Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Packing up!

I didn't take a picture of the laundry basket for the retreat, but I did assemble all the bits to finish the Canada tote bag. They are safely tucked into a large plastic bag and in the laundry basket. I wish I could say that the laundry basket was my idea, but it's not! That belongs to Tish. She would go to our retreats with ONE laundry basket. None of this messy and overflowing bags of stuff. It might take a while for me to learn, but I do get it eventually!

There are some very exciting things happening around here! I did open all my mail, and well - you can't see the fabric that came so I could finish my quilt. But it's gorgeous - it's flannel, which is hilarious considering that the temperature is in the 30s this week. Thankfully, Studio B is cool. I'm happy to report that the quilt is mostly cut out, and I have 7 blocks left to finish. The components are mostly made, so that won't take long at all. Then to sew it together.

I think the customer quilt has to come off the long-arm, and this one goes on. Then I'll reload the customer quilt. No choice - there's just not quite enough time to get them both done. Not to worry - let's move on.

Before I pop into the quilting stuff, here's a quick update on my virtual walking challenges. It is the end of June, so this is a good check-point. I set a goal of one year for the Route 66 challenge, so technically, I should be at the halfway point, and the Cross Canada virtual walk is a two-year goal, so I should be at the quarter mark. And where am I?

I'm well over the halfway point for the Route 66 Virtual Challenge, and I'm right on track for the Walking Across Canada challenge. Whew!!!!  It's not really that big of a deal to keep up. The Canada one is a stretch goal (just over 7 miles every day), and I'm able to keep up. Sometimes, I get behind, and sometimes I'm ahead, but I keep walking every day to make it happen.

Where I'm a wee bit behind is on my cycling goal. I should be at 50% of that one, and I'm only at 34%. I think I may have to adjust that one because of not attending the gym to get to cycle class and having a crappy spring. OR - I get my butt in gear and get out on the bike every day. I don't have any additional time to devote to exercise. It's either walking or biking, but not both. So I'll have to modify this one. No big deal. It is allowed because of the COVID thing.

I have to share this picture with you. This is from the Cross Canada tour - I'm on my way to Winnipeg. I'm just leaving Regina, so I've got a ways to go before I hit Winnipeg. And once I get to Ontario, well, I'll be in Ontario for a long, long time.

On the way to Winnipeg

And on the Route 66 challenge, I've now less than 1,000 miles to go. That's so exciting. I've walked almost 1,300 MILES since January. That was accomplished by walking 1 ½ to 2 hours every day. My legs are feeling super strong, and I can whip around my little track in no time flat. What's great is that what I thought was a fairly lengthy distance around that big block isn't that long any longer. Once you do it several times, it becomes routine.

Less than 1,000 miles to walk

I only had one silly driver last night. And I swear, she looked at me, like I was in the wrong when I clearly had the right of way. Then I realized what it is. Drivers don't think pedestrians have the right-of-way, and they certainly don't think it's the law to stop at a red light BEFORE they turn right. I must have missed that on the driver's ed test!  Sigh..................

OK -- so as if that isn't enough silliness about walking, guess what? My group (we're called the Quilt Posse), signed up for this.

I know - how crazy is that? So this Virtual Walk starts in St. John's and goes to Victoria. So at some point, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to meet myself!!!  Talk about a time warp moment that'll be.

It starts tomorrow. So if you get a team together - or you can do 800 KM and get the finishing medal yourself. We're four to walk 8.,000 km and we have one year to do it. That's very doable!

If you or someone you know is interested, here's the link to sign up. But sign up TODAY to save a ton of money on the registration fee.

And now onto the quilting stuff.

I participated in the Quilt Canada mini-swap. We were assigned a swap partner, and we were going to meet up at Quilt Canada, which was to be held earlier this month. We were both a bit late getting the mini-quilts done, but Dolores received hers last night, and I received mine last week. It was in one of those packages. So now we can share.

This is what Dolores made for me. Yep - I like words, and I love orange!

My new mini-quilt

Even the back and the label have words on them!!! It's adorable, and I'll have to find a place to hang that up!

The back of my mini quilt

And this is what I made for Dolores. She likes teal/purples and Minions. Since Minions are yellow - that was a challenge. So this is a Midnight caper with the Minions. Bob, Kevin, Carl, Stuart, Dave, Phil, Tim, and Jorge are all represented here. Oh yes - I learned a lot about the minions as I made this quilt.

Midnight Caper with the Minions

I threw it on the long arm and did a very dense background fill.

Dense quilting

And here's one of the eyes! They were paper pieced, and there was a LOT of pieces in each eye. I had "fun" making them. But the end result is so worth it.

A paper pieced Minion eye

I found the patterns for the Minions at Fandom in Stitches—lots of free designs there for characters of all kinds. I only used the eyes from the patterns, but the entire body of the Minions is also available.

And here's the back of the quilt. I thought it appropriate to use the Minions on the orange background so she could remember me!!!!  Shoot - I didn't get a picture of the label, I'll have to ask Dolores to send me that.

The back of the Minion quilt

So I saw the strangest thing last week at the retreat. A cradle for your phone to simulate walking. This is for a game - Pokemon. I shall not say whose phone this is. It just makes me think - what's the point? But I digress.

A cradle for your phone 

Let's just hope that the Fitbit doesn't get on that cradle!!!

Here are two more finishes from the retreat. This is one of Ronda's sports quilts. I think that one is a Raptor's quilt. There's a story about these quilts, which I'll share tomorrow.

One of Ronda's finishes on the weekend

And this one is Susan's. She had never made a quilt with sashing before, and she got it together with NO ripping.

Susan's finish for the weekend

Yikes - I thought I should clean my sewing machine before I started to sew yesterday. AH - I think there's a wee bit of lint stuck in the feed teeth. I pulled out the little "felt pads" that had grown in there.

Cleaning out the lint in the sewing machine

Now I'm really excited about these tubs. I inherited them from someone, and they were at the house when I arrived home. It was like Christmas when I got back!

So what's going to happen with these seven giant tubs?? 

Storage tubs
Well, I'm going to say good-bye to this mess. There's a lot of stuff in those bags and other fancy containers. The idea is to sort through them all and clear the clutter. All the new projects (not started) are going in one tub (s), and the UFOs will go in others. The items inside will be listed, and the containers will be labeled. 

The mess of UFOs and new projects to clear up

That is really the last area in Studio B that needs to be addressed. And it'll be inspiring to get that organized and sorted. Then when I need to "shop" for a new project, I can scan the lists and then pull out the appropriate item.

I'm going to put all the UFO items on my Task Master lists in one tub, so they are even easier to find. I just need ONE day to pull all that together. That's not going to happen this week, but you never know what can happen early one morning.

One more very exciting thing happened yesterday. I got a text telling me that I could schedule an appointment at my local library branch to pick up the books, well some of them, that I have on hold. Thankfully, I had gone in and put many of them on suspend. So I have an appointment for tonight. Just a few minutes before my scheduled Zoom class so I have to shift the class by 15 minutes because I don't know how to switch the library appointment. DUH!!! 

We had our four-hour Zoom session with the Monday sewing group. This is such a great way to stay in touch with everyone. I LOVE Zoom.

On that note, I'd better get the day started. It's going to be busy as I hope to get that quilt on the long arm tonight and ready to quilt tomorrow.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, June 29, 2020

Back to the routine

I'm back!! At home, that is!  Even though it was nice to get away, I have to say that I was thrilled to get home. We've been in the same routine for months, and well - I like routine!

I did snap a couple of pictures of what people were working on, and I'll try to find those. I needed a wee cat nap before I left. I just do NOT function on little sleep, and well - I was a bit agitated with what had happened the night before, and when I'm agitated, I don't sleep. And I had a full out nap when I got home. Not in the gazebo - I needed a serious nap.

All is well today, I had a great sleep, so I'm ready for anything today!

We saw this car on the way home. Now, I wonder if that thing qualifies for any of the safety measures? I guess it probably had seat belts, and that was it! But very cool!  I did NOT take that picture in case you're wondering.

Cool car

We had one stop to make along the way to pick something up. That was accomplished with little fanfare. I got some cool stuff to play with, and that was all good.

I arrived home and was unpacking when this happened.

Don't leave me!!!!

I think someone was trying to tell me something. The moment there was enough room for her to climb in, she was in! And I had to PULL her out. Poor thing!!!!  But they were definitely happy to see me.

After my serious nap, we decided to hit the patio to have dinner. It was hot, so the perfect day to have a beer on the patio. It was nice to get back and see the wait staff and well - just get out. Of course, the wait staff all had masks, and we were all 6 feet apart.

AH - patio fare - at last

We asked what happens if it starts to rain (not that it was threatening). Apparently, it had rained the previous tonight. Everyone went into the restaurant with their food. They were NOT allowed to sit down. They were given boxes to box up their food, they paid their bills and had to leave.

People grumbled - seriously????  You are allowed to have dinner on the patio, and yet, they complain about this inconvenience??? Anyway - it's all a new learning curve for everyone. I see the mall is open as well. So things are getting back to normal - the new normal.

And I believe starting today, we can pick up books by appointment only at the library. I have a book sitting there for pick-up, so I might figure out how to make the appointment and make that happen.

The one advantage of only taking one laundry basket of stuff to retreat is that it doesn't take long to unpack. Now I need to start the process of getting the projects prepped that I couldn't finish. There was no time last night as I had to go for a walk after dinner.

Here's my tote bag that I was working on. The two pieces on the left are the outside of the bag, and the two pieces on the right are the lining with the pocket attached.

Tote bag pieces 

Here's the pocket on one of the outside pieces.

The pocket

I did some lines of fancy stitches on all the seam lines as the "quilting" on the bag. It's hard to see them on the outside of the bag, but you can see them here on the inside.

The "quilting" lines

What I had forgotten to take was the Decor-Bond for the handles. Those two pieces are now cut and ready to make handles.

The handles are now ready to be finished

I found a button for the pocket, dug out some fabric to make the cover for the bottom insert. All that remains to do is to cut the piece of corrugated plastic for the bottom insert. I'll dig some out today. I need to throw in a hand stitch needle for that button, and then I can finish this at the next retreat.

The tote bag is NOW ready to finish

Oh yes - with all the cancellations, the next retreat, which was a regularly scheduled one, is NOT that far away.

The laundry basket got emptied. Actually, there's a story about that laundry basket. I took my big sewing machine, and after loading it in the car, there wasn't room for the laundry basket. I put my stuff in the back of the car, which is NOT big. The back seat was reserved for someone who was coming with me. I had to unload the carefully packed laundry basket and dump stuff into a couple of wildly packed tote bags. I won't have to do that for the next trip, so I'm reverting to the laundry basket.

I've started to repack the laundry basket. Once I get the corrugated plastic for the tote bag bottom, that whole pile of stuff will go in here.

The retreat laundry basket
 Actually, the laundry basket was a useful reference as I worked on almost everything I took—no tons and tons of extra stuff.

Then I got home and found a HUGE pile of packages to open!!! How fun. I've been through some of it, but not all. I'll be sharing what I can with you over this week.

Packages to open!!

I did get a good part of the magazine quilt cut that needs to be in the mail by Thursday. Don't laugh! That big bag on top? That was the rest of the missing fabric. So it was NOT my fault that the deadline is so tight. Thankfully, it's a relatively simple quilt to piece.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Retreat Day Four

OK -- so I love the ladies on the retreat, but I think the walking thing has gotten a wee bit out of hand.

I like to get to bed early, but I've been going to bed a little bit later than usual, and since I'm sleeping on the main floor, I can sometimes (always) hear the noise that they make while they are sewing. That prevents me from going to sleep. Last night, some of them were geocaching and didn't get back until quite late, so I thought it was a good time to get to sleep. NO - I had been in bed barely 10 minutes, and they arrived. It looks like I won't go to sleep for a while.

Then they finally did go to bed only to have one of the lovely ladies decide before going to bed that she needed to get some extra steps in before she went to bed. Are you KIDDING ME???? This is an old house - and the person did not walk gently. How many friggin steps did she need? Apparently 600!!!!!  That's a serious offense and grounds for being voted off the island. Notice, I didn't mention any names.

Anyway, now I was irritated and totally wide awake. I finally got up and slept on the couch so I could read my phone and not disturb my roommate. Needless to say, I'm going to be tired and grouchy today. You'd think people would be more considerate of the organizer!!!!


So today is the last day. It's always amazing how quickly the time passes, and yet, it feels like we've been here for a long time. It's so peaceful and well - you wish you could stay forever. But the reality is, that's not going to happen. I must admit that I'll be glad to get home as I have some exciting stuff to work on when I get back, and I need to get these bags TOTALLY prepped so I can continue to work on them.

I went in a new direction for my walk yesterday morning. There's a small conservation area close to the retreat house. I've never gone that way before as I thought the road was too busy to walk on. Well, it was the weekend, and I had no bike, so it was totally fine to walk on that road. It's a beautiful little area and actually just 20 minutes from the house.

There are several short walks through the forest. I saw this truck pretty much as soon as I entered the forest. It belonged to someone local as his name and phone number is painted on the side of the truck.

An old truck in the forest

There were several benches in the forest, and most of them were dedicated to someone, which I think is a fabulous idea. I want a bench like this. People can come and sit for a spell. You can't sit and be comfortable in a cemetery.

A beautiful  spot to sit
I spent most of the day working on my snail's trails blocks. I was cutting bits for more blocks with no regard to lights and darks and how many sets I needed.

Bits for the snail's trails blocks

Towards the end of the day, I got things under control. I'm not sure how many blocks I've made so far, but I believe I have less than 10 to make. I have more darks cut than the lights, and I think I have two more sets of dark to cut. I have that fabric with me, so I'll cut it this morning. I have run out of lights to cut, so that'll have to wait until I get home. I'll dig out more fabric so I can finish cutting, and then I'll work on the piecing.

This is one of my UFOs for this month, and I do believe that I'll easily be able to get it finished before the next meeting. OK - that's a total lie. I hope to get the blocks done as they do take a while to assemble. Then I'll probably be sewing the top together on the morning of the UFO club!!!

It doesn't matter - progress is being made, and that's all that counts!!!

I don't really have a lot to say today. But I will say one thing. Getting out and chatting is really one good reason to get together with friends to talk. I learned so much about some of the retreat people. And if I ever think that my life was difficult growing up, it was a cakewalk compared to some of the others.

Now - to decide if I'm going to have a nap before I leave today? Or just wait until I get home.

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Retreat - Day Two

I'm trying to keep this sewing retreat low key! The last couple of months have been a challenge to everyone, and the fact of getting out is so nice. Sitting and chatting after dinner is something we do at our house all the time, but it's nice to expand that circle of people to chat with, and the topics are certainly more varied. However, it's interesting to note that COVID seems to the topic of conversation everywhere you go.

Thankfully, there is much more to talk about than COVID, and we're doing a great job in making that happen. Sadly, what gets said at retreat stays at retreat!! Unfortunately for you, but not for us! We're keeping to the house as much as possible, except for walks and a few forays out for supplies. All while wearing our PPE to protect ourselves and others.

Are we crazy to be here? Maybe. But, at some point, we're going to need to start venturing out. Still maintaining distances and hand washing and PPE, but we need to start. We need to start small, and we need to watch what we do. I'm a risk-taker much to the chagrin of a lot of people around me, but I'm OK with that. I'm not a huge risk-taker, but I'm OK to get moving. Besides, I'm confident that I'm going to get whacked by a vehicle long before some disease makes me ill.

I did go for a LONG, LONG walk last night. Let's just say that I combined my two walks into one. I don't want to do that again, but it wasn't a big deal. It was beautiful and cool last night, but it was past 9 PM by the time I arrived back at the house. The traffic has been great here, which makes walking even nicer.

My big adventure last night was a big dog came bounding out of a driveway. At first, I thought they had an electric fence. Alas, they did NOT. So that dog went past the boundary of their drive. I looked straight in that dog's face and yelled HEY at the top of my lungs, and the dog stopped - totally confused. But it didn't take one more step! I heard the owner call the dog as it shouldn't have been out on the road. It peacefully went back home.

I walked down past the quarry from the house and took a couple of pictures.

The quarry
I'd love to go into the quarry and walk through it on the roadway. BUT - there are signs posted for NO TRESPASSING and videos, and well, I'm not going in. But I want to!!!

I also saw this flower on my walk. I think it's a Jack in the Pulpit. OH SHOOT - I have the iNaturalist app on my phone, I could have taken a picture. I think I can still upload that picture into the app and check. Anyway - it was pretty, and there were a few of them along the roadside and in the forest.

Jack in the PulpitPulpit

Now, why would I know this flower? I've no idea - I don't remember if from growing up and certainly not in my adult life.

I did manage to get some work done. Not much - but I'm seriously OK with that. I have a ton of work to do with a very pressing deadline when I get home, so there'll be no downtime next week.

I brought my tumbling blocks quilt. I managed to get six - yep - SIX of the blocks sewn together. There are three Y-seams in each block, so I figure it's an excellent project to do in small bits—a great way to warm up for the day. Let's just say that my seams look much better than they did 20 years ago when I first sewed these blocks.

Tumbling blocks

I'm also working on the snail's trails blocks, and I think I got 6 blocks together yesterday. I'm still cutting some of the fabrics as I go, so I did a bit of cutting yesterday as well. I hope to get more cut today, and I'll focus on those blocks.

I did a wee bit more work on one of the bags, but I was missing supplies. Obviously, I did NOT prepare as well as I thought I did, so that has to be done BEFORE the next retreat. Then I'll bring those bags back to retreat and work on them.

Laura was making a border for a quilt and had a bunch of rectangles lined up nice and neat. We "forced" her to put them into a bag and randomly sew them together.  She had a lot of trouble with that task as she is very analytical, and so this was a challenge. She passed!!!

Laura's bag of rectangles

Ronda is working on a multi-border quilt, and there are her strips so beautifully laid out. I'll have to get a picture of the quilt!

Ronda's stops for her blue and white quilt

Dede wanted to learn how to do English Paper Piecing, so she got a lesson from Susan, who is the one amongst us who has done the most of this technique. 

Learning how to English paper piece

Dede purchased a bag of hexagons at Thimbles and Things, along with a mini charm pack. Here's her first flower.

Dede's first flower

I think she's hooked!!!! And she did an amazing job.

Kathi got this quilt top together, and it's gorgeous. She was contemplating putting another border on it, but we're convinced her that this is finished!!!  It was a kit - I don't remember the name, but that ombre fabric looks stunning in it.

Kathi's quilt top

There's more, but that's all that I took pictures of! I'll try to do better today, but I'm trying to get something done. HA !!!!!

Before I left, I had set up the homework for the groups that I was to be teaching this weekend. I did the e-mails before I left and set up a timer for the e-mails to be sent. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but it did!! The first one went out last night. And one more is scheduled to go this morning and one more that I have to send manually. You got to love technology.

If you want to be part of the whole retreat thing, well - I've got options. If ever you're interested in attending a physical retreat - let me know. I'm always looking for new people, and if enough people are interested, I'm happy to make up a date. It's easy to get dates at this point in time!! But if that doesn't work for you, then I have the virtual retreat coming up on July 18 an 19th. Be sure to stop in to say HI!!!

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

Have a great day!!1!


Friday, June 26, 2020

Retreat - Day One

Well - yesterday wasn't the most productive day I've had at a retreat, but I'm on vacation - I don't care.

I'm happy to report that my shin splint is feeling much better, so I went for a long walk last night, and it seems to be just fine! That's more important than getting anything done!

However, I did get some work done on the secret project. Ronda helped out a wee bit with that as well. It's cute, and I won't get it entirely finished here, but it'll be close.

We were working on our backpacks. Hmm - let's just say that it's a challenge to work on that bag at the best of times, and yesterday with all the noise, it was even worse. So many pieces and so many instructions - perhaps working on the backpack here wasn't the best choice of projects. We should at least have been working in the same room which we were not. Let's just say that Ronda made a small error, and she was done, although Shelly helped her fix it, so you don't even now the mistake was made.

One of my goals was to learn how to put the zipper pulls onto the zipper tape using the zipper fork! I did post a picture a while back. I just couldn't do it. There was no way that zipper tape was going to slide onto the pull. Of course, Shelly just zipped the tape through the pull.

After the others went away from watching the process, I saw quietly in my corner, and I figured out how I could make it work. Not the same way that Shelly does, but I don't care - it works! Which is good because I have a lot of that zipper tape to use up.

I will also have to rejig one section of the backpack. The hardest thing is the insertion of the magnetic snap. Mine is just slightly too low. But I figured out that if I trim a wee bit off the top part of the pocket, it should be just fine. No one will be the wiser that I had to do that.

I didn't take a lot of pictures yesterday. As a matter of fact, I didn't take any. I just checked my phone as I was going to upload some photos of the walk in the forest from the previous day, and guess what? I found all kinds of pictures on my phone. When I went for my afternoon walk, I think someone took pictures for me. They even did a selfie, so I know who the culprit was!!!

Anyway, those are downloading at the moment. The internet is quite slow compared to what I have at home.

After the harried attempt of backpack making, we have both put that project away. I need a chalk marker, and mine is out of chalk, so it's probably just the best to put the entire project away. I'm going to fix my little booboo, and then this project will go back in the laundry basket for the next retreat.

I had a visitor, so Carol and I sat out on the porch step for a long, long time just catching up. I'm on vacation, I don't need to sew like mad all day, every day.

And we got to go to the local quilt shop!!! Thimbles and Things. This is one of my favorite shops in the whole world! Sue is just the best - we love her and never want her to close her shop! Anyway, I seemed to spend my entire time talking and not buying. I did get two of the three fabrics that I was looking for, and with my gift certificate, I think I paid less than $4.  I want to go back today or tomorrow as I did see some other exciting things. I need "no talk" time to focus on stuff, including shopping, making backpacks, and whatnot.

My brain just functions better in solitude or controlled chaos.

Shoot - the pictures are not being downloaded, and I need to get started sewing!

Wait -- here they are.

So if you're going to take pictures with someone else's phone, you shouldn't take photos of your legs so I can see who you are!!!  These legs belong to the culprits!!!!

The phone snatchers!

I see I got a beautiful picture of Shelly's toolbox. Quite frankly, I'm a little disappointed. This is just a jumble of tools. Usually, her stuff is the neatest and most organized of everyone!!!

Shelly's jumbled toolbox

We have a lovely picture of the pressing station.

The pressing station

AH -- but I did get pictures of what the others were working on. This is Ronda's backpack. As I said, there are MANY, MANY pieces to this backpack.

Ronda's workstation

Laura is working on the Everyday Basket. It's easy to make with a mini-charm pack. I was going to share that pattern with you, but I see it's pulled off the website. I should try and figure out how to put these patterns on my blog since I don't have a website.

Making an Everyday Basket

Kathi is working on her homework for Vintage Christmas. That's the puppy block. The other project is a kit that she bought, and I think she might get that finished before the weekend is up!!!

Kathi's work station
 I will say that it's nice with fewer people as we have a lot more room to lay out our stuff!!!

Dede is working on two projects. She has a TON of half-square triangles to trim and is making great progress on both projects.

Dede's work station

So thank you to the culprits for taking pictures because otherwise, there would be NO pictures of the work in progress for yesterday.

I have to share this photo from my virtual Cross Canada walk. There's a sign that I'm 31 KM from Regina!!!!  I might just make it there by the end of the weekend!!! Not that anyone is competitive at all. I swear that I've never seen so much walking at a retreat before. It's usually only myself that'll go for a long walk, but now???  Oh - long walks are the norm. And it's about time that Laura got back - she went out hours ago!!!

On the road to Regina

On that note, I'm out of here. I have a new project on the agenda for today - another bag, so let's see what I can get done when I'm working on my own stuff by myself.

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, June 25, 2020

UFO Club - Part Three

Isn't it exciting to see all this UFO work? I'm thrilled with how the club has gone and how motivated we all are. It's a small step towards getting the mounds of unfinished projects cleared up. Many of the projects have been languishing for years because of any number of reasons. The encouragement of the other group members and realizing they are in the same boat is making it much easier to get to work completing our own projects.

If you have a before/after of a completed UFO that you want to share - send it to me. There's nothing like getting a virtual pat on the back for a job well done!!!

I'm happy to report that I'm NOT writing this blog at my usual place. Just keeping it all low key in light of the current situation, although our city is opening up, and I'm not even there to celebrate that by having a beer on an open patio somewhere. That will have to wait until next week.

There are times when I feel like I'm inside a sci-fi movie. All the masks and protocols and physical distancing makes life feel very weird!

I wasn't as productive as I would have liked yesterday. A secret project got thrown in, an issue with the lack of a stabilizer for the handle of my yoga bag - I SWEAR that I had everything prepped, but obviously, not. But I'm on track for today, so that's going to happen. Lots should get done, I hope.

I have a shin splint that is my own fault, so I'm trying to keep from walking any distance at any kind of speed. Which is a bit of a challenge when I have my "road trip" cohorts hot on my tail, I shall endeavor to keep the walks slow, but well - that didn't happen last night. I might walk on my own today in hopes of getting rid of the shin splint. I do need to just give it some rest and ice. I brought my ice pack so I might sit for a bit this afternoon with the ice pack.

Why do I have this shin splint? I get them if I attempt to walk too fast. And I did that the other night. Why? I've no reason, but I didn't slow down when it started to hurt, so I've no one to blame but me.

I do have the dentist to blame for my extremely sore gums. He did some repair work on two teeth that was right on or even below the gum line. The first couple of days was not an issue, but now I'm experiencing sore gums when I eat. Oh well. Warm water rinses with salt? That sounds so disgusting, but I might give it a try later today.

Enough rambling - let's get onto the rest of the UFO club homework.

Liz's goal was to get this quilt top together. She cut apart a panel and used some matching fabrics to make frames around the blocks, added a border, and there's another quilt top done! She was hoping to get the backing of the quilt done as well, but she had nothing in her stash. Time to go virtual shopping!!!

Completed quilt top
Her goal for the summer is to get two additional blocks for this quilt completed.

Prism Stars Pattern
Here is one of her blocks partially completed.

One block partially completed
And here's the second one that needs to be completed.

The second partially completed block
I'm not sure how many blocks she already has made, but she does need to make some more, and the goal is to get at least four more prepped and ready to sew.

Fabrics that need to be cut into more blocks

I have to say that while it's more fun to be with your friends, the virtual UFO club is great because I get beautiful pictures of the projects and other images that we wouldn't usually get. Love it!!!!

Shelly is up next. Her goal was to complete the bauble quilt. Actually, I think the pattern is the abacus quilt, but I like the name bauble better.

Shelly's bauble quilt - DONE
She started the quilt three years ago and had to leave the meeting early as the quilt was being gifted that day!! So no hanging around - get it done!!! Here's the pieced backing, including the label at the bottom right of the photo.

The backing for the bauble quilt
She quilted it herself with some organic "straight" lines. That's so easy to do with your walking foot.

Organic quilting lines
But then she challenged herself to do some cursive writing in the bands that go across the quilt. These are some sayings about fishing that she quilted in. No marking, no figuring out the spacing - let's just wing it!!! She did a fantastic job with that, and it looks awesome.

Cursive writing as part of the quilting

And here's one more picture of the cursive writing quilting.

Cursive writing quilting

Her goal for July is nothing!

Diane is furiously working on her Stitcher's Garden quilt. That's the FOURTH Stitcher's Garden quilt that is getting completed with our UFO club. She finished blocks 6, 7, and 8. That's huge as these blocks are a lot of work.

The first completed block for Diane's homework

The second block

And here's the third block

Her goal for the coming month is to get blocks 9, 10, and 11 done.

Why or why can we get these blocks done now, but we didn't manage when we were actually taking the class? It doesn't matter. What matters is that we are getting them done now. But imagine that for every class we took that we stayed 100% up to date with the homework. That would be incredible!

Katheleen brings up the end of the homework for this month.

Even her cat got excited about the completed homework and had to test out the blocks. I swear - any fabric on the floor, but more delightful if it's quilt related, and those pets are all over them.

The quilt tester

He was persuaded to move, and Katheleen's snapped a photo. Her goal was to finish Section 2, which is also attached to Section 1. So what you see below are Sections 1 and 2 together. I can't remember how many sections are in this quilt, but that's a lot of hand embroidery. But it must feel nice to get moving along on this quilt!! It's going to be stunning when it's finished. This quilt is called Snow Days.

Katheleen's homework

Speaking of snow, we've had some pretty hot weather in the last couple of days—humidex in the high 30's. Now granted, we're not in the city at the moment, but the temperature plummeted. I think the high yesterday was 16, and it was windy—a perfect day for hot chocolate.

So that's it for today. I'm still all by myself in the kitchen, and that's OK. It meant that I got to write the blog totally uninterrupted. I let my oatmeal soak overnight (the microwave here and my oatmeal just do not get along), so I'm going to get that ready. Then while I have breakfast, I'm going to get some handwork done on that secret project. I can share the project with you in two weeks, but not yet.

Have a super day!!!!!