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.(leahday.com)  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.