Sunday, March 31, 2019

It's a great day!

Oh my gosh - yesterday, there was a garage sale at Thimbles and Things which is the best quilt store around! And it's five minutes from the retreat house (Fireside Retreat). Customers of the store had brought in quilt related things that they no longer needed/wanted and it was up for grabs. Several of our group and we won't mention names to protect them left the house at 8:15 to get in line! The shop opened at 9 AM.

The weather wasn't all that exciting in the morning and our group was first in line. I was NOT in the group - just so you know!

Everything was so organized it was amazing, but that's Sue, the owner of the store who is THE best shop owner around. Of course, our ladies managed to find a few things. I was going to the store to get a pack of needles, but someone else had to go and they got the needles for me. Yeah! More time to sew!

I popped off to The Book Re-view (the used book store in town). Again, another amazing shop with extremely knowledgeable staff. I got rid of a number of books that I had brought in and I had a store credit of $36!!!!  I also managed to find a couple of elusive books on my list and several on DH's list. In total, it cost me $1.75 to buy 7 books! That was a great deal!!!!!

I just love shopping locally in these small towns. Hm - maybe I'll have to move here one day???

Ronda has been dying to get to my embroidery machine. So I showed her how to change the threads, load the designs, hoop the fabric and she was happy as a clam yesterday and got some Maple Leaf logos (that she purchased and we downloaded a while back) stitched out. I see she posted that on Instagram and was getting requests from people to do other logos!!!!  Hey - that's my embroidery machine!

Making good progress on my magazine quilt and hope to finish today. I'm also piecing a class sample and making good progress on that one as well.

We celebrated Earth Hour last night. Our retreats seem to fall on Earth Hour often and we've always celebrated in the past. So last night from 8:30 - 9:30, we had candles lit in the living room. We had the fire going and we shut off all lights and refrained from using screens of any kind. Some of the group was new to this concept and didn't believe how serious we were about the whole thing. We soon got them set! We played a geography game and it was loads of fun!  Another memory is tucked away from Fireside Retreat.

I had tea yesterday afternoon with CAFFEINE. That wasn't a good thing and I didn't get the best of sleep last night. I ended up moving to the couch so I could read for a bit. Had a few hours sleep and then got up. Started the fire (I'm getting very good at starting the fire). I see we have more snow this morning and it's very pretty outside. Yesterday we had snow and then we had rain so was surprised to see the white fluffy snow again this morning! I see Emma is out there with a snow blower and clearing the driveway. Ah - the joys of owning a rental property!

Did I mention that retreats are just the best? Well, they are. We're a great group and we get along just super. Susan had to leave early for a family event and now Vivenda is here to replace her. No shortage of finding someone to fill the spots. And the FOUR retreats for next year are booked. Did I already mention that?

No worries. Anyway, I've already got the first border cut and ready to sew on the magazine quilt so the moment that I finish breakfast, I'll be there. I'll fire up the embroidery machine as well so I can get some more embroidery done today. And NOT for Ronda!

On that note, have a great day!!!


Saturday, March 30, 2019

On cooking oatmeal - Part Two

Oh boy - everyone is up now or almost and they’re all talking. Oh good - now they’ve gone to the living room. 

After lunch, I decided to tackle the twin needle situation again. This time, I put the same weight of thread in the two needles and the bobbin. Did a test sample and you know what? It worked like a charm. I was very happpy so I got the background of my next two blocks for the UFO project done!!!  That felt good, but that’s about all I can claim to have gotten done yesterday. 

I also did go back to ValueVillage and I checked the rest of the items that I normally search for. All I found was a book that cost $3.00. Then I was off to the quilt store and picked up a few items to help with my twin needle situation. Then I was good. 

But it was absolutely gorgeous yesterday and there was no way that I was going to stay in the house. So I threw on my jacket and I was off. I walked FAST for one hour. That allows me to walk down to the next road in both directions from the house. Up and down some nice hills. I think it’s about 4 KM in total????  Not sure. But it was a glorious day. 

I have a quilt for a magazine that needs to be done (I know - I’m still making quilts for the magazines). It’s called a leap of faith. I did a bit of cutting - normally I’d be cut, but there was no time for that so I’m cutting here. No big deal. I’m going to work on that project this morning. 

Who know what the rest of the day will be like. I see there is a wee bit of snow today, hopefully it won’t be too bad as I’d like to go for another walk. 

On that note, I’m out of here to fire up the sewing machine and get back got work. I’ve got to make up for lost time yesterday! Nothing too fancy on the agenda so the day should go well. 

Have a super day!!!


On cooking oatmeal. - Part One

I just think it’s hilarious that I’ve cooked many a big pot of oatmeal when I was a kid and totally hated the process and hated the oatmeal and while I’m typing this blog this morning, my steel cut oats are merrily cooking away on the stove. And if it comes out like yesterday, it was totally yummy and actually way better than the microwave version. Perhaps I’ll have to resort to cooking the oatmeal at home as well???

The only other thing I did differently was to put more milk in the bowl, but I don’t think that’s the difference. It’s the type of oatmeal - both were steel cut, one was “instant” and one needed to be cooked. You should try the steel cut oats sometime, it’s really yummy and when you add things like chia seeds or flax seeds, or hemp seeds or almond slivers or raisins or cinnamon or nutmeg or a banana (or all of the above), well it just gets better. The almond milk also provides a nuttier flavour. I feeel like I’m the queen of oatmeal. And all thanks to M for giving me that push!!!

However I’m cooking it on a agas stove here. Not a problem, except this morning I used the front burner. Put in the oatmeal and turned down to low. Except the low for that burner wasn’t excactly low. The darn stuff kept wanting to boil like mad so I fired up another burner and now the oatmeal is merrily cooking away on low. Just another 10 minutes!!!!

Yesterday was one of those days. It wasn’t the most productive day of my sewing career, but you know what? That’s OK. You can’t be on all days and I did learn a very valuable lesson.

I did a wee bit of sewing on a class project and now half of the quilt is assembled so I put it away. It’s not that urgent, but gosh - it looks cute. I finished one of the big pieced blocks for the Gingerbread quilt. Yeah - and working on the small one for that month. I’m slogging my way through this and I WILL get done!!!

I’m on my iPad this morning as I think our internet has gone down. so there will be two parts to the blog.

Then I had to do some work with the twin needle. Oh boy - that didn’t go well. I was getting very frustrated so I decided to pop into town to check out the ValueVillage. While I was scouring the book titles, I got a call that I had a visitor at the house. Back to the house to visit with Laurie - someone that I used to work with. We had a great visit. It’s always good to reconnect with people and I was very happy with the distraction. distracted. very happy for the distraction.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Is free a good deal???

I was just reading a comment left by Judith. She's the one who has sold her house, selling many of her household possessions, putting some items in a 10 by 17 storage locker with a support post right smack in the middle - so I guess a boat won't go in that storage space! They are traveling the country for the next year in an RV - a HUGE RV, but that RV also has a finite amount of space. She's a quilter and what the heck does one do with all their fabrics?

I see that she has decided to make up 10 kits from her stash - precut them and has some handwork projects as well. Then when she's back in her home town in September, she can get more "kits" or fabric as she needs. I think that's a very rational plan. Way to go Judith!! She has ONE month left to empty the house although I'm not sure what they're sleeping on or sitting on as I know a lot of stuff has gone!

How super exciting and yet a bit scary at the same time. I can't wait to hear all the stories! You can't have an adventure like that without stories!

So, I'm sitting at the kitchen counter at the retreat house waiting for my stovetop steel cut oatmeal to cook. I prefer the quick version in the microwave (yes - there is a quick version of steel cut oats), but the microwave here and I just don't see eye to eye. I had a container of stovetop oatmeal so that's what I'm using. It's not a huge deal to wait 25 minutes while the darn stuff cooks. I'm a patient person - most of the time.

I left the house at 7:30. Stopped to pick up a tea and a cookie because all the cookies were packed and then realized about 20 minutes later that I got the tea, but no cookie. Oh well - I guess I didn't need that cookie. I ate my two small cookies when I arrived at the retreat house at 9:06 AM.

Oh my goodness - they had a fabulous surprise for us. If anyone has been here - do you remember where the stairs went into the basement in the sewing area? Well, the stairs are gone and there's a nice big table there. Which I immediately claimed. It's a table for two and it's perfect. I set up one machine there and did some unpacking as I had madly thrown stuff into bags before I left. I know I shouldn't do that, but I do.

Since Ronda still set up in the dining room so she could use the new gigantic design board, I worked on her block for our group exchange. I managed to get that finished and I was able to pass along the bag of stuff for Ronda's quilt to the next person. Yeah!!!!  But I also got the next box. I don't have anything to work on it here and it's not due until the end of April so I'm good with that. Hey - I'm up-to-date with that project. Three blocks are made - one for myself, one for Ronda and one for Susan. There are five more blocks to make. I can't wait to see what the quilts look like at the end. We're not sharing until the end.

I decided to fire up the embroidery machine after lunch and got some blocks done for an upcoming class. I was very happy, the blocks are super cute. I'm basically done all that I can do on that project as far as the embroidery goes - I need some water soluble stabilizer which I didn't bring, but I've loads of other stuff that I can do. I'm starting to piece that project together and I can't wait to see the entire quilt done. I hope to have it quilted by May!  There's a second one that I need to get working on but I might do that tomorrow and focus on sample making today.

I did try and contain myself a wee bit as far as spreading out on the tables, but alas I did not succeed. I'm in two different rooms, with two different machines, loads of threads and bits and bobs. Yep - just like I was back home!!! And think of the exercise that I'm getting as I run from one machine to the other. There are about 5 stairs in between as well. Perfect excuse to get some exercise. I did over 10,000 steps yesterday!!!

The oatmeal is done but I forgot to buy bananas yesterday. That's on the list for today.

I want to thank everyone who has taken an item or two off my hand. I'm ready to sign the contract to get moving with the floor. That'll take a month so there will be no sit n sews until May. But we'll make it happen and then we have to make up for lost time!

Speaking of free, when I was teaching at a local guild, I was told that they had received a ton of upholstery samples and they were free for the taking. Hmm - do I really need any of that stuff? I did peak through the boxes and this is what I found.

The first lot is small samples of vinyl. These are going to be perfect for the rope bowls, especially when I teach a class. We use the vinyl as a small decorative touch at the top to hide the end of the rope (so no one can be at the end!). The samples are not huge and they reside with the rest of the materials to make rope bowls.

Vinyl samples
I found this small quilted sample which will make a good sample to practice a binding sample on. It's in the binding box.

A small quilted sample for binding
Next up a very small sample of velvet and some other kind of napped fabric. Good practice samples for machine embroidery.

Napped fabrics for machine embroidery samples

I believe the one in the back is also a napped fabric and then I found a sheer. Both will be useful for machine embroidery samples.

Sheer fabric - good to make a machine embroidery sample
I couldn't resist this piece. It looked so modern that I thought it would be fun to incorporate into a modern quilt.

Sample to incorporate into a modern quilt???
Here's another modern looking sample that I thought I could incorporate into some quilt.

Another sample for a modern quilt?

I bet there was a lot of this next kind of fabric, but alas someone had already been in and there was only one piece of this style left. Which is probably a good thing. I love this kind of fabric. Not sure what I'll do with it so good thing there was only one left.

Gorgeous piece of fabric

So a HUGE shout out to Liz for letting me dig into their guild's goodies. She didn't want me to accuse her of adding to the pile of stuff that I had laying around the studio. I think I was very reasonable with what I took. This is a case where less is more. Having a definite plate for a few things is way better than taking a lot of things and doing nothing with it.

Hmm - this oatmeal is very yummy even without the banana! 

I see that most of the others are up and it's time to get the day rolling. I did NOT need a nap yesterday, but let's say that when my head hit the pillow at 10 PM, I was out like a light.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. It's the last day of my week of blogging. Always something new to learn.

Have a super day!!!


Thursday, March 28, 2019

And we're off.......................

Holy -- nothing like a mouth full of nutmeg to get the morning started! Yikes - I didn't stir the oatmeal well enough.

Why is it that every time I go away, I spend two days before running around like an idiot? But that's just me and it doesn't help that I HAD to finish reading a thriller book yesterday. I stayed up until midnight which is totally unheard of at my house! And I've been up for hours already - I'm going to need a nap later on!

Everything is at the front door to load into the car for the retreat. Shouldn't take too long and soon, I'll be on my way.

I made the delivery to the school yesterday and I think they'll have fun with all the stuff I took. It's going into the "maker" room at the school. I felt so good when I walked out of there. More stuff to go, but not until next week.

That green tote bag was pretty popular. I had multiple people CALL me on the phone. It's already picked up and gone!  Just before it went out the door, I thought I should check the pockets. I don't remember ever using it, but guess what I found? No - not money. A lottery ticket!!!!

Found lottery ticket
It may have been the big winner. I'll never know - it's dated 2008!!!!

It didn't help that in the last two days, I've taught two different classes in the evening at Oh Look Fabric. There went my prep time. NO worries - it's all fun. I'm just amazed at the ladies in these classes. They have very little experience sewing, but they are so willing to learn. Hopefully, I've given them a positive experience that they'll come back. Oh yes - they'll come back. Last night, they're already asking for the next quilt!! They are hooked!

Two nights ago, we had a pillowcase class. These two had never used a rotary cutter before and never really sewn. Both of them were finished by the end of the class!!!!  How exciting! I love when people go home excited about their project.

Directional print pillowcase

The main part was made from a sheet

I love seeing what people choose for their fabrics. It's all so much fun!!!

I don't have time to share with you what we did last night. That'll come next week. I'm trying to get some pictures edited so I have pictures to share while I'm away. That's almost done - just need to be loaded. See - I'm thinking of you while I'm away!!

Last weekend, we had the first of our ongoing classes for the year. One of the classes we're working on is North Star by Elizabeth Hartman. This is taking place at The Hobby Horse.

Here's the first block that we're working on.  So adorable.

Reggie Reindeer

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today.  By the way - didn't you like the example from yesterday's post? About the difference between a satin stitch and a zigzag???  Who knew? I heard on the John Tesh show last night, that teaching is an excellent way to learn! Yep - I agree 100%. Teaching for 20 years has made me extremely knowledgeable as has my curiosity.

On that note, I'm off to pack the car. I was even thinking last night and filled the car with gas so I wouldn't have to pay a premium this morning. Sometimes my brain works  - most times it does not!!!

Have a great day!!!


(for the record - it's 6:37 AM - when I hit PUBLISH)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

It's tidy up time!

In an ideal world, I'd do paperwork in the morning and then I'd get to sew all afternoon. Preferably on my own stuff. Alas - that's a pipe dream! Yesterday, I spent the ENTIRE day in front of the computer. Now, how the heck did that happen? And me who is trying to improve my posture and fix the locked neck!

I needed to use EQ8, but for some reason, it wasn't working. That's the first time that's ever happened. So I had to uninstall and then reinstall. Not a big deal, but it took time. A couple of patterns that had to be rejigged for some upcoming stuff. That's all done and printed out.

Blog posts were being written, photos were being edited, videos were being handled which was an issue in itself. But all that is done. Well mostly. Phone calls for upcoming events were dealt with. All in a day's work of a freelance textile person.

I hope today is going to be a bit calmer and I hope to spend the morning in front of the sewing machine and the afternoon at the computer.

I'm also trying to do "mindful" packing for the retreat. Instead of just tossing stuff in and hoping for the best, I'm trying to be somewhat organized in order to minimize what I take. I'm sort of OK, but let's just say that I've got more than a laundry basket full of stuff to load.

Off to the library for a walk. Dropped off one magazine and picked up a book for DH and after browsing the magazines, I found the one I wanted and another one as well. I'll share with you why I picked that up, but another day.

My schedule for today says that it's another HOUSE CLEANING day. I don't have time for that - BUT that doesn't mean that I haven't been working. I stopped by the local elementary school on my way to the library. (Thanks Diane for the suggestion - they were raving about what you brought!) I'll be stopping by the school today with the following items:

I don't even remember buying this stand or even why I needed so many paints. What the heck did I paint? Anyway, the stand and the paints - GONE.

Paints and a stand - donated

Then there are the three large rolls of newsprint. Going, going, gone!

Rolls of newsprint - donated

The other thing is that huge box/bag of pencils and pens. That's going today as well. Yahoo!!!!!!

I'm so excited about this. I was so tempted to take it all yesterday, but I didn't have time.

I also scheduled an appointment for the Diabetes pickup. That's next week so I have one week to add to the pile. Got to find some boxes for some of the stuff - hey - I did my homework. Bags for clothes, boxes for other stuff. What to put those pictures in???

I have a bag filled with books. Some are mine, some are DH. Those are going to be sold to the used book store this weekend. They are very picky about what they buy, but I think they'll like these ones.

Just a quick aside about books - when I was at the book sale in Guelph last year, I think the general consensus was that the most popular author was James Patterson! Or at least, there were more of his books than any other author. And did you know that he published his first book in 1976???  But it wasn't until 1993 when he wrote "Along Came a Spider" that he became famous??  I'm about to start reading his book from 1976.

OK - back to the basement clean-up. The next items on the list were TWO big tubs and a three drawer unit of fashion fabric. Actually might be some home dec fabric in there as well. Before it gets put into bags, I'm taking a quick peek through it. I don't think I'm going to keep anything - I just want to see what's there. I've already found a home for it all and it'll be donated next week. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fashion fabrics - DONATED
I''m keeping the tubs and the drawer unit. I can use them upstairs to help keep things tidy. And less stuff that needs to be moved when the floors get redone.

See that green bag???  That's a rolling sewing machine bag. I do NOT want it. It's the kind that you could get at Fabricland and will hold a small sewing machine. It's up for grabs for FREE. Let me know and it's yours.

By the way, I got rid of the ironing board cover and the scrapbook rolling case from before. Yeah!!!!!  Do you know how good this feels to finally get rid of some of this stuff?? 

Oh - there's a lot more to come before I even hit the quilting stuff. And my goal is to have things laid out in the basement so that I can easily access everything.  That's my ultimate goal and I'm going to make it happen even if it kills me!

I still haven't located those packages of blank cards. No idea where to look - I've looked everywhere that I think they could be, but obviously I haven't. Don't want to buy more - darn - I could sure use those blank cards!

This next item in the basement clean-up is crazy. I have IKEA bags full of other bags. I've tried to put them all together in one spot. I think I did, but this is just an idea of what down there.

Pile of bags

More bags

There's an orange bag

And here's one more bag - I love this one. Why am I not using it? Because it was tucked away - that's why. Oh yes - I have a story to tell you about new things and not using them. Shelly is going to kill me soon. I'm going to try to change that this weekend. I'm a very ungrateful person! Right, Shelly???  Actually, it's the fear of using something in the event that it wears out or gets damaged. God - did I just say that???  Shoot me now. I'm just like my mother!!!!

A quick aside - I AM JUST LIKE MY MOTHER. She wants to get rid of stuff, but only if someone can use it. Well, here's the thing. If you wait too long, the item is either dried up or so out of date that no one can use it. Donate stuff now - forget about selling most of it. Find a home where someone will use it and move on! That's my new mantra!!!!

A very nice orange tote bag

This orange tote bag is coming along to the retreat with me along with the other item. I'll share that later.

I need to go through those bags and keep what I want and the rest can probably go. There are brown paper shopping bags. Perfectly good, but what do I need them for???  Any suggestions? There are MANY of the reusable types. Need to deal with that next.

And there's another stack of paper that has to be dealt with. Those items are next and if I get a chance, I'll try and get rid of it today. Otherwise, that's a job for next week.

Oh - here's a better picture of the green tote. I didn't measure, but I can if anyone wants it. Otherwise, it's gone in next Friday's Diabetes pick-up.

Green rolling sewing machine tote

Oh my gosh - I'm so excited about this tidy up thing. As you can see - I'm dead serious about it this time around. I'd like to spend more time, but the month of April (and the prep work for the month of April) is a bit much so I don't have a lot of spare time at the moment. Doesn't matter - each thing that I get rid of will help to pry open the flood gates to getting rid of more stuff.

I have boxes of wrapping paper/gift bags - that's all going. Christmas tree and village, Halloween decorations - going! I just need to bring it up from the basement. Hopefully, when the guys come back, they'll say - Oh my - there's hardly anything here to move! I doubt that, but I can dream!

On that note, I'd better get myself organized. I have ONE thing that HAS to be done today. It's going to be a long day, but I think I can make it happen.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial this morning. You WILL learn something. I never knew this, but after my experiments, I'm very surprised. Check it out!!!!

Have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mindful sewing

Last night, I was reading a magazine that I borrowed from the library. Yep - it's ready to be returned today so I see a walk in my future!

Anyway, there was an article in the magazine about Sustainable Sewing (Mindful Making). It's Part 2 so now today, I'll try to find the issue with Part 1. The article focuses on garment sewing, but as quilters, we also have the same issue. 

We get excited - we buy a new kit or new pattern and fabric. We rush home (well sometimes) and start cutting. Oh worse - we see a new technique or a new designer demonstrating something and we HAVE to make that. Have we ever sat back and thought what the heck are we going to do with all our finished quilts/clothes? I know I haven't and well - I've got a quilt or two hanging out. 

A good number of my quilts are used for trunk shows, but sadly there are some that don't make the cut. They were made, just for the sake of making. I hear them cry out every time I sort through the quilts for a trunk show - "PICK ME - PICK ME - I want to go to the trunk show." Breaks my heart, but there is only so much time during the trunk show. I'd love to show them all. Maybe I need to make a new trunk show - Quilts I designed for magazine and the trials and tribulations of that process!

Anyway, back to the article. Here are a couple of things to consider about mindful sewing. Keep in mind that for most, it's a hobby but for others (like myself) it's an obsession. 
  1. If you're going to sew more than you need, ask if you can sew quilts (garments) for family members and friends. I think most of us do that to some extent. Or what about sewing for a charity. 
  2. Slow sewing. This is the process of sewing to ENJOY the process. Not in a panic to try and get something done so you can move onto the next project. (OH - I'm so guilty of not slow sewing!)

Things to consider when fabric shopping:

  1. Would I give up a piece of fabric in my stash to buy this piece? 
  2. It is possible to enjoy beautiful fabric without owning git!  (who knew!)
  3. Unsubscribe from the shopping accounts. (I know - how much opportunities to buy do I need? If I want something, I shop local anyway!)

Then the article goes on to talk about waste in the textile world. Some ways to have a more sustainable footprint? 

  1. Use up what you have without buying more! (what a concept that is!)
  2. Use recycled materials - i.e. scraps   -(I'm there already!)
  3. Mend, reuse, thrift, and lastly buy. 

Here's a link to the SewNews magazine with the article in it. I can't find the article online but maybe you can download it via your library link. 

And I found a Podcast about Sustainable Sewing. I don't listen to Podcasts, but I'd like to. Hmm - how to fit that in the day?

Anyway, there are loads to think about, but the most important thing is to remember that for most of us, quilting is a hobby. Therefore, we'd better make sure that we're enjoying it. Whether you sew with friends or you sew alone, make your work environment a happy place and make sure you're sewing stuff that makes you happy. Get rid of the rest!

Well, I was going to talk about something totally different this morning. Oops! No worries - the other topic can wait until later this week. 

Look - I've been trying to squeeze a bit of personal sewing into my schedule. I've got four more pairs of blocks completed for the scrap quilt. 

Four more pairs of blocks are completed
This is what remains. There are about 21 pairs still to make. No big deal. I may even take them to the retreat. I wonder why I was so paranoid about NOT taking them before? Oh - I know - because the way I was "taught" to sew them was complicated. The way that I sew them now is easy peasy!!!

The blocks that are remaining

I did some packing last night for the retreat. Not panic packing. Oh no - this was very responsible packing. I took it project by project - some needed the instructions printed. Some needed threads or stabilizers and those supplies are now in the appropriate bag. The only thing that I cannot find is a stack of blank cards. I know I have tons of them - the question is where are those packs? I found one pack, but the cards are small - I want a larger size and I know there are here somewhere. I have to say that I love the way the basement is laid out - it so spacious and I can access pretty much everything easily. Now to remember where those darn cards are hidden. 

Before I go, don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. It's all about using decorative stitches to do machine applique. Super exciting stuff to consider!!!  Learn by making samples - remember MINDFUL sewing - not sewing to just get done. There's always be another project waiting. Who cares?

I know I mentioned an article about The Golden Girls of Port Perry. Four mature women who bought a house together. They were on the Marilyn Denis show yesterday. Here's a link to the web site. You must watch Season 9, Episode 123. (I think that link takes you directly to that episode). It's in the first segment with Scott McGillivray. Their story is so very cool and despite the fact that they seem to drink a lot of wine, what a cool opportunity to live a healthy (mental) lifestyle as things change in your life. I'm in!!!!  DH said I was going to have to wait a long time before he kicks the bucket!!!

There are some fun videos about The Golden Girls of Port Perry - search the internet!!!

And now it's time to get the day rolling.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, March 25, 2019

Back to my "day" job

I did spend some more time in the basement and I've started to haul some of the stuff up. In an ideal world, I would bring up several tubs - deal with it and then bring up some more. I'm trying to pick stuff that I know I can easily find a home for or it goes in the Diabetes pickup which I still need to schedule. That's got to be on the list of things to do today.

I've found stuff that well - I've no idea what I'm going to do with it. No - I should say - that I've no idea why I kept it. OK - so the brown paper from yesterday? I was going to do some art projects with it. Obviously, that hasn't happened. So it'll be good to wrap those frames in and then if ever I get to the artwork - I'll find some brown paper.

That's the thing - we save things, including fabric, for just the right project and then when the day comes that we're ready to work on that (if it ever comes), we've found way more things or materials to work with. Stop saving!!!!  Saving is like hoarding! STOP! Just stop!  Hey - I'm telling myself that every day. Can you imagine if I were packing things up to move? There's a LOT more stuff hiding in the nooks and crannies of that basement and it's time to deal with it NOW!

I'm just not sure how fast I can deal with it all. I don't want to fill the main floor with stuff, but I might if I have to. Just means that I'm going to have to get good at getting rid of stuff.

Anyway - it was time to get back to the long-neglected long arm. I managed to get not one, but two quilts completed yesterday. I was a happy camper and the next one is half loaded (just needs batting).

Here's the first one. This one was done custom. I'm so slow at custom - I have two more to do but I think both of those will be easier than this one. This one needs to be trimmed and it'll be ready to go.

Customer quilt - DONE
The next one was a T-shirt quilt. I love T-shirt quilts. I actually taught a class on T-shirt quilts last Friday. We had a variety of topics in the class. Three people were making quilts from their vacation T-shirts. One person was making a quilt from her favorite T-shirts. And one ambitious person brought in three different groupings!

One of the ladies was determined to make a move on her shirt. She cut up all the fronts and we got them sort of laid out in a pattern. I think she might be short one T-shirt or she's going to have to jiggle them around a bit.

T-shirt layout from the T-shirt class
 Anyway, here's the second quilt that I quilted yesterday. This one is trimmed and will be delivered later today. Yeah!!! 

Customer quilt - DONE

Technically, I'm not that far behind in the quilting department. And hopefully, I can get back on track. That basement issue has been a huge distraction to my productivity.

A while back, I was doing some cleaning in another part of the basement and I got rid of the embroidery unit for my Husqvarna Viking Designer I embroidery machine. This machine is over 20 years old! The machine had a floppy disk drive in it and my designs were loaded on floppy disks!!  Then designs went to USB and now the designs just get floated to the machines via the cloud! Not the Designer I. It's been retired as an embroidery machine.

I still have the floppy disk drive and my intention is to take whatever I want from these disks and put them on the USBs.  I think there are some recovery disks in this stack???  DOS???  Anyone remember that? Time to rid of this!

Floppy disks 3.5" 
Oh yes  - I should say that those floppy disks are the 3 ½" size because there was a 5 ¼" as well!!!  My - how times have changed!

Last night at dinner, we were sitting and chatting. Those two orange tote bags with the bamboo wind chimes was sitting at the side of the table. After I had finished eating, I pulled out the bamboo chimes. Hmm - I think I can fix this right now! There was even an extra length of the black cord attached to the chime. All I needed was a pair of scissors and LOOK - the wind chimes are in the backyard!!!

Wind chimes are in the backyard!

So that's kind of embarrassing. It took me all of 5 minutes to fix them. Why have they languished in the basement for years? I'm sure it's going to be the same thing for those tote bag handles. Granted, it'll take a wee bit longer than five minutes and a pair of scissors to fix them, but gosh - I even found a bobbin with orange thread in the bag.  Those are for sure coming to the retreat with the appropriate interfacing to make sturdy handles.

When I go to a retreat, I like to take simple piecing. Then I only need one color of thread and one foot for the sewing machine. This time - it's going to be a challenge. I'm taking a bunch of small projects that just need a bit of finishing. That's going to take a lot of time and coordination on my part to get all the supplies. Yes - if I'm missing something, I could go and buy it, but that's not the plan. I might end up making lists of stuff that missing and that becomes my new shopping list. I shop at my house first and then I can go to the store if I need.

It's all about coordination and focus. I feel a bit out of focus at the moment as there's a lot going on. So I need to pull back again and get back on track!

And you NEED to check out QUILTsocial this morning. It's my week to blog. Today, there's some cool information on machine applique including VIDEOS!!!  If you want to know about machine applique - check it out.

I made it out for a walk yesterday. My girls are NOT happy. I used to go for my walk without them. Let's face it - neither of them is a good walker! But I feel guilty, so now I take them one at a time. One day, Lexi goes and the next day it's Murphy's turn. They do NOT think this is fun. Murphy thinks it's her turn every day!

But I've made the library my destination for the walk. Between DH and myself, we usually have a book or two that needs to be returned or picked up. Sometimes, I go just to check if anything new has been added to the shelves. It's a decent walk from the house and I love the library! That will be a selling point for me for any house - can I walk to the library!

On that note, I'm out of here. It's Monday sewing and after that, I've got a lot of work to get done.

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Time to purge

I warned DH last night that I was going to start bringing stuff up from the basement that we no longer need/want and that it would sit in the living room/family room until I could get rid of it.

First I need to book a pickup by the Diabetes Society to get rid of the stuff that's already sitting in the family room.

I'm sure that you can all relate to some of the stuff that I'm about to post. Hey - it all seemed like a good idea at the time!  FYI - some of the stuff I'm posting is up for grabs and some I'm going to keep - I'm just sharing some silly things that have been sitting for a while and why they've been sitting.

Let's start with the paper products. Seriously - this was sitting on a chair tucked in a corner. There's a cardboard sleeve from a bolt of fabric. I need to keep that because? Then there is some brown paper that probably came from boxes that we received. Oh, there's one paper that I need to show you. Let me run and get a picture.

This is the packaging from a parcel from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw - they have since closed.

Parcel packaging that I kept because?

The mailing date??  Actually it's from 2013 so not so bad, but still. This piece of paper has sat for 6 years????

Postage date - 2013

I hate to throw all that paper out, but unless I need it to pack some more glass things that we're getting rid of. But I don't think there is more glass stuff - at least not at this moment. Oh wait - I have some framed pictures. The paper will protect the frames. Perfect - found a "home" for the paper.

These rolls of paper are sitting in the storage room where they've resided for years. I see the weight of them is starting to crush my laundry basket. They were originally stuck in the beams beneath the house. It's the leftover rolls of newsprint from a printing press. I think I used this paper ONCE. There's a lot of it. I'm going to contact my local school and see if they can use it for the younger school kids to draw on.

Rolls of paper - they need to go!
Then when I was in the kitchen trying to find a piece of paper to write my grocery list on, I found this small notebook FILLED with stuff from M. Dated 2002!!!!!!  Even a list of what she was going to do one day. I don't think we need that anymore. 

Notes from a 6-year-old!

Here's a lovely family portrait!! We all look like we're doing aerobics!

A family portrait 

Now here's a couple of things that are up for grabs. This is a BRAND new ironing surface for the Reliable ironing board. I always use mine in the rectangular shape and this is the one with the pointed end. These ironing surfaces last forever. But I have no need for it. I can't even get the extension off my ironing board so that I could use this. Free to anyone who can use it! I've no idea that it would fit on another ironing board - they are kind of propriety in size.

Ironing board cover

Here's a picture with the size. It's about 46" long and 18" at the widest.

Reliable ironing board cover

Here's a cute tote bag. I bought a kit from Cockadoodle Quilts (another quilt store that closed a long time ago) and what do I do with the tote bag? It's very cute and there's a lining inside so you can draw it up and close it. I never used it after I made the kit and the tag from Cockadoodle is still on the bag!!!

Tote bag - needs to find a new home

Here's the tag on the bag. Red Dawn kit??  What the heck was that?????  I think I remember and if so, then my quilt top is done!

Tag from the kit that was in the bag

See how the lining pulls up with a drawstring to close the bag? 

Lining pulls up so you can close the bag

I have this rolling wheel tote as well. I don't think I ever used it or maybe I did once or twice. It's technically a scrapbooking tote.

Rolling wheel tote

See there are all the dividers for the scrapbooking stuff, but they come out.  I don't see why a smaller sewing machine couldn't fit in there.

Inside the tote

The total case is about 17" long

By about 11"

Then I have these two bags. As you can see - these tote bags are mine! I made the one in the back and members of my previous sewing group made the other one. The one that I made is stiff as a board which I like. However, I made the wimpiest of handles for that bag. I don't think I even put any kind of stabilizer in them - just fabric. Who the heck in their right mind would do that? I was very new to quilting at the time and had no idea. So the handles have been removed and are to be remade with stiff interfacing in them. The fabric is in the bag, but not done!

The second bag is quite limp in the body - I believe it only had batting as a filler. But the handles were also terribly wimpy and I can't deal with wimpy handles. So those ones were taken off as well. I think it's time to fix those two bags so I can use them. I mean - really - that's just silly to have not fixed those handles before now. I might take them to the sewing retreat where I have no choice but to get them done!

Two tote bags that need new handles
So I love wind chimes and I have a nice big one in the backyard. It hangs in the gazebo and I love the tinkle from the chimes on a windy day. Where they hang, they don't clank and make a huge noise, but just enough. Matter of fact, I was enjoying them yesterday as I was outside doing some backyard spring clean-up. I found a bamboo wind chime. Hmm - I remember these. It's been needing a wee bit of repair as well and then it can hang up. 

Bamboo wind chimes in need of a wee bit of repair

All that has to be done is to reattach one of the pipes. Seriously???  This is totally irresponsible of me. How can I leave these things that need simple repairs to languish for years when I could have been enjoying those tote bags and the wind chimes for the last 10 years?

Just so you know - I'm not totally irresponsible or incompetent. I just used my can (never been used and no idea when I purchased it) of compressed air to clean my keyboard which had a few unresponsive keys. All is good now in the keyboard department.

Here's one more thing that I found. Technically, I'm not finding these things - everything that I posted today? Oh yes - I knew it was there. Just hidden, but not forgotten. This is a wrought iron chair that I made when I was in a high school welding class. I know - who knew!!!!

My wrought iron chair that I made

It even swivels.

The front of the chair

I'm keeping this chair, but I really need to make room so that I can actually use the chair. It's not the most comfortable chair but it's really not bad. I already have two chairs in the bedroom so can't add a third. I'm going to try and make room for it in the basement so I have a "reading" chair.

That's just a minor dent in the bucket of what needs to be done in the basement, but the more I go around the piles of stuff that the guys set out, the more I look at the stuff and realize that I'll never use it. So why am I keeping the stuff???   Trying to find a home for the stuff is the biggest issue. But I'm going to check with my local elementary school on Tuesday and see what kind of stuff they could use and that might help to open the flood gates and start to get rid of some of the craft things, including that big box of pens and pencils!

I've got a super busy day at the long arm. I'd better get my head down there before the sun comes out. I hate to be in the basement on the nice days, but I have no choice today. If everything goes well, I'll be out for another walk later today.

And I have ONE minute left before 7:30 post time, so people like Audrey and Shelly (who I know are chomping at the bit) can read the blog!

Have a super day!!!!!


Saturday, March 23, 2019

UFO club update

Although I have a class this morning, I'm feeling pretty relaxed. That does not mean that there isn't a ton of work to do. Instead of sewing this morning, I started some tidy up in that temporary space. I'm going to have to give it a specific name - Studio U for upstairs? and Studio D for downstairs? Oh yes - I like that. OK - so I'm tidying up Studio U. There's so much stuff strewn around - it's getting a bit difficult to work.

Part of that was the whirlwind of activity that occurred this past week. A part has been related to my laziness. I'm also starting to set stuff aside for the upcoming retreat. It has to be done - might as well do that as I'm cleaning.

Today I thought I'd share with you the photos and update the status of everyone's project. Let's just say that getting the pictures together was a bit of a challenge. For those that were present last Sunday, I took pictures with my camera. That was easy - I went into the memory card and extracted the photos. However, one person sent me her pictures via e-mail. TWO e-mails, so I had to find both e-mails and extract the photos from the e-mails. Then one person sent me two photos - one was via TEXT and the other was via IG messaging. The key here is to remember who sent what and how!!!  I could not open the photo from the IG messaging, into Photoshop, but I could open it on my screen. So I took a picture of that and sent it to my computer! Let's see - oh yes, I also had taken a couple of pictures on my phone and those had already been removed from my phone and put on the computer so I had to find those. You see where I'm going with this? It took me also 20 minutes to find everything!

And on top of all that? I forgot to take pictures of Laura's project! Oh, shoot me now!!! However, everyone but Linda is accounted for and I think she's still on vacation.

Let's have a look at what they accomplished. They are very prolific and it would appear that people are NOT willing to give up that $10.

We'll start with Susan. Her goal was to finish the quilting on this quilt, deal with the border (she wanted to make it wider) and have it bound.

Susan's quilt is DONE
The quilt was partially quilted so she was able to finish it off and used some of the designs that we talked about in the table runner/quilting class from last year. She had contemplated making the border wider, but once it was quilted, she left it at the size it was. It's a big job to add borders to a project when you're in the quilting stage. I'm glad she left it like this. The binding is also on. It's a scrappy binding. The quilt looks awesome and best of all - it's done! Way to go Susan!!!!!  I think she was going to put a label on it - that wasn't mentioned in the homework for the previous month, but it's a good idea to put labels on your quilts!

What is Susan going to work on for the upcoming month? She's going to design her quilt top using the Farm Girl Vintage blocks. Sashing or no sashing? How to use the two different sizes of blocks that she made.

Liz wasn't able to get her homework accomplished for the previous month, but she came with the February homework all completed. She had some applique to finish on the poinsettias in the borders, one of the blocks and the words on the top and bottom border. It's all DONE and ready to be quilted!!!! 

Candy Cane Lane by Liz is ready for quilting

Then Liz moved onto the homework that was due at the March meeting. She had more applique to do with the poinsettia of the next quilt which is called O Tannenbaum. It's a gorgeous quilt and I can't wait to see this one finished. I didn't get a close up of the actual petals, but she put GLITTER on them. They look very cool.

Poinsettia are applique for Oh Tannenbaum
She also repaired this block. Apparently, there were two identical light fabrics side by side and now the block is fixed! That's super exciting. I think this one was going to put aside for this month. 

Log cabin block is fixed

If memory serves me correctly, Liz is going away on a retreat (a different one from where I'm going) and she's going to work on this next project. Actually, her goal for the month is to work on Month 3 in the pattern. It's called Holidays at Home by Bloom Creek. Couldn't find a link to it on the internet.

The project that Liz is working on next month

Ronda is working on her Amish with a Twist II. She has completed her two blocks as was the deal. For next month, she's going to assemble the center of the big star in the middle of the quilt. The quilt goes together like a nine-patch and her goal is to get ONE section completed which is the center.

Ronda's two blocks
Laura is working on Kaleidoscope. And YES her homework is finished. She completed two more blocks and there were FOUR of each to make for a total of 8 blocks. For some reason, I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures! Her goal for next month is to get two more blocks completed. There are four of each so that'll be a total of 8 blocks to make. Everything is cut so that should be an easy task!

Lynn finished her cat quilt. Her goal was to finish the quilting, but the quilt is bound and completely done. I know that she experienced a wee bit of frustration as she worked to find just what she was looking for. But she DID IT!!!!!  And it's super cute!!  This was a good lesson in trying to figure out the entire quilting plan before you start as she ended up doing a lot of extra work. But it was all worth it - the quilt looks awesome. 

Lynne's finished quilt
It's a tad difficult to see, but she used her embroidery machine and embroidered a couple of mice that are hiding from the cats on the quilt. It's just the cutest little mouse but required a lot of behind the scenes work from Lynne and her embroidery software to make that happen. I think the end result is gorgeous and she should be super proud of the job she did. 

One of the three mice that are hiding on the quilt
She also used her embroidery machine to make the cat faces. The original cats had no face and rather than embroidery something by hand, Lynne went through her patterns and what's on the internet to find the right thing. Then she resized the design to suit her appliques and the faces are machine embroidered. She did that part a while back - BEFORE she started the quilting process.

Faces were machine embroidered on the cats

Her goal for next month is to get at least THREE of the blocks for this next project. It's a wall hanging that's done in the hoop.

An Anita Goodesign design
 She has a number of blocks already completed. They're made with fleece which is pretty intriguing. It's all done in the hoop.

The stack of blocks that have already been stitched
Next up was Elaine S. I think the goal was to get the "bead" blocks done. She got the entire quilt top done! Yeah!!!!  We discussed some ideas for the quilting and she's going to experiment this coming month. She has some sample blocks that she made so she's got something to experiment on.  This is called Urban Abacus by Sew Kind of Wonderful.

Elaine's quilt top is finished

She also worked on the July 2017 shop hop quilt and got that assembled even though it wasn't on the homework list! Now for next month, she's committing to getting a border on the quilt and to cut a quilt that's called "Snapshots of New Zealand!" 

July 2017 July Shop Hop quilt 

Sharon got not one, but TWO borders on. And she almost completed sewing all the remaining blocks for the top and bottom borders!!!  This quilt is called Winter Wonderland by Crabapple Hill.

Sharon's quilt with TWO borders

I may have shown this before, but Diane's homework was to complete TWO quilt tops. The blocks were all completed. This is the first one that is the country look.

Diane's first quilt top
 Here's the second one which is a bit brighter. These two are from Laundry Basket Quilts and called Quilter's Patch. 

Diane's second quilt top
Shoot - I took a picture of Diane's next project but I forgot to locate it! I believe it's the 2016 July Shop Hop - the blue and white one.

Next up is DeDe. Here's her quilt top without borders!! It's so much fun. This one is called Blizzard Bunch by Pearl Louise

DeDe's almost finished her quilt top. 
And here's the troublesome block. That little sign - but it looks awesome!!!! 

The troublesome block is now DONE!!!!!

I have to go back into her e-mail to see what she is going to work on for the coming month.

This is Shelly's creative backing for her poodle quilt that she completed last month. She had some extra blocks and those got put into the backing. A nice big wide border around the outside and all is good!!!

The backing for Shelly's quilt
 And it looks like it's ready to be quilted. Here is the top, backing, and batting.

Shelly's poodle quilt is ready to be quilted
 I was working on two blocks from Stitcher's Garden quilt. I managed to get both blocks completed and I've committed to sewing TWO more. Hopefully the next two aren't quite as much work as these two were! But they are done and I'm that much closer to getting the quilt finished. 

Block one of mine - finished

Block two of mine - finished

Phew - that's a lot of finishing!!!  I'm so happy with the UFO club. We're all so motivated and everyone is picking great projects that have been hanging around for a while. Did you notice how many Christmas/winter quilts there are in the mix? And you may not notice, but there were quite a few that came from those year-long classes that I taught! Now if they had only stayed motivated through the class to get their projects completed!!!

Doesn't matter. What matters is that we're getting stuff done! And we all got our $10 back, except Linda because we haven't heard from her. So there's a total of $20 in the kitty at the moment.

I'll be running the club again next year and hopefully, Studio D will be finished by then. OK - it WILL be done and we may have a bit more room. Otherwise, we might try and do some online. But you'll hear all about the details as we get closer to that time.

Hopefully, you're motivated and following along with your own private UFO club at home.

Have a super day!!!!