Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facebook and Lists

I have spent most of the morning uploading photos to my husband's Facebook acount.  I had to find a photo for his 'profile' picture and download pictures from the camera to upload into his album.  (Don't you just love the new techie language)  He is really enjoying Facebook and finds it easier to deal with than e mail.  I prefer e mail.  The only time I go to Facebook is when someone sends me a message and that is usually my husband's family. 
I do find that photos upload faster to this medium but that is the only positive for me.  Of course, I can now add the fact that Roger can communicate with his family and friends without my help.  Big plus.  I don't mind helping but that usually means stopping what I am doing and hovering over his shoulder until he is able to continue on his own.
I am trying to get my bits and pieces done today.  I made a list last night of people that I need to phone or write to (real pen and paper) as well as other jobs.  Downloading photos was on the list so I can mark that one off.  I find that a list is one way to ensure that I will do the things that keep sliding to the bottom of the priority list.
Yesterday, I made 18 jars of jam and 4 loaves of bread so today was supposed to be a day off. However, I have hung the laundry out, cleaned house and, as mentioned, worked on my list.  Tomorrow, I have to go to the city and shop so perhaps I can take Saturday as a free day.  One would suppose that when you are retired you have every day off but those who have reached this time of life know that it isn't true-especially for women.
I just have to put the final border on the paperpieced bird quilt and then I can get that project marked off my unwritten list.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Just some photos today.
The first  is, as you can see, some autumn finery.  There were horses in this field but not close enough to the trees to include them. There is still some wonderful views in the area although the colours are fading somewhat.
The second photos is of the quilt top that won first prize in our fall fair.  These fabrics, with the exception of the dark blue used for sashing and border, are all from the 1950's.  Whe I get it quilted, I will post the finished project.
On to my jam and bread making,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Domestic Bliss

Welcome to our new member.  When you have a few moments, go through the previous blogs and see if any of the free patterns are something you can use.
I spent this morning making chili sauce.  Such a lot of work but it is nice to have all those jars ready for the winter.  Tomorrow, I need to make more bread and will get started on turning all the berries that have been waiting in the freezer into jam.
I have already done pickled beets and relish so the cupboards are starting to fill up.
I almost completed the bird quilt top yesterday.  I hope to have it finished today and then will take a photo to share.  Will also do one of the top that one first prize at the fall fair.  Once the bird top is done, I will get it quilted.  The other quilt I am going to top stitch by hand.  I then can re enter it in the fair as a completed project. Of course, that plan is open to change.  I am not a very good hand quilter.
We are continuing to get rain and a lot of our leaves have fallen.  They are so lovely on the trees but they do make an equally lovely carpet.  If it ever dries up, I will take the dog for a walk through the bush and let her romp through the leaves. 
She seems to have fully recovered from her jaw injury although she is till getting the pain medication.  Bones are definately off her menu.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Old Treasure's

We have had severe rainfall warnings for this area so I expect that, if we get it, my internet service will go down.  We get internet and tv from satallite so the weather sometimes interferes with the signal, especially if it is extreme.
I am working on the layout for my paperpieced bird quilt today.  I am still having trouble deciding on the fabric for the alternate blocks.  I have some that I really like but I think it makes it look 'Christmasy'. Decisions, decisions.  I think that I will get my husband's opinion when he comes in from cutting wood.  He has a nice colour sense.
Later on, my husband and I are going to visit a couple.  She has an old quilt that she wants me to see with the idea of me doing some restoration work on them.
This is something I really enjoy doing although I am not a professional by any means.  I would never tackle a museum quality quilt but I get a lot of joy from making someone's family treasure usuable.  There is just something about an old quilt that I find appealing.  It doesn't really matter about the quality of workmanship or choice of fabrics.  These treasure's are the work of someone's hands, a labour of love for their family members.   I am looking forward to seeing what she has.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Heidi is back to normal.  The pain killers the vet prescribed are allowing her to eat so she is back to her walking stomach, bouncy self. 
This photo was part of an e mail of 12 commandments sent by a friend.  The pictures, as you can see, are rockwellian, and the words are good reminders to be grateful for what we have.
I am sure that people have always dreamt of bigger and better but, I believe, that television and lottery ads have pushed that desire to a new high.
I am going to set myself a goal of starting each day being thankful for at least one thing.
Today, it is Heidi's returned health and, if I am permitted a second, it would be the wonderful autumn colours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Praise of EQ

Followers of this blog will have heard me refer to EQ a number of times.  There are a number of computer quilt programs on the market and I have a couple of them.  My favourite, by far, is EQ (Electric Quilt).  I use it to design, choose colours and figure out the math involved in creating a quilt.
I have been working on a quilt for my sister -in -law for some time.  She wasn't in any rush so it kept getting pushed back on my to do list.  It has, however, finally made it to the top of my priorities and I am getting it finished.  The feature blocks are paper pieced birds from Jodie Davis' book, Backyard Bird Quilts.  She is a wonderful paper pieced pattern designer and I really like this book.  In fact, I wish she bring out another with even more birds.
I had been having a lot of problem deciding what my alternate blocks would be and finally, yesterday, decided to use Jodie's sample.  From there, I went to EQ to do the layout with my own colour choices and, voila, a quilt.  These blocks will be quick and easy so I should (key word is should) have the quilt done and ready for the top stitching by the end of the month.
I do have a small project to do before the weekend but, other than that, I am free.
Have to take our Heidi to the vet this morning as she still isn't well.  I suspect a bone or something caught in her jaw.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thunderstorms and Four Legged Children

I never know how to describe a thunderstorm.  All the usual adjectives-good, terrific, terrible-never quite seem accurate.  What I want to say is that there was a lot of thunder and lightening but I only want to use one descriptive word.  Oh, well, it will probably come to me later and then I will forget when we have another storm.
Whatever word used, last nights storm was a doosy.  It woke us all up.
Although, I don't usually like being awake through the night, I was glad of the opportunity to check on our dog.  She went off her feed in the afternoon and wouldn't eat anything not even her bacon treats which usually send her into tremours of excitement.  We were, of course, quite concerned.  Heidi, not eating, is like me not quilting.  She seems to be back to normal today but am keeping her on softer foods for the day.
One of the ladies in our local quilt group also had  scare yesterday.  She has two little pugs-her 'girls', and she got a call saying they had got out.  Like us, she lives in a rural area with the danger of larger animals.  She dashed off leaving us to take care of her stuff.  I was quite concerned as our Heidi had done the same thing once and I spent a frantic half hour or so searching for her.
The girls were found and, I am sure were hugged, scolded and given a nice treat so today our respective worlds are joyful.

Friday, September 17, 2010

September BOM

This is an easy Bow Tie pattern.  When you have made the four blocks, experiement with the layout.  If you turn the first and last block, you can make a wreath.

Directions for 12 1/2" Block

  Cut eight  3 1/2" background (mauve) squares
  Cut four 7 x 3 1/2" rectangles from print fabric
  Cut eight 2 1/2" squares.  These are for the  center of the bow tie and can be the same colour as the rectangle or contrasting.

Place a 2 1/2" sq. on a corner of a background square, aligning edges.  Lightly draw a line diagonally across the square and sew on this line.  Repeat for all 8 squares.  Trim fabric 1/4" from the sewn line on the side away from the background square. Open and press.

Cut rectangles in half to make  3 1/2" squares.  Sew each of these squares to the joined blocks. 
Tip: Place pairs of the joined block together so that the tips of each bow tie center are touching. (They will form an hour glass).  Then place one background block above a joined square and one below to make a block.  Sew sections together.
Repeat for remaining squares.
Sew sections together to make a 12" block.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One More Day

I seem to be having trouble getting back to normal.  I have a pattern for the BOM now but it isn't ready to post.  I promise-I hope-to have it for you tomorrow.
Today we went to Huntsville for shopping and to restock our shelves.  It has been raining all day so I have spent the afternoon in my quilt room tidying up.  I can't decide which top to finish.  Probably will depend on my backing fabric.  My husband is in hunting mode so I will have lots of time to do whatever I decide.  I really should finish my sister-in -law's quilt.
We went for a short walk before supper yesterday and took a few photos of the changing trees.  Every day we can see a difference so the peak should arrive in a week.
This photo was taken on my sister's property and shows how the maple will often start with a portion of their branches taking on their autumn dress and then the rest will follow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Chinese Quilt and Grandkids

Just some photos today.  Hope to have the BOM ready for tomorrow.  This quilt was made in China and is reversable.  It isn't a quilt in the proper sense of the word as it hasn't any batting.  I am not quite sure what to do with it yet.  I would like to open it up so it is one layer and then back it.  Otherwise, I don't really know how you hang a reversable.  the other photo is our grandchildren being held by a proud grandpa.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We got home last night after midnight as we decided to drive straight from the airport.  Our original plan was to get a motel but neither of us wanted to be away from home any longer.  We picked up our little dog from her carer today so, once again, our family is all together in our corner of paradise.
I did get my business done in Edmonton although, when I checked my home phone for messages, I discovered the meeting which was the reason for the trip had been cancelled.  We were already at the airport so that message was a bit late. I was livid. I called the lawyer when we got to our destination and said that I wasn't going to make the trip again.  They made some phone calls and got it scheduled back in for earlier in the day. 
I met some quilter's in Tim Horton's.  I was having a cup of tea when I heard someone mention 'Block of the Month'.  I turned around and there was three ladies admiring a nicely made block.  We quilter's have our own secret language, don't we?
I did get to a quilt store and the fabric wholesaler's I used to deal with and, naturally, bought some fabric.
A friend gave me a lovely reversable Chinese wall hanging.  I will take some pictures and share with you.
The highlight of our trip was the day we spent with our grandchildren.  They are two and one and delightful children.  Lots of photos taken that day.
Tomorrow, the next BOM is due but I may be a day late.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fair Day

Today is our annual fall fair and, although the weather is anything but fair like, it is well attended.  You had to travel a bit to find a parking space.  The steel band, fortunately, was under cover although the bouncing, rocking listeners weren't nor were the stalwart horses who were doing their best to pull ever increasing weights for 20 feet.
As usual, the craft and produce barn was full of both entries and people.  I won a first prize for my unfinished quilt top, a second for the wall hanging and another second for my whole wheat bread.  My photograph and pickled beets didn't get anything but I am pleased with my results.  I didn't think I would get anything this year.
We are off to Edmonton tomorrow so I won't be posting anything until I return on the 14th. I have to go back out again to pick up my entries and take our dog to the sitter.  I am all packed so it is just a matter of waiting until time passes.  We will be leaving home by 6 a.m. tomorrow as we have a 3 hour drive to the airport and there will be a lot of traffic with school starting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Grace Frame Modification

I have had a request for photos and explanation of how I modified my quilt frame.  For those of you who are not long arm quilter's, this posting may not be of interest to you.
As you can see in the first photo, there is a platform on the frame carriage (where the machine sits).  On this particular model it was designed to hold the foot pedal for those who did not have an independant control.
This platform prevented the thread holder on my Juki machine from being raised and, as I wasn't able to use it, my thread kept breaking, splitting and catching.
I removed the platform and replaced it with a dowel that had been cut to length and had holes drilled in either end.  Thank you dear husband for doing that. There was already holes in the frame so I just screwed the dowel into place.
I placed the dowell in a different location than the platform where it would still do the job of supporting the frame but be out of the way.
I have had no further problems with the thread.
Second photo shows the frame with machine installed and thread holder raised.  I hope this information will be useful to those with similiar carriages.

Friday, September 3, 2010

When It Rains and Earl

We had a gully washer this morning.  It rained so hard than our internet was out for a while, hydro flickered on and off and we have a mini pond in our back yard.  Even though it was still warm and I was baking, I had to shut the windows on the south side as everything was getting wet.
Something was wandering around outside last night causing the dog to go into a frenzy.  I suspect it was a bear because shortly after Heidi settled down, I heard two shot gun blasts and then the sounds of a backhoe.
This is a guess but it is possible that the bear was shot and buried by a neighbour.  As all this happened around midnight, so the sounds weren't normal.
My husband slept through everything so when I told him what had happened, he replied that you could tell we were in the country.
When we lived in Edmonton, there were certainly some areas where gun shots may be heard although it wasn't, thankfully common.  However, that sound was never followed by the starting of construction machinery.
I expect I will hear eventually who did what.  I don't like the idea of anyone shooting anything out of season but the bears really have been a nuisance this year.
This morning we have been listening to the news reports about the storm approaching the east coast.  People are preparing for a hurricane with some opting to stay put and others leaving for safer areas.  I often wonder if the name of the storm affects peoples reactions.  It is hard to get fussed about a storm named Earl.  If it had been Bruno or Iago or even Brunhilda, I would take it more seriously.  Just a random thought.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is It Fall Yet?

I froze some tomatoes this morning.  It is still a bit warm for doing anything that involves a stove but they were starting to get too ripe.  I just blanched, peeled, removed any bad spots and stuck them in freezer bags.  When I was finished, I had four bags.  I said to my husband that all that work saved us about $6.00 as the tomatoes were given to us.  Hardly seems wothwhile but, six dollars will buy me a fat quarter with some money left over plus if we have an extended period of bad weather, there is food in the freezer.
Tomorrow, I will do the relish.  It is non cook so I just may do it today.  Also have to make bread.  I wouldn't bother as we are going away but need to get a loaf for my fair entry.  If you are doing one loaf, you may as well do four.
I enjoy doing my canning even though it is a lot of work.  I generally make various kinds of non-sugar jam.  I figure they can count as a fruit in our daily diet.  I don't need to do pickled beets as I still have lots from last year.  I usually do more than we need but I give a lot away to those who don't have gardens or as gifts. Of course, all this has to wait until the weather cools so this time of year, I eagerly watch for the changing leaves and lower temperatures.
I am feeling a bit blah today so I think I will take the dog for a walk and get some fresh air.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another Scorcher

It is going to be another really hot day, tomorrow a bit cooler and then, Friday nicer yet.  I am hoping it cools down enough that I can make my bread for the fall fair entry.  I have 5 items this year which is not as many as I hoped but more than last year (my first time) of two.
I find that this is pretty much a trial and error proceedure as there isn't a lot of guidelines.  The book lists acceptable size and content but not proceedure.  For example, one catagory is dressed doll, hand made.  I had to ask a friend if that meant everything, including the doll had to be made by the entrant or just the clothes.  She said the doll must also be made and she found out because hers wasn't.
Another catagory is unfinished quilt top.  I am entering that one and am hoping that you don't have to eliminate all threads because, of course, the raw edges fray.  Do the seam edges all have the be the exact same width and the thread matching the fabric?  I am assuminng that it will be judged on the workmanship of the top itself-no puckers, mismatched points etc.
I may have time to do a quick post after I see how I do on Sunday. 
Of course, I am hoping to do well but my main hope is just not to be disqualified because I wasn't aware of a rule.
Ah, the stresses of country life.