Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Timing is everything!

What an awesome day! 

It didn't exactly start out the way I would have liked. I'm merrily quilting away, and then I got a phone call. A phone call that I wasn't expecting to get. Remember all that physio and massage I had last year as a result of my car accident? I do have to say that it all worked as my neck is totally back to normal with a full range, so that part was excellent. However, the office that I was dealing with wasn't the swiftest with the paperwork.

There were two insurance companies involved and the physiotherapy office. They just couldn't seem to connect. Many times, I was asked for information which I supplied, then it wasn't right or whatever. I won't go into the boring details, but finally, in March or April (YES - this year), we seemed to get everything tidied away.

I received one last statement from one insurance company, and I dutifully scanned it and sent it to the physiotherapy office. I gave them my credit card to pay for the last of the services, and I thought that was it! However, I got a call yesterday asking what was going on as they hadn't heard from me. Good grief - so I had to stop and go back and figure out what had happened. Yep - in fact, I had the e-mail that I had sent, and I reforwarded it to them. It was sent almost one month ago.

I would say the office administrator has an issue with paperwork (just like me!) because I sent it to her. I even forwarded that e-mail just to prove that I had sent the paperwork as requested. It doesn't matter - everything is fine now. But good grief - they should have been following up way more than they did.  I'm just glad it was their issue, not mine.

I was planning to go to Costco with a friend later this week, so I could check it out and see if it was really worth becoming a member. I've resisted for a long time because I know how much I spend when I go there (I used to be a member) and all the extra stuff I used to buy. However, I decided it was time to check it out.

Then I received this flyer in the mail yesterday.

Costco flyer

They have a deal on memberships, so I decided to go myself TODAY and sign up. I'm going to buy a couple of things, and that's IT!  I'm going to be very diligent when I go as I don't want to end up storing a whole pile of HUGE things. And there are some deals in that flyer that I would like to get. The sale doesn't start until June 29, and I can wait. Anything to save some money!

And then I got a couple of good news about some quilting deadlines. The first one is the Cherrywood Challenge. The due date is July 1, and I had just started. I know!!!!  I got an e-mail yesterday saying that the deadline has been extended to December 31!!!!!  Seriously??? That is huge - that information is NOT on their website, but I received it because I'm on their mailing list with the Bob Ross Challenge. Well, that gives me a wee bit of breathing room. I'm going to keep working on the quilt, but it might just get pushed to the back burner for this month.

The weird thing about the Cherrywood challenge is that they extended the deadline TWO weeks before the current deadline. Some people had already submitted their challenges. Holy!!!  That would never happen at my house!

One more bit of good news - the last bits of fabric that is HOT off the press for a magazine quilt that's due on July 7 arrived at the warehouse in the US and is now winging its way to me. I might even get it today. That's going to become a major focus, so I can get it done next week.

So it was another good news day! But it was also a very productive day! I finished quilting the mini-quilt for my swap partner for the Quilt Canada mini-swap. The binding is on as well as the little hanger at the top. It's slightly longer than it's supposed to be, but I don't think anyone is going to freak out over that. The only thing left to do is the label, which is on the agenda for today.

The mini-swap quilt is DONE
My swap partner and I were very well matched because she was also late. I sent her a note yesterday that I was done. I haven't heard from her. I have no intention of putting this in the mail until I hear from her that mine is done. So technically, I'm ahead of schedule!!!

Then it was time to work on something else. I dug out this small Christmas wall hanging. Well - it was already out. It was in the quilting pile for this month. I'm trying to get a few of my quilt projects quilted between the customer and community project quilts.

The first thing to do is make a sample of the quilting stitch. I'm quilting this on the PFAFF creative icon and using a regular foot with a guide. Remember, the PFAFF has a built-in walking foot - the Integrated Dual Feed Technology. IDT!

Testing the decorative stitch
I like to experiment with the quilting just because I get bored doing the same old thing, and I get new samples from experimenting. On top of all that, I'm learning what I like and don't like, as well as what works and what doesn't.

I decided to quilt "straight" lines all over this small applique. I drew one chalk line on a 60-degree angle. Then I just literally stitched the lines across the surface of the quilt.

Using a regular presser foot with a guide

I actually like the effect. I used a bobbin weight blue thread. You can't see the stitches in the blue background, but they have an excellent effect on the green tree. This is what it looks like with the lines in one direction. Nice, but not enough quilting for me.

The lines of quilting in one direction

So I made another chalk line in the opposite direction (also on a 60-degree angle) and stitched another set of lines. While the piece is NOT big, it literally took about a half-hour to quilt this.

The quilting lines in two directions
Using that serpentine stitch is one of my favorite stitches for quilting. I think a lot of people use this stitch, but I don't think they do enough lines of quilting! That's my personal thing - I LOVE dense quilting - even on a lap or bed quilt. The drape is there and gets better with more washing!

Here are the two chalk lines. The rest of the lines were "marked" with the guide. That little guide is a priceless and time-saving tool. You should give it a try!!!!

Two chalk lines used to quilt the wall hanging
Here's what the back looks like. I could have used a slightly lighter color thread, but this is fine. I LOVE that look. The backing fabric was hideous and has an almost rubbery feel because of the thick layer of glitter or whatever. I thought it might cause some problems during the quilting process, like sticking to the base of the sewing machine. I had ZERO issues with it.

The backing

I didn't' stop there. The piece is trimmed and the binding is sewn onto the back, as well as the two corner hanger triangles are in place.

The binding and hangers are in place
Those straight lines are super easy to do for anyone! Try a funky stitch on the machine and do your own quilting!!! I'm working on my designs with the walking foot!

Then I started to trim some scrappy half-square triangles, and then I ran out of time!

Trimming half-square triangles

I still had time to enjoy the backyard. There are currently SIX lily blooms in the pond. It's so gorgeous. And the fish - well, they love the lily pads as well. Lots of places to hide from the sun, yet the moment I walk out there with fish food? They are like little pigs!!!

Blooms in the pond

I also have a rose bush that is sporting some lovely blooms at the moment.

The rose bush

And another shot of the peonies. Gorgeous, but they don't seem to be lasting very long this year. Not sure why. My Mom had loads of them in the garden and would cut the blooms and bring them in the house.

The peony

In addition to all that, I managed to walk over 10 miles. I had to walk to the grocery store to get some supplies, or I wouldn't have had oatmeal for breakfast. I went to a different store, and I can't believe that there are NO steel cut oats in the round containers. At least, they do have the packages even though they have flavor in them. It's better than the instant oatmeal, which is totally gross. Sorry if anyone eats that. If you do - you should give the steel cut oats a try—the ones for the microwave that's ready in three minutes. With a bit of cinnamon, a banana, and some hemp hearts and a few other things, it's the BEST.

I have a couple of interesting notes about our Virtual Challenge, so I'm adding them today.

In the cross Canada trek, I'm arriving in Davidson, Saskatchewan. That's one of the Cargill elevators on the right of the road in case you're wondering. So this is a picture of the main highway between Saskatoon and Regina. That green sign says, "Welcome to Davidson. Next THREE exits"  Exits? Where are the exits? Oh yes, this is Saskatchewan. You turn off on the right to go right, and there's an exit on the left if you need to go left. None of this expensive overpass business that we have in the city. Can you imagine the 401 without an overpass at the exits? Total chaos. WAIT - it's already total chaos!!!

Highway 11 in Saskatchewan

 On the Route 66 walk, I'm just about to cross over into New Mexico. Yep - I walked clear across Texas. OK - so I walked across the top part, which is pretty narrow. Look at the terrain. Pretty flat, but nothing but scrub brush - almost desert-like.

Just about the Texas/New Mexico border

 Here's the map so you can see how close I am to that state border.

The map at the Texas/New Mexico border

I'm not competitive. Oh no! So why did I walk so much yesterday? There were several reasons. It was a glorious evening, so how could you not go for a walk. Then I was watching those walking around me and well if they were going that way, so could I. And then my walking partners on the Virtual Challenge - well, they've been cranking it up this week. And I was in the THIRD spot on the leaderboard. Now I'm in first again! But I'm not competitive. Oh no - not me!!!!

I've got a lot of fiddly little things on the agenda for today. I want to finish up those small things that are hanging around, and I've got a couple of quilts to cut out. But there's going to be time to relax in the gazebo!

On that note, have a super day!!!


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