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
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 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
Jan 8 Lynch, Cheryl
Jan 9 Steely, Carol
Jan 9 Vermilya, Alison www.littlebunnyquilts
Jan 9 Wood, Jean-Sophie
Jan 9 Dillard, Tina
Jan 10 Campbell, Connie
Jan 10 Piland, Laura
Jan 10 Oddie, Marlene
Jan 10 Colleran, Kate
Jan 11 Baker, Nan
Jan 11 Gaddy, Barb

Jan 15 Bakken, Turid
Jan 15 Ramrath, Linda
Jan 16 Denney Parcel, Sharon
Jan 16 Johnson, Sally
Jan 17 Beritcs, Stephanie
Jan 17 Caldwell, Jessica
Jan 18 Jones, Jeanette
Jan 18 Kauffman, Connie

Jan 22 Boatright, Pamela
Jan 23 Bruckman, Kathy
Jan 23 Yamamoto, Janet
Jan 24 McAullfie, Maryellen
Jan 24 Mullis, Joyce
Jan 25 Overton, Karen
Jan 25 Vanden Bosch,Terri
Jan 25 Oddie, Marlene

Jan 29 Pena, Marian
Jan 29 Oddie, Marlene
Jan 29 Branch, Anna
Jan 30 Oddie, Marlene
Jan 30 Lee, Bea
Jan 31 Scott, Nancy
Jan 31 Webster, Suzy
Feb 1 Kawano, Joan
Feb 1 Schlimmer, Vicki

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.