Sunday, November 27, 2016

About mysteries, life, and more. (wordy post: beware)

So, our mystery is done.
I have made a personal vow to myself to sew up three of this pattern. It might take me some time but I REALLY want to start selling real patterns. Real live patterns like a real live quilt pattern designer. And real patterns need real photos of finished quilts. So I AM going to get three sewn up someday.

Only, as usual, my so called life gets in the way. So I am considering how to move forward. Do I stop here and sew up three before offering the next mystery?

NO NO NO. I am WAY too in love with our mystery quilts for that. Plus the next is already designed and ready for me to begin. I can't wait to tell you about it. I will, maybe even next week.

So that leaves me with sewing up three of the Space Journey pattern plus sewing up two of the next mystery plus at least 2 of another I am designing.

HOW IN THE WORLD? i have no idea. but it will happen because I am tired of putting MY dreams away and this is my dream. so it will happen.

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I need to spend a moment talking about my so called life so you know why I am sometimes slow to post etc. I mean I know you know that I work full time outside the home now. And I sell stuff online. And my husband is sick. And I homeschool a 6 yr old boy. But there is more..

and because someone bought my mystery and I never sent it because i was overwhelmed I feel like I need to explain the more... so I am going to.

Really I grow weary of talking about my life...but then I feel bad when it takes me half a century to ship an order I feel like I need to say why. So, here goes nothing...

Sept/Oct were some of the worst months we've had in a long time.
1) My husband went to a disabililty hearing (finally) but the lawyer forgot to get the evidence of the hospital records from when he had his 9 strokes, so the hearing was put on hold and we still wait. And wait.

2) My ex husband decided to convince my oldest son to drop out of school so that the ex would no longer have to pay child support. For real, it happened. Because of this sudden loss of income, I've been unable to make my car payment. This Friday, Dec 2nd, they will start proceedings to repossess my car which I willingly surrender with tears in my eyes. I could care less about the car but my credit I will cry over. And I have to find some way to drive 60 miles a day for work. Ive been working feverishly to find a way to save this but it's time t say goodbye and to start my credit life all over again. sigh. But even worse than this is the choice my son made.

3) When I was promoted at work, my medical insurance changed which caused my husband to obtain new insurance from the market place. Well his deductible is now $6400. Which means we've been unable to afford his life saving meds. His meds total $1700 month. I don't even make that much money. We've been contacting companies and now he has insulin for a month, but what about the liver meds, chrons meds, blood thinners, water pills... all these very important meds for him... I cannot provide them. THEN to make matters worse we have had to cancel two very important medical procedures that could actually be life threatening if we put them off too much longer. But what can I do?

4) I have a machine that cuts my paper pieces for my mysteries but the stupid machine had a hiccup that took me forever to fix. Due to this ( and me trying to work every single minute that I can), it took almost a month to get one mystery papers order ready and the customer ended up losing her very patient patience and I totally understand but it devastates me. I am trying so hard to build this business so that maybe someday I can 'come home" when things get too bad with hubby... and these hiccups need to not happen. Word of mouth can be very bad for business too.

5) Ive been to either the ER or Urgent care 6 different times since mid Sept. I had a reaction to ibuprofen and then my body reacted to anything and every thing it wanted to. So that when I got sinusitis and bronchitis I ended up even having asthma and being sicker than a dog.

6) I made the difficult decision to shut down a business which is costing me thousands of dollars....which I wont get into but it is. Thankfully some good hearts has made this easier.


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So all of that has happened since September. People ask how I keep pushing and doing so much. How can I not? I HAVE to work...like every spare moment I can.
I need to sell off anything not tied down.
I need to design patterns and sell them.
I need to sew quilted items and sell them.
I need to sell laser engraved items. (and actually its doing well).
I need to do this and that and and and


So that is why folks. That is why sometimes I am slow to post. That is why I wish to sew much faster than I do but I don't. But all the above is why I need to keep stepping one foot in front of the other for my dream.
The dream used to be to own a shop but now I want to travel and teach EPP workshops, including mystery workshops. Would you quilt shop or guild enjoy that?
 Dog gone it anyway. That car that I bought? We actually measured the thing before we purchased. We made sure it could hold my display walls for shows. It is perfect for coming to guilds. But it will be history in a week. I guess I work too much anyway so pfft. Later. That dream is for later.

Am I down? a bit. You surely can understand.
But I am taking all these step backwards right now and surely at some point I'll hit a bump that will toss me forward!

And the one thing that keeps me smiling (besides my bright and sunny precious little son..the young one still doing school) is my mysteries. I love them so.
I think tonight I might shut myself in my room and start gluing the next up. I will TOTALLY enjoy that.

Space Journey Solved!

I know I was silent about the finish but as soon as I saw that a couple of people had the mystery almost solved (they posted in our mystery facebook group), I clammed up and gave them the chance to figure it out.
Then suddenly Elizabeth B. posted this photo and she had the mystery solved and finished!
This is a photo of her finish: 


I want to point out a couple of important things for you to note:
1) The little hexagons are positioned with every other one to make the pattern more symmetrical.
2) The center of the design looks a bit "funky" so to speak and some might wonder why I didn't plan to contiue the star all the way around with the same fabric, (such as the same design in the metriods as in the shooting stars). Well, the reason is I was trying to work with just those two fabric panels so we had to have enough to go around, so the elements had to be changed a bit.

If you see the pattern as just a pattern, no fabric, you should be able to see other fabric possibilities.
I even would like to make a smaller version to match of just the one large hexa-flower (like half the runner). 


I also want to sew a couple more versions, one of them with less wild fabric. 

I REALLY enjoyed this journey and hope you did as well.
Please leave comments, good and bad.
About the design, pattern, mystery, whatever. I need feedback! 

Soon I will blog ways to finish your mystery.
In the mean time I am going to make another blog post right after this one.
We have the future to discuss! Mysteries and More!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Space Journey Post 16: Expand the Super Novas part 1

It is time to start wrapping up our Space Journey.
It has been fun and I think we have all had a BLAST! 


I sure have.
I know what you are sitting there thinking.
"But all we have are all these random pieces! "
Oh for sure, but all these little pieces fit together to make our beautiful creation, just as the real stars do. 


Today we are just going to expand our Super Novas.
Then next Wednesday I'll give a clue that will probably solve the mystery for many of you.


NOW PAY CLOSE ATTENTION!
You are going to sew four of those shooting stars from way back on post 8 to your super novas.
Sew 4 of each shooting star to each super nova.
Here is what one looks like. Yep, the bottom is a bit "unfinished".
We will deal with that on Wednesday.
Make 2 of these: 


Your pieces won't lay flat until you take the paper out of them.
No bid deal.
And you can start removing papers if you would like. Those middle stars can be removed since they are totally surrounded. Or wait until the end. Whichever. Personal preference.
See you Wednesday and I am super excited to do so because I think some of you will solve the mystery with the next clue given.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A fun day of quilt teaching!



As most of you know, I chose to homeschool Stephen (my first grader) this year.
As a mom who has homeschooled for years now (my oldest is 26 yrs old and also homeschooled), I know the importance of homeschool coops and activities.

Sadly, Stephen wasn't allowed to join any local homeschool coops. Why? Because his father is disabled and his mom works. Yep. It's true. Because it is a "coop" you are expected to help at said coop if you want your child involved. I simply cannot take on such a burden right now and my husband can't even navigate the stairs usually at a coop much less help all day. No way he could. So, after much looking and Stephen being denied multiple times, I finally enrolled him Discovery Homeschool Academy.

It's a great school. He goes once a week, is in a class with other children his age, ( the coop is popular enough that it has 3 classes of just first grade alone and a waiting list to get in! ) We have to drive an hour to get the Academy so it is a good thing it is only once a week, but well worth the drive. He takes classes for Science, Social studies, PE, art, music, and Spanish.

The primary social studies teacher (she teaches 1st-3rd grade), is just starting a unit study of pioneers. She plans to do several hands on projects the same way that the pioneers would have and she wanted to kick off the unit with a study of quilts. I was invited to teach what quilting was like for pioneer families. So, today I taught 6 different classes of 1st - 3rd graders; 120 children. It was a perfect fit for me since I piece by hand!

I took all the supplies to show them the process, but didn't end up having time to do that. Rather, the teacher started off the lesson showing the kids photos of things children used in the old days, having them guess what they were. Then she turned the class time over to me. Remember all those wonderful hexagons you all sent to me when I had my shop? Well, I used several bulletin boards in the room and hung the hexagons on them. This one was neat because the word friends was already there and I just added the blocks around it.


Then I handed out paper pieces for each child to create their own block. Yep, I used ahhhh packets from my shop.
It was a challenging puzzle for most of them. We stuck to 'beginner' level and the teacher had me giggling because she was challenged by the 'puzzle' multiple times over! That actually made my day because it shows that quilting can be much more challenging than it looks!
After they had their block glued down to a back ground, they colored them.
This was one of the easiest blocks they could choose from.
Some chose harder ones, and some chose to create their own design from the pieces I provided.


I could have hugged the boy that made the block in the photo below.
He raised his hand as he was working. He asked if I had ever heard of Star Wars TIE fighters.
Then he showed me the block he had designed himself, telling me that it is a TIE fighter:



Do you know I hugged him right then and there, and walked over to my sewing bag and grabbed out my own TIE Fighter? If you are doing the Space Journey mystery, then you will know that is EXACTLY what I called this block .

 Seriously. In fact, here is the blog post telling about it:
http://hillbillyquiltshop.blogspot.com/2016/10/space-journey-post-10-enemy-ships.html
It made me so sad when the little boy was packing up to leave class because he cried since his teacher wouldn't let him take his TIE fighter home. She is going to put all the blocks into one big laminated quilt and hang it up for the parents to see at the Christmas Program and Art Show in December.
I ran over to my supply bag and grabbed him some more pieces so that he could re create his TIE fighter at home. He still had tears because he said that he couldn't remember exactly how he made it, so I drew it up for him real fast, showing him exactly what pieces he used. That helped and he left with a smile. I'll go to sleep tonight smiling about that boy and how proud he was of his TIE fighter, especially when I showed him the one above that I just happened to have with me!

Below are a couple of photos of some of the finished blocks that the kids made.
I will try to get a photo of the finished quilt too.

I had originally dreaded teaching today. I am not much into working with children below the 4th grade level and prefer teens more than any. But, the kids were great today and they had such a fun time putting their blocks together.
It made me miss the days of being a full time quilter/blogger/teacher.
I am praying that SOMEDAY I can return to that.
I would simply LOVE to travel the country and teach at guilds, schools, etc.
Oh and to design a lot more than I get time to do now...
Yes that dream is huge for me.
Today revived the dream. I needed that. Badly.




For those of you wanting the next clue of the mystery, it won't be until tomorrow night. I normally sew on Tuesdays but I taught these quilt classes all day and then my body went into another allergic reaction as I was driving home from the Academy. I took a heavy dose of drugs and put myself to bed at 6 pm. I actually slept for three hours straight. I couldn't sew when I woke because my hands were super swollen. Typing this post has been a challenge and I took several breaks while typing. I have  very fat hands right now.
I just took another dose of drugs and my eyes will be closing again shortly.
I've had multiple reactions since Sept 9th, resulting in 5 ER/or urgent care visits. But, I am now under the care of a specialist. I've been doing much better of late, and I am quite happy that this current reaction has been better controlled than previous ones. Regardless, in the past two months I've taken a dangerously high amount of steroids, so it is good things are getting under control.
Anyway, I work during the day for the next two days, but I will try to get your clue tomorrow night. Unless the reaction is still messing with me, then it will take until Thursday night.
So, sorry about that.





Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Space Journey post 15: Making Space Rovers

 If going on a space journey, how are you going to explore without something to explore with??
Well then I guess we best make us some Space Rovers. 


You know, this hillbilly knows all how to make Space Rovers.
You need 10 hexagon triangle thingies.
(You should have 12 left. 6 + 6. You will be using 5 of one type and five of another.)
You also need 10 TIE fighter (enemy ships.)
What better way to use an enemy ship than put it to better use? 




Sew one hexagon triangle onto one TIE fighter enemy ship, then look at that!
Your own Space Rovers.
Make 10.
5 + 5


Friday, November 4, 2016

Space Journey post 14: Super Nova!

A Super Nova is an exploding star. 


Beautiful, huh?



Let's make our own Super Nova's. 




Make 2.


See ya on Wednesday.
Be sure to share your progress among EPP and other quilt groups, spread the word for me!
Thank you!