Friday, March 31, 2017

Everything Finished.

This quilt has been  hanging around (pardon the pun) for quite a while waiting for me to do the binding.  I got that finished today.  It certainly doesn't come close to being perfect; the binding is friendly (wavy) and the quilting not consistent but it is done.  I used this to practice  freehand           quilting styles and each of the white blocks is done in a different pattern.
I have had quite a productive day. in addition to that quilt,  I turned 5 left over blocks into hot pads and I just have to add binding to 3 of them and they are finished.  Tomorrow, I quilt a table runner and 4 matching placemats and I will have reduced my WIP (work in progress) pile .  There are two more items -a wall hanging and a runner, that are being destitched.  I am working on those when I watch television.Then I can quilt them again, hopefully, better than the last time.
I addition to the quilting, I finished and sent in, a 1000 word article that I was asked to write for the area's tourism guide.  It has been a busy month but, with a new one starting tomorrow, I can rest knowing I have finished everything.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Walking the Snow Banks

I have been getting the studio ready for my virtual retreat weekend.  Our on line group, hearts2hands, decided it was time for another.  I am going to be turning some left over blocks into hot pads that will be donated to a fundraiser for cancer patients in our area.  Am also going to get the binding added to some quilts that have been finished for some time and then will sandwich and quilt the runner and placemat set that I did a while ago.  That should keep me busy for most of the weekend.
I am focusing on getting some of the items that have been sitting around for a while done and out the door.  Most will be given to a charity and others are a gift.  Then I can start on some new projects.
It was sunny and warm again today and I decided to go for a walk in the morning before the ground softened into mud.  Heidi likes to walk on the snow banks on the side of the road which helps keep her clean but she still needed her tummy and feet wiped when we got back.
We had a friend here for a couple of days as she was doing a presentation in a city an hour north of us.  It was nice having some time to catch up, go for a walk and sit outside enjoying the sun.  Tuesday evening we went into the village to hear a couple give a talk and demonstration on the Passover.  On the way back, hubby put on  an old country gospel cd  and we all sang the songs on the drive home.  A fun time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Madness.

I completely finished my March mini madness foundation pieced block on the weekend.  I added the border strips, topstitched and then turned it into a cushion cover.  This is another Island Batik project and you can see all the other projects and read the blogs by clicking on the links below.  Some ladies have free tutorials and patterns so be sure to check them all.
My star is from a Carol Doak pattern.  I really like her patterns as they are easy to follow and well designed but not boring.  I am not a big fan of foundation piecing (sometimes called paper piecing) but making this cushion cover using Island Batik fabrics made it fun.  I used Superior threads Fantistico to do the top stitching which added a nice bit of sheen to the stitches.

Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Friday, March 24, 2017


Am I the only one who thinks the attention span of customer service people is getting shorter?  Particularly those in the fast food industry. When I order a tea, I usually say black tea, medium, leave the bag in, please, and it is to go.  The reply?  Anything in it? No, black please.  What size?  Medium. Here or to go? .
I know they have to punch it in and I know they are trying to be accurate but, really, could at least a couple of things that I said not be remembered? I have resorted to just standing there and replying to questions.  Less frustrating and quicker in the long run.
Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy but I sometimes feel that people (to quote my hubby) aren't getting their fair share of oxygen.
On a cheerier note: I finished another small project today and started on another.  They are both made with Island Batik fabrics.  Cheers a person up just looking at them. I also got a good start on the magazine article that has to be sent in by the end of the month.  I really do work better with a deadline looming.
I have mentioned previously that I am a member of the Burk's Falls Art and Crafts Centre.  We have a Facebook page and if you would like to see some wonderful fibre arts, creations in glass, paintings and many other items that will gladden the heart, take a peek.
For some reason, our rail fence seems to be attracting critters lately.  A few days ago the owl I photographed landed in a tree beside it.  This evening, a pair of deer were peering over the rails.  I didn't see them quickly enough to grab my camera unfortunately.
We have been getting a mixture of weather today.  It was raining in the morning which turned into freezing rain, back to rain which froze again and, finally, snow.  We have a few inches added onto the ice.  It does look pretty and we hadn't planned on going anywhere so we were snug.  I felt bad for those who were out on the roads though.  Many people in this area drive quite a distance to get to work.  Didn't see or hear of any collisions so I hope everyone made it safely back home.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Face Time?

I'm weary.  I keep waking up around 4 a.m. and not getting back to sleep for a couple of hours.  Of course, I then sleep in and drag around for the rest of the day.  I did get some quilting done today but not too much more than that.  I have been finishing up the last bits of getting my programs signed up with windows 10.  I still have EQ to do but haven't the mental patience right now.
I did get out for a walk this afternoon although the driveway was really muddy.  I tried to keep Heidi away from the muck as much as possible but she still came home with dirty feet and tummy.
We are supposed to be getting another day or so of nasty weather and I have a couple of friends that are heading east.  It has to be done but it isn't the best time of year for travelling.
Have any of you used Face Time instead of Skype for on line communicating?  One of my sister's was telling me about it and suggested I check it out.  We do a lot of internet chatting with our grandchildren as well as my family that are in England. The time lag is irritating and it would be nice if there was a way to not have it.
If you are on the roads tomorrow, stay safe.  Slow down and increase your following distance so you can get to your destination safely.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Computer is Back Home

I picked my computer up from the village today and got it hooked up again.  It is working great after its tune -up and installation of more RAM.  Took me a bit of time learning a few new features as he did a clean install of Windows 10.  Haven't got my EQ back in yet nor figured out how to add my blog to the start menu.  Nice to have my old girl back though.
We had a bit of a problem getting down our driveway this morning as a tree had blown down across it through he night.  I heard the crash but thought it was just the house snapping in the cold.  I had to pull the tree out of the way while hubby drove past and then repeat when we came home.  He went down and cut it up after that.
 This horned owl was sitting just outside the studio window watching for the squirrels that are all over the yard picking up fallen bird seed.  He stayed there for quite a long time so I was able to get this photo.  I had to crop it down quite a bit as he blended in perfectly with the background.
I have loaded another top onto my frame.  It was finished quite a while ago so I thought it was time to get it done.  I am doing ruler work on it and this is the first time I have done that.  Bit shaky but getting there.  The flag banner was completed last night.  This is a free pattern from Monica Curry Quilt Designs and available on Craftsy.  It is well designed and a great project for Canada's 150.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy Quilting Day Two

I finished my foundation pieced block today and now will turn it into a pillow cover.  The photo is a bit fuzzy as I took it with my tablet.  I will do one with the camera when it is completed.  This was going to be my Island Batik project for this month but I have decided to do something else.  I am in a mini frame of mind.
Today I finished sewing the outer borders on a top and should get the rest done tomorrow and ready for quilting. .  I need to do a bit of practising on my frame before I load this as I haven't used it in a while.
It was lovely and sunny again today so I was able to go for my walk in the bush.  It was slippery in spots and the snow was soft in others but, all in all, enjoyable.  I kept my eye out for branches that might have been knocked loose during the recent heavy winds.  I didn't want one bonking either eye or the dog.  We both were on the lookout for a mink that had been spotted around the hen house earlier.  Heidi had raised the alarm and hubby was out tapping the trees and saw it slinking around.  The coop is secure but those creatures don't need a lot of space to wiggle its way into trouble.
Got some flower and herb seeds started in unneeded egg cartons and made a large pot of stew so I could legitimately claim that I hadn't quilted all day.  Most of it but not all.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ah, Quilting at Last

Today is the first full day I have had of quilting at home in over two weeks and I am happy, happy, happy.  I have been working on my March Island Batik challenge.  This month we are to make something using foundation piecing and it has to be less than 20 inches square.  I like minis so that part was easy.  Deciding what to do was a bit more difficult.  I settled on one of Carol Doak's stars.  Her patterns are well designed with enough challenge to keep it interesting.
It has been very windy here.  I was hoping to get outside for my walk but the driveway is too icy and I didn't want to have a tree branch blow down on me or the dog so I stayed inside and bounced on my mini trampoline for a bit.
I can't remember if I mentioned this previously but I have signed up for the Google Business site.  This is quite easy to do and does help in promoting a business.  I am planning on doing a tutorial some time in the future.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Furry Friday

Today is Furry Friday.  As you know, I am a proud Ambassador for Island Batik fabrics and, this year, they are adding their support to Pet Finders and the Kennel Quilt project.  If you haven't heard about this worthwhile organization, you can read all about them at:  This link will also tell you about the Virtual Kennel Quilt retreat.  If you have never been on a virtual retreat, check it out.  They are so much fun.

In addition to promoting Kennel Quilts, Island Batik is also bringing attention to some animals that need forever homes.  Here are two of them.  If interested, please click on the link.
Catnine -
Catnine lived a hard life before she was saved by Zeus' Rescues in New Orleans: Both her leg and her jaw had been broken. Still, she adores people, and she's ready for a loving home that will help her heal!
June -
This gentle, housetrained 6-year-old gal is comfortable around adults, children and other dogs, and even lived happily with a gecko! She's waiting for a new family at Animal Care Centers of NYC in Manhattan.

These pets are in the United States but there many in shelters here in Canada who are just waiting to give you unconditional love.  I know this from experience.  When hubby and I married, he knew how much I loved dogs and cats.  Unfortunately, he is allergic to both.  I accepted that we wouldn't be able to have a pet but every time we went for a walk I stopped to talk to all the ones we passed.  Just before Valentine's Day he said we would get a cat and, if necessary, he would take medication.  (Have I mentioned how wonderful he is?) The next day, which was Valentine's, we heard a cat meowing.  We went outside and there, huddled  under the tarp that covered our motorcycles, was a tiny white cat.  We brought her in and gave her some food and a blanket to lay on.  For the next few days, we tried to locate his owners.  When it was obvious, that he had been abandoned we got him neutered and inoculated.  We had him for 18 years and he was truly the most wonderful cat I have ever owned.  When we decided to move to Ontario, we knew, at his age, he probably wouldn't survive the move and the confinement that the construction period involved.  The very difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.  I still miss him.  His ashes, picture and collar are on my dresser.  Another copy of the picture is beside my compute
I already posted the photo of the Kennel Quilts I made but just in case you missed them, here they are again. Because there isn't a shelter in our area, I made these little quilts and donated them to a group that provides veterinary care to animals in need.
You can read this week's weeks bloggers by clicking on the links below.  PamelaQuilts is a new Ambassador and she is from Norway.  I know you will want to read about her country.
Purrfect Spots

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Where oh Where is my Brain?

It appears that allergy season has arrived for me.  It is quite early this year but I guess the melting snow has triggered something.  My brain has felt like it went on a vacation today and forgot to take me.  This isn't a good thing when you are handling dangerous tools like a sewing machine or rotary cutter.  I was trying to be extra careful while at a friends house where we meet once a month to quilt. 
We were at the last stages of the quilt tops  and I was piecing stripes for the inner border.  After I added the last section for the first side, I removed it from the machine to check for length and that is when I discovered that I had neatly sewn the two ends together making a circle! It is easier for the deer to move around when we have less snow but it isn't fun for me.
I managed to get that border on without further problem and then quit.  It was almost time to leave so I thought it best to not push on any further.  I will have to recheck what I have done when I get a minute just to make sure I have sewn anything on backwards.
We had a real windstorm last night.  It woke us up a number of times and I fully expected the hydro to go out from a downed tree or the shingles to leave their appointed place.  However, we made it to the morning without problem.  The wind continued to make itself felt throughout the day but not as fiercely as before.  Parts of the United States were affected far more drastically.  If you are in one of those areas, I hope you came through safely.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cheese Curds

It has been very windy today.  My little car was tossed around like a raft on the ocean when I went into the village this morning.  I expect it was much worse on the highway and, in fact, a truck blew over on its side on the Burlington Skyway bridge.  I am always concerned about my son on these days as he drives transport.  It isn't only driving the work vehicle that can be hazardous but the long drive to and from work as well.
Tonight is movie night.  Every so often we will have our neighbour friends over to watch a movie and eat popcorn.  I am not a big movie fan but I just make sure I have some hand quilting to do.  I don't eat popcorn either  so I get my own little treat.  Today, I went to one of our little specialty shops and got some dill seasoned cheese curds.  They are really good.  It is amazing the different things a person can buy if they take the time to look around.
If you were on the road today, I hope all your wheels stayed on the road.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grey Day

If you like grey you would have loved today's weather.  It has been foggy and rainy all day.  We went to Huntsville (our nearest good sized community) to grocery shop and kept our coat hoods up as we dashed through the rain to the stores.  It turned out to be a great day to shop as there were some fabulous sales on fresh fruits and vegetables.  I was able to stock up and will dice and chop and freeze when I have a moment.
Shopping was done just in time for lunch so we went to a restaurant and had  good sized meal so I didn't have to make supper later.   We were a bit concerned about the state of our road and parking area because it had been quite icy when we left.  The driveway was fine but we could have skated everywhere else so I stayed on the side of the path in the snow and got the ashes which hubby spread around.  We then were able to get all the bags in safely, get everything put away and have a cup of tea.  I was even able to get some sewing done in the afternoon.
Tomorrow is the Art Centre's business meeting and then a couple of other members and I are getting together to go over a grant application.  Ugh.  But it has to be done.
Hope your day was a bit more exciting.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Bed for Max

I got some quilting done today.  I finished this little dog mat for a friend's son's dog.  The top photo is the front.  I doubled the batting so it is poufy and there is no binding so little Max won't get his toenails caught. 
It has been another cold and sunny day but I finally got outside for a walk.  I wanted to go through the bush but kept falling through the snow crust every so often so I opted for the road again.  I didn't stay out long as I hadn't put on Heidi's booties but it was good to get some fresh air.  While out, I started the car and filled up the bird feeders. Another fun filled day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Nice Day

It was cool today but the sun was brilliant.  I had a meeting about half an hour further into the country and the drive was lovely.  Another lady and I were meeting with the president of our art group to discuss some marketing strategies for the group. I hadn't been to her house before and, when I got there, I was sorry I hadn't brought my camera.  She lives on a beautiful piece of property with a hill rising to one side and fields stretching as far as you could see to the back.  Her house is a lovely squared timber.  Our discussion was accompanied by pie and coffee (tea in my case) which always makes conversation easier.
The other lady had picked me up so I didn't have to figure out where I was going which made the journey far more relaxing for me as I have a tendency to get lost.  It was hubby's turn to get supper tonight so I did a bit more sewing after I got home as well as some work on the computer.  I am making some place mats to go with the table runner that I just finished.  The runner was a kit I purchased from Connecting Threads and they provided enough fabric that I am able to do the mats with the left overs. All in all, a nice day,

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Canadian Values

I am writing an article for our area tourism guide about the Burk's Falls jamboree which takes place each year.  This morning I interviewed the two men who created the event.  It was a pleasure hearing that their vision was to promote the area, local artists and the genre and will continue to do so for as long as possible.  This is not a venture where they will get rich and, in fact, breaking even is considered to be successful.
There are  many (although not enough) who consider helping others to be a priority.  At a time when it seems to be increasingly common to be nasty, protectionist and self serving, we need to be even more focused on what is important.
Is someone wearing a head covering as part of a uniform (a recent cause of much vitriolic comment on Facebook) more worthy of our concern than children committing suicide or not having a home?  People often use the excuse that we getting away from Canadian 'values' as the justification for hatred.  They forget our laws and values are based on such things as the ten commandment's and the golden rule. 
Treat others as you would have them treat you is still the best guide for our actions.