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Friday, October 31, 2014

Respect for the customer's time?


The best laid plans - well I had so much hope for yesterday and I guess in retrospective I did get a lot done.  Just not as much as I would have liked.

You remember my situation with the cable company?   Well - it wasn't over!!   I was on the phone not ONCE, but TWICE with them yesterday.  I mean - seriously!!!!    They would tell me one thing and so I think it is all fixed and then MIL calls to say - STILL NO CABLE.  Finally after two more phone calls - about 4 hours in total (over two day) - the problem is resolved!!!!!!!!   It turns out that someone in her building was moving and they thought it was her.  But the time and effort to get it corrected was crazy!!!!!   Just bugs me that they can't fix it and then call me back - NO - I have to be on the phone with them while they talk to me - put me on hold. Drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I went to buy a camcorder yesterday.  I looked a bit on-line but no idea really what features I want and well - I just thought it would be so simple - walk into a store - ask a few questions and I could walk out with one.  NOPE - I wandered around the store, hung around the counter for about 15 minutes and NOT a single soul came to help me.  All the associates were busy doing - god knows what. I walked out.  I don't have time to waste.  I want a camcorder so may go back today????  

And last, but not least - I got a call from my friends in India for my computer.  I give them access to my computer - they run a program to check for viruses and anything that needs to be corrected.  I have to say - they DID NOT try to sell me anything this time. They usually do and it drives me crazy.  No sales pitch yesterday although I did ask that my computer be upgraded to Windows 8.1 and they need to send me a disk for that.  Ooops - you live in Canada?   We can only ship to the US.    Seriously?????   Anyway - the other thing that drives me crazy about these guys - they have access to my computer, but NO - "I" am the one who has to do all the clicking.  They circle the box and then say on the phone - click, minimize. Really - would be so much faster if they did everything.  

So you see - I "wasted" a lot of time yesterday, but I did get things done including getting my leaky tire repaired which involved more wasted time as I waited for a ride to and from the garage.   Through it all - I held my cool.  I just laughed - really what is getting mad going to do.  Ooops - I was mad and I told the cable company that I was mad. But I didn't rant and rave and I didn't yell.   Oh my gosh - there is hope for me after all.

Despite all that - I did manage to get a customer quilt done.


Customer quilt - DONE


I got another one loaded - well half loaded to work on later today or tomorrow. I can see why these customers didn't want to quilt these quilts themselves - they are HUGE.  But the quilt above? - I don't think I have ever seen a quilt that was so PERFECTLY rectangular.  It was PERFECT!!!!!  Just one little bubble near one side that quilted out very nicely.  She certainly measured her borders!!!!!


On that note - I am late (had to take M to the GO train as her car went in for servicing this morning). So I have a LOT of work to do. It is my turn to blog on QUILTSocial next week and well - I have a lot of work to do today.  But it is all fun so let's crank up the tunes and get to work.

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One more block bites the dust!


I managed to get one more embroidered block done during embroidery club. Slow progess as there are a LOT of curves on the block and I have to made FOUR of them.  Two are now done and two more to go.  Then there are three more blocks after that for a total of five blocks still to stitch. Before Christmas????   Maybe - but it will be tight!!!

Then off to my beginner class at Sew Sisters.  The energy in that room is incredible. Here are ten brand new quilters excited and ready to quilt!!!!   They did a great job on assembling their blocks and almost all the homework was complete and a few had assembled their tops!!  They will be quilting next time - I hope that won't slow down their enthusiasm. I didn't get pictures of their blocks - I should have!!!!

One of the students brought in this incredible bag that she had made.  She uses it to carry her sewing machine.



Giovanna's sewing machine carrying bag. 
She did a fabulous job on it and I am sure this is the first of many great projects.  Leanne went to the CreativFestival and bought a book. When she showed me the book - I had to laugh.  Guess what book she bought????

Yep - Here comes Winter by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks - my FAVOURITE AUTHORS!!!!

She is making a very cute project from the book and had made a great start on it.  Oh yes - these ladies are very keen and it is very exciting!!!!!


And let's not forget the label that Giovanna made for her bag.  So cute!!!!!






When I got home - I had lots of stuff to do and I managed to get little of it done!!!   Why? Because I was on the phone trying to get my mother-in-law's cable TV situation straightened out.  Oh yes - it appears that someone on the staff made a HUGE error and well I was on the phone for hours during various parts of the day trying to get it resolved.  Guess what??  Not completely fixed so I get to spend more time on the phone this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!   Doesn't even make sense to blame the COMPANY because obviously it is one employee that messed up!!!!


I did manage to get some more work done on my Christmas gift bags for the guild, my secret Christmas project (which I am happy to say I am working on and it is not even Christmas EVE!!!!) and I got this finished...............


One of my quilts - backing, binding and the top - DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let's not forget that I started a new quilt this morning - an easy one and almost have the blocks done - told you is was fast.

Yep - so making progress - just not fast enough.  It is all the little interruptions in a day that mess me up.  Like being on the phone - I managed to putter with small things, but what a pain to just have to deal with stuff including my girls who want IN and then OUT and then IN and then OUT and not at the same time!!!!!


On that note - I have my critical list of THREE things (OK - there are FOUR on it) for today and I must get busy.   Oh yes if you want some eye candy - have a look at this web site - the winners from the Houston Quilt Show. And I know TWO of the winners!!! Yeah - Look at the third place winner in the Embellishment category and the second place winner in the Group category.

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

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fast, Fun and Fabulous


Yesterday was a GOOD DAY!!!!    I know - not ONE but TWO appointments with dental related people and it was a good day????

I had to laugh at the periodontist. The assistant comes in - asks all kinds of medical questions.  For heaven's sake - I am just here for a consultation. Not getting any work done!!  Nope they ask me about everything that has ever happened to me!   Then she takes my blood pressure! Seriously???  I think they are trying to find the hidden sick people or those with white coat syndrome.  I asked her what my blood pressure was when she was done.   90 over 60!!!!   No white coat syndrome for me!!!!!!!

After much poking and prodding and taking UGLY pictures of my teeth - the periodontist and I had a chat.  Bottom line - no major issues.  I have UGLY but stable implants, but since no one can see them - there are no issues.  No bone graphing will solve my problem which isn't really a problem (dentist is just being cautious!) and if anything - I would need to have some gum tissue removed (I know - who would have thought!!). But for the moment - NO ACTION is required.

Ooops - let me rephrase that - these guys are scaring the devil out of me and I MUST MUST MUST continue to be scrupulous with the cleaning or I will end up with major issues.   Anyone know anything about WaterPiks?????   Not necessary, but may help.   I have HUGE holes under those loose gums!!!!


Dentist did his thing with my cavity.  Took a half hour and I was out of there.  No BIG deal.  I have learned how to relax at the dentist and I just zone right out of that room.  Good thing - since I have ONE more cavity next week.


Yeah - the things I was dreading turned out to be no big deal!!!!   BUT I must must must keep those teeth clean!!!  And let's not forget to floss!!!!!   I did get the hygienist to show me how to brush last time.  I know - sounds weird, but obviously I have been doing something wrong all these years.


Back home and got some quilting and sewing done.

I got the borders put on this curved piecing quilt.  No top or bottom borders - just the sides. The binding is done - I just need to get the backing stitched together.  Hmmm - I might take it and show my class today how to do it since we are working on backings. 


Then back to the quilting machine.  After the  classes that I have taken in the last couple of months I have made a couple of decisions.  It is time to be FAST, have FUN and get  FABULOUS.   I keep trying to communicate that to my students and while I enjoyed my quilting - I wasn`t really having the most fun that I could have.  That is going to change!!!!!   I am so excited about this change (mindset change) that I can`t wait to attack those buckets with my own quilts.  In the meantime - I will be heads down for the next couple of weeks trying to get everything caught up.

But have a look at this quilt

Customer quilt - done

Customer wanted loose feathers in the border.  I don`t have a stencil that is that width so I partially marked the feathers using the stencils that I had.   The colour of the border fabric is very hard to mark.  I finally decided to just wing it.  And you know what - I had FUN, I think the feathers are pretty FABULOUS and it was FAST.


Free hand feathers


Now there is one thing that I have learned - I can do feathers no problem, but I can`t do them upside down. So my homework is going to be practicing drawing them upside down.  Because my upside down feathers weren`t looking like feathers - I had to take the quilt off the machine and turn it.  Remember my theory of FAST - well that is not fast - so got to learn.


There are several things that I have learned over the last couple of months about machine quilting - hopefully they will help you as well.

1. NOTHING (I mean NOTHING) is perfect (nor should it be especially on a quilt. Claudia equates her quilting to her handwriting - I LOVE that anaology!)

2.  Practice - practice - practice (this wasn't something that I just learned but it is very important).   Get the paper out and practice - practice - practice on the paper.  Critical to success. Then get some muslin and practice with the sewing machine, trace with your finger - THEN you are ready for the real thing.

3.  Look at examples of quilting that you like - how can you break it down into units that you can do???   Make an inspiration book.  You would be AMAZED when you start breaking down densely quilted quilts to see how they are quilted

4. We should be having FUN while we quilt.  How does one have fun? Well - look at the above - don't try to learn everything at once.

5.  The MOST important thing about - STOP STOP STOP being so critical of yourself.  PERFECTION is NEVER going to happen.  And it shouldn't either.


So sit down - relax - STOP stressing and have FUN with your quilting..


On that note - I have embroidery this morning and I hope to get another block done!!!!!!!!!!!


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


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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over drive!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Had a GREAT day at Monday.  I got a LOT sewn and I was very happy with the results.

So when I got home and looked at the studio - I thought - I had better just keep going - there is NO time to waste these days.

First things first - I reorganized the Monday sewing basket.  Took out anything that didn't need to be there (which wasn't much), but I am notorious for carrying a LOT of extra projects.  I think there are THREE projects in there so that is not bad!!!!!


My "AWAY" sewing basket 


I worked on two projects yesterday.   I decided to make a log cabin quilt - I know - like I need to make that, but I found it in a box I was looking through.  What do you think?   Nice colours????


Log cabin block - love the colours

Managed to make SEVEN blocks yesterday!!!!   Did you notice anything about the blocks?????

How about the size?????  Oh yes - these are teeny tiny! And I love them.   There are two guild shows this coming year (2015) and they both want minis for their mini quilt draws.  Maybe - just maybe I might be convinced to give this up.   I hope to make 20 blocks?  Or maybe just 12  - I'll see how far my scraps go.   OK - I am working with teeny tiny amounts of scraps!!!!

I got 18 gift bags serged and I tucked in all the thread ends and put fray check on them!!!   I watched 3 episodes of Quilting Arts while I did that.   Just have to sew the casing and insert the ribbons. 

Veronica was practicing her machine quilting and gave me her samples.  I serged the edges, tucked in the thread ends and put fray check on them.   They will make excellent pet mats. And now they are DONE!!!!   Thanks Veronica and by the way - her quilting is NOT bad!!!!  Not that I was looking. 


The second project I worked on yesterday was my curved piecing top that I started a while back for a class.  I got all the rows sewn together (after I finished making the blocks) but I didn't really press it well. When I got home - I gave it a good press. Drives me crazy to see things not pressed well.


Hard to see in this picture, but the row closest to the bottom of the pictures is NOT pressed well. The other one near the top of the picture is MUCH flatter. 




Again - hard to tell from this picture - but the bottom row is not pressed well while the top row is pressed pretty well.  Let's just say - the entire top is now FLAT!!!!

This is all that is left of that bright floral. This is the fabric that I had to buy in Europe and was pony expressed to Canada.  

Then I measured the quilt and I am not 100% happy with the size - 52 by 68.   I like my quilts a bit bigger than that. So I thought I would experiment with borders.

The top with no borders (there are no borders in the original)


|Don't like this as that red distracts from the vertical lines in the quilt. 
Can't really add an extra row of the vases to the bottom - notice the pattern is symmetrical at this point.. So can't really add one more vase to each row either.   Hmmmm - what to do - what to do?????


Decided to add three inches of green to each side and call it DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
I have the pieces cut, but not added on yet - I ran out of time this morning.


The green print is a stripe (which helps to accent the vertical lines of the quilt pattern) so I decided that making a bias binding was the best plan. 

Bias binding is half done. The strips are joined and cut - just need to be ironed in half

Let's see - Oh yes - I had a look at that work table last night and well - there is just so much stuff - I need to get it cleaned up.  NOT just move things, but actually make some progress on this stuff.   So in addition to the above stuff - I serged a quilt top together - made from plush so serging is better.  Can't show you though. Not yet anyway.

Then I serged some other Christmas related items which I can't share with you either.  Oh yes - I was in HIGH GEAR - no doubt about that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Here is the work table BEFORE I started to clean up

And this is what it looks like this morning. 


 I know - it doesn't look like too much got dealt with, but a lot got done.  The problem is that things take much longer than you think they will. And then I flit from project to project. I need to learn to stick with ONE project until it is done. If only that were possible.


OK - so you know how people do STUPID things???   I take the dogs out for a walk this morning and arrive back home only to find the back door LOCKED.  WHAT??????    Oh yes - DH decided to check to see if HE put the cover on the BBQ last night - NO he did not - but I did.  So he was checking this morning before leaving for work (while I was out with the dogs) and then the genius locks the door.  GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!   Of course all the other doors are locked.  Car is locked so can't get in through the garage and we don't had that keypad on the garage - besides inside door is locked as well.

M is home and I try to call her. I don't normally take my phone with me, but had it this morning. Of course - she turns her phone off while she is sleeping.    Hmmmmm - let's think. What to do?????   Oh crap - I had to resort to throwing rocks at her window which is right in the front of the house.  The first two rocks went way WIDE - I guess that is why I don't play football.  Then one of the neighbours walked by - GOOD MORNING!!!!!

Grabbed another small rock from the neighbour's pathway and TAP - that hit the window. Second one also hit the window - third one hit the side of the house.  OK - it is a LONG way up there.  Then I called M - she was awake!!!!   My rock throwing woke her up!!!   She came downstairs and rescued me and the girls.

I have a ``FUN`` day planned.    Yep - that would be a trip to the periodontist for a consultation and the dentist to get a cavity filled.  Oh yes - it is going to be FUN FUN FUN!!!!!   But I will also be at the quilting machine!!!!


On that note - I better brush my teeth well before my first appointment. Hopefully that will influence the periodontist to NOT advise any surgery.

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


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






Monday, October 27, 2014

INSPIRATION!!!!


OH MY GOD - I am so pumped and so inspired - I just want to quilt and sew and never stop!!!!!

I took TWO lectures with Claudia Pfeil yesterday.   If you are NOT familiar with her work - check out her web site.  Her quilting is JUST FABULOUS!!!!!   And the secret???   Very simple elements - it is just how you combine them!!!   The same premise I am teaching in my class on quilt inspirations!!!!   WOW!!!   That was so worth going to!!!   And she is just the sweetest lady - and she is winning a prize at Houston - she doesn't know what - but she got THE CALL.   I am so excited for her.  The quilt that is in Houston is the last one on her web gallery (see the link above).


Claudia with her stitch outs from the two lectures.  She cut it up and divided it - I got FOUR pieces!!!!



I flitted around before and after my classes and got all my errands covered.  Well I think I forgot one or two things, but no big deal.

OH yes - so here is my correction.  When I was in one of the lectures, I was chatting to the lady beside me. Turns out she is the mother of Tracey who was the provincial rep for Ontario for the Row by Row Experience. They own the store We R Quilts in Prescott. We were talking about the new theme which was released yesterday.  H2O in case you missed my link.  Anyway - I said that Row by Row would be all across Canada and NO - they are still working out the details as to which provinces will be participating.  For sure Ontario will be doing it, but not so sure about the other provinces.  Sorry if I got anyone super excited about that.

And if ever you think your studio/sewing room is a disaster - have a look at this................

Oh yes - we might even need a fork lift to get this cleaned up!!!!

The result of many projects happening at the same time, limited time between them.  Well I am happy to report that I think things will be calmer?  Oh yes - I have to make them calmer so I can get something done at home.

And today is Monday - so I off to sew. Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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


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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fun, FUN and even more FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Don't you just love having fun?  I just love what I do because not only do I like doing it, but I have fun doing it.

How many of you had fun at the Row by Row this past summer????   Well - it is already ramping up for 2015.  Have a look at this blog link - the new theme is out and it is going to be FUN!!!!!   And check out Bobbin the Robin as well - FUN FUN FUN...............   (aren't those new fabrics cute cute cute???  and it looks like ALL of Canada will be involved!!!!!!!!!!!!)


NEW ROW BY ROW THEME


So this is my FIRST time taking classes/demos at the CreativFestival.  OH MY - I am in AWE - I am having loads of fun and amassing TONS of information and inspiration (I am making lists of things to ask at all the places).  You see - this festival is NOT just about shopping.  There are thread companies, sewing machine companies, notions distributors - THIS is the place to get your questions ANSWERED!!!!!!!    I have very limited time today and I have a big list of questions and things to check out - I hope I get through it all.

And I really think the multi-day is good since it allows me to have a look, come home, digest the information and then go back with more questions.  I am learning so much just by being curious!!!!!!!!!

Now I am always getting myself into trouble.  At last spring's CreativFestival, Tish and I stopped by the CHA booth (Canadian Craft and Hobby Association).  They were looking for people to sign up for a sewing challenge at the Fall CreativFestival. We both signed up and sort of forgot about it. When we were contacted this fall - I decided - what the heck - let's give it a whirl.  YIKES - the BIG event was yesterday.   The projects would either be a tablerunner, pillow, bag, stocking or apron.  The projects were randomly picked at the start of each event.   When we got there - only the stocking and apron were left.  Our group got stocking!!!!  

Fortunately the sewing machine was VERY familiar to me - very similar to the Husqvarna Viking H|Class 100Q.     We had to use everything that was in the project bag.  Hmmmm - gorgeous flannels from Northcott, some trims - dingle balls, rick rack and ribbon and bells.  

On your mark, get set GO!!!!!!!!!!!   We had no pattern so I just drew a stocking shape on the wrong side of the fabric - layered up four FQs (two for the outside and two for the lining) and cut with scissors through all.   Then I got creative with the cuff - my mind went totally blank for making the cuff go all around the stocking so it is just on the front part!!!!   And in retrospect - the bottom is perhaps a bit big relative to the top. BUT - I managed to get it completely done in ONE HOUR.   I fussy cut that little owl for the cuff - fussy cut the green fabric trim around him - stitching down some red ribbon to outline him. Oh yes - it was stressful but a lot of fun.


BUT there is an advantage to having a big boot part - LOTS and LOTS of stuff can be put in there!!!!!!!!!!!

We all got a great gift bag filled with all kinds of goodies for participating - fabric from Northcott, scissors and numerous other notions.

Then the judge came in and picked my stocking as the winner of the challenge.  I got a super sewing basket with MORE goodies.

 I do have to say that it was a challenge because we got no pattern - just the pack of supplies!!!!!!  For those of you who know me - I am meticulous and like to take my time (hence my huge stash of UFOs)   so the time thing was another issue.  Hmmm - that would be fun to do with a group. Any takers?????    I do have to say that I pressed and pressed my stocking. The seams were FLAT FLAT FLAT. The others not so much although their ideas were equally creative - they all pieced the bottom part of the stocking which was very creative.  They just needed to press it BETTER and I am certain the results would have been different. It was only superb workmanship that saved me!


I had an AHA moment the other day.  It concerned my 2014 shelf.  You know I started that shelf business in 2012.  It didn't really work in 2012, nor in 2013 and certainly NOT in 2014.  BUT I have figured out the secret!!!!!!!!!!   OK - so I am slow sometimes.  I am not going to reveal it now, although I should in the event that I forget my brilliant idea!!!!!  

This studio needs a major cleaning up - there is stuff everywhere.  I am not even going to show you pictures - well I will take them and show you another day.  It is a disaster zone - no question!!!!   I can't even say that I have a plan but I better figure it out soon because I am opening up the studio for a Sit n Sew in a couple of weeks and right now - well there is NO ROOM for anyone including ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!


On that note - have to get ready for my last day at the CreativFestival.

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


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





Saturday, October 25, 2014

So close.......................

I haven't posted any pictures of the mall in a LONG time.  I was at the library yesterday morning and snapped this shot.

the BALL at the MALL!!!


I took a bunch of pictures from the inside - they are on my phone - I will e-mail them to myself so I can upload them here.  YES - I know I could do it from the phone. OH - maybe I will try that today.


I went downtown to the CreativFestival on the train yesterday and now I am realizing something.  While it may take a bit longer - it certainly is stress free. AND - you have a half hour to kill so then you could figure out how to upload those pictures from the phone to the blog.  Oh yes - taking the train has its advantages.

However on my way to the train, I managed to half snap off a thumb nail.  The way it broke - I couldn't just rip it off. And half of it was hanging so I had to get my nail  file out. Now I remember a certain someone (I won't mention any names, although he publicly pronounces his dislilke for this), but he HATES when women groom on the train.  I know - putting on lipstick, doing their eye lash crimping or whatever else.  I get that.  But as I was filing my thumb nail down - I thought - Thank God MARK is not on the train or I'd be all over Facebook!!!!!!    Sorry Mark - it had to be done or I was going to get a huge boo boo on the end of my thumb if that nail ripped off.


Got to see a bunch of friends yesterday but not many as I was in three different seminars yesterday. All of them were great and while I knew a lot of what they were talking about - I also learned something in each so that was a good thing.  And got loads and loads of ideas - as if I needed any more.  Also met a ton of new people.   Exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plus Carla and I did one of our presentations for QUILTSocial.  If you haven't signed up for QUILTSocial - you better.  I am kind of surprised at how many people have never heard of it yet. So our mission in life is for everyone to know about it.  If you haven't signed up - get your butt over there and sign up.

As I sat in the seminars - I knit.  YES - I knit.  In the first one  - there were two other people knitting!!!!!


One more square - DONE!!!!!!!!!!    this is number 28!!!!!!

OK - are we going to have bets on this??????    This is square 29 and there is one more to go after this.   Will I have enough yarn??????     



I have decided that I am NOT buying another skein.  I am so close - so I have a couple of options if I run out. Which I hope by this planning that I will NOT run out and there won't be an issue.

1. I will just make that block smaller and make the sashing bigger around this block
2. Someone will feel sorry for me (someone who has already made this afghan (like Tish) and she will say - OH - I have a small amount of that wool left over - finish your block with it.   We won't even care about the colour!!!!!!
3. Someone OTHER than Tish will have a small bit left over from a project (it is Noro Kureyon colour number 272)
4. I won't run out!

My money is on Number FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have seminars all day tomorrow - so I am betting that we will know by Sunday evening the status of square number 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Have you ever seen me knit so fast????   Well not exactly knitting fast, but making fast progress. There is a difference.


Here are TWO events coming up in November that you might be interested in.  I took these from Quilting Connections Newsletter.




November 1-30
World of Threads Festival
Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre
2302 Bridge Road
Oakville, ON
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6; Sun 12-5
Admission: Free
Details
Featuring 97 artists from Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, UK, USA. The Festival is one of the most vibrant fibre arts festivals in the world. We showcase contemporary fibre and textile art in all forms.

November 14-15
A Celebration of Excellence XII - York Heritage Quilters Guild
Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Ave. East
Toronto, ON
Hours: Fri 10-6; Sat 10-5
Admission: $7 Advance tickets; $10 at the door





On that note - I have finish getting prepared for today and that includes getting dressed. 


Have an awesome day!!!

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