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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Picking Myself Back Up

I had a big idea this summer to visit all the fabric stores in Toronto. I invested in a cameraman who followed me around as I talked to all the wonderful people who live and breathe textiles in the city.

Let’s just say that when I left the controlled conditions of my sewing room I learned a lot more about making YouTube videos.

First, most fabric people are introverted, and some have no desire to be filmed. The first store owner I interviewed nearly had a nervous breakdown as I was about to ask my first question. Luckily, I brought my friend Elena last minute, and she saved the day by calmly distracting the owner as we grabbed enough footage to include the store in the series.

Second, I thought that having a cameraman would save me a lot of problems and make the extra costs worth it. Though we had discussed what I wanted to do beforehand, he brought way too much gear and the footage provided to me was just the basics showing no initiative for interesting angles, colours or movement. For next time, I need to hire someone that actually likes fabric…or at least the city that we are filming in. I also learned that I need to be very specific in what I want and to write everything down.

The third lesson was the hardest – sound. Toronto is a noisy place, and I wanted my opening to be beside the iconic Toronto sign. I rose early in the morning to get there before the crowds of the day… only to find the soundtrack unusable. I could not believe all the generators, drills and heavy machinery sounds that could not be eliminated from the background. When I recorded my second attempt (actually my third but let’s not go there), I had an issue with the stereo balance, which meant that when I uploaded the final copy, half of my viewers could not hear it.

So it has taken me a moment to recover from the disappointment, grow up and move on to work on Part 2, which will hopefully come out later this month. But for now, you can enjoy my tour of the South West Toronto Area here...closed captions are available.

This week I am starting my #100days100blocks for 2022. I only need 66 blocks for this year’s layout and I am using Alison Glass wovens for my fabric. I was going to use my scraps but I needed a quilt in my Just Get It Done Colours for my new studio background, and these are perfect.

I am also finishing off last year’s #100days100blocks. I finally finished the top and I saw all the Bonus Blocks I was making and just had to share just how easy they were to make. A couple of weeks ago I also shared my tips for when your blocks are too small and how to make them fit. You can click here to watch it.

If you want to join in the #100day100blocks fun, it’s not too late. You can grab the pattern here. Our next live chat is on September 20th.

And behind the scenes, Angie and I have been busy preparing for the Panama cruise. Working on the project pattern, getting the classes ready and gathering our resources. I must say that I am getting really excited about the trip and it’s eight months away. This is a sewing cruise with all the machines provided. If you are interested in joining us we will have a live Q&A with the tour operators on Friday, Oct 7 at 7:00 pm EDT, (with the time difference that’s Saturday, Oct 8 at 9:00 am for all the Australians).

Lastly, I am off on Friday to Holland with my mother. This is a tour that was cancelled in 2020. If you are available on the morning of Wednesday, Sept 16th, I will be having a meet-up in the town of Zutphen. Unfortunately, I will not know until I arrive in Zutphen where it is the best place to hold it so watch my feeds next Sunday and Monday for more details.

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Carol Schon
Carol Schon
Sep 08, 2022

Unlike some of the previous commenters, I have been sewing for 71 years (started in 4-H at age 8), and started quilting in 1973, when my adult enrichment boss asked, if I could teach quilting, in preparation for USA's bicentennial. I figured I could and got started --- and I was HOOKED!! :-) I had a custom dressmaking and alterations business (as well as teaching high school and adult ed home economics), but I love almost all aspects of quilting. All this info to say, I have enjoyed and learned so much from watching the videos, reading the blog and all the info you so freely share ( the ups and downs of life). I check every day to…


Its funny you mentioning problems with sounds as that happened in one of the earliest videos i watched. Will you be seeing Irene from sugaridoo? Fabric here seems to be more expensive, especially the precuts. Yes ive been rewatching some of your back catalogue and i found the too small block one at just the right time. Thanks for all your help. Enjoy yourself in the Netherlands.

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I will look in on the "too small block" video. As a new quilter, I have thought I am the only one with the "Oops my block is too small, and the sinking feeling that comes with it -- how did that happen, and now what do I do -- I was being so careful." Enjoyed your trip to Toronto. Enjoyed meeting all of the shop owners. Appreciate the CC. My biological roots began in Ontario, Canada, after emigration from England. I do so appreciate your honesty and forthrightness, your bravery and courage hosting a blog. Thank you.


I thought your tour of Toronto was fantastic!! My sister and I are planning a trip onve we've saved up our


Thank you for all you’ve provided to those of us who have discovered your blog and/or your JGID you tube videos. I’veenjoyed your down to earth, honest approach to your presentations. Since you’re only a 5 hour drive from me in NE Ohio i look forward to you‘re retreat announcement. A cruise sounds nice so I[lll look up the details on that.

You are a wonderful person sharing a real life of a quilter and her ups and downs of of daily living. Thwat gives many of us much encouragement to forge on.!


Sep 07, 2022

I am also a new quilter and your YouTube tutorials have been so extremely helpful. I made one baby quilt that was a practice run for my "real" quilt that I'm giving my sister for her 70th birthday. I allowed myself plenty of time but I was a bit disappointed in the final result. A few tucks here and there but not too noticeable (I hope). She loves me so I know she will be most appreciative of it. Each one is a learning curve. I hope you have a wonderful trip! I just discovered your blog.

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