Friday, June 30, 2017

What is wrong with me?

I'm an idiot!  Well not really, but there are times when I wonder where my brain has gone. Obviously on vacation!  And it was only when I read Sew Fresh Quilts blog this morning that I realised what I'm doing wrong. 

Well, not what I'm doing wrong, but what I'm not doing.  And it was because of Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts that I purchased them.  THEM being some labels.  When I'm making these deadline quilts, they usually go out of the office WITHOUT a label.  I know!  Not good - but I do tack my business card to the quilts.  What I should be doing is putting my Crazyquilteronabike label in the binding like Lorna does.  GOD - what an idiot. I've had them since February and not used a single one.  When I get home, I'm digging those labels out and they are going to sit on the sewing machine, the cutting mat or wherever I need to put them so I remember them. 

DUH DUH DUH!!!!!  

I didn't rip up the little page from the book yet. I thought I better wait until I hear that the quilt has arrived - then my job is done and I'm off the hook.  So hopefully I can rip up that deadline page tonight. 

Do you want to know the funny thing??  So one deadline is done - right?  Guess what happened yesterday???   Yep - not one, not two, not three, not four, BUT FIVE new deadlines were added. FIVE - how did that happen????   And there will be more.  How many more?  No idea, but quilt ideas are spewing out of my brain faster than water from a leaky bucket. And I'm super excited! (as usual). 

When I got home last night, I retired to the backyard so I could have a quiet moment reading my book. Nope - not happening!  Those girls - well - it's like "MOM - we've been cooped up all day  - we need to show you how we play!"   

Have I shown you this little project???  It was a give away from QuiltCon. I may have shown it. It takes FIVE  5-inch squares to make this. The pattern isn't on the Northcott website, but I'll try to get it loaded soon.  It's a cool use of 5 inch squares and very little waste.  It was one of those projects where I had to make something with what I had. But imagine making this with whatever fabrics?  Scraps??  It would be awesome. 

Table topper/mini quilt

On that note, I've a super busy day today.  I went to the gym. I didn't want to go to the gym, but I needed to go to the gym. I was dragging my butt before I got there and after - well I feel energised.  Sometimes we just have to push!

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Another one bites the dust

There's no rush!  No need to panic!  I got home and decided to sit in the backyard for a bit to enjoy the nice day. Of course, I was pestered by a pair of hooligans, but I ignored them and they went away - well sort of!  

I haven't been reading in a long time and you know why?  It's the authors I pick.  The last three books I've read have been by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Don't get me wrong - I like her books, but they aren't page turners. I read those kind of books when I feel like it or when I have the time.  So me - who can rip through a book in a week has taken months to read those three books. Enough of that!   I'm back to my page turners and loving it!  Currently reading Clive Cussler!  This is the kind of book that I'll stop everything to read! Thank goodness there is a long weekend ahead! I'll be in the gazebo!

I've been holding off quilting the quilt that needs to be in the US tomorrow. Well, not holding off exactly - I was trying to convince myself that an overall pattern would be OK.  I loaded the quilt, joined some batting together and then decided - I can custom quilt this before going to bed.  So I did. And you know what?  I had fun doing it!  I did quilt it with invisible thread - there's a panel in there and I didn't want to have to change threads, so I put invisible in and away I went. While you can't see a lot of the quilting - I really need to break out of that mindset, but seriously, it's the quilt top I want people to see.  It's another one of my casual custom jobs and it looks great.  OK - maybe the next one, I'll get a bit more daring and quilt with contrasting thread.  Seriously, while I like quilting, I don't really want the quilting to over take my design.  That's just me. 

The binding is also on the quilt and I need to make the sleeve and sew it on this morning.  When I get home, I'm going to take that little page from the micro binder and have fun ripping it up!  One more deadline met and onto the next one. 

I'm super excited about my progress and there really wasn't any stress involved in getting this one done. Why?  Because I was very aware of that deadline and very aware of how much time I had to complete it.  How old am I?  And why has it taken me so long to figure this out?  

I'm not sure if I shared these two pieces with you - maybe the first one, but certainly not the second one.  These are my Canadian pin holders.  The first one is a panel by Northcott. I simply quilted it with MICRO stippling (what was I thinking?) and put a binding on it. And added the pins!

The second one is the Pin Holder that was in the June issue of Quilter's Connection.  The instructions are in the magazine so be sure to get your copy.  I may have an extra copy of two if anyone is interested. Please leave me a comment.

Canadian pin holder

If you're waiting on the instructions for Coast to Coast to Coast - the one with all the Provincial panels that was unveiled at Quilt Canada, the instructions are written. I've sent them to someone to check over and then hopefully by end of day tomorrow, you'll be able to download them.   Make sure you're on the Northcott newsletter so you will notification. If not, I'll be posting the link as soon as it's up.  There is a link at the top left of the Northcott website where you can join the newsletter.

Holy cow!  I'm looking over a couple of websites this morning and look what I found.  Handmade pins to embellish your pincushion.  Yikes - look at the price!

Well, I'm off to get that sleeve on and start writing the next pattern and I've MANY MANY quilts that are waiting to be designed.  Got to get my EQ7 out and my digital fabric and start slicing and dicing!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Should I be doing this?

I have lists, I have deadlines and what did I do last night?  Well, I did a little bit of what I was supposed to do, but I really, really wanted to get this quilt off the design wall, so I could put something else up!  So I finished it.  The inner green border was on and ONE of the sides with the pinwheels. So technically I had to cut and trim seven pieces of border in order to finish it.  

Quilt top - DONE
This is the mystery quilt from my guild for this past year.  Not bad to get it done within the same year that it was offered!!!   Once the quilt centre was complete, we were on our own to figure out the borders. I decided to use up every little piece of leftovers and made pinwheels for the border. The quilt needed some relief from the busy centre so a 2 1/2" strip of green was added.  Why green?  No idea, but it looked good at the shop so green it was!

I wanted to balance that inner border and not worry about the binding at the edge of all those seams, so I added another 2 1/2" border.  This border was cut, but not together.  Now the top is DONE!!!!  It actually felt great to work on something that had no deadline. I think I needed that little boost.

I found some backing fabric in my stash and made the binding (which was cut, but not sewn together). This is larger than I normally make quilts, but that's OK.  It's fun and I love the end result.

Backing, binding and top - ready for quilting

I did get some work done on the deadline quilt.  The backing is done and the binding is done. Yahoo!!!  I was thinking of custom quilting it, but seriously - I don't feel like it so an overall design it is.   It's not as big as I normally make them so I'm good!  Should be no problem to get it quilted and bound tonight and in a FedEx box tomorrow.

Then onto the next deadline project which is July 10.  By actually writing down those deadlines, I'm not sluffing them off.  They are very real and that's the point of all this list writing.

I had a bunch of errands to get done after work which I accomplished last night.  Errands take up a lot of time and when you work - well there just isn't a lot of time.

I had to stop and pick up something that someone got me.  Oh my god -- I just love it.  Another Row by Row license plate!!!! Jeanette was on vacation on the west coast and thought of me when she hit a quilt shop!!!    Thanks so much Jeanette!!!! That makes three for 2017.  She took a very interesting trip to the west coast via Amtrak!!!   It sounded like such a cool idea. Something to look into (trips by train and how relaxing that would be!).

Row by Row license plate

I do have a day planned for row by row. Can't reveal the details yet. Oh no! But it's going to be fun. That I can guarantee you!

On that note, I HAVE to get the pattern finished today for Coast to Coast to Coast.  So many enquiries!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

More show n tell..............

So what's with the weather?  This is not summer.  BUT I'm not complaining because I'm quite happy with the cooler temperatures. Great for sleeping, great for hanging out outside. I could do with a touch less rain. 

I made good progress on my deadline quilt last night.  The top is done, the border strips are cut. I didn't have any backing fabric so I couldn't load it on the long arm. DUH!!   First thing today - get backing fabric. This is actually the SECOND version of the same quilt.  I was making it for Fall Market last year. Didn't quite get it finished, but enough for my purposes.  I figured I might as well finish it. It's fast and easy except the version that didn't get completed uses the directional print of the collection which is called Silent Night by Northcott. I got most of the nasty part of using the directional print done this morning and I should be good to get that finished up soon.  This collection will be shipping to stores very soon.  It's gorgeous - deep rich colors. 

When you work on these deadline quilts for magazines, they get done months before the magazine comes out. And then when the quilts finally get returned to you, you've almost forgotten them.  I got one back the other day. This one is from the Stitch in Time collection (also by Northcott).  There are two colorways but this one is my favourite.  

Table topper - A Stitch in Time collection

The table topper appears in the current issue (Spring 2017) of A Needle Pulling Thread.   I also have an article in the same issue on string piecing and making scrappy blocks.

Oh - I might just throw some of that string piecing in my retreat bag.  The only problem is that carrying ALL those scraps takes a lot of space and I'm supposed to be good and stay with two bags!  Last night, I remembered another project that I want to work on and it's all cut so that got winged into one of the bags last night.  I've still got loads of space.

One other project that got put into the bag is the Gravity quilt by Jaybird.  Here's one that's almost finished. Rose brought her version to our weekend class for show n tell.  It's a huge quilt, but absolutely stunning. She just needs to bind it.  She did an overall design on it and I love it - quick and easy. I taught this as a class last year.

Gravity quilt by Jaybird
Mine is now completely cut out - it was mostly the background diamonds that weren't cut. It's in the retreat bag, the rulers (need them to cut off the tips of the diamonds for easier assembly) are in the tool bag.  I think I now have four projects all cut and ready to go and one bag is only about half full.  I told you they were big bags!

Lots of other stuff going on - madly trying to write up some patterns  - in particular Coast to Coast to Coast which is the one that I made with all the Provincial panels. My goal is to get it to print by tomorrow.  The first draft is done!  That's the easy part. Now the checking and rechecking and it's a tad harder since I don't have the actual quilt with me and there is a bit of fudging to do. No worries - we'll make it happen.

On that note, I'm out of here. As usual, there's loads to do. I mean what would be the point of coming to work and sitting around doing nothing?

Have a super day!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Motivational Monday - thoughts on increasing productivity

Good morning!  Looks like everyone is on track to getting projects done. And if you're not, are you OK with that?  Remember it's summer and if you don't sew in the summer, then you shouldn't be writing tasks in your Task Master.  You only write what you need/want to get done.  Don't push the task if you're not ready to do it. And more importantly, recognise that fact! Don't berate yourself for not getting anything done. We are our own worst enemy ALWAYS!!!

Here's something that I'm realising about myself. One is that I'm the most productive when I sew in the morning. Depending on the day, I like to get up early and sew for a couple of hours. Then I take the girls to the dog park, have breakfast, write the blog and back to sewing. And if I had my way, I'd sew all day.  If I have to leave the sewing for whatever reason and let's say, I get back to it later in the afternoon? I'm not that productive. I need to plan for that. 

If I get home from work early (start work early, leave work early!), I can get a lot done. Once I get in the zone, I'm committed. But if I get home at 6, have dinner, I have zero motivation to do any sewing. Figure out your work schedule and schedule your sewing accordingly. 

I got a fair amount accomplished over the weekend, but was hoping for more.  However I had classes to teach on both days and that interrupted my routine and so in the evening, not much got done. 

As I mentioned last week, I needed some system for those deadline projects.  After comments by YOU, I realised that I need something that I can shuffle.  Got several suggestions, but this is what I found. 


With refills

I had seen them on-line at Staples. They are MICRO - look at them on the cutting mat!  Perhaps a tad too small to be super practical, but big enough to write down a deadline and the name of the project.  Then I can shuffle the pages (it's a binder after all) to keep the deadlines in place and remove the page once the deadline is past.

The funny thing was that we couldn't find them in the store. I went to the binder section. Nothing. Asked one of the staff and he couldn't find them either. Perhaps it was in one of the boxes on top of the shelving that hadn't been unpacked yet. Nope - wasn't there either.  So another employee looked up the product on the store schematic (where all the SKUs are located) and VOILA - we found them in the notepad section.  I got a couple and I'll use them up - well that's a total of 500 deadlines - I may not need to buy anything else!  I hope not! I may not survive 500 deadlines!

In addition to my deadline stuff, I'm working on the Task Master list.  I'm working on the February project and making progress. Not fast, but making progress.  I hope to have a good portion of it done at the retreat.  Here's part of the project.

February project - trimmed so far
In addition, I posted some of the projects that I've completed in the last couple of weeks on the blog a couple of days ago. Just so you know that I'm in fact working on stuff!  I do have more stuff to post - just haven't taken a picture yet.

This is another project that I completed for our booth at Quilt Canada.  The pattern is by Jill Buckley. It's fiddly to make, but very cool in that Oh Canada (Our Home and Native Land) by Northcott.  I did ask Jill permission to use her pattern in our booth.

Jill Buckley pattern for a 3-D leaf

I did some cutting this morning on stuff to take to the retreat. I plan to get up and sew the entire day when I'm there - I don't want to have to stop and cut anything. Besides, if I only take what is cut, I can cram 10 projects (well maybe a couple more) into those two bags!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Fired up!

We had our monthly class at The Hobby Horse yesterday and we all received our homework for the summer.  Yes - even me who is supposed to be ahead of the class.  I'm fired up to get some projects done - it was a very inspirational class even for me!

I love the show n tell from these classes and I've been very bad in NOT showing any of it to you.  I'm going to try and get that started soon.

But I do have a couple of pictures to show you!  So Ronda had asked me a week ago if I wanted a commemorative bag for Canada 150.  Sure! and she gave me my choice. I got the bag yesterday. Shelly turns up with the same bag for me - she knew which one I would choose!  Thanks, guys - the bags are already being used.

Commemorative reusable bag

I had no idea where the bags even come from, but I love them!!!!   So what am I going to use them for?  You can never have too many bags. The darn things never seem to wear out!  These are going to be my retreat bags.  My projects will go in there. Two bags are better and easier to carry than a laundry basket. No sense hurting ourselves carrying one big old heavy laundry basket.  I'll be perfectly balanced with two of these. BIT THANKS to Shelley and Ronda!

My tools and supplies will go into a separate bag so that way they are easy to find when I want them.  That's it - two bags. But those bags are a good size and if I'm careful, I can put a lot of stuff in them. I made a list last night of ten projects that would be great to make some advancement on. So I spent last night madly cutting and prepping.

My scrap basket is overflowing!
 My scrap basket is overflowing and needs to be emptied. I think I might have to make a cover for a pet mat as I don't think there are any sitting around.

Then I decided to look for something - my stuff for English paper piecing. I knew where it used to be. I knew what kind of container it was in, but do you think I can find it?  Nope - I do believe I moved it. Not only did I move it, but I'm pretty sure that I put it in a new container so I could keep the punches for the hexies and everything in one spot. Well - it's as good as lost now and there were a lot of prepped hexies in there.  Where could it be?  No idea. It will surface one day, but when?  who knows!!!

Here is some of the show n tell from yesterday.  This is a bag that Shelley made. It's called the ??????   - oh god - she told me a thousand times yesterday what it was. I repeated the name so I would remember and POOF - the name is gone. I do remember that it's a pattern from Swoon.  But the coolest part - she made it from an old leather skirt of hers.  Now that is cool.   I think I have a black leather skirt (suede) - I may have to dig it out!!!   Awesome job Shelley.

The Sydney bag by Swoon
 Just checked the website - it's called Sydney!

The bag was quite heavy so I asked what was in it?  Shelly had also made several small bags and when she pulled out this one - I  had to have a picture. I think the bag matches her hair!

Matching bags to your hair color!

While I love the bag, I LOVE the hair!  It's pretty cool and here I was telling people about the lady with the blue hair and in Shelley walks with green hair!  I wonder if there will be any change for Canada Day????

On that note, I'm out of here. I'm working on my next deadline quilt and also trying to prep some stuff for the retreat. But seriously - let's focus on what' important!

Have a super day!


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Oh Canada!

It would appear that EVERY quilter in Canada has made something with the Northcott Sesquicentennial fabric. Well, most quilters - OK a LOT of quilters. Have a look at this article about an 87-year-old male quilter!  It's pretty cool. Thanks to Susan for sharing that.

It's now my turn to share a bit of some of the stuff that I've been working on.  Northcott had the cutest little packs of 5-inch squares made up as a giveaway for Quilt Canada. They were highly coveted and even though it was to be one per customer for the show, I know that wasn't always the case. Guess what?  Yep - we ran out!  Fortunately, we had some other giveaways for the people that came by.    I don't think I have a picture of that little pack.  I did get one that I used for my sample but there wasn't any to spare. If you got one or more - USE IT UP!  Don't hoard it!

Here's the deal.  When other fabric companies give you fabric, you get just the fabric. When Northcott gives you those little packs of fabric - we also give you a FREE pattern. I know!  And guess whose job it is to write those free patterns?  Mine!  Sometimes I'm lucky and I can pick the fabric I'm going to work with and sometimes, I have to go with what I'm given. Let's just say that each opportunity is a challenge and I LOVE a challenge. In the little pack (Northcott calls these packs of 5-inch squares chip packs), there were 5 squares of the cream and 5 squares of the red print. And this is what I made with the squares.

10-inch (finished) maple leaf block
 I love the block and was happy to figure out how to make it from 5-inch squares with minimal waste. If you would like a copy of the pattern, here is the link on the Northcott website.  If you did get one of those chip packs from our booth or if you get one in the future at a show or other event, check the back of the packaging. There is always a link to the website for a free download pattern.

Now it wasn't enough to give you a pattern for a block and fabric for one block and not know what to do with it. So I made a cushion cover by adding a couple of borders.

Cushion cover
 And I also made a small wall hanging using the same block by setting the block on point and adding one fabric for the border.  (Note - I did have extra yardage to make THREE blocks in total)

Wall hanging
 In case you're wondering, this is NOT the Northcott Sesquicentennial collection. This is from the latest Oh Canada collection called Our Home and Native Land.  There was NO extra of the Sesquicentennial collection to hand out as a freebie. It's been flying out the door.

There is also a free download for a lap quilt (note the picture on the website is slightly different from the actual pattern).  These things happen when you design with electronic files and once you get the fabric, you realize it won't work.  Too wasteful or not quite the right size or whatever.  I'll get the picture changed on the website next week. There is also a free download pattern for a tote bag. It's my Everyday Tote using Our Home and Native Land. I was going to aim to have it done for the booth, but that didn't happen. I did get the quilt top done and the tote bag is partially completed.  Something to strive for this week????

I actually made the smaller items from the leftovers of the quilt - I fussy cut that border so it would work on all those projects.  But you don't need to make the lap quilt to make the other items.

And then from the leftovers, I made this little basket.  I was a real hurry when I made it and wasn't thinking at all about the size.  It's supposed to be a bit longer - 5 squares long rather than 4.  There's also a free download for that pattern. Actually, there are two different versions on the Northcott website.

Everyday Basket Version 1
Everyday Basket Version 2

Everyday Basket

I have more stuff to show but I left the items at work.  I was supposed to be doing some project photography this weekend and totally forgot to bring the quilts home.  Oh well - more time for sewing!

On that note, I'm out of here.  Wait a minute, I thought I saw Lexi at the computer. Oh yes - I see she did post this morning. That dog!  She and her sister, Murphy are two big trouble makers.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, June 23, 2017

When it rains, it pours!

That seems to be the way it is around here these days.  We've had a lot of rain.  A LOT.  This morning I'm getting ready to leave the gym and it's pouring. Not just raining - no it's pouring BUCKETS.  All the sane people are waiting for it to subside a bit. Me?  No I plunge into the rain and run for the car. In seconds, I was soaked. No worries, I'm dry now except for my sandals. I do have another pair of shoes in the car so I could get them.  Parts of my sweater and T-shirt are still wet.

I'm a slug!  It would appear that if there isn't an immediate deadline, I don't do anything!  Well maybe it's because I pushed so hard the last couple of weeks that without a deadline - I'm a slug. I don't know, but I did do some work on the project that is due next week. Fortunately it's not a complicated one and not super big. 

But I'm puttering!   I should be producing copious amounts of work!  However I did get some cutting done and I'm picking fabrics for one more project!  Fun and games!

Before I show you my third Trend-Tex challenge, I want to share something. I'm not referring to one specific situation, but over the past couple of days, I've seen negative comments on Facebook, people sending hurtful e-mails or voice mails.  People people people!   Remember what our mothers told us???  If you don't have anything good to say - don't say anything!  It greatly affects the recipient. I have no problem with people providing feedback - that is how we grow, but there is a way to say it so the recipient doesn't get scarred for life. Instead of lashing out - why not take a walk around the block, deep breath, write a note and then trash it!   It's amazing how those negative moments get embedded in our brains, yet the positive ones don't seem to stick around. Why is that?

And that's why I ran out into the rain this morning!  We only have one life to live and I want to remember the fond memories and what better memory than running in the rain. That was way more exciting and a better story than saying I waited in the lobby!

Enough of that doom and gloom!  

Here is my third challenge piece that I purchased.  It's brilliantly designed. Very creative use of the fabrics and I'm thrilled to own this one as well.  It caught my eye right away. 

60 Years of Canada  -  Sarah Crutcher

I need to get busy and sort out the huge mess that is called my studio. After all those lectures and what not, there are quilt tops strewn everywhere. Quilts are everywhere.  I have a plan on how to store them - I just need a bit of time to make that happen.

Anyway - here's to hoping the rain stays away for a bit as I have to retrieve one more bag from the car!

Have a super day!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

I'll trip you!

The days are shooting by faster than I can keep track of.  It was so nice to go home last night (when I finally did make it home) and have NOTHING to do. Well, you know what I mean - nothing URGENT to do.  

I did tidy up a teeny bit and then decided to go outside to read and enjoy the longest day of the year. Well, I think Lexi and Murphy will have something to say about my shortened stay outside. Let's just say that those two dogs are ATTENTION seekers.  It was worse than being in a kindergarten class on a sugar high.  All I can say is those dogs are attention seekers. 

I'm picking fabrics for my next project and well - I have zero qualms about starting something new. I just can't help it, although I did get one "old" project pinned back on the wall that needs the borders put on. I can't seem to find the rest of the fabric although I didn't search very hard. 

There is some mad planning going on behind the scenes and let's just say that I've some very conspiring friends. One of them I'd like to hire as an assistant. She's meticulous about details!  How to slip more suggestions past her and then take advantage?  Oh Laura........  I need help!   I'll be sharing the details of that conspiracy in the next couple of weeks!

Also trying to get some stuff organised for the upcoming retreat.  I know - I can't wait!!!  So much to choose from - what to take?  I know - look at the priority list, but some of the projects are not the kind of thing to work on at a retreat. 

So as promised, I'm posting a photo of another challenge piece that I acquired at Quilt Canada. This is part of the Trend-Tex challenge.  I had a quick peek around the room and picked some that I liked. I put my bid on a few. When I went back to check on the status, I was outbid on several. Hmm - that's OK - I can live without that one or this one. BUT there was one that I was outbid on that I really really wanted. I looked at who outbid me. Hmm - that Peggy!  I like Peggy, but I don't think Peggy needs this quilt even if we both know the quilter. Hey - I used to live in Quebec and went to many sugar parties!  So I outbid her. 

We're standing around waiting for the bidding to close and guess who walks in?  Yep - that would be Peggy!  "Why - hello Peggy!" I said sweet as sugar pie!  "What are you doing here?"  I told her I would trip her in the rush to the bidding sheet if need be. I was kidding!  I wouldn't really have done that - well I don't think I would have.  But Peggy kindly let me have the piece as she was already the top bidder on another one.  Thanks Peggy - I really appreciate that. I even offered to share it with her - she could hang it for six months and I could hang it for six months. I tried to be nice!

Anyway - here is the piece. It was made by a fellow guild member, Tish.  Tish -- so super creative.  I love it and who would have thought you could create this from the five challenge fabrics!!!!  Brilliant and I'm so excited to have this in my challenge collection. 

Maple Syrup Zakka Style  - Tish Leupen

By the way, I forgot to mention that the piece from yesterday - Canadian Comfort - the Tim's cup - that won THIRD place!!!   There was one other one that I really wanted, but I already had another outstanding bid.    I'll post the last one tomorrow.

And on that note, I'm off to get some work done.  I'm behind - tons to write, tons of e-mail to work out and a teeny bit of sewing today. Then tonight, it's cut cut cut and onto the next project for the June 30 deadline.

Oh yes - I did get some prep work on my February project for The Task Master.  A tad behind, but I've every intention of getting caught up!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Canadian Comfort!

What can I say! I can actually see outside the tunnel. The light is blinding!  I'm almost done (for now!).   I got the last magazine quilt quilted last night. I made the binding and sewed it on the back. I need to sew it onto the front this morning. The sleeve is made and I'll hand stitch that down in a meeting I have today. Then it's off. The pattern is written and sent. I just have to do some blah blah blah about the fabric collection. 

Yahoo!!!!  But WAIT!  If you think I'm home free, nope - I see another tunnel looming and the next deadline for a quilt to be in the US is June 30!!!   But that is 9 days away.  Nine days is a huge amount of time to make a quilt. 

I've started to write out my list of deadlines - there are SEVEN deadline quilts between now and September 1.  Seven!   How that happened, I've no idea. But it just does and I'm getting into design mode so there will be more (hopefully!)

I wanted to share two very Canadian things with you. When I was at Quilt Canada, I saw the Trend-Tex challenge. This is a challenge that has been sponsored by Trend-Tex for many years - I want to say about thirty. Anyway, it's been a long time. 

I have been lucky enough to purchase two challenges in the past. I'll share them one day - I think I've already shared them at some time. This year, I had almost forgotten about the Trend-Tex challenge until the last day. I popped in early on the last day to have a look and I couldn't find the light switch in the room.  DRAT!   But I did get in there before the bidding closed. 

There were MANY that I wanted, but not wanting to be crazy, I bid on several. I was outbid on some, but there were TWO in particular that I really really wanted. I'll tell you the story about the other one tomorrow. 

When I saw this one, I knew that I wanted it.  It's a very clever way to use up the five fabrics that were in the challenge kit. Pop on over to the CQA challenge page to see all the quilts and the fabrics that were in the kit. This little quilt is #44 on their page. 

Canadian Comfort by Jodie Matte
Isn't is just the cutest thing ever!!!!   And so me!!!  I know that I can't help myself - if I don't have that large steeped tea, black with two sugar in the morning - I'm grumpy!  It truly is my morning comfort!   I'm very excited to be the proud owner of this little quilt.  Thanks to Jodie for the great idea and it will travel with me when I do my lecture on challenge quilts!

The second thing that I saw at Quilt Canada that I HAD to have was this license plate.

Row by Row license plate

I do not need more license plates, but I WANT more license plates! And when I saw this one, I knew it was going to end up in my collection.  I'm not sure how many they brought to the show, but at one point I walked by and didn't see any hanging. I asked and there were only a few left. It's very hard when you walk the show in the morning and no one is around to buy things from!

That gives me TWO license plates for this year.  I have noticed on the Row by Row pages, that license plates are NOT as common as they once were. No worries - I don't need more.  I hope to do TWO full days of Row by Row this year.  Not saying a word, but my conspirators already know who they are.  Matter of fact, I hear they did a TON of research into one of our days.  Game on - I'm ready!!!

Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions about creating a prioritising system.  I'll look into the options and I do like what I found. The question is - will it work for me?  It's all a learning experience!

On that note, I'd better get that darn binding on!

Have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We've got company!

Thanks to those of you who suggested different ways of working on that deadline list of mine.  Super super suggestions.  And why didn't I think of those?   Anyway, I did a little digging and well - you have to wait until next week. That gives me ONE week to test my theory. 

I mentioned that I had company coming on the weekend. Yes - on top of all the work that I had to do - I had a guest coming. She promised to be no trouble and I was really hoping that she would help out. Why don't you take a peek and see what happened. 

Welcome to the studio - MRS. BOBBINS!!!!!

Mrs. Bobbins has arrived
 By the way, she is pretty vocal.  She surveyed the mess and well, I just tuned her out after the first five minutes!

I was really really hoping that I could put Mrs. Bobbins to work. But we seemed to have a problem.

Too short for the cutting mat

Hmmm - ironing could be a  challenge as well

Hmmm - sewing might not work either

I don't think working on the long-arm is going to work out either

Wait a minute, there's one thing that Mrs. Bobbins is good at and her stance says it all. I gave her my Task Master to look at and she hopped right up on the chair and had a good peek. She was really really good at this job.

Checking out the Task Master

I needed a break and so did Mrs. Bobbins so we shared a cup of tea and had a good chat!  Mrs. Bobbins is very good at chatting.

Mrs. Bobbins having tea

And before I knew it, the day was over and Mrs. Bobbins had to leave. But wait, she didn't go far. Mrs. Bobbins is now standing guard outside my office door.  She knows that I have a lot of work to do so NO ONE is allowed in unless they pass by her first. I think Mrs. Bobbins would have been a good drill sergeant in the army!

I'm happy to say that one quilt is gone by FedEx yesterday. The top of the other one is done. I just could not quilt it last night, but so nice to work this morning and NO pressure.  I can't wait to get my little system organised and see how it works.

Have a super day!!!


(for those of you who did NOT attend Quilt Canada, Mrs. Bobbins was in the Northcott booth.  She is the face of the Trans-Canada Block Party and is currently visiting participating quilt shops all over Canada.  If you check out the Facebook page, you can see where she's been.  There's an exciting contest going on with the blocks and the grand prize is a Bernina sewing machine worth a LOT of money.   Check out the rules.  You just need SIX blocks to participate.  Can't get to six shops that carry a block?  That's where Facebook and your friends come in handy.  Get them to help you out!  I know that I'll be calling on a few to get me a few blocks that I want.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Motivational Monday - Progress report

Oh gosh!  I feel like I ran five ultra (50K) marathons yesterday.  BUT the quilt is done - except for the binding which I'm going to do before lunch today and get in a FedEx box before the end of the day.

I had to make 16 more flying geese units, assemble the 18 blocks, sew the sashing between the blocks (the quilt is on-point) and then the borders. Oh yes, the borders.  I said there were three borders, but NO - there were FOUR borders and two of them were mitered!!!!   Good grief, I'm my own worst enemy to say the least!

Made the backing and got the quilt loaded. Picked out an overall design and away I went.  The quilt came off the machine, I prepped stuff for this morning and then I went to bed. It was 8:30 PM.  Not to sleep, but just to relax!

Eleanor Burns would be proud of me - Quilt in a Day!

So here's the thing that's missing from my Task Master. It's not that I'm not getting things done. I'm getting loads done. It's not that I'm not aware of those twelve projects because I'm reminded of them all the time. My biggest issue is deadlines. I don't pay attention to them. I don't have a master list of project deadlines and so when something new comes in - I say YES and then get into a time management issue.

I'm not sure what is the best way to deal with this, but I'm going to start by taking a small notebook and allotting ONE page for each project. I'll put the name of the project, the DEADLINE and what is required to complete the project. The projects will be in order of the deadline in the book.  Someone I met over the weekend, keeps her stuff on small pieces of paper (so they can be shuffled) and they were attached with a big binder clip. Something to think about!

On each page, I can list what needs to be done: design the project, get the fabric or whatever else is necessary BEFORE the sewing starts. These deadline projects need to take priority over the regular stuff and I will need to review this list of projects every week when I set my goals for the week. I need also to review the list BEFORE I commit to something else.

I also need to make a list of documents/patterns/articles that need to be written. Those also have deadlines and until I start getting ahead of the game, I'll always be behind the eight ball. I don't like to be behind the eight ball so this is my way of trying to get ahead of the game.

I have one more quilt that is urgently needed and hope to be finished by tonight. THEN I will work on setting up this list, setting my goals for the week in The Task Master and moving forward, hopefully in a much more calm fashion.

The only problem I see with this is that the more time I give myself, the more you mess around and the more time you waste.  So there has to be a happy medium in there!!

On that note, I'm out of here to get binding on a quilt and see what excitement awaits in my e-mail.  I'll report on my deadline list next week.

Have a super day!


Sunday, June 18, 2017


I want to start by thanking EVERYONE who stopped by the Northcott booth to say hi. There were so many people that I haven't seen in a while because of my day job and no longer able to teach as much as I used to.  It was like old times and lots of news to catch up!  The hugs were great and I miss you all!!!     Don't forget to send pictures of your work and I'd be happy to post them on my blog for you!

I also want to thank everyone who attended my lectures and class.  Without you all, I wouldn't be able to do what I love. And that is to share my love of quilting. I also thank you all for the hints, tips and suggestions. There were so many and I think I get more from these lectures that you do! I'm just happy it's a two way street. We're quilters - we were born to share!

Now that Quilt Canada is over, it's time to buckle down and get some stuff done! I know - that's absolutely ridiculous to say since I've been burning the candle at both ends - nope - probably best to say that my candle is totaly engulfed in flames!

But there are two things that need to be done URGENTLY.  Two quilts that were promised to magazines for Friday last week. Those are what I'm working on today. And once those are done, I hope to have a little visit with my Task Master. I'll be recapping what the Task Master is all about in tomorrow's post (don't forget - don't forget!) and I'll going to show you what I'm going to do moving forward to prevent situations like what just happened!  I've got a new set of rules!  They most likely only apply to me - but you might get an idea or two.

I made good progress so far this morning and if all goes well, one of the tops could be done by lunch?  Given the fact that there are three borders on the quilt and we all know that each border usually takes one hour - at least, I don't think lunch time is a good target.  2 or 3 PM might be more realistic.

It looks like a rainy day out there so it's a perfect day to stay inside and sew.

Someone offered to come over and help later and I hope they show up. I'll be putting them to work the moment they arrive.  If they show up, I'll share what I have in mind for them to do later this week.

On that note, I'm out of here. I miscalculated the number of flying geese I need and they are prepped and ready to sew together using Deb Tucker's Wing Clipper of course!

And did you see the final total of the number of quilts received by Quilt Canada for the Ronald McDonald houses???   I can't find the specific number at this time, but it's OVER 2,600.  Yes - that is incredible.  I'll chat more on that another day.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Quilt Canada - Day Three

I think this was a first for me, but the third day seemed to be way busier or as busy as the previous two days. How did that happen?  It's actually exciting - some of those people have multi-day passes (it's so worth it as there is much to see and hard to get done in one day!). But exciting to see so many people out.  Today is the last day!  This is the last day of trade shows for a couple of months!  Isn't that exciting!  Maybe not to you, but it is to me. I won't have any mad sewing (well still have four magazine quilts, but they have spaced out deadlines which I'm going to be working ahead of) and more blogging with QuiltSocial, but I'm going to be spending my weekends doing fun stuff. And I hear there is a retreat coming up real soon. I'm already planning what to pack. Do I dare restrict myself to one laundry basket?  Oh that's just silly! Load the car!

I think what I'm going to do is take ONE day this coming week. It's going to be a planning day. Planning for work - what needs to be done, (i.e. what patterns need to be written), how to be more efficient at how those patterns get written, future designs and figure out numbers/goals/objectives for that kind of stuff. I also have a ton of videos that I want to get produced. So far I've been working by the seat of my pants and I'm not happy with the results. NO - that's not right - I'm happy with the results, but not happy with the process - that's probably a better way of putting it.

So I'm going to sequester myself in my office or at home and figure out how to move forward in the most time-efficient manner. And I really need to look at that calendar of mine and make sure that everything is scheduled.  Speaking of scheduling - can you believe what I did?  So in years past and well most situations in my life - it appears that I'm a last minute girl. Not sure why - but that's me. So I thought I would be ahead of the game and I would do my stuff with Quilts at the Creek.  Remember I mentioned that the other day?  So the quilts are entered and I signed up for the workshops. I was chatting with the ladies from the Quilts at the Creek show and Val says, there is some bad news. Oh god - what did I do?  Well, it appears that I was even more efficient than I thought and I signed up for the same lecture and workshop TWICE!!!   See what happens when you do things so far in advance?  You forget you did them. No worries  - all is good, but we got a good laugh over that one.

I also need to sit down with that Task Master of mine. There are two things I need to do.  What is the list of critical quilts with deadlines?  List those with the deadline. Then work backwards to make sure that they will in fact get done on time. And I need to absolutely, positively be diligent about keeping that list up-to-date. No ifs, no ands, no buts. That will become a crucial part of my planning going forward.  Remember my motto - Prioritize - Focus - Win?  Well, I'm good at focusing, just not so good at prioritizing and if it isn't written down, it's not on my radar screen.

More wheeling and dealing at Quilt Canada yesterday.  I have to say that I'm pretty excited about some upcoming stuff and can't wait to get started.

I also had a peek at what was happening at Canada's Big Quilt Bee. Jackie gave me a tour towards the end of the day.  All I can say is that I had to pick my jaw off the floor. They have four long arms in those rooms, they have sewing machines and everyone was quilting quilts!   The sheer number of blocks and tops (didn't I predict that a couple of weeks ago?)  is unbelieveable.  I did take some pictures.

Blocks, tops and quilts

These are ALL tops that need quilting!

Busy bees!

They'll be doing the final tally later today, but the project will NOT be wrapped up for a while.  All those tops and blocks have to be finished.

It's too bad that more people didn't provide finished tops.  How many of us are sitting on stacks of fabric that could be donated for those backings?  It would have been a great way to get rid of some of that stuff!

I think I have 8 more quilts to quilt and then I'll be done with our part. Someone will bind and we can move on with a clear conscience.

I've learned over the years that "be careful what you wish for" because often times - it will come true!  And in ways that you had never imagined.  I think that is what happened with this Quilt Bee.  What I would like to see is more people pitch in to help finish this project. I'm not aware of how it's all working, but this is huge and the last thing we want is for these quilt tops/blocks to end up in someone's basement!  I'm pretty sure that won't happen, but there is a HUGE amount of work to be done!

They have reached their goal of 1,000 quilts.  What will the final tally be?  I predicted 1,500 on my blog.  But - well - I'm going to leave that thought hanging until they do the final tally!

Now how can we keep this generousity from our quilters/guilds going through the coming year? How can we keep this exciting momentum from Quilt Canada? Oh - if only I could wave my magic wand and all would be done!

Before I forget, I taught an all day class on perfecting the hand applique stitch. The ladies were from all over - Sudbury, Powassan (do you know where that is?), near London, Ontario, Ottawa and Montreal and even Chicago. What a fun group and we all learned some cool things.  I'm going to be showing some of the things that I learned from them later this week. I LOVE when I learn from the group and I saw some exciting things. Thanks to all of you  - it was a great day!

On that note, I'm going to get to the show early. I've not really seen any of the quilts and I need to do that. The show closes at 4 today and once our booth is down, I'm going to stay and help pack up the show quilts.  Then home for a rest because tomorrow is a heavy sewing/quilting day and no time for dilly dallying!

Have a super day!!!


Again - thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth yesterday.  So nice to see you all.  I have one last lecture this morning untiil 11 and then I'm around for the rest of the day. I'm the one with the Canada flags on my head!

Friday, June 16, 2017

A fun day at Quilt Canada

Yesterday was a crazy busy day.  I was in the booth for pretty much the entire day. A few quick trips out to see someone and back in the booth to help out. We saw a LOT of people yesterday. I also did a lot of wheeling and dealing and networking right in the booth. It was super exciting and I've a long list of things to do when I get back to the office. All of them are exciting, none of them require making a quilt (yeah!).

It was so great to see so many people. And because of my work schedule, I don't get to the CreativFestival where I usually see so many so it was great to see everyone yesterday - even if it was for a brief hello. I'm suspecting that today and especially tomorrow are going to be much quieter. You never know with trade shows. But I've never seen the last day of the show very busy.

I did manage (on our way out) to sneak through the Juried show. WOW - some amazing pieces of work. I hope later today or more likely tomorrow to have a better look. I did get to the show very early yesterday and that is where I got the bulk of my look around. I also zipped through the vendor mall to see if there was anything that I would like.  I did see two things and as I was flying by later in the day to get something, I managed to pay for both items. There is one more thing that I would like to buy and then - well - I'll see.

But here is the quilt that I worked so hard on just before the show.

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Coast to Coast to Coast

I used all thirteen provicianl panels from the Northcott Sesquecentennial collection.  I wasn't sure that I was going to make it a pattern. I really designed it one afternoon on a comment in the office. There was some discussion (I don't even remember if it was a customer or one of our staff) who said - what can you do with all those panels? You can't make one quilt out of them.  GAME ON!  I sat down with my EQ7 and designed the quilt.  I sliced and diced those panels (electronically) and created the design. It's actually very simple. I'll be putting together some ideas of what to do with the leftover bits from the panels.

Well someone accidentally put on the label that there would be a free download pattern.  And before the first day was out, I knew of THREE people who had already purchased all thirteen panels in order to make the quilt.  And there was a lady running around yesterday trying to buy her fabric, getting guesstimates of the yardages. It was pretty funny (and a tad exciting too).

I heard from someone saying what are we going to do with all these sesquicentennial quilts once this year is over?  Seriously????  Are we not PROUD Canadians?  Why wouldn't I want to hang this quilt in my office or my home next year or the year after?  I'm still going to be a PROUD Canadian then.  I've travelled to all provinces and one of the territories (by various modes of transportion, including my bike).  I will be proud to hang this for the next 50 years, although I kind of doubt that I'll be around in 50 years for the 200th birthday. But my DAUGHTER will be and she better be hanging this quilt and saying how proud she is of her Mom to have made this quilt.    Just saying M - you better not give this one away when I'm gone!

So guess what I'll be doing on Monday. I'll be writing the pattern.  The quilt is already booked for its first visit to a quilt shop. If you are a shop owner and want to borrow it - well, we can work someting out.

On that note, I'm out of here.  I've got an all day class on perfecting the hand applique stitch. It's going to be such a calm quiet day, I hope I keep awake!  I'll be back in the booth around 4:30. Just in time to end the day.

Have a great day!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

I made it!!!!

I can't believe that that crazy day is done!  I got everything packed in the car - it was overflowing.  I had not one, but TWO lectures and different stuff for both of them - of course.

But wait - I was up early in the morning (that seems so long ago!). The binding got put on the quilt and it looks great. The little 3-D item got completed and the cushion cover is done!  I completely forgot to take pictures of everything yesterday - I'll take pictures today and try to post some on Facebook during the day.   What a relief to get all that done - there is one more quilt to be quilted, but they hung it up without it being quilted and you know - it doesn't look half bad!  I'll finish it later.  That leaves only the tote bag and if it gets done, great. If not, no big deal.  I'll work on it tonight - maybe!

The first lecture on Modern quilting was VERY interesting and I have to say that I got as much out of the lecture as the audience did.  There were a lot of very smart people in attendance - very passionate people about our industry and they all brought a lot to the table. Thoughtful questions and suggestions.  I'm going to take a few of them and use them in the coming year at our guild. Lots of photos were snapped and I was thrilled with the lecture.  Many people came and told me how happy they were and that makes me very happy!

I loaded everything back into the car and then into the booth where I was the spin master with our spin wheel for a couple of hours until it was time to do the next lecture which was on panels.  I love doing this lecture. There's so much to see and so much to do with panels - well, I could go on and on for days!  Some things didn't get done in time, but they will be worked on - maybe at the retreat so I can have new stuff for the next panel lecture whenever that will be.  Someone commented that I always had new stuff to show - yep - that's why I'm so silly busy.  But I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing it all.   The cameras were out in full force so that was a good thing and I forgot to take a picture of the quilt that I made with the panels for the booth, but I already know THREE people who purchased panels to make the quilt.  Yikes - guess I'll be writing that pattern.  Today  - I take pictures.

And there were a number of people that signed up for ALL my lectures.  I love you ALL.  I so appreciate the support of all of you.  And while I love sewing and creating, there isn't anything that I love more than sharing ideas with all of you. Thank you so much - your kindness, support is very much appreciated.

Quilt Canada was busy and I heard that there are TWELVE buses coming today!   That is a good thing - but we will be busy!!!   I have no commitments today - except being at the wheel or in the booth. I can deal with that - a calm day!

When I got home last night, we went out for dinner and then I did nothing. Well I did check a couple of e-mails, but that was it. I've mostly unpacked the car except for the giant suitcase which I'll do tonight. Stuff has to be put away. It's all in piles in the studio as I unpacked and sorted. And I MUST MUST get some of these quilts finished. Like sleeves (if necessary) and labels.  So much is not done. That will be my goal in this period of calm.  BUT wait - there are still those two magazine quilts to be done. I'm begging for an extension until Tuesday - they can easily be done by Tuesday. Well Monday so they can be shipped and arrive on Tuesday.

And I got a laugh when I looked at Facebook last night.  There was an intruder in my office.

Paul - get to work!

There is Paul sitting in my messy office!   We had to move everything for carpet cleaning and there is stuff everywhere!  Well, it's actually pretty clean - the floor usually has more stuff on it.  Unfortunately, he didn't write any patterns while he was there!  I fired him!

On that note, I'm going to get to the show early so I can have a look around and chat to people.  Oh my - it's like school reunion.  So many people, so many connections to be made or renewed or strengthened.  I could spend the entire time networking, but I must be in the booth working. So if you're around - stop by, wave and say HI.  I'm the one with the Canada Flag head band!  

Have a great day!!!