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  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  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 (  and then email me at: 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:
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?