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Saturday, April 25, 2015

What to do if...............

While there are lots of different ways to work on a project - there are probably two main ways to get organized.

There are those that gather the pattern, all the requirements - fabric, interfacing, batting, thread, etc. You know - you are making a bag and you MUST find the perfect colour thread to do the stitching.

The second way - you stockpile - not that I know ANYONE who stock piles. You start to work on your project late at night. Yep - everything is going great. You leave the project for a while, then come back - again LATE at night. Ah - crud - not going to have enough of that thread colour. Scrounge through the partially filled bobbins to find something to work in the bobbin so you won't have to use the good colour - well the best matching colour you could find in the thread box.

Oh no - bobbins used up. Hmmm - and you are working on the only spool that you have of that colour. ACK - well - back to the thread box - what is the next closest colour?  CLOSE ENOUGH!!!

It makes me laugh how crazed we get about matching and when push comes to shove - we just wing it!!!!  I know I would be bored to tears if every project went perfect. Every screw up, every design challenge because part of the life of that project and the more "bad" things that happen - the more interesting the project when it is complete!!!!

Case in point - I am trying to get a bag done this morning. Oh - it has been sitting here for a long time, but I NEED it this morning. The good news - I am almost done, and the bad news?  Well there is no bad news this time, except I had to find more thread to do the topstitching!!!

Getting low on this colour

The next best colour
(Don't worry - when you see the colour of the bag - the prints are VERY busy! -both thread colours work just fine!)   The big question is - do I buy a new spool of that dark brown? Just in case????

You see why I piece with ONE colour for everything. Then I never have to worry about running out of thread. Just buy lots of that one brand and colour!!!!   It is these darn bags which I seem to be doing a LOT of that require a thread colour that is somewhat in the ball park of the fabric colours!!!

It was a ZOO yesterday at the CreativFestival. An ABSOLUTE ZOO.  I don't think I have ever seen it that busy.  We couldn't even get into our own booth. I had a couple of demos and there was STANDING room only in the first one. And at one point, the line to the cash was so long that we got complaints from the show office!!!

My leg was pretty tired at the end of the day - well not tired, but in a lot of pain, but as soon as I sat down - it isn't so bad.  But the show must go on!!!!!   I really can't blame anyone since I am too "busy" to book that damn physio appointment.

I didn't spend a single penny - but I did scout out a couple of things that I will pick up today.

I got to chat and see so many people - it was awesome. Great to see everyone!!!!!    Some people I hadn't seen in years!!!!  Just like school reunion!   As much as I hate the set up and take down and the long hours on the concrete floor - I do love the atmosphere of the CreativFestival and well as long as I find someone to let me work for them - I'll do the show!!!!   I learned a few tricks that I have wanted to learn and will share them with you at some point.

I hope for those that came to CreativFestival yesterday that you will be at the Mississauga Quilt Show today!!

The studio is looking worse and worse by the day - I'll grab some photos tonight when I get back which will be late since it is tear down day!!    Yep - literally throw stuff out of one bag and restuff it with more stuff.  Got two short classes at Hobby Horse this morning and another demo this afternoon on bags. Oh yes - the excitement just never stops around here!!!!

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


Friday, April 24, 2015

Doesn't get any more chaotic than this!!!!

Yesterday was one of those days - well - what can I say except to tell you the story!

Not a lot of time so got to make it short (I know - you are all breathing big sighs of relief at that!)

Let me start with showing you my treasure...........  Elaine was in Maryland last week and look what she found!!!  Yep - left over from last year. Well since the new Row by Row Experience is gearing up for this year, I've been on several web sites and let's just say that I know EXACTLY what I am going to do with my license plates from last year. Now to find the time to do it. It is going to be FUN!!!!!!

2014 licence plate from Row by Row

This plate just solidified what I am going to do. Thanks Elaine - this is the starting point of my quilt!!!!   Ooops - did I say a quilt?  OK - so I am going to make a quilt from them. You just don't know what kind!

Yesterday was set-up day for the Mississauga Guild Quilt show and the CreativFestival and I was at both! I know - I finally figured out how to clone myself. OK - not really. I was at the Mississauga show at 8:30 AM to drop off a couple boxes of sheets. Then off to the Creative Festival where I had a HUGE surprise.

We had help! Two extra bodies including a nice young man so I didnt' have a lot of physical work to do to get all the product to the booth.  Oh yes - it is going to be a GOOD day.

Went to my car at noon to get my lunch and OH MY GOD - I left my lights on (despite the fact that I have a little beeper to tell me I left the lights on) and the battery was dead!!!! Thank God for CAA. Couldn't call them right away because then I would have to leave the car running and we weren't done yet. I called around 2PM and they were there by 3 PM just when I was ready to leave - PERFECT!!!!   See - I do have SOME time maangement skills.

Off to the Mississauga Show to see what was happening there and the show was up and everything looked awesome!!!  On the way to the show, I got a call and something that I needed last  night was still at the CreativFestival. And I had a guild meeting last night. Prep for TWO demos today - well you get the picture - it was a crazy crazy day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here the recap that you need to know:

Mississauga Guild Quilt Show -    check the link for details. But here are some tips::

The show is in an arena - I would advise that you dress with shoes AND socks and wear layers and you may even want a pair of mittens. I know that sounds crazy, but with the weather - the arenas haven't had time to warm up.  And you WANT TO STAY for a while. There are some GREAT vendors and the quilts are SPECTACULAR!!!!!  

There are 22 challenge quilts (and yes - the ribbons will be on the winners this morning),  (between looking for that list of winners and prepping for the demos - the studio looks like a disaster!!!!)

There are ELEVEN of the block of the month (well - the chunk of the month) that I designed.  They are all stunning and a very interesting study to see how each of the eleven quilters interpreted the grayscale pattern.  Really really worth having a look at.   Look at the different styles of quilting as well - interesting.

There are demos - amazing demos.

There are over FIFTY mini quilts waiting to be won!!!   Just don't pick the one that I want to win. Yes - I sent money with one of the volunteers to buy me tickets!!

There are the two gogeous raffle quilts that you can buy a ticket to win. The draw is on Saturday.  

And then there are the over 250 quilts. They are stunning.  A HUGE variety of styles, colours, patterns, quilting ideas.   Have a look - both at what was done with the domestic sewing machine and the long arm. There are great examples of bindings!!!!   I'll let you look for those!

 I had an hour yesterday and part of that was consumed in chatting to people. I did snag some good photos which I will NOT share with you - at least until the show is over. But I really really want to go back with my TEACHER EYE on and look for examples of stuff.   Not sure if they would let me into the arena tonight. I doubt it.

Anyway - a GREAT SHOW - you need to go.

CreativFestival -    I had a quick run through all the booths last night and there is some amazing stuff. Remember it doesn't take much to get me excited!!!!   Some new booths  - milk paint must be hot - I saw TWO booths.   The book guy is there with TONS of new Zentangle books. Well - too much to describe in a few minutes. I will try to post more pics on Facebook today if I get a chance. The show opens at 9 for those with advance tickets and I must hustle my butt out of here.

I am doing TWO demos today.

Rule your rulers at 12:30
Hand embroidery is hot at 3:30.

check them out - I have loads of samples to show and techniques to demo!!!!!

On that note - I need to get out of here.

Have an awesome day and if you are at the CreativFestival - I am in Booth 268.   Stop by and say HI!!!!!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Construction up in Tiny Town!

Wouldn't you love to have the time to sew everything you want to sew?  I see so many awesome designs that I would love to make, so many things I would love to experiment with and then let's not forget the designs in my head. If only we had the time.  I can't eek out any more time and I have no suggestions for you. Well maybe one - FOCUS!!!!

Anyway - it's time to check in on the construction in Tiny Town to see what's happened since last month. The blocks are so creative and the details are fun to check out.

Have a look....................  Here is the original pattern

Tiny Town by Bunny Hill

And here is the homework...................  (I'm not even going to pretend that I remember all the names and since I know some and some I don't - I'm not going to put any names on the blocks). This month we made the post office block.

This person LOVES to fussy cut images and put them on her quilts. I LOVE the hippy vehicles!!!

I'm loving those busy backgrounds and beautiful hand work on this one!

How about that funky van! and the yellow cab!

Beautiful soft colours, Love the polka dot car!  How come we don't have real cars with polka dots? Especially the bug!

Bright colours in this one. Love the striped roof line, the FUNKY car colour and she used a printed fabric for the clock!

This is the rebel in the class. Never seems to get the applique done quite on time or perhaps it is the wrong block, but the quilt is always complete at the end of the class!!!!   Yep - there is one in every crowd!

Nice fun bright colours. She is changing the shapes of the cars and I love the bright red bird!

This lady is making two quilts - one by hand and one by machine. However she was on vacation last month so didn't quite get the block done!

These colours are so very soft - very Japanese feel to this quilt. 

I love that mail box. It is outlined in black which makes it really pop out. And how about the brickwork on the post office. Let's not forget the fussy cut fabric for the tree. 

Very soft colours, and beautifully done. She took an element from the "brick work" on the post office and appliqued it to the door. 
Block done in SOLIDS!!!!   This has a very cartoon feel to it and I LOVE IT!!!!   I never thought of doing that, but what a neat concept. 

Catch up block from last month. She used stitches on her sewing machine to create leaves and falling leaves on the tree!!!  She also stitched around the door frame with the sewing machine. Her aunt is known (well to us) for her creativity with the sewing machine and it looks like the talent is spread through out that family!

Busy backgrounds!!!   Look at the clotheslines that was embrodiered into the middle of that block. Very creativie, very funky!!

More of the busy backgrounds - love them!!!!

I am very impressed. I gave the class all kinds of ideas for making the clock instead of embroiderying it. Most embroidered it. This class loves their hand work. And it is beautifully done!!!!  There are a few doing the quilt by machine and they equally are having fun with their stitches.

Can't wait to see these quilts when they are complete!  I'll invite you to the show n tell. This class is at Sew Sisters in Toronto.

We also had some non Tiny town show n tell.

This is the musical quilt.  I believe there were about 30 different music fabrics in the quilt. The pattern is one of the variations of Turning Twenty - I didn't catch which one.

Karen's music quilt

It was made for a musician and the names of his songs and other pertinent things were quilted onto the quilt. Nicely done - it is awesome!!!!   And what a great way to personalize a quilt. 

Vjera made this little wall hanging and of course someone piped to ask if she put the chicken or the egg down first!!!

These little bundles of batting come from Fabricland and if ever you see them - they would make great samples for quilting. Buy several, do different quilting designs (especially density) and then you can compare the results.  I have several now and hope to get some experimenting done - one day!!!!   Thanks Karen.

Bundle of batting samples by The Warm Company

On that note - the start of an insane weekend starts. It is setup day for CreativFestival and that's where I will be. It is also set-up day for the Mississauga Quilt Guild show and well - I can't be in two places at once.

But check out both shows - they are going to be awesome!!!!!   I know we have some amazing challenges in the Northcott challenge at the Mississauga show. Now if I could just find the paper with the winners so we can pin the ribbons on.  Don't PANIC!!!!   (not yet - I have 24 hours to find the papers!)

Have an awesome day and drive safe!!!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sugar is a FOUR letter word.

I have an addiction to sugar. That is nothing new and trying to eliminate sugar from my diet - well even though I say I want to eliminate sugar - I haven't really gotten serious about it. 

BUT I am getting frustrated with the sugar cravings. I had a good chat with the gym friends this morning. And I thought to myself - habits do not change over night. It has taken a LONG time for me to stop drinking hot chocolate from Tim's. Well all hot chocolate. It took a long time to switch from the large drink to the medium drink. And I have TWO sugar in my tea as well as that damn cookie every day!!!!!

There are TWO things that I am going to try to change. One - I do THREE spin classes every week (did 31 K this morning and worked hard to get there!), but I am training my body to crave the sugar by doing so much cardio. I need to switch one of the cardio classes for a weight class - and I am going to try that tomorrow. My arms ache at the thought!

And the second thing is I am going to find a healthy, less sugary snack to eat in the morning. ACK!!!!!

Here is a good web site that shows how much sugar is in a lot of different foods. Sugar is NOT bad - too much sugar is bad!!!   It is just a thought to check it out and see where we can reduce the amount of sugar. Basically sugar in = fat on the hips and the waist!  It is as simple as that. ICK!!!!

Yesterday I went to the movies to see "Woman in Gold".  WOW - what a movie. What an interesting story. If you get a chance to go see this movie - you should go.  It is very powerful, it will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, it will have you cheering and it will make you shed a tear of two. Helen Mirren is BRILLIANT in this role. 

On that note - I will be posting pictures of homework later today. 

Have a great day!!!!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Row by Row Experience

I am so excited about the Row by Row Experience and every once in a while - I check out the web page. In case you haven't - here are a couple of interesting things I found..................

In keeping with copyright - here is something that I think you will love (in case you haven't already seen it) but since it isn't mine - here is the link. It is pretty cool.

Definition of a quilter

And if you want to see the license plates for this year  - here they are - you have to search by province or state.    ACK - I'm already making plans for the summer - I HAVE to visit ALL my family and I can snag quite a few!!!!

Don't forget the fabrics - I know Ruti's has (well last week they had) this fabric.............

Row by Row fabric
There are TWO styles this year - one by Northcott which is AWESOME and this one which is more casual!!!

On that note - I am out of here - start planning that road trip. I hope they put the map up again this year - that really helped to visualize the whole thing.

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


Amish with a Twist II

Yes - more homework to be revealed!!!   This time it is Amish with a Twist II.

The assignment was to make THREE blocks this month - one each of three different blocks. The first is the bow tie block. Keep in mind that a number of people are using the kit so we don't put up all those, but we put up one for reference.

The bow tie block - the block from the kit is the top right hand corner

Another bow tie block 
 Next up -  the flying geese block.

Flying geese block - kit is the top right block

Next up - rollling stone
Rolling stone block - kit is top left

And then I had some stragglers who arrived AFTER the pictures. However it wasn't their fault as some of the major roads were shut down this past weekend and many had a very scenic trip to the store.

One set of the NON-kit colours

And another set in very funky fabrics 

Another set in gorgeous batiks

How awesome are all those blocks.  Going to be loads of fun to see these all completed.  And guess what I heard (and saw?)

Check out this link  and guess what you are going to find?????   I already shared it with the group. Can't wait to see the entire quilt - my guess - it will be revealed at Spring Market which takes place in Minneapolis on May 15-17

Then we had some non Amish with a Twist Show n Tell.

Raili made this GORGEOUS spider web quilt. This is on my list of quilts to make - love the scrappy look. 
Spider Web quilt
 Emily made this cute little bag. It even has a divider in it which was a bit of a challenge to put in (it is sewn in), but it is gorgeous (and nice workmanship!)
Small fabric basket with sewn insert

Then Marlene presented us with a question. She had participated in several 9-patch exchanges a couple of years ago. They were hot - everyone was doing them - I think I have three or four sets of blocks that are not put together. Hmmmm - better get working!!!!

Anyway - this is what she decided to do with them - she made blocks using the peaky and spike unit (that's the green and white part).

Four of Marlene's blocks
 Now the question was - what to put in between the blocks???  Way easier to put someting small between the blocks so you don't have to worry about matching up seams.

Green  sashing?

White sashing?

I think I heard that she ended up choosing black!  I think it will be spectacular!!!!

Marlene also brought in a set of blocks that she had found on the internet. It is a modern version of a sampler quilt. Each block is different - I believe she had twenty blocks in total - here are four of them.

Four blocks from a modern quilt sampler

Wow - if that isn't enought o get you excited - well - I'm excited and I want to sew. But nope - I have a few other things to do today including teaching a class and quilting another quilt!

I have decided that it is time to clean up my in-box for e-mail. Let's just say that there are thousands and thousands of e-mails. Some read - some not.  I have moved some of them to seperate folders because I want to keep them, I have deleted others and I still have a "few" to sort through. So if you are wondering - I never heard from her - I get so many e-mails in a day that often I miss them. My goal is to try and clear out the inbox before I go to bed. File it, delete it, deal with it - but that in-box should be empty before I go to bed!!!!!  I know that is going to be a challenge - but it will be interesting - I am going to start monitoring what I receive - how many I receive and how to deal with the volume. I know I can make it work!!!

I used to have a boss (one that I disliked because he was so anal). His in-box was EMPTY all the time. I think he had nothing else to do in a day because every time I sat at his desk (which seemed to be often because we didnt' see eye to eye about a lot of things), I could see his in-box and it had maybe one or two messages in it. And I bet as soon as I walked out of his office - he dealt with those e-mails!!!!

Well - let's see how it goes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Quilter's hat trick!

Yesterday was a whirlwind day (OK - just like any other day).  I had TWO classes for free motion quilting. The day didn't start too well when at 8:50 (with people starting to arrive at 9:00 AM), I zipped to Tim's to get my tea. I backed into the driveway only to realize that I paid for the tea, got my cookie and left the tea at the restaurant. Seriously????   I even waved at the person at the window and said "have a good day!"  Obviously my brain was somewhere else!!!  

I had to go back and this time they were busier and I had to wait a bit. When I got back home at 9:05 AM, there was someone waiting for me!!!   The class didn't start at 9 thankfully!

It was one of those days when I was bustling around so much that my FitBit was having a hay day!!!!   Almost 15,000 steps and that is with the wrist one which means that I probably did a whole lot more!  No wonder my legs were tired when I went to bed!!!!

I think I am going to have to nick name my studio - the land of the living tables!  Cause you never know what condition they are going to be in!  Changes by the minute.

After the last class left, my sewing table looked like this. I was using it to put the stuff I needed for the class. ACK - I need to get some sewing done, so I tidied it up!

Sewing table - covered with crap

Neat and tidy and ready to work!!!!

In the morning before anyone came, I managed to get six more pet mats done and they were picked up before the end of the day.

Six more pet mats - gone!!!
I still have bags and bags of scraps and loads of pillow cases and sheets that have to be dealt with, but a little at a time!!!

Hmmm - should I take a day and do it all at once? Or should I do a little every day????   That is part of the subject discussed in that organizing book which I can't remember the title of. But some interesting concepts and the perspective is weird!!!!   I will do a book review in a day or two when I finish it.

Oh yes - this is a quilt that I finished yesterday morning as well.

Customer quilt - DONE!!!!
 But I now had a number of quilts that needed to have the binding on and there is nothing like a clean sewing table to make me want to put bindings on!!!!!

Binding number one....................

This is a customer quilt. See how they rolled the binding and it was a pain because the binding kept twisting!!!!

The binding is done - Number one!
 Then onto the next customer quilt that needed binding. Had to trim this quilt first. Notice how the binding was rolled!!!!   Those toilet paper rolls come in handy!!!!   This one didn't twist but it kept rolling off my lap!!


And second binding - DONE!!!!!

Then I had another quilt that needed binding. After I trimmed the quilt, I had to make the binding. This is a quilt that I am making for a customer.

My method for packaging the binding

Quilt number three  - done!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 By this time - it was getting late and my help had faded away!!!!  She is so cute and needs to be with people. But she also likes to be comfy. Normally that quilt is under the long arm and she will sleep there, so I moved the quilt for her to sleep on and she settled in quite nicely!!!

Little Sammy - fast asleep

And with that - I am on my way to Monday Mania!!!!  Yeah - I get to sit down today. I have figured out that a day of standing does not do good things for my leg pain. The only way to get rid of it is to lay down and well - what a waste of time that is. But good reading time!!!

The rest of the studio looks not so bad - I'll share with you later. But yes - it is definitely the land of the living tables.

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