Wednesday, September 19, 2018

On your mark, get set, GO!


There's nothing like a good workout at the gym to get those creative juices flowing. I cranked out 32 K this morning on the spin bike and I feel great. I think the more we learn to push ourselves, the more we believe in ourselves and the more things are possible.

This morning I thought I would share my new toy with you. Joyce - please do NOT laugh. I've resisted this tool for a long time. I truly felt it was wasteful, too slow, expensive, and well, I wasn't interested in getting one.

I've chatted with many people over the last year or so and had the good fortune to borrow one of these tools from time to time over the past year.

What is it???  It came in a box like this.

I think you know where this is going.......



I find this inside that brown box. This box is much more exciting.


GO! cutter
I love that it's super easy to set up. Take the cutter out of the green carrying bag. Open the two sides and you're ready to go. Couldn't be easier than that.  Sorry for the mess on the cutting table - there's a LOT going on right now in the studio.

The GO! cutter is set up in mere seconds and ready to cut

I'm fortunate that I'm able to borrow a fair number of dies so I didn't have to go out and make a huge investment in dies right away. Yes, the cost of the dies can add up so if you have someone you can share them with, that helps a lot. I was sharing a cutter, but that was becoming a nuisance to carry that back and forth. Now we can just share the dies (although I've got a wee little stash of dies already).  A HUGE THANKS to accuquilt for their part in making this a reality.

Why did I break down and get a cutter? I teach applique and I want the students to be able to get right to the stitching as that's the critical part of having beautiful applique. Now I can prepare kits of pre-fused shapes for them to stitch. Isn't that a brilliant idea? BTW - I'm teaching an applique quilt this weekend at The Hobby Horse so if you want to be the first one to dig into my pre-fused shapes to practice your stitching - you'd better sign up fast! The quilt is a Kimberbell pattern called Hello Sunshine. 

I fused a piece of Steam a seam to the wrong side of a chunk of fabric. I just grabbed something that I knew I wasn't going to use in a quilt. (or so I thought!). I cut the pre-fused fabric into strips that coordinated with the size of the first die I used - the heart. There are three sizes of hearts. I fan folded my strips and I got two big hearts in mere seconds. Now, how cool is that. I also learned that it's better to fold the fabric sides together, not the Steam a Seam side! Oh yes - I'll go into my hints and tips in another post.

First two shapes cut on the GO! cutter

Here's a shot of running the die and the fabric through the GO! cutter. You need a plastic mat to put on top of the die and the fabric. The mat protects the cutting blade, it provides a cushion to make the right thickness as it goes through the cutter and keeps the fabric from shifting. Anyway - you NEED that mat. Give the handle a crank and the die rolls through the center and you get shapes on the other side.

The die is partially through the cutter

One of the other reasons, I wasn't keen on the die cutter was the waste. So once I had cut my two large hearts, I cut a medium heart and then I managed to cut three small hearts. This is what was left of my strip.

Leftover after cutting my hearts


I cut a few more strips and cut more hearts in various sizes.  
More hearts in various sizes

I had this scrap leftover. And I threw it in the garbage. I thought to myself who would keep this small of a scrap or what would you do with that. So yep, I threw it in the garbage.
Scraps from the die cutter went in the garbage

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!  My pioneer spirit just couldn't let me do that. There was still some fair sized pieces. Not big enough for the smallest heart, but I have other dies.

I pulled the scrap mess from the garbage and I grabbed a due that had circles and leaves/petals on it. I cut and cut and this is what I had leftover. There was literally SCRAPS leftover.  Nothing of any size was left. 

Now this is what I call scraps
I know - you're asking yourself why I would do that. Well -- because. I like to make stuff from what others would throw away. I thought the circles would be great to offer the applique class to practice their stitching on. Also, the leaves/petals will be good for practicing the points. They are small - so what - a point is a point. 

This is what I managed to cut from the smaller than a fat quarter chunk of fabric. I didn't count how many there were of each shape. I also used a large flower shape which will also be good for applique practice.

All the shapes were cut from LESS than a fat quarter

Now I have to find a place to store those shapes. I found a tin, but I'm going to put each shape into a plastic bag so they are easy to find.
Temporary storage for my applique shapes


Here's a picture of the three dies that I used to cut those shapes.

Dies used to cut the shapes

I have a lot more dies to try out. Now it's just to find the time, but I'm rummaging through those fabric baskets to find other bright colored fabric that I won't likely cut up to use in a quilt. Oh boy!

Now as I was cutting those shapes, TWO other uses for those shapes came to mind. Not one, but TWO. It's just too easy for those creative juices to flow at my house. My brain never stops and even when I'm supposed to be huffing and puffing on that bike in the morning, my brain is still working in the background thinking up things to make.

Will I share those two projects with you? I will when they get done!  I need a few extra colors before I can start either of them, but I can't wait. There are a few deadlines ahead of me at the moment. This week is shaping up to be totally crazy.

I had better write those ideas down because I've been known to forget things! Not only are there those two projects, but there's a magazine quilt as well that is made using the die cuts. You'll have to wait a bit to see that one as I haven't even started making it yet, although the fabric is in the studio.

The GO! cutter comes with a die that cuts a large square, a small square and two half square triangles. I didn't think I would use that die, but you know what? This will be perfect to cut squares to add to the applique practice kit.

Hmm - a matter of fact, I've just come up with another idea. And I might put together kits so that the students can try the same shape, same color fabric, but use different stitches and different colored threads. OH YES!!!   Anyone want to buy a kit? I've been wanting to do that forever but didn't want to take the time to prep the pieces. Well, that won't be a deterrent anymore.  Bring on the applique kits!!! HEY - I have to make this very type of thing for my other job as a freelance educator for SVP (Singer, Viking, PFAFF).  OH -  my to-do list just got a whole lot longer.

And just like that, I have a new project to keep me entertained for a long, long time.

On that note, I'd better get myself moving for the day.

Have a great day!!!

Ciao!!







Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Learning to make do


When I first started to quilt, my local quilt shop was a 40-minute drive away. I'd think nothing of hopping in the car to find the perfect fabric for whatever project I was about to embark on. Then I was even luckier when another shop opened up a mere 5 minutes away. Well, it was nothing for me to hop in the car or sometimes my bike and go check out the latest and greatest of whatever I needed. I was spoiled, to say the least.

Last year, the shop that was 5 minutes away closed. The owner wanted to retire and spend more time with her grandchildren. At first, I felt let down - I was going to miss chatting with the ladies in the store. I was going to miss zipping over at a moment's notice to grab some more fabric.

But in hindsight? This was a very good thing. While I do miss the lively conversations with the staff, I don't miss all that EXTRA fabric that I was buying! I would go in for something and come out with stuff that I didn't need. Although I do have to say that in the last year, I was getting much better. If I needed a quarter meter of something, I could go in and buy the quarter meter and get out with only that. It took a lot of discipline though!

Now when I need something, I'm shopping at Chez Elaine. I don't have the time to drive 40 minutes one way to look for fabric so I try to time my purchases at that shop when I'm teaching so I kill two birds with one stone. This is how I've been shopping lately.

I go into the stash room and I dig out the appropriate basket of fabric. I tip in out on the work tables and I search. There have been many times when I think to myself that this is NOT the exact fabric I want, but you know what? I make do with what I have. Saves time and money. Can you believe how rational I've become? I'm shocked but shoot - I've spent a lot of money on those baskets of fabric and I had better use it up or at least make a good attempt.

This is the neutral basket. There's NO printed muslin anymore, there isn't a lot of light "solid" neutrals anymore, so that might go on a future shopping list, but for the moment I'm good. Notice that the fabric is still spilling over the top - I don't need to buy more!


Basket of neutrals


Here's the brown basket. It's definitely spilling over the top. I rarely pull this basket out from the shelf. It's way down low. I guess I don't use brown often, but yet look how full that basket is. That's obscene. The purple basket is even worse. I rarely use purple and it's tucked in the bottom corner.


Brown fabric basket
And you'll notice that I use the term "brown" loosely here. Some of those could technically be in another basket but for the moment, this is their home. I've used this system for storing my fabric for many, many years and it definitely works for me. The brown basket looks much neater now that I sorted through it and picked out some fabrics and straightened it up. Since it was hard to get to, I just shoved browns on the top and not neatly either. I'll show you what I pulled in a minute.

Yesterday was Monday sewing and I got a lot of stuff done. I'm very happy with my progress, but when I look at that list of UFOs for last year and this year, well - I've got a long way to go. It's going to be crazy to get all that done. What have I been doing all year??

I did get a few more enders/leaders done. I'm almost through the stack for this step. Then a LOT of pressing to do and I can move onto the next step.

Enders/leaders
 I tackled those Farmer's Wife blocks. Seems like they will never end. I managed to get six of them completed. Yes - the one on the top left looks a bit wonky with all those different fabrics, but I'm working with what I have. Only to come home and find more of that light fabric in the basket of Kanas Troubles fabrics. DRAT!!  Well - I think I'm going to leave it like this. Who the heck is going to notice once it's all together? And that's the pioneer spirit in me. Got to start thinking of making do, not making perfect.


Six more Farmer's Wife blocks

I counted the remaining blocks hoping that somehow more of them were completed. Nope after counting twice, there are still eleven blocks to finish. Drat! I was hoping to finish the blocks by the end of September, but there's only one more Monday left. I can't do 11 blocks in one day. But there are two sit n sew days. OK - my goal is to finish those blocks by the end of the month. Then I've set a goal of working ONLY on the UFOs for the remainder of the Mondays and the Sit n Sew days.

Eleven blocks left
Eleven blocks to go. BUT - we should be celebrating the fact that ONE HUNDRED blocks are done. That's super exciting and I've decided to put them all into one large quilt. I'm good with that.

Next on the list of things to sew was a couple of blocks for that little autumn quilt that I'm supposed to have ready for my Mom on Saturday which is the first day of fall. It's not going to happen. I got two blocks done, there are 9 in total.

Two blocks for the mini autumn quilt

I'll do what I can on this but it's sure not going to happen for the weekend. At least the winter one is done. It just needs a new hanging system on the back so all of them have the same hanging system. I'll work on it. I pulled fabrics for the next two blocks. I pulled from my scrap boxes since the pieces needed are very small.

I got back to work on the scrap quilts which are part of the UFO lists. There's still a ton of work to do to get all three of them in the "to be quilted" pile. But I'm doing what I can.

I got the third top together as much as I could. I ran out of the light sashing strips. The bottom three rows are together and part of the sashing for the top four rows is there, but I had used up all the fabric that I had with me. 


The third scrappy quilt

When I got home, I emptied the Monday sewing bag and did a LOT of prep work so I'm good for next week and probably the week after that and the one after that!

I dug through the neutral basket. ACK! There's no more of those muslin printed fabrics. Oh well - I might as well use the "good" stuff. Why am I keeping it anyway? So I found three fabrics (one was plain muslin) that coordinated with what's in the other quilts. I cut 18 strips in total and hopefully, I'm good to go.


Light neutral strips for the remainder of the sashing and the inner border

While I was rummaging through that neutral basket, I remembered that I needed some more neutrals for another project. I pulled some that'll have to work. They're a wee bit on the yellow side, but gosh - if I don't use them now, I won't ever use them. They're with the pattern and hopefully used by the weekend!


Neutrals for another project
I have to say that when I first started to quilt that I had some fabrics that were just too gorgeous to use. Isn't that just silly? Now, I have no qualms about cutting ANYTHING up. Anything that's in those baskets is up for grabs. I don't even hesitate anymore.

This is what I selected from the various baskets of colored fabrics for the borders of the scrappy quilts.  Oh - the brown fabrics didn't get included in the photo.


The fabric that I pulled for the borders of the scrappy quilts


And now those fabrics are cut into strips and ready for the next sewing day. I probably have way too many strips, but that's OK - I have TWO borders to make. And if there's any left over? Well, I'll find a use for it or it goes into the scrap boxes.

Strips that are cut for the borders of TWO of the scrappy quilts

Here's what I've chosen for the border (top blue), binding (bottom blue) and the backing of the first of the three scrap quilts. Remember there are THREE scrappy quilts - all the same. Each one is getting a different border treatment.

Borders, binding and backing for one of the scrap quilts

So not only am I getting things finished, but I'm also trying to use up my stash by making do with what I have. It's actually very refreshing to do that. I love going through the baskets rather than just looking at them in a nice neat pile on a shelf. By the way, they are in a nice neat stack that is EASY to move anywhere. Everytime that I go through the baskets, I get to see what I have. I get to pet it and enjoy each one as many of them have a memory attached to them. As I use something up, then I make do with what is left. And there's going to be loads of ugly scrappy backings made with some of that stuff. But only after I use up the yardage I have for backings. In a few years that is.

I had the opportunity to buy some FQs the other day. I had six in my hand. I put them back. A fat quarter doesn't work for me anymore especially if I don't have a use for it. Let's just say that I'm PAST - long past being a fabric company marketing department's target customer. I'm very discerning in what I buy and how much I buy. They won't get me sucked in!

On that note, there's a ton of stuff to do today.  Oh wait - before I go, I wanted to share with you the events coming up this weekend. Sorry - they are local to me since that's the information I have.

There's a LOT going on. September is just a crazy busy month. Hopefully, October will be a little quieter????  I can't go to any of these events as I'm booked solid this weekend.

Yorkshire Rose Quilt Show  - September 22 and 23 

Quilt X - September 21 and 23 (if you didn't see the mini quilts that were at Quilts at the Creek - they will be displayed at this show)

Elora/Fergus Studio Tour - September 22 - 23

International Plowing Match - September 18 - 22

Color Improvisations 2 - an International Exhibition of contemporary quilts - ENDS September 23


That's a whole lot of exciting and very interesting stuff going on.

Oh - don't forget that there's the Charming shop hop this week as well. It starts on September 20 and runs through to the 29th. Twenty stores. The cutest little metal charms (for bracelets or necklaces - I need to show you what I did with some of these type of charms that I've collected in the past) and some exciting blocks to make a cool quilt. Check it out!!!

And NOW on that note, I'm out of here. Loads of paperwork to get done this morning (I might go to jail if I don't get one done TODAY!) and then I have to hit the long arm, the embroidery machine and the sewing machine this afternoon. And a class tonight. It's at Oh Look Fabric - rope bowl making!! That's always a super exciting class. If you haven't come to one of the classes, you should! It's a lot of fun and EVERYONE goes home with a finished project.

A quick aside - it's garbage day today. I always put out our compost bin every week even though there's ONE tiny bag in there. We really should use our black composter in the back. It's recycling day and we have that huge bin which is picked up every two weeks. But it's only 1/3 full, so I wait until it's full before I put it out. What do you do??  It seems a waste of resources for the truck to lift that thing when it's only 1/3 full, but if I put it out next time, it'll likely be full - or at least fuller.

Now I'm gone,

Have a great day!!!!


Ciao!!!

OH -- I'll show you tomorrow about that new tool I got. NO time this morning.





Monday, September 17, 2018

Motivational Monday update (or not)


I'd like to say that I have lots of pictures of stuff that I've done to show you, but I don't. I do have pictures, but no finished show n tell.

I did get the top and back done for the magazine quilt and it's hanging on the long arm waiting to be loaded later today. That was good.

I got something done for the upcoming QUILTsocial blog and all the pictures are taken and need to be loaded to the internet. That was good.

But I can't share them with you yet.

However, I do have a couple of things that I've been doing that I can share. I did manage to get all the blocks together from those mini half square triangles. For some reason, the numbers worked out. I don't think I threw anything away (god forbid!) and I didn't make more. How many blocks are there? Well - you'll have to wait to find out. But there's a magic number that means there will be nothing leftover and I like that. How that worked out is beyond me.


Mini-blocks are assembled and pressed, ready for the next step

I managed to get the ends sewn on these last two border strips for Vintage Moments. I even started to pin one of them on and I see it's going to take some creative pinning so I left it for later today. That poor quilt has been laying on the table for weeks and I'm going to need the table soon so I had better get it finished rather than tossed in the corner.

Final borders for the Vintage Moments quilt

Notice those rounded corners which means I have to make bias binding. I'm OK with that. I'm going to use the striped fabric that's in the stars so it's all good.

I also managed to get some more enders/leaders done on the black/white quilt. I cut up the centers from that red that I found. I think I have 27 red centers. I might just cut a couple more bright colors and make the color of the centers varied. Not sure - will cross that bridge when I get to it.


Enders and leaders


Then I dug something out that I received a couple of weeks ago. It required the use of Steam a seam. Hmm - a wee bit of a while since I used Steam a Seam and I managed to goop up my iron pretty badly. Although you can't see it in the picture, it's a mess.


Gooped up iron

And now the iron is all clean again. The bottom is scorched, but it's clean.


Nice clean iron


But my cleaning towel is a mess. This isn't the result of just this last cleaning. It's been used a lot to keep the iron clean.


The cleaning towel is a mess

I'm going to share with you what I was working on last night and this morning, but I want a completely separate post for that so hopefully tomorrow. What fun and something else to collect. Oh my!

I've been a wee bit bad lately as I've been buying fabric. I don't need fabric. But two of the three purchases I made were necessary. So that's a NEED versus WANT.

I needed sashing for my 150 Canadian Women and this is what I ended up with. I wanted the same sashing for all the blocks and I knew I didn't have enough of anything so I got this on the weekend. It's a Northcott Toscana. That Toscana collection is a really good blender! Works for many things and a huge variety of colors. Fortunately, it's easy to get as the Hobby Horse carries the complete line. Thanks, Gail!



Red fabric for the sashing of 150 Canadian Women

 For the curious amongst you, this is what was in that package I received the other day. You probably don't recognize this, but it's the same line of fabric that I'm making my Farm Girl Vintage from. You see, at the last meeting or perhaps it was the May meeting, Lynne asked me if I knew what I was going to do with my blocks. I ask each of the participants every month. Well, I hadn't really thought about that. And I had given ZERO thought for the fabric for borders/backings, bindings, etc. I only had the FQ bundle and there wasn't going to be much of that left.

The collection is several years old so I knew it would be hard to find it. However, I did find it at a store in the US by searching the collection name (Farm Fun) and the designer (Stacy Iest Hsu). The window for that shop has been open on my iPad for MONTHS. I never hit the PAY button.

But we had Claudia from Fabric Please! (a mobile quilt shop in a trailer) as our guild speaker this month and she had some FQ bundles of this collection. I asked if she had yardage. Oh yes - and so I went to her website and I ordered this. Not the same ones I was going to order from the US, but I was OK with that. I was only ordering what I could get my hands on. So instead of supporting a US-based quilt store, I supported one of my local quilt shops and I got FREE shipping to boot (only because of the size of the order). That was a happy discovery and I'm a happy camper. Now I have to figure out how to put those blocks together by the end of November. ACK!!!  Here's a link to the Fabric Please! website for Farm Fun in case you want to get your own FQ bundle. Notice that you won't find the bottom two fabrics that I bought because I bought it ALL!

Fabric to finish off Farm Girl Vintage


Then I had a weak moment. I bought this FQ bundle designed by Carolyn Friedlander. I don't need it, I have no plan for it, but I liked it. So I bought it. I swear - strike me down! But I've been behaving myself a lot, so a little digression every now and then won't kill me or the bank. Now I've got to figure out something to do with this.

Carolyn Friedlander FQ bundle - a WANT, not a NEED


It's going to be another silly week. For some reason, I seem to have tons of errands that need to be done. I also have deadlines with the long arm and with the sewing machine. It's hard to get any work done when you're not in the house or you're reading a book. But that's OK. I'm reading two books - one non-fiction and one fiction. Neither is a page-turner so hopefully, that won't interfere with this weeks workload.

It's Monday today and that means SEWING DAY. I've got my bags packed (that was done last Monday after I came home from sewing) and I'm ready to go, but not before the girls and I have our separate walks.

Have a super day!!!!

Ciao!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Don't try this at home.....

Yesterday was an exciting day. Time to get back to regular classes at The Hobby Horse. While I've already taught at Oh Look Fabric this September, I got to see the new classroom at The Hobby Horse. New laminate floors and painted walls. It's so much brighter in the classroom. I love it but it took some getting used to. If you haven't signed up for a class, you should! Although lots of them are full or close to being full. Those two stores are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum in view of what product they carry! I love it - the best of both worlds!

In case you're wondering, YES - I finished that book by James Patterson and Bill Clinton - The President is Missing. Like all books, some great reviews, and some bad reviews. I came home from class, installed myself in the backyard and promptly had a nap as it was very relaxing (despite having two dogs romping and playing and trying to lick my face). Then after my nap, I finished the book. OH - it was very good. And I LOVED the "Presidential Speech" at the end of the book. Lots of good advice in there. And that's all I'll say.

I was so focused that I don't think I looked at my phone once yesterday so if you sent me a note, or Facebook or whatever, I totally ignored you. I LOVE that. I love technology but I also hate it. It's such an intrusion on our lives and I like to control when I let it intrude on my life. I was at the car dealership the other day for a quick service and I overheard a dad ask his two young sons if they would like to trade their van for a truck. The oldest boy (about 6) said ONLY if it has a TV. So much for conversations in that family. Well, maybe they have a cottage and use it for drives to the cottage. Still - I absolutely hate the idea of a TV in the car.

So what shouldn't you try at home? Well, it had to do with the long arm - of course.

I was working on a quilt. I had measured the quilt that was almost square. I loaded the backing (OK - so I didn't measure this very carefully) and after measuring the front, I loaded the front. However, it became apparent as I was approaching the last row that the backing was NOT long enough. The backing was barely inches bigger on all sides (if I had loaded it that way which I did not). Note to self - MORE CAREFUL MEASURING in future. But this is why we ask for 3 - 4 inches on ALL sides. Anyway - totally my fault at not realizing that the backing was so tight on all sides. 

There was a wee bit extra on the sides and I didn't need much. So I loosened the quilt and with scissors, I cut off the extra on one of the sides. The extra was 2 inches so not huge.

Two inches of backing was cut from the side
 I wasn't in the mood to completely remove the quilt from the frame so I unpinned only one edge of the backing and sewed the new piece on. How did I do that? A chair, a sewing machine, and pins!

I pinned the extra bit to the end of the backing. Using a sewing machine on a rolling chair, I sewed the extra bit on. Not the easiest way to add some length to the backing, but it worked. This is NOT the first time I've had to do this. Acutally it's the second. I think the other quilt was my own.

Sewing a wee bit of extra to the backing


Then I repinned the backing to the leader. You can see below that even with the extra added, that I had ZERO room for error.

Zero room for error here
The way the computer does the pattern, it almost always overshoots the bottom edge of the quilt. By how much is the question. In this case, after a wee adjustment, it overshot about 3/8" inch which meant that it didn't touch the pins. Thank goodness because that would have been a whole other story. 

JUST enough room to finish the pattern
Note to self - in future - make sure you measure the backing BEFORE it goes on the machine. There's nothing like having to take a half hour out of the schedule to fix something. And customers - please be generous with your backings. Not overly generous, just generous - 3 to 4 inches all around. Makes my life a whole lot easier. ACtually, I think that's the biggest mistake I see from anyone who gives me a quilt (if there is a problem) - it's usually the backing is a wee bit too small. While I can quilt a quilt with a smallish backing, the process takes more time and there is NO guarantee that those edges will be quilted like they could be.

Anyway, the quilt is gone. No one would know what happened to it as the backing already had other seams in it. All is good.

 The other day, I decided to tackle one of the boxes that's been sitting in the office for years. I know that it's filled with quilt related paper.


One of about 10 boxes of paper from the office
 I opened it up. Oh - it's not even full. That's encouraging.


The box isn't even full - yeah!!!

I unloaded the paper from the box and made two piles.

Two piles of paper from the box

I managed to quickly browse through the two piles. Gosh - there are photocopied articles here - I NEVER do that anymore. Anyway, I managed to get through some of the piles and kept a few things or moved them downstairs. I managed to throw some of it away and then I couldn't take it any more and I shoved it all back in the box and put the box back on the shelf. That's my problem. There's a lot of stuff that I want to keep, but I'll never use because it's shoved in that box.

I guess I need to set up a filing system for this kind of stuff. I guess what I need to do is to open ALL those boxes and start sorting them into piles. Once they are in piles, I can deal with each pile. When is DH away again? I like to use the kitchen for my sorting.

I was also going through the pantry in the kitchen. I think I shared that with you. Well, I'm still not done sorting the stuff on the kitchen counter so I must get that finished - hopefully, today. Look what I found! Some magazines on digital photography. Look at the DATE!!!!!  I'm guessing that I don't need to keep these - the buyer's guide from 2002!!!!  I'd say that the technology has changed somewhat since then.


Digital photography magazines from 2002

I maanged to get a bit more work done on the latest magazine quilt. As a result, I got a few enders/leaders on the black/white project done.

New ender/leader project
 Nope - I'm not quite done with the green/white/yellow one but they all need pressing before I can move on. Haven't had time to do that yet.

Here's the rest of my haul from the used book sale. None of these were on my list and FOUR of them are new series. Now, why do I do that to myself? Three of these are those fluff novels, but they're fun to read and don't take a lot of time. Oh well - I love to read and I'll get through these.

Novels from the used book store


My object was to reduce the number of books on the book shelf, but it seems that in order to do that, I have to increase it as I had to find some of the missing books - well books that the library didn't have. As much fun as it is to buy books, there is no need if the library has them. That's my first resource and why wouldn't I? It's FREE. I shouldn't have as large a list in the future as the newer books the library has. But by the time I get to the books, they could be gone.

I have TWO quilt related novels that I'm looking for. If you have them and I could borrow them, that would be awesome. I read fast and can have them back to you in a flash. Only those that are local so we don't have to ship. Unless you want to sell me the book in which case we can work something out.


  • Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards
  • A Stitch in Time by Ann Rinaldi


Oh shoot - here are the other fluff novels that I'm looking for. If you have them, I'd like to beg, borrow or steal them from you.


  • Motif for Murder by Laura Childs
  • Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews
  • Fatal Feng Shui by Leslie Caine
  • How to Know a Heart Back Home by Rachael Herron

Some of these books are available on Amazon, but most are not or they are a ridiculous price which I won't pay.

I did unpack that package that I received in the mail, but I think I'll go into that story tomorrow.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!  Got one class to teach today and I've got some prep work and I need to hit the sewing/embroidery machines this morning and later this afternoon.

Have a super day!!!!!

Ciao!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The book sale


There's nothing like an AWESOME used book sale. And this one that supports the Mississauga Symphony is an AWESOME book sale. Today is the last day. 

First, I have to correct a mistake that I posted yesterday. I mentioned that there were TWO used book sales this weekend. In fact, there are two sales and they used to be on the same weekend. However when I went to the second location, NO book sale. What? I checked the web and drat! That other book sale was two weeks ago. Hmm - better get on top of that for next year. 

Anyway - I arrived at the book sale a bit early as did many other people and they were starting to scan the tables the moment, the covers were off. 

The book sale is held in the aisles of a shopping mall which is a great idea. Although I didn't look at anything in the shops. I was focused. I thought about taking a bag with me, but I didn't but I should have. That meant I was limited in what I could carry and that was probably a good thing. 

The book sale at the mall
I started off in the Mystery section. And on the second box, I found a book that I've been searching for for months. Seriously? The book has a completely different look to it than the rest of the series I've gotten my hands on so I didn't recognize it at first. Holy - this must be a rare book or something. No one has the darn thing. Loads of the others in the series. Trust me - I checked several times to make sure that this is the right book. I felt like shouting or telling someone, but I held back - barely!


Exit Lines by Reginald Hill
No matter - one more off the list. I only found one on my list and I wasn't the only one there with a list. Many others had lists and some were just buying HUGE quantities of books. They had grocery carts filled with books! Most novels were $1 so you could get a LOT of entertainment for a very cheap price. 

I also managed to find some quilt books. Thanks to Peggy for leaving those behind for me. She was there the night before and didn't see these. But I think they have extra books under the table and bring them out when there's room on top. These were $2 each. 

Quilt books from the book sale
In total, I got 10 books for $17. A pretty good deal. 

The nice thing about the book sale is that the books are separated into their respective genres. Mystery, romance, fiction, and then the non-fiction is also separated. They have EVERYTHING including puzzles and games. A great place to visit if you're into books. What doesn't sell, gets packed up and is then brought out next year. 

The bad thing about the book sale is that all the authors are nicely placed in the boxes, but not in alpabetical order so you do have to look at every book. Who is the most popular author in the mystery section?  James Patterson. But since he's sold 375 MILLION copies of his books worldwide - that makes sense. 

Speaking of James Patterson, a BAD thing happened in the afternoon at my house. I got a notification that there was a book waiting for me at the library so I hopped on my bike. I had two books to return and I picked up the new book. Oh boy - The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. It's over 500 pages and I read 200 pages last night instead of sleeping. I couldn't help myself. A very different view point and I'm still not sure what is going on - it's all "classified" so far. 

If you're looking for a GOOD and fast read, this book about finding something that you're passionate about is a great book. As I mentioned yesterday - not everyone can have the dream job if such a thing exists, but it's finding the passion in what you do that makes life interesting. This is one person's journey. He's a talent (sports) agent. He goes from bored to excited by looking at things differently. It's a good read and something we really should all be aware of in our daily existence. 



The Spark - a great read on passion in the workplace or life in general

 I received a package in the mail yesterday. For tomorrow, I'll try to open that up and show you what's inside. I don't normally order fabric online, but this was a special case and you'll see why when it's open.

Fabric arrived!


The other thing I did last week (I know - it was a bad week for getting stuff done in the studio!) was visited this show in Burlington at the Art Gallery of Burlington. The show closes tomorrow and I wanted to go. Thankfully I put the appointment in my calendar and forced myself to respect that appointment. Otherwise, it wasn't going to happen.

This is a copy of the catalogue from the show. Well worth the $10.

Fibre Content 2018 catalog

 First I had to deal with the pay parking terminal. I started off by putting my money in and next thing I knew, it literally spit my money back out. Wait a minute! What's going on? I was light on change and at first, I thought the darn thing ate my loonie, but no - it spit my quarter out and the loonie was sitting in the return tray. Then I read the screen - I have to put my license plate in first, then the money and that worked much better.


The parking attendant!

This is the front of the show and that's all I'm going to show you from the show. There were all kinds of art - thread painting, rust dyeing, quilting and some very clever pieces of art.

The front of the show
A couple of things that I liked about the show - they had an interactive exhibit as you walked up to the gallery. This was great as you're not allowed to touch the actual art pieces, but you can touch these small pieces that were created by some of the same artists. You can flip them up and look at the backs. That was fun and loads of techniques were exhibited.


Interactive exhibit side one of the hallway

Interactive exhibit side two of the hallway
 It's a very clever display and I think that would be awesome to have at a quilt show.


I popped into the gift shop to have a peek. WHOA!  I love these racks. Wouldn't that be awesome to have your extra wall hangings in something like this? And large horizontal ones for the bigger quilts? Like they have at museums? That would be fun, but not going to happen unless I won the lottery last night!


Storage for the paintings in teh gift shop


I even saw some bicycle tea towels but did not buy them. I already have some from this maker which I haven't used yet. No need for more. I must dig those out and use them. I took the picture of the red one, but I see in the photo that there were several black ones on the hook below.

Bicycle tea towels in the gift shop
This was the sidewalk outside the Art Gallery that led to the lake and a beautiful bike path. Could you walk across that in a straight line or would you follow the curve? I think you know what I did!  Yep - I followed the curve!


The curvy sidewalk

Since I was so close to The Quilt Store West, I decided to stop in. I had never been to this store before. It's got a great selection - lots of embroidery designs and other stuff. I did pick up a couple of things - NO fabric though.


The Quilt Store West in Burlington


So you can see that I've been doing everything but sewing. I did get some sewing done yesterday and I have about 2 hours work left on the magazine quilt and it'll be ready to quilt. I'm behind in the long arm stuff, but that will have to wait for the upcoming week. I have a busy weekend - three classes. And when I get home this afternoon, I must NOT touch that book. I must get that quilt top finished. 

Have a super day!!!!

Ciao!