Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Storage Area

Another busy day.  We took our entries for the fair over this morning, did a couple of other odds and ends and then stopped at a garage sale on the way home. 
We got these cabinets for  $50.00.   As soon as we got home and brought everything in, I took the legs off my frame and replaced them with the cabinets.  I am really pleased with the result.  More storage space, my frame is level and steady and everything is about 2 inches higher which is perfect for my height.
I am going to turn the center cabinet around so it faces the other way so I can access the drawers when the quilt I am working on hangs over everything.  It isn't really a problem because they will be holding backing fabric and tops waiting to be quilted so I may decide to leave it as is.
Now I am taking things that were in small totes and putting them in the drawers that held the things that are now in the cabinet.  One of the smaller sections has a lovely area where I can put all my specialty rulers.  They were in a drawer and I could never find anything without first taking everything out.
My studio seems to be in a constant state of change but it all results in improvements.  Thank goodness I have a wonderful, patient husband.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Labour Day Weekend.

Here is a better photo of the quilt top I finished yesterday.  I think it turned out alright although working with so many bias edges was a bit of a challenge.
I have accomplished quite a bit today.  Bread is in the oven.  I debated the wisdom of cooking when it has been so warm but I needed the bread for my fair entry.  As it turns out, it is quite a bit cooler. 
I washed a load of laundry and hung it outside this morning.  It started to spit rain earlier so I brought some back inside but I could have left it out as the weather is still alright.  I don't know why I brought in some and not all.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Now all my scheduled tasks are finished, I want to make a thread catcher to hang beside my machine frame.  It will be handy for all the bits of thread that are trimmed from the quilt while sewing.  It doesn't need to be very big so making it should only take a few minutes.
I had to phone our vet this morning because yesterday we noticed Heidi's rabies tag was missing-we call it her 'bling'.  There is a contact number on it if the unthinkable happens and she goes missing.  I think I am also going to get a name tag made for her with our phone number on it.
Do be careful if you are on the road this weekend.  Remember that if you are travelling at a 100 km. and you are distracted for only a second, your car will travel a long distance with no one in control. 
Try this test when you have a passenger in the car.  When you are at highway speed, have them count one thousand and one and note just how far the vehicle has gone by the time they finish speaking.  Now imagine the distance covered while you look down to send a text, change the radio station etc.
One more safety fact.  It takes  SEVEN seconds to bring your car to a complete stop when you are going 100km. A few seconds are spent recognizing a hazard, another few moving your foot from the gas to brake and the rest in stopping.  You will have travelled the length of a football field in that time. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top Finished

This is the finished top that will be given as a comfort quilt.  The background and border are actually white with a brocade pattern.
It is another hot day.  We got two more mini blinds installed on the studio windows and, with them lowered, it does help keep out the sun.  There are still two more small windows and one large left.  I don't think I am going to bother with the large one as it is on the west side.  There are 6 windows in total including the two in the sitting area.
I was in the village briefly and notice that the tourists are already arriving.  We will be in on Saturday to take in our fall fair entries and then on Monday for the fair.  We go on the last day so we can see everything and then take home our things.  The weather reports show rain for the weekend but we will see what happens when it happens.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quilting Marathon.

I am in quilt frenzy mode.  I have been steadily sewing on the quilt that will be given to a couple who suffered massive damage to their home in a flood.  I want to get the top done and in the mail this week-tomorrow is my target.  I probably would be closer to being finished had I not lost a block.  I made an extra one and then couldn't find it.  I finally gave up and made another. 
I then got two sides of the border sewn on and decided it needed another inner border so removed them.  I think I have finished all the adjustments and should be finished soon.
Do you design a top in stages or do you know what you are doing from the beginning and stick to the plan? I sometimes will start with an idea and then continue without changing it but I , just as often, start with an idea that is something completely different by the time I finish.
This change could occur because of the fabric-not enough, wrong colour, or simply because I come up with something that works and looks better.\
It is another scorcher today.  We were concerned that our tomatoes wouldn't ripen but this weeks heat and sunshine has take away that worry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bears and Fairs

Lots of new stuff happening here in the backwoods.  Yesterday while I was at quilt group, my husband removed a portion of the wall between my studio and the hall in the main part of the house.  This will allow extra light into the hall as well as heat into the studio.  There is cosmetic work to be done to finish it and then I think I will put a study curtain rod over the opening that I can use to hang quilts for photographing. Another big plus for the doorway is quick access to the second toilet.  'Nuff said about that.
I have some minor rearranging to do now that I have the new photography area.  A wall that had previously been reserved for that purpose can be used to hang some gadgets.
It is fall fair time.  Husband and I put together our entry list and he is delivering it to the fair secretary this morning.  I only have five items this year which is down drastically from 2012.  I just didn't have time to put anything together.
We had a black bear at our front door last week.  I didn't see it but was awoken by my husband's hollering.  It was a young bear that, I suspect, was having its first year on its own as this is only the second time we have had one near the house.  I didn't see the other one either.  My husband and dog scared it off.
I told him he needs to let me get a photograph before he protects the homestead!

We had a cracking thunder and rain storm Monday night and a lot of people were without hydro for part of the day.  Ours went off sometime through the night but only briefly.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Message From Heidi



Hi there, my name is Heidi and I want to remind you of the great sale my Mom is having.  It is called the Super Saturday Saleaganza.  Cute name, huh?  I can hardly say it without getting my little pink tongue all twisted.
Mom says that she is so glad to have all of you reading her blog and she wanted to say thanks by offering all her patterns as well as the book she wrote at a special price.  I think the book is about quilting and things but I don't know if she talks about me.  How good can it be if I'm not in it?  Just kidding, Mom. You are the greatest and I'm not just saying that because you give me bacon treats.
Anyway, I was telling you about the sale.  All Mom's stuff is on sale for  25% off.  You can order from Craftsy (click on the link My Patterns for Sale on the right side of this page.) or her web page.  Enter the code SSS0101.
If you have any problems, contact her at:  I would be glad to help but I can only look cute.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fall Fair Time

It is, once again, fall fair time.  I usually enter things in two of them and discovered, to my surprise, that one is this weekend.  The other one is on the labour day weekend and is our local event. 
I won't be entering anything in the first as I don't have time.  I am disappointed because I like to support the fairs and it is fun seeing how you did.  I usually win a number of ribbons along with the prize money.
If I hustle, I will be able to get things together for the local fair.  Fortunately, you can enter the same things for two years so that is what I will be doing.
My husband usually enters his maple syrup and some of his garden produce as well as some wood work.  I guess he is going to have to hustle as well.
I better enter the fair dates on my calendar for next year so I am better prepared.  My sister and I were talking about brain cells dying and being replaced.  I think my replacement ones are lacking in the organizing skills that my old cells had!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quilting Tips

Do you have a favourite quilting tip?  I was browsing the internet recently and came up with a site that passes on hints from around the world.  I checked out the ones on applique and came up with a couple that I like.  When taking your applique with you,  wind your needed thread onto a bobbin and pop it into a prescription bottle.  Poke a hole in the lid, pull the thread through and it is ready for use.
When doing machine applique, use a lightweight thread in your bobbin. This will lessen the bulk, especially if you are using any type of stabilizer.

Here are a couple of others:
If you have a hard time threading a needle from one side, try turning the needle around and thread the other side - every needle has a front and back side -

I have thimbles upon thimbles, none I'm really happy with...but I got some sculpy polymer clay, fashioned over my quilting finger made the dimples with the HEAD of a pin. Deep too because I control the amount of clay over the needle area of the thimble...bake in the and I have a custom made, individually fitted thimble.
I really like that one and think I will try it.  Imagine; a custom made thimble!

Here is the link to the site if you would like to check out some of the other hints.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Magic Binding

I am not sure if we are getting Indian Summer or a return of the one that started a few months ago but it is hot.  There is a nice breeze so that helps keep the house cool.
I was in Huntsville this morning for a dentist appointment and received some bad news.  I am going to need extensive and expensive work. Not sure where the money is going to come for that but it needs to be done.
My husband has just gone to pick up our freezer chickens.  I have moved things around in both the fridge and freezer to make room for them all.  It is nice to have our own home grown poultry.  We know what they have eaten and how they have been treated.
Fall Charms Quilt
While I was in town, I picked up some background fabric for a comfort quilt.  The ladies in one of the on line groups sent the blocks and I am doing the top.  It will then be sent on to another woman who will do the quilting.  The recipient is a couple who lost much of their belongings in one of the many floods that swept through Canada this year.
Sewn Binding

The photos are of a quilt I finished recently and did the binding by machine.   Here is the link, if you would like to give it a try.  It is easy and works.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Super Saturday Saleaganza

We had a busy day yesterday.  Just after eight in the morning, we headed out for a trip south.  We planned on going to Black Creek Pioneer Village, then to see my half sister (odd phrase) who lived in Bradford and finish the day at a nephew's.  Black Creek is quite the place and we spent over three hours there.  We got held up by construction and rush hour traffic when we left and where unable to make our next stop and so went on to our nephew's.  Husband and I had a quick bite and then left so everyone else could go to the children's soccer game.  It was hard saying good bye to my sister.  We had had a good visit and she had made some steps to making their move here a reality.
Our nephew's wife will be driving them to the airport today.  I am sure she will be glad to get home and be able to see the grandchildren but, I also know, her thoughts will be here in our Canadian back woods.
When we drove home last night, we saw a young bear.  It was in a field where we often see deer grazing.  We couldn't see it very clearly as it was two or three hundred feet away but it was a thrill nonetheless.
I mentioned on Wednesday, that I had an announcement.  Here it is:  the Super Saturday Saleaganza starts tomorrow and will continue until the last Saturday of the month-Aug. 31st.
All my patterns, quilts and book will be available at 25% off.  This includes items on Craftsy and my web page. (See links on the right side of this page)
All purchases are payable through PayPal.  You must enter coupon code : SSS0101 to get your discount.  If you have any problems, let me know.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Common Sense?

You have probably read this obituary before but I thought it worth repeating. 
I won't be posting on Thursday as we will be away but be sure to check in on Friday as I have a big announcement to share.

 An Obituary printed in the London Times.....Absolutely Dead Brilliant!

Today  we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense,  who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for  sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long  ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
... He will be  remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons  as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why  the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always  fair;
- And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense  lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't  spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies  (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health  began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned  but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of  a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for  kissing a classmate; teens
suspended from school for  using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired for  reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his  condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents  attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves  had failed to do in disciplining their  unruly

Common Sense lost the will to  live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals  received better treatment than their victims.

Common  Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from  a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you  for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to  live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup  of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap,
and  was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense  was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and  Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter,  Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is  survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I  Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A  Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many  attended his funeral because so few realized he was  gone.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another Day in Paradise.

Sunday evening music in the park.
Another cool day.  We went into the village to get mail and go to the farmer's market.  My sister bought some gifts, her friend bought food and I got a funny sequinned flower to wear on a coat. Now , husband and are back home and our company have gone to Huntsville to do some shopping and business.  I've got some housework to finish up and then I am going to try a new binding method.  I will let you know how it works out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moon Dancing

This lovely photo was taken at one of the nearby lakes.  It is about 10 minutes from us and we went over there one evening when our plans to do something else fell through.  As you can see, the sun was just setting and casting it's last glow across the water.
Saturday, we went for a drive around the Muskoka's and saw a lot more lovely scenery. 
We certainly live in a beautiful part of a beautiful country.
I am normally at quilt group on Monday's but I decided to stay home today and catch up on my housework.  My sister and her friend will be leaving on Thursday so I also want to spend as much time together as we can.  Last night, we all went into the village to listen to a concert in the park.  Just before we left, my husband and I danced to one of the songs and then I got my sister to jive with me.  We were both laughing like silly  and it will be my lasting memory of the visit.  There we were, two grandmothers, past 60 years and dancing under the summer moon.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Waning Summer

We are starting the last week of my sister's visit.  We have been having a lovely time-mostly talking, as sister's do.  I am so looking forward to when they will be living here full time.
I am going to be finishing my quilt top today that is in the frame because I am itching to start another.  The new one is my heart scrappy and it is-or was destined for the guest bed.  It may also be for sale.  Will have to see how it turns out.
This is a big weekend in the village.  There will be a community garage sale, Heritage Days at the museum and the Country Jamboree at the fair grounds.  Anyone who thinks there isn't anything to do in a rural area, is wrong.
I am not sure if we will be doing any of the activities as we are planning to visit our brother as well as take a drive around some of the country side.  There never seems to be enough time to do everything.
There isn't too many weekends left in the summer, is there?  School will soon be starting, our cottagers returning to their year round homes and all will, once more, be quiet.  The main street will  have few vehicles and we will be able to shop on weekends without line ups.
Here in the back woods we are harvesting our veggies and thinking about the fall fair.  I don't think we will have much to enter this year but we'll see.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We saw a monarch butterfly today!  First one this year.  They really have been scarce, haven't they?  We have a friend with a lot of milk weed plants and he has only had two monarch's.  We tried to start some milkweed without success.  Figures.  No-one else can get rid of them and we can't start them.
We had the same story with beavers.  We want beavers for our pond, no-one else wants them within a mile.  We can't get them.  Do they suspect we aren't  native ruralite's?
There was quite a rain fall here earlier in the day and a lot of tornado sightings to the south of us.  The weather has certainly been variable.
The fabric I ordered recently was at the post office when we went to pick up the mail today so now I have more material to fondle.  I am planning on making another of the Dropped Charms quilt patterns that I got on the Missouri Star quilt Co. site.  They are quick and easy to make so make a nice project to do between more complicated patterns.
My sister was able to get some more information to help in her house building today which was good.  Every little bit of information helps.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Simple Block

Back at quilt group today and my sister came with me which made it doubly nice.  I did some sewing on the quilt binding with an attitude.  I still can't get it right and un sewed some of it again.  For some reason it keeps getting lumps.  I suspect it is the border so will take another look at it.  It does seem to be just on the one side-so far anyway.
After I gave up on that, I started to work on an idea I saw on a you tube video.  It was a method of making quick blocks from a tube.  The tube was made by first sewing together 2 strips 2.5 inches wide by width of fabric. Another strip that is the width of the other two joined is placed on top and the 3 are sewn together lengthwise on either side forming a tube.
The next step was where I got stuck because I had to cut out pie shaped sections.  I couldn't remember how to place my ruler to get the shape.  A ten minute block turned into double the time.
When I got home, I took another look at the video-light bulb moment.  I needed a square ruler! Place the diagonal line that bisects the ruler on one seam line, cut either side for the first block and then on the one for remaining ones.  Open up and press.  You have a block with 2 stripes on one half and plain on other.  Voila.  Simple. A ten minute block.
If you would like to see the video, it is another of those on the Missouri Star quilts site.
Here is the link.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Famiy Tree

My sister and friend have gone exploring today.  She wants to look at some of the old graveyards where our ancestors are buried.  Laura is our family historian and has done a lot of work tracing the family tree of both parents.  Our father's was a bit challenging because our maiden name is not uncommon and can be spelt in so many ways.  Add that to the tendency to spelling errors-Burk becoming Buck, amongst early recorders and it is easy to get sent along the wrong trail.
She has now gone back many generations through to the 1600's and earlier.  We have gone from Ontario  to New Brunswick, back to the United States to the Mayflower (where a grandfather pilgrim married a woman who was amongst the same group of immigrants), from there we travel back to Wales, Ireland and England.  As with most peoples histories, there are mysteries; a grandmother who is mentioned briefly and then disappears (death in child birth?) and nobility; a ten times great grandfather who was a Saxon king- Egbert of all names.
There are some questions that haven't yet been answered.  We know we have an aboriginal grandparent but haven't located him/her.  Could she be the grandmother that disappeared?  In any case, it is fun and Dad would have enjoyed it.  Some family stories have been confirmed, others debunked. 
None of it makes any difference to who we are but does make for some interesting speculation and family discussions. It is amusing to see the odd names (Ephraim) and how some reappear (David is very popular and we have a brother of the same name.) We all have family histories and, if you go back far enough, we find a variety of relatives, connections and mysteries. Ultimately, we are all related somewhere along the line.  If not by a family tree, then certainly by our shared humanity.  What one person does, for ill or good, affects everyone else. 
Smile at a relative you don't know today.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Scotties and Quilts

My sister and her husband brought me this lovely Scottie dog biscuit tin.  Isn't it cute.
We got another down pour last night but the sun is out now.  My husband is getting ready to take our young turkeys to a friends barn, I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon and our company are off to their property to take photos.
We have to keep writing things down on the calendar so we can keep track of what we are doing and want to do.  We are going to have a family barbecue on the 12th as my sister hasn't yet met our nephew's children so will have to think about food for that.  Saturday evening our neighbour is having her yearly jamboree (she is a musician) so we will be going to that.
On the quilting front; I am still working on the binding of one quilt, doing the quilting on another and still deciding the layout of a third.  Blocks are arriving for the charity quilt an on line group are giving to a flood victim in central Ontario.  So, as always, I am busy.
Heidi is having a grand time with all the extra petting and attention