Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The day is half over already!

Do you ever have those days when you just NEED to crash!   That was yesterday. For some reason, it was a sleeper day.  I had lots to do, but I needed a nap and even if I had reassembled the couch for my office, it's a tad short for napping. I'm sure though that I could figure out a way to nap on it.  Note to self: get the couch assembled. 

Anyway, when I got home, I zonked out on the couch for a supposedly 15 minute nap, but then I went back to sleep again and it was almost 7 when I woke up.  ACK - I don't have time for a nap!

But I managed to get the second customer quilt done (same customer - so made sense to get them both done).  The other one was quilted on Sunday. 

Customer quilt - ONE - DONE

Customer quilt - TWO - DONE

Hmmm - now I still have Riley Blake Challenge quilt which needs to be on the long arm. However, there was a smidgen of appliqué to prep and one more seam.  I managed to get everything prepped and glued in place. I also managed to get the backing loaded on the long arm and well - there's always tomorrow (which is now today!)

I was up early. Only one hour earlier than normal.  The two customer quilts were trimmed and the rest of the stitching on the Riley Blake Challenge was completed and about 5:10 AM, I started to quilt it.  I had been mulling several patterns over in my head and finally decided to use my fall back design - the wonky Greek key.

The quilting on the Riley Blake challenge
Happy to report that the entire quilt (it's not that huge) was quilted and trimmed and I brought it to work with me so I can sneak the binding on.  Since I detest stitching the binding on by machine, I'll be pinning that binding to the back and I should have no problem to get a picture on the web site before midnight tonight!

That means that I should have time to finish and quilt those three minis that are due tomorrow.  I know - stupid deadlines, but I'm having fun!!!  Then there is ONE more massive deadline for next week and I should be OK, but it will be tight!!!!

So all of that got done before I left the house at 8 AM.  Phew - almost a full day's work before 8 AM. But technically, the day is just starting. So if ever you wonder how or why I get so much done - I just get up and get to work. I don't need to ease into the day - I start the day running.  BTW - Miss Lexi did get her full walk in there as well.

So we all have friends right? Some friends are a good influence and some friends are a bad influence. I had lunch with Carol yesterday and she falls in the later category.  Look what she brought me and enticed me with more plates that she could acquire for me.  ACK!!!!!!

2016 Row by Row Fabric Plate

 That Carol is a VERY BAD influence and I feel that as the June 21 start date approaches, my resolve to NOT participate (in a big way) is quickly fading!!!  HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (She bought this one because it is ORANGE!)

On that note, I'm out of here to quickly and quietly put that binding on.  Don't worry, I'll be showing it around the office.  It's a good thing to keep on top of what the competition is doing and everyone loves show n tell - just not with the same gusto as quilters do!

Have a great day!!!!


Monday, May 30, 2016

A busy day!

A bit of an exciting day and a busy one to say the least.  

I thought I would get started by installing the embroidery software.  I opened up the laptop and inserted the CD and this is the message that I got. Inadequate operating system!

Inadequate operating system

DRAT - but now I remember why I haven't installed it yet.  I remember going to the CreativFestival to take a class and I knew after that class that my operating system wasn't going to work.  Did I do anything about it?  Oh yes - I did purchase Windows 8 for my laptop. Did I install that?  Nope because I was going to have to back everything up and that is a lot of work. So if upgrading to Windows 8 was such a hassle, is that why with the Windows 10 upgrade, you can do it on the fly?

I have no idea.  However, I thought of two other laptops in the house with more recent versions of the O/S.   But I happened to bring home my work laptop and that would be the best one since I use it all the time.

Install on the work laptop to keep everything handy
However, this wasn't going to be a simple install.  There was a big long list of items to install and each one had to be done item by item.

Long list of things to install!
Fortunately, the install and registration process went very well so it didn't take too long, but it took time.

Then I opened the software and created the file I needed - it was a piece of cake and then it was ready for embroidery.  I didn't get to that yet.

Then it was time to get involved in finishing up my Riley Blake challenge.  I know - I shouldn't wait until the last minute, but I do and I probably won't change so don't even offer suggestions - it isn't going to happen. Besides my creativity goes into high gear when there is a deadline, although I had already completed some of the components.

Here is the fabric that we received as part of the challenge.  The one on the top left which is a bunch of preprinted sashings. The bottom ones are coordinates and I didn't use any of those.

Riley Blake_BW
Riley Blake challenge

I've done something a bit unusual - well I think it is, but I'm not going to share it quite yet. I'll wait until it is complete. The picture has to be posted on the web site by midnight, May 31.  This was an extension from April 30, but it took me a while to find some solid coordinates to go with it. Other people were having the same difficulty which is why the extension was granted.   A big thanks to Jackie for the white and orange and I had to buy the blue/green on-line. 

It was like a tornado whizzed through that studio. There was stuff everywhere and what didn't fit on the cutting table, got thrown to the floor.   There was some serious creativity going on. 

Stuff that doesn't fit on the cutting table

A huge variety of tools were used as I sliced and diced my way through this project.  There is a category for modern quilts called Improv with Intent. It's difficult to find a definition of Improv With Intent, but for my purpose, I made it up as I went along.  I also made up the quilt design as I went along.  I just sliced and diced and put pieces back together again. Hoping that it would look half decent as I didn't want to cut into my second piece of the sashing fabric (that I had purchased at QuiltCon). 

I used a huge variety of tools, including a compass, the compass extension, rotary cutters of various sizes, circle cutters, freezer paper, glue, pins and a whole lot more. Even threw in a speciality ruler or two. And when I couldn't find the ruler I wanted, I quickly substituted the design for a ruler that I could lay my hands on.  I think that is Improv with Intent.  I was intent on getting a certain shape made for the challenge and I was very much making it up as I go along.  

Lots of tools were used
Including the compass extension
Designs that weren't quite the right size were shaved bigger with the teeny rotary cutter. 

Enlarging slightly the templates. 

The sashing fabric - what's left of it

And all the while, I'm sewing on the challenge, I'm making little four patches for a scrap quilt. That's my enders and leaders!!!   No  time to waste!!!!

Enders and leaders

On that note, I'm out of here.  I have so much to sew for work and for challenges, well you do NOT want to know what the schedule looks like.  I take each hour at a time and what I get done, gets done. What I don't, doesn't get done! Simple.  I'll be upset if I don't meet the next couple of deadlines because I'm quite happy with my pieces.  Almost finished - pretty much at the quilting stage for three of them. None are huge and I have creative binding techniques up my sleeve!

Have a great day!!!!!


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Seek and ye shall find................

A few months ago, I was asked by someone to repair their summer quilt. There really wasn't a hurry as the weather hasn't been very summery.  Originally we thought there was only spot on the quilt to repair (pretty much right in the middle), but I noticed another spot on the edge - yes right through the binding.

Small repair to fix on a summer quilt

I was having difficulty finding fabric that matched the quilt and figured my best bet would be The Hobby Horse in Georgetown.  At last, I made it to Georgetown (taught classes yesterday and show n tell will be later).  I'm searching the shelves for a match and of course, everyone wants to see what you're doing.

I did find something that was pretty close, but Joyce pipes up "I have that same fabric at home".  Seriously?????   So when she got home, she checked and sure enough, she had a couple of yards of the darn stuff!   I stopped on my way home and VOILA - got matching fabric!!!!

Joyce's fabric

Now the dye lot is off - more likely, the quilt has faded.  I may leave the new piece in the sun for a bit to help fade it, but it would take a long time to match that up.  The repairs aren't going to be big, so I think I'll be OK.  Thanks Joyce and as we sat on her front porch to chat, there was a major down pour that lasted for five minutes!

But when I went to see the fabric that I had pulled to match the light fabric in the quilt  - I think my color is a little bit off there!!  Why did I think that dark fabric was OK?   It's all about the lighting for sure!!!!

Perhaps I need to rethink this fabric for the repair

Those quilt deadline are looming - got an e-mail this morning. THREE days left.  ACK and I've got two customer quilts to quilt today.  Plus I need to get that embroidery machine working.  Thankfully I have the Designer EPIC to mess with and the embroidery speed is FAST.   That's good because I need stuff in a hurry.

However, there was one problem.  I want to do some lettering and of course want to try that darn software package that I purchased a few years back.  Now where would I have put that? I didn't remember seeing it anywhere downstairs. Is it possible that I put it in the cupboard in the office that houses all kinds of software and computer bits?  I opened the door this morning, had a peek and right on top - there was the software.  NOT EVEN OPENED.

Embroidery software

So yes, it pays to put things back where they belong or put them where they belong in the first place.  You will amost always find them and since no one touches my stuff any more, I'm pretty much guaranteed to have everything right where I left it.  I love that!!!!

On that note, the first of the two quilts is loaded - still a bit early to start quilting on a Sunday morning. I'm almost finished the little modern quilt that I need for June 9 or somewhere in that time frame.  This is for a display at Quilt Canada by the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.  You MUST come and see the quilts, not just mine, but all the others.  You can vote on the minis and please vote for mine!  But in all fairness, I'm not going to tell you which one is mine!   That wouldn't be fair.

Hi ho - hi ho - off to work I go, but first I need to fix my addiction.  Tea from Tim's!

Have a super day and stay cool.


BTW - I think Lexi has something to say this morning. She got a new toy yesterday.  Silly girl!   OH - this is how much I shop.  I ended up going to Wal-Mart to try and find Lexi's new toy.   They didn't have what I was looking for and I walked in the Wal-Mart and didn't recognize a THING.  The ENTIRE store had been renovated, every department was in a different place and I had NO CLUE.  Guess it's been about one year since I was last there. And when someone mentioned that the new hospital in Brampton - HUGE new building - is almost done - no clue that was being built either.  Clearly I live in a vaccuum.  But if it doesn't affect me, I don't really need to know about it!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Now I know!

I see that I'm going to have to keep Lexi away from the computer. She is quite the complainer.  Check out her blog post this morning. Can you believe her? What a wimp!

I've also figured out why I didn't get past the first Episode of the Second Season of The Great British Sewing Bee.  I can't find Episode Two from the second season anywhere.  And god forbid that I watch Episode three without watching two. I have no idea why my brain works like that, but things have to be complete series before I move on.  It's absolutely stupid!  I'm going to try one more time, then I'll just have to force myself to move on.  I want to see the rest of the episodes - they are very fun and yes, they make me want to sew clothes. God know why!

It's bad enough to break rules, but when the rules are you own?  I said that I wasn't going to trade or get others to buy the Row by Row license plates for me.  I really did say that because I mean it. Well - I sort of mean it?? Don't I?  I had a peek at the license plates in Ontario for 2016.  Oh my - I want them all!  There are 90 plates (so far) in the province of Ontario. Here's the license plate search page.  OK - so if I quit work, drive to BC NOW, and then drive back and do row by row all the way, I could abide by my rules.  There are so many fun ones - I want them all!!!!!    What to do - what to do????    Sit on your hands, cut up the credit card. Yes - I'll do that!  I could just drive everywhere in Ontario.  Where is that map?  I need the row by row map to help me plan my trips.

I really must get my 2014 plates organized and into a quilt - it is due very soon and it HAS to be done. I can't delay it any longer.   Hopefully later today after teaching my classes, although I do have a ton of sewing to do for work, but my quilt needs to take priority since those Market quilts took up so much of my time before.

The mosquitos are very bad this year.  Normally we don't many in our backyard, but they are there in droves this year.  Hopefully, the heat will kill them off!

I had a great workout at the gym - 40 minutes on the elliptical almost at my normal level. However, my knee was stiff most of yesterday and was not happy last night, just achy!  So the word is, take it easy - we're not quite there yet! But feels so good to be able to get in and out of the car, up and down the stairs, almost like normal. I'm loving that!

On that note, I'm out of here for the day. Got tons to do and got to keep the energy up by drinking lots!

Have a great day!!!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Catching Up!

Here are some random topics that have been sitting in my blog posts and I guess it's time to cover them.   

From time to time, I check out the quilting books at the library.  There are dozens of new releases every month, and I don't have a budget to buy them all.  I love to peruse them which is one advantage you get when you go to Quilt Market.  The publishers do have their new books on display and you can knock yourself out looking at them. In some cases, you can even buy these new books from the publishers. But then you have to carry them home, which isn't a problem for me as we would shove them on the crate. 

Anyway, I'm much more discriminating about book purchases than I used to.  And magazines - well I have stacks of magazines at work to keep me busy and I'm trying to go through one or two a day.  Yes, I read them, I mark interesting patterns and I look at what the competition is doing in the way of ads, I check out designers and well - it just isn't about all the pretty quilts in them. I have developed a filing system which is pretty handy and easy to maintain considering I can turn any page into a .pdf with the copier.  No ripping required and the magazines go to the next person for review. 

OK - all that to say that I had borrowed a book from the library about English Paper Piecing. I've done a bit of EPP, but a far cry from being an expert.  If you are interested in EPP, you MUST buy this book.  It's called "all points patchwork" by Diane Gilleland.   The book is extremely comprehensive, covers every shape you can imagine for EPP, shows you how to draft all the shapes in case you can't find the size that you would like and well - it's an all round excellent book.  I think I will add it to my collection.  The problem is that I have NO MORE ROOM for books in my house and I'm hesitant to buy more for that reason. 

all points patchwork
So if you're into EPP - I'd buy this book.

The other books that I've been reading are not novels either.  They are sort of travel adventures.  I was introduced to this author a couple of months by a friend of mine. Thanks, Margot!   Anyway, Margot lent me the book called "What the psychic told the pilgrim".  It's about Jane Christmas' adventure along the Camino de Santiago  - the 800-mile pilgrim trek in Spain.

Well, I enjoyed her writing style (although honestly - she's a bit of ditz when it comes to packing or traveling!)  and so I had to borrow her other books.  The Pelee Project where she and her daughter spend a winter on Pelee Island and Incontinent on the Continent where she spends a month in Itlay with her elderly mother.
Jane Christmas books
Yes  - now I want to do all three trips - well I could leave out her trip to Italy, I'd do my own thing. But to live on Pelee Island for an extended period of time?  Yep - sounds like fun.  Hike the Camino de Santiago?  Yep - in a heartbeat.   Sounds like I need to find a sugar daddy who can support me so I don't have to work!!!   But I do love my job!   She has also written another book about nuns - I can only imagine where that one goes. That is her latest book and I must remember to borrow it from the library.

Oh my - just saw on the internet that her beau (Colin) whom she met on the Camino de Santiago has cancer.

And now onto some quilting stuff!

Remember how messy my cutting table was???  Well, I got TWO pet mats done!

Two pet mats - DONE

And then I started on a small quilt for a challenge using these yummy solids.  I can only pick two, possibly three colors to work with.  Can you guess which ones I chose????  You'd be surprised!  The size of the quilt - 14 by 14.  Should be finished the top tonight.

Yummy solids

And look at that cutting mat!!!!!

I do have one project that needs to be done by June 1. I've started it, but need to get my act in gear or that isn't going to happen!  And then there are three other RUSH quilts - all for me. Fortunately, none of them are too big.

Oh, I found some excellent articles for you to read concerning caring for your quilts, including washing, labels, etc.  Have a read - there is a lot of good information here.

Cleaning quilts

Labelling quilts

Storing quilts

Don't forget to check out QUILTSocial today as well.  Last day of review at this moment for the Husqvarna Designer EPIC.

Well, I must get my act together and get to work.

Have an awesome day!   Stay cool!!!!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sewing clothes

I loaded pictures on the internet for the blog post today, but then something else more exciting came up!

I'm not sure if I should name the culprit, but SOMEONE posted a note on Facebook indicating that The Great British Sewing Bee was once again being aired.  I'm not sure if any of you watched this show when it first came out in 2013.  Season One was four episodes and I watched it and absolutely LOVED the four episodes.

The Great British Sewing Bee
(I believe there is a book and the above picture is the cover).  Check out this link and you'd be amazed at what books are for sale.

The premise is that eight home sewists are competing for the title of Britain's best home sewist. The sewists get three challenges in each episode - make something from a pattern, modify a ready-to-wear garment and make a garment to fit a real model. Two people go home at the end of each episode.

For some reason, after Episode one, I stopped watching the program.  Like I've mentioned, watching TV (never on the home TV), and rarely on the internet just isn't my thing.  Well after Cynthia (ooops - I mentioned her name!) posted that a new season of The Great British Sewing Bee was happening - well I decided to watch again.  I've watched the first two episodes of Season One - yes depsite the fact that I know who won, it doesn't matter. I'm really enjoying them.

Now here's the bad part - I'm thinking I NEED to sew clothes for myself.  I know - give my head a BIG BIG shake.  Where is this coming from????   I know - when I was home all those years, clothes weren't all that important and technically, I don't need any for work, but it would be nice to have something a bit dressier than golf shirts - at least part of the time.

Oh gosh - help me and do NOT let me loose in Fabricland!  I could use our cottons, but I'm not that into ironing clothes, so I need something that doesn't require ironing!!!!   Hmm - well - you never know what I will end up with. Is there a support group that I can join?

Here is the link to the four episodes for Season One   (they are an hour each)

Espisode One

Episode Two

Episode Three

Episode Four

Now if that isn't enough to get you excited, you MUST check out my blog post today for the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC.  You will NOT believe some of the features of this sewing machine.  My god - what am I doing at work?  I need to be home sewing!!!!

And here's the other thing that is driving me crazy.  While I was winding down last night, I decided to check out clothing styles for the over 50 crowd.  Good grief - why would they show clothing for the older crowd on young models????   Seriously - I'm not even going to link to the Pinterest pictures - some of the stuff I saw was ridiculous. Obviously, people are NOT categorizing this stuff properly.  However it would appear that pants and skirts are narrow in the shape (I'm OK with that), but you can have fun with the tops.  I don't have any fun tops.  Now you see why I want to make clothes. And they will be different than anyone else's!

On that note, I'm going to lock myself in a room or cut up my credit card.

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


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ooops - I did it again!

You know it's sad when your memories on Facebook say "I survived a quilting marathon".  And you know that you'll go through that experience again and again.  Could I schedule things differently?  Not sure, but I can always try!   Part of the problem is that I don't always feel that I'm the one that dictates my schedule.  Perhaps that is just a major scheduling SNAFU on my part.

Well - I was going to write a post with some of the pictures that I have edited last week, except they are not loaded to the internet, so that isn't going to happen.

However, I'm happy to report that I went to the gym, had a super good workout.  The knee is starting to feel almost like a normal knee. I don't look like an idiot as I walk up and down the stairs. I could almost run up them!

Instead today I will leave you with a link to QUILTSocial where you get to enjoy another post about the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC.  Yes, I do feel very grateful for the opportunity to review these sewing machines and in particular this one.  There is a surprise around every corner to say the least.
Yes, I want one, but not in my budget at the moment. I could use one as I have a ton of embroidery to do that needs to be done ASAP, so I'm going to use those projects to learn about the Designer EPIC. Can't wait - just need to eek out some time.

On that note, have a great day!!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What a mess!

While I was excited to get home yesterday, I was also a bit sad because I was coming home and Little Sammy wouldn't be there to bark her head off to greet me. However, Lexi came to the airport to greet me and seemed to be very happy to fill the spots usually occupied by two dogs!  Thanks to Miss Lexi for that!

I'm happy to report that I had a very uneventful trip to Spring Market.  The others? Not so much.  One person had issues with water pouring into her hotel room from a burst pipe, others had to walk up stairs because the power went out, others got caught in the rain, while still others had issues with their flights and ended up having to drive part way home and arrived hours later than they were supposed to. Knock on wood, I was very lucky!

The day was so beautiful yesterday that Lexi and I sat in the backyard and just soaked up the sun (OK - we were both in the shade), but it was very peaceful and just what I needed after a crazy week. 

Unfortunately, that peace didn't last too long as I had work to do. And this is the mess that greeted me when I went downstairs!  The ironing board was covered with all the cut-off pieces from about 15 quilts, stuff all over the floor, the cutting table was piled high with stuff to process.  ACK - where to start?

The mess BEFORE

I decided that I could sit outside while I pulled the cut-off pieces apart, so Lexi and I sat out there and enjoyed the fresh air.

And this is what it looked like when I was finished. Only the ironing board was cleared. But that was a start.

The mess AFTER
Then a few things got shoved into a bag to take to work.  Oh yes - the ever optimistic me thought I could just breeze into work and spend the entire day sewing!  HA!!!!  I'm such a dreamer!  But filling the bag did vacate some space on the cutting table.

Stuff to deal with tonight
Most of that can be shoved into a pet mat bag and the bag is already made. I have a feeling that I'm going to have to make another soon as this one will be full by the time I put everything into it.

A bit of computer work and that was it for me for the day.  My knee was very happy as there was minimal standing all day and Lexi got an extra long walk before bed. I thought I was going to be in trouble sitting on the plane for so long, but with two short flights, the longest flight was 2 hours and it worked out perfect!

On that note, this has to be short and sweet - it's taken me all day to get here!

Have an awesome day!


Oh my gosh - don't forget to check out the review of the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC - Day two.  Wow!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Spring Market - Day Four

Well, it's all over.  Spring Market 2016 is done and our crates are packed up!

Currently sitting in the airport at some ridiculous hour.  I got up at 3:00 AM.  Downstairs to meet the others at 3:15.  The airport is not far from downtown and so here we sit. Our flight is not until 6 AM.  Do not ask me why we have gotten here so early, but I was not the one to choose the time and when the taxi left - I had to be on it.

Anyway, yesterday was a pretty decent day.  I did have one more appointment which I had completely forgotten about so when I arrived at the booth to find that someone had been waiting, I felt terrible.  Fortunately, she left her card and through the wonders of cell phones, I was able to track her down and we had a super meeting.  I think she will be a great designer to work with in the future.

I also had a class in the morning with Tammy Silvers from Tamerinis.  It is a no-sew bracelet and is very cute.  I think I will have to make some more and it didn't really take very long.  Can be embellished to death.   Can't wait to try some, but I need to find a particular product in order to make it. I'm sure someone back home has some.

Then I spent the rest of the time walking around and taking pictures.  The last day of any trade show is always the slowest and many vendors are visiting other vendors as they check out stuff that they had no time to check out the days before.  Oh yes - I did manage to scoop some good stuff and well - no need to chat about it now, but I want to be home sewing NOW.  I have so many ideas that are running through my head, I seriously need days - no I need weeks in order to make it all happen.

I'm happy to report that we had lots of help for the take-down and within three hours, everything was packed up and in the crates.  Yeah!   It's always chaos with everything coming down, and we have to wait for the crates to arrive. Fortunately, the crates arrived in a timely fashion and so we had no downtime.  I think the crates arrived one at a time so that helped to space out the work.

Then all fourteen of us went to dinner and by ten, I was in bed.  It turns out that I missed a lot of nocturnal activity in the hotel.  On one of the first nights we were here, the power went out and there was a huge rain storm. Then the other night, there was an alarm and Christina had a water leak in her room.  Apparently an alarm sounded and people were told to evacuate. But it turns out that was only on the top couple of floors and the 10th floor was not affected.

Oh my god - I hate selfies unless they are pet selfies!  But here is one that was taken the other night in The Cheesecake Factory.   Not by me!

Elaine and Deborah
And here is one of the photos of our booth.

Northcott booth at Spring Market 2016

I went back to the hotel just before the show shut down so I could get my big bag of stuff to put in the crate.  I had contemplated leaving my camera at the hotel but then decided to get a couple of pictures of tear down.  As I was going down the escalator, I banged the camera and then it wouldn't take pictures.  CRAP!!!!!   The lens wasn't focusing and I thought the end was here for that lens.  The way I treat cameras, I'm surprised it hasn't bit the bullet much sooner.  But all it needed was a rest it seems because I think it's focusing and taking pictures properly.  I'll check it out better when I get home.

On that note, I'm out of here. Not that I have anywhere to go - it is now 4 am - two hours before our flight.  I have no luggage to check, I have TSA pre-check in and well, I guess we just play the waiting game now.

Have an awesome day!!!!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spring Market - Day Four

Wow - what a whirlwind day!  All of my appointments were booked for yesterday and I spent the day hopping from appointment to appointment.  Met with numerous editors of the magazines - I KNOW - that sounds so flipping surreal.  In all the years, I've read the quilt magazines, I never imagined that I would be meeting with the editors, discussing editorial content, patterns, etc.  I'm walking away with a LOT of work and follow-up to do. I can't wait to get started.

And look out world because EQ7 and myself are going to get a bit more acquainted as I propose more and more content for the magazines.

I did spend a bit of time walking the floor one more time - this time with my camera.  There is so much to take in and I want to remember some of the stuff when I write up my notes.

This is one of the items that I MUST find when it becomes available.  It's called Pet Selfies and is by elizabeth's studio.  It's absolutely precious.

Can you just imagine the thoughts going through their heads?  Oh yes - it's a keeper for sure.  I now, here I am promoting the competition, but honestly - this is just too cute to not mention.

I also saw a new dog panel by Lorelei and it is also to die for.  Oh - do you see a theme here?

My day started off by attending class with Helen Stubbings from hugs n kisses.  I just love her embroidery patterns - they are cute, cute, cute.  I do have several of her patterns and alas no time to work on them. When I retire!  We did a different method of English Paper Piecing - the templates are made from fusible interfacing.  I'm not sure that I'm sold on that method, but I'm going to give it a try.  We got a kit for a small little bag and it's all hand work, so I could get that done!  But I have to say that I was a bit of a dolt because I couldn't find the room even after I looked at the number.  However some lady who had downloaded the Quilt Market App directed me to the right room.  No - 155 ABC is not the same as 255 ABC.  Ooops - everything I had done prior was in the two hundred series and not the one hundred.  The good news is that I managed to find my teeny tiny scissors that I keep in my little sewing box. The darn things were in the teeny metal tin and have escaped my scrutiny on several occasions.

Hopefully, I'll find my room today as I have one more class this morning.

Dinner plans are always pretty chaotic.  Some like to eat late, some like to have a drink before dinner, some don't mind to wait (wait times were close to an hour last night).  It's crazy as people sort themselves out.  I have managed to eat dinner with different people every evening. You know, it's been great as I've gotten to know more people in the organization and different points of view on various aspects.  I love that and it's definitely to my benefit. We had a super engaging dinner conversation last night and we even stayed at the restaurant until 9 PM which was late for us. Every once in a while, you get into a great conversation and well - you just can't stop and that was last night. After we got back to the hotel, I spent further time chatting with Shirley (who is also a quilter) and well - it was late - 10:30 by the time I got to bed.  That was very late for me, but so worth all the conversation.

Our booth was super busy again yesterday and we were all playing musical chairs to find a spot to meet with our customers and marketing contacts. But that added so much to the air of excitement - I would much rather see that than to have a huge booth that is half empty. Again, we had customers right up until the end of the day and the booth looks like a tornado went through!

Our Stonehenge end of the booth  (Northcott)

Today is the last day of the show.  It closes down at 4 PM and then the mad scramble to get everything down and into the crates.  We also have a very early flight tomorrow morning so we're going to arrive home exhausted!

There are a few more designers that I want to chat with personally about a couple of issues, going to stop by Zebra Patterns (the designer of the plates for Row by Row) and then just take a lot more pictures.  My job will be done!

I have to say that I feel guilty, but just a teeny tiny bit.  Coming to Market is like sending a kid into a candy store except that you can't buy anything. And honestly, you almost don't want to buy because there is so much. To be here and see all the big names in person, to see all the new stuff and to do it while you are actually working and getting paid - well that is just the best. So many of the people here are doing this because it's a job for them. To be here and to be so passionate about the industry - well that is just sinful and I love it!

On that note, going to see if I can check in for the flight tomorrow (yes - it is dreadfully early!) and then off to get breakfast.  I've kept my room pretty tidy - my teeny suitcase and my big tote bag have contained all my stuff. I confiscated one of the smaller tote bags (made by Tish) as my carry around bag. We didn't have enough room to hang it in the booth.  Well, this morning, I needed to find the charger for my laptop and my Fit Bit and well, let's just say that EVERYTHING is now strewn everywhere. I must get it all back in the proper spots because the big tote bag is going to be put in the crate for the way home.  I'm NOT carrying that on the plane.

Have a super awesome day!


OH OH OH - one of the most exciting things I discovered yesterday - the license plates are up on Zebra Patterns website.  OH yes - if you want to start planning your travel or see all the exciting plates, you MUST go to the link for Zebra,   Hold me back!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spring Market - Day Three

Or is that day one?  I don't know, but it was the first day of the show being open. What a day!!!!

I forgot that we had a sales meeting first thing in the morning and so I had also booked a class with Helen Stubbings. My first priority was to the meeting and once I had said my spiel and listened to most of the stuff, I hustled up to Helen's class and picked up my kit.  At least I was going to get the kit!   It was on redwork embroidery and she has a beautiful, new block of month (13 small embroidery blocks) that are fun. We got one of the blocks to work on in the class.

Razz-a-dazzle by Helen Stubbings - hugs n kisses

I think I have another class with her this morning on English Paper Piecing.  Can't wait.

Technically, I don't have a job here. No need to man the booth and that is wonderful.  Although, I have helped out with some of the customers, showing them quilts, answering questions and bringing in a sales lead or two.  My main focus is to walk the floor, getting ideas, new patterns, new pattern designers, etc.  I know - it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!!!  Seriously - it's hard work - chatting to everyone. 

I'm not sure that I can even describe how it works.  But a lot of companies have designers that design a line of fabric for them. Often those designers did something else prior to designing fabric - like design patterns or teach quilting or something.  So I got to meet a lot of people yesterday - yes - all those big name people are here!  I met Amanda Murphy, Helen Stubbings, oh gosh - I'd need to go back through the literature that I picked up in order to remember it all.  Some of the designers who work for a competitor, while I like their stuff - probably not in good taste to ask them to work with us. Didn't stop me from picking up their stuff.  Some for me, some for work!

Remember that panel that I posted yesterday - the alphabet one?   Well, I got to meet the designer. Marcia Derse. 

Marcia Derse with the coolest alphabet panel EVER!!!!!

OH MY GOD - I just love her stuff and she gave me a charm pack of her fabric because I gushed enough over her work!!! But she is friends with another designer that I'm going to be working with.  It's such a small world!

Remember all those squares I was sewing???  Well here is one of the walls. I made four of them. 

Fabric wall at Northcott booth at Spring Market
It comes in two colorways.

Second colorway of A Stitch in Time
 It is such a fun line of fabric and based on Stonehenge.   I quilted the two quilts on the left of this picture above. I think I ended up quilting 5 quilts for the booth, 10 for my trunk show and made all the squares for the walls.  A totally crazy job, but it's done (until next time!).   And if you want to check out the total collections for A Stitch in Time, go to Northcott's website

Got to meet some of the designers that we are currently working with that I had not met before.  I didn't really take any pictures, my hands were full of literature. I have a number of meetings today with the magazine editors and so not sure how much time I will have to wander the floor, but my goal is to get out there and take PICTURES.  There are lots of great ideas, color combinations, and many other things and I want to capture them all!  

It's funny how some of the designers work.  Some of them will throw patterns at you when you walk into the booth.  OK - I'm exaggerating, but literally, one designer gave me four patterns. I've admired her work for years and I told her so. I think her patterns would work extremely well with what Northcott has to offer.  I met another designer and during our lengthy discussion, she ended up giving me two different patterns and a third designer whom we currently work with, wouldn't give me a pattern ($3) - told me I would have to buy the minimum of 6 patterns to get that price. Wow!  Anyway, I don't want to collect patterns from everyone. My principle goal is to pick up the names, get their brochure (with pictures) and then go home and sort out the entire mess.  I need those names as soon as we get home, so I may end up writing down names or emailing myself the links because I am NOT carrying all this literature home with me. It's going in the crate, along with other stuff that I won't need right away. 

Dinner is always a crazy affair - some like to go late, I like to go early so I can get to bed since I get up so flipping early. Oh yes - I've met up with Susan Claire from Town and Country Block a Day quilt.  Always a hoot and so we had dinner together with Deborah. It was a hoot to hear some of her stories about traveling across America from Paducah to Utah.  How fun and I'm quite envious that I didn't get to go with her!  Next time!

Well, I guess I had better do a bit of sorting this morning. I do have to find the paper with my class list on it so I know how to find my classroom. 

Yes - I'm having a blast.  Yes, my knee is doing OK. It's just tired and we're all dehydrated. It's hard to keep hydrated here. 

Oh yes - when I met with the others yesterday morning, people were asking if the power went off?  Nope - it was on all night.  Well, little did I know that in fact, the power was off and there was a huge rain storm.  I heard nothing!  While the others were on their way home from wherever and got totally drenched, I was tucked safe and dry in bed.  I'm not the party girl for sure.  I'm saving all my energy to glean as much information from the vendors/exhibitors.  That is why I'm here!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here.  

Have a super awesome day.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Market - Day Two

Today is the first day of Spring Market, 2016.  Well, the first day of the main floor being open. Yesterday was Schoolhouse presentations.

Before all the craziness of the day started yesterday, I took a walk to Temple Square which is less than five minutes away.  A big imposing wall surrounds the temple, but two gates open at 6 AM.  I took some pictures which of course are on my camera and some day, I must figure out how to get them from the camera to the internet and sized for the internet.  There is an easy way I'm sure.  I don't have Photoshop with me to edit them - that's my problem.

Anyway, the gardens were very serene and it made me want to sit and reflect life. However, that brought up moments of sadness and well, I did have a little episode which is OK.  It is a beautiful place to just reflect life.

As I walked around, I noticed a couple of things.  The entire complex is huge - there are office buildings for the church, there are beautiful and well-tended gardens and loads of water features. Loads of them including two infinity pools (not the kind you swim in, but water features).  They were all very beautiful. I also noticed that MANY well-dressed business people (mostly men) were headed into the various office buildings and it wasn't even 7 am yet.

I did walk into the temple entrance and there was a guard checking IDs. Hm - can't go that way. Then I saw a couple of people dressed in religious garb (priests?) that were tending to the other entrance and well - I thought I didn't need to go any further. I needed to get back to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, we were back over to the convention center. And I must say that it was all hands on deck. Almost to the point of being too many hands, but the booth went up fast and it looks great. I'll try to post some pictures on Facebook later today.

I have to say that Deborah, Joyce and myself skipped out of the prepping to attend a couple of Schoolhouse presentations.  Personally, I would like to attend Schoolhouse all day as I think there is valuable information to be gathered. And let's not forget that most of them hand out free stuff!!!  Deborah very graciously gave me all her free stuff!

My goal was to get to some of the competitors booths to see what they were doing for Schoolhouse. We saw Elizabeth Hartman and Heather Jones who are designing for Robert Kaufman. Both were OK, but not sure how educational they were. These presentations are not supposed to be a sales pitch, but they usually end up being that way.  Ours were NOT. Both were shorter than the 30 minutes as well.

Then back to the booth where we prepped for our Schoolhouse presentations.  Joyce Hughes, who does amazing things with panels, did a presentation and then Deborah and I did the presentation for Northcott.  Both were well received which is the important thing. Both presentations were filmed, so hopefully that will go up on the Northcott YouTube channel in the near future.

In the big leagues!

Back to the booth, where by this time, everything pretty much had been done - a bit of tidying up and we were good.  I think it was 4:30 PM.  And guess who I ran into?   I knew they were there because they had a Schoolhouse presentation right after ours, but no time to get to it.  Jeanne and Shelley from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw.  How fun to see them - it's been a while.  And two of the girls from the store were also with them - Jo and Colleen.

Barely had time to put my stuff in the room and then four of us, Shirley, Deborah, Joyce and myself headed out for an early dinner.  We hit The Cheesecake Factory which is just minutes away and had a fabulous dinner. While the rest of them had a dish called Bang Bang, I had an omelet and a beer.  I know - why not!  Life is too short to get caught up in what's right and what's wrong. At least, the omelet and beer were for dinner, not breakfast!

Then Shirley, Joyce and I headed back to the convention center for Sample Spree.  I've heard a lot about Sample Spree but had never been.  Oh boy - the place was a ZOO.  First, because we are not buyers, we can't get in with the rush which is good because the line was insane - it was HUGE. So we sat and waited and then paid our $10 to get in and then we were in the insanity. Instantly, we were sucked into the crowd and I lost sight of Shirley and Joyce within seconds. Many of the booths were swamped - OK - all of the booths were swamped.  People were coming away with HUGE shopping bags. Not one, not two, but multiple shopping bags filled with FQ bundles, and other pre-cuts.

There seemed to be many fabric manufacturers there and some pattern designers. I think the origin of sample spree was for shops to purchase samples made by the designers to hang in their shops for classes and to sell patterns and other supplies.  Now, it's just a fabric buying frenzy.  I went around several times and I thought long and hard about what I wanted/needed.  Did I really need another FQ bundle that I would probably never use? Nope - so even though several of them were calling my name, I wasn't really in love with any of them. So I didn't buy any.  But I did buy things that were unusual - a gorgeous panel with the alphabet on it, but this is NOT a kids alphabet panel.  It's by Windham and well - I love it.
Studio Alphabet panel by Windham

I bought a pack of BIG hexagons from ME + YOU (Hoffman) and I bought some mesh and a bundle of new patterns from byAnnie. Before I left home, I threw all my US money (bills and coin) into my bag. There was a lot of coin - well a couple of dollars worth and it was getting heavy to carry.  I found a Mini Charm pack (2 1/2") squares for $3.  There are 84 charms in it, matches the ones that I got at the Schoolhouse earlier in the day and I unloaded most of my change.  Whew - that was a cool purchase. Did not use my credit card once! And I still have cash in my wallet.

Thanks Shirley for letting experience Sample Spree to its fullest. They should sell T-shirts that say "I survived Sample Spree".

Not that I'm a name dropper, but I did see Eleanor Burns at Sample Spree and as the room emptied, I went to her table to thank her. She came to the Hobby Horse many many years ago. 16 to be exact and I took a class from her. (She even remembered that Dwight was getting married that year - I had forgotten that!)  She was the one that taught the importance of using a quilt stiletto for sewing. I thanked her for that - it was one of the most valuable quilting tips I've ever learned. Oh by the way, I've seen Alex Anderson several times, said HI to her yesterday and she's staying in our hotel.  Oh Susan - if only you could be here. I do have an extra bed in my room!

Back to the hotel room and to bed.  Of course, getting to bed early (9 PM) means waking up at some ridiculous time. But that's OK - I just relaxed in the fact that I had nothing to do. No quilts to quilt, no bindings to sew.  I was just content to relax. Imagine!  But I had computer work to do, so while I'm still in bed, I've been on the computer for hours. Got hungry and dug out my chocolate bar and ate chocolate in bed while blogging.  Love it!!!!!

Gosh - I still have a couple of hours before I need to be at the booth and I'm signed up to take a small class with Helen Stubbings this morning. It's going to be a busy day of checking out the booths to see what interesting things are there and see if there is anyone I want to work with for future projects.  Thankfully, most of what we see isn't available for sale.  Yeah!!!!   I may take another reflective moment in the beautiful gardens at the temple.

The floor for Spring Market 2016

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Salt Lake City - Spring Market - travel day

Life marches on and I'm now sitting in my hotel room in Salt Lake City waiting for the rest of the world (on the west coast) to wake up!   

I did manage to get my new Everyday bag together on the day before leaving, but what a struggle. My heart and my head just weren't into sewing. I even managed to get everything packed in my carry-on luggage.  I'm not big into bringing tons of stuff with me on a trip - the more I bring, the more chances I have of leaving something behind! 

Getting to our seats on the first leg of the trip was an experience.  First, I have to say THANK YOU NEXUS.  I got through the security line and the customs line in no time flat.  I think I waited about 5 minutes in the security line and zero time in the customs line and I was through. My biggest issue was that I hadn't had time to check the monitor to find out what gate we were at so I was wandering down the aisle until I could find a monitor.  Two of my non-NEXUS colleagues were stuck in the lines for about one hour. Spending that money on the NEXUS was well worth it.  We can only hope now that not too many people get a NEXUS card, otherwise, that process will get bogged down as well.  But in the meantime - I love it!

Then we got on the plane.  There were four of us travelling and we ended up in the LAST row on the plane.  I got the window seat!  Yeah - except there was NO window!  Just a blank wall.  So now I'm jammed into the corner and nothing to look at.  Fortunately, there were three empty seats in front of us and I was allowed to move up.  Yeah - a window seat. OH - there is a big honking engine outside my window and I can't see a thing!!!  But at least it was a window seat!

We had to change planes in Minneapolis which went smoothly except we were again at the back of the plane.  This time, we were one row from the back, but a long walk to get on and off the plane.  No big deal, however, we sure kidded the person who booked our tickets - not mentioning any names here (to protect my job), but it wasn't me!!!

My knee did NOT like sitting in one position for that length of time and was pretty stiff, but after taking a few steps, it seemed to be OK.  Made it to the hotel, rooms were ready - yeah.  A quick lunch and then we were off to the convention center which is right across the street.  I love when it is a quick walk to the venue.  I hate having to rely on a shuttle or waiting for the others.  Independence is the name of the game!!!!

Was nice to meet up with the others from the US and then we were off to the races to assemble the booths.  I hate those metal structures and despite my best efforts (why did they all look to me to make it right?) and I goofed up again.  However, I think I now have it figured out how it all goes together so the next show in the fall will be a piece of cake.  I can hardly wait!!!!
We won't have a ton of time here in Salt Lake to visit around, but I can see the Salt Lake Temple from my hotel room.  I'm not sure why I was expecting something more modern looking.  This reminds me of the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.  

Salt Lake Temple

Notre Dame Basilica

OK - I know the scale is off, but this is more what I was thinking the temple would look like. 

Church in Reykjavik, Iceland

The good news, Salt Lake is a very friendly bike city or so it appears.  There are dedicated bike lanes with dividers, cool bike racks and MAY is bike month.  There is also a bike share program here.  

I would load some pictures, but I'm having trouble getting my phone connected to the internet in the hotel.  Will try later.

Had a good sleep and now I'm ready to rock n roll today.  We made good progress putting our booth up.  The structure is up, the lights are up, the big signs are up. Today, the rest of it has to happen - we have lots of hands so that is good and it is also School House.  I'm heading over to the convention center early to get my hands on the schedule to see if there is anything that I would like to listen in on and then we have two presentations later in the afternoon. It's going to be a whirlwind day. 

If I was better prepared and not wasted so much time on the internet, I could have visited the temple.  Hmmm - there might still be time for that before breakfast.  

Have an awesome day!!!!!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

RIP Little Sammy

The inevitable happened yesterday - Little Sammy has passed away.  I miss her very much - she was such a little character.

Little Sammy at the dog park

Little Sammy on top of the world at the dog park

Lexi has written a story about her - you can check it out on Lexi's blog this morning.

Have a good day.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Baby it's cold outside!

What's with this cold weather?  It feels like the middle of winter.  BUT when one has things to do in the house, I can't really complain.  I didn't get as much done as I would have liked yesterday, but still made good progress.  

Let's see - I still have a tote bag to finish. I needed fusible fleece and I got some yesterday so that shouldn't take too long to finish up. I wanted to make two journal covers - one of them got made this morning.  And if you want to make a journal cover, check out my tutorial that I posted a couple of years ago on QUILTSocial.  It's fast - I think I made the one cover this morning in less than an hour and I had to refresh  my memory (from the tutorial) on how to do it. They are fast, very easy and you are only limited by your creativity!   I'm making a couple with one of Northcott's new fabric lines to take with me to Spring Market. Let's see, then there is a vest and a stuffed toy that I would like to make. The line is called a Stitch in Time.  comes in TWO different colorways.  While it doesn't ship to stores until January of 2017, if you want your local shop to carry it, NOW is the time to ask the shop to order.  It is orderable NOW, but after these orders, it's gone! 

I did manage to get a couple of things accomplished yesterday - I had two of my ongoing classes in the morning.  As usual, I was perusing the shelves at Sew Sisters and came across a fabric that I had been looking for.  That was a great find.  Then I showed the group the round robin that I'm working on from the Grand River Modern Quilt Guild and got the perfect idea from the group.  It's even hand work, so if I'm smart, I could prep it and sew it on the plane on Wednesday.  It just so happened that the Fusible Fleece that I wanted was on sale at Sew Sisters!

Then off to deliver my sick sewing machine to be fixed.  I think it is serious, John thinks it just needs oil.  Bottom line, I've decided to take my favourite sewing machine to work - yes - I'm going to sew every day  - what the heck!  The machine is almost 20 years old, a few parts don't work - the needle threader and the thread cutter, but I'm so used to not using them, it's no big deal.  Then I'm going to pull that Ruby out and start sewing on that at home.  Gosh, the machine is brand new, although I've had it for 3 years!   Out with the small machines - we're bringing the big guns in!  It'll be great because I was a bit limited in the capacity of the machine I had at work.  I think I might have to buy a new insert for my sewing table. Oh well......   And while I was at Brampton Sew n Serge dropping off my machine, I found the companion fabric to the one that I found earlier at Sew Sisters.   What are the chances of that?????

I took pictures yesterday - we had some interesting blocks, but I'm behind and so going to show you the rest of the class pictures from last weekend. 

Eat, Sleep, Golf quilt by Amy Bradley
The pictures are from the Garden Quilt by Amy Bradley.  I see she has a new pattern out - all about golf. It's very cute, although I didn't buy it yesterday when I saw it at Sew Sisters.   I have many of her patterns, but haven't made any.  I'm hoping to get things under control and actually start to do something for me!  That's FUN!!!!

Garden Quilt by Amy Bradley

It appears that as this class winds down next month, the class size is also dwindling!  Marilyn brought in all her finished blocks and she was the only one that brought in work. No worries - the quality of the work was IMPECCABLE.  I would say that Marilyn has mastered machine applique - she's a PRO at it.  I'm very impressed.  

Marilyn's blocks

more blocks by Marilyn

And one more by Marilyn

Detail of one flower center

Wow - I can't wait to see the quilt finished. At least the quilt top.  I had to abandon mine at some point, but I do hope to get back into it.  Since I'll be teaching a lot less classes next year, there is less prep and less time out of the studio and hopefully I'll be able to get some stuff done for me.  Or I wait until I retire at which time, I'm going to refuse to do ANYTHING outside of the house!  I mean, no volunteering for anything!

Speaking of volunteering, you remember a couple of days ago, that I wrote a post on donations during major disasters - like the fires in Fort MacMurray.  Well guess what - they are inundated with unwanted stuff. In particular clothes.  I think we all need to look at the quantity of clothes that we buy and STOP buying.  Think about it - how many T-shirts do you own?  OK - now how many of those do you actually wear on a regular basis?  OK - so what are you going to do with the rest?   But more importantly, why are you going to buy another one?   I feel the need to purge again - I find pitching clothes is now the easiest thing.  So easy that I can't even remember getting rid of stuff like my housecoat!    There are still things in my closet that I don't wear, some of it is brand new.  I need to rotate things around a bit and get rid of stuff.  I'd like it down to the point where all my clothes fit in one suitcase (except cycling clothes and winter stuff).  Shouldn't be hard - I don't need a huge variety of stuff.  At least the clothes are all sorted by category, so I could pick one category a day and eliminate!!!!!!   It pained me the other day when I pulled out a beautiful sweater only to find that it had a couple of small holes in the front.  From catching the sweater?  Moths?  I don't know, but I pitched it - it's of no use to anyone.  

So if you want to help in any situation, it's ALWAYS best - donate money or check to see that what you're going to donate is actually needed.

On that note - I've got work to do today and I'd better get started.

Have a great day!!!!