Thursday, March 29, 2012

The retreat - DAy ONe

WOW - We got an amazing start to the day. I got the car packed up and off to pick up Mary at 6 AM. I know - a retreat and we leave at 6 AM!!!!! We had to make a detour in Barrie because of an accident and the major highway was closed. Thanks to the GPS - we just kept doing what we thought was right and then the GPS showed us the way!!!!! After arriving to find that the little general store down the way is closed for renovations until May 4 - we arrived at the house and got organized. It was so nice - just the two of us until lunch time I managed to get ONE block sewn for a quilt I am working on and then I decided to buckle down and work on one of the two DEADLINE projects. And I am making progress. You will have to wait and see, but I honestly think I will be able to meet the deadline. Yeah!!!!!! The rick rack is sewn down and one row of pictures/sayings is also stitched down. It is almost time for bed - it has been a long day. Let's just that we are all fading fast, but not before we had a show down of technology. Everyone was sitting around the table in the living room with their CELL PHONES, Looked like a a bunch of teenagers. Well - got to run - I'll post pictures when I get home. Oh yes - we played a game - write one thing about yourself that no one knows. Well that brought out afew surprises. Have a great day!!!!!!!! Ciao!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Its' a MIRACLE? - well almost................

In preparation for the upcoming retreat to which I am hoping to take my bike (it was going to be cold, but now they are forecasting snow - so I am not sure). Anyway - since I got a new car last year, I need a new bike rack. Decided to go with one that fits in the hitch HOWEVER I do not have a hitch on the car.

I delayed it as long as I could, but finally called Hitch City to get the hitch installed. Yesterday was my appointment and today I pick up the bike rack. I have less than 24 hours to find the weather forecast and make the decision. I may just take hiking boots and go for a walk.

Went to yoga yesterday. It was a very gentle - lots of stretching class. Very calm and quiet compared to the others I have taken. I am NOT saying that the yoga fixed my knee, but yesterday I noticed that I was doing some bending and on my hands and knees under the long arm and I got up and down with NO pain. Wow - that is pretty exciting. And that injury happened in July????   Holy cow!  But it is exciting to know that it is healing. I still get a burning sensation from time to time, but over all - it is healing quite nicely. I guess I won't be needing surgery - but I knew that anyway!!!!   YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am still going to see the surgeon - well that is TWO months away still so I may opt out by then.

My dad is going for knee replacement tomorrow. He is PRETTY EXCITED about it. He is not a complainer, but I think he has suffered with this knee all his life (a cow kicked him when he was a kid) and the doctors have finally agreed to give him a new one. He is in his late 70s.

Oh - I got way laid. So while I was waiting for my hitch to be installed, I had taken some paper and would design this other customer quilt that I had to put together. It is for a woman who is getting married and her sister wanted to make a quilt that friends and family could put their good wishes on. Normally people would sign the squares at the shower, but when I talked to her way back in January - we decided that we could do it BEFORE the shower. Gianna was collecting good wishes and pictures and sending them to me, but I had no idea how many I would have UNTIL Monday this week. Yes - I know - I should just say NO.

One of the biggest issues with this kind of quilt - I do NOT like stitching over pictures or words (not words on the quilt fabric, but sayings, etc). So what to do with this quilt as some of the write-ups are fairly lengthy. My other dilemma - I did NOT want to send the quilt to the shower and it not be quilted. It looks so limp and sad and hey - I could maybe get a new client or two. What to do??  what to do???  Then I sat down at Wendy's with my lunch and paper and pen. I started sketching out an idea - when the LIGHT BULB went on and I thought why not quilt the quilt and THEN add the pictures and sayings. AWESOME idea - hey guys - hurry up with my car - I need to go fabric shopping!!!!!!

I stopped at Ruti's on my way home - was home by three. By 10 PM - I took the quilt off the machine. And I had to play taxi driver twice -went shopping at Fabricland, had supper and talked to my parents for an hour (my mom asked what I was sewing while I was talking!!!!!!!)  in between 3 PM and 10 PM. OK - so we are NOT talking rocket science here .......................................

This is the fabric I purchased - earth tones - the lightest one is for the sayings.

The BASIC quilt - quilted!!!!!!

Went to Fabricland to find some trim to make the "clothesline" that the pictures and good wishes will hang off of. I have already eliminated the two on the left. I like the rick rack and think it will add some pizzazz to the quilt

So the rick rack will get stitched down in FIVE rows - not straight across, but on a bit of an angle to help accommodate for the various sizes of the items to be put on.

Then each of the 40 items will be printed on fabric and the edges will be turned under or in light of the fact that they will NOT be stitched on the quilt (hey - I am trying to give the quilt to the customer today just for the shower and then I will finish the stitching next week) - I might make a double faced applique and just pin it on. Then use a button to represent the pin that is holding it to the rick rack. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway - there you have it  - Truly a QUILT IN A DAY!!!!!!!     The binding is made and I am going to stitch that on now. I was hoping to have done it already, but did have to prepare for my class this morning. Wow - it is tight, but I am thinking this will be cute and the entire quilt will then be quilted and don't have to worry about the big unquilted areas behind the sayings and pictures.

On that note - I am off to get bindings on quilts and finish packing for the weekend and and and - well there are LOTS of things to get done today. This is WHY I hate going away. I HATE HATE HATE the couple of days before and the days when you come back. If I wasn't going away - I would have NO PROBLEM getting this done at all.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


My head is about ready to explode. Last week at Brampton Guild we had Elaine Quehl as our speaker. Last night at Halton Hills, we had Elizabeth Dillenger. WOW - MY head is spinning. I have so many ideas, so many inspirations, I WANT TO DO IT ALL!!!!!!!!

Here are some close ups of some of Elizabeth's work. Not only is she talented, but she is a good speaker. Very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and from the response of the rest of the members - I think that everyone enjoyed themselves. Have a peek...........................

Top of one piece - heavily thread painted with Sulky
Top of another piece - again - heavily thread painted - glitter on that flower. I mean these are GORGEOUS

This is the BACK of the one above. The backs are as beautiful as the fronts!!!!!!

And I just happen to be sitting here with a sunflower that is stuck down and needing something. This technique would be perfect to finish it off. Hmmmmmmm - do I have time????? NO - next week, but not today.

This piece just danced. She used FOIL for some of the gold and CRYSTALS. LOTS and LOTS of crystals. Just stunning. 

And I COULD NOT help myself. I was going to buy ONE kit, but I couldn't decide so I bought both. Hmmmmm - I think some of the girls know me too well because when I got back to my chair, they said "You bought BOTH didn't you????"  Can't pull the wool over these girls!!!!!!
Art of Fabric

Check out the link above - that is the name of her company/store (yes - she has a store)

Anyway - it was a great meeting and I have to say that that group of ladies is very fun. Or perhaps everyone was just in a good mood last night!!!!!

And look what I GOT last night. I mean everyone kept coming up to me and handing me RED fabric. Just what I need - RED fabric!!!!!!

Red fabric

Actually I asked for it. This is for our upcoming raffle quilt and it is going to be classic red/white and here are the reds I have so far. They all look yummy and while some look a tad orangey in the picture, this is going to add some character to the quilt (and they are NOT that orange in real life). I LOVE them and I want to win this quilt even though we haven't even started it yet.

Someone else gave me these strips - I am sorry - I do not remember who, But thank you to who ever you are. I LOVE THEM.
 Susan gave me this little clipping below. Before she gave it to me - she asked if I was a Virgo. Yes - well have a read.

I mean - is that PERFECT or what!!!!!!!    That is EXACTLY what I have been struggling with all week.

I am happy to report that the massive project is almost done. Of course there is some hand stitching and it is almost ready for that point. I will be taking it with me on the retreat and will get it done. The owner is coming next Tuesday to pick it up.

And now that leaves me with TWO crisis projects - one that is due on Sunday and one that is due by Wednesday (next week). Oh - and let's not forget the class tomorrow that I forgot about. Wouldn't be a problem, except that I am away for FOUR days. Let's just say that today and tomorrow will be a tad busy. BUT - I AM going to yoga this morning at 9:30 AM. The old me would say - I don't have time. Now - I don't care!!!

Oh yes - M went to yoga last night. The first time she came with me - it was just regular yoga. Last night, it was HOT yoga (fitness yoga????) and she was SWEATING and they had to do sit ups?????    Welcome to the world of HOT yoga. It is bizarre, but fun. I forgot to ask her if she liked it??????

Yesterday was MM and last night was guild night. Means that I had TWO bags sitting here waiting for me to unpack this morning. Normally I unpack when I get home, but I was exhausted after MM. Not that MM was exhausting, but I had been up since 4:30 AM, had not slept well and was just tired. I lay on the sofa and am barely asleep - BUZZ - crap - text message. OK - deal with that situation (M's plan for the evening). Ah - back to sleep. Hey MOM - we want OUT. Back to the couch. HEY MOM - we want IN. Back to the couch. Hey MOM - it is time to feed us. Back to the couch. Back to sleep. BUZZ - it's Marian - I am picking her up to take to the meeting. Back to the couch, oh crude - better get up and eat something.

And the worst part - when I did get to bed - I could NOT get to sleep. I am going to be super exhausted today. Just what I need.

Anyway - I unpacked the bags from yesterday and PUT EVERYTHING AWAY. Then I decided to get busy and try to finish up This n That mystery. I remade the center block. What do you think???????

Old center block

New center block

Much better - the top one was too over powering. Now to figure out the colours in the corner blocks and I may have it together after this weekend.

I laugh as I prepare my projects for the retreat. I start realistic. I make a list - I will take FIVE (or whatever number of projects). I pre cut them (or grab ones that are already pre cut). They get packed in a bag. ONE BAG. Then in the time between cutting the original projects, I think - oh - that would be great for the retreat and into the bag (ANOTHER bag cause the other one is TOO FULL). And then THREE bags later - I am ready to pack the car!!!!!   HA - I have high hopes, but I also have a lot of hand stitching and I have this other project that needs to be done and I can sew it at the retreat. They will see it at the party and it will get quilted after. HEY - the lady gave me the LAST bit of information yesterday - I am NOT a miracle worker. And a king sized quilt to do that I told the owner I could not quilt until April, but she pushed me to take it in March (which I did), but like I told her - it will get done in April. Again - I am NOT a miracle worker.

Well - I have a TON of paperwork to do after yesterday - e-mails to write, homework to write up, lists to make and I have ONE half hour before yoga.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, March 26, 2012


No - I was NOT up at 4 AM blogging yesterday. That is the beauty of SCHEDULED blogging. You create the blog and then set a schedule when it can be published!!  I wanted those ones published in that order and that just worked for me. Besides - I was seeing if you were all paying attention!!!!!

Yoga was amazing!!!!  75 minutes of HOT yoga. It was hot!!!   And I have to figure out something appropriate to wear - well - let's say that I won't wear that shirt again. It was a tad too loose and every time we did down ward dog - I am breathing in T-shirt. ICK!!!!!!!

This will be a short blog - not a lot happened yesterday, but TWO things happened. First - the big project - I took it off the machine. It is done being quilted!!!!   And I am really liking it. Yeah - just have to trim and get the edges bound.

Then at some point in the day (teaching free motion quilting and the ladies were all pros by the time they left). Well - they did amazing. So - I get a message from Marian. She has a NEW PROJECT that she is going to announce at our upcoming retreat. A new project?????   Now what could that be???? Something right up my alley.  AHA - she almost got me - she was testing me. Well I am going to hold to that. She better have an AMAZING project to announce at the retreat or I am going to be very disappointed.

9:30 PM - I brush my teeth, get into my PJs and OH - the dogs need to go out. As I am standing in the kitchen - the phone rings. Hmmmmmm - that is pretty late for a phone call. Oh dear - it is Alma from Sew Fancy. That is the booth I am working at for CreativFestival. Funny as I had been looking at the schedule of demos, I have that weekend to see it if conflicts with my Dear Jane class. Well with a smidgen of tweaking - it will work. Next thing I know - I am reviewing with Alma what I am going to make for those demos. And SNAP - I AGREED to make TWO small things for her. I was SO CLOSE to getting through the day WITHOUT agreeing to anything. SO CLOSE!!!!!!!!   BUT - there were things that I want to experiment with anyway - so I don't think that is out of line!!!!

I also had a quick look at my calendar and can you believe - I have a stretch of SIX days where there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING scheduled. How did that happen?????   Of course moving one of my gym appointments to Monday at 7 AM has helped free up a day. Well - I am looking forward to those 6 days - oh yes - they will be filled, but I don't have to go anywhere.

On that note - I am trying to find a pattern that I need to make some of those samples and I have obviously put it in a safe place!!!!!   Must see if I can locate it.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     (yes - I am really here at 5:02 AM)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another personal shopper!!!!

Everyone knows by now that I love things with bikes on them or orange things. Well after class yesterday, Anna told me that Joe Fresh had a t-shirt with bikes on it. Hmmmmm - that means I must go and see what it is all about. Sure enough - a GREAT T-shirt with a bike on the front.

Cool BIKE t-shirt

I only bought one, but at $10, I might go and get a few more. I LOVE IT. But what colour??????   The white??? Gets dirty too quickly, the gray - more boring than black, the FLUORESCENT green?????   Well people could see me at least, especially when I am out on my townie bike.

They also had a GREAT ORANGE bag that I should have bought. I might add that to the list. It looked like it was just a very simple tote with Joe on it. You know - those cheap bags that we buy for 99 cents. I hope that is what it was!!!!!

And I HATE days like this!!!!!   Why?????   Well everything is going RIGHT!!!!!   You know - all the classes (those with homework) are done for the month - AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!   You have an extension on a major project (that is quilting up BEAUTIFULLY and ALMOST DONE - never mind that there are many more waiting in the wings and soon to be due) And you feel relaxed and actually have time to go to yoga. You know - what kind of day I am talking about.             And why would I hate days like that????   Well - it is days like this that get me into trouble. Oh yes - I will do that for you. Oh yes -  that is no problem - I could take on that project. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Therefore it would be in my best interest to NOT talk to anyone today, but I have free motion quilting to teach. That shouldn't get me into trouble - I hope.

Note to self - remember SIT ON YOUR HANDS, KEEP YOUR MOUTH ZIPPED TIGHT, DO NOT - REPEAT DO NOT volunteer for ANYTHING regardless of how much they beg - DO NOT GET INTO TROUBLE!!!!!!

That means it is time for me to get out of here and let you sit back and enjoy all the show n tell from yesterday. It was awesome. That is part of the reason I feel so good today. That show n tell was SO INSPIRATIONAL. Sometimes I wonder who gets more from the class - the students or ME?????   I think I do, but don't tell them that or they will want ME to pay THEM!!!!!!!

Anyway - thanks so much for reading the blog - I know some of you have made comments and I just haven't had time to check out links you have sent, etc. I will get to it.

OH yes = forgot to tell you that I managed to LEARN on my own how to get the PAGES working. I loaded my tutorials on the PAGES section of the blog. Just scroll down on the right hand side until you see PAGES and then there is a list of tutorials. Not many, but a few to start. If there is something you want to see - let me know and I'll see if I can put something up. Always learning something new!!!!!!

Have a GREAT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Spring has Sprung reveal for March

Wow - another AWESOME class with some VERY creative and talented students!!!!!    Seeing the show n tell is the BEST part of this class.

To refresh your memory - this is the quilt that we are working on..................

Spring has Sprung by Cheryl Wall of Country Quilts

And here is the show n tell for this month.................   (and let's hope I get all the name right!!!!)

Kathie was not able to make the class, but she got her homework done!!!

Mary added buttons instead of the red dots on the trees

Katheleen with BRIGHT flowers!

Joyce is appliqueing by hand and still has a bit of work to finish off - hence the pins!!!!!

Linda - nice bright BLUE flowers. Changes the entire look and that background for the tree - perfecct!!!!

Mary has an AWESOME background for her tree. Very STORMY looking and nice bright flowers on the left

Kay fussy cut those little circles on the trees in a multitude of colours and again - NICE BRIGHT flowers

Diane with a GORGEOUS bee that she satin stitched by machine!!!!

Barb - who is spending spring in the TROPICS ..............

and a close up of Barb's killer bee!!!!!

My blocks 

Linda P could not attend either, but I saw her blocks a week ago. Yes - Linda is doing the same quilt as us, but let's just say that she is modifying it somewhat!!!!!!

Here are her other blocks from before (yes - she has done MORE than required!!!)

What???? - Yes - Linda P is doing not one, but TWO quilts. This one is completely different than the other one. LOVE the nice fresh spring colours.

I think we had everyone but one person attend or send in their blocks and EVERYONE was pretty much up to date. You got to love that!!!!!   I tell you - they are a GREAT group of students!!!!!

Now there are two people in the class who are working on something different - similar but different.

Susan is working on Country Album

Country Album

Susan's tree. The original has two small birds above the tree. Susan managed to find some cute little butterflies to applique on. Very nice touch!!!!!

Simply Squares - one of the additional projects in the Spring has Sprung book

Liz got a bit excited and decided to finish the top. Well she still has borders to put on.  As you can see - even something as ordinary as this pieced block - the girls get creative and make it their own!!!!!!

I know they all just chomping at the bit to get the entire quilt done. But let's sit back and enjoy the ride. Besides it is fun to see the quilts come to life bit by bit.

As for the homework for next month - here is what I have got done so far.

Homework for March 
Don't forget to do the pieced part of this block as well - the four patches and the half square triangles.

And there you have the first part of the show n tell for March.

Like I said - a pretty amazing group. Very enthusiastic and very creative!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hobo Quilt reveal for March

Here is the second of the reveals that took place yesterday.

This time - the quilt is Hobo Quilts.

Hobo Quilts by Debra Henninger

Liz's blocks. She is framing all the blocks and will then put a sashing in between them or she might just surprise with something else. She is still thinking about that one. 

Here is something interesting that Liz is doing. She is embroidering the name of each block in the sashing above the block. All of these blocks have a weird name and this makes it easy to know what each means. GREAT JOB Liz. 

Sharon B decided to join Hobo Quilts (and do Dear Jane as well!!!!). She is playing a bit of catch-up. Nice colours!!!!!   OK - I think I put one of them upside down!!!!

I won't post my pictures and I won't post the homework. Are you KIDDING ME?????   I am running around like an idiot at this point in time and I got part of the work done, but not complete.

My biggest dilemma right now - do I get prepared and take this "homework" on the retreat or do I just wing it and do something for me???????   OK - I confess that took about 30 seconds to decide - I am doing something for ME!!!!!!!   Well - you will see when I get back, what I have tucked into my retreat bag.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Farmer's Wife reveal for March

Whew - here we go for the THIRD reveal of the day. OK - see where I am coming from with the amount of work required to keep ahead of the girls!!!!   Yikes..................

This is the book we are working from........................   

Farmer's Wife book
 And yes - it is a little harder for them to get WILDLY creative with the pieced blocks, but they are making statements with their colour choices. Have a peek.....................   (I hope I got those names right - there are two sets of blocks that I am not 100% about!!)

Barb (yes - the same Barb from Spring has Sprung)

Elaine S





Sharon N

Donna wasn't able to attend class, but got the homework done and sent me a picture. 

Wow - do those blocks not look amazing!!!!!!    Again - almost everyone is UP TO DATE. An impressive showing!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Dear Jane Reveal for March

Last, but certainly not least is the reveal for DEAR JANE. Wow - I am so IMPRESSED by the blocks and the effort everyone put into making the blocks. Again - ALMOST everyone did all 10 blocks. These groups are blowing my mind!!!!!   I love them - I love their enthusiasm, I love their spunk - they are AWESOME.

Where do I start??????   OK - get a coffee and sit back - there are a LOT of pictures.................... (and I am sure I will mess the names up again - let's keep our fingers crossed!!!)


Sharon B (yes - the same Sharon from Hobo Quilts) - some of these girls are suckers for punishment!!!!!




close up of the hand stitching (a chain stitch) on Vivenda's blocks


Linda D













Close up of one of Bernice`s blocks!!!!   How cool is this!!!!!

And how about this FUSSY CUT paper piecing???   Way to go Bernice!!!!







 Linda P is doing not one, not two, but THREE of these quilts. And here are her three sets of blocks. I think we can forgive her for not getting 10 of each done!!!!!

Linda P - THREE sets

Linda P - set one

Linda P - set two

Linda P - set three

Mary was not able to attend class, but sent a picture of her blocks

Wow - does that not knock your socks off!!!!!!   And yes - they can get VERY creative just with colour and fabric selection. AWESOME job - my hats off to everyone - you all did an AMAZING job.

And that is it for the show n tell   (OK - by my count - I missed taking TWO pictures - I will get them and add to the blog).   SNAP!!!!!!   (where did this SNAP expression come from anyway?????)

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1