Friday, September 16, 2022

A new learning curve

I have so many things I want to get done, and I'm motivated. I have no time to work! I mean teaching and stuff! It's exciting to get up in the morning, knowing there are things to do even though I have ZERO deadlines. I can't imagine how people can "live" without some form of motivation. Anyway, I could almost say that my days are like Groundhog Day. For the past week, I've been doing the SAME thing every day. And while I did that yesterday, there were a few differences. 

And I'm over the healing thing. My toenail is really the only issue, and I need to have a look at that this morning. Sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it doesn't. The toe is no longer painful, meaning the infection is likely gone. It's the area of the toenail that can be sensitive, so I'm trying to not bump it on anything. I need new shoes!

So remember that I upgraded my software for the long arm? How different could it be? HA! I didn't finish the two quilts until 3 PM. There were a few differences, and I decided to wing it rather than read any instructions. 

Most of the differences come into play in the pantograph area where I usually work. Now we have something called Power Panto. With the previous version of the software, you would create the panto for the entire quilt, and then it would stitch out row by row, starting at the left and working to the right. 

Notice that I have TWO rows on the screen here. 

Two rows on the screen instead of one

When the long arm got to the end, it started to stitch right to left! We had always been told NEVER to stitch right to left. Hmmm --- I guess things have changed, and speed is more important? I don't know. 

Stitching from right to left

And so, while this worked for me, it really is for those people with a LARGE throat space or doing a lot of small quilts, which I happen to be doing now. The total height of those two rows can't exceed the throat space, which in my case, is about 17 inches. But there are machines with 30 inches of throat space, so they could technically do more rows or bigger patterns within the same space. I am NOT buying a bigger machine. 

I have to say that it's very weird to see the machine stitching from right to left. 

Stitching right to left

And there was no need to read any instructions as there are popup messages along the way to guide you, which were very helpful. With my limited knowledge of the software program (I am FAR from an expert there), I was able to muddle my way through it. 

Step-by-step prompts

I did NOT like how the pantograph was set up, so I tried the "familiar" method using the Basic Panto Stacker. ACK!! Even that has been changed. 

Basic pantograph layout

Here's the entire quilt panto in the Basic Panto. But when it goes to stitch out, it's quite different. I can choose to stitch from left to right, right to left, and the marking process is totally different from what I'm used to. Sigh............... Well, thankfully, I have lots of quilts to practice on, and I have to say that I only made one goof, and no one will be able to see it. 

I must say that I wish there was a screen help that would identify what each function does -- like the Quick Help (the question mark in the top right corner) of the Husqvarna Viking and PFAFF sewing machines. However, I went to the Facebook Group page for the software and have started to look at the documentation to assist me so today's quilts will go faster. 

I'm not sure which method I prefer of those two panto styles. The end result is almost identical, and it's hard to explain. I'll take a better picture today, so you can see the difference between the two, basically, with one, we have more control over the pattern, and in the other, we do not.  

However, the two quilts got done, and they are trimmed. 

Community project quilt - DONE
Community project quilt - DONE

Besides, what would be a day at my house without learning something? 

Then I did a naughty thing. I pulled out ELEVEN quilts that can be quilted for Quilts of Valour. I know -- I should not have done that, but I did. I want to finish up the small quilts first or use up that polyester batting, whichever comes first, and by my count, there is still enough batting for nine or ten quilts. Then I'll dig out the " donated " batting specifically for Quilts of Valour. It's time to use that up. YES --- can you believe I had enough fabric from the Oh Canada lines to make these eleven quilts. Actually, there are more in the storage room. And some of these have backs, also from the Oh Canada lines. Let's not even go there! I did NOT make these quilts -- Diane did, but you know what I mean. 

Quilts for Quilts of Valour quilts

The batting is the biggest show-stopper in the process, and I'm trying to be as careful with it as possible. Measuring the quilts, doing the math to make the maximum number of quilts with the least amount of waste. And I have zero problems joining batting for these quilts. Please note that I NEVER join the batting for customer quilts where I charge them for the batting. 

I finally finished the top half of Section one for Green Tea and Sweet Beans. I have the hexagon block to work on for the bottom half and one block yet to be assigned. So my focus now is the hexagon block. Then I'll assemble what I can and move on to Section Three. Slow and steady is how this quilt is going to come together. There is an enormous amount of work, and I knew from day one that I would likely be behind, although I'm not nearly as behind as I thought I would be! 

The top half of Section One for Green Tea

It's going to be time to put long pants on! It was a tad chilly on the walk yesterday, and then it was hot in the afternoon and cooled off quickly in the evening. The girls were NOT happy when I closed the back door at dinner time. "MOM --- we NEED to be able to go in and out when we want and NOT have to ask! This is unfair -- where are animal services? We are being treated unfairly! HELP!!!!" Oh, those girls are so dramatic!

And I swear they are like children. They started playing on the floor on the quilt they pulled from the dog bed. This is about as close as they ever get, only when they play fight. 

Hey - I don't like you!

Then they got crazy, and both of them are the instigator! Do not feel sorry for either of them because they both do it! But notice how lazy they are? "MOM, We'd rather just lie beside each other and fight rather than get up and expend any effort! Mom -- dogs are smart!"

MOM -- I hate my sister!

Then when Lexi had had enough, she jumped up on the sofa even though there was stuff on it, and Murphy was right there, even though the vacuum was beside her. Seriously, those two girls are totally oblivious to things around them! 

Lexi -- you can run, but you can't hide!

So given all that, when I noticed this on the hall table in the morning, I took a double take. How did a paw print get on the hall table? Well, it just so happens to be droplets of water or dust that look like a paw print but is not! 

A phantom paw print

The city crews were out and planted a whole pile of trees in the empty soccer field near me. That will be awesome when they get bigger. Why didn't plant more when the part was made many years ago? It doesn't matter, we have more trees now!

Planting trees

After several years of testing all the teas languishing in the kitchen cupboard, I'm down to this. That tin is about half full of fruity tea and a few tea bags in the box. What did I learn? 

The last of my tea stash

I learned that herbal teas and green tea are not my favorites. There are a couple of fruity teas that are OK, but for the most part, I simply prefer regular tea! So no more experimenting with tea -- just a plain cup of tea (no sugar or milk), and I'm good to go. And do NOT boil that water - a temperature of 200 degrees F is just fine. 

Oh -- that reminds me of something funny that kept happening on the Camino. My guidebook was in KM, and everything is in KM in Europe. While Canadians and Europeans are familiar with KM, the Americans are used to miles. So then you get into a discussion about Imperial and Metric, and I'm a hybrid. Some things I do in Metric and others I do in Imperial, and I'm NOT consistent by any means, and for some things, I use both. I guess that makes me bilingual! 

I snapped a picture of my cutting table this morning. While it's not completely clear, it's in pretty good shape. Keeping up with the quilting doesn't leave much time for anything else. 

The cutting table 

Well, I'm going to say that my cousin is a superstar regarding Ancestry. She has been tracking down family members and going back a couple more generations than I had information for. This is NOT her side of the family that I'm asking her to track down. She's a cousin on my Dad's side. The big question is, when did my great grandfather emigrate to Canada? It's not when I thought he did. And then once I get a lead on someone, I check, and we've found gravestones in Canada and England for family members. It's very cool. 

I had to laugh because I was madly searching for a family member on that website and was about to send a link to my cousin when she sent me an e-mail with a link to another family member on the same website! She likes to do research like I like to quilt! Anyway, now there is quite a bit of information for me to put on paper. 

And we can only hope that the people we are finding are the right people. There were fewer names back then, and everyone was Frank or George or Frederick, or so it seems, so you have to check siblings, spouse, and children to ensure you are on the right track. It's all fascinating, to say the least, and I thank her so much for all the effort she has put in so far. 

As Anne suggested, one page per person, and I think that's a great idea -- the question is how to represent the family tree? It's so unwieldy, but I think I'll make small ones and put only that section on a page? I will have to start with different formats and see what works best. 

There's only one problem with this "quiet" life. I have no idea what day of the week it is and certainly not paying attention to dates. I got excited after lunch and decided to go to the used book sale, only to find that yesterday was the FIRST day, and it didn't open until 5 PM. I did NOT want to go on the first day as it would be a mad house. I'm going today! Let's just say that a TON of books were laid out, ready to be perused! 

I'll bet that there will be MANY James Patterson books. That's one of the reasons why I don't like to buy books, especially novels. What the heck do you do with them? If they are a popular author, there's a good chance that many other people bought it, and then who wants it? It just gets trashed. That's what libraries are for, and if one has to wait a bit, that's OK. I know, it's all about money, but good grief, what about the environment? 

On that note, I'm out of here! It's going to be an exciting day as there are lots of things to learn and I'm going to the used book sale for REAL this time. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Ah girlfriend, this is what it is to be retired! Do what you love. Do what you want, when you want :-)

    I'm glad you're enjoying this temporary retirement. Perhaps this taste was the purpose of your Camino!

    1. To be retired and have total freedom! That day will come, but I'm just not quite there! I truly believe the "taste" of retirement was meant to be! Part of my Camino!

  2. Awesome reflection, Elle! That same thought had crossed my mind 😊. Maryke

    1. LOL -- -Maryke!!! Yep --- a taste of retirement. I think the Camino did try to talk to me and I'll just see where that takes me! Hopefully a slower pace! Have a great day!!!!