Making Progress on Projects

I’ve noticed that my blogging is not as prolific as it once was, and I am posting fewer times in a week. So many other bloggers I read have just stopped posting altogether, so I am not spending as much time reading blogs, and I miss that. I miss catching up on what projects are being done, and new ideas to try. I’ve never been one to use my blog as a daily diary. I work on posts over days or weeks until I can show a project from start to finish. But the lack of social activities has cut down on my posts on Mountain Living, tablescapes are not a priority when no one can visit, and the winter garden is quiet. This winter has been pretty depressing, hasn’t it? So, I find I am shifting to a different approach for a while for blogging. I hope that this is a good change and can keep me actively posting. Instead of doing complete projects every time, I’ll have some posts that will incorporate several things in progress, and other things that aren’t enough for a full post. Starting today.

So, one thing that has helped is doing Zoom more often. I have been hosting for various groups, in an attempt to keep my own spirits up. Virtual Retreats for readers are fun and keep all of us engaged with some show and tell, and a bit of advice here and there. This day I was hosting readers, and working on a low volume small quilt for charity. It uses the strip pieced method with tube construction, then cross cut, and picked open at staggered seams for the layout. This will be a tutorial project for my other writing gig soon. The completed quilt will go to one of Sarah’s charities for Hands2Help, click on that link for more info. The event starts in March and will have lots of fun and prizes to win, including a box stuffed with goodies prize from From My Carolina Home.

Remember the To The Nine’s quilt where I made the pieced border then took it off again? Well, I decided that if I bound the quilt without any buffer, I’d likely cut off all the star points, as I do bindings deeper than 1/4-inch. So, I added a very thin 1-1/2-inch border to the edge to preserve the points.

And now it is reloaded on the longarm to begin the quilting while we have a few days of inclement weather. My Sweet Babboo is hoping for snow, as he wants to make a snowman.

Now I have something on the longarm, and a project in progress at the sewing machine. Up in the den, I have finally got the colors selected for my handwork project, and the design transfer done.

Of course, quick meals are good for days like this. I’ve been using my slow cooker a lot, but this particular day, the idea of planning a meal went out the window early in the day. So, by dinner time, I had nothing planned. I went to the pantry for a look, I found some pasta and this jar of Artichoke and Tomato pesto meant to be used as a dip or a spread for bread.

It made a really fine pasta sauce with just a bit of water, and might have been even better with a little can of tomato sauce. A few green onions and a dollop of ricotta, and we had a delicious vegetarian dinner. A small salad rounded out the meal.

Hosting a Zoom for some fellow bloggers another day, I decided to work on an embroidery project. I have an old Brother embroidery machine that still works nicely. My interest in it waned when I got tired of the limited designs I had. At one point I put the embroidery unit in a zip top bag, and stashed it on a shelf for several years. When the machine began acting up a bit with the foot control, I was able to buy a really nice second hand machine only a year old from a friend, a Brother BQ950. I thought I would sell the older one, and maybe get a new embroidery machine, but the new ones are so expensive! I decided instead to add to my collection of embroidery cards and set up the Pacesetter as a dedicated embroidery machine.

I have learned more about stabilizers and am enjoying the new designs a lot. I’ll have more on this project soon, but I need to do several more stitch outs before I can show you the project.

Stampers! Today is the final day for Impression Obsessions Features sale, 25% off Quotes!! Some are perfect for Safelight cards. Quotes like “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on”, and one I got last year “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” Yes, there will be another Safelight Project in 2021, time has yet to be determined, but likely late spring or early summer. That Sale ends today, and there are 40 pages of choices, re-sort by 48 per page to get through them a bit faster. Click on 25% off Quotes. I want to do some Valentine cards soon too.

I’m delighted to report that Oliver came by for a sandwich, so glad to know he is OK. Jack was with him, and the third squirrel yet unnamed. All got a tidbit. I’ll show you more of our critter watch later.

And in the midst of all that, I need to get the next step done for Pachanga!

So, that is what is happening right now. Lots in progress, but nothing finished to show. So, do you mind seeing sewing, cooking, stamping and handwork all at the same time, or do you prefer the tutorial style I’ve done up to now with a project complete from start to finish? Or is it good to do a bit of both? I find if I don’t post, I miss our conversations. Maybe Sundays can be what is happening around here, with posts during the week having more complete projects or single subjects like my garden, or a tablescape. What do you think?

77 thoughts on “Making Progress on Projects

  1. Rhonda Pecenka

    I’m happy to hear from you no matter what format works for you. I’m sorry I don’t always comment but I do enjoy hearing from you.

    1. Rheanna

      I really enjoyed this post. I like seeing things in progress and the mix of topics. It feels more like a conversation with a friend rather than just a tutorial. 🙂

      1. Lisa Knight

        I enjoy seeing a mixture of topics. Although more concentration on one is still most definitely okay!! In other words, I just enjoy reading your posts!! Thanks for always sharing your life with us!!

  2. Joy B

    I like seeing works in progress, and you skipping from subject to subject is fine with me. I will say that setting seasonal table scapes, even if I only have room on my table for two settings because I’m using the other end of the table for my laptop when working from home, has helped to keep my spirits up through this hard year. So I always enjoy seeing tablescapes as well as your sewing projects. Stay safe and well!

  3. I’m a faithful follower and enjoy whatever format you choose to share. The wildlife, gardening, quilting, cooking, reading, cards you know life and keeping “all those plates spinning”. A montage towards the Ed Sullivan show with those spinning plates. Besides that my husband is always telling me it’s my plate lay as much on it as you want. Lol

  4. Mary Ed Williams

    Really enjoy your blog, as usual. Pretty miserable day here – rain, freezing and non-freezing, but definitely wet! Let us know when there is another zoom lecture/class/sew-in planned. They are so much fun!
    Mary Ed

  5. karenfae

    I like seeing a mix on things and just hearing about life in general – it is kind of like we all just sit around talking and exchanging ideas and work on projects at the same time. I have barely gotten into zoom at all but it sounds like it is helping you.

  6. Rosemary B

    Oh Carole, I am so happy to know you and read your blog. I do not always comment because I am in a crazy flurry here. I adore your productivity and variety of fun projects.
    I love reading the comments above too.
    This has been a crazy year, but since we are older, we know how to moderate ourselves
    So many are not. I am grateful it is just myself and hubbs here. I try to help out with my daughters and their tiny kiddos, and my daddy.
    I try to sew a bit every day, right now, I feel like I am living in chaos, but I did just bind and label two quilts.
    Your new embroidery machine addition is amazing.
    Keep going. Just do and share what makes you happy.

  7. Linda B

    Agree with others…no expectations…all is delightful. Completely agree with adding a border to separate blocks with points and the binding…did a mug rug once that had no border separating and I lost some points…a learning experience! The meal planning is not a small thing is it! I have a couple fall-back things on hand to grab when we are too hungry to wait! Thanks for your blogging efforts to share with us, Carole! I think we all enjoy it!

  8. Carole,

    I like the variety of your blog post today. I think it is indicative of how all of us live, with bits and pieces of projects in various states of completion. This is what the real life we all are living looks like! I myself have one quilt and some winter theme facemasks cut out and ready to sew, one applique quilt in process, a BOM block to make and a hand sewing projects I started yesterday. And this doesn’t count the four quilts currently hanging in my closest waiting for finishing! And my Christmas scrapbook pages are yet to be completed. It is snowing today in Wisconsin, so I’ll stay cozy in my craft room. The only question for me today is which project to work on!

  9. Jo Anne Seccurra

    Totally enjoy your blog as you share from your heart. Like the conversational feel of today’s blog.

    I so savor your blog that I usually tell myself that if I finish this or that, I can read the From My Carolina Home blog. Today I decided to treat myself to reading it early and so glad I did!

    I too host/facilitate Zoom sessions. It is a great way to stay in touch and keep fellow guild, club and family members active and engaged. I wish more members would be open to trying it out…I miss them.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for connecting with us!

  10. Julie

    Same as a quilter who sees what they might have done differently or better in their quilt, as a blogger you wondered about your content. Everybody loves what you do & how you do it! Excellent variety of topics & techniques and interaction with your audience. While many sites offer a comment option, few reply. That is understandable as the whole process is a lot of work & as the option can open a can of troll worms. We’re almost to the midpoint of winter & days are getting longer – inspired by the card above about the sun & rising.

  11. Thanks for sharing your wide variety of projects and for being such a wonderful ZOOM host. I get so much done during those zoom retreats! I often fail to blog because I worry about not having anything finished. (Story of my life). It is fun to read through your varied content, plus your format makes it easy to go find more information on projects like Safelight and your patterns. I love that your little friends brought another fluffy tailed critter for a PB sandwich!

    1. Carolyn K.

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you – whatever the subject matter. You are so right! So many bloggers have stopped sending or worse yet recycling old blogs with claims that the blogs are new; I’m sure it’s a daunting task to come up with new topics during these sad winter months. My only new news was the pleasure of receiving a beautiful cookbook filled with tempting recipes. However, we are severely limited in trips to the grocery store. I never realized the blessing of hopping into the car to pick up supplies for the missing ingredients. Oh well, I’ll just add them to my list.
      Hubby is complaining that our Honda is dropping anchor from the weight of the purchases. His favorite words, “Is this a necessity?” are getting old fast.
      Today it is snowing and snowing and still snowing some more. We are promised relief by 6 pm tonight. BUT, we are fine, staying warm, feeling good, so ALL Is WELL!
      How is your weather? Seen any new tv shows worth watching? Heard any new knock knock jokes?
      Well, I must end this. Plan to strip and re-wax floors in kitchen, eating area, and laundry. Ha, ha, maybe I need a nap!
      Fondly, Carolyn K.

  12. Carol Preston

    All of your posts are interesting. Some appeal to me more than others. I think any way you choose to post will still be appreciated by most of us. Make this fun for yourself and feel the joy. I believe energy goes into activities and joy is the result. So en=joy!!!

  13. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Whatever you decide to blog is totally fine with me, Carole! I enjoy your posts, and I’m so happy to see that little O came back by for a little meal and he is OK! Have fun with your embroidery machine. If you can use a USB to transfer designs, and there are any of mine you would like to play with just let me know…they are yours! I’m probably going to be taking a lot of them down now that my focus is more on blogging and quilting. Like you, I just have kind of lost interest in blogging but am trying to make myself at least once a week with my to-do post and others as I complete a project. But…it is a good idea to show those in progress as well!

  14. Sylvia Anderson

    Good morning Carole. I’ve always liked variety, and loved today’s post. If your Sweet Babboo would like to build a snowman, he is welcome to plow through the snow we got overnight, close to 9 inches of it, and the heavy kind that’s great for snowballs or snowmen.

  15. Debbie Miller

    As usual I enjoy reading your blog no matter how you choose to present it-it is always interesting! I pick up tidbits of useful information and appreciate your efforts. I really like your handwork project-is that a commercial pattern? I keep thinking about picking back up some hand embroidery.

  16. Martha Franks

    I love your blog! I’m not a quilter or anything using my hands too much, but I am so interested in the things you share. I very often forward your projects to friends who do these things. Love your creative cooking! I also am finding new ways to use the things in my pantry since we aren’t running to the store so often. I am a bird watcher and they are eating me out of house and home! Have discovered how to order my seed and suet online instead of going to the store. This pandemic has taught us oldtimers lots of new tricks and I’m grateful for that! Keep up the good work! I look forward to your homey, friendly posts.

  17. Joan Garland

    I’m fairly new to your blog and am enjoying it immensely. Many of my other bloggers have stopped writing altogether.
    I like the way you are posting now, a little bit of everything, especially like seeing your quilts as they evolve, not when completely finished.

  18. Carole,
    I appreciate whatever you post. I rarely comment any more, but as a blogger myself, I know the time and thought that goes into each post. My poor blog has been lying dormant for a year because it has been a tough year for my husband and I healthwise and in a couple of weeks I am having my 3rd surgery, and hopefully the last for a long time, in less than a year. So just keep doing what makes you happy.

  19. Ruth Coleman

    Thanks for letting us know about Hands2Help. I have a quilt I am working on right now that will be perfect for Little Lambs foundation for kids.
    Your charity work is so special and I am always happy to be a part of it.

  20. Many bloggers that I have loved stopped posting. So many have quit that I would love to discover new ones but even the non-quilting blog hops and linkups are few and far between.

    I throw all kinds of stuff into one post, I just separate by title headings like “reseller update” or hashtag them. I even mix post titles, here is a link to my blog (if you don’t mind my mention). thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/

    Keep tablescaping grrl, I love what you do. I pick up fine tablecloths at thrift and bring out the china when I can.

    Work Zoom meetings have been a lifesaver for me, my remote bedroom work station is beyond isolation, almost prison. Good thing retirement looms for me.

  21. I like your blogging voice as it is from the heart and captures you at the time of the post. How ever you want to share will work for me. Always delightful and inspirational, with plenty of tips and goodness. Today was much enjoyed. I agree it is good to see Oliver and his friends come for a peanut butter sandwich. All your projects are beautiful. I’m still working on piecing my Exploding Hearts, but only have one appt this week with a jab (dentist) vs 3 last week (dentist, covid vaccine, and blood donation), so I hope to be able to finish piecing my quilt top and sandwich it, as next week I’d like to start FMQ.

  22. Diane D.

    I enjoy reading your posts regardless of what you are talking about. Love your creativity, generosity, travels, recipes, and especially the tutorials on quilting. I’m almost ready to start the new Pachanga quilt. Your directions for flying geese is great and I’m ready to try them…again.

  23. Patricia Evans

    What a delightful post Carole. I read a lot of quilt blogs (guess that’s why I don’t get much quilting done). Some blog daily or several times a week, others only occasionally. Some are short, and some are novel-length. You have a large group of followers and I’m sure many never bother to comment. I like the variety in today’s post. You do what is comfortable for you and I’m sure most of us will happily follow along.
    I found out when I had a telemedicine appointment scheduled, that the camera on my 6 year old Chromebook is not functioning and using my phone to zoom is less than ideal. I was not doing much quilting and realized that I needed to buckle down and take advantage of the lull before garden season begins again, so I participated in several small online challenges. It’s been fun and got me back in the studio.
    Oh, and yes, your recipes are much appreciated especially because they make smaller amounts for two. Keep em coming. Hope your Sweet Babboo gets to make his snowman. The bulk of the storm is supposed to miss us.

  24. Sarah

    Hi Carole-I look forward to your posts. I realize they are a lot of work. I agree with others- do what is best and easiest for you. I read them all with interest. Thanks for continuing to post! I enjoyed todays post as I can relate to having multiple projects going at once. It will seem like little progress is being made and then all at once several things are finished.

  25. Tina W.

    I’m an avid reader of your blog and glean a bunch of good tips and information from it but I seldom comment (my bad!). Not being a blogger myself, I can’t imagine all the work that must go into creating it – especially if it’s every day! I’ve enjoyed all your posts and hope you decide to keep going. Whatever format works best for you is fine with me.

  26. It was nice to meet you while zooming with Chooky recently! Writing your posts has to suit you, and if this format suits you best right now, then do it 🙂 It’s always nice to see what you are up to.

  27. Great post, Carole! I am totally off course with my own blog! I have sewed so little in the past several months and I tend to only post when I have finish. I did actually manage a finish for a charity quilt and then bogged getting a photo of it.. Still haven’t! But I will …. eventually.
    I have been cooking, learning to use my Instant Pot, walking dogs and purging my home of unneeded stuff. So I’ve been busy and learning new things but I’m still bogged down with a very fussy border for a cat quilt that I’m determined to finish. I signed up for the Hands2Help event this morning though so I will need to back to sewing and blog posting. A good incentive!.

  28. Elizabeth Rodgers

    I enjoy your whole blog, including the little car trips, view around your mountains but most of all, the critters. Bears, turkeys, squirrel sandwich shop, etc. Thank you.

  29. I thought this was a fun post – getting a peek at a little of everything that’s going on at your house! I’ve seen those embroidery transfers with the cute sayings on them – I keep meaning to look for them for myself. Are you stitching them on tea towels? Your dinner idea sounds yummy, too!

  30. Mary

    I would say that all of the above commenters have said it all – we don’t mind how you write your blog, it is all entertaining.

    All of your content is enjoyable, so just keep doing what and when you feel like doing.

    We are lucky here in New Zealand as we seem to have the Virus contained and we are able to move about freely. Our borders are closed but any returning New Zealanders are put into Managed Isolation and tested to make sure they are not carrying the Virus before being let loose on the country.

    Thanks for your always newsy blogs, whatever the content. :))

  31. Susan T

    Hi, Carole. There are very few bloggers I follow. I love yours and Refashionista’s. I mostly watch You Tube videos and follow Face Book for fresh ideas and instructions. Even tho those same people have a blog, I don’t go to them. Too many hobbies and not enough time. I do quilting. Right now I am working on the Hoffman Fabrics Flight of the Dragonflies…at least I think it is called that. I don’t have a cutting machine like a Scan N Cut so I have to trace the template, cut the fabric out and apply each one to the wing. This is a bigger job than I anticipated. But, my second hobby is machine embroidering so I would load up the machine while I was working on the quilt. I did 8 new kitchen towels since I changed my color scheme. I liked doing double duty and multitasking. My 3rd hobby is clothing/bag making. So I have a top pattern out and getting ready to cut it out. Expensive hobbies but so worth it. It helps me so much to deal with my anxiety and depression. There are so many fun things to do with the embroidery machines. I just finished coasters made from clothes line and embroidered snowmen faces on them. Also made a ray they fit into. Don’t get discouraged. We need to adjust and make the most of it, I think this is here to stay with us. I am So happy to see how some vendors have dealt with it. I have taken lots of zoom classes, some free some with a small cost. My Brother is a big gal and weighs 48 lbs without the embroidery arm so I like taking a class and not dragging her along.

  32. Susan Nixon

    I think that was a very successful experiment on posting! It was interesting and fun to see all the things going on at once. I like the stitching I couldn’t see on our retreat day. =)

  33. Carol Epp

    Carole,

    I just found your blog and what drew me to it was the warmth and kindness coming through. I think you bring a little sunshine to everyone’s day. 🙂

  34. Love seeing your works in progress . I always seem to have several projects on the go at once and use my blog as a journal about whatever I am working on at the moment. Every so often, I get to show a finished project

  35. Joan Sheppard

    Love all that you do for us and it’s like talking to a friend. The artichoke tomato bruschetta is making me hungry! And I would love to hear more about the baby quilt and books and anything you have in mind to share. We got A BUNCH of heavy wet snow today and I’m exhausted! Feels good to sit and “talk” with friends. Thank you.

    1. Joan Sheppard

      P. S. Did I miss a tutorial about “design transfer?” I love to embroider (in my free time) even have some stitching on the lantern quilt I’m doing now. But the whole transfer business gets “complicated.” Any tips? Thank. j

  36. I have also noticed a lot less people posting on their blogs. Over the last few years many have gone over to Instagram. I still prefer a blog to read.
    Always geat to see what you are up to.

  37. I think you should blog whatever you feel like! I am so grateful to love being creative at home, so besides missing my friends, I am a happy homebody! Your quilting set up is amazing, I always marvel and your quilting skills!

  38. Sue Hoover

    I like watching projects progress. Please continue to blog as that’s the only way I catch you. I love the birding pictures, the wildlife posts, the gardening, the repurposing of “junk”, and the quilting of course. I don’t do stamping so I just pass over those posts but I am sure you have fans of your techniques for that as well! Do it all as you wish. When you don’t, we miss you!!!

  39. Cindy

    Hey Carole! I want to see it all! I love seeing what you have your hands in, trips thru the mountain roads, the view from your porch, the delicious foods, all of it. You are so creative – you inspire me!!!! Whether you post everyday or not does not matter -just keep sharing when you can. And Love the snow pictures!!!! Guess I’m going to have to drive up your way to see snow.

  40. Although I don’t comment a lot, I do enjoy getting up and reading your ‘progress’ posts. I especially enjoy the animal reports, birds, squirrels, deer & bear that visits you. I, too, have several projects going at the same time, either quilting, crafting(ish), or machine embroidery. Keeps me sane..lolo I like when you post a variety of things. Have a great week.

  41. You’ve got lots of good stuff going on! I actually find that I’m reading blogs more and am 90% off of social media. I’m happy to be back reading blogs where you get more of a story.

  42. Ingrid

    I love seeing all your projects, meal planning, native friends and enthusiastic tidbits! Please feel free to post at your leisure! Progress photos on projects is so inspiring Carole. Thankyou for always taking the time to show us so much. X

  43. Linda Garcia

    I will read your post no matter what you talk about. I too am really missing all the bloggers I used to read. So many are no longer posting. Sad, I think.
    I kind of like the combined post. Let’s me know what has been going on in your corner of the world.

  44. Brenda Furlong

    I love your blog and look forward to reading it every time you post. I lost my mojo for doing much of anything, and I really love reading the blogs that I follow. I especially love the quilting and the critters! Thanks so much for brightening my days.

  45. Hello Carole,
    I love to read your posts when you talk about many different things – sewing, mountain wildlife, birds, gardening, and recipes. I’ve made a few of your recipes and love the results!
    Thanks for posting. I’ll keep reading!
    Barb Ulanch Clayton, NC

  46. Elaine Nemeth

    Been drinking artichoke tea for couple weeks. Now I cant wait to try the pesto. Artichokes are #6 on list for high antioxidants you go girl . Keep blogging. You are so motivating.

  47. Yes lots have stopped blogging…. Sad… It’s a very different platform to other social media……
    I’ll stick with it as I really like how I contact with people thru it.
    As for posting do whatever works for you……

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