Tuesday, January 19, 2021

I have the BEST friends

 In case you don't know, I've been hosting Monday sewing for MANY years. It's probably something like 16 or 17 years. I'm the longest standing member, and Diane isn't far behind me. We've seen people come and go for lots of reasons. We almost had a coup d'etat, we've had deaths, births - actually, I think that's more grandchildren - I don't think anyone in our group has actually had a baby. We moved locations once and had to move on-line last year. Even when I went to work full-time for a couple of years, I went to the group almost every Monday for an hour to visit, which I'm sure caused all kinds of talk at the office!

But it's been loads of fun; I've learned so much from the others in the group and am still learning. We've had many discussions about many topics, and yes - we've had heated discussions. But most importantly, we've been there to support each other, to encourage each other, and to pat each other on the back for a job well done. 

It was truly a blessing in disguise when I think back to the humble beginnings of this group. I started the group at The Hobby Horse with the blessing of Gail (the owner). It was originally meant to be a place where students of my classes could come and get extra help! And now - we just come to sew and chat!

I remember a Monday in mid-March last year. Four of us showed up because the pandemic was just starting to become a HUGE issue in Canada. We decided that it wasn't fair to the group to rent the space, and only four people show up. The four of us decided it best to stay home the following week. Well, we didn't need to make that decision because everything got shut down the next day! 

It took seven weeks before I learned of Zoom, and we were off! We've been meeting on Zoom for four hours ever since. I did wonder how the Zoom platform would translate to a sewing group, but you know what? It WORKS, and it works extremely well. I know everything about the group members that I would have known had we been meeting in person. We still have the same discussions. We still have the show and tell. We have EVERYTHING. 

It works so well that when things do get back to normal, I think I'll be voting to keep the session online! What???  You bet -- it saves time, which is precious to me. I never forget anything, no need to do the physical setup and takedown of the room or making sure the room is tidy, no lugging sewing machines and supplies. And if someone moves away - well, technically, they can never move away from our location. We are not at the mercy of finding the appropriate space, and well, there are just so many reasons that on-line works. And technically, it's free!! 

Anyway - I just wanted to say that I LOVE the Monday sewing ladies. They really are a great group. We all get along so well. If you have a chance to join a virtual sewing group - you should sign up! And if you want to test it out, don't forget that I have a Virtual Retreat on January 30 (evening) and January 31 (all-day). It's a great way to connect with people in this time when we can't get together in person. 

So while meeting with friends and sharing stories is one of the best parts - the other best part is that I don't have to lug a whole pile of stuff with me to prevent me from forgetting something at home, and I actually got something done that I've been putting off. You see - the UFO club is coming up this weekend, and well - I have a HUGE job on my list, and I hadn't started it. 

But I made great progress yesterday - the worst part is over - the applique. The rest will be a piece of cake. Don't get me wrong - it's not that I dislike applique - it's just slow!

I know this looks like nothing, but it's the tiled roof to the garden shed that I need to put in my Quilter's Patch quilt. And it's done!! I trimmed it this morning, and it looks amazing. I have two more pieces of fabric to cut, and then I can finish assembling this block. 

The tiled roof for the garden shed block

I was on a roll and made extra roof tiles. Good grief - I can't count! 

Extra roof tiles

The e-mail situation is out of hand already. It went up to almost 900 this morning as I didn't have time to clear anything yesterday. After Monday's sewing finished, I had some writing to do. That got accomplished, but I didn't have time to do much else. I know - students are waiting for their written assignments, and I'm doing that today!!

This morning, as I flipped through a few marketing e-mails, I was reminded why I stay on some companies' distribution lists. It's to see what's going on in the market, so I have things to share with you!

Before Christmas, I was on a drive in the countryside and spotted this. I never posted it because - well, I just didn't. Hey  -while you think I tell you everything that goes on in my life - I do NOT!

A real red truck with a Christmas tree

It was perfect  - there was just enough snow to make it very Christmasy. And it seems that every fabric designer, pattern designer, or anything, in general, is thinking the same way. Put a red truck with a Christmas tree on anything, and it becomes seasonal!!! And it sells like hotcakes!

Aside from the red truck and the Christmas tree, what else is trendy?? Any guesses? 

How about the retro camper? Oh yes - do a Google search on retro camper quilting, and you'll get a TON of hits. 

And what has been the other popular image this past Christmas? THEY have been everywhere and on everything???  Give up? How about GNOMES. Oh yes - do a Google search on gnome quilt pattern, and you get a ton of hits. 

Now I can just hear you say, "Elaine, where are you going with this?"

Well - be prepared to laugh because this morning in my e-mail I saw the cover of a catalog and look at the pattern that was on the front. 

Gnome Is Where You Park It Pillow Pattern by JoAnn Hoffman

Yep - we got the gnomes on a camping trip and notice that their camper is being pulled by a red truck! That's hilarious!!!  I saw it on the front of the catalog for Annie's Craft Store

I thought we all deserved a laugh this morning as we welcome the day after the supposedly most depressing day of the year. Some call it Blue Monday.  Don't get me wrong - depression is a serious illness, and add to that, debts, failed resolutions, and the pandemic, it's a very trying time for many. I only hope that I bring a wee smile to some of you!

On that note, I've got loads to get accomplished today. I'm on track, and that's all that counts. I'm focused, and at the end of each day, I'm tired, which ends earlier for me than probably most of you, but then I'm wide away at ridiculous o'clock in the morning!

I haven't seen any pictures from anyone about their cleaning status! Oh - I did take the remaining items off my cutting table and put them into a laundry basket. Most of this stuff is decorative things that need to be hung up, and there's a bit of junk that needs to be processed. I don't have time right now - but I'm still thrilled that I conquered the majority of the stuff. I do have some quilt racks that I want to hang up, and once I'm over my writing this week, I might just do that. 

ONE laundry basket left to sort

So this is it - the last of the stuff that needs to find a home. I can live with one laundry basket full of stuff. It will get done - just not right now. 

Let's see - what's another area in your house that needs to be tidied? How about your kitchen counters? Mine is pretty immaculate. No dirty dishes, nothing extra except a few small appliances. So that's your job today - get that kitchen counter clean! And remember - don't hide things unless they just hadn't been put away before. If you need to "hide" an appliance, maybe it's one that you don't use ever, and it might be best to give it away instead of putting it away. 

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

Have a super day!!!


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