Tuesday, January 31, 2017

An ultra marathon!

Ever have one of those days when you hit the ground running and well, it turns into an ultra marathon?  Yep - that happens every once in a while. Today is just like that.  Hence, it's late in the day and WHAT?  No blog?  What happened?

Especially since I said something dangerous was happening in my house. You've probably thought that I've blown up my computer. Or it blew up on me!

I have my ancient laptop - well it's not that ancient, but it's getting on in age.  See - even the keyboard is worn. Some of those keys are almost down to the electronic bits inside. It's slow as molasses, especially with e-mail.  

Worn out keyboard
The battery is dead so technically it isn't a laptop anymore.  And there is that brand new (but not so new anymore) computer sitting right beside me.  Can't use it though because it doesn't have the Microsoft software which is mostly what I use.

New computer
So one night during dinner last week, I lamented to DH about the situation. I was going to call in the Geek Squad to convert everything over, install whatever needed to be installed and I could seamlessly go from one computer to the other.  OH NO, he says.  It's easy.  Oh, GOD!  Technology and I do not get along.

I agreed to let him install the Microsoft stuff. I turned on the new computer. NOTHING. Dead.  What???  Checked the plugs, still nothing.  Then I realised that there was a glitch in the cord to the power box and then everything was fine.  OH no - now the internet connection isn't working.  I just let him take over and I went to sew.

He did get the Microsoft suite of products installed.  It's so easy these days, you just give Microsoft a credit card and they do all the work.  And every month they charge you a small fee.  Actually, it's a good thing and you never have to worry about being outdated.

Here's where my part comes in.  So the main software is installed. Big deal - what about all my files, what about my e-mail accounts???   HUH????   That's the hard part. I did manage with almost no effort to get my e-mail account up and running and WHOA?  All my e-mails came through to the new computer. But not the contact list as it's a file on the other computer.  See why I wanted Geek Squad to help me????

There's still the issue of having all my e-mails come to the one e-mail box - one is missing, one is there. All the files and pictures need to be transferred, but I guess the easiest way to do that is to get an external hard drive (already have one) and shove everything on it and use that instead of the hard disk on the computer. The key will be to NOT lose it. But I think I can manage that.

So the job is half done, so far it hasn't been too painless, but it isn't over yet.

And on that note, the break is over and I'm getting ready to finish that ultramarathon.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Motivational Monday - progress report

So how is everyone doing with their Task Master?  I have to say that mine is yelling at me. I'm getting loads done, but I seem to be in a bit of a crisis mode and so a couple of things that I wrote down are not getting done. And every weekend I say, NEXT weekend I'll have nothing urgent and I can catch up. Hmmm - doesn't always work like that.

I did make good progress this past week. What did I accomplish???  Well, I finished off the five blog posts for QUILTsocial. If you didn't get a chance to follow along, check them out as there are two super projects in there and tons of sewing tips.

That's a lot of work to take pictures, write the text, edit the text. But I LOVE it and need to get better on the timing. Heck - I need to get better at the timing on most things!!!

And the little needlecase?  Yep - I made that this week. 


Inside the needlecase

Let's see - what else did I do???  I had already made a sample of the below project, but it wasn't in the office and we needed one for photos. So this got quilted and bound. I've now placed all the Canadian pins in the map and it looks awesome.  I need to make a sleeve and a label, but it's good for the moment. 

Canada map with pins

The panel and pins are part of Northcott's Sesquicentennial celebrations for this year.  The Block Party starts on Feb 1 and so there will be more details at that time. I can't wait!!!!   Road trip!!!!

And here is my Radiant Light quilt. I made half square triangles, I made flying geese units and I made square in a square units. I sewed almost all day long and I finally said - "enough!".  It's good enough that I got the direction to press all the units and hopefully can get that darn pattern off my desk tomorrow.

Radiant Light - almost complete

The five blocks in the middle part are all sewn together so just the four corner blocks to go and two of them are ready to assemble.  A few more flying geese and half square triangles. 

Oh - let's not forget my two blocks for the on-going quilt class. 

Quilter's Patch block

Kaleidoscope block
And I did a ton of enders and leaders for the second quilt that I was working on this weekend. 

So while I feel like I got a lot done, there's a lot that I haven't got completed. 

Here's my tip for the week.  It's the end of the first month (or almost) and I still have my January UFO to complete.  It's time for a reality check.  Are we being a tad over ambitious compared to the time we have to sew?  Are we putting too many things on the list?  Are we agreeing to things that we know we don't have time for?  Are we putting things on the back burner??   If yes - then you have to figure out why that is happening. 

In my case, there are two reasons that a few things have slipped.  It's NOT because I don't have time. I sew tons every week. The biggest culprit is that I sew for work and MOST of that sewing gets done at home after hours. That is a BIG NO-NO.  That means that I have to find time at work to sew work projects so I can focus on my own stuff when I'm home.  That's going to be tough, but I NEED to find a way to make it work. Two of the three quilts that I wanted to get done this weekend are for work. The second problem is that I'm playing catch-up to stuff that should have been done a while ago.  So now that I'm behind the eight ball, it's hard to catch-up.  

That means, that I'm going to say NO to anything new - yes even for work!  But QuiltCon is coming up and I have demos to prepare and several quilts (all small) to make. OK - I will say NO to work quilts unless it gets sewn at work.  I have to!  As far as the catch-up stuff, there are still a couple of lagging things, but not too bad. 

How are you making out on your lists????  I see some of you are very diligent in your weekly goals and that's great. It's the only way to get stuff done. Since I started The Task Master, I'm super focused. I don't deviate to a side project. That's the good news - the bad news is sheer volume!

Have a super day!!!


If you're interested, don't forget we have a Facebook group to encourage and share our work.  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pattern writing

It was so exciting to be back in the class room. Saw some faces that I haven't seen in a long long time - welcome back.  Just great to see that energy level as we start our new projects.  Scheduled ones - not just on a whim!  Going to be interesting to see what people's quilts look like as they come together.  I know that I owe a LOT of pictures from the finishes of 2016 and I hope to get them done this week.  I must also commit some computer time as there is a lot of crazy computer work to be done.

Here is the homework block for Quilter's Patch by Edyta Sitar.    Beautiful delphinium block.  Lots of tiny little pieces so accuracy and pressing are key here.

Delphinium block from Quilter's Patch

I'm using my stash for this one and who knows how many fabrics will actually end up in the quilt. I think I pulled fabrics from my stash rather than the scrap boxes, but I'm sure those will be called into action as well.

And here is the homework for the second quilt. This is one of FOUR blocks for the center of Kaleidoscope by Stephanie Soebbing. Yes, I know, I only have one done and three more to go, but they are in partial stages of completion. The key here is get those four blocks done and get the homework done for next month.

One of four center blocks for Kaleidoscope by Stephanie Soebbing
The fabrics for this are from the Northcott Stonehenge Gradations Brights collection. That`s what the patern called for and that`s what was handy. I`m also going to remake this quilt in Northcott Stonehenge Gradations Iron Ore colorway. Less colors to use so it will look quite a bit different. That version is partially cut out. 

I love when students bring in their finished quilts for show n tell. So exciting to know that the quilt is no longer a UFO and always fun to see the completed work. Marion brought in this quilt from a couple of years ago and it`s STUNNING. The quilt is called Silent Night by Norma Whaley.  The original version ended after the log cabin blocks, but Marion added two borders and then had it custom quilted.  She also used a LOT of ultrasuede in her version becasue of all the small pieces. It`s gorgeous!!!!

Silent Night by Norma Whaley

Now here`s an interesting aspect to making quilts. It`s one thing to make a quilt, but quite another when you are the designer and you have to write the instructions so that someone else can make that quilt. Hopefully with no errors and clear instructions. I`ve been writing instructions for a quilt that I did not design, but agreed to write.  Oh boy, let`s just say that it`s been a learning experience.  I`ve built charts, I`ve checked and rechecked and I`m still finding errors. I finally decided to make the quilt and yep - more errors. 
All (hopefully) the pieces cut out!
And here is the quilt when I went to bed last night.  It looks quite a bit different this morning and I can`t believe, but I found one more correction this morning.  Seriously?????

Radiant Light (Designed by Deborah Edwards) Instructions by me

I'm not going to call this the pattern from hell, but there are a lot of seams to press and the technical side of me says that all those directions need to be addressed in the pattern or the quilt will be a hot mess. I guess a couple more diagrams are in order. But the quilt is looking amazing!!!!   I'm happy with it even though the fabric isn't my style. It's going to be goregous when it's completed. The big question is can I get the quilt made and the pattern finalized today???

Radiant Light quilt

On top of that, I have another of my patterns that I want to make today and a quilt top that is almost together - well I want that together as well.

Bottom line - what am I still doing sitting here at the computer?  Oh yes - I have a bit of paperwork to do this morning!

One thing I'm learning is that if your tools aren't working properly, don't use them.  Get new ones. I have this pair of snips that is sticky. They were in the drawer, but when I brought out a pair to show the class, I must have put the good ones in the drawer and kept the sticky ones out.  That's fixed!!!!

Sticky snips
 On that note, the dangerous technology thing that was to happen yesterday didn't happen yet.  Maybe today.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Back to class today!

It seems like it's been forever since I taught a quilt class. But this is normal for this time of year. December is always quiet. I love it - we always say, everyone is so busy in December getting ready for Christmas. I guess this is true, but wow - an entire month? Anyway, I digress. It's nice to take a break and now here we are almost at the end of January which is very scary. Where is the time going?

I woke up VERY early yesterday morning. Had a couple of things on my mind so as I mentioned, I got up and cut out that quilt which I will sew over the weekend. Along with TWO other quilts that need to be sewn this weekend - bits and pieces of them are either sewn together or cut out so it's not as bad as it sounds and none are huge.

But the waking up early thing means early to bed. We went out for dinner last night and half way through dinner, I'm like - OH OH. I need to go to sleep NOW. We finished up and I came home and went to bed and slept soundly. Ready to go today!  I think  my biological clock would like to get up at 3:30 or 4 AM and go to bed at 8 PM.  That seems to work for me these days - it's weird.

That meant that I had to get my homework for class prepped this morning. Running a tad behind, the girls will get to go to the park this afternoon, not this morning. I'm sure they will be fine with that since they're already outside running around like two crazed lunatics. All they want to do is play. And I swear that when I let them in or out that they conspire with each other. "See I told you it would work" or stuff like that. I'm not sure who is the conspirer, I think they both have fun with it.

I'm teaching TWO pieced quilts this year. Very different from each other - if you didn't see them, check out this blog post with the details. I'm pretty excited about both of them.  One of them is going to get made twice - can you figure out which one???

While both are fairly easy, there's going to loads of tips in order to be successful with both.  Have a look at this block - ah???   What is that? You have to wait until tomorrow when I show you the finished block.

Pieces cut for a block

I got the most beautiful thank-you card for a quilt that I gave away - remember the bicycle quilt?  Well, I got a beautiful card - on the outside is a cute bike and the inside was a beautiful message that brought a tear to my eye. I'm just glad that the quilt was appreciated and is going to be used.  I will give anything away (no requests please! - unsolicited giveaways are my favourite), but if it isn't going to be appreciated, I have no desire to give anything to anyone.

Thank you card

And I have to warn you that something DANGEROUS is going to happen in our house today. I'm so afraid to even mention it. I'll take pictures and let's just pray.  Here's a hint - what is the one thing in the world that I have the most trouble with?  Yep - technology! And that's all I'm going to say.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, January 27, 2017

All about the magazines.............

While we had fun at Road to California, there is always the aftermath. Let me rephrase that - travel in general, is fun, getting ready for the trip (whether it's personal or business) is stressful and coming back is stressful as you do those things that got set aside while you were away. So as much as I like to travel, it's a catch-22. 

This week has been a catch-up week. Just loads of things to do at home and at work and for my commitments. 

So yesterday, I had some corrections to do on a pattern that I wrote and I just needed some peace and quiet. I went home and while I was waiting for dinner, I thought it would be a good time to review the pattern.  No problem - then I thought I would have one of the ciders that DH had purchased for me and I hadn't had a chance to drink. Well imagine my surprise when I asked about them, he sheepishly admitted that he had sampled them while I was away. "Didn't want them to go stale since they had been there for a month!"   GRRRR - well I didn't get to drink the cider, but the pattern got the corrections and I just moved on!   He must have been desperate to drink cider!

I have numerous phone calls to make and blocks to sew and so far things are good. Making those lists help. I'm not so good at prioritizing as there seems to be too many things and well - I guess I have to get my head around that.  NO MORE things can be added to the lists until some of the other stuff gets done. 

In addition to my books of lists which I vowed would NEVER leave the studio, I created a new book for phone calls and such. Yep - I took that one out of the studio and who knows where it is. I mean seriously, how can this be such a problem?  I think the problem is that I have so many bags with stuff and it gets tucked into a corner.  So when I discover that book, it's going to stay put!

Books of lists
However, I'm happy to report that things are moving along. I'm accomplishing stuff that is in the Task Master. That makes her happy and me happy.  Even my scrap bowl on the cutting table is happy because I had to empty it this morning. Yep - I cut out a quilt before I went to the gym this morning.

Scrap bowl is heaping full

On my way home yesterday, I decided to stop by Indigo to browse the magazines which I don't do nearly as often as I used to. I also don't buy many. I had a peek through them, most of which I'm able to browse at work. But there two that caught my eye - one I left because I felt it was too expensive and so I went to the cash with ONE magazine. When the cashier told me the price was $25.78 or somewhere in that range, I was SHOCKED, to say the least. And sure enough, the magazine is British and was a ridiculous price.  But since I was only buying one, I let it go.  Yikes - some magazines are expensive!!!!   But it had at least three good things in it, so it's worth it.

Our Quilting magazine - 
And then I had to pick up my serger which had needed repair and servicing.  And I bought the latest issue of A Needle Pulling Thread.
A Needle Pulling Thread
BUT the best magazine to get your hands on these days is this one.............

Quilts and More - Spring 2017
And why do you want this magazine???  Because there is a quilt in there by ME!!!!!

Beautiful location for a beautiful quilt
And here is a full on shot of the quilt.

My quilt
 I can't even remember the name of it and I certainly don't remember the name the magazine called it. I couldn't find Quilts and More last night, although it officially on sale!!!!

The fabrics used in this quilt are from Northcott's Naturescapes collection.   I wanted to use the Naturescapes collection in a NON-landscape quilt. Something to show that it's OK if the bricks go up and down, or the water is sideways. I used those landscape prints as texture and I think the end result is gorgeous. Can't wait to get the quilt back so I can hang it in my office.

Speaking of being published, don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. There is the cutest little project - so easy to make and so darn practical, I'm surprised I didn't make one sooner.

Have a super day!!!!!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Leap of faith

Ever been in one of those situations where you've no choice but to go forward and hope that NOTHING bad happens??  Of course, you have!  We're all quilters. We've all had deadlines and you better not mess up because there is no room for error. 

On my way home to what I thought was going to be a relaxed evening, I remembered that a small sample was needed for today. In an ideal world, all samples would be readily available, but alas this one was not!  

So you guessed it - I had to make this sample last night. However, I'm not sure what I was thinking when I quilted it because I quilted the background as dense as I could quilt it. And you know what that means - distortion. So I had to block it.  I'm not really an expert on blocking, I can't think of one instance where I've done it before. Got out a big pressing board that I could pin into, a plastic garbage bag and two layers of towels.  Then I laid out the project and pinned it using a ruler to get everything squared up as best as possible. 

Project is blocked

Next up was to spritz it with water to help block it.  Yikes - there is red in that fabric and it better not bleed!  So with a giant leap of faith, I spritzed water all over the project and NOT ONE SINGLE bleed.  I knew that - I knew that it wouldn't bleed. That's just the "leap of faith" kind of person I am!!!

No bleeding

And now the project has a binding on it and it's pretty square - I'm quite happy with it and I know that I can quilt the background really tight for future projects. It just takes a long time and it's boring! The panel, if you care to check it out is from Northcott's Sesquicentennial collection.

Today is another day of QUILTsocial posts.  Check it out as there is a link to a super cute project.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finding homes!

I think tonight might be the first free night in a long time to just putter in that studio of mine. It won't exactly be idle puttering as I have a couple of classes this weekend and samples need to be prepped. 

If you haven't signed up and live locally, perhaps you would be interested.  One of the classes is from Edyta Sitar's book called Quilter's Patch. 

Quilter's Patch by Edyta Sitar
The quilt is absolutely adorable.   I've got some of my fabrics chosen and I'm pulling all of the m from my stash.  So far, I'm good for the first couple of blocks. 

I spoke with Edyta at Road to California and she remembered me from Festival/Market. She is such a super nice person and she looks forward to seeing our finished quilts at the end of the year. 

The other class is Kaleidoscope. I've had my eye on this quilt for a long, long time and I love the colors. 

I'll be making two versions of this quilt. The original and a surprise colorway which you'll have to either sign up for the class or wait until next week to see that. 

I've also met Stephanie Soebbing, the designer of Kaleidoscope and she also is looking forward to seeing our finished quilts at the end of the year.  How exciting is that???

Both classes are being held at The Hobby Horse quilt shop in Georgetown.  I'm not sure the class numbers, I haven't had a chance to check, but I would hurry as there isn't much time and well, there may not be room. 

So while I had a few minutes to spare last night, I dug out a couple of purchases that I had made at Road to California. 

Here are the four red FQs that I purchased to get me further along with my 150 Canadian Women project. I'm sure that I'll need more as the project continues, but why buy all that I need at one time? Since I'm not buying much these days, I might as well spread my purchases out!

Four red FQs for 150 Canadian Women project
I also found this (in the booth of a new friend - Jessica of Sew Many Creations). It is ORANGE cork fabric and perfect for bags or wallets.  I couldn't resist - now I have to find a project to use it for. 

Orange cork fabric

And then I did have a few extra minutes to spare and found a couple of items that need homes.   One was a sample of this Traction Tape that I picked up at Festival or Market. It's from Bloc-Loc

Block-Loc - makers of rulers
I'm not convinced that I need to use their rulers, but they gave me a small sample of the Traction Tape that they sell for regular rulers. You can see from the little card below, how big the sample was. Normally I don't have trouble with my rulers slipping, but I put that sample on the back of my 8 1/2" by 24" ruler.  Yikes - the darn ruler won't slide at ALL!!!  I can definitely say that it works!

Traction Tape

And finally, I found this set of "face buttons".  I sort of remember buying them a while back, but why? I don't remember if I had something specific in mind. So I guess they are going to go in the button box until I find a project for them.   But so CUTE!!!!!

Face buttons
On that note, I'd better get out of here.  There is so much exciting stuff happening, patterns to write, projects to make, fabric to cut up. Well, I could sew all night, except I know that won't work, so I don't even try!

Have a super day!!!!


And if you didn't get there yet, this is my week to blog on QUILTsocial.  Here are the links to the three posts so far this week and you had better come back tomorrow and Friday because there are TWO SUPER CUTE projects that you can make.

Monday  blog post for QUILTsocial

Tuesday blog post for QUILTsocial

Wednesday blog post for QUILTsocial

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The long way home

Travel days are never fun. Well, they may be fun, but they're always long and yesterday was no exception.

I was up early, blogging and doing computer stuff. Got breakfast and thought I would check ONE LAST time to see if there were any packages at the hotel for me. I was still missing TWO packages and I had been asking the hotel every day and sometimes twice a day to find them. Obviously, they didn't look very hard or couldn't spell my name, but lo and behold - they found my two packages.

Let's just say that I was very happy and I very politely told the manager that I wasn't happy with their service!  I'm sure they were happy to see me go.  Honest - I was very polite.

Then we hopped in the car for the drive back to LAX.  I wasn't looking forward to the drive as I had visions of being ensnarled in the morning traffic. Surprisingly it wasn't that bad and because we were three in the car, we were able to use the HOV lanes. But the other lanes of traffic were flowing nicely as well.

About half way to the airport, I had this feeling that my phone wasn't with me. Not in my pouch, not in my jacket pocket and not in my pants pocket. Oh, shoot - I think I left it at the hotel.  And there was nothing I could do about it. Oh well - at least I knew exactly where I left it. I had gone to the washroom before leaving, took the phone out of my back pocket so it wouldn't fall in the toilet and well, I guess I was so excited about my packages (which I remembered to take) that I forgot my phone.

We got to the airport, dropped off the car and got to the airport. I had checked in the night before, but my boarding pass was on my phone which was no longer had in my possession. A quick task to get a new one printed at the kiosk. I try to NEVER check luggage if possible and so I was up to security. Got through that line fairly quickly and off to the Maple Leaf Lounge. Thank goodness for coupons!

I asked at the desk if I could use a phone. The only phone was the one on the concierge's desk. And if the phone rang, I had to surrender the phone. Now, what is the number of the hotel?  Not on my confirmation sheet that I had been carrying, so I had to get my laptop out, log onto the internet and get the phone number from Google.  Then I used the phone to call the hotel.

YES - they had my phone. So that was a relief. NO - they won't ship things by FedEx - I had to take care of the arrangements for a pick-up. Back to the computer and a quick e-mail took care of the details.  (Big thanks to Arlene for making all that happen) and then off to wait for our flight.

Meanwhile, the weather outside is frightful. It was pouring buckets at this point and loads of water on the runways.  Turns out our plane was hit by lightning on the way in and it required some special attention to make sure everything was OK for the flight home.  That meant that the plane was two hours late in leaving. Meaning, I didn't get home until almost 10 PM last night.

I was hungry and there wasn't much to eat in the house. I did get some soup from Tim's but had to get up in the night to eat something else. I found a banana on the counter.  Let's say that I didn't get a lot of sleep. I guess the time difference wasn't on my side. I was excited to come back to work?  Who knows.

The girls were very excited to see me and Lexi sat right beside me while I ate my soup.  Murphy was just happy happy happy!

On that note, I've got a crazy day and better get it started.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Motivational Monday - let's go shopping

Good morning everyone!!!  Hopefully, we're all still on track to get our January project completed?  I see from some of the postings that people have finished their January projects and had to find something else to do for the remainder of the month. Doesn't that feel good to get those projects off our plate and guilt free move to something else?

I haven't had a chance to monitor the Facebook page much this week, but I did see that many projects were accomplished. I'm back home tonight so will have a bit more time to get myself back in the quilting groove. Although I just spent four days at Road to California so not that I wasn't doing anything quilt related.

My big finish for this week was this quilt.

Image may contain: indoor
Star Burst

The quilt is called Star Burst by SusanClaire Mayfield, AKA The Gourmet Quilter. The quilt is absolutely gorgeous and I want to remake the quilt in a different color variation. The pattern was originally a mystery quilt and I asked her to remake the instructions in pattern form. It will be available soon.  My version is made with Northcott's Stonehenge Gradations Brights.

Since I've just spent the last four days at The Road to California quilt show, I thought it was important that we talk about shopping habits as part of the Motivational Monday. Why is that important?  Well, if we're serious about getting things under control and then we go crazy at a quilt show - that doesn't help us at all.

If you know that you're going to be attending a major show or any quilt show, a shop hop or even just a visit to your local quilt shop, I would say the most important thing is to make a shopping list.  I keep a list of things that I'm looking for so when I go to a quilt store or a show, I have some idea of what to buy.

I did have RED fat quarters on my list because I need them for the 150 Canadian Women Project. I have reds, but not many that read as a solid. Check - I bought four fat Quarters. Then I was looking for some templates for English Paper Piecing. I found a template, but not the one that I wanted. I also didn't really have time to write down everything (English Paper Piecing) that should be on my list.  If I had purchased something, it likely wasn't the correct shape or size. So I didn't buy any.

Here's why a list is important - maybe it's a series of books or magazines - do you remember which ones you have at home? Maybe it's a particular pattern that has peeked your interest. A book, thread or whatever. I know that there are certain things on my wish list that when I see the vendor at the show, I go - OH SHOOT - I don't' know what I'm missing. I don't buy anything (maybe that's a good thing), but I have plans now to get that complete list together so I will be able to fill in the gaps for some of the things that I want.

Yes - I did find a few things that weren't on my list and the key will be to find a home for all of them when I'm home so that they don't become clutter.

I'm excited to be home (later tonight) and not have a rush project to sew, although I have to get ready for my classes on Saturday so it seems that I will never get caught up!  But making one or two blocks is a whole lot less than making three quilts in three days!!!

On that note, let's get those shopping lists together. I think shopping lists prevent us from over buying - well I hope they do! And hopefully by having our list of projects for 2017 written down, that we can easily say - no - I don't need that. I have too much already. I did say that to myself several times over the weekend.

Have a super motivational Monday


In case you're interested, check out my blog posts on QUILTsocial this week. While I'm reviewing a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine, there are also lots of tips that will work for any sewing machine.

Road to California - Day Four

Another spectacular day in Southern California. RAIN and more RAIN!!!!!  And single digit temperatures. I don't think it went above 9 degrees today!  This is some totally crazy weather. We were toasty warm in the main building today and we were dry. That was a blessing. The people in the tent fared not badly, but the rain was drumming on the roof all day and it wasn't as warm and there was water seepage into the tent.

I did feel a bit for those that had to pack up their trailers at the end of the day. But the rain is desperately needed here.

So this morning when we walked across the street, I wore my crappy little shoes. It wasn't raining too hard, but there was a lake in the middle of the street and within seconds, my shoes were like a boat with the bottom cut out. My feet would probably have been dryer if I had been barefoot!  Thankfully, I took extra shoes to the centre and I changed into them and so I had dry feet all day.

When we left the convention centre, it was raining a bit harder so I managed to snag a plastic garbage bag as a rain coat. OK - looked ridiculous, but it kept my fleece jacket from getting wet. We carried the quilts we're taking home with us in a box wrapped in shrink wrap so they wouldn't get wet!  My feet were instantly wet the moment, I put the shoes back on and back outside where it was like walking in a stream. The water literally squished out of my shoes once we were in the hotel.  Ah - fun and games. At least, it makes a good story!   The crappy shoes are now in the garbage and I will need to go shoe shopping when I'm back home.

The show started a bit later today and so I went to the convention centre early so I could wander around and look at the quilts. They were magnificent. Some I had seen before, many I had not. I didn't bring my big camera - I decided to only use my phone camera. I know - shocking!  Now I have to figure out how to download those pictures to the computer as a group. The one thing I noticed is that almost ALL the quilts were quilted to death. I mean, every square millimetre was quilted. While in most cases, the quilting enhanced the quilts, in others it was so distracting that you couldn't enjoy the actual quilt. And the whole cloth quilts that were long arm quilted??  Stunning.  Not my cup of tea - I'd be bored to death before I could get halfway through, but stunning.

I think I managed to get around to all the vendors.  It's so nice when people recognize you - had a little chat with Edyta Sitar who remembered me from Houston. Met other people including Barb and Mary from Me and My Sister. Saw John Flynn and probably a few other names who escape me at the moment.

The booth is packed up, we had a successful show and we're ready to go home, but that will be in the morning as we shuffle our way through the morning rainy traffic to LAX.  Yeah! I can hardly wait for that.

I'm doing two posts this morning - one for the show and one for Motivational Monday - be sure to read them both.

Have a super day!!!!


Oh - I forgot to mention that I am writing on the QUILTsocial blog this week.  Head on over to have a peek at what I wrote.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Road to California - Day Three

Let's start with the weather report. While the sun was out yesterday and we managed to actually see the mountains in the valley, it was chilly.

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Mountains in the distance

So while you might be envious of that clear blue sky, don't be deceived. The day started off not bad as far as temperature, but by the end of the day in the convention centre, we will all little blocks of ice. It was nice to get in the car for dinner and crank the heat UP.  It's currently single digits here in Southern California.

At least it wasn't raining which it is supposed to do all day. I notice out the window that it is raining, but NOT pouring. That is a good sign.

We chatted to a lot of people yesterday. Obviously lots from around this area, but we've seen people from Sweden and the UK,  Canada (mostly the western three provinces) and from all over the US.

People are loving the collections we are showcasing in our booth - Naturescapes and Stonehenge Gradations.    They are available for purchase through some of the shops here so consumers can get it now which they love.

Today is a short day. The first three were 9 hours long, today is 5 1/2 so I'm looking forward to that, but I have three things on my TO DO list and I haven't really looked at the quilts. I'm hoping to get over early this morning to do that.

Then we get to pack up the booth which won't take us that long.

Remember I talked about how close we are to the Historic Route 66?  Well, we went out on an errand last night and oh my - here we are just mere minutes from the signs. After we had a bit to eat, I drove up to the sign (a bus pull out conveniently located right out front) and I got my picture.

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Route 66 marker in Rancho Cucamonga
How cool is that!

On that note, I'm out of here to get breakfast and get to the show.

Have a super day!


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Road to California - Day Two

It's crazy when the exciting news of the trip is the weather!  Well, it's not exciting, but it's the first thing on everyone's mind.

Thank goodness for extra shoes. When we left the hotel to walk across the street, I wore my old shoes and carried my new funky running shoes. Thank goodness for that as I think those shoes are still wet.

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New running shoes

There were no orange running shoes, but these are close enough and for the price, they are relatively comfortable for a long day of standing in the booth. It helps that we have a cushy floor to stand on.

It poured buckets throughout the day and at lunch which is in the big tent, along with some vendors, I think the rain was causing some issues as there were sandbags to direct the rain, people using brooms to push the water out of the main walkway between the building and the tent and I heard later that extractors were brought in to remove the water that was seeping in under the edges of the tent. Yikes - I mean - it is raining!!!!  There were also high winds were a cause for concern with all the rain.

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A tad wet!!!!!
The weather warnings on my phone were HIGH waves along the beaches, erosion of the sand, damage to the piers, etc.

I'm happy to report that at one point we actually felt a bit warm in the convention centre. And NO ONEN complained.  I had to take my sweater off and loosen my scarf that was tightly wound around my neck. The others proudly wore their Target tights and were quite toasty!!!

After all that excitement - how is the show?   It's actually an amazing show. The calibre of the quilts (which are safely located in the main building) is spectacular.  I haven't really had a chance to get out and look at the quilts, but I did walk past the quilt aisles yesterday.  There are some amazing ones and I hope to get out today.  We were fairly busy all day and then as usual towards the end of the day, it gets quieter. Sunday will be a quiet day as in all trade shows so will get out then as well.

I did find a new pattern designer that I love. Too complicated to teach, I'm buying a pattern just for me! Lots of cool ideas for red/white quilts.

We received a list of local restaurants so last night we decided to check out The Old Spaghetti Factory. I love that place but haven't been in years. So plugged the address into the GPS and we were off.  And guess what - the restaurant is on Route 66.   OH MY GOD -  I was excited, the others not so much. But I was driving and couldn't take a picture of the marker. It was a bit too far to walk back so now that I know we are this close - I might try and get out to get a picture. I texted Ronda because she has driven the entire route. They didn't eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory but had driven past it.

More networking yesterday, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. It's great. But if you think it's all fun - well - it mostly is but I did wake up this morning wondering where I was!  I was way off in dream land and woke up in a daze.

I did peek out the window and the sky is CLEAR.  I think the forecast is for NO rain today, but it's going to pour buckets tomorrow. The locals are excited about the rain, but not the quantity or the intensity.

On that note, I had better get myself ready for breakfast and the day.

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Road to California - Day One

What was I thinking? I did have a peek at the weather before leaving, but I must have been in denial. It's funny how we think of California as a warm place. I should know better as I used to travel to San Francisco for business and it's cold in San Francisco. Well - cool because of its location on the water.

We had rain in the morning yesterday, not a great sign when you wake up and hear it pouring outside. Fortunately, the rain slowed down a bit when it was time to walk across the street.  I had to zip out to pick up something later in the morning and the sun was out and it was quite warmish. That didn't last long. But today is rain and the forecast doesn't look too good for the next couple of days.  It's not the rain so much that is the issue - it's the cold temperatures. It's cool here - I could have brought my jacket that I wear back home at this time of the year and be quite comfortable. I also wish I had rain boots.

 At least I have long pants on to wear during the show because it's very cold in the convention centre. I have no idea if the A/C is cranked up, but it sure feels like it.  I hope they shut it off today and let us all be toasty warm. I'd be happy.  We made an emergency run to Target last night to get tights for some of the group who brought dresses to wear and no pantyhose.  I haven't bought pantyhose in years, and it isn't cheap!  Ouch - I was a bit cool at the end of the day, they were freezing!  I tried to find rain boots at Target and at Ross, but NOTHING.  They've had a drought in the area for five years - I guess finding rain boots would have been a miracle!

Did you know that Simplicity no longer sells patterns in Canada?   I was shocked when I found that out. Of course, the pattern that I wanted was a Simplicity and I managed to get it last night at Jo-Anns.  I was in and out - -didn't look at anything in the store.  Too cold, too tired and too hungry!

We've had a chance to look at some of the quilts and they are STUNNING.  Even though some we've seen at other shows, there are lots here that we have not seen.  I think the weather is affecting attendance somewhat and so we may have a bit of downtime today to get out and see the vendors and the quilts.

The one thing I love about the shows is the networking. I'm always up for a conversation with anyone and it's amazing what you can learn if you ask questions. No - I'm' not sharing the information that I have with you. I think I share enough.  I wonder who I will run into today!

Food at these shows tends to be hit and miss. You pay a lot and get a crappy lunch.  While the prices are a tad on the high side (not bad), the sandwiches are healthy and good and fresh!  That is a blessing as I hate eating stale sandwiches that you've paid a fortune for. Food is good and close by.

I guess I had better get myself organised for the day. Going to wear one pair of shoes over and take another pair to wear during the day. I hate wet feet.

Have a super day!!!!!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Welcome to California!

So as I'm writing this, I'm in Ontario, but NOT Ontario, Canada.  Nope, that would be Ontario, California in the good old USA.

Let me backtrack for a second. After a marathon of sewing, the last quilt was ready for quilting and it was quilted and trimmed before I went to bed on Tuesday night. I absolutely love the quilt.  Then up early so I could get the binding on by machine. As much as I hate doing the binding by machine, you have to admit that it's practical!!!

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Yesterday was a day of SNAFUs as this picture was posted on Facebook but only to FAMILY.  DUH!!!  Anyway - here it is and I'm pinning the sleeve on this morning.

We flew to LA and while our flight was a bit late in leaving, we arrived early. Not sure why that was, but we were on the fabulous Boeing 787-8 or whatever that plane is.  We had great seats, I love the moving map and we kept ourselves entertained for the four-hour flight. I thought I might catch some sleep, but we were too busy talking.

Rented a car and we're off. Oh yes - it's fun driving in LA. Fortunately, we were on freeways and off to the San Bernadino valley and Ontario, California which is the home of the Road to California quilt show.

By the time we arrived at the booth it was 2:30 (we all agreed that lunch was of the utmost importance since by now it's about 3 PM our time.

I won't go into the details but let's just say that if things could go wrong - they did. Now not that bad, but well we had to make a few executive decisions along the way and let's just say that by being nice to people, they will be nice back and they will bend a few rules.  I could have cried, but I thought better of that and just asked nicely instead!  In the past, I might have cried - I've done it before and I got what I wanted!  But that was for personal! Not for business.

The biggest issue was the preview night. We were all looking forward to a quiet evening to rest up. But then we heard that where our booth was located was the ONE aisle that was open last night for the preview. ACK!  So that meant that we had to be back from 7 to 9.  The two hours flew by and I literally came back to the hotel (which is across the street from the convention center) and went to bed.

All the people we talked to last night and there were lots were friendly and super excited about the show. We had people from Sweden, the UK, Canada, the US of course and Australia.  I'm sure we'll see a lot more countries represented today. I did see Eleanor Burns as well.

The weather is a tad cold. I was trying to figure out what to bring for a jacket. I ended up throwing in a quilted fleece jacket which I find quite heavy. BEST decision of the day. It's cold here - well by California terms and it's wet. But I do hope it clears up at some point because we are in the mountains and they look beautiful. Just not sure how surrounded we are by the mountains because of clouds and smog?

Thank goodness we are a resilient crew and we're going to have fun for the next four days!  We will have time to walk the show and get ideas and I do have a small shopping list.

I better go and get myself organized for the day.

Have a good day!!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Motivational Monday - A very important lesson!

Yes, I was missing in action yesterday. I literally got up, went to work and was tied to the sewing machine until very late last night, but I got loads done!  Before I get into those details and the very important lesson, I have to tell you about my surfing escapade. 

There is freezing rain in the area this morning. So sidewalks and streets and driveways are slippery. I very carefully walked the dogs and while there was a bit of ice, I didn't slip once. Like I said - I was very careful. Before leaving, I decided to wheel the garbage/recycling carts to the curb. I grabbed the first one and went down a different part of the driveway from when I went out with the dogs. Next thing I knew, I was on sheer ice!  And there was nothing to grab and the driveway has a slight slope - away from the house! What to do???  Without thinking, I assumed the surfboard crouch, held onto the cart which I was pushing with one hand, but it was now pulling me and I surfed to the end of the driveway!!  I'm sure my other hand was gracefully held out in the opposite direction for balance. All quite humorous and thankfully it's not on camera anywhere!!!!

Here's is my Motivational Monday lesson and something that I MUST do.  While the task master has been keeping me focused and working, I did lose sight of some of my deadlines and OH OH - with a show looming in the very near future, there were a couple of things that got forgotten. What does that mean???   I have literally been sewing for three days straight and while the end is in sight, there is one more huge day ahead of me to get my commitments done. 

What should we all be doing???  Perhaps adding another page to our task master with deadlines. Perhaps it is a challenge that you want to enter, perhaps it is a quilt show, a date that a quilt has to be made for - a birthday or a wedding? or whatever your deadline is - commitments and deadlines MUST be written down.  I have a LOT of commitments, patterns to be written, quilts to be made and without that list - well, I'm going to have more days like this past weekend and while I like working to pressure, but NOT this kind of pressure!

So what did I get accomplished????   I got this quilt quilted yesterday. 

Waves at the Shore by Quilt Poetry - quilted!
And it's also bound and the hanging sleeve is made. Just needs to be sewn on.

Bound and hanging sleeve made!

Over the weekend, I realized that I had completely forgotten a commitment that I made to someone and guess when the deadline was???  Yep - this week.  No idea what to make - had to be original and scrappy and from Northcott fabric. I came up with an idea for a pattern, recycling an older one that I made - perfect.  Now which fabrics to use???  I was going to use the scraps from one collection that I had in my boxes, but then I realized that I couldn't use that one.  What to do? what to do???  Then I remembered that I had scraps from another collection that just released this month!  I had some preview yardage which is why I had scraps.  I grabbed that bag and last night (after quilting Waves at the Shore), I was hacking and slashing and modifying the pattern as I went.

Cut and toss on the floor
It's not a big project - 34" square. But it's DONE!!!!   I got the top done, threw it on the long arm, quilted it and got it bound this morning. I'm not showing you the front - it's going to be published and you'll see it then.

Another project - DONE!
With the exception of this second project, the other one was in my Task Master!  Two finishes in ONE day. I don't know if I can contain my excitement.  I won't be truly excited until this next quilt is done. I've got 24 hours!

Now you know why I was AWOL yesterday. And I had better get myself busy as there is much to do today in addition to finishing that quilt.

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quilt in a day?

Yes, I have my Task Master and yes I'm crossing things off the list. But this is the second weekend in a row with a massive project to get done.  Not that it's boring, but there are deadlines and so I MUST be focused. Yesterday, I spent almost the entire day between the cutting table, the ironing board and the sewing machine. It truly was a pleasure as I didn't have to move anything in order to work at any of the stations. I didn't have to step over or around anything to get to any of the stations. The design wall was clear and well - it was a good day.

In order to avoid this time crunch situation, that means keeping things up to date and NOT agreeing to things if there is no time.  Some of these projects got delayed because of meeting another deadline and since I'm not flitting from project to project, a couple of things are DUE in the next couple of days. I want to get to the position where there is a smidgen more room between finishing and the due date or not have so many things due on the same day!

Yesterday was a day for focusing. So much so that as I was working, I was listening to the radio. It's 2:00 PM.  Oh really???  And next thing I knew, it was time for the 3:00 PM news update. Then 4 and 5.  I mean that is real focus and has NEVER really happened to me.

Here goes with a few things that are happening in the studio.

I made this quilt last Saturday. It's a modern quilt with loads of negative space. The design wall was busy so I couldn't hand it up for a photo.

Modern quilt - almost made in one day!
 This is one of three quilts that will be raffled off at one of my guilds. Oh yes, I had every intention of quilting it and well - when someone called and offered to take it off my hands???   I thought about it for 1 second, then said YES. I pieced the top, made the binding and the backing and then delivered it.

The backing and the binding are also made!!!!

This was one of those scenarios where I needed to check with my schedule and reality and well, there just wasn't time to do justice to this quilt.

Originally I wasn't involved in the raffle quilts at all.  I've done many of them over the years. However at one of our retreats, I was asked to help with these blocks that had been made by the guild members. Hexagons with Dresden plate style piecing.

Hexagon quilt
This one was pieced a while ago although I don't think I shared a picture with you. Because various guild members had made the hexagons, they were NOT all the same size and needed to be trimmed.  YES - how do you trim a hexagon???   I found a ruler and it worked perfectly. I think I had to make three extra blocks  - NO - Ronda and I made extra blocks. I don't remember how many.  Anyway - this is what the quilt looks like.  I was also supposed to quilt this one - again lots of negative space.

Same person offered to take this quilt. DONE!!!!   I really didn't have time to get it quilted in the time frame it was needed.  But I did manage to get the binding and the backing done.

Binding and backing - DONE
 I didn't want to hand off these two quilts in various stages of completion. But I was OK with giving the top, the backing and the binding!!  Maybe I shouldn't put this on the blog because I know you'll hold it to me, but the one with the hexagons will be a pattern - hopefully SOON!  And I must say that my pattern writing skills are getting put to the test lately.  I seem to be cranking them out fast and furious.  Watch for it - when they are available, I'll let you know where. I think there are three or four going to be out this coming week. But if you want to check out what I have so far, please check the resource page at Northcott.

This is another quilt that I'm putting in the finished book. Although technically, it's been done for a while. But it's for M and she happens to be visiting at the moment so I can finally give it to her.   Yes - it has a label, no sleeve as it's a snuggly quilt. It's got minky on the back.

V is for vegan!
 The quilt is made up of vegetable fabrics.  I must remember to take a picture of the quilting on the back. And yes I stitched in the ditch around each of those little squares. What was I thinking????

Detail of veggie quilt

And what am I working on this weekend???   I've got blog posts for Quilt Social that MUST be done by tomorrow. I'm working on my 150 Canadian Women blocks. I think I'm on number 22? of 27 so that's not bad and parts of the remaining blocks are cut out - the red bits.

Block used as an ender and leader
 But I have another quilt that I need to get pieced. This is what it looked like last night. It took me ALL day to get those blocks with the little squares done. They are in a very specific order and well, I wasn't as logical as I could have been about the process. I learned though when I did the smaller blocks and it went much faster.

Blocks for the next quilt
 I have two more blocks to make (12 of each).  The first part of one of the sets is complete.

Next batch of twelve blocks
 And two of the blocks are already made, leaving 10 more star blocks to make. And that last set of 12 blocks.

Two more star blocks

I hope the final assembly isn't going to be too challenging. Because of the colors, everything needs to be in a specific location. I think assembly is going to happen tomorrow.  I also have two quilts to quilt today.  Ah - going to be a tad busy, but I'm happy with the progress.  I will be happy for a weekend with NO deadlines though!!!    This quilt is NOT my pattern, but I'll tell you the pattern source, when I'm done.

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!!


And on that note, I think Lexi (and Murphy) have something to say this moring.