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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Professional Tote

It is Tuesday and I have so many pictures to share with you. But I don't have a lot of time these days so I will eek the pictures out a bit at a time.

On Sunday, which was also M's birthday (and I'll deal with that another day), it was also the second class of the Professional Tote by The Creative Thimble.

The Professional Tote by The Creative Thimble

The class was split into two different days.  I had purchased the pattern some time ago, but finished it at the beginning of this year.  It is a very well designed bag - VERY professional.

Here are the results of the class..................

My version of The Professional Tote

Even though the bag is well designed, there are a few changes that I recommended and then the class went wild with their own ideas.

Sandy used a decorator fabric (I was very disappointed when she said that this bag was for HER daughter and not for me!!! - just kidding)

She put bag feet on the bottom of her bag

Valerie used webbing for the handles

Colleen went crazy with MATCHING her pockets to the background. It is hard to tell in this picture, but she did an awesome job. 

Barb also used webbing for the handles and ALSO went crazy on the matching of the fabric. She was COMPLETELY finished when she left. Mind you - she did go ahead in the pattern!

Donna  - love the punch of those coloured zippers!  She was also finished when she left (she had also worked ahead). And Donna made the entire bag (with its MANY MANY layers of fabric in spots) on an older Kenmore!!!

If you are interested in making the Professional Tote, we will be running it AGAIN at The Hobby Horse. The dates are in May - call The Hobby Horse to get signed up.

And you MUST check out QUILTSocial today. It is all about words on quilts and a couple of other projects. It is also pretty funny!

On that note - I have a couple of e-mails to get out this morning and then another crazy busy day.

Have a good day!!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Tonga Rhapsody - show n tell

More show n tell today. I am going to try and stay on top of it. Yeah right!  I think I still have to do the show n tell from Dear Jane - way way back. The trick will be to find the pictures for that.

Tonga Rhapsody
Tonga Rhapsody by Wing and a Prayer
Anyway - here goes. This is a gorgeous large quilt and well - let's look at the results..........  (they only had one block for homework as they had to get themselves organized with their fabric choices)









So while the blocks look similar, they are quite different with all those different fabric choices. They are going to look awesome as they progress into a full sized quilt.

I promised the class that I would post the wrong side of my blocks so they could see how I pressed them.

Here are the three blocks

Block Two 

Block Four

Block Three  (with one seam at the top NOT pressed yet)

Notice that I sewed these blocks in ROWS (see Block Three photo) unlike the instructions in the pattern. I just felt it was a better way to sew them.  And of course I twirled all the seams.  Can't help myself!!   If you want to learn how to do that, there is a tutorial on my blog that shows you how to do that. The important thing is that seams should be FLAT FLAT FLAT. I am putting together a tutorial on pressing - I need some time, but hopefully soon.

Marion brought in this little cat wall hanging for show n tell. It is cute - look at their tails!!!  That background fabric is AWESOME

Let's not forget that TODAY is the start of my week on QUILTSocial. Have a read through.  There is some pretty cool stuff this week. I think you'll enjoy!!!   Yes - you might not be in the market for a sewing machine, but just cool to see what you can do with a sewing  machine and what capabilities exist in sewing machines today. And I try to throw tips in throughout because MANY of the features I chat about are included on most machines - you just don't know!!!!   Although today's post is about machine embroidery!!!!

On that note - I am out of here. On the way to the gym.

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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Enchanted Autumn - Show n Tell

There has been a LOT of show n tell in the last couple of weeks. I love seeing it all. So exciting to see what colours the participants have used. Did they follow the pattern, what stitches, etc.  There is lots of details!

Yesterday we had the Enchanted Autumn class at The Hobby Horse.
Enchanted Autumn
Enchanted Autumn by The Vintage Spool

The homework last month was to work on the maple leaves. There are 18 of them in the quilt. Wow - half of the group had all 18 done!!!!

Linda who can't wait to quilt them and add veins with the quilting

Mary - great colours that look like real leaves

Anna - those are Canadian leaves!

Jennifer going for a soft look with those busy prints

Anita (those colours are GORGEOUS!!!)

Chris who is having loads of fun with hand applique 

And we had two new people in the class so obviously they had no show n tell, but they will next month!

I didn't get the story on this quilt. Too many conversations at once and the next group was anxious to get in the room.
I think they are Scotty dogs???  

Colleen with her show n tell

Also had another show n tell later in the day from Marion. Remember those table runners that we made a couple of weeks ago???

Table runners made from striped fabric
When we left the class, Marion's was still in pieces. And she was having a LOT of trouble finding something for the setting triangles that matched that fabric. Everything we found was too yellow or too green or not yellow enough or not green enough. It was a bit of a challenge.

Marion's progress on the table runner

BUT - she persevered and went shopping somewhere else and found a batik that matched perfectly. And now the runner is DONE!!!!

Table runner - DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is awesome!  

It is nice to go out and the temperature is NOT so frigid. And even better the sun is out. I love it. Because I am such an anal person, I am chipping away at the snow and ice at the bottom of the driveway. It is ugly and I want it gone! Let's hope we do not get snow today!

I will post the rest of the show n tell from yesterday - well I will post it tomorrow. 

Have a great day!


Saturday, February 28, 2015

What happened??

Seriously!  What happened yesterday?  I did NOT take any pictures and I often rely on the pictures to remind me of what happened the day before!

OK - I'll run and take a couple so you can see that I wasn't slacking off.

It was knit club day!  And I thought I would try to get some more of the afghan together.  Well I ran out of wool when I was grafting. Tried to tie a knot and of course that does NOT work for grafting. I will have to weave those two ends together to finish off that row. I did knit another sashing and started the grafting part.
I must get working faster? or I will never get this done.

My knitted afghan to date
 Of course while I was at the quilt store, the ladies "forced" me to buy this pack of Northcott Sandscapes fabric strips. They are gorgeous and I've got the perfect plan for them!!!!  Now just to find the time.

Sandscapes by Northcott
That fabric line comes in a LOT of different colours!!!

I have taught a lot of people over the years and there are a couple of things that I hear all the time.  Angela Walters posted this video on her blog which I think sums up those observations very nicely.  Have a look - it is very interesting and SO SO true.   We must all STOP doing the three things that she mentions. We will all be better off for it. Remember quilting is supposed to be fun!!!!

On that note - I have to finish prepping for THREE classes today and there are a few odds and ends that need to be finished.

Have a great day!!!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Paper paper paper!!!!

Ack - I just can't get ahead of the paperwork game!  I will try - I will really try, but I know it isn't going to happen for a while. I should try to throw out or deal with five pieces a day?  I know that won't work either. I am going to have to get up one morning with nothing to do (oh - there is the first problem!) and then purge purge purge!!!!

With clothes or kitchen stuff - it is easy to say NOPE - I don't like it or YEP - I like it. But with paper - well I might need that information, I have to process the information, then I have to find a spot to file it.  I guess the best thing for me would be to create files for everything without giving the content too much thought. Then when LIKE THINGS ARE TOGETHER, I can go through a folder one by one, I could evaluate what I want to keep.  Oh yes - OK - I am going to keep that in mind and try to file some stuff every day. Like things together - then purge! I think I can do that!!!!

Yesterday was Thursday Therapy. Another GREAT day of sewing, except that I forgot to pick Linda up!  DUH - it wasn't until about 10 AM that I remembered that I was supposed to pick her up. ACK - how did I manage that?  I had a lot of stuff on my mind that morning and that probably was the cause!

I went to see Still Alice earlier this week and this woman's early on-set Alzheimers is pretty scary, but I'm attributing this "lost memory" to a busy brain!  If you haven't seen the movie - I would recommend that you go. You will cry - take tissues.

I have learned that I am incapable of taking just one project to sewing days. Nope - I take several and why do I do that???  Because I am trying to fill my basket or whatever container I happened to be using that day!!!!

The bigger the container - the more I take!!!

Container of hand work!!!

Oh there are a couple of things in there that I brought home (donations from others).  But I did get some trimming done, I did get some tracing done for fusible applique, I got the snaps sewn on that jacket so that will never have to go back. I sorted out another project and got some cutting done.  Oh yes - I was very productive - now I just need a day where I can actually sew to get that stuff together.

The interesting thing about our sew days - you NEVER know what people will be working on. Remember Mary's itty bitty fabric swatch from a couple of weeks ago????

Shoot - that sample was so tiny - I can't seem to find the picture!

Anyway - Mary was working on some banners for her daughter's wedding shower!  I think the blues are a perfect match!!!  Since I can't find the swatch - we'll never know!

Banners for wedding shower

Anita's gorgeous cushion cover!!!

I see so many people coming and practicing their free motion.   They are pretty smart when you think about it.  Go to the class, get the information, then come to sew days and should they have a question or two - I am there to help them out!!!!!   Yep - that is why these sewing days were started!!!   And you should see how far some of these ladies have come with the quilting. I think it is time to step up the size of projects or the intensity of the quilting!  But seriously - the improvement is incredible!  Just goes to show you how practice and feedback are two CRITICAL learning tools.

Well I have a "free" hour this morning and I have two things to do - one of them involves paperwork so I had better get to it before I get side tracked onto something else.

Have a great day! - Stay warm!  (even me - who is generally optimistic all the time - I am getting a bit tired of the cold!!!   At least the sun is out and that makes me happy!


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Show n tell AGAIN!

The show n tell just doesn't stop!

This time it's from the beginner quilting class that finished yesterday at Sew Sisters.
Let's just say that the group is hooked! Many of them have already started ANOTHER quilt or have plans to get started soon. Oh yes - that is too cool!  I remember that feeling and well - I don't think that it has ever gone away!

Most of them had the quilts quilted and some went home with the binding on and ready for hand stitching.

Michelle - the binding was on when she left. She was driven!  Maybe because she has two small children at home and wanted some alone time to sew!  I love that extra border that she put on the quilt. 

Debra (who I insisted on calling Brenda the entire class - why is that??)  Anyway Debra made her quilt a bit larger than the original and was putting the binding on yesterday

Stephanie was in the process of quilting her top. Looks awesome

Sandra has a cool colour combination She was also putting the binding on yesterday

Bluma made this gorgeous quilt. The colour combination is stunning!!!  

There were a few people missing yesterday but hopefully we will catch up with them and get their quilts completed. Those darn travel plans!!!!!

Great day at embroidery - yikes - the conversations were flying around the room. Hard to keep up with everyone! But I love that group!!!!   I so look forward to Wednesday morning. I couldn't find my embroidery (OK - I realize now that it was in a project box that I used on the weekend), but I had some applique to prepare anyway. 

Elaine made this quilt - it is one of the settings from the July shop hop last year. I love that outside border!!!!

Guess who was in the backyard yesterday?????

Mr Rabbit is munching on the seeds that the birds drop from the feeder

And this is a rare sighting!!!!!

Sparky and Little Sammy - they never sleep this close together!!!!

I wonder what the rational for that was???

On that note - I've got another sewing day and I had better finish getting things ready.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!1


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Working hard........

What a great day at Monday Mania!  The ladies were in fine form and they sewed up a storm!  I know I keep saying it, but that group is such a therapeutic tool.  The `round table`format keeps everyone in the loop, everyone helps each other and well - I just can't wait for Mondays to roll around.

Have a look at what was accomplished yesterday.

Lynn brought in her Farm Fresh - the top is DONE. She just needs to quilt it!   (yes - the orientation looks weird because I took the picture on its side and rotated it!)

I got some more scraps for the pet mats.  I notice that this bag was chopped up to protect the innocent!  (in the event the pieces were too big!)  Oh so clever!!!!!

Paula brought in her Chubby Charmer - I think almost everyone has made one of these bags

Paula has cute little labels that she puts on her projects

Jan got her table runner (the top) done and ready for quilting. 

I have to laugh because I get asked all the time "how should I quilt this?"  So I tell them but they don't want to hear what I have to tell them.  "I can't do that - that is too much!"  But the more I push them, they do break down and do it!!!!   And they are learning!

I didn't get pictures of Veronica's table runners. But she has been practicing and is doing amazing with the quilting!  There was one design that she just could not get. The night before our class (last week), I am lying in bed trying to figure out a better way to show her.  So instead of ribbon candy, we now call it tear drop and she got it!!!!   I love it!!!!!!

I see that Lynn is very protective of HER stuff!!!  But since there was no name on the box - we were going to steal it!

Karen was hard at work on the prep work for an upcoming class.  Yep - looks like she is making rope - lots and lots of rope!  

And lots more to go!!!!!

I wouldn't let Paula work on her bags so she was "forced" to get back to work on her double wedding ring!!!!

We had a good laugh - this is Paula's "covered bottom".  She misread the directions and thought it said covered button!  The button is beautifully done!!!

Have you watched the movie "Doubt"?  It took me a good 20 minutes before I clued in that Meryl Streep was Mother Aloysius. The big question - was the priest guilty or not?   Paula and I had a good discussion about that.  No fair though - she had watched it three times!!!   It is very intriguing and shows how a few subtle points can be misinterpreted to make you believe something that might not be true!!!

Susan working on another chubby charmer

Lynn working on her Itty Bitty Blocks from Quiltmaker magazine

Paula (another Paula) working on 4th of July 

Jan working on her mystery quilt
 I did get tons done as well. I had decided to just focus on non-machine work.

Trimming up some half square triangles. I will do a few each week. It is a boring job. 
I finished trimming my hour glass blocks. 
 When I got home, I sorted them by size and now they are in the appropriate bag with the rest of them.

My box of hour glass blocks - all trimmed and ready to do something with

I finally got the buttons sewn on the Pinetree Parka
 Since I did not want to make buttonholes, I sewed snaps on the inside.

Snaps on the inside

I sewed the snap on the inside and then slightly offset the button and sewed it on the outer side. There was enough of an offset to cover the thread from sewing on the snaps.

I still have to sew the other half of the snap on. That is a project for Thursday.  But I am almost done!!!!!!

On that note - I have to get going. A busy day and no time to waste!

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