Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Went to the gym. The real blog post is going to be late. Very late. So for those that want to read something over coffee right NOW, here's the latest issue of QUILTsocial magazine.

There's some great articles in there and some amazing projects.

The best way to view the magazine is to download it to your tablet. Then you get to keep it and go back for reference. And you can store them on your computer as well. It's time to move into the 21st century.

I'm good with audiobooks, although can't wrap my head around podcasts yet. Speaking of Podcasts, the daughter of a friend of mine is hosting a podcast called History of the 90s. Sign up for it!!!  I have - I just need to remember that I did that.

And I'm just the worse with ebooks and e-magazines. I just can't remember that I've downloaded the darn things and then they expire. Well, they do say that Rome wasn't built in a day and it's going to take me time to remember that. Of course, I have so much printed material in the house that when I sit down to read, I never think of the electronic versions.

On that note, I'm out of here to write the real blog!

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

May Your World

I'm not sure how this happened, but except for two short classes that are repeat classes so don't require any prep work, I have NOTHING scheduled for TWO entire weeks. How the heck did that happen?

Now that doesn't mean that I don't have things to do. What it means is that I actually have loads of time to get those things done. No deadlines, no pressure. Now that's not entirely true as there are deadlines, but nothing super urgent at the moment. The trick is to not fritter that time away and actually get work done!

I did manage to get a quilt quilted last night - it's one of mine destined for a magazine so I can't share it with you. But you'll see it soon enough. I think there are currently four more magazine quilts that are waiting to be assembled. 

In case you're looking to fill your calendar, here's a couple of classes that I'm teaching at The Hobby Horse in September. 

Bench Buddies

These little pillows (done with machine applique embroidery or regular applique) are the cutest things around. I'll be making samples this week and sharing with you. I want to make them ALL. They are small - you'll get one done in class and no UFO. The pattern is by Kimberbell. There are two different sizes of pillows for each month and there are two different books so far. A nice touch to change out each month.

Machine quilting

So if you haven't taken a machine quilting class with me - you should. There are so many factors related to machine quilting and it's NOT just about you and the machine. It's about needles and threads and solving your problems when you quilt at home when there's no one around to ask questions. If you're not sure about machine quilting, then you need to take this class. This is a technique class. NO UFOs to contend with. Matter of fact, this will help you clear up those UFOs.

POSH Santa

I showed you the sample that I made a while back. Here it is again in case you don't remember. It's so cute. And surprisingly, it's easy. YES - even with all those curves. You should have no problem getting this completed in a day. That's what we're looking for - classes you can finish in a day!!! This project uses the Sew Kind of Wonderful Mini Ruler. They have loads of other projects that use this ruler so it's not a one of kind of thing.

My version of POSH Santa

There are other classes, but this is a start. If you've never taken a class with me, you should. I try to make the classes fun, yet everyone goes away learning one little tidbit on pressing, accuracy or whatever.

You need to call the Hobby Horse to sign up.

Mondays are a strange day. First off, it's the BEST day of the week especially when we have Monday sewing. And there are times when I think I come home with more than I take. But the laughter, the conversation, the friendships - it's just the BEST. You cannot get that on-line or through social media. You just can't!

Yesterday, I got the backing for one of the community projects quilts that we worked on earlier this month. Lynn took the yardage home to make the backing for this giant quilt. That one got moved into the "to be quilted" pile.

To be quilted for community projects

Diane was finishing up the quilt that she took home. WHOA!!! That's pretty bright! Actually, the quilt above and this one are the SAME design. Just realized that. I have scraps of the two colors left so I hope to have enough to make the binding. I'll be doing that later today. This is a very fun quilt - I grabbed scrap yardage of several hot pinks and three small yardages of the other fabric. Cut it into strips and it went to Diane for sewing. There's a LOT of work in this one - we won't be doing that too often. The huge one above had been donated to me - it just needed the borders on and then it was done.

One more community projects quilt tops - done!

So what's the progress on the gingerbread quilt? I got the roof stitched in place and the rest of the candies. That leaves the hearts for the windows. I'm so excited  - I'm very close to getting this done.

Gingerbread block is ALMOST done

I very easily found the basket with the Ultrasuede in the stash room. It's amazing what you can find when you have access to everything. However, I've decided that if I persevered with fabric for all the other small bits, that I'm going to make the heart windows out of fabric as well. I'm going to try and get the edges turned under this week and then I'll stitch them next Monday.

Ultrasuede from the stash

Since the applique is almost finished, it's time to find another hand project for Mondays. I do have loads of projects that need prepping, but I also have this embroidery quilt. I think there are three blocks left including this one. A while back, I had traced all the lines onto the fabric. It's time. I can't take this home to my parents as every time, I pull it out, my Mom asks - is that the same embroidery (that I've taken each year for many years!)

Embroidery project 

If there are only three blocks left - then I should get it done in a reasonably short time. It's on my Dirty Dozen list from 2018 and it would be nice to start getting rid of some of those projects. Those quilts on those lists are the focus of my Monday sewing.

I wanted this to be a surprise for M, but I have to share it with you. I sent her a picture yesterday and I had to laugh at her comments. OMG DID I WRITE THAT ON A NOTE? along with a lot of laughing smiley faces. Nope - she didn't write it on a note - she drew a map. A map of our street with labels and colors. I discovered the map when I was cleaning up some of her stuff. I had a good chuckle about it, but when I learned that the challenge for Quilts at the Creek was Map Your World, I thought it would be super fun to convert her map into a quilt.

The original map

I enlarged the original by 200%. Ripped through the fabric baskets to find the big pieces needed. Sewed the background together and then appliqued the houses on. I satin stitched around all the houses and trees and then used my embroidery machine to do all the lettering. I had a lot of fun making this piece. The proportion is a wee bit off from reality, but as I was making this in M's old room (Studio U), I could see the one TWO of the three HOT GUY houses from where I was stitching.

M's neighborhood map recreated in fabric

And one of the "HOT GUYS" still lives at home and he waved to me the other day as he came home from work. I was walking the dog - he didn't see me in the studio! That would be wrong!

And for the record, Murphy goes hysterical whenever I see the Mom walking their dog (Bentley). She just can't control herself. Why is that???

When I did my walkabout at Quilts at the Creek, the ladies thought it would be a great idea to take a picture of them pointing to the hot guys. I LOVE IT. Thanks to all who came for the walkabout. It was a lot of fun and I LOVE this picture.

Ladies pointing out the HOT GUY houses

I'm going to phototransfer her map onto the back of the quilt and add a label. Hope to get that done this week. I do NOT want to have this hanging over my head - get it DONE.

I didn't mention that on one of the sewing days a couple of weeks ago, that we had a visitor. Someone was coming to pick up stuff that I had posted on my blog. So Cathie and Gail stopped by and Cathie brought me a couple of little presents!!!  Thanks so much, Cathie! I love the dish towel and the license plate (from Row by Row) is ADORABLE!!!!

Embroidered dish towel and a row by row license plate

On that note, I'm out of here. I'm super excited. The next quilt is loaded on the long arm. I've got lists of what needs to be done - I just need to focus and I'm going to have a great day! We have a gentle rain happening right now. Hmm - I could still sit outside in the gazebo and read. But then I could stay in the house and listen to the audiobook while I work!!!!

Have a great day!!!


Monday, July 29, 2019

Behind the scenes

What a great day at Quilts at the Creek!!!!  Yes - it was hot. But if you go prepared for that, it's not so bad. Says the person who hasn't yet turned on the air conditioner! If you live in a non-air conditioned environment, being outside is just fine. I'd rather the windows wide open in my house than freeze in one part and be stifled in another (as is the case with most two-story houses). It works for us and I find that the heat is much easier to handle when you're always in the heat.

What does blow me away is when I'm out walking the dogs in the morning and I hear people's air conditioners going and it's 16 degrees outside. That's just wrong and I wonder what their inside temperature is set to? I'd be dressed up in many layers if I lived there.

Matter of fact, at one point last night as we were finishing up, I couldn't wait to get outside to warm up! I absolutely detest air conditioning! But I'm the minority!

It was like an old home week over the last two days. Saw so many familiar faces and met some new ones too. People that I "know" from Instagram and Facebook, but had never put a face to. It was great fun to meet up. I'm going to share those stories later this week because they deserve more time than I have this morning.

I got to see the Prince exhibit from the Cherrywood Challenge. Oh my gosh - I can't believe the pieces of art. They were stunning. So much detail in those pieces. And it's amazing to see how each person represented Prince (the singer). The creativity was well - it was over the top. If you didn't get a chance to see these pieces, the exhibit is traveling for the next few months. Check out the travel schedule - you should really see it. Only half of the quilts were on display as the show is split in two and we got to see half. The winning quilt was among the pieces and it was to die for.

All of the quilts have been published in a book which you can get at The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop in Seaforth if you're traveling this summer. You can also buy it on-line.

Carol's quilt was amongst those accepted for this show. Yeah, Carol!!!!! Shoot - I didn't get that great of a picture. But this is Carol all the way. That precise piecing!!! I guess you'll have to buy the book to see a better picture of it!

Carol's piece in the Prince challenge

After the show closed, I helped take the quilts down. Not quite as fast as last year. There was a wee issue of rain last year at about 4 PM. The quilts were down and in a building in about 5 minutes. I didn't time it yesterday, but it really didn't take that long before everything was down.

Then the waiting began as the volunteers sorted, bagged, checked and rechecked to make sure that no quilts went missing.

Jane had taken my quilts to the show, but since I was there, I might as well bring them home. But I had to wait for Jane to get all the quilts that she had delivered. In the meantime, we had a great chat about life, cars, teaching kids to quilt and much more!!!

Then there was the task of getting all the quilts to Jane's car. A wagon train of course! Those collapsible wagons are just the best. I see there is a new style that allows the wagon to fold up even more compact. That's awesome!

This is what Janes' car looked like as she drove away. It was packed front and back with bags of quilts! Not sure if she could see out her back window.

A car of quilts

The back was packed

I do hope that everyone appreciates the work that goes on behind the scenes in any event. What you see on the surface is all the fun stuff, but behind the scenes and Quilts at the Creek was no exception, there are a ton of people who pull it together. I won't even mention all the categories of volunteers because there are many.

Quilts at the Creek is a great event, I had loads of fun (again). Except that I think I got bitten by a horsefly. There was this big thing on my arm which I quickly brushed away, but not before the silly thing bit me. It hurts today and is itchy even though there's no really a mark. But the spot is swollen. Damn bugs. I can deal with the heat, but do NOT give me bugs.

I found pictures of two other things that are up for grabs. Nothing exciting. I found two brand new boxes that would work for boxing up a quilt as a gift. They are folded flat.

Two boxes

And I discovered the grid for basting a quilt using the basting gun. I think I used it once but I used to take it to my classes to show students how it worked. I don't even bother anymore. But if you like to use the basting gun and want it or know of another creative use for it????  Anyway - it's going at some point.
Grid for basting quilts with a basting gun

Someone should make a museum of all these tools and gadgets that have been created over the years. Then we can go back and remember how it was done "in the old days!". What a laugh.

I'm off to Monday sewing. I haven't found my red Ultrasuede yet, but if I can get that white roof stitched on my block, I'll be very happy.

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Quilts at the Creek

Don't forget - today is the LAST day for the Quilts at the Creek show. It's taking place at Black Creek Pioneer Village. I took a quick walkabout yesterday and it was amazing to see all the quilts flapping in the wind. Totally beautiful and totally inspiring. My quick tour spotted some familiar quilts but also lots of new ones. And gorgeous!!!!  I can't wait to have more time today to walk amongst the quilts.

The Prince (Cherrywood challenge) is inside the Visitor's Center. I'm volunteering in that room today so I'll get a good look at the quilts. I know from viewing past Cherrywood challenges, that those quilts will be well worth seeing.

There's also a lecture by Valerie Goodwin (our instructor from yesterday's workshop) and it'll be FABULOUS. She's a wonderful instructor - her work with map quilts is truly amazing. And she's using technology to make that happen. I love it!!!!

I'm doing a walkabout at 3 PM. Meet up at the Town Hall so we can start the tour.

When I got home, it was time to bind some quilts. And someone had asked me about the winding video for the binding.

Here I am installed in my favorite place to sew on the binding. I had the window open and there was a magnificent breeze coming in. M always complained that this room was too hot and while it can be hot, there's a great breeze that comes through when the windows are open.

Set up to do bind a quilt
 After I wind the binding into a figure eight, I place it in front of the sewing machine. Here's the link to the post with the video on how to wind the figure eight. I know that people like to be creative - I really do. And I know how people like to make gadgets and put their brand on them. There are a TON of tools and gadgets on the market related to putting the binding on a quilt. It might be a tool to miter the corners, a tool to finish off the final join or something to wind the binding onto while you sew it onto the quilt.

Not to be the naysayer, but NONE of those gadgets are necessary. Putting a binding on without gadgets and tools is so simple. There are no tools to dig out (if you can remember that you have them), there are no tools to store, no tools to lose, no tools to manage. I'm all about simple.

So - here's the binding set out in front of the sewing machine.

The figure-eight of binding is set up in front of the sewing machine

I use my finger and thumb as a guide as the binding comes out of that figure-eight - remember to pull the binding from the CENTER of the figure-eight or it doesn't work. I was trying to see if I had a tried and true method for my hand position, but both of these hand positions seem to work. I think it just comes naturally to hold it like that. There is no twisting as that binding comes out of the figure-eight which means putting the binding on super easy and FAST!!!

Hand position for adding the binding

A slight variation of hand position

The bottom line - the thumb goes underneath the binding to guide it into the sewing machine.

Anyway - it works for me and I finished off the binding on one of the Quilts of Valour quilts. This is the quilt that our group sewed at the quilt retreat earlier this month. Seems like eons ago now.

Binding on a Quilts of Valour quilt
I was on a roll, so I got the binding completely on one more quilt for Quilts of Valour. 

Binding on one more quilt for Quilts of Valour 

I got the binding partially on the last Quilts of Valour quilt. I ran out of the binding and have to make some more. I didn't feel like doing that last night. That's a job for tonight.

Then I dug out two quilts that have been sitting here. One of them was designated as a Quilts of Valour quilt. Shoot - it's the one our group made LAST YEAR at the retreat. I kept it back because of how the decorative stitch used to sew the binding on and I was using it as a demo. I need to make a new sample of that stitch. In the meantime, the quilt is going to be delivered this week. I also pulled out a scrap quilt from my quilt stash. I still use the quilt for trunk shows, but I have TWO of them and only use one for the trunk show.

Quilts to be delivered to Quilts of Valour

Now back to Quilts at the Creek. Here's my Mandala quilt hanging up. I LOVE this quilt. It's made with Northcott's Artisan Spirit Shimmer. Very nice to have that large range of color and value. I see on the web page that they have some NEW patterns. Oh dear - I feel a new quilt design coming up. This quilt was on the cover of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine a while back. (Issue 47 from 2018). It was hanging in the aisle as you entered the village. Every time I walked past someone was admiring the quilt and saying how pretty it is. That's all I need - someone to admire my creativity. I'm happy!!!

Mandala quilt

I had to see where my other quilt was hanging. Oh - it's with the other map quilts way at the far end of the village. Of course, it is!!!!  I ran over there and snapped this picture. I know you can't really see my quilt, but it's in the picture. I'll be sharing a better picture later. It's really cute and very funny. I also watched a few people admiring the quilt and when they realized what it was (you MUST read the words on the quilt or it means nothing), you'll get a chuckle!!!  I wonder what M will say when she sees it.

Some of the map quilts on display at Quilts at the Creek

Now let's zip to the workshop. It's very difficult to know what to bring to a workshop. Fabric - lots of fabric. I took my scrap boxes and that was the BEST thing I could have done. We sewed a small collage. This is about 12" by 6".

After several steps in the mapping process

It's totally improv. The background was collaged (I've got some great ideas for future pieces), we painted it (I found a tube of blue acrylic paint before I left, not really my first choice) and there are some sheer fabrics on it (I used light so doesn't really show).

Next up was to cut the piece into several pieces (if you didn't want to you didn't have to). I followed instructions - YES - I was a good student!

Then it was onto handwork and embellishing. I found some dark scraps in the brown bin I had taken. So what is it?? Well, it looks like some cows running on the side of a road or is that a river?? Actually, now that I think about it, there's an illuminated BLUE bicycle path somewhere in Europe (Poland). That's what my piece is - I now need to find a way to represent the bike path.  Oh yes - this is going to be perfect!!!!

It was a super fun workshop. I was glad that I went. This is the kind of thing that I want to do in my free time. I think it's something where you'll get infinitely better the more you do. It's a truly creative process and I like doing that kind of stuff. I just need to schedule that into my day and STOP reading so much!!!  I can read when my hands have given out. For now, I need to get some of this fun stuff out of me!!!!!

Someone popped in to see me in the workshop room yesterday. I won't say her name to protect her identity!! BUT she asked me when I was going to get organized. I think she was talking about Studio B and when it was going to be finished. Not for a long time. However, I beg to differ on her thoughts about me being organized. I am a SUPER organized person. (for the most part). I know where almost every supply and piece of fabric is situated in both Studios. A few projects are AWOL at the moment because of all the shuffling around. So to answer her question - I AM organized. I just have a lot of stuff that still needs to be managed. Two different things!!!!

On that note, that's it for today.

Have a super day!!!!!


Saturday, July 27, 2019

What you get for free

Don't forget that this weekend is Quilts at the Creek at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This is the LAST time this show will be held (unless someone comes forward to organize it!).  There'll be loads of gorgeous quilts to see and some of them are for sale! There's the Prince challenge (Cherrywood) to view which is going to be stunning and if you see no other show, this exhibit one is worth a visit. It's indoors I believe so if you need to cool down, this is the place to go.

There's going to be the map quilts from the "Map Your World" challenge. I love challenges - it's fun to see how people interpret the theme. From that link, you can see several of them that don't really look like "real" maps but are representational of a map of a life or an event or something. That's one of the most interesting parts of a challenge - viewing the end results. My quilt is a very literal map - a view of the neighborhood from a child's eye. It's quite fun.

There was a map workshop yesterday with Valerie S. Goodwin. I wonder how it went??? I'm all packed for my class today. The supply list is quite varied - paints, brushes, fabric. The only thing I can't find is the fabric medium. Hopefully, someone will have some I can borrow. I know I have some - it's just the question of which box it's in. I thought I had the right box set aside, but it's not the right fabric medium.

It was fairly easy to assemble the tools. They fit into a small container. But fabric - what to take?? The list said take lots in various values. Lots of lights. Hmm - I refuse to cart tons of fabric to a class. Considering that we're making SMALL map collages, I settled on TWO scrap boxes. Those precious shoeboxes of scraps. I have a box of brown and a box of light. I threw in a couple of larger pieces that can be used as the base. I think it's a brilliant plan. There are LOADS of variety in those boxes. I'm going to make do with what I have with me. I can't wait!!!!

And a clarification about the trunk shows. Even though I'm listed under the trunk show list for Sunday, I'll be leading a walkabout of the show. I'll be checking out the quilts today, but I think I'm going to spend some time chatting about the map quilts since they are a challenge and as I already mentioned, I love challenges. That's at 3 PM on SUNDAY. Meet up is at the Town Hall. Plus I'll be chatting about some of the other quilts. It's going to be fun!!!! 

I must admit that I was a bit of a slug yesterday. I got 2 ½ bindings on quilts and then - well it was too nice to stay in the house so I went to the backyard. I know - I shouldn't have, but I did. Summer is too short and there was nothing super urgent on the list. I finished my book, had a nice nap and did a bit of weeding. It was glorious!!!!

I also prepped for my class last night which was a bit of a challenge as I was looking for a particular quilt top! Do you think I could find it? Nope, but then I started digging a bit deeper and spotted it through the clear plastic of the tub it was hiding in. Now I have to put stuff away, but that's for later tonight - after the workshop. The class is a 2 part class on half square triangle quilts. Making and designing them. The ladies went home with visions of great quilts in their heads. Can't wait to get to the fun part in the next class.

I've had some pictures sitting in the editor for a while and time to get them edited and up on the blog. Talk about an obsessive quilter. Perhaps I should talk about myself in the third party so it won't look so bad.

So there's this quilter I know. She's totally obsessed with fabric. Not only does she collect fabric in many colors, but she has a thing for novelty prints. Look at what she has.

One laundry basket of novelty prints

Wait - there's more!

Another laundry basket of novelty prints

But we're not done......................

More novelty prints

I like novelty prints, but this woman is crazy!! I heard she's no longer buying novelty prints, although she does look every time she's in a quilt store. Thank goodness for that. Where would she store them? I heard she put them in FIVE cardboard boxes (best option at the moment) and they are stacked (and labeled) in the large storage room. I hear she's going to be cutting them up into squares and making kids quilts from them. How long will that take?? Years - she had better start now.

Seriously - how the heck did all that accumulate? I did remove two fabrics because I want to make a couple of things for myself.

Two novelty prints removed from the massive pile

Remember, the goal of this organization is NOT to necessarily reduce the stash. It's to get everything neat and tidy so when I want something, it's easy to find. I'm eliminating some stuff now and then I know I'll go through it again and again to cull it. Each time will take less time.

I even found a basket of denim. I believe this is all denim pants. Some have been cut apart, some have not. I always wanted to make a denim scrap quilt. So I'll cut what I need and the rest goes. How much denim does one need to stockpile if you're not into making things with denim??  It is NOT up for grabs just yet. I need to go through it first.

Laundry basket of denim
Did you notice that there are three laundry baskets in today's post? Yep - kind of silly because they can't be stacked and that takes up a lot of floor space. No wonder everything was laying all over the floor. If I wasn't going to put bindings on yesterday, I could at least have done some tidying!

OK - so here are some FREE things. All different sorts of containers. I have a feeling that these are going to the thrift store. 

Containers for free

White boxes up for grab

Odd sized containers

I have a couple of comments to make about free stuff. First I want to say that I'm impressed with your restraint. I've gotten rid of most of the stuff that I've posted on my blog. It's gone to a variety of homes and I know that the people who are taking the stuff will work with what they got. Perhaps not right away. I'm OK with that. No one is asking for everything. I know that you're all in the same boat as myself with the amount of stuff you have. I'm truly impressed.

So here's my beef about free stuff. Please note - this has NOTHING to do with me. I've not been involved except to be aware of the "complaints". I've seen the feedback on various Social media platforms, in person, e-mail, you name it. Let's say that you find a pattern on the internet for free. Hey - that's exciting. You download it and start to make it. Wait a  minute - there's a mistake in the pattern. It's perfectly fine to send the designer a note and gently explain that there is a mistake. Sometimes those mistakes are NOT mistakes, just a misinterpretation of the pattern.

It's EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to write a pattern so that ALL skill levels can understand. Some people are better with visual instructions and some people are better with words. Some of the people who design free patterns are NOT pattern designers but got roped into it for whatever reason. A sew-along, a blog hop, a physical shop hop. Whatever. We have to remember that these patterns are FREE.

If there's a mistake and you can figure it out yourself, then do so. Send the designer a note and move on. If you can't figure it out, ask a friend. But DO NOT COMPLAIN.  It's free!!!!  If you don't like it, then don't download or collect the free patterns. While you and I may be computer savvy (yes - I think I'm pretty good with the computer even though some days it hates me), many shop owners and casual designers are NOT savvy with the computer and do not know how to write a pattern.

It's like anything else - "buyer" beware. Please don't complain about free stuff. You don't have to acquire it or use it. And you should not feel obligated to use it if you don't like it. This is where you can let your creativity run loose. What can you do to that free pattern to make it your own!!!!

Wait - did you download the app from yesterday's QUILTsocial blog??? It was hilarious when I was doing my machine embroidery on my map quilt the other day. I'm listening to my audiobook and kept getting interrupted when the machine gave me a notice that the embroidery was done!! I could have shut the notifications off, but I didn't.

On that note - I'm out of here. I'm excited about my class today. If you're at Black Creek Pioneer Village today, stop by and say HI. We're in the basement of the Visitor Center. I'll sit at the back so we don't disturb the class.

Have a super day!!!!!


Friday, July 26, 2019

That was intense!

This weekend is Quilts at the Creek at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Yes - it's going to be humid. Take water and dress accordingly. This is the LAST year for the show so you had better come out. Seeing the quilts ruffling in the wind and in that setting is just amazing. One of the traveling shows of the Cherrywood Challenge (Prince is the theme) will be on display. That is well worth seeing.

Every year they have a sort of theme. This year it's all about maps. The challenge was called Map Your World. I'm taking a map/collage class tomorrow which I haven't prepared a single thing for. But they always ask for quilts that follow that theme. I like to participate if I can.

I found something when I was cleaning that I thought would be fun to recreate for this "challenge". Of course, I left it until the last minute. Actually, I had started it but did not get too far into the process. I WANTED that quilt in the show so I was determined to get it done.

I finished cutting the appliques by noon. Then I fired up the Husqvarna Viking Opal 690Q (my everyday sewing machine) and zipped through the satin stitch. Fast, but not fast enough. It took a long time - there were a lot of pieces to applique and lots of thread changes. The main part of this piece are the words. How to get those words on my quilt????  Why I have an embroidery machine sitting at the ready, so I fired up the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC and using the super cool technology like Design Positioning, I got the words onto the piece.

I'm not even sure what time it was by then. I took small breaks, but nothing serious. I had a goal. Jane even offered to come and pick up the quilt. Sorry - it's not done yet. I'm sure she just smiled when she read that!

Now back to the Opal 690Q to quilt the piece. Whipped out my brand new ruler foot and quilted part of it with that foot and the rest was done with free motion. I was determined to get the piece trimmed and ready for binding before I went to bed.

Yep - that quilt was trimmed (it's not huge - about 36" by 20") before I went to bed and the binding strips were cut. I was in bed by 10.

Up bright and early this morning and I'm happy to report that the binding is on the quilt. All that remains is to pin the label to the back and then I'm off to deliver it to Jane.

It's not a super spectacular quilt, but it's FUN. And I love it. I'll share the quilt and the inspiration next week. It's so cute. I'm very glad that I persevered and finished it. I hate having these inspirations for a particular show, getting started and then not finishing. I was determined to NOT let that happen.

I have lots of projects that I want to get finished by the end of the month. I haven't taken a single thing off my wireframe of tasks in Studio U. However by the end of the day, I'll have removed several of the tasks so I'm happy about that.

I'll be binding quilts all day. I think there are five that need binding and I promised (to myself) that all three of the Quilts of Valor quilts would be delivered by TODAY. They are quilted, trimmed and the binding is made so that shouldn't take too long. I still have to prep for the workshop tomorrow and I have a class tonight!!  It seems that the treadmill never ends!

But I love this kind of thing. This is what makes me tick and the days when I don't have a deadline, I'm a total slug. I feel lost. What am I going to do when I don't have a serious deadline? I'll be napping and reading full time in the gazebo. I'm not ready for that yet, but a little less intense day would be fine by me. However, I put an audiobook on my phone and I was happy as a clam as I worked. I didn't even see the time pass.

This is the aftermath of yesterday.

Things to put away

As I went along, I tried to keep things more or less tidy, but I still have all this to put away. I'm not sure how many different spools of thread I used, presser feet and other tools. But it feels good to know where everything is. That's why it's so important that all this go back to it's home. OH - and I found the PERFECT backing for this map quilt. I'll show you that next week as well.

You know that I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love when it works and hate it when it doesn't. Notice I haven't complained about my computer in a long time. Once I got that new hard disk and upgraded the memory, things have been amazing.

Well, here's some technology that I'm LOVING. If you've been reading QUILTsocial this week, you know that I created a small project and promised to share it with the readers. You need to check out how I shared the file. This technology (created by Husqvarna Viking) is so cool. We tested the links so hopefully when you go to get that file, everything will work. If you don't have the app or the account (both are FREE), then you need to get that. Then it's easy to get the project. All the instructions are on the QUILTsocial blog.

Once you have the app and an account, the next project I send will be as easy as clicking SAVE. You need to read all about at QUILTsocial.

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got two labels to pin on and I told Jane I'd leave at 7 AM to get to her house before she leaves to deliver the quilts.

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, July 25, 2019

How to move a mountain - one box at a time

There are some days when I sit down to write about what happened the day before and a total blank! Thank goodness for pictures! I actually spent a good part of the day figuring out some new technology which I'll share with you tomorrow.

Once the technology stuff was sorted, I was hefting boxes in Studio B - determined to clear some space. Here's what happened.

One of the things that I'm really trying to get coordinated is to put similar things together. I don't care if they are upstairs or downstairs or wherever, as long as all of the same kind of thing is together. Case in point, on the weekend, I was trying to find the inserts for my portable sewing table. I had inserts that had been unearthed, but they weren't working. Then later that day when I went upstairs, I found two more in the bathroom. Shoot!!!

I have this odd little corner in the storage room and didn't know what to put there. All the extension tables and inserts (that I'm not currently using) for my two sewing tables are now stored in one spot. I think that's the first time ever. When I need an insert, I can find the right one very quickly.

Inserts and extension tables for the sewing machines/sewing cabinets

I was determined to get through the huge stack of boxes that was close to the long arm. I'm not sure how many there were in this area, but loads. Many of them were books and magazines so that was good to get those emptied. This is the area where I store the "to be quilted" stuff. You can see my tubs on the right of the photo. That wooden frame supports the customer stuff. I didn't take a picture after I was finished, but it's all organized now. I know of two of my quilts that are missing from that area, but I'm sure I'll find them in a box. I still have one more huge stack of boxes to go through. But now that the wooden rack is moved, I'll start from the front of that stack and work my way back into the last area. It's truly like being on an archeological dig.

Getting organized in the "to be quilted" pile

Speaking of quilting, yes - I did get a customer quilt done last night. Yeah!!

Customer quilt - done

I was getting tired by then and wasn't going to load the next quilt, but then I thought better of that idea. Needless to say, the next quilt is on the machine and ready to go today. It's one of mine for a magazine so you won't be able to see it. But I HAVE to keep up that pace or I will never get through my quilts. I'm doing pretty good with customer stuff.

So how are those bookcases looking after emptying all those boxes???  Not quite full but close.

The books
There's still one almost empty shelf in the corner and along the bottom. There are also places on almost every shelf to add a few more. I'm running out of shelf space and you know what that means - time to cull. Don't judge me - I know I've got an obsession with books. I blame that entirely on my mother!!!

The same obsession with the magazines, however, there's still loads of space on those shelves. I've got a plan, but I needed to get them out of the boxes first.

The magazines

That was a LOT of lifting. It's more my hands that played out than my arms or back. But it sure feels good to get that one pile gone. There are also a few things now on the work tables that need to be dealt with before I start on the next round of boxes.

Here's my gingerbread block. It's almost all stitched in place. A few of the candies at the bottom and the roof remain to be stitched. However, I'm not sure that I know where my white thread is for that. I hope it surfaced in one of the boxes of thread that I found last night. I also need to search out some red Ultrasuede for the heart windows. The edge of that roof is going to be fun to needle turn.

Gingerbread block

 So here's something for you to contemplate. Someone showed this to me the other day. It's a stamped tablecloth ready for hand embroidery. The pattern is stamped on it. How many of these still exist and have never been started? See - we get our habits from our parents!!!

Anyway, the tablecloth is up for grabs for free if anyone wants it.

Table cloth ready for embroidery

Detail of embroidery design

Detail of embroidery design

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. Something very cool and a great way to embellish projects.

On that note, I"m out of here. More computer work this morning and then I'm back in the studio for the remainder of the day!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The photoshoot

Yesterday, my phone wouldn't stop ringing. I can go for days without the phone ringing. People send texts mostly which works for me, but I had a couple of long calls to take yesterday and then it was crazy how many other people called me.

My poor phone even died at one point! So while I did accomplish a lot, I was supposed to be working at the computer. Which I did in between phone calls.

Near the end of the day, I ran to the mailbox. Oh, a big white envelope. That usually means advance copies of a magazine. Sure enough - there was the September/October issue of Quiltmaker. What's in this one??? I have several quilts waiting to be published.

OH - it's the one with the Designer Spotlight and I was one of the designers chosen for that issue. I'm so excited about it. Happy dance!!!!!!

Do you remember back a couple of months ago that I cleaned all the quilts off the railing in my house? Where did they go?? They were used for a photoshoot which of course, I didn't want to tell you. Here are some outtakes from that photoshoot.

This was the original picture of SOME of the quilts hanging out on my upstairs railing.

Quilts hanging out on the railing

I thought I'd fold them all and put them in stacks to use as a backdrop. That was a LOT of folding. My upper body got quite the workout that day.

Then to test the shot. The camera is sitting on a tripod and I'm testing using the self-timer. Gosh - I'm still in my PJs. And yes - there's a helper although she wasn't much of a helper. But she made it fun for the photoshoot!

Test shot

PHEW - that's a lot of quilts. This isn't any of the small ones and NONE of the ones "to be quilted". Those are all mine and mostly ones that I've made. There might be one or two that I've acquired along the way. There's me sitting on my tuffet!

Me with my quilts

Then Miss Murphy said she wanted to be in the picture too. OK - then get in the picture. It's always a challenge with pets and a 10-second timer. Let's just say that Murphy and I had a LOAD of fun as we did this photo shoot. You'll have to buy the magazine to see what photo actually made it in.

Oh, Murph!!!!!

Here's the cover of the magazine. It's the September/October issue of Quiltmaker. It's probably not on the newsstand quick yet, but it'll be out very soon.

September/October issue of Quiltmaker
 There's the title on the page - Designer Spotlight - on ME!!!!!

Designer Spotlight!!!

I was running around with a camera in my hand for a good part of the day and still didn't get a photo of the gingerbread block. That's a story for another day. But I do have a picture of the quilt that I quilted two days ago. It's a panel and needs to have the binding on as it's a gift. Flannel front and back. I found this in my kit collection when Ronda and I went through it. That saved me buying a new one!!!

Baby quilt of mine - quilted!!!!

With all the interruptions yesterday and I had to teach a class last night, I didn't get around to quilting a quilt, but I hope to get that done today. I have a wee bit of some urgent computer/sewing machine work to tidy up today. Ronda's trying to be my assistant and helping me with the deadlines! I'm good - just had one too many days of fun!

I thought I would share this Row by Row video with you. The Row by Row has been going on for several years. I think it's petering out, but there are still shops participating. I stumbled across a collaborative quilt (eight shops got together to make a coordinated quilt top from their blocks) three years ago. It's become a tradition for us to collect the blocks for those collaborative quilts. Check out the video and you'll see. Our trusty navigator, Laura, has made it happen three years in a row. It's quite the day, but we manage to hit all 8 shops in one day. No small feat considering that some of them close at 3 PM on a Saturday.

Don't forget that it's my week for blogging on QUILTsocial. Check out the little wall hanging that I made.

So much more to share - I'm surprised my computer isn't protesting over the number of photos sitting in Photoshop to be edited. So far so good, but I MUST clear that today!!!

OH before I go, I have to share this with you. Elle left a comment on my blog about buying stuff. I think her financial yardstick is AMAZING.

value every purchase in hours of life (the price of an item divided by hours to earn it). A VERY helpful tool in money management.

Isn't that just the BEST financial advice ever????   Thanks, Elle!!!!  You can read the rest of her comment at the end of yesterday's blog.

Have a super day!!!!!