Friday, November 30, 2018

That was intense

I've worked some long days in my time. There's a huge difference between sitting at a desk for long hours and sewing for long hours. I'll take sewing anytime over a desk job!

Of course, I'm leaving today for the weekend sewing events in Earlton and North Bay and of course, there's a quilt that has to be sent to a magazine. Those deadlines often fall like that! Note to self - get better organized!

Anyway, when I started yesterday morning early - I had 12 of 18 blocks of one sort made and I hadn't even cut the remaining 17 blocks. I opened up my audiobook and quickly got to work. I almost had all of the blocks sewn together by lunchtime. Yes - I can focus when I want to. I barely stopped for a break, I had no interruptions and I seriously think my main focus was to listen to the audiobook and oh, by the way, I made a quilt while I was doing that!

After a quick but decent lunch break, it was back to the sewing machine. I had two borders to sew on and to make the backing.

I had a wee bit of a SNAFU with this quilt. It would appear that I wrote down the finished size as 55" by 73". Yet, I had 35 blocks in the quilt and the blocks were 12". So if you do the math, you can see that something was off. I think the blocks were "designed" as a 9-inch block, but that didn't work for the two different blocks in the quilt. They needed to be 12". Anyway, when it came time to make the backing, I was short a little bit. I dug into my stash and found the EXACT amount needed. That took a little bit of time to get sorted out. It was tight to quilt, but I had about 2 inches on each side.

The quilt measures 70" by 95" - "slightly" larger than it's supposed to be. Oh!  The quilt was loaded and was ready to start quilting by 4 PM. All I can say is thank goodness that I have that computer for the long arm - I'd be sunk without it. And it performed beautifully.

The binding was made and it's now half on the quilt. As I was sewing the binding on, I realized that I still have to deal with a sleeve for the quilt!

I'm in good shape as far as that quilt goes.

I trimmed that other large quilt that I had quilted earlier in the week and I think I'm going to need to empty the scrap cutting basket. It's a tad overflowing.

The scrap bucket on the cutting table

Thankfully, I have a couple of pillowcases that I picked up last week. This is going to have to wait until I'm back. I won't have time this morning to deal with it.

Pillowcases to make cat mats from

Has anyone noticed that everything you buy in a thrift store has this very strong peculiar odor? Why is that and what is it? It must be industrial detergent that they wash everything in?  I don't know, but it's pretty strong.

I'm in the process of finishing packing samples for the classes. That shouldn't take too long and once I get that sleeve dealt with, I'll be out of here. It sounds like the weather is going to cooperate so that's a good thing.

I came across this great article on creativity. Check it out. Bottom line - creativity is NOT just for the arts and crafts world. I've been saying that all along!

Don't forget that today is the last day of my blog posts on QUILTsocial. Some great stuff about the technology in today's machines and some embroidery. I love it!!!

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got a few things to tidy up before I leave and it's going to be a long drive so I want to be out of here at noon!

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, November 29, 2018


This is the FINAL week of the year that's filled with craziness. The good news is that it's already Thursday and tomorrow, I need to be in the car for my trip to Earlton and then North Bay. I'll be teaching some cool events on quilting and sewing machines. I'll be in Earlton at The Quilting Barn on December 1. Call them to get yourself booked to the event if you're in the area. I've got my eye on that panel she has on her Facebook page. Doesn't it look awesome?

Then it's off to The Sewing Machine in North Bay for two days of excitement - Sunday and Monday - December 2 and 3, where there'll be a different program about different quilting techniques and products. I can't wait to share all my experience with the quilters in that area.

I still have a LOT of work to do today. I have a quilt to finish - yes - it needs to be quilted and bound so I can get it to the courier tomorrow. However, I'm still piecing the blocks! Oh yes - the madness continues. After this quilt, there is ONE more urgent quilt to be done this year. That doesn't mean I can slack off, but some of the pressure will be gone and it'll be my job to ensure that I work on the projects when they are NON-urgent so they don't become urgent! Good luck with that!!!!

I also have to prep for the trip - pulling together the necessary samples and props. Hopefully, that won't take too long. Everything is hanging over the banister upstairs. I really must take pictures one day so you can appreciate the magnitude of the situation. Let's just hope that banister is solid!

I had a day of training to attend yesterday. I wasn't 100% sure that I was going to go and I certainly didn't have the time, but I went anyway. It was close by, although I left the event at 3 PM (near the airport) and it took ONE HOUR to get home. No accidents, no stalled cars - just HUGE volume at 3 PM. That trip normally takes 20 minutes. GRRR. Oh well - - move on!!!!

The training was interesting - a BRAND NEW (to me) machine to play with. An embroidery machine that's called a multi-needle because it has TEN needles. We were partnered up, but I got to do most of the playing. Hm - this machine looks scary but once you know what you're doing, it's not that bad. Essentially it's an industrial embroidery machine - so if you own a small business or do a LOT of the same embroidery (like T-shirts, hats or tote bags) - this is the perfect machine to do that work on.

Multi-needle embroidery machine
And here's a close up of it stitching out. It even does hats!!! The concept is the same as the domestic embroidery machine - just bigger and more robust. Plus the fact that there are TEN needles so you don't have to change the thread - that's automatic. That's a huge time saver if you're in heavy production mode.

Multi-needle embroidery machine as it stitches out

When I got home, I had to have a wee nap because I had been up late the night before getting some computer work done. Then I was off to teach the last class at Oh Look Fabric for the on-going quilt project. Cathy was a student in the paper pieced Christmas tree class last week (Pattern by Jitka Designs). Look at her progress - I love seeing the finished or in progress items after the class is completed. Great job Cathy - this is going to be an awesome project when it's finished. At this rate, I think she'll get it completed by Christmas.

Paper-pieced Christmas Tree

Then it was onto the show and tell for the quilt class. It was a four-part learn to quilt class.

First up is Anna's quilt. The top is together, basted and she's done some of the quilting. It looks awesome and a great choice of fabric even though one of them was directional and that meant being very careful with the placement of the blocks and the piecing of those blocks.

Anna's quilt in progresss

Cathy chose very cheery modern fabrics for her top. I love the color combination. She's done stitch in the ditch quilting between the blocks, but wants to add some more quilting.

Cathy's bright and cheery quilt

Giselle chose a subdued quilt. She had completed the quilting which looks AMAZING. Just a nice wavy line across the front with the lines overlapping a wee bit to get a ribbon effect. She did a fabulous job. That coloring reminds me of a type of candy that I can't remember the name of.
Giselle's quilt top
 Susan has started the quilting on her quilt as well. I'm loving the straight line quilting in the blocks and even after a few bloks, you can see an amazing difference in the lines from the first to the last. Just goes to show that practise does make you better!!!!

Susan's quilt in progress

That's so exciting to see the end results of the learn to quilt class. Hopefully, they are all hooked on quilting and we'll see them back for the next quilt project.

It's that time of year to be finalizing the details on the next batch of classes. I'll be sharing the projects and the shops where I'm teaching them next week. There are some very exciting classes coming up!

On that note, I'd better get myself together and get ready for a busy day. But it's going to be nice to sit in the studio, turn up the radio and just sew, sew, and quilt. Nowhere to go and no other commitments except to get this quilt done. Oh yes - I have other things to do, but they will have to wait until next week.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. Let's just say that I'm not perfect and I decided to share that with you!

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Don't waste my time!

I really hate to say that I'm usually pressed for time. I don't like it and I really want to get better with time management. If I could just have one week with nothing in it to catch up and then stay caught up - wouldn't that be a luxury? Unfortunately, you can't buy time so you try to be the most efficient with what you have.

I needed to get my winter tires on the car. I'm going up north to Earlton and North Bay this weekend for quilting/sewing machine events and I need to have those tires on the car. Oh, listen to me - I used to poo poo winter tires. I still think it's all a ploy, but now I'm so flipping paranoid because of everyone around me that I don't feel safe without them. I must be getting old and crotchety!

I paid a LOT of money to buy tires and RIMS so that it would be easy to get the tires on and off the car when it came time to change them. Last year, I left the car as it needed an additional service. It still took them HOURS to change the tires because they couldn't find the lug nuts which were in the back of the car with the tires. Seriously????

So yesterday, I'm off to get my tires changed. I was there for THREE hours. I wasn't happy by any means and I shall be writing to let them know of my extreme dissatisfaction with the level of service. They are good with a regular service but seem to be clueless when it comes to tires. I get it that this is a busy time of year. Then don't overbook!! After being there for 1 ½ hours, I decided to inquire about the status of my car, I was told that they were just starting on my car and they didn't realize my tires were on rims. Well - it's written all over the paperwork. How long does it take to change tires on rims? If you're a pit stop team, we're talking seconds. Honestly, I could probably have changed the stupid things myself in a much shorter period of time! I was fuming!

I may have made a HUGE mistake. I decided to store my tires with them. This was BEFORE the time SNAFU. How much do you want to bet, they screw that up when it comes times to switch the tires again. I can hardly wait for that!

At last, I was on my way back home, but it was now 2 PM and I hadn't had lunch. I wasn't a happy camper.

I still had a ton of work to do and although I took work with me, I took only enough for 1 ½ hours, not three. I had a book with me, but that wasn't the point. I would have planned my day totally differently if they had said the appointment would take three hours. DO NOT WASTE my time - it's as precious as for anybody else!!!

Now I was behind! I had lunch when I got home and then got to work. I had a quilt that was partially completed and I had embroidery to do. I got the quilt finished and it turned out great.

Customer quilt - DONE

And then I got an e-mail asking about some plans for today so that put me even further behind.

Needless to say, I went to bed late, got up early and I'm on track. Barely!

I do not know why it is that everytime I go away for a few days, the days leading up to the trip are crazy. I know life is normally crazy, but those days are totally insane and I've got two more days to go!!

Today's post is going to be short because I have something else that has to be done before I leave this morning.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial. I made a great little project.

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Border options

At the end of 2016, I made a list of UFOs to finish for 2017 and then in 2017, I made a list for 2018 and I'm currently generating a list for 2019. I chose one project for each month so a total of 12 UFOs each year.

Have I finished the list for 2017? No. There were thirteen projects on that list - I added a bonus one. DUH!!!  But here's the thing - in total, there weren't 13 projects on that list. One of the UFOs resulted in FOUR quilts, another had enough blocks to make three quilts, and many others had at least two if not three. There are still four projects on that list, but I'm making my way through them and the tally so far for those "13" UFOs is that there will be 24 quilts from those 13 project boxes. That's why it takes me so long to finish things!!!

Case in point - I finished the top of a scrap quilt yesterday. It was on the 2017 UFO list and was originally supposed to be ONE large quilt. Well, I'm done with large quilts so I made a few extra blocks and ended up with three large lap quilts.

I sewed the quilts together at Monday sewing and instead of putting the same border on all three, it was decided (with a little help from my friends) that each quilt should have a different border. Now that's a great idea so I went along with it. Here's what I ended up with. Which one do you like best???

Border option number one - one fabric for the border. There's a small 2" border of cream between the blocks and the outer border. This version was easy and the quilt top was finished weeks ago. The binding matches the border print. The backings are also made for all three quilts.

Option Number one - plain border

The second option was a piano key border. That one took a wee bit more time to put together, but a good use of scraps and didn't take that long. This one has a scrappy binding.

Scrap quilt with a piano key border

The third option was suggested by Jane. Now, who needs enemies when you have friends who suggest a checkerboard border???  This border took a long time to complete and it seemed like I was constantly making more sections. However, it was a great way to use up the remaining squares that had been cut for the blocks. This one has a scrappy binding. Thanks, Jane - I do like the end result!

Very scrappy quilt with a checkerboard border
The original pattern comes from this book called All for Fall. I bought the book years ago and I remember working on the quilt at a retreat - probably several retreats. 

All for Fall - the pattern book for the scrappy quilts

Here's a picture of the quilt from the book. They put a plain border on the quilt, but the edge was scalloped. No need for that.

The original quilt

The book is by Annie's Quilt Loft which is probably defunct by now. Or not. The book was published in 2003 and it was probably shortly thereafter that I started it. Only 15 years to make three quilts!

All for Fall by Annie's Quilt Loft

Over the course of construction, there were many note taking sessions as I figured out how many blocks I needed. I found all this paperwork in the pattern. It's now history.

Calculations for the three quilts

This picture was taken when I first started the quilt. It was the fabrics that I pulled from my stash to make the quilt. I'm pretty sure that picture was taken in our previous house. We moved in 2003 which matches the date of the book. Oh boy - I KNOW there are more projects with a similar story which is why I've created those UFO lists. One by one - they will get tackled. One by one, they will NOT be forgotten.

The fabrics pulled for the scrap quilt 15 years ago!!!!

Funny thing - this quilt was started 15 years ago and even though some of the fabrics are "dated", the quilts still look awesome. I know many people who toss earlier projects for a number of reasons. I'm not ready to abandon what I started. I still like everything that I started! Even though my tastes have changed over the years!!!

Yesterday at the Monday sewing session, I also managed to get two more blocks done for that little paper pieced wall hanging for my Mom. Four down and five more to go. When I got home from Monday, I went through my scrap buckets and pulled fabrics for the remaining five blocks. This shouldn't take long to complete - just keep working!! Make my Mom happy and cross this project off the list - also started a long time ago!

Four paper pieced blocks for the fall wall hanging

And I completed this block yesterday. I had purchased it as a kit at the Ailsa Craig quilt show a "few" years ago. It's from Green Mountain Quilt Studio. Paula Doyle has a certain way to make those little half square triangles using freezer paper. The method is way too fiddly for my liking, but I got the block done. We got batting, backing and binding in the kit so I've got that to finish another day.

Block to turn into a mug rug or a mini quilt

I forgot to show you the backing that I made for that strippy quilt made with panels. You can see the original picture here. This is the quilt backing. It's very scrappy and I'm OK with that. It shows the panel that was cut up and used on the front and I got rid of most of those greens in my stash.

The backing for my panel/strippy quilt

I managed to eke out "enough" fabric for the binding, but when I did the calculations, I realized I was 14 inches short. I checked out the green scrap bin and found a 24-inch long piece of the same fabric. PERFECT - that was meant to be!!!

Enough of a scrap for the rest of the binding

This is all that is left of those greens from Sandscapes and Artisan Spirit from Northcott. Don't anyone ask me for greens from those collections - this is all I have left.

All that remains of the greens in these collections

This moves one more quilt to the "to be quilted" pile. I haven't taken stock in a couple of months, but the last count was 210 and I know that there's at least 10 more that have been added to the pile. That's obscene and sad, but I've got a plan!!

Another quilt added to the "to be quilted" pile

Thankfully the UFO projects on the 2018 list are mostly "one of" projects. I'm a long way from completing some of them, but those projects are HUGE and intense applique in some cases. The list for 2019 is much tamer than the previous two years with the intention of catching up!

I've got exciting plans for the weekend. If you live in the area of Earlton, Ontario, I'll be at The Quilting Barn on Saturday, December 1 from 10 - 3.  Here's a link to the shop's newsletter where you can get more information.   OR you can check out the Facebook page of The Quilting Barn.  I'm super excited to be sharing two of my passions - quilting and sewing machines!

Then on Sunday and Monday (December 2 and 3), I'll be in North Bay at The Sewing Machine - again, I'll be sharing my love of quilting and sewing machines. Be sure to call the shop for more details.

There's no need to be a Husqvarna or PFAFF customer to attend. Come and check out the latest and greatest and I'll be sharing some great quilting techniques at all the events.

And let's not forget that there's another post in QUILTsocial today. Even if you're not in the market for a sewing machine, check out the post. This new machine is incredible and I love how you can customize a sewing machine to work for you!!!!

Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80 sewing/embroidery machine

On that note, I'm out of here! 

Have a super day!!!!!!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Another great day!

Sit n Sew days are the best - but they're exhausting!

There were a total of eight of us yesterday sewing. I don't think anyone forgot anything - no need to borrow a specialty ruler, or thread or fabric. But there were a LOT of questions and advice needed! That's OK - that's what it's all about. Having fun and encouraging each other.

I have to confess that after the group left, I needed a nap! I had (and still have) loads of work that I was going to do last night, but I was just too tired to make that happen. Later today is the night - it has to happen today! I need to be moving onto the next urgent things.

I didn't manage to get a picture of what everyone was working on. Sharon is slowly working her way through her Border Creek Mystery from several years ago - she's now on Clue 5 of eight Clues. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - just a long ways away yet. There's a LOT of cutting and sewing in those quilts.

I know a couple of ladies working on the current Border Creek Mystery. I've done my share of these mysteries and not finished all of them. No need to start another one!

Diane was madly sewing a ton of 9-patch blocks to make a very cool quilt. No pictures. Linda was working on some very intensely pieced star blocks. And Lynn worked on a variety of projects. I love how people bring intense projects to the Sit n Sew days. It's boring to work on those at home by yourself. And some people keep projects that they work on just at Sit n Sew days. I'm kind of like that for the Monday sewing. I don't work on those projects except on Monday. Works for me!!!

So what did I get pictures of?  Have a look.................

This is Ronda's table runner. The runner was done, she added the binding - both sides by machine!!!!  Way to go Ronda. This as from the table runner class from last year. More on the rest of the show n tell from that later this week. She was also working on something else, but had a wee bit of a challenge with the math - we won't go there.

Ronda's table runner
 Pam had the blocks for this quilt cut out and managed to get the entire top sewn together yesterday. Great job Pam - love the colors!!!!  It's a kit by Shania Sunga and I believe she designed the batik fabric as well.

Pam's koala quilt
 France worked very hard and got HALF of her quilt together. The blocks were done but she had to repress some of the seams. These blocks are from Border Creek's recent online sew along called Let's be Friends. Anyway, I love the way she used a huge variety of values of blue in the blocks and how scattered they are in the placement. It looks awesome!!!  She made 61 blocks and used a different blue in each block! Apparently, she still has a lot of blue fabrics that she didn't use. Do you think she likes blue?

France's Let's be Friends quilt
I made the backing for that jelly roll quilt I showed you yesterday. I forgot to take a picture. I'll do that later today. Then I worked on finishing the rag quilt. I wanted this done so I snipped and snipped and got it completed. Yeah - this is finish Number 70 for the year!!!!

Rag quilt DONE!
 Then I tossed it in the washer because technically it isn't done until it's been washed at least once. Before I went to bed last night, I laid it out on the work tables so it could finish drying.

The washed rag quilt
 This morning when I had a peek at it, I noticed that an entire row hadn't been snipped. Oh, shoot - so I snipped that this morning, wrote it in my book as Number 70 and it's going to be donated next week. I'm not rewashing it.

Oops - forgot to snip the cross pieces on an entire row
I was working on my ender/leader project as well. I had randomly cut pieces of white on black without counting. I am THREE pieces short. That's a pretty good guestimate!!!  I'm not sure how many blocks I have so I'll be cutting a lot more fabric I'm sure and I'll need them for the next round on the opposing blocks. I think I said that I need 60 blocks with red in the center, then the white on black and finally a round of black on white. I don't think there are 60 block centers here.

The ender/leader project 
 Here's the opposing block - red center, black on white and then white on black. A wee bit of counting will be in order or I might wait until I run out of that white. Anyway - I'm going to need a cutting session soon.

One of the opposing blocks

I also got one more block completed for Audra's quilt. I got the chicken done - she's in the bottom row. There are three more blocks to finish. All have applique in them. I was hoping to have one prepped to take to Monday sewing, but I was too tired to do that. It'll have to wait until later this week if I can eek out the time. I have a few deadlines. And I have to prep for a big weekend. I'll share all the details tomorrow, but if you happen to be in Earlton or North Bay this weekend, I'm coming to visit!!!!

Simple Country Sampler to date

This is the mess in my studio! Well, the messy corner. I would love to get that corner completely dealt with by the end of the year. Some of that stuff has deadlines so it has no choice but to be dealt with. Some are easy projects that could be finished in an hour or two. And there's a chair of quilts to be bound. It's all possible. I just have to keep focusing and I'll make it happen.

The visual "to do" list!!

It looks worse than it is as there are some bags of supplies that I brought in because I need the supplies. Once I get the supplies, the bags go back to their place of residence. It's all good. FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!!!! 

It would be great to then be able to bring out some new stuff.

On that note, I'd better get myself together for the day!!!!  I think I'll be cutting the sewing day short as I have some computer work that has to be done today!!!!

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial where I'm introducing a BRAND NEW sewing machine by Husqvarna Viking. It's a pretty exciting sewing machine. I'm in love with all the features. Check it out!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sir - you have good service here!

We had an amazing show and tell yesterday at the final class for 2018 at The Hobby Horse. Lots of pictures got taken and I'll share those with you this coming week. No promise on the date - it's a bit of a crunch week. And I want to share the projects that we've got lined up for 2019. More fun!!!!!

Today, I have other stuff to write about.

I was searching in the stash tubs that reside in the studio. This is the secondary stash. Anyway as I was digging through them, I found this quilt top. I made this a couple of years ago. It's like a jelly roll quilt or whatever those quilts were called.

Jelly roll race quilt

Except that it wasn't a race and it wasn't a jelly roll. I took several of these Northcott panels and cut them into 2 ½" strips. I added a few coordinates, joined them all into one long roll and made the quilt top.

The panel that was used to make the quilt

Hmm - I didn't have anything designated for the backing. But it would be fun to put that panel on the back so you can see what the front was made of. I dug through the same tub and found some bits of coordinating greens (Sandscapes and Shimmer). Not enough. Then I dug through my personal stash and found this.

More fabric for the backing
I'm sure between all the bits that I now have enough to make the backing and binding. Perfect. One more "UFO" will get moved to the "to be quilted pile" before the end of the year - I hope. I might even work on that backing today at Sit n Sew.

At the last Sit n Sew, the girls filled my scrap basket that sits on the cutting table. I don't have any pillowcases handy that I can use to make cat mats so I popped over to the Thrift Store after they left so I could get a couple of pillowcases. I know there are lots in that cold room, but to find them is another story. The shopping trip was way faster and pillowcases won't go to waste as I envision a whole lot more scraps in my future.

I always have a quick peek at the bookshelves looking for anything interesting. I found two novels with the word quilt in the title. Amish quilts from the look of the cover. Not the same author either. I've added them to my bookshelf of books to read. 

Quilt novels found at the Thrift store

When I was having troubles with my long arm, I was looking for different clips/clamps to hold some of the cables out of the way. I found this very inexpensive clamp at the hardware store. It works like a charm and keeps all the heavy cables off the floor. That was a great fix!!!

Clamp on the long arm to hold the cables out of the way

I was on a tear to get stuff tidied up as I'm tired of moving it. I did very well I thought. Of course, it doesn't look like that right now as I have a "few" projects sitting out that I'd like to get completed this year. Since there's one corner that I don't need for Sit n Sew today, I shoved it all there. If I'm focused, I can work my way through all that before the end of the year.

Yesterday I was working on a small project and needed to "baste" the three layers together. I wasn't thinking about what batting scrap I picked up, but it happened to be 100% polyester. I think it's Thermolan. Let's just say that it's NOT a good idea to apply a lot of heat to that product.

My batting MELTED
 Yep - the polyester batting melted and you can see how the one end got distorted and it's hard because the fibers melted together. Well - that's interesting! It would have been fine, but because the top of the project needed extra pressing, I was holding the iron in place. I shouldn't have done that with all three layers together. I should have pressed the top WITHOUT the batting inside. Oops!

I got another customer quilt done yesterday. It just needs to be trimmed and then it'll be ready for pickup. I hope to get that done later today.

Customer quilt - DONE

I think I'm down to seven to get finished before Christmas. That's doable. My January is booked also so I'm accepting quilts for February if anyone is interested.

This morning, I'm putting the binding on that MASSIVE quilt for a customer. She's coming today to pick it up. The first round is on and I'm off to finish the second pass which is sewing the binding to the top of the quilt. Yep - way easier with the sewing machine. That's about 450 inches of binding!

Sewing on the binding by machine

Notice anything on the wall???  See that black pennant? That's from the Ruby Star Society. When I was in Houston, they were handing them out. I snagged one and now it adorns my design wall. Can't wait to see what they release in their first collection next year.

Ruby Star pennant

Gosh - remember all those pennants we collected as kids? I'm sure that I still have mine around here and I know exactly where they are. That's scary!!!

OH - you're wondering about the title of today's post. Well, I was at Tim's yesterday. It's rare that I go now, but from time to time, I grab a tea and perhaps a cookie to go along with it. Hey - I'm allowed - do you know that I've maintained my weight since March. I have that 5-pound range and I've never strayed above or below.

Anyway - I no longer go the Tim's that is closest to my house. The service is  S  L  O  W.    And they have two lanes painted on the driveway but people panic and think you're going to steal their place in line so instead of forming two lines like rational human beings, they make one line that extends into the street. I hate that.

This other location has the two ordering panels and the service is fast and good. Yesterday when I arrived at the window, I started to say "you have the best......."  when he said to me "we don't have oatmeal raisin cookies - is chocolate chip OK?" Since he already had the chocolate chip cookie in his hand, I said "sure". Then he handed me my tea. I was driving away when I smelled that it was NOT a tea but in fact coffee.  I parked across from the drive-thru window - he looked at me and I shouted - "it's coffee, not tea". He shouted to the back - "black tea" and then I exchanged the coffee for a tea in the drive-thru while I was on foot!  I know - not allowed, but who cares. It ended up being a black tea, not decaf, but I survived.

It was just hilarious that the day that I'm telling them that their service is the best, they manage to screw up my entire order!!!!  Still - they were extremely fast even in fixing the error. I wonder who got a decaf tea instead of their coffee?

On that note, I'm out of here to attempt to finish off that binding before the sewists arrive!

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sit n Sew day

So.......   did you shop yourself silly yesterday? It was Black Friday after all. Or should I say that it was just one more day to shop in the madness that now appears to be Black Friweek! The sales are getting ridiculous and who needs all that stuff anyway? I was at the computer for most of the day and the number of e-mails regarding Black Friday sales was crazy. Buy this! Save this! Only four hours left! Nuts - totally nuts. Did I buy anything? I went the entire day without buying something until I was at Oh Look Fabric last night (teaching the rope bowl class) where I did buy a small kit - not a fabric kit, but a paper kit. I'll show you another day - when I get it made! Cost me $20.

As promised, I'm going to share with you what happened at the Sit n Sew. No, I should rephrase that - you get to see what we worked on, not what happened or what was shared!

We were a pretty prolific group. I didn't get pictures from Claudette or Rose. I know Claudette was working on some doll quilts and Rose was working on blocks from a shop hop. Shoot - next time - get pictures of everyone!!!

This is a quilt that Tish finished off. We had been at a retreat several years ago and I was making a quilt from this Northcott flannel. I can't remember the name of the collection and I can't find it on their website. I had some leftovers that she coveted and I gave them to her. This is the quilt that she made. Super cute and way to use up leftovers!!!

Tish's polar bear quilt

I got the top completed for this quilt. The pattern in the box was from 2001! It wasn't mine, but it ended up at my house. I decided to finish it and then it'll be donated to a community project. It wasn't difficult to finish up - the blocks were made and the sashing and cornerstones were cut. The tricky part was how to get enough binding, backing and the border out of one big piece.
I finished this top
Here are the quilt top and the backing. It was going to be tight to precut the binding, so I'll make the binding from the leftover backing once it's quilted.

Now in the "to be quilted" pile
Diane was back and she was prepared. She had all the batting inside the fabric strips and so she made TWO jelly roll rugs. Can you see what the fabric is on this one??

Jelly roll rug
 How about now???  That's tractor fabric! What a great way to use up some of my leftover traffic fabric. But to get there - not on the radar screen for a long time. The pattern is by Roma Quilts.

Tractor fabric jelly roll rug
 This is the second one that she made. This was from a jelly roll. Very pretty. I think that is the last of the jelly roll rugs for Diane! It took her about two hours for each to assemble the rug. She's very good at it and it makes a difference not having to manhandle the rug - that big flat surface makes a huge difference.

Another jelly roll rug by Diane

Tish had this small hand embroidered piece with her and wanted to make something from it. I love how she just wings stuff. That's such a great talent to have and I wish more people could be that free in how they put things together.

She started off with a couple of borders.

A couple of borders added to a hand embroidered block

Then one more border with flying geese. She was determined to use fabrics that she had in her stash.
Pretty cute for an afternoon's work.

Tish's Christmas wall hanging

I'm really going to have to keep a list on Sit n Sew days. Who is the worse culprit for forgetting to bring something? Last time, it was the thread. This time, Pauline forgot her fabric and her ruler. She brought the Christmas fabrics for the diamonds, but no ruler to cut them. Thankfully my ruler was close by and I happened to have some beige fabric that worked for the background.

Table topper 
 This is a pattern by JayBird Quilts. It's called Rock Canady. She did an amazing job to get it cut and pieced in one day!

I'm happy to lend or give stuff to these guys when they come. You know what that means - I've set a dangerous precedent which is why I'm going to keep a list!  Don't want people taking advantage! But it happens - I've gone places and forgotten things. I went to a retreat and forgot thread. Thankfully the quilt store was close by.

But I have my limits. I'm not selling my stash or getting rid of anything major so no needs to get in a line for a long, long time!

Pat started her 150 Canadian Women quilt. I have to say that it was a comforting thought to know that all my 150 blocks were done. She made great headway on the project while she was at the Sit n Sew.

Pat's 150 Canadian Women
 Helen Anne received this kit a while back. The quilt was designed by Patti Carey using Northcott's Colorworks and Colorworks Concepts fabrics. A picture of the pattern is at the bottom of that page in the link - it's called Fractures. Patti donated the kit to our guild for our community projects and Helen Anne volunteered to make the quilt. It took three Sit n Sew days, but the top is DONE. It just needs a good press and then it'll be ready for quilting. I volunteered to quilt it.
Fractures by Patti Carey
 We think the pattern would look amazing with a floral panel as well. Helen Anne is on the hunt for something to try it again!!!!  In my stash, I found enough of the black border fabric for the binding. I also found in my stash two coordinating prints (from ColorWorks Concepts) that'll make a great backing for the quilt. They just need to be sewn together.

The backing for the quilt
 And that takes care of a bit more fabric in the stash. You see, I'm perfectly happy to give it away or sell it, but there has to be an IMMEDIATE need. There'll be no moving my stash to someone else's stash. It might as well stay at my house.  Just saying..............

I'm in the repair mode these days. I spent the rest of the afternoon ripping and fixing things. I figure if it's not going to get used the way it is - then take it apart and remake it. Case in point, this cute zippered pouch. I was in a class and I did it the way the instructor said. I didn't like the end result - the ends of the zipper are too bulky. So I took the entire thing apart and will reassemble it my way (god - I'm persnickety!) But it'll be a whole lot better and then I'll be happy to use it.

This zippered pouch before it was dismantled
 I worked on a couple of other small projects, one was also a repair job. I'm almost completed both and will share them with you when I get them done. I need a whole pile of small projects to finish off so I can get to my 100 items for 2018. I still have 31 to go!

I fixed the waistband on this pair of pants. Who in their right mind makes an elastic waistband this large? And who in their right mind buys a pair of pants with that wide of an elastic waistband? Me of course. So I added a couple more rows of stitching to prevent the elastic from folding over inside the waistband. Mission accomplished. That didn't count as a finished item for the year.

Waistband fixed

This makes me laugh because do you remember a time when only "old ladies" wore pants with elastic waistbands? The younger generation would keel over at the thought. Can you even buy a pair of pants without some form of elastic in the waistband or without lycra or spandex in the material? Sure makes for more comfortable pants, but sometimes - they just bag way too much.

I found a brand new pair of pants in my drawer and decided that I should wear them. Too big! Good grief. They fit OK, but with the stretch in them causes the butt to sag. According to a certain someone in my house, that's not attractive. I don't really care, but they are definitely too big. 

After everyone left, I dug something else out that I hope to get finished by the end of the year. That will count for FOUR projects. These are the quilts that I offered to finish for that student of mine who passed away a while back. I'm in communication with her daughter now and it's time to get these done. Plus it will be nice to get rid of this laundry basket of stuff from the studio.

Basket of quilts to be done
There are five quilts in total. One is completely done unless she wants a label on it. Two quilts are ready to be quilted - both are small. And the other two quilts are still in bits and pieces. This is one of our $10 quilts from years ago. It's called the Simple Country Sampler bu The Rabbit Factory. I HATE HATE HATE Pinterest. When you try to search for something, you get five million hits on Pinterest, but not the SOURCE of whatever you're looking for. God, I hate Pinterest.

Simple Country Sampler by The Rabbit Factory

This is how the quilt looks as I took it out of the box. She had made eleven of the sixteen blocks. 

Simple Country Sampler quilt

She was working on the twelfth block. I wasn't happy with her seams and the RED thread that she was using to sew it together. So I painstakingly ripped it apart. Oh yes - she backstitched at each end of the seam and double stitched the seams in some cases as the tension was off on her machine. Oh well - I thought long and hard about Audra evening as I reworked that block. But she was a lovely person and I'm happy to do this for her daughter whom I had met on several occasions.

Ripping out the house block
 That red thread was clingy and it was everywhere!

The red thread was everywhere as I ripped out the block

Now the house block is done. I'm not even looking at the seams on the other ones. This is how it stays. There are four more blocks to make. Three with applique. Oh, joy!  But I hope to get one more completed later today. Then I'll tackle the applique tomorrow at Sit n Sew.

Now there are twelve of sixteen blocks done

The last quilt is pieced only. I know there are blocks made but I haven't opened it up to check it out. It would be nice to get all these quilts out of the house by Christmas. But I still have customer quilts to do as well. Not many, less than 10. One more got loaded on the long arm yesterday while I was busy with the embroidery machine.

I also worked on the enders/leaders project. Getting close to finishing these blocks. Then I have to find something else to work on. No worries about that! I've tons of little triangles to sew together and I should get back at that.

Enders and leaders project

On that note, I'm out of here. It's the reveal class at The Hobby Horse. Our last class for the year of the two different year-long projects. I can't wait to see what they have come up with.

Have a super day!!!!!