Sunday, 11 November 2018

Special Sunday and Stitching Dreams

I get goosebumps just thinking about war and especially reading all the stories that keep emerging about those times.
Soldiers Embroider for Therapy   This is an interesting story sent to me by a friend through Facebook (thank you Lillian!).  I've read about soldiers knitting as therapy but had not heard of embroidering before.  It looks to me like counted cross stitch. I can only hope that working like this with needle and thread soothed them somewhat after the horrors they endured during trench warfare in World War I.

To commemmorate the 100th anniversary of that war's ending,  the bells will ring at sunset across Canada today beginning in Newfoundland at 4:29.  At 4:37 our time, when we walk the dogs, I intend to ring a set of sleigh bells.  Here in our little forest, perhaps only the chickadees and foxes will hear them. ✻We will always remember their scacrifice.✻

While not giving me goosebumps, Santas make me happy.
  I've had this idea in my notebook for a few years! I came across it at  Gazette 94. (My head is so easily turned when it comes to stitching things.) What do you think of it?  Of course, it's a given that it would take some years to complete.
 It's really no joke now that a few of my projects will take me into my 70's but, make no mistake, I'll be thankful of it too.

This is an excellent article- 25 Quilting Tips From Kim Diehl  posted by Jenny Wilder Cardon which I read and realized we don't need to be told so much as reminded of things. Some interesting short cuts mentioned- if only I could remember them when I'm actually at the machine.

I mentioned in my last post that snowmen are on my mind.  I've been looking through my Chuck Nohara book, 2001 Nouveaux Modeles de Patchwork from Quiltmania, and just love her interpretation of snowmen. That book is quite a resource and worth every penny of its expensive price tag, imo.

I think I will photocopy some of the designs today and see where it takes me.

Meanwhile I'm stitching a couple more of my birds on the Kim McLean Pot of Flowers bottom banner.  These Kaffe prints are like working with one of those large Crayola boxes of 120 crayons.  So many lovely colours to choose from. 

Here is yet another fabulous use of Kaffe fabrics the other day posted by the wonderful quilter, Preeti, at Sew Preeti Quilts.
The House By Kaffe design made by Denise Kruz.

                             Image result for the house that Kaffe built

Here is a link to just one of the many free School House patterns you can find -Quilters Cache. It's interesting to see a vintage pattern turned all shiny and new with the use of modern fabrics.

So on this Remembrance Day Sunday, hope all is peaceful in your world.  Though frosty, the sun is shining here...a most welcome sight.

Linking this post with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh QuiltBusy Hands QuiltsKatie Mae Quilts, and Em's Scrapbag.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Fabric Shopping, Good News Stories

Hello from the land of Flying Leaves! 

This is Portsmouth by Minick and Simpson for Moda.  I bought a fat quarter bundle on special at The Fat Quarter Shop and I just love the quality and colours. Some of the pieces have a very chintzy look that I like.  Perhaps for the Dear Daughter Quilt; btw that block of the month is still continuing at Sentimental Stitches and you can download 4 patterns a month for free.  Or perhaps the mighty Caswell Quilt...I have the patterns for that as well...Daughter gave me the set last Christmas.  Dreaming here!

Wish I'd taken a photo on that one sunny day!
Image result for portsmouth fabric moda

It's a good thing I love her!

Where does Murphy choose to lie in the Sewing Room?  Right on my FLower Pot pattern I'd lain on the floor.  They are very large and flimsy pieces but fortunately, she caused just the one tear there you can see. 

Just prior to the last big loss of leaves we were fortunate to spy our barred owl again.  This time it seemed to be snoozing and I took several photos before it opened its eyes to look at us.   Not so fortunately, on a walk last week, we watched a flock of crows very noisily drive off an owl to a distance way out of sight.  We assume it to be this guy and really hope it will return.

What the World Needs Now
This is a wonderful story.  Muslims in Toronto, Ontario form protective Rings of Peace around Jewish synagogues to show support after the Pittsburgh tragedy. Huffington Post has the whole "good news" story.

And this story too.
This gave me goosebumps! How did a thank you wreath of crocheted poppies from Australia wind up on a war memorial in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Here is the story.

Scroll through these quilts The 2018 Winners in Quilts: A World of Beauty at the International Quilt Show if you want inspiration.  I had to smile when I looked at this gorgeous lacey looking one, a winner for machine stitching...

thinking of my time at the machine last week making a simple circle around a pumpkin!

Deep into fall now and my mind is starting to think more of winter stitching. Specifically  I'm thinking of snowmen so I have a couple of things to show you.  See what you think.

Meanwhile happily linking with Not Afraid of Color and Brian's Home Blog.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Mother Trees, Free Patterns, Stitching

This is one of the Mother trees on this property.  Surviving for over a hundred years and still sending out leaves that turn this unique yellowish colour.  This is a side of the house where the basement exit is that I've never shown you either...there is my outside compost bin on the lower left.  This tree is visible from our bedroom window and produces quite a show all year round.  The woodpeckers love it and all the blackened limbs when snow laden are beautiful too.
After a short rainfall,the light was strange, illuminating, yet through the trees slightly foggy.  
I saw this idea on Jenny of Elefantz's blog and made a note to try it; the idea being to use Naan bread for mini pizzas. I kept the toppings pretty tame- pizza sauce, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  I've since seen them with a curried chicken topping which I think would be even better.  We really liked them but Hubby thought they didn't hold up well structurely (spoken like a true engineer!)..they became very soft in the middle but maybe that was the way I baked them.  Good eating just the same and so fast, just 8 minutes in the oven. Here is a "recipe" from Genius Kitchen for Naan Bread Pizzas.

I just thought this the cutest little thing and knew I had to share it because so many blogging friends are also cat lovers.
adorably tiny knitted parlor cat | the knitting space

The free knitting pattern is available from The Knitting Space; while there have a look around.  They have an archive of amazing patterns especially animal miniatures.

My latest redwork block finished last night... such wonderful antlers. I'd thought of doing daisies but worked French knots instead because I needed the practice. I think I have one more block left to do and then it will be decisions re borders, etc.

And as it turns out, I skipped quilting one of the pumpkins so must rectify that today.

Our cloudy fall continues...we had one day of sun, yesterday, which was wonderful, and now back to the rainy, gloomy stuff.  But all bright and cheerful inside here at the wooden house.
Have a good week all!

Always happy to link this post with Kathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework, Free Motion By the River, and The Needle and Thread Network.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Quilting Pumpkins, Reclaiming Books and November Loves

Happy November All!
This is the November block of Kathy Schmitz's A Patchwork Year...suitably a cornucopia to signify the American month of Thanksgiving. I loved stitching these.

It was a wet Halloween night but that didn't stop this little hunter from trick or treating at my door.  His costume came with a stuffed duck and raccoon. So thankful for grandsons!

You remember I love my floor lamp that is an Ott Lite.  I admit it is rather ugly -it was bought for function not beauty.

At the time I didn't realize they have several versions of floor lamps that are very attractive.  I've been looking at one for the living room. This is the Marietta OttLite floor lamp I came across in my searching.  We need more lamps in the main area and I think I'll buy this one.

                                                                   Image result for ott lite marietta

And right on the heels of talking of spending...
As you know, I have a thrifty side to me...though I hear my grandmother's voice whisper...penny wise and dollar foolish. Did anyone ever say that to you?
 Anyway, I am interested in ideas for reclaiming old books as we have quite a few here that made the move with us.  It is disheartening to read about how many old books get discarded in dumps each year.
I came across the idea of junk journaling on the internet and followed leads to the very creative sisters at  Roxy Creations who have tutorials on the subject.
This video shows a Golden Book turned into a Bird Journal...really neat.

  I thought it was such a great idea, I set about making one such reclaimed book following their tutorial.  There is nothing like the hard covers for sturdiness.  Though I can never have the creativity to make such wonderful page displays, I like the idea of bringing so much of my blog/stitching stuff together between just two covers, instead of now on scraps of paper and myriad little notebooks scattered about. ** Update: You know what, with moving my sewing room, this project has been put aside for the time being but I'd love to know if anyone else sets about to do this.

Murphy is not impressed with the poinsettia there that lived in the garden all summer and is Christmas 2017 circa.  I am.  I think I'm supposed to be putting it in darkness now if I want those leaves to turn red but after babying it along I'm afraid I'll lose it.

I had to check back to see what exactly I had promised with my OMG over at Elm Street Quilts.    After a gazillion hand stitches around the thirty pumpkins, I've made it at least to the flimsy stage.   Yea!

I'm in the midst of quilting this using the free motion quilting foot on the machine.  I've gotten myself to a comfort level by holding onto the piece with my left hand and moving it with the added help of my right.  This is such simple stitching doing an outline of each pumpkin, I'm almost embarrassed to share it.  However, I like how they are turning out a bit puffy compared to the surrounding block.  No plan for a border as such; I'm just going to bring the beige backing around for a narrow edging- figure there is enough colour and stitching in the individual blocks to qualify as a finished piece.

So my stated November goal is to have this finished completely and also have my Scandinavian Redwork blocks to the flimsy stage.

Hope you are having a great start to a new month with so much in it to look forward to.
Also linking up with Not Afraid of ColorFree Motion By the RiverSew Fresh Quilts, Silly Mama QuiltsBrian's Home BlogEsther's Quilt BlogCrazy Mom Quilts and Quilt Fabrication.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Stitching on a Snowy Sunday

Last of Autumn photos.  Imagine my surprise to see this aster making a final show despite two brushings of snow. Everything else has succumbed to their pre-winter fate. Alas covered in 5 cm of snow this morning.

Meanwhile inside, pretty purples and pinks as well.  One of four appliqued birds for this panel of the Pot of Flowers. Pure fun making these.

And more fun sewing. Fingers flying trying to accomplish my OMG but also just want to have a pumpkin piece finish for the fall. My Blanket Stitch skills are getting quite a workout!

Watching this show has helped. Toni Collette is just a little bit wonderful in it and shows how maintaining long term happy relationships is just a little bit hard.

                               Image result for wanderlust

Should Not Eat Bees was the caption for this...taken at a vet's office.  Poor little pup.  It reminded me of the time something stun Murphy's mouth and she looked lop sided for a day. We couldn't help smiling every time we looked at her.

  Image may contain: dog

Checking Google can be scary.

I feel his pain as I had a tick scare last week.
 Found one on my torso, a black legged/deer tick-the one that carries Lyme disease...barely attached because I had no problem taking it out with tweezers.  It's left a little mark that I have been checking and it's disappearing now. It wasn't there when I had my shower earlier and I haven't had any symptoms so I assume I'm in the clear.
I think I got it carrying wood that day but with the dogs around too who knows.  We both practice care when walking...wear our high rubber boots year round and keep the trails trimmed because we know Ottawa is a high risk area for tick borne Lyme.
But it's genuinely scary to google Lyme gave me a real reason to not sleep that night.  Still uneasy.

Happy Halloween to all celebrating.
My Cheri Payne Sew Spooky piece from last year. Free patterns are still in the files over at the Cheri Friendship Facebook Group.

We don't get any trick or treaters here. I used to love dressing up in the old days to give out the treats.
But we do have a snowy Sunday morning and a plan to meet friends for lunch.  Hope you have something nice on the go too.
And it's always nice to link up with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt, and What a Hoot Quilts.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Shopping Loot, Stitching, Coffee- The Usual

I'd just read an article about why our ears and nose look bigger the older we get.  So it's not my imagination or some form of dysmorphia I'm experiencing! My nose really is bigger and this realization provided one of those moments where I thought oh fudge! because really who of us have ever thought, can't wait till I'm older and this too small nose of mine will grow bigger. According to this article,  Our Nose and Ears Continue to Grow as long as we live. Sadly, it's true but back to the gratefulness to be around for this thing to happen all the same!

I love monogramming in all its various forms.  I used to embroider my initials on the pocket of a plain blouse back in the day. Shades of Laverne! Doesn't Penny Marshall look pretty here?
Image result for laverne

  Jenny of ELEFANTZ has been offering a free alphabet pattern for a monthly pin cushion featuring her lovely versions of the letters.  H is below. Her posts are always an enjoyable read as well.

New to me   Rust Dyeing This kept popping up when searching for autumn coloured material till finally I took the time to read about it.  Very beautiful glowing colours are achieved with a little effort and ordinary materials, sometimes old nails!

                      Tea, Vinegar, and a little rust... cloth effects

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen  has the most interesting posts about dyeing/painting fabrics with a tea and vinegar mixture to give them these unique markings and colours.  It's a whole movement apparently and one some of you creative fabric types would enjoy checking out.

Loot of Late
With thoughts of colder weather, I gravitate toward the wooly sections of any store these days.
 I did buy that coat from Cabela's.  It is my fall coat presently but can also accommodate a nice thick turtleneck so could last a bit longer into our winter.  It's fairly light and comfortable and the toggles remind me of a coat I had when I was young. I've been using my Landsend purple paisley print scarf with it which has little rows of velvet trim.  Daughter thinks the colour suits me.

Another wooly I found at Value Village- a Talbots sweater that is loose and comfy and a soft mulberry colour.  I've been wearing this with pj bottoms watching t.v. in the basement.  Definitely worth the ten dollars.

I wish my camera captured the real colour here...a very pretty saphire blue and I found this one in the Banana Republic outlet store. I can wear turtlenecks...can you?  Cause I know not everyone can. Having a long skinny neck like me helps!

And this purchase from Bed Bath and Beyond...a little tired of the Keurig coffee pods which can't be beat for how convenient.  I did a little research and decided to try a coffee press, something I had way way back when I first became a coffee drinker.  This one, the Bonjour Monet French Press had good reviews and was available locally so I bought it and I'm liking it.  I love the design, however there is a tiny bit of work to actually making the coffee but I'm retired so time is not an issue now. The coffee is stronger than I'm used to so I've had a small learning arc to get the coffee/water ratio right for me. But it does seem like real coffee to me.  What is your preferred method for getting your morning's brew?

Here are The Grasshopper's four corner stone blocks.  These were a treat to hand stitch and a pattern that is pleasing for another project sometime.  When I uncover my machine, I'll start to sew these blocks together- she says with fingers crossed.

Do you remember the little cartoon devil and angel that used to sit on people's shoulders and give them opposing advice?  That could be me right now. I have one saying yes, get to it, finish Grasshopper now and don't forget the pumpkins! while the other little one is whispering, nah, Grasshopper can wait-it'll be there when you're ready for it; scandi redwork is almost done; pick out something else Christmasy to only live once and you love Christmas so much.
Is that floating around in your head too?  Conflicting thoughts about when/what to start or finish and feeling the love for Christmas and Christmasy things that builds this time of year??

We are sitting at -4 degrees C this morning so definitely nippy outside. How's the weather where you are?
Meanwhile so happy to link with Not Afraid of Color as always. Also joining Esther's Quilt Blog,
Free Motion By the RiverThe Needle and Thread NetworkSew Fresh Quilts, Busy Hands Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

My Sewing Room, October 2018

This week I moved my sewing room and am now situated at the back of the house a little removed from the main area I have shown you a couple of times.  The move was more taxing than I realized mainly because I had poked a lot of stuff in that relatively small space. Hubby helped and provided me with one of those wheelie carts.
  But I kind of didn't want him around all the time...he just might see how much sewing/stitching/knitting stuff I've accumulated. Can't have that, LOL.

I put my work table against the only window (but is large) which gives me a view of the back yard and very tall fir trees. I've already enjoyed watching various birds flitting about.

Almost all my fabric is now in one cabinet I bought at Canadian Tire on special and Hubby put together...

 One of the fun things about moving is unveiling things forgotten about and tucked away. I did not find any WIP's (thankfully) as some of you discover , but did find more fabric than I would have owned up to having on hand. I have my 6  t.b.q.'s/ To Be Quilted projects, organized on one shelf so now they can collectively haunt me.

Thank you all for the positive words you sent re my pumpkins. ☺  It seems like pumpkins are a favourite subject with many of us.  I'm just as excited about them and can't wait to have the hand stitching done so I can sew them together.  It's so nice when that feeling can see you through a project to the end.

Meanwhile, redwork Scandi Hare is wearing his Christmas sweater.  I've also begun appliqueing the bottom large block- 58 x 12 inches, of the Pot of Flowers.   It features four birds that I've got to the freezer paper stage now.  Btw, this is a great scrappy project because some of the pieces are very small and the large ones lend themselves quite well to combinations of fabrics. I can imagine these pattern pieces working with so many different colour ways.

I have a small spiral ham in the oven for our Sunday dinner. I plan to make roasted veggies with it. A throwback feeling to when I was young and there was always a special meal for Sundays. 
Something good on your menu today?  (BTW, Loot photos next time, I promise!)
Hope your October Sunday is a good one!

Happy to join the link up at Kathy's Quilts.  Lots of beautiful handwork to be seen there! Also joining the link parties at
 Quilting is More Fun Than Housework where Cynthia is proving that even tiny fabric bits add up- something that appeals to my frugal nature, 
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where Judy is making blocks inspired by a quilt hand sewn by a 7 year old in 1852!
Cooking Up Quilts where Beth just made the cutest blocks as a border to personalize her Santa Panel, 
What a Hoot Quilts where Lynette made the most beautiful window treatments for her bay windows-now that's sewing!