Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Reds, Cake, Primitive Quilts

So the world is now simply white. Yesterday we had a snow storm which while we get lots of snowfalls here, seldom is there a good enough wind to make a storm of it. But this one had a stiff breeze as I would call 60 km/h of wind. Flakes flew enough to obscure the views and give us the sense that we were house bound.

And this morning outside by my pet chair, a rabbit has made its' way.  Hubby thinks one may be living in the piping for the ornamental pond near this and if so, is extremely cosy under a layer of rock, soil and now 30 extra cm of snow.

We enjoyed our Indian food very much especially the fresh naan bread; perhaps that is my favourite part. Younger daughter treated us to one of her cakes, which she loves to make and decorate. This one had mascarpone in the frosting and blueberries which made it delicious.

I bought this magazine (which I seldom do) because it had a number of features I liked.  Baskets, houses, hearts...

Including this article with pattern about the wonderful Cheri Payne who passed away last year. I love that her contribution to quilting and stitching is still being acknowledged and celebrated.  The facebook group called Quilts by Cheri ~ Friendship Group is thriving. There are now many, many pages of free patterns in the Files there, btw.

I wanted to show you hearts but have lilies on the wall instead.  But they are reds.  I'm starting to wonder how many to make.  The border was easy to choose as I'm going to sew together left over little blocks in keeping with what a scrappy project this is.

If you celebrate Valentine's Day, hope it is wonderful for you.
I must go and break the bad news to the dogs that there will be no second walk today...the first one was hard going. Hubby and I have massive digging out to do first and being old, we must pace ourselves. 😊
So happy to link with Not Afraid of ColorEsther's Quilt Blog, Em's ScrapbagMy Quilt Infatuation,
It's a Small Town Life, and Quilt Fabrication.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Wise Words, Mellow Sunday Doings

                       Image result for noble lovely and true

I've had this in my online notebook for quite a long time.
I don't pick a resolution or a word for the year- usually. But I will keep rereading this as a reminder of how to cope sometimes. This saying represents the deliberate turning away from the awfulness and bad news we seem to be bombarded with these days. Choosing to focus on and keep enjoying the wonderful, the sweet, the unique, the pretty, no matter how small is how I aim to keep it because there is still good in the world; we must never lose sight of that.   According to how old this verse is, it's a reminder we have always needed.
And it's one of the reasons I joined Not Afraid of Color for the Thursday I Like posts celebrating the little and the large in our days to enjoy.

I'm having a mellow Sunday back home again. A weak winter sun is trying to fill the skies but it is bright nonetheless.
Just added this lovely cello piece to my YouTube music list. I find a cello sound a haunting sound.

Allie at  Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life has been drawing and embroidering very sweet little designs and offering them for free at the Allie Oops Design Facebook Group.  Each has an inspirational message, for instance Block 2 is be healed.  Check it out.

In line with doing our own tiny things for the environment-- are you familiar with Arne and Carlos, the two knitting Norwegians? I had their book about how to knit Christmas ball decorations from the library a few years ago and there is a YouTube video of that too.
                                     Related image
  Anyway, they have made a video of how to knit a tote bag for grocery shopping. More and more stores here are wanting you to bring your own bags and praise be, I'm actually starting to remember to bring mine in from the car!  These guys are amusing.

On the wall- my Bonhommes en Chapeaux 
Still have a few more bits to add and I keep auditioning fabrics to use for borders- with multicoloured polka dots on that background there is a lot of choice.  I'm a little hampered too because my tendancy is to use just scraps for all of this.  Cutting into a fat quarter for just a tiny bit is hard for me to do.

More hand stitching, dog walking and a treat of takeout Indian food for idea of a perfect day.  Would it be yours too?
Also perfect is linking up with Kathy's Quilts, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Sew Can She, Cooking Up Quilts, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkFree Motion by the River and Love Laugh Quilt.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Daughter's Pretties, Rex and I

This Thursday finds me somewhere different. I am at older daughter's house, about 30 minute's drive away,  staying with my teenaged grandson while she is away on holiday. I love her little cottagey house and shared a few photos last year when I did the same thing. You can read my post about that here.  She has a real eye for surrounding herself with things that spark joy I would have to say. :)

Looking out at her back yard. Her large stained glass hanging looks like a quilt pattern to me. I think of the propeller pattern and in particular, it reminds me of Karen's Retro Air Space Propeller quilt.

I really should get her to shop with me for the wooden house.
I've always liked this chicken proudly holding her sunflowers.
And here is my work set up while I'm here in the little den.
Note my travel lamp...yes an Ott table top lamp I bought at Costco for $39. No I don't get any renumeration for praising those lamps. :)  You can see all the specs on it here.  A handy USB port and pretty white leather like look.
  Daughter has these pretty pale aqua and white painted side tables around this room.

I brought two projects with me, the cross stitch one and the second Kim McLean applique block to hand quilt.  While grandson is in school during the day, I have been peacefully stitching and have made real progress on both. 
Below another chicken and that little star lamp is sweet.

And a close up of that tea dyed cross stitch piece. Cute, heh.

This is a small house but has huge windows so the light is amazing. Perhaps because the original and only owner, Margaret who had the house built, was an artist.  She was well known in this little town because people saw her walking her Dalmatian every day. She also had a cat and lived here till her passing in her mid eighties.  As soon as Daughter and I walked in, we got a good feeling-funny how some houses just seem to do that.  I still love hanging out here.

Of course, I'm missing Hubby and the fur babies. Speaking of which here is Rex who is my shadow photo bombing when Hubby was trying to take a picture a couple of weeks ago.  We were trying to get that quilted panel in and he would not move.

Yes, he is certainly my loyal companion and I love him.  And I'll be home tomorrow evening with him and Miss Murphy.

Happy Thursday all. 
With the elimination of Google Plus, all those comments have disappeared. But I did read them all before that happened, so thank you all for dropping by!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Free Patterns, Stitching And Feeding the Birds

Happy February to all!
Half way through the winter and the sun on our backs this morning had real warmth to it despite the freezing air temperature.
Here is the February block for A Patchwork Year called Forget Me Not, designed by the wonderful Kathy Schmitz.

Hubby has just had to use one of his favourite toys, the snow tractor/blower. ☺

A little update on my Cornwall Cottage Sampler, designed by Karen Kluba for Rosewood Manor.  It is large at 294 x 294 stitches, 2 strands on 32 count linen.  It features a border of half quaker motifs...a pleasure to stitch. Click here to check out some free charts from Karen.

The beginning in January 2017.

Stitching on the veranda in the summer of 2017.  Oh how I liked that.

The purchase of this Ott light greatly helped these old eyes with the counting.

Present day; its' time has come to be finished. I took a hard look at it and decided to make this my OMG for February over at Elm Street Quilts...not to be completely done, nooo, but to have all the quaker motifs stitched. I think I can do that as they are my favourite to stitch.
And with that in mind I am also joining the SAL at  Sewing Beside the Sea, a stitch along designed to give encouragement to get a started project moved along or finished or to work on a new one. Perfect for me.
And here are all the stitchers taking part so far. Perhaps you'd like to check out Avis' blog and read more about it.  Meanwhile there are wonderful projects being stitched by these ladies...take a look.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelen,StephLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherineDeborahConnieClare, Mary MargaretReneeJenny,CarmelaJocelyn

  How do these little mites survive in such frigid temperatures!  Here are a couple of American Goldfinches with a chickadee coming in for a landing during the last heavy snowfall. Taken from my window and closely cropped.

On this February Sunday I will be filling the feeders as well as stiching. Take care out there; this polar vortex thing is serious stuff. And likewise, enjoy your warmth but stay cool my friends in the southern hemisphere.
Always appreciated: joining the slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. Also meeting up with the folks at Viewing Nature With Eileen, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, and Pretty Piney.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Shoe Box Quilting, Strings, and Finishes

Whenever one of us laments the doing of nothing and the passing of a morning with not an iota of work to show for it, the other will remind him/her this is what retirement is about. I didn't know Hubby in his work life, but I can tell he was focused and hard working. He has earned the right to sit back and let time run away some mornings. And he is less than half a year away from 80 which probably earns him extra resting rights. ☺

No Guilt-Just Quilt

Snow and more snow. I'm reading blogs where many of you are talking about snow, namely how much we seem to be getting this year.  Stitchers and snow days seem to go together.  Working on a project is the perfect way to pass a bad weather day.
 I have a mental picture of you swaddled in comfy clothes, in pet chairs, a cup of some hot beverage at hand's reach, stitching away all the while snow flakes are flying past the window.
 Likewise, I imagine my friends in the Southern Hemisphere in light summer clothes, fanning yourself on a veranda, sipping something with ice floating in it. Lucky dogs either way!

A little good news relating to us sewists.
 After much research, the folks at Aurifil have chosen to link with The Plastic Bank, a social action group headquartered in Canada that works at cleaning up the oceans, specifically the removal of plastic.  As a result of their contribution, Aurifil is now a plastic neutral company.  You can read about it here...Aurifil Auribuzz ..  Meanwhile I didn't know Aurifil was producing 6 strand embroidery floss available in all 270 of their colours.
Image result for aurifil 6 strand thread

When I looked through my totes last week, I have strings it seems. I guess you needn't be quilting long to build up a pile.  I've filled a number of shoe boxes with various sized remnants. Sorting required!

After sizing them up, I seemed to have a lot in blues, probably thanks to a couple of Hubby's old shirts. I remember sewing a few of these wonky log cabin type blocks back years ago and tucking them away.  A bit of digging unearthed that small pile and also one lap sized quilt already sewn together. Forgotten.

I was giving my small sewing machine a little tuneup and wanted to try it out so I stitched this many blocks in the style of the former blocks on impulse. It's really fun to sew like that...the result is abstract and interesting though out of my comfort zone.  I wonder will I bring this to some kind of finished state this winter.

So Next Christmas It Is Then
I am so glad to have been able to meet my Elm Street Quilts OMG for January. Both of my stated goals are completed.  The OMG deadline got me through this Scandinavian Christmas piece.  After getting sidelined with the blocks above, I made myself switch to stitching the binding on this piece right at the last minute almost. Of course, now I'm jubilant this is finished.  And happy my hand stitching and quilting held up throughout all the mauling.

I am liking a new to me author recommended by a friend.  Rachel Cusk  I'm intrigued by her style of writing and am halfway through reading Outline as an ebook from the library.  It's the most interesting writing I've read in a while.

                                               Image result for rachel cusk outline

I've been shovelling every day keeping pace with the snowfall.  All good; I'm being real careful with how I'm handling it.
Hope you are staying warm and safe or cool and safe where ever you are!
As always linking up with Not Afraid of Color and other folks finding lots of things to like on a Thursday. Joining the linky parties at My Quilt InfatuationFree Motion By the River, Em's ScrapbagQuilt Fabrication, and Esther's Quilt Blog.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Konmari Method, Bow Ties, Glorious Applique

I shared a little about Marie Kondo, the decluttering expert, a while back... I was rather taken with her question does an object give you joy implying that objects can, in fact, spark joy in us.  As someone who lost all her objects and was told at the time by many, they're only things, this whole notion is interesting and actually has me rethinking just why I was so sad and still am about losing mere "things".
I own very few objects these days; my stitching stuff constitutes the most of my belongings. My closet almost doesn't is such a hodge podge of good items mixed with thrift store finds and is also pared down. (One woman wrote if she applied Marie's joyful query to decluttering her closet, all she'd have left are pyjama bottoms. )
 And as I write this clad in head to toe fleece (secondhand I might add), while maybe not joyful, it is definitely pleasurable to feel so cosy and warm. And as Marie encourages, feeling immense gratitude for what I've come to these days as well as for those objects around me I can still put my hand on.

Take a look out my window. This is a corner of the dog's fenced 3 acres. Snow squall warning today and the flakes are flying. It seems hard to photograph falling snow let alone flying snow though I think you get the picture. :)

But getting back to pursuing joy.  I  do get tremendous pleasure in sewing. Sometimes for these bigger projects, which I like more than little ones, my interest sags and I have to take myself in hand to get through. I never really give up on a project; they haunt me like little at some point I have to bring them to a sort of conclusion.   It  is difficult to admit anything I had the excitement to start is no longer worth my creative time and energy.
 However, sometimes I wish I could do just that. I think there are things that are truly past their time of being worthy of our efforts. What do you think?

Rex shows very little playfulness but one thing he seems to enjoy is getting towelled off after being out in rain or snow. He'll keep coming back for more rubbing and even runs about a little showing very rare friskiness.

One of my intentions was to work with wool again these winter months. To that end, I've decided to join the Attic 24 Sweet Pea CAL and ordered my wool pack from the Wool Warehouse who always offer wonderful service to Canada. This will be my third Attic 24 afghan. Aren't those colours sweet. These colours in this winter should defintely bring me joy. I've grown green peas, but never sweet peas.


Angie at Quilting on the Crescent has written a wonderful and very clear tutorial for a cute 3D bow tie block. This was one of my mother's favourite blocks many decades ago.
Claudia Vess's Halloween Bowtie block below can be found Here at Fave Quilts.  Love those fabrics.

                                          Image result for bow tie block

Quadruple bow ties I tracked down at the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog while looking for valentine blocks... sewn by Jodi and quilted by Jenny. I think the pattern is called Uncle Sam's Bowties.  Amazing how changing up or joining up blocks give a pattern a whole new look.

I've finished my Glorious Applique block with all the hand stitching I am going to do with it. I've set up the next block below to do the same.  This one a little more cumbersome to work with but hope to get a start this evening.  These are the designs of Kim McLean and I'd forgotten how bright and whimsical they are.
 Note to self: Remove all the freezer paper templates before beginning to stitch!

Hubby is out on the ski do going over our trails for walking.  I shovelled the front steps as soon as I saw the snow was slowing.
Our January is moving right along as we mark this last Sunday in 2019.
A joy always to link up with Kathy's QuiltsWhat a Hoot QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsSew Can She, Alycia Quilts and Bambi's Show and Tell.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Stitching The Winter Away

Only a small wind but a biting one is coniving to keep us indoors these days. It is dropping the temperature to extreme below zero numbers.  I shovelled the front steps with my face covering balaclava on and doubled my mittens but my fingers still burned with the cold by the time I was done.  Fortunately, the forecast is for a break soon, one that will involve freezing rain.
 It is not only above the fiftieth parallel that life requires fortitude to live. LOL

 As long as I don't have to drive in it, I say.
That sums up how I basically feel about bad weather. All this snow and ice is a good excuse to stay inside and putter and catch up on reading, Pinterest and stitching, is the way my brain computes it.  Hubby too, has been spending time in his work area of the basement, getting some small jobs cleared off his work bench.  The real weather discontents in our family are the dogs. Walks have been shortened as Murphy, especially, gets cold feet and bitterly protests wearing shoes, silly girl.

Here she is hogging the heat at the farm back in 2014.

Part of our preparedness is having our Aladdin Lamps ready in case we lose the power. So far, there's not been a flicker.

I do this now.
Chop all the things to make a large salad, cover with saran wrap and use over a couple of days.  It all keeps well and a salad is ready to go.

Karen at Quilts....Etc. shared her Instant Pot Cheesecake which looked delicious and got me thinking.  Can my slow cooker make cheesecake? I looked it up and why yes, it can! Duly noted! I love my food treats and am thankful to still have a good appetite.
Karen also, besides her beautiful quilting, has been sharing her organization of scraps, strings, etc. So neat and tidy. Check it out. Mine are a jumbled mess.

Meanwhile I made another large batch of these Robin Hood Flour Bran Muffins; I added dates, almonds and craisins to mine. Maybe that's why they didn't rise like they should have, but boy, they are really moist and tasty. And go well with cheese.

 I loved watching this little video below.
The very artsy/elegant and expensive Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada uses all locally crafted items including quilts sewn by local women on the beds.  I was delighted to see the quilts were not like the highfaluting ones being made nowadays, but instead mostly simpler versions like what our grandmothers made.

So would you rather sew than eat?
They embroider their names on the quilt labels and I can imagine what fun it must be to think that Oprah or Gwenyth Paltrow or the prime minister slept under your quilt!

Thanks to all the indoor time, I'm making headway on the center basket of my Cornwall Cottage Sampler.  Did I realize how big this was when I started, I wonder. It is taking me well into my retirement. :)

But then it's hard to finish what you're not working on, as the saying goes.
Because I continue to juggle a number of WIPs.  I've been laying some hand quilting stitches on one of my Kim McLean Glorious Applique blocks.  I'm using the hera marker for this and it's working well on this particular white fabric.

Glorious colours too- to work with on dull winter days.
Happily linking with Not Afraid of Color for lots of Thursday Likes.
Also linking this post with Super Mom No CapeBrian's Home BlogThe Needle and Thread NetworkSew Fresh QuiltsWendy's Quilts and More,  The Inquiring Quilter and My Quilt Infatuation.