Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Slow and steady

Slow and steady - everything gets done when you work slow and steady. And a bit of focus helps a whole lot.

I'm hosting two sew-along groups and I send out the homework on a Friday. Fortunately and through NO planning on my part, the Fridays have alternated. I send the homework every second Friday to one group and the first Friday of the month to the other group. I'm sure at some point that those dates will end up in the same week, but that's OK. What I'm impressing myself to death with is that I've been able to keep up with the homework, finish the blocks and get the written tips to them ON TIME!!

What the heck has happened to me? Well, since I'm going to be "away" at the retreat, I don't want to have to deal with this homework while I'm away. That means I spent a good part of yesterday (and the day before) prepping the homework. Something else that doesn't usually happen. I would be panicking about now and end up throwing the homework into one of the MANY bags of stuff to pack in the car.

I'm happy to report that one of the blocks is done and the second one is getting close. Loads of work so that'll keep them busy for a while. I hope to wrap everything up later today so that all I'll have to do is send out the e-mail on Friday. It wasn't until this morning that I realized that one component of yesterday's block was actually for today's block. It appears that I switched some pieces around. Oh well - NO ONE is going to know I did that. It does mean I have to recut a few pieces this morning.

I have 36 minutes left in the latest audiobook. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Those over the ear headphones was the BEST investment I made. It's so easy to just lose myself in the mindless sewing. Since I'll be sewing at the retreat by myself (for most of the day) - we have to maintain the social distancing rules!  😃😃😃😃😃 (just discovered that I can use emojis!)  I'll probably be listening to a lot of audiobooks as I have a lot of mindless sewing in that laundry basket.

I got a note that FabricFlare is processing my zipper order so HOPEFULLY, it'll get shipped today and I might get it at the retreat?

I'm going to be starting the two on-going groups at The Hobby Horse via e-mail as well because I doubt that we'll be meeting at the end of April and I want to get started as I'm sure the class participants do as well. I'll be working on that homework later today as well. I hope that will go out on Saturday. Time is running out!!!  BUT I'm packed.

ONE laundry basket packed with projects for the retreat

I did add ONE other project on top. That's my ender and leader project for the retreat. That's it - nothing more will be added. Oh - I'm tempted - I see loads of small things that could be added, but I'm NOT going to do it! I found a container yesterday and started to pack a few tools and thread. I thought I took a picture, but I didn't. I'll share that with you tomorrow. I'm trying to be good. HEY -- if we can't have fun with this - well - life is just too short to not have fun. Trust me - it's going to be FUN!

So what else have I been doing?? I used my new Secura thread to sew this button back on my tote bag.

My Canada tote bag with the button sewn back on
Secura by Coats is a heat-activated thread. You sew the button on, then steam it and it's supposed to fuse the threads together for more secure buttons. I did that so we'll see what happens. I bought my thread at The Sewing Machine Store in Saskatoon.

Secura thread by Coats

Why was the button off? Well, it did fall off, but then I had to wash the tote bag. I know - I really hated to wash it, but I had spilled a bottle of water in the tote bag and some of the fabric bled!!! I know - a quilter's nightmare. I think it was the fabric with the Canadian flag. GRRRR. Totally my fault for not prewashing the fabric and for spilling the water. However, most of the affected areas washed perfectly clean.

Areas where the dye ran

I really should have taken a before and after shot of the bag. It wasn't a huge area that was affected, but it was enough. I don't think I put any dye magnets in either. I just washed it. The bag came out beautiful!! I didn't even have to iron it. It's good to go. So that's encouraging for anyone who has a cloth bag and wants to freshen it up!

Since no more dye ran, this was a case of loose rogue dye that a prewash would have solved. Another scenario could have been dye that wasn't set properly and that would continue to run forever!

I watched a couple more videos of The Quilt Show. Two more to go and I'm done the first season! Yeah! I'd better be finding some more hand stuff to do! The pile is getting a bit low. But not to worry - I have enough for the next two shows.

 And now the October wall hanging is DONE. I love this one best. OK - so it has orange in it. But I LOVE the color combination! HEY - that could be a great combination for an entire quilt. Purple, orange, and green!!!!  Remember these are designed by Patrick Lose. This pattern collection is from 2012.

October wall hanging

Here's what completed so far. January is already satin stitched, but the others still need to be stitched before they are quilted. They do NOT need to be, but I want to do that. I just like finished edges better than raw. A personal quirk!

Seasonal wall hangings

Actually, I did the October wall hanging a couple of days ago. I finished the November wall hanging this morning. Yes - it doesn't coordinate with our Thanksgiving - I'm OK with that.

November wall hanging

Here are all eleven. These are so darn bright and cheery! I LOVE them all. I should pack one in the retreat bag to do the satin stitching. NO - don't do it!!!  I'll get started on the stitching next week. But they've been a lot of fun to do. I'm sure that Paula would be pleased to know that they are finally getting done.

Eleven seasonal wall hangings

Let's see - I also got one of the zippered pouches completed yesterday. I LOVE zippered pouches. You can never have too many of them. I like to fuse a piece of fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outer fabric and then quilt it. You can check out how I quilted it at this QUILTsocial link. While I had completed one of the sides for the blog post, I still had the other one to do.

Zippered pouch

I fuse Decor Bond to the wrong side of the lining. Then I construct the zippered pouches so all the seams are on the inside. Nice and neat. I've got a few more zippered pouches waiting to be sewn together. I hope to get one more done today. I'm not sure what happened with this one, but the assembly was the best I've ever done. Nothing was wonky and nothing had to be trimmed to make it match. The Designer EPIC 2 or me??? My money is on the machine!

Let's just say that the LASER GUIDANCE system on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 helped with the quilting on that zippered pouch AND with the homework that I'm prepping for the group on Friday. HUGE time saver!!!! I love it.

I've been trying to get through my e-mails. There are so many and I'm getting really good with the DELETE button. Wait - I sort by sender and then DELETE the entire group. I know that I could UNSUBSCRIBE from some of these groups, be4cause seriously - why do I need to get THREE or more e-mails selling the SAME PRODUCT.  LAST CHANCE - well, it's not really the last chance cause you're going to send me another e-mail tomorrow. SALE, BUY NOW, DISCOUNT, FREE SHIPPING, RARE ITEMS.  It gets super annoying after a while. I may actually unsubscribe from some of these. It just means that I'll have to search out the information that I like to get to keep up to date and I'm so not good at that. I'll fail miserably. So I might just keep subscribed and then delete!

If only we could pick and choose what we want to get. I want the information, I don't want the sale stuff. Oh yes - that's the price you pay for free information. I forgot!

While going through the e-mails, I found this one from Gisele. She had sent me the center part of her Aviatrix Medallion quilt. She chose the simple star and well - I think the simple star is so much nicer and fits better with the style of the quilt. But you know me - I rarely make anything (anymore) to the specs in a pattern. Gosh - I barely read the darn instructions.

Gisele's Aviatrix Medallion

I've been pretty good about keeping my desk area clear of stuff. There's enough room for me to work and although I'm not going through boxes of stuff, I'm trying to clear some of the paperwork that has to be done before I start going through the boxes and unearthing more. I'm making decent progress, but wish I could go faster.

But here's the thing - when you spend a couple of hours walking every day, at least one hour watching The Quilt Show video (and doing handwork at the same time), a couple of hours on the computer (writing blog, e-mails, typing up homework or whatever), a wee bit of time to eat, an hour or more to read a physical book, and then some sewing, the day is gone before I know it. There's NO shortage of things to do at my house and I think it'll take weeks and weeks (OK - years and years) before I run out of things to do!!!!

On that note, I'm off to get started on the next homework assignment, but only after we have our walk.

Have a SUPER day!!!!!


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