Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I am not Lost

April's Island Batik project was to reinterpret an old pattern.  Flying Geese is one of the oldest patterns in use.  Folk lore has it that it was part of the Underground Railroad patterns and it has appeared  in many other quilts both traditional and modern.  However, it has never been a favourite of mine as I don't like making the geese.  I have tried a number of methods and they all produce good results but I still don't like making them.  
I recently bought a book by Jo Morton and this little wall hanging was in it.  I used her method for making the geese and my wonderful Island Batik fabrics.  I still don't think FG will be one of my favourites but the quilt went together quickly.  My modern interpretation was to reverse one row and to add machine embroidery. I used a medium blue Masterpiece thread from Superior for the embroidery and quilting.

I have named this little quilt: I am Not Lost.  I Don't Need to Look at the Map.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Deer are Back

I got one tiny cape made today.  My first Barbie article.  I want to do a dress to go with it and that will be it until Christmas.
We have had quite a few deer wandering around the property lately.  They make an awful mess of the snow so it is difficult to go for a walk but are fun to watch.  We haven't had any deer around for a couple of years so it is nice to see them again.
The weather was wonderful today.  Snow is melting and the shrubs are starting to get a few buds.  I am looking forward to seeing some green.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tiny Clothes

Once again it looks as though spring may make an appearance this year.  As this week draws to a close the kind folk in the weather bureau are predicting temperatures in the double digits. This time, they are on the plus side of zero.  I can't wait to start complaining about the heat and blackflies!
I didn't get much sewing finished today but I have got half of next weeks assignments finished.  I am hand sewing the binding on a little wall hanging which I have tentatively named: No, I Don't Need to Ask for Directions.
Are you participating in the quilting challenge for Humboldt?  Two members of our Hands to Hearts yahoo group have each made one.  I always find it very interesting to see how the same pattern can look so different depending of the fabrics used or the layout.  I am sure both will bring comfort to the recipients.
I am continuing to work on my charity quilts and have started making some Barbie clothes for my granddaughter.  My goodness they are small.

Hope you are starting to see signs of spring in your area.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Please Move Over

What a weekend for nasty weather.  We were fortunate in not getting much of the freezing rain but the snow added a few more inches to what was already there.  It was much worse south of us with a lot of vehicles in minor collisions or ending up in the ditch.  Fortunately, no serious injuries or death.
A friend returning home to this area had the same problem that hubby and I did when we were away at Christmas.  They encountered a driver going a half the speed of everyone else.  The traffic which had been nicely spread out began to bunch up.
I understand that some people are very nervous when driving in less than ideal conditions.  I also understand that they may have to be on the road.  However, please, if you are one of those people, move over so other divers can pass.  It is not only courteous but a safety measure.
I spent most of today (as is usual now) working on my course but I did also get some quilting done and talked to my dear sisters on Skype.
Tomorrow, off for a medical test and then shopping.  The weather is supposed to start warming up by the end of the week and it will be nice to see some move toward spring.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ready for the Mud.

I have been working on a Jo Morton pattern which is, basically, 3 rows of flying geese divided by plain strips.  A friend really likes her patterns and after I looked through one of her books, I can see why.  The patterns themselves (at least in the book I have) aren't unusual but her instructions are very easy to follow.  I am going to order another book.  This one is appliqued flower blocks.  She uses the same applique methods as I do which makes it even nicer.
I am still plugging away at my web course.  I am finding it easier now although I still run into bits that make me wonder why I am doing this.
The sap has finally started running in our maple bush and hubby thinks we may have 60 gallons so far.  That isn't much but it is a start.
I got a lovely handmade birthday card from the grandchildren this week which will be added to the others.  It is so wonderful having grandchildren.  I didn't understand the reaction of other grannies before but now I am bragging just as much as anyone else.
Hope you aren't in an area that is predicted to get the freezing rain.  I am ready for the mud of spring.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Quilters Support Humboldt

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I am sure that, like me, you heart has been touched by the terrible bus collision in Humboldt, Sask.  As with all other tragedies, there is a desire to do what you can to help.  There was a post on Facebook today reaching out to quilters.  Those who wish are asked to send a block, top or quilt in the requested pattern/colours.  The link to further information is below.


Just before I sat down to write, Heidi and I were watching  four deer in the back yard.  They are nice and healthy looking so I guess they were able to find lots of food during the winter.  There are a number of people in the area who feed them which is both good and bad.  Good because it helps them survive.  Bad because it upsets nature's balance, means more deer on the road and lessens their fear of people.  Still, like everyone else, I enjoy being  able to watch them.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Merry April

We had a bit of a snowfall yesterday.  There was at least 2 feet of snow that I had to remove from the front and side of the car so I could move it this morning.  Our driveway hadn't been plowed so hubby led the way down the driveway in the van as we both had appointments.
When I got back, the plow guy still hadn't been I got about half way and then shovelled tracks for the tires so I could get to the house.  Hubby came home about half an hour later and later that day the driveway was plowed.
I took this photo this morning.  It really looked lovely out but I enjoy it more in February than April.  Hopefully, it doesn't last so we can get on with gathering our sap.
I finished a couple of small sewing projects in between other stuff today.  I am certainly not quilting as much as I normally do but things are getting done.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I Pet Fabric

The weather forecast was accurate.  We had nearly a foot of snow.  Poor Heidi couldn't find a place to squat so I had to rush out and shovel an area for her.
I finished this weeks assignment for the course and got some sewing done so I feel I have accomplished something.
This was on Facebook.  I don't leave my ironing board up as I have pad on the top of a cupboard that I use.  It is wider than the regular ironing surface.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Weather Warnings

We have a severe weather warning for a lot of Ontario-some for snow (us) and others freezing rain.  It is supposed to arrive tonight so we will have to wait and see how accurate the forecasters are.  I had to make a dental appointment and I figured Thursday looked safe.
I worked on my course today and got some sewing done.  I need to start thinking about my next Island Batik project but also finishing another charity quilt.
There never seems to be a shortage of things to do, is there.
I hope everyone had a blessed Easter weekend.  We went to hubby's sister where much of the family gathered.  It was a lovely day and it was nice to see how the great nieces and nephews had grown.  There are all lovely children; no fighting or teasing each other.
Of course, we were both tired yesterday from the long day and drive but I got to quilting and was able to put in a full day there.  Lately, I have had to leave at lunch to be home in time to watch the on line part of my course.
I hope the hydro stays on tomorrow but, if not, I have a book to read.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Star is Made

Here it is a Saturday and I am writing my blog.  I have a couple of things to share and one of them is this months challenge from Island Batik.  Our March challenge was to try a new technique and I cheated a little as I had tried to make the Lone Star pattern before but failed miserably.
As that was many years ago before rulers and rotary cutters (not to mention machines with a 1/4 inch foot) I figured I might have a better chance this time around.  I not only had all those tools now but a lot more experience and, of course, wonderful fabrics with which to work.

In order to give myself an even better chance at success, I chose a pattern that consisted of a single star with much larger pieces than my first attempt.  I am quite pleased with the result and may even go back to that other patterns and give it a try.

As you can see, I haven't got it quilted as yet.  I want to use another machine foot that I recently acquired and do stitch in the ditch on the star.  Haven't decided what I will do in the black area-maybe shadow quilting.
My other little bit of news is also related to Island Batik.  As an ambassador I have got to know many fine quilters and pattern designer's.  I am also pleased to be able to share with you that a member of my on line group (hearts2hands) recently had a pattern accepted for the IB catalogue.  You can see the pattern designed by PineRose and the catalogue itself by clicking on the link below.  Way to go, Eileen.  We are so proud of you.  By the way, take time to look through the catalogue and drool over the fabric and get some of the patterns.  The IB site does also have free ones as well as those in the book.



Friday, March 30, 2018

Pictures Do Lie

I am not even going to tell you how busy this week was.  You probably knew that from my lack of posts.  I did manage to sneak in a bit of quilting but it was mostly sitting at the computer and working through various lessons.
I will be posting a photo of this month Island Batik project tomorrow-I am glad this month has 31 days but I thought you might also be interested in a picture I created.

The background of this montage is a photo of our bush.  I duplicated it and then flipped the copy and joined it to the other to make one wide image.  I then added the photos of the flowers, butterfly, turtle and deer.  The two animals were also from property scenes.  I cropped the deer's body so I could put him behind a tree.  I had a lot of fun doing this and had to make myself stop so I could send it in.
An old saying is that pictures don't lie but, as you can see, they definitely do.
I hope you all have some pleasant plans for the weekend.  Hubby, Heidi and I are going to his families on Sunday.  We will all go to church together and then have dinner.  

Friday, March 23, 2018


I finally have some photos of my quilting to share with you.
 The first are a couple of the 365 blocks I just finished; the light coloured one was completed yesterday. These are 6.5 inch squares.

This little lap sized quilt is one of the ones I am making to give to a charity.  Very simple pattern but colourful and comfy.  I am just finishing another which was backed with fleece.  The top for that one was made at hearts2hands yahoo groups recent virtual retreat.  
Another top is partially started and I have fabric set aside for others.  I don't have to get these all done until the fall but knowing how schedules can rapidly change, I wanted to keep working on them now.  Besides, they are a good way to use up fabric that has been sitting around for ages.
Heidi and I went for an extra long walk today as the weather was so nice.  It isn't warm yet but the sun is nice and bright.  It is hard to come inside but I had been neglecting my sewing machine for far to long so in I went.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

No News Equals More Time

Hubby and I decided to forgo the morning news today and we were both able to get considerably more accomplished. I am usually not getting at the house stuff until nineish and I like to be in the office for ten so I have to hustle to just get the basic things finished.
This morning, I made a big kettle of Irish stew, cooked and peeled 2 dozen hard boiled eggs, did the dishes, brought in wood and the usual sweeping and bed making.  All this before 9.30.
We do like to know what is going on in the world but the 20 minutes or so of actual news gets stretched to 3 hours of fashion, cooking, exercise, entertainment, videos and kibitzing amongst the news anchors. We usually just watch the last hour or so but even then it is too long.
I did finish another 365 block and did some review work on my course.  I finished it a day and a half early so tomorrow I may be able to get in a good day of sewing.
It was warm enough today that we left the wood stove go out after the stew had cooked.  As the snow is melting and the frozen ground is turning to mud, I am looking forward to seeing my spring flowers.
I have a few plants started indoors and one of the geraniums has a bloom begining.  That will be cheerful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

So Far Behind, I am Ahead.

It was hard staying indoors today.  It wasn't especially warm but the sunshine was lovely.  My afternoon walk got extended a bit longer than usual.  The birch tree on my sister's property was beautiful with the spreading white branches against the dark blue sky. I sat on the back step for a bit after getting home and then filled the bird feeders before coming inside and getting back at my course.
This weeks assignment is much harder than last week.  I have been working on the same project on and off all day and still haven't got it.  I think I have had enough for today and will take a break.  Perhaps tomorrow the light bulb will come on.
I have started back at working on those 365 blocks.  The idea was to do one a day but I am on June 14th obviously from last year.  I guess I could pretend I am ahead for 2018!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fun with Pictures

I have been having fun playing around with photoshop today.  I put bison into an area field, removed the ire tube that my brother was using to float with his dog and just goofed around.  I am not proficient by any means but am learning.
I also did some quilting.  I loaded one of the charity quilts and started getting it quilted.  I am not doing anything fancy as this is a case of 'done' being better than fancy.  I need to get a few more finished so will perhaps try to ignore the computer tomorrow and do another.
It started out as a cool day but warmed up in the afternoon and the sunshine was really nice so I went for a walk with Heidi.  I haven't been able to get out for a while as I have either been busy or it was too icy.  I am hoping I can get back to routine now.
If you are Irish or want to be,  Happy St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.  My father's family came from the Emerald Isle a few generations back so I have a bit of green in my blood.
This was one of the class projects.  The hiker was taken from o a mountain rock and put in this picture.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sudoku Quilts

Last Saturday, our online group (hearts2hands) had a virtual retreat.  If you can't get away for a real one, this is a great alternative.  A bit of time and a good imagination helps make the event a fun time.  Our group has got very good at imagining our location, wait staff, accommodation and food.  It can get quite exotic with pool boys and food that would be served to the very wealthy.  We have also 'met' at a restored Victorian home with crisp white sheets and four poster beds draped with quilts.  We have be transported by private jet, met with limos and pampered by personal spas and massage therapists.
As my brother said, when you are poor you can dream big.  None of us would claim either poverty or wealth but we can certainly dream.
This quilt was the result of a mystery project taught by one of the members.  It is a Sudoku quilt and comes together very quickly.  It also helped get rid of some more of my fabric that has well aged.

My course is going well.  We are now learning to use the Photoship program and I am having lots of fun experimenting with all the options.
We are still getting snow.  Not a lot but it is still falling and accumulating.

Friday, March 9, 2018


I just found out that I can use code rather than the hosts templates to redesign my web page.  I have started a little work on it this evening but I have a lot of work to do.  I want it to be a lot more interactive and less cluttered.
I baked, baked baked today.  I was going to do some jam but discovered I didn't have any lids.  I id make pumpkin muffins, a couple of casseroles, spaghetti sauce, a quiche and some egg salad for sandwiches.  I also intended to make some cookies but I ran out of steam.
It snowed most of the day so I may get to snowshoe yet.  We are going to try for Sunday.  Tomorrow, our on line group is having a virtual retreat so I will be having fun eating virtual goodies and doing some real sewing.  One of the members has a quilt pattern she is going to teach.  I have my fabric cut out and ready.
Don't forget to put your clock forward tomorrow.  I will do the one in the bedroom tomorrow morning so I will know at least one will be ready.

Sharing a video with you this time.  Amazing!



Thursday, March 8, 2018

Flowers and Quilts

 Here is a preview of a charity top that I have almost completed.  I only have to sew the blocks together and add a couple of borders and I can get this one on the machine.  I got one other top finished and I hope to have it quilted this weekend so I can do the binding at group on Monday.

I am not sure what kind of plant this is but it has been blooming for a number of weeks now adding some colour to my studio.  I have a geranium that I brought indoors last fall in another window and it hasn't stopped showing off its flowers.  Both plants make for a cheery sight on a dreary day.
I need to get my vegetable and flowers seeds started.  It is only 10 weeks until planting time and they will slip away quickly enough.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Happy Family Photo

Have you been nominated in Facebook to post a black and white photo for seven days?  I usually ignore those things but when it is a sister who asks, you do it.  I really like black and white photos and one of my nephews who is a professional photographer takes outstanding ones.
On my last day of the challenge, I posted one of my favourite photos.  My father took a picture of my siblings and I sitting on a snowbank and we all look so happy.  There is something about the photo that really appeals to me. You can certainly tell we are related.  We all have the same smile.
I finished my class work really early this week so now can spend a good bit of time quilting.  Life is good.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ahead of Schedule.

I am well ahead on my course this week. I sent in one of this weeks assignments today and only have one more to do.  I should have some time to quilt.  I have a few things to get done so if I can catch up on those I will be ready to get my nose back to the grindstone next week.
I finished the binding on my bargello on the weekend and only have a couple more points to do on my lone star so I am managing to get some things done despite my schedule.
I had a magazine assignment that needed to be done before the end of the month and that too is finished.  It really does make a different with hubby taking care of the meals.
Our weather has been nice for getting outside.  The sun is bright and the temperatures around the freezing mark.  The chickens have been enjoying the fresh air as well.  It took a bit of time for the new ones to get up the courage to leave the coop but they were all out today.  It won't be long before I will be able to give them some fresh greenery.  Once the snow is gone they will be allowed to run free.  For now, they are better off in the enclosed area.
A lot of people seem to have a nasty cold right now.  I haven't heard of anyone with the flu but this cold hangs on for a long time.  Hope you are well and enjoying your favourite activities.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Ignore this post.  I have been goofing around with some coding.  Haven't worked it out yet.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend and thanks for the heads up, Kathleen.

C:\users\anna\documents\my eq7\images:="modernquilt";



Friday, March 2, 2018

Wasting Time

It feels odd to have some free time.  I finished this weeks course assignments a day and a half early and now have half of next weeks finished. I got my hair done this morning, did some quilting and some time wasting activities just because I could.  I am going over some of my notes and work so I keep mentally ready for next week. Hope the rest of the weeks are as easy as this one.
A friend has started a small home baking business making gluten free food.  I picked up some butter tarts yesterday and they are every bit as good as ones made with regular ingredients.  If you live in the area and are interested, I can give you her contact information.
A lot of the southern part of our province got a lot of snow but, here in the north and central part sailed through the day with just a nasty wind.  It is a long way from Spring yet but it is nice to get a  break from paying for snow removal.
I am hoping to get a quilt on the frame this weekend and get another one off the UFO list.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cheap Quilting Notions

I was all ready to work on yesterday's post when the hydro went out.  It was a surprise because the weather was good.  It was also rather funny because when I was Skyping with my sisters we were talking about being prepared for outages and I showed them the miners lamp I had bought at a dollar store.
After I turned  off the switch that controls power to the computer, (just in case the hydro flickered on and off) I called Hydro One and received a message that everything was supposed to be up and running by midnight.
So, out came the candles, battery operated lights and radio.  Hubby read by the light of the miners lamp and I played games on my tablet.  We went to bed close to the usual time and were just drifting off when the lights came back on.  Of course, I hadn't remembered to turn off the lights or TV so I had to get up to do that.
Everything is still fine today.  I am making great progress on my course and took a break at lunch time to take Heidi for a walk.
I wanted to share with you some ideas that were discussed on our on line group Hearts2Hands .hearts2hands@yahoogroups.ca.  We have some members that are great at finding interesting topics on line especially if they involve ideas for quilting gadgets.
Special rulers for ruler work are expensive.  Here are a couple of alternate items to use until you can invest in the real thing.  A small painters canvas will allow you to make straight lines or right angle turns.  It is easy to hold and light weight.  They are available at a dollar store.  Sturdy picture frames with straight edges will help you to quilt a square inside another square.  Just remove the glass, backing and anything else so you are left with just the frame.  Discarded CD's glued one on top of another until you get 1/4-1/2" thickness can be used for circles.
I haven't tried any of these yet but am going to put a practice sandwich on my frame this weekend and give them a go.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Mental Break

It is really windy here today.  The hydro has flickered a couple of times but has, so far, stayed on.  I am having a day of quilting and am working on my next Island Batik project as well as choosing fabric for a mystery quilt and sewing the border on a top.
If I can get all those projects completed today, I will be really happy.  I have very limited time to quilt now so really appreciate it when I can get at it.
We had freezing rain this morning and the roads (and our yard) are a mess.  Our little country church service was cancelled as many of the folk drive a fair distance.  Even if you were next door, it would have been treacherous as the roads don't always get seen to right away.
Hubby was going to start tapping for maple syrup this weekend but, with all the ice, it has been too dangerous.
You have seen all these photos before so I hope you don't mind me sharing again.  I know that I don't usually post on a Sunday but I thought I would take a few minutes mental break from the machine. the Island Batik project is very finiky so I need to do take frequent mind stretches.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy Ears.

I was able to spend a pleasant and relaxing hour or so in the studio this evening after I sent in this weeks assignment.  I got a quilt top ready for the binding and chose the fabric  that I will use for that.  I decided to do the binding a bit scrappy as the top itself is made entirely of 2.5 inch squares.  I picked out a few precut 5 inch by width of fabric from my Island Batik left overs and will piece them together for the needed length.  I think that will be a good finish to it.
While I was sewing, I had  the on stereo listening to a couple of my favourite CD's. This is always my favourite way to enjoy music but it has been a bit frustrating the past year or so. I like a multi CD[player which is not something easy to find with ipods etc. being the music playback of choice now.  I was able to purchase a player at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop for only 30.00. It didn't have a remote which isn't generally a problem but I found that the CD setting was set on 'random' play.  I like mine to play in order.
I was finally able to find a remote on line.  It arrived early this week and it works perfectly.  My ears are happy.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Day with Friends

Heidi loves to lie in front of the wood stove and  I love how tiny and cozy she looks.  This photo was taken just before I did my daily cleaning and polishing of this area.  Actually, I hadn't noticed just how dirty it gets under the stove  between the weekly cleanings.  Guess I will have to step up my housewifely duties.
I had a lovely day with a couple of quilting friends.  We get together once a month and spend the day being silly and working on a quilting project.  I am the eldest and get well looked after with my supplies being carried into and from the house.  I debated taking the time from my course today but it has done me the world of good.  Nothing like being with a couple of crazy friends and doing what you love to make your day sing.
My thoughts were with my mother today as this was her birthday.  You never get over missing your mother, do you?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Snowy Slush

Time for blogging seems to get less and less.  I am spending every minute working on my course.  If I get a nanosecond somewhere, I will try another lesson here.
In the meantime, I hope everyone one had a good family day.  I finished quilting my bargello and now just have to get it bound.  It is very mild here in the back woods and, as it rained most of the day, much of the snow has turned to slush.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Creative Mess

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's day yesterday.  I didn't get the time to do anything for my sweetie so today I made date squares-his favourite dessert and home made pizza.  To be fair and honest, I made the pizza crust and hubby did the toppings.
I was hoping to be finished with this weeks class today so I could quilt tomorrow but have run into a snag so will have to wait until I get Skype time with my instructor tomorrow to finish it up. that won't happen until the afternoon so perhaps I will sew in the morning.
I read a humorous thought on Facebook today that I think we can all relate to: Creative people don't have a mess.  They just have ideas laying around.  That is me.  Very creative.
My ideas are piled up on my cutting table at the moment.  It is just one project but there are lots of sections so it takes a bit of room.
I don't think I will run out of ideas any time soon so I guess I will just get used to always having to search for my rotary cutter.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Christmas in February

My Island Batik packaged arrived yesterday. (Click on the link and enjoy some gorgeous eye candy).   It was crammed full of goodies provided for my use  and  to share the results with you.  Throughout the year, Island Batik Ambassadors are given given project ideas which we interpret and then post the photos.  We also have special events were draw prizes are given.  I hope you will follow my blog and share in the fun with me.

This year, our boxes contained some new items.  I received a package of twin sized, cotton Hobbs batting.  I have used Hobbs Tuscany line exclusively in my quilts for many years now and I love the product.  I also got a sample card of all the Hobbs batting which will be very handy as I use different fibre content in different projects. It will be helpful to actually feel the product before purchasing.
Another new item was also a Hobbs product and one which I have never used.  Thermore is ultra thin and is great for wall hangings.  I make a lot of those so can't wait to try it.

And now for the fabric.  As you can see by the photos below, I am going to have a lot of fun playing with these.  Did you know Island Batik makes rayon?  It is beautifully soft and is wonderful for dressmaking.  The black and white fabric is rayon and I am thinking about scarves for some friends.  The thread is from Aurifil.  I use this brand for all my sewing and it is amazing  to work with.  If you click on the link you will be taken to their site where you will find a lot of information about the different thread weights and their suggested purpose.  I also received a number of handy promotion cards and at the back there is a chart giving the same information.  I will scan and post that on a later blog.
Don't you love the colours in the Elementz package.  Can't wait to use those.  I am thinking of a non traditional lone star wall hanging.  The package of precut 5" X WOF strips are one of my favourite.  I  used the ones from last years shipment to make  a bargello with a twist.  It is on my frame and being quilted now so I will be able to share that with you soon.

I left what is probably my favourite item in the box for the last.  This is a beautiful rayon scarf in a colour which seems to have been especially designed for me.  I love bright colours and the combo of yellow and orange will go with nearly everything in my closet especially my favourite daffodil yellow jacket.  If I have a signature clothing piece, it is scarves.  I have a ton and wear them all the time.  This will have pride of place.

I hope you have enjoyed the share and that you are a tiny bit envious.  If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador for Island Batik, send me a comment and I will tell you how it works.
And now I am going to play with fabric,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Can Write Code

Happy me.  I have been slugging away learning coding and thought I would try it on the blog and it worked!  I deleted as it didn't have anything to with today but it is wonderful seeing that it works. I cannot believe I am able to do something that I always thought was mysterious and impossible to learn.  It really helps that the instructors and staff at IBDE are very patient and encouraging.
Check out their courses at ibde.ca  if you are interested in furthering your education or expanding your brain cells.

There are a number of people who have not yet claimed their prizes for the blog hop.  Remember you only have until tomorrow at 8.p.m.
  The sunrise was lovely this morning.

 Both these photos were taken looking west to the front of our property.  Why is the sun rising in the west?  Well, it isn't really of course.  There is some sort of phenomena which causes, what I can only think is, some sort of reflection.  It comes all the way from the east, around the south side to the west.  Odd.  But makes picture taking a lot easier for me as I wouldn't be able to see the sun in the east.  Too many trees.
And now I am going to do the post title in coding.  Easier to just write it but it is good practice.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Rural Challenges

I took some photos that I wanted to share but my camera battery is dead. I will try again tomorrow.
Today, with great trepidation, I learnt to write code for designing a web page.  I just did a very simple step but I did it.  It was easier than I thought.  A long way to go yet but I have started.
I am still working on my hand applique.  It seems to be the only quilting I have time for although I do need to get at another top that needs to be quilted.  I had better get that on the frame tomorrow.
The blog hop  winners are starting to claim their prizes.  It is fun to be able to share what I have with others even if it is only a pattern.
When I get the pattern written for my blog hop quilt, I will be offering it at a special price for those that follow this blog.
We had a critter sniffing around the chicken coop today.  Hubby thinks it might be a weasel or mink.  He has made double sure it can't get into the coop and we may have to set a trap for it.  We prefer a live and let live policy with the wild animals but we also have to protect the hens.
Perhaps the neighbours huge dog will chase it off.  It keeps roaming our property which is another concern.  We may have to speak to them. Even country living has its challenges.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Prize Winner

Thank you all for entering my blog post contest.  I was over whelmed with the number of entries and the comments.  I really wish that I could give you all a prize but I do have to save some money for quilting.
The first prize winner who will receive some lovely Island Batik Fabrics and a pattern is Roberta.  I have also chosen a number of other entrants to receive a pattern.  The following people can go to my Craftsy page (http://www.craftsy.com/profile/annajb-s-pattern-store)  and then email me at: arkangelcreations@gmail.com to tell me which one they like. I will then send the downloadable pattern to them.
Dianne C, Allison, L.J., Beth, Farm Quilter, Cecilia and Taylor M.
You all have until Friday, Feb. 9th to reply.  If I have not heard from ;you by then, your prize will be awarded to another entrant.

Roberta, I will be in touch and get your mailing address.

I hope all the winners enjoy their prizes.  I would love to see how you interpret my patterns.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Seven Years and Counting

It was a bit too cold to stay outside very long today but we did get a trailer load of wood loaded and ready to bring to the house.
I have had a nice day of sewing and got my bargello top finished  I may change a couple of rows as I don't like the way they look.  Will decide on that tomorrow.
One of the jobs I had scheduled for today was to sort out what was still needed to finish up the applique quilt I have been working on for about 7 years.  I have one border and the sashing to do and I will be able to put everything together.  There is still a lot of appliqueing left but a lot lot less than when I started.

Here are a couple of the blocks.  There are 12 in total plus two appliqued borders and the sashing.  The pattern is called  Vintage Tiles Revisited by Dorothy Baker.  You can see the pattern here:   http://dorothybakerdesigns.blogspot.ca/2011/11/vintage-tiles-revisited.html
Maybe I will get this finished this year.  Maybe.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Business vs. Readability

One of the subjects in my on line course is how to market your product.  I have always had a bit of a knack for doing this but there is always something more to learn.  Blogging is often used as a tool to increase sales or to promote.
Selling either my quilts or patterns has not been the focus of my posts.  I think of it more as a chat between myself and you, the readers.  I don't expect that to change in the future although I will be letting you know where you can buy a quilt that I have just made or a pattern that I designed.
As much as I like the idea of being a successful business person, I would never sacrifice the opportunity to share with you my love of our home, the antics of our little dog and chickens.  I really enjoy my life here in the back woods and consider myself to be truly blessed.  I hope that my writing brings  a bit of the tranquility I have into your life. 
Having said all that, you may see some ads appearing at the bottom of my blog.  If the product or service is of interest to you, check it out.  If not, feel free to ignore it.  Either way, we stay friends.
Any thoughts? Can a person promote a business and still be readable?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My Colours Swing

Early in my quilting experience, I bought a book called Color for the Terrified Quilter by Ionne McCauley and Sharon Pederson, Martingdale and Co Press.  I can't say that it did make me less terrified but it helped.  I was further assisted when I started making scrappy quilts and completely freed from any inhibitions when I was accepted as an Island Batik Ambassador. Having a restricted amount of fabrics with which to work, enables you to become a lot more adventuresome.  
The use of colour in its many forms can cause many quilters to restrict themselves to safe combinations such as just two hues or purchasing what the pattern designer recommends.  Both acceptable options but not very adventuresome.
There are many books and on line tutorials explaining such confusing terms as value and intensity but I recently saw a video that showed the motion and mood of a colour.  You may know that blue is soothing but what about green or orange.
I have attached a link to the video so you can check it out.  It is easy to understand and may encourage you to add some swing to your quilts.  When the video loads, click on movies.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Extra Prizes?

The comments to my Island Batik blog post have been overwhelming.  It is going to be really hard not giving everyone a prize but I know that won't be possible.  I may, however, be handing out a few extra.  If you would like to see some of the new fabrics that IB has coming up, click the link.
Laying out the blocks
Thank you everyone for your kind remarks.  I think those that read the blog hit an all time high. I am now finishing up another batik and this is a modified bargello.
The weather has been chilly here but sunny and it was a good day for a walk in the bush.  The snow was crispy enough that Heidi was able to stay on top of it and even my galumpers only went down an inch or so.
I am continuing to enjoy my course.  There is a lot of reading and I have to fight the tendency to just scan the page.  I was amused today while reading an article on how you can design web pages so people aren't as likely to scan.  I had to keep reminding myself not to scan while reading it!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

My Blog Hop Post

It is my turn to post a blog for the Island Batik blog hop.  If you have been reading past posts, you know Ambassadors have been posting their blogs all month and sharing the quilts they made with the Four Seasons line of fabric. In addition, there have been draw prizes for  fabric and/or patterns.
My fabric season was fall and I received a wonderful collection called Pumpkin Patch.  The colours of autumn are my favourite so I wanted to make something special and I opted for a twin sized quilt.  The next step was deciding on a pattern and, again, as I wanted something that would really showcase the fabric, I designed my own.

I chose a fairly simple block and set it on point.  As you can see in the photo the various fabrics are easy to see.  The layout was a bit of a challenge as I wanted it to look like a scappy.  It took a lot of shifting around but I finally got something I liked.

The addition of  simple narrow and wide borders finished the top.  I quilted it using a leaf pattern with a curl between which echoed the design on the fabric. I like the bright orange blocks that seem to be floating.  They do have the corner blocks but the fabric is close to the shade of the background so, unless you look closely, it disappears.
Disclaimer:  the fabric for this and all Island Batik projects have been provided to me by the Island Batik company at no cost.

And now for the draw prize:  To be able to enter, you will have to a follower of my blog, Facebook entries are not allowed.  Leave a comment at the end of the blog to enter.  If your name is drawn, you will have one week to reply to my email with your contact information.
Winners will receive a pattern of their choice from my Craftsy page and there will be an extra surprise arrive in your mail box.  Draw is open to everyone but the extra surprise is limited to Canadian winners due to the cost of postage.
You have until Feb. 03 to enter.  Winner will be chosen and announced on Feb. 5th.  Good luck.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Value Your Quilt

After I came home from quilting, I wrote my newspaper column and, after supper, I did an essay for the Web course.  So, at the moment, I am feeling wrote out.  I hope you find the following information on quilt costs interesting.  We see this chart frequently on Facebook but this is an updated ones with some interesting comments added.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It Snowed

It snowed, it snowed, it snowed last night
Everything is beautiful.  It snowed last night.
Hawksley Workman

I went for a quick walk in the bush this morning before starting my work day.  A fresh layer of snow covered everything with a soft fleecy blanket.  In most places, my footsteps were the only indication of life but scattered here and there were the deep pockets left by deer and the tiny feather like tracks of a mole.
The sun was brilliant.  The trees and hillocks turned the snow into a wonderful landscape of shadow and light.  I stopped numerous times to marvel at the scene and wished I had brought my camera.  I love these cold, sunny winter days.

I have passed all my course assignments so far.  Tomorrow and Friday we have self guided instruction.  In other words, we learn without benefit of an instructor although one is available if we need help.  These assignments will be my favourite.  I prefer teaching myself, searching for answers on line or other material.  Many of the skills I have whether quilting or changing a carburetor on a vehicle, I have taught myself. There is certainly a benefit in getting expert instruction but I prefer it to be a back up.
I finished the binding on my batik quilt today and have started sewing the strips together to add a few more rows to my bargello.  I was going to have a border but decided against it except for a narrow one to make it easier to bind.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Being Productive

Today was the second day of my web course.  We are doing orientation at the moment and I have already learnt 3 new things.  Tomorrow we start our first  lesson without an instructor.  I do prefer this as I like to search out answers myself.  I find that I retain facts better that way.
Today was also when I Skype with my sisters and get a phone call from my son so it is a day of various forms of communication.
The batik quilt is almost done.  There is just a bit more of the binding to sew and it will be ready for my blog hop post on the 28th.  I have two more quilts nearly ready to go onto the frame so 2018 is starting out productively.  (Wasn't sure if that was a word but spell check hasn't argued with me so I must be okay.)
The snow was really crispy when I went out to feed the chickens this morning.  Freezing rain had fallen yesterday evening but, as we have a nice bit of snow, it just sank into it.  I carried some ashes  went I went just in case but once the crust was broken it was easy walking.
These warm rainy days feel like spring and that makes me feel sad.  I hate to think that winter would be over so early.  I feel as though I barely have had a chance to enjoy it yet.  I haven't snowshoed, walked around the pond or made a snowman.  I still want to do one of the trails at the Provincial park near us and perhaps have an outdoor fire and roast some wieners on a stick.
I expect we have a few more weeks before spring does arrive but I had better start scheduling some of those activities or it will be too late.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Web Design Course

I am glad I got so much done the past couple of days because I am going to be very busy for the next six months.  On Monday, I am starting an on line course on web page design and it requires 20 to 30 hours a week.
I was, at first, wondering if I would be able to manage it but then I remembered that a full time job takes 40 hours and there is still time life for other things.  Hubby has committed to helping and that will make a real difference.  The first week or so will be the hardest as I get used to the new schedule.
This is an expensive course and I wouldn't be able to take it under ordinary circumstances but I did well enough in the preliminary steps, that I have a scholarship. 
I am getting the binding sewn on to the batik quilt this evening and then I can  start doing the hand sewing part.
I expect to be able to keep up with the blog and hope to be able to pass on a few hints for those of you will your own web sites.
Happy weekend and blessings,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Huge Mistake.

I have been sewing up a storm today.  My batik is almost quilted and I have started sewing the blocks together for a gift quilt.  I should have the first one finished tomorrow and then I can get it bound.  the top should also be finished this weekend.  then it will be on the frame.  I am going to try not to start any more quilts other than the charity ones as I have a few other tops to finish.
Getting those done is part of my yearly pledge to finish tops before starting another project.  I never quite make it but I believe it is important to keep trying.
I have lots of bits and pieces of Island Batik left over and I think I might cut them into workable sizes and then give the leftovers away.  They will be great for anyone who appliques or does scrap quilts.
I am pleased to see there are three Canadian Ambassadors this year.  There is one in Newfoundland, another in Nova Scotia and, of course, me.  We also have one from England this year as well as a returnee from Denmark so it is getting to be quite international group.
I have to tell you about the huge mistake I made with the batik quilt.  I had been trying to take my time and do everything correctly.  Seams were pressed as they were sewn, blocks squared and trimmed to size and I used the proper measuring technique when adding the border.  The top looked quite professional when it was finished.
I continued to take care when loading the quilt ensuring the backing was nice and straight before adding the batting and top.  And that is when I noticed the problem.  I had not remeasured the top before cutting the backing and it was 5 inches to narrow.  I wasn't going to take the backing off again so I hand stitched a contrasting  strip to one side.  That worked but what a silly thing to forget.
It seems that I am fated to not complete a quilt without doing something careless. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Yippee! The 2018 Island Batik Ambassador program has started.  Members are introducing themselves on Facebook and our first shipment of fabrics will soon be on there way.  We have out list of projects for the year and I have printed mine so I can make notes of my ideas now.  This year will be my third so I am feeling much more organized and comfortable.
I went shopping with a friend today.  Bought some fabric, a few groceries and had lunch.  It has been quite a while since I bought any material and this is to finish a project.  I am continuing in my goal to use up as much of my stash as possible.
Tuesdays is when I Skype with my two sisters; a special event.  Only one could make it this time which was disappointing but was still great talking to the other.
I still haven't got my batik quilt onto the frame so that is tomorrow's goal and then I can get at the one for which I bought fabric.
Hope you had at least one special event in your day.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Walk in the Bush

I have finished the top made from  Island Batik fabric.  Tomorrow, after a doctor's appointment and shopping, I plan on getting it ironed and on the frame for quilting.  I am pleased with how it turned out. The pattern to make it will be my draw prize on the blog hop.  May also have some fabric as well.  Will have to think about that.
On Sunday afternoon, hubby and I went for a walk through the bush.  We couldn't go very far as he doesn't have all his leg strength back after breaking his ankle, however, it was lovely to be out.  The snow had a nice crust so we were able to stay on the surface.  It is a lot nicer to be able to enjoy the   scenery and fresh air without having to worry about a foot plunging out of sight.
The air always seems crisper and cleaner in a bush.  Certainly the snow itself couldn't be any whiter.  There were times, in fact, when a pair of sunglasses would have been helpful.  The contrast between snow and the stark, leafless trees is one of my favourite sites.  One tree had lost all its smaller branches and looked like a gigantic bottle brush.  It might have looked funny to the other trees but it held its trunk straight and proud and ignored them all.
It is amazing how many tracks skitter across the trail.  I am not very good at identifying the various prints but hubby said that some of the passing critters were squirrels, fox and deer.  We never see any of them except the squirrels but it is nice to know they are there.
A hot cup of cocoa sprinkled with cardomen sipped near the wood stove made a nice finishing touch to the walk.  We hadn't taken Heidi as it was a bit too cold for her feet and I didn't feel like taking the time to put on her bootees.  She was consoled with a piece of chicken.
Today was the usual Monday gathering of the Burk's Falls Village Quilters.  A couple of the ladies had finished their quilts and shared them with us.
And another week is underway,

Friday, January 12, 2018

Snapping Trees

I have two more rows to add to my top and it will be ready for the border.  I have had a couple of really productive days when I managed to limit my computer use and just sew.  The housework wasn't neglected either.  I baked cookies, muffins and cooked a pot of rhubarb as well as the other odds and ends. 
Heidi and I went for a short walk through the bush.  I intended to stay out longer but some of the trees were snapping and I was nervous in case a limb came down on us.  I do keep an eye on everything but it is easy to miss a deranged branch.  I think it was just the juice in the trees freezing again but no sense taking a change.
A reader mentioned that she found the blog hop bloggers were only offering their draws to those living in the U.S.  The cost of postage is a deterrent for us all but don't be discouraged.  I know there is at least who is giving something to those in other countries.  Check out each one and you may find others who are doing the same.  And, of course, my prize will certainly be  open to those in Canada.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Are You Hopping?

Day two of the January thaw.  A lot of the snow has gone and all the grunge in its icky glory is being revealed. It has been a gray day with mist hovering around the tree trunks like wispy ghosts trying to find their way home.
I finished all the blocks for my blog hop quilt and now will get them pressed and squared up before deciding on the layout.  I am going to piece one of the borders to continue the scrappy look of the blocks. 
Have you blog hopped yet?  Don't forget to go to the list I posted on Monday and enter the blogs for a chance to win a prize.  The hop is happening all month so you will have lots of opportunity to be a winner.  Island Batik is having a draw of their own and you can enter it by going to:islandbatik.com
Let me know if you got a prize.  I would love to know that one of my readers were one of the lucky ones.
After the blog hop is over, the Ambassador's will be receiving their new fabrics.  I can't wait to show you what I get.
The roads are going to be slippery tomorrow as the temperatures drop so please b e careful if you are travelling,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Good News

We are getting freezing rain so, although we had planned to go out, we are snug in our rural nest. 
I have been spending as much time as possible working on my Island Batik quilt for the blog hop.  I have half the blocks completed for the top and hope to get it finished tomorrow. 
My post is due on , if I remember correctly, the 29th so I have lots of time.  I have learnt though, there is only lots of time when you are a long way from a deadline.  Leave it to late and the pressure cooker starts up.
We had good news yesterday.  Hubby went to see our doctor and was told that he could resume all activities.  He just has to be sensible and not try to do everything the first day.  We are both relieved.  The tractor is acting up so we worked together to bring in wood and then fill up a bin with chicken feed.  We have been getting a friend to help with the latter as I couldn't lift the bags.
I hope you are checking out the blogs I posted on Monday and entering the draws.  Take time to read the blogs and look at the quilts.  You won't be sorry as my fellow Ambassador's are a talented group. You can also go to islandbatik.com and enter there as well.  You may win some lovely prizes.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes

Island Batik is sponsoring a blog hop for the month of January. Each day, an Ambassador will be posting a blog and offering a prize.  Click on the link to be taken to the blogs.

A list of the blogs  will be included at the bottom of this post.

Our weather has warmed up considerably and will stay close to the 0 C range all week.  Makes it nicer for working outside and the chickens really appreciate it as well.
I have been working on my blog quilt as well as the New Year's mystery that I was supposed to have done on, obviously, Jan. 1st.  Off to work on those now.  Trying to spend less time on the computer.  I will see how long that continues.

Jan 8 Fulton, Jennifer www.inquiringquilter.com
Jan 8 Lynch, Cheryl www.CherylLynch.blogspot.com
Jan 9 Steely, Carol www.funthreads.blogspot.com
Jan 9 Vermilya, Alison www.littlebunnyquilts
Jan 9 Wood, Jean-Sophie www.sophiejunction.blogspot.com
Jan 9 Dillard, Tina www.quiltingaffection.blogspot.com
Jan 10 Campbell, Connie www.conniekresin.com
Jan 10 Piland, Laura www.sliceofpiquilts.blogspot.com
Jan 10 Oddie, Marlene www.kissedquilts.blogspot.com
Jan 10 Colleran, Kate www.seamslikeadream.com
Jan 11 Baker, Nan www.purrfectspots.blogspot.com
Jan 11 Gaddy, Barb www.bejeweledquilts.blogspot.com

Jan 15 Bakken, Turid www.densyendehimmel.blogspot.no
Jan 15 Ramrath, Linda www.inspiredlayerslinda.wordpress.com
Jan 16 Denney Parcel, Sharon www.yellowcatquiltdesigns.com
Jan 16 Johnson, Sally www.quiltologistreasures.com
Jan 17 Beritcs, Stephanie www.quiltnparty.com
Jan 17 Caldwell, Jessica www.desertbloomquilting.com/blog/
Jan 18 Jones, Jeanette www.inchwormfabrics.blogspot.com
Jan 18 Kauffman, Connie www.kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com

Jan 22 Boatright, Pamela www.pamelaquilts.blogspot.com
Jan 23 Bruckman, Kathy Www.kathyskwiltsandmore.blogspot.com
Jan 23 Yamamoto, Janet https://www.facebook.com/WhispersOfYore/
Jan 24 McAullfie, Maryellen www.teachpany.blogspot.com
Jan 24 Mullis, Joyce www.heARTsCreations.com
Jan 25 Overton, Karen www.thequiltrambler.com
Jan 25 Vanden Bosch,Terri www.meanderingsalonglizardcreek.blogspot.com
Jan 25 Oddie, Marlene www.kissedquilts.blogspot.com

Jan 29 Pena, Marian www.seamstobesew.com
Jan 29 Oddie, Marlene www.kissedquilts.blogspot.com
Jan 29 Branch, Anna www.arkangelcreations.blogspot.com
Jan 30 Oddie, Marlene www.kissedquilts.blogspot.com
Jan 30 Lee, Bea www.beaquilter.com
Jan 31 Scott, Nancy www.masterpiecequilting.blogspot.com
Jan 31 Webster, Suzy www.websterquilt.blogspot.com
Feb 1 Kawano, Joan www.moosestashquilting.blogspot.com
Feb 1 Schlimmer, Vicki www.knitbug2.blogspot.com

Friday, January 5, 2018

Goals for 2018.

We continue to experience a deep freeze.  I couldn't stay out long when I was getting to wood in today.  I did a bit, came in to warm up and then did some more.  It was my face that got the coldest because you can't wear a scarf when you have glasses-they fog up and you can't see.  If you remove the glasses you still can't see.
I finished the blocks for the mystery quilt today and was ready to sew on the border when I discovered I had used the fabric that I thought would be perfect.  I guess it is off to the fabric store for me.  I have been trying to just use the fabric in my stash but I guess, as the amount diminishes, that I will have to  buy more eventually.
A friend and I are each making a dozen charity quilts which should help get rid of the rest of my stash.  The patterns aren't going to be important.  Warmth and durability are the biggest factors.
I have made a list of projects that I am going to focus on completing this year.  I have two wall hangings for friends that need to be done, the charity quilts and 4 kits that I put together and didn't get any further.  If I can get that list done plus some of the tops that need quilting, I will feel that I have really accomplished something this year.
Do you have goals or resolutions?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Purr-fect Christmas

 I just finished this little Christmas     table topper/wall  hanging which I have named A Purr-fect Christmas.  I used some left over bits and pieces of Island Batik fabrics.
The kitty applique is something I have had for years and it worked perfectly for this projects.  It looks as thought the kitty is playing on a tiled floor.
I think I am getting back to routine after the holidays although  not completely.  There still seems to be a lot of extra things to do.  We had company both morning and afternoon which was nice and still had the usual chores of getting in wood and looking after the chickens.  They are a lot happier with the new heat lamp and the warmer weather.
I have started taking down my decorations little by little.  Will finish the job on Saturday while doing the laundry and other chores.
I have been working on a New year Mystery Quilt which I hope to have finished before the end of the year!  It is a Merry Mayhem mystery.
Sounds like we are getting another storm coming in.  It hasn't been bad the last couple of days and it is supposed to get quite warm on Monday.  Will be a good day to widen the walkway.
Stay warm and safe.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy 2018

I hope everyone had a good start to the new year.  We never do anything special but, this year, my son and his wife came for dinner on the 31st.  After eating, we went over a box of his old school photos, baby pictures etc.  Hard to believe he was born nearly half a century ago but that tiny premature baby has grown in to a strapping 6.5" man.  There visit made the day very special for us.
The next morning, we went for brunch with friends of ours.  Hubby wanted to start a new tradition and, of course, it had to include food.  Today, back to quilting and I came home to a very happy husband.  We had received a card from his youngest.  This young man has development challenges so contact isn't always easy. Considering we hadn't planned on celebrating the new year, it turned out to be quite momentous.
Did you do a New Year's Day mystery quilt?  There were a lot offered and I chose one from Merry Mayhem.  A number of my friends also chose this one and most of them have finished the top but I am still putting together the blocks.  I hope to have that done tomorrow after I get back from a medical appointment and shopping.
The weather across Canada has been challenging.  It took more than double the time to return from the in-laws on Christmas day.  There have been record breaking low temperatures as well as snow flurries.  We are supposed to have the latter tomorrow so hope I am going to be able to get to my appointment.
Wishing you all a great 2018.