Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Best of 2016

The goal here is to choose the best FIVE blog posts of 2016?  Since I post almost every day, that is a very challenging task!

1.  I picked this blog post - the day I started Motivational Mondays as THE best blog post of the entire year. Since I started this, I have to say that my productivity level has increased a LOT.  The process has helped bring my incredible workload into perspective. BY workload, I mean UFOs!

My list of 12 UFOs to complete in 2017

2. The second blog post is also about Motivational Mondays and relates to the staggering amount of quilts tops that need to be quilted.  Check this post out.  It's obscene.

Quilts to be quilted

3. My class list for 2017.  This is just the on-going year-long classes. But fun to check out!

Quilter's Patch Block of the Month

Kaleidoscope Block of the Month

Fancy Forest - 3 part class

4. Since I am a "crazy quilter on a bike", I would be remiss to exclude a post about cycling.  This post is about the last day of a 15 day trip from Vancouver, BC to Calgary, Alberta. Yep - through the Rocky Mountains on a bike!

Not exactly cycling - a day of hiking on our day off

5. My last post is about a fabulous accomplishment of having TWO patterns published in magazines. Check this out. I do have a third pattern which will be published in 2017.  And the promise of more!

Toddler Tote in Quilts and More - Fall 2016

Tree Lines in Best Christmas Quilts 2016

Wow - there is so much more, but these are some of the highlights for me. With my new Motivational Mondays (check us out on Facebook) , it's going to be an amzing year.  I can feel it!!!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, December 30, 2016

A miracle - it's a miracle!

NO - I'm not quite done that fiddly project yet.  I'm so close, I'm getting blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel.  That darn NAGGING Task Master. I was going to only do so much last night. Then I was nudged into doing just a bit more. OK - I'll do a bit more.  Then I was nudged just a bit more and I complied! Next thing I knew, there were two more fiddly bits DONE!   I'm beyond excitement, to say the least.

BUT that is NOT the miracle.    Nope - this has to do with my Mom.  We're all given gifts to someone. Some are more appreciated than others. As quilters, we give quilts and how many times have you given a quilt and it's ended up in the closet?  A while back, I gave my parents each a quilt. My Mom's got tucked away in some hiding spot in the house. God forbid that we use it - it will get dirty. It's flannel and it has roses all over it. One of her favorite flowers!   My Dad's quilt was used as a head rest on his chair. Folded up so you couldn't see it. Yes, one of the tractor quilts.

When they moved from the farm into their apartment, they bought two big lazy boy type chairs. I noticed when I was there this summer that BOTH quilts are spread over their respective chairs.  TO PROTECT the chairs!  None the less, the quilts are being used.  I do get a huge laugh out of the fact that the front of the quilts are FACING the chairs so you see the BACK of the quilts!!   I guess that is a lesson to be learned for us all - make sure the back is as pretty as the front!   Doesn't matter - they are being used!!!

BUT, it gets even better. Do you remember this bag???

Everyday market tote bag
I made it for my Mom and I sent it off to her just before Christmas. Not as a Christmas present, just because.  I called yesterday and YES she had received the box. Loved the bag and OH MY GOD - it's a MIRACLE, within ONE DAY of receiving the bag, she is using it for her yarn INSTEAD of the unsightly cardboard box that she had her yarn in! (in the living room no less!)

And the little matching bag??  Oh yes, according to my Mom that little bag will be good for scissors, extra crochet hooks or whatever.

Matching zippered pouch

You could have knocked me over when she said that she had already employed both of the items within ONE day.

Yeah to my MOM!!!!!!   It's been over one year since my parents moved to their apartment and they couldn't be happier and my Mom's health has certainly improved a LOT. That is also a blessing and a miracle. I never thought I would see the day when this would happen and that they would be happy about it.  I am blessed. I am lucky. And please let me realize when it's time for me to move - but I can't, I have way too much stuff. (OH GOD - I sound just like my Mom!)

Remember when I joked yesterday that it was Thursday and time to start FIVE projects???  Did I really say that?  Yes - well, guess what - I cut out THREE new projects yesterday.  They were on the "to do" list - two of them urgently need to be completed in the next three weeks.  One I can't decide if I like the dark background or the light background.  Don't let me make both so I can decide when they are both made!

On that note, my rotary cutter is fired up - I've got a big bag of fabric and I feel another cutting session coming on!

Have a super day!!!!


PS - I just saw this quilt on the CQA blog.  It's from a guild in Alberta.  Anyone have the name of the pattern???

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The light is getting very bright!

While I did take a day off from my fiddly project when the ladies were over to sew (I'll post some pictures of what I did that day), I've been VERY dedicated to getting this fiddly project completed. It is obscene and if I ever decide to do this again - just shoot me before I start!   I"m surprised at how focused I can be when I want to be!  The old me would have abandoned this project weeks ago!

I'm happy to report that the first part is 100% complete, but you knew that. The second part is 70% complete.  I worked last night and this morning and made good progress. Perhaps one more night?  I would love to say that I work for hours and hours, but no - I work for one hour or so and then that's it. I can't take the fiddliness.  I could set it aside and work on something else?  I could, but then I'd have to change the needle and the thread and I'm too lazy. I did contemplate setting up a second sewing machine to work on the other projects, but no, I didn't do that!

This is all I'm going to show you for the moment. 

I did have to change spools of thread but one was because I ran out of thread..................

Ran out of thread

Finished with this color

And this color - not much left and this was my second spool!

Here is the box of thread that I've been using for the project.  Fortunately, that box is currently much emptier than when this photo was taken.

Threads for the project
If I'm using a lot of different threads for a project, I like to find a container of some sort to put them in. If not, yep - those darn threads are all over the floor and I have to get down and find them. Putting them in the box prevents that from happening!

One more spool - gone!

All the bits for the project were cut. However, I realized that one part wasn't the right size and I've had to go back to my stash to find more fabric. I needed more of this purple fabric. I opened up the purple scrap box and VOILA - the matching fabric was right on top!!!!   That's the beauty of getting things done BEFORE you use up all the scraps so if you need more, you have more!

Matching purple scrap - right on top!

One more thread - gone!

So if I'm really really good, I could get this finished tonight??? I did say Thursday morning and technically I could meet that deadline.  Just not sure it's the best day to "present" the project.  You'll see what I mean.

It's a winter wonderland out there this morning.  The snow is coming down fast and furious. It took me slightly longer than normal on the road, but not such a big deal. Would have been nice to snap a photo or two, but alas that is not allowed and the camera was NOT in the car!

I'm off to cut, cut, and cut more fabric for a couple of upcoming projects.  The story of my life.  It's Thursday - let's start FIVE new projects today! Well not quite, but it seems that way.  That's one thing that I really should keep track of as well.  Not only the accomplishments for 2017 but how many NEW projects got started.  A new page to create in the Task Master.

Have a super day!!!!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What's in your purse - part 2!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a bit obsessed. I get onto something and won't let it go. On the other hand, I'm lazy. Like not cleaning the purse out until it is jammed full and there is simply no more room for anything!

We went to the movies (Rogue One) on Christmas Day. While we did have dinner at the theater in the restaurant (VIP Lounge which was our ONLY splurge during Christmas - no exchanging of gifts), I still managed to buy a bag of Twizzlers when the girl came around once we were seated.  Yes - I NEED a bag of Twizzlers which I promptly crammed into my purse and well - that was the last straw.  The purse was full and I had no choice but to empty it the next day.  

So - what do you have in your purse????

The purse is bursting!
I think Michael (Kors) would be appalled that I filled his beautiful purse with so much stuff.  But on the other hand, a good selling feature is "look at all that you can put in that purse!!"

There is the emergency food stash. OK - so it's candy and chocolate, but still - that's for emergencies!

Emergency food supplies

Ooops - more chocolate, some mail, and some gift cards

Am empty candy wrapper, a shopping list, and an expired parking permit
Not one, but THREE bottles of SierraSil that different people gave me, PLUS TWO bottles of Advil that I bought.  Yep - the box has another bottle in it!!!  You never know when you're going to need lots of drugs!  And I hardly ever take a pill!!!


A wallet filled with receipts and other junk

Receipts shoved in the bottom

A fabric postcard, a notebook and a piece of paper with a phone number on it

Reusable bag and hand cream

Jewelry - note there is only ONE ear ring and yes - there is a bracelet in the Pandora bag

Writing instruments  - OH and a fork!!!

A loose dime, a key (to the house????), an empty plastic bag and the bag from Murphy's dog tag

An elastic band and the missing ear ring

In the pocket, I found a wad of cash and my car insurance and registration

TWO copies of expired insurance in the folder (plus the current one)

Nail file, MORE drugs, lip balm (all contained in that little black bag)

A pack of sewing machine needles - who knew!

Expired lotto tickets (from the wallet)

More stuff from the wallet - more cash, boarding pass from November, etc. 

I removed all the stuff that didn't need to be in the purse. I still have to deal with some of it, but lots went in the garbage or recycling or got put where it is supposed to hang out.

Purse looks pretty decent now

Remember that I weighed the purse when it was full of all that stuff????  Well let's weight it again.

1.53 KG.  I think it was 2.75 KG last time.  Yikes!!!!

The trick will be to clean it on a regular basis!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Motivational Monday - The numbers are STAGGERING

If you're going to be appalled by sheer numbers of UFOs, then I advise you to NOT read this post.

This is a bonus post for the Motivational Monday group.  In light of trying to get things done, one must take stock of what needs to be done and that makes it easier to prioritize. Basically, it's a super organizing tool.  Put "like" things together, then find storage, catalague, priortize and get the stuff done!

Here's the deal, I'm a prolific piecer. I've taught quilting for almost 20 years and as a result, made MANY samples for classes and sometimes, just because. I'm not so good at getting them quilted, although I do quilt but mostly for work or for others.

I keep my "to be quilted" quilts in tubs, along with the backing and the binding. The tubs were labelled on the outside with the quilts that were inside. But it was hard to see the labels on the bottom bins. And when I needed a specific quilt for a trunk show, well, things got out of hand and this is what the "to be quilted" tubs looked like.

A HUGE mess
 It was getting impossible to find things and well, the mess was just ugly!

Since my main work area was now clear in preparation for the sewing day. I love sewing days if for no other reason, that it forces me to tidy up!

I lugged all the tubs to the main sewing area.
Tubs waiting to be emptied

Tables ready to receive quilts
 And then I started to empty the tubs. While I emptied them, I also sorted them.  All the small stuff went into one pile. Like quilts went together - stack n whacks, special class samples, etc.

Let the sorting begin

More tubs emptied

Down to the last three bins to empty

Would that be a gaggle of tubs???
 Here are all the quilts that need to be quilted. Sorted into their respective piles. Now the process of cataloguing and putting back into the tubs.
All this needs to be quilted! - Obscene

Some of these quilts below are half or more quilted. Some already have the binding on, but I decided there needs to be more quitling. Or the batting is already with the project. Seriously????   This pile is HUGE!!!!  I told you, I'm NOT a finisher!

Quilts that are half quilted - waiting to be finished
 This is the stack that I would definitely want to keep for myself. And LOOK - I found a red/white quilt in there. Had forgotten about that one!

Quilts for me!
 Then I grabbed a few more quilt tops, bindings and backings that were hanging in other places than the tubs and those got added to the mix as well.  OK - NOW we're ready to put everything back.

ALL the quilts are now on the table!
 What I did was to label each bin with a number. Then on the laptop, I created a document and each page corresponds to the tub number. The quilts are listed by name/description so if I'm looking for something, it should be easy to find by perusing the list. Which I will print out and keep in a small binder with the tubs!  It will be easy to keep updated when someting gets quilted by crossing it off, it will be easy to find which tub holds which quilts without crawling on the floor to read labels.

Here is the very sad part!  I estimated that there was well over 100 quilts in those tubs (some are wall hangings or table runners).  There were 143! in the tubs.

I'm putting the quilts away and I'm at number 101 and the tables still look like this!!!!

101 projects have already been removed from the table!
 OK - get a grip - we have a serious problem here!!!!  Some of this stuff NEEDS to get on a priority list!!!

Almost done!
 Believe it or not, I found orphans. Quilt tops with binding, but no backing. Quilt tops and nothing else. Quilt backings.  One top I know isn't there - it's at work. I was able to marry up the only backing with what I think was the top, but there's no binding. And a couple quilts?  Who knows how they snuck into this pile.  They are now in the border/binding/backing pile where they will be processed in due time!!!

Orphan quilts/backs

All that remains is my laptop!
 And here are my neatly labelled tubs.  There is ONE that doesn't have a number - I didn't think I was going to need that many tubs!  But it's the PRIORITY tub - including the quilt that didn't fit in the tub.  I want these done ASAP.  They will need to be scheduled into The Task Master.

The "to be quilted" pile!
 I did unstack some of those tubs as they are very heavy and I had visions of the entire stack toppling over last night!!!!

So what is left???  You mean there's more???   Oh gosh yes!!!!!   There is still this in the "to be quilted" area.
More quilts to be quilted

These belong to customers - only five
And all of this is community project quilts
 I know - the numbers are obscene. I didn't count these. I will do that another day. I have to figure out how to get these into the prioirty pile as well and get them out in the community.  And unfortunately, I don't have time to take any more on.  When these are done, so am I!  Some of these have been sitting for a while. Time to get them done!!!!!

I feel that now I know what needs to be done, it should be easy to sneak one or two in a week. Of course, putting it all on the list!!!!

And I unearthed this stand for holding quilts when I got everything sorted out!!!  I may put the community projects on this rack as a means of keeping them neat and orderly. BTW - most of the community projects quilts are ones that I made (or made kits for my Monday sewing group to sew), although there are about 5 that belong to a guild.

Quilt rack

Plus there are hangers on the walls for storing quilts, so I don't think it will be a problem to get the rest of this area tidied up!!!

Once the sewing friends leave today, I have plans for those big tables!!!!

All of this wasn't to show you how ridiculous my situation is.  It's to show how important it is to put "like" things together. You can then tell how much/many you have, how much storage space you need and how to prioritze things.

BTW - the total number of quitls in those tubs?????  Any guesses?????   178!!!!!   Disgusting!!!!

And on that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!