Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Needles Finished.

We had another storm on Friday with the hydro going out for a little bit.  I disconnected the computer and sewing machine once again and worked on some hand quilting.  Saturday, everything was back to normal, or so we thought.  Later in the day, we found that our phone was out and it didn't come back into service until mid afternoon today.  There must have been a number of lines down.
I don't especially miss the phone as a lot of my communication is done via email and, of course, we have cell phones. We don't have great coverage for the latter here so we do need a land line for normal use.
Little Heidi got her last needle today for her yearly check up.  She gets ill if she has all the shots together so, even though it means two trips to another community, it is worth it.
I have almost finished the table runner top and am now sewing the rows together.  It is much prettier than I first thought when cutting out the fabric.  I think I will use the pattern again perhaps for a small lap quilt.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I have been working on a table runner kit today .  It is pretty basic and is giving me a mental break while I decide what I want to do next.  I have also been applying some of the information that I learnt yesterday at the conference.  A lot of it has just been doing searches of various sites that help small business owners and things you can add to the social media that you are already using.
We had a thunderstorm early this morning and the hydro went out for a few moments.  Can't believe we had thunder and lightening in February.  It has been rainy and foggy all day and I am getting tired of not being able to get out for my walk.  I am doing my stretching exercises and bouncing on the mini trampoline but it isn't the same.  It has either been too wet or too slippery all week.
We have a freezing rain warning for tomorrow which I hope doesn't happen.  I have a quick meeting in the morning and then was hoping to be able to pop into Huntsville for a bit of shopping.

Saw this picture on line a while ago and thought it was really cute.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Good Opportunity

I have had a tiring but productive day.    Our local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Committee sponsored a conference on marketing and, even though I dislike meetings, I went so I could gain information that would help me in promoting our Art and Crafts Centre.  I am the chair of publicity and marketing is part of that.  I did learn quite a bit and will be able to apply it to my own business.
We are fortunate in this area to have a lot of these opportunities although they are not usually well attended.  Part of the problem might be that they (or this one anyway) was held during business hours but probably most people just don't feel they are worth the time spent.
The attendance at this one bore out the statistics for job creation: nearly all the businesses represented were run by women and they were the sole employee.  There were only 3 men, 2 of them were presenters and one had just started a new business.  I think he gained a lot of information that was going to be helpful to him plus he offer of donated items that would help him.
Tomorrow, when my brain is functioning again I will start applying some of the things I learnt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Keeping Pets Comfortable

My Kennel Quilts
I love animals.  There have been very few times in my life when I haven't had either a dog or a cat and usually both.  If you are a regular reader, you know that my current fur child is a white westiepoo (West Highland Terrier/Poodle cross) who adds a great deal of joy to our lives.
It hurts me to know that not all animals are as well cared for as mine and I do what I can to help alleviate that situation.  This month, Island Batik fabrics  gave the Ambassadors the challenge of making some little mats that can be used in crates to make them more comfortable.  We often hear on the news of people being evacuated from their homes because of natural disasters but we sometimes forget that many of those people have pets.  Agencies such as the SPCA provide care and housing for them until things return to normal.  These pets are usually kept in crates during this time. 
The Kennel Quilts donated to the Petfinder Foundation are passed onto the needed areas.  Here in Canada, many went to assist the pets
owned by those evacuated in the dreadful Fort McMurray fire.
If you are a quilter, consider making some mats to donate to your shelter to make the animals more comfortable while waiting for their forever home. Here is a link to a Canadian guild that will give information on how to make the quilts. www.mississaugaquiltersguild.ca/kennel-quilts.html

I am so pleased that Island Batik (www.islandbatik.com) has added their support to animals in distress.  I hope you like my little mats.  They were machine pieced and appliqued.  The binding was done entirely by machine as well to make them extra sturdy.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kennel Quilts.

As I mentioned yesterday, my fabric arrived and, along with it, a lovely selection of thread from Superior and Aurifil.  I am just finishing up my doggie mats which will be donated to a local charity which provides veterinary care for animals.
The Island Batik Ambassador's have had two challenges this month  One was a small Valentine themed project and the other was for the Kennel Quilt project.
This project was started to provide small mats for dogs or cats that were being kept in kennels after a natural disaster.  Check out the link to learn more about this worthwhile endeavour. www.kennelquilts.com  As we don't have a need in this area, and the postage is very high to send the amount of mats I have made, I made the decision to give to another animal related need.
We are supposed to get well into the plus side of the thermometer tomorrow which should reduce some of the snow accumulation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Fabric Has Arrived.

Today was a lovely day partly because we didn't get any snow but mainly because I got to quilt with two of my friends.  We have been getting together once a month to each work on the same pattern and it has been a wonderful break for us.  The other two ladies have elderly parents and that combined with the usual life events makes for some stressful days.  One of the mothers died recently so we missed the month of January and Christmas was too busy so today was extra special.  We almost have our tops finished and have chosen our next project.
My box of beautiful Island Batik fabrics arrived today so I will be posting a photo of the goodies tomorrow. 
A lady on my one line quilt group (hands 2hearts) shared a video on mitred binding that was taught by Ricky Timms.  He has quite a unique method and I thought you might find it interesting so have included the link.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And Still it Snows

It is still snowing here is beautiful Almaguin Highlands.  Our driveway was ploughed on Saturday and then again yesterday and, I suspect, at least once more this week.  I took Heidi for a walk earlier being careful to make sure she was wearing her booties and coat  trying to reduce the amount of snow sticking to her hair.  Didn't work.  She still had to be dumped into the kitchen sink when we got back.
If you had trouble accessing the free pattern I shared with you on Friday, go to my web page: arkangelcreations.net, Free Stuff and then click download on  Two Hearts United.  I had some problems with Craftsy.  It is sorted out now but my web site is the easiest and you may find some other patterns you like.
My sympathies to those in the eastern Provinces who are really experiencing a bad snow all-some areas up to 3 feet.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Free Pattern.

I received notice today that my shipment of Island Batik fabrics is on its way.
It  will probably take a week or so as it comes from the U.S.  but I am spending the time getting ready.  I like to keep all the goodies in a separate place so I have to get a drawer cleaned out. 
I also finished my Valentine's Island Batik project using fabric left over from last year.  I have called it Two Hearts Make One.  The pattern is below.

To make this little quilt, you will need four 10" squares and two 5". A couple of the larger squares should be contrasting colours. For the backing, you will need two 11 X 11 or if you want to self bind as I did, 12" X 12" will work.  Batting and matching thread will complete the materials list.
Set two of the 10" squares aside for the background.  Fold each of the  two contrasting 10" squares in half and cut half a heart shape from each.  Note:  remember the fold is the centre of the heart.
Repeat this step with the 5" squares.
Cut the large hearts in half on the fold line.  Sew half of one heart to the half of one cut from a different fabric.  Press seam to one side. 
Place heart in centre of background square and stitch around it with a narrow satin stitch.  Place small heart centred over the large one.  Note: do not cut small heart.
Stitch around small heart.  Repeat with remaining squares.  Layer top, batting and backing and quilt.  I stitched around the two hearts but you might want to do something fancier. Trim if necessary and bind.
You can use this pattern to make a larger quilt using each heart square as a block.
The complete pattern including heart templates will be available on Craftsy as a free download.  I will let you know when I have it uploaded.

We got more snow again today but it is supposed to be warm enough tomorrow for some of it to melt.  Of course, that also means our driveway will be slushy and difficult to navigate.  We are going into the village tomorrow as our welcome centre, which has new ownership, is having is official opening.  Cake and other cookies beguile us from our rural retreat.
Our neighbours called this afternoon to see if we could run over and see to their goats.  They had all been delayed in a meeting an hour north of us.  They have a dairy herd of mini goats and they are just like puppies-playful and friendly.  Of course, our dog was interested in the new scent on our clothes when we got home.
Have a good weekend.  If you make the pattern, I would love to see  your version.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

One Done and Another on the Way.

I got in a good day of quilting.  I finished making the blocks for my granddaughters quilt this morning although it was quite cool in the studio.  I had to turn the electric fireplace on for a bit.  I don't like to use it in the day time because of the cost of electricity.  However, it was either that or try to sew while wrapped in a blanket.  I still have 8 more blocks to make for that quilt but as I might put a panel in the centre I am leaving them for a while.
I also got the top finished for the little Valentine's mug mat I am making from some of my Island Batik fabric.  This is the free pattern I am going to share with you.  I expect to post it tomorrow evening. 
Heidi and I bundled up and went for a quick walk later in the afternoon.  There were a lot of deer tracks on the driveway and I noticed one of them seemed to be dragging its hoof a bit.  Not sure if it has a problem but it looks like it.  We will keep an eye out not there is much we can do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Who Are You?

It has been a busy day.  We had our art group meeting this morning and then I met hubby and we went shopping.  By the time we got home and put everything away, it was time for supper.  Why is it you can buy a vehicle full of groceries and still not have anything for a meal?  I made grilled cheese with tomato soup.
Tomorrow, I hope to have the last of the blocks made for my granddaughters quilt and then I can work on my Island Batik project.  I know what I am making and when it is finished I will have a pattern for you.  A little freebie to thank you for reading and supporting me.
I have just been exchanging emails with one of the blog's readers and enjoying getting to know a bit about her.  I would love to hear from you as well.  Where  you live, what kind of quilting  you enjoy and anything else you would like to share would be great. 
My son made it home safely after yesterdays freezing rain.  Took him longer than usual but the important thing is that he made it. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weather Woes

Ontario is experiencing a nasty ice storm.  I had to go into the village today just after lunch and it was still fine here but it started to rain on the way home and, as the temperature dropped, so did the road conditions.  I was home before any problems started.  In fact, it didn't get bad here until after supper.  My son is a truck driver and I always worry more during these days.  I called him later in the afternoon but didn't get an answer so I expect he was being safe and, even with hands free, wasn't answering.
The excitement amongst those of us who are Island Batik Ambassador's is mounting.  Our packages of lovely fabric are being sent so we are all impatiently awaiting their arrival.  Mine will be one of the last as I am the lone Canadian representative but, this year, we have an Ambassador from Norway so I expect she will receive hers last.
Our challenge for the month of February is valentine related.  I will post mine on the beginning of the week.  I still  have lots of fabric left from last year so will use it.

I hope that if you live in the area affected by the freezing rain that you made it safely home.  Also I am not sure if I have followers in New Orleans but perhaps you know someone there so my thoughts are with those who have been devastated by the tornadoes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

An Encouraging Group

I have been making good headway on my granddaughters quilt.  I have been doing it assembly line style and the rows for each block are coming together quickly.  I should be ready to start sewing the rows together tomorrow as hubby is out doing some volunteer work.
Other than that, not a great deal of information to share.  I have been working pretty steadily on a writing project and it too, is progressing.  This will be long term but a bit each day will keep it moving.
We had quite a discussion on mental health on our on line group today.  We have an amazing group of compassionate and intelligent women who are willing to be vulnerable to be helpful.  If you are a quilter who is looking for a place to share, be encouraged and have fun, please check us out.  We are always accepting of new members especially those who take the time to participate in the conversations and special events.  You can find us at: https://ca.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/hearts2hands/info
Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Glorious and Free

I expect I shall find my banner pattern now as I just bought another one.  This pattern is just the Canadian flag so I think I shall add a section under it with the words Glorious and Free or something else from our national anthem.  The pattern is from Craftsy (craftsy.com) and is 40% off right now and the designer is Monica Curry
We got notification today that our new shipment of Island Batik fabrics will be sent shortly and the list of projects for the year was posted. I was looking forward to having a month without a challenge but actually not having a deadline meant I got less done.
I think I will print the list of projects and write beside each one my ideas so I won't be scrambling at the last minute.
I will be having draws again this year so be sure to stay tuned.  I may require that you be a follower of my blog to enter so you might want to keep that in mind.  To do that, just clink on the link on the right side that says 'Follow'.  I know that some of you don't want to do that for various reasons (although you are faithful readers) so I will have an alternate method of entering.
As soon as the package arrives, I will share a photo of all the goodies.  Christmas in February.  Yahoo.
Heidi and I went for a bit longer walk today as it wasn't as cold.  All the little creeks are frozen and all but covered in snow.  We have been regularly visited by the four deer that were in the photo I posted and a few coyote have been prowling around a night.  I am glad our chicken coop is nice and secure.