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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hat trick!!!!

I thought I would provide you with a cooked oatmeal update.  If you read the directions  - imagine that!   It says to cook 2 1/2 - 3 minutes at FIFTY percent power.  No way!!!!   Someone, was that Kathy? mentioned that a while back.  She is SMART!  I cooked my oatmeal in a regular bowl this morning and no issues!!!  There is also a setting on my microwave for custom cook.  I now have it set for 2 1/2 minutes at 60 percent power.  One button and presto - cooked oatmeal - no mess!!!!!   Hey - I figured that out all by myself!

Yes - I had classes yesterday which I will chat about in another post, but I was a roll when I got home. I got the binding machine stitched down on TWO quilts.  Neither was huge, but doesn't matter - they went into the bags. DONE!!!!   The third item to complete the hat trick was to finish hand stitching the sleeve on another quilt.  Three items in the completed bag!!!!   No need to count what's left - we just keep our head down and stay focused!

I also quilted another quilt when I got home and that needs to be trimmed and bound today. 

This is what I got done since I got up!

A while back, Elaine M gave me a car for my play mat. Well the play mat was one of the items that got bound last night and the car looks awesome with it.  The play mat is in the bag with the finished goods and the car is in the box with the embellishments. 

Car and playmat!!!!

I had the embroidery machine going this moring and got about 1/3 of the embroidery done that needs to be done. I'm a bit disappointed with it, applique would have been better - shown up more!!!   Shoot - live and learn. That will be a good learning experience for the presentation and there is NO more fabric so I can't take the border off and do something else!!!!

Two machines going

One for embroidery

One for binding

I did manage to get another quilt bound - one of the bigger ones.  It wouldn't have taken so long except that I was back and forth to the embroidery machine.  I think I did 8 snowflakes.    About 11 to go.

But I'm very happy to report that I have finally mastered the binding by machine and I'm thrilled with the results.  It's all about the width of the seam allowances and the color of thread.  I feel pretty confident about it now and I can zip along at a fairly fast pace.

Binding from the front

Binding from the back
 This is the last quilt that needs a sleeve so I managed to get that made this morning as well - MY WAY which I much prefer.   This quilting thing - it doesn't matter how long you've been quilting, or how many classes you take or books you read. Sometimes the old way is the best way, but it's good to experiment.  I even changed up the sleeve a bit from my normal way (it's not sewn into the binding) and I kind of like that.

Sleeve is made

And pinned in place

If this doesn't get hand stitched today, no worries. It can get packed and the hand stitching can happen at the other end.

Whew - that was a lot in a fairly short period of time.  Let's hope the rest of the day goes as well.  The next quilt is loaded on the long arm and ready to go when we're back from the dog park.  There is a very impatient puppy pushing on my arm - Let's go!  LET'S GO NOW!!!!!   So I had best put on some warm clothes and get going.  Notice I blogged BEFORE going to the park when my hands are warm!!!  Although we haven't turned on the heat yet - NO - one must wait for November 1 for that and well - thank goodness we have lots of quilts. It is a tad cool, but there is no time to notice - we've got work to do!!!!

On that note - stay warm and have a super day!!!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Progress is being made.......

It's a bit cold outside this morning and of course Miss Lexi would NOT miss her time at the dog park. My fingers are still thawing out so typing is a tad slow.  

Lots of last minute details to work out yesterday so only had time to put the binding on ONE quilt.  No worries.  I managed to get one more on this morning - they don't take that long so I'm going to do what I can. 

I came home and emptied the bags and laid the projects all out on the floor again. 

My visual TO DO list
And as I am completing the projects or checking off my list of things for the presentations, they go into these two bags. 

Projects are done and ready to be packed

There is much to be done, but I feel pretty confident that I can get a lot done later today (have to teach today - yes all day!!!!   What were the chances of that?   Nope - I'm not good at scheduling!!!!   I still have all day tomorrow and nothing that I'm making is big so that is a bonus!

I have only two quilt sleeves to put on - thankfully and nothing will be labeled - that can happen later. I had watched a video on how to put on quilt sleeves and I thought I would try it.  I'm not sure I'm convinced that I like this way.  I think I prefer my method.  Let's see how straight these hang and then I'll decide.

Sleeve to be hand sewn

Taking the sleeve with me and hopefully between classes and while the group is working, I can get the sleeve sewn on.  Oh yes, I've got a plan, I've got a schedule and let's hope that nothing deviates me from that.

Here's something that I find particularily annoying. I won't give you the specific times this situation has happened, but I've seen it happen in ALL organizations or other walks of life.  Someone, let's call her Person A as I don't want to pick a name.  So Person A has an issue with something and a lot of times that issue is because of a personal relationship with another person  (Person B). Person A complains and makes a nuisance of herself, both to the group and to Person B.  So much so that Person B is very uncomfortable and the organization spends LOADS of time and effort tyring to make the siutation better.

Why is that?  Why is so much time WASTED because Person A is a trouble maker and wants to cause waves for whatever her reasons are.  I've seen this over and over and over and over again!!!  The amount of time spent is incredible.  Here's how I think the problem should be solved once and for all.

Person A has a complaint or observation
Person B (or a mediary) should acknowledge, get all the information from Person A about the complaint
Person B (or the organization) should then do some investigation - is the complaint valid, if there is money involved (and there almost always is!) what is the amount and how much time does everyone want to spend addressing the issue.
Persaon B (or the organization) should consult Person A - have a conversation and NEVER let the subject rear its ugly head again!!!!!   We're giving way too much time to the Person A's of our lives.

And if you're a Person A - seriously!!!!    Get a life!   I've seen issues over small amounts of money - less than $30 that went on and on and on forever and what a waste of time.  I realize that it's never the actual amount of money, but it's the principal, it's the ego, it's the "I'M RIGHT" attitude.  Well get over it.  I'm so sick and tired of all the BS.

Until we all start addressing Person A and not letting them drive us crazy, then the Person As of the world will continue their pettiness. For the most part, I don't have any Person As in my life. Thankfully.

On that note - it's going to be a super super day!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, October 21, 2016

What day is it?

I swear that the days are flying by faster than a speeding bullet. Sometimes I ask myself what day of the week it is. But I'm not worried. While there is much to do, much is getting done!

I noticed as I was going through that pile of triangle cut-offs that some of them were already sewn. Hmmm - I bet the person was going to make half square triangles from them and then got discouraged?  I don't know, but I've pretty much gone through the entire pile now.  Maybe one or two left and those will certainly get sewn tonight. 

Cut-off triangles

The other night I had to pick something up from someone and look what they gave me.  Adorable fabric with ORANGE bikes.  I had never seen this one so that made it all the more exciting!!!   Thanks, Vicki!

Orange bike fabric
While the list of stuff to do seems to go on forever, when I packed it up in bags - it doesn't seem like much. It all fit into TWO bags!!!   Not everything is quilted so some pieces don't take up a lot of space. I'm really liking the focus thing.

Packed for show n tell
I'll be bringing some of it back home as there is still work to be done!!!!   Going to be a long weekend, but I'm having loads of fun.

Have a great day!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Surrounded by color!

On top of all the craziness at this time of year, I was scheduled to give a lecture in Orillia.  It's funny how you think of these places as far away, but after you've been there once or twice, it's not that far.  So I'm zooming along yesterday on my way to Orillia.  

I was sorry that I didn't have time to stop along the way as the colors of the leaves were spectacular!  It was like driving down a corridor of brilliant color. The sky was blue which enhanced the yellows, golds, and reds. 

On my way home, I managed to snap a few pictures out the car window as I was stuck in traffic leaving Orillia.  

Brilliant colors!

From greens to golds


Corridor of color

OK - that last one I snapped in the car, but I don't look through the viewfinder. I just hold up the camera and snap.  I know - that's not allowed.  I rarely do it, but the color was amazing.

What a great group of ladies at the guild. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard during a presentation. We had fun, Pat saved my butt when I couldn't find my glasses after the presentation. Don't ask - next time, I put those darn glasses in my purse!!!

Now I have a request for you!  I got some books from Pat while I was there - thanks, Pat.  More Clive Cussler.  I think I must have all the ones I haven't read yet.  Just saves having to get them from the library.

Clive Cussler books to read

Someone, OK - it was Helen, got me started on Reginald Hill - the Dalziel and Pascoe series. Problem is that Number Four - An April Shroud is missing in action. It was in our library. Matter of fact, it was in my local branch. I searched, no luck. The librarians searched and no luck. The book is now officially listed as missing. I could buy the book, but I'm cheap!  So if anyone has that book and would like to lend it to me, I'd greatly appreciate that!!!!

Got two quilts quilted last night.  Right on schedule.  And another day is checked off the list!  I did hear that stress is good for you - gets you motivated and excited!  Yep - that is about right. However, they said that you have to be in charge of what is causing you stress and well, I can say that is also true in my case.  So stress is good!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here to deal with more craziness today!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Oh god - I think Lexi posted again this morning!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More free stuff!

Where did that saying come from?  An ad I've heard on the radio - maybe Shopper's???  I don't really pay attention much.  

The band-aid is off, the cut looks gross, but I doubt that it will split open at this point.  I see that I need Krazy Glue!  (Thanks, Shell!) Yep - got to get some. Actually, I was surprised that we had band-aids in the house because as a rule, I never use them. 

I was at Fabricland the other day picking up some embellishments and while I was standing in line at the cash, I saw these. They were on sale and how could I leave them behind???  I should have purchased a couple more. These ones are only 60" long and while I do like my longer ones at 120" long, most of the projects I'm currently working on are smaller so the 60" is sufficient.  That long one always falls off my neck, the little ones - not so much!

Orange tape measures - ON SALE
Apparently, there was also a coupon on Sunday when I went to Fabricland that gave an extra 10%.  Hey - I didn't get that coupon, but they gave me the extra 10% anyway.  Thanks, Fabricland!

When I was teaching my class on the weekend, I got more free goodies.  Mary had three more pet mats for me.

Three more pets mats
And I also got more.....................   what's in the bag????   Yep - that would be phone books.

More phone books
Yes, those phone books are super for string piecing.  However, that is it!  I don't think I need any more!
A lifetime supply of phone books

Things are progressing nicely in the stack of projects.  I managed to quilt FOUR quilts yesterday. Yes - FOUR - I think that is a record for me in one day. And that was after lunch!  None of them are huge, but doesn't matter, the backing has to be pressed (I don't press any seams in the backing until I'm ready to load the backing), the quilt has to be loaded, the batting has to be measured and cut, the threads need to be chosen as well as the pantograph.

To make pattern choosing easy, I went through my pantographs and picked out all the ones that I think will work for the upcoming projects.

Pantographs ready to be used
I'm not saying that there is a quilt for every one of those pantographs. Nope, not saying that at all.  And wouldn't the health and safety people be on my case that those pantographs are still sitting on my steps!

A few times, people have said, "oh you could write a book".  Oh - yes I could, but do I want to??? Check out this blog post by Cheryl Arkison.  Cheryl is an author and well - just have a read. What are your thoughts???   I couldn't agree more with her as EVERYTHING is driven these days by how much Social Media is out there. If you don't spend all day, every day, tweeting, pinning to Pinterest, blogging, posting to Facebook - you will get NOWHERE.  And let's face it - you can BUY people who will tweet, blog, Facebook, etc. for you!!!!   People get PAID to do that.  I don't think it's right, but there is so much else out there that isn't right!!!

On that note, I'm going to have another insane day. I have visions of me getting on the plane next week and collapsing until we arrive at our destination.  No - I doubt that since I'm getting lots of sleep, drinking lots of water. It's just the constant deadline, but the intense deadlines won't go away until December 1 so I had better suck it up - there's still 6 more weeks of FOCUS.  I'm so focused, I'm shocking even myself. I've never been this focused in my life!!!

OK - have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sticky situation

A couple of weeks ago, someone from the gym gave me a bag of quilting stuff that they no longer wanted. The intention had been to make her mother a jacket.  It was obvious from the contents of the bag that the person had never done any quilting before. A new (small) cutting mat, small rotary cutter were in the bag, along with the pattern and some fabric (all purchased from Earthly Good in Edmonton). That is one of the bags that is currently sitting on the floor in that area. 

There was some fusible fleece which has long since been put into a project - I don't even remember where it got used. There was some Wonder Under which I put in with the rest of my fusible products. 

Sooooooo - on the weekend, when I needed some pieces of fusible web, I grabbed this pack of Wonder Under and fused it to some fusible fleece, which had fusible on only one side and I needed the fusible fleece to have fusible on two sides.  Did that make sense?

However when I went to peel the paper away from the product - NO GO.  I tried everything, I tried to score the paper, I tried from the edge.  That paper from the Wonder Under was very firmly attached to the glue.  

The paper is very firmly stuck to the glue!

Thankfully, I hadn't wasted much of the fusible fleece as it could not be reused - the paper was firmly attached.  Guess where it all is now???  Yep - in the garbage. I don't throw much away, but that had to go.

Wonder Under does have a shelf life
Now I don't remember when she said she had attempted to make the jacket. I want to say that it was 15-20 years ago.  There's a lesson here. Don't stockpile fusible products (but we always knew that - didn't we?)  and use things up before you buy new, even if they're on sale, unless it is something you use very often!

I love getting things in the mail - don't you?  When I got home last night, there was this big box waiting for me.  Oh, what's in the box?  Oh yes, my parents were going to send me the stuff that I had left there when visiting.  I was heading to my bike trip and didn't want to cart around all this quilting stuff with me.  I know, it's sad when you have to ship your quilt purchases home from vacation.

Box from home!

Yes, it was a while ago that I was in Saskatchewan, but they needed to find a box big enough to add something else to the box.  Just wait. And if you're queasy - don't look closely at the next picture.

After dinner, I headed downstairs to open the box.  I grabbed a pair of scissors and proceeded to slice open the box. I have to say, that it was with a rather dramatic slice that I attempted to open the box. Next thing I knew, my thumb was bleeding profusely.  Yep, my thumb wasn't even on the box, but that dramatic swoop with the scissors slipped off the box and happened to find my thumb!

Oh GOD - I don't have time for this!!!  Run upstairs and grab toilet paper to staunch the flow of blood while keeping a FIRM pressure on the darn thing. It bled and bled.  OK - maybe for 10 minutes, maybe it was even 5 minutes. It seemed like an eternity since I needed to be back downstairs working.

My injury!

I hate bandages, but I had no choice because this was right on my thumb and I was going to open up that cut again so the bandage was there to protect it. I was expecting it to hurt a lot more, but once it stopped bleeding, it's been fine.

I always thought those scissors weren't sharp, but I guess they are!!!   They're titanium, SMOOTH flow or something like that written on them.

Sharp scissors
I shall pay heed to those scissors in the future.  At last, I was able to open the box.  And this is what was inside.

Inside the box was a bag filled with quilt goodies
The tote bag was from the family reunion that took place while I was there.

Tote bag
You'll have to wait to see what's in the bag.  I don't have time to unpack it and may not for a couple of weeks. But there are some awesome goodies in there!!!!

As if the cut on my thumb wasn't bad enough, I had cut my finger on the opposite hand at the dog park on Sunday. Because of the nature of that cut and the location, this one hurts!!!

One more cut!
I know - big baby - just suck it up!!!  Well, I am - I just wrote the above for your entertainment!!!

However, once I took the tote bag out of the box, what to do with the box?  I looked around and well - remember that big scrap basket on the cutting mat?

Basket of scraps on the cutting table

No time to make a bag to put the scraps in, so they got thrown into the box and I'll deal with it in a couple of weeks.

A big box of scraps!

I'm making excellent progress on my projects. I don't know how many bindings and backings I made last night. I cut out blocks and well, just had a merry old time.  Now if I could just have THREE more days, I would be a very happy camper!!!

And to remind you all, that I do NOT burn the midnight oil, Miss Lexi and I went to the dog park for an hour, I got to read before bed and lights out before 10 PM.  Drinking lots of water. So yes, I'm taking good care of myself - just not a lot of time for extra things.

On that note, it's time to get to work.

Have a super awesome day!


Monday, October 17, 2016

If only.......

The days are speeding by faster than I can think.  I dare not count how many days I have left to work on these projects.  Nope - total denial. I'm like a horse with blinders on.  I am only looking straight ahead at the current project. 

Based on the quantity of stuff, it was a tad overwhelming. So here's what I did that allowed me to focus a bit. OK - helped me focus a LOT. And this is exactly the same way I work when I'm at a sewing retreat.  I don't have the same amount of space at a sewing retreat, but I have the same focus. I start one project and work it through to completion or whatever stage was next on the list.  

Why can't I do that all the time???

Anyway, here's what my studio is looking like these days.  There's the sewing station. That Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q is a little work horse. There isn't one thing that has caused it problems.  Just a few operator errors when it came time to do some free motion as it's been a while since I've done free motion on a domestic sewing machine.  But it all looks good!!!!  Notice how much space there is surrounding the sewing machine - no distractions!

The sewing space
Next up is the cutting space.  Again, notice how much available space there is.  I have serious cutting to do and working on half a mat isn't going to cut it. It took all of a few minutes to put the few things that were on the cutting table away and well - I've loads of room to work!

Loads of space on the cutting table
Now here's a new space that I set up. I have a LOT of borders to put on and there just isn't always the length that I need on the cutting table - see those things on the right-hand side. So I took a set of chair risers and raised one of my work tables up.  Now I have an area that is completely devoted to measuring and pinning borders.  And it's the right height.  I'm in love with this new area and I think I might keep it like this!!!

The border/pinning area
Of course, there is the pressing area which again is clear.  That fabric on the left is part of the current project and needs to be there.

Pressing area

This next picture might shock you so if you're faint of heart, you may want to turn away. But trust me there is a very logical order in this scenario!!!!

You see the curved edge on the left-hand side??  Those are the piles of current URGENT projects that need to be done (one just requires a photo!). The stuff in behind is stuff that I need to put away, sort through or sew up.  There hasn't been time to deal with that for a couple of weeks so it's all sitting there.  I'm happy to report that the line on the left-hand side is shorter than when this picture was taken!!!

The project list
Now here's my "if only......."

The other day, I mentioned that I was missing that quilt top.  The moment I hit PUBLISH for the blog and went downstairs, guess what?  Yes - I found that quilt top.

Then yesterday, I hit PUBLISH, went downstairs, sat at the sewing machine and said, "I know where that extra pin cushion is!"  And there is was. Sitting beside the radio that I turn on EVERY DAY.

The missing pincushion
It's funny how the brain processes information.

Now I've been missing another important piece of paper and guess what - when I really had a look at where it was supposed to be - there it was!!!!

I believe that I'm only missing two things now.  One is a pattern for an upcoming class. It's not with the project box. But - wait - I might know where it is?  And the second thing is my little book which I would really really like to find.  I've written about that one on several occasions and no luck in finding it. But I'm afraid that one day, my eyes will actually see it. It's probably out in the open, like the pin cushion but my brain is too busy to see it!!!

As I mentioned, the chair pincushion is not really being used as a pincushion and here's the bear back on his comfy cushion!

Back in his cushy chair

And while my preference is for the magnetic pin cushion, I'm happy with these two.  The one is very practical and the other has good memories.  I'll stick with both. As you can see, one is empty, the other is full.  Now the full one will go on the pinning station and the empty will go beside the sewing machine. Saves a lot of steps!  My FitBit won't be happy, but more productive that way.

Two pin cushions
I mentioned that I have a lot of cutting to do.  Well, here was the scrap basket on Friday.

Scrap basket on Friday
And look at it this morning.

Scrap basket on Monday
I don't have a pet mat ready to put all the scraps in. I better create one tonight and empty this.

On that note, I've got a lot of quilting, sewing, fussing around to do and I had better get started!!!!

Have a super day!


And have a read through Mary Fons blog today.  I LOVE her new saying and it is so true.  Check it out  - something to contemplate the next time you aim for perfection with your quilt.