Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Who turned up the heat?

Holy -- this heat is getting even crazier every day. As everyone says, it's not the heat but the humidity. Monday wasn't a very humid day, but yesterday? That was humid. Last night was the first night that I came back from the walk a tad damp. Well, much damper than usual. I honestly don't mind the heat and the humidity - I don't go running a marathon in it by any means, but it's a great excuse to do things slow and steady!

I spent a good part of the day working on the customer quilt, and it's done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I'm thrilled with the quilting, and it's all trimmed and ready to pick up.

When working with more than one color, it's always a challenge to figure out what thread to put on the back. And when there's high contrast from the front and the back, that's another challenge. 

Here's what the back looks like. 

The back of the quilt

Can you believe that I used WHITE thread in the bobbin when I quilted the white areas?? It was a thin thread, so it doesn't show up at all. Then I switched to a weird blue color when I did the black and the blue on the quilt. And that backing also helped a whole lot. It's a very busy print and hides a lot of the thread. My kind of backing!!!

I was hoping to get another customer quilt done, but I was tired when this quilt was done. I did have to get the straps for my backpack quilted, so I loaded that. A small piece at 20 by 10 inches. So it took no time at all. It always looks ridiculous to put something so small on that 14-foot table. The pattern isn't quite to the same scale as the original quilting, but who cares. These straps are only 2" wide, so I doubt anyone is going to notice. 

Quilting the backpack straps

I didn't cut the foam piece that's in the middle. I just loaded the entire big piece, and I'll trim it later. 

So the laundry basket is packed. And everything fits in the one basket. It's heaping, but it's all in one basket. I loaded my bike INSIDE the car last night. The big question now -  is there enough room for my sewing stuff? That car is small. I'm sure I'll figure it out. 

I downloaded this badge from The Big Canada Run. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but NO - it's not a mistake. This is in honor of us Canadians who are always saying SORRY. 

First badge in The Big Canada Run

Information about various cities is posted as we make progress across the country. When I saw this picture, I had to share it with you.

Do you know where this was taken???

It's part of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia. What's hilarious is I know this stretch of road - very well. 

I've cycled the Cabot Trail three times, and I feel that I know the road quite well. This particular stretch is the descent on Smokey Mountain. It doesn't look like that big of a deal, but this is a STEEP descent. I took a video of it on one of my descents. Here's the link if you want to watch.   There are THREE mountains on the Cabot Trail. Anyway - it was a "fun" ride - so much fun, I did it three years in a row!!

Well, I've got to run. Walk the dogs, load the car, and I'm out of here!!!

Have a great day!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Shopping chez Elaine

We had another great Monday sewing session via Zoom. Honestly, I don't know what we would do without these Zoom session. The fact that we get to see each other and keep up to date with families, solving the world's problems, our projects, and anything else that comes up in the conversation is AMAZING. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have the Zoom sessions. I'd feel so isolated.

While Zooming is NOT the same as seeing each other in person, it's the next best thing, and quite frankly, I feel like we're in the same close contact that we always had. The best thing? No packing up of a project, no hauling the sewing machine around, and we get to see everyone's sewing spaces. I LOVE Zoom.

After that was over, I was back to the long arm. I had to take a customer quilt off last week to get the magazine quilt done. That quilt is back on the long arm, and I made great progress with it. It's a custom job, so that takes a whole lot more work than doing the edge to edge. I did a LOT of ruler work on the quilt, and this is what part of the border looks like.

The border on a customer quilt
Most of the ruler work is done. This part is the most intense, and I have one small part of the border to finish this morning. Then the rest should be relatively easy. To entertain myself once I've figured out how the quilting should go, I listen to an audiobook. That makes the time pass because once you know what you're doing, it's just time to get it done.

I'm listening to one of James Patterson's books. It's from the Women's Murder Club. I'm way behind in those books. The thing with these books and I'm going to say ALL audiobooks by James (and his co-authors) is they add sound effects and music. That has scared the crap out of me on more than one occasion. I'm thinking,  what is that noise?" And then I realize it's on the audiobook!! Definitely adds ambiance!

My goal is to get that quilt off the machine today. Well, I have to. I was hoping to get another customer quilt done by tonight, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. That would be really pushing it. And I still have to quilt this piece of fabric.

Cycling fabric to be quilted
So you remember at the last retreat (just a few days ago), that Ronda and I were working on our backpacks. We were both hyped up, and well, it just wasn't a good day to make backpacks. I was waiting for some fabric to arrive so I could quilt some shoulder straps. That fabric came while I was away. Thanks to Fabricland in Vernon, I got my fabric. I wasn't thrilled about the shipping costs. $15 to ship when the actual price was $3.19. Granted, they had to buy the bubble mailer at $3.00. Still - I got my fabric, and let's just move on!

Getting this piece of fabric quilted for the straps is my priority today. Well, after the customer quilt comes off the long arm.

Why the urgency? Well, it appears that we're going on retreat again! YES - we leave tomorrow. We booked this retreat last year. It was the one last week that got shifted around. I know that I should have quilted this fabric before so I wouldn't be rushing around on the day before we leave. I didn't, so I'll just live with the consequences. I may be working on the backpack at the next retreat!

The laundry basket is almost full. I hope to add the backpack and one other small project. Then that's it! I love the laundry basket idea. Thanks, Tish! It's working like a charm and NO panic packing.

Speaking of the laundry baskets, I just hope that one day SOON that I can clear all the projects that are on the work tables in Studio B. Why do I not seem to be getting ahead? I'm not getting behind, but seem to have trouble getting some small stuff finished up. Well, in August, when I have a totally blank schedule, I hope to get some of those projects done.

When I'm back next week, I'll be working on some great ideas for upcoming blog posts, and I can't wait to get started on that. I've got a list, and I've got some supplies stockpiled.

Here's one advantage of having a well-organized studio space. Well, not just the studio itself, but all the supplies. I needed some things to finish up my secret project. You'll get to see the project by the end of the month, so a wee bit more patience is required.

I needed some bells and ribbon. I found those within mere seconds because I knew exactly where they were, and ALL of both items were corraled entirely in their respective containers.

My "purchase" of ribbon and bells

Hmm - could this be a Christmas in July project? You never know..............

Then I needed some buttons. I pulled out the big jar of buttons and started the search. I didn't get through the buttons yet. That's for later today.

Looking for buttons

Here's a wee trip down memory lane. This button came off a couch that I had years ago. MANY years ago.

A button from my old sofa

And this button? It's practically an antique. Well, not really, it's a button I used when I made myself a jacket when I was learning to sew. Now that was MANY, MANY years ago.

A doggie button

OH MY GOD --- Thank god for shoes. I just ran in the house to hide from Murphy. I hit her toy box, full-on with my toes. If I didn't have shoes on, well, that would NOT have been good.

I still have some computer work to get done. More quilts to design - I have THREE quilts that need some work in EQ8. Then to try and track down fabric for some other quilts. Yes - the follow-up for all this takes a LOT of time. This is where an assistant would be excellent. Now that I've cleaned up my filing system, it's a lot easier to keep track of what's missing. But still takes time!

Here are the blocks for Summer Moon. This is one of the ongoing classes that would have been held at The Hobby Horse. There was a TON of flying geese in the homework this month.

Block One

Block Two

Block Three
 Each one of those blocks needs to be made in three different sizes. And then, a frame needs to be added to each of the blocks. We're now halfway through the blocks.

Here are all my large blocks with the framing on. The book says to put framing on four sides. Some of the strips were teeny tiny, so I made them larger and added to only two sides. Works for me.

My summer moon large blocks

These are the medium blocks. There's a white strip around each of those as well. The frame allows all the blocks to become the same size.

My medium blocks

These are the small blocks. They also have a frame around them, but part of the frame is pieced. There are four different framing types. We're working on the first one.

My small blocks

 I love the look of my blocks so far. I'm using scraps from a magazine quilt. I only hope that I have enough fabric. But it's still current, so I should be able to find some if I need some. I think I'll be OK. And I can always find a creative way to add more.

On that note, I'd better get the day going. I've got a lot of paperwork and quilting to do. Thankfully, except the backpack, everything is prepped and ready to go for the retreat.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, July 6, 2020

It's a good day!!

I just don't do well with lack of sleep. I had TWO naps yesterday. The first was in the gazebo and lasted a couple of hours. At about 4 PM, the gazebo gets sun, and at about that same time, the lounger on the deck is now in the shade, so my second nap was there. I had a great sleep last night, and I'm ME today! Not Miss Grumpy Pants!

Since I was in the gazebo a bit earlier than usual, I had to turn my chair. It's so protected by trees - it really is a lovely spot. I can't imagine a backyard without a gazebo.

The view from the gazebo

I'm almost caught up with all the stuff that was due for magazines. One last submission to finish off this morning, and then I'm caught up! 

Well sort of. I'm working with a couple of new companies, and I've got some follow up to do. Where's my fabric for the next project, which is due July 23?? It should have been here by now. Thankfully this one is small, but it still needs to be sewn. 

I don't know about you, but I feel that I spend a LOT of time following up with people. Oh well - it's all in a day's work. 

Here's the really good news. The customer quilt is done! And once I got the pattern back the way it was supposed to be with FIVE repeats, not six, it worked like a charm. Can you believe that this is this customer's FIRST quilt? I think she said she has sewed before. The seams were terrific, and the quilt was pretty much square.

Customer quilt

I find that when I'm out shopping - OK -- so I was never much of a shopper, and with the pandemic, we haven't been shopping much, but the couple of times when I have been out lately, I'm so rational that - well, I'm not sure where that came from.

I did buy ONE frivolous thing the other day. I saw this bicycle fabric. I may already have it, but I thought I deserved one small extra thing. I saw loads and loads of other prints that I would have loved to buy. Then I thought of all the fabric that is being transferred to the Community Projects pile and thought that buying more wasn't a good idea. I'm scaring myself!

My bicycle fabric

There were some gorgeous Halloween fabrics. I did not cave in. I already have many Halloween quilts that are finished or need to be completed. And I have a LOT of Halloween fabric. I do NOT need more.

It was Little Bear's birthday on July 4. He was a lucky dog that day and got to go for FOUR walks. The darn little guy is so cute!!!  And he sure looks happy. I wish we lived closer to him. Oh - and then we could see M more often as well!!!  He's now four! My, how time flies.

Little Bear on his birthday

I seem to get all this homework done, and then I never post it. So here are my blocks from the Vintage Christmas quilt that I finished yesterday.

Mitten block

Christmas Star block

These blocks are super cute, and I can't wait to get them all done. We've made 24 blocks of 42. We're going to have to start thinking about how to put the quilt together! I like that we're taking our time to make the blocks. It would get boring if we just zipped through and made all the blocks at once. Besides, it keeps the group guessing as to which blocks I've chosen for that week's assignment.

I don't think I posted the blocks that I've chosen for the homework for Christmas Fig, either.

Tree of Life


I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these blocks. There are 20 in total. Only six left to sew. And they are HUGE. I see two quilts for this project.

But the best news? I'm up to date! I think I have one more set of instructions to write up, and then I'm up to date.

You remember that we signed up for The Big Canada Run? It started on July 1. A total of 8,000 KM, and it's a team effort. We're four in the group, but so far, only numbers from three people are logged.

Can you believe how far we've walked so far???

Yes - three of us have already logged 175 KM since July 1!!!  That's how much we've walked in FIVE days. I think I logged 65 KM of that 175 KM. And in this heat? What's wrong with us? Well - you walk before it gets hot, and then you walk once it starts to cool down. It's no big deal.

I see a fair number of people out walking both in the morning and the evening, so that's nice. Some are regulars, and we say Good Morning every day. Others, I don't see every day, but we're a friendly group, and everyone says HI. That's a great thing! We need more community connections!

I see that it's almost time and I'd better get moving. It's Monday sewing today, and I also have another quilt on the long arm that I NEED to get done by tomorrow.

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, July 5, 2020

The full moon

I'm grumpy this morning. Very grumpy, and it's attributed to the fact that I'm tired. I'm tired because I didn't have a good sleep last night. Did it have anything to do with the heat? Oh no. Did it have anything to do with the full moon? Oh yes!

Just before I went to bed, I saw a headline about how the full moon affects animals. In the middle of the night, I could hear Murphy pacing. Upstairs, downstairs, upstairs, downstairs - it was insane. I finally got up and put her on her leash, and she went in the backyard for a pee. She still wasn't happy, but she did settle down eventually, or I fell asleep and just ignored her.

Good grief - what's going on?  I can hear DH making a ton of noise. Apparently, there's a bird in the bedroom. I wonder if that was the source of Murphy's unrest?  Not sure how the bird catching is coming along - I'm keeping clear of it.

If that were the only reason for the lack of sleep, I might be OK. But I didn't go to bed until quite late, which is very unusual for me. That was totally my fault, and I learned a VERY valuable lesson.

I was working on a giant quilt. It's almost 100" square. I don't dislike big quilts, but they can be tricky to load, and they can take a long time to quilt. I had to go back to it several times yesterday as I had a few other things to do.

There were 9 rows of a somewhat dense pattern. Because of the size of the quilt, each row took a long time to stitch out. I was just advancing the pattern to the LAST row. Things had been going well, and I don't know if I touched a wrong button, but the pattern disappeared, and the computer rebooted. This is NOT a good thing when you haven't saved the pattern. AH -- you've got to be kidding me!!!!

I hadn't taken a photo of the settings. Each pattern gets sized uniquely to the dimensions of the quilt, and I had relied on the ruler in the computer to do the measurements for the width. I restarted the computer, reinput the numbers, and advanced to the last row. All of this took a long time because of the number of stitches involved. At last, I reached the last row, and I'm ready to stitch.

Then after a bit of stitching, I realized that something wasn't right. I took the stitches out and fixed the positioning. Then I started stitching again and realized that something else wasn't right. OH NO!!! More ripping. Then I realized what I had done - I had inserted SIX patterns into the length, NOT five like the original was. I knew that, and I swear I had inserted five. Guess what? I didn't look - I just touched the button five times. I'm such a dolt!!! I must have touched that button one extra time and didn't realize it.

By this time, it was quite late, and I just couldn't deal with it - I'll finish ripping this morning. Before I turned everything off, I saved the new design, which is now the same as the original. Trust me - I'll be double-checking before I start quilting this morning.

I learned two lessons - that is, to create the pattern and then hit SAVE so that if something goes wrong, I can just reload the pattern. Once the quilt is quilted, the pattern is no longer needed, and I can delete it. OR take a photo of the settings with the number of designs and the sizes. Then I'll be good if I need to restart.

I'm laughing now, even though I still have that one row to go. Through the day, yesterday, I was so careful with that quilt - watching for the bobbin as one bobbin didn't do one row. The last row arrives, and everything was looking good. Then BAM -- everything quickly went to pieces. But all is good now.

So I'm grumpy from lack of sleep. BUT this means I'll be due for a well-deserved nap in the gazebo later today.

As a result of all that babysitting, I didn't get much else done. I did get the two quilt blocks sewn that needed to be made, but I didn't get the write-up done. That's a job for today.

The other day, I was chatting with Ronda about some kits that we had to do, and perhaps we could take one to our August retreat. That could work. She suggested the Santa panel that we both purchased. I said that I wasn't sure where it was, but it was likely with the rest of my kits. She pipes up that as long as I didn't move it, it was on the bottom of the shelf in the stash room. I checked! She was right!!! 

Kit on the bottom of the shelf

What's hilarious is that she knows where stuff is in my house, but she can't find fabric in her own home!!! And can you believe that she blamed ME? Apparently, one day on the blog, I suggested that she (along with all of you) tidy up something in your house. She has put the fabric is a safe place. So safe, she can't find it to cut it up! What a lark!!!

This was on the lawn of one of the neighbor's houses yesterday. I'm sure that that 16-year old boy feels special!

Birthday greetings!

I took a wee shopping trip in the morning. I needed to find that fabric for the Aviatrix Medallion quilt. I figured I would likely find something at Len's Mill in Cambridge. So I had a couple of companions with me, and we were off. Don't worry - these are companions in my bubble.

When I saw some of the shelves, I didn't have much hope.

This is how it is supposed to look

And this is how some of the shelves looked—a total jumble.

A jumbled mess

I was looking for three fabrics, and I found two of them. Actually, I found the third fabric as well. I'll share some of them with you later. But here's what I found for Aviatrix Medallion. Actually, I found two fabrics that I think will work. And looking at this photo this morning, I know they will work. I got lucky!!

New fabrics to finish Aviatrix Medallion

So that's off my shopping list now, and I feel good about that.

I had to laugh, as if you didn't mind chocolate past the Best Before Date, you could get all kinds here. Not only did they have Easter eggs, but they had other chocolate as well. I didn't buy the eggs.

Easter Eggs for sale

It was a quick trip out and a quick trip back, which was good because I was dealing with that large quilt.

A big quilt on the long arm
No one will be the wiser once I get that last row done today. Here's the thing about the computer. And I'm knocking on wood as I say this since that row isn't stitched out. But I remember the lady I took a class from say - as long as the registration mark is still on the quilt (which it is), you can get anything to line up properly. This isn't really something they teach you how to fix, but if you remember that computers are pure logic, then it's easy to work out the logic and make it happen. 

I know that I'm only scratching the surface of my computerized long arm. I should shut it down for customer quilts in August and really play with it on my own or on some of those community project quilts. Hmmm - I might do that.

I had to laugh, though, as I was rolling through the huge piece of batting which I supplied. Yep - there was a piece of that gold thread. It must have got picked up off the floor somehow. I'm sure that I'll be finding that gold threads for years. It's good for a chuckle.

The gold thread has resurfaced
I didn't just shop at Lens Mills - I did shop at my house as well. I needed to find a couple of other brown fabrics to finish off the Sleeping Dogs Lie quilt. I found three that will work just fine. They are now waiting to be cut. To top it all off, there was a sleeping dog "helping" me choose the fabrics. 

Shopping at home

So that long list of things to do is still looming today, and some of them HAVE to be done today. I'm working on another quilt later today, but while it's also large, it's not nearly as large as this one.

Things are quiet upstairs, so I'm guessing the bird is now outside. I wonder how the heck it got in the house? We do leave the screen door open for the dogs, but it's not a huge opening. But you never know. But the bird didn't come into the house this morning as I haven't opened the door yet.

I slept in this morning - does that surprise you? And I don't feel so grumpy now.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Aviatrix Medallion

We had a wee bit of excitement at our house last night. I had just come back from my walk and was sitting on the deck, enjoying the last of my refreshing beverage. Don't worry - by this time, it was too dark to read, so I didn't walk in the heat. The girls are lying on the deck, enjoying themselves. All of a sudden, there was some rustling in the bushes behind the fence, and they went ballistic. 

This wasn't your typical barking session, and raccoons don't make that much noise. Yikes - so like the femme fatale in all the movies, I went to the fence. It's dark, so I can't really see, but that rustling is loud. I thought it was kids coming up to the fence or walking through the woods right behind the fence. The path behind the fence is at least 100 feet away. I've seen kids in the back sometimes, but never that close to the fence.

Then I looked through the slats of the fence. I always laugh when I do this cause it truly makes me think of a horror movie. You look through those slats and WHAM - something is going to jump out at you.

The view between the slats

The fence is too high to look over except in one spot, which I remembered after the situation was over. The dogs were running along the fence, and if they could have gone over or under or through, they would have. Thank goodness, a new higher fence was installed several years ago.

I kept looking through the slats at various spots, and it turns out the coyotes were right there! I briefly saw one, but there was definitely more than one. I think they were trying to get in at the dogs, or they were chasing something. However, if they were chasing something, they wouldn't have lingered at the fence. I could have reached my hand through the slats and touched them. No pictures, but I did try. They hung out for a couple of minutes, and after much crashing through the bushes, they were gone.

I wonder what their thought process was? There are enough rabbits, squirrels, and raccoons in the forest to keep them busy. Did they think our dogs would be suitable prey? Sometimes Lexi likes to sleep outside. She did not and even asked to come in, which was very unusual for her.

The mosquitos came out shortly after that, and I retired to the house.

Time is a wee bit of a challenge at the moment, but I did manage to get one of the homework assignments out. I'll share those blocks with you another day. The other one is cut out, and I'll get it done today. The blocks won't take that long to make, so if it's late by one day, I don't think anyone is going to care. Don't worry, it's already on my list to start cutting for the next session. I have a couple of weeks of breathing room. But I'm pretty much up to date with all five of those projects and for me? That's a huge deal.

I also got two small quilts quilted yesterday.

Customer quilt - DONE

Customer quilt - DONE

I've got a HUGE quilted loaded for later today. I'm off on a fabric finding mission this morning. I need some cream fabric before I can continue with one of the ongoing projects, and I wasn't able to find something to match when I was at Thimbles and Things last week. That's the second store that I zeroed out on that fabric quest. I just want a cream fabric - nothing fancy! A light cream, but it seems to be elusive. I'll never find the same fabric as it's a Nancy Crow from 20 years ago. I'm OK with that - but I want something somewhat similar in color. Everything I've seen to date is too dark.

I had to reschedule some of our Zoom presentations from last weekend to this week. We had the last one last night. What fun to get together with the group via Zoom. I know it's not the same as meeting in person, but we get to see everyone's furry friends. Cats seem to love being on Zoom. I don't know what it is - they are like kids when you're trying to have a phone conversation.

This is the original pattern for Aviatrix Medallion.

Aviatrix Medallion pattern

This first one belongs to Gisele. I really like how that skinny yellow border sets off the rows. And I LOVE the consistency of the X block in the outer border. The bright colors in the original are beautiful, but the values are all over the place, and well - I like this version much better. I know the scale of the two quilts is not the same, but the skinny border is much more pronounced in our versions, and I really think that's a good thing.

Gisele's quilt

Cathy used a different tactic with that last border. Her coloring makes it look like a trellis is happening around the outer edge. And the pluses in the middle of the blocks are showing up as well—another great success for fabric selection. While we're all following the pattern, that doesn't mean that we're following the coloring.

Cathy's quilt
I must say that I like it when we step outside the box. Yes, there are times when you won't be 100% happy with the results, but that's a great learning experience. So far, I think these quilts are right on!

This is Deb's quilt. She is a BRAND NEW Quilter. It's interesting to see her coloring after looking at the previous two quilts. She used the neutrals in the border outside the center star. OH, and remember, we changed the center star! That border sort of recedes because it's made with neutrals that are very close to the background fabric color. Neither is right or wrong - just gives a totally different effect.

Deb's quilt

Then we have Rita. What can I say - Rita is a rebel, and we love her for it. She's just going for anything that works in her quilt. She's also incorporated a lot of background (white) in her blocks, so it definitely has a very modern feel to it. This is an excellent example of how you can take a traditional (yes - I'm calling the original pattern traditional  -  OK - we can call it contemporary, but it's NOT a modern quilt) and make it totally modern. Don't you just love that star in the center? Way to go, Rita!!!

Rita's quilt
 I love my new filing system for photos. I can find all these class photos in a snap. Too bad, I didn't have a great filing system before. Doesn't matter - one day I'll get it fixed up or really - who cares???

This is Dana's quilt from last month. She is mostly following the pattern and even did the very intricate center star. She didn't get a lot of time to work on her quilt this month, but she's still ahead of some of the others! She did get the borders fixed up and is ready to get back to work this month.

Dana's quilt

This is Corrie's from last month as well. She's following the coloring (somewhat) in the pattern. Again - look how different her quilt is with that first border surrounding the center star made from the neutral fabrics.

Corrie's quilt
I can't wait to see both of these quilts with the next row on.

There are a couple more working on the quilt, but I don't have pictures yet. One of the ladies hasn't started - wait - she did start cutting the other day so we should see something next month. There's no penalty for not getting it done, and I told them that they could technically stop at any point and call the quilt done! Perhaps I shouldn't have said that!!!!

And here's my version. I don't think I've ever done an orange and cream quilt before. But I love it. This is what I need the cream fabric for. I need some cream to add a small border to the outside of that pieced border. Let's keep my fingers crossed that I find something this morning.

My version of Aviatrix Medallion

And there you have it - another successful class. If anyone is interested in doing one of these online classes, I'll be doing more starting in January. I found a bunch of interesting patterns and have them sitting in a file folder. I'll be posting them later - I want to post them NOW. But if you have a pattern or an idea for one of these ongoing classes, let me know. I'd be happy to add it to the mix. The hardest part? Picking one! Or two or three or FIVE!!! Like happened this year.

I think the students LOVE the virtual format because they get a written document each month loaded with tips and pictures to help them along. And the cost is cheap! $25 for the year (not including the pattern or fabric).

Anyway - it's time to go. I wrote out a list of things that NEED to be done today. The list is long, but thankfully some of them are e-mails that won't take a lot of time. My little shopping trip will take a couple of hours, and that's eating into the day, but I NEED that fabric.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, July 3, 2020

On your mark, get set, go.....................

Who turned up the heat? I don't mind the heat, and no, we still haven't turned on the air conditioning. We like the fresh air in the house, so some of the windows are wide open. A strategically placed fan or two, and we're good to go. We eat outside, and I was out in the gazebo in the afternoon for a well-deserved nap.

The key is to stay out of the sun. I walk with the dogs earlier in the day, and I went for my evening walk a bit later than usual. Everything was good.

Sometimes, I wish I had a spare week. That would allow me time to get caught up with the deadlines, and then moving forward, I would stay up to date. Oh, seriously - that would never happen!! If I don't have a deadline, I won't get anything done.

The binding got made for the magazine quilt, and it got boxed up. The UPS truck picked it up after dinner. I do feel a little bit apprehensive about leaving the package on the front step for the driver to pick up. I could keep the package in the house, but these guys are pushed to the limit with their pick-ups and drop-offs, and I figure we're in a pretty safe neighborhood.

Waiting to be picked up

OH -- I just realized that I didn't put a sleeve on the quilt. Not even one pinned on. And it only occurred to me RIGHT NOW that I forgot that. The editor is going to kill me! Hopefully, they have a sleeve they can pin on.

So when I went to generate the label, I tried what my friend had suggested. He said to ship it via Canpar. Now I didn't think they shipped to the US, so I never tried them. Apparently, they are cheaper. Who delivers the Canpar packages to the US since they do not? They use UPS. However, when I went to their website to use the calculator, it didn't like the US postal code. So I wasn't able to make the comparison.

Let's just say that it is cheaper to ship from home, rather than go to the UPS store. I print the label off and tape it to the box. The truck comes by at some point to pick the package up. Super easy! I'll be doing that going forward. One positive thing that came from our current pandemic.

I can't believe the quilt sleeve never even crossed my mind. It's not that I thought of it and then forgot it - it just never once occurred to me. Oh well. It could be worse!

Here's a couple of pictures from the retreat that I haven't shared yet. This is a quilt that Ronda made. Talk about borders. The entire quilt is made with borders. She used a jelly roll, but half of the strips had to be cut down, so the quilt didn't become a square. Let's just say that it took a LOT of time to measure, cut, and pin. But the end result is gorgeous.

Ronda's quilt

These fabrics are shibori, but NOT the real thing. The patterns were created using shibori and then printed on the fabric. Here's some information on Debbie's latest shibori collection.   And here's a wee article about Debbie Maddy who is the designer.   I didn't realize she had designed so many collections.

So the other thing that happened at the retreat and I didn't talk about yet was a race. Sigh............  Why? I just ask myself - I HATE races. Someone challenged me to a race once - a jelly roll race. No, thank you. Why would one put themselves through this kind of stress? However, Ronda and Shelly decided to faceoff with squares for a sports-themed quilt.

Ronda happened to have TWO identical kits cut and ready to sew. Shelly took one, and Ronda took the other. They were in two separate rooms. They each had a different strategy for sewing it together. I did the running commentary, and I timed them. HEY - if they want to get all stressed out, that's fine - I'll egg them on, but I won't participate! I'm not stupid.

If we would have put money on the race, I think we all would have lost money! Oh yes, the seams had to be pressed. No sloppy sewing just because it was a race.

And after much cheering, a winner was declared. The time to assemble this quilt was FIFTY -THREE minutes. Seriously???  Now that's impressive. The winner??? Ronda!!!!

The winner's quilt top - Ronda

Now it was a good thing that she was the winner since it was her turn to make dinner. Dinner was 16 minutes late that night, so all in all, she did a great job.

Shelly wasn't far behind. Her top was assembled in 57 minutes. From the look on her face, I don't think she was too worried.

Shelly's quilt top
We tried to make it as fair as possible. Whenever either one of them needed to press, the rest of us stood far away from the pressing surfaces. None of us wanted to get in the way! And that was the only difference. Ronda had an ironing board, and Shelly had a small pressing surface. If they had switched their strategies and kept the same pressing surfaces, I think the outcome could have been different!!!

Anyway, it was fun, we all had a hoot cheering them on. That's it for stories from the retreat.

After the magazine quilt got put in the box, it was time to get back to work. I got this customer quilt done. Need to trim it later today.

Customer quilt - DONE

Then it was onto getting the homework completed for the Zoom class last night. These blocks are from Summer Moon. In total, there are 24 different blocks, but you make them in three different sizes for a total of 72 blocks.

Each size (small, medium, and large) gets a different frame around the block. Here are my large blocks with framing on two sides. I changed that from adding framing on four sides.

Large blocks of Summer Moon

Here are the medium blocks, and yes - all the framing is on those blocks as well.

The medium blocks

Here are the small blocks. They have a pieced frame on them. This is as much as we've done with the small framing so far.

The small blocks

This quilt is a LOT of work. The good news? I'm up to date. Yes - hard to believe. We're halfway through the blocks, and I'm up to date! I've got a bit of cutting on the framing pieces so they'll be ready to sew on as I make the rest of the blocks. Hopefully, I'll get that done later today.

But time marches on, and I'm now prepping the homework for the two online classes that are due today. NO - I'm not done either of the projects, but I'm working on it, and everything should go out before the end of the day.

I have one more presentation tonight that I postponed from last week. Then I should be caught up until the end of this month! The five projects are keeping me hopping, but so far, I've managed to keep up with all of them. It was easy - I just made them a priority!!

Plus, the commute to class is great, and I'm gaining a TON of time by not having to drive anywhere!

Here's a little cleaning tip for you. If you get all kinds of odd bits of dust, lint, and fabric on your cutting mat, it's a pain to remove. I use a kitchen scrub brush to take it off. Someone suggested last night that they use an old shower scrubber. Great idea!!!! But your cutting mat will be clear of debris, which isn't good to be running over with your cutter!!!

Scrub brush to clean the cutting mat

Well, that's it for today. Another totally crazy day and then - well, tomorrow is another day. I only concern myself with what I need to do today!

Have a super day!!!! Stay cool.