Thursday, September 29, 2016

Batiks and Blog Hops

This is my latest Island Batik  ( project "Bountiful Table Topper".  The centre is pieced and the leaves machine appliqued with Superior variegated thread in gold colours.
I think I will use it on our table for our Thanksgiving meal.
I have just started another project.  I think I mentioned that I am making a quilt to help promote a wonderful new applique book.  A number of women are making quilts from the book and will be posting them in their blogs.  The following gives you the information and shows you a photo of the book.  I will be sharing mine on Oct. 12th.   I will post the list of the other blogs later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Search Engine Woes

I have just spent an hour searching for a vest pattern for a young girl that was either knitted or crocheted.  There are lots of them but the search engines are the pits on all the sites.  Put in 'girl's vest' and you get patterns for dog, doll, people of all ages as well as for scarves, hats and anything else a person might wear.  The tedium of searching through pages and pages of patterns is bad enough.  The ordeal is compounded by the designers using needle sizes for only one country and often not either Canadian or U.S.  One didn't even give the needle size in the write up.  Frustrating.
I did purchase one but I will probably wait until I am at a store and try again.
There is a lesson for all of us who sell patterns and to those who have web sites. Give all the information needed on your cover page and, preferably in a manner that most customers can understand i.e. sizes in metric and imperial.  Make your search engine more accurate.  I don't have either the time or the patience (especially the latter) to search through over a thousand pages for the privilege of buying something from you.
There! Now I feel better.  I will send the worst offender an email tomorrow.
Sat outside with hubby today and finished doing the binding on my table runner.  It was a lovely fall day.  We are just starting into the season so should get to do this a few times more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Down Sizing

The weather was lovely here today.  Rain had been predicted but didn't arrive so Heidi and I were able to go for our walk this afternoon.  I think that little dog has a watch hidden somewhere.  We generally go out around 3 o'clock and, if I haven't made any indication that I am getting ready, she comes and looks at me.  Today, I was finishing up something on the computer and listening to the radio.  Just as the news came on, Heidi appeared around the corner.
I got my Island Batik project finished today.  I just had to stitch around the applique pieces.  I hadn't planned on doing that but a lady in our quilt group convinced me that a small zigzag stitch would look better than just sewing around close to the edge.  I used a variegated thread from Superior and, I must admit, it does look good.  Am doing the binding now and them will take a photo to show you.
I am downsizing.  I have more sewing machines than I need so am selling my Baby Lock embroidery machine and my Janome Quilter's Companion.  Both have the manual and all attachments.  If you are interested, send me a note and I will give you the details.
I have also started a small on line business.  If you look to the right side of the screen under the Pages heading, you will see the link.  Again, just send me a note via the comment box and I will get back to you.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Mini Battle

Every so often, I check out the stats for my blog.  I like to see how many people read it per month on average and where they are located.  The majority of my followers are in the U.S. with Canada being second.  Others are in the United Kingdom and various parts of Europe.  I even have two from China and another couple in Poland. 
I find it very encouraging to know so many people find what I say worth reading.  I am not sure if those in non English speaking countries do read this language or if they use the translate feature but it tickles me no end to think of someone on the other side of the globe reading about our dog, chickens, my quilting and other happenings.
I am not sure why but I am even surprised to discover that people I know read this.  I recently had a comment from one of our sons and a former pastor.  My mental reaction was 'you read my blog!".

I mentioned yesterday that I had put some seeds in one of the bird feeders.  Today, I watched a small battle take place between a couple of chipmunks and a blue jay.  The jay was trying to get at the food but a little chippie was right inside the feeder.  He was yelling at it without a great deal of reaction.  When it did leave, another dashed in to take its place.  Every so often both of them would leave and zip around the ground and a tree trunk while the jay swooped in a grabbed a few seeds.  Then a chipmunk would return and the battle would start all over again.
I was surprised that the jay wasn't able to chase them off as they are pretty aggressive birds.
By the way, why do we usually find chipmunks cute but not squirrels?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Birds, Birds, Birds

It seems that after eight plus years we would have seen most things that happen here in the backwoods.  Not so.  As we were eating supper this evening, hubby noticed a flock of birds gathering along the area where our property joins with the neighbours.  That, in itself isn't unusual.  We live in the bush and trees are where birds live.  This flock, however, was made up of a number of varieties of birds.  There were downy and redheaded woodpeckers, blackbirds, a flicker and the usual wrens and sparrows.  With the exception of the woodpeckers, there were all on the ground in little moving groups.  We assumed there was something that attracted them all-bugs, seeds, berries but couldn't see what it was. It seemed to cover a fairly large area including around the rear of the van.
The birds stayed for 20 minutes or so and then all took off.
I put some seeds in one of the feeders today so the migrating birds can have a quick meal.  I don't like to put the feeders out this time of year in case it attracts bears but I think our yappy dog will keep them away.  Our neighbours have seen them but we haven't. 
Another few days and I should be able to start talking fall photos.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Could I have Forgotten That?

You know you are getting old when....
Contrary to what some people may think about small communities, there are many opportunities to promote and sell your work as an artist.  Last year, I took part in a Christmas show and sale in Sundridge-a village just north of us.  This year, I am submitting the wall quilt that won first prize to another show that take place a bit further north in South River.  (There are 3 villages, including ours, fairly close to each other of approximately the same size and there is a lot of to and froing between them.)
That decision brought a mini panic.  I had to send information on the quilt to one of the co-ordinators.  I had it all written down in my quilt journal but I couldn't find the quilt.  I looked where it should be, where it shouldn't be and a couple more places where it couldn't possibly be and then back to the first location.  I did find the prize ribbon which was odd because I didn't remember taking it off.  I was beginning to think it had been stolen.  Common sense told me that a thief would have take a lot of others items before the quilt unless, of course, it was a robber with a fine tuned artistic sense.
I finally asked hubby to double check the places where I had looked.  As he was doing that, I realized where it was.  I had taken it to the Art Centre to sell.  Honestly.  How could I have possibly forgotten that?  I have now made a notation in my journal and that it will be going to ArtScape.
We all went for a walk through the bush today and noticed that the top of the maple trees are definitely changing colour.  Autumn days are here again.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Strange Dog.

A few weeks ago, we changed our horrible living room rug for laminate.  We love it but wee Heidi isn't so sure about it.  Whenever she gets her milk bone, she carries it to the hall where it is still carpeted.  No sure if she thinks she is supposed to eat her treat on soft flooring or what.  I did want to get rid of all the carpeting but I guess I will have to leave the hall.
She does a similar thing as the snow melts.  She goes to wherever there is still some snow to do her bathroom duties.  She keeps moving from place to place until she is perched on the last little bit.  When it has gone, she goes back to doing it anywhere her rope reaches.
I started quilting my customers top today.  It is going well but my thread keeps shredding.  It is a new needle, it is threaded correctly and the tension is good so not sure what is wrong.  Changed the thread without any improvement. 
I just finished doing two quilts without any problem so it is odd that it has started acting up.  I will go through the check list tomorrow.  Tonight, I am working on my next Island Batik project.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Life's Beauty

This has been one of those days when you are busy the whole day but not sure you end up accomplishing anything.
I have been on the search for a new telephone for a few weeks.  One didn't work, another didn't have the features I wanted, another had far too many features that I didn't need.  I finally found the right one and ordered it.  It is perfect except I can't get the call display to work.  Called the phone's maker and our service provider each at least 3 times without any change.  I am now waiting while Bell does some line checking.  All this took over 4 hours.  It is hard not to get frustrated.  Now I wait.
I also wanted to get started on another customer quilt but the backing provided wasn't wide enough.  I do have a bolt in stock and she has okayed the use of that so I should be able to get it set up tonight.
After all the fussing through the day, I went outside to see what Heidi was barking at and saw the sky.  The sun was just going behind the trees and the clouds were catching the last of the glow.  Beautiful. Every day contains beauty.  You just have to keep your eyes open and not be blinded by the little things in life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


A few photos for your enjoyment.

 When hubby walks back to where the chickens are, they flock around him like a group of puppies.  Some of them look up at him just as though they are listening to what he is saying.
 Some of our sunflowers creating a bright note of colour amongst the pumpkin and zucchini.
I was trying out the macro lens on the camera  It gave this common wildflower a touch of elegance.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Items For Sale

I have decided to start a small on line business.  Prices will be below retail and will include taxes.  You only have to pay the price given-in Canadian funds, and the shipping.  Everything will be new and unused unless stated otherwise.  Most items will be fabric but today I have the book, shown below and a calendar. If interested in either item, please contact me at:  I accept PayPal or e-transfer.
Jo's Little Favorites

Jo Martin is a favourite designer with many quilters.
This 80 page book contains 13 patterns of smaller
quilts-most under 36" which are great for quick projects.
They can easily be made from scraps or fat quarters.
Price 25.00



Have you always thought you would like to try making a hexagon quilt,  placemat., table runner etc.  This calendar contains a new pattern every day of the week. If you don't get them all done the first year, you can continue the next and the next as this calendar can be used every year.
Cost:  $20.00

Martingale - The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Nice View

It is nice to feel well enough to be getting my work done again.  The customer quilt that is on the frame is almost half done, I finished hemming the communion cloths for church and did a few other odds and ends.  I also have a lovely new view.
For some time, I have been thinking of cutting a hole in the back of my computer stand so I can see down the road.  I did that yesterday and am really pleased.  The hole is about 6 X 8 and big enough that I can look all the way down the road so any vehicle coming up the driveway will be seen even before the dog starts to bark.  The other benefit is I am able to rest my eyes easily by just looking above the monitor.  Right now, I can see the trees putting on the lovely red fall coats.  A beautiful sight and well woth the effort it took to achieve it.
It has been a really muggy day here again but it is cooling nicely now.  Tomorrow I am going into the village to hang some more quilts at the art centre.  Will also be meeting a friend for a cup of tea.  I am still only able to have liquids or my meals so no treats for me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


It has been very humid today.  Doing anything outside made you feel as though you were wading through jelly.  We had to go to Huntsville today for a medical appointment and then got some shopping done.  I haven't done a decent one in a few weeks and the larder was getting empty. 
In the afternoon, I spoke with an Edmonton friend on Skype.  It is an amazing time we are living in.  I remember when seeing a person while you talked with them on the phone was science fiction
Now we are doing that and much more.  I think we often take these advances for granted.  I think those of use who are in their last half of their life should be especially awed as we grew up in an entirely different world.
I haven't got any quilting done today but am hoping to get started on a project tomorrow. I accomplish more when I have deadline but I've covered all the ones I had so I will have to impose some on myself.  Time to make a 'to-do' list.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fall Fair Time

I did much better than I expected at the fair this year.  Between hubby's operations and then my dental work plus an extra heavy amount of customer quilts and writing to do, I really didn't get a great deal of time to spend on my entries.  Therefore, I was pleased to have all my quilts win a first and my doll clothes, ladies blouse and crocheted vest all got second's.
The first two photos show some of the quilts with their ribbons and the others show the actual quilts.

Small Quilt

Wall Hanging

Unquilted Top (It actually was sewn together but this is the first photo I grabbed from my files.  Might hand quilt this one for next year.

Couldn't find another photo of the table runner so will post one of that later.

We didn't stay at the fair very long as my mouth was hurting.  Went to the dentist again today and got some more adjustments done.  I have a friend who had her dental work done about a week before me and she is almost back to normal.  That is encouraging.
Hope those of you with children got through the first day of back to school without mishap.

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Fabric Winner.

Unfortunately, the person drawn to win the Island Batik fabrics did not reply to the post so I have made another draw.  Country Gal, congratulations and please send me your e-mail address so I can arrange to have your lovely fabrics sent.
You have a week to reply.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

An Early Start

I received a new quilting book in the mail today. It is called "Folk Art Quilted Traditions" by Suzy Webster.  Suzy's book features patterns based on Hungarian Embroidery and they are lovely.  It has only just been published but check and see if your quilt or book store is carrying it yet.  You will be glad you did.  I will be doing a blog post on the book later in October so stay tuned for my version of one of the patterns.
Got a few more items ready for our fall fair.  I have to have them all completed tomorrow as they will be taken in early Saturday morning for judging.
I haven't had as much time to get ready this year as usual but I always like to enter something.  It supports the fair and also helps to promote quilting.
Once the fair is over, it will be time to start some early Christmas planning.  Don't yell at me.  You know you tell yourself every year that you are going to get an early start.  It isn't going to get any earlier than today.