Thursday, September 21, 2017

And the Grand Prize Winner Is......

I finally completed my Shattered Squares quilt top today.  I am pleased with how it turned out and think it will look great on a dining room table.  I am also pleased that, with the exception of the backing fabric and what I am giving as the final prize, I used up all the Island Batik fabrics that I received in this shipment.  Considering the amount that we get, I think that is quite and achievement.
This project was part of Island Batik fabrics  Back to School Blog Hop
Shattered Squares Sept. 2017

Shattered Squares-Close Up

Our weather continues to be unseasonably warm.  I took the dog into the village while I got the mail and did some banking but, somehow, my car ended up in the parking lot of our local ice cream store first  As we are almost at the end of summer, I thought I may as well go along with what the car decided and bought a cone.  Heidi enjoyed the occasional like of my sticky fingers.
Tomorrow, I take hubby for his appointment with the surgeon and to get another x-ray.  I am hoping he will be given permission to use a walking cast which will give him a bit more movability.
And the grand prize winner of a selection of Island Batik fabrics is: GranChris.  You have until Monday to contact me with your mailing information.  Congratulations.

Don't forget that the other Ambassadors are also having giveaways.  I put a list of the blog hops on last Thurs. post.  Be sure to check them out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Alison who won the pattern from PineRose Designs.  All  names entered in the two contests will now be reentered for the final prize-a selection of wonderful  Island Batik fabrics.
Adding the final border to my top so will  post it tomorrow.  I had an unplanned trip to the vets today as I discovered a lump on my Heidi's tummy.  That caused a great deal of concern.  She will be scheduled to have it removed but we have caught it in the very early stages.
Thank you again to all that entered my 3 stage contest.  I hope you found it a little different that the usual ones

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Strange Growths

When I went out to tend the chickens this morning,  I noticed something strange in our log planter.  I took a closer look and realized  two large mushroom growths  seemed to have popped up overnight.  This one was about 8 inches high and consisted of a tight mass of individual fungi.  The one in the photo below was even larger and wrapped around the alyssum.

The recent warm weather has brought my miniature rose back into bloom  This one is about five years old and has done so well that I think I will get some more.  I don't have any success with the larger roses so I will stick with what works.
Another plant that has done very well this year is this marigold.  This single seed  that was started indoors has turned into a shrub.  I have never seen anything like it.  I will be gathering seeds from it to see if I can duplicate the feat next year.
I finished sewing my blocks together today and am now adding the borders.  I expect to have it finished and photographed tomorrow.  If you haven't entered Monday's contest, don't forget to do so.  There will be one more prize after this one so keep entering.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Hop Contest, Step 2

Congratulations to Allison who won her choice of one of my patterns.  She chose My Stained Glass Star pattern.  Thank you to all those who entered and I have good news.  Today, you have another chance at wining a prize.
I am pleased to be able to give you a chance a receiving a lovely table runner pattern from PineRose Designs.  Eileen Hoheisel took the step to publishing her patterns in 2013 and immediately was embraced by individual quilters as well as magazines and  pattern distributors.  Eileen recently became one of Island Batik's newest designers
Eileen named her company in honour of her parents.  Her father loved the pine trees that surrounded his home and her mother, Rosina, who was also a quilter, loved flowers.
Eileen has often been asked where she gets her inspiration and she replies that it isn't a question that is easily answered.  She plays around with her Electric Quilt program or some pieces of fabric and the pattern emerges.  "God gave me this talent" , she adds, " and I thoroughly enjoy using it.
You can see or purchase PineRose Patterns at:,
 Here is the pile of finished blocks.  There are 8 of each and the blocks are almost 18" before I square them so this is going to be a nice sized lap quilt or non gender baby quilt.  Tomorrow, a photo of the joined blocks.
To enter to win the PineRose pattern, put the name of one of the other Ambassador's blogs that are taking part in this hop in a comment.  Contest ends Wed. at 6 p.m. eastern time.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Back to School Blog Hop and Contest.

September is the month when parents breath a sigh of relief as their children head back to school.  In honour of this special time, Island Batik is holding a Back to School Blog Hop.  We Ambassadors get
to play with fabric, practice our composition skills and learn to share.
I am making my quilt from the aptly named Diner Days fabric.  As I have been working, I as thinking of all the mother's who are gathering in restaurants or diners to have a quiet cup of tea with friends as they celebrate having a few a little more quiet in the house.
I was supposed to have my project done today and I really tried but as my husband recently broke his ankle, my computer crashed and life took a on more craziness than a group of two year olds, I ran out of time. 
But, never fear, I still have something planned that I hope you will find entertaining.  Most of the bloggers are giving away prizes.  I am going to do that and more.  You will have a chance to win a prize each day that I post my progress. today is the first day.   You will find the rules at the end of today's blog.
So here goes:  I wanted to make a quilt this time which is another reason this has taken longer.  The following photos show how I went from strips of fabric to a finished block

This is a trial layout.  Not very inspiring.

This is better but something seems to be wrong.  Can you see the mistake.

Much better.  I really like this.

 I bought this little gizmo recently and I love it.  It is great for holding down seams, nudging fabric into place and easing it under the foot.  No needles through the finger now.

This is a better picture so you can see what it looks like.

And here is what my quilt is going to look like.  I am pleased with how it is turning out.  I have the rest of the blocks to add and then the borders.  Stay tuned.
Here is today's contest. It is open to everyone except those who have already won Island Batik prizes from me. You must comment on my blog page, not Facebook.  In a previous post, I showed a photo of the lovely Island Batik fabrics I received this year.  I would like you to send me a comment that mentions the name of one of the fabric lines.  The winner will get to chose any one of my patterns on my Craftsy's page.
For a chance at even more great prizes, check out the blogs listed below,


Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch Quilts • Inspired Layers
Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting


Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts
Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More
Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Moose Stash Quilting • Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende Himmel • Sally’s Quilting Corner
Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel Creations • The Quilt Rambler 


Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed Quilts • Whispers of Yore
Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring Quilter • Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuilts • Yellow Cat Quilts
Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots Designs • Beaquilter


Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew
Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled Quilts • heARTs Creations
Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a Dream • Kauffman Designs
Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek Quilting • Quilt’n Party

Thankful Thursday

Hubby is getting more mobile.  Crutches take some getting used to but he is learning pretty quickly and getting more independent.  I am thankful as I have been really busy trying to keep up with everything.
Once of my must do projects is the latest Island Batik quilt. This is for a blog hop and each of the Ambassadors have a day on which they post.  Tomorrow is mine.  I won't have a completely finished quilt but the top will be done.   I will also have a draw.
Having my new computer all set up including the camera and printer added is on my agenda  as well so I will be able to share some photos.
In the meantime, I am both grateful and thankful that my hubby is home and we are a unit once more.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Home At Last

A quick note this evening to say that my hubby is home and all is right with the world.  It was a long day and difficult getting him in the house but, with the help of a neighbour friend, we made it.
We had so many offers of help, it has been overwhelming.  Frankly, I thought everyone would have been tired of us by now as this is his 4 operation in just over a year.  The other 3 were scheduled but, really.....
Anyway, we can now start getting back to normal although hubby's activities will be limited for a while.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Phew. What a Week

Well what a week it has been.  My computer crashed on Tuesday and found out the next day that it couldn't be repaired so ordered another one.  I hate being without my PC but was making do with my hubby's laptop and my tablet.  I didn't want to have to keep changing from his email lot ins to mine so just made do.  then a dear and wonderful friend offered me the use of her spare lap top which is what I am using now.  I picked it up this morning before I went to the hospital to see my dear one.
Yesterday, was about 3 days long.  Hubby was outside cutting down some trees and I was in my quilt room with one of the windows open so I could hear if there was a problem.  I heard the saw stop and waited a bit to see if it started again.,  Meantime, our Heidi was looking out the open window and making an odd woofing sound.  When I called to hubby to see if everything was okay, he replied that he needed help.
I found him sitting on the ground, bleeding from a cut on his ear and with a suspected broken ankle.  I dashed back inside to get a blanket and call my neighbours.  They arrived, took one look at everything and called the ambulance.  Hubby was obviously in shock so I added another quilt and we kept him
talking until the EMS arrived.  He was supposed to go to a larger hospital tomorrow and get the ankle operated on but it might not happen until the next day.  In any case, he is in good hands and I have had tons of help offered so I am feeling looked after as well.
My heart goes out to those in the path of the various natural disasters in the south.  Our mishap is nothing in compared to the destruction that is happening there.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Good Day at the Fair

It poured all day here and some of the fair activities had to be cancelled but it was still a fun day.  We met a couple there who are new to the area and had fun showing and explaining all that was going on.  They also raise chickens so the poultry and rabbit area was a hit  It is quite interesting looking at all the various breeds and the different personalities they all have.  A young man we know entered his pet hen.  He had given it a bath and even painted its toenails a bright blue!
My entries did very well.  I submitted 7 quilted articles.  Five won first prize, one got a second and the other didn't place.  My doll outfit also got first prize.  The quilt photo I posted yesterday was one of the winners.

Continuing-Just as I finished the last sentence, my computer crashed.  I am on hubby's laptop now until my new pc comes in and is loaded.  An  inconvenience but such is life.  Won't be able to post photos.

Hope everyone had a safe weekend.  I probably won't be posting much until everything is back to normal.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Fair Entrries Done

I don't usually do a post on Saturday but I wanted to do a follow up to my rant from yesterday.  I discovered, while rereading the rules for fair entries, that we are supposed to have our application for the tags in 4 to 5 days before the fair.  I never noticed that before because the method was different.  So, part of the problem in getting my tags was mine.
I did get my entries in today and it didn't take much longer than usual.  Then hubby and I helped a friend unload her stuff.  She always has a van load and usually wins a prize for most points in crafts.  (I won one for needlecraft a couple of years ago which was a big moment for me).  I will find out on Monday how I did.
This is one of the quilts I entered.

I find the transition from August to September happens to quickly.  It feels as though there should be a week or two in between that is another month or something.  Perhaps it is the abrupt change from summer to school and end of holidays.  What ever the reason, I have made a note on my computer's calendar to remind me to get my fair stuff done earlier next year. 
The weather has been beautiful today and it has been difficult to stay indoors.  I have managed to get a bit of quilting done.  It is supposed to rain for the rest of the weekend so being inside won't be a problem.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Frustrating Volunteers

Well, I am irritated.  I got everything ready to get my tags for the fall fair entries this week and then ran into problems.  Normally, once the tags are ready, they are picked up from the secretaries residence but this year we were to go to the municipal office.  That shouldn't have been a problem but it turned out to be a mess.  I was called when mine were ready and went over late morning to pick them up.  They hadn't been brought in yet.  Got an email later saying they arrived at 1.30 and I could get them.  I didn't want to make another trip for just one thing so decided to wait until the next day.  I phoned the office this morning to make sure of the closing hours and that my tags were still there.  I had to go to Huntsville for a medical appointment and decided to go off route into the village.  When I got there, I was told the tags were picked up already and would be at the fair grounds the next day.  I was really frustrated because I was there 2 hours before the office closed.
Now I will have to take pins and everything else I need to the fairgrounds then try to get the tags onto the articles while they are in the vehicle.    I like to have all this done before I get there so I just hand the prepared entries to the volunteers. 
If there are many others in the same situation as I, it is going to be a long process as there is usually just one person handing out tags to those who need an extra one.  I am not looking forward to it and contemplated just not entering but that seemed rather drastic.
I know all the people are volunteers but even so one expects people to still do their job properly.  We would all be in a nasty state if all the millions of volunteers were haphazard about what they were supposed to do.  Imagine a volunteer firefighter going out to answer a call and then deciding to stop for a coffee first.
Not a bit problem in light of all that is going on in the world but frustrating nevertheless.  And that is my rant.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Yellow Duck.

We recently bought a little solar powered water fountain for the birds.  The tub that hubby uses for boiling the maple syrup was just the right size for our bitty water feature but I thought it needed a bit of colour.  I added the family of ducks when we got back from shopping yesterday.  Heidi went out with me when I put them in the water.  I guess she thought they were for her because she started walking around the tub, bumping it with her nose and barking.  She wanted the duck but  because she was afraid of the water, she couldn't reach in and get it.  Every time she would work up the nerve, the water spurted.  Hubby and I thought it was quite funny but I don't think Heidi agreed.
It was quite a bit cooler today than yesterday.  Enough so that we had the heat on in the van when we went in for the mail.  It was tempting to start the wood stove but a long sleeved shirt was sufficient to keep the shivers away.
Why is it that we always think that 'next week' will be less busy that the one we are in?  I have been looking forward to the end of the weekend as I wouldn't have any more scheduled activities for a bit.  And then I looked at my calendar.  I have appointments every day next week.  Fortunately, none are for the whole day so I will still get my quilting done.  I know that there are many people who would be happy to change my 'problems' for theirs so my fussing isn't serious.
Long weekend coming up in Canada and then the children are back to school. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Heard a Loon

I love the sound of a loon.  Like the beaver and maple leaf, the loon's call, to me, means  Canada.  I was up a bit earlier than usual this morning and was standing on the back step while waiting for the dog to do her thing when I heard our resident loon go past.  We have a mating pair that use our pond as their bedroom.  In the daytime they are off to more exciting places (I heard their departure), but as evening approaches, they are back to the peace and solitude of the back woods.  Lucky me.  I get to stay here all the time.
I have been working on a doll's outfit which is the last item to be completed for the fall fair.  I don't normally like fiddly things but I do enjoy making doll clothes.  I generally add embellishments such as bells or rhinestones to give them a touch of pizzaz. I always use a purchased pattern for these although I do change them somewhat. 
Speaking of patterns, have you noticed that on the right side of the blog there is a list of links to various sites.  One of them is for free patterns which can be used if you are making a quilt for charity.  Most quilters donate to various non profit organizations and I am pleased to help them do so.
I would love to see a photo of your version of the pattern.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Our Eco System

I went to bed really early last night, got a good sleep and was up and ready to enjoy the wonderful weather that the day brought.  I got most of my Saturday chores, including laundry, done today as I am going on a charity walk early tomorrow for our food bank.  I am going with a quilting friend and we are taking our dogs so that will be fun and interesting.
Our wetlands (which are really wet this year) are showing some nice early signs of autumn.  We have  many varieties of birds, frogs and other creatures that call this area home.  Doesn't appear very attractive from the road but if you stop and really look it has a beauty of its own.  We are pleased to have this area  right across our property as well as my sister's.  Our own little eco system.
Still watching the reports of the Hurricane approaching the coastal area of Texas and praying that it will be less damaging than predicted.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Storms and Quilts

I am more than a bit tired today.  I spent most of last night coughing as I thought I would see if I was alright without an allergy pill.  I obviously wasn't.  I have never had it this bad before and not even sure what I am allergic too just that I am coughing and an elephant uses my chest for a cushion.
Anyway, a pill before bed tonight and I should be okay tomorrow.
I am concerned for a couple of friends who are in Texas and the path of Hurricane Harvey.  I know that Canadians sometimes envy the warmth of the southern U.S. in the winter but I will take snow over hurricane's any day.
Today was my monthly quilting get together.  We spent most of the day making half square triangle (HST) blocks.  We packed up early and went to Fabricland to take advantage of their 3 day sale.  I got some fabric I needed and another bit that I wanted.  Another lady got the items she needed and the other one purchased 'wants'  Lots of laughing and helping each other (which is how the one lady ended up with all her fabric).  Quilters seem to turn the simplest activity into so much fun.
For those of you  in the Texas area, please be safe.  Evacuate if need be.  Looters may be a possibility but things can be replaced.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thunder Boomies

We were awoken by a severe thunderstorm this morning around 4.30.  The thunder and lightening were happening almost at the same time and it was a steady flash and bang for at least 3/4 of an hour when I went back to sleep.  The bedroom was lit up just as though it were daylight.  I thought the hydro might go out but it just flickered once and that was it.  It did trip the switch for my quilt room though. This morning, we had a bit more of the storm although not as bad and then it poured for the rest of the day.
I was able to get quite a bit of work done as I couldn't or wouldn't, go outside.  I was choosing and cutting fabric for the Quilt Pattern Magazine virtual retreat which happens next month.  Also made a large pot of zucchini soup which will give us something for lunch for a few days.
I do hope that now autumn is on the horizon that we will start getting more seasonable weather.  I am beginning to think our tomatoes aren't going to ripen at all.

Friday, August 18, 2017


I just finished another quilt.  It is from a pattern by Faith and Fabric although I changed it a bit.     the original had a pieced border and square bottom.  It was easier to make that it first appeared and went together really quick once the background was done.  I made this for our little country church.
The first photo shows the whole banner and the second is a close up so you can see the quilting on the border.  It was all done on my domestic machine and I used a template for the border quilting.
I think I need to load an unfinished top onto my frame and get one of them done.  I am pretty much caught up with all my work so can spend a bit of time having fun.
I hope you have a good weekend.  Lots of thing happening in the nearby village tomorrow.  There is a community yard sale as well as a Country Jamboree at the fair grounds.  The weather doesn't look to be the best but it won't stop everyone from getting outside and enjoying themselves.
I forgot to mention yesterday that if  you are looking for any of the Island Batik fabrics that I use in my quilts there are two stores in the Muskoka, Orillia area.  One is called Muskoka Quilting and is in Bracebridge and the other is Thimbles and Things.  It is located just outside of Orillia in Severn.  If you own a quilt store or business, Northcott also carries the fabric.  If you are in Canada and sell Island Batik, please let me know and I will add your store to my promo list.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fabric! Fabric! Fabric!

Just over a week ago, I received my second shipment of Island Batik fabrics.  I was busy finishing up projects at the time so hadn't had a chance to share photos of my bounty with you.  I am now pleased to be able to do that.
Aptly named Blue Moon  this package contains 2 1/2 inch precuts as well as yardage.  Beautiful shades of blue and coordinating colours.  Will look lovely in a landscape quilt.


I love the 5 inch by WOF precuts and have already got a quilt in mind for them.  this is only one of the packages of those that I received.  The Alpine Ice fabric below the precuts will be great for celebrating winter, my favourite season.
Shhh!  This fabric is a secret.  I can't tell you anything about it until the fall.
This is called a bonus fabric.  I think the whole shipment is a bonus as it certainly adds a lot of joy to my life and my quilting.

This is one of my favourite fabrics and I am thinking of something special like a tote or a pillow case for this.  I would just hate to cut it up.

Island Batik also makes gorgeous rayon fabric.  I am planning something for myself with this.  Perhaps a wrap around skirt and I can dream I am on a tropical island.
I hope you enjoyed the little fabric tour.  You will, of course, get to see them again as I use them in projects.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Blogs

I forgot yesterday to give you the links to the blogs for all the other Ambassador's.  If you would like to see their projects, just click.  Most haven't got August's challenge posted yet but they do have on going interesting blogs.  Thank you, Vicki for putting the list on your blog.  Vicki shows you how to do QAUG on a longarm that you will want to check out. Enjoy.
Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations  -Me.
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting 
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

End of the Day

This month challenge for the Island Batik Ambassador's was making a quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) quilt.  This is one of my favourite quilting so I happily stitched away and finished it well before deadline.  This is unusual for me lately as I am either just getting done in the nick of time or am late.
Here is the front and back of my quilt.  I will give you an abbreviated version of the method.


 Top of QAYG showing background strips and the appliqued birds which were added after the top was finished.
Back of quilt showing stitch lines.
I received a number of precut 5" X WOF strips in my Island Batik packaged and realized they would be perfect for this quilt.  I picked out 11 that I liked but any number would work equally well.  After deciding the order in which they would be used, I lay my backing fabric rights side down on my work table and then placed the batting on top.
The first strip was aligned with the top of the backing/batting sandwich and the second strip laid directly on top of it.  There really isn't a right and wrong side to Island Batik fabric but if you are using regular material, ensure right sides are together.  Pin thoroughly and stitch  through all layers at the fabric edge furthest from the top.
Smooth second strip over batting and press.  Add third strip by place over second and stitch as previously.  Keep adding rows and press until all the strips are used.
Square the top by trimming and bind.  If you are going to add applique or other embellishments due so before binding.  I pieced 2 1/4" wide sections of left over fabric together used it for binding.


Friday, August 11, 2017


I finished my fidget quilt today.  It has two pockets: the one on the lower right corner has a flap with a button inside, the other has the little puppet face.  There is also a zipper, Velcro tab, measuring tape strip, elastic, rickrack, buttons and a fabric ribbon that can be tied into a bow. 
It was fun making this and I am looking forward to doing another.
We are getting yet another thunderstorm.  Hydro has flickered once  but seems to be staying on.  It has been a discouraging summer for holidayers but our garden is doing great.  We had our own potatoes and beets for supper.  Could have also served chicken burgers but am getting a bit tired of chicken.  We picked a couple of tomatoes.  They aren't ripe yet but we love fried green tomatoes.
Hope things are a little drier in your area.  Have a great and safe weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

July in August

Oh Baby! Crib Quilts
Your calendar might say that it is August but today, for me, it is still July.  The Island Batik Ambassador's challenge for this month (July) was a baby or crib quilt.  Because life often gets in the way of schedules, I got  behind.  Our lovely 'sisters plus males' holiday was the major reason for the delay so I am certainly not complaining.  It was a trip of a lifetime but, no matter how much you might enjoy something you do, eventually, have to get back to reality.
I chose pastels for my project but avoided the usual pink and blue.  The bear pattern was from a colouring book and the cat from a quilt book featuring outlines of that noble animal.  I used   Aurifil threads for the outline.  The silk finish gives a lovely sheen without overpowering. The fabrics were from country dozen (bears) Dinner Days (cats) and Dotilicious (background and sashing).
I quilted it in an all over free motion drooping leaves pattern.
Watch for Augusts challenge to be posted shortly and then, I am going to have some good news for those who, like me, love Island Batik fabrics.