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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

QuiltCon UPDATE


Wow - the date is fast approaching.  Our initial deadline to have the crate leave was this past Monday morning, meaning everything had to be packed by Friday. Our shipping people found that the crate didn't technically have to leave until Thursday this week.  That scares me a bit - that's not a lot of time, but TRUST - it's all about trust.

Speaking of trust - as we were pulling down the metal structure which has been set up in the warehouse for months so we could test how things would be displayed, there is a certain level of trust when you pull that structure down.  I was the receiver to catch the big part (well supported by my team mates - that's the trust part) and they didn't let me down!!!!   Thankfully!!!

All the quilts that are coming to our offices are IN.  There are still a number of quilts that will arrive at our hotel next week - ACK - next week!  And then a couple will be delivered right to the booth!  Nothing like having a few extra minutes to sew on that binding!  None of the quilts are big - they are 50 by 60 which and seems very small.

Now - I know - you are asking me how I'm doing???   Well my FIVE projects for the booth are DONE and they are sitting outside my office and there isn't a single person that goes by that doesn't want to play with them.  Need I say more??????   They aren't small as at one point during the day yesterday, I came back to my office to find my door barricaded with the projects!!!   Wait until you see the pictures - they are pretty awesome!   (and I have to make more with different fabrics!!!)

That was nice to go CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK in the book!!!!

Now what about that quilt????  As I mentioned - it was quilted on the weekend and you know life doesn't get much better when the marketing people stop by your office and ask if you could please put the binding on the quilt so they can take pictures!   I'll hop right to it!!!

The binding on my quilt
The Monday group - well the early ones, got to see the quilt as I had to trim it and cut the binding.  Now the binding is on and about one foot left to hand stitch.  I COULD NOT bring myself to put it on by machine.  If you are coming to QuiltCon - you MUST stop by the Northcott booth - Number 616.  Why???   Well first off - we have fabulously fun stuff and we have PRIZES - loads and loads of prizes.  And each day, we'll be giving away a KIT for one of these quilts - the one that I designed and made.  Yes - that means I still have to cut the kits today and write up the pattern.   As long as the kits are cut and put on the crate today, the pattern can come in the suitcase. Stil handstitching the sleeve and the label to do today.

Although, here is another good thery.  If I were to take this quilt or the kits in my suitcase, there would be a hole in that suitcase for the return trip.   Hmmmmm - I wonder if I could find anything to fill that hole with????   Quilt show????   US cash sitting in the bank????  You tell me!   (not that I need anything and certainly don't need fabric!)

I'm still working on my smaller piece - the challenge.  Oh yes - we have a challenge to entice people with as well and it's pretty fun!!!!   We had several designers make us a couple of challenges and well they are fun.   It won't take long to finish that piece and worse case - I'll be stitching the binding down on the plane!

If you want to check out more sneak peeks of the other quilts and the challenges, get over to Northcott's Facebook page.

As if that isn't enough excitement, check out this blog post.  I think I mentioned that I was going to be on one of the panels.  Well it's going to be exciting.  Someone checked a while back as to how many people were attending the panel - last count over 300!!!!!      That means, I'm on the list of "teachers" for Quiltcon - my picture is on the app and well - I'm pumped!!!!   I know - it doesn't take much to get me excited!!!!

And most of the classes are full which we can't attend, but well - can you tell I'm super stoked over this whole quilt show?????


Wow - I think that covers all the Quiltcon updates.  If you are coming to QuiltCon - please please stop by Northcott booth number 616.  Introduce yourself - we'll get selfies and it's going to be awesome.  If you can't come - I would imagine that you can follow along on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,  etc.    You can bet that these pictures will be plastered all over the internet.

On that note - I'm out of here.  Got another incredibly crazy day and some fabulous news that will have to wait until tomorrow!!!!


Have a super super day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ciao!!!!!!!!









Monday, February 8, 2016

Block a day MADNESS

As if working on ONE quilt that has 365 blocks isn't enough for me - OH NO - I have to work on TWO of them!!!!

I showed you how I was making out on the pieced quilt yesterday.  Sadly - I didn't get back to the little blocks for a number of reasons.  But look at those scrap bins.............


The green with other colors - bin is almost full!

Only shades of green

Yes - it's amazing how much stuff can collect when you start to save scraps.  Thankfully I found these clear plastic shoe boxes and they are perfect for storing scraps.  They can be pulled off the shelf to dig through, yet don't take loads of room and if you are diligent about sorting the scraps, they are always ready to use and easy to get to.

I am very diligent about my scrap boxes and seem to be always pawing through them looking for bits for applique, tiny blocks or whatever.   These boxes also hold loads of memories and definitely keepers at my house. This is ususally the first place I go BEFORE the stash. Of course - I love little things!

Now that I have sorted - or mostly sorted the green, I have to find something to do with that first box.   Hmmmm -   what could I do???????    Got a couple of ideas - I need to be sewing full time - 24/7 if I were to ever exhaust the list of things in my head that I want to sew!  Just too darn curious!

This is the basket of scraps that I haven't sorted through yet - most of them are greens or various shades of green, so what I don't use in this quilt will go into the shades of green box.  I have a feeling that pulling for this big quilt isn't going to make much of a dent in that pile of green!!!!  But sure looks a lot nicer when it's all organized.


To be sorted pile!!!!


Remember - this is what the quilt looks like -

365 Quilt
365 Block Challenge

The dark area is my green.  Looks like a lot will be used, but I don't think it will be enough to make a big difference!!!!   Guess we'll have to wait and see.


So today instead of working at home - I did have to go shopping to a quilt store.  I had ordered the backgrounds for the OTHER block a day quilt that I signed up for.  This one I bought the pattern so feel obligated to work on it   (and I LOVE IT!)  It's all applique.  It's going to take a while to catch up since I only just got my back grounds yesterday and I'm still not 100% convinced that I want to use them.


Backgrounds for the applique quilt
 And while I was wondering around (Village Square Quilt Shop in Burlington)- I saw this bolt of fabric which would be perfect for the backing.  It's not big enough, but I'm sure I've seen this around somewhere - got to find more!!!!   I really like the Village Square and well - I could have spent a WHOLE LOT more time and money, but I needed to get back home.

Perfect backing!!!!

Remember what that quilt looks like........................
Block of the Day 2016 - That Town and Country Quilt
That Town and Country Quilt

I've been watching what the others are doing and their blocks are gorgeous.   I will catch up - just not sure when!!!!!

It was such a beautiful day that the girls and I went to the dog park.  We were there for an hour and they just loved it.  There were loads of dogs to play with and some of them just loved playing in the mud.  Not only were they playing, nope - they were rolling in it. Not Lexi or Sammy!


But the good news is this - I finished quilting my quilt for QuiltCon.  YEAH ME!!!!!!!!!!!!    I do have a confession to make.  I was procrastinating a bit because I wanted the quilting to be just right. After all - there will be THOUSANDS of people at this show and people will be looking and taking pictures and well - I wanted it to be good. I had no idea what style of quilting to do on it - what design and I procrastinated.  I tried several designs - using my cellophane and a sharpie to preview the designs and at last, I was happy.  I started quilting and well - I'm very pleased with the end result.  Sorry - can't show you, but soon it will all be revealed!!!!!!

On that note - I'm out of here!!!!


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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Don't try this at home!!!!!


Wow - that Lexi is a pretty time consuming dog.  But what a personality and now she tells me that she has so many stories that she wants to blog every day.   "WHOA!  I said!   I don't think so." She's off sulking!  But if you want to read her latest adventure - check out her blog.

Well last night was Saturday night and you know what that means in my house.  Yep - a meeting with that DAMN BOOK.  I still haven't named it yet - but I must.  Well I have a confession - I skipped the meeting - actually I postponed it to Sunday morning.   Actually I was hoping to do the same thing as last weekend and have the meeting on Sunday morning to try and finish off the 365 Block Challenge blocks.  However that didn't happen - have a look why.

So here are the blocks I was working on.   Oh how pretty and look at those points - not bad for matching - not perfect, but good enough.

February 1 block

February 2 block


Do you see what I see????   Oh yes - these don't look super hard except.................

Look at the size of them....................


These are THREE INCH blocks!!!!!


Wowie - by the time I rooted through the scrap box to find pieces.  OK - so yes - I could just hack off some fabric, but NO - if the requirement is for a 1" strip - then I try to find a 1 inch strip.  Oh yes - there is definitely a crazy streak to my mentalility.   It's like a puzzle or a challenge to find something just right size wise.

And then there is the actual construction of them.  Make those half square triangles and trim - to 1 1/4". SERIOUSLY????   That is pretty teeny tiny!!!!!

And let's not forget the pressing.  Someone asked me yesterday how to deal with the seams and my response is EXACTLY the same way as if you were doing a big block.   No need to press open.  Nope - I spun seams where appropriate and then nested seam allowances and I have to say that I even learned a new trick.



Beautifully pressed block


This might get technical and you may not understand but hopefully you will because it's cool.  Normally when you twirl seams (like the four patches above), you twirl them all in the same direction.  If you don't, the seams won't match up properly.  

In the block below, those four patches do NOT touch each other and there is one seam inbetween them.  So if you twirled the seams all in the same direction - two seams would not match.  And on this small of a block - that would be bulky.  So I figured out (why does it take so long sometimes?)  that if I twirled two in one direction and the other two in the opposite direction that everything would match up just nice and it did!!!!


All seams match!!!!!

The two matching twirling blocks are in opposite corners from each other.  Hopefully you can see in the picture above what I'm talking about.

I won't tell you how long it took to make these two blocks and there is ONE more with teeny half square triangles for Feb 3.  Then she moves onto something else. I still hope to get them all done today, but I also have a lot of quilting to do today.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about - here is the quilt.  And here is the link.

365 Quilt
365 Block Challenge

If you are making these blocks - don't get discouraged.  Just remember to do everything for the small blocks EXACTLY the same way you do the big ones.  No need to press seams open, no need to trim seam allowances, use steam, use your stilleto (quilter's awl) and that 1/4" seam allowance is ABSOLUTELY imperative!!!!   Good luck and if you have blocks - I want to see them!!!!!

I "stole" this picture from Facebook.   A friend is making this quilt as well and I LOVE the colors that she is using.   Thanks for letting me pilfer your picture!!!!!

January blocks 

Although I haven't checked the BOOK yet - I know that I must have accomplished at least half of the tasks last week so that was a good week.

On that note - I have some e-mails to get out this morning and I better get started.

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


Ciao!!!!!!


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Row by Row CRAZINESS


So we all went crazy about Row by Row last year right?  OK - well some of us went a bit more crazy than others did.

We had Joni Newman as our guest speaker at the Mississauga Guild on Thursday, which if you read Lexi's blog, you know why I got home late and was tired.

Joni designed the most AMAZING rows for two stores - Valley Needleworx in Renfrew, Ontario and We R Quilts in Prescott also in Ontario.  Sadly BOTH stores have closed, although Tracy who was the owner/half owner?  of the Prescott store is the Ontario coordinator for Row by Row and I think she is keeping that job.  She did an awesome job last year.
Rows designed by Joni Newman


Joni also designed two more companion rows in the event that you wanted to make an entire quilt.  I got that pattern from one of the two stores.

Two more companion rows



When Joni was at our guild meeting, she had designed a FIFTH row and now I NEED to get that row!!!!   I've got an e-mail to her asking how and where to purchase that fifth row. If you look closely at each row - there is a theme happening, except in the Nemo row which is why there is a fifth row.  Can you figure it out?

See what I mean - a bunch of looney toons we are!!!!


BUT wait until you check out this link.   What do you think????   Any takers????    Of course, we chat about Row by Row at work (I know - it's hilarious!!!) and Brian thinks that we've all gone over the edge   (quilters that is - not the staff!).

WAIT - it doesn't stop there.  Get your passport ready (OK - so you need the passport to go to the US),  but check this out...................

GET THE PASSPORT, PACK the bags - I'm on board. No idea where I'm going, but I'm going!!!!!

And then there is this one that is new this year.

Seriously?????      OK - I think SOMEONE from Northcott needs to personally be checking some of this stuff out.  PICK ME              PICK ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       Sadly, our job is totally behind the scenes!!!!   Here is the fabric palette that Northcott has selected for stores to work with.   I did design a number of rows but I think I posted them a while back.

On that note, I'm off to finish prepping for today's class and if you have not read Lexi's blog - you better. That dog is a naughty pants.

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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Doing the happy dance!!!!!

We've all had them - a day where NOTHING goes right. And it's usually those kind of days that everyone talks about.  But what about turning the tables and talking about the days where EVERYTHING goes right.

Yesterday was such a day!!!!  I have to confess that I was so pumped up from yesterday that I woke up very early this morning with visions of fabric collections running through my head. HELP ME!!!!

Let's back up a minute.   I had a super spin class yesterday morning.  There is NOTHING like those endorphins to awaken your spirit, your energy and your joie de vie.  OK - so this is going to be sappy!

Then off to the steam room - that is my reward for working out.  I just love the solitude - there is NOTHING but steam and heat. A quick shower - who needs to waste time on primping hair and makeup - life is too damn short for that!   Another confession - I'm so excited to get to work that I jump in the car and race to work. I know - that is sad!  Well - not if you are a quilter and work for a fabric company.  Nope - race to work sounds good to me!!!!   I'll have to tell you about my commute one day.  I've got it down to a science and it's not that bad.

OH OH OH - I stopped by Tim's to get my breakfast and OH - it's Roll up the Rim.  I know - it's just sad that I can get excited about something so silly.  My god - I will never grow up and I'm OK with that. Thank goodness I've switched to tea from the hot chocolate - I could be a rolly polly by now!  Especially with the desk job.  

Roll up the rim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I need one of those desks with the bicycle attached to make my lap top run.   Hmmmm - how much do they cost??????   I could go whole hog and get this..............

Regular bike on a trainer (got one of those) and a high desk
Or what about this...............

Mini pedal thing!
Got to check that out because I need to do something!!!!

Although the day was mostly consumed by meetings - it was a super productive and super fun day! Why?  Well - at last we're winding down the prep for Quiltcon.  The crate will be prepped tomorrow and I'm getting tired of the prep - I want to be there!  While we were meeting, I was doing hand stitching.  Now you got to love that - being able to hand stitch at work in a meeting and no one looks at your like you're a freak!

TWO projects got completed yesterday during the meetings and that alone is enough to make my day, but it didn't stop there.  As we finished up the meeting for the next consumer show - Quiltcon - it was time to meet about the next trade show which is in Salt Lake City in May.

On top of that - the new collections are being assembled and we got some sneak peeks. I'm super excited about several of them in particular and if I told you - well I'd have to kill you and then I'd get fired so we all have to wait.  But here is the cool thing - I get to play with the digital "fabric" today!!!!!  Guess who will be racing off to work again!!!!    You don't have to wait too long - the collections will be released at the end of April for your perusal.

I did finish my quilt top for Quiltcon - also at work.  I just love that!!!!   Then home after an amazing brain storm totally off the wall session with Deborah.  Thankfully we are pretty much on the same whacked out wave length and we bounce ideas off each other.  Oh yes - it was getting downright silly!  But I think that is how some great ideas get hatched and this is something for YOU!!

So while I'm supposed to be trying to get some work done in the evening - I seem to be doing so much prepping for work (had to dig out some photos from Market - ooops - I sent some of them at weird hours - they are going to think I'm nuts - well they already know that!)

Took the girls to the dog park last night and then home to read and off to bed!

Seriouly my head was  and still is spinning with concepts, ideas, quilts to design - there just isn't enough time in the day to get it all done. I shall endeavour to rein myself in because I know how I am!!!!!   But when life throws you a good day - no that was an incredible day - you just have to brag about it!!!!!

Not that I don't have good days almost all the time - but everything fell into place yesterday.  The planets were aligned! The trick now - REPEAT please!!!!


Oh my goodness - I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the topic on QUILTSocial this week is NORTHCOTT.  Check out what Jean Boyd has been making  from the ColorWorks Solids and ColorWorks Concepts fabric collections.

Monday - February 1

Tuesday - February 2

Wednesday, February 3

Thursday, February 4

Oh - you know how I was talking about my iron the other day.  Well I called Reliable   - they are not far from my work.  They told me how to fix the water leak.  And then I'm going to see about the steam button.  But how amazing was that - they helped me RIGHT ON THE PHONE!!!!!    The other iron issue for the Monday sewing - the iron has to be returned and they will send me a new one.  I guess that is why mine is called RELIABLE - I paid enough for it, have used it for many years and worth EVERY PENNY!!!!

But remember, I had to pull out my cordless iron???  Then I came across this article and look what iron they are using!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Maytag cordless iron
Obviously, the article is OLD!!!


Oh - Lexi is bugging me to tell you to stop by her blog.  She has something to say.

I better run - my brain is overflowing and I need to dump some of those ideas before it explodes.


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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's ALL ABOUT ME (in words!)

As you have probably guessed, I love to make things!  I'm not good at finishing them, but I try.  One of the things that I have worked on recently and able to finish in no time flat (well almost!) are those little duffle bags.  

Ronda (to whom I owe a MILLION favours) and I'd give her my first born, except she already has a teenage daughter and likely doesn't want another one. Anyway, Ronda was in the US on a mission to watch a football game a while back.  I wanted Star Wars fabric and so she  kindly stopped to buy me some.  I don't feel totally guilted out since she bought some for herself as well. 

So guess what I made with my Star Wars fabric.  Yep - that would be the duffle bag


Isn't it cute!!!! 
But you can't stop at making one - oh no.  

How about two?

Or even three!
The three guys in the graphics department are Star Wars fans and so I made each one of them a bag to hold crap.  I'm not sure what kind of guy crap they have to put in the bags, but it was a goodwill gesture since I need them to do graphics for some of my stuff!!

See the cute little bicycle tab???

Bicycle tab on the duffle bags


I was photographing the bags at work and well this is NON-Northcott fabric.  Brian walks by  - "DON'T look I warned him! - It's non-Northcott fabric!"   He laughed.

So you remember that I was doing something for my group presentation last week.   I didn't want to post until I had done the presentation.  I printed out the document, added stuff to it by hand and - well I still can't find the darn thing.  I just reprinted it.

Here's what I did.  A number of us did a group project a while back. Yes - it was a couple of years ago.  My theme was All about me in words.  The blocks are all different sizes, but they have to be in multiples of 4 inches.  So could be 4 by 4, 8 by 16 - that sort of thing.

Then you get a bunch of blocks back and have to configure them into a quilt. I decided as part of the EQ7 learning curve that I would put the blocks into EQ7.  A technological challenge which I  mastered just fine!!!!   I photographed each block and then cropped each photo so only the block was showing.  They are not perfect, but good enough for this exercise.

When I loaded the blocks into EQ7, I couldn't size them right.  They were trying to fit proportionally into the project and some of them needed to be skewed.  I know that probably doesn't make sense.  So a bit of digging into the HELP of Photoshop and next thing I know - the digital blocks are the same size as the original blocks.

OH MY GOD - that was easy and then I messed around with the blocks in EQ7.


 My digital quilt layout

Two real blocks with the digital layout

Isn't that exciting?????   On the paper that I CANNOT find, I had included a whole lot of other words that would apply to me and they just needed to be made up.  However - I can't find that paper. Do I have any takers who want to be included in this group project and make me a block with a word that they think describes me or has something to do with me?????   Isn't that shameful of me to ask you to do that??????   Not at all!!!!    I need a new quilt for a June quilt show and this might be a cool one to enter into that show. It's guaranteed to get in!   Let me know so we can coordinate - wouldn't want to have duplicates.

I had to clean up that mess on the cutting table and there was a pile of scraps that had to be dealt with.  I couldn't find any pillow cases (NO NEED to send me more - I have sheets, fabric samples, etc.) to make more bags.



Two fabric samples approximately the same size

One almost full awesome pet mat!



On that note - it's going to be another great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I love spin class at the gym and almost didn't make it as I was puttering around the house this morning and then looked at the clock - OH GOD and in five minutes, I was dressed and out the door.  I was even earlier than I normally am.

And if you don't already follow Sew Fresh Quilts - you should.  She is my new favourite blogger.  I love her style, I love her quilts, I love her animals.   Check it out and tell Lorna that I sent you!

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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pressing issues!


Ever have one of those days when the world could come crashing down around you and you just don't care?  Well, that's not exactly what I mean.  But I was at the gym at 6 AM - had a great workout and I'm back to using that foam roller again.  You know how it is - you work out all the kinks and think - PHEW - I'm good.  But the lack of stretching, the lack of foam rollling massage and those darn IT band knots have come back to my hips.  I'm pretty stiff these days, but painful foam rolling will make me feel a whole lot better.   OUCH OUCH OUCH!!!!!

Had my relaxing time in the steam room and I walked out of that gym feeling like I could conquer the world. I wasn't able to get to the Monday sewing group as I had to leave work early - had a PRESSING appointment for a mammogram in the afternoon!   Actually it wasn't that bad and before I knew it - I was out of there and rather than go back to work, I can home and sewed on Quiltcon projects until late in the night.   I have to confess that I'm LOVING my quilt.  It looks exactly like it is supposed to - the colors are eye popping and I can't wait to see it finished.

Scraps from cutting out my Quiltcon quilt.
 Do you see my subtle marketing in the photo above???   See how all those SELVEDGES  (British English - please!)   are strategeically cut and laid out for your amusement or is that my amusement????

Speaking of selvedges - I saw this quilt on Facebook last night.

A SELVAGE quilt
Check out the maker's blog - Riel.    She does a LOT of stuff with selvages (US ENGLISH)  and lots of fun stuff on her blog.  She lives in Canada.  I'll have to ask her about the selvedge/selvage thing!!!!   Who knew this could be such an interesting topic.  And I stumbled upon this blog the day after I learned about SALVAGES.   That spelling just reminds of SAVAGES which is NOT the same thing.

Well - as I got started last night on my Quiltcon quilt, I had another very PRESSING issue which was annoying. It would appear that my iron conked out!!!   Yikes!!!!   NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

I have a really nice, really heavy Reliable iron - yes there is some IRONY in that name!!!!   But for the most part - the iron has served me well. But the steam button wouldn't shut off and I hate to have all that steam blasting through the room.  Keep that thought in your head for one second - steam button!!!!   And water was leaking out of it.

My reliable - Reliable iron

 ACK - what to do? what to do???   I need to get working on this project.  Could buy a new one?   Please - not like I need a new iron - I have not one backup - but TWO backups.  Both practically brand new.

I grabbed the Maytag cordless iron.  This is practically an antique now and don't look for it in stores because they stopped making them.  I do LOVE the iron, but sometimes you do have to wait for it to reheat.  But the cordless concept - it's awesome.

Maytag cordless iron
 However, I need steam to get good seams and points.  And the steam is NOT WORKING.  Yes - there is water in the iron, but no steam.  I mess around with the button and nothing.

Then after I had pressed a dozen seams or so --- I relooked at athe steam button. AHA!!!!

Steam button

It would appear that I'm dyslexic. Yep - I was pushing the button down to turn on the steam - when in fact, I had to release the button UP to get the steam.  I was a much happier camper after that.  All is good and there are FOUR seams left in the Quilcon top.  Get it on the long arm tonight and I should be good to have that thing ready for the crate on Monday morning.

Well  - I have more pictures to post, but I'll save them for tomorrow.  I have a pressing issue like getting ready for work!!!!


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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!!!!