Thursday, May 31, 2018

I should buy a lottery ticket!

Perhaps today is my lucky day? First - I slept in - not sure why I'm tired. Maybe the heat although normally that doesn't bother me too much. I bet it's that I didn't drink enough yesterday and that makes me tired, especially after my spin class. Note to self:  DRINK lots today.

Anyway, I was puttering in the studio this morning. I'm not even sure what I was doing/looking for. Oh - I was getting the camera off the long arm where I left it yesterday. So I saw the quilt that I'm going to talk about this morning. Then I grabbed the pizza (project) box that it was sitting on. Yep - that has stuff in the box pertaining to the quilt. I grabbed it because I thought I should start working on the borders. There was an envelope immediately beneath that box. Could that be the envelope that I talked about the other day? The one with the pattern that someone had given me? YEP - that was the envelope.  Yeah!!!!  Now the envelope has been filed where it should have been filed when I first received it.

Five minutes later I was in my office puttering there. I realized that Saturday is the day to take in our shredding and I still have a HUGE pile of stuff to sort through.

Paperwork to sort through for shredding

I had originally left it on the kitchen counter so if I had a few spare minutes, I could sort through a folder or two. I want to blame DH for guilting me into moving it so it didn't look so messy on the counter and now weeks later, I haven't done anything with it. I moved it all back to the kitchen counter. I have TWO days in which to get that done.

As I was moving this paperwork, I noticed a couple of other things that just needed to have the staples removed and that was going in my scrap paper pile. I moved two of those groups of paper and guess what I found???  The letter from UPS to open my account. How it got there????  I was super excited until I noticed that the expiry date for the code was YESTERDAY!!!!!   NO!!!!!!   I'm going to call them today to see if they can't get this to work. Or I might try the code. I have a package to send tomorrow. CRAP!!!!   But at least I found it and I really must be better organized for this kind of thing. I'm better, but still a long ways to go.

The good news about the office is that there is NO NEW paperwork coming in here that isn't dealt with right away. That's the good news. Well, mostly dealt with otherwise how did I lose my UPS account form. God - I'm such a liar!

Now let me share the bad news with you. I NEVER prewash my fabrics when I'm quilting. I've never had issues. I always wash my quilts with dye magnets or chemicals to catch the dye should anything run. A couple of Sit n Sews ago, I was working on a quilt. We were having trouble with the iron leaking and this happened.

OH CRAP - the red fabric ran
I'm not even sure that that was my fabric as these blocks were made as part of an exchange. Each month we made so many blocks for each other. There were three of us in the group. The red is quite distinct from the other fabrics so technically it doesn't fit. But doesn't matter - it's in the quilt. I wonder if the others had issues? Have they washed their quilts?

This is what the quilt top looks like right now. It's a flying geese pineapple. The pattern is called Spring Beauty by The Rabbit Factory. The border is appliqued flowers, but I'm thinking I'll nix the applique and add a white border (small one) and then I was thinking of piano keys for the outer border or I might just save myself some time and just use one piece of fabric for the border. I'll be checking through my 30s stash later this weekend.

Flying geese pineapple quilt

After the iron leaked on my block and the red ran, I had a mild panic attack and then ran upstairs to get the Synthrapol which is pretty good at taking errant dyes out of fabric. I threw the row into the sink with the chemical and let it soak.

Quilt row soaking in the kitchen sink

That seemed to take it out as it looks pretty good in this picture.

Errant dye has been removed
 So I continued sewing the quilt together. I'm not sure that it's my imagination, but I still seem to see a reddish cast to that block.

Doesn't that still look red???
 I think part of it is the seam allowance showing through to the front. Shoot. What am I going to do? I'm going to finish the quilt and then I'm going to wash the entire quilt. I do have two extra blocks that do NOT have that red in them, but there are way more blocks than two that have that red. Best to just leave the quilt as it is. I'm going to wash it with Synthrapol and probably a couple of dye magnets and I'm going to pray a LOT!

I've been lax in putting up a quote of the day, but this picture was in the same folder as the quilt so here you go. I'd rather have people talk about me because I left a little glitter in their life than if I had left them with a bad taste in their mouth.

Quote of the day
I also got lucky with the long arm computer. I have purchased a number of designs and the couple that I had used were technically not a nesting design. Nesting is when one row of the pattern has to nest into the other instead of being done in perfectly straight rows. Hopefully, that makes sense. I could not get those patterns to load. By reading through some of the technical material (don't I always say - READ THE MANUAL?). Well, there's no manual, but there are blog posts with information and videos. So I read several blog posts and the other night I sat and fiddled with the software. I was ready! But was I brave enough to try on a customer quilt?  I thought I should hold off until I knew that everything was working just right.

I still have some charity quilts but why not use one of my quilts. So this quilt of mine got quilted yesterday. 

My quilt - quilted!!!!
I had a wee bit of a moment when it didn't seem to be quilting like it should have. But the next row of stitching solved my problem and I was good to go. Now that was very easy. It nested just fine and you can't really see in the picture below how it nests together. Which is GOOD!!!

Even better - this is one of my UFOs for 2018. Maybe I will get all those projects sewn, quilted and bound in this year. Now wouldn't that be a coup for me!!!!   There's hope because my goal is to quilt ONE of my quilts every week. I have two quilts of mine on the list for this week (one didn't get done last week). I have one more customer quilt and that magazine quilt to get done this week and I've nothing scheduled for the entire weekend. Hmm - let's see what happens. I'm getting excited about this. There are ZERO regrets for spending all that money for the computer.

Detail of quilting
 Next up, I loaded the customer quilt and tried a different pattern and I got that one done too. OK - the only thing left is to figure out how to get the exact measurements for the length and width. No - that didn't come out right because I know how. What happened is on one quilt, the pattern was a ½ inch too long and on the other, it was a ½ inch too short. Not a huge deal in either case, but I want to know why I'm not consistent. More learning.

Customer quilt - done!

Amazing how our society is driven by numbers. Did you make your 10,000 steps today? If you ride that spin bike just a little harder, you can make the 30K in less than 60 minutes and then there's the software. I use Grammarly and it sends me a weekly report on my writing. I get three stat boxes once a week. The first one is telling me that I'm making advanced errors and if I buy the Premium software, they can help me fix those advanced mistakes. I want them to give me an example of what an advanced mistake is? I know it's probably something with dangling participles or something like that. And that seems to be a lot of mistakes. It must have been a week that I blogged for myself and for QUILTsocial. Or they're just goading me to upgrade to satisfy my curiosity. Honestly, give me a one week trial - I don't want numbers. That tells me NOTHING!

Seriously?? My advanced grammar is that bad???

I also find these stats a bit weird. I NEVER have had a missing period in any of my writing so we know that this is not right. The comma?  Oh yes - that seems to be my biggest issue. I need to brush up on how to work that comma thing.  And the missing article? Well, that happens a lot with captions for photos so I get that one.

The second mistake - I don't get that one. 

And then there is the comparison to your peers. Another ploy to make you want to be better so you will upgrade. Look at how many words Grammarly checked during that week. Almost 20,000 words making me more productive than 96% of other users.  Gosh - I could write a novel - I'm so prolific!!!!

My accuracy is at 21%. Part of that was because of that nasty keyboard. Even if you went back and fixed the typos that happened because of the keyboard, it still counted as an error. That sucks. But I used more unique words than 98% of the other users. Hmm - I'm just using regular old words here - I wonder what the other writers are saying? See Dick run. See Spot run????? 

My weekly stats from Grammarly

Now, how crazy was that post!!!  I've got loads to get done again today, but it's going to be a bit more relaxed. I see I got a few corrections to make on that pattern I wrote and I should start on the next one. I see that it's forecast to rain today so that will keep me inside, nose to the grindstone. Oh my - am I dating myself when I say stuff like that? Probably!!!

Don't forget to read QUILTsocial today. There are some interesting things happening in the world of machine quilting on a machine embroidered wall hanging. But it all works out in the end.

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What's happening in the industry

Too much stuff happened in the industry yesterday to not mention it today.

First off, there's an excellent article explaining why the five founding designers from Cotton + Steel left RJR. Have a read - It's very eye-opening. I suspected internal issues between the division and the parent company was the reason they left. Note the first sentence in Abbey's article - I would give you more of my opinion, but I don't want to burn any bridges in the industry. But here's a quick personal opinion. I think fabric companies are greedy. They keep trying to push out new stuff and they give no regard to the end users (the quilt stores and eventually us quilters) and our needs/wants. Delivery times? Quality? Availability? Do the fabric companies not care? or they don't have the foresight? or they're just greedy and don't give a damn? 

I don't know, but it's a very interesting situation. What would happen if we boycott the quilting fabric industry? I wouldn't suggest it because I wouldn't want to hurt the quilt shops who are stuck in the middle, but if I could find a way to boycott the fabric companies - I think I'd go for that. Anyone with any bright ideas???

And on a sad note, there are two more magazine publications that are folding or have folded. Abbey mentions them in this article along with the other two that I mentioned last week.

The quilting industry is changing. Whether we're talking fabrics, magazines, notions, tools or whatever. I seriously think there is going to be a lot more shake-ups in the next couple of years. Companies will merge or close because they won't be able to keep up with all the changes in the marketplace. Higher costs of transportation and cotton are two that come to mind. Fabric companies will continue to skimp on the width of fabric - measure a couple of pieces you have in your stash from 10 years ago and now measure one that you just bought. I bet the more recent one is narrower!!!  The thread counts are going to get skimpier which will cause our fabrics to fray more. It's happening now! Perhaps we can boycott the companies one at a time. Therefore the quilt shops can still stay in business and we can prove a point to the fabric company that the CONSUMER RULES this industry. Now, which company should we target?  OH - god - I'm such a trouble maker!!!  But wouldn't that be awesome to show them that the consumer counts!

Here's another little irk that I have. Trust me - I'm in a great mood. I just cranked out 30 KM in my spin class this morning. I left the house feeling great and thinking how light my gym bag was now that I only have summer clothes in there. Only to realize when I was hanging out in the steam room after the class that I had left my toiletries bag on the bathroom counter at home. Thankfully they had almost everything that I needed at the gym.

OK - here's my other little irk. Someone posted a picture on Facebook of a block that they were trying to identify. Someone mentioned that the block was a pattern by a famous designer. Yes - that is true - that designer did make a quilt and published instructions for a quilt that was made using that particular block. I identified the block as a flying geese pineapple block. The original person said NO - this is famous person's pattern. SHEESH  - do people not realize that log cabin quilts (and blocks and settings of which the pineapple is part of that family) have been around for eons. Hundreds of years in fact.

Do you know the difference between a regular pineapple block and a flying geese pineapple block???  Here they are - can you tell the difference???

ONE version of the pineapple block

ONE version of the flying geese pineapple block

As many of you who are reading this blog, that's how many (and more) versions there are of the pineapple block. But do you see the difference between these two? The corners on the bottom version form a flying geese unit and hence that's why that version is called flying geese pineapple block.

What irks me to no end is the number of quilters who think that just because a famous quilter publishes a video or a blog or a pattern or a Facebook post or an Instagram post of THEIR quilt that the quilt is original. Hardly so - I find that many of these famous designers are putting their spin on public domain blocks (which is perfectly legal and normal), but then we should NOT be thinking that this is original because it's far from original. Just their spin on the block is original. Trust me - I received an e-mail from someone who saw one of my patterns in a magazine and accused me of stealing that pattern from a famous designer. Sheesh!!!!!! 

Anyway, I'm out of time for today. I have a real dilemma to post tomorrow and then it's onto more show n tell.

I should mention that I sat down last night with the tablet for the long arm. I put into practice the things that I've been reading about on the technical site. AHA - I know so much more now! And I was trying to figure out how to get into a shared calendar on my computer that I'm part of as well as a shared drive. I got into the shared drive, but not the calendar, but I learned something about Google calendar. It always drove me crazy that the default notification for any new event was 10 minutes. I need ONE full day. And I found out how to change that default setting. I'm on a technology high today!!!!! 

On that note - have a SUPER day!!!!!

OH - don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. I've got some SUPER tips for quilting.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The things I learn from others..............

OK - I want Peggy to come and live at my house! She knows a TON of stuff. How does she know all that she knows?  Remember I talked about those flyers in my mailbox - three for the SAME condo complex???  Apparently, I can chat with the mail delivery person and they can affix a sticker inside my mailbox so they don't leave that junk mail stuff inside my mailbox.  Wow - really???  OK - I'm going to watch for the mail today and see if I can have a chat with them. Thanks, Peggy!!!!  I wonder what other wonderful tips she has up her sleeve. What other issues am I having around the house?

Here's another thing I learned this morning. This one was a comment that came on the QUILTsocial blog. Have a read this morning - it's all about fixing bindings and what happens when they get damaged. I'm not sure when the comment will come up on the QUILTsocial webpage - I just approved it this morning -  someone was reading that blog very early this morning. Anyway, I was told years ago, that bias binding is the best. It's the strongest and you should always do bias binding. I've done the experiment on the blog twice and I got the same results. However as Melissa pointed out in the comments, the damage to the bias binding will be contained in a smaller area because of the bias grain.  AHA - that makes sense now.

Since it might take a while for Melissa's comment to appear on that blog post, here it is.
"While your bindings will be frayed the same after three washes, after much more wear and tear the threads that are cut will continue to get damaged. The damaged thread on the bias binding is a short thread so the damage is contained within a short distance. The two bindings that run with the grain will continue to get damaged for the length of that side of the quilt. This will also happen faster on the straight of grain binding as the quilt gets tugged on during use because it doesn’t have the stretch of a bias binding."

 Now I'm going to put that binding issue to bed, but I'm glad I pursued it and now I know the complete story and that's what it's all about.  I can die happy knowing the story about the "strong" bias binding. 

Life is all about learning and there just doesn't seem to be an end to it!!!

I learned one more thing yesterday. While I think I can multitask - I really can't. Wait until you see what happened. 

I've got so much to post, but there just isn't time in each day. The posts would be huge and they're already large.  

Let me start with what I did yesterday - Monday sewing.  I got three more blocks done on the Night Sky quilt.

Three more blocks for Night Sky

Night Sky quilt by Jaybird Quilts

I got two more blocks almost sewn together and I ran out of the black fabric for the last two blocks. All the cutting has been done for those last two and the fabric is back in the Monday sewing tote so I can complete it next week. This is getting exciting!

Ready for sewing next week

I guess I shouldn't get too excited as I'm going to have to figure out what to do with all those blocks before I can sew the sashing on. There should be enough blocks for two quilts, and how big I want the quilt(s) will determine how wide the sashing is. Let's get the blocks done first and then decide. Progress - as this is a UFO for 2018.

BUT - the first thing that I did was to work on my 150 Canadian Women blocks. Here they are!!!!

Six more blocks for 150 Canadian Women

Wait a minute - why is that last one smaller than the rest? Well, it would appear that each week, I've either forgotten to cut all the pieces or did a miscut or something silly like that. Diane has been bugging me to just throw all the fabric in the car so if I screw up, I can fix it then. That's too much extra stuff to carry so I leave all the fabrics at home. Well as luck would have it, things were going great yesterday. All the fabric had been properly cut, and there were no mistakes in trimming. I'm on the LAST block. I'm chatting to Joyce at the cutting table as I cut the LAST two triangles in half diagonally twice. The moment I did the second slice, I realized that I was supposed to cut only ONCE!!!!!!  Oh crap! Joyce and I got a chuckle out of that at the cutting table, but I didn't announce it to the group because Diane would be on my case. However, the new pieces are cut and waiting by the sewing machine for later today. BTW - I would like to mention that Diane couldn't finish the borders on her quilt because she left a piece of fabric at home.  Just saying..............

Guess what? That leaves SIX blocks to sew together. Four of the six blocks in this group were fiddly, but I was able to finish them by lunchtime even though I had arrived later than usual. The last six are fairly easy so if there no screwups, it won't take long to finish them. I think I'll be finishing before Peggy as she's up to her eyeballs with quilting a couple of projects!  ONE MORE WEEK and then I'm going to have to figure out what to do with all those blocks. I checked back on the blog and I had about 48 blocks done at the end of January. I'm thrilled with my progress.

I took pictures of show n tell from the others yesterday, but the pictures are on my phone so hopefully later this week, I'll get those posted.

Here is the rest of the show n tell from Sunday's Sit n Sew.

Pam finally finished the top of her tablecloth. There are four big panels with writing on them. We arranged them so that you can read one of the panels right side up from each of the four sides. That red background in the picture came from Photoshop this morning. Normally it's white. Not sure what happened.

Pam's tablecloth

France was working on a bowl. Remember the clothesline bowls that we did in a class a couple of weeks ago???   Anyway, I LOVE this bowl that she made. The shape and the size are awesome. She used a slightly stiffer clothesline and the bowl is pretty substantial. We learned that you need a topstitch needle for the stiffer cord.

Clothesline bowl
 And I LOVE the fact that she used this khaki colored thread to stitch. The bowl has a lot of visual interest because of the thread. It's fabulous!!!

Colored thread makes the bowl look cool

Diane was working on her Circle of Life pattern by Jaqueline de Jonge. She's on the final border and then she has to assemble all the pieces. Can't wait to see it finished - it's going to be a knockout!!!!

Sections of the Circle of Life quilt 

More Circle of Life pieces

circle of life pattern by Jacqueline de Jone

Sharon was working on her Border Creek station mystery. I think this is the one from last year. She's on Clue Three and making great progress once we got the appropriate pieces from the labelled bags. I love Sherri's mysteries. Everything is super labeled with the inventory at the end of each clue.

Border Creek mystery block bits

France also got this small table topper together. The pieces were all cut before she came but it still is time consuming to put this together.  The pattern is called Rock Candy by Jaybird Quilts.

Frances' version of Rock Candy by JayBird Quilts

Ronda was working on her Elvis quilt. She had all the blocks laid out on the design wall but I didn't get a picture of it. It's going to look super cool when she gets it completed. 

I think I'm going to get that house block back and I'm going to fix the foundation and I'm going to fix the sky. The person it's for is particular and I can't have shoddy work going out with my name on it. I did WRITE my name on the front of the block in a permanent pen  (very tiny - but it's there). I can get it back this weekend and get it fixed. Shame on me for thinking I could get away with shoddy work. 

Speaking of shoddy work, if you read that QUILTsocial blog post, you'll see what happened with the binding on the cat quilt. That quilt hangs in my family room and I'm so HAPPY that I took the time to fix it. Lesson learned - do things right the first time and you won't have to redo them. 

Now I wonder what else Peggy knows? Do you think her house is super organized with no junky mess of papers around? Probably!!!  And mine could be too if I took the time. Since I haven't taken the time, it can't be that important to me. But if I were more organized then I wouldn't be puzzling over stuff like this. I'm certain that someone gave me a pattern. I'm almost 100% certain that they did. However, the pattern wasn't where it should have been. This morning, I'm thinking that the pattern is in a brown envelope. So that helps to narrow down the search, but with all the moving of bags and stuff in the studio - it could have got tucked away anywhere.  Today, I'm on the hunt for stuff so I hope to find it. And of course in my searching for stuff this morning, I came up with another project!!  Not a big one.

I did more embroidery last night. Super excited with the progress. I didn't get a picture of it, but - well - it's looking awesome. 

As usual, there is lots to do today. One more pattern to write that's urgent. Some other writing and a magazine quilt that needs to be worked on. Actually, it's late as it should be out the door today and it's barely started, but it's small - I could totally finish it today so let's see what happens. 

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Hve a super day!!!!


Monday, May 28, 2018

It was one of those days!!!

I'm running short on time this morning. I've already resigned to the fact that I'll be late for Monday sewing. That has NEVER happened before. But this morning, I HAD to get some paperwork done. I had goofed around on the weekend and didn't get it finished and it just HAD to be done by this morning. I'm happy to report that one of the patterns has been sent in for approval. It's funny how we procrastinate on stuff like that. I know how to write patterns - I could practically write them in my sleep, but I needed to format this one which I can do, but there were a few things that were throwing me for a loop.

However, after getting some inspiration from the ladies yesterday (thanks to France!), I got an idea and I was able to get the pattern completed. Yeah!  The next one should be a piece of cake because I only have to write the pattern, not worry about the formatting.

The other piece of paperwork got completed as well. Still a wee bit more to do and then I can honestly say that I'm pretty much caught up! There's a LOT of administration when you do freelance stuff. I can now see why quilt teachers have set classes and do not deviate from those classes. It saves them a ton of time making up new stuff. But I'm getting better and I do like the variety.

So yesterday was a Sit n Sew day. I think we should have called it Rip n Sew because I seemed to be doing a lot of ripping!!!  I don't have time to tell you everything that happened but I'll share what I did. The rest will come later this week.

If you were observant, you know that I had a problem with one of my 150 Canadian Women blocks that I did last week.

One of these blocks is not right

And as I was showing my homework for the Farm Girl Vintage on the weekend, I noticed that one of the blocks wasn't right. My task yesterday was to fix both of those.

I started off with the 150 Canadian Women blocks. I took out the two pieces that were inverted and sewed them back into the block. Yeah - I'm done!  Wait a minute - this isn't right!!!!! 

Still a problem with this block
 So while I got them in the same orientation this time, they were now backward!!!   Seriously???? Once again, the seam ripper and I had a conference and this time when I resewed the block - it's RIGHT. And even if it isn't - this is the way it's staying!!!!

Success - at last

I'm not sure what time it was when I got this done, but it took a long time to fix. Of course, I was interrupted by questions from the others. No big deal - it's a day of fun!!!

Then onto the next problem. This is my block for Farm Girl Vintage. Notice that half of the star points have been inverted. I seem to have a sewing dyslexia problem these days.

Ooops - half the points are not right

Seriously???  How did I do that? Fortunately, it was a matter of taking the block apart and then taking TWO of the small sections apart and reversing them and I was good to go. But not before I sewed one of them back together in the same orientation as it had been. Obviously, I was seriously distracted yesterday!!!

But I'm happy to report that the block is now together.  Yeah - I'll be sharing all the homework with you later this week. I promise!

Farm Girl Vintage block is now together

Then I decided to work on a block that I've been meaning to do for a while. It's paper pieced and I used directional brick fabric for the block. I had a lot of trouble getting the angles just right under the window on the left and now I'm realizing that I should have made that section the same color as the foundation on the right. OH GOD - what did I do????   Well, the block is already gone to its new home, so I can't change it. But let's just say that it took me all afternoon to make this one block.

House block
 But here are some lessons learned when making this block. First - it's a good idea to think of the colors you're going to use. Don't just use the colors on the printout. Hence the foundation on that side is made of brick and not stone like the other side. Oh well. It was easy to use the brick for the rest as those pieces were straight - no angles. Second - DO NOT just whack off the edge of the block without using a ruler. You can see a slight curve in the upper right. That makes the block a wee bit shy of what it's supposed to be. I didn't trim the back. I left a note and will let the recipient trim as they see fit!!!!  DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!!!!   Now I'll have to remake the block just to say that I did it correctly. NOT!!!!

Instead of doing paperwork last night, I got out my audiobook (to which there doesn't seem to be a point - just endless assassinations) and I stitched my lovely snowman or should I say snowlady!  I'm making great progress on this block. I didn't get any additional blocks traced yesterday, but there are no major events coming up and I have a pretty open week. I hope to make good headway on a lot of stuff in the studio.

Progress on embroidery block

And my blog posts from QUILTsocial are live this week.  Check out the first one here.  It's all about my favorite features on the Husqvarna Viking line of sewing machines. Some people think that I'm a good sewist, but I'm not. I just have a really good machine that for the most part compensates for my lack of skills if the above is anything to judge by!!!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Now that is great news!!

We had an amazing day at our class at The Hobby Horse. (check out that link - they're having a HUGE sale in the near future). We even got a sneak peek at some of the things that Gail picked up at Spring Market. It's super interesting to see what tweaks each shop owner who goes to Market. I did pick up one of Elizabeth Hartman's latest patterns - Penguin Parade. It's super cute.

The show and tell items were incredible yesterday (as they usually are). I'll be posting the pictures from the last class and yesterday during the week coming up. I didn't sleep well last night so got up late and I don't' have a lot of time this morning as I'm hosting a Sit n Sew today. Yeah - super excited for the Sit n Sew. Always good times and lots of fun.

When I got home yesterday after teaching machine quilting as well, I decided that I needed some downtime. I was so looking forward to finishing my audiobook. I plunked myself in a chair outside (not the lounge chair because I would have been out) and fired up the audiobook and started to embroider. I only used to do embroidery when I hosted the embroidery club before I got that daytime gig. Well, even though I no longer have a daytime gig, I still wasn't getting any embroidery done, but that project is on my list of things to complete this year.

Now that the block is properly marked, it's a snap to stitch. So I'm more likely to do it. It's summer and I want to be outside so this is perfect.  I got quite a bit done yesterday.

Embroidery is coming along nicely

I'm super excited to get this block done. There's still some fiddly candy canes, another scarf, and some snowflakes, but all is good and moving forward. I looked at the remaining blocks to be traced later today and realized that there are only FOUR more blocks, not FIVE. Oh - that is the best news ever. That means this project is very doable and the remaining blocks are considerably smaller than this one.  Oh, happy day!!!

When I was browsing the shelves at the Hobby Horse, I was looking at another embroidery pattern. But I didn't buy it. No - I told myself that when I'm done this one, I have another big project by the same designer. It's partially stitched, not sure to what extent, but that will become my next project for the embroidery world. And now that I'm good with the marking method, I should be good to go.

I finished that audiobook and tried to download the next one in the series, but it wasn't available. It's now on hold and then with the aid of my computerized book lists, I found another book to read (yes - another series). What is the matter with me?????   I need to get those lists up to date. Both of my booklists are now based on the internet. One lists all books and one lists the books in series and identifies the next book to read. That list needs to be updated from the master list and I must take the time to get that done. It would be a great thing to do on a plane if one decided to pay for internet access. I wonder how much that costs???

Not sure if you've seen this video, but it's very cool. Quilting in space. I love it and we think we have troubles here on earth. I love her hair.

I've had these pictures sitting in a folder for a couple of weeks and I had better share them since the end of the month is coming and I'll be flipping to a new folder and they'll get forgotten.

We are all subject to getting "junk" mail in our mailboxes. Flyers from all sorts of things. I get it but I don't read those flyers and they usually go right from the mailbox to the recycling box. When I was sorting the mail this one day, I noticed that I had received not one, not two, but THREE DIFFERENT pieces of marketing material for the SAME CONDO complex. Seriously???   Three different pieces for the same thing. Do they think we're stupid and we'll miss one, but not three? Advertising for this condo is EVERYWHERE in our neighborhood. This is such a WASTE of money and resources.

THREE different cardstock pieces for the same condo complex

Then I received this lovely (heavy) package. Yes - it's a big envelope. I saw who it was from - not interested, but decided to open it to see what kind of glossy brochure was inside.

Heavy envelope -- marketing propaganda

It was from Land Rover and this "beautiful" glossy brochure with fold-out pages provided me with close up details of some new fancy Land Rover car that costs gazillions of dollars. It was addressed to me so they bought my name from somewhere. Again - what a huge waste of money as it went to the recycling. I detest getting this kind of huge waste in my mailbox. And I wish that people would target their mail better or just stop doing it. This is why those condos and cars are so expensive. They have to pay for the marketing crap that they randomly send out.

Glossy brochure for a new car

I think I already showed you this picture of the trilliums in the forest. It's a shame that we can't walk there and enjoy the quietness of the forest, but these two girls of mine are a bit more enthusiastic about chasing things and well, the forest is too much of a distraction for them. I should really take a walk by myself in the forest - that was one of the best parts of my day and I miss it.

Trilliums in the forest

On that note, I'd better get ready for the dog park.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Quilting is supposed to be fun

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE to quilt and I LOVE to sew. It's just that when there is a deadline and the weather is gorgeous outside and I can't be out because I procrastinated and I need to be inside working. It's at times like that that I "resent" quilting.

I should tell myself that it was too stinking hot to be outside yesterday (which it was and I've got no shorts that fit me) so the next best thing was to be inside (in the basement where I had to wear a sweatshirt) and I was very comfortable.

I did get a lot done yesterday. Got most of the homework prep done - I would have liked two more hours and I would have been totally completed. Not bad. I really, really must not let it sit until the end. This is the first month this year that I did that so I'm doing OK.

Listened to my audiobook on my phone which I'm loving. I mostly did that in the evening when I couldn't take being in the house any longer. I sat outside and did some embroidery. YES - I'm determined to get this quilt finished.
More embroidery is done

It's super relaxing and I really need to get a couple more of the blocks traced (maybe all five of them) and then that part is done. I could do that at the Sit n Sew tomorrow. And this is the LAST HUGE block. The other five are considerably smaller. Perfect - I'll get out the light tablet so I don't forget. OK -- it's on the table with the pattern and the fabric. I'm set for tomorrow.

I managed to get a customer quilt quilted yesterday. I love this quilt - yes - it's my pattern. It's called Jeweled Tiles and you can find it on the Northcott website.

Customer quilt - DONE

When I was on the call with the support team (for the long arm computer) the other day, she asked me "do you know all the resources available to you?" Ah - NO. So she told me and I'm trying to read one section a day as I realize that I know about 1% (if that) of how to operate this computer and all that it can do. I can do basic edge to edge designs, but there is so much more. All in due time. But I MUST make the effort to do a little every day. That's the only way I seem to work which is why I don't advance fast on anything. But my brain also doesn't like to do the same thing over and over again.

I also did a little bit of planning  - of which I need to do more! My problem is that I could write out a HUGE list of all the things that I want to get done in the week. The question is how to be realistic about that list. And of course - how to prioritize. That's the key. I'm learning, but it's taking a while and I do get sidetracked from time to time.

While I was piecing blocks (for the class homework today), I managed to get more of the teeny tiny pinwheels done. It still seems like there is a ton of the darn things to sew together and then I have to deal with the pinwheels. Oh - I'm a long way from being done this project, but since it's an ender and leader project, it doesn't really matter when it gets done. Well, I kind of have a deadline in my head.

More pinwheels

As I get ready for my monthly class, I realize that I did NOT post the pictures from the last class. Oh - the class is going to kill me. Well, I'll post them this week. There is always something that needs to be posted and I plain forgot.

Shoot - there was one more thing that I was going to say and it's gone! I went away and trimmed the customer quilt and it still hasn't come to me. I guess it's gone.

On that note, I'm out of here. I'm teaching all day.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, May 25, 2018

What we did at the sit n sew!

Sit n sews are the best days ever! It's a day of great conversations, loads of laughs, inspiration, creativity, and we get a bit of work done as well. It's time spent with friends and that's what life is all about!

While I wasn't as productive as I would have hoped, I still got things accomplished.

I started the day off by sewing the backing together for a quilt. I also made the binding. This project has been added to the "to be quilted" pile. That pile is getting higher and higher. I'm trying to get one of my own quilts quilted every week. I didn't get one done last week. I'm on a bit of a learning curve with the computer.  I had to call the support team yesterday for another question and OH BOY - there's so much I have no clue about!! 

Backing, binding, and top - ready to be quilted 

I didn't take pictures, but there's stuff crammed EVERYWHERE downstairs in order to clear the tables for the sit n sew. I'm going to try and work away at one or two of the piles, just to get things done. So this top and binding and the backing fabric were sitting there and all that needed to be done was to sew the backing fabrics together. Now, this quilt is also ready to be quilted.

Backing, binding, and top ready to be quilted

I got six more blocks sewn for the 150 Canadian Women quilt. That makes 138 blocks done. You know what that means. I've only TWELVE blocks left to go. I'm so excited about that.

Six blocks for 150 Canadian Women quilt
When I sew these blocks at Monday, I always seem to screw up the cutting or piecing on at least one of them. Oh shoot - I'm looking at the picture above - do you see what I see???  Yep - there's a boo-boo in one of the blocks. Anyway, since I was sewing these at home, there weren't any fabric mishaps. Of course - just when I had easy access to the rest of the fabric.

The white had been cut for the remainder of the blocks and I decided to bite the bullet yesterday and I cut EVERYTHING for the last 12 blocks. Now to sew them together. I wonder how far along Peggy is?  Will she beat me? I could sew them today to beat her. But I have work to do so that isn't going to happen. I'm going to keep on my schedule of 6 a week. That means two more weeks and I'm done the blocks.

Remaining 12 blocks are cut out.

I also did a few of these little pinwheels as my enders and leaders. They are small and they are fiddly, but better to get them done as enders and leaders so I don't drive myself crazy.

Pinwheels as enders and leaders

I didn't get pictures of all the projects that the others were working on, but here's what I got pictures of.

Claudette finally finished her Vintage Moments quilt (by Marsha McCloskey). I ran this as a class twice and Claudette attended both classes, but she got the quilt done!!!  I have to say that mine is on my UFO list for 2018. I think just the last two borders need to be sewn on. Yes - I'm going to be focusing on those UFOs, so mine will be done before long. It's a gorgeous quilt and lots of learning.

Claudette's version of Vintage Moments
 Claudette has several long-term projects that she brings to the various sewing days. All of them are VERY labor intensive. This one is called Wild and Goosey - it's a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  The pattern is paper pieced and I think you can find it on the link I've provided. Otherwise, just search for Wild and Goosey and the link to the pattern will come up.

Claudette's blocks for Wild and Goosey
 I've no idea how big she's making it and no idea how many blocks she has completed, but it's pretty cool. Actually, this would be a good use of those cut-off triangles I have from making binding and borders. I have THOUSANDS of them. Now to get those paper patterns printed.

Linda was working on That Town and Country quilt by The Gourmet Quilter. I absolutely adore this quilt (you see what happens on a sew day?  I like everything that all the others are working on).  I did buy the pattern for this. I've met Susan-Claire (the designer) and she's a hoot. I love her and I got to ride around Quilt Market one year on her scooter, but I digress.

That's me on Susan-Claire's scooter at Quilt Market

Anyway, the pattern is also available as a book.  While I know it's super easy to borrow this or any other pattern from your friend, sales of patterns are HOW DESIGNERS MAKE A LIVING so they can provide more patterns for you. I can only ask that you respect copyright.

Linda's That Town and Country quilt to date
 Here's a close up of a couple of the blocks. Linda has done an amazing job with all the stitching by machine and by hand.  LOVE IT - LOVE IT!!!!!

Linda's version of That Town and Country quilt

Linda was also working on this small wall hanging. I LOVE the contrast in this piece. It's gorgeous.

Red cardinal wall hanging
 I'm sure I have the pattern to that little guy somewhere. I'm not sure who the designer is, but I can see the pattern in my head.

Pat was working on the borders to her embroidered elves (I had posted that quilt last sit n sew day). Then she worked on a couple of pillowcases.

Pillowcases by Pat

Pat was also working on a shoe quilt for a very special person's birthday (not me!)  I love the blocks and she had used fabrics that were special to the recipient. That's a great idea to customize a quilt like that. I think Pauline should be making one for herself s she did an inventory of her shoes and well, let's just say that she has a lot of shoes. The pattern for the shoe quilt is by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.   I couldn't find her pattern on the website, but you could always contact her if you wanted to buy it.

Pat's shoe blocks

Pauline was working on a table runner from batiks and laser cuts.  I love it.
Pauline's table runner
 Now here's an interesting thing about the pattern. I was at Thimbles and Things in Orillia this past week and saw some patterns that I loved. They looked like row by row patterns and in fact, they were. This designer in Alaska had an amazing response to her rows (from Row by Row Experience) that she decided to put them together as real patterns. I think some of them have been rejigged to make table runners like the one above.

Yep - just checked out the webpage for the shop (the owner is the designer - Marie Noah) and that's the same designer. Check out this link. The patterns are to die for. And how about that big quilt with the six rows. I'd make that in a heartbeat. I love it. I didn't buy any from Thimbles and Things when I was there because I think????  that I got the dog sled one when it was part of the Row by Row?? I'm not sure. I need to check.  But I love all that stuff. And how about this pattern - it's gorgeous.  I know that Sue has it at her shop in Orillia.

The last project that I took a picture of yesterday was also Pauline's. These were made from scraps of fabric (purple batiks) that she had hanging around. They'll make a nice wheelchair quilt or small lap for someone.

Pauline's blocks

Let's see - Diane was working on Night Sky by Jaybird, Linda K. was working on blocks for a quilt that I didn't see and Ruth was working on her blocks for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.  It was a super day and I thank everyone for coming out. Even though I don't get a lot done myself on these days (well sometimes I do), it was a fun day.

And did you ever want to know about cremation and burials? I learned a whole lot yesterday!!!  Not sure that I want to be cremated now. But I guess I won't really care. It's something that we should all be thinking about and then the big question - what do you do with those ashes. I'll have to tell you the ash story another day!

Before I close today, I'm going to list the quilt shows in the area that are happening this weekend. I won't be able to attend them as I'm teaching all day on Saturday and have another Sit n Sew on Sunday, but you might be able to get out there and support the local guilds as well as get some inspiration.

Upcoming Quilt shows

New Millennium Quilter's Guild -- Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26  - Mildmay, Ontario

Oh - that's the only one I could find for this weekend, besides the St. Jacob's show I mentioned yesterday, as well as The Quilts of Iceland in Ailsa Craig and don't forget the small quilts at the St. Mary's Museum, in St. Mary's.  (there is no information about the show on their website, but the quilts are there).

There are a TON of shows next weekend and I'll post those this weekend. I have a ton of stuff to do today. Not sure where I'm going to start, but I'll just pick something and do it and then move on.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a SUPER day!!!!