Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Anytime is GAZEBO time


I had a super day yesterday, and well, I had to be outside since the weather was so amazing! I have to confess that after my walk, the gazebo was calling my name, and it'll be just for a minute while I have my snack. Alas, that didn't happen. I fell asleep, lulled by the wind in the trees and the wind chimes. But I was in my T-shirt and loving every minute of it! I didn't nap long, but it was glorious!

The girls were happy - they could come and go as they please for most of the day, as I left the door open for part of the day. 

Like seriously - isn't this just the most relaxing sight you've seen? The noise of the wind, the wind chimes, and soon the waterfall - well, it's just the best!

The view from the gazebo

I took a short video of the wind chimes so you can hear how beautiful they sound. I love shopping for wind chimes!  If you listen carefully, you can hear the bamboo chimes as well. And while it sounds like I'm at the ocean, that's the wind in the trees. If the big arrow on the video doesn't work, click the smaller arrow in the bottom left-hand corner. But make sure the sound is on!!!!

And it got very windy, and the trees were going crazy. 

How did you make out with eliminating some of the old computer books? I hope you at least got rid of one or two of them. They are outdated, and there's no reason to keep them. 

I pulled this off the shelf and went through part of it. Actually, I had an urge to purge yesterday, but I had no time - well, I had time obviously;y since I was in the gazebo, but I didn't get the priority quite right. Don't worry - I was at the computer late last night and very early this morning to get the rest of the writing assignment done. 

There were some books and two packages of software. 

My sorting task for yesterday

Hmm - a book on Windows VISTA and the 2002 version of Microsoft Publisher. Both of those books went in the recycling bin, which got picked up yesterday. Do I feel any remorse? The only remorse is that I bought those books and probably never even opened them. That's disturbing. But that software is long gone, and time to get rid of the books. There's no need to even think of donating them. They are HISTORY and not worth keeping. 

Old manuals - GONE

Here's the thing -- we NEED to get rid of these old manuals. If the software is gone, the product doesn't exist any longer - do your kids a favor and get rid of them. You will NEVER open them. 

I found a box not even opened. The plastic seals were still intact. I thought it was software. 

A box of software?

But when I did open it, I found some cable that would allow you to transfer videos from your video camera to the computer. 

A cable

Gosh -- do people even use video cameras any longer??? It was for Windows XP, and the box was dated 2001. For heaven's sake - why was I buying all this stuff and then never using it? Thankfully that habit is long gone, but it's annoying that I didn't see the light back then. However, I do now, and it's time to deal with the mess I created! Slowly! I did get rid of other stuff, but I won't bore you with a picture of everything I got rid of. 

Oh - I found another annoying thing - I'll share that tomorrow as I didn't take pictures, but I will because it annoys me. 

I got another customer quilt done. I need to start trimming quilts - there's a bit of a backlog in that area. 

Customer quilt - DONE

But I need to finish clearing up the cutting table. I did get some stuff put away, but I also added some stuff. Studio B is looking pretty spiffy at the moment. I'll have a bit of flexibility with the schedule over the next couple of days, so I hope to make big inroads to get everything put away in a more neat and organized fashion. 

What did I learn yesterday? Well, I have crazy customers who want crazy things done to their quilts. Could I use TWO pantographs on alternating rows? I have no idea, but it turns out that YES, I can. That Quilt Path software is brilliant! Now I don't think these two designs go together well, so this isn't going to happen, but I can mess around it for future ideas. 

Two different pantographs

What's on the agenda for today? Two more presentations and a lot of writing. I need to catch up on the homework assignments and some paperwork that has been sitting here. I'm also playing around with the arrangement of making my desk space more efficient, and I think I've got it figured out. It means the purchase of a small table and a bit more cleaning, but for the moment, it works. It's amazing what can happen when you start to have a wee bit of room and get rid of some of the layers and layers of paper that just doesn't need to be kept any longer. 

Baby steps!

And let's not forget the e-mail that I've almost totally ignored over the last week. I see another delete session coming up! 

I have two links to share with you this morning. Leslie sent me this link for a comedian, and the theme of his skit is "Never Marry a Crafty Woman!". I have to say that I got a chuckle or two from it. 

The second link is QUILTsocial. It's my second blog post about the Husqvarna Viking Brilliance 75Q. Lots of information about the various other functions on the machine!! Check it out. 

Oh my -- so much to do, so little time!!! I PROMISE that tomorrow, I'll have show and tell for you. 

Hmm - what can we tidy up today? Well, I know that you all did NOT finish those computer books as you had to pry them from your husband's hands. Pry a little harder and get rid of them. Hmm - the same goes for textbooks. Some textbooks may still have some value, but ALL documents from university, whether it's your own, or your kids - NEEDS to go. Don't even ask your kids about their stuff - if it's been at your house for years, then they likely do NOT want it so toss it!!!  Don't worry M, you haven't been away for that long, and most of the junk is gone. But she really does need to clean out the clothes in that closet in her old room. Hmmm....................

But let's get the day started!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

All about organizing

 I have a little bit of a routine in the morning. The rest of the day, not so much. Well, yesterday, when I was looking at my calendar and said I had NOTHING this weekend - I lied. I actually have two classes scheduled, and I need to see if they work on the day they are scheduled. While neither is huge, they do require prep work. 

First - I need to get all the follow-up done for last week. That's a task for today. One presentation tonight and LOTS of writing today. 

I have show and tell as well, but I'll save that for another day. One by one, those items on the TODO list are disappearing, and not too many are being added, but I LOVE that electronic version. Nothing ever gets lost on a scrap of paper or on a long-forgotten list in a book. I now have to be accountable for what I write on the list as I see it numerous times each day. YEAH!!!!

Here's my wildlife picture today. That's a hawk in the trees. I don't know much about hawks, but he was waiting patiently for something. I see him or her about once a week in the forest. 

A hawk in the trees

I wonder if it's too early for the herons to be back? I swear I saw one fly over on my walk earlier this week. They are huge, and I remember the first picture I ever posted on my blog was of a heron in our backyard! The devil was feasting on my fish! 

Then we have the wildlife in the house! Poor Murphy is in desperate need of grooming, and I need to call to make that happen. I've added it to my list. But talk about having a routine - she has a routine, and she's persistent! After the walk and when I should be writing, she's right beside me and wants to play ball!! She doesn't take NO for an answer, and when it goes under the furniture, she needs it out NOW!!

Waiting for the ball to magically row out from under the chair

The long arm is fired up, and I'm back to work. I got a customer quilt done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I have to laugh - I got the same quilt from two different people. This one is also done! 

Customer quilt - DONE

I'll be back at it today and tomorrow and tomorrow, etc. 

As I was surveying my worktables, I noticed, yet again, that it doesn't take long for it to get super messy. Tools, projects, stuff! 

I went to my storage closet that holds a few containers. I was looking for a small tray. Hmm - no tray, but I found this container. 

Will this container be helpful?

I put my tools in, and well - it's too deep and not going to do a thing for finding something when I need it. 

This container is too deep

I also found a cutlery tray. I already have about 3 or 4 in another closet that I use for paper piecing. I do NOT need another one, and so I put it on the stairs to put in the giveaway box. 

Cutlery tray

Then I thought - DUH!!! Why not use the cutlery tray for the tools on the table. A bit larger than what I would like, but it might work. OK -- this is much better than the original container I pulled out. But it seems rather large for what's in it. 

The cutlery tray works but a bit large

WAIT -- there are other things on the table that could go in there. OK -- this is much better. And now I can easily carry the tray from sewing machine to sewing machine with all my tools, supplies and oh my - how did those little chocolate eggs get in there? That Easter rabbit is very sneaky! Hmm - it would be awesome if I could find one that didn't have those little gaps in it. Does such a version exist? Then things would stay in their appropriate slot. Just checked, and YES - there is a version that doesn't have those openings. I'm not doing curbside pick-up for a $4 item. Perhaps on my walk today, I could hit the dollar store - they might have something. Oh yes -- a real errand today instead of just going for a walk. Plus I need to go to the bank. 

A new purpose for a cutlery tray

Then I piled up the prepped projects into one neat stack instead of strewn all over the table. As soon as the writing is under control, I'll be back to this stack, and I need to get it done!  There's lots more that I need to prep, but no sense, if I haven't even cleaned this up!

The stack of prepped projects waiting to be stitched

A few more half-square triangles got pressed, so those are ready to trim. 

Half-square triangles waiting to be trimmed

Before I trim, there's a wee bit of tidying up to do. I did make the cutting table a dumping ground for removing the excess from the work table. This won't take long to tidy up, and then I'll be back in business. The nice thing about what's on the cutting is that it all has a home. It just needs to be put away! And I don't ever leave it looking like this for long. Before, it would be heaped with piles and piles of stuff that never moved. This mess can quickly be dealt with. 

The cutting table in a bit of disarray

That only took many years to figure that out! It doesn't matter - I've got it figured out now, and that's good. 

On the group virtual walk across Canada, I always check the pictures to see what's around us. And the views are 360 degrees, so when you see nothing of interest in front, don't forget to turn around. This is true even when you are on foot - don't forget to look behind! You never know what treasure you almost missed. OH my - there's a snow shed! Oh yes - I remember riding my bicycle through those. The short ones were good, the long ones? Not fun when a transport passes you, and there's oncoming traffic. There are lights at the entrance to the long ones that you can push, and that alerts trucks and other traffic that there's a cyclist in the shed. It's dark, and it's LOUD. A pick-up truck sounds like a train!

A snow shed in the Rockies

I've got a great website to send you to this morning. This week, I'm reviewing the Husqvarna Viking Brilliance 75Q. So you may not be in the market for a sewing machine, but check it out because I always try to offer up some great tips as I go. Wait until you see what else I did this week. Oh yes -- I'll be providing the links, so you watch for them. 

We had another super day on Monday sewing. So nice to stay in touch with everyone. Will we ever go back and sew in person? Not sure, but I love the Zoom thing as I can do multiple things at once - like creating and printing a label so I can sew it onto my Trendtex Challenge, which I'm happy to report is in the mail. I couldn't do that in person. And well - no need to pack and unpack and travel there. That all takes time - time that we could be sewing. And I really don't feel like I'm out of the loop with the group. We have all kinds of conversations, and as a matter of fact, I think it's easier in Zoom because only one person can talk, so you get to hear ALL the conversations. Not just the one next to you!

Speaking of the post office - here's a serious issue. There were two people in front of me. Both of them were returning items that they had purchased online from that large store. Seriously??? Can people not see from the pictures or do the research before? Or just not buy until you can buy in person? And I'd NEVER buy clothes on-line. Think of the cost to the environment and how that impacts shipping costs and the cost of the products in general as someone will have to unpack that item, and it either goes back on the shelf (if possible) or thrown in the landfill. That's terrible!!

I've been giving you a break on tidying up! I've realized that it's the indecision that kills us. Once we make a decision and start, we're pretty good about cleaning up! So here's an area and one that your husband may hate you for. What about all those computer books that they bought (or perhaps you did) and well - what are we keeping them for? We can't even give them away - the programs don't even exist any longer. So computer books! Recycling!!!!

On that note, and according to my routine, it's time to edit what I wrote and then get out for the morning walks! 

Have a super day!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Virtual Friends!


Oh my gosh -- I had so much fun at the Virtual Retreat yesterday! A HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by to sew with us or just to say hello. I learned about armadillos and caring for palm trees! I learned about quilt store expansions and other happenings in my area! We compared projects, and we talked about every subject under the sun. OK - so we didn't as we just didn't have time! And a few OLD projects came back to haunt me!!

But what an amazing day! I'm so thankful for my virtual friends - whether you join in on the Zoom call or make comments. It's so nice to connect to people that I wouldn't normally connect to. And it's nice to stay connected to those that are not close to me. 

So technically, I didn't get a lot done - I do spend a lot of time chatting, but you know what? I'm perfectly OK with that. I spend so much time working that the Virtual Retreat is like a day off for me! I LOVE it. 

Mark your calendars because the next one is scheduled for Saturday, April 24 (in the evening) and all day on Sunday, April 25. 

It will be a busy week as I try   NO - get all the homework assignments to everyone. And I need to play catchup on that TODO list. But all is good - it's going to be a fairly quiet week - lots to do, but no major deadlines. Deadlines are the worst! And the best part? There's NOTHING on the schedule for the weekend. Yeah!!!!

What did I get done yesterday? I finished hand stitching the sleeve to my Trend-Tex Challenge. I have to make and sew the label on later today and then walk it to the post office. It HAS to go today. 

I also made the sleeve on this piece. It's only been sitting on the current project table for almost a year! But now the sleeve is on. 

The sleeve is on my challenge quilt from 2020

I even had a spot to hang it up, and so now I can enjoy the piece. I love the design and the quilting!!!

A challenge piece from 2020 is now hung up in Studio B

I did get some quilt blocks sewn together for the homework blocks - you'll get to see those in a couple of days. 

But then, like usual, I picked something that did not have a deadline. I wanted to play, and so I grabbed some black thread and started this project. 

A black UFO

I know - what the heck is it?? Well, I used cord and made a hot mat, so to speak. It's just over 8 inches in diameter. It took quite a bit of time as the cording I used is very small. I have a plan for it - but I'm not going to share it with you today. 

Macrame cord used to make a hot mat

Here's the cording that I used. It did puff a wee bit in the center. Because it was so thin, it was a bit of a challenge to get it started. But I gave it a good press with steam, and it's now flat as a pancake!!! I can't wait to do step two - maybe today??? 

Speaking of walking, I still keep up with my walking - even on retreat days. I'd love to sit and chat all day, but I really do need to get out and take a walk. While the weather isn't as nice as it's been, it's still great to get out and get some fresh air. 

Here's a medal that I got for walking in January. The goal was only 60KM, so that was pretty easy to get in a week. It's been sitting here for a while to take a picture, and well - I got it done today. 

Oh yes -- I trimmed more half-square triangles at the end of the day, but I forgot to take pictures. Trust me - little bits of stuff are getting cleared up. Just not fast! 

No idea where that missing thread is, but that's OK - I'm going to quilt something else. Hopefully, it'll surface by next month. 

It's short and sweet today! It's Monday sewing, and while I have a bit of "work" to do, I can still do that and chat at the same time. This time, I need to work more and chat less!!!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Urbanologie Show and Tell


What a whirlwind day! Lots of Zooming and lots of deadlines - all of which got met with time to spare! The walking helps me to sort out any issues and is pretty therapeutic. I must NEVER stop walking! I'll just walk shorter distances! 

A quick note about the walking: there are four of us in a group walking across Canada. We started last year on July 1st. We started in St. John's, Newfoundland, and we are close to Victoria on the other side of the country. That's a total of 8,000 KM. I figured we would make it by the end of April, and if we keep up our current pace, we should make it before the end of April, no problem. 

It's been a long slog! But look where we are today. 

Roger's Pass

We are at Roger's Pass!!! I've found this Virtual Trip so exciting because I've driven through many parts of the country in a car or on my bike, and I very much remember riding my bike through the Roger's Pass. Now we are less than 700 KM from the end! Go team, GO!!!!

Oops - got diverted to a quilt shop website, but I'm back and FOCUSED. 

Speaking of walks, look what I saw on the side of the road yesterday. Seriously??? A broken mirror. First - why is it out on the boulevard and not in the garbage? Put it in the garbage cart. I had to pay $6 to get rid of the darn piece of glass from that poster as I didn't want to put it in the garbage and have it potentially break on the street. But who is expected to clean this up? SIGH.............

A broken mirror on the side of the street

Thanks to Linda and someone else who suggested that I download VLC to watch DVDs on my Windows 10 computer. It worked like a charm, and I watched a couple of videos yesterday afternoon. I have all of Series three fromThe Quilt Show to watch and a movie! So I can putter away while watching - it's perfect. I want to watch a few more videos, but this opens up a whole other world for me. No longer need to be tethered to a TV. Well, I was never tethered to the TV as I just didn't watch this stuff. 

Watching The Quilt Show on my computer

And this was the scene yesterday. Three machines lined up and the computer in the middle of the whole mess. 

The work tables in Studio B

I have to confess that after the rush of the last couple of days when I didn't have something URGENT to work on, that I froze - I didn't know where to start! And I was trying to find some darn thread so I could quilt this little wall hanging that's been hanging around forever. 

I couldn't find the thread, and that put me in a bit of funk. 

However, in the MIDDLE of the night, I woke up, and I know EXACTLY where that darned thread is hiding. Shoot-- I just looked in that spot, and it's not there. But no worries - I'm sure I'll find some thread that will work!!!

OK -- so lets' have a look at the show and tell for Urbanologie. The class is not a big one, but that's OK. Here's the homework. 

Here's the book in case you want to see what we're doing. And this pattern uses the Mini Quick Curve Ruler. 

Urbanologie by SEw Kind of Wonderful

The first set of arrow blocks are Dana's. I love the fact that everyone has jumped into this quilt. There are CURVED seams in every block, but that doesn't stop them!!


Cathy's block - I love the combination of solid fabrics and prints. Hey - you can make your quilt from anything!!!



Heather slid in at the last minute with these blocks! They require a wee bit of pressing!!! 



Gisele is using solids for her entire quilt! That's a great idea!  


And these are Lorraine's blocks. Love the single color blocks!!


Here are my two arrow blocks. 

My blocks

This was a much easier block than the one I gave them to start. This block had only ONE curved seam. Last month there were lots!! They now have new homework for this month! 

I've got a TON of writing to do this week to get all the written assignments off. It will happen - just FOCUS is all I can do and get them out of here one at a time. 

I love that my TODO list is on my Google calendar. There's a wee bit of a bottleneck happening because of all the rush last week. I've got to get that up to date this week! 

We had a blast at the Virtual Retreat last night!! Oh my --- so much fun to catch up on the news and happenings from around the area! We're on Virtual Retreat all day today!! From 10 AM to 8 PM tonight. If you get a chance to stop by and say HI - we'd love to see you!!

Here's the link for today. 

Here's the Zoom link for Sunday, which starts at 10 AM and goes to 8 PM.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473

And on that note, I'm out of here. I have a bit of writing and picture-taking to do this morning. And to find some thread that I can quilt that small project with! No worries - I do have a lot of piecing that's waiting to be done. I did manage to get the binding on that Trendtex Challenge, and half the sleeve is stitched in place. I need to get that in the mail TOMORROW. 

Have a super day!!!!


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Playing is good for the soul!


Wow-what a marathon day! I'm happy to report that some writing got done - not as much as I would have liked, but enough to keep the class happy and get them started on the homework. Three of four presentations are done, and one was presented last night - I'll post the show and tell tomorrow. One more still needs a bit of work - I have until 1 PM today to get that done. WAIT - I have two presentations between now and then! Oh well - I can make it work. 

I have to say that it's going to be very nice to sew during the Virtual Retreat tonight and NOT have to stop and take pictures of what I'm sewing! One intense day of that is enough for me for the moment! Let's see - I sewed about 20 different blocks - well, I had to select fabrics and cut the blocks. Then sew them together—nothing like waiting until the last day to do that. Next month, I shall try to get it done a wee bit before. All the homework except one person is submitted and included in the presentations. 

I heard them say on the radio this morning that people are tired of Zoom. I'm not. Zoom is a fun way to pass along this information to the students, and the format will stay - at least as long as the students keep coming!!!

I managed to get my two walks in yesterday despite the time constraints. I needed that time to relax my brain and to think of what I was missing! I'll be doing the same today. 

So as I went for a walk with the girls, I noticed that BOTH houses for sale are SOLD. They were listed on Tuesday?? Sold by Friday morning. I have a feeling that both were priced low to get a bidding war happening. I'm not sure how much they sold for - Mary sent me a web page where I can find that information, but no time right now to figure it out. I'm curious how much over asking they went for! Sometimes, they put that on the sign, SOLD over Asking, but I didn't see that mentioned on the signs. 



It had rained a LOT the previous day, and I wore my boots so I could walk in the woods. Good thing because there was a LOT of water. Amazing how quickly the little creek filled. I felt like a kid playing in the water puddles. Lexi was NOT impressed - she's too much of a lady to play in the puddles. 

Playing in the puddles

Amazing how quickly these little channels were created by the force of the water. 

Channels cut into the leaves and soil

There was even a DELTA at the end of that "river". 

The delta at the mouth of the "river"

Okay, I attempted to ford this huge puddle, but my boots are short, so we did take a detour! 

The creek is quite deep at this point

Here's another spot on the trail that gets hit hard by the pounding rain—lots of ruts in there. 

More ruts cut into the path

And some of them were fairly deep!!!

The ruts are deep

Speaking of walking, I hit the 1,000 KM mark yesterday. My goal for 2021 is to walk 4,200 KM, so I'm almost  ¼ of the way. Right on target!! Ever since that trip to the chiro where he did that deep massage, and a slight adjustment on the low back, both my back AND knee have been feeling amazing!!!!  Now that my dizziness has cleared up - I feel like I'm 25!!! I do need to get back to those exercises - hopefully, Monday. I could try to get that in this afternoon, but I don't think I'll remember. And I have more writing that's urgent to get done. 

My walking distance to date for 2021

Of course, in the middle of my sewing marathon, I had to change the needle and wind more bobbins. I usually clean out the bobbin case area as well. WOW - look at those "felt pads" in my feed teeth. Only one is in the picture; I had removed the others. That little ridge of felt was very HARD and compressed. It's important to keep those feed teeth clean!!!!! And a new needle works wonders for going through many layers of cotton!!

Lots of lint in the feed teeth

Since I'm sewing and taking pictures simultaneously, I'm not doing multiple blocks at once. It helps with the order of the photos - a long story. So I'm madly sewing those little half-square triangles. I have TONS that need to be pressed and trimmed. I need to get back to that!!!!

My half-square triangles I sewed

I had to laugh last night as I prepped for this morning. I haven't even started to sew that binding on! But I need to sew that binding on with the PFAFF creative icon. Where to put it? OH - why not right beside the Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2.  Now before you get jealous - both machines are perks of one of my freelance jobs, and I bust my butt keeping up with sample making and doing presentations. There's a HUGE commitment attached to both of them. I am spoiled - I know that, but I also work very hard for those perks. 

Which machine to choose??? 

Let's hope the table is strong enough to support both of them for today!

On that note, Zoom links for today's THREE sessions are sent. Homework presentations are almost ready - let the day begin!!!

Don't forget that TONIGHT is the Virtual Retreat, as well as tomorrow. I can hardly wait!!! I have so much stuff to chat about!!!! Pop in to say hi and if you have some show and tell, bring it along - we'd love to share.   It starts TONIGHT from 6 PM until 9 PM and tomorrow from 10 AM to 8 PM. 

Here's the Zoom link for Saturday evening, which starts at 6 PM and goes to 9 PM. 

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 892 5423 3911 Passcode: 982797

Here's the Zoom link for Sunday, which starts at 10 AM and goes to 8 PM.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 872 4663 5892 Passcode: 440473

On that note, let the day begin!!!!

Have a great day!!!!