Thursday, June 30, 2022

Like a dog with a bone!

Thanks again for all your comments -- I'll get to answering them/commenting back, hopefully later today! While I write the blog for my sanity, I also enjoy sharing it, and if it inspires, motivates, or amuses others, that's a bonus. 

This story I'm about to tell you is disturbing, and I know that some of you will say, "I told you so!" Don't yell at me, and don't tell me NOT to shop there. Yes -- this is a story about Bulk Barn. The last time, I caught some teen girls helping themselves to candies or chocolate, but this time? Well, it's even worse. 

So I'm browsing around, looking for hemp hearts which I couldn't find, so I had made the rounds a couple of times. Of course, store staff is rare or so new that they don't know everything. No problem and I did find someone to help me, and NO, they are currently out of hemp hearts. 

As I was scouting around, I spotted a woman wearing a bright blue pair of pants and a bright blue purse. It was hard not to notice her because of the intensity of that color. The pants almost looked like athletic wear? But a NICE quality of athletic wear. She was nicely groomed and on her own; without the bright pants and purse, you wouldn't even notice her. 

So she walks into Bulk Barn with TWO kids -- a girl about 3 and a boy who was about 5. The girl IMMEDIATELY starts shouting CANDY! I saw them go down an aisle, and then I didn't notice them. A few minutes later, I spotted the woman (again -- very hard to miss) standing outside the store with NO kids. I glanced down the aisle (I'm at the cash now), and the girl was trying to put the scoop into the container to get something. 

That wasn't working, as she was about as tall as the container. Then she slips her hand into the container. I glance at the Mom, who doesn't move. At least she wasn't on her cell phone. My unfiltered mouth couldn't stop! I asked her, "did you see your daughter has her hand in the container?" She looks at me -- like a deer in headlights. Seriously??? Then I said, "that's pretty unsanitary!" She says, "oh, you're right," and enters the store to get the kids. 

I was fuming, and I don't think the cashier heard what I said because they are usually pretty good about going after people, especially kids. Then I followed them out of the mall -- that was NOT intentional. I overheard the little boy say, "you took that, and you didn't pay for that - why did you do that?"  The Mom just kept walking. 

It so happened that their direction in the parking lot was the same as mine. I had to walk through the parking lot to get to the sidewalk -- NO -- I did not drive my car there! As Mom loaded them into her BIG SUV, she or the boy -- it was hard to tell, said, "you took that, and you didn't pay for it!"  I wanted to go over and shout at the Mom both times. What is her problem, and what lessons is she teaching those kids? 

This is where you want to know where she lives and put a big sign on her lawn saying, "I let my kids steal from Bulk Barn, and I'm OK with that."   Seriously -- the world is in bad shape when she has ZERO clue that putting your hands in those containers is wrong, stealing is bad, and not disciplining your kids is terrible. And intentionally taking them into the store with zero intention of buying -- that's a serious offense in my book. 

I thought of other things I could have said - like, "I hope you kid gets sick from germs in that container," or when we were in the mall -- "go and pay for what she stole." But I didn't. Do I regret saying what I did? No, but I wish I had said it louder so more people would have heard! But she's so UNSELFAWARE that she probably wouldn't have been embarrassed. But the employee could have done something. 

Now I know you're going to ask why I was buying there when I see what happens. I'm buying the most boring stuff in the world- the kids don't even go down the aisles where the ground chia seeds and ground flax are located. I feel safe!

Good things happened at my house yesterday! First, I got a customer quilt done. And not just any customer quilt, but a Boho Heart! 

Customer quilt - DONE

I used a heart and loop pattern on it, which looks stunning. 

The back of the quilt

It was so much fun to quilt this one because she made it for her granddaughter and the fabrics she used were kid prints. Many pieces were fussy cut, and it was fun to look at all the cute images. 

I'll be posting more details on all the quilts next week so stay tuned for that. I also love the BUSY prints she used for the black-on-white background. It's really well done, and I will say that it quilted up beautifully!

I'll get it trimmed today, and she can pick it up. More quilts got picked up yesterday, so it was good to get them out of the house. 

Speaking of Boho Herat, let me tell you what happened in my class the other day. 

So you all know that I have an APQS (American Professional Quilting System) long arm with the software (QuiltPath licensed from The Grace Company). It's incredible how all these companies are competitors, yet they are not. 

The event I attended was hosted by The Sewing Cafe in Georgetown and put on by Handi-Quilter. There's the Handi-Quilter bus outside the store. 

The Handi-Quilter van

I believe the event was three days, but I only wanted the part on the software called Pro-Stitcher. After having the class on my own brand a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to see what this software was all about. You know what they say -- you need to know EVERYTHING about your tools, and it doesn't hurt to check out the other brands. And when have you not learned something from a class? I learned a lot, so attending was worth the time and money. 

Not only that, but I got to wish Anna a Happy Retirement. Anna and I used to ride bikes together. I made a new contact which may be a good thing. Let's see - Oh yes -- I met the granddaughter of one of the members of the Monday sewing group. She works at the store; I also chatted with one of my students from Boho Heart, who also works in the store. I ran into Susan (from some of my other classes) as she has a shop beside The Sewing Cafe. And I met several other people I haven't seen in a while -- Donna and Susan, who have also been in several of my classes. And touched base with Gail, the teacher whom I had just seen in Vancouver. 

Yep -- the quilting world is SMALL. 

OK --- so this is what I found in the store. I have been trying to decide what to use for the backing of my Boho Heart, and nothing was making me happy. I spotted this wide backing, and POOF -- there's my backing. 

The backing for my Boho Heart

My Boho Heart quilt

I bought one other thing -- I'll share it later, but this backing makes me happy. And it's sateen, so I purchased all that was on the bolt. It'll make a good lining for a jacket! My two purchases when into this lovely tote bag. I can't carry that bag -- it's not my brand!

So while it was a good day, and technically this next story is good -- I may have put my foot in my mouth. We had a family reunion 10 years ago, and my cousin put together a history book. While the book contains loads of information, I wanted to do something a bit more professional, especially for our family, and I wanted to do it digitally. You know me -- so competitive -- it has to be done and done my way. 

I had gathered some information from my Mom, and there it has sat, in the office (but all in one drawer), and nothing had happened. Everyone is 10 years older, and if I don't get myself to do this book - it'll be too late. I asked my parents for stories about the various family members -- their parents and grandparents. The next thing I knew, my Mom had pulled out photos, dates, and all kinds of stuff. I think I already have some, but I didn't have the heart to tell her. Did she forget? 

If my Mom had a day job, she would have been incredible as a librarian or a historian. Anyway to my SURPRISE, she called me yesterday. I think that is the FIRST or SECOND time that she has called me in the decades that I haven't lived at home. My first thought was someone had died! Anyway, we had a discussion about the family history books. And she will now be like a dog with a bone and won't let this go. After all, I did PROMISE her to get it done. Oh boy!

But that may be what I need to finally get this done -- I keep saying I'll do it, and nothing happens. So I "stole" a book that I found at their old house, and this morning I dug out these books from my personal library. 

Books on creating family history books

So, in addition to my therapy weeding, I'm reading about creating heritage books. I'm going to do it digitally and have to make some sort of outline or whatever before I get started. I have to check the digital book publishers to see what they offer. I've done several books before, and I imagine they all have similar offerings. 

Has anyone put one of these together? Any tips? I've decided to make several books. One will contain all the information about my Mom's family from the earliest we know to her parents with the five siblings. I am NOT going into further details about the sibling's families. If they want to do that -- that's their choice. But the grandparent book will cover all our history, so others could purchase that book. Then I'll do one for my Dad's side of the family. Then I'll take our family and work on photos and stories. If my brothers want to do something on their own -- they can, but it's really for me and to have something to pass along to M. 

It'll be a pleasant diversion from quilting; I have some time right now to start the project, and sending regular updates to my Mom will keep me on my toes. I don't want to start getting nasty phone calls from her which she will do, now that she has called once! 

On that note, I'm out of here! More quilts to quilt, our Mixed Media group with great show and tell, and more reading on the history books! And NO -- I am not borrowing books from the library on this subject as the ones I have are enough. Once I'm done with them, I'm donating them, or if anyone wants them, they are yours! 

Have a super day!!!


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

It's all about the dogs!

I have no idea why my e-mail sometimes doesn't want to sync, so it will download new e-mails containing the pictures for today's blog! Sigh................

Again -- thanks for the comments. Someone commented that extroverts are done with Zoom and want to be in person. Do not get me wrong -- I would die without personal contact with people; as a matter of fact, I was in an all-day class yesterday in an actual store! I learned a lot. I just don't want to do my weekly sewing in person. It's too much work and time and gas. 

And I just spent 10 days with people in the last two weeks. I'm an extrovert and LOVE to talk. We've been going to a restaurant once a week forever, and even during the pandemic -- we went when no one else was going! 

While I like in-person classes, I LOVE the Zoom format for some of them. With the presentations and close-up pictures of my one-hour lectures, the students get a lot more from Zoom than they ever would in person! 

And I would miss out on visiting people we've met over Zoom, people from Australia and Germany who pop into the Virtual Retreats. That would NEVER happen in person, and then there are the people who live in more remote locations who would NEVER have the opportunity to meet weekly to sew with people. The Zoom provides them that opportunity and keeps them sane!

So I'm NOT saying Zoom is the only way to go -- I'm picking what works best for me, and that's a combination! Thankfully, there are options for all of us! 

AHA --- I managed to get the e-mails. I like Outlook, but lately, it's become temperamental. But that's nothing new for me and technology!

I don't have much time as I'm on my way to spin class, so I'll share a bit about Murphy with you. Let's say she is quite the dog and super brilliant! Or incredibly lucky! I'll pick brilliant over lucky. 

One of her favorite things in the world is to play ball. I've been trying to get back out to weeding the gardens in the backyard. I was doing pretty well, then I went away and wasn't feeling up to finishing when I got back. 

Then earlier this week, I was in the back with the carpenter and the owner of the landscape company, and he said that he found it very therapeutic to pick weeds, which was a gentle way of saying - you should weed this beautiful space. I KNOW!! I explained why some of the areas were a bit out of control. Our gardener guy was ill earlier this year, so it had never been completely done this year. He is coming today, so I thought I'd get one more therapy session with weeding. 

It didn't take long before this happened. I like to sit on my little wheeled cart and pick the weeds, and the next thing I knew, Murphy had dropped her ball right by my foot, so I couldn't miss it. She started by dropping it behind me a couple of feet, and I told her that wasn't good enough!


So with my gloved hand, I wing the ball behind me into the bushes. I try to throw it, so it gets caught in the trees (inside our yard, of course). Otherwise, she has that ball in her mouth before I can turn around to continue weeding. 

And there was only once where I heard a BARK, instead of a squeak, and that can only mean one thing. The ball is in the pond. Yep -- there's the ball, and she is sitting pretty on the rocks waiting for me to fetch the ball from the pond. 

Mom -- a little help here!

Other times, she would come back to me and plop down in the loose dirt (of course -- the messier the spot, the better for her) and drop the ball between her paws. This means she needs a wee break. 

Mom -- give me a minute!

Or, in some instances, if she lies RIGHT on the hostas, maybe I'll be more inclined to get her moving faster. 

Mom -- these plants are cooling my tummy!

Not only does she drop the ball at my feet, but if I ignore her, she'll put it right in the bucket of weeds, so it's pretty hard not to see the ball. I told you -- this is NOT luck. This is a super-intelligent being who knows how to seek attention!

The ball is right where I can't miss it

And then she plunked herself down with the leave of the lily over her nose. 

Mom -- look at me! 

And where is Lexi during all this? Oh, gosh, she would NEVER be outside playing ball, and that is for juveniles and idiots. The princess was safely in the house, sleeping. 

I do think that Lexi would play more with us, but she has been bullied by Murphy and says, "why bother?"  I feel bad about that, but she is happy, and that's all that counts. 

WAIT -- this is what happened to Lexi yesterday. We are out walking in the forest, and suddenly she goes off on her extend-a-leash. I turned to find her trying to confront this. 

Lexi's new friend - NOT!

NO -- that is NOT a black and white cat! It's a skunk. Thankfully, the leash didn't go that far, and we got home unscathed!

Every picture I take in the forest has a green tinge to it because of all the leaves. But I stopped at one point to pluck the dog! And this is what we left behind. The sad thing is that you can't tell where I removed all this fur from her; it just doesn't stop! 

After plucking the husky!

They are making progress on the front step. Slow progress, but that step will be so perfectly level and solid that nothing short of an earthquake will move it!

When I moved my car out of the garage yesterday, this is its condition. 

A little bit dusty?

It looks like an abandoned car for sure! I left it in the drive and was going to move it when I finished walking the dogs, only to find that one of the workers had wiped the dust off the car. Or most of it! Yikes!!! Those landscapers must think we are pretty messy people! They also cleaned the garage floor. 

Well, that's it for me. I'm off to spin class, and then I have a few days with nothing to do. Oh, you know what I mean -- NO appointments, other than a couple of people coming to pick up quilts, but for the next five days, I have nothing planned. WAIT -- that's a lie -- I have a one-hour Zoom tomorrow for which I still have to do my homework. 

Here's another good thing about Zoom  -- the FIVE people in that group do not live anywhere near each other. We have a like-minded interest and would NOT be able to share or do this session in person, but we can over Zoom. I'll share what I'm making after tomorrow. Just like I keep saying, I'll share all the other stuff. 

So will I give up Zoom? Nope! Will I give up in person? Nope! 

Have a super day!!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Why sewing on Zoom is better than inperson

OH -- Carla made a good point in her comment. Clutter in her house resulted from gifts people had given her in the past. And isn't that the truth! People think something is so cute and appropriate for you, or they just feel compelled to buy you a gift. The clutter is now gone in her house, and the new rule is NO GIFTS, please! Can you imagine the home of a school teacher? 

I LOVE her new rule, and while I haven't received too many gifts, I can see how it would add up. And think of how many times you spent hours searching for that perfect gift for someone's birthday, and there's a considerable likelihood that they didn't use it! I say if you want to give a gift, make it a consumable -- Tim's card, cash (I know tacky), or their favorite food or beverage -- not a fancy one, not the specialty kinds, not a gift basket, but if they like a specific type of cheese -- buy that cheese! Or they like beer - buy their brand of beer. Then they will use it, it doesn't become clutter, and everyone is happy. 

I still like Carla's rule -- NO gifts of any kind. The gift should be the QUALITY time spent with each other. Brilliant advice!!

Speaking of clutter, Elle shared pictures of her sewing room with me, and I have permission to share them with you. 

I LOVE this giant cutting/work table. Wait a minute -- her sewing machine is on that table. Hmm - I wonder how tall the table is; of course, it depends on how tall she is. But I love that giant surface. I'm also jealous of that window in her room! 

Gorgeous sewing and workspace

I have to admit that part of me is jealous of her space. Why? Because she has it paired down to one room, everything is super organized, and she doesn't need to spend loads of time looking for things or managing them! And should she need to move, it will take no time to put that into boxes. 

The supply cupboard

All things that I could achieve myself, but look at that stash. There's enough to keep her busy for a long time. There's no need to buy huge quantities like I did, half of which keeps getting passed over. Yes --- this is someone much smarter than I. But I will not worry about it as I have a plan!

The stash

I mean, how wonderful would it be, knowing that you could be out of there with a handful of boxes? 

More stash

Me? I have six boxes of novelty fabric! That will go at some point with all the quilts we are making for community projects but still!

Thanks for sharing, and that just shows that you can have an organized sewing room that fits in ONE room and seems to have all the stuff we need. Even though that fabric is contained in what looks like a closet, there's a fair amount, and it's neat and tidy so finding something is not a big deal! That's the key -- how much time do you want to spend managing your stuff?

Or would you rather spend that time sewing, reading, or whatever other hobbies you have! 

Thanks for sharing! And there's hope for all of us. The biggest issue is quantity, and I've learned the hard way that more is NOT better. 

With all these tips we are giving each other, we will have spic and span homes and be much happier! 

Well, I must confess that even with Monday sewing, I did NOT get much done yesterday. We had our usual Show and Tell, which went on a bit longer than expected as we looked at pictures of Quilt Canada, thanks to Jane! We didn't get through them all, so we'll pick them up next week. What fun to experience those pictures as a group! 

And this brings me to an interesting point. For years, we had an in-person sewing group. We packed up our sewing machines and our projects. We went to The Hobby Horse for part of it, so no setup was required as we used the classroom. Then we moved to a church where we had to store cords and power bars and set up the tables and chairs. Let's face it -- this is a considerable PHYSICAL effort, with time and money involved.  

We now have the opportunity to connect again at the church and its decision time. I've decided NOT to return to in-person sewing. Why? 

  • Saves on gas. While this is only a 20 KM drive (40 round trip), it's 40 KM that I don't need to do every week, and my carbon footprint is much smaller. 
  • Saves on time. Depending on the traffic, this could take a fair amount of time to get there, and there is currently construction (and has been for years) on the route I would take. 
  • Better scheduling. I can get some paperwork done or go to spin class, walk the dogs, and then pop right into the virtual sewing - no travel time involved. 
  • Less physically demanding. Let's face it -- my wrists, knees, legs, and back will all be happier if they don't need to set up my own table and help others. 
  • I will never forget a thing. No need to worry if I forget an essential part of my project at home. 
  • Never wait for the cutting table or ironing board. Yep -- it's just me!
  • Wider reach of audience. We now have people from northern Ontario (more north than me), and one person from the US, who can come, people who work and want to stop by to say hi can attend, and people who just want the show and tell can attend. If you had an appointment, you would miss the entire sewing day. Now you can drop in even if for a few minutes. 
  • Hot lunches -- If I want a hot lunch, I can make it in my kitchen. 
  • The temperature is always right! No one can complain it's too hot or too cold!
  • The weather is never an issue! 
  • Cost -- our new method is FREE. OK -- so I pay for the license, but it's about $200 for the year, and I absorb the cost because I use it for teaching. But still, if I were to pass on that cost to the group, we would pay way less than we would for a physical location! 
  • Talk to EVERYONE  -- with Zoom, we can chat with the entire group. When it was in person, you tended to talk to those at your table, and if you overheard someone at another table, they would have to repeat the story. 
  • Show and Tell -- we have a great show and tell on Zoom. There's no way we could have shared those photos and had the same discussion about Quilt Canada if we didn't do it on Zoom. And other people can pop in an extra picture or two if they know how to do that, and we do! 
  • And our group is connected on off days with a What's App group! I mean -- we are connected and so much better than it was before when we met in person. 

So -- can you tell me why we would ever want to meet in person? Don't get me wrong -- I love to meet in person, but it can be exhausting! And if we go for several days, as in a quilt retreat, then I'm all for it. It's a much smaller group, and you are going for several days, so it's worth the effort, and no need to set up tables and chairs where we go. But just for a couple of hours? I'm so over that. 

Here's the other thing that I don't get. People say they need that physical connection. So we are NOT a hugging group, but we crave the social aspect of it, so why would we want to get together in-person weekly when we get the social part from the comfort of our homes? And what if you have pets or other persons who require attention? You wouldn't want to leave them, so Zoom is excellent. 

Let's just say that if some of the group decides to return to the physical meeting, I might be looking for new people to join my virtual Monday sewing. I'll let you know! 

I think it's time we embrace new ways of doing things, and I believe that many good things happened because of the pandemic, and Zoom was one of them! It's so cost-effective and has so many other benefits.  

As for how much sewing I did, it wasn't a lot. But as I mentioned, sometimes, it's all about the social, and if I didn't get much done, that's OK because it didn't really take a lot of time, money, or effort out of my day. If I had traveled to the location and only accomplished the same amount, I would be sad!

I did get the rows together for my quilt. 

The rows are together

Then I got on phone calls and chatted, and well, not much more happened. I have the strips for the sashing, and the inner border joined and ready to sub-cut. 

The sashing waiting to be cut

Murphy is trying very hard to be good on her leash. And for the most part, she is so much better. But yesterday, in the forest, a squirrel taunted her. Instead of running into the trees on the side of the path,  the squirrel trotted down the path in front of her for a fair distance. Pure torture for her! 

MOM -- I NEED to chase that squirrel

And then last night, when I was reading my book, she became fascinated with something under her bed. I did not get up to investigate! 

MOM -- there's something under my bed

And what's the status of the front yard? We now have a beautiful sidewalk along the side of the house instead of that weed-infested interlock. This goes back to the deck at the back of the house. It's not as wide as the gate because there's a small space with river rock for drainage. 

The new sidewalk

Between my neighbor and myself, that little bed of river rock was overgrown with ivy. My side is now clear of ivy, and I want to go and dig out what's in the neighbor's yard, so it doesn't grow back in mine. 

Inside my neighbor's backyard

The young man who lives there wouldn't even know I was there and wouldn't even realize the ivy had disappeared. So I'll do it early one morning, and it will be done. His parents have been overseas since the pandemic, and the house -- well, the yard is going wild as we watch. It's terrible because they took such pride in their yard, and now it's full of weeds. 

We're getting a new curb along the edge of the driveway. A FLAT one will make it much easier to maintain than the raised one we had. And that space between the curb and the neighbor's lawn used to be our driveway. So less driveway to shovel in the winter, and now we have room for a couple of trees. I do worry a bit about the much narrower driveway, but I think after we have it for a bit, we won't miss the extra space. 

The new flat curb

Instead of space to park a car, this pile of stones is in our drive. This is the top of the patio/front step. 

Stones for the patio

We now have a big sturdy step up to that patio area, and they are working on putting in the stones for it. I didn't take a picture yesterday. Don't worry -- it's not what you think! There are only TWO significant flat steps. 

The steps to the patio

But all is good on that front! I still want to chat to him about the proposed small patch of grass in the front. It's so tiny that it will be a pain to maintain. Could we get something else? I did like my mulch, or someone suggested we use spreading junipers?? I'll chat with him tomorrow. 

We're getting other things fixed at the same time. The gazebo's roof will need to be replaced, but in the meantime, there are no holes in the roof. It will get a total facelift either at the end of the summer or next. We'll see how the timing goes. The fence is fixed as best it can be until we replace it. Some wobbly posts and rotted areas are repaired. So all is good! 

On that note, I'm out of here. I have an all-day class to sit in on, and I'm excited about it. And after that, my time will be my own for an entire week! Now that I'm feeling better, I need that time to catch up on some quilting and other projects. And there is NOTHING scheduled for this weekend! Yeah!!!

Have a super day!!


Monday, June 27, 2022

Bike helmets SAVE lives, but wear it properly!

I have my cycling clothes on and getting ready to go to the gym for spin class. It's back to the routine schedule. I've been slacking off for the last two weeks with the walking and spinning. It was rare that I made the daily goal of 11.5 KM of walking while away, but I did aim for 10,000 steps in a day! No big deal. 

I recently heard of someone's husband who had a cycling accident. He hit a bump in the road and went head over handlebars. He ended up bruised, scraped, and likely with a concussion. Thank goodness he was wearing a helmet, as it likely saved his life! So if you are cycling or someone you know is cycling, especially kids, check how to PROPERLY wear a helmet and WEAR IT!

I have to tell you about some of the kids I see on their way to school. Some of them cycle, and their helmets are stuck on the BACK of their head, offering zero protection if they fall forward. It is NOT for the back of your head, but for the circumference of your head! Check it out. 

Then other kids walk to school with their parents, and half the time, the parents are not communicating with the child as they are on their cell phones. At least they are walking and not in the car. 

But the other day, a father and daughter passed me, and she was on one of those bicycle attachments on the back of Dad's bike. I'm not sure what you call them, but she was pedaling. Well, they were having a conversation about something science-related, and she was asking questions, and Dad was giving her the answers. It was the most refreshing thing I've heard in a long time! Way to go, DAD!

It makes me sad when I see kids and parents give up so many opportunities to chat because one or both are on a device! I've seen this pair before, or I see Dad on the way home with the bike, and next time, I'll stop him to say how impressed I am! 

Oh my goodness --- we had so much fun at the Virtual Retreat! There weren't quite as many as usual, but we had a grand time, had some good laughs, and talked about some somber subjects like death and ashes and some pretty tough decisions regarding parents. 

Do you know the one thing that I love about these groups? I am NOT alone. If I were going through this decluttering thing with my parents without talking to others, I'd be devastated, embarrassed, and very discouraged. But after talking to others who are experiencing the same thing, I know that I am not alone, which is HUGE. 

So a HUGE thank you to all of you who have helped me realize that I am normal. My family's habits are NOT unique, and I only wish my brother had the same outlet because he struggles to accept what is happening, and he thinks it's all intentional. My SIL is with him, and they feed off each other, which is not good. 

And I have to say that it was the most productive day I've had in a while. 

I got the third Project Linus quilt bound! Now that there are a few of them, I'll contact the contact and ask for a drop-off date. Yeah!!! I might even try to squeeze a couple more in!

Project Linus quilt

I got the two borders on this quilt. I had the inner border cut but had to go shopping for the outer border as I had nothing in my stash that would work. It's not super big, but it'll have to do for a seasonal quilt. 

The quilt top is done!

I almost didn't think I would have enough for the binding as I had to cut one more strip for the border, but I ended up with just a few scraps left over, and now the backing and the binding are also done, and this one got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. We won't discuss that pile at the moment!

Backing and binding are also done!

I debated what to work on next and pulled out Boho Heart but went with this one instead, which is called Among the Stars Again and is one of the sew-alongs I taught at the Hobby Horse. We have one more class -- the final reveal in July and I was behind in the homework. 

All the blocks were done, and most of the border and the sashings were cut out. So I laid the blocks out as per the pattern. The values in the blocks seem a bit out of place.  

The initial layout of blocks

So I balanced it out a bit and got the top two rows sewn together. Then it was time for me to call it quits for the day. We have Monday sewing today, so I hope to get the top together, minus the border, which requires some piecing. YES -- this setting isn't perfect, but it'll have to do!

A bit more balanced

It's all about slow and steady. My goal is to NOT start anything new in July and work on finishing up some tops, including the binding and the backings. 

So, where else in the world but Canada would you experience this? We had a heat warning yesterday, and the temperature registered at 30 with humidity, bringing it to 38. 

Temperature yesterday

And then the forecasted high for today is 20, which is a drop of almost 20 degrees, and tonight it's supposed to be 11. 

Forecast for the week

Yes -- I know the temperatures are whacky everywhere. This is crazy!!

The other thing that happened yesterday was I unloaded TWO boxes of freezer paper. Yeah!! We just have to arrange a pick up of the two boxes. 

Two boxes of freezer paper are gone from my stash

And I found homes for my FIVE round tuffets kits that I still have. Now how did that happen? So I have to arrange pickups for those as well, but that is exciting as this stack is sitting near the long arm, and I'm happy to see it go. I also have a plastic tub in the storage room filled with the hardware and other bits; now, I can empty that. Yeah!!! I still have ONE square tuffet form left, and I'm keeping that. I should get my act together and make it. Perhaps the six of us can have a Zoom class once everyone gets their kits and work on them together? 

Tuffet kits

Shoot -- I still owe some pictures, and there is no more time this morning, and tomorrow is going to be tight on time as well. I'll catch up on Wednesday!

On that note, I'm off to spin class and have to take DH's car since mine is still in the garage!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, June 26, 2022

The perfect backing for a quilt

Well, I'm feeling better and on the road to recovery! A downfall that I will blame totally on myself. Dehydration, lack of sleep, not eating correctly, and just the sheer schedule of that trip all did me in. I MUST remember that when booking the next trip. Do NOT overdo it, and NO late flights.

So the presentations went over well yesterday despite the lack of sewing on my part. I have one more today, and oops -- I haven't started that one. I guess the walk and the blog will have to be abbreviated this morning to make that happen. It shouldn't take long. Over the past couple of years, I've developed an excellent system to organize those presentations. 

I'm happy to report that I completed one of my projects from this past year. OK -- that's a lie. The backing and binding are now done for Wanderer's Wife. I consider that done, even though it only got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. I searched through the pile of yardage set aside for backings and didn't find anything I liked. Then I scoured the wall (just one shelf) of fabric bots and found this. 

The perfect backing

If you remember, my Wanderers Wife is pretty yellow and blue. I mean, how perfect is that, and if you look closely at the print, you can see blue strips in it! That was EASY!! There is a date on the selvage of this fabric - 2003! And I have a border print for it as well -- it's pretty intense for a quilt top but perfect for the backing!

My Wanderer's Wife

So the backing got done, and I cut the strips for the binding (several different blues), which also got made. 

The backing and binding for Wanderer's Wife

And during the Virtual Retreat, where it seemed I mostly talked, I did get the binding on this quilt for Project Linus. 

Project Linus quilt

I got the binding partially attached to the next one, and I'll be tackling that later today during the Virtual Retreat. I hope to get a few more backings and bindings done as well. I would really like to get some of this stuff that is ALMOST complete out of the way. Slow and steady!

And all the while, my trusty companion was hanging out beside me. She likes to be in Studio B with me when I'm on Zoom and plunks herself on the floor behind my chair. And from time to time, she INSISTS on being petted. But look at my design wall? It's so dirty! Flannel can be replaced; Murphy cannot! 

Let sleeping dogs lie!

She likes the cool floor, and I'm sure Lexi would also, but she will NOT touch the stairs. The only time she has ever been downstairs was when I carried her because of a thunderstorm, and she was probably more traumatized by being carried than the storm, so we never did that again. 

I taped a couple of the presentations and I love what Zoom tells you -- don't call the files Zoom or my meeting. Yep --- too generic to find later! Everything needs a good name!

That's why I always ask students when they send me their homework to put a keyword into the subject of the e-mail. Then if I missed it when it came in or when I went to prepare the show and tell, I let my e-mail do the work. I search for the keyword. You would be amazed at the number of people who DO NOT follow that rule. Then they question me during the show and tell? I sent you the picture. I go back and find it, but no keyword, so it got missed. Sigh..................

Now that is only one or two people -- most follow that little guideline!

I love when people comment on the blog, and some good ones are related to the decluttering process. I'm a bit short on time this morning, but I have some photos to share with you, but if you get a chance, go back and read those comments from a couple of days ago. What kills me is how frugal that generation was and how they can guilt you into doing stuff. 

Or it doesn't matter that you saved them time, you didn't do it quite right! Sigh.......  That's a big issue at our house -- my parents, I mean, not here. And lies? Yes -- we could get ourselves caught in a web of lies. We've learned to only say certain things, so one must always be on their toes. Am I allowed to say this or that? We've learned and are on high alert the entire time I'm with them. Perhaps that's what wiped me out at the end! 

Well, more pictures for tomorrow and hopefully more sewing done! And yes -- I did make it to the gazebo yesterday until the sun rounded the side of the house, and it became too hot to sit out there. And only two short naps! I'm almost cured!

WAIT -- here's the link for the Virtual Retreat. We start at NOON today and go until whenever. See you then as it'll be too HOT here to sit outside. 

June 26 ---- Virtual Retreat   --- Starts at NOON

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

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Time zone changes are tough!

 OK -- I am JEALOUS of Elle. She keeps going through her stuff and getting rid of everything. I wonder what her house looks like? I bet there's not much there, and that gives me HOPE. I will get there - I just need to get over this last hurdle (the office). Then going back to the beginning and doing it all over again! 

At least the amount of stuff I will have to go through the second time will be about half of what I had to deal with when I started, and my mindset is also entirely different. I'm psyched to get rid of the stuff, and while I still have tough decisions, I know what the right one will be. BE RUTHLESS with the things as it's only junk or most of it! 

As for books, I keep saying the same thing. Read the book and donate it. And I do, but I seem to get bogged down in borrowing books instead of reading what I have. I must stop that! I want my bookshelves to be bare! I have some books that can be donated, but I'm not there yet, as the office is my priority these days. 

Well, it was another silly day yesterday. My 20-minute nap turned into a two-hour sleep. GRRRR!!! But I felt better, so it wasn't a total wash. Of course, I couldn't get to sleep last night, but hopefully, today will be the turning day. I swear I have never had this much issue in the past adjusting back to a time zone. Age isn't in my favor with time-zone changes, and our bodies are out of sync with working travel! Sigh.............

I'm still in denial about growing old, and well -- I'm in denial. That's all I'll say about that!

At least I did accomplish some stuff, sort of. I had one class last night, and I completed the presentation, although I didn't get the block completely sewn. Enough to make suggestions on how to modify it, and that's all that really counts. 

And I got some follow-up e-mails out for my Jen Kingwell groups. I still have a couple more to do and waiting on a picture, but I should have that cleared up later today. I want all that off my plate by Monday morning. 

Then I had to prep for the three presentations today. They are done, but not a lot of sewing got done! That's OK -- I am behind for sure, and I might get some of the backlog done during the Virtual Retreat this weekend. 

It's a challenge to be sure to keep ahead, and so far this year, I've done a great job, but there are little things that need to be finished - make the binding and the backing, for instance, for several quilts. Perhaps I can get one or two of those done during the Virtual Retreat. So much to do -- so little time! 

I aim to get caught up on all those little jobs during July as there is hardly anything booked for that month, and NO ONE is allowed to book my time. I'll still do long arming as I have some to finish up, but no teaching! OK -- that's a total lie as I have an event in July - but it's one day!

Speaking of teaching, I think I have completed the list of classes for next year. I know -- how crazy is that? There will be some sew-alongs - four, possibly five, there will be several clubs for two different software, some creative outlet clubs, and some UFO clubs, including the one for those that have taken Dear Jane, or 365 blocks, or anything HUGE with lots of small blocks. It's all about finishing!

And there will be a remedial class for Jen Kingwell. This will apply to FOUR different Jen Kingwell quilts -- Long Time Gone, BOHO Heart, Wanderers Wife (formally Gypsy Wife), and Sweet Tea and Green Beans. You do NOT have to have been in my class to participate, and if you have one of those partially completed, then you qualify for this year-long finishing project. But I want SERIOUS attendees only. 

If you plan to attend just for fun, what's the point? This is NOT a class for auditing -- it's a class for doing as it will be catered to the attendees. I'll expect homework from everyone EVERY month. There'll be much more details coming - most likely in July. Wow -- that's next month!

On the house front - (Pun intended), the work progresses. It's hard to see in this picture, but the old post is completely gone! The new one has since been installed, and we can now (with great caution) use our front step again. Yeah!!!

The work progresses

This will make the girls happy because they do NOT like getting their harnesses on to go for a walk and then being pulled from the front door to go through the garage! The driveway is filled with stones, and there's only room to park one car. So mine stays in the garage for the moment. 

If I have time later today, I'll get more pictures so you can see what has been happening. Hopefully, I won't need a two-hour nap today. But if I need a nap -- I'll have one, as I'm for sure NOT against naps of any kind. 

Well, I don't know what else to say! WHAT? How did this happen? I should be sharing some of the homework from last weekend, but I'll do that later. It took significant time to collect all the photos in one spot for the Jen Kingwell homework presentations, as they were spread over two computers and many different file formats. We had 37 quilts for Boho Heart and 23 for Wanderers' Wife. And there were 21 quilts for Long Time Gone. What a FABULOUS turnout!!!

Don't forget that we have the Virtual Retreat TONIGHT and TOMORROW. Yes -- I get it that the weather is excellent, and I'm not sure I'll be indoors the entire time, but stop by for a few minutes to say hi at least. Or, if you get bored sitting on your patio doing nothing, come in and sew for a bit. 

Saturday, June 25  -- starts at 6 PM   EST

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

Sunday, June 26 --- starts at NOON   EST

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

On that note, I'm out of here. 

Have a super day!!!


Travel day and night

 And so the adventure begins I don't have access to Grammarly and working on this folding keyboard so please forgive me if something is off. 

I got to the airport with plenty of time although I think the Uber driver took the long way to get there At least they get paid by the trip, not the time, so I didn't really care. Let me say that the NEXus card is worth its weigh in gold. I spoted the line for security and it stretched a long way down the airport. Then I spotted the Trusted Travellers line and there was ZERO waiting. 

That is so worth the money. And all I had to do was remove my little bag of gels and shove eveything into one tub and I was good. Then I had a two hour wait! 

I did NOT remember how long a walk it was to the international departure lounges. A long walk But I'm testing out that weight in the backpack, so its all good. I swear I hate PEOPLE The airport was packed and just crowded. 

When it was finally time to get on the plane, it was chaos. thankfully we all had seats or there would have been a stampede And many of us were standing in the line for the flight to New Delhi!!  DH says could I not tell by the ethnicity of the travelers that I was in the wrong spot. OK  -- so he's right.

And it's no wonder things take a long time. People don't have their documnets out, they don't take their mask off when they pass the agent and people assume that Zone 5 is the first one to board. I don't think so!!!  When it came time for Zonee 2 to board, I had to wade through TONS of people to get to the front of the line, Granted it did NOT help that there were two large aircraft loading at pretty much the same time at gates next to each other. 

For the first time in a long, long time, I got an interesting seatmate. She is newly single, from BC and heaing for a solo trip through wine country. So we had a good chat and ended up meeting up a couple of other times as we worked our separate ways out of the airport. 

We had to use stairs to exit the plane and that plane was HUGE. It was the 777 and you dont realize how tall and big those things are until you are on the tarmac with them. I don't know how many people it holds, but it's a lot! Makes you wonder how sonething that large can fly through the sky!

I got a SIM card -- had to buy a new one --- they just told me it was better and it was a better deal -according to them. Anyway I found a quiet spot to sit down and load the card. Almost lost my own card. Now I have to register the new card and am having trouble and it seems that I can receive things no problem - not texts or SMS of course, but I'm getting e-mail and Facebook updates. And I can community via What's Up, Go figure but then the Monday ladies will always be in the know since they are the only ones I can send notes to during the day if I'm not on Wi-Fi. 

I got a ticket for the train to Paris and got off at the Denfert Rohereau station which is the one closet (on that line) to the Gare du Montparnesse which is where I need to catch my train tomorrow. 

Since I had time to kill, I wandered around looking for a cheap hotel. I was on my way there when my phone died. I am NOT good with Google Maps and walking I hate it and as I was within 250 Meters, I was lost. The streets are so twisty and angled, that I was not walking all over to find it. I spotted another one as slightly more money and I got a room and had a nap! Which felt great. 

Then I was off to geocache for hours. I happened upon two Adventure Labs which are like little tours and you have to answer questions along the way. I ended up in the Montparnasse Cemetery which is very OLD. Wow  -- some old crypts and is filled with many famous literary characters. 

I managed to get all the answers to that one, although it took me a long time to figure out how it worked, but then I was good. 

So off to the next one where I walked for MILES to get all the spots. And it was completely in French and for the life of me, I struggled with the wording on the second question. I was NOT going to give up after walking over 1 KM to that first spot. After studying the clue a bit closer, it was pretty darn obvious what the answer was. I must have been tired! And then I walked to the others and I swear I took evey wrong turn. And I'm suppposed to be walking 800 KM by myself? Oh boy. 

However, I succeeds and got more points for geocaching. I think I got 100 today and I still need 130 or something like that. 

It was a foty minute walk back to the hotel and I thought I would pick up my train ticket for tomorrow. Hmm - only machines. I swear I booked a ticket before I left home, but apparently not. I did NOT see any charges on my VISA. So I had to buy a new one and instead of leaving at 10 AM, I could only buy one for 4 PM. Needless to say, I was not happy, but this happens when you travel -- be flexible. 

I bought the ticket and finally sat down to have a beer and a salad. That ticket situation was niggling at me and I found I could buy tickets ONLINE for 10 AM. So I bought one.. REmember what I said about solving a problem? Throw money at it, but don't tell DH that! 

Then I went back to the train station to see what to do about the 4 PM ticket No one to talk to, so I canceled it at the machine and got a refund. Let's hope I didn't buy a scalper's ticket!!

If you hear some loud profanity -- that will be me!!!

I don't know what else to say except that all my gear has worked amazing. The clothes are comfy, the waist belt is so amazing and I have to keep checking that it's still on as it's so slim and small and I wear it under my shirt. I LOVE it The backpack wasn't that heavy but I know after a full 6 hours, I'll be very happy to take it off. My feet are tired, but that's to be expected. I hope that once I start walking on the dirt trails and off the pavement, there's a bit more give. 

OH --- what am amazng city Paris is. I've been here before, but it's so clean, people are friendly and there are tons of e-scooters and bikes. I swear if anyone of those crazies riding the e-scooters has a fall, it's going to be a game changer!!! 

And did I mention the heat? Oh yes -- it's hot here. HOT!!! But I wore my long pants all day, and I can only hope that in the country it'll be a few degrees coolers. It's beautiful out now. 

That's it for today. I have no idea how to add photos to the blog posts. I did post some to Facebook and I'll try to figure out how to add pictures here. 

Have a super day!


I figured it out. Bye