Sunday, May 20, 2018

I'm hooked


So after merrily drifting along and not worrying about deadlines, I'm now behind. Yikes - how did those deadlines creep up on me? I have a plan and it's going to require about two days of hard work to get back on track, but I think I can manage it. Oh - let's be realistic - it's going to take more than two days, but it's all fun stuff to do so I can't complain. But I did get a setback yesterday by watching that Royal Wedding and I had to do a nasty task yesterday that took a long, long time. Something that I've wanted to fix. I did the first part of the repair yesterday and I'm going to finish it today. I'll be sharing it on one of my blog posts for QUILTsocial next week (if everything goes as planned). I'll alert you to that day.

I taught a class on Friday night at Oh Look Fabric: Introduction to paper piecing. The group didn't get as far along as the previous class, but I think they got the hang of paper piecing.

Results of paper piecing class

If you're interested to see what other classes I have coming up at Oh Look Fabric (Milton), you can check out their website. If you have a friend who wants to learn how to quilt (from start to finish), we have a number of classes scheduled over the summer. If summer doesn't work for you, then we'll be scheduling another one in the fall.

And isn't this teeny tiny iron the cutest? It's CSA approved but the new owner didn't want to try it out. You can find it gracing the shelves at Oh Look Fabric.


Cute little iron
 And that looks like a new cord on the iron so I'm sure it's fine to use.

Yes, while I was doing that nasty repair job, I was listening to my audiobook on my phone. I'm in love. I'm HOOKED on audio books. At one point, I finished the book I was listening to. Five minutes later (and without leaving my chair), I had downloaded the next one and was listening. I'm not sure it even took five minutes. I'm doing the Sue Grafton series by audiobook and it's easy to know which book is the next one. In case you're not familiar with her series, it's A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc.

Once the nasty job was done, I pulled out the hand embroidery and did a little bit of work on that. I'm almost done the tree. Yeah!!!!


Progress on the embroidery block


That meant that I had no choice but to remark the remainder of the block. I'm happy to report that with my amazing light pad, it was a simple task. The block is ready to finish stitching.

The block is remarked


This is how thin it is. I know that Marilyn's light tablet is even thinner. You can see my cell phone beside the light pad. Well worth the money. It was a Christmas present a couple of years ago.


The light pad is very thin
 I have a sit n sew later this week and the place is a disaster. I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all cleaned up before they get here. I'm thinking a couple of HUGE bags and just jam it all in and I'm good. It's stuff that I'm actively working on (and I pulled a few other things out) and well, I want to get it all finished and not left sitting in bags.  ACK!!!!   How do I get myself in these messes?  Because I don't FOCUS!!!!

I thought I had better take a look at Easy Street and decide what to do for the final border.  I laid out all four colors that were used in the quilt.


All four colors used in the quilt


Hmm - it was easy to eliminate the yellow and the green. The green was what Bonnie Hunter put on her version of the quilt. But I'm not liking that. It's too jarring for my liking.

That leaves the orange and the blue. What do you think???


Orange or blue??


When I had the two colors laid out, I couldn't decide, but now that I see the picture, I think it's pretty clear. It's going to be the BLUE!!!!!  The blue helps to calm down (and anchor) the quilt. I'll make it blue (might have to be scrappy blue) and the binding will be blue as well. Which ties into the backing which is mostly blue with some yellow.  Perfect. Now that that decision is made, I can put the other colors away. The green and yellow are already shelved. The orange will get shelved and I'll focus on making this border, binding, and backing. I might do that on the Sit n Sew day as I can't afford to take the time to do it right now. I have to get those QUILTsocial blog posts prepped. There's still a wee bit of work to do before I can start writing, but I've been editing pictures and getting ready to upload everything.

I was messing around with an extension cord around my computer yesterday as I had to plug in the iPad as I was watching the Royal Wedding. Murph likes to hang around that area and gets tangled up in the cords. Of course. I found this on the floor this morning. Now where the heck did that come from?




What is a j5create product???  I've no idea. I've googled it and it's obviously an electronic device. DUH!!!  But which one?? I've no idea. And I've so many adapters that it's totally stupid. At some point, I need to go through them AGAIN and eliminate the ones that I no longer need. I think I was doing good until I switched my phone and now I think I have nothing that uses the adapters that I had for that device.

Don't hate me for saying this, but I see the sky is overcast and I'm kind of glad. I should be out on my bike, but I don't really have time. And if it looks like it's going to threaten rain? Well, I can stay in the house.

I just had to call my cell phone. I had placed it down somewhere and no idea where it was. Now, what do you do if you no longer have a landline to call your cell phone?? I guess you use that Find Phone app, but if the app is on your phone? You use your tablet? Oh, that just gets too complicated.

This morning I'm having an iced tea in my new tea press. The flavor is Just Peachy.  Yep - I could drink more of this. I bet it tastes a whole lot better on a really hot day.

A quick note about customer service. I mentioned my AMAZING experience at BestBuy with buying the keyboard (which I still LOVE a LOT) and then there was my bad service at the car dealer. It gets worse. Remember those missing lug nuts that THEY couldn't find? Well, when I removed the tires this morning so we could go to the dog park. Guess what? They didn't put the bag of lug nuts back in the car. Seriously?????  Now I have to call and convince them that they still have them. Normally I get an e-mail asking me to rate the service. I didn't get that this time. It's time to write a note - I'm NOT happy at all about this.

Speaking of rain. What do you do when it's a rainy day and you're a dog? Check out Lexi's blog to find out. 

And on that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


Ciao!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I just did what????


I really didn't have any plans to watch, but I just watched the Royal Wedding. I didn't mean to but when I got up and I was listening to the radio and they were talking about the Royal Wedding, I succumbed and got out my iPad and watched it live while I was sewing.

Watching the Royal Wedding

I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. I watched the other two significant Royal Weddings. It was an interesting wedding and some of the words in the ceremony made me think back to Charles and Diana's wedding. Oh boy - I wonder if Charles (and the Queen) reflected on those words? Oh well - I wish them well. But - seriously????   After the wedding, they are now analyzing every minute detail about the wedding. Good grief. Totally crazy!!!   The big question - did I like the dress? Not really - it didn't seem to fit properly around the bust. It looks very bunchy and lumpy when she was standing at the altar. I knew absolutely nothing about Meghan before - no idea even that she was from a biracial family. That's how much of a vacuum I live in!!!  But now, it's' time to move on and get something else done in the day.

I'm not a big fan of watching weddings, but I do remember one wedding in particular. I was living in Montreal at the time and we lived in an apartment that was opposite a big church. From my living room window, I could see right inside the church when the doors were open. One Saturday in the summer, it was hot and the doors were open. I sat and watched the entire wedding. Why?  No idea, but it was kind of cool. Then they got into an old-fashioned car with a rumble seat in the back. They drove around the block and then got out for the reception in the church basement!!!  Why do I remember that?  I've no idea but I do!!!

I promised I would tell you my tea story and then I'll tell you about the quilting part of my day.

I decided that it was time to switch from hot tea to iced tea. It is summer after all. So at David's, I spent some time, sniffing out some good iced teas. Fortunately, they have some pouches of teas that work well for iced tea.

Pouches of iced tea mix


I decided to buy a sample of their Spiced Apple tea as well. Just a taste in the event that I didn't like it.


Spiced Apple tea sample
And then to top it off, I bought a tea press. I wanted something to make the iced tea in (the tea is loose) and this tea press is good for hot or cold tea. It's perfect. This was the closest I could get to orange. It's coral which is in the orange family!!!


Tea press


Hmm - there is only one bad thing about this tea press. I burned my tongue drinking my tea yesterday. Yes - the tea stays hot, hot, hot for hours!!!!!  And this is how you steep the tea. It's great and the nice thing, it's easy to clean when you're finished.


Steeping the tea


I didn't have any ice yesterday so I couldn't make iced tea, so I did try the Apple Cider. Gosh - it sure tasted HERBAL.  I wasn't a fan so I doubt that I'll buy more of that.  But now I have ice in the freezer and I'm going to try one of the iced teas this morning. Of course, it's a cloudy rainy day out - not the kind of day for iced tea. I may have my standby tea - the Apple Spiced Cider.


Since I showed my flowers the other day, I thought I should show you the flowering tree in my front yard. It's pretty amazing and unfortunately, the flowers don't last that long, but they've been out for a couple of weeks now. The flowers are slowly being replaced by leaves.


Flowering tree in my front yard


I made good progress on the pattern that I'm writing. It's a question of how much formatting I need/want to do. I may have to do a bit of research to make that happen. While I know the basics of my software programs, I'm not into doing a lot of formatting!  Always something to learn.


Then it was time to zip downstairs and fire up the long arm. The HUGE quilt had been loaded the previous day so I didn't have to do that. But this quilt is HUGE.


HUGE QUILT
 I'm always leery about big quilts, but this one quilted up very nicely. I was hoping to get some other stuff done while quilting it, but that didn't happen. While you can step away for a few minutes, you really don't have time to focus on anything too detailed.

I did learn one small thing. But I was able to fix it and no one will know what happened. A tiny bit of removing a few extra stitches but that won't take long. It needs to be trimmed and ready for pickup!!!

And this is the moment that is the most exciting when quilting a quilt - when the final row is being stitched.


The final row is being stitched
 Here's the huge quilt!!!!


Customer quilt - DONE

One more shot of the finished quilt


The backing was made with leftovers from the front of the quilt. It looks awesome and yes, even with all those seams, the back behaved.

The quilt backing


I had better get the rest of this embroidery block remarked. When I was watching the Royal Wedding, I was stitching. I'malmostt done the tree and that means, I'll be running out of stuff to stitch.

Progress on the embroidery


I'm rather happy with my progress and just goes to show that when you do a little bit of something every day, you can actually get a lot done!!!!

I was working on stuff for my upcoming blog posts and that is going to be the focus of the day. I actually have NOTHING planned for the weekend (well until Monday) and I'm super excited about that. It's raining and wet so no outside activities today. That's good, that means I won't be stealing a few moments here and there outside!!!   I'll be chained to the computer and the sewing machine today.

On that note, I'd better get myself going.

Have a super day!!!!


Ciao!!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Asking for help isn't a bad thing


I promised to do write some patterns for someone and I thought it would be an easy task.  HA!!!  They sent me the information in a way that was totally different than what I expected. I thought I could figure it out, but I couldn't. Finally, after a couple of weeks of struggle, I had no choice but to bow my head in shame (because I had made the impression that I knew what I was doing) and I asked for more help.  AHA - once I figured out their logical thought process, it was easier (not easy) but easier. I'm now well along my way in that process. OK - so I'm not as far along as I would like, but I'm making progress and the first one should be the hardest - then the process gets easier. Much easier.

So that's what I worked on in the morning. That was OK. Then I loaded that massive quilt on the long arm. The plan is to quilt it today so all is good. It's huge - 108 by 108 so hopefully that will give me a wee bit of time between the rows to get a few things done. I'll have to monitor it closely though as the bobbin may not last the entire row and that will be a pain.

I managed to get the software for the long arm registered but that process took 20 minutes. Funny how simple little tasks can take so long. I was on the phone with the support team (just easier that way - rather than doing it via e-mail) and it wasn't as simple as you would expect. The response came back that my software had expired. No, it hasn't as the clock is still running with 23 days to go. Notice it wasn't on the last day? That would be the norm for me. The tech support guy tried to tell me that it was because my tablet wasn't set to the correct time zone? Seriously??? So I let him take control of the tablet (that technology is so wonderful) and he fixed the time zone and then tried to put in the code himself. It wouldn't work. So we tried another way which involved me running up to the computer (the tablet is attached to the long arm which is in the basement), then running to the other office in the house where the printer is and then back downstairs to enter the code. But it got done and the system is registered. That's all I care about. One more task - DONE!!!!

Then I did a bad thing. I had some errands that I've been meaning to do forever and they weren't getting done. It was a glorious day out so I grabbed all the things that I needed and I was off. It took me two hours in total - I walked the entire way and it was amazing to be outside!!!!  That's my downfall. When the weather is nice, I certainly do not want to be in the house. I was at the mall and did some tea research which I'll share with you tomorrow. Going to experiment this morning. I had to stop and buy a pair of socks. My feet were starting to get blisters and that wouldn't do - I was only half done my errands. I bought a pair of shorts at the same time. They ended up being $10 cheaper when I rang them in at the self check-out than what was listed on the tag. I'm OK with that.

I stopped at Starbucks as well. Only because I have a card with money on it. Gosh - everything is so laden with calories and sugar. I ended up buying a cookie that was almost 300 calories. That was my snack for the day. But imagine buying that cookie and a sugary drink? That's a snack of 500 calories (or more) which one would gobble down quickly and then - you're still hungry so you eat more. It's a vicious cycle!!  But keeping track of the food I eat on MyFitnessPal (app on my phone) has been a huge help. It's not even the sugar thing - it's the number of calories - that's HUGE and once I started tracking, I haven't looked back and I haven't gained anything!!!!!  Of course, I did almost 14,000 steps yesterday, but then I only did 5,000 on Tuesday.

Since I was at the mall and there's a Shopper's, I decided to check my blood pressure which I haven't checked in eons. M could relate to this as every time we went to Shopper's, I checked my blood pressure. It seemed we were there a lot. Oh my - I'm surprised that I'm still alive - 106 over 67 or something like that. DON'T PANIC. Those numbers are right at the bottom of the normal range. I'm good!!!!   Got to watch that because my mother has high blood pressure issues so I keep an eye on it, but I don't think there is anything to worry about.

So let's see what quilting stuff I managed to get done. I got the middle border on the Easy Street quilt. That was great and I have four of those blue/orange units left over.


The middle border is now on the Easy Street quilt
 That's the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter from a number of years ago - I think it was 2012.

Here's all the fabric still sitting in the basket until the quilt is finished. I have to choose what color to use for the last border and binding. Then I'll get those cut and made and sewn. Then make the backing and this one is officially OFF the UFO list and on the "to be quilted" list. Maybe over the weekend, I can finish that.

The leftovers of Easy Street

I'm quite behind on a couple of other tasks (the ones that are posted on my computer monitor so I don't forget them) and I need to focus on those. Got some more supplies yesterday to finish up those other things and I'll be sharing them with you in the near future.

I promised to share my light tablet with you.  This is what it looks like. It's super flat and a large surface - 12" by 17". Marilyn just bought one as well and I know she's going to love it. They're not cheap, but so worth it.

Large flat light pad

I love the large size because if you're working with a large pattern (to trace), it can easily accommodate that and the fact that it's pretty flat makes life a whole lot easier with those large patterns.

While I sat at my meeting last night, I steadily worked on my embroidery block and I got a lot done. It's almost time to do some more marking. I'm going to try and finish remarking this block today.

More stitching was accomplished on my block
 That's also part of my UFO list for 2018 so that's all good. It's the middle of May and I think I have moved ONE project only to the "to be quilted" pile. I want to get caught up. What I mean is the object was to finish one per month so a wee bit of work is in order to make that happen. 

Here the pattern is sitting on the lightbox and the fabric is on top of the pattern (not lined up). It's a breeze to trace.

Getting ready to trace the pattern (after I line it up)

I use a super fine (.005) permanent pen to do my marking. It's easy to use and the lines are amazingly easy to see when you're stitching. They disappear after the stitching is completed (well technically they are still there, but they are hidden by the stitching). And if you make a mistake?  Well, it's a new element in the design. The other thing that's nice about using this pen, is that you can mark BEFORE you put the backing on the embroidery. That makes the marking even easier. In this case, the backing is already on so it's not as easy, but still not bad.

Fine permanent pen for marking embroidery
And there is GOOD news. I decided (after promising that I would) that I would deal with this keyboard issue. I went to BestBuy with my $45 worth of coupons. I was helped by a VERY HELPFUL staff member and he opened boxes and I tested keyboards. I decided to go with an ergonomic keyboard with a rest for my wrists.  He mentioned that I may have a bit of a learning curve with the keyboard, but I was OK with that. 


New keyboard
The verdict???   I LOVE IT!!!!!   I love the wrist rest. I love the slight curve in the center, my hands feel much more relaxed and I also bought a can of compressed air to keep the keyboard clean. Thank you BEST BUY for the great help. I'm sending a review this morning - I didn't have time yesterday. 

Why or why do we put up with crappy situations when the problem could be fixed? I must resolve in the future that if something is bothering me, I should just get it fixed NOW. Thanks for the push to get the new keyboard.

Then while I was having my dinner, I couldn't stop reading that e-book that I had downloaded to my tablet. For someone who has technology issues from time to time, I sure have a load of electronic devices!!! Anyway, I had the tablet propped up on the table outside and while the dogs entertained themselves, I managed to finish that book. I'm not a fan of e-books, but it was convenient to just swipe instead of having to hold the book while I ate. God - I'm getting lazy now!!!

Set up for reading my e-book

Before they disappear because we have waited so long for them, here's a picture of my tulips in the front garden.

Tulips in the front garden


And here's the trilliums in the forest. When I left for my walk, I went out the back to save a few steps (about 500). I didn't take the girls with me - they were rather ticked off by that fact, but instead of a two-hour walk, it would have been 3 or 4. They are NOT the best-behaved dogs on their leashes.


Trilliums in the forest

On that note, I"m out of here. I've got loads to do and I had better get started.

Have a super day!!!


Ciao!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Making bowls



I did NOT get a chance to get to BestBuy to investigate a new keyboard. But guess what - today, the keyboard is behaving (more or less). Seriously I think it's my brain synapsis not functioning properly and not sending the right messages at the right time to my fingers!!!  BUT I did find $45 worth of coupons that I can use at BestBuy so I might just wander down there today to see what I can find. I did find a nice keyboard online that I really liked so I'll check out the feel and go from there.

Why didn't I get to BestBuy? Because I don't have a car! I took the car in for servicing - regular maintenance and change the tires. I got THREE calls from the dealer - they could NOT find the lug nuts for the tires. I have fancy ones for my fancy summer rims (like everyone else).  Seriously?? They were in a cloth (white) bag RIGHT BESIDE the tires in the back of the car. I know because I had touched them while putting the tires in the car. Tires on a rim are VERY heavy by the way!

The first call - I told them the lug nuts are in a cloth bag in the back of the car and were right beside the tires. I get a callback. Nope - the lug nuts are NOT in the car. Yes they are, I insisted. A white cloth bag. I get a callback. Nope - they searched the entire car and couldn't find them. Now I'm getting frustrated. THEY ARE IN THE CAR. I never remove them for fear of losing them and I had TOUCHED them that morning. I get a callback. OH - they were in a cloth bag, not a plastic bag. DUH!!!  That's what I've been saying. And it was the dealership who put them in the cloth bag when I first bought my winter tires!!!!  How could you miss a HEAVY, LUMPY white cloth bag RIGHT beside the tires?  I think they should install my tires for free for that!  But that won't happen!!  That took HOURS to resolve. The first call was at 10:37 and they finally found the lug nuts at 2:43.

It's now almost 3 PM by this time and they say that I need two new tires and front brakes are almost gone. I guess they won't have it done by 5 PM when I needed to leave my house to teach a class. NO. I borrowed DH's car - thankfully he had taken UBER to his conference yesterday. So that was a bit of a weird service call, to say the least, and it's going to cost me a LOT of money. But I don't think that I've ever had the brakes done on that car and there's over 150K on it. Still, I could have bought a lot of fabric with that money, but I don't need the fabric so I guess that's OK and better to be safe!


Yesterday I taught a class at Oh Look Fabric on fabric bowls using the clothesline cord. Always a fun class. I've made several items in the past including this HUGE tote bag. Gosh, that was years ago as I remember doing the bag as a sit n sew at Cockadoodle Quilts.

My clothesline tote bag

To refresh my memory on techniques and to try a couple of different things, I worked on a new bowl yesterday as I have a LOT of clothesline cord that I acquired from a guild garage sale.


Making a new bowl

Finished bowl

How cool is that!!!

There were four in the class. One of the ladies has a relatively new sewing machine and it took a bit to get the hang of what was happening.  She made good progress on the bottom and was just starting to turn the bowl.


Just starting to turn the bowl

This one is also going to be bigger. I love how she used a very subtle color difference on the OUTSIDE and that gives the bowl a really nice textural look.

Nice textural look on the outside

This one is finished and has a slightly contrasting colored thread on the top three rounds


One more bowl - DONE
 And this bowl got finished as well. This time the contrast on the top is much greater.


Another bowl - DONE
 And here are the students. I think they did a fabulous job with the bowls. The sky is the limit with the bowls. Now that I've made another one, I so want to make more!  I've lots of different techniques to try out but alas, there isn't time. This would actually make a great project to take to the retreat. I may just throw a section of clothesline in the retreat bag. Oh sure, along with the squirrel quilt that I cut out yesterday because I came across that half cut project when I was prepping for the bowl class.  SQUIRREL!!!!  It is actually a quilt with squirrels on it!!!


The happy class!

This is Andie's bowl (Andie is the shop owner).  I stole this from her Instagram feed - sorry! I forgot to take a picture last night. Aren't these bowls just the greatest? And there are so many options.

Andie's bowl




Now here is something that makes absolute sense.  I came across this article and it's so true. This is what I want to do when I get older.  If you're in the position of looking for a new home because you're now on your own, this is something to seriously consider.  Imagine how fun it could. Yes - there would have to be ground rules, but to add 10 years to my life?  You bet!!!!

Just got a call. The car is ready and they will come and pick me up! 

The bad news about today? It's gorgeous outside and I can hear my lounge chair calling. BUT - NO!!!  I've too much work to do inside. I've got a quilt to load on the long arm - a HUGE one. I've got patterns to write and quilts to design. I can no longer put them off. They need to be done. But I'll have a few breaks outside for sure and I have a bunch of errands that need to be done. There was NO fruit to go with my oatmeal this morning. I managed to find some slivered almonds in the cupboard and that worked just fine to give it a bit more flavor and texture.

If you're interested in the bowl class, there is another one scheduled for June 22 (Friday) at 7 PM.  Call Oh Look Fabric to reserve your spot.

I forgot to do some hand stitching yesterday. Not even five minutes - but I'll get to it today. I have a meeting tonight and that's the perfect place to hand stitch.

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!

Ciao!!!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

It's like being in kindergarten


A quick comment about the keyboard. I'm used to using a laptop keyboard. There's a different touch of laptop keyboard compared to a stand-alone keyboard. I DID go shopping for a new keyboard a while back. I couldn't find anything that was BETTER than what I have and it was around Christmas time so I couldn't get a salesperson to chat with. BUT, I'm going to go again today. It's not so much that it's sticky, but it just doesn't work smoothly OR it could be me. Maybe I'm trying to type too fast? Some days the keyboard is totally fine - like this morning and other days, it's bad. So maybe it's just me and I have to just suck it up and rely on Grammarly to help me fix the mistakes?

While I have a ton of stuff to do, it's nice from time to time to take a class. I RARELY take a class with someone else. I'm a bad student. But a couple of us decided that we were going to take a class and yesterday was the day. Actually the first of two days. The next class is next week. We made Sacha drive and Vivenda and I (and Sacha) chatted all the way to Orillia!!!  We were a wee bit late for the class because of traffic. Let's just say that it felt totally weird to be at that store and not staying at the retreat house which is just around the corner.

There was NO way we could start the class immediately as we were like children in a candy store. Thimbles and Things is my ALL time favorite store. Sue (the owner) keeps up-to-date with all her stock - patterns, fabrics and other goodies. It's hard to walk away from that store without buying one, or two, or perhaps even three (or more) things. Sue wasn't there as she was on her way to Spring Market. Alas - I won't be going, but that's OK. I don't need to go and I have a ton of stuff to do. Besides, Sue will bring back all the good stuff and we'll get to see it next week at our second part of the class. No worries! She will unearth all the good stuff and I didn't have to take the time out of my schedule. Love that!!!

So what class were we taking?  Collage!!!!!   Laura Heine style. If you're not familiar with Laura's work, check out her website. And Sue had brought in some NEW patterns which we couldn't possibly leave in the shop. However, we did restrain ourselves so we would have a few things to buy next time we were there. We are so BAD!!!!

I've decided to use my Kaffe Fassett fabrics which have been sitting around forever to make my collage picture. Which pattern am I working on?  Oh - you'll have to stay tuned for that.

Cutting fabrics
 Actually, when we left, we told Jen that we were going to have several prepped for the next stage by next week. AH - the dreamers we are!!!!

OH MY GOD!!!!   This morning, I had to drop my car off for service to finally get the summer tires installed. That took an hour, just to drop off the car and get a ride back. BUT the Customer Service Rep, with whom I always deal with asked me if I had lost weight!!!   YES!!!  I was quite excited about that. Actually, I was at spin class this morning and cranked out my 30 K and I feel like a million bucks this morning. So nice to put clothes on and not have my body spill out where it isn't supposed to.

Anyway, back to the post.  In keeping with my daily handwork, I dug out the next block of embroidery. This is the one that I had to wash out and remark. The blue wash away pen had virtually disappeared or was such a mess of lines that I could no longer work on it. It was partially stitched so that presented a problem. 
The next block of embroidery


This time, I used a very thin permanent marker with my new light tablet which I'll show you another day. As I sat at the table last night and listened to my audio book, it was a breeze to stitch on those very visible lines. But they are NOT visible once I've stitched on them.

Going gangbusters on the stitching

 I believe this is block number six of ten blocks. It's the last large block, but even the small ones have lots of stitching on them. But the important thing - I'm going to focus on this. EVERYDAY!!! 

There's still a lot of marking to do in the center of the block, so maybe I'll work on that. Speaking of prepping, I did get the next 7 or 8 blocks (the red) cut for the 150 Canadian Women. I'm going to try and get it all cut out in the next couple of days. So much to do, so little time.

Now, this is a snob story. M used to work at Teavana which was in the nearby shopping mall. They have since gone out of business. But before they did and before she left, I bought a couple of canisters of loose tea. Spiced Apple Cider. Since I've given up Tim's, I've been making my own tea bags with the loose tea. I'm now through the first canister and there's one remaining.



Canister of Spiced Apple Cider (loose tea)


Notice that huge sticker on the side - 75% off?  Well, have a look at the price of that canister of tea. Yes - the regular price is almost EIGHTY dollars. That's crazy!!!  But I LOVE this tea.


Crazy price for tea


It was priced at $16 per 100 GRAMS which is insane. 

I have a couple of other canisters (smaller ones) of different flavors, but what am I going to do? I love this tea.  I suggested to M that I visit David's Tea and she said: "Oh if you want a lesser quality tea!" What a tea snob!!!  I know there is a new tea store at the mall and I might just check out both places and see what I can come up with. I still have a couple of months worth of tea here and lots of green tea so I'm not going to go short anytime soon, but I don't like change!  (Well most of the time).

That means I have to put keyboard and tea on my research list and see what I come up. 

Now that I'm way behind for the day, there's a pattern that I need to write today and then I have to hit the sewing machine this afternoon.

OH - I should tell you my UPS story. So I went yesterday to take that box of quilts. I had applied for a UPS card which would give me 10% off shipping. I found that out from a DIFFERENT UPS store than the one that I go to all the time. Why wouldn't he tell me???   Probably because he wanted to "keep" that 10% in sales.  And I'm already on my second UPS store in the neighbourhood. So I told him about that because I couldn't find the darn card yesterday before I left the house.  Would he give me the 10% discount?  NOPE!!!!   I was a bit ticked off. So you can be sure that I'm going through the stack of paper where that darn number is residing and will be presenting it the next time I go there.  Serioulsy, I showed him the e-mail I had received from UPS (welcoming me to their program). Not good enough.  Thanks a lot - UPS store!    I think I'm going to start checking the weight and size of the boxes before I go to the store. Somehow I don't trust them and this guy used to charge me $5 to get a signature on the other end without asking me. Now I know to say NO SIGNATURE. I should have brought the box home and shipped it today. The discount was worth $12!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here.

Have a great day!!!!


Ciao!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Motivational Monday


It's interesting how non-quilting family members FREQUENTLY ask the quilters in their family "how many more quilts do you (we) need?"  What's interesting is that if the quilter in the family didn't quilt, what would they do all day?  Seriously??  I was up early this morning because I went to bed really early last night. What did I do? I sewed of course! But what would I have done if I wasn't a quilter? I'm certainly not cleaning my house.

My response when people mention this obsession with quilting? This is our hobby, it's our therapy and it's what we do to keep from killing, bugging the non-quilter in the family. Quilters love to socialize with others and quilting is often an excuse to meet with others. It keeps us sane!!  Just remember that the next time someone asks you how many more quilts you're going to make. I've still got hundreds (thousands - even) in me!!!!   What will happen to them all? They'll be given away/donated when I'm no longer here and I'm OK with that.

OK -- this keyboard is driving me nuts this morning. It looks like I can't type worth two cents. I just want to give it a good whack on the side of the desk, but I know that won't fix the keyboard, but it might make me feel better!!!

Yesterday was our Monday sewing day. I got loads done even though I had to leave early because a package was arriving at my house that I didn't want to leave on the doorstep. The package arrived at 6:19 PM!!! Oh well.

Here's what got done at my house yesterday.

Let's start with the weekly update on 150 Canadian Women quilt. (Kat - I'm almost done!!!!!) Six more blocks were completed yesterday. That leaves 18 blocks.  EIGHTEEN!!!!!!   I'm super excited about that. All the white is cut and hopefully, I can get the rest of the reds cut this week. I'm almost done!!!!   Yippeee --- divide and conquer. A little every week. If I had not done that, I wouldn't be this far along.


Six blocks for 150 Canadian Women quilt


I managed to get four more blocks from Night Sky sewn together. I think that leaves 7 blue ones to go. But I had to leave and I had other things to do when I got home, otherwise, I would have had more blocks completed. I thought I had reversed the little points on one of the orange sections. Turns out I had somehow got the triangles mixed up in two blocks. But I didn't realize that until I had "reversed" one and that meant that I had to reverse the second one as well!!! DRAT!!


Four more blocks for Night Sky quilt

Since I was home, I thought I might as well load the next quilt onto the long arm. Well, it was already loaded, but it needed to be quilted. And I was RIGHT!!!!!   Double tap on the file folders and they opened instantly! Amazing what we take for granted. I knew that on the computer, but it just never occurred to me on the tablet. My frustration tapping must have somehow had two taps in a row and that's how I managed to open the files before!!!  Too funny!!!!




My quilt - done!!!


However, I did learn a very valuable lesson yesterday. I was doing a very loose pattern on this quilt. It's foundation pieced (with the muslin still attached to the blocks) and lots of seams so I didn't want to have the long arm jumping over all those corners. I managed to fit the design nicely into the rows and it worked well. Since the pattern was loose, there weren't a lot of bobbin changes. And I meant to look at the bobbin before I sent the computer merrily on its way to stitching.

I never thought anything of it and when I came back to the long arm, I hit the NEXT ROW button without checking the quilt.  ACK!!!!!   The bobbin had run out halfway across the quilt and I HEARD it do that, but I didn't check.  ACK!!!!!!  I AM AN IDIOT!!!!!    OK - this should be easy to fix, I said bravely to myself. I'll just restart the row and then trace forward to where the thread ran out. OH shoot - there's an even row and an odd row and they are NOT the same!!! But I managed to fix it!!!  It took a wee bit of thinking on my part, but I learned several lessons yesterday.  If I hadn't made that error, I wouldn't have learned how to fix such an error or such "delicate" repositioning.  Yep - making mistakes is good. The important thing - DO NOT PANIC!!!!

While that quilt was quilting, I was attempting to put the binding on the four #Humboldtstrong quilts. It's a challenge to try and do two things at the same time. I think I managed ONE binding in the time it took to quilt that quilt. But they are all done - finishes 31, 32, 33, and 34 for the year. Even though I didn't do all the work on them, I'm calling them finishes as I did a fair amount of work on them (quilting and binding) to call them a finish. I searched through the stack of boxes in the garage (I keep all kinds of boxes now so I can ship quilts out) and found this one that was perfect. I had received a fifth quilt for #Humboldtstrong at our guild meeting on the weekend so there are five quilts in this box. It just needs to be taped shut and dropped at the courier this morning.

#Humboldtstrong quilts
 Actually, I'll write a small note and put in the box before I tape it shut.

I was reading on Sheri's blog (Whole Circle Quilts) about her challenge of doing some handwork every day for one year. She just finished that challenge and hopefully, this link will take you to that post. I should try to do that. Now that I'm liking how accessible audiobooks are (on my phone), I'm listening to the darn things all the time. I listen to the radio in the morning, but during the day - I've got my audiobook on. Even when sewing. Oh god - another addiction!

Anway, I decided that I had better get my act together or I'm never going to finish this embroidery project which is on the list of UFOs for 2018.  So for the last three nights, I worked on this embroidery block. It was mostly done, but the snowman on the right needed a wee bit more work. I'm happy to report that the block is DONE!!!

Snowman block - DONE
 That was a LOT of detail in that scarf and took forever!!!!


Loads of detail in this snowman's scarf

The pattern is Winter Wonderland by Crabapple Hill. I've only been working on it forever!!!!  I've seen many versions of this same quilt and someday, mine will be done. I now have five blocks (there are ten blocks) complete. The worst ones are done. Well, I'm halfway through the last of the big blocks. I had to wash the block and remark it as the blue wash away pen I used had faded. Another lesson learned.


Winter Wonderland

The blocks in the borders are all cut but not sewn together. Perhaps I can work on that once I'm done the 150 Canadian Women?  No, I've got other plans for that. I might work on those blocks when Night Sky is completed.

Anyway, if I could manage a wee bit every day, I could get it finished. Looks like a lot of audio books in my future!!!


But that's not all that happened. This is the binding for the scrap quilt that I quilted yesterday. It was already made but it's now with the quilt, ready for binding later this week?


Binding for the scrap quilt
There was one other quilt in that binding pile that didn't have a binding so I made that this morning.

Binding for a community projects quilt


And this is the stack of binding that I still have to do. As some get binding put on, more quilts get added to the pile! It's totally insane. Thank goodness for putting the binding on by machine or I'd never get finished anything.


Pile of quilts to be bound


This is one of the table runners for our class at the end of April. I made it at the retreat, but haven't had a chance to share it with you yet.

Flying Geese table runner
 Lots of neat areas to quilt in that one. Yellow is probably the color I use the least, but I was determined to find something in the yellow stash basket for backing. I found bits and I used them all up to make the backing. That's sad when you have to piece so much for the backing of a table runner! But I'm OK with that. It used up some smaller pieces and I got the backing for the table runner. It's all about using up our stash and now that my very local quilt shop is closed, I'm using my stash way more than I ever did and that's a GOOD thing.


Scrappy backing for the table runner


I had made the binding for this one when I made the top so it's all together now and in the "to be quilted" pile.


Backing, binding and table runner - ready to be quilted


This is one of my favorite sayings and I guess we can call it the inspirational quote of the day.  Seriously, if you stop, you will fall. I just don't allow that to happen. A lesson I learned from my parents. This was a gift from one of my students!!!   Thanks so much - I love it!!!


Inspirational quote on a notebok

One can never have too many notebooks. As much as people keep all kinds of information on their electronic devices, I still like to write stuff in a notebook. Just like I like to read a real book - I love to turn and touch the pages. You just don't get that same tactile feel from a computer/tablet screen. You just don't!!!

Hopefullly everyone is making good progress on their Monday projects?  I decided that I need to focus on them a wee bit more which is what I'm doing these days and I'm seeing some amazing progress. I'm super happy about that. But as I look around the studio, there are so many projects that are almost done, but just need a wee bit more work. Ah - to have the luxury to get those finished. One day!!!

On that not, I'm out of here. I can't stand this keyboard any longer. I'm ready to whack it. BREATH DEEP. REALLY DEEP!!!


Have a super day!!!!


Ciao!!!!