Friday, May 27, 2022

To learn is to grow!

I took a circuitous way home from the Retreat. I had something to drop off, and I wanted to visit the art show where my friend, Helen Anne, had a couple of pieces hanging. Thank goodness for the GPS, or I wouldn't have made it! All those country back roads, some of which were pretty basic with gravel and barely a road as far as I was concerned, but it was the back way to get to The Hobby Horse. There were many trees down in that area, and that road was definitely closed after this storm. Fortunately, everything was moved when I came through. 

I had a great chat with Gail and Mary at the store. I don't get up there as often as I used to. I seemed to have lived at that store! And it's changed -- it's so neat and tidy and lots of new stuff. If you're looking for blenders, I would start there. And the best news? They have tried to keep their prices in the $16 per meter range. 

I didn't buy anything as I wanted to check out what I had at home first -- see, common sense prevails! I dropped off my stuff, and then I went to the art show. 

The theme was Forms and Faces or something like that. The show ends on Sunday, and although it's a small show, there is lots of great artwork. There was a great variety of mediums -- watercolor, photography, collage, acrylic, mosaics, etc. I very much enjoyed viewing the various art forms.

And look what followed me home. Well, I have to go on Sunday and pick it up. Helen sold both her pieces in the show. 

Growth by Helen Anne

So did I buy it just because it was Helen Anne's piece? I did NOT. I bought it for several reasons. I know the story behind the piece; it was created in PhotoShop (which fascinates me, and YES -- I'm jealous!), but the most important reason was the growth (learning curve) that it took for her to create this picture. I find it very inspiring that she decided to learn something and went ahead and did it -- that's a beautiful story, and I like the piece as well! That photo is not the best - the lighting wasn't proper for taking a photograph. I would like to do that, but I realize that it's not within my time bandwidth. I have too many other things that I'm learning, and I have to make choices. 

Great job, Helen Anne!!!!!

Back to the Retreat -- I trimmed some of that bag of small half-square triangles to say I touched that project bag. OK -- as I was trimming them to 1¼", I thought, why am I doing this? But I love small, so I'll continue. 

Trimming the half-square triangles

They are teeny!

My goal is to trim them during the Virtual Retreat and Monday sewing. Then they can go back into the retreat bag, and I'll create something from them during the next Retreat. 

I did some sewing on this bundle of scraps, and it'll definitely be a scrappy thing when I'm finished. But mindless sewing sometimes is a great thing! What I love about sewing scraps together is the puzzle effect. While it is mindless sewing, you still have to think about what piece should be stitched to which piece. It's like working with a puzzle, and I LOVE it. It keeps my brain active, which is a good thing. 

Scraps to sew together

When I got home, I unpacked everything. The stuff that didn't get put away got crammed on the cutting table. Oops! I intend to go through it this weekend and cut what needs to be cut, assemble the missing bits, and get it all ready for the next round of sewing or the next retreat. The amount of preparation will depend on when it needs to be done. 

This is why it's essential to shop at your stash BEFORE going to the quilt store. I needed more flannels to cut for that flannel quilt I worked on. I was tempted to buy some when I was at The Hobby Horse, but I thought to myself that NO -- I need to check my stash first. Imagine my surprise when I got home and discovered these fabrics in the stash. 

Flannels from my stash

Some of that may not be quite the right color, but I pulled it anyway. I'll cull through the colors more closely later today or tomorrow and then decide what to keep and what doesn't make the cut. Then it's a simple matter of determining how many squares of each color I need! No need to buy more! Phew -- good thing I held back! I may buy a green or a blue, but I definitely do NOT need red!

But I do need to go back to purchase a new ruler! Why??

My ruler is pretty much dead

The girls were all appalled that I was using this ruler, which was clearly worn out! I have to laugh, as you can definitely see where I put pressure on the ruler when I cut! OK -- so I guess they are right! I don't use this one often as I have another one at home that is in much better shape! But this one is getting to be super slippery, so it really needs to be thrown out. I'm going to send a picture to the folks at Omnigrid to show them what happens after MUCH use! 

Amazingly, the corners are still very much intact on this ruler. That's the result of careful cutting!

OK -- so I don't have time to show you all the doormats we made, but here's the one we made for The Retreat at the Farm. That was my fifth time at that house, and I love it. It's super quiet, well laid out (for the most part), well-stocked and organized, and close to home. Yep -- I'll be going back for sure!

Susan brought her digital cutter (Cameo Silhouette), some coconut mats, and other supplies to make doormats. We started off by designing a stencil in the software. After the stencil was cut out, we attached the stencil to the doormat, and using spray paint, we painted the motif onto the mat. 

As you saw a couple of days ago, we made one for each of us and decided to make one for the retreat house. This is what we came up with. 

A new doormat for The Retreat at the Farm

You should have seen us -- we were like kids at a free for all kindergarten session. There were moments of hesitation as we tried something new (yes -- we like and don't like new things), then squeals of delight as each doormat was revealed. After each one, a new idea emerged and that involved two trips into town to find further supplies. By the time we got to the last one, we had considered ourselves professional doormat makers. We know what works and what doesn't!

It was loads of fun, and by the way -- we checked Home Hardware (I even asked) for the freezer paper, and they had NONE. I'm not sure if they were sold out or didn't have it. So if you have some -- use it wisely! Remember, those templates can be used repeatedly when doing applique!!!

Thanks to Susan for that entertaining and freeing activity, and I got a great doormat to boot. I'll be posting the others tomorrow. And thanks to Katheleen and Lynn for a fantastic retreat! 

When I finally got home, I took some time to sit in the gazebo. The lilacs are JUST blooming, so I sat there smelling the beautiful smells, soaking up the warm weather, and reading. 

Lilacs are almost in bloom

But all was NOT quiet as Murphy immediately ran to get her ball and plunked it into the pond. And then barked when I ignored her. What a girl!!!!

Thank God you are home, MOM -- let's play ball!

Aloof Lexi enjoyed getting a good brushing and popped up on the bed to watch the world go by. 

Lexi watching the world go by

We went for a walk last night, and they were both happy to have Mom home. 

I received a disturbing phone call yesterday on the way home. A good friend called to tell me his wife had been diagnosed with liver cancer. She was first diagnosed at Easter, and she was given 3 months to a year. Apparently, her cancer is extremely aggressive, and she went into hospital yesterday with several days to a month left. He was heartbroken. I'm not sure how old she is, but she's around my age. 

The moral of the story is -- DO NOT wait to use those good dishes. DO NOT wait to learn something new today. DO NOT wait for anything --- do it now!!! 

I have a class tonight (homework not done yet), two classes tomorrow (homework almost done), and one demo (that I'm prepping), so getting that all organized is on the list of things to do today. It's all easy and shouldn't take too long to finish up. I got a lot of cutting done this morning, and I have a bit of ripping to do on a quilt that I started last week -- I'll show you later what happened. And let's not forget that it's Virtual Retreat this weekend. So lots of stuff happening. 

And thankfully, I can listen to an audiobook and do what's on the agenda today. That book "Looking for Jane" is a page-turner. It's NOT a thriller by any means -- it's about abortion and women's rights, and it's fiction. But I NEED to know what happens. It's very well written. I have two hours left, and I need to finish it today as it needs to be returned! The book is set in Toronto and spans several decades, but it's so sad that it's based on actual events. It's all very scary given the current situation. 

Here are the links for the Virtual Retreat. I'm hoping to do some clean-up work during the Retreat. I have sleeves to sew on quilts, half-square triangles to trim, and squares to cut. I don't think I'll even turn on the sewing machine. It's a fantastic place to do those boring jobs!!! So be sure to pop in to say hi!

Saturday -- May 28 - Starting at 6 PM.

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

Sunday, May 29 -- Starting at 10 AM

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

There is an open house at the brand new retreat house (Spring Houe Retreat) near New Hamburg if anyone is interested. That is also this weekend -- Saturday and Sunday from 10 - 4. I'll be making a quick trip out on Saturday to check it out, although I've seen the house on the internet, and it's gorgeous. 

And there's a quilt show next weekend -- the Hamilton Quilt Show - June 3 and 4. 

And don't forget to check out QUILTsocial. One more day of making blocks for the fidget quilts. 

And here's the final day of QUILTsocial as I quilt one of the fidget quilts. 

I think that sums it up for today!!

Have a super day!!!


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