Saturday, September 21, 2019

A good day!!!!

I bustled around the house getting one more sample done before I went to do my events at Brampton Sew and Serge. Two things of note. First, it's amazing how simple little things can annoy the heck out of you when you're pressed for time. I've been known to completely dump everything off a worktable in one of those moments! I think I've only done that once! The second thing is how quickly we learn. I needed to bring my embroidery design into the Premier +2 software. Now, how the heck do I delete part of the design? I learned very quickly how to use some of the different tools and make that happen.

The bottom line? The design got stitched out and I grabbed the hoop and the stitch out right off the machine and took off! Only to find that the area near the exit to the highway was being repaved and that wasn't really a good option to go that way. No worries - lots of alternate routes.

The events were full! A lot of people showed up and that's always exciting. They were an amazing group too. Very inquisitive, asked lots of questions which is always a very good thing. The last one ended at 9 PM so it was getting late! I loaded everything in the car and made my way back home. What a fun day and a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out! I'll unpack later today as I have to start to repack for the next event which is the big annual dealer convention. This year it's being held in Phoenix.

I had a glorious time testing out the unlimited data on my phone. I connected the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC and my laptop to the hotspot on my phone. Then whenever I needed access to mySewNet account - I was golden! It actually didn't use a whole lot of data despite the fact that I was logged in for almost 8 hours. I'm loving my new phone plan.

I love doing these events even though there's a lot of prep work and now I must work on new samples - sometimes to find out the answer to questions posed by the audience, sometimes to find out things that I thought of during a presentation or just to keep up with the changes in the technology.

There's never a lack of things to create and stitch out!

It's Sit n Sew day tomorrow and I don't have anything to tidy up! Studio B is the same way that it was when the ladies left the other day. I don't know why in the past that the moment they would leave, I'd bring all my stuff back out onto the tables. Why? Because I'm just a silly person - that's why.

I did a wee bit of tidying up this morning and I put this away. This is a small piece of fabric that I acquired earlier this week when I was at Thimbles and Things. It's a digital print of doors. The print is gorgeous. It would make an excellent bag. It's by Hoffman - they always have some amazing prints. The collection is called Globe Hopper.   I think the door print is the best one from the small collection. The colors of digital are just spectacular.

Digital door print

I don't have anything of mine to share with you today so here's a couple of pictures that I took of what Diane is working on. These are machine embroidery designs from Lunchbox Quilts. This is the Christmas dogs - actually called Holiday Hounds. So very cute.

Wall hanging from Holiday Hounds

And if you're into cats, this is the Christmas Cats. What I love is that if you can't find these patterns at your local sewing machine dealer or quilt store - you can buy them online and get an immediate download! Love it!!!!

Wall hanging from Christmas Cats

As I mentioned earlier in the week, it's National Jelly Roll Day TODAY. I mentioned this to the Sit n Sew group earlier this week. Their reaction? OH - is there a sale on jelly rolls? Seriously???  Their immediate thought was on BUYING, but the Jelly Roll Day is on MAKING!! Here's a link to one blog with a couple of ideas. Shoot - I should have created something for you! OK - I promise, I'll be making a quilt pattern sometime that I can share with you! Not going to give a time frame in case I get waylaid and October is going to be a super busy month.

I have my jelly rolls sitting out and after my class today, I'll be working on my jelly roll quilt. Which I'll share with you later this week.

Katheleen sent me this link about tidying and creativity. I love it!!!  While I've been doing a load of decluttering and tidying up, having a totally clean workspace is NEVER going to happen. Here's another article on the topic. So we all know what that means - stay tidy, but not too much!!!

I'd better get myself organized and ready for my class this morning. OK - all I have to do is grab the pattern. The sample's at the store and it's going to be a great day!!!

Have a super day!!!!  Have fun MAKING something from your jelly roll.


Friday, September 20, 2019

Sit n Sew day

By far, my favorite days are the Sit n Sew days (and Monday sewing). They are just good all around. I get loads done (most sew days) and the conversations are amazing! We talk about everything and anything at the sew days and that's so neat. It's nice to know that we're not alone in our struggles - be that with changes in the family structure, our wins and losses, our hopes and dreams and so much more. I would be totally lost without the sit n sew days. I can't wait until the next one - OH WAIT - that's on Sunday!

It wasn't just myself who was super productive yesterday. Claudette sewed up her 3rd jelly roll rug!!! She comes with the "rope" already made and then just whips it up! I'd say she's got the technique down!

Claudette's jelly roll rug

I think she has one more rug to make and then Diane wants the space to make a few rugs. It's a good space to work in. I have the sewing machine set up in a drop-down cabinet and with two tables - one beside and one behind, the rug is completely supported as it's made. Super easy and FAST.

Ruth made progress in leaps and bounds yesterday. She's been working on this quilt - Sylvia's Bridal Sampler for a while. She made 99 of the 140 blocks. She got the main part of the top done yesterday!! It does need a good pressing and then the borders added. That's amazing - she just sat in her chair and sewed and sewed and by the end of the day, everything was sewn together. That's totally awesome. Way to go Ruth!! And nice to see Ruth as we haven't seen her in a while.

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilt

Helen Anne was hard at work on the borders of the Common Bride quilt by Laundry Basket Quilts. The borders are DONE. That's a whole lot of piecing and look at how nicely those seams are twirled! A huge pile of work. I believe the corners are still being worked on and then she can put this one to bed soon!!!

The borders for the Common Bride quilt

Speaking of laundry baskets, two baskets went home with Ruth. She needed a couple and I happened to have a couple of empty ones. Yeah - that was a win-win. Now Ruth is supposed to be tossing her old ones! And we totally trust her to do that.

Laundry baskets out the door
What did I do?? I trimmed two customer quilts. I was going to work on the backing for Tonga Rhapsody, but the cutting table was quite busy yesterday so I decided to work on my Lilla quilt. I finished off four blocks from our class last week. I sorted the blocks. There are 25 different blocks and I've made 4 of each for a total of 100. But I don't want one huge quilt, so I decided to make 12 more blocks so I would end up with two quilts that are 63 by 72 each. I threw the blocks on the design wall. We made a few changes and this is what we ended up with. 

A lap-sized version of Lilla

I knew there would be things that I didn't like after reviewing it, but I'm OK with that. It's a wee bit heavy on the bottom with that one color and holy - I used that blue/purple a LOT. Honestly, I'm not going to sweat it. It's a very jumbly quilt and I doubt that moving a few blocks around were going to make a huge difference. I do wish that I had rotated a few of the blocks but it is what it is. I'll spend a bit more time on the next one. I have four more blocks to make for the next quilt. I'm saving those for our final class in October. Then I can piece that top together.

Then I was really ambitious and I made the backing for this quilt and I made the binding for both of the quilts. 

The backing, binding, and the quilt top

So that one is getting moved to the "to be quilted" pile.

Next up was to load a giant customer quilt and it got finished last night. I hope to get that trimmed this morning so the customer can pick it up.

Customer quilt - DONE

My quilting schedule is going well. I hope to get a few more of mine done in the next few weeks, but my goal right now is to get completely caught up with customer quilts.

I snuck out for a wee bit to go to the book sale! I was going to go at 5 PM when it opened, but then figured it would be totally crazy busy. So I went for 7 PM instead. Although there were lots of people, it didn't seem to be busy, but there were people with grocery carts filled with books! Book dealers and teachers! I found two things on my list and two things that were not on my list.

It's quite the task to search through those open boxes of books. I should have taken a picture. I might go back as I realized as I was driving home that I missed the hardcover section completely! I don't think there were as many books as in previous years as I wasn't seeing a lot of books under the tables. It's loads of fun to scour the titles, but I would love if the volunteers would put the books in the SAME orientation within each box. They just shove them in and it's hard to see when some books are turned.

The books are sorted by genre, but that's it!

Look what I found! A quilt puzzle. Look - there's a copy of Quilter's Newsletter magazine in the background. That was $1. I added it to my jigsaw puzzle collection.

A quilt puzzle

Here are two books that have been on my list. So happy to have found the one on the left. I've been searching for that one for a long time.

Two novels that I found at the book sale

And for a lark, I bought this. Look who made the book. My fellow educators will get a kick out of this since some of them have been around for a long time and probably contributed to the book.

Serger Technique book by Husqvarna White!

As I've been writing this blog, I've been downloading all the pictures from my phone. That's in preparation of getting the new one! There were 4,500 photos. I know - many of those should be deleted and that will be a job once I get the paperwork under control.

I managed to pick up my parcel from the post office but that'll have to wait for another day. I have a bit of work to do this morning before I head off to my presentations at Brampton Sew n Serge this afternoon.

Photos are transferred - I just hit delete to delete them from my phone! ACK! I always hate delete!

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got a busy day! OK - why do I even say that when every day is a busy day!

Have a super day - enjoy the gorgeous weather if you're in my neck of the woods.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

A good news day!

I'm so excited, I'm practically exploding this morning. It's a super good news day!

I started reading "The Home for Unwanted Girls" and didn't give myself enough time before the audiobook expired. It was returned (yanked from my phone is more like it - OK - so that's being dramatic!) last night and I had only read about 28%. There were holds or so I thought as Libby wouldn't let me renew. This morning, I got a notification that the book downloaded!!!  Yeah - I can keep reading. The wonders of technology. And the best part? That audiobook remembers where I was when I left off even if the book was returned! How smart is that!!!!!

Why do I love audiobooks so much? You can do a few things while listening to the audiobook so it's a bit like doing two things at once, but to really enjoy the book, I always do non-thinking things - like loading quilts on the long arm. I never listen when I'm out walking as that is walking time and I love to listen to the neighborhood. I also love hearing the music (rare) but the narrator's voices add so much to the story. In the case of this book, the narrator reads the dialogue with a french accent if the person speaks in French!

I lived in Montreal (the setting for part of the book) and it's fun to get back into that environment. I LOVE Montreal! Wish I could go back someday to live!

A number of you contacted me yesterday about this book (rave reviews all around) and one person worked with the author's father for 20 years!!!!! She briefly met the mother and the author when she was little. Isn't that crazy!

So that was good news number one for the day.

The second bit of good news is this.

Tonga Rhapsody

This is the quilt top for Tonga Rhapsody. The top is DONE!!!!!  I'm so excited about this. This is one of my UFOs for 2018. There will still be 6 on the list when this one comes off later today. But I'm working on three of those 6. It could be a banner year for me!!!

Here's a close up of the four borders that seemed to take forever. When I went to put the last border on, I realized that the pieces had been cut in long lengths so no need to join the strips. More good news!!!!

A corner of Tonga Rhapsody
The binding is made and I picked out a backing. Yep - that backing is way too bright for the quilt top. Doesn't matter. I have loads of it. I don't have any large pieces of batik and I'm not about to start piddling with small pieces to make that huge backing. This is going to have to do.

The backing is chosen

The binding is also made so during Sit n Sew today, I hope to get that backing made.

Only one small piece of bad news or more like a wee accident. This happened this morning. Ouch!!!!


When I was pressing that binding, the darn iron jumped and smacked into my arm. It's an angry red and my arm hurts. Oh suck it up and let's move on!!!!

I also got a customer quilt quilted yesterday. Shoot - I should have taken a picture of the back of the quilt. I'll do that later. This person is an excellent piecer The back is crazy pieced, but it loaded like a charm! Thanks for that!!!!

Customer quilt - DONE

I teach a lot of PRIVATE classes at Oh Look Fabric. It could be that the timing of a class doesn't work for the student or it's on a topic that only they are interested in. It works for me. Yesterday was interesting. We had a lady who had purchased a small embroidery machine (not my brand) and was looking for someone to help her. Sure - I'm up for that. She bought it online and the first thing she said to me was, "I know I shouldn't have done that!" However after hearing some stories about "free classes" from sewing machine dealers - I'm not sure it makes any difference.

She has sewn before so it wasn't like I was teaching her how to sew. That helped a whole lot. She hadn't even turned the machine on - it was fresh out of the box. So we went through all the controls and buttons. Then we went through all the accessories and she sewed with them all and we made them ALL work. She had a list of questions on how to do certain things. She was a very happy camper. We're going to meet again and focus on the embroidery part of her machine.

So - if there's something that you want to learn - I'm up for a private class. I'll teach anything including helping you understand your sewing machine and all it can do. It'll cost you - I don't do it for free, but we can talk!

I also got a notification that a package I've been waiting for has arrived at the post office. I didn't have a chance to pick it up yesterday, but I hope to get there today.

Let's see - I had lost two books from the library. I managed to find one of them and it was returned yesterday. One more to go and I know it's in this office - just haven't dug deep enough yet!

BUT - here's the really, really good news from yesterday. I was walking back from the library when my phone rang. It was a 1-877 number which I normally don't answer. But what the heck - I'll answer it. It was Bell Mobility - that's my cell phone carrier. They were calling to see how happy I am with the service and my plan. Yep - no problems. Well, they wanted to offer me a special. OK - what kind of special??  I now get UNLIMITED data and pay the same price that I was paying before (had 3 GB). PLUS I get to upgrade my phone for a wee price (buying out the remainder of my contract). Do I want to do that??? YES YES and YES.

Seriously????  I've always had to call them and wheedle a new deal from them. So this was quite exciting that they called me. I guess I should download some of my photos before I switch phones (Galaxy s10 - here I come!!!!). I remember the last time that it took forever to switch the phone because of all the photos. Although I know the photos get saved on Google drive. I'm not 100% sure of all the details. Just easier to download the pictures and then it'll take no time to make the switch.

Remember when it used to be a nightmare to switch phones????  No more!!!!! And technically, there's nothing wrong with my Galaxy s8. Anyone want to buy a phone??? DH is ticked that his provider has offered him anything exciting. Ooops - sorry!

Now I can use my phone as a Hot spot for demos with the sewing machines and not worry that I'm going to exceed my data limit. I don't go crazy with data, but not having to worry about it going to be awesome!!!!

In case you didn't know, this Saturday is National Jelly Roll Day. That means you should be digging out a jelly roll (you can't save them forever!!!) and do something with it.  I pulled two small jelly rolls. They each have twenty strips. I'm going to make a quilt. However, I can't share the quilt with you until late next week because I did the same quilt on QUILTsocial and the post isn't going live until late next week.

Jelly roll ready for National Jelly Roll Day

So you have ONE day - well two days - today and tomorrow to pick out a jelly roll and a pattern. If you make a jelly roll quilt that day, send me a picture. Even if you get it done next week, send me a picture and we can post them all together.

On that note - it's Sit n Sew today!!!  Oh, happy day!! I've got a quilt to load on the long arm, two quilts to trim and a backing to make. That might take all day! And then it's the used book sale at Sheridan Mall for the Mississauga Symphony.  I have loads of work to do, but I'm taking a few minutes to zip down there.

Have a super day!!!!!


Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Yesterday was a fabulous day! The weather was perfect for driving however, I did run into some pretty heavy fog on my way to Orillia. But soon I was out of that and on my way through the gorgeous sunlight.

I was listening to an audiobook. At first, I couldn't get it to work. Well, it was working, but I couldn't hear a thing. Then I remembered that I have to plug the phone into the car to get audio. I'm not sure why that is - it sounds very weird. Then I'm not a fan of the navigation system in that car so it doesn't surprise me. Then I was able to listen to the book. I'm attending a book reading by the author next week and was hoping to have the book finished by then, however, the audiobook expires today. Can I get my hands on the hard copy????  The audiobook is on hold for someone else so I can't renew it. The book is The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman.

I presented two lectures yesterday. The first was Inspiration for embroidery and embellishment, the second was on the Premier +2 Software (machine embroidery). Both events were very well received by the attendees. I always get so much from the group while I give to them. It's a very rewarding experience.

If you're in my neighborhood, I'll be doing two presentations on Friday at Brampton Sew n Serge. One is called Inspiration for quilting and the second is Inspiration for embroidery and embellishment. Even if you don't own the brand of machine that they sell (Husqvarna Viking), it'll be exciting and inspirational to attend.

The event yesterday was at Thimbles and Things which is my ALL-TIME favorite quilt store. Sue, the owner, is just the best shop owner around. She's friendly, she remembers everything and well - I don't know a single person who doesn't love her. Jen runs the PFAFF dealership in the shop. I love her too! They are both super friendly and well - you just want to buy everything in the shop. However, I refrained. I'll be back for our sewing retreat in a couple of weeks and I'll shop then - if I need anything. Oh - I need SOMETHING!

If you're ever in the Orillia area, you MUST stop at this quilt shop. If you're looking for something different, Sue is assembling The Town and Country Quilt as a fundraiser for their local hospice which is just being built. She's sold most of the 365 blocks but there's still a few for sale. Check it out - it's all for a good cause. Just scroll down on the Thimbles and Things web page - the information is near the bottom.

Then I packed my stuff up and I was off. But wait - where's my phone so I can plug it in to listen to the audiobook? Good grief - I couldn't find it and I had been using it all day showing off the sewing apps. Oh well - no audiobook on the way home. I knew the phone was in the car because when I turned the car on, I saw my phone contacts pop up on the navigation screen. So the phone is in the car. That's all I cared about!

I was tired when I home, but I did putter around with the Premier + 2 software a bit as I tried to get some stuff done for Ronda that I was supposed to have done a few months back. The font is converted, the words are set - I just need to shape them. Don't worry - I'll show you so you can understand what the heck we are doing. That Ronda is pretty demanding!!!  (:   And it keeps me on my toes, learning new stuff. That's a good thing.

I did manage to get the third border on the Tonga Rhapsody. Yeah!!!! This one went much smoother than the previous one did.

The third border is on Tonga Rhapsody

That leaves ONE more border to go. It's a plain border so the strips just have to be joined, measured and sewn on. ONE MORE HOUR. The binding is cut and I have to find some backing for it. Good thing as I have a couple more pieces to add to the backing shelves and not sure I'm going to find room.

The last border for Tonga Rhapsody

I have a Sit n Sew tomorrow so I need to do a wee bit of tidying. I had emptied this nice orange bucket and it now houses all the current things I have to work on. It's mostly borders, bindings, and backings. I'll work my way through that tomorrow. Who am I kidding?  I'll work on it, but I won't get to the bottom! Once it's empty, I'll fill it with the next lot of projects. The goal here is to FOCUS so it gets done.

Bucket of work

I have to deal with those 8 items still on my "to do" list. Some of them NEED to be done today and others, I just want to get finished. I'm going to aim for getting a lot done today.

My problem is that I have so much I want/need to do. There's so much I want to learn. I just can't believe there are people aren't there who don't have hobbies or are bored. How can you be bored in this day and age with so much around us to learn and play with???

Yesterday, I did a little demo on the current state of technology in the sewing machine world. I used my cell phone as a hotspot for WiFi. Then I connected the PFAFF Creative Icon to the WiFi. I also connected my laptop to the hotspot so it was also connected to WiFi. Then I was able to transfer embroidery files from the Creative Icon to the Premier +2 software on my computer. I would then be able to make modifications and send it back to the Creative Icon so I could stitch them out. Now isn't that just crazy???  I have more stuff to share with you about the technology, but NOT before I show the group on Friday.

While there are days when technology is not my friend, I totally embrace it and try to max it out which is why I think I end up in trouble sometimes. However, I'm learning so much and I'm not going to let any of this defeat me!!!!!

If you're in the Oakville area, there's a fiber art show that I think will be wonderful. Here's the information. Last time, I went to this Cultural Centre, I was pleasantly surprised by other displays that I found in the gallery and along the halls. This time, it won't be teeming with summer camps.

Here's a link to the center so you can get the address. I'm not a big fan of their web site as it provides information on the center, but never on what's happening there or am I missing something??

On that note, I'm out of here. Got a crazy day again - but I love it. It wouldn't be a fun day if something wasn't happening! I can only deal with calm for so long. Imagine what it's going to be like for me when I hit the retirement home. I might get evicted!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A progress report

Yesterday was a whirlwind day. I've been slacking off so I had to make up some time yesterday. I'm happy to report that I had a great sleep because I got everything out of my brain before I went to bed! I was experimenting with embroidery yesterday and OH MY - there's so much fun stuff!!! Just need more time to fully explore some of this stuff.

Plus I'm totally packed for my day trip to Orillia. Well - the car isn't packed, but I'm about to do that in a few minutes. It sure helps to get things organized the night before so you're not running around like an idiot and potentially forgetting something!

I still have 8 things on my list to get done - some things are going to have to wait and I'll explain why tomorrow. I don't have a lot of time this morning.

Yesterday was Monday sewing and although I didn't stay long, I still managed to get a wee bit more completed on my embroidery. All that remains are 6 snowflakes. Some are more elaborate than the others. I started with the most elaborate one so as I move through them, the stitching will get progressively faster! That block will be completed next Monday and I can finally move to the last block. I also worked on the largest blocks first and moved to the smallest and least intricate so that one should take even less time than this one did.

Progress on the redwork block

Bottom line - barring any major hiccups, this quilt top should be finished by the end of the year. I'm happy about that! It's one of my UFOs.

Slow and steady - that's what I'm all about.

Here's a giant customer quilt that I quilted the other day. I need to trim it and attach the binding (ready for hand sewing). That's a task for later this week. Hopefully, tomorrow since I need to get it out of the way by Thursday when it's Sit n Sew.

Customer quilt

I also managed to get all the juice pouches cleaned and back in their project container. I hope to do something with them by the end of the year. Now that I can clearly see my projects, it makes a HUGE difference. I still have some stuff to squirrel away in Studio B, but I'm taking my sweet time about it because I don't' want to hide anything. I want to be able to see it. I need to work faster! So many things I've unearthed and some wouldn't take long to finish. It's just getting that many extra hours to make it all happen. Doesn't matter how slow I go - I'm still way ahead of those that are in denial that they have a problem with their projects!

Juice pouches ready to go

But that wouldn't be any of you - none of you are in denial about the mess in your sewing spaces. Right? I'm so happy to hear from many of you who say that I'm an inspiration to you to declutter. Well, it works both ways! You're my inspiration as well! I heard from Vivenda over the weekend and her decluttering unearthed something TERRIFYING in her studio. I'd have freaked out and never gone back. It was a snake. Yes - how the heck did that thing  - well, we know how and we know why (winter is coming), but NO NO NO!!!!!   That's just wrong. I know that she was waiting for her husband to come home and get rid of it. But - well - we won't go there. I can't think about it.

I found something much less terrifying in my studio. I have this HUGE ball of twine. What the heck should I do with it?? It's not coiled tight enough to make a rope basket. I don't even remember where I got it or what it was for. It's somewhat coarse. I'm thinking it could be crocheted up and made into pet mats. Any other thoughts???   Any takers????

A big ball of string

That could be my next road trip project. Crocheting pet mats from this twine.

On that note, I need to get my recycling bin to the curb - won't the neighbors hate that noise at 5:31 AM. OOPS - forgot last night. Sorry. It has to go today as it's full and that's one of the reasons why I can't complete one of those 8 items on my list. It's about recycling and the bin is full.

And I need to get the car packed so I can be on the road.

Have a super day!!!!!


Monday, September 16, 2019


OK - I'm late with the blog. Why? Because I slept in! I was wide awake in the middle of the night thinking about my projects so I got up to check some stuff. Went back to bed and now it's late - really late!

The girls will not get a walk this morning and they are NOT going to be happy. I should be leaving for Monday sewing right now!

Oh well - I'm going to be late. It's not like I need to be there to open the door. I'll get there when I get there. Life goes on!

I'm glad I got up as I had a few things to "learn" and my brain was in such an active mode that is needed to learn them at 3 AM!!!  I'm prepping for some events this week. I totally kept forgetting to mention them to you in case you'd like to attend.

One is being held at Thimble and Things TOMORROW. Sorry for the late notice. There are two events. The first one is on the embroidery software for PFAFF. Premiere +2 Embroidery Software. That starts at 9 AM. Even if you're a Husqvarna customer, you would learn something as the software is the same - branded differently. But don't tell anyone I said that.

The second class is on Embroidery and Embellishment where I'm going to provide inspiration for you - the embroiderer!! I've been working on some super creative stuff that blew my socks off when I stitched it out last night. I'll show you next week. It's so adorable!

The event on Friday is at Brampton Sew and Serge. One of the topics is on Inspiration for Quilting and the other is Embroidery and Embellishment. This time both slots are for Husqvarna Viking. Next time, I'd better give you more notice.

I did virtually nothing in the mass cleanup that's happening. I had other things to do. I had to trim all those quilts that I had quilted as they are being delivered today. They are all done including this customer quilt.

Customer quilt

I got one more border on the Tonga Rhapsody. Holy - it's being pretty temperamental. Almost like it doesn't want to be finished. But I persevered and now that border is done. Two more borders to go.

The second border is one

See all those checkerboards in that border? Well, they are done in mirror images of each other. That should say something as to what happened! But that's done and only two more borders to put on, then make the binding and find some backing. I can't wait until the backing part as it's so easy to find them now with the new filing system.

The remaining two borders and the binding are cut

Then I'll have to deal with the scraps. That's easy - I have a batik scrap bin and these bits will go in there. It's all about putting things away when I'm finished with them and to not let this remain a UFO for too much longer.

The scraps to be put away
I have a Sit n Sew later this week and I hope to be done by then (NOT going to happen) because it's taking up a lot of space on the tables and I need the space to lay it out to put on the borders. This is how I get so many steps in a day. My sewing machine is one on side of the tables and the quilt is laid out on the other. Works for me!!!

The quilt is on the opposite side of the table as the sewing machine

I did get a few more things put away in Studio B. I'm going to need the space in good shape for Thursday. Now how did that day creep up so fast? It's going to be a totally crazy week. But that's OK.

I hung up my magnetic board over the cutting table. I missed having access to my pens and paper which are attached in a metal holder. I washed it down and got rid of some of the stuff that had been hanging on it for years! I didn't get a picture of the new set up. That's a photo for tomorrow.

The magnetic message board is clean!

I'll leave you with this morning. Some eye candy. These are quilts that have been made by SAQA (Studio Arts Quilts Associates). The quilts are for sale as a fundraiser for the organization. There are some amazing pieces!!!!

And now I'm out of here!

Have a great day!!!!


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Lilla Show n Tell

It was back to our ongoing classes last week. I'm teaching three of them this year and I'm up to date on all of them. Technically, there are only two quilts since one is a technique class.

Doesn't matter - I'm up to date!

Let's start with the Lilla show n tell from Friday night at Oh Look Fabric. Let's see - one person was sick and one forgot to bring their blocks. Did Sara really forget or is she planning something big - that was the impression I got!

I believe there were five blocks for the summer homework. Some of the participants are just winging it so I don't even recognize the blocks anymore. That means the class was a success. It's a modern quilt and with modern anything goes.

Before I get to the show n tell, I have a small thing to say about modern quilts. On social media, I've seen people posting pictures from Modern Quilt Guild shows or their show n tell. Wait a minute! Some of those quilts are NOT modern in the least. I've seen modern blocks of the month that - well, they aren't modern in the least. I think what's happening is that some women are joining modern guilds without the slightest idea of what modern is and they're just happy to be part of a group. Which is technically OK, but if everyone wants to get the most from their guild - they should belong to the right guild and they should be contributing to the advancement of the guild and its members.

I'd love to join/start a modern guild with a very small group of modern quilters who are going to push the envelope with each other. Take improv to the extreme, throw caution to the wind and come up with stuff that will knock the socks off everyone. That would be a stretch for me, but that's what I need at this point. Anyway - that's not going to happen at the moment, so I'll just plug along at my own pace trying to get my stuff organized. THEN - I can experiment to my heart's content and I'm going to be a very happy camper. Not that I'm not a happy camper now! Don't worry - I'm not doing as much as I would like, but soon this cleanup will be over and then watch out!

OK -- back to Lilla. This is the first block of the homework. All the black/white/grey/yellow blocks belong to Rita. Rita is an amazing quilter/painter/knitter/stain glass person. She is the ULTIMATE crafter and things just come naturally to her. She's brand new to sewing, but she dove in like she'd been sewing her entire life.

I love the variety in that curved piece. Interestingly, none of them are the same. I love it!

Look at how different those curves are!

Yep - these are all the same block. Rita has no qualms about adding extra colors to her blocks or changing up the curves!

The second set of blocks

This is Rita's third set of blocks. Technically, they look the same, but those curves are not the same! Any of these sets of blocks would make a great quilt on its own.

The third set of blocks

Next up are Cathy's blocks. Cathy is also a new sewist and doing an AMAZING job with her blocks. I know she doesn't think she is, but she is. Her background fabric is directional and she insists on making it all line up which is a crazy feat considering the construction of these blocks.

Notice her curves compared to Rita's. Totally different. That's the beauty of improv. She is also making fewer blocks because she's making a smaller quilt.

The first set of blocks
 This is another set of blocks. With four pieces of background, it's not easy to get that directional print going in the right direction.

The second set of blocks

Two more blocks

Two more blocks

This block was a bear to sew and keeping that directional print going in the right orientation? Cathy doesn't realize how good she is to make that happen. I hope she realizes that!!!

Cathy's fourth block

This is the start of the fifth block. I guess we had five blocks - could even have been six. I don't remember. She had to change the orientation of the diamond (check out Rita's block above). It was a nightmare to get the directional print going in the right orientation so she changed it up. Again - I hope she realizes that she's doing an amazing job with this. I don't know many people who would have persevered like she has.

Cathy's fifth block - well half of it!

The next set of blocks are Gisele's. She's got a very dark background which is going to be fun to see the difference between the light and dark when they're sewn together.

I LOVE the wonkiness of the white piece. It looks like it's got some serious attitude!

The first set of blocks
Hey, all these blocks look so different from each other. I'm not sure if the others did this block. Anyway, this was a pretty easy one although that cure is pretty small which makes it a challenge. However, those seams are nice and flat and that's all that counts. 

The second set of blocks
Here's the third set. I love those curves. Even if the curves are not smooth (the cut lines), the pieces can still be sewn back together. I LOVE them. 

The third set of blocks

Here's the last set of blocks. Gisele is making this quilt for her son. He commented that these blocks look like underwear and now that I've told you that - it's all I can visualize when I see this block.

The fourth set of blocks

Don't believe me? Now, look at the blocks. Yep - that's underwear!!!

Oh my - it's underwear!

I have a wee correction to make. Do you remember this picture???

M's boat

Well, it turns out that M MADE the boat. I had completely forgotten that little fact. There was a small craft shop on Salt Spring Island and when we used to go for vacation, she'd get signed up to do some of the crafts. Well, sadly the boat has sunk but the memory lives on. Apparently, my memories are just made up ones and that's OK!!!! Oh my god - I have FAKE memories!!!

Yesterday was a busy day. I got 1/3 of the items on my list completed. That leaves a LOT to get done today. It was such a gorgeous day, I couldn't resist sitting outside for a bit. Today, it's supposed to rain and that's probably a good thing.

I wanted to leave you with these wise words of wisdom I found on the internet. This is so true! We need to live each day to the max - whatever our max is. I've been thinking about my friend who recently passed at age 55 of advanced lung cancer. She was NOT a smoker - it was environmental - whatever that means. I feel like I've done so much in my life and had the chance to experience a whole lot of neat things. I'm not ready by a long shot. There's so much to see and do and of course, a LOT of fabric to sew up! I think I need an army of sewists for a month to make a dent!

To leave you with happy thoughts, check out this art display. It's fun! Can you imagine this at your house????  Oh, what would the neighbors think???  I love it - I did an art installation at Sheridan when I was studying there many years ago. I still have the two huge rolls of fabric that I used. I don't know what to do with it, but I don't want to get rid of it. Maybe I can drape my gazebo with it! That's a project for next summer.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, September 14, 2019

The second round already!

I feel possessed. It feels like someone else has taken over my body and my brain. No, wait - that's just my Virgo side finally emerging after many years of being pushed into the far recesses of my brain.

I'm thrilled to death with this decluttering process and I'm making great inroads. I haven't made arrangements yet for the junk truck to come, but that'll be this week. I was trying to get through those storage rooms and the garage - although the garage was the only thing on my mind when I started. As long as all the large things are accumulated before I call them, I'm OK as the smaller stuff can be put in the garbage cart or I'll haul it to the depot myself.

I decided to go through the shed ONE MORE TIME. I wanted to remove those chairs for which we no longer have seat covers. While I was there, I found a "few" more things that don't need to be in the shed. It wasn't a whole lot that I removed, but it was enough. Another big piece of wood, four chairs, an umbrella, a long extension cord that was (almost) hopelessly tangled. The duplicates of the rake, hoe, and shovel.

More items were removed from the shed
This is what the shed looks like now. I'm thrilled. That long piece of wood is for the net on the pond, although the other alternative is to scoop the leaves out each day. I did that yesterday because YES - leaves have started to fall into the pond and I don't want that debris to accumulate like we've let it in the past.

The shed looks pretty spiffy

Now I have a hoe, a rake, and a spade that are up for grabs. I was wondering if there's a community garden around me that could take them???  Otherwise, I'll see if the donation center wants them.

I also moved the old, broken wheelbarrow that was behind the fence into the garage in preparation for the junk pick-up.

The garage doesn't really look a whole lot better than when I started, but once the junk goes, it'll be much better. I have a lot of cycling accessories in that garage and that's my job today if I get a chance.

The garage is better, but a long way to go yet

I got rid of the LAST of the cloth reusable bags. Jane came and picked them up and they are going to the local food bank. I have a small reusable bag in my purse that I will use in the future. NO MORE collecting bags.

The last of the cloth reusable bags

Hey - we still have our reusable (collapsible) grocery boxes (which I love way more than bags) and I have some reusable bags in the basement with bicycles on them. I'm keeping those! So we're not without reusable bags.

I "traded" the bags for a puzzle. A glow-in-the-dark puzzle. I had just enough room on the shelf for one more puzzle. Come November, I'm going to dig one out and have some fun!

A new puzzle

I had found several pieces of decorator yardages. And TWO sewing baskets. All of those items got dropped off for the fashion studies teacher at the local high school. Seriously???  Getting rid of stuff is FUN!!! I love sharing the wealth!!!!

Stuff going to the fashion studies at the local high school
Getting rid of one of those sewing baskets freed up a corner of the table in the office. OK - so a small corner, but every square inch gained is a huge hurdle! Alright - technically, it's not freed up since my tablet and the manual for my car are in that spot!

A wee corner almost free up!
It wasn't all about working outside, I'm also trying to deal with some of the quilting stuff. I decided to put this project on the UFO shelf in the storage room. Hmm - that's pretty ugly and I have a huge amount of pretty containers.

UFO in two ugly containers
I found this orange basket, which I don't' think has ever been used for storage and now it's holding the items in the two ugly bags. Don't ask why I have a LOT of foil pouches in my possession.

Foil pouches stored in a wire basket
It was only when I was transferring the pouches to the basket that I realized that only the ones in the blue bag had been washed. Oh shoot - so next thing I knew, I was upstairs washing the remaining pouches. All are washed and they are drying now.  I should get my butt in gear and get the items made that the pouches were collected for.

Foil pouches drying in the sink
I was looking over the items that I removed from the puzzle storage room. Two big chunks of foam. What am I going to do with those??? I think at one point, they had been purchased to make dog beds. Hmm - my girls do NOT need another bed. Anyone want some foam???

Chunks of foam up for grabs
I'm happy to report that the trellis and the cork are gone! Well, they are spoken for. There's not much that I haven't posted that hasn't gone to a good home. Now for those of you who have picked up items - do NOT let them sit around your house causing more clutter. Your mission is to actually use the items that you've got!!!

 I took another load to the depot yesterday. Mostly garbage, but some wood and metal and more cardboard. Fifty kilos worth that cost me $5 which I gladly paid. I've started to go through the furnace room and pulled out two work lights that I no longer use. I put those up for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Holy - the number of inquiries I got was insane. They are pending pick-up this morning and then the next item will go up for sale. I can only deal with one item at a time.

I'm on a roll!!

On top of all that, I got a small portion completed on the next border for my Tonga Rhapsody quilt. And I got another customer quilt done! I'd better get trimming quilts!

Customer quilt - DONE

I taught a class last night at Oh Look Fabric. This is our ongoing class (Lilla) and I took loads of pictures which I'll share tomorrow.

I made a long list of things that I want to get done today. So I'd better get myself organized and make that happen. No classes, no commitments for TWO whole days. On a weekend? How the heck did that happen?? Two of my classes got canceled. While I like to teach, I'm happy with the time off.

I'm LOVING all the comments about how I'm inspiring others to declutter, tidy up or whatever. I love the comments and it helps me so much to know that I'm not alone in this decluttering thing. I know that once I've been through everything that I'm going to start all over again (look what happened in the shed) and I'll be getting rid of more stuff. It's going to be very hard when it comes to the quilting stuff and I'm not ready yet. And no need yet.

Yesterday was about a 15,000 step day. I didn't get Murphy's walk on the FitBit as the battery was dead and she wasn't going to wait while it recharged!

By the way, I did write a letter to Love Patchwork and Quilting giving them my feedback about those plastic bags and the free stuff. Let's see what they say in response.

I found this article on Pinterest, which in light of my decluttering, I found very poignant. Make sure you read the entire article. It's quite interesting! Perhaps this is where my decluttering energy is coming from.

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!!