Saturday, February 28, 2015

What happened??

Seriously!  What happened yesterday?  I did NOT take any pictures and I often rely on the pictures to remind me of what happened the day before!

OK - I'll run and take a couple so you can see that I wasn't slacking off.

It was knit club day!  And I thought I would try to get some more of the afghan together.  Well I ran out of wool when I was grafting. Tried to tie a knot and of course that does NOT work for grafting. I will have to weave those two ends together to finish off that row. I did knit another sashing and started the grafting part.
I must get working faster? or I will never get this done.

My knitted afghan to date
 Of course while I was at the quilt store, the ladies "forced" me to buy this pack of Northcott Sandscapes fabric strips. They are gorgeous and I've got the perfect plan for them!!!!  Now just to find the time.

Sandscapes by Northcott
That fabric line comes in a LOT of different colours!!!

I have taught a lot of people over the years and there are a couple of things that I hear all the time.  Angela Walters posted this video on her blog which I think sums up those observations very nicely.  Have a look - it is very interesting and SO SO true.   We must all STOP doing the three things that she mentions. We will all be better off for it. Remember quilting is supposed to be fun!!!!

On that note - I have to finish prepping for THREE classes today and there are a few odds and ends that need to be finished.

Have a great day!!!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Paper paper paper!!!!

Ack - I just can't get ahead of the paperwork game!  I will try - I will really try, but I know it isn't going to happen for a while. I should try to throw out or deal with five pieces a day?  I know that won't work either. I am going to have to get up one morning with nothing to do (oh - there is the first problem!) and then purge purge purge!!!!

With clothes or kitchen stuff - it is easy to say NOPE - I don't like it or YEP - I like it. But with paper - well I might need that information, I have to process the information, then I have to find a spot to file it.  I guess the best thing for me would be to create files for everything without giving the content too much thought. Then when LIKE THINGS ARE TOGETHER, I can go through a folder one by one, I could evaluate what I want to keep.  Oh yes - OK - I am going to keep that in mind and try to file some stuff every day. Like things together - then purge! I think I can do that!!!!

Yesterday was Thursday Therapy. Another GREAT day of sewing, except that I forgot to pick Linda up!  DUH - it wasn't until about 10 AM that I remembered that I was supposed to pick her up. ACK - how did I manage that?  I had a lot of stuff on my mind that morning and that probably was the cause!

I went to see Still Alice earlier this week and this woman's early on-set Alzheimers is pretty scary, but I'm attributing this "lost memory" to a busy brain!  If you haven't seen the movie - I would recommend that you go. You will cry - take tissues.

I have learned that I am incapable of taking just one project to sewing days. Nope - I take several and why do I do that???  Because I am trying to fill my basket or whatever container I happened to be using that day!!!!

The bigger the container - the more I take!!!

Container of hand work!!!

Oh there are a couple of things in there that I brought home (donations from others).  But I did get some trimming done, I did get some tracing done for fusible applique, I got the snaps sewn on that jacket so that will never have to go back. I sorted out another project and got some cutting done.  Oh yes - I was very productive - now I just need a day where I can actually sew to get that stuff together.

The interesting thing about our sew days - you NEVER know what people will be working on. Remember Mary's itty bitty fabric swatch from a couple of weeks ago????

Shoot - that sample was so tiny - I can't seem to find the picture!

Anyway - Mary was working on some banners for her daughter's wedding shower!  I think the blues are a perfect match!!!  Since I can't find the swatch - we'll never know!

Banners for wedding shower

Anita's gorgeous cushion cover!!!

I see so many people coming and practicing their free motion.   They are pretty smart when you think about it.  Go to the class, get the information, then come to sew days and should they have a question or two - I am there to help them out!!!!!   Yep - that is why these sewing days were started!!!   And you should see how far some of these ladies have come with the quilting. I think it is time to step up the size of projects or the intensity of the quilting!  But seriously - the improvement is incredible!  Just goes to show you how practice and feedback are two CRITICAL learning tools.

Well I have a "free" hour this morning and I have two things to do - one of them involves paperwork so I had better get to it before I get side tracked onto something else.

Have a great day! - Stay warm!  (even me - who is generally optimistic all the time - I am getting a bit tired of the cold!!!   At least the sun is out and that makes me happy!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Show n tell AGAIN!

The show n tell just doesn't stop!

This time it's from the beginner quilting class that finished yesterday at Sew Sisters.
Let's just say that the group is hooked! Many of them have already started ANOTHER quilt or have plans to get started soon. Oh yes - that is too cool!  I remember that feeling and well - I don't think that it has ever gone away!

Most of them had the quilts quilted and some went home with the binding on and ready for hand stitching.

Michelle - the binding was on when she left. She was driven!  Maybe because she has two small children at home and wanted some alone time to sew!  I love that extra border that she put on the quilt. 

Debra (who I insisted on calling Brenda the entire class - why is that??)  Anyway Debra made her quilt a bit larger than the original and was putting the binding on yesterday

Stephanie was in the process of quilting her top. Looks awesome

Sandra has a cool colour combination She was also putting the binding on yesterday

Bluma made this gorgeous quilt. The colour combination is stunning!!!  

There were a few people missing yesterday but hopefully we will catch up with them and get their quilts completed. Those darn travel plans!!!!!

Great day at embroidery - yikes - the conversations were flying around the room. Hard to keep up with everyone! But I love that group!!!!   I so look forward to Wednesday morning. I couldn't find my embroidery (OK - I realize now that it was in a project box that I used on the weekend), but I had some applique to prepare anyway. 

Elaine made this quilt - it is one of the settings from the July shop hop last year. I love that outside border!!!!

Guess who was in the backyard yesterday?????

Mr Rabbit is munching on the seeds that the birds drop from the feeder

And this is a rare sighting!!!!!

Sparky and Little Sammy - they never sleep this close together!!!!

I wonder what the rational for that was???

On that note - I've got another sewing day and I had better finish getting things ready.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!1


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Working hard........

What a great day at Monday Mania!  The ladies were in fine form and they sewed up a storm!  I know I keep saying it, but that group is such a therapeutic tool.  The `round table`format keeps everyone in the loop, everyone helps each other and well - I just can't wait for Mondays to roll around.

Have a look at what was accomplished yesterday.

Lynn brought in her Farm Fresh - the top is DONE. She just needs to quilt it!   (yes - the orientation looks weird because I took the picture on its side and rotated it!)

I got some more scraps for the pet mats.  I notice that this bag was chopped up to protect the innocent!  (in the event the pieces were too big!)  Oh so clever!!!!!

Paula brought in her Chubby Charmer - I think almost everyone has made one of these bags

Paula has cute little labels that she puts on her projects

Jan got her table runner (the top) done and ready for quilting. 

I have to laugh because I get asked all the time "how should I quilt this?"  So I tell them but they don't want to hear what I have to tell them.  "I can't do that - that is too much!"  But the more I push them, they do break down and do it!!!!   And they are learning!

I didn't get pictures of Veronica's table runners. But she has been practicing and is doing amazing with the quilting!  There was one design that she just could not get. The night before our class (last week), I am lying in bed trying to figure out a better way to show her.  So instead of ribbon candy, we now call it tear drop and she got it!!!!   I love it!!!!!!

I see that Lynn is very protective of HER stuff!!!  But since there was no name on the box - we were going to steal it!

Karen was hard at work on the prep work for an upcoming class.  Yep - looks like she is making rope - lots and lots of rope!  

And lots more to go!!!!!

I wouldn't let Paula work on her bags so she was "forced" to get back to work on her double wedding ring!!!!

We had a good laugh - this is Paula's "covered bottom".  She misread the directions and thought it said covered button!  The button is beautifully done!!!

Have you watched the movie "Doubt"?  It took me a good 20 minutes before I clued in that Meryl Streep was Mother Aloysius. The big question - was the priest guilty or not?   Paula and I had a good discussion about that.  No fair though - she had watched it three times!!!   It is very intriguing and shows how a few subtle points can be misinterpreted to make you believe something that might not be true!!!

Susan working on another chubby charmer

Lynn working on her Itty Bitty Blocks from Quiltmaker magazine

Paula (another Paula) working on 4th of July 

Jan working on her mystery quilt
 I did get tons done as well. I had decided to just focus on non-machine work.

Trimming up some half square triangles. I will do a few each week. It is a boring job. 
I finished trimming my hour glass blocks. 
 When I got home, I sorted them by size and now they are in the appropriate bag with the rest of them.

My box of hour glass blocks - all trimmed and ready to do something with

I finally got the buttons sewn on the Pinetree Parka
 Since I did not want to make buttonholes, I sewed snaps on the inside.

Snaps on the inside

I sewed the snap on the inside and then slightly offset the button and sewed it on the outer side. There was enough of an offset to cover the thread from sewing on the snaps.

I still have to sew the other half of the snap on. That is a project for Thursday.  But I am almost done!!!!!!

On that note - I have to get going. A busy day and no time to waste!

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


Monday, February 23, 2015

And more show n tell.......................

It has been a totally crazy day.  I managed to get some critical paperwork done, but it took way longer than I planned. Like everything. Then I made EXCELLENT progress on a couple of critical projects. However I am not at liberty to share any of it with you at this time.  The projects are for QUILTSocial and I think you are going to be impressed. I have been holding my breath a LOT today as the embroidery machine chugged away and I am so EXCITED with the results. Just wait until you see!!!!!

But I was also ripping and ripping as I tried to get a quilt top together. There was one part that I wasn't happy with, but I thought I might get away with it. However M came downstairs and said NO. And I agree - so tomorrow - rip rip rip!   It won't take that long to fix, but I don't have a lot of time to fix things. I need to keep moving!!!

Anyway - here is the show n tell.

The first quilt is Amish with a Twist Series Two. This is a monthly class at Sew Sisters.

Amish with a Twist Series Two

A large number of participants are making the quilt from the kit so rather than have them all put up the same blocks and get them get mixed up - we have ONE set from the kit (on the left) and the rest are those that are making the quilt with different fabrics. Someone even fussy cut the centers of the stars. Darn - I should have gotten a close-up! Next month!

Show n tell for Amish with a Twist

They had to make 12 of those little star blocks. Looks easy, but they are only 5 inches so a bit fiddly.  A great looking lot of blocks!!!!!   Easy to tell which values work best. A couple of those will be remade - the ones on the extreme right - the top grayish one was a first attempt. It was scrapped for the other three underneath.

Mary brought in her Amish with a Twist (the original) for show n tell.  Drat - she finished the applique!!!  I've got to get my butt in gear!!!!   And notice that Mary used white for her background! Awesome job! .

Amish with a Twist - the original. 
 Both of these patterns are by Nancy Rink

Next up was Tiny Town by Bunny Hill
Tiny Town by Bunny Hill

Some of the class got a little over excited and made the entire block instead of just the small section we needed to make this month!  But they look amazing!!!!!   I will try to get close-ups of them next month when the entire Block One is complete.

Block One (or parts thereof)

A latecomer to the class

Let's just say that they are going to have loads of fun with this quilt. There is so much room for embellishment and personalizing. Oh yes - I can just see the changes coming!!!!   And the techniques - many are doing it by hand - we have fussy cut flowers, hand embroidery, needleturn - lots of very creative stuff. I'll be better with the camera next month.

We also had some extra show n tell and I didn't get pictures of that either. I am slipping!

When I did get a chance to come up for air, I saw a beautiful cardinal in the backyard at the feeder. I went to grab the camera and get closer to take a picture and WHAT????   What is that stupid squirrel doing climbing up the pole!!!!

Squirrel attempting to climb the pole
He went up and touched the seed bag that was hanging and then I never saw him again. Oh yes - I let Little Sammy out - maybe that is why!

I am happy to report that we haven't seen much of the squirrels lately. Not sure if they are discouraged???  Too cold???   The birds are around.

And guess who came back???   Yep - the cardinal.

Cardinal at the feeder

More birds swarming the bird feeder
I have to laugh because whenever I post to QUILTSocial which is more formal, although the posts for next week bordered on silly at some points, it is quite different to post formally and then casually especially when you go directly from one to the other.  The software is different, the way you edit is different, the way you load pictures is different, the way I write is somewhat different. Oh my brain is too tired to think now.

On that note - I am out of here.

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


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let's get Creative!!!!

Have you noticed how light it is in the morning?  This past week I noticed while walking the dogs that it is completely daylight at 7:00 AM when I get back to the house.  Or maybe it is all the snow that is making it look brighter. I feel kind of exposed not walking in the dark!  Can that mean that summer is coming?  You wouldn't know by the temperature although it wasn't so bad this weekend, but I see that the temps are going back down tonight. The girls love it - I just try not to think about it!

Lots more show n tell yesterday, but I am going to post that tomorrow AM.

Today is all about cleaning up and getting work done.  I have an entire day (well almost) to myself. How did that happen? I have to finish up the QUILTSocial blog so some sewing is in order, then more pictures and writing. And I MUST MUST MUST do some tidying up in the studio.

I have resigned to the fact that all the work surfaces including sewing table, cutting table and ironing boards will NEVER be clear at the same time. It just isn't going to happen. BUT I would like to keep only the active stuff - the really active stuff - like what I am working on that week on the tables. That still means there is going to be a LOT on those tables. But the stuff that is not on the agenda for the week needs to get put away. Hmmmm - good luck with that!!!!

The cutting table this morning

Cool fabrics that Vivenda made a Mossy Radiation from. I love the colours. She gave me some of her leftovers and I purchased the last of the fabrics that were at The Hobby Horse. 
 They are all VERY bright and have a hint of gold in them.

Vivenda and her Mossy Radiation (Kaffe Fassett)

It is absolutely stunning.  I am thinking I might be able to add some Shimmer by Northcott to get enough.  Have to sit down and figure out what I have and what I am missing. Several of the local quilt stores have Shimmer so I better get it figured out BEFORE it all goes away although I doubt that will happen for a while.

Speaking of local quilt shops - I have to tell you this story.  Remember my little rant last week about what people say in quilt stores. It bugs me at the best of times, but it especially bugs me when I am teaching. Which means that I am EMPLOYED by said quilt store to teach.   This lady pipes up - "there is ONLY one Fabricland in Toronto and I like to go to that other store - Len's Mills."   SERIOUSLY????????    Are you going to tell me that you can beat the ENTIRE ROOM of $7.99 fabric at Sew Sisters (that is where I was teaching when the subject came up)?????   Will you get better quality for that price????  I just do not get it!!!!

So I very politely (yes - I was very polite) had a discussion with the entire class about SERVICE. You pay the same price or sometimes more at these other stores. You get ZERO service. I am not saying to NOT shop at these stores - I do buy a fair amount of stuff at Fabricland (but not usually quilting fabric).  But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE think about what you are saying when you are in a quilt store. And think with your dollars. If you don't buy or you buy on-line JUST to save money - there will be NO local quilt stores to give you personalized service or classes.  My big thing - if you shop wisely, (and yes we all want a bargain), but if you DO NOT use the bargain fabric - then did you really get a bargain?????

This topic came up on a recent discussion on Facebook and while many people earn money in this business - VERY few can earn a living!!!   I know that I am a bit too giving of my time and my expertise. I try not to be to generous because the amount of free stuff on the internet (and in person) makes it very hard for others to charge for the same thing!

OK - off the soap box!!!!

The ironing board is looking pretty good this morning

Must try to get this set of tables cleared today. I know that isn't going to happen so let's say by Wednesday when we have embroidery - must be clear. Not just swept clean, but processed clean!!!!

It time to get CREATIVE!!!!!

There are TONS of events coming up so you better get out your calendar and start working them in.

Check out the CreativFestival website. It went live earlier this week.   You CANNOT get a better deal than this show. For $15 (one day) or $22 (two days), (FREE PARKING) you get access to FREE demos, make it and take-its (some kit fees apply), shows,  all day long on both days.

I am doing a couple of demos - be sure that you come and see me!!!!!

One is on Hand Embroidery   and two more - Rulers and Bags  (scroll to the bottom of the page - they are TWO separate demos)

There is tons of stuff to see - some quilt shows of Canadian Quilter's Association quilts, a place to check out sewing machines if you are in the market, look at new products  - fabric, patterns, techniques.  Oh my - there just isn't time to see it all!!!!   While I like working the CreativFestival, I also enjoy being a visitor so I can enjoy all the free demos myself. I might see if I can sneak away from the booth (I'll be with Sew Fancy again) to catch one or two demos. I saw a couple that I am very interested in!!!!!

Anyway - check out the information - buy your ticket on-line and get ready to learn!!!!!  

On that note - I am fired up - got some paper work to clear up first thing. Then onto to the sewing machine and the camera!!

Have an awesome day!!!!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stitcher's Garden - show n tell

There is a LOT of show n tell happening this week!   I had my class for the Stitcher's Garden quilt on Wednesday evening. Those girls are fanatics. They were to prepare TWO blocks, but many had the backgrounds for others prepared and clamoring for more!  I LOVE enthusiasm.   This class is focused strictly on the sewing machine - we actually bring our sewing machines (well not me!) but they work in class trying out different techniques.

Here is the quilt we are working on.........

Stitcher's Garden by The Stitch Connection

And here is the show n tell from the other night.

Sheila - Block One

Sheila - Block Two

Judy - Block One

Judy - block Two

Louise - Block One

Louise - Block Two

Judy - Block Two

Judy - Block Two

Pat - Block Two

Lucy - Block One

A couple of people were not at class that night so we will catch up with them next time. You should see the stitching on these. They got very creative with the stitches on their sewing machines and the threads.  I am very impressed.  What an awesome way to learn how to use your sewing machine and all those feet that are available and that many have and have no idea what they do!!!!  Oh yes - it was a very interesting night. I did purchase a few goodies myself which I will show you at another date when I have time to process them!!!!

If anyone is interested in doing this quilt - let me know.  I would like to run it again. It is held at Brampton Sew n Serge and will be in the evening.  Start date would likely be September.  Loads of fun and you actually get to work on the sewing machine in class!!!!   There are tons of techniques and tools that we evaluate - you don't have to have all the tools - I do demo them in class and then you decide!!  How much better does it get than that!!!!!

Guess what I got the other night???   One more Row by Row Experience License plate. Yes - this one was NOT on the official license plate list, but Lauraine knew that I was searching for them and picked up an extra one for me last year. It took a while to connect but here it is!!!!!   Thanks Lauraine!!!!

2014 Row by Row Experience License Plate

More pillow cases and scraps!  Thanks!!!

 I opened up one of the kitchen cupboards the other day and WHAT?????   What is this??????

Packets of pepper - seriously?????   Where did they come from???

And I found this in the refrigerator. 

It would appear that those "gifts" came from M. Really?????   The kid who has no qualms about wasting real food is saving packets of pepper and ketchup????   Now I know that she has been abducted by aliens and replaced by someone I don't know.  What am I going to do with that stuff????   It is going out!!!!   No one eats ketchup at our house and I'm NOT becoming my parents with oodles of ketchup packets in the fridge that they never use.

I am trying to CLEAN out the kitchen, not add more stuff!!!!!

Speaking of the culprit - she grabbed my camera yesterday and look what happened.............
There is Sparky enjoying her new mat!
Pretty intense!!!!
What more could you ask for - a selfie with the dog!!!!   Sparky wasn't quite into the concept though

Little Sammy sucking up the attention. Sammy is so intense!!!!

Little Sammy looking very protective!!!

Or does that look say "don't touch!!! I'll bite you if you do!"

She never wavers from starring at the camera!!!Silly girl.

Obviously I took the pictures of M with Little Sammy.  But Little Sammy is very cute - even from the back - she is a cutie patootey!!!!

Little Sammy from behind!

 I did learn one thing yesterday. I went to spin class at 9:30 AM. Yes - the gym is busier - gosh there was hardly any room in the steam room when I was done the spin class. Not sure if I like that time, but I might try it a couple of times and see. But when I went to the LifeCafe to pick up lunch, I found some of my gym friends hanging out. They try to have lunch on Friday. I didn't have time to stay, but I will keep that in mind for future Fridays!!!  

I spent most of yesterday sewing up samples, taking pictures which I edited this morning and now to load it all up on the internet.

On that note - I am out of here - teaching all day.

Have a great day!!!!!