The life of a quilter who is learning the joys of country living. This site will include free patterns, how-to's, lots of photos, some recipes, and plenty of humorous comments on life in the back woods.
Happy Canada Day. It is too bad that today wasn't July 1st as the weather was lovely. Got outside for a walk and did a bit of gardening. Tomorrow, it is back to the rain again. We are still planning on going into the village and taking part in some of the events. It is a shame with so much work and money spent to celebrate that the weather isn't going to cooperate. Of course, it still could. Fingers crossed.
My sister arrives from England tomorrow and will be here late evening. They will be exhausted so we won't be doing any visiting until the next day.
I got my Island Batik project finished for this month except for the binding. I will post a photo when it is complete.
My posts will be a bit spotty this month as we will be going hither and yon with my sister. I will try and upload some photos of the things and places we see. I am grateful to a dear neighbour who will be house sitting and looking after the dog and chickens while we enjoy ourselves.
Thank you for all the good wishes re my eyes. I have decided that I can live with these floating things until I need to get something done. Most people have some sort of issue in their lives and this is minor compared to what others deal with.
We had a nice surprise in the mail today. A parcel arrived from the grandchildren and when we opened it we found, in addition to some lovely photos, two travel mugs with the children's pictures on them. Grandparent's brag mugs!!
We are looking forward to using them and showing off the photos.
I am gradually getting the house ready for my youngest sister's visit. Make some vegetarian soup today and a couple dozen muffins. Just a couple of days now.
It doesn't look as though the weather is going to be very nice for Canada Day. We are planning on going into the village for the classic car show and the guided walking tour if it isn't raining too badly.
The t shirt quilt is on its way to its owner. I met the lady who was going to deliver it yesterday while on my way to the optometrist and handed it over. She was taking it to Toronto today. The customer is away for a few days so won't see it right away and I don't want to post the photo until she does. Soon.
While at the optometrist, I mentioned that my distance vision seemed to be improving and wondered why that might be. I was told that when a person is developing cataracts the improvement sometimes happens so-good news/bad news. I knew I was getting to that stage though so it wasn't a surprise.
What happened later in the day certainly was. Just before 7 .00 p.m. I kept seeing what looked like a hair strand or wisps of smoke like substance floating near the top of my head. I couldn't figure out what it was and kept swiping at it. Finally realized it was my eyes. Off to the optometrist again today, somewhat concerned about what was happening.
Apparently, the liquidy ball that is behind the eye has a tendency to change shape as a person ages. Mine had done so sufficiently that it pulled loose from one of the three 'tethers' (my word). Nothing needs to be done unless certain symptoms occur and then it is immediate attention.
I am really tired tonight and, although I was supposed to be going out, I stayed home and will be going to be early.
I've had a productive day. The T Shirt quilt is completely finished except for the label which will be added on Monday. I am making a little extra something to go with it but won't tell you what it is just now in case my customer reads this. Studio is tidied up and ready for the next project which will be this months Island Batik challenge.
I had my phone interview for the web course at 1 p.m. and at the end was told that I had been accepted. I received my confirming e-mail shortly after. I am looking forward to all I am going to learn this fall. I may have to forgo being part of the Island Batik Ambassador program as I will have to put in a lot of hours on the course.
It has been raining on and off all day again and I think the poor dog is getting webbed feet. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny though so I should be able to hang out my clothes.
Just one more week to Canada Day. How are you celebrating?
The t shirt quilt is finished. I just have to add the label and clip all the loose threads. I will take a photo before sending it on to its owner. It is always nice to get another project finished and there is a special feeling when it is a quilt that was commissioned. This is a quilt that will be treasured because it was ordered by one family member for another and that is always good to know. So often our creations lay, unloved except by us, in a tote or other container.
I had some wonderful news yesterday. I received an e-mail letting me know that I had passed my assessment test for the web course I want to take. I got a perfect score. Not bad for an old lady who didn't start using a computer until middle age. The final step before acceptance is a phone interview and that takes place tomorrow. Wish me luck.
I had a lovely visit with my sister yesterday. We usually go to the same restaurant every time as there is never anyone else there and we can talk for as long as we want. It is a small café in a hotel with a limited but adequate menu. The food is good and the place is quiet. What more could anyone want.
Last week rather got away from me. I was out most days and a couple of the evenings as well so didn't get a post done. The next couple of weeks won't be much better but I will try and write a bit each day.
Our weather has changed again and we are back to rain and wind as well as cooler temperatures. I don't mind it being cooler. It makes so much nicer for getting things done both inside and outside the house.
I made a dozen muffins late last week and cooked them in my electric skillet. I put a rack on the bottom, sat the muffin pan on top, and replaced the skillet lid. They cooked beautifully and were, in fact, moister than usual because of the steam generated. I am going to try cookies next.
It is nice to be able to do a bit of baking without heating up the house.
I have almost finished the T shirt quilt and am pleased with how it looks. I won't be posting a photo until after the customer sees it but I think she will like it.
Hope your week was less busy than mine.
It has been a long time since I lost information because I didn't save it first but today that is what happened. I was filling out a skill test form and was almost finished when I clicked to close another program and lost everything.
To make matters worse, the test was on my computer knowledge and skill. I had managed to answer a lot of questions about the PC itself and was feeling good about myself when I made the rookie mistake. Fortunately, I did write down the info as I located it so next time around it should be quicker.
I am making good progress on the quilt as you go project. I had some trouble with the top stitching part as my machine didn't like the interfacing. I switched to the Juki and zipped through it.
My partner in this job has had problems with her machine as well so I will do this part and she can sew the blocks together.
We got our TV working again this morning. There was something wrong with one of the outside lines. We wondered if one of the trees had grown enough to block the satellite so glad it wasn't that. We do love living in a bush with 80 foot plus trees but once in a while they get in the way.
Took Heidi for a walk through the woods today. Almost no bugs but I was concerned about ticks. I checked her over after we got back and didn't see anything but will continue to watch. Nasty things.
Mosquito bites are not fun. They itch with a vengeance. I have found a quick and easy way to stop the itch and, ladies, I bet you have the product in your purse. Rubbing some lip balm over the mosquito bite stops both the itch and the swelling. I've no idea why it works but it does. Give it a try.
I started my computer course today. So far it is just reading and watching videos; interesting but I am anxious to get into the stuff about coding.
Supposed to be another good weekend here so I will be able to hang out the laundry again. I also expect to get the sashing and binding finished on the baby quilt.
Have a great weekend,
Today has been one of those wonderful late spring days we have been waiting for. Still buggy but it is getting less now that the dragonflies are arriving. We have learnt to tell what is going to happen by the arrival of various factors: blackflies come with the trilliums and go when you have a few days of really hot weather. Mosquitos come a week or so after the blackflies and stay most of the summer but lessen considerably when the dragonflies arrive. Deerflies come in the fall and stay until the snow flies.
I took Heidi into the village with me today and, after I went to the Post Office, we went for a nice long walk up and down the main street. It was good to get out in the fresh air without bug hat, jacket and foul smelling spray.
I have just started adding the sashing to my baby blanket and it is turning out alright. Kinda of funky looking.
There was a story on the news this evening about an elderly gentleman (early 90's) who just graduated from a university History course. I have been thinking for some time about taking an on line course and decided to see what was available. I signed up for one on understanding coding and designing web pages. Really would have been better to do this in the fall but I have 7 days to try it out. If I find I can't keep up, I will cancel and then start again later.
I was notified that some of you were having problems accessing my pattern store. I contacted the company and got this new link. This should take you right to the page. If you have any more problems, please let me know. https://www.craftsy.com/profile/annajb-s-pattern-store
You can still buy a pattern and then get one free. Once your order has gone through, I will contact you so you can let me know which one you would like to have me send free of charge. These are all downloads so no shipping charges.
I finished my baby quilt blocks today and I like them better than I did at the beginning. It made a difference when I increased the width of the satin stitch and used a darker thread. Now I have to decide on sashing. When completed, I will add this pattern to my store.
It has been quite warm today. I was able to take the dog and go for a walk this morning as the flying creatures were at a minimum. However, this evening when we tried to put the bug tent up, we couldn't. Too many bugs. Some sort of poetic justice there, I think.
This has been a down day for me-down as in getting nothing done. I didn't sleep well last night which means I don't function well; or at all, the next day. I did bake some cookies using a new old recipe.
I have a raisin cookie recipe which I have always liked making as it results in approx. 12 dozen good sized cookies. However, as we no longer eat wheat and have cut way down on starch and sugar, I haven't made it in a couple of years. Today, I substituted butter for lard, coconut sugar for white and I use chickpea flour in place of the regular. I only did have the recipe just in case but they did turn out quite nice. I think I will try honey next time instead of sugar.
It is nice to be able to have some 'treat' foods that are somewhat healthy and I love experimenting with ingredients.
It seems that we are going to have a couple of days of nice warm weather so we are hoping that will kill off the last of the blackflies and may dry up some of the standing water so the mosquitoes will lessen. My flowers and vegetables are doing really well and I would love to be outside pulling a few weeds. Maybe tomorrow.
Have you checked out the patterns I have for sale on Craftsy? If not, this would be a good time as I am having a 2 for 1 sale. Buy one pattern and I will contact you to see which one you would like free. I will send that one directly to your inbox. Just click on the link and it will take you to my page. www.craftsy.com/annajb
The Bracebridge Quilt show was excellent. Over 300 hundred quilts, 12 vendors, door prizes and demos all available on two floors. The quilts were amazing with many that could be categorized as art or modern both of which I really like. Believe it or not, I didn't buy anything but my friends made up for it. I did take a couple of photos. Both these quilts are award winners and appliqued by hand. The one on the bottom was also hand quilted. Note the caterpillar in the first photo. There was a similar insect on each of the blocks which led a little whimsical touch.
I have been thinking of having a sale on my patterns. It will be a buy one get one sale on the patterns I have listed on Craftsy. Stay tuned. I will let you know when it happens.
Tomorrow morning I am heading off to Bracebridge with some friends to attend my first quilt show of the year. It may very well be my only one. I wasn't able to get to the Lindsay show last week as I had another commitment and most of the others are too far away for this aging body.
I am looking forward to the day for a number of reasons: being with friends, seeing what is new in quilting, looking at some wonderful eye candy and escaping the bugs. They have really been getting to hubby and I this year. I guess you could say they are driving us buggy!
It seems that every time we open the door enough bugs fly in to carry away our little dog. We then spend the next hours or so swatting the dratted creatures. They really are quite bad this year. I am thankful I don't work outside. It must be dreadful for construction workers or farmers right now.
I bought a new product a couple of days ago and I don't like it. It is sheets of paper with fusible on one side so you can use your printer to make copies of applique pieces. I followed the instructions but was only able to get one sheet to actually go through properly. I used two printers and the paper stuck in both of them. It is called Ink Jet Printable Fusible Web by the Tailor company. If you have had any success with it, please let me know as perhaps I just got a bad lot.
I went back to the old way of tracing my shapes on fusible and completed the sections needed for my baby quilt. Once I have done the machine stitching I will add the sashing and another top with be done.
Have you ever asked a perfectly reasonable question and got a look that clearly says that someone thinks you might have slipped over the edge? I was in a fabric store today and found a solid that I thought would be right for my project but wasn't completely sure. I took it over to the cutting table and asked the staff person if she thought it looked like dinosaur skin. She gave me that 'look' and said, 'I am afraid I wouldn't know'.
I wasn't asking her if she had personal knowledge of dinosaurs but did think she might have had an idea. She did work in a fabric store and I am sure I wasn't the first person to make a quilt with an extinct animal on it. Or maybe I am. No matter. I bought the fabric and my husband thought it was perfect and he isn't even a quilter.
I had been mentally tossing around ideas for a quilt for a young boy and a centre block with a dinosaur seemed to be the answer. I looked through my stash of fabrics and didn't find anything that looked just right. I have a ton of coordinating fabric though so now I have the main one, I can get started.
Perhaps, just for fun, the next time I am in that store, I will ask if they have anything that looks like woolly mammoth fur or feathers from a dodo!
We had one of those inexplicable power outages this afternoon. The weather is lovely, a bit breezy, sunny and warm. It has been so nice, in fact, that I was able to take Heidi dog for a walk this morning. The breeze kept the bugs to a minimum and it wasn't too hot so we were able to keep up a good pace going up the road to the lake and then back. First time we have been able to get out in ages. When we went down the drive, I saw a tiny turtle on one of the logs in the wetlands. We have had quite a few little ones this year so I guess all the water is helping some of the creatures. These are painted turtles so am glad to see that they are thriving.
It certainly wasn't the kind of day where you expect to lose your hydro right in the middle of getting some quilting done. It was only off for about 3 hours but long enough to disrupt the day. Not sure the cause unless someone ran into something or there was work going on on one of the lines.
I had a nice call earlier in the day from a lady who wanted me to made a quilt for her. It is very gratifying to be asked to fulfil someone's dream. She wants to have this done by the end of June and it is a type that I haven't made before so I am getting a friend to help me. I will be learning something new and making a few dollars as well.
Our blackflies seem to be settling down a bit. If we get a few more days of good warm weather that should get rid of them. We will still have the mosquitoes but I don't find them as bothersome. I don't like them but at least you can see them and take action.
I am not going to talk about the weather today except to say it is more of the same.
I did mange to plant some beets, spinach and tomatoes today. Hubby did more tomatoes and some potatoes. We may be finished by the fall. My basil was getting water logged outside so brought the pots in and moved them to larger containers which I will keep inside.
On the quilting front: added binding to a small wall hanging and now am finishing by hand, did a test block using the disappearing pinwheel pattern and don't like it as well as I thought I would. I think it would be easier to just do the resulting pattern from the start. Here is a link if you would like to check it out. www.patchworkposse.com/disappearing-pinwheel-quilt-block-tutorial/
I am starting to put together a design for my dear grandson's Christmas quilt. It is going to have a large appliqued dinosaur in the middle and then blocks or strips around it. Haven't decided just what as yet.
I also need to work out a design for a baby quilt. I have an idea scurrying around in my head so I need to do a few sketches to see what it might look like in fabric.
Happy Memorial Day weekend to my American readers and England is also having an extra day off so hope you also have some time to rest, be with the special ones in your life and to count your blessings.
All the rain has certainly made everything nice and green. This planter is on a hill opposite my quilt room window. I will add some more flowers along here once the daffodils die down. I really like the look of the rail fence and rustic bird house. I should plant something along the fence that climbs like sweet peas or morning glories.
I have been sewing together the rows of strips for my quilt top. I only have two more to go. I found that using these tiny binder clips work better than pins as they hold all four sections of the seams. They are also easy to remove and don't pick as do a needle. I bought these at a dollar store. They are slightly more than a half inch in width. Great for using when hand sewing on binding as well.
It is going to be a bad year for people like me who hate bugs. We found a tick on Heidi Monday morning. It was the first time we had ever seen one so I was a bit panicky (hubby says I watch too many vet shows). We were able to get it all out and she hasn't shown any sign of ill effects. I did call her vet and was told that the Lyme disease ticks have made their way to our area. Heidi gets vaccinated every year so we are pretty sure she will be alright. Nevertheless, we will be keeping a close eye on her as well as being even more vigilant in checking her when she comes in from doing her private business.
The black flies and mosquitoes are making being outside without a suit of armour less than enjoyable. If we have anything to do, we put on our net hat, long sleeved top and spray thoroughly. I got a bit more gardening done today and hubby mowed the lawn. The black flies will go back to whatever jaded place they call home as soon as we get some consistently warm days. They generally don't last for more than a couple of weeks. Everything else is bearable with the bug hat and spray protection.
You may be wondering why people would chose to live in an area with such drawbacks and I will be glad to tell you. I live here because I love being able to see the stars as bright and clear as diamonds, the freedom from violence, people who hold open a door and patiently wait while you climb the steps to reach the entrance. I love seeing the turtles sunning by the side of our driveway.
I love it because the snow is white, the grass and trees green and people nod and smile even if they don't know your name.
I hate bugs with a passion but even they aren't enough to make me think this area is any less than a special blessing.
It was a lot cooler today which made it nice for getting some gardening done. I finished putting flowers in a couple of planters but will wait until after the long weekend to buy the majority of my plants. We had a short thunderstorm last night which was more wind than anything else. Our hydro went out at 4.30 and came back on at 8.30. Areas to the south of us had a lot of damage to houses and the power is still out in some places.
I discovered this poem today and thought it was great one for mother's. Feel free to share including the name of the author.
We have had our first hot day of the season-too hot for me. I did get some work done-baked muffins and made chili in the slow cooker and then quilted. We had the chili for supper and I will take some for lunch tomorrow when I meet with some friends for a day of quilting. We do this once a month. We are all working on the same quilt pattern and, each time we get together, we all work on the same section. Two of us are doing it as a scrappy and the other two bought the kit.
I don't often take spring photos other than of my flowering bulbs but I was noticing how the new leaves contrasted with the evergreens and grabbed the camera. The little shrub in the second photo is a pin cherry and they are all over the place. I generally get enough fruit from them in the fall to make some jam.
May is Modern Batik challenge month at Island Batik's so, May is my favourite batik month. I really enjoy making modern quilts because most of the usual design rules can be ignored. I find that modern quilts can be very freeing and allow for more creativity.
I made this quilt from the Dotilicious line and it is well named because the fabric design is dots. Dots in various sizes and dots that swirl. I didn't add a border and the binding fabric is the same as the background so there isn't any distraction from the focus fabrics.
You can't see it in the photo but the circle has a hand quilted number one on it. This is part of the reason that I named the quilt "There is Always One". The other reason is that the dark green fabric decided to take its own path and be a circle instead of a square.
I really had fun making this quilt and, of course, working with my Island Batik fabrics.
I almost forgot to mention that I quilted the top using Aurifil thread in a mellow gold.
Happy Friday. I got my Island Batik top finished today and now have to find suitable fabric to make the binding.
It was such a lovely day, despite the blackflies that are starting to make their presence known, that I took Heidi for an extra long walk. We have had quite a few new neighbours move in this year and I haven't met them all yet so the warmer weather is a good time to see if any are outside. One of the couples waved as we went past so I backed up and introduced myself. We chatted for a bit then we continued on. Heidi and I completed our walk making sure that if any other dogs took the same route they would know she had been there.
After supper as we were doing our devotions, our four legged alarm system went into a frenzy. Hubby thought something might be at the chickens and went outside to check. He discovered a loose dog that we didn't recognize. It was quite friendly and, as it had neither collar nor leash I got some for it and we started walking along the road to see if anyone was looking for a dog. Another of the new neighbours on the other side of us came along and claimed him. So, we met two neighbours and one dog today.
I also got some lettuce planted and tomorrow will be seeing if the garden centre has rhubarb plants in yet. We are moving ours to a new area to see if it will grow better.
Happy Mother's day to those with children of their own as well as those who help mother other peoples little ones.
Judy, would you send me your email addy please. I can be reached at: email@example.com
Today was another of my attempts to get the studio back in order. I had mislaid something which wasn't surprising give that the remnants of the last few projects were piled onto the cutting and ironing table and just pushed to one side. My preferred method of cleaning is to dump everything onto the floor and then start putting things in organized piles back onto the cutting table. Leftover and current fabrics from an ongoing project are put with the project etc.
I have got some things done but there is still quite a heap on the floor. I also got another quilt loaded onto the frame and ready to finish. I will get the tension done tomorrow. The quilting itself shouldn't take long.
If you didn't win one of the main prizes in my recent contest, I have news for you. If you go to my Craftsy page, (craftsy.com/annajb) you can chose any pattern that you like and I will send it to you at no cost. This is a thank you for reading my blog and entering the contest. I can't afford to give everyone the main prize as much as I would like to so I hope this little something will let you know that you are appreciated. Put the name of your pattern in the comment and then I will contact you for your email. Remember this is only for those who entered my last contest.
Both winners have been in touch and I will be sending their beautiful Island Batik prizes out in the mail to them on Friday. It is such fun to be able to share these lovely fabrics.
We have had a return to seasonable temperatures today as well as the sunshine. I had a meeting in the morning but, when I returned home, I sat outside to eat my lunch and then hubby, Heidi and I went for a walk. A lot of little flowers are popping up amongst the trees and adding some delicate colour to the forest floor.
Later in the afternoon, hubby announced that our first hummingbird arrived so I hustled around and filled one of the feeders for it. It was probably a male looking for nesting sites. We do have at least one family here every year and I am assuming it is the same one(s) each time.
Congratulations again to Jenny and QuiltE. I will be taking a photo of their prizes after they have received them. Don't want to spoil their surprise.
Drum roll please! The winners of my draw contest is QuiltE who won the blog prize and Jenny won the Facebook prize. Congratulations. Please contact me with your name and mailing address by the end of the week so I can end you your lovely Island Batik fabrics. I would have liked to share these with every one but then I wouldn't have anything left for myself. I will be having another contest though.
Our IB project this month is to make a modern quilt. This is one of my favourite designs because it is so freeing. I completed the top today and now have to decide on the quilting pattern.
Another day of sunshine. Below seasonable temperatures but no rain or snow. Our trilliums are almost ready to bloom and I notice a couple of fiddleheads have made an appearance. It seems that a pair of eagles have decided that our home would be a good place for them to start a home of their own. There have been a couple flying around for a bit. They will probably build further to the back of the property or perhaps on our neighbours 100 acres which is behind ours. Nice to have them around but will keep an extra eye on our chickens just in case.
It is still raining although it is more a steady drizzle here. Had to go into the village for some blood work and then, once I was back home, I have spent the day quilting.
I am working on a quilt top that consists of 3 inch strips made up of 3 inch squares. Each strip is slightly different that the previous so it is necessary to keep track of which one goes where. I am not a big fan of little strips of numbered paper to keep things organized. I tend to lose the paper or the pins get in the way when I quilt. I have a method which works well and doesn't have any down side. I use washable Crayola markers. A lady in our quilt group tried each colour on a number of fabrics and all washed out without any problem so I bought a box. I have successfully used them to mark fabric when doing the back basting method of applique and to number fabric pieces. I really like them and they are much cheaper than markers made specifically for quilting. And they really do easily wash out.
Have you entered my contest yet? For full details check Day 3 blog. Contest ends on May 9th.
I was in a baking mood today. I made dozen white chocolate muffins and a small loaf of the same and a dozen pumpkin muffins and a large loaf. All were made from the same recipe with the main ingredient changed. The other main ingredient is canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained and pureed. I should have enough company treats in the freezer to last for a while now.
The Burk's Falls Art Centre opens this month for another season so I finished the day getting some items ready to sell.
We have been keeping an eye on the weather all day as we are supposed to get a heavy rainfall. It has held off so far so the midnight prediction for it to start seems that it might be accurate. The rain is supposed to continue for a few days which means our driveway will be flooded again. I am not complaining though as there are places in Quebec that have been evacuated.
This is day 3 of my contest. I am pleased to see so many entries. Remember that if you are a follower of this blog you can enter by posting a comment telling me what your favourite quilt block is. You can also put in a second entry by 'liking' my Facebook page. If you are not a follower, you can enter on Facebook. You can only enter once in each place. (Thank you Roberta for asking about that as I didn't mention it on the preceding days.
Nothing exciting to tell you today other than the sun shone for the first time in a few days and for the last time in a few more. Did some shopping and the usual house stuff but also went for a nice long walk to the lake that is just a block or so south of us. There are a lot of houses along the shore line but the water is still visible from the road.
There have been a few entries for my contest so don't forget to add yours. You must be a member/follower of this blog and then just send a comment telling me your favourite block i.e. star, log cabin etc. The comment button is at the end of the blog.
You have a second chance to enter by going to my Facebook page and clicking like under the blog post. Don't forget to leave your name.
If you are not a blog follower, you can still enter on Facebook.
Contest time. If you are a member/follower of this blog, you are eligible to enter to win a great prize. As you know, I am an Ambassador for Island Batik and I enjoy being able to share these wonderful fabrics.
If you would like to enter, leave a comment stating your favourite quilt block. The winner will be chosen from all entries on May 9th. There will be a second draw from those who enter on my Facebook page. If you are a follower, you can enter in both places.
To enter on Facebook, all you have to do is like the page and leave a comment.
Remember; if you are not a follower of this blog, you can only enter on Facebook. If you are a member, you can enter in both places. This gives you two chances to win a prize.
Island Batik fabrics April project was entitled Adventurous Applique. I debated for some time, and changed my mind just as often, about what I would make until I settled on the doves on either side of the heart. It is a anniversary gift for a friend.
I love the pastel batik colours against the dark background.
I haven't been able to bind it yet as I hadn't been able to hold a needle properly. I tried a bit of hand applique yesterday evening and the puncture (from the sewing machine needle) seems to have healed enough that I can use it.
We had a real downpour today just as we were unloading our quilt supplies to take inside the Legion. We were all drenched but even a bad weather day can't dampen (sorry) our quilting spirits.
Bad week for regular posting. Last night, we had a nasty wind storm with thunder and lightning which made the hydro flicker on and off. We turned off the computer and television and watched the light show for a while.
Some areas to the south lost their hydro and it was still out later today. This was the result of the last storm we had as well and it rather odd for this area. Usually we are the ones to have to light candles and bring in alternate power sources.
There wasn't any mishaps except for a sheet of metal that covered one of the woodpiles taking flight and putting a nasty scratch on my car.
I have mentioned a couple of times about an upcoming draw. It will start next week. There will be two draws. One is for those who are signed up as followers of this blog and the other, which will be mentioned on my Facebook page is for anyone. If you are a follower, you can enter both.
The blog settings will be changed next week so only followers can reply/enter.
I missed posting yesterday because I had a mishap at quilting on Monday. I can't figure out how it happened but while doing something at the machine, I was amazed to find that the needle had gone through my index finger. It took a few seconds to figure out what to do but then we raised the needle-and my finger, undid the screw to free the needle and clipped the thread which now hung from my finger. My initial idea was just to pull it all out but one of the woman who used to be a paramedic said I needed to go to the clinic. So, off we went. I got amazing care and while that was happening the quilt ladies packed up my stuff as well as the woman who stayed with me and put it in my car. When that friend had to leave another arrived and drove me home after going over to my car to get my sewing machine.
I wasn't able to use the pc as typing was difficult. I am still having to go over what I have written as I either add spaces or leave out letters. I returned to the clinic today and had my finger checked. No one can believe that I neither have had any pain (except when the needle came out), bleeding, bruising or infection. The needle just missed the bone and that too was amazing. So, if you are going to have a dreaded sewing machine accident, my version is the best.
The photos are self explanatory. I included them in case you didn't want to read the details of my adventure. I was surprised to find that the receptionist as the doctor's office couldn't look at my finger. I guess, as a quilter, I don't find needles, no matter where they are, a big deal.
Another drizzly day but it is warm in the house. Before I get into todays post, I would like to pass on a thought from Karen, a regular reader in response to yesterdays blog on pillowcases. She mentioned that she made flannelette pillowcases for her Grandmother and how much the older lady enjoyed the softness. A great idea if you decide to make cases for a hospice.
I finished the place mats today and they have gone on to their new home. I now need to get at this months Island Batik project. We are to make a quilt using applique and I have had a bit of a problem coming up with an idea but think I have one now. I don't have a lot of time to get it done but it shouldn't take to long. Also have this month article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine to finish.
Some areas are getting a lot of flooding. Our driveway still have a good bit of water in the lower area but it is going down. Of course, if it would quit raining, it would go a lot faster.
Have a great weekend. If you are quilter, I would love to have you share a photo of what you made. Stay tuned for a draw which will happen next month.
Quilters are wonderful. I have been searching for 5.5 inch square of fabric to finish my granddaughters quilt and had just about come to the conclusion it wasn't going to happen. I was considering some other options when I was contacted by a lady on a Facebook group. She has the fabric. Yahoo.
While waiting for it to arrive, I am making some place mats as a gift.
I noticed something the other day when watching the news which I will pass on as you may be looking for another charity project. The item was about a Hospice centre and I noticed that the pillows on the bed were very colourful. What a wonderful way to add a bit of cheer to a person's last days. We have a wonderful hospice in this area and I think I will contact them to see if they will accept pillowcases. Pediatric wards might be another place. A quick and easy way to bless someone.
We had 3 wild turkeys in our yard this morning. Haven't seen any here for quite a while so it was good to see they had returned.
I finally have my income tax done and submitted. It is usually sent in long before now. In fact, I have usually spent my return before this date. This was just one of those things that kept getting put off but once I got started it was done, thanks to a program, very quickly.
I am sure, if you are a quilter, you are familiar with most, if not all, of these quilting short forms. These were part of Quilting Concessions blog and, as there were a few that I hadn't seen before, I thought I would share. Blessings, WISP—Work In Slow Progress
SABLE—Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
PhD—Projects Half Done
STASH—Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
PIGS—Projects in Grocery Sacks
HIPS—Hundreds of Ideas Piling Skyward
WOMBAT—Waste of Money, Batting and Time—my fav, I have a few!
TGIF—Thank God It’s Finished
WHIMM—Works Hidden in My Mind
FOB—Fear of Binding
CRAFT—Can’t Remember a Flipping Thing (Cynthia’s favourite)
This is frustrating. I am just finishing up my granddaughter's quilt and discovered that I am short a 5.5 inch square of fabric. I have looked everywhere and cannot find another bit tat will work. I will probably switch the colour on the top row but am hoping someone has a bit somewhere.
Just on the off chance you might have a bit, I have included a photo. I bought it at Fabricland. The colour shown is accurate. The largest flower is under a half inch wide. I only need that square but if you have more and want to get rid of it, I will take it. There isn't any info on the side selvage.
It has been another lovely day and I went for a long walk, helped hubby take the sap buckets from the trees and then just sat outside for a while. Hope you had a good holiday weekend.
Our bird feeder has really been busy the past couple of days. They must know that this is going to be the last time I am filling it. In addition to the usual chickadees, sparrows and other little brown birds we have also had redpolls, finch and a starling.
I expect that the bears will be coming out of hibernation soon, if they aren't already, and feeders are always a draw. We rarely see a bear on our property although they are in the area. We work on the principal that the animals were here first and, as long as they don't because a nuisance or attack our chickens, they are free to come and go as they wish. Our responsibility is to make sure we don't do anything to contribute to them being a problem.
Hubby decided to do another day of boiling sap as the pails filled up again. He has been out all day and I have been a good wife taking him food and drinks. Heidi and I went for a walk mid day and then I did a bit of work in the garden although it is really not dry enough yet to do much. I am planning on hanging my laundry on the line tomorrow. I am tempted to wash all the sheets and towels just to get that lovely outdoor smell again.
In between all that, I have made good progress on my granddaughter's quilt. I almost have the blocks sewn into rows. I might not get them finished tomorrow as I have a couple of sewing jobs to do for neighbour's.
I almost forgot to mention that my Fiskar's rotary cutter/ruler combo came today. I did a few test cuts with it and I think I am going to really like it. It is certainly easy to use and much easier on the hands than the regular rotary cutter. It is called Rotary Cutter and Ruler Combo if you would like to check it out. This one is made specifically for fabric.
It doesn't seem that long ago that I could spend a whole day driving without showing any effect. Now, a couple of hours tires me out. We went to North Bay this afternoon (an hour away) for hubby's last doctor's appointment from his hip replacement. It was basically just there and back with just a bit more than an hour for the appointment, some shopping and going to Timmy's but I am tired. I also had a meeting in the morning so that didn't help. The weather was a bit nasty for the drive up but not as bad as a normal winter day.
In any case, I am glad to be back home, supper over and cleaned away and ready for a relaxing evening. I was going to do a bit of quilting but I don't think I could see to sew when I am yawning this much. Tomorrow is another day as Scarlett would say.
The photo is an old one but I was looking at it the other day and remember how sweet our little dog was when she was a pup. She is still sweet but now she has a bit of an attitude sometimes.
I am not sure who was walking whom but Heidi and I were able to get out for a nice stroll through the bush today. I am not sure that 'stroll' is the right word. Clamber might be a better one. Now that most of the snow is gone, I can climb up and down all the slopes which makes for very good exercise in a short area. Heidi made sure my arms also got a workout. She was excited about all the new smells and was pulling in all directions. I had to keep giving her a sharp reminder that there was an older two legged human on the other end of the leash. She was trying to dash through shrubs and over rocks and fallen trees and I was just trying to stay on my feet. She is usually more considerate and became so today finally when I made her sit and then shortened the leash. She got the idea.
I have been working on my granddaughter's quilt. I have 10 more blocks to go and then can start sewing the rows together. She is going to love the colours.
We had one of those late spring days when winter popped back into say it wasn't finished yet. The snow that started yesterday continued overnight and the accumulation added up to 3 or 4 inches. The wind howled all night and didn't run out of air until after lunch. However, other than not being able to go for a walk in case a tree fell, we didn't have any problems. Other areas were not as fortunate. School buses stayed off the road over a good part of this province and there were power outages to the south of us.
Tomorrow all will be forgiven as the sun and warmer temperatures return.
I did make a short video of our swaying trees but it isn't being cooperative and loading onto the PC.
After the mandatory housework, I spent the day working on my new quilt pattern. It is a bit tricky in places but I think that will just add a bit of interest and challenge to an otherwise simple design.
Tomorrow, I am off to do my shopping and will try and find a centre panel for my granddaughter's quilt.
If you were in an area that lost power, I hope it is restored now and you are all set to enjoy the weekend.
I forgot to welcome those of you that just joined as followers of the site. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and I hope you find some of my ramblings interesting. I appreciate all of you who have been faithful readers over the years. I am planning on having a little draw later in the month so stay tuned.
I finished my runner/place mat set today. There are 4 place mats that coordinate with the table runner and I am also going to do 4 coasters. This was a kit from Connecting Threads and they provided enough extra fabric that I was able to do the mats and coasters.
You may have noticed a link to my web page on this site. I am completely redoing it. I have been using the site to advertising the patterns I have for sale but as they are also on Craftsy, I have decided my web page might be better used to show the quilts that I am selling. I will let you know when it is ready to be seen. You can go to it right now but there isn't much on it.
In addition to finishing the runner set, I also started another quilt using one of my patterns. This is a new one that has been buzzing around in my brain for a while. It is one that can be completed in a couple of days and only uses 4 fabrics.
The weather was dreadful today. I had planned on driving to town to do some grocery shopping but decided that it wasn't a good idea. I did go into the village as I had to get a couple of things and that was enough of a challenge. The roads were slushy and slippery. It was snowing, raining all at the same time and combined with ice pellets. Fun!
Lizbeth had been feverish and coughing for three days and her mother was exhausted to the point of collapse. She had been up and down the stairs to tend to her daughter more times than she could count. Taking her temperatures, bringing soup to eat, helping her to the bathroom, tucking her in; the list of things her 6 year old needed seemed endless. All this had to be done while looking after the other two children, trying to get some of the housework done and get meals for the rest of the family. The biggest problem was that Lizbeth wanted her mother to stay with her. She wanted the comfort of her mother's presence. As Dorothy wearily climbed the stairs one more time she wondered how her mother had coped with all her children. And then she remembers: the quilt. She went to the cabinet in the guest room and pulled out the quilt that had belonged to her mother and took it into her daughter. "Lizbeth, I have something special for you. This used to be Grandma's quilt and she would tuck it around me when I was a little girl. See all the hearts? It is a love quilt and it is going to make you feel all warm and cozy and loved so you can get better.' She tucked the quilt around her little girl and watched as she snuggled deep into her bed with a smile on her face. "I feel better already Mommy. It really is a magic quilt."
As you know, I love scrap quilts. Most of the ones I make are from my own designs but there are also a lot of wonderful patterns from other quilters. I recently was give a link to a site that has amazing patterns-many of them free.
Before I pass on the link, I would like to share a thought. I know only too well the hours of work it takes to design and perfect a pattern. It is amazing that after all that effort that the pattern is offered without charge. I encourage you, if you use these free patterns, to support the designer by purchasing one as well. You will benefit by helping to keep the free designs available and the designer benefits by making a bit of money. I would also like to suggest that you send a photo of the quilt you made using someone else's pattern. I always appreciate seeing someone else's interpretation of my creation.
Here is the link: https://www.quiltedtwins.com
It has been a rainy day and I have been busy keeping the wood stove stoked. Have also got my place mats quilted and the binding on the runner. Another project almost done.
This quilt has been hanging around (pardon the pun) for quite a while waiting for me to do the binding. I got that finished today. It certainly doesn't come close to being perfect; the binding is friendly (wavy) and the quilting not consistent but it is done. I used this to practice freehand quilting styles and each of the white blocks is done in a different pattern.
I have had quite a productive day. in addition to that quilt, I turned 5 left over blocks into hot pads and I just have to add binding to 3 of them and they are finished. Tomorrow, I quilt a table runner and 4 matching placemats and I will have reduced my WIP (work in progress) pile . There are two more items -a wall hanging and a runner, that are being destitched. I am working on those when I watch television.Then I can quilt them again, hopefully, better than the last time.
I addition to the quilting, I finished and sent in, a 1000 word article that I was asked to write for the area's tourism guide. It has been a busy month but, with a new one starting tomorrow, I can rest knowing I have finished everything.
I have been getting the studio ready for my virtual retreat weekend. Our on line group, hearts2hands, decided it was time for another. I am going to be turning some left over blocks into hot pads that will be donated to a fundraiser for cancer patients in our area. Am also going to get the binding added to some quilts that have been finished for some time and then will sandwich and quilt the runner and placemat set that I did a while ago. That should keep me busy for most of the weekend.
I am focusing on getting some of the items that have been sitting around for a while done and out the door. Most will be given to a charity and others are a gift. Then I can start on some new projects.
It was sunny and warm again today and I decided to go for a walk in the morning before the ground softened into mud. Heidi likes to walk on the snow banks on the side of the road which helps keep her clean but she still needed her tummy and feet wiped when we got back.
We had a friend here for a couple of days as she was doing a presentation in a city an hour north of us. It was nice having some time to catch up, go for a walk and sit outside enjoying the sun. Tuesday evening we went into the village to hear a couple give a talk and demonstration on the Passover. On the way back, hubby put on an old country gospel cd and we all sang the songs on the drive home. A fun time.
I completely finished my March mini madness foundation pieced block on the weekend. I added the border strips, topstitched and then turned it into a cushion cover. This is another Island Batik project and you can see all the other projects and read the blogs by clicking on the links below. Some ladies have free tutorials and patterns so be sure to check them all.
My star is from a Carol Doak pattern. I really like her patterns as they are easy to follow and well designed but not boring. I am not a big fan of foundation piecing (sometimes called paper piecing) but making this cushion cover using Island Batik fabrics made it fun. I used Superior threads Fantistico to do the top stitching which added a nice bit of sheen to the stitches.
Am I the only one who thinks the attention span of customer service people is getting shorter? Particularly those in the fast food industry. When I order a tea, I usually say black tea, medium, leave the bag in, please, and it is to go. The reply? Anything in it? No, black please. What size? Medium. Here or to go? .
I know they have to punch it in and I know they are trying to be accurate but, really, could at least a couple of things that I said not be remembered? I have resorted to just standing there and replying to questions. Less frustrating and quicker in the long run.
Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy but I sometimes feel that people (to quote my hubby) aren't getting their fair share of oxygen.
On a cheerier note: I finished another small project today and started on another. They are both made with Island Batik fabrics. Cheers a person up just looking at them. I also got a good start on the magazine article that has to be sent in by the end of the month. I really do work better with a deadline looming.
I have mentioned previously that I am a member of the Burk's Falls Art and Crafts Centre. We have a Facebook page and if you would like to see some wonderful fibre arts, creations in glass, paintings and many other items that will gladden the heart, take a peek.
For some reason, our rail fence seems to be attracting critters lately. A few days ago the owl I photographed landed in a tree beside it. This evening, a pair of deer were peering over the rails. I didn't see them quickly enough to grab my camera unfortunately.
We have been getting a mixture of weather today. It was raining in the morning which turned into freezing rain, back to rain which froze again and, finally, snow. We have a few inches added onto the ice. It does look pretty and we hadn't planned on going anywhere so we were snug. I felt bad for those who were out on the roads though. Many people in this area drive quite a distance to get to work. Didn't see or hear of any collisions so I hope everyone made it safely back home.
I'm weary. I keep waking up around 4 a.m. and not getting back to sleep for a couple of hours. Of course, I then sleep in and drag around for the rest of the day. I did get some quilting done today but not too much more than that. I have been finishing up the last bits of getting my programs signed up with windows 10. I still have EQ to do but haven't the mental patience right now.
I did get out for a walk this afternoon although the driveway was really muddy. I tried to keep Heidi away from the muck as much as possible but she still came home with dirty feet and tummy.
We are supposed to be getting another day or so of nasty weather and I have a couple of friends that are heading east. It has to be done but it isn't the best time of year for travelling.
Have any of you used Face Time instead of Skype for on line communicating? One of my sister's was telling me about it and suggested I check it out. We do a lot of internet chatting with our grandchildren as well as my family that are in England. The time lag is irritating and it would be nice if there was a way to not have it.
If you are on the roads tomorrow, stay safe. Slow down and increase your following distance so you can get to your destination safely.
I picked my computer up from the village today and got it hooked up again. It is working great after its tune -up and installation of more RAM. Took me a bit of time learning a few new features as he did a clean install of Windows 10. Haven't got my EQ back in yet nor figured out how to add my blog to the start menu. Nice to have my old girl back though.
We had a bit of a problem getting down our driveway this morning as a tree had blown down across it through he night. I heard the crash but thought it was just the house snapping in the cold. I had to pull the tree out of the way while hubby drove past and then repeat when we came home. He went down and cut it up after that.
This horned owl was sitting just outside the studio window watching for the squirrels that are all over the yard picking up fallen bird seed. He stayed there for quite a long time so I was able to get this photo. I had to crop it down quite a bit as he blended in perfectly with the background.
I have loaded another top onto my frame. It was finished quite a while ago so I thought it was time to get it done. I am doing ruler work on it and this is the first time I have done that. Bit shaky but getting there. The flag banner was completed last night. This is a free pattern from Monica Curry Quilt Designs and available on Craftsy. It is well designed and a great project for Canada's 150.
I finished my foundation pieced block today and now will turn it into a pillow cover. The photo is a bit fuzzy as I took it with my tablet. I will do one with the camera when it is completed. This was going to be my Island Batik project for this month but I have decided to do something else. I am in a mini frame of mind.
Today I finished sewing the outer borders on a top and should get the rest done tomorrow and ready for quilting. . I need to do a bit of practising on my frame before I load this as I haven't used it in a while.
It was lovely and sunny again today so I was able to go for my walk in the bush. It was slippery in spots and the snow was soft in others but, all in all, enjoyable. I kept my eye out for branches that might have been knocked loose during the recent heavy winds. I didn't want one bonking either eye or the dog. We both were on the lookout for a mink that had been spotted around the hen house earlier. Heidi had raised the alarm and hubby was out tapping the trees and saw it slinking around. The coop is secure but those creatures don't need a lot of space to wiggle its way into trouble.
Got some flower and herb seeds started in unneeded egg cartons and made a large pot of stew so I could legitimately claim that I hadn't quilted all day. Most of it but not all.
Today is the first full day I have had of quilting at home in over two weeks and I am happy, happy, happy. I have been working on my March Island Batik challenge. This month we are to make something using foundation piecing and it has to be less than 20 inches square. I like minis so that part was easy. Deciding what to do was a bit more difficult. I settled on one of Carol Doak's stars. Her patterns are well designed with enough challenge to keep it interesting.
It has been very windy here. I was hoping to get outside for my walk but the driveway is too icy and I didn't want to have a tree branch blow down on me or the dog so I stayed inside and bounced on my mini trampoline for a bit.
I can't remember if I mentioned this previously but I have signed up for the Google Business site. This is quite easy to do and does help in promoting a business. I am planning on doing a tutorial some time in the future.
Today is Furry Friday. As you know, I am a proud Ambassador for Island Batik fabrics and, this year, they are adding their support to Pet Finders and the Kennel Quilt project. If you haven't heard about this worthwhile organization, you can read all about them at: http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/Virtual/ This link will also tell you about the Virtual Kennel Quilt retreat. If you have never been on a virtual retreat, check it out. They are so much fun.
In addition to promoting Kennel Quilts, Island Batik is also bringing attention to some animals that need forever homes. Here are two of them. If interested, please click on the link.
Catnine - https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37233587
Catnine lived a hard life before she was saved by Zeus' Rescues in New Orleans: Both her leg and her jaw had been broken. Still, she adores people, and she's ready for a loving home that will help her heal!
June - https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37572867
This gentle, housetrained 6-year-old gal is comfortable around adults, children and other dogs, and even lived happily with a gecko! She's waiting for a new family at Animal Care Centers of NYC in Manhattan.
These pets are in the United States but there many in shelters here in Canada who are just waiting to give you unconditional love. I know this from experience. When hubby and I married, he knew how much I loved dogs and cats. Unfortunately, he is allergic to both. I accepted that we wouldn't be able to have a pet but every time we went for a walk I stopped to talk to all the ones we passed. Just before Valentine's Day he said we would get a cat and, if necessary, he would take medication. (Have I mentioned how wonderful he is?) The next day, which was Valentine's, we heard a cat meowing. We went outside and there, huddled under the tarp that covered our motorcycles, was a tiny white cat. We brought her in and gave her some food and a blanket to lay on. For the next few days, we tried to locate his owners. When it was obvious, that he had been abandoned we got him neutered and inoculated. We had him for 18 years and he was truly the most wonderful cat I have ever owned. When we decided to move to Ontario, we knew, at his age, he probably wouldn't survive the move and the confinement that the construction period involved. The very difficult decision was made to put him to sleep. I still miss him. His ashes, picture and collar are on my dresser. Another copy of the picture is beside my compute
I already posted the photo of the Kennel Quilts I made but just in case you missed them, here they are again. Because there isn't a shelter in our area, I made these little quilts and donated them to a group that provides veterinary care to animals in need.
It appears that allergy season has arrived for me. It is quite early this year but I guess the melting snow has triggered something. My brain has felt like it went on a vacation today and forgot to take me. This isn't a good thing when you are handling dangerous tools like a sewing machine or rotary cutter. I was trying to be extra careful while at a friends house where we meet once a month to quilt.
We were at the last stages of the quilt tops and I was piecing stripes for the inner border. After I added the last section for the first side, I removed it from the machine to check for length and that is when I discovered that I had neatly sewn the two ends together making a circle! It is easier for the deer to move around when we have less snow but it isn't fun for me.
I managed to get that border on without further problem and then quit. It was almost time to leave so I thought it best to not push on any further. I will have to recheck what I have done when I get a minute just to make sure I have sewn anything on backwards.
We had a real windstorm last night. It woke us up a number of times and I fully expected the hydro to go out from a downed tree or the shingles to leave their appointed place. However, we made it to the morning without problem. The wind continued to make itself felt throughout the day but not as fiercely as before. Parts of the United States were affected far more drastically. If you are in one of those areas, I hope you came through safely.