Saturday, October 21, 2017

Great Expectations

No - I have not succumbed to watching TV, although there I am last night with the iPad propped up on a photo frame doing more research!  Let me tell you that it's super distracting and I'll be glad when the research part of this project is over!  I don't have a case for the iPad that doubles as a stand - that's a pain but I'm not about to break down and buy one.

I made good progress on stuff yesterday.  Now it's onto the handles for those tote bags. There are forty of them. It took a long time to press them yesterday on my new pressing station as I'm getting tired of working on these and I was easily distracted?   A couple of them have to be repressed later today and then all of them have to be stitched. Thankfully, I'm working on a super fast sewing machine at the moment so hopefully one hour to repress a few handles and one hour to stitch them and I'll be done?  That's my goal.

I'm also working on the next magazine quilt that I hope to have in a FedEx box on Monday. It's big. Everything is cut and marked. There are 8 pieces (X 72) that had to be marked before being sewn onto the background.  Half of those are sewn on - I hope today between classes to get them all trimmed and pressed so I can sew the other half on before dinner and then hopefully assemble the blocks tonight. Problem is there are TWO partial seams in EACH of 36 blocks so that will slow me down a bit.  There will be NO research happening tonight as I attempt to make that happen.

As we wind down the year (I know - there are still two months), but people will be thinking about how they will change themselves in the new year. They'll be thinking about buying Christmas presents. BEFORE you buy anyone one of those page-a-day calendars, I want you to go back and read my blog post about the page-a-day calendars.

I think since I wrote that post, I managed to unearth one or two more of them.  While I did make some progress in a couple of the calendars this year - for gosh sakes - the darn things sit on my desk in PLAIN view!  The only one that I`m able to keep up with is the Quote a day! There is no mental math, there is nothing to make, nothing to color - I just have to read it.  If I like it, I hang onto the quote so I can take a picture or hang it on my inspiration board. The rest get used as scrap paper!  

I love this one and based on what has been happening in the last while, I have BIG EXPECTATIONS about myself.  I call it delusional doability.  And it CAN BE DONE!!!!    Just watch me as I attempt to make not one, not two, but THREE quilts before I leave on Wednesday night!  All are cut, NONE are wall hangings.  I'm an idiot!!!!    Thankfully one is for work so I can actually sew that at work which is a lifesaver!   And only two have to be quilted. There are still bits of those bags to finish off and I have to teach today!

From time to time, I come across items or articles that I think you might be interested in.   I`m one of those people who has NEVER watched Game of Thrones. I have no idea what genre of show it is, I don`t know any of the characters names. I know absolutely zero about it, except that some people are absolutely taken with the show!  It's nice to see this article showing that the "makers"  (that's us) have a way to do stuff about anything!   It helps to raise awareness about the arts and crafts movement of which we're all a part of.

Check out this link to see the project.   Or if that link doesn't work, just search for Game of Thrones tapestry and you'll find loads of information!  It's pretty cool, even for a non-watcher of the show!

On that note, I'm out of here.  I have two very impatient girls hovering by my chair  (is it time?  is it time?  Mom - IS IT TIME?)  NO - it's not time to go to the park yet!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, October 20, 2017

The calm..................

Everything just seems a whole lot calmer today!  I still have a lot of sewing to do.  I'll be making handles for my tote bags today, but it's a whole lot calmer!

And let me tell you how distracting TV is!  Now I know why I don't watch it anymore.  I'm doing some research and it requires a wee bit of TV watching. Fortunately, I found the show I want on Youtube. I downloaded an episode onto the iPad and placed the iPad on my cutting mat while I was cutting this morning. Then I moved the iPad to the ironing board and then back to the cutting table, not wanting to miss a single moment!  See why I don't watch TV????   I was NOT able to get nearly as much cutting done as I normally would.  Drat ---   and I have to watch more than one episode!  Oh well - it happens to be something that I used to watch and I like it so that helps! 

Once I was finished the meager amount of cutting that I did today, this is what my cutting mat looks like.

Cutting mat looks awesome!
 Yes - the cutting mat looks awesome.  I'm almost 100% done all the cutting required. Now there's a LOT of sewing to do, but it's doable.  At least I think it's doable!!   The stack on the end - that's the WOULD BE AWESOME to get done, but not necessary.  Yep - I'm good!

I got the sleeve sewn on the last quilt last night.  This is Jeweled Tiles - the free download that I showed you earlier this week.  Here is the backing.  I had 10 squares left over (as per the cutting instructions) and so I just whacked them right in the center of the backing!  I love it and no leftovers! Those fabrics are BRIGHT!!!   They belong to Northcott's Essence collection.  Use the Product Finder in the top right-hand corner to find a shop near you that sells them.

The backing of Jeweled Tiles

I have a ton of e-mails to catch up on and a lot of paperwork but let's just see what we can get done!

Oh yes - and did you notice, there is a new category at the top of the blog.  CONTACT ME  - so if you're looking to get ahold of me and don't want to leave a comment on my blog or don't already have my e-mail - you can get my e-mail in that tab!  DUH - how many years have I been blogging and never did this before?   There are a lot more changes coming, but baby steps!!!

And the apple didn't fall too far from the tree at our house!   Have a look at this link - a story about flooding in Vancouver.  Check out the photo credit on some of the photos!!!!   That's crazy to have that much flooding on a regular rainy day!  Good thing, I live here and she lives there!  Good job M!!

On that note, I've got a load of stuff to do today. 

Have a great day!!!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

And now for the quilting marathon!

Well, I had every intention of getting to the blog earlier, but that didn't happen!  Now a few minutes of downtime and to catch up on what's happening. 

When I got home last night, it was to the long arm where I had a lap sized quilt that needed to be in the FedEx box TODAY.  Of course, I wanted to do some custom quilting on it - I think it warranted it, but not tons of time to do anything super fancy!  But I'm super happy with the way it turned out.  This is just a peek from the back. The front looks much better.  And I had to load the quilt AND I had to join the batting because the only piece of white batting wasn't quite wide enough!

I had a lot of fun doing it despite the fact that there was zero room for error and zero time to take a break and zero time to say, oh, that's it for the night.   I got most of it done last night before going to bed. Then up bright and early to finish it off.  I got it trimmed, then whisked it in the car and off to work.

Normally, I can whip a binding on a quilt by machine in no time, but I've had oodles of trouble with the last two quilts. One I couldn't even do on the machine I was using at home.  So I got to work and more problems.  What is going on???   I had to take the walking foot off the machine and use an ordinary presser foot.  Let's just say that the binding on those two is not super pretty. 

As I was nearing the end of the second binding a thought came to me. I'm going to test it out and I'll let you know what happens.  Frustrating to say the least!!

I think I posted this new set up in my office. I moved the Reliable ironing board in and the NEW (to me) Reliable iron. Yes - there are two of them in the picture.  One is to use on a daily basis, the other is the "show" iron.  Anyway, that iron saved my bacon.  You all know how much fun it is to fuse Decor-Bond to the fabric.  But that iron did the job nicely.   And there's my sewing machine right beside the ironing board. I'm set - just have to figure out how to get a cutting table in the office and I'll be good to go.

I was contemplating getting my very old Reliable iron fixed, but I'm really really liking this one. Seems to be hotter and more efficient use of steam.  I think I might check it out when I'm back.

Ironing station set up

Now in addition to having the 40 outside piece for the 20 tote bags done, the 40 linings are done as well.

The tote bag linings - yes there are FORTY pieces

And for those that asked, here is the outside of the tote bags.  The color is a bit off in the photo. Let's just say that I'll be glad when all the rest of the components are completed!

The outside of the tote bags

I got the seams pressed open on the pocket section.  So 20 of those are now done.  That leaves the handles and the bottom insert!  I'll make it - but it will be tight!

As I was sewing on the binding for the magazine quilt, I realized that I still needed to make a sleeve. Let's just say that that got pinned on.  No time for hand sewing today!

I can have a wee bit of a breather tonight, but not by much as the next quilt needs to be pieced ASAP and it's big!

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What a day!!!

If you read my blog yesterday, you know that I was sequestered at home in my studio with a pile of sewing and pressing.  I started at my normal time of 5 AM or shortly thereafter. It was a LONG, LONG day. Probably the most intense sewing day in my life!  

It would have been one of those days when a camera that periodically takes shots would have been fun. Instead, I grabbed the camera and took a couple of shots. 

This is what the sewing table looked like when I went for breakfast. 

A few things to sew
And the cutting table looked like this.

Cutting table is a tad messy but functional
I had visions that the fronts of the bags would be done by lunch.  HA HA HA HA !!!!!   What an optimist I am!!!

Sewing table at lunchtime
Cut, press, trim, cut, press, trim......................
Oh god - are you kidding me????   How long is all this going to take?????

This is what the table looked like at dinner

AT LAST   - the last one got done about 8 PM.   There were 40 covers in total to do!  And all of them got done. Some parts were together, some were not. So not only did I have to fuse the fusible fleece on the bags, but I had to sew some part of all 40 of them. Perhaps a wee bit more planning was in order! Once the fleece was on, they all had to be trimmed to size.

At last - all done!

40 covers for the tote bag

Then I got out the AccuQuilt and started cutting something else.  While I had never used an AccuQuilt, I've not been a fan, but I have to say that it was very slick to cut what I wanted!!  I'm not sure I would want to cut blocks with it - but who knows.  The applique worked like a charm.

AccuQuilt - worked like a charm for cutting!

Cutting table is in not so bad of shape
There was a lot of trimming so I had to move the garbage right to the cutting table!!!

BIG garbage for all the trimming

I was up early again this morning and got the next project lined up for sewing!

Next project
And the cutting table is looking real good at this point.

The cutting table is in good shape!

I'm not sure how I remained focused for the entire day. But I did.  I managed to sneak outside for a few minutes to soak up a bit of the sun and see that the girls were up to.  But it was an intense day!  Thankfully it's done and onto today!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hidden camera

I've survived another day!  The number of days of insanity is getting fewer with each sleep - does that even make sense?

As long as progress is being made, I don't really care.  I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday in the sewing department as I was at work getting last minute paper stuff organized - labels, patterns, etc.  And in the evening, I was the guest speaker at the Port Perry Quilter's Guild.  I know what you're thinking - why did you book not one, but TWO speaking engagements so close to Market.  I don't know - but I'm booking my entire October calendar off next year!   It's not a big deal - it's just this massive project for the bags. If I didn't have that, I'd be fine!

I did my lecture on organizing and it's such good fun to give that lecture.  It's something that we can all relate to!  And what a super creative group of quilters they are.  They were showcasing their Sesquicentennial challenge.  For their theme, they were each given ONE of the trivia questions on the Northcott Sesquicentennial fabric.  What a clever idea!!!

I helped to pick the winning quilts which was a VERY HARD task as there were so many good ones. Heck, they were all good. Just the fact that people came up with something so creative - that's a winning quilt!

Today I'm sequestered with my Reliable ironing board and iron and the sewing machine.  (I should have sprung for the super deluxe garment steamer!)  The bags have to be done before I go to bed tonight.  Well, mostly done.  There is a lot to be finished, not many completed.  But I can get a lot done when I'm focused!

I uploaded the pictures from my photo shoot and some of them are not half bad!  I really must learn to use my camera better.  It's a great camera, super lens, but I'm not the best with the settings.  I should make that a goal for 2018.  And then there's my "friend" Marilyn, who, without saying a word, has me almost convinced that I NEED this massive amount of technology for quilting. A wee bit of research is required before I undertake that effort.  I'll be checking it out at Market.

Guess what else happened yesterday.  Oh yes - I received one more quilt - I think it was the last one that we were to receive.  Guess what?  Oh yes - it had a sleeve, but only one half was stitched in place. I got the fun task of doing the second side. Which actually worked out OK.  I had arrived at my destination last night with some time to spare. Just happened to have hand sewing stuff in the car so I sat in the car and stitched the sleeve in place. I may now whip out this afternoon and take a picture or two.

When I was getting ready to leave for Missouri Star a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to take my little camera with me, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. I didn't even mention it because I didn't have time and I thought of what you would think of me to lose a camera and not be able to find it.  So I said nothing. Then when I was getting ready for my class this past weekend, guess what I found in the project box!  Thank goodness, this was a two-part class or it may have been a long, long time before I found that camera.  Thankfully it was the little one and not the big one. I might have panicked then!

Hidden camera!

This is the best picture I have of the quilt that I finished the other night. I cut it on Saturday (I think), pieced the six-inch blocks on Saturday night.  Sew the top together on Sunday morning, except the last border. Came home from class, sewed on that last border, made the backing and quilted it. You need to see the backing because it's kind of cool.  I'll take pictures today.

I was going to take a better picture than this, but the battery died right after this picture. I don't have a spare battery for this camera - I must get one. It's very handy!   The binding needs to be put on as my machine just didn't like my invisible thread combo.

Jewelled Tiles

This is a free pattern on the Northcott web site. The fabric collection is called Essence which is just gorgeous. My pattern has another colorway  - a more modern version which I think I might have to make. I'm thrilled with how it turned out.   If you check out the link, you can see the other colorway.  If you make this quilt or any of my other free stuff - send me a picture, I'd love to post it!

On that note, I can hear the iron calling my name!  I get the FUN job of fusing Decor-Bond and Fusible Fleece today.  Yeah - if you've ever worked with those products, you know that it can be a wee bit of a challenge. High heat and LOTS of steam!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, October 16, 2017

It's MONDAY!!!

Time is flying faster than a speeding bullet these days!  But great progress is being made.  How do I become so productive?  A simple thing called a deadline!

I had to teach a class yesterday. Before leaving, I managed to get the top sewn together minus the last border.  When I got home, I put the last border on and pieced the back. Threw it on the long arm, got it quilted and trimmed.

I went to sew the binding on this morning and for some reason, this machine I'm using is not so keen on the invisible thread and I didn't have time to rejig my other sewing machine. 

So - it's done - pretty much.  It will be ready to go in the crate for this week. 

Cutting is progressing rather nicely and tomorrow is going to be an intense day of pressing, cutting, and sewing. 

I'll have pictures for you tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Smile please!

As I got up this morning - yes 5:15 AM on a Sunday, I thought to myself. Have I ever gotten up at 5 AM and NOT gone immediately into the studio?  Well after putting the dogs out, but you know what I mean. I'm serious - what do people do when they get up?  I've done the same thing for years whether I was going to work or not.  I can get a lot done in one hour before it's time to get ready for work!

At this time, I'll take even five minutes in the studio.  There's a lot going on, a lot that needs to be done, but most importantly, a LOT got done yesterday and that's all that counts at this point!

So what does the cutting table look like at the moment?  Well, there's still a lot of stuff on there, but doesn't really amount to a whole lot of cutting.  I can't tell you what I cut - oh well why not.  I cut an entire quilt yesterday - 80 inches square.  It's my own design so I didn't cut it out until I had tested one block to make sure that everything fit properly. I changed one fabric that I wasn't sure I was going to like.  I made the block - didn't like it and switched.  I must have been certain that that would happen because I had brought a substitute fabric! Because of the way that I sewed it together (two partial seams), I had to make a tiny adjustment on a few pieces and I was good to go!

The cutting mat
 Perused the directions (also mine) for the next quilt and got part of that one cut out.  It's mostly cut out - won't take long to finish.  I cut sashings, I cut bindings, I cut borders.  I'm almost done all the cutting.  I could have finished yesterday but I had a couple of other commitments.  Like a meeting with the West End Modern Quilt Guild.  This is such an AMAZING group of women and I'll share what happened at the meeting later this week.  It was so cool.

I'll have to tidy up that space this morning because I need to put borders on a quilt.  That won't take long as there really isn't much on the table.

Then I had a date with the forest. You see we make quilts at work!  Oh should I say, we make quilts for work. And we need to get photos of those quilts.  I was deligated to get the photos.  The quilts are from the Northcott Stonehenge Maplewood collection which if you haven't seen is absolutely stunning and I want a LOT of all of it when it arrives in shops. It comes in two colorways - Scarlet and Woodlands.  Scarlet is my favorite by far!!

I thought taking the quilts amongst the colorful leaves would be very appropriate!

This is me yesterday - a wagon full of quilts and a camera and NOTHING ELSE!  I didn't want some contrived setting in the forest so I was going to take what I could find!

Wagon full of quilts for photograpphy

And I found a couple of cool spots to take photos of the smaller items, but nothing that suited the larger quilts.  Then I found this spot.  It was perfect!!!   I had to use a stick for a pole to hold the quilts and was able to jerry rig it onto that bent tree and I was good to go!!   That's the back of one of the quilts by the way - not the front!  Next time I need to take a small stool for me to stand on and perhaps some rope????

Photo shoot

I'm long past the point of being embarrassed doing weird stuff like photographing quilts on a main street.  Nope - I don't care any more!  Likely no one saw me, although there was a fair amount of foot traffic in the forest.  By the way - has ANYONE seen those wagons for sale recently???   I NEED one desperately or if you want to loan me yours, that would be awesome!!!  I need TWO for a couple of weeks.

I'm pretty sure that some of my other quilt photos were used in an ad.  I'll try to find that - it's possible they haven't been published yet.  These long delays between publication is crazy, but it's nowhere what it used to be!

What else?  Oh yes, I didn't just cut fabric and take pictures yesterday.  No way!  I got most of the blocks (12) sewn for a quilt that needs to be done (hopefully by tomorrow morning).  All the blocks are completely assembled now and the sashing is cut.  A couple of borders this morning and hopefully loaded on the long arm this evening.

I even got to watch a movie last night! Whenever I have some hand sewing or a lot of marking, I get it prepped and then we sit down and watch a movie while I work!  One of the quilts - the big one has a lot of diagonal seams.  I'm a marker so half of them are marked as are all the pieces for the other quilt that I cut.  Things are good!

It's going to be another crazy day and I have to teach a class. Note to self - NEXT YEAR - book NOTHING extra in the month of October!!!  Just in case there is a silly project (s) to get done for Market!

Have a super day!!!