Saturday, September 30, 2017

A challenge is a good thing!

Over the years, I've participated in a number of quilt challenges.  I've never won and I'm OK with that. I know why I don't win - I don't take the time that's necessary to create a winning piece. That doesn't mean it's not worth it to do the challenges. I learn so much from them as it's always a great place to try a new technique or style.

So, there is the Cherrywood Challenge.  This is the third challenge that they've done. The first year, they had a bundle of their hand-dyed fabric in greens (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). The theme was Wicked. I first became aware of this challenge when I saw some of the quilts displayed at their booth in Houston. Here's a link to the Wicked challenge on the Cherrywood website.

The next year, the theme was The Lion King and the hand-dyed fabrics were golds (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). I saw this show in Houston last year and I was blown away. It was the MOST SPECTACULAR show of quilts that I've ever seen.  I was blown away!!!!   I've put the link above so you can check out some of the quilts.

All the quilts are 20" by 20".  You can order a book of the top quilts. There are posters, etc.

The theme last year was Van Gogh and the fabrics were blues (3 FQ) and a black (1 FQ). I should say that it's not cheap to get involved in this challenge.  The bundle of four FQs is $45 US.  But I had purchased The Lion King bundle (did nothing with it) and so I bought the Van Gogh bundle. I had spoken to the owner of the company at one show and she had indicated that there were 303 entries in The Lion King.

I figured why not make a challenge piece? And I could use The Lion  King Bundle with the Van Gogh bundle.

Yep - so there I am, a few days BEFORE the August 1st deadline, madly working on the piece. I knew there wasn't enough time to make a winning design, but I wanted to make something and I wanted the experience. What did I learn?   I didn't have nearly enough fabric and you can only use Cherrywood.  Turns out a quilt shop near Shelly sells Cherrywood and she was able to get me a few extra pieces so that helped but it still wasn't enough. The idea came to me while I was quilting on the long arm one day.  A wee bit of research and I was good.

What did I create???   Here's my piece.  I portrayed a quote by Vincent Van Gogh and I tried to use his style of painting (in a VERY simplistic style).  My problem was I did NOT have nearly enough fabric to make the pieces tiny like actual brush strokes.  That is the "live and learn" part!

Challenge piece for the Cherrywood Van Gogh competition


I used the snippets technique and this piece is stiff!!!  Then I threw it on the long arm and had a lot of fun with a colored thread on the back.  Oh - I want to do more of that!

Detail of the quilting

Now there is a LOT of good news to this story.  By the way, I should say that they received 465 entries this year!   They will be showcasing the quilts at Houston next month and because they had so many entries, they have a created a second show both of which will travel to different locations around the world.

SO -- you MUST MUST MUST mark on your calendars the dates of Nov 30 - Dec 2 because one of the shows will be on display at The Cotton Harvest in Seaforth, Ontario.   This is the PREMIER show - at least it's the one that will be in Houston so it has the top winners.   It will be so worth going there.  I'll see the show in Houston so I won't need to go.  HOWEVER, there's going to be a challenge for 2018 - the theme hasn't been announced yet. I did notice that you could buy 1/2 yard cuts (instead of the FQs) which is an excellent idea in the event you are thinking of entering this challenge.  I think I may be taking a trip to Seaforth just to get MORE Cherrywood so when I do work on the 2018 piece, I'll have LOTS of fabric to work with. The new challenge will be introduced on November 1 (in Houston).  I wonder if the Seaforth store will be selling kits????  If they are NOT, they should.  Shelly - it's your job to find out!

I see the second show will be at Grand Rapids, Michigan at the AQS show  (August 22 - 25, 2018).  Might be worth a drive to that one. Ah - road trip buddies?  Are you in?   And of course, I'll get the book as I did with the last two challenges.

The moral of the story is - don't be afraid to enter a challenge even if you know you won't win. Did you notice the difference in the level of detail in the winning pieces and mine?  Pretty different, but I learned so much from making my piece and it made (and makes) me happy so it was a success to me. However two things going forward - allow some time way in advance of the deadline to work out the details of the design, style, and technique. Then if you're missing fabric - get loads of it!   Like I said, I couldn't use anything but Cherrywood and no place close to me!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, September 29, 2017

A wee bit frazzled

Let's just say that yesterday was one of those days where nothing goes right. No that's not quite right, but what was supposed to be a quiet, productive day literally turned into a circus!

I was supposed to be working from home. I do that occasionally if I have some serious writing to do which I did. But I was mostly working from home because someone had a quilt that was work related and they were using my long arm. They used to have a long arm just like mine so I knew they wouldn't need a lot of hand holding. However it's just one more distraction in the day as you chat with them from time to time. 

The landscape guy was also here to clean up the yard before the fall.  Shoot - I should take pictures as it looks pretty awesome!  But when DH left, he left the dogs in the backyard with instructions to get me to bring them into the house when he needed to leave the gate open. You know where this is going - right?  Then the cleaning lady showed up - I had forgotten she was coming. So there was a LOT of commotion happening in and out of the house because don't forget, Lexi and Murphy are here! 

Next thing I know, I hear the landscape guy and the cleaning lady calling Lexi and yep - she slipped past the guy when he opened the gate. Poor Sharon on the long arm was left to fend for herself as I grabbed Lexi's leash and proceeded to get out into the forest. Then I came back to put on running shoes and to put Murphy in the house as she wasn't happy and I didn't want to encourage her to jump the fence. 

No luck on finding Lexi but I ran into my neighbour who was walking her dog in the forest and I asked if she had seen her. Nope!

Back to the house. Lexi has my phone number and our address on her tags so hopefully someone will find her. I mean - I can't wander the forest all day - I have work to do. Murphy was pretty quiet - where's my sister?

Lexi wrote her side of the story because she thinks I will misrepresent her!

Then about three hours later, my cell phone rings and of all the people to call me, but it's Rhonda - my neighbour that I ran into earlier. Her gate was open because she was having some work done on the house and Miss Lexi poked her head in to check it out.  That was a most bizarre coicidence.  So I marched down the street with the leash and harness to bring the escapee home. 

Everyone was happy that Lexi was found and now I could seriously get back to my day.  I did manage to get over 15,000 FitBit steps yesterday. Something that I haven't done in a long time!

Everyone was gone by 3 PM. I did get some work done but it was a stupid day.  Hopefully, one not to be repeated in a LONG LONG time. 

Have a great day!!!!


Thursday, September 28, 2017

UFO update

I should leave this for a Motivational Monday post, but I'm going to share it this morning.

I'm making progress on my March UFO. This was a project that I started years ago!  I somehow acquired a whole whack of this fabric collection and had the BRILLIANT idea to make THREE quilts from what I had bought.  One quilt is completely done and was given away years ago.  Number two is together, but it needs borders. Number three (the most complicated) had been languishing forever. Now here's the stupid thing - I believe that only one or two blocks were actually made!   That's enough for me to call it a UFO and needs to get done.  I really really must STOP doing that.

As I've been sewing on other projects, I've been using this as my ender and leader and well - there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Have a peek.

I'm not sure how many 6" (finished) blocks there are, but there are a lot.

Current status of the blocks
 I had a few spare minutes the other day and so I pressed the latest piece that had been sewn on.  As I was pressing, I came across ONE block that I had missed sewing on that last piece.  Now how did that happen?

Ooops - missing the latest piece!
Then I had a few more minutes where I prepped the next section that has to be sewed on.  YES - there are a bunch of little squares that need to be marked and sewn onto the long strip.

Next pieces are prepped

Here's one of the sections that was already sewn.

Last section to be sewn on

And this is what the completed block looks like. I haven't sewn that last piece on, but I think you get the picture.
Final block

Once all the blocks are complete, then I have to put them on the design wall to see what I get. I think it'll be an interesting quilt and I'm glad that I persevered.  Then I have to figure out borders for this one and the other one (or not). Make bindings and backing and then I'll be done.  So yes, I'm getting close and I have a TON of sewing to do in the next while so this is good to use as an ender and leader.  I think I'll be taking some days off (that I'm owed) between now and the end of the year (well, after we're back from Market) and I'll be focusing on those other projects.  Yes - there is time to get the rest done!    It's all a matter of prioritizing and focus!!!

I didn't get any sewing done last night as I had an article to finish for a magazine. It was written, but I needed to edit it.  So that's done. Tonight will be sewing and maybe a wee bit more paperwork.

Oh yes - I had a dentist appointment yesterday afternoon. Yeah!  No cavities but god - they nag about flossing!  Well not in a bad way, but seriously, let's get over it!  I use those little pick things all the time and I still got the lecture!

And seriously?  How can we go from sweltering hot to freezing cold within 24 hours?  When I left the office yesterday, it was 24, but it felt significantly cooler and it was!  And now I get to wear my new grey hoodie from MSQC!

I see that Miss Lexi was on the computer this morning.  That girl!

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Professional packing!

I should become a professional packer!  I'm really really good at fitting things into my suitcase.  I didn't take a picture of my suitcase, but it is a regulation size carry-on and it's not super big. But I can pack a LOT of stuff in there. I've been known to go to a trade show with several big quilts in my suitcase AND my clothes. You see, then the quilts come home by another means and now there is room in there for fabric!

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but when we were at Missouri Star, our booths were open the SAME hours as the shops.  So unless we popped out for a few minutes, technically we didn't have time to shop!  

However, on the last day, the vendors were able to close down a wee bit early and so I "ran" to the shops to see how much damage could be done in a very short time. 

I managed to acquire a few things and at the end of it all, oops - but I qualified for ALL the free gifts. I think you had to spend $200 for that. 

What did I get for free?  I got this huge thread box. I knew that was the free gift as I had seen others walking around with it and Ronda had told me about it. Yes - it would have made sense if I had done that BEFORE they left in the van, but it wasn't meant to be.  So there I was with this big thread box.  There are goodies inside it which I'll show you another day. 

We just shoved all our bags into the car when leaving MSQC as I decided to pack properly when we got to the hotel.  I had the thread box, and two other shopping bags as well as my suitcase and backpack. I managed to cram - I mean to carefully pack it all into the suitcase once we arrived at the hotel. 

Here's the thread box.  See how big that is!!

Thread box
I opened the thread box and carefully packed ALL the small items that I had acquired.  All the bits and bobs, charm packs - all went in here.

I have two support poles on the inside bottom of my suitcase where the extendable handle retracts. There's a LOT of valuable real estate between those poles.  I carefully rolled each item of clothing and lovingly stowed the smaller items like T-shirts between the poles. I think I got all my tops packed that way. Then the thread box went right in the middle and let's just say that there wasn't too much room on each side or at the one end.

But I managed to get all this in on top of the thread box.

Layer cakes and magazines that got packed as well. 
Don't you just love that one on top!!!!!   Oh - I love the colors and I love words!!!

Let's not forget that I had a big tape gun that had to be packed as well. That also went into the suitcase at one end of the thread box.  Between those two items, that filled the length of the suitcase.

Tape gun was packed in the suitcase as well
In case you're wondering, I needed the tape gun so that I could close up the boxes that were being shipped back to the office.  And it's kind of hard to pack the tape gun once you've closed the boxes - if you know what I mean!!!

Here's a couple of bicycle fabrics that I found. These were packed in the thread box.

Bicycle fabric
I think it's about time to make another bicycle quilt!

Let's not forget that I picked up THREE license plates for Row by Row.  I wonder how many I have now??

License plates for Row by Row
These ones are all great and I can see another story coming to mind!!

The last time I was at MSQC, I had seen this small cutter and I meant to get one - I think it was the daily deal one day.  Of course, I forgot and so that was on my list of things to get this time.

Appli-cutter by Man Sewing

I think it will be very useful for cutting small patterns and applique. Can't wait to try it!!!

Of course, there is ZERO time to try new stuff.  I'm sewing up a storm. The one quilt on the design wall is almost together.  About 2 hours and it will be done including the backing and binding. I went "shopping" in the warehouse and got the fabric to remake that other quilt and I got everything I need to get these three out the door by next Monday.  It's going to be an intense couple of days, but I'm super excited because all three quilts are very cool - I LOVE the fabrics and NO - it's not Stroke of Brilliance - it's not my normal colors at all, but the theme is cool.  Remember how muted modern fabrics are!

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Motivational Monday - on Tuesday - AGAIN!

I was so out of the loop yesterday that I didn't even remember about Motivational Monday! 

Not such a big deal since I can't show you what I'm working on!

I've almost one half of one quilt sewn together. That's the one with the pieces already cut and the blocks completed.  It won't take long to get that one done and then to be quilted. A job for the weekend. 

The second quilt - well there was an issue with it. I should have contacted the editor but I didn't. I thought I could "fix" it, but NO.  I don't like it.  Based on that, I thought this quote from my calendar was appropriate. 

Scrapping Plan A

I'm still waiting for a response, but it may involve remaking the top. Thankfully, it's a quick one and not too big so redoing the top won't be an issue.

The fabric for the third quilt was sitting on my desk when I got in yesterday morning. And it looks awesome. One of my favorite collections. It's on the Northcott webpage, but I'm not even going to share that with you!   Perhaps you can pop over to the "Coming Soon" and try to guess which collection has me super excited.

I managed to get part of it cut and the blocks partially made and then I remembered that I need some other fabrics from the warehouse. It's on my "shopping list" for today.   I also forgot to get backing for all of the others so that's on the list today as well.

And I finished the quilt that was on the long arm.   Yeah - it was a big one.  Just needs to be trimmed, but it won't be delivered until Monday so there is time!

Customer quilt - done!
I'm not behind on what I need to get done for work. There's just a lot to be done.  I'm behind on my personal projects. Way behind, but I'm OK with that.  I know that some of the group have been motoring along and finishing projects left and right.  If I only get three UFOs done this year, I'm OK.  Remember if Plan A doesn't work, move on to Plan B. And there's still lots of the year left!  As I've mentioned before, almost everything I started this year, I was able to complete and that's a HUGE success story for me!

Got to make it quick this morning as I'm trying to get caught up. As if that will ever happen!

Have a super day!!!


By the way, did you check out the rest of the QULTsocial blog posts from last week??  I forgot to include the links.  Here are all five of them in case you didn't get to them.    If you only read one post, read Wednesday because something very funny happened and guess who steals the show?

Monday - Essential tools for free motion quilting

Tuesday - The power of paper and a Sharpie to improve your free motion

Wednesday - How to choose the right thread for free motion quilting

Thursday - Essential tips for free motion quilting

Friday --  Some tips on Stitch in the ditch

Monday, September 25, 2017

The long way home

I'm home!  Back to reality.

I wasn't too impressed, although I knew that it was as hot here as it was back in Missouri.  What's with the weather?  This is the end of September.  Fortunately we were on an airplane or out of the sun in the airport which was air conditioned. Ronda and Laura were sweltering in the car even with the air conditioning on.

Des Moines is a fairly small airport so we were good to get all of our stuff checked in.  I NEVER check luggage when I travel.  I carry a small suitcase and that works for me. So much so that I had to pack that thread box in there and a whole lot of fabric stuff, including what I had purchased when we were in Hannabal which I never even thought to give to Ronda to carry in the car!  I had to put the tape gun in there as well that we used to seal our boxes PLUS my clothes!   It all fit but it was a wee bit heavy.  Thankfully I had a tent that I had to bring home so I checked everything on the plane.  Let's not go there as to how that happened.

We were a few minutes late leaving Des Moines for a number of reasons but we made it to Chicago early. Now how did that happen?  Probably lots of fuel!

We had a two hour layover in Chicago and we didn't even get lost looking for our next gate. That is a huge airport!  I had to pack in such a hurry when I left that I forgot to pack my book that I was reading.

Now here's the funny thing about this book.  It's by Caleb Carr called the Alienist. We were chatting about books on the way to Missouir and Laura pipes up about this great book called the Alienist. I said I was just starting to read it. How bizarre was that?  And on the way home, they heard that there is a new TV series based on the book.  Now that's even more bizarre.  This obscure book written in 1994 that has been on my shelf forever and I choose NOW to read it!

So I'm waiting at the airport and after one hour, I decide that I need a book to read. I wander over to the bookstore and find what appeared to be an interestinng book.  I NEVER buy novels, but here I was about to shell out $16 US for a novel.  I know - it hurt but the book was worth it.  I bought "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena.  Oh boy - what a book.  This is this author's first novel and it's quite the book. I do believe she is Canadian.  All I can say is that I finished the 308 page book before I went to bed last night. I was exhausted and kept wanting to go to sleep but I couldn't - that says something for this book.

I will warn you  - the book is filled with plot twists and a very interesting - VERY interesting premise.  I really enjoyed it. Shari has a second book out and I guess I'm going to have to find it. Hopefully in the library!

So when I finally got home - after 4 PM by the time I collected my luggage, I spent the rest of the day reading instead of getting some quilting, cutting and other stuff done.

Well - it's short and sweet today - I've so much work over the next couple of weeks that I had better get myself organized and get to work!

Have a great day!


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Birthday Bash - Day Three

I don't have a lot of time this morning.  I don't think there is much left on the battery on my laptop and we have a plane to catch!

It was hot again yesterday and it seemed to be hotter than the previous days as there was less breeze. But we survived!

It was JC Penny days in Hamilton. JC Penny was born in Hamilton in case you didn't know and one of the MSQC shops is called Pennys and the original sign from the JC Penny storefront is in that shop on the wall.

The fire department was putting on a pancake breakfast as part of the JCPenny days. It was a couple of blocks away and so I slipped away for that. Let's just say that those firemen know how to cook sausages and pancakes!!!!

Let me set the record straight - I did this AFTER our booth was set up.  We were out there at 7 AM to get our booth set up as we had to take down and set up each day.  Not a huge thing but we had to lash our quilts to our tent so that took a wee bit more time.  Then Patti went to the grocery store and I went for pancakes!

The main street was closed in the downtown area and lots of local vendors brought out their wares. Let's not forget that we are in middle America and there was a fellow there with guns - right out in the open for sale.  Rifles - lots and lots of rifles!!   I was amazed but then there were a couple of people from New York and they were amazed as well so I guess it's a middle America thing!  Some very cute things but there was NO space to ship or bring anything home!

Lots more people today but like all events, the last day is always the quietest.  As a result, we shut the booths down at 3 PM which was good. We had to decide which items were being brought back to Toronto on the plane and which items would get shipped.

And then we had time to go shopping!  Yeah because there was no time when we were in the booth the entire day and for the same time frame that the shops were open.  Let's just say that a few items found their way into my shopping bag and at the end, I qualified for all the free items which included a big plastic thread box.   Hmm - I only have my small suitcase with me and our boxes are packed.  No worries - I'll find a way.

Oh - I should mention that we chatted about buying a rifle and we could put it in our tent bag to bring home!  We thought it might not be a good idea to try and smuggle a gun across the border since we do not have paperwork!

I just threw all my bags into the car and we headed out for Des Moines to the airport.  When we arrived at the hotel, I repacked my bags and I was able to fit EVERYTHING into my little suitcase and my backpack.  I'm a good packer and trust me - I have three pairs of shoes with me, pants AND shorts!

I can't wait to get home and fondle it all - there was no time for that here.

Then we were out to have some cool beverages and a nice dinner where I actually had to put my NEW sweatshirt on my shoulders because it was just cool in the restaurant - not freezing cold, but cool.

It's still hot here - stinking hot, but then I think it's stinking hot at home as well!

We had loads of fun but WAIT - before you get too jealous - just remember that the day started at 7 AM with setting up the booth and officially ended at 5:30 once our booth was packed up and we had to stand in the heat all day. Then in the evening, I was off to do something else for the charity bakeoff!  It was exhausting but loads of fun and just the kind of thing that I love to do!!

Now back to reality.  I won't get home until later this afternoon and I've got a ton of fabric that has to be cut for tomorrow morning.  Yeah me!!!

On that note, I've got a plane to catch!

Have a great day!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Birthday Bash - Day Two

Thank goodness Greek yogurt is thick cause I have to eat mine with a fork this morning as I threw my spoon away yesterday morning!

Wow ---  this place is amazing. And not because we are here in Hamilton, Missouri - no - it's because it's so flipping hot and humid!  And we're outside the entire day!  Well - I've had to run in several times and I'm doing a demo each day at noon so I can't complain to get those brief spells of cool.  Patti has braved it out all day by manning the booth!

It's just hot - stinking hot!  But what I hate even more is that the buildings are flipping COLD.  I'm freezing and would love to have my sweatshirt which I think is history so I must remember to buy a new one before we leave.   The huge range of temperature difference is what I hate about air conditioning.  Give me the same temp - moderate temp and I'm good.

So - take two of setting up the vendor tents.  This time we were spaced out a bit differently and I think the layout was better - more open and friendly except one booth got direct sun pretty much the entire day!  We were pretty lucky where we were.  No tents went flying today, the winds were moderate, but there were a couple of gusts that could have spelled danger, except that we were lashed to anything and everything. The main tent, buckets of water, concrete blocks - you name it - it became an anchor for us!  We lashed out quilts to our tent with rope - I knew that 100-foot rope would come in handy and we were good. Nothing was out of place the entire day!

We had a steady stream of people all day and busloads were coming in.  What surprised me is the number of people who just happened to be passing through and here's this birthday bash happening.  How fortunate for them!  And we've met lots of people who are within a one-hour drive away.  Imagine!

We've met people who have been with MSQC since day one!  That's so cool and we've met people who are new employees!  By the way, they are hiring in case you're looking for a job!  And this town needs additional services to manage/support the people who visit - does anyone want to relocate?

After we were finished in our booth yesterday, it was time to long arm all those quilts.  I also enquired about having a tour of the warehouse.  I mean - who wouldn't want to see this warehouse!  We had a brief walkthrough of the spaces which some of the parts, they've already outgrown and this is the SECOND warehouse on the property!  We were escorted to the upstairs of the original section of the warehouse to the long arm facility.

Patti and I were there and both of us are long arm quilters, but nothing prepped us for what we saw. The number of long arms - a HUGE number. The number of quilts to be unpacked that are waiting to be quilted by MSQC and shipped back before Christmas - HUGE.  The number of quilts already unpacked and waiting to be quilted and shipped to their owners by Christmas - ASTRONOMICALLY HUGE!!!!!   HUGE   - I wouldn't have believed it if you had of told me.  This was something you had to see in person - HUGE!!!!

I've never worked on this brand of long arm before and so we had one of the employees in this section get the quilt loaded and she was our babysitter for the evening.  I've never done a quilt using a computer before either and so she walked me through that part.  And soon, the machine was working away while I watched and guided the edges.  I'm not sure I would have done everything the way they did, but not my machine.  I was just soaking up the experience. Patti meanwhile was off to help bind quilts.

Oh - I should mention that I had carefully selected the quilt top that I had done the day before and after a wee bit of confusion, I was able to get that one loaded.  And Patti bound my quilt.  It was just easier that way!

I'm down in the sewing center of the retreat house and I see the quilts are sitting here. Some waiting to be bound and some are already done.  I was going to volunteer this morning, but I won't have time since we need to set up our booth.  I think the goal was 32 quilts and I think they probably made that number.  It was amazing to see last night, but there were probably 26 quilts being quilted at the same time last night!   It was amazing to see and Jenny's original machine is still in service in the facility.

You have to remember that that is how she started the business - with one long arm.  They've come a long way!

I see the Daily Deal is something that I wanted to get so I may pop over to a shop to get it.  The problem with being a vendor is that there is zero time to shop!   So it was lucky that we had to close down shop a wee bit early the other day because that gave us a chance to visit the shops a bit.  We hope to spell each other off today as we imagine it will be quieter today than the previous days.

I had spied a couple of things in one of the shops and I should have bought them then instead of having to go back now!

If you want to come to the Birthday Bash next year - the dates are September 19 - 22.   I think it's worth it to come here at least once in your lifetime.  It will blow your mind!

On that note, I'm off to finish getting ready - can't wait to carry everything from the basement to our tent  - oh yes - the glamorous part of a trade show!  And then to enjoy that heat all day!   Can't wait!

At least we have access to LOTS and LOTS of cold water.  At one point I grabbed a couple of ice cubes and they literally melted in my hand within minutes!

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, September 22, 2017

Birthday Bash - Day One

We survived Day One of the Birthday Bash at Missouri Star, but what a day!  It was long, it was hot and it was fun!

After I closed off my blog, I got ready to move everything we needed from the storage area to where the tents were going to be set up.  I had never set up one of those pop-up tents before, but there were enough hands around to make that happen. Then to carry all our stuff up out of the basement storage area. Thankfully our tent is pretty much by the stairs.

Oh did I mention that it's hot here?  For some reason, I envisioned that it was going to be cool in the morning - yeah - cool moving boxes of stuff.  I left my sweatshirt - my grey hoodie that I wear all the time on a bench and it was only when I was getting ready for bed that I realized that I had left it on a bench outside. Oh - probably gone but I'll check. I was contemplating buying a MSQC sweatshirt and now I may have to.  No way I'm going on a plane without something to keep me warm!

We got set up and changed into more respectable clothes, although by the end of the day, we all looked pretty funny. Wait for that!

People were stopping by to see what we were up to and the event hadn't officially opened. But soon we were on our way.  There are quite a few of us (vendors - even though we're not selling anything)

I had brought a few extra quilts which turned out to be a good thing because we could hang the quilts on the outside of the booth.  Having not done an outdoor show before, I had no idea what to expect.

We needed the iPads in our booth and to my dismay when I opened one of them, it was dead!  The other one was at 15% which was weird because I know that both of them were supposedly charged or so I thought.  So I plugged in the dead one and used the other one. I had to keep swapping them out which meant I had to zip into the retreat house to our room.  It so happened that Rob - Man Sewing was using the space for his lecture. I had to zip up and down the stairs a few times while he was talking until someone reminded me that there was a front set of stairs!  DUH!!!!   Oh well!   Now I know for today but hopefully both iPads held their charge from last night and we are good to go today!

Our quilts fell a couple of times and we kept rigging them up so they wouldn't.  Let's just say that the wind picked up later in the afternoon and we were debating whether to drop the tents or what. As is usual for these type of events, the crowds tend to drift off so we weren't busy with them. We were busy with holding things down. And when one of the tents across from us literally blew up and onto someone else's tent, we called it a day!  It was 3:30 PM.   It was crazy.  I had a customer in our booth and I'm trying to get her prize to her and Patti is holding down the tent and everyone else is running around because the tents were lifting and blowing.  But we got everything safely stowed away. Hopefully we'll have something to help hold down the tents today because I hear it's going to be windy again.  No rain although it looked very threatening at one point.

And the silver lining to that?  We got to shop!  Well, we got to look around. I didn't buy anything, but Patti and I stopped by the Northcott section and we tidied it up!  We couldn't help ourselves.

We met up with Ronda and Laura and had a pretty decent burger at the little burger place in town.

Then it was onto the Charity Bake Off which was held in the retreat center.  We started at 6 and we sewed and sewed and sewed. Someone did the cutting and someone did the pressing.  Is there no end to these blocks??  When I was about finished the blocks and getting close to my limit of consciousness, it was realized that we had enough blocks to make TWO quilts.  A slight miscalculation there!   Drat - because I could easily have completed the top.  Let's just say that there were a few issues and we're not going to go there!

I volunteered to get up early and finsih my top which I'm going to quilt tonight. Then I can see how wonky my seams are!   So yes, here I am after a long day yesterday up at 5 AM today and getting the blog to you so I can go and finish sewing my quilt top.  I see that they left only ONE of the tops at my sewing station.  Someone else can do the other!   Ronda and Laura were on the same team and I think they realized the situation about the number of blocks and did NOT sew all of them, but started to work on a quilt top.

I did mention how windy it got, but I didn't really mention how hot it was. You know there is hot and then there is HOT.  This was even HOTTER than hot!   It was humid, it was hot and I know we didn't drink enough even though there was water right by us. It was hard as we had farily steady business all day and no time for a quick break and really no need so we must get more water in us today!

On that note, I'm out of here.  By the way, the ttaffic is a lot quieter this morning.

Have a great day!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Someone is having a birthday!!

I'm super excited as I write this - you wouldn't believe where I am!   I'm sitting in the retreat center at Missouri Star Quilting Company!  Yes - I'm looking out the front window across the main street and at 5:30 AM  (their time) there's a lot of traffic on this street.  Where are all these people going at this time of the day?  This is a small town, but I guess there is lots of stuff happening so people need to get it organized????

Across the street from me is the gorgeous new mural and the huge storefronts where eight of their shops are located. I think there are 13 in total?

Missouri Star Quilt Company is celebrating their 9th birthday and holding a HUGE (3 day) party to celebrate. Northcott is one of the companies sponsoring the event and we're here to play games and have fun!

Let me get back to our day yesterday. We were up a decent time - we all slept like logs!  No snoring in the room - I think our bodies were too tired to even consider that possibility. We had breakfast at Denny's and then on the road again.  We still had a significant drive and we had a time frame to deal with as the dinner was at 6 PM.  I think all of us found the drive a bit tedious - I'm not sure how people can drive for days on end.  I think the fact that we had a deadline was the big factor. We were not able to stop along the way.

However, we did make one stop in Hannibal, Missouri.  This is the home of Mark Twain and not one, but TWO amazing quilt shops. When I came through here in May, I was with non-quilters and I was driving so we didn't know.  But honestly - if ever you come this way, the shops are amazing.  Bits and Pieces and Hickory Stick Quilt Shop. Yes - we had to make a few purchases and we got license plates for Row by Row at each one of them.

It was my turn to drive and two and a half hours to Hamilton, Missouri. We made it in good time - I just set that cruise control to - well I won't say what and we made good time.  We arrived shortly after Patti did and we got ourselves organized. I unloaded all of our supplies and put with the rest of the stuff that was waiting for us.

We got our rooms at the retreat house.  This is so perfect - instead of staying at a hotel which there aren't any nearby - well about a 20-minute drive, here we are right in the middle of everything.  I think there are 10 vendors who have booths and I think most of us are here, but not all.  Imagine sleeping under the same roof as all the competitors.  Should something happen, all the marketing departments of the major fabric companies - well we won't go there!

Then it was off to the dinner at the local church. The guests of honor, of course, were the Doan family.  Jenny and her husband Ron and various children and in-laws.   The MC was BJ who does all the consumer shows and is an amazing host. He had us in stitches.  There was a HUGE contingent from Canada - all from the Arnprior area where Jenny had done a trunk show earlier this year. They also made and donated 150 pillowcases for some of the Hurricane Harvey people who had lost everything.

This is the third year they've done a celebration. Two years ago, there were 40 people at the dinner. Last year, there were 40 people at the dinner. This year, the event sold out with 200 people in attendance.  Unbelievable and for many, this was their first time to Hamilton! It truly is a place you have to come at least once!

Dinner was great and we were sitting with Rob Appell - yes - Man Sewing himself. He really is a hyper guy but a very nice person who has been involved in the quilting business for a very long time. His mother owned a quilt shop!  And we sat beside the FreeSpirit team!

After dinner, they played a game - Family Feud - The Doan Girls against The Doan Boys.  As Jenny mentioned, NOTHING leaves that room.  Let's just say that it was a hoot.  BJ was amazing as the MC and he could get a job in Hollywood - he could replace whoever the host is on Family Feud - I think it's still going on!  I couldn't find my camera before I left - just way too much going on, but I'm taking pictures with my phone.

I believe that this morning, there is a company picture being taken right at that mural across the street.  I heard some unbelievable number of 455 employees???   I'll get pictures because we should be setting up our booth about that same time.

When we got back from dinner, there were a few girls cutting in the retreat sewing room.  I volunteered to help. I wasn't doing anything else and too early for bed.  Turns out they are part of the Kansas City Modern Quilting Guild and they are the ones organizing the Charity Bake Off.  Their goal is to make 32 quilts over the next three days.  COMPLETED!!!!  I helped them cut for about a half hour and then I was done!  I needed some sleep.

Well - it's now 6 AM here and this place is starting to hop.  People are getting up and well I'm sure it isn't going to be quiet too much longer.

We didn't get to the grocery store before it closed last night to pick up supplies so we may have to wait a teeny bit for breakfast.  There's an opportunity for someone to start up a breakfast place - I think this retreat place gets a lot of business!  Anyone want to build a small hotel here?  Personally, I'm glad we're here in the retreat center!

What can I say - I love my job!  HOwever, before you get all jealous - remember it is sweltering hot!  Our tents (booths) are OUTSIDE - so we have to set up in the humidity and we have to tear down in the humidity and we have to stay outside in the humidity all day.  Yes - we can pop into the air-conditioned retreat center to cool off, but it's going to be warm and hopefully no rain!

All I can say is that MSQC is a machine. There is no other way to put it.  A lot of thought has gone into making this company what it is - a LOT!  Oh - by the way, we did get the Row by Row license plate yesterday. That was our priority when we got out of the car. GET that plate before they are all gone!

Apparently, there are thousands of people expected over the next couple of days. Tons of games, tons of prizes to be won. And let's not forget that there are tons of fabric to be bought!

On that note, I'm out of here to get the day started!

Have a super day!!!!    Let the games begin!


PS - now let's check out this daily deal. Nothing more exciting than buying the daily deal in person!   Just checked - the daily deal is Northcott!!!   I guess I won't be buying that one!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Road Trip!

I think I said this yesterday and I'll say it again - the day before you leave on a trip or the day you leave - business or pleasure is always stupid! Yesterday was no exception.

I had to get some last minute things done at work so I was in super early to try and get them all done before I was scheduled to leave at 12.  Cut fabric, cut more fabric.  E-mails.  Oh - one more little item that we need for the trip.  And finally, I flew out of the office.  Just as I'm leaving, I get a call from Ronda who was in the car.  OH - you are NOT on your way to my house because I'm not ready.  I still had two errands.  I got to my house when I said I would and everything was done except to pack!

Yep - packing is the least priority thing for me.  I threw stuff in the suitcase (later I realized that I had forgotten my toothbrush but that is an easy thing to fix!). Then more e-mails to answer and well, we had to make a slight detour back to Ronda's house.

On the way, we witnessed an accident - a stupid accident and we were almost caught in the middle of it. A small car was flying from a merge lane trying to beat the traffic from the light that had just turned green.  Of course, they didn't make it and the car in front of us got nailed. He swerved to the left to avoid the oncoming idiot and the car beside him swerved and hit the concrete barrier so I think that two cars got hit on both sides.  For a second we thought the idiot wasn't going to stop but they did, but it didn't look like they were going to.  Here's where things get sketchy.  I thought it was two girls in the car, Ronda thought the driver was a guy with long hair - I don't think so.  We probably wouldn't be good witnesses so we drove on!!!

We were picking up Laura from downtown.  It was her last day at her current job and she was having a really really bad day as she left her bag of technology toys on the GO train!!  A good Samaritan turned them in but it took time for all that to happen. Then we were downtown later than expected and we got stuck in traffic.

Without going into a lot of details, we were much later getting out of the city than planned. Much!  And the traffic on the 403 - there was a big accident but thanks to WAZE - we were able to avoid it, but then so did a bunch of others.

We stopped somewhere for a bite to eat - you can't survive on candy for the entire day! And then it was my turn to drive as we were getting somewhat close to the border and Ronda wanted me to be the driver as we went over the border.  That way I couldn't complain about how she answered the questions.

We drove over the bridge at Port Huron which is the same bridge that I road my bike under several weeks back in Sarnia!  A big scary bridge but it was dark so I couldn't' see!

The border crossing guy was pretty grumpy. But I answered those yes and no questions - he wasn't getting ANY extra information from me. And in a few minutes, we were on our way!!!

Between us - we have enough technology to stock a small store. New phones, old phones, GPS, iPads, etc.  So we knew where we were going and how long it was going to take!

I drove until about 12:30  and then that was it for me.  I couldn't drive any further.  It was Laura's turn to finish the day. She got the worst shift as it was night, it was dark and the roads were filled with construction at that point.  Not fun!  But we made it to Joliette, Indiana - well close to Joliette.  So we've another 6 hours or so to get to Hamilton, Missouri. Yes - we've got a date with Jenny Doan tonight for dinner!!!

We stayed in a motel along the way (well that's where we are now!) and guess who got the cot in the middle?  Yep - that would be me!  And I plugged my phone in to find it dead this morning because when we turned the lights out - the power went out to that outlet!!!

And let's just say that what happened in the blue van stays in the blue van.  A lot of laughs - a LOT!

Crap - well Laura has left the room. Ronda will be ready in a few minutes and I had better close this off.

Have a super day!!!!  


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Don't panic!

If you are observant, you'll notice that the top of the blog page is different. That's what happens when you hire a consultant (your daughter) to take a look and see what can be changed and then things change immediately!  It's all good as I've been meaning to move those tutorials to a separate page but that just didn't happen.  If you still want to look at the tutorials, they are in a tab marked tutorials at the top of the page. They haven't disappeared. I do need to go through them, update them, delete a couple that are no longer relevant and make new ones!

Ah - to have a 30 hour day!

It was a crazy day at work. Well, part of that day was spent with the Monday group as we madly sewed up a storm for this crazy project.  They were good!  Over half of the sewing got done or was taken home for sewing and there was only a handful of them there.

Then off to work for a crazy day of cutting fabric. Rolls of fabric were flying right and left - OK - not exactly but I got a lot done. But I've got a lot more to do today and I leave - I have to be in the car by 1 PM.

Did I get my quilt top done last night and my quilt done on the long arm?  NOPE - neither got done. By the time I got home, there was only time to get this table runner quilted that I need for this week. I had so much fun quilting it and it looks amazing. You only get to see the back until later this week.

Table runner quilted
 The runner is quilted, trimmed and I sewed the binding on this morning. I'm going to hand stitch it to the back in the car - we have a LONG drive ahead of us!

I thought I would share with you my newest Row by Row license plate.  Yes - it's so neat!!!   Thanks Cathy for picking that up!  I love it and I got it at our Modern Quilt Guild meeting which was very appropriate.

Here is one piece of advice about machine quilting and I'm going to say that it's the MOST IMPORTANT advice that anyone can give you. Whether you're experienced or just learning or somewhere inbetween. You MUST (absolutely MUST) stop criticizing yourself. If the lines aren't straight - who cares?  Make them straighter next time or just forget about perfectly straight lines.  What are we? Engineers??  We shouldn't care about that. What if the squiggles are a wee bit wonky?  Who cares?  Get over this - quilting is a hobby and we should be having fun.  If we're not, then we should think about a different hobby.

I will show you the quilting on my table runner later this week.  It's not perfect, but it looks perfect enough. Well, at least it looks pretty cool.  That's all we aim for.  And having fun and learning what will work for the next time.

Speaking of which - I INSIST that you check out QUILTsocial this morning.  Seriously - there is more good advice regarding quilting.

On that note, I'm out of here.  I can't wait for 1 PM - that means that I will have packed, bought rope, got money and a whole lot more!

I'm not sure how available the internet will be where we're going so I may only be posting on Facebook.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Motivational Monday and stuff is happening!

Before I get into the whole focused thing of sewing, here's a website that I found with the CUTEST buttons and charms EVER!!!!   Check it out  -  I'm seeing some super cute ones and some cute ribbon and charms and - oh god!  But it's good to have that kind of embellishment around so when you need something - you've got it.

Matter of fact, I was looking for some small pink buttons the other day. Dug out my button box and there were four beautiful pink buttons in a size that worked for me.  The buttons are for a small wall hanging that is almost done - just needs two borders to be sewn on and then to be quilted.

Oh, let's not forget that it's my week to blog for QUILTsocial as well.  You must check out this week - some super exciting stuff about free motion quilting.  You will learn a LOT by following along this week.

OK - NOW if you're still with me, here's what happened this week.  Actually mostly this past weekend.

And there are few pictures this morning as most of it - well I'll post the pictures when the items get done or I'm allowed to show you.

The great big quilt on the long arm?  There are two rows left to quilt and that will be done!  That will happen this evening after work.

One of the two quilt tops that had to be sewn is almost together.  Why didn't it get completed?  Because I forgot to bring home ONE piece of fabric that I needed for it.  But it looks awesome - I'm very happy with the results and it should take about one hour to finish.  The binding is made, the borders are cut and the pieces joined. I was even able to sew one piece of the border on the quilt.  Hopefully, that can get completed tonight as well.

The second quilt top is in the works. I've got some of the pieces laid out on the design wall (there's a rotation to the pieces that had to be worked out. And the first section of 14 pieces is sewn together.  That shouldn't take long to finish either, but not sure I'll have time to do that tonight. No worries - next Sunday when I get back home!

I made a couple of blocks for the homework that Joyce will be teaching for me this coming week.  So YES - if you are in the Kaleidoscope class or the Garden Patch quilt, the class is a GO.  Joyce has all the notes and the blocks (well those that are done!) and so you must go to the class unless you happen to be with me on the road trip (which is the case for two of the students!)  I made notes for Joyce and I know she will keep the class entertained!  Make sure you go as she will be taking attendance!

I got the first step of the pieced section done in this massive project that I'm getting people to help me with. We're off to sew on that this morning!  The strips are cut and ready to sew.  Once they're sewn together, they need to be sub-cut and then sewn back together again!

And while I was madly sewing, I was also working on those blocks for my UFO.  Guess what?  I finished that step!   One more row to add!!!!

Blocks are almost done!

I finished the last couple this morning!

As I was writing all that I thought - what else have I done??  There was something else?  Oh yes - I taught a class yesterday and I had to finish sewing the strips sets in the morning!  All the strips sets are done (OK - there are three left in order to make the border!  Oh and a teeny one that I ran out of fabric for.  Good thing I reminded myself that I need to get more of that!   That would be the PRISM squared class.  The quilts are going to look amazing!!!!!   Somewhere I have pictures of the pattern but can't find it this morning.  Here's a link.  

I'm madly crossing things off in The Task Master list. Oh and all of our members of the modern guild are officially in the database!  I have a few more bits of paperwork that need to be done. Because my "hobby", my part-time job and my day job all revolve around the same thing, it's very hard to separate what I do!  So I just work at it all all the time (or so it seems).  I'm pretty good at most aspects, but my weakness is paperwork. No doubt!

I'm reading a non-fiction book at the moment - super interesting about addictions!  And it relates to addictions and technology!  Just wait for it - there are some interesting facts which I'll be sharing with you.  The book is called Irresistible by Adam Alter.

On that note, I'm out of here.  Two crazy days - whoever says they love to travel is out of their mind!  It just means I work like mad to prep stuff before I go away and then work like a dog to play catchup when I get back!  But the days of fun in between?  OK - so it's worth it!

Have a super day!!!!!


Sunday, September 17, 2017

I could have been poisoned!

We had a super meeting yesterday morning.  It was the first official meeting of the West End Modern Quilt Guild.  And we are now an official member of the Modern Quilt Guild.  We're almost at the capacity of the tier for which we signed up. We do have a few spots left from what our initial goal was but not everyone was at this meeting although we did people sign up even if they weren't there. And that's on the first meeting!  I'm super excited about the response and can't wait to get to know these ladies better although I do know a fair number of them already.

Then I was home to get down to work!  I scanned the meager contents of our fridge and found something for lunch. If ever there is a major event and we can't get to the stores, we'll die from lack of food. And if there is ever a major event where we lose electricity, we won't lose any food!  The pros and cons of a nearly empty fridge. But we could drink because who would want to waste all that beer and wine!

After lunch, I felt like I needed a little something sweet. I went to my chocolate stash and pulled the LAST item from the stash. I've decided to NOT buy more - I'll probably die from lack of chocolate and if there is a power outage, there are no reserves anymore!  Anyway, I pulled out the last item and laid it on my cutting table. Then I had a really good look at it.  Oh, my!  This is a critical situation.

Ah - check out the expiry date

Yes, indeed. Check out that expiry date.  Sept 15, 2017. And what was yesterday's date?  Sept 15, 2017. Good thing I discovered that because well I could have been poisoned eating chocolate past its expiration date!!!  Phew!

As I was merrily sewing, I was using one of my UFO projects as my ender and leader. I grabbed one of the blocks and OH! This doesn't seem quite right.

Does this look right to you?
 Indeed when I look at the good one (on the right) and the one on the left, there's a mistake.

 So I ripped off the last section I had sewn on. But when I went to sew it back on, I realized that I had made another mistake on the block so had to rip off the light section as well. Then it was ready to sew back together.  I hope there aren't other mistakes in the other blocks.

I'm getting down to nearly nothing left of this light fabric. I still have a few blocks to go (forgot to take a picture), but I should be OK. But just!  How's that for calculating fabric by the seat of your pants!

Hopefully enough fabric to finish!

I'm not even sure how many blocks I'm making, but the end quilt will be a lap size - or should be.  I have one more strip to sew on after I'm done adding the one that I'm currently sewing on which is a strip of the light which you didn't see. And that last strip has those silly little corner things that have to be cut, marked and sewn on BEFORE that strip can be sewn to the blocks. I'm not out of the woods on getting this done, but I'm getting closer!!!

I'll give you a total recap of what else got done yesterday when I do my Motivational Monday report.  Let's just say that if you're focused - a lot can happen!

We did go out to dinner last night. DH had been away the entire week and previous weekend and I talked his ear off - poor guy! I had no one else to talk to in the evening all week and there was a lot stored up waiting to be said! I wasn't quite like the couple I saw on vacation - it wasn't 100/0, but well maybe 80/20  - OH GOD!

As I was madly working yesterday, I had to clear off the ironing board. So yes it's clear.

Ironing board - clear
 And where did everything go???   I did a CLEAN SWEEP - yes right onto the floor. This is stuff that needs to be dealt with in the near future, but I had more pressing things to take care of yesterday!!

Clean sweep - right onto the floor
 And yes - I did find another block that needed to be fixed! This one still has to be ripped out. No time for that yesterday!

One more block to fix
 And that chocolate?  Oh yes - it was good!  And it's all gone and right on time!

Yum yum!

So no more chocolate - I can deal with that!  I can!  I will!

And on that note, I have a couple of very anxious girls who are begging to go to the park!  We're off!

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cutting marathon

I know - you all think that I'm totally crazy.  Out of my mind and well just a looney tune!  Why?  Because there are three quilts that have to be somewhere by Oct 1 and none of them are made. And the date today?  Well, it's September the 15th.  No big deal.  Let's not mention the fact that I'll be away for most of this coming week!  OK - if you didn't think I was crazy before - that fact alone should have tipped the scales!

However - it's not as bad as you think!  I got one quilt completely cut out last night including the borders and binding.  AND the basic components of the quilt are sewn together. Now those components have to be sewn together which I don't think will take too long. Magazines (for the most part) want quilts that look good and are EASY to make. So - this shouldn't be too big of a deal to do this hat trick!

My scrap basket

Doesn't that look so pretty!

The fabrics for the next quilt are on the cutting table and it's a smaller than normal quilt for me. It's super simple so I hope to have that one cut out today. And I have to prepare for my class tomorrow which requires a bit more sewing.

The third quilt - well, I don't have the fabric yet.   Don't even go there!  It's not my fault!

I know most of you can't understand why or how I get myself into these messes or how I continue to put up with the pressure of the deadlines.  I just love to sew!  I'll make anything - well most anything. I did say NO when I was asked to contribute a quilted vest at work.  No clothes! Sorry!   (It was a joke by the way!)

The good news is that NONE of the three quilts require half square triangles, no trimming, no squaring - just cutting and sewing.  One quilt has borders - two pieces - one on either side of the quilt, the second quilt has only one border on all four sides and the last one - I can't even remember what it looks like!  All require simple quilting so we should be good.

Never mind that there is a large customer quilt on the long arm that has to be done first.  A small table runner that has to be quilted and bound by Tuesday morning (it's made) and a meeting this morning for our NEW Modern Quilt Guild - more on that tomorrow and then that class tomorrow and the prep for the class that will take place when I'm not here and someone else has to teach it for me.  OH - I think it's going to be a busy weekend with a LOT of cutting and sewing - but it's fun sewing!

I think that dear sweet Lexi has been at the computer and now has two posts that I didn't link to.  You better check them out as she thinks she getting the short end of attention around here. Poor thing!

On that note, I'm off for my presentation this morning at the modern guild!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Tidy up time!

I had every intention of posting a blog yesterday and then the day was gone and nothing!  ACK - I had better get my act together!

It was a super day yesterday with the FIRST meeting of the year for the Grand River Modern Quilt Guild. I was the coordinator for the evening program and we chatted about Modern Traditionalism. A very exciting topic and I came home super excited about the prospects. Needless to say, I didn't get to sleep for a while as I processed some of the information from the meeting!  I've got a few more projects that I'd like to add to my list! As if I need to do that!

The show and tell was so much fun and a huge part of every meeting! The group is very prolific and talented!!  

Let's pop back to that corner where the "to be quilted" piles reside. I had made good progress, but then got busy and couldn't get back to it.  I managed to get through a couple more tubs this morning. I think I mentioned this before, but when I did the massive clean up and resorting a while back, I also sorted the quilts into categories.  Some tubs have quilts that I want to keep, some tubs have quilts that I will use for trunk shows, some are good for gifts, etc. 

There is a definite method to my madness and my new system (when I put everything back where it belongs) works like a charm. 

So this is what that space looks like this morning. 

To be quilted section
There are sixteen tubs in total and all are sorted and repacked but the last three.  It would appear that number 14 is one that I use a lot - almost everything was out of that tub!

A wider view of the space
And here are the quilts from tub 14.

Tub 14

I have a funny feeling that there are a few quilts that have been added to the "to be quilted" pile since I did the original sort. I've been good about getting my quilts completely done, but if there isn't a deadline, then chances are - the top gets finished but it doesn't get quilted.  I'm going to have to figure out how to make that happen!  I may have to buy another tub!  I don't want to, but I have to keep that area organized. Perhaps I could see my way to quilting a few?  Not going to happen as I have THREE quilts that need to be made and quilted for October 1.  NONE of them are started! Thankfully none are complicated, but I don't even have the fabric for one of them!  Let's not panic here!

I'm pretty excited that this area is almost completely tidied up!  One small corner of my studio space. I may tackle all the "scraps" that were given to me and that reside under the long arm as my next project, but NO - I have another area that desperately needs to be organized. I don't think I'll get to that this weekend, as there's a TON of stuff to be sewn and cut this weekend and I have a meeting and a class.

What I'm going to do in the future to keep this area clean and to avoid having to go through all the tubs again, is when I remove a quilt (s) from a tub, I'm putting a sticky note in my master list book. Then I know which tub was opened, which quilt was removed, and it's easy to put the quilt back.  This isn't really necessary when I only open one tub, but when I do multiple tubs at the same time, it gets complicated.  I should also prioritize those quilts that get pulled the most for trunk shows and get them done!

Came home from work yesterday and there was my shiny clean house!  I so love treating myself to the cleaning lady.  She's the best!

I thought I would share my clean fridge that she did the week before!  Now how is that!

The fridge!!!
Yes - I agree, there isn't a lot of food in there. This is what our fridge looks like on a normal day. DH thinks we live in Europe and should go to the grocery store every day!  I did notice that there seems to be more alcohol in there than food!   And I'm sure there is more stuff in that door that can be tossed, and I'll whittle it down as I see we don't use the items.  Nothing is past the expiry date!  Yep - I think I could get by with a small fridge - I can't imagine having a double wide sub-zero.  What would I put in there?

Next week when she comes, I have another job for her.  Yes - this is FORCING me to clean up, throw away, recycle or whatever and I'm LOVING that!!!  It was also big garbage day in our neighborhood this past week and I had stuff to the curb. Not everything (I realized that night when I got home), but there is a wee bit more space in our garage! I wonder if the cleaning lady will do the garage?

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!