Saturday, April 21, 2018

On your mark, get set - IRON!

I hosted a sit and sew at my house this past week. The numbers were few, but that's OK. We still got lots of work done. 

I'm a wee bit pressed for time this morning so I'll share what happened to me in another post. It will have to wait until next week as I can't upload pictures on that darn iPad. I'm going to take another tablet with me (not an iPad) and see if that works. I should also throw my teeny computer/tablet in my bag, but I'm not sure where the power cord is. If I can find that - I might throw that in the bag as well. Going loaded with technology! 

Let's just say that it's been a crazy busy week. I taught three classes in the evening - all of them were super fun, especially last night! More on that another day. I have two classes to teach today. Then we're off to retreat for a week and then I have three classes the day after I come back. All of them needed some prep work. And let's not forget my meeting that I have to attend on Monday. It's been a challenge, to say the least. BUT as long as everything fits in my car, I'm good. It might be a wee challenge to make that happen - I have this massive sewing machine box and the embroidery unit to put in the car as well as my wagon to carry everything. I'll be sure to take pictures and post on social media.

Speaking of social media, did you know that for a lot of people, blogging is passe?  Yep - people can't be bothered to write (or read) blog posts so they go for Instagram pictures or Facebook pictures. That is so damn boring and how will everyone keep up their language skills if they don't read and write? Are we going back to kindergarten? Well, I don't care - I love to blog and will continue to do so for as long as I can!!!

Diane was working on a project that I hope to make someday.It's called Oh My Gosh. I've forgotten who the pattern is by. But those little blocks - well they are little and there are some nine-patches as well. I was hoping to snag a few, but that didn't happen. I guess I just have to cut and sew my own. But not right now!

Oh My Gosh project

Pat was assembling some hand embroidered blocks into a quilt top. There were a few design modification along the way (yes - ripping out), but she got the top together. It looks awesome and the colors she chose were perfect.

Pat's elf quilt
 The blocks are super cute. The pattern is by Unseen Hands.   There are a couple of really really nice barn embroidery quilts on her website. Hmm - those would be nice to do. Barns with quilts on them.

Elf block from Unseen Hands
 Ruth was working on her blocks from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (Elm Creek). I didn't get a picture of her blocks.

I have to share this story with you about the iron. I'm currently using one of the Reliable irons - the model 50. The orange one. I need to read the instruction manual to learn how to set it up so that it doesn't shut off, especially on days of sit n sew. It has a couple of quirks which means the steam will turn itself on when it reaches a certain temperature. I like it, you just have to be careful using it. Once I read the manual, I'm sure that problem will go away.

To make life easier for the people coming to sew, I purchased a small iron a month ago. Last week was the first time using it. I plugged it in and we were ready to sew. But as with all shut-off irons, this one shut off. We gave it a nudge and nothing seemed to happen. Then it was stone cold and leaking water which happens when you turn a cold iron face down. Hmm  - what could be the problem?

The box says that it has a 45-minute timed shut-off. Should be OK. After much puzzlement, I read the instructions. Oh - it has a 45-minute timer all right!  After 45 minutes, the iron shuts completely down and the only way to restart it?  You guessed it - you have to unplug and replug it in!!! 

Iron with a timer!!!

While this may be a great feature for the forgetful husband or teenager in your house, it's not really the most practical iron for the sewer/quilter out there. I'm not taking it back, but if ever you see TIMER on the iron box, be suspicious. Very suspicious. It probably shuts down completely after that time. I've heard of this from another friend years ago, but never realized what the wording meant on the box.  Oh well - having to unplug and replug is better than having the steam going off by itself. But we got a good chuckle over that one.

I managed to get the customer quilt done yesterday. It's off the machine, trimmed and ready for pick-up. I love the quilt - she replicated the family bookcase!!!!

Customer quilt - DONE

Someone once told me that you can "read" a person by the kind of books they have on their shelves. Hm - there was quite a variety of books on this shelf as the maker had put names on the spines of a lot of the books. 

I finished listening to my audiobook as well which was good because yesterday was the last day to listen to it. I plugged headphones in and quilted away. I like to hear the sound of the long arm so the book wasn't too loud. It worked perfectly. 

On that note, I'm out of here. I'm off to the dog park and then back home to pack the car and then speed off to class. 

If you're local - enjoy the warm weather. I got home around 10 PM last night and NO coat. That felt great!!!  However we're heading north for the retreat so the weather won't be quite as warm as here, but who knows - we may be found frolicking on the beach?? 

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, April 20, 2018

You need an engineering degree for this

So the long arm was disassembled and sent away for its upgrade and spa treatment. It almost didn't get the upgrade, but all that got worked out. Then it was supposed to be delivered on Friday last week, but arrived on Monday instead right in the aftermath of the ice storm!

Two big boxes arrived. I waited two hours before I had the courage to open them up. I knew that it was going to take some time to get the machine back up and running as I had set it up by myself when I first got the long arm. I have to say that every time, I've done some work on the long arm (upgrading the carriage/wheel system and the initial set up) that the installation manuals have been absolutely impeccable. Lots of illustrations and instructions. Never had much of an issue.  I was hoping that this time would be the same.

I managed to get the two boxes downstairs so I could unpack them.

The boxes are in the basement
 Within the two boxes were lots of smaller boxes and bags filled with various bits and pieces.

Lots of smaller boxes within the big boxes

The long arm table was still covered with bits that I had removed before the machine went in for servicing.

Bits of the machine and my tools still lying around from when the machine was disassembled

Here's the instruction manual. Scary at over 60 pages!!!   And it took a wee bit of time to figure out where to start. There have been different upgrades and different features on the Millennium over the years so you had to pay attention to what version/features that were on your own machine. But lots of pictures so that helped.

The manual!
 And then there was this very scary box!  There was this massive huge cable in there. What to do with that?  I'll get to that box when I get to it. Let's not worry about that now.

Box with one huge scary mess of wires/cables

Once I got my bearings with the manual, it was time to get out the wrenches and see what we could. First thing was to remove a couple of bolts. That was easy! Well, not exactly because the nuts for these bolts was "hidden" within a channel on the leg. So some gymnastics was involved to get an angle to view them.

Removing some bolts was step one
 Then a new piece of equipment was attached to that area and new bolts were inserted. Again, not that difficult, but tightening up those bolts was a bit of a hassle.

New piece added and bolted in place

Then more bits were added. I did struggle at one point where I was looking for holes in the carriage that slides along the table when I should have looked for the holes on the bottom of the machine head. Oh boy - I did send photos to the support team, but I ended up calling them to get the information I needed. I felt a wee bit silly that I mixed up HEAD and CARRIAGE. I know what the parts are - I was just confused.

At last, the head of the long arm was replaced onto the frame and the heavy bars were put back in place. I had help for that step because it's a bit impossible to be at both ends of a 14-foot table at the same time.

The head is back on the table
 There were a few parts that were removed from the machine or exchanged and were not to be reused. But I also had this box of bits and pieces that I still had to deal with.

More bits to deal with
 A lot of this was what I had taken off the machine before it left. I had extra spool holders, the laser for doing pantographs and some other stuff.

AHA - now it's time to get the tablet installed on the machine. This is weird because when I'm quilting on the other side, I can see my reflection on the tablet screen. Oops - you forgot to brush your hair today!

Tablet is installed
 It was when I went to install the handles on the rear of the machine that I had a wee bit of a heart attack. You see there are lots of connectors all over the place. When I put the handle on the back end of the machine (where you operate the machine to do hand guided pantographs), I was trying to figure out why the plug from the handle was NOT connected to anything. Why is that? and how will I get it to work?

Then when I read the instructions to install the handle on this side that I realized why. OH NO - this means that when the computer is installed, the rear handles (those that are used to do pantographs) do NOT work. WHAT?????   I was hoping to do some manual pantographs and then some by computer. To switch from one to the other, I would have to remove the handles and switch around some wires. Not a very time-consuming job, but a pain to say the least. I never thought to ask the question of how easy it was to switch from computer to manual for pantographs. However, I've decided that NO more hand guided pantographs. I paid a lot of money for that computer and well - I'm just going to have to learn how to use it!

Hooking up the left side handle on the rear of the machine
 I think I got all that accomplished in two days. It was hard to stick with it as there was so much technical stuff and I didn't have tons of time, but I had a deadline that the machine had to get up and running.

Next, I tackled this mass of cords. Actually, it's one big octopus type of cording. Everything is connected and it was brilliantly laid out by the APQS tech team. It went amazingly smooth to get everything connected.

The umbilical cord
That cord essentially plugs everything into everything else and runs the computer. I'm scared of it!

And here's the long arm, pretty much ready to go.

Almost ready
OH -- I had two more cords to connect and then plug in the power cord.

Three cords to go

Surprisingly, I plugged the long arm in and it worked!  Then I loaded a small table runner that I could try stitch in the ditch. That's what my customer wants on her quilt. The table runner was a perfect example to experiment on. The feel of the long arm is completely different than it was before. It sounds quieter and seems to run smoother. I love the new interchangeable feet that I had installed.

I loaded the customer quilt and things are going great.  I need to get that quilt finished today so that is on the agenda as well as completing the prep for my two classes tomorrow and three classes next week although I can take some of the prep with me to the retreat. I can't say how many times, I've gone for retreat and had so much to do prior to leaving. The timing of this retreat (from weekend to weekend) is NOT good for me. I prefer that it be on a weekend with no classes. Will watch for that in the future.

On that note, I'm out of here. Yesterday was sit n sew and well - some pretty funny things happened - I'll share that tomorrow!!!

Have a great day!!!


A HUGE shout out to all the team at APQS (American Professional Quilting Systems) for making the upgrade so seamless!!!! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

One more treasure to share

Of course, you realize when I say SHARE, I mean share visually with you. Of course, I'm not sharing this project with you! 

I seem to be a magnet for UFOs. And I don't mind. It does depend on the UFO of course and while I was prepping for that presentation on log cabin quilts, I came across another treasure that I had forgotten about. This one was donated to me by someone in one of my guilds. I don't think I purchased it. So yes (and NO JUDGING HERE), if you have a cool project that is languishing in your closet and you no longer want it and want to get rid of it (for free - I don't buy these things), then e-mail me and tell me about it. I love scrap quilts, log cabins. I don't need or want any of the current or modern stuff - I have plenty of that. Just saying!

This treasure is also a log cabin quilt called Log Cabin in the Round. I do believe I have a pattern for it in my book collection, but you can tell that this one was started a few years back when those teeny calico prints were in.

I haven't really taken inventory of the box, but there is a lot of strips already cut.

Box of strips for the log cabin in the round quilt
There are some completed blocks - notice that ALL of the seams are on a curve. This is a very unusual pattern.

Some of the blocks for the log cabin in the round

Actually, most of the blocks are done in the courthouse steps setting.

How was the marking done?  There is a muslin foundation for all the blocks and it looks like it was marked with a heat transfer pen.

One of the muslin foundations for the blocks

So you see, there are many projects hidden away in several nooks and crannies. It's obscene. I really need to be working on the ones that I would like to own and enjoy rather than off to do a bunch of other stuff. But I want to do it ALL!!!!

Obviously, that isn't going to happen, but I'm going to have fun while I can.

I've got a sit n sew today and I just had to move everything off the work tables and into one corner of the room. I was hoping that more of it would be dealt with, but that just didn't happen.  But I'm making progress and not too many new things are being added.

It's been a crazy busy week. Not only was I getting the long arm back in business, but I had two evening classes to teach and one more on Friday. These are classes at the new quilt shop in Milton - Oh Look Fabric. Some of the store clientele are new to sewing and new to quilting so the classes are geared as such. That seems to be a bit of a trend for modern quilt shops - people who have never sewed before are coming in to learn.  Let's say that it's exciting to teach someone who has never used a rotary cutter - can you imagine that? or someone who has never used a sewing machine. It's exciting because we may have a new quilter on our hands! But it's also very "scary" - you don't want anyone to injure themselves with the cutter and will they get the cutting, sewing, etc.

The first night we did a table runner. Only one student was able to attend that night which was lucky for her. She got a private class. Never touched a rotary cutter before and in three hours, she had most of the top done. Granted, she was familiar with her sewing machine as she was a garment sewist. There was a lot to learn - chain piecing, strip piecing, but she managed just fine.

Table runner - the top is ALMOST completed

Last night, I taught a couple of people how to make a pillowcase. No experience with rotary cutters or sewing machines!!!  Both of them finished their pillowcase!!!   There's a good chance that if you're reading this blog, that you have some experience with the rotary cutter and sewing machine, but if you know someone who wants to learn to sew and lives in the area - I'm open to teaching anything!!

I had both ends of the spectrum last night from the very easy to the challenging. This was the easy pillowcase. No band, no directional fabric. The pictures don't do justice to the projects, but she did a great job and it looked awesome.

One finished pillowcase
 The second person - same thing - no rotary cutting or sewing machine experience. AT ALL - NONE.  And wouldn't you know it, she brought directional fabric. Not just directional fabric for the body of the pillowcase, but directional for the band as well. Plus she wanted trim on hers.

Two directional prints on the pillowcase

And the directional print for the band and the fabric for the trim were both not long enough so they had to be cut and sewed together!  Oh yes - a few challenges along the way, BUT the pillowcase got done just as the time was up!!!

Pillowcase - DONE with TWO directional prints

 I have written instructions for making the pillowcase using directional fabric (but not for the band - those instructions happened on the fly last night) and making the pillowcase using nondirectional fabric. You can download the directional print for the body only instructions from the Northcott website. If you want the one using nondirectional fabric, perhaps you can get in touch with me and I'll forward to you. The only difference is the cutting instructions. Or you can sign up for the class and make the pillowcase in the class.

It's super exciting to see the students have those lightbulb moments, especially with the way this pillowcase goes together. A lot of fun, but today is a fun day for me. Well of sorts as while I'll be spending the day sewing with friends, I'll be working on stuff for my classes on the weekend.

I'm teaching the double wedding ring on Saturday morning at The Hobby Horse. In the afternoon, I'll be teaching a paper pieced pillow, also at The Hobby Horse. I've got a few new tricks up my sleeve for paper piecing that is going to make things a whole lot easier!! Of course, I'm not going to share them with you here. You'll have to take the class!!!  And then there is the Friday night paper piecing class at Oh Look Fabric but that class is full. Crazy busy - but I love to teach! It's in my blood.

I have one other thing to share with you and that's about Libby. Libby is the app that you can download to manage (and read or listen) to audiobooks/e-books from your local library. I was messing around with my iPad one night and thought I would install the app on that device in addition to my phone. Well, if you use the app from the phone to get a code for the app on the iPad (or another device you're using), the darn things SYNC with each other. So if you're reading/listening on the iPad and then you switch to the phone - it knows exactly where you were. How cool is that!!!!   I learned that one all by myself. And I figured it out all by myself as well. Just make sure your device is connected to Wi-Fi when you SYNC - otherwise it won't sync over the cellular network. My phone wouldn't sync until it was connected - there may be a setting to change that.

And on a very happy note, I'd like to say that I figured out how to put that long arm back together again. I'll share the entire story with you tomorrow???  It was a challenge and took several days because my brain just couldn't cope with all those bits. I quilted a small table runner yesterday to check out the basic freehand side of the machine. I have a customer quilt that is urgent to get done. It's loaded and partially completed. Then I'll play with the computer to see how that works. But I'll share the whole story later!!!

Hae a super day!!!!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How did this happen???

I might as well get some of these other pictures that I have posted up for you to look at.  A couple of weeks ago when I was prepping for a presentation on log cabin quilts, I was rifling through all my UFOs to find examples of quilts.

I did find what I was looking for but I also unearthed a horrible situation. A stack - a huge stack of UFOs that are almost, but not quite completed. Why do we do this to ourselves??? Now before you judge me - DON'T because you're probably in the same boat as me!  We're all in this together!!!

The first quilt I unearthed was this one called Stonehenge meets Jamestown (Marti Michell). It was a class I taught several years ago. The alternate block in this quilt is a log cabin which is why I dug it out. All the blocks are made (except one) and all the rows are together except the last one. Why isn't that last block together? Because I lost the block. I swear I had made the block, but I can't find it so the quilt sits there unfinished. Seriously???  I need to give myself a boot on this one! It would take ONE day at the minimum to finish it off. That's the kind of project I should be choosing for my UFOs!!!!

Stonehenge meets Jamestown
I love it when I search for something on Google and the first link that pops up is my blog!!  Here's the link to the final reveal of the quilts from the class.  I just peeked at the pictures - I remember that we did the reveal at my house!!!

I ended up NOT using this for my presentation as one of the students was able to bring in a finished quilt. Thanks, Tish!!!!

The next quilt that I dug up is Spring Beauty (Rabbit Factory). This is a pineapple quilt which is a version of the log cabin. Did you know that???  Anyway, in the box, I found ALL the completed blocks. This was done as an exchange with Linda and Mary YEARS ago. It's hard to see the pattern, but there is an applique border on the quilt and then a border of half square triangles. The colored squares are cut for the half square triangle border, but no white. I did take one of these blocks with me. But Mary had finished the quilt and so we got to see her quilt.  I was talking so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it. She did NOT do the applique but did piano keys instead. So why don't I just do a white border and then the half square triangles? Or even just a regular border and leave the little squares for something else???

Spring Beauty quilt

I found a picture on the internet of what the border is supposed to look like.

Border on Spring Beauty by Rabbit Factory

I have a sewing day tomorrow and I could easily whip those blocks on the design wall and sew them together.  Wouldn't take long!!!!  Again - why isn't this kind of project in the UFO box instead of something that I've barely touched????

The next one that I unearthed is O Tannenbaum. This was a class from years ago and I love this quilt. I must get it finished. In total, there are 16 paper-pieced log cabin blocks  - I have 5 to go. Most of the other blocks are completed as well.  So why am I not working on this???  Because I'm working on 150 Canadian Women instead!!!

O Tannenbaum project box

Three different log cabin/court house steps blocks from O Tannenbaum

And if you want to see what we did in this class - have a look at this link from my blog. You have to scroll down to see the picture.

But I wasn't done. Oh no - not by a long shot. I found this log cabin block as well. It's from The Underground Railroad Quilt by Quilt in a Day.  The blocks are finished - they just need sashing and to be sewn together.

Log cabin blcok from the Underground Railroad quilt
 OH MY GOD  -- you need to go to this link on my blog and scroll right to the very end where I talk about this quilt.  That was SIX years ago!!!!   Why isn't this one on my UFO list????  From that comment, you can see why we have UFO lists!!!!  We forget about projects!!!

I also found this block. There's no pattern - it was just something that I found amusing to make using homespuns in different scale of checks. There are about 6 blocks completed and quite a few more blocks that need the last two rounds.  Why isn't that one on the UFO list???

Log cabin from homespuns

I found this version of a courthouse step block in the orphan block box. Thankfully the quilt top for this one is DONE and waiting to be quilted. This was the result of a black on white and white on black strip exchange that we did years ago.
A version of courthouse step block
 If you pop to this link on my blog, you'll see my version of the quilt on the design wall.   You have to scroll down to see it - the third picture.

And the last block I have is a log cabin - well the start of one mde with The Wave Edge Ruler. This is all that is done on this quilt and I probably shouldn't continue, but I like the concept and the least I could do is finish the block!!!

The start of a wavy log cabin using The Wave Edge Ruler

Now isn't that just silly that so many projects are in such a state of almost completion. I know there are many more that I didn't open because they didn't have anything to do with log cabin!!!

I have a couple of updates - not that you want to know about my pants situation, but small things amuse me so I'm going to write it down so I can remember when I'm old! I still haven't gone through the entire stack of pants. I counted them today - there are 33 pairs in total. Seriously?? Me - with 33 pairs of pants. Why??  I was going to plop them all in the giveaway pile, but I thought for my amusement that I would try them all on to make sure that I was good to give them away.

I found what used to be my favorite jeans - before Spandex was added to the denim. Boy - they are stiff, and while I used to have a nice comfortable fit, I was told that they were a wee bit too big so they are now in the pile to give away. So much for my favorite pants (which I haven't worn for years so technically there is no need to keep them). NO - I'm not going to cut them up and make some funky project out of them.

I did find two more pairs of pants that do fit so that is all good. I seem to be zeroing in on a single size (the same size on all pairs). At least I'm consistent that way. I'm about halfway through the pile - who knows, there could be one or two more pairs in there that will fit. Bottom line - there is NO NEED for anyone to have 33 pairs of pants. The current count is four that fit. What I really need is a pair of wind pants. The two pair that I have - well, I'd be afraid to walk in them for fear of them falling off.

Then it will be onto the shorts. Once that is done, I really should tackle the T-shirts and things hanging in my closet. That will come. For now - it's off with the pants and shorts.

I finally ventured out yesterday to do an errand which was successful and quite exciting, but the roads were terrible. Filled with potholes and in some areas, just slushy still. I was happy to get back home. I had to stop at the grocery store. One of the things on my list was Steel Cut Oats. They were on special and the shelf was EMPTY. Wow - who knew that everyone else was into those Steel Cut Oats like me. I LOVE them. In case you haven't seen them - here's a picture.  And here's a link to the Quaker page.  BUT, one of the staff unearthed some in the back so I got TWO containers.

Here's the thing - I tried to cook these oats at the retreat in the microwave. 50 percent power (critical) and at home, I can do 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Not so at the retreat house - my oatmeal boiled over. I cut back to 40 percent power and 2 minutes. That was better. So you have to experiment with your microwave. But throw in a little bit of fruit (strawberries, blueberries or banana) and WOW - a very yummy breakfast. With two slices of bacon for protein.

But while I was at the grocery store, I also saw this and so I decided to try it.

I had one for breakfast this morning with some blueberries. Hmm - a lot more fat in it than the steel cut oats. It was good, but I don't know that I would buy it again. It's easy enough to make your own overnight oats and I used almond milk (unsweetened) which gives it a great taste. Way better than regular milk.  OK  so my daughter was right and I ignored her advice for several years - too stubborn to try until I was the one that decided (because of the detox program) to try it. I won't drink it, but in cereal it's great. Did you hear that M???   You were right! I was wrong! - well, I was stubborn!!!

I have other stuff to share with you, but I've run out of time today. I'm trying to get the long arm back together. There's only so much plodding through the manual that I can take and yes - the service department did make those holes magically appear once I got the right piece of equipement in front of me!!!!

More on that whole story another day!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Monday Sewing

I'm glad we all stayed home yesterday. It was wet, it was cold and it's just plain ugly out there.

I did shovel the step off in anticipation of the UPS delivery. I knew the box would be big and heavy and didn't want anyone slipping down the steps. It wasn't that bad to shovel but took several attempts before I got all the snow and ice off the step. Didn't bother with the sidewalk or the drive - hopefully, it'll all be melted soon.

I do need to get out today - I have several errands and we need groceries.

I managed to get a lot of sewing done yesterday so that was a good thing. But wow - it's boring when you sew by yourself. So now I load audiobooks on my phone and listen to that. It's actually not bad. I think I'm almost done another book which is good because having the books on my phone means they disappear when they are due and I have 2 more days!

What did I get done?

I started off by stitching a binding to the front of another quilt. The PFAFF with the built-in walking foot works like a charm. Not that the other machine didn't, but any binding by machine is fast!!!!

Stitching down a binding to the front of a quilt

This makes finish number 30 for the year. And it was on the UFO list for 2017. I'm going to experiment with some labels today???  and see what it looks like to fuse them onto the back of the quilt. Name of the pattern, name of the designer, made by me and the year. I think that's good enough.

Half log cabin quilt - DONE

Then I switched machines. I needed gray thread and this machine had a gray thread on it. Isn't that crazy????  I had paper piecing to do and so got things set up for paper piecing. I'm almost out of gray thread - I'd better do a shopping trip SOON!!

Machine set up for paper piecing
I completed my six blocks for 150 Canadian Women. Just as if I were at Monday sewing. That leaves me with 42 blocks to complete. Who knew that this could actually happen???  That's SEVEN weeks left and I'll be done!!!

Six more blocks for 150 Canadian Women
Thankfully, the blocks are a lot easier these days and I was finished by noon even with some fussing around with other things. Speaking of the blocks, I saw (actually Ronda saw) a bundle of reds at Thimbles and Things when we were there last weekend. I snagged that bundle for my blocks. Hopefully, I have enough fabric now to complete all the blocks.

Bundle of red fat quarters

I did some more sewing on another table runner in preparation for the upcoming table runner class. Can't show you, but it's looking great.

Then I did more paper piecing as I prepped for my paper piecing class on Friday. I actually have two paper piecing classes this week - one on Friday evening at Oh Look Fabric (sorry - class is FULL!!!) and one on Saturday at Hobby Horse. We're making different projects at each class. Be sure to check them out.  I'll post the sample for both tomorrow. Shoot - I forgot to take pictures.

Here's a couple of pictures of things I bought while I was away last week. Here's the hockey fleece that we're going to use on the back of the quilts for the Humboldt Broncos. I love it and we should have enough for two quilts.

Hockey fleece for quilt backs
 Here's the other hockey fabric that I bought. This is flannel. White is NOT my favorite color for a backing, but the theme was perfect. I think I'll have a few more quilts to do so this will come in handy.

Hockey flannel for quilt backings
 And I saw this bicycle flannel and had to get some of that. I have a ton of bicycle fabric and will be making a bunch of quilts so better have backings for them.

There are a couple of neat digitized hockey themed pantos that I could buy and download to my computer - if I get it up and running in time. I might try that!!!!

Backing for a bicycle quilt

While I no longer buy fabric willy-nilly (as much as I used to), I did see these two prints and they were on sale. I just had to buy some - 1 meter of each.  I love camping fabric. Not sure what I'm going to make, but it's super cute!!!

Dog and camping fabric to add to the stash
Here's the rest of what I worked on at the retreat. A bunch of half square triangles that got marked, sewn and trimmed. They are now used up, but I can't share that project with you just yet.

Half square triangles
 And I made these blocks as well. I didn't cut enough to make all the blocks (I only cut half of what I needed - what was I thinking?) so now I have to cut more fabric. Drat!!!!

Pinwheel blocks

 I may share that project with you. Well I will, just not yet!!!!

From time to time yesterday I peeked out the window keeping an eye out for the UPS truck. At 2 PM, I saw the truck come around the corner. Our street isn't plowed and there is a lot of slush on the road. The poor driver looked frazzled.  I went out to greet him and OH MY - we have two big boxes. I helped him bring both of them into the house and he was thankful for that. He was way behind schedule but thankfully he delivered my stuff to me.

I went back to sewing before I could face opening the boxes to see what was involved in setting up the long arm. I finally opened the boxes. Well - I've got that story to share with you another day. I've only just started the process and it appears I have an issue - well actually three show stoppers. After sending pictures, it looks like I can resolve two on my hope. The third one is a bit more complicated and I hope to get that resolved today - but in my mind, it's a big issue. Hopefully, the support team can magically make two holes appear before my very eyes!!!!  Or let's just pray that I'm blind and can't see the holes.

On that note, I'm out of here. Got loads to get done today. I'm not panicking, but all of a sudden, I have a lot of things to take care of!!!  I need to get back to my routine of paperwork in the morning and sewing in the afternoon. But I don't think that is going to happen until May.

Have a super day!!!!!


And if you want to see how Murphy and Lexi passed their day, check out Lexi's blog.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Motivational Monday!!!!

It's Motivational Monday and time to check in with everyone to see how we're making out with our UFOs.

I'm making progress on stuff - just not necessarily my UFOs. But I'm working on them. I was going to work on one yesterday, but I seem to have misplaced the border fabric. Seriously??  I hope to locate that today.

There is no Monday sewing today because of the ugly weather. While the worst of the ice storm is over, it's a mess outside with all that rain/ice/snow melting FAST so we all decided it's best to stay home and sew by ourselves. I did that all day yesterday and I have to admit it was a bit boring. But I managed to get quite a bit done and I'm happy.

I have a sewing day at my house on Thursday so I had better get those work tables cleaned up! While I did make headway on them, they're still pretty full of projects.

I started by prepping the foam bases for the tuffet class. There were 18 bases and all of them had to be marked so they could be trimmed.

Tuffets are all marked
They are now repackaged in the big plastic bag, the beveled edge is trimmed and there's a hole in the center of each to make it easier to pass the tufting cord.

Bases are prepped for class
 Will this be the last of the tuffets?  I would hope so, but I don't think so!!!

Then it was time to fire up the creative icon by PFAFF. What a nice sewing/embroidery machine. I was only messing around with the sewing machine part. I managed to download the manual to my iPad although the entire manual is built into the sewing machine. It's just easier to have the manual in a different spot when you're learning so you can play with the buttons and not have to keep switching screens.

No problems winding bobbins and threading.

The creative icon by PFAFF
 It's just very bizarre to be sewing on a machine that I know nothing about. How to change the presser feet? Fortunately, most of the buttons/features are the same as what I'm used to but they look different. I'm sure in no time, I'll be doing everything on the machine and not have to think where the buttons are. But for the time being, I'll keep the manual handy.

I managed to get this backing together for that black/white/red quilt. I had forgotten that the backing fabric was WIDE so when I cut it, well - let's just say that I'm not sure I did the join the best way possible and this is a woven fabric. I'm thinking it should be washed before it gets quilted????   Thoughts??? Shoot --- I should have washed it. I may do that today and reevaluate the size.  But isn't that fabric a perfect match for the quilt??

Backing, binding, and top - ready for quilting

As part of the clean-up, there's a stack of quilts that need to be bound. I put the binding on the back of the three quilts - well two quilts and one table runner. There is one more that needs the binding attached, but I had a black thread in the machine and that one needs a lighter colored thread.

Bindings are attached to the back of both of these items

Then while I was at it, I decided to stitch the binding to the front of at least one of the items so I could have one more finish for the year. Here are the sewing machine tables set up in the "binding/quilting" position.

Stitching down the binding
And here we are - finish number 29 for the year. This was a UFO from last year and I had no intention of getting it quilted so it's a bit of a bonus.

Half log cabin quilt - DONE
Now all the quilt has is my small label inserted into the binding. I'm thinking of making a small label with the name of the pattern and the design source on it. It was made just for fun for me so no need to go into why the quilt was made. I was thinking of even putting steam a seam on the back of the small label and attaching it to the quilt. GASP!!!!   But it would be small. I would appear to be getting very lazy in how I finish off quilts!!

I have to say that those bindings went on FAST. Not that they aren't fast with the other machine, but it just seemed faster yesterday. Must have been the audiobook distraction. And no need for a walking foot - the PFAFF has the IDT system - built-in walking foot technology!!!

I also got a table runner put together while I listened to the audiobook on my phone. I can't show you the table runner because it's the upcoming homework for the table runner class. That's absolutely unheard of that my work is finished BEFORE the class. I must be going mad!!!   Actually, I have a wee surprise for the table runner class so they will have to wait for that. But in addition to making the top, I also got the backing ready as well as the binding.

Backing and binding for a table runner
 I don't want to get it quilted before the class because it would be hard for them to get that design out of their head. I provide a number of designs and they get to choose what they like best.

I haven't had a chance to post what I finished at the retreat but here's one thing I did complete.  This is the table runner from February. I had only made two big squares, but I liked it so much and had extra fabric that I decided to make it bigger. I got the extra four blocks completed at the retreat. All the paper was removed.

Table runner - top is done!!!!

I got the backing and binding ready for this one. Notice that the backing is the same design as for the green one above - just a different color!!!

Table runner top, binding, and backing - ready for quilting

 I hope to get this one quilted before the next class, but not sure that will happen.

The long arm didn't get delivered last Friday which was a shame because I could have had it up and running yesterday. It's due to arrive today. I hope to get it up and running by tomorrow - I have a quilt that needs to be done ASAP.

On that note, I had better shovel some of the wet, wet, wet snow off the front step to make way for the UPS man. Otherwise, I wouldn't care. It's already melting like crazy outside - it's very wet and slushy. A nice day to stay inside and quilt!!!   I have to get those 6 blocks done for 150 Canadian Women - just because we don't have Monday sewing, I can't slack off the pace!!!

Have a super day!!!