Monday, March 28, 2016

retreat time!

our spring retreat is so much fun!

every year i'm suddenly aware that retreat is "next week" and i'm nowhere near ready.
so then i spend that week running like a crazy woman organizing, making, writing, printing, stuffing, answering questions, sending emails...and's time!
fabric box for door prizes

fabric box for door prizes
fabric box for door prizes
fabric box for door prizes
RJR donated charm packs from their Basically Patric line for our door prizes!
fabric box for door prizes
i send the girls off to friends for a night or two.
pack everything up and drive off into the sunrise (because it's too darn early even for the birds, it seems).
this year i was up at 4:45!!
(D was up getting ready for work and i simply couldn't get back to sleep.)
okay...maybe i don't drive off into the sunrise...i did leave home at 9:45am even though i wanted to go back to bed.

i'm not going to sugar coat it.
we sew in a big gym with bad lighting.
the rooms aren't terribly fancy.
and somehow toilet paper rolls always make their way into the nooks and crannies of my room...and sewing gear.

but, when it comes right down to it, it isn't about the gym, or the lighting, or the un-fancy rooms.
it's about the friendships, the encouragement, the support, the learning.
it's about hearing peoples stories.
crying with them.
cheering over life's successes.
and making really fun projects!

our ice breaker and swap on wednesday night, this year, was a needlebook.  everyone made one.
we then laid them out, put numbers on them and everyone got a number.
starting with #1 the lady picked the #1 item, introduced herself and opened the pressie.
and here's my finished (finally!!) mum's the word!
it was relieving to have it done.  :)
my second project up was a rag quilt.
it's not done but i accomplished what i wanted to get done.
toilet paper rolls!!
and more toilet paper rolls!!
did i mention that the retreat fairy always shows up??
she leaves pressies for us and it's always wonderful.  <3
saturday found me driving away from camp arnold with a deep sense of satisfaction because,
well, all of that happened this last weekend.

and did i mention that the mountain came out this year? rainier really is an amazing thing of beauty.

i'm thankful for the ladies who come every year.
they make it a wonderful experience.

there are more pics...i'll share them in another post when they've migrated from my phone to computer.

happy sewing this lovely monday after easter.
i hope your weekend was as lovely as mine.


~ h

Sunday, March 13, 2016

putting the pieces together

as i've been working this week i've been thinking about all the bits and pieces we have planned for the business.
i know that you've been seeing, feeling and recognizing that something's been up.
i've also eluded to it multiple times.

for me it's been a subtle change.
what you don't know is that i have struggled with mild anxiety (not enough to be on meds, thankfully).
questions constantly pummeled my brain and emotions.
questions like:
are my policies fair?
is my pricing reasonable for the work i provide?
did i offend that person?
was the job done the way the client wanted?
did i do enough?

believe me when i say that these lines of questioning lead to nothing but rottenness.

all i can say is that i feel like i've done a more than adequate job answering those questions for myself.

and the answers to those questions have led us to where we are.
i do struggle though.
i've watched my clients go other places.
*deep sigh*
i'm not going to lie.
that's really hard.
most of the time there's no explanation.
and when i discover it (come one, media is a killer) i *get* to revisit all these lovely questions.
for the four millionth time.
like a checklist.

and then i remind myself of a few things:
1)  God knows what i need.
He provides for me.
ultimately all of it passes through His hands before it reaches me.
and if i can honestly answer all those questions (yes...for the four millionth time) and be okay with the answers then i know He'll work the rest of it out.

2) this business has run my life for too many years.
in part, it made me very sick.
it's okay to not have ALL the work.

3) if i can't provide what these quilters are looking for then it's okay for them to go somewhere else.
i can not be all things for all people.
i can only be who i am.

4)  a happy heather means happy work.
a relaxed heather means joy in the work.
and those two things make for a pleasant experience all around.

by the way, i realize i haven't been particularly funny as of late.
self-deprecation just doesn't seem funny anymore!
i'm rediscovering my sense of humor too.
hang in there with me.
i'm a work in progress!

this week was full of keeping kids on track and planning with D.
that means i didn't get much actual work done.

so here's what i've done.

Becky's National Parks quilt.
quilted with Dusty Miller pantograph and a variegated orange thread.

Barbara's red quilt.
quilted with Denise's Spirals in a light variegated thread.

Carla's spring tree quilt.
quilted with the New Leaf pantograph in a light green variegated thread.

i've also made progress on the UFO i'm working on.
the picture just hasn't made it's way through the chain of command, so to speak.

next week!
hopefully i'll be able to show you a finished quilt top.
wouldn't that be cool??


~ h

Saturday, March 5, 2016

back at it

these last few weeks back at work have been odd.
i didn't have this surge of excitement and energy to actually work.
wondering if it was because i have worked tirelessly and pushed myself so hard these last 7 years that the weariness was more than bone deep.

but then, after a moment, i decided that i need to remember what i'm focussing on.

it's terribly freeing to say, "work is 10-3."
and if i can't finish then that's okay.
i don't need to kill myself!

progress is made is small steps, right?

the result has been that i'm not overwhelmed and actually get to do some of the things i want/need to do.
like quiet time.
or time wandering around my garden enjoying growing things.
or laughing with my girls.
or petting my puppies.

and here are the results:

joanne's seahawks quilt with dragons quilted on it.

sylvia's batik quilt.
dandelion pantograph.

sheri's diamond quilt.
bluster pantograph.

kathleen's hand applique quilt.
custom quilting.
double batting for the flowers to really stand out.

sylvia's scrap quilt.
quilted with feather fancy pantograph.
(one of my favorites.

i have also been working on two unfinished projects and making progress.

and now i'm off to ballet.
one of the highlights of my week!


~ h