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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What have I done?

Did you see that HUGE icon on the front of my blog???  I'm trying to become blog design savvy but somehow - well that just isn't working!!!!   I copied the text and VOILA - I got a huge icon.  How do I make it smaller?  I've no idea!!!  Bottom line - you all know now that I'm going to QUILTCON!!!

I spent another evening working on those quilt repairs.  I think - I truly think that I have all the patches done on the front.  I'm so afraid to check the quilt top one more time, but I'll do that tonight and then onto the small repairs on the back.  Those are easy - no creative patches to make.

In light of the fact that I don't have pictures this morning to share with you - I thought I would share this blog post.  We've all read that article by Singer from 1949 - where they tell you to get dressed up to sew.  Seriously????   Well have a read at this version - I LOVE it!!!!

OH MY GOD - this is the perfect post for ME!   This is a QUILTsocial post by Carla about UFOs.  Yep - all those reasons for abandoning a project - they are on my list.  But here's the bad part - I don't want to give them up!  I still remember the feeling of excitement I had when I started those projects and I want to see them through to the end.

This brings up an interesting point.  DH and I were chatting the other day about my quilts.  I wanted to give a quilt away to someone who has been very helpful.   While I probably have more quilt tops than finished quilts, between the two of them - there are MANY!   I can't give them all away as I use many of them for trunk shows. And since I have a full slate of trunk shows coming up this year, I have to be careful.  But there are a few quilts that NEVER get chosen for a trunk show - those are the ones that need to be given away!  Now to do some inventory checking and I really should take home the HUGE suitcase of quilts that has been sitting in my office for months!

I promise that tomorrow, I'll have more news for you - well news from my studio as I intend to get those repairs done and get working on something else.  The stacks of fabric are piling up! And I'm itching to get cutting and sewing something new!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The last one - of course!

There was a pattern in a magazine that I wanted to get my hands on.  I knew how to make the pattern, but I wanted to review the instructions for an upcoming demo that I'm prepping. Fortunately, I knew the name of the magazine, but not which issue. All issues of this magazine (A Needle Pulling Thread) are in the same spot (or so I thought). I flipped through the first bundle. Nope. I flipped through the second bundle and I was hoping that I had not removed this particular issue and put it with some appropriate fabric.  But I perservered and yes - the pattern I sought was in the LAST magazine.  Why does that always happen???

I don't seem to be 100% recovered from my bike trip. I still feel tired in the morning, but I don't think this cold has completely gone away.  It's lurking - I can feel it this morning in my throat!  Just slightly scratchy so more sleep and more water.  All I can say is that our timing for the trip was PERFECT.  We had pretty decent weather - actually PERFECT weather. I heard yesterday that there is snow in Lake Louise, rain, cold - going through the mountains would have been a bit of a challenge!

You know how we never celebrate those little miracles - we tend to only complain about what we don't like?  Well - there are two small miracles that I'm very thankful for!

Row by row - yes - the summer is marching along, but that doesn't mean that we can't still be rowing!
Ronda and her daughter drove Route 66 - what a fun thing to do.  I could have gone with them but I already had plans!  Too bad!   But Ronda did make a few stops along the way and look what she picked up!!!!

Row by row across the US!

And I heard that there is another one coming from Marilyn that is in fact one of the ones I had hoped to get over the weekend, but could not get my hands on!    I really do have the best friends. A big big thank you to everyone who helped out with row by row!!!!   Can't wait to get started on a new project!

Looks like we have a collection thing about to happen.  Or is it not a collection until you have three???  Ronda picked up the tin on the right and guess who got me the tin on the left?  That was many years ago, but I use the tin - it's great for holding sewing supplies.

Commemorative tins

And a FQ of bike fabric

OK - I have to get this quilt repair finished. I think it is weighing heavily on my brain and that is helping to sap my energy.  I have other way more cool stuff to work on, but can't until this gets done.  I'm hoping one more evening will do the trick.

It's a challenge because there are many holes that need to be patched.   But I'm pleased with the results.  Have a look - can you see the two patches in this picture???  Yes - there is a needle stuck in one of the patches.

Spot the two patches!
 In some instances (many instances) I had to get creativel with the patches. I had to join the fabrics FIRST and then make the patches as the tear went across the seam.  There is an example below.

Creative patches

Except for the big spot, I think I have about 3 more patches for the front.  I'm afraid to check the quilt again - more and more just seem to pop up.  And then there are about 5 spots on the back that need a patch. Those patches should be easy to make.  Let's keep the fingers crossed that tonight is the end.

Well - I'm off.  A busy day - there is never an end to what needs to be done. I have oodles of sewing that needs to be done, but first, a bit of designing needs to happen.

Anyway - have a great day!!!!


Monday, August 22, 2016


It's time to think about quilt classes for the fall!  I have a few classes lined up for the fall, a number of quilt lectures and already booking into 2017!   I'm going to start with the class that starts next month!

This is a class that I'll be teaching at The Hobby Horse.  The quilt is called Gravity by Jaybird Quilts and I've had my eye on this quilt for a while.  Finally it's time to give the class a whirl!  

Gravity by Jaybird Quilts

It will take place over THREE different dates - even though it's a block of the month, I know how anxious my students get about finishing things so we're going to rip through it.  Don't worry - it's way easier than it looks. 

Sunday, September 18  from 12:30 - 3:30
Saturday, October 22 from 1 - 4
Sunday, November 20 from 12:30 - 3:30

Yes - that means you get to bring your sewing machine so you can have some hands on with pressing techniques, seam allowances and cutting.   

As I mentioned, this quilt isn't difficult - NO "Y" seams and it's stunning to boot.  We'll be chatting about technique and color and value!!!!

Speaking of color and value, here are three of the block made in Northcott Toscana.  We're discussing kitting options at this point - details to be provided soon. 

First three blocks  DONE!

Greens from Northcott Toscana

In addition to the booklet, you'll have to purchase two rulers, BUT in order to make these a worthwhile investment, we're going to explore some other quilts that you can make with the rulers!  Besides, the cost of the rulers far outweighs having to do Y seams - so it's all good!!!!!


Hope you can join us - it's going to be loads of fun and I can't wait to get more of the quilt together!!!!!

See you in class - and don't forget call The Hobby Horse to get signed up!!!!

Local: (905) 877 - 9292

Toll Free: (800)565-5366
Store Email

Have a great day!!!!!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Road Trip!

There's nothing like a good road trip to get your creative juices flowing.

There were several reasons why I wanted to go to the International Plowing Match and do some row by row while I was in that area, the weather was awesome and I was away.  When I do a road trip, I try to plan a loop and I was going to start the loop closest to home and then circle back.  However when talking to Elaine on the phone on the way, I reversed my plan and decided to go for the furthest away and work my way back.  Either way, I wasn't able to get to the last planned stop, but no worries - thanks again to the phone and this time Joyce, who saved my bacon by getting me the information that I needed.

No need for a GPS for the first stop - I was off to Quilt Essentials in St. Jacob's.  Everyone knows where that is and I had a quick stop - picked up a license plate and a few goodies and I was on my way.  I had never been to the second shop on my list and no idea where the town was. Neither did my GPS!!!  Thanks again to the phone and Google Maps, I was able to figure out where I was going, however I did miss one turn but thankfully hadn't gotten too far before I realized my mistake. I had to stop often to check Google Maps, but once I knew where I was - I was fine.  It's one of those things - the town may call it Perth Line 72, but GPS doesn't like the Perth part of it.  Obviously, I don't use the GPS enough to figure that out.  No worries - I did make it.  And where did I go????

First off - let's say that I was in good old Ontario farm country.  The farms are very close together - something that is unheard of out west.

Farm country
 But my stop was E & E's Cloth & Creations in Newton.

E&E's Cloth & Creations

The store is very nice inside, they sell sewing machines and the owner was a wonderful Mennonite lady who was very chatty.  I had a great visit and then I was off again.

Yes - we are in Mennonite country.  I saw several buggies - the traditional covered one, and a couple of open ones.

Mennonite buggy
 The other thing that I saw was solar panels.  I love seeing all these solar panels, but there were two MASSIVE machine shops that had been built specifically with the solar panel thing in mind.  One roof - slanted towards the south and covered in panels.  They were HUGE!!!!!!   I wonder who owns them and they must certainly sell that power back to the grid.

Solar panel shop roof

At last, I see the sign that I've been looking for.  QUILT SHOW!!!!!   This International Plowing Match is a a big deal.  This year, it's taking place in Harriston, Ontario and the ENTIRE community has come together to support it. There were some cute signs assembled using round bales, and tons of signs supporting it through the county.  I was very impressed, but then it is what these communities do - they support each other. I saw that there is a contest for the best sign - shoot - I should have stopped to take some pictures because some of them were very creative.

Quilt show - TODAY!  
 Please note that the quilt show was Friday and Saturday.  However if you missed it, the quilts will be on display again during the actual plowing match which takes place in September - the 20-24th. At that time, there will be a number of different competitions as well as the RCMP Musical Ride.  If you've never seen it - it's fabulous.  I saw it years ago and I was very impressed!!!

And now to the quilt show.  As usual, I took tons of pictures but I'm only going to share one with you.  We had to pick ONE quilt as our favourite. I'm not sure if this is my absolute favourite - well yes I think it is.  While there were tons and tons of beautiful quilts, LOADS of hand quilting, I picked this one for a couple of reasons.  It's original (not made from a pattern), the topics touched my heart and well - I think it's gorgeous.

Crisp January Morning

Detail of Crisp January Morning

Detail of Crisp January Morning
 I have tons of doilies and think this is a very neat way to use them, love the background and I loved Spirograph as a kid.  The quilting design is unique and I really like the combination!!!!

One of my reasons for going to the show was to meet Lorna.  Lorna is the brain child behind Sew Fresh Quilts.  If you are NOT familiar with her work, you should be.   She is Canadian, she is very creative and has a super presence on the internet. Her animal patterns are absolutely adorable and I want them ALL!!!!

Elaine with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts

I "met" Lorna on the internet about one year ago. Since then, we've had many conversation via e-mail and I just love all her patterns.  She is a very prolific quilter and she is FOCUSED.  She told me yesterday that when she got into quilting, she made a decision that she was going to be a finisher!!!!   Oh how I wish!!!!   Anyway - check out her website and her blog - I think you'll like what you see. Don't forget to support our local Canadian quilters!!!!!!

The second reason, I went to the show was to see in person the finished Raffle Quilts that were put together by Renske Helmuth.  If you live in this area and don't know Renske's work - you don't know what you're missing. There is nothing  she touches that doesn't turn out spectacular.  The theme for these raffle quilts was 30 shade of green and the blocks had to be pre-quilted.  This is what her and her group did with them.

1st place quilt for the raffle

Back of the raffle quilt

Third place raffle quilt
 I believe the second prize is a sewing machine.

The fabrics to finish the quilts were donated by Northcott.

I believe there was a total of 80 blocks submitted. That's a LOT of blocks.  There was enough left over to make two smaller quilts and I'm not sure where those will end up.

One more quilt from the block challenge

The last quilt from the block challenge

I have to tell you a very funny story about the quilt show.  I was walking around admiring the quilts and there was a woman and an older gentleman sort of cruising the show.  The older gentlemen was looking at the quilt labels and said to the woman "I know that quilter",   "Yep, I know that quilter too".  And at one point I heard him say "I could be a quilt judge!".   From the sound of it, the woman was his daughter.  I'm thinking if his wife is a quilter, then maybe - he did seem quite knowledgeable.  Once I had made the rounds of the show, I was chatting to Renske and some of the other organizers and the woman walks over.  Turns out the older gentleman was Renske's husband!!!!   Oh my goodness - that was pretty funny.  I told her what I had overheard. She roared with laughter, but I'm thinking that he just might make an excellent judge.  He wasn't just a casual by-stander - he was truly interested in the quilts and that was refreshing!!!!

Northcott had also donated some fabric to make some bags for some of the youth involved in the plowing match.  I want to say that it was the contestants for the Queen of the Furrow contest.  Here are the bags - they look gorgeous.

Bags made with Northcott fabric (mostly Northcott)

More bags

At last, I tore myself away from the show. It was an excellent way to spend the afternoon, but I had two more stops to make.

I set the GPS for Fergus and I was off.  Made it to Undercover Quilts with 15 minutes to spare before they closed for the day!

And the last stop was Guelph (Greenwood Quiltery) where they had run out of license plates.  Oh well. I did snap this photo which I think I get every time I go to the quilt store.

Bike sculpture or is that a bike rack?

What was my haul of the day????   I managed to get six license plates (was hoping for 8)

Row by row license plate haul
Two kits - one for me and one for Elaine

It was a great day - had loads of fun and now today is a day of work!!!!   I'm very behind in a lot of things and it's time to get organized.

Have a great day!!!!!


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Canadian Quilters!

I came home last night, got the mail and was EXCITED!   The latest Canadian Quilter magazine had arrived.

I've been a member of this Canadian organization for a long long time, and I was somewhat active for a while (I entered a couple of quilts in the show and wrote a few articles for the magazine). After teaching and attending Quilt Canada this past June, I feel a whole lot more connected to the people in the magazine and also the organization.

Why is that?  I got to spend some quality time (because I volunteered) with the people in the magazine!

And did you know that we have a LOT of talent amongst us Canadian Quilters!  Many of you who have those talents are so reluctant to share for fear of failure, for fear of exposure or perhaps for fear of public speaking!

As I gear up for the "new" year, my calendar is filled with speaking engagements at guilds and I'm so pumped - it's going to be loads of fun!  Trying to plan some events in local stores as well and let's not forget the classes. While I don't have as much time to teach as I used to (and I miss it dreadfully!!), I'm going to have to rely on the few opportunities that I do have to keep in touch with everyone.  Stay tuned for some pretty exciting events!!!!

I'll be putting together my calendar and sharing it with you all very very soon so that if you want to take a class or attend one of my lectures, you'll know if there is anything close to you!   What I really really need is a good web site but alas, there seems to be no time to make that happen!

Speaking of classes, I do try to take a class from time to time myself.  I have a small window of opportunity at Quilt Festival this year and trying to choose from the many options as to what to take and then hope I can get in!  Something that doesn't require taking loads of supplies - I hate those classes because you rarely use most of what you take!

OK - back to the magazine.

Current issue of Canadian Quilter

There are loads of interesting articles in the magazine. Inspirational messages from the President and other members of the organization. Articles about Canadian Designers, Canadian quilt stores, a couple of patterns and so much more.  I flipped through it from cover to cover last night - didn't read everything yet, but noticed a couple of things.  A couple of topics for future magazines caught my eye that would make interesting articles - might write one or two. And there is the Trend-Tex challenge which will be available.  I bought one of the challenges last year at the silent auction.  It's hanging in my office right now or I'd take a picture of it for you. That brings me to another thought - challenges - why do people enter challenges and what makes a good challenge????   I have to say that some of my most creative pieces have been the result of a challenge.  I think I'm going to take note of the entry date and get a kit.

And as a bonus, in this issue is the catalogue of the quilts that were in the National Juried show. It was so fun to have a look back at the quilts. Having handled everyone of those quilts during the judging process - I felt like I got to know each piece a little bit and now having access to who and how and why the pieces were made as outlined in the catalogue (yes that information was on the labels at the show, but not the same) - well it was wonderful to look back at all the quilts and see the prize winners in the magazine.

National Juried Show catalogue 2016
Seriously - we should all be members of the Canadian Quilter's Association. Over and over again, I hear laments about stores closing (and there are some shockers at the moment - did you know The Quilting Bee in Fonthill is for sale or it's closing?  (just the store - not the long arm business).    We have to support LOCAL.  While it is one thing to be part of the BIG movement in the US, (they are big because they have more members, stores, etc). But if we don't create those numbers in Canada - guess what?   GONE!!!!!!!!

 That goes for quilt guilds as well.   Yes - I know guilds can be a pain in the side sometimes, but I've been a guild member of numerous guilds for my entire quilting career and I love them.   What I get out of the guilds can never be had off the internet. Sharing experiences in person, getting access to books, meeting new people - well - it just doesn't get any better than doing all that with real people!!!!

As if all that wasn't exciting enough, some fabric that I've been waiting for arrived at work so now I have some exciting designing ahead of me.

You see where all of this is going????   Yep - crazy busy!!!!!!

And yet last night when I got home, I was tired. Still fighting that cold, but I'm keeping it at bay - just a slightly scratchy throat in the morning and it had better stay that way! And what's with this LONG LONG storm last night - much lightening and thunder for hours (or so it seemed).

I think it's time to get out the calendar, mark some deadlines and get back to that weekly goal setting and it had better be for more than just quilts!  

Yes - scheduling is going to become a HUGE thing in my life.  I won't be able to get everything done if I don't.

Now I'm off to the International Plowing match today to see the quilts and a couple of vendors.  I'm excited!!!!  And I'm throwing in a bit of Row by Row and classroom prep.  Can you tell - it's a jam packed day!!!!!!

Have a super day!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Row by row by row............................

So far, I'm fighting off this cold.  Lots of sleep, lots of water and I didn't sleep in this morning. Hopefully, that means that I'm going to beat this thing. There is zero downtime allowed!

Since I didn't sleep in, I did manage to get some work done on the yarn bag for my Mom. The pockets (with velcro closure) are sewn on. The handles are top stitched and basted in place. 

Progress on the yarn bag

Not much left to do to finish it off.  Yeah!

While I was puttering this morning and tried to put a couple of things away, I noticed this box sitting on the table. Hmm - that was a box that I was putting all the yarn themed fabric in to make a yarn bag for ME!  What do you think?  Could I possibly have some of those two fabrics in there?

Box with yarn themed fabric and patterns for knitting bags

But of course I did!!!!!   Not enough to make the entire bag, but there is certainly enough to get that bottom cover for the plasticor (aka election signs!)

More of the fabric I was missing

 Well - that is good news.  I'm still going to take the smaller pieces, join them and make a zippered pouch to go with the yarn bag. You never know when you need a pouch to put stuff in.  I like to be organized and my Mom does too. 

I came across this when I was tidying up this morning. An embroidery hoop by Cosmo. It's called the one-touch because there is no screw on the hoop - just a spring on the inside. 
One Touch embroidery hoop by COSMO

 I got mine as part of a kit when I was at Market this past spring.  However, some of my stuff had a bit of an accident on the way home and look what happened to it. While the wood did NOT break apart, it sort of buckled and well - there is a big snag on it.  I could file the snag down - it still usable.  I'm going to check to see what a new one costs.  It's actually a great idea to not have that screw. 

Sort of broken embroidery hoop

Hmmmm - before I buy a new one (which I don't need), I should see if I really like this size.  I normally use a much smaller hoop. 

Time to share some of my row by row stuff with you.  I really really promised myself that I wouldn't buy kits this year. Then Shelley had to go and blow that rule out of the water. She inspired me with an idea and well the rest is history!!!!

I got Belinda to be a row by row mule for me in Calgary and this is the loot I got from the Alberta stores.  OK - the kit on the right is from Calgary and the pattern on the left (with the bit of fabric) is from Cochrane which I got. The kit in the middle is from Canmore which I also picked up myself. 
One pattern and two kits
One more kit from Calgary store

I am very specific (more or less) about the kits I'm buying. Can you guess what is my theme???   Actually, there are two.  But it's hard to tell from the pictures above.  It'll all be clear in a couple of months. 

While I love the kits - it's the license plates that are exciting to me!!!!!   Here is my haul from Alberta. I have one more from Alberta that someone gave me a couple of weeks ago so that makes 10 from Alberta. Thanks again to Belinda who helped make that possible. 

Alberta license plates

And here is my haul from British Colombia.   I managed to get two kits and three plates.  I've got one more plate that I want to get and hopefully M will pick it up for me - if she hasn't forgotten.   I managed to pick up all the BC stuff myself. 

Row by Row from BC

There is more coming. I did a bit of shopping when I was in Saskatchewan, but since it was a bit much to carry around on my trip, my Dad is going to ship it to me at some point.  There is no rush. 

I think I counted the other day and I have 37 license plates for 2016.  Now how the heck did that happen?????   And there is more to come!  I'm hoping to pick up a couple tomorrow and well - you can never have too many license plates.  The key is going to make something cool out of them like 2014.  And I have a couple of ideas for 2015.  You can't rush an artist!!!!!

On that note - I'm out of here.  Loads to do and I had better get started. 

Have a great day!!!!