Monday, January 21, 2019

Sit n Sew day!!!

What a crazy day! We had a Sit n Sew day scheduled, but was the weather going to cooperate? Well, it did and it didn't. We didn't get nearly the amount of snow that was forecast but it was cold. I left it up to the ladies to decide. Three die-hards showed up! Lynn, Linda, and Ronda and we had a blast. We almost (but didn't) say that we should have small groups for future sit n sew days!  NO - that's not going to happen, but it was a calm day, to say the least.

Took me about one hour to shovel the driveway clear of snow. It really wasn't that bad despite the fact that we have a wide driveway. It was great to get out and get some exercise and it wasn't as cold as they say on the radio. Mind you there wasn't any wind. Don't you love the doom and gloom the weather station is always talking about? OK - today it's cold. It's minus 20 with no wind chill.

We were chatting about the snow plows. I knew from past experiences, that our street wouldn't get plowed until late or the next day. Well, I know that at 11:06 PM when I was sound asleep that Murphy and Lexi were greeting the tractor that cleans our cul-de-sac. They were barking their heads off. But the tractor is noisy and bright so I can see why they were freaking out.  He did a great job with the windrow at the end of the drive. It's pretty small. I can drive over it this morning to get to sewing.

I didn't have time yesterday to walk the girls and I think it's a tad too cold this morning. Not for them - oh no. But for me! Up to minus 10, no problem. Minus 10 - 19 - double layers of clothes. Minus 20 and below - let's stay in the house! They are NOT happy. However, when your Husky is standing at the door with paws lifted, you know it's cold!

So what happened yesterday at Sit n Sew? We did some crazy stuff - as usual.

Ronda and I are taking a class on Friday - quilting with your walking foot. Hey - it's a good idea to take classes even if you already know how to do something. I want to learn more and I don't have the time to do it on my own. This is the fast way to gain some knowledge.

We need quilt sandwiches so we have something to practice on. Yep - I had forgotten. But Ronda reminded me and I got out scraps of batting from the batting closet and made the batting pieces that we need for the class. Five 20" squares for her and five for me.

Batting squares for our upcoming class on walking foot quilting

I always forget, but Ronda's Mom has a birthday today and so does mine. Happy Birthday to Mom and to Ronda's Mom. Gosh - I don't know her name! Oh - it's Karen. Happy Birthday Karen!!!!  Karen wanted a rope bowl in PINK so Ronda made this for her yesterday. I think Ronda has the rope bowl technique down pat. I love the shape of the bowl!

A PINK rope bowl
Linda was working on some zippered pouches. She managed to get THREE of them done yesterday. I love these pouches or bags. They're so cute. Great job Linda!!!

Linda's zippered pouches

Lynn was working on adding sashing to some blocks. I didn't get a picture of that.

I flitted around the room trying to focus although I did get a lot done. I started off by finishing a pet mat. I had a bag of scraps that needed to be dealt with. I added that pet mat to the one that I had rescued from my car and now I've got two to deliver this morning. I started the third one and there's still two bags of scraps in the laundry basket. That'll have to wait as I have a totally crazy week this week.

Two pet mats ready for delivery

So we chat about decluttering from time to time. Here's something BAD about decluttering. If you do manage to get everything tidied up, then you freak out when the slightest thing is out of place. Case in point - my kitchen. It wasn't really in bad shape yesterday morning when I got up, but there was stuff around so I put all the stuff away.

When I came up at one point during the day, I saw this "mess". Can you spot it???

The "messy" kitchen

I'm laughing - it was a plastic bag on the island next to that white bowl!!  Someone left it on the counter and threw the feng shui out of whack! No need to worry - I dispensed of the bag and soon we had our tidy kitchen back again.

And now everything is neat
I have to laugh when I look at the kitchen. Do you notice that "bouquet of flowers - right beside the red/white canisters to the left of the microwave??? M made those flowers in kindergarten or something like that. They are full of grease and dirt and grime. But I can't bear to throw the darn thing out! Oh well - it's just one thing and we can live with that! I remember trying to throw it out once but she was here and she begged me not to! How can you argue with that?

And then you go downstairs and see this and you wouldn't know that the two rooms belong in the same house! I'm OK with that!!!

And then there's the studio

But back to the sewing stuff. I decided I was going to put bindings on yesterday. No need to accumulate a pile like I did last year and besides, the two quilts that needed binding have deadlines.

I started with the local guild charity quilt. The guild had given me strips to make the binding so I made the binding and started to sew it on. Oh boy - I'm short - TWO INCHES.

Short of binding by two inches

No worries. I got out my tin of leftover binding and pretty much right at the top, I found some solid black that was very much the same black as the binding I was working on.

My tin of scrappy binding

It's hard to see in the picture, but the blacks match which is a miracle.

A scrap of black binding matches

And now that quilt is DONE and it's ready to be delivered at the next guild meeting. Oh, shoot - I forgot to write that in my book. That is finish Number Two for the year.

Charity quilt - DONE

In case you don't remember or never saw that millennium fabric, here's a closeup. It's the black fabric. There were several prints. I still have all of mine - totally untouched - 19 years later!!!  That quilt has been hanging around my house for a couple of years - not that I didn't have time - it was never a priority. This year, my goal is to get all quilts that do not belong to me out of my house.

Millennium fabrics used in the quilt

After the ladies left, I headed to the long arm. I don't really have time to quilt this week, but there are a couple that I really want to get done so I can deliver them when I go out.

I got this one quilted. This project was dropped off at a local quilt shop as the owner no longer wanted it or the family didn't know what to do with it. I pieced it a couple of Sit n Sews ago. And now it's quilted. It's only been hanging around my house for a couple of months, but the fabric is OLD. I think I saw on the pattern that it was from the early 2000s. I'm donating it to my local guild's community projects.

Community projects quilt - DONE
I couldn't make the binding until the quilt was quilted as I had to use the leftovers from the backing to make the binding. I cut the strips last night and they are ready to sew together. The quilt is trimmed. I'm not sure I'll get time to finish it this week.

As I get to the end of quilting one quilt, I think about what's on the list for the next quilts to be quilted and I choose one. So while the green quilt was being quilted, I got the next one ready to load. And now it's loaded and ready for me to quilt later today - I hope.

Next quilt - ready to be quilted

But wait - there's more! I was on a roll yesterday. I still had one more quilt that needed the binding put on.  I was merrily working on the front of the binding when I felt a tug on the thread. I looked up - oh shoot - I'm playing thread chicken yet again! See where the arrow is pointing? Yep - I was running low. I love using the PFAFF Creative Icon for sewing binding on - that IDT system is awesome.

Sewing the binding on

Phew - I had this much left once the binding was on.

Leftover thread after sewing the binding on
I used the same color to make the sleeve and once the sleeve was sewn, the spool was EMPTY. That was perfect!

Another empty spool

The sleeve is made and pinned on the quilt. It needs some hand stitching. Hopefully, I'll get that done this week. If not, early next week.

Sleeve pinned on and ready for hand stitching

Oh my - I'm having fun with my Vitamix. I see there's a function for making smoothies. I tried it this morning. It sets the timer to 45 seconds. Starts off slow and then kicks into high gear which is very NOISY. Oops - to those trying to sleep at 6 AM.

Still way below my calorie intake for the day. I need to have a second protein shake each day just to make up the calories. With all the exercise of shoveling the driveway, I had an extra almost 500 calories added to my intake. I think I missed almost 700 calories in the day which is NOT a good thing.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day and stay warm.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sample making

Just a quick note about food. I know - you're probably tired of me yakking about it. I decided to get back on track and start tracking my food and water intake in MyFitnessPal which is a free app on your phone.

Logged in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. My goal to maintain my weight at the top end of that range is in there (I'm currently right in the middle of my 5-pound range). The app is linked to FitBit so if you do exercise, it allows you extra calories to compensate for the exercise. My 10,000 steps yesterday added about 200 extra calories. Bottom line - after I logged in my dinner, I was short over 500 calories. Hmm - what to eat? what to eat? Why did I need to eat?

Well, if you consistently eat too little (even when you're trying to lose weight), your body goes into starvation mode and will start to shut down and I certainly don't want that. I had two apples and some almonds as my after dinner snack. Still short 300 calories for the day. I can live with that, but I've got to more conscious of what I eat throughout the day which is why the app is a good thing.

Let's face it, we tend to eat the same things most days. Once the foods are in MyFitnessPal (or you can scan or search) for foods, it's easy to keep track of everything. One more fun thing to do with your phone. It even has restaurant food calorie count in there. And it's fun to see how much fat, sugar, carbs and other nutrition facts for the day.

I went out to do errands in the morning and thought I was going to be really quick so I didn't take any snacks with me. I was getting hungry but did NOT cave and buy a bad snack when I was out. I waited until I got home and had lunch a bit earlier. It's all about making lifestyle choices.  Again - drinking lots of water and I'm talking full eight glasses a day will help to curb any cravings.

I was going to make soup for lunch and the night before when grocery shopping, I had forgotten a couple of key ingredients. But by the time I got home, there was no time to make the soup. That's for another day.

I also went magazine shopping. There's a couple of magazines on the newsstand with my quilts in them, but do you think I could find one of them???  Nope - it's the LAST issue of QUILTY and there's a super cool quilt of mine in the magazine. I couldn't find it here, nor in the US. Hmm - where to find it? A friend of mine bought it so I've asked her where she got it. I'm supposed to get copies of the magazines, but the editors been lax for the last bit. I'll e-mail them!

Then since I was out, I made my way to Value Village. I don't go that often, but from time to time, I like to check out what they have. After seeing what some of the other educators did for their samples, I wanted to get some inexpensive stuff to practise on and hopefully to become my samples.  (Check out some of the cool articles on envrionmental foot print on the Value Village website)

Do you know how hard it is to find a kids T-shirt with NO LOGO on it. I managed to find two. A pink one and a black one. I also picked up a small hand towel with nothing on it so that will be a good sample for working with towels. The plain T-shirts were .99 cents - anything with a logo on it cost more.

Two T-shirts and a hand towel to make samples for machine embroidery

We're going ahead with the Sit n Sew today, although I'm not sure how many will come since we've had snow, but not much, but it's very cold out this morning. So as I was tidying up, I placed these notebooks on the ironing board where I had just laid out those T-shirts. I think we have a very specific color theme happening here.

My notebooks match the T-shirts!

What a coincidence that was!

I was also looking for some jackets to upcycle. OK - I'm looking for a jean jacket. I'm sure that I have one here. I know that I bought one or two in the past. I'm just not sure that I still have them (or it). I may have decided that I no longer wanted to do that and gave it away. But I don't think so. The question now is to remember where I put it.

Some of the clothing samples that we saw this week were amazing. Not in your face embroidery, but subtle designs that dressed up an ordinary top. And the lady who had the most bought her stuff at Goodwill. She must have a great Goodwill!

I have a circuit when I hit Value Village. I check out the books - the craft books. I found a great and current book on making bags with something that I've been looking for for a long time. That was $4. They had tons of coloring books and while I have a few, I found a funky one and I bought that. I've got some great plans for that coloring book and it isn't coloring the pages! Then I'm off to the textile section where I look for hand made quilts - only ever found one and that had been scooped by a man just in front of me! I check the puzzles and games section. That's normally all I check, but yesterday, I scoured the women's section for jackets - shoot - I should have checked the men's section. And then to the kids section for shirts.

If you're into Value Village, there's a 50% off sale tomorrow - January 21.

Sale at Value Village on January 21

After lunch, it was time to get to work! I had this charity quilt to quilt. The quilt is made from solids, but I didn't have enough of any of the leftovers for the backing. I dug through my Northcott stash buckets and found a piece of Toscana that was the perfect color. It was JUST the right size. Now, how cool was that. I should have bought lottery tickets!

I made the backing and loaded the quilt on the long arm. It was easy to quilt and no issues with the machine.

West End Modern Quilt Guild charity quilt for QUILTCON

Here's the full view (or almost) of the quilt.

WEMQG charity quilt

I know it looks jumbly, that was the intention. The theme was small piecing and the easiest way to do that was in blocks. I hope to get the binding on later today. I had JUST enough of one of the solids to make the binding as well.

This is charity quilt numer two that I've quilted so far this year. It's so easy to keep track when you keep lists or pictures in the proper folders!

The next quilt is loaded and ready for quilting later today.

Next quilt is loaded

I did some machine embroidery, but it has to be cleaned up before I show you the blocks. I hope to get that done today as well.

Oh - I should say that yesterday when I went to walk the dogs, I bundled up. T-shirt tucked into pants. A pair of fleece lined jeans over my yoga pants. Hat, scarf, a small pair of gloves under my double fleece mittens and my BRIGHT ORANGE ski jacket that I bought a couple of years ago. I was toasty warm the entire walk and in fact, had to undo my jacket on the way home because I was a tad too toasty! A pair of light wool socks in my rain boots and my feet were good as well. It's all about knowing how to dress.

I guess that's it for today. I need to shovel the driveway before any of the brave souls come over today and it should be easier since there's only one car in the driveway!

Have a super day and stay warm if you're caught in this crazy weather. Thank goodness we don't live in the Maritimes where they going to get hit once again with a major storm.


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Education Week - Day Five

We had another exciting day of education. Actually, it was only half a day as a number of us left right after lunch for the airport. 

We did another class in the morning and more chats. I can't say enough how beneficial this week has been for me. I feel like part of the team even though we all work independently. But the knowledge,  information, and contacts I gathered - well that's priceless. I'm also missing some tools - some very important tools. Different kinds of scissors from what I've been using to trim embroideries. Oh yes - I need a wee bit of a shopping expedition. 

But the amount of work that I now have to do is - well we won't go there and today is going to be a day of collecting my thoughts and a wee bit of organizing. 

Our flight wasn't until later in the day, but we got to the airport with some time to kill but that was OK. Three of us sat around and chatted for a while. You won't learn anything unless you ask questions. I have a lot of questions. 

I decided to bite the bullet right up front and check my luggage however I see that I still had a visitor in my bag.

You've been inspected

I have a feeling that it wasn't the scissors that they pulled that bag for. It was the immersion blender! I suppose in future, that I could take one of those shaker glasses and then eat the banana separately? I like my immersion blender. But I can live with them checking my luggage - a small price to pay for having that healthy breakfast every morning. Even with eating out every night  - I didn't gain a single ounce! 

I like to pack light and it killed me to pay for the luggage fee when I went with a very small suitcase which weighed 24 pounds. However when I start flying to do these events, my colleagues travel with two or three HUGE suitcases filled with samples. Up to 3 suitcases and up to 70 pounds each!!!!  Seriously? The weight limit is 50 pounds.

I do know that when I do a trunk show here that I like to have lots of stuff with me, but I couldn't handle three suitcases plus carryon. Just can't so I've got to find a way to double up samples and stuff. I think I'll settle for TWO 50 pound suitcases at the most. I must find my travel scale - I have one here somewhere.

I love flying into the city especially at night. We're in the flight path but far enough away that the noise isn't an issue. We flew right over our house last night. Then we circled around downtown and landed from east to west. Just a small thrill I get every time!

My neighborhood at night

I must say that we did NOT have any slowdowns in the Nashville airport and no issues in Canada. It took me mere minutes to get off the plane and outside to my ride. I didn't check the time, but it wasn't long - maybe 15 minutes which isn't bad considering I checked my luggage. Let's just say that I LOVE NEXUS. So worth the money. 

Out for dinner and then DH and I found ourselves at the grocery store minutes before it closed to get some groceries. I needed stuff for my breakfast and while he was going to wait until today to buy stuff for dinner, I convinced him to get it last night. Good grief. I think he likes grocery shopping - you could never get him in the store before. He must have an eye on the bakery staff or something. 

Speaking of the bakery - I was checking out the pasties. Thank goodness they have to put the calorie count on the items. That was an eye opener when I first saw this information. Check out these labels. 

180 calories

260 calories

510 calories

760 calories

WOW - doesn't that blow your socks off? I used to eat those brownies and sometimes I'd eat a complete one at one sitting. That's bad considering that my total calorie intake for the day is less than 2,000.  I just make life easy and don't eat any of it now. I do have some small dessert from time to time, but we always get the small item at about 150 calories or less. I don't miss it in the least. Again - it's all about making lifestyle choices. I'm fine without it and I just drink another glass of water. It really is true - having a glass of water will take the cravings away. You just have to get used to drinking that much and I find that if I drink 8 glasses a day, my bladder is happier than if I drink less. Now, why is that?

I had a quick peek into the studio this morning. Oh boy - it looks like a whirlwind hit it. There's stuff everywhere. We're supposed to have a Sit n Sew tomorrow, but with the impending snow apocalypse (according to the Weather Channel), it's up in the air. I'd better clear a few spots for the die-hards. 

The girls were happy to see me last night but they don't go too crazy. 

Now to go and start sorting out my notes and I've got a lot of e-mail to catch up on. And I have to walk the girls and it's COLD outside. 

Before I go, I have a couple of quilt links to share with you. If you or someone in your house is crazy about Harry Potter, there's a couple of sew-along projects this year. Here's a link to Sew Fresh Quilts. The blocks are pretty cute. There are two different designers doing a Harry Potter theme and they'll be linked to each other as the blocks are released. I'm tempted, but I know that I'm not going to have time to keep up. 

Here's another link. This is a block party hosted by the Canadian Quilter's Association. Each week a new block will be released. I haven't read all the information but you can find it on the link. I hope to participate in this one. How hard can it be to make ONE six-inch block per week?

One more link - if you're into challenges, there's a MAP QUILT challenge hosted by Quilts at the Creek. Check out a "map quilt" designed and made by Jacquie Gering. I hope to participate in this. I'm already collecting stuff to make the quilt. Now to figure out how to make it work. 

There are so many quilt-along projects that one can not possibly participate in them all and they become your entire world and I don't have time for that, nor do I want to spend all my time doing something that was designed/organized by someone else. So I'll going to be very picky about I spend my time doing. 

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, January 18, 2019

Education Week - Day Four

Hm - I was all mentally set to go for my walk yesterday morning and then I realized that it was pouring rain. No walk. Now I could have been good and did the stairs a few times, but I did not. But I take the stairs all the time to my room on the 4th floor and totally at the opposite end of the hall from that staircase. I did make it to about 5000 steps yesterday so I'm good with that.

I've been able to avoid all the bad stuff although I was so hungry the night before when we sat down at the restaurant, that I did have some chips and guacamole in the Mexican restaurant. See what happens when you don't keep those hunger pangs at bay?

Anyway - something very interesting happened yesterday. I normally do not eat bread. I might get the occasional piece in but I can't even think of a particular instance when I've last eaten bread. I eat pasta with gluten so I don't think gluten is an issue for me. But yesterday at lunch, I decided to have the vegetarians wraps and instead of eating only the filling, I ate the tortilla as well. ONE tortilla was all I had. I was so bloated by mid-afternoon, I felt sick. Why was that? I'm not sure it was the tortilla - but I didn't really have anything else. Going to have to do an experiment on that one. It was NOT a good feeling.

At least, the rest of me is healthy. One of my colleagues had to fly home yesterday morning after she missed the day before while she hung out in her hotel room with what we think is the flu. She was not in good shape and it hit hard and it hit fast. One of the managers wasn't feeling well yesterday and hopefully, they did NOT pass anything along to us.

Today is the last day of education week. While I'm sad that it's coming to an end, it's time to get home. It's been an incredible learning and team building experience. The connections, the networking, the learning, my head is spinning.

What blows me away is how giving everyone is of what they do. They're willing to share and my head is exploding with ideas and things I want to do, things I HAVE to do and all kinds of other stuff.

What's interesting is that the more I learn, the more I realize what I don't know and as I always say - the day I stop learning is the day I'm out of here. Well, according to the list in my head - I'll be around for a long, long time!

Not sure if you saw the pictures of the geckos on Facebook and Instagram. It's a class - if you want to make one, get in touch with your Husqvarna or PFAFF dealer and have us book one for you! They are super fun to make and well - I think you're going to see a lot of geckos around. I didn't get mine finished before I came here. I'll show him to you when I get home. But the fabrics - well - there are some pretty spiffy geckos. Now I'm on the hunt for shiny, stretchy fabric. I'm sure I have some at home - I just need to put my hands on it.

The fun thing about what we're doing in our projects is that we work on all kinds of fabrics. Yesterday, we made a small scissor holder in the hoop and it was made with gorgeous cork. That Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC had no issues to embroider through two layers of cork. And then go to vinyl and stretchy fabric? No problem.

We had a free evening last night. And a few of us wanted to hit a couple of shops. We went to Wal-Mart first so I could get my journals that I've been searching for. I made some journal covers in three different sizes. We can only get the large size journal in Canada so I was able to get some of the medium and the small journals to fit inside my journal covers. I was happy. Total spend $5.61 or something like that.

Then we popped off to Hobby Lobby. I didn't really want to go in - I didn't need anything, and I ALMOST bought some shiny stretchy fabric but I didn't. I found (and bought) two bicycle appliques which I thought was hilarious since we're here to learn how to make embroideries. NO worries - it's research. I bought a couple of other small things. Total spend was $15.40. I also bought a magazine the other day for $6.99. I don't think I'll be over my limit when I cross the border later today.

It's all about being realistic. As I walked through Hobby Lobby, I saw some very neat stuff, but nothing that I really, really want at this stage of my life. And besides, there's NO room in my teeny tiny suitcase that I've already paid as check-in luggage because of my snips and not wanting to have to potentially deal with that at the airport.

Off to dinner with the small group of ladies and one last pit stop at Target where someone wanted to get a specific T-shirt. I didn't even get out of the car. The discipline, but then I'm not really a shopper so that's not surprising.

I've been watching the weather. I see that we're back up to getting 10 cm of snow back home tomorrow. Oh yeah! And they're going to get a ton of rain here. I guess I'd prefer the rain over 10 cm of snow and cold, cold temps. But that's life.

I still have at least an hour to kill before my walk but I have a bit of computer work to do so I'd better get that done.

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Education Week - Day Three

Another super successful day!

My head is just spinning with what can be done with a sewing machine.

I went for a walk in the morning. It was minus 2, but the brisk walk was great and I almost made my 10,000 steps for the day. Everyone is pretty friendly around here. The crossing guard said HI, as did the one other person that I met along the way.

We started off the day with a show n tell. At first, I thought I was going to be totally intimidated by what the others have shown, but I'm very proud of the two items I brought. One is an item that I created for QUILTsocial where I did embroidery and then created a wall hanging using the embroidery and quilted it. Here's the link to the embroidery in case you didn't see it. This link shows when I assembled the wall hanging. There are two links to the quilting process. Here's the first one and here's the second one.

I can't share the second one with you. I currently only have a picture of it - the actual item is being photographed for a magazine and will be published in a month or so. But I shared the photo with the group. It's pretty clever - at least I think it is. I used embroidery on it and the software to help create the embroidery.

Quality and creativity of my trunk shows is not my downfall. My downfall is in the number of items that I've got. Oh yes - I have tons of quilts, but for the most part - they are "just" quilts. They don't show off the fancy stitches and techniques that can be done in the sewing machine and the software. Let's just say that I'm making lists and need to prioritize those lists and get working. I see that my machines will be running day and night to get everything done!

It's a totally open and creative process and well - my imagination is the only thing that's stopping me from getting this done. I have days scheduled for "play" dates in my calendar. And when a weekend freed itself up recently, I almost gave it away to a group sewing day, but I did NOT!

We had a presentation about the embroidery software which is capable of so many things - my head is still spinning from that presentation. I think sometimes the problem is that we have the tools, we have the creativity, but we don't know what we have exactly. Does that make sense? We don't know what our tools are capable of and that's why we tend to stay in the box. I'm not sure if that's it - but it's my goal (and my job) to show people what you can make those sewing machines do! Yep - it's going to be busy at my house.

The other educators are so extremely helpful and I've had great conversations with almost all of them and that will help me enormously as I go forward. I have a "job" that a friend asked me to do. Oh yes - it can be done - the question is how. I have a much better idea how - I just need to try it out. I know they're going to ask me this morning if it worked, so I had better make an effort this morning to find out! I need to find a certain picture first.

We went out to dinner last night in small groups. I really like the small group thing. We had another topic of conversation and this one was much harder than the first night. I'm not sure that we really got some good answers for the question, but we tried. The team here has really made an effort to make us all welcome and that's pretty awesome.

There's so much to plan and so much to make! We played around in the afternoon to "pretend" we were students making one of the projects. Something I'd not really done much of and that was stitching on cards. Using the decorative stitches to make cards. Some pretty fun and funky things happened in class. Again - it all goes back to understanding what tools you have in the sewing machine. I learned a LOT.

After we got back to the hotel, a couple of us sat in the lobby and chatted a bit. Between driving to and from the office and splitting into groups, they have tried to put us in different groups all the time but there are a couple of people that I haven't really touched base with and I got to chat to some new people in the lobby last night. It's all about networking and I feel I'm pretty good at it. The gift of the gab and I'm not afraid to ask questions! Thanks, Dad!

On that note, I'm out of here. Got some important e-mail to be done this morning.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Education Week - Day Two

The days are long and I couldn't stay awake as I tried to read a bit before turning the lights out last night.

I started the day off yesterday by taking a long walk. I made my 10,000 steps in the day and most of them were made on that walk. Thanks to Google Maps, I found I nice circuit around the hotel that took about 40 minutes of fast walking. If the circuit thing wasn't going to work, I would have gone out 20 minutes and then back 20 minutes. I felt great after the walk.

I see the temperature is below zero this morning, but I still plan to go out. Interesting about the temperature. It's minus 2 - the same temperature as back home, but back home that is also the high whereas here - the high is supposed to be 13. But I see we have a snowstorm forecast for Saturday the day after I get home. Oh darn! I was going to potentially pick up my new car, but not in a snowstorm.

Yes - I got the VIN yesterday so will pass that along to the insurance today. The Matrix rims do not fit on this car so have to buy winter tires so they can be installed. Buying a new car is an endless stream of revenue outflow!

I've been so good with eating while I'm away. We had sandwiches at lunch - I ate the filling of two of them and left the buns. It's not that I can't eat bread, but it such a filling thing and there's not much nutrition in a white bun except the calories which then turn to sugar. I didn't eat the cheese either. But I'm certainly not hungry, we did have a salad to go with it and there's fruit on the snack table and baby carrots in the fridge. I bought some hummus and cauliflower so that rounded out the day very nicely. I've been very diligent about drinking water. I'm going to float away soon!

Off to a BBQ place for dinner. Oh boy - what to have? I ended up with a burger and a salad. Didn't eat the bun. The meat could have been cooked a wee bit more but I ate it anyway. Then someone ordered the most amazing piece of carrot cake with warm cream cheese frosting. I did NOT touch one bite of it. Looked amazing, but I've made a decision that that kind of food is no longer in my diet. It wasn't that difficult to say no. I think about my lifestyle change and I know that is the right decision.

Being healthy and happy with different choices is more important to me than going home stuffed with BBQ ribs and carrot cake. Just like driving a smaller car is a choice I made and I'll be happy with it.

Now onto our day! Each of the groups that went out to different restaurants the previous night got up and talked about the topic that we discussed the night before. OK - so what would you want to have in a sewing machine was the topic. Well - some very creative ideas came up and some improvements came up. The best part - some of the folks from Sweden are here and we got to share our ideas with them.

Yes - if they decide to take any of the ideas into consideration, we realize that it'll take months or more likely years to make anything happen but it's nice to have that connection. Some of the ideas were amazing.

But I'm already so impressed by what the current top of the line machines do and I don't know the half of it. Gosh - I learned something so simple yesterday that I'm almost ashamed to admit it. I really need to sit at the machines and start poking all the buttons and touching stuff without even sewing.

Then we got to spend the day covering two new products that were introduced at Convention last fall. I was very happy about this. While I've had training on both the products, I had questions and I was able to get them answered. Now I need to digest that material and figure out how to portray that to potential customers. One was the Multi-Needle Embroidery machine - 10 needles. Thread it up, load the hoop and walk away. Come back and VOILA - embroidery is done!  The other is the fabric frame which allows one to load their quilt, or project and be able to work on it without moving the fabric.

That took up the entire day! It seems that we have no spare minutes as we often work through lunch or have a short lunch. I don't have a problem with that - there's so much to learn and I'm OK filling up the day. But my head is spinning.

Let's not forget the information to be gleaned from the other educators. Some of them have been sewing forever. Well - I have too, but I've been so focused on quilting that I don't necessarily use all the features of the sewing machine. It's time to step outside the box!

I see it's time to run downstairs to see if they have a banana. I didn't see any last night, but hopefully, they're stocked up for this morning. I love it - just popped downstairs and they have these almost too ripe to eat bananas. Perfect for my smoothie. I got two - one for today and one for tomorrow.

Here's an interesting thing happening in the craft world. This has to do with knitting. This lady knit a scarf showing the delays on her commute by train. It's kind of neat. I see other people are making temperature quilts which is a neat idea. Do a Google search on temperature quilts. It's quite the thing and there are loads of variations.

Have a super day!


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Education Week - Day One

Day One of Ed Week is done. My head is already full!

I think I mentioned it yesterday, but the immersion blender and my little food supply have worked out just fine. I've already pilfered a banana from the breakfast buffet this morning and I'll make my shake in a bit. It's weird as I would never have thought of bringing the blender, but it's great. And I get my healthy shake. Oh yes - I know there is chef downstairs who is prepared to make me a fabulous omelet, but I'm not eating eggs at the moment and I figure I don't need all that other stuff that goes with the omelet.

I'm happy with my shake and that's all that counts.

Self-control - it's all about self-control. We got a little bag of goodies yesterday and in it, there were some bad snacks. Chocolates, some sweets, and other things. I removed them from my bag and put them on the little counter in the meeting room and I think they are already gone. Along with the bowls of "bad" snacks, there's a bowl of fruit and little bags of carrots in the fridge. So I'm good for snacks. I certainly appreciate the good snacks.

OK - so what did the day entail? It's like there's even too much to cover. A "formal" introduction to all the education team. We heard from the top people who are running education - well they're running the activities for the week. It's great to hear right from the top what the direction is and where we want to go and how it's going to happen.

It's nice to know that I'm not alone in the education world! It's nice to have this "team-building" time together.

We learned about the new classes that we'll be teaching in the upcoming year - some pretty cute and exciting projects. Yep - I get to make all of them when I get home.

We had one of the educators give us a trunk show of her samples. I'm blown away. I know this educator is good, but honestly - you wouldn't believe what she can make a sewing machine do. I took tons of pictures and now it's going to be my turn to go home and do my take on some of the techniques and stitches that are builtin to those two gorgeous machines that are sitting in my studio. If I thought I was pressed for time before? Well - let's just say that some of these ladies spend ALL their free time making samples. Yikes!

I know that many of us are itching to get back to the sewing machine, but I really think that I need to do some planning. What do I need to make? What stitches/techniques will I use in the piece? How to make some of the samples so they use more than one technique on each. That kind of thing. Then get the materials and get to work.

I need some planning time. And actually, I have planning time here. I get up at my usual time and we don't have to be ready until 8 - that gives me a couple of hours of planning time each morning.

We got a tour of the building. While the offices are just like any other office - except for the very fancy coffee machine in the lunch room. Good grief - you almost need a degree to run the thing! We did get a peek in the warehouse. HOLY! It's huge.

There are posters of old sewing machine ads (Husqvarna and PFAFF) throughout the building which are fun to read. There's a display of older machines in the lobby. Oh my - it's been 25 years this year that the Husqvarna Viking #1+ came out. The first embroidery machine by Husqvarna Viking. It's hilarious to look at how small the bed of that machine is. But hey - it did embroidery!

They also have a PFAFF 1222 on display. I laugh because this is Gail's favorite machine at The Hobby Horse. She buys one whenever she finds one. They are a workhorse for sure! They are also lots of treadles, hand cranks, and other sundry machines including a Diamond SE or one from the Diamond series. Yes - sadly retired but replaced with something that is truly spectacular in the Designer EPIC and EPIC 980Q. 

There's also a display of all the current machines both PFAFF and Husqvarna Viking. So nice to see them all in one spot. But the thing I love is that the educators are all so passionate about what we do, but almost everyone in that building knows the business side but has no clue what we do with what they sell. Isn't that just the weirdest thing? I guess not - but for some reason - it just seems weird to me. But no worse than when I worked for Northcott - few employees actually use the fabric they produce.

That's why they depend on freelance people like myself to spread the word.

After the formal day was done, we split into groups and went to dinner where we were given a topic for discussion. It was a very interesting discussion and I really enjoyed it. We're going to review the outcome this morning. It's going to be interesting to see what the other groups came up with.

But more than that - I'm learning so much. And realizing that I know absolutely NOTHING about this industry and the machines. OK - that's not true, but I feel like I know nothing. I'd better sit down when I get home and do some serious playing. I've got a couple of things that I'm going to plead total ignorance on so someone can give me a lesson while I'm here. Hey - I've got a room full of teachers so I should take advantage of that.

The only negative thing about the day - well besides that I seem to be cold. But part of that is my negative thing - I barely got any steps in. Less than 3,000 for the day and that's barely any in my world. I need to go for a walk before we meet to leave the hotel - otherwise, there just isn't time in the day.

On that note, I'm off to make my smoothie and get myself organized for the day. Can't wait to see what today brings.

Have a super day!!!


Monday, January 14, 2019

A half day of travel - Part Two

I knew there were some major snow storms happening in the US. They just happened to be between Toronto and Nashville so we had no issues there. But when we started our descent into Nashville, we flew through layers and layers of thick fluffy clouds for about 20 minutes. I heard the wheels drop into position for landing and still - thick fluffy clouds. Yikes - the cloud cover was very low and we saw the ground for less than 5 minutes before we landed. But no turbulence - the clouds were just thick and fluffy - just the way I like it.

I was meeting up with two other people so we could get to the hotel together. One of the girls had rented a van. The one who rented the van was already there and the third person who was supposed to be there ahead of us both was late. She was considerably late - I think it was over an hour that we had to wait for her. One of them came from Washington and one from Wisconsin. Now here’s the interesting thing - I live further south than both of them! While I had a two hour flight with no transfer, they both spent an entire day travelling!

Once we finally got to the hotel and checked in, we were off to the grocery store to get supplies. Snacks and breakfast stuff. Even though there is breakfast at the hotel, I’m sure it won’t be stuff that’s on my list. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who needed to stock up.

I found almond milk in 6 individual containers and almond butter in six individual packets. Cantaloupe that was already cut up and on sale. Almonds, hummus and cauliflower for snacks. I’m all set. The only thing I forgot was bananas for the smoothie so I’m off to the breakfast buffet to see what I can forage - hopefully they have bananas.

The weather here is wet. Not a ton of rain, but damp and misty and although it’s above zero, it’s cold. At least I was cold yesterday. That’s because there was this cold draft that blew up my pant legs all the way on the flight!  And it never fails, I get the talkers on the plane. There was a group of people flying together that all worked at the same company that sold medical supplies. Two of them were behind me and one of them was a talker. He literally talked the ENTIRE way. I hardly think he took a breath and I know all about his family, his skiing adventures and work. I don’t need to know that!

On that note, I’m off in search of bananas. Can’t wait to get started - it’s going to be a fun and I’m sure a LONG day.

Have a super day!!!!!


A half day of travel - part One

Yesterday was a travel day - I’m in Nashville so I guess it was a travel day. But it was unusual. When I travel, I normally book my flights first thing in the morning and then I’m running around half the night getting last minute stuff done. But my flight was at 3 PM.

That meant that I had loads of time to get stuff done before I had to leave. I was doing laundry, machine embroidery, taking photos, editing them and uploading them. I accomplished quite a bit.

The last thing I do before I leave - always - is to pack. One of these days, I’m going to get to the airport and realize that I don’t have any clothes with me.

The headquarters for SVP is in Nashville and I’m here along with the other educators for a week long education week. It’s going to be great - going over classes, learning new stuff, and getting tips and tricks from the other educators. I’m probably the newest of everyone so I’m the one that’s going to benefit the most.

I’m on my iPad this morning. My laptop is open and at my blog page, but for some reason, it won’t let me log in to do a new post. I can only read it. Oh well - I’m good at some stuff, just not all the time.

Here’s what happened at the airport. I arrive in plenty of time and get to the NEXUS line. Oh - shoot - I have to show my boarding pass which would NOT come up on the screen of my phone. I normally do that in the car on the way there so it’s ready to go. But once you get to the airport and you’re asked to join the Wi-Fi, then total chaos ensued. I never thought to turn the WiFi off. I ended up going to the kiosk which was right there and getting a paper boarding pass. No big deal.

Then into the security check line where I was pretty certain that my luggage would get flagged. You see - we’re at a sewing event and I have scissors in my bag. Yep - it gets flagged. You have a blender in your suitcase? Yes - I brought my immersion blender so I could have my smoothie in the morning. Oh - that was allowed. Well - of course, the blades are tiny and inside a round metal base. You have scissors in your bag? Yep - I do. So they allowed my 8” long bent handled scissors, my 6” (with a 3” blade to go - although they are JUST acceptable so the supervisor’s call - they let them pass). What they didn’t like were my tiny little snips. The darn things are 4” long in total and they wouldn’t let those pass. Are you kidding me??????  That’s just ridiculous.

I was escorted back outside security where I could check my bag. I’m never going to get to the gate!

Once I had checked my bag, I was able to get through everything with no further problems.

Since I’m on the iPad, this buffer thing is going to be a problem so there is a second part today.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ice cream for breakfast

My life seems to be one giant learning curve and I'm so excited!

Last year when I did the dTox thing, I decided that I needed a Vitamix blender. Yes - I spent an obscene amount of money on the thing. Which is hilarious because I complained rather loudly when M insisted that we buy one for her. Well, she took that one when she moved out (technically it was a gift to her). So I had to eat crow and go and buy one for me. Sadly, the blender has sat in the box for an entire year. I know - don't ask.

Now I decided it's time to open that box. So I made my smoothie yesterday with the Vitamix. A frozen banana was no match for the blender and very quickly, I had a nice, delicious smoothie to enjoy.

This morning it was frozen strawberries.

Making a strawberry smoothie

Not sure that I had the right quantity of almond milk - I might have been a wee bit short, maybe too many strawberries and a little bit too long in the blending process. I got strawberry ICE CREAM. That's OK - it's got protein powder in it. Tastes amazing and that's my breakfast. So you can have ice cream for breakfast and it's super healthy.

Strawberry ice cream made in the Vitamix
I really should read ALL of the instructions. I will next week.

I just can't seem to last much beyond 8 PM these days. I'm in bed reading and lights usually out by 9 PM, but I'm up super early - I won't tell you what time. I know - that's why I'm in bed so early, but it works for my body clock.

I went for a long walk yesterday - the bank, the library, and Indigo - where I bought nothing. We have new ATMs at the bank. According to Ronda, my bank information person, these ATMs are NOT new - our branch appears to be slow. Anyway - they are super awesome. Very easy to use and much faster than the old ones. I didn't even have time to warm up from my walk.

I'm going to be away this coming week - off on an exciting adventure. I'll still be blogging, but before I go, I'm trying to get some stuff done. As usual!

So I have not one, but TWO embroidery machines going this morning. 

Husqvarna Viking Designer Brilliance 80 madly stitching out designs

Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC finishing off another design

I swear that I really try to keep those tables clear but look. Those two embroidery machines are buried in stuff. Actually, there's plenty of room around the machines, the rest of the tables - a HUGE disaster.

Tables are a mess
 If you look really close at the left just beside the door, there's a sewing machine there!!!

The EPIC is buried in this mess

I'm constantly learning with the embroidery machines. There's just so much that you can do. I'll show you pictures at a later date. But I had a WOW moment this morning. Oh my god - what technology can do is incredible. I'm making something for the QUILTsocial blogs and they will be posted at the end of January. You'll see my WOW moment then. I'm in total awe.

I've got a website for you to check out this morning.

If you know nothing about scissors or rotary cutters, here's a good link to get the overall scoop on them. The OLFA rotary cutter is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year. Can you imagine life without a rotary cutter???  I started with the basic OLFA cutter and I won't change. I just love that cutter and I know that I have a FEW of them. There are tips on caring for and cleaning your tools as well.  If you want to see my rotary cutters - go to this link.

The West End Modern Quilt Guild met yesterday and we laid out the blocks for our Quiltcon charity quilt. Oh my - I didn't take a picture of the final layout, but what fun we had. I think this is what it looked like when we just threw the blocks onto the design wall. Then the blocks gots switched around. A super fun exercise. Surprisingly, it didn't take us very long to agree on a final design. Yes - 30 people agreed on the placement of over 100 blocks???  Yep - I managed to finish all my blocks - well all but 5.

The first iteration of the WEMQG charity quilt

Well - that's it for me today. I've got to check on those embroidery machines to see what's going on and I suspect I need to reload them as I see they are silent on my phone app.

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Going modern

I had a look at my list of Tasks for the week and I'm doing very well at crossing them off. A few things that aren't going to get done. But those will get rolled over for the next week. There was a lot of running around this past week that I didn't count on.

I went back to my old car - it looks so sad in the car wreck graveyard but I collected the bag of lug nuts for the fancy rims (my summer tires) that are in storage and well - those tires on the fancy rims belong to me - insurance only wants the car as is. If they tires won't fit the new car, I thought I'd sell them, and it would be nice to have those nuts. I said "goodbye" to the car and that chapter is closed. But there's still the tasks of getting new winter tires for the new car and dealing with the rental today. So many details.

A couple more errands and then I was back home. I did accomplish a lot of paperwork, but not all. I have to do more this afternoon.

Then it was back to the sewing machine. Actually, I don't think I really sewed much yesterday but I had stuff to prep for some upcoming blog posts. I really should have been doing something else but that's me. I'm better, but not always the best at prioritizing. That means that something that is due today isn't going to be quite finished.

Here's the status of Jingle all the Way by Kimberbell. There are three more pieced blocks to add to the mix. I'm making the half square triangles as enders/leaders so they're almost ready to be sewn together. I think there's still 9 embroidery blocks to make. Just didn't have time! But all is good.

Blocks for Jingle all the way
I was finishing off the blocks for the homework for last night's class of Lilla at Oh Look Fabric. I'm loving this quilt and we have a great group of ladies in the class. It was so good to see some faces that I haven't seen in a while - Hi to Genny and Kathy. A couple of newbies in the class. It's going to be great fun and I think almost everyone wants to make the HUGE quilt with 100 blocks. 

These are the blocks that I made for last night. The pattern calls for four of each block. The rest of my blocks are cut and in partial assembly, so I could demonstrate the techniques in the class. Won't take too long to finish them off - but I MUST make sure that I finish them off.

Blocks from the Lilla quilt

What I love about modern blocks and IMPROV piecing - there is NO right or wrong. If you look at that middle block - the pink and grey one. The block on the left is how the block is supposed to look, but I changed it up and rotated the left side section before I sewed it together. Does it look wrong? Nope. I want everyone in the class to realize that anything goes. As one of the newbies said, "as long as it ends up a square we're good?"  YES YES YES.  She's going to do great in the class.

Then we had a fabric buying frenzy as some of the ladies had to buy fabric or supplement what they had brought. It was great fun and there are some amazing combinations. I can't wait to see the blocks next month.

If you're interested, now that you've seen a couple of the blocks - you could still sign up! We meet once a month on Friday night.

I got home a wee bit later than planned and too tired to work on my other modern blocks. These are for the West End Modern Quilt Guild's charity quilt for Quiltcon. I ended up with FOUR packages of blocks to make and each package contains 7 blocks. OK - so I shouldn't have left that for the last night.

I've made eleven blocks so far this morning and hope that before I leave for the meeting that I can get at least another six made. They are ALL supposed to be made for the meeting as we're laying out the quilt. Oh well - we'll have to make it up with plain squares of fabric and I'll make the blocks this afternoon. One must be flexible - this is a HOBBY after all.

Making improv blocks

Then that quilt has to be sewn up and quilted ASAP as it needs to be in the mail by February 1 which in my house is LOADS of time, but I must be cognizant of the other deadlines I have. So far so good.

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got to get a few more blocks sewn!

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, January 11, 2019

Drowning in paperwork

Paperwork is not my forte. Oh - I'm good at it when I settle down to do it. I can be super organized, but I hate doing it. There's nothing to show at the end of a paperwork session. I guess there is, but you know what I mean. Nothing fun!

Let's just say that this silly accident has filled my life with paperwork and running around. As we come to the end of the process, the paperwork seems to have ramped up!

There are still papers to complete for the physio sessions. And I got my settlement amount yesterday - what I expected, but I had set my expectations low. The car was 8 years old after all. So now I have to do all the final paperwork to "sell" the car to the insurance company.

Then there's the paperwork involved in getting a new set of wheels. Hopefully, all that paperwork is finished - yes I bought a new car yesterday. I bought an inexpensive car, but the final price still hurts a LOT. It's $10K more than I bought my Matrix for 8 years ago. At least I'll save money on gas, but probably get hit by higher insurance costs because of the smaller, lighter car. You just can't win.

And there's the question of the tires - one set is on the old car - the winter set. The summer set is in storage at Toyota. Can I use those rims on the new car? That requires another trip to the auto body to get the lug nuts which I left in the car. It just doesn't end!!! 

No word if they got the other guy, but I sure hope so.

I should say that buying a car is not fun! I was dealing with a different sales person last time I went there. I was supposed to be seeing the same guy yesterday, but somehow our times got mixed up so they hooked me up with someone else. Well, this guy didn't listen. And why do those guys have to check with their manager for everything??  Why not just let me chat with the manager? Which I did at the end because I didn't sign the first time I was at the dealer. No - I wanted to make them sweat a bit. Hopefully, I won't need to repeat that task for another 10 years or so.

Anyway - drive safe!!!!  Get OFF your phone! Stop eating in the car and PAY ATTENTION to the road. And stop being in a hurry!  The cost in time and money for having an accident is HUGE. If you don't care about yourself, I'm OK with that. But think about the other person. I didn't ask for this and the amount of time and money that it cost me is HUGE.

Despite all the running around, I did manage to get a few things done.

I quilted this quilt. It's not that big but it's done. It's for our guild's community outreach program. I had selected the fabrics from their huge stash. I was going to take a picture of the fabrics (tomorrow) -it's a great quilt to make with odd fabric. The black fabric? it's all millennium fabric but you don't really notice that because it's been chopped up! This pattern is from Atkinson Designs called Anything Goes. It's in a book called It Takes Two and add a few. I didn't see it on her website. I noticed in the bag (where the book is hanging out) that there's fabric for several more of these quilts - the fabrics belong to the guild. I guess I should get to work on one of those.

Community outreach quilt - DONE

I have to make the binding and get that sewn on which I hope to do in the next day or so. As long as it's done before the guild meeting, it doesn't really matter.

I got more blocks done for Jingle all the way - realized that I forgot to take a picture of the blocks. I'll do it today when I'll have even more blocks done. I'm making great progress on that quilt but still a few more blocks to make. Then I have one more quilt (Hello Sunshine) to get blocks ready for the class in two weeks.

Jingle all the Way by Kimberbell

Speaking of which, I'm having a blast making the blocks for the Lilla quilt class that's happening tonight at Oh Look Fabric. It's so fresh and modern and I love the fabrics I choose to make it. I'll share that with you tomorrow. The homework is almost finished. Come on out if you want to make a fun quilt that's half improv and half precision piecing.

Lilla quilt pattern

I usually use fresh fruit in my smoothies but decided that I'll go with frozen fruit in the future. The blueberries wor not so bad with my immersion blender, but I figured that frozen strawberries will be a whole different ball game. So I got out my Vitamix. Comes with a recipe book. Can't wait to make soups and hummus. I might actually be responsible for my own meals soon. Well, I do breakfast and lunch.

Vitamix recipe book

Yikes - I have to say that I've been eating super healthy this week and I don't miss any of the bad foods. No dessert, I have fruit instead. Lots of veggies. Let's not forget the supplements to keep my liver and other organs happy! Even last night when I really felt like something after dinner, I didn't have anything. I installed myself on the couch with my heating pad for my neck, a book, and a glass of water and I was fine! Amazing what you can talk yourself into doing. It's not even talking yourself into - it's just making a decision to live cleaner. You do it because you want to.

I find drinking lots of water helps a lot. I'm up to five full glasses of water a day. Almost done the second one for the morning. It's a great way to get things moving - chug a couple of glasses of water first thing in the morning - cures all ailments!

Now here's the thing. The world is coming to an end. I HATE drinking tap water. I've no idea why - there's nothing wrong with it. It's good for you and it's free and convenient. However, for years, I've bought big jugs of water for the water cooler. Well, yesterday, we ran out of water in the jug and I didn't have time to get more. Instead of not drinking, I drank tap water. Hey - this isn't so bad after all! Could I be cured?

Did you know that the more you drink, the less you go to the bathroom? No - you still need to go, but it's just different. I'm not sure how to describe that. Anyway - onto the third glass. I can do one glass per hour for the first couple of hours and then the afternoon? It just doesn't happen. Then I get in one glass after dinner. No - I don't need to get up in the night. I think part of that is that my body is so dehydrated that it takes all the water that it needs and there's nothing left over!

Anyway - it's all good. I'm feeling amazing and that's what it's all about.

Now I'd better get myself organized because I have to get that paperwork tidied up and I have a LOT of sewing to do. I was hoping to get another quilt on the machine, but I don't really have time for that today.

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mark these dates!!!!

A couple of dates that I forgot to mention or I want to mention again.

Tomorrow is the first class for the modern block quilt called Lilla. The class takes place at Oh Look Fabric in Milton. There are 25 different "modern" blocks in the quilt. We're going to walk through the process of choosing fabrics, lots of sewing, cutting, and pressing tips. And design - we're going to design our own quilts. If you want a fun evening out - sign up for the class by calling the store.

Lilla quilt pattern

If you're in the market to do some organizing, then I've got a great idea for you. The Brampton Quilter's Guild will be hosting the Downsizing Divas at the January guild meeting. I was a wee bit skeptical when I heard about this because almost every organizing guru does NOT understand the quilter's space. They immediately think CRAFT and while quilting is a craft, it's got a whole subcategory of its own. However, I'm happy to report that these ladies have spent considerable time in one of the guild members homes. So - I think they know what we're up against.  It promises to be a super and informative evening.

Here is the information about the meeting location, etc.


Downsizing Diva Brampton and Caledon franchise owners, Brenda Alderdice, Maria Lourenco, and Mary DaSilva will be sharing their many years of experience to provide us with suggestions to organize your creative space including the importance of sorting your inventory and labeling, storage options, “easy find” methods and more!  

Check out their web site!    (click on Find your Diva)

The meeting is January 24, 2019, 7:30pm, Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre 292 Conestoga Dr, Brampton, ON L6Z 3M1  Members free, Guests $7.

My friend who used to quilt sent me this photo of her space which she just spent two days cleaning up. She now sews mostly home dec stuff - I've got something else to share with you about her and what she does. I'll save that for another day. 

A very tidy storage space
Let's just say that she doesn't need to come to the decluttering your sewing space lecture. What do you think??  Those are roman blinds that come down and hide her storage space. It's a very neat idea and tidies up the sewing space very quickly. That's just WAY TOO NEAT for me. 


Doesn't that sound exciting???   I can hardly wait to go!!!  I have made leaps and bounds in my studio, but I'm always up for some new suggestions. 

Here's a couple of other dates to keep in mind. 

If you're interested in my UFO class - it starts on January 27 at 2 PM. I've got space for 3 more people. It might even become a work session - you never know.  Pick a project and we'll meet once a month to help break it down into manageable bits. Send me an e-mail if you're interested. 

Here's the link to all my classes that start in January in case you missed it.  You can get all the details on the two classes mentioned above plus the others and I think there is still room in the Kimberbell classes at Brampton Sew n Serge. Not so sure about those at the Hobby Horse. 


EQ8  - anyone up for a class on EQ8?  I've got a class scheduled for February 10 at 1 PM (right after our UFO class that day!).  It's a three-hour class, you need to bring your laptop with EQ8. Depending on the participants, we'll go through the basics - setting up the workspace, starting a new quilt, starting a new block. If we have time, we'll go into importing fabrics and a few other fun things. Send me an e-mail if you're interested. If you have EQ7, let me know - if there's enough interest, perhaps we can have a class on EQ7, but seriously - if you have EQ7 - you SHOULD buy the upgrade. The new version is SO much easier!!!!!


Yesterday was a challenging day. I got stuff done, but not without some challenges. I was working on the embroidery blocks for Jingle all the way and was having an issue. I'm not sure if it's my sewing machine or the embroidery design. The issue happened with ONE particular stitch. Not the stitch per se, but ONE particular spot. It was quite annoying, however by advancing (and bypassing) that one stitch, the thing stitched out perfectly. Now I'm doing research to understand why that ONE stitch caused me so much grief????? 

I did get four more blocks completed. They need to be cleaned up but I had run out of time by then. 

Four more blocks for Jingle all the way

I also had a HUGE customer quilt loaded on the long arm. And things were going great. Of course, there had to be an issue. This time it was a bobbin. The bobbin ran out. No big deal. I put in another bobbin and hit "pattern repair" to go back the couple of inches that the machine ran before I stopped it when the bobbin ran out. Instead of tracing back along the pattern, the machine made a beeline for the edge of the quilt. ACK!!!!!!   This somehow messed up the placement of the pattern and I couldn't get it back in the right spot to continue the row. OH, good grief. I tried several times and nothing.

I was having my issue with the embroidery machine about this same time and well - I went and had dinner. Then back at it where I solved both problems. I figured out how to get out of that row (on the computer) and then back into the row (on the computer). Then reset the registration mark and went back to the end of the stitching and it worked!!!!!   I was jumping up and down. How I learn these things? I've no idea. Thankfully I'm not afraid to try. What did I have to lose? I just remember Angela (my Quilt Path goddess!) say that she can take a quilt off the long arm and if she had to load it back that she can, as long as that registration mark is accessible. If she can do it - so can I!!!!!   It happened a second time. Not sure why - I've got a question into the User's Group to see if someone knows why. At least I know how to fix it - and that's all that's important.

Here's the customer quilt.  This is NOT even half of the quilt!!!!   It was HUGE.

Customer quilt  - DONE
It's all trimmed and ready for delivery. The next one is already loaded on the long arm. It's small - probably less than ¼ the size of this one. That should be easy to do today!!!

I was cleaning up the few Christmas things that I had put out. I threw my Christmas table runner in the wash and thought I'd share the label with you. This is a label that I printed on my inkjet printer. The table runner has been washed several times and the label is still very legible. No fading from the original washing. Remember to use BLACK ink only on the inkjet printers. Mine is an HP.

Inkjet printed labeled after it's been washed several times

Remember that love/hate relationship I used to have with my printer? Well, this new one (ell - it's not new anymore) is a keeper. With the software installed on my computer, I've had no issues since. I can print and scan and I've no issues. Oh - I love technology!!!!!  Most times!!!!

I'm chugging back my third glass of water right now and my super thick shake. I may have to add a wee bit of water to it or get a spoon. All is good on the eating/drinking front. They were chatting on the radio this morning about mindful eating. In other words - think about what your goals are and think about what you're eating/drinking. Do they match??? I do believe in that. I've got new health/fitness goals for this year and so far, I'm right on track. Now I need to get that foam roller out and do my exercises!!  Despite the wind yesterday, I walked to the library to drop off some books. Yep - if you dress for it - the weather is NOT an issue. 

On that note, have a great day!!!!