Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grab and go!

Well, that was a surprise!

I had an event in my agenda for Wednesday of this week. It said "Quilt Show Event" and the time was scheduled for 7 - 9 PM.  No notes, nothing to back up what this meant. I have to say that I ignored it because I had no clue what that meant.  

Let's keep that thought for a moment. I had a great day at work yesterday, I got TWO tops ready for the quilting machine. Yeah - mitered corners, cutting borders, etc.  Very happy.

I'm on my way home with not a care in the world.  Despite the fact that I'm going to miss the second meeting of the West End Modern Quilt Guild - I feel bad about it, but it couldn't be helped. I have three classes today and I was going to prep them last night. However, I happened to check my e-mail and OH MY GOD - the quilt event was last night and I was supposed to be at Carassauga, a cultural event in my city.

And I'm supposed to be there in one hour!  ACK - what to take. I have to have something to do as I know booth sitting can be long sometimes, but it's only for a couple of hours.

I decided to grab my backpack which had my computer and the materials I've been working on for designing quilts.  Why that?  No idea.

I get there and someone had already set up the quilts from our guild so that was good.  I finished my dinner which I had brought with me and I got a T-shirt and a cowboy hat!  Yee haw!!!   They had a few props, I had a camera and I was good for a selfie!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, hat and sunglasses
Me at the Canada Pavilion with my orange Tim Horton's camp bracelet

I also had my Tim's with me so it doesn't get more Canadian than that!  I left the glasses for the kids so Shelly, no teaching in those glasses today!  Just noticed that the flag behind is from the province where I was born!

Actually, the room set-up was quite good as they had a lot of information about Canada in the room, but I was attached to my laptop.

It wasn't super busy so I didn't feel that bad being on the computer and besides, I was designing quilts so I showed people what I was doing.

It was rolling around to 9 PM which was the time I thought the event ended, but after asking, oh NO - the event goes to MIDNIGHT!!!   Are you kidding me????   I'm going to be dead tomorrow!  But Idid my five hour volunteering stint so I should be good for a while!

So there went my sewing prep - I'll just have to use the visuals in the book, but I'm prepared.

Thank god I grabbed my backpack because I would have lost my mind to be there with nothing to do for 5 hours when I could have been home making quilts.  I think I ended up designing two new ones and fixed one but I'm still not 100% happy with it. I'll send it to the editors and see what they think. It's funny how I used to be a voracious pattern buyer. I still buy them, but not nearly as many and most of what I sew these days is my own creation.  Nothing super complicated because if I'm writing a pattern for it, it has to be easy!

I'm curious -  if I ran a class on how to use EQ7 - are there enough people locally who have it that would want a class?

On that note, I'm off to teach for the day, then back home to do some quilting!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Charmed I'm sure!

I've earned a reputation. Well - I guess I've always had the reputation - it's just more noticeable.  I'm like an energizer bunny - some call it a bottomless pit of energy, some call it hyper - but it's there!  I'm OK with that, to be honest. However, I was having a discussion with my mother the other day. I was telling her about all the stuff I need to get done which means that I don't have time to work on updating her family history book (which I keep promising to do) and she said, perhaps I should slow down.  HA!   NOT going to happen Mom!

I'm also a passionate person and I'm obsessive. We all know that!  So that is why when there was an opportunity to collect charms at Missouri Star, the challenge was on and I arose to the occasion without a second thought.  

Here are the charms that I collected from my recent trip to Missouri Star.  There are thirteen in total and as you can see, there are only 11 in this picture. One of them will be joining the group on Tuesday as it got tucked in someone else's luggage. And one of the charms was sold out!

Charms from Missouri Star
I did have to purchase some of those charms and I'm not telling you how many!  And for some reason, I ended up with a couple of extra ones and a pin from the shop that was sold out of charms.

Extra charms/pins to swap 

I haven't had time to put them on the bracelet yet. I'm a tad busy and I'm about to perform a miracle this weekend. I have a "few" customer quilts that need to be quilted, a couple of classes to teach, (double booked for the meeting of the Modern Quilt Guild in my neighborhood - wasn't my fault - it happened), two quilts to quilt by Monday and still piecing them!  Oh yes - it's going to be a fun weekend. I can hardly wait to get started. I did bring in my big sewing machine today and after a smidgen of paperwork, I'm firing up that machine and we're going to have a sewing session today!

Never mind the numerous patterns that need to be written as well.  It's all FUN - I can't even call this work.  But I'm hoping the pace will slow down a smidgen after the next trade show (Quilt Canada) in a couple of weeks.  It would be nice to just sew and not have a deadline.  Not that I think that will ever stop, but ONE quilt deadline at a time would be great, not FIVE.

I've been remiss in posting the links to QUILTsocial this week.  It was my week to post about the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 sewing machine.  Check out the posts (links below).  So much fun to write these posts - I can't wait for the next session. WAIT - I had better get started right now, so I'm not going to have to worry about them at the last minute. Oh my god - and check out Murphy photobombing the last post. Lexi is going to be peeved, to say the least. Again, if you don't have this machine or not in the market for a new sewing machine, there are still cool tips throughout the posts.  Check them out!

QUILTsocial posts

Monday - Highlights of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50

Tuesday  - Exploring the Stitch Menus

Wednesday - Remember the five bobbin rule

Thursday - Presser foot storage and presser foot review

Friday - Project of the week

And there you have it - I've got to get the day started!

Have a super day!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

My visit to Missouri Star Quilt Company

I'm not even sure where to start. You have to remember that all of this is located in Hamilton, Missouri. Hamilton has a population of just under two thousand people. And what are the odds that this little town has not one but TWO famous people associated with it?  The founder of J. C. Penny (James Cash in case you didn't know) was also from Hamilton. One of the shops (yes - MULTIPLE shops) is named Penny's and has the original sign from the local J.C. Penny store. Check out the link above if you want more information on Hamilton. I'm totally fascinated by this entire story!

In addition to what you see in town, keep in mind that there are not one, but TWO state-of-the-art warehouses nearby that support the online business. We didn't get a chance to visit, but I hope to soon!

This link will give you an overview of the many shops of MSQC.

This link will take you to the retreat center.  YES - right in the middle of Hamilton, you can book a retreat for up to 37 people!!!!   There are no meals provided, but the retreat is inexpensive ($69 US a night) - a kitchen is onsite so you can cook, there are a couple of small cafes and bakeries very close by.  Who wants to go????   I'm in - let's book a date!  This is a driveable distance.   Oh - by the way, I'm moving there so you can all come and visit me!  Here's more info on the retreat center.

And here is what I've been looking for  - the link to the MAP of the town and where all the shops are located.

Let me just say that this company knows what direction it's going in, they have a team of very smart people running it and everywhere I turned, the attention to detail was amazing. I believe that EACH shop had two very large washrooms for when they were needed.

Each shop was spacious and not crowded and the merchandising in each was impeccable. Now - MSQC is NOT your typical quilt shop.  First off - EACH shop is huge and is way bigger than most quilt shops.  They have created an entire SHOP for each category of fabric - batiks, primitives, modern, etc.  All the other quilt shops I've been to - they have to cram everything into one shop that is smaller in size than one shop of MSQC.  Let's keep in mind that the overhead in Hamilton is probably way less than other major centers so they can afford to throw space around!

I did prep a few pictures for you this morning. This is one of the main buildings. MSQC takes up the entire building and there are shops on the ground level as well as on the top level.  You'll be able to see this on the map that I posted the link to.  The shops are totally interconnected so you can wander from one to the other without going outside. This was EXTREMELY helpful in our charm shopping because I was able to pay $50 at each cash and get the free charm.  What was paid for went in the bag, what wasn't paid for, I held in my hand and carried over to the next shop.  I know - very sad. It was like a FEEDING FRENZY. Let's keep in mind that there were FOUR of us and we were doing a wee bit of research as well so it wasn't hard to find $50 worth of merchandise to get those damn charms. More on that in a minute.

MSQC on one side of Davis Street in Hamilton
This next photo is the inside of Florals.  Obviously, the flower shop!   I'm not huge into florals, but I was ready to lay out some serious cash in this shop.

Inside Florals at MSQC
The layout was any quilt shop owners dream.  High ceilings to beautifully display the quilts. Obviously, there is the cash to do it right!  And long rows of identical shelving which made it easy for us to view the collections and all the pre-cuts were right there.  It doesn't get much better than that!!!

The center of most of the shops was reserved for all the merchandising - the cute things that make you want to buy!  And the cutting tables were there as well.

The shelving along two long walls of Florals and the quilts on display
Then there was the main shop.  This place was WIDE OPEN and HUGE.  A big seating area, loads of quilts on display, T-shirts and other memorabilia things to buy, as well as fabric.  This was also the area where you could get your card printed - more about that in a second.   At the back of this shop was a demo area that I was ready to move into.  Yep - to live - it was that gorgeous!  Shoot - I didn't download that picture.

The main shop
So you registered on a row of iPads in the main shop with your name and where you were from and your e-mail. Then a card was printed out with a bar code on it. Then it was a simple matter of wherever you went, you presented the card and they had you in their system!  If you were buying something from them, they can tell what you bought so if you didn't remember, they could help you! I bet they tally that up at the end of the day to see how much each customer bought.  Oh yes - don't kid yourself - I bet they saw sales skyrocket when they implemented that damn charm system!

I wonder if we qualified for a prize with the amount we spent?  I paid for it all so it looked like I bought a LOT. (which I did!)  They also gave you a bracelet that you can put your charms on. One per shop!  Thirteen in total. Now you can also buy the charms on their own for $6 and I did buy a couple.  I see that I also ended up with a couple of duplicates - not sure how that happened and one pin at the Florals shop was GONE so I got a pin instead of a charm.  That's a good enough reason to go back to get that last charm.  Oh god - just shoot me - I'm so obsessed it's obscene.

My card and my bracelet
Do you think I can remember what this card is called??  If you go there, go to the main shop first and get this card. I think it is only available in the main shop  - on the opposite side of the street from the picture that I posted.

So if anyone wants to buy a charm?  I have the modern charm and I have the primitive charm up for grabs.  $5 CDN - a bargain!  I'll post pictures of them tomorrow. We also ended up with a duplicate BLOCK magazine which is up for grabs.  $5 CDN.  I'll post the picture tomorrow.

I have to say that I love being in this business.  It gives me access to a lot more things than I would have access to as a plain old quilter and trust me, I'm not shy to ask questions.  I'm not even going to provide details to protect myself!

We had tickets to go to Jenny's trunk show. It was two hours long which got to be a tad long simply because we wanted to hit the shops.  But she is a natural. She is so funny, so connected to her audience and so humble.  She truly is an amazing person and all the staff at MSQC were friendly and very welcoming/accommodating.

Jenny's PACKED lecture

They had a two-day event  - the Missouri Star Academy.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to take part in the event, although I would have liked to.  Next time!!!  But if you get a chance to go to this event next time they plan one, I think it would be very worthwhile!   And we know a GREAT place to stay that is way better than a hotel and much closer than any hotel.  I'll show you pictures of that ranch another day.

Bottom line - MSQC is NOT your typical quilt store. I think I saw on their website that it was like the Disneyland of quilting.  YES - it truly is.  Should you be lucky enough to be going to MSQC, I would highly recommend that you leave your credit card at home!  Take cash - take LOTS of cash - I mean LOTS and LOTS of cash. Especially if you want the FREE charms, but you could buy them as well. There are few places to eat in town so keep that in mind, but there is a full grocery store. There are bathrooms everywhere and an elevator to whisk you upstairs on that one side of the street if stairs are not your friend. And of course, you can buy the daily deal IN PERSON - which we did - both days!

And trust me - even if you say, "I'm not buying anything", that thought goes out of your head the moment you walk into the shops. It's a buying frenzy and we certainly got caught up in it!

I can't wait to go back (you know - to buy a house!)   I'm going to sell my house, move down there. Buy a store front and renovate it for a studio (the space would be amazing) and live upstairs.  I would have died and gone to heaven!!!  Something to think about!

On that note, I better get a grip on myself today and buckle down to work. No more petting fabric and messing with my charms.

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My brain has exploded!

Seriously - my brain has exploded!  If you ever get a chance to visit Missouri Star Quilt Company, your brain will explode!  I'm so frazzled right now, that I agreed to move there!  I don't care what I do - I'll sweep the floor and do it for free so I don't need a visa.  That place will just blow your mind!

My only regret is that we didn't have nearly enough time to explore.

We did get to listen to Jenny's presentation.  It was held at the Methodist church in Hamilton. It was just Jenny and her husband - gosh, I don't think I even know his name.

I want to be able to tell you in great detail about our visit and include pictures and I just don't have time this morning for that.  So bear with me - I have to share this experience with you because it was unbelievable.

All I will say is that at the very first shop, we knew we were in trouble when my NON-quilting colleagues felt the draw of the fabric buying frenzy. Yep - it was incredible and there we were at the car rental place with our Missouri Star bags trying to shove everything we bought into our suitcases without going over the weight limit on the plane!

Have I ever mentioned that I love my job?  I'm obsessed and that's all I can say at this moment because I'm so totally overwhelmed by the last 7 days that I need some time to process everything and well - there are upcoming lectures, trunks shows, quilt shows, classes, magazine quilts, customer quilting that I'll be hitting the ground running starting about NOW!

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day tripping

I don't even know where to start. Yesterday was an amazing day - everywhere we turned or where we went there was something spectacular to see.

We were up early (again, I didn't sleep all that well) and on our way to the airport.  I had booked a van to take the four of us to the airport so we could pick up our rental car (I mean standard size SUV). There wasn't that much traffic in the morning (despite it being rush hour), although we did have trouble getting into the car rental place.  The front entrance was NOT that well marked. Thank goodness it wasn't me in the car trying to get in.  I choose a WHITE SUV - keep that in mind.

Got the address for our first stop plugged into the GPS and we were off. Well, not before we crammed everything into the car. We didn't pack as well as if we were going to the airport to get on a plane so there was stuff everywhere.

Now keep in mind, there are four women in the car and you know what means? Pit stops!  We stopped at McDonald's once we got out of the city and the three of them proceeded to have breakfast. I had already had breakfast at the hotel so I really didn't need anything, but a bathroom break was welcomed as I had water and orange juice at the hotel.

We had a four-hour drive so there was another pit stop required. I saw a symbol for a restaurant on my GPS and we pulled into this little town. I see a gas station and was shocked to find it filled with old cars and in each car were mannequins!!  It was totally creepy and needless to say, we did NOT stop for a pee break there.  Back on the road until we found the next McDonalds.  Yes - these ladies love McDonald's.  I do not.  I think it's because I ate at McDonald's so much when M was little that I can't entertain the thought.  Give me Tim's any day so when I can't have Tim's, I just do without!  Isn't that just ridiculous on my part?

We finally arrived at our first destination around 1 PM.  We weren't sure if we were going to stop there, but decided to do so since the next two stops were very close and we wanted to make sure that we got to our third stop before they closed at 5 PM.  As we were getting closer to our first stop, we knew that we were in quilt country as we saw several quilt blocks on the barns.  Of course, I'm driving so there is no way that I can take pictures.

BTW - I don't even now what brand of SUV that I picked, however, it's got that damn system that beeps when you cross the yellow/white lines.  I know you can shut it off, but I didn't. Just for the fun of it.  But what is really cool is that it has a HUD.  Do you know what that is??  A heads up display!  Yes - when I look ahead of me, I can see the temperature, the gear that I''m in and my speed are projected onto the windshield that only the driver can see.  It's pretty weird - I do like the speed part - perhaps it's there to constantly remind people of their speed?  It would need to be positioned just a tad differently for me if it were my car.

Anyway, our first stop was Shearwoods which is a shop run by the Amish. A lot of interesting things in the shop - a LOT of our product in the shop which was exciting. It was one of those shops (like most quilt shops) that is out in the middle of nowhere. I mean nowhere!  But the GPS knew where to take us.  Yes - I did acquire a few things in the shop that I didn't have at home.  How could that be?  It's amazing how we go from "I don't need anything" to "Oh my - I need to buy that".

We piled back into the car and decided that instead of hitting the next quilt shop that we should check into our hotel so we plugged that address into the GPS.  It was about 20 miles away.  Hmmmm - my GPS didn't pick up the address, but Jen's phone did. Let's put it this way - my WHITE SUV was caked in mud by the time we arrived. Oh yes - it started to rain about noon and the RANCH that we were staying at was on dirt roads (at least they are gravelled so it's all good).  After one or two false starts, we did manage to find the place.  All I can say is WOW!!!!!!   This place would blow your mind.

There is one main building, the bunk house and a number of small cabins. It was almost the same price for us to rent the bunk house as it was to go to the hotel.  I'm very glad that we stayed here - I did question it, but the reviews were amazing and we followed Jen's lead.  I'm not even sure where to start to explain this place.  The main house has three or four floors. There are only SIX guest rooms in the main house which was built mostly for this entrepreneur to have a place to gather with his family.  There is a whole story about it online.  It's called Morrell Ranch. The kitchen is almost the same size as the main floor of my house which is a decent size. There are TWO MASSIVE islands, four sinks, two huge ranges, two sets of dining tables (there is no other formal dining room).  There are TWO separate guest suites with their own quaint kitchen facilities and four other large guest bedrooms on the main floor. And let's not forget the MASSIVE great room with a grand piano that is dwarfed by the three story ceiling. A wide veranda that is calling my name with a pack of hexies.  Can I just live here forever?

Wrapping on three sides of the great room (on the second floor) are bookshelves filled with books and we could bring whatever we wanted to the bunk house.  Apparently there is a secret apartment in the house where the owner lives when he is here.  The basement has a pool room (yes - there is a small pool and a hot tub), a billiard room, or at least a room with GUNS on the wall and pool cues and a table. We did have a quick game of pool.  Hey Ronda and Shelley - where were you when I needed you?  An exercise room, a lounge area, and I'm sure there is a lot of other stuff, but we needed to get moving.

Our bunkhouse has FOUR beautiful bedrooms that are to die for.  Two bathrooms, a decent sized but well equpped kitchen, laundry room and a great room that isn't large, but certainly functional and well appointed.  I took some pictures, but everywhere we looked there is more to see.  It's absolutely amazing.

There is a large pond with swans and ducks, there are cows somewhere nearby, and the cutest little baby fawn.  He is new born and I don't remember his story, but he's here and so cute. They are bottle feeding him and we were trying to get to the 8 PM feeding, but when we arrived there was no one else around.

I forgot to mention that there is another HUGE facility which is the guest facility.  Should you want to get married or have a party, there's a large rotunda and eating area and the fawn is there along with the check-in area.

Here's the bizarre thing - the place is wide open until 10 PM and we are the only ones here.  No, there are supposed to be a couple of quilters here as well and we did run into one lady trying to figure out the hot tub, but other than her, the only people we saw was the lady that checked us in and she was long gone when we got back from our other appointment.

We did toss our bags in our rooms and headed out to our third stop of the day. We did all the checking out of this place once we were back from that. Otherwise we would have missed the shopping at MISSOURI STAR COMANY.

Yes - here we are not far from Hamilton, Missouri, home of Jenny Doan and Missouri Star.  It's like Mecca for quilters.  I will save that for another day, but let's just say that I heard my credit card groan as we walked through the door of the FIRST of about 12 shops - all Missouri Star.  It's incredible.

We had a quick bite to eat because there are not a lot of choices in Hamilton. We also stopped for a few groceries (trying to save money so we can spend more at the quilt shop! I think even the non-quilters amongst us will be converted by the time we leave. EVERYONE was drooling over the shops!)

When we got back to the ranch, that's when we did our exploring that I mentioned above. As we came out of the main house (to feed the fawn), it was about 8 PM and there was the MOST beautiful rainbow that I've ever seen.  This place is supposed to have some spiritual connection and after seeing that rainbow, I truly believe it.  My phone had died by this time and my camera was in the bunkhouse so I relied on the others to take pictures which they did - it was posted to Facebook last night.  Absolutely breath-taking.  Stunning - I can't say enough about how gorgeous it was.

Now we're getting ready for the day which includes spending as MUCH time at the Missouri Star as possible although we have a flight out this afternoon so we will have to leave shortly after lunch.  Boo hoo!!!   But still lots of time to do some serious damage. I wonder how much I can shove into my suitcase?

Have a super day and stay tuned for the amazing review of Missouri Star which I hope to get tomorrow.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Spring Market - Day Three

Wow - Spring Market is over for another year. The time seems to fly by and next thing I knew we were tearing the booth down. I seriously did NOT get a chance to really walk the floor. I finally took a quick run through late in the day yesterday, but I don't think I managed to walk all the aisles.  Next time, I schedule my appointments with a big gap to walk the floor.

And why is that? Well, I had appointments and I had a fair number of appointments with various people. I also helped out the sales team if they needed questions answered about some of the projects hanging in the booth. You know - I never even took pictures of the booth.  Oh my goodness - what is happening to me?  I barely took any pictures at all. I must be slowing down!

And of course, if you had an appointment and they were a tad late, then you had to wait for them. I did miss chatting with one person. I think we got our times mixed up. I missed the text that she was at the booth and then we never did connect. Oh well, we'll go it via e-mail or next market. I already have a lot of stuff in the pipeline, it may be just as well that I didn't get a chance to chat with this editor.

We actually had a steady stream of people all market, but around 2 PM (show closes at 4 PM), everything just went dead.  The attendees were finished with their classes and wanted to get out of there. It didn't take long to tear down our booth although we had to wait a fair amount of time to get the crates to our booth. If only they would let us move them ourselves. They are on wheels!  However, all convention centers come with very strong unions so best not to step on toes.

We locked the final crate - 2 hours and 45 minutes. I had to laugh because, at one point, we're all sitting around waiting for the crates. The moment the crates arrived, it became a beehive of activity as everyone scurried around taping boxes, rollling quilts and shoving it all into the crates

I must be mad because I went back to Sugarfire for the THIRD time while I was here.  Call me adventureous!   Seriously, I don't mind eating at the same place - it's really good.  I loved the brisket and that's what I wanted. However, there was just an end left by the time I got to the counter. The lady wasn't going to sell it to me - policy I'm sure.  Finally I convinced her that I was OK with that piece (I like well done).  She said something and then cut up the hunk into chunks and slapped it on my butcher paper on my big metal tray!  It was great and so was the company as a couple of us had some good conversations and recapped the show.

Back to the hotel where I finished up some work that I had to do.  For some reason, I haven't been sleeping as well as I normally do. Not sure what the situation is, but I seem to be awake more than I sleep. But one more night out and then I'll be home tomorrow.

You see - while most of our crew goes home today, some of us are going on an adventure. Just wait! It's exciting.  To give you a clue, just remember we're in St. Louis and what state is St. Louis in? Think about it!

On that note, I'm out of here to finish packing.

Have a super day!


It's also the first day of my week of posting for QUILTsocial.  Check it out.  Even if you don't have the Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz 50 (which is the machine that I reviewed this week) or even if you're not in the market for a sewing machine, check it out as there are lots of tips in the posts that will make it worth your while to read.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spring Market - Day Two

If you're a keener, there are one and a half hour classes (make and takes) that occur before Market opens each day. I like to take these classes for a couple of reasons. First off, with the time that I get up, what the heck would I do with myself until the show opens at 9:30?  By 9:30 back home, I have half a day's work done. And there is always something new to learn.

I went to the class yesterday on cutters. You see, I have a cutter - I have a Scan n Cut (the first edition) which I have to confess has never been taken out of the box. Guess what brand of cutter they had in the room? Yep - the Brother Scan n Cut, although it was the second edition. How different can they be?

We didn't cut fabric. No, we cut various styles of vinyl which was super fun except that the motif that we got was for the good old USA so I likely won't be using that anytime soon.  We did make a logo for a small tote bag which was fun. Very easy to use and I love that it scans where your stuff is so no need to be super careful on the positioning.  It's when you're cutting fabric that things get tricky and I learned about SVG files which I really didn't understand until they got going. It's never too late to learn. But I must pop over to Alex Anderson's booth (who is right beside us) to chat about a couple of supplies - software and stabilizers.

Back to the booth to get ready for the day. I had a lot of appointments for the day which was good, but we were short on space which was also very good. Let's just say that I'm super flexible and I can set up and chat pretty much anywhere!  So good to chat with the editors. Always lots to catch up on - fabric collections, quilt submissions and a whole lot more. Super exciting stuff for me. Oh gosh, and one more pattern picked up!  I didn't have many designs with me as I just didn't have time to get more done so I'll be working hard when I get home.

I barely got out of the booth all day. Between my appointments and helping the sales reps with customer questions, the day flew by. I did manage to get out later in the day and walked about 1/4 of the show. I have to laugh because the way that I walk the show (as a quilter) and the way a non-quilter walks the floor are two completely different things. I look for new, I look for people that I have a connection with (yes - more talking!)  

I had a long chat with Deb Tucker about the advantages of using her rulers. The last couple of quilts that I had made for the magazines and my Sesquicentennial quilt had a lot of flying geese.  I promised Deb that when I got back home that I would dig out my Wing Clipper ruler and I would use it! I have no choice now but to get my butt in gear and do that. A promise is a promise! Deb is a wonderful person and always a hoot to have a chat with.

I only have two appointments today and the show ends at 4. I would imagine by noon that it will be pretty quiet and I should have a chance to fly around the remainder of the show so I can at least say I was everywhere!  And I remembered to pick up the pattern that I had purchased from a designer. I bought the pattern in Paducah, but it wasn't  finished at that tine so I got it now. See - I do remember things!

I've got my work cut out for me when I get home. Not only do I have quilts to make and finish, I've got to get out the Wing Clipper ruler, I've got to crack open that box for the scan n cut and I've got a tool that was given to me to review.  More on that when I get home. All super exciting things to say the least.

Well, I see it time to get ready for the day.

Have a super day!!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Spring Quilt Market - Day One

Yesterday was the first official day of Spring Market. I had several meetings booked with editors and customers and always exciting to show off the new collections.

I have my favorite collections from the new release and it's always fun to see which ones are liked by others.  I did get another quilt picked up by a magazine. Yeah - but there isn't an immediate rush on that - fabric isn't even made yet. 

I have another round of appointments today.  I did manage to get out and see a little bit of the show. Hopefully, a little bit more tomorrow and then tomorrow which is a shorter day, but I only have two appointments so I should be able to get out and see the rest. 

I've run into shop owners from back home and we've had some good visits. I think that's what I'm best at. I'm a talking head. I love talking - just like my dad and his dad.  The gift of the gab!

Oh, shoot - just realizing that I haven't posted any pictures on Facebook/Instagram (except for my food) so I'll try and do that today so you can see what I've been working on. 

The day passed by in a whirlwind and next thing you know - it's time to go back to the hotel. I had yakked about the BBQ place so much that Shirley wanted to go and so the two of us were off to the BBQ place.  The line was even longer than the previous night but it went quickly. The food looked equally messy but was very good. And I ran into several people there from Market. One group was there because of my picture I posted the night before!  

We had a good chat and a good catch-up since we don't get to see each other that often. Back to the hotel where it was only 8 PM.  The rest of my group was just going out. I just can't do that anymore.  OK - it's not so much that I can't, as that I don't want to be eating at 10 PM.  Too late.  

I see that it is raining this morning and there have been some spectacular claps of thunder and lightening. I will have to make quick work of getting over to the convention center which is about a 1-minute walk so I don't get too wet. I have a class at 8 AM so I'll be there for that. I don't even know what it is - I did sign up for two and I can't remember either. That's why we have schedules and agendas!

On that note - I'm off to get ready and have breakfast!

Have a super day!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Spring Market - Schoolhouse

I had finished my booth set-up responsibilities the day before so that left me with the day to check out Schoolhouse. That was super exciting. I've been to Schoolhouse before but always felt guilty as I went back to the booth to help out.

I went through the class/demo listings and picked what I thought would be interesting (in my day job capacity), not personally. There is a difference! I had a lot of fun checking out various projects/collections etc that are being introduced here at Market. Lots of block of the months (maybe some I can teach when I get home), saw lots of people I know, met up with a few people from back home.

I was planning on going to Victoria Findlay Wolfe's schoolhouse, even saw her, said HI and see you later and then I was called into a meeting and that just killed the rest of my day!  The meeting was interesting and worth attending so I can't complain.  I had also thought of going to Sample Spree, but by the time we finished the meeting, I was too hungry and tired to go to sample spree.  And probably just as well as I really do NOT need any more fabric or rulers or whatever.

I decided to jump ship and have dinner on my own.  While I like my co-workers, there comes a point when I need my peace and quiet. I'll explode without it! I asked at the front desk for a recommendation for a restaurant and they gave me the same one that we had been to the night before. Nope - I would like something else.  How about BBQ?  Perfect even though I'm not a huge meat fan.

Sugarfire was not far away from the hotel so I walked over.  Whoa - this is a popular place. It was about 8 PM by the time I got there - and the place was packed and there was a line.  ACK!  Do I want to wait?  I had no choice - I wasn't going to wander around and find something else. I'm not a big meat eater so what am I going to choose?  I settled on the Big Muddy (I wonder why it's called that?). Sides?  Nope - wasn't into potato salad or coleslaw so I thought I could have a milkshake. Live it up a bit.  Nope - they were long sold out of ice cream. The cashier said they must have made over 1,500 milkshakes that day!!!

This restaurant is cafeteria style. You get a big metal tray with a sheet of paper on it.  They plop your meat choices right on the paper. The salads are in small paper trays - no dishes to wash. My big muddy was actually a burger with a sausage and some brisket.  Lots of other stuff got thrown on and it looked like a huge mess, which it was. But it was AMAZING and that's from a very fussy meat eater.  Tender, tasty and well, I just ate the meat!!!  The rest of the mess, I left on the paper!

Seating was home style. Long rows of tables with old kitchen chairs. It was pretty cool.  I met up with a person who was here to help a friend with their booth for Market and an educator for heart valves.  An interesting dinner conversation and I laughed because if one ate all their food, it was a heart attack waiting to happen!

Back to the hotel and to bed. I had to shut the A/C off last night. Just can't get it controlled, I hate it and I was just fine without it. No headache this morning.

I see that we had a big thunderstorm this morning but I was busy on the computer. It appears to have settled down which is fine since I need to get my butt to breakfast in a few minutes.

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spring Market - travel day

Here I am in my hotel room in St. Louis!  And yes all my quilts got done.

I finished the quilting on the big quilt (after I had a small ripping out session). The lesson here is never attempt something that you're not 100% sure of especially when there is a deadline! The binding got put on (I'm getting super fast - did you know that I sewed the binding on by machine and it probably took less than one hour.  Both sides and the quilt was 80 inches square!  The sleeve got made, but not sewn on. I was leaving that for when we got to market. A big thank you to Shirley and Hania who sewed my two sleeves on!

I was up super early so I could pack. I know - there literally was no time to do it before.  Then I was off to the airport. Our flight was uneventful except for the landing. It was windy in St. Louis and I swear that plane tipped upon landing. Thankfully it was righted before any damage was done and we were at the airport.

There was quite a contingent of us (thankfully the plane did make it or well you wouldn't be getting new fabrics from us!), so we rented a bus to get us to the hotel. Very efficient way. Did you know that St. Louis is a city divided?  Apparently, there is one street that sort of separates the high income and low-income sections. I must say that there is a lot of abandoned buildings here.  Hmm - could buy one, fix it up and have an amazing loft space!

We arrived early in the day which was a treat as we don't usually get to our booth until the afternoon.  However, I discovered that our crates had not arrived!  Yikes, that's not good.  A little investigation and it appears that our truck driver was a little bit delayed but everything was good and soon we had those crates open and rushing around like bees to get everything set up.

And I'm already scouting out, chatting up people, working out deals and arrangements for future events. I love coming to these shows and it technically hasn't even started yet!

But around 5 PM, I said, "that's it for me".  I was tired and just not functioning anymore.  I had to pop out to pick up a quilt from someone anyway. Once I had walked down to the hotel where they were taking a class, I thought I'm very close to the Arch so I'll just walk on over there.  Wow - that is such a cool feature/sculpture/structure?  It's huge and you can go crazy looking up at it.  Apparently, you can go up in it, but as I was on my way there, a lady told me that the tickets were all sold out for today.  No worries - I didn't have time, nor did I want to. But I took a few pictures.

The rest of the gang was meeting up soon and so I walked back to the hotel to meet up with them.  It was super windy and I was certain that I was going to get caught in the rain. But nope - no rain. It's a bit humid here, but not bad.

We went out for dinner but again, I didn't linger.  I mean really - don't these people get tired of being with each other all day?  I need a break! I like my solitude!

The temperature in my room is bizarre. Of course, it's set to FREEZING when I arrive. I turn the fan down and make a couple of adjustments, but it's cold when the air conditioning is running and HOT the moment it stops. It's crazy.  I didn't sleep well last night and usually wake up with a headache the first night in a new room. My head is pounding right now which isn't fun. But hopefully once I get up and moving and have breakfast, I'll be OK. Oh and the sheets are so tightly tucked in, I can barely get them out!

Anway on that note, I'm out of here to have a shower and get on with the day.

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Motivational Monday (on Tuesday again!)

Hmmm - there seems to be a trend happening here. I should have thought twice about posting a motivational blog on Monday. Monday morning is not a good morning for me to blog and well sometimes, it gets missed!  I was at the gym, pumping 25 KM out on the bike in one hour.

There is NOTHING like a deadline to get one moving!  As I mentioned, my magazine quilt was finished last week (just in time to get into a FedEx box).  It arrived yesterday and they love it!  Are they just saying that? or do they really like it?  I have to admit that it's a nice quilt and I'm quite happy with it.

I'm lying in bed yesterday morning contemplating my day and BAM! I realized that I was supposed to have pieced a block that technically was supposed to have been in the US yesterday.  I had called and got an extension to Tuesday. That meant that darn block had to be made - again before the FedEx deadline.  Thankfully the block was designed and I quickly grabbed some appropriate fabric and whipped up that block as I visited with my Monday group. I designed a quilt using the block and now the block should be arriving at its destination this morning. Yes - it's worth it for me to set up the machine for ONE hour and sew. That's how restrained my time is these days!  (Don't worry though - I did sit in the backyard in the sun for a week bit yesterday with the girls and enjoyed the sun and I had a nice nap on Sunday afternoon in the gazebo with the girls lounging beside me on the floor!)

I seem to be plowing through the projects, minus labels, but that's OK.  That list is long, well longish - I think there are 20 items on the deadline list (NONE of them have anything to do with my UFOs).  A couple will disappear after tonight and while I'm away, I'm going to have to be brutal with scheduling to see how the rest of the items can get accomplished in the time frames allowed.

I'm madly quilting that 80" square quilt that needed custom quilting. I worked until 9:30 last night and I made good progress.  Part of it was a royal pain as I needed to change thread colors up to 10 times in one row!  That was brutal. Thankfully I'm over that part and now down to about 3 color changes in one row and every row, it gets easier.  I was hoping to get the first pass completed last night, but at 9:30, my brain and body said ENOUGH!   The next pass is with ONE thread color and is the lesser half of the quilt so that should go quicker. Then to bind it and it looks like sleeves will be sewn on during setup day A job for anyone sitting there with idle hands.

I have a quilt to bind this morning when it comes in from the long arm quilter.  The QUILTsocial blog posts are almost completed - I've no idea how those happened!

The 3-D object - not going to happen!  That's OK. I'll finish it and show you cause it's so darn cute.

The other "would like to have" - it's done enough to show the concept.  That's all I care about.

Then to pack which means throwing a few clothes into the suitcase, take a few photos of quilts and I'm ready to go.  Thankfully the next show is local so no need to travel to that one, but there is a ton of stuff to prepare for it (all items are on that deadline list).

And did you know that practice makes perfect? The more I quilt, the better I become.  And I think I much prefer to quilt my own quilts than customers.  I'm not afraid to make mistakes!   I'm quite happy with the quilting on this quilt, my same old signature design. I can't get away from that. Putting on bindings used to be a horrible job, but I don't even know how many I've done by machine and each one is better than the previous one.

The more I write, the fewer errors pop up on Grammarly!  And on and on......  

So - get out there and practice something!

I see from the Facebook posts that you are all going gangbusters. Projects are super awesome and they are DONE which is the most exciting part of the whole process.   Imagine my progress if all my sewing was related to my UFOs?  I wouldn't have any!!!!   My last deadline quilt is July 20 and I will likely have two months with no deadline sewing - that's when I'm going to get caught up!

Have a super day!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

I guess I had better remember to call my Mom today or I'll be in trouble.  Funny how they sometimes seem so above the Mother's Day thing, but god forbid if you forget to call!  That's the same with birthdays and anniversarys!  Those dates are embedded in my brain!

It would appear that Lexi and Murphy were up to no good last night as I see Lexi has posted something this morning. Those two girls are just big trouble makers!

Speaking of being a Mom, my kid now lives in Vancouver and seems to be liking it there.  Just have to figure out a way to get all of her stuff that is in our house out to her (or pitch it!). Here's a recent picture that she had taken.


And Little Bear

Yep - that's her teeny weeny dog. Murphy would have a hay day with that little dog.

So I got a package in the mail this past week. I love how it was addressed. Can you see?  Didn't have my name on the package - nope - addressed to Mom!  I love it!!!!

Addressed to MOM

And this is the coolest card - Mother's Day card with a gold bike!  I love the card - thanks kiddo!

Cool Mother's Day card
 And I got a bike charm and bike napkins.

Bike themed goodies

Now those napkins will get used!  Again - what is the point of having this stuff if it doesn't get used!  Enjoy the moment and move on!

DH wanted to take me out for brunch, but there is NO TIME for brunch.  I don't know why people feel obligated to eat out on Mother's Day - I mean the brunch thing.  I don't really care, we have our weekly date dinner and I'm OK with that. What I want today is time to work on what I'm supposed to be working on!

Yesterday was a super productive day. I got the quilt top finished and loaded on the long arm, ready to get started later today. I had come up with some quilting patterns, but then thought of another one this morning. Whatever it is, has to be quick as this quilt is BIG  (80" square) and it has to be in a suitcase on Wednesday morning with the binding attached. The sleeve can be hand stitched or pinned when we arrive.

Quilt is loaded
 I also got the binding done for the other quilt that I will get back from the long arm quilter tomorrow so that one can be finished tomorrow.

Binding prepped
 I did get part of the next row on that "nice to have" project.  It didn't take that long so that was good. If I could get two more rows on, I would be very happy.

I zipped out for a couple of hours yesterday to buy supplies for that 3-D project.  It was funny as I ran into someone I knew at all three places.  That never happens!

Then back home and got most of the bits cut out and a wee bit of work done on it. It's still on the fence whether it will get finished in time or not.

3-D project - cut out

And last, but not least, I took a ton of photos, edited 57 of them and they are uploaded to the QUILTsocial blog posts. Now to fill in the text. That is the big job of today.

I was super happy with my progress and don't feel any stress. I'm wondering if that is a good thing or a bad thing?

I also decided to dump the photos from my camera card (all 6,058) of them (in one year) to the hard drive of the other computer. Yes - I'm typing this on the laptop!

They will need to be sorted and tagged and probably many of them need to be deleted as they have served their purpose. I might try to do a few every day - again there aren't a lot of topics and they can be moved as groups - dogs, quilt shows, blog pictures, etc. And since they tend to be in groups, that makes it even easier. Heck - I might even get the class photos done!

I have quite a few appointments during the Spring Market and as I'm working, I'm planning out those appointments.  There is one that is a bit different from the others and this is where keeping pictures of all your work becomes important.  As I was transferring some pictures from one computer to the other yesterday, I found some that I was looking for.  Now the key is to assemble them all in one place (iPad is preferable) so they can be shown. BUT this task would be so much easier if all my pictures were in one place, tagged and sorted.  Oh well - if life were that easy, where would be the fun?

On that note, I'm out of here to take a few more photos and get writing!

Have a super Mother's Day!!!!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Quilting on the edge.....................

I know that some of you are probably exhausted just reading about my schedule. However, I'm thriving on it! I know that sounds absolutely bizarre, but I did write the other day how obsessed I am with this hobby/career.  Which of course has only gotten worse now that I'm officially "in" the industry.

I was chatting with another designer yesterday who is madly making quilts for Spring Market. She received fabric for FOUR quilts last week. All have to be done by next Wednesday. She laughed and said she is having fun. She LOVES the rush of adrenline. And I totally get that!

It's like we're out to prove a point - how much can we shove into one day? how many quilts can we make on a dime? Bring it on - the more the merrier!

So I'm going to officially declare that quilting is a sport! Sometimes it's an aerobic sport and sometimes it's not. Now I wouldn't say that quilting is like sky-diving (which I've done - well technically, I've parachuted TWICE). While we quilters can get an adreline rush, it's not like jumping out of a plane. Is quilting like mountain climbing?  Nope - not quite the same.  Nope - I would compare quilting to cycling.  I KNOW - who knew!!!  Why?  Because both are activities that you can do all day, everyday. You can do them alone, you can do them with friends, you can see your accomplishments (well if you're cycling from A to B like cycling across Canada - which I've done!), both are exciting (at least to me!).   That's how I'm justifying not being on my bike these days because I'm behind the sewing machine. Now if I could only figure out how to get exercise while sewing?  Oh yes - I need one of those bikes that fit under your desk - then I would be set. Better yet, I need a sewing machine that operates from pedal power. I did see that on YouTube once. Let me try to find that video.

Well - I didnt' find that video, but I found this.  Seems there is one problem - I'm not sure I can ride the bike AND sew at the same time. Or how about this one - same girl as I was looking for - different video.

Speaking of videos - ACK - I knew this day was coming and well it's arrived!  I made a video. Well - I didn't make it, I "starred" in the video. I tell my quilting students that when they are learning a new motif, they need to stitch the first one, stitch the second one, and maybe stitch the third one and by then all the kinks will be worked out.  Well, here's the first one. A few kinks to be worked out.  But it's all about having fun. NO ONE is allowed to laugh, unless you're laughing WITH me. There are several goofs - can you spot them?  There will be more videos - BUT they will be shorter. This was ambitious!!!   If nothing else, look at the cool stuff in the background.  M?  - Do you recognize any of those things????

And now for a progress report. The one quilt is winging its way to the US officees of a magazine in a FedEx box. Yeah!!!!  I sewed the sleeve on at work. Done!  Check!   I'm working on the last quilt that technically has to be done for Market - well, last quilt top that still remains to be sewn. There is one and a half borders to sew on (bobbin ran out and I need to clean the machine - sounded like a good time to take a break).  The backing is made and all will get loaded on the long arm this morning. I'm debating how to quilt it?  I have several ideas and we'll see once the top is completed.

Got several "story lines" for the blog lined up. Need a major picture taking session and uploading those. That's for later today when I need a break from quilting. Finished that first row on the other one that will be "nice to have".  I would like to put two more rows on if possible which should be doable and then there is my 3-D item.  I will cut it today and see how it goes.

Let's keep that adreline running. My only problem is that I'm older than the designer that I spoke to yesterday. She can pull an all-nighter - I can't!  If I don't get my sleep?  I'm cranky!  But I can go to bed early and get up really early which is what I did today!

Here is a picture of an art quilt that I bought several years ago. It was part of the TrendTex challenge at CQA.  Judy Morningstar is the artist.  It's called Quilting on the Edge!   Yep - that's me in a heartbeat - that's why I paid a lot of money to get this. I absoltuely love it and it hangs in  my studio where I'm reminded every day - quilting is a SPORT!

And on that note, I have two impatient girls who would like to be driven to the dog park!

Have a super day!!!


For my American readers, the video is about a Canadian quilt, but you could easily substitute one of Northcott's American panels in there as well.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Another one bites the dust!

It would appear that the moment that I get one quilt out the door, the next one comes barging in!  Yep - got confirmation of ANOTHER quilt that has a deadline - June 16.  Don't even have the fabric - I'll get it cut this afternoon. Thankfully the fabric has arrived in the warehouse!

However, I'm getting good at getting things done. And with the exception of labels (tacking on my business card is as good a label as my quilts are getting these days!), I'm getting them done. One was finished yesterday and it's now on its way to Spring Market in the crate which left yesterday.

I got this one quilted last night. Don't be silly - of course, you can't see it! But here's the back.

Magazine quilt - quilted!

While I was piecing this quilt, I was wondering how to quilt it.  The fabrics are quite busy, pretty but busy. What to do?  What to do??  Should it be custom quilted? What color thread?

As I was putting the last of it together, I decided that it needed a pantograph or overall design.  Whatever quilting I would put on it would be lost in the fabrics, so why bother. Time was also a factor. As for the color of thread?  Oh god - I used invisible thread.  I know - I used to hate invisible thread, but I popped invisible on the top, some pre-wound bobbins in the bobbin and I was away. Barely any adjustments on the long arm - well I did loosen the top tension and adjust the bottom ever so slightly, but it was easy.

Close up of the quilting
Then off to bed and YES - I broke my rule. It was after 9 PM when I closed up shop.

Up nice and early this morning and in two hours, I got the quilt trimmed, made the binding, stitched it down (front and back), made the sleeve and pinned it on. I'm going to hand stitch the binding this morning and get the quilt in a FedEx box before 3 today.  DONE!!!!

I have to say that my binding skills are getting better - it's like anything - the more you do, the better you become.

Binding - DONE!

Let's see - that leaves one more quilt top to be finished, quilted and bound before Wednesday AM. One more top to mess around with, but if I don't complete it, that's OK - at least the concept will be apparent with a few more rows. That's also for Wednesday morning. One more quilt to bind that someone else is quilting. Let's not forget my 3-D project that I think I might be able to eek out and lastly, the QUILTsocial posts which I'm formulating in my head as I'm working.  All by Wednesday AM?  Oh yes - I've NOTHING scheduled this weekend!

On that note, I'm out of here. Got loads to do.

Have a super day!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Teaching old dogs new tricks

You know the saying - you can't teach an old dog a new trick.  Well - I'm the old dog.  I mean what is wrong with me?  

I have that brand new cutting mat - remember?  It was hidden under stuff on my cutting table. Then I decided to clean up the cutting table and move the mat to the other side where I always cut.  No problem.  Well - guess where I'm cutting these days?  YEP - on the old mat on the opposite end of the cutting table!  I mean really!

Still cutting on the old mat

However, that really isn't what today's post is all about.  Nope  - I wanted to share with you how crazy my life has become.  That isn't true either. Let me explain.

Some of you may know this story, but years ago (1998), I started to seriously quilt. And in a very short time, I became addicted to the hobby. Sometimes, I wonder how I managed to be a Mom!  M probably thinks I wasn't a good Mom!  Anyway, in 2000 or thereabouts, I decided to take a one-year leave of absence from my very good job with an excellent salary so I could get quilting out of my system.  Little did I know how obsessed I would become.

Needless to say, I never went back to that job and was lucky enough to make a career out of quilting - a part-time career of teaching, making quilts for others and long arming. I had NO TIME for a day job.

Then the ultimate day job came along that was an offer too good to refuse. So I went to work for Northcott. Imagine when your hobby, part-time career, and full-time job are all one and the same thing? Oh yes - we're talking a very serious addiction here.

The reason I mention all that is because guess what I did last night?  Yep - I was sewing until 8 PM. I try not to sew past 8 PM. Usually, it's because I'm just too tired at that point and well, I guess that's it - I'm just tired by then. But guess what I do when I wake up?  Yep - about 10 minutes after I'm up, I'm downstairs plugging in the iron, turning on the sewing machine and turning on the radio - ready to go.

Shoot - that wasn't even what I wanted to tell you either!  What I really wanted to tell you is how lucky I am to have a dedicated sewing space. When I shut things down last night, my cutting table had stuff all laid out ready for the morning to start sewing. Imagine if I had to put things away every day?  I'd never make anything!

Even if my house were small, I'd still make that happen. I'd give up the dining room, the living room and most of the kitchen to quilting if I had a small house. Gosh - even the bedroom. It's all about priorities. And should DH ever say anything about the mess, if it were to invade the rest of the house or the amount of time that I spend at the sewing machine - goes in one ear and right out the other!

Now I wonder if there is a quilter anonymous? I might need to join one day.  What will I do when my body won't let me sew anymore?

The best part is that I'm having a blast. Last night after I finished the quilt top that has to be in the mail TOMORROW (I'll be quilting it later today), instead of working on the next quilt top that has to be in my suitcase on Wednesday, I thought I deserved a little bit of fun. So I started to work on one of my "would like to have done by Wednesday" projects.  It's a bit of an experiment and I just needed a break from the other stuff.  OH - I'm loving it. The first row is almost on. This one is the hardest because everything had to be fussy cut. The next rows are just grunt sewing. I'm super excited about it. Not sure it would make a good class - it's very dependant on the fabric and the first row is very tricky. ZERO room for error.

Oh yes - the quilt top that I finished last night? It's for a magazine. It's so funny to actually see the quilt top made. I've been carrying my design for a couple of weeks and OH - the actual quilt looks just like the design (thankfully!)

On that note, I've a ton of stuff to arrange to ship. Whenever I get to my hotel on a trip, there is always lots of boxes waiting for me. It's like Christmas!

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What a novel idea!

Despite the fact that I've moved my big computer up to the office and despite the fact that I complain bitterly about the S L O W  speed of the laptop, I continue to use it. So yesterday when I finished the blog, I moved my chair in front of the big computer so I would be reminded to use the other computer this morning. And here I am on the other computer which needed to be rebooted this morning after installing updates.  I just can't seem to win!   And of course, this keyboard is different than the laptop so I need to move that pinkie over just a titch more in order to get the caps! Now I'm surrounded by computers and laptops with three of them going at once!

I'm going to update the photo editing software as well and then I should be good to go.  

While I was in Paducah, I came across my favourite bookseller.  I've mentioned them before and gosh - I don't even know their name, but they have all kinds of back issues of some of the magazines which I need to take inventory of. But guess who I saw?  Yes - those quilt novel authors that I had met at Road to California. 

I really enjoyed the mystery series  - well the first book, which we are unable to get through the library and the library won't order "old" books.  I bought the second one. I think I will donate these books to my guild library as I certainly won't read them again and I don't want the darn things taking up valuable room on my bookcase (OK - the real reason is that someone will have to dust them - no not that either!).  Nope - once I read a book, it's gone because I'm trying to make every effort to get rid of things that I no longer need or want. 

Someone talked about hitting their closet and I was thinking the same thing.  I did that a number of years ago and since I haven't really bought much since then, it wouldn't take that long to go through everything and get rid of what I don't wear.   That will have to be a July job as my schedule is pretty packed until then. 

Book 2 of the Harriet Truman/Loose Threads series

Arlene Sachitano is the author of the Harriet Truman/Loose Threads series.  Harriet is a long arm quilter and the genre of the book is a mystery.  I quite liked the book. In the picture below, Harriet is holding her 10th book which was just released.

The second author that I met at Road to California is Patience Griffin.  She writes about the quilters in Scotland. The books are romance and a touch racey!  I mentioned that to her and that is what her publisher wanted!  I hate when that happens.  I liked the premise of her books and those one (go figure) are available through the library! Anyway - it was good to see her again and she was all cute in her Scottish outfit.

A third author was with these two. Her name is Marie Bostwick.  She also writes quilt novels and I have one of them which I have never read!  Oh - I better get that out and read it.
A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick

And here are the three authors.......

Marie, Patience and Arlene

I have to say that I'm bogged down in my reading right now.  I'm reading Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It's not about quilting, but Jennifer has written a lot of quilt novels.  Too much politics?  Too much going on right now?  I'm not sure, but I might have to abandon it!  (GASP!)   It is taking forever to read and not for lack of time.

On that note, I'm out of here.  Got an appointment (at last) to get my snow tires removed. This is why I hate them - a pain to maintain and store (I know - the practical side of things!) but the car is overdue for a tune-up so I can't wait any longer!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Motivation Monday (yes - I know it's Tuesday) and PUBLISHED!!!

I'm sure we've all been in this position. Loads of work and we all look calm on the outside, yet on the inside, the wheels are spinning, the thoughts are processing. Yep - we've all been there and for some reason, I can't seem to slow down! Just when I say, "just one more quilt and I'll be caught up", something else pops up!  

Nothing new on the radar (at least not last week - but maybe this week!).  I'm getting loads of stuff done, just not necessarily on my own stuff. But I've got hope!  July - that's when I can get back to my own stuff - July!   Of course, that will depend on other people's schedules.  

This past Saturday was a UFO sewing day with my guild.  I wasn't going to go, but then I thought - "why not?  I'm just going to sew at home by myself. I might as well go and be with the group."  I'm so glad that I did. It was a lot of fun, I got loads done and was worth the hassle of going there and coming back!  And did you know that it is at UFO days and workshop days when you really get to know the members of the guild? NOT at the meetings as those are meetings and not a lot of time to socialize. 

I had done a lot of prep work the night before so I was ready to sew. I got one quilt top done, made the binding and the backing. That was all in the first hour (the top was almost together before I went). 

One quilt top - done and ready for quilting
When I got home later that afternoon, I couldn't load it on the long arm as I had this small quilt that needed to be done first.

But it's quilted and just needs to be trimmed and bound. It's part of Canada's Big Quilt Bee and will be donated to Ronald McDonald house.

Community projects quilt - DONE!
Then I got the other quilt loaded on the long arm. That was Saturday night.

Quilt loaded on the long arm
Sunday after my volunteering session, I was in a funk. But there is no time to be in a funk when Spring Market is looming on the horizon. I managed to get the quilt quilted and off the long arm. Of course, I can't share it with you, but here is the back.

Quilt - DONE
I got the quilt trimmed and the binding is now on. I'll be putting on the label and sleeve tonight. One more done and off the list for Spring Market.

On Saturday after I finished this first quilt, I started another quilt top that has to be done for Spring Market. I made good progress on it. I managed to get more of it together and all the cutting and half square triangles are done (or almost done).  I think there are three more rounds/borders to put on and it's done. I MUST remember to get backing today so it can go on the long arm. This one will be carried in the suitcase because there are a couple of other urgent things to be done. Like the quilt that has to be in the US for Monday.  It's for a magazine and I started assembling the quilt top this morning. Nope - you are NOT allowed to make any comments!  None!!

I must remember to get backing for that one as well. I have a pretty wide open schedule for the next week so I'm not worried, but again we are in a situation where NOTHING can go wrong or I'm in trouble.  And then there are still the two bonus projects that I would like to take to Market as well.  And prepping the blog posts for QUILTsocial.

One of my magazine projects is now out!   It's in the latest issue of A Needle Pulling Thread - see the cover below.

Spring Issue 2017 - A Needle Pulling Thread
And I have TWO items in the magazine.  One is a quilt project and the other is an article on scrap quilting.  Be sure to rush out and get your copy!!!

Two items by me!

I seem to be motivated by a deadline - at least in the quilting world.  Although that housework story from the other day did motivate me to tidy up a few things on Sunday night. I'll be making a trip to the donation center this weekend and I spent a bit of time last night deleting e-mails. I deleted thousands of e-mails.  You know you have all the intentions of reading them and I get duplicates of some of them at work, so I just happily deleted a bunch. I really need to go in and unsubscribe, there are some which I want to keep being reminded of the product so when I need it, the info is there!  How silly is that!

So while I'm motivated by a deadline, how are the rest of you doing?  Thankfully I have my Task Master list because if I didn't, there would be a lot of items that would be totally forgotten!  I'm still plugging away at them and I guess I know what I'll be doing at the next sewing retreat which is just a couple of months away!  I can do it!  Just need to keep on track.  NOTHING new is to be added to that Task Master list except stuff that has a deadline!

There is ONE more trade show after Spring Market and there are a number of items that I need to have done for that. One for the booth and several for my demos.  But I have a funny feeling based on the appointments that I have booked for Spring Market that I'm going to come home with a HUGE list of things to do. Maybe not immediately, but - well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Do any of you watch Your Morning??  I don't, but someone alerted me to yesterday's episode.  Have a look at this link and go to minute 37:15.  Don't be horrified by what the lady says when introducing the segment - it will make you cringe! We so need to educate the world about quilts.

On that note - have a super day!!!!