Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Autumn and Applique

Sign of fall...the wild asters in blues and purples are in bloom.  So pretty dotting our trails.

And in the garden, the different kinds of sedum are showing their true fall colours...

On the stitching side of things, my brain has also switched seasons and is swirling with ideas for autumn and Christmas.

 Have you seen the lovely new quilt pattern called 101 Maple Street offered by Anne Sutton at Bunny Hill Designs.  I think if I lived on a Maple Street I would definitely have to make this and fit the number to suit. So pretty.  Or you could put any street name for that matter, duh.

Image result for bunny hill designs

Our Quilts By Cheri Friendship Group on Facebook keeps adding wonderful and free primitive style patterns and there is a pack of pumpkins being sewn up right now. Since Cheri's sad passing, the leader is Irma Vergara Sefers who is doing a marvelous job of updating the files and keeping alive the memory and quilting legacy of Cheri Payne.

                                         Love it- quilt by Cheri payne

Lynette Anderson has released a beautiful new line of fabric called Peacock Manor and these sweet blocks called Woodland Secrets made with it.  Check out her site at Lynette Anderson Designs.  Lynette favours the understated in her fabric designs and colours.

                            Woodland Secrets Blocks

I love her stitcheries and have done two BOM's by Lynette, In Full Bloom and Scandinavian Christmas.  This is one of a set for Christmas ornaments which is also very cute.
Meanwhile, I've been busy prepping some applique.

This project represents a huge departure for me.  I've never worked with fabric like this.  Yes it is the famous Kaffe fabrics provided in this kit, Kim McLean's Flower Pot, Hubby bought me a couple of years ago.

                                   Flower Pots Quilt 475x460

A site that celebrates her patterns is Glorious Applique and you can find tutorials and a list of amazing stitchers there.
 The fabrics and patterns are rather wild and so bright and I don't really know what to make of them.  Sometimes I love them and then other times they seem just crazy...what we called psychedelic in the late sixties. Perhaps if I was using a pattern that was more 'contained' I would enjoy them more.  I'm thinking of Kaffe's own pattern Hat Box which I like.

hatbox pattern, Kaffe fassett

What do you think?  I know Kaffe's work is astonishingly popular but yet not everyone's cup of tea.  I've been watching videos on YouTube of him speaking about his journey with knitting and needlepoint and the discovery of colours which is interesting.

On the sleeping issue, I've been practicing a military breathing technique that is working for me for now. I'm in about week 2 of sleeping through the night...just like a baby. :)
This Ted talk was helpful-
 I'm seeing my GP soon for my annual checkup and I don't know whether to mention the insomnia or not.
Meanwhile so many things to love, create,watch, eat, enjoy whatever the season where you are!
Love to link up and this time with  Not Afraid of Color,  Esther's Quilt BlogFree Motion By the River, and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Ugly Skin, Redwork and Composting

Have you ever done this?  Put aside a bunch of clothes to bring to the goodwill and then gone back to the bag later on and pulled out something and put it on?? I did that very thing recently.  The warm, humid weather continued last week and I don't have that many short sleeved blouses (because of my vitiligo) and I remembered one I'd put in that bag and went and got it.
Some days you just need short sleeves...ugly arms or not!  I'll be brave and show you what I'm talking about.

Sometimes when I leave the house, I've put a little coverup makeup over that right hand white spots because they are more pronounced than this photo shows.  But vanity is leaving me and I seem to be caring less and less about this stuff. I know this is a minuscule thing for someone fair as I am-not complaining just sharing. :)

I compost as much as possible here in the little woods.  I have a small bin I keep on the counter...very handy and unforgettable when I'm doing the vegetable peelings and choppings.

And then this gets emptied in the big bin at the back door.  It has to be watered and turned but other than that, works its own magic becoming a soil like mixture over the long winter.  Surprisingly this does not attract animals (that we know of!).

Recently I noticed just how much of my vegetables wound up in the compost and thought perhaps I could make some stock from them.  Of course, on the internet there is a video for that! Just like anything else you can dream up these days.  I've made lots of chicken stock but never tried the vegetable one before.

So I've started a baggie of vegetable pieces kept in the freezer of the fridge.  When I accumulate enough, I'm going to try to make vegetable stock and see how it goes.

And in my little sewing room, I'm attaching leaves, finishing up a border and starting a new applique project that I thought I would squeeze in before autumn starts in earnest.  Yes, No, No, YES (Reminds me of a Vicar of Dibley character!).
In my defense, the Grasshopper applique can't be stitched anywhere but in the sewing room as it's too big for the lap.  I need a couple of somethings for t.v. viewing and stitching.

So here is a photo of the prepped blocks for the Scandinavian Redwork project with thanks for all of you confirming DMC 321 for the Christmas stitching,btw.  Using this colouring book for embroidery patterns was on the list for last year, but I'm happy enough getting to it now.

Thanks to Zeena Shah for her lovely drawings.  And more about that other project peeking out there later.... glorious applique!

 Enjoying every minute of wonderful weather logging lots of garden time.  Hope you enjoy this photo I took of a waxwing, one of a flock down by the pond. His belly is such a pretty lemon colour. The light is changing daily, I notice.

Hope your Sunday is as sunny as this picture!
Happy as always to link this post with Kathy's Quilts and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Thursday Threads

Despite the continual muggy weather...which means high humidity, or perhaps because of it, the marigolds keep blooming in my pots.  What a hardy annual!

I promised you a link re stippling. I haven't tried it yet I confess. But  I will as soon as I am no longer mad busy.
 Stippling as a quilting technique is something that weirdly has evaded me. It looks like it should be so easy, brainless even but yet, I always sew myself into a corner or back track over sew lines without meaning to and it ends up being kind of ugly. I wonder is it saying something about my personality that I just can't meander.  This link is to a method that attaches a little organization to those squiggly lines perhaps just enough to work for someone like me. Anyway let me know what you think.

The Quilting Board-Paths to Better Stippling

Up Where He Does Not Belong

My blogging friend, Libby at Life on the Hill, was on a quilting cruise to Alaska! I'm so envious but happy for her -I have always wanted to do that cruise but loving seeing her photos and here is her post about the stitching part of that amazing trip.

I don't think I showed you my previous four Sarah Grasshopper blocks all finished!  A unique pattern with a lot of little pieces to hand stitch, but I actually enjoyed it.  The last block pattern has been released, a star but also one with many pieces...tiny eeek. However, this BOM has been such a pleasure to slow stitch I'm not complaining. (And it is not only the kitchen where Miss Murphy is underfoot!)

This is the most wonderful story of an injured condor being released after a long rehabilitation. He is surrounded by his vets, biologists and caretakers in this video who he kept looking back at. Condors are the largest flying bird in the world and an endangered one.  I had tears in my eyes watching this remarkable event.  While watching I kept thinking positive thoughts of what a wonderful world this is with people all over the globe caring about and looking after animals and birds.

I'll finish the thankful wonderful Thursday likes with another video.  The Queen's Welsh Guardsmen adding their tribute to Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, playing Respect outside Buckinham Palace.  And what a gift to this world she was!

Always happy to link with Not Afraid of Color and Brian's Home Blog.  Also Sew Fresh Quilts,  Esther's Quilt Blog, Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkEm's Scrapbag,
Crazy Mom Quilts and Quilt Fabrication where Halloween is creeping into the projects.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Christmas Red and Rock Recipe's Bakeapple Cheesecake

I had an unusual birthday cake this year. Daughter made me a Bakeapple Cheesecake.  Bakeapples are an orange shaded berry that grow in my home province, Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is called Cloudberry in Europe and grows in specific marsh-like areas. Because there is just one berry per stalk, they are not plentiful the way bush berries can be and make it a challenge to get a lot of them. And I can testify it is backbreaking work! Due to all this, they are expensive to buy.

But we love their unique flavour and prize them for jams especially.

But back to my cheesecake. She used Barry's recipe from Rock Recipes called "Just a Vanilla Cheesecake" and it was just delicious (and I've made and eaten a lot of cheesecakes).
By the way, Barry cooks and bakes and blogs about it from his kitchen in St.John's, Newfoundland and been successful enough to now have three cookbooks in print.

Whipped cream and marshmallow fluff for the birthday girl! So grateful!

I did not accomplish my OMG :( but that's okay. Things always seem to take me longer to finish than I think they will especially the hand stitching. I'm so close to finishing it though, I feel confident in saying this will be my OMG for September and will join the OMG link party at Patty's Elm Street Quilts.  I'm hand stitching the edging today and hopefully, Sew Laugh Love will be given a pat and put to bed!

I made such good progress on Grasshopper and had stitching of a more mundane nature that got done this month.  I've just begun prepping a project I'm calling Scandinavian Redwork for Christmas which I'm so happy about being the redwork lover that I am.  More about this to come.  I'm now thinking about the red floss to use for the embroidery though.  Christmas red as it should be but which one.??

Image result for DMC christmas red
Are we in agreement that 321 is the  DMC Christmas red?  Any other suggestions?

Btw, I've found a way to make some sense of stippling with machine quilting and will share that next time.
Happy Sunday everyone!

Linking this post with Kathy's Quilts where Kathy is running a photography challenge.
Also joining Sew Can She, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Love Laugh QuiltFree Motion By the RiverSilly Mama Quilts and Cooking Up Quilts.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

An App and An Owl For You

My iPad Pro is just a year old so I am new to the whole app phenomena. I do my 'work' on my 17 inch Acer laptop that is over 6 years old now and still works well for me. I love it.
 The iPad Pro I bought for myself as a fun thing has turned out to be just that...great fun.  I have downloaded a few free apps on it and one I love is called Flipboard.
 It reminds me of Pinterest but instead of images, you are sent articles curated from around the world.  And you can do a little survey at the start if you like so you can be forwarded items that suit your interests.  This has turned out to be the most marvelous resource for a wealth of information and interesting tidbits. I know online time often needs minimizing but I think this resource is a keeper. Yes, all kinds of stitching is found there too.
You can read more about Flipboard here.

One of my first posts from this property was about a barred owl I fact it was sitting in the laneway when we returned once from the cleanup at the old place.  I've seen one perhaps three times since. However, we have heard them calling many nights here so know there is more than one around.
 Recently, when I was walking the dogs, I caught sight of a flash of wings and there landing on a very high tree branch was a barred owl.  I set off home, dropped the dogs, grabbed my camera, wishing against hope the bird would still be there by the time I got back.  No it wasn't, but I heard blue jays squawking like crazy not far away and followed their racket.  And there was the owl sitting so high up I could hardly make it out.

It was quite serene and seemed to be looking down at me, not at all interested in the birds flying about and screeching. I positioned myself and the camera against some thin birches and took photos using the zoom fully extended which makes handling the camera so darn awkward-and wobbly.

Two things struck me.  One, just how big this bird is.  I looked it up after and they can be as much as 2 feet tall. He/she looked enormous to me especially with mostly song birds I see for comparison.  The other thing was how hard on my neck this was!  It really hurt to be staring straight up for even a short bit of time. I had to keep looking down even though I didn't want to take my eyes off it.
What a beauty! And so happy to have a photo for my records.

Speaking of birds, here are my two large Grasshopper fellows. ( I'm calling them Gertrude and Heathcliff -how many of you will get that reference, I wonder.)  Two tulips to go next and lots more leaves to sew on.  The last block will be released any day now. I think this will be an interesting piece once all put together.

Continued heat and sunshine so it is still veranda times.  And yes, I have the classic Greek female foot where the second toe is longer than the big toe.  Many of you have that odd little thing too??? About 25 % of us do and you can read more about it here. I must have mentioned a concern at some point because I remember Mom telling me it was a sign of intelligence and to forget about it. I had very supportive parents!

We sometimes have tea mid afternoon there like the civilized people we are, hubby would say. LOL

I'm hand stitching like crazy on my other project, the Sew Laugh Love, hoping to accomplish an OMG for a change. And eyeing new projects as these two are winding down. I'll be round to check out what you are doing.

Happily linking with Not Afraid of ColorEsther's Quilt BlogThe Needle and Thread Network, Busy Hands Quilts and Free Motion By the River,

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Sunday Enjoyments

Happy Sunday all.

This is one of the embroidered tea towels I found in a thrift shop several years ago.  There is a large Dutch population here in farming country and I imagine the set was worked by someone with that connection. Or perhaps not, for who doesn't love Dutch motifs. These are from 1940's patterns so are vintage. You can buy similar patterns made by Aunt Martha at Colonial Patterns.

I had saved this picture I found on Pinterest just because I thought the embroidery stitch was interesting. Note the tiny space between each tiny stitch like a wee running stitch. Also the edging seems to be a tiny running stitch. It gives an interesting overall look especially contrasting with the stem stitch used on the wool. It also reminded me of the pulled thread work my mother used to do years ago; I think she called it drawn work.

I could not find the stitcher's name unfortunately to give credit here for a piece I enjoy looking at.

Hubby took some photos of me in the garden. I'm just learning to take photos of what is growing where as a record. I've been doing my best to tame the weeds and going in the garden is like entering the sewing room.  I may not know what exactly I am going to do at first, but within minutes the hands are busy.

I began the hand quilting on my Sew Laugh Love piece last night. I'm using one of those Frixion pens to mark the guide and this one has a name I can't remember.  I'm such a novice, I didn't know these all came with names.  It's the top one there and sorry it's such a bad photo of the actual stitching.  I am actually happy with it.

This has been a very enjoyable project to stitch. I wonder what I can find like it to do next.  Any suggestions??

I enjoy bringing a little of the garden inside but not too much. The bees and butterflies need it more than I do.  Also enjoy this new Canada so many of you, I am fussy about a mug- for me can't be too heavy or thick and must be white inside.  What are your requirements for a favourite mug?

I hope your Sunday is chock-a-block with enjoyments too.

Also enjoying being able to link with Kathy's Quilts, Bambi's Show and Tell, Love Laugh Quilt, Em's Scrapbag and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Overwhelm Happens

I have been feeling nearly normal for almost a week. I credit it to getting more sleep after a terrible bout of continual insomnia.  I would like to know the cause. Is it my fearful, worrying and sometimes overactive brain that can't stop thinking of things past, present and future. Intellectually I know just what a waste of valuable time (when I could be getting much needed beauty sleep, LOL) such meanderings are!
 Like so many of you, I do possess a slim vein of creativity in me ...words, music, nature, architecture, art, fabric each and all stir me and make me want to get going making something, anything. This sometimes leads to frustration.  Whatever I write, make or do is not usually as wonderful as my idea or vision conjures it. And then disappointment enters into this cycle.
A phrase I read recently struck a chord- "overwhelm happens"( the way nowadays verbs are turned into nouns!). Since my days are so calm, peaceful and I think more or less productive, is it in the nights that the "overwhelm" happens. I don't know.

 As I was thinking about all this, I read a wonderful post shared by Caroline at Sew Can She about her journey coping with anxiety and depression.
And this one by Susan Biali published in Psychology Today which I found meaningful to me...A Little Weird? Blame Your Creative Brain.

Sorry about that big moan.  On to other things.

I have been chicken sitting while family were away. They are beautiful hens and we enjoyed the fresh eggs. They seemed to be happy to see me and would run towards me when I entered their cage. But they are such fluttery creatures... no petting.  Sigh

I have my Sew Laugh Love piece to the quilt sandwich stage. Choosing the border fabrics was easy with all those pretty colours throughout the piece. I will sew buttons on those blank spots when I'm done with the quilting. Since this is my OMG for August, I hope to work on that this weekend.

I have logged many hours on my Grasshopper project. More bias making and I have the two larger birds prepped plus the tulips. Appliqueing down each of the pieces on the huge center piece was tricky with the actual start the trickiest. Now things can begin to just line up.  I finished the latest four blocks, also hand sewing; there are just four more to go. Using a fabric collection has lessened my indecision about the choices so that has been a bonus and a major time saver.

I've spent enjoyable early morning hours in the garden. So much clearing out of now dead weeds and tidying. Watched some videos on how to divide various perennials that are overrunning their beds, notably the shasta daisies and all the day lilies.  Though the early drought and extreme heat took a toll on the lilies this year.

For My Records
 Into bloom now are the broad leafed goldenray- a favourite with the butterflies

The anemone plants- bees by the dozens always on them

the rudbeckia- I was trying to capture Mrs. Cardinal from my pet chair in the living room

the phlox (with a row of blue balloon plants just fading there in the background)

not sure what this one is, but the bees are drawn to it before it even opens

and the lavender hibiscus which also attracts the bees.

I'm pleased to have inherited such a bee and butterfly friendly garden. I mustn't forget the hummingbirds...have lots of those here too.

Hope you all are facing the day well rested. Are you?

Happy as always to link this post with Not Afraid of ColorEsther's Quilt BlogFree Motion By the RiverMy Quilt InfatuationBusy Hands Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts.