Monday, September 30, 2019


Another super day! We had a small turnout for the UFO club, but I received pictures of the homework and that's all that counts. No one wants to cough up their $10. I'll be posting those pictures later this week as well. I've got loads to edit and load and not a ton of time to do it. YES - there'll be a new UFO club starting in January. Everyone wants me to do it again and we all accomplished so much. You can watch for those details. There will be two formats. One where you show up to my house and we all ooh and aah over your work and the second will be via e-mail/facebook or whatever. Both options will require that you put money upfront and if you get your work done on time, you'll get it back.

Then I spent the remainder of the day puttering. No time for decluttering - it was work time and I was busy with the long arm, the embroidery machine, and a sewing machine. Then I read!

One more customer quilt is completed. The blocks are from two different Lori Holt (Bee in my Bonnet) books and they are GORGEOUS. The entire quilt is beautiful. It's now trimmed and ready for delivery later today.

Customer quilt - DONE

I'm sure this magazine has hit the newsstands now. It's the November/December issue of Quiltmaker. Oh my - there are TWO of my quilts in the magazine.

Quiltmaker magazine - November/December

Here's the first one. This one was slated to go in a different publication, but the issue got cut in the restructuring. Since they already had the quilt, they put it in a different publication. It's made from a strip pack and some background fabric from the Northcott Toscana collection.

My quilt

Here's the second quilt. Yep - this one is made from DENIM and DOILIES! I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but when I see it in the publication, I rather like it!!!!

Second quilt

I do try to keep a positive vibe to the blog because I'm a super positive person. And this technically isn't a negative thing, but I'm going to mention it because I think it's important.

It has to do with respecting ourselves and those around us. A couple of incidents happened recently that I feel compelled to share.

The class had started and a lady came in late. I'm OK with that. Life happens and you just can't get there on time. I'd rather that you be late than not arrive. However, this lady was so NOT prepared for the class. She had forgotten her pattern and had to borrow from someone in the class. She didn't have all her fabrics cut as per the requirements so she had to hog the pattern (which wasn't hers). Her fabrics were rolled into a ball and were very wrinkly and that's how she tried to cut them with her DULL rotary cutter. We were using a curved ruler in this class and well - I doubt her ruler is useable after what she did to it. She ignored my suggestions that she buy a new blade. Her fabrics were tossed all over the floor as she was cutting.

I did get a chuckle though as when I got home and two days later went to look for something in the bottom of my purse, I found a scrap of her fabric. Things were flying so much - it doesn't surprise me that something ended up in my purse which was sitting under the table.

Fabric scrap in my purse

I so appreciate the comments, feedback, and discussions in a class. I welcome them and I encourage them. BUT when I or someone else is talking, and several people are having a side conversation - well - that's just damn disrespectful. I gently reminded them that I was talking. Within minutes, it started up again. Seriously????  What the heck is going on??? I think it happened three times in total during a one hour class. OK - I might be boring, but I'm not that boring? Am I????

If you're having a side conversation about something relative to the class then share the comments with the class. Everyone has a turn and let others know what you did. That's why we come to class to hear the feedback from everyone. If you're having a side conversation about something totally unrelated, then leave the room.

For some reason, when people have these side conversations, they think they are being quiet. HELLO!!!!!  We can all hear you whispering. What drives me crazy is that they think they can get away with it. I'm tired of it happening and I'll call anyone out who does it. I'm at that age that I don't care. You want to have a side conversation - leave the room. The rest of the people are trying to hear what I or the others are saying. NO ONE wants to hear your whispering!!

Years ago, I wrote an article in the Tech Tip series for A Needle Pulling Thread magazine. The Tech Tips were later published in a book that is still available online if you sign up for QUILTsocial. If you have my book, please read that article before you go to your next class. On the link, scroll down on the right-hand side to see the sign up to get your electronic version of my book.

Elaine's Tech Tips

Classroom Etiquette article

What bothers me the most is how disrespectful people are of others around them. I was in a store the other day and some lady was yakking on her cellphone on SPEAKERPHONE. It's bad enough that I have to hear her yakking at a high volume so she could ensure the other person can hear her, but I don't need to hear the entire conversation. I gently tapped her on the arm and said that the store did NOT need to hear her conversation. She looked at me startled that someone would even say that to her. She was speaking a language that I couldn't identify and I'm sure I was called a few names that I didn't understand, but she took it off the speaker. Why does someone (an adult) need to be told that?

Our world is going to hell in a handbasket and fast. Part of that is the total disrespect that we are giving to others. And the adults are setting a GREAT example for our kids. THINK THINK THINK - you might be having a grand time, but your actions are extremely annoying to those around you. And you're not just annoying me, but others as well!

Just drives me crazy!

So I got a new phone last week and I decided to read a book on it. I happened upon a book at the library for the Galaxy s10. I know - sounds so basic, but I read the first two chapters last night and I learned a few things about cellphones in general that I didn't know and a few things about my phone in particular. It's a fast and easy read so I should be able to zip through it fairly quickly. I'm determined to become a techie.

Speaking of which, the other morning I was listening to the radio on my iPad. I now use the Radio Canada Player app all the time in Studio B. The other morning, the audio just stopped. WHAT????  So I messed around with it and I googled how to fix it and I'm not sure what I did, but I can listen to the radio again. Phew!!!! I thought I had an expensive repair in front of me. If you don't use that Radio Canada Player app, you should. It's great and you can listen to a ton of radio stations. No static like I used to get in the basement. I'm loving it!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!!


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Machine quilting is so much fun!!!!

What an amazing day yesterday! We had the best show and tell from the two ongoing classes. The level of creativity of the students in the class never ceases to amaze me. I don't have time to post the pictures this morning, but later today, I'll be editing and loading so I can get those up.

Then a class on machine quilting. There's so much to tell the students in that class. It's my favorite class to teach. This one is the basics - somewhat in-depth on needles and threads and setting up your sewing machine. We talk tension, thread colors, exercises to improve and a whole lot more. I get so wound up in that class. With TEN people in the class, it was busy!!!

If you haven't taken a machine quilting class from me, you should. You'll learn so much. I think the biggest hurdle to machine quilting for anyone is the lack of confidence and the lack of sewing machine knowledge. NO ONE wants to touch the tension on their machine. It's a dial! It can be reset to the same tension that you started with.

So any takers for machine quilting?

Then I was back home to try and get some more embroidery done. DH suggested watching a movie. Sure, I was going to do other things, but I could watch a movie. So while we sat and watched the movie, I was monitoring the progress of the embroidery on the mySewMonitor app on my phone which showed me EXACTLY where I was in the stitch out process and the few times I had to change the bobbin or change color or attend to a broken top thread, I got the message on the phone. We simply paused the movie, I fixed the problem and then restarted the embroidery machine and the movie. How brilliant is that!!!! 

Now, this is possible because the embroidery machine I'm using is WiFi-enabled. That's the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC. Oh yes - it's amazing and I was loving that app last night. If you have a WiFi-enabled embroidery machine and you're NOT using that app - you need to download it from your app store. It's totally free. I should have taken a picture of the app when it was in progress. I will today and then you can see for yourself. By the way, the NEW Designer EPIC 2 is on its way. Guess what that means??? You can get the Designer EPIC for a very good price. It's not a whole lot more than what I paid for my Designer 1 back in 1998.

I've got more embroidery for later today. I'm working on a sample for the upcoming convention. We have an Educator's Challenge. My idea which of course, I can't share with you is quite unique (I hope). The fabric is unique, the idea is unique and in total, it's well over 200,000 stitches. I know - go big or go home! But it's mostly stitched out and then to assemble it which is a job for tonight hopefully.

This is a tub that I unearthed when I was cleaning up one of the corners in Studio B. It contains things from highschool. Mementos, yearbooks, etc. I'm afraid (almost) to open it up. I'm not going to do it until later this month as I don't have time to go down that rabbit hole. But it'll be good for an afternoon of memories.

Memory box from highschool
Actually, it's not just high school - it's memory stuff from when I was a kid. Nothing from my adult life!

I also found these micron pens. I can't remember where I found them, but there were four pens. I didn't even try them, but they now reside in the drawer with other pens and quilt marking devices. I will never have to buy another marking device in my quilting lifetime. 

Marking pens

I also found two rolls of this plastic for making your own quilting stencils. I remember reading about this in a magazine and searching for a very long time to get my hands on it. Guess what? I've never used it!!! Does anyone want it??? If not, I'm going to cut it up and use it in my machine quilting classes.

Stencil making plastic

I also found these rolls of preprinted quilting designs. What the heck?? Oh yes - I bought everything and anything when I first started out. They have never been used. I was going to give them away, but I've decided that they will work with my free motion class so I'm keeping them and they have found a new home in the machine quilting box.

Paper for marking free motion quilting patterns

That's so exciting that I found stuff and can find a new home for it! Or better yet that I'm finally using it up. Amazing what we buy because we desperately NEED it and then we never use it. I swear it's the product acquisition more than product consumption that is more important. Why is that? Some psych major should do some research on quilters.

Thanks to Laura, I found out that Oprah is starting a new book club. I just signed up! I'm sure her books are going to be way out of my reading league, but I'll try one or two. I've already put the first one on hold at my library!

Today is UFO day. I would have been finishing up my homework last night while the embroidery machine was working. Instead, I'll be finishing it up this morning. I have until 11 AM to be finished! Only a few more backgrounds to quilt so I should be good.

Here's something to think about. Want to try a new technique? Why not make a postcard for the Canadian Quilter's Association Quilt Canada in 2020 in Edmonton. Check out the details here. I'm going to make one!

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, September 28, 2019

The marathon continues

Funny how my weeks have peaks and valleys. One week, I've nothing on the schedule and therefore I can spend hours cleaning up and then BAM - I'm on the road all the time. I really should schedule a wee bit better. I'm so much better than I was. I had a couple of paperwork items that I was putting off and then two different people said: "I need this TODAY". Funny how that changes your whole outlook on getting it done.

I'm happy to report that both items are done and are now checked off my list. I still have a few e-mails to respond to and a couple of other paperwork things to attend to. Once I'm back from the convention, I MUST get back to a morning of paperwork and the afternoon sewing. That was working so well. The morning will be devoted to paperwork and tidying. The afternoon will be sewing. That should work and the schedule (after I return is pretty light for the remainder of the year!!!)  The big thing will be to not fill those empty slots with other things!

The demos at The Hobby Horse went very well. One very lucky lady had me for one entire hour by herself to learn her sewing machine. There were five in the demo and four of them bowed out. Their loss. The lady who was in that demo was ecstatic as we went through EVERYTHING on her machine. I have to say that I"m getting pretty good with all brands of machines these days.

If there is ANYTHING that you want to learn - whether with a group or as a private class, let me know. I can probably accommodate anything and everything!!

I had to stop for an errand on the way home and then time for a wee bit of homework for today's classes and then off to teach free motion quilting at Oh Look Fabric. Funny how the day went. I started teaching at 10 AM and the free motion class ended at 10 PM. I know - way past my bedtime. But it was a fun group so we kept each other awake!!!!

Today, I have two of the ongoing classes at The Hobby Horse and machine quilting in the afternoon. I think I might actually be able to put my feet up when I get home tonight! But not for long as I have quilts to trim so they can be delivered/picked up and I have samples to make before I leave.

I'm reading a book by Marshall Ulrich. He's a runner - an extreme ultramarathon runner. The book is about his run across in America in 2008. What a story and amazing how much torture we put ourselves through to achieve something. Some days I feel like that, but it's so much fun, it's hard to call it torture!!!! I have NEVER pushed myself to the limits that he pushed himself.

And now it's time for some pictures. Let's see what I've got today.

The other day when I was looking in the cupboard for my special cup to make tea, I spotted two boxes on the top shelf. Hmm - those are tea mugs that I bought in 2015 when we were in PEI for part of the summer. I should get those down and use them.

The box that the tea mug came in 

Here's the story on how the bone china is made. The tea mugs are made by Dunoon. Let's just say they are NOT cheap. I gasped when I saw the price on the cup and thought - I better start using these.

The story on the mug box

I had completely forgotten what was on the mugs.  Yikes - those crazy cyclists! And look at the size of that mug compared to the bone china mug that I normally make tea in. Oh well - more tea is good. But isn't it an awesome mug? And I'm so worth it that I should be drinking out of a special mug.

That's a HUGE mug

 There was another box and the next morning, I decided to get that box down a well. Same company, slightly less pricey. Darn it all - it's time to break out and use the GOOD CHINA every day! And that's what I'm doing. I'm loving it.

Another tea mug

I'll never have to purchase another teacup/mug in my lifetime. Unless I attend a Greek wedding and take my tea mugs with me. But then they smash plates, don't they??? 

I've decided that NOTHING is too precious to use. As for dishes, those mugs are the MOST expensive dishware that we own. Our plates, cutlery is all bargain basement stuff. I'm OK with that.

The same thing with the fabric - nothing is so precious that it can't be used up. I can hear the yardage whispering - DON'T PICK ME!!!  Hahaha- cut, cut, cut!!!!!

Here's another shot of the flexible workspace tables in Studio B. I had a giant quilt to sew the binding on for a customer. This machine normally stays upstairs, but that quilt was so big and the upstairs workspace is much smaller so I brought the machine downstairs. It was worth it - that binding went on no problem. And that extra black table? It's a great way to support the huge quilt.

Set up for sewing on a binding

Earlier this week (seems like eons ago now), I went to a meet and greet the author. It's part of the One Book, One Community program. The author was Joanna Goodman who wrote "The Home for Unwanted Girls". If you haven't read the book, it's a very good read. But holy, the subject matter is hard. While the book is fiction, you know that the story is real and Joanna very kindly "glossed" over most of the abuse. It was implied without going into details.

Joanna Goodman (on the right)

She is a delightful person and gave us lots of insight into her writing process and the book. By the way - there will be a sequel that will be published next September. Thanks to Diane for the invite to that event. Last year, we got to meet Linwood Barclay which was much fun. I wonder if we have that event in my community as this is about an hour from my house. I can't find anything about One Book One Community in my neighborhood. I must ask next time I'm at the library.

I was walking the girls the other day and this just begged for a picture. Isn't that beautiful?  It was taken in the forest behind my house. I love the changing leaf colors.

Trees in the forest

Well, that's it for today. So much to do and so little time! I'll be very glad to hop on that plane next week. There'll be at least three hours of NOTHING to do!

Have a super day!!!


Friday, September 27, 2019

A play day with Ronda

It was a love/hate day with technology yesterday and we can't even share most of what we played around with! Ronda was busy working on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC as she did some embroidery. I was working on the other side of the table on my new Brother Scan n Cut. She didn't insert the bobbin correctly and the stitching was bad. So she got that fixed. I couldn't get past the Welcome screen on the Scan and Cut. I did a live chat with Brother and then was told I would receive an e-mail to help me out. I'm still waiting.....................   Hey Brother - do you hear me????  I'm still waiting.........................

Anyway - we did have a fun day despite the frustrations with some of what we were doing. Oh - we did get one thing done for Ronda that we can share with you. I'll share that with you tomorrow. It's not amongst the edited pictures I have for today.

She dropped me off at the mall so I could get an errand done (more on that errand another day) and then I walked back home and accomplished two more errands on the way. My FitBit is in overdrive these days. Even if I spend the day sewing at home, it's a few steps from the sewing machine to the ironing board and then to the cutting table and then to the long arm. I'm well over 10,000 on any given day unless I SIT too much which drives me crazy.

I thought I'd share some of the photos of Studio B. That room is in constant evolution. It never looks the same way twice. And with all the tidying that's even truer. This is one of the corners that needed to be tidied up. It sure looks a lot better than it was. But there's still quite a bit of stuff to deal with.

Stuff that needs a home

This is what happened last week. Yes - much improved and I'm getting excited about it. I just hope that I can remember what homes I've given to each of the things that got put away. So far, I'm doing great.

This is what's left that needs a home

Technically those two white cabinets don't need to find a home. One of them stays in that corner and the other has a home when I remove some other stuff from another spot. It shouldn't take long to finish that off, but now I'm in production mode (getting ready for convention and loads of classes to teach in the next couple of days) so there's NO time for more tidying.

This is the other corner that needs tidying. Again - it doesn't look like that now as some stuff has been moved and removed. But the other white cabinet will go here (under the table).

More stuff that needs to find a home
It's all coming together and I might just get one of the two spots done the next time I take a go at tidying! That's super exciting and my goal is to keep most of the stuff out of the main room. That way, I'll have maximum flexibility on how to jig the room depending on what it's being used for.

The work tables - same thing. Each day, they look entirely different. If I showed you a picture this morning, there are four sewing machines, the scan N cut, my laptop, and a serger set up! Totally crazy! But it's just the sort of workspace that I need. It allows me to be super productive and it's flexible. The big thing is to NOT let any of the stuff linger. Everything has a home and when I'm done, everything needs to say goodbye and go home. It's like children - you love them, you have a nice visit, but then bye-bye!!!

Flexible workspace

There are six tables in total that are "joined" together. That's how I get so many steps. Half the time, I need something that's on the opposite side! I'm OK with that. I like walking on that new vinyl floor so it's all good.

When I heard that Heather was coming over the other night, I quickly assembled some stuff that I thought she might like. She took some of this stuff including the orange flannel and some other decorator fabric. The rest is now in the car and will hopefully be delivered to a new spot today. If it works out, I'll tell you more about it.

More stuff that is going

Not the sewing machine to the left of the stack. That's my sewing machine and that little cabinet it's sitting in, is now against the wall and out of the way until it's needed. The black table is in one of the other corners, holding some stuff that needs to be put away. Total flexibility. Once all the stuff gets put away, what am I going to do???  Be even more productive - that's what!

Here's the thing. Do NOT be envious of the space. Yes - I know that I'm truly blessed to have such a large space. But here's what I did. You notice that I've removed EVERYTHING (or in the process) of removing everything from my workspace. It's in several rooms around the house. I know where the stuff is, but it's not in my face. That gives me a totally blank canvas in which to work. So if you work in a tiny space, that's OK. Just make sure that it's not super cluttered so you can actually work. If you have too much stuff that you don't know where to put??? Well, then you have excess and you need to get rid of some of it.

That's what I'm doing. Trust me - when you have a wide-open space to work in, you'll get more stuff done. When I work on a project, I'm as messy as ever, but then I tidy up once that event/project or whatever is done. Then I bring out the next projects and mess the room up again and repeat. I'm becoming super productive and I sure wish that someone would have clued me to this years ago!!!!!

You'll never guess what I found. Remember that Halloween quilt I worked on last week?

Halloween quilt I worked on last week
So I had a quilt backing for it. I decided to not use that neat Halloween fabric as the backing for this quilt and found more in my stash. Then when I was digging through a bin of quilts that need borders, backings, and bindings - guess what I found???  Yep - the REAL backing for that quilt. No worries, this piece got labeled and is now in the backing pile. Sigh -- this will happen again I'm sure. That's why it's important to keep everything together.

Backing fabric for the Halloween quilt
I managed to empty another cute container. What to do with it??? It's now filled with a second lot of projects that need attention. Once I finish the stuff in the orange container, then it's time to move to this one. I'll refill the orange one and alternate between the two. I know that sounds silly, but I LIKE to see what's coming up! Call me crazy. So the two of these baskets are sitting on the floor in Studio B. But should I decide that I need the floor space, they are easy to pick up and move somewhere else. And when I go to retreat in a couple of weeks, I can just grab one of the buckets and I'm ready!

One more bucket to fill with UFO projects

Here's a quick peek at the garage. After the big garbage day this past week and I also called 1-800-Got-Junk, the garage is looking a whole lot better. Not perfect - not by a long shot. There's still a couple of hours of work in there. But a whole lot better than when I started out. I will say that they were fast and extremely efficient. I would sure hope so because they were NOT cheap. Had I realized what it was going to cost me, I would have dug a bit deeper to get rid of the stuff myself. But it's done. Move on!!!

The right side of the garage

LOOK - there's actually cleared floor space!!!!  It won't take long to move everything to one side and then DH will have room to park his vehicle this winter. He'll be a happy camper!! My side? Well - we have to figure out what to do with the bicycles. That's a whole other story and there's no time for that this morning! The bottom line here is that progress has been made. Due to a super busy October, I may not get back to it for a couple of weeks, but that's OK. Every little step is one step closer to where I want to be with this mess.

The left side of the garage

Before Ronda came, I managed to get this quilt off the long arm. It's for Quilts of Valour. Just needs to be trimmed and then it's ready for pick up. I think trimming is going to be a job for Sunday afternoon.

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

I loaded a customer quilt after Ronda left and I got that one finished as well.

Customer quilt - DONE

I'm so close to catching up on all the customer quilts, but as quickly as I get them out the door, more come in! That's OK. I'm going to go at a wee bit slower pace on the customer quilts for October as I try to get some of those charity quilts caught up!

So I swear that computerized long arm is evil! Well not exactly, but there are times when it's temperamental. I had to change the bobbin in the middle of the row a couple of times. Normally, it's supposed to remain in place and will start right back up in the same spot. Twice last night, the commands got mixed up and the machine is veering off (not stitching) in its own little world. However, the good news is that I know how to fix that. The first couple of times it happened, I freaked out. How to reset the machine in a very specific spot????  HELP!!!!! 

Now - it's no big deal if that happens. But just like anything - when it happens and you don't know - it's a disaster. When you figure it out (because there isn't anyone much to help you), then you remember for life!!!

It's why I think learning by our mistakes is the BEST kind of learning. We need to let our kids make mistakes so they learn. I've made so many mistakes in my life, it would blow your mind. But you've probably all done the same thing. Mistakes in sewing, in life choices, in whatever - that's how we learn best! We need to become comfortable in failing so we can learn to excel!

This is super late notice, but I'm doing a series of demos at The Hobby Horse today. Scroll down to the Upcoming Events part of the page. The first one is at 10 AM on rotary cutting. It's hands-on so if you're struggling with cutting - this is where you should be today. At 11:30, we're going to look at your sewing machine. What does it do? It's called "Know your sewing machine" and the third one is at 1 PM on Colour and Value. It's going to be a jam-packed day!!!!!

I'm learning to stay up a little bit later these days to get everything done. I still have homework to get finished for Saturday's class. I'm not into doing an all-nighter, but I might have to!!

Today is the last day for QUILTsocial with the Husqvarna Viking HUSKYLOCK s25 serger. Take a look at what I made. They turned out amazing and even DH is using them. That says a LOT.

On that note, I still have a pattern to finish proofing before I head off today.

Have a super day!!!!!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

A sweat shop

I'm exhausted! My brain hurts but what a day! That one is going down in the memory books.

Yesterday was a community projects quilt day. There were three of us - Helen Anne, Diane, and myself. I don't think we've ever worked harder.

What is community projects day? I received a couple of tubs of fabric from someone who was downsizing and I've also been going through some of my stuff. It was time to get this mess under control. I could have donated the fabric to a guild but what's the fun in that? I bought my stash to have fun with, not to give it away. Otherwise, I might as well stand on the street corner and give cash away.

Please NOTE:  If you are thinking that we might want your scraps - we do NOT. However - this is what we will take. And I'll be EXTREMELY rigid about what I accept and I'll check it BEFORE I accept it.  So you CANNOT leave your donations at any store or with any friend - you MUST give it to me so I can personally check it. Otherwise, it won't be touched. I've been the dumping ground for donations before - NEVER AGAIN.

  • 100% GOOD QUALITY COTTON  - 3-yard pieces or larger that can be used for quilt backings. NO EXCEPTIONS. We do NOT want small pieces. Not one single scrap. 
  • Batting - larger pieces that may need to be joined, but not small pieces. I'll check through whatever you give before I accept it!!!!
  • FINISHED Quilt tops that you no longer want and if you have batting, binding, and backing to go with it - that's even better. 
  • Cash - to buy batting. 

Our quilts will be going to Quilts of Valour if they fit the requirements and Project Linus - again if they fit the requirements. Otherwise, they'll go to other local charities.

Helen Anne was the sorter and she's darn good at it. We pulled out a couple of tubs of fabric that she had sorted by color last time. We had two goals in mind for the day. One was to make up kits so when someone asked if they could help, they would get a kit. The other goal was to get some quilt tops prepped for quilting. That included making the binding and the backing.

I did the cutting, Diane did the sewing and we could barely keep up with each other.

We must have worked about 5 hours or a wee bit more, but I do know that about 2 PM, we had to stop. My brain just couldn't function with the math for making backings any longer and Helen Anne's was fried as well. Diane had been making miles and miles of binding, so we all just stopped. We did tidy up and did a tally of what we had done. Then we sat around and decompressed until Diane's ride came.

HOLY!!!!   What a day!! We couldn't stop beaming at each other as we admired what we had done.

So - do you want to know what we accomplished???

Here are two tubs. What's in the tubs??? Thanks to Helen Anne's efforts, there are TWENTY-FOUR, yes TWENTY-FOUR KITS in those tubs. Ready for someone to ask "may I sew a quilt top for you?" There's cutting involved - we didn't go that far!

Two tubs of quilt kits

Doesn't that blow you away?????

What else happened???  As I mentioned, Diane made miles of binding and I cut miles of fabric.

We now have this stack of quilts that are ready to be quilted. The backings are made as well as the binding. I think there are close to 20 quilts in this pile.

Quilts ready to be quilted

There are three or four quilts that needed a bit more work before they moved into this pile, but we just couldn't make that happen. That means if we can clear up the tubs and this pile, that we have FIFTY (50) quilts!!! And it doesn't even look like we touched the pile of fabric.

That was one of the most productive days I've ever spent!! Thanks so much to Helen Anne and Diane for a most memorable day. What a FUN way to use up a stash! NOTHING (almost nothing) was sacred yesterday. We only dipped into my personal stash for one or two backings as most of it came from the "supply". This is just opening the flood gates to get rid of more! I'm loving this and I'm having FUN with my destashing. Giving it away would be so boring.

While I was cutting the last binding, Helen Anne was back in the storage room tidying things up. This is how it looks.

The community projects section of the storage room

There are a couple more tubs of stuff here.

More of the community projects fabric

Isn't that crazy????  How could one amass so much stuff and this is just a teeny part of my stash. Doesn't matter - it's getting used up! I'm good with that.

I did have a couple of quilts that I was going to work on last night but I ended up putting them back in the storage room until the next sit n sew day.

What I was going to continue to work on last night

Can you believe that? I'm still in shock that we accomplished so much. While we took a much-deserved rest at the end of our session, we strategized on what to do at the next Community Projects day. We've got a plan and it's all good. I moved the quilts to the "to be quilted" pile and I need to get myself in gear to get working on those quilts.

Once I'm back from the convention, I'll be focusing on these quilts.

As if that wasn't enough to show that Helen Anne and Diane aren't slackers - this is a quilt that Helen Anne finished at the Monday sewing this past week. This is Common Bride by Laundry Basket Quilts. Five years in the making and apparently two years in the contemplation stage! I love that!!!

Common Bride

The applique was done by hand and the blocks in the photo below were mostly pieced by hand. I'd like to take credit for pressing parts of those four patches. Those were made back in the day when I had fundraising Sit n Sew days and I pressed fabric for people. I think Helen Anne took advantage of me!!!

Blocks that were pieced by hand 

Look at that border. Those squares are tiny!!!! I didn't get a picture of Helen Anne doing the happy dance, but she did!!!

The borders on Common Bride

I worked on this project the other night - I'm way behind in pictures to share with you. My project pales in comparison to Helen Anne's, but I'm OK with that. I started it years ago and I'm happy to report that it's almost done.

The border was appliqued on and so I got out my applique tools and away I went.

Working on an applique border

While the small blocks had been hand appliqued, there's no time for that. Once the yellow border was glued in place, I stitched it down by machine. There are some small circles to go into the border and those are in the Monday sewing bag so I have something different than embroidery to do. But only once I finish that last embroidered block!

The final border is on this quilt - at last

I only wear one ring that I've worn for many, many years. When I was in high school, my four girlfriends and I each bought a small ring with our initial on it. I know the others long ago abandoned that little ring, but I wore it constantly for MANY years. I'm not sure what happened, but my knuckle started to swell???  Something happened and I had to get the ring off. But it was STUCK. And it was starting to really bother me. I was even going to go to the jewelry store later today to get their help in getting it off.

Yesterday morning, my hands were cool and thus slighter smaller and I managed to tug that ring off. OUCH!!!!!  But my finger is feeling much better today, but gosh - it hurt for a long time yesterday. God - look how swollen it is.

Swollen finger

After the sweatshop crew left yesterday, I needed a nap and after that, I was at the long arm trying to finish a quilt. I have ONE row left to go. I had to teach a class last night and there just wasn't time to do that one last row!!! That'll be on the plate for first thing this morning and then to get the next one loaded. However, I have a full slate today. It's a "play" day with Ronda! Oh boy - I wonder what will happen. She's so HOOKED on machine embroidery! Seriously hooked! Should be a fun day.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

No, wait - I have a couple of links for you!!!  Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial. Today's the day, I make the quilt. It's so cool and it was FAST.  And Murphy had to help!!!! Oh, and someone gave me a suggestion on how to rip out the serged seams without the huge mess that I made. I MUST try that. Hey - I'm new to sergers and just having fun!!!

Here's a link to some IKEA hacks for your sewing room. There's a couple here that I want to steal. They look awesome. I love the ironing board. I just wonder what happens with the steam?????  Does anyone have one of these setups??? Do you get mold from the steam???

OK - now I'm gone.

Have a super day!!!!


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

This is SERIOUS business

Like all days, yesterday was a super busy day. I got loads done. I'm going to share a wee bit with you today - it's already late and I don't have much time.

I'll start by showing you my progress on Monday sewing day. I'm working on the Winter Wonderland - redwork quilt.  I'm going to need to make a decision about the feather stitch that is done on all the seams in the center of the quilt. Hmm - yes or no????

This happened. This is the second to last block. It's done!!!!  Needless to say, I was jumping up and down for joy as I moved onto the last block.

Redwork block for Winter Wonderland

This is what I got completed on the LAST block. Everyone was pushing me to finish it, but I hit a wall (I guess I was jumping up and down in my mind, not in real life). I was exhausted and I just couldn't go on. It took me a couple of hours to get out of that funk. I must NOT sit for so long next time. I have to take something else that requires me to move around. I'm like the Energizer bunny - if I stop or sit for extended periods, I just shut down. It's like the more I move, the more energy is created.

The last block is ALMOST done

I'll finish this block next week and I have a couple of other things already prepped for Monday. But in between, I need to get up and take a walk around the church or something. I can't sit all day. What the heck am I going to do when I'm older? Oh - I'll be racing up and down the hallway with my walker!

I got this small quilt (for me) quilted yesterday. I had started it the night before but got sidetracked when Heather popped over. Now it's quilted and trimmed and waiting for the binding. I know that the quilt itself isn't super spectacular. It's what it represents that is amazing.

My quilt is done!

SVP (parent company of Singer, Husqvarna Viking, and PFAFF) have on-line technology called mySewnet. I chatted about it on QUILTsocial a while back. One of the features of this technology is the ability to share projects (including embroidery files - if I would have created one). Here's the link to the QUILTsocial blog post on this technology. And here's the direct link to the project. I believe you'll need a mySewNet account before you can access the file. If you're stuck, read QUILTsocial blog post (near the end) where you'll find all the steps involved.

It's the coolest technology and I'm very excited about it. I want to make more projects to share with you, but no time - not until I'm back from our convention next month.

Then I threw a customer quilt onto the long arm and got that done as well. Yep - those are Colonial Ladies!!!  This quilt was started way back when and now it just needs the binding! The next quilt is loaded and ready to be quilted today. It's a Quilts of Valor quilt which is fitting since this is Community Projects day so I don't feel guilty about quilting it while we work.

Customer quilt - DONE

So far - that all seems on par for a typical day at my house. But what did I do that shows how serious I am about getting rid of things? I got a call from the Family Studies teacher at the local high school. Where could she buy flannel? Not just any flannel - she needed orange flannel. OH. I have some and I offered it to her. WHAT!!!!!!!!   Yep - I dug out ALL the orange flannel I could find and I sold it to her. Isn't that just shocking????

Say goodbye to the orange flannel

What did she need orange flannel for??? Read this story. Here's the link to what Heather and her class are making. They are called Attachment Hearts. I need to read up on it a bit more. She now has orange flannel to last for a couple of years!!!!  Hey Heather - just read the instructions - they also make them from fleece. I got LOTS of orange fleece!!!!

I have way more to show you that I got rid of, but there's no time today. That's a job for tomorrow.

So you see - I'm dead serious about getting rid of this stash of mine. I'm not actively seeking to get rid of the main part of the stash, but I do know that the flannel is on the line as we go forward. Today is a Community Projects Sew day and there are tons of tops that need backings and bindings. That's what we are working on today and who knows? More of that flannel might just be made up into backings.

The main stash - nope - nothing is moving there. That's my artist's palette.

Anyway - you'll see tomorrow what else I've been up to. There is NO rest for the wicked.

You MUST go to QUILTsocial this morning to see what I'm making with the Husqvarna Viking HUSKLOCK s25 serger. It's day one of my projects and I'm so flipping excited about this project.

It's time to get the day started!

Have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What the others did on Sit n Sew day

Have you ever wondered what is in liquid calcium? This is a product that I CANNOT tolerate on an empty stomach. If I want to be sick, I just take a teaspoon of that stuff on an empty stomach and I'm sick! No - that didn't happen to me today. I've learned, but I often take the calcium just before I start to eat breakfast. If I don't start eating quick enough, I can feel my tummy not happy, but the moment I eat something I'm fine!

I'm on a tear! I'm pitching, purging and well - I can't even keep up with myself. I'll share that with you tomorrow as I promised that today would be all about what the others did on our Sit n Sew day. And something happened last night that will BLOW your socks off. You'll never believe what I did. Sorry - you have to wait until tomorrow for that one. It's all in the spirit of cleaning up the stash.

I noticed that all of the garbage (old wheelbarrow and chairs) that I put at the curb yesterday morning disappeared sometime between 6 PM and 9 PM. I put a bit more out this morning and I have extra bags of garbage to put out as well. Then I'm calling the junk people as I have some very large things in the garage to go. Then I'll show you a picture of the garage. Oh, progress is being made and it's finally starting to look much better.

Today is designated as a "clean up" day on my calendar with a note to NOT RESCHEDULE!  I'm not going to reschedule, but I'm going to get some other stuff done as well. It'll be a half-day of cleaning up, but that's OK - I've made huge leaps and bounds this past week and I'm thrilled. Matter of fact, last night, I went through a bag of paper that I found in the studio and very easily tossed a good part of it. I'm not done yet.

You know what that means? I'm getting psyched up to start pitching in the office!!! I can't wait to get started.

I see that wide-open Studio B and it fills my heart with glee to see things so neat and tidy. And it's not going to cramp my style one little bit. If I need to be super creative, it won't take long to spill a few things on the table to create chaos!

Let's have a look at what the group was working on this past Sunday.

Rose was in my Posh Santa (Sew Kind of Wonderful) class on Saturday. She brought her version so she could finish it. And she did!!! It's such a cute wall hanging. It just needs to be quilted and then ready to hang for Christmas.

Posh Santa - Rose's version
Sharon N is continuing work on her Border Creek Mystery Quilt. I'm not sure which year this one is, but I think Sharon is now working on Clue 6 of 8. She assembled a number of these sections. I've forgotten how many she's put together now - but this section is completed. 

Completed section of Border Creek Mystery

And she finished something like 36 of these. So goodbye Clue 5  - hello to Clue 6.

More of Sharon's Border Creek Mystery

Elaine S is working on the July Shop Hop from a couple of years ago. She got at least one of the blocks completed. A very funky modern block.

Elaine's July Shop Hop block
France is working on the 52 weeks 52 blocks sew-along. I think this is the one from the Canadian Quilter's Association. There are so many sew-along projects, I can't keep up with them all. What's interesting is that she's doing TWO completely different colorways. One is in shades of green that you see here and the second one is Christmas!!! Very cute. 

France's 52 weeks sew along

Diane was working on a positive/negative quilt. There's NO waste in this block. It's very cool But you have to very careful when cutting that you don't mess up!! It's a design by Wanda's Designs.

Diane's positive/negative quilt

Sharon B was working on a block of the month that I designed quite a few years ago. She made good progress on it as there are LOADS of small pieces. What fun!!!!  I know that I have an entire blog post devoted to the show n tell from that block of the month, however, I can't find it this morning. But if you check out this link, and scroll down near the end, there's a blue/orange version of it.

Sharon B's Block of the month quilt

I will have some more giveaway stuff coming up but today I thought I'd share a project that someone made with stuff that I gave away. Do you remember a while back that I had a big bag of 3-D leaves? Those leaves went to my friend Susan in Saskatchewan. After I made a comment that people need to be using the things that I gave them, she whipped up this wall hanging. I LOVE it. I feel like I'm standing at the base of a huge tree and looking up and all the leaves are changing color. Awesome job Susan!!!!

Susan's wall hanging with 3-D leaves

Here's a couple of shots of the details. I loved those leaves but had no use for them. I think Susan did them justice! The leaves were made with Northcott's Stonehenge Maplewood. A gorgeous collection. And if you check out the link, the pictures were taken in my backyard or the forest behind our house! I still remember that day.

Details of Susan's fall wall hanging

More details of Susan's fall wall hanging

I need more time! Not for sewing, but to get this mess cleaned up! I knew that once I got into the spirit of it that it would be hard to stop. But I'm going at a good pace and there are times when it's just not the time to be pitching and purging. Loads more to go - well actually not. I have to say that except the office that almost all areas are getting pretty much under control. I give myself until the end of the year. Then we'll take stock and see what's the scoop.

At that point, it'll be time to start all over again and start pitching from what I've hung onto. There'll come a time when there won't be anything that I want to get rid of. I'm really trying to be good in Studio B and getting rid of stuff. I met up with the Family Studies teacher from the local high school last night and we chatted about stuff. She gave me a lead on getting rid of a few things that no one wants - not even you! Stuff like wool and fun fur so I'm going to check out the source today.

I do have a lot of paperwork to do. I've been ignoring the half-day paperwork and half-day sewing work for a while and well, I know I'm getting myself in over my head. That's part of the reason, I have so much paper crap around! I'll do an hour this morning to at least clear the urgent stuff.

Don't forget that today is another blog post on QUILTsocial. Did you read the post from yesterday?? What projects do you think I'm going to show you later this week???  Anyway - have a read today. I've got a serger set up on the work tables in Studio B. Just waiting for me.

One more thing today. I want you to check out this website from the Canadian Quilter's Association. It's about making friends. Starting in January, you can register to make a mini (quilt) and make a friend. I did it with QuiltCon last year and we ended up in North Carolina visiting with Katherine. So check out the details and then get yourself signed up. Sign up is in January, but I don't want it to come as a surprise! Making these small quilts is so much fun and you can try new techniques.

On that note, I'm out of here!!!!

Have a super day!!!!!