Sunday, October 24, 2021

Schoolgirl Sampler Show and Tell

 

We're down to the last month for all of the ongoing classes for 2021. And in an ideal world, all my quilt tops would be done! But alas, that's not happening, but I am close! 

We had loads of fun at the Virtual REtreat last night, but I never even turned my sewing machine on! I was busy trimming quilts, and I have a few more to do today. I'd like to get them done as another group needs to be quilted this coming week. But I'm close to the end of the September/October batch, and a few are scheduled for November. I think that's what I'll focus on today - getting those quilts done!

Let's have a look at the Schoolgirl Sampler quilt this morning. 


Here's the book in case you're not familiar with the quilt. 



It's a beautiful quilt with lots of little four-inch blocks, which gave the group some challenge, and the center was applique! That was a first for some of them, so I think a Study in Applique class will be coming in the new year!


Anne's top is together and now the last part - to add the borders. A beautiful soft feel to this one. 


Anne's quilt



This is Barb's first attempt at applique, and she did a super job! Now to get the rest of the quilt together and add those borders!


Barb's center block


Cathy is working on her applique and has started to sew the blocks together. Do you see her unusual choice of sashing fabric? I love how the coloring in her blocks radiates from light to dark. 

Cathy


This is Lucy's center block. I know she did something different with her block last night after the class, but I can't share it with you! Next month! 



Lucy


Margot has her top together, except for the borders. I love that little pop of color in the cornerstones. The coloring in the center really pulls your eye in, and she used WOOL for the applique.


Margot


Ruth has a dark sashing compared to the other with light cornerstones. It just goes to show that either way works and produces a totally different effect. 

Ruth


Sharon has started to sew her rows together, which will take no time! I love the scrappy look with the reproduction fabrics. 


Sharon's quilt


And here's her center block. 

Sharon's center block


This is Zildi's center block. She was the ONLY who was happy about the applique! Her top is also together, and knowing Zildi - the borders are on. Notice how she didn't show the entire quilt!

Zildi's center


We are missing a couple of quilts from the show and tell, and hopefully, we'll see them next month. Or parts of them. 


So what does mine look like? 


Here's my center applique block. 


My center block



Here's a close-up of the stitching. I'm pretty happy with the results. Applique is NOT my favorite quilting style, but I'm pretty good at it when I apply myself. I turned the edges under using starch and then used bobbin weight thread and invisible thread with an elongated zigzag to stitch everything in place. There's a tutorial on my blog for this if you're interested. 


A detail of the stitching




As you can see, I went with a totally different colorway. Like Ruth, I used a dark sashing with light cornerstones, and I loved it so much that I carried that sashing to the outer edge of the blocks and surrounded the center block. I try to mix it up a bit each time I choose a new quilt to make.  



My quilt top with all the sashing in place


And I decided to NOT do the borders as per the book - of course! Instead, I chose two borders that I felt were better with a more modern quilt version. 


The borders on my quilt



I can't wait to see how the others finish off their quilts! And now, I have a couple more writing assignments to finish, which I hope to do tomorrow. There was just other stuff going on yesterday that didn't allow that to happen.


Don't forget that we have Virtual Retreat all day. So be sure to stop by and say hi!!  You never know what topics of conversation will pop up! I went to bed at 10, and there were still some diehards on the call! I think I'll be ducking out at some point for a wee nap as it was not a good night for sleep. But that's OK -- this happens from time to time. 


Here's the link for today. 


Sunday, October 24, From 10 AM - 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87246635892?pwd=VGY1cUUyLzRaRi9VUVV2ZWFINXc2dz09 Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473



On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Tidy up time!

Thanks to a couple of US-based friends who offered to receive that Cherrywood Challenge book and forward it on. I also got a lead on another option which will have the package forwarded close to me for a wee extra fee. So I'm going to investigate that one first. Thanks, Laura!!!

Hmm -- we may have to turn the furnace on soon. It's getting a little bit chilly in the mornings. But then, when you get moving, you don't notice the cold. I really notice the cold with my hands the most. 

I'm happy to report that I got one of my writing assignments done yesterday. That was a follow-up to a class, and well - I'm of the mindset that if I'm going to write something, it needs to be done well. So I had a bit of extra research I wanted to do. AND OMG -- I found something that I hadn't remembered I had until I saw it on the internet during my research! I think the class will be pleased that they had to wait.


AH -- that would be the Pellon Retail Guide. I remember getting it when I went to Quilt Market one year, along with BOLTS of their product that they didn't want to ship back, so they were giving them away free. Yes, I've used some of the products, but most of the bolts were more obscure products, but I hope to get into other types of sewing soon, and they may come in handy. 

The Pellon Retail Guide


But inside the guide is a description and a swatch of all their products. If you want to see it, I'm sure your local quilt store has a copy. Perhaps they would let you look at it. It might be helpful if you have products that you're trying to identify!


Inside the Retail Guide



And where was it? Well, I have this little cubby on my desk, and when I used to use swatch books a lot more than I currently do, I placed all that kind of stuff in that cubby. My brain got triggered by the photo on the website and VOILA. 


Storage for swatch books


I have a drawer with all my stabilizer and interfacing samples, along with all the pertinent reference material. This will now be added to that drawer. See -- it's all about putting ALL things related to the same topic in one place. The materials were organized; they were just not together. 

I have been through the swatch books and may go through them again to see what can be tossed. I used to COVET those lookbooks from fabric companies, but it can all be seen online now. It seems a waste to get a hard copy of them. So I may find a bit more room in that area of my desk!

OMG -- I just pulled all that stuff out of that cubby and found a SECOND one of those guides!!! How did that happen?? Well, I don't want to give it away, but I could lend the second one if anyone would like to look at it. It's a bit challenging to lend things these days! Hmm -- I'm sure I'll find a worthy home for the second one as I surely don't need two of them. 

Speaking of organizing, I decided to bite the bullet, and this is what happened. 

The table is wiped clean - almost



There were a couple of empty spots on the bookcases, so I filled them with stuff. And I found homes for the rest of the stuff. Everything except ONE tray filled with paper. 

Then I took everything that was on the floor and moved it to the table. This is all the CURRENT stuff that I'm trying to deal with. At least, I now have some room to lay it out, select what I need for that day, and the rest is out of the way. 

The current paperwork situation


And none of it will get muddy pawprints over it as Miss Murphy feels she must stamp everything with her signature! I guess she's trying to help with the paperwork! "Hey Mom, this is approved! Now come play with me!"  Yep -- I'm sure that goes through her head all day long! 

So hopefully, that move will help keep my current stuff a bit more organized and encourage me to get it done and filed or pitched or whatever needs to be done with it!


I'm in the same boat with the cutting table. I NEED an active workspace, whether that's in the office or the sewing room. The important thing is to use it as an ACTIVE workspace, NOT as a storage place or a place where items with no home take up residence. That's when it becomes BAD. I don't think I've ever thought of that for the office. DUH!!! I've wanted that but never thought of it in the sense of active workspace. My computer desk does NOT allow for that functional space. It's not large enough. 

So this is the cutting table this morning. Looking pretty good, I have to say. The project on the left is one that I cut borders for this morning, and I'm not done with that fabric, so it's still sitting there. But everything else for this project is now filed in the stash room, scraps, and yardage - all gone!

The cutting table



I have to say that it feels incredible to have that wide-open space. I wish I had been more prolific with picture taking before when I had a 12" corner of the cutting table to work on! Yep -- I used to be like that!

This is the other half of the cutting table. I could move these to the current projects table (the "table in waiting"!), but I really want to get these things finished. Most could be cleared up in a short timeframe. So nothing that needs to be filed - just finished and then filed! I'm keeping it here for the moment because I'm determined to get this cleared up! And cleared up BEFORE anything else goes on there. 


The other half of the cutting table



Then there's the stack of stuff sitting by the sewing machine that is waiting to be sewn. There's a Virtual Retreat tonight and all day tomorrow. My plan is to make significant progress in both areas. But I do know that everything takes way longer than we anticipate it will. So we'll see how it goes. Actually, that box on the cutting table contains the fabric for the next magazine quilt, and since that deadline is approaching fast, that's probably what I'll work on this retreat! One must be realistic!


Projects ready to sew



I got one more quilt quilted yesterday. I love the colors of this one - bright orange and grey! No issues!



Customer quilt - DONE


You have to love the Wi-Fi-enabled sewing machines. This morning, I found loads of Halloween projects in there. Most with a decorative stitch or an embroidery file that I can download to work with. That's pretty cool! 


New Halloween projects in the mySewnet blog




New decorative applique stitches to download!


We also can give our machines a nickname that you can program right into the machine. I've never given any of my possessions a name. Not my car, not my sewing machine. Weird, but it works better for me. Can you imagine explaining to my customers why I'm sending a file to "Bessy" instead of my Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2?? 

OK -- so we had a great class last night with the Urbanalogie group. OK -- so we were only three people, but we chatted for an hour, and we chatted about new classes. That's a very dangerous topic, but Maria offered up the most fantastic class idea ever!!!! It was a super interesting conversation. Hey -- that's an idea -- why not invite a few people to a brainstorming session on different classes? That would be awesome. Well, maybe we can do that during the Virtual Retreat. 


I've got a couple things to confirm, but I hope to put out a list of my classes for 2022 by the end of next week. Don't worry - there'll be loads of room for everyone. But I think you'll be pleased with the offering! So if you have an idea for a class, this weekend is the time to get it to me! E-mail me or pop by the Virtual Retreat to let me know your thoughts. 

OH -- I can't wait! Seriously?? I'm still working on finishing up stuff for this year! However, I will say that I'm in EXCELLENT shape for finishing the FIVE quilts that we did this year. Most of them just need the final border(s) put on, and then I'm done!! So that's pretty impressive. No UFO status for those projects. 

Don't forget that it's Virtual Retreat weekend. That would be tonight and all day tomorrow. Here are the links and the hours. I hope to see you! Stop by to say hi for a bit, set up your sewing machine, or get some handwork and sit and sew. We talk about everything and anything. It's a lot of fun and sure beats sewing by yourself! Plus, we solve world issues, but more importantly, we solve sewing issues that we may encounter! 


Saturday, October 23   From 6 PM - 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254233911?pwd=VGQrTnFybW1HMWpleHA4M2Q2NGVwZz09 Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797



Sunday, October 24, From 10 AM - 9 PM)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87246635892?pwd=VGY1cUUyLzRaRi9VUVV2ZWFINXc2dz09 Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473



I'm pretty much ready for my two classes this morning, a meeting this afternoon, and then SEWING!!!!

Well, it's time to get out and walk the girls. Gosh -- it's still pretty dark outside, and it's already 7 AM!!! But I don't mind!

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!!







Friday, October 22, 2021

Are you superstitious?

 I am not a superstitious person per se. However, I think about all those things that you are not supposed to do, like walking under ladders, what to do if a black cat crosses your path, and everything to do with the number 13! I don't avoid that kind of stuff, but it crosses my mind. More on that in a minute. 

I had a very bizarre presentation yesterday. It was on Zoom, all the participants were in the store, and they never opened the camera link, so I had ZERO connection with any of them, including the store owner. We had to wait as they had a technical glitch, and with a number of them talking in the background, it was tough to hear, and let's not forget that it was in French. 

No questions, no feedback whatsoever! I need to have a chat with the shopowner today to see if we can fix that! It made me nervous, and I stumbled with my French. It was very unnerving, and I may have ended up talking to myself for an hour! Sigh.................

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Facebook? I don't get a chance to post every day -- I try, but some days, well, it just doesn't happen. But what I love the most are the groups! Not only do I get to stay in touch with the groups that I have created for my classes, but it's a learning tool! 

I've got a couple of unusual quilts that need to be quilted, and I had no idea how to do that. Well, I asked my Facebook group, and I got answers. I don't have enough experience with unusual stuff on the long arm to know these tricks, but I'm learning, and the people in the group have been amazing and patient!

People are posting educational stuff in one group, and I need to carve out some time to learn it.! My long arm can do so much, and I have only skimmed the surface of that software! I have a whole pile of my quilts to experiment on! 


I sorted samples that had been strewn around Studio B, and they were put away. More samples need to be made, so there is loads of stuff to embroider hanging around, but if I put it away, I'll forget it! I spent some time doing paperwork, and I almost have the urgent stuff out of the way, but I need to spend this morning at the computer to get a couple more things done. 

I'm also cleaning up the work tables as I need the space to put up more machines. All in a day's work! 

Between sample making, and learning which goes hand in hand, I could be busy 24/7!!


I did get some sewing done, which was great, but I can't share it with you. The students get to see it first, and then I'll have show and tell this weekend. 

But I did work on the border of one of my quilts. 


The border for All in a Row



This border is for my All in a Row quilt. The top and bottom borders are on the quilt, and I've meant to lay out the side borders forever! Now that I had plenty of space, it was easy to lay out the quilt to measure it and get the correct length. Then super easy to layout and glue these pieces in place. 

I made significant progress on that cutting table this week, and I hope to continue this afternoon. I have three classes this weekend, plus the Virtual Retreat. So I feel that I can make excellent progress on clearing up some stuff and get that table 100% clear. Wish me luck!!


Never mind the enormous stack of paper that's on the floor beside me that needs to be dealt with! Yes -- I know I have my little storage shelf, but well -- I need lots of room to spread out, and to do that in the office, I need to completely clear the table or the second desk. There are too many things to do to make that happen! I could pile the stuff into a box and deal with it later? I may just do that, so I can get a better handle on the day-to-day stuff. 

Or I'll just try to get back into spending the morning in the office and the afternoon downstairs. That's hard to do with my presentations, as those take priority regardless of the time of day. Oh boy-- I'd better enjoy the downtime right now because I just realized that starting November 1, I have TEN presentations in one week. Yikes -- how did that happen??? 

That means that for all of November, I'll be doing TEN per week. Thank goodness, I'm at the end of the ongoing classes, so I'll focus on the presentations. And thankfully, the prep work for most of them is complete!

OK -- so back to the superstitions. I was quilting another quilt yesterday. I'm trying to get that pile done. As of yesterday morning, there were 13 quilts left to quilt. One per day - in less than two weeks, that can be cleared up! Right? So the 13th quilt was on the long arm. I'm at the sewing machine, and I can hear a BAD noise. Oh no - I dropped everything and ran. And this is what I found. 



OH!


This is NOT good. Thankfully, I was close by, but there was an open seam in the quilt, and the foot just happened to be going in the opposite direction. It was jammed very tight, even though I got there pretty quick. The machine doesn't know that there's a problem, so it just keeps on trying to quilt. I released the long arm and got out the seam ripper. This wasn't even a question of ripping out the stitches; it was trying to delicately slice the stitches out of the quilt without creating a lot of damage to the quilt. 

After I freed the machine, I looked at the damage. Sigh............  I was able to fix the top so that if you didn't know what had happened, it would take a lot of searching to find this. That open seam will have to be hand-stitched in place. There's a small hole in the top - it's more like the fabric fibers have separated rather than a hole. But there's a hole in the back. I'll applique some of the extra backing fabric over that hole. Unsewn seams are NOT my responsibility. 

The damaged area



This has only happened twice in my longarm career. The first time, I happened to be standing at the machine waiting for the bobbin to run out and caught the machine pretty much right away, but there was still a hole created in that quilt. So if you are taking your quilt to a long arm quilter, or even one that you are quilting yourself, make sure that you close all the seams up when you are fixing a problem! I know it happens. This quilt will survive in the grand scheme of things, and no one will be the wiser that this happened. I do have to laugh because when this happens, it's always with a backing that is light in color and monochromatic, so a patch will show more than if the print was busy! 

And it just so happened that the pattern I used was a bit denser than I usually choose! Of course, it was! But the quilt turned out beautifully! Now to get trimming!!



Customer Quilt - DONE



Oh shoot -- I went to order the Cherrywood Challenge book - Diana, and they are NOT shipping to Canada. DRAT!!!!  I need to find someone to whom I can send the book, so they can, in turn, ship it to me. Yes - I know the shipping to Canada will be expensive, but the store that sells the Cherrywood challenges is NOT ordering the books. If only I were going to the Quilt Festival, which I wouldn't dream of at the moment! Of course, I'll pay for the shipping to Canada!

Anyway - it's time to get the day started. I must NOT try to learn something new before going to bed as that keeps me awake, and then I get up late!


Don't forget the Virtual REtreat is this weekend. Here are the links. 

Saturday, October 23   From 6 PM - 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254233911?pwd=VGQrTnFybW1HMWpleHA4M2Q2NGVwZz09 Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797



Sunday, October 24, From 10 AM - 9 PM)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87246635892?pwd=VGY1cUUyLzRaRi9VUVV2ZWFINXc2dz09 Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473

 

Oh -- has anyone used the link at the top of the blog to get the blog via e-mail? Someone was having trouble with it, and I must confess that I don't know much about it. There are other ways to get the blog. You can use Bloglovin, which will e-mail you the blog every day. You've got to indicate which blogs you want to follow, and it sends you a daily e-mail. 

Have a super day!!!




Cio!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Cleaning up!

I've been whining about my cutting table and how I can't seem to get it completely clear. Well, I've been whittling away at it, and this is what it looks like. Well, I should say, this is what it looked like last night. It looks even better this morning. 


The cutting table


The nice thing is that's it now only ONE layer that covers it! I hope you notice how much of the cutting mats we can see! Not a bunch of stuff stacked up. I'm going to keep whittling away and try to get it clear for Monday? I have a few quilts that need borders, and it would certainly help to have this table clear! So slow and steady, and the trick is to try and keep it clear in the future. 

The key is to put things away immediately after using them. I mostly do, but what about those things that you don't have a home for? They get left on the table. My table used to be much worse than it is currently, so I don't feel so bad, but I'll get there! So close!!!

This quilt top had been sitting on the cutting table waiting for a quilt backing and a binding. I quickly searched through the backing shelf and found a piece of fabric PERFECT for this quilt. I checked for some binding, which got made, so this one moved to the "to be quilted" pile. 


Moved to the "to be quilted" pile


I have to say that I love the fact that I took all those large pieces of fabric that would work for backings, and they are organized with the yardage indicated on each piece. 

There are only two pieces of backing that are still waiting to be put on the shelf. 


Two pieces of backing waiting for a spot on the shelf

Isn't that exciting? I just love the fact that I'm getting my stash room in order, and it's making it super easy to find things and to put them away. It's not perfect, but it's sure a HUGE improvement from the mess it used to be. I remember hopping over HUGE piles of stuff to get anywhere in the room. You could barely open the door!

And here are all the backings neatly labeled and on the shelf. The entire bottom shelf and half of the shelf above are all backings. Thanks again to Ronda for helping get that organized. 

Backings for quilts


Once I find a home for those remaining two pieces, I will start going through the fabric baskets to find other pieces - anything 3 yards and over will become a backing! Nothing is sacred - we MUST get this under control and used up! 

I still have a "few" bolts of fabric that I can also use for backings, so I won't run short any time soon! They are all neatly stacked on another shelf. 

This is one thing that I moved off the cutting table. I had a bunch of half-square triangles that needed to be trimmed, so these are now gone to the box where the other little half-square triangles reside. Slow and steady -- these things will get under control, but the problem is that more triangles get generated whenever I make a binding or a border, so it's never-ending! But that's OK -- they make good enders and leaders when I'm chain piecing. 


More half-square triangles are trimmed


Then back to the long arm, and here's the latest customer quilt. It turned out great, but it seemed to take a long time with everything else that happened yesterday. Anyway -- it's now waiting to be trimmed. 


Customer quilt - DONE


I'm ripping through my rolls of batting. I loaded the next quilt on the long arm this morning, and there goes the last of that roll of batting. I have one roll left, so it's time to order more. 


Empty roll of batting


This was the moon as I arrived at the gym yesterday morning. Very cool, and YES -- it's so dark in the morning now. I don't really mind whether it's light or dark. It's just a time of day! 

The full moon



So I did receive a call from my doctor. Sigh.................   She is definitely a conservative one, but the call was a bit disturbing. She had looked at my file, and yes, she had referred me to a surgeon in 2016 where I had some minor surgery on the right knee! Everything was fine there, but she had written down the left knee. Well, I'm to keep an eye on the knee, take it easy (HA!), and if it still bothers me, call her back. I don't know why I even call her since she rarely refers patients for tests or whatever. Actually, I'm OK with that. I know my body, and I know when to slow down or not. 

I still think the whole issue is muscular and needs good stretching and deep tissue massage. Will I slow down? Of course not! 

I still have some serious KM to walk before the end of the year. 

The mileage left for the cross-Canada walk




As you can see, I have 658.5 KM to reach the end of my cross Canada walk. I'm ahead by 140KM or something like that, so unless something significant happens, I'm going to make it! Look where I am! The red dot on the map below is the pace marker. 




Almost at the end of the cross-Canada walk



That's so exciting - I can't believe I've walked so many KMs in the last two years. It all adds up when you start to keep track, and I LOVE the Conquer Challenges to do just that. I set a goal each year to track my daily mileage because, with the other challenges, they track for that challenge, not for a specific time frame. 

Hmmm -- where will I walk virtually next year since I'm coming to the end of Canada? 


So another busy day -- I have some paperwork that HAS to be done today, plus two presentations and a quilt to quilt. Just keep smiling and keep on sewing!!!


Don't forget the Virtual Retreat this weekend. I can't wait as I have big plans to get a lot done. Borders, blocks, and well, whatever else I can get my hands on. My goal is to get those sewing and cutting areas completely cleared up. The end of the year is coming, and it would be nice to have a nice clear space in which to work. I'm close, but I also need some time to make that happen, and I have samples that need to be put away. Anyway -- I digress - here are the links. 


Saturday, October 23   From 6 PM - 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254233911?pwd=VGQrTnFybW1HMWpleHA4M2Q2NGVwZz09 Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797



Sunday, October 24, From 10 AM - 9 PM)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87246635892?pwd=VGY1cUUyLzRaRi9VUVV2ZWFINXc2dz09 Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473


On that note, I'm out of here. I have a French presentation this morning, and I need to review my list of words! Many have now become part of my new vocabulary, but I still need to refresh myself on a few!

Have a super day!!!

Ciao!!!!


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A quilting we will go.................

 Well, that was an issue yesterday! I had written the post about the UFOs the day before. But halfway through, I decided it wasn't the post I wanted to write that day. That rarely happens, and to avoid accidentally publishing the post, I set a day and time for it to post later. However, when I hit publish yesterday, I FORGOT to change the publishing date. So -- it didn't get posted at the usual time. 

A few people alerted me to the fact, but I was just starting the embroidery software club by then, and the post had to wait! Oops!

I forgot to mention about the UFO club that if you decide to leave at the end of the year, you'll get back your deposit of $100 minus any money you forfeited over the year.  Some people find it intense to have a deadline every month -- that's why you need to think long and hard about joining, 

My knee feels a whole lot better today. However, I know it's not right, and it still doesn't want to bend correctly - at least it's not painful, and I slept well. Of course -- today is the day I'm talking to the doctor. It must have been a sprain or a strain or something that exacerbated it. I have to tell you that I was sensible as well about it. 

I did go to spin class that morning. The bike I usually use had already been taken as I missed choosing it during the registration process. I selected the second bike that I like to use; however, I arrived to find that someone else was already on it. Not wanting to be a pest, I asked the instructor to give me another. I got on that bike, and it wasn't registering any stats. Plus, my knee just didn't feel right. 

So I decided to forfeit the class and stretch instead and had an extended visit to the steam room. Just in case you think I push myself - I do push, but I'm also sensible! Most times! And why are stats important on a spin bike? Don't you just get on and ride? Yes -- but I am motivated by numbers -- how fast, how much wattage I'm outputting, etc. I NEED those numbers to give me a goal! My goal is 30 KM in the hour, which I can do, but I've got to work to get there. And I'm aiming for my weight in wattage output. I'm almost there, but I can't quite achieve that number. 

I finished my book last night - at last. It was long - way longer than it needed to be as the author repeated herself over and over again. I don't think I've ever shouted at a book so much while reading it. This girl, who was raped on her second night at college, just went from one wrong decision to another. I get it that rape is a terrible thing, although she almost encouraged it by flirting (heavily) with a boy and then said NO. I get it that we need to be able to say NO, but sheesh! I know - touchy subject. 

And then, throughout the book, she seemed desperate to find a boy or a man and did similar things to them. It was OK for her to flirt, but not for them to want anything of her. She was very critical of her mother, but she wouldn't have lasted one day without her mother. Her mother did all the work of mailing her boxes of food and clothing as she needed it. I don't think the girl did any research into the matter whatsoever. 

Anyway -- the book - both the writing and the character are incredibly frustrating, and the only reason I read it was because it was about the Pacific Crest Trail. Now, something else significant happened in her life, and she wrote a second book. I'm intrigued, but the book is NOT at the library. I want to read it to find out how many other silly choices she made, yet I don't like to acknowledge this person. Sigh............

Like all things - you can't have your cake and eat it too, but this girl seemed to think it was her RIGHT to have boys and sex on her terms only. 

Well, one more series of French presentations is in the bag! I finished that one up last night, and I have a light week this week - only three presentations, but the rest of the time is filled with other things. And I'm trying to get in one quilt a day for the next couple of weeks to get caught up. So far, so good. 


I quilted this quilt a couple of days ago. Lots of spider webs on it. I love to quilt the spider webs with invisible thread, but my machine did not like the invisible thread, fleece, and batting. I used purple thread instead, and it looks great. 


Customer quilt - DONE



Should I mention the fact that the backing was only about 2 inches larger than the quilt top? Basically, I will be trimming away only the selvages on this one. It's not ideal, but it can be done. DO NOT send me quilts like that -- I won't like you anymore!

Here is the quilt from yesterday. Lots of room along the sides on that one! It's crazy with fleece -- it's supposed to be 60" wide, and the useable part is 60" wide. But they have this 2" selvage on one side with all the copyright information! That saved me with the Halloween quilt! 

Customer quilt - DONE


OK -- I confess that I've never heard of this NHL team, but then, I never watch the sport. But we found a lovely anchor pattern that matches their logos, more or less. It looks good on the quilt. And now that I know how to shift one row at a time, I could offset the quilting pattern slightly. Offsetting helps with not leaving significant spaces between the motifs. 



Anchor pattern


Some quilting patterns are designed to interlock so that you wouldn't know where one row ended and the next began. Lots of patterns, especially novelty patterns, seem to have been designed willy-nilly, with no regard to the rows below or above. That drives me crazy, but I'll get over it. I would never buy one of those patterns, but some customers love them. 

It was a glorious day yesterday, and I hope that everyone got out for a walk. I'm reading a book right now on hikes around the world, and the first part is about walking and how walking used to be the thing to do. With the advent of the car, walking for pleasure or for errands took a nosedive. I know I used to be that way. Now I walk everywhere that I can. I mostly use my car to go to the gym! And I plan my errands around my walk.

And no matter how busy I am, I go for that second walk in the afternoon. It clears my head, it gives me exercise, I get to check out the neighborhood, see crazy things along the way, like this. I saw a crane in front of a house and wondered what they were doing. Hmm -- what is that? 
A precarious-looking load of shingles on a roof


OK -- so it looks like this house is getting a new roof, but seriously - that massive bundle on the peak of the roof looks like trouble!!! 

And Murphy and I spotted these leaves in the forest in the morning. Wow -- that's a peculiar coloring. There must be something chemical happening in this bush to make the leaves turn this way. 


Unusual fall leaves





I also completed my applique block for the center of the Schoolgirl Sampler quilt. It was supposed to be done for the class last month, but alas, I didn't get it done. Applique usually slows me down, and the quilt would become a UFO. I'm determined to NOT let that happen. And I have to remember that if I start something, I have to finish it - I can't let it become a UFO. All that is left now is to sew the center block into the quilt and add borders. I have until Saturday to make that happen. 


My center block for the Schoolgirl Sampler



I have a bit of homework for one of the ongoing quilts. I have a few blocks to catch up on, and I don't know why I can't get myself motivated to get that done. There's a virtual retreat this weekend, so my goal is to work on that quilt top. It needs to be done! October is almost over, and that means next month is November, and that's the SHOW and TELL of our FINISHED quilt tops. Technically, that's five tops! I'm very close to finishing tops on four of them, so that's good. One good day of work should complete most of them. Perhaps I can do that at the virtual retreat. 

All of the homework assignments are done - well, those are getting done. I have one lecture to follow up on, and I'm caught up!

Hey -- I hope to see some new faces this weekend. Summer is over, cottages are being closed up - it's time to sew!! So what will you work on during the Virtual Retreat?

Here are the links. 

Saturday, October 23   From 6 PM - 9 PM

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89254233911?pwd=VGQrTnFybW1HMWpleHA4M2Q2NGVwZz09 Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797



Sunday, October 24, From 10 AM - 9 PM)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87246635892?pwd=VGY1cUUyLzRaRi9VUVV2ZWFINXc2dz09 Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473


Be sure to check us out! It's going to be loads of fun as usual. And seriously, if you just want to come and say HI, you don't have to stay. But it's always fun to see who is working on what and where people are from. I've made so many great friends from the Virtual Retreat.


And on that note, I'm off to spin class this morning. My usual bike is reserved, my knee/leg feels great, I've eaten my protein bar - I'm good to go!!

Have a super day!!!!


Ciao!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

It's all about UFOs

OH --- I had set a schedule for this post for tomorrow morning and forgot to take it off. Ooops!



 We had a good session with our UFO group this past weekend. So much is getting accomplished it's blowing my mind, and repeatedly, I hear that the only reason people finished something is that they committed to getting it done for the group!

I have to include myself in that group. I'm working on an applique quilt that I taught as a year-long class in 2015, and I don't seem to have gotten much of it done during that year. It's the last UFO project on my2018 UFO list, and I'm making good progress. I've noticed that this is the LAST applique project on my UFO lists. It's NOT the last applique UFO I have -- I just know how slow I can be with applique. My goal is to get the top done by the end of the year! WAIT -- I haven't committed that to the group; that's just in the back of my head!

I will be opening up a new UFO group starting in January, and I'll only be taking TWENTY people as that is a good number to deal with in one hour. If you are interested, here are the details, and you need to think long and hard if this is the group for you. 

Here's how it works. 


  1. We meet once a month on Zoom (Sunday morning). 
  2. You set the goal based on your schedule - it can be big, can be small. I like to set a stretch goal for myself, but not too big. But big enough to make advancement on my UFO. 
  3. If you don't get a picture of your completed homework to me before the class, you forfeit $10. 
  4. We meet all year long, but July and August are "free" months -- if you don't get your assignment completed, there is no money to be lost. 
  5. Technically, the group is to finish UFOs, not work on current projects, but sometimes, people need help with a current project. 
  6. You need to pay a deposit of $100 upfront, so if you don't get your homework done, I don't have to chase you for the money. 
  7. Any money forfeited goes to the local food bank at the end of the year. 
  8. You don't have to make the monthly Zoom meeting - just as long as the photos of your work get to me on time. 
  9. There is an annual sign-up fee of $25. 
  10. You can be anywhere - we have one person from the US in our current group.


SO let's see what people got done this month, and we have some overachievers in the group!

My picture is first this month, so my three Oak Reel applique blocks are for the Enchanted Autumn quilt. They are fused and stitched in place with a blanket stitch. Yep -- this quilt WILL get done. 


My three applique blocks



Colleen is working on Fleur, and her goal was to get three blocks hand appliqued in place. You WILL get this done, Colleen!!! You can do it!


Colleen's applique blocks



Diane's goal was to make TWO jellyroll rugs. 

Diane's homework


Well, not only did Diane get those two rugs done, but she did these as well. 


Two more rugs

And these got done as well. 

And two more!


And these. That's our Diane -- she goes for the STRETCH goals every month. That's how you get things done!!! I don't think some of these were technically UFOs, but that's OK. Out of the NINE rugs that she made, I think she only had FOUR of the "rope" balls made. 


And THREE more!


Elaine got the blocks laid out for her snowball quilt, and I think she started to sew it together. 

The William Morris snowball quilt

She also got some labels made and sewn onto four quilts!

Labels made and sewn onto quilts


Jane is struggling with this project, and I'm glad to see it's NOT on the list for this month. She didn't quite get it finished, but she is close!!!


Not finished - oops


Katheleen, at last, got this giant quilt quilted. I think it's been on her sit-down quilting machine since April, but it's now on the bed, and Hobo Kitty approves!! It's very heavily quilted with about 20,000 stitches per EACH of the 13 center blocks. 

Katheleen's quilt on the bed!

And she has SEVEN much smaller quilts basted and ready to quilt!

Seven quilts ready to be quilted!

Linda G got the border on this wedding quilt for her granddaughter. I love the story of this one. The light fabric is muslin used to make a muslin of Linda's DAUGHTER'S wedding dress. How cool is that? 


Linda G's wedding quilt

Linda W finished quilting this quilt, and the binding is also on. 

Linda W's quilt quilted and bound

And she got more than 10 blocks completed for the Town and Country quilt. This is going to be precious when it's done!!!

More blocks for the Town and Country quilt


Lynne is working on her One Block Wonder with a panel. Her goal was to cut and get the hexagons sewn together. This is spectacular! Now to do the assembly, and what about those wicked angles. 

Lynne's Ome Block Wonder

Morgan finished quilting her Christmas Fig quilt, and it's stunning. I love the quilting on the border, which was done with a template (ruler work). Actually, the entire quilt was done with rulers and templates. I love it because after she finished her homework, she decided she was close enough to keep going and got the entire thing done! Now that's motivation and inspiration to us all!


Ruler work on the borders

Morgan's quilt - ON the bed


Nancy completed the top of this harvest-themed quilt. It's adorable, and I LOVE that border.


Nancy's harvest-themed quilt

Rose finished piecing the top of a bargello bed runner! This was supposed to be a table runner, but that's a HUGE table runner! It works much better as a bed runner. 


Rose's bargello bed runner

Sharon is hand appliqueing some Hawaiian blocks. Her goal was to get one more done. 


Sharon's Hawaiian applique block

And here are all her blocks to date. One more to make!!!


Sharon's Hawaiian quilt


Shelia assembled this quilt from two small kits that she purchased - YEARS AGO.



Sheila's quilt top


I love the label on the kit as it shows it was purchased from a long-gone store. 



Can you read the name on that label? 

Susan finished assembling her Chic Picnic by Sew Kind of Wonderful. And the only reason she finished was that she set the deadline with the group! There are a LOT of curves on this one!!



Susan's quilt top  - DONE


Suzi completed four Dear Jane blocks. 

Suzi's Dear Jane blocks



So there you have it -- all the completed homework for this month. 


Would the club work for everyone? Probably not, as you have to be motivated to finish these projects off. There is NO ongoing monthly motivation unless you come to the Virtual Retreat or the Monday sewing. But you have the peer pressure of each month confessing that you couldn't get the work done, and you have to forfeit the money as well, and since I have the money, it's easy for me to slip it into the envelope for the foodbank. So far, we have $125 in the kitty, which will be donated in December. 


Think LONG and hard about the above rules and if you think that this would work for you - remember STRETCH goals are good, but small ones work just as well. I want people who are HIGHLY motivated to work on their UFOs in the group! If you just want some sew-along friends, then come to the Virtual Retreat. In our one-hour UFO Zoom session, we review the homework and hear each person's success or failure (mainly success) for that month. 


I'll be starting a BRAND NEW group in January with a limit of 20 people, and there may or may not be an opening in the current group. Send me an e-mail if you are interested - elainetheriault@gmail.com.  Tell me approximately how many UFOs you have and what's the year of your oldest UFO. If there are more than 20 people interested - well, let's see if that even happens. I'm not sure I want to start a third group, but if it helps people clear up their UFOs, well, it's all in the name of not leaving clutter for our children, and I'm all for that!!!


I've got a phone appointment with my doctor on Wednesday. I think something is a bit wrong with the leg. I can't bend the darn knee past 90 degrees which isn't a good sign. Although I can walk, no problem. Sleeping last night was awful. Let's hope it's not serious, but I think I'm just kidding myself when I say that. I'll keep you in the loop. 


Have a super day!!!!


Ciao!!!