Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A new marathon begins!

Yes this is the quilting marathon.  I have a number of customer quilts that need to get quilted and there are a LOT of community project quilts that have to be done and if there is time left - then I will focus on MY quilts.

Customer quilt - DONE

Community projects quilt - DONE

I will need to get them trimmed later today and onto the next batch.  I have no choice now, but to try and get two done a day.  This means HEADS DOWN - focus - focus - focus!!!!!

I did take a break though and zipped back to Fabricland. The one where I bought that floral fabric initially.  NOPE - no more and no chance of getting any more, but the sales person remember me!!!!!

I did buy more of the green though - I bought it all.

My green fabric. This is also a BEST seller at Fabricland.  I found it in a few other stores, but never in green. And not much left. The sales person in Guelph told me it was a best seller - they could NOT keep it in stock. 

Then I decided that I would check the internet (I know  - obsessed!!!!).   I searched for Timeless Treasures Fleur C (which is on the selvedge of the fabric along with the print number).

While fabtics did come up - not the one that I wanted, however I found this................

And this is waht I am looking for...............

Not the same, but darn close. Now I have to call the store because they was $24 to ship .75 meter????    Seriously????   I don't want it that badly.

Just thought I would share with you the Amish with a Twist story.  This is how much I am cutting off the sashings.

Not much, but boy - it made a difference on the entire quilt!!!!!

On that note - great spin class this morning, great embroidery club and NOW back to work.

Have an AWESOME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crossing the finish line.....................

I survived!   I made it through those five days of total craziness. And had fun throughout! That is important - if things are not fun - then - well they are not fun.

Here are a couple of shots from the Sit n Sew this past Sunday. It was the last sit n sew for the season. This is my SIXTH year doing the sit n sews. SIX YEARS - hard to believe. I always threaten to not do them the following year and I get requests f rom people so I schedule more dates.  Well - the new dates will start in September so watch for that. I guess it all depends if I sign up to do the fundraising bike rides again next year!

I love to see what everyone is working on and their STORAGE CONTAINERS.  Liz had this amazing container for her project.  While I loved the project that she was working on, the container was AWESOME.   Have a look - see that drawer in the bottom - the blocks fit just perfect in that drawer
Look at that drawer - so cool

And there were several removeable tray inserts for sorting all those cut pieces
 She got it in a Christmas gift exchange. It was one of those exchanges where you can snatch gifts from each other and apparently this was the hot item that day. Liz was the lucky winner!!!!

My girls just love when we have company. They go hysterical - barking their heads off. BUT they are also very smart because they know who brings treats for them..........

A very attentive audience - they LOVE Katheleen as she is always bringing treats for them.   Oh yes - they know!!!!   (Look at that fatty Sammy!!!! - she doesn't need treats!)

Ronda was HARD at work on her Dear Jane. I think I saw smoke pouring out of her machine at one point. She had done a LOT of prep work and she spent the day stitching around her appliques.

Eight blocks

Then five more blocks

and another seven!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is going gang busters on this quilt and I have every confidence that we will see her finished top at our show n tell in September.

This was a class I taught a number of years ago and Liz brough her finished top to show me. It is absolutely stunning - the colours are awesome and she put a small piped border around the edge - well actually inserted it between two borders of brown and it really makes the quilt.
FABULOUS job Liz.  Just gorgeous
 I didn't get pictures of what the others were working on - I was too busy pressing stuff for Karen and Helen Anne. Thank goodness Ronda was doing applique and I didn't have to press anything for her!!!!

I did manage to get some  ripping done on my Amish with a Twist. I got half of it ripped apart.

Disassembled Amisth with a Twist

The other half waiting to be ripped apart

And ick - I have to remove all the fuzz from the thread. It is a mess. 

Then I measured the blocks and yes they are 1/4" too small (well smaller than the pattern). I started to cut down the sashings and for some reason they are all different sizes - my guess is that some of them stretched during the original sewing process. They are all being trimmed to the correct size and I have this much sewn back together again. Well - it is in three seperate rows. And guess what?   It is going together a WHOLE lot better than the first time.  I know - STUPID STUPID STUPID!!!!!
The "new" Amish with a Twist

I can't even call this Amish with a Twist II because there is a real quilt called that.

Amish with a Twist II

Hmmmm - I am looking for a pieced pattern to run as a year long class next year - hmmmmmmmmmmm - that might be a good candidate!  

Last night, I was the guest speaker at the Needle Sisters Quilt Guild in Elmira.  It isn't that far away, but I didn't want to get caught in traffic on the 401. Hey - there is a Fabricland in Guelph and Greenwood Quiltery is also in Guelph and both are OPEN on Monday.  After I got myself organized and packed up for the talk, I hopped in the car and I was off.

My missing fabric

Zipped into Fabricland - checked all the fabrics - NOTHING. I spoke to a VERY HELPFUL sales person who took my swatches and zipped around the fabric looking but nothing. She said the green one (which I never showed to you) was a VERY POPULAR fabric and it went pretty much right away. Couldn't keep it in the stores and I believe it as I can't fiind it anywhere else either. Which reminds me that I should go back to the original Fabricland to get more of the green before it is gone everywhere.

The Orangeville and Burlington stores have nothing either (thanks to Joanne and Marilyn for checking on that for me).  Karen is going to check in Winnipeg and perhaps my Dad will check in Saskatchewan. At this point - time to regig the quilt and see if I can come up with plan B.  Sandra did find me another fabric similiar, but I would rather go with something completely different.

I will also take the selvedge so they can search their database to find it????  Not to worry - this will just become another CHALLENGE quilt in that I will find a way to make it work since I can't make it with this one fabric.

Again BIG THANKS to everyone who did look for me. I appreciate it.

Then I popped into Greenwood. Oh dear - that wasn't a good idea. NO - it was a GREAT idea. I found a couple of different things that I just had to have.  Didn't do much damage, but I am so IMPRESSED by Christine - she is the manager of that store and there isn't ONCE that I walked in and I wasn't addressed by name. Even the younger sales girl working called me by name when I was paying. That is VERY impressive customer service and I don't even go there often.

Had just enough time to look around and oh yes - there were a few more things that I would love to have bought, but I also have to realistic!

In an ideal world - I would stay focused on Amish with a Twist. Finish ripping out and getting it back together and then the applique and it is ready to be quilted. Really - could I do that????   Me????  Well I could give it a try until I realize that I have a couple of samples that need to be worked on for a couple of upcoming classes and there is a stack of quilts that need to be quilted. Nope - I won't be working on just one quilt at a time, but I will make every effort to get it done soon.

Anyway - I was so impressed by the workmanship of the guild last night. The Mennonite Relief Sale is coming up soon. The guild had put together a number (a rather LARGE number) of small quilted items that will be for sale in the craft area of the Relief Sale. These notebook covers (the notebook is included) were STUNNING. I have forgotten the name of the woman who make them, but they were beautifully done. I wanted one, but I will have to go the Relief Sale if I want - and I was warned to go early!!!!!

Notebook covers

More notebook covers

Small lunch bags

There were table runners, bags, children's books, and many other items that will go to the sale. Awesome work!!!!!!

It was a fun evening - we had a lot of laughs so I hope I was entertaining and inspirational to the members.

The other day I was paying for something with CASH!!!   How often does that happen these days?   Anyway - look what I found in my change................

I knew it was old by the shape of it - but look at the date - it is almost as old as me!!!!!

And now it is time to get to work.  Remember how clean the studio was on Sunday????

So clean and tidy!!!!

Well look at it this morning!   NOT so clean and tidy.

The good news - it won't take long to put things away - they all do have homes. But again - I keep moving the same things!!!   I really need to focus and get some of them done so I can stop moving them around. The best news - I don't have to keep the entire place clean - just enough room for embroidery club - YES!!!!   And the paperwork is threatening to topple over - so best look at that today as well.

Have an AWESOME day - it is raining outside -(YEAH) that means I HAVE to stay inside. Perfect day for quilting.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

It is all about the planning.

Another CreativFestival done!   It was a great show, although I really didn`t get a chance to look around at all and that saved me some money. The show seemed to be pretty busy the entire time - I did manage to get around to do all my errands so I was very happy about that. Saved me some shipping and other hassle. Just have to be thinking ahead and plan plan plan.  But I came home inspired and excited to get things done and that it what it is all about!

I remember commenting to someone that they were "lucky" that they could take an extended period of time off. She replied -  - "nope - careful planning!!!!  So one must constantly be on the outlook for ways of combining tasks for efficiency and saving money.

Also had VERY SUCCESSFUL $10 classes yesterday at HH.  I have loads of pictures to post and I am going to try and do that later today? tomorrow?  I want to get back to the picture business.

Today is Sit n Sew - - a bit more relaxed than the last couple of days - six people are coming, but as I pulled into the driveway last night around nine, I thought - OH NO - I have nothing for lunch. I guess I will be hitting the grocery store right after I post this!!!!

As I said - the last couple of days have been a bit chaotic?  to say the least!!!!!   Have a look.............

Yikes - there are SIX people coming to sew?????

However a half hour later and look - all tidied up!

I wish I had pictures from the old days when the floor was covered with stuff - all the tables were heaped. Instead of taking a half hour - it took days to clean up!!!!

And as I was cleaning - there is a LOT of stuff that is almost finished - I need to book a day with myself to get those things done so I can stop moving them around!!!!!

However my sewing table requires a bit more work!

You think????   I can still see a small spot around the sewing machine!  But I hate to sew in that little of space - it is all that DARN paper stuff that needs to be cleared up - well and I was doing something "fancy" on my sewing machine yesterday morning which I will share with you when I post those $10 quilt pictures

So....................    have you ever done something and while you are doing it - you know it is WRONG. You know you are not going to be happy with it.   Come on - we have all done that!!!    Well I was sewing Amish with a Twist the other day. Now I did something that I tell my students NOT to do. But I really want to be as prepped as I could so I PRECUT the sashings for Amish with a Twist ACCORDING to the pattern. YES - according to the pattern, NOT my actual block. And instead of having enough common sense to realize that they were a smidgen too big - I proceeded to EASE them onto the blocks. Well, once I got it sewn together - I don't like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Have a look in the picture above - you can just see the bottom edge - very WAVY!!!!!

Here it is on the table - too ripply for my liking. 
 That means that TODAY - sit n sew day - pressing and seam ripping - I am going to be own best customer!!!!   I am going to take the sashing OFF and recut it and sew the top back together again.  I won't be happy until I do.

Besides getting the studio cleaned up - I also got a quilt loaded this morning. It is to be done for tomorrow morning, so will be working on that after the ladies leave today.

Quilt loaded and ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That leaves Monday Motivators and a speaking engagement at a guild and then I will have survived the marathon!!!!!    Tuesday is looking like an awesome day at this point, although I will be playing catchup.

On that note - I am out of here - got stuff to get done before the group arrives.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Just plain craziness!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow - yesterday was so much fun.   Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello. I am not even going to attempt to name names because there were so many.  I also saw a few people (who didn't recognize me in my hat). Wish I had more time to chat but I was supposed to be working!!!!   Anyway - it was fun to see you all.

Thanks also to those who are on the hunt for my Fabricland fabric. I think we are getting Orangeville and  Burlington stores covered and if that doesn't work I have an offer from Winnipeg!!!!    You are all the best. If any of you are searching for something - ask away.  Perhaps one of my readers or I will have what you are looking for.

On set-up day at CreativFestival, someone from out of town asked for snowflake buttons. Yep - searched through the stash and gave them a wide assortment. You just never know what little treasures everyone has that they are willing to share.

My demos went well. It is so hard to prepare for a demo - have I done enough, should I try this, what about this?   You just don't know who is going to be in the audience and how many questions there will be. So you have to wing it most times!!!!  Well I have convinced myself that I need a couple of the rulers that I demoed!!!  

I had to laugh on my way to the Festival. There is some major construction happening on a major ramp that takes you to the International Center. I know how to zip through the airport to bypass that ramp and while there is traffic, it is way faster than waiting to take the ramp. While I was on my detour (and I am waiting ina  line up to turn left at a traffic light), there is this man in an SUV behind me.  He was FURIOUS. I mean he was RANTING and RAGING in his car. His hands were going a mile a minute, he was shouting, he was agitated like I have never seen anyone. He was so agitated that he was making me agitated. Apparently he was frustrated by the traffic???   Yet when we turned left and I let him go ahead of me - I did NOT want him driving behind me. He did not take off in a flurry - he did zip away, but not like I expected him. Anyway - just because you are in your car - doesn't mean we can't see you!!!!!

First thing when I got to the Festival was to get my hats - yes - I got several. Here is the first one which I wore all day yesterday.

Alice in Wonderland hat - side view

Opposite side view

The top

And now look who is wearing it - Manni stole it!!!!!!!!!!!

I sure wish my mannequin had a better pose!!!!!   However she looks lovely with her new hat. And for those enquiring minds - there were NO orange hats. NONE and only about one or two with a few orange accessories. Anyway - it was fun to wear all day - got loads of comments and had fun. That is what it is all about!!!!!

Tish and I did a BAD thing yesterday.   We signed up for this mystery challenge that is sponsored by the Canadian Hobby Association.    I think this is something that they are doing strictly at the CreativFestival. The participants will get a package sometime in the fall and then have to create something for the fall CreativFestival.   Well - I am already up against a formidable opponent - Tish. I will need a LOT of luck. Anyway - I hope they get enough people to sign up to make it a go. It sounds like a lot of fun.

The other thing that is so interesting and Tish is going to do some more investigation. Check out this link.....

Banners of Hope

This is such a cool idea. Here are the pictures of the banners in the booth..............

Banners of hope

More banners of hope

There are so many inspirational quotes out these days and how do you remember them? Well these little banners (they are NOT quilted) are just perfect.    I so want to make several of them with my favourite quotes. How cool to just have one (or more) hanging in the studio, wherever - they are fun.
Stay tuned for more details - I think this could be a group effort?????? And the best part - they can be used as a fundraiser for your favourite charity.   I haven't done a lot of research into it. Tish was going to check it out.

Here is a close up of one. 
Aren't these just the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     And great for any age.

I am almost done my prep for my $10 class this morning and then back to CreativFestival this afternoon.   Beside working in the booth - I have a LOT of errands. I have stuff to drop off/pick up at a number of booths. It is crazy, but just a super time to see people rathaer than ship stuff to them. Love it!!!!!

On that note - I am off to get going on the day.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Hooked on HATS

It was set up day at CreativFestival.  As much as I dread the long day (for the fiddly work of setting up) - it is always an EXCITING day.  I get to see old friends - The Quilt Patch (from Moose Jaw) is right across the aisle from us (Sew Fancy). Pastime Pieces is kitty corner to us   and many many others.   Heck - we are right in the middle of things.

There are some  amazing displays. If you do not want to buy anything - there are LOTS of displays and free demos to keep you from buying!!!!

I have a demo at 10:30 on crayoning and another one at 5:30 on rulers.   You should come to both - you are certain to learn something.  And sometimes it is good to learn what you do NOT want to do - like certain rulers you were curious about - you can see all about them WITHOUT having to buy it!!!!  

Someone metnioned to me that if people don't want to buy - come for the INSPIRATION!   Oh yes - there is tons to get inspired by. I am way way inspired and I don't need any more inspiration at this point in time!!!!

Have a look - here are some pix I snapped - I will give you details later -

Our booth - see how I have so nicely organized all that fabric????    I will spend my day keeping it all look nice and neat!!!

Mikey from The Crochet Crowd (these guys are just amazing!!!!)   You want inspiration - just look at Mikey - you will get it

The hat display - yikes - there are bags and bags and bags and bags and bags of hats...............

Part of the display is up - 

Detail of one of the hats!!!!!!!!

Of course - I was obsessed with those darn hats.   Yes - I snagged a couple - you will have to come and see me to see which ones I bought.

On that note - I have to get there early and I better get moving.

I can't remember our booth number - 268 I think. If you get a chance - come and stop in.

Don't forget - we are at The International Center - FREE parking.

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


Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to shop for fabric..............................................................

I am going a bit crazy these days - I have TWO demos to prep for the CreativFestival. I have done demos on punch needle for many years, but at last that trend has come to an end (untiil the next wave hits), so I had to create some new demos. I am doing a demo on some new rulers or resurrecting some older ones (there are EIGHT in total) and the second demo is crayoning on fabric.

Needless to say for someone who was focused on that 2014 shelf - well that has been blown out of the water and yes - I started EIGHT new projects in a matter of days. OK - not quite eight as some of them were partially done from previous years. But I did have to start a couple and I needed some fabric in order to do that.

The hardest part of starting something new is WHAT COLOUR. Once that is decided picking the fabric that would be appropriate for each of the projects doesn't take that long.   I know - you are thinking - why is she making an ENTIRE quilt when this is only a demo.   My response - BECAUSE.   I cannot just make orphan blocks - my sense of insanity dictates that it is better to have a new UFO than one or two completed orphan blocks.  Nuf said!!!!

Well - here is the process I used to choose fabric for one of the projects (which I will share the ruler/technique - AFTER the demo)

For those of you who have NOT seen the stash room - here is a picture (can't find the original at the moment - well I do believe it is tagged, but it is not easily accesible on this computer) - so I just took a picture of the plaque that has the picture. 
The biggest problem when making a quilt, whether for me or just a sample - what colours?????   I usually look at what I have and go from there - the idea is to NOT purchase anything if I don't have to. I have a lot of taupe and that would make a great starting point.

Starting point - taupe/beige/tan?????

The second colour was going to be burgundy. However a quick search of the baskets revealed that I do not have a lot of burgundy.

Zero into the TWO baskets of reds

However when I was in the two baskets of red fabric (that I hope someday soon) will get amalgated into one basket????   Ok - that is still a couple of years down the road, but one of them is not that full.

I did find a LOT of red and white fabric - why not? - that would make a cute quilt. So I ditched the boring browns back to their spot (the brown basket is way down on the bottom row, in the corner)

Quickly went through the red baskets and pulled ALL the red and white fabrics (this took about 5 minutes)

Eliminated any that the scale was too large (the dots) and those with equal amounts of red and white (the stripe)

Then the piles got sorted into red ON white and white ON red.

Here are the reds on white - hmmmm - what to eliminate because some of those do NOT fit in

Ok - that is better - but there are still a couple that I do not like - a bit too yellow

And there you have it - I kept those reds on white

This got pulled and back into the stash basket

Here are the whites on red
I eliminated a couple of them (and I did eliminate the one on the left - with the black in it)

Too orange and hmmmm - the other got eliminated, because the white is a bit pinkish

Red/white is too equal so they got eliminated as well. 

It took about five minutes to go through each of the two groups. That means in FIFTEEN minutes, I was able to choose the fabric for the quilt. No idea about borders at this point - I will deal with that when I get there and I may not put a border on it. The quilt will tell me what it needs when I get there.

The beauty of a scrap quilt (and this is a controlled scrap quilt) is that the more you have, the more it blends together so not all those reds are exact matches to each other, and some of the whites are slightly off white, but they blend together and work just fine. I've got a couple of blocks done and I really like them.

Now I do have a favour to ask of YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was looking for fabric for another sample and well I did a bad thing. I found this print at Fabricland and I thought it would be perfect and it is!   However there was only 1.1 meter on the bolt - I bought it all and then decided that I liked it so much I really want to make the entire quilt from it. But I do not have enough.

I need MORE of this

So here is my task to you - if you live close to a Fabricland and would check if this fabric is there - I would so appreciate it.  I have checked the Fabricland on John Street in Missisauga (that is where I bought the fabric and they have none left), I also checked Shopper's World in Brampton - NONE and also the Winston Churchill/Dundas store - NONE.

I need about 2 meters (just to be on the safe side).   Of course I will reimburse you - shoot me an e-mail to let me know what store you can check and then let me know if you found it. It is a Timeless Treasures.

I would so appreciate it!!!!!!    But how STUPID on my part to start a quilt without having enough. And this is so distinctive that nothing else will substitute.

However as I have been working, I am slowly whittling my way through the last clue of the Bonnie Hunter mystery.

Clue Five - almost done the first part which is to sew two little white triangles to the half square triangle. Then I need a big blue triangle added as well. Had to cut more black/white. But I am making progress!!!!!!!

Guess who I had breakfast with yesterday??????     Ok so it was my gym friends, but look what Adam accomplished this past Monday.

YES - that is a jacket for the BOSTON MARATHON!!!!!

I am in awe of anyone who takes on that kind of goal.  This was his fourth Boston marathon. His entire family was there to watch - I think there was a particular birthday in there that made this all the more special.

While he ran into a bit of problems 4 KM from the finish line (cramping), he managed to complete the marathon and he made (exceeded) his time goal.  That is so inspiring (no - I will never run - it just isn't in me), but inspiring to know that keeping yourself in good health and age is not a factor!!!!   So happy for Adam!!!

On that note - I am out of here - on my way to do set up for CreativFestival. Let's just say that the next five days are going to be a whirlwind. There is no time to breath!!!!!

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