Monday, June 17, 2019

Travel Day - Ottawa to Toronto

I like to play chicken with my thread and it appears that I like to play chicken with my gas.

I probably should have filled up before I left Ottawa, but what's the fun in that? My plan was to fill up at the first OnRoute on the highway, but I realized partway down to the 401 that probably wasn't going to happen. I spotted a sign for a gas station in Spencerville and stopped, but it wasn't open. Seriously???  I think it opened at 7 AM on Sunday morning and I was there at 6:50. Back in the car and I got to Prescott and filled up there.

I do love that car for the gas economy. I will write you a blog post about that car and all its little quirks one day. I plugged in an audiobook before I left and I listened to that all the way home.

I also picked up something to eat at that gas station and it was smooth sailing all the way home. The traffic was light even going through Toronto - no idea what that was all about and I was home by 10:30. Got the car unpacked and put some of the stuff away.

Of course, the girls were very excited to see me and they had to try and outperform each other in their exuberance. I grabbed a book and popped out to the gazebo to try and have a wee nap. So what's the deal here? It's almost the middle of June - in the middle of the day and I needed a quilt to keep me warm. I didn't sleep a lot  - I as saving that for night time.

And yes - it would appear that I acquired a cold from someone. Damn them!! It's not bad, but I had a hard time sleeping last night. I got up rather late this morning and I still feel like a train hit me. Well, not that bad!

I puttered in Studio U for part of the afternoon. I was going to just sew something for me, but I didn't have the energy to fire up a sewing machine so I just puttered and put away some of the stuff that had accumulated before I left.

Sorry that the post is short and sweet today, but I got up late and it's Monday sewing and the girls are demanding that I walk them this morning and my brain is fuzzy so I'd better go.

It's going to be a totally crazy week this week. And I promised that I'll be back to posting pictures tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!!


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Quilt Canada - Day Four

I couldn't leave you in the lurch and not provide a post today. I was going to drive home right after we finished tear down yesterday, but then I decided that that was the most stupid idea ever. I was going to be tired and hungry and it would be a lot of driving in the dark, so I stayed one more night. I'm glad I did as I think I'm getting a cold and my throat is a bit sore. Now that could be entirely from all the chatting over the last couple of days.

And of course, I'm wide awake in the middle of the night, but I'm not getting up. That would be just silly. I did find an audiobook for the way home so I'm good to go. Now to get the blog post done!

At last, it was the final day of Quilt Canada. It's kind of a bittersweet day. You want it to be over, you want to go home, but after four days, the show kind of feels like home. You know where everyone's booth is and you just didn't get a chance to chat with everyone that you wanted to.

It was reasonably busy for a final show day. But I do have to admit that it was much slower than the previous days. I was perfectly OK with that. I forgot to mention that I was in the PFAFF booth yesterday and I know some people went to find me in the other booth. Sorry about that. I did know I was switching.

Lunches at the convention center were pretty decent. They had a veggie wrap that they would grill and they threw on a bit of coleslaw. The cost? $8.00. That was a very reasonable price and it was excellent which is not always the case at places like that. I did have lunch at a reasonable time.

I did get out and chat with a couple of vendors, but I didn't buy a single thing. Not even a spool of thread. I think I was so tired and brain dead that I had no desire to buy anything. Well, that's not true - I did go into one booth to buy a pattern and she was pretty much sold out and suggested that I go to her web site where I can download the pattern. I'll do that when I get home and I'll share that website with you because it's AMAZING!!!

I did send myself some notes of things to check out when I get home and I'm looking forward to doing that on paperwork days! Oh yeah!

The show closed at 4 PM. Thank you to the organizers for that. There is NO need to keep that show (or any other show) open past 4 PM on the last day. People are tired, vendors are tired, organizers are tired. Most consumers are gone. We did start a general tidying up of our booths around 3 PM and you could hear a general rustling of other vendors doing the same thing. At 4 PM, the teardown happened in full force. I envy those that are out of there in minutes!!!!  Every booth that I've ever worked at is one of the last ones to pack up!!! The booth that I used to work for was out of there before we were last night but not by much.

Let's face it - we technically have TWO booths to tear down. We're not a large group so that means all hands on deck for that process. I guess it's not that bad, but I'm always thrilled to death when it's finished. As I was leaving, there were still a couple other vendors that were almost finished. It was after 7:30 PM when I left the building. And yep - it was raining!!! My car looks like a disaster - stuff just got crammed in!

I passed by Tim's and got some chili for dinner and back to the house.

I had gotten to the show early to check out the remainder of the quilts. I took lots of pictures and I hope to share some of them with you. I was also keeping my eye on the Trendtex challenge. They had a silent auction and the bidding closed at 1:30. A few others and I were hovering. There was one piece in particular that I really, really wanted and I was willing to pay money for it. I had the highest bid at the start of the day and then some person outbid me. So I later outbid them and they never came back! Yeah!!!! 

I ended up with three pieces in total, but I didn't pay much for the other two. There was one other piece that I really thought was brilliant and I wanted it as well, but two friends were bidding on it and I decided to let them duke it out!

On that note, it's time to get everything packed up and in the car. Then the long trip home. It's actually not that long, but I will have to stop for gas along the way and for a stretch break. That's OK. My goal is to be home by lunchtime. I got an audiobook, I got snacks and I should be good!

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Quilt Canada - Day Three

Holy smokes!!!!!  It was Day Three of Quilt Canada yesterday and I got to take lunch at 3 PM. YES - that's how busy it was yesterday. Unbelievable. I've no idea where all the people have come from, but it's been amazing. Loads of people popping in to chat about sewing machines or quilting machines.

We had one lady who had spent the previous two days exploring all the options of a sit-down quilting machine. She had collected brochures and made notes. She came back to our booth and asked a few more questions and then bought. She was the BEST prepared customer I've ever seen.

A lot of friends and followers came by the booth and hard to name them all, but it was great to see you all!!!  Two ladies came by from Sudbury. Now I knew I was never going to remember their names, so I made myself a note!!  Hi to Fran and Julie from Sudbury. Thanks for following the blog and thanks so much for stopping by to say HI. Gosh - I should have been taking pictures with people, but there just wasn't time for that.

I heard from many vendors that they are madly selling stock and a lot of them were going to run out of their main products by noon yesterday. People were taking kits apart so they would have fabric to sell. That's an amazing thing to happen.

I did get to the show early yesterday so I could pop around and look at some more quilts. I'll be back early again this morning to finish my tour since it's next to impossible to get out of the booth, although I expect that today will be much quieter.

I stopped by the Quilts of Valour booth. I was chatting with one of the reps and I was looking at a replica of a quilt made for the First World War. It was a signature quilt. I don't know what happened to me, but I had a very emotional moment. Huge waves of emotion just poured out - it was very bizarre, to say the least.

They have a call for blocks- they are log cabin blocks. You can make a block, you can make a quilt top or even better - you can make an entire quilt!!!  It's better to make an entire quilt. We're going on a retreat in a couple of weeks - I'm going to challenge my group that we make a Quilts of Valour quilt while we're at the retreat and I'll get it quilted after the retreat. I might even have all the fabrics needed in my stash. I'll check that out when I get home. Maybe we can even have a Quilts of Valour sewing day at my "new" studio B.

Being as busy as we have been has meant that I didn't get a chance to buy a single thing. Not that I need anything, but it would be nice to get out and at least look. There are a couple of vendors that I'd like to chat with about certain products and I hope to get out today for a bit to check it out.

So many people to chat with - so little time. I've been juggling my evening dinners with people. Last night I went out with Leslie and Luana. Luana owns It's an online quilt shop that's been around for 20 years. I love chatting with her as she's got a very good handle on the quilting industry including trends in fabrics and colors and styles. I didn't get to hear her lecture at Quilt Canada, but the dinner conversation helped to compensate for that.

It's all about networking!!! And I LOVE to network!!!

Trying to keep up with the urgent e-mails while I'm away, but I know I'm neglecting some stuff. I got TWO good pieces of news yesterday. First, it appears that the magazine section of FW (which owns the popular quilting magazines - Quiltmaker, McCalls, Fons and Porter) has been purchased. We're not sure what this means yet - how many titles will continue? all or none or some? But at least there will be money in the coffers. I went ahead on a leap of faith that they would continue. I now have three quilts to make this summer.

The second piece of good news is that my floor should be done by the END OF JUNE!!!!!  Yes - I'm so excited, I can hardly wait. That means when I get home, I've got to bring up that stuff that I want to get rid of. I could get the guys to do it, but well - I don't mind doing some of that stuff. I need to make a decision about the work tables. Do I bring my two personal tables up to Studio U?? I'm so tempted because they are very good expensive tables and I really should be getting my money's worth out of them. Since I plan to sew more upstairs - I should bring them up. OK - a decision is made - they're going up!  Then all the tables in the studio will be the same and hopefully, I'll find a new configuration for them.

That means that Sit n Sew days will be back in business in July. If you're on the list - I'll be sending out the dates once I'm home. I also plan to have some days for charity quilts to use up those five tubs of fabric. I'll be putting together more information on that and sending that out. I'm so flipping excited - I can hardly wait!!!!   Thanks to Pat for the great suggestion. If anyone has ideas on how to use up that fabric and make use of that great space - let me know. I'm open!!!

I'm also so inspired and motivated to get back to the sewing machine - I told the others in our booth yesterday that I need to go home - NOW. They asked if I was sick. Nope - just motivated!!   My brain is going to explode.

I'll be heading out very early tomorrow morning so if there isn't a blog tomorrow - don't be alarmed.

The show closes at 4 PM today so that's a good thing and hopefully, it won't take too long to get everything together and on the skids for shipping back to Toronto.

I feel a sore throat coming on. I hope that wasn't from Leslie who has a cold. It's probably from all the talking. I've been trying to drink as much water as I can to prevent dehydration. I'm doing OK, but probably not enough.

I'm going to be bidding on some of the Trendtex challenge pieces today. Some of them are so fun and there's one that a few people I know want. I hate to bid over them - although I've done it before and was totally shameless in my bidding. Sorry, Peggy!!!

On that note, I guess I had better get myself organized for the day.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, June 14, 2019

Quilt Canada - Day Two

I'm not a basketball fan, but I would be remiss if I didn't say "We ARE the Champions!". I saw the score this morning. Way to go Raptors!!

I feel like WE are the champions after surviving yesterday at Quilt Canada. I arrived bright and early so I could check out some of the quilts. Some great concurrent shows with loads of interesting ideas. I can't wait to get back home and have some planning sessions with myself. I have two deadlines when I get home - both July 1st, but both are very doable in that time frame. Unfortunately, one more item got added to that list yesterday. Yep - that deadline list ebbs and flows but stays pretty consistent.

I did take a few pictures and will try to post next week. Holy cow - yesterday had a wee bit of a slow start to it, but then BAM - that place was hopping. I'm not sure how many buses ended up coming, but that place was a beehive of activity until late in the day.

I demoed sewing machines, embroidery machines, quilting machines, embroidery software, and talked about quilting techniques. They are so many myths out there that people think is the "right" way to quilt. Holy cow!!!!  Ladies and gentlemen, we have to start thinking outside the box! The other thing I noticed is that people have taken MANY classes, but are still afraid. People, you have to STOP taking classes. No that's not right. You have to take a class, then go home and practice. Then you take the next class and practice some more. You just can't keep taking classes and hope to get better.

I try to convince them to try at least ONE new thing. Don't forget about my 86 year old father (his father lived to be 100). His motto is - I need to learn something new every day. He volunteers for a museum and spends his days tinkering with gas engines on old tractors. If they can't find a replacement part, my dad MAKES the parts. He learns something every day. I'm very proud of my dad and my mom and it's from them that I learned a good work ethic. I also learned a wee bit about hoarding!

So here's a wee homework assignment for you all. Take something - anything in your house and try to learn something new about it. Could be your phone. Could be a kitchen appliance. Could be your camera. Or get that sewing machine out. Take one of the stitches - what can you do with that one stitch. Gosh - it could even be something as simple as the zigzag. You can do a LOT of different things with the zigzag. Over and over again, I hear people say they have all these stitches, but don't know what to do with them. Well, try new things.

That's one of the reasons why I like to be nosy and see what other people are doing. How are they using things differently? That's also why I like to take classes, but at the same time, I think we use classes as a crutch. We think that if we take something like free motion quilting that we'll learn. Oh yes - we'll learn, but if we don't sit down at the machine and practice those techniques - we'll never learn.

I heard that over and over again yesterday. Oh yes - my other teacher told me to do that. Well?????  Why aren't you doing that? How do you think I learned? Or the other instructors learned? We made mistakes - lots of mistakes.

And the myths - oh - it's sad about the myths. People think they need to do things a certain way. Nope - not at all. It's your quilt and your skills. You do what you think works best for you! There's no halfway!

Perhaps I'll do a myth-busting blog post one day just cause I'm tired of hearing all these things. If you have a myth that you think would make a good topic - e-mail it to me.

Oh my goodness - I saw so many people yesterday. People that I knew from all over the place. People that I used to work for, people that I worked with, people who follow my blog and loads of others. It was super exciting. Two ladies stopped by to say HI. They are blog followers. One was from Sudbury and one from Ottawa. They did tell me their names, but my mind is totally blank at this point. Thanks so much for following the blog and thanks so much for stopping by to say HI!! 

I didn't get out of our booth to any of the vendors. I think today will be a quieter day? Not sure as yesterday was so crazy. I'll try to post some pictures on Facebook - I haven't even had time to do that.

Here are my pictures for today. They are from an English Paper Piecing class that I taught a while back at Oh Look Fabric. I missed getting pictures of one student's work.

We had a blast - as usual.

Loretta's hexies

Cathy's hexies

Heidi's hexies

I LOVE all those color combinations. I should be bringing my hexies with me, but there honestly isn't time to do anything here. I was out last night with Carol and we had a grand chat about stuff. I haven't had a chance to catch up with her in a while so that was awesome.

Wow  - so much excitement happening. Seems like something new everyday!!!  Yeah!   Bring it on!

On that note, I'd better find something to wear today. I was a wee bit skimpy on what I packed for the show, but that's easy to fix with a few scarves and other accessories! Don't forget that if you're in the Ottawa area and coming to Quilt Canada, stop by the Husqvarna Viking booth and say HI!!!!

Have a super day!!!!!!


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quilt Canada - Day Two

First day of Quilt Canada!  I'm amazed at how many people I saw from back home. It was great to see so many people. I'm sure there's going to be loads more over the next three days.  I have a funny story to tell about this one person I met. A while back, I got an e-mail from someone who said they had made a bicycle quilt and it was on display at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga. I should check it out. I found out later that they had found me because of the name of my blog. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make the show.

As I was leaving the floor on the night of set-up, I noticed a bicycle quilt hanging in the show. Never thought more about it. After the awards ceremony, I saw a man with a very fuzzy, long beard hugging someone that I knew. Maggie called him Fuzzy and I tucked that fact in the back of my head and never thought anything about it.

When Paul and I were recapping the show when we got back to his house, Fuzzy came up in the conversation and I realized that it might be him who had contacted myself. One thing led to another and I ran into him yesterday morning. We had a grand discussion about his AMAZING pieces of art and yes - in fact he was the one that had contacted me. It's just a small, small world. Here's a link to his website. He's one very creative person and completely self-taught!!!  If you search on his website, you can find information about his work in a show in Oakville that opens this weekend. 

That's one of the reasons that I love these shows is to get to see the people. Yes, the quilts are important, but for me, it's the people!

We were fairly busy yesterday demoing machines to attendees. I learned a few things. I hate it when someone asks me a question and while I know part of the answer, I may not know the entire answer. So I dug out the manual and learned how to do Design Positioning on one of the models we have in the booth. It gets me every time. I know how, but then I miss one step and it doesn't make sense. So today, I'm going to make sure that I know how on all the machines.

Thank goodness I went in early yesterday because it took forever to get all the machines up and running. Where's the fabric, where's the stabilizer, where's the hoops and then find a design on the four embroidery machines and set them in slow motion to work. 

Most of the machines were already threaded so that was a good thing. I'm going in early again today, but this time, I get to walk around and see the quilts.

I did pop out for a bit later in the afternoon yesterday and saw some amazing quilts in the concurrent shows. And we had a lively discussion in the area of the modern quilts that were on display from one of the Canadian modern guilds. There's been a lot of chat about modern quilts and I think one day I'm going to do a post about it. It's confusing and yet it isn't when you think about the logic to it. I need to wait until my books are unpacked for that.

Speaking of packing, I don't have a start date yet, as they are trying to get the last minute details in place and oh boy - I'm so not looking forward to this. But at the same time, I want to get this done and be able to get back into Studio B and back to hosting the Sit n Sew days. I might even think about installing a new light or two and trying to see how I can reconfigure the space. Do I move my nice heavy sewing table up to Studio U???  That's a tough one, but it would make life easier in Studio B and more flexibility. I'd better come up with a plan real quick because when those movers come, they are the ones that are going to be moving it! Decisions!

I also hope to conceal ALL the excess in that storage room which by the time I get through with it, I hope it'll be empty of all the extra stuff that was stored there. Yikes - I need to be home and evaluating the situation!!! But I'll just evaluate in my mind!

I also hope to use the space in Studio B to much better advantage by rearranging some stuff and the layout because I want to do a lot more there than I've done in the past. Not only with the Sit n Sew days, but maybe some classes and definitely some events where we're working on some community project quilts. I NEED to get those five buckets of fabric that is earmarked for that used up. That is my goal - I want that studio to be a useable, friendly place to work and not have to keep clearing stuff up in order to make that happen. I'm determined to make that happen and it will!

I did eat much better yesterday. My dinner plans fell through or let's say they got juggled around and so it ended up that Paul and I went out to dinner. My secret plan worked. I've been wanting to chat to him about what we do as industry professionals and now I've got a captive audience. We've been able to bounce ideas off each other and it's been great.

What is my picture of the day? This is from a pillowcase class that I taught a couple of weeks ago. The gentleman was too shy to be in the picture. He had never sewn anything before or used a rotary cutter. He had never ironed before either. But his pillowcase was finished by the end of the class and he did an outstanding job. I was totally impressed. This was at Oh Look Fabric! Some days, teaching newbies how to sew and make a project at the same time can be a bit challenging, but when you see the smile on their face when the project is completed, it's worth the effort.


I forgot to bring the charger for my Fitbit and it's going to die today. Not sure that I'm going to find a charger for that while I'm here that I could borrow, but I'll ask around today to see what I come up with.

I was in bed fairly early last night which was good. I was very tired and needed my sleep. I'm pretty much back to normal this morning. Although I didn't pop out of bed when the alarm went off as I don't really have anything to do. But it's such a luxury to lie in bed and think and plan stuff and not have anything urgent on the plate.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day and if you're around Quilt Canada - I'm in the Husqvarna booth!!!


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Quilt Canada - Set Up Day

Ah - set up day. Such a fun day! It's one of those bittersweet days as you get to chat - very briefly with people you haven't seen in a while and you work. You work hard!

We had a lot of stuff to assemble and set up so it took a wee bit longer than it usually does.  I didn't seem to be in my best form yesterday as it seemed that I took 2 steps forward and then 5 steps backward as we got stuff organized. I should know better from all the years of doing set up at shows. Anyway - it doesn't matter.

I was on the small ladder hanging quilts and I was crawling under tables getting the electrical sorted out. There's nothing more exciting than turning on all the sewing machines and the lights and they all work because you've found a way to plug them all in. Let's just say that black carpet and black tablecloths make for some very dark situations under the table!

I didn't really get a chance to walk around and see what else or who else was setting up. I did see some of the crew from Mississauga who were hanging quilts. They had the fortune or misfortune to be hanging the Trendtex challenge near the back of the hall where the loading dock doors were open. At one point, we hear "HELP" and realized that the wind had caught their display and was in the process of toppling the entire section of pipe and drape. People ran to the rescue and soon everything was back in place.

Thankfully we didn't have any mishaps in our area. But I did end up bruising the heel of my hand. Ouch!! And my damn hands are getting so weak - it's driving me crazy. I must start to use my grippy things a bit more. Who would know that your hands would start to fail you! Makes me totally useless and I don't like that.

The awards ceremony started at 7 PM and we were just about finished by then so I popped to the hall next door to see the awards. Some gorgeous quilts in the show although we just saw photos of them at the awards ceremony. It's interesting to see who wins the awards and who doesn't. And you have no idea from looking at the photos as to the size of some of these pieces.

I grabbed a soup on the way home and then we chatted for a long while before retiring for the evening. Another late night and a wee glass of wine which I chased with glasses and glasses of water. I feel much better today. Tired, but at least awake!!

I think I have dinner plans for every evening and that's OK. A good time to meet up with people. Just juggling a few last things.

Here's my photo for today. This was taken a while ago in a class at Oh Look Fabric. It was a kimono class. These are very cute and just the thing to wear if you need to dress up an outfit. Make them casual, make them more elegant. And all three of the students finished them that evening. Not bad considering, they had to cut them out as well. I've forgotten the name of the pattern, but it was easy!!!

Class participants with their finished kimonos

So I need to change up my eating habits. I have no idea why I've fallen off the wagon. I've probably eaten more sugar last week and so far this week than I did all last year!  Why? I've no idea. I'm not even craving the darn stuff - it just seems "nice" to not behave. How stupid is that? So starting today???  Maybe, I'll wait until I'm back home and I'll get myself back in my normal groove.

On that note, I'm out of here to get ready for the show. Have to arrive early this morning to thread all the machines - yep - winding bobbins and threading machines - about 12 to 14 in total. No big deal!

If you're in the area of Ottawa and coming to Quilt Canada, pop by the Husqvarna Viking booth to say hello.

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Travel Day - Toronto to Ottawa

I ran around the house like a busy, little bee and finished packing all the stuff. I sure do miss my larger car. But I was able to get everything in. It's not so much that this car is smaller, but there is less room in the back. I'll have to explain the difference one day.

I finished sewing the sleeve on that magazine quilt while I was at the Monday sewing. My massage appointment got canceled which was what I was waiting around for so I decided to leave as soon as the sleeve was on. I stopped at the UPS office and then back home for a quick stop to get my GPS. That's another story that deals with the car which I refuse to go into at the moment.

Let's just say that the weather didn't cooperate as far as driving goes. I hate driving in the rain. Well, I don't hate it. But I'd rather that it rained less. With all the big trucks on the road, there was a lot of spray from the vehicles.

And it poured for a good part of the way. Yeah!!  However, there were times when it wasn't pouring so not like the entire way was bad. Other than the rain, the most exciting thing that I saw was when a transport truck blew a tire right in front of me. Not immediately in front of me, but ahead of me. I had no idea what to expect but you couldn't miss the BANG and then the bits of rubber flying around. The driver of the truck immediately pulled over and the traffic around him slowed down so we were all good.

Some days I'm good on the road driving and some days I'm not. I was tired so I pulled into one of the service stations along the way and had a 20-minute snooze and then I was good to go the rest of the way. After I cleared the city (which took over ONE hour), I opened up my audiobook and listened to that. An interesting story about a grumpy old man who tries to commit suicide and fails twice (so far). It's called A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. 

An interesting character story. I notice I seem to be reading more of those these days. But they are interesting and fun to see how the characters interact with each other.

At last, I arrived at my destination. I could have stayed at a hotel, but that would be boring, so I'm staying with a quilting friend. We see each other from time to time, but don't have time to really chat so I thought this would be a good opportunity.

I got to bed much later than usual and after a glass of wine and with all that travel, it was IMPOSSIBLE to wake up this morning. I mean, I was even dreaming about it! Like a slug. I'm feeling better now. But yikes - totally useless. Thank god that doesn't happen to me on a regular basis - I'd get nothing done at home.

I have a couple extra of these label panels that you use for labels on quilts. Anyone interested in them??  You can see the entire panel here at the Northcott website. And if you want to see how to use them in your inkjet printer, I wrote instructions which you can find here.  I have two or three panels that are unspoken for. The cost per panel (which consists of 24 labels) is $11.  You can e-mail me if you're interested. Hopefully, you're close by so we don't need to worry about shipping.

Panel of labels

On that note, I'd better get myself downstairs and have breakfast. It's set up day - the favorite day of any show. NOT!!!  It's a lot of hard work. A lot of fussing and it's just a long day!  But we get to see people that we haven't seen in a long time or on a regular basis so it's a fun day as well. It's all in how you look at it - half empty or half full. Since it's something that I can't get out of doing, I might as well enjoy the day!

I see it's no longer raining here but looks windy and cool.

Have a great day!!!!