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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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