...A wonderful shape!

  6. Hello Gwyned,

    Your posts always fascinate me. We are polar opposites. I am the ultimate owl, always muddling along, with a natural aversion to plans.

    The dark blue sky is wonderful, and it is lovely to see the puffy clouds FMQ pattern in there.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv