Friday, June 27, 2014

Missouri Star

This coming week is another of those in which we and our American neighbour's both celebrate a holiday albeit on different days.  July 1st is, of course, Canada Day and the 4th is the U.S.A.'s Independence Day.  Because the 4th falls on a Friday, there holiday weekend will happen the end of the week, whereas ours is the beginning.    This means a lot of traffic toing and froing.
Our home is in an area that is part of a huge tourism country.  For most of the communities in cottage country, the population increases dramatically curing the summer holiday season. Locals tend to avoid the stores, beaches and other areas that are popular to the holidayers.  We try to do our shopping by Thursday.
I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy the Missouri Star Quilt Companies web site and patterns.  This one arrived in my in box today and is another that I am going to do.
New MSQC Tutorial: The Disappearing Hourglass Quilt

I have a few odds and ends to finish up this weekend.  I need to complete the binding on a mini wall hanging that will be a gift for a new mother and a couple of other things. I am making great progress on the wedding quilt that I am appliquing and hope to have it finished in time for my sister to take back to England for a wedding gift.

If you are travelling this weekend, please stay safe.  You are valued.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Fox in the Hen House

We've lost our rooster and one of the chickens.  A fox got the hen early this morning as she escaped the coop.  She was always doing that and this time she paid the price.  We still don't know how it got the rooster because it only left the coop when we let all the chickens out.
The dratted thing still wasn't satisfied and came back for more.  The hens set up a racket, I looked out and there was the fox.  I charged out swinging my cane and it left.   I kept a good watch out until my husband came home and he put everyone back inside their house.
We went to Huntsville today to do our shopping and for my breathing test at the hospital.  I have been experiencing some problems and have a lot of congestion so the doctor thought I should be tested.  I think it is allergies although to what, I don't know.
We were tired by the time we got home and, normally, this would be a day when we would have something quick and non nutritious for supper.  Instead, we got some lettuce from the garden, made a salad and had it with a can of water packed tuna.  Can't you just visualize the goodness coursing through my body.  Would have preferred some nice greasy fish and chips from the chip truck but I guess it is time to grow up.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I went with my husband for his doctor's appointment yesterday to discuss his deteriorating hip problem.  He has so much pain with it that he has had to give up riding motorcycle.  Unfortunately, he is not yet in need of a hip replacement.  The doctor said that the best decision would be for husband to lose weight.   As I can also stand to lose some pounds, I decided to join him.  He is now on a strict no carb, no sugar food plan.  I am doing the no sugar and low carb as I go for walks and don't need to lose as much.
It is amazing the number of foods that have carbs.  Just about everything you enjoy including all grains.  It will be worth it if we can get to a healthier weight.

The bugs have settled down and Heidi and I were able to take a nice walk without being covered head to toe.  Makes everything so much more pleasant.
Have you every heard of a spirializer/  Me neither until I saw one on television.  It, basically, turns a vegetable into strings like pasta.  Great for raw vegetable or non carb diet.  You can buy them on line but I am checking right now to see if I can get them in Huntsville as we are going there tomorrow.
I am starting a new applique project.  I am making a  gift for a niece who is getting married this summer.  The pattern is one from morel cabin creations, a very talented designer who lives just north of us.  I am changing it a bit, naturally, and will post when I have it done.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Quilts

I have finally finished my Northern Lights wall hanging.  It is covered in an iridescent material which changes colour depending on the light and the angle at which you are looking.  Some of the stars have been overstitched with silver thread to add to the sheen.
The first photo is a close up.  The quilt was topstitched by hand and it is for sale.
The mini angel wall hanging is a sample of what I can make for you.  It makes a wonderful gift to the parents of a new baby and I can include the babies name and birth date.

Close Up

Northern Lights Wall Hanging

Special Delivery Mini

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Skunk in the Pumpkin Patch

Thank you everyone who commented on my chicken quilt.  I appreciate the encouragement.  It is still on my design wall as we haven't made a definitive decision as to where it is going to go.
I started a couple of mini angel quilts today.  They are approx. 10 X 14 and have a machine appliqued angel on them.  Previous ones have been to celebrate a Confirmation and another that declares  gardens are a blessing.  These are to acknowledge a birth.  One will simply say "Special Delivery" and the other has a babies name and date of birth.  That one will be given to a friend.
We had some beet tops and lettuce from our garden for supper.  I was thinning the beets and rather than just discarding the ones I pulled out, I cooked them.
The mosquitos seem to be lessening so it is possible to be outside for a while without feeling as though you are on a bug's meal menu.  Hubby and I took a walk around the yard earlier and noticed that a critter got into the area where the pumpkin seeds were planted.  It dug the ground all up looking for, we suspect, grubs.  We had used chicken manure on the garden and it may not have been as well aged in that spot.  We think it was probably a skunk.  Better that than a bear.
One of the ladies in our local quilt group, the Burk's Falls Village Quilter's sent out this link.  You might find it handy if you are searching for something different to put on a label.

Happy first day of summer tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Teaching is Fun

I have been getting my studio ready for this evening when two young women come over for their first quilt lesson. Both know how to sew and one already quilts but I want to show them the different techniques as well as lining up sashing and making mitered corners etc.
I enjoy teaching so this will be fun.
Are you or someone in your family watching the World Cup soccer games?  My husband is an avid fan and hasn't wandered too far from the television since the series began.  He is tending to the chickens and cutting wood so he isn't neglecting his responsibilities.
I am not a fan of sports although I enjoy watching baseball and follow the fortunes of the Blue Jays.
Heidi and I went for a walk early this morning as the bugs have settled down some.  The pollen, or whatever everyone is allergic to this year, has also settled down so I am able to breath a bit better.  It has been a rough spring.  I  have an appointment next week at the hospital to get my breathing checked.  Always good to make sure nothing untoward is happening.
The lettuce in our garden is ready for picking and we have small tomatoes on some of the plants.  It appears as though we are going to have a good garden this year. I was finally able to get all the gnomes back into the garden where they are busy pulling weeds,.  I hope they are as I don't do it very often.
I am getting the binding added to the northern lights quilt today so should be able to post a photo tomorrow.  I am really pleased with how it has turned out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Little Chicken

Here is the applique chicken quilt.  I have to put the hanging sleeve on it yet and think I will also do some hand stitching around the part of the wings that covers the body.  This little quilt is for my husband and he really likes it.  Not sure where it will hang yet as it means something else will have to be moved from a wall.
I didn't notice until I uploaded the quilt that you can see my photo taking shadow on it.  The chicken blocks were designed by the very talented Fat Cat Patterns.
I am now working on the northern lights hanging.  Hope to have a photo of it tomorrow or the next day.  I am finishing the binding by hand so that will take a bit longer.
Hope you all escaped damage from the tornadoes and thunderstorms that chased their way across Ontario yesterday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Sound of Music

Life is good.  I went to Huntsville this morning for my eye test and all is well.  Don't have to get new glasses and there aren't any other problems.  From there I went to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop to donate a heavy garbage bag full of stuff.  While there, I thought I might as well pop in and see if there was anything I could use.  I checked out the clothes and saw that, as usual, the things I liked, didn't fit.  Then I wandered over to the other section and spotted a small stereo system.  It had a 3 CD deck with dual cassette player, AM/FM radio and a special FM antenna.  The later was important because it is sometimes hard to pick up a signal here with all the trees and rocks. 
The stereo we bought after moving here quit working and I have been in a bit of a fuss trying to find another.  Of course, everyone is into ipods and a lot of other things I don't really understand nor want to use, so it was hard to find a system. 
The one at the thrift shop was only $35.00.  I have it hooked up and it works perfectly.  I can, once more enjoy my music.  Life really is good!

Now all that is done, I am going to get back to my quilting.  I only have a bit more to do on the quilt that is on the frame, the hand quilting is finished on the Northern Lights panel so I should be able to finish both of them today.  Unless the hydro goes out.  We are on the edge of a storm. 
The hydro doesn't really go out as often as it probably seems from my writing but there is always the possibility.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Good side

There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the cruelty of some people.  I won't go into the details of the latest situation but when I heard it on the news, I was brought to tears.  As I sat there thinking about the victim, I realized that the best thing we can do to counteract an act of cruelty or injustice is to show we care.
I have been sewing a few items that will be given to women and children who are in difficult situations.  I decided that I could mope and moan or do something constructive.  The latter seemed to be the right decision.  I am now in the process of making some fabric bags that can be used as handbags or totes.  I am using brightly flowered print and adding a good sized pocket.  They are more serviceable than fancy but I hope they will help lift someone's spirits.
I know that many of you make quilts to give to those in need. You probably also do volunteer work.  You are part of the  good that is in people.  You are the part that is the majority.  Thank you for all you do to help others.  For your encouragement to those who are down.  Remembering that you are part of the world makes the dark side easier to bear.

Happy Father's Day to all the single mothers who fill both parenting roles for their children.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quilting Therapy

It is amazing the difference a rain fall makes.  The bush seems to have doubled in lushness overnight. As I look out the studio window, all I can see is green.  A few days ago,  I was looking past tree trunks and a few shrubs.

We went to Huntsville this morning after voting.  I had to pick up a prescription and we needed to purchase a few things.  As I was driving down our lane way, my husband told me to 'watch out'.  Apparently, there was a turtle on the road in a mud puddle.  I hadn't seen it and was sure I had run it over.  I felt bad all the time we were out.  Roger drove on the return trip and we crept along the lane hoping we wouldn't see anything.  We didn't.  I must have missed it.  I really hope so.  I hate the thought of hurting or killing anything.  Anything other than blackflies, mosquitos, and deer flies.  Those I would take a flame thrower to if given the opportunity.

I wasn't sure if our hydro was going to go out during the thunderstorm so I spent some time cutting fabric.  As mentioned previously, I have been sewing  my 3.5 inch strips into pairs.  I am now cutting them into sections which will be sewn together into a top.  I am aiming for a crib size or larger. 

Once I have finished these, I have other remnants waiting to be made into place mats.  I am determined to get all these bits and pieces used up.

Quilting is cheaper than therapy.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Rural Sampler

We are getting a lovely, steady, gentle rain.  The windows are open in the sun room and the sound of the rain is providing a nice backdrop.  Such a peaceful sound.
I was so tired yesterday that I spent most of it laying down.  I hadn't slept the night before because I was having such a hard time breathing.  Fortunately, I had been like that all day Monday.  I say fortunately because I was in to see the doctor for my yearly check up and he could see how congested I was.  I am going for some tests and will be taking some medication to see what works.  He suspects allergies.  I thought it might have been asthma so prefer his diagnosis.
I was at a meeting Monday evening and, coming home, I saw a bear cub.  It ran across the road in front of me just as I came around a corner.  It took me a second to realize what it was.  He ran off into the bush where, I presume, Momma was waiting.
We saw a turtle yesterday getting ready to lay its eggs.  We spied a snapper and a couple smaller breeds the first couple of years after moving here and then nothing. Glad at least one of the group is still around.  We try to watch where they lay and then place chicken wire over the spot to keep predators out.  A raccoon or something got them the first year.
I didn't completely waste yesterday.  I have a book with 501 quilt blocks in it.  I looked at all of them and noted the name and page of the ones I would like to do.  I am thinking of a sampler with a rural theme-country church, chicken, house etc.
I also noted a lovely pattern for a tall ship complete with many little sails.  I think it would make a great center block for a wall hanging.
I better get the chicken quilt in the frame so I can start on these new projects.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Quilts Shows and Friends

Had a nice time at the Muskoka Quilt Show today.  It was put on by the Pine Tree Quilter's guild of Bracebridge and it was nicely organized.  Lots of machine embroidery on the blocks in this show.  No matter how many quilt shows you attend, each has its own 'flavour'.  With some, it is hand applique, others traditional while embellishments might dominate at another show.  There was also quite a few raw edged quilts at this one.  They were well made and the patterns suited the method.
I managed to not spend much money which isn't what the vendors hope will happen but after a large car repair bill and a number of other expenses, I thought I should be good.  I did purchase a unique pattern to make slippers which I think will be great for craft sales and gifts.
The best part of this show was being able to share it with my dear friend who drove from Haliburton so we could meet.  She is also a quilter and has, along with her daughter, been a great encouragement to me. She had to leave early and get ready for a craft show tomorrow but I am glad we did have some time together.
After lunch, I headed home.  A lady from our local quilt group had come with me so I stopped for a cup of tea at her place before continuing back to the back woods.
There is a nice breeze today ruffling the maple leaves and keeping the studio cool.  Every time I come into this room, I think how fortunate I am to have such a bright and spacious area to sew and write.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's a Fowl Life

I planted some annuals today to replace the fading spring flowers.  I was only able to do half before retreating from the mosquito onslaught.   done a bit of time wasting on the computer, got supper ready and now am going to do some sewing.
I have been staying fairly close to the radio so I can hear if there are any updates in the Moncton shooting.  Dreadful situation especially for the families of the slain officers.
I am going to sew more of my 3.5" strips together and, in fact, should get them all done today.  Then I will cut the strips into sections and turn the sections into 9 patch blocks.
Tomorrow, I am off to a quilt show.  Looking forward to meeting my dear friend and catching up on news.
Our new chickens seem to be settling into their home and have started giving us eggs.  I was checking the price on organic eggs yesterday and found that the store charges double what we do.  Of course, we don't pay staff, building upkeep etc.  Our birds get to run/strut freely around the yard eating bugs (for which I am thankful) and bathing in the sand.  They have a human that is devoted to keeping them safe, happy and healthy.  Not a bad life.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


This is a follow up to yesterday's post about internet security.  I made a couple of phone calls today-one to my internet security company AVG and the other to a place from whom I had received a call.  the second place is Live Tech.  Someone who said they were calling from this latter business said they had detected a virus on my PC and I needed to pay for a download to fix it.  It sounded fishy to me so I refused to do it.  I called AVG and they confirmed I didn't have a problem.  I then called Live Tech and gave him the info.  He is doing some checking and said he will get back to me in 24 hours but told me that they had fired an employee who had been scamming customers.  I am telling you this so you can be aware.
There are a lot of people out there trying to take advantage of us.  If you are in doubt, don't do it.  Call your internet security provider and get them to check for you.  It really makes me angry that people don't care who they are hurting or how the money they steal affects the victim.
It isn't a nice world sometimes.  As my husband says, "This isn't Heaven."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

PC Blues

This  has nothing to do with quilting or living in a rural paradise. I am interested in knowing if you have AVG providing your pc security and, if so, do you keep getting calls telling you that you your computer is infected or hacked and you need to buy something-usually costing between 150.00 and 400.00?
If so, would you let me know as I would like to know what is going on.  AVG is a good company but there might be something/someone mucking around.

On a less frustrating topic;  we are getting a severe thunderstorm watch.  The wind is whipping the trees around but the chickens seem unconcerned.  They are still outside in their run.  At least they can't get blown around there.  Husband has gone to pick up our flock addition so I don't expect him back until nearly supper time which, if the hydro goes out, will be a can of soup.

I have been sewing my 3.5" strips together; lights to darks.  When I have that done, I will cut into squares and then put together into a scrappy top.  I have almost used up all my remnants.  I think this makes me eligible for some sort of reward or recognition.
Stay safe.