Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Hm - sometimes a title for the blog comes without much thought. Other times, it takes a while. I thought of this morning's title yesterday - oh yes, I don't just sit down and write. Sometimes, I actually put some thought into the posts! Then this morning I couldn't remember the title, but after a few attempts at writing something else, the title popped back into my head.

You'll see why this title in a bit.

Yesterday was Monday and it was Monday sewing. I know I say this every Tuesday, but Monday really is the best day of the week. It's PERMANENTLY reserved for the sewing group, nothing gets scheduled on a Monday unless I'm on vacation or something really, really important. It's just a great group of people, we chat about everything (poop now seems to be a weekly topic!) And seriously if they had quilters rule the world? Well, we'd solve everything in a heartbeat so we could get back to quilting.

I'm super pleased with my progress - let's check it out.

OH - I got a license plate from Jan. She was traveling recently and she bought this plate for me. Love it! The plates sure are not as popular as they used to be. But that's OK - getting a few here and there is loads of fun. At some point, I'll get to the Row by Row stuff but there are other more important things on my plate at the moment.

Row by Row license plate from Wisconsin

I used up a lot of my enders/leaders yesterday and found some more red fabric so I can cut more squares. I didn't get a chance to cut yesterday, but at least the fabric is waiting.

Red fabric to cut
 I don't need much as the pile on the left is getting smaller. That's awesome. And then it'll be onto the next step of that project.

Back to the Farmer's Wife quilt. I managed to get six blocks done yesterday. Some of the blocks are very fiddly and some are not. I'm going in the order of the book now and will take the good with the bad.

Two of the ones I did yesterday had to be paper pieced - the middle one in each row. There are five more really fiddly ones to go. Can't wait until they are done!

The Farmer's Wife blocks for the week
 Then I had a quick count of what's left. There are 111 blocks in the book. I have 30 left. That means 5 weeks with six blocks per week. Yeah!!!  As much as I "hate" doing those blocks because they are super slow, this is a great way to get them done.

Now the issue will be - what's next? Do I take a break from this kind of project? I have three more small block projects that need to be worked on. One of them has 365 blocks - do you remember that Block a Day project from a couple of years ago? I have the blocks completed for January and 19 from February, but that still leaves a lot of blocks to make. Then I have Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (Elm Creek). Not sure what state that one is in and the third one also has 365 blocks, but I don't think I'll be able to do it at Monday - not the way that I want to do it so that one isn't on the immediate project list at the moment.

A quick check - found Sylvia's Bridal Sampler (that was easy) and there are quite a few blocks made. There are 140 blocks in the book. I might be slightly over half done. And it looks like a lot are cut and prepped. I think I'll just move to that one next. But I must start sewing the blocks of these projects together as well -not just getting the blocks done. I also found another quilt - the Hobo Quilt - that was also 6" blocks and there are 55 in there. OK - so I'll probably be working on small block projects for the rest of this year and all of next year and then I'll be done!!!!

Then there are a "few" other blocks of the month projects, but nothing with these fiddly small blocks. The blocks are probably just as fiddly, just bigger and thankfully less of them to make. And there are a lot of applique options. Hmm - decisions, decisions!!!

Remember how I had decided to work on a border project each week, but no time to get it organized for yesterday? Well, I already had a border project in my bag. I had finished the center of this project the week before and the borders were cut and ready to sew on. So I got all three borders attached yesterday. YEAH!!!!  I really like this wall hanging, love the design, love the fabric.

Wall hanging top - completed

I found some backing for it when I got home. The binding was partially made and now it's completed and has been moved to the "to be quilted" pile. It's called Signs of Autumn by Studio 180 and uses Deb Tucker's rulers. They also have a bigger version of this quilt, done in red and white and it's stunning. I have the pattern for that one (probably didn't need it) and I'd like to make it. But NOT on the radar at this moment.

Another project moved to the "to be quilted" pile

I was thinking about what to prep for next week for the border project. Then I thought of a quilt that is on the UFO list and it just needs borders to sewn on. I think the last two borders need to be worked on. That project is on the cutting table so it can be prepped for next week. I'll sew the borders on before the room gets crowded. I love having a plan.

A quilt that needs borders waiting to be prepped for next Monday

I'm madly sewing to get a quilt top off the design wall. You'll see it later this week. And of course, I'm thinking what can go back on the wall. I hate to have it empty. I still have a lot of work to do before the Halloween one takes center stage.  I was reviewing the UFO list and there's a quilt on that list. The blocks are made - it just needs to be sewn together. So that one got pulled out this morning and hopefully, by the end of today, it'll be on the wall.

Blocks are made and need to be sewn together

I picked up the mail when I got home and there's the missing pattern. Well - a copy of the missing pattern. Shh! Now I have to get working on the fall mini quilt (all paper pieced) so I can keep my Mom happy. From the look of it, the winter one which I've already done seemed to have the largest number of small pieces, but then - they all have small pieces since these wall hangings are about 15" square.

Paper pieced pattern - next project up???

Going to have to have a paper piecing marathon. When's the first day of fall? Not that I'm trying to rush summer - oh no. I just need a deadline. I have to say that the days are getting shorter and it's becoming pretty noticeable. It's getting dark in the morning when I arrive in the kitchen at 6 AM to make breakfast. I actually had to turn on a light this morning. That's sad!

Not only did I get something exciting in the mail, but I got something exciting on my doorstep. There was a bag and in the bag were three sample books of men's suitings and some strips which will make a perfect binding. I wonder if that's what she had in mind? The samples are from 2008-2009. There's a very urgent deadline for this (perhaps that will go on the design wall before those other blocks). I had a good chuckle yesterday because this picture was sent to me.

Hey - who are you and what do you want at our house?

These are my watch dogs! They are so cute looking out the window. They love to see what's happening on the street and I'm sure many people walking by just shake their heads when they see the two of them staring back.

Now if the door were open, they'd invite you in, but only if you opened the closet where the cookies are stored!

Speaking of Lexi and Murphy, they have a story to tell this morning.

And let's not forget that it's my week for QUILTsocial. It's a totally crazy week. If you think this blog is exhausting, you better not read that one. OH - go ahead and read it. There are loads of great tips.

QUILTsocial - Monday

QUILTsocial - Tuesday

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, July 30, 2018

Quilts at the Creek

Oh boy - I should have walked around Quilts at the Creek with blinders on. And I should NOT have gone to Jeannie's (Jenkins) trunk show. I came home with visions of grandeur. Many projects that I want to finish, many more that I want to start. ACK!!

But I see that Elle left a comment yesterday that is a great idea. She suggested that when choosing the next project that I pick something that is close to finished and one that is far away from the finish line. Use the far way one as an ender/leader for the one that is close to finished. Then keep swapping out as some are finished and others are advanced. I like that idea. I can't do a thing this morning about taking something extra with me - my bag is already packed, but when I get ready tonight for next week - I'm going to have a look at what I can do.

So yesterday was Quilts at the Creek. I believe this is the 7th show. And it was fabulous. The temperature was great -not too hot, not too cold. A nice breeze although we did have to tear down the show one hour before it was scheduled to close. In my mind, the show closed at 4 PM and I planned out the day accordingly. I guess someone up above was listening because pretty much at 4 PM, we felt a few drops of rain come and the wagons and ladders came out and those quilts were down in 10 minutes. That's pretty impressive.

I had five quilts in the show. Here they are in case you didn't get to the show which I'm sure many of you could not.

The first one is Wolfgang. This was a collaborative quilt by YanickaQuilt of Montreal who designed and made the top. Marilyn Farquhar did the quilting and Northcott donated the fabrics. I coughed up some cash and the quilt is now mine and it hangs in my hallway upstairs. I see it every time I climb the stairs. I love this quilt!!!


This next one is a triple four patch and very scrappy. It was made from leftover blocks (and more that I had to make) from the first triple four patch quilt that I taught as a class. I don't have time to snap a photo of that quilt, but it's even bigger than this one. I love scrappy and I think I'm going to put a sleeve on this one and hang it in the basement where I'll see it every day when I go downstairs.


Next up is Flying Here and There. This one appears in the July/August 2018 issue of Fons and Porter Modern patchwork magazine. I love the quilt, love the colors and especially love the quilting. This was a bit of a challenge to quilt as I carried the pattern into the border and I remember having to rip a few seams here and there to get it all worked out.

Flying Here and There

Thanks to Kim M who posted this picture on her Facebook page. The quilt sold on Saturday and was gone so I didn't get to see it in the show on Sunday. It's called Busy Town and is a free pattern that I made for Northcott. I could have put a higher price on the quilt, but honestly - I wanted it gone. And I made a bit of money. I'm happy.

Busy Town
 The last quilt was part of the mini show called Squared. These were minis were 12-inches square. The first showing of these quilts was in St. Mary's and the group will be shown again at QuiltX in September. This is the heart from that apple quilt. So I guess in theory a small part of my apple quilt was at the show!

Pixelated heart

I have loads more pictures to share with you and ideas, but we had company when I got home last night and I didn't have time to do anything.

It was great to catch up with friends who now live in Jamaica. Teresa is a quilter although there are NO quilt stores in Jamaica. I wonder why. It's a tad hot for quilts there. But that wouldn't stop me.

Anyway - it's time for Monday sewing and I had better get myself in gear.

Have a great day!!!


Sunday, July 29, 2018


I'm not sure if possessed is the best word - perhaps obsessed is.

Let's check the definitions of those words.

Hmm - certainly not possessed unless it's by an evil quilting spirit.

Obsessed is probably more like it, but this doesn't translate the exact state of my mind. I seem to be completely under a spell. I barely left the studio yesterday from the crack of dawn until dusk except for one or two spells in the gazebo where I took handwork with me and my audiobook.

Things were going well, no issues, minor ripping - actually no ripping. I made leaps and bounds on a couple of projects and yet - I can't share anything with you this morning. All in due time which should be this coming week. So don't sweat it. You'd be exhausted anyway - I know I was!

The problem is that I'm in bed by 9 PM, but my body (more likely my brain) is wide awake around 4 AM ready to go again. You'd think I'd have had enough. But this has been going on for almost 20 years. When I had a great paying, full-time job, and was a new quilter, I took a year off to get quilting out of my system. That's was in 2000 or thereabouts. Seriously? This must be a sickness.  I can't stop myself and nothing else seems to matter. Oh well - at least it's cheap (now) as long as I stay out of the stores, but even then, I'm not buying much. I don't need ANYTHING.

I will show you what I put away yesterday. So once you finish a project, there's fabric to put away. Some of this stuff has been stored in a project box for YEARS. But now it's released back to the stash baskets. Free to breath fresh air!!!

These two fabrics came from a project that required some sewing and then a wee bit of handwork. The handwork is almost done. It'll be finished later tonight. In total, without the handwork, this project took about three hours to finish.

Fabrics from a project box - back to the stash basket

This next fabric - also gone to the stash basket. Funny - green isn't my color, but I was putting a lot of green away yesterday. Anyway, the small strips went into the green scrap box and the rest went into the sash basket. This was the backing from one of the ones on the binding table. Not sure why it got pulled out - OH!!!!   I know why this was pulled and it wasn't for that quilt in the binding pile. It was for something else. I better pull it out and again and actually put it in the same bag as the project it got pulled for. DUH!!!   Done - I'll re-evaluate tonight.

More green fabric
 For anyone who was here on the weekend at the Sit n Sew, I'm putting away some white fabric. That's a big hint! The top is done. That was a huge job and required some accurate piecing and pressing. But it's done. The picture is taken and waiting to be uploaded later this coming week.

White fabric - back to the stash basket

The next project is already up on the design wall. Pictures are taken and will be shown later this week. That one needs to be done, hopefully, tonight? More like tomorrow as I have some computer work to do to get these pictures posted.

I worked on one more project yesterday and it's also almost finished. That was also just a couple of hours and it was mostly done.

Do you see a theme here? I'm thinking that for Mondays and other sewing days that I should be working on some of these projects that are very close to being finished. I really need to get stuff done. so the question is - work on almost completed projects? There are oodles that just need a border or two put on. There are many where the blocks are together and just need to be pieced into a top. Some just need a backing made. Imagine if I took that kind of thing to the retreat - I'd have an entire car full of stuff, but boy - it would definitely put an advance on things. Only problem - I like to have lots of space when I do that kind of thing and it's not good for the retreat or sewing days when space is limited.

Hmm - I need to book a SEWING DAY just for me when I can focus on those kinds of projects. I don't need someone to keep me motivated - I can sew for hours and not get disrupted (especially if I have a deadline). Or I could do it on Monday, I could set up an extra table and get one quilt top completed before the rest of the group gets there. Some of us get there very early. I might just start doing that.

Lots of things to think about.

And here's the last sewing station (you don't want to see the rest of the studio) as not all the aftermath of the explosion has been dealt with, but suffice it to say that I found a small spot to sew and I'm happy.

These projects require some big flat spaces in order to be put together. The machine is ready, the projects are ready - let's go!!!

One more sewing space

 Well - it's time to get rolling (oh god - I've already been sewing for a couple of hours!). I'm on my way to Quilts at the Creek today. Be sure to get to the show today. It's a great show - I'm looking forward to hanging the quilts - my first time doing that.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, July 28, 2018

There's been an explosion

No - nothing was damaged and no one was hurt. Let me explain.

In the back of my mind, I've been thinking about something that I needed. It was in my studio, but I wasn't sure where. The clock is ticking on this project and well, I decided that yesterday was the day to find that item.

I literally ransacked the entire studio. All the closets were opened and every bag was rifled through. Boxes were open, bags were tossed upside down. The place was a disaster and I don't think things got put back quite as tidy as they had been.

I'm hanging my head in shame. If anyone suggests going to a quilt store - I'll shoot them. The kits, the projects, the UFOs, the fabrics and tools piled in boxes waiting to be worked on. It's obscene and even myself, I can't truly comprehend the magnitude of the situation. This just re-emphasizes my resolve to only buy stuff that I need to complete a project. There is ZERO need to buy anything and I mean ANYTHING.

I did find a few things that I wasn't looking for.

I found a cord to one of my sewing machines. Hmm - I didn't know that was missing. I also found the toolbox to one of my machines. Now they are in a safe place. And in case I forget where that safe place is - it's in the plastic drawer unit under the big sewing table. You can remind me if I forget! But that's where all the other bits for the sewing machines are so technically, it's the place I would look (and have looked in the past for that toolbox).

Sew machine power cord
I found tons of UFOs. Stuff that I had forgotten about. Just as I'm about to finish up that other double wedding ring, look what I found. Another double wedding ring quilt. Much of this one is done from what I could tell. And it's only a bed runner - not a big quilt! But I might make it into a wall hanging instead of a bed runner. Oh - I wonder how much work that will be to reconfigure it?

Another double wedding ring quilt - a UFO (of course)
Plus I found tools in that project box. That's worrisome - how many missing tools are in these boxes???

Paper piecing tools in the project box

Technically, these are extra tools, but that doesn't matter. The tools should stay in the appropriate toolboxes. It's very hard because you never know when you're going to "temporarily" shelve a project. I've got to figure out a system for that. Only the pattern and the fabric should be in the project box. Everything else in the appropriate technique box.

I think I mentioned the other day that I was NOT going to add anything to what was already out. Guess what - I'm a big liar! I pulled this stuff out of the bags and boxes.

"new" stuff to work on
I know - I could just shoot myself for doing that, but there were some things there that I really want to work on or they needed to be moved to a different pile. You'll hear all about it when I get there.

I think I may have to rethink my strategy for what gets worked on at Monday and other dedicated sewing days. I'm going to have to take the projects that are hogging the most real estate. Anything in a big box or one of those plastic project boxes. Nothing small in a bag. It's totally obscene.

Let's say that I may not have gotten a lot of steps in yesterday, well just shy of my 10,000, but I lifted a LOT of stuff and I was tired.

OH - did I find what I was looking for? NO!!!!!  BUT here's the good news. I don't think I own it anymore. As I got to the last bags and boxes, and finally shut the door to one of the rooms, I was standing in the middle of the studio and suddenly a thought came to me. I distinctly remembered giving the item to someone saying that I would never use it and they could use it.

Hmm - now who the heck was that???  What am I looking for? It was a small sample book with samples of men's suiting fabrics in it. It had a hard cover and there were a number of samples in various colors and fabric weights. If you are the new owner of that book, I don't really want it back, but I would like to know who has it.  Does anyone have that book??  Seriously, why did I remember giving it away AFTER I had been through everything???

And I've been on the lookout for something else. I have TWO USB sticks. Both are 32 GB and both are orange. I know - go figure. Well, both of them were AWOL. What the heck could I have done with them? One of them I usually carried in my purse, just in case. Well, I've searched the office (yes - that happened yesterday as well). Yes - I reacquainted myself with a lot of my possessions yesterday. No go - can't find either of the USB sticks.

OK - so the paperwork one is missing, but where the heck is the other one? It has some of my embroidery designs on it and I would really like that one. I was just about to give up and I'm standing in the middle of the studio with my hands on my hips. All of a sudden the light went on. There's something about that spot. I must go there FIRST when I'm trying to find something.

Anyway - the picture below was my view. Do you see what I see??  There's an embroidery machine on the floor under the table and plugged into the USB slot is my ORANGE USB stick. The one with the embroidery designs on it.

Embroidery USB stick!!!
 Seriously - why didn't I think to look in the embroidery machine?

When I wasn't looking for stuff yesterday, I was busy sewing and trimming. Here are the trimmings from yesterday's marathon. I won't show you what I trimmed. You get to see that next week. But huge progress is being made.

Trimmings from yesterday

 OH - so why do I need that embroidery USB??  Well, as I work through a couple of projects, I was looking at the design wall and thought to myself - I really need to get that Halloween quilt done. If I work diligently, I can have it done by Halloween - this year!!  I'm getting kind of tired of seeing it on the design wall and would like to have something else up there.

Halloween quilt on the design wall

Before I can proceed, I need to make a bunch more of the sashings that look like this. I'm going to put the sashing between the blocks to form rows, but not sure I'm going to make rows of this sashing and a cornerstone to put between the rows of blocks? Going to have to make a few more sashings and then audition it all. I need a total of 20 to put between the blocks to form rows. If I decided to put the sashing all around the quilt, I need almost 60. Thankfully they don't take long to stitch, but you have to babysit them.

I need more of these sashings - a LOT more

Remember how I said I had set up the studio in a bit of a decadent fashion? Well, I wasn't able to get all the photos, but here's the idea. I have one machine set up for bindings and all the bindings are sitting there waiting to be done. Nothing got done yesterday - so much for doing one a day! I do have a deadline right now so that's taking precedence over everything else.

The other table is holding the embroidery machine and all the supplies for the Halloween embroidery. The machine I'm piecing on is in the table as you saw above. Another machine is set up for something else at my big sewing table - I didn't get a picture of that and I would like to bring up the serger as I have something for that as well. I love having this flexibility in the sewing space. Now if I could just get to each machine and get those items done - that would be amazing!!!

Machines set up and ready to work

I just need operators for all those machines. Wouldn't that be great? Not really as I really enjoy the process of making stuff.

I did get some paperwork completed and the girls and I had a very peaceful time sitting in the gazebo and just hanging out. I really needed the break.

OH -- so since I did not find that little book of men's suitings - here's a question for you. If you have any men's suiting fabrics (or even old suits - preferably dark - any fabric type will do), I would like to trade/buy/steal them from you - only if you're close as I need them ASAP.  I do have some (that I found in a box that I knew I had and found right away, but I want a bit more variety.

You can call (416-919-8648) or e-mail me and I'd be happy to come and pick them up. Thanks so much!!!!

And on that note, I'm out of here. It's going to be another busy day and I had better get started.

Don't forget - Quilts at the Creek today. The weather is going to be cool so it'll be pleasant to visit the show.

Have a great day!!!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Sit n Sew day

What an exciting day! There were nine of us yesterday and a lot of work got completed. Shoot - I didn't go around and take photos - I should have, but I didn't - too busy, however,  I did get a few pictures.

I'm not sharing anything that I worked on - yet. You'll see it all next week - there's a reason and you'll see why. Let's just say that I had a very busy day of sewing (not my most productive day - but busy). I continued even after the ladies left and I've been up bright and early this morning and making great headway on what needs to be done.

However, I'm at the point now where I need to do a bunch of cutting and trimming before I can move to the next stage. That's on the agenda this morning. Yes - I'm supposed to be doing paperwork, but this cutting/trimming will take priority - yet again! You see why paperwork doesn't get done.

But I've been good with the paperwork more or less. Wouldn't it be nice to have it all up to date so I could really focus on sewing some of my own stuff? It'll happen.

As the last person was leaving yesterday, they said "OK - now you can put all your stuff back on the tables!".  I laughed and said I wasn't going to do that. But I did make some changes and got the room set up for something else. Just a totally decadent use of the space and I'll share that with you tomorrow as I didn't quite get it the way I wanted this morning.

But here's the pictures I snapped from yesterday. This is a quilt that Pat was working on and the top is finished. She did all the embroideries by hand. I know that earlier in the year, she was working on another quilt using more embroidered blocks. In other words, she made TWO quilts - one has red sashing and one has green sashing.

Pat's red-sashed elf quilt

The elf blocks

I found the link to Pat's green-sashing quilt and you can find it here.  Including a link to the designer of the embroidery patterns.

Linda K was working on some blocks from July Shop Hop, Maria was prepping the jelly roll rug, Diane P was stitching down some appliqued rows from Row by Row, Linda W was making a ton of flying geese units, Tish was paper piecing blocks for a Jen Kingwell design and Lynn was sewing blocks from the 100 Modern Block book. Everyone made great progress. They got here early and most left later in the day taking full advantage of the time. It was an awesome day.

I had to take a picture of Diane's quilt. I'm sure you remember this one from the last Sit n Sew. Check out the link below to see something pretty funny about this quilt - not Diane's version but someone else's and it's not mine! But check the date on the post. Anyway, this looks amazing but she had to put it away at this stage because she needed to do some more cutting.

Diane's Circle of Life by Jacqueline de Jonge

OH - I was looking for Pat's second quilt, but I found this instead. No need to read it - just look at the pictures.  It's hilarious because the date is 2013 and there are some familiar pictures in this blog post.

What a totally crazy day! But I love those days. I wasn't as productive as I normally am - I was running up and down the stairs as my phone was ringing and I had people coming and going picking up stuff and of course the two girls to attend to. But I'm fired up and I'm going to get lots done today.

Can't quilt on the long arm - a new motor should arrive next week and then the fun of getting it installed. Can't wait for that excitement, but I'm feeling pretty good about that and I'm my Dad's daughter. My Dad can fix anything - and I can follow instructions. It'll happen. I just hope a new motor solves the problem.

Here's an interesting article to read about the quilting industry. Hmmm - some interesting facts in here.

On that note, I'm out of here. Lots to do - some computer work this morning, pictures to take, projects to sew and I think I'll take a bit of a walk this afternoon. Haven't had time for that lately.

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Down time

So this happened yesterday.

A wee bit of investigation going on
I was all fired up to get that apple quilt done so I could get the binding on. I was able to stitch for about 15 minutes and I was getting excited. Then BAM - dead stop. Nothing. I turned the machine off and back on. Nothing. Before it did come back, but this time it did not.

I spent time on the phone sending pictures and texts and voice back and forth with the techs in Iowa. Everything seems to be in good shape and all wires securely attached.

Could it be the darn motor? That's what they think. The motor is that black cylinder in the picture below. 

Bad motor?

So a new motor will be winging its way to me today. Not sure how they will ship - well I know how they're shipping, just not sure if it's overnight? I may get it tomorrow or early next week.

I just hope that a new motor fixes the problem. If not? Then what?  Thank goodness this machine is fairly mechanical but it still takes a bit of time to think about what has to be done. The instructions I've received are always good and with a few tools, I've never had an issue.

Oh well. So my quilt is still on the machine and I'm not taking it off. I contemplated taking it off and working on it on the domestic, but then I thought NO. I wouldn't be able to replicate my swirls on the other machine. It stays. I've already contacted the organizers for Quilts in the Creek and we have a substitute lined up. The label will be replaced and no one will be the wiser that we had to do this - except all of you who have read the post. Don't forget to come out this weekend. It's going to be an amazing quilt show. There are vendors and trunk shows. And ME - I'll be there all day Sunday.

Am I panicked? Not in the least. Actually a bit grateful to be honest. I have a few other things that need to be done and this is an excuse to focus on those things and not feel guilty.

I spent the morning with a colleague of mine from the Husqvarna Viking/PFAFF world. There's so much to learn - but I want to get started on some of those projects and well - I must find more time in the day!!!  Or just incorporate stuff together. I've got some great ideas - I can't wait to get started on them. Not anything new (oh never!) - just working on some stuff that was already planned.

Worked on blog posts for QUILTsocial in the afternoon and you'll get a chance to see what I did in a bit. I'm double dipping on that as well  - pulling out old projects that I can use for examples and then actually get them completed. I'm on a roll and pretty excited about that. The power of having to publish a picture of a completed project is a HUGE motivator for me.

The one thing that I did get done yesterday that I can show you is another binding on a quilt. This one is done. That leaves 14 more quilts to get the binding sewn on. I figure if I do one a day, in two weeks - all done. I'm OK with that. By the time the next Sit n Sew comes around, all the quilts will be bound and I won't have to move them. Of course, I hope there will be new ones to be bound, but I'll try to keep up with them.

Quilt - bound

Speaking of Sit n Sews, I published the new dates last night (to that group) and I'm almost completely booked. I love it - I get to share my space with others and I still get to sew. Should I open up one more day a month? Do I dare? I do know that it forces me to sew all day and I'm so super productive these days - it might not be a bad idea. I must get my upcoming classes published as well.

I love the fact that some old projects are moving up the chain and getting completed. Some getting completely finished and others getting to the "to be quilted" stage. That's so exciting and maybe one day, I'll be able to wake up and say "what should I start today" and not feel guilty about that. HA - I might be too old to sew by then.

I want to try and book some staycation days. Days where I'm going to do some tourist things in the city and NOTHING to do with quilting. The summer is half over. I better get those planned NOW or it'll be too late.

The studio is almost ready to receive the ladies today. Just have to move those darn quilts that need binding and schlep a machine or two around. Otherwise, I'm good and it didn't take too long yesterday to get it in order. I'm loving that. It means I'm getting better.

On that note, I have a wee bit of computer work to finish off this morning before they arrive.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

When disaster strikes!!!

OK - so technically it's not a disaster, but it's a crisis?

I'm putting four quilts in the Quilts at the Creek show this weekend - Saturday and Sunday at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Be sure to come out and enjoy the quilts. (One of my quilts is for sale - a fun one for a child)  Actually, I'll have five quilts in the show as I have a small one (12" square that was part of another show). Two quilts are completely finished and have been for a while. The third quilt was in that stack of quilts to be bound and I managed to get the binding stitched down to the front yesterday.

Binding is completely done!

That leaves one more quilt to be finished. It's been loaded on the long arm (my pixelated apple quilt) for a couple of days and I decided that yesterday was the day. Well, I had no choice since it's supposed to be delivered today. I even practiced the quilting pattern on paper since it's going to be custom quilted. Fired up the long arm, got the thread on the machine and started. I had stitched for about 2 minutes and BAM the thing just shut down. The needle wouldn't function up or down with the controls. WAIT A MINUTE! I have a deadline. This can't be happening.

Shut the thing off - it's totally mechanical. Turned it back on. Nope - the needle will not go up and down. That's a wee bit of problem since that's how the stitches are formed. OK - next step, call Tech Support in the US. They're busy with other customers, so I left a message. And wouldn't you know it, the moment I hung up the phone, the needle started going up and down on its own. I started the stitching again and it died within 30 seconds. I just left it for the support to call me back.

I got a call back about an hour later and I'm not panicking yet. I had other things to do. We looked at a couple of things that required a whole series of screwdrivers to access.

Screwdrivers needed to investigate the issue
We looked at the brushes for the motor. Nope, they appear to be fine. We looked at the fuses. I was a wee bit frustrated with the service person. It was the end of the day for her and I think she was heading out for some event by the sounds of her side comments when I was talking to her.

And to make matters worse, one of the PLASTIC screws that hold the brushes in place broke in half when I was removing it. Oh crap- it's not something you can just buy.

So when I finished with the support person, I was off to the hardware store to get some Krazy Glue to glue the plastic screw back together and I had to replace all the screws in the housing that I had removed to check everything.

Watched a video that she had sent me and realized I had put the brushes in the wrong way so those got changed and then everything got put back. Phew. Now, will it work?  It did. But I'm not trusting it. NOT yet. 

But I seemed to be back in business. And then the bobbin ran out. It was 9:30 PM and I decided to call it quits for the day. I've got something going on this morning, but I need to get back to that quilt this afternoon. Thankfully, it's not huge and the quilting is easy. You can't even see what I'm stitching on the background because the thread is white and totally blends in. That might be a good thing!

This same thing happened to me last week when the computer was running the long arm, but I happened to be right there - thankfully and was able to stop the computer. It's not good when the needle is down and the computer still wants to go!

Then I was on the phone with my Dad last night as we discussed brushes and what was good and bad about the ones that I had and were they still good. I was having another issue with another motor on the frame, so we'll be looking at that today, but not before I pulled out the brushes all by myself and looked at them. Got the OK from Dad that those brushes were still good.

Too bad, Dad isn't closer because he'd had that thing apart and fixed in no time.

I didn't show you the picture of that table of stuff that I"m working on after the Sit n Sew on Sunday. Well, it certainly looks a whole lot better than it did. And I spent part of yesterday getting more stuff ready for the Sit n Sew tomorrow. I can't wait!!!! There's a tuffet in the back so if that would get finished, this pile would look a lot smaller!

This pile is getting smaller
 Here's a picture of the pond yesterday. Nope, there's no dog in the pond (at that moment) but look at all the lilies. They were in full bloom. They've been blooming for months.

Lillies in the pond

There were six of them

Guess who came to visit on Monday before his big trip? George!! He's off tomorrow for a plane ride - a long plane ride and he's super excited. If you don't know the story of George, he's a little monkey with magnets in his paws so he can stick just about anywhere. He's been all over the world. He's had quite a break from traveling but is on the move again.


Speaking of sew-alongs, one of the current ones is by Border Creek Station. I'm not even sure of the name. Each week, you make two of these blocks. The ones on the left. Everyone (apparently) is choosing different backgrounds and it's pretty interesting (apparently) to see the different color combinations. I believe it because that's what makes these projects so interesting.

And then you have the crazies. See that block on the right? That's made by Jane. Jane likes little things and so she's making her blocks 5", instead of 10". Yep - there's always some crazy in every group. But I have to admit, I love little things too and that little block is sure cute!

Blocks from the sew along

If anyone is interested, here's a link to Patti Carey's latest blog post. She's looking for some feedback on patterns (and how many options to offer in a pattern). It's way at the end of the post - check it out. I think there are prizes.  Also, I see in her blog a link to a blog hop on organizing our sewing spaces. Hmm - I've got to check that out. It's already in the third week - I'm sure it's totally crazy what we all have. I think Patti said she has 7 pairs of scissors. I don't even want to count the number of scissors I have. Way more than 7. But I'm ready for anything!

On that note, I'm out of here. So much to do and so little time.

Have a great day!!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FOCUS - it's a good thing

I think I mentioned this once before, but one year I kept track of everything I sewed. ALL of it was for swaps, exchanges, Block of the Months. NONE of it was in the name of advancing my own projects. I should try and find that list - I know it's in a book somewhere. I was shocked at the end of the year. This year will be a whole lot different.

There are so many temptations everywhere but I'm sticking to my guns and I'm not participating in any of these projects. I want to get my own stuff done and I'm making great progress. Have you noticed that there's a group for everything and we seem to have a need to be part of a group so we can compare our photos to what everyone else is doing? I love that part, but I just don't have time. I'm marching to my own drum this year.

We were a full house yesterday at Monday sewing - seventeen of us crammed into our sewing space. But we had a blast. There's nothing better than seeing the real projects being worked on and the conversations and laughter are the absolute best part. We even talked about poop again!

Someone asked me when I prepped my stuff for Monday sewing. I try to do right after I get home on Monday so that whatever happens during the rest of the week, I'm ready for Monday. It's an important day and I would hate to get there and not be prepared. I used to do the prep on Sunday, but then I was doing last minute stuff on Monday morning and I'm trying to not do things last minute.

Here's what I got done - I was thrilled with my progress. While I have been sewing the double wedding ring arcs as my ender and leader, I knew that I needed more red squares for next week so I cut the last of the red fabric that was in the bag. I know there isn't enough. I'll dig out some more red next week.

Red squares cut for ender and leader project
 And why do I need to get back to that? Because I made great progress on the missing melons for the double wedding ring quilt. I needed ten more. Two are completed and the rest are in various stages of finishing.  I need six melons to finish the quilt, the remaining four are for the small project. I'm going to work on this at Thursday's sit n sew. I could be done at the end of that day!!!

Great progress on the extra 10 melons for the double wedding quilt

Yes - I made progress on The Farmer's Wife quilt as well. I got five blocks completed. Let's just say that I had fun with that darn basket block. It was tricky to sew together but it's done.

Five more blocks for The Farmer's Wife quilt

I got various parts together for more blocks but then ran into an issue with fabric or method. But all is good and I should be able to get my quota completed next week. I'm not sure how many blocks I have left, but I would say in the 30's. I think I'll be finished by mid-September at the latest.

I also sat down last night and prepared the paper piecing patterns for the tricky ones that didn't have cutting instructions.

The prepped blocks for next week

This is all I have left for fabric and I need to paper piece some of those blocks. I just threw the entire bag (trust me - it's small) into my sewing bag. I may need to get digging into that basket I had dug out when I got back into this project. For now, I'm good. The paper-piecing tools are in the Monday bag - we ARE going to get this thing finished.

Extra fabric for the paper pieced blocks

I still have a bag (much smaller now) of blocks that are cut and ready to sew. I add a few to the Monday sewing bag as I need. No sense carrying the entire thing around when I know I won't touch it. Since when did I become so rational?

These blocks are cut and waiting to be added to the Monday sewing bag
I got this top together. Yeah - I love it.  I had cut the borders last week, but I wanted to bring it home and give it a good press when I wasn't having to share the ironing board with 16 people. I'll get the borders on next week (hopefully).  I think there are 3 borders so that will take a bit of time to put together even if they are cut. And I must dig out some backing fabric for it.

The blocks for the wall hanging are together

Back to that table of stuff that was hanging out at my house. It's time to get some of that done instead of shuffling it on and off the tables are I have Sit n Sew days. This is the floral flannel project. It's on the UFO list from last year, but way more fabric than just one quilt. I've now cut up all the strips and scraps that were in the pile. Not sure how big of a quilt I can make with this. But it's in the pile for Thursday.

Floral flannel prepped for Thursday Sit n Sew

I still have some yardage so if the quilt isn't big enough, I can cut some more. I hope to make the backing and the binding from this pile. I want to get this project off that UFO list!

Floral flannel yardage
 There's still a box of small scrap pieces. I know most people would throw this away, but I'm going to try a very scrappy quilt with the leftovers. Don't ask me why - it's just me. That's why there's so much stuff in that room. I know there are people out there and we won't mention any names (right Shirley?) who make the quilt and give away all the leftovers. If only I could do that - I've had hardly anything in that room. OK - who am I kidding. There's still be lots, but that would be awesome to get rid of those bits.

Scraps for a very scrappy flannel quilt

You can see that I've made a number of quilts with this fabric - here are the bindings from the quilts. These pieces will get joined to make the binding for the one I'm working on.

Leftover binding bits

We all put up with things in our studio. Things that wouldn't take long to fix, but we just don't get to it. On my bulletin board, I had this holder for paper and pens. It's jammed with pens and I could only find one pencil so I guarded that closely as I use pencils for marking various things. The other day at Sit n Sew, the holder fell off the board. OK - I think it's trying to tell me something. I put all the paper in the paper holder. Look at all the pencils I found - LOTS!!

Paper and pencils in the holder
 But look at how many pens there were in the paper part. Really???  How many of those pens even work? I need to take a quiet few moments with my audiobook and a piece of paper and see how many I need to keep. The dead ones need to be thrown out and the rest should go in a box so when I need a pen there is one for me. Seriously - how does one collect all these pens?

Pens to be sorted

I got this cute little basket as a gift the other day. It's very cute and now what to put in it? I could put all those pens in there while they're being tested. Then once that task is done, I can find something nicer to put in it. But seriously - I also have a lot of pens in my desk drawer, but I think we have ONE pen in the kitchen. Obviously, some work needs to happen on the pen front in our house.

A little basket with a cute bicycle

As a sad note and a reminder to myself, yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Bob and Irene's death. They were the couple that was killed on our bicycle tour. The anniversary came up on Facebook. I remember that day because it was the day I visited the Terry Fox memorial just outside Thunder Bay. Just a reminder that life is precious - live each day like it's your last - which is why instead of working last night after I had prepped my Monday bag, I finished another book. Oh well. 

Oh - I also had a peek at some of the documentation for the computer software for the long arm. AHA - I found out some very important information that should save me time. Going to try it out tomorrow.

On that note, I'm out of here for today. Anotherjam-packedd day and I can't wait to get started.

Have a super day!!!