Thursday, March 31, 2016


Well, hubby is home.  He was planning on staying until Friday but called this morning to stay he was ready to leave. I had to do a quick adjustment of the days schedule and off I went.  He is tired and sore but moving around-slowly but moving.  I expect that after he gets a good nights sleep he will be in even better shape tomorrow.
Our little Heidi is glad to have everyone back in the same place.  She seems to realize she can't jump up on hubby and keeps out of his way when he is moving around. 
I am sure my posts will be spotty over the next while why we get used to a different routine.
I didn't get any quilting done today although I may get a few minutes before the end of the day.
And, that is about it for today.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Surgery Plus One

Yesterday, a friend drove hubby and I to North Bay for his hip replacement surgery.  We had to be out the door by 6.45 a.m. so it was an early start to the day.  The operation went well although a bit longer than expected as the freezing had to be changed to anesthesia.  This is the second time he has had an operation where this method didn't take.  Obviously, he has some sort of a resistance.  I am going to find out what it is so we can have it noted in case he ever has to have any more surgery.
I got home before 5.  Our little dog was so glad to see me she pushed her head into my arm and whined.  I don't think she has ever done that before.  A neighbour had been in to see her a couple of times so she had had her out times but she just not like her pack to be away.
Hubby is expected to be home tomorrow or Friday at the latest.  I think Thurs. is a bit early but he is already up and moving.  Physio also started today so if he mobile enough, I guess he will be off to pick him up tomorrow.
I didn't go out for the eggs after I got home so I had a nice pile of them today.  Chickens have been fed and watered, wood brought into the shed and I have even got a bit of quilting done.  I am trying to get caught up on those daily blocks again.  I think everyone would have found this challenge a lot easier if it were only 5 days a week.  Still, another month has gone by and I am hanging in.
Thank you to everyone who have sent their wishes and prayers for us.  It is appreciated.

Friday, March 25, 2016

How Are Quilts Priced.

The following is from Briar Patch Studios web page (  You may have wondered how quilts are priced or why the one you want costs so much (or doesn't when it should), the following information will answer those questions.

Question about Pricing and Selling your Quilts
Answered by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry
Check out the prices of
Caryl's quilts on our
Quilts for Sale Page
QUESTION: Can you offer some advice on pricing and selling art quilts?
I am a fiber artist and I have gotten a commision. I have placed in national contests and I machine quilt my work to within 1/2'-1".  Can you give me some advice on what to charge? What is standard for a rookie?  So many people undercharge and I know I will not enjoy doing it if I feel I am giving it away! Thanks for any help you can offer!
Pricing is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make as fiber artists. My own work, like the work of many other well know quilt artists, is priced by the square foot. While this seems like a crude way to price the product you your heart and soul, it is a practical way to predict ahead of time what a commission piece might be worth. Since some of my quilts have very complex piecing and others are whole cloth, I have a different square foot price for each different style.

So how do you decide what your square foot price will be? First you need to keep track of your time on at least one quilt in that style. How long did it take to design your quilt and prepare the paper pattern? For me, the design often takes longer than the actual piecing and quilting. How long did it take to piece. How long did it take to baste, quilt, and bind. How long did it take to put your studio back in order after the quilt was finished? Add up all these numbers and divide by the number of square feet in your quilt. That's how long it takes to make one square foot of quilt in that style.

Now you need to decide how much your time is worth. Minimum wage is between $6.00 and $7.00 per hour. This is the rate of pay for unskilled, entry level jobs. Since you have won awards in national contests, and have been ASKED to do this commission, we can assume that you are NOT unskilled. Skilled labor is worth more. What do you hire other people to do? Clean your house? Mow your lawn? Fix the plumbing? Repair appliances? How much do you pay them? In the 1990's in the Chicago area, the going rate for housekeeping services was $10-$15 per hour. The last time I had my toilet fixed............(don't ask!).

Once you have decided on a number for your hourly rate of pay, you need to multiply that by the number of hours it will take to make your quilt. A 40" x 60" quilt, for instance is 16.66 square feet. Suppose you are really speedy and you can actually design, piece, quilt, and bind a square foot of quilt in 2 hours. Your quilt will take 33.32 hours to finish. Now suppose, hypothetically, that your time is worth $15.00 per hour. The figure you start with in figuring your price will be $15 x 33.32 or $499.80.

That's just the starting figure. Are you are working with a gallery, agent, designer, or architect, or do you plan to work with gallery in the the future.? They are going to want a commission. They have, hopefully, done some the marketing, interaction with the client, and accounting for you, and they expect to be paid for their time. If it's a gallery, they will usually expect to be paid 50% - 60% of the selling price. If you need to be paid $499.80 for the quilt, that means the person the gallery is selling it to will need to pay at least $999.60 for the quilt. If you have found your own client, and done your own marketing, accounting, and client interaction, then you need to pay yourself for all of these things. If you ever plan to work with an agent or gallery, you need to plan ahead and set your prices accordingly.

Now you probably are going to want to document this quilt by taking photographs and writing up some documentation and an aritsts statement for your client. How long will that take? Another hour? (you really are speedy!) Pay yourself and your agent each another $15.00. So now the price of the quilt is up to $1029.60. Does the client expect you to come to their home or business and install the quilt? How long will it take to drive there and back (one hour?) How long will it take to install it? (another hour?) Do you have to purchase special rods to hang the quilt? (add $15.00) How long does it take to cut, sand, paint, and drill the rods. (add another $15.00) How much did you pay for the sand paper, drill bit, paint, and saw? (Add another $5.00- you can't take it all on this one quilt) Do you need special equipment to hang the quilt? (level, nails, hammer, step ladder) (add another $5.00) Does the client want the quilt to be sprayed with UV protection? (add another $15.00) Of course you have to double all these numbers, because your agent is going to take half.

So finally, because you work faster than most of us, and are willing to work for what you are paying your housekeeper, (that's one quarter what you are paying your plumber) you can sell your quilt for $1189.60 (let's round that up to an even $1200.00)

You are so right, too many people undercharge and give their work away. I'm glad you asked.  I'm sure there are many others out there wondering.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Timely Gift.

Isn't this the cutest basket of chicks?  I was feeling tired from lack of sleep and a bit down because of some bad news when my hubby came home from the post office with a large package.  When I opened it, there was a parcel each for hubby and I that contained crocheted hats and another one with this quartet in their nest.  I  love them right from their baby head feathers to their little feet.
My sister, as I think I have mentioned before, just learnt to crochet last summer and has been supplying appreciative family members with her products ever since.
I am not sure just where this little family will stay but, right now, I am moving them around so I can see them from wherever I am working (or sitting).
We didn't go to North Bay today because of the weather prediction of heavy snow fall and freezing rain.  I called the hospital yesterday and was told that the information that hubby would be given would be repeated after his operation.  Didn't seem worth risking our safety. We are getting the freezing rain right now and it was snowing quite heavily earlier so I believe we made the right decision.
His op has been rescheduled for 2 hours earlier so we will have to be on the road by 7 a.m. on Tues.  We have a dear friend coming with us to be with me and drive me back as I will, no doubt, be better off not driving.  Another friend will check on Heidi for us so all is ready.  Just a few more days and it will be over.  We are so thankful for the support of family and friends.
Happy Easter.  He is risen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another Storm Warning.

We have a winter storm watch with heavy snow, wind and, later, possible freezing rain.  We were supposed to be at Bible Study tonight but the people who host it are in the midst of kidding season.  Not telling jokes, but the birth of baby goats.  They were concerned about the hydro going out (which it has three times since Christmas) so they wanted to get prepared.  Water is the main concern and as we are on wells in this area if there is no electricity the pumps don't work.
We have also filled up some buckets so we can flush the toilets.  All this prep should pretty much ensure that nothing happens but it is good to be ready.
I hope the freezing rain doesn't happen as we are supposed to be going north on Thurs. for the last pre op.  Hubby is almost ready.  He got in extra food for the chickens today so I don't have to do that.  I have to get sheets on the guest bed as that is where he will be sleeping because it is the highest one.  He won't need it until late next week but, if I have to stay overnight in North Bay for any reason, Heidi's caregiver will be able to stay over.
Lots of things to think about.
I am planning on being able to spend tomorrow sewing.  I was busy today doing house stuff but did get the fabric cut for the 365 blocks that need to be done.  I wonder if anyone is actually getting one done every day.
When hubby's operation is over and things settle back to normal, I am going to be having a draw of some sort so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, if you are in the central part of Ontario stay safe.  Well, I hope you stay safe no matter where you live.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Fever

I officially have spring fever.  It was hard staying indoors today.  Despite the snow that is still covering most of the ground and a chilly breeze, I wanted to be out raking and planting.  Instead, I had to be inside taking part in a video conference regarding my insurance case.  The defendant's lawyer as well as mine and a court reporter were in a room in Edmonton while I was in front of my computer in my studio.
It turned out to be more stressful than I anticipated but I think I did okay.  I now wait to here if they are going to accept my proposed settlement price.   I did manage to get a smile from everyone when I was asked what I now did for recreation.  The lawyer asked how often I quilted and I told him "as often as I breathe".
I got a couple more of the 365 challenge blocks done today.  These were the mitred corner ones and they were a lot easier than I anticipated.  I did do them using my own method which was similar to hers. I hope to get a few more blocks done tomorrow so I will be almost caught up again.

My latest quilt has been posted to my Quilts for Sale page if you would like to check it out.  The link is below.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Super Sized Eggs

We have one hen that lays supersized eggs.  The others in the carton are large and medium but three of them are so big they don't even have a designation.  They are double and, sometimes, triple yolkers.  You have to feel sorry for the hen that lays them.

These happy women and one young lady are choosing their fabrics for today's applique class.  I teach them monthly how to applique using the back basting method and today was the second lesson.  I took my Island Batik fabrics for them to look at and then they were able to select some pieces from ones I had pre cut.  The young girl was on spring break and came with her mother.  She had brought a simple sewing project with her.  It is good to see that the art of creating with fabric and thread is continuing on.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.  I have two Irish ancestors on my father's side who came to America on the Mayflower with their families and, later, married.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Worth While Sacrifice

We had another power outage today.  We went to Huntsville for some shopping as hubby had to get a few things to use after his operation.  When we got home, there wasn't any electricity.  It did come on an hour or so later and I used the time in between to get ready for the applique class I am teaching tomorrow.
I am getting way behind in my quilting but I need to accept that this is going to happen with all the extra appointments and travelling we are having to do at the moment.  It is amazing how much preparation there is for an operation like this.  Workers come over to check out the house and see what adjustments need to be made for sitting and sleeping (a chair needs to be changed and he is going to be using the guest room bed as it is higher), home care workers phone with information, surgeon's office phone with information, appointments are made to get even more information.  And, of course, multiple trips are being made to the hospital where the big event takes place.  Those trips entail arranging for the dog to be let out and making sure the chickens are looked after before we leave in case there is a delay getting back.
None of this matters when it means he is finally going to be getting relief from the pain he has lived with for so long.  Neither of us are able to imagine what it is going to be like for him to be able to walk and sit without extreme discomfort.
So, if it means I have to forgo some quilting to help in getting this done, it is a very tiny price.  Besides, I am sure I will have plenty of time to catch up when he is in recovery and I am staying close to home being the caregiver.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ides of March.

  This mini quilt is the first project I have made with my Island Batik fabrics and is part of the Mini March Madness challenge.  This little table centrepiece is 22" X 22".  I am not sure if you can see that I used two different fabrics for the binding one lime and the other a mid green shade.  I often use more than one fabric for binding especially if it is a scrappy which a lot of my quilts are.
We had rain overnight some our snow has dropped a few more inches here in the back woods.  Hubby is leaving the chicken coop door open that leads to their run.  They won't come out while there is still snow on the ground but it does give them some fresh air.  I can see the coop from my studio window and every so often a chicken head peaks out.
I notice the birds are also showing signs of impending spring.  The are zipping around in pairs and generally acting twitterpated as Flower said in the story about Bambi.
I have been fighting with my camera today.  It has been acting up for a while now and it just doesn't want to upload the photos.  I had to resort to taking this picture with my tablet and sending it to myself.  Drop box also isn't cooperating so I am wondering if something needs to be reloaded.  Not today though.  I have enough to do.  Of course, it could all be because it is the 15th.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another Quilt Finished.

I finished adding the binding to this quilt and it is now ready to list on my Quilts for Sale page.  It is a nice cheerful quilt, designed my Isobel Meekins, that should add a homey touch to someones house.

It has been a beautiful sunny day today although the melting snow is revealing a muddy driveway.  Heidi and I went out for our usual walk and she was trying really hard not to get her tiny feet wet.  I had been working on getting my studio tidied up again so it was nice to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
Hubby is going to try and start tapping for syrup tomorrow.  A friend from church is going to come over and give him a hand as walking though snow is really hard on his bad hip.  We have so many appointments booked for next few weeks that I am going to have to make sure all the calendars are coordinated so I don't double book a day.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Freezing Fog?

Our weather report says we are going to have freezing fog.  What does that look like, I wonder?  Will the air shatter as I walk through it?  If the fog,  which is mist, freezes won't it just be laying on the ground?  Hmmm.
I was working on a mini quilt for Island Batik today.  I changed my mind a number of times about what I was going to make and finally decided on a version of disappearing nine patch.  Not very innovative but I think the colour choices and layout add a bit of individuality to it.
I should have started off the day by doing the 365 block but I didn't so will do that now.  I can't do a lot of sewing today as I hurt my wrist.  I have arthritis in that one and when I was out clearing up Heidi's souvenir's I hit some ice with the shovel and gave my wrist a bad jar.  Fortunately, I can still use the machine and rotary cutter but not scissors.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It Has Arrived

It has been a rainy, grey day with dense fog.  I went into the village to have lunch with a couple of friends and there were places on the road driving in where I could hardly see much past the front of the car.  I had a couple of stops after the long, relaxing meal and then went to the post office where I saw notice that I had a parcel.  My Island Batik ( fabric had arrived!
This photo was taken after I opened some of the packages.  As you can see, everything is  neatly wrapped and tied and I hate to undo them.  I have put them back in the shipping box while I do some other work tonight but tomorrow I am going to take them out again and get started on my first project.
It was lovely that this colourful treat arrived to brighten up the dreary weather.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Free Block

Yesterday was a really long day and by the time we got home, we were exhausted.  we left the house at 8.45 and returned just before 4 p.m..  Most of the time we were in meetings or waiting to be in meetings.  We have to trek to North Bay again on the 24th for another meeting and then on the 29th when hubby has his operation.
Busy month but I am so glad he is finally getting this done.
I have been getting a lot of sewing done today.  I am working on one of the kits that I had put together a while ago.  It is an easy pattern and goes together quickly.
I have got behind on the 365 blocks again so will work on them tomorrow.
Below is another easy block and is great for using scraps.

The ‘L’ Block




 The size for this block is easily changed.  I will give you two sizes.

For a 6” block, cut a 7” X 7” square of fabric.

Cut a 2 ½” strip from one side of the square, and a 2 ½” strip from an adjoining side. 

Repeat for the desired number of blocks you want for your top.

As you cut, place the short strip in one pile, the longer in another and the left over square in another

To make your block, choose a square from the pile, 1 short strip and 1 longer strip. Sew the short strip to one side of the square and the long to an adjoining side.  Press.


For a 4” block, start with a 5” square and repeat the steps above cutting a 1 ½ strip from the two sides.


You can use two strips from the same fabric on the sides or two different.  Use a variety of fabric but half should be dark and the other light.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Frittering Time Away

Do you ever have one of those days when the time seems to fritter away and, at the end of it, you find you didn't accomplish anything.  I was going to get started on another quilting project but couldn't decide what.  I added another couple of blocks to a top, did the days 365 challenge and that was it for quilting. 
I think I was finding it hard to settle because we have been waiting for the guy to call back about our frozen water pipe.  Hubby got the snow cleared from the area where the pipe enters the house and checked to see if the heater was working so now it is just a matter of waiting.  I imagine that we are not the only ones with a problem so he is quite probably very busy.
I am off to do  grocery shopping tomorrow and go to the fabric store for some backing.  I hope that by the time I get back, we will have water.  We are melting icicles so we can wash, do some dishes and flush the toilets.  Fortunately, we have lots of icicles.
Looks like the weather is going to really start warming up next week  It will be nice to see the snow start melting.  I had to remove some of it from around our emergency number at the end of the driveway (this is our street number and is provided by the township so emergency personal can locate the proper house).
Enjoy your weekend.  Monday we are heading north for hubby's pre op session. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ice Anyone?

The sun is definitely getting warmer and brighter.  This is particularly good right now because we woke to a frozen water line.  It shouldn't have because there is a heater on it but, it has. 
It is going to be a bit of a chore to get at the area as we will have to dig through the snow, remove some of the siding and then get under the house.  Has to be done.
Today, I was at a friends where I spent the day quilting.  We get together once a month and it is a great time. We drink copious amounts of tea, talk and sew.  What could be better?
The Island Batik Ambassador's are receiving their fabric and I am waiting with great anticipation and excitement.  One of our first projects will be to make a mini quilt.  I am looking forward to doing this as I like minis and have been getting lots of practice with the 365 block challenge.
Anyone need some ice for their drink?  We are getting massive icicles dripping from the eaves on the south side of the house.  I knock them down but in a couple of days they are back again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I seem to have forgot ton to post on Tues. again.  Must be something to do with the long weekend I usually give myself:  by the time Tuesday comes around my mind is on other things.  No need for me to give you a hint as to what it might be.
We woke to an extra foot of snow this morning.  It was very light but still took a good bit of time to just clear a space for the dog to do her thing and the walk way.  The problem now is that there isn't anywhere to put the stuff.  Our plow guy is having trouble as well.  Our driveway is barely as wide as my car and it is next to impossible to see around the snow piled at the entrance.  I keep hoping that my car being red will be noticed as I creep ever closer onto the road.
The conditions in the village weren't a great deal better.  The roads had been cleared but if a extra wide vehicle had come along either they or the one coming in the opposite direction would have had to stop as close to the right as possible.
I saw an unusual sight while driving into the village.  I could see something coming toward me on the road but not just what it was.  As I got closer, I saw that it was a herd of horses.  I stopped while trying to decide what might be best to do but they made their own decision and went up the driveway opposite to where I had stopped.  I drove on to the farm nearby to let them know where the escapees were.
I took the barn photo on the way home.  I have been wanting to take the picture for some time but kept forgetting to take my camera or the weather/light was wrong.  Today was perfect: new snow, beautiful blue sky.
The other photo shows the snowfall.  The car and driveway were clear when I went to bed. 
Arkangel Creations 2016