Saturday, January 31, 2015

How much is too much?

I haven't really been following the Home Storage Solutions tidy up. I know their schedule for the kitchen is January/February and although I am making slow progress, I am making progress.  I did have a peek at the e-mail from yesterday and SERIOUSLY??????   It is one thing to find a storage solution for items, but shouldn't we deal with the quantity of the items FIRST??????

water bottle storage using an over the door shoe rack
Really??????   How many water bottles does one household need???
To check out the entire article - click this link.

This is the kind of thing (hoarding) that I am doing in my studio with my craft supplies so I shouldn't talk too loudly. I guess it is all where our priorities are.  

We have gotten rid of a lot of stuff - I just need a couple more hours? and it will be done.  I am sure my family will be happy since we still have no cutlery in the cutlery drawer. Just those plastic spoons. Not my priority!!!

Speaking of getting rid of stuff - I had a bunch of plastic containers for food storage.  Some of them had seen better days. I sorted through what we had - kept the newer ones and put the rest in a bag. After chatting to Diane at Ruti's who has connections with people in the cat rescue world - they are in need of containers like this - so I dropped the bag off to Diane yesterday.

Plastic containers - GONE!!!!
I might also have found a home for my pet mats. They are going to check what we did - I will get feedback and then we can modify the beds if needed.  I love it - a win win for everyone.

OK - so sometime before Christmas, I got shellac on my nails. My daughter was OH OH - this isn't good. You have to scrap the shellac off which I did a while back and well - my nails have NOT been the same since.

My nails which were never in good shape to begin with are even worse

Essentially when you remove the shellac, you scrap off the top layer of the nail. Now my nails are soft and the edges get rough so I am constantly filing them to keep them smooth.  They are SHORT SHORT SHORT and I hate it. I can't do a thing without a proper nail.  Can you pick up a pin with no finger nail???   Nope - and a lot of other things are just a nuisance.  I hope this problem resolves itself soon and allows my nails to grow back. Lesson learned - while the shellac is pretty - it is also pretty damaging.  Just like anything else - it looks good, it tastes good - it is NOT good for us.

Now if you talk about accumulating stuff - I have a thing with bicycle fabric and LOOK - I managed to snag FOUR new ones the other day at Sew Sisters.

Four new bicycle fabric

I saw these two at Ruti's yesterday, but I think I have both of them

We were chatting about applique yesterday - I can't wait for our applique club in a couple of weeks!!!   Anyway, Diane had her first applique quilt in the store. I think that center block came from Piecemaker's????

Diane and her first applique quilt
 I had to laugh as I looked at it - because OMG - I have that red fabric still in my stash!!

I still have this red fabric in my stash!!!

Customer quilt - delivered (forgot to take a picture before it left my house!)

Well since I had the camera in the car and I had to drive by the mall (well with a slight detour) to get home, I decided to stop and take some pictures.

Now you can see the scaffolding

If you enlarge this picture - you can see the big panels of glass that they are using to `fill`the ball

Actually, this construction is quite neat.  Those inner ``small`` white bars are supporting the glass, while the bigger outside white bars support the whole thing. Pretty cool!!!   Can`t wait until it is finished.  Hmmmm - I wonder about the food court - I must ask M since she was working last night.

Oh yes - since I was at the mall - I went for the whole deal!!!   You got almost every angle of that ball.

 You can see the snow on top of the ball

There is a `hole`at the top

More snow

Opposite side of the original picture - lots of snow on this side

Yep - pretty obsessed with this - what will I have to look at when the ball is done?   Well you can bet that they will be ripping apart the entire outside of the mall, redoing all the entrances. Oh yes - it will take years. No worry!

As I was searching for something yesterday (still have not found that sweatshirt project - I can only guess that I put it into something other than the white plastic bag it was in - but what???)  Anyway - guess what I found?????   Yep - there was the missing fabric for that little table topper.

The missing fabric and it was right where I left it. I forgot to pick it up when I picked up the table runner. The worse part??   I didn't remember doing that!!!

There isn't much, but should be enough to get the last border and the binding. There is no need to measure - if it doesn't work out - I will figure something out!  But I have a feeling there is enough. 

I did a bad thing yesterday. Depends on how you look at it. From a work perspective it was a bad thing, but from a mental health perspective it was awesome!   It was a bright sunny day when I got home from a couple of errands.  Instead of going back to work, I decided to sit in the front room and read my book.  First I had a chat with M when she got home from school. Then she went off to work and so I read and read and read until I finished the book!!!!!    I haven't done that in a while and once I got over the guilt (five minutes), it was fabulous!!!!!   Got to get my schedule in order so I can do that more often.

On that note - I have a big class today and I am ready to go, but a few e-mails to send out before I leave.

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


Friday, January 30, 2015

Patience - ahmmmmmmmmmmmm - patience!

You know that computers and I - well we have a love/hate relationship. I decided that I could not put off the printer problem any longer. I had some FREE time and I called my friends in India. The first call took about one hour and the printer is working!!!!   However, the fellow asked me to reboot the computer and we would then reconnect, but that didn't happen.

I keep losing the scanner connection as well (the all-in-one is used wirelessly). And I wanted to ask them about getting the scanner working. You would think if the printer function worked, then the scanner function should work as well. Nope - when the computer finally came back online - the printer worked, but not the scanner. So I called again. This second call also took about one hour. I was asked to restart the computer again and after a very long time to bring it back up, well I had neither printer nor scanner. OK - they are very lucky that my patience was strong that night.

I called a third time. Explained the issues with the printer and the scanner functions. And I asked that the computer be cleaned up - you know get rid of temp files and such. The fellow did that and then decided that I needed a new driver for the printer. That download took a LONG LONG time and I was nodding off, so he suggested that we let the file download over night and I could call back in the morning to get the rest of the job done.

So for the fourth time, I called my friends in India and was on the phone for yet another hour!!!!!  He installed the software and then he was able to print and scan, but I could only print. Seriously???   A few more adjustments and OMG - I am able to print AND scan. BTW - the computer does EVERYTHING FAST!!!!!!!    Why does all that crap collect anyway????

I scanned a bunch of stuff that I have been putting off including that Bonnie Hunter article. But I scanned it in .pdf format which I can't put on the blog. To put the system to the test - I decided to try the scanning function again this morning and IT WORKS!!!!!

Here is the darn article!!!!   I pulled it from Quiltmania magazine (one of my favourites). Number 70 which was published in 2009.   (BTW - if anyone has any older issues of this magazines that they no longer want - let's talk)

Cover of Quiltmania - Number 70

Page One (hopefully if you click on the photo - you will be able to read it)
 The first paragraph talks about her being a green quilter.   (sorry - you can't read that - I will cut and paste that part to make it bigger so you can read)

At last!!!!

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

Page Five

You can see that Bonnie's quilts are SCRAPPY.  She would be in her glory to go through those scrap bags from our sewing group. However - I am getting that fun and I might just make a quilt to show them what they are throwing away!!!!   I got a number of comments from various people who are going to start making pet mats with their scraps and look what Maria was busy with yesterday.

Maria was busy making more pet mats with the leftovers from Dodge's and Lucy Loo's beds

They are so fast and easy and uses up scraps!!!!!   We are like pioneers - NOTHING goes to waste!!!!

We had a blast at embroidery club as usual!!!  ACK - I now have so many movies to watch and books to read. My lists grow every week!!!!!   But I love it!  And so weird that we all seem to have the same likes, dislikes, morals, blah blah blah!   I just love  the ladies who embroider - that sounds way too formal. I love the embroidery "girls".

Linda has to be the queen of embroidery. She FORGOT that she had made this quilt. FORGOT???   There is some serious redwork here. She recently found the blocks and put it together. I LOVE IT!!!!!

Linda's redwork quilt - pattern is Winter Twitterings by Pearl Louise Krush 

Then I was off to teach part two of the beginner quilt class at Sew Sisters. They are an enthusiastic bunch as they all had their homework done or as done as they could get before they had questions. The colour combination of their projects are fabulous!!!!  I will share when they are done.

We got a laugh from one of Stephanie's blocks. She made a POCKET!!!

Stephanie's block POCKET

Lego Lania and GeoGeorge were on the hunt for good pictures. They didn't have a lot of time, but they were sure admiring all the fabric on the shelves.

Lego Lania and GeoGeorge on a search for fabric!

I've been watching the progress at the mall. That glass ball is taking forever to finish. Now that the glass is almost completely installed, they have installed scaffolding on the OUTSIDE of the ball. No idea why - but hopefully it will be done soon.

I drove by last night after the snow and it was funny to see snow stuck to the ball, except the very top which had no glass!

Glass ball at Erin Mills Town Center

I had an AWESOME day yesterday.  A good visit with Pauline who dropped by to bring  me a quilt. We had a good chat while we enjoyed a muffin and a cup of tea. It was great to just visit and not worry about deadlines!   The quilt on the machine is coming along nicely, but I have to take it off this morning to turn it. Not one of my favourite tasks - there is always that question - is it faster to work DOWN the side borders or turn the quilt and work straight across. Usually turning works for me - a LOT less stops and starts.

Super work out at the gym.  I am determined to make the best of my workouts. I woke up at 4:30 AM - I was wide away and a bit chilled. I grabbed an extra quilt and was soon fast asleep. When the alarm went at 5:00 AM - I was exhausted and didn't get out of bed right away. I thought about NOT going to the spin class. I could go later. Well - I did drag myself out of bed and I had a super work out.  Saw lots of friends this morning at the gym and well - despite the frigid temperature and wind, it was a great way to start the day.

Have an AWESOME Friday.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's all about the SCRAP!

There are a couple of things to contemplate about quilting. I have heard people lament that it is an expensive hobby. Yes it can be (especially if you buy and buy and never make anything). I have heard people say that THEY do not need any more bed quilts, they love to sew, but don't want to make a new quilt  because who will they give it to.

And my personal beef - REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!

This whole business started with Maria!  She wanted the sewing groups to save her scraps because she was making a dog bed for her daughter's BIG dog - DODGE. A bull mastiff. So we all dutifully saved her scraps until she said NO MORE.

But we were on a roll so I decided that I would collect the scraps and we would make pet mats out of them. Here is a quick and dirty tutorial on making the pet mats and then I will get into my beef!


I start with purchased pillow cases. They cost $1 at Value Village and on half off day - you can obviously get them cheaper. Make sure you check the quality of them. I try to get the heavier cotton solid-coloured ones. I ended up with a solid one that was very thin fabric. It is being redonated back to the store. 

Pillow case
 I started by pressing a crease down the center of the pillow case and folded it in thirds the other way and pressed those creases as well. These are sewing marks for those that don't want to just wing it.

Creases separate the pillow case into SIX sections

Fabric scraps (more on that in a minute)

Sew a seam right down the center of the pillow case creating two sections

Stuff scraps into the bottom of EACH of the two sections to just short of that first crease line

I shoved all the scraps tight down past the crease line. Then stitched it. Then repeated that process until all SIX sections were filled and then just sewed the edge of the pillow case closed.

Puffy pet mat. Takes no time to make!!!!

What is a SCRAP?

Well after collecting scraps for a couple of weeks, it was time to make the pet mats and when I started to go through the bags - well that was a bit of an eye opener!!!!

This is what I call a scrap

I have a little basket on my cutting table and I filled it several times yesterday. When it is full, I used to put it in the garbage. When we started to collect scraps, I put them in a plastic bag to deal with later. NOW - I will have a pillow case prepped so I can empty my basket into the pillow case!!!  Now that is saving time!!!!

As I was filling the pillow case yesterday, I went through a couple of bags of scraps that I had brought home from the sewing groups.

I emptied the bag on the table - YIKES!!!!
 There is a lot in here that I would NOT call scraps. But I don't have loads of time.
I quickly separated the big pieces from the little ones.

Big scraps (mostly batting) and little scraps

Found a pin! - OUCH!!!!

I took the bigger pieces of batting which normally I would have saved, but there was so much fabric scraps attached, I  didn't want to take the time to clean them up.  I felt these scraps were too big to be comfy in the pet mat. 
 So - I got out the scissors and rotary cutter and chopped them into bits. It was easy, fast and therapeutic

In the next bag - the batting scraps were even bigger!!!!    
I pulled the fabric off the batting, chopped up the batting and kept the fabric strips
Next bag was all little scraps - OH yes - that is MY bag

Fabric "scraps" that were going to be thrown out

Most "throw away" scraps

So far - this is what I have collected for fabric

Now - I know this is not for everyone, but I LOVE scrap quilts. They are fun - they take lots of time, they cost practically nothing especially if you get scraps from those that don't want them. So if you think quilting is an expensive hobby and no need for another bed quilt, but love to sew - why not make scrap quilts for community projects.  You could sew for the rest of your life and NEVER run out of stuff to sew. Costs nothing but thread!!!!

Here is a scrap quilt that I had on the go a while back - while I was waiting for my computer to be fixed - more on that another day - I got all these blocks trimmed

Found TWO blocks that needed the corner sewn on
See what tiny scraps I used to finish off the block
Now there are 80 blocks ready to be sewn into a lap sized quilt
And that is why my scrap basket got filled several times last night

I still have these bags of scraps to go through!!!!!

 My family needs some education in the garbage department. We have to choose the cart size that we are going to use next year. I am getting a BIG recycling cart and a SMALL cart for garbage. Even though pickup is going to every other week - so one week is recycling, one week is garbage. I want my family to take control of their garbage - they MUST learn to recycle and we need to learn to reduce, reuse or recycle. It is as simple as that. I hope that other families will take the same tact. If we don't - we are going to run into trouble.

New (to us) garbage carts

I won't go into details now, but let's just say that my scanner/printer is fixed at last and so I can finally share that Bonnie Hunter article with you. Actually fits right in with today's theme since the article mentions her methods for being a green quilter.   Oh shoot - I saved it as a .PDF and now I see that I can't download a .PDF to this blog format!   Let me try one more time with that.

As you have seen above - I need to educate the sewing group as well. What is considered a scrap and what is still usable. I will get them all converted (hopefully)

On that note - I am late and need to get to the long arm.

Have a great day!!!!