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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hacking


There is NO BETTER way to start the day than spin class with Joseph. I was kind of dreading it last night - so much to do  - should I take the time to go?  Then I watched an inspirational video on Facebook.  And I saw an awesome T-shirt that says something like this - I spin because I like food. OK - I bundled my butt off to class and it was AWESOME. Yes I worked hard, I sweat like crazy BUT I feel pumped so it was all worth it!!!!


Have to laugh because the last time I taught at Sew Sisters we had cake. Guess what we had yesterday?  Yup - another cake!!!!!!!!!!!

Marlene had been to a cake decorating class and didn't know what to do with the cake - so between the class participants and the staff - she didn't have much cake to take home!!!!    Thanks Marlene - hey - I am back next Tuesday! - Just kidding!!!  


You see why it is important to go to spin class - so you can eat that cake and not feel guilty.  My biggest problem this time of year is those darn Pumpkin spiced muffins from Tim's.  YES - I know they are laden with fat and sugar and everything I don't need, but if I go to spin class - well - I hope to be OK. According to the machine at the gym - body fat is looking pretty good so I think I can afford a few muffins - but got to keep up those spin classes or make lots of trips to the quilt stores on my bike!!!!


When I was searching for fabric for my project that I want to have done by Thursday (HA HA HA HA) - I went into a fabric basket that I haven't been into in a LONG time. The teal greens/aquas and some pinks (don't ask)


The pile of teal greens on the right
Well - I know that I haven't touched many of these in years - nothing was folded neatly - I had to press most of it and look how I used to hack the fabric.  Instead of cutting strips which I do now and sometimes I cut the strips parallel to the selvedge - depending on what I need).  But before - look - I just hacked off a piece of fabric.  I HATE HATE HATE that and would never do it now.


Hacked up fabric

And more - I found LOTS in that basket

Also found lots of fabric with the price tags still on


Now don't worry about that - I am trying to use this stuff up as fast as I can.  I can prep a project in no time - I got all the strips cut from the teals last night.  BUT my problem is the sewing - I don't seem to have time to get to the sewing machine.

I also came across this fabric that I designed and screen printed way back when I was at  Sheridan College. I remember making a skirt for M out of it.

MY cool design
It would be neat to go back and do that program again.  So many cool things but there is absolutely NO TIME for that - it was very time consuming and well - I don't have enough time right now for everything.


Yesterday at Sew Sister's - I checked out the KONA cottons to find a replacement for that light purple that I didn't like.


See - that light purple just stuck out too much for me. 

This looks much better!!!!!!!!!!

MUCH better - I am happy!!!!


I think I have four more fabrics to cut and then the ENTIRE 104" by 104" quilt is cut.  Doesn't seem like there are enough pieces!  But there are a couple of borders that I haven't touched yet - they are solids and I will get them when the top is mostly done.

I know that I have about 4 more projects that I want to get prepped and then I have to STOP - I MUST MUST MUST get sewing.   I just love cutting and I have no idea why.  I also like to sew - but right now - I like to cut.  Making progress on the custom quilt on the machine. It is looking great but lots of ruler work so I need to take lots of breaks - that is hard on the neck.  Hope to finish tonight? or tomorrow?  No I HAVE to finish by tomorrow - I have other projects that are due!!!!

Last night I was browsing a knitting magazine that I got from the library. Now I am a total newbie when it comes to knitting. No that is not right - I have knit miles and miles of yarn, but never had any real classes.   Well - what does one do when you reach the end of a ball of wool???   I had my own way, but it was bulky. There was a super article that took my method one more step to reduce the bulk.  And just in time as I get to knit those remaining balls of wool for the afghan.  Now if I can remember their little trick - I will be set - but since I will be doing it right away - I am sure it will stick in my head.

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


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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Progress is being made!


Monday are the BEST day of the week.  The ladies were out in full force for a sewing day.   So much sharing of information and inspiration. I just LOVE LOVE Mondays!   Thanks everyone.  Oh - I did not get a picture, but Maria now has a bag right beside the garbage to collect the fabric scraps so she doesn't have to root through the garbage any more!!!!

I got one project finished by lunch - I will show you later this week after I show it to the guild on Thursday night.  Can't have any previews on our block of the month program. Which isn't really a block of the month, but more about that later this week.

Then onto the next project which I made good progress on, but it is not quite complete.

Remember my missing fabric?  Well it is being used in this quilt and all I can say is that it is BRIGHT. The contrast between the red/orange and the green will knock your socks off. Yes - it is not for everyone, but I really like it. 

Close up of the quilt - and I have a bit of that flower fabric left over, but not much!!!!


There are FOUR more rows to sew onto the quilt and they are in various stages of completion.  This is a pattern that uses the Quick Curve Ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

Quick Curve Ruler


They have some amazing patterns and I - well I would make them all if I had time!!   The curves are very gentle which make them easy to sew.  I am teaching a class this morning and next week at Sew Sisters - yes - too late for you to sign up, but you can always call and we can arrange another class!!!!


I am MADLY cutting fabric. Barb - I started to cut those oranges and teals this morning.  Funny that you have a lot of the same oranges. I believe that top one was from a challenge?????


Oranges and teals from yesterday's blog


Not only am I cutting those oranges and teal (and hoping to get the top done by Thursday evening?????) But I am trying to finish cutting Amish With a Twist Series Two.  I am almost done, however this morning when I was cutting (OK - I was up VERY EARLY) - I am NOT happy with the lighter purple among the dark fabrics.  I think it should be a shade or two darker and will try to find something darker today. It would do in a pinch, but I know there are so many other colours to choose from - I am going to change it.

The bits and pieces for the log cabins

I still have the mediums to cut for 28 blocks and then it is complete!!!!!!   Will be ready to start sewing next week.


I did a bit of tidying up - these are the fabrics I purchased at The Village Square Quilt Shop when I went on my bike.

Rakes, wheelbarrows to satisfy my novelty print fetish AND bicycles - just because

That laundry basket is getting fuller and I only skimmed what I quickly saw on the top of the novelty print laundry baskets!!!


Yes - I am quilting as well, but doing a custom quilt and I procrastinate on those for sure - but can't put it off any longer - I will be back at it once I get home from my class.

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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Buggy Barn reveal


The good news is that we are making great progress on our Buggy Barn quilts - the bad news is that Buggy Barn (the pattern company and store) is closing.  They were in business for 18 years and have decided to call it quits - probably to spend more time with their families or just quilt for fun!!!!   Anyway - I do love their patterns and have made several.

This year we are making Farm Fresh and Garden Party in our on-going class at The Hobby Horse.

Hmmmm - class time arrived on Saturday and WHERE IS EVERYONE?????

There are 11 in the class - 3 showed up and 2 others for various reasons which we won't go into - weren't able to make the class!!!

Here is the homework that I managed to get pictures of.................   These quilts are becoming huge and hard to get good pictures!!!!


Maureen - it is bold - it is bright. Nothing primitive or country about this.  I just LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has changed up the pattern a bit

Lynn - This is the Farm Fresh pattern.  Those little flags will eventually become Canadian flags.  It looks amazing!!!!!!!!


This is Mary`s -  she also changed up the pattern as well.

Linda`s who has kept pretty true to the pattern


These quilts are HUGE and there have been numerous instances where the pattern needed to be changed to - well they just needed to be changed. In other circumstances - people changed them because they didn`t like a particular element.

I think they are amazing and hopefully we will get the rest of the group out next month.

There are TWO posts this morning - check out the next one as well.


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


Ciao!!!!!!!!!

I am a victim of my own creativity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


First I was almost a victim of cycling today.  I decided it was such a nice day that I HAD to get out on my bike.  I was excited to get out - it really was a glorious day. OK - so I went to the Village Square Quilt Shop in Burlington.  It is such a nice route to get there - about 70 KM and they are open on Sunday.   PLUS - they have loads of great stuff.

This is one of the new lines of fabric that they have in store. Let's just say that it was a GOOD thing that I was on my bike. And GOOD thing that I missed Maureen by mere minutes or I could have been in trouble. Maureen picked up my purchases last time that I couldn't carry home on the bike. This time - everything fit in the jersey pockets. I wore a loose jersey with bigger pockets just in case.

Fabric in the left most pocket and patterns in the center.  Love those jersey pockets!!!!
Trees are just gorgeous!


Anyway - that new line is cotton but is also coming out in FLANNELS. If you want to make a MAN quilt - check out that link. If you haven't been to this shop - you should go.

So I am on my way back - coming up Winston Churchill which is a busy street - but I don't mind.  I am cruising along at 30 KM and coming up to a GREEN light. I see three cars in the left turn lane ahead - so they would be turning in front of me.  The first two turned - no problem - I wasn't that close to the intersection, but the third IDIOT - turned in front of me.  I slammed on the brakes, my bike skidded, I could not get unclipped (happened too quick to think about unclipping) and I could NOT yell at him which I wish I could have since his window was open.  Fortunately no one was injured - I didn't even fall off the bike, no time to get scared!   It also happened earlier in the day - some idiot trying to make a left hand turn and they just can't wait - or they misjudge how fast the bike is coming.  What would it hurt these people to slow down - and WAIT!!!!!!!  But all is good - no fabric was lost and that is the most important thing.

I have a MAJOR problem these days. My brain is RACING.  I was working on the striped workshop, and the ideas are still flowing from that. Now I am working on TWO more projects for workshops or guilds and I can't stop!!!!!!!!!!!   I NEVER do this- but I walked into the stash room to get something and came out with fabric to make a quilt - just on a whim. I was typing up my handout and raced upstairs to grab a bundle of 1 1/2" strips. That laundry basket is exploding.  I won't be able to sleep - I CAN'T sleep because I have a ton of stuff to sew!!!!!!    ACK!!!!!!!!    While I am very excited that this is happening - I really don't have time to deal with it.   I am going to have to document everything and work it in when I can.   ACK ACK ACK!!!!!!!  I have rifled through lots of those fabric baskets - pulling out stuff that will work in my scrappy quilts.  Oh yes - this place is looking like a mess, but I am happy happy happy!!!!!

This was the bundle I ran upstairs to get - but decided that it was too jumbly for what I want

Nope - this is way better and those fabrics literally jumped off the shelf!!!!



Speaking of stripes - look at what is coming from Northcott. I'll just take a full bolt of each with the solids to match please!


When I got home from the bike ride - I needed a nap.  I pushed it - the entire ride, but it was so worth it. My legs were strong - the hills were NOTHING and it was just an awesome ride.

I am madly cutting because I have ONE more project that absolutely needs to be cut for the retreat.  I have most of it cut, but there is a LOT of cutting. Lots of log cabins - all those itty bitty strips!!!!

On that note - I am out of here to get something done.  I did not go to spin class today - I figure I could take the day off after my ride yesterday.

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

Ciao!!!!!!!!!!




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Northern Lights


I realized a couple of things yesterday.  One - I did NOT post the pictures of the Northern Lights class from last weekend. DUH!!!   I take these pictures for the purpose of posting them and then - POOF - something else comes up and my brain is off in another direction.

Second - I realized (no I knew this, but had never seen it before) that people can take pictures from my blog and do with them what they want.  No big deal - I would not make them accessible if I didn't want that to happen, but I was looking on Pinterest for Dragon Star quilts and WOW - that quilts looks a LOT like mine. No I am certain that quilt is mine!  I checked my blog and YUP - that was my quilt.  It had been reposted from a quilt store and well - I thought - I am getting ZERO credit for that picture SOOOOOOOO   (and this is if I can remember) to put my name on all my pictures.

Now when I was researching how to do that this morning - wow - I learned how to RESIZE all my pictures at the SAME time.  Well - I guess I knew that you could do that but never pursued it.  I learned a whole lot in a few minutes this morning.  That just might free up a bit of time - well not much since some of the pictures have to be manipulated (cropping and erasing - not just the size).


Back to Northern Lights................   This is the on-going class at Sew Sisters in Toronto.


We started the day off on a good foot - Judy's birthday was around the corner and Linda very graciously brought in a cake for her birthday. Thanks Linda!!!


Judy's birthday cake (hmmmm - I wonder if she likes orange as well or did the cake just come that way because it is autumn????)  


It is VERY hard to see but there is my name in the bottom right corner.  Note to self - make that font a bit BIGGER!!!!!!

Then we got into the show n tell. There was a lot as this was our first meeting after the summer.


They had to make TWO half blocks.  Don't forget - some are making the small blocks and others are making the bigger blocks

The next block - hard to believe that those blocks are all the same!!!   What a difference colour and value can make!

The next block

Block number four - again look at what the colour and value do to this block!!!!!

Block number five!!!   Oh yes - you can't have summer without quilting homework!!!!



There were several very ambitious people.  You may have noticed that some of the pieces above were more than a block. That was Marlene - a tad too much time on her hands I think. BUT

Look what Marilyn did .............................
Marilyn got her entire top together MINUS the two blocks that were assigned this month.  See - she is peeking through the hole where one of the blocks go!!!!

And Karen - figured out the missing two blocks and got her quilt DONE!!!!  Keener!!!!



Then we had NON - Northern Lights show n tell.
Marlene made this for a friend of hers. But she felt that it was too pale so......................

She made another darker version

And this is what she made with the scraps leftover - this will be the backing for one of the quilts



Hmmmm - I want to be a friend of Marlene!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But look at what Mary and Jane are doing.  I have to tell you about this pair.  I always see them together and  I have a VERY hard time remembering which one is Mary and which one is Jane. They have very similiar tastes in fabric.   I THINK I might have figured it out - next month will be the test to see if I can remember who is who!!!!   I have two other sets of students like that as well - Judy and Donna - always see them together - but I got them figured out now and the other ones are Judy and Veronica. But I think I have them figured out as well.

All that to tell you that Mary and Jane (I just call them both Mary Jane if I can't figure it out!) are in the process of making this quilt for a friend of theirs!!!!


Mary and Jane's quilt for a friend
 Awesome job everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!    The quilts are looking amazing and they have the final two blocks to piece this month!!!!!!!!!!!

Last night I decided it was time to get some more knitting done - after I did a LOT of cutting. I had gotten a quilting video from the library and so I popped that into the computer and sat down to watch.   WHOA?????   What is this?????   These ladies were using templates to mark and SCISSORS to cut.


Using big honking shears to cut quilt patches


What year is this video????   2010!!!!     And guess what they used to sew those blocks together????   Yep - that would be a treadle.  The theme of the video was to make a "country" quilt and so they used all the traditional tools, although that iron looked pretty modern!!   It was a woman and her three daughters.  Actually it was neat to watch and kept me entertained while I finished another block.   Have you ever seen me so focused before?????

Oh if you want to know more about those quilting ladies - you can check out this web site.  It would appear to be part of a bigger movement to living a more simple life.

Bottom line - I got another block done!!!   And another almost SIX hours of Quilting Arts - Season One is waiting.





Twenty - two blocks DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Number 23 is started and I still have a LOT of those balls left over - hmmm - maybe I'll make thirty blocks??????
My problem will be - where to get that last ball of wool.   Ruti doesn't carry it and if I want to get it from her - she has to order 20.   Well - I bet if I search the internet or the CreativFestival - I will find someone who carries it.  But - I may have enough without buying any more. Got to hurry up and see!!!!!


Oh yes - remember I mentioned the mystery creek by Border Creek Station and Quilts at the Creek?  Well the first installment is now up on the blog.  Check it out................   It is scrappy and although I don't need another project - I might just follow along.  This month - collecting the fabrics.

And I found these pictures on the camera disk.


Little Sammy getting a belly rub

M and Sparky


Yes on occasion M visits me. She is so rarely home these days - almost forgot what she looks like!!!!

Well - it is a gorgeous day and there is no time to waste.   As much as I have tons of stuff to do in the house - it is a day to be outside.

I shouldn't tell you this story but here goes. I am on my way to The Hobby Horse yesterday to teach a class.  There is a HUGE traffic jam right in Georgetown and while I had time to wait - I didn't want to.  I made a left turn and drove through the residential area to bypass whatever was holding up the traffic.  OH MY GOD - it was the police.  Just want I need at this moment in my life (which I won't go into great depth here - but if you read my blog - you know my issue).   They were checking for car seats - but still.  I even took a different way home.   OK - time to get that issue corrected - I have all the paperwork now - so Monday I need to make a little side trip!!!!


Have a great day!!!!


Ciao!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have a DISEASE!!!


Cheryl Westlake was the guest speaker at the Brampton Guild meeting the other night. She started her talk by saying that she was sick!  Oh NO!  Then she proceeded to tell us what she had - OH THANK GOD - she told us she had the QUILTING DISEASE!   PHEW!!!!!  

Well I must confess that I have the same sickness.  I remember about 14 or 15 years ago - that I contracted this disease.  I remember telling DH that I was going to take a year off work (to be a good Mom for M) and to beat this disease. I was a good Mom (I think I was) and I sewed my heart out for one year.  I haven't looked back. The worst part - the disease has spread and is running through my entire body - not just my head.

I am having a hard time some nights getting to sleep because my brain is just running with new ideas. And I am starting those projects!  These aren't really projects - they are more experimenting. I just love that. First it was the stripes of which I am still working on - now it is a new workshop that I am planning on transforming 4-patches into 9 patches and vice-versa.  The ideas are coming on fast and furious!!!!

So much that when I got home from my road trip (the car is a  DANGEROUS place with LOADS of time to think and come up with new ideas), I ran upstairs and pulled out all my 5 inch squares from exchanges and they are now ready to be made into something.  I just couldn't help myself.

Box with a bunch of pre-cut 5 inch squares - half of them are light and half of them are dark. Threw in some yardage for making some sample blocks (you have to take the workshop to see what I mean) and yep - there is a good couple days of sewing prepped in NO TIME!!!!


I did some more trimming and prepping and cutting and oh my - I am in big trouble................

More cutting

And this is now the ACTIVE sewing basket.  It started out as ONE laundry basket - I may need to add a second one. OR on the morning of the sewing day - I could just be selective and take TWO, perhaps THREE projects to work on.  That would make the most sense, but I like to have it all with me.  Let's just say that there is NO (or not much) prep required for the upcoming retreat. 




Oh - so let me tell you about my road trip - first off when I left the house early in the morning - the sun was blazing away. It was a glorious day. As I headed down the QEW - the sun was so bright that you could not read the road signs along the highway.  I knew where I was going so that wasn't going to be a problem but for those NOT knowing where they were going - it was hard to see.

As I got closer to my destination -  BAM - look what happened....................


The fog was so thick you could barely see ahead.  Don't worry - the car was stopped when I took this photo


I arrived at The Quilting Bee in Fonthill. The moment I went up the escarpment to the store - the fog was gone. This is one of my favourite stores. I do not get there that often (which is probably a good thing), but I could spend hours just browsing all the stuff.  Kelly is an amazing machine quilter and you could just study her samples for hours coming up with new ideas.  There is so much inspiration in that store - it is hard to take it all in at one time. But I was spending the ENTIRE day there - so I got to wander out from time to time which was good.

I sat in on two lectures by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple.   OH MY GOD - I am so inspired - I am so in awe of Linda's talents.   Linda is just the warmest, nicest, willing to share person that I have ever met. She shared many tips, ideas and her quilting adventures - I felt like I had known her forever.

Although she has been a long arm quilter for a short time (less than 4 years), her work is winning BIG awards all over and her work is just GORGEOUS.  Check out her web site above and also check out Linda Hrcka on Pinterest.  Her work will blow you away. I took some pictures in the class - but really  - you must see the pictures she posts of her work.

Linda (in black and white) and Patti holding up a quilt that Linda quilted for Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings fame (sorry - I couldn't get the Primitive Gatherings web site to load this morning so I linked to Lisa's blog)
 Linda does a LOT of work for Lisa and together they make a formidable pair.  Although Linda's quilting is show worthy - she is NOT a show quilter.  She is a working girl! and quilts to earn money - therefore she tries to keep the hours she works on one quilt to a doable amount of time, but can still spend 50 - 60 hours on one quilt. I believe she said the most was 100 hours which she said she would never do again. She doesn't come cheap in case you were thinking of getting her to quilt a quilt for her!!!


I don't there is a picture of Portland Rose - this is one of the winning quilts this year (2014) at Paducah  (I copied these two lines  from the AQS web site: - in case you want to read the entire list of winners - there is NO picture of this quilt on the page)

BED QUILTS: Longarm/Midarm Machine Quilted sponsored by Hobbs Bonded Fibers
1ST      #3-308 PORTLAND ROSE, Linda Hrcka and Lisa Bongean, Homer, Michigan


It was so worthy of winning - it is not just the workmanship - but the creativity of VERY simple lines and curves that makes Linda's quilting so amazing. The use of negative space - the designing outside the traditional lines.  So creative!  I was blown away!

Here are a couple of feather stitch-outs that Linda did in class today.  Beautiful and took mere minutes for her to stitch

Feather design number one

Feather design number two


Linda and Patti (her friend and assistant - who did a fabulous job with the camera) - thank you so much for a fabulous day!!!   I learned a LOT and it was so worth the day!!  Just wish I could be there again today, but I have a class to teach!!!!

For those of you taking my table runner class at Ruti's - you are going to be SHOCKED at some of the stuff I learned yesterday.   Oh yes - those simple simple designs that I am teaching you  - those are some of the COMMON elements in Linda's quilting!!!!!  I just never took them to the limit that Linda did!!!  But now? - well the sky is the limit!!!!

Since this was a lecture and I didn't think we would be taking copious notes - I took my knitting. I am determined to get these blocks done - even if it kills me!!!!  I had finished one block at the guild meeting on Thursday night and started another one.  Got that block finished at the lecture.  LAST SKEIN of wool is used up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two more blocks complete
There they are - my 21 blocks from the 21 skeins of wool

Now I have 21 balls of left overs

I grabbed one and started to knit another block. Finished that ball so just grabbed another one - tied a knot and kept knitting. I will almost get a complete block from TWO balls of leftovers.  That means I should get about 8 from the leftovers????   Got to keep knitting!!!!


Then I pressed my jelly roll quilt seam - yep - all 800 inches of it

Rolled it up and it is ready for the next seam


That was such an exciting day!  I really did have a hard time getting to sleep. And I was up and cutting early this morning. Now it is time to get ready for my class today.


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


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