Easter sure snuck up on me this year.  As I scramble to decorate at the last minute and get the house ready for company I realize I don't have an "Easter" quilt.  I have quilts or quilted wallhangings for lots of other holidays and celebrations, Christmas, Valentines Day, Summer, Fall slash Thanksgiving and Halloween.  But where is my Easter Quilt?  I love Easter, the lilies, the family gathered, the hint of spring in the air special services at church, and lets not leave out the bunny and chocolate.  Hiding eggs and new clothes for the kids.  I love these traditions and I love making new ones yet somehow I don't have an Easter Quilt.  How did that happen?  Why did that happen.  Well, it's time to fix it.  I am making a plan for an Easter Quilt and while I'm at it I need to think about what other happy celebration I might want a quilt for.  Canada day?  Of Course!  Birthdays?  Why not?  
How about you?  Do you have special quilts either bed, lap or wall hangings for special occasions in your life?  I do know this much, next Easter I will share my new Easter Quilt with you!

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Aren't these shelves just so pretty and organized?  You are thinking, wow, she must be sitting back with her favourite beverage and basking in the organization of her stash.  How lucky she is!  How organized she is!  

The reality is, this picture is OLD I mean a couple of years old, taken when I first got the shelves and yes they were clean and neat and organized.  Then, well, time didn't stand still and they became messier, more crowded, filled with new treasurers and quite frankly it's time to return them to this happy stage.  So in honour of Spring and our tradition spring cleaning I'm going to tackle one shelf per day.  I'm actually looking forward to it, I love to have things neat and tidy around me, I often do a 'cursory' clean up after I complete each project but lately that cursory clean up just isn't enough so I'm going at like my grandma used to, kerchief on head, windows thrown open and will tackle the clutter with the dedication of madwoman.  I will not allow myself to get distracted by that bundle of fat quarters I bought on that shop hop with my friend that I haven't called in a long time so need to call right now!  No I won't let it distract me.  I will organize and make some piles.  Here's what I'm thinking for my piles.
1.  UFO projects that I am actually going to finish
2.  UFO projects that I am likely NOT going to finish--these need to be given away to someone who will finish them. 
3.  Fabric and patterns collected for projects not yet started
4.  General stash fabrics--loving referred to as my collection
5.  Completed projects--the ones I made to learn a new technique or try out a pattern, they weren't made as a gift but why haven't I given them away anyway?  Why are they still hanging around my house not being used and appreciated to their full extent?

Along with the projects I need to do a general inventory, clean up and organization of my notions--the dreaded thread drawer, the wall of rulers and why do I really need more than one rotary cutter in my sewing room?

Do you see a bit of a theme here, when you spring clean you get rid of all the dust and dirt and build up accumulated over the winter.  When I spring clean my sewing room it's time to give some projects new life and a new home.  Wish me luck!

     It's hard to believe how busy I've been the last few months.  So busy in fact I allowed my computer and writing time to vanish into nothingness.   What a mistake!  I allowed the very thing that keeps me sane, motivated, organized and thinking creatively to come to a grinding halt.  Oh, I had my reasons, mostly I was too busy, something had to drop from my schedule so I let my writing and sigh, yes my exercise stop.  Yet those are the very two things I need to keep going (well along with chocolate and wine that is).  
    I've just returned from vacation, visiting with some of my husbands extended family.  It was a busy time, I got sick and and visited a Dr., got a prescription and started to feel better just in time to come home.  But, I didn't let any of that really stop me for long.  I got to visit some great quilt shops, met a fabric designer, visited a store that sells nothing but buttons and came home with a whole new perspective on coffee and quilting.  
    I'll post pictures soon and update you on my adventures abroad and here at home.  Right now, I hear my name being called by three weeks worth of laundry.  I also need to pay some attention to my studio, the long arm looks lonely without a quilt loaded and the embroidery machine looks sad without a project working away.  My brain is fuzzy and jet lagged so today I'll just fondly great my machines, plug them back in and maybe even put away some of my purchases.  Today I write, clean and organize.  Tomorrow I'll tackle the rest of the list.
     It's always good to get away and see new things but it's always great to come home too. 

A very amazing group of people busy planning this quilt show for over two years.  It is always crazy busy just before the show,  you know how it goes.  You can do lots of planning and scheduling ahead of time but as the big event gets closer and closer there are all those little details to check and check again, to change,to twig a bit, to create a new plan.  BUT all that being said, this quilt show is going to be GREAT!
here's what you can expect-
  • over 230 quilts --with a chance for you to vote for your favourites
  • friendly volunteers
  • great fresh food in the tea room
  • a variety of vendors 
  • a guild boutique
  • demos every thirty minutes
  • a tombola (penny sale)
  • a bright and clean facility
  • accessible and lots of FREE parking

What's stopping you?  Be sure to stop in for a visit, you won't be disappointed.
It's been 10 months since I posted....and a lot, I mean a lot has happened in that 10 months to keep me off line.  But I've missed posting, I've missed you so it's time for CHANGE!  I've recommitted to a better schedule which should allow me to post regularly.  I also have a goal to update my photo page so you can see all i've been up to behind the scenes.

Here's the quick update from the last 10 months:
-work got crazy busy last fall
-in the crazy busy we also decided to finish the basement and move the studio downstairs
-during renovations my husband broke his leg--it slowed down renovations and moving the studio 
-our daughter-expecting twins got ordered by her doctor to stay off her feet and not work, we tried to help out when we could
-the twins were born-healthy and happy
-I started teaching regularly 
-my husband got hit by a van while out riding his bike this spring
so with all that going on--we just finished out to do list from last November!
-the studio is moved downstairs--pictures soon
-we're making plans and changes and and re-prioritizing our goals and to do lists

thanks for staying patient.  I'll be back real soon and  sharing quilting and machine embroidery projects with you.  
That's right, I said it, Happy New Year!  January 1st might be the start of our official calendar new year but the day after Labour Day is always the start of a new year for me.  It goes back to all those years at school, summer was over, you put on a new back to school outfit and it was a new year! 
Now, the day after labour day still marks a new year for me.  Guilds and clubs of all kinds start back up after a summer hiatus of some sort.  Classes for new techniques in whatever your craft may be are scheduled to start soon and we start that march toward Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas.
This fall, what are you going to start back up?  Are you going to finish a quilt?  Do those Christmas stockings you've been meaning to do for the past couple of year? 
I'll be on the road a lot, the new 6D software is going to be released to the public  around October 1st.  I'm starting my tour in Halifax showing some very excited quilters and machine embroiderers just how this new software works.  I can't say much about it now--O.K.  due to a confidentiality clause I can't say anything about it now, other than IT IS GREAT!  A whole new look, new designs and some new ways of doing things, but don't worry if you're a current user of other software or earlier versions, it's not so different that you will be lost.  Believe me, you will want to upgrade.    With all of those back to school sales, now is a perfect time to upgrade your computer if you need to.  This new software only works on Windows 7 or 8.
Again, Happy New Year everyone, make your crafting resolutions now and hey maybe you should go buy your back to crafting new outfit too!

I am working on a large embroidery project, this week using several of the same threads over and over and over and over again.  I want, no I NEED this eight spool thread rack that will fit on the back of my machine.  I can't think of a better place to keep all my thread for one project, in one place, neatly and off the top of the desk!    This is definitely going on my must have wish list and when I get it I'll post a before and after picture of my work space and we will all sigh with satisfaction and envy over the organization that's possible with this add on attachment, and might I add that it's a value for it's price.  
     I know, I hear some of you already, I don't really need that to do my projects.  Well we don't need cars, dishwashers or microwaves either but we sure do love those handy, time saving gadgets don't we?  Imagine the time you'll save not searching for thread or the frustration over remembering exactly which shade of blue you used. I guarantee this will save you time, frustration and well quite frankly will just make you happy.  

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a series of talks by one of the Quilting Stars of our times.  Ricky Tims, if you don't know who he is then you need to pop over to his website to learn all about caveman quilting. 
Ricky was a gracious host, sharing his knowledge in clear and concise terms, without being too technical, too boring or too full of himself.   Being a great quilter does not necessarily equate with being a great lecturer.  In turn a great orator may not be able to quilt.  Ricky Tims is both a great quilter and great lecturer.
He provided challenges and inspiration, he made me squirm just a little bit as I considered leaving my comfort zone and cutting into that fabric without a ruler.  He made me dream and add projects to my to do list.  Knowledge that I already had sitting at the back of my skull was reintroduced and I had a couple of "ah ha" moments. 
Every time I attend a lecture or trunk show at a guild meeting a store event or large show event I tell myself it was worth it if it made me think, if I learned one new thing or left inspired.  I walked away from each of the three lectures in this series, smarter and inspired with a brain full of new ideas.
Now the challenge?  To implement some of his ideas and i

Five months today--that's right, it will be here before you know it.  
I am getting lots of emails and notices from some of my favourite quilt shops about their Christmas in July sales.  Their new Christmas fabrics have arrived and if you want to get a particular line before some of it's all gone, now is the time to make that list and go shopping.

We need to do so much more than shop.  Though I just love adding to my Christmas stash, in fact my Christmas fabric is even stored separate from my regular stash!  Ocassionally, I open up that cupboard and look and fondle that wonderful fabric and dream of the beautiful gifts I will make for family and friends.  Then Christmas comes around and I give these family and friends perfectly lovely gifts I have purchased for them because I didn't get around to making their gift.  

Last year I got a good start on some Christmas gifts, table runners with a themed novelty fabric based on a classic Christmas Cartoon.  I even went and bought a DVD to go with each gift thinking of my adult children in their own homes huddled under a quilt I had previously given them, eating popcorn out of a bowl placed on this table runner and watching the movie.  They would sigh and smile at the end and think that I had given them a wonderful gift allowing them a 30 minute reprise from the hectic Christmas pace.  But that just didn't happen, I got busy, too busy and didn't get these gifts finished.  I had every intention of finishing them early in this year and have them ready and waiting for Christmas, after all, they are all pieced, they just need the quilting and binding.  Now we are more than halfway through the year and they sit in the Christmas cupboard waiting to be finished.  I will make them my Christmas in July project and hopefully my grown children and their families will have that wonderful experience this year.....I hope.

This week I gave up the battle and crossed over to the dark side.  No I didn't join forces with Darth Vader, nor will I ever say "it's not really quilting if you don't do it by hand"  but I did buy a PC with Windows.  I am a die hard MAC fan so this was really a painful decision for me.  But after just a couple of hours I am already glad I made this decision. 

I run three pieces of software that require windows--I won't bore you with how I tried to get them to run smoothly on my MAC, the countless times of getting booted out, crashing, falling asleep while it was so slow,...... suffice it to say I tried for months and wasn't happy with the results in speed and fluidity.

So now my 5D Professional Software and my Quilt Design Creator software have a new home.  After an initial 'test drive' of these programs in their native environment I am excited to be working with them again.  They are fast and easy to use.  I've already created a quilt label and 'tweaked' an embroidery design as part of my test and was so happy with them both I am going to use them.  6D will be on the market soon--think a new fall project for yourself--and I have a beautiful new home for it. 

Now for the hard part--moving certain files over and re-organizing them.  Sounds like a job for a laptop, an easy chair and a nice cool drink!

I will still use my TruE Embroidery software for my MAC  and will always return to this for certain projects.   Now I have a choice and since they all work together rather seamlessly, I truly have the best of both worlds.