Thursday, 16 September 2021

Rule #5, She Keeps Walking, Tiny Scraps Autumn Table Topper, Blueberry Muffins

Rule #5 Keep walking...both physically and figuratively. I'm intrigued how the two are linked. The summer after I moved to Ontario was a very difficult one for me. I'd had difficult times before but it seemed nothing had prepared me for the new challenges I faced. Separations are never easy and it felt like new worries were being piled on top of old.  I would take my little Shuffle with my music in my ears and walk all over the small town I was living in.  I would walk fast and return to the house tired but calmer in my mind.  Gradually I realized this bodily movement was helping me more than just for exercise; it was moving me forward mentally somehow and my choices were clearer. It was during one of those walks that I knew I would forgive it all. 

One of my walkways these days...Neddy likes to chase a ball up through these trees.

Thank you all for the kind comments about my "photo shoot" in my last post.  I was laughing when I did it for a bit of fun. I'm almost a size larger on the bottom than the top (like my maternal grandmother) which used to be a challenge to clothe but not these days with being retired and dressing casually most/almost all my days.
Enjoyed watching the male and female cardinal that visited regularly all summer. Here at summer's end, the male is not as brightly coloured.
I liked capturing this Cedar Waxwing on the move; albeit a very bad photo. Love that mean bandit look he has going on.

I've worked on two smalls this week in between the two big quilt projects that are on the go.  I finished quilting that little EPP tabletopper I showed last post.
 I photographed it with the hydrangea blossom to show you how the cooler overnight temperatures affect the formerly very white flowers. I sewed a flat button over the center points and thanks for the suggestions on how to deal with that issue.
And at the start of September I had started another tiny scrappy project for the autumn. It began when I found a bag of tiny triangles (perhaps cut offs from the Tiny Triangle quilt) and realized the colours looked fallish to me.  Tiny and imperfect and definitely scrappy. 
This is a great little topper for under my plants which will be brought inside soon. I found a multi stripe piece for the backing that was big enough to bring forward for a border and luckily it had most all the colours of the triangles in it.
I decided to quilt it using little ties.

You are a real stitcher when, to take a break from your big projects, you sew little ones.  Isn't that the way that saying goes?

As Cunning As a Fox by Olesya Lebedenko  Pattern available in Quiltmania Magazine 145 Neat (is that a word anybody uses anymore?) colours!

When this arrived in my email, I knew I would have to pass on the information.  I'm sticking to my 2021 plan to not join any SAL's but this is very tempting. It's a sampler quilt, Twelve Days of Christmas, being offered by Nicola Dodd who is a designer behind CakeStand Quilts. That is a beautiful site, btw, to have a look through especially if you are fond of Tilda fabrics. 

Unique interpretation and beautiful fabrics. More information is here at Willow Cottage Crafts.

I have blueberries so I'm off to make Blueberry Muffins using an old church cookbook recipe. Anyone else love those old cookbooks?

Hope your week is going well!

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Rule #4, Shopping, Table Topper Almost Finish, Flosstube Love, Hanging On!

 Rule #4 Calm yourself. Stop dreaming up negative scenerios! You are safe and comfortable. Your children are safe and comfortable.  Shut down the negative thoughts! Give your mind a well deserved break from all the horrible imaginings! Anybody else identify with the middle of the night wandering thoughts that take a dark dive?? I'm determined to put a stop to it. 

Have you heard of Butter Denim?  I got out shopping last week at Winners and bought these jeans made of Butter Denim; I think the company is a number like 1822. This is me trying to model them for you, LOL. I always have to wear a top that more or less covers my bottom. 

They are so soft, and very stretchy and lightweight. I tried them on and had to buy them.  I'm not even a big jeans lover, but I can honestly say I love these. Have been wearing them every day since buying them. (Not affiliated in any way, just sharing something I like. 👍)

I enjoy Flosstube when I am stitching. Here is one of my favourite stitchers to listen to, Susan Standley at A Stitch in Time...she is very knowledgeable.  

So happy to be concentrating on A Year at Hawk Run Hollow for this month till the threads come for me to make my special birthday start. This is June's block, How Do I Love Thee, featuring a bride, groom and tiny church. The white of the church was stitched with silks, very soft...where it came from in my stash, I have no idea but so happy to get to use it up. 

 In my last post I shared  Lillyella's link to free templates to make a cute little EPP tabletopper.

Here is what I have done so far and I have to say, it is a sweet pattern and the options with it are endless.  As someone mentioned, it's a great chance to practice fussy cutting now for Halloween or use up scraps. This is smallish, just 10 inches across so stitches up quickly. 

 This one wasn't really Christmasy as I don't have much seasonal fabrics. And I'm not happy with how I wound up coping with the points all meeting in the center; I did sew it in two halves so they were relatively flat but a little askew. You can do better, I told myself. So I'm making another one, perhaps a little more of Christmas this time if I can find a Christmas green in the drawer.

I just have to share this photo of the last of the lilies to bloom and this guy hung on till last week though he didn't look as fresh as this by then. It is deep orange and I planted them because they remind me of pumpkins which I think are such  happy things. 

Here's to hanging on!!

Very happy to link with Kathy's QuiltsLife in PiecesApplique, Patchwork, QuiltingQuilt Paint Create, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework


Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Rule #3, Christmas EPP, Nespresso Coffee Love, Tumbling Blocks Stars Or Diamonds

 Rule #3 Stop putting things off. The day, hour, and minute has come!

And to celebrate this rule...

Christmas Stitching is fun stitching! Any seasonal stitching is fun I guess but I especially love having something Christmasy to work on.  This was a project from Nicole Young who is  Lillyella.

 Quite a few years ago, Nicole generously offered the EPP templates for free to make this pretty tabletopper and they are still available.  I pinned it to Pinterest in 2014 and kept meaning to try and make one. That day has come!  What a great little gift it will be. It was fun to look through my Christmas fabrics which didn't last long enough as I have so little of it. Anyway, this is a great little project if your turn has come to give EPP a try. 

Here is my beginning.  Not an auspicious start exactly. Just have the templates made and a few possible fabrics picked out. Including that extra large men's shirt I bought at Value Village as I thought it a perfect Christmas candy stripe.

And is there anything you have put off and now realize the day has come!

 Tumbling Block Stars is the name I have been told for my Tumbling Blocks EPP project. These photos are not highlighting the stars instead picking up the diamond rows. Whatever I call the blocks, the project is moving along nicely. Better yet I am still enjoying the hand stitching in making the blocks and sewing them together. Neddy was his usual helpful self for the floor photo shoot.

I have four major sections and still in the cardboards all.  It will be one of those projects where I can say, an enjoyable million hand stitches later...

In keeping with the time is now idea, we bought a Nespresso coffee machine and milk frother.  We'd been talking about this for years but being sensible waited for our Keurig to give out which it did last week. We are learning the names of the coffees and which are our favourites.

  I've also learned it has a decaffeinated choice and can froth almond milk too, not just regular milk which is good. It is like starting each day with an extra little treat!
A huge thank you to all who made suggestions for new scissors! It seems a lot of you enjoy your Fiskars and almost as many like Ginghers.  There were several suggestions for brands I'd never heard of so a little research is necessary, it would seem. I've been looking and will let you know soon which I've ordered.

I'll leave you with this fun photo. A Norther Harrier bird resting on a black bear asleep on a bale of hay! I guess with phones able to take such good photos, we will be seeing more and more remarkable nature photos. You can read more about it in this The Prince George Citizen article.

I wish I could get my body into the state of relaxation that bear has achieved!

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Rule #2, Quilters' Memory Match Game, Breakfast For Supper, Squishy Mail

While most are fading, the late summer flowers continue to blossom.  The Phlox, in these vivid pink hues, add such a pop of colour to the hedges.   

And here is my ancient apple basket with the indoor geraniums outdoors all summer. Some critter ate the blooms twice but, have to hand it to geraniums, they kept reblooming.

 I used to be so much more creative in my cooking and baking than I'm being these days. I thought of that when I went to make pancakes recently. I used to make crepes and turn them into a main dish when using savory items or a dessert with cream and berries. It's been a long time since I made them; I know I made them up at the old farm several times but not at all since moving here. The pancakes I made last night for our Breakfast for Supper meal used the simplest of recipes...Good Old Fashioned Pancakes. I did add blueberries.

Meanwhile I got mail and not just any mail, squishy mail.  Lovely fabrics from a new to me company, Elegante Virgule. Their specialty is Liberty fabrics but I warn you, don't go to their site unless you want to be sorely tempted (as my grandmother used to say).  These are Rifle Paper Company.

 The delivery was fast and they generously included a gift for me. Does "Wild Rose" appeal to you like it does to me?

I'm starting to collect fabrics for Jen Kingwell's Halo quilt.  I received the templates, acrylic ones, last week.  I'm treating myself instead making up cardboard patterns like I normally do.  Rule #1, 😀 I can't wait to give this pattern a try- more hand stitching ahead.

Rule #2 Do something creative every single day!

This is generally not that hard for me to achieve. How about for you?  I'm working on my various hobbies just about every day. There are a few of my favourites like my bit of writing, reading, needlework, photography. I like to think it keeps my mind active and as long as I am actively engaged in one of them, I don't feel like I'm wasting time. And like many of you say, going into the sewing room or looking forward to picking up your stitching can lift you out of a ho hum or bad mood or soothe you through trying hours. Which is not a small thing especially considering how the world news continues to be so grim. This definitely works for me. I'm really hoping my age won't affect this aspect of my enjoyment in life.

And one last know those kids memory games where you match up animals, here is a free one for quilters. You have to remember and match hidden quilt blocks and besides flexing your memory muscles, it gives you a chance to learn the names of the blocks. I've completed level 1. Here is the link to Jinny's Memory Match.

I have a ton of stuff to share. Can't wait to see you back here again soon!
Happy to link with Kathy's Quilts and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework


Thursday, 2 September 2021

Rule #1, Redwork, Spring Chicken Cake, Courthouse Steps

Well, was it you who stole August?  Where in the heck did it go?  Is it just me or are we in some kind of time vortex that is collapsing the hours and days. My head is back there in July somewhere.  Anyway, the calendar says it's September so I'll just have to go along. 

Here is the little poem that Kathy Schmitz included with this September redwork embroidery pattern below she called Woodland. I can't believe I stitched this set back in 2018-seems like only last year.

           "In autumn when the wind is up,

             I know the acorn's out its cup,

             For tis the wind that takes it out,

             And plants an oak somewhere about."   

                                      F. D. Sherman

Some of you asked about my birthday cake from daughter.  It was lemon and springy looking for the spring chicken that I am, :)  She made my favourite flower, white carnations, out of gumpaste. I'm a little disappointed as they didn't photograph as pretty as they were.

Light and lemony...delicious!

They were back together for my birthday party- the three amigos, Abbey, Neddy and Petey, and had a great play together. When we looked after them for a couple of weeks, we enjoyed them together so much and they are such loving dogs, we would happily dog sit them any time. Abbey has the most soulful eyes.

Look at all the steps! And a big thank you to Neddy who worked along with me trying to arrange them on the floor.

I didn't get a count before taking them up but there are now this many.

I've decided to write about 10 commands or rules for just me to start off my 70th year. Things to motivate or encourage me in my days to stay fit, active and engaged in my hobbies. There might be some shopping involved. Here is the first one and a much needed item for the lifelong thrifty, make do kind of person I have mostly been. 

Rule #1: Spend more on me... that sounds so selfish to write but after all, what am I waiting for! 

Like I said,  I am a long time thrifty person when it comes to treating myself. One of my enjoyments in life is to treat or indulge others but not myself. Can you identify?  I haunt thrift shops, sales, buy paperback rather than hard copy or borrow from the library. (Buying those Valdani threads for the Autumn Quakers cross stitch project was the start of this one.) Even in the sewing room, I find a particular pleasure in cutting up old shirts to reuse the fabric. Something I'm doing today that will make my life a little bit easier in that sewing room...I have terrible scissors for cutting fabric; I'm going to order a really good pair....Recommendations??? Not too big or too heavy.

As always linking with Not Afraid of Color. Also linking with Brian's Home BlogLife in the ScrapatchAlycia QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Birthday Milestone, August Quilting and Stitching Thoughts

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly 

Isn't it interesting how certain projects stir our creative side.  I hope you also experience that feeling of joy, little jabs of joy, when you see a design and know it would be something you would love to work on. 

Linda, The Texan Quilt Gal, felt that zing I'm sure when she saw Jen Kingwell's beautiful Wensleydale quilt featured on the cover of her latest book Quilt Recipes. Linda has made a lovely start on it so be sure to drop over and have a look. 

I have Quilt Lovely which I bought because I was taken with the quilt Jen named Glitter.  It is so like me to be drawn to blocks that have lots of pieces that would work well with hand piecing. And in looking through the book, I was also struck by the quilt she named Halo, so much so I've ordered the templates. I also love curves in quilt blocks and I hope I am better at forming them than when I made the Fans. More about Halo later.

When I saw this pretty design I knew I would share it with you. It reminds me of Dresdens. What is it about Art Gallery with all the free patterns they share! Their Look Books for each fabric line are so gorgeous to look through and dream about making. This one is called the Buenos Aires Quilt Block..

So many opportunities to showcase certain fabrics or colours.  Here is the link to the free PDF Download.

I did get to go through my cross stitching stash to choose another chart to begin as a birthday treat. That took mere minutes because I do not have that much on hand.  I chose Autumn Quakers by Rosewood Manor and I was happy to find the fabric, 28 count Cashel linen, I could use for it. I really like the plums and golds, autumnal colours used in this one.

 However, I do not have the threads but made the decision to indulge myself by ordering a curated Valdani Fibre bundle from a Canadian online shop Gitta's. So a new start is in the offing. Meanwhile, here is the progress on Fraktur Flowers

What I am listening to while stitching besides Floss tube....Lately this book called Three Martini Lunches at the Ritz about a brief relationship between poets, Anne (yet another clever Anne!) Sexton and Sylvia Plath. Both committed suicide later in life which is such a bleak notion to digest. However, what I would have given to have been a fly on the wall and listened to the conversations two such brilliant women would have had!  Their very influential work very much lives on. 

I'll leave you this week with this photo of me taken on my 70th birthday by one of the hydrangea bushes in front. This is the one I cut down to the ground two years ago; it grew back fine last year but has really flourished this summer with all our extreme heat. Technically, it's probably a tree now.

I hope there is some zing in your life, something that is giving you jabs of joy these final days of August, 2021. 

Linking up with Not Afraid of ColorKathy's Quilts and Life in the Scrapatch


Thursday, 19 August 2021

Links, Free Patterns, Sawtooth Stars, Delicious Black Forest Trifle

 It was a week of horrid muggy weather setting a dew point record.  I had a vague idea of what that meant but looked it up anyway. Muggy is what a high dew point means; in our case, very muggy.  Dew point is not something I ever had to concern myself with in Newfoundland. But that broke overnight on Saturday and the temperature went down to 10C so very refreshing on the morning walk with the dogs.

The last of the lilies coincided with the hostas in bloom which is happy news for the bumblebees. 

One of these days I must write down the day lilies that are here. They are so pretty and I do take them a bit for granted. The bird bath was busy during those hot days with American Robins, Chipping Sparrows and American Goldfinches being the major bathers. 
They play nice and give way for each to have their turn. 
And we were happy when the turkey parents brought by their young ones for us to meet. The dogs and I watched a turkey fly from its overnight roosting spot down in the deciduous forest. But it flew from a spot so high up I've since questioned if it was a turkey; am now thinking it was a heron as we have seen them at the pond. 
 More of the late summer plants are starting to bloom now, another sign the season is moving along.
Stitchy News

Joann's is now shipping worldwide. I always enjoyed a poke in the one across the border in Ogdensburg when we used to travel. I liked their prices on notions and the good specials they offered so it is fun to have online shopping an option. Link to Joann's here!
 I also came across this panel called Rebel Without a Claus that I thought very nice. Not all Santas look as sweet. It is the work of Mariam Bos for Dear Stella Designs. Aqua is still very popular this year.  Here is one link to an Etsy shop selling it.

Here is a free cross stitch chart from the talented and generous Teresa Kogut.  Kindness is Free Chart. Teresa shares many beautiful charts for free downloads on her blog. 
Teresa also paints (and quilts!) and in this video she shows step by step how to paint your own Earth Angel. 
 I would love to see you try your hand at cross stitching if you haven't done so already. It is the ultimate slow stitching, soothing kind of hand work with such wonderful results.  Here is a good article on the Mental Health Benefits of cross stitching. You don't need machines, gadgets, stash, a room (LOL), etc. in order to engage in this wonderful hobby. There are enough free charts offered online to occupy a lifetime of stitching. In particular, there has been a resurgence in stitching American and other country's samplers, a wonderful way to celebrate history. I've also found it entertaining to watch the Flosstube videos which I usually stitch to. 

 In the sewing room, I have the Sawtooth Stars back on the wall trying out different arrangements for piecing. This will be fun!
Before she left, daughter dropped off a wonderful dessert, Black Forest Trifle, which to say we enjoyed very much is putting it mildly. 

The combination of whipped cream, chocolate and real cherries was so good. Just writing about it now is making my mouth water. Here is a link to The Novice Chef's Easy Black Forest Trifle recipe.

On that delicious note, I'll leave you this Thursday.  Hope there is something tasty on your plate today.