Thursday, 2 February 2023

Free Patterns, Colour Talk, Embroidery Stitch Along

We are deep in winter,  a time here for the fleece wear and flannel and staying cosy by the fire. Not a problem for us retirees. I just got out my winter coffee table runner that I sewed a couple of years ago.  Kathy Schmitz Snowbound fabric and EPP hexagons.
It's been through the wash a couple of times and has a nice crinkly feel to it. I mentioned at the time that I certainly would be stitching hexagons again and someone recommended this little tool below.  So I bought one on Amazon but haven't used it yet. It's supposed to make it easier on the hands with all the cutting of thin cardboard.  Any of you ever use this?

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was how do we feel about Pantone's colour of the year, viva magenta. It is a stunning colour!
 Years ago I had a student tell me she could "feel" the colour green. I am not  in touch with colour like that but there is one colour experience that is thrilling to see in person.  An offering of nature's own shades of yellow/purples/magentas.  I've had the pleasure of viewing the Northern Lights many times in my over 25 years of living in the far north and Labrador.

 I follow Newfoundland photographer, Brad James, on Facebook. Brad had the honour of this photo of his being chosen for the cover of the William Collings 2022 Bird Photographer of the Year book. It's not exactly viva magenta but those magentas are amazing especially in contrast to the little Yellow Warbler. 

Thursday's Three Free

At Freda's Hive you can find the tutorial to sew this sweet cottage.

It caught my eye because I'm a member of the  Corinne et Cecile Quilt Along group on Facebook. The present challenge is to sew houses and it's been so much fun to see the array of houses/villages folks from all over the world are stitching. 
There are also links to free patterns too of course. Houses must be a very popular pattern no matter where you live and that got me thinking about the wonderful architectural pieces to be found at Magpie's Mumblings where Mary Anne often includes buildings, barns, houses, etc. in her stitching projects. The realism is phenomenal in her fabric art. 

Beyond Valentine's, from Leslie, the Seasoned Homemaker, comes the pattern and tutorial to make this very cute Easter Peeps Mug Rug. Ah Peeps, yum!

Leslie also shares how to make the perfect Valentine Star using HST's which is really easy and neat. 
From  Subrosa comes another cross stitch freebie that is lovely and delicate like everything she creates.

And last but definitely not least, I was very happy to see this announcement from Meg at Crabapple Hill Studio. I  have stitched so many of Meg's wonderful patterns over the years and just know I will definitely enjoy whatever she designs. The Crabapple Hill 2023 Embroidery Month Stitch Along is found under Downloadables at her studio site.  In fact I've downloaded the first free pattern. 

How great is our stitchy world and the talented folks in it!
Also great to link with Wendy's Quilts and More where talented Wendy has made herself a lovely sheath style dress from Kaffe fabrics. Also linking with Alycia Quilts where Alycia shares a beautiful red, white and blue quilt featuring lovely Friendship Stars. Linking up with Quilting Patchwork Applique too where Frederique shows how her village of houses is coming along for the Corinne et Cecile QAL.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Thrifting Bargain, Cosy At Home, Birds, EPP Pyramids

 I have been busy. In particular helping drive older grandson to his work which takes a chunk of time out of the day. However, I've paired that chore with visits to the library, grocery store and shops too which works out well. That has also been an excuse to not keep up a few things around here. I've slacked off the cooking for instance and relied on some ready made meals from the grocery store; one a meatball pasta dish that was quite tasty. Today I walked the trails with my bungee poles for the first time in a week.  I feel like I need to get back into my old routine of activity, vegetable eating, etc. I have been up early and lighting the first fire of the day as always though.

 Last Sunday I took this photo of Tony's breakfast.  The weather outside was actually frightful-no joke, blowing and snowy though no weather warning for a change, just an advisory.  Making it all the more cosy inside.

I've been keeping the three feeders filled and the suet cakes out too. We are still being given the go to maintain feeders here. I use binoculars to watch the birds and have seen no sign of illness, in particular the eye disease that is affecting finches. I've never had finches here so maybe that's a good thing for now. Here the male Cardinal doesn't heed the Chickadee nailing a perfect landing. 
I went thrifting one day recently. Of course I found a few things...what a surprise! For instance, this mug I found amongst the discounted Christmas items, though it didn't jump out at me that it was for Christmas. 
It is marked Sears and though I don't need another mug, for $1.99 in perfect condition, I just had to buy it. The design with pomegranates and pinecones is so pretty.  Anyone else enjoy Happy Elephant tea?  Older daughter gave me  a collection and they are quite good. The blueberry is a favourite.

 Last of the panama pyramids in reds and pinks. Oh, how I've enjoyed the hand stitching of those little diamonds which you must be so tired of hearing about by now.😩
 I just had to stitch a few more which made me wonder am I addicted?  Tony laughed but I'm kind of serious.  Meanwhile I did not manage to get in the sewing room last week at all but am hopeful I will find time this week to get back to stitching the rows of these together. 

Several have asked... about my header photo which was taken of a panel on my coat I had made for me in the far north when I was teaching on Baffin Island. These figures were stitched by the local ladies who were Inuit and I'd asked for school children. I thought it sweet they added book bags as we called them when I was a kid. 

 Do check back on Thursday for this weeks' free patterns and quilty news.  I love sharing what I've enjoyed and think you will enjoy too. Such generous folks all over the world sharing their talents with us. 

Sharing this post with linky parties found at Quilt Schmilt

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Free Patterns, Renewed Interest in an Old Project

It's all about the weather again here in south eastern Ontario. Weather does not know borders, LOL. It's a good thing I love the snow, with the caveat that I don't have to drive in it. 

It started snowing yesterday mid day and is still snowing. Looking out my kitchen window this morning. Everything swaddled in a fresh blanket of white.
Ned and I ventured out for our early morning walk and didn't get too far. We wound up walking just the laneway and even then the going was tough.  I know it's hard for some to understand how invigorating walking in winter air is. But it always makes me feel great. Bundled up, it is not cold at all. The cool air clears my sinuses, my mind and science says it boosts my immune system too which I believe. It also makes me feel grateful I can walk like this and then have a warm house to return to.

We are finally watching this series, The Morning Show, and enjoying it very much. For some reason, I am always surprised by how well Jennifer Anniston can act.

Thank you for all the encouraging words about the recent quilting projects I've shared. Yes, the yellow is working out for the Panama Pyramids.  And I'm feeling a renewed interest in the Wheel Within a Wheel project. Have the sections all sorted again and will continue the hand stitching parts tonight. 

Our prompt this week from LeeAnna, Not Afraid of Color, is what is our favourite colour/colours. I like the idea of thinking about colours now with my outside world white, white, white. However, it is hard for me to pin down a colour I adore as such. Having a colourful flower garden and also flowering bushes has added so much enjoyment to my life in general. And now that I am white haired, I've been wearing brighter colours, red, for instance, which used to be my least favourite next to purple and orange. I used to wear camel and grey which totally wash me out out now. 
But in keeping with red, look at how joyous the Sumac become when the summer season starts drawing to a close. Who could not feel brighter in spirit when looking at this. 
What about you? Do you favour one colour over another? Have your colour choices in clothes changed like mine over the years?

I keep saying I want to make placemats. Perhaps with tea cups. I was totally smitten with Anna-Jantina and her beautiful cups. I love everything she sews and you will see why if you look her up. She is on Instagram and I had sincerely wished that she kept her blog going. 

Thursday's Three Free

So I'm looking at free patterns for cups and there are so many. Here is one from the kind folks at Bear Creek Quilting.
And another freebie from  the Quilting Daily site...I've downloaded this template.
Sewing cups/mugs would be fun. 
 From Moda Fabrics comes this unique design called "Latitude". I think batiks were use to make this one but the free pattern includes a colouring sheet to work out your own pretty palette.

For my slow stitching check out Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread site if you haven't already. I've been a fan ever since I got the internet years back. I've followed her stitching lessons, copied patterns and bought patterns and books through her site as well. Mary has a wonderful bank of free patterns and links to patterns for both embroidery and cross stitch. Besides loads of tutorials. 

I need to draw this post to a close. Thanks yet again for the lovely comments, emails, suggestions, etc. I read them all and take them to heart. They mean the world to me!

Love to share this post with the weekly linky parties at Alycia QuiltsKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSo ScrappyQuilting Patchwork AppliqueSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Wendy's Quilts and More.

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Canadian Winter Fun, Panama Pyramids On The Wall

We did get snow on Thursday into Friday, about 7 inches or so. Here is a glimpse of Tony and Ned nearing the end of their snowy walk at the back of the house. Taken from our bedroom.

Tony is convinced his daily walks are benefitting his very good health.
Very post card beautiful with the sun on Saturday. Robbie was here skidooing which was fun. 

That fits in nicely with our present jigsaw puzzle. One of the Canadian Collection from Ravensburger featuring Canadian winter scenes.
I've begun joining all my scrappy EPP Panama Pyramids together. This arrangement below by Linda Collins was based on an antique quilt she owns, btw; I don't think I mentioned that before. Antique quilts are a special love of mine and I always enjoy checking out blogs that feature them like Michele's Pennsylvania Piecemaker blog and Nancy's Joy For Grace, to name just two. 
Anyway this is satisfying to see all these tiny pieced blocks coming together on the wall-lined up a bit haphazardly though. I'm going to stay with the yellow, a change from what would be my usual choice of a more neutral color. Though someone did tell me that yellow can be considered a neutral choice.
 It's time I stopped second guessing every choice I make and just go with it.  I'm tired of all the hemming and humming I do, seriously. It's not like anything I sew will ever be in a show or whatever. This latest hang up was because I had bought online a pretty mossy green that arrived just in time to make me second guess the yellow. It would have suited well but it will keep for another project. 
I'm continuing to work on both my two old projects this week...the other being Tiny Trees. 

I know I'm not the only Just Get It Done Quilts fan.  Karen has been posting a daily decluttering video for the month of January, a great way to start the new year. It inspired me to do further sorting and organizing even though I don't have that much stuff in the sewing room. But it always seems to benefit from a dig through. Here is her Day 1 and I find all her tips so useful and doable too.

Just in case your thoughts are "springing" ahead, Krista shares this wonderful free tutorial for a lovely spring like quilt Here at her blog, Krista Moser The Quilted Life. Sew Charming uses charm packs -so easy.

A little question for you Do you know what a Flight of Tea is???
I get lots of questions and one of these days I'll write a post where I answer them. 
Hope this January week is going great for you whether you are having to eat ice cream fast before it melts like Jenny in New Zealand or having to bundle up to keep warm on your walks like hubby and me. 
Happily linking with The Quilt Schmilt.

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Pixie Hair Cut, Heart Love, Free Patterns, Quilt Decision

I gave myself a pixie cut. Following Amanda as she cut her hair made it very simple and easy. She is a good teacher.

Though I must admit using the clipper attachment that gave such a close cut to the back did give me pause. Then I thought, it's hair, it'll grow back; I'm wearing winter hats outside the house anyway so it can be covered. But I'm actually happy enough with it. That window light sure smoothed the wrinkles nicely but Lordy, look at those jowls!
This gives me a chance to show you my new blouse from Talbots. I love the blues but was a little taken aback by the size of the blooms on it.  Scale is important!

This week's prompt from LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color was if and how we make lists. I've talked about being a list maker way back.  Put your hand into any of my coat pockets and you are likely to haul out a piece of paper with a list on it.  You might find it odd to be printed in large letters but that is so I can read it in a store without getting out my reading glasses. I have a number of notebooks around that I use for recording all kinds of information, always in black ink- about the only pen/paper preference I can think of that I've had all my adult life.
What about you? Are you a list maker? Perhaps you use your phone for such these days.

I had started the process of unpicking the sewing lines on this project. The Wheel Within a Wheel quilt. I kept looking at it on the wall and realized I didn't care for all the different fabrics being put into each block. A bit of a jumble it seems.

I thought it would look better with just neutrals for the backgrounds. I say I started as I almost immediately stopped; I have 8 of these blocks sewn and they are large.  So much hand work to be cutting out. I've decided to persevere and finish this one in the way that I had started it and the way it shows in the photo by the designer too. I must say I do love working with these pretty fabrics from Minick and Simpson who seem to specialize in the blues. 

Thursday's Three Free

Lisa at Stitching the Journey shares several free patterns like this sweet hand pieced hexagon mat. 

I also appreciated Lisa's post called When Your Lap is Empty about how stitching can be such a balm when experiencing grief. 

Speaking of grief, this item appeared on my Facebook account. Interesting to me as I do find forest walking amongst the trees soothing. 
How an Unconnected Phone on a Nature Trail is bringing comfort to grieving people.  Interesting idea. What do you think?  I was also impressed that Deer Lake, a town of about 6000 in Newfoundland, has a designated Health and Wellness committee. 

 British designer, Nicola Dodd of Cakestand Quilts is starting the year off by offering her free pattern for a sweet French Hen block to her subscribers. I love keeping up with what Nicola is creating. I especially like her encouragement to stitch what you love the way you want to, especially hand quilting if you have the time. As she says, quilting should not require fancy equipment. 

Heart Love  I'm not surprised by the huge number of free heart quilt block patterns out there.  

The pattern for this pretty Rainbow quilt is found here at the Andover free quilt patterns page.

In This 2020 Post on her blog, Quilt Fabrications, generous Susan shared a bank of links to quilt patterns featuring hearts if you are interested in getting a head start on Valentine's stitching.

From Tiny Modernist comes this sweet free pattern- a Valentine's Heart to cross stitch.

January is usually the month when most of the Flosstube regulars on YouTube feature round ups of all their projects- Finishes, WIP's and those patterns they are eyeing to work on next. It is a great time to see what's new out there from all the designers- inspiring for sure.
We've been informed a Colorado low is going to be bringing us a couple of inches of snow overnight and into Friday morning. So far just an advisory and I hope it stays that way!
Hope your week ends on a good note and your weekend will be even better!

Better as well to be linking with So ScrappyAlycia QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Quilting Patchwork Applique.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

New Year Stuff- Gifts, Projects, Calm Yourself Goal

I've been busy doing everything but blogging. Out attempting walks with the camera in spite of all kinds of weather, baking muffins, embroidering, reading, listening to podcasts while putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It has been a peaceful, satisfying and relaxing welcome to a new year. Along the way I found two garbage bags of "stuff" to give to the Value Village.  So a little cleanout felt good too.

I decided to cook a turkey last week just so we could have a turkey dinner here at the wooden house and enjoy lots of leftovers too. A turkey is like the food that keeps on giving.

After the main meal, then leftovers, we enjoyed hot turkey sandwiches with air fryer fries. Finally came the soup. I've made a resolve to use the Air Fryer more from now on as I see folks cooking just about anything in them. I came across this Taste of Home post... 88 Air Fryer Recipes You Need to Try and was really surprised at the array of foods that can be cooked in an air fryer. No need of a frying pan!

I was happy to capture a scarlet Cardinal using our new Red Cardinal Feeder, as it is called. It is the best feeder I've found. It was windy and swaying so not the best of photos. 

And I'm happy to see the female joining the male most days.

I'm reading one of my Christmas gifts, this book from my sister. Each bird matches the 12 Days of Christmas song. For instance, the woodpecker is the 12 Drummers Drumming. This is my second Stephen Moss book and I do enjoy his writing.
I ordered a new set of ice cleats for my boots- from Amazon. Just cheap ones which work fine as I'm not mountain climbing. Though I'm second guessing my choice lately. There has been massive melting and refreezing with overnight temperature drops.  On occasion I've had to cut our early morning walks short, just too icy underfoot. Ned very unhappy but I really can't risk it. I noticed the pine needles show the ice more than fir needles as seen in the photo above. 
I've put together a bunch more of the foundation pieced scrappy Tiny Trees. Fun machine stitching...words I don't often string together. Thought I'd done them all then found a cache of ten or more "tops" so had to complete those too. I haven't a clue what size this will finish at but my goal for this week is to have these all sewn together. 
I've chosen this pretty leafy looking Robin Pickins fabric for part of the borders. 
I finished the Redwork stitchery. Just Snowman's buttons to add.
I've been crocheting too so the stitching fingers have been busy. Besides shovelling snow which I've done often since I last talked to you!

Better late than never to speak of New Year's Resolutions- I do sort of set myself goals (other than the fitness ones) from time to time.  The main one this year is I'm going to strive for calm. There are always things to keep us awake at night; for me it is always worrying about family. I'm a solutions kind of thinker and want to help naturally especially when the downs of life occur to them. But sometimes situations are like this. Thank you Joanne (who has no blog) for sending this one to me. Good one, right?

Credited to Ivan Nuru
Calming that tiny thread of anxiety that runs through me when thinking about things has always been a challenge, in particular, a middle of the night challenge for me it seems. I'm exploring homeopathic solutions while open to suggestions. I always enjoy what you have to say.
Anyway, 2023 is off and, not only running, galloping. Enjoy the ride!
See you later this week with some great free patterns.

Sharing with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts, Songbird DesignsDays Filled With JoyQuilt Schmilt and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.


Friday, 30 December 2022

Free Patterns, After the Snowstorm, Here's to Better Everything

After the storm...

We are all dug out and have made several runs over the trails with the ski do so they are walkable again. Sun is shining and water dripping from the eaves. Yes it's warming up and rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. Crazy weather.  When the storm was winding down,  I took this shot of Ned sitting on his favourite new snowbank...from this spot he can see round most of the back yard. 
I've been working on my photos, organizing them and deleting some too. It is very time consuming. I've also printed out several of the projects I'd downloaded and saved, freeing up more space on this laptop. That has also proven time consuming. 
I'm reading (as opposed to listening to) a book written by Margaret Verble -this one, Maud's Line, which was a true finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. I think I borrowed it years ago from the library.  
 I ordered my own copy from Amazon for $10. I'm quite taken with the writing and the story line is also, as they say, compelling. Maud is an excellent character. Amazing to think this was Margaret's first novel; Maud must have been in her head for a long time.

Thursday's Three Free

There is never a shortage of inspiration on the net thanks to all the designers generously sharing their talents with us.
Windham Fabrics has an astounding 45 pages of free quilt patterns. I got lost around page 12; there were so many I wanted to note. So beware when you visit! Here are just two of those that caught my eye. This one is called Good Morning Sunshine by Heidi Pridemore ...LINK

and how about this one called Terrace by Stacey Day ...LINK

From the Folks at APQS comes this post featuring their 10 Most Downloaded Quilt Patterns of 2022.  This one did not make that list but I like it. Free pattern Blocked In

 I couldn't resist sharing this project from Jenny of Elefantz, pattern  Found Here. I think I've shared this in the past.  When I read these words I think of all the women who are constantly doing the thousand little things that come with managing a home and family. Many of you are blogging and I get to read what you are doing to make life easier or better for those you love. I wonder was Mother Teresa thinking of women when she wrote this down.  Jennifer made it into a small cushion. 

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was what would we like to try, learn, do, visit, etc. in the New Year. 
And in line with that I'm going to take the time to review and possibly reset and renew some of my hobbies, especially with an eye to how I use my time. Time seems to flee from me sometimes with not much to show for it. I also feel like I've let things build up around me and I would like to be less cluttered physically and mentally too. Any resolutions in your mind?

To help with the reassessing and decluttering, I will be enjoying a short blogging break. Please do meet me back here early in the New Year. I am gathering still tons more stuff to share with you.

The Not So Innocents Abroad

Hope your New Year's celebration will be everything you want it to be.  Let's hope for better in 2023, better everything. 💓