Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Slow and steady

Slow and steady - everything gets done when you work slow and steady. And a bit of focus helps a whole lot.

I'm hosting two sew-along groups and I send out the homework on a Friday. Fortunately and through NO planning on my part, the Fridays have alternated. I send the homework every second Friday to one group and the first Friday of the month to the other group. I'm sure at some point that those dates will end up in the same week, but that's OK. What I'm impressing myself to death with is that I've been able to keep up with the homework, finish the blocks and get the written tips to them ON TIME!!

What the heck has happened to me? Well, since I'm going to be "away" at the retreat, I don't want to have to deal with this homework while I'm away. That means I spent a good part of yesterday (and the day before) prepping the homework. Something else that doesn't usually happen. I would be panicking about now and end up throwing the homework into one of the MANY bags of stuff to pack in the car.

I'm happy to report that one of the blocks is done and the second one is getting close. Loads of work so that'll keep them busy for a while. I hope to wrap everything up later today so that all I'll have to do is send out the e-mail on Friday. It wasn't until this morning that I realized that one component of yesterday's block was actually for today's block. It appears that I switched some pieces around. Oh well - NO ONE is going to know I did that. It does mean I have to recut a few pieces this morning.

I have 36 minutes left in the latest audiobook. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Those over the ear headphones was the BEST investment I made. It's so easy to just lose myself in the mindless sewing. Since I'll be sewing at the retreat by myself (for most of the day) - we have to maintain the social distancing rules!  😃😃😃😃😃 (just discovered that I can use emojis!)  I'll probably be listening to a lot of audiobooks as I have a lot of mindless sewing in that laundry basket.

I got a note that FabricFlare is processing my zipper order so HOPEFULLY, it'll get shipped today and I might get it at the retreat?

I'm going to be starting the two on-going groups at The Hobby Horse via e-mail as well because I doubt that we'll be meeting at the end of April and I want to get started as I'm sure the class participants do as well. I'll be working on that homework later today as well. I hope that will go out on Saturday. Time is running out!!!  BUT I'm packed.

ONE laundry basket packed with projects for the retreat

I did add ONE other project on top. That's my ender and leader project for the retreat. That's it - nothing more will be added. Oh - I'm tempted - I see loads of small things that could be added, but I'm NOT going to do it! I found a container yesterday and started to pack a few tools and thread. I thought I took a picture, but I didn't. I'll share that with you tomorrow. I'm trying to be good. HEY -- if we can't have fun with this - well - life is just too short to not have fun. Trust me - it's going to be FUN!

So what else have I been doing?? I used my new Secura thread to sew this button back on my tote bag.

My Canada tote bag with the button sewn back on
Secura by Coats is a heat-activated thread. You sew the button on, then steam it and it's supposed to fuse the threads together for more secure buttons. I did that so we'll see what happens. I bought my thread at The Sewing Machine Store in Saskatoon.

Secura thread by Coats

Why was the button off? Well, it did fall off, but then I had to wash the tote bag. I know - I really hated to wash it, but I had spilled a bottle of water in the tote bag and some of the fabric bled!!! I know - a quilter's nightmare. I think it was the fabric with the Canadian flag. GRRRR. Totally my fault for not prewashing the fabric and for spilling the water. However, most of the affected areas washed perfectly clean.

Areas where the dye ran

I really should have taken a before and after shot of the bag. It wasn't a huge area that was affected, but it was enough. I don't think I put any dye magnets in either. I just washed it. The bag came out beautiful!! I didn't even have to iron it. It's good to go. So that's encouraging for anyone who has a cloth bag and wants to freshen it up!

Since no more dye ran, this was a case of loose rogue dye that a prewash would have solved. Another scenario could have been dye that wasn't set properly and that would continue to run forever!

I watched a couple more videos of The Quilt Show. Two more to go and I'm done the first season! Yeah! I'd better be finding some more hand stuff to do! The pile is getting a bit low. But not to worry - I have enough for the next two shows.

 And now the October wall hanging is DONE. I love this one best. OK - so it has orange in it. But I LOVE the color combination! HEY - that could be a great combination for an entire quilt. Purple, orange, and green!!!!  Remember these are designed by Patrick Lose. This pattern collection is from 2012.

October wall hanging

Here's what completed so far. January is already satin stitched, but the others still need to be stitched before they are quilted. They do NOT need to be, but I want to do that. I just like finished edges better than raw. A personal quirk!

Seasonal wall hangings

Actually, I did the October wall hanging a couple of days ago. I finished the November wall hanging this morning. Yes - it doesn't coordinate with our Thanksgiving - I'm OK with that.

November wall hanging

Here are all eleven. These are so darn bright and cheery! I LOVE them all. I should pack one in the retreat bag to do the satin stitching. NO - don't do it!!!  I'll get started on the stitching next week. But they've been a lot of fun to do. I'm sure that Paula would be pleased to know that they are finally getting done.

Eleven seasonal wall hangings

Let's see - I also got one of the zippered pouches completed yesterday. I LOVE zippered pouches. You can never have too many of them. I like to fuse a piece of fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outer fabric and then quilt it. You can check out how I quilted it at this QUILTsocial link. While I had completed one of the sides for the blog post, I still had the other one to do.

Zippered pouch

I fuse Decor Bond to the wrong side of the lining. Then I construct the zippered pouches so all the seams are on the inside. Nice and neat. I've got a few more zippered pouches waiting to be sewn together. I hope to get one more done today. I'm not sure what happened with this one, but the assembly was the best I've ever done. Nothing was wonky and nothing had to be trimmed to make it match. The Designer EPIC 2 or me??? My money is on the machine!

Let's just say that the LASER GUIDANCE system on the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 helped with the quilting on that zippered pouch AND with the homework that I'm prepping for the group on Friday. HUGE time saver!!!! I love it.

I've been trying to get through my e-mails. There are so many and I'm getting really good with the DELETE button. Wait - I sort by sender and then DELETE the entire group. I know that I could UNSUBSCRIBE from some of these groups, be4cause seriously - why do I need to get THREE or more e-mails selling the SAME PRODUCT.  LAST CHANCE - well, it's not really the last chance cause you're going to send me another e-mail tomorrow. SALE, BUY NOW, DISCOUNT, FREE SHIPPING, RARE ITEMS.  It gets super annoying after a while. I may actually unsubscribe from some of these. It just means that I'll have to search out the information that I like to get to keep up to date and I'm so not good at that. I'll fail miserably. So I might just keep subscribed and then delete!

If only we could pick and choose what we want to get. I want the information, I don't want the sale stuff. Oh yes - that's the price you pay for free information. I forgot!

While going through the e-mails, I found this one from Gisele. She had sent me the center part of her Aviatrix Medallion quilt. She chose the simple star and well - I think the simple star is so much nicer and fits better with the style of the quilt. But you know me - I rarely make anything (anymore) to the specs in a pattern. Gosh - I barely read the darn instructions.

Gisele's Aviatrix Medallion

I've been pretty good about keeping my desk area clear of stuff. There's enough room for me to work and although I'm not going through boxes of stuff, I'm trying to clear some of the paperwork that has to be done before I start going through the boxes and unearthing more. I'm making decent progress, but wish I could go faster.

But here's the thing - when you spend a couple of hours walking every day, at least one hour watching The Quilt Show video (and doing handwork at the same time), a couple of hours on the computer (writing blog, e-mails, typing up homework or whatever), a wee bit of time to eat, an hour or more to read a physical book, and then some sewing, the day is gone before I know it. There's NO shortage of things to do at my house and I think it'll take weeks and weeks (OK - years and years) before I run out of things to do!!!!

On that note, I'm off to get started on the next homework assignment, but only after we have our walk.

Have a SUPER day!!!!!


Monday, March 30, 2020

Let's go for a walk

So it was pouring rain yesterday morning. Even the girls did NOT want to go outside. That's very unusual, but it was wet! However once the rain went away and the sun came out, people came out of their houses in droves! The girls and I went for a long walk and at some point, there were so many people to "dodge" on the streets, that everyone was crossing what is normally a fairly busy street at random intervals to keep our social distancing.

It was great to see so many people out - I just hope that people will realize how nice it is to walk and keep at it once we are through this crisis.

I've been diligently working away at the sewing machine and doing some tidying. I haven't fired up the long arm in a while, but that's OK. There's no rush on anything.

OH -- I'm going to start off the day with a question. In my tidying up, I came across this project. A TON of batik 2 ½" squares cut. They need a background. I found a HUGE hunk of this blue batik in the bag. It's not cut up but is supposed to be the background.

But what about white? I have so much solid white that I'd like to get it used up.

Squares on white

And I have huge pieces of muslin - would that work???

Squares with muslin

The original was done with a light background. I don't know that it matters to me and I like all three options. I do like the white option myself. There are two blocks to the quilt - the center of one block is batik and the next round is white and the final round is batik. The second block is the reverse. So the background plays a huge part in the quilt.

I've also been hanging out in Studio U enjoying the natural light from the windows and getting some handwork done. While I'm doing the handwork, I'm watching the first season (2007) of The Quilt Show (Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims). Somewhere along the line, I bought the first three series on DVD. I never watched them. So I borrowed a DVD player and I need to get them watched. I also have a stack of machine quilting and technique DVDs.

I do NOT understand my NEED (at that time) to own these things but never watch them. Why???  It's just a mystery to me and I spent so much money on this kind of stuff. Anyway - I'm thoroughly enjoying the videos. I don't have a need to watch the other seasons of The Quilt Show, but I'm enjoying the ones I have available to me.

The show is still going and you can check it out here on their website. There are a couple of free videos that you can watch as well. It's a subscription service but they have free stuff on their web site.

One of the hand things I'm working on is to finish the tracing and cutting of those seasonal wall hangings (designed by Patrick Lose). This is October. It's ready for the satin stitching.

October wall hanging

And here are nine of the twelve. They are so darn cute and I love how bright and cheery they are!!!

Nine seasonal wall hangings

I have to get some pet mats finished. There's a stack of them waiting by the serger and I just can't seem to get there in the day. But here's the cutting scrap box and it's overflowing - yet again! I think I have about 4 or maybe five of the bags left. Then I'll have to get busy and make some more. I certainly never run out of things to do!!!!

Scraps to make another pet mat
This pattern came to me in a box of stuff that I inherited I don't want the pattern - does anyone want it for free?? It was to support the Mennonite Relief Sale in 2016. 

Mennonite RElief patter from 2016
I inherited this block (from that quilt) which wasn't done very well, so I took it apart, cut the pieces so they were the same size and once I sew it back together, it'll go in the orphan block box. 

Orphan block - almost done

It's a long time since my sewing machines and sergers were this organized. All the not currently used stuff is stored on one table. There's one more serger and one more embroidery arm missing from the table, but there's also no more room!! Those machines take up loads of space. I'm just glad they are all together.

The parking lot for sewing machines, sergers, and embroidery bits

It was time to get that binding made for Peaceful Year. I had to cut ELEVEN strips. That's how huge this quilt is. I put the binding in a plastic bag to protect it from fraying.

Binding is made

Then this quilt got added to the "to be quilted" pile and it was noted on the list in the red binder as well.

To be quilted quilt

 I spent a lot of time prepping the backpack project for the retreat. Holy - there are a LOT of pieces to cut. Main fabric, quilted fabric, lining and coordinating fabric, bits of foam, stabilizers, hardware. But it's done. In this picture, it wasn't quite finished. Notice how all the bits are labeled? It'll be way easier to make this one than the first one. I did NOT label any of the pieces which caused some angst as I worked on it. It took forever!!!

Prepping the backpack

When that picture was taken, I still had all these pieces to cut. Each square was a label for something.

STill to cut

The project is now in the laundry basket. That was the LAST project that's going in the basket and while the basket is overflowing (well - it's heaped high), it all fit in one spot. All that remains is to pack some tools and basic supplies. That's for tomorrow. Just two more sleeps - I can hardly wait. Remember - this is a virtual retreat!! We might be silly, but we're not that silly that we'd violate the social distancing orders that are out there at the moment.

From the remainder of the quilted fabric, I've managed to cut some smaller pieces that'll work to make some zippered pouches.

Leftover bits to make zippered pouches

I have to confess that I'm not a fan of the homemade masks. What's the point I asked myself? Well, here's a very good video that explains it a bit better. I'm good with anything if there's a good reason. While it can't guarantee 100% that you won't catch the virus, it can help. I wouldn't be surprised if when we are allowed out, that it'll be mandatory for everyone to wear a mask. EVERYONE!!

DH and I had a great discussion last night. I hope the same thing is happening in your house. We are actually sitting down (well we always do) for dinner, but our discussions are varied and well - entertaining! We've decided that we would not be upset to catch this virus. Not that we're going to intentionally endanger ourselves. But we're both healthy and the odds are in our favor that we won't die. That doesn't guarantee it - there is no guarantee to anything. But we're OK if it happens. You also have to realize that we're both high-risk takers and have been for years.

I found two patterns that you can make directly in the embroidery hoop if you're into that. Perhaps later today, I'll give them a whirl. Actually, Ronda found the one at the Kimberbell site and the other came in an e-mail. She made both of them yesterday. NO pictures. Here's the one from Embroidery Library.    And here's the one from Kimberbell.   Just scroll down the page to get the link.

It'll be fun to make one from some of the funky novelty prints I have. And if I never wear it - it'll be a reminder of this current situation. I don't think it'll make much of a dent in the novelty print stash.

I've been working on other stuff as well, but that's it for today. OH -- I should tell you that thanks to TWO of my readers, I was able to find my zipper tape from a Canadian source. The first one didn't have what I was looking for, but the second one did. And after much contemplation over the darn color, I placed my order. I paid the same price as I would have for the US order but at least it's in CDN dollars so I don't have to take the hit on the exchange.

I did have a chuckle as I placed the order. The zipper tape costs $10.79 in the US with $15 shipping. At the CDN site, the zipper tape was $15 and $10 to ship!  Thanks to all of you for keeping me honest. I should have KNOWN to search for a CDN shop to buy from since I'm always saying how important it is.

The big question is - will it get here in time for the retreat? The store (I'm not sure if they have a physical store or just online), is in Ontario so there's hope!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Everyone needs a dog

Every morning, I have a few websites that I check. One is my progress on the Virtual Challenges to make sure that my steps got uploaded overnight. And now I can say "Toto - we're not in Kansas anymore!". I'm now in Oklahoma on Route 66. It's pretty exciting - a total of 629 MILES since the beginning of the year. Is anyone else signed up for any of them?? Some are short - like 26.2 miles. But no - we have to pick the longest one! And you know what? I'm OK with that.

I have to admit that there are times when I go for a walk, not because the girls expect it or that I feel like it. I go because of that damn challenge. When I'm out walking and I think I'd like to head back home now, I look at my steps for the day and realize that if I want to keep up with my pace that I need to keep walking.

But this is how I operate. When I ride my bike on a touring trip - there's no stopping until you get to the end of the route for the day! You just do it! No questions. Sometimes you have to dig deep and you just do it! I WILL walk Route 66 this year and I WILL do it in less time than planned. It's just that simple.

I also check the world stats on the current situation. The numbers grow in leaps and bounds every day which makes the entire thing pretty scary. How realistic are those numbers and what's going to happen when they say it's OK to come out of physical distancing?? It's going to take a long time after the all-clear for people to feel comfortable close to others.

I know that we are shut-down until the reassessment on April 7??. I hear some states just got shut down for THIRTY days starting now. I feel confident that we're going to be shut down for longer than April 7. More time to sew!

As a coincidence, I'm reading a book called After the Flood by Kassandra Montag. It's set in the future (100 years +) after the earth was flooded and there's very little remaining land. This morning, it was revealed that one of the survival tactics of the remaining people on earth was to release a plague, kill off a good part of the population and then take over their countries. Yeesh - not a good thing to be reading at this point in time.

I have to confess that we don't have hand sanitizer or wipes in our house and we have no intention of buying them. We are just not that kind of a household. By all accounts of the rigorous cleaning that one should be doing, the two of us should be dead by now. Hand washing and physical isolation - that's our strategy.

If you live in France (or at least in this one area), you're not allowed to walk outside without a dog. Imagine!!!!

Only allowed walking if you have a dog in Saint-Jean-de-Luz (France)

That's pretty scary. We decided to take a drive yesterday. We only stopped at a drive-thru for a treat when we got close to home. I was actually very surprised at HOW MUCH traffic was on the highways. We went from our house and drove around Toronto - 401, 404, Gardner, QEW and back home. It took ONE HOUR!!!  Normally that drive would take HOURS. So while traffic is significantly less, there were still lots of people on the roads. Where are they going to????

I accomplished a lot yesterday and I don't even have time this morning to share it all with you. But after my walk, I got down to business with that basket of red fabric. I dumped the entire contents on the table and sorted through the fabrics looking for something that would work for the border on that small quilt. Well, the blocks that need to be sewn into a quilt.

Shopping Chez Elaine

The reds vary from orangey-red to pinky reds to corally reds. It's hard to get it all super organized by color, but this is how I shop and this is likely how I would find these fabrics in a quilt store. It all works. Lots of rejects and lots of prints that I wonder where I'll ever use them. No worries - they are NOT up for grabs at this point. I have a lot of other stuff to worry about before I start to downsize these baskets. For the moment, ALL the fabric stays where it is.

A variety of fabrics in the red basket

I found THREE fabrics that'll work. I tucked all three into the project bag and once the quilt top is together, I'll decide which of the three works the best. I hope there will be enough for the border and binding and so that's why all three got tucked in the bag as they are different sizes. This project went into the retreat basket.

Three reds were chosen for the borders and binding

I also needed some white for the inner border. I don't have loads of white with a print on them. Got loads of SOLID white, but not much with prints. But I found something and it's also in the project bag.

White fabric for the red/white quilt
Then I was onto the next project that I want to prep for the retreat. This quilt(s) is on my 2017 List of UFOs to finish. It's also on my current UFO homework for this month, meaning that the top has to be together for our April meeting or I cough up $10. Now that's an incentive. Although, I'm not so sure that it's the $10 that is motivating me. It's more likely the shame of admitting to the group that I failed to get my (own assigned) homework complete.

The project got put on hold for TWO reasons. One - I needed some black fabric for the sashing and I didn't have enough. Now we all know that black is NOT black. I dug out my bolt of black fabric. Hmm - it does NOT match. My fabric from the quilt is in the lower right-hand corner.

The black fabrics do not match

I then dug out my basket of solid fabrics and dug through it to find all the pieces of black fabric. 

Basket of solid fabrics

My camera does crazy things to the color, but these are all technically BLACK. I found three pieces that were fairly close in color and I said - who cares - just cut them up!! Obviously - I did NOT use that one in the top right!

All black fabric is not created equal
It doesn't matter - the pieces are NOW cut and ready to sew. Yes - not just the strips cut, but the strips are sub-cut as well. I'm making it a goal to get to this retreat with NOTHING to cut (maybe some trimming), but EVERYTHING will be prepped. I'm trying to be good about picking threads and having bobbins wound as well. Oh shoot - I never thought to throw some black thread in with this project.

The project is ready for the retreat

I'll throw in some black thread when I go downstairs later. Actually, I need to practice creating a supply bin to take with me. Rather than madly throwing all kinds of stuff in like I normally do and then when I go to find something, I can't remember which bag it's in. If I have a supply bag for tools and such, then it would be easy to find what I'm looking for. It's also just as easy to slip the required threads and such into the project bag, then it's all together. I'll see how it goes. The bottom line - I do not want to have to "SHOP" for anything.

The funny thing about this is that it's a virtual retreat. So if I'm missing anything, I can just walk to the shelf to get it. That's not the point!

Now here's the problem with this project. To make the project, you cut strips of the solid bright fabrics and not one to leave things alone, I cut all that I could from each strip. I no longer make big quilts so I had enough blocks for one quilt (and the blocks are all sewn together), but I also had 17 extra blocks (I need 20 blocks for one quilt). What to do?? I didn't have any of the fabrics left or did I??

20 blocks for one quilt on the left, 17 blocks for the second quilt on the right

I dug out another container of solid fabrics.

Another container of solid fabrics

Darn it - there is no more fabric to match the existing scraps. And that's the second reason the project got stalled. Well - I didn't care. I picked new fabrics to make the remaining three blocks. I mean - how hard is that???

I had to remember how to use the Super Sidekick ruler again to cut the last three blocks. But that was easy.

Cutting the last three blocks using the Super Sidekick ruler

And there you have it - the last three blocks for the second quilt are cut and ready to sew together. I  mean - how hard was that? I'm such an idiot for setting some of these projects aside for silly reasons. This got packaged up and is also in the retreat basket. I think there are now 7 projects - completely prepped and ready to sew. I'll have to deal with the black sashing fabric once these blocks are together. I think I'm going to have no choice but to use what's on the bolt. It's different, but it's going to be OK. I bet once it's all quilted up - no one is going to notice.

Three more blocks

Only three more sleeps until the retreat. I can hardly wait!!!

It was time to say good-bye to an old friend yesterday. At our last sewing day, the crazy iron with the 45-minute timer went cold. I thought it might just need a rest, but alas - after trying it several more times, it just doesn't want to work. The heating element appears to be toast. Well, it doesn't owe me anything since I've used that iron for several years and it cost less than $20. No worries - I still have four other irons - I'm good.

Say good-bye to the iron

I've been getting some other stuff cleaned up and put away in Studio B. That makes me feel good. I'm energized and ready to work!!!

We all have strange habits and one thing that I seem to be very good at is cleaning up. OK - that's a total farce. Here's what happens. I set out a few things on the cutting table so I can deal with those. Then days later, those same things are still on the cutting table. Then I have to move them to the other side so I can cut. Then I move them around some more. And maybe, days later, I finally deal with them. As space gets cleared on the cutting table, I add more stuff. Why is that???

Well, I've got loads more to show you on what I've been doing but I don't have time this morning. I see it's pouring rain and as much as I love the girls and I need steps (I've already done almost 1,800 before 6 AM - but we won't go there), I'm not going out in the pouring rain. I'll pray that it's going to slow down in a bit and then we'll go. Or we'll go for a short walk and then go for a long walk later.

On that note, I'm off. I've got e-mails to answer, projects to cut and sew and quilt.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, March 28, 2020

So much fabric and nothing works!

Hmm - I'm listening to and reading news about the current situation. What will we call this period when it's over? This time? The current situation? We'll have to come up with a name because it's pretty serious and is something that'll be remembered and its effects will be felt for years to come.

I see the library sent out a note that if you're looking for recommendations that they have lists of recommendations. NO - I am NOT going to check that list. I don't need any more books to read at the moment.

Speaking of which, it appears that I like to have a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go at the same time (always). Oops - make that two fiction books - one is audio and one is a physical copy. I just finished reading Over-Dressed - The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. Hmmm - I would tend to agree with most of what she includes in the book. Unfortunately, the book was written in 2012 and there have been NO major changes (to my very limited knowledge) in this area.

Wages and working conditions are down to bare minimums while clothing companies demand even lower and lower prices so the consumer can pay less and buy MORE. I hate to say it, but quilting cotton is in the same boat. How much is too much fabric?? Could this current situation be a wakeup call? I doubt it - the moment that we're allowed to get back to business, those fabric companies will be cranking out so much more. I'm glad I'm over the buying frenzy. It's just a sad state of affairs that we can't be content with what we have.

But it all boils down to money and how everyone wants to more. A good example is the buying season for clothes. There used to be two - fall when you bought your new school clothes. And then spring. However, that offered only two (new) buying seasons for consumers. Clothing companies decided that if customers had NEW stuff every month or even every week, well - they would buy more and they did.

The same thing in the fabric industry. There used to be two fabric releases per year. Now there are four. And that is simply because the fabric companies wanted to make more money so they are offering more to the consumer to buy. Consumers feel the need to buy because they won't ever see this fabric again. Well, I hate to tell you, but if you start to go through the archives of fabric releases, NOTHING is new. And what company X puts out this release, company Y puts out the next release.

If you look at a particular fabric designer - let's say we look at Me and My Sister. They have 24 different collections on their web site. A good number of them have the same look. The only thing that has changed is the design - cute florals. I know - I got caught up in that and then realized what was happening. Pick ANY fabric designer and look at their fabric archives. How much of the SAME thing do we need???  I don't have an issue with Me and My Sister - I just randomly picked them because I have a LOT of their fabric. And I've NEVER used any of it.

And here's the problem - what I bought before is NOT what I like now. So I'm sitting with baskets of fabric that while I still like, I don't know how to use it in a quilt. I much prefer tone on tones instead of prints, yet I was attracted to the prints. This morning, I was looking for a small amount of red that I could use for the border on a small quilt. I'm in the prep stage for the upcoming retreat (remember - it's a virtual one).

I haven't dumped the basket out yet, but just a quick peek tells me that there is NOTHING in there like what I envision.

Red fabric basket

I will dump the basket out later today and search for something. I WILL find something. It might not be exactly what I'm envisioning, but I refuse to buy more when I have this obscene amount of fabric. That's why buying just for the sake of buying or because something is on sale or because it's pretty - is NOT a responsible way to buy something. Yet those marketing people are doing a great job of making us feel that we absolutely cannot live without it!

I did get some sewing done yesterday, but only after I spent a HUGE amount of time on the computer. I still have more computer work this morning, but not nearly as much so that's a good thing.

OH -- I did get the next assignment done for Vintage Christmas and that homework got sent out. I love VIRTUAL sewing groups!!!

Block on of the Vintage Christmas homework

And here's the second block. As you can see - I'm working with a very limited palette. Just because I wanted to try something different. So each time, I do one block with a bit of red and one block with a bit of green. White for the background and greys for everything else. A very good experiment.

Block two of the Vintage Christmas homework

Here are all my blocks to date. There are 42 blocks and we have 12 done. Only 30 to go!!!  Then I need to start thinking about how to put this together. I think I'll keep it simple and just sash the blocks like the quilt on the cover of the book.

Vintage Christmas blocks so far

Let's see - Oh yes - I got the backing sewn together for Pieceful Year. I used three different fabrics but it doesn't look half bad! I used up two smaller pieces and one large piece. That was a bonus. It's not pressed, but I'll press it when it's going on the long arm. I still need to make the binding, but it's a yarn-dyed fabric and I need to put a new rotary blade in to help it from fraying to death.

Backing for Pieceful Year

I managed to get the binding completely on that other quilt as well.

Binding on a scrap quilt

Then it was time to tidy up a bit. I seem to have amassed a lot of embroidery hoops. This is from four different embroidery machines and a few extra I bought along the way. Yikes - what a mess.

A laundry basket of embroidery hoops

I'm not sure that I like this solution but it was one way to get them out of sight and not get damaged. I found an over the door rack for towels. I tucked it inside one of the closets in Studio B.

Embroidery hoops are now hung up

I do have a drawer that I could put some of the smaller ones in. And I could buy one more of those racks and put it on the back of another door. Because I know when I want a hoop, it's going to be the big one in the back and it's going to be a pain to get it off the rack. Does anyone have a better solution???

I got out my zipper box to look for a zipper for my backpack.

The jam-packed container of zippers

AHA -- I found a package of zipper tape in navy. That'll work perfectly for the backpack. DONE!!

Navy zipper tape
 I decided it was time to find a second box for the zippers. Remember all the zippers that I found the other day? Well, they were NOT going to fit in the original box. I HATE having two boxes - but at least all the zippers are together and when I want to find one - I know that I'm looking at all that I have. Well - I hope so. Until I find the next project filled with zippers!

Two containers of zippers

I went to order the zipper tape (in green) for the yoga bag. Hmm - $15 US to mail one package of the zipper tape. They are going to check on Monday for me if they can drop the price by a wee bit. DH said - the shipping is not expensive if you need the zipper. Well - I like that philosophy and I might just go ahead and pay that price. I haven't been buying anything so it's not that big of a deal. And the color I'm ordering just might work better in the backpack than the navy. I'll see what happens on Monday.

I did a bit of organizing, consolidating on the worktables. They still look full and are still a mess, but progress is being made even though it doesn't look like it. There's still a lot that just needs to be put away! Why can't I get it put away??

Worktables are still covered with stuff

 But I now have an empty laundry basket and a couple of other containers. I need to set the timer and spend ONE hour to get more of this cleared up!!

An empty laundry basket

I was up in Studio U yesterday watching some videos. The sun was out and it was glorious up there. I had borrowed a CD player from Katheleen so I could watch some videos that I purchased years ago and had never watched. I've been negligent in doing that so now I'm going to cram watch those videos. I want them watched and out of the house!!!

As we went for our walks yesterday, especially in the afternoon, there were a lot of people out. As I passed through one area, two men were sitting in lawn chairs (more than 6 feet apart) in the driveway of one house. We had a wee chat. Did I notice they were social distancing? Yes - and they had glasses of wine in their hands. It was hilarious!! I was even offered a glass! I declined. And one of my neighbors had a friend deliver coffee and they proceeded to visit on the little patio in the front of her house.

I think it's important to remember that we are still allowed to visit people, we just need to keep our distance from them. But get outside - the weather is amazing. I walked almost 8 miles yesterday. And then I sat in the backyard for longer and watched the girls play and read my non-fiction book. I'm not getting nearly as much sewing and quilting done as I would normally - I don't have a deadline.

You know what? I'm perfectly OK with that. There's MORE to life than sewing and quilting. GASP!!!!

I have a show and tell from our Aviatrix Medallion class which would have happened last night. This belongs to Cathy. She made the simple version of the center star and I have to say that I LOVE this version better than the original. The original is just so busy compared to the rest of the quilt. Nicely done Cathy!!!!

Cathy's Aviatrix Medallion quilt (so far)

One thing I'll say that has surprised me in this current situation. I haven't seen any noticeable decrease in the speed of the internet. Perhaps it's just that I'm not on it a whole lot, but I was expecting to go to dial-up speed which hasn't been the case. Yeah - to all the telecom workers for keeping the internet in tip-top shape!!!!

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

Have a super day!!!!