Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tumbling Tumblers.

Our tree is down and waiting outside for our neighbour to pick it up.  She raises goats and she wanted the tree for them to nibble.  I didn't know goats did that but am more than happy to do another form of recycling.  I must remember the goats when we cut down an evergreen.
I don't have the decorations put away yet as there is still another tree and the house things to take down.  It takes me a bit of time to get everything organized for the next year as I like to have the items for each tree separate and the house decorations in another container.
We have a snow squall watch and it has been snowing-although not heavily, all day.  I have had a large pot of chili cooking on the woodstove and the aroma goes nicely with the outdoor scene.  A bit of snow or a lot, for that matter, doesn't keep me in doors so I was out for a tramp through the bush mid afternoon.  Even if I did want to stay indoors, it is obvious from the look on Heidi's face that she knows it is time to go out and she is just waiting for me.

I have been making these tumbling tumbler blocks for a while from a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial.  I want all the tumblers to be from a different fabric and realized I was going to have to get them on my display wall as I couldn't remember what I had done. Good thing I did as I found a couple of repeats. This background looks orange but it is actually a mottle brown.
This photo reminds me that I have to put all the pictures I took this year in a separate folder and marked with the year.  I have so many pictures that if I don't do this, it takes me ages to find anything.
Happy New Year.  Thank you for reading this blog throughout 2014.  Your support means more to me than I am able to express.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Are you getting back to routine yet or do you wait until after Jan. 1st of the new year?  I am slowly disassembling my decorations.  I took down the small tree that is in the studio and, tomorrow, the big one in the living room will also come down.  It is a real one and I don't want to leave it too long and have it become a hazard.  It is also quite wide and takes up a lot of room so we would like to reclaim that space,  I bought another everlasting (fake) one after Christmas so we will be able to leave that up longer next holiday.
I have also finished another column for the Quilt Pattern Magazine, the on line mag. for which I write.  By the way, they have a great special right now for new subscribers.  It is a great magazine full of articles and patterns and it comes right to your house via the internet so you don't have to remember to go to the store to pick it up.
Hubby has come down with a cold and is taking it easy today.  In addition to the undecorating, I am working on sewing a few new clothes.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I will be getting back to my fiction Friday's in the new year.

Heidi got new booties in her Christmas stockings to help keep her feet warm and free of snow clumps when we go walkies.  They don't stay on any longer than any other the other ones but she does find them more comfortable so I am going to try and rig up something to keep them in place.  A string like little children have on their mittens?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Am I Ready??

I wonder if a person is every completely ready for Christmas or does there come a point were you just stop?  I still have one more gift to make, another to locate and a few to wrap.  Baking is done, shopping is done as is the decorating.
 At this point, my quilt room is beginning to feel abandoned.  I don't even seem to be able to quilt at quilt group.  I took the materials to make some mug totes and forgot how to do them.  I don't know how a person could forget how to make a bag but I do always seem to excel at the wrong things.  Nevertheless, it was still a good day and I did, ultimately, almost get one done.
The weather is wavering between great and iffy for Christmas Day so, although we are supposed to be at my husband's family for the day, if the roads aren't good, we will be staying put.
I will probably not be posting now until Boxing Day so I do hope and pray that you will all have a wonderful Christmas.  If you are travelling, watch for those who are inattentive or just being human and making a mistake.  Being on time is not as important as being safe.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Walking by the Woods on a Sunny Afternoon

 Lovely walking today with the sunshine and crispness.  It really isn't cold enough to be considered 'crisp' but it looks as though it should be.  taking photos was a bit of a challenge as Heidi is used to me charging along and hardly giving her time to leave messages for other dogs.  today, I kept stopping to take photos and telling her to wait.  She got it eventually but for the first two I was expecting her to start moving just as I pressed the shutter with the resulting picture of the sky.
I wish I had had my camera ready earlier as a bald eagle flew toward us and low enough to see his head.
This first photo is part of the streams that flow on either side of the road.  I always like the look of the snow around the water-or ice.
 We were on the return trip when I took this picture of Heidi.  She is usually allowed to 'walk' herself on the return trip once we get to the driveway.  In the summer, she usually grabs the leash end in her mouth and trots up the hill.
These last two photos were taken on different days and you can see what a difference the sunshine makes.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

When do you start playing your Christmas music? Hubby has had the televisions fireplace channel and its seasonal music on since the beginning of November.  That was too early for me.  I just put my favourite CD's in the player this evening and am listening to the 3 Tenors Christmas.  I also have a number of CD's of the Salvation Army with their brass bands playing both traditional and some lesser known carols.  If I am in the mood for  lighter fare, I put on Bony M or Hawksley Workman. 
All are great for sewing or working on the computer.
I know that those of you who have large families and/or are not retired probably still have a lot to do to prepare for the big day.  I am pretty much done although I do like to leave some things to the last minute because wrapping gifts or baking help me keep the Christmas spirit.
What ever and where ever I am, I enjoy having the music of Christmas filling the air.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Living Pencil Sketch

We are surrounded by a black and white wonderland.  There was a wet snowfall last night and it has stuck to all the trees and the world looks like a pencil sketch.  I was wishing I had my camera when we drove to Huntsville this morning although I have found the photographs don't really capture this type of scene.
There was a photo on the Almaquin Highlands Photography Project Facebook page that contrasted the white with a blue bird house.  Very effective.  If you would like to see a more professional look at this area, check out the page.
I got all my medical appointments done this morning and I am still healthy as a horse (wonder where that saying came from?).  It has been a long day and we were concerned in case we would be late getting back so we arranged for our neighbour friend to come and let out Heidi if needed.  Fortunately, we were back on schedule although we wondered if we were going to be able to make it up the driveway.  A combination of wet snow and a hill with a curve caused the tires to spin but we did make it.  Heidi was glad to have her pack back home and to be able to do a run outside.
Now it is time to get supper.  No idea what to make.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thursday is Wednesday?

Mug Tote

I have been busy making these mug totes.  They are great little stocking stuffers for those who take their own mug to work or meetings.  They are fun to do in various theme fabrics such as sewing, sports, pets etc.

Have finally finished the quilt that seemed to have taken up permanent residence on my frame.  I have a couple more gifts to make and that is the last of my Christmas gift sewing.

It has been mild all day and it just started snowing.  The flakes are huge.  They are the kind that little children love trying to catch on their tongue.  When did we stop having that kind of fun?
Tomorrow I am off to Huntsville again for shopping and a couple of medical appointments.  For some reason I was thinking they were Thursday although I have them marked down on my calendar for Wednesday.  Good thing the staff phoned me.  Of course, I didn't really listen to the first one and got a bit of a shock when I tuned in to what the second caller was saying. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Trees and a Carrot Nose

This is our tree for 2014.  I am not sure if you can see them clearly, but our lights are candle shaped.  I decided to limit the number of decorations to give the tree more of a Victorian look.  Some of the decorations are from the 50's and others, I made.
This snowman set is one of my favourite nativities.  Isn't the carrot nose on the infant Jesus the cutest thing?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Getting a Tree-Step Two

We went off to Huntsville today and I got the majority of my Christmas shopping finished.  We also went to Habitat for Humanity's Restore shop where I found a nice fake Christmas tree.  It was small but we though we would just make do with that this year.  The tree we brought in from the property yesterday really was pretty sparse.
After we got home and unpacked, dear hubby wondered about putting two real trees together as, when growing that way, they look quite bushy.  He trotted out and cut one down and brought it over to the house.  I noticed it was a great improvement on the first one and would be suitable on its own.  The only drawback was that it is REALLY big around.  However, it could be trimmed.  It is now sitting in the standing in the sun room, dripping.  Once it finishes washing the floor, I will trim it and get it down to a manageable size.  Then it can be moved into the living room and decorated.  The small one we bought at the Restore will be great for the sun room.  The little white one that is already there will go to the bedroom.  So, from not having any tree, we now have three.
I should also admit that the real tree we are going to decorate is the one hubby was going to cut down in the first place.
Sooner or later, we will have a decorated tree this year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Mouse Was Stirring

We have had a minor Christmas set back.  We got our tree up and I was starting to decorate when I noticed a strong urine smell.  Then we found a dead mouse.  Apparently one (or more) got into the container.  We were going to try and get rid of the smell with spray but I decided it just wasn't healthy so down came the tree and was taken outside.
This afternoon we walked through the property and found a small tree that we will use.  It isn't very bushy and I am not sure what will happen when I decorate it but it will do for now.  I will buy another when the sales come one.

I have been busy working at the order for microwave bowl holders that I received from a local store.  They are almost done and then I will get the bag inserts finished and that will be another thing done..  We are heading to Huntsville tomorrow for an unexpected shopping trip.  I was told by a friend that one of the stores is renovating and having a 50% off sale so away we go.  I will finish my Christmas shopping while there so can mark that off my list as well.

My finger has all but healed from the rotary mishap and I am thinking about getting a ruler guard.  They are a strip with a raised edge that slides onto the ruler and stops the cutter from slipping.  They are on sale right now so I think they might be a worth while investment.  Not sure if I will have to make an adjustment when measuring but, if so, it shouldn't be much.  If you have these on your rulers I would appreciate hearing about your experience.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fiction Friday: The Conclusion.

"I have proof that she took it", Ethel continued.  " She couldn't have seen the ring clearly enough to describe it with just the glimpse she said she had.  That proves it.  Just as I said, she came back later.  I am certainly going to complain to my nephew about you hiring criminals.  She has probably being doing this with other residents but they have been covering for her.  You can be ready for a lawsuit.  My nephew gave me that ring for my birthday.  He told me not to let anyone see it in case it was stolen.  I didn't think such a thing could happen to an old lady but he was right.  He is a good boy , my nephew.  Not like some people I could name".  Ethel stared at Jenny so everyone was sure to know who she meant. 
"When did your nephew give you the ring, Ethel," Emma asked?
""It's none of your business.  I don't know why you are butting in but it was in March.  March 12, Mrs. Nosy if you need to know that as well.  He gave it to me then all wrapped up and looking so pretty and now it is gone.  He is going to be so upset."
"March.  Hmm, that was two months ago."  Emma thought for a moment remembering something her son had told her.  "Ethel is right, Mrs. Morrison, we do need to call the police.  There has been a crime.  It's okay, Jenny," she said in response to the girl's gasp, "just trust me."
Emma's table was the centre of attention at supper time with the staff and residents stopping by to congratulate her on solving a crime that had stumped the police.  Everyone wanted to know how she had done it and she had answered the same question so many times she was beginning to think it would have been easier to have handed out a pamphlet.
"I wasn't positive, of course, but my son, he's the police detective,  had described the ring that was taken in the jewelry store robbery.  That was the one where the young clerk was shot and killed."  Emma paused thinking of the wife and little child that had been left without a father and husband because of someone's greed.  "I've seen Mrs. James nephew when he came to visit and he didn't look like he could afford a ring like Jenny described.  So, I just put two and two together with a bit of guesswork and realized he must have been the thief.  Apparently, he gave it to her for safe keeping and then started hiding her belongings so when he took back the ring, everyone would just think she was losing her mind.  Not only is he a thief and murderer but he was using an elderly relative that doted on him.  Jenny is the one, however, who deserves the credit for spoiling his plan.  If she hadn't been so observant, she might be the one in jail and not this dreadful man"
Emma smiled at the young woman who had received her share of attention.  Jenny was laughing with some of the residents and, for the first time, looked as though she had some self confidence.
"She's going to be alright" Emma thought and reached for her cup of tea.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


A few days ago our Heidi saw a little vole and has been trying to find it again so she can play.  She goes out and sniffs around, barks at the neighbour dogs and sits staring at the spot where she saw her little friend.  I call her in and then an hour later she is telling me she wants out again so she can repeat the previous action.  Gets frustrating for me but she doesn't seem to want to give up.
I finished making another tea cosy and microwave bowl container today. The latter is my biggest seller this year.
Tomorrow is our tree lighting and then Saturday, the parade.  Our church usually has a float in the parade but this year we have had to cancel.  The young woman who does the costumes and float is extra busy building a barn for her goats.  It will be nice to be able to watch the parade with my hubby for a change.  He is usually on the float and I am the church photographer making sure the participants get to see the entries.
Tomorrow is also the next installment of the Quilting Detective.  Be sure to check in and see if Emma has solved the puzzle of the stolen ring.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Cruelest Cut

I have been derelict in my posting responsibilities this week.  I cut my finger quite badly on Sunday and typing as well as other activities have been more difficult. 
I was cutting some fabric when the rotary cutter slipped and gashed my index finger.  We got it bandaged and have now left it to heal.  This is the second time I have done that although I am always careful and make sure the blade is on the fabric and not the ruler.  Last time I did a worse job than this one.  I have now ordered a butcher's glove which I will wear on my left hand.  It is cut and stab resistant so, hopefully, that will solved the problem.
If you are interested in getting one, they are for sale on ebay (along with everything else).
Hubby and I went north to do some shopping today.  It was a dreadful drive both ways so we were glad to get home.  And home is where I am going to stay until Friday evening when we will go out for supper and then to the village tree lighting.
I am behind in my sewing and decorating so hope to have, at least, the latter done this week.
Stay safe if you are on the road.  Better to go a bit slower than to not arrive home.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fiction Friday: the Quilting Detective.

Emma had heard enough.  She knew it probably wasn't any of her business.    She knew she should just stay in her room and ignore what was happening in the next room but the sound of Jenny's sobs propelled her forward.  She marched into her neighbour's room the look of determination on her face challenging anyone who might try and stop her.  The three faces that stared at her sudden entrance all bore signs of the recent conflict but it was only Jenny MacMillan that Emma noticed.  She went over and put her arms around the younger woman.  Only then did she notice the tray of food on the floor.  The tea cup had broken the liquid was staining the rug beside the bed where Ethel James sat.
  "I apologize for intruding," Emma said to the director, " but I heard Jenny crying and that isn't acceptable."  "I appreciate your concern, Mrs. McCabe and, of course you are right.  Staff should never be the subject of abuse by residents or anyone else but I am looking after the situation."  Despite her words, Stephanie Morrison looked anything but in control.  Her face was flushed and her usually immaculate hair looked as though it had been raked by frustrated hands.
"Nevertheless, I am going to stay with Jenny until things get sorted out.  If necessary, I will hire a lawyer for her."
"A lawyer!  She is going to need a lawyer."  Ethel's voice was shrill with indignation.  "I know this girl stole my ring.  I caught her snooping in her yesterday."
"Jenny, were you in Mrs. James room yesterday," the director asked?
"No, well yes, but not to steal.  I came to see if Mrs. James wanted to come down for exercise class.  I knocked at her door but  I guess she didn't hear me because when I pushed it open, she screamed and started yelling at me."
"Of course, I yelled.  You frightened me.  You are always creeping around like a mouse scaring people."
"Ethel, let Jenny tell her story, please.  You have made a serious accusation and she has a right to defend herself.  Also, calling a person names isn't likely to help the situation either."  Emma's voice was quiet but there was no mistaking the firmness.  "Go on Jenny."
"Well, when Mrs. James jumped, I saw something roll onto the floor.  I bent down to get it for her but she yelled at me again and told me to get out.  So I did.  I never took anything.  I swear."
"Did you see what it was, Jenny?"  The director was reminding everyone that she was the person in charge.
"Yes.  It was a ring.  I only got a quick look but I think there was a red stone, a big one and some smaller white ones.  They might have been diamonds, I guess.  Like I said, I didn't see it very well."
"Does that sound like your ring, Mrs. James?"
"Of course it does.  I told you she stole it.  She came back after I went out and took it."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Spectacular Day

This was one of those days when everything was just 'as usual'.  I made chili, cranberry chutney and some flatbread as Thurs. is my day for baking.  I planned on getting a commissioned job done in the afternoon but found that I was out of red binding.  Now I will have to go to Huntsville again tomorrow to get that.  I just kind of diddled away the rest of the day.
Some days are like that, aren't they.  Time just seems to get frittered away and, before you know it, it is bed time and nothing really got accomplished. 
Tomorrow is another day and will have another chance to have a spectacular day or at least mildly productive.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Baby Doll

Walmart was full of people shopping for Christmas today.  I couldn't believe how many had carts full of wrapping paper and items that appeared to be for gifts.  Poor me was just trying to get my usual things.  I thought it being a Wednesday that it wouldn't be busy.  The store management also seemed to have got it wrong and were pulling staff in from everyone to staff the tills.
I kept bumping into people I knew in all the stores I went to including a lunch stop.  I guess most of the people from the village also thought it would be a slow day.
The other possible reason for the business might have been because the government cheques-pension etc. had been received.
Haven't done much since I came home other than put away my purchases and get supper which was just left overs.
Tomorrow, hubby is going to Orillia to deliver his sister's Christmas turkey so I will have a day to myself to sew, sew, sew.
I bought an odd item today.  I have been looking for a baby doll and found one that was perfect.  I will be able to make her  new born sized clothes which is why I bought her.  Heidi wasn't sure what to make of the doll.  I think she thought it was some sort of toy but when she tried to chew its feet, I put an end to the sniffing and exploring.  She hasn't shown any more interest so it may have just been the smell that attracted her.
It was a lovely day with the sun shining and close to seasonable temperatures.  Hope this holds for a bit.  It is a pleasure getting outside on a day like this.
Happy thanksgiving to my American readers for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Snow Squalls?

We, once again, have snow squall warnings here in the backwoods.  They seem to happen every day so I am not sure if there really is bad weather around us or those responsible for notifications are worried about being sued. We have had a few moments here and there when the wind gusts and the air is snow filled but I wouldn't say that it was a cause to check the supplies and hunker down.  Perhaps I will be more appreciative of the forecast tomorrow when I am on the road rather than snug in our rural rug.
We just got back from our walk.  No matter the conditions; other than freezing rain, I need to get outside and move around.  I love going through our bush as it looks lovely and shelters us from much of the snow falls.
Our little Heidi came back with her legs looking like they had mushrooms growing all over them.  The snow sticks so thickly to her hair that I keep thinking it will slow her down.  Hasn't happened yet though.  She still dashes thither and yon as much as she can at the end of her leash.  We use a long one on our property so she has some freedom.  When we got home, I popped her into the sink to wash off the snow and then decided to give her a bit of a bath.  She is laying in front of the wood stove now getting dry and warm.
I have been working on another small quilt with tumbler blocks.  I just finished a little table top and like the pattern so much that I am doing another.  It is nice to have something simple to work on that is quickly finished.  It also give me a project on which I can use the million or so 5 inch squares that I have accumulated.  As I am only using one of each colour/print, I will still have a couple or three left over.
Tomorrow I am going shopping but will try and stay away from fabric stores.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Episode 3-The quilting Dectective

After lunch, Emma went back to her room for a rest.  She didn't think she would be able to sleep after the pre-lunch excitement and the worry she felt but she could, at least lie down for a bit.  Her room always soothed her.  Although it wasn't very big, it held the things she most valued.  A photo of her late husband was on the dresser where she could see it when she woke up and from every point in the room.  It had been taken when he was accepted into the police force and the sparkle of his eyes showed his pride and pleasure.  Although passing years changed the trim figure and the colour of his hair, the sparkle didn't change especially when he was with his beloved wife.  There wasn't a day that Emma didn't miss him and his steady calm. 
The quilt that covered her bed was one she had made and the multi coloured Lemoyne stars brightened the room.  The pale cream background was the same colour as the walls.  The room had a window that faced onto the center court where residents could walk or sit at one of the many benches.  Emma had asked that sheer curtains covered the window to restrict people from looking in but still allow the sunshine.  At night, she lowered the mini blind to further increase her privacy.
She had recently started working on another quilt and a block with a few neatly attached leaves lay on one of the two comfortable chairs that were on either side of the window. 
Emma decided that rather than lie down, she would do a bit more applique.  Working on the tiny stitches would relax her.  As she was sitting down, she became aware of voices coming from the room next door.  Her suspicion that whatever had caused Ethel James previous commotion wouldn't be resolved quickly appeared to be correct.
"It's been stolen I tell you.  You never believe me.  If you don't call the police, I am going to phone my nephew and tell him how I am being treated.  He never wanted me to move to this place.  'Come and stay with me, auntie' he begged. But I didn't listen. I didn't want to be a burden.  Now I wonder if he hadn't heard something about this place and was worried about me."
"Now Mrs. James, I am listening to you.  I have listened every time you lost something.  I am only saying that we should do a bit of looking before we call the police.  I don't want you to be embarrassed if they come and then find your ring had fallen behind the dresser."
Emma didn't want to listen to the conversation but both women were talking loudly and the walls weren't sound proof.  She could hear the frustration in the director's voice and felt sorry for her.  It couldn't be easy trying to please so many people as well as running the manor.
"I'm going to get one of the staff to come and help me search and.." Stephanie's voice rose to cover the other woman's objections. "And", she continued, "if we don't find anything, I will call the police.  In the meantime, you have missed lunch so I will have someone bring you some food."
Emma heard a door close and there was no more noise.  She lay down on the bed and pulled a light cover over her legs.  She was feeling tired after all.
"What are you doing here?  Get out of my room!"  Emma sat up so suddenly that, for a moment, the room seemed to tilt.  For a moment, she thought she was dreaming but the sound of breaking dishes chased away the cobwebs.
"You stupid girl! Now look what you've done.  You've ruined the carpet and my favourite slippers."
"I'm sorry, Mrs. James, but I lost my balance when you pushed me.  I 'll get it cleaned up and bring you some more food.  Emma could hear the agitation in Jenny's voice and, just as she was wondering what to do, the director's exclamation announced her return.  "My goodness, Jenny, what happened her?"
"It wasn't my fault.  I was bringing Mrs. James something to eat like you asked and she pushed me.  I lost my balance and everything fell.  I was just going to clean it up"
"I didn't push her.  I was just trying to get her out of my room.  It was her that stole my ring."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Hot Cup of Cocoa

What does a person do when the weather is to miserable to go outside?  Well, if you are a quilter, you quilt.  It isn't really bad outside if you are walking but right now the snow is too deep in the bush to do that.  It would be great for snowshoeing but my husband is too tired from plowing, bring it wood, plowing etc.  We were planning on going away on the weekend but cancelled because it is too treacherous so perhaps we can get the snowshoes out then.
I have been finishing up a few odds and ends.  Also, got at the quilt that is on my frame.  I had to remove it, unpick a row and then put it back.  I don't usually take it out of the frame for that but as I had only done two rows and wanted to sew a strip on the sides to help keep everything straight.
I have now completed that second row and stopped to make a cup of cocoa and check my e mail. 
It is funny how, even when you are snug inside, that a hot cup of cocoa with real cream is what the body craves.  Mine anyway.
Tomorrow is Fiction Friday and there will be another installment of the Quilting Detective.  Hope you will enjoy it.
Don't forget to check out Sew Sisters Blogathon  (link on yesterdays post) to win some great prizes as well as enjoy reading blogs from across Canada.  Another great way to spend a wintery day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Join in the fun.  Win prizes, discover new blogs.  Just click on the picture.

I think it has finally stopped snowing.  I clean the huge layer of snow from my car and moved in from where I park so it will be ready to go out tomorrow.  I can't remember when I have looked forward to getting my snow tires on before.
While I was outside doing that and shoveling the path from house to parking area, a flock of about 50 geese flew over.  Perhaps they just realized that it was time to get moving or thought we wouldn't get winter this year.  A lot of folk believed that because we didn't get much of a summer our winter would be mild.  The geese appear to have had the same belief.
I have just finished making 6 microwave pot containers as well as couple of tumbler blocks.  Both are another way to use up fabric.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures in Snowland

It has been an adventure filled couple of days here in the back woods.  Like many parts of this continent, we have been experiencing heavy snow falls combined with squalls for a few days.  We have as much snow filling up the bush and driveway as we normally get for a good part of a winter.  I plowed through snow well past my knees today (and I am tall) while trying to get to the satellite dish so I could clean it and get my internet on again. then I shovelled a path to the car and another for the dog.
On Sunday and then again today my husband had to take a long and dangerous drive with visibility, sometimes, not being past the hood of the truck.  He just got back home Sunday evening when the brakes went.  Today he had to go out again in the same conditions in a friends vehicle.  He returned home late afternoon and now we are staying put.
I need to go out Thurs. because I finally was able to get an appointment to have my snow tires put on.  With the sudden and sustained snowfall, our local garage was booked right up.
We are supposed to go away on Sunday but right now are just waiting to see what happens with the weather.
I did get a bit of quilting done today as well as baking.  Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to get at the quilt that is on the frame.  I have to unsew part of a row before continuing as it overlapped the preceding one.
We will both sleep well tonight as we are feeling our age.

Back window view and a slight lull in the snow fall. Husband is getting ready to plow-again.
Front window looking down the driveway and another squall.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fiction Friday: The Quilting Detective Part 2

The dining room began to fill up and the business of lunch helped to restore the frazzled nerves and bring everyone back to a feeling of normalcy.  The dining room was a favourite gathering place for residents, outside of meal times,  as it was located in the center of the building.  Anyone going anywhere had to go along the hall that led to the room so it was natural for them to stop in and sit down for a cup of tea and read the paper, a book or just visit with staff.  Although there were no windows, it was still a bright and cheerful room with pale yellow walls and blue curtains.  Plants were tucked into the corners and artwork with Parisians scene added the feeling of being somewhere exotic. There was a general feeling that this was a special place and everyone hated the thought that anything could disturb the serenity.
One of the servers had arrived with a cloth and moped up the spilled tea before it reached the edge of the table, others began serving bowls of soup and trays of sandwiches.  The disturbance seemed to have been forgotten but  Emma noticed that her neighbour still hadn't come for lunch and suspected something more was going to happen. 
Unlike Mrs. James, Emma was popular with both staff and residents and her table was usually one of the first to have all the seats taken.  She suspected part of the reason was because her son, Richard, was a police detective and the others liked to hear about his cases.  Although she didn't like being the centre of attention, she was proud of her eldest son and didn't mind doing a bit of bragging about him.  Her husband had also been on the police force so she had lots of practice sounding as though she were giving inside information while not telling anymore that what could be read in the papers.
Mr. Sutherland, a retired scientist in the early stages of Parkinson's disease carefully replaced his cup onto the table, was the first to as a question.  "Is your son working on any interesting cases at the moment, Mrs. McCabe"  "He is very concerned about the murder of that jewelry store owner", she replied.  Her voice had dropped to a conspiratorial whisper that caused the others to lean forward a little.  "I don't know if he has any leads but, of course, he doesn't tell me everything."  She smiled at the eager faces looking back at her and thought how funny it was that everyone was watching her.  She had spent her whole life being an observer and now she was being observed.  She wasn't sure if she liked it or not but it did bring a bit of excitement into the lives of the residents who, previously, had only a change in the menu or someone's illness to interrupt the routine.
"Maybe Ethel James did it"  Lillian Hastings loved to shock people and often made outrageous statements.  "Oh, Mrs.  Hastings, what a thing to say.  Mrs. James wouldn't shoot anyone."  Jenny MacMillan had just brought the dessert to the table and her reaction brought a delighted grin to Lillian's face.  The young girl blushed and hurried to the next table.
"That child is going to have to get a thicker skin if she is going to work here", Lillian said.
"She's still young.  There is lots of time for her to get crusty like us old people."  Emma liked Jenny and wished Lillian wouldn't tease her so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tea Cosy Pattern.

I have had a productive day.  I completed all the articles for the craft sale on Saturday and got my first nativity set up.  Today I made four receiving blankets, three pairs of slippers and one microwave bowl holder.  Tomorrow, I will get everything organized; price tags, cloth for the table etc.  The sale starts at nine so I will have to leave home early.  I usually do all my housework on Saturday so will have to get that done tomorrow as well.  Laundry is going to have to be fit in somewhere as I only like to do it during reduced hydro rate time.

This tea cosy is very easy to make.  Basically, it is two 10 X 20 pieces of fabric plus batting.  Sew the long sides and then sew about four inches starting at the top  along one side so the sides of both ends are joined.  I did this first.  Make a pocket along the top edge for threading ribbon and you are done. The pattern is free on Connecting Threads: www.
Tomorrow is another installment of the Quilting Detective on Fiction Friday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bionic Woman

I feel a little like the bionic woman right now.  I have been hooked up with a portable heart monitor as I have been having some 'events'.  I have always had a jumpy heart beat but it has been a bit worse than usual lately so thought it was time to get it checked.  Wearing this thing makes you very aware of what your heart is doing.  Beating at the moment which is good.
I am trying to work up the energy to do another row on my quilt.  I am feeling tired today because I woke up to early.  I soon will be one of the older people who lie down for a nap in the afternoon.  Funny how we end our lives the way we started, isn't it.
It has ben really windy here and we thought our hydro might go off but fortunately not-so far.  I am always amazed at how the little birds manage to fly when the wind is strong enough to bend a tree.
We have been talking about Christmas on a couple of on line groups.  Hubby got the outside decorations up yesterday and I will get him to bring in the totes with the indoor stuff soon.  I have a nice stack of things made for the craft sale this weekend.  I will finish everything up tomorrow.
Now, I think I better get at that quilt in the frame.  If I leave it too long, I won't remember how to do everything again.
Stay warm, safe and dry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day

We went to the Remembrance Day service in the village this morning and my husband laid a wreath on behalf of our church. 
There was a great turnout of participants and spectators.  Our little village usually does have a well attended service.  It is one of the best organized that I've seen which is to the credit of our legion.  Its members, as is true with the ones across the country, are getting well up in years and seeing them continue on is very encouraging.
This photo was taken before the service and the other is of my husband (that coat looks so big on him now he has lost so much weight) and his escort after laying the wreath (cross, actually). It is the first time he has done this so I was quite proud of him.  I usually do all the public stuff so it is good to see him getting out of his comfort zone.
He took a nasty fall on Saturday right near this area but, other than some stiff muscles, didn't suffer any ill effects.  He could have banged his head on the pavement of fallen differently and broke a bone so I am thankful he is alright.
I got a quilt into my frame today.  It has been so long since I've done one that I almost forgot how to get everything set up.  I completed one row and it turned out alright so I better keep at it.  It is a small quilt-crib size, so it will only need 10 rows.  I will post a photo when it is done.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fiction Friday-The Quilting Detective

"My ring! Someone has stolen my ring!"
The voice shrieked down the halls and echoed through the dining room where the residents of Autumn Leaves Manor were beginning to gather for lunch.  Emma McCabe, sitting at her favourite table at the far corner of the room, stopped in the midst of reaching for a glass of water.  "Oh, fiddle,"
she  thought, "She's at it again..  I hoped it was finished after the last episode." Emma was a tiny woman with a snowy crown of hair  that, depending on her expression , gave her either an angelic or regal appearance.  Her complexion had changed to the feathery softness of age against which her blue eyes shone with the sparkle and interest of youth.
She had been living at the manor for nearly 18 months and, although she had, at first, resisted the idea of giving up her home, she had to admit that she was glad her children had talked her into it.  She appreciated not having to cook, make beds or do the other household chores which had become increasingly difficult.  She enjoyed not having to think about snow removal or all those millions of other jobs.  She liked having people her own age to talk to and, if she wanted privacy and quiet, she could go back to her own room.  She even found pleasure in being able to quilt again.  She didn't have room for a lot of things but a small sewing machine was tucked into her closet and a little tote held her supplies.  She only bought fabric as she needed it and as she only did hand appliqued blocks, she didn't need a lot.
the scream had set off a reaction around the room.  Jenny MacMillan, the newest staff, dropped the teacup she was handing to one of the resident's and watched, horrified, as the liquid pooled onto the table and started seeping toward the elderly man.  Both seemed incapable of movement.  From the kitchen, came the sound of something hitting the floor followed by a frustrated exclamation.
The Manor's director, Stephanie Morrison, had been greeting the residents and, when she heard the scream, turned and hurried from the room.  Emma was sure she heard her mutter something about 'that woman' and it mirrored her own thoughts.  She had recognized the shriek as belonging to Mrs. James, who had the room next to hers.  Ethel James wasn't well liked by the residents, nor she suspected, the staff either. The woman complained about everything. Her room was either too hot or too cold.  Residents talked to loud and the staff whispered, her food wasn't cooked properly or someone had a bigger portion than her.  Most of the residents tried to avoid her but the employees weren't as fortunate and she had reported more than one for some imagined infraction.
Lately, her complaints had become more serious.  She believed someone was stealing her belongings.  She had lost a silver picture frame, as small vase and then a stuffed bear that usually sat on her bed.  Every item that she had claimed to be stolen had, however, been found either tucked in a drawer or behind a chair.  She had been examined by a doctor and found that there wasn't a medical cause for her behaviour.  Most people assumed she was just trying to get attention.  Whatever the cause, the result was a tenseness amongst the staff that was felt my the residents.  All had been quiet the past two weeks, however,  and everyone was hoping the accusations had stopped.  Now it seemed as though that hope was fruitless.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


We seem to be stuck in rain mode here in the back woods.  I can't remember a day recently when it has been precipitation free.  It isn't a heavy rainfall.  More like a steady drizzle; too much for a walk and not enough to make it interesting.
I was in Huntsville yesterday doing some shopping. I was trying to match up some fabric for a quilt I was working on.  I thought I had more than I did  and ran short of about half a meter.   I couldn't find what I wanted so now will have to try on line.
While I was in my car getting ready for traffic to clear so I could leave my parking space, I witnessed a collision.  The vehicle in front of me had already moved from its space a bit so it was slightly angled into the driving line when I heard a horn honk followed by a car flying past me and into the other.  The driver of the car pulling out hadn't stopped and the other one didn't slow down.  They smashed into each other with bits of car parts flying into the air-and continued on down the street.  I didn't see that either one had pulled over anywhere.
I don't know why the driver that honked hadn't tried to stop.  Obviously he/she saw the other vehicle.
Anyway, that was my excitement for the day.

Our local quilt store has just moved into a bigger location so we are all looking forward to them being able to expand their products.  It is nice to have a shop reasonable close.  Huntsville is our closest reasonably sized community and we go there for the majority of our shopping.  The next store is more than an hour away so I do hope our local one is able to stay open.

Tomorrow is my Fiction Friday and I have a serialized story for you called the Quilting Detective.
Hope you like it.


We have a scheduled power outage happening in a few moments but I just remembered I didn't post yesterday.   so, stay tuned and you will get two today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Early to Bed

We haven't adjusted to the switch from daylight saving time yet.  We are going to be earlier than usual and waking up earlier.  I like the early to bed, early to rise schedule but would like to sleep a bit longer.  Heidi is also off schedule.  It is nice to have it lighter early in the morning again.
We have our first Santa Claus parade coming up later this month.  It is also our great nephews first birthday so we thought we would go for the day.  Nice to do things with children.
I have been working on getting things ready for a couple of craft sales as well as a charity quilt.  Always seems to be something to putter at, doesn't there.
Our snow has melted again and we have had a cold dreary rain all day.  I did finish getting my roses covered, brought in the hummingbird feeders and clothes pegs so I think everything is done outside.
I haven't put anything on my quilt frame in ages.  I have two small quilts to get done so perhaps will get them loaded this week.  Working on that makes a nice change from sitting at the machine.
Have your started your Christmas preparations yet?

Friday, October 31, 2014

First Snow 2014

We had our first snowfall today.  It was predicted to be a 'skiff' but, as you can see, it is a bit more than that as it has been snowing all day.  I've filled the bird feeders, started a trail for the dog to use to do her toilet trips and got my outdoor clothing ready.
It was a grey day but I am sure it will get nicer when the sun comes out tomorrow.  It is supposed to warm up in a couple of days so this is just a warning to remind us to get ready.
The second photo was take last year and show why winter is my favourite season.


Fiction Friday-Emily's Problem

Sixteen year old Emily loved Thursday afternoons.  That was the day she volunteered at the Chelsea Animal Shelter. She had become the youngest person to work at the shelter  four years previously when her mother suggested she give it a try after seeing her face when she was told, once again, that they couldn't have a pet.  Emily knew it wasn't her little brother's fault that he was so allergic to animals that he had to carry an inhaler.  She just felt that it wasn't fair that she should love animals so much and not be able to have them.  "I wish I hated every dog and cat in the world," she cried.  "You love them because you are a caring person" was her mother's gentle reply. Sue Diamond secretly hoped that when her daughter saw the poor animals at their worst, she would feel better about not having one.  If that didn't happen, she would, at least, be able to spend some time with them.
When the shelter agreed that Emily could come in and help with the animals care, she was more excited than she had been over any gift. She loved being able to pet them, take the dogs for a walk and even clean up after them. She took time to visit every animal but her favourites where the older ones.  "Everyone loves the puppy's and kittens," she would say, "and they are cute but the older dogs and cats need me more.  They aren't likely to ever get adopted." 
She hated seeing them in wire cages.  They looked so sad and Emily was sure that they weren't comfortable.  The staff told her the enclosures had to be designed that way so they could be kept clean but Emily thought there had to be a way to help.
She was telling her mother about the problem as she watched Sue work on a quilt she was making for an elderly friend.  "I wish", said Emily, " I could make a quilt for all the animals to lie on."
Sue looked up at her, thought for a moment. "You can."  "I can.  How?"  "Well, they would have to be a lot smaller, of course, and washable.  Why don't we make a couple and you can take them to the shelter and see if the staff like them."
Emily was even more anxious for Thursday to arrive that week.  The two little quilts were clutched in her hand as she went to find the director.  After explaining the reason behind the quilts, she laid them on the desk.  One was smaller than the other and suitable for cats or small dogs.  The other was twice the size for the larger dogs.  Both had a short stitch length so nails wouldn't get caught and were closely quilted so it would stand up to repeated washings.  "These are lovely, Emily," the director smiled, "but could you make enough for all the cages and some spares?"  Oh, yes.  Mom said she would ask all the quilters she knows to help make them.  She said they could even do some that could be given to the people who adopt the animals."
In a very short time, Chelsea's quilters had provided enough cage quilts, as they came to be known, for every animal at the shelter.  They had, in fact, made so many, that the staff was able to provide the older dogs with two so they could have the extra warmth much to Emily's delight.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Snow's Comming

I got some sewing done today, finally.  I made a skirt and  some more blocks for another scrappy.  I also got a CD stuck in my player.  I had it out once and then tried in in another tray where it promptly got stuck again.  I think I may have to take the player apart.  Yuck.
My hubby has got a cold so I have been playing nurse today.  I readily admit I am not a very good one.  I do get him hot drinks and make sure he has whatever medication he needs but it isn't my natural bent.  Some people, like my sister-in-law, are very good at tending those who are either ill or elderly.  I'm not.  I don't know if I am missing a gene but it is not something that comes naturally to me.  Probably because I am rarely ill myself.  Fortunately, hubby understands and tries to recover as quickly as possible.
Snow is predicted for the middle of the province.  We might get a skiff but not likely much.  I have changed the photo on my computer to a winter scene to get myself mentally ready.  I do love winter.  Apparently, this year it isn't supposed to be as bad.  I am not disappointed by that as it was a tough season for many people.
The pond is quite high so if the ice is thick enough I may be able to skate on it this year.  There are enough dead trunks sticking out of the water that I should have lots of things to grab onto while learning how to keep the blades on the ice.
Fiction Friday tomorrow.  Hope you will join me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Still here.

I am alive and well.  Just very busy.  I will be back tomorrow with my usual blog. Tonight I have to concentrate on writing my magazine article and need to keep my fingers on the keyboard until it is done.
Stay warm and dry,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fiction Friday-The Mystery of the Open Door.

Jenna knew she was in for a difficult day when she arrived at her quilt room door and noticed it was open.   She stopped so suddenly that the mug of tea she was carrying sloshed over its brim and onto her hand.  "Grandmother's biscuit's" she exclaimed and didn't know if it was in reaction to the hot tea or the door.  Everyone in the family were under strict orders to 'never, ever, if you value your life and future inheritance fail  to leave the door firmly closed.'  Yet, here it was, definitely not closed.
She knew what she was going to see before she walked into the room.  Muffin, their beautiful white, very hairy cat was draped like a fashion model on the black fabric that she had left on the cutting table.  Jenna didn't know if she should grab her camera or the cat but decided on the latter.  No sense encouraging the creature to think it had done a good thing.
After putting the cat out of the room and hanging the fabric on the line where, hopefully, the wind would remove some of  the hair, Jenna sat down at her sewing machine.  She had been working on a new pattern and it was presenting a lot of problems.  "Why", she wondered, "would someone design a pattern with so many teeny pieces.  Did they secretly hate quilters?"  She had to cut 120 one inch squares using four different colours.  They all were then sewn together in a particular way which ultimately, and if she didn't through the whole thing into the fire, would form a design.
She had, the evening before, laid the tiny squares into their 4 block groupings but now, courtesy of Muffin, they were scattered everywhere.  By the time she had everything organized, changed the needle that broke within 3 minutes of sewing and resewn all the pieces that hadn't been done because the bobbin ran out of thread, it was lunch time.
The afternoon proceeded without further problems and, by the time Jenna quit sewing to make supper, she was satisfied with her accomplishments. She had had to leave the sections that needed the black fabric but she could remove the remaining hairs that evening.   She still, however, had to deal with the culprit who had left the quilt room door open.  She asked each person in turn as they were eating but despite promises of not removing a name from her will, no-one admitted to having been in the room. "It didn't open itself so someone left it open.  It isn't an unforgivable offence but please don't let it happen again."
She was washing the dishes when her daughter came into the kitchen.  "Mom, she whispered.  "Come here but don't make a noise." Jenna followed the girl down to hall toward the quilt room.  Her daughter was moving slowly and quietly when she motioned her mother closer.  "Look"
Jenna looked in the direction of her pointing finger and started to laugh.  Muffin was hanging from the door handle.  His weight was sufficient to unlatch the door and, as they watched, it swung open and the cat sauntered in, tail held high in triumph.  "That cat" , said Jenna.  "I guess that solves that mystery and I guess we better change the door handle to a knob."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Princess Heidi

I've mentioned that I am working on a scrappy quilt pattern called Trail Mix.  It is in Better Homes and Gardens: Scrap Lovers Quilts.  I have nearly all the blocks made and have started laying them out but really wasn't happy with anything I came up with.  I finally divided them into two groups and am now making two small quilts!  I am quite pleased with both so that solved that problem.  I will post a photo when I get a bit further.
It has been another lovely day here in the backwoods.  My dear one cut down a couple of trees and, as they are quite close to the house, I was thankful they fell in the correct direction.  I was watching out the window with wee Heidi on my lap prepared, at the first sign of danger, of holding her and running.  Always one adventure or another.
I have been sewing nearly all day other than going for a walk and doing a bit of baking.  I should be able to finish a bit more on one of the tops this evening.
Heidi is missing our company and mopping around a bit.  She loves it when people come for a visit because she gets all sorts of attention; not that we ignore her but she isn't our complete focus all day. It usually takes her a few days to adjust back to being the dog and not the princess.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tears on our Flag

I am sure that most, if not all, of you have been following the dreadful news reports from our nation's capital.  It made me feel so sad for our country.  No matter how much we think we are prepared for such a thing, we aren't.  It is a stripping away of our innocent belief that we, because of our goodness, lack of gun focus, whatever, are somehow immune from the same woes that occur in other countries.  Sadly, it isn't so.
I know there has been and will continue to be discussions as to why people who have been raised in this country would turn against it.  Some say that it is because they have no hope of a future with a job.  I don't believe that.
Many young men and older have faced the same future.  During the depression, the jobless didn't turn to violence.  Why then now.  I do believe it is because young people are growing up without hope-not without hope of a job, but without hope of anything better.  No matter how dreadful your situation, if you have hope of something better, you endure.
When we began to make faith in something (and Someone)  greater than ourselves unpopular and, then, unbelievable, hope left.  Not for everyone, I agree but certainly to a large percentage of people.  This has resulted in suicides, increased violence and other forms of crime.  If you believe you will be held accountable for your actions, you think twice before doing something that would cause the retribution.  I keep my driving speed to what is required not because I think (in my foolish pride) that I can't handle the vehicle if I was going faster but because I don't want a ticket.
Believing that this life is not the end of our life keeps a person going no matter how difficult things get and I readily admit that, in this country we are blessed but that doesn't mean Canadians don't hurt, suffer and grieve.
You may disagree with me regarding this and that is okay.  In this wonderful country we call home, we have the right to disagree.  We don't have the right to force our opinions on someone else.
One last thought: as saddened as I am by today's events (and I am sure they won't be the last) I will not live in fear.  This is what these cowards who kill unarmed people want.  They won't get it from me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two Months on Saturday

My weekend was extended by a couple of days.  Some dear friends came for a visit yesterday and stayed over until after lunch today.  It was great catching up on news and showing off our property.  One of the ladies had been here before but it was a first time visit for the other two.  We had a great time and our little dog got enough petting and play time to last for a month.
I just finished another neck scarf order for a scout troop and it will be picked up tomorrow.  I can now get back to working on my scrappy quilt.  I don't like to change the thread when I am working with colour so I finish the project before going back to quilting and my usual white thread.  Silly, I know.  It isn't as though it takes half an hour to change thread.
It looks as though we may have a day without rain tomorrow.  I am doing a load of laundry tonight so I can hang it out in the morning.  I will have to move the bird feeder as it is hanging from the clothes line.  I am getting visits from a group of blue jays, nuthatches and various other birds already.  They are such fun to watch and will be more so when winter arrives.
Can you believe that Christmas is just over two months away?  I have a craft fair coming up early next month so better get at making some saleable items.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fiction Friday-The New Home

Judy Lexington hated everything about her new home.  Her husband, when he told her about his transfer to a school in a rural area, had been so excited she hadn't voiced her misgivings.  "Just think', he had said, "all that fresh air.  No traffic noise, no sirens every moment of the day and no gang murders on your doorstep." "No shops, no friends, no conveniences",  she thought to herself.  She had to admit that this was a big promotion for Steven.  He would be the principal at the new school.  True, it was much smaller than the one were he had been vice-principal for the past four years, but a promotion is a promotion.
Her fears about living in Bellingsville , a community founded on lumbering that was home to less than 1500 people had proven to be true.  Perhaps if they had been living in the village it wouldn't have been so bad.  At least, she could have gone to a restaurant or bought milk without having to drive 15 minutes from her home.  Steven, however, had decided to go with the 'full rural experience' and talked her into a property that seemed to be miles from everything.  No mail delivery, no garbage pick up, not even a paved road to give the illusion of civilization.  She had to admit that she loved the feeling of being able to take a long walk through the bush and listening to the rustling leaves and birds singing.  She couldn't remember when she last heard an actual bird song.  Early in the morning, a loon flew past on its way from the lake to their pond and filled the dawn with its call that always made her feel more Canadian.
Perhaps, she wouldn't have minded living where she did if had a friend to visit.  People in the village were friendly.  It had taken her quite a while to get used to being greeting on the street by someone she didn't know. Of course, everyone but her did know everyone else and for at least three generations back.  Houses were referred by owners past or current as in 'the old Harmer place' or 'where the Laundromat used to be'.  It was like walking into a movie that was half over. However, she didn't have a real friend, someone with a shared interest.  She was even willing to join a group or volunteer for something but it didn't seem as though she was needed anywhere. 
She had discovered there was a local paper and she was becoming more familiar with the area's activities.  It was only a weekly but it covered everything that happened in the community.  Every week she read every word whether it was an advertisement, a story about fishing, a hockey tournament, death notice or a bazaar at one of the churches.  She felt she probably knew more about what was happening in Bellingsville than the people who lived there.
One gray morning after Steven left for work, she felt she couldn't stand one more day of doing housework and reading e mails.  She had picked the paper up when she went into the village the day before and took it into the sun room to read while drinking her second (and final, for the day, she promised herself) cup of coffee.  As she leafed through the pages, one of the articles caught her interest: Local Quilt Group Donates to Fire Victims.  The story was about a group of area women who had made a quilt that was given to a family who had recently lost all their possessions in a fire.  "There is a quilt group in Bellingsville?"  This was the first time she had heard of them.  She noted that they met in the community center every Tues.  "That is tomorrow" she thought.  She had done a bit of quilting when they lived in the city but had always been to busy to really get into it. 
The next morning, feeling a bit anxious but determined to try, she walked into a room that was filled with the sound of laughter and sewing.  The woman nearest the door stopped working when she saw her.  "Well, hi, come on in.  Are you interested in quilting?  I'm Mary.  Hey, everyone, we have a new quilter."  Judy hadn't been able to say a word but, as the ladies gathered around, introducing themselves, showing her their work and finding her a chair, she felt as though she had come home.  She just knew that this group of women were what she had been looking for since moving to this place that had become her new home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Victoria's Quilts

I really don't have a lot to tell you today.  I baked as is my usual habit on Thursday and that took most of the day. 
The one little bit of news is about an organization in which I have become interested.  I've mentioned recently that I have been looking for something to do with my quilts beside packing them in a cupboard.  Ideally, I wanted to find an organization that could use them.  One of the ladies in our quilt group mentioned Victoria's Quilts so I did an internet search and liked what I saw.  They provide cuddle quilts to male, female and children cancer patients.  I have contacted them about starting a chapter in this area as I would like to support local people.  I am now waiting to hear from the volunteer coordinator.
When I get a bit more information, I will let area quilter's know about the chapter and the specifics of the quilts that will be needed.  The organization requires them to be backed with flannel which will be lovely and cozy.  I don't usually use that fabric so will have to start watching the sales.  I find that if you don't get good quality, it frays badly.
I will pass on whatever information I get in case you are interested in either supporting or starting a chapter in your area.

Tomorrow I will be sharing another quilting story for Fiction Friday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have Tractor will Move Gravel

I can't believe how warm it is for this time of year.  It drops down in the evening but it has been in the upper teens or even into the 20's this week.  Still lots of rain though.  We keep getting a large puddle right were I park the car so I either wade or put on rain boots and then change in the vehicle.  We were thinking about getting a load of gravel to bring up the level and have it slant away from the house but finances have put that on hold.  Good thing because today I had another idea.  There is a high spot in another part of the driveway and, now we have a tractor, I suggested to hubby that the gravel from the high spot could be moved to the low.  Simple idea and it has worked.  Of course, it took quite a bit of time to do what I thought would be just a few minutes.  However, it is done and we are supposed to get more rain so will see what happens.
I was in Huntsville shopping today and when I got home I found I had another speaker for my stereo system.  I wanted another that was near the sewing table as I can't always hear my music without turning it up a lot which, of course, means husband has to turn up the television.  We keep the connecting door between my studio and the main part of the house open so the heat circulates.  Naturally, sound also navigates from one area to another.
I spent the rest of the day working on my scrappy quilt.  I have almost finished the small pieces.  I have another quilt I want to get at but am plugging away getting this finished first.  It is hard disciplining yourself to do one quilt at a time.  I do usually have a few on the go at the same time-and I do now, but am trying not to start anymore until at least one of the others are finished.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something to Crow About

It was quite warm today but hubby and I got some yard work done to prepare for winter.  I checked back blogs and noticed that last year our first snow fall was Oct. 22.  It didn't stay though. We were into Nov. before we got anything that stayed on the ground.  I am hoping for a little later this year although I am looking forward to the winter season.
I had to replant some of my spring bulbs today as the squirrels dug them up.  I have added a bit more soil and then topped it with some branches.  If that doesn't work, I will spread chicken wire over the top.
I got back to work on my Trail Mix quilt this afternoon but first we did a bit of a shift around.  I got a nice little electric fireplace in the spring to add a bit of warm to my studio on the minus 30 days.  The problem was trying to find somewhere to put it.  It isn't big but it needed to be out of the way but also where it could plug directly into an outlet.  We finally placed it against the wall under my sewing table.  As this is where I spend the majority of my time and it is also near the cutting table, long arm frame and computer desk it should work out perfectly.
I will also be able to see the artificial flames when sitting in the chair near the window where I do my reading and hand quilting.  Therefore, I think we have another problem solved.
We picked up a new rooster on Saturday.  The hens were fighting a lot especially with the new younger ones and a rooster usually keeps them all in line.  He is six months old and just learning to crow.  We have missed that sound.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fiction Friday-Just a Quilt

In Jenna's family, it was just called The Quilt.  It was the first one made by their mother and some of the squares were crooked, many of the seams didn't meet and the fabric was odds and ends of material left over from the clothes she had made for the children.  They all knew that it might not win any prizes but they loved it.
The quilt had comforted them when they were ill, cuddled them on cold nights, been superman's cape, a Scout's tent and a security blanket when life shook its fist.  As each of the children grew up and left home, he or she had asked if they could take the quilt.  Mother had always said 'no'.  It belonged to the whole family and it wouldn't be fair to the other's if one were to claim it.
Jenna was the youngest.  The quilt had been part of her life since the day she was born.  By the time she was old enough to join the older children in their games, the quilt was showing signs of age.  The stitches had started to break, many of the squares were all but gone but Jenna loved it as much as the others.  She thought that as she was last one to leave home  her mother might give her the quilt but, she too, was denied and given the same reason.  "But Mom", she argued, "there is no one left at home to miss it."  "Your Father and I are still here, Jenna" , her mother replied softly.
"I'm sorry, Mom.  That was insensitive of me.  Of course you are still here.  I hope you and Daddy get to enjoy the quilt for many years together."
No more was said about the quilt and as each child got busy with their lives, it slowly was forgotten.  Their parents grew older, children were born and grew.  The family tried to get together as often as possible but it was getting harder.   And then their father became ill.  Hospital visits drew everyone into the family circle once again, first to worry and then to celebrate.  However, even though he had recovered he was still going to need on going assistance.  Their parents decided it was time for them to sell the family home and  move into a senior's facility.  "I would like everyone to gather for one last Thanksgiving at home this year" , their mother announced. 
Everyone agreed and each family offered to bring something for the feast so no one had to do all the work.
The day was one that everyone would always remember.  The weather was unexpectedly warm so the children were able to play outside.  All the men were chased out doors as well so the women were able to move freely around the kitchen and dining room.  Extra tables had been moved into the room for the children and high chairs for the babies were tucked into every available space.
After the meal, when everyone was sitting on the couch, chairs or floor, the mother asked for quiet.  "Your Dad and I are so thankful to see you all here.  We are a blessed family and have so many wonderful memories.  Before everyone falls asleep on the floor, I have something to give to you.  As you know, we have gone through a difficult time but it was made easier by all of you.  I have long wondered how we were going to divide the little we have amongst all of you but I did come up with one solution.  Does anyone remember the quilt?"  There was laughter and responses of 'yes' and 'of course'.  ""Don't tell me you still have it', Jenna asked?  "Oh yes, sort of."  She picked up a pile of packages from behind the couch and gave one to each of her children.  As they removed the paper, she added.  "There wasn't much left of that old quilt so I took it apart and made a new one for each of you from the good pieces.  There wasn't enough fabric, of course, so I added some  from one of your father's shirts, some of my aprons and other odds and ends that you might recognize."
There was a lot of exclamations as one found a piece of a football jersey, another a bit of a prom dress. The history of the quilt was explained to other family members and each of the grandchildren had a turn being wrapped in the warm of the new family blanket.  "Now each of you have a quilt of your own.  I hope that in the years to come they will be loved to pieces just as was the original.  For that, of course, is the purpose of a quilt."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Retreat Quilt

Virtual Retreat Quilt
Buttoned Up
Isobel Meekins

The retreat, both virtual and real, is over.  Those that were gathered at Capon Springs in Virginia are on their way home while those of us who were retreating from their home are thinking of them.
This was the first virtual quilt retreat that I've attended and there are a number of reasons why I would do it again.  It was held over four days so  those us who had to deal with day to day situations were still able to be involved even if it wasn't every day all the time.  This is a big plus for me (as I am sure it is for many others) as weekends, if they are held then, already have scheduled activities.  I do my laundry on Saturday because of the cheaper hydro rates.  On Sunday, I go to church and we often have company after.
I also liked that this retreat was held in conjunction with a real one so we were able to see the food, the participants working, completed projects etc. just as though we were there. Not everyone is able to go to a physical location for a number of reasons so a virtual one includes everyone in the fun.
This retreat was sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine ( and was another of the activities they hold for subscribers.  The publishers of this magazine really go out of their way to make their supporters feel they are part of the TQPM family.
The pattern for this quilt was given to all attendees.  I am thinking that I might hand quilt it but will let it hang on the wall where I can look at it and think about it for a while. There were also a number of door prizes.  I won one much to my surprise.  I figured it was for the person who wrote the longest posts.
I am sure my husband is glad to have me mentally back home.  He is a wonderfully understanding man so I didn't push it by expecting him to provide me with meals and take came of the household chores while I was 'at retreat'.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spiritual Mice?

Well, I thought I would have the virtual retreat quilt top done today.  Last night, I worked until nine.  I knew I was getting tired so I just made sections but didn't sew them together in case my thinking wasn't as clear as I thought it was.  Turned out, I was correct.  I had some parts put together wrong so, out came the stitch ripper.  I have got to the point where I am now adding borders, which, fingers and eyes crossed should be done tomorrow. 
I mentioned a while ago that we had had a mouse problem.  We seem to have it solved but are still finding remnants of their residence.  Their chosen food was from a bag of bird seed that I was storing in the sun room until the winter and we have found it everywhere.  Today, I found another spot.  I have a reference Bible on the book shelves by the computer and when I picked it up to check something, outpoured the seeds. Who knew mice had a spiritual bent?

This afternoon I had an appointment at our municipal office as I have volunteered to be a Deputy Returning Officer for the election.  I have been a scrutineer and a municipal politician but never a DRO.  It is quite a bit of responsibility but I like politics and have absolutely no intention of being a politician again so this is a way I can contribute.
On the way back from the training session, I stopped in to visit my friend who had brought all the fabric to our quilt group meeting and, you guessed it, came home with another load.  This is dressmaking fabric so I will be busy later making some additions to my fall wardrobe.  Busy, busy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Addition to my Stash

Have you ever been on a Virtual Quilt Retreat?  It is a cheaper, easier version of the really thing which can still be a lot of fun.  The principle idea is that you stay at home (although I think it would be even more fun if you got together with a friend) quilt and participate in on line activities such as chats and games.  There is usually door prizes, sharing of photos and what is being ate.  It can also involve everyone working on the same quilt pattern.
I am in the middle of a VR right now and I will tell you more about it tomorrow when I expect to have, at least, the top of my quilt finished.  The retreat started on Sunday with the sharing of the pattern and I have been working on it as frequently as possible.
I am enjoying the experience although I think it would be even more fun if my husband got into the spirit of the thing and served my meals and did the housework!

The weather has been lovely; sunny and not too cold.  I took Heidi for a walk and listened to the water gurgle along the side of the road.  We have had so much rain this year that the ditches are still running.

We had a great day at quilt group yesterday.  One of our members brought the stash that had belonged to a family members to share with us.  It filled eight banquet tables.  We each took what we wanted and then filled four totes with the left overs.  These are being donated to a group that makes cuddle quilts for cancer patients.  I haven't really looked at what I brought home yet as I didn't want to get distracted from my quilting.  I do, however, have an idea of what I want to make from some of it.  Here is a photo of what I brought home.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fiction Friday

It is very windy today and the hydro has already flickered once so, although I was going to leave it until later, here is todays story.  You will notice that it is a continuation from last week although it can still be read as a stand alone.

When Adele opened the parcel that had been sent from her mother's solicitor, she laughed  in delight. The multi-coloured fabrics tumbling over the kitchen table each held a special memory. A love of quilting had been the one thing she alone shared with her mother and the hours the two spent pouring over designs, choosing fabric, cutting and sewing were precious.  It might have been petty but she knew that it was something she could do that her sister couldn't.  Morgan excelled at everything.  She was prettier, smarter and everyone loved her.  Adele wasn't any of those things.  When people described her, they said she was 'pleasant' looking.  She never failed a class but she had to work hard to maintain a passing mark.  Morgan, of course, never studied.  She was able to quickly and easily comprehend a task and then remember it.  If well meaning family members and friends hadn't always compared the two sisters, they would probably have continued the loving and sharing relationship they enjoyed when they were little.  But, even the most forgiving and easy going person can get tired of hearing the virtues of another.
Adele had to admit, however, that it was her hours of study which had led to quilting.  She had been sitting at kitchen table working out a math problem when her mother had come in and asked her help. She wanted to know how much fabric she would need to make twelve blocks each containing four same sized squares.  Adele worked it out and then the conversation turned to what her mother was making and how it was done.  This led to further discussion which, in term developed into a passion.  It was only many years later that Adele wondered why her mother needed help with that simple problem when she had been quilting for many years.  By then it didn't matter whether it had been an excuse to get her involved or whether her mother had just had one of those foggy brain moments.
Mother and daughter worked on many quilts together and separately since that day. Adele had even won ribbons at the local fair.  She went on retreats and shop hops with her mother never minding that she was usually the youngest in the group. The memory of those times continued to help her get through the days since her mother's sudden death.
She picked up a square of dark red fabric and brushed it gently.  It was a civil war reproduction fabric; one of her favourites.  She had used it in a quilt for her nephew, Morgan's son, when he got married.  It was then she saw her mother's letter.
"My Dear Adele, thank you for all the wonderful hours sharing my love of quilting.  I know you will remember these fabrics.  These, as well as all my other quilting supplies are yours to do with as you wish.  However, I would like you to use this material for a special project.  I have sent Morgan some blocks but, of course, as you know, she won't know what to do with them.  This is just a suggestion but it would make me happy to know you will help her.  If you do, I would like the fabric in this package to be added to the quilt.  I have given her enough blocks that you could share and make something for each of you.  This, too, is just as suggestion".
Adele laughed again.  This time her mother's loving deviousness was obvious but, as before, Adele didn't mind. She and Morgan were both adults and it was high time they both started acting like it.  When the phone rang, she knew who it was and, smiling, picked it up.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blessed and Happy

I got quite a bit done today.  Did a little baking and then on to my studio where I spent a good bit of the day working on a scrappy project.  I am doing the blocks with the small pieces first so it is slow going right now but it is coming together.  I think this will be a charity quilt.  It depends on how big it turns out to be.  I am also taking part in a Virtual Quilt Retreat starting this Sunday.  We have been given the instruction for fabric amounts and cutting so I have that done.  I like that this event takes part over a few days because Sunday and Monday are both days when I am not home: Sunday church, Monday quilting.  This quilt may also be given away.
I took Heidi for a walk through the bush late afternoon.  Sometime, I get overtaken by feelings of depression.  No cause.  It just happens.  When it does, I find the best remedy is being outside.  A lot of the leaves in our maple bush are now on the ground so it was lovely walking through the colours and the crunching sound.  I just wandered around, not going anywhere in particular.  I took advantage of any opening in the brush but avoided the trail we had made through the property.  I like to explore new or less travelled areas and today we went along the edge of the wetland.  There was enough climbing over trees and up ridges that it was a good workout and I came back feeling happy and blessed. 
Tomorrow, is the second Fiction Friday so don't forget to check in for another quilt related story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Molasses is a Syrup?

I am getting really fidgety because I haven't been able to do any quilting since Monday.  I should have lots of time tomorrow though.  It is unusual to have had so little time at the machine as it is rare that I don't get to quilt every day.  Hopefully, tomorrow gets me back to routine.
We had a lovely day shopping, hubby and I. I don't usually make it for very long as I prefer being at home but I hung in and we did have a good time.  Came home with a few items including a really tall storage unit.  It is the kind that has clear plastic drawers that can be used for storing fat quarters, fabric that has been cut for a quilt, etc. etc.  I got it for $8.00 so a real bargain.
Heidi was at her personal groomer and she was waiting for us when we got back home.  She had a hair cut and nails trimmed and was looking spiffy.  We had a easy supper and watched the news.

I had to buy a couple of grocery items while we were in North Bay which resulted in one of my frustrations.  It always seems that my idea of what category a food item is under and that of the person who does grocery store layout is never the same.  I've always considered applesauce to be a fruit the same as peaches etc. and, therefore would be in the canned fruit section.  It isn't.  It is in baking supplies.  On the other hand molasses which says 'cooking molasses' on it, is with syrups such as maple and corn.  Corn syrup I would also think would be in the cooking section.  Do people drink it?  Put it on pancakes? Yuck.  I don't use it at all but, if I did, it would be in butter tarts or something.
I find it so frustrating to look up and down the logical aisle and not find a product.  Then you have to locate a staff person.
Ah, well.  At least, thinking positively, we live in a country where we can get those things.