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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Being home is awesome!!!   Trying to get things tidied up from the last two trips and getting ready for the next one and in between - trying to get some work done!  Oh yes - life is a circus!  and I LOVE IT!!!!!

I thought I would share some updates with you as I am making progress on stuff - hard to believe - but it does happen sometimes.

Let's start with my latest craze - the HEXAGONS....................

Here are some of my prepped hexagons. Got to get myself organized with the type of thread to use and well - I might just take some of those along with me????  I don't know about that - but this project  is small and that is a good thing.  I am trying to pack as light as possible. 

My mom got into the craze as well and made this card from PAPER.  See how close she copied my design

I think she did a pretty good job except her card wasn't big enough to add the black around the outside edge

And then she made this with the leftover bits - SEE - the apple does not fall far from the tree in my family!!!!!

This hexagon craze is NOT new for me.  I have a pizza box filled with goodies all related to English paper piecing which is the method used to make the  hexagons.  I have several other shapes and I knew that I had other papers.  However I had a HUGE shock when I opened the box and looked inside.  Oh boy - a bit obsessive I would think.

I found not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE packs of hexagon papers.  All of them 1/2" - I know - I have a thing for using small stuff and TWO of those packs contain 750 papers each and the other three have 125 in them.  OK - I think I have enough papers????

However - have a look at where I bought those hexagon papers.   Oh yes - this store has been closed for MANY MANY years - even it's successor has been closed for many years.  Oh boy - yep - this craze is NOT new - I just never did anything about it before. 

I guess my discovery of all those papers makes this tool pretty much useless.  I bought the 1/2" punch so I could punch my own papers.  Hmmmm - I am thinking I don't need this and should have bought one of the other sizes instead. Oh well - shouldn't have gotten so excited!!!!!!!   And since I opened up the package - I can't even return the darn thing. I am sure I will find a use for it and those papers do eventually wear out.  Eventually.........

But more importantly - I got my glue refills and a brand new pen.  That should keep me busy for a while. 

So - if I were to prepare a bunch of fabric squares - take along glue pen, needle and thread - I could easily do this project on the road.

Let's move to the knitting.   While I was away - I managed to get THREE blocks done.   Yeah!!!!!!   That is all the wool that I took with me and while I lamented not taking more - I finished the last one on the last day - so not that big of a deal.

Three more blocks done

That makes 11

Here are the left over bits from each block

That leaves six skeins in the "to do" bag and three are in the mobile knitting bag. 

But I managed to get this much done at Monday (couldn't figure out what to take to sew - knitting just seemed so much easier to deal with)

And while I was on the phone last night - I got the block done.   

That means there are EIGHT skeins of wool left.  And the bits of which I am hoping to get another four blocks????? Which would give me 25 blocks and I could make my afghan 5 by 5.  Hmmmm - I could take some of that knitting with me, but it is bulky so I don't think so. But I am bound and determined to NOT start something new (knitting) until this is done. And so far so good.  But I still have to knit the blocks together when I am done making all the blocks.  Well - it really wouldn't take that long - OK - I am going to be just like Ruthi and carry that damn little knitting bag with me everywhere!!!!!!   Could I be done by Christmas?????

I know - everything I seem to latch onto becomes an obsession.  I can't help it - I just get so enthusiastic. My license plate collection is growing.  I now have 13 of them in my collection (out of 28).  If my calculations are correct - I have another ten that we are waiting to arrive by mail - the stores were out when myself or my cohorts were there or I haven't picked it up from my cohorts. Thanks to all of you - it has been fun hearing all the offers from you!!!!!

License plate collection to date

And that leaves 5 left to find a way to get.  I checked the route for my bike trip and while I will be able to stop at a couple of stores, none of them have a license plate.  It is just too far out of the way to make a detour.

Sew Crafty - Rideau Ferry,
Sew Creative - Mount Brydges,
Quilter's Line - Markdale,
Kalidoscope of Quilts - Exeter,
We R Quilts - Prescott (two),
Wilton Creek Fabrics - Harrowsmith,
Threads that Bind - Maxwell,
The Quilting Trunk - Dryden
Fabric Fusion - Dryden
Flair With Fabrics -  Chesterville,
Fun With Stitches - Belleville,
Cobwebs and Caviar - Shelburne
Appleseed Quiltworks  - Lindsay.

I think I did not too bad although I realize that I did not get to all the stores in person.  Well here is a plan for 2015.  My guess is that MORE stores will participate in the Row by Row next year and many stores that did NOT get a license plate this year - will get one next year.  Now what if I took a month and rode to the stores on my bike to get the license plates????   Cost effect if I tent - a great way to see the province and get to some new stores.  Something to thing about.   Anybody up to cycle with me?????? 

A number of years ago (2011) the town of Ailsa Craig brought in quilts from The Netherlands for their annual quilt show. One of the biggest quilt stores was here - Den Hann and Wagenmakers.  When M and I went to Amsterdam in 2012 - we visited this store.  Both times I loved their kits but felt they were too expensive and like I need another kit. When I heard that Susan was going to be in Amsterdam - I decided enough was enough and so I sent her to the store (she is a quilter - it was already on her list) and she bought me a kit. I met up with Susan when I was out west and I finally got my kit!!!!!

I know - I even had to bring the store bag home!!!!!

Look how pretty that box is!!!!


And here are the fabrics.  I have had the pattern for months as the store sent it to me via e-mail.  

This kit did NOT fit in my suitcase and I had to carry it in my backpack which was so heavy - I thought I was going to fall backwards.   Hmmmm - memories of M and London come to mind.  OK - so I should have learned from her!!!!!

Just when Susan and I thought that we were all straight with getting stuff to each other, another situation arose.  This time - I went to take a picture of Lego Laniac in her driveway.  Later I discovered that she lost her hair in the driveway.  I think it is now winging its way back to me.  Hey Susan - let's hope that we have everything sorted out now!!!!!!!!!!!

I was admiring some of the gorgeous Perle Cottons that Susan had and she managed to wing this ball in my bag before I left.  I just love the colour - very southwestern.   Hmmmmm - got to find something really creative to do with it.   Some bobbin work??????

A couple of months ago - I started writing for a blog called QUILTsocial.  My "job" (if you are doing something you love - I don't call it a job and it certainly isn't work!) is to review sewing machines for Husqvarna Viking.  The first week I had fun with the H|Class 100Q.

Here are the links if you want to have a peek at what this little machine is all about...................

Day One  - Summer Sewing
Day Two - Stitch Outs
Day Three - It's all about the Feet
Day Four - A Quilting we will go
Day Five - Summertime and the sewing is easy

Day Six - Why I love the Husqvarna Viking H|Class 100Q
Day Ten - Top ten reasons why I love the Husqvarna Viking H|Class 100Q

Well I had a good laugh when I went to Monday sewing.   TWO people had purchased the H|Class machine.

Lynn's machine

Joyce's machine
 I see that both of them have a mat under the machine.  Perhaps they can tell us why??   I will ask them.
Joyce with the borders that she put on her scrappy braid quilt

I think they are going to LOVE that little machine.  They seemed to be quite happy - and if you read Day 10 - you will understand why.   The features on this small machine are amazing. Check it out and you will see why this is such a cool little machine.

In case you are wondering what happened on Day 6, 7, and 8 - that was tutorials for making Fabric Journal Covers and if you want to check it out - here are the links. They are so easy to make. These examples are very simple and with no embellishments - you can have one made in less than an hour (provided you have all the supplies).   Have fun and let me know what you make!!!!!!

Day 7 - Fabric Journal cover tutorial
Day 8 - Fabric Journal cover collage
Day 9 - Crazy about Fabric Journal covers

I have the next week to prepare the next two segments.  Oh yes - I am busy taking pictures which is NOT an easy task.  I will show you my "studio" tomorrow.

I did manage to tidy up a bit.

The ironing board is clear

The cutting table - made progress - not quite there yet

Have you ever been invited to a wedding and you want to go just because of the invitation????   We received such an invitation yesterday.  

Very fancy and the weight of the card stock is very HEAVY

Separate invites to the ceremony and the reception

Information and RSVP cards

And even the envelopes were printed with the design - again - that was no ordinary paper for those envelopes!!!!

I won't be going - won't be home.  But I can imagine how fancy the wedding is going to be.   In all honesty - I have no desire for this kind of thing.  I hate SHOWY events - it should be about celebrating the couple and not the pomp and circumstance.  Ah yes - you can take the country girl and put her in the city, but you can't take the country out of the girl!!!!!!

On that note - it is time to ride to Tim's and get my tea and then get to WORK - I mean - back to taking pictures and sewing.  YEAH - a fun day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Quilt Patch

I made it back home late last night. I am an OK flyer.  If things are smooth - then I am OK. I am busy reading my book and everything is just fine.  Then as we get close to Toronto, they announce that the weather is not the best in Toronto and only one runway is open. There is a backlog and we will have to circle so we circled over Orangeville and Collingwood a couple of times. It is quite cloudy out.  As we are circling - there is a bit of turbulence.  Bob (an Air Canada pilot) says that turbulence is just like bumps on the road - doesn't make me feel any better!!!!    And honestly the turbulence wasn't bad.  

Then I see lightening. Oh boy - that can't be good.  Ah finally we are getting back to the airport.   Have to swing way out over the west end and the sky clears.  Then poof - can't see a thing.  There was one flash of lightening that seemed to be very close. ACK - I don't like this at all. At last there are the lights of Mississauga and oh great - it is pouring rain!!!!!

At last we are on the ground!  People don't applaud anymore, but I did in my mind! Like I said - I am an OK flyer - but things have to be perfect!   Then we had to wait on the tarmac because things were backed up at the gates. Finally we got off and I went to wait for my luggage.   I don't know about you, but whenever I get off a plane and you have to walk up that incline to get to the airport - I feel like an idiot.  I guess my legs are tired from sitting and I am trying to walk my normal pace.  I feel very awkward.

Collected my WET luggage and off to get my ride.  The airport was a ZOO.  Flights were cancelled or major delays.  And it is pouring rain outside and people are waiting at the curb to pick up people.   Can they NOT wait in the cell phone parking lot until their party is ready????   It is a major pain in the butt and the security people were nowhere to be seen last night.  They usually hustle people out of there.

But there was a LOT of lightening.   Actually was surprised that they let us land and that we got our luggage.  Nothing got wet inside my suitcase so that was great.  I did unpack all my stuff and now my studio looks like this...........

Yes - there is a cutting mat under there

The ironing board which was clear when I got home

See - it is a disaster!!!!!!!!!!!

Got ONE WEEK to get it in order before I am off again.  And I do have tons of work to do this week.

Well as you know when I was out west - I visited at The Quilt Patch.

They had Christmas in July event and the place was packed with customers, well wishers and staff   (oh and home baked goodies).

 It was loads of fun and while I did help out a bit with customers - (which I LOVED), I felt that I needed something more concrete to do.  So I asked Shelley if there was anything that I could sew.  YES - I was having withdrawal!!!!!!   As a matter of fact - there was this applique that SHELLEY needed to get done and it keep getting put to the bottom of the pile.

Well I could do that.  So Shelley got me organized - set up the sewing machine, got the thread and the blocks and I was off.  Now it is NEVER fun to do applique on a different machine than your own. I had never sewn on a Bernina before and while that wasn't a big deal - I sure did miss the sensor foot on my Husqvarna machine. However once I got the hang of the stitch movement - it was no big deal.

These are blocks from their latest book and YES - there were a LOT of points.  I managed to get all twelve blocks done. And one staff member said - lucky it wasn't snowflakes - YES - that would be way more points!!!!!!

Star points - I think I did a pretty decent job.   In case you are wondering - they use Wonderfil Konfetti for ALL their work - piecing and applique

The Quilt Patch latest book - Here Comes Winter

Wonderfil Konfetti thread

I managed to get a LOT of work done on the first day as few people wandered upstairs into the classroom.  BUT on day two ( I was so close to finishing - I wasn't going to leave the job half done) - there was a class going on and people were coming in to chat.

The students were making this bag made from burlap and canvas.  I love it - and there was another style of burlap as well. I loved the bag, but alas - no room in the suitcase for even a scrap of canvas.  Don't forget - I had all that boucle with me!!!!!

But I had some great conversations - showed a few people some tips on applique and made a great contact at one of the Saskatchewan guilds.  She was a wealth of information and I look forward to chatting more with her.   Oh yes - my Dad taught me those skills. Just blab to everyone - you never know what tidbits you will collect!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shelly and Jeanne and their FOUR books.  

I am so darn proud of these ladies and all their accomplishments.  I just love their store - it just has a feel to it that is warm, welcoming and FUN!!!!!    Look at that awesome CUTE CUTE block of the month - upper right of the photo.  I ordered my kit and will pick up at the Fall CreativFestival. Can't wait - I know - I don't need another kit, but that one was very cute and not expensive.  The quilt is not huge so should be fast to make.

On that note - I am off for a fun day and then I must buckle down and get some work done.

Have a great day!!!!!!!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Land of the living skies...............................

That is the saying on the Saskatchewan license plates.  And it is so true.  I was driving back from Moose Jaw late yesterday afternoon and the sky was constantly changing.  Here are a couple of pictures (OK - a LOT of pictures) that I took on the way home.  Of course - the weather was stormy and honestly - I could watch those clouds all day long.

This was the view on my left

The view on the right

And the middle

In Qu'applle Valley
Another one in the bottom of Qu'appelle Valley

We rode through this valley last year on our bike trip.  It really is something to see and it goes for a VERY long way.   Of course there is a big hill into the valley and equally big hill on the way out.   There has been so much rain in the area that one side of the road on the north side of the valley is starting to cave in.  ONly one lane is open to traffic in this section.  It looks like it will be a big job to stabilize that road and get it back functioning normally.   I believe the cycle group was NOT able to take the same route that we did last year due to major flooding.

Here is a news paper clipping that shows the flooding in the area that we rode last year.

Flooding in Crooked Lake (in Qu'Appelle Valley)

Hillsides - oh yes Saskatchewan is NOT all flat land

More hillside

Of course while one can watch the sky - it does get boring after while.   I had a book on my iPod so I plugged that into the car stereo and I had a book to listen to all the way down and back.  I will finish the last twenty minutes today on the way to the airport.  But wouldn't you know it - I had already listened to this book - but I couldn't remember who the bad guys were.   I listen or read, but obviously do NOT retain when I read a novel.  My brain is too busy to retain all that unimportant stuff anyway.

But I was impressed at how easy it was to hook up this book.  I just plugged the darn iPod in and the book started immediately.  I do not think it is nearly that easy on my own car radio and it is not that old.   This is a puny little Chev Sonic that I have rented.  

With the small car and cheap gas (compared to back home where we are in the 140.0 range) - doesn't cost much to get around

Stopped for a break at the big snowman in Kenaston.   Again - we rode past this place on our bikes last year.  I  don't have the pictures of that day with me and by this point, I wasn't putting pictures on the blog last year. Drat - have to find those pictures. 

Anyway - it was a good day despite the rain.  Oh yes - with all those clouds - there was rain. I actually didn't have to drive in a lot of rain (and thankful that I was in a car), but once I hit the gravel roads - oh yes - you could tell it had rained.

This was the back of the car - before the rain.  Just the dust from the gravel roads - caked on the back window
And this is the back of the car after the rain. 

At one point - I stopped to take a picture of a deer crossing the road and it was only after I snapped two pictures that I realized someone was BEHIND me.   I had no idea - I was so focused on driving in the mud.

Deer crossing the road

And let's not forget about the bugs.  Oh my god - someone is going to have to scrub the bugs off the car

And yes I was NOT kidding.  My suitcase is CRAMMED full and I still have this to pack.  I guess I will have to cram as much as I can in my backpack and I got another bag yesterday (which I will show you later). I will have to cram my purse in the other bag and fill it with the remaining stuff.

Stuff yet to pack

Granted - I did bring a tiny suitcase and it doesn't help that I got a few things from my mom, two bottles of OLIV olive oil/balsamic vinegar which I can get in Niagara on the Lake, but seemed like a good idea at the time and let's not forget my two meters of boucle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Those items filled my suitcase!!!!!!!

On that note - have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!