Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The novelty of it all.....

I decided I had better start going through my vacation pictures. I'm happy to say that I found the beginning of them. No idea how many there are, but at least I've made a start!

I may have already posted this picture, but it's a picture of one of the novelty fabric that I picked up. I'm really really trying to NOT buy more, but I can't help it. At least I do have the situation sort of under control in that I'll only buy one or two instead of 10 or 12 when I see something new.   I have oodles of novelty prints - two HEAPING laundry baskets full!  I know - how did that happen?  Well twenty years of shopping for fabrics - that's how!

Novelty print

Funny, but I bet there are people who have no clue what this image is!

I did get some work done in the studio last night.  Even got the long arm fired up - boy does it sound different - it's been almost a month!  I should be able to finish that project off tonight and then back to the sewing machine for my continuing marathon for QUILTsocial.  Pictures are being taken and edited, AND loaded on the web site,  samples and projects are flying under the foot of the machine.  I'm a machine.  The best news? - it's way before the deadline. That's never happened before!

Perhaps I need to take more vacation because when I came from this vacation - I'm pumped. I'm organised.  I"m focusing like I've never focused before.  How did that happen?  Well, one needs to focus to ride a bike alongside busy highways so perhaps my brain has become rewired?  I don't care - I'm taking full advantage of the situation.

When I was at Spring Market, I was picking up these little patches made by a competitor. Have I no shame?  Nope - none - I'm a quilter, therefore I'm a collector.  Have a read - they are HAUTE COUTURE!!!!   And they're available for purchase. I picked some up at Prairie Chicks in Saskatchewan (that package hasn't arrived yet!), although I'm sure they are available at many other quilt stores.

And the name of that vacuum store???   It's called Mississauga Vacuum Centre.  They don't really have a web site, but what a great store!!!!  

On that note, loads to do today and time to get rolling!!!

Have a great day!!!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I learned it on the internet....

Here's something to ponder today.

I spend some time almost everyday reading other people's quilting blogs. After our guild meeting this past weekend, I got to thinking. There is a definite trend towards people learning all about quilting on the internet.  Do people who learn via the internet consider themselves self taught? Anyways - that's not important. What is important is that I've noticed a couple of trends. I'm not mentioning any blogs and I'm NOT indicating that these trends are good or bad. This is totally an observation, NOT an opinion.

1. There are a lot of quilt a longs. What this means is that the blogger will design a quilt and then offer free instructions and tutorial (or not) on how to make the quilt. There is usually a schedule or regular posting like once a week. At the end, everyone gets to post the picture of their finished quilt and there are usually prizes. Some people drop everything and work on the blog quilt.

2. There are a lot of blog hops. This can take many formats, but here's an example. Once a week, a blogger will post a free block/row pattern on their blog with links and a schedule for the rest of the posts. There's usually a theme - sometimes the release of a new fabric collection or a new book. Again - there are prizes. (The following is an opinion - I hate when the only post for ages on the blog is because of the blog hop!)

OK - I guess that's really two major trends. As I go through these blog posts a couple of things come to mind. And this is MY opinion - it's not right - it's not wrong.  It's just my observations based on 20 years of quilting - TWENTY - well almost twenty.

Just because someone wrote about it on the internet, doesn't make it true, right or even the best way to do something. I've mentioned this before about a couple of techniques that I've seen. But the one that just about kills me is pressing seams open!  ACK!  It drives me absolutely crazy when people press the seams open. Not that there is a right or a wrong way to do this, but pressing seams open takes FOREVER. It is so much faster and easier to press seams to one side. They nest together for matching seams, no tucks or puckers on the front, the blocks looks amazing.

I see that I'm going to have to make a tutorial on pressing seams!

So when the generation before me saw people starting to MACHINE QUILT their quilts, they nearly had a heart attack.  How can you call that a quilt when you didn't hand quilt it????   Now my generation is saying "how can you call that a quilt when your techniques are off?    Yep - just goes to show you that quilting is evolving.  

Bottom line - I'm going to suck it up.  I have my ways of doing things. I will teach those ideas and tips to anyone who will listen.  But I'm NOT going to jump in (well almost never) and tell someone how they can do their work better unless it's in a class.  We traditional quilters (and I'm not all that traditional), should be thrilled that the younger generations are quilting!   If they are happy with the wonky looks of their quilts - then we should be happy.  The quilts are finished and being used. That's more than I can say for my boxes and boxes of quilt tops!

Despite the abundance of FREE stuff on the internet, I'm happy to see that a fair number of quilters do make their own stuff up.  That's the beauty of quilting.

On that note - I'm out of here.


I think Lexi has something to say today.  That dog is always up to no good!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's GONE!

Do we get more predictable as life goes on?  I try not to be - I like to vary up the routine, but I really really like to try and get the blog posted BEFORE 9 AM every day. Some days - well that doesn't happen!  

I had the BEST weekend EVER!!!!   I sewed all day Saturday and I sewed until 2 PM on Sunday. Lexi and I went to the dog park both days and I went to the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild yesterday afternoon.  And way ahead of schedule, I got a ton of pictures edited for QUILTsocial. 

There was a bit of traffic on the way to the guild meeting, so I figured the parking lot by the Workroom would be full.  I decided to park in a Green P lot.  As I was standing by the pay machine, a couple walked by and asked if I wanted to use their ticket which was good until 6 PM.  Ah - SURE!   (Even though I know technically that's not allowed - why not?)   So I parked for free.   Thanks to whoever you were that passed along that ticket!

I had to laugh because the program at the meeting was your best tip!  And the power of suggestion was very strong as Rebecca had written "bring your best tip"  and she mentioned binding as well as one other item in her blurb.  It appeared that most people came prepared with binding tips!  Including me.  Granted once we got on a roll, tips were flying left and right in the room - it was great.  As much as I'm comfortable with my binding method, I did learn one little trick that I think will be quite useful and I shall have to incorporate that into my technique.  Nothing earth shattering but still useful. 

There were some tips about putting the binding on by machine that I didn't really get - I need visuals. I'll try to remember who it was that offered the tip and get a better description.  All in all it was a great meeting. 

But the best news of the day is that the quilt repair is GONE!!!!   The owner came and picked it up just after dinner and he was thrilled.  I'm thrilled so it was a WIN WIN.  

Can you spot the repairs?
There were about 12 patches put on the front (even fancy ones that were half burgundy and half cream) and three places where I had to stitch up the seam that had come undone.

Can you see them now??
I'm sure that if you didn't know the quilt had been repaired - you wouldn't notice.  That's what I was aiming for. Yes - you can find them if you look, but for some of them, you'll have to look really really close.

And then there was the back - again about 12 patches.

Can you spot the patches?
If you look close in the picture below, you can see a couple of them.

Patches?  What patches???

Again - big thanks to Joyce for the matching fabric and thank god for a great stash so I was able to find something that blended in with the other fabrics.

Let's not forget that the binding was taken off, the chewed edges were trimmed away and the binding was put back on.  Then I had to resew the label on the back.

But it's DONE DONE DONE!!!!!!  and GONE!

Because that monkey was off my back and I found a way to kill two birds with one stone - this weekend was the best sewing weekend, I've had in ages!!!!  I can hardly wait to do it all again this coming weekend!

You'll have to wait to see what I did. It's all going to go live on QUILTsocial starting the week of September 26th. I can hardly wait to show you!

On that note - I'm out of here!

Have an awesome day!


Sunday, August 28, 2016

What's that smell?

It was my birthday yesterday.  I don't consider birthdays special - even if it's a big one which it wasn't. But seriously  - just because it's the day that your life started and every year you get older - well your body gets older. Who the heck needs to be reminded that their body is one year older? I treat birthdays just like every other day.  My philosophy -  make the best of that day, just like I do everyday.

However, I always reflect back on what I've done on other birthdays - although I barely remember any of them - that's how memorable they've been!  For some reason, my 13th birthday sticks in my head - I even remember what I was wearing that day!  Yellow shorts, a bright top and I made a bird feeder that day and my mom made a huge dinner with all my favourite foods.  I guess cause I was turning 13 - everyone (in my family) made a big deal.  Then I remember some places I've been but not the year.  Three times, I was on a Cycle Canada bike trip and got birthday cake!  Once I was in Arizona on business and we were at a dude ranch for an outdoor BBQ in the dessert and once I went to the racetrack. That's pretty much sums up my birthday celebrations and I'm perfectly OK with that.

Yesterday was a special day. Special in that I didn't have anyone to "bother" me - well except Lexi!  No appointments, although I did make it to the bank and I did have to make an emergency trip to Ruti's when I couldn't find any black thread in the house.

So what did I do???

Lexi and I went to the dog park and had a blast.  There were a LOT of dogs there. Lexi had a blast. Sometimes it was like there were so many dogs, they didn't know who to play with. Dogs truly are like small children!

Lexi and her friends at the dog park

While the dog park isn't huge, it's plenty big enough to give them a good run.  At one point, Lexi was at one end with the other dogs and I wanted to see how well she was at listening. Usually, she couldn't care less.  I whistled and called her name (yep - just like Santa!) and I saw her head pop up! "Whoa! What's going on - where's my Mom?"  And then I called COME and she ran at full speed to me. Seriously???  She's never done that!

I must admit that when I first got to the park, I was a bit confused. I went over to the table where people were congregating and WHEW!  What's that smell?  OH it's marijuana. Wow - it's early and we're in a public place. As I observed the people, there was a couple - a young couple with a lot of piercings and tattoos (not that I'm stereotyping at all - seriously - I'm not).  The guy had a cane and a bad limp. I noticed he was smoking.  AHA - this must be medicinal marijuana as that did not look like a typical joint - as if I know what a typical joint looks like! OK - so I know what they look like.  I'm guessing if I had of stayed a bit longer in their area - I'd have had a really really good birthday.  No - probably not!  What are the rules about medicinal marijuana? Can they smoke it in a public place?  I mean wherever public smoking is allowed - is it still allowed anywhere???  And are there different rules for medicinal marijuana??  Hmmm - where's Justin Trudeau when you have questions?  

So then on my way out of the dog park, I got busted!  No I didn't get stopped by the police, but I was taking a picture of a license plate of one of the cars in the parking lot and next thing I knew the owner was coming around the corner and saw me take the picture! It was a guy that I had talked to a fair amount in the dog park - he had two adorable black American bull dogs.   Anyway - he wasn't close enough to me to say anything, but he sure looked at me!  

I was only taking a picture so I could send to M - in Ontario, our license plates start with four letters and then three numbers.   We're done with the A's, were working our way through the B's - I've been noticing a lot of BZ........   so I knew the C's were starting soon.  M and I were keeping tabs when the A's switched to B's.   So this license plate was CAAA and then 095.  So it was one of the first of the new series.  Seriously - that's all I was doing!!!!

When I got home, I was pumped - must have been that second hand marijuana smoke.  Down to the studio where I worked and worked and worked and was happy as a clam.  I've got the most amazing plan which unfortunately I can't share with you, nor can I share what I did until it all goes live in about 4 weeks.  You're going to love it and hopefully you'll play along. I was focused - I'm still focused and I can't wait to hit the sewing machine today!  And no it's NOT Gravity that I'm working on!

I'd take a break every once in a while and go out to the gazebo to sit and read or just sit. The day could not have been more perfect yesterday.
My view from the gazebo
A slight breeze, the waterfall gurgling and then HOLY GOD - what's that smell????  I had just sat down to read my book, when this very disgusting odour came wafting across the fence or so I hoped because if that stench was in my backyard - we have a major problem!  I do believe the neighbours were putting something on their garden. I can't even begin to imagine what it was or where it came from. However it quickly dissipated and I was free to enjoy the fresh air again!

I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoy that backyard.  We have no small kids in our neighbourhood, sometimes we hear the airplanes, but very much depends on the weather (clouds, wind, etc), for the most part - no yappy dogs. The sound of the traffic is pretty muted as well because of the trees.  I didn't even have Lexi to bother me because she was trapped in the house - the door wasn't quite wide enough for her to squeeze through - hopefully you read her blog yesterday to understand her problem!

The yard isn't open - no grass, lots of rocks and bushes and trees. I can't even imagine having to move from here - I'll never be able to replace the backyard. OK - and having an awesome studio helps as well - the rest of the house - well it's just a house!

And what am I reading???  I seem to get a kick out of these stories written by backpackers.  This one is by a girl from Toronto.   Sue Bedford.  Oh my god - it's so funny - I've almost died laughing at a couple of the stories which I won't share with you. I will say that we North Americans with our fancy toilets - well - they don't have fancy toilets in a lot of countries!!!

It's Only the Himalayas: And Other Tales of Miscalculation from an Overconfident Backpacker by [Bedford, S.]
It's only the Himalayas

On that note - I'm out of here!!!   Can't wait to get started on the day!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Killing two birds with one stone

Yep - it's my BIRTHDAY today.  Ever notice that on someone's birthday, everyone wants to know how old the birthday person is. Why is that?  I know why!  Because they want to compare - am I in better shape than that "older" or "younger" person?  Have I aged better, etc.?  You know all those questions that are totally irrelevant to how we live our life.  Me - I'm just praying that I won't go out without a fight!  I don't want to spend my last days (years) sitting in a chair and not able to do anything.  I know we don't have a choice in this - but if I can have any say in this matter - you bet I'm going to!   And please please if I do get to that point, let me go to the nursing home gracefully!   M - are you listening????

Well enough of all that birthday babble. The most exciting thing about today is that I have NOTHING on the schedule.  NOTHING!!!!   Now that doesn't mean that I don't have anything to do - but there is nothing.  No appointments, no errands (well I do have to go to the bank).  Don't you just love when this happens!

So what's my plan for the day?  Killing two birds with one stone.  It's time for me to blog on QUILTsocial once again.  I have a new sewing machine.  So I prepped my stuff to work on last night and all I can share with you this morning is this picture.

Stuff prepped for the QUILTsocial blog

Not going to say more than that - don't want to spoil the surprise.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day!  When I got home, I grabbed my book and sat in the gazebo. Listening to that waterfall, the birds singing in the trees, Lexi digging under the gazebo. Yes - nice quiet relaxing sounds!  I didn't even have a nap - it was just exciting to sit there and enjoy life. It's my cottage and the commute is 30 seconds even on Friday evening!  It doesn't get any better than that.

After it got darker, I moved into the studio to try and get something done. What to do? What to do?  There is so much to choose from. When I was moving stuff around, I came across some Christmas bags and two small quilts for one of my local guilds.  Oooops - I had forgotten that I had brought those kits home.  Well - it would be awesome if i could go back in September (the end of September) and take the finished items back.

So I got the serger out and serged up the edges of all the bags. There are 12.  Hmmmm - should I keep going?

12 bags are serged

I started to tuck the ends of the serger thread inside the serged seam. And then I put FrayCheck on that so it doesn't pull out.  

Ends tucked in and sealed with Fray Check

I was half through the bags when my attention span started to wane.   Oh for God's sake - just suck it up and finish the other 6.   So I did!    And now those 12 bags are waiting for the next step which I hope to get to today.  Then on Monday morning when I take hand stuff to the Monday Maniac group - I can insert the ribbon.  Hey - I'm always thinking ahead. I almost didn't have anything prepped (or in the bag) last week. I take boring stuff - like ripping (yes - there seems to always be lots of that!) and cutting to the Monday group.  Makes it less boring when you're yakking away.   I so miss those Mondays!!!

And can you tell me how this happens???  You are tired, and it's bed time so you go to bed.  Then all of a sudden you're wide awake!!!   I mean - WIDE AWAKE and there is no hope of going to sleep. It happens to me from time to time, but last night was the second time since I've come back from vacation.  I'm thinking I need to set my tent up in the backyard. I wonder if Lexi would sleep in the tent with me????   So let's say that I was up cutting some more on my Gravity quilt in the wee morning hours.  I've got the purples all cut out and I can wait to sew those blocks together today.  I might even attempt to get a portion of the quilt together today or at least some major cutting on the background.


This is a three part class at the Hobby Horse starting in September (October and November).  Each class is three hours long - we have a KIT - the kit is awesome and a great opportunity to get a LOT of fabrics very easily.  I'm excited how that worked out.  There is only one downside - the class is FILLING UP - not sure if there is any space - we may have to schedule a second class???  Even if you don't want to take the class, call the Hobby Horse and get the kit.  We're using Toscana by Northcott and it's looking awesome.   So if you've been thinking about taking the class - I'd call today to sign up and/or  reserve a kit. The kit will be for the colored fabrics - the grey will be yardage you buy separately.

Each class is three hours - I'm working on a supply list, but you'll be cutting and sewing the first day.   See you then!!!!

On that note - I'd better get the day started. Gosh - I looked for the name of that vacuum place again and I still can't find it.  I know someone who lives close - I'll get the name from her!!!

Have an awesome day and eat cake for ME!!!!


PS - I think Lexi has something to say this morning.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Why do people blog?

Isn't that an interesting question?   Why do people blog?  I spend some time (not as much as I would like) perusing other people's blogs.  Some I never go back to, some I subscribe to or add to my BlogLovin' account so I can stay in touch with the bloggers.  And I HATE bloggers that only blog when they are part of some blog hop.  What's the point?  The point is to gain readers - not just be part of giving prizes away! GRRRR!  Pick me for the blog hops!  I never advertise - so that won't happen. 

Here is a blog that I found yesterday asking the same question. Why do people blog??   Have a read through it.  It's very interesting. 

My first blog post was posted way way back in 2008 or something like that.  I'll have to find the link to it because I did change the site after I had some difficulties with it. 

But why do I personally blog?  Not for you!  Nope - I really really think the blog is for me - after all - it's all about me (well mostly!)   It helps me to get my work done. I feel very accountable to the blog for posting pictures of finished items. Otherwise what is my incentive to get something done?  To prance around the house and shout to myself - "the project is done?"   What's the fun in that?  So if I shout to the internet and at least one person sees it - that's way more than will see it at home. 

But seriously, my lists are great and they work, but the blog is a HUGE incentive to get things done!  Besides I need blogging material and if that isn't enough incentive to get work done - I don't know what is!!!!

Speaking of which - a HUGE HUGE HUGE cheer went up in my house (OK - it was a silent one, but it was HUGE nevertheless).  Yes the quilt repair is DONE DONE DONE!!!!   And even if there is one or two holes that I missed - it is DONE!  I'm very happy with the results and as I said yesterday, I had a very hard time trying to count the number of patches because they blended in so well.  A HUGE thanks to Joyce for having that same fabric in her stash!!! And people want to give their "old" fabrics away.  Do you see why I hang onto everything?????   You never know when it will come in handy!

Speaking of other people's blogs - I just happened to find a new one this morning. Well - it's not new, but I haven't been reading it and well - it's pretty funny.  I think you should follow it - or at least read this story.   It's from Mary Fons. And it's funny!  I may just have to add Mary's blog to my links. 

And before I go, I have to mention this. As much as I try to keep up in the quilting world, I'm clueless. Totally clueless.  When I was at Spring Quilt Market, I met a very fun designer - Marcia Derse,  The reason her booth caught  my eye - she had a gorgeous Alphabet panel that I adore (and bought at Sample Spree)  and I love the art journals that she creates and when I grow up someday - I want to make art journals like she does.  But I had never heard of Marcia. 

alphabet studio by Marcia Derse

Then when I was at a workshop in July, I was looking over what everyone brought to the workshop. And one lady was using some cool fabrics that were scraps from a Marcia Derse collection. I can't remember the story about how she had acquired them, but in no way did this lady look like she would use these funky fabrics.   The quilting world is changing!  I'd better hang on and jump in!!!!

So I was browsing the Sept/October issue of Cloth paper scissors and guess who I saw???  Yep - a feature on Marcia Derse and then an article that she wrote.  I so want to do those art journals that she does. 

Marcia Derse in Cloth Paper Scissors

Well that's enough babbling!

I'm out of here to try and have a productive day and I can't wait to get home because then I can do WHATEVER I want in the studio. Actually, I have a bit of tidying to do.  It's a mess and then I want to dive right into some quilting.  I'm excited!  Is it 5 PM yet?

Have an awesome day!


PS -  I can't seem to find the name of the vacuum store who fixed my vacuum.  More research required.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's a good news/bad news kind of day

Yes - it was a good news/bad news kind of day yesterday.

The first piece of bad news is that I'm NOT done the repairs on the quilt.  Partly because the job is boring, there are so many patches to be made, I'm slow, and I'm watching episodes of Season 6 of Modern Family while I'm doing it!  And the bad news with Modern Family is that I'm half way through the 5th last episode (of 24) and the screen goes blank. That was enough for me - I was out of there!  I'll try again tonight to see what happens with the disk.

The good news is that I'm almost done with the repairs and for real this time! There are SIX patches left to sew on the back of the quilt - SIX!!!!  The other good news is that the patches are made and just need to be sewn on. Then the label needs to be sewn on and I'm done!!!!   That is very good news, but the news will be even better when the repair is out of my house!   I think I ended up putting 15 on the front (so well done - they do NOT pop out - it was hard to count them,  resewed three seams and about 15 patches on the back!)

Patches on the quilt back

There is a lot of stuff sitting here staring at me, but I refuse to get sidetracked on anything in the event that I'll stop working on the quilt repair.  Now if I could only keep that same focus going forward. There are oodles of things sitting here that need an hour or two at the most and they would be done!  Where's that list of mine???  That priority list is working - well I'm getting better at making it work.  The hard thing is the volume - there is just so much - it's hard to choose what to do.  Do you finish a bunch of small unimportant things - just to get them done?  Or do you work on advancing those with deadlines???  See what I mean about prioritizing???  It's hard!

Another piece of good news yesterday.  I had gotten a call when I was away that my Rowenta cordless vacuum was ready for pickup.  We received this vacuum as part of a corporate event - it was one of the prizes or it was a door prize???  I don't exactly know, but I was pretty excited.  One because it was a Rowenta and second - it was a cordless vac - perfect for the studio.  I used it ONCE, recharged the battery and it would not longer work.  Since I've recharged batteries before, I was certain that I wasn't doing anything wrong.  I mean - just turn it on - right???

Finally decided it was time to get it fixed.  I went to the Rowenta web site and found the name of a local repair shop.  Took it in and was told (two days later) that the battery was shot.  OK - let's replace it.  No can do!  It's built in and can't be replaced.  That was the most crazy thing I had ever heard.  Do you know how expensive these vacs are ???  Close to $300!!!!   And the battery can't be replaced????

This bad news was delivered to me on the phone and at first, I was tempted to leave the vac at the shop for them to dispose of it. Then I thought - NO - Rowenta has a better name than that. I'm going to write them to see what can be done.

After several communications with someone at Rowenta, I was directed to ANOTHER dealer who was NOT on their web site. And told to NOT deal with the first guy as he was not an authorized dealer. Perhaps they should change that on their web site????

The good news is that the vacuum is FIXED.. Yes - the owner of the new place replaced the battery and the vacuum works like a charm.  I'm so excited - well as excited as one can get about a vacuum.  I'll post the store name tomorrow - I can't find it at the moment.  And imagine if I would have left the vacuum at the first store - he could have replaced the battery and then sold the vacuum - making money off of me!!!!!

Rowent Vaccuum
 This means that I don't have to drag the central vac over the stairs to vacuum the studio.  That is great news and I love the swivel head on this Rowenta.

Did I mention that even though I did not have a receipt and was well past the one-year warranty, that Rowenta covered the repairs.   Thank you ROWENTA!!!!!

And I had to learn how to spell vacuum.  Is that two c's or two u's?  I can never remember - That would be two U's!!!!

The other good news is that I'm not LATE!!!!!   You see, I needed to get the renewal sticker for my car.  Yes - it's been two years since I stood in line to get my sticker after missing the deadline. I was going to go this weekend, but DH says - just do it on-line.  Seriously????   And within TEN minutes from the comfort of my chair, I had renewed the sticker to my license plate.   It doesn't get much easier than that!!!!   And I have a paper to prove that it's updated in the event that I don't get my stickers on time.   Check it out - it was painless!!!!

I had to take a detour on my way home because of some paving of local streets.  Look what I saw sitting on the side of the road not far from my house.   Happy as a clam - watching people go by.  Not scared or shy at ALL!!!

Mr. Coyote

And with that - I'm out of here!  Perhaps I have to start using my time driving to and from work to set priorities for the quilting stuff?  Well I can contemplate what needs to be done, think of the pros and cons and then write it down when I get to my destination!  There are so many idiots on the road - on their phone and blowing through STOP signs.  I don't mean rolling stops - I mean BLOWING through at faster than the posted speed limit. The other night, I yelled (at the top of my lungs) at a man who didn't see me and Lexi as we were half way across an intersection and he was going to blow right by!  He stopped!  I hope I scared the crap out of him - but I doubt it. There is ZERO respect for STOP signs now - everyone is in too much of a hurry.  More people are going to get hurt or killed.  I'm almost afraid at night to cross this one residential street (right by the school) because  people blow through the STOP sign.

OK - now I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What have I done?

Did you see that HUGE icon on the front of my blog???  I'm trying to become blog design savvy but somehow - well that just isn't working!!!!   I copied the text and VOILA - I got a huge icon.  How do I make it smaller?  I've no idea!!!  Bottom line - you all know now that I'm going to QUILTCON!!!

I spent another evening working on those quilt repairs.  I think - I truly think that I have all the patches done on the front.  I'm so afraid to check the quilt top one more time, but I'll do that tonight and then onto the small repairs on the back.  Those are easy - no creative patches to make.

In light of the fact that I don't have pictures this morning to share with you - I thought I would share this blog post.  We've all read that article by Singer from 1949 - where they tell you to get dressed up to sew.  Seriously????   Well have a read at this version - I LOVE it!!!!

OH MY GOD - this is the perfect post for ME!   This is a QUILTsocial post by Carla about UFOs.  Yep - all those reasons for abandoning a project - they are on my list.  But here's the bad part - I don't want to give them up!  I still remember the feeling of excitement I had when I started those projects and I want to see them through to the end.

This brings up an interesting point.  DH and I were chatting the other day about my quilts.  I wanted to give a quilt away to someone who has been very helpful.   While I probably have more quilt tops than finished quilts, between the two of them - there are MANY!   I can't give them all away as I use many of them for trunk shows. And since I have a full slate of trunk shows coming up this year, I have to be careful.  But there are a few quilts that NEVER get chosen for a trunk show - those are the ones that need to be given away!  Now to do some inventory checking and I really should take home the HUGE suitcase of quilts that has been sitting in my office for months!

I promise that tomorrow, I'll have more news for you - well news from my studio as I intend to get those repairs done and get working on something else.  The stacks of fabric are piling up! And I'm itching to get cutting and sewing something new!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The last one - of course!

There was a pattern in a magazine that I wanted to get my hands on.  I knew how to make the pattern, but I wanted to review the instructions for an upcoming demo that I'm prepping. Fortunately, I knew the name of the magazine, but not which issue. All issues of this magazine (A Needle Pulling Thread) are in the same spot (or so I thought). I flipped through the first bundle. Nope. I flipped through the second bundle and I was hoping that I had not removed this particular issue and put it with some appropriate fabric.  But I perservered and yes - the pattern I sought was in the LAST magazine.  Why does that always happen???

I don't seem to be 100% recovered from my bike trip. I still feel tired in the morning, but I don't think this cold has completely gone away.  It's lurking - I can feel it this morning in my throat!  Just slightly scratchy so more sleep and more water.  All I can say is that our timing for the trip was PERFECT.  We had pretty decent weather - actually PERFECT weather. I heard yesterday that there is snow in Lake Louise, rain, cold - going through the mountains would have been a bit of a challenge!

You know how we never celebrate those little miracles - we tend to only complain about what we don't like?  Well - there are two small miracles that I'm very thankful for!

Row by row - yes - the summer is marching along, but that doesn't mean that we can't still be rowing!
Ronda and her daughter drove Route 66 - what a fun thing to do.  I could have gone with them but I already had plans!  Too bad!   But Ronda did make a few stops along the way and look what she picked up!!!!

Row by row across the US!

And I heard that there is another one coming from Marilyn that is in fact one of the ones I had hoped to get over the weekend, but could not get my hands on!    I really do have the best friends. A big big thank you to everyone who helped out with row by row!!!!   Can't wait to get started on a new project!

Looks like we have a collection thing about to happen.  Or is it not a collection until you have three???  Ronda picked up the tin on the right and guess who got me the tin on the left?  That was many years ago, but I use the tin - it's great for holding sewing supplies.

Commemorative tins

And a FQ of bike fabric

OK - I have to get this quilt repair finished. I think it is weighing heavily on my brain and that is helping to sap my energy.  I have other way more cool stuff to work on, but can't until this gets done.  I'm hoping one more evening will do the trick.

It's a challenge because there are many holes that need to be patched.   But I'm pleased with the results.  Have a look - can you see the two patches in this picture???  Yes - there is a needle stuck in one of the patches.

Spot the two patches!
 In some instances (many instances) I had to get creativel with the patches. I had to join the fabrics FIRST and then make the patches as the tear went across the seam.  There is an example below.

Creative patches

Except for the big spot, I think I have about 3 more patches for the front.  I'm afraid to check the quilt again - more and more just seem to pop up.  And then there are about 5 spots on the back that need a patch. Those patches should be easy to make.  Let's keep the fingers crossed that tonight is the end.

Well - I'm off.  A busy day - there is never an end to what needs to be done. I have oodles of sewing that needs to be done, but first, a bit of designing needs to happen.

Anyway - have a great day!!!!


Monday, August 22, 2016


It's time to think about quilt classes for the fall!  I have a few classes lined up for the fall, a number of quilt lectures and already booking into 2017!   I'm going to start with the class that starts next month!

This is a class that I'll be teaching at The Hobby Horse.  The quilt is called Gravity by Jaybird Quilts and I've had my eye on this quilt for a while.  Finally it's time to give the class a whirl!  

Gravity by Jaybird Quilts

It will take place over THREE different dates - even though it's a block of the month, I know how anxious my students get about finishing things so we're going to rip through it.  Don't worry - it's way easier than it looks. 

Sunday, September 18  from 12:30 - 3:30
Saturday, October 22 from 1 - 4
Sunday, November 20 from 12:30 - 3:30

Yes - that means you get to bring your sewing machine so you can have some hands on with pressing techniques, seam allowances and cutting.   

As I mentioned, this quilt isn't difficult - NO "Y" seams and it's stunning to boot.  We'll be chatting about technique and color and value!!!!

Speaking of color and value, here are three of the block made in Northcott Toscana.  We're discussing kitting options at this point - details to be provided soon. 

First three blocks  DONE!

Greens from Northcott Toscana

In addition to the booklet, you'll have to purchase two rulers, BUT in order to make these a worthwhile investment, we're going to explore some other quilts that you can make with the rulers!  Besides, the cost of the rulers far outweighs having to do Y seams - so it's all good!!!!!


Hope you can join us - it's going to be loads of fun and I can't wait to get more of the quilt together!!!!!

See you in class - and don't forget call The Hobby Horse to get signed up!!!!

Local: (905) 877 - 9292

Toll Free: (800)565-5366
Store Email

Have a great day!!!!!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Road Trip!

There's nothing like a good road trip to get your creative juices flowing.

There were several reasons why I wanted to go to the International Plowing Match and do some row by row while I was in that area, the weather was awesome and I was away.  When I do a road trip, I try to plan a loop and I was going to start the loop closest to home and then circle back.  However when talking to Elaine on the phone on the way, I reversed my plan and decided to go for the furthest away and work my way back.  Either way, I wasn't able to get to the last planned stop, but no worries - thanks again to the phone and this time Joyce, who saved my bacon by getting me the information that I needed.

No need for a GPS for the first stop - I was off to Quilt Essentials in St. Jacob's.  Everyone knows where that is and I had a quick stop - picked up a license plate and a few goodies and I was on my way.  I had never been to the second shop on my list and no idea where the town was. Neither did my GPS!!!  Thanks again to the phone and Google Maps, I was able to figure out where I was going, however I did miss one turn but thankfully hadn't gotten too far before I realized my mistake. I had to stop often to check Google Maps, but once I knew where I was - I was fine.  It's one of those things - the town may call it Perth Line 72, but GPS doesn't like the Perth part of it.  Obviously, I don't use the GPS enough to figure that out.  No worries - I did make it.  And where did I go????

First off - let's say that I was in good old Ontario farm country.  The farms are very close together - something that is unheard of out west.

Farm country
 But my stop was E & E's Cloth & Creations in Newton.

E&E's Cloth & Creations

The store is very nice inside, they sell sewing machines and the owner was a wonderful Mennonite lady who was very chatty.  I had a great visit and then I was off again.

Yes - we are in Mennonite country.  I saw several buggies - the traditional covered one, and a couple of open ones.

Mennonite buggy
 The other thing that I saw was solar panels.  I love seeing all these solar panels, but there were two MASSIVE machine shops that had been built specifically with the solar panel thing in mind.  One roof - slanted towards the south and covered in panels.  They were HUGE!!!!!!   I wonder who owns them and they must certainly sell that power back to the grid.

Solar panel shop roof

At last, I see the sign that I've been looking for.  QUILT SHOW!!!!!   This International Plowing Match is a a big deal.  This year, it's taking place in Harriston, Ontario and the ENTIRE community has come together to support it. There were some cute signs assembled using round bales, and tons of signs supporting it through the county.  I was very impressed, but then it is what these communities do - they support each other. I saw that there is a contest for the best sign - shoot - I should have stopped to take some pictures because some of them were very creative.

Quilt show - TODAY!  
 Please note that the quilt show was Friday and Saturday.  However if you missed it, the quilts will be on display again during the actual plowing match which takes place in September - the 20-24th. At that time, there will be a number of different competitions as well as the RCMP Musical Ride.  If you've never seen it - it's fabulous.  I saw it years ago and I was very impressed!!!

And now to the quilt show.  As usual, I took tons of pictures but I'm only going to share one with you.  We had to pick ONE quilt as our favourite. I'm not sure if this is my absolute favourite - well yes I think it is.  While there were tons and tons of beautiful quilts, LOADS of hand quilting, I picked this one for a couple of reasons.  It's original (not made from a pattern), the topics touched my heart and well - I think it's gorgeous.

Crisp January Morning

Detail of Crisp January Morning

Detail of Crisp January Morning
 I have tons of doilies and think this is a very neat way to use them, love the background and I loved Spirograph as a kid.  The quilting design is unique and I really like the combination!!!!

One of my reasons for going to the show was to meet Lorna.  Lorna is the brain child behind Sew Fresh Quilts.  If you are NOT familiar with her work, you should be.   She is Canadian, she is very creative and has a super presence on the internet. Her animal patterns are absolutely adorable and I want them ALL!!!!

Elaine with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts

I "met" Lorna on the internet about one year ago. Since then, we've had many conversation via e-mail and I just love all her patterns.  She is a very prolific quilter and she is FOCUSED.  She told me yesterday that when she got into quilting, she made a decision that she was going to be a finisher!!!!   Oh how I wish!!!!   Anyway - check out her website and her blog - I think you'll like what you see. Don't forget to support our local Canadian quilters!!!!!!

The second reason, I went to the show was to see in person the finished Raffle Quilts that were put together by Renske Helmuth.  If you live in this area and don't know Renske's work - you don't know what you're missing. There is nothing  she touches that doesn't turn out spectacular.  The theme for these raffle quilts was 30 shade of green and the blocks had to be pre-quilted.  This is what her and her group did with them.

1st place quilt for the raffle

Back of the raffle quilt

Third place raffle quilt
 I believe the second prize is a sewing machine.

The fabrics to finish the quilts were donated by Northcott.

I believe there was a total of 80 blocks submitted. That's a LOT of blocks.  There was enough left over to make two smaller quilts and I'm not sure where those will end up.

One more quilt from the block challenge

The last quilt from the block challenge

I have to tell you a very funny story about the quilt show.  I was walking around admiring the quilts and there was a woman and an older gentleman sort of cruising the show.  The older gentlemen was looking at the quilt labels and said to the woman "I know that quilter",   "Yep, I know that quilter too".  And at one point I heard him say "I could be a quilt judge!".   From the sound of it, the woman was his daughter.  I'm thinking if his wife is a quilter, then maybe - he did seem quite knowledgeable.  Once I had made the rounds of the show, I was chatting to Renske and some of the other organizers and the woman walks over.  Turns out the older gentleman was Renske's husband!!!!   Oh my goodness - that was pretty funny.  I told her what I had overheard. She roared with laughter, but I'm thinking that he just might make an excellent judge.  He wasn't just a casual by-stander - he was truly interested in the quilts and that was refreshing!!!!

Northcott had also donated some fabric to make some bags for some of the youth involved in the plowing match.  I want to say that it was the contestants for the Queen of the Furrow contest.  Here are the bags - they look gorgeous.

Bags made with Northcott fabric (mostly Northcott)

More bags

At last, I tore myself away from the show. It was an excellent way to spend the afternoon, but I had two more stops to make.

I set the GPS for Fergus and I was off.  Made it to Undercover Quilts with 15 minutes to spare before they closed for the day!

And the last stop was Guelph (Greenwood Quiltery) where they had run out of license plates.  Oh well. I did snap this photo which I think I get every time I go to the quilt store.

Bike sculpture or is that a bike rack?

What was my haul of the day????   I managed to get six license plates (was hoping for 8)

Row by row license plate haul
Two kits - one for me and one for Elaine

It was a great day - had loads of fun and now today is a day of work!!!!   I'm very behind in a lot of things and it's time to get organized.

Have a great day!!!!!


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Canadian Quilters!

I came home last night, got the mail and was EXCITED!   The latest Canadian Quilter magazine had arrived.

I've been a member of this Canadian organization for a long long time, and I was somewhat active for a while (I entered a couple of quilts in the show and wrote a few articles for the magazine). After teaching and attending Quilt Canada this past June, I feel a whole lot more connected to the people in the magazine and also the organization.

Why is that?  I got to spend some quality time (because I volunteered) with the people in the magazine!

And did you know that we have a LOT of talent amongst us Canadian Quilters!  Many of you who have those talents are so reluctant to share for fear of failure, for fear of exposure or perhaps for fear of public speaking!

As I gear up for the "new" year, my calendar is filled with speaking engagements at guilds and I'm so pumped - it's going to be loads of fun!  Trying to plan some events in local stores as well and let's not forget the classes. While I don't have as much time to teach as I used to (and I miss it dreadfully!!), I'm going to have to rely on the few opportunities that I do have to keep in touch with everyone.  Stay tuned for some pretty exciting events!!!!

I'll be putting together my calendar and sharing it with you all very very soon so that if you want to take a class or attend one of my lectures, you'll know if there is anything close to you!   What I really really need is a good web site but alas, there seems to be no time to make that happen!

Speaking of classes, I do try to take a class from time to time myself.  I have a small window of opportunity at Quilt Festival this year and trying to choose from the many options as to what to take and then hope I can get in!  Something that doesn't require taking loads of supplies - I hate those classes because you rarely use most of what you take!

OK - back to the magazine.

Current issue of Canadian Quilter

There are loads of interesting articles in the magazine. Inspirational messages from the President and other members of the organization. Articles about Canadian Designers, Canadian quilt stores, a couple of patterns and so much more.  I flipped through it from cover to cover last night - didn't read everything yet, but noticed a couple of things.  A couple of topics for future magazines caught my eye that would make interesting articles - might write one or two. And there is the Trend-Tex challenge which will be available.  I bought one of the challenges last year at the silent auction.  It's hanging in my office right now or I'd take a picture of it for you. That brings me to another thought - challenges - why do people enter challenges and what makes a good challenge????   I have to say that some of my most creative pieces have been the result of a challenge.  I think I'm going to take note of the entry date and get a kit.

And as a bonus, in this issue is the catalogue of the quilts that were in the National Juried show. It was so fun to have a look back at the quilts. Having handled everyone of those quilts during the judging process - I felt like I got to know each piece a little bit and now having access to who and how and why the pieces were made as outlined in the catalogue (yes that information was on the labels at the show, but not the same) - well it was wonderful to look back at all the quilts and see the prize winners in the magazine.

National Juried Show catalogue 2016
Seriously - we should all be members of the Canadian Quilter's Association. Over and over again, I hear laments about stores closing (and there are some shockers at the moment - did you know The Quilting Bee in Fonthill is for sale or it's closing?  (just the store - not the long arm business).    We have to support LOCAL.  While it is one thing to be part of the BIG movement in the US, (they are big because they have more members, stores, etc). But if we don't create those numbers in Canada - guess what?   GONE!!!!!!!!

 That goes for quilt guilds as well.   Yes - I know guilds can be a pain in the side sometimes, but I've been a guild member of numerous guilds for my entire quilting career and I love them.   What I get out of the guilds can never be had off the internet. Sharing experiences in person, getting access to books, meeting new people - well - it just doesn't get any better than doing all that with real people!!!!

As if all that wasn't exciting enough, some fabric that I've been waiting for arrived at work so now I have some exciting designing ahead of me.

You see where all of this is going????   Yep - crazy busy!!!!!!

And yet last night when I got home, I was tired. Still fighting that cold, but I'm keeping it at bay - just a slightly scratchy throat in the morning and it had better stay that way! And what's with this LONG LONG storm last night - much lightening and thunder for hours (or so it seemed).

I think it's time to get out the calendar, mark some deadlines and get back to that weekly goal setting and it had better be for more than just quilts!  

Yes - scheduling is going to become a HUGE thing in my life.  I won't be able to get everything done if I don't.

Now I'm off to the International Plowing match today to see the quilts and a couple of vendors.  I'm excited!!!!  And I'm throwing in a bit of Row by Row and classroom prep.  Can you tell - it's a jam packed day!!!!!!

Have a super day!