Friday, October 18, 2019

Show n tell

We survived the first day of CreativFestival. While it was busy, it certainly wasn't as busy as I've seen it in the past. But we're not dwelling on the past - we're looking forward. Hopefully, everyone was waiting to come today to see Mary Fons! I see she has a lecture (wine and cheese) at 6 PM tonight about the future of quilting. I might just attend that one since the show closes at 6 PM.

Here's something that's changing. I'm sure that all of you are familiar with Row by Row Experience. Well, it sounds like it's over. And we knew that was going to happen. It just couldn't continue the way it was. So now there's a new thing called Quilters Trek. It looks like a completely different format. I'm not sure even what it all entrails. More details to follow. Row by Row was loads of fun and I guess that's the end of our day road trip to New York! BUT - that's OK. I don't need another kit to add to the UFO pile.

Speaking of adding to the UFO pile, I had to peek at what new stuff Elizabeth Hartman had coming for this Fall Market. OH god - I shouldn't have looked. She has five new patterns. Those koalas and parrots are very tempting. NO - just say NO.

I did get a chance to pop out for a wee bit yesterday. I also got a chance to catch up with some people I haven't seen for a while although I had to leave several conversations hanging! That's for today to go back and finish up those conversations. I have two technical issues and I was able to make headway into getting those repaired as well. Yep - never a down moment when there's stuff to do.

I'm in a very fortunate position. I have access to more technology than I can possibly learn in my lifetime. NO - that's not true. I'm determined to learn it all. I just peeked at my calendar and YIKES - it doesn't really stop until December 1. The days scheduled are not all work, but it's still a commitment. No worries - it's all fun as well. I have now booked a good part of December as sample making days. Days that I cannot change!!! I have a lot of samples to make and a lot of technology to learn.

And my new Samsung galaxy s10 is helping enormously in that. Amazing how dependent we've become on our phones and I don't even play games on mine! Yep - I use mine for sewing if you can believe that! I'll share that with you another day.

Today, I've got some show n tell from our ongoing classes at The Hobby Horse that doesn't fit into either of the two classes.

Here we go.....................

Here's a couple of advent calendars that Sophie was making as gifts. These are darn cute and I've not seen either of these before.

Advent calendar

Another advent calendar

This is Sheila's rabbit quilt. The top is done - at last!!! I'm sure she breathed a huge sigh of relief when she put the last stitches in. It's been a labor of love (for her adult daughter) for about 10 years.

Rabbit applique quilt

Here's another POSH Santa quilt top - done!!! He just needs to be quilted before Christmas. This belongs to Lynne.

POSH Santa

This next one has quite the story attached to it. A friend of Barb's asked if she would make a duvet cover from a panel. JUST SAY NO!!!!!  People who are not sewists have no idea. Anyway, I think Barb did a great job with the Winnie the Pooh panels which she cut apart and appliqued to the blue fabric. Then she made that into a duvet cover. I hope her friend appreciates all the work that was involved.

Duvet cover made by Barb

This finished quilt also belongs to Barb. The pattern was Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful. It was a class we did a while back. Now it's completely finished. I love the colors in the quilt. Nicely done Barb!!!!  I love seeing the finished projects from the classes I teach!!!

Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful

I scurried around this morning to get things prepped to take to the show today. We need ribbons which I scooted out to buy last night. Found matching thread and some background fabrics, needles and stabilizers (we have limited selections in the booth). Since we will probably have some downtime, it's sample making time!!! I'm ready for anything today.

It was great to see so many people yesterday. I did see some people walk by when I was busy chatting - but I saw you! Hopefully, we'll see a whole lot more today since everyone is coming to hear Mary Fons talk - right???

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ten Reasons you should attend the CreativFestival

We had an exciting day yesterday setting up at the CreativFestival. Set up is always exciting and it's hard work! OK - so I use the word exciting with a touch of sarcasm. I don't think that any attendees would ever appreciate what goes into set-up unless they were there to witness it.

At one point, we needed to get some samples in the booth and this is what happened.

Samples galore

The sample suitcases came open. Samples were sorted, they were strewn around the main aisles of the booths, some were discarded and placed back in the suitcases, the lucky ones were hung on the walls or placed on a table.

I chatted with someone last night and they said that they couldn't wait to read my ten reasons why they should go to the CreativFestival. As promised, here they are.

But first I want to set some expectations.

Yes, the show is smaller than it's been in years gone by. Let's face it, shop owners are retiring and since there are no buyers, these shops are now closed. In other instances, the owners are getting too old to do all the schlepping that's required to be in this show. Some businesses (scrapbooking) have seen a sharp decline in the market, conflicting dates and I'm sure there are many other reasons why this show has been reduced in size.

This is NOT and has NEVER been a show about quilting. It's always been a CREATIVFESTIVAL. It's a show to inspire you to try new things and learn new things.

Compare the cost of attending ($16) to the cost of your gas if you had to drive to all these shops. Remember parking is FREE.

So here are my ten reasons why you should attend CreativFestival in Toronto in 2019. I got carried away - there's more than ten!

  1. Lectures with Mary Fons. Mary grew up with quilting in her blood. Her mother is the famous Maryann Fons from Fons and Porter Love of Quilting. That includes magazines and TV shows. Mary had her own foray into quilting with her own magazine (Quilty) and a show. Now she's the editor of QuiltFolk, along with other endeavors. She's doing a series of lectures and trunk shows. I would LOVE to be able to attend, but I won't be able to since I'm in the booth. Here's a list of her lectures and trunk shows. What is the future of quilting? What about Modern Quilts and their deep roots in the traditional world? I see there's a wine and cheese event tomorrow. Hmmm - I might go. This is a huge opportunity to have Mary at the show and well worth the extra cash to get into her lectures. It's way cheaper than going to the US to hear her speak.
  2. Shopping for a sewing machine. If you're in the market for a new sewing machine, this is the PLACE to be. All the machine dealers are there. This is the place to test them all as I know that PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking have their entire lineup on display and I would imagine the other brands do as well. Not quite in the market yet, this is a good place to check out what's available. Here's a good tip on buying a sewing machine. Try to buy one level up from where your budget is. You won't regret it as you grow into that sewing machine. Love something, but can't afford it yet? Get a picture of it and put near your computer at home. Start a saving plan for that machine. PS - we have the new DESIGNER EPIC 2 in the booth. 
  3. Shopping for a serger. Same thing as above. Now here's the thing - I know loads of people who have a serger and don't use it. Then come and get some inspiration for what you can do with a serger. Don't just walk past those sewing machine booths - stop in, ask questions. How can I use my serger more? What's the coolest new accessory or feature? Ask us about mySewnet! I have a quilt on display (the top only so you can see the back) that's made entirely with my serger. If threading the serger or having to deal with tension is the main reason you don't use your serger, stop by our booths (PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking) to see the NEW air threading sergers. 
  4. Check out die-cutters. This is something that's expanding. Yes - even for quilters. You can buy the manual die-cutters like the GO! cutter. The biggest dealer in our province is there so you can check out how to use the machine properly and also buy new dies if you want something new. There's also a shop carrying the digital cutters. Like the Brother Scan n Cut. I've seen applique patterns being published (and sold) with the .svg files in them. The .svg files are used with a digital die cutter and that saves you the hassle of cutting out your applique shapes. Imagine that!!!  I can't wait to play some more when I have a few moments after this show. 
  5. Access to information. I don't know for sure about the other vendors but in the PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking booth, you have access to the TOP education team. Between the three of us, we have many, many years of experience in the sewing world. That includes quilting, piecing, garment sewing, serging and a whole lot more. We're not there to teach classes, but we can answer questions and hopefully provide you with a tip to make your sewing life a wee bit easier. 
  6. Inspiration. All the booths are filled with inspiration. New ways to make things, ways to use those decorative stitches on your machines. Inspiration to try new things that you've not tried before. We have ideas coming out of the seams. Not only for projects but for colorways and patterns and a whole lot more. Bring your camera, but PLEASE ask if it's OK to take photos in the booths. In most cases, it is, but also if you post a picture to social media - ask if it's OK and then credit where you took the picture. 
  7. Support our CANADIAN QUILTING community. The Canadian Quilter's Asociation has a booth at the show. Check this organization out. Let Jane and Heather explain why you should become a member of the association. Let's just say that the organization has changed and has made itself more accessible to the average quilter. Ask them about the upcoming events - events like the 52 blocks in 52 weeks quilt that has been posted on social media this past year. They have kits for the Trendtex challenge for sale - NOTE - you have to be a member to buy the kit. Become a member, buy the kit and then come to a class that I'm going to hold to give ideas on how to make a challenge piece. If you join the CQA at the show, I heard that they have goodies for you to take home. Remember  - it's all about supporting what OUR COUNTRY and OUR LOCAL STORES have to offer. 
  8. Make the day a play day with a friend. Don't look at this as a shopping expedition. How many of you lament that you don't need anything else in your studio? So make it a day of acquiring knowledge, inspiration, and education. For the most part that is free at this show. People have no qualms about jumping in the car and driving hundreds of KM for a shop hop where you know you will buy something. You're in the shop for 5 minutes, and then madly drive to the next shop. Here you get to spend the day checking out the stuff in one spot. All you have at the end of that kind of day is a credit card bill and some fabric. Here - you can actually learn something. Be sure to check out everything!  
  9. Visit online shops. I know of one shop attending that is online only. They will be at the show. So you get to save gas and save on shipping costs. Sew Fancy and she always has the latest tools and gadgets. 
  10. Take a class. There are classes and lectures by some prominent Canadian quilters and garment sewers. Why not take a class and learn something new? Here's the list of classes and it looks like some neat events. Again, I can't go because I'm in the booth. Try something new - I saw one on "how to quilt your quilt". I get asked that question all the time - attend the class - and take your quilt tops with you. Get ideas. Take complete advantage of the situation and learn something!
  11. Network. Don't just walk past the booths - network with the owners, editors or the staff. Do you know that the jigs that I've had and currently have are because I stopped to chat with people in their booth at CreativFestival? No one searched me out - I searched them out and things just fell into place.
  12. Buying a long arm. I know there are numerous long arm and short arm options at the show. Come and check them out even if you're at the thinking about it stage. This is the place to ask the questions, test the products and figure out whether this is something you want to do or not. It's also the place to get tools, tips, and other advice if you already have a long arm and need some help. NOTE - this does not replace taking a class, but a couple of well-selected questions can make things just peachy!
  13. Take a peek at garment sewing. I'm so keen on getting into garment sewing and so are a lot of other people but have no idea where to start. There are classes on garment sewing and there are people selling garment patterns and people selling garment fabric. 
  14. Look at the quilts. I believe there will be quilts on display so have a peek at those. Get ideas from the quilts - whether in the quilt display area (I could be wrong about that one) or the quilts hanging in the booths. There is lots of eye candy. Also, this show is a great place to get ideas for quilting your quilts. Take close-ups of the quilting. I do that all the time. 
  15. Quilts of Valour. They have a booth at the show. Get out and chat with the ladies who help to run the local chapters. Maybe you don't need a new quilt for yourself and what are you going to do with all your fabric. Talk to these ladies to see how you can start making quilts for this very worthy organization. You still get to sew and you use up your stash, but you don't have to worry about what to do with all those quilts. Your family will love you! Don't want to quilt the quilt? I know there are long arm quilters (myself included) that are quilting quilt tops that have been donated. (We do it for free and as a service to our communities) That's a win-win situation right there!!!
  16. Talk to the show owner. I'm sure Nori will be roaming the show floor today. Have a chat with her - tell her what you would like to see in the future. Be courteous. 

I don't know how long it'll take you to go through the show. It depends on how many booths you pass because you're NOT interested. Why not be interested? Why be stuck in the same old rut all the time? Yep - if you're going to look at the show like that, then stay home. But if you want to explore, be inspired, and open your mind to something new - I bet you would enjoy the show a whole lot more.

Here are some tips to enjoy the show more.

  • Take pictures, but be mindful if you're posting them on Social Media - ask permission. It's always the . 
  • Stop to talk to people. Why are we so afraid to speak to others? Ask them questions. Ask them about their products or patterns or designs or whatever. You'd be amazed at how much they will share if someone is interested in their work. 
  • Cast aside all visions of the previous shows. This is a different show - each year is a different show. Look at it differently and you won't be disappointed. 
  • Make it a fun day. Attend with friends. I like to walk the show on my own and then meet up for lunch. 
  • It's a day of entertainment, not a day of shopping. Besides who needs more stuff - save your money to buy a new serger or sewing machine instead of piddling your cash away on buying fabrics. 
  • Bring your lunch (I've no idea what's available for food) so bring you lunch to help cut costs.
  • Don't look at the entrance fee as an annoyance. Look at it as your cost of entertainment for the day. Do you go to a movie and begrudge paying the price? Get the most of your entrance fee, by really, really exploring what's there. Remember this is NOT and NEVER was a strictly quilter related show. 
  • Be kind and courteous to others. Don't stop in the aisles to chat without looking to see if someone like me is barreling down behind you! 
  • Bring a friend! It's a great introduction to the sewing world for someone who is new to sewing.
  • We should consider ourselves very lucky that we even have this opportunity for a show like this in our neighborhood. 

OK - I think I've rambled on enough about the show and why you should attend.

If you do come by, stop and say HELLO. I might be busy with a customer, but wave - I'm the one with the orange flowers in my hair! Come back later to say hi if I'm busy. I'd love to chat and provide some inspiration to you!

The show runs Thursday (9-6), Friday (9-6), and Saturday (9-5).  It's located in Hall FIVE at the International Center on Airport Road. Hope to see you all there.

If you want to attend a local quilt show, the Brampton Quilter's Guild is hosting their quilt show on Saturday (10 -5) and Sunday (10 - 4) at the Brampton Fairgrounds. Be sure to check that out as well.

We NEED to be supporting our local organizations and guilds. If we don't, they will wither up and die. Then we'll be complaining that there's nothing in Canada. Well, if people go with the wrong expectations or we don't support, then yep - those shows will close. Support local and by support, it doesn't always have to be with your wallet!

I'm done! Phew!!!!

Time to finish breakfast and then get in the car to be at the show one hour before it opens for you all to come and visit!!!

Have a super day!!!!!


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Olive and Oswald Otter Show n Tell

Today is the last day of this round of show n tell for the North Star quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. Which is good because I have a ton of other stuff to share with you and more show n tell. So much to say, so little time. It always amazes me when I hear of bloggers who struggle to find content for their blogs. There are even lists of topics that one can peruse if you're short of a topic.

Like finding something to do, finding something to say isn't one of my shortfalls!!!

Today, we're having a look at Olive and Oswald Otter. This is my absolute favorite block of all of them. They are just stinking cute!!!

The first block up belongs to Jana. Can you tell why?? Yep - those darn polka dots! These little otters make me think of fun and these two look very mischevious with their big funky dots. What a concept and a great way to choose fabric for a fun quilt. I believe it's for her grandson when the quilt is completed.

Jana's otter block
This is the otter block made from the kit fabric. I don't think I've mentioned it before but that background fabric is a linen blend. It's all the rage these days. A lot of solids were also used and you get a very nice, calming effect with the kit fabric choices.

Nancy's otter block

Look at the cute fabric these guys are made of! I know I said it in a previous post, but I LOVE the show and tell from these classes so you get an idea of how different each block/quilt looks depending on the fabric choices. That's worth the price of attending the class. Oh yes - you get to see the blocks here online, but it's not the same as seeing those blocks in person!

Otter block
This is Lynn's block. Look at that frosty background. She is using the kit fabric for many of the component pieces and a different fabric for the background.

Lynn's otter block

This must be Marg's block. It's also made from the kit fabric. You had to be on your toes with this fabric as several of them were directional. Notice that those mountains are going in the right direction in both spots (bottom right and middle right).

Marg's otter block

Here's that tan background again. Funny - I sent an email to the group and asked whose these blocks were. No takers! I've got a group of very shy quilters. How does that happen??? Anyway, these guys are super cute. Did you notice that the otters are holding hands? Apparently, they do that in real life. It keeps them together when they sleep as they float around the water. How cute.

Otter block with a tan background

I don't think that any of us got all those half-square triangles in the right order. I remember from making the blocks that it was very easy to put fabric 5 in place of fabric 6 and well - if you noticed it once you were done, you were NOT going to change it. You can't tell at all that any mistakes were made. That's the beauty of using different fabrics - perhaps the maker intended it a certain way. Yep - I love that.

Here's another cute otter block. Do you know how hard it was to find some of those colors?? You pick one you like and then it was hard to find something to go with it that would be lighter or darker. I suspect the colors on the other sections would be one of those fabrics. I love the colorway but it could be a challenge to find coordinates.

Otter block

Here's the blue background again. In a way, this person was very smart. That rich blue is very easy to find coordinates for!

Otter block

Next time, I'm writing down the names in order of when I take the photos. I hate not giving recognition to everyone. Notice how the extra bits on the sides are much more subtle than some of the other fabrics have been. A nice touch.

Otter block

This is Kathi's block. Not only did she find a fabric with otters in it, but she managed to find TWO fabrics with otters in it. One with a light background and one with a dark background. So cute. Those otters look like they are wearing PJs as they hold hands to sleep. So darn cute!!!!!

Kathi's otter block

The last block for today is JoMarie's. Yep - there are the names of the critters again. That was such an amazing idea. I really, really love that idea. Her friend used her embroidery machine to stitch the names of the animals on the blocks.

JoMarie's otter block

The last of the North Star show n tell for this round is a partially assembled quilt by Diane. There are nine blocks in total. Here is her Owen the Owl and Olive and Oswald Otter, along with the polar bear, the walrus, the narwhal and the seal. She had extra of the background for the blocks so used that for the sashing.

Diane's partially assembled quilt

After this month - ONE MORE block. I just checked - we have 21 participants in the class plus myself. Hopefully, we'll have at least 15 finished quilts at the November reveal!!!!

HEY - that wide-angle lens on my phone camera is going to make taking pictures of the entire quilts a WHOLE lot easier!! I can't wait to try that out. I still have six chapters left to read in the book about the Samsung Galaxy s10 (my new phone). It's been a very interesting read and I've learned a TON of information.

Did you know the MOST DOWNLOADED apps in the cell phone world are games??  Yep - outshines any other app category by miles. I have ONE game on my phone - Scrabble and it takes me at most 5 - 10 minutes a day and some days, I don't even check. Everyone has their priorities on how they wish to spend their time. Me, personally? I can't see spending any time on some of those games. Don't get me wrong - I'm not poopooing your activities. It's just that my compulsive self would get hooked and wouldn't be able to stop. I used to spend HOURS and DAYS playing video games when I was in my 20's. If I start, I won't be able to stop so I don't start!

Besides, I have so many other toys (sewing machines and sergers) and software (for the embroidery machine and cutters and photography) to play with that I don't even have time for. I just got handed another software package last night and ACK! I want to play, but no time. What's the software? It's brand new - called Embroidery, Cut, and Quilt (ECQ for short). Plus new additions to the apps for the phone (also for Embroidery). I don't see the link for that software yet. ACK -- so much I want to learn. I need LONGER days.

In addition to working on some samples, and teaching a three-hour class, I did manage to get a customer quilt done.

Customer quilt - DONE

I'm off to help set up our booth for the CreativFestival. I know - some of you don't want to go. Well, come back tomorrow and I'm going to give you TEN reasons why you should attend the CreativFestival. GASP!!!!  Yes - TEN reasons. So book one of the upcoming days off and get yourself to the CreativFestival. I also have a quilt show that you should come to - that's on Sunday. Wait for that info tomorrow.

Now I have to play Tetris and try to fit a bunch of stuff in my car. I did get rid of FIVE boxes of stuff yesterday and three bags of fabric that came my way. I quickly went through the three bags - took ONE small piece and the rest went bye-bye! There's a multitude of boxes, bags and other stuff at the front door. It's all destined for a drop-off or pickup. It's quite the staging area. More on that another day. I'm off to pack up the car.

Have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Owen the Owl Show n Tell

Today, it's all about Owen the Owl. He's from the North Star quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. Just thinking that Quilt Market is coming up soon - I wonder what new quilt she'll have this year? However, there comes a time when you say enough is enough! I have quite a few of her patterns and I've made a few. For me - it's time to move on (OK - so there are a few more that I want to make but there'll be no more acquiring patterns from Elizabeth. Not that I don't like her stuff, but how many more of her quilts do I want to make?

Let's have a peek and see what the class did with their Owen blocks.

This first one is from the kit. I know that some of the participants were a bit apprehension about those wings. There's a lot of detail in the wings, but you know what? Once you got started and did Step One, then Step Two, you got the hang of it and it wasn't so scary at all.

Nancy's Owen the Owl
Here's a purply version of Owen. That purple fabric looks like feathers!

Purple Owen the Owl
Here's a fuchsia version of Owen. Oh - I think this one is Lynn's. I recognize the background fabric.

Lynn's Owen the Owl

Here's one more made from the kit. I think we have three people in the class who are using the fabrics from the kit.

Marg's Owen the Owl

Ah - here's the tan background again. So fun to see all the different colors that everyone chose. Even though there are only 6 or 7 fabrics in each block, it was sometimes difficult to find colors in the selected colorways that provided contrast with the background. Let's just say that if you followed the colors in the book - they are just a wee bit off from a clear saturated color. It was a stretch for me to find stuff in my stash and sometimes, well - I just made do with what was there.

Tan background for Owen

Look at the nicely contrasting fabrics in this block. I can't wait to see all of the quilts together. There are over 20 people in this class - hopefully, we'll get to see 15 finished quilt tops????

Owen the Owl 
Owen is making a statement with these colors! I love the blue background and loads of contrast.

Lots of contrast with this Owen
This one belongs to Kathi. Hmmm - I see she didn't use any owl fabric for the body. She mustn't have been able to find any! I'm sure it exists but would it have had the right background color? I love the mottled fabric that she chose for Owen.

Kathi's block
This one belongs to JoMarie. How do I know? Look - Owen's name is embroidered on it. I absolutely love this idea!!!!  It's brilliant. I also love that striped fabric that she used in some of the blocks. It looks like plaid! I know - it's a stripe, but it reminds me of plaid.

JoMarie's block

There you have it - another amazing show n tell from the September class. Hopefully, there'll be more blocks straggle in at the next class at the end of October.

I know it's hard - we get so excited about a new project and then it seems to fizz out as the year goes along. Well, next year - it's going to take less time to assemble our projects. Instead of starting in January, we'll be starting the class in March. We'll meet for four months, then take a break in the summer and then back for three months starting in September with the final reveal in November. We have one of the projects picked for 2020. I'm still trying to figure out the second project. I'll post the information once we get that figured out.

I honestly can't help myself from tidying up. Where I used to be totally blind to all the clutter - now it drives me crazy. The front hall is filled with stuff that is destined to leave the house, plus the car is filled and I have to get it empty before tomorrow. I'll be sharing all that with you later this week. I'm so flipping excited about this "new" me. I told DH that almost nothing in the house is sacred. Only the quilting stuff is sacred at the moment and who knows - the day will come and that will go as well. But not for a long time.

I hope M will appreciate what I'm doing now. When it's time to downsize or when we're gone, there won't be much left for her to sift through. But more on that later - I took loads of photos.

I did manage to get another quilt done. Another HUGE quilt. There are two more large quilts in the pile and the rest of the next batch are lap size - thank goodness for that!

Customer quilt - DONE

I'm LOVING that new phone of mine. That wide-angle lens is amazing. That photo was taken with the wide-angle lens and it's so simple to choose between the various lens. Plus - it's 16 megapixels. It doesn't get much better than that!!!!  I CANNOT believe I said that!!!!  But this wide-angle lens is perfect to get the complete shot when there isn't much room. I should take a picture of the actual amount of space in front of the long arm.

So here's a question for you - do you know what this is?????  It's shiny - looks like a button, but it's not a button. Oh my - it's sitting on some fabric. Now, what could it be? It's wet! Yep - it's a DROP of water. I took that photo with the phone camera. It was just cool when the water hit the fabric so I grabbed my phone. DH - thinks I've gone totally mad. Yep - pretty much!!!!

Waterdrop on fabric

This was the backing for the next quilt. I had to press the seam in the middle and when I added water to the iron, I forgot to completely close the little lid and this water dripped out. Pretty cool.

The next quilt is loaded on the long arm and ready for later today. I have to teach a class this morning, so it will be much later when I get to the long arm.

I'm also trying to finish off some stitch-out samples on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC that should have been done by now! Funny when I wake up in the morning and wonder what I'm going to do that day. OH - there are quilts to trim, a garment to finish, embroidery samples to stitch-out. And so the day goes! I love my workspace!!!! The work tables are filled with what I'm trying to get done. Right now I'm using Studio B as it's easier when I'm also trying to quilt. I think I put something like 17,000 steps on the FitBit!

It was a nice afternoon so I decided to get myself to the voting station. I was going to take Murphy with me. Then I felt guilty leaving Lexi here so all three of us wandered down to the voting station. That was an adventure! Lexi can tell you all about it.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, October 14, 2019

Patty Polar Bear show n tell

It's another day of show n tell! This is one of the three blocks that were assigned as homework over the summer from our ongoing class at The Hobby Horse. These blocks are from the North Star quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. All the animals are super cute and it never ceases to amaze me how a few well-placed seams and a couple of angles and voila - you have an animal. Not just any animal, but an animal that you can recognize. Isn't that wild?

Let's have a peek at what happened. Some names I remember because of the fabrics used in the blocks. Weird how I remember that! The block we're looking at today is called Patty Polar Bear.

First up is Sheila's. She's using a wild print for a background. I LOVE IT. This is my goal (I know I said that sometime last year and haven't acted on it...... yet!)

Sheila's block

The next one belongs to Jana. How do I know? Look at those polka dots! I love that the scale of the dots is all over the place. It gives the block a lot of character.

Jana's block

This one is Nancy's as she is one of the participants who is using the kit. What fun with those snow-covered mountains in the center of the blocks.

Nancy's block
The aqua in this block is fabulous. It makes me think of ice which is fitting for a polar bear!

An icy look to this block

This one belongs to Lynn. I recognize her background and the fact that she used some fabrics from the kit with a different background. That's what I love about these classes - the ideas are great - you get a total range of colors/fabrics so that each quilt will be unique!

Lynn's block

This is Marg's block. She's also using the kit but substituted a yellowish fabric for Patty as she didn't like the white that included in the kit. She didn't like it in the sense that she didn't think there would be enough contrast. Again - that's awesome. If you buy a kit and don't like something in the kit - you're NOT obliged to use it!!! Marg can no longer consider herself a beginner quilter!!

Marg's block

I should be able to remember this one with the tan background, but no name is coming to me! I love the background because it's so different from what was used in the kit and from what everyone else chose. Can't wait to see that one together!

Polar bear block with a tan background

One more Patty Polar Bear with a yellowish tinge to her. It's quite fitting because all the pictures of polar bears that I've seen are yellow, not white! It's funny how our brain works with the colors of some things!

Patty Polar Bear

This block has a nice blue tinge to it. Isn't it great to see all these different colorways all in one place??  It sure gives one food for thought when choosing the colors/fabrics for your next quilt.

Patty with blue
Ah - this would be Kathi's block! How do I know? Because she is using fabrics with the block animal in the fabric. See Patty is made with polar bear fabric? And I think she's used penguins in the centers of the other blocks. Could be puffins - I'm not sure. But it's awfully cute!!!!

Kathi's block

And then there is JoMarie. When I put her block up, we all gasped. OH MY GOD - what did she do???  Can you see in the block what she did?  She had a friend embroider the name of each animal. That's so darn clever - I wish I had thought of it. After all, I do have an embroidery machine or two. I think it's a brilliant idea since these animals do have character. Hmmm - I might just have time to sneak that in???

JoMarie's block

I'm back in the work saddle. I got another customer quilt done yesterday. It's a very pretty quilt and because of my phone with its amazing THREE cameras, I'm able to get a complete picture of it. Yes - the perspective is skewed, but you get to see the entire quilt when I take a picture with the wide-angle lens. OK - I love my DSLR camera, but seriously???  I couldn't have done that as quick with the big camera. Next time, I'll stand near the middle of the quilt.

Customer quilt - DONE

This whole organizing thing has me in a tight grip. I'm trying to get EVERYTHING organized in my life. Isn't that wild? I used to be very organized, then M came along and my brain literally turned to mush for 20 years. Now I'm back!

Technically, on Saturday evening, I'm supposed to look at my calendar and what needs to be done and schedule tasks for the week. I use this white (orange) board to get my quilting organized for the week. Also while I was tidying up, I found this set of day of the week magnets. I put the list of quilts on the board and then assign the day of the week that it'll get quilted. Once the quilt is quilted, I get to erase it from the board and put the day of the week magnet along the top. I love it!!!!

My quilting schedule

Don't worry - there's a whole other list of quilts to be added to the orange board. I'm just trying to get this group done and then the next group goes on the board. I get great pleasure from erasing a quilt from the list! It's weird but as quick as I can finish the board, it's full again! That's a good thing.

Do you remember a while back when I was getting the long arm back up and running that I had "lost" my seam ripper? I almost bought another one but the shop wasn't open? Well, guess what? Yep - I found an extra one in a basket by the long arm! DUH!!!!  While I'm pretty good at knowing what I have, some things slip through the cracks. Thank goodness, I didn't buy another one!

Extra seam ripper

I also did some more tidying in the puzzle room. I don't' have time to share with you today. I'll wait until I've finished with the North Star show n tell. OH MY GOD - I'm so excited. I mean - I made huge headway yesterday. There's still a long way to go in getting our house in order, but it's going to happen. I'm feeling more and more excited every day about how tidy the house is becoming. I can actually find things instead of going out and buying more. Oh, wait for that one!

And I know that once I've been through everything that I'm going to turn around and start all over again. Why? Because it's amazing how things pile up and we can't see them or there are things that I wasn't sure I wanted to keep so I kept them (not much) and I'll decide the next time whether it stays or goes. The next time, it'll take very little time to go through the various areas of the house as things have been put back in a very organized manner and they are staying that way.

Have you noticed one thing? I'm doing great at cleaning out the shed, the garage, then the basement. What's missing?? Oh yes - I'm avoiding this office like the plague! I seem to have an issue with this space. It's like I can't attack it, yet I want to. Don't worry - I'm psyched to attack the room. Now that I have much experience behind me in getting rid of things, I hope that it'll be easy.

I've got a few more things to sell on Facebook Marketplace. I've had great luck so far in that everything I put up for sale has gone. Yeah!!! I've got a couple more things to put up for sale - they are NOT quilt related so I'm sure you won't be interested. And I keep bringing up things from the basement that I don't' want. And there's still a few more things that can come up, but you know what? I'm almost there! Hard to believe, but yes.

I'm not even saying "thank you" to any of the stuff that I'm getting rid of. Nope - it's just going in the appropriate spot and it's gone! Very little is going in the garbage. I'm finding a home for almost everything. Now, if only my Mom had taught me how to do that. M - are you listening?? Keep your stuff organized and get rid of what you no longer need/want! Do it - do it NOW.

There's one last area in the basement to tackle and that's the area where my scrapbooking supplies are. I know - don't even ask. I did a bit of digging in that area yesterday and hope to start unpacking some of the boxes over the next couple of days. I really shouldn't be doing that right now as I have a LOT of work to do. So I really should stop organizing and wait for one of my scheduled days!

How are you all doing in the organizing world?? It's seriously not as hard as I thought it was going to be. It's just a question of doing it! I'm loving it. If you need help in ANY area, let me know! I've got great tips and for a price, I'd be happy to help out.

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! We have so much to be thankful for in our country. The right to vote, freedom of speech, great health care, and so much more. We should also be thankful for our health, family, and friends. I'm thankful to all of you who follow me on the blog. While I write the blog for me, I'm so happy to share my crazy life with you all! It makes life way more interesting!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, October 13, 2019

North Star Show n Tell - The Narwhale

AH -- I'm back. I had a great night's sleep even though I had a wee nap around dinner time. Let's hope that I'm back in my time zone.

I thought I had better get some of those edited pictures up for you to have a peek at.

I'm going to start with the homework from the North Star quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.

This is one of our ongoing classes at The Hobby Horse. There are nine blocks in total and the last block will be assigned at the next class at the end of this month! I put my blocks up on the design wall this morning. Going to be chatting about that in the next class. Hmm - something weird was going on when I put them on the wall. But all is good now.

We had three blocks to do over the summer, but some people needed to catch up on a couple or perhaps some of these are duplicates from what you've already seen, but you'll never know.

Today, it's all about the narwhale. This is Neville Narwhal.

Jana's Neville Narwhal
I remember hers because every fabric has DOTS in it. Well, not quite all. Do you see the block in the bottom right corner, she has narwhale fabric in the center of it!  I love how everyone got super creative with their fabric choices. Just wait for the show n tell over the next couple of days. It's amazing what the students came up with.

I don't remember the owner of this one. Trust me, there were tons of blocks in our show n tell. The aqua colors in this are gorgeous and I love that argyle fabric! The tusk disappears a wee bit so we discussed different ways to make that show up.

Another Neville Narwhal

There'll be more of the homework over the next couple of days so watch for that.

So what did I do yesterday? I started off by zipping down to Ottawa Street in Hamilton. I was looking for two shops in particular. I'm totally blind because I parked practically beside one of them and I didn't see it. I had to look up the address and then realized my mistake. It was closed for the holiday weekend and I mean closed. There were big metal shutters on all the windows. But then it's a sewing machine dealer - big bucks in that store. I don't blame him.

I'll have to go back another time, but that wasn't the main reason I went so I wasn't too upset. Then I had to find the other store that I needed. I walked up and down that block several times. If anyone had seen me, I'm sure they would have thought I was a crazy person. I found the store - there are not many great shopping stores on that street. Anyway, they no longer carried the vinyl that I was looking for.

Back up the street to the first store I went in. Yep - they had marine vinyl and I got a lesson. The vinyl that I thought was marine vinyl was NOT marine vinyl. Now I know what marine vinyl is but I'm not sure I could identify it on its own. It can withstand extreme cold without cracking (I'm not sure what the crack point is on marine vinyl as I didn't ask). Anyway, I came home with a nice selection of different colors of vinyl. I've got some samples to prep and the vinyl looks really nice. I don't think I've ever shared my samples with you. I'll do that someday.

Then I went back to the sister shop (European Textiles) which was back down the block. I told you, I walked up and down that block several times. They had some nice remnants of silk, chiffon, and other oddities. I know - what's got into me?  They also had a lot of quilting fabrics. I glanced at them, got excited about one which I left in the store. When you see it, you'll faint that I left it.

Orange bike fabric

Seriously???  I left that in the store??  Well - it was flannel. I guess I could have purchased enough for a quilt backing, but I don't need more backings!!!!  So I walked away but only after I took a photo!

In total, I spent less than $200 and it was all for work-related stuff. Not bad! The more that I get involved in this education business, the more I want to get back to garment sewing. Fit is a big issue with garment sewing. One of the shop staff provided me with an information card for some amazing classes - basically a certificate at a local college in dressmaking. Hey - why not!!!!  I'm going to check it out. Anyone else interested??? It's at Mohawk College in Hamilton. 

Then I spent the remainder of the day puttering. Studio U and Studio B were in quite a bit of disarray. That was the result of NOT unpacking the suitcase and putting things away properly so the cutting tables were a jumble of stuff. Now all the presser feet and thread are back where they are supposed to reside. Bobbins and stuffing tools are back in their homes as well as the samples. Well, most of the samples. I've unpacked part of the suitcase and I need to finish that today and get it repacked in time to go to the CreativFestival later this coming week.

I don't know what to say about the CreativFestival. It's not what it used to be. I can only hope that this fall is different? I know I'll be there and we'll be showing everyone the NEW Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2 with all its cool new stuff. There are some great classes and I'd love to attend one of the Mary Fons events, but I'm not going to have time for that.

I would encourage you to come. If you don't want to come because of past experiences, then I would encourage you to contact the show owner and explain why you are NOT coming this year. While not attending is essentially feedback, I think it's important to verbalize why you're not coming. An actual voice with a reason says way more than total absence. Here is the link to the contact box. Be polite, be constructive, and be honest! This is the ONLY way, we can get this show back to its total glory.

Oh yes - if you want to get a fabulous piece of artwork, then check this auction out. It's part of the annual fundraising from SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). All the pieces on this link are now $100 to buy. Some of the pieces are amazing. I believe they are 12" square.

On that note, I've got some computer work to do with the morning and then I"ll be back to work for the rest of the day.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sit n Sew day

Yep - I'm late this morning! I was tired yesterday afternoon so I took a wee nap. I didn't think it was a long nap, but I guess it was longer than I needed.

I was tired early as well and thought I could sleep through the night. Nope - I was wide awake at 1 AM. Let's just say that it was late when I finally went to sleep, thus late when I got up!

I really tried to rest with the thought of going back to sleep. Instead of wasting my awake time last night, I did get up after lying in bed for a couple of hours. I puttered around the studio trying to put more things away. It must have had a big impression on me because I dreamt about some of the stuff that I was handling! How crazy is that? I have a couple of ideas on more samples that I want to try. Good grief - I didn't need more samples to make. However, I was looking at all the quilting patterns that I own and trying to figure out how to use them.

It was figuring out how to use them or give them away. I spent a lot of money on them  - I figured out some options. Now let's see if we can put them in play.

We had a great Sit n Sew yesterday. I got to see some people that I hadn't seen in a while so it was a great opportunity to catch up. But we also got work done. I must confess that I didn't get much done - I was in slow motion mode yesterday, but I did get two things done or almost done.

The first thing was to finish the eighth (of nine) blocks for the North Star quilt. See what happens when I don't edit the pictures - you get all kinds of extra stuff in there. Too tired to edit photos this morning!

Meredith Muskox from North Star quilt

I do have several folders of edited pictures to share with you and starting tomorrow, I'll be doing that.

Claudette came with one more rug ready to go. This was made with Looney Toon fabric.

Ball of "yarn" ready for a jelly roll rug

Here's the finished rug. Very cool. If you have ugly fabric, this is a great way to get it used up! I'm not saying that the Looney Toon fabric is ugly - just saying that unless you look real close, you don't see what images are on the fabric.

Jelly roll rug

Linda brought a quilt top that she had been working on here and now it's done. There was a LOT of piecing in this quilt, but it looks awesome. I really love this color combination.

Linda's quilt top

Pauline, who has NO UFOS except the three small projects that she worked on yesterday. This is the first one and it's upside down!!! She added the two borders to the center panel. All that remains is to make the binding and get it quilted.

Pauline's project number 1

She also worked on this. It's the background for some laser cut applique which she'll be working on at home. The applique pieces are laser cut so it'll be a simple matter of placing them and fusing in place.

Pauline's second project

She prepped the third project for applique which she'll complete at home as she didn't bring the fusible with her so she could work on it. I didn't get a picture of that one.

Ronda finished the PRISM quilt top. This was started in a class a while back and once she gets the binding and backing assembled, it's ready to be quilted. The colors are MUCH more brilliant in person.

Ronda's PRISM quilt top

Helen Anne was working on some hand applique - a true UFO project and she's making good progress now that it's become her current project. Diane was working on another huge quilt top with loads of pieces. I didn't get pictures of those projects.

I have a couple of errands that need to be done today. Well, they don't need to be done - OK - they need to be done as I have some embroidery to do and I'm out of fabric for this project. A wee shopping trip is in order. I hope to load a large quilt on the long arm today and if I could get a bit more tidying up done, I'd be happy.

I should NOT have had that nap yesterday. I would have been fine without it. Oh well - that three-hour time change is to blame.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!