Friday, April 21, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 7 : Fiddle a new Tune

 I know I am a hillbilly at heart, I even devoted an entire mystery around a Shindig!
But cowboys and dancin go hand in hand.
You just can't be workin' all of the time!
So for a few more weeks we will continue dancing around before we pick up our guns and do more shooting.

Today lets switch up the tune a bit, shall we? 


Remember that you were supposed to have two different sets of solid matching background. One set required 1/3 yard of each and one set required 1/2 yard of each.
Today we will be using the set that requires 1/2 Yard of each.
BE CAREFUL, choose your CORRECT set.
 This would be SOLID MATCHING BACKGROUND SET TWO.
Solid matching background set one will be sit aside for quite awhile yet.
If you scroll way back to the fabric requirement post
(you can find it here), then you will see that I chose purples for my SET TWO. 



We will begin with the darker of the your two solids.
Baste 40 squares
Baste 64 small triangles
Baste 4 medium triangles



That is a lot of basting and polishing before the next song plays, so we best meet back in ten(ish) days.
What is today... lets see it is Friday the 21st, so let's meet up to do another square dance on May 1st. That sounds nice. 


I appreciate your patience in this mystery. The slow-and-steady-win-the-race pace is allowing those who thread baste and those with health problems be able to follow along without getting too far behind.
I know you are so eager to get back to fussy cutting and star shooting but trust me, it will be worth it to wait and you will love this finish.

Now that I know that I am keeping The Beast (my laser that I use to cut papers) I am excitedly getting ready to prepare the tree skirt kits.
And I am also going to spend an entire day off soon making kits for all previous patterns and get them back up for sale on the website.
We can do this people! Keep sharing about your friendly little Hillbilly.
I'd love to be traveling to guilds or shops by fall so keep that in mind!

Also, I will also be blogging more often...not just the mystery posts.
I am trying to revive the ol' Hillbilly from long ago. And she LOVED blogging.
See ya soon!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Inspiragumption

It is no secret that my balloon has been slowly deflating for 6-8 months now. 


Last year about this time I was all eager beaver. I was approved for a working capital loan, I got all set up to embark on a journey to create enough things to 'bring me home' so that I could be home with my husband to care for him and so that I could see my son more.

But quickly things happened.
Terrible things.
You see, we don't get to choose our path. You hear so many quotes about choosing your path... but really... the truth is, you don't get to choose.
God chooses.
And sometimes that path is TOUGH.
Like at any moment you feel like you are just going to fall off the edge.



Or that you are already falling.
That's where I've been since fall.
Falling. Falling. Falling.
Trying to find something to catch on the way down.
But still falling.
People have reached out, but despite their efforts, I was still falling. 



I tried. I tried so hard.
I did the mysteries.
I tried to re do my website.
But so many things were not on my side.

Perhaps the biggest is the lack of time. 


And the horrid mess of finances since we've been fighting the disability battle and insurance battle with my husband.
I think I've been in shock. Me who always tries to pay every bill on time. Who tries to be super frugal and doesn't own a credit card, and hasn't in years.
But there was absolutely nothing I could do. I tried everything.
And they still came and took the car.
I cried. Not for my car But that I couldn't do the right thing.



In the midst of all the struggles we had illness to battle. Since fall I've been to urgent care 9 times.
I've had many many reactions (I just had a light one again the other day! I we still don't know what sets them off but they are at least calm and controlled now. ) I've also had two sinus infections, two upper respiratory infections, and a double ear infection. I am kind of used to that but it makes you exhausted. So I fell further.
Jerry's insurance and med nightmare had us spending every single penny trying to get him the medicine that he needs. And those life saving meds were way more important than a car payment. 

By Feb/Mar I was very close to hitting ground.
I was done. Ready to be done with quilting for good.
But not really. Quilting is the very last thing that is still me.
You know... that old me from long ago before Jerry got sick.
Everything else about me has changed.
Completely.
I mean I am REALLY  changed.
And the only thing that resembles a sparkle of the old me is quilting.

But last month my husband and I decided that due to finances and government decisions, quilting has to end too.
And that was it.
Hillbilly was about to be gone forever.
Hillbilly Quilt Shop was about to be burned to the ground. I had decided that after the current mystery, it was over.

Then a few days ago I pinched myself.



And I realized, it hurt! I am still here.
I've not hit the ground yet!

So, I sat myself down and had me a chat with my husband. And I told him:
NO I AM NOT GOING TO DO THIS.
I am not stopping.
I will design.
I will sew.
I will quilt.
I will create.
I will find my spark again.
I WILL.
Because, while God chooses our paths, He also shows us the way.
And I really feel like HE is saying, "Don't let go."

So I refuse. I am not.
And I know me.
In order to jumpstart me and get me on the road and headed down the path again,
I have to have something to stir me up.
So one night when I couldn't sleep I looked at all my quilt books.
Then I spent some time looking around at what's new in the quilt world.
And decided this is my jumpstarter.
I signed up for this class: 




Then I went to the quilt shop yesterday and got a ruler foot and my daughter bought me these because she believes in me:
(These are the Westalee starter ruler set). 



Have you ever looked into this quilting with rulers thing?
IT IS SO COOL!
You use the rulers and a ruler foot to create all kinds of amazing designs.
My little designers heart perked it's ears up about that!
If you know anything about this then share with me in the comments, as I am super stoked to learn all that I can.

These were the INSPIRATION that gave me GUMPTION again...
my INSPIRAGUMPTION! 



Toss me some more of that INSPIRAGUMPTION, will ya? 



And then since I was all fired up, last night I sat down with the husband man.
And I said something along these lines:
I know you are sick. And tired. And sick and tired of being sick and tired, but we live in a very unhappy home. So, as a family we are going to change that.

And I told him the rule.
You know... the big rule.



We all know the rule but the men seem to need a lot of reminders.
I told my husband that I've been begging for time to myself for FIVE YEARS NOW.
Really, it's been that long. Some of my besties can testify to that.
I work, then spend every spare moment with Stephen, then sleep then repeat.
No more.
I get my solitude.
Solitude is where I recharge.
I don't mind walking the dangerous path so much as long as I can get me some time to think and deal with it.



Solitude is also when I can find to sew.
So I made him promise.
From now on, each and every week I get 4-6 hours JUST FOR ME TO SPEND WITH ME.
I know that isn't much time but its a whole lot more than I've been getting.

I am having that free time right now.
I spent my first official minutes of freedom to write to you.
Because you are that special and I know that you believe in me.


Sadly I've got a lot of work I have to do at first before I can have fun with my machine and designs, and things like that.
I'm now officially three years behind on taxes.
I think I am going to hire an accountant.
For real. I've been saying that forever. But this time I mean it. And I told my husband so.
Because this business is not going to grow unless someone does all that paperwork/tax/businessy stuff. It might be different if my life were different but for FIVE YEARS NOW I've had very little spare time and I refuse to use it on taxes. Seriously. I get 4-6 hours a week. No.
I am hiring an accountant.

But that is ok. I've got one more INSPIRAGUMPTION up my sleeve to keep my motivation motivated.
I had a brochure hanging on the wall for the last year. It was for this machine: A Babylock Spirit.
The Spirit is an embroidery machine with lots of capabilities and I wanted it mainly for quilting. I knew that I could design quilting patterns and have just as much fun quilting my quilts as I do piecing them.
But it was a lofty dream that was one of those "it will never happen but it's fun to look at anyway" kind of things. It is one pricey puppy. 




And last month when we decided I was going to kill the hillbilly, I wadded up the brochure and threw it away. So when I was at the sewing shop yesterday, I did some contemplating.
And discussing. And now this brochure hangs on my wall for someday. Since I don't need this machine to quilt (I will be learning the quilt with ruler method instead), it's a goal that isn't so lofty and much more hopeful.
It's a Janome Memory Craft 500e embroidery machine.
My newest drool. 



I chose this one specifically because of all of these rulers. I wanted a large area because I am wanting to embellish quilts with embroidery. Most machines have a 5 x 7 area but I needed larger. This one works for what I want.  You wouldn't believe what I have up my sleeve for someday.
I've already designed a few.
Yes I have. 


So that machine will be mine someday.
But first I need to just create and sell.
Because just tonight Jerry had a much needed drug not approved by his brand new prescription plan. He came to me while I was writing this and told me that it cost $760 a month.
Sigh. NOPE. This is MY TIME.
And we will figure it out. Because I am NOT giving up on my dream.

I think I am going to move all of my patterns to craftsy as you all suggested. My website doesn't generate the monthly income that I need to pay for itself.
I don't know what to do about the paper kits.
I was thinking I could sell them in the mystery group on Facebook.
Do you have any great ideas for that?

Do tell.

And also tell me, when you've gotten in a slump what have you used to inspire you to start climbing the hill again?
What is your INSPIRAGUMPTION?

Now I am going to leave you.
Because I still have 3 of my 4 FREE hours left.
I am going to strap on my boots and work on my 8 Shooters.
I'm pretty excited to do that.




Saturday, April 15, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 6: Switch your partner


Have you had fun square dancing? Well lets switch to triangles. 

I am so frustrated with ME because I was 4 clues ahead of you but I've not picked up sewing in weeks so I am now working on the same clue as you. I'll get ahead pretty quickly again this week though. 

Anyway, using your set 3 of 8 shooters, sew the small triangles to the stars. 

See? Mine aren't finished but I'm working on it: 




In a week. See ya then. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

8 Shooters Clue 5: Square Dancing



Sometimes you just gotta hang up your pistols and have a little fun!

How about we have us a little square dance today?


Lets begin with 8 Shooter Set ONE.
For this set you only have ONE star. Sew squares in four sections, skipping every other section.
Like This:


Then do the exact same thing with 8 Shooters Set TWO.
This time you will have four stars.

Like this:



Sing yourself a little hoe down, swing your partner tune and I'll see you in a week!