A road trip

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A road trip! Imagine that! I didn't really need to make the road trip, but what the heck - it was pouring rain and why not!

Actually, I wanted to get that sewing machine to Karen and I had an order to pick up at Thimbles and Things. Both are in the same town and I had been holding off until our retreat at the end of this month. That retreat got canceled and well - I just wanted to cross those two tasks off my list.

Karen is like me - when you get an idea - you want to make it happen. It poured rain most of the way so it wasn't the most pleasant road trip I've driven. The rain, along with the lane switches in the on-going construction zones and well - I was glad to arrive at my destination.

Here's the other thing - I'm not used to sitting for long periods and I'm not in my own car. My legs, my knees, lower back, and butt were PROTESTING. I hate it when that happens. I think part of it is contributed to all the walking but NO STRETCHING. That's totally my fault. I also think that excessive walking has caused a few overuse flareups so I need to tone the walking down a bit. Of course, it doesn't help that I have two crazy dogs on the leash. So less walking with them and more walking by myself. It sucks to get old! But I shall be sucking up the glucosamine to try and get rid of this!

I had a nice physical distancing visit with Karen. I haven't seen her in TEN years, but we keep in touch via social media. I met her on my first long-distance bike trip which was from Vancouver to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories (yes - we biked north of the Arctic Circle!). If you think I'm a cyclist? Karen is an extreme cyclist!

Then I popped over to Thimbles and Things. I gave them a call and my order got put on the bench on the porch. It was a bit weird to not be able to go into the shop, but we must practice physical distancing!

Picking up my order from Thimbles and Things in Orillia

Since I was so close, I had to drive by the retreat house (Fireside Retreat) and pretend that I was going to be there soon. Well, I have another retreat booked in June. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one.

The new block by the front door

That's pretty bright!!!  Do you know the name of the block?

And now there's a barn trail in Simcoe County. Since there is no barn on the property, Emma has a block on her garage. Anyone know the name of that block? I've seen this block before, but I don't know the name of it.

Block for the Simcoe County Barn Trail

When I find the information for the Barn Trail, I'll post it for you. So what did I go all that way to pick up???

My Storybook Princess and the Pea panel of course!!! And then I had to spread it out on THE bed for the princess. I LOVE IT!!! It's going to be a perfect cover for that mound of quilts.

The Princess and the Pea panel

I also got a coordinating fabric for a border and I got a package of Chenille-It. I did NOT realize that the panel was designed by the Erin Dahl for Chenille-It. But I saw a sample that had used the chenille product on the long curtains. It's perfect and adds a fun touch to the project. The sample is on the web site - it actually uses a LOT of Chenille-It.

The border and the package of Chenille-It

I had forgotten to take something to eat and I was getting hungry by this time. Hmm - I wonder if any of the Service Ontario stations are open because I'd sure like to make a pit stop as well. And yes - they were open. Hardly anyone was there. And all the seating areas were gone. The tables and chairs were stacked up in a corner and whatever couldn't be stacked was cordoned off. It looks very odd.

Oh - I was at Boston Pizza the other night to pick up a take-out order. They had a sign - TOUCH NOTHING but what you need to touch. No leaning on counters, doors, etc. The biggest thing is to touch the least amount of things possible. So you can go to the washroom without touching much. And this was the situation at the sinks.

Every second sink was closed.

The washroom situation
It's darn eerie, to say the least.

So that was the second time that I breezed across a normally very busy highway with little traffic. OH - there's traffic, but a lot less. I saw a LOT of traffic heading north on the way to cottage country, with boats and watercraft.
Someone is hopeful
I just realized that when I took this picture, I was at the service center going SOUTH, not north. Maybe this guy got partway up and decided to head back.

Tim's had NO cookies, so I had to buy a muffin and tea. It had stopped raining by this point so it was dry when I walked in to use the facilities. I got back in the car and get to the order kiosk and it starts to pour. Of course, the person behind the scenes, says "one moment please". So I'm trying to keep the window partially open so I can hear her when she comes back and trying at the same time to avoid a flood in the car.

Needless to say, I was drenched by the time I got that order. Oh well - life goes on.

And you know what? The rest of the day was a total wash. I sat outside in the gazebo until the rain drove me inside. I had a nap and just had a lazy day! OH -- but I did get my presentation prepped and it went very well. I'm getting better at these things. I do need to get a new light bulb for this darn light on my desk. I guess an online order to Micheals is in order. It didn't seem to last long and the darn things are expensive. Maybe I should look at another option.

Back to the pet mats. Here are some of the prints. Some of them are OK, but some of them are HIDEOUS. Who would have copious yardage of this stuff in their house? I can't imagine how much dust would collect from large voluminous drapes.

An upholstery sample

Which came in FOUR different colorways
This one is also not bad and came in five different colorways.  I have a friend who likes to make tote bags out of these samples, so I've picked about a dozen for her to play with.

Another nice print in five different colorways

 And there's a peek at another print I gave her.

Another upholstery sample

I took 20 of the samples and cut them up into various shapes to make the pet mats.

Pieces cut to make pet mats

 After I removed the 20 for the pet mats and the dozen to give to my friend, I counted the remainder. OH MY - I must have made a huge mistake when I counted the first time. I thought there were 85 in the pile before I started. NO - there are about 85 still so there was over 100 when I started. I so tempted to take the entire lot and give to my friend, but NO - I don't want to overwhelm her. Technically, she could take the entire lot if she wanted. I know there are some more pillowcases and sheets in those IKEA bags - I just don't know how many. My goal is to have enough bags made to use up those boxes and bags of scraps.

The upholstery samples still to process

The lady that we give the pet mats to is looking for more. NO - you are not going to give me more stuff to deal with. We have a nice little system going and I'm keeping that my secret.

It's all going to work out and I'm good with that.

I dug out the serger this morning and got to work. I serged up 10 pet mats in a few minutes. I know - I just LOVE the serger.

Serging the pet mats
I'm using the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S|400. It's a phenomenal serger.

Amber Air S|400 bu Husqvarna Viking

Here's one of the main reasons why I love it. I knew that the spool of thread for the upper looper was almost finished. I was hoping to catch it and tie off a new spool. Alas - that did NOT happen.

No worries - this serger has AIR THREADING. Don't look at the dust collected in there. I need to get the vacuum out and suck out all that lint.

Anyway - there's NO need to unthread anything and rethread, right to left or left to right. I simply rethreaded that looper. One WHOOSH with the lever and the looper was threaded. It took less than 10 seconds to get the serger back in operation. You CANNOT beat that.

The air threading inside the serger
All that's required is to shove about ½" of thread in that little hole, operate the lever, and WHOOSH - the looper is threaded.

The air channels for the loopers

And just like that - there are 10 bags ready for scraps. I'll tuck in those thread ends (I know I probably don't have to since they are inside the bag), but I'm OK with that. Remember, my hands and brain need these small therapeutic repetitive projects to keep it calm!

Pet mats almost ready to be filled

I'll serge the smaller pieces together to make pet mats as well. Nothing from those samples will go to waste.

This is the view from the window in front of my computer. There's a couple of birds nesting in it. I saw a robin yesterday carrying a HUGE mound of something in its mouth. I tried to get a picture, but he wouldn't cooperate. However, I did get this bird. And while you can't really see in the photo, he also has grass in his mouth. Birds are so clever!!!

Birds are making nests in that tree

 Don't forget the virtual retreat - May 27 - 31. If you read the blog posts one day later and want to participate, there'll be a link to a ZOOM meeting on each day of the retreat. The first will be May 27. Click on the link anytime from 9 AM EST to 9 PM EST and I'll be there sewing! Along with whomever. You can pop in and out as you wish. So if you want to participate (even for a day, get prepped!!!!) It's amazing how much you can get done if you have things prepped.

I've got more to share, but no time. It's going to be nice and I hear my bike calling. And when I'm back, I have so much work to do. A few deadlines have crept up to the point where they need to be addressed this weekend. Nothing urgent, but going to be if I ignore them much longer.

Have a super day!!!!