Saturday, April 30, 2022

A mad scramble

 OK -- so I got the sewing part of the homework done, but then I didn't get to work on making the presentations! Oops! 

Two of three are completely done and ready to go. The Zoom links are sent -- just one more to finish off. I had a couple of other things on my mind yesterday. One of them being that darn Cherrywood Challenge -- I NEED to get that done. The deadline for entry is TOMORROW. 

I'm happy to report that it's done! All that remains is to take pictures, which I'll do later today, and complete the online entry. Unless it gets selected for the show, there's no need to send the quilt anywhere. Check out that backing fabric -- it has bits of all the colors in the quilt! It was perfect for this project. 

My Cherrywood Challenge

The binding is on and stitches down by HAND. I watched a few episodes of the Masterclass baking show while doing that. Hmmm -- lots of tips on the baking show! Could I ever learn to knead break like Paul Hollywood? I doubt it as he's a big strong guy -- I'd be buying a mixer with a dough hook! 

Some of the embellishments were a challenge to sew on, and I even had to remake a couple of them; and I attempted to sew them on several times before I was happy. But, this is where having some flexibility with your sewing machine can make a huge difference. I had to change the width and length of the stitch I used and have it positioned just right (the needle position, that is) before it looked halfway decent. 

If I had more time, I would have done one of the other embellishments differently. It doesn't really change the overall look, but the workmanship would be better. But you can't tell from the picture I took yesterday! This is why you learn by doing -- if I need to do that delicate work in the future, I'll attempt it differently. 

It was a lovely day, so I took a break in the backyard right after lunch. Well, you can imagine who was my source of entertainment. She started off with a stick - she wasn't interested in coming into the gazebo, just standing at the door and showing off. 

MOM --- look at me -- I have a stick! 

Then I swear, I hadn't been sitting down for longer than 5 minutes, and OOPS -- MOM -- there's a ball in the pond! Seriously???  She does this on purpose, and the particular ball she threw has a hole, so it sunk. That was an excuse to dig more leaves out of the pond. I won't be able to do that soon as the lilies are growing like mad! They have a bit to go before breaking the surface, but it won't be long before they are up.  

A red ball in the pond

While I was doing that, I had to clean the pond's filter -- did you notice how clear the water was? Yep -- the filter gets all the crude out of the pond, but then the filter has to be cleaned, or there isn't enough water for the pump to work. Guess what I found in the filter? Yep -- the blue ball! 

And if that wasn't enough, when I threw that ball, the next thing I know, Murphy is standing by the gazebo with her pleading eyes to tell me something. 

MOM -- help, the ball is in the filter

Oh yes -- she dropped the blue ball into the filter! Again!!!

The blue ball is in the filter AGAIN!

I know the lid should be on the filter, so that won't happen, but if she drops the ball into the pond, the filter will pull it in. We had a big flat rock, but it's now broken in three, so it's challenging to put the cover properly back on. 

We need to have a chat with that girl! We love her to death, but she is HIGH maintenance. 

Don't forget to come to the Virtual Retreat tonight and all day tomorrow. I will let you know that the retreat will start without me tomorrow. I volunteered to help with the Toronto Marathon, and I'll be somewhere in the city dropping off tables and whatever. I hope to be done by noon and then home and onto the retreat. However, the retreat will work without me! 

Here are the links: 

Saturday  -- April 30   Starts at 6 PM -- ends?? Whenever!!!!

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

Sunday, May 1   -- -starts at 10 AM  --- until 8 PM (more or less)

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

And don't forget to pick a day when you can visit the art show with Helen Anne's digital art. Here's the information.

If you are into art and I do not know what types of art will be displayed, there is a show in Norval, Ontario, and Helen (a member of our Monday group) has a couple of pieces of digital art in the show. Her photos are amazing, and she created them in Photoshop.

Here's the information on the show:

Location: Parish Hall, 16 Adamson Street South, Norval, ON L0P 1K0

Dates: May 5 - 29

Hours: Thurs – Sun, holiday Mon, noon – 4:30 pm

 And if you want to read how she created one of the pieces, check out her blog.

I can't wait to go and see it. I need to schedule that into my calendar. 

The Hamilton Quilt Show is on June 3 and 4, now ONE month away. 

Yikes! There is lots of stuff going on -- thankfully, my homework calendar will slow down a bit, but not for one more month. I need a bigger design wall. I've put the homework for the SEVEN quilts currently running, and I've run out of room on the design wall. I need to get one of them done to make room for the remainder of the blocks of the other quilts! One quilt needs a border, and it's not even close to having space on the wall! 

Anyway -- that is it for me. 

Have a super day!!! See you tonight! 


Friday, April 29, 2022


What a great day I had. I got in the groove and spent the day listening to an audiobook, which I'll tell you about in a second. I made leaps and bounds in progress for the homework this weekend, and I think I should be finished by lunch, which means I won't be running around at the last minute to finish up stuff. Yeah me!! 

I used to live a pretty sheltered life when reading novels. I had a "few" authors that wrote book series (about the same character), and I would read almost exclusively those books. Some of my favorite authors are James Patterson, Lee Child, Louise Penny, Clive Cussler, and well, that's just a couple -- there are MANY more. 

But lately, I've been discovering MANY authors that write standalone books or are perhaps lesser-known (at least in my world). 

I think I discovered this author from a friend's recommendation on Facebook. OH MY GOSH!! I believe that is why I was in the zone yesterday. I had my headphones on, and I was in my own little world. I NEED to finish this book this morning. I have less than one hour. The author? Lisa Jewell. She's a British author, and I'm reading The Family Upstairs. It's a page-turner, to be sure! I see she wrote a sequel to the book  -- hmmm --- I may have to get that one and read it as well, and she has MANY standalone books. 

There isn't enough time to read all the books I want to. But that's OK -- I'll read what I can and enjoy them. So if you are stuck in a rut with your reading --- check out other authors -- there are so many, and what I find with some of the serial stuff --- you get a cookie-cutter book where the same stuff happens, just in a different location to different people. 

Well, some of the plots I've read lately are totally twisted! How does the author's mind work that way? 

I haven't been doing much for the US magazines lately as I really haven't had time. And this magazine has been sitting here for at least a month for me to share with you. 

This is the May/June issue of McCall's Quilting

McCall's Quilting - May/June

It's all about pre-cuts, and this is my quilt. I LOVE this quilt, and it's made with a bundle of 10" squares. I LOVE it!!!!!   I worked with a  bundle of squares from Wilmington Fabrics -- a gorgeous collection called Essentials Basics: Royal Nights 10 Karat Gems. It's a blender collection, and the colors are gorgeous!!!! 

My quilt

It's a super easy pattern to make, and you'll love it!!!! 

The second publication is A Needle Pulling Thread -- Issue 58. This time, it's all about landscapes! 

A Needle Pulling Thread

I'm not the best at drawing and making realistic portraits or landscapes (something to work on, perhaps), so I turn to abstract. I love abstract, and I guess we should stick with what we know best! 

My article on Abstract Quilted Landscapes

This article is filled with tips on making your own abstract landscape, and I use a different color than the one shown in that picture!

I haven't submitted anything to the US magazines for MONTHs. They will think I have died, but I just haven't had time to come up with some designs, and I'm cognizant of when the quilt would need to be made. SEE -- I am being responsible. Now that things are somewhat under control, I might think about submitting stuff in the future!

I'll see how it goes. 

I may have posted this already, but if not, here it is again. This is the latest DIGITAL issue of QUILTsocial. There is loads of information in this magazine - it's basically some of the tutorials/projects/articles that the bloggers put on QUILTsocial, compiled into a magazine format. I have articles on choosing stabilizers for machine embroidery, repairing a sweater, and sewing on buttons --- all with the sewing machine!

QUILTsocial is a fantastic blog filled with LOADS of tutorials five days a week, so you can learn a ton of stuff from that blog. 

I'm working on two more articles for magazines, and one of them needs to be completed very soon. The other one -- well, it's also due! So that will be on the list of stuff to do. Prepping presentations takes a lot of time -- I'm trying to get smarter, but that has definitely cut into the time allowed for writing. 

I did NOT get anything done on the Cherrywood Challenge, so that NEEDS to be a priority today. I would be so angry (doesn't that word look so -- well, ANGRY), so I'll say that I'll be very disappointed with myself if I don't make it happen. And I'm so close! 

Well, what's going on in the world of the girls at my house? Lexi is now taken to jumping on the couch even when it has furniture on it. Why? So she can get away from Murphy, and DH just stands there watching. NO --- you need to tell her to get off!! The couch -- well, it's a goner for sure! It's just dirty, and I'm not about to clean it. We should have put a blanket or quilt on it BEFORE she started jumping up. Now -- what's the point? 

Lexi jumps even with furniture in the way

So now they can fight with Lexi on the couch and Murphy on the floor. Sigh...................

Let the fighting continue

And then you have this little angel! 

Little Bear -- the angel - NOT!

OK, he has his own issues, but he looks so darn cute!!! This was a professional photo -- apparently, M was doing a photo shoot, and Bear "got in the way!" I think the picture was photoshopped as he's not quite that white in real life!

On that note, I'm out of here. I've got stuff to do, but here are some events to watch for. 

Virtual Retreat 

Saturday, April 30  (6 PM - 9 pm)

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

Sunday, May 1 (10 AM -- 8 PM)

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

If you are into art and I do not know what types of art will be displayed, there is a show in Norval, Ontario, and Helen (a member of our Monday group) has a couple of pieces of digital art in the show. These photos are amazing, and she created them in Photoshop.

Here's the information on the show:

Location: Parish Hall, 16 Adamson Street South, Norval, ON L0P 1K0

Dates: May 5 - 29

Hours: Thurs – Sun, holiday Mon, noon – 4:30 pm

 And if you want to read how she created one of the pieces, check out her blog.

I see more quilt shows are coming up, and I'll try to post a list in the next couple of days. I've run out of time this morning. 

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, April 28, 2022

The LONG way home

Travel is always such"fun!" So many people think it's glamourous to travel, but it's not. Perhaps if you travel for pleasure, there's a bit more fun in it, but I don't think it's fun to be shuffled around in cars, planes, and trains with your possessions in a bag or bags. However, I won't say no if I have the chance. And I wouldn't say NO to a trip to Montreal. 

Once I'm done with my task, I want to get home. So we finished the sessions around 4 PM, and I had a flight booked for 8:30. Everything got packed away, and I caught an Uber to the airport. I was a bit worried about the traffic as it was raining and the time of day, but I had a very skilled Uber driver, and we made it in less than one hour, so that was good. 

Here's the view from my hotel room. Very dull, when the river and the Olympic Stadium were on the side! 

View from the hotel

But there was a plane INSIDE The hotel. I'm not sure about the connection with the hotel, or maybe the owner loves planes? 

Inside the hotel

Here's a picture of the Olympic Stadium. Not bad when you consider it was taken from a moving car! It was built in 1976, a few years before I moved to Montreal. 

The Olympic Stadium

I didn't get a chance to get out and walk, which was a shame since there was a walking path right by the river. There was a lot of rain, and I didn't even have a jacket, let alone an umbrella. Besides, we didn't really have time. I'll just have to make up some extra miles this week. 

So while the trip to the airport was uneventful, getting through security was NOT. I didn't choose the priority line as the regular line wasn't busy. It amazes me how long it takes some people to put their belongings in those trays to go through the X-ray machine. Perhaps some people don't travel much or have forgotten over the last two years. But the laptop comes out of your bag and goes into its own tray. Take your jacket off, and everything then goes into the trays. Super easy. I know -- some people haven't traveled in a while, so patience is required! 

Then I walked through the machine and BEEP. And it was a LOUD BEEP. The guy points at my watch -- I take it off and hand it to him. Walk back through - BEEP. Good grief --- this never happens to me. My hairband? Nope. So he directs me to stand aside while he calls over a female security person. 

In the meantime, my stuff has come through, and I made an effort to collect it. Then everyone was yelling at me to stay put. "DO NOT MOVE and DO NOT TOUCH anything." OK OK!!! But I always worry that it's super easy for someone to pick up the laptop sitting there in the open. But no one did. 

The female security person comes over and proceeds to wand me. Everywhere it beeps, she touches me  -- she did warn me. So under the arms, my button on my pants, the sides of my waist. I had to show her the bottom of my shoes, she swabbed my hands, and I had to show her my waistband, and she proceeded to feel inside the front of my pants! WAIT A MINUTE --- we are in a full public display! Now she didn't reach far, but still! I didn't mind the rest, but that one? 

I suppose some people smuggle all kinds of stuff in all sorts of places. So we never did find out why the thing beeped, I had NOTHING out of the ordinary, and I've walked right through those X-ray things in the past with the same watch and headband and NOTHING. 

Is that one overly sensitive? No idea. The plane was full, but that was OK. It's a short flight. But people have forgotten how to get off a plane. The aisle is FULL, yet the lady next to me stands up and tries to get her suitcases out of the overhead bin. Now, where exactly will you put that suitcase, when we are already packed up. And she was with other people, and she tried to butt in front of me. Since I was alone, I was NOT waiting for them to organize all their stuff. I made her go behind me! Sigh.............

Toronto is a HUGE city and flying in makes you realize that, especially in the dark. And it's small compared to other cities in the world. But it seems to go on forever! If you look right under the wingtip, that's downtown. It looks small from the air. 

The big city at night

But I'm always fascinated to see it. Shoot -you can't really see it in the photo, but you can see the blackness of Lake Ontario, and we were able to see the lights of Buffalo, New York, on the other side of the lake! 

DH was going to pick me up, but he was in an Uber coming from downtown. OK -- so this should work. However, I have no idea what was happening last night, but the pick-up area was a PARKING LOT. Cars were parked three and four deep outside the airport, and it was a total nightmare. The TWO lanes of traffic to get to that area were jammed. And I'm outside with only a sweatshirt. OK -- so I didn't pack well!

I was chatting with a fellow who had just come back from a cycling trip to Majorca. He was pretty upset at all the traffic and went on and on! But it was frustrating. People just parked, waiting for their peeps to come. There is a cell phone parking lot, and you circle around - you don't just sit and wait!! The entire length of the airport building (domestic and international) was jammed! 

Thank goodness for cell phones -- I managed to walk to the beginning of the mess and got in the car, but it still took time to get through the mess, but at least we were moving. The vehicles that were caught at the curbside were stuck. There was a parking/traffic person, and she should have been sending those cars on their way. This system works if people do it properly! Then no one has to wait. Sigh...............

Needless to say, the girls were pretty excited to see me. And probably not because it was me, but because they will go for a walk this morning! Silly girls!

I'm glad I came home last night, although it was late when we arrived. But now I'm here, and that's a good thing because I have a ton of stuff to do, and once the girls are walked, I can get right to it. 

Did you love those pieces from the Out of the Box challenge that I posted yesterday? I love how everyone is so darn creative and how everyone interprets the same color and message in such a totally different way. 

It was my Dad's birthday yesterday, and I finally got a chance to call him while waiting for the flight. He's 89 and still going strong! 

Don't forget the Virtual Retreat this weekend. With the weather being so cool, especially in the evenings, this is perfect. Sew and enjoy each other's company!

Saturday, April 30 -- 6 PM - -9 PM 

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

Sunday, May 1 -- 10 AM - 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

It's time to get moving -- I have to finish my Cherrywood Challenge, and I have stuff to prep for three classes this weekend. It's going to be a busy day!

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Out of the Box Show and Tell

I'll share my french stories with you tomorrow! But what fun to be back in the swing of two languages. I loved that when I lived here years ago and I still love it now. I really think it would serve me well to return to Montreal to live. It's one of my favorite cities in Canada. Isn't that crazy? The English farm girl from out west? 

Cycling is better here, languages are more fun, well --- I'll think about it. I doubt DH would be too crazy since he knows not a single word of French. A place to retire!

But enough of that, let's have a look at the show and tell from our Out of the Box challenge this month. OH -- I just called it a challenge - I hope no one goes crazy with that, but each assignment is essentially a challenge! People tend to freeze up when you say the word "challenge!"

I asked the group to make things using blue and yellow and at least ONE accessory foot for their sewing machine. Oh my --- I was so thrilled to see how much work they put into the project. Feet they have never used before got pulled out, and techniques in the machine were researched. It brings so much happiness to me to see that. I was very excited!!!! 

Let's have a look. OH -- I should mention that people have all different brands and types of sewing machines and their skill levels are all different as well. It didn't matter -- each person found a way to create something that was a great learning tool. 

Cathy started by learning how to make buttonholes and used some decorative stitches to finish off the edges of her applique. That is very challenging to do and she braved it with a highly contrasting thread. I love it!!!


Dana had never done applique before, so she took on that challenge and created a zen garden in fabric. This is such a simple piece, but it's very effective, and look how straight those lines of quilting are? This was the theme from February -- black and white and one extra color. 


This is Dana's piece from January where the theme was the log cabin block and favorite colors. She used a curved ruler that we learned in a class last year to make roses! What a neat way to finish off the log cabins. 


Diane made a piece representing the people and the war in Ukraine. It represents a torn flag and the broken lives of the people. She couched (I think that was the foot she used) to add some lace to the edges of the flag. 


I used bits of blue to make a crazy pieced background in various shades of blue. This is one of my favorite techniques to use. Then I quilted it with the IDT (built-in walking foot on the PFAFF) in a circular motion. And lastly, I couched cotton yarn using the three-hole yarn foot and a contrasting thread. I still need to trim the yarn off and bind it. 

Elaine (me)

Gillian used the overcast stitch on her sewing machine along with two T-shirts she picked up at the thrift store and made herself a scarf. WOW -- that was creative!



She also completed her black and white with one other color from February. It started off totally abstract and resulted in this piece. WOW!!


Heather experimented with the four-way stitches on her machine. You don't turn the fabric, the stitch will change direction and stitches left to right, then top to bottom, then right to left, then bottom to top. It takes a lot of skill to be successful with this. She did a great job with MANY lines of stitching. 


Helen Anne used the Curve Master foot to sew a perfect curved seam with NO pins. That's very impressive. 

Helen Anne

Jackie used bits of a zipper and her zipper foot to artfully insert zippers into her scrappy background. A great way to add texture to a piece with bits of zipper!!


Katheleen used her beading foot and added beads (pearls on a string) to the center of this piece. WOW --- it looks awesome and is such an easy way to add beads. She also tried the tricky Tims Caveman style of curved piecing for the curved seams. 


Kathi used a couple of rulers from another class to get those crazy angles used in the block. Those units are NOT easy. And then she used her open toe foot to create the circle of decorative stitching in the center. 


Linda used her couching foot and tried various lines of couching with one, two, and three strands of DMC floss. She turned her piece into a journal cover.


Lucy had lots to show but wasn't able to attend, so I'm saving her pictures for next month after I hear her story of how she used two different techniques. And I LOVE the fact that those manuals are coming out so people can really learn how to use their tools!!!! Way to go Lucy!!!!

Lynn went rogue! Well, not really, but like Linda, she wanted to make something she could use. Recycled denim became the cover of her stitch book. She sketched out the hummingbird and used applique stitches to decorate it and core the edges. 


Inside she started a stitch book with stitches from her machine. Oh --- this is such a great idea and gives you an idea of what stitches you have available to you!!

Inside the stitch book

Margaret used various couching feet for her machine and a flower maker accessory to make this piece. Wow - that flower maker is pretty cool. I believe it turns a regular sewing machine into somewhat of an embroidery style. 


She also made a coaster on the embroidery machine. 


Maria made an abstract piece with various angles. She is moving towards something specific and using these pieces to learn. I'm not sure if she used a specific foot on her machine. I've forgotten. 


Mary used her buttonhole maker to create a small pocket to put money in. She made two small mug rugs. What a neat gift. 


Monica pieced a block with regular piecing techniques, then added some decorative stitches. I love the look as it looks very much like lace has been added to the piece. This is such a great idea and a super way to decorate solid fabrics without really adding lace!


Morgan also had something to share but wasn't on the call, so we didn't hear her story. We'll save that for next month. 

Sharon created this cute little "dress" with her overcast foot. She used decorative stitches on the bodice of the dress and used the overcast stitch to add the lace on the bottom. It's adorable!


And Wendy used her button sew-on foot to sew on the buttons that hold the yo-hos in place on this piece in honor of Ukraine. It's gorgeous and I love the sunflower fabric she used in the yo-yos. 


And there you have it -- the Out of the Box show and tell this month. All I can say is that the group blew me away with their creativity and their level of commitment to learning a new technique. But even more important to work with something that they're not familiar with. Maybe blue and yellow isn't their thing or learning a new foot isn't, but they embraced it. 

The object of this class is to work out of your comfort zone. That's why the pieces do NOT need to be finished, they are experiments and they don't need to be large. Just try something new and see what happens. That is how we grow as artists!!!

I'm so impressed and I can't wait to see what they dream up this month. Oh yes -- they have a "fun" color to work with this month. Actually, all colors are fun -- it just means you have to become creative to make them work. There are NO mistakes in this class. How can an artist make a mistake? 

I have to go -- this internet here is very slow and it is making it very challenging to write. 

Before I go, don't forget that this weekend is the Virtual Retreat. So if you're looking for some company while you sew, be sure to stop by. We'll be sewing on Saturday evening and all day Sunday. I have so much to catch up on, I don't know where to start. 

Here are the links:

Saturday, April 30 --- 6 PM -- 9 PM (more or less) 

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

Sunday, May 1 -- 10 AM - 8 PM

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 816 9371 7518 Passcode: 579285

On that note, I'm out of here. It's going to be a long day as I have a plane to catch tonight.

Have a super day!!!

Ciao! et Bonne journee!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022


 Well, it's a new day, and I'm in a different city!

Speaking of those flight paths over my house, I was on a plane, and we flew over my house, but there was too much cloud cover, so I couldn't see a thing!

Parts of the runways are blocked off, and it's difficult to see what is being done. The flight was short, and this is where I landed!


Air travel always amazes me. A few hours (more or less) and you're in a completely different part of the country or the world. You have to love it. Getting to the airport was super slick. DH usually drives me, but he couldn't, so I had my first experience with Uber! Yep -- an Uber newbie. I love it -- I hate to admit that, but it takes away all the things I didn't like about taxis -- dealing with money and tip in the car. 

So after we did show and tell with the Monday sewing group, I called for an Uber, and the darn guy was there in 2 minutes. I barely had time to say goodbye to the girls, who were not happy as they were now going to be home alone!

Pre-checking in, having no checked luggage makes life much easier, and having a NEXUS card to bypass the long security lines is well worth the money. I was through that process almost as fast as just walking! 

I met up with my boss on the same flight, but she was at the front of the plane -- I was near the back. We collected all her luggage -- she doesn't travel light! I would typically have to travel with lots of samples and supplies. I got lucky on this trip!

Then we rented a vehicle big enough to put it all in. Oh my -- that was an experience. Neither of us is used to a vehicle with all the bells and whistles, and it took a "few" minutes to figure out how to move the seats. Let's just say we had a few laughs over that! 

Then we were off -- I was the navigator. I thought she was very courageous to drive, but we had a few stops to make, so it was more efficient than Uber. 

OH MY --- I need to come back here when I have more time. One of our customers has a "shop" inside the Club Tissus - The Fabric Club in English. This is an incredible place with a sewing machine dealer inside; someone sells notions, another store sells quilting fabric, home dec, and ready-made stuff. It's a place you could get lost in. 

Club Tissus

It was already getting late in the day, and we hadn't really eaten anything, so we only took a quick tour around. 

Inside Club Tissus

I snapped a few pictures of stuff and saw lots of inspiration. Yep -- a trip to Montreal is in order. 

Inside Club Tissus

And then I saw this mat! How fitting for me!!!  But I didn't buy it. I'm traveling light, and I want to stay that way. 

A mat made for me!

I haven't been to Montreal for a few years, where I have stayed mainly in Centre-Ville. This time we are on the South Shore and got to drive across the "new" Pont (bridge) Champlain. Gosh -- it's so huge compared to the old one. I tried to snap a photo, but well, I was navigating, and my phone wasn't cooperating. So fun to see how things have changed. It's totally crazy, but what do you expect after 30 years!!!

Yes -- I lived in Montreal for 12 years -- way back when!! I LOVE this city and would still live here if my silly jobs didn't keep getting transferred to Toronto. 

Then we arrived at the hotel, and we got everything set up for today. There's a plane in the lobby of the hotel!

A plane in the lobby

I was so tired last night, as I got to bed late after reviewing the presentation for today. I'll be doing a good part of the presentation in French. OH --- what have I got myself into? But I'm sure it will be fine. The audience is small, and they are tolerant! Merci beaucoup!!!

When my alarm went off this morning, I totally ignored it. So there is no time for a walk this morning as I want to review some more brush up on a few words; and it was raining, but I don't think it is now, but it's very cloudy. I'll wander down and have breakfast and plan to go for a walk late this afternoon. 

My goddaughter lives near this hotel, so I hope we can meet up. If not, I'm sure I'll be back!

I have to say I had a great sleep - sometimes in a new place, it doesn't always happen. I slept like a log, even with all the patterns in this room - triangles, circles, and houndstooth everywhere. It's all nicely coordinated -- I think. Lots of inspiration. I'll share another day. I have to get myself organized for the day. It's going to be LONG. And we have to wear masks everywhere. It's still mandated in Quebec until the middle of May. 

Have a super day!!!


Monday, April 25, 2022

Cleaning up photos

 And another crazy day is in the bag! Actually, it wasn't a crazy day at all. It was a glorious day - I worked at a leisurely rate, went for a long walk, sat in the gazebo, and generally went easy and well -- it was a glorious day!

The day started a bit weird. Lexi and I were out walking along a somewhat busy street. While she doesn't pull like Murphy does, she likes to stop and smell EVERYTHING. Tugging is required to get her back on track and keep her moving; otherwise, we would never make it back to the house. 

So imagine my surprise when there was ZERO tension on that leash suddenly. What? 

Two thoughts immediately ran through my head. This dog is a runner, I must get control of her, and secondly, I thought her harness must have failed as it is wearing through. 

MOM -- -no more leash!

The last time this happened was shortly after we got her, and she slipped through her collar, and we didn't see her until the next day! I didn't want to repeat that, especially on the street where we were. 

I yelled at her to STOP. She was a bit confused -- she does NOT listen (that's why you have to yell at her). But she stopped, and I grabbed her harness and accessed the situation. The photo above was staged when I knew I had control of her!

Can you believe that the metal clip failed? One end pulled right out of the other! So we had to improvise for the rest of the way home. 

New attachment for the leash

You don't realize how much you use that loop on the end of the leash when walking! I was going to go in the afternoon to get a new one, and then I thought -- I could fix the old one. Actually, I looked in the bin of dog stuff and found an old leather leash that is perfectly fine. It's just missing that loop on the end as the stitching came out. I wonder if my sewing machine is strong enough to sew that? With a leather needle, of course! I'm going to try it, but I didn't have time yesterday. 

I could get a new clip for the red leash and have the shoemaker fix both. That's all part of being environmentally conscious, and there is no need to throw it out when a simple repair could fix both leashes. Now to find a shoemaker. YES --- there are still shoe repair people around. Shoot -- I should have taken the one leash in yesterday. Oh well --- I'll do that this week. 

I've also noticed a ton of airplanes in the sky. Those planes are coming in every minute (or less!). Big ones, little ones -- they are coming in fast and furious. Two flight paths are close enough to be interesting to watch but not so close that they fly overhead. 

Planes in the landing flight path

Then it dawned on me that they must have started the work on the runways at the airport. Apparently, a significant renovation is happening, and some runways are shut down.  

What's scary is the timing. There doesn't seem to be enough time between planes for one to land and get off the runway before the next one is right on its tail. There will be no dilly-dallying with the use of the runway! Apparently, the project goes on all summer, so we'll see weird things with the flightpath all summer. As close as they are, the noise of the planes is far enough away that it doesn't bother us. 

I wasn't fast enough to snap a picture of Mrs. Cardinal as she stopped on my fence outside the office window with straw in her mouth! They are building a nest in the left tree, and I'm surprised because a robin usually builds a nest in the other tree! There must have been a showdown, and the cardinals won! Anyway, I hope to catch a picture of them as they build the nest. 

The cardinals are building a nest in the left tree

Since Lexi had an exciting morning and I will have to cough up cash to get the leash repaired, Murphy couldn't be left without some incident. This is her BRAND NEW ball. Yep, she managed to pull out the little plug from it with her teeth. The big question is why? Why did you do that, Murphy? 

Mom -- I pulled that plug out! 

This dog just doesn't give up! She proceeded to play with that little piece of rubber until I threw it away for fear that she would swallow it. She was NOT happy. 

And let's not forget how many times she dropped the ball in the pond when I was outside enjoying the sun. 

MOM -- the ball is in the pond!

One last NON-quilting picture. On my walk, I noticed this sign. Does that make sense to you? 

Is this proper grammar?

Shouldn't it say "Record Sale?" but I could be wrong. I wonder what my editor will think of that? It's interesting because I finished reading 1984 by George Orwell yesterday, and there is an essay at the end about Newspeak -- the language being implemented in Oceania. Basically, they were reducing the number of words available because it was easier and supposedly going to be less confusing. So instead of saying better or best -- you would have the use of good or more good. ACK!!  

That whole book is frightening. Frightening because some of the stuff has come true and frightening in the government's control over the people. Their beliefs and how they dictated them are horrifying. How the government rewrote the PAST (not that that is happening here!) to suit their needs and make them look strong is very scary. Let's keep our freedom! 

OK -- so what happened in Studio B? Well, the Cherrywood Challenge did NOT get completed to the point I had hoped. But, it is trimmed, and ALL of the embellishments are done. Some are sewn in place, with a few more to do later this week. I'm happy with it, so that is good. 

I love my tube-turner and have used it a fair amount. I recently watched a video on making PIPING with the tube-turner. How to insert a cord into the narrow strips. I watched the video and did NOT believe it could work the way they showed, but you know what? It worked!

The tube turner

OH -- I should also mention that we had our Out of the Box class in the morning. I was so excited that I was bursting to show everyone the projects. I can't say enough about how creative this group is. They are learning by doing each month, and we, in turn, are learning so much from each other's experiences. I just love it and will be sharing the pictures later this week. 

I got a customer quilt done. 

Customer quilt - DONE

I almost ran out of thread, but I didn't. Don't worry -- there was a second spool waiting if this one was finished. 

Almost empty spool of thread

I spent the evening prepping a pattern to experiment with machine embroidery applique. I've now got all 25 designs scanned. That took a LOT of running back and forth to the printer, which is in another room. But they are scanned. 

The patterns have all kinds of writing on them, which I don't want when I start to digitize the designs. 

Lots of writing

So each got loaded into Photoshop Elements and cleaned up. Some had to be cropped, as there was an entire page of designs, and I wanted one design per file. Some had to be rotated, and all needed a lot of erasing. Something so easy in Photoshop Elements. It took me about 3 minutes, if that, to clean up this file. 

Ready for digitizing

It's now saved as a .jpeg, and I'll load it into the mySewnet machine embroidery software and try my skills at creating the machine embroidery applique files. At the same time, I'll be creating the .SVG files that I can use on my Scan and Cut. 

I'm convinced that I know enough now to make this happen. Stop delaying and go for it!! I think I could clean up those photos in my embroidery software, but I'm not sure. I should try one and see how easy it is. I know how to do it in Photoshop Elements, so I went with what I knew. 

This is for my PERSONAL use, so there is no big deal in doing this. The files will not be shared with anyone, and I'm not making money off them, so it's OK to reproduce them in this fashion. This particular pattern is already available as embroidery files, but the version I have is just the old-fashioned way of doing applique. I figure there is enough variety in the files that it'll be a good exercise for learning. 

Ooops -- it's almost time to get to the gym. 

Have a super day!!!