Thursday, January 31, 2019

Just one of those mornings!

Thankfully, I'm one of those people that can jump out of bed and be productive five minutes later.

I fired up several sewing machines and then I just seemed to have one issue after another. Loosening the tension and changing the needle helped one machine and wouldn't you know it - the other one needed a new needle as well. But not before I spent some time ripping!

How do you love that crazy weather out there? Even the girls are happy to be in the house! While they both have big thick fur coats, it's their feet that get cold. I've seen Miss Lexi standing out there lifting her paws. We're not going for a walk this morning. I have a limit on what temperature I'll walk in. -19!

Despite the machine issues, I did get stuff done, but alas - it's all homework for upcoming classes and I wouldn't feel right to share it with you before sharing it with them.

Now, how cool is this?  Susan sent me a link to a shop offering classes in England. Guess what is one of their classes???  The Everyday Basket that I wrote when I was at Northcott. The pattern is still available on their website!  Here's the link to the pattern on Northcott's website if you want to make it. It's super cute and I love it. I have several of them around my studio to put stuff in.

I know that I have no one to blame for this but myself, but I'm going to gripe just a wee bit. I was instrumental in putting together the Charity quilts for two local Modern Quilt Guilds. I obtained the fabrics, made the kits, came up with a basic design concept or several and then one was chosen which was a design of mine that had been modified, made the application - anyway - you get the picture. The blocks were made by the guild members and the tops were sewn by someone else. No big deal for that part. Everyone wants to be part of the design process, everyone wants to make blocks, but when it comes to the quilting (especially) and the finishing - well no one wants to do that!  Now I'm not complaining in the least about that. What I ticked off at is that in one of the guilds, I got resistance that I was in the charge of the quilt - that it was my vision! Anyway - long story short - YES - I could have been more proactive and doled out the jobs so I really shouldn't complain, but that one bad comment ticks me off.

What I totally dislike is the lack of respect for the amount of time that I WILLINGLY put in to make and finish those quilts. Do people think that I have loads of spare time?  I GET IT!!!  I didn't ask for help but I don't mind doing the work - I just wonder if people appreciate the fact of how much time all that finishing takes?

So while these two charity quilts are done and gone, that's it for me. I will have NOTHING to do with future charity quilts for the Modern guilds. Someone has stepped up to take over the job in both guilds - YEAH!!!!  I will not make blocks, I will not quilt them, I will not bind them nor will I put on a sleeve. I've done my time!!!!!

OK - enough of that griping - here are the quilts. I did spend most of yesterday afternoon working on finishing them up and got them packaged and to the UPS office before 5:30. They are scheduled to arrive on Feb 5 - THREE days before they are due!!!!  Can you believe it? I can't!

Here's the first one. It's for the Grand River Modern Quilt Guild. It's a knock off of one of my designs that appeared in a magazine last year. I'll show you how I changed it tomorrow.  I absolutely love the quilting on this one. Very textural and yet it doesn't detract from the very graphic design of the quilt. I called it Flower Garden - although I should have called it Modern Flower Garden or what is the names of those english gardens????  I can still change the name - maybe! Only five of the seven colors in the palette were used.

Quiltcon Charity quilt for Grand River Modern Quilt Guild

I wanted to put a purple binding on the quilt, but NO - I used the purple for the other quilt. Ooops. Well, I had some of the blue left over. I knew it was going to be tight and was prepared with Plan B, but guess what? I had enough with just a wee bit left over. The blue was meant to be!!!!

A HUGE SHOUT OUT to Northcott for donating the fabrics for the quilt. We love you - Northcott!!! This quilt is made entirely with the ColorWorks solids.

Barely enough binding - but it worked!!!!!

The second quilt used the same base of colors but all seven of the colors in this year's palette were used in the quilt (Green and white were the two additional colors). The members made the blocks using a maximum of two colors in each block. The members arranged the blocks at the January meeting. I called it Scattered. But now that I'm looking at it in the picture, there's an X forming in the picture with the white! Oh well - doesn't matter. This one just needed a label sewn to it as I had finished the binding and the sleeve a while back. It's mostly made with Northcott fabrics (Colorworks solids) but we added in some similar color/value fabrics that had a design printed on them. The backing is Toscana by Northcott. Again - thanks to Northcott for supporting our guilds and their charitable endeavors.

Quilt con Charity quilt for the West End Modern Quilt Guild

I was hoping to ship them together in one box, but that didn't happen. I had two identical boxes and one went in each. It was cheap to ship them as one shipment (with two boxes) so the cost wasn't too bad. Bottom line - they are gone. I just need to write up the story that goes on the label that will be attached to the front of the quilt. A job for later today.

That's two more finishes for this year. And neither of them belong to me. I'll recap the January finishes tomorrow - just in case something else gets completed today!

I finished off these blocks that were hanging on the design wall. The blocks are called triple nine-patch. Anyone want to use them as seed blocks to make their own quilt???  The end result is gorgeous.

Triple four patch blocks - up for grabs
I've made two quilts from these blocks. That's enough for me. Both are done. Here's a link to my blog post so you can see one of them.   And here's the second one that is currently hanging in my upstairs hallway.

Another version of the triple four patch quilt

It was a two spool day yesterday. I emptied two more spools of thread. The thread drawer barely has a dent in it so I'm not running out to buy more thread - just yet!

Two more empty spools of thread

In keeping with not letting quilts that need binding pile up - I got the binding on this charity quilt finished yesterday. Yes - another finish that didn't belong to me.

Binding on the charity quilt - DONE
 While I've been puttering, I came across this bag of thread. What the heck was it for??? There are bobbins, top thread and bobbin thread, feet and a screwdriver?  And I wonder why I can't find things sometimes.  I'll ponder on it for a day or two and then put it away if I can't remember what it was for.

A bag of supplies - for what??? Who knows.

I also dug out the serger this morning and finished off a pet mat. I'm not counting these in my finishes, but again - something done and it wasn't for me!!!!

A pet mat - DONE
 Not that I'm worried about no finishes for myself. I'm making great progress on several projects. Those projects are HUGE and not the sort of thing that one would finish overnight. Oh yes - I'm not worried about the finishes for me at all.

When Ronda and I took our class last week, we found a few things to buy. I was looking for spring-like fabric for my Hello Sunshine quilt. I spotted this fabric. How cool - there are 8 FQ printed as a panel.

8 FQ printed as one panel

The girls at the shop (Creative Sisters) had a very clever way to fold that fabric so that ALL eight fabrics would show in their packaging. I was so excited this morning that I opened it up without taking a picture. Ronda is on the train (hopefully) after waiting in the bitter cold and so I'll get a picture of her bundle for tomorrow.

On that note, I booked THREE things to do outside the house today. BRRRR!!!!!  I'll just dress warm and I'll be fine!

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2019


That was a lot of snow yesterday. I spent about 2 hours shoveling the driveway. I did it in sections and then DH came out to move the cars and shovel beneath those. Yep - he got the easy job! I don't mind. I got to eat a LOT of extra food yesterday and I deserved every bit!

The left side of the driveway before the plow came by
The right side of the driveway

The plow doesn't normally hit our street until the evening so I changed all plans to venture out. Of course, the plow comes at noon! No big deal, but boy - what a crazy situation. The guy driving the thing looked about 15! He was barreling down the street, knocking over garbage cans that were in his path. But for the life of me, I can't understand why people put their garbage cans on the street yesterday. I didn't even bother putting ours out. We don't generate a lot of garbage so even with pick-up every two weeks, we often don't put it out until it's full which is about once a month - if that. I want to know what's in their garbage cans! How come so much waste? Same with recycling - some peoples bins are overflowing every two weeks. We put ours out about once a month.

We live on the curve of a cul de sac so there are a couple of pie lots. My neighbour drives me crazy because she doesn't own a shovel! She has this massive scoop and proceeds to push the snow onto the street. Her excuse - no place to put it. Meanwhile, her front lawn just a few feet from the driveway has ZERO snow piled on it.

When that plow came by, we were watching. She happened to be out in her driveway pushing the snow into the street. And that driver helped her by pulling all the snow away from the end of her drive!!!!  GRRRR!!!!  While I'm happy because it didn't end up in my driveway, he enabled her to continue doing that!!!! I'm going to buy her a damn shovel! But she won't get it even then.

Clearing the snow in style!

So after our street was all sparkling clean, we did have to go back out and shovel the end. DH says - we can drive over that. Yes, we can, but I'm not driving over it in my new car which is very low to the ground. It also causes ice to build-up and causes slippery conditions. I shoveled most of it and he came and helped me.

Oh - I know the blog is late today. Really, really late. That's OK - I was at the gym!!! Haven't been to spin class in a while and it was time. I thought my legs were going to fall off. I pushed to get to my goal. Now you have to realize that its different in spin class than being on the road. The more effort you put in, the more KM you rack up. It's not necessarily just a speed thing.

Here are my results from this morning.

Stats from spin class

I was happy - the equivalent of 31.1 KM in just less than 1 hour. On my way downstairs I ran into a couple. She works out in the gym and he does the same spin class. He also does triathlons and is skinny as a rail. His wife commented that I looked like I worked harder than he did. So I asked him how many KM he cranked out. A mere 27.3 KM to my 31.1!!!!  Oh yes - if I'm going to the gym, I go there to do maximum effort in the time I have.

Then I popped into the sauna where two men were doing their exercises. Good grief!

And that's why I'm very late this morning.

I spent a good part of yesterday finsihing up that charity quilt for Quiltcon - well, when I wasn't shovelling or eating! I ate a lot yesterday and because of the spin class, I get to eat a lot again today!

But here's the quilt. I'm very happy with the results. That's Charity quilt number five for the year that I've quilted and eventually will finish off.

Charity quilt for Quiltcon - DONE!!!!

Here are a couple of shots of the quilting. I'm very happy with it. My favorite part is the light purple. I could do that all day! I just love the texture and the illusion that changing the direction provides.

Details of quilting on Quiltcon quilt

More quilting details

I did other stuff as well, but you won't see that until Friday.

This charity quilt and the other one I finished MUST be in the mail today. The binding is cut and ready to sew together. Then the sleeve has to be sewn on. That shouldn't be a problem but I do have some computer work that needs to be done first.

Oh - I see that Miss Lexi blogged this morning. I'm surprised that she remembers how - it's been a while.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today.  Very cool stuff on Design Positioning with the HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80.

On that note, I'm out of here to get the day started.

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Where's the Sunshine?

One of the classes I'm teaching this year is called Hello Sunshine by Kimberbell. I'm going to change the name to Where's the Sunshine? What's with all that snow outside???  I did take pictures but if I'm to get the blog post up by 7:30 - those pictures will have to wait until tomorrow. I did a wee bit of shoveling already - had to around the back door and some of the front. The rest of the fun will come after the blog!

We had Monday sewing yesterday. Not a lot of people showed up as they were sticking close to home because of the weather. I think we were all out of there by 2:00. I must say that it can be nerve-wracking to drive in the snow, but to drive a brand new car in the snow? Oh well - I'll have to share the new car story with you one of these days. So much to tell and just not enough time.

I did manage to get a lot of stuff done yesterday. Some you see today and some you see tomorrow.

Guess what?  Oh my goodness - the gingerbread boy is DONE!!!!!  All the hand stitching is done. The block is DONE!!!!  That only took how many years? Doesn't matter - it's DONE!!!

Gingerbread boy block - hand stitching is DONE
I was so excited. That leaves three months of blocks to finish off. I spent the rest of the day prepping the applique for block number 12. I had forgotten the pattern at home and there is one more shape to trace onto freezer paper. That will have to wait until next week. Once that last piece is prepped, I can glue everything to the background and I'll have another block to stitch.

I also have the pieced blocks to finish for Month 12. They are cut and partially sewn together. That leaves Month 10 and 11 which I haven't touched yet but that's OK. Progress on the UFO is being made and I'm super happy about it. It's a great thing to do on a Monday. No need to transport that sewing machine. No cutting tools required. Just a wee bag with applique and applique tools.

I know that I have one more applique project on that UFO list - at least one and there's also a hand embroidery project. I've decided that Mondays are the perfect day - I can't get distracted. The lighting in our room is fabulous for handwork and so is the time of day.

Could it really happen that these quilts will get finished?

I love using my wool pressing mat. It's great to press the applique (both hand and machine) blocks (and machine or hand embroidery blocks). I place the block face down on the mat and give it a nice steam press. It helps to prevent flattening the applique or embroidery. The mats aren't cheap and they can smell like wet sheep if you get them too wet, but I love it. Check the mats out at your local quilt shop - I think most shops carry them. If not, ask for it. I'd show you the packaging, but I'm not sure where that is. 

Wool pressing mat

There are several brands. Here's the one from Quilt in a Day.

Quilt in a Day Wood Pressing mat

One of the things that I was supposed to take to my walking foot class was a hera marker to mark the fabric. Well - do you think I could find that marker? I thought it was in the marking toolbox, but alas it was not there. However, when I was searching through the tools in the applique bag, there it was. Now, why did I put that in the applique tools? No worries - what was lost is now found and back in the proper place.

Hera Marker

Thanks to Linda for the fabulous bicycle fabric. I know exactly where this is going to go. My "Hello Sunshine" quilt from Kimberbell has bicycles on it and we need some filler fabrics between the blocks. The coloring of this one is PERFECT.  Thanks again, Linda. It's going to be cut up soon.

Bicycle fabric

Here's the picture of Hello Sunshine in case you have no idea what that quilt looks like.

Hello Sunshine by Kimberbell Designs

It comes in two different version - The Machine Embroidery version (that's what I'm doing) and there's also a sewing version if you don't have an embroidery machine. It's super cute and a fun summer quilt. I'm determined to have mine done by summer. Every morning, I've been up early and embroider a block or two. I hope that machine noise doesn't travel throughout the house. No complaints so far.

We have to make several blocks of each design for the quilt and I had at least one of each block made for the class on the weekend. Now all the blocks for the first class are done. My blocks for Jingle all the Way (the Christmas quilt) are almost completely done.

Jingle all the Way

There's also a Halloween quilt - Broomhilda's Bakery and a new one coming out in February. Oh - they are so much fun to make!!!!

Broomhilda's Bakery

Now back to my quilt. Here are my cupcake blocks for Hello Sunshine. Oh - I was going to make the highlight on the frosting white! I forgot to change the thread and when I came back to the machine once the embroidery was done - well - it looks just fine like that! Thank goodness it wasn't black thread!

Two cupcake blocks

And then I did the ladybug blocks. They are so darn cute. We only need two of them, but I have three. Why? If you look closely at the picture, you'll see why.

Three ladybug blocks

It would appear that one of the ladybugs is a senior. That's a silver-tipped ladybug. Yes - I forgot to change the thread again. I've no idea why. Oh yes  - too excited to get to the next sewing machine!

The silver tipped ladybug and a regular ladybug
 I have two ice cream cone blocks finished and three kite blocks. They need to be trimmed and cleaned up. I'll show you when that happens. It's a challenge running between multiple machines. The machine doing the machine embroidery applique is very needy at the beginning of the process. 

Kite and ice cream cones blocks to be cleaned up

I did some quilting yesterday and very happy with the totally freehand results. Pictures are taken - no time to share.

It sounds like the entire city is pretty much shut down until they can clean up the snow. It's crazy out there and while the temperature is mild (-6), the wind is blowing. But it wasn't too bad. I'm excited to get out there and shovel some more! I know - I'm sick!

Don't forget that today is another day of QUILTsocial posts. Be sure to download that app on your phone or tablet so it's easy to read the posts when you have a minute somewhere. There are some amazing tips on the web site. And this week, there are some cool things I did with the HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80.

On that note, I'm out of here. Oh, guess who is standing beside me begging for a walk. As if! The snow is so deep. I wonder how Linda's dogs (Little Tucker and Maggie) are making out in the deep snow. They are little guys!!!

Have a super day!!!!


PS - shoot - missed the 7:30 deadline by 4 minutes. It's now 7:34!!!

Monday, January 28, 2019


I had a great class teaching applique to a local guild yesterday morning and then back home where we had our first UFO class. Oh my - for those of you who did NOT sign up - well too bad. It was loads of fun - we're definitely going to learn from each other and I've realized that $10 is worth a lot to me! And the others as well.

In previous classes where there was a financial penalty, I realized that it's very hard to get the money out of the students. They don't show up or they don't cough up the cash. This time, I'm holding their cash hostage. If they get the homework done, they get the cash back. If they don't, it goes into a pot and we'll decide later what happens to the money. Hopefully, there won't be any money in the pot at the end of the year. And in one person's case, I'm holding their cash refund so it's like forced savings for them!  Go figure!

We meet again in two weeks so that timeline had to be taken into consideration when deciding what goals could be accomplished before the next meeting. Just in case you think some of the goals are not big enough. The goals set were also dependant on how much time each person has to work on the project in the next two weeks.

Some of the people just needed a deadline set for them and some people needed advice or to learn a technique or figure out the next steps. We had a round robin discussion for those that needed help which was great as we all pitched ideas to the owner of the UFO and now it's up to them to sort it out.

It was interesting to see the projects that people brought. Let's have a look and see what happened.

We started off with Elaine S. She brought a "brand-new" UFO. She hasn't really started the project yet but has had all the tools, pattern, and fabric for a while. So it qualifies as a UFO. A quick lesson on how to use the Quick Curve Ruler and she's good to go. Her goal: make a couple of sample blocks to get the technique down pat before she starts on the good fabric!

Elaine S - Urban Abacus by Sew Kind of Wonderful

Lynne brought a completed quilt top that she designed herself. Hm - what does she need help with? Ah - the quilting. We chatted about various types of quilting appropriate for the top and she got the information she needed. Her homework is to get part of the quilting done and look for a specific motif that she wants to incorporate on the quilt.

Lynne M

Susan brought this quilt top. The photo doesn't do the fabric justice. The quilt is gorgeous and we told her to watch it or it might disappear. She had fabric for the borders/binding but wasn't sure which was which. We offered suggestions and her homework is to figure out what she has, which fabric will go where and be ready to cut.

Susan's quilt top
 Liz also brought a quilt top. This is from the book called Candy Cane Lane by Melinda Bula. Oh dear - I just found out that she lost her home in the Camp Fire in California and her online shop is temporarily closed. Liz has modified the quilt quite a bit from the book, but had run into difficulty with the top border. We had a big discussion about options for the top. Her task is to finish the stitching around the appliques and then make a decision on what goes in the top.

Liz's quilt top - Candy Cane Lane is the inspiration
 Laura brought Kaleidoscope by Quilt Addicts Anonymous. The center part of the quilt is together!!!  And some of the other blocks for the huge triangles (to set this medallion on point) are together. Her goal is to sort through the blocks that are made to figure out what still needs to be made and to cut everything that isn't already cut.

Laura's Kaleidoscope
 Ronda brought Amish with a Twist II by Nancy Rink Designs. She has quite a few blocks made but is missing a few. Her goal is to make two blocks.

Ronda's Amish with a Twist II

Shelley wasn't able to make it because of sketchy weather. Hey - it's January and she lives far away. We gave her a break. But not because of that. She sent me numerous pictures of her project so it was like she was here! She's making a poodle quilt and her goal is to finish the six blocks needed to sew the quilt together. I wonder what she stood on to take this picture? A ladder?? Not sure the source of her pattern.

Shelley's poodle quilt

Sharon was not here either as she was sunning herself on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Never mind, she's going to do double duty when she comes to the next class!

I decided to play with the group and I chose Stitcher's Garden as my project. I taught this class TWICE and only got three blocks done. That's sad - typical but sad!

Stitcher's Garden
 Some of the other blocks are started! This takes up a lot of room on my shelf and I want the space so it's getting done. Here's some of the blocks partially finished. My goal - finish Month 4 which has two blocks to do  - bits and pieces of both of them in the picture below.

My homework for the next class
I decided after the group left yesterday that I would get started while I was fired up. First road block - what color thread did I use to quilt the backgrounds of each block? That thread stayed with the project for a few years (the first time I taught it was in 2015). I put the thread in the thread box because I was tired of it falling off the shelf. 

Backgrounds of all the applique blocks are quilted
 But a quick trip to the thread box and I found this - I'm pretty sure that it's the right thread. If not - it's close enough!!!!

The thread for quilting the backgrounds

 This is going to be a fun year-long project. As one person finishes their project (to their point of finish), then they get to choose another project and from the sounds of it, there's a lot of UFOs out there.

While I was tidying up - I have three empty pizza boxes. Anyone want a pizza box to put their project in??? I suppose I could use them with some of the other stuff lying around.

Three empty pizza boxes

Guess what other exciting thing is happening today?? No - not the snow storm. Shoveling is already boring for the year. But I don't mind - it's good exercise if you do it properly.

No - it's my week to blog on QUILTsocial. This week, I'm using the HUSQVARNA VIKING Designer Brilliance 80. It's a sewing and embroidery machine. It has so many wonderful features. You must check it out. Don't forget that there's an app for QUILTsocial that you can download to your smart device. Then you just open the app and there's the latest post from QUILTsocial. There's loads of cool information on that website. Even though I'm reviewing the sewing machine, I'm still providing tons of tips on sewing stuff that you can apply to your projects.

On that note, I'm out of here. It's Monday sewing and I'm fired up to work on my other UFO from the UFO list. The hand applique one. The gingerbread boy!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, January 27, 2019

This is how I roll.................

Oh dear - the day I have to downsize, I'm going to be in a lot of trouble. Of course, I might not care at that point.

I'm trying very hard to keep the studio in reasonable shape. That way, it's less stuff to move when we have Sit n Sew days. Those sessions are filled to capacity and beyond so we need every bit of space so we can move.

BUT when I'm alone - I spread out like crazy! My morning class got canceled (not because of lack of attendance - oh no!). It was due to icy conditions over which I had no control. Again, if you were in that class, I'm sending a note out later today with some plans.

Instead, I stayed in and worked on samples. I'll show you the blocks tomorrow - I completely forgot to take pictures. But they are so super cute!!! And this is what the place looked like.

There were drawers hanging open when I had dug out supplies (bobbins and needles) for the embroidery machine.

Drawers hanging open
 Fabrics for the project were strewn across one set of work tables.

Fabrics for the project
The rest of the project and the sewing machine were all over the other set of work tables. 

The other set of work tables
 However, the ironing board and the cutting mat were pretty clear.

Cutting mat is pretty clear

I guess I'm just going to have to learn to be more efficient with my space, but hey - if you have the room - I'll spread out. Everything is all neat and tidy again as we have our UFO day later this afternoon. Eight brave souls plus myself are going to subject ourselves to a strict timeline to get a UFO done.

I think it's going to be a lot of fun. While I have my Task Master that keeps me in control - most of the time, it'll be fun to work on these projects "together" so to speak. Not only do I expect us to keep each other on track, but I suspect, we're going to learn a whole lot more about finishing up UFOs.

I finished this customer quilt and it's ready for pickup today.

Customer quilt - DONE
Meloney commented on the blog the other day about the fabric and how the quality is getting worse. Fraying fabric, no longer 45 inches wide, thin, and a whole lot of other sins. After reading Meloney's comment, I had a thought. If we want to get our hands on GOOD fabric, I know exactly where we can get it. Where???   Guess what? We have TONS (and yes - I mean that in the context of actual weight, as well as in the quantity as in we have LOTS) - we have TONS of fabric in our stashes!! I'm sure that many of us have a pretty healthy stash. Mine was all purchased in the last twenty years and all of it is great quality. I'm trying very hard to shop my stash FIRST. Then I buy what I don't have. Like I had to buy some fabrics the other day - I don't have a lot of summery type prints - white backgrounds with checks/plaids and now I have a small supply to work on this project. I did feel very guilty to buy it and I'm OK with that. I should feel guilty. Not because I can't afford it, but because I have so much already. I have more to say on that another day - so don't tell me that I shouldn't feel guilty.

This is what I'm going to have to be buying this year. It seems that I'm ripping through my consumables. You know - needles and thread. Two more spools bite the dust and a package of needles.

Two empty spools and an empty pack of needles

I also realized that I had NO machine embroidery needles. How the heck did that happen? Now I have some.

I've got an interesting article to share today. Did you know that there are 21 quilt museums in the United States? 21?? I only know of two - the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Nebraska and the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. I guess we need to go on a road trip to hit them all. Now, where do I find those other museums???  Here's a link to an article about the latest quilt museum. It's in Hawaii. Now I could be up for a road trip there.

Here's a link to a few more quilt museums. I'm sure that in our Quilter's Year Book of activities that there must be a "task" to visit a quilt museum. Well, if not - then we must add one!! Road trip anyone????

Quilter's Year Book

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got two classes today and I see we have a wee bit more snow, so I must get that drive shoveled.

Have a great day!!!!


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Play day!

Yesterday was a play day. I couldn't really afford the time for a play day, but it seemed like a good idea at the time when the play day was booked.

On a serious note - if anyone is in the $25 class at the Hobby Horse TODAY, the class has been canceled (and the schedule will be adjusted to accommodate the missed class). The parking lot is a mess with ice and they're working on getting it cleared up. That gives me some free time this morning, but I'll just plug away at more sample making and be that much further ahead.

The planning for the play day actually started over a year ago. Ronda bought a copy of this book for each of us. The Quilter's Year Book.

Quilter's Year Book

Each week, there's an activity to do related to quilting. Of course, I'm bad at getting it done - some stuff I've done, some pages have samples that need to be glued in. I think we got to the fourth or fifth week (yes - we started last January) and we came to this page.

The activity of the Week - Top of the Class

It's about classes. What teacher would you like to take a class from? After much discussion on our part, we decided that it wasn't the teacher that we cared so much about (we're NOT groupies by any means), but the technique. What technique would we like to learn and it had to be one that we were both interested in. We ended up agreeing on a walking foot class.

Sounds easy - right? Well, it took forever for us to find a class that fit both of our schedules. Almost a year! But yesterday was the day.

I was fairly well prepped for the class. Mostly - I had forgotten to take my rulers, but we didn't need them much so I was able to borrow from Ronda. Oh - and I forgot my painter's tape so I "borrowed" a piece from her as well.

There were five of us in the class. There are two good books on walking foot quilting - this one by Melissa Marginet. The one that we mostly used in class.

Walking Foot Quilting Designs by Melissa Marginet

The second book is called Walk by Jacquie Gering.

Walk by Jacquie Gering

I see there are others - you can check them out here.  Personally, I like Melissa's book - she's Canadian. We need to support our Canadian authors and teachers!!!!

I was a very good student (that doesn't happen often) and followed (for the most part) the instructor's lesson plan. Here are my samples. I used a King Tut variegated thread on the top. Pretty cool effects. Remember - those orange letters were for the touch test (designed by Shirley). I'm using up the samples for new samples!

Walking foot sample number one

Walking foot sample number two

Walking foot sample number three

Some of those examples are not finished so I hope to get back to that so I'll have good samples to show in the event that I want to teach a class on walking foot quilting. There's definitely a place for walking foot quilting. There's an issue with ruler classes, free motion classes, walking foot classes, quilting classes in general. The instructors address the techniques and patterns in the class, but I don't see much of it on big quilts. That's a problem which I address in my samples and my teaching. How do you take those techniques and learn out to put them on a large quilt? It's important!

I could have learned this on my own, but that wasn't the point. The point was for Ronda and me to have a play day AND to learn something that neither of us had taken before. It was a great day and I have to confess that we did a wee bit of shopping. BUT - I have several samples that I'm in the process of making and I really am missing some fabrics for them. I'm all good now and I'll use that as the jumping off point to supplement from my stash.

What sewing machine did I take? Well, I took my small class friendly machine. It's the HUSQVARNA VIKING Opal 690Q. Here's a link to my TOP TEN reasons why I love the machine. It might not be apparent from reading my top ten, but it has the SAME features I love that are on the bigger machines that I sew on at home - the sensor foot in particular. The other thing I love is that it's lightweight. If you have a larger machine at home and want a full-featured machine that's lightweight and portable - this is the one! I know it's a lot of money, but it's so nice to have those features - I hate sewing on a machine that doesn't have them. This is the best of both worlds - top features and lightweight.

There was a major accident on the highway on the way home, but we had been warned so we took some back roads to bypass the mess. I imagine that mess caused a lot of headaches as people made they way home last night. People need to be more careful on the roads!

Breakfast was a bit sketchy this morning. There was no almond milk! My grocery shopper failed me. Even my oatmeal was very dry without a wee bit of almond milk in it. I guess grocery shopping is on the list of things to do today.

A quick note about classes. It amazes me how classes for popular teachers - I'm talking BIG name teachers fill up so quickly and are often very expensive. Some of them are good teachers and some of them are not. People flock to them like ants to a picnic. Why? I don't think it's because of the techniques that they are teaching. No - it's because people want to be part of that person's "group" and be able to say I took a class with "famous teacher x".

I know that I get pressure from my guild to bring in big-name speakers and teachers. I don't think it's necessary to spend all that extra money to bring in a NAME when we have other people that can do the job just as well or even better. Why or why are we so struck with big names????  It doesn't matter which industry you look at or which hobby - everyone wants to spend time with famous people. It's totally crazy! I'd go for a good quality technique class over a class with someone famous any day! You'll learn way more because people are there to learn, not to be a groupie. 

On that note, I"m out of here for the day!

Have a great day!!!