Friday, January 31, 2020

Out of sorts and it's not my fault

I pretty much use my camera to log my achievements of the day. Then I use the photos to blog about what happened. Well, lately you've probably noticed that the pictures are not necessarily of things that got accomplished. I'm making progress in getting things done, but necessarily finishing quilts or other projects. I did get some much needed tidy up done, but there's still more.

Yesterday was no exception to the rule. I did get a lot done, but I've nothing to show for it. Well, except for this picture.

This quilt is a HUGE one and it's done. I'll need to get it trimmed this morning so the customer can take it away when she comes later this afternoon.

Customer quilt - DONE

But I did manage to get a lot of paperwork squared away. Lots of e-mails were deleted - how the heck do we accumulate so many?

Did I touch the postcard basket? Nope!

I did get more of the serger book read and I have to return it today. It's already overdue by a few days. But it's a very good book. I also have a couple of serger books and why the heck I don't read my own books instead of borrowing from the library is beyond me. Why????  Because books from the library have a due date.

That's the same story for the novels. I keep borrowing from the library, while I have a wealth of novels on my shelf. After I finish the couple of novels that I have from the library - that's it for a while. NO MORE. If someone recommends a book to me, I'll make a list on my phone and then if I need a book, I'll order one. If not, I'll read from the shelf. My goal is to empty that shelf, but there are a lot of books and at this rate - it's going to take years.

I sure miss the FictFact web site that I used to keep track of book series. There are others out there, but nothing like that one. I was planning on creating my own but that's a lot of work.

I did get some sewing done, but I can't share it with you. It's for the Christmas Vintage Sew Along and I know they are anxiously awaiting their e-mail this morning. I had a major interruption in the last 12 hours in my house which has caused all kinds of chaos and I'm behind. The e-mail will go out before noon this morning. I didn't make it to the gym this morning. I slept very poorly last night because someone was very needy and was also having a bad night. And what was the disturbance???

Little Bear has come to visit

Through a comedy of errors, M missed her plane and had to take a later flight. She was coming in to go to a concert so I had to pick her up from the airport (luggage took almost a half-hour) and then drove her directly to her friend's house. I got Bear. He was very clingy - no wonder if your mom left you with a stranger (of sorts) and took off.

The poor thing hadn't eaten or peed all day. So I took him for a walk when I got home, gave him some food and water which he didn't want. But he was hungry in the middle of the night (twice) and I took him outside twice. Oh - I'm a good dog watcher. I just wonder how he's going to fair on our LONG walk this morning. I can't leave him in the house by himself. Oh - the joys of having three dogs. One of which is not your own. He's quite happily ensconced in my lap as I'm writing this. I'm not going to say the dog is spoiled, but.....................

I got my swap partner for the Quilt Canada Make a Mini. I'm so excited - I just got the email this morning. So now I have to put my thinking cap on. And I'm going to get in touch with my new friend. I also need to make a list (OK - I just need to add to the list) of projects that have to be completed with their due dates. None of the projects are large so that's a bonus, but small quilts don't always mean they take less time.

We were chatting about the goals that we set for the Virtual Challenge (almost in Merrit, BC and getting close to St. Louis). I had mentioned that my goal was eating up a lot of my day. It does take time - I'm not going to deny that. But it's not much extra time over and above what I would normally do. But here's the thing - there are huge benefits to all this extra walking and none of them have to do with my health. I'm now getting amazing use of my expensive gym membership. The cost per visit has been greatly reduced - I no longer feel guilty about that membership. Yeah!!!

The dogs, who are getting walked about 3 or 4 miles every day were quite uncoordinated on the walk. They would get their leashes wrapped around each other, Murhpy would body slam Lexi and when we passed someone or another dog, the two of them would go berzerk. I'm reading a book about dog training (leash walking in particular) and the suggestion in the book was MORE walking. I have to say that those two dogs are behaving much better. When we meet someone (and we usually meet several people as we walk just before school starts), I make them (the dogs) sit on the side of the sidewalk to let the person pass. They are very good (now) at ignoring whoever passes. Murphy is somewhat better on the leash so there's a huge benefit to all this walking. And I have to confess that I like having a goal.

I guess that's why I like having lists as well as I see them as a goal. Lists are all good.

I'm not sure how much I can get done today. I do have to pick M up at some point - most likely this morning. And then with visiting and whatnot - well, it's going to eat into the day. But that's OK - we don't see her often and so a good visit is in order. And I have a small task for her. It's called - cleaning out the closet or the bookcase. She gets to choose. She doesn't have much stuff left here and I don't mind storing it, but NOT if it is going to be donated or eventually given away. Let's get it cleaned up NOW. I hope she wants to walk to the grocery store - I haven't driven there in a long time. The walk will do her good and she's young!

I hope you've been reading QUILTsocial. The PREMIER+ ECQ software is pretty cool. Here's the last post. It's pretty amazing!!!

On that note, I guess I'm out of here to see how fun it's going to be to walk three dogs this morning. I have to make up some steps!

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Postcard frenzy

It was another silly day. However, I'm happy to report that the computer work got done and the quilt is now on its way to Colorado. I had to make the binding and sew it on back and front. One hour! I'm getting good at binding by machine.

I've got a few more things that need to be tidied up today and I do want to do some prepping for the next community projects day. And I've been neglecting e-mail. So if I owe you an e-mail, it's not because I didn't get it - I'm just good at ignoring them which I know I shouldn't do. That will part of the job for this morning.

I've started listening to an audiobook while on the treadmill at the gym. Way better use of my time than watching some couple dismantle a house. The book I'm reading now is called Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner. Don't remember who recommended this book but it's about two sisters who grew up in Detroit in the '50s and carries on through the rest of their life. It's pretty interesting and gives you a good idea of how important it was to fit in and not be different. Just finished Part One - I had to linger at the gym to finish that part. That's pathetic!!

I'm brushing up on how to use a serger. I know the basics of using a serger, but I want to become truly proficient with the darn thing. I have three of them in Studio B at the moment so I better get some use of them. I've always thought of a serger as being used to sew clothes together to get those nice finished seams. WHOA!! Sergers can do a whole lot more than that.

This is a book that I borrowed from the library and I need to get it back as someone else wants it. It's a GREAT book that explains in great detail what a serger does and how to use it. The best part - it was published in 2008 but all the information is very current.

Book on serging

Here's the interesting thing about sergers. Sergers have been around for a long time, yet what they do has pretty much remained the same. The type of stitches they do and how they do them - it's the same regardless of when you got your serger. Oh yes - sergers have improved over the years - air threading, auto tension, built-in two thread converter. But seriously???  Not much else has changed. Most sergers come with one main presser foot and then you can buy accessory feet that allow you to add beads, cording, make ruffles and gathers and a whole lot more.

I know that I'm pretty good with the basics of a serger, but I want to go beyond. So I foresee a few projects in my future that utilize the serger. I might even try to put together a class for my freelance job. Wouldn't that be a shocker!! I'm game for that.

Did you dig out some supplies to make your postcard for Quilt Canada that was mentioned in yesterday's post? Did you watch any of those videos? At the end of the videos (I watched two of four), there was a photo of the postcard display from a previous Quilt Canada. Oh my - they received tons and they all looked so beautiful.

Well, as promised, I dug out my box of postcard making supplies. At least, I'm super organized. Everything you ever wanted to make fabric postcards is in this basket. OK -- so the Timtex is in the drawer with the rest of the stabilizers.

Basket of supplies to make postcards

I found these garlands of very tiny fall colored leaves years ago. My intention was to make some fall-themed postcards. Well, I might just get my act together and make that happen.

Fall colored garlands of tiny leaves

I also found this container filled with buttons, miniature ornaments and other small things suited to embellish a postcard.

A container of miniature embellishments

There's even a stamp for creating the back of the postcard. Use a fabric ink pad and you are set!!!

A stamp for the backing of the postcard
Gosh - there's even muslin already cut to a size that can be used for the back of the postcards. Obviously, something happened along the way because I haven't touched this box in eons.

Pieces of muslin pre-cut into backings for postcards
I also found some pre-made postcard backs that I had purchased from somewhere, more ink and a couple of other small stamps if you didn't want that big one I showed you earlier.

Pre-made backings for the fabric postcards
And if that isn't enough, I opened up this tin that was inside the basket to discover several half-made postcards. I know that I was in an exchange in 2013 and I'm thinking that I didn't finish my commitment to some of the group members????  I was probably in several exchanges and one I think was a monthly one. So we did snowmen for January, hearts for February, etc. Now I have to go through the rest of my postcard collection to see what's going on.

More supplies to make fabric postcards

Yep - I found more fabric in that tin as well. Oh boy! Well, if I buckled down, it shouldn't take long to finish up some of those. Should I do that first? I guess I need to reach deep into the tin and see all that is there. I just quickly glanced through it this morning.

It shouldn't take long to make a postcard and then I could mail it off to Quilt Canada and it would be done. But we all know that everything takes longer than we think it will. I'll see how I get along today. Perhaps if I can at least come up with the concept, then I'll be good or perhaps I'll find a half-finished one in the tin that I can use.

I forgot to mention my blog post on QUILTsocial yesterday. I went back to my blog and added the link, but if you read my blog early, then you missed the link for the Wednesday post. Here it is. And you MUST, MUST, MUST check out the post this morning. OH MY GOSH - I'm so excited about what I was able to create with the new PREMIER+ ECQ software. It's unbelievable and best of all? It's pretty darn easy to use. And reasonably priced.

There's just so much to learn and so much to do - where does one start? All this new technology is super exciting and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

Before I go today, I want to share something else with you. Quilt show season will soon be upon us.  I know there are more than the two that I'm going to post this morning and as the dates get closer, I'll be posting the details of those I know about.

So why should you go to a quilt show?

  • It supports the local quilt guilds. You may not be a member of a guild, but the guilds serve a purpose in the community. And they are exactly that; a community in a world when many people no longer have a community. 
  • You get to see some amazing quilts. All levels of quilters put their quilts into these local shows. Some quilts will blow your socks off and others will not. It's a good place to go and see how far you've come and where you want to go. 
  • Inspiration - you might see a new pattern you like or see a quilt made up from a pattern that you already own. You might find a colorway that you absolutely want to use for your next quilt or see a new line of fabric that inspires you. 
  • A day out with like-minded people - you get to spend the day with your friends, meet up with friends you haven't seen in a while. Sit down - have a cup of tea and a sandwich and have a good chat. Don't be in a rush. 

With that in mind - here's the information about the upcoming quilt show for Etobicoke Quilter's Guild. 

 The second show is in July, but you NEED to mark it on your calendar. It's the new show at Black Creek Pioneer Village. The dates are July 25 and 26. It's called Quilts in the Village. And they are going to need several things from you. The show is being run by the staff at Black Creek Pioneer Village, but they are looking for volunteers to help out with the events of that weekend. They are also looking for a committee member or two so if you have a wee bit of spare time - let me know. And the most important thing is the quilts! If you want to put a quilt into the show, I'll be providing more information soon with the site to register your quilt (s). There is no fee to put your quilt in the show and it's amazing to see your quilt flapping in the breeze amongst this beautiful setting.

It's going to be a great season of quilt shows. Let's get those dates on the calendars and support our local quilting community. And even if you're not a quilter, it's great to get out and see new things.

On that note, I'm off to walk the girls.

Have a great day!!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

This is how I roll..................

It was a totally crazy day. Not chaotic crazy, just lots to do in a very controlled way. The girls are LOVING the virtual challenge. They get to walk for miles every day. It doesn't mean they are better at walking on the leash (OK - maybe just a wee bit better), but they love being outside. So do I. Fresh air - every day for a couple of hours. No wonder I'm sleeping like a log. Just wait until summer - you'll never get me to stay inside.

We were off to the library and the grocery store which are NOT in the same direction. No worries - we got in lots of steps and it's kind of fun to do all those errands on foot. I LOVE my Longo's backpack. I'm sure, people give me crazy looks and DH even questions my sanity on that one, but seriously - why not? I'm at that age that I don't care!

However, I must have had bicycles on the brain yesterday as well. I did get my quilt quilted and this was the pattern.

You can't see the quilt - not yet. But then I had a dream about cycling down some crazy hill (most likely the Coquihalla Highway) in the pouring rain. Where did that thought come from???

When I wasn't walking, I was messing with the embroidery machine and the computer. I was proofreading some pattern instructions. As a result, I now have several journal covers. They aren't quite finished, but the instructions are proofed. I love proofing patterns - it's one of the ways that I learn so much. It can be a tough job as not everyone writes the same way so how much do you change in the pattern? Change the grammar? Change the style? Change just what doesn't make sense?

There are loads of people who are afraid to make comments or suggestions when they are asked to proofread instructions. Not me. I go through it with a fine-toothed comb. If it doesn't make sense to me, it won't make sense to someone else. I'm ruthless. I leave it up to the writer to make whatever changes they want, but I don't shy away from making suggestions.

Where or where do I get these ideas? Quilt Canada 2020 is coming up later this year. Actually, that would be June 17 - 20 in Edmonton. I'll be going and I'm trying to think of awesome new samples for the booth that uses the technology that we have available to us. So now I have a couple of new things to do! Oh boy!!!  Actually, I got some input from a colleague and now I'm going to sit down and think about what exactly I'd like to contribute and then get it on the list.

Speaking of Quilt Canada, the class registration is now open (for members) so if you're planning on going, it might be best to get yourself registered. If you're not a member and would like to take classes, registration starts February 3. Unfortunately, we won't be able to take classes as we're working the booth all day, every day. But that's OK. If you're coming to Quilt Canada, you must stop by the Husqvarna Viking and/or PFAFF booth to say hello.

Here's something that you can add to your list of things to do. Quilt Canada is having a postcard challenge. There are other challenges, but let's just focus on the postcard challenge for today.
This is the link to the instructions for the challenge. All the information you need is on that link. But here's the thing. Postcards are small. It's a great place to try out a new technique. It's a great place to get creative - they are only 4" by 6" so it won't take long to finish them either. There is a theme - Inspired by Nature, but that can mean ANYTHING!!!!

Here are a couple of postcards that I either made or received in various swaps over the years.

Postcard made by Mary VD

Hey Mary - do you remember making me that postcard???

Postcard made using a playing card

This is one that I made. I used a stamp, a metal charm, fabric and thread to make the card.

A postcard that I made

Here's a book that I keep some of my postcards in. It's exploding as some of those postcards are thick.

My postcard album

The postcards need to be received by May 1 so you need to get your act together. The postcards become the property of the Canadian Quilter's Association and will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the Glenrose Paediatric Brain Injury Unit in Edmonton. So if you really, really like your postcard, make TWO. One to donate and one to keep.

What to do for the postcard? Think anything!  Try a mini collage. Try using up some of those scraps of fabric that you were saving for a crazy patch quilt. Make a tribute to someone by starting with an old photograph and adding bits of lace or buttons. Make it modern, try big stitching or Sashiko stitching. Or random embroidery seed stitch over a background of patches. Remember - the size - it's small - 4" by 6" or 6" by 4". I know that you can do that.

If you go to the bottom of the link above for the postcard information, there are some videos to perhaps tweak your inspiration.

It's open to anyone to donate a postcard. If you make one, send me a picture and I'd be happy to post it. I've got to put my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with. It's not for lack of supplies. Oh - I'm going to get out my supplies later today and we can chat a wee bit more about making the postcards.

I can't wait, but not until I get two quilts bound today and a bit more proofing, finishing off some projects. It was going to be a community project workday (just for me), but I have to postpone that until next week. I don't like doing that, but I don't have a choice. I seem to be moving in slow motion these days.

And I HAVE to get my seam finish samples done for tonight and let's not forget those darts! That shouldn't take too long, but well, we all know that everything takes longer than you plan.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial today!!!

On that note, Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Show n tell

We've all had them - days that just do go wrong from the moment you get up. That seemed to be yesterday. However, that was yesterday, today is a brand new day and it's going to be a good day! Why? Because I'm going to make it a good day!

I didn't get as much done as I would have liked yesterday, but that's OK. I learned some lessons so, from that perspective, it was a good day.

One quick note about our Virtual Challenges. Ronda had mentioned that it would be nice if we could see places of interest along the way. It doesn't need to be every point of interest, but just a few to make the trip a bit more realistic. 

Well, I got a postcard in my e-mail yesterday. I'm currently in Springfield, Illinois and I got a postcard with information about Springfield. That was interesting. I wonder if the others will get the same postcard when they pass through?

My Virtual Postcard

Can you believe that January is almost over? Where the heck did this month go?

I did manage to get to Monday sewing, although I was doing computer work. But I was OK with that.

I snagged some show n tell photos from the group. This is Summer Moon, made by Diane. This is the quilt that we'll be starting in March at The Hobby Horse. I'll be providing loads of tips as we go through this book so you should get yourself signed up! The store is closed for holidays right now so I'll remind you again.

Summer Moon

Sheila was a wee bit behind with her blocks for North Star. This is her owl block. It's adorable and I love that busy print she used for the background. I need to break out of my shell and make a quilt with a busy background.

Owen the Owl

Heather has been working on this Block of the Month for a while and it's now together! The colors are totally stunning. She can no longer call herself a beginner quilter!!!

Heather's Block of the Month

OK --- so I learned something about zippers. The zipper number refers to the width across the coils. AHA -- I never knew that. I found this site with incredible amounts of zippers, but don't forget - if you're local, you can find all kinds of zippers at Nova Sewing Center in Hamilton. And I have still to check out Len's Designer Fabrics in Toronto. I learned from chatting to people yesterday that when Designer Fabrics (Parkdale) closed its doors in 2018, Len's bought some of the stock and converted their traditional store on Orfus Road into only sewing (garments, quilting, home dec.) and craft store. That's ONLY for that one location. Hence the new name - Len's Designer Fabric Store. Boy - I'm totally out of the loop. I've visited both of those stores on numerous occasions, but just not lately. And by lately - I mean NOT in the last 4 years!

Since neither of those stores was a quilt store (although they both sold quilt fabrics), I didn't keep up. Hey - you CANNOT keep up with everything. So, if you know of something important happening in the garment/sewing world, send me a note so I can keep up and I can share.

I've been doing some research on this whole slow fashion, slow quilting, slow sewing movement. It's all about sustainability. Buying less of everything, but buying better quality. Using decorative stitching for mending rather than discarding. I think it's fabulous and it's about time that we started to take a better interest in this as the landfills are overflowing with textiles of all kinds. 

I also noticed that several designers are bringing their manufacturing process back to Canada. Yeah!!! There's a lot of information on the internet that discusses all that. It's fascinating and it means there is hope.

I started to read another book last night (The Warehouse by Rob Hart) and I found this quote in the front of the book.

"I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process."   U.S. President Benjamin Harrison, 1891.

HOLY --- doesn't that speak volumes!!! I can't wait to read the book - it's kind of a spoof on that big internet retailer and how it becomes an entity that DICTATES our entire lives.

Don't forget to check out QUILTsocial as I explore the PREMIER ECQ (Embroidery Cut Quilt) software. Just wait until you see what I've created with it. It'll blow your socks off.

On that note, I've got loads to get done today. I'm supposed to be working on community project stuff - like making pet mats and cutting more fleece. I might do that this afternoon after I get my two deadline projects completed. Oh, shoot - I'll move the community projects to tomorrow so I'm not stressing myself.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, January 27, 2020

Sit n Sew

It was one of those days again at Sit n Sew. I seem to have spent a good part of the day searching for stuff for others. I don't really mean searching, but someone asks a question and I seem to have the product or a sample to show. We talked about our new panel exchange - which you'll hear more about when the time comes. One person forgot the power cord and foot pedal for their machine, so I had to get one of mine set up.

BUT - it doesn't matter. I got my quilt top assembled and the backing is together. I had hoped to get it loaded on the long arm last night, but I had something else that needed to be done. I'll share that with you tomorrow as I don't really have a lot of time this morning. Some urgent computer work that has to be done. The quilt top I can't share as it's for a magazine. But I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

OK - so you have to bear with me as I show these gorgeous pictures. Yes - it's about the virtual challenge, but I'm going through the beautiful mountains in BC and how could you not post the pictures.

I think I'm just under five miles ahead of my pace on that challenge. But look at this view.

View on the Coquihalla Highway

This is approaching one of the snow sheds. I've been here - at least once on a bike and several times in a car. This is so exciting for me. I know - small things amuse small minds!!!

Approaching one of the snow sheds on the Coquihalla Highway

I must be close to the summit as on the map, it is indicating the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area. And you can see my pace marker is now behind me. For now...............

Me and my marker on the Coquihalla Highway

This challenge is doubly exciting for me, not because I have a pace marker to keep up with (or stay ahead of), but the fact that I cycled this route is making this pretty darn exciting to see my position on the map each morning and the street view. I'm sure there'll be other sites that I have to share with you along the way.

I didn't snap pictures of what everyone was working on yesterday. I was just trying to keep up!

But Ronda was taking pictures of her tote bag that she finished so I tossed her my phone so she could grab a picture for me.

Ronda's Crafty Tote

She had purchased the fabric in Hamilton, the previous day. And now the bag is made up. How cool is that?  Notice her small tag in the seam?? I think she said, she had bought the tags at Quiltcon last year.

Little tag in Ronda's bag

FYI - if you're interested in making the Crafty Tote, you can find the instructions on AllPeopleQuilt. Here's the link. It's a super bag for carrying projects, groceries, or whatever. I love it. This particular version of the bag is by ME!!!!

I had extra corrugated plastic for the bottom of her bag which is cut and ready to insert into the sleeve once she makes that at home. Can you believe she forgot to bring the extra lining fabric to make the bottom insert?

Liz was working on making the ball of "cord" for her rug but had to leave early so it didn't get completed. France was working on 52 blocks in 52 weeks. Sharon was assembling a quilt top and Lynn worked on one of our community projects quilts. It was a great day.

But once they all left and I did my walk with the girls, it was time to hit the computer. Another learning curve. But I learned some things and you'll have to wait to see. Always something to learn.

It's my week to blog on QUILTsocial. And I've got something totally new to share with you. Not a serger, not a sewing machine. It's software. Very cool software and the more that I use it, the more I LOVE IT. Check it out.

It would appear that a trip to New York is in the air. One of the Quilt Posse road trip group has Mood Fabrics on her wish list. That's two out of four - I'm sure the others can find something in New York they want to see. And I checked out this link that Barbara mentioned is on Paula Nadelstern's website about the Garment District in New York.   OK -- doesn't that make you all want to go???? 

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got a couple more things to get organized. It's Monday sewing, but I'm going to be a wee bit late and I've got a blister on my toe that I have to pop at some point today. It's those darn rubber boots. I think it might be time to invest in a new pair. But I like this pair.

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fabric Shopping

It was a rainy day but that didn't deter me from the long walk with the girls. Fortunately, it was just a slight drizzle which later became a nasty rain, but I was in the car when it started to really rain.

I had company for my fabric shopping expedition. I got a call from Ronda who was looking for something to do and so we both headed off to Hamilton to look for fabrics.

We picked up some more vinyl - you can never have enough vinyl. I've got quite a variety of colors now so whatever we need, between the two of us we have it.

Then it was on to shopping for skirt fabric.

We popped into European Textiles. Actually, they have two locations just a few doors away from each other on Ottawa Street, in Hamilton. One location is the home dec store, where we got the marine vinyl. The other store is fashion fabrics and quilting. YES - they have a LOT of quality, name-brand quilting fabrics, including a good assortment of batiks. I had a list and I didn't deviate from my list.

After my little chat about the lack of color in people's garments, I couldn't buy black, although there are NOT a lot of other color choices. I didn't know what kind of fabric I wanted so I looked around. They don't have a huge selection as I'm sure there isn't a huge market for this kind of fabric. Who makes their clothes anymore???

I did manage to find this. The color is totally off in this photo. It's RED. Bright red. It's a linen look polyester. 100% polyester! Yeah!!! No prepping on that fabric before I cut into it, but the lining does need to be prewashed. I bought the good stuff by Bemberg.

Fabric for Skirt number one

I know - I couldn't help myself. Did you see the caption on that photo? Numer one? That implies there's a number two. Wait for it. After we paid for our purchases at the second location of European Textiles, we headed off to Fabricland. Oh - I did get the thread and zipper to go with the skirt. And I'm learning about all kinds of other fabrics - power mesh, stretchy mesh, and other great products. But you have to wait to see if I bought any of that stuff.

Fabricland was having a sale. A one day sale because the weather was so bad for the sale they had last week. I noticed that they had some pretty aggressive competitive pricing going on. It's about time and there's no need for these crazy prices. Have a look.

Fabricland also had Bemberg lining in the store. The original price - $33. I paid less than $10 at European Textiles. BUT notice the competitive pricing sticker. I bought lining at Fabricland for the second skirt. Why make one when you can make two?

Competitive pricing on Bemberg lining
I noticed that sewing machine needles were also very competitively priced.

Competitive pricing on sewing machine needles

There was no additional savings (for members) on these items. HEY - I'm good with that. I don't need the 50% off if the price is right in the first place. And the competitive pricing is way better than 50% off. Hopefully, they are listening to their customers and we'll see more of this competitive pricing.

I found a nice wool blend - actually, it's not wool, but it looks like woold. It's viscose and polyester or something like that. But it was a nice suiting type, wool look fabric so I bought some to make a second skirt. HEY - when we teach at store events, I NEED something that makes me look more professional. And I do have access to embroidery machines so my intention is to embroider on at least ONE of the skirts. The color is hard to tell in this photo, but it's a darker grey. I know - I wanted color, but the choices were limited.

Fabric for the second skirt

Hmm - maybe we need a trip to Mood Fabrics in New York?? Wouldn't that be the most amazing thing ever? How far away is New York? It's driveable. Hey, Quilt Posse road trip group? New York???  I've so many road trips that I'd like to take - well, I just can't do them all.

Here are all the accessories that I also purchased. Zippers, thread, tracing paper, and pattern tracing paper to trace out the correct pattern size I need from the multi-size pattern.

Accessories for the skirts

I need to kick it up a notch in the sewing department as I have a few pieces of fabric now that were bought to make specific garments and I don't want to build a fabric stash of garment fabrics.

We also popped into Nova Sewing Center which is a haven for threads, trims, and zippers. I just love their zippers. I couldn't resist buying this heavy-duty zipper (it's a short one) to make a zippered pouch. I know that Shelly would be able to tell me the number of this zipper. Apparently, zippers have numbers based on their size. I have no clue. I should educate myself one day and have a sample of each - just so I know. Nova is getting a facelift to the front of the store so it's the one with the big construction out front. OH -- did some quick research on zippers - no time to dwell on that today, but zippers are cool.

Heavy-duty zipper

I did get some sewing done and some quilting accomplished. One more quilt is quilted and needs to be trimmed later this week. It's BRIGHT and it's PINK. Hey Shelly - what do you think??? This one is one that we made on our community projects sewing days. It was a kit that we made up with odds and ends of fabric pieces. It's going to be donated to Quilts of Valour once the binding gets sewn on.

Community projects quilt - done
OK  - so what is happening to my cookies? They are totally broken. Well, it's NOT a mystery. I seem to drop the darn package every time I take it out of the cupboard. No wonder they're broken. I'm surprised they're not totally mushed by now. The pieces seem to get smaller each day.

Broken cookies

Today is my day off from the gym. Oh, what a feeling to not have to get up and out the door before the crack of dawn. But that doesn't mean, I've been slacking off. I have deadlines to meet and I was downstairs already this morning and have the embroidery machine (Husqvarna Viking DESIGNER EPIC 2) fired up and stitching out a project.

I quickly zipped through an audiobook yesterday which I didn't like. I'm not even going to tell you the name as I do not recommend it. The storyline was so disjointed - it was weird and it had been recommended to me by someone. But I can't imagine anyone liking this book. OK - I know - you want to know the name of the book - The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu. What was the point of this book? Read the reviews on Goodreads first and then make up your mind, but I wouldn't bother.

It's another Sit n Sew day today! Yeah! I've got a lot of work to do while the others are sewing - my work is sewing and embroidering so I'll be there working with them. I can't wait!

I also heard an advertisement for the Toronto location of Len's Mill store. It's now called Len's Designer Fabric Store. Apparently, it's been revamped and is the HEADQUARTERS for all kinds of fabrics and crafts. I wonder how different the product mix is? It was only that store location that was mentioned. I should check it out one day. Holy - just had a peek at the website and there are HUGE changes. I think this location ONLY sells fabric. Nothing else. Then there's always Designer Textiles downtown Toronto (WAIT - I just found out they closed in 2018!!!!)  and Ann's Fabric Shop in Hamilton as well  - at least for garment sewing.

Here's something I've been meaning to post - check out the latest QUILTsocial downloadable quilt magazine for FREE. It's free until the end of this month so you don't have a lot of time. Always great fun to see what's new if you don't follow the daily blog posts. Check it out!!!

On that note, I'd better get myself organized for the day.

Have a great day!!!!


Saturday, January 25, 2020

I know what I have

It's a rainy day here! But that does not mean that one can sit around the house. Not when there are steps that need to be accumulated! I tell you this virtual challenge thing has the four of us in somewhat of a panic situation from time to time. Ronda was out for steps yesterday and then noticed that her BRAND NEW FitBit had a crack in the face. ACK! How did that happen? Luckily it was still covered by the store return policy and the store that she had purchased it at had another one in stock. So she was never without a FitBit but had to go through the hassle of syncing it all again.

Last night, I realized that I had received an e-mail in the morning that the battery in my FitBit was low. NO!!!! I can't not be accumulating steps. Fortunately, it does give you the warning in advance, so it was plugged in by my bed on top of my phone so I wouldn't forget it this morning when I went to the gym. It's sad! But the virtual challenge is definitely motivating! I love seeing my little marker move along the maps. My personal pace markers are relentless, but thankfully, I've left them behind! But that doesn't mean that I can slack off because they are constantly moving behind me!

All is good! I know this is boring for you, but I know that I'll enjoy coming back and reading some of this stuff later. I'm currently on the Coquihalla Highway through the beautiful mountains in BC. I rode that highway on my bike one year and the Google Map pictures bring back so many memories. The scenery is beautiful and I can't believe that the Google car has mapped all this. Although there have been one or two days when there was no image for where I was. I'm north of Hope and headed for the summit!

On my Route 66 challenge, I'm currently in Elkhart, Illinois, finally off the Interstate for a change and actually on the old Route 66. On my way to St. Louis and another state!

Now I can tell you about my day yesterday. More computer work. I'm loving what I'm working on and I've learned so much. The more I learn, the more I want to learn and I want to know this product inside and out. It's a small product so to speak so it's feasible to be very comfortable with it. You'll see more next week. But the end product I stitched out yesterday? - so adorable!!!!

I was back at the long arm. I'm a little bit behind where I wanted to be this month, but I'll catch up next week. So I managed to get one more customer quilt done. In case you're very observant, I did a similar quilt the week before last. There are two of them. They both need to be trimmed, hopefully later today and they'll be ready for pickup.

Customer quilt

I took a picture of the back of this quilt. The maker used a bunch of leftover fabrics to make the backing. I know lots of people like to piece the backs and it's a great way to use up smaller pieces. You have to be careful that the strips or pieces lie flat. What I mean is that one section is fuller than the one next to it. Does that make sense? This can be a result of not measuring or pinning or not using your walking foot so the top piece stretches and can cause one part to be fuller than the previous section. There was a wee bit of that with this quilt, but the long arm performed it's magic and I helped it along and while I haven't looked closely at the back yet, I think most of the fullness got worked out. So pieced backs are good - just be careful how you piece them together to get a nice smooth piece of fabric.

The backing for the customer quilt

While I was quilting, my brain was going back to that quilt I unearthed the other day. Where could the rest of the pieces and the fabric be? I went through one shelf in the storage room (easy to see since nothing is blocking the shelf). Not there. Hmm - there I had a lightbulb moment. I knew exactly where the rest of this project was.

There's a big metal shelf in Studio B with a bunch of UFOs on it. For some reason, I tend to forget about it. That should be the FIRST place I look in the future.

On the shelf is a green bucket. Tucket down in the corner way at the bottom.

Where's that green bucket?

The bucket was originally for quilts that needed borders, bindings, and backings. Look - it was even labeled.

Bucket for borders, bindings, and backings

The bucket is now filled with striped fabric - set aside to do something with, but buried deep in the bottom is the fabric for my quilt. Thank goodness, I remembered that as I would NEVER have found the rest of that quilt.

AHA - the rest of my UFO

Of the three sections of the border that need to be sewn to the quilt, one of them is completed!

A border strip for the UFO

The two fabrics needed to make the remaining two sections are also there. Now, do you want to know the really funny part of this? This was the FIRST year-long project that I taught at The Hobby Horse. Let's just say that it was a LONG, LONG time ago. I did attempt to get this quilt finished a while ago. It would appear that the book is missing and apparently has been for a long time as I found an e-mail from Helen Anne, dated 2013 with a diagram and measurements of how to assemble this last border. Helen Anne was in that class. OH MY GOD - I need to get this quilt finished!

This is why UFOs are deadly. We waste so much time managing them. Make lists, assemble the parts and get them done!!! Start today! One thing I plan to do is go through the Dirty Dozen lists from 2017, 2018, 2019 and this year. I'll get those projects assembled with all the bits and put them in a very visible spot. I've mostly done that, and I do look at the lists and keep track, but I think one or two might have some missing parts. I need to find those missing parts.

That's absolutely wild and I had a great chuckle over it. It's on the list of quilts to finish this year and I'm going to make it my next UFO project. I WILL get it done. And who knows, I may end up finding the booklet if I went through my books. But that's for another day.

I've got loads to do today and I should be working on my seam finishing samples and I need to buy my skirt fabric. Not sure about the weather, but I'd rather travel on the weekend, than during the week to where I'm going so I might just suck it up and venture out this morning.

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

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, January 24, 2020

It's all about the jelly roll rugs

We had Sit n Sew yesterday. One of my favorite days of the month. Despite that fact, I was way over in my daily step count. Why? Well, it seems that I do a lot of walking when the group is over and not a whole lot of sewing. I help carry the sewing machines down the stairs and fetch things if someone forgot something. I've no idea why so many steps, but it was a wild day. One of my highest activity days in a while.

So I'm ahead on both challenges. The goal was to catch up before the end of January and that is accomplished as long as I can keep up with the daily minimum which shouldn't be a problem.

If you've been following along, you know that I have a special setup in the corner of Studio B just for making Jelly Roll Rugs. One of my sewing machines in the portable cabinet so the bed of the machine is flat with the tabletop and then two more tables, one behind the sewing machine and one at the side to support the rug as it expands. I'm not sure how many rugs have been made there now, but it's quite a few.

Rose finished another one yesterday. The strips came from a jelly roll that she had. This picture does NOT do justice to the brilliance of those strips. It's absolutely stunning and I think more than one of us wanted to keep it! It was perfectly flat!!

Rose's jelly roll rug

Matter of fact, she liked this color combo so much, Rose had purchased TWO jelly rolls. The rug above is her second rug. The other one, which she made last fall, started with the green in the middle and worked out to purple. What do they look like together?

We have a super cute model to show us the difference between the two rugs. Shoot - I don't remember the dog's name, but she is a cutie. I hope she's a cuddler cause you just want to snuggle your face in her gorgeous colored coat. And look at that face!! She's asking - "Is this one mine?" I think she's saying that she likes that one best!

Two jelly roll rugs

It's fascinating to see these two rugs. Made from identical jelly rolls. The one on the left was started with the purple on the inside and the one on the right was started with the green on the inside. While I like both, I'm liking the one on the left better. It would appear to have more contrast as well, although they use the same color of strips!

Liz brought a jelly roll and her batting and started the process of making the long ball of "string". The longest part of the process is getting that batting into the fabric strips. She made good progress. She's back on Sunday for another Sit n Sew day so just left her stuff downstairs ready to go on Sunday morning.

Liz's progress on her jelly roll rug

When I was doing some tidying up, I found TWO balls of cording that I had made to make two rugs. Oops - I forgot about those. Maybe I could sell them?

I didn't get pictures of what the others were doing, but everyone made good progress on their projects. The conversation was good, the company was good and we did get some sewing done.

Anyway, I made an attempt to clean some stuff up yesterday. I had a bucket of quilt tops that needed backings made. I had searched through the backings and found fabric for this quilt. The quilt top is on the left and the backing is on the right.

Quilt top and backing

Now the backing is made, the binding had been made before and the whole thing got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. I think that the square of green fabric is there in case I didn't make enough binding. I didn't bother to check, the extra fabric is there if needed. 

Quilt top, backing, and binding

Then I pulled another quilt off the pile. This is the quilt top.

Completed quilt top

The binding was already made for this one as well. DSo what stopped me from making a backing until now? Nothing! Well - except before the cleanup, it was NOT an easy job to find backing fabrics in the stash room.

Binding and the quilt top

Within seconds, I had located this piece of yardage and so very quickly got the backing sewn together.

BAcking fabric

So that's another quilt that gets moved to the "to be quilted" pile.

Quilt top, backing, and binding moved to the "to be quilted" pile

Oh - you think I made progress?? Well, I did - sort of. But there's still more tops that need borders, bindings, or backings. I'll get through it. I have confidence in myself and I could make a huge dent in that pile and maybe even get everything done if I scheduled one day to do it. I might consider that because it would clear up some stuff that's been sitting around.

I pulled one quilt top out of the bucket. I knew that it needed borders added on three sides. HOWEVER, the fabric to do that is NOT in the bucket. And this quilt is on my Dirty Dozen list for 2020. Hmm - where the heck is that fabric? I'll be scouring the stash room and the UFO boxes to find the darn project box. This is why we should NOT have UFOs. It takes a ton of time to manage them.

I trimmed several quilts and filed away the batting scraps and the excess backing. I managed to get the binding on one of the quilts.

Binding on a scrap quilt

Again, if I took ONE day and focused on the trimming and the bindings, I could clear that pile as well. I'll have to think about that one. In one way it's good to get it done in a day. On the opposite side of the coin, it can be boring to do the same thing all day long.

It was a totally chaotic day as we had Sit n Sew, the fireplace was serviced, the house was cleaned. And after all those people left, I had a very long conference call to participate in while I packed my suitcases for a trunk show on scrap quilts at the Brampton Quilt Guild. What a fun group of ladies! And great to see so many friends. Thanks for having me!!!! I had loads of fun as I recounted the stories behind the quilts.

Let's just say the conference call started on my phone, moved to the computer, back to the phone and ended while I was in the car. The wonders of technology! And I almost did it seamlessly. One small snag as I couldn't find the MUTE button to unmute myself. I know how to do it now.

I'm happy to report that I finished The Huntress by Kate Quinn. A very long book, but well worth the read. I've realized that we have to STOP talking about books on sewing days. The new one I started this morning was also recommended by someone at sewing and I got two new recommendations yesterday. I have a whole shelf of books of my own to read!!!  At least the new one is half the length of the one that I just finished. PHEW!!!

I might have to look into a new pair of headphones as well. Earlier this week at the gym, while on the treadmill, I tuned into HGTV. I know - watching TV which is NOT my thing. Well, after three days - I was bored to tears. The format of every show I watched was the same. A handyman (be that a plumber, a carpenter, or whatever trade) with a designer-ish wife. They would transform a house for a young, smiling couple. Seriously--- why do we have so MANY of the SAME shows. I won't go into details, but you sure wonder at the knowledge (or lack thereof) some of these people have.

I nixed the TV and started to listen to my audiobook. Way more interesting. However, my little earbuds don't drown out the sound of the music in the gym. I wonder if noise-canceling headphones would work better?? Those big over the ear things? We have a pair around the house - I'll have to check them out.

Thankfully the next two days are somewhat quiet. I do have a class to teach tonight, but no prep work required. Just grab a book and get in the car. But I have a lot of computer work and sewing/quilting work so it's going to head down all day.

Oh - and if you live near me - get outside and enjoy the weather. When I got ready to leave the house this morning, I realized that I did not have my wind pants on. I dug around in the dark in my gym bag and couldn't find them, although they are in there. Oh - it's not cold outside. So there I was at 5 AM outside in my gym shorts. It's NOT cold out.

Have a super day!!!!