Friday, August 29, 2014

Close to Home

What are you doing for the long weekend? I think a lot of people are staying close to home this year or, at least, in their own province.   I was in the grocery store this morning to pick up a couple of things and there was on two parking places left.  The store was full of tourists.  So many arrive Thursday night now that even getting to the stores early on Friday doesn't guarantee it won't be packed.  I am glad for the businesses that this has been a busy summer for them.  Even though the busiest time is over, the visitors will continue for a while as we get into the autumn colours.

I have been working on my flying geese.  The sections are being sewn into rows and the rows will become borders.  It is slower than just adding strips but does add more interest.  I find I don't dislike making them as much as I thought I would.  I am using the 'no waste' method and it is easy to group piece the steps.
Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Lovely Day

We had a lovely day yesterday.  We went to Huntsville where we met another couple who have been my friends for over 40 years.  We had lunch and then went for a little train ride.  The steam engine was one that had been in use and then became obsolete.  Some good folk got together, restored it and now it is a tourist attraction.  There were a number of people from other countries sharing the ride and they were obviously enjoying themselves. 
After disembarking the train, we went to this lookout.  Hubby and I want to go back again when the trees change colour.  We clambered around for a while taking photos from different angles and then drove back to the main street for a cup of tea.
It was a really nice day and we came home happy and glad that we had gone out.  It was a little outing to celebrate our upcoming wedding anniversary.
I am having trouble figuring out how to get the photos from my tablet to the computer but, once I can do that, I will share some more.

The body of the little boy that drowned has been recovered.  I am so thankful that they family has this little bit of comfort in the midst of such a dreadful tragedy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

'Tired' Out

You would think that with 20 acres of bush to search, a person would be able to find a pine or spruce cone somewhere. I need one for a craft I am entering in our fall fair.  May have to buy a cone at the dollar store.
Husband bought a new tire for his tractor and I was helping him put it on this afternoon.  Too hot a day for that kind of activity.  I didn't do much more than just steady the tire while he was doing all the grunting and sweating.  We did finally get it in place and he is tooling around the driveway making sure everything is alright.
We have had a dreadfully sad situation here.  We were out at the local park for a concert on Sunday evening when we saw and heard a stream of emergency vehicles go past.  This is definitely not something you see here.  One cruiser or ambulance is rare.  Unfortunately, a little boy had fallen into the river.  There is a dam and falls right in that area which, combined with a treacherous undertow, makes it an unsafe place for any but the strongest swimmers.  His body still has not been recovered despite divers, helicopter and boat searches.
I cannot imagine what his family are going through.  If you are a person of faith, please pray with me that the body is found and quickly.  This would bring a measure of comfort.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Autumn and Geese

Time to start sharing photos of our lovely autumn scenery.  This is the view from my studio through the sunroom window looking down the driveway.  Those trees always seem to change colour before any of the others in the area.

I have been cutting squares of fabric to make the flying geese to go around the panel I have been working on.  I will take them to group for assembly.  I really need to get some work done on the quilt that is on my frame (how many times have you heard me say that?).  I always seem to have a hard time with that part of the quilt.  I expect that if I could afford it I would just get someone else to do the quilting.
For some reason it feels like Saturday today.  Odd how a day can feel like a certain day of the week, isn't it. 
I finished up one of my entries for our fall fair .  I only have a couple of smaller items left to do and then gather everything together.  I'm not entering any baking this year as we have eliminated as much sugar as possible from our diets.  I don't even have any white sugar in the house except for a little bit to make the hummingbird feed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An Artistic Village

Another busy day.  Another lady and I staffed our local arts and craft center today and, although we didn't have any sales, we did get a number of people drop in and look over the items.  We have quite an eclectic selection.  Everything from sachets, wooden egg cups, paintings, pillows, carvings and, of course, quilts. This is a very artsy area and the members of the center don't begin to cover those blessed with artistic talent.
Do you order books on line?  I just purchased another quilting one and got it from the Book Depository.  I haven't dealt with them before but members of a on line group mentioned them so I checked them out.  Their prices are good and, even more importantly, there is free shipping.
I was supposed to have a quilt class tonight but one of the ladies is sick so cancelled it as I only have two students.  I was tired after my day out so am glad of a chance to relax.  I do enjoy teaching though so even if the lesson had gone ahead, I would have been pleased.
We had quite a thunderstorm last night and then it rained heavily on and off throughout the day.   Our veggies are ripening nicely despite the cool and wet weather and I am looking forward to making my chili sauce and pickled beets.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Quick Trip

Hubby and I made a quick unscheduled trip to Orillia yesterday afternoon.  Mom in law had been staying with us and wasn't planning on returning home until Saturday.  Her daughter and caregiver went to a wedding and, although she was going to be home yesterday, the plan was to give her a few days to rest.  However, Mom was anxious to get back to her own bed so off we went.
The house seems empty now we are, once again, one person less.  Our little Heidi dog misses the extra lap to sit on.
Fortunately, we have lots to keep us busy.  We picked up our chickens from the butcher's and got them sorted and divided between ourselves and our poultry raising partner.  We now have a freezer overflowing with free range chicken.  Some will be sold but the rest will provide us with nutritious meals.  We have a number of turkeys which will join them in a bit.  They, along with the garden produce, should keep us fed for the winter.
Tomorrow is my turn to stall the Arts and Craft Center in the village.  I am getting a hand applique project ready to take as we usually have a fair bit of non busy time. This block is the last one needed for a quilt top. I then have four applique blocks of another project to do and that one will be finished.
The trees outside my studio window are showing a lot of colour so I am spending more time than usual gazing outside.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lemonade from Quilting Lemons.

Have you ever had an idea, worked diligently away at it and, when it was done, decided you didn't like it?  I have just had that experience.  I have been making flying geese for the past two days so I could add them as a border to a panel.  I just placed one row on a long side and I don't like it.  I think they overpower the panel.
I will now do what I always do in this case; leave it until Monday and see what the ladies in the quilt group think.  If they agree, I will use the geese in a runner.
I am sure everything will turn out alright and I could end up having two projects  instead of one.  That is the best lemonade I can make right now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Group Piecing

I have got my flying geese steps worked out to the point I can now get on with making them.  I like to be able to do a bunch of one steps at once and then do all of the next step.  I am calling this group piecing.  With the flying geese, I cut all the squares and put them all together for the first step.  This consists of sewing 1/4" to the side of the center mark so I do that on all the blocks, turn them around and sew them all on the other side.  I continue this way until I have a whole mess of geese done at once.  I don't need to iron one block at a time because they all reach that point together.
Sewing this way has been called strip piecing but that doesn't make sense to me as I am not sewing strips.

This morning, a lady on the Hearts to Hands Yahoo group sent a link to a very simple craft.  I stopped the geese for a bit to do a few.  I made four circle and will do the next step when watching television this evening.  These will make great little Christmas tree or package decorations.
Here is the link:

I think it would be fun to do these in non traditional colours for example blue and white or with plaid fabrics rather than print.
I think I will also try them in different sizes.
Let me know if you make any.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Around the Panel

I have been working on my panel quilt.  I have managed to get the sides trimmed so the printed border is even all around, added two more borders and now am going to do a pieced border-flying geese.  It has been a stop and go process as we have had company and getting the every constant house work done.  We finished our cereal this morning so had to make more, empty the dishwasher and replace clean dishes with dirty etc. etc.
It has been raining all day so I haven't been able to get outside for fresh air other than a gulp or two while letting out Heidi.  We had a thunderstorm last night for a bit but it didn't last long and, other than a couple of flickers, the hydro stayed on.

The Quilt Pattern Magazine is looking for block submissions for their EQ Creativity call.  I have submitted one of mine.  It is fairly simple but can be used so many different ways.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Our mind often produces odd results; or mine does anyway.  I've frequently noticed how one thought can lead to something  that has no bearing to the original.  My on line group Hearts to Hands, were recently discussing the flying geese block and the various ways to make it. Not one of my favourite blocks by any means but I have made the decision to use them in at least one quilt. 
I was thinking about that last night while playing a computer game when my mind took off at another angle.  I exited the game, clicking on Microsoft Word and, a few moments later,  had written my next magazine submission to the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I even know what photo I will use.
I have been writing for this magazine for a while now-2 or 3 years, so sometimes have to struggle for something new to share.  It is a real treat when topic and words come together in a rush.
Some artists (writers, painters etc.) say they wait for inspiration before creating.  Personally, if I waited for inspiration, I would rarely accomplish anything.  I think it was Stephen Leacock who said success was 10 % inspiration and 90% perspiration.  Not sure if I have quoted it correctly but you get the gist.  It is wonderful when the ten present happens but it is rare.
I think the situation is the same for those us that quilt; especially if we do it professionally.  There are times when a new pattern or quilting idea just pops into our head but, most often, we struggle, sweat, try one thing or another until something works.

I was saddened to hear today of Robin Williams death.  I don't know if more people are suffering from depression or if those who are are more vocal but it is a dreadful illness.  It is present in most families including mine.  My faith in God is what keeps me going on the difficult days.  It must be extremely difficult if a person has no hope.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Craftsy Classes

If you have ever thought you would like to try one of these classes, you won't get a better time than this.  Check it out.

LIMITED TIME ONLY! ALL Classes up to 50% off!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Autumn Already

I am having PC problems today.  I think I need a news mouse-or at least I hope that is what is causing the problem.  Just a few photos today.  As you can see, our trees are really changing colour.  This photo was taken looking toward the driveway.
Aug. 8th-Fall colours

Daisy's on the Rocks

Wildflower Garden

Husband's New Tractor

My Latest Project

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Over and Over Again

I have been doing some 'late in the year' spring cleaning.  I am sure you have had one of those experiences where you start to do something and it leads to a massive task.  I decided I had to organize my mixing bowls as they were getting scattered throughout the cupboard that holds them as well as my Tupperware, pitchers, large containers of flour and sugar etc. etc.  Of course, I ended up doing the whole cupboard as well as the kitchen pantry and the one in the sun room that holds the overflow.  Clearing everything out gave me the opportunity to clean the floor and shelves as well as put to one side things I no longer wanted.
Everything looks a lot neater and cleaner now but I know from experience it won't stay that way long.
I think this is why so many women hate housework.  It never stays done.  You make the bed one day and then again the next.  Dishes are done over and over, floors always need sweeping, clothes washing and meals made.
There are many things like that.  Weeds regrow in the garden, lawns need to be mown repeatedly, and, every winter, driveways have to be continually cleared of snow. My husband spends summer and fall cutting and piling firewood only to have to repeat the process again the next year.
Quilting, on the other hand, consists of starting and finishing a project.  Once the quilt is made it is finished.  You don't have to redo it.  No wonder we believe quilting keeps us sane.

Heidi, blissfully unaware of all the activity

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dear Friends.

I had a nice day visiting with a dear friend.  She and I have known each other for over 40 years and even after I moved to Alberta, I always made a point of seeing her if we drove to Ontario.  She, like all of us, is getting older so seeing her is both a chance to revisit the past while being aware that there is much less future.
Another old friend happened to be there today as well so there was a different spoke in the wheel of remembrances.
Earlier, I went to a small store that sold craft supplies including quilt fabric.  It is, unfortunately, closing.  I was bought some fabric and a couple of notions at a good price.  It is always nice to get a bargain but am sorry to know that it won't be carrying on.  It is hard for a business in a small community to survive and the owners of this one operated it more as a hobby than a profit making venture.
It is important that we support quilt stores as much as possible.  I do buy a lot on line but try to get to the store closest to me approx. every six weeks even if it is for a small purchase.
My little fruit bowl cover has got a lot of positive response.  If you didn't read yesterday's post, take a look.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Well Dressed Fruit Bowl.

I like to keep a bowl of fruit on my kitchen table where it is easy to grab something.  It is particularly nice this time of year when peaches, pears, cherries  and more are all fresh and juicy.  The downside of the convenience is, eventually, the fruit flies discover the bounty.  I have draped a towel over the bowel (not attractive) or pulled a plastic bag over the opening (condensation forms).
This morning I came up with the perfect (I hope) solution.  I made a fabric cover.  It looks somewhat like a shower cap or, if you aren't old enough to remember those, a surgeon's cap.  The fabric should allow for air circulation while keeping out the pests.  I am going to make an extra for when this one needs washing and so I have one for picnics.

Here is how I made it.  Place the bowl, opening down, on a large piece of paper. Using a pen, trace around the bowl.   Remove the bowl and enlarge the circle by two inches.    You can do this freehand, or take a ruler and place the 2" mark on the line, and make a mark at the end of the ruler.  Do this all around the circle and then join the marks.  Cut out the circle.  This is your template.  Place the template on fabric, pin in place and cut around it with scissors.
I serged around the fabric circle but, if you don't have a serger, just turn the edge in a 1/4" and sew in place.
You will need a narrow width elastic to sew around the edge of the fabric.  To determine the length, measure around the rim of the bowl with a fabric measuring tape and then cut the elastic two inches shorter than this length.  Sew the ends together to form a circle.  Fold fabric circle in half and then half again and press on the folds ends to mark the quarter sections.  Place pins at the quarter marks of the elastic and then pin elastic and fabric quarter points together.  Sew elastic to fabric, stretching to fit.
Make the cover to match your d├ęcor.  These would also make a great stocking stuffer gift or for a craft sale.  Enjoy.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Holiday Travellers

Here in Canada, we are celebrating a long weekend holiday.  By now, most of the major highways are clogged with traffic as people leave the cities for a few days at their cottage, camping or enjoying other forms of relaxation.  Of course those of us who live in cottage country aren't going anywhere.  We already are in the area that everyone else seeks.  The downside to calling paradise home is that your streets and stores are uncommonly crowded during certain times of the year.  Locals do their shopping early in the week, leaving Thursday to Saturday to our holidaying visitors.
We had to go into the village today but only to drop off  batting to some of my customers, get the mail and go to the library.  Tomorrow, we stay home.  Sunday afternoon we may go out for a bit after church but only near where we live.
I have been getting ready for my quilt show and sale tomorrow.  Hubby has put signs up on the road and the end of the driveway.  I am getting the studio organized so I can display the quilts.  If it stays nice, I will have a few on the clothes line.  It would be lovely to make a sale or two but if I get a few visitors to come and see what I do, that will also be good.
If you are on the road this weekend, please drive safely.