Monday, February 1, 2021

Virtual Retreat


Oh my - I have the BEST friends in the world! And a lot of them showed up for the Virtual Retreat. We got to meet new people, we got to chat with people from Western Canada and many from Ontario and Germany. I want to thank EVERYONE who stopped by - I learned so much. And I honestly don't feel shut in at all. Yes - I get it that it's not the same as in person, but what is nice is that people change up each time and even throughout the day. That brings up all sorts of conversations that would NEVER happen in person. Of course, I can't tell you anything that we discussed. You know what they say - what happens at Virtual Retreat  - stays at Virtual Retreat. They truly are the best thing ever. 

The Zoom retreats allow me to stay in touch with people that I normally wouldn't be able to stay in touch with, we share Show and Tell, and we get a peek into their sewing spaces. It's totally the best, and I can't wait until the next one. Mark your calendar - February 27 (evening) and 28 all-day). Watch for the Zoom links closer to the day. 

Oh boy -- remember that little password book I found? Well, I gave it away yesterday. Why? Katheleen reminded me that I'm trying to make junk journals and having a junk journal as a password book - well - that's just way more fun than the little purchased book I had. Besides, WHO would ever suspect that a junk journal would hold passwords and how easy it'll be to hide the passwords. So - I need to carve a wee bit of time in the schedule to make that!!! I'm such a dolt for not thinking of it myself. Thanks, Katheleen!

I was also reminded of the upcoming Quilts of Valour sew a long day, which is THIS FRIDAY. Have you registered?? I designed a pattern for them, and I'll be spending some time on the sew-along, or there'll be a video explaining how to trim a panel to put into the pattern and how to make the hourglass blocks. I'll try to find out the time of those videos. Let me try to find the link that you need to register for the event. But here's the link to my pattern that you can purchase. All proceeds go to Quilts of Valour - I designed the pattern exclusively for them for their fund raising efforts. I did NOT receive any compensation for that. 

OH -- I didn't get as much sewn at the Virtual Retreat as I would have liked, but then you know how it is. EVERYTHING takes much longer than we think it will. And several of the things I made can't be shared with you at this time. YES - that means I was working on projects WAY in advance of the due date. I better do the write-ups right now before I forget, but I took loads of pictures. 

But I did get this quilt done. 

When your child says they want a quilt - you jump! I ordered this panel for M, along with the border print. Everything had been trimmed before the Virtual Retreat. So it was easy to put the mitered border on. No matching at the corners as that just wasn't going to work with that print. 

The cosmic quilt

I wasn't sure if I needed a black border on the outside, but once the printed border was on, it became obvious that I needed the black border, and it looks awesome. 

The cosmic quilt with the outer border

I made the binding this morning, and it's ready for the long arm. 

A quilt moving to the "to be quilted" pile

By request, the backing is Minky, which I had purchased at Christmas. 

The Minky backing

Yep - that quilt, including the backing were sitting on the current project table, which is now gone. 

Speaking of the current projects table, even though I've been sewing a lot - well, sort of, it doesn't look like a dent has been made in that table of projects. But I've been poking, and prodding and a few things have disappeared from the table. All is good. 

The current projects table

Notice that the projects do NOT encroach on the next table. They are restricted to that one table. And YES - one day, this area will be cleared off. The trick is to NOT add anything to the table. A few things got adding, but most of the shuffling has settled down, so now - it's time to sew. Of course, there's the stack of 2021 class projects, which is NOT on this table, and that keeps me hopping. More on that tomorrow. 

The current projects are restricted to ONE table

One other thing that I pulled from the table was this stack of string pieced blocks. My intention was to create a diamond shape with a set of four blocks. OH dear - the base shape is a rectangle, and ALL The strips are going the same way - they can't be rotated to make a diamond. I guess I didn't think about that when I was piecing. EXCEPT - ONE block got sewn in the opposite direction. How did that happen?? Now, what do I do?? Leave it like that? Or take it apart and sew the strips in the opposite direction? Good grief!! Thankfully, it's only one block. 

The latest string pieced quilt

And this is how the cutting table looks this morning. I'm finishing off an embroidery project for someone. That's the bit on the left. The rest of the stuff needs to be prepped - cut and some applique to get ready for ALL the deadlines this month. I might do some of the prepping today at Monday sewing, or I might do that later tonight. 

The cutting table with prep work waiting

But here's the thing - my studios have NEVER been this organized. I'm so thrilled. We discussed a project yesterday, and I was able to put my hand on the fabric within seconds. More on that one tomorrow. Tools? Supplies? I know where they are! It may not be NEAT, and yes, there is a TON of stuff, but it's organized. That's what I've wanted for YEARS, and now that I have it - well, it's super easy to keep clean and tidy. 

I did a bit more digging yesterday and uncovered a couple more treasures, and those will be shared tomorrow. 

Now - here's an update on the mileage. WOW  - I can't believe how much walking I did in January. YES - that says 365.3 KM, which is the equivalent of 227 miles. Yikes!!! That's a lot of walking. 

But I'm on a mission - I have 4,200 KM to walk in 2021. I'm just over 8.5% of the way. That means we need a healthy 2021 to make that happen. Fresh air, good food, lots of sleep, and being careful on the ice and the stairs - I think we can do this!!!!

Not only is my studio organized, but I'm getting my e-mail (somewhat) organized - at least my folders are super organized, I've got my physical folders, and the office is slightly less cluttered. So HUGE progress is happening all around. I feel so much better and so MUCH more in control. That's a huge success, and you bet that I'm going to celebrate!!!

Did you notice that I slacked off yesterday and did not give you an area to clean?  Well, no slacking today. Get ready! How about your coffee table?? We don't have one - thankfully, as they seem to be dust and junk catchers. So get out there and clear off that surface. And if you think you need a container to hold stuff like remotes or whatever, then find one or make it! 

I have a wee pile of stuff on the floor beside me that I want to deal with later today, and of course, I'll share it with you. If I have to suffer the pain of throwing stuff away, then so should you! I'm NOT in this by myself. We're all in this decluttering mess together. 

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

Have a SUPER day!!!



  1. Thanks Elaine for a great time at your Virtual retreat. I have marked the next one on my calendar.

    1. Gwen -- you are most welcome and thanks for joining. It's a great way to stay in touch with those that we don't normally stay in touch with. SEe you at the end of February.

  2. As I understand it, the Amish quilters always make a "mistake" on purpose in every quilt, as only God is perfect... so why couldn't your blue stripe block going in the opposite direction make your quilt top an Amish derivative?


    1. good point. It's not that noticeable and well - it can be a good example of the "mistake" theory. OK - I might just do that. Thanks for that because it is going to be a pain to fix that block. Have a great day!!