Friday, April 30, 2021

Another milestone

 Do you know what today is? That would be April 30, which to most of you means the end of the month. To me, it was the date I figured our team of four would finish our cross Canada walk. Well, guess what? We finished a week ago! I just didn't have time to share it with you. 

How did I come up with April 30 as a goal? After the first month, I predicted that we would collectively finish the 8,000 KM by the end of April if we kept up our pace. 

While we technically did the entire length of the country and reached 100% of our goal, this brought us to Sydney on Vancouver Island. The end goal was Victoria. So even though we reached 100% of the goal, technically, we were NOT done. 

Sydney, BC is NOT the end of the line

So I walked two more days, and here we are ONE day before reaching Victoria. There is a Mile Zero marker in Victoria. I've been there and started my cross Canada bike trip at that marker. I'll have to see if I can find the picture of that. 

One day before reaching Mile Zero in Victoria

And here's our final total of KM walked in this cross country challenge. Go team, go!!!! 
Our total mileage for the cross-Canada walk

Yeah -- now we're off the map, and while some people are continuing to enter their mileage, there's no point.  There'll be another Canadian theme starting July 1st - no idea what it is yet, but I hope it's walking from Victoria/Vancouver to Tutoyaktuk. We'll see. 

And now we get to unveil our medal! It's gorgeous, and NO - I do not have my medal holder on the wall yet. I'm slow with that kind of thing. Shoot -- I've taken a picture this morning but can't share it with you. 

AHA -- always something new to learn. For the Long Time Gone quilt, we had to make the Peaky and Spike unit (that's the name that Doreen Speckman gave the unit). But there are many other names. The book called them 60-degree triangles which they are NOT. But Sue at Thimbles and Things reminded me that Deb Tucker has a ruler that you can use for these blocks as well. So many ways to make the same thing!!!!  No wonder newbies get confused!!!

Deb Tucker's V Block ruler

The other day I grabbed a box of paper from the office and decided to do some sorting. Oh boy -- so much junk in the box. I found all manner of odds and ends, and well, I didn't get through the entire box, but I didn't keep much from what I did manage to sort through. I need to do STOP opening up new boxes and deal with the stuff that's sitting on the chair beside me. 

A box of paper to sort

I don't mind, really, because every piece of paper that goes is one less to deal with at a later date. It'll come together, and the best part is that I'm keeping a good handle on not allowing it to accumulate. More or less. 

But I found patterns in that box. They are now in the pattern area. 

Two found quilt patterns

I found a machine embroidery pattern. It's now with the rest of the embroidery patterns. 

Machine embroidery pattern

And I found this free pattern. Oh my - this was from when the Olympics were hosted by Sochi in Russia. OH gosh -- that was the winter Olympics in 2014. I LOVE this pattern and still want to make it. 

A freebie pattern

Something weird is happening with Outlook this morning, and I don't think I can get the pictures I sent to myself. Hmmm - I'm getting the same results on my phone as my computer, so it might be the e-mail server has a glitch. 

Oh well - thank goodness for saving pictures from other days. 

Let me see if I can find some other pictures that I haven't posted yet. 

Nope -- I don't see anything else. I had a great day yesterday. There was no gazebo time as it was cool and rainy, but that didn't stop me from walking to the grocery store. Yep-- a little bit of rain won't hurt you, and of course, there's no one else on the street. I'm good with that. I don't even check my FitBit to see my daily mileage any longer. Some people would check close to bedtime and realize that they are 200 steps from 10,000 or whatever. I never do that. I don't even look at my steps any longer. I look at KM the next morning. Since the beginning of the year, I've averaged 11.82 KM per day. That's pretty awesome, and I feel great. 

Shoot -- I had great stuff to share with you, but no pictures. Oh well. 

Thanks to everyone who sent me links for the OESD HydroStick stabilizer. I'm obviously not a very good online shopper. I did find a shop within driving distance of me that will order it in. So I went with them. That's Creekbank Sewing Machine Shop near Mount Forest. If I can shop local, I'll go there first. 

I need some zippers, and you'd be surprised at how many places are NOT selling zippers during the lockdown!! Oh boy -- I guess I should check my zipper stock before I go off buying more. I might just have what I need. 

I'm off on another errand today - this time in the opposite direction from the other day. I've got stuff to drop off in a couple of locations and stuff to pick up in others. I'll be making one large loop and then back home. It'll be good to get out of the house, but I'd be just as happy to stay home and sew. 

I've got loads sitting there that needs to be sewn and ideas running through my head as fast as they can go. I just need time!!!

Your decluttering task today? Paper --- get rid of at least TEN pieces of paper today. You know it's sitting there and either file it or trash it, but get rid of at least TEN. 

On that note, I'd better get myself organized so I can maximize the day. 

Have a super day!!!!!


Thursday, April 29, 2021

How well do you listen?

 As I was prepping the pictures for this morning, I wondered what title I should use for the blog post. I had just finished listening to Alex Anderson's "live" post from Wednesday morning. Oh boy -- people do NOT listen. She started a sew-along which I think is free to anyone. The pattern can be found on The Quilt Show webpage (top right-hand corner). It's only three pages, and there are kits - probably all gone by now. But any fabric would work. 

So the first session was on cutting and prepping. How many people asked - can I do this? How about this? You just know that's going to go badly! People will mess up, and the fabric in the kit is tight, so you know that will go badly. Then people will scream that they were shortchanged, no room for error, etc. Well, all that is required is to listen! And if in doubt? Don't do it! Don't cut it! Don't fuse it! Just don't do it!

And then people are saying I'm choosing color X for the background. Well, that's good, but we don't even know if you're using the kit, so why say that? Oh well..............

I know from experience that when you put yourself out there to write a pattern or to teach a class, that you're up for public comment and feedback (good, bad, and totally ridiculous). Let's see what happens and how many fess up that they screwed up. 

Actually, today is all about the books! Yes -- I'm still looking for my Jen Kingwell books. I know I have several, and I had them not that long ago. Did I put them in a safe place? And if so - where is that darn safe place? I'm almost finished searching the bookcase, and I found a few other things. I thought I'd share them with you today. 

Remember I posted the picture of Jinny Beyer with one of her early quilt magazines. 

An early quilt magazine 

Well, look what I found. OH -- there were two different magazines - Easy Quilts and Quilts. I might even have the one Jinny is holding above - I just haven't found it yet. Did you see that in the title of my magazine - MODERN? I wonder how modern those quilts were? I wonder if there's a date on this?  Just checked - no date. 

Quilt magazine from the '70s????

I kept looking, and I found a few other interesting books. But first - I have to tell you this story - also about books. 

As you know, I recently purchased Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced quilt Patterns. It's a fabulous book. 

Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns

This is the Third Edition. Alex recently interviewed Barbara, and it was fascinating to hear how the book came about. 

There is a second edition which I also own. 

The second edition

OK -- so there's a second edition and now a third, but what about the First Edition? Where is that? Well, Barbara had a copy to show us. It was a series of BINDERS!! I thought I heard her say there were eight binders? I might be wrong on that. But it was hilarious. A mystery solved after how many years? 

The First Edition

So back to the search. I found this book on Machine Embroidery from Country Stitches. I LOVE their books, and while this might be dated, I'm sure there is a ton of useful information in there!!! I left it out to browse. 

A Comprehensive Guide to Machine Embroidery

And then I came across this book. Oh my --- I remember seeing one of these on my pattern shelf the other day. Yep - it appears that I LOVE this book because I bought it twice. One of them is up for sale for $15  (I paid $25), and you pay the shipping. It's a fun sewing-room-themed quilt by Lori Holt. Email me at  if you want it. Or text or phone or messenger. 

Two books!!

I have one more section to search for the Jen Kingwell books. If they are not there, they must be with the patterns? Oh my - I hate when I put things in a safe place. 

Remember the rocks that I found along the side of the forest path with the words on them? Well - LOOK - I found fabric yesterday at with rocks with inspirational quotes. Hilarious!!!!!

Inspirational rock fabric

After my morning of paperwork (and I got a lot accomplished), I got to the long arm and quilted a giant customer quilt. Now for some trimming later today. 

Customer quilt

I made some progress on the churn dash block. All the half-square triangles are made and trimmed. Now to make the bar blocks and lay them out and start assembling the block. I will get it done!!!

Progress on the churn dash block

OK -- yes - I did spend some time in the gazebo. It was a glorious day, and I have a book that I need to finish. No napping!!! And of course, there's Murphy in the dirt!!! She's such an entertainer!

The view from the gazebo

I had an early morning phone call (Hi Shelly), so this has to be cut short. I've got an appointment and meetings in the morning, and I hope to get downstairs this afternoon—lots to do and just not enough time to get it all done. But I've been madly planning and shopping behind the scenes, so I'm good and hoping to avoid a time crunch next month!!! Wish me luck on that one. 

I've got another homework assignment almost ready to go this morning. And then one more, and I'll be caught up! 

One more house went up for sale on our street. No sign, but my real estate buddy gave me a heads up. Listed for more money than the one that just sold and on the opposite side of the street, so it doesn't back onto the forest. Oh my -- I think there's going to be one more go up for sale as well. Hey - if people are willing to pay crazy money - then I say go for it!!!

Your organizing task for the day is the kitchen table and the counters. How clear are they? Stuff builds up very quickly on those surfaces. You MUST learn to keep them tidy!!!! 

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

Have a super day!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Schoolgirl Sampler Show and Tell


The bandaid is back on - well, a new bandaid. Shortly after I finished the blog yesterday, I picked up something, opened up the cut, and it started to bleed like mad. GRR!!!  I'm sure it's probably OK this morning, but I'm doing not bad on the keyboard, so I'll leave it on for a bit longer!

I made my little road trip. OK -- I'm NOT good in the car. I have no idea why, but in the car - I get tired. I listened to an audiobook, and I chatted with my Dad for a bit. That helped, but I could NOT be a long-haul trucker. Just not going to happen. 

However, mission accomplished. I picked up my order (and a few other orders for people who live near me) from Thimbles and Things, picked up my lights, and dropped off some stuff. The staff at Thimbles and Things are on the ball. My order was filled quickly (I had ordered online the day before). I had a wee chat with Sue. So sad to not be able to go in the store and browse, but it is what it is. Let's move on! The store looks different in the classroom area - it's no longer a classroom but a shipping area. 

 I also took a drive past Fireside Retreat. Well, it's no longer Fireside Retreat, but for old times sake, I drove past. Today, it changes hands, and it was sad to drive by and see the house - empty! 

Last day as Fireside Retreat

But life moves on, and there will be new retreats at different locations. That is, should we ever get out of the lockdown. I don't even know if we're making progress, and well - I just keep on doing my thing. 

I didn't get much chance to sew yesterday. When I got home, I was tired, and so I grabbed a quilt and went off to the gazebo. I went to read, but that didn't happen. I took my afternoon walk and well - then I had computer work to do. A homework assignment got completed and sent, and two more to do today. Plus, other paperwork has to be done. 

I did make a wee bit of progress on the churn dash block. Every little bit helps, and I have until the weekend (my deadline) to get this section done, so I'm not worried. From the Facebook group, I think we're going to see many of the quilt tops (minus the border) done for show and tell this coming month. I can hardly wait to see them all. 

The churn dash block for Long Time Gone

OK -- so let's have a look at the homework for Schoolgirl Sampler. This is one of the ongoing projects for this year hosted by The Hobby Horse. Here's the book that we're using. 

Schoolgirl Sampler

There are 72 small (4" finished) blocks in this quilt, plus lots of skinny sashing and the center block, which is applique. And let's not forget that border with all those half-square triangles. Can you believe that HALF of the blocks are assigned and only 36 small ones left to make! I'm up-to-date, although I do want to remake two of the blocks. 

OK -- let's have a look at the homework from the class. 

Anne has a beautiful palette with soft greens and pinks, and beige background. 


Barb is using more browns and taupes. 


Cathie is using blues and creams. See her little beaded bird checking out the blocks?


Lucy is making hers in black and white and has added a few English Paper Pieced blocks into the mix. 


Margot has several colors happening in her blocks. 


Mary has attached the numbers on her blocks!!! But they look great. 


Meg has a bright theme going on with hers, and a number of those fabrics were fussy cut, which is neat!


Here are Rose's blocks so far. She's using a nice floral print for the background. 


Ruth has chosen pink and blue, which is looking amazing. 


Sharon is using Civil War prints. 


Zildi is using up leftover bits from other projects. Don't tell anyone, but she had to piece a few of those small pieces to get a piece large enough to use. I LOVE that. 


That's so exciting, and everyone is up to date, and I do believe I got homework from everyone. The quilts are going to be stunning when they are done. 

Here are my blocks—a totally random color choice. 

My first 27 blocks

I literally went to the scrap boxes and picked one that I thought would work. I have had to dip into the stash basket to find larger pieces than I could find in the scrap box. And I dug the sashing out of the stash basket. No idea what I'm going to use for the cornerstones or the borders yet! All in due course - I'll make that up when I get to that spot. 

I do have more blocks done - the homework for this month. Here are those blocks. 

The homework blocks for April

I now have a bit of work to get the next set of blocks done and work on the sashing. These ongoing projects just never end!! But a little bit each month makes the project go quickly, and I would HATE to focus on just one project at a time. I'd be bored out of my mind!!!!

So today's another day! There is lots of computer work, a quilt to quilt, and I will try and get more sewing done. Just stay out of the gazebo!!! At least, I don't have a four-hour errand to do today, which really messed up the day, but it had to be done. 

And I'm keeping up with my computerized To-Do list. Yes - there are a few things that I keep dragging to the next day, but imagine if I had that on a piece of paper? It would be a huge mess. So the computer thing is definitely working for me. 

Has anyone seen this product in their local shop? It's called Hydro Stick by OESD. It's a stabilizer for machine embroidery. I called Dancing Stitches in Waterloo - they don't have any. I searched online, and even the big online store is completely sold out. I'd like to get my hands on some if I could. I now have a note on my shopping list, so I won't forget what it's called. But if anyone knows of a store that sells OESD products (preferably Canadian), let me know, and I'll see if they have this particular stabilizer. 

OESD Hydro Stick tear away stabilizer

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

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Pineapple pizazz!


Oh, it's a wee bit of a challenge to type with a bandaid on your finger! Yep -- I was so excited about eating my watermelon that I cut my finger. And it was a simple matter of I forgot to move my finger out of the way. Ouch!  It was a simple cut, but it bled like crazy. OK - the bandaid is off, and that feels better. 


We had a great day on Monday sewing. However, I didn't seem to make a lot of progress on those darn pineapple blocks. I was shopping for a couple of things, and that took up some time. 

However, look at my Section 5 of Long Time Gone. 

Section 5 of the Long Time Gone quilt

YES --- the nine pineapple blocks are DONE!!!!  I still have four more to make for Section 4, but I'm happy that this much has been accomplished. 

Four more pineapple blocks to make

However, before I can go any further on Section 5, I have to finish that churn dash block. It's all cut out. 

The churn dash block

It shouldn't take too long. OK -- you can stop laughing now!! I know - I gave myself the rest of the week to finish that block and assemble that section. I'm realistic! I do have one more presentation this week, but that's it for the week!! Meetings and appointments - but it's a pretty wide-open week, so I'm going to take total advantage of that. I also have some quilts to put on the long arm. I won't be sitting here idle!

Here's a quilt I made from pineapple blocks. I love this quilt, and well - you can make a pineapple quilt a thousand times and each time - totally different. 

My pineapple quilt

A block of the pineapple quilt

Some people say that paper piecing is wasteful, and it might be when you're learning to paper piece, but this is my pile of scraps after making 12 blocks. That's definitely scraps!

The scraps from paper piecing

It was getting a bit untidy in the studio as scraps were starting to appear on the floor in a wide radius from the sewing machine. I cleaned up that little cutting mat and Swiftered the floor. Yahoo!!!!

Scraps on the floor

It's my Dad's birthday today! Even though I had a chat with him yesterday, I'll give him a call later today. Actually, I'm going for a long car ride today; I might call him hands-free in the car. He's going to be 88 and still going strong. He'll be back volunteering at the museum in two weeks - shorter hours and fewer days and working on a specific project. I think he's happy about that. The restrictions are COVID-related - not my Dad's ability!

I remember my Grandpa (my dad's dad), and he was volunteering late in life. He would go to the nursing home (where he eventually lived), and he would entertain the residents with his piano playing even though he lost several fingers from his left hand.

So you see where my creativity and stubbornness and sense of giving comes from!

Good news --- I have another quilt published in a magazine. This time, it's Fons and Porter Quick + Easy Quilts - the June/July issue. You can see a picture of my quilt if you check out the link.

And yes - they misspelled my name - I sent them an e-mail. How fun is that. I haven't seen the issue yet and hope that I get my copy in the mail since everything is super slow and there's no place to buy magazines. 

The quilt commemorates my parent's 50th anniversary, and that's all I'm going to say about it at the moment until I see the quilt. 

Here's something else for you to check out - Quilt Canada 2021. This is the main show of the Canadian Quilter's Association. With the current shutdowns, they've had to take the event online. You'll be able to take tours of the quilt show, and some lectures are available. There's one on ergonomics that I think will be an excellent topic. I just need to check my availability on those days to see if I have that time free. OH -- there's also a merchant mall - so be sure to check out the vendors and see who is supporting this event and places to buy product!!! 

Even though things are not the same - we NEED to be supporting our national quilting organization! 

OK - I know that I go on and on about how much I love Zoom. But in the past, if I were attending the event in real life, I'd basically block the entire day off. Now, I just need to know if a particular time slot is open! No travel time, and I can see the quilt show on my own time. Who is going to predict our behavior once we get out of lockdown? Since I wasn't a big traveler anyway, I don't think my behavior will change a lot. Time will tell on that one. 

Besides my road trip, I think I'll be at the computer for the rest of the day. I've got homework assignments, invoices, orders, and a bunch of other stuff to take care of. Oh yeah! My favorite thing!

That's it for today - it's time to get the day started, and where's the GAZEBO weather? It's cold outside!!

No organizing tip today! I'm sure you have lots of stuff to catch up on!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, April 26, 2021



So I would never be able to run a marathon - running just isn't in my genes or in my head. But I could ride my bicycle all day and be happy. But when you're in the long haul for something, like having to ride 100 miles in a day, you need milestones to get you there. You start to pay attention to the mile markers on the roadside. You watch the mileage signs as you approach the next town, you play games in your head, and so on. 

Sometimes, it can seem that the miles go on forever! However, when you get close to your destination, well, things seem to move a bit faster, even though you're not pedaling any faster!

That's what's happening with my Long Time Gone project. The end is close, and if I would have kept up with the blocks each month, I could be done! However, I am a wee bit behind, but CLOSE. 

Before I share that with you, I have to tell you about the Virtual Retreat. If you did NOT get a chance to stop in, you missed the BEST retreat ever. The conversations were flying all day, and it was extremely entertaining. We talked about everything and anything. We solved the world's problems, and it was so much fun. 

I have to say that I sat there in the afternoon, torn about what to do. I had only walked 6 KM so far in the day, and that's not nearly enough to feed the number side of my brain (I have a daily goal of 11.5 KM) each day. But there was so much interesting stuff going on in the retreat that I didn't want to miss anything. I bailed on the retreat and went for a walk! I did feel better, but it was nippy outside. I didn't even check how much I walked - I just needed more than 6 KM. OK - just checked - I walked 10.7 KM - close enough to my daily goal. 

We have people from all over Ontario, Alberta, and New York! Thanks to everyone who signed in - it was a fabulous day, and I had loads of fun, and I did get a lot of sewing done! We were scheduled to shut down at 8 PM, but everyone was still on a roll. However, by 9 PM, I was done. I passed the job of the host to Carol, and I left. I don't even remember how many people were still on the call and who knows how late they went!

So a HUGE thanks to everyone for the best retreat ever! And you know what that means? It's only going to get better next time! The dates are Saturday, May 22 from 6 PM - 9 PM (or whatever!), and Sunday, May 23 from 10 AM - 8 PM (or whatever!). Between all of us, we have an amazing pool of talent and information! 

And now onto what I accomplished. 

I managed to get four more of the pineapple blocks done. Those darn things take a bit of time to assemble than you think they will, and I did have to rip a seam here and there as I wasn't paying total attention to what I was sewing! It doesn't matter - that's four more done and makes a total of 9. There are 7 left to sew, and all of them are partially completed. 

Four more pineapple blocks

After the blocks were done, I decided to sew Section 6 together. All the pieces got put on the design wall, and I started to add the sashing. I didn't quite get this section completed last night before I had to throw in the towel., but I finished it bright and early this morning when those party-goers are probably still in bed!!! And it was such a relief when things EXACTLY matched. 

Section 6 of Long Time Gone

That leaves TWO sections left to go. I can see why some of the class just couldn't wait. When you're this close, you want to get it all together. This is the mess of blocks for the last two sections. 

The last of the blocks for Long Time Gone

After putting Section Five on the design wall, this is what's left for Section Four. Oh yes -- I CAN do this and get it done by our June class. Who knew that I could do that? 

Section Four blocks

Here's my Section Five on the design wall. YES -- there are a few gaps. I still need to make four more pineapple blocks. That's on the list of things to do today at Monday sewing. And that large churn dash block is also missing. It's been cut out for months, and I ignored it. So that's the job for this week - get Section Five together. Well, one of the jobs as I have other things that need to be worked on. 

Section Five

And while I put Section Six together, I got a couple more Snail's Trails blocks together. That makes a total of 35. Only 13 left!! Yahoo!!!!!  See how those milestones are getting reached, and I'm a counter - I love to count down the number of blocks or sections that need to be done. I can't help it - it's the analytic side of my brain that kicks in!

Speaking of snails - look at these little guys that I saw in the garden yesterday morning. Oh shoot -- I saw some snails in the front garden, but when I took the picture, I really didn't take a picture. And it's too cold for them today. I'll get one before I finish those blocks. 

And here's my mini design board. It's all coming together, and I might just get all these blocks done by Sunday when we have our next class. Then it'll be time to work on the next set of blocks. 

The pieces for the Snail's Trail blocks

Here's my mess of strips that I'm using for the pineapple blocks. I'll be happy to put this away. 

The palette for the pineapple blocks

I worked on one other project yesterday. So you remember my Winter Wonderland quilt. It's upside down in the picture, but that's OK. 

Winter Wonderland quilt top

I didn't like the heaviness of the two blocks in the bottom left. (actually, top right). So I decided to switch them up. 

Oh great - not until it had been approved by Murphy. I swear - a quilt on the floor - that's an open invitation. 

Murphy testing the quilt top 

And this is what it looks like now. 

Winter Wonderland

It's still a bit heavy in the bottom corner, and that darn small block almost needs to be redone. Not happening! That's the way it stays. 

The cutting table is not in too bad shape, but didn't I say that it would take all week to get this cleaned up? Oh yes --- lots to do and nothing urgent, so I'm in good shape all week. 

The cutting table

So what's this in the forest? Why that's Miss Lexi shedding! She stopped to sniff - OK - she stops every two feet to sniff, and I started to pluck her - just like a chicken. She loves to be outside - she slept outside last night - right out in the open (not under the little shed), and the temperature dropped to zero! Silly girl!!!

Lexi's winter coat

So houses going up for sale on our street are rare. And when one goes up - it's a big deal. On April 20, I saw a COMING SOON sign on the house several doors down. April 21, the staging truck was in the driveway. April 23 (Friday), the house went live on the listing. And by Sunday afternoon (April 25), the SOLD sign was on the house. When it sells that quickly, you know that they must have gotten an amazing offer since I think they were withholding offers - which means there was a deadline. 


That's totally insane! I've heard stories of houses going for more than $650,000 OVER the asking price. Like that's insane. My first house was $42,000 (that was years ago!) It's a totally crazy market, and I bet the neighbors are going to be laughing all the way to the bank since they are original owners and have lived there for over twenty years!! 

Well, that's it for today. WOW --- It's Monday sewing, and that means four more hours of sewing with my peeps. I LOVE YOU all, and the Zoom calls are great fun. There is NOWHERE or NO other way to have a variety of people attend. I love it!!!!

OH -- what should we clean today? How about your ruler collection? Jane?? How many rulers do you have that you didn't remember having? And will you use them all? If not - perhaps a ruler exchange would be in order. 

Have a super day!!!!