Thursday, November 30, 2023


I don't usually get overwhelmed by emotions, but I can easily control them when they happen in daily life. 

In the past, I had two experiences where I was someplace and was totally overwhelmed by feelings I couldn't describe, and I don't know why they were so powerful. 

The first was at the Anne Frank House (Museum) in Amsterdam. That was a profound experience that I'll never forget. It makes you want to scream that the family stayed hidden for so long, only to be betrayed by a "friend." It's much more complex than that, but you get the idea. 

M and I went to that Museum together, and it was simple, it was emotional, and we both came away feeling overwhelmed. 

The second time was at the Quilts of Valour booth at Quilt Canada in Toronto in 2016 or 2017. The show had yet to open for the day, and I was chatting to someone from Quilts of Valour. I had these overwhelming waves (and I mean WAVES) of intense emotions that ran through me that were indescribable. I wanted to sit down and sob my heart out. I wanted to cry for everyone whose life was changed by the war and for everyone who died or was injured or lost. It was the most intense emotional feeling, and I don't know where it originated. 

The third time was yesterday when I went on my little adventure to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. 

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The outside is quite unusual and I had no idea what to expect. The front entrance is almost like entering a cave and really didn't feel welcoming, but perhaps that was because of the content inside. 

Once inside, there are long ramps to get to the second floor. Hmm -- not very inviting or exciting - just like the front entrance. 

A long winding ramp to the second floor

Since I only had a little time, it was suggested I visit the permanent exhibits on the 2nd and 4th floors and the view tower on the 8th. 

Here's the thing about this Museum. The curators have put together very powerful displays with lots of visual impact. The amount of information posted is sparse but well done, and it shows that sometimes, a little says a lot. 

This wall is a timeline of 100 events that have affected human rights around the globe, starting CENTURIES ago.

Powerful wall of changes to improve human rights

This is a POWERFUL message. Why? Well, it shows that many changes have happened over HISTORY, and despite all those changes over MANY centuries, we still have issues today. I wonder if we are in a better or worse or status quo situation! 

The other thing that was front and center of this was the timing. I didn't know or remember that it was in 1982 - I was an ADULT then, that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was created to protect female equality. YES -- that was only FORTY years ago, which is NOT that long ago!! WOW -- that blew my mind. Remember, this is in Canada - a first-world nation. We've come far, but imagine the situations in some of the other countries around the world.  

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982

There are even more recent attempts worldwide to protect women, children, ethnicities, genders, etc, from abuse and violence and to have the same rights as others. It's shocking! Even more shocking is that one could ask yourself - "has anything changed?" A law will not change society - it can help protect, but until SOCIETY CHANGES, we are no further ahead than centuries ago. 

On a lighter note, I went to the top to get a view of the city. It's impressive, and I needed that quiet break. But then again, the emotions of being in that building were overwhelming. 

A view from the top

I took this picture because as I read it, it reminded me of a current (and not so distant) scenario regarding a leader in another country (close to me - not the person, but the country), and that same person is attempting to run again in a very senior political position. The similarities are uncanny!!! 

Does that not scare the crap out of you? 

What is upsetting in this situation is that we are NOT learning by looking back at history. Some people are prepared to wipe out the past, pretend that the bad people, bad decisions, etc, did NOT exist. How can we do that? What we must do is embrace that history -- it is what has formed who we are today. We must learn from that history so we don't regress or make those same mistakes. And SOME states south of me have REGRESSED in their position of women's rights. That is EXTREMELY disturbing and extremely scary. 

I don't know why "we" (whoever they are) are so intent on making the world one big happy place. We should focus on what to do TODAY instead of erasing something that can't be changed. That concept just boggles my mind. 

I barely skimmed the surface of what is in that Museum, and there is a great exhibit coming up next year. I might just have to get out here to visit. I suggest you either come multiple days or come first thing and visit for an hour or two and then come back later in the day. Even though the displays are extremely well thought out and simple, there is too much to cover in one day!

On a lighter note, here's the sign outside Carellen Sewing Center! Thanks to Barb and Micheal for hosting me for three days. It was great fun, and I can't wait to return to Winnipeg! I wonder what weather they will dream up for me!!

The sign at Carellen Sewing Center

Now I'm heading to the airport shortly. Good lord, these time zone changes are killing me. I swear my plane was to leave at 8 AM. Then I got a note saying my plane was delayed by 50 minutes, and we are now leaving at 7:50 AM. Oops -- I guess the original flight was at 7 AM in this time zone! Oh well - I'm mere minutes from the airport and have loads of time to shower, pack the car, and get to the airport. 

Then it's home and back to work this afternoon, as there is much to prepare for the weekend classes!!!

And a huge thank you to two friends, one who lives in Winnipeg, who suggested I visit the Museum for Human Rights. Otherwise, I didn't even remember that it was here. If you are here - it's well worth a visit. 

Have a great day!!!


Wednesday, November 29, 2023


 Another great day with the sergers! Today is the last day of my SVP events for the year, and it's one of my favorites -- we get to play with the mySewnet software! And I hope I left my power cord for the laptop at the store because I do NOT see it in my backpack! I remember winding it up, and I probably left it on the table because I was distracted while talking. I've been known to do that. It's not a problem today, but I better not do that tonight when I pack up!

I will give Winnipeg credit for its sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. I'm in an area where I don't think there's much foot traffic. But every corner has a device (for the hearing impaired) that indicates when it's safe to walk. And there are times when I swear I walk up to the corner, and it stops the major traffic arteries (Highway 90) and gives me the right of way!


In a few instances, I have to push the button, but most times, it's automatic. I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by the whole thing, and there are actual sidewalks as well - so that's a bonus. 

Real sidewalks!

The temperature has warmed up, so it's only minus 5 this morning and feels like minus 10! I chuckled when I went out yesterday because of the wind. Back home, the wind is usually in the same direction, so you start by walking into the wind and then coming home, it's "warmer" with the wind at your back. 

However, the wind had completely switched directions yesterday, so I got "warm" on the way out and the wind on the way back. But since it was much warmer, it wasn't a big deal. 

I see the temperature in Florida is COLD- it's almost freezing, which isn't great for those not equipped for that temperature. 

When I returned to my room last night, I intended to walk to a restaurant for dinner and then return and do some paperwork. I have TWO intense classes this weekend. No --the classes aren't intense, but I envision the prep work will take some time. One more than the other. But no worries, I have half of Thursday and all day Friday, so I've got loads of time. 

I was going to do some prep work last night, but I was tired when I returned from the restaurant. So I read a bit and then went to sleep! Can you believe I've become "old?" When I arrived at the restaurant, I wanted something hot to drink, but I didn't want hot chocolate or tea or coffee, so I ordered hot water! 

My Dad drinks hot water! You know what? It's actually pretty good! Who would have known? I've got a new drink! It's cheap, free, and doesn't stain your teeth or contain calories or caffeine! 

I was surprised when I entered the restaurant as you could sit in the restaurant or the lounge. I might as well sit in the lounge - it looked much quieter, and after the hubbub of the day, I wanted peace and quiet. I had to show my ID before I went in. OK -- I think I'm past that stage when I need to be asked for ID, but what the heck. 

He took my driver's license to a little machine and registered my information. Not sure what that was all about. But when I left, I noticed some video slot machines in the back corner. AHA -- that's why they needed the ID. They do NOT care about your age -- well, you need to be 19 or older, but they need to know who was in the lounge. 

I don't have much experience with that - I don't remember being asked for ID when I was in a casino in the US? Trust me -- I was NOT gambling; I was merely walking through out of curiosity. 

I'm doing classes this afternoon and evening, so I'm off on an adventure this morning. I'll share it with you tomorrow as I think it will be quite interesting. And I actually did some research last night on it. 

Well, it's short and sweet this morning. I'm off to breakfast and a walk. Then, my BIG adventure, which I'm looking forward to. Then off to work. 

I forgot to include the link to the QUILTsocial link for Day Three of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3. 

Have a super day!!


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tis the Season

 Yes - Christmas is coming, and well, it's the season for many things. I'm not anti-Christmas, but I'm very anti all the hoopla surrounding Christmas. I am really anti to the COMMERCIALISM of what Christmas has become. If I say my real reasons for these thoughts, I will come off as Scrooge, so I have to think of a clever way to phrase it. 

It has something to do with political correctness and people of different faiths, and I'll leave it like that. 

But what I really meant when I wrote that title was the commercials. Yep -- these are the ones that focus on the Christmas family/friend traditions while getting in a "dig" for their product. I don't mind the "dig" when they send a good message. Messages about family and life in general. However, I'm a big softy, and most make me cry! 

Case in point - I stumbled across the commercial - we can't really call them commercials - what do we call these mini videos? There must be a category for them. I just Googled Christmas Commercials, and a whole list came up, so they are classed as commercials. That's better than a Hallmark movie! Which I have never watched. I didn't even know they existed until some people mentioned them. And NO -- I don't watch Christmas movies -- it's not my thing. 

Anyway, I stumbled across the one for Chevrolet this morning. And to top it off, they played John Denver when they got in the car! Anyway, who comes to retreat with me knows that my darn playlist brings up John more often than necessary. 

Yep -- I had a mini cry-fest watching that one. Here's a link to it - be prepared with your tissues. I know there are others out there - I recently watched another one, but I can't remember it. Oh - after watching the Chevrolet one, I better not say that! By the way -- the other one was The Joy Ride for Amazon! OK -- that's enough -- NO more!!! 

Anyway -- it's a bit warmer this morning - minus 11 instead of minus 15! But prairie girl that I am, I still dressed up and went for a walk yesterday! It wasn't that cold -- only the wind on my face was bitter. I have my hat and scarf, but it still gets to the face. I don't wear a huge down parka - I wear my Patagonia down sweater. It's thin, light, and the BEST investment I made in a winter garment. If you remember, they repaired the holes that had worn in the sleeves and put in a new zipper - FOR FREE. So, the down sweater is good for another decade or so. 

If I did the math regarding the cost of the down sweater versus the number of wears, I was down to less than a penny a day years ago. I could bunch this thing into a small ball and shove it in my bag. It's tiny, but the darn thing is warm even in the wind. The price has gone up about double what I paid. I'll still be wearing this thing in twenty years! 

I didn't quite make my daily mileage, but I did pretty well. 

I stopped at two thrift shops on the walk and spotted some items but didn't have any money with me, so when I was ready to get to the store for work, I stopped and bought the items. Now I will say that it's a heck of a lot easier to get to any place on foot rather than in a car. One-way streets, center medians, etc. You NEVER have to worry about them on foot! 

I had a peek at the craft books and spotted one or two that I don't think I had, but I decided NOT to buy anything. While I have room in my second suitcase, there are a couple of things at the store that I "need," so I'm leaving everything else here. 

A full shelf of craft books

I also spotted this while on the walk. It made me laugh. One sign says The Brick, while the other says "Flying Squirrel" - it's a trampoline park! Which is it? I noticed another outlet for The Brick further down the street, so I guess they moved, but the old sign is still there. 

The Brick or the Flying Squirrel?

I have to laugh at the hotels that require you to use your card to access the elevator. And if you try to be helpful and punch the button for someone else on a different floor, that doesn't work. You have to have a card for that floor. 

Secure elevator access

However, there's a staircase, which, unless I'm mistaken, is open for anyone to take! OH - I guess bad guys don't take the stairs! I'm not taking the stairs, although I could, but in some hotels, the stairs are so sketchy, and in one hotel, they didn't go to the bottom. You had to exit on the 4th floor and then go somewhere else to resume your journey to the ground floor. Imagine the chaos that would create in a fire! I think that was in the nightmare hotel in Florida. 

I mostly get enough steps in without the stairs, so I'm OK. 

My writing assignments are DONE. I sent in the last picture when I was at the store as I needed to retake one. I hope you went and checked it out, even if you don't need or want a new sewing or embroidery machine. Needs - wants -- what is that all about anyway? 

And while the posts get up at 7:30 AM EST, sometimes the cache on my computer delays when it shows up, so you may also experience that. 

Here's the link to the Monday post in case you didn't see it. 

QUILTsocial - Day One - Unboxing the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3

And here's the link to Day two

QUILTsocial  - Day Two - Unveiling the NEW embroidery unit for the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3

Oh my --- such a fantastic machine and I'm still learning a few details. I can't wait to spend more time on it with loads of embroidery and sewing. What's been nice about the presentations is people will ask about a particular feature, and then I have to find it, as in some cases, I haven't discovered it on my own yet!

I won't have time for a walk this morning, and then it's warming up to ZERO, so I hope to get out before dinner. I have to try to keep up the 10 km a day. And I need to drink more water. 

Well, I'm off to prepare for the day  - it's all about sergers today!

Have a super day!!


Monday, November 27, 2023

Car rental gouging!

I didn't get to spend too much time on the Virtual Retreat, and it was pretty quiet, and I think it ended early. I promise - I'll be there for the entire retreat next month. My travel will end soon, although I still have one more trip booked, but it's not business. Will I make my 35K status this year? I'm close! The significant benefit between 25K and 35K is the luggage. I could bring THREE suitcases with a weight limit of 70 pounds. Then I don't have to be so picky about that 50 lb limit. 

We had two excellent Zoom sessions yesterday. One of them is called Out of the Box, and I give them a prompt each month, and they go off to create ANYTHING they want with that prompt as the starting point. We get all kinds of media - digital art, quilts, paper, vinyl, and so much more. I absolutely love this class, and it will continue in 2024. I think most people will continue for 2024, and sadly, there's no room to add more people. We make it through in one hour, and any more - well, we have one hour! I should post a couple of pictures from time to time. 

What I love is the participation level! It's HIGH! That tells me the group is enjoying what they are doing, and most of them are digging new tools or patterns and trying something they have never done before. 

The second session was our Many Blocks. This is where we are working on those BIG projects with MANY blocks, like Dear Jane or Town and Country, and attempting to finish them. We're not a huge group, but we've had TWO finished quilt tops this year, and the others have made HUGE leaps and bounds to get their tops done. It's fascinating to see how much work everyone puts into their projects.

I wasn't as prolific as I would have liked due to my schedule, but this coming year, I will have more time, which I will use wisely and get more done. I should be able to finish 45 (out of 365) this year, giving me 90 blocks. I am still far from finishing, but I hope to change that next year. 

There is room in this club if anyone wants to join. You MUST have already started the project, although if you want to start a new project, that's OK. But it's for ANY BIG project with many blocks. 

I got everything done and was out the door on the way to the airport right on time! I swear that getting through security and checking luggage is old news. I weighed my suitcase before I left, so I knew it wouldn't get rejected. I saw a lady whose suitcase was rejected, and she went off to repack or pay for heavy luggage. I used the kiosk to check my baggage and immediately checked in my second bag. If you're going to check one, you might as well check two, and with my status, I don't need to pay for that second bag. 

Then I only had my backpack to go through security, and since you no longer have to take your laptop out (at Toronto - domestic), I breezed through the NEXUS line - there was NO ONE else in the line. I was through and on my way to the gate within 8 minutes of entering the airport. Yep -- you got to love that. I think it took as long to walk to the gate as it did to get through security and baggage check-in. 

I've become pretty proficient at moving around with two suitcases and the backpack, so all is good. I even packed my winter coat in my luggage so I didn't have to deal with that at the airport. 

I boarded in Zone 2, and it was the most boring flight ever. I don't think there was a second of turbulence, and I slept on and off. I had an ebook to read, and all was good. However, it was a bit of a shock when I arrived in Winnipeg. Yikes -- it was minus 9 with a wind chill of minus 18. I'd better unpack that jacket! 

At Winnipeg airport

OK -- so here's something absolutely ridiculous, but what do you do? I got to the car rental and had initially booked an economy car, which would cost me $217 for four days, which is a good price. I was told that if I wanted snow tires, it would be $20 extra a day! Seriously???? What the heck is that all about? Shouldn't the car rental company provide me with a properly outfitted vehicle for the temperature in which they are renting it? 

And if I said no -- were they going to remove the tires? I have no idea. So they said they would upgrade me for free, but I'd still have to pay for the snow tires. Now that I think about it - that doesn't make sense at all. So I got a Ford Escape for about $320 for four days and have snow tires. I shall be writing them a letter because if that is the case - they should identify that WHEN we book the car. And I did book the car ahead! 

I get it if they asked if I wanted a GPS (no need for that any longer) or a car seat or something, but NOT something highly suggested for SAFE driving. And while there isn't much snow on the ground, the way the streets are plowed (or not), almost all the streets are covered with packed snow. On top of that, they took a $500 deposit. What the heck is that all about? 

Snow covered streets

Then, when I arrived at the hotel, which had room for me for four nights, I was given a rate. Sunday was the cheapest at $149, increasing progressively to $204 on the final night. Then I asked for a senior rate, and when he printed it out for me to sign, the first night was $153. MORE than the original price - supposedly with a discount. I questioned it, and he said - "OH - I said the first night was $179." How could I argue - it was his word against mine. But I got $189 on the other night, that was originally $204. 

So they up the price and then give you a break. And I was charged a $200 deposit as well. I will have to watch those deposits get back on my VISA, but that sure eats up the limit in no time flat for things I haven't bought. 

But better than the price of hotel rooms in New York. DH has some travel, and the room rate he was quoted was $1,600 US a night. That is NOT a typo. He got it down to $800, but people are paying $1,600 a night!! That's INSANE, and I would NEVER pay that. I would find someplace cheaper. We have totally different standards when we travel. 

And what's with hotel room chairs. They give you a desk and a chair, but the chair is so low that it's challenging to type. Maybe they think people don't actually use the desks and chairs to work. Oh well! 

But I'm a spreader. The minute I enter a room, my backpack explodes, and stuff is everywhere! Well, I keep it contained to the desk. 

My crap exploded out of the backpack

I got some work done yesterday, and I have more to do. I also brought stuff to help me plan my classes, particularly my software clubs for next year. It sure makes it a lot easier when you have things planned out rather than scrambling to come up with a topic at the last minute. There are three clubs for 2024, and I don't want to run the same subject in each class, although that would make it easy for me. There will be a couple of topics that I'll do in all classes. 

Last night, I got dressed up and walked to the restaurant. Hey -- it's a bit cold, but not unbearable. I hesitated when I packed my winter stuff -- should I pack the hat or not. I ended up packing it, and I was very grateful for that hat last night. As mentioned, the temperature wasn't bad, but the wind was wicked. It was a night when I could have used my fleece-lined pants! 

Thankfully, it was no more than a 10-minute walk, so all was good. It's cold again today, but tomorrow will be much warmer. I hope to get out this morning for a walk because otherwise, I won't get one in today. I'll wait until the sun rises, which will warm things up nicely. 

The links to the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3 blog posts should go live this morning. I'll post the actual link tomorrow, but if you're excited - you can check out QUILTsocial later this morning. By the way -- I hope you subscribe to the QUILTsocial blog, as there are oodles of ideas for quilts, notions, and other stuff. 

On that note, I'm off to do more editing. I'm almost done and can move on to the next thing, which is prepping class material for 2024. 

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, November 26, 2023

How much stabilizer is too much?

We are down to the wire! While some people may enjoy packing and going away, I don't! It just becomes a mad dash to see if everything can get done because there is a DROPDEAD deadline - the airplane won't wait for me! 

As I checked off the mental checklist this morning, I felt like the Christmas Poem - The Night Before Christmas. 

The presentations for this morning - DONE

Follow-up e-mails to class - DONE

Customer e-mails - DONE

Sample suitcase packed and weighed - DONE - (just eked under 50 lbs)

And the list goes on. 

I think the only left is to finish packing my office backpack, but I can't do that until the Zoom classes are over. And I need to pull the laundry from the dryer and throw some clothes in the suitcase - just in case I want to change while I'm away! That is always the last thing to pack. I figure, in the worst case, I can always buy what I don't have. 

I've got a rental car waiting for me, but I still need a hotel. I'll get that at the airport or when I arrive. How busy can Winnipeg be at this time of year? 

So, what was the chaos in Studio B? Since I do machine embroidery, I also have stabilizers, and there are four main categories. Stabilizers are categorized in HOW they are removed from your project -- tear away, cut away, wash away, or OTHER. 

I could go on and on for days about the difference between stabilizers, fusible webs, and interfacings because many people do NOT know the difference between them. 

The other day, I was talking to someone else in the business, and they hear the same thing! No - the terms and definitely NOT the products are not interchangeable - they are DIFFERENT. But enough about that. 

So this is the problem - I have stabilizers in various containers and drawer units, and now, a huge box is on the floor. It was driving me mad, and I needed to find a solution. 

A mess of stabilizers

I had purchased two tubs at the mall and walked them home. I had checked the dimensions, but those devils in marketing -- they measure the OUTSIDE dimensions, not the inside. How dare they do that!!!!

Hence, the 20" rolls of stabilizer wouldn't fit. Then my brain got thinking, and I had some different tubs (filled, of course), and I checked, and the 20" rolls would fit in those. So I played Switcharoo and still need to do some more organizing as I threw the contents of the old tubs into the new, and they are a mess. OK - slightly smaller tubs and the contents don't fit as nicely!

Measuring the stabilizer in the tub

I sorted the stabilizer by category, and I'll have a tub for each of the four groups. Do NOT ask, but let's say I do NOT need to buy stabilizers for a while. We organize because we think we are short and buy more because god forbid, we could run out! Then, when we take stock, we realize that we have a LOT of stabilizers. They are CONSUMMABLE -- I will use them now that I know what I have.

Two sorted tubs of stabilizer

I need to get two more tubs for the remaining two types. Then they can be stored on top of those drawer units, and I'm good to go. It was good to sort through them. I see a lot of embroidery in the future! I HAVE to use some of that up!

The stabilizer is half-sorted

My new vacuum arrived on Friday. DH decided to unpack it, which isn't good, but I don't have time. 

MOM -- is that for us?

I got the Animal 2 Pro with the pet hair attachment. I tried it on Murphy, and she was freaking out, so we have to do that in baby steps. Of course, all the packaging is all over the family room, and there is zero time for me to address that this morning. I'll take care of it when I'm back later this week. 

The Animal 2 Pro

At first glance, I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the design, and I hear stories from friends who have them that they rarely use some of the features. So why did I pay $700 for something I'll use half of? I'm not happy, but then it could be me. I'll wait until I can get a closer look before I vent and see if it's just me. The design of that hose extension seems lame! 

AHA -- Miss Lexi and I have NOT gone on the "urban" walking route in a few days, and look. That house is getting a completely new roof. You have to wonder how badly damaged the roof was to require replacing the rafters? 

Raise the roof

And thank goodness for shared drives. I have ONE more writing assignment to do, which I'll tackle when I arrive at my destination. Everything is prepped and ready to go and sitting on the shared drive. Hopefully, that won't take too long, as I NEED to finish it tonight. That would be AWESOME And shouldn't be a problem. 

OH --- here's the latest issue of QUILTsocial. You can read it online or download it for free. I have an article about the Husqvarna Viking Platinum Q160. Plus, there are some other great articles. Be sure to download it (for FREE until the end of December). 

And on that note, I'm out of here!!!

Have a super day!!!


Saturday, November 25, 2023

On the treadmill of LIFE

The treadmill of life! We can't avoid it, but there are days when I get on, the program is set to MARATHON, and I can't get off! I had two successful events yesterday for the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3. I'm home today and have two presentations this morning - they are prepped and ready to go. We have a Virtual Retreat tonight and tomorrow, along with two more classes tomorrow morning. 

Then it's off to Winnipeg to Carellen Sewing Center for three days. Then I'm home, and that's the end of business travel for the year! YEAH!! I'll have my regular Zooms in December, but nothing for sewing machines. 

But between now and Monday at 9 AM, I still have two more blog posts to prepare. One is almost done, and the other - well, I might be writing that one on the plane! 

All is good. I looked at the next program on the treadmill of life, and it's a slow walk! Let's hope it stays that way for a while! 

I chuckled this morning when I opened my FitBit to see how I was doing on my Virtual Challenge since I extended the timeframe by 7 days. Guess what? I'm now 28 KM ahead! That's crazy, and it is almost certain I will get there ahead of the new schedule and might meet the original deadline. I don't care - I just keep walking! I've got less than 300 KM to go and 28 days to do so. That'll be a piece of cake! 

I had to drop my car off for detailing the other day, and I told the person that I would walk back to get it. She looked at me like I was crazy. That's 50 minutes, she says. I know, and I can probably walk it faster than 50 minutes. She had looked at Google Maps because I needed a ride to my house after dropping the car off. 

When I walked back, it took 50 minutes, but I stopped to take some photos, made an appointment at the groomer for Miss Murphy (not until January when it's absolutely QUIET), and went into a new dollar store that I spotted on my route! I didn't tell her that when I arrived! 

This is a statue that I've seen in the past - I had stopped many years ago when it was freshly created. It's all done with a chainsaw and some smaller tools. It's absolutely stunning, even after all this time. 

Animals carved into an old tree stump

You can only really appreciate the beauty of this once you look closely at the animals. 

A wolf

A fawn

It's hard to see, but there's an eagle on top and a heron on the side. 

There is an eagle on top and a heron on the side

While this area is NOT far from my house, I don't go there that often. Holy -- I knew that development was going on, but this house, which used to be in an empty field, is now surrounded by commercial and retail spaces. I'm sure that land is worth a fair penny, but they obviously don't want to move!

The house in the middle of the development

It's absolutely insane, and most of the retail appears to be food-related. A small grocery store that used to be located in the same plaza as my dentist and bank moved to this plaza. Although it didn't matter to me, the parking lot was INSANELY packed with cars. Now, the grocery store has a much larger parking lot, and I'm sure their customers are pretty happy about that. 

The house is located where the trees are

Like most plazas, it could be better laid out regarding driving and parking and certainly NOT friendly if you are on foot. What you notice when you are NOT in a car is amazing. Lots of craziness. I almost hate driving a car! Yep --- I refuse to drive a car to do errands unless it's outside that 4 KM zone, and then I make alternate decisions. 

The other day, I went to the mall to look for some storage for the chaos I created in Studio B, and I walked home with this. 

Two storage totes and two magazines

It really wasn't a big deal, and it's not far from the mall - about a 15-20 minute walk. Not a big deal at all. I sure wish I had stopped using my car locally years ago! I didn't, but now I have, so I'm good with that. 

I had been looking for some containers for glue, and we had checked out several dollar stores but didn't find anything satisfactory. But at this new dollar store called Dollar Land, I found three different types, so yep, I bought them all and will try to find the best one for the glue. 

Plastic containers with small tips

I don't have time to talk about the chaos this morning, but the pictures are ready to go tomorrow. I did manage to quilt another customer quilt, and I have THREE of them to trim before I leave tomorrow. 

Customer quilt

Look how cozy it looks on the back!! 

The back of the customer quilt

On that note, I've moved a bunch of pictures to a new folder for tomorrow, and life goes on! 

Remember to come visit at the Virtual Retreat tonight. I don't think I'll have a chance to get on tomorrow until later in the day. But first - I must book a car and a hotel! I'm so not good with that. 

Saturday, November 25, Starts at 6 PM

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

Sunday, November 26 - Starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1959 8156
Passcode: 053861

On that note, I'm out of here!

Have a super day.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Speaking of UFOs

There are some mornings when I look at this blank screen, and I think to myself - what witty thing are you going to say today to encourage people to read on! You know - it's like the first impression - you have 30 seconds to make a first impression. Thankfully, I NEVER freeze when I see a blank screen, or if I do - I just start to babble on! 

I just like to write, and that never used to be the case! That comes from my Mom. It's amazing where we pick up our traits and how they eventually influence us. 

Speaking of my Mom, I realized that I had brought home some treasures from my last visit. Look at the cool pins I found. That airplane looks pretty old. These will get put to good use in some projects. You know, in all the time that we've been to that house to clean up (going on 8 years now), I've NEVER been in the house alone. That's probably a good thing, as I'm sure I'd never leave. These are the tiny treasures that would escape most people, and yet, these are the ones that I want. OK -- next time, schedule a day for me to search the house from top to bottom to find more of this. I don't even remember where I found these either! 

Treasures from Mom

And speaking of English Paper Piecing, well, it's been around for eons. What kills me is the naivety of people who believe that modern quilters "made" this technique. I won't mention any particular designer, but you can probably figure it out. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but EPP was "invented" in the 1770s. Yep --- goes back a long way. Here's a link to the history of EPP. I think the quilt designers recognize its history - it's some of the quilters who do not! 

I remember a SCATHING e-mail I received from a magazine reader who accused me of STEALING a pattern from Jenny Doan and using it as my own. Yep - Jenny maybe did a tutorial on that block, but that does NOT make it hers as the block was very common. People just don't get it, and I'm really tired of hearing that that pattern is by the famous Quilter X when, in fact, they've just regurgitated a standard block. 

Anyway, all that to say, I found a box of prepped hexies when I was going through my Mom's stuff. This doesn't surprise me since I have a quilt top (made from hexies) of hers here that needs to be quilted. I've had it for a few years and need to do something with it.  

A box of hexies

The issue is that the quilt top and these hexies are made from LINING fabric. I guess I could just quilt it. 

Her cardboard template and some blank templates are waiting to be used. 

Templates waiting to be used

The template and then some cut scraps of the lining. She didn't trim the pieces to make them - just folded and stitched them, which is OK. 

Lining fabric and the master template

Here's a picture of the quilt she wanted to make. I couldn't find a date on it - I'll look again, but I suspect she made this in the 1960s. 

The quilt she was going to make

And here's her layout diagram, and I think there's a note indicating the number of hexies she still had to make! I don't care how big she intended - I'll make up something from what's in the box! 

Her "pattern"

As you know, I have run a UFO Club for several years. We're now up to two groups, and I may have ONE spot vacant for this year. A few people will be leaving, and while I have a waitlist, there might be room for one or perhaps two more. 

But guess what happened? I proposed my UFO Club to a magazine, and they picked it up. The club was referenced on the COVER!!! Yes, it's the latest issue of Quiltmaker. It just made it to the newsstands. 

Quiltmaker - UFO club mentioned on the cover! 

Well, that entire post went somewhere I wasn't planning to go when I started. I even had to change the title! 

I need to research styles of quilting patterns on the Grandmother's Flower Garden for my Mom and then JUST DO IT! I want that thing off my plate. But if memory serves me correctly - it's huge! I can't remember if the papers are out of it or not. 

Here are two recent purchases which are stored in their proper place. I'm certain I have a brayer, but I can't find it, so now I have a new one. This will work beautifully with applique and cutting fabric with the Brother Scan and Cut. 

A new brayer

Knowing that I intend to get a lot of use from my digital cutter in cutting fabric, I bought a new fabric mat when I had the chance. All are in their proper homes. 

A new fabric m at

I have so many other pictures to share and not even a chance to tell you what chaos happened in Studio B yesterday! Perhaps tomorrow. 

I've got two Designer Epic 3 events at Brampton Sew and Serge TODAY. If you have time, pop on over and check them out. The first one starts at 1 and the next at 6 PM. Call first to check if there is room. It's nice to do an event without worrying about hotels or driving long distances! 

OH -- I forgot to post the links for the Virtual Retreat - so here they are. 

Saturday, November 25 - Starts at 6:00 PM

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

Sunday, November 26 - Starts at NOON

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1959 8156
Passcode: 053861

And on that note, I'm out of here! Lots to do before I leave this morning.

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Jumping through hoops

I'm curious about novelists - when they write their rough drafts - how rough are they? When I write a rough draft for my blog posts (not this one), they are ROUGH. The spelling mistakes, the grammar, the wild thoughts -- well, I dare not share that with anyone as it looks like a grade school student wrote it! I am very intrigued by the book-writing process - but I'm not there yet. And I wonder if I have the knowledge to write something longer than 2,500 words. 

I have another writing project that I really want to do. It's a personal one, and as soon as I complete the blog posts, I'll start on that. By the way - the blog posts are all about the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic 3. So you'll learn all the AMAZING features of that sewing and embroidery machine. 

Maybe one day, I'll look into some more serious writing, but in the meantime, I have loads to keep me busy in the writing world.  

There is so much going on at the moment that there's no time to ponder anything. Just make decisions and go forward. Case in point - our central vacuum crapped out a while ago. I don't want to hazard how long ago that was, as it's been "several" weeks. Do we buy a new one, get it replaced, or what do we do? After the cleaning person left yesterday, I decided I had to do something, as a broom is not the same.

I asked my sewing friends, and WHOA -- I'm living in the dark ages. Many of them have stick vacuums by Dyson! After a wee bit of research, I realized the stick vacuum would NOT work for me, so I ordered an upright with a cord. It should be here tomorrow. I might even give it a whirl!

I'm so behind in sharing pictures, as so much is happening! The other day, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and get a few things tidied up in Studio B. Have you noticed how any flat surface becomes a dumping ground? This small portable table was sitting in the corner, and a few things were on it that should have been put away. 

The items are now in their proper place, and I've folded the table and put it in the storage room. I have one machine that fits this table, and you never know when I may need it, so I'm keeping this one. In its place, I've put my ironing board. I'm not sure I'm OK with the location as I have to move it slightly to open the door to the storage room. I don't go in often, so it's an experiment. 

Sewing table got stowed in storage

All the loose spools of thread were rounded up and sorted into their appropriate boxes, and the boxes were put back on the shelf. 

Thread boxes back in place

I need to find a solution to this. Those long boards support the foot of the sit-down quilting machine to keep it level. I need to find something MUCH smaller so those boards can be put away. Maybe I can find something at the hardware store. I'll have to measure the height and be on the lookout. It's not in the way, but it looks messy. 

These boards need to be replaced with something smaller

Then, I decided that I needed to investigate my embroidery hoops. The issue is that the new Designer Epic 3 uses a new hoop attachment. So, how many hoops do I have that will still work with it? 

I found this hoop from YEARS ago. It was for the Husqvarna Viking Designer 1. If anyone remembers this - it was a three-part hoop. You did one section, then moved the hoop clip to do the second and, finally, the third. It's so old, and it was confirmed by a local dealer that it is USELESS. 

The Mega Hoop

It was suggested that I remove the screw and spring, as those can be reused should something go missing off another hoop. So those are safely stored in a bag. 

The spring and screw were salvaged 

And the hoop and the plastic template are history. 

The mega hoop is history

Some stuff was still in the box, so I perused that and found a bag of hoop clips, which I put with the others I own. The template is gone, and all the documentation is gone!

Stuff in the Mega Hoop box

Good grief -- what is this? It was a sample stitch out of something. It took me a few minutes to remember this was the lettering I used on a quilt I made for M's SENIOR KINDERGARTEN teacher. Oh boy --- that was a LONG, LONG time ago. I kept the lettering as it's an excellent example of a fill pattern on lettering. Believe it or not, I did that in the embroidery software! That would have been 5D or 6D - I'm not sure. 

A stitch out of a fill pattern in machine embroidery

I pulled ALL the embroidery hoops I own, and after some investigation, these are all the hoops I can use with the NEW hoop adapter for the embroidery arm on the Designer EPIC 3. Plus, all the metal hoops and the two endless hoops. Those six hoops are NOT included in this picture. 
These legacy hoops work on the Designer Epic 3

So what won't work? There were five. Only four made this picture. Hmm --- it's not such a big deal. The Texture Hoop has been discontinued, and I rarely use it. There is the 100 by 100, but we have 80 by 80 and 120 by 120, so not a huge deal. I will hang onto these five for now because should I WANT to use them, they still fit on the PFAFF - but don't tell anybody that the hoop clips are the same! 

These hoops will NOT work on the Designer Epic 3

So that was a good job done. I found a pile of hoop templates and was advised to keep them, so I'll be moving things around later today to put them in a safe place. 

Hoop templates

And these hoop aids can be a good thing as well. Mine were relegated to the back of a shelf and forgotten. But now I'll put them together, and they will have a home with the templates. 

Hoop aides

Along with cleaning up some stuff on the floor, some of the stuff on the table tops was put away. It's all a slow process, but it's all progress, and that's important. As the saying goes, Rome was NOT built in a day, and the mess won't go away in a day. It's really a constant evolution, and I suspect that I'll still be sorting and rearranging until the day we move. And if I have my way - that won't be for many years. 

So the sewing table tops are CLEAR, except for the sewing and embroidery machines! 

The three sewing tables are CLEAR

More half-square triangles got sewn and trimmed. 

Half-square triangles are trimmed

A small customer quilt was quilted. 

Customer quilt - DONE

And can you believe the bobbin ran out - just as I reached the edge. So I wound a new bobbin and did a pattern repair, and I was off. 

Bobbin ran out! 

The backing and the binding for the star flannel are done, and this quilt has been moved to the "to be quilted" pile. 

Star flannel quilt ready to be quilted

The backing and binding for the blue braid are also done, and that got moved to the "to be quilted" pile. My last tub is almost full, so I must get to work to make room! 

Blue braid quilt ready to be quilted

That tub where the blue braid resided has already been commandeered for the Tequila Lime quilt, as the fabrics and pattern bits were all over the place. Now they are in the labeled container, and all is good. 

The project box for Tequila Lime

I completed more work on the Barn Star Sampler and the Cabin in the Woods. All is good, and I can't wait until the writing is done and the travel is done, and then I'll have a couple of weeks before the end of the year when, who knows, what awaits! But I look forward to those weeks and have big plans for quilting and sewing! 

It will be another busy day - filled with errands and work, but I'm pretty much in chill mode - just do what has to be done and don't panic!

Have a super day!!