Friday, December 21, 2018

The Reason for the Season

Thank you for your nice comments about Iggy.  I am not sure what I am going to do with him just yet.  Enjoy him for a while, I think.
I am making great progress on my January Island Batik project.  My quilts never seem to end up the way I visualize them at the start.  About half way through, I start changing things.  My favourite pattern is just starting with sewing a couple of pieces of fabric together and then adding more, perhaps do some cutting and resewing and then adding again.  No real vision of the end result.  I keep going until I like what I see.  However, because I make to sell and make to order, I rarely do my own thing.  I must give it a go again one of these days.  Perhaps I will set aside some of my IB scraps and do a small project between Christmas and New Year's.
Speaking of making to order, I just received another commission.  This will be a very special quilt for a very special young man.  The customer wants it for Christmas 2019 so I will have lots of time to do some extra bits and pieces.
Not sure if I will be posting again before Christmas, so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Take some time in the midst of all the hustle to stop and remember why we are celebrating.
"For unto us a Son is born, unto us a Son is given."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Iggy and SPAM

Whimsical and Wonky.jpg
Whimsical and Wonky!  Aren't they lovely words and don't they conjure up some interesting pictures?  Add some beautiful fabric into the mix and whatever you design is going to be a winner.  Our Island Batik Ambassador challenges usually have some specific instructions but for December, we could make it any size, use any of our IB fabrics and post any day in the month.
Time was a bit tight for me not just because of Christmas but also because I am trying to make a queen sized quilt for the January blog hop and it has to be posted by January 7th (stay tuned for draw prizes and more info.)
While pondering what I could make, I realized I had already completed (almost anyway) something.  I only needed a few finishing touches and I was done.

Iggy was made from 2.5 inch squares sewn together to make a large rectangle.  The pattern sections were placed onto the rectangle, cut out and sewn.  I left an opening in the tummy to add stuffing.  After the opening was stitched closed, I added the flower, a tail and eyes.  The eyes which are hidden under the ear in the photo, was drawn in with a fabric pen so, if given to a child, it would be safe

Less than a week now until Christmas and 18 days until the 7th of January.  Back to the sewing machine, I go.
I am glad so many of you liked the dishwasher powder hints.  I also got some SPAM comments which I have deleted.  If you have trouble commenting, let me know as settings may have changed automatically.

Friday, December 14, 2018


I see my blog has a new follower.  I really appreciate those do sign up as I know everyone is so busy and even taking just a few moments to read something is another addition to the days list of activities.  When I do my draws, followers do get extra points and, therefore, more chances to win.
I have been really lax in posting this week.  the trip to and from the North Bay hospital, even though it is only a 100 km away,  really wore me out.  The weather was a bit iffy going and then it was dark by the time we came back so it was difficult to see the road lines under the slush.
I haven't done much the past couple of day other than what had to be done.  That still meant meetings, appointments and the usual house stuff.  Today, I finally got to my baking.  I am only doing 2 or 3 things.  We are going away for Christmas Day so I don't have to plan a big meal although we are going to do something special between then and New Year's.  I am hoping to get to my brother's for the first day of the New Year.  He only lives an hour away but it seems to be next to impossible to find a workable day.
If you belong to any of my groups, you will already have seen this but it is too good not to share.  A lady in one group posted these hints for using dishwasher powder for other cleaning purposes.  I tried it on the glass in my oven door earlier today and it worked like a dream.

 Dry dishwasher powder is my go-to, and just about only, cleaning product I use around the house. A tiny bit in that cruddy pan dissolved in hot water and soaked for awhile or just used with a scrubby pad will do the trick.

I use dishwasher powder for everything that needs a cleaning, degreasing or dissolving action, including bras and undershirts (deodorant residue, body oils), gardening gloves (earth, grime), plastic lawn furniture (scuffs, grime), bathtub, tile, shower surrounds (soap scum), walls, get the idea! It works for everything! You will know by the toughness of the task how much to use. And no job takes very much product to be effective. This is a powerhouse of a product! Dollar store generic brands work as well as the name brands, but I always look for "no phosphates".

Would you believe I have used dishwasher powder as a low-sudsing, deep-cleaning laundry powder for years? Just two level tablespoons per load - whites, darks, colors, of whatever material. Three tablespoons if a really big load, and perhaps a bit of baking soda, first dissolving separately in some of the hot water, and then adding to the wash water before putting in the laundry. My whites, even the oldest, are white, and everything is fragrance-free, even if I use a powder with lemon scent. Be sure to dissolve the powder completely if you choose a cold water cycle

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Special Day

Thank you for your kind words regarding the video.  I am sorry some of you had trouble hearing me.  I thought I wasn't talking very loudly but I didn't want to disturb my husband in the other room while he was watching TV.  Perhaps next time, I will wait until he is out tending the chickens.
I have started working on my projects with these fabrics.  They are so nice to use; no fraying, no checking to see which is the correct side and, of course, beautiful colours.  I am planning on doing a full size quilt this time so I am using a 15 inch (finished) block.  My blog hop post will be on the 7th of Jan.  (if I am remembering correctly) so I doubt I will get more than the top done as I still have 3 more customer quilts to do. Don't forget to follow along with the hop as there will be lots of draw prizes.  A full list of participants and the day of each post will be given.
I got to quilting today for the first time in 3 weeks and it was lovely seeing everyone again.  We had our Christmas dinner and exchange a few gifts.  It was a special and fun day.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Show Time

Something a bit different tonight.  I have made a short video showing (besides my messy quilt room) the Island Batik line that has just arrived in the stores.  This is my package.
Hope you enjoy the show.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Winter Photos.

We woke up this morning to an additional foot of snow.  I went out after breakfast to clean off the deck and make a path to the bird feeder.  Although there was a lot of snow, it was easy to shovel as it was the light, fluffy kind.  The sun was really bright so, of course, I had to take some photos.  Our plow guy came after supper so I will be able to get out tomorrow to get a hair cut and do a bit of shopping.
I was able to get my little wall hanging quilted and am working on the binding now.  I also made a shopping bag to give as a gift.

Our amazing grandchildren made a couple of ornaments for the hotel staff.  They appreciated it so much they put it on their Facebook page.

Tomorrow, I am opening the surprise package of Island Batik that I received in July.  These fabrics have just been released in the stores and I will be using mine for the January blog hop.  Stay tuned for more photos.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Day with the Grandchildren.

Reply to comment:  Brenda, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dear dog.  They leave behind such a large hole in our heart, don't they?  I hope your memories and knowledge that you gave it a wonderful life helps your through the difficult days.

We got back from our trip to Toronto mid afternoon today.  We are both really tired but I have had to wash all the clothes we took because hubby saw a cockroach in our hotel room.  (He didn't tell me about it until we were driving home.  Smart move.) The luggage is out in the wood shed getting good and cold which, hopefully, will kill any unwelcome hitch hikers.  I will spray the insides before storing.  Ugh!

We had a lovely visit with the grandchildren.  Yesterday their parents took a day for themselves and we spent some lovely hours with them doing crafts, playing games and watching kids tv shows that I didn't know existed.  We drove to MacDonald's for lunch which is where our grandson wanted to go.  As the granddaughter had already been to her favourite place, that seemed fair.  Took a while to find one but find one we did.
It will be another year now before we see them again but Skype helps us keep in touch so we are thankful for that.  Tomorrow, it is time to start decorating the house and getting back to customer quilts.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Puppy Love.

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for Nov. is to use the log cabin pattern in a quilt.  Log cabin is one of my favourite blocks but I wanted to use it in a different way.  Our little dog is an important part of our home so using the blocks as the border surrounding her seemed to work.  I haven't had time to quilt it yet and won't until we get back from our trip south.  I will post when I get that done.
I won't be posting now for a few days. Stay well and safe.

January is blog hop time again and will involve prizes so be sure to keep following along.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Black and White.

In just a few more days, we will be spending some time with the grandchildren.  It is our favourite Christmas treat.  I have as much quilting as I have to get done, finished, Thurs. I will do some baking and get the house tidied for my friends stay .  Friday is packing and assisting at the Art Centre for our Christmas sale.
We were in North Bay (an hour north of us) yesterday as I had a doctor's appointment.  The weather wasn't the best with wet snow and slushy roads but we made it safely there and back home.  I continued snowing through the night and we work up to a lovely scene of black and white.  We got nearly 10 inches of wet, heavy snow that had to be removed from the deck and vehicles.  Our snow guy did the drive way so hubby was able to get to the village and get some more shavings for the chickens.

This is the table runner and placemat set that was made for a customer.  I might do this again for myself using Island Batik.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Misty Morning.

Something different today.  This is one of my husband's paintings.  Not completely finished but I like it so much that I wanted to share it.  He still has some work to do on the upper left corner but the rest is finished.  I don't think he has a name for it yet but doesn't it remind you of a misty morning just as the sun is starting to break through. I am so proud of him.
I got a lot accomplished today.  I stayed at the sewing machine the whole time except for a break to eat and multiple trips to the bathroom also know as stretching breaks.
According to the Canada Post tracking, it seems that my fabric has reached my mail box so I will be picking it up tomorrow.  I will then be able to finish the last quilt for my Toronto customer.  I only have the two twins to do after that and it isn't imperative that they get done before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Little Prince

Comment response:  Farm Quilter, we seem to have well trained pets.  They know just what to do to get us to do what they want.

I sometimes think I may go a bit overboard in how much I care for animals but, if I do, I don't care.  I don't care any less for humans and all living creatures can use as much love and care as they can get.

More quilt photos:  The first two are a customer's quilt.  The various pictures depict scenes from the book 'The Little Prince'.  This is the second time she has done this quilt and, while it is challenging to quilt, it is lovely to work around the appliques and see how a bit of stitching can accent them.

This picture is the border for this months Island Batik challenge.  We are to make something using log cabin blocks.  I have the rest of it cut out but not pieced yet.  Hopefully it will be finished next week.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Winter Scenes.

Some photos of our lovely winter days and an (almost) completed project.  The first picture shows the 6 foot table runner and one of the place mats.  All I have left to do on them is the quilting.  I have been doing the binding on another quilt today and should have it finished by the time I am ready to turn off the machine and spend a bit of time with my hubby watching TV.  Tomorrow, I plan to get to the binding on another quilt.  I am still waiting for my fabric to arrive via post office so that quilt may not get done on schedule but only have one other to finish before the end of this month and it is just the quilting.  A couple more things for a sale and I will be done until we return from our holiday visiting the grandchildren.
I will post a photo tomorrow of more projects including a teaser for this month's Island Batik quilt.

 I took these evening pictures from the deck.  The camera never quite captures the light but it gives an idea.

Speaking of the deck, our Heidi has found that it is a great place to do her bathroom duties.  There is a couple of inches of snow at one end and she seems to think it is just for her.   At least it is in an easy spot for me to clean.  I could have saved myself the trouble of digging a path through the snow for her!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Island Batik Ambassador Application.

I finished quilting my customers vintage top today.  I didn't want to do anything to obscure the design so I just stitched in the ditch around the blocks and in between.  I am pleased with the way it turned out.  Now to get the binding done.  This is the first time I have done this pattern with my long arm and it was easier than I thought it would be.  I will definitely do it again.
We have had a lot of snow fall overnight again so snow removal was one of my chores.  It isn't very cold so the snow was heavy but most the removal was pushing it off the deck.  I did a path to the car and for the dog and that was it.  Our snow plow guy came soon after and then hubby got the blower going and tidied everything up.

If you are a regular reader, you know I am an Ambassador for Island Batik.  I get to play with these amazing fabrics and promote them on my social media sites and to my friends.  If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador, you can apply here.  A full description of what it means to be an Ambassador is included.

And, speaking of Island Batik, I am working on my Nov. project which is to include the log cabin pattern.  I have worked out my design and am just making the blocks.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Excellant Service

I had a bit of a nasty shock yesterday.  I had received notice via email that one of the 3 items I ordered recently was at the Post Office.  However, when I went for the mail, it wasn't there.  After I got home I rechecked the notice and saw that it (and all the others) had been sent to the wrong post box.  I know I had the correct address both on my account and on the label when I paid for it through Paypal.  I phoned the post office and they told me they would look into it.  I followed up this morning and the dear lady told me they had removed the notice from the wrong box and placed it in mine.  Further, they would watch for the other parcels and do the same.
I feel that I received service that was beyond what was required from them and am so glad I live in this kind of community.  I have now sent an email to Paypal to get them to check what had gone wrong from their end.
Unfortunately, that isn't the end of the story.  The fabric I ordered has been held up because of the rotating strikes and I need it to finish a customers quilt.  The package I did receive only contained one item rather than the pack of 4 so another email was sent to that company.
I have been trying something new on the top I am quilting.  I usually do an all over free motion pattern but this time I am doing stitch in the ditch.  I have to go very slow and keep a good grip on both handles especially when going over the bumps made where the seams join but am pleased with how it looks.
Most of what I have to do now on customer quilts is top stitching and binding so things are moving along.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First Winter Photos

First photos of this winter season.  It has been lovely here with the snow so pure white. The only thing that would make it better would be some sunshine.  I did get out for a walk with Heidi for a bit and that was enjoyable.  I have been sewing pretty steadily so it is good to have a break.  I am not sure if I am  ahead of my quilting schedule but I am making progress.  The biggest quilt is about ready to come off the frame and one of the smaller projects  only have a bit more piecing to do before it gets quilted.
If I can get all but the 2 twins done before going away to see the grandchildren, I will be happy.

I came across this pattern today and thought it was a great idea.  I will make a couple to use as bags for gifts.  Hubby and I use very little wrapping paper preferring reusable.  
The pattern was very reasonable and easy to make..

Friday, November 9, 2018

Snow Covered Trees

I got my snow tires installed today and, right on cue, the snow arrived.  The trees have a light dusting but the lawn isn't covered yet.  We are supposed to get some more tomorrow and I hope that it all stays this time.  I took Heidi for a walk through the bush and the trail was so covered in leaves you couldn't see the small sticks and rocks underneath.  I always take my cane so if I trip on something I am able to stay upright. Looking forward for the leaves to be replaced by snow.
I was able to get quite a bit of quilting done today and have almost finished doing a top for a customer as well as cutting out the squares for a T Shirt quilt.  I really feel as though I have accomplished something and I may, just may, get everything done in time for Christmas.
Whenever I have a lot of things to get done as I do right now, I make a list setting out the order in which I will do each item.  It helps keep me on track and feel less harried.
Tomorrow I am going to make my dear hubby some cookies while doing the laundry.  It has been a while since I did any baking.  I also thought I might do a bread pudding.  I have some gluten free bread that I don't like so will use that.
Have you started your Christmas projects yet?  I have some Swedish stars to make for stocking stuffer gifts as well as covers for the back of my new chairs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One Quilt Done, Another Almost Done

We have been getting quite a bit of rain the past few days.  That combines with lack of sunshine is making for some dreary days.  However, It is cheerful indoors with the wood fire making everything cozy.  I had yet another medical appointment today but was home by lunch so have been able to get a bit of quilting done.  I have almost finished the memory quilt top so have brought out the fabric for the TShirt quilt.  While I am working on those projects, I have loaded a top onto the frame so I can be doing a row or two on it in between cutting our blocks.
I don't think I am going to be able to get all the projects done before Christmas but the ones that I promised will be.
This photo is a section of the memory quilt.  As you can see, there are a lot of velour fabrics as well as others that aren't cotton.  I offset the squares to give a bit of interest.  The one dark square on the left, second last row was cut from the top centre of the clothing so it has a zipper and some decorative stitching.  I did that with a number of blocks.  A little harder to work with but I like to include unusual blocks that will also remind the customer of their loved one wearing that article of clothing.
Tomorrow I deliver a completed quilt so can mark that one off the list.
I have a pattern idea buzzing around in my head using log cabin blocks.  Hope to have a chance to work that out and make it.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Where O Where Has my Little Brain Gone.

I had a number of quilt name suggestions yesterday that included the word lavender.  I have decided to call it Lavender Lullaby.  I appreciate all the ideas as I hadn't thought of lavender at all when trying to come up with the name.
I got the result of one of my test today and all is well.  One more to go.
I hope that when they are done and my schedule slows down that I will get back my brain.  I left my cell phone in the restaurant where we had lunch.  Fortunately, the staff found it and a friend is picking it up tomorrow.
Sunday, I am going to have lunch with my sister who is here from England visiting her son.  We do this every fall when she comes for her second visit of the year.  It is a nice time of relaxing and catching up on what is happening in each other's lives.
Tomorrow, I have no appointments either in the day or evening.  Can't remember when that happened last.  Studio, here I come.

Just realized today is Thurs. and I have my newspaper column to do.  Aaargh!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Name Suggestions.

My completed customer quilt.  I haven't thought of a name for it yet.  Any suggestions?
We got a real bargain today.  I believe I mentioned yesterday that I bought an arborite table from an on line site.  We picked it up today and are really pleased with it.  It suits our kitchen perfectly.  These sets are considered antiques now and I have a dealer friend that sold one for $300.00.  Ours has a bit of chipping but it will be easily repaired.
I have a rare day at home tomorrow.  No medical or other appointments to go to so am hoping to get the rest of my quilt sale sewing finished.  I just have one baby quilt to do so perhaps I will also be able to finish the top of another customer quilt and get it on the machine.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Seasonal Bibs.

I finished one customer quilt today and have 6 placemats for another client almost finished.  I have to stop everything now and do items for the craft show.
I really like these little bibs.  I have half dozen of these and just need to add the fasteners.  Seasonal bibs for the well dressed little ones. $8.00 each plus shipping if you would like one for your precious bundle.
We have a few inches of snow and all the trees are covered.  It looks so pretty but I don't think it is going to stay.
I have to get back at the quilting.  Hope to have a photo tomorrow of the quilt I have finished

Friday, October 26, 2018

Christmas Wall Hanging.

This month's Island Batik Challenge was to make something using any  paper piecing method.  I wanted to use up some of my scraps while making something that would be suitable for Christmas and an ornament laden tree was ideal.   The  pattern I used was from Carol Doak's book Easy Paper-Pieced Keepsake Quilts published by That Patchwork Place.
The paper pieced blocks finished at 4 inches which were a breeze after previously making some that were 3" and had  up to 24 pieces.
The ornaments were made from left over Christmas theme fabric from last years box and the tree and background fabric were more recent.  The green used in the tree and border are from the Birds and Bees* line.
I had so much fun making this wall hanging that I think I will do another.  I still have lots of scraps!.
*All the fabric used in making this quilt was donated by Island Batik for my use.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Craft Sales

I am tired and trying to stay awake until it is a reasonable hour before I go to bed.  The weather can be partly to blame as it has been dull all day but I think the major reason may be that I am not getting enough oxygen.  I have an appointment with my specialist on the 1st so hope to have some answers and a solution then.
I finished my little hanging and will try to remember to post a photo tomorrow as well as the cute Christmas bibs I made today. I haven seen a couple of craft items on line that I would like to make up for craft sale on the 3rd. of next month.  I do have some quilts ready and always sell at least one baby size but smaller items are the best sellers.
Tomorrow, I hope to finish the first memory quilt top and get it set up  to be quilted.  I got another memory quilt order today but it doesn't have to be done before Christmas but a set of place mats do.  Good thing I love quilting as I am going to be very busy for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Night Time Photos.

I hope you weren't in one of the areas where you voted on line.  Seems that there was a problem with the system but, with the extended hours, voters preserved and made sure they voice was counted.  Those of you that responded to the title question all voted so you get my 'hero' star.
I made my last batch of chili sauce today.  I had trouble getting myself in the mood to quilt but did finish the Island Batik project and just have to do the hand sewing on the binding.  Will get another row done on the customer quilt tonight so that will be half done.

We had a nice sunset a couple of nights ago so I tried to get some photos.  The problem with night photography is that flash changes the sky colour.  This first photo was while the sun was still up, the second with flash and in the third one, I covered the flash with my hand.  The colour you see is the actual colour of the sky.
I do have a tripod and could have used it with the flash turned off but couldn't be bothered getting it out. I must try it some evening though.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Election Day-Did you Vote?

We had our first real snow on the weekend.  It didn't stay but a definite reminder to hurry up and get things ready for the season.  Our hydro was out for a bit on Sunday.  I went out around midnight and was back on my 10 a.m. so not a problem but long enough that I wasn't able to get to church.  Hubby and I did our devotions at home and we pretty much relaxed for the day.
I almost have my latest Island Batik project finished-just the border to add and then quilt.  Should be able to share it with you tomorrow or Wednesday.  I made a lot of wrong interpretations of the pattern but it has come out okay.
It is municipal election day here in Ontario so are now waiting to see who our members of council will be.  I don't expect much, if any, change in either our township or the village.
I am always amazed at how many people don't bother voting.  I simply don't understand why.  If you don't vote, you are leaving all your hopes for your community in the hands of other people.  It has not been that long that women were allowed to vote so I think it is especially important that we do.
Our three new chickens haven't fully adapted to their news homes yet so are being kept in a separate area until they feel more at home.

Friday, October 19, 2018

More Chickens

Farm Quilter commented on how fortunate we are with the advances in medicine that we are have seen in our time.  It is so true.  When I think back to the diseases that have been eradicated in my life time, I am surprised at how much has been done in a relatively short time.  I remember photos of people encased in what was known as the 'iron lung'.  It was the only treatment for polio.  And now it has gone the way of the black plague and other diseases.
Today was the first time this week that I didn't have to be anywhere.  I expected to get a lot of quilting done but most of the time, I am ashamed to admit, was spent playing computer games.  I did get my spring bulbs transferred and new ones planted and gathered up all the lawn ornaments.  They are now in a filled to overflowing wheelbarrow waiting to be placed in their winter home.
I spent quite a bit of time copying photos so they can be added to my customer's quilt.  I love seeing these mementos of someone's life; especially the wedding pictures.
Tomorrow, our nephew is bringing over three chickens that they don't want to keep over the winter.  They are still laying so the eggs will be welcome.
Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Ice on the Windshield

Today's test should be the last of the hospital trips for a while.  I am trying not to complain but I am tired of doctor's offices and hospitals.
I have started working on this month's Batik project.  I am making foundation pieced ornaments that will be part of a rotary pieced Christmas three.  There are 10 three inch decorations and I am having fun using different fabric combinations on each one.  I am not a great fan of paper or foundation piecing but it does produce a very accurate block.

Our handsome rooster and some of his ladies.

There was a skiff of ice on the car windshield this morning that had to be scraped away before I could drive.  I leave my scrapers etc. in the trunk year round so it was easy enough to locate everything.New snow tires are on my budget agenda this year so I will then be ready for the season.
Hubby is still hacking away with his cold but is slowly getting better.
I can't believe today is only Tuesday.  It feels as though it should be closer to the end of the week.
I am making chocolate chip cookies tomorrow for hubby.  Not my favourite but he likes them and I hope that it will make him feel a bit better.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Another Wallet Incident.

I am tired this evening as I had an early (for retired me) start to the day.  I had to be at Huntsville Hospital for nine and I like to give myself and extra 15 minutes just in case so left the house at 8.  I was finished earlier than expected which was nice.  However, I had another wallet incidence.  Once again, I didn't have it which was a concern because I had to pay for parking.  Fortunately (an answer to prayer) I saw a friend and was able to borrow some money.  I called hubby in the meantime and he found the wallet in my church bag.  I don't usually take it with me on Sunday because hubby drives but he wasn't feeling well yesterday and I took my own vehicle.
I am back to the hospital again tomorrow for a follow up test and that should be the end of them.  I have to be there a half hour earlier so won't be staying up late tonight.
I had a chance to get out for a walk on the weekend and took some photos.
 Late afternoon with the sun setting behind the trees.  This is the view from our deck.
 The floor of the forest is deep with leaves.  There are still a lot more to fall.
 The last windstorm took down a lot of trees.  They will make good firewood.

This baby oak tree is hanging on to his green colour.  He should be bright red soon.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Kudos to Walmart.

Reply to Farm Quilter:  Thanks for the comment.  My machine is a Q'Nique and it usually hums along without any diva like behaviour.  A friend mentioned that it might have been the humidity as she sometimes finds that causes thread problems.  She may be right because I have used that thread without problem before.

Well, I certainly have neglected my blog this week.  I have been doing a lot of quilting though.  I have a good start on my next customers quilt as well as for this month's Island Batik project and a baby blanket for a craft sale in Nov.  And yes, I am doing them all at the same time.
I had to go tour nearest town today for a doctor's appointment and after that, did some shopping.  I had ordered a Fitbit which arrived earlier in the week and I couldn't get it to connect with my phone.  I thought I might need a new one so went to that department at Walmart.  The wonderful lady there not only told me that my phone was fine, she set it up so I could use it.  She spent quite some time because their internet was working properly.  While I waited, I noticed my wallet was missing. A quick search in the car didn't have a happy result.  I told the employee that I thought someone had lifted it from my purse and she called security.  They asked what areas of the store I had been in and went to look at the video footage.  I had been waiting quite a while and was feeling tired when the staff person asked if I would like to sit down somewhere.  I thought it might be worthwhile to go to the previous store where I had done some shopping.  The same amazing woman walked me to customer service where I left my shopping cart and said I could just come back there and wait when ready.
I was only gone for a couple of minutes and was able to tell them I had found my wallet.  I was so relieved I felt like crying.  Where was it?  In a bag with my groceries.  I have no idea why I put it there and could hardly believe it when I saw it.
I tell you all this not to showcase the fact that I am addle headed sometimes but to give credit to the store and employees.  They all treated me with great courtesy and concern.
A+ to Huntsville, Ontario Walmart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Thread Woes

I hope all my Canadian followers had a great Thanksgiving.  We spent some time with family enjoying a good meal and visit.  There was a lot of traffic in both directions with some drivers more interested in their cell phones than either their safety or scenery.  It boggles me that a person thinks they can safely drive at 100 km with one hand on the wheel and their eyes looking at an electronic device.  In the meantime, all those around them are watching as they weave from side to side in their lane.  Just plain stupid.
It has been unseasonable warm today with the thermometer reaching the low 30's.  I went for a walk through the bush with the dog and then sat outside with hubby while enjoying  a mug of tea.  It is going to stay warm tomorrow and then drop to seasonal.  I am glad I have a couple more days before I need to get out my fall/winter clothing.  I also need to plant some spring flowering bulbs, clean the garden beds and put away all the lawn ornaments.  It is all going to have to wait until the weekend though as I am too busy right now.
I finished quilting the top today that was on the frame.  I had problem with thread breaking for a while which slowed me down.  I did the usual: changed needle, adjusted tension. oiled the machine all without any improvement.  I was using a good quality Egyptian thread so was sure it wasn't that but finally changed it anyway.  The closest colour to what I was using was in Aurifil and that made the difference.  I was able to finish the quilt without further problem.
I had used the other thread numerous times before so not sure why it was being difficult this time.
I have a craft sale early next month so am going to make a couple of baby quilts for that and then back to customer quilts.

Friday, October 5, 2018

More Undone that Done

Today was more 'undone' than 'done' .  I did a few rows on the top I just finished and then decided I didn't like it.  The whole thing is off the frame now and I will unpick while watching television tonight.  This is for a customer who also happens to be a dear friend so I want it to be as perfect as it is humanly possible. I removed it for a second reason: I need to reposition it on the frame.  It was too far to one side so I wasn't able to quilt right to the edge.  Once it is reloaded, I should be able to finish the quilting fairly quickly.
Having to redo everything is a bit annoying as I was hoping to be able to start laying out the blocks for the next quilt in between doing the stitching on the other.  I like to be working on two at the same time as I get a break from either just quilting or just piecing.

I have been looking at you tube videos for making braided rugs using a toothbrush handle.  I think I may do one for the floor near on end of the couch.  Heidi has trouble getting traction on the hardwood floors so a little rug may help her to get onto the couch.  It will also be a nice take along project.

Hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving if you are in Canada.  I believe Monday is Columbus day in the U.S.  Even if it isn't a holiday weekend for you, enjoy.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Another Top Done

I finished my quilt top today and will get it loaded on the frame for quilting after I write a few words.  I really like how it has turned out.  I am not sure how I will quilt it yet but I am leaning toward leaves or flowers as there are both on the top.
I was also able to Skype with my two sisters this afternoon.  It took a few minutes for us all to get connected but it was worth it.  Technology is wonderful when it works.  A real pain when it doesn't.
Once I have this quilt loaded, I am going to be starting the layout for a customer's memory quilt.  This is another double size so will take a bit to get each of the squares where they best suit.
When I was scrounging through all my fabric for a bit of fabric, the search included all the kits I have cut out.  I think I am going to have to set myself a goal of doing one of them at least once a quarter.  There are some I really like.  If I find that I am not crazy about others, I will just add my fabric back to my stash

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut, decorating the church for thanksgiving and doing some scrounging in an old shed that a friend bought.  Maybe I will find a crank sewing machine.  Not likely but it would be nice.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Foot to the Pedal.

Thank you farm girl for your comment on my post card pictures.  I will be looking for a couple more suitable photos and then get a few of each made up to see if anyone wants them.

I have kept my foot firmly on my machines pedal today and have finished appliqueing the borders of my latest quilt.  I ran short on one of the fabrics and had to remove all the leaves from one border and use a different material for it and the opposite side.  Annoying when that happens but fortunately, it was fixable.  That is what happens when you change a pattern half way through making it.

My customer picked up her quilt  that I made from her vintage top.  She was very pleased with it and left 3 or 4 more.  I had another top given to me on Monday to do and an order for two twin sized quilts came in the weekend.  I have had to write everything down so I don't forget anything.
I ordered myself a fitbit watch with some of my quilt money.  Perhaps it will help me get moving a bit more and am also hoping it will give some idea of what is happening with my heart rate.  I know it isn't for medical purposes but just an indication would be helpful.
Back to the quilt. Tomorrow is grocery shopping day and then, Thurs. doing some more jam.  I also hope to get the quilt ready for the frame.

Friday, September 28, 2018


I am ready to quilt my star wall hanging.  I added a few extra touches today including French knots in gold metallic thread.  They won't likely show up unless you are looking closely but I like them as they add some depth like tiny stars that you can barely see.
I also did some experimenting with a couple of photos.  Tourists are always looking for photos and/or postcards that depict the area.  I decided to see if I could do some.  (See I don't always spend my time quilting.)  I have tons of photos that I have taken and that show off some of the best features of the area. Here are a couple.

Now I have the star quilt  ready for the frame, I can get back to one of my commissioned quilts.  I just got asked to finish another top as well so it seems as though I will be busy for a while.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Sneak Peak

A sneak peak at my September Island Batik project.  It is called "A Night in the Country"  I have just started the quilting.  Sometimes the stars here do seem that large.
Yesterday, I made 2 lots of strawberry jam and one of pumpkin butter.  I still have quite a few more to go but that is a start anyway.  Also, hubby and I got our 5 huskap berry bushes planted.  I am really looking forward to seeing the fruit next year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Three More Months.

It is quite windy with a heavy rainfall tonight and the dog doesn't like it.  She barks every time there is a gust or an increase in the rain.  I am sure she thinks she is warning us of danger but it gets a bit annoying when you have to keep assuring her there isn't an emergency.  She reminds me of the robot in the old TV show Lost in Space.  It would wave its tubular arms and intone "Danger Will Robinson."  I often wonder how the actors on shows like that managed to keep a straight face.
Thank you for your kind comments on my friends quilt.  If she had had the opportunity, I am sure she would have been a celebrity quilter.
I have finished the vintage top I was asked to quilt.  It is ready to go to its owner this weekend.  All those tiny hexagons are sewn by hand as is the border and the blanket stitch border embellishments.
I need some quick inspiration for a star quilt which is my Island Batik project for September.  I really like the Lemoyne star so think I might do that but I will need to get at it right away. Tomorrow I start my jam making.  Strawberry will be the first with pumpkin butter if I have time.  I also want to do more tomato jam as well as some grape.  That should keep us going for the winter.
Three more months until Christmas Day.  I hope you have started making your gifts.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hustle Time

If you live in Ontario, you have probably heard about the tornados that touched down near our nations capital on Friday.  It was quite a distance from us but we got very high winds.  They were fast enough that they took down trees and hydro lines.  Our power was off from Friday to midday Sunday.  Other than not being able to flush the toilets, we weren't in to bad a situation We have a gas cookstove plus the wood stove for heating.  A portable radio that hubby gave me for Christmas gave us music and news.  Solar lights from outdoors enabled us to read and navigate the house.  But, I think it is time to get our generator working.  We were concerned about the food going bad.  We were fortunate that our church hydro came on earlier than ours and we took the most perishable there.  The freezer is in the mudroom and it stayed fairly cool.  However, we are always going to be as lucky and, in the winter there is always a concern that the water pump and line will freeze.
I spent Sunday afternoon doing laundry and dishes but am still behind on quilting and writing projects.  I will have to hustle this week.
I was able to get one beg project finished.  I have been wanting to go through all my patterns and get rid of the ones I don't want and organize those I keep.  I got all the pieced patterns finished.  I filled a garbage bag with the discards.  I know that the applique patterns to do.  The final step will be to go through my magazines, photocopy the patterns that I am sure I am going to make and then donate the magazines.
This quilt was made for me by my friend Lilliana.  She doesn't use a pattern.  Everything is done from an idea she has in her head.  I think she is amazing.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pattern Perfect

 Quilters are always willing to share their experiences and expertise.  I posted a question on my group asked members how they filed, sorted, dealt with all their patterns.  I have a pile of them and, as most are not organized, I don't use them.  If I do want to find one, it usually involves a lot of frustration.  One of the best replies I received was from Keitha.  I thought you might like to see what she said.  
Long story short one day I woke up and said I must purge which I started. I looked at each pattern or magazine and asked why I liked this one- was it the colour scheme, the subject matter and so on. If I made them all, what would I do with the quilts? Who would want them when I passed on?Now, what I do with my quilt patterns is this; I try not to purchase magazines which in the beginning was difficult. Instead I go to the fabric manufacturer's sites and download free patterns which are usually in PDF form. Beside that file I post a picture of the pattern. 
 I also am on several blogs which post patterns in PDF form.
  So, when I need a pattern I go to the folder, search for the technique I want to use and search by picture. It is easy and fast. Sometimes I only download a picture because I liked the layout, colour scheme etc. Every once in awhile I go to a folder and find out what I can delete for whatever reason. Seeing a screen of pictures is so much better then leafing through pages in MHO.(my humble opinion)

I think one of the key suggestions is to get rid of what you will never use-purge is the work Keitha used.  I know I have a stack of loose patterns that I will not make.  I am not even thinking about the magazines at this point. So that is where I am going to start.  I don't think it will be right away but if we have a power outage it will be a perfect project.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A HInt of Autumn

A hint of autumn is in the air.  Temperatures are more bearable, geese, honking their farewells, fly  overhead and the trees are gradually taking on their graduation clothing.  It was a good day to bake so I made some Tomato Jam and a large skillet of Chili Sauce.  I had intended to make some muffins as well but getting that much done took more time than I expected.
Hubby was outside taking down some trees for firewood and I like to be on hand in case of mishaps.  And then it was time for lunch.
I finished the vintage quilt today so hope to get the binding done on Thurs. as well as loading the past two charity quilts.
Tomorrow I have my once a month quilt day with a few friends.  It is always a fun time
A Photo from Last Year to Remind you of the Glory of Autumn
.  I have some machine applique to do on the final border on another customer quilt.  I don't usually have this many paid projects at the same time but it is nice to have the extra money coming in.
Have you started thinking about Christmas projects yet?

Monday, September 17, 2018

Vintage Quilt

Last week was pretty eventful.  There were the shopping and housework, plus a medical appointment and, of course, lots of quilting.  On Friday, I took my friend to the airport for her return home.  It was sad to see her go as we had had a lovely three weeks.  I know she will be coming again so, until then, I will try and be content with emailing.  I have the same reactions when my sisters visit.  I love having the time with them but hate it when they go home.  It always feels as though part of you is being torn away.
I try to get back to usual activities as quickly as possible and just be thankful for the blessings I have.  I got my customer's vintage quilt loaded on the frame and started working on it today.  A couple of sections had to be replaced but I was fortunate in being able to find fabric that was fairly close to the original.  As was often the case with early quilters, the lady who made the top used a variety of fabrics: poly cotton, something that looks like it might be used for lining, textured cotton, and broadcloth.  The little hexagons are all hand sewn as it the border and the blanket stitch that joins the center to the border.
I am using a simple all over meander stitch which compliments without detracting from the top. It is such a privilege to be asked to help someone finish a family treasure.

Vintage Quilt

Congratulations to reader Brenda @ Songbird Designs who won a first place ribbon for her quilt  Wonderland

A Gift from my Friend-her design.  Note the twin towers in the background.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Gifts for the Grands.

It has been a busy day.  I finished a charity quilt and got it ready for binding.  I was planning on loading another customer quilt but my house guest had a better idea.  She was taking a couple of small items for our grandchildren with her when she returned home.  Postage is a lot cheaper in province and it was also possible her son would be driving to the area so that would be even better.  I gave her the items and address and figure that was that.  Nope.  She thought that making pillowcases for the children would be a great idea so we spent a lot of the rest of the day doing those.  I will admit they turned out beautifully and think the children will really like them.
In the middle of the afternoon, we took a break, if it could be called that, to bring in the rest of the tomatoes.  I didn't realize how many there were.  We pretty much filled one of those totes you use to carry groceries and that was with leaving behind all the little red and green ones. Looks like I am going to be making a lot of tomato based preserves.
After pulling up the plants and the stakes, we were both tired but, troopers that we are, we went back to sewing.
I think I am getting to old for all this excitement.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Helping Hand

Thank you all for the nice and supportive comments about my fall fair entries.  Brenda, I am looking forward to hearing how you did.
A huge box arrived in the mail today.  It was stamped as extra heavy with a symbol for the carrier.  I was glad that hubby was the one that went in for the mail today as I wouldn't have been able to carry it.  The box was packed with clothing for the memory quilt I am making for a customer.  There was a separate bag containing T shirts for the her son.
I told myself that I wasn't going to open the box right away as I was already working on two quilts but the temptation was too much.  It was so much fun sorting through the contents and deciding how each would be used.  And then the cutting began.  Not by me though.  My visitor volunteered to get started and we decided that 9 inch squares would be good.  She has been doing an excellent job.  Some squares include a pocket, others a section from a button closed front, lace, sequins and other adornments are on other pieces.  I am really going to enjoy sewing them together.
A number of sweaters have been included and I think I will back them with iron on interfacing and serge around the edges of the pieces I use.  I am hoping that will keep everything from unravelling.
Tomorrow, hubby is taking us on a drive north to see if more of the trees have changed colour in that area.  My friend is returning home a week from today.  I am going to miss her.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mini Chickens and Blog Contest

I have been able to spend the afternoon quilting and would have got another charity quilt done but didn't precheck my tension and it was out.  Decided to leave it for a bit and work on finishing a customers quilt top.
Our little bantam chickens have finally settled into being part of the flock.  We had been having a lot of problems with the little female. She would not going into the coop at night.  The male trotted in with the rest but she wanted to show her independence.  We would have to come back out later when she was ready.  Tonight, she was one of the first in and didn't show any inclination of slipping back outside.
We had some stale cobs of corn given to us today so broke them up and tossed them outside for the flock.  It was so funny watching the regular size birds foraging with the two tiny ones zipping around them.  I must try and take a photo.
This is the last chance for you to enter your name for a blog hop prize.  Go to the blog and follow the their rules.  Mine draw has taken place.
If you have children, I hope their first day back was fun for them and restful for you.

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts

Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts