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Friday, October 24, 2014

Show n Tell..................

I had a lot of classes and sewing days this week and I have a few show n tell pictures to share with you.

Lynda's Row by Row Experience quilt top  - I love how she made that border from blocks that were in a row that she collected!!!!   

Speaking of Row by Row - the NEW THEME for the 2015 Row by Row will be announced VERY SOON.  

I pulled this from ZebraPatterns blog:

Janet and I have the theme for 2015 firmly in place. It is top secret and will be announced at Houston Market at the end of October. I just finished up the fabric line for 2015 RxR. I have to say I am very excited about the fabric. Last year’s fabric was good but it was a take off of the logo at the very last minute. This year the fabric is really my creative voice! Very exciting! Also the Fabric Plates™ for next year have a new twist! All fun things to look forward too!

So we have something to look forward to for next summer!!!!!!!!!!!!1

I am teaching a class on Inspirations for Machine Quilting.  The more I look, the more I am inspired and I am fired up to quilt. The class went away with their heads swimming full of ideas.  But they also had some awesome show n tell.

Celia made a gym bag for a friend of hers - love the fabric

And all the pockets are piped with a light fabric so they are easy to see!!!

Kay made this Halloween wall hanging.  Cute little ghosts and pumpkins!

Judy made a BIG quilt for her grand daughter which we saw a while back.  BUT now the dolls need quilts. This is for the doll bed. 

And look at the trim that Judy made for the pillow for the doll.   That is pretty awesome!!!!!

Nada had this great advent calendar.  Hard to see in the picture - but there are LIGHTS all around the perimeter.  BRILLIANT!!!!

Lois was working on this fabulous wall hanging. And quilting by hand!!!!

I probably missed a couple of pieces but very hard to keep track of all the show n tell. There is so much. It is so fun to see what every one is working on. And I see a LOT of people during my travels and I see a lot on a pretty regular basis. Hard to believe that we continue to find things to sew!!!!!!!!   Of course - they are just like me!!!!   Just look around - enough to sew for a couple of lifetimes!!!

On that note - I am out of here. Another adventure - next week my nose is going to be to the grindstone!!!!  Day and night - I will be attached to that quilting machine.

I am putting together a list of dates for classes and sit n sews from now until the end of the year.  I hope to post that on the blog and send out to my groups soon.  I will also be putting together a list of events/classes for 2015.  If you want to learn something specific, make a specific bag or quilt - let me know so I can see how that can be worked into the mix. Yes - there will be embroidery group next year, yes there will be sewing on Monday and some Thursdays, Yes - there will be an applique workshop once a month. There will be other smaller endeavours so let me know if there is something to be added - something you want and we will see how it all fits together.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Road trip!!!!!!!!!!!

OH - perhaps I should say TRAIN trip. My adventure was downtown yesterday and instead of fighting the traffic and paying for parking - I decided to take the train.  M had already purchased me (OK - I paid for it - she got it for me) - a PRESTO card for the train.  Found my way to the NEW parking garage at Clarkson GO station.

Parking garage at Clarkson GO - it is still under construction but at least you can park there. 
I want to know where everyone parked before these extra 1,500 spaces became available.  I had to park on the 4th level - NO elevator!!!   That was fun climbing up those flights of stairs on my way home.  I was  considerably weighted down with my backpack and my stupid leg.

Then I was on the train and on my way!!!!

I arrived at Union and had to take pictures - OK - so I looked like a tourist.   It was very easy to find my way to my destination. Follow me....................

Into the Skywalk

There's the CN Tower peeking through the glass

On the way to the Convention Centre

Yep - it is CREATIVFESTIVAL time!!!!!!!!!!!   

Just lectures and classes yesterday. Today is set-up day which I have NO part in this time.  Yeah!!!!!!!

I attended a lecture and then a hands on session for Machine Embroidery.  It was lead by one of the Husqvarna Viking software specialists.  Boy - she knew her stuff and well - I wanted to buy the top package, but I don't think so. I don't use it enough to justify the cost. I have the first level and for what I want to do - that level will be just fine.

But these pictures are amazing stitched out on the machine

And the kitty cat -
Other cool designs
Colour gradated filles

But my big interest in in the lettering.  I LOVE lettering and hope to do LOTS!!!!!!

Anyway - I am a DOLT!!!!   Oh yes - we were told to bring a laptop with Windows 7 or 8 on it.  No problem.  But when I got there after lugging my stupidly big laptop - I forgot that it had Vista on it - so I couldn't use my laptop.  No worries - I just sat with this retired man (there were TWO men in the class). He was a very nice man and he started off by doing all the computer work for his wife and now he stitches more than she does!!!!!   And YES - he already has the top of the line software and top of the line embroidery machine.  I find men don't skimp - they go for the whole thing!!!!

Learned a lot and just itching to get the software loaded and take it for a whirl!!!!!

I did a bit of knitting while I was listening.

One more square done - the colours are getting a bit weird since I am using up left overs

Twenty seven in the pile - three to go

Started on another one and that is all the wool I have left.  I think I am going to have to buy one more skein

Can't wait to start a new project - I have so MANY knitting ones sitting there!!!!

On that note - it is sewing day today and I have to get going.  Just so many exciting things to do and so little time to do them all!!!!

Oh yes - I will get those times for the QUILTSocial presentation.  I don't have them handy.

Have a great day!!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Anticipation is more painful than actually doing!!!!

Great workout in spin class and I even remembered to get there for 6 AM.  Then breakfast with the gym friends and Maria has convinced me that I will NOT be able to work out the knot in my IT band (leg muscle) and I should seek therapy.   NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!    I don't want to go because it is going to hurt to the point of tears!  But I think she is right - stairs are becoming a big problem and even as I sit here - it is throbbing pretty bad and the pain is spreading up and down my leg.  OH - I need to just suck it up and make that call and get the treatment started.

I am happy to report that I made as much progress on one of those MUST DO projects last night.  Now I am waiting for someone to get back to me - then I can move onto the next step.

And I am even happier to report that I am DONE the second MUST DO project.  But not without issues and they were all mine!   A result of NOT THINKING and I will blame the early hour for that.

I got the BIAS binding on that curvy table runner. Yeah!!!!!   Because of the way I did the bias binding, one end is already on the diagonal. When I went all the way around, I like to get a neat join, so I laid the strips on top of each other, a slight overlap and then I cut.  Oh that was easier than I remember. I normally do not work with that diagonal end.

OOOPS - I don't think that is going to work!!!!!!!!!!  I should have opened up the strip on the left to cut!!!  DUH!!!!

Yep - that is why I don't do it this way - because it is hard to figure out exactly where to cut!!!!

So I had to rejoin the piece I had cut off and then............

I made the diagonal end STRAIGHT and then did the overlap method and joined like I normally would.  Worked like a charm.  In the early morning (or any time - stick with WHAT WORKS!!!!)   Yes - I am the first to admit that it is hard sometimes to teach THIS old dog new tricks!!!!   But if it works - why try to reinvent the wheel!!!!

Can you see the TWO joins here?????   The one where I had to add the extra piece back and then the final join????  NOPE - you cannot. or barely.  No one will notice when the binding is hand stitched to the back. 

And look at that nice neat corner on the easy side of the table runner

This one is not quite so neat - it is a VERY sharp point. Once it is all stitched in place - I don't think it will look too bad, but way better than I envisioned it would look like. That was my stopping point - I didn't want to do those two corners and they weren't bad at all. 

Funny how we build things up in our head and then we actually get there - the situation isn't nearly as bad as we thought.  Hmmmm - if only I thought that would be the case for my leg.  I know from previous experience that it is going to be painful - no if ands or buts - it is going to HURT!!!!!

Got to run and try to get some work done on that third project. But have a look at the basket of bicycle fabric - Yikes!!!!!!!   Still not all in here - better get making bike quilts!!!!

Bicycle fabric

On that note - I am out of here. Got big adventures today.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scrap happy!

Super day at Monday.  So nice to see what everyone is working on and we had a FULL house - lots and lots of activity!

I did get a couple of pictures, but I was also trying to get some work done!

Tish added DENIM to those luscious TIm Holtz fabrics.  What a clever idea!!!! 

Judith was madly making yo-yos!!!!   Let's just say that she has a LOT of yo-yos to make.  Perfect to make at Monday when you have lots to distract you!!!!

OK - so I realize now why I don`t get the important things done - I don`t work on them!  I grabbed this project when I went to the retreat. It is NOT important, has no deadline and yet - I am drawn to the darn thing (after it has sat for months forgotten)

But with the work I did at at the retreat and yesterday - I now have EIGHTY blocks made!!!!    Wow - I was so happy. 

HOWEVER - I was hoping to use up the strips in the basket....................
Ooops - not even close!!!!
By my calculation - there is enough fabric in the basket to make another EIGHTY blocks.  Seriously????   Yes - I was shocked but that is true!!!!!!!!!!!!

And here are my little bits and bobs for the corners.  

Well - I guess I could just cut the eighty squares of muslin and then they would be ready????   I really really must work on getting other stuff done or I just sew more?????

And the other reason I don't seem to get a lot done is that I am too damn meticulous.  I serged those gift bags on the weekend. It is not enough for me to just cut off those loose threads (from the serger) - NOPE - I thread them all back through the existing seam and put fray check on them to prevent them from coming out.

All those threads are safely secure (three per bag - 30 bags) - I know!!!!

 BUT - I was watching Quilting Arts while I was doing it - so that wasn't a complete "waste" of time.

Now I am faced with THREE tasks to do today.  I have put all three off for a LONG time and I really must get them done.  I think they are playing with my mind and making me not happy.  SO I have to face the music and get them done - I feel that a lot of creativity is pent up behind those three projects.   Deep breath - deep breath - deep breath - OK - ready to face them. Well not until I am back this afternoon.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Just throw money at it!!!

Have you ever been in that position?    You are pressed for time - you know you should do "X" but no time so just throw money at it to make it better???

Yep - that is me and it is very irresponsible!!!  When I went on my bike trip this summer, I took a bunch (630) pictures. I promised the group that I would upload the pictures to Dropbox so they could see the pictures and get copies if they wanted. Well half of those pictures loaded and then I ran out of room. Now if I had time - I would have gone through my 630 pictures and only loaded those that would have been of interest to the group. And I could have emptied the rest of my Dropbox so that would free up some space.

After getting some gentle reminders from the group about getting access to the pictures - I looked - I seriously looked and did clean out a bit of my Dropbox, but then I said "screw it" and I just paid for a membership which gets me 1 TB of room.  That is a LOT of room and I can load a LOT of pictures in there.  
So now I really should use it as a third back up spot for pictures. But first I need to get myself organized for those pictures - remember the 50,000 unorganized pictures????   Yep - about half of them need to be deleted - I take many pictures in a day and most are for the blog and so I don't really need to keep those pictures - well the edited version is on my laptop - which is supposed to be backed up regularly, but isn't. OK - time to schedule that.

Then yesterday - I went to take a picture and CRAP - the camera card is FULL.  Seriously????   I bought a new one when I got home from the trip.  That is 2000 pictures in a month and a half????   OK - time to clear out that card plus the few others that are sitting here.  NO TIME - so I just bought a new one. M was disgusted with me.   OK - I need to get myself some kind of filing system (not the physical kind because I do have a nice snazzy computer and Lightroom) - I need to figure out what to keep and what goes. Hmmmm and if I could do that on a weekly/daily basis - I wouldn't have this problem.  

OK - I will think about that this week.

I did manage to snag two photos on the new card yesterday!!!!

The serger had been sitting here with TWO broken needles.  M was trying to serge something in the summer and DID NOT raise the metal thread rack to the proper height. The threads tangled, then pulled the needles and bang - they both broke.  Then I couldn't thread one of the loopers and it is that automatic one that blows air or whatever.  I finally got it working and then I zipped through some gift bags that I am making for the Brampton Guild.  I serged thirty of them.  Now to make the casing and insert the ribbon.

Thirty serged gift bags

Of course - since I was in that kind of a mood - I decided to vacuum the interior of the serger - tried the big vacuum - all the attachments are TOO big to fit inside.

Tried the little USB vvacuum- and it is too small to reach inside. I ended up using a brush, but since I had the little vvacuumout - I cleaned my keyboard. Yikes - that was a LOT of crap in there!!!!!!!!!

Lint from the laptop keyboard

I spent a couple of hours with Carla as we chatted about various things for the magazine A Needle Pulling Thread and also QUILTSocial and various projects that we are working on for both. So much exciting stuff coming up!!!!   If you are planning on coming to the CreativFestival this weekend - you should plan to stop by and listen to our presentation.  We will give you the inside scoop on QUILTSocial - what it is all about and how you can participate.  We have great show n tell for you as well.  It is going to be a lot of fun. We will be presenting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - one time per day.  I will post the times tomorrow so you can plan on attending.  It will be fun, informative AND you are supporting a totally Canadian venture!!!  That is very important if we want to keep the quilting industry alive in Canada!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. It is MONDAY and sewing day!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2014


Looking around this studio is stressful!  There are SO MANY things that I want to do - not the ones I HAVE to do, but things that I want to do. Where do I start??  There are about five quilts that just need the borders put on, another five where the blocks are done and they just need to be sewn together. And and and .........................   Well you get the picture.

If I could just take ONE project and get it done instead of flitting from project to project and not completing anything.  How can I make that work???   It is called FOCUS until a crisis (aka deadline) looms and then good intentions get thrown out the window.  Or a new idea pops into my head!  I am not sure which is worse!

Well - let's see what I can do today for focusing!  I may need a set of blinders!!!  (do you know what that is???)

Yesterday when I was pulling out TWO almost completed projects that HAVE to be done by Christmas, I found my IDEA book.  I don't have much in it, but the idea was - if I find a quilt concept that I want to make - I would put my notes in the book. Since it was "lost" - I haven't been able to use it, but I thought about it. Well now I will use it and I have already have several that I want to put in it. Yeah - just what I need.

BUT I found a quote in the book that I love (which is why I wrote it in the book!). "We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand.) C. S. Lewis.    Oh boy  - can I ever relate to that.  I have said many times that I do not write this blog for others - NOPE - this blog is therapy for me and by researching, doing and writing about stuff - I have learned so much!!!!   And if that is what it takes to keep my brain occupied - well that is OK!!!!

Now if I could just figure out how to keep my body exercised. Oh yes - I got the spin class down, but I have some VERY (and I mean VERY) tight leg muscles.  I almost feel like a cripple some days - the muscles are so tight that I have trouble doing the stairs.  I MUST MUST MUST work on that or I will be in big trouble like I was in London.

Enough preamble - on with the surprise!

Yesterday was our monthly class for Northern Lights  (at Sew Sisters) (I keep wanting to write Northern Reflections which is a clothing store - which is completely sold out of that damn bicycle T-shirt!). Anyway - last month I gave the last two blocks for homework. Since this class is really really keen - by the time I arrive, they have their blocks posted on the design wall in the class room. WAIT A MINUTE!   When I walked in yesterday - the pickings were very slim.    FIVE people????   What's going on?

The last two blocks from the Northern Lights class. There were a lot more than five students in the classroom

OK - Helen Anne came a bit late

Nancy wasn't sure which ones were the ones due!

Then they said -"weren't we supposed to sew the entire top together???"   OH!!!!!   And hence the first surprise - we got to see borderless tops!  Since I was going to talk about putting borders on next month - I scrambled and we talked about borders this month!!!!

Have a look at the tops - they are fabulous and hard to believe they came from the same pattern.

Marlene - love the colours - reminds me of a nautical theme

Raili - LOVE that bright block in the center!!!!!

Genny - so long ago that we made the blocks with the bright coloured squares - I forget she had added them.  

Karen L - a wild coloured quilt, but that turquoise pops!!

Marilyn - almost looks like the reverse colours of Karen's. But that orange pops!!!!

Marilyn made one block THREE times - above are two of her rejects - bottom row - extreme right and extreme left are the SAME block. In the quilt above - the bottom row second from the right is the same block. Amazing what value placement can do to a block.  The rest of the blocks above are the leftovers that Marilyn had. She made them up into blocks for the back of her quilt.  I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Judith - a bit more subtle than some of the others, but those star blocks just pop off!!!!

Karen W - she had her quilt done last month.  All those blocks pop on this one!!!!

WOW - that is an amazing display of talent!!!!!!!!    There were a few missing yesterday, vacations, illnesses and so on. Hopefully they will be able to catch up and we'll see them all next month.

So we had a discussion on how to choose borders for the quilt.  I think there are FIVE or something like that in the pattern.  I did not put 5 on my big quilt that I made and I am certainly not putting five on the small one.  I just happened to have all my fabric with me and so we used that as an example on how to choose borders and VOILA - my border choices were made. Didn't even have to think about - that crowd is very opinionated!   Thanks to everyone for your input - that was EASY!!!!!!

A small flat piping border (the thin dark strip) and then three borders - light, medium and dark (this is my big quilt)

My quilt with the chosen borders!   The only thing - I don't have enough of that blue and I bought it at Sew Sisters. I was supposed to check before I left for more and I DID NOT!!!!!    Shoot - probably isn't any more - will have to do plan B.  No wait - I know there isn't any more because I was looking for some blue the other day. I did buy some blue - about the same shade - I will use that!!!!   Oh yes - robbing Peter to pay Paul. Time to pick some new colourways to work in. 

Then we had a spectucular NON class show n tell.

First I have to tell you what happened when I walked into the room. Remember I told you the story about Mary and Jane and how I could never tell them apart. Well last month, I figured out how to remember who was who.  I was all set to SURPRISE them.  Well Jane unfortunately wasn't there due to illness (hope you are feeling better Jane!). Mary was there and I was going to say "Hey Mary". She turned and I noticed that she is wearing a NAME TAG!!!!!!!!!!!   NO - it wasn't for my benefit - she was doing some volunteer work at her church that day and came to class in between her duties at the church and she had just left her name tag on!!!!!!!!!!!    DRAT - she ruined my surprise!!!!   It was pretty funny and we had such a good laugh over it!!!!

Mary and Jane are making this quilt for a friend of theirs. It has flannel on the back so it will be warm and snuggly.  What super friends they are!!!!

Marlene brought in her completed quilt top. This was from a class on curved piecing that I taught a couple of weeks ago.  Top is done as she ran out of the green, although she had more of the other colours!!!   Looks AWESOME Marlene

Karen W took a class with me a number of years ago based on the book Liberated Quilts by Gwen Marston.  This is one of two quilts that Karen brought in.  Awesome and a fabulous way to use up stuff!!!!

Raili made this quilt using the Batting Buddy tool.  Looks fabulous and it's DONE DONE DONE!!!!!   The quilt is being donated to the Linus project! Awesome job Raili!

I think everyone is familiar with the Row by Row Experience we had this summer in Ontario (and all over the US).  Each store would post a winner - the first person to come into their store with a completed quilt would win a prize. And if the  quilt contained the row designed by thath store - the quiltmaker got another prize.  I saw these two quilts and thought - I KNOW those ladies!!!   So I asked them to bring their winning quilts to show n tell.  Oh yes - they were gorgeous.

Made by Genny - fabulous!!  And wow - I love those rows!!!!

This one blew me away. Mary (Genny's mother) made it. She did not use kits, but her own soft colour palette.  It is stunning and she incorporated rows on the side to make the quilt a more reasonable size. BUT look what else she did...........
In the sashing - she printed the name and city of the stores from which she got the patterns.  That is BRILLIANT, very tastefully done and a COMPLETE SURPRISE - I didn't even know the names were there until she pointed it out.   I just LOVE LOVE LOVE that. 

And she put her label on the front.  And it fits right in!!!!   Nicely done Mary!

I love to see some of the thought and creativity that went into making these quilts. Thanks for sharing all those fabulous projects!!!!!!!!!!!

Had a great machine quilting class in the afternoon.  So many eager new quilters!!!!   I just hope they go home and do their homework!

When I finally got home, it was time for me to get some work done. If I don't get that binding on that curvy runner, Joyce is going to be mad at me. I am dreading it a bit because there are a couple of tricky bits on it.

I need to make bias binding because of the curves, so I do the calculation (so nice to not have to get the instructions out any longer). I cut the square, sew it together and start cutting. It was only when I was finished cutting that I remembered I wanted to use 2 1/4" binding NOT 2 1/2".  OH CRUD!!!!!!!   It was already cut.

Cutting the binding

Ready to sew!!!

CRAP CRAP CRAP - well I am going to attempt to use the 2 1/2". I am not cutting a quarter inch of it.

Today looms empty!  Only one appointment and she is coming to my house.   BUT I have a list a mile long and I had better get started on the list!!!!

Just got this picture from M.  She just snapped our backyard with her smartphone.  How is that for a colour palette!!!   STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!