Thursday, 4 August 2022

Three Free Patterns, Wildlife, Jackrabbit Cross Stitching, Favourite Sun Block Cream

 So what do you think? Lining one of the tunnels for a nest perhaps? Update...I've been told he/she is probably storing food for the winter.

The three small groundhogs, the chucklings, seem to have disappeared. I read they move on to establish their own territory and I hope that is true. This bigger one is spotted in the front yards nowadays often tearing chunks of grass. I've read a lot about groundhogs/woodchucks and have enjoyed observing and photographing them up close. Mid summer amusement. 

I've also enjoyed a few calm early mornings laying stitches on my beautiful Jackrabbit. Ran into a hitch when I realized I don't have enough Gentle Art's Aged Pewter thread that is the lighter grey forming the diamond pattern-which is a bit tricky to stitch and I have to really pay attention to the counting. 

 I've put in an order to 123 Stitch.Com; they provide the quickest service. Of course a couple of other things wound up in the cart. :D

Our prompt from LeeAnna this week was what is our favourite sunscreen. A good question as it took me ages to find one that I could wear on my face. I wear any old thing on my arms and the backs of my hands but for my face I wanted something different. It couldn't stay white-ish or be too greasy but yet have a good sun protection number. I finally found this one and do like it. On my second container this summer.

 It combines a face cream with SPF30. So I'm very happy to share this with you. Very reasonably priced as well and found on  Amazon if you would like to check it out. 
*I am not affiliated with any of the companies, etc. I mention on this blog. 

BTW, Thank you all for the kind comments about my finish I shared in  the last post. Basket Case was a joy from start to finish!

Three Free On a Thursday

At Quilting Cubby you will find the tutorial on how to make this summery Diamond String quilt. I like how they've chosen a bright to be a constant throughout the project. Really sets it off.


Flutterby Effect from Live Art Gallery An amazing table runner with stars and big stitch quilting from The Wannabe Grandma. That would be Alexa and she has a great site to check out too. Sorry I couldn't upload a photo.  First link leads to the free pattern so you can see it for yourself. 

Easy stitching this one- Harvest Runner from Robert Kaufman Designs using gorgeous fall like batiks.

Kitty And Me Designs has some sweet free cross stitch designs. Like this one...thinking ahead to a little Halloween stitching.

Elegant Vine Applique with Yoko Saito, one of my heroes. Wow, so fast and yet even with the stitching. 
I miss applique and need to get a project prepped.  And I do have one in the queue, of course. A project found at Timeless Traditions called Sweet and Simple designed by the talented Norma Whaley. Can't wait to get this one started. I love the adorable designs and will have fun picking out fabric for this. 
Hope there is something fun, interesting and engaging in your day!

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Redworked Birds- Flight of Fancy, Basket Case Finish, Quartet in Autumn, Petey Posing

 I'd mentioned that I had to go out shopping.  That morning I stood in our closet completely stumped as to what to wear. I have a goodly amount of clothes so why it is such a chore sometimes to pick out a top and bottom is kind of ludicrous. I left and went to a window to look at the sky which told me nothing because I already knew it was very hot outside with the sun splitting the rocks, as we used to say at home. I decided to wear linen which is a difficult material but breezy.  I would sacrifice a wrinkle free appearance for comfort, I finally decided. 

Am I the only one who gets wracked by indecision in their own closet?? Perhaps I just don't go out enough anymore. Anyway, after successfully dressing myself, Thrifting was a huge success! I'll share the spoils soon.

Meanwhile, I had my OMG for July finished in the nick of time ( but not to post). It is soft and cozy and I had the thought that it would have made a wonderful lap quilt if I'd omitted the medallion center and made it a little larger.  Made a completely different quilt really is what I mean I guess, :D.  It is 43 x 43 so fairly large as is. Here is Basket Case in the last day of July 2022 sunshine, ghostly hands and all!  Michelle Ridgway basket pattern and inspiration!

So what's next up to be my August OMG?  I decided it is time for the Redworked Birds to get their day in the sunshine too.  Flight of Fancy by Crabapple Hill Studio. They've been patiently waiting for more than ten years now (!!). Definitely a UFO if age has anything to do with it. All backstitch embroidery.
 When I went to a fabric shop, that mottled ecru fabric is what the lady picked out for me and I didn't have the voice to say I didn't really care for it so bought it anyway. She thought it looked like sky so would suit a bird project. Pretty sure that would not happen to me now. At the time I was just here, new to this province and feeling a bit fragile. Stitching these birds gave me a lot of simple enjoyment and  actually grounded me so I have a soft spot for them. 
There are 12 of these embroidered 16 inch squares and I need to sew the 13 four patch blocks to alternate. I do remember why this project got shelved. The alternate blocks are reds in stripes and I had none of that kind of fabric at the time.  And I didn't have the wherewithall to know what to substitute instead.  I have the fabrics now to do justice to those alternating blocks.

I'll get that started this week and also take better photos to show you some of the embroidery. 

Reading this week is Quartet in Autumn by British novelist, Barbara Pym. I love her writing and am enjoying this one so much. It's about two spinsters and two bachelors who work in the same office for decades. She captures the everyday bits, the eccentric qualities of the four, and the overall abiding loneliness of their lives so well. And yet, not depressing just interesting. 

I'll leave you with this photo of Petey posing nicely. The three Labradors will be together again at the end of this week when Daughter and family take their annual trip to Newfoundland. Ned will be in heaven!
Take care all!

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Three Free Patterns, Kaffe Table Runner, Wheel Within a Wheel Progress, Me in the Garden

The deer have been around and gnawed down a couple of hosta plants; here they eat the same one and leave all the rest. 
I've finished the impromptu/squirrel project, the Kaffe Table Runner. It finished at 13 by 25 inches. I enjoyed the hand quilting part of this project and how it used up some very old scraps.
I decided, because it was geometrical, I would try some rounded edges for the quilting as contrast. Sharing with the Purple Party at So Scrappy.
I cut a cardboard template and used my hera tool to make the quilting lines. 
Then I cut down the template to make a smaller leaf.  I think it is enough and looks okay. 

I've been sorting and cutting pieces for more of the Wheel Within a Wheel blocks. I still don't have four completely together to show you the other "wheels" that go with them. These are big at 18 inch squares and I am really enjoying working with the colours and fabrics. 
LeeAnna's prompt this Thursday was to name a favourite piece of summer clothes.  I'll share this photo with you because I am wearing my favourite summer clothing item, my straw hat. This was taken August 26, 2018 a few days past my birthday. I know this because I posted it to Facebook to thank folks for the birthday wishes. Our front walkway and I'm puzzled why the hydrangeas are the odd colour they are and yet the yellow Ligularia are in bloom which only happens in August. 

 I don't go out without my hat in the summertime to the point now I feel naked without it. It was bought in a specialty shop where the owner makes hats...quite expensive at the time but I've certainly gotten my use of it and it is still as good as new. With my Vitiligo I am very sun shy. 
Perhaps you'd like to share what your favourite summer clothing is.??

Thursdays's Three (or Four) Free Patterns

Another of the pretty chandelier quilt patterns.

This combines two familiar blocks to create a beautiful effect. It is called Le Chandelier and the free pdf is Here. I found it at a site called I Love Quilting Forever and at their link you will find a variety of chandelier quilt patterns. 

This one below is called Picnic at Daybreak and the pattern is found at Moda's huge free pattern bank.  Link to this pattern! I chose it because I'm still in a red, white and blue plus baskets kind of mode. 

Here's a definite summer time pattern.  Ice Lollies to be found at the Craft With Cartwright site. Perfect stitching for these hot July days. 
I must admit I really like this one combining two loves. Link is here.
Loads and loads of stuff there to explore including this to check out for embroiderers.

Talented and generous Ruth is the lady behind this very dynamic site offering recipes, DIY ideas, etc. in addition to the stitchy stuff. Definitely worth checking out!

I'm going out thrifting this weekend and so looking forward to that. Wish me luck! And I hope there is something fun happening for each and every one of you too. 
Happy to link with For the Love of GeeseKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkQuilting Patchwork AppliqueSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt and My Quilt Infatuation.

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Four Favourite Things, Floral Motif Sampler Finish, Basket Case Near Finish

The Wooden House in July Showing Hydrangeas
 We had to set the alarm twice last week which is just so odd for us. One morning we had workers coming to work on concrete and stones and the other morning, we had a vet check up appointment for Ned.  He goes to the doctor more often than I do. Anyway, such is the life of the retired and grateful I am for every minute of it.

Four things I love in this photo tabletop Ott Lite, my Mama Bird mug which holds a lot of coffee or tea, my Morris bag which held my Floral Motif Sampler cross stitch project and my too pretty to write in Naturalist's Notebook.
That beautiful book, a gift from my sister, is a 5-Year Natural History Journal. It is perfect for the person who notices and likes to keep track of nature's happenings around them whether urban or rural. On my August birthday,  I intend to make a start in it. 
And the cross stitched Floral Motif Sampler is a finish now to finally share with you.
It is 15 by 19 inches and was begun January 21 as my New Year start. Begun on a stormy day with the world winter white I might add. 

Stitched two over two on 28 count Winter Moon Cashel linen.

Now to do, dig out The Jackrabbit and tiny handsewn needlebook to restart this one. 
On the Sewing Room table is Basket Case nearing the end of its journey.
 I have to choose a binding fabric. I checked back with Michelle and learned she had used a brown neutral so that gives me some ideas. Hopefully this will be finished this week too. 
 Cooler today, a nice break from the heat, and great walking weather. Ned already had a little chase after a deer down by the pond.  No leash this time to cause me issues. 
Join me if you can on Thursday when I will be sharing more free beauties. 

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Thursday's Three Free, Basket Case Hand Quilting, Favourite Kitchen Gadget, Critters

We are still in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures are reaching to the 30's every day and the heat alone without humidity doesn't bother me happily.  I'm just thankful we seem to be stuck at a tolerance level and not breaking records(yet!) like in England and parts of the U.S. 

The tiny peepers have given way to the green frogs and brown toads. I'm now hearing the distinctive rumble of a couple of bull frogs at the pond. 

This happens every year though I've yet to see either a peeper or a bullfrog. Just hear their sounds which I love to note.

We had fewer dragonflies this spring. One time I would have noted that with a bit of worry. Not now as I've noticed these creatures too seem to be somewhat cyclic in numbers from year to year. 

Last night I stitched more quilting lines on my Basket Case quilt. I'm outlining each basket and block in a variegated thread.

I love to see the pretty fabrics up close.
The giant basket was easy to quilt- that men's shirt fabric provided a natural grid.
But I am finding it a little warm on my lap so I'd like it to be ready to be bound and done this weekend.  It is my July OMG and this month is flying by. I just might be on track for a finish in time for once. 

This week, LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color is encouraging us to share our favourite kitchen gadget in this Thursday's post. 

I really like this one, my Danish Dough Whisk, and use it constantly for stirring and blending though rarely for actual dough. It works great on eggs, for instance. I like the comfortable wooden handle (no plastics) and how easy to clean it is. Daughter gave me this one and I looked it up. You can check it out for yourself here at Amazon.

I also love this apron I ordered from Simons. The range of purples are amazing. Aubergine and aubergines galore!
Perhaps you'd like to share your favourite kitchen gadget in a comment.

Thursday's Three Free-actually Four This Week

#1 Here Leanne at Devoted Quilter shares her free pattern called Tilted Flowers. She provides a very detailed and helpful tutorial for this as well. I just don't know how folks can write those things...kudos to you.

#2 From the clever folks at Quilting Daily comes this SAL, Free First Snow Block -First House As you know by now, I have a thing for house blocks and this one caught my eye. Love the little fussy cut appliques.

#3 Simple Simon and Company Is this your time to try Foundation Paper Piecing? I am definitely going to try a pineapple block using this method. There so happens to be a free pdf for that block and 9 others at that link. 10 Modern Foundation Paper Piecing Patterns To Make  The two sisters in law behind this site collated ten beautiful patterns and have links to the Foundation Paper Piecing history as well as a tutorial. Good Stuff!

And this time a #4... for my
cross stitching pals, I have to remind you that The Fat Quarter Shop has three pages of free downloadable cross stitch patterns from a variety of designers. All of them very cute, imo. 

Thank you for the kind words you send me through this thing called the net. I love communicating with you and while I don't have time to respond to all the comments all the time, I will answer all questions or queries, etc. 
Hope you are staying cool or toasty depending on your corner of this wonderful world. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Nature's Blossoms, Kaffe Tablerunner, 83rd Birthday, Family,

 First of all thanks for the words of encouragement for what I talked about last post. I heard from so many of you with similar and even more surprising stories regarding episodes of forgetfulness. Leaving the house can be an adventure for some of us!!! A few of you are concerned and some not at all. Kudos to you who have had the gumption to take the test. I guess misery does love company because those stories did make me feel better. And on an encouraging note, dementia research is huge right now so who knows what they will find in the knick of time to help us baby boomers. 

Nature is putting on a show around the property...

Our form of Swamp Milkweed is in bloom and enjoyed by ants, I noted. 

Creeping Buttercup with its elegant shape and yellow shades is all over the backyard shaded areas
and the electric blue/ purple Viper's Bugloss is brightening up the trails.
Our  walks early morning and the night air is not clearing out the humid feel from the day before. This doesn't encourage me to pick up my step but that's okay. I take the time to try to name the bird songs.  And the dogs enjoyed all the walkabouts.

 Yes, I said dog-s. We had Abbey and Petey here for the weekend while the family took an impromptu trip to see baseball games between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals in Toronto. They have decided this is the summer of adventures for them now all restrictions have been removed. Here is Robbie with SIL's friend who is in management with the Kansas City Royals AAA affiliate.

Before they left we got in a little party to celebrate Hubby's 83rd birthday! And his brain is still sharp as a tack! Chinese food and special cognac for toasting and a giant cake from daughter. More about that later.  It was fun. 
Robbie decided to stay over for a sleepover. He's a very easy guest, is not picky at all and brings his own things to amuse himself, mostly drawing supplies as he loves art. Here he is enjoying his morning boiled eggs. I love what he is wearing and want one. It is a Baby Yoda cosy fleecy top. 
I'm absolutely loving my stitching projects I have on the go at the moment! Moving from my Basket Case piece with its more traditional colours to the red, white and blue Wheel Within a Wheel blocks to this one below with its bright, cheerful fabrics is fun. 
I don't usually work with such vibrant colours. Someone once jokingly said Kaffe should give out sunglasses with his fabrics. :D
Speaking of which, the Kaffe runner layout got finalized and sandwiched up on Friday. With so many colours in these fabrics, it is easy to find a perle cotton that will match for a little hand quilting.
For the backing...This is the pretty fabric I decided not to cut further and use what I had left as is. With a couple of solid purples on each end, it fit perfectly.
That fabric for the binding was last used in a Halloween project. This was a block of the SAL, Sew Spooky, run by the Facebook group, Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group. It was fun to make these primitive style appliques.
This, as well as moving along those other two projects, is on my to do list for this week. 
Hope your week is fabulous and filled with enjoyable activities too.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Three Free Patterns, Chocolate Strawberry Cake, Kim's Flower Pots, Purples For July

I'm not feeling up to par this morning. Yesterday I turned my left ankle on a late afternoon walk (am I fit to leave the house anymore???) and it throbbed lightly in the night, enough to wake me around 2 and I didn't get back to sleep till 4 ish. Up at 6:30 per usual with Ned and relieved the ankle is a little sore but totally walkable. That's the good news.

And that aside, what bothered me is this... it didn't occur to me to get up and take a Tylenol. That link between feeling, thought and action was just absent, zero, zip, zilch, nadda as the Joker said. Because, though I don't take OTC drugs (or any drugs for that matter), I'm definitely not a martyr...I will take a Tylenol if I need it which I clearly did last night. Now I ask you, that loss of connections in the brain, is that not what Alzheimer's is all about. Was that a perfect example or what!  EEk! Thoughts??? ( For new readers, this is all pertinent because my 23andMe profiling showed I carry the gene for late onset Alzheimer's.)

Enough of that bit. Onwards and upwards, wobbly ankle, so so brain and all. Time to share some lovely Thursday things.

The indoor geraniums that were moved outside took a bit of a beating during the Deroche incident and subsequent heavy rainfalls. It looked a little bit ragged for a while but has bounced back which makes geraniums one of the most rugged of perennials. And the flowers are so pretty. 

I was happy to capture a couple of shots of a bird that is rather elusive though I hear its' very loud drumming on trees quite often. It was moving quickly from tree to tree so this is not the best of photos. The Woody of Woodpeckers, the Pileated.  Its' size, so much larger than the song birds, always thrills me. 
The latest cake from Daughter. Delicious with the fresh strawberry, cream and chocolate combination. Such a pretty presentation too.
A word or two about purple, July's colour as chosen by Angela at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  It's not a colour that comes naturally to me to either wear or stitch with. Though it just occurred to me I am wearing purple as I type this. 
This is a sleeveless sweater vest with cap sleeves older daughter gave me years ago and is useful for cool mornings. It is a deep plum kind of purple. HERE they say there are 80 shades of purple. Who knew!

Anyway, I thought about purple in the sewing room and remembered I had a few Kaffe prints left over  from an almost finished project, Kim McLean's  Flower Pots. That will be showing up soon as an OMG.  A portion below; I was doing hand quilting on it. Why I dropped it-haven't a clue. It was so close to a finish.

So I found the tote and pulled out a few of the prints that had purples, matched up a few solids and cut some triangles for a table runner. I don't know if you can tell what I'm trying there with having the prints run diagonally. Has this got a name? Does it work?
That's as far as I got yesterday and if I can keep my wits about me, I will work on it a little today.

 There are so many designers generously sharing free tutorials and patterns and their expertise, it is so easy to find three a week to pass along to you. 

#1 is from Tree House Textiles and called Stitching Sampler. I've already downloaded the PDF. Forgive me if I've shared this already.

#2 is  a page in quilting history namely  The Nancy Page Quilt Club
The real Florence La Ganke using a fictional Nancy offered free quilt patterns to newspaper readers in the late 20's and 30's, over the years, adding up to over 800. There is a wealth of  good information and inspiration to be found in those columns, not only in the main blocks but designs for borders, applique and embroidery included. It's well worth the digging about. Q is For Quilter offered a number of the patterns over the years, 

This site,, proved to be the best source for the columns that I could find. Hope you enjoy having a look about.

Great Minds Think Alike...Michelle at her blog Pennsylvania Piecemaker, which I love, btw, just shared a lovely Zinnia pattern from this same source, the Nancy Page Quilt Club.

#3 For a little hand stitching...10 Free Embroidery Patterns for Beginners from here, Sprucecrafts. So appropriate I found a strawberry...have eaten quite a few lately.

That's my Thursday Three Free and my bewailing all done. Thanks for the ear this morning. I already feel better for having "talked" about things.