Saturday, November 30, 2019

It's all about the pillowcases

I'm short on time this morning. My girls are never happy if they get neglected and I have to squeeze in a walk for them before I get myself on the road to go and see my quilt in the Cherrywood Challenge display. So much pressure when you plan road trips with friends! No worries - it's all good.

I was up extra early this morning but that was to cram a wee bit more embroidery into the day and to help out someone by proofing some instructions they wrote (it helps me too - so I'm good with that). Besides, this person is a good resource and I need to keep her happy! I've already done both of those things and I managed to cut more pillowcases. It's not even 6:30 AM!

I was taking stock of the pillowcase situation since our 100 pillowcases in a day sewing marathon is mere days away. I now have 78 completed kits. The bodies are matched to a band and they are tucked inside their own plastic bag waiting to be sewn together.

I think there are 20 more complete kits coming on Tuesday, along with some extra bands or bodies that need matching up. Plus I have at least 20 bands or bodies myself that need matching up. I'm not sure exactly how the day will go - I think 100 will be more than enough for one day.

More pillowcase kits cut

The second box of the pillowcase kits

I do have the 17 pillowcases that Pat donated to me earlier this month and those will be picked up on Tuesday. Any extra kits or bands and bodies, I think they'll go in the box for the next round. It'll all depend on how the day goes. We might be finished the 100 by lunchtime and want to go longer, we might be finished at 3 and say enough is enough. I've no idea. And if the day finishes early? I'm OK with that.

Bottom line - we're going to have enough kits for our goal and we'll have a good start to our next sewing day. I think we are ten people going to sew that day. So each person has to make 10 pillowcases. And those 10 people are going to be very lucky - they don't have to bring sewing machines or sergers. The best part? They'll all be sewing/serging on some pretty fancy sewing machines and sergers so it's going to be a bonus day for all!

The next date will be in June?? And if you're interested in donating fabrics or perhaps volunteering to sew/serge that day, let me know. Don't know how to serge? A two-minute lesson and you'll be an expert!

I do hope to do some Facebook live sessions as well so those that can't be here get to see what is going on and of course, I'll be blogging about it.

I hope you enjoyed all those QUILTsocial posts last week. I had so much playing around with that amazing Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2. What an amazing sewing/embroidery machine! With that built-in IDF system (the built-in walking foot), those pillowcases are going to go together in a snap! BUT -- we're aiming for QUALITY, not QUANTITY in our endeavor. Then the side and bottom will be serged and we all know how fast serging is!

So today is the last day of the Bob Ross show in Seaforth. Once again, here is the information in case you haven't made it and would like to attend. This is part of the Cherrywood Challenge (the 5th year) and I'm so honored to have a quilt in the show. I'll be taking lots of pictures today so you get to see it (if you haven't already) - but now you'll get to see a picture of ME beside my quilt.

Remember this show was brought to Canada by The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop. This is a huge endeavor for them and we are extremely lucky that they took this upon themselves to host the show. As you're madly shopping this season, please, please, please - support the local quilt shops. If we don't, they won't be here next year. And please try to shop Canadian! I don't care if it costs more money - buy only what you need and you'll be fine. By the time you pay for shipping and the extra stuff that you had to buy to get that free shipping, work in the exchange rate of 1.37 or something ridiculous like that, then guess what? You could have bought it at almost the same price and only got what you needed and supported local shops.

On that happy note - I'm out of here. Got to get the girls out and then hit the road.

I can't wait to see my quilt.

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, November 29, 2019

North Star Show and Tell

While I did not get the first two items on my To-Do list done (I knew that wasn't going to happen), I made good progress on one of them and I did get a couple of urgent matters taken care of. The rest of the list awaits for me today. Now instead of telling you that I'll do a blog post on ToDo lists, I'm adding it to my list of topics. Done! I added two items - well possibly three to that list yesterday. As if I would ever lack something to say!

I'm so darn excited to share the show and tell from North Star quilt. This is a quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman and we worked on it at The Hobby Horse since the beginning of January. Let's say the show and tell is pretty impressive. Someone thought it was the MOST finished tops AND quilts that we've ever had. I know a couple of people (whose tops are done or almost done) couldn't make it so maybe this was the best year ever!

North Star by Elizabeth Hartman

Let's have a look. I'm going to try really hard to get the names of everyone.

I'll start with Marg's quilt. She wasn't able to attend the class on Saturday, so I got a picture of her quilt top on Monday sewing. Marg used the kit - I thought she made a few changes to some of the fabrics but I don't remember. She just had the two side borders to put on and then the top is DONE.

Marg's quilt

The first up from Saturday is Sophie. She used Northcott Toscana for the entire quilt! Shoot - I should have gotten a close up of each quilt but perhaps if you click on the photo, it'll enlarge a wee bit. She moved the blocks around from the original to balance the colors.

Sophies's version of North Star
I believe this was Nancy's. She was using the kit and she's assembled it the same way the pattern is. Notice the dark sashing between the blocks. The last three blocks are together and I would imagine by now that the top is done! I think she changed the walrus fabric. I could be wrong on that.

Nancy's quilt

We hadn't seen several of Sharon's blocks so here's Owen the Owl.

Owen the Owl

Meridith the Musk Ox

Fritz and Fred fox

Sharon also wanted an opinion on what sashing to put in her quilt. Instead of it just being a one-on-one, it was a great teaching moment so the group decided that this GLOW IN THE DARK fabric was perfect. Can't wait to lay under that quilt in the dark!

Sashing for Sharon's quilt

This is Kathi's quilt. I remember at the beginning of the year that she "struggled" with what fabrics to use for her version. Then she got on a roll and well - she had loads of fun. If you look close, she found the appropriate animal fabric for each animal. Narwhale fabric?? You bet!!  Someone said it looks like they're wearing PJs. It's such a fun quilt and a great way to make this quilt her own. You nailed it, Kathi! All the animals have been rearranged as well.

Kathi's quilt
 Diane was using the kit. She had a fair amount of the background fabric left so she used that for the sashing instead of the darker fabric. Looks great, but that linen background fabric required a certain skill set to work with. Pins, pins, and a whole lot of pins were required to make it work. Diane is now the master of using that linen fabric.

Diane's quilt
This is Linda's quilt. Linda also used the kit but she used the darker fabric in the kit for the sashing. However, she made numerous fabric changes. Her polar bear is a different fabric, one of the foxes is a different fabric and I thought she changed something else. Again, you can start with a kit, but that doesn't mean you have to use everything in the kit. Something you don't like? Swap it for something you do like.
Linda's quilt
 Go back and look at the polar bear (top left block). In Diane's version, the polar bear doesn't stand out a whole lot but look at the polar bear in Linda's quilt. Now granted, Linda did use a different fabric, but she also outlined the polar bear. I believe she used a hand embroidery stitch to do that and it makes Patty the Polar Bear pop out. Great job Linda!!!

The outline around Patty the Polar Bear

This next quilt is Lynn's. Lynn used a light blue "frosty" looking fabric for the background and she used elements of the kit for the animals and some of the blocks. Then she used a slightly darker blue for the sashing. It looks awesome!!!

Lynn's quilt

Next up was Sheila's and there were a TON of oohs and aahs when this one went up. Why? Sheila used a VERY busy print for the background and it looks amazing. Those animals stand right out from the background. She's got most of the other blocks done - they're just not sewn together yet. She used a monochromatic fabric for the sashing. This quilt is going to be stunning!!!!

Sheila's quilt
This is Valerie's quilt. I LOVE the colors. It reminds me of the Canadian North - perhaps because of the colors. But boy - those animals stand out - you can't miss any of them. A great choice of background fabric and it makes me think of the north and cold and ice! Great job!

Valerie's quilt
This next one belongs to Rosemary. She chose something totally different from everyone and went with a solid beige background. See how the animals stand out from that background. Each of the three rows is sewn together and notice that she's using the background as the sashing. She just needs to add the sashing to the bottom of the rows and sew it together. Almost there!! Awesome Rosemary!

Rosemary's quilt
Lynne did the small version and chose four blocks. She used icy blues for the background and they look amazing! She may have to do some decorative stitching around the polar bear as he does get lost or perhaps he's sitting in a blizzard. I bet that's it! The color she chose for her foxes is brilliant!!  I always say, this is the best part of the class - you get to see a ton of different ideas for block, colors, arrangement and a whole lot more. Great job !!!!!

Lynne's small quilt

She always makes a pillowcase or a cushion to match her quilts. This one was no exception. She used the seal block for the top of the cushion cover. I think a lot of people went home to copy this idea and it's a great one. Thanks for sharing!

The front of the cushion cover
For the cushion backing, she used one of the stars from one of the blocks. Now isn't that clever!!! I love it.
The back of the cushion cover

Lynne has a love/hate relationship with free motion quilting so she tends to use her walking foot and embroidery machine for the quilting. Here she did a wavy line with her walking foot. It looks awesome. I so love to see when the students in the class take the information, adapt it to what they can do and then get it done!!!

The quilting on Lynne's cushion cover
Remember Heather from the Ultimate Block class? The terrified beginner from January? Well - she's no longer a beginner. Not only did she come with a FINISHED Ultimate Block quilt, but she finished this one as well!!!!  Holy cow! She rearranged her blocks and put the foxes in the middle as that was her favorite block. Owen the Owl is grey and a few other changes. But it looks amazing!!! Heather - you've come a long way and did an outstanding job! I couldn't be happier for you! You should be very proud of yourself.

Heather's completed quilt
You notice that she used a decorative stitch on her sewing machine to stitch a line around the outline of Lucille the Seal to make her stand out a wee bit better. You can see in the picture (bottom right) that she does. Just a wee subtle line is all that's needed.

Decorative stitching to make Lucille the Seal stand out a wee bit more
 More of her quilting in the Meredith the Musk Ox block.

Detail of the quilting

Next up is another class superstar - Sara. Remember Sara from the Lilla class where she showed up with a FINISHED quilt? Well, she showed up with another finished quilt in this class. She really changed up the colors in the animals and used a solid background which showcases the animals very nicely.

Sara's FINISHED quilt

She chose to use straight lines to highlight the animals and to follow the angles made by the pieced parts. She did a fabulous job on the blocks.

Close up of the quilting
Yes - I say blocks because she quilted it "quilt as you go" (which is making a comeback - did you know???).  Here's the back of her quilt with all the joins. Very impressive Sara!!!! Notice how she pieced the smaller pieces for the blocks. She used up a lot of fabric that way.

The back of Sara's quilt

NO - we're almost done! This last one is by JoMarie. Her quilt was also quilted but needed the binding applied. She used a mottled grey for the background and the blocks look awesome. I love her color choices - look at the Lucille the Seal (middle top) - isn't that stunning? Notice that she made her borders wider as well.

JoMarie's quilt
Look what she had her friend do for her. The name of each animal was machine embroidered on the blocks. I fell in love with this idea and if you read QUILTsocial yesterday, you know that I stole that idea.

The names are machine embroidered on the blocks

If you were observant, you'll notice that the center block has a different color background. She started out with the brown, didn't like it and switched. It doesn't detract from the total look one bit. Way to go JoMarie - for not remaking that block and finding a solution!!

The center block has a different background

And there you have the show and tell.

WAIT - hell has frozen over and there's one more quilt. It's MINE. And it's quilted! I don't think that has ever happened in the history of these ongoing quilt classes. EVER!!!! Heck - most of them are still not finished! I'm so excited about this. I do love the quilt and I just need to choose between two different fabrics for the binding. I used an icy blue for the background and a slightly darker fabric for the sashing. It was quilted with a snowflake pattern and I'm thrilled with it.

My North Star quilt

I just did a quick tally. We started the year with 21 students in the class. There were 15 (not counting my quilt) finished quilts, tops or very close to being finished at the show and tell. I know there is one other that is very close to being complete, but the owner wasn't able to make it to class. So for the remaining five? If you didn't finish all the blocks - why not make something smaller like Lynne did? Get it done - use up that block(s) and don't leave it as a UFO. Then send me a picture. I'd love to have TWENTY-ONE projects - meaning at least one thing from each student!

That was so exciting!!!!!  I love it and I couldn't be happier with the results fo the class. A superb job by everyone in the class. So many of them stretched their wings and grew by stepping outside the box whether it be their fabric choices, block placement or creativity by adding the names to the blocks. What a great group!!!!

OK -- so here are two reminders for today. The Bob Ross (CherryWood) challenge is on display in Seaforth, Ontario. Hosted by The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop. You have TODAY and TOMORROW to go and see this excellent display and perhaps pick up your PINK challenge bundle for the next challenge.

And don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. We all embrace the technology in our smartphones, our tablets, and our computers. Well, guess what? That technology now extends to your sewing machine!!!  I'm just in love with everything and for a non-so-smart- techie (at times), I can make all that stuff sing!!!

Have a super day!!!!!


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Show and tell

It's like Christmas - there's show and tell all around. I still have a couple of days worth of class show and tell and I hope to get through it all in the next couple of days. My goal is to edit each day's photos the day I take them. Put the pictures in folders and then they won't get forgotten which is what often happens!

A super crazy day yesterday, and I swear I was on the computer ALL day which I was, but I got that project done. Yeah! This morning, I made a list of all the paperwork and a few errands to be done today? Oh - what a dreamer! There are two pages of stuff that's been neglected over the last couple of weeks. I swear - I had a thing going - half a day of paperwork in the morning and then sewing in the afternoon. Somewhere along the lines, I got derailed!

But it's time to get back on track. I did tidy the desk up a wee bit so I'd have a few inches of space to work and my long list is waiting. I'm lucky if I get past the first two items as they involve the embroidery machine and might take a while to set up. But I must move forward because there are deadlines and stuff NEEDS to be done.

Besides, there are only four weeks left in my lull and then it's going to get crazy again. I'd better make sure that I'm using every minute to its fullest advantage. And I must NOT forget the office needs to be cleaned up!

So what do I have for Show and Tell this morning?

This is from Saturday's class at The Hobby Horse. Tomorrow, I'll share the North Star quilts with you. Today it's about a couple of other projects that were brought in.

This is a scrappy Christmas quilt by Sophie. That's gorgeous and a good example of how value is so important with scrappy. Those prints are super busy, yet the pattern still shows up.

Scrappy Christmas by Sophie
Here's the back of the quilt. I was a bit confused when I opened up this quilt as I thought THIS was the front. It's a great backing!!  Nicely done!

The back of the scrappy Christmas quilt

This is another Christmas quilt made by Sophie. Do you think she likes Christmas???  I love the lens on my Samsung Galaxy s10 phone as it allows me to get a shot of the entire quilt (somewhat skewed - but that's OK). I couldn't do that before. This has some gorgeous quilting on it done by her long arm quilter (not me). I didn't manage to get any close-ups of the quilting. It's hard when you're also the holder!

Sophie's Christmas quilt

The backing fabric was gorgeous. It was a Christmas in Paris fabric. Seriously???  Never seen that before. A very unique print.

The backing of Sophie's Christmas quilt

Last week, I taught a class on T-shirt quilts. What an interesting class. I only do one session for the T-shirt quilt class and it's mostly about getting the students started on their quilt. What to do with the T-shirts, how to stabilize them, help design the quilt, etc.

So I had an experienced quilter who started to draw out her pattern after taking inventory of her quilts. She had a grand time, cutting out the bits and pieces that she wanted to keep. Her T-shirts belonged to her husband and she was making this for her daughter. She's going to add a few pictures to it and I think it'll be great fun!

Making a pattern for the T-shirt quilt

I had a second student who had only brought a few T-shirts to get started, but after I explained how they could incorporate anything into the quilt, she ran home to get more and was quite happy to start cutting up the T-shirts. This T-shirt quilt was all about sports. Cycling, skiing, running - it had a wee bit of everything in it and the maker will become the owner as it was her clothing she was cutting up. Lots of great memories are going to be in that quilt from the different events.

Cutting up the T-shirts

OK - so there were five people in the class. But only three quilts being made. I have to tell this story because it's so weird. The maker was the daughter who didn't know how to sew. The Mom (who wasn't a quilter, but I think was somewhat of a sewist and at least had a rotary cutter at home- I bet it was a small one that doesn't work well). The third person was a friend/relative? Not sure how she worked in the mix.

They had a few of the husband's (the daughter's husband) soccer jerseys. These are not cheap jerseys. She wanted to cut them up (he did not) to make a quilt for their son's bed. She has two years to make the quilt as I believe he's still in a crib.

So normally that wouldn't be a huge task. BUT, she wanted the T-shirts cut on the diagonal in strips. The only sacred thing was that logo in the top right of the T-shirt. That remained intact, but everything else got cut. I think they had four T-shirts and a pair of pants or shorts or perhaps both.

T-shirt about to be cut

At first, the pieces were going to be appliqued onto a background, but it was decided to piece them in to make it easier. OH god - the "strips" are going on the diagonal in the quilt and how the heck do you design that? Why or why is it the totally inexperienced person who wants to do something so off the wall? Let's just say that I'm very happy there is NO second part of this class. I can't imagine how that's all going to go together. It'll work - don't get me wrong - it'll work, but for someone who has never touched a sewing machine to make this happen? We just won't go there. I think there's way more to this story than was revealed in class, but not going there.

Shoot - I wish I had of taken a picture once the T-shirt was cut up. It was interesting, to say the least. Because they are going to piece it, some of that big logo will now be lost in the seams. Not my T-shirts, not my quilt. But I can see why the husband would be upset. The integrity of the T-shirt and the design is gone. Not my T-shirts - not my quilt!

I have TWO things for you to remember to do today. It's Day ONE of the Bob Ross exhibit in Seaforth, Ontario. The Cherrywood Challenge exhibit is being hosted by The Cotton Harvest Quilt Shop. A good portion of the Bob Ross exhibit is on display. The last day is Saturday (that's when I'm going). These quilts are STUNNING and you should go and see them. We NEED to be supporting our Canadian initiatives for this kind of thing instead of lamenting that nothing good ever happens in Canada. If you don't go - you are NOT allowed to complain.

There are nine quilts in the show from Canadians and all nine of these quilts will be in Seaforth. One is mine and one belongs to Tish. I'm not sure who the others are. You can also pick up the bundle for next year's challenge. The theme is Diana  (as in Lady Di) and the color is PINK!! I can see Shelly running out to buy that. Matter of fact, I swear she just texted me to say she was going to buy the kit.

The second thing is the QUILTsocial blog post today. You MUST read this. This new technology will just blow you away. I've used it for several weeks now and I'm still in awe. I want to do so much and there's so little time! But I have four weeks - use it wisely!!

On that note, it's time to get the day started!

Have a great day!!!!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

My shopping trip

If the economy were to rely on me to stay strong, that wouldn't happen. I'm not a big shopper. Not on-line, not in person. And the number of marketing e-mails that get blasted to us EACH and EVERY day is totally insane. I don't subscribe to many, but the few that I do? It's become a daily (if not more frequent) barrage of Black Friday madness. STOP!!!!  I know where you are if I need you.

However, from time to time, I do venture out with money in hand to buy something. The weather has been so nice here, that how can you not go for a walk? I could just go for a walk, but I like to do my errands at the same time. The bank, the library, a few groceries, the mall. It's all very close to me.

I take my reusable tote bag and now I have my little cardholder. I'm all set. I ended up at the mall - wait for it. There's this huge Christmas tree in the center and of course, Santa was there and people were lined up to get pictures. So glad those days are over! Love you M, but glad Santa picture days are over.

Christmas tree at the mall

What I was going for is these foaming hand soaps from Bath and Body Works. They are my favorite and I want to say that last Christmas they were not available or perhaps I missed them. Of course, they had a sale - buy 6 for $22. So I stocked up. I love these soaps and they make me want to wash my hands frequently because they smell so nice. My two favorites are Vanilla Bean Noel and Warm Sugar Spice.

Foaming hand soap

They also had a special (when do they not have a special) on body cream so I stocked up on a few of those as well.

Body cream

Oh - I remember now, my real reason to go to the mall was to check out something at Wal-Mart. I was trying to find this really neat container that Liz had brought to Sit n Sew. She found it at her local Wal-Mart for an incredible price. Alas - it was not at my Wal-Mart.

Neat case

The beauty of this case is that it's big enough for a rotary cutter or scissors. I've been looking for a case such as this one. I haven't found one yet. But now I have. I think Liz is going to be kind enough to go back to her Wal-Mart to find one for me. You can buy them on-line but in bulk???  Not sure why.

But while I was there, I picked up two containers of oatmeal since I knew I was running low and sometimes my grocery shopper doesn't get to the store in time.

Two containers of oatmeal

Remember - I'm walking! I normally wouldn't take an extra bag with me and so I did have to get a shopping bag when I bought the soaps. But having the two bags balanced me out.

A quick stop at the Bulk Barn on the way out and I picked up my yogurt cranberries as my snack. I also found their reuseable containers, so no more plastic bags for me. But I found them after I put my cranberries into a plastic bag.

Bulk barn reusable container

I found a great coloring book at the dollar store (more on that on Friday) and two very colorful placemats to make zippered pouches.

Two placemats to make zippered pouches

It took me an hour and a half or something like that. I could have been home sewing, but hey - it's too nice to be sitting in the house. I love doing my errands on foot. No hassles with parking, no hassles with crazy drivers and I got home, refreshed, relaxed and happy!

I wanted to show you my batting situation. Here's the HUGE bag of batting that I have to sort through to cut strips for the rugs or placemats or whatever I choose to make.

A big bag of batting

Here's my bag of cut strips. I added to it yesterday and as you've seen, I've still a long way to go. Should anyone want to use some of my strips (Ronda has already asked!) I might be persuaded to part with some of them.

However, I might have to charge a fee since I'm the one that did all the work to cut them.

My big bag of pre-cut strips

My scraps from cutting the batting that'll go into the pet mats. We don't generate a whole lot of garbage in this house either.

Scraps of batting to soften up the pet mats

Of course, when I was done, my cutting mat looked a mess.

The cutting mat is a mess

Now, look how clean it is. I love these green scrub pads. Yes - they take a wee bit of the mat off with them, but it's worth it. This mat should be retired, but I like to cut batting on it so it stays.

The mat is now clean

Here's one more community project quilt that is added to the pile of tops to deal with in mid-December. It's going to be a busy day to get bindings and backings ready for all these and then, I've got a lot of quilting to do!

One more community projects quilt

I did go for another walk yesterday. I mean seriously - this is the most amazing weather for November. If we don't get out and enjoy it, we cannot complain when it gets cold. Just get outside and enjoy!!!!

It was so nice and I did have work to do, so I was in Studio U so I could enjoy the weather even though I was indoors. In trying to be economical and environmentally friendly, I'm trying to use my tablet to store documents and patterns instead of printing them off.

I also use the tablet as my radio now. I've come a long way and so far, I've been able to figure out the technology to make that happen. I know - it's not rocket science, but it does take getting used to.

Here's the thing - I was actually proofing instructions for someone and I couldn't check things off or make notes as I went. I did make quick annotations on a piece of paper and then e-mailed my comments out later in greater detail.

I guess at some point, I'm going to have to break down and buy a .pdf editor. That would have been great as I should then have been able to make notations right on the screen and send the file back to the author.

High tech set up

For those that know me, I like to be toasty warm and that means, I'm almost always wearing a sweatshirt. However, Studio U was like an oven yesterday. First I ditched the sweatshirt. Then I almost ditched the pants but thought better of that. I did swap the pants for a pair of shorts. And I was tempted to find an elastic for my hair! But it was glorious! The sun was blazing, I was busy working and OH MY GOD - the time just flew. I have so much to do today but I'll just do my thing - slow and steady.

I do so much love what I do. I love how I can marry technology to my job and my hobby and it makes me very happy!

I just need to remember that everything takes time. More time than you realize. One day at a time. Many projects at a time. However, I was focused on just ONE project yesterday. 

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today. Some pretty amazing stuff that you can do with the new Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2. Mind-blowing stuff and there's much more to come.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!