Saturday, May 31, 2014

Get on the GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to zip out of the house yesterday.  M and I were taking the GO train downtown. Of course she wasn't ready at 8:30 as we had agreed on.  I knew there was going to be traffic on the way to the station, we were going to have to park the car and I had to buy a ticket. M has used the GO on numerous occasions so she has a Presto card.  We were lucky and found a parking near the entrance to the station, grabbed our bags (I left my jacket in the car - she did not) and ran to the ticket agent.

Thank God M knew exactly where we were going. She told the ticket agent what we wanted - I threw money at the agent - I could not even tell you if it was a man or a woman. They said the train just arrived. Oh CRAP - we grabbed our stuff and ran up the stairs to the platform and JUST MADE THE TRAIN!!   My heart was pounding and I still had my wallet in my hand. We found seats and then got ourselves organized. I HATE HATE HATE cutting things that close.

Anyway - I have to say that going downtown on the GO is a very civilized way to go.  No traffic, no stop and start, no worries about finding a parking spot and it was fast!!!!!!   I used to take public transit all the time when I lived in Montreal and yes - I get that you are stuck to their schedule, but really - for the sake of arriving relaxed - I think I might have to think of the GO train more often except that I don't go downtown often.

There is construction EVERYWHERE in this city.  Not only on the major highways leading into Toronto, but the downtown is crazy as well. 

The entrance to Union Station

Ah - get on the GO - so relaxed as long as you don't have to RUN for the train

M - on the way home 

Even parking for bikes

We caught the 9:06 train. And the traffic was way backed up on the highway as we merrily rolled on by!!!!!   Once we got to Union Station, M guided us to the right subway line.  Helps to have Google Maps and to have taken the subway system before.

We hopped off at the right station and then I took over.  Here we were at the Textile Museum of Canada.

Textile Museum of Canada

And we were there because????   It was the ANNUAL - NOT just a yardsale!!!!!!!!!!!   The sale started at 11, and we got there just before 10.  I know - did not take long to get there!!!!!!    Way faster than the car and probably cheaper when you factor in everything.

So we had an hour to kill. Let's plan the strategy. First we got into the line. Oh yes - there is ALWAYS a line.   And see those cars on the right hand side - some of the people in the line belonged to those cars. I wonder what time they got there????

The start of the line - even though we arrived at 10 - it was already forming.  Can you see M - third person from the end -in brown tank top. Oh yes - did I mention that she did NOT leave her jacket in the car - so guess who had to put the jacket in the backpack to carry for the rest of the day?????   Yep - that would be ME!!!!!!!!!!

And the line grew and grew
And the line continued to grow!!!!!!!!

While we were waiting - we needed to strategize cause it was going to get ugly!!!!   While M waited in line, I scouted out the sale. Don't worry - I did NOT violate any presale rules!!!!

The upholstery fabric

The quilting fabric

Other fabric and tools


AHA - notice the sign - 2nd floor - books, buttons and beads.

Back to chat with M - where should we go first?????   We decided to hit the 2nd floor first. Probably more stuff that we would be interested in there so as soon as the line started to move -we hussled our butts up the stairs.

M found a couple of books, and so did I. There was NO ONE looking through the books when I went through them. I was FIRST and good thing because some lady tracked me down to ask about one of the books I got.  A catalogue of Welsh quilts. Nothing too spectacular in the books, but a couple of neat finds.

My books
 Then we split up to see what else was there. Digging through the quilting bins was a slow process. You could only access the bins from one side so we had to wait.  Well I found these kits and I was laughing!!!!!

The kit on the left is an older Thimbleberry (2006) kit. There is enough fabric in each to make two blocks (12 inch I think) and each one was $2 - this slightly bigger one was $3.  I got SIX of them - all I could find. Then I found the kit on the right - By Stitch Connection.  I had to laugh because this is the same pattern that I am embroidering!!!!!!
The pattern in the kit I bought - it is applique

The pattern I am embroidering - same designer

The patterns themselves are very cute, but I never liked the layout of the embroidery one. Once the blocks were done - I was going to figure out a new layout. Well I LOVE the layout of the pieced one and well it is already figured out!!!!!!!!!!!!    Plus I can make an applique one as well.  I picked up a few odd pieces of fabric, but nothing great.  There was a lot of stuff, but nothing that caught my fancy.

One lady was shopping for a queen sized quilt and was buying it all from the yard sale and other sales.  Oh boy - good luck with that!!!!!!!

Lots and lots of beads, charms and other baubles!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Could have gone totally crazy, but we didn't. M acquired her own stash!!!!!!!!!
In the odds and ends tent outside, I found these two treasures.   Do you know what that is on the left????   An embroidery hoop - how cool is that. I've never seen that shape before and I LOVE IT!!!!!!    The roll on the right is reflective tape.   I was going to make a vest of reflective tape for cycling.  Neil had one last year and I thought he had purchased it. Nope he fashioned it out of reflective strapping that he purchased at MEC. Well I paid $5 for this entire roll. I think I have enough to make a vest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once we were done with the yardsale - we went into the gift shop - one of my favourite. There are so many treasures. I just love it. Well we found a couple of goodies and while we were waiting in line, the lady in front of us was purchasing an orange bracelet. Oh my - I WANT that. Her friend says - oh orange is my friend's favourite colour.  I had to laugh because neither of us had anything orange on and my orange backpack was checked in at the front desk, but at least I had my orange wallet to prove my point!!!!!  

Bracelet is gorgeous - $10!!!!!!!!   Couldn't let that stay in the gift shop!!!!!

After having lunch downtown and I "splurged" and had an Orange pop, we walked back to Union Station with our bags.  Did I mention that we each bought three books and a couple of magazines and they are HEAVY??????

Our timing was bang on yesterday. Again, M guided us through the maze of Union Station and arrived at the platform as the train opened its doors.  OK - the transit gods were on our side yesterday.  We were back at the parking lot and in the car before we knew it.

I just the idea of this little kids seat on the front of the bike.  Good thing I wasn't into cycling when M was a baby or we would have had one!!!!!!!!!!

We stopped in Streetsville for ice cream on the way home and THAT place is under construction as well. It is everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then we had company. Guess who.......................

 Sammy and Milo are in love. They have been chasing each other up and down the upstairs hall all morning. When I went to get them to go for a walk, their tongues were hanging out!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Pretty funny and very cute.

On that note - I am teaching all day so I had better get the rest of my stuff organized.

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


Friday, May 30, 2014

Don't try this at home............................................

Tish was over yesterday and so instead of quilting, I joined her and tried to get some projects tidied up.

I made pretty decent progress. Have a look at one of the projects I worked on - I am on a very TIGHT time schedule this morning, so the rest will come later.

Remember this bargello????   Well I now have the four corners done!!!

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

After making the two corners - it is time to worry about the middle of the border. ACK - this does not look good. 

Fold back the left hand strip to where it needs to be to match the top of the quilt and I only have scraps left!!!!!!!!!!!

I will have to join on the diagonal and match the pattern - ICK ICK ICK

But I had to do it on the left hand piece as well - can you see the join?????

OK - that is it - I have to run. Cannot be late this morning.

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


Thursday, May 29, 2014

HexaGONE crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know how it is - a simple gesture. An innocent comment and next thing you know - an explosion!!!!   And I have to blame someone!  I am not sure who I am going to blame this time - but there are TWO culprits - Diane and Tish!

Remember a couple of weeks back that Diane wanted to try making hexagons - the English paper piecing way.

OK - so I know these are NOT hexagons, but Diane has one for hexagons as well as the circle!  

Remember - I went out and purchased the same little cases

And I suppose I could be accused of aiding and abetting Diane since I purchased extra hexagons for her

BUT look what happened yesterday............................

Oh yes - Tish got in on the hexagon craze and she has a nice collection started.  Diane's are 3/4", Tish is using 1"

So I had to pull out my hexagons. Note the nice little box that I copied from Diane - My hexagons are 1/2". I know - stupid stupid stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    And I have loads of fabric cut - just waiting to be made into hexagons. It is now in the retreat bag. 

I offered one of my little cases to Mary - but she did NOT like my colours!!!!   However Sharon was quite happy with the pink one and is going to put her embroidery floss in it.

Because look what Linda has in her box - yep - all her embroidery floss.  What an awesome idea!!!!!   I wonder what colour Mary is going to buy?????   This purple one?????

Diane had quite a few cases in her bag - I am not sure we saw all her projects.

And all this started way back when we were chatting about mini-quilts and one of the quilts in a book I showed the group was made with little hexagons. And that's how crazes start!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another awesome day with the embroidery group. I am making progress - another block done.  OK - one of these days, I will take a picture of my blocks.  I think I am down to 10 left?  I seem to get one done each time we meet - yes - they are small.

Got a little bit of work done on my Vintage Moments..................

Vintage Moments - just missing that last corner - a tiny bit of applique on it - then I can put it in the quilt. And guess what - this is UP TO DATE!!!!!!   But there are 16 eight pointed stars that have to be fussy cut and that is going to be the death of me!!!!!!!!!!

On that note - I have a ton of work to get done today and I had better get started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just shoot me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There always seems to be so much going on - I just can't keep up!  New projects, new quilts, classes, sales, ACK - so much!!!!!!!    But I am having the time of my life - and that is all that counts.

I was chatting to a friend on Facebook - he is retired and boy - he is definitely enjoying his retirement!  So nice to see since many people, in particular men - just have nothing to do when they retire!

I promised that I would post pictures of our little side trips from last week.  On our way to Ailsa Craig - we just had to stop at The Quilt Place in Shakespeare.  I mean - it is NOT good for the circulation to be cooped up in the car for too long.

They have TWO exhibits going on right now at the store - Henny Bremer and her MINI MARVELS.  These mini quilts are just so beautiful.  Well worth a stop just for the mini quilts. And the second show is Practice Makes Perfect by the Shakespeare Quilt Club.  Again some wonderful ideas. The shows run until June 15 and if you are going that way - they are a must see.   I am NOT posting pictures - better if you go and see them.

However - we also had to have a peek at the shop. Oh dear - we did find a few goodies, but Tish and I were both on good behaviour and didn't do too much damage.  But (and if this ever happens again - just SHOOT me) look what I found..................

More tractor fabric and I bought a half meter.   This is it - NO MORE!!!!!!!   I plan to cut up the tractor stuff in the next couple of days and the rest (if there is any) - I am giving away.   I don't ever want to buy tractor fabric again!!!!!

Back in the car and well - by the time we reached Stratford, our legs were severely cramped (wink, wink)  and needed to stop for a stretch. Oh my - look - here is another quilt store. Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe. I am amazed that I remember where each of these stores are - I haven't been to them that many times!!!   However I had heard through the grapevine that some fabric that I wanted could be found here and my source was absolutely right!!!!!!!!

I purchased this kit from The Quilt Patch (Moose Jaw) at the CreativFestival but I wanted to make it larger. I got the lighter colours at Heart n Home and YES - the darker fabrics were at Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe!!!!!

Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Then back in the car and we finally arrived at our destination - The Ailsa Craig Quilt Festival - which as I blogged about last week was fabulous (It ended last week - but put the dates in your calendar for next year).  It is always funny how people can visit the same show and have such different out looks.  We booked a half day workshop, we planned some side trips, we planned on lunch, seeing the quilts, chatting with the vendors, taking pictures for personal use and strengthening friendships.  It was a super super day. I heard other people say that it was far to go for just the show. Well yes - it is far - that is why we planned all the other stuff to make it worthwhile!!!!!   Just me - the eternal optimist!!!!

Then to get home we took a different route and went through London - London, Ontario that is!!!!   Just so happens there is a Fabricland in London.  OH MY GOD - this is probably THE best Fabricland that I have been to. It is bright, it is big, it is spacious and the quilting cotton section is HUGE.  Oh my - could they possibly have my fabric??????  Rats - they did not. BUT look what I found.................

This was on the sale rack and I could NOT leave it behind. I am thinking One Block Wonder or Stack n Whack (Once you make one of those quilts - it is hard to get it out of your mind!!!!!!!!!!)

And then I saw this which was NOT on sale.  The pictures does NOT do it justice - it is just brilliant. 

Well I did some math in my head and of course the sales ladies were helping too.  As a member, I did get a discount, they gave us a coupon worth an additional 10% of our entire purchase (some company wide sale) AND I remembered I had my gift certificate for $46 that I had won at my local store as part of their birthday sale. Hmmmmmmm - more math and WHY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I walked out of there with TEN meters of gorgeous fabric and a really nice cushion cover (which I will show you another day - retail price $40 but was on sale) and I paid $56 including tax.  I thought that was a pretty decent deal!!!!!!

It is always fun to go shopping for others and Diane had asked us to be on the lookout for these. She has become hexagon crazy.
Mission accomplished - we found what she was looking for. 

And yes - I am getting some work done - but it is tough some days - there just seems to be so much to do.
Especially class samples  and already working on stuff for 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I know - I have to keep WAY ahead of the students and I am trying desperately to NOT have any UFOs by the end of the year for these ongoing projects.   ACK - that means THREE quilts that have to be done.  It is doable  - just have to remember to FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS.

Customer quilt - DONE

And this is a cheater cloth for Dear Jane. I quilted up the sashings in four different ways so it would give the class last weekend an idea of which style they preferred.  It will be a good teaching sample for machine quilting.  I will finish up the quilting - cut it apart and finish off the edges.  

 Another crazy day and still lots of craziness to end the week - conference calls (part of the surprise), clubs, quilts to quilt, yard sales and well - it is going to be crazy - but FUN FUN FUN!!!!   Oh yes - I know I need to get more work done in the garden.

Oh yes - remember the Block of the Month that we are doing at the guild this year????   I saw THREE of them completed yesterday.  Oh MY - this is going to be such an amazing show n tell next week - I cannot wait!!!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here.

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


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A is for applique!!!!!!!!!!

While I love applique, any applique projects seem to get put on the back burner.  No idea why - just happens that way.  I am teaching an applique course at The Hobby Horse. It is one of the on-going projects and I am behind!  Plain and simple - I am behind.

We offered the students a choice of two patterns by Buggy Barn and I like them both. So yes - I am doing both of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Farm Fresh - by Buggy Barn

Garden Party - by Buggy Barn

Both of these are big quilts, but fortunately the applique pieces are big.

I have been piddling around with the pieces and trying to get some of the prep work done on Mondays.  This past weekend, I decided it is time to get serious about this. So after spending all day Monday ironing seams, I got home and was still fired up.

And how much space does one need to do applique????   LOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     If I have the room - I will spread out!!!!!

My new set tool set - Perfect Ovals.  I love the Perfect Circles so when it came to doing some ovals, my first choice was to use steam a seam - then I thought about the Perfect Ovals and VOILA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    it worked just as slick as the Perfect Circles

Amazing and I even did smaller ones than this and they were PERFECT. 

If you want to get Perfect Circles (two sizes) or Perfect Ovals or Perfect Stems - all by Karen K. Buckley - Check this out for more information.................   Karen K. Buckley

But that got me to thinking about other areas that cause problems. Like the ends of that blobby shape above.  You could use the perfect circles or ovals and baste just the tip of the piece.  I bet it will work like a charm.  And there are the stripes on the cat - oh boy - I want to try another idea!!!!!!  

Anyway - after MANY years (started this quilt (Farm Fresh) way before we chose it for this year's on-going project) - the first three blocks are done.   OK - I LIE.   The BLOOM block needs a bit of embroidery, and the other two need to be stitched down. Still - this is major progress. 

Pulled out Block Four - the pieces were prepped and now the pieces are glued in place. I still have a couple of small pieces to prepare and will do needleturn?????   or fuse them down???   Got to see how excited I am later today. 

My templates - seems a shame to throw them away, but I will NOT be making this quilt again.   Don't bother asking for them - it is garbage day and they are already gone!    But I am sharing the templates of the other quilt (Garden Party) with one of the students.  She is new to applique and not having to trace and cut the templates will help her out a bit. 

I have four of the blocks for the other quilt almost prepped and ready to glue down. That may happen later today?????   I was so excited about my progress, I could barely get to sleep last night.   That is just sad!!!!!

Well I had to shove some of the applique stuff aside and get the binding on the John Deere quilt.

Make room for the sewing machine

And now the John Deere quilt has the binding on

Got the fans for Vintage Moments trimmed and ready to sew - that is going in the retreat bag! A perfect thing to sew on the retreat. 

I have THREE favourite rulers - the 8 1/2" by 24", the 6" by 12" and the 6 1/2" square.  I have many 6 1/2" squares, but only one each of the other two. The other day I went to cut something and could not find the 6" by 12".  Where could I have put it????   I had had people over, but I doubt that any of them would take it, but it was possible that it got tucked in one of their bags by error.

Hmmmm - oh well - hopefully it will show up. Otherwise - I do have a spare!!!!!

Then I went to get ready to teach a bag class on Sunday. I opened the box and OH MY - what is this????

Do you see what I see?????

Do you see it now?????

Yup - there was my 6" by 12" ruler!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I tucked it in the box to help with the class.   It is now tucked back in the ruler holders on my cutting table.   This is a BIG problem - I shove things into project boxes, get caught up in other things and then I forget what happened to the tools.  I guess one day - I could go through all the project boxes to try and find other missing stuff. Although I don't think I am really missing anything - well not that I know of!!!!!

Got some research to do today. All part of the upcoming big surprise which if things go well - will be unveiled next Monday!!!!!    I am pretty excited about it all. Stay tuned for that.

On that note - I have a LOT to get done today and I had better get started!!!!

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