Thursday, August 29, 2019

Behind my back!

I had the best birthday ever! All the wishes via Facebook, e-mails, phone calls and in person! I know people who poo-poo Social Media but seriously - how else would we stay in touch with each other. It's easy for those of us that live close to each other, but so many of us live miles apart and it's hard to stay in touch. A small snippet of what others are doing from time to time helps to stay in tune with their lives and helps to keep the relationship/friendship connected. I know my world would be much smaller without it!

Needless to say, it was nice to hear from everyone on my birthday whom I wouldn't have heard from without Social Media. Imagine how something like Facebook is changing the lives of someone who lives in a remote location or who no longer drives? Thanks to everyone!!!!

I was off to visit a friend at Yorkdale Mall for the morning. Holy - that place is HUGE. I haven't been there for years and it was like entering a totally different world for me. Mind you - I'm not a big shopper in the malls at the best of times. Anyway, we had an amazing conversation and I'm trying to work on some stuff that I'll be sharing when the time comes. It's all about expanding one's connections!

I did have to make a quick stop at Service Ontario to get my driver's license renewed. I know that they sent me the letter to get it done months ago, but what's the fun in that. I waited until the day the license expired, then I went! I'm so driven by a deadline that if I don't have one, I tend to slack off. I waited for about 25 minutes - I had a magazine so wasn't annoyed. The entire process took maybe 2 minutes once I got to the counter. I have to say that those ladies were extremely efficient. The line went quickly and the process was seamless.

And when I got home, there was a gift bag waiting on the table. Hmmm  - what's in here? Ah - two cards - one from DH and one from the girls. They always pick lovely cards and write a very sweet note. But what's in the bag? Something quilted - but what? and from whom? I opened it up and had a great chuckle. I quickly turned it over and NO LABEL. There was a slight SNAFU with the label which is coming.

My surprise wall hanging
 Turned it back over to try and figure out the culprits. Then I started to notice the work on the wall hanging. Hmmm - some machine embroidery. A couple of culprits came to mind who could have done that.

Machine embroidery 
But it was when I realized that the wording along the two sides was done by hand (I first thought they were done by machine), I knew one of the culprits. There is only ONE person I know who does a stem stitch by hand that perfect. That would be Shelly and if Shelly did the hand, then I was pretty certain that Angie did the machine embroidery. And if Shelly was involved, then Ronda had a hand in it as well!!!

PERFECT stem stitch by hand
 And there were pictures of me that were pulled from my blog. I have to say the quality of those pictures is pretty darn impressive. And the culprits picked my favorite fabrics - oranges and blues and fabrics with words on it.

Pictures were pulled from my blog

Turns out that M had a hand in it as well as she was in charge of pulling the pictures together. But who orchestrated it all? That would be DH. You could have knocked me over with a feather! This all happened with very short notice (while I was on vacation) and everyone pulled through (I heard there was even a sleepover involved in the process) and they all did a super job. They even sewed in a small piping style border. I'm very touched and THANK YOU to everyone who participated!!!!

The culprits - Ronda and Shelly

There was a rod and clips included to hang it up, but for the moment, it's hanging in the family room on the rod used for hanging quilts. I must find a special place for it. It gives me a smile every time I look at it.

Of course, when I asked DH about it, he wouldn't cough up any information and so I had to figure it out! Shelly, Ronda, DH and I went out for a birthday dinner although he wouldn't tell me who was coming, but I figured someone was. I got all the details then. Then he asked the question - what could he have done differently to make me believe he had made it. Ah - where do I start????  It was pretty funny and we all had a good laugh.

I thought I would share this picture with you about that quilt I recently quilted. It's very hard to see in the photo, but the center of this quilt has a few ruffles! The maker knew that. It wasn't her quilt. She was trying to finish it at the husband's request as his wife had passed away leaving a "few" unfinished projects. Of course, that scenario is NEVER going to happen for us? Right?

Anyway, this is a VERY CHALLENGING quilt. It's essentially a panel that's cut on the bias and a strip set is inserted. Then you slice the panel in another direction and insert more strips and so on until all those inserts are done. It's totally on the bias and it's a challenge to be sure. Hence, there were a few ruffles in the quilt. If you have this kit/pattern - be careful and PIN PIN PIN.

A few ruffles in the quilt

Here's the trick. I chose a fairly open pattern that would allow me to work the ruffles in without making any pleats or tucks. Because of the computer which will stitch out the pattern without human guidance, I was able to manipulate the excess fabric to prevent the tucks. Thank goodness for computerized long arms.

The end result which you saw the other day turned out great and surprise, surprise - when I trimmed it, the quilt was almost perfectly rectangular. In other words, it wasn't as wonky as it first appeared when I looked at it.

 I've been teaching quilting for just over 20 years! That's hard to believe. I don't usually teach kids, but I'm up for anything. If you remember - a while back, I had two young girls with the funky fabric for the pillowcases and the toy sewing machine. Here's a partial note from one of the Moms to the shop owner. I changed the names in case you try to connect the dots.

"I am Jane, the mom of Sue, the happiest girl in the world after her sewing lesson yesterday.

Sue is beyond thrilled with her (let's call it unique!?!?) fleece horse pillowcase and super-soft scrunchie. Thank you so much for your time, patience and fun demeanor with the girls.  Sue is also very happy that you provided a pattern to take home, as she is anxious to get a sewing machine and make more."

Isn't that just the sweetest thing?  And we need to be much more liberal in our thank yous to everyone. I keep saying that I want to write more personal notes to people to thank them for things they do for me. Anyway, I was very impressed with the note and the other girl in the class? The one with the toy sewing machine? Her parents bought her a real sewing machine!!! I see more classes in their future and that's what it's all about. Not the classes, but them learning to sew. I'm extremely excited for them!

On that note, I'm out of here! Got loads to do this week and I'm off to a running start today. 

Have a super day!!!!

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