Saturday, October 31, 2020

Putter, putter, putter


I finished my last two presentations for the week yesterday. It's so much fun to chat with the ladies from across the country. I get to hear what's happening, and it sounds like Winnipeg is going to shut down starting Monday - similar rules to what we have in the Ontario hot spots. 

I just won't go there as I'm so frustrated with the entire picture. We went out to dinner last night. We were so far apart from other people, plexiglass between the booths, people wearing masks and handwashing - that it's crazy to think that you could get anything, including the common cold under those conditions. And tell me why I need a flu shot when I'm not in contact with ANYONE???? I don't believe restaurants are the cause of the spread, yet they and their customers are being punished because some people cause problems. GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!  It's just fearmongering! 

We must learn to LIVE WITH this pandemic; that doesn't mean we need to HIDE in our houses. 

Now that I have that out of my system, I feel better. Not really, but it does help to voice the frustration. 

Anyway - after my presentations and this morning, I got a chance to putter in Studio B, and I feel like I accomplished a LOT, which is great. 

I'll start with a couple of pictures from my walk. I notice fewer people out walking these days now that the weather is cooler. Bundle up! One lady I pass walks this very short walkway beside her house, just outside the forest. I swear she is bundled up so well that she can barely see. But you know what? She's out there, and who cares if she walks up and down that walkway five times or fifty times - she is OUTSIDE, getting some fresh air and some exercise. 

I have the usual people that I see most days, and we say hi (from our 6-feet apart), and we continue on. I do NOT wear a mask when I walk. 

But I was intrigued by the squirrel nests. Now that the leaves are mostly gone, all the squirrel nests are exposed. You wonder how they keep the leaves from falling out. They must use squirrel spit to hold them together. And where do they put the nuts? And how many squirrels live in each nest? Some of them are very small and stick out on some small branches. 

A small squirrel nest

Others are condos in comparison. This one at least has some support and protection against the tree trunk. 

A squirrel condo

But let's just say that they are out in full force in the morning. The forest is like a squirrel convention, and Murphy goes nuts!!

I got more of the double wedding ring arcs trimmed. 

Trimming the double wedding ring arcs

The stack of those to be trimmed is going down, but it's taking a long time. I may finish today. That stack of trimmed ones is ones that I trimmed yesterday. As I finish for the day, I put them in a bag in the project box, so none go missing. 

What's still to be trimmed

I got the backing and the binding made for Aviatrix Medallion, so that quilt went into the "to be quilted" pile. 

Aviatrix Medallion goes to the "to be quilted" pile

A quick note about my UFO lists: I started them in 2017, and I've added 12 UFOs to a yearly list. These are NOT projects or kits that I want to start. These are UFOs that had been abandoned. I've finished all the projects on the 2017 list. YEAH!!! No rolling projects over for me! I keep adding because I WILL get caught up! Now that I've got the hang of focusing on them, I'm making huge leaps and bounds. 

Three projects remain on the 2018 list. One of them is my current monthly UFO homework. One more is in the retreat bag to be worked on, and I haven't touched one of them. That's OK - great progress is being made, and that's all that counts. 

For 2019, there are still eight on the list. One of them is almost done, and one more is in the current pile of stuff that I'm working on. The other six are waiting to be touched. 

And on the 2020 list, there are still 10 projects. One should be finished very soon, and I'll be picking from that list to get another project to work on. Keeping these lists and adding more projects is so these projects don't get forgotten! It's so easy to start something new and forget that all these UFOs exist. 

I don't think I'll run out of UFOs for a few more years. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€The important thing is that NO UFOs are being added to the stack. I try to finish the project in the year I start. I don't start something if I don't have time to finish it. It's as simple as that!

And I'll be making a new list for 2021. I haven't picked anything yet, but I'll be scouring the shelves for something to add. I can't wait! If I didn't have those lists and the UFO club, I would NEVER have touched most of the UFOs that I got done. It's a motivator for me, to be sure. And I still have a spot or two in the second UFO club for 2021. 

I dug out the serger this morning and closed up a pet mat that was languishing on the cutting table. 

Serging a pet mat

I just have to tuck the thread ends in, and this is ready to be delivered. I'm not headed that way for a couple of weeks, so I hope to have one or two more to add to the pile. 

Finished pet mat

I searched through my bookcases the other day for a book that I didn't think I had, but I checked anyway. Nope - couldn't find the book - unless it's a UFO and I've forgotten that I started this quilt. Hmm - I should check the UFO piles. 

Anyway, I found these titles scattered throughout the bookcases, so they are now all together! Gosh - I have to laugh when I see those GREAT quilts from 1987. 

Great American Quilts

As I was cleaning up the cutting table, I found this pair of gardening gloves. Hmm - why are they on the cutting table? I could move them to the shed, but there's a wee problem with them. 

Gardening gloves

I think at one point, they got washed, and oh my - they are a tad too small!!!!

Child-sized gardening gloves

Anyone with a child who needs gardening gloves???

I've been cutting up my samples to put in my sample book. I had to tear away the stabilizer and then trim the samples. I could make stuff out of the samples, but why? I don't need to have extra stuff to carry around. I will make a few finished items, but I don't need a finished item for each technique. And if I do make a finished item, because it would be nice to see what you can do with each technique, I'll do that as time permits. Hmm - as I'm looking at this sample, this would be amazing to put on a sweater. Imagine a plain sweater with this design stitched randomly on it? See, now that I have the technique samples, it's easier to visualize how I would use it. I've got to find a plain sweater! 

My sample book

I still have more samples to clean up and trim to put in the book. I will need several books, and I need to start writing up the pages to go with each. I can't do everything at once. December is going to be my planning month, so it'll likely get done then. 

This is what the cutting table looks like now. It's still a mess, but a LOT of progress has been made, and that's a good thing. And as space permits, I've added more to it. This is the LAST of the current stuff to be dealt with. That's a GREAT feeling. 

The current situation on the cutting table

And I figure I'd better start dealing with all those half square triangles that I've been sewing as enders and leaders. The pile has gotten a wee bit out of control!

The stack of half-square triangles to press and trim

I pressed a few this morning, and it's something, along with the double wedding ring arcs that I can trim when I have a spare minute or two. 

Half-square triangles pressed and ready to trim

So it was a great day! I love having great days! I have two classes to teach today, not presentations but classes, and everything is prepped, so that's great. But the two of them will consume most of the day and then my walk. I know - you can all say it, but YES, I'm obsessed with getting in that double-digit KM every day. I'm OK with that. Besides some Halloween candy snuck into our house - I did NOT buy it, and now that I've eaten most of it, I have to get out to walk off the chocolate!

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

Have a great day, and stay safe!!


Friday, October 30, 2020

You too can write a book!


Two more presentations under my belt for this week, and that leaves two for today. I'll stop talking about the internet connection since everything seems to be good! Yeah! 

I listened to a webinar last night from a library (Wheaton Public Library)somewhere in the US. How cool is that? Normally, I wouldn't have been able to attend this author event, but because of the wonderful world of COVID, I could. Boy - when things go back to normal, whatever that is, we are going to miss a whole lot of these kinds of events. The author was Mary Kubica. The book that I read of hers was The Other Mrs. It's an excellent book, and it was so much fun to "meet" her online. Her genre is psychological thriller, and she doesn't disappoint. 

Webinar - meet the author with Mary Kubica

It almost made me want to start writing a book as I listened to her. I've got to come up with a plot first! I know what I like, and well - when I'm out walking the neighborhood, I guess I'd better come up with a plot. 

However, I'm going to ask YOU to write a book for me. We did a group exchange a while back, and I asked the group members to write a book for me! OK - so you just have to make a quilt block that looks like a book and give the book a title. Something that relates to me! Of course, everything is always about me! 

Here are the books that I received. The camera angle must have been off since the books look distorted, but they are not. 

The book block

I supplied the paper pieced pattern, and people chose the colors to reflect something about me or a color that I like. And then the even better part is that they gave the books a name. So this first one was titled "Accurate Quarter Inch Seams & Other Stores from the Cutting Mat by ............ (they did write their names on the blocks - I just blanked them out). 

Accurate Quarter Inch Seams & Other Stories from the Cutting Mat by.......

Isn't that fun???  I just love the concept, and I want to make a larger quilt. I only have eight blocks, and I'd love to have more. 

Here are the rest of the books. 

Night at the Movies by ..........

Memorable in Orange by Elaine Theriault

 I might remake that cover - gosh - a very dense design and so not stabilized enough. Look at all the wrinkles!


All of the books are AMAZING, but this one truly stands out. Look at the detail. Can you guess the title? How Pack for Retreat by.................  It's hilarious!!!

How to Pack for Retreat

And look - there's me in the car on my cell phone!!! Oh my!!!

Detail of the quilt block

The beauty is that a piece of fabric works for the front as well. 

For the love of quilting by .............

Oh - this one is sideways. 

A cup of tea and friends make the perfect blend by .............

Shoot - there's supposed to be two more. I'd better go back and check the box. Or when I sent them to myself, I forgot two of them. Found them. I was so quick to select them on my phone that they didn't actually get selected. 

Sewist Extraordinaire - Tails from Studio B by ..............

Row by Row - A Quilt Posse Road Trip by ...................

Seriously??? Aren't they just the best? They were so creative in the chosen fabrics and the titles. So if you are interested, I can e-mail you the pattern, or I'm going to find a way to put it on the blog so you can just pull it off. But then you need to send it to me so I can send you my mailing address. 

I'm doing a trunk show on group quilts in February, and it would be awesome to get the blocks into a quilt by then. 

Speaking of packing for retreat, after reading Katheleen's book on how to do it (or more likely Tish's advice on ONE basket, I packed this morning for the retreat. This is it. One basket - I have a few more things to add once I find the appropriate thread and a few supplies. I'm ready to go! The retreat is not far away, and I'm so ready to go!!

Retreat basket

When I was out walking yesterday morning, I saw that one of my neighbors had all their grass removed from the front lawn. NO - they are not doing anything funky with it, as I saw them resodding it later in the afternoon. It was kind of sad, really, as I saw the guys shovel a VERY thin layer of topsoil onto the lawn. What's the point of all this? Why didn't they throw a good whack of topsoil on the existing grass and reseed it? Seems like a huge waste of time and effort. Not my lawn, but still!

Getting a new lawn

I actually got in the car yesterday and went to pick up the TWO rolls of batting for the Quilts of Valour quilts that I'll be quilting starting December. Thanks to everyone who made a donation to help out. Those two rolls will allow me to get quite a few quilts quilted and off to the organization!!!

I stopped at Micheal's as I was looking for a few things. Gosh - I haven't' been in that store in a long time. I managed to snag a couple of things. Like that bright orange scrubby yarn to make kitchen scrubbies. Maybe I should throw that in the retreat bag!

My purchases at Micheal's

I got a few more of the double wedding ring arcs trimmed. OK - I need to get the rest done, but what a fiddly job. I looked at the next step, and OH BOY -it's the A arcs. So that's going to be more of the same. But once the arcs are done, the majority of piecing is done, and then I can start to sew the sections together. I'd better get moving - I want to get this done!

Trimming the double wedding ring B arcs

The backing and the binding are now done for PRISM Squared. That quilt has been moved to the "to be quilted" area. Yeah!!! I'm excited about that. I have another one - Aviatrix Medallion, which needs the binding and backing made, and that one can be moved as well. It's still sitting on the cutting table. 

Bind, backing, and quilt top of PRISM Squared

I've been dealing with the samples that I've been making. They literally got thrown in a heap after I took photographs. This is the magnificent lion! 

Magnificient lion made with ribbon embroidery

It's done with the ribbon embroidery attachment! Isn't it fabulous???

Detail of the ribbon embroidery

And it's time to get started on the UFO homework for next month. Oh boy - I see that all the parts of this block are cut - they just need to be sewn together. These eight-pointed star blocks were pieced, but they look too wonky for my liking, so I'm taking them apart or at least partially apart, and I'm going to resew them. I know - I'm a crazy person for doing that. 

Wonky looking eight-pointed star blocks

So life goes on! Things are more or less under control, but to look at the kitchen table, you wouldn't think that. I  need to take some time to tidy that up as it literally became a dumping ground for stuff going upstairs or downstairs. My last presentation finishes at 4 today, so after that, I might take a few moments and tidy up! I've been trying to keep Studio B under control, or I would never find my samples and such when I need them. 

Well, it's time to go! 

Have a super day, and I hear the sun will be out. So make sure you get outside and walk or even just sit out for a bit. Get bundled up!


Thursday, October 29, 2020

UFO Show and Tell


OH - I found the pictures that I wanted to share with you, but I'll do that tomorrow. And I sure hope that you popped over to the Try-A-Triad Challenge page and voted for your favorite quilt. Remember, mine is on the bottom row on the left!

And did you go to Riel's web page? If you haven't, check it out. She's a quilter, and she published two quilt books. I haven't had a chance to read The Little Ghost, who was a Quilt yet. 

Today, it's all about the Show and Tell from our UFO meeting last weekend. It's not a huge incentive, but I tell you, people are getting stuff done! It's so exciting, and I have to say that even if I don't quite finish what I'm supposed to (has happened once or twice), I make great progress into getting things done, and that's all that counts. We need to clear up these massive piles of UFOs. 

Susan got the top of her Halloween table runner done. It looks awesome - I love that fabric collection. Now to get it quilted for next Halloween!

Susan' table runner

Detail of the table runner

In addition to making the table runner, she was making Christmas cards! They are beautiful! 

Susan's pop up Christmas cards

More of Susan's cards

More on Christmas cards another day. I've got to start writing! And I've already received my first card, but it's too early to put it up. I wonder if Susan will send me a card? Those are very fancy, and she won't be getting one like that from me!

Katheleen is working on the Quilter's Patch Quilt by Laundry Basket. She got her three flower blocks done. Here's what all of the blocks look like. This is going to be gorgeous. I will start working on my version since I was motivated when I saw her working on hers. 

Katheleen's Quilter's Patch

Here's the book for the quilt - she just has the center part and the borders! She'll have that done in no time!!!

Quilter's Patch

Here are my blocks to work on for next month. Partially assembled and only two blocks. I should be able to manage that. 

My Quilter's Patch homework for next month

Here was my homework for the month. The top was supposed to be completed. And it is for the most part. The center is not finished, but I was so happy to get this quilt to this stage. 

PRISM Squared quilt

But here's the even better news. OH - yes - I did cough up some cash because I was honest and admitted that it wasn't quite done. I'm happy to report that the entire center is appliqued in place.

The center of PRISM Squared

That means the entire top is DONE!!!!  I made the backing this morning, and the binding is cut and ready to sew together. I hope to get at least that much accomplished today. Then I can cross this off the UFO list. 

Finished top of PRISM Squared quilt top

Dede finished off a small wall hanging that is a gift for her neighbor. I think she said she finished it the day before the due date. Yep- funny how that happens, and if we didn't have a deadline, it would still be sitting there - not finished! 

Dede's Autumn wall hanging

Lynne is working on her Dream Big panel, and it's looking amazing. She should be finished by the end of next month!

Lynne's Dream Big panel

Linda had a stack of blocks that she wanted to be assembled into a quilt top, and there they are! This is a gorgeous scrap quilt. 

Linda's scrap quilt

Here's a baby quilt that she worked on this month as well. I love that people are doing their own quilting. If you don't want to do the big ones, at least quilt the small ones yourself! Great job, Linda. 

Linda's baby quilt

Elaine is also quilting her own quilt. She's working on the borders and almost done!!!

Elaine's current quilting project

Diane had to finish piecing these blocks together and get the top assembled. I think we have finally convinced Diane that she doesn't have to make every quilt a queen size! 

Diane's scrappy looking quilt top

She had some leftover blocks and made a second item - a wall hanging. I love the colors in these projects. It's unusual, and maybe that's why I like it. 

The leftover blocks form a smaller quilt

Sharon is coming along nicely on her Piecemakers Calendar quilt. This is so much work - you just can't begin to imagine. She has ONE block left to put together, and then there's a big tree on the left border. Once all that is done, she needs to start embellishing the quilt. 

Sharon's Piecemaker Calendar from 2000

Here's a picture of the train station. Look at all that detail!!!!

The train station

And the train is stitched in place. 

One of several trains on the quilt

Liz is working on these gorgeous star blocks. She got a couple more made and will be working on the remaining blocks for next month. 

Liz's star blocks

Jane was quite busy and not only got the long table runner pieced, but it's quilted and bound! And she also bound the two smaller projects on the left. She was finished weeks before the due date and wanted brownie points! There's always one in every crowd!

Jane's completed projects for the month

Laura got the borders on her Over and Down Under Quilt. This is gorgeous and looks amazing hanging on her clothesline! It's made from a flannel jelly roll. 

Laura's completed quilt top

Shelly got her embroidery done! She still has a lot to embroider on this block, but her goal was the tree, and she got some bonus snowflakes done as well. 

Shelly's hand embroidery homework

Diane T needed to get a backing made for her string-piece table runner. She found some blocks from another project and repurposed them for the backing! Great job, and this gets rid of two UFOs at the same time. 

The backing and the front of Diane's project

Ronda got the top pieced of this flannel quilt. It's a birthday gift, so she needs to get it quilted soon. She designed the quilt using EQ8 and downloaded the fabric collection into the software. Great job!!!

Ronda's quilt top - DONE

And that wraps up the UFO show and tell for this month. Everyone has their assigned homework for next month. Each person assigns their own homework because they know what they want to work on, and they know how much time they have!

I'm going to host TWO sessions of the UFO club next year. Both will be on Zoom. I'm not sure how many people I have for the second session, but there is still room if you want to join. I'll be putting it on the blog again as we get near the end of the year. 

Two more presentations are out of the way this week. Four to go! I'm really enjoying them now that my little internet fiasco is over. And guess what? It's time to start planning for 2021!!  

I'll be offering some online classes, so if there is something that you want, let me know. I've got a couple of ideas, but I want to focus on techniques rather than projects. Do we all need to start another project? And I want to host a machine embroidery club. Perhaps a class on collage and a couple of hands-on with your machine. But it would have to be for certain machines only - too hard to do a variety of machines. Anyway - I'm still thinking about what to offer. So send me an e-mail if there's something you'd like to learn.

I'm out of here!!!

Have a great day!!!