Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Yellow Duck.

We recently bought a little solar powered water fountain for the birds.  The tub that hubby uses for boiling the maple syrup was just the right size for our bitty water feature but I thought it needed a bit of colour.  I added the family of ducks when we got back from shopping yesterday.  Heidi went out with me when I put them in the water.  I guess she thought they were for her because she started walking around the tub, bumping it with her nose and barking.  She wanted the duck but  because she was afraid of the water, she couldn't reach in and get it.  Every time she would work up the nerve, the water spurted.  Hubby and I thought it was quite funny but I don't think Heidi agreed.
It was quite a bit cooler today than yesterday.  Enough so that we had the heat on in the van when we went in for the mail.  It was tempting to start the wood stove but a long sleeved shirt was sufficient to keep the shivers away.
Why is it that we always think that 'next week' will be less busy that the one we are in?  I have been looking forward to the end of the weekend as I wouldn't have any more scheduled activities for a bit.  And then I looked at my calendar.  I have appointments every day next week.  Fortunately, none are for the whole day so I will still get my quilting done.  I know that there are many people who would be happy to change my 'problems' for theirs so my fussing isn't serious.
Long weekend coming up in Canada and then the children are back to school. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Heard a Loon

I love the sound of a loon.  Like the beaver and maple leaf, the loon's call, to me, means  Canada.  I was up a bit earlier than usual this morning and was standing on the back step while waiting for the dog to do her thing when I heard our resident loon go past.  We have a mating pair that use our pond as their bedroom.  In the daytime they are off to more exciting places (I heard their departure), but as evening approaches, they are back to the peace and solitude of the back woods.  Lucky me.  I get to stay here all the time.
I have been working on a doll's outfit which is the last item to be completed for the fall fair.  I don't normally like fiddly things but I do enjoy making doll clothes.  I generally add embellishments such as bells or rhinestones to give them a touch of pizzaz. I always use a purchased pattern for these although I do change them somewhat. 
Speaking of patterns, have you noticed that on the right side of the blog there is a list of links to various sites.  One of them is for free patterns which can be used if you are making a quilt for charity.  Most quilters donate to various non profit organizations and I am pleased to help them do so.
I would love to see a photo of your version of the pattern.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Our Eco System

I went to bed really early last night, got a good sleep and was up and ready to enjoy the wonderful weather that the day brought.  I got most of my Saturday chores, including laundry, done today as I am going on a charity walk early tomorrow for our food bank.  I am going with a quilting friend and we are taking our dogs so that will be fun and interesting.
Our wetlands (which are really wet this year) are showing some nice early signs of autumn.  We have  many varieties of birds, frogs and other creatures that call this area home.  Doesn't appear very attractive from the road but if you stop and really look it has a beauty of its own.  We are pleased to have this area  right across our property as well as my sister's.  Our own little eco system.
Still watching the reports of the Hurricane approaching the coastal area of Texas and praying that it will be less damaging than predicted.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Storms and Quilts

I am more than a bit tired today.  I spent most of last night coughing as I thought I would see if I was alright without an allergy pill.  I obviously wasn't.  I have never had it this bad before and not even sure what I am allergic too just that I am coughing and an elephant uses my chest for a cushion.
Anyway, a pill before bed tonight and I should be okay tomorrow.
I am concerned for a couple of friends who are in Texas and the path of Hurricane Harvey.  I know that Canadians sometimes envy the warmth of the southern U.S. in the winter but I will take snow over hurricane's any day.
Today was my monthly quilting get together.  We spent most of the day making half square triangle (HST) blocks.  We packed up early and went to Fabricland to take advantage of their 3 day sale.  I got some fabric I needed and another bit that I wanted.  Another lady got the items she needed and the other one purchased 'wants'  Lots of laughing and helping each other (which is how the one lady ended up with all her fabric).  Quilters seem to turn the simplest activity into so much fun.
For those of you  in the Texas area, please be safe.  Evacuate if need be.  Looters may be a possibility but things can be replaced.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thunder Boomies

We were awoken by a severe thunderstorm this morning around 4.30.  The thunder and lightening were happening almost at the same time and it was a steady flash and bang for at least 3/4 of an hour when I went back to sleep.  The bedroom was lit up just as though it were daylight.  I thought the hydro might go out but it just flickered once and that was it.  It did trip the switch for my quilt room though. This morning, we had a bit more of the storm although not as bad and then it poured for the rest of the day.
I was able to get quite a bit of work done as I couldn't or wouldn't, go outside.  I was choosing and cutting fabric for the Quilt Pattern Magazine virtual retreat which happens next month.  Also made a large pot of zucchini soup which will give us something for lunch for a few days.
I do hope that now autumn is on the horizon that we will start getting more seasonable weather.  I am beginning to think our tomatoes aren't going to ripen at all.

Friday, August 18, 2017


I just finished another quilt.  It is from a pattern by Faith and Fabric although I changed it a bit.     the original had a pieced border and square bottom.  It was easier to make that it first appeared and went together really quick once the background was done.  I made this for our little country church.
The first photo shows the whole banner and the second is a close up so you can see the quilting on the border.  It was all done on my domestic machine and I used a template for the border quilting.
I think I need to load an unfinished top onto my frame and get one of them done.  I am pretty much caught up with all my work so can spend a bit of time having fun.
I hope you have a good weekend.  Lots of thing happening in the nearby village tomorrow.  There is a community yard sale as well as a Country Jamboree at the fair grounds.  The weather doesn't look to be the best but it won't stop everyone from getting outside and enjoying themselves.
I forgot to mention yesterday that if  you are looking for any of the Island Batik fabrics that I use in my quilts there are two stores in the Muskoka, Orillia area.  One is called Muskoka Quilting and is in Bracebridge and the other is Thimbles and Things.  It is located just outside of Orillia in Severn.  If you own a quilt store or business, Northcott also carries the fabric.  If you are in Canada and sell Island Batik, please let me know and I will add your store to my promo list.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fabric! Fabric! Fabric!

Just over a week ago, I received my second shipment of Island Batik fabrics.  I was busy finishing up projects at the time so hadn't had a chance to share photos of my bounty with you.  I am now pleased to be able to do that.
Aptly named Blue Moon  this package contains 2 1/2 inch precuts as well as yardage.  Beautiful shades of blue and coordinating colours.  Will look lovely in a landscape quilt.


I love the 5 inch by WOF precuts and have already got a quilt in mind for them.  this is only one of the packages of those that I received.  The Alpine Ice fabric below the precuts will be great for celebrating winter, my favourite season.
Shhh!  This fabric is a secret.  I can't tell you anything about it until the fall.
This is called a bonus fabric.  I think the whole shipment is a bonus as it certainly adds a lot of joy to my life and my quilting.

This is one of my favourite fabrics and I am thinking of something special like a tote or a pillow case for this.  I would just hate to cut it up.

Island Batik also makes gorgeous rayon fabric.  I am planning something for myself with this.  Perhaps a wrap around skirt and I can dream I am on a tropical island.
I hope you enjoyed the little fabric tour.  You will, of course, get to see them again as I use them in projects.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Blogs

I forgot yesterday to give you the links to the blogs for all the other Ambassador's.  If you would like to see their projects, just click.  Most haven't got August's challenge posted yet but they do have on going interesting blogs.  Thank you, Vicki for putting the list on your blog.  Vicki shows you how to do QAUG on a longarm that you will want to check out. Enjoy.
Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations  -Me.
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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

End of the Day

This month challenge for the Island Batik Ambassador's was making a quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) quilt.  This is one of my favourite quilting so I happily stitched away and finished it well before deadline.  This is unusual for me lately as I am either just getting done in the nick of time or am late.
Here is the front and back of my quilt.  I will give you an abbreviated version of the method.


 Top of QAYG showing background strips and the appliqued birds which were added after the top was finished.
Back of quilt showing stitch lines.
I received a number of precut 5" X WOF strips in my Island Batik packaged and realized they would be perfect for this quilt.  I picked out 11 that I liked but any number would work equally well.  After deciding the order in which they would be used, I lay my backing fabric rights side down on my work table and then placed the batting on top.
The first strip was aligned with the top of the backing/batting sandwich and the second strip laid directly on top of it.  There really isn't a right and wrong side to Island Batik fabric but if you are using regular material, ensure right sides are together.  Pin thoroughly and stitch  through all layers at the fabric edge furthest from the top.
Smooth second strip over batting and press.  Add third strip by place over second and stitch as previously.  Keep adding rows and press until all the strips are used.
Square the top by trimming and bind.  If you are going to add applique or other embellishments due so before binding.  I pieced 2 1/4" wide sections of left over fabric together used it for binding.


Friday, August 11, 2017


I finished my fidget quilt today.  It has two pockets: the one on the lower right corner has a flap with a button inside, the other has the little puppet face.  There is also a zipper, Velcro tab, measuring tape strip, elastic, rickrack, buttons and a fabric ribbon that can be tied into a bow. 
It was fun making this and I am looking forward to doing another.
We are getting yet another thunderstorm.  Hydro has flickered once  but seems to be staying on.  It has been a discouraging summer for holidayers but our garden is doing great.  We had our own potatoes and beets for supper.  Could have also served chicken burgers but am getting a bit tired of chicken.  We picked a couple of tomatoes.  They aren't ripe yet but we love fried green tomatoes.
Hope things are a little drier in your area.  Have a great and safe weekend.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

July in August

Oh Baby! Crib Quilts
Your calendar might say that it is August but today, for me, it is still July.  The Island Batik Ambassador's challenge for this month (July) was a baby or crib quilt.  Because life often gets in the way of schedules, I got  behind.  Our lovely 'sisters plus males' holiday was the major reason for the delay so I am certainly not complaining.  It was a trip of a lifetime but, no matter how much you might enjoy something you do, eventually, have to get back to reality.
I chose pastels for my project but avoided the usual pink and blue.  The bear pattern was from a colouring book and the cat from a quilt book featuring outlines of that noble animal.  I used   Aurifil threads for the outline.  The silk finish gives a lovely sheen without overpowering. The fabrics were from country dozen (bears) Dinner Days (cats) and Dotilicious (background and sashing).
I quilted it in an all over free motion drooping leaves pattern.
Watch for Augusts challenge to be posted shortly and then, I am going to have some good news for those who, like me, love Island Batik fabrics.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fluff Balls

I am out this evening as I was yesterday so thought I would jot done a few thoughts now.  After a wonderfully sunny and warm day on Tues, it is supposed to rain again today  right now, it is fine so I went out and cut a few flowers for the house.  The birds were singing all around me and I could hear the bees amongst the wildflowers.  Happy sounds of the day. 
Just as I finished getting the flowers in a vase, hubby came home from a trip to the village where he picked up our delivery of baby chicks.  It is hard to believe these day old balls of fluff will soon be big enough to lay eggs and forage amongst the weeds and grass around their coop.  I took a photos so you can see just how tiny they are.

Yesterday, I made the top for a fidget quilt.  First attempt at one of these and it was rather fun.  I used 25 charm squares to make a five by five top.  I didn't want it to be big as it is for a young child.  I have a few odds and ends to add and then will just sew around sandwich and turn right side out before quilting.  Easiest and sturdiest method of holding everything together.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tornados and Torrential Rain

I hope you had a fun and safe weekend.  Ours was pretty stormy.  Our hydro was out Fri. evening for four hours but the area to the south of us fared much worse.  Two tornados touched down in the Muskoka's and quite a bit of damage.  Driving conditions both Saturday and Sunday afternoon was difficult because of the rain.  There were times when you could only see as far as the taillights in front of you.  Thankfully, everybody that I know that was on the road got home safely.
Hubby had been away for a few days and I was able to get quite a bit of sewing done.  I am sewing the binding on a quilt, made a summer dress today and just have to add a few more touches to another quilt.  I should have some photos tomorrow.
I know I need to start thinking about my fall fair entries soon-actually, I should be working on them by now.  However, the world won't end if I don't get a lot done.
Do you enter your local fair?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fidget Quilts

If you are like me-or most quilters, you probably plan to do all sorts of things that don't actually get done.  I have always been intrigued by the idea of fidget quilts but have never actually made one.
One of the members of our Hearts 2 Hands Yahoo Group sent a link to a tutorial for the little quilts.
A pdf is also included which gives a layout of different blocks.  I believe this is enough to get me making one to donate for a senior's residence.  I am also going to try another version for a young child.
Here is the link.  Let me know what you think of the idea and if you are going to make one.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


One last lot of photos.  These were taken in Cavandish, PEI, the home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gable books. The books have been popular with young girls for generations and the television series starring Megan Follows increased the popularity.
Although Cavandish has a few areas of tacky tourism, it has managed to keep it away from the historic areas-much to their credit.
Here is a mini tour.
The Grave Site

Her Aunt's House Where She got the Inspiration for the Books Also site of the
'Lake of Shining Waters'.

 Rooms in the House were Set up to depict some of the rooms in Matthew and Marilla's House.
This is Mathews Bedroom

Plaque on the Church Where She was Organist.  Post Office Where She worked is Next Door.

The Apple Tree Where She Sat and Dreamed Her Stories
And What is a Canadian tourism Area Without Our Most Beloved Canadian Symbol-The Mountie.