Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Back to normal?


Yesterday was a bizarre day. At the end of the day, I didn't feel like I had accomplished much. Why? Well, for starters, I did a couple of NORMAL things, and they both consumed a LOT of time. How quickly we forget how time-consuming errands can be!

I got my hair cut! And can you believe that I messed up the time? Got the right time (almost), but on the wrong date! Fortunately, Paula wasn't very busy, so she could accommodate me into her schedule. Seriously??  I had to laugh about it as I didn't even have the time right. That's what happens when you do things in a hurry! 

What I left behind

But it feels good to get that extra length off. It was driving me crazy when I could feel my hair inside my shirt. Well, it's gone. I can still make a wee ponytail if we ever get back to the gym and on the bikes. 

Then Ronda and I went to a movie last night. GASP!! I know. I don't normally go to the movies, but I like to go from time to time. She had a coupon, even though it was Tuesday, which is the cheap day. I'm guessing they have the start times staggered, and when we arrived, there were no other patrons in the theatre lobby. Three or four employees, and that was it. 

The lobby at the theatre

We had popcorn for dinner! On our way out, we saw two customers coming in, but we saw no one else. It wasn't difficult to do social distancing! I might go to a different movie next week. I mean - why not? We need to get life back to normal as much as we can. 

We had assigned seats, but I had to laugh because when we entered the actual theatre. There wasn't a single person in that particular theatre. Just the two of us! We could have chosen the 4DX seats - the ones that move, but like the good people we are, we stuck to our assigned seats! 

An empty theatre

I'd say that the cinema is a pretty safe place to go to—loads of room for social distancing. I felt very comfortable and safe. We need to remember that it's contact with PEOPLE, not things that spread this virus. As I said, we barely saw anyone!

Both of those events took a fair amount of time! And several lengthy phone calls didn't help the situation. Miss Lexi is not happy with me. I couldn't take her for a walk yesterday. Why? Well, I had called my service provider yet again, and the technician was scheduled to arrive between 8 and 12 yesterday. I was just arriving at the house at 8 AM with Miss Murphy, and the technician had just arrived. So I wanted to hang around while he did the testing and whatever he needed to do. 

He tested the pair of phone lines that bring in our service. He showed me the tests. Those lines are NOT balanced. Not even close, and I'm certain that has been our problem all along. They cannot get the two lines to work together. That's what happens when you piecemeal things together. 

Can we drop one line? That didn't seem to be a good idea because he didn't like the look of any of the lines coming into the house. What's next? Why bring in a totally new line. I'm good with that. So he drilled a hole right through the wall into the family room. 

New wires for the phone service

It had to be there because of the gas lines outside the house. Personally, I didn't care if it resulted in a large cable that had to be taped to the floor (OK - I'm kidding), but I want STABILITY with the internet. You can't really see the cable - it's stapled to the baseboard and runs under the large, built-in cupboard where the modem sits. 

Installing a new wire

Murphy was freaked out because the technician was outside pulling the wire, and Murphy couldn't figure out what was happening. 

Mom? What is this big box?

We only need ONE pair of wires for the service, but now we have FOUR pairs. That's three spares - just in case! We weren't on any Zoom calls yesterday, but I stream the radio on Alexa, and we were on the internet for part of the day, and DH watched TV. We had no issues. So we are in wait mode - did this solve the problem? We can only hope!!!

But I learned some things because I asked questions when the technician was here. Can we test the bandwidth that we are using? How do we know if we are maxing out? Well, guess what - there is NO test for that. Do you know why? I'm guessing here - but the companies advertise that you NEED more bandwidth with all the devices you have connected to the internet. More bandwidth means they can upgrade your service because MORE is better. 

However, I found an article on-line that says that most of the streaming services that we use have COMPRESSED their files so much that the likelihood of us maxing out our bandwidth is extremely unlikely, even if you have many devices connected. Let's say your phone is connected, and you get notifications. The amount of bandwidth required to do that is so minimal that it probably doesn't even register on the bandwidth scale. 

However, you can test the SPEED by going to  That might be just for Bell customers. Then you can see your speed. Oh - it's not high enough - well, you can buy FASTER, but faster doesn't get you anything! Isn't that interesting?? 

If I were a gamer or had many, many people streaming Zoom calls or TV or whatever, then bandwidth MAY be an issue, but highly unlikely! Something to think about as you see all those ads for fiber optics and fast download speeds. You don't need it! Just two simple phone lines and we're good to go - provided they like to talk to each other. I need to have a conversation with my Dad because he understands all this stuff. I should have asked him first! But now I'm armed with knowledge! 

Not that you're likely interested, but here's an article about how much bandwidth is required for Zoom. Here's the number for group calls. 
  • 800kbps/1.2Mbps (up/down)
Guess what we have?    ---      7.2 kbps and 47 (average) Mbps.  Do we have a bandwidth issue??? I think NOT!!! I wish I had known all this before we switched. I wish that there was someone that could have helped me before we upgraded! BUT -- this is good information for you! DO NOT be persuaded that you need more until you check what you already have!!!  So even if we have MANY devices (that would take a whole lot less bandwidth than Zoom, and a computer or two and even a TV connected, we would NEVER top out our bandwidth! 

I got this customer quilt off the long arm yesterday, and the next one is half loaded. I hope to work on that later today. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I had been trying to make squash soup for a couple of days. I had baked the squash on the weekend. So while the technician was doing his thing and I had to bring dogs in the house and then out of the house depending on where he was working, I got the rest of the veggies (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and an apple) chopped (very coarsely chopped I might say) and into the pot. I added sage. 

Last night, I added some coconut milk, and when I got home from the theatre, I heated up a bowl. Oh my gosh - it was so good. I wonder why I don't do this more often - it really didn't take long. Obviously, it's been a while since I last made soup because I couldn't remember where the immersion blender was stored!

Squash soup

I got my Trendtex 2021 challenge kit in the mail. I have an idea - I'm just not sure it'll work with those fabrics, but I'd like to get started. But FIRST, I must finish the Cherrywood Challenge, which is due December 31. 

Don't forget to bid on your favorite Trendtext Challenge pieces for 2020. It's a fundraiser for the Canadian Quilters Association. I see there are no bids on mine yet. That's good as I want it back! 

Instead of writing this morning - I did manage to get one more written thing done yesterday; I decided to cut some stuff that needs to be done. I almost got all the Summer Moon blocks cut. And I almost got the border cut for PRISM Squared. It looks a wee bit askew in the photo. 

PRISM squared

I have a presentation tonight that I have to prep for, but hopefully, it won't take too long, and then I might just get some sewing done. 

Hopefully, today will be a little less crazy. My car didn't know what happened as it went out TWICE on the same day!

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Catching up!


Another great day! Even when I went for my walk in the rain. It wasn't raining much, and I needed to get out. I wore my raincoat, and I was fine. 

I'm almost finished with the latest writing assignment. That will go out this morning after our walk, and then it's time to start all over again! But the end is in sight! And that warms my heart! I haven't been sewing as much as I'd like to and the next two weeks will be very busy with presentations, so I'll do what I can. 

The first thing I did was finish off the backing and the binding for the Winner's Bouquet quilt. And I just crossed it off the UFO list for 2020. Yeah!!! One down and a few more to go! I just counted - 22 projects still to go to get up to date with the UFO lists. BUT that's OK. I'm currently working on three of them, and two of those three need to be done by Sunday morning! I still have time to get a couple more off that list before the end of the year. Could I get down to 15 by the end of the year? 

Winner's Bouquet moved to the "to be quilted" pile

The last blocks for Summer Moon will be assigned this weekend, and I still wasn't finished the blocks from the last month. Time to get those done!! Most of the blocks were done, but a few of them needed the sashing sewn on. The sashings were made, so it wasn't a bit deal. I managed to get EIGHT blocks finished yesterday. 

Summer Moon Blocks

Summer Moon Blocks

More Summer Moon Blocks

And even more Summer Moon Blocks

There is ONE last block to finish for last month's assignment, and I've started to cut for the remaining nine blocks. I hope to get to work on that later today. Everything is coming to an end for those ongoing projects, and the timing couldn't be better as we ramp up for Long Time Gone! 

This year, two of the five projects were medallion style quilts and one I sewed as we worked through the project. The Celebration quilt is together, and that leaves THREE sets of blocks for the other quilts. My goal is to forge ahead and get all three of those together as quickly as I can. I do NOT want them hanging on past this year-end. I'm on target to make that happen. I've been extremely focused and learning to be a bit more timely on stuff. This year of working from home has definitely been a learning experience and a POSITIVE one, so that's all good. 

I need to get this quilt finished before Sunday morning. Yikes!! The border sections are pieced but not cut, so I need to get to work on that, and I need to deal with that center, which is made up of 36 wedges. I might rethink that!  But it looks awesome hanging out on the portable design wall. 

PRISM Squared on the design wall

My internet connection went down twice yesterday. Oh, joy! So I was on the phone for 40 minutes with another technical person. He ran many tests and says he found an electrical problem at the box outside. I'm giving them one last try to fix this. If that doesn't work, we're dropping the second line and going back to one line. I don't know that my stress level can handle this much longer. But I have a plan, and that makes me feel better. 

And if the single line doesn't work for whatever reason, well, it's time to check out another supplier—all in a day's work. And I have a wonderful backseat driver on all this. If that person wants to get it solved, get yourself on the phone, but DO NOT sit there and tell me how to deal with it. Seriously??? I don't know how many hours I've spent trying to get this situation fixed, and it's very annoying. But we have a new plan, and that gives me hope! Funny how you can tell in a few seconds whether the person on the phone will be able to offer help or not. This person sounded more confident and knowledgeable. But I'm almost as knowledgeable as he is. "Have you tried ....." he asks, and I don't even let him finish (I know -very rude of me), and I answer, "YES - we have" because I know exactly what he's going to ask!

These are some trees in our neighborhood. They are stunning. Every year these trees hang onto their leaves in all their brilliant color. 

Beautiful trees in the neighborhood

Don't forget about the Trend-tex challenge auction. I see a few bids on several of the pieces. No one has bid on mine yet! But I want it back, so no one should be bidding on it but me! Here's the link if you want to check the pieces out. If you want to bid, you must register, and the auction closes on October 25th - I'm not sure what time. 

I had planned to sit in on some Adobe classes today, but I'm not sure that I really have time for that. I'm getting my hair cut today! First time in - well, it might be the first time all year! And someone is dropping off something, plus I need to get myself organized for next week as I have 13 presentations, and I need to make a few calls and do a bit of prep for a couple of them. 

Plus, I need to get the rest of the class requirements out for my classes, so I suspect I'll be chained to the computer for most of the day. But then most everything will be done, and I'll have a bit more time to play around! OK - I can sacrifice a day for that. 

I'm looking for a book. I'm sure if you have the book that you don't want to part with it. But here's the cover. It's the Barn Quilt Trail for Huron County. It was published for the 2017 International Plowing Match. Should you have a copy that you don't want or you know someone who has one and doesn't want it, let me know. I'd be happy to buy it. YES - I know the updated trail information is online but I NEED this book. I've contacted them and there are NO copies left. They should reprint it! 

Huron County Barn Quilt Trail book

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

Have a super day!!!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Virtual Retreats ROCK!


Oh my gosh - we had so much fun yesterday. Yes, I know that we were not in the same room, but we laughed, shared stories, shared show and tell, saw Mary's toy sewing machine collection, and well, a couple of other things that can't be shared - yet! And seriously, where else could we have so much fun with people from all over Ontario, Alberta, and Germany. That just wouldn't happen in real life. 

I love Zoom. And I'd be happy to keep Zooming for a long, long time. We even had a toast around 7 PM. The only thing we couldn't do is to smell Nina's pizza that she was making. It looked delicious, and I've already shared the recipe with my personal chef! 

My internet did go down once, and it took a LONG, LONG time to get back up. I called my service provider, and I could tell by the sound of the voice that I got that she wouldn't be of much help. Just get it back up, and I'll deal with the situation today. 

We had some new people drop by yesterday - hello to Holly and Gail. It was great to meet you! If any of you are tired of sewing alone - join us for the next Virtual Retreat. Mark it in your calendar because that date will be here before you know it. November 21 and 22. A Saturday and Sunday - the specific times will be posted later once I check my calendar. 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and well, some of them were on the call all day! We were supposed to finish at 8 PM, but we were having so much fun that we went until 9:30!! I know - way past my bedtime! 

I don't get as much done as I could if I were sewing by myself, but I don't care. This is our NEW social gatherings, and so it's OK to chat, and I love to chat. I got that from my grandfather and father! I really feel like I've spent the day with friends, which is what I've done. I cannot understand those who would prefer to be alone all day rather than getting together with friends on Zoom.

But the good news is that I got the last two Vintage Christmas blocks together, and after I write the homework notes, that should be ready to send EARLY on Friday morning. No reason for that to be late this week. I finished the Celebration quilt, so no excuse for that to be late either. Those are both due this weekend, and I'll be writing later this week to get that stuff up to date. 

I created a LOT of stuff for the Long Time Gone class, and I have only one more document to create for them, and then they are good to go for this month. 

But I also worked on something else yesterday, and I'm super happy. 

This is ONE of my three UFOs that need to be completed by next Sunday. This one is called Winner's Bouquet. I taught this as a class YEARS ago. The blocks were made, and there it sat. So I moved the portable design wall near the sewing machine and placed the blocks on the wall. 

Winner's Bouquet blocks

Before I knew it, the blocks were together. 

The blocks are now together

The fabric for the two borders and the binding were also in the project box, and I decided to forge ahead. It needs to be done for the weekend. And this is what it looked like when I went to bed last night. 

The finished top of Winner's Bouquet

The top is DONE, and that was the extent of my homework assignment, but of course, I can't stop there. I'll be making the binding and the backing this morning at Monday Sewing. I just checked - this is on my 2020 UFO list!!!  Yahoo!!! I'll be able to cross this off very soon. Then I have the rest of the week to finish off the other two UFO projects, to finish prepping for the weekend classes, and there are five presentations this week. I have to prep for one of them, but the rest are more or less prepped, so that saves a LOT of time. 

I'd better look at my UFO list and come up with something to work on for the following month. Just perused the lists, and I have a project! I think we're going to have a LOT of people in the UFO club next year. It's such a motivator!!! The repeat participants tell me that we're onto a good thing. 

The only bad thing about a Virtual Retreat is that I don't get in all my walking! I only walked 7 KM yesterday instead of the usual 10+. But that's OK. It was great in the summertime because it was still light when we finished. Now it's dark! But I'm sure I'll survive!

Don't forget that the Trendtex Challenge is open for bidding TODAY. I'm not sure what time the auction starts today, but it goes until October 25. I shall try to mention it every day as this is an IMPORTANT fundraiser, and we need to support our local (for the Canadians) quilting association. I have my eye on a couple of the quilts!  

And if you're looking to participate in a challenge, here's one that you can look into. It's easy. Oh shoot - just checked, and you have to be a member of the CQA to participate. Well, become a member and then participate. I've learned so much from making challenge pieces. Many were duds, but I learned from each dud. Overall, if I learn something from making a piece, it's a success, even if it looks like a dud! 

On that note, I'm out of here!!

I've got a bit of cutting to get ready before 10:00 AM! 

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, October 18, 2020

The good, the best, and it gets even better!


I'm afraid to say anything about my internet. I did my first Zoom call yesterday. I was just a participant and no issues. Then I hosted an hour and a half call and no drops. Then another hour-long Zoom call and no drops. Wow -- the feeling of doing the presentations and now having any drops is refreshing. Then a couple of hours on Zoom in the evening and no drops. 

The total number of hours on Zoom (over 7) and no drops and VERY successful Zoom sessions all day and well, I felt like I had won the lottery!!

Daphne sent me this link about internet woes, and you know what? Something like this could very well be the culprit. But what? Where are those tester guys when you need them??? Check the story out; it's hilarious! 

I did get more information about the retrograde from M. Yes, there is a Mercury retrograde. It lasts until November 3rd. But I'm totally ignoring that!! By the way, the retrograde means that the planet appears to be going backward. I hope I got that right; I can't seem to find the e-mail that she sent me. My inbox exploded yesterday, and I need to check if there's anything urgent. The rest will wait until tomorrow. 

We got another barn block assignment yesterday, and of course, we got to see new stuff in the store. Oh my - I was placing an order before the call was even over! How crazy is that? Oh, yes - you can still buy online. Who says we are suffering?  I'll pick up my purchases at the retreat in a couple of weeks. 

The bonus this month is baking cookies. Baking cookies?? I don't bake cookies! Oh - I can bake cookies - I just don't. But I'm going to give it a shot. Perhaps, I can bake those cookies and take them to the retreat? OH -- I just looked at the recipe. No - I'm going to bake those cookies and keep them for ME!! They look good. 

Of course, after one of the Zoom calls, I now had more writing to do. One of the documents went out the door early this morning, and there are two left to write. Since it's the Virtual Retreat all day today, that isn't going to happen, but I can make it happen tomorrow. I need to get ahead of these writing assignments, so they don't become an issue. I'm working on it! 

Now that the students have seen the homework for this month, I can share that with you. 

I searched Long Time Gone quilts on the internet and found this one that I really liked. It looks like this version was made by The Quilt Bee, a store in the Niagara area that has since closed. I love the coloring and contrast. 

The Quilt BEe version of Long Time Gone

I dug out my scrap boxes to see what I could find. I pulled the whites, greys, blacks, and the oranges. I searched through each and pulled out the solid fabrics or those that read as solids. The rest went back on the shelf. And the oranges, I'm going for a rust color more than orange. I seem to have loads of colored scraps, but I don't seem to use white that often, as there aren't many scraps in the bucket. 

The scrap boxes for the next quilt

Here's the sad thought. There's more than enough fabrics in those four shoeboxes to make this quilt and probably one more. I might not even have to touch my stash! How many quilts are there in that stash room? 

Here's my first block! It looks awesome!! 

And there's the back! 

It's going to be so exciting to see this quilt progress as we are a LOT of people in the class and so we're going to get a huge variety of quilts!!!

One of my Zoom sessions got canceled yesterday, and I was OK with that. So I went for a walk and ended up at Indigo, where I saw a copy of the Tula Pink book that we're going to be using for one of the on-going classes coming up. If you don't have a copy, I bet you could call this store (Erin Mills Town Center) and get the book. The store is NOT in the mall, but close by. 

Tula Pinks 100 Modern Blocks 

I have to say that the quilting section is almost non-existent these days. But then I don't need any books. 

Although I would like to find one book and I SWEAR that I've bought the darn thing. That would be the Cherrywood Challenge book for Prince. Did I lend it to anyone???? Would you admit it if I did? 

The book for the Cherrywood Prince challenge

Then I stopped at the library to pick up yet another book! I know - I MUST stop this madness or read faster.  Anyway, I had a peek at some of the other titles and saw this book. I thought the title was quite appropriate under the circumstances. You can read the synopsis of the book on Goodreads. Maybe we need a good wake-up call like this to stop the nonsense that is going on now. 

Five feet apart

So today is a wide-open (Virtual Retreat) day to sew all day. Or I can just sit and chat if I want, which is what I seemed to do a lot of last night, and I'm OK with that. I did get part of the homework done for a class this coming weekend, and that's what I'm going to focus on all day. But I hope to get more done, so I'd better stop talking and more doing!!

Here's the link for the Virtual Retreat today.   That's Sunday, October 18th   START TIME 9:00 AM, and we sew until 8 PM this evening. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 854 3065 4164 Passcode: 820143

I was going to shut down at 9 last night, but we were having some great conversations that we stayed on for an extra half hour! It's such a great way to connect with others. Even if we could get out, I could never sew with all the people that came on the call. We had people from all over Southern Ontario. Loads of fun!!!!

I didn't have any takers on the beginner Machine Embroidery class, but there is interest in running a club. So I think I'll add a Machine Embroidery club next year. So watch for details on that. 

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Same old, same old

 There's no difference in the internet situation. So I'll be calling again today. I wasn't on any Zoom calls yesterday, but I was on my computer and working away, and all of a sudden - POOF! No internet. We only know when it goes down if we're on the internet or DH is watching TV, so it probably happened more often than we actually noticed. It's just not the internet, but the TV as well and when the TV goes down, well, that's not a good thing in our house. Someone is already a little testy about the situation! And I won't elaborate on that. 

I LOVE Kat's comment about the technology woes. "Computer glitches always happen to me at this time of the year. Don't know if you have any sort of belief in horoscopes; I say horror scopes, but one day I learned that whenever Mars is in retrograde, computer glitches happen. So whenever there are problems, I check, and sure enough, retrograde. Do do do do."

I checked with M, who is extremely knowledgeable about astrology, and YES, there was a retrograde with Mercury. I have to confess that I don't know what that means, but something is not aligned right! Which may explain why the internet worked perfectly the week before. So when is this retrograde over? I need it to be over permanently!

Lynn and I had a good sewing day. We chatted about everything and everyone, solved the world's problems and well, it was a good day! However, it never fails that on the sew days, that it's like grand central station around here! People picking stuff up and dropping stuff off, or the phone going off or e-mails that NEED to be addressed. It never fails!!

This is the latest bag of stuff that got dropped off. Thanks to Rose and her husband for that. There are some quilts and placemats that Rose bound and a quilt top that she assembled. Yeah!!! Thanks, Rose!

A bag of finished quilts and placemats

Oh, Rose took a drive to the two barns for the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt. Shoot - I should have asked her to send me a picture of the REAL barn! So I can at least say that I saw it. 

And this is the stack of stuff that I've received from Diane since the pandemic started! Yikes!! I need to sort through all that - pull out the quilt tops and make backings and move them to the "to be quilted" pile. But that's for another day and no rush at the moment. I'm going to slow her down soon when I give her smaller pieces to sew into scrap quilts!

The stack of quilts sewn by Diane

Thanks so much to Diane and Rose for helping me deal with the piles of stuff in that room. It seems that we've made so many tops but don't appear to have decreased the piles of fabric. OK - that's a lie; I do see a dent, but not a big one! 

Speaking of moving things to the "to be quilted" pile, I got the top for my Celebration quilt done yesterday!! I'm so happy to get this done. The binding and the backing are made as well. I found a bolt of fabric that worked perfectly for the backing, and there was JUST enough. I couldn't have planned that any better. The only thing that remains is to write up a pattern for the last block, which I changed from the original pattern, and figure out some ideas for quilting to pass along to the group. One of the five ongoing projects this year is very close to being done. This has never happened before. 

OH -- of course, you'll get to see the top, but ONLY after the class has seen the top!

The binding and backing and the quilt top for Celebration

Now that I look at the fabrics I chose for the quilt top, you know that one with the starbursts looks like fireworks! Perfect for a Celebration quilt. 

That meant that I could at last move those portable design boards away from the permanent one. Now I have access to Aviatrix Medallion, so I can finish that quilt top as well. It just needs the final border put on, and the binding and the backing made. Could I finish another project today?? 

The portable design wall

Don't forget there's a virtual retreat today, but much later than usual because of my schedule today. Here are the Zoom links for the weekend. Ensure you get the right one as I won't be on the Saturday link when it's Sunday!

Saturday, October 17th, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 839 0226 1920 Passcode: 560511

Sunday, October 18th, 9:00 AM  - 8:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 854 3065 4164 Passcode: 820143

In preparation for some quality sewing time, I've amassed this stuff on the work table. Wouldn't it be nice if ALL of this could be finished? A lot of it is very close to being finished, and I'd love to cross a few more things off the list.

Work to be completed this weekend, hopefully

The cutting table is looking pretty good. I have a couple of blocks to cut out, and then they will get moved to the work table.

The cutting table with two blocks to cut

Lynn got me excited about our upcoming real retreat in a couple of weeks. I haven't packed a thing, which is very unusual for me. But I got to thinking about what I'd like to take. So I dug out my NEW retreat basket. Much prettier than a laundry basket. There are now TWO projects in the basket. One is a string quilt, and one is a small quilt that just has to be assembled. That's probably 2 and a half days of work right there! I'm going to be careful how I pack - well, how much I pack!!

My empty retreat basket

And all through the year, I was diligent about keeping the ongoing projects in one area. At one point, they got too large to all fit in the laundry basket, so they sat on the floor right beside it, but I knew where everything was, and that was HUGE. It pays to be organized. I know if someone looked at Studio B right now, they would faint at the amount of stuff piled everywhere. But I know where everything is, and that's all that counts. I do hope tomorrow during the retreat to putter around and clean up some of the mess. 

We usually go out for dinner on Friday night, but the restaurants near me are temporarily closed. But then I got to thinking that we are on the edge of the region where they are closed. We shop in the other region so why can't we eat in the other region. It's literally ten minutes more driving. So we went out, and I didn't feel guilty in the least. How many people are getting COVID in a restaurant? And we're trying to keep the economy going. My bubble is so small, that well - it's small. We wore our masks; we were socially distanced from everyone. I did NOT walk home from the restaurant as I normally would when we dine out close to home. 

And I seemed to spend a good part of the evening getting prepped for our first class of Long Time Gone. Yep - it's today!! I got the homework sewn to show the group. I've got some great photos to share with them, the presentations are ready to go. The link is sent. The Facebook group is set up, and all the invitations and links are sent! There are almost 50 people in the group! Yikes!! How did that happen?? I swear that even if you don't make the quilt right now, this is the BEST deal going. 

The pattern for the Long Time Gone quilt

I'm pretty thorough in the written assignments I send out, and that alone is worth the cost of the class pass required to sign up. So if ever you wanted to make Long Time Gone but weren't sure - well, you have until the end of this weekend to sign up. You need to purchase the Class Pass from Thimbles and Things and then send me an e-mail. Do you really want to miss this opportunity? Remember, it's all on Zoom, so you can be anywhere!  

On that note, I'm out of here. It's a busy day and lots of exciting things happening. 

Have a super day!!!


Friday, October 16, 2020

Dates and time for October Virtual Retreat


I forgot to post the Zoom link for the Saturday Virtual Retreat.  Here it is. 

Saturday, October 17th   START TIME  - 6:00 PM   - 9:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 839 0226 1920 Passcode: 560511

And while we're at it - here's the link for Sunday.

Sunday, October 18th START TIME 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 854 3065 4164 Passcode: 820143

See you at the retreat!!!!!

Have a super day!!!


A new friend


I don't even know what to say. The Bell technician came yesterday afternoon. He rechecked the wires and connections; the modem has been moved from a power bar to a wall socket. The lines didn't seem to be pairing, so he made some adjustments. ALAS - none of that worked; the darn internet went down when I was in the middle of a presentation last night. 

I'm so frustrated, I can't even get mad anymore. But NOW I have Bob on my contact list, and after I got off my call, I contacted him. I didn't care what time it was. Just before 8 PM, so not so bad. He texted back, and he's coming back today! 

Yet, I was on Zoom earlier in the day as a participant, and I didn't lose the connection. Then again, I lost the internet this morning while writing my blog, but at least the modem didn't reboot. 

I'm going to downgrade the service to the single wire and see what happens. This is so embarrassing - I can't go on! AH - what a drama queen I am. Let's just say that it's a subject that we do NOT talk about in our house! 

While the problem isn't fixed, the employees have all been very kind and understanding. Surely, I'm not the only customer that this has happened to. What else could it be?? Kat says - it's karma and all in the alignment of the planets. She could be right! Because the week before, everything was fine!

I got a chuckle yesterday as I went for my walk. Yep - it was raining. There was practically NO ONE else outside. That was when I walked the dogs in the morning and went for a walk in the afternoon. Why???  I had a raincoat, an umbrella, and boots, and I didn't get wet. I wonder how people would cope with living on the west coast?

I saw this on my morning walk, and it made me want to walk in the store and buy some. I LOVE chocolate milk but tend to only drink if after a nice, long bike ride. Besides, I had no money and no mask, so I couldn't go into the store. 

Yummy chocolate milk

More paperwork got finished yesterday. Unfortunately, not all. But it can wait. I have a sit and sew day today, and I need to get myself organized for the weekend classes. 

I finished an audiobook yesterday, and WHOA - this did NOT end like I thought it would. It was The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny. Seriously??? It was disturbing—a total turn from what I expected. I try not to read the next book in a series right away, but I want to see how she carries this storyline. AHA -- I just read a comment on Goodreads, and this story continues in the next book. It HAD TO!!!  Now I have to get that book. It's on order from the library - about 8 weeks' delivery, and I'm good as I have three other audiobooks to read. 

I managed to bake my butternut squash so I could make soup, but that's as far as I got! I hope that later today, I can get the rest of the ingredients prepared and put it all together!

I managed to get a customer quilt done as well. This one is so cute!!!

Customer quilt - DONE

It's NOT a pattern. She looked at the various characters' pixelated images and made it up with 1" finished squares. Yep - that's a LOT of pieces!! But the quilt quilted up beautifully!!

I'm happy to report that with the generosity of you all, that I was able to purchase TWO rolls of batting for Quilts of Valour!! THANK YOU so much. The batting should arrive next month (huge demand, and it's on backorder), and then I can get to work. The timing will be perfect as I'll be over most of my presentations by the time the batting arrives. Diane has been sewing up a storm, and Rose is helping out as well. So once the batting comes, I'll settle down and go through the quilt tops accumulating and find backings. Actually, I still have donation quilts in the "to be quilted" pile, and I'll deal with those first. 

Speaking of community project work, I'm going to host a pillowcase making day again. Obviously, it has to be different than last year. The date is December 1. That's Giving Tuesday. I'll likely have a virtual event that day where we can all sew in our sewing rooms, but you can do other things as well. 

My goal that day will be to produce 100 pillowcases for Comfy Cases. This is the same organization that we donated to last year - different name, same organization. I have some fabric that will be cut and assembled into kits and so if anyone wants a kit(s) to make pillowcases and you can pick it up at my house, that would be awesome. Or if you have fabrics you want to donate, that would be great as well. Let me know, and I'll give you the specifics. I'll put it on the blog another day; I don't have time this morning. OR you can make the pillowcases from your stash. 100% cotton - NO, ABSOLUTELY NO poly or polycotton. Should be bright, cheery fabrics suitable for children, up to teens. 

So if you want to help, send me an e-mail and put Comfy Cases in the title, and I'll get back to you. The seams should be finished on the inside - french seam or serger! I'll give you all the details. 

The second block for the Spectrum Quilt a Long is on QUILTsocial. Here are the important links:

I love how different these blocks are. Same block, three totally different fabric collections!!! Be sure to check it out!  Send me a picture of your two blocks so far. I'd love to post them on my blog. 

Oh - I have two stories to tell you about my internet woes. On one of the MANY calls, I was asked how many TVs we have in the house. "One," I replied—total silence on the other end. "One?" they enquired. "yep!".  I think we're an anomaly! And if I had my way, we wouldn't have any!

Shoot - I've forgotten the second story! I know that I'll think about it the moment I go on my walk! 

ACK -- I'm not getting forgetful - the number of e-mails that I remember to answer or paperwork that needs to be done means that there is limited extra space in the brain to remember a story about my internet!

I watched a part of Zoomtopia yesterday. This was a conference put on by ZOOM, of course. And holy - just wait until you see what they are introducing!!! There's now a DEDICATED appliance (basically a monitor or a giant iPad) for Zoom. Seriously???  Yep. And you'll soon be able to ask your Google Nest Hub or your Amazon Alexa Show to start your Zoom meeting. I thought there was one more device, but I don't remember now. I was doing something else while that played in the background. 

The world is changing and FAST. That means that Bell had better get my problem fixed, or I may have to move to a different provider, or I'll move to a place with fiber optics. But that is NOT guaranteed to solve my problem. It's just me and technology!!!! 

On that note, I'm out of here!!

Have a super day!!!!