Sunday, September 27, 2020

Celebration Show and Tell


When anything gets done - it's time for a celebration! I'm slowly working myself out of the mountain of deadlines that I let accumulate. It's not so much the quantity, it's the lack of time management! I'll survive through it, but I'll be glad when this coming week is over. 

Yesterday we had our two classes for the ongoing classes at The Hobby Horse. Of course, it was held via Zoom so no travel was required. I'm not sure how I would work in travel time at the moment. There's no time for travel. I did lose the internet a couple of times yesterday. I didn't call Bell, I was just too tired at the end of the day. But - I'll be calling today. 

I'm teaching FIVE of these ongoing classes. Yep - whose idea was that? Mine of course, and I love every minute of it. I have FIVE more scheduled for the coming year. And a lot of the past quilts from these classes are bogged down in my UFOs. BUT - the good news is that I'm almost up-to-date with the homework for ALL five of the current quilts. How is that? 

But I'm madly working on those UFOs for the UFO club and so there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. What's important in all this is that the number of UFOs being finished is greater than the number that is added. OK - so NONE are being added. I need to start and finish a project and I've been sticking to that pretty well. 

Today, I'm going to share the show and tell from the Celebration class. What's even better is that the written homework has already been sent out, as well as the written homework for Aviatrix Medallion which was on Friday. I have two more to get ready (hopefully today). Then a little bit of sewing and I'll be caught up again! I also updated the class list for the fall and the ongoing classes for next year. I hope to get that posted to my blog by tomorrow. I still have a few writing assignments that are waiting and those will happen this afternoon. I'm getting things done - it just seems like there is so much! BUT - no panic is allowed. Just take one thing at a time. Breathe  - breathe  -- breathe.

And yet, I can't be too worried about it - I did go for a long walk with both girls last night and I did sit in the backyard to read for a while. I mean - it's summer - we have to enjoy the good weather while we can! 

OK -- what's really frustrating about this silly internet connection? It never used to go down. And you can't blame overcapacity on the bandwidth. It just went down. It's not even 7 AM on a Sunday morning. You can't tell me that everyone is up and using it. There is SOMETHING WRONG. GRRRRR! What's "hilarious" about this is that I don't have to do anything to get the connection back. All that's necessary is to wait three minutes and it's back up. Now, why is that? And I know that it goes down because I stream the radio on the darn thing or I'm on the computer or on a Zoom call. Sometimes, it's just a blip and sometimes, it goes completely down. 

Now onto the Show and Tell. Some people are further along than others. I'm showing something from everyone in the class regardless of where they are. 

The first one belongs to Judy. A lot of lights in this quilt. I can't wait to see what happens when it gets larger as the coloring is quite different from the others. 


Diane is using some darker colors and so far I like it. The outer border might be a wee bit dark, but if something lighter gets put behind the dark, it should be fine. 


Grace is working on some bright and funky colors. I love that mottled green/orange/yellow batik that she used. 


This is Susan's quilt and WOW. That pink/green color combination rocks! I can't wait to see this one finished! 


Wendy colored those "flowers" at the corners of the center to match the flowers in her busy print. It looks amazing!!!


Kathi LOVES these colors - notice that the quilt matches her bedspread! I love that she took the pink and placed it on both sides of that dark border. A whole different look just by changing one color!


This is Marilyn's COVID quilt. She didn't buy any fabrics but used what she had. And she has the center stitched together. It's an interesting mix of color and I think it's going to look great when it's done. See how that orange along the edges pulls out the star in the center?


Valerie has chosen BRILLIANT jewel tones for her quilt. I love how that dark border is making everything pop, inside, and outside that frame. 


Cindy is making a very masculine quilt. I just love looking at all the variations to see how the color placements and values can make the same quilt look so different. 


This is Lynne's version of the quilt. Very soft and pretty but the color combination works. We all agreed that this one looks the most like a real tile floor in some European castle!


Catherine is working with batiks and look at how those flowers pop. They remind me of cacti flowers for some reason! But it works. 


Nancy is doing greens. What I love is that she's used a solid black for those large patches and it doesn't overwhelm the quilt. She also used a busy print for the echo behind the flowers. Totally changes the look!


Patti is creating a much darker version of the quilt. It looks great though and she's contemplating changing that center block to something a bit darker as the yellow does tend to take center stage. 


 Linda is doing renovations on her sewing room so she's a bit behind. But this grey/black/white and red color combination is going to look amazing. 


This quilt is Mary's. Wow-what a totally different look from the others. It's so soft and very feminine. 


This is my version of the quilt with the blocks for this month's homework in place. There are only eight blocks left to go. 


Here's the thing about these quilts - you learn so much! I learn from the students and they learn from me. It just doesn't get any better than that. And where else would you get to see so many colorways at one time? And where would you get advice while working on your quilt? Oh yes - not only do we do have our show and tell, but we offer advice (if asked or not!) and it's a great way to stay in touch with each other!

I also love the Zoom format (I know - you know that I like Zoom), but here's the thing. If we were doing this in class, we would NOT be seeing the entire quilts. We would be seeing the blocks for that month. Personally, I'm loving seeing the quilts as they are made. It's still going to be a WOW factor when we do the final Show and Tell in November. 

Everyone has done a great job so far and I can't wait until November!!!

If you want to be part of these exciting classes and have your Show and Tell on the blog, I'll be posting the list of the next FIVE ongoing classes. I have a wee bit of proofing to do and it should be ready to post tomorrow. Yes -- ALL of them will be held on ZOOM so that means that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can be a participant! How exciting is that? 

On that note, I'd better get moving. It's UFO club today and I see that not everyone has sent pictures of their homework for the show and tell. My guess is that they're madly working on it right now!!! Like I should be!

Have a great day!!!


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Aviatrix Medallion


I am very frustrated. My newly upgraded internet connection is CRAP. I'm so frustrated with the whole thing. I'll be in the middle of a presentation, and then I'm not. It takes about 3 minutes to get it back up, and then I have to reconnect things. It's not pretty at my house when that connection drops. I think the internet dropped about 5 times yesterday that I was aware of, and two of those times, I was on Zoom. 

Let's just say that I'm calling my provider yet again. I wonder what excuse I'll get this time. If it doesn't get fixed in two days, I'm switching providers. I can't deal with this, and I'll just pray that the other provider isn't going to have issues either. 

I did cheat a wee bit yesterday, and while I got homework assignments done and made some samples, I also sat in the backyard and read a bit and chatted on the phone. I needed a mental break. I'm not even listening to audiobooks at the moment. I've let THREE books expire and didn't even renew them yet. There are just times when you need to take things slow and let stuff go. That has been the last couple of days. Am I worried? Nope - life goes on. We are talking quilting here, not open-heart surgery!

We went out for dinner, and then I walked back in time for my Zoom call. I LOVE it - no rushing to drive anywhere, no driving home in the dark. I swear that when things return to "normal," whatever that is, that I'm not going to want to go back to the old ways. This is so much more convenient by a mile. For those people that are refusing to embrace this new class/retreat format, you are MISSING a lot and will continue to miss a lot as not only me, but other teachers decide that this method of teaching is way better than in person. Yes - I get it that not everyone is comfortable, but what if this is the new normal?? All I need is a stable internet connection. Are you listening, Bell????? 

What I can't understand is why it was working very well before we upgraded, and now it drops 4 or 5 or possibly more times in ONE day? What did they do, or what didn't they do???

I'm going to share with you the pictures from our Aviatrix Medallion class last night. We're getting to the end of the quilt. As a matter of fact, a couple of people are done, but we still have a couple of classes and will be chatting about quilting and finishing the quilt up. A luxury we never had before. 

This is the cover of the pattern in case you don't remember what the quilt looks like. 

The pattern for Aviatrix Medallion

This is Deb's quilt. Deb is new, and she hasn't made a lot of progress in the last couple of months. I'm going to suggest that she stop right here and finish it up. It's better to have a small project finished than a large one not finished. It's OK to deviate from the pattern. As a matter of fact, if there is one thing I want to emphasize to all the students and to everyone. It's OK to deviate from the pattern. Why are we compelled to copy exactly what the designer did? 

Deb's quilt

This is Dana's quilt. I LOVE those colors! It's looking great, and she is planning on finished the last two sets of borders. She has some time set aside to keep working on it. It's a challenge when one is working or has small children. 

Dana's quilt

Corrie is working on the log cabin blocks for her next row. I love the JEWEL tones in this quilt. I believe that she is going to add the log cabin row and call it done. The quilt will still be about 70" square at that point, which is a great lap sized quilt. 

Corrie's quilt

Cathy stopped at the log cabin border and added a final border of solid fabric. And it looks fantastic. I love how the blue log cabin blocks in that outer border keep your eyes dancing around the quilt. It's awesome!!!

Cathy's quilt

The next one belongs to Rita. Now that's a totally different take on the original quilt, and it looks awesome! Rita is also going to add the final border, but she hasn't had a chance to get to it yet. I can't wait to see what she does with the coloring. 

Rita's quilt

Maria also got her quilt top done, except for the last border. Hey  - that picture came to me about 30 minutes before the start of the class!! Maria kept true to the colors and layout of the pattern. It looks great! 

Maria's quilt

Gisele's quilt top is DONE! And it looks amazing. This is an excellent example of using yellow in a quilt, but not dominating the quilt. It's not a color combination that I would ever have come up, but I like it, and I'll keep this in mind when picking a new color scheme. 

Gisele's quilt

And here's my finished quilt top minus the last border of cream. That will come one day soon and making the binding and the backing as well. I had to laugh as someone commented that they didn't think that I could make the Aviatrix Medallion in two colors. Why not? I just used a lot of different fabrics with different values. I love the end results. 

My version of Aviatrix Medallion

So did we learn stuff in the class? You bet!!! Just because the pattern designer chose one way to do something, there are so many different and sometimes way easier ways to cut and sew a pattern. Take, for instance, that butterfly block in the outer border. Many did NOT want to do it, and neither did I. But I found a quick and easy way to cut that block. That made putting that row together very easy compared to the pattern. 

That's the beauty of my classes and other teachers as well. I'm taking over twenty years of experience and passing it along to the students in hopes that they will look for easier ways to do things, to think outside the pattern, and change it up if something doesn't work. 

I know - I go on and on about Zoom, but here's the thing. I have much better attendance with the Zoom class than in real life. Why? Last night, we had someone traveling up north while they Zoomed (they were the passenger); single parents can put their kids to bed and still participate, others can finish the quilt at the last minute and get the picture to me for show and tell. They would NOT have been able to attend if we were meeting in person!!!

On that happy note, there are FIVE projects that I'll be teaching in this same manner - a one hour lecture each month for a year. It sure breaks down the huge task of some intricate quilts. I'll post all five of them tomorrow as I've decided which ones made the list. I've done this format of class for close to 20 years. I should count up the projects one day, but I bet we're over 50 different quilts now. 

I thought I'd share my Route 66 map (OK - so I'm obsessed - I can't help it). Look, I have so much company on my journey. There are tons of people doing this virtual walking and if for no other reason than it gets us out of the house and moving. Each one of those blue dots represents a certain number of people indicated on the dot. What's nice about these walks - they are NOT a race. You do your own pace so if you want to take two years, you take two years. You want to cram it into 6 months, then that's your choice. The idea is that EACH day you do something. 

A bit of company on Route 66

I'm excited as I near the finish line! I'm estimating about 50 days to get there! 

On that note, that's it for today. I've got the homework done for the two classes this morning - let's pray that the internet doesn't go down. At least the call remains open even if I (the host) drop. Otherwise, it would be a total nightmare. 

Have a super day!!!


Friday, September 25, 2020

Backyard beauty

 I was supposed to go on a road trip today, but I postponed it because of the contacts I had earlier this week. Better to be safe as the last thing I want is to bring something unwanted to another person. 

In a way, that worked out just fine as I have a lot of prep work to get done today. I'm making great progress on the prepping for the classes this weekend. I also have writing assignments that are due so it's going to be another busy day. But I'm working my way through them. 

However, I plan to take an hour later this afternoon and sit in the backyard. Who knows how many more nice days we have this year and well, I need to enjoy that time outside. 

Speaking of the backyard, we had our "guy" in to do the fall clean-up and it looks awesome. 

The backyard all cleaned up for fall

I do love our backyard and it's so maintenance-free - it sure doesn't get any better than that. Of course, having that forest behind us makes for a nice ambiance as well. Yes, there are weeds to get rid of, but other than that, it doesn't really require much work. The pond will remain open for another month. The leaves are going to start falling and I'll be out there daily with my net to try and keep the majority of leaves out of the pond. 

The side garden

Murphy loves to play in the entire backyard and there are little dog speedways behind all the bushes. 

Speaking of bushes, the Rose of Sharon bushes that I got from Diane are planted. Thanks,  Diane. I had to laugh as Sergio planted them. He said, "you know these are weeds!"  I said I knew that I had to CUT the seed pods off them in the fall. Thanks to our Virtual Retreats for learning that information! 

Two Rose of Sharon bushes

We have tried to have indoor toys only, with balls allowed outside. However, Murphy has other ideas. This poor teddy bear gets dragged outside on most days. He's pretty much an outdoor toy now and she drags it around. Well, drag is not the word. She scoops it up and runs around with it in her mouth. We never know where we'll find it next. 

Now, where are the balls? I paid a lot of money for some of those balls and what has she done with them? 

Another Rose of Sharon

The trees in our neighborhood are starting to turn. Ack!! Are we ready for fall? 

The leaves are turning

But you have to admit that they are beautiful. 

I had to get out yesterday, just to get away from the computer so I decided to walk to the library to get my book that was on hold. Of course, the entrance closest to the library entrance wasn't open and I had to walk to the opposite side. I guess that's not such a big deal when you've walked there. 

There was a young girl at the desk who asked me the questions. I told her I was coming to the library and then I walked down the hall. The library was closed so why didn't she say that? It opened at 1:30 and I was there at 12:30. 

Well, I really wanted my book even though I don't have time to start it right now. So I went back. Same girl. She said, "the library is open now". Well, why didn't you say that the first time I was there? 

Anyway, I got more steps in so I'm not complaining. The second time, there was another lady outside the library, again asking me the same questions. She told me when I exited that I had to take the door behind her which meant a wee bit of a walk outside the building to the parking lot. Well, that wasn't a big deal since I had walked there. 

The library was DEAD!! But that's OK, although it was eery. I thought I had a couple of CDs that I want to transfer to USB. I can't remember what they were now. Embroidery designs for sure - just which ones?

Remember that house I mentioned about one week ago. Their front lawn had been tripped clean of grass and a bunch of pallets of stone had arrived? Well, they had the lawn resodded. While the new grass looks nice, I was hoping they were going to put something a bit more eco-friendly on it. And the palettes of stone were for the side of the house and probably the backyard. 

A new lawn in the neighborhood

At one point, I was in the backyard and I could hear my neighbor's pump in their pond and it was not a good sound. The water level had gotten so low that the pump was sucking air. Which is bad! I walked to their house to let them know. On my way, I saw this giant spider in his web. 

A giant spider

I took a wee detour to leave the spider alone. 

On a quilting note, I finally received the box of fabric that was shipped weeks ago. I don't remember when it was shipped, but let's just say that Priority Mail doesn't exist any longer! This is the box of fabric for the QUILTsocial quilt along and thankfully, I don't need to make the entire quilt immediately. I have to make one block and it needs to be made NOW. That just added a wee bit of work to the already jam-packed weekend. But it's one block. No big deal. 

Are you going to participate in the QUILTsocial quilt along? You can get yourself organized as the first block was posted earlier this week. There are three bloggers who will be posting the same block in different fabric collections. It's going to be fun!!!! I'm using a GORGEOUS blue and white collection from Riley Blake. I'll share more of it QUILTsocial next week and my take on sewing the first block together. 

Not sure if anyone watched the Emmy's, but have a watch of this acceptance speech. It's very moving and I almost cried. It's quilt related!!  If only everyone felt the way he does (NOW) about a quilt. 

On that note, it's time to get moving! 

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Travel Day

 As you know, I had to make a quick trip to Vancouver to take Bear home to be with his family. I couldn't convince M to let him stay with us, and once she was over her quarantine, she could come and get him. Oh well, I tried. So now, I'm going to self-isolate for 14 days. Not a full out quarantine, but I'm going to stay away from people. 

I thought I'd share a few shots of things from my quick trip. I wasn't worried about the pandemic and travel. I wore my mask the entire time, which wasn't that big of a deal. It's become such a common thing that I don't really notice it anymore. At the Skytrain stations, I even took the stairs - UP and DOWN. Yep - I was breathing a bit harder than usual at the top, but no big deal. I walked a LOT of km on that travel day.

The only issue with the mask is that now I seem to have these small fibers in my nose, making it super itchy! But it's also all the fabric dust in my studio that isn't helping the allergy situation. We were all seated apart on the plane - no middle seats were used, and I felt entirely safe. On the way home, there was one person a few seats ahead of me who kept pulling his mask down. I don't know how many times one of the male flight attendants told him to put the mask back on correctly. 

Our temperature was taken before we were allowed into security, and the airport is like a ghost town. This was the flight board for outbound flights. Usually, that board is FULL. Half the washrooms and half of the stores were closed. 

The outbound flight schedule

At our Virtual Retreat on the weekend, we had a discussion about traveling with dogs. Janice was telling us about a time when she wanted to bring two dogs home. They were small dogs, so they would go on the plane, not cargo. Turns out that one person cannot carry more than one dog on board. And the seating plan is set so that no row would have more than one pet in it. Why? Not because they could fight with each other. Oh no - those dogs need to be in their kennel at all times. It appears that it's because of the OXYGEN MASKS. No way!!!

Yep - if the cabin pressure changes and those masks fall, there must be one for every person. OK - I get that. But there needs to be an extra one for any child under two (that doesn't have a purchased seat) or for a pet. And sure enough, when the safety video came on, I checked, and FOUR masks fell out, not three. I had never thought about that before. I learned something!

Four oxygen masks in the safety video

Of course, Little Bear is so small that I'm not sure the mask would have fit him, but the things we learn! 

However, on the way home, there was a young girl - well, around 20??? I noticed her in the gate area as we waited to board our flight. She had a dog with her, which was too big to fit in a kennel and was on a leash. AHA - a therapy dog. Except the dog did not have any official harness or other indication that it was a therapy dog. The girl seemed to be cuddling this dog a lot. Then someone passed by the dog, and the dog barked frantically. Well, that isn't how a therapy dog behaves. They would NOT do that. The dog barked a second time at someone else and scared the crap out of everyone. 

The dog behaved almost as if it needed therapy. So I'm not sure what the story was there, but this was NO therapy dog, yet it was allowed on the flight without being in its kennel. I didn't hear it at all during the flight. Oh well..................  I don't think Murphy could pass as a therapy dog! 

On the way home, I found a quiet gate at the airport, which wasn't hard to do. I set my alarm and had a good sleep while I waited for the boarding time. Then I slept like a log on the plane. I don't think I even remember pulling away from the gate, and the next thing I knew, we were 30 minutes to landing. As we exited the plane, we had to walk through Business Class, where they had their seats, which turned into beds and a big comfy duvet. But that's OK - I still slept pretty well and only had a 20-minute nap yesterday. 

I snapped this picture as we were getting ready to land—Toronto in the early morning. The CN Tower was in red. 

Aerial view of Toronto

And there's the sunrise. 

Morning in Toronto

It was back to work! I had another presentation last night, so a bit of prep work for that. And yes - just as I was getting started, the internet dropped. Seriously???  I was so mad. I guess I'll be calling Bell today. I can't believe this. Why is the new connection so unstable? I wish I had never touched it. I don't think there is any difference in the speed. It was fine. Sigh.......................

I went for a walk in the middle of the day. I would have if Bear were here. It was a beautiful day, and so I went for a walk - just because. It's a beautiful place to walk, and it's just at the end of my street. So quiet and peaceful. 

Walking in the forest

Someone had parked their bike. That's a bag of potting soil on the back! You got to love it. The front-wheel was looked to a tree! 

A bike parked in the forest

Now here's a reason that I love Zoom. The One Book, One Community, had a session with the author (Waubgeshig Rice) of Moon of the Crusted Snow yesterday, and there's also another one tonight. I'm sorry, I didn't alert you to this. The One Book, One Community, is located in Kitchener/Waterloo. So usually, I'd have to go there to hear the authors speak. That's about one hour away, but with real travel time, it would have taken the ENTIRE afternoon. I was able to listen to the entire talk in the comfort of my home. 

It was funny, and well, these two authors were terrific. I even put a couple more books on hold while I was listening. If you get a chance to connect tonight, I'd strongly suggest that you do. There are two authors again tonight - the primary author is Waub (that's the name they referred to him as, I didn't shorten it), so I don't know the author that he is chatting with tonight, but the one from yesterday was brilliant. 

I love being exposed to different authors and different genres than what I would normally read. It's opening up a whole other world. 

The second author, Cherie Dimeline, was brilliant also. Both are Indigenous Canadians, and they call themselves storytellers, not authors. The session yesterday was recorded, and you'll be able to find it somewhere on Youtube. More details will likely be on the One Book, One Community website that I linked to above. 

What's chilling is some of the scenarios in Moon of the Crusted Snow reflect our current situation. It's very scary! What would you do??? I don't have time to watch the live presentation tonight, but I might tune into the Youtube channel later to watch the recording. 

If you get a chance, I'd watch them. And I've ordered more books to read! ACK!!!  I believe that Cherie's book - The Marrow Thieves is now in schools and replaces "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the curriculum. 

One other thing about Zoom. I've heard that some members of quilt guilds say that if their regular guild meetings continue on Zoom, that they will NOT continue their membership. Seriously??? Do they think that we can have face to face meetings?? In our province, you can't have an indoor session with more than 25 people. So they would rather have NOTHING then chat on Zoom. Well, you know my thoughts? If I were the guild president, I wouldn't want those people attending. They are the complainers, and it's best to be without them. But I don't get it - why do people want all or nothing? We need to be flexible; we need to roll with the changes. Read Waub's book - and see what can happen, and there is NOTHING you can do to stop it. 

What's very alarming is that our current society is highly dependent on modern conveniences and extremely addicted to resources of all kinds. What if one of those resources no longer exists? Just take toilet paper, for instance. What if, for whatever reason, toilet paper could no longer be made. What would you do? People would be frantic; they would be ugly, they would be violent instead of learning to adapt. It's scary!! 

I do have one sewing related thing to share with you. I have nothing else to share because I'm getting ready for the classes this weekend and writing. Lots and lots of writing to be done today. 

I put on a clean hoodie this morning, and I was a little peckish, so I had put a couple of almonds in the pocket to have a snack while I worked. When I pulled out an almond, guess what else I pulled out????? 

A gold thread

Seriously???? Another gold thread! It went through the wash intact in the pocket. I wonder how many more of those gold threads I will find???

Well, I see it's time to go. I think I've gained an extra hour each day by not having to walk Little Bear. He's a boy, and boys need to stop and pee on every blade of grass. But we love him!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It’s all about the walking

I’m totally certifiable! Yep - I’m writing this post as I eat a VERY LATE dinner in Vancouver. Yep - that’s Vancouver BC. Actually, I’m at the airport waiting to board the red eye to get back home in the morning. I took a whirlwind tour to bring Mr. Bear back to M. The crazy things that we do for our kids. 

Her flight got in at 3 PM and I arrived shortly thereafter so we did hang around for a wee bit, but there really wasn’t a lot of time. Let’s say that Little bear was very happy to see her. He went nuts. 

It was a bittersweet trip to say the least. We didn’t get a chance to talk much and Little Bear stayed. OK - so I cried!! 

But it’s pretty easy to get around this town. We took the Skytrain to her place directly from the airport. Super easy! And then like a good Mom, I walked to Whole Foods and bought groceries for her. Let’s just say that my kid has expensive tastes and Whole Foods isn’t cheap. But I don’t get to do it very often and thank goodness for that!

Since I didn’t get any sewing done yesterday, I thought I’d share some of my walking adventures. Although I did read through a manual on software on the way out! Oh yes - learning so much. 

AH - before the update on the walks, that sip of Corona sure tastes good. Better than the oatmeal that I usually eat as I write the blog.

I forgot the iPad is NOT conducive to writing the blog. The last part is going to be just pictures as the buffer just doesn’t let me go beyond a certain point. The pictures will mean nothing to you. 

So this first picture is my position on Route 66. As you can see, I’m getting close to LA. 

My position on Route 66

And here’s the mileage that remains. Yes - LESS than 400 miles to walk to LA.  Oh yes - I’ve got this.

Less than 400 miles to LA

The next picture shows me on my walk across Canada. I'm in the middle of Northern Ontario and making great progress as well. 

This is a two-year goal so I've still got loads of miles to walk before I get to the end. But that's OK. Having goals are good. 

Distance remaining on my virtual walk across Canada

This is my little chart. I check it every day. Not that I'm obsessed by numbers, but I like to see progress. The third challenge was something that I added and includes my distance walking and cycling for this year. I should make that goal as well. 

This next picture is where our group of four is located as we walk our way across Canada. This is a different walk than the one above and it's a group effort. We're walking up the border between New Brunswick and Maine and should be entering Quebec soon. 

Group walk across Canada

Where we are on the big map


Lots of fun and games with the walks. So far, so good. We're on track for everything and I like that. It's so hard to get behind and then try to catch up. 

Yes - I'm back home now and quickly added in the rest of the words for the maps. 

Now it's time to get into the swing of things for the day!!!

Have a great day!!!


When faster isn't better


Like many people, I would say that I use the internet a lot. Lately, I've been using it for Zoom and have been known to run 12-hour Zoom sewing sessions. I've never had an issue with the internet - my calls never dropped, I rarely experienced lag time for the video. I did get a couple of "your internet connection is unstable" from time to time, but it's been excellent. 

Someone in our house, who shall remain nameless, has been bugging me to upgrade the internet speed. "Hey - there are advertisements that you can get this amazing download speed (1.5Gbps), and we should get that". Well, I called, and we do NOT have fiber optics to our house, although it's in our neighborhood. However, I had the option to double our download speed, which cost $15 LESS than what I was paying. OK - I guess uploading at 50Mbps is better than the 25Mbps that we had. 

I booked an appointment for Sunday. That was the day of the virtual retreat, so I knew that I would lose my connection, but that's OK. I've learned that even if the Zoom host goes down, the call remains in place. YEAH for that. Although Carol had been set up as a co-host so when I dropped off, the entire call wouldn't go down. 

After the internet was reconnected, I thought I was good to go. Oh, no - the fun was just beginning. I believe my internet dropped FOUR times during the remainder of the afternoon. OK - so I called my provider, and the customer representative assured me that it could take until midnight for the system to stabilize. While I wasn't happy, I was good with that. 

Well, guess what? The ^&*((*&&^ internet is so darn unstable that I'm fuming mad. I got dropped TWICE during our Monday sewing group. And to make matters worse, I got dropped ONCE during my presentation last night and the lag time on the second class was horrible at times. Guess who I'm calling this morning?? I don't care if we go back to 25Mbps (which we can't), but this service is TERRIBLE. 

They have 36 hours to resolve the issue before my next class. I have a ton of Zoom calls this week and into the weekend. I cannot exist with such an unreliable service. 

Thankfully, the group was very patient last night, and I wasn't down for long. But you can bet that I said a few choice words and worked frantically to get the call back up. 

Let me show you what I've been working on during the Virtual Retreat and Monday sewing. I know - I should have been working on my homework assignments! One of them is done, and I have another one almost cut out. That leaves one more to deal with. I still have presentations to put together, but thankfully, that's just uploading some pictures. With everything on the schedule this week, well - you don't want to know, and let's just keep it that way. Breathe - breathe - breathe - it'll all work out. 

So you remember my Aviatrix Medallion. This is the ongoing class at Oh Look Fabric. The final two borders were assigned in August. Some of the previous borders on my version were made, but not attached to the quilt and I had only made two blocks of 72 made for the final border.

This is what my project box looks like right now. 

The project box for Aviatrix Medallion

The quilt top is DONE. Well, I still have to add one more border of the cream on the outside. That can wait until next month. I LOVE it. And I have to laugh as someone made a comment that they didn't think the quilt could be made with only two colors. Oh yes - in my world ANYTHING is possible. I used two colors, but with both colors, I used MANY different fabrics. That makes it quite interesting and helps to pull it all together. That's why I LOVE these ongoing classes. I used to try and keep it like the pattern but now? I try to be as far from the pattern as I can possibly be. I learn so much more that way and it shows the students that you do NOT have to follow a pattern. Not the design and certainly ot the color. I made several design changes in my version of the quilt. 

Aviatrix Medallion missing the last cream border

Remember, this was the quilt that I had to search for some matching cream fabric. Well, I hadn't really calculated how much fabric I needed. I think I bought one meter of each of two fabrics. Well, there's only enough left to put the last border on and there won't be much leftover. I seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to what I need. 

We're going to finish the year with this quilt discussing quilting options, bindings, backings, and all the other things needed to finish off a quilt. That'll be easy and no homework (or little) on my part. So that's good to get one of these quilts done. 

The binding will be orange. I haven't pulled that yet, but I had a peek at that huge stack of orange backing fabric and found one that's the perfect size!

I decided that I needed to get myself organized for our upcoming UFO club. I have four things on my list and only one of them is completed. Well, this is what I did yesterday. I had to trim the edges of the quilt top and I added a small cream border. Then I added the outer border. Not only is this part of the homework for the UFO club, but it's on my Dirty Dozen list for 2019. So I'll be able to cross this one off that list soon. 

The quilt top for the disappearing nine-patch

That sixth sense really kicked in on that border. I had FOUR fat quarters of that coral colored fabrics. Was there enough to do what I wanted? Hm - I thought about it while I was walking the dogs. I didn't have anything else to use. The four fat quarters are part of the collection. Oh crap - I can't be bothered to do the calculations. Let's just cut. 

So I cut and I sewed and I cut and I sewed. And one by one, the borders got added to the quilt. This is what was left. 

Leftovers from the four fat quarters

There were EXACTLY enough pieces. Oh my god -- I did a bit of a happy dance when I realized that. This quilt is a bit larger than I normally make - I think it's about 68" wide and 80" long. I love it and I might "keep" it for me. I have a lighter fabric (also from the collection) to use for the binding - no other choice and I've got to figure something out for the backing. I believe my homework was to have the top completed. YEAH - that's two down and two to go. I should be able to make the deadline on Sunday morning and I've got to think about what I'm putting on the list for next month. 

OH -- I should qualify my willy nilly cutting. I did look at the fat quarters and determine the best way to maximize the fat quarters and the size of my quilt, but I didn't do all the math to determine if I had enough. I just winged it! I'm terrible this way, but I LOVE it and it works for me. Besides, if it didn't work out? I'd find something else that would have closely matched and moved on. There is NO TIME to worry about such little things. 

I see loads of people signing up for the classes. I'll be getting in touch in the next couple of days to confirm. I'll also be uploading the complete list to the blog, but that's not going to happen today. 

I have a bit of a wild day ahead of me. I need to get started or I won't get everything done! 

Hae a super day!!!