Saturday, March 31, 2018

Another app!!

Despite having an extended nap on the sofa (after I finished reading my book), I did manage to get some stuff done in the afternoon. I'm feeling better, just tired. Nothing that some good old-fashioned napping and liquids won't heal.

But now it's time to hit the studio. I thought I would get the big stuff out of the way while I still had some energy in me. I have a customer who always wants me to sew the bindings on for her. I'm OK with that, I charge her for it.

I had two to do. I started with the biggest one! One of the hardest parts of sewing that binding on is manipulating that big quilt. If you read my blog posts (QUILTsocial) this past week, you would see that I have a way around that. And I'm following my own advice in the photo below. Makes putting the binding on a whole lot easier!

Tables adjusted to support a big quit when putting on the binding

I was only sewing the binding to the top. She's going to hand stitch the binding down. I don't think she's quite finished binding the last large quilt I quilted for her. She's got a lot of work ahead of her!

Then I put the binding on the next one as well. Same customer. She had brought both quilts in a tote bag that she had made, but sadly it didn't have a nice support for the bottom. Since I'm such a nice person, I made her a plastic bottom for her bag. All she has to do is make a cover for it! No picture but I think everyone knows about the plasti core I use to make the bag bottoms.

Getting ready to stitch the second binding down

Actually, after I stitched down those two big bindings, I stitched the binding to one of my table runners. I had to be careful because, with my stuff, the bindings get stitched to the back so I can pull them to the front and machine stitch. The customer quilts, the binding went on the front and will be stitched to the back by hand.

That was enough machine work for the moment. I decided to stitch down one of the sleeves that I had prepped the day before.

Finished wall hanging
This makes finish number TWENTY-FIVE for the year.  I know - how the heck did that happen???  I've never been this prolific! But I'm not wasting any time. Granted, some of these finishes just needed binding. That's a legitimate finish.  I just inserted my little label into the binding and I'm OK with that. These are NOT heirloom quilts. I may put a label on sometime in the future, but I doubt it.

 While I was hand stitching, I decided to finish listening to an audiobook that had been on my iPod forever. I finished the book and still had more stitching. I thought I would figure out (once again) how to download an audiobook from the library onto the computer and then onto the iPod. When I arrived at the computer to do that, I was directed to a NEW app that will download audiobooks!!!  WAIT A MINUTE! Let's try that. The app is called LIBBY.  Within minutes, I was back downstairs listening to a new audiobook on my smartphone.  Works for me!!!!   Check it out - it's great and works with any of the library systems. But here's a very disheartening thing. You can change the speed at which the person reads. Why does everything have to be rushed? Can't we just learn to do less and just enjoy life a bit more?  Do not compare me to that statement - that isn't what I meant!!!

Now I had a bit more energy so back to the sewing machine for a wee bit. I had already rearranged these blocks to the point that I was comfortable with the layout. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but good enough.

Blocks laid out and ready to stitch together
 The bottom row is stitched into three big blocks and that's all I could manage. Now I have to decide on a border (s) for the quilt. The multi-color on the left seems too much and the black on the right is definitely very dark!  But I'm thinking I may add three borders (like the pattern) and insert the multi-color into the black.

This might be a better border option

The multi-colored print is a Laurel Birch. While I don't have any left of the one that I used in the quilt, I found another similar one (cats) in my stash. Good enough for me!

Here are the fabrics for the Trend-Tex challenge. Did I post those yesterday? Well, I did some preliminary work on the design and hope to start sewing later today.

Trend-Tex fabric

When I did a little bit of piecing, I also worked on the next block of the pixelated apple. The one that I took to Monday last week and haven't had a chance to finish.

Pixelated apple block - Number 11

After trimming two more quilts this morning, there is now a definite gap on the work tables. And there are still four more quilts to trim. I'm not doing them all at once. I'm doing them as I have the time to bind them. Then I can start tackling other areas of those work tables to get things prepped and out of the way. I still have 19 days before the next sit n sew and I think I can make good progress in 19 days.

More space on the work tables is freed up! 
 Almost looks like there's room for one person to sew! OK - a bit squishy!

And here's my work area. I've got two of my quilts to sew the binding to the front. There's two that need the binding sewn to the back and two rag quilts and the cat mat that needs to be clipped. And now that I can easily get audiobooks - hmmm, I might be spending more time doing hand stuff. And there's a wee bit of that on the list of UFOs for 2018.

My assignment for today

But first, it's weigh-in day at the gym. I'll be anxious to see what the results are. This is the last day of the 60-day challenge and I feel absolutely amazing. Matter of fact, I had a wee shock this morning. As I stretched and put my hands on my waist, I thought - WHOA - that's my rib cage I can feel in the back!  Where did that come from?   It's seriously been about making choices and portion control. It certainly hasn't been about working out because I've barely been to the gym in the last month. OK - I go for my weigh-in and the steam room! That's going to change once I feel better.

Yesterday, DH asked me if I wanted any Tostito's chips which I used to eat. It wasn't that I used to eat them, but I'd eat a LOT of them. I thought about my pants and said "no thank-you". I'll share the pants story with you tomorrow. I'm not starving and I'm not depriving myself of anything. I'll go into more details tomorrow

And I'm off to test wind chimes this morning. I can hardly wait!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, March 30, 2018

To toss or repair

Is it nap time yet? Yes, it's going to be one of those kinds of days. While I'm not super sick, I've congestion in my nose and chest, but I'm not hacking my lungs out. Still, I'm tired. I'm going to write this post, then it will be nap time.

While I did spend a good part of yesterday either snuggled under several quilts on the sofa or in my big chair (but not big enough to be super comfortable) reading a book, I did manage to get some stuff done in the studio.

Amazing how little happens when there is no deadline.

I got the second of the rag quilts together. That means it's time to get the snips out and start clipping those seams. I might be able to manage that while I lazing around. I'm not sure, but that heavy flannel quilt would sure keep me warm.

The second rag quilt is assembled

The person who gave me the rag quilts was making two of them. The first one, I assembled ONE quilt. This second one, I split into two. Gosh, that first one must have been huge which is why it took forever to snip the seam allowances!!!  Hopefully, the process will go a wee bit faster this time.

There were a few bits left over which I thought would make a nice cat bed. I was missing ONE of the small squares so I cut one from my flannel scraps (can you guess which one it was?). This should be super easy to snip the seam allowances. I might just manage that today.

Raggy flannel cat bed

Let's see - I put the binding on a quilt - only the one side, but I also prepped the sleeve for that quilt and one other quilt that I had bound during my binding marathon for QUILTsocial this week. There are quite a few more that need binding (from my quilting marathon of the last couple of weeks). I'm going to attempt to do a couple a day, but in theory, I'd like most of the binding done by next Thursday which shouldn't be a problem.

I've got two quilts (they were the largest ones) trimmed and so there's a wee bit of a gap in the work tables. A wee gap!!!  You can actually see the surface of the table!

Progress is being made on the work tables
 But if I consider that the machine has already been gone for one week and will likely be back in two, I'm way behind and that would be a lot of stuff to pack up for the retreat! I'm not worried. It'll happen.

Here are the quilts waiting to be bound sitting on the other set of work tables.

Quilts waiting to be bound

Something else that I need to get working on is a couple of challenge quilts. Now I don't care if my challenge quilts are spectacular. They are usually a place to try something new. The moment I opened this package this morning (this is the Trend-Tex challenge for Quilt Canada in Vancouver), I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. I dug out a source that I needed and hopefully later today, I can get working on it. I'm not sure how it will end up looking - I'm just going with the flow on this one.

The fabrics for the trend-tex challenge for QuiCanadaada
 The fabric is a cotton lawn so it's creamy smooth. I'm only going to use the fabrics included in the kit, so I'll be limited in how big the piece will be. That's where I rely on my intuition. Just let the cards fall where they may.

I had a wind chime in my backyard. It's been hanging in the gazebo for years and I noticed a while back (OK - last year) that the blue piece (that the wind catches) had fallen off. The cording had rotted through. I had to find the piece of glass as one minute, it would be there (as I was sitting in my lawn chair and looking through the railing of the gazebo) and the next it would be buried - thanks to a pair of hooligans ripping around the gazebo.

I finally rescued the piece and when all the work was being done in the backyard, I decided to bring in the wind chime so I could reattach the piece of glass.

Broken wind chime

Now you'd think this would be an easy job. Pull out the old cord and insert a new one. Nope - that cording must have been glued in place because it won't budge. Oh crap, I finally decided to toss the wind chime and just get a new one. How expensive can they be? I popped down to Rona yesterday, but they no longer sell them. Seriously????  Yep, when they downsized, the wind chimes got nixed.

Back home to search the internet to try and find a wind chime. Gosh, I found some that were HUNDREDS of dollars. I don't want that!  Anyway, after a more thorough search this morning, I found an outdoor store not far from me that sells all kinds of backyard stuff. They are probably closed today but I'll be popping by tomorrow to see what I can find. I'm excited!  I love hearing the little tinkle of the wind chime and this is NOT something you can buy online. I choose the wind chime based on the sound, not the look. I don't want a big booming sound, and I don't want a little tinkling bell, I want a decent sounding wind chime.  Yeah - can't wait for tomorrow.

I've got two links for you today. It's the last day of my blog posts on binding quilts on QUILTsocial. As you could probably tell from the posts, I'm super excited about all that I learned this past week. It takes bindings to a whole new level and I can't wait to start using some of those techniques. Maybe even later today!

The second is about quilt books. I love books about quilt history. I've got quite a collection of them, but always on the lookout for more. I came across this new book which I shall have to try and find somewhere. I hate to pay full price for them because they are expensive. And I've been able to find oodles of them at guild garage sales. Thanks, ladies!!!!  Anyway, here's a link to an author that looks very interesting if you're into that kind of book. The author's name is Roderick Kiracofe.  I have two of the Quilt Digest (I'm certain I have a third, but couldn't locate it this morning). I also thought I had his main book, but nope - I don't have that one.  So if you happen to be downsizing and you have some of these historical/picture books of quilts, let me know and we can talk. I already have a big collection so I might already have whatever you're getting rid of!!!  And I really need to make it a priority to upload all my quilt books to Collectorz - the software that I use to catalog the books I've read.

I'm a big user of the public library. Often, I'm somewhere and I see a book and I think, "Does the library have this book?" (as I'm too cheap to cough up the money for the book, especially if it's fiction).  It was very difficult to access the library catalog through the internet. So I would take a picture of the book and then check when I got home.  NO MORE!!!   There's an APP for that!  The APP is called BookMyne - available for free in the Play Store and it gives you access to your account and the ENTIRE library catalog of YOUR library. Even better, you can scan the book's ISBN and see if the library stocks the book you're looking at.  WOW!!!!   I love that!!!!    It's not just for my library - it's for all libraries that had connected to the app - you start off by selecting your library.

OK, now I'm tired and for sure, I need a nap before I tackle those bindings.

Have a great day!!!!


Thursday, March 29, 2018

What's next................

Without a deadline, I'm like a lost soul! It's easy to get distracted! Very easy. It doesn't help that I'm not feeling my usual self. The Task Master and I are going to have to have a little chat. That'll get me whipped back into shape.

Don't worry, I'm not overdoing it. I've already finished my second book this week and halfway through another one. I'm taking my fair share of catnaps and long bouts in the chair to read. I took a walk to the library yesterday where I thought I was doing great by handing in three books, only to bring home five! Now how did that happen? Doesn't matter, I'm enjoying the leisure time and the quilts can wait.

I did get the last of the urgent computer stuff done yesterday as well. I still have stuff to do - a LOT of stuff,  but I think most of it can wait. And I got notification yesterday that the long arm has arrived at its destination. Yeah!

I did get a wee bit of sewing done over the last couple of days. Check it out.

The first raggy quilt is together. It just needs to have the seams clipped. The size is about 52 by 62 which is good for a cuddle quilt. I didn't lay out the rectangles in any particular order, I just grabbed and sewed. Then I tried to arrange the rows so that no two fabrics were touching. And you guessed it - there are two fabrics touching!

Raggy quilt ready for the seams to be clipped

Here's the back of the quilt.

Back of the rag quilt

Since I want to get these two quilts done, I sorted through the rest of the patches and put them in rows. Again, totally random!

Piles for each row of the second rag quilt

I managed to get half of it sewn together yesterday and this morning when I woke up, my head was saying "get up, you can have that rag quilt finished in no time". My body said, "get real!"

The second rag quilt is half sewn

My body won - the quilt is still half sewn!

But not to be sitting idle, I came across this box this morning and had to lay out the blocks. The blocks are completely finished. They just need to be sewn together. There are only 16 blocks, so how long will that take?

Fickle Pickle by bee creative

It's gorgeous and I started those blocks years ago!  I need to rearrange some of them, this is the first pass, but isn't it a bright happy quilt? I do believe that this designer has closed up shop, but I think the Hobby Horse still has one pattern.

I've got a couple of links for you this morning. The first is important if you download patterns from the internet. It's all about printing .pdf files.  And there're a couple of very intriguing quilt patterns at the end of the article that you can buy and download. NO - I don't need another pattern but I'm tempted.

But the best part of today? Well, that's the information you'll find on QUILTsocial. It's the day when we stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and I give you LOTS of options. Be sure to check it out.
There are LOTS and LOTS of good tips.

And if you have NOTHING to do this weekend, it's the grand opening of Oh Look Fabric - the new quilt store in Milton.

On that note, I'm off to get the day started. What to do? Computer or sew or read? Well, it'll be a combination of all three.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pattern Testing

When I worked for Northcott, one of my tasks was to proof patterns. I actually proofed my own patterns which can be a bit of challenge as you've seen the same pattern in multiple iterations and it's easy for a mistake to slip through. Thankfully, most of them were easy. If you haven't seen my patterns, they're available on the Northcott web page as free downloads. Yes, they were made with specific collections, but most of them could use whatever fabrics you want. I'm actually going to go back and rework some of them in different fabric selections.

But I also worked with the designers who created patterns with Northcott fabrics. I did not have time to completely check the entire pattern, I mostly checked that the cutting instructions matched the fabric requirements.

Depending on the pattern designer, the job was fun and not so fun. It really depended on how the fabrics were laid out for cutting and buying. There are good ways and there are not so good ways to explain how the fabrics need to be cut. Let's just say that I learned a LOT by reading other people's patterns and pattern writing styles.

I soon developed my own style which was based on how I like to read and use a pattern. Hopefully, those of you who have used my free downloads haven't had an issue with them.

A while back, a Canadian designer posted on Facebook that she was looking for pattern testing for one of her patterns. Despite the fact that I was insanely busy, I threw my name into the hat and I got picked!

The pattern is called One Fish, Two Fish and the designer is Janet Barker. You can check out Janet's Facebook page. Her design company is called JB.QUILTDESIGNS. Janet is teaching at Quilt Canada 2018 in Vancouver. She is NOT teaching the fish quilt.  Her workshops are in the Quilt Canada link above.

The pattern comes in multiple sizes and of course, I wanted to make the largest one which is a lap quilt. I'm going to use my version as a wall hanging. It's 51" by 56".

Now, what fabrics to use? I have a ton of fabric, but I'm always trying to get more out of any project, so I decided to use Banyan Batiks by Northcott. Thanks to Northcott for supplying the beautiful batiks used in this quilt.

Banyan Batiks by Northcott (this is some of the batiks used in the quilt)

The original quilt had a white background, but we're talking fish here so I choose a beautiful aqua green from the Ketan collection (81000-715 - Green Envy) to represent the tropical waters where these colorful fish would reside.

Then I was off to cut and sew. For those who know me, I'm not the best at reading patterns. I tend to see how the pattern is made and then go off on my own tangent. I tried to keep on track. That was the point of the exercise - provide feedback to Janet for the pattern. It didn't help that I was in a deep time crunch as well. I was sewing and then thought I didn't have enough blocks so I cut more fish fabric. I used up every spare scrap of the background that I had.

Things weren't coming together as I had planned and I was about to panic when I realized it was lunchtime. Lunchtime on the last day that I could work on this quilt. It was far from being together. While I ate lunch, I decided to read the ENTIRE pattern right through to the end. OH - OH - OH - I had a lightbulb moment and after lunch, the remainder of the quilt went together like a breeze. SO yes - when one is testing a pattern, one should read the entire pattern!!!  Totally my fault.

But I have lots of notes - well not that many to pass along to Janet and I'll be doing that this morning.

So you want to see the quilt?  It's super cute.

One Fish, Two Fish designed by Janet Barker (made by me)

Isn't it neat? I did change up the fish from Janet's. I have little /big fish happening. Using the various sizes of fish and designing your own quilt was part of the pattern. You choose the size of fish you wanted and you could arrange them how you wanted.There was also a larger fish which I didn't use.  I wanted to make sure there was some space between all of the fish to get some cool quilting in.

The pattern is rated Advanced and I would agree. The fish fins are all 3-D flying geese which aren't hard, but they do take time. There was sewing, there was cutting and there was trimming, as well as a few bias edges. But honestly, it didn't take long to put together. Once I got my fish size concept organized and I knew what I was doing.

The binding hasn't been put on yet and I have plans for that. Based on what's happening on QUILTsocial this week, the binding blog posts have generated a HUGE pile of other opportunities and I'm going to use this quilt for one of my ideas.

The moment I had finished piecing this quilt, it went onto the long arm and I needed some fast quilting ideas. I go for freehand designs every time. Freehand doesn't have to be PERFECT which is why I like it - a LOT.

Here's one of the fish. I used one of the quilting suggestion by Janet and modified it for my style. It's hard to see in the photo, but the fish has an eye and a couple of curvy bands.

Front of the fish
 Here's a picture of the quilting on the back of the quilt where you can hopefully see the quilting a wee bit better.

Quilting on the fish from the back of the quilt

Here's a shot of the quilting on the front of the quilt - the background.

The quilting on the background

And here's the background quilting from the back of the quilt. I always tell my students - make your quilting consistently INCONSISTENT and then EVERYTHING is perfect.

Background quilting from the back of the quilt

At our long-arm meeting on the weekend, someone mentioned a big name quilter in the US who takes ONE YEAR to make a quilt. BORING!!!!   I would die if I only made one quilt a year. I don't care how spectacular the quilt is, I couldn't do it. My level of creativity would be stifled if it all went into one quilt.

I mentioned that the flying geese for the fish fins are 3-D flying geese. While I love them, they are a hassle to quilt. I have a quilt here that has 3-D flying geese and it was kind of freaking me out what to do with it. Well, when I got started on this quilt, I ended up stitching the 3-D part down and I LOVE how it turned out. I wanted ONE line of continuous quilting for the fins and I managed to do that. I love when I learn new things! It seems that everything I do has a learning experience for me. I love that!!!  As my Dad says, when you stop learning, you've nothing to live for.

There's my85-year-old Dad addicted to YouTube so he can learn stuff about engines and generators and alternators and whatever. I love it!!!  Way to go, Dad!!!

The way the fish were made, there were cut-off bits. Of course, I saved the cut off bits. It's my nature to save them! Plus I now have 6 extra fish. So I was able to acquire some more background fabric and I'm going to make something up from the extra fish and these bits of leftovers. I've started to deal with the leftovers and hopefully, I can show you that project soon.

Leftover bits from the fish quilt

So there you have it! My fish quilt. I made notes as I went along in the pattern and I'll be sending those notes to Janet this morning.

I did manage to get most of the URGENT computer work yesterday, but I have a couple more hours today. Then I'm spending the afternoon sewing. Tomorrow, I can do whatever I want all day. I can hardly wait. Except that I have a sore throat. Oh well, life is NOT perfect.

Have a super day!!


Do NOT forget to check out QUILTsocial this morning. There's some excellent information about binding. Matter of fact, the entire week is about binding. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Stocked up!

A wee bit more time on my hands this morning, although it was a weird sleepless night and I slept in. But that's OK, I feel a bit of a scratchy throat and the last thing I want is a full-blown cold. Lots of rest and lots of water.

I spent Sunday with fellow long arm quilters. Just chatting about quilting and seeing some amazing show n tell. It was an interesting day as well as others got ideas from the group as to how to quilt their quilts. Yikes - way too complicated for me! I do appreciate all the work that goes into quilting some of these quilts, but many that I have just don't dictate spending that much time on them and I don't have the luxury of time to do that either.  But I'm spending more time these days getting more creative with my quilting.

On my way home, I had errands to do. Should I do them now? I was getting tired. But I persevered and got all the errands done! That means I don't have any to do this week.  Yeah!!!  So I'm stocked up with.....................

7 additional jugs of distilled water for the iron

And three pieces of Foam Core for the mini-design boards.

3 pieces of Foam Core for the mini-design boards
Oh - I might not have told you what the mini-design boards are. Well, you'll have to watch for that this week.

I didn't have a lot of time to write a blog post yesterday as I had to cut my blocks for the 150 Canadian Women so I'd have something to sew at Monday sewing. And I got a bit more computer work done.  Today is the last day this week where I have URGENT stuff to tidy up. A LOT of urgent stuff and then I'm pretty much free for the remainder of the week to do WHATEVER I want.

I did a wee bit of sewing on Sunday night. Here's what I did. Yes - let's pick the project that is NOT on the project tables. But as I had mentioned the other day, I did want to get these rag quilts out of the way. At least sewn together so I would be able to start ragging them whenever I have some downtime.

The rows of the rag quilt are together

Then when I was having a sleepless night last night, I got up to sew.

I got most of the rows together and decided that the quilt was not long enough so I added two more rows.

Two more rows added

I think I like this size and after looking at the other two smaller stacks (one of which I raided to get the two additional rows), there is enough to make another quilt this size. PERFECT! I might even be able to get those done. Using the Epic 980Q (the machine I'm using to blog with on QUILTsocial), that machine flies so it was easy to zip through those seams.

But I did a very bad thing yesterday when I got home from Monday sewing. I got my nose in a book. And I didn't put it down until I was finished. Needless to say, the entire evening passed by. And it was only when I got to bed that I realized that I had forgotten to go to a meeting that I wanted to attend. This morning, I realized that I had missed an eye appointment. Which is ironic when you think that the main character in the book was suffering from amnesia!!!! 

Needless to say, the book was a THRILLER. I don't normally read that much at once, but it was a page-turner right to the end. It's called Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. I think I just found a new author!!!   Very interesting. I just checked the author's webpage. This was his FIRST novel which was turned into a movie - for some reason, I thought it was a movie. OH, my - the trailer looks amazing.  I might have to watch it. I've just requested his second book from the library. See how easily I get distracted?  And I still have a huge stack of books here from the library, but of course, with my sleepless night, I'm well into another one which is quite interesting as well. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

The other day when I was sewing, I needed to change the needle and wind bobbins. That means it's time to clean out the bobbin case as well. Yikes - that's pretty filthy in there!

A very dirty bobbin case

I hope you enjoyed the first of five posts regarding binding on the QUILTsocial blog. Today, the topic is all about making continuous bias binding. Something that I get asked about - now here's a tutorial for you to make it. Super easy. Be sure to check it out!!

On that note, I'm out of here to get my commitments done for the day and I have ONE scheduled phone call to make that I cannot miss. I've lots of exciting things to blog about this week, so make sure you stay tuned.

Have a great day!!


Monday, March 26, 2018

NO time to post this morning.

I've run out of time.  Check out my blog post on QUILTsocial this morning. Lots of great information this week and it's all about BINDING!!!

Ok - that's it!!! 

Have a great day!!!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

I'm super super SUPER excited this morning!!!

The biggest issue with going to bed so early is that you wake up early! Really early!  I need to try and switch that time back a wee bit. However, I'm happy to report that I've already made huge leaps and bounds into getting some stuff done!!!

I'm so technically competent today I almost fell over. My class wanted me to provide some notes to them. The notes would be hand drawn so how to distribute them? Well, scanning them would be the obvious choice. When I checked the printer/scanner this morning, I didn't see my computer on the list. Hm - how to make that happen? To make a long story short, I did some quick research, downloaded the software and within minutes, my document was scanned and it should be waiting for the students when they check their e-mail this morning. I'm over the moon with happiness about that. Yahoo!!!!   It worked - it worked!!!

That's very exciting because there are other times when I'd like to send something and I would like to scan it - now I know how and maybe the printer will cooperate better.

The weigh-in went very well yesterday. One more pound is gone! I might just have to buy some new pants soon. The low-rise pants that I love, well, I have to be careful now! I won't go into details. That's too much information. Two pounds to go!!!!   Yahoo!!!!!!

I acquired the missing fabrics from the Purely Canadien Eh? collection.  Now to find the pattern idea that I wanted to experiment with. AHA - found that after going through a huge pile of books where I also found a book that I OWN, but I had just borrowed the same book from the library. The library copy is now by the front door. That's sad that I don't even remember purchasing that book.

Purely Canadian fabric
Thanks to Ronda, my fabric mule for the safe delivery!!!!

I turned on the sewing machine when I first went down to the studio, but I was busy doing other things and didn't have time to get to the machine right away. Then when I finally did get there, it asked me if I wanted to do the upgrade. The darn thing is connected to the internet, so the upgrade was done, but then I had to find something else to do while the upgrade occurred.

Upgrade happening on its own
You have to love technology when it works. Upgrades are done by themselves. I love it!!

So I looked at that heaped table to see where I could start. I collected all the loose bits of batting and now they are folded and labeled and ready to be put in the batting closet.

Batting bits labeled and ready to store

The next block for the pixelated apple is laid out.

Block Eleven of the apple quilt
Notice that there is some green in this block. All the red squares are cut.  The project bag is getting smaller. I now have a deadline to get this quilt finished, but that shouldn't be an issue. The deadline is months away and I'm on a roll.

Project bag is getting smaller

I cut some blocks for one of my monthly classes, but I'm not ready to sew them together yet.

Hm - now what to do with stuff that I pull from the table that is processed. I don't want to put it back on the table. So I dug out two tote bags. You have to LOVE those tote bags.

One is for the upcoming sewing retreat. Those blocks would be perfect to sew at the retreat. And the second bag is to store stuff like the rest of the pixelated apple. I don't want it to go far away.

Two tote bags to store "prepped or waiting" items
Can you figure out which one is for the retreat?  YES - it's the biggest one of course!  My goal is to ONLY take that bag with me. No other bags of projects.

A while back, a friend gave me a bunch of prepped rectangles that were for a rag quilt. She actually was making two. Didn't like the process so gave it to me. One of them is done. Remember how I toted that rag quilt with me everywhere while I clipped the seams. Well, the remainder of the rectangles were sitting on top of a cupboard. I had them all arranged in bundles for the rows for the second quilt. Then they fell over.

I decided to make THREE much smaller quilts from the rectangles. Here are two bundles.

Two bundles of rectangles for rag quilts

The third bundle

 I'm starting with the larger one first to make sure that I'm OK with the size. I may end up making two, but it's time to get these quilts made and donated. That takes up a lot of space in the studio! I started sewing this morning but didn't get too far with all the other stuff that I was sorting out.

I'm off for a fun day with quilting friends. So I had best get myself organized. Got to take my lunch but what to take?  That's the one thing I miss is not just grabbing something along the way. Since I won't eat bread, sandwiches are out of the question. Anyway, I'll figure something out.

And I've some AMAZING pictures to share with you from the show n tell at the classes yesterday. They were FABULOUS!!!!!

Have a SUPER DAY!!!!!


Saturday, March 24, 2018

I'm FREE!!!

If you didn't get a chance to go to the Etobicoke Quilt Show yesterday, then you had better get to the show today (Saturday).  I went yesterday and it was so nice to see so many quilters out. The show seemed to have great attendance even late in the day when I was still there. I met so many people and chatted up a storm - I almost didn't have time to see the quilts.

But I did and oh boy - there are some great quilts. I got a few machine quilting ideas, I got a few ideas for future projects (colorways - OK - a couple of patterns too) and just being immersed in walls of quilts is fun! I didn't win any of the mini-quilts in the draw. Oh - well, not like I need more mini quilts!

I did take a peek into the members' boutique which consisted of a lot of finished items and of course, older books, magazines and fabric. You'll be happy to note that I only spent $6. But what did I find? It's hilarious as the FIRST box of books that I looked in and the second book in the box was a book that I was looking for! What are the chances of that? And the book was reasonably priced at $2.00.  I bought two other book items for a total of $6.  I was very good!

The book that I was looking for
I think it was referenced in one of the quilt books that I just finished. I believe the library didn't have the book. So now I can read it. Along with the 23 other books that I have from the library. How does that happen? I plan on having a wee bit more free time in the next couple of weeks. OK - who am I kidding. That's not going to happen. But I do plan on a little more relaxed pace for sure.

I also found some red FQs for the 150 Canadian Women Quilt. There was only one vendor there who had red FWs (reds that read as a solid). I'm not using red/white or any other color in my quilt.  And I got a few different values which will help with those blocks that have 2 or more reds. I ran into someone who offered me their reds when they're finished their quilt. Well, I plan to be finished in 10 or is that 11 weeks, so unless it gets to me prior to that, it'll be too late. I'm on a roll with that quilt.

More red FQ for the quilt
I did buy a few other small things. Some stuff to experiment with.

I know - you're wanting to know about the long arm? And the quilts? Right?  I managed to finish the last project at 10 AM. It took me two hours to finish the blocks. Yeah - my brain was like a laser beam - never deviated from the task at hand. I counted down those blocks as I completed each one. I'll share that with you tomorrow as I have permission from the designer. I LOVE the quilt and I LOVE the quilting. I wanted to be able to get that box to the courier BEFORE the quilt show so I could cross that off my list.

At 10:05, with hex keys and screwdriver in hand, the machine started to come apart. The two back rails - GONE. The head came off - it's not that heavy, but awkward. Then as I waited for the instructions of what needed to be shipped - I still didn't find my copy despite going through everything (obviously NOT everything), I started to strip the machine down. Removing everything that I could. It's all laid out on the table below.

The long arm or what's left of it!

That space feels so absolutely empty!!  I do feel a wee bit lost without it in the house. Isn't that silly when I have many other sewing machines to keep me company.

Here's the machine all tucked away in its shipping box. I added all the other bits that needed to go with the machine. All nicely wrapped in bubble wrap that I found in the office! Go figure!

The long arm being prepped for shipping

I was surprised at how little it cost to ship the machine (weight of the box - 60 lbs) and that was including insurance. I mean we're talking several hundred dollars, but considering what I pay sometimes to ship a quilt - well I thought it would be more. I'm happy with the cost!!! It should arrive by Friday next week so it'll be ready for its spa treatment and upgrade during the first week of April. When I was getting the box ready, I noticed the date that the machine was shipped to me. January - 2005!!!  I always thought it was 2006.

I was in the studio this morning prepping for my three classes today. I'm not quite as far along in all three as I would have liked to be, but I've got enough done for what I need. The rest will come later. I had to rifle through the huge pile of stuff on the tables in order to find all the supplies, but I know where everything (mostly) got piled on the tables.

The "stuff" to deal with

Hm- I'm off to a sewing retreat in a couple of weeks. I should vow that whatever is left on the tables will come to the sewing retreat with me!!!  Once I get those quilts trimmed and delivered, it will make a huge different.

Today is weigh-in day at the gym. I've been really good this week. I'm shocked (I know I keep saying that), but I truly am shocked at how I do not crave sugar any more. While I can eat something like a few dried cranberries or fruit, that's enough to satisfy me. Wow - who knew it could be this easy as a detox program to make that happen. And let's not forget my newly found willpower and focus.

I figure I only have one life and I want to get the most out of it as I can! And I'm just choosing to eat better. It's as simple as that. But I do know that when I'm stressed out (which thankfully doesn't happen often), but stressed for time, I have two choices, get flustered and crave bad food or FOCUS and crave nothing. I've chosen the FOCUS path and boy has it made a huge difference.

I did manage to get the fourth blog post written, but it needs editing and one more post to load pictures and write. And one more pattern that's due. I think I did very well with that insane list of things to do. I've already got the outline for the next series of blog posts and am digging out the supplies for that tonight. And next week, I'm back to the mornings filled with paperwork and the afternoons quilting - ON MY OWN STUFF. Imagine that!!!!

But the next three days are filled with fun activites outside the house.

Don't forget to visit the Etobicoke Quilt Show TODAY (Saturday). I believe the show is open until four or five. You better check this link to get all the details.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!


Friday, March 23, 2018

Down to the last minutes............

What a marathon sewing day!  I'm happy to report that the quilt is currently on the long arm.

Let that be a lesson to me! I was supposed to be testing this pattern and well, I was working away and I was confused. I didn't cut enough fabrics. Now I'm even more confused. Then I had lunch. I read the pattern the ENTIRE way through. OH! That makes sense, I now have extra blocks!

I'll ask the designer if I can share my quilt (well her design) and my quilt with you. Oh boy - what an idiot I am. But the good news is that the quilt is completely sewn together. And I used EVERY piece of background fabric that I had because of all my extra cutting. The quilt got loaded on the long arm and the background is completely quilted. I was not going to quilt the motifs on the quilt as I could do that on the domestic, but then I thought - let's go for it. I figured out how to quilt them and I'm just waiting for 8 AM so I can start quilting again.

I dug out the box to ship the long arm, but do you think I can find the instructions for disassembling it? Of course, I can't!!  I've e-mailed the company - just to confirm that today is the day that it needs to be shipped and to get the shipping instructions again. I'm sure it's in this pile of paperwork on my desk, but I can't even find the original e-mail that it came in and I don't normally delete much!  Oh well, I may be going to the quilt show early and then home to disassemble!!! I know I read it as I remember them saying to take the light out as they didn't need that.

The girls and I did manage a walk as well. I needed a break from the sewing machine. I have to say that once I got the concept of the pattern in my head, the sewing went super fast. I'm really liking the quilt - I love my choice of fabrics. It's fun and it's bright.

I'm not sure why, but I was wide awake in the middle of the night. But since I go to bed so early, it's not surprising! So what does one do after you've spent over one hour thinking about everything that needs to be done? You get up and do it of course!!!

I decided that my studio was a mess and I needed to get it cleaned up so I'm ready to go to work next week. The next four days are solidly booked with stuff so there won't be a lot of time to sew. Except that I have to finish getting stuff ready for my three classes tomorrow.

Oh - before I show you what happened in the wee hours of this morning, I found a new hot cereal. It was next to the steel cut oats. I tried it yesterday and it's quite good. It has different cooking times than the steel cut oats, but with my new skills at microwaving hot cereal, it worked just fine. I put a little fruit in it to add some flavor. All good - no sugar needed.

Super Grains hot cereal

I started the tidy up in the studio by tidying up those stash bins. That alone made a huge difference. There's a lot of fabric in those bins and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Stash bins - neat and tidy and sorted

Then I tidied up the work tables. I dug out the brand new sewing machine from PFAFF - the creative icon and will be firing that up next week to see how I like it. And there's the Husqvarna Viking Epic 980Q. You'll see next week on QUILTsocial what I've been up to with that machine. I must say that I love the machine and I feel like I'm only touching the surface of all that it can do! Let's just say that it's fast - fast - super fast!

Fun sewing machines to play with
 Then I went to my personal sewing area and got that all tidied up as well.

My sewing machine area

Well, I was on a roll. I tackled the cutting table next. I was so amused by the whole process that I actually got a dust cloth and dusted everything including the grooves in the ruler holders. Am I psyched or a psycho?
Cutting mat - super clean and ready to cut the next project

The ironing board is also spin and span - well as much as it can be with all the use that it gets. I tidied up everything that didn't need to be there. Oh, shoot - I meant to take a picture of my distilled water supply. I'm down to ONE jug. I guess that means a trip to the store to get more. God forbid that I run out!!

Ironing board - clear

What happened to everything?  You guessed it - I heaped it on the work tables. I have no idea why I do this, but I do!  It's insane.  I now have until April 19 to get this area cleared off. That's the date of the next Sit n Sew.  I think it's possible. At least, a good part of it can be cleared off once I trim all those quilts. It's like a game to me. Perhaps I'll post a picture a day to see the progress.

Stuff to deal with
 And I need to deal with those tuffet foams as well. There'll be no long arm to distract me for the next at least three weeks, more likely four.

Tuffet foams

The missing part of the pattern is done and sent. The pictures for day four of the blog posts are loaded and I'm about to write the text in a few minutes. All is good. But one more day would be awesome!

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

Have a super day!!!