Maudie is still here, and as crabby as ever!

Holy crap, it has been a very long long time since my last post. So much has happened that quilting and designing has sorta taken a back seat for a good long while. Luckily, my attitude has remained upbeat.

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We have been through a lot –

Alan’s long illness and recovery, saying goodbye to our beloved Cali (who we still miss every day), taking care of some items on the bucket list, surviving the Polar Vortex hell of a winter,

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and finally, returning home after the vacation of a lifetime to Australia and the South Pacific (oh my God, is there anywhere more beautiful???).

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Now it’s time to settle in, and get some serious work done. I did manage to get a table runner pieced while I was away. I am teaching this runner as a class the day after I get back (yes, I am going to be beyond tired, and probably quite stupid that day), so I thought it would be a good idea to have a sample. It is a free pattern from the Internet.

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A million and one thank yous to Co-Instructor Iona for also making a sample for the class. I would be lost without her. So happy she’s there with me.

As a side note: I learned a valuable lesson on colour placement and mirror images of blocks by straying from the original pattern’s instructions and using multiples colourways. I don’t remember how many times I ripped out a row because the colours were backwards. Grrrr…..finally got smart enough to make a chart!

I  learned to curse in fluent Australian as I made this. Also learned how important it is to make a sample before publication as the size squares to cut given in the instructions were all off  by about 1/8″ – every block had to be trimmed down to one size before sewing together into rows. Pattern testing is very important. Ended up with enough extra blocks to make as long pieced strip for the backing….I hate to waste fabric!

Missed my local Guild’s quilt show by a week – we were still traveling. I am sorry that happened as I love supporting, and visiting quilt shows, especially my home town one. Summer is almost here (????), at least the calendar months say June, July, and August but it is anybody’s guess if we will actually have any warm weather. Guild will soon be on holiday until September, but the tiny quilt show on St. Joseph’s Island happens every August long weekend, and I plan on being there again this year. With bells on.

My comfy pillow is calling me now…..still wanting to get up in the middle of the night to have supper, and to go to bed in the middle of the day. I’ll be back to normal soon, if there is such a thing!

10277450_10201908102244522_468234924482049236_nAnyway. TTFN

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Crabby Goes to Another Quilt Show

Holy crap! It has been some time since I made my last post. I must have been busy! Or perhaps too crabby…

Had a fabulous time at the local quilt show this past weekend. Our booth received tons of positive feedback from the visitors to the show – very encouraging. I wish I had beaucoup photos to share, but sadly that is not to be. Wandered around the show for 20 minutes, taking tons of pics with the new iPad, but apparently I am iPad inept. (How embarrassing for a Computer Science grad to admit this – so I’m saying is it’s the iPad’s fault!!!) Well, perhaps I had my finger on the wrong button, and so I was switching between regular view and zoom, and not actually clicking the shutter! In all fairness here I am going to whine about the fact that when you switch views, the shutter clicks, exactly as it does when you take an actual photo. Add in fabric purchase withdrawal and a serious lack of coffee and mistakes are bound to happen. Only managed to get one fuzzy photo of my own feet….and a few shaky ones from the iPhone, which will have to do. I am hoping that there will be more photos of the show on the Facebook page of our guild (Stitches from the Heart SSM).

 

Botth for 2012 Quilt Show

Cake for Guild's 20th Anniversary

The Quilting Divas

I WILL have completely mastered the iPad by the next show. Actually, I have it now, and took a video of the cat this morning. It is a tad shaky, but at least it is a video. I must now devise a plan to split my time between the sewing studio and my sadly neglected garden (and perhaps a bit of spare time for housework but that is waaaay down on the list this summer). Himself is King of the BBQ, and since we are led to believe by the calendar, and not the actual weather, that summer is approaching, I am off the hook for much of the food prep duties as well. Great news! More time for me to create new patterns!

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Crabby Cleaned Up!!

Holy lawnbags! What a difference now that the front yard has been tidied up – of course it helped a lot that a big windstorm blew most of the leaves from our front yard into the neighbour’s. We still have the back yard to do, but the leaves are still sopping wet so we’re procrastinating by saying we’re giving them a chance to dry out and be easier to pick up. Himself and I have a system – we take turns using the bagger on the lawn mower to pick up the leaves (and get a bonus mow done at the same time), then he crabs at me that I’m too slow (picky) and I crab at him that he’s not emptying the bagger right (ever) and is spilling too much back on the lawn. We bicker back and forth for a couple of hours, enjoy the beautiful fall day, and then we’re done, and share a refreshing beverage or two.

this is better

Japanese maples are looking good.

cleaned and raked

Now I have to tell you my Bose story – Himself gave me a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones a couple of years ago, so I could more clearly hear the audiobooks I love to listen to as I walk (and stare into people’s homes as I walk by to see how they decorate, what kind of lamps they have, what their kitchen cupboards are like – you know, typical nosy peeping neighbour stuff). Well, I love them, and use them all the time until one day when I touched the ear cup and the phones made a loud crackling noise. All audio stopped except for the crackling as long as I was touching the earpiece. So, although the warranty was up, I took a chance and emailed Bose to see if they had ever heard of this happening before. They emailed me back with the standard fix -new battery, which I had already tried. Then they offered to replace the headphones at 25% of the original price, and throw in a coupon for their corporate shipping rate so I could send the broken phones back. I said “Yes, please”, packed up the phones and all their paraphernalia into their case and then into the original box, took my coupon to UPS and sent them back.

Two days later my new phones arrive – minus a case. So, I call Bose, tell them that I shipped everything back, cause nobody said anything about just sending the headphones, and can I please have my case back (and yes, I was polite). The fella says they’re really low on inventory, but he’ll see what he can do. Two days later my new case arrives.

Now…..we should expect good service for every purchase we make, but I believe exceptional service should be rewarded – with our continued custom, and good word of mouth advertising. So I am giving a BIG thumbs UP to Bose for their excellent customer service, and their excellent product.

Have to go do domestic crap now as it is my turn to bake for the Quilt Guild meeting Monday night (Halloween night – Himself will have to be the candy giver-outer all by his own self, which scares him) so I must go throw something together – lemon loaf or chocolate something…WAIT, I can waste another hour or so by looking through some old cookbooks for bars and loaves and junk before I must actually BAKE. Great! Off to pour another cup of coffee and read……

What I;d rather be doing...the Kids' Halloween bags I made for this year.

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Crabby needs Yard Bags

Holy leafylawn! There’s a pile of red and gold goodness lying aaaaaalll over my yard. I’ve included some pics of the last of the radiant reds, and the state of my front lawn – the back is even worse. We have been cleaning leaves from the driveway for the last two weeks or more, and still they fall. Today it is raining, and that seems to be bringing down the last of them. Too bad….the colour was amazing, breath-taking, and all too fleeting. I love this season.

Have to shout out kudos to my LQS Life’s a Stitch for being so helpful during the weeks of stress getting my samples ready. My Megaquilter chose the moment I needed it most to have a fit and need a visit to the shop – where Robyn promptly lent me the store model so I could finish machine quilting my samples. Hooray for them!!! I don’t know what I would have done if they had not been so kind.

You should see the state of the sewing studio now that I’ve finished the samples for Quilt Market- I am too embarrassed to show you, you’ll have to use your imagination. Picture fabric and patterns everywhere, as well as bags of more fabric and patterns, an ironing board covered in samples needing to be quilted, a sewing machine or two on the floor waiting for their turn on the table, and drawing pads, pencils, and tracing paper where they should not be. Add in a cup of cold coffee, and a pile of tea towels awaiting embroidery and you’ll start to get the picture. I call it constructive chaos. Himself just rolls his eyes and leaves the room.

Tomorrow is the Common Threads exhibit at the mall – can’t wait for that and hoping to buy some hand embroidered goodies for the ol’ Christmas stockings. Doing lunch first with the gals, and niece Jennifer before we head to the Mall, clutching five dollar bills in our needy hands. I have been taking hand embroidery lessons (whenever I can squeeze one in) and my instructor Wendy McKinney will be selling her goodies, as well as doing demos, and I would walk five miles over broken glass for one of her pieces – they are that beautiful. Hoping to swell the Christmas gift pile a bit with some hand made goodness – knitted, crocheted, quilted, and embroidered – I’ll take some of everything.

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Crabby takes a Breather

Well holy freakin tired! I can now rest for a minute! It’s been ages since I posted here – not that I didn’t have anything to say, but I was busy in the sewing room making samples for Quilt Market. So excited to have my work displayed there, and posters of my patterns, too. I sure hope some big time distributors decide they like my work and need to represent me. How cool that would be! I will show you the two new patterns heading to market as freebies in my distributor’s booth, the Pattern Peddlers.

 Now that I can breathe again after the service for Mom, whom we just lost this past August, life has settled down a bit. Still coming to terms with the loss, but in my head I can still hear her laughter, and her calling me “Dear” and see her lovely smiling face, so it gets me through the days. When I dream of her, I dream of she and Dad together again, so that makes me happy.

Gave the Office Boy a ticket to see Jeff Beck, and a trip to the concert for his birthday. Apparently that compares with getting him his own planet – I would say he was just a tad excited. Since I’m not really a fan I guess I’ll have to spend my time buying some new shoes, or a new purse, or a ton of fabric – whatever I can successfully hide in the trunk. On the up side we get to spend a long weekend visiting with dear friends we do not see often enough. We are really looking forward to this time with excellent company, great food, and joyous times. I know there’s going to be lots of laughing going on.

This weekend is our Thanksgiving holiday and we are gathering to celebrate our family and friends and to give thanks for all we have. There’s a big turkey dinner with all the fixin’s – mmmm yum yum yum – looking forward to that pie!  The weather has been phenomenal for this time of year – the leaves are turning but reluctantly – my lobelia is still blooming for cryin’ out loud. It sure doesn’t feel like fall yet. We are still wandering around in t-shirts, and leaving the windows open all day, and barbequing burgers. Lovely!

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Crabby at the Quilt Show

Holy heatwave! Here I am panting in my booth at the Richard’s Landing Quilt show, in this stinkin hot weather. Luckily, I had a fan under the table that was able to keep the Office Boy and myself a little cooler than a steamed clam…… but not by much. Richard’s Landing is a village on St. Joseph’s Island in Lake Huron – the Island is known for its beauty, maple syrup, and the arts of the people living there. This was the 23rd. annual Quilt Show and I am proud to have been a part of it.

As you can see, this booth is a tad more colourful than the first quilt show attempt. It has more stuff and is better arranged too. I learned a lot from this show, too (including it is not easy to keep the Office Boy amused and out of trouble for three days in bloody hot weather with no internet access or cold beer……but I digress). Quilters are such a generous group! It always amazes me.

Janet Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Life's a Stitch

Sew Little Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I got back there was an email waiting to tell me that my patterns are GOING TO QUILT MARKET!   My distributor, The Pattern Peddlers, will have samples of my finished projects and posters of some of my patterns in their booth at International Quilt Market in Houston. So EXCITED I nearly peed! Plus, I heard from another distributor! More on that later as I find out stuff.

 

 

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Crabby goes to Market

Holy tinyquiltshow! Did I learn a lot this weekend! First thing I learned is that my display skills need to improve. Colour! I need colour! And lots more samples….guess I’d better get busy in the sewing studio.

Second thing I learned is that people really do want to see you succeed. What a great welcome for my first trip into the vendor’s arena. I was very kindly made to feel welcome, and one of the group. I met some very talented ladies and gentlemen willing to help a newbie out.

I also learned how great it is to have the support of family and friends. Without the help of my two buddies Alice and Iona, I would never have had the courage to actually go to the quilt show and set up a table. Not only that, but they sat with me through the heat and long days, holding my hand and interacting with the customers and generally promoting my product like mad. Ladies……..I owe you.

I had a great time, learned tons, saw a lot of really great quilts and quilting, and am slowly learning the ropes. Add to everything great support from my local quilt store, Life’s a Stitch, and my confidence can go nowhere but up! Crabby is pleased!

 

 

Annnndddd…….. here she is……… my first customer, ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sore butt and all, it was a great experience for me. I hope to have hundreds more just like it!

 

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Crabby cuts up

Holy papercut, what a lot of work! This weekend I will be going to a small local quilt show as a vendor for the very first time! I am so nervous… the Office Boy and I have been working like mad making copies of my patterns. I have never gone through so much paper and ink in my life! Never mind the folding and stuffing and gluing and trimming and pricing and, and. and……

I am not out of the woods yet – bought more paper today for the bezillionth time, and still did not manage to bring home enough – I am short 50 fancy pages for the pattern covers. So back to the store I go tomorrow….

Strangest thing…..I have noticed that when I go to the Candy Store Future Shop for more goodies, er supplies, that my credit card starts to tremble as I get to the door. The nearer to an Apple product I get, the more trembling and buzzing from my wallet. I hear these soft sneaky voices whisper “Do it! Buy that  Apple monitor, you know you reaaallllly want it! And that new iMac and those Bose speakers too. Just charge it. CHARGE it. You can pay for it later. Who cares if it takes years to pay……..go on, BUY IT, BUY IIIIITT!”

Do your credit cards talk to you like that?

I will post some pics of the tiny quilt show in the next week, and tell you all about it. So nervous!

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Crabby has a Fit

Well holy caRap! I needed to send one tiny stinkin’ letter to a town 50 miles from here. Thanks to the postal strike my only option to get it there pdq was Purolator.I can’t believe what they charge to deliver a letter that weighs nothing. I guess I have to pay for the gas for the entire trip to make sure that stinking letter gets delivered. I guess I have to pay for the  driver’s lunch and coffee too. I also paid for his kids college education and his trip to the Bahamas.

I know it’s not the driver’s fault. I know that Purolator is not on strike. But did they have to gouge me quite so badly? Still reeling from the shock, and wondering how to stretch the pittance left in my purse out through the week. GAD! ! I am SOME MAD at Canada Post, and the damage this strike is doing to small business owners who have enough of a struggle every day. SMARTEN UP!

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About Crabby

Crabby Maudie is the alter ego of me . . . fledgling pattern designer Joan Davis of Maudie’s Cottage. I live in a Northern Ontario town of approx 75,000 souls, and love it here. Continue reading

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