Tuesday, March 31, 2015

And progress is being made..........................

You know my painstaking mistake that I am correcting? Well I am still hours away from getting it fixed, but now we are down to single digit hours. It is very time consuming and I have decided to tell you the story so you don't make the same mistake. Watch for it - I'm not in the mood to tell the story right now!

Here is a sampling of what I got done last week at the Monday/Thursday sewing days.

I am almost finishing trimming the half square triangles for Vintage Moments!!!!

Another row on the "UGLY" string pieced blocks

Scrap basket is getting low

Almost have one seam per string pieced block on the Orca Bay quilt done -  
 I have a bunch of fabric, odds and ends that I am cutting up to make kits for community outreach quilts.  Mary was look for something to do, so she is now getting those kits to sew.  That woman is a machine. This is one of the quilts that she pieced for me.
Flannel squares into a great looking quilt - thanks Mary!!!!!

Dug out my pattern for Stepping Stones by Judy Neimeyer. This is the same quilt that Jan is making. Who by the way now has 60 of 105 blocks made!!!!    That is amazing progress!!!!

Remember Jan - madly chain piecing those blocks!!!!

Diane gave me this article about funeral urns. Yes -that funeral urn is made of fabric covered cording - similar to  the bags that we were making!!!!  

More work done on the Border Creek mystery from Quilts of the Creek
This is the view under my long arm. Normally this area is absolutely clear, but I have received so many bags of scraps and sheeting/pillow cases that it had to go somewhere. Yikes - that is a LOT of stuff.

Scraps for pet mats and toiletries bags for the women's shelter

Some of the pillow cases are a bit thin, so I just double it inside itself.  Serged the bottom so it would stay together

Picked through the scrap bags - oh yes - I am finding all kinds of odds and ends that can be used in my selvedge project or my scrappy string piecing. 

Then the pillow is full and serged shut. One more pet mat - DONE!!!!

Have you noticed how different our brains are?  Some people love to learn, some people do not. Some like to read, others do not. My brain is like a sponge. It tries to absorb as much information as possible. The day that I stop learning is the day that I die!  Some lessons are a bit more painful that others are and I hope to reduce the number of painful learning experiences and increase the number of fun learning experiences.

I have been watching this video by Karen K. Buckley on Hand and Machine Applique and it definitely qualities in the fun learning experiences.

Karen K Buckley video on Hand and Machine Applique

Oh my goodness - the video is AWESOME.  First though - I have never seen Karen and when I saw her on the video - whew!   Looks totally different than what I had pictured in my mind.

Anyway - I already have and use Karen's Perfect Circles and other shapes, but I mostly use the Perfect Circles.  Many many of the techniques that Karen walks you through in AWESOME detail are identical to the methods that I use for applique. BUT there are several neat little tricks that I learned from the video that I am very excited about. I have already tried out a couple and they work FABULOUSLY.    Yes - it is about time that I get back to applique but FIRST - I have this mess to clean up. I have 5 quilts to quilt in the next week and a few other things. Then off to retreat where I  may just crash and do nothing.

Look what Margaret bought me.  I love them. Now I have to bake some muffins!!!!   Party time!!!!

Bicycle cup cake papers!!!!

On that note - I am off to get some stuff done. I am making a list of everything that has to be done before I leave for the retreat. The list is long - there are some fun things, there are some not so fun things, there is packing, there is prepping, there is quilting, writing - Oh yes - lots of stuff and I am trying to pick and attend those things that I cannot get out of. Like teaching a class is kind of important!!!   But I am happy to report that my spin class and Pilates class are on the list. If I don't have an outlet for this energy - I will burst and then I will get nothing done!!!!

So I am off to Pilates this morning.

Have a great day!!!!


Sunday, March 29, 2015


Why do we organize things? Well those of us that do organize things - why do we do it? There are a couple of reasons - one, the area in question looks much neater (usually) and secondly, it takes way less time to find things.

And how many times does it take to scramble through a mess before you think - "I have to organize this!"

That is my issue with my quilting patterns for the long arm and my quilts to be quilted.

Long arm patterns

There are THREE categories of patterns -
1. very specialized patterns that I use on rare occasions,
2. common easy to use patterns,
3. ones that I don't really like or very dense ones that I will use occasionally

If I sorted them into those three categories, imagine how much time I would save by going directly to the category that I need instead of having to go through the entire mess looking for one specific pattern. And that brilliant idea only took me eight years!!!!!    Hey - I'm a slow learner!!!

The other area is my buckets of MY quilts that need to be quilted.  I just popped the lid onto the eleventh box. I know - eleven boxes of quilts (all have the backing and the binding included).  Makes me a bit sick to look at them which is why they are hidden in a corner.

EIGHT buckets of quilts to be quilted (MY quilts)

Three more buckets!!!!
So the next time you ask - "what do you do with all your quilts?"  There is your answer - they go in a tub waiting to be quilted!!! 

A while back, I got myself somewhat organized and put labels on the outside of the boxes.  Yes - a good idea, but I still find myself having to look through the entire list (on each box) to find a particular quilt that I need for show n tell or demo purposes.   I was thinking it would be better if I grouped them into "like" categories. I know - that is pretty sad when you think about that concept!!!!   But table runners could all go in one bucket. $10 quilts in another, paper pieced ones or whatever. But they need to be better organized so I can label the box TABLE RUNNERS (and then list the runners). That would be way easier. Oh - it is like the filing cabinet - I need FOLDERS. Each box is a folder, but I got to put the right paperwork (quilt) into each folder.  

Yes - that is an excellent idea. And as soon as I get over my immediate time crunch situation - things are looking up so that is good - I will tackle the "TO BE QUILTED" buckets. 

And every time another quilt rolls off the long arm, I feel that much better. These days, there is MORE going out than coming in. Thank goodness, although I have two more coming in   - make that three more coming in that need to be done. For the most part - they were on the schedule (just delayed by the customer). However after looking at the situation here - I am going to have to be FIRM - very FIRM about the next scheduling of dates.  I am booking September. And that's it!!!!  

Speaking of quilting - I got another quilt done last night.

Customer quilt - DONE

Oh yes - today is the LAST day of the Etobicoke Quilt Show. I went on Friday and it was AWESOME.  I apologize if I was short with anyone - I didn't have a lot of time and I wanted to make sure that I saw everything. There were some amazing quilts - I took TONS of pictures which I need to sort through. Bought raffle tickets on their gorgeous applique quilt, bought tickets on the mini-draw (and I WON something) bought a few things in the member's boutique which I will share in a day or so - they are treasures to me, but not to most people. Can you guess what I bought?   Picked up a couple of things in the vendor's marketplace. Oh boy - everyone is making me feel guilty - as soon as they see me even looking at fabric - they start to bug me about buying more. I wonder why?  NO ONE gets to see the stash so no one really knows how big or small it is!!!!

Anyway - the show is worth going to - so if you have time - check it out.

On that note - I have a bit of a chaotic schedule again today.  

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


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fundraiser - check it out!

Hello everyone - as  you know M is finishing up her program at Humber College. One of her year end projects is a fashion show. They have a fund raiser to support the Look Good, Feel Better organization. The students are looking for small items that can be used in their event.

Here is the fine print. If you can help out - let me know and I will arrange to get the items picked up.
Thanks everyone!!!!

GO with your gut!!!!

Ah - have you ever done something and you knew in your heart that it wasn't quite right, but you foraged ahead anyway?  Come on - we have all done it to some extent. Well this past week, it happened to me twice!

It would appear that a pinched nerve is what is likely causing some of my discomfort in my leg. When I got home from Thursday Therapy, I was in agony. I guess I had sat too long in one position and I needed some relief. I called "A" physiotherapist. I did not call the one recommended by my doctor. I thought I was getting a specific place, but upon arrival at the address, I realized it was NOT the place that I had wanted. SHOOT - well I went with the appointment since I was there.

She did an assessment and yes - most likely a pinched nerve, but it was a very weird appointment and I can't exactly put my finger on it. I rebooked TWO appointments for this coming week. But I had trepidations about it. I must say that I did get some pretty much immediate relief from the acute pain with the ultrasound. But when I asked one of the personal trainers (who I trust very much) about a physiotherapist, she recommended the same one that my doctor did. OH CRAP!!!!

Now I have to get out of those two appointments this coming week. Why didn't I just listen to the doctor and do what she said????  Well she didn't exactly tell me to go there, but she did recommend them.

And then I did another HUGE mistake. I thought I was capable of doing something, but when it was done, I was NOT happy with it. So correcting that mistake is a HUGE, PAINSTAKING and very TIME CONSUMING job which I am trying to cram in between other things. Lesson learned - listen to your gut!!!!   Don't be a hero - don't think "you CAN do it" when your gut knows better!!!!   And some day - I might tell you what I did!!!!  

On top of that - I am WAY BEHIND in getting the QUILTSocial blog posts up.  They will be up when they are supposed to be, but - well they are late to the editor!!!!   She is very tolerant of me!!!  And I feel really really guilty about it since there is nothing but my procrastination to blame.  However - the POSTS this coming week are AWESOME.   They are very informative and you are going to learn so much - you won't need me any more!!!!!   I will post the link when they are up!!!!

The following pictures are from Monday Mania this past week.

Lynn brought in her Vintage Moments to show us. It is DONE!!!!!  

This is crazy Mary holding the quilt so I could take a picture. Ah -  the room is certainly lively when Mary is around!  She is our resident chatterbox!!!!

Judith brought in some cross stitch show n tell. Very cute!!!!

Judith was working on the binding on this quilt. These colours are so NOT Judith!!!  The quilt is a gift so that is allowed!!!!

Welcome back to Krystyna - she is working on a "Critter" quilt 

Second block of the Critter quilt (by Brandywine Designs)

This is Dianes mystery quilt,

Claudette was working on one more of those damn duffle bags!!!!

Joyce was working on a mystery quilt that I designed last year. Gosh - mine is still not completely together. Maybe that should come to the retreat with me! 

The handles for Joyce's basket!

Susan was working on an apron!

Lynn was working on a baby quilt

Maria was sewing log cabin blocks for an upcoming class
Mary's mystery quilt blocks
Tish making string quilt blocks using phone book pages as a backing
She got two blocks completed. - I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Jan making paper pieced "Stepping Stones" by Judy Neimeyer
Look at the concentration as she chain pieces those seams

I want to make this quilt as well and may have to move it up the "to do" listing. I love it!!!!

 When I went to heat up my lunch in the micro wave, there was a lady who is running a group in another room at the church. Her lunch bag was sitting on the counter and she allowed me to take pictures of it!!!!!   Thanks to Ronda - I have tons of these drink pouches and they are all CLEAN - ready to make something. OK - so this goes on the "TO DO" list. Well - it moved higher up the ranking!!!!!

Tote bag made with Kool-Aid Jammers juice pouches

Wow - there were more people and more projects, but I didn't get around to everyone. The room on those sewing days is PACKED with happy, laughing and industrious (for the most part) people.  Love them!!!!!
Thanks to them all for making these days so much fun.

On that note - I am still prepping for a couple of classes for today. Better get back to work.

Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, March 27, 2015

What does it cost??

These days are just jam packed with activity. I wonder why or how that happens?  I guess it boils down to having several part time jobs and still trying to do my own thing!!   Well the part time job show cased today is quilting. Here is the latest group of quilts that I have quilted.

Customer quilt - done  (so cute with snowflake design)

Customer quilt - done (spider web design with invisible thread!)  The one time that I like using invisible thread

Customer quilt (OK - table runner) - DONE - well it was loaded on the long arm here

Now it is done!   That is one LONG table runner

Nice leafy design

Customer quilt - done
 This quilt is bigger than you think it is. It is 81 by 87 and guess what the backing was?  Yep - minky!!!  Do you know how wide minky is?  It is 60 inches wide. So yes - I had to join the back. Well, I must be getting really good at it, because I had to put two seams into the back and it loaded on the long arm no problem. It also quilted up like a dream. But it is going to be a heavy quilt - it had batting in it as well!!!!

Joined seam in the backing - yes I used orange thread (that was in the serger at the time) - you CANNOT see the thread from the other side

The quilting

 Many people are curious what it costs to have a quilt quilted on the long arm quilt and since I am sharing some of the quilts I have done recently, I thought I would share with you what it costs.

Not that I am looking for new business - I have 30 + customer items that are waiting to be quilted - never mind my own stuff which is way more than 30!!!!   So if you want a quilt done - I am booking into August (very few) and September (back up to speed) - hey there is a lot of retreats and summer vacation plans in there.

Let's say that you have a lap quilt like my generous lap which measures 60 by 72. For an over all design which works in MOST situations, I charge $2.75 per square foot regardless of the density of the pattern. I use hand guided patterns NOT a computer so the design will not be perfect, but close!

The first thing with my example is to figure out how many square feet in the quilt. (some quilters charge by the square inch)

1, Multiply the length by width (60 by 72) = 4,320 square inches
2. Divide the number from  Step One by 144 (number of square inches in a square foot) = 30 sq feet
3. Multiply the number from Step Two by $2.75 = $82.50 to have the quilt quilted in an over all design.

I trim the quilts so they are ready to be bound (I will be having a BIG discussion on the blog about binding next week, as well as a tutorial for making binding). The trimming is included in the $82.50. You can choose the pattern and the thread colour or leave it up to me. The cost of the thread is also included in the $82.50.

I have batting (Hobbs 80/20) if you want to purchase or you supply your own. The three layers (top, backing and batting MUST be separate).

I will make the backing for $10 and I will make the binding ($10) and sew it on ($10), computer designed labels ($5).

Custom work starts at $4.00 a square foot. I do NOT do dense (heirloom) quilting for customers. It is very time consuming and I don't have time to do it and it is very expensive.

I do believe that all long arm quilters have a minimum. price. In other words - you cannot bring me a 12 inch square and expect to pay $2.75.  Nope - my minimum is $35 which is very low. So anything smaller than 40 by 45 will be the same price - baby quilts, table runners - $35 each.

Anyway - I hope that answers your burning questions regarding the cost of long arm quilting.

Don't forget the Etobicoke Quilt Show opens TODAY!!!!!   It runs for three days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.    Remember to take your camera - you want detail pictures of quilting designs that you like and dislike. Take pictures for colour combinations - again - those that you like and those you dislike. You are NOT allowed to criticize someone else's quilt. You are allowed to make comments and suggestions for YOUR learning purposes only. Instead of saying - I don't like that - you MUST state WHY - if not - you are not learning anything!!!!   Get the pictures printed. Use them as inspiration to develop your own quilting designs. Put your new designs in your inspiration book.

Visit the vendors - some great vendors - I must leave my credit card at home!!!!

The Etobicoke Quilters' Guild

presents a Quilt Show and Merchants Mall
to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.

Friday March 27 10-5
Saturday March 28 10-5
Sunday March 29 10-4



Vendors, raffles for handmade quilts, handcrafted items for sale and a tea room.




Located in our community art space, Neilson Park Creative Centre, Etobicoke, ON. www.neilsonparkcreativecentre.com 

  On that note - I had better get moving. It's going to be a nutso day and I have lots of looming deadlines - OK - so I missed the first deadline. Now working on the contingency deadlines!!!!

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


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Building a town, one house at a time.................

More show n tell today - this time from our session at Sew Sisters his past Saturday.   I just love to see all the show n tell. So exciting to see how creative everyone is.

We started with our Amish with a Twist Series II.

Amish with a Twist II

It is a gorgeous quilt and we are working our way through the blocks. This past month, we used the star blocks that we made the first month to complete the "day and night" blocks. They surround the big center square.

Since a large number of the group is making the quilt from the kit, I have only included one block from the kit. I can't remember how many are using their own fabric combinations, but we had four for show n tell the other day.

The left most block is from the kit, the other two are from their own fabric
 Do you see the busy prints used by Anne in the right most block. I asked her if she liked Bonnie Hunter and the answer was YES.  That wasn't hard to figure out since those busy prints are what Bonnie uses for neutrals.
Two more from their own fabrics
 All of the quilts are going to be awesome when they are done!!!!!

Next up was Tiny Town by Bunny Hill.  There is so much room for creativity in this quilt. Block One was pretty tame but next month - well all bets are off that anyone follows the pattern exactly.

Tiny Town
Tiny Town by Bunny Hill
Beth - love that background behind the big house and ooops - I see a big tree in place of the flower beside that big house.

Lynn who looks like she fussy cut that roof for the house and notice the smoke from the chimney on one of the little houses - awesome!

Karen, Karen, Karen - she always has to do something different. She has chosen to do reverse machine applique

So all of her house pieces are on the back!!!!

Loretta has a thing for black, white and red houses - I love it!!!!!

Vjera is making TWO quilts - one of them is done completely by hand

and the other is by machine!!!!   That is awesome and a great way to learn all the techniques!!!!

Oh shoot - I can't remember who did what!!!!!  Sorry for that.............

Look at these funky colours and the awesome backgrounds.  I WANT to be able to work with those kind of backgrounds!!!!

Nice subdued town!!!

Batiks that are to die for!!!!

Another soft palette - again some busy backgrounds that I love!!!!
Georgina - all in blue. That is very funky especially the wavy background behind the main house!!!!

I see some silk ribbon embroidery on this one!

Love how the satin stitch really highlights these houses

Lucy using some decorative stitches on the sewing machine and construction themed fabric for her houses

(Note - some of the blocks were not at this past meeting - I pulled them from the previous meeting pictures!)

And this little gem was on the design wall.  I love it!!!!!

There you have it. I showed them all kinds of creative, funky stuff to embellish the next block so can't wait to see the results next month.

On that note - another crazy busy but FUN day and I can't wait to get started. It's Thursday Therapy!!!!

Have a great day!!!!