Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The weigh-in

I honestly went to take pictures this morning to help explain my story about last week and the camera battery died. Seriously??  And today, I'm just busy! Patience - it's not that big of a deal and I'm not saying anything more until I can get to it.

Yesterday I went to see the program person for the DTOX program. The first thing we did was the weigh-in. The worst part. However, it was all good news. In the first week, I lost 2.1 pounds and 3% body fat. In the next two weeks, I lost an additional 3.3 pounds and another 3% body fat. It would appear that whatever weight I lost - it was all FAT and I'm OK with that!

This is the week to reintroduce foods.Guess what I won't be reintroducing?  Yep - SUGAR! BAD! BANISHED from my diet. Forever? I'm not sure, but I worked hard (mentally) to not eat any refined sugar these past three weeks - why ruin a good thing. I had an omelet last night and so far so good. And I would have to say that yesterday was one of the first days where I didn't really have major cravings? Or was that because I was too busy and too tired to even crave food?

It's crunch time yet again. I'm working on our Modern Guild's charity quilt for Quiltcon which is at the end of next month. The quilt needs to be in California soon. It has to be in a box on Thursday - obviously completed!

Quilting our Quiltcon charity quilt
Yes - I've had the top for a while, yes I should have done it sooner, but honestly it's not like I'm sitting around doing nothing. There were just a few too many things due all at the same time. I changed my mind a thousand times on how to quilt it. There's a LOT of negative space on that quilt and I decided it wasn't the time to try something new so I went to my default pattern. But I added a few twists in there. I'll take pictures when it's done. I got almost all the background done yesterday which hopefully accounts for 80% of the quilt. I have one more row of the background and then the colored bits. My goal is to get it off the machine today, trim (which is going to be fun - there is NO border and some of the ends were not necessarily straight) and get the binding made, leaving tomorrow to put the binding on and pack it and take it off to the UPS store - the new one, not the other one!

Did you notice the backing? Yep - that's a SOLID BRIGHT ORANGE! It was in my stash and I thought, let's be bold. It's bold all right!

My back was pretty tired by the end of the day and while I had planned to get that last row done, there was no way! I retired to the sofa to read a book. Still, I made great progress and hopefully won't take too long to do the colored bits.

Here's that UFO that I'm working on as well. I have the bottom right hand corner sewn together and I had better get it finished and off the wall before the next sit n sew day although it's a full house so we won't be able to access the design wall.

2017 UFO project partially sewn

While I'm sure you're not all that interested in stuff at the gym, I thought I would share it anyway. I was at Joseph's spin class this morning. Seriously - he should get an award for being the toughest teacher around. My legs feel like spaghetti. Limp spaghetti!  A while back, the gym brought in all new bikes. There's a speedometer of sorts on the bikes which shows the speed, the distance and how many watts you're producing. Apparently, there's a function that allows the instructor to see the speed and the watts for all the bikes in the room. He wants us all to be above 100 watts all the time which isn't that difficult to achieve. Then he put all the numbers on the screen for all of us to see. Amazing how some of them perked up once those numbers were shown. You know - the macho guys who have to pump out 400 watts. Yea - big deal. That's not sustainable for the hour. Show-offs!

Now each of the bikes have a number and apparently you can reserve a specific bike on-line and at the end of the class, the bike will e-mail you your stats. Seriously???  I never knew that although I had seen the "register" link on the class list. I'm going to try that for next week.

That's pretty cool. And now I have a ton of paperwork that needs to be addressed before I get to that quilt.

Have a super day!!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Productivity is UP

I just realized that I don't have anything new to tell you today. I'm going to make you wait one more day before I tell you what I did last week. I have some unpacking to do before I show you.

First - I want to let you all know that there is parking in the rear of the new quilt store in Milton. Oh, Look Fabric. Turn north on Martin and then an immediate left. Parking in the rear!  That's good to know. Thanks to Trixy for that information!

The other reason that I'm not sharing anything new is that I'm so excited about yesterday that I have to share that with you instead. But before I do that, I thought I would let you in on some stats about me. I use Grammarly (an add-in app) to help with my grammar and spelling on anything I write. While some people would look at it as a crutch, I look at it as a learning tool. My grammar is much better and I hope that what I write sounds better as well.  I get an e-mail once a week with some stats. This is what I got this morning.

Hm-interesting numbers. A large part of my grammar problems is with commas and my keyboard! Words get misspelled because I miss a letter. I'm still on the fence about the keyboard, but I have to say that the more I use it, it seems to be loosening up so that is a good thing. I might not replace it after all as I'll probably have to break in a new one.

While writing for me is somewhat therapeutic - I like to read, therefore it makes sense that I like to write. But even more important, I hope that the writing is keeping my brain active!

Oh - here are the stats for my top three mistakes. That, damn, comma!!!!

Yesterday was a super productive day. This is the best part of not having a 9-5 job. Not only am I super productive, but I get to spend the day with friends and lots of laughs and great conversations. Yep - I love my Mondays. What makes Mondays even better is that I'm totally prepped when I go. I have everything cut out or the tools that are necessary in order to work. That's the first thing I do when I get home from Monday is prep for the following Monday. I love to unpack my stuff and see what I did and then get ready for the next week. No rushing on Sunday night! 

So this what I accomplished yesterday.

First up was the 150 Canadian Women project. I got 6 more blocks sewn together. I think this takes me to 48 blocks in total sewn. I have the next six prepped (the red was already cut, so cutting only the white took no time at all). I noticed that I have nothing cut beyond Block 54 so next week's prep will take a little bit longer. Seventeen weeks to finish the blocks up if I can continue to make 6 a week.

Six blocks for 150 Canadian Women
 Then it was onto the next project - Quilter's Patch. I did manage to get a lot of the blocks cut out last summer, but never got a chance to work on them. Now is the time to get them done. And one of the items on my shopping list was to buy more background fabric. I got that this past weekend so I'm good to finish cutting the borders and one or two blocks that were missing background.

Two more blocks for Quilter's Patch
Here are all my blocks to date. I need to remake the one with the dogs as that background just doesn't cut it. But now that I have the new background, I'll remake it and I want to change the color of the Husky as well.

Quilter's Patch blocks
Then I had thrown something else in the bag. These blocks were made years ago. I'm talking many years! There were six that needed some applique stitched down. They were prepped and glued down, just needed to be stitched. You'll see more on that stitching later this week. Once the applique was stitched down, there was ONE curved seam per block. The curved seams got done yesterday!!!

Curved seams completed 
Then when I got home, I had to locate the remainder of the blocks which was a wee bit of a challenge. Remember how things got shifted around in that studio? I had to look in two different places and at last located the pizza box that they were hiding in. Didn't take that long. I think there are 36 blocks in total.
The rest of the blocks
 I also found in the box, one of the foundation pieced sections - obviously NOT from this quilt. And two big hunks of black fabric. What was that for? There was also one pattern sheet with the foundation pieced arcs on it, but NO pattern.

Fabric, but not pattern
I think the pattern has been missing for quite some time as I found this printout from the internet of the quilt. But the pattern? Who knows. There was no date on when the picture was printed and that's probably a good thing.

Pickle Dish quilt by Bee Creative 
 So those blocks joined what was in my finished pile and I was onto the next thing. I don't normally do sew along projects as you get so caught up in them that you don't have time for anything else, but I seem to have my fair share hanging around (150 Canadian Women) and this one which just started. It's called the National Quilters Circle Block Challenge. There are nine blocks in total. This is Block One. I have Blocks two and three cut out.

National Quilters Circle Block Challenge
 As if that wasn't enough, I was prepping for an event this weekend - not just for me, but for Ronda! She doesn't know what! More on that this coming weekend.

Then it was onto the long arm to get a long overdue project completed. I need a quilted background for some applique. That was easy - just layer two pieces of fabric and quilt. I'll be working on that this week and hope to be done by the end of the week. Plus I have one quilt that is critical to be done by Thursday. The backing is loaded and I have to give the top a good press.

Quilted background for applique
I got some paperwork done last night, but it'll be my focus this morning. I just have to clean some of this stuff up!!!

As promised, here's a picture of all my bicycle cushions. Oh, shoot - I should have added my bicycle pillowcase! Anyway, these sit in our living room and everyone who comes gets a chuckle. I like them! At least, they are NOT stored in the linen closet. I'm using them. 

Bicycle cushions

I wonder why the bicycle is always pointing to the right? Is that the accepted direction for going forward?

That's it for today. Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. Did you see that sewing machine yesterday??  Oh my god!!!   Today is all about some great tips on piecing.  Be sure to check it out.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, January 29, 2018

A ghost in the studio

I had a bit of a slow day yesterday! While I had plans to get lots done, I didn't get as much done as I had planned. I chilled out! And it was great!  OH - I did get my group lists created for my ongoing classes and sent them all a very long detailed e-mail for the first class. The girls and I went for a walk as it was a glorious day - I'm sure they'll have their side of the story maybe later this week. That Lexi is a bit lazy sometimes. I had errands to do in the car and I read.

However, that doesn't mean that I'm not doing stuff. Since it's Motivational Monday, I should report on what I have been getting done.

I had my shopping list so when I was at the quilt store on Saturday (first time hitting a quilt store this year!), I picked up two things out of three that was on my list. I'll get the third item somewhere else. That meant that I could continue on one of my 2017 UFOs. I cut all the squares, setting triangles and setting corners and put it on the design wall.

I believe I went upstairs to get something and when I came back, look what happened.

Wait - who knocked my blocks off the wall?
 I guess I put them on the wall a wee bit too quickly and they were not "adhered" and when one decided to fall, it took a few others with it.

But this is what the project looks like when all the blocks are on the wall. Oh - I wondered why there were two identical photos. This is the photo before the setting triangles and corners were added. They are cut and on the wall.

2017 UFO 
 It's a bit long and narrow, but when it's sewn together and the borders are on, I'm sure it'll be just fine. All those blocks were made with scraps! So this one should get completed shortly. I did start sewing it together and thought I had taken a picture, but I guess not. You'll see it as it progresses. That's the good news. The bad news is that there is still enough fabric to make TWO more quilts in that box. Ah yes - the danger of choosing a project with multiple quilts for a UFO.

Plus it's almost the end of January and I'm not making a lot of progress on those UFOs. But I'm working on several of them so it's not like they're being ignored.

I'm actually sewing on my own sewing machine these days. This is the one that I did all the Halloween embroidery blocks on. I knew it needed to be cleaned, but when I opened it up last night, I almost died. It had been making a few funny noises and not sewing as well as it should. Can you see why?

Huge mess of threads around the cutter
 And look at all the lint that I got out of the bobbin case area. Oops - that is NOT good. I've got my 4 bobbins wound and I'll be good in the future and keep that bobbin case area clean and a new needle.

Lots of lint removed from bobbin case
 I've got more pictures to share with you of what else I've been doing, but that's a whole topic on its own so that will be shared another day. Here is my current ender/leader project. The only reason this got bumped in the priority line is that it was on my felt board and I needed the felt board. So I placed all the pieces on the table. Let's say that I got plenty of Fitbit steps as I walked from that table to the sewing machine to the ironing board.  My current sewing table isn't big enough to keep that close. That's OK by me.

Ender/leader project
This is what the block looks like this morning. It won't take long to finish this block up and then I can start on the next one. This is part of the pixelated apple quilt that I started in a workshop last summer. This is block number three of - well I'm not sure how many. But I cut a whole bunch more squares on Saturday so I'm ready for a lot more sewing.

The block is almost together

Our local Fabricland moved over the holidays. I hadn't been to the new store, but I was in the neighborhood yesterday and I needed some more cording for the upcoming tuffet class in April. It's never too early to get prepped!  The store is big and bright but it feels weird as all the displays are different. It almost seems like they have less stuff? That could be me. Anyway, I wandered around and I found something that I can use my 50% coupon on, but I didn't know how much I needed so I didn't just willy-nilly buy - I came home and measured how much I need and I'll go back another day. That's on my new shopping list.

I was just about to pay for my cord when I found this and I couldn't resist!

Cushion cover

I'll show you the rest of my cushion cover collection when I can get a picture. I didn't do it yesterday and it's too dark in that room this morning. So I think I owe you TWO pictures.

I realized that I have something brand new to tell you about all week. Yesterday, it was a new quilt shop. Today, it's something else and NO - it's not about what I did last week. That's for another day this week.

Today, I'm going to direct you to QUILTsocial where it's my week to blog and you have to check out this new sewing machine. Technically, it's not released until February of this year. It's not on the Husqvarna web site, although some dealers have it on their web page. This is an amazing sewing machine. That's all I can say!

On that note, it's time to get the day rolling.

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Something new!

So what happened yesterday?  Was I

One more Row by Row License Plate

NO - I wasn't gone to Maui! Although that would have been nice. However, the weather here is just gorgeous so I'm not complaining. I was busy as a beaver in the studio trying to get everything prepped for my two classes yesterday. And I accomplished that mission, but it meant forgoing the blog. So sorry about that.  But I'm back and this week, I've got the entire week to get stuff done!

I want to focus on something very new. Actually, this week is going to be all about NEW stuff. Today it's about a NEW quilt store that just opened up on Friday. I knew it was opening and I've had a couple of electronic conversations with Andrea, the owner. But I had some time to kill yesterday and I decided to pop in.

Here's what it looks like front the front! Don't you just love that name!

Storefront for Oh Look, Fabric!

Well, let's go on in, the sign says OPEN.

I love it in inside - it's bright, it's airy and nice modern colors for the decor. The fabric is very modern and solids. There is more fabric coming in - hey - it takes a lot of cash to open a fully stocked to the rafters quilt shop. There's a nice selection. I don't have a lot of this kind of fabric!

Fabrics for sale!

She also has some handmade goods for sale in the shop from various artists in the area, basic supplies, like batting, interfacings or stabilizers (I didn't exactly check which ones), zippers and notions. She has some clothing patterns and she has MODERN knits!!  YEAH!!!  I know that is not normally my cup of tea, but I'm really really wanting to try to make some T-shirts.

I had something specific in mind when I went into the shop which wasn't exactly the best thing to do. I didn't find what I was looking for, so I got all this instead!

Oops - look what jumped into my shopping bag

See that cute llama fabric? Perfect for the backing of Elizabeth Harman's Lloyd and Lola which is on my radar screen to make. The blue with the triangles is my knit fabric and a few other goodies as well. I was going to make a table runner (that was my original thought), but I think I'm going to do something else with what I bought. I'm going to design something. I've got a couple of ideas in mind. And after I left, I thought - oh crap - I should have bought enough to make a truly MODERN quilt. Well - that's an excuse to go back! I need to learn!

The address is 221 Main Street in Milton. There's parking on the street, not sure if there's parking in the back - I didn't ask. But it's downtown Milton, not far from the pet store where Murphy had her dog training - as if that did any good! There is a Facebook page as well. There are some videos of the shop in setup progress as well as one with all the walls shown. She has some very cute quilts hanging in the shop - no patterns yet, but they are on the way. Also designed by a local artist. I really really want the one with the face shot on it. Look at the video. It's very cute.

Make sure you check out the shop and say Hi to Andrea. Let's support our local shops!!!!  Check out the hours - she is CLOSED on SUNDAY and MONDAY. I notice that she opens at 11 AM during the week and closes around 6 or 7. Now that is smart so that people who work have a chance to get there.

That's it for today. It's just me and the girls this week and I have a LOT of stuff to do. More on what else has been happening tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!


In case you're wondering about the Row by Row plate, I got that from Ronda, who got it from a friend who in fact had GONE TO MAUI!  Thanks Ronda!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Almost back to normal

I'm happy to report that things are almost back to normal. If there is such a thing. I actually sat down and started a new book last night. The training days are long and I've got a long commute (although with the toll highway, it doesn't take too long) and I just needed some time to just veg out for a bit.

Today is the last day of the training and then I'll let you know all about what happened this week. It's pretty exciting, but a lot of work. But what endeavor do I undertake that isn't a lot of work?

I'm still in the process of finishing off those items that need to be done before I go away next weekend. I think there were 14 things on the list. Let's see - the blog posts are done. Check! Pattern written, proofed and sent via e-mail. Check! Quilt photo to another magazine. Check! I'm down to eleven things and I was working on one of them last night. I have to get my class prepped for tomorrow. I'm a tad behind on that project, but I think I'm in good shape and hopefully, we'll finish a bit early today so I can get some more done tonight.

I'm not good at keeping up with the homework for those ongoing classes, but it wouldn't be good if I didn't have it done for the first class! I'm super excited about these classes. I believe both of them are full or very close to being full. It's going to be good to touch base with some new students and catch up with ones from past classes.

Oh - I don't have much else to say today. My brain is going in several directions and I still have to proofread a document for a magazine. I didn't write it, but I need to proof it TODAY!  Funny how so many things came due at the same time.

One of my favorite fabric collections is this one called Letterpress by Northcott. Have a look at what Jean Boyd did with the leftovers. Hint - I've used this collection for a couple of upcoming quilts in magazines. I really should keep a list because there are several quilts that I've sent out that I haven't seen yet so there is more coming down the pipe. I can think of three off the top of my head, but there could be more. I'm not very responsible!

Anyway, that's it for me today. I need to get on the road.

Have a super day!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

One by one.............

One by one those things that need to be done before I leave for my weekend getaway is getting done. I finished one project last night and that one was HUGE so that felt really good. Almost to the extent that I didn't know what to do with myself. Seriously???

I did a little bit of cutting last night in preparation for the weekend classes. I'm super excited about those classes and can't wait to get the projects started. It's going to be loads of fun. Those are the on-going classes at the Hobby Horse quilt shop that I mentioned the other day.

Here's a question for you all - for those of you in the area - is anyone interested in doing an applique quilt? As part of my ongoing classes in the past, one of them has been an applique pattern. This year, both projects are pieced or focused on quilting. I've had a request from past students to run an applique class. If anyone is interested, drop me a note and I'll see if we can arrange something.  Here's the pattern that we were thinking of doing.

Autumn Quilt by Heart to Hand

I got the one pattern written that needed to be written. I'll verify it tonight and that will be one more off the list. I love lists!

I'm enjoying my training class, but at the same time, I'm wondering if I've gotten myself in over my head. It's going to be interesting. Right up my alley, but a lot of prep work. And lots of learning! But I'm super excited about the opportunity. I shall let you know on Monday what's going on. It's all good - only part-time so I won't miss out on my Monday sewing days! That's a good thing.

The DTox thing is going great. I'm sure some of the food combinations I'm eating for lunch may not be approved, but that's OK. I'm doing the best I can. Actually, I'm not doing that bad considering how bad of a sugar junkie I am (was?). I really don't mind the decaffeinated tea with no sugar. It's fine and it's HOT. I just have to figure out how to not cave with the sugar thing. I need a trigger or something. Think about how many times you pop a mint in your mouth after a meal. Or a little nibble on something. And have you noticed how many food commercials there are EVERYWHERE that advertise EATING and most of it isn't healthy! No wonder we have a hard time to resist.

We'll come to that bridge next week when I chat with the program person to see where and how to go next. There's lots of talk about symptoms that you could get - headaches, bloating, blah, blah, blah. More energy or less energy and lots of other things. I haven't really felt much change but I know eating less sugar is good for me.

On that note, the week is almost over and life will get back to normal, whatever normal is around here.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Finished is better than perfect!

Sorry - no pictures again today. I've been a busy little beaver taking tons of pictures and editing them, but it's all for the other blog posts that I do.

I'm just noticing something about this keyboard. Yesterday, I was in a real tizzy as there were certain keys, like the comma and the period that wouldn't work! I was getting some other crazy symbol. ACK! How am I supposed to write when that happens? Then I checked out the keyboard in desperation and found something called "alt gr". Apparently, that turns on other features on the keyboard. Once I shut that off, I was back in business.

I did go keyboard shopping the other day. But it was the weekend and the shop was busy so I didn't have a chance to chat with someone as time was short. However, I'm noticing that today, the touch of the keyboard seems to be better. It was so sticky and mechanical before, but now the touch seems to have loosened up?  Oh - I'm sure that is only in my mind! I don't have time this week to deal with it so we'll see how I feel next week.

Hopefully, I'll be done all the blog posts tonight and then onto getting prepped for the weekend classes. While I'm enjoying the training session, it sure eats into my time!

Went out to lunch again yesterday and this time, I had a burger - NO bread which I rarely eat anyway. And cinnamon apples came with it. Now that's a weird combination. I had decaffeinated tea again and all was good. So it was either the dressing or the kale that caused me to feel bloated the day before? Could it have been the walnuts? I don't have a problem with almonds. I'm not sure but this DTox program has been a very interesting exercise, to say the least. Two things I will change for sure - the smoothie for breakfast works perfectly for me. And I'll move to decaffeinated tea - NO sugar. It's actually not bad and I stole one from the tea bar to have last night! I slept like a baby! There are a couple of other things that I'm not sure are caused by a food sensitivity, but we'll see when I start to reintroduce different foods next week. Would I do this again? You bet - it's been interesting. I would say the biggest thing I have to do is to stop craving food when I'm pressed for time. Why do I do that?

In the process of getting those blog posts completed, I finished another project last night. That makes number eight for the year. Wow - that's pretty impressive I might say. Yes, I wrote it on my list. I'm pretty excited about all this finishing stuff and hopefully, there will be a lot more coming up. I can't wait for next week to have some flexibility back in my schedule even though the week is entirely booked with things that need to be worked on. I'm not big on commuting anymore! And my commute this week is on the opposite side of the city - thankfully the toll highway passes right by my house and my destination!

Must run and finish getting ready. I've got a small presentation to make this morning and I'm not nearly as prepared as I would like to be. I'm pleading the "new kid on the block" as my reason for not being better prepared.

Have a super day!


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A long day!

I'm not used to sitting all day. My Fit Bit was in shock. I think in total I did less than 5,000 steps, but it was charging while I took the dogs for a walk.

I think I'll wait until the week is over to reveal what's happening. Nothing big, but I'm in an education session all week. Yikes - funny how quickly your body adapts to not being stuck at a table/desk all day. At least when you're sewing, you're up and down!

While I was waiting for the others to arrive, I made a list of all the things that need to be done before I go away for that weekend. Too many to tell you about, but at least next week is a "free" week in order to get all those things done.

I came home last night and did a bit of urgent computer work and then I was out like a light! I can't cope with these long days!

Sorry - this is short again today, but my commitments to others is a bit more important than you!!!

Don't forget that this weekend is the on-going classes at the Hobby Horse. One of them is on free-motion quilting. We'll be making a table runner each month and then you'll be getting a whole pile of ideas on how to quilt the runners. And lots of tips on free motion quilting as well. I think the class is full and they're taking a wait list, but I'd call to get your name on that waitlist.

The second one is Farm Girl Vintage.  Check out this blog post to get all the details. There is still room in this class I think. 

The best part of these classes is that you get to see what each other is doing. It's a social event as well as a learning event. And it's just fun!

I should mention that I had a decaffeinated tea yesterday and I had a kale and walnut salad for lunch. It's hard to eat clean in a restaurant. Not that you want to hear this, but I felt bloated in the afternoon. I've not felt that way since I started this detox program. I wonder what triggered that????

Make sure you check out the classes.

Have a great day!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Hmm - short on time!

I'm short on time this morning. I've been working like mad all weekend. Running between the computer and the sewing machine, but there are some amazing blog posts prepared for you to enjoy next week. I'm not done, but I'm getting close.

I'm going away in two weeks for a weekend and there's a LOT of stuff that still needs to be done, but one by one, those urgent items are getting done. The best news - NOTHING is being added. The only thing suffering is my paperwork which I hope to catch up on next week. Well - make a dent.

While I had made some quilts a while back for a magazine, I was the one to take pictures. I've had a couple of photo shoots, but needed two more. So there I am yesterday afternoon wandering around the forest behind my house with a quilt and a camera. I hope they like the shots. The other one I staged in M's room. Let's say that I had to scrub down the furniture before I could take the shot. Never buy a kid white furniture!

I'm off today on a new adventure which hopefully I can share with you tomorrow. I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into, but I think it'll be fun!

And on that note, I need to be on the other side of the city by 9 AM and it's raining and foggy. Oh boy - don't you love that commuting! Don't worry - the commute is just for this week.

Have a super day!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

What a mess!

I'm preparing my blog posts for QUILTsocial. Some super exciting news happening there - wait a few weeks and you'll see what I mean. I'm very stoked about this one.

Anyway, it has involved a lot of prep work and my studio has basically been pulled apart. I can't even take a picture - there is too much stuff everywhere! You see I needed some examples and I thought rather than just make random examples, I would actually make a wee bit of progress on several projects.

A bit of panic as I looked for something that I've been saving for a while, just for this purpose. OK - found that one under the long arm. Those blocks are now complete (well over the part that had to be done to them before I finish piecing them - took all of about 15 minutes). Now the big question is where is the rest of the quilt so it can be assembled and I don't think the pattern is with the remaining blocks. That's still on the list of things to find.

This is a box of stuff that has been getting bigger and bigger after each time I completed the blog posts. It's time to deal with this. Of course, I choose the weekend when the posts need to be done to tidy up!

Box of odds and ends that has to be dealt with

It's totally insane what I found in the box. Look at how much thread there was in there.

Found a whole whack of thread
There were a couple of small projects that just need a bit of work to finish up and then they can go in the "to be quilted" pile or I'll finish them as part of my posts.

God - I found scraps from a project that I did a long time ago. Seriously? I couldn't throw this away? Obviously, I need help.

A scrap that I've been hanging onto
Then I thought of another project that I could use for this particular post. I had to dig deep in the storage room for that one, but I knew exactly where it was. It won't take long to make a block from this, but guess what? When I opened the box, I found a block already prepped and ready to go for what I needed. Yahoo!!  So that one is now completed as well.

Somewhere in my searching, guess what else I found? Another huge whack of threads. Seriously - this is insane. So all the threads are now stored where they should be.

More found thread
When I opened one of those projects boxes, I also found something that had been missing for a while and matter of fact, the rest of it was sitting on the second desk here in the office trying to figure out how to get the missing part. It was an Eight part Mystery that we had done at the Brampton Guild. I was missing Part 5 and sure enough, there was Part 5 - in a totally unrelated box. Now the entire pattern is together and I'll put it back downstairs in my patterns - well attached to each other or in a plastic bag so nothing goes missing again. I'm sure someone gave me those missing instructions when I was teaching from that project box and it never got sorted properly when I got home.

Which means that we need to keep cleaning up and sorting when we come home from a class. I'm doing way more of that these days.

And I had to dig one more project box off the UFO shelf and it's spread out all over the place. So yes - the studio is a huge mess. But I'm slowly putting things back when I finish with what I wanted from the particular boxes.

When I was editing pictures this morning, I found this one as well. When I was putting the binding on finish number 7 for the year, this is how much thread I had left on the spool. Yikes - just made it!

Just enough thread!

 Here's my quote of the day.

 It was such a nice day that I decided to walk to the mall as I had to exchange something that I had received as a gift. There were two items that needed to be exchanged. I had already picked out the new items that I wanted. I had no idea what the prices were. But when I asked the lady what the difference was, she said I owed them $5. OH? What is the value of the two pieces I'm returning? $130 and what is the value of the two I'm getting? $110. Oh - so in fact, you owe ME $20. Well, we can't give you $20 back? Why not? I didn't argue the point because as I was browsing the catalog, I had seen something else that I liked so I got that and ended up owing them $30. Again, I don't blame the store, but the employee sure didn't know how to do math! It was Pandora in case you're wondering.

Then I had a beautiful walk back home. It was gorgeous and even though I'm under a deadline, I needed to get out. Walking around the neighborhood is something that I greatly missed when I was working. It's fun to just walk, the dogs stayed home. They are too unruly to go for that long of a walk!

The DTox program is still going great, but I'm a stress eater for sure! Yesterday when I was having a moment, I needed to eat. I never knew I was that bad! While I do miss the cookies and the chocolate, I really think I can live without them. What I really miss the most is the HOT tea. Green tea just isn't as hot as regular tea - I want something HOT! I guess I could try a decaffeinated tea. Because I tried green tea at black tea temperature and it's not pretty!

The big question will be - what will I introduce back into my diet next week? Caffeine? Dairy? Gluten? Alchohol? Refined Sugar? Any or all of them? I would reintroduce all of them if I knew I could use them in moderation. I seem to be an all or nothing girl! But let's say refined sugar for sure is GONE! Gluten should be OK - I do like pasta.

On that note, I'm on a roll, editing photos and uploading them and loads to write about. Still more work on the sewing machine and then more pictures.

It's my Mom's birthday today so I better remember to call her or I'll be in the dog house!

Have a super day!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sit n Sew

Sit n Sew days are FUN!  It's great to get together with friends and our mutual hobby and chat about everything and anything! It's great to be able to host these days again!

While we weren't too many this past week, it was still great to have the entire day to sew. 

I did a trunk show last week and had to whip a couple of quilts off the wall - sure looks bare without them there. 

Quilts are gone!
 I still haven't got the suitcase entirely unpacked and that won't happen for a couple of days.

Want to see where I whisked all the stuff that was in the main part of the studio? Yep - it's under the longarm. Actually, this isn't a bad place for it. It's not in the way when I quilt and it's out of the way in the studio. I've already been digging through the bags and boxes for various things that I'm working on and hopefully, we'll see this pile go down quickly. HA - what an optimist I am!

Projects stored under the longarm
 The sewing day was a good news/bad news kind of day. First the good news. I finished that block with the paper piecing of Quilter's Patch that I posted yesterday. Hmm - what to work on next? I dug out the Bonnie Hunter mystery that is on my list of UFOs for 2018. I might as well continue what I was working on the last Sit n Sew day. I'm merrily sewing the blocks together and if you look closely, you'll see that the orientation of those four patches is very specific. Last time I think I had rotated one four-patch in each of two blocks. Thankfully, it was a corner block.

As I'm sewing the other day, I was doing great. Until I realized that I was continuing to rotate that one block in the corner. Seriously?  I think I had to fix about 12 of 25. But that's not the bad news.

24 blocks of Bonnie Hunter mystery - DONE!
 This is Celtic Solstice which was issued in 2013. In the box below, you can see all the components and the instructions to complete the rest of the quilt.

The rest of the Celtic Solstice quilt
Thankfully, the components are done. I don't think I could face making all those fiddly bits.  I decided to check what was in the other two boxes that were hanging out on the UFO shelf. I knew one of them had extra fabric in the event I had miscounted and I think there are some skinny borders on the quilt so the fabric is already set aside.

Two more boxes for the mystery quilt

I opened the purple box and sure enough, there is all the extra fabric to complete this quilt.

Extra fabric
 So if all the components are in one box and all the fabric is in another, what the heck is in the third box?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's ANOTHER Bonnie Hunter mystery!  You're kidding me!!!! 

One more Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt
 Yep - looks like everything is included in this box. Extra fabric and hopefully all the components as well. This is Easy Street from 2012. I'm leaving it on the UFO shelf for the moment - perhaps it can become a bonus project? HA - the rate that I'm going, I'll be lucky to finish the 12 projects that are the shelf including the 5 that got carried over from last year!

Easy Street instructions

Now how could one forget working on such a big quilt? Oh well - it is what it is! I'm hoping the magazine schedule will be a little more forgiving this year and that will help a lot. So far, there are two more on the schedule, but not until March and April and both are smaller than I normally do. Yeah!

Speaking of which, one more quilt is done - the 7th finish of the year. I think I got excited the other day and said that that quilt was number 7, but when I checked my book, nope - I've got 7 so far this year. I'm OK with that. But seriously, it's still January and I can't keep them straight - imagine if I waited until the end of the year to figure this all out!  That quilt is now in a box and on its way to its destination.

I really must figure out the best size and shape of the box to ship these quilts. I've sent three recently and each time, the price has increased by $10.Seriously - from $30 to $40 to $50! This is for four-day shipping - all to the US. I'll be spending some time with the box companies and the shipping companies websites to figure out the optimum shipping container size to minimize the cost. The weight of each has been about the same - 4 pounds. Drives me crazy not understanding these things.

I did go to another UPS store yesterday and was much happier with the service. That's the beauty of living in a large city. If you don't like one store, it's easy to go to another within the same distance!

I took pictures of what the others were working on at the Sit n Sew but they're on my phone and the darn cord is still in the car. Must remember to bring that in today.

I'm 30 pages away from finishing The Alienist. Oh boy - what a book. It's a BIG book - small print, 600 pages and the subject matter and style of writing is very hard to read. I've had to go back and reread parts because I missed something. But I knew as it got close to the end, that I would probably "rip" through the pages. However, when I'm tired, I'm tired and that's it - I can't go on. It's a TV series that is supposed to start very soon on TNT. I've no idea what station that is. I won't be watching it, but here is a link to the trailer.  

No quilting this weekend, although three quilts remain to be quilted with deadlines. I've got a date with a computer and a sewing machine and a lot of writing and project making will be happening. All will be revealed on that soon!

Have a super day!


Friday, January 19, 2018

Quilter's Patch - Take Three

I made a list of things that I need/want to blog about. I'm working my way through that list and I'm still working on the Quilter's Patch quilt. I found another set of photos and there is still one set missing - I think. Could be on the phone. Let's see, that will be for another day! Just checked the phone. No pictures, but I just remembered there are TWO folders on the camera and I only looked in one. I bet the other pictures are in that second folder!

I see that I NEED to reboot my PC on a regular basis. Of course, I've been having trouble printing again! And the system was very slow this morning. I'm in and out of a lot of programs in a single day. So I rebooted this morning and guess what?  Yep - everything that was waiting in the cue to print - printed!  Note to self - reboot the computer at least every second day!

Had loads of fun at Sit n Sew yesterday and you'll see more about that in the next couple of days. I've been editing photos this morning.

But let's revisit the Quilter's Patch quilt. This was one of the ongoing classes at the Hobby Horse this past year.

Quilter's Patch by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts
The coil binding was put on by the UPS store - yes THAT store and that was a bungled job!

Let's see what progress was made from the last group of pictures.

One of the flower blocks

A house block

House block

A group of three blocks

Another group of three blocks

One of the rows

Someone else's row
 Don't you love how the same row or group of blocks look different depending on the choices of fabric? This was definitely an interesting quilt as there were MANY different techniques covered in the book. Paper piecing, English paper piecing, 8-point stars, applique, diamonds, curved piecing and a whole lot more!

More assembled sections

Two groups of sunflowers
Flowers and fence and the cat
Working on the very bottom border - look at that pink poodle
A little more progress on that bottom row
Blocks can be put together in different order
The top is together minus the top and side borders
 You have to check out this border. When Jennifer first pulled it out of her bag, I thought she had appliqued a green leaf and then a white leave on top. NO - this is HAND embroidered with a satin stitch that is impeccable.

Hand embroidered leaves and stem - beautiful

We had Jennifer give us a small lesson at the last class. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but wow - her work is amazing!

I suppose you're wondering how my quilt is progressing. As usual, I didn't finish before the end of the class. I don't think I've ever finished before the end of the class. EVER!  But I had most of the quilt cut out. So on Monday, I worked on two blocks. Some of the blocks are tricky. Lots of little pieces and if you don't label them, you have to remeasure each time you grab one to make sure you have the correct piece. I got one done on Monday and I had to finish the second one yesterday. It needed some paper piecing and I didn't have the supplies to paper piece with me on Monday. Note to self - check to make sure that you have all the supplies needed to do something! Don't worry - I've already checked the next two blocks for next Monday and nothing special is required.

Here are my blocks to date. Yep - I have nine blocks completed and I LOVE them.

My blocks

 Oh, look -  Lexi and Murphy are hanging out in the garden! I found patterns for those dogs online and bought the pdf. They are so cute! However, I had run out of the background fabric so I found something in my stash that I thought would work, but I don't like it. It doesn't look too bad in the photo but in real life, it's not great. And I need more background for the borders anyway so that item is now on my shopping list as well. There are three things on that list! I guess it's time to go shopping. But there is ZERO time for that so I'm going to try to get my shopping done next weekend when I'm teaching at a store. See how efficient I am.

I have three URGENT things to do today. Which will I choose first? I've no idea, but there is one more quilt that I'd like to get in the mail today so I might flit from one to the other to take a break! Yep - no focus whatsoever!

I'm so far behind on paperwork that it scares me. I was doing so good for a while. But after next week, there are no imminent deadlines - I hope to catch up then. As if that will ever happen!

I'm about 10 days into this DTox program. I don't feel any different. No worse, no better. I still have the same amount of energy as I always have. I almost caved yesterday but that was simply because I wanted a snack and well I ended up grabbing some fruit. This is a very good learning experience for me! I can make good choices! And I even have lots of temptations in the house - I didn't get rid of anything. It's all about mind over matter!

On that note, I'm out of here to start my crazy day!

Have a great day!