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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sewing retreat!!!!!!


OK - so it was my fault that there was no post yesterday.  The good news is that I'm doing well on catching up. Or so I think!

Taught my class the other night and that was good. Got some great pictures to show you. I need to spend some time editing my pictures! Then back home - the big question was whether to finish quilting the current quilt that night or do it in the morning. I decided to get some sleep. 

Then up early in the morning to get the quilt finished.  And it looks awesome. 


Customer quilt - DONE

I got it trimmed, trimmed the remainder of the 4 play mats that I had quilted the other day and did a bit more panic packing and I was ready to leave for the retreat. My intention was to leave around 7:30, but with everything that I had to do, it was more like 8:30 when I finally got on the road.   By the way - the owner of the quilt is at the retreat - that is why the urgency to get it done so I could bring it with me.  She put the binding on yesterday!

I managed to get my two projects for the magazine done and they were shipped off to the editor.  That was great and I also finished the other project for the designer.  That was the good news and I decided to finish them at home so I didn't have to haul a sewing machine and all the supplies to work. The bad news was that I forgot about a meeting that was scheduled that morning at work - so I missed that!!!!  Oh well - they seemed to handle it quite handily without me.  There is always a big danger is not going to a meeting and that is what will they assign you to do!   Nothing out of the ordinary got assigned to me - phew!!!!

So now here we are at the retreat.  If I could only figure out some way to get paid while being on a retreat - that would be awesome!  I unloaded most of the panic packing from the car - I didn't take a picture, but seriously - I think I filled every one of my everyday totes and shoved it in the car.   Fortunately I'm in the bedroom on the main floor so I just shoved all the bags in the bedroom so they don't clutter up the rest of the space.

Ronda and I set up shop in the dining room.  I did bring my portable sewing table which I love and thought I would sew with that - so I didn't bring the extension table.  I'm missing that, but having the extra room to sew and keeping Ronda company is worth the loss of the extension table.  So she better be good entertainment or I unload my big table from the car!!

I managed to make and sew on all the binding onto the play mats.  All by machine.  I'm still not thrilled with the results, but they are play mats so let's get over that real quick!!!   And I was in a bit of a hurry when I did it - not sure why.  Relax!!!!!!

I started to work on a string quilt, but when you start to make mistakes on a string quilt - (which is very scrappy!), you know it's time to go to bed. But not before I had at least the first two strips down the center of each of the 88 blocks.

I went to bed and about 5 minutes later was fast asleep. Either my sewing buddies are very quiet or I was very tired because I heard NOTHING until I woke up this morning!!!!!!  I have to say that  I once 10 PM hits - I'm pretty useless.

On that note - don't forget to check out Lexi - that dog with an attitude!

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!!!

It's a perfect day to be inside - it's pouring rain!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is going away really worth the pain?

In case you're wondering, it was NOT Lexi's fault that I didn't post yesterday.  Nope - I edited the pictures, I even uploaded the pictures just before zipping off to the gym and then I completely forgot to write the text. Totally absorbed in the task at hand and that would be my day job that the blog never crossed my mind until I was on my way home. 

As if my mornings weren't silly enough, I now have to walk Lexi very early on the mornings I go to the gym so she can do her business.  Ah - that doggie.  Life was very much simpler BL!  Before Lexi!

Anyway, a very super duper productive weekend. I think I even surpassed my expectations but the marathon isn't over yet. I have two items that need to be finished today as they have to be shipped to a magazine and I have another item that has to be finished today as it has to be shipped to a pattern designer. I made progress on these items over the weekend and last night and this morning.  I will be working from home this morning to try and get them complete - NO - they HAVE to be complete. Otherwise - well - there is no otherwise!

But here's the kicker.  This ALWAYS happens when I'm about to go away. I really don't understand why that happens, but these deadlines and my travel schedule just seem to coinicide.  At least this time, the days away are for a sewing retreat.  And yes I have started to pack - at first, it was neat packing. Matter of fact, I'm taking some stuff that I didn't get finished last year in PEI.  Over the weekend, the franctic packing began.  There's an empty bag and here's a project - shove it in the bag.  Oh there's still more room in the bag - here's another almost complete project!  I think I have enough in those five bags to sew for a month! But it's good to have choices and many of the items I'm taking are not that far from completion!!!  And thankfully we are mere minutes away from a quilt shop should I have forgotten any supplies. 

Let's just say that I will be very happy to get in the car tomorrow morning, except that I have to take work with me - I have two urgent things that have to be done and so my laptop and I will be sitting in a quiet spot to make that happen.  Don't worry - one of them is for YOU - actually both of them are for ALL OF YOU and there are deadlines.  Both are fun - hmmm - I guess I'll have to squirrel myself in the kitchen away from the others so as to not spoil the surprise for them!!!

Here's what I got done on Sunday.  One more customer quilt - DONE!!!!  I think I've mentioned it before - should you put an overall design on an applique quilt???   The answer is it DEPENDS!!!!   But the thought os this used to bother me very much.  Now - I really don't think it matters.  This quilt turned out fabulous. I think the key is to choose a design that is appropriate to the quilt (in this case - it is a leafy pattern) and thread color is crucial.  A bland, taupe which blends in with both the light and dark fabrics. And I have to say that the applique (starch method) was very well done!!!!  


Customer quilt - DONE!

Well I was fired up - I am a tad behind - not much, but want to try and get these customer quilts done. The next one, I'm trying to get finished to take to the retreat with me so the owner can put the binding on. And to boot - I have to teach a class tonight.  It has been rescheduled TWICE because of my schedule and so we HAVE to do it tonight.  AH - nothing like a deadline to light a fire under my butt.

I had to laugh when I opened this quilt up.  I knew that the backing seam had not been pressed.  We talked about it when she dropped it off.  But notice the fabric she used for the backing????   Yes - that is Northcott.  I wonder if she was hoping that since it was Northcott, that I wouldn't charge her for pressing that seam????


The backing

And I'm happy to say that I was able to get more than 50% of the quilt quilted on Sunday. That is in spite of the technology SNAFU that has thrown me into a tizzy.

Customer quilt - more than half done!


I won't go into the details today - I need to get back to the sewing machine.  Let's just say that my elaine9703@rogers.com   is HISTORY.  You will get a bounce back if you use that e-mail.   So don't!!!!   Instead use  crazyquilteronabike@gmail.com.   I need to notify everyone, but that is also a HUGE issue which I'll tell you about tomorrow - if I survive today!!!!  

Thankfully I work for a company that understands sewing deadlines.  GOD - it's because of them that I have these sewing deadlines!!!!    All in a day's work.

And speaking of work - I'm back to the sewing machines!  Yes - I'm using two of them. Why use just one - when you can use TWO!

Have an awesome day!!!!


Ciao!!!!

PS - I keep feeling like I need to check on Lexi as she is in the backyard, but unless a miracle (for her) happens, she isn't going anywhere!   Don't worry - she is safe.  I think she is pretty ticked off and told me that if she doesn't get to blog about it later today, she is going on a hunger strike!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

24 hours later..............


Bet you're wondering why there wasn't a blog yesterday.  Perhaps it is best to let Lexi explain that one!

So here is what I was going to post yesterday!

I had to prep the homework for my two short classes on Saturday morning. And this stuff always takes way longer than you think it will.  But I got everything done that I needed to despite the fact that I couldn't find one of the patterns for a while.  Ooops - it was stashed under a bunch of stuff on the cutting table.  I did spend some time tidying up a bit as well because seriously - this mess isn't getting any better.

Here is the center block for the Reminisce quilt.
Reminisce
Reminisce by Lori Smith (From My Heart to Your Hands)

My center block


Wow - wait until you see what the class did - their blocks were phenomenal and hard to believe that we all worked from the same instructions.   Got to get those edited.

Some people wanted to make their quilt larger and so this is the starting point for all, but the quilt will go in different directions depending on what the end goal is for them.

The next step was to make the row of flying geese.  I got my geese all made, since I'm doing it scrappy, I had to cut all those little side pieces with my Marti Michell templates. But I used up a bunch of scraps and that made me very happy!


Flying geese - all trimmed and ready to sew

The trimmings
 And not bad - I had two bits leftovers.  I'd rather it be that way, than be two bits short!!!


Two extra pieces


And I managed to get those FIVE playmats quilted.  Now they need to be cut apart, but they look awesome.  I don't think I have enough binding for them all, but I'll get more at work. Besides, I'm not sure I have time today to get working on them - I have a customer quilt to do and a couple of things for a magazine and of course things take time - way more time and then there is Lexi to deal with! Life was much calmer BL (Before Lexi!)

Five playmats are ready to be cut apart


If you frequent Tim's, you have probably noticed that Roll up the Rim is over.  It seemed very short this year and look at my haul compared to other years.   A paltry 8 items.  Good grief - what happened.


2016


Oh dear - this is really sad, but look what I found................

2015

2014
2013
Well - I knew they were getting stingy and now I can provie it.  Although in the past, I did get winning tickets from DH, but I got nothing from him this year.  Hmm.

Amazing what information you can find out when you keep a journal/blog.

Well - if you are expecting an e-mail from me - not sure it is going to happen. And if I'm expecting an e-mail from you, not sure that is going to happen either.  It's a whole long story that I won't go into at the moment. Let's just say that there's a MAJOR e-mail SNAFU happening and I have no idea how to fix it.  I think I can e-mail from my phone and also receive, but not on the computer.  GRRR!

On that note - I'm off to try and get some of these crazy tasks done today.

Have a great day!!!

Ciao!!!!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Quilting efficiently


This weather is totally bizarre. When we went for a walk last night, it was raining and then about 2 minutes from the house, it started to POUR.  We ran back to the house (but we were all soaked) and I saw my neighbour who was also out walking their dog run like mad as well.  Early this morning, everything was coated with ice - not thick ice like we had a couple of years ago, but coated with ice.

By the time we got to the forest for our walk, the ice was starting to fall off the trees and there was lots of little pieces of ice everywhere and it was flying everywhere. The walk was crunchy but not slippery.  We made tons of noise (OK - I made the crunching noise) as we walked.  We did see one of the coyotes who appeared to have an injured front paw - I saw it limping.  We went our separate ways and had a great refreshing walk.

While I was home yesterday morning, I worked on a small project for work. By the way, I have to interject to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. I work with great people, I work with a great product and I just love it.  Yes, there are things that I don't like but seriously - if you don't have challenges what is the fun of getting up each day!  Equate it to a kid in a candy store and telling them to have fun!    I love walking into Deborah's office to see what amazing stuff she and her team are working on.  There is always something exciting to see there and to see how they manipulate their creations on the computer - I could watch them all day!   Then to walk into the graphic/marketing department and see what creations they are making for Northcott - the ads, the graphics and they do creations for me too.  Oh, what fun!!!!   Just wait until you see some of the cool stuff that is coming!   It will be up on the website next month.  And I RARELY get to sew at the office!

Anyway - all that to say that when I took my project into the office, everyone loved it.  It isn't finished because I needed to stop at Fabricland to get some matching thread in order to put the binding on by machine.  I'm determined to make that happen to my satisfaction even if it kills me!

Several people said it would make a great sample.  OK - I can make that happen - it didn't take long to create.  So back into the fabric stash that is available for us to use and cut cut cut.  Got home and loaded on the long arm.  What am I quilting that is so fun????

The collection is called Collector Playmats from Northcott. Check out that link to see the entire collection which will be in stores in April.   Well in order to more efficient, I loaded five panels from the roll.  They had not been cut apart so it was easy to load ONCE and all five are now being quilted.  I got about half of them done last night. Will finish up as soon as I'm done this post.

Quilting multiple panels at once
Just wait until you see the finished project.  It is so absolutely cute - I want one, but I don't have any toy cars.   Hmm - where can I get an orange car (or perhaps it should be red!).  I see that someone (not mentioning any names Ghazal!) has already claimed the orange car in Deborah's office.  I shall have to go shopping for my own!

I keep mentioning that I'm working on a trunk show exclusively from Northcott fabrics.  I have been a HUGE customer of Northcott fabrics for years.  So last night, guess what I dug out. It has been weighing on the back of my mind for a while and well - no time like NOW to get it done.

It's a One Block Wonder quilt made from a Northcott collection Flower of the Month. No picture of that collection still on the website. It's a FEW years old.

The problem was, I put it in the project box and NO LABELS!!!!!   This is how I pulled it out of the box and put it on the design wall.  ACK!  A bit jumbled, to say the least!

One Block PUZZLE
 And there were two rows that were not even sewn together!

Two rows not sewn
 And then these are my bits left over from the initial cutting.  These will go on the back - NOTHING can go to waste!!!!


Leftovers that have been pieced together

Yardage - the print is gorgeous!!!!


After a bit of fiddling and figuring, this is what the real quilt looks like.   I'm going to try and sew one or two rows each day to get the top done!!!


It's gorgeous!
 I bet if we do a search on One Block Wonder, I will find a post or two talking about working on that quilt. Do we want to go back there?  Hm - I checked - I didn't see anything pop out, but I know it's there.

Just so you know, I still do support my local stores for buying Northcott fabrics.   Our customers come first and sometimes, what I want is GONE!  I visit Ruti's who is a good Northcott customer and I get what I want there!  I know that sounds crazy, but really - I don't care.  I want what I want and I'll pay any price (well almost) to get it!!!

Now here it is Easter weekend and with the exception of a couple of hours to teach a class, I have NOTHING SCHEDULED.  Isn't that just the most exciting thing in the entire world?   Don't get me wrong - I have loads to do - I have TWO customer quilts that MUST be done by Monday morning and to finish my Connector Playmats and try to get a load of other stuff done, but I have no commitments except to myself and I'm loving that!!!!!

Have a great day - Happy Easter - well Happy Good Friday

Ciao!!!!

Oh yes - if you want to have a good belly laugh, check out QUILTSocial today.  You get to see what happened and why I'm just not perfect.  I thought the moment was priceless.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Row by Row - away we go......................


Last summer when I was in PEI, I laid out all my license plates from 2014.  I had a quilt designed and then Carol kept buying me more plates and I got a few from other people and well I had to rethink the design. The original design and the plates have sat in a bag all this time. Now with that deadline looming, there is no choice but to get them out and do something and FAST.

The state of that studio is a bit chaotic at the moment and that's putting it mildly!  I did manage to tidy up a few things this morning, but there are a thousand projects running through my head. If you thought I was bad before I started working at Northcott - think again.  The situation is now totally out of control!  And I was trolling websites yesterday at work and OH BOY - shouldn't have done that.   Yep - if I win the lottery, I need to hire two sewers who can do all my sewing!  Or I just live to 199.  I like the second option.

Here's one shot of the floor - the middle of the floor no less and how many times will I walk around it until I pack  everything back in the basket?  Well a few times to be sure, but it's all packed back in the basket now.

A little out of control!


But here's the thing - if I didn't have the next project(s) in the wings - I would die.  Yup - I need to have a purpose in life, I need a goal and it's making things!  I don't make my projects for gifts, I don't make them for donating - NOPE - I make them for me! It's pretty cheap therapy.  I make quilts that I want to make and if I find a purpose for them afterward - great.  If not - there will be one heck of a quilt giveaway after I'm gone.  It'll be a feeding frenzy for sure!

Yes - I finally had a few minutes last night and this morning to get some tidying done and organize the next two urgent projects.   Only I make them urgent because I think I can do everything!  Plus, I'm going on a sewing retreat next week and I have NOTHING to sew!   HA HA HA HA!!!!   What a liar I am!!!

And driving in the car to and from work gives me too many ideas as well.  At least this idea will be using up Row by Row 2014 stuff so that is allowed.

I managed to find one Row by Row box when I got home.  I couldn't remember what I had purchased for fabric.   AHA - I knew that I had solids - got four different solids. I think that is all that was available. I have three FQs of three different leaf patterns and I also have yardage of the border print with the trees on it. Also in the box, I found ONE kit and some patterns.  Of course, I already had the license plates out.    Hmmm - it would appear that I'm missing the snowflake fabric and then I will have all the fabrics for 2014.  I will check one of my kits - that big one on the right has the snowflake fabric and I might use that or if anyone wants to sell me a FQ of the snowflake - I'll buy it!

Row by row 2014 supplies
 Hmm - I'm certain that there is another box of stuff.  Where could it be???   No clue, but this morning when I went to find a certain foot for the sewing machine, VOILA - the box was right there.  This one is full of kits.  Not too many.  I should count them and see about designing a quilt or two around them.  It would be very nice to say that I am completely done with Row by Row 2014.


Box of kits for row by row 2014

And how many license plates do I have????   Well, this many!   That's one and a half inches worth, but let's not forget that each is contained in a plastic bag and a VERY THICK piece of cardboard. So the plates don't take up much space at all!  Right?

2014 Row by Row License plates

Can you guess how many plates are there??????    Guess.....................   Lots from Ontario and all over the US thanks to people like Carol, Barbara (who thankfully put her name in the plastic bag), Mary, Pat, Bernice, Maria, Susan and Shelley and probably a couple others.  Some of the trades I did in 2015 ended up netting me some plates from 2014. but that's OK.

Now this plate is the inspiration starting point for the quilt.  Elaine's son (not me obviously!) picked this up as he lives in Maryland.  Oh yes - we had no shame in sending our children even if they were grown men into a quilt store to get a license plate!

Maryland plate
For the most part, the quilt  is all designed on paper. I'd like to put it in EQ7 just so I have a better idea of the entire project before I get going, but what the heck - just go for it!!!!!   It would just be a good lesson in EQ7.  OK - must take pictures of the plates and put them in the quilt.   Super excited!!!!!!   Now if I can remember how to do that resizing thing. 

The deadline - a picture of the top has to be submitted by April 20.  Oh boy - what am I doing on the computer?

I'm not sure I will ever confess how many plates I got in 2015.  There were a few that were picked up here and there and that's all I'm going to say about it!

When I was at Burkholder Fabrics in PA, I picked up a piece of one of the 2016 Row by Row fabrics. I couldn't help myself!


2016 Row by Row fabric
 And I found a new bicycle fabric and one more darn novelty print.  Will someone please stop me from buying this stuff.  At least, it was only one - there were  many novelty prints in that store. I could have gone wild. So I guess one more is OK.


Novelty prints


On that note - I'm out of here. The roads are crappy, but I want to get to work at some point in the day.  I'm going to quilt a couple of small projects for work and then go in when hopefully the roads are better.

Have an AWESOME DAY!!!!!!!


Ciao!!!!


Oh gosh - I'd be remiss if I didn't send you to QUILTSocial today.   Another great post (obviously!) and this time, it's all about free motion quilting.   Check it out!!!!



PS - the number is 55

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Perfection!


I love the Modern Quilt Guild.  Once a month, they have a webinar which is included in the price of the membership.  It's a great opportunity to listen to speakers without leaving home or incurring costs. Perhaps that will become the way of regular guild meetings???

Anyway, the webinar last night was all about striving for perfection and why that is a bad thing. There are many reasons why we shouldn't strive for perfection and why we shouldn't force our kids to strive for perfection. 

I'm very happy to report that I'm far from perfect. And I'm very happy about that. However, I will admit that it has taken years to get comfortable with that notion and there are times when I fall back into the perfect trap. If you've been following me on QUILTSocial this week, you'll see that I've loosened my standards for some things. Don't get me wrong - my work still looks very professional and very neat, but if a point or two don't match, I'm not going to sweat it!

And just wait until you see what happened with the QUILTSocial project this coming Friday.  I almost died laughing when I realized what happened.  It's pretty funny. But in the meantime, you can check out today's QUILTSocial

The webinar also covered things like time management where I'm falling behind a bit.  Oh - I'm getting loads of things done and I'm always busy, but the speaker last night referred to the Covey Quadrant.  Do you know what that is???  I used to know as we always had time management classes when I worked at HP. 

Image result for covey quadrant
Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix
As expected, I spend most of my time in the URGENT/IMPORTANT category.  Notice what it says - crises - pressing problems - projects with deadlines. 

And I spend time in Quadrant 4 and not enough in Quadrant 2 which is the one I should be spending a lot of time in. 

But I'm loving my little book and weekly priority system and I'm making progress. 

Now here's something for all you on my case about the Row by Row.  I know exactly what I'm going to do for the 2014 plates. I want to put the project in an invitational show at Quilt Canada in June.  I know - I haven't even started it yet!   I've done some planning, though!   The deadline for the entry and a PICTURE is the middle of April.  I guess I know what I'm going to be doing in the next couple of weeks.  While I know for the most part what I'm doing, it was the method that stumped me.  However in the essence of time (see deadlines are good for decision making), I've decided the method and now to finish the planning and let's get started!!!! 

So if you want to see a very creative (well I think it's creative) way to use those license plates, you better plan on coming to Quilt Canada in June in Toronto (well actually it's in Mississauga). And don't forget to sign up for my two lectures which are going to be a total hoot.  I won't post the final picture until after Quilt Canada!

On that note - I have Quadrant 1, 2 and 4 work that needs to be done today and I'd better get my act together. 

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Guardian!


Now I bet you're thinking that I'm talking about Lexi. Nope - she has a whole pile of stories to share with you but not today.

Nope - this was my greeting when I arrived at the office yesterday.  I hear a HONK and then I looked up.  He appeared to be all alone.


The Guardian


I just had to buy this pattern when I was at the Lancaster show.  Studio Kat (the designer) had a whole booth full of very interesting bags.  I wanted to pick one up but when I got looking, I had to buy this one  - more for the packaging than for the actual bag, although I think the bag is very nice.


The Guardian bag pattern

But look close - look real close.  Do you see what is on the pattern front?  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. Then I read the words  WOW!!!!!

Lexi (and Little Sammy) - we're not in Canada anymore!

I told the designer that I was from Canada and buying the pattern just for the novelty of it and if I ever made the bag, I would put my passport in there. Notice that you can use it whether you are left or right handed. Can you imagine shooting someone through the side of your purse???   The office all got a good chuckle from this pattern.

There is even a disclaimer on the reverse side which is pretty funny!!!!  

Disclaimer for the bag!


Sadly this is a reality in the US.  Gosh, I heard someone was shot and killed at one of the toll booths for the PA Turnpike that I had been on the night before.  But not at any of the toll booths that I went through. Well maybe, maybe not, cause I had no idea where I was!!!


I'll be sharing a few more of my purchases as I manage to weed through the stuff for home and the stuff for work.

Check out QUILTSocial today.  I'm doing something I hate - sewing binding by sewing machine!   One day I will perfect this technique. I have made a new rule for the QUILTSocial blogs. My goal is to finish at least one project for every week of posting.  Mission accomplished this week.  Stay tuned!

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

Have a great day!

Ciao!


Monday, March 21, 2016

Back to work!


I'd like to say that I lounged around the house all day recovering from that crazy drive, but NO - I had work to do.  Computer work that I was supposed to do while I was away and had no time!!!!

I'm happy to report that I did get a lot of it done yesterday and then spent the evening watching a movie while I finished up a project that I desperately needed a picture of. You'll see the project later this week on QUILTSocial.

I forgot to say HI to Barbara!!!!!   She stopped in at the booth in Lancaster to say HI.  She was one of the crazy people that I swapped plates with last year with Row by Row!!!   We've all agreed that this year, we're NOT going to do the same thing.  In person only and I'm not running around!   Shirley gave me a good idea for the plates for 2017 so I'm good to go with 2014 plates and 2016 plates.  It's all those plates from 2015 - I've never shown you a picture - I don't think you want to see!  OK - I'm embarrassed to show you how many I accumulated.

This post has to be quick today, but why not stop by QUILTSocial to see what I've been up to.

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lancaster Quilt Show Day Four


I guess I could have called this post - The Long Way HOME!

Anyway, as is the norm, the show was a bit slower on the last day than the other days, but there was a steady stream of people and each one of us in the booth had a job, so it wasn't that easy to get away.  I never did make it to the second floor to see those quilts. Sorry Pat!

I was showing how to print labels on an inkjet printer, but not just any old label - no I was showing people how to print a label inside a preprinted label.

Just like these ones which I copied from Northcott's website.
20825-99

I have to say that my demo was very well received. And many people took the handout that I had prepared. No worries - that handout will soon be available on our website or I'll make sure that I have some with me. I must have said that spiel thousands of times! But as I said - it was well received.

Shirley was there with her fabric touch test which is really interesting. She had six different manufacturers' black fabric. They were secretly labelled and we had consumers touch the fabrics and rank them to see which ones they liked the best.  I'll go into more detail later. Rich was getting people to sign up for our free consumer newsletter (full of quilting tips, free patterns and other educational materials) and they could then spin our wheel to get a fabric freebie!   People LOVE our wheel.  I hear Wheel of Fortune over and over.  Next time, I'm dressing in a gown just like Vanna White!

All in all - it was a great day.  I did run around and do a bit of shopping before everything shut down and I chatted with another designer.

Then it was time to pack up - the show closed at 4 PM. Shirley and I left at 5:30. Rich was still waiting in line to get to the door to load his car, but he said he could manage it on his own. And I had a long drive ahead of me.

My plan was to drive so far and then stop for the night and get up early and drive home. However - the best plans just never work out!

I was doing just fine until about 10:30 PM.  Of course, I'm on some TurnPike in Pennsylvania and there are no hotels around. So I pulled into a rest stop. Could not figure out how to recline my seat - no I wasn't that tired - just brain dead!  Fortunately, I had M's quilt with minky on the back (I had taken it with me in hopes of getting some of the binding stitched down - that didn't happen). But the quilt was warm. Because the stupid temperature was below zero and it got cold in the car!

After a half hour nap - I was good to go. I got about another 50 KM and decided to try and find a hotel.  Ah - there is a Travelodge - I'll go there.  All the while, I'm thinking about Shirley who checks out the bedbug report on any hotel before she goes in. Well, this hotel was way up on a hill - it was really weird and when I went in - there was no room!   Crap. Went down the hill and no left turn to go to the others, so back onto the TurnPike and let's just keep driving.

I did stop one more time and did manage to figure out how to recline the seat.  HEY - how many times do you recline your seat!   I thought it was really neat because at one point we went through a tunnel that went right through a mountain.   What you can't go over - you can go through!!!!   Just did a quick google search and looks like an interesting story about the Turnpike in PA.    Too bad it was dark when I went through that area.  Road trip!!!!

LeHigh Tunnel

Anyway, this time, I slept for almost an hour and I was toasty warm with the quilt, but eventually it was the cold that woke me up.  I did have a whole lot of quilts in the car, but too lazy to dig them all out.

Back on the road.  Then just before the border into NY state, there was a Tim's.  Whoa - where did that come from?  I stopped in, got something to eat and I was back in the car. Of course, the closer I got to home, the better I felt.

No big deal to cross the border - no wait - well I did have to wait as I arrived at the border just as the shift changed at 3 AM and I got a big STOP with the lady's hand as she walked away from the booth.

One last stop for gas and then I was home by 4 AM.  I know - don't ask me why - but that's the story!

It was good to wake up at home rather than having to drive home this morning.

It's been a busy day today, but I think I might need to have a nap before I go to bed!

On that note - have a great day what's left of it!!!!

Ciao!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lancaster Quilt Show Day Three


What can I say - more of the same!   Didn't really get a chance to get out much - the show was quite busy yesterday.

I did manage to sneak out later in the day and I'm glad I did.  I found a new designer that I want to work with.  I'd seen her at QUILTCON, and I loved her stuff then and when I saw her this time - I still love her stuff.  I had a good chat with her and we are set!!!!!

Then I was looking at other designers who have booths here and OH MY - I found the perfect couple of projects for work.  Well - I did at the other booth as well.  I'm excited to take those patterns back to work. I think they are going to fit our bill perfectly!!!!

Yes - I decided to save my pocketbook and shop for the company. Much cheaper that way!!!!

Rich and I went out for dinner and had another great chat!  I'm getting so much information and learning so much and so exciting to be learning it from the vendor perspective.  Yep - I so like coming to the shows as a vendor.  Way more exciting! And I shall try to influence the market/industry in my own little way!

I was back in the hotel room by 8 PM and I could barely read my book.  I went to sleep!  The days are long - but at least we have chairs in our booth or I'd be absolutely dead!!

On that note - I'm hungry and it's check out time so must pack up all my stuff.

Have a great day!

Ciao!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lancaster Quilt Show - Day Two


I think the office back home is never going to send me on a road trip again!  Nope - I'm coming home with my head swimming with ideas and it's going to take a long time to digest them all.   If I was like Shirley - I'd be in my room making notes!

Matter of fact when I arrived at the booth yesterday, Shirley presented me with a handout of all the ideas we had discussed the day before.   She brings a printer along with her!  It was pretty funny but extremely useful since I got all the ideas and can follow up on them.  I also have a lot of my own ideas and thoughts and need to get them sorted out.

Anyway - the trip so far has been amazing and as much as I have whined in the past that I never wanted to go to another big quilt show (after my 1999 Houston experience), I'm having fun. But then it is a different story to be a vendor as to being a consumer!  I think I like coming as a vendor (even though there is set up and take down) rather than coming as a consumer!

I think we are doing a great job here. People are excited to see us, we have great activities in the booth (freebies  - which everyone likes!)  and getting to meet a lot of people.  I've seen TWO people so far that I know.  One from back home and one is a designer that we're working with.

People also love the quilts that we have in the booth and that is encouraging.  I chatted with a vendor yesterday (a sewing machine vendor) and all she has heard is complaints about her company or the products and that is very frustrating.

Managed to get out and look at the quilts - well those on our floor yesterday before the show opened. Wow - some amazing pieces of work, some of them I had already seen at Houston. The style of quilting is very very different from QUILTCON.  Some of the quilts are so heavily quilted, they are like cardboard and I thought the quilt I just completed was heavily quilted.  It was nothing compared to these quilts. I think I like the density of the modern quilts better than these ones.  Although one has to keep in mind that these quilts are show quilts and will never be used.  Still - I appreciate the quilting, but can't see myself doing it.

I did buy a couple of things at one booth yesterday but keeping myself in check!  More or less.

After the show ended, Shirley and I headed out to Intercourse, Pennsylania.  What an absolutely quaint little town. And two quilt stores!!!!  I did take pictures, but I'm having a very hard time with the internet here.  I do have a plan while I'm here, but it doesn't seem to be working properly and I can't seem to upload anything at the convention center despite the fact that there is internet.  I have no idea and no time to figure it out!!!!

While I was at one of the stores in Intercourse, I saw they had the new license plate for Row by Row.  Couldn't help myself.
First plates for 2016!!!!!

I also bought one at Zook's as well. That was our second stop of the evening.  I've decided that I will participate again in 2016.  That took all over 2 seconds to break that rule!   Shirley is on my case and  she is way too practical for me!!!!  However, I'm only going to purchase plates at stores that I visit in person.  No trading, no swapping, no exchanges.  It got insane last year and I'm not going to repeat that. So I now have three!!!!   It will be a good souvenir for the year!

I have to say that I HATE this computer.  It is my laptop from work, but I usually use an external keyboard and mouse.  This mouse is so sensitive (I think I've complained about it before) that I must find if there is a sensitivity level to change.

Oh yes - I forgot about the other excitement from last night.  I made it back to the hotel around 9 PM.  I'm sitting here and I can hear sirens getting louder and louder. Many of them. Wow - that sounds serious.  Then I look out the window because they are really close and look at that - they are outside the hotel.  Next thing I know - there are all kinds of firemen in the hall outside my door!!!!   I had heard a very annoying beeping sound since I got back to the hotel.  I heard them talk about getting the building engineer in - there was a false alarm for something!!!!    I hear that firemen are supposed to be good looking, but with all that equipement - you can't see a thing!!!   I mean these guys had tanks on their backs, hats, boots, the whole nine yards!!!     Thankfully it was a false alarm!   And no I didn't take a picture!

On that note - I'm off to get ready for the day.

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lancaster Quilt Show - Day One


Wow - what a day!!!!   We knew this show was going to be a lot different from QUILTCON and it is.  There is a much different feel to it.

We arrived at the booth in advance, but by the time we got everything organized - the signs up and all the materials out - there wasn't time to walk around.  And I found out that there are quilts on TWO floors, not just the floor that we are on. And yes Pat - I will try today to get those pictures you want!

The main show floor is a bit weird as we are in a hotel ballroom and part of it is quite dark and when you pass into the other area, the change in lighting is pretty significant. We are in a bit of a different area so our lighting isn't bad.

We spent a good part of the day with a steady stream of people coming to our booth.  We have our spin the wheel for a fabric prize, I did my demo and handed out instructions for printing labels on fabric and Shirley did the fabric touch test. It was a great day and we got to meet many people.  

There was the bus load of quilters from Peterborough/Thousand Island area.  We had great fun talking to them - well I did. And hello to Mary! who sent some of  them looking for me specifically.

I did  manage to sneak out of the booth and went to a couple of booths.  I told Shirley that she better hang onto my credit card. Which I will NOT do as she would keep it and not give it back to me no matter how much I begged so that won't work.  I can't tell you what I bought because it would incriminate me since I'm working in the Northcott booth!!!!

I have to say the most interesting part of the day was after the show.  Shirley and I went on an adventure. You see, Shirley is the Northcott sales rep for this area so she knows her way around and knows the stores.   OH MY GOD - we went to Burkholder's.  Which is way out in the country  -way out in Amish country on a farm.
Burkholder Fabrics

I can't even begin to describe the inside of this MASSIVE store. It's just MASSIVE.   There are bolts and bolts and bolts of fabric.  The shelves are tightly packed and the young girl who works there - Destiny - she knows where EVERY bolt is located.  You ask for this or that - and she responds - Aisle 2 near the middle, top shelf!!!!!   Wow - pretty amazing.  Thanks to Shirley, they stock a lot of Northcott fabric. They advertise 30,000 bolts - owned by a man whom I  met.

I did buy a couple of things and when I was finished paying, I remembered that Shirley gave me a coupon for 15% which I had forgotten to use.  Oh well - wouldn't have amounted to a whole lot, but still!!!

Then we did the most amazing thing - we visited a couple of retreat houses.  Both of the ones we visited had quilters in them so we poked around and chatted to the quilters and these places were out of this world.   Houses that were obviously made for a LARGE family - a VERY large family and they were amazing.  I chatted up a storm with all the retreat goers and had a blast.   If I had of known that we were going, I would have taken Northcott samples with me.  Next time!!!!!  Will have to start toting the darn things with me everywhere!


A serious kitchen
All I can say is this is a SERIOUS kitchen and it is one of THREE in this particular house.  Need I say more!!!!

By the time we left the last house, it was late.  We then went for dinner at a local diner where we both had omelets!!!   Yeh - pretty crazy.  I got back to the hotel at 10:30 PM!!!!   So much for having a bit of free time. I've been running since I got here!!!!   And tonight is going to be the same!!!!

On that note - I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In the car.....


After my little incident with that online application and the fact that I didn't get everything done - I had to get up early.   Out of the house by 6 AM or shortly thereafter.   Starting the day off tired.

It was going to be a long day as it was pouring rain when I left.  I hate driving in the rain and I hate driving when it is dark and raining.   And I was a little concerned because I was going through the border. But no quilts were harmed in the border crossing and none should have been as they technically do not fit the "commercial samples" category.  But you hear these horror stories!

However, the border crossing was a piece of cake and the rain decreased once I was in the US.   I swear that the GPS took me around in circles - I was never going to get there.  I had to stop for bathroom breaks twice, then a stop for gas, then lunch and yes - I had to pull over in a rest area and have a nap. None of those events happened at the same stop - so yes - I stopped five different times.  It wasn't my best drive!

I did listen to a great book on the way down - called Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull who was the President of Pixar - the company that made the first animated movie completely made on a computer - Toy Story!   What a fascinating story and it's about business versus creativity.  There were a couple of quotes that I want from the book so I must get the book because I do not remember them. The book is read by the author which makes it all the more fascinating.    Check out these quotes from the book.  You can bet that I'm going to be posting them as I LOVE THEM ALL, but none of them were the particular quote that I want.

"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration - Audiobook"
Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

Well as I'm driving, there is NO mention of Lancaster.  And I'm driving from one highway to another.  At last, I see signs for Lancaster - thank goodness because I was getting worried that I didn't have the right address in the GPS and wouldn't that be funny if I ended up in Idaho!!!!   Although I knew I was in Pennsylvania.

Met up with the rest of my group and we got our booth together, then out for dinner and then to the hotel.

Northcott booth - just need to hang our sign this morning

We are staying at the Lancaster Arts Hotel which used to be a tobacco warehouse!!!   Exposed beams and brick walls - it is gorgeous and I want to buy it and make a studio here.  For some reason, I have exposed brick walls on my brain and a studio.  Now I just need to win the lottery and I'm all set.  I also saw this big beautiful old house on the outskirts of town - must go back and get a picture of that.  It was stunning.

Hotel room


Image result for lancaster arts hotel
Lancaster Arts Hotel


Wow - had a quick peek at some of the vendors yesterday.  Had a quick peek at some of the quilts!!!   Oh my - hide the credit card and just take the camera!!!!!   I've already seen the most gorgeous fabric - I know - I don't need fabric, but it is stunning and some of it may just find its way into my suitcase.  Heck - I got an entire car and thanks to Mary for the reminder - I can bring back $800 of goods. Now how does that exchange rate work???   Who cares - just fill the car and pay the consequences.

On that note - I better get ready.  We can get in ONE HOUR in advance - so that gives me four 1 hour windows to get my pictures.  And there is much to see!!!!

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!!!!