Saturday, December 7, 2019

Classes for 2020

Thank goodness, I'm not a rigid planner. I have loads to do and as much as I'd like to get loads done in a day - it doesn't always work out that way and for a variety of reasons. I've loads sitting on the work tables in Studio B and nothing is holding me back other than time.

But I had a dentist appointment yesterday. I walked down - it's a fifteen-minute walk. And even in the snow, it was an awesome way to start the day. So when both the dentist and the hygienist asked me "how were the roads?". I replied that I had NO IDEA. It felt great! I used to have to drive a long way to my dentist and then I realized how much a waste of time that was. Dentists are a dime a dozen out there - do yourself a favor and find one close to your house. You may not be able to walk there (but why not?) but at least you won't spend a lot of time in the car. I did the same thing with the optometrist and my doctor is also within walking distance.

Anyway, they were running late because the appointment in front of me had arrived late. That person was the first patient of the day. Oh great - now the entire day for them will be making up time. When I got back home, I had to shovel the driveway so it was almost lunchtime by the time I was finished and I had appointments to book and other admin tasks and those got bumped.

The quilt is almost finished that's on the long arm, but not quite.

But enough of all that - let's get to the classes for 2020.

These are ON-GOING classes that will last the entire year of 2020. All three of these are lecture-style - that means you come to the store for a one-hour lecture for tips on how to sew the next homework assignment together. We OOH and AAH over the show n tell from the previous month. And there are loads of other tips and topics that get thrown in based on the questions from the group. I've been doing these classes for many, many years and we've always had loads of fun with them. The things we learn (yep - even me - I'm learning from the students) is amazing. Choices of colors and fabrics, different colors for the background, modifying some of the blocks to suit skill levels and even modifying the entire quilt. Oh yes - it's great fun and I look forward to another amazing year.

Oh, Look Fabric (Milton)  - Aviatrix Medallion
Time: Friday evening   7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.
Dates: January 17, February 21, March 27, April 24, May 15, June 26, September 25, October 23, November 27

Aviatrix Medallion by Elizabeth Hartman

This is a medallion style quilt. You start with the block in the center and build around that block. The finished quilt is 80" by 80". The quilt in the picture was made with solids, but you could make it with anything. If you want to use up your stash, this would look amazing as a scrap quilt. Make it totally scrappy, make it monochromatic. Check out this link for more color options.

What you'll learn:

  • A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Working with templates (WAIT - there's only a few and I'll have alternative directions if you can't stand templates).
  • Tips for making an 8-pointed star (that's the center block)
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips on coping strips

This promises to be a lot of fun and if weekend classes don't work for you, here's a fun class on a Friday night.

Be sure to call the store to get yourself signed up.

The Hobby Horse Quilt Shop (Georgetown)  - Celebration
Time: Saturday Morning (either 10 AM or 11:30 AM - it has been determined yet)
Dates: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 29, September 26, October 24, November 28

Celebration by Quilt Moments

The Celebration quilt is a Block of the Month. A very cost-effective block of the month - the pattern is less than $20. HEY - this is also a medallion quilt, but with a much different style. The quilt is 73" by 73" (as shown in the photos) or you can add a border to make it larger.  The blocks are simple and if you check the website (scroll through those photos), there are many more colorings for this quilt. I see lots of different color combinations with this one and yes - there'll be lots of ideas for making changes to the quilt.

What you'll learn:
  •  A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips for squaring up blocks and resizing blocks
  • Tips for joining rows/columns

The Hobby Horse Quilt Shop (Georgetown)  - Summer Moon
Time: Saturday Morning (either 10 AM or 11:30 AM - it has been determined yet)
Dates: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 29, September 26, October 24, November 28

Summer Moon by Carrie Nelson

This is also a Block of the Month but in a book format. There are 24 different blocks and they come in three sizes. It'll all be explained in class! This is also going to be a design class - don't like a particular block? Then make one up. Don't like the layout? Make one up! The quilt on the book cover is 70" by 78".  Use a specific fabric collection or break out of the box - make it monochromatic - make it scrappy.

What you'll learn:
  •  A lot about color - not the theory stuff, but the real stuff that quilters use every day!
  • Great tips for improving accuracy - pressing, cutting and sewing. 
  • How to change up a pattern for greater efficiency - be that the cutting instructions or the sewing instructions.
  • Tips on choosing fabrics that are NOT like the pattern
  • Tips for squaring up blocks and resizing blocks
  • Tips for designing your own quilt

Be sure to contact the store to get your name on the list. NOTE: The classes at Oh, Look Fabric starts in January, the classes at The Hobby Horse start in March. All of them finish in November.

OH - I can hear you - "I don't want to start another project". I get that. But if you've been good at finishing up things, then why not reward yourself. If we only work on the old UFOs, that gets boring very quickly. We need something new to perk us up and everyone, no matter how experienced you are - will learn something from these classes. I say it all the time, but I learn so much from the students. I'm shocked sometimes! Collectively we have amazing ideas and the sharing just blows me away. Besides, we should all be learning something new every day to keep our brains active.

So get on the phone and sign up today. Then start digging through your stash to find a BRAND NEW colorway that you've never done before. Don't just make this quilt like the one on the cover - make this quilt YOUR OWN!!!!

There are two more ongoing classes that I'll share tomorrow - those ones will be virtual sew-alongs for those that can't get to the shops. I haven't figured out the format for them yet, but I've got until tomorrow to figure that out!  It'll be likely through e-mail or maybe a Facebook group.

I was expecting a package, but I kind of forgot about it with everything going on. DH arrived home at about 4:30 and parked his car in the garage. A short while later, I happened to be in Studio U and looked out and there's my package lying in the driveway. No knock on the door, nothing. OH - I did get the e-mail notification. Good grief - - that's a dump delivery if ever I saw one. It's very heavy and awkward so not like someone could just run off with that one, but still. Did you notice how clean the driveway is? Except around my car in the background which I didn't clean. But we have the afternoon sun and I LOVE IT!

Package dumped in the driveway

I managed to get four more bags ready to fill with scraps for the pet beds. And it sounds like I'm not the only doing that. I know there are others out there that are recycling the stuff from your studios!
Kudos to you all!!! We really must learn to reduce our waste! Anyway - there are now just five bundles left to serge up! At least for this go around - there'll be more to make later, but I'll have lots to fill with scraps from now to the end of the year.

Five bundles left to make into pet mats

On that happy note (oh yes - I've got great ideas for a litterless Christmas - those are coming up this week and some great ideas for gifts!), I'm out of here. A wee bit of a fun day - a road trip! But just for one day and I've got the MASTER shopping list for everyone in the car. No deviations!

And I've got FIVE new color schemes for these quilts to come up with! I'd better get started!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, December 6, 2019

Giving to the pets

At one point, not long ago, I said that I wanted to get all those scraps (destined for pet mats) cleaned up by the end of the year. I'm not sure if that's exactly what I said, but I would like to get rid of them. End of the year? I'm trying.

To backtrack - several years ago, I decided it was a good idea to make pet mats using up the scraps from cutting and trims squares - not HUGE hunks of fabric as some are want to believe! Simple scraps. I put a plea out to the quilting world for scraps. Oh boy - that was a mistake - I got everything but the kitchen sink.  NOTE - this is NOT a plea. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER do that again. If I want something, I'm going to be extremely specific about what I want and even then, people hear what they want to hear and totally ignore the original request. But I digress.

SO - a huge pile of bags and boxes starting arriving at my door or at guild meetings and before I knew it, I was saddled with a huge mess. I've been whittling at the pile over the years, but nothing serious. With my little decluttering tirade, I'm tackling this mess. There are five zippered IKEA bags of scraps (all the zippers are closed and not bursting), as well as five big tubs (which I plan to get rid of when they are empty).  The IKEA bags are in the cold room and the tubs are under the stairs in the basement. It's all tucked away, nice and neat, but I want that space. I don't want to put anything there - I don't have anything to put in those spots. I just want the areas to be clean.

I also inherited a LARGE, heavy box of decorator samples. The world is FILLED with these samples. I can't even begin to imagine the waste these samples bring to the landfill sites. It's HUGE and all because we want some pretty fabric in our houses.

Through the years, if I didn't have pillowcases, I sewed some of the samples together and made the pet mat to put the scraps in. Well - it's time to clean out that darn box.

The box with the decorator samples

I sorted through everything - mostly by size. There were a few odds and ends that I had thrown in the box as well.

The samples are sorted

Some of the samples were too small or too large to make one pet mat on their own. They had to be joined and then cut down. But there was very little measuring involved here. Soon I had three bundles that after being sewn together would make two pet mats per each bundle.

Bundles to be serged together for pet mats
Then before I knew it, I had six pet mats done - well the bag is done - they still need to be turned and filled.

Six bags for the pet mats - DONE
 I found several pieces of yardage. Some were 1-meter cuts and some were larger. Hmm - I don't really need these and I know of a group of women that use pretty much anything so I put these in a bag (that I pulled from my "easy to assess" bag storage area) and put the yardages into the bag to be delivered later. These would make good tote bags or gift bags or toiletry bags - I'm not sure what they make. Not my concern. Consider this GONE!

Yardages of fabric
I found this lone piece of orange fabric. It's not big - about 12" square. Because it's orange, I decided to keep it so I need to find a use for it. Any suggestions??? I might some machine embroidery on it. But what to put on it?????

Orange fabric sample that I'll keep

I also found this table topper. It's cut out, but not hemmed. I decided to keep that as well - only because I want to practice making a rolled hem. It'll be perfect for that!  Should anyone want it when I'm done - you're welcome to it!

A table topper piece to practice a rolled hem
I had even stuffed a couple of my own pieces in this box. This was something that M pieced years ago. I think it was to be a mat for the dogs or a quilt for her dolls. Oh well - it's now one side of a pet mat. Seriously????  I didn't get the least bit sentimental. Why? It's nothing special. I took a picture  - I'm blogging about it and acknowledging it, but then it's time to move on!! I know she won't be broken up about it. And now some kitty cat is going to have a nice bed to sleep on. The bottom line - this piece is now going to be USED. Let's move on from being sentimental. I love you M and you're welcome that I'm cleaning up the mess now.

M's piece doll quilt is now part of a pet mat

Once I got all the small pieces used (because I did!!!!),  I was left with two piles of samples. The pile on the right which I'll show you in a minute and the pile on the left. The pile on the left is the perfect size to make zippered pouches and I know someone who would love them to do just that. So that's in the pile to be delivered. Yeah!!!!!

Two piles of samples left
The pile on the right are HUGE pieces. Mostly florals - does anyone still decorate with all those flowers????  These must be old - I can't imagine having this in my house. Oops - sorry if you have florals in your house. Couldn't the prints have been funky geometric prints? Then they would have made great modern totes or something. Anyway - I'm digressing again!!

I counted these - there are 71 HUGE sample pieces (about 24" square). For the moment, I've put them back under the stairs. At some point, they'll also be assembled into pet mats unless someone out there is desperate for huge floral samples. For the moment, I now have a nice collection of pet mats that I can fill.

HUGE sample pieces

I was in desperate need to make some bags as my scrap box on the cutting table is a tad overflowing. Just a wee bit.

The scrap box on the cutting table 

And the serger waste tray is jammed.

The serger waste tray is jammed

But look at the table from when I started. By the way - I started on Giving Tuesday right after all the pillowcase sewists left the house. All that's left is my orange scrap and the piece for practicing the rolled hem. All that technically got put back in storage were those big pieces, but they are organized and I know what's there. Everything else got dealt with!!!  Now if that doesn't excite you - well, nothing will. I'm jumping up and down knowing that one more piece of that mess is under control.

I don't know why, but I love taking scraps and making something from them. It's just my nature and I can't help it. I'm sure my family roots has a HUGE influence on me. This is one "set" of pieces that went together to make three mats. After I sewed them together, I realized that each row would make a good-sized mat (folded in half) so I cut them apart again. There's no finesse to these mats which honestly is a great thing. I don't worry about matching colors - I don't worry about matching sizes (if it's too big, I serge off the excess). I don't worry about pressing or flipping seams. In fact, it's rather therapeutic.

One of my wonky pieces made with lots of scraps

I seriously doubt if the cats are going to care what they get to sleep on as long as it's something fabric related.

Here's one more scrappy panel that I made. Again - I realized after I serged it together that each row was good on its own. I even looked at it before I serged it together. Once it was together, I cut it apart. DUH!!!! There are days!!!!  Hey - did you notice that I made a 9-patch??? I made a tote bag (years ago) with that blue floral. I have no idea why - it's ugly as sin, but it's a great tote bag. There are no scraps left. I used them all and that feels great!!!!

One more wonky piece

All that remains are these 7 bundles to serge together to make pet mats. Once those 7 bundles are together, I'll have lots of pet mat bags to work with and that'll make it easier (and faster) when I start going through the tubs and bags of scraps to get some pet mats made up before the end of the year. I have a lot of other stuff to do before the end of the year, but seriously - I have to get this under control. I'm very careful now about what I wish for!!! These bundles are NOT scrappy like the previous two, so they should be very fast to serge together.

Seven bundles to sew together

In case you're wonder what Studio B looks like these days (it doesn't take long for me to fill those tables), it's a mess. But these are things that I'm currently working on. Yep - all of it.

I took two pictures to show you. This one is boring.

The work in progress tables
But with the new camera (in my Samsung Galaxy s10) and the wide-angle lens, you get a shot like this which I think is way more exciting. The mess is actually not that bad - there are currently five machines on the table. I haven't had a chance to put them away yet and I might not until I have to as I'm using them. Well, I'm using the two sewing machines and one serger. I could put the other two sergers away.

The table from a bird's eye view

I also emptied an IKEA bag (filled with projects) that was stored upstairs. It's time to get working on those UFOs before the end of the year. If I could STOP doing all this paperwork, I might get to the sewing machine. Today is a sewing day and a quilting day. I have a custom quilt on the machine and I need to get that off today.

I found this pile of fabric in the IKEA bag. Why was it there?? I've no idea, but I sure could have used that when I was making my North Star quilt. Sigh......   That's why things shouldn't be taken out of their home place - like the appropriate basket of fabric. Anyway - it's on the cutting table so later today, it'll go into the appropriate fabric basket. Gosh - I wondered why I had nothing in this color range. Because it was hiding somewhere else!!!

Bundle of fabric found!

Don't forget the craft sale at The Hobby Horse. I sorted through my finished things and took up some quilts and zippered pouches and other stuff. Here's one of the quilts that went up. It's a mermaid panel with a side border. It's got a hanging sleeve so could be used as a wall hanging or you could use it for a quilt. It's up for sale!!!  Quilted on the long arm by me.

Mermaid panel for sale

And a couple of zippered pouches that I made.

Zippered pouches

The sale runs today from 10 AM - 7:30 PM, Saturday during store hours and Sunday during store hours. Be sure to check it out. YES - you could make your own gifts, but you know you're not going to get them done - go and see what's available.

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

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Going paperless

It was a very quiet day around my house yesterday. Of course, I had work to do. I had lots and lots of paperwork to get done. I've started sending out e-mails with dates for next year's events. Like the Sit n Sews and that list of people is already long - I can't add anyone else to the list at the moment. Sorry!

But watch the blog because there'll be upcoming events that you can participate in no matter where you live. Those have to be up by the end of next week.

I do have to laugh because I sent out a couple of e-mails with pretty clear instructions in them. Not one single person responded the way I asked. Holy!!!!  I'm trying to not have to go back and forth to clarify things as it just takes up more time. But I ended up doing that! Sigh.........

The timing couldn't have been better for this pillowcase class at Oh Look Fabric. Yep - I had a pillowcase class to teach on Tuesday evening. The night of our pillowcase marathon. There were two students in the class - one had sewn years ago and the other had never touched the sewing machine. By the end of TWO hours, they had each cut (with a rotary cutter) and sewed their pillowcases - French seam and all.

Happy pillowcase owners

I love teaching this class. At the end of the class, the students are totally amazed that they have made something using a sewing machine. How can that not make you happy????

The previous week was the final class of the Learn to Quilt class - also at Oh Look Fabric. We had two students in that class. This is Maria's quilt. You can't see the ORANGE binding in the photo as she didn't have the right color of thread to stitch it to the front. But it'll have a nice pop of orange around the outside.

Maria's quilt

This quilt belongs to Ashleigh.

Ashleigh's quilt

Hers was completely finished. They did an awesome job!!!!!  The next "learn to quilt" in a four-part series will start in March at Oh Look Fabric. Andi's just waiting on me to give her dates. What else is new?

This was my setup for part of the day yesterday. Playing with the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. Well, technically not playing - I was finishing off a sample. And testing something for someone who just bought a Designer EPIC 2. The instructions for the project were on the iPad and I was writing out a list of comments on the computer. ZERO paper involved.

My setup for testing and proofing project instructions

The more I do this, the more I know I'm going to be able to give up paper. Now there's going to be somethings that I still prefer paper for. I do LOVE my notebook for writing things down - To-do lists and notes - I know I could do them through an app, but honestly, I know I'm going to forget about them. I'll get better. Rome wasn't built in a day!!!

Today is going to be a run around day. I've got a bunch of stuff to deliver and I need to get it all done by 4:30 when I have a conference call.

Don't' forget that there's a craft sale at The Hobby Horse this weekend. It starts TOMORROW - that's Friday and runs through to Sunday. Scroll down on that link to get the hours - they're open until 7:30 on Friday. There's going to be loads of samples for sale (including some of mine) and other gift items that have been lovingly made by the staff. Be sure to check it out because you know that you're running out of time to get the gifts made that you said you would.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Giving Tuesday

When I booked the pillowcase sewing day a couple of months ago, I had NO idea that I booked it on Giving Tuesday. Yes - Giving Tuesday is a real day! Trying to counter all the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's even a website for the day!  Who knew? Anyway - it was a perfect time and I think I'm going to book the date for 2020 to do the same. In case you want to book the date - it's December 1st. It's already on my calendar.

Not only was it a day of giving, but it was a day of sharing. We had many laughs yesterday and it's a day I'll remember for a long time. And even better, I (and several others) was able to reduce the size of the stash by a wee bit.

So how did this all come about? A while back, I received an e-mail from Claudia, who is the Coordinator for the Toronto Chapter of Ryan's Case for Smiles. She must have found my blog and noticed what we've been doing for the Community Projects with quilts. She asked if we wanted to make pillowcases. I did ignore the first e-mail. Not really an ignore, but rather no time to answer it or think about it. She e-mailed me again. Hmm - maybe we can do something with this. I booked the date, sent out a notice and I got volunteers.

While I did go through two buckets of fabric, there were fabric donations from Nancy, Rose, Ronda, and Sophie. Jan donated some thread. What a team! Any of the fabric that was donated had to be washed and ironed. Hey - there's only so much prep work that I can do by myself. Then I proceeded to cut 100 pillowcase kits. Once I got into the groove, it wasn't so bad. I ended up with two boxes of prepped pillowcase kits. I had to wash more fabric to help match up some towards the end.

I had Studio B all prepped - two sewing machines, three sergers, two ironing stations, a station for cleaning up the serger tails and several for pinning. The first person arrived shortly after 8 AM and the rest came in when they could make it. I believe there were 12 of us involved in the day.

So what happened?? Have a look....................

It took a bit to get people settled into their jobs and they were told they could switch, but no one did. Once all the stations got filled and no person had to move around, we became a machine!

Here's the pinning area.

Pinning the bands to the pillowcase bodies
Here are the two pinners. This is Sophie's hands. And lovely hands they are!

Sophie at the pinning station
Loretta was the second pinner.

Loretta pinning the pillowcases

We had two sewing machines going. Nancy, Rose, Diane, Ronda, and Shelly manned the sewing machines at various times during the day.

Rose is manning one of the machines
While some of them had serious faces when I snapped the photos. HEY - there was no time for posing with a smile. We had a job to do and if you didn't keep up, the next person was waiting. It was hilarious. I'm not sure anyone even took a bathroom break! But Nancy obviously had time for a quick smile when I snapped this picture.

Nancy at the other sewing machine

Shelly - we would have been lost without her. She was the serger supervisor and well, she's a jack of all trades. Once we had two pinners, the two sewing machines couldn't keep up, so I whipped out another sewing machine for her to operate. She was tucked into the corner with a sewing machine AND a serger. She was happy!

Shelly with TWO machines
Before the pillowcase was serged, the body was pulled out of the band and pressed. Here's John (Rose's husband) doing the honors. He's got a pretty mean ironing hand! DH was shocked that we had husbands here. Perhaps he was a little jealous??? I loved it because as Rose finished sewing, she tossed the pillowcase across the room to John so he could turn it! Very efficient!

John turning the band inside out 

There were three sergers going. Here's Diane at one of the sergers.

Diane serging the pillowcases
Here's Shelly who had nowed moved back to the serger. Great - that thread stand is centered right in the middle of her eyes. I couldn't have planned that any better (or worse).

Shelly serging

So here's a better picture. As I said - we all had many, many great laughs.

Shelly has a good laugh at something

After the pillowcases were serged, they went to Kathi, who tucked in the ends of the serger thread. OK - so that damn efficient Shelly did that too! Of course at the beginning, until all the stations were manned - some of us had to do several jobs. Diane was sewing, then serging and did a lot of pressing as well (as did Shelly).

Kathi - tucking in the ends of the serger thread

Once they left Kathi's station, the pillowcases were turned inside out. Here's Ronda doing a magnificent job of that.

Ronda turning the pillowcases inside out

Then they came to me - I was the final presser! I folded the pillowcases and they got put in a pile on the table. Of course, there's no picture of me pressing because I was taking the pictures.

Here's the main set of work tables. Notice that there's nothing extra on the table. We were very focused.

Pretty intense assembly line

As we worked that pile of pillowcases grew. First, there were five.

Five completed pillowcases

 Of course, at any given, the actual number was always higher because there were many in various stages of completion around the room.

Then there were 45 completed pillowcases. I think we hit 50 right around lunchtime.

Forty-five pillowcases are completed

 By this time, we were a full complement and everyone had the full hang of their job. The rest went fast.
72 finished pillowcases

Then there were ninety finished pillowcases.

90 completed pillowcases

As we drew near the end, we decided to follow the last pillowcase through the various stations.

Here's Sophie opening the LAST pillowcase kit.

Opening the last pillowcase kit

It got pinned and was waiting to be sewn together.

The last pillowcase waiting to be sewn

Here's Nancy sewing up the first seam on the band.

Sewing up the first seam on the pillowcase band

 I think it went back to Loretta to pin the second seam of the band. That's a tricky one so best to pin it to avoid any issues. 

Pinning the second seam on the pillowcase band

Rose then took over and sewed that second seam.

Rose sewing the second seam

Ronda turned the band inside out.

Ronda turning the band inside out

Over to John to give that band a press.
John pressing the pillowcase band

 Then it got bounced to Shelly for the serging.

Shelly serging the last pillowcase

WAIT!!!!!  Shortly before this point, we took a count of what we had done. I knew we had 100 kits, but Pat (from Orillia) had given me a bag of finished pillowcases and I thought there were 17 in the bag. Rose brought two completed kits and we had pulled one more kit that Rose had brought so we could make the total donation equal 120 pillowcases. It was discovered that there were only 16 in the bag that Pat had given me. So we very quickly had to make up one more pillowcase BEFORE I could press this last one! It was hilarious as most of the machines had already been turned off. HEY - who turns off a sewing machine? I leave them on all the time. Well - when I'm working. I guess they thought we were done!

Anyway, we were soon back on track and at last, I could press the LAST of our 100 pillowcases.

That's me pressing the LAST pillowcase

There it is - the 100th pillowcase in one day. FOLDED and FINISHED. We finished at 1:30 PM.

The last pillowcase - DONE

There they are - all 100 pillowcases that were sewn in one day (actually, we sewed 102, but who's counting).

100 pillowcases

OMG -- it was the BEST day ever!!!!  A HUGE THANK YOU to all who came out or donated items. The day was perfect!!! One that I'll remember for a long time.

Here's the gang (or most of us) in front of the total donation of 120 pillowcases. Thanks to Pat for donating 16 and Rose for her two pillowcases and with our 102 - that rounded out to 120.

What a TEAM!!!!!

Claudia, the rep for the Toronto Chapter of Ryan's Case for Smiles showed up and she took all the pillowcases with her. They'll be donated soon to the local hospitals in the GTA.

Pillowcases packed up and ready to go

I want to thank Claudia for being persistent. It was so wonderful to be able to give back to the community in this way and knowing that we'll bring a smile to a child who is stuck in the hospital. Well, it doesn't get any better than that.

After everyone left I took stock of the situation. You see, Rose and Nancy both brought kits. And I have a tub of fabric to be cut. I counted - there are TWENTY-FOUR kits ready to go for the next session and I must have enough fabric for another 25?????  That's a huge start for the next session. I did say June, but I like the fact of doing it on Giving Tuesday.

Pillowcase kits and fabric for the next round

As I was working at the cutting table this morning, I saw this magnet on my board. Actually two magnets. I think they are very appropriate. While I'm won't forget self completely, I look at this process in several ways.

Magnets on my bulletin board

Think of your stash. Think about how long it takes to make a project. A LONG TIME. Think about how much longer you're going to live. Do you have time to use up all your stash? Of course, you don't! That's how I'm now looking at my stash. There's way more fabric there than I'll ever use even if I sewed 100% of the time until I can no longer sew.

I have certain parts of the stash set aside for the community quilts that we're working on, but I've decided to dig through my stash and remove what can be used for pillowcases. I'm not going to go through the entire stash NOW, I'm going to work my way through it. But this is a FAST - I mean FAST way to make a dent in your stash.

So as Christmas is approaching, why not think about how you can give back to your community and DESTASH at the same time. What I love about yesterday - it was the most fun I've ever had to get rid of fabric. I could have donated it, but big deal. Surrounded by friends and sewing and destashing - it just doesn't get any better than that.

Here's your homework assignment. Think about your stash. If you have pieces of fabric that would work - (check these guidelines), and you do NOT want it, think about donating it for a cause like this. If the print is directional - you need 43" of fabric before washing. That will yield one band and one pillowcase body. If the print is non-directional, then 1 meter (39") will yield one body and one band.

Even better - why not volunteer a couple of hours so you can see your fabric being made into pillowcases. I heard so many "oh my - that's so cute" during the day, I thought I was going to have to frisk everyone as they left to make sure that no pillowcases went missing. I'd be happy to help out. Got a group and have no space? Talk to me - I could provide space if you're interested.

I must say that after everyone left, I kind of felt empty! It was such a whirlwind day! I can hardly wait until the next time, but until then, I'll be destashing and cutting!

Again - a HUGE thank-you to everyone who came out yesterday and those who donated finished items or supplies. All of it was very much appreciated!

Have a super day!!!!!