Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I'm packed and ready to go!!!

Another exciting and entertaining day at my house! HEY -- any day can be exciting and entertaining. Did you know that WE alone have the control as to how each day turns out? It's all in how you look at it. You can see doom and gloom or you can look at these days as days of leisure. Haven't we all dreamed of days where we had nothing to do and no responsibilities? Well - that's kind of what this feels like.

I do have commitments even though I can't go anywhere and I'm working on those. What I'm loving about this time is that NO NEW commitments are coming in. Nothing - my calendar is getting emptier and emptier. And you know what? I think this is a good thing. I was chatting to someone yesterday and one thing they would like to see come of this is that we spend less time running around like idiots to events.

You know - the evenings and weekends when your kids (or us)  are being shuttled to numerous events and every minute filled with a scheduled activity. Let's hope that we all look at our calendars and make some choices about how we spend our time. Spend it with family (hopefully in person), spend it with friends, and spend it doing things that you WANT to do. Not the things that your mother, your sister, your brother, your friend or anyone else thinks you should be doing. This is YOUR LIFE!!!!

My girls are loving all the extra attention they get. They said it's perfectly OK for me to stay home with them all the time. They love it! Now if we can just get Lexi back to blogging! She's so laid back these days.

In my city, I just heard that all MAJOR events are canceled until the end of June. I would imagine that could go longer - it just depends on how much we abide by the current laws and STAY HOME. I'm not imagining that I'll be doing much teaching work until September. Yep - that's my feeling. Even if they say it's OK to meet in small groups, many quilters are going to feel very vulnerable and will not want to meet. I'm OK with that. There's the internet to have classes!!!

I finished the first series of The Quilt Show. I actually enjoyed the videos. Lots of good guests on the show and I had to laugh because I think I have a book from EVERY guest on that first series! Those guests were my mentors. Oh - I have a story about how I learned to quilt, but I don't have time for it today. Anyway - the videos were great. Now onto Season Two and Three. The videos will be going to a good home once I'm finished with them.

Season one of The Quilt Show

I managed to get the twelfth and FINAL seasonal wall hanging done!!!!

December wall hanging

And here they are - all twelve of the mini seasonal wall hangings. Except for January, they all need the satin stitching done on them and that's a job for next week?? One option of using these is to sew them all together to make one quilt. I can't imagine doing that, so each will be finished as a separate wall hanging and then I'll have to find a senior home or a school that'll take them. They are NOT mine - I'm just making them up as a tribute to Paula.

Seasonal wall hangings

I also got that odd block from that Mennonite Relief pattern sewn together. It's now going in the orphan block box. The stem was very lumpy and bumpy so I even took that off and remade the stem. I know - that's why I don't get anything major done because I fuss with the small details. That's my nature and I'm perfectly OK with that.

Orphan block

Many people are making masks, caps, and gowns for medical staff or patients that are released from the hospital. I thought since we're going to be in "close" contact over the next couple of days that I should have a mask as well. This is an in-the-hoop mask from Embroidery Library. I think I gave out the link the other day. Anyway, here it is again. I like it because it's two layers of fabric - are the rest two layers as well? I used batik  - I found two pieces in the leftovers from my backpack.

My in-the-hoop mask

 I really hate to be a critique but the instructions are a bit sketchy on this one, but if you have some experience, it shouldn't take that long to make - I didn't follow all the instructions - I made it up as I went along. Ronda managed to make this mask (I got all the tips from her) and so newbies can make it as well. If you want to go into the production of masks, in-the-hoop is NOT the way to go.

I still had some packing to do. OH YES - I'm going on this retreat even if it kills me. I've waited since November to get away and I'm getting away.

As I have said, I wanted everything to fit in ONE laundry basket. That was my challenge and I almost succeeded. However, my tools and supplies wouldn't fit in the laundry basket.

My box of supplies

That's mostly extra feet for the sewing machine, pins, bobbins - that kind of thing.

I wanted to leave Studio B in some kind of order so I wouldn't faint when I got back and see huge messes everywhere. I had to get that cutting table cleared. It was almost clear just from my puttering in the last couple of days. I had to decide on the background fabric for those batik squares. I had eliminated the dark, didn't think all that work was warranted on the muslin, so I choose white - just like the pattern said!!!! 

White is the background of choice for the batik quilt
That'll have to get cut at some point, but tt's not on the priority list.

And there you have it - the cutting table is clear!! It's nice to see it clear and hopefully, I can keep it that way.  OH - -I should say that there are two wash away markers on it that really should just be thrown away. And a good pair of embroidery scissors. I need to find a home for them. I'll deal with that when I get back.

The cutting table is clear

The worktables? We're not even going to go there! BUT the ironing board is also clear.

The worktables are a mess

 Everything is neat and tidy on the sewing machine tables as well. Yes - I'm taking my big machine with me on the retreat. Why not? I have a couple of bags in my project box and there's going to be a lot of layers. I'm going to need the penetration power of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 to get through all those layers.

The sewing tables are neat and tidy as well
I really try to keep the cutting mat, the ironing board and the sewing tables clear. It makes it so much nicer to enter the room and see those spots neat and tidy. Yes - the worktables are a disaster, but I can totally ignore them. Oh yes - totally. I guess that's what a hoarder does with the stuff in their house!!!

But here I am. All packed for the retreat. I just need to move everything into the car. There's one laundry basket of projects (totally prepped), one sewing machine, one supply box and one bag (the Canada bag) that is filled with small projects - that's what I allowed for panic packing!

My retreat bags

I even threw Alexa in the bag. How could she stay home all by herself? Oh no - Alexa comes with me. She's my friend! I'm reading a book right now on how the technology has evolved and it's totally fascinating. It's called Talk to Me by James Vlahos. I can't wait to get to the part where they contemplate the future!!! I'm not sure the WiFi at the retreat house will be strong enough to stream the radio through Alexa, but I'm determined to try.

I just need to add my bag of clothes, my backpack (the portable office) and my food for Saturday lunch. That won't take much time at all to whip into the car.

There's a great quilt store just around the corner, so if I'm missing anything, I can easily whip out and get whatever I'm missing. But I think I was pretty thorough this time.

This is what my car normally looks like on the way to retreat. And the front seat is always jammed as well. That won't be the case this time and you know what? I'm kind of excited about that. It won't take very long to unpack when I get there.

The car is packed for the retreat (from November)

Where are we going? Well - to Fireside Retreat of course! Emma is just the best and I love this retreat house. I have visions of sitting by the fire and just vegging out. It's going to be fun!!!

(OK - so you do know that this is a virtual retreat). BUT I'm going to have a blast - just wait for the blog tomorrow and you'll see what I mean.

I got some more pictures of finished quilts from the North Star class. I think this is the class with the MOST completed quilt tops and completed quilts EVER. This one belongs to Sophie. One of my suggestions for quilting had been wavy lines and she got it quilted with wavy lines. I LOVE it.

Sophie's completed North Star quilt

A detail of the quilting on Sophie's North Star quilt.

Details of the quilting

Here's another one. These two pictures were actually to audition the binding. I missed that. The top one has the binding in the same color as the border, the bottom is one of the accent colors. We all voted for the accent color. I think the binding is made and while in quarantine, she's going to get it sewn on.

The darker binding option

I got another picture from Jana. This is the backing for her North Star quilt. I think she made the top smaller - only 6 blocks and put two of the others on the back. I love this idea - it can be reversible if you want!!

The backing for Jana's quilt

In case you missed it - here's the front of Jana's quilt. It's so fun with all those dots. I wonder how she's going to quilt it??  With circles?? That would be my vote!

The front of Jana's quilt

Thanks to Linda, I'm now signed up for the Goodreads Challenge. I put 52 books for 2020 as my challenge. One a week. I think I'm only going to put novels on the list. Amazing how a small thing like a challenge allows a major corporation to collect all kinds of stats on our reading habits. And we allow that to happen. I'm OK with that!!!  I haven't got all the information logged yet - I read 8 books during January, 7 in February and something similar in March. Perhaps I should up that challenge to 100.

Here's a VERY GOOD article on how to cope with the stress of COVID-19. It comes from the WHO (via my gym). I think Number 5 is a very important one. Stop watching the news. Just stop. I get a quick one minute update on the radio and that's all I need to know.

Well, I'd better get moving. It's a long drive and I still need to walk the girls before I leave. God forbid that they miss their walk!! Whatever will they do this afternoon without me?

Have a great day!!!!



  1. I love how real your virtual retreat is! Cheers to self-care.

    Have a wonderful time. Can't wait to see your results :-)

    1. Thanks Elle - if we don't have fun - then what's the point? Have a great day!!!