Friday, December 30, 2011

Good bye 2011

Christmas 2011
As we make our way through the last couple of days of 2011, I leave you with this photo of our tree and the light from the wood stove.

May the peace of Christmas stay with you throughout the new year and may you be surrounded by the warmth of friends and family.

Remember to do something you love on New year's Day so you start the year right.  I will be quilting, visiting family and enjoying the outdoors and doing it all with my husband and wee dog,
Blessings to you all,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Milestone

A reader of this blog was kind enough to let me know this morning that I now have 50 followers.  I am thrilled.  When I started writing this three years ago, I thought my family and a few friends might be the only ones who would find it interesting but as the days and months went by, more and more people signed up.
I now am fortunate enough to have regular readers from most countries in the world. I enjoy writing but it is a lot more rewarding when someone is reading the words.  I read somewhere once that if no-one is following you, you are merely going for a walk, not leading.  A writer, on the other hand, is always a writer just as a painter will always deserve the name even though they are the only one to see the canvas.  However, when a writer is paid for their words (whether monetarily or via comments) you are on a different level.  I have been fortunate enough to have reached that.  I get reimbursed through both methods.
I thank you all for your encouragement and sticking with me when what I had to say wasn't very interesting.  I thank you for your comments and your honesty.  In return, I would like to give you something.  I would like to give you one of my down loadable patterns.  There is absolutely no cost.  I will be giving you a coupon to get the pattern.  This is a limited time offer and I will give you the details tomorrow.
We are having another wonderful day.  I went into town for the mail and then took Heidi for a walk.  It was more of a bounce on her part as the snow is getting deep in the bush.  Didn't slow her down any though.  I had put some little booties on her to protect her feet from the cold.  One came off before we  left the driveway.  Another came off on the trail.  I retrieved both of them and brought them home in my pocket.  A third booties dropped off unnoticed so she bounced home with one clad foot.  Oh, well, we will find it in the spring.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favourite Day

We are experiencing my favourite type of day: cold, sunny and snowy.  It is minus 15 so not really cold but enough so that it feels crispy when you walk.  It is also cold enough that the snow doesn't stick to the dog so I won't have to keep putting her in the sink to melt off the snowballs.
I am just finishing a dress that I started ages ago and then I want to begin my manger gift.  This is an idea I got from a lady on a on line group.  You make something from fabric or a pattern you received as a Christmas gift and then donate to a charity.
My husband gave me a wall calendar that came complete with patterns and I am going to make one of them to donate.  Have my eye and a couple more I want to do as well.  I haven't been doing much sewing on my machine lately as I can't seem to put down my hand applique. However, I think I will go back to doing that while watching the news.  It is nice to have a something different to give the brain a break.
I am mentally working on (WIM instead of WIP) a applique block pattern for newbies.  I have found that circles are difficult as well as points.  This block will be a simple pattern but will contain a number of those shapes.
Have to go into the village to get the mail this afternoon and need to fill the bird feeders but, first, I am going to sew.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And Today Is...?

Strange Light
I am having a hard time getting back to routine.  It is only the 28th (I think) so I am not exactly behind schedule.  Of course, being retired, I don't really have a schedule but I usually have some sort of handle as to what day it is.  I guess because we didn't have church on Sunday or quilting on Monday it is understandable that I would be a bit confused.
I took this photo yesterday evening and this was the actual colour of the sky.  Everything was tinged with mauve.
Excuse me while I brag about our Heidi.  We spent Christmas day with my husband's family and Heidi had a great time being fussed by everyone.  She got a large parcel full of doggy things including shampoo, various coats and bootees and was, as is her due, spoiled.  While we were all chatting away, my husband said 'Look at Heidi". She had gone to my handbag, picked up her leash and brought it to me.  I put on the leash and took her outside where she took care of business.
We are getting a weather warning so it is nice to be safe indoors.  I have already taken Heidi for a walk; and then spent 15 minutes melting the snow from around the feet, so we don't have to go out.
Hope you all had a good and safe Christmas,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to Everyone

We awoke to a lovely day.  The sun is shining, there is snow on the ground and the sky is blue.  A perfect pre-Christmas day.
I would like to wish you all the most blessed of Christmas'.  I am sure you have been rushing around trying to make everything perfect for your family.  The house smells wonderful from the cooking, parcels are piling up under the tree and your sewing machine is starting to cool down. 
It is important to remember in the midst of all the preperations of why we are celebrating and, despite our best efforts, we cannot make everything problem free.  In fact, it is the mishaps that contribute to the memories.
Also, Christmas does not prevent tragedy.  If you are experiencing difficulties, remember you are never alone.  You might not be aware of how many people are thinking of you and care about you.  If possible, get out and get together with others in similiar situations.  Many churches and community groups serve meals to those who are in need.  It doesn't matter if your need is financial, companionship or whatever, you will be welcome.  It also helps to do something for others:  serve, donate, visit, smile.
I have been where many of you may be so I understand and I do care.
Blessings to you all,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Heidi's Christmas

I took Heidi to visit her caregiver-Auntie Irene, today and to give her her gifts.  Whenever we get near the community where Irene lives, Heidi starts getting excited.  Her caregiver is such a wonderful blessing to those of us with dogs because she loves them as much as we do.  I am sure we are not the only ones to remember her at Christmas.  She is so popular that if you don't book her a year ahead for summer weekends you will be out of luck.  She only takes in one-or if they are sociable, two, dogs as a time.
I have booked for next December already as we will be going to England for a wedding.
My husband is off to do a bit more shopping so I am wrapping presents today.  We have got a skiff of snow so many get a white Christmas after all,

I posted this picture of Heidi last year but just couldn't resist doing it again.  She looks so mortified.  She did get a nice piece of bacon afterwards for being so understanding!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Three More Sleeps

I finished my shopping yesterday, decorated the church today and just have some sewing left to do.  I have found that it doesn't matter how early you start your Christmas preparations, there is still things to do right up to the last minute. When we lived in Alberta, we always had Christmas day at home so I had all the meal to get ready.  There was usually just the two of us but I sill liked to have a big spread.  Then, on Boxing Day, we had left overs and my husband put the meals together.
Now, we always join my in-laws for the meal and gift giving so I don't have to a lot of cooking other than the cookies etc. that are gifts or for company. I would prefer the get together to be on boxing day especially as the children are growing up but it is, what it is.
It seems that most of Canada is going to have a green Christmas.  That will be nice for those travelling.
As we count down the last few hours, I hope you have time to stop and reflect on the reason we are celebrating.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sale Ends Tomorrow

If you are interested in learning or improving your free motion quilting skills, you might want to check out this challenge.  Go to: for details.  Basically, you will be given a pattern a month to learn.  There are a number of excellent instructors including Leah Day, my personal favourite.
It starts in the new year so there is still time to sign up.  It is also free.
Tomorrow is the last day for the 25% off sale at Sister's Quilting Expo and my web page. Check out the neat Victorian items if you are looking for a special stocking stuffer.
We finally got a bit more snow.  Just a layer but, once more, everything looks lovely.
Now that the mud is covered, I can take Heidi for her walk.  Right now she is trying to get me to throw her favourite toy; a ball tied in a sock.  She spends hours tossing it in the air, shaking it and whacking my husband on the ankle with it.  Lots of fun.
Hope your day and weekend is equally joyful.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Week and Three Sleeps

Christmas is just over a week away but you can't tell by the weather.  It is raining here in the backwoods and our snow has all disappeared once more.  I find it discouraging.  Not only does it look dreary, but it also feels it.  I want to see white spread around the bush, over the mud and sticking to the trees.
Yesterday, I tried to take Heidi for a walk but it was so muddy, I gave up.
I did, however, finish my baking and now I have a pulled muscle in my back.  Too much mixing, kneading and bending over a counter that is a bit too low.  On a brighter note, the house smells lovely and I have goodies filling every container.
I think I am oging to put some Christmas music on the radio, ignore the weather and sew.  I need to get the Noah's Ark wall hanging on the frame so it can be quilted.  I think I will do a simple meandering design on it.
I hope your Christmas preperations are well under way.   My husband and I have been watching a lovely show on television called  Christmas on a Victorian Farm.  It originated in England and takes place on an actual Victorian era working farm. There is lodging (not cheap) where you can stay and, I am assuming, take part in the activities.  We have a trip to England planned for next year for a December wedding.  I might see if we have time to take a run to the farm.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whew! That's Done

I have finished my baking.  Took two days but it is done.  I am not sure why I do all this when there is just my husband and I and neither of us should be eating these goodies.  Still, it is part of the Christmas celebration, isn't it.  And, of course, it can all go into the freezer to be used over the next few months.
I would like to pass on some information to those who like to make crib quilts.  Apparently, they are not recommended for babies as they could get them wrapped around their face.  Crocheted or knitted covers are better as the baby can still breath.
I think that for any ones I make in the future, I will tell the Mom to just use it on the floor for the baby to lay on.  Tucking it around the car seat or carriage would also work as the babies movements are restricted.
There seems to be so many more safety things to be aware of now.  When I think of how I grew up-bikes with no brakes, no helmets, no safety plugs on electrical outlets etc., I wonder how we all made it to adulthood.  Of course, many didn't and that is the point.
Children are so precious and, as quilters, we need to keep informed on what we can do to protect them.
We recently had a near tragedy when our grandchildren got into some medication and had to be hospitalized. They are just wee tots so it was quite a scare.  They are out of hospital now and I pray there are no long term effects.  It is hard not to point fingers and lay blame at a time like this but it wouldn't achieve anything.  It is especially difficult when they live so far away but, I guess, near or far, it doesn't stop things from happening.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Way-Oops

My Way Quilt With mistake
I finally got this quilt finished.  I am really pleased with the pattern.  I did the quilting in a butterfly design which I decided I didn't like about half way through.  However, when completed, it did add a touch of texture. 
When I took this photo and then looked at it, I notice I made an error.  Can you find it?  I did the same thing on another block and corrected it before quilting and binding but I am afraid this one is going to have to stay.  So, I guess the quilt is aptly named in more ways than one.
This pattern, minus the error, is on my web page.  There is a lot to recommend digital photos and the ease of correcting mistakes is a big one.
I am in a baking frenzy today.  I am late getting my Christmas goodies made but that only means they will last a bit longer.
There are only 4 more days left for the 25% off sale at and

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Suggestion for a Christmas Gift

I have a nice stew cooking on the woodstove, have taken the dog to the vet, picked up the mail and answered my email.  After I finish this, I can quilt. It has been snowing since yesterday so the driving conditions aren't the best.  Our vet is in the next village north of us, about half hour drive.  I really have to concentrate as I get near there because the road was changed when the highway had more lanes added.  I forgot, however, to pay attention when I was leaving and ended up driving west instead of south. 
If you are looking for a good book to get a young teen I would like to recommend, Back in Her Time by Patricia Corbett Bowman.  It is available at Chapters/Indigo bookstore at under $20.00.  It is a good read and even though it is written for a young person both my husband and I enjoyed it.  I can only tell you a little bit about the story as there is a plot twist.  It is about a young female soldier fighting in the second world war.  Didn't know that women were in active service back then?  Read on.  Pat is a Canadian writer who lives in B.C.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter's Contrast

We have had another outage.  It was just for a couple of hours this morning but as we are getting snow squalls right now, it may go again.
It looks lovely outside.  The wind has packed the snow against the trees and the sun is shinging brightly.  Behind it all, the sky is a dark grey.  a real study in contrasts.
I finally finished quilting the quilt that I had on the frame.  Between outages and schedules, I didn't think I would ever get it done.  I stitched a butterfly pattern on it and, at first, I didn't like them but now it is done, it really adds some texture.  When I get the binding done, I will post a photo.
I now have some Christmas gifts to get done as soon as I decide on the backing fabric.  They are all small projects so they shouldn't take too long.
Just a short note today to make sure I can get it posted.  Tomorrow my little Heidi goes to the vet for her annual.  However, if this storm continues, I may have to postpone the appointment. She would be happy.  She doesn't mind the vet but she hates the bath I give her beforehand.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fire Starters

Stolen Quilt
This photo is of a quilt that was stolen from a show in the U.S. recently.  Please keep your eyes open as you attend quilting events.  I can only imagine how devastated the designer must be.

On a vastly different subject; I make starters for my wood stove and thought you might find them useful also. They work well for a campfire and, if you have access to a surplus of material, they would make great fundraisers for a group.
You need dryer lint, old candles, egg cartons and a metal container for melting the wax. Old newspapers to catch the drips and a pair of oven mitts will also be useful.

Put the candles in the metal container and place over low heat.  I melt mine on the wood stove as it is less hazardous.  If the candles have the little metal wick holders on the base, remove it.  Wicks can be left.  Make sure you don't leave the stove while the wax is melting.  In the meantime, stuff the dryer lint into the egg carton pockets.  Put the cartons on newspapers and, using hand protection, carefully pour the wax over the lint until they are soaked.  Let set.
Place one under the kindling when starting your fire.
I have tried dog hair, sawdust and paper but nothing works as well as the dryer lint.
I just tear off the pocket needed and include the carton top as well. You could, if desired, cut the sections apart with a sharp knife.  Good luck.  Let me know if you make them.
You have a week and a half left for the big 25% off sale at and  It ends on the 17th.  Remember that purchaser's names go into a draw for a lovely 12 Days of Christmas panel. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Saturday was one of those good days,  bad day situations.  We won third prize for our Christmas parade float which was nice.  Entering the parade takes time and work but our church likes to present something that depicts the true meaning of Christmas so the effort is worthwhile.  Winning a prize isn't important but it is nice to have your effort appreciated.
That was the good part of the day.
After we got home, I did a load of laundry and found that one of the fins inside the tub had broken off.  I doubt if it can be replace but my husband has to find a way of fixing it so it doesn't snag the clothes. While I was doing laundry, he went out with our little dog to do some yard work.  A little while later, he came back in and asked if Heidi was in the house.  She had disappeared.  We spent the next half hour or so-it seemed like hours-walking around the property calling her, looking for tracks, peering through the trees.  As she is white, it is very hard to see her in the snow.  It was also very worrying because we couldn't see any tracks.  Our fear was that she had been grabbed by another animal.
I, of course, was trying very hard not to panic.  I just don't know how I would deal with losing her.  Finally, my husband thought of opening the door to the shed and there she was.
  After a good cry, it was time to get supper which led to the third problem.  The oven wouldn't heat up.  We dragged down the toaster oven and used it.  We tried the oven again later and it was working so we think it may have been a glitch because of all the power flicking on and off.
There haven't been any more trails since then so I am, once more, starting to breathe normally.  Life sure has its challenges, doesn't it?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hydro is Back-I Think

Our power went out again yesterday-twice and was off all night. It returned again this morning and, hopefully, will now stay on.  I had to resort to washing my hair in melted snow when I got up as I couldn't stand it anymore. My husband phoned while I was in picking up the mail to let me know we had power and that he was running round flushing toilets and filling containers with water, just in case.
It has been a bit frustrating but, as I keep saying, it is better than living on the streets.  I think we better get the generator ready for use as, much as I hate the sound, I don't want the water pipes to freeze either if we go through this again later in the winter.
Winter Sky
I haven't been able to do a work day this week so will have to find time to catch up.  Next week is going to be busy with vet appointments for our Heidi, shipping and meetings but things slow down at the end of the week.
It does seem as though everything happens at once, doesn't it, but I guess that is normal.  It is for me, anyway.
This is another of the photos that I took on Wednesday.  I love the colour of the sky.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm Back

Winter Sky
All Things Bright and Beautiful

After the Storm

Our hydro was out from Tuesday midday until around 10.30 this morning.  The ice storm knocked out power to about 30,000 homes but, my, it was lovely.  We went outside yesterday as the ice was starting to fall from the trees and the whole forest was tinkling with sound.  Amazing.  I am now working at catching up with all my e mails and the dishwasher is working overtime.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am way too impatient.  Our hydro just flickered off and then back on again but it was enough that the computer shut down.   I had to wait for it to reboot which it didn't do instantaneously so I pushed the start button again and that confused it.
I really try to be more patient but am not very successful. I think it is a form of ego; my world is not performing the way it should, other things are upsetting my world.
To make my reaction even less understandable, I have been expecting hydro problems because we have had freezing rain and there is  a lot of ice on the trees.  I assumed that there is also some on the hydro wires.  I have prepared by filling the electric kettle as well the one on the stove and a large bowl so we will have water. Perhaps, I should also have done some mental preperation.
I had planned on going to the town to do some shopping today but, of course, it is not good driving weather. (My schedule has been mucked up).  As I am housebound, I guess I will just have to quilt. There's a hardship.
Did anyone take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday?    Just in case you are still in the shopping mood  my 25% off sale will continue until Dec. 17th. then a draw will be made from purchasers names and the winner will receive a 12 Days of Christmas panel.
It appears as though the power is going to stay on so I will finish the quilt that is in the frame and perhaps start a few Christmas gifts. We are on the downward slope to the season now so I guess I had better get moving.  House decorating and baking starts next week.
If you are on the roads today, please be careful. Impatience combined with a steering wheel is deadly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Hens A-Laying

My Way
All five of our hens are now giving us nice wholesome eggs.  They are starting to accumulate in the cartons so we may have to add another person to our customer list.  My husband is seriously thinking about adding to the flock next year as there is enough room for another 5.  They eat a lot of kitchen scraps along with their regular food which helps the cost.  Did you know that there is arsenic in some chicken feed.  Trace amounts but as it accumulates in the body still not a good thing.
This photo is the original of a design that I am just finishing up to get on my web.  It will be included in the sale.  Please pass on the information about the sale to your friends, groups etc.  All publicity is welcome when you are a struggling (although not starving) artist.
 I am still waiting for the snow to arrive.  Am I the only person who feels that way?  I always feel so much healthier in the winter.  And I love cooking on the wood stove.  It is such a cozy, homey thing and the food doesn't burn on the bottom if I get distracted by quilt making.
Another weekend arrives tomorrow.  I am off to a craft show with a friend and am planning to get a few Christmas gifts. I make the majority of mine but do like to support other artisans as much as I can.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quilty Friends

I have mentioned in the past that I belong to a number of on line groups as well as co-hosting one.  They are all, with the exception of my family group, quilt related.  Each has a specific focus such as hand quilting, frame quilting etc.  They are a valuable source for encouragement and information.  I have learnt so much from the members of the groups.
I have had a chance to meet some of the members of the Canadian group and will get to see more of them on the retreat that is scheduled for next year.
It is amazing how close you feel to these people you have never met.  I was reminded of this today especially as I opened my gift from my secret santa.  One group does this gift exchange each year and, once all the packages have arrived, we have a cross country gift opening.
I got a box full of amazing things but what I found the most wonderful was how well my secret santa seemed to know me.  We do, of course, list some likes-spicy and dislikes-perfume but my package included a CD of Celtic music.  I am sure I have never mentioned to the group how big a fan I am of things Scottish. 
I have been baking today and just took a break to check my e mail and write this.  Now I am back to the bread and apple butter.  I will be playing my CD while working.  Bliss.
Don't forget that the big sale starts tomorrow.  25% off everything in the Sisters Quilting Expo on line store and my web page. and

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Baltimore Album Blocks
I am just waiting for the water to boil in my canner so I can make my grape jelly.  Then I want to do a large batch of chili.  Tomorrow it is bread and pumpkin butter that is on the schedule list. This photos shows the first two blocks of the hand appliqued Baltimore Album quilt I am doing (and my dirty kitchen floor). I still have to embroider the stems on the wreath block.   I have also added the poster advertising the sale that starts this week.  There will be new items added so check back frequently.

Nov. 25th until Dec. 17th

In not one but two locations

Two stores are offering 25% off

On everything

Fabric, Patterns, Notions, Quilts

All 25% off

But wait, there’s more

Everyone who makes a purchase will have their name entered into a draw.

Winner receives a Twelve Days of Christmas quilt panel.

Sale Locations:

Click and Buy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Panic in the Chicken Coop

Winter seems to be passing us by.  We had a little snowfall which since has melted and now are back to the greys and browns of a late fall.  I know it is nice for driving and getting decorations put up but taint natural.
My husband phoned while I was at quilt group yesterday to tell me that we had an uprising in the chicken coop.  He had been looking outside to wave goodbye as I left and saw the hens jumping around in excitement about something.  One got so carried away that she popped right out of the partially covered run.  Roger went out, scooped her and and put her back where she belonged.  I always thought that if one got out it would try to fly away or at least run but, apparently, it just hunkered down and waited to be rescued.
Always some sort of excitement here in the backwoods.
My webmistress has the latest free block on my web now. Tomorrow I will be posting information about the upcoming sale.

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Have Four

I have mentioned in past blogs that we have five hens but only three had been laying.  The other two seemed to be younger judging by the size of their combs.  The past couple of weeks we have seen there was a definate difference in size.  Yesterday, we got a fourth egg.  Bertie, one of the hold outs was sitting on the nest when my husband went in to gather the bounty so he left her alone.  Sure enough, when he returned later in the day, she had done her job.  The amusing bit is that although she is one of the larger hens, her egg was tiny-about the size of a banty. 
Still, we are glad she is producing.  Ernie is now the only holdout.
This is my self imposed work day and I have a pattern to write up for the owner of the Sisters Quilting Expo on line store and a couple of smaller projects.  I also want to get another section of my book finished. My husband is out in the bush hoping to see an exusive deer.  Now that we have snow, they should be heading this way which is their wintering area.
I didn't get as much sleep as I needed last night because I stayed awake reading a book.  I finished it at 11.30 which is about an hour later than my usual 'turn the lights out' time.  This was a Lawrence Block book that we hadn't read and husband was taking it back to the library today so I decided to see what it was like.  I have been going through a stressful situation for the past few months and find I need to hide in a book a little more frequently than usual.
Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Favourite Kind of Day

There were probably not very many people cheering this morning as they woke to find snow on the ground.  However, I was and so was my husband.  I am not sure about wee Heidi but I think she showed a little extra excitement when she went outside. The chickens are out happily pecking inside their wire run.  We debated letting them out as we weren't sure what was best for them but as they are clad in a thick coat of feathers we finally decided they would be fine.
 It had been looking pretty dreary here in the backwoods.  Fall, although welcome at first,  had, like that last straggling guest, hung around far too long.  The little forest creatures were ready to hibernate and I was ready to start wearing cozy sweaters.This morning the ground is white, the trees are tufted with little cotton balls adding just a touch of whimsy to their gently swaying trunks.
I have chicken soup cooking in the cast iron kettle on the wood stove and pumpernickel bread in the bread machine. While I prefer to make the majority of our bread by hand, I use the machine for specialty loaves.
As promised, I am including a pattern for a foundation pieced block.  I think you should be able to print it off and then enlarge.  If not, it will be in my web in the Freebies section soon. It is an seven inch, finished, block.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scrappy Block Coming Soon

I have just finished doing some house stuff-vacuum, fill the bird feeders, clean and fill the dog's water dishes.  Once I have this finished, I am into the village to deliver some flyers to our business owners/managers.  We are having our first ever Christmas Tree Lighting celebration this year and I am inviting the businesses to take part.  I couldn't believe that this had never been done before.  The community is nearly a hundred and fifty years old!  Perhaps it was done in the early days but not within any ones memory.
Attention scrap quilt lovers and those who can't bear to throw out the smallest bit of fabric!  I am going to post a paper piece block  pattern tomorrow as well as a photo of one I have completed.  This is an excellent way to use up those bits and pieces and give yourself a break from whatever you are working on.  I am also going to post this on the web along with a foundation piecing tutorial but that might not get done until the weekend. 
Also a reminder of the big sale that starts on Nov. 25th.  Lots of bargains.  Lots of choices and two web sites.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Good Cause

It is a glorious day here in the backwoods.  It is only 9 degrees Celsius but the sun is shining as brightly as it would in the middle of summer.  We are about to have lunch and then are off to Huntsville for an appointment and to do some shopping so it will be a nice day for a drive.
This morning, I went over to the church to help pack boxes that are sent to children in less fortunate areas of the world.  Operation Shoebox (hope I have remembered the name correctly) is a yearly event and is contributed to by hundreds of individuals and groups across Canada and, probably, other countries.  It is nice to think of the difference this little shoe box sized gift will make to so many children.  There are practical gifts such as soap and toothbrushes and plenty of fun items like yo yo's, crayons, little stuffed toys and cars. 
The majority of these things are bought at discount stores so don't represent a lot of money but, if this is the only gift you receive in a year,  it is worth hundreds.
There has been a lot of news coverage of the occupation by hundreds of people in various parks and vacant lots in North America.  These citizens are concerned about the disparity between the poor and wealthy.  I admire them for there willingness to draw attention to this eternal situation but hope that they also do something practical like donate to agencies who are daily involved in helping others.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

My husband and I were at the local Remembrance Day service this morning.  There were a lot of people from babies in carriages to the elderly who were in attendance.  The village event is really well organized.  I have been to some in larger communities which seemed to have been put together at the last minute.
We had a skiff of snow last night and it has stayed on the ground.  The sky is still overcast so we may get more although the weather report predicts warming temperatures.  My car has gone in to get the winter tires installed so I am prepared no matter what happens.
I got a sudden inspiration yesterday and designed a new pattern.  I really like it and am now making it up and working out the steps.  It goes together quickly so hope to have it on my web before the end of this month.
Did you see the moon last night?  It was shining through the top of the trees in the early evening and looked as though it had got tangled in the branches.  It was huge.  I wanted to take a photo but it was too far back for it to turn out properly.  The leaves are all off the trees now and everything looks pretty grey so the birch and evergreens really stand out.  Each season seems to feature something different as do the between season times.  I am anxiously awaiting the most spectacular season: winter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Making Progress

I have another quilt almost finished.  Just a few more inches of the binding to do.  Another one is on the frame but I have a crack in one of the runners on which the carriage sits so I have to wait for a replacement before continuing.  I can still use the machine but it is very difficult getting my curves, curved.
We had a noisy windstorm last night.  It woke me up just after midnight and, at first, I thought I was hearing a train.  I could see the trees swaying in the moonlight.  I got up to see if everything was alright and, oddly, none of the lawn furniture or shrub covers had moved.  I had to put ear plugs in to deaden the noise so I could go back to sleep.
My web genius got the free block and some other patterns on my web site yesterday if you would like to take a look.
I also got the first section of my book done  so it was a productive day.  Each chapter/section is going to have a pattern that relates to the topic.
I am meeting some friends in town today for lunch.  Haven't done that since moving from Edmonton so it will make a nice change.  Husband is going to the family hunt camp with his nephew so, he too, has a planned day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Free Block and a Sale

The pattern to make the block that is in this little virtual quilt will be on my web site shortly.  I am showing it as a quilt because it is hard to see how nice it would look made up if all you can see is the block. I will have a quilt pattern on my site later but this is a freebie for you. 
Later this month, I am going to be telling you about a great sale just in time for Christmas shopping.  It involves two locations and both will include everything in stock.
I learnt something about planting bulbs this morning that was a revelation.  Did you know that you could plant snowdrops over grape hyacinth over daffodils over tulips.  All those bulbs in the same hole at different levels.  In my garden, I get spotting colour happening in different areas.  I am going to dig up all my bulbs and replant-when it stops raining.  I am also going to be buying more bulbs now I will have extra room.  This was a tip from Mark Cullen who is the Ontario guru of gardening. The general idea is the plants that flower the earliest go on the top.  So it will be necessary to do a little preplanning and reading of packaging.
  Now I have to get working on a book I have been mentally planning.  You won't be able to read it unless I get it on paper, will you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chipmunks Away

The little chipmunks have been very active in raiding our bird feeder this week.  We seem to have an abundance of the little creatures this year and we have been entertained by their activities.    They don't seem to have any fear of humans or a dog.  Yesterday, just after I had once more replensihed the feeder, I noticed two chipmunks were stuffing their little cheeks.  My husband had left a long stick near the feeder so I got it and poked at the base.  One chipmunk had already fled but the other was determined to get as many seeds as possible.  I had to give the feeder a good jab before it fell off.  It lay on the ground looking at me as much as to say " What just happened".  I went back in the house and, of course, as soon as the door closed, it was back in the feeder.
They will soon be hibernating so I guess I will just leave the feeder empty until then.  They must have enough seeds to see them through a good long winter by now.
I had a touching reminder yesterday eveing that I live in a small community.  I chair a muncipal committee and we were discussing an event that we are holding and someone mentioned that we should let the funeral home know what we were doing so, if possible, they wouldn't have visitation on that evening.  I thought the concern might be for parking but that wasn't it.  The woman was concerned about family members having their grief interuppted by a group of noisy celebrants.  Isn't that a wonderfully considerate thought and can you imagine that being a concern in a large city.
I have a lot of time to get things done this week as my husband is in hunting mode.  Tomorrow, I hope to have a free block pattern for you,

Friday, November 4, 2011

Feathers and Hens.

I finished the top on this quilt yesterday and am somewhat pleased with the result.  This is my first 'all over' pattern that I have done with the frame.  That means the effect is not repeated rows of quilting.  There are lots of mistakes as I have not yet learnt to control the machine but it is better than my first attempts. The stitch design is double feathers and I will use it again. This quilt pattern will be added to my web site as soon as I have done the binding.  I will also be announcing a big sale just in time for Christmas sewing or gift giving.  The sale will include everything on my web site.
My husband is chopping wood this morning and has also put the heater on in the hen house.  The temperature has dropped below freezing so I am happy to be comfortably coccooned in my studio.  I have a number of projects listed to get done on this 'work' day but I will go for a walk later.  It looks as though the sun may break through the grayness.  Yesterday, husband, Heidi and I tromped through the bush and noted which trees were in danger of falling.  Heidi took the opportunity to fly around the trees scattering leaves in all directions.  Somewhere along the way, she rubbed her head in something offensive and had to have a bath before bed time. Why do dogs do that?
Speaking of the hens; I've mentioned in previous postings that one of the chickens is a real good layer.  Her eggs are huge.  We had eggs for breakfast and those large ones are double yolkers.  
Hope you all have a good weekend. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


What do you do to relax?  I would guess that most of you, like me, find quilting is a peaceful occupation.  I also enjoy baking but if I am really stressed, I read a book.
When I worked (as in 'got paid') I used to say to my husband that I would like to go to a motel for a couple of days and just read.  Would be even better if I could get room service. 
The one problem besides funds was that I read so fast that I would have had to lug at least ten books with me.  When we first moved here and were living in the camper with nothing to do, I was reading a minimum of four library books a day!  You can go through a small libraries collection in a very short time doing that.
The other problem I have with reading is that once I start a book I don't want to put it down until I have finished.  Therefore, I don't read before or in bed or anytime I don't have a couple hours of free time.
I have a number of favourite authors and usually read all their work.  We have a great library in the village and the staff let me know if something has arrived that they think I will enjoy.
My husband will be busy hunting for the next while.  I think I might see if there is something on the shelves I haven't yet read.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Scrappy Projects

These are the little Christmas decorations that I made from scraps.  They measure approximately 2 1/2" square except for the bottom one which is about  3 1/2 X 4".
They are very simple to do and I have a couple-not completed that are checkerboard.  When working with something this small, it is easier to have a base fabric and add your material like you would in paper piecing.  In fact, you could draw a simple design on your foundation fabric and then sew your fabric onto the lines.
We are going to have a warm day today-plus fourteen so I want to get the leaves raked onto the flower and vegetable gardens but first I am off to Huntsville to do the shopping that I didn't finish on my last trip.
Got my Christmas quilt top half done yesterday.  Nice to be making some progress on the pile of tops that have accumulated.
If you try some of these decorations, send me a photo and I will share it with everyone.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Blahs

Yesterday, I had the quilting blahs. I couldn't get enthused about any particular project or even put the material together to start one.  I ended up making little Christmas ornaments.  I have a lot of 3 1/2" muslin squares and bags of scraps so I sewed strips and little squares and other arrangements onto the muslin and came up with almost a dozen ornaments.  I will now sew on a back, stuff, and add a hanger.  These are nice to put on a parcel, stick into a stocking or even give as hostess gifts. So, sometimes even the blahs can result in a useful project.
I have been very concerned about a family member for some time so I haven't been able to work up much enthusiasm for anything or at least not for an extended period of time.  There isn't anything I can do about the situation except trust but that doesn't stop the worry or occasional meltdown.
I am not sure of what the outcome of it all will be but, as with everything else, I try to take each day as it comes, be thankful for the blessings I have and pray.
Yesterday after quilt group, I put a top in the frame and today I will start quilting it.  I had to catch up on housework and need to go into the village for a few errands but should be able to get a bit of it done today.  Doing something relatively mindless is often what the brain needs.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Special For You

The pattern I created for you, the readers of this blog, has been posted to my web.  Go to: , click on Patterns For Sale on the list on left side, then Rotary Cut and look for Scrappers Scrappy.  This pattern is available to you at a special price.  When you click on 'Buy Now, you will be taken to Sisters Quilting Expo's on line store.  You get a discount of 10% by entering coupon code ACC10 in the space provided. If you have any problems let me know.
I hope you enjoy the pattern.  It looks complicated but it isn't.
We are having some sunshine today; the first in a few days.  I am going to be making some cranberry chutney today and then will get out and take the dog for a walk.
Hope you all have a great weekend.  If you are out driving Monday evening, remember that there may be little ones running around in costumes.  They might not be watching out for traffic in their excitement about getting candy so please watch for them

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Done-Sort Of

Just got back from shopping.  We had a number of things to do beside getting groceries so by the time I was ready to do that, I was too tired.  There was only a couple of things we needed to get right away so I decided to get them at Walmart and do the rest another time.
Half way home, I realized I hadn't got the one thing we really needed: margarine.  Oh, well, I am in the village tomorrow to get a hair cut.  I will get it there.
It is hard when you have to go to another community to do the majority of your shopping.  It means that you really ned to spend the whole day going from one store to another and I'm not used to it.  And, if you purchase a item that doesn't fit or work, you have to drive all the way back again.  This is the one thing that I find difficult about rural living.  Of course, if all I had to do was cross the road for everything I needed, as was the case in Edmonton, we would have all the other urban related problems.
I should really do the grocery shopping first while I have the energy.  Perhaps I will try that next time.  If I remember.
Don't forget the special I have coming up for readers of this blog.  I should have the coupon code for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Special for You

I have just sent off two new patterns to be included on my web site.  One is of the photo I posted yesterday and the other will include a special offer for readers of this blog.
I wanted to do something to thank you for your support and, as I had just finished one of those sudden inspiration pattern ideas, I though that a special discount might be a good idea.
I will give you the code to enter and you will get 10% off the already low pattern cost.  You will be able to see the pattern on my web later this week.  I will let you know when it is posted.
All my patterns are instant downloads and they are sold at:
My web site is:  Those of you who have been readers for a while will already know about these sites but I have had a number of new followers join so this is for their benefit as well as a gentle reminder for everyone else.
This is our second day without rain although it is still rather dreary.  The chipmunks are busily dashing around gathering whatever they gather for winter.  We have also had a number of bluejays adding a bright spot of blue to the surroundings.
Where is my breakfast?
This fellow stood still long enough to get his picture taken but I am going to have to buy some more sunflower seeds when I shop tomorrow if I want to hold his interest.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heidi Approved Quilt

Heidi Testing my Quilt
Just finished writing up the pattern for this quilt last night and should have it onto my web by the begining of next week.  I have a couple of others to do before sending the patterns to my web genius.  As you can see, Heidi is giving it her comfort test.  I believe it passed as she was reluctant to get down-or perhaps she just thought she looked good against the bright colours!
I have a large pot of apples on the wood stove cooking and when they are done, I will puree and have them ready for apple butter.
My husband is outside winterizing his truck and then has to replace a plank in the bridge that crosses the pond.  We went there for a walk on Sunday and noticed that it had broke.
Last year, we had a deer break a leg when it slipped through a crack between the planks and we don't want that to happen again.  It probably would have survived as there are a number of neighbours who put out feed but one provided too much corn.  Deer cannot digest corn very well and, as that was all this buck was getting, it died painfully. 
I finished a top at quilt group yesterday and it has been added to the pile that needs quilting.  Today, I am getting at the frame machine to start reducing the pile.  It looks as though it may be a rainless day so I will go for a walk later but I do have to get these quilts finished. Even retired people have schedules!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kitty in the Corner

Kitty in the Corner block
I have been working on a couple of quilts to add to my web site.  This is a block is from one, the other is a freebie pattern and makes a cushion cover or could be a quilt block.  I have the blahs this morning so I am sure a bit of creating will help.
We had a flock of blue jays near the house this morning.  Their bright blue added a nice touch of colour to an otherwise gray day.
Yesterday, there was one at the feeder making a lot of noise.  I am sure it was telling me it was time to get the seeds in there.  We don't put any out in the summer as there is lots of natural food for the birds.
We will have to do a bit of work on the main feeder as the deer did some damage to it last year.  It is a bit of a problem trying to get feeders high enough that the deer can't reach and still accessable to fill.  I think my husband is going to rig up some sort of pulley system.
It is time again for the craft fairs.  I am trying to decide if I am going to put a table in ours.  I usually make things that are not only saleable but good for gifts if they don't sell. I haven't come up with anything ear shaking this year.  Decisions, decisions.
Have a great weekend no matter what the weather or activity.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What a Hoot

My niece in a costume made by her grandmother.
Isn't this a wonderful costume.  My youngest sister made it without a pattern for her beautiful granddaughter. 
Both my sisters are wonderfully creative.
We had quite the rain storm last night.  At one point it sounded just as though I were at sea with waves pounding against the sides of the ship. I thought we might lose our hydro but it just flickered once.  My husband will do a property check later to see if any trees have come down.
This is my 'work' day and I am writing the instructions for some quilt patterns.  I did some sorting yesterday and filled two garbage bags of fabric and clothing to be given away.  I also put all my scraps in one container and will have to decide what to do with them.  No matter how many scrap quilts I make, those scraps don't get any less.  Maybe I will do a 'you pay the postage, you get them' day.  Problem is, I am sure that in a very short time I would have another accumulation.  I guess it is just another of those difficulties associated with being a quilter!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Harvest Time

I am making bread today and my husband is cutting up a bushel of apples.  The majority will go into the freezer for crisps and pies.  I will turn some of the smaller ones into apple butter.  I have put together my list of jams and butters that I want to make and yesterday I added cranberry chutney to it. Mom-in-law gave us a jar when she was here and it is great stuff.  She also gave us a honking great big bag of cranberries.
There is something satisfying about filling the shelves and freezer with produce.  I know that women in most countries of the world do it but I tend to think canning is a typically Canadian practice because of our harsh winters.  I remember my mother doing jars  of tomatoes.  We always seemed to have an abundance of them in our garden-tomatoes not jars.   I am sure she canned other things but it is the tomatoes I remember. 
I don't bother as you can buy them pretty cheaply.  I will freeze some which is an easier process if I have extra.
I am going to puree our pumpkin and freeze that so I can use it in soup.  I made a pumpkin curry soup last year and Roger has been raving about it ever since.  Perhaps I will just make a huge pot and then freeze it.  Freezers are another of those inventions which make our life easier.
We had an icebox when I was a child and milk etc. was kept cool with great blocks of ice.  I have no idea where the ice came from as we lived miles from anyone.  There was a lake at the end of our road so perhaps there were cottages that made the trip worthwhile for an iceman.
Better get out and help my husband or at least make some hints about apple crisp to keep him going.  He loves it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Well, that was a toughie.  I had some fantastic names suggested for the quilt and just couldn't decide.  I enlisted the help of another designer and she chose 'Duchess of Cambridge' as the winning entry.  Marilynne has been sent the pattern.
I will be doing more contests and think I will have more prizes as I get such good quality entries.
We have had a break in the rain so my husband and I were able to get out and do some yard work.  I have rounded up all the garden gnomes so they can be placed in their snug winter home.  The hummingbird feeders have been emptied and solar lights brought up from the driveway.  We are going to put them on longer poles so they will be visible above the snow.
Our hydro was out Saturday evening and through the night.  We were going to have a pot luck at church but when we got up Sunday there still wasn't any power and that included the church building.  Lights and heat weren't a problem but the lack of toilet facilities would have been so church was cancelled.  We, therefore, took mom-in-law back home earlier that planned.  The wind was still quite heavy and it made driving a challenge but we got there and back safely.
Although the sun is shining today, the sky looks as though we may have snow so I am glad we got the work done outside.

Friday, October 14, 2011

All Over the World

Blogger has a device that shows how many people are following your blog, what countries they live in and how often it is read.  I like to check it out once in a while for a little ego boost.  I have readers in most countries of the world and they seem to be pretty regular. 
If you are one of them, thank you for stopping by.  There are hundreds of blogs on the Internet as well as a myriad of other attractions.  To be able to capture the interest of as many people as I do is heart warming.  I would love to hear from you.  Drop me a comment telling me where you live and what you like about my blog.  It will help me make sure that I am staying on track.
Tomorrow is the last day to enter my Name the Quilt contest.  It is easy to enter, no cost involved and, if you are the winner, you will get your prize sent on line to download at your convenience.  There is a surprise prize that will be revealed later.
To enter, go to my web site: and click on contests.  All the details are given on that page.
We are having another rainy day.  I like a good bit of rain in the fall as I think it gives the plants a good start come spring.  My theory anyway.  I hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just Another Day

Our trees are almost bare.  The rain and wind have moved the leaves from the canopy above to the ground.  Heidi loves playing in them and every foot step is accompanied by a rustle.  I can see a lot further through the bush.  It is so nice to have a view that extends a couple hundred feet or more when, previously, it was to my next door neighbours wall in two directions, a fence in another and a highway and strip mall in the front.
My husband always tries to keep the van parked away from my window so I can see back to the pond. When the leaves are gone, I see past the water to the back of the property.  It is predominately evergreens so that is our horizon.
I am off to Huntsville today for a couple of medical tests and shopping. I am going to take my hand applique to work on while waiting.  I almost have the one block finished.  I need to buy some darker green thread so can pick that up today as well. Yesterday, I worked on the slash and sew pattern I mentioned.  It didn't work out so I guess I can mark that idea down as a failure.  Had another thought this morning so will try that one when I get home.
Our chickens have been a bit fitful in their laying the past couple of days so we will have to do some research to find out what needs to be changed. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nose to the Grindstone.

This is my designated work day and I have been thinking about what projects I need to get done.  I had a pattern that  needed to get written up and sent to my sister who is going to test it for me.  That is done.  I also need to get a couple of small projects designed and on my web page.  Last night, I was thinking about an idea for one of those patterns that I call slash and sew and think I have come up with something that will work.  So, that is going to be my main focus.  I need to do a trial pattern and see how it works.
I also need to hunt up a quilt with a lot of stitches to be unpicked as my Mom-in-law likes doing that.  Shouldn't be too hard to find.  When I was going through my learning process on the frame, I did a number of tops that turned out terribly.  I think, however, I will get her to undo a quilt that I have hand quilted.  I don't really like the pattern and I think I will just do it on the machine.
Do you do this-start something, decide you don't like it and undo all your work?  I tend to do it most often when knitting or crocheting but it sometimes happens with quilting as well.
We are having a bonus day today.  It was supposed to rain but it looks as though it may turn out nice.  We really need a lot of rain to make up for the dryish summer.  Our pond is down about half.  My husband says we now have a beach.
Guess I had better get organized so I can start that pattern.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Lovely Day in the Backwoods

We have had marvellous weather this weekend.  We sat outside on Saturday after our meal and Sunday afternoon I went down to the pond with the dog and my applique.  I sat and sewed for quite a while before the sun shifted and it got to hot.  The leaves where coming down all around me and it is amazing how noisy they can be when there isn't another sound.  I am looking forward to Roger getting a gazebo built there.  I can see that it will be one of my favourite places.
We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday to make it easier for my brother and wife to get here.  When you live in a tourism area you have to think about traffic backups on holiday weekends.  We had a nice visit and went for a walk afterwards.  We almost had hamburger for dinner though.  I had planned on putting the turkey in the oven before 10 and I was working away on my computer when I suddenly realized it was nearly 11 and the turkey was still in the fridge.  I had a panicky few moments chasing the dog out of the way while I got the bird into the pan and in the oven.  Fortunately, it was a small turnkey and it was done by 2.  I guess it was a good thing I hadn't started earlier as it would have been overdone.
On Friday, I mentioned that my web contest was finished that Sat.  Of course, I was a week early.  If you would like to enter you have until this Saturday.  I hope my brain doesn't get any worse than this or I am really going to have to leave notes everywhere for everything.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Like most women in North America this weekend, I am getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast.  I have quite a bit of baking to do-bread, pies etc and, of course, housework.  I also have the church to decorate which my husband and I will do this afternoon.
My back is pain free again so I am able to zip around at my usual pace for which I am thankful.  Took the dog for a nice long walk yesterday in the lovely fall weather for which I am also thankful.
My husbands gone into Huntsville to pick up the part needed to fix his quad so he can get that running again.  He will be thankful for that.  He has logs to haul so he can get them cut and added to the wood pile.
yesterday afternoon, we sat on the bench we have on a little hill and relaxed for a bit while the dog romped through the leaves.  We were near the chicken coop and we could hear them murmuring to themselves as they scratched in the dirt.  A lot of leaves are down so we were able to see a long way through the bush and I remarked to my husband (for the zillionth time) about how lovely it was.  We are truly blessed and I am daily thankful.
I hope you all have a marvellous and safe weekend.  If you are in the mood to do a little on line shopping, Sisters Quilting Expo is having a 25% off sale on all their products (  You only have a couple more days to enter my Name the quilt contest.  It is open to everyone and there is nothing to buy or send.  (

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little Red Hen

Our Little Red Hen

Heidi and the Little Red Hen

I am beginning to believe that not only am I not cut out to be a farmer but I also wouldn't make a good farmers wife.
I was listening to one of the hens lay an egg and it sounded so painful that I wasn't surprised that two of the hens weren't laying yet.  If I worked in a delivery room of a hospital, I doubt if I would have any children.
At least our hens have a good life.  Roger makes a good farmer and Heidi, as you can see, is doing her part.
We are going in to vote today and then have a few grocery items to pick up for Thanksgiving dinner.  the weather is really nice here so we should get a good electoral turnout.  Probably won't but I keep hoping that people will take their rights seriously.  People in other countries will walk for miles, face persecution and even death to mark their ballot.  In countries were voting is both free and easy, most of those eligable don't bother.  It really irks me.
I hung out some laundry this morning.  I think it will be one of the last times for this year as there was definate frost on the ground this morning.  Still haven't got those shutters painted.  Oh, well, I can try again next year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pillows for Cancer

I made this little pillow and bag from a pattern that is in the Fall issue of Quilter's connection. It is for breast cancer patients.  they are given out at hospitals and are often used right away to keep the seat best from pressing against the incision.     the bags are quite easy to make and a good use of all those themed fabric left overs.  I tend to buy them because I like the fabric and then, of course, I don't know what to do with them (sound familiar). the straps ends on the bag aren't joined so the recipient can knot them at what ever length is suitable.
this is probably a public domain pattern so you could probably get it on the Internet.  However, I think this month's issue of the magazine is their best yet so you just might want to pick it up if you don't have a subscription.
Our hydro was out briefly this morning (I think a road worker must have dug before looking) so I took the opportunity to do a few odd cutting and sorting jobs.  I am working on a quilt that uses theme fabric (another use for them) so I finished cutting the half squares and put everything in a bag ready for use. 
I have a job making 18 neck scarves for a local Scout group and then a couple more columns to finish for the on line magazine.  Once they are done, I can get back to my own projects.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Tuesday

We are in another month and another season.  Although our leaves have already left their perch on the maple branches and formed a multicoloured carpet on the forest floor, autumn officially started just over a week ago.  Somehow, I think those of us in the north may be ahead of the rest of the country.
My Mom in law, nephew and family are coming this way to see the fall splendor next week.   The Muskoka area to the south of us is still displaying lots of colur so they should enjoy the trip.  Mom will then be staying with us for a few days before the winter sets in.
Thank you to all those who wrote expressing concern about my back.  It is pretty much back to normal.  I am making sure I don't lift anything too heavy or do anything else silly for a bit longer.
Just a reminder that the Name the Pattern contest closes on Saturday.  There may be a little surprise for everyone who enters so don't get left out. Go to my web site: for details on entering.  Click on My Contests.
I am finishing up a couple of projects that have deadlines and then I hope to have a free pattern to share.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's Snowing

Roger's Shed
I don't usually do a post on Saturday but I missed yesterday because I was in bed all day. I had dreadful back spasms and couldn't move without a lot of pain.  It is somewhat better today so now I need to keep moving.
We woke this morning to a very light, barely visible snowfall-a reminder of things to come.  In my case, as I love the winter, a promise.
This photo, taken and uploaded as a test of my new Internet connection, is Roger's marvellous shed.  The new server seems to be working fine so I hope to have less connection problems.  We really liked the other but have been having problems the last while.
Hope you are enjoying this first week of a new month,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shopping Day

Dear husband and I went to Huntsville today to do a bit of shopping.  The main purpose of the trip was to pick up a part he needed for his quad and the modem for our new Internet server.  We have been quite happy with our current provider but recently we have been having problems with low speed, flickering of the connection or none at all.  The company we have switched to is cheaper and, hopefully, faster and trouble free.
It should have been a fairly easy trip but because I hurt my back a couple of days ago, it was a painful one.  Walking around wasn't too bad but getting in and out of the car was excruciating.  Riding wasn't too much better.  We have a standard and Roger was trying to be very careful but there is always bumps and jerks as well as the road surface to deal with. 
I get this periodically and it is just something to put up with until it settles down again.  Sure makes a person appreciate good health when everything is back to normal.  I am generally an unsympathetic person with anyone who has aches and pains.  Not nice of me but I am being honest.  I have a feeling that as I get older and suffer through a few of my own that I will have a change of attitude.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Heirloom.

Carol's Quilt
It is a rainy day here in the backwoods.  The ground is becoming strewn with a carpet of multi hued leaves.  Soon it will be replaced by snow which is just  as lovely.
This marvellous quilt was made by my friend, Carol, for her daughter.  It measure 6 feet by 8 feet and was machine pieced and hand quilted.
Didn't she do a lovely job?  I am sure it will be an heirloom to be handed down in the family for many generations to come.
My younger sister and I were exchanging e mails yesterday and I had told her about our egg bounty so she started punning me with egg related words.  Just a few silly moments but fun.  I was hoping to go and see my other sister today before she returns to England but I have been feeling a bit ill and didn't want to give her whatever I have.  Flying is bad enough.  Flying with a head cold is torture and can be dangerous for your ear drums.  So, I am disappointed but just didn't want to take any chances.
I am fortunate to be able to see my two dear sisters fairly often and one brother lives about an hours drive away.  The youngest brother and I keep in touch through e mail but I downloaded Skype yesterday so hope now to be able to talk to him via that.  A much cheaper alternative to the phone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Chickens

Autumn Glory
My husband picked up five laying chickens on the weekend and got them installed in their new home.  We didn't expect any eggs for at least a week but, lo, and behold, we got three yesterday.  Two were white and the third brown and all a good size.  I was at quilt group and Roger called to let me know.  I hope he was at least that excited over the birth of his sons.
Our trees seemed to have reached the peak of their colour.  There are still a lot of green leaves but the ones that have changed are fading and falling.  I think they are early this year but others said there are on schedule.
I saw a wonderful thing on television this morning which, once again, emphasised the great country in which I live.  You are probably aware of the protest against the oil pipeline going from Canada to Mexico.  There was a demonstration in Ottawa and the news clip I saw was of a police officer, politely and calming advising protesters that if they came over the fencing they would be breaking the law.  The protesters just as politely and calmly,  thanked the officer who then stepped back as the man climbed over the fence.  The other clip was a row of arrested protesters sitting on the ground with their hands secured behind them and a police officer walking along asking if they were okay.  Marvellous.  No guns, no dogs, no yelling or throwing of things just a peaceful demonstration of rights.
As for the issue, my personal belief is that as Texas needs oil, it would be to our advantage to provide it.  Accept the fact and make sure it is a safe as anything can be.  The oil from the sands in Alberta is cleaner (in many senses of the word) than that coming from Arabia. I have been to area of number of times and have always been impressed by all the green vegitation that surrounds the site and the area.
The same news cast also explained why we don't refine our own oil and the answer is economics.  It is very costly to build the refineries and the companies don't see it as beneficial to their bottom line.  Right or wrong this is a fact.Sometimes you just have to accept things are what they are and do everything you can to make it positive.
Having said all that, I still think that demonstration was a wonderful thing.  I doubt the clips I saw will get world wide attention, but they should.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Our Heidi
Today is the first day of autumn.  It is a bit dreary outside; rather grey and raining but the trees still make a bright contrast.  Yesterday was so lovely that, between baking and cleaning, Heidi and I went for a walk and played chase the ball.  In this photo, she has captured it and is deciding if she is going to bring it to me again.
She looks so nice and white against the green grass although, in truth, she needs a bath.  I also need to give her a trim before the snow falls because it sticks to her hair in great heavy clumps.
This is my 'in the office day' so I plan on working on getting a few more articles finished for the on line quilt magazine.  Before I can do that, however, I have to go to the village because our grocery store has butterball turkeys on for a good price.  We are hoping to have my brother and his wife here for Thanksgiving so I have better serve turkey.
When we were driving to his place this week, we had a flock of geese fly down fairly close to the road, just over a transport truck.  They stayed above it for a while and it seemed as though they had decided to follow it south.  A funny sight.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you take time to get out and enjoy the colours.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harvest Beauty

Harvest Beauty
We have gathered together most of our crops and will be bringing them indoors for winter consumption.  I will start canning in October as I am still too busy to do much now although I am turning some grapes into juice while I wait for the bread to rise.
Some one asked me the other day how I am able to get so much done and I think it is because I do a number of things at the same time; for example make bread, simmer grapes for juice and write my blog.  I am often folding clothes or doing a similiar task while waiting for supper to cook.
I think women are blessed with this ability to multitask because we never would have the time to do everything if we just focused on one job at a time.
I have updated my web site (well, my webmaster has) and I now have some quilts listed for sale.  I would also like to remind you of the Name the Quilt contest that is underway.  There is nothing to mail or buy so it is easy to enter.  Simply come up with a good name and send it to my address.
I am almost ready to start my hand applique Baltimore album quilt.  I've ordered some nice white fabric from Sisters Quilting Expo and once it gets here I am ready to start.  This is a backing fabric so I didn't need to buy as much and the quality is great (I got a sample).  I am just finishing the border on a child's quilt and then I am ready to go.
Looks like it is going to be a great day for getting outside although rain is predicted.  It that holds off I will take Heidi for a walk after lunch.