Friday, December 22, 2017

Blessings to All

Last post before Christmas.  I am all ready for the big day except for making the dessert that I am contributing to the family feast.  I may do a couple of other things tomorrow while getting the laundry done.  A lady on the heart2hearts yahoo group mentioned she was making meat pie and I got a hankering for some. 
Please be careful if you are travelling.  Snow is predicted for our area but not a lot so getting around shouldn't be a problem.
To all of you who share my life by taking time to read this blog, thank you.  I hope my ramblings provide you with a little break in your day.
Bless you all and Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Nearly Done

How are your Christmas preparations coming?  I am just doing the odds and ends that always need to be done no matter how organized you were in the beginning.  Actually, I usually leave some things to the last on purpose.  I can't imagine how Christmasy it would feel if, a week before the event, there was nothing that needed doing.  When my son was little, it wasn't a problem keeping busy until the last second.  Now, with just hubby and I and the big day usually spent with relatives, there isn't a lot to do.  No big meal to prepare.  No piles of gifts to buy and wrap.  No dreading the credit card statement that arrives in the New Year.
Our big celebration is really when we see the grandchildren.  After that, everything else is secondary.  Still enjoyable though.
Well, time to get at the quilting job.  Hope you are almost finished as well and are starting to find time to relax and reflect on the reason behind the celebration.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wonderful Weekend

These are a couple of little items I made using some batik scraps.  The purses are great for credit or points cards.  The rectangle squares are my version of fabric postcards. 
Hubby and I are still smiling from our weekend with the grandchildren.  We spent most of the day on Sat. walking through various locations in Toronto.  We went to Queen's  Park and the nearby University, Kensington Market and the Christmas Market.  By the end of the day, we had walked 8 miles.  I was surprised at how well hubby kept up given his recent broken ankle and back fracture. 
We did take it a bit easier the next day and did a lot of riding on the transit.  The new subway line extension to Vaughan had just opened and on Sunday all the transit was free.  In the afternoon, we went to the new Star Wars movie and finished the day with a great supper of Chinese food.
The children and their parents were leaving to catch the flight to the Bahama's early Monday morning so we said our good-byes Sunday evening.  It was hard knowing we wouldn't see them again for another year but thankful for the time spent together.
We will be keeping the memories alive (Hope said they were core memories) during our weekly Skype chats.
Now it is time to finish the baking and making the last gift that will under a friends tree.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Money to Burn.

Got the last of my Christmas decorations up which consisted mainly of my nativity sets.  I didn't add to the collection this year and one is getting too battered to use so it was a bit easier to find somewhere to put them.  The old one was the one we had when I was a child so it has put in a lot of years of service.  I may just pack it away and not  use it anymore.  That is a bit silly really because no one else is going to want it.  However, I am not going to throw it away so storing is the only other option.
It has been brisk outside again today but the sun was shining so it was, once again, lovely getting outdoors.
I did a silly thing.  I got two coupons from a pet food company which were worth six dollars total.  I can't use them for our Heidi as she seems to be allergic to that brand.  I decided to stick them in a friends Christmas card.  In the meantime, I gathered up the envelopes from the cards I received plus other paper trash and threw it in the wood stove.  No soon did I close the door when I realized that I had probably thrown out the coupons.  Can't find them so I guess that is what I did.  Won't have to figure out what to do with them now anyway.  Nice to have money to burn.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Table Scraps

Table Top

The December Island Batik project was a table topper.  The title "Table Scraps" gave me the theme for my quilt.  I love scrappy's and I have a lot of smaller pieces of fabric left over from other Island Batik projects.  I wanted to make a simple one block quilt to be used as a table centerpiece.  I chose non specific fabric-no particular theme so it can be used year round.

I am quite pleased with the result so much so that although I had planned to give this as a gift, I have decided to keep it.   I am now working on another table topper to replace this one.
In January, the Island Batik Ambassadors will be having another blog hop and it will be your chance to win prizes as well as to look as some extraordinary quilts.  I am really excited about the fabric I am using and can't wait for you to see it.
There has been a lot of blustery weather to the south of us so hope that if you have been on the roads that you kept a extra big following distance as things can change in an instance.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fabric Post Cards.

It is amazing  what a new day brings. Thanks to some excellent advice from our knowledgeable neighbours, our Heidi is back to normal.  My mother- in-law is back at home with her daughter and my son's vehicle problem is being resolved.  Three answers to prayer in the same day!  In addition, hubby is feeling better.  He is no longer in severe pain and is sleeping better.
I made my Christmas cakes today. My mixer is very old and not strong enough to deal with the thick batter so I had to do it all by hand.  A lot of work and my neck was really sore by the time I was finished but the cakes turned out well.  I was able to adapt a recipe to make it gluten free.  I didn't make a cake last year as I hadn't been able to get one to turn out right.  I have a few other things to make but no rush on any of them.
We got a bit more snow today so I am once again able to use the sleigh when taking water to the chickens.  I am going to have to get a small wagon for the not snow times of the year.
A lady on our on- line group, Hearts to Hands, shared a link with instructions for making fabric postcards.  I keep intending to do these but have never got around to it.  I think I will do some in Christmas fabric and give them out instead of bought cards.  Will post a photo when I get one made.
Here is the link if you would like to give them a try:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Challenging Day

This has been quite the day.  Our little Heidi hasn't been feeling well for a few days.  Last night, we were up throughout the night as she was sick a number of times.  This morning she seemed better but then started up again in the afternoon.  I had taken her off all commercial foods and given her a bit of egg.  She really hadn't shown much interest in eating but was drinking water regularly and all other body functions seemed good.  She was even out running and playing in the snow.
I decided that I would call the vet in the morning.  In the meantime I was talking to a friend with lots of knowledge and experience with animals and she suggested to try some pepto bismal, keep her off food for a while longer and then start with some rice and if that stays down, some beef broth with a little burger.  She said that this is what the vet recommends in this case and as we have the same person I can trust the information.
In the midst of all this, hubby's mother was taken to the hospital with some problems.  It doesn't appear to be anything serious and she is expected to be home tomorrow for which we are very thankful. And then my son called to say his vehicle broke down and couldn't be repaired.  This means he won't be able to get to work so that is a concern.
In between clearing up after the dog and looking after the usual chores, I did manage to get some sewing done.  My top is all finished but the last border which I will do tonight.  I am pleased with how it looks.
We had quite the blizzard here today but the hydro stayed on and I didn't have to go anywhere so we weren't affected.  It wasn't cold outside so being out was a pleasure.
I hope the rest of the week is uneventful.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

No Reason to Fuss

It has been really windy here.  It started late yesterday afternoon, continued through the night accompanied by rain and thunder and was still blowing today.  The hydro went out for close to an hour so I had to switch plans.  I was going to work on a place mat but decided to hang some more decorations.  Unfortunately, the ones I needed where still in storage and I wasn't going to walk back to it through the wildly swaying trees.  One member of the family being injured by a falling branch is enough.
I did get quite a bit more done on the runner and, when the wind died down, got the other tote with the rest of the decorations.
Hubby is doing better.  The extreme pain he was getting in his right arm is settling down but I am encouraging him to not doing any lifting, carrying or pushing until he gets full clearance from our doctor.  He finds it hard but the time will eventually pass.
We are supposed to get snow tonight.  The bit we had has melted so I am not able to use the sleigh to take water to the chickens and the wheelbarrow doesn't work as well.  I hope the predicted snowstorm doesn't bring another outage.  I asked my personal giftgetter for a decent battery operated radio this year.  I really miss hearing my music when there isn't any electricity.  We can hook a light and regular radio up to our inverter but I hate to drag it out if it is only need for a short period of time.
I don't mind the outages except for the lack of radio and remind myself that a good percentage of the world doesn't even have drinking water.  I have very little to fuss about.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Done is Better than Perfect

Hubby and I went to the village Christmas tree lighting tonight.  It isn't a major event like those in larger communities but we really enjoy it.  The real estate agents supply hot chocolate with marshmallows and there are plenty of cookies and Tim Horton mini donuts to dunk.
While youngster write their names on the decorations that are hung, everyone else joins in singing various Christmas songs.  Hubby and I enjoy singing so this is our favourite part.
Once the switch is flipped and the tree lighted, a few more songs are sung as people drift  back to their vehicles or walk back home.
It is a cosy feeling being with friends and neighbours and another of the times when you are glad you live in a rural area.  Tomorrow night is the Santa parade so we will once again drive to the village and enjoy another Christmas tradition.  Sunday will be tree decorating day at our house.
I have been working on some small sewing projects which will be given as gifts.  I will take a photo and post next week. 
Hope your holiday plans are under way.  Try to not  do so many things that you are overwhelmed and don't get to enjoy this precious time.  A favourite quilting phrase is :  done is better than perfect.  This applies to holiday preparations as well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chicken Mutiny

I got my scrappy batik top finished today.  It won't get quilted for a while and I may add more to it as I would like it to be full size.
The fabrics are Island Batik and most of them are from the Blue Moon collection.
An odd weather day here.  The temperatures are warmer than normal but it doesn't feel like it because there is a cool wind.
There was a chicken mutiny today.  The old and newer flocks are separated into different sections of the coop. Each have their own feeding and water dishes and roosting areas.  Occasionally, one will decide the other area looks better than its own and will try to sneak past but most were content to be where they were.  Today, all the newer ones decided to push their way enmasse to the other side.  I propped the connecting door open and let them have their own way.  There will probably be a bit of squabbling but they are all pretty much the same size so there shouldn't b e any mayhem.  I hope.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gluten Free Cookies

Baking is part of the preparations for Christmas.  It is a lot of work but enjoyable to see the containers of cookies, pies and cake pile up in the pantry or freezer.  It can, however, be a challenge for those with dietary restrictions.  What do you make for the person who is lactate or gluten intolerant or a diabetic?
I discovered a few years ago that I couldn't properly digest gluten?  It was an accidental discovery but have felt much better since it was eliminated from my diet.  Since then, I have amassed quite a few recipes that I either found or adjusted.
I discovered that in many recipes, you can successfully substitute chick pea (garbanzo beans) for regular flour.  I sometimes use gluten free flour but it is expensive and doesn't work any better than the chickpea.

Some recipes don't need either and here is one that I was given.  I added a few of my own touches but they aren't necessary .  The ingredients include oat flour.  I buy gluten free oats and process them into a flour.
For the oat cakes, you will need,
2 eggs
1/4 c honey or 1/2 c brown sugar
 tsp . cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder (my version)
2 c. oat flour (original recipe called for 1/2 c. oat flour and 1 1/2 c. oatmeal)
 Combine all ingredients except oat flour.  Gradually add flour, mixing after each addition until consistency is that of a cookie dough.
 Cook for 18 min. at 325.

Here is my addition:  I add a couple of good sized tbsp. of molasses before the oat flour.  It gives the oat cakes a nice chewy texture.  Make aprox. 18 cookies.

Thank you to Kim James for the original recipe.

Let me know if you try this and what you think.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Togetherness is Fun

Just a quick note tonight as I am getting ready to go out.
I have started my Christmas preparations.  I am earlier than usual this year but, as I have said before, November is when I feel most in the spirit of the season.  Hubby and I got the tote in that holds our trees and I will get the smaller ones up this weekend.
After the outdoors chores were done, I had a lovely few hours listening to carols on my CD player and quilting. I almost have my scrappy bargello top finished.  It is both colourful and very scrappy.  Tomorrow I am getting together with a friend at her house to make stocking stuffer sized gifts.  It is always fun to do this sort of thing with someone.
Years ago, I used to go to a ladies house and we would make pickles together.  There is something about sharing a task that makes it a lot more fun.
Have a great evening.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Great News

The sunrise this morning was spectacular.  The first three photos were taken facing west and the last was looking south.  the sun always seem to reflect around three sides whether is coming up or going down.

We had good news today.  Roger went for his appointment with the surgeon today and was told he didn't need to come back.  The ankle is healed.  The should follow suite by the middle of December.
Tomorrow, we will hunt up the Christmas decorations and get them in the house.  I have some Christmas baking to get started as well.  Busy time of year but always blessed.
If you are looking for some ideas for Christmas gifts, check out Connie's blog.  She gives links to a number of sites that have free patterns.  Tell her I sent you.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Sneak Preview.

Here is a sneak preview of my scrappy bargello.  I still have one set of rows to cut and then I can start sewing them all together.  I will be marking the reverse of each one with the row number.  Doing this means it will be easier to sew them in the proper order.  The lower half of each row is a bit tricky so I will be spending a bit of time getting it organized.

I turned 10 pounds of beets into jars of beet pickle this morning.  I am not a big pickle eater although I do love olives.  Beets are the only other one that I eat.  I also got hubby out for a slow stroll through the bush.  He needs to get outside and he needs some mind clearing exercise.  A walk in the bush provides both.  He hasn't had any problems from the fall for which I am very grateful.
We had a light rain shower this morning which gradually turned to snow and then it got quite windy.  I was a bit concerned that we might lose our power but, fortunately, it didn't happen.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Day of Ups and Downs

Today was one of those odd ones which consist of a number of emotions and activities.  We had three medical appointments; one in the morning and two morning mid afternoon.  In the middle of those, we went to a Christmas dinner.  We had a lovely meal and even lovelier time singing Carols and  playing a silly game.  Laughter and fun was the whipped cream on our day.
I ran hubby home after and then zipped back for my doctor's appointment.  His was an hour later and I was going to go with him.  I expected him to be in the waiting room when I finished but he wasn't nor was his vehicle in the parking lot.  I had just taken out my phone  when he came in, his coat all dirty and mud on his pants.   He had fallen in the driveway!  He seemed to be alright but I was really worried that he had caused further injury to his back.
Once all the medical things were finished including a stop at the pharmacy plus one more to get the mail, I went home.  Hubby had already left so I didn't seem him again until I was indoors.  He was still alright but we decided we had had enough for the day and cancelled our evening meeting. Supper was a piece of toast and a mug of tea.
I have been thinking about the layout for the bargello and I think I have come up with an idea.  Now to see if it will work.  I will keep you posted.  No meetings and no need to leave the property tomorrow.  Yahoo.
If you need a little something to get you started thinking about Christmas, this photo was taken at Castledown Salvation Army in Edmonton.  These shepherds were part of the outside nativity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nothing Special which is Special

Happy Tuesday.  Nothing special about today except we are alive and well and that is special in itself.
I went to our church this morning and filled shoe boxes to be sent to those in need, cooked 10 lbs of beets to get them ready to be pickled and did some sewing. 
I have all the rows sewn together for my bargello quilt and now am getting ready to work out the layout.  This is always a fun time when the quilt starts to take on its personality.  I have been taking photos of the steps which I will share with you later. I have to do a 12.5 inch block to send to Island Batik ( and am thinking of doing a mini version of the bargello.
One of our chickens died today.  I was giving them their evening feeding and collecting eggs when I saw it in a corner of the coop.  Hubby didn't see any marks on it so it much have been age related.
Tomorrow hubby has another doctor's appointment and I am hoping that he will get more relief from his back pain.  Next week is another appointment with the surgeon.  Fingers crossed that he will be given the go ahead to start resuming his chores.  He is getting pretty fed up with not being able to get out and do what needs to be done.
We have a Christmas dinner tomorrow at the Legion for the village Art and Crafts Club.  It will, I know, be a fun time. We are having a small, fun gift exchange, lots to eat  and donations brought for our food bank.  This is our first event for the Christmas season.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lest We Forget

Tomorrow is, as  you know, Remembrance Day. Hubby and I will be going to the service in the village.  Our church always lays a wreath and, this year, one of our young men is going to be taking over the responsibility.  I think it is important that we do everything we can as adults to help the younger ones feel they are not only a part of the community where they live but that they are an important part.
This photo is of my parents.  It was taken just at the close of the war.  I am the baby.  Dad was with the 48th Highlanders but, because of his age, he wasn't part of the actual fighting.  He was one of the many who took over some of the jobs in England left vacant by the British soldiers.
My mother worked in a hostel (home) for evacuated children and I spent the first part of my life there after Dad returned to Canada.  It was just over a year before Mom and I immigrated to be with him.
One of my uncles (husband of my mother's youngest sister) was killed in the war and another uncle had a breakdown from which he never recovered.  He worked in the fire department and was responsible for removing bodies from the bombed buildings.  He was Mother's oldest sister's husband. I will be thinking of them tomorrow.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday is the New Friday

I was just going to say that it is hard to believe this is only Friday when I realized it was actually Thursday.  I heard the days for a retiree described as 6 Saturdays and a Sunday and I can certainly identify with that. 
We have had quite a snowfall here this afternoon but I managed to get all the yard work done this morning.  I also made a pot of chili and a loaf of bread.  The latter was done in my bread maker and it didn't turn out although I followed the recipe exactly.  I also managed to finished sewing my strips for the bargello into pairs.
It is amazing how much more I can get done now that hubby is able to get around a bit more, drive the van and make meals.  He is feeling better with the new pain medication which means he is sleeping longer.  It was good hearing him singing this morning while getting breakfast.  Been a while since that happened.
I got all our hats and mittens ready to be worn as well as Heidi's winter clothing.  She also got a new set of booties this year so she is all ready for the season.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Roller Coaster Ride

The sky sure looks as though we are going to get snow soon.  I am pretty much ready  I got my snow tires on today, the last of the potatoes from the garden (or at least the ones I could find) water hose put away and a lot of the other odds and ends that have to be done this time of year.
I had made a list of things to be done which I kept on the kitchen table.  Crossing off items that had been done felt good but them I had to add a few others.  That is life, isn't it/
We had good news following our Heidi's surgery.  I had the tumour sent for a biopsy and the vet called to say that it was benign.  Wonderful news.  He also said that she would get others but that there was a less than 10% chance that further ones would be anything other than benign as well.
The weather yesterday was lovely for driving to Orillia (hour and a half) where I met my sister.  We had lunch together and caught up on all the news that had taken place since I last saw her 6 months ago.  The drive home wasn't quite as good as kept going through patches of slushy rain.  I had to stop on the way to get a few groceries and when I got back to the car, the battery was dead.  Poor hubby had to drive from home and give me a boost.  He put in a new battery this morning.  Fortunately, the one from the tractor fit.  Sometime life is like a roller coaster isn't it?  Fortunately, the ups are more frequent that the downs.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sale Items Ready

I spent the majority of my day finishing up articles for tomorrows craft sale.  I have a couple of baby quilts, a runner and place mat set, and some other quilted items.  I like to include a few smaller things as well and, this year, I made some fun things for our furry family members.
Fido will love having a special scarf to show that he loves Christmas.  I have made a number of these in different fabrics and sizes.  New this year are my collar covers.  There are pink ones for the ladies that have two tiers of lace and for the more macho dog, the cover is made of camouflage fabric adorned with buckskin fringe.
The other items in the photo are key fobs.  They sold well last year.  Fasten one end to your bags handle and clip your keys onto the other.  No more searching amongst the flotsam in the bottom of your purse.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow so that might be good for the sale as people won't be as likely to travel or work outside.  Wish us luck.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Piece of Crap

I got to Huntsville today and completed my shopping.  I guess I will have to be thinking about getting started on Christmas gifts as well  We don't have a lot of people to buy for-mainly our grandchildren, each other and the little ones that are part of exchanges, for neighbours etc.
I have most of the latter done, have no idea what I am going to give hubby and have lots of time to do the grands as they go away for Christmas and don't open their gifts until New Year's.
One of the extra's that we enjoy every year is choosing something from a special catalog.  It shows photos of various farm animals and other items and services that help an individual or group in a developing country.  Each item has a price and a bit of a information on how it would make life easier for the recipient.  I would love to be able to donate the money for a sewing machine but that is out of our income level.
We get quite a kick out of some of the donatable items such as "A Piece of Crap"-manure.  We could send a lot of them for free from our chickens.
Tomorrow, I have to finish the preparations for the craft sale.  Once that is over, I can start getting ready for a visit with one of my sisters who is in Canada visiting her son and his family.
Our little Heidi continues to get better.  She had her last pain pill this morning and is starting to bounce around like her old self.  Will try and keep her quiet for another day or so to make sure she doesn't do herself any harm
Don't forget we put our clocks back this Saturday evening.  An extra hours sleep is always welcome.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Two Hour Quilt

We all had a good sleep last night so today I was able to get some work done.  I made cookies, brought in wood and did the usual housework things.  I have just finished a baby quilt for the sale.  From start to finish, I don't think it took 2 hours to make and that includes 20 minutes to get it on the frame and quilted.  If you are interested in knowing how I made it, send me a comment.
It isn't fancy.  Just a panel with pieced backing and poly batting.  I quilted it in a lose meander.  Cheap and cheerful as a friend says.  It will however, still make a lovely gift for a new baby and last for many years.
Tomorrow I will do the shopping that I was going to do today.   I have some pillow forms to cover and a few small items to finish and I will be ready for the sale.

This photo was taken 3 years ago today.  Hubby is heading down the driveway to test out his tractor.  We had a total of about 1 inch of snow fall between yesterday and today-much less than in 2014. It is always fun looking back and seeing what happened a few years previously.
Our little dog is doing really well.  Other than missing hair where she was shaved and a bandaged tummy, you wouldn't know she had undergone an operation.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Long Night

Hubby and I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.  Our Heidi had her operation in the morning and, when we picked her up a 4, she was pretty lethargic.  We had to keep an eye on her to make sure she didn't have any problems through the night so there was a lot of waking up and checking on her.  She had her first good drink of water at 2 a.m. and has continued to do so throughout the day.  She isn't eating a lot yet but I am sure that will improve.
She is not showing any side effects (blood in urine, coughing etc.) at all.  So we are happy doggy parents and looking forward to having our yappy, energetic pup back to normal soon.  Wedidn't have a lot of energy to do much more than lay around which was a good chance to cuddle our little dog.  Tomorrow grocery shopping and then I have to get ready for a craft sale.

We had our first seasonal snow fall today.  It was wet and sticky so both the computer and phone satellite were down for a while.  It looked pretty but didn't stay long.  A good reminder, however, to seriously start getting ready for winter.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Break is a Break

Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you are caught up with everything that was on your list?  Quilt and writing projects finished, chair seats covered for a friend, pumpkins are in ready to process and freeze and there is enough wood inside to last for a couple of days.  The chickens  food container have been filled as are the water barrels.  The only thing that is left to do is the bi yearly clothing changeover.  Warm weather articles are packed away and winter sweaters, pants, coats etc. are readied for the temperature drop.
There is, of course, more outdoor chores to be completed before the first snow, a craft sale to prepare for as well as Christmas itself.  None of that matters.  I can take a break.  It might be just a few hours but it is a break.  Yeehaw.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Creativity Combined

The October challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a quilt using something other than strips for the border.  I was really looking forward to doing this as I have been wanting to be more adventuresome in  my borders for some time.  I have used a bit more creativity in my bindings but not borders.

Some of the Ambassadors also received some lovely medallion fabric designed by Leah Day.(  We were asked to make a quilt featuring it.  I decided to combine the two challenges into one quilt  This table topper uses the four medallion blocks and then I echoed some of the designs in applique.
For the border I used Prairie Points.  They form both the border and binding. I thought the hexagon shape would be a challenge but everything worked out perfectly.  I admit, that was more accident than planning.
I am keeping this topper for myself.  I use a lot of runners, place mats and toppers  so this will be a nice addition.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Good News

I am really  tired but the day had a good result.  We had to drive to Barrie again so hubby could get his ankle x-rayed and see the surgeon.  It was a long day.  We left the house around 10 and didn't get back until nearly 5 but we received good news.  The break has healed well and he now can put full weight on that foot. 
Of course, he can't be out doing a foot race or taking up tap dancing but he is able to do more to look after himself and take over the making of some of our meals. I will need to continue look after the chickens and getting in wood for the stove but with less household work, I should be able to start catching up with my writing and quilting.
The day was still fairly mild but you could feel a difference in the air.  Autumn is starting to get ready for its winter clothing and I better do the same.  I need to pull out the oversized suitcase that holds my warm sweaters, pants and nightwear and pack away the summer clothing.  I use this time to get rid of things I didn't wear so make room for different things.I try to be ruthless but don't quite achieve it.  Still a reduction of a few things is still a reduction.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Amazing Weather

Hubby is getting a bit more independent and, now that our chicken flock has been reduced, I have more free time.  However, I have gotten used to being on the go all the time that I find it hard to sit and quilt or work on the computer.  I have done a lot of baking, worked in the garden and  refilled the holder for the chicken feed.  I even got most of the table topper quilted today.
I wasn't sure how I wanted to do it as my goal was to have the designs on the medallion fabric  stand out.  I decided to do, what I call, lover's knots in the design spaces.  These knots are small curls like little knots.  A looser meandering stitch is done around the outside of the medallions.  I believe I have achieved the look I want.  Just 3 blocks to go.
Our weather is still quite mild for the time of year and it is hard to stay inside.  I have a lot of plans for next years flower garden so am digging up areas that didn't do well this year.  I never bought any spring bulbs this fall as it was one of those things that just had to be left undone.  I have been successful in taking cuttings from a geranium and getting those started indoors so am hoping to be able to plant them outside in the spring.
Another weekend is around the corner.  We are almost in November and I think I am going to be able to hang my clothes out tomorrow.  Amazing.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Celebrating a Designer

This is the  quilt on which I have been working.  It is made with Island Batik Fabrics , naturally, but some extra special ones.  the purple medallions were designed by Leah Day, well known for her 365 quilting designs as well as many other artistic achievements.  Island Batik asked we Ambassadors to use the medallions to highlight Leah's talent.  This is my interpretation.  You can read about Leah's designs and see the fabric at:

I don't have the quilt, quilted yet but hope to get that done this weekend.  When I have, I will share with you another reason for this quilt.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Barrow of Pumpkins

Yesterday was so busy that I thought we had gone into another day part way through.  I got up quite early to get our chickens ready to go to market and then later in the afternoon there was a doctor's appointment and grocery shopping.  I got home in time to make supper and I was sure that it was Tuesday!

 Another photo of the oak tree in the front yard.  It is starting to put on a lovely display for us.
The weather was really nice so I got outside and dug some potatoes and gathered pumpkins.  There is, at least, another wheelbarrow full still in the garden.  Some are very green and may not ripen before frost but the majority are almost ready.  I told DH he needed to cut back on his pumpkin planting.  It is a lot easier sticking a few seeds in the ground that it is peeling, cutting, cooking and preserving.
We will be giving some away but at least one wheelbarrow full will end up in the freezer or jars.

We got the date for Heidi's surgery.  It will be on Oct. 30th.  I am not looking forward to it but she will be in and out in the same day so that is a good thing. 
Tomorrow we pick up our freezer ready chickens so I know what we will be having for supper.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sneak Peek

 Just a couple of photos to share this evening.  I have been  able to get quite a bit more quilting done today as well as baking.  Now that hubby has the walker he can get around to do some of the small things for himself and it makes a difference in my schedule.
We planted this oak tree when we moved here in 2008 and it has grown to about 15 feet.  It is usually one of the last trees to change colour and I thought it looked nice with the leaves on the ground in front of it.
This picture is a sneak peek of the top I just finished.  I can't show you the whole thing yet as it is part of a special project.
Have a great evening and weekend.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Window Fixed

Lovely sunset last night.  It is hard getting the richness of colour using  flash and I couldn't be bothered getting out the tripod so I could take the picture without.
I am feeling really tired tonight.  I am not sure why as I got a good nights sleep but I could easily go to bed now. 
Hubby's support equipment arrived today.  He was able t have a shower which was a big relief and the four wheeled heavy duty walker makes it easier to wait on himself a bit.  He even got outside to find out why the window wouldn't go down on the driver side.  A change of fuses solved the problem.
We had a crew of guys coming over on Saturday to cut and pile firewood for us.  People have been amazingly helpful.  It has made this whole situation much easier for both of us.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Designing As You Go

Since hubby broke his ankle a month ago, my time for quilting has been greatly reduced.  It seems there is always something to be done.  It might be something as simple as seeing he has a cup or tea or glass of water or more involved like tending the chickens or bringing in wood.  I am not complaining.  He is my dear hubby and well worth any effort it takes to allow him to heal but (there is always a 'but') I do miss being able to quilt.  It is particularly difficult when there are deadlines to be me-as there always is when you sell your work.
Having said all that, I certainly could make better use of the free time I have.  I came into the studio after watching the news and sat down at the computer.  I checked my email, a u tube video and then played a game.  At least some of that time could have been spent behind the sewing machine and that is what I am going to do as soon as I finish this.
I did make a large pot of chili today so will have a few quick meals in the freezer.  Our weather has stayed nice for quite a few days but I really do need to get outside and start preparing for winter.  I want to get some of the seeds from the sunflowers as well before the birds get them all. That is on my Saturday schedule.  We have chickens that are going on to their next phase on Monday so we have to pick up crates and get them ready to be taken.  Not going to be my favourite activity but it has to be done.
I have been working on something different as a quilt which I will be sharing with you soon.  It is a design as you go table top and it is interesting seeing how it is coming together.  It is octagon shape so I am not sure how the borders are going to work yet but I do have an idea.  I will let you know what happens.

Friday, October 6, 2017


Hubby has been inside now for nearly a week and, as the weather was really nice, I thought it would be a good time to go for a drive.  The trees haven't reached their maximum colour yet but are still very pretty.  This plus having a couple of roads in the area that we hadn't explored were excuse enough to load up the van.  The roads turned out to be not very interesting but it was still fun to see where they went and what houses were along them.  We had visited the chip truck on our way out so we ate our supper while looking over a ravine.
On the way home, we stopped at a house that had some things outside.  I was interested in a small chest of drawers but when I had a closer look at the little cabinet, I decided it was a better choice.  As you can see in the photo, the wicker drawers are different sizes and it fits perfectly at the end of my long arm.  I will use it to store my batiks.
We also saw a nice dart board in a wooden cabinet that included the darts and other accessories.  My husband wanted it so into the van it went.  The home owner came out and we chatted for a bit before he was kind enough to load the cabinet into the van.
We arrived home pleased with our little outing and our two new possessions.  By the way, they were free.  This happens fairly often around here when people have things they no longer need.  The articles are put near the road with a big 'free' sign and people are welcome to help themselves.  We are going to be doing the same thing this coming spring.
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers.  Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Windows 7 Blues

I have adjusted to Windows 10 but can't say that I like it as much as some of the previous versions.  It seems that some software programs aren't too fond of it either.  I needed to reinstall my EQ (Electric Quilt) program today but ran into problems.  I put in the disc, followed the prompt to enter the password and ID for both EQ 7 and 6 but kept getting a message that the latter was wrong.  I carefully reentered a few times with the same result.  I emailed the company and they sent the codes I already had with the information that Windows 7 sometimes causes problems and I might need additional help.  Before giving up, I tried the good old 'cut and paste' method and was successful. Now I can get on to designing my pattern.
The weather was funny today.  It was quite warm and sunny but the sky looked as though it were going to snow at any moment.  It didn't.  Thankfully.  I really like the snow but it can wait until hubby is mobile.
I am hoping that fall will last for a bit longer yet.  We have a lot of pumpkins that are not yet ripe and I haven't had a chance to plant any spring bulbs or cover my perennials.

Our trees are finally starting to get some colour.  This view is looking back at the pond.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Puppies in a Basket.
Unfinished Baskets

These basket blocks in the making are part of a quilt by Isobel Meekins (one of my favourite designers) that was part of The Quilt Pattern Magazine's virtual retreat.  I am way behind but thought you might like to see my version of the blocks.  Is there anything cuter than puppies in a basket?
We had an really heavy rain storm here earlier in the day but it has cleared up somewhat.  It is still hazy which makes the fall colours  along the driveway look like a Money painting.
Do any of you use a Quilt Planner?  I have got interested in them recently and will probably make my own version.  I like the idea of having all my UFO's , kits and quilt ideas listed where I can see them.  It will also be handy for keeping track of what needs to be done by when, who has what in their store or web site that is for sale as well as a lot of other information.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Creativity Creates

I had a lovely day.  Dear friends of ours came for a visit and we sat outside and just talked, laughed and reminisced.  It was a great break for both hubby and I.  The guys talked about guy stuff and we women talked quilts, family stories and just stuff.  After they left, I served left overs for supper, fed the chickens, watched the news and now I have time to do some quilting.
I am working on a top from the Pattern Pastiche virtual retreat that took place at the beginning of Sept.  I did some of it yesterday at quilt group but then couldn't find the rest of the pattern.  Fortunately, one of the other ladies is working on the same one so she gave me her copy but before I can get to it I have some chairs to reupholster for a friend that really need to get done before anything else.  She isn't in a big rush for them but they are taking up a lot of space in my room.
I read a funny but, oh so true comment yesterday.  'You are making a blanket not curing cancer'  Mark Lipinsky.  I think all quilters should have that posted on their machines, cutting tables, ironing boards and anywhere else where it will be seen frequently.   We do often take ourselves too seriously.  Isn't it more important to enjoy what you are doing than getting every single seam perfectly aligned?
Making a quilt is an artistic endeavor.  We are not drafting plans for a hospital.  We should spend more time relaxing and enjoying and less satisfying rules and opinions.
Have a creative day.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello Fall Temperatures

 A wonderful day today.  It was the monthly meeting with three friends at one of their houses for quilting.  I was beginning to feel overloaded with my extra responsibilities after hubby broke his ankle and this day was like a weekend at a luxurious spa. 
I came home, started the wood stove and put a previously made stew on it to heat.  Then I cut up some peaches and made a cobbler for dessert.  Feeling the cozy warmth from the fire awhile enjoying supper was a perfect topping to the day.
A friend took hubby to our clinic to get his staples removed and get signed up for a walker and device for the tub so he can shower.  These aids will give him a bit more independence which will be a big help to me.
Our temperatures dropped 10 degrees from the day before which I found wonderfully refreshing.  I picked most of the tomatoes from the garden as well as a cucumber and some zucchini I found.  I still have some beets to dig and pickle.  The pumpkin and squash can wait for a bit.
Hope you also had a great day.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Enjoying Nature.

The bees and butterflies are really enjoying my huge marigold.  Two monarchs landed this afternoon and stayed for quite a long time.  I was able to get this photo as the one was opening and closing its wings.
It has been very hot again today but tomorrow should be quite a bit cooler and I am really looking forward to it.  Hubby was able to get outside for a bit and enjoy the day.  Our neighbour's son cut the lawn yesterday so it made it easier for him to see where he was walking.  We have had such wonderful support from everyone and there is no way you can ever say how much they are appreciated.
I am sure those of you in the areas affected by the hurricanes have experienced the same thing.  People are often more wonderful than we give them credit for.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

And the Grand Prize Winner Is......

I finally completed my Shattered Squares quilt top today.  I am pleased with how it turned out and think it will look great on a dining room table.  I am also pleased that, with the exception of the backing fabric and what I am giving as the final prize, I used up all the Island Batik fabrics that I received in this shipment.  Considering the amount that we get, I think that is quite and achievement.
This project was part of Island Batik fabrics  Back to School Blog Hop
Shattered Squares Sept. 2017

Shattered Squares-Close Up

Our weather continues to be unseasonably warm.  I took the dog into the village while I got the mail and did some banking but, somehow, my car ended up in the parking lot of our local ice cream store first  As we are almost at the end of summer, I thought I may as well go along with what the car decided and bought a cone.  Heidi enjoyed the occasional like of my sticky fingers.
Tomorrow, I take hubby for his appointment with the surgeon and to get another x-ray.  I am hoping he will be given permission to use a walking cast which will give him a bit more movability.
And the grand prize winner of a selection of Island Batik fabrics is: GranChris.  You have until Monday to contact me with your mailing information.  Congratulations.

Don't forget that the other Ambassadors are also having giveaways.  I put a list of the blog hops on last Thurs. post.  Be sure to check them out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Alison who won the pattern from PineRose Designs.  All  names entered in the two contests will now be reentered for the final prize-a selection of wonderful  Island Batik fabrics.
Adding the final border to my top so will  post it tomorrow.  I had an unplanned trip to the vets today as I discovered a lump on my Heidi's tummy.  That caused a great deal of concern.  She will be scheduled to have it removed but we have caught it in the very early stages.
Thank you again to all that entered my 3 stage contest.  I hope you found it a little different that the usual ones

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Strange Growths

When I went out to tend the chickens this morning,  I noticed something strange in our log planter.  I took a closer look and realized  two large mushroom growths  seemed to have popped up overnight.  This one was about 8 inches high and consisted of a tight mass of individual fungi.  The one in the photo below was even larger and wrapped around the alyssum.

The recent warm weather has brought my miniature rose back into bloom  This one is about five years old and has done so well that I think I will get some more.  I don't have any success with the larger roses so I will stick with what works.
Another plant that has done very well this year is this marigold.  This single seed  that was started indoors has turned into a shrub.  I have never seen anything like it.  I will be gathering seeds from it to see if I can duplicate the feat next year.
I finished sewing my blocks together today and am now adding the borders.  I expect to have it finished and photographed tomorrow.  If you haven't entered Monday's contest, don't forget to do so.  There will be one more prize after this one so keep entering.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Blog Hop Contest, Step 2

Congratulations to Allison who won her choice of one of my patterns.  She chose My Stained Glass Star pattern.  Thank you to all those who entered and I have good news.  Today, you have another chance at wining a prize.
I am pleased to be able to give you a chance a receiving a lovely table runner pattern from PineRose Designs.  Eileen Hoheisel took the step to publishing her patterns in 2013 and immediately was embraced by individual quilters as well as magazines and  pattern distributors.  Eileen recently became one of Island Batik's newest designers
Eileen named her company in honour of her parents.  Her father loved the pine trees that surrounded his home and her mother, Rosina, who was also a quilter, loved flowers.
Eileen has often been asked where she gets her inspiration and she replies that it isn't a question that is easily answered.  She plays around with her Electric Quilt program or some pieces of fabric and the pattern emerges.  "God gave me this talent" , she adds, " and I thoroughly enjoy using it.
You can see or purchase PineRose Patterns at:,
 Here is the pile of finished blocks.  There are 8 of each and the blocks are almost 18" before I square them so this is going to be a nice sized lap quilt or non gender baby quilt.  Tomorrow, a photo of the joined blocks.
To enter to win the PineRose pattern, put the name of one of the other Ambassador's blogs that are taking part in this hop in a comment.  Contest ends Wed. at 6 p.m. eastern time.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Back to School Blog Hop and Contest.

September is the month when parents breath a sigh of relief as their children head back to school.  In honour of this special time, Island Batik is holding a Back to School Blog Hop.  We Ambassadors get
to play with fabric, practice our composition skills and learn to share.
I am making my quilt from the aptly named Diner Days fabric.  As I have been working, I as thinking of all the mother's who are gathering in restaurants or diners to have a quiet cup of tea with friends as they celebrate having a few a little more quiet in the house.
I was supposed to have my project done today and I really tried but as my husband recently broke his ankle, my computer crashed and life took a on more craziness than a group of two year olds, I ran out of time. 
But, never fear, I still have something planned that I hope you will find entertaining.  Most of the bloggers are giving away prizes.  I am going to do that and more.  You will have a chance to win a prize each day that I post my progress. today is the first day.   You will find the rules at the end of today's blog.
So here goes:  I wanted to make a quilt this time which is another reason this has taken longer.  The following photos show how I went from strips of fabric to a finished block

This is a trial layout.  Not very inspiring.

This is better but something seems to be wrong.  Can you see the mistake.

Much better.  I really like this.

 I bought this little gizmo recently and I love it.  It is great for holding down seams, nudging fabric into place and easing it under the foot.  No needles through the finger now.

This is a better picture so you can see what it looks like.

And here is what my quilt is going to look like.  I am pleased with how it is turning out.  I have the rest of the blocks to add and then the borders.  Stay tuned.
Here is today's contest. It is open to everyone except those who have already won Island Batik prizes from me. You must comment on my blog page, not Facebook.  In a previous post, I showed a photo of the lovely Island Batik fabrics I received this year.  I would like you to send me a comment that mentions the name of one of the fabric lines.  The winner will get to chose any one of my patterns on my Craftsy's page.
For a chance at even more great prizes, check out the blogs listed below,


Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch Quilts • Inspired Layers
Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting


Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts
Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More
Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Moose Stash Quilting • Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende Himmel • Sally’s Quilting Corner
Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel Creations • The Quilt Rambler 


Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed Quilts • Whispers of Yore
Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring Quilter • Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuilts • Yellow Cat Quilts
Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots Designs • Beaquilter


Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew
Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled Quilts • heARTs Creations
Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a Dream • Kauffman Designs
Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek Quilting • Quilt’n Party