Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Importance of things..................

I am late blogging today. Why? My schedule got messed up!  I went to the gym, and then off to have breakfast with the gym friends. EXCEPT that I ordered breakfast and then it didn't come and didn't come.  I asked and it was now almost time for me to leave. I know - I got caught up in talking and sort of forgot about the breakfast!  Anyway - breakfast to go and I had to eat it at work. And immediately got caught up in other things and well - I forgot!!!!!

It is funny how priorities change for things depending on how much time you have.  I am a sucker for e-mail.  I can't seem to delete e-mails if I haven't read them. And I don't read lots of them.  So in a very short time - my in-box has thousands of e-mails again!   The other day I started to go through them as I know there is stuff that I need to deal with. But those e-mails are buried. 

I have started to unsubscribe from some of them.  I actually did some a while back.  I really really do NOT need to receive a new sales pitch EACH DAY from some of these designers and companies. It got to be too much.  Yes sometimes a small anecdote was in the e-mail but nothing earth shattering - it was basically a lead in to what was on sale that day.  

Should I want something - I will go to them.  If everyday is a sale - it just isn't special any more.  So there are a "few" more e-mails that I need unsubscribe from.  I don't mind those that come weekly or monthly and have information or a legitimate sale - but those with the SALE of the DAY - seriously - we don't have time to read those.  They become so commonplace that who cares!!! DELETE DELETE DELETE

So while I did manage to eliminate a couple hundred very quickly, there are loads more and the trick will be to get the daily number down to something that makes sense. I will be using that DELETE key a LOT. 

At least at work - I can keep on top of the e-mails!  So far - they are not coming in fast and furious. 

The other day, Laurraine gave me this crazy quilt.  It was made by a family member whom I have forgotten now. I must get the information from her and put it on a label. 

I know that a quilt appraiser would say that this quilt has NO VALUE except for sentiment. Why???  

Crazy quilt

The quilt is tied and see how many places it was tied?????   OH yes - the maker went CRAZY!!!!!

Lots of ties on this one
The reason that it is only valuable for sentiment and not as a collector item is that there is quite a bit of damage to the quilt.  Many of the fabrics have shredded - probably because of wear, sunlight damange and who knows what else.

Shredded fabric
But I will add it to my collection.  The embroidery stitching on it is well done. Thanks Laurraine.

Back to that Misty Pines.  Of all the people who attended the class, I wondered who was going to finish first.  And my thinking was right on.   Now Tish is NOT done yet, but she has all her tree sections done (the flying geese part of the tree).  She used all the fabrics - yeah!!!!!   And see how nicely they are all labelled.

Awesome job  - Tish - can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Tree components for Misty Pines = DONE!!!!!

Well back to the drawing board for me.  I have a quilt that needs to be finished by the weekend and I am still piddling around with little pieces.  Sewing machine - here I come!!!!!   And I won't tell you what the weekend and next week are going to look like.  Let's just say that our "hot off the press"  fabric is now on a plane.  Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Taking work home......................

There is a song titled "I don't like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats from the summer of 1979!!!   I have to say that I LOVE Mondays and I feel like I finally have my Monday schedule down pat.

It was quite stressful to get to a 6 AM spin class and I needed to change up my routine anyway so now I do my own cardio and then some free weights - I still get to the gym for shortly after 6, but I don't have that deadline!  Once I am finished at the gym, it is off to Monday sewing. A couple of the ladies get there VERY early and so it is perfect. I can get 1 1/2 hours of cutting (or other hand work) in before most show up.  A very productive time to say the least.

And then off to work where I arrive around 10 AM. The schedule works PERFECT and I am excited to get to work to see what the week is going to bring.  That is pretty sad!!!!!  

Not really - I am just amazed at the opportunity I have to work at something that I LOVE!

I did snap one photo when I was at Monday Mania yesterday.  Judith was working on this project a while back and brought it in for show n tell.

Judith's finished embroidered picture

And yes - the row by row frenzy continues.  TWO more envelopes in the mail yesterday.

More license plates

Yes - the number of swaps/trades and who owes what is slowly decreasing, but there are still plates out there and I still owe people money and plates.  I am wading through it!!!

License plate central!!!!!

So what does one do at the end of a fabulous day????   Well you bring your work home with you!!  Yup - except it really isn't that bad when what you bring home is a quilt to sew.  Now it would be better if it were MY quilt, but what the heck - it was something to sew.  And I made good progress on it as well.

Cutting fabric

Half square triangles are almost done

Shoot - I did a lot more than that but didn't take pictures. I was so excited to work on it uninterrupted I suppose.  I hope to get a lot done today at work.  Thank goodness for that generic 1/4" piecing foot - I can switch from any of my sewing machinies and still get the same 1/4" just by turning on the sewing machine. You have to love that.

And at the end of the day - I read before going to bed.  I have decided that I don't have time to get to the library. Besides me going to the library is like sending a kid to the candy store.  I come home with way too many books and that creates deadlines and more stuff to manage.  I am going to read the novels that are on my shelf at home.  By my quick count - there are about 125 novels that I haven't read.  Some of them are parts of series so will have to rely on the library to fill the gaps.

If I were to read ONE book a week (which isn't really realistic) - that would take me at least two years before I run out of books.  I think I am safe for a long long time for reading material.  And when I am done with a book - it goes.  I am NOT keeping novels that I have already read.

Oh yes - look what I managed to scrounge.  One of the missing fabrics for the Misty Pines kit. Yes - that means I am back in business.  There is still one small piece that I am missing, but it is for my kit and I might be able to scrounge from the scraps to make it work!!!!  OH yes - the joys of working on a project when the fabric is long gone!!!! I do have a similiar fabric - different colour, but same pattern and might be able to use markers on it to give it the colouring that it needs.

Missing fabric is now found!!!!!
I see that I have another exciting day at work.  Submissions for articles, guidelines to write up, pictures to take, quilts to sew, patterns to design, fabric to cut.  All the stuff that I LOVE to do.  Yep - a big kid in the candy store.

On that note - I'm out of here.

Have an AWESOME day!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Misty Pines class

The long awaited moment - let's put this quilt together!!   Misty Pines - the pattern was originally published in McCall's Quilting - Jan/Feb 2013.  So we would have seen the pattern at our retreat in November 2012.  OK - so it took a couple of years to get organized, but it is happening.

Here is a picture of the quilt. It really and truly is beautiful.  Designed by Patti Carey from Northcott and of course all the fabrics are from Northcott.  Check out my links at the end of this blog if you want a kit - unless you find an old kit somewhere, you get these exact fabrics.  |They are completely sold out and I think a few have been substituted here and there in some of the kits available today - but it doesn't make any difference.

Misty Pines by Patti Carey of Northcott

Let's have a look at what happened at our sewing day for Misty Pines.

There were eight of us in total and we started off with lots and lots of goodies. Oh - actually this is what the goodie station looked like after lunch!

Lots of goodies to eat

Linda, Susan and Linda - all very hard at work

Tish, Sharron and Rose all equally focused

And where was Pauline?  Yes - her chair is empty because she was also taking pictures and got one of me!!! Can you spot me amidst the chaos???

Me - amidst the chaos of my sewing station

McCall's has created a sew along for this quilt. The links to the videos are at the end of my blog post.  You do have to have a subscription to QNN-TV in order to watch them.  I watched the first two (of twelve) yesterday morning before the group arrived.   Hmmmmm - a fabric key would be a good idea for this quilt as many of the fabrics are very similiar and because it is Stonehenge - some of them are quite different depending on the location of the cut. But the underlying texture of each is different.  Since the kits have NO extra fabric whatsoever in them, I thought they all needed a fabric key and so while they were sewing the easy stuff - I made fabric keys for all of them.

Fabric key for Misty Pines
 See how similiar all those fabrics are?????

That means that every piece they made HAS to be labelled.  The sewing part of this quilt is easy, but the keeping everything together part is NOT.

Label label label!!!!

Linda and Susan with their first tree blocks

Tish with one tree block

Rose with two trees
 And there are also tree blocks that have no trunks.

Tish with a trunkless tree block
 Here is a picture I found on the internet where someone added a border to their quilt. It is gorgeous!!!!

MISTY PINES QUILT KIT - flying geese are torture, but I love this quilt. Would look nice in earthy shades of green and midnight blue. Quilts PatternsQuilts ...

Misty Pines with border

The tree blocks are very simple, but then we got into making jagged blocks and as we are making them, Tish pipes up with a suggestion on making them in a different way.  Too late to change because the kits are all cut, but I went to bed thinking about it and by jove - it would work AND be less complicated.

You know what that means - yep - got to remake the quilt and try the new instructions.  Of course - we have to try a different colourway!!!!   The ladies offered to save their plastic ziploc bags so I could fill them again with a new colourway.  Yes - imagine the quilt in blue/greens (someone above suggested that as well) or how about autum colors - greens/oranges/rusts. Oh yes - I think a different colourway is in order.  But will I cut the kits for them????   I think NOT!!!!

I guess I'm checking the Northcott warehouse this morning to see what I can see!!!!

I can cross one more person off my license plate TO DO list.  Rose brought me quite a few that she had picked up this summer on her travels.  One from Mount Forest and a bunch from the US.

More license plates!!!
 I think I still have four or five people that are sending me plates - most are on their way and hopefully will be received by the end of the week. I still owe 8 people - some of them - I just owe money so that is easy.  By the end of October - it MUST be done.  I will make the goal of having my swapping all done by the time the new release comes out which is probably Oct 24 or something like that.

Look - more bicycle fabric!!!!  Thanks to Rose who found these on her travels this past summer.

Bicycle fabric

OK - so you are wondering what happened to the room after everyone left.  I have to say that it was nice to have the room looking so tidy. And I really really was excited to walk around, not tripping over stuff.

I was good - I only brought ALL the remaining stuff related to Misty Pines.

Misty Pines stuff
 Oh - I have to say that I did pretty good on the kit cutting.  There were THREE pieces missing that I had not cut.  Thankfully - they were small and easy to cut - so the group got them yesterday  - they were the testers.  I must cut more and insert it into the kits and for those that already have a kit - I'll get the pieces to you when you take the class.

On the other set of tables - I put this bag of T-shirts.  This is a quilt for a customer and NOW - I have a very tight deadline to get it done.

Customer quilt to get sewn
 BUT - I would also like to get Misty Pines completed. So it was back to cutting after the class left yesterday.
Cutting 17 kit components
 Notice how full that bolt of fabric is.

I am cutting, cuting,cutting and oh boy - now I am down to the last section of fabric.

The last of that bolt of fabric
 BUT - I still have these many kits to complete.

Kits to complete
 And now down to just this...........

Will there be enough for the last few kits????
 Ended up that I am missing ONE   2 1/4" strip to complete the last kit!!!!!  And if I would have been a smidgne more carefull on the cutting (being more careful about cutting off the selvedge - I would have been OK).

One kit that needs to be completed
 And after the group got organized and I cut the extra fabric for them AND I made the fabric keys - I was able to get a bit of sewing done myself.  I made 10 blocks.  I have no idea now many there are in total.  You can see how similiar the values are - very close.  The blocks on the left are NOT pressed yet as I do not know which direction the seams have to go.

My blocks
Now if you want to make this quilt and you have NOT ordered a kit from me - then I would suggest that you run to either of these two web sites to see if they have anything left.

Here is a place that has kits for sale - Quilt and Sew Shop

McCall's Quilting  also has kits for sale.

Otherwise - wait for the blue/green version or the autumn version.  What the heck - why not!!!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. Have an awesome day - there is nothing like a new project to take under my wing!   I'm kidding - I have so much to sew that I can't possibly look at making this in another colour, however.................................


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Today is the day!

Well it is one of the days that I am teaching Misty Pines. I had so much response that I actually have THREE classes for this quilt.  And there will be NO more kits.  Yep - I ran out of one fabric yesterday, will be able to scrounch enough (I hope) to make up the last kit or I will substitute.  I still have cutting to do, but at least I have seven kits for the class today.

But even more important than kits was to have space for the ladies to sew. I do try to keep things tidy but since before the summer, I had done nothing to keep it tidy and therefore - the studio was a tad messy.

Yikes - that is a lot of stuff

At least three of the tables were somewhat clear

Cutting mats and ironing - filled

So a couple of bags, a bit of ingenuity and well it doesn`t look half bad now.


Even vaccuumed as there was a LOT of dust
 And where did it all go??????   A bit of it went behind where I sew, some went back on the shelf where it is supposed to be.

My sewing area!!!!
 I know I say this every time I clean up - I will not let it get that way again. And I work on one project, then before I am finished that one - I have to start on the next and well - the first one doesn't get finished or put away.    I doubt that I will ever be able to change that.  But I am hoping that when everyone leaves today that I will NOT get everything back out. I have a couple of urgent projects that need to be done and I am only going to work on those and so will only put those on the table!!!!

Besides - I have two more classes at the end of October and if I get the stuff out - I will just have to put it away again!!!!!

Sorted all the little baggies and now they are grouped in bigger bags.

Stuff to make the next batch of kits

Kits for todays class

I know those eager beavers will be here soon.   I must go!!!

Have a great day!!!!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

The lottery!

Last week someone in the office organized a group ticket purchase for the Lotto Max which was $50 Million.  Out of all the tickets we purchased, we won a SINGLE free ticket.  Good grief!  That same person did NOT want to organize a group draw this week so I decided that I would do it.  Then I thought to mayself - do I want to organize one more thing?  NO!!!   But then Marilou asked me again and so I relented and decided to organize the draw.  

So yesterday I was at the mall buying the tickets so they could be photocopied and distributed amongst the group members.  Well - imagine my surprise when I got back to the office and realized that I had NOT put money in so I was out of the group!!!!   Oh boy - I have done stupid things in my life - but seriously????   Off I went back to the mall to buy my share of tickets.

But that was actually a good thing as I had wanted to take a couple of pictures at the mall (Vaughn Mills) and I had forgotten my phone on my desk.  

There is a Legoland at Vaughn Mills. I love Lego!!!!!   Look at this gorgeous picture - and yep - it is all done with Lego!!!!

Toronto waterfront in Lego
Detail of the waterfront

I had a quick look around as I was in a hurry.   Saw the Lego bike. I have one of these in my office but I had to purchase an entire Lego Friends set in order to get the bike!!!!

Lego bike
They had all kinds of key chains - mostly with Star Wars stuff, but no bikes on their own. Drat!  Well - I don't need a second one either. Unless - they give me this one....................

Lego bike
Yep - I covet that big Lego bike.  It is pretty cute and well - I want it just because.  Perhaps if we win the lottery - I can convince them to sell it to me.

I am NOT good at checking lottery numbers.  I see that ONE ticket in Ontario won the $60 million.  Wow!!!!   It blows my mind to even think about that much money.  I suppose I will check later today, but since others have the numbers - I bet they have already checked!

One other neat thing about Vaughn (besides the Lego store in the mall) is this.   I am a member of LifeTime Athletics.  A great gym - yes it is expensive but to me it is worth it and I feel I get my money's worth from it.

LifeTime  Mississauga
 They were supposed to open a second gym - in Vaughn, but plans got scraped and they opened in Ajax instead.  I heard that the plans were back on for a third gym in Vaughn.  One of my gym friends mentioned that it was on Weston Road, but I wasn't sure where.

I exit the 407 at Weston and the other day when I was sitting at the stop light to turn left onto Weston, I had a bit of an ephipany.   YEP - that is a LifeTime gym.  Now the sun was shining and lots of stuff in the way but that is the location of the new LifeTime.  Corner of Weston Road and 407.

Vaughn location of LifeTime

 I recognized the front top part of the building.  Then got to work and confirmed it on the internet.  That means that once it is open - I can zip to the gym when there is less traffic - it is not the 407, but getting to the 407 that bogs me down.  Then I can work out, have breakfast at the gym or Tim's and zip to work.  I love it and can't wait for the building to be finished.  Not sure the scheduled completion date - I'll check with the gym friends next week.  One of them works for LifeTime so I can get the scoop from her!!!

More cutting on Misty Pines.  I finished a 10 meter bolt last night and all I had left was this skinny little strip.  I still need about 14 inches and will try to get it at Ruti's today. Drat!!!!!!

Last of that 10 meter bolt!!!!

Making progress, but it is hard when I have not so much time!!!!!

Anyway - I have three classes to teach today - two are just one hour long, but all still required prep work and I must get that finished.

Have a great day!!!!!!


Friday, September 25, 2015

It helps to follow directions!

It is amazing how information gets out there and even worse - how rumours start.  I was at a guild meeting last night.  Of course, there are a number of members who read my blog (good morning to members of the Brampton Quilter's Guild) and obviously those readers know that I now work at Northcott and in chatting with friends of theirs, this information gets passed along. 

However I was chatting to a member whom I haven't seen in a while and she was happy about my new job, but said that she was surprised to see me.  Why I asked?  Well - she had been told by someone that my working at Northcott would be in conflict of being a guild member.   Hmmmmm - if I check my job responsibilites - one of them is keeping up with industry trends.  I would STRONGLY think that my employer would be thrilled that I go to guild meetings. It is one way to stay connected with what quilters are doing. 

Trust me - before I accepted this position, I had a very indepth conversation regarding what is conflict and what isn't.  And quite frankly - there is NOTHING that is conflict of interest unless I do something directly with a competitor of ours.  

There you have it - right from the horse's mouth - no conflicts of interest. And I have to give the person credit who chatted with me last night because she couldn't figure out why it would be conflict of interest.  Thanks for letting me know!!!!

So yesterday, I was back sewing and I decided that I would check out the pattern instructions - afterall this is a brand new pattern and I might as well test it as I am sewing it. However you know me and half square triangles - I am not a fan of taking a square and cutting it in half and then sewing two different colours together to get the half square triangle.  But I did one to test the pattern. And look - hardly any waste to trim off. 

Almost no waste when trimming that to 2 5/8"
However, there wouldn't have been much waste either if I had done the math correctly.  I think what I did was to use the TRIMMED (or unfinished size) as the FINISHED size and so I added one inch.  It happens and thank goodness for having loads of fabric to work with.

Once I had all 160 of those half square triangles complete, I moved onto the next batch.  This time I only need 96 and I did the size correct on these ones.

Half square triangles - batch two - to trim

While I was at the guild last night - I spotted two people who had projects made with Northcott fabric. This lady whose name I have forgotten was wearing this gorgeous jacket that she had made with Northcott Artisan Spirit - Shimmer.  This is the Earth colourway.   The jacket looks gorgeous on her and see how coordinated her entire outfit was.

Jacket made from Northcott - Artisan Spirit - Shimmer - Earth colourway
Then as I was leaving, I spotted this bag and again asked if I could take a picture.  You see where this is going.  If I spot you and you have a project made from Northcott fabric - I am going to ask to take a picture.  Even better - why not send pictures of your projects to me and I will post them!  It is super fun to see what others are making.

This bag was made with the leftovers from a couple of quilts and other items and this is what was left. I love the bag!!!!   I also love how she used the beaver strip for the handles.  That gives me a couple of ideas as I am going to have leftovers from my FREE download which I am currently testing.

These fabrics are from the Northcott Stonehenge OH Canada 4 line.  Yes - there have been four different releases of this line and it is going strong and more is on the way.  Matter of fact - stay tuned because we have some very exciting stuff coming up with this line. Here is the link to other fabrics available in this line. And it also comes in flannel!!!!

Bag made from Northcott Stonehenge OH Canada 4
The speaker last night was AMAZING.  A very talented lady who dabbles in patchwork quilts AND is also an artist and PAINTS some of her quilts.

I was holding up the quilts so I couldn't take pictures, but I snapped this one after the presention.  Do you know who that is?????

A painted quilt by Dorothy FU

Have a peek at her web site - her name is Dorothy Fu and I absolutely loved her stuff!!!!!

Here are two quilts from our show n tell that I snapped.  I love the red and white. She had to shop a LONG time in order to find the right shades of red and as a result this quilt is stunning.  It is a very simple design, but the colors were chosen well.

Red and white quilt
Here is another quilt that was done with half square triangles that I also think is amazing.  Something to keep in the back of my mind for all my half square triangles.
Quilt made with half square triangles

Back to my office - I finally got everything up and yes - I feel very much at home here.  This is my view.  Yep - great quilts - a row by row license plate ' Crazy quilter', my sewing machine - what more could a girl want!!!!

My daily view

Speaking of license plates - the darn things keep rolling in.  Thanks to Wendy for these ones.  Oh yes - I am going to be very embarrased to show you how many I amassed this summer. And I bet that my collection is small compared to some others. That picture will come once I have finished.

More license plates

It is going to be exciting to find out the new theme in about one month.  I plan to be at the unveiling - wherever or whenever it is.  I might try to find that out today.

And old habits die hard.  Yes - I was walking Little Sammy yesterday morning and as I walked through the forest, I happened upon this sign which someone had tossed in the forest.  Well - I just could NOT leave GOOD corrugated plastic go to waste so I brought it home!   I had better get sewing up some bags - FAST!!!!!!   Sorry - I did not have my camera with me to document where I found the sign to really show that it was tossed in the forest and that I did NOT pull it from someone's lawn!!!!

Abandoned sign
On that note - I am out of here.  There are so many ideas swimming in my head - I have so many quilts that I want to make with the Northcott fabric that I could sew FOREVER and never get them all made. Never mind  my own that are started at home.

Oh yes - I did forget to mention that these are very exciting times at work as we get to see the quilts that are going to be in the booth for Market.  Every day new ones arrive (we have seen only the images before) and now we get to see the real thing.  Never a dull moment here!!!!

OK - now I am out of here.

Have a great day!!!!