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 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 friends...do 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 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. 💓

Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Blizzards, Christmas Time, Finishing Quilts

 Thank you all for the well wishes leading up to our storm that yes indeed, we did get. There was snow and blowing snow, then rain which was really weird, then back to a blizzard like I'd never seen here in Ontario. 

And it kept up for over three days! 

We were fortunate to not have a power outage though lots of folks did. We did have a little drama when our propane tank ran dry...a computer glitch about refills at the company office, and they sent a chap out here at 10:30 at night to fill our tank. Thankfully the major roads were mostly cleared by then. The fellow that came was so nice, even stayed with Tony to make sure our furnace was working well before he left. I am unsure what to do in situations like that- to tip or not I mean. It being Christmas, we did and I was happy- he seemed surprised but then very grateful. 

It was a lovely Christmas with my tiny family insisting of coming here for the Christmas Eve present exchange so we didn't have to brave the weather. They brought the drinks and food, nibbling things and hors-d'oeuvres.  

Then the bigger gathering including in laws at Daughter's for the feast was the next day. This year's meal included seafood-crab and scallops. All so delicious. I overate and I topped it off by having two pieces of cake...I figured what the heck, it's my 71st Christmas! Daughter had made a deep chocolate cake with a candy cane marshmallow frosting. The combination was irresistible to me. Robbie even said to me I knew you were going to like that Nana. :D

Another shake up in the sewing room accompanied by the sound of wind howling outside the window. Again with the never ending scrap sorting.  This latest sorting by colours. About half way through here. On the upside I came across lots of scraps for the Pyramids and also more large enough for the Trees project.

 7
A review of Panama Pyramids- yes I have enough to proceed with sewing it all together. There are now 120 blocks done, all with EPP; that's a lot of tiny hand stitches. Am I completely mad, LOL. Here are the last three batches I finished, on the wall to see what they look like together. BTW, the original plan was to match these blocks to the monthly RSC but that fell by the wayside. 
I've chosen a yellow to alternate triangles with these. Though there are a number of Panama Pyramid quilts around the web using that colour, I will have to try it out to see if it works for me. 
Then I'd love to have those triangles all cut and ready to sew by machine this week. 

Ned is now allowed walks on the lead which is good for me. It's not as much fun to walk alone I found out. 
Thank you for all the lovely Christmas messages! I am so thankful for this wonderful supportive blogging community of ours! And you all enjoy this time now till the next big day. 
Linking up with Texas Quilt Gal and I'd like to thank Linda for her wonderful hosting of the To Do party. And a big thank you also to Carol at Quilt Schmilt who is taking over. 

Friday, 23 December 2022

Free Patterns, Storm Watch, Quilt Finish, Christmas Tradition, Chocolate Snowballs

Christmas is kind of taking a back seat here to the weather forecast. About which we can't say we haven't been warned!  It's everywhere; warnings even turned up on my phone which I didn't know could happen (I have the simplest of plans on a 6 year old phone).  Some folks have just gotten their power back from the last snow event and now we are told to stock up and be prepared for more possible outages. 

We have our oil lamps ready, plenty of wood for the stove insert in the fireplace, the bath tubs filled and a case of water in the house.  As it happens, when asked this year what we wanted for Christmas, we spoke of emergency supplies such as LED lamps and wind up radios as possible gifts. 

I have to run an errand for a family member and then I will turn on some Christmas music and settle in for a Christmas gift wrapping session, something I love to do. 

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was a favourite Christmas tradition. I'll share one that I used to do while my girls were growing up. Part of Newfoundland Christmas tradition is to have salt cod and potatoes on Christmas Eve. Because fishing was the main livelihood, it was a way to give thanks for it and I grew up with my parents carrying on that tradition even though no longer dependent on the sea for a living.   I always made seafood crepes for a special meal on Christmas Eve, just a little nod to that old custom.  I would make the crepes the day before- they keep well, and also have the mixture all made and ready to pop it all in the oven. My older daughter reminded me of this meal just the other day.  I'm glad she remembers it fondly. 

 Thursday things to share with you all. 
First up is Robbie's Quilt. It is 48 in x 50 in. which I found out was a perfect size for me to manage the hand quilting of but more importantly is a good lap size for a 9 year old.  It has just enough batting and quilting lines to make it a bit soft and squishy. And it definitely does not have a wave in the binding there on the right!
And the message on the back-
Hubby wasn't impressed with it while I thought it said everything. Now I'm second guessing it. 😦

Thursday's Three Free

From Susies- Scraps.Com comes the tutorial to make these string pot holders/trivets. They can be fashioned for any season of course. Susie has an abundance of patterns and tutorials on her site. I'm so happy she continues to share her talent and inspiration with us.

Kind Michelle at Michelle Palmer Art offers the free applique designs for these three lovely stockings.  

 Here is a link to Michelle's punch needle shop designs and Here to her lovely watercolor designs.

From Jo Avery, yet another sweet free pattern for A Mini Boris the Bear Portrait.

Do check out Jo's beautiful quilts too. Jo is part of the trio of talent behind The Thread House, another great site for quilters to check out.

And for my cross stitching friends, from the talented Liz Matthews' bank of freebies is this one I chose to share.  It's called Winter Celebration and there's that cardinal again. What a clever border too!  Hello From Liz Matthews is her web page and I enjoy her videos on YouTube too. 
Btw, Liz is the daughter of Kathy Barrick, the creator of Carriage House Samplings so talent obviously runs in that family.

My last and one of very few stitchy purchases of 2022 (I look back and realize I purchased very little sewing supplies this year not like I did during the Pandemic).  From Madame La Fee, Jour de Neige- Snow Day and oh how I loved those wintry days growing up and still do really (but not power outages!).  A little bit of nostalgia for me. 

I've got a hankering for Chocolate Snowballs.  I'll use the recipe here from Saltwater Daughters; being no bake they will be a great choice even if there is a power outage. And being mainly oat based rather than flour, are a good choice for us. 
Still on my own schedule it seems with the postings. All good just a bit busier than usual for me.
Hope you are all well, snug as bugs, or cool and collected where ever you live in this great world of ours. 

Also enjoying linking this post with Alycia Quilts and Kathy's Quilts.