Saturday, September 12, 2015

Behind the scenes at Northcott

Ooops - I think only a few people caught the post from yesterday.  It was one that had been sitting as a draft for a while and when I hit PUBLISH, I didn't pay attention to the date which was August!!!!!   Sorry about that.

This is a PERFECT weekend.  I know - you are thinking that I have lost my mind because it is raining today and the temperature is cool.  That means that I can stay inside and sew and quilt and NOT feel guilty that I should be out riding my bike or weeding the garden!

Last week was a crazy week and I was out THREE nights of FIVE. I hope to NOT repeat that as it was tiring. But more than being tiring - I missed some sewing time!

The other morning I was making the binding for the rainbow quilts - had to make enough for two. I had all the strips cut and pinned - ready to sew.

Binding strips ready to sew

But when I sat down at the sewing machine, I realized that I was just too lazy to change the thread colour and put a darker colour on the machine. So I just sewed those seams with my grey AURIFIL 50/2 thread. I just can't say enough about this thread for piecing.  I do use it for other things, but for piecing - it is just the best.

Light thread on dark fabric
 Oh dear - is the light thread going to be a problem?????   NOPE!!!!!

Can you see the gray thread???
 If the tension is working well on your sewing machine - you will NOT or SHOULD NOT see the thread come through to the front. If you do - FIX it!!!!!    I've said that many times, but here it is - one more time!

Binding, two quilt tops and ONE backing

The second backing will be minky or plush which I have to get ordered.

As I have been sewing over the last week or so, of course I was doing enders and leaders.  I finished off this stack which is now ready for trimming.

Stack of half square triangles

And in case you think I have run out - not so!   Not even by a long shot. Not sure who this was from - there was a note with it.

More scrap triangles to sew. 

And thanks to whoever gave me the bag.  These ones are gorgeous!!!!!  I think the two groups came from the same person.  Nice batiks and white.

As I mentioned, I was out three nights this past week.  Normally I keep my car pretty tidy and there isn't usually anything in the car. However I hate to say but the car is a mess these days.  Between gym bags, bike helmets, books, quilts and other stuff - the back seat was a mess.

Back seat of the car - filled with junk - I should say STUFF
 And the front seat was no different. That Tim's bag was my lunch yesterday - just in case you are wondering. I do normally bring my lunch (see my red lunch bag in the back seat on the floor???) but we had NOTHING in the fridge that I could bring for lunch. But I am very impressed by what the others bring for lunch.  Pretty elaborate lunches - NO ONE eats a sandwich for lunch.

Front seat is equally full of stuff that has to be brought into the house
 I think I left this stuff in the car because I didn't have time to deal with it and didn't want to mess up the house!!!!!   I'll try to get some of it tidied up this week.

I have no idea what Little Sammy was doing, but I saw her peeking out from under M's chair and it was so cute. Just happened to have my camera in my hand.   What a cutie!!!!!

Peek a boo!!!!!
 These next two pictures are a mystery.  For some reason (it happens from time to time) that I was in the fridge.  I happened to notice this full bottle of salad dressing. Hmmmm - it looks very weird. Now we don't use a lot of salad dressing in this house, but we tend to use one up and then buy a new one. We don't have half a dozen bottles. And this one was pretty full, although it wasn't sealed. Someone had sliced the paper around the top.

Salad dressing with MOLD on top!!!!!
 I checked the expiry date - hmmmmmm.   that 2013 sure looks like a 2015!!!!!    Either way - it was past the expiry date and not edible. I did toss it, but I have no idea how that got in the fridge.  Unless it was in the back of the door and through some divine intervention - it got shifted to the front?????   No idea!!!!

Yep - it's past the expiry date!!!!

For all of you that think I sit in my office and read quilt magazines, surf quilting web sites and design virtual quilts all day - well that just isn't how it goes!!!!!   OH - if it were only that `glamorous`all the time.  Nope - I get to check patterns for error corrections usually wrong amounts of fabric and a lot of other "fun" logistical kinds of stuff.  

However there are days when we get to play with fabric. But that isn`t always fun either - it depends on how you look at it.

As you know - we are going to Quilt Market in Houston NEXT MONTH.   That means there is a TON of work to do to get our booth ready and part of that involves making a LOT of quilts. Our pattern designers will make a lot of the quilts but there will be a few that we need to make.  Now the idea behind Market is to showcase what is new!  And we work way ahead of schedule - like selling winter coats in the spring.

Yesterday we received a limited shipment of fabric for some of the quilts that we require for the booth. There were 30 - FORTY yard ROLLS.  We had to cut the fabric requirements for about a dozen quilts - it was probably more than that. Hania and I set to work and we cut our hearts for MOST of the day!!!!!

Cutting fabric off the rolls
 Notice there are no cutting mats, there are no rotary cutters!!!!!!  

Just a honking HUGE pair of scissors.  They are dressmaking shears or tailor shears and they are huge and deadly.  I have to admit that at first that I timidly started to cut and by the end - I was whipping those scissors through the fabric in one 43 inch swoop!!!!   But not before I dropped the darn scissors not once, but TWICE on the other side of the table as I was cutting.

Scissors for cutting
 Everyone got a bit extra to compensate for any jagged edges that we did, but I must say that even with scissors - I am a pretty straight cutter!!!!!   Once I got the hang of it!

As we were cutting for the patterns, we also cut some pieces that we needed for other purposes. After those two meter pieces got folded into thirds - they had to be cut. Let me set the stage for this one.  We were working with SIX colours and each colourway had five fabrics.  We folded the five fabrics on top of each other and then folded in thirds - so that makes 15 layers of fabric.  With me so far????    Then we stacked all SIX colours on top of each other so that makes 90 layers of fabric.  Do you have a cutter that will go through 90 layers of fabric?????   I thought not - but look at this..................

I know it is hard to see, but that ridged blade at the top of the photo cut through all 90 layers like a hot knife through butter.  And you can see our pretty fabrics all nicely cut with that pinked edge.  Now how cool is that.

How to cut 90 layers of fabric in one swoop

And what were we cutting yesterday?????   Well I'm not going to tell you - I didn't see it on the web site yet so I won't spoil the surprise.   Yes at one point, I swooned over some of the colours, did a lot of petting and was offered a towel for my drool!!!!    Yes - it was a lot of physical work to heft those bolts around and do all that cutting, but I was in my glory!!!!!!    Yep - let me cut fabric any day and I am happy.

As I was on a roll - I got fabric cut for a quilt that I designed (that fabric is brand new as well) although that one is now shipping to stores.  I'll post the picture tomorrow since I have "nothing" else to do today.  No - I have a quilt to quilt!!!   Then I'll play with the new stuff.  Yes - I can see where this is going. While I don't really need to buy any more fabric in my lifetime - I now have access to hordes of the stuff and you all know I had a problem before - I can see a much bigger problem looming.  I MUST MUST NOT let anything become a UFO. Having said that I have a couple of UFOs in my office that I must get done NOW!!!!

On that note - I am out of here to get something done for the day!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. Looks as if your day was indeed fun :) Might need to make a car basket to toss your bits and bobs in and just carry it inside ;)

    1. Yes - a basket - that would be an awesome idea. I probably need a laundry basket!!!! Thanks for the idea