Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nature Guide quilt using Northcott Naturescapes

Today I'll share the SKUs that I used in my NatureGuide quilt. This is the quilt that was published in Spring 2017 issue of Quilts and more.

Nature Guide quilt

All the fabrics are from Northcott's Naturescapes collection.  This is a Product Finder in the top right hand corner of the link I provided. Type in your state/province and a list of shops that carry these fabrics will appear. If you have trouble, let me know and I try to help you find the fabrics.

21386-12  - used for the sashing and binding












If I were smarter, I would have put those all in a pretty square shape for you, but well - I didn't have time to figure that out.  

Don't forget that there is another post on QUILTsocial today.  All about zippers and the start of the project for the week. 

I've got a list of things lined up to to today. Some quilt designing, some writing and some sewing. It's going to be a fabulous day!

Have a super day as well!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm in big trouble

There's no two ways to say this - I'm in big trouble.  NO - not because of  my flashing eye problem. That seems to have settled down.  No it's because my hobby is my passion and now it's also my job!

I love my job. I love everything (well almost everything) about my job. I love seeing new designs, I love being part of that process, I love designing things with fabrics and I love making them. My problem is that my life is now one big sewing bee!  Work blends into play time and play time into work!

I can't even complain because I love every minute!  And it's just silly to be so excited to go to work everyday. I mean how many people get to say that!

I've been meaning to design a quilt with one of our new collections (well it's been out for a bit) and today was the day.  I'm so excited about the design. However I can't share it with you - not yet. But I hope to start work very soon and when it's done (hopefully by June - all will be revealed). Can't even sew it at the retreat - too many prying eyes!

Don't forget that if you want to hear all about Northcott's latest collections and a sneak peek behind the scenes - I'll be speaking at the Brampton Quilter's Guild.  The talk is tomorrow evening (Thursday) at 7:30 PM.  My suitcase is packed and I had to sit on it to close it and I need to find another one.  Some very exciting stuff happening.

If you can't come, but would like me to entertain your guild with the Northcott story, you can e-mail me and we can chat.

I haven't forgotten about the list of events that needs to be updated.  Just a tad too  many things happening at this moment.

But here are a couple of posts from QUILTsocial that you can read through.

QUILTsocial - Monday

QUILTsocial - Tuesday

QUILTsocial - Wednesday

And on that note, I'm off to read a bit before it's time for bed.

Have a super day!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

If only................

You know how we go on and on about things that we've lost and can't find. And then like yesterday - we find the items!  I think I should keep a new list of all those things that I'm looking for. Hopefully, as I get things in order that list become smaller and smaller, but it requires a great deal of diligence to keep things where they belong.

I'm now missing one more thing that I would dearly love to find.  It's one of my quilts.  It's a small one - about 30 inches square that I use for my curved piecing class.  For the life of me, I can't find it. I don't remember when it was last used for a class/trunk show and I need it. It's probably buried somewhere and I need to get my act together to search it out.

Like my lost book of lists, it's probably in that studio somewhere. Something got placed on top of it?

I'm directing you to the QUILTsocial blog this morning.

Here is the post for today.  It's about raw-edge applique using a new stitch on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 965Q.  The link for yesterday seems to have an issue so I'll post that later.

I've had several people ask about this quilt that I designed. It was shown in the Spring Issue 2017 of Quilts and More.

I don't have the quilt with me today so I'll provide the information on the fabrics I used tomorrow.

Oh boy - I had to make a quick and unexpected trip to the optometrist yesterday.  I haven't been in a long time, but after I saw flashing in my eye and floaters on the weekend, I thought a visit would be in order. Part of the reason I hadn't been in a while was I didn't want to go back to my old optometrist. I googled and found one much closer to my house (in the mall no less) and turns out there is a bit of detachment thing happening in my eyeball. Nothing too serious, but will require a further check up in a couple of weeks to make sure it isn't getting worse. And if I see constant flashing - then I must rush back to him.  I remember Mary talking about this a couple of months ago. She required surgery for her situation. I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Motivational Monday - what was lost is now found!

It's MONDAY!!!!!   Only very weird people get excited about Monday, especially those that go to the gym at 6 AM.  One quick second as I digress from quilting but I decided to get myself back to spin class at 6 AM on Monday. I think I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping!  Go figure- but there is nothing like a 25 KM ride on an indoor bike to get your blood pumping and a good start to the day!

So on with the progress report for this week.  I was prepping for a guild talk last week. It was about organizing your studio and I'm going through my mental list of what needs to be added to the pile of stuff for show n tell. 

Magazines, books, tools, oh yes - let's not forget the patterns. Which pattern box should I take for an example√Č  Oh - let's take this one since it's not super full. 

Box is full of patterns with the theme of Sunflowers or Dogs or Bikes 

Have I ever mentioned that I'm obsessed??  Well - I am and that's all there is to it. I happen to LIKE sunflowers and dogs and bikes. This is the only box that has major themes like this. 

Anyway, I pulled the box off the shelf and OH MY GOD!!!!   What's this in the box???   NO WAY!!!!!
What is this?????
The moment I touched the box, a weird feeling came over me and I thought this couldn't be true.  But YES - there was my book of lists that has been missing since September of last year.  The last time I did the talk on organizing, I took this pattern box with me.  I guess in the mad rush of cleaning up, the book of lists got shoved in the front of this box. 

I almost died laughing when I found it!!!!

The missing book of lists!!!
And see how pretty that book is????   Very pretty!!!

Love the quote I put in the front of the book
Here is the sad note about the book and all the more reason to have our Facebook group for Motivational Mondays - I was doing a task list last year, although not in the same way - I kept recopying uncompleted tasks which was a huge waste of time.  Anyway - I stopped at the end of February!!!!   Now that is sad!!!  This year - there is NO STOPPING as we're all holding hands together to make our lists disappear (virtually) for 2017!!!!

What did I do last week?

I had to "repair" my Kaleidoscope quilt.  Here is the old version .................

Old version
And here is the new version

New version
Only the very observant will notice the difference.  Don't worry about it too much - I'll tell you after I show my group this coming weekend.

I did manage to get a quilt quilted over the weekend. Yeah!!!!!   I still have a few customer quilts to get done - but not many and I hope to get them all done by the end of April? Oh yes - I have to as some of them have due dates and I have some of my own that will have due dates very soon and it would be nice to be able to finish a quilt top and whip it over to the long arm and quilt it up right then and there!!!! And not feel guilty because I should be working on someone else's quilt.

Customer quilt - DONE

I've been asked numerous times about how I store my quilts. I don't have a whole lot of finished quilts, but I'm going to find a home for them and will be sharing with you. As I was searching through the quilts this weekend, getting ready for the next guild talk this coming week, I came across one that was done years ago and the sleeve was still pinned to it.  I'm happy to say that the sleeve is now stitched in place!!!

I'm checking labels and sleeves as I put these quilts in storage. Not long term storage - just out of my living room!

I see from the pictures posted on Facebook that everyone is going gangbusters. Finishing their March projects way before March is over and in one case - even before March began!  WOW-- that is what this is all about. Getting things done, organized, tossed out or whatever.  Keep up the good work.

I`m madly packing for an upcoming retreat and I hope that after 10 days of sewing (two 5-day retreats in three weeks) that I`ll be checking a whole lot of stuff off my lists!!!!

Two things to note today.  One - I posted the time for the Modern Guild Meeting as from 8 - 10 AM   - oops that should be 10 - 12.   (I updated the original information)

And if you happen to have downloaded the Maple Leaf Forever pattern from the Northcott website, take note that there was an error in it.  A new REVISED version is on the website.  So sorry for that.

I`ll have to update that list of events tomorrow.  Run out of time again today!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

It's a start

My friends have no faith in me! OK - so I did say that I was only going to take a laundry basket of stuff to the retreat. Now I'm up to three totes (I'd like to suggest the the total volume is not much more than one heaping laundry basket - thanks Lynn!). But my roommate says she doesn't believe me that I'll bring only three totes.  Two of them are packed, leaving one completely empty tote for emergency packing!  I think there are 10 projects in those two totes - way more than I'll get done over the five days, but I'm an optimist!

I haven't done much tidying, but already knowing that I have a plan in place makes my space feel bigger. I know that the more you throw away or tidy up, the better you feel and hopefully the less I'll weigh (more on that in a second).

In my tidying yesterday, I came across this wise tip for spring cleaning. "The one year rule. Pick an area in your home  - your closet, cupboards, bookcase - and apply the one year rule. If you haven't worn it or used it in any way over the last twelve months, donate  or toss it. You make an exception for souvenirs or sentimental items."  WOW - that is blunt. But it's starting to be my motivator. I wish I could spend more time, but at least a bit a day is going to work.

I even started (however small in the sewing room).  I have all my sewing machine needle accessories in one box. But the box wasn't shutting properly.

Box for sewing machine needles and accessories for needles

What to do with partially used needles?  I used to put them in this tomato pincushion. But the problem is that over time, some of the needles got embedded into the pincushion, never to be used again.

Pincushion for holding partially used needles
 A while back, I made this great little needle case.  You can find the tutorial here.

Sewing machine needle case
 And now all my sewing machine needle stuff fits nicely in the tin.

Tin full of sewing machine needles and accessories
 Oh, I forgot to mention - the tomato pincushion?  It's gone.  I replaced it with my needlecase which takes up less space, fits better and well - the pincushion is gone.  No regrets!!!!

I also have this giant bag of batting strips.  Most are in the 4 inch to 8 inch width by various lengths.  They would be great for someone making smaller projects. Bags, quilted squares or even to piece together for practice pieces for machine quilting.   Any takers????

Bag of batting strips - FREE to a good home

Now for that darn paperwork stuff. I looked at the first pile and well, there's no time like the present to start.

Paperwork stuff for yesterday

So I have the BOX for a charger for my GPS.  Why didn't it get thrown out before?  No idea.  It's gone.

Empty packaging - gone

Bull dog clip and membership card to the guild
 Both are filed in their appropriate places.

Packaging for an Easy Walk
And the bill for the Easy Walk
 Oh - there's a story behind this which Lexi will try to share with you later today. But both items are now GONE.

Some items that needed to be returned to the sewing room. Both have been put in the proper place there.

Ruler and fabric sample - filed!
 And here is a pad of "TO DO" lists.  Why I buy these things is beyond me. Yes - they are cute - yes they could be practical - to someone, but for me - they just don't work. Maybe I should use it at work where I have a slightly different style of work.

Pad of TO DO list paper
For the moment, the pad is filed in the storage cabinet along with the rest of the TO DO lists and journals that I've bought.

I didn't quite get through the stack of paperwork, but I made a good effort and I'm quite happy. There were a few things that got added to the pile and I tried as best I could to deal with them as well.  That is the trick - deal with anything new AND work with the old until the old is gone!

But I had a couple of things that are pending. What to do with those?  Then I remembered that I have this cute filing thing that was sitting in the office, NOT being used.  Well, not being used properly. It was full of other paperwork.  I've moved it to my desk now and the pending stuff and the stuff that is current that I am working on - they are nicely filed in this storage thing.   Oh - maybe I should remove everything from my desktop except the stuff I want?  Now I'm getting ahead of myself!  Slow down!

Nice storage unit for current and pending files

Just that little bit of clean up made a huge difference. I actually feel like there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm going to try and finish the stack from yesterday and all the paperwork that came in that storage unit. Then I can move onto the next stack of paper.   The big question is what am I going to do with all the empty space?  Leave it empty!!!!

On that note, a house in my neighbourhood recently came up for sale. It's had a sign "coming soon" for about 10 days. Then Friday, the sign changed to FOR SALE.  Of course, I checked it out on line. Oh boy - house prices are so out of whack  - it's totally scary.  But I looked at the pictures of the inside.  These people have obviously moved out as there wasn't a SINGLE scrap of anything personal in the house.  I don't care if they had staged it - there wasn't an extra piece of furniture, it was boringly bare.  That's what sells houses???

Anyway, I always said that if an agent knocked on my door and asked if my house was for sale, I was going to say "Yes for XXX price".  Well, I better up my price, because based on the price that this one is listed for (and most are going way over asking), I'd get my price in a heart beat.

OK so here is my food story of the day.  Since the calorie count has been made public for most items, it really makes me think about what I buy and what I eat. Although when I was buying a goodie at the bakery, the woman next to me said they should take the signs away as she didn't want to know. Each to their own!!!!

Here's an example of how we can make BETTER choices.  This is a cookie (oatmeal raisin) from Tim's.  I had to buy one so I could get a picture and yes - I ate it!!!!

If you care to know, there are 210 calories and 8 grams of fat in each cookie.  I think the oatmeal raisin is the one with the least amount of calories.

Oatmeal raisin cookie from Tim's
 BUT if you still want a snack (and who doesn't!), but don't want the calories - why not have FOUR of these cookies instead?

Four cookies
 These four cookies have a total of 130 calories and 4 grams of fat.  You get to eat MORE and have less calories.
I know - sounds boring as all heck, but seriously - I'd rather eat the four cookies. Why do I eat the oatmeal raisin ones?  Convenience!

Nutrtion Facts for the four cookies

Simple Pleasures by Dare

Can you believe, I used to have a medium hot chocolate AND a cookie. (sometimes more than once a day!) A medium hot chocolate has 300 calories. So when I had the hot chocolate and the cookie, that was about 500-600 calories JUST for that!!!  An average adult should have 2000 calories in ONE DAY!!!!

Sorry to spoil your day with those thoughts. Anyway I'm now down to steeped tea (with two sugar - can't help myself!) and my four Simple Pleasures cookies. I'm not denying myself a treat, just changed the treat!

On that note, I made good progress on the quilt yesterday and finished a novel (couldn't help myself!) and I need to get the quilt done today as I have a few more to get done this week.

Have a super day!!!!!


PS - I'll update and add the calendar stuff later - I've run out of time today!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Calendar of Events

From time to time (and to help me get organized), and especially since quilt show season will be upon us very very soon, I'm going to post a list of upcoming events.  I'll try to keep a brief list of the events at the end of the blog on a daily basis so you can be reminded of stuff.  If you have a guild show or other exciting event that you'd like to have added, e-mail me the details.

Now I do have a list of brochures in my paper piles somewhere so not everything will get posted today.  And speaking of piles, I have several little piles around my office and my goal is to take ONE a day and deal with it. Not reshuffle the papers, but toss them, file them or well, I guess those are the two choices. Toss or file. Come back tomorrow to see how I do on that one.

Check out the links below and get these dates on your calendars!

March 20 - 25  My blogs on Quiltsocial will be posted.  I'll remind you on the days and provide the direct link, starting March 20. There are some neat tips on sewing machine techniques and a very cute little project that is super easy - you won't be able to make just one!

March 23 - Brampton Quilter's Guild - I'll be speaking at the Brampton Quilter's Guild. The topic will be "What's new at Northcott!"   Going to be a load of fun and I'm going to take you behind the scenes a little bit (just a wee bit) to see the process involved in creating fabrics.  The meeting is at Jim Archdekin Rec Center, 292 Conestoga Dr in Brampton.  The meeting starts at 7:30 and there is a small fee for guests.

April 1 -2  - Region of York Quilt Show in Newmarket.  And check out this link to a video advertising their show.

April 4 - Wasaga Beach Quilter's Guild - I'll be speaking at the Wasaga Beach Quilter's Guild. I'll have to dig the topic out - I don't have the information beside me!

April 8 - West End Modern Quilt Guild meeting (note - this name is totally unofficial but it sounds good!) We're trying to get a Modern Quilt Guild off its feet in this area. So we've got a meeting scheduled to see how we should proceed. The meeting is from 10 AM - 12 Noon and will be held at Streetsville Kinsmen's Center, 321 Queen Street South, Streetsville. Free Parking. Note there will be a small fee to cover the cost of the room - $5. I'd like to figure out logistics, future meeting dates, ideas for the guild, how traditional quilters are really modern quilters in disguise.  If you have show and tell, please bring it. I'd like to chat about how we can take traditional quilts and with a few changes, they can become modern. E-mail if you plan to attend or just pop in.

April 10 - Lindsay Creative Guild. I'll be speaking at the Lindsay Creative Guild in Lindsay. I'll post the topic tomorrow.

April 12 - 16 - Fireside Retreat (there is still a spot left if anyone would like).  You can take one night, two, three or all four nights.  E-mail if you're interested and I'll get you the details.

April 17 - Dufferin County Quilt Guild. I'll be speaking at the Dufferin County Quilt Guild.  Topic to follow.

Yikes -- there are tons of other things - I just don't seem to have all the information at my finger tips. Don't worry as I know exactly where it is, but I'm running out of time this morning so I'll complete the list tomorrow.

But speaking of keeping things. The other day, it came to my attention that perhaps a purchase that I made hadn't been paid for. Yikes - seriously???  It was from months ago and how the heck would I remember. I could check bank statements I suppose as the amount was for several hundred dollars and I never pay cash for those amounts. My recycle bin in my office has been sitting here totally unemptied for several weeks as I thought I may have dropped something important in it and I didn't remember what!  I know - I'm such a dunce!  Anyway, besides going through my little stack of paper, I thought I should once and for all, empty the recycling bin and double check that something I need didn't get thrown in. Guess what!  Yep - a VISA receipt for the amount in question popped up pretty much right away!  Now how is that for weird things happening?

On that note, I'm out of here as I still have a few more papers in my pile, I've got a quilt loaded on the machine, I've got a Task Master who is very patiently, but persistently tapped her fingers and I must get to work!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Reminisce show and tell - the grande finale

Welcome back to the last day of the show and tell for Reminisce.  I have to say that when I was tidying up near my computer this morning and last night, I found TWO notes to myself for the image numbers of these quilts. OK - so that is ENOUGH of that mess. 

How did you make out yesterday? Did you throw out 15 things?  Did you spend 15 minutes tidying up?  Did you at least identify ONE problem area?  I went home and as mentioned, I did a bit more tidying. I have several piles of paperwork that needs to be addressed. I'm famous for shuffling - I'm not ready to deal with a certain piece of paper today so I shuffle it to the bottom of the pile. And years later, I'm still shuffling some of the same damn paperwork!

It's time to get serious about this mess.  This is where we need to ask ourselves the hard questions - does the paper require action (like paying a bill)?  Then it needs to go into a certain pile or better yet, pay the bill and file the paperwork in the appropriate file or toss it. Does the paperwork need to be saved - like a receipt for warranty purposes?  If so, then create a file for that item and stick the receipt in the folder along with the manuals, etc. What would the consequences be if this paper was never looked at again? If there are NO consequences, then perhaps you don't the paper any longer and thus it's time to get rid of it. But if you need to hang onto it - then create a file folder and file the darn paper away. The amount of time I have spent shuffling the same pieces of paper over and over again is ridiculous. 

And how many TO DO lists do you have?  Time to do something with them.  First - glance over them - is anything still left to be done?  If not, time to toss. Are there important phone numbers? Write the phone number where it should be and toss the paper. If there are still one or two items that you need to keep - then get a notebook and write the items in. Similar to the Task Master. There is NO way you will get 15 phone calls done in a day (unless you're a telemarketer) so schedule three every week or whatever works.  WRITE them in your non-quilting Task Master. Then once a week, look at what you have to do and get it done, then cross it off.  Keeping all those bits of paper - well - time to get rid of them. 

So to embarrass myself, I'm going to go through my first stack of paper with you (I know it will be boring), but I think it might be an eye opener as well and hopefully allow us all to get rid of some of that paper once and for all. Or is it just me who saves paper?  

And hello to all the members of the Oakville Quilter's Guild!  I spoke at the guild last night (about organizing your sewing room) and I'm motivated to get working on this mess (well for me - NOT in the sewing room, but in my dining room!)

There will be more tomorrow on my progress.  WE WILL get through this!  Follow along, but FIRST, you must identify that problem area!

Now it's time to look at the quilts.  What I have to show today are the finished quilts or quilt tops. They are all so very different and absolutely stunning. 

Very spring looking

Look how the values create this strong diagonal through this quilt

Warm scrappy colors (the top)
And the final quilt

The modern colorway

The split quilt (the top)
Which is now quilted!
Here's the back of that quilt

Very elegant - the quilted feathers really add to the look of this one
This one is also quilted - beautiful rusts and blues
This is a very happy quilt - love the bright colors
Very calming blues/greens

And just to remind you what the original quilt looked like - this is the quilt.

Reminisce by Lori Smith  - From My Heart to Your Hands

I do know of one other quilt that was finished and for the life of me, I can't find the picture that was sent to me. That's the problem - you can get pictures on Facebook, they can be sent by Messenger or Text or even in an e-mail (of which I have three different ones) so it's hard to remember where the darn picture is!!

There were 18 in the class and there are 9 quilts above. Add in the other one that I know is done, there are 8 missing.  Some of those may have been shown in the previous posts but they weren't in attendance at the last meeting so I don't have the final version. Hopefully, they are done!  But this is fabulous results. I'm extremely pleased. It's truly a beautiful quilt. So beautiful that I pulled mine out and it's now in one of TWO packed totes for the upcoming retreat. I told my group that I was bringing FOUR totes, but in fact, there will be only THREE.  I'm going to have separation anxiety as I leave my driveway that day, but there is enough work in those three totes to last - well way longer than a five-day retreat!

Here is some other show n tell from the last class.

This was a mystery quilt - very interesting choice for a mystery but I love the modern feel to it!
Modern mystery quilt
And this next one is absolutely stunning.  It came from a magazine and I happened to have the magazine which I promptly pulled out when I got home. It's sitting in my "to do eventually" pile.  I want to say that it's an issue of Fons and Porter from YEARS ago!

Gorgeous combination of brights and black
And last but not least today is this cute button that I saw on one of the staff at The Hobby Horse (where the Reminisce class was taught). We should all have buttons like this!!!

Yep - we all want one!!!

I love love love these year long classes.  We're well into our two classes for 2017, but in a pinch, you could play catch up.  We haven't done so super much in either one.  They are fun and it's amazing to see what the others have done to change up the patterns.  YES - I have pictures of the first show n tell and I'm going to get to that hopefully next week.  I still have some show n tell from my two other year long classes from 2016 that I need to post first.

If you haven't noticed, I'm on a roll.  I want to rid myself of all this excess stuff in my life and while I may not finish with this go around, the important thing is that what I get rid of today will be less to deal with the next time. That means the next round will go faster. And soon I'll be living in a spartanly furnished home with two dog beds, a bed for me and all my fabric!

Have a super day!!!!