Wednesday, June 30, 2021



Oh my gosh -- we had so much fun at the Facebook Live event last night. I hope you were able to join us. YES -- I know I need to smile ALL THE TIME. My face just looks awful if I don't smile, but you forget! Oh well - it is what it is! 

Almost ready to start!

If you missed the presentation live, you can go back and watch it and see the fun stuff that happened while we did the Spectrum Quilt A Long. 

I'm not sure why I was so busy in the past - now it seems like I have all the time in the world! I even had a big nap yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure why as I'm sleeping fine. I think my body says - no deadline, we can nap any time we want! No - the nap was NOT in the gazebo. Why? It was pouring rain most of the day. At one point, the trees were blowing around like mad - it was crazy!

Pouring rain

OK --- I had my second shot 10 days ago. I knew that I was going to have a bruise. The lady was brutal. But LOOK at that bruise. Good grief -- she practically killed me with that jab. That was NOT because of the vaccine - that was technique or lack thereof!!! And now you know why I HATE getting a needle. I had ZERO issues with the first shot - a different person administered it. 

A bruise from my second shot

Now that The Task Master is back at work, I'm ripping through the stuff sitting on the tables. I got the backing for my second Christmas Fig quilt done. It got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. 

The Christmas Fig quilt is ready to be quilted

As I mentioned, sometimes a project slips onto the cutting table that didn't come from the table with the current projects, and that's OK. As long as it gets totally done, I'm OK if one or two slip in. So this was the quilt that I was searching for in the color class. The fabric for the backing and the binding/border was with the quilt top. It wouldn't take long to finish that off, so I did, rather than put it back in the box with the other projects requiring borders, binding, or backing. 

At first, I thought I might not have enough fabric to do the border and the binding. I could go shopping. NO - use what you have!! So I did some quick calculations, and yes - it should work. I cut the binding first and then took what was left and divided it by the number of strips I needed for the border. I normally join them on the diagonal for the border, but this had to be done straight - not only because of the lack of fabric but because of the print. 

Then I hung the quilt on the wall and WOW!!!! That border fabric is perfect, and it takes away (a wee bit) from the busyness of those colors. I LOVE IT. So much movement!

The border on a quilt top

And before I knew it, the binding and the backing were also done. 

Another quilt moved to the "to be quilted" pile

Yeah - and one more quilt got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. I don't even want to look at that growing pile. 

Then it was time to tidy up a bit. I packed up a couple of sewing machines that I'm returning.  Thank goodness - those extra machines take up a LOT of space. So those are ready to drop off, and I'll be getting a new one. Which one? You have to wait to see.

The hardest part is making sure that ALL the bits are in the box. All the feet, etc. I try to NOT use them but use my own stuff. However, I seem to be missing TWO foot controls. Those are for my sewing machines, but where did I put them???  

Machines ready to be returned

And I got one of the things that I ordered from Quilt Canada. A Curated Quilts magazine about words! My favorite thing!!! I would love to have ALL these issues, but they are expensive, so I splurged and got on. Now I have five in total. 

Curated Quilts

And I got myself organized and glued that shelf piece back in place. I'm not very good at that, and it was awkward to get the glue in - hopefully, it'll hold. 

The clamp gluing that shelf back in place

So I should be able to put the container of stuff that's been hanging out on the floor back on the shelf by the end of the day. 

The box of projects to put back on the shelf

I'm pretty happy with the tidiness of my workspace. I've come so far and learned so much. I wish someone would have told me this when I started! On the retreat, I think someone said we should write a list of "rules" for new quilters. How to organize, shop, and sew so you don't get into messes like some of us have done. 

I don't consider my studios messy. They may not be super tidy, but they are definitely organized, and I can find ALMOST everything. I think there are one or two missing things, but they will surface. I need to make a list of what's missing so that can niggle in the back of my mind. 

I did get a bit of regular sewing done on the All in a Row quilt. Here's the book that we're using. So the owls and these blocks are in there. I'll try to get a picture of all my rows today. Shoot -- I took that green and yellow quilt off the wall, and I was supposed to do exactly that! There are two books with row quilts - this is the SECOND book. 

All in a Row Again

All the small flowers are done!! Look at that little rogue flower! 

The small flowers

Now I've started on the large flowers. There are twelve of those. But what's great is that my little mini-design board is organized, so it should be easy to finish that off. It's on The Task Master for the week, so the focus is on this project as well as a couple of other things!

The leaves for one large flower

After the Facebook Live event last night and our wrap-up session, I still needed some KM to finish the day. So yes - I went for a walk. Actually, there were quite a few people out walking. I took a quick detour through the forest. Yikes - it's a bit dark, but I had spotted MANY rabbits on my way to the forest, so I doubted there were any foxes or coyotes around. 

It's dark in the forest at night

OK--so I tried - I tried really hard to get this exact, but then I had to go upstairs to bed, which turned the FitBit over by .1 KM. But I'm HALFWAY through my challenge goal of walking 4,200 KM this year. The number on the left is what I've walked, and the number on the right is the number of KM I still have to walk this year.  

And technically, I'm ahead by a couple of days. I would have been further ahead, but I've slacked off a couple of days this past week. 

It doesn't matter - I'm thrilled with the results, and who knew that I could walk that much. Yeah me!!!!!

I got my butt to the long arm as I have a few quilts that need to be done. This was a giant one, and it's done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

And seriously?  I swear that the bobbin runs out always near the end of the row! I was literally a few stitches from the end, and the bobbin ran out. 

The bobbin always runs out near the end of a row!

There is a lot to do today - writing, quilting, sewing, and maybe a little bit of R & R&R. We'll see what the day brings. 

Have a super day!!!!!


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Urbanologie Show and Tell

 I'm not even sure where to start with the show and tell. I seem to have problems remembering if I posted the homework or if I didn't. I checked the blog, and I see that April was the last time I posted homework for this group. Sigh..................

Well, that's the bad news. The good news - you get two months' worth today. It's a small group, so there's not a ton of photos. 

These are the dreaded feathers! They were a lot of work, and I'm still working on mine. However, I LOVE this block, and the participants have chosen some amazing colors!!!




Here are more blocks from this quilt. These are my blocks, and YES - I ran out of fabric to finish making the pear. I did what I could with what I had. I do not like it, so hopefully, I can find that same fabric and remake the outer edges of that pear. 

My pear blocks

And I swear I was trying to get that face in this next block to appear UP, but it ended up sideways! In hindsight, it actually looks neat like this. And I almost like the pink stripes in the top half of the tall house block better than when I tried to use the same fabric in the bottom half. But, yes - I ran out of that fabric as well. Hmm - I MIGHT substitute that pink strip in that block. It adds a bit more interest. Oh boy -- and this is why I don't get things done because I go back and change them. But I'm OK with that. It's how I learn. 

My house block

I think that I just don't like all those super busy prints. They don't do a thing for me. OK -- enough about that. Lesson learned, and move on!!

Oh -- here are more feather blocks. These ones are from Dana. She's a wee bit behind, but not by much. 


And her trees are done as well. 


Now let's look at the blocks from this month. 


Have a look at Gisele's houses and then look at mine. Those busy prints are "cute," but as far as value and contrast? They are a nightmare! It's a challenge to work with them. I guess that's why one is supposed to add solids and such. Maybe that's what I need - I need to get a couple of fat quarters of the solids to make this project work. OK - another lesson learned. Well, I knew this lesson, but PRE-CUTS suck! I know that many people have made quilts with pre-cuts, but it sure helps if you add a lot of other stuff to it to get the contrast necessary so everyone can appreciate what you're making. 


Oh, shoot - Lorraine's houses are sideways. You can't see in this picture, but she's added some stitching in the windows and doorknobs!! I love it!!!


These are Lorraine's pears. See how much nicer they look with the SAME fabric for the entire pear. I MUST change mine. 


And these last two pictures belong to Cathy. She's mostly using solids and has wonderful contrasts happening with her blocks. 



I think I need to put all my blocks on the wall and see what's going on. Then I will cut everything I can for the future blocks to see what I'm missing to make this quilt better than it is. Now that stores are more open, it's time to do something about this quilt. There's a shop not that far away that sells a lot of Tula Pink. I shall be paying them a visit next week. OH -- maybe not next week, maybe the week after. I don't know - I'll see how the schedule goes. 

My calendar is much more open this coming month, and I'm afraid I'm going to fill it with stuff. But I need to get my nose to the long arm. There are a few customer quilts, and I have to get some more community project stuff done. And let's not forget my MIL - I haven't had a chance to do anything about prepping stuff for her. 

I have to share this with you. Google Maps is EVERYWHERE. I'm near Killington Ski Resort in Vermont (on my Virtual Challenge on the Appalachian Trail). I always take the little Google avatar (the yellow guy on the map) and see the terrain near me. 

Killington Ski Area

HEY -- the ski hill is mapped. Seriously????  Yep --- I'm guessing this is a ski trail as there can't be that many roads on the hill. 

A ski trail from Google

And how did they map that? Why on a snowmobile, of course!!!  Was that Google or someone else who did that? Google maps are incredible - EVERYTHING is mapped. 

Mapped via snowmobile

I got a lot accomplished yesterday on Monday sewing. I added the sides to this background for the art quilts. I MUST get myself back to that. OH - that task is NOT in The Task Master, so that's why I keep forgetting it. I'm so focused on that list. 

One more background ready for embellishing

I got the second row of trees completed for the All in a Row quilt. I'm determined to get caught up on that quilt. 

The second row of trees for All in a Row

I'm making two quilts, and I have four of nine rows complete. The other rows haven't been assigned yet, but this gives me hope that I won't fall behind! 

And these blocks are for my second quilt. I'm almost done with the small flowers. 

Small flowers for the second of the All in a Row quilts

Yes - one of the leaves is going in the opposite direction. Actually, there were supposed to four going left and four going right, but that didn't happen. So seven will go left, and one will go right. There's one in every crowd!!!

And the large flowers are partially cut and organized on the mini design board to make sense of it. 

The bits for the large flowers

I have to say that it feels good to get that somewhat organized. I still have to cut the flower fabrics, but they are already sitting on the cutting table. 

Oh my --- there's a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) in the quilt world. One person used this book to make the final border on their Long Time Gone quilt, and I think everyone went to look for it. Unfortunately, the book is long out of print. It was going for a ridiculous price online, and I don't know if any copies are available other than used. 

A book on borders

I searched through the ENTIRE length of my bookcase, trying to find this book. And YES -- it was in the very last section that I looked. I thought I had missed it, but I rarely miss a book when I scan the titles. It just takes a few minutes because there are so many. I really do need to get them grouped by category. 

And I knew I had other border books, so I pulled all of them so I could have a look as I'm still trying to figure out what to put on my Long Time Gone quilt. I don't want to fuss with it, and I don't want something that's going to detract from the quilt. So it's going to be randomly pieced but very subtle colors, so it's not noticeable. Well, I might change my mind too - no idea. I'm waiting for it to tell me what it wants. 

A quilt border book

Another quilt border book

And yet another quilt border book

A quick note about books - I'll take an OLD quilt book any day over some of the new stuff. A lot of what you see today is NOT new - it's just regurgitated from some of these old books. And the old books gave you options; they showed you how to resize and change things. Today - it seems to be all about buying the SAME line of fabric as the designer and making the same quilt that they did. That's not me! So thankfully, I learned to quilt at a different time. Much more options. 

HOWEVER -- if making the same quilt as the designer encourages people to sew and keeps them sewing, I say GO FOR IT!!!  The beauty of this hobby is that we all have our levels of what we want to achieve, how we want to learn, and what we want our quilts to look like. Thank goodness the quilt police are extinct. 

The bottom line -- KEEP ON SEWING!

And on that note, I'm out of here. Today is wide-open EXCEPT for the Facebook live event tonight. Be sure to stop by and say hi as Claire, Paul, and I chat with Carla about the Spectrum Quilt A Long. 

How do you access the live event??  Go to Facebook and search for the Quiltsocial page. Then click MORE on the tabs, and you should see one marked LIVE. That's how to get into the LIVE event. 

Have a super day!!!


Monday, June 28, 2021

The Virtual Retreat

 OK -- I promise that tomorrow, I'll get started on all the homework photos. I have things to share with you from the Virtual Retreat. 

What fun we had! We got to meet Barb from Maryland!  Lots of familiar faces that stretched across the country and over to Germany. We discovered MANY things, including there's an imposter amongst us! That's all I'm going to say about it, except that we had a good laugh over it. 

We talked about everything and anything, including the FitBit and what it tracks and do they do anything with the data. Sheepherding dogs, quilting, tornados, and how to save the world! You had to be there! Because of the widespread heat (at least in our part of the world), it was a perfect day to be inside and sew. 

The next Virtual Retreat is scheduled for July 24 and 25, so be sure to mark that on your calendar. 

I'm happy to report that I didn't need the seam ripper, but that doesn't mean I didn't make mistakes. And the mistake happened for a reason! Well, besides the fact that I was yakking and NOT paying attention to what I was supposed to do. 

One of the tasks on The Task Master list for the week was finishing off these arrow blocks for the Urbanologie quilt. We need to make five of them. 

An arrow for the Urbanologie quilt

I had already made an error when trimming the units for the point, so they are not as pointy as they are supposed to be. I decided that I could live with that, so I sewed the points together. 

The points for the arrow blocks

Then I was making the feathers for the ends of the arrows. I sewed the squares on one set of components, trimmed and pressed them. Then I was onto the second set. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Ooops -- this is NOT right

A miscut!! OK -- so this calls for drastic measures. I've decided to redo the darn components for the ends of the arrows. It shouldn't be that big of a deal. I was avoiding doing that because I have limited fabric resources to finish the quilt. I think these mistakes call for cutting all the focus pieces for the rest of the blocks and see how much I have left or not. Then I found a shop that carries a lot of Tula Pink, not sure if they have Elizabeth or not, and if not, I have a friend who has some of the Elizabeth. I'll make this quilt happen!! As someone pointed out, probably ANY Tula Pink fabric can be substituted. And she's right! Get over it!

After that little fiasco, I decided that I needed to work on simple things, so I got the shaft part of the arrow done. That was easy - two straight seams!

The shaft of the arrows is done!

The backing for the redwork quilt (Winter Wonderland) is now done, and this quilt got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. 

Backing, binding, and quilt top - DONE

Then onto the next simple thing - the borders on the Kimberbell, Hello Sunshine. I do LIKE that yellow/green border fabric. So that top is done - well, not quite. I'll explain in a minute. OH - and because the cutting table is pretty clear, it was easy as pie to cut and pin those borders on. 

Hello Sunshine by Kimberbell

I went through my stash of backing fabrics and found something that was appropriate. It might not have been a perfect choice, but there was JUST enough fabric on this bolt, and now that bolt is gone off the shelf. That was perfect enough in my mind. 

An empty bolt

These flowers are for the All in a Row quilt. I'm making two different quilts from the rows. The instructions said to cut the background for those flowers' outer and inner parts, but that looks silly. So I cut brown squares, and this new version looks a whole lot better. I managed to get ONE flower done, and all the leaves are done. So that was good. 

Flower blocks for the All in a Row quilt

Wait -- I'm not done! It was a very productive retreat. I finished the applique on the owls. This is also a row for the All in a Row quilt. Yeah!!! All the stabilizer is off the back, and I LOVE the owls. They are adorable. 

The owl row is also done!

As I shut things down last night, this is how the cutting table looked. It doesn't look like I got anything done, but this is "new" stuff. 

The cutting table last night

But the sewing table and the ironing board are in good shape!!!

Look at those empty surfaces!

But I tidied up a bunch of stuff on the cutting table this morning, and this is all that's left. These are the items that are going on The Task Master list for this week. I know it doesn't look like I'm making progress, but I am. I am closer to finishing all the prepped stuff, and none of these tasks will take that long. Each one could easily be finished in a day. The largest thing is putting a border on a quilt, making a binding, and the backing. That's easily done in a couple of hours. That might be a good task for Monday sewing this morning. 

The "list" of projects to be completed this week

There's still some prepped stuff, and this will take a while, but I'm using it mostly as enders and leaders. 

The last of the prepped stuff

So back to the Kimberbell quilt. Once the quilt is quilted, there are some embellishments to be added. This is the project box that was filled with tools and supplies for the Hello Sunshine quilt. No wonder I couldn't find my chenille brush in the box of chenille supplies. It's now put away. 

The project box for Hello Sunshine

Finishing the embellishments is on the list of things to do this week. I have some embroidery to do and some other fiddly stuff. But good grief -- why didn't I finish it before?? 

This is all that's left after I put stuff away

No worries - it's getting done now, and that's all that counts. 

And once all this stuff is done, there's still plenty waiting on the current projects table to keep me busy for the rest of the year. Isn't that crazy? All that stuff, and it's going to take at least ONE year to clear it all. And there's plenty more where this came from. Now I must admit that a few things did get added to the lists, and they were NOT on this table, but they got finished and put away. That's important. I AM going to make this happen! 

More stuff on the current projects table

Thanks to the support team at The Virtual Mission, I changed my route through Eastern Canada. I'm still walking through Nova Scotia, and it only added 20 extra KM to the total. I'm now going to take the bridge to get to PEI and the ferry off the other side. I won't get to Halifax, but I'm OK with that. 

The last 25% of my virtual walk across Canada

Don't forget to join the Facebook Live event tomorrow for the Spectrum Quilt A Long. There are PRIZES!!!!!   You can check out the rest of the details in yesterday's post. But here's the time and the date. 

And that's it for today!!!!  It's Monday sewing, and I'm going to tackle some of those projects on The Task Master for this week. 

Have a super day!!!