Friday, November 22, 2019

Peace and quiet

It's been deathly quiet around my computer the past couple of mornings. Usually, I have the radio playing in the background, but I just can't take Christmas music 24/7 for 6 weeks. Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas music and would love if they interspersed the Christmas songs with the regular playlist. Nope - they moved completely to Christmas music 24/7. I can't be bothered to change the radio station. OH - I could find the web site for the Radio Canada player and use that to play the radio station.

Wow - that was fast. It took mere seconds - much less time to do that than physically change the radio station on the radio. It's weird though - the music is coming to me through the front of the computer screen rather than behind the screen where the radio sits. I'll see how it goes - there doesn't seem to be a lot of play with the volume and I like subtle. Oh well!

OH - I had to mute it - it was a bit too much for me until I can figure out how to turn it down just a wee bit. There are only four settings on the volume. The next lowest is mute!

Remember the homework I was talking about from the Show n Tell at the Paris Bee Quilters Guild? Here's the photo. Thanks, Gwen for sharing that photo.

Homework from a workshop

That's impressive to have so many finished projects at the next guild meeting. And look at all those curves! They did a super job!!!

Yesterday was Sit n Sew. My favorite day of the month. Well besides Monday sewing and community projects days. OK - any day I get to sew is my favorite day of the month!

Pauline was working on six placemats and a table runner. She arrived with them quilted but didn't have enough of one fabric to make the binding. I managed to scrounge up enough of one fabric that suited her project. It's times like this when we miss Ruti's Needlebed. Pauline has no UFOs. Can you believe that? None! I'm not sure I could function like that!

One of Pauline's placemats - done!

Liz was working on a wonky Christmas tree runner. Or maybe that was two runners. Anyway, she made good progress on her blocks.

Liz's wonky tree runner
Tish was working on an advent calendar. No picture. 

Diane was working on one of our community projects quilts as was Helen Anne. I didn't take pictures - you'll see them finished later. And we got Diane's Premier + 2 software installed. That took forever and she had to leave before it was finished. If you're into machine embroidery, the software is amazing.

Embroidery software - INSTALLED

I continued to work on my community projects quilt. The top is finished. I added a small border around the outside but not so big that it won't fit on the wide backing (62") that I have set aside for this quilt. I also made the binding so it got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. Yeah!!!!

Community projects quilt - DONE

I really like this quilt and am amazed at how nicely it turned out considering what I started with. It's very scrappy and not for anyone, but it's nice in my books and it's flannel.

I finished one more gift bag. This time I used ribbon instead of cording. I love it!! They are so easy to make and they have a nice finish to the top. The top is lined so you don't see any raw edges when it's like this. Super simple to do.

One more reusable gift bag

So here's the thing - if you are a sewist or you know a sewist - why are you still buying gift wrap? Make your own bags. If you want to make these bags and don't have a serger, contact me. I'll rent you some time on a serger. These things are FAST and super easy to make on a serger.

I've received some photos of gadgets that we'll be chatting about hopefully next week. I really should be doing a blog about YouTube videos as well. For the second time in two weeks, I've had students or customers who would rather watch a YouTube video and got incorrect information than call me, listen to me or didn't remember what I told them. I'm about to pull my hair out! Why or why do we pay attention to some of those YouTube videos? Just because someone made it, doesn't mean it's right. It's like fake news - this is fake quilting!

One of the best ones I heard (actually I think I read it on someone's blog a while back) was to help eliminate the bulk in a pieced block. You pressed the block and then put it under a large heavy book to help flatten the block. Seriously???  I don't make this stuff up. Can you imagine having tables and tables of blocks while you waited for them to flatten your blocks??  If you press correctly, anything will lie flat. No heavy books required.

I heard a good piece of advice last night about YouTube videos which I'm going to pass along to you (thanks Sara).  If you INSIST on watching a YouTube video (don't get me wrong - there's a lot of good information out there), don't just watch one. Randomly pick two or more to see if the one that you originally picked is valid. Most of the YouTube videos say pretty much the same thing but occasionally you get an oddball that's totally out to lunch.

Like the one that tells you to GLUE - yes with WHITE GLUE, your seams together BEFORE you sew. Seriously??? My blood pressure nearly went through the room when I heard that. Use pins if you must, but seriously - if you have been taught correctly, you do NOT even need pins. Imagine the mess and how time is wasted by gluing. I can't even imagine!

Here's the other thing - most times, it's the newbies that watch these videos and then get caught in a nightmare. This is unfortunate because most newbies are already daunted. And as an experienced quilter, these things come back to me and then it's my job to fix. Like that quilt that had the batting and backing trimmed to the exact size of the quilt from last week. This just makes the life of the newbie that much more difficult.

So if you're a student of mine, I don't care if it's the middle of the night (OK - maybe I care about that), but PLEASE ASK ME before you watch the YouTube videos. I have tons of tutorials that I've written and they reside on QUILTsocial. I'll be changing that soon. They'll continue to reside on the QUILTsocial website, but I'm going to make them more accessible to all of you. But in case you've no idea what I'm talking about, here's an example of some tips to improve your machine quilting - both free motion and straight lines.

Yes, I'm using a certain brand of a sewing machine, but if you read the posts, many tips apply to ANY sewing machine. Read these posts and learn! I've got over 20 years of experience in the sewing world. This is my passion, this is my day job, this is my life! I've goofed in the past, but I don't make you do silly things. And if I do - I'll usually tell you why and then you can decide if you want to do that. My way is NOT the right way, but it's usually the most logical or practical way. I've learned the traditional techniques and then tweaked them.

Seriously - there is no question too silly to ask. If you don't ask questions, you're likely going to end up in trouble. I'm here to help. That's why you sign up for classes with me. ASK ME. I don't want to say that it's insulting if my students go to YouTube - I get it that people want to find out more information, but seriously - well, I can't say more. It's just frustrating!

On that note, I have NOTHING - absolutely nothing on the calendar for today. I love it!! But that doesn't mean that I don't have anything to do. I have loads of things to be done today and I'd better get started.

Have a super day!!!!



  1. As with many things in life these days, people are looking for the quick and easy route. For information, that seems to be YouTube. Either that or they think it makes them more tech savvy? Try telling students that YouTube is not a reliable source for academic information! One of my bigger frustrations.

    1. OH -- I hadn't thought about the academic aspect. I'm sure it would drive me crazy! Good luck with that.