Friday, April 27, 2012

Pig Breaks

I have been sitting at my computer for the past half hour trying to write a magazine article.  I have the idea and the words are coming easily but I am not making much progress.  Why?  Because Heidi keeps dropping her rubber pig at my feet to throw. I could ignore her but, if you are a dog lover, you know how hard it is to not give in to a pair of pleading puppy eyes.
I have tried to distract her with a dog biscuit but that only worked for a few seconds. I guess I am going to have to wait until my husband gets back from the village where he has gone to pick up the mail and a few things.  When he returns, he can play 'throw the pig' for a bit.
I previously mentioned about my problem with not being able to finish my quilt top because the rolled part on the frame was taking up so much room that I couldn't do the pattern.  Dianne wrote and gave me some advice and now, I am happy to say, I have gained enough room to continue.  I am still going to try using the bicycle clips when I get them though.  If they don't help my quilting, I may get up the courage to actually get on the bicycle my husband bought me and use them for their original purpose.
And now it looks as though Heidi may have had enough chasing for a moment so I can get back to my writing.
Have a great weekend. 
Blessings from the Backwoods Quilter.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Puppy Pig Fetish?

Play With Me
Before I went away to the quilt retreat, I bought Heidi a rubber pig.  I thought it was so funny because, when you squeeze it, it oinks.  Now, I am not sure that the purchase was a good idea.  Heidi carries it everywhere and even sleeps with it.  We were thinking that she thought it was a puppy but momma dogs don't usually chew on their offspring or want you to throw them.  Perhaps she has a pig fetish!
It is a bit dreary outside today so I have been baking.  I've made bread and some cookies which makes the house smell nice.  Not sure what I am going to do for supper but probably something that needs cooking in the oven.  The weather will soon heat up and cooking won't be fun so it is nice to do it now.
I have had to quit working on the quilt that is on the frame as the roll is getting so big that I can't do the pattern.  I have ordered some bicycle pant clips as I think I can slip them over the roll to compress it a bit. (I had fun explaining to the teenager in the hardware store what they were.) In the meantime, I am finishing up another top and have another two quilts in the preliminary design stage.
Welcome to the most recent people who have become followers of this blog.  You might want to check back posts for the free patterns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Retreat Photos

An Applique Lesson

These are the final photos I will share from the retreat. The first picture shows the ladies getting a lesson in the backbasting method of applique from our group expert.  This was something I was particularly interested in and, although I usually learn by reading, it really does help seeing something 'alive' especially when you can ask questions. 
The second photo is a couple of pincushions I received.  I collect unusually shaped pincushions and was thrilled to have these to add to my collection.  The flower shaped one was in our goody bag along with a number of other things.  The fabulous batik chicken was given to me by one of the participants.  I had brought a machine for her to use as she was arriving by plane and this was her thank you gift. 
The chicken looks like it is smirking.  It will have a prominent place on my shelf. Quilter's are the nicest people, aren't they?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Retreat Plus Two

A Proud Quilter
The lady who is second from the right was one of our servers in the hotel restaurant and a real delight.  We found out she was a quilter and asked to see what she had done.  She brought this quilt to show.  We were all impressed with her skill. 
It is especially encouraging to us 'oldsters' to see that the next generation is producing so many enthusiastic and skilled fabric artists.
I didn't get a lot done at quilt group yesterday as I was still on a high from the retreat but I think I am starting to get back to routine-note that I didn't say 'normal'.  I still have laundry to put away but I did get another row done on the quilt that is in the frame.  I have about another 4 to go and I will be able to start the binding.  I am anxious to get it done as it is another version of my Scrapper's Scrappy pattern that is selling so well.
We woke up to a forest of snow this morning.  The trees looked like ghosts.  I am glad I hadn't removed my snow tires.  We are going to Huntsville later today as one of the stores has flour on sale and my husband needs to buy some things.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Home From Retreat

This is a quick post to do a bit of catch up.  I wasn't able to use my lap top while away as it was working so slowly.  We had a wonderful retreat.  It is nice to meet people that you know only through e mail and to see again those that you know in person.
The weather was great as were the accommodations.  The event was well organized and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I will have more details and photos to share with you later.
My husband and I just got back from a short walk around the property and he is now cooking supper-wonderful man.  Our little dog was beyond excited to see me home and has been dogging (pardon the pun) my steps since I walking in the door.
Hope you also had a a good weekend. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I am just about all packed and ready to leave tomorrow for the quilting retreat.  It has been a bit of a chore deciding what to take because I don't know how much I will get done.  I do have a hand applique project so that will fill in time if needed.
My problem is that now I am ready, I don't have anything to do or at least nothing I want to do.  I will pack the car in a bit so I will be ready for the morning.
The  weather today is nice but it is supposed to be rainy for the weekend but that will just give us all an excuse to stay in and sew.
I am taking my lap top so will b e posting, although probably, like today, it will be short.  My little dog is moping around so she knows something is going  on that doesn't involve her.  I think I will take her for a walk and then set out the garden gnomes.  We have quite a collection so that will take a while.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunshine on the Wing.

Winged Sunshine
Did you get the windstorm in your area last night?  We had gusts of nearly 100 km until about 6 a.m. this morning.  I had to put ear plugs in so I could sleep.  We were sure that we would have trees down, hydro out and everything not tied down moved to our neighbours.  In fact, little happened.  Lawn chairs were toppled and my clothes pegs were strewn around but most things stayed in place. When we went out later in the day, we could see evidence of trees that had come down on the road and lots of debris had been shifted from one place to another but that was about it.
I hadn't intended on going to Huntsville today but yesterday at quilt group we got the bad news that our local quilt store was closing.  She was having a 50 percent off sale so I bought a few items.  Our nearest quilt store will now be nearly an hour away!
We are getting a lot of finches in our niger feeder and they are starting to get used to seeing me moving around in the quilt room.  I was able to get a few photos yesterday and this morning.  Their vivid colour sure brightness up a grey day.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Shopping. Ugh!

We went to North Bay today and got the new foot for my sewing machine.  It isn't the same as the one that broke but will work.  The store owner  thinks he can repair the old one but, if not, I am going to get a replacement.  The original is much sturdier and I have a thing that fits on it so I can do ruler work so I do need that style.  In the meantime, however, I can get back to sewing.
I intended to do some other shopping but I ran out of energy after having lunch.  I really don't like shopping.  I always go with the greatest intentions but, half way through, I've had enough and want to get home. If my husband hadn't been with me, I probably would have skipped lunch and just came home even if it is an hour drive.
 I've always been this way which wasn't a problem when we lived in the city.  What I didn't get one day, could always be got the next.  Here, it isn't that easy.  I don't mind shopping in the village but, even there, I couldn't do it for more than a half hour.
My husband said that I should just buy on line and he is right.
I was supposed to go to see my surgeon today but she still doesn't have my operation results from the pathologist.  I now have an appointment in May. 
Where's Mom?
I was outside taking some photos yesterday and got this one of Heidi looking out the screen door watching me.
Hope you all have a great weekend.  It appears as though we are going to have nice weather so will probably get some more gardening done.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quilt Finished

Lion's in the Square

Detail of Quilt
I finished doing the binding on this quilt last night.  You can't see the photo clearly because the sun is too bright but the detail photo shows the colour more accurately.  I will have to take another photo later in the day when the sun is at a different angle.
I have had good news about the foot for my machine.  I can get it in North Bay which is less than an hour's drive.  The other store was closer to three hours and would have involved a sitter for the dog.  This is one of the issues that have to be considered when you live in a rural area.  Not complaint.  Just a fact.
I am working on a quilt top which is another version of my My Way pattern.  I did start it at quilt group but found that I was making too many mistakes so I guess I will keep it for an 'at home' project where I will stay focused on what I am doing.  I don't know what it is like at your group but I think we visit as much as we quilt-maybe more. Now for my first cup of tea of the day and on to the sewing.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I have been making good progress getting my quilt top stitched and thought I would have it done for this weekend.  However, it now may take another week.  Last night the base of the hopper (free motion) foot snapped right off.  It looks as though it had been held in place by a spot weld so that must have weakened from use.
It is an odd thing to have happened especially from this machine which is classed as an industrial.  Juki's are really hard working, tough machines so this may be a flaw with this particular foot.
It shouldn't be hard to replace it but am going to have to wait for it.  A repair shop in North Bay may have one and I can drive up to get it.  Otherwise, I am going to have to wait until one is sent from Montreal.  In the meantime, I will work on another top that I have started.
My husband bought a new chainsaw yesterday and he is out happily cutting up wood.    The man should be wore down to a frazzle as he is always working on something!  I will have to take a photo of the lady gnome he made to show you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Many Grams?!!!

Yesterday, during lunch at quilt group, one lady gave us some facts about sugar consumption.  She was saying that our daily intake shouldn't exceed 4 teaspoons which seemed like a pretty easy restriction.  She then added that you could figure out how many teaspoons you were consuming by taking the number of grams and dividing by 4.  Therefore 32 grams would be 8 teaspoons. 
This morning I started reading packages.  One-tenth of a lemon pie is 32 grams-1/10th!  Yuck.
I was going to have some of that pie for supper but now I think I may leave the crust and meringue and just have a bit of the lemon filling.
I thought I might have remembered the information incorrectly so I did a basic conversion using a table from a cook book and one of my measuring cups.  There are 30 grams in an ounce. 1 oz = 2 tbsp or 8 tsps.  This is just a rough conversion and those of you who are mathematical may be able to do a better job.
I don't think I am going to be able to keep to just four teaspoons of sugar daily but if I can cut back to that amount of added sweetness it will be a good start.
I have probably ruined your meals for the day or sent you screaming for a deep friend chocolate bar.  I am going to try not to restrict myself to chewing on celery sticks and be sensible.  I am going to try and get more exercise by doing more quilting today.  We are getting a bit of drizzle so I won't have any choice but to stay tied to my machine! Have a good day and get away from that chocolate sundae.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Home Sweet Home

An on line friend and I were sharing how we hate to be away from our homes.  We are both going on the same quilt retreat and, while really looking forward to it, hate the thought of being out of our own bed.  She will be further from home than I as she lives in another province.
When my husband and I were first married, I used to look forward to his hunting trips when he would be away for a few days or even a week.  Now, while I like his day trips, I hate it when he is gone overnight.  Even though I enjoy getting to my quilt room for 'me' time, the house seems very empty when my husband is away.
I am not sure if that is an age thing or I am maturing-finally.
Doggie in the Window
I have been having a busy week.  Last night I was at my third meeting and am out again tonight.  I am trying to get a quilt quilted but it doesn't look like it is going to happen this week. It is now almost 2.30 and I will have bread ready for the oven soon and the dog expects her walk at 3-and yes, she can tell time. She loves being outside and one of her favourite places to sit is on my sewing table where she can see what my husband is doing. However, she only wants to sit there  when I am sewing.  As soon as she hears me sit in the chair, in she trots.  If I am in the computer chair, she doesn't bother.  I am always a bit worried about sewing her tail into the fabric but, so far, it hasn't happened.
Tomorrow is Good Friday.  I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend and a blessed Easter celebration.  He is risen.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Favourite Quilt Book

Do you have a favourite quilt book; one to which you return time after time despite a shelf full of other publications?  I have a few favourites but the one which is my ultimate reference is the first quilt book I ever bought.  It is called Successful Quilting by Linda Seward.  It contains information on how to do every type of quiltingas well as photos of hundreds of blocks and instruction on making many of them.  If I have forgotton how to fold the fabric for a Cathedral Window block, this is the book I grab.  If I am looking for a block and not sure even what it is, I take Successful Quilting to bed with me and start flipping pages.
There is a lot of practical, well researched and written information in this book and is one I would recommend to any quilter but especially to those just starting.
I have mentioned the Quilt Pattern Magazine in previous posts.  It is my favourite on line publication.  It is easy to read and has usuable patterns as well as fun articles.  If you would like a sample copy of this publication,go to: http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.comYou might also be interested in reading the editors blog:
I have just finished making five dozen chocolate chip cookies for a meeting I have this evening.  And I see my husband, who has just come home from getting his hair cut, is carrying a bouquet of flowers.  An early birthday or Easter gift!
It is an odd day here.  The sun is shining, the temperature is 7 above and we keep getting snow showers!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poor Me!

I just couldn't seem to get going this morning.  At ten o'clock, I will still sitting in front of the television in my night wear.  I had developed a bad case of the 'poor me's" and was wallowing in my mud puddle.  I finally dragged myself over to the computer and checked my e mail and opened a video sent by a friend.  What a reminder of how blessed I was.  The video featured a man who had been born without limbs and showed his influence on others. One line especially impressed me.  He said that you are not defeated until you quit trying to get up.
It was the reminder I needed.  I'm up, dressed, taken my patient and loving husband a cup of tea and done a bit of housework.  I then intended to write this and get at my quilting but the next e mail I opened was this months issue of the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I had to check out the articles, look at the patterns and see what new product or procedure was being featured.  I have been following the series on big block quilts so will be going back to read that more thoroughly as well as the story about quilting in Wales.  Of course, I also took a quick peek at my own article just for the thrill of seeing my words in print.
It feels quite cool this morning so I have lit the wood stove.  We did have the furnace on but the heat from it never seems to be sufficient.  I guess because it isn't a constant.
I am just about ready to put a new quilt onto my frame so I am off to do that.
Hope you all have a wonderful day and have no mud puddles in your vicinity,