Monday, February 27, 2012

Who didn't?

My plan yesterday, after teaching two classes, was to go home, cut the fabrics for my Mystery Quilt, possibly put together my sample quilt (below), sew on the "elusive" binding for Winnie The Pooh (I still haven't found it!) and start piecing the mystery quilt.

Guess what!?!  Didn't happen!  After teaching my Beginner class and giving a 1 hour class on quilting, Barb and I shuffled off to Michael's because she had 2 40% coupons and needed me to use one for her.  OF COURSE, they didn't have either of the things she came for but I got some really cool ribbons out of their $1 bin for a project I'm working on.....

When I got home around 7:30 P.M. I was so tired that I had a bowl of cereal for dinner and went to lie down....Of course, I flipped on the TV and started watching the Oscars - so hence my question above - Who didn't!?!? - watch the Oscars, that is!

Below is the quilt I really wanted to put together last night - I was showing the girls two variations but I am planning on doing the traditional Amish Shadow....
 Traditional Amish Shadow Layout
 Another variation of the blocks - a heart is forming on the bottom.

I didn't stay in bed while watching the Oscars, I had to get up (mostly to ice my sore knee) so in order to make good use of my time I started the "search" for the "elusive" binding.  I managed to sort through alot of stuff and re-organize a bunch of projects but no binding was found.....I' can't imagine where it's hiding....

Since I can't sit idly watching TV, I did get busy on my socks! (Sock - one at a time..) and I'm slowly getting to the point where I can do the heel.  I'm so behind......but 3" are done so I'm half way there....
 The yarn is Red Heart -Heart & Sole
Razzle Dazzle which we carry in the store.

I now have a "knitting" bag which I schlepp back and forth every day in the hopes that I can get a few stitches done when there's some down time.  It works, when I'm baking something that only takes a few minutes or waiting for the water for pasta to boil, I just pick up the bag and knit a few stitches.  Currently I have two projects going, the socks and a Cancer Comfort Shawl.

I started making the shawls about 3 years ago when I was told about the project by a fellow guild member at Pieceful Night Quilters Guild.  Of course, I told a few people about the project.  Liz,  because she's Liz, went out and bought the needles and 4 balls with the intent to get two shawls done (each shawl takes 2 balls of Lion Brand Homespun).  She made an attempt but finally decided that it wasn't going to happen and dropped them off to me.  I started it two weeks ago and haven't gotten much done in the last few days but I've almost finished the first ball.
 It's another one of those projects that doesn't require too much attention.  The pattern is easy - Cast on 63 stitches, knit 3, purl 3 and that's it!  You don't really have to think too much and trust me, mistakes are hard to find.....

I keep that project in my knitting bag as well, so I can just pick it up and do mindless knitting when I've got a minute.  Before you know it, the shawl is done.  I can even knit this one in the dark....When they are done - I just drop them over to Pat at the guild and she gets them to where they need to go.

That's about it for this morning, I have to stop at Metro to pick up some stuff for lunch today - Monday Sit & Sew!  It is just so convenient living one minute away from Metro.  Then off to the store and sorting out the back storage area that we are giving up in about 3,

Everyone have a spectacular day!


Sunday, February 26, 2012


I was determined to get "Winnie the Pooh" quilted but as usual, time was not working in my favour!  I believe in my last blog I showed "Bernie" (my trusted Bernina) all set up for quilting with "Winnie" close by.  I managed to do a bit every time I sat down but last night I was down to the crunch....I needed the table for something else!

As soon as I walked in the door I put dinner in the oven to warm and started quilting.  That was about 7:00 P.M..  I turned on the hockey game, Leafs lost AGAIN!!!!  and listened while I quilted away - stopped for a quick dinner and finished by 10:30 P.M..
 I'm pleased with the result and find I can easily manage
a quilt this size on the Bernina
 This was all free motion quilting,except for the 4 patch squares
where I used the walking foot and there are a couple of
lines with a decorative stitch where I used the open toe foot with
the feed dogs up.

Today, at some point, I will square off the quilt and if I can find the prepared binding (I've obviously hidden it in a very "safe" place!) then I will put the binding on.  The patterns and the kits should be ready shortly in the I said, FINALLY!

As I said, I needed to get something else done so at 10:30 P.M. I rearranged the dining room for "Sonia" (my fabulous Janome) and for "easy" piecing.  By pushing the table up to the red cabinet I am able to set up the ironing "station" without interfering with the back door and close to the machine.

There are two projects that I MUST get done.  One is for today, so last night I worked diligently on my Amish Shadow blocks.  These are for my Beginner Machine Piecing and Quilting Class which is at 1:30 P.M..  I managed to get everything ready for class and just finished writing out my class notes 1/2 an hour ago.  You can see the remnants of my cutting efforts at the top right hand side of the cutting board.
If I remember, I will  take some pics when I have the blocks up on the design wall at the store this afternoon.  I might even piece it together tonight, however, there is the second project that is pressing......MY MYSTERY QUILT!!!!

I will be cutting for that tonight for sure and of course, no pics until after the class on April 28th......but in all honesty I still have that bolt of fabulous hot pink fabric at home that needs to make it's way back to the store so I can share it with everyone.

One of my customers asked me yesterday if I get to quilt all the time!!!!  I guess I probably thought, when I opened a quilt store, that I would be quilting all the time.  Unfortunately that is not the case....Admittedly I do get a lot more quilting done than I did when I was working full time and quilting as a hobby.  I think that my priorities at that time were a little askew and I missed out on a good form of relaxation.

When I had the house, I had a designated "quilting studio" and I really didn't use it nearly enough, even after the store opened.  The townhouse, already a memory, had everything set up in the dining room and I did manage to get quite a bit of quilting done there but I was also housebound for nearly eight months. 

The apartment is ideal in that I haven't got far to go to get my quilting done, again, set up in the dining room.  If Jonathan ever moves out (not too soon I hope) then I will replace his bed with my quilting room!!!!  (Once he leaves, it better be for good - lol)  He' s still working and got his first pay cheque on Thursday.  I can only imagine the feelings he's having of being able to "pay his own way".  Not to mention being able to contribute to the household expenses.  He's beginning to realize the struggle it's been this past year for me.  He's also getting an education in what things cost!  Reality check!

Well, I have to get off to the store and get some work done before I teach so, on that note....

Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Going strong!

Well, he made it through the first 3 days no problem (Jonathan that is!)!!!  I'm thrilled and he really seems pleased which can only be a good thing.  He can nurse his sore muscles for 3 days and then back to work Tuesday, Monday being a holiday which I am really looking forward to.  It'll give me two days off this week, a rarity these days!

I showed you the fabrics I will be using for my Mystery Quilt but I wasn't really happy with the dark pink I had chosen and I was pretty sure I didn't have enough.  So last week I found a gorgeous pink - it's called Petunia Pink - through one of my suppliers.  I ordered it along with 3 other colours for the store!  It's perfect for my quilt - so if you're all lucky I won't use the whole bolt (highly unlikely) and it'll be available at the store in a couple of days - it really is luscious! 
 If I can get my lesson plan done quickly tonight I may even start cutting the quilt!!!! 

Being ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) has it's disadvantages.....Barb's sock knitting classes started Thursday night and I was NOT going to do this, start yet another project I have no time for BUT when the ladies came and picked out their "KITS" no-one took the Razzle Dazzle, my favourite!!!!  I really wanted to see how it knits up, never mind that I've seen Barb's socks!  Okay, so maybe I just want a pair of my own, but also, it's such a neat thing to do - she's always got a pair of socks on her needles and picks them up all the time to work on, she keeps them in her bag and voila, always has a handy project for those times when she's sitting with nothing to do!!!

So here are mine started.......
Right now, they are parked near the cash register so I pick them up when I'm waiting for the computer to boot or download something or just whenever!!!  Not sure I'll ever knit more than one pair in my lifetime but honestly it's fun and I'm glad to see that even with the Neuropathy I developed in my left hand (and both feet) during the chemo treatments I can still do this - that's it, it's a test, to see if I can knit again!!!!  Any excuse, honestly!

Okay, off to get some important stuff done at home.....

Have a great day everyone!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Miracles Do Happen!!!!!

JONATHAN GOT A JOB!!!!  (My son, for those of you who don't know)  For those of you who do know, you realize that this is really a miracle!  It is so BIG a miracle that it almost overtakes the fact that on February 8th - the day before my Birthday - I was at the oncologist and got a CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH!!!  I am officially cancer free for 4 months and 12 days as of today!  Yeah me!!!!

However, it appears, even with my renewed energy level and my new outlook on life I cannot squeeze more than 24 hours out of one day!!!!  I have been very busy in the store, working 6 days a week and loving it but also trying to reorganize and restock and even find time to teach some classes.....

As you can well imagine this all cuts into my "quilting" time!!!! Ugh!!!  At any rate, the apartment is coming along slowly and I finally got "Bernie" set up and went straight to a project I have been working on - it seems forever!  I am quilting my Winnie The Pooh design and it should be kitted and available in the store in about 2 weeks.....

 I've also designed the Mystery Quilt and like a good girl, went to my stash to find the fabrics I want to use.  I am waiting for a "smushie" to arrive in the store as I don't have enough of the hot pink to make the sample.  (You will be getting fabric requirements shortly and I think the class may already be full!)
I've also started teaching a beginner student, Shirley, and we are having a fun time working on a quilt kit she bought for her daughter.  The pattern is Yellow Brick Road but unfortunately I made a big BooBoo when starting her off and didn't read the pattern right!!!  Duh!  By the time we are done it will be a completely different pattern!!!

These are Shirley's fabrics, one of my favourite combos - Black, White and a touch of red!

As luck would have it, I bought a kit to make this quilt about 12 years ago on one of my trips to New Jersey.  It's been in my "kit cupboard" waiting for an opportunity to jump out and become a quilt....  I thought it would be cool if I worked side by side with Shirley to make this quilt and so these are my colours, and they are lucious flannels!

In my beginner classes I always take the time to explain thread choices and would like to mention that now.  I chose a neutral medium beige to piece my quilt, that way the stitching will not show.  Shirley is using white thread for hers and should be fine with that.  It's important to try to keep your thread choices neutral or even try to match them to the colours you are working with.  This way, your seams with just blend into the block designs.  Just a "little" quilt tip to make your day! 

On that note, I better get my act together, it's late and I have to leave for the store in 20 minutes!  I'm not even dressed yet......see what I mean, only 24 hours in a day!!!!

Have a great day everyone!