Friday, December 30, 2016

Tis the Season-Still

I have got the last of my pre New Year's work finished.  This my last Island Batik project for this year.  As you can see, the topic is giving.  We were asked to make something that could be donated to a charity.  I chose the Salvation Army.  This organization, as you probably know, operates year round giving assistance to those in need. One of the reasons I support the Army besides what I just mentioned, is that all the monies given goes to their work not to pay for advertising, wages etc. etc.
Although Christmas, the traditional time for giving for many people, is past, you can still donate to the Salvation Army whether it is food for the food banks, money to help support shelters etc. or your time. 





This little wall hanging is called Fun at the Seashore.

Happy New Year to all my readers.  Thank you for your encouragement and the time you take to read my thoughts.
Blessings,

Thursday, December 29, 2016

All Caught Up

The freezing rain we had on Boxing Day covered the windows on the south side of the house in a sheet of ice.  This picture is looking through the window in the living room and, as you can tell, you are not able to see outside at all (can't see the dog's nose prints either, thankfully).  This same coating was everywhere including the driveway.  It made for very treacherous driving when we left on the Tues.  Not sure when it melted but it was gone when we came home late afternoon.  Of course, then we had the soft snow which bogged us down half way up the hill.

I finished the lighthouse quilt and got the label on tonight while watching the news.  Tomorrow it goes to my customer. This is for a lady who loves lighthouses and PEI hence the red dirt. The fabric is actually more rust coloured than it shows in the photo.
 I just have to add the binding onto my Island Batik project and it is finished as well.  I hope to have that posted Friday.  And that means I am all caught up with my quilting.  Nice to have it done before the New Year.
Blessings,

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Post Christmas

 I hope you had a peaceful and safe Christmas.  We spent the day at home after going to church in the morning.  Hubby sang a solo, "Mary Did You Know" by Mark Lowry and did a wonderful job.  He was accompanied by our church musicians who had also coached him so he was able to do his best.
These two photos are of my smaller trees.  The first one is in our sun room and the last sits on a dresser in the master bedroom.



Hubby bought our Heidi a stuffed squirrel for Christmas.  She hates the creatures and he thought it might be a nice present to give her one that she could catch.  As you can see, she quickly showed what she would do with a live one were she to get her tiny paws on it.  We had stuffng all over the hall carpet and one limp squirrel carcass being tossed around the room.
Blessings,

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Joining Wide Strips-A Tutorial

I have been able to get a lot accomplished today and I think I might actually be ready for Christmas before it gets here.  I have a little bit of baking to do, my magazine article to send and some gifts to wrap and that is it.
Today, I finished the centre block of my lighthouse quilt.  I had to join some wide strips and, because these can be difficult, I have put together a mini tutorial.
Sewing on the diagonal such as when joining two fabric strips can be challenging because this is the stretchiest part of the fabric.  Here is one way to do it successfully.  My strips were 10 1/2 inches wide but this will work with any width.
Ensure that the ends of the strips that are to be joined are square.  Place your ruler on the fabric to find the 45 degree angle and draw a line along the ruler being careful not to stretch the fabric.  Fold fabric back along the line (wrong sides together) and press once again being careful not to stretch the fabric.
Place a strip of fusible such as the kind used to hem pants (I use Trans Web tape) on the RIGHT side of the fabric 1/2" to the right of the pressed line and iron in place.  Remove backing from tape.  Place the other fabric strip on top of the first as you normally do when joining.  Press along the fusible.
Sew along the drawn line and trim as usual.  The tape will be on the side that is discarded.
Blessings,

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hot Dog

How are you making out in getting things ready for the big day?  I got a lot accomplished today despite a soar muscle in my back.  This elderly grandmother shouldn't have been swinging a young seven year old boy in  the pool but, sore back or no, it was worth it.
I have the top of the lighthouse quilt almost done, did a first draft on my The Quilt Pattern Magazine article and a few other odds and ends today.  Tomorrow I will finish the article and, hopefully, get the top finished on my Island Batik project finished.
Just before three, I stopped to take the dog for her walk.  It was warm today so the snow was packy and slippery.  I didn't want to walk down our steep driveway and take a chance on falling so I drove down and then we walked.  Almost got stuck on the way back but we made it. Hubby and I really should have gone snow shoeing and packed the trail down more but he had been doing a lot of outside work and was tired.  Perhaps Friday as it will still be warm.
Heidi likes to spend her day in front of the fire when she isn't on hubby's lap.  She doesn't usually have a blanket to lay on-too much of a fire hazard but it looked good for a photo. We all really enjoy our wood stove.
Blessings,


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Best in the World

We had our best Christmas present early this year when we got to spend the weekend with our grandchildren.  We hadn't seen them for 6 years due to a number of circumstances and, in that time, the youngest had changed from a baby to a very bright 7 year old.  The oldest child remembered us a bit and we had been Skyping with both of them every week so there wasn't any adjustment on their part. 
Those of you who are grandparents know  the special bond with these children of our children isn't something that can be explained.  It is just there.  Just watching them be themselves is as amazing as seeing space flight or an unfolding flower.
They and their parents  continued on their trip to the Bahamas on Monday and we returned home.    We shall talk to them again on Christmas Day via Skype and I expect there  will be an extra joy to the link up.  We really miss not being with them but are oh so thankful to have had the time we did.
I have been doing a few little bits and pieces sewing.  I have also finally got around to drawing the design for the lighthouse quilt I am doing for a customer.  The top should be completed tomorrow.
I will post a picture when it is done. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of the best grandchildren in the world.
Blessings


Friday, December 16, 2016

A New Nativity Set

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I collect nativity scenes.  This is my newest.  It is a Jim Shore design and I love the quilts-naturally.  I am still looking for one in glass as well as a teddy bear or moose.  I prefer getting them at garage sales or thrift shops as I feel as though I am giving them a loving and appreciative home.
We are ready for our trip to Toronto.  Everything is ready for our house sitter.  Heidi has had her bath and the house is-somewhat-clean.  Weather doesn't sound as though it will be the best but, if it gets really bad, we will just stop somewhere.
Blessings,

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Sky is Blue







What a difference in weather.  Yesterday, the snow squalls were so bad we couldn't see down the driveway, stores closed early, school buses were cancelled.  Today, it is very cold but it isn't snowing and, yes, that is blue sky you see in the photos.  I went out before breakfast to take some pictures of the sun shining through the trees at the back of the property.  It was a little cold to be out without gloves and socks but I thought it worthwhile.
The sun has continued to shine throughout the day.  Hubby has only had to use the snow blower once and the bird feeder has stayed clean.  I think we are back to snowsqualls again tomorrow but I -and everyone else in the area I am sure, have enjoyed the break.
Blessings,







Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Doozy of a Day.

It has been a doozy of a weather day.  I cleaned off the bird feeders in the morning and there was another 6 inches of snow on them by early afternoon.  We were going to go into the village to do some shopping but we just hunkered down. 
I was hoping it would clear up for the weekend but, right now, it doesn't sound like it is going to get much better.  We are going to Toronto on Sat. to see the grandchildren  who are flying in from Alberta and stopping, with their parents, on their way to the Bahamas.  We have to get to the hotel and it is a 3 hour drive normally so it might be a really challenging day.  If it is really bad, we will take the go train once we get to Barrie.
Everything is arranged for our little holiday.  We have a house sitter coming in to look after Heidi and the chickens.  All I have to do is wrap a couple of gifts and pack: and then hope we can get out the driveway.
I did get quite a bit of quilting done today so there is always a good side to everything.  If you were on the road in this area (or anywhere for that matter) I hope you got home without mishap.
Blessings,

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fabric Ornaments-Pattern

We are getting a ton of snow.  It wasn't very cold today so hubby and I went snowshoeing through the bush.  Actually, he snowshoed and I trudged behind.  I am still having trouble with my back and wasn't sure if the unusual activity would aggravate it.
How are your Christmas preparations coming?  I finished setting up my nativity sets today and am working on some little decorations.  These make great last minute stocking stuffer gifts or would look nice on a gift package.

Here are the instructions.






Fabric Ornaments

You can make numerous ornaments all the same colour with strip piecing method or individually as scrappies.  Instructions will be given for both.



Strip Piecing:

Cut 2-1” X 15” strips of dark or medium colour fabric (A)

Cut 1-2” X 15” strip of light fabric. (B)

Sew a   1” X 15”  strip on either side of the 2” strip.  Press toward centre

Cut into 6-3” X 2” pieces.



Cut 2-1” X 15” strips of  bright fabric (C)

Cut 1-2” X 15” strips of (A) fabric

Sew A on either side of C

Cut into 12 3” X 1” pieces and sew onto the top and bottom of the 6 pieces.  Press toward the centre.





Scrappy Method



For each ornament:

Cut 1- 2” square of . (A) light fabric

Cut 4-1” X 2” strips of (B) medium or dark fabric

Sew 2 B strips on opposite sides of A

Cut 1-1” X4” strip bright  © fabric

Sub cut into 4-1” sections and sew onto either end of the 2 remaining B strips.



This next step is the same for both methods



Cut a 3” square of fabric for backing

Cut a 5” length of ribbon for a hanger.

Fold ribbon in half and place in the center (on the right side) of one of the pieced squares with edges even with raw edge of square.  Pin or baste in place.

Place backing square on pieced square, right sides together, sew around leaving and opening at the bottom for turning.  Trim corners, turn right side out  Lightly stuff with batting and sew opening.

Place a decorative/seasonal button in the centre of the ornament and attach by stitching through all the layers.  Hide end of the thread by pushing needle through top layer and trim.















Friday, December 9, 2016

A Fun Community

One of my favourite quilting magazines, Quilter's Connection, came in the mail today.  As usual, I sat down to read it through as soon as I got home.  However, I quickly discovered this issue was a bit different.  It still focused on Canadian quilter's, designers and shops but it also featured some software  with which I was completely unfamiliar.  Spoonflower was one of the programs and it helps you design your own fabric, list it for sale and receive a percentage of the profits if it finds a buyer. Quilt Fusion allows you to play with pre designed applique shapes enabling you to make your own art quilts.
I still haven't made it all the way through the magazine.  I keep running to the computer and looking up a program or web site.  I haven't got to the articles by the woman who is on one of the Facebook sites I frequent or the one about 1/4 inch seams yet. 
If you haven't read this Canadian magazine, I highly recommend it.  On a personal note, they , following the publication of an article by me,  are the ones who named me the Back Woods Quilter, a title I have kept and use to this day.

Hubby and I got our shingles vaccination today, did a bit of shopping and then went to lunch in a café that just opened.  A discussion with the owner revealed she had just moved to the village from South Africa.  Her daughter was one of the developers of the apartment buildings where her business is located.  While my husband continued to chat with her, I went through the adjoining door to the hair salon and got a trim.  Small communities are so much fun!
Blessings,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snow Squalls and Needles

We got quite a bit of snow today.  Hubby got out the snow blower and did the walk way and back to the chicken coop but it didn't take long for it to need doing again.  I cleaned off the bird feeders a couple of times but it was a losing battle.  The second time I went out I took Heidi for a walk around the previously plowed area where she wouldn't disappear from view into the drifts.  We chased around for a while then I brought her in and put her in the sink to get rid of the snow balls.  I should have put her bootees on but it would have taken longer to dress her than the time spent outside.
I was able to get a top almost completely quilted.  I had the usual adjustment period with the machine.  The thread kept breaking and breaking no matter what I did: rethreaded, changed needle, changed thread.  Then I put a cap over the thread spool and that solved the problem.  Haven't had to do that before but, whatever works is fine by me.
Tomorrow Hubby and I go in for our shingles prevention needle.  I am positive I haven't had chickenpox which means I probably won't get shingles but this is one of those 'better safe than sorry' situations.  I never get the flu shot nor am I big on a lot of pills and drugs.  I am fortunate in having a good immune system but I do think this needle is one that is wise to get.
While we are in the village, we will check out a new  café and have lunch.  I should be able to finish the quilt tomorrow and then get the other customer one loaded.  I want to get them done this week so I can start on the lap quilt another customer has commissioned.  I will need to design the pattern for it so it will take a bit of time.  Fortunately, it isn't needed until after Christmas
If you are in the area to the south of us that is getting the snow squalls tonight, stay safe.
Blessings,

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Island Batik Draw.

We are expected to get quite a bit of snow through the night and into tomorrow.  I think hubby might be looking forward to it as he hasn't had a chance to use his new-to-him snow blower yet.  So far this winter, the snow melts before you have time to do much more than sweep off the steps.  Just in case this might be the real thing, I filled the bird feeders today so they won't have to go far for their suppers.  The little chickadees are so much fun to watch.  They have no concern about their safety around humans and will fly around my head as I am adding peanuts to the special feeder and the sunflower seeds to another.  You can almost hear them telling me to hurry up.
Hubby added one of the new lights that project swirls of colour to our outdoor decorations this year.  We just went out to see how it looks and it is quite effective and those going by on the road should be able to see it.  He is going to see if they go on sale after Christmas and perhaps add a couple more to shine over the trees.  I like the white lights but as our house is cream coloured the blue do show up better.
I started quilting a customers top today and, after the usual fiddling around to get the tension correct, it is going well.  Should get it finished tomorrow.
Island Batik is offering a draw and the link is on my Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/anna.branch.58 or you can go to islandbatik.com.  Good luck.  I would love to have one of you win.
Blessings,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Getting There

How many more days until Christmas??  We got the big tree up and I have it half decorated as is one of the smaller ones.  The other small one is laying on its side on my cedar chest.  I expect they will all be dressed in their finery by tomorrow evening.
I have also been working on a customer's job and another quilt that is a gift.  (Ssshh! Can't say to whom as they might be reading this.)
Hubby is still getting over a nasty cold but is starting to sound better.  I have warned him that if I catch it he will be getting a nasty lump of dog doo (Coal is too expensive) in his stocking.
As the big days moves every closer, I am reminding myself that Christmas will happen whether or not the house is clean or decorated, any baking is done or if there are any packages under the tree.
We go through this every year, don't we?   And every year, we vow to start earlier the next Christmas.  It is rather like a certain mediocre sports team's mantra; 'there is always next year'.
Blessings

Friday, December 2, 2016

Official Lighting of the Tree

There was snow on the trees when we woke up this morning and it has continued to fall throughout the day.  I had to go into the village in the morning and, as it had been mild, all the trees had a frosting of snow.  There is little to no accumulation on the ground as it has been a very light snowfall but I am hoping that winter is starting to settle in.
Of course, I grabbed my camera and took photos.
Our Driveway

Even the Weeds Look Lovely


After supper, we are going in the village to see the official lighting of the community Christmas tree.  I love watching the children as they get to hang some ornaments before the big count down and flipping of the switch.
Blessings,

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fleece Toques

I don't do much non quilting sewing any more but today I made some fleece toques for our local food bank.  Hubby liked them so much I made him one as well and then a different styled one for me.  I was going to make a flannel nightgown too but ran out of inspiration and decided to quilt instead. 
Hubby isn't feeling well and I have been making him hot lemon drinks.  He usually does supper on Thurs. but I did that like a good and dedicated wife.  Tomorrow night is the tree lighting in the village and we were going to go out for supper beforehand but it doesn't look as though he will be well enough.  I think I will take a neighbour lad and go as I/we really enjoy it.
I am going to spend some time cutting up my smaller bits of fabric tonight.  I keep trying to get them off my shelves as a lot of them aren't big enough to use for a quilt.  If I cut them into 10 and 5 inch squares, divide into darks and lights, they will be ready for scrappies.
Blessings,

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shopping Marathon.

I had a marathon shopping day today: groceries, some Christmas gifts and the fabric store.  Came home with a trunk load of stuff and some in the back seat.  Got everything put away and sat down with a cup of tea.  Why is it that shopping is so exhausting?  I did stop and have lunch which I normally don't do.  A salad and some bruschetta restored enough energy that I was able to finish the major part of the grocery shopping without wanting to just leave it and go home.
Hubby helped put everything away and, as I had already made a big pot of chili for supper, I have been able to take it easy for the rest of the day.
My issue of The Quilt Pattern Magazine (thequiltpatternmagazine.com) arrived in my in box so I have read that and am now printing off one of the patterns.  Barbara Douglas has created the cutest snowman quilt with full size patterns that will make a lovely gift.  I also printed, for future reference, Deanna Jameson's article on making your own quilt labels.
I need to get at making some fleece hats for our food bank.  I think I will look up a pattern for those this evening and get them done tomorrow.  Always lots to do but, at least, I have a house full of food to sustain me!  😄
Blessings,

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shades of Brown and Grey.

It rained like crazy last night and today it has been grey and overcast.  When we went for a walk this afternoon, you could see the mist hanging over the pond as well as the wetlands at the front of the property.  Despite the lack of sun, it was still nice walking through the woods.  The leaves have been exposed again and the hundreds of different shades of brown carpeted the trail.  There is still a few patches of snow but it looks more like late spring than early winter.
A friend sent me a link to the cutest commercial I have seen in a long time.  I watch it through twice noticing different things each time.  I have since watched it a few more times.  Hope you enjoy it as well.  See if you can spot the name of the bear on the passport. Here is the link, you may have to copy and paste.


blessings,


Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Son

Forty eight years ago today, my son was born. He was 6 weeks premature and only weighed a bit over 3 lbs and then went down to less than 3 right after his birth.  He was so small the hospital staff didn't think he would live.  He was sent to Toronto's Hospital of Sick Children where he spent the next 6 weeks of his life.  Because we didn't have a car, I wasn't able to see him at all during that time.  I also found out later that his Dad was advised by the doctor that it was best if we didn't visit because our son likely wouldn't survive.  Of course, now that wouldn't be a factor.  Parents are encouraged to spend as much time as possible with the newborns no matter how ill they might be.
A lot has changed in the attitudes of medical personnel since those days and even though I am saddened by the advice we were given and the resulting long separation, I am still grateful that the care resulted in his survival.  He was the smallest preemie to have survived at his birth hospital.
He is now a strapping, well over 6 foot man and I am immensely proud of him.
It has been mild but somewhat dreary today and that makes it hard to get motivated.  I did send the information to Quilts for Sale to have 3 more of my quilts listed so they should be on site shortly.  Other than that, I took the dog for a walk, made a pot of stew, tidied the house and that was about it. Oh, and I took some photos.
Didn't even take advantage of any of the sales that drove a lot of people into a buying frenzy.
Blessings,

Thursday, November 24, 2016

One Month Away

Happy thanksgiving to all our friends in the U.S.  Please drive carefully if you are travelling.
I was quilting with a couple of friends today working on a BOM.  We are getting to the point where all the sections are being joined by sashing and we are having our brains exercised.  Fortunately each step is done twice so when you have figured out one, you can zip-carefully-through the second.  We still have quite a bit to do before our tops are finished but it is going to be a beauty.
I decided to give our birds a treat today and put some peanuts in the feeder.  It didn't take long before the word to get around and we were inundated with more feathered creatures than we have ever seen at one time before.
One month today it will be Christmas Eve.  Hope you have started on your shopping list.
Blessings,

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sales and Sewing

I am just about ready to stop and spend some time listening to the television while knitting.  I have got everything done that was on my 'to do' list today so am feeling good about what I have accomplished.  I didn't get much quilting done but as I will be spending the day doing that tomorrow I don't mind-or not much anyway.
Hubby also had a productive day.  He left the house early to take a neighbour for his cancer treatment, did some grocery shopping for me and then got some odd jobs done after lunch.  We took the dog for a walk in the afternoon so, that too, was taken care of.
Even though I didn't do any physical sewing, I did some mental.  I came up with another 9 patch block pattern using 5 inch squares so that is four for the booklet. 
There are a lot of on line sales happening this weekend.  If you are looking to purchase a quilt for a special someone, including yourself, check out:  www.quiltsforsale.ca. Some quilts are reduced by 50%.  Others offer free shipping in Canada plus a discounted price.
Craftsy, the popular site for patterns and hand made items, is also offering some great prices.
It's Black Friday all weekend long on Craftsy! Enjoy up to 60% off all kits and supplies. Plus enroll in any class for $17.99 USD or less. www.craftsy.com
Happy Shopping,
blessings,                               

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Favourite Season

Winter has arrived.  We went from plus 18 C one day to minus 3 the next.  Our hydro went out Sunday afternoon for a few hours but came back on in time for us to Skype with our grandchildren. 
I had to put Heidi's pink bootees on to take her for our walk today.  The snow was quite wet so I knew it was either the booties or a sit in the sink while I removed the snowballs from her legs when we got back.
We went down to the pond first.  It has a thin layer of ice covering it and, in places, it looks ripply which isn't surprising.  The wind on Sunday and throughout the night was fierce enough to be categorized as 'gale force so it is not a wonder that the power went out.  Our walk continued through the bush where I could see the tracks of deer and some smaller critter-probably a mouse or similar.
Hubby made sure the snow blower was going to start for when it is needed.  The shovel will be fine for now.
Looking forward to more days of being able to get outside, enjoy my favourite season and take lots of photographs.  In the meantime, here is one for the past.
Blessings,


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Patterns Found

I have started working on a scrappy quilt and why does that always seem to result in making more scraps.  I am doing a simple disappearing 9 patch and then, with the left over blocks, I will make some half square triangles.  I already have quite a few of those which I made from the cut off corners of another project.
While I was getting my cutting table organized to start these ideas, I found a few pattern ideas which I had sketched out some time ago.  And a number of mug mat patterns as well.  So, I think I am all
Scrappy Idea



set for projects for a while.  I am enjoying doing something new as I had been finishing up previously started quilts as well as doing craft sale items.  I am not sure what I will do with these quilts but I think they will be given to a charity.
The weather report sounds as though fall may be over by early next week.  Guess I  better get my winter clothes out.  I usually have that done by the end of October but there certainly wasn't any need this year.
Blessings,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chosen.


The following is a poem that was sent to me from a lady in our local quilt group.  She received it from a lady in her knitting group-don't you love the internet.  I was so impressed with what was said that I read it at church on Sunday.  The words remind me of what my mother used to say "They also serve who sit at home and wait."  It may have been a quote but I am not sure. The other reason that it struck a cord is because, as I have mentioned previously, I was born in England and that is where this poem is based.
The author's name wasn't given when I first saw the poem but now that I have it, I wanted to share it with you.  This will be one of my yearly readings.
If you would like to know more about the writer, her blog is: https://elsieshufflebottom.wordpress.com/ 
Blessings



Chosen

I’m an ordinary baby,
Red, squalling, indignant at being dragged out into this cold, noisy world.
But to my Mum and Dad I’m beautiful – the one that they’d have chosen.

I’m an ordinary little boy, naughty sometimes, grubby sometimes.
I was third shepherd in the school Nativity. John was Joseph.
Mum and Dad think I should have been chosen.

I’m an ordinary eleven year old. I didn’t get my scholarship to the grammar school.
Peter next door did.
Mum and Dad think I should have been chosen.

I’m an ordinary fourteen year old. I wanted to work on the farm up the road.
David from the cottage by the church got the job.
Mum and Dad think I should have been chosen.

I’m an ordinary nineteen year old. I joined up to do my bit. I was hoping to be made up to L/Cpl.
George Smith got the promotion.
Mum and Dad think I should have been chosen.

I’m an ordinary twenty one year old. I lie in a cold grave in France. Above me a wooden cross.
Somebody has written in pencil “An Unknown British Soldier.”
Mum and Dad wonder why I have been chosen.

I’m still twenty one, still young, and still serving.
My tomb is in Westminster Abbey.
Kings pause and bow as they pass.
Queens lay their flowers for me.
People file past and cry for me.
Children stop and wonder who I am.

I am an ordinary man.
I am the Unknown Soldier.
My Mum and Dad don’t know that I was chosen.


Jennie Carter

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Back Woes


I am sure you are aware that our moon is closer to the earth than normal and many people are out taking photos.  It has been overcast here but, when I looked out last night, I saw this hazy glow behind the black tree branches.  I zipped out and took the photo.  It is a bit out of focus as I couldn't hold the camera steady enough (must get a tripod) for the slow shutter.  However, I think that adds to the eeriness.




 

I did well at both craft sales on Saturday so will have some spending money for Christmas.  I made an extra wall hanging card holder which I will put into a local store to sell. It is only 25.00 if you are interested.

I had to go to the doctor's today as I have been having back spasms.  Very painful.  He practices alternative medicine and quickly got me back to normal without pills.   My  back still feels tired and achy but no spasms.  I was hoping to drive to Orillia to see my sister tomorrow but am going to have to make sure I don't do anything to stress my back.  Disappointing, as she is here visiting her son and family as well as an adult grandchild.  We will have to do our 'visiting' on the phone until she comes back again.
blessings,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

One Day at a Time

Does it take your pet a while to get adjusted to the time change?  Our Heidi has a schedule for certain things: being fed, walks, being put outside to take care of business.  However, she, of course, doesn't know when we crazy human decide to upset everything twice a year and it takes her a week or so to adjust to it.  She still waits expectantly by the door when her clock tells her she should be getting ready for her walk only to see me ignore her  or, depending if we have changed to or from DST, we go before we should be.  It must be upsetting.  Mothers are advised to start gradually changing a child's routine a week or so before time changes and it would probably be wise to do the same thing for our furry children.  I never remember though.
Almost ready for the craft sales.  I have cookies to bake for one of them and a few small items to finish.  Then I need to work on a pattern that I have sold to a magazine, go to the dentist, visit one of my sisters who is here from England and start thinking about Christmas.
Ah, well.  One day at a time.
Blessings,



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Paws Up

Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging comments on the quilt I posted yesterday.  I have just finished the hand quilting on a wall quilt in a similar style.  I think this is a rather neat idea that I have thought of and might make a few more quilt/card holders for Christmas gifts.
It has been a busy day as I had to drop off items to sell in two locations before heading south to do some shopping.  I met a friend for lunch and then finished up the last store before heading back home.  Tomorrow, I will do the finishing touches on the items for the craft sale.  I have a church friend who does lovely knitting and I have invited her to put some items on my table as well.  I find it is good to have too many things to sell rather than too few as you never know what someone will want.
The cold that I had seems to be clearing up but I am still having back problems.  It is hard to bend down as far as is necessary some times.  Our little Heidi is so low to the ground that getting her hooked to the lead so she can go out is a chore.  I have trained her to stand on her back legs with her front paws on my knee so I can reach her without as much effort.  She looks so cute when she does that and knows exactly what I mean when I say 'paws up'.  Pets give us so much pleasure, don't they?
Blessings,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Winter Wonderland

   








I couldn't wait until this evening to upload the photos of my latest Island Batik (islandbatik.com) challenge.  As you can see by the picture, we were to make something to depict winter.  This shouldn't have been difficult for me as this is my favourite season.  However, I also wanted to use up the bits and pieces left over from other projects and most of them were green.  I decided on an evergreen tree.  I then added some machine appliqued woodland creatures.  I included a close up so you can see them.




This last photo shows a further addition.  Although we don't get as many Christmas cards as in years past, we do get them.  I used to display them on a string which I hung across a wall but haven't done that for a few years.  I decided to make something that would hold the cards and keep them nearby so we were able to reread them.  I made a pouch and velcroed it to the base of the hanging.  As the wall quilt isn't Christmasy,  it can, with the addition removed, stay on the wall until spring.
I put a mall booklet in one of the pockets so you could see how it works easier.

I liked the idea so much I am now turning a Christmas panel into the same idea but with the pouch permanently attached.
Blessings,

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Pep Talk

The link below will take you to a fantastic blog.  If you have ever thought your work wasn't very good , (and haven't we all at some time) read the article.  It is a bit long but worth the time.
That is all for today.  Click and read.
Blessings,




http://thebitchystitcher.blogspot.ca/2016/11/a-pep-talk-in-case-you-need-it.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheBitchyStitcher+(The+Bitchy+Stitcher)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fog or Mist.

It has been quite a while since I have been so productive.  I finished another quilt today and will be doing a self binding on it.  Also added the binding to another and am finishing that by hand.  I won't be getting as much hand work done now that the baseball series is over but that is okay.  I really should start listening to podcasts and then I could sit in my cozy studio and do the hand work.  I have been trying to get more familiar with my little ipod so I can do that.  I do have some pod casts on it but I find that method of listening to be too fiddly.  Perhaps, I should just use my tablet.
It has been raining on and off today so I didn't get outside for my walk.  I always miss that.  Especially this time of year.  It is so lovely walking through the bush and looking at the carpet of leaves underfoot.  Now that the trees are bare, the sky is more visible as are the birds that are foraging for food.  We have had juncos at the feeder the past few days.  I think they are the prettiest birds in their black tuxedos.
It will soon be time to put our clocks back to regular time and it will be lighter earlier in the morning.  It was quite misty this morning while we were eating breakfast and I was thinking that, where it next week, I would have been outside take photos of the pond.  I love pictures of the mist rising off water.
Of course, if I am driving in it, it is fog, and not as much fun.
Blessings,

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Quilts Finished

I am still busy making projects for the craft sales that are coming up on the 12th.  I finished a Christmas runner that has been in my WIP (work in progress) drawer for at least a year.  I also completed a more recent project: the pattern given for the virtual retreat hosted by the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  This quilt (the yellow one) was designed by Isobel Meekins.  I backed it with flannel and used the focus fabric for the binding. The runner will be for sale at the Art Centre and the baby quilt will be with me at the Country Christmas sale at our Legion.


 We are continuing to get milder than normal weather.  Hubby got the heat tape put on the roof to prevent leaks should be get winter this year and then we sat outside with mugs of hot chocolate. I have my snow tires on and everything else has been made winter ready so now we wait for it s arrival.  I really do enjoy winter so the snow will be a welcome sight for me.
Blessings,

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Doddery Me.

We had a thunderstorm today.  It wasn't severe and   didn't last long but-a thunderstorm in November!  The hydro flickered on and off once so I was glad I had put the new surge protector in.  I need to get another for the sewing machine to protect it.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I thought I had thrown away the battery pack charger for my new camera.  I searched everywhere, couldn't find it so ordered another.  On Sunday, when I was getting some knitting needles from a trunk, I noticed the big camera case that was sitting beside it.  This is where I keep my old camera, extra lenses etc.  I looked inside and there was the charger. The new one arrives tomorrow and I think I will keep it.  It is good to have a spare when you get old and doddery!
I finished the binding on a table runner today and have almost completed the top of a wall quilt.  These are both for upcoming craft sales but I will be posting photos shortly-now that I have my camera battery charged again.
Blessings,

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Yes, I Need an Extra Machine.

We got our first real snowfall today.  Of course, there were vehicles in the ditch  and collisions everywhere.  It isn't going to stay and with  the rising temperatures, it should all melt tomorrow.  Then, when we get the next  lot, we will repeat the collisions etc. I don't understand why people have to get used to winter every year.  It is like having to get used to eating the last meal of the day every day.  This is Canada.  We get winter every year.  Slow down, increase your following distance.  In fact, if you do that all the time, you won't have to change your driving habits when those flakes start to come down.
Well, that is my rant.  Today, as I mentioned yesterday, I went to a friends to quilt.  It is always such a good time and we look forward to it with great anticipation each month.  I always try and get everything ready the night before including my lunch which is put into my reusable bag in the fridge.  The next morning, it only has to be added to the load that goes into the car.  Today, I was about half way to where I meet the other lady who carpools us to our destination when I realized I had forgotten my lunch.  It was too late to go back so I decided to just buy something at the small store where we meet which is what I did.  When we got where we were going and got the vehicle unloaded, my friend realized she had left her machine at home.  Fortunately our hostess has an extra one so it wasn't a problem.  So, if you hubby wonders why you have so many machines, this is a good example.  And I didn't feel so silly about forgetting my lunch! Just one of those days.
Blessings,                                                                                              

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Craft Fairs

I have been having fun trying out the features on my new machine.  I used one of the decorative stitches to do the binding on a crib quilt and learnt how to adjust the needle/up down option so it stops in the down position.  I am making notes on the settings I will use frequently such as the 1/4 inch needle position and  zigzag.
In addition to the binding on the crib quilt, I also searched out a few Christmas/winter UFO's that I can finish for two craft shows that happen in Nov.  Border was added to baby panels and are ready for quilting.  I have to pop into a fabric shop and get some backing for those as well as Christmas fabric for the back of other items. Before I do that though, I better check my stash to make sure I am not buying something I don't need.
Tomorrow, I am off to a friend's to work on a BOM.  It is just about done.  Sashing and borders will be worked on although I am not sure it will get completely finished.  We will probably need at least one more get together to finish the top.  We already have our next project picked out.  It makes quilting doubly enjoyable when you share it with a friend or friends.
I sold my older Janome to a local woman on Monday and am hoping I can talk her into learning to quilt.  I think she would really enjoy it.  Always trying to spread my addiction!
blessings,

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Fest Time



 

I don't usually post on a Monday but I wanted to show you my Island Batik Pumpkin Fest challenge project.  I made these luncheon mats with matching coasters on the weekend and really like how they turned out.  It is hard to see in the photo but the accent stitching on the pumpkin and the satin stitch around them was done in a variegated thread from Superior.  The photo isn't as clear as I would like as I had to use my tablet.  I am still waiting for the battery charger for my camera to replace the one I lost.
I was able to get quite a bit of quilting done on the weekend as hubby was away.  In addition to the mats, I also quilted a crib blanket.  I want to get a couple more of them made for the Christmas craft sale on Nov. 12.  I have one top almost done and it shouldn't take too long to do the other with a panel centre.
It has got quite a bit cooler here so it is nice to have the wood stove on to both heat and add some cheer to the house.
blessings,



Friday, October 21, 2016

The End of Fall?

I've had a very productive day.  I loaded a quilt onto my frame this morning and it is almost done.  Also cut the fabric for a couple of batik mug mats-Island Batik, of course.  Covered some of the plants ready for winter, brought in some wood and took the dog for a walk.  It was a brisk walk as I had on a light coat and it was cooler than I thought it was. 
We are getting  below freezing temperatures this coming week so it seems as though fall might be drawing to a close.  I got some of my winter clothes out of storage today as well and folded my shorts and summer tops ready to be put away for the season.  It always takes a few days doing the seasonal clothes change over and each time I discard the things I didn't wear.  However, I still always seem to have a lot more things than I really need.
I am trying to type with the dog on my lap.  She is feeling a bit fidgety tonight.  Not sure why.  Perhaps she can smell a bear or something. Or just wants to be fussed.
Have  a great weekend,
blessings,


Thursday, October 20, 2016

A New Machine

My new machine arrived today.  I wasn't expecting it until tomorrow at the very earliest so it was a nice surprise.  It is a Janome with a few basic decorative stitches and the other functions I wanted like needle up/down, bobbin declutch so I can wind without having to stop sewing.  Not a fancy machine but what I wanted.  Some might question whether I made a wise decision as I sold a machine with far more functions and another that is sturdier although not computerized.  I guess it comes down to what you want.  And this one is it.  There isn't a steep learning curve so I can start sewing right away.
Our temperature is starting to drop and stay down.  I finally finished planting my new tulips and I better get the leaves around the plants that need protecting.  We aren't expecting below freezing temps yet but they will arrive.
Other than my article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine (which doesn't have to be submitted until early next week) I have caught up with everything on my schedule.  Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed and today I'm done.  Of course, I did keep plugging away and that makes the difference.  If you fuss without doing, you will always be in the same place.
Blessings,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Someday.

Well, the Blue Jays are out of the running for the Baseball Championship so it is back to normal for us.  No shame in loosing to a team with such great pitchers but we were all full of hope.
I just finished filling an order for neck scarves for the local Scout group and now can get back at doing some quilting.  I finished a top on Monday and will get it on the frame.  I have a craft show coming up early Nov. so need to get some things made for that.
It seems like I never get caught up.  It isn't only quilting and writing that need my time but things like planting spring bulbs or giving the dog a hair trim.  I know you probably have the same problem.  Our speaker, on Sunday, said that if time is infinite why do we never have enough of it?  Good question.  The answer is,  more than likely,  because we take on more than we should.
Someone said that there is time enough to rest after you are dead but that doesn't seem to be the right solution.  Perhaps, I will declare a me day.  I won't do anything that has to be done for someone else (except hubby and dog).  I will work on my own quilting projects or just read a book.
Some day!
Blessings,

Friday, October 14, 2016

Colour Coded Storage

I have been getting a lot of wonderful comments regarding the quilt top photo I uploaded on Wednesday.  I appreciate all of you taking the time. I am looking forward to getting it finished but have to wait until I get some black batting.  This will solve the problem of having little white pokies coming through on the back.
In the meantime, I am working on another quilt that was a result of a retreat put on by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (www.thequiltpatternmagazine.com).  I almost have all the sections finished.
I seem to be going through a stage of losing things.  Yesterday, I discovered that I had lost the charger for my camera battery, today it is a reservation for a hotel in Toronto.  I made it a while ago, didn't get to use it and was going to give it to a family member.  However, when I checked the folder on my computer where it was saved, it was gone.  Not sure what happened but I don't have anything in any of my folders for that email address.  A Windows 10 thing?  Annoying and frustrating.
I have been able to find another charger at a great price from a company I have dealt with before so that is a plus.
In Thursday's post, I asked if anyone had tips for keeping their sewing room tidy.  Karen said she keeps her work in totes and anything that needs to be done right away is put in a red one.  I wouldn't have thought of coloured coded totes.  Thanks, Karen.  Great idea.
Don't forget to check out the last of the blog hop posts and enter the contest for the Folk Art Quilted Traditions and some fabric.
Friday October 14
Lara Buccella - http://www.buzzinbumble.com/
Looks like we are going to have a warm but wet weekend.  I am still trying to get my yard work done.  Maybe between the raindrops tomorrow.
Blessings,

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cleaning Plan

I got 2 bushels of apples in the freezer today.  Most were cut up for pies and other desserts and the rest became applesauce.  I saved a few so I could give some to a friend and then made hubby an apple crisp.  He had spent a good bit of the day cutting down a tree that was casting too much shade onto a flower garden and  sawing wood into stove lengths.  I thought I would reward him with his favourite dessert.
I also got my studio back into order so I can, once again, see the cutting and pressing tables.  It is so much easier to work when you can find your tools and have room to do what you need.  No matter how often I try, I just don't seem to be able to get everything back in its place by the end of each day.  Part of the reason is that I don't know when I am finished for the day.  Something may come up and I only get a few hours of sewing in the morning or, I may continue on into the evening.
What seems to work best for me is to just leave everything until I finish a project and then clean.  How do you keep your work space tidy?  Perhaps you have an idea that would be better than mine.  Leave me a comment and I will share it with everyone else.
Blessings,

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Folk Art Traditions


Folk Art Quilted Traditions Blog Hop - My Houston Auction Quilt!







I have been having major problems getting ready for todays blog.  I had been concentrating on getting the quilt ready but ran into machine problems.  I have had to unpick all the quilting I had done so have not been able to show you a photo of the completed quilt.  However, I am sharing what I do have.
The first photo is the completed top, the second a close up of the centre and the third photo is what some of the quilting will look like.  This will be on the outside border.  The light corners will be a close meander as will the centre block which will also include outline stitching.  I have use a dark blue thread on top and black on back.
Now let me tell you about the pattern itself.  It is from a wonderful new book called Folk Art Traditions by Suzy Webster.  The book include 12 blocks (I used # 12) and 4 projects. My wall hanging is called Traditions and while I used her instructions, I changed the centre  from # 6.  The blocks themselves can be used in whatever manner that your creativity comes up with.  Suzy uses machine applique but they can just as easily be done by hand.  I am only just getting comfortable with machine applique but her instructions are so easy to follow that I didn't have any concern with tackling what could have been a challenging project. A list of supplies is given along with suggestions about what works best.
I chose this particular project of Suzy's because I liked the pieced order and I think it really adds a touch of pizzazz.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of the book, click on the 'contest' link below.  Don't forget to read the other blogs and see more photos of projects.
A complete list of the blogs was on yesterdays post but here are the ones for today and tomorrow.
Blessings and don't forget to scroll down for the contest link.

Wednesday, October 12

Thursday, October 13
Maryellen McAuliffe - http://teachpany.blogspot.com/


















Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blog Hop and Prizes

I have a new blog hop for you and it has prizes.  It started yesterday but you can still check out the blogs which are listed below.
My post is tomorrow and I have been really committing myself to getting the quilt done that I will share.  Unfortunately, my machine decided to act up and I have had to unpick the top.  I will still post it tomorrow but you won't be able to see the quilting but I will share that also when it is done.

The link to the draw will be on each of the blogs so read them and enter.  I will also have it for you tomorrow.
Blessings,


Monday, October 10
Connie Kresin Campbell - http://www.conniekresin.com/

Tuesday, October 11
Adele Mogavero - http://adelemogavero.com/

Wednesday, October 12

Thursday, October 13
Maryellen McAuliffe - http://teachpany.blogspot.com/

Friday October 14
Lara Buccella - http://www.buzzinbumble.com/