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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

365 days is a long long time

Have you ever noticed how we get ourselves into trouble?  And it happens in a blink of an eye.

There are TWO Block of the day quilts happening this year.  Yes - Block of the DAY.  It was bad enough when it was Block of the MONTH, then we had Block of the week, but Block of the DAY? Think about it - that is 365 blocks in ONE year.  Imagine that you spend just ONE hour per day to make that block - that's a lot of hours.

As you know, I signed up for not one, but TWO of the quilts.

That Town and Country Quilt by The Gourmet Quilter

I haven't started this one yet, but I do have my fabrics picked.

This is the second one.

365 Block a Day challenge quilt 

 I made it to February 17th. But I know people who are up-to-date!!!!   Holy cow!!!!   I can't even begin to imagine.  I'm so far behind, I don't even get notifications of updates in the Facebook groups anymore!!!!

Now I understand that the 365 block a day challenge is going to run again in 2017.  I may have a chance to get it done???   I doubt it, but I might actually make it to March!!   I'm going to start in January when it's calmer?  Maybe, I'll start in December - it'll be dead then and I can actually get some of the blocks completed.  I'd love to get the center done!  Wish me luck!!!!

Now The Gourmet Quilter is releasing a NEW Block of the Day quilt.  You can check it out here.   I will see that quilt later this week and I WILL just walk past with blinders on.  I WILL NOT sign up.  I WILL NOT sign up!

Please give me some willpower to NOT SIGN UP!!!

Making good progress on my crazy to do list.  I'm actually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel which is a good thing since there are two days left. After that - well, it just won't happen except for some hand stitching.  So that means heads down - focus. Never mind that I'm still writing patterns and handouts as well.

Better run!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Yes - there is a light at the end of the tunnel

I'm not going to shock you with the details of my day yesterday.  I have no idea how many quilts were bound - I do know that I did quilt two. I was aiming for three, but too tired to make that happen. 

The day did NOT start well.  My allergies kicked in full time and my eyes were watering so bad, I could barely see what I was sewing.  Perhaps that and the clogged sinuses were the reason that TWO bindings got put on the FRONT of the quilt, not the back.  RIP RIP RIP!!!!

This is what the bags looked like on Sunday morning. 

Bags waiting to be filled
And this is what they looked like this morning.  Filled to overflowing.  That's great news.  There were three that had the binding stitched on only one side, but now everything (in those bags) is done!!!!!

Overflowing bags!
I was going to save some time and serge the edges, but NO. The binding is on all the projects that are completed so far.

And what does the studio look like???  There is still LOTS to do before I leave, but the bulk is being shipped.  The rest will go in the suitcase.



Now what hasn't been completed did get shoved into ONE of my tote bags. Yep - just one!!!   That will be my thing to work on for the next three days.  Get as much done as possible.  

I did NOT eat well yesterday.  Pauline had brought me a pumpkin spice muffin the day before - that evil girl!  And yesterday - well I thought I deserved another one, however when I stopped at TIm's - there were NO pumpkin spice muffins, no fruit explosion and thus I was reduced to taking a blueberry.  Nothing wrong with blueberry, but it's NOT pumpkin spice. Then I had a cupcake for dessert at dinner and licorice.  It was NOT one of my better eating days.  Bottom line - my weight is very much in check so I'm not going to complain.

Thankfully my allergies didn't hang around all day - they were on and off which was very annoying.  But I got loads done.

On that note - I'm back to work!

Have a super day!!!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hat trick!!!!

I thought I would provide you with a cooked oatmeal update.  If you read the directions  - imagine that!   It says to cook 2 1/2 - 3 minutes at FIFTY percent power.  No way!!!!   Someone, was that Kathy? mentioned that a while back.  She is SMART!  I cooked my oatmeal in a regular bowl this morning and no issues!!!  There is also a setting on my microwave for custom cook.  I now have it set for 2 1/2 minutes at 60 percent power.  One button and presto - cooked oatmeal - no mess!!!!!   Hey - I figured that out all by myself!

Yes - I had classes yesterday which I will chat about in another post, but I was a roll when I got home. I got the binding machine stitched down on TWO quilts.  Neither was huge, but doesn't matter - they went into the bags. DONE!!!!   The third item to complete the hat trick was to finish hand stitching the sleeve on another quilt.  Three items in the completed bag!!!!   No need to count what's left - we just keep our head down and stay focused!

I also quilted another quilt when I got home and that needs to be trimmed and bound today. 

This is what I got done since I got up!

A while back, Elaine M gave me a car for my play mat. Well the play mat was one of the items that got bound last night and the car looks awesome with it.  The play mat is in the bag with the finished goods and the car is in the box with the embellishments. 

Car and playmat!!!!

I had the embroidery machine going this moring and got about 1/3 of the embroidery done that needs to be done. I'm a bit disappointed with it, applique would have been better - shown up more!!!   Shoot - live and learn. That will be a good learning experience for the presentation and there is NO more fabric so I can't take the border off and do something else!!!!

Two machines going

One for embroidery

One for binding

I did manage to get another quilt bound - one of the bigger ones.  It wouldn't have taken so long except that I was back and forth to the embroidery machine.  I think I did 8 snowflakes.    About 11 to go.

But I'm very happy to report that I have finally mastered the binding by machine and I'm thrilled with the results.  It's all about the width of the seam allowances and the color of thread.  I feel pretty confident about it now and I can zip along at a fairly fast pace.

Binding from the front

Binding from the back
 This is the last quilt that needs a sleeve so I managed to get that made this morning as well - MY WAY which I much prefer.   This quilting thing - it doesn't matter how long you've been quilting, or how many classes you take or books you read. Sometimes the old way is the best way, but it's good to experiment.  I even changed up the sleeve a bit from my normal way (it's not sewn into the binding) and I kind of like that.

Sleeve is made

And pinned in place

If this doesn't get hand stitched today, no worries. It can get packed and the hand stitching can happen at the other end.

Whew - that was a lot in a fairly short period of time.  Let's hope the rest of the day goes as well.  The next quilt is loaded on the long arm and ready to go when we're back from the dog park.  There is a very impatient puppy pushing on my arm - Let's go!  LET'S GO NOW!!!!!   So I had best put on some warm clothes and get going.  Notice I blogged BEFORE going to the park when my hands are warm!!!  Although we haven't turned on the heat yet - NO - one must wait for November 1 for that and well - thank goodness we have lots of quilts. It is a tad cool, but there is no time to notice - we've got work to do!!!!

On that note - stay warm and have a super day!!!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Progress is being made.......

It's a bit cold outside this morning and of course Miss Lexi would NOT miss her time at the dog park. My fingers are still thawing out so typing is a tad slow.  

Lots of last minute details to work out yesterday so only had time to put the binding on ONE quilt.  No worries.  I managed to get one more on this morning - they don't take that long so I'm going to do what I can. 

I came home and emptied the bags and laid the projects all out on the floor again. 

My visual TO DO list
And as I am completing the projects or checking off my list of things for the presentations, they go into these two bags. 

Projects are done and ready to be packed

There is much to be done, but I feel pretty confident that I can get a lot done later today (have to teach today - yes all day!!!!   What were the chances of that?   Nope - I'm not good at scheduling!!!!   I still have all day tomorrow and nothing that I'm making is big so that is a bonus!

I have only two quilt sleeves to put on - thankfully and nothing will be labeled - that can happen later. I had watched a video on how to put on quilt sleeves and I thought I would try it.  I'm not sure I'm convinced that I like this way.  I think I prefer my method.  Let's see how straight these hang and then I'll decide.

Sleeve to be hand sewn

Taking the sleeve with me and hopefully between classes and while the group is working, I can get the sleeve sewn on.  Oh yes, I've got a plan, I've got a schedule and let's hope that nothing deviates me from that.

Here's something that I find particularily annoying. I won't give you the specific times this situation has happened, but I've seen it happen in ALL organizations or other walks of life.  Someone, let's call her Person A as I don't want to pick a name.  So Person A has an issue with something and a lot of times that issue is because of a personal relationship with another person  (Person B). Person A complains and makes a nuisance of herself, both to the group and to Person B.  So much so that Person B is very uncomfortable and the organization spends LOADS of time and effort tyring to make the siutation better.

Why is that?  Why is so much time WASTED because Person A is a trouble maker and wants to cause waves for whatever her reasons are.  I've seen this over and over and over and over again!!!  The amount of time spent is incredible.  Here's how I think the problem should be solved once and for all.

Person A has a complaint or observation
Person B (or a mediary) should acknowledge, get all the information from Person A about the complaint
Person B (or the organization) should then do some investigation - is the complaint valid, if there is money involved (and there almost always is!) what is the amount and how much time does everyone want to spend addressing the issue.
Persaon B (or the organization) should consult Person A - have a conversation and NEVER let the subject rear its ugly head again!!!!!   We're giving way too much time to the Person A's of our lives.

And if you're a Person A - seriously!!!!    Get a life!   I've seen issues over small amounts of money - less than $30 that went on and on and on forever and what a waste of time.  I realize that it's never the actual amount of money, but it's the principal, it's the ego, it's the "I'M RIGHT" attitude.  Well get over it.  I'm so sick and tired of all the BS.

Until we all start addressing Person A and not letting them drive us crazy, then the Person As of the world will continue their pettiness. For the most part, I don't have any Person As in my life. Thankfully.

On that note - it's going to be a super super day!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


Friday, October 21, 2016

What day is it?

I swear that the days are flying by faster than a speeding bullet. Sometimes I ask myself what day of the week it is. But I'm not worried. While there is much to do, much is getting done!

I noticed as I was going through that pile of triangle cut-offs that some of them were already sewn. Hmmm - I bet the person was going to make half square triangles from them and then got discouraged?  I don't know, but I've pretty much gone through the entire pile now.  Maybe one or two left and those will certainly get sewn tonight. 

Cut-off triangles

The other night I had to pick something up from someone and look what they gave me.  Adorable fabric with ORANGE bikes.  I had never seen this one so that made it all the more exciting!!!   Thanks, Vicki!

Orange bike fabric
While the list of stuff to do seems to go on forever, when I packed it up in bags - it doesn't seem like much. It all fit into TWO bags!!!   Not everything is quilted so some pieces don't take up a lot of space. I'm really liking the focus thing.

Packed for show n tell
I'll be bringing some of it back home as there is still work to be done!!!!   Going to be a long weekend, but I'm having loads of fun.

Have a great day!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Surrounded by color!

On top of all the craziness at this time of year, I was scheduled to give a lecture in Orillia.  It's funny how you think of these places as far away, but after you've been there once or twice, it's not that far.  So I'm zooming along yesterday on my way to Orillia.  

I was sorry that I didn't have time to stop along the way as the colors of the leaves were spectacular!  It was like driving down a corridor of brilliant color. The sky was blue which enhanced the yellows, golds, and reds. 

On my way home, I managed to snap a few pictures out the car window as I was stuck in traffic leaving Orillia.  

Brilliant colors!

From greens to golds


Corridor of color

OK - that last one I snapped in the car, but I don't look through the viewfinder. I just hold up the camera and snap.  I know - that's not allowed.  I rarely do it, but the color was amazing.

What a great group of ladies at the guild. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard during a presentation. We had fun, Pat saved my butt when I couldn't find my glasses after the presentation. Don't ask - next time, I put those darn glasses in my purse!!!

Now I have a request for you!  I got some books from Pat while I was there - thanks, Pat.  More Clive Cussler.  I think I must have all the ones I haven't read yet.  Just saves having to get them from the library.

Clive Cussler books to read

Someone, OK - it was Helen, got me started on Reginald Hill - the Dalziel and Pascoe series. Problem is that Number Four - An April Shroud is missing in action. It was in our library. Matter of fact, it was in my local branch. I searched, no luck. The librarians searched and no luck. The book is now officially listed as missing. I could buy the book, but I'm cheap!  So if anyone has that book and would like to lend it to me, I'd greatly appreciate that!!!!

Got two quilts quilted last night.  Right on schedule.  And another day is checked off the list!  I did hear that stress is good for you - gets you motivated and excited!  Yep - that is about right. However, they said that you have to be in charge of what is causing you stress and well, I can say that is also true in my case.  So stress is good!!!!

On that note, I'm out of here to deal with more craziness today!!!!

Have a super day!!!!


Oh god - I think Lexi posted again this morning!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More free stuff!

Where did that saying come from?  An ad I've heard on the radio - maybe Shopper's???  I don't really pay attention much.  

The band-aid is off, the cut looks gross, but I doubt that it will split open at this point.  I see that I need Krazy Glue!  (Thanks, Shell!) Yep - got to get some. Actually, I was surprised that we had band-aids in the house because as a rule, I never use them. 

I was at Fabricland the other day picking up some embellishments and while I was standing in line at the cash, I saw these. They were on sale and how could I leave them behind???  I should have purchased a couple more. These ones are only 60" long and while I do like my longer ones at 120" long, most of the projects I'm currently working on are smaller so the 60" is sufficient.  That long one always falls off my neck, the little ones - not so much!

Orange tape measures - ON SALE
Apparently, there was also a coupon on Sunday when I went to Fabricland that gave an extra 10%.  Hey - I didn't get that coupon, but they gave me the extra 10% anyway.  Thanks, Fabricland!

When I was teaching my class on the weekend, I got more free goodies.  Mary had three more pet mats for me.

Three more pets mats
And I also got more.....................   what's in the bag????   Yep - that would be phone books.

More phone books
Yes, those phone books are super for string piecing.  However, that is it!  I don't think I need any more!
A lifetime supply of phone books

Things are progressing nicely in the stack of projects.  I managed to quilt FOUR quilts yesterday. Yes - FOUR - I think that is a record for me in one day. And that was after lunch!  None of them are huge, but doesn't matter, the backing has to be pressed (I don't press any seams in the backing until I'm ready to load the backing), the quilt has to be loaded, the batting has to be measured and cut, the threads need to be chosen as well as the pantograph.

To make pattern choosing easy, I went through my pantographs and picked out all the ones that I think will work for the upcoming projects.

Pantographs ready to be used
I'm not saying that there is a quilt for every one of those pantographs. Nope, not saying that at all.  And wouldn't the health and safety people be on my case that those pantographs are still sitting on my steps!

A few times, people have said, "oh you could write a book".  Oh - yes I could, but do I want to??? Check out this blog post by Cheryl Arkison.  Cheryl is an author and well - just have a read. What are your thoughts???   I couldn't agree more with her as EVERYTHING is driven these days by how much Social Media is out there. If you don't spend all day, every day, tweeting, pinning to Pinterest, blogging, posting to Facebook - you will get NOWHERE.  And let's face it - you can BUY people who will tweet, blog, Facebook, etc. for you!!!!   People get PAID to do that.  I don't think it's right, but there is so much else out there that isn't right!!!

On that note, I'm going to have another insane day. I have visions of me getting on the plane next week and collapsing until we arrive at our destination.  No - I doubt that since I'm getting lots of sleep, drinking lots of water. It's just the constant deadline, but the intense deadlines won't go away until December 1 so I had better suck it up - there's still 6 more weeks of FOCUS.  I'm so focused, I'm shocking even myself. I've never been this focused in my life!!!

OK - have a super day!!!!!