Sunday, 30 April 2017

Slow Stitching and Baking Part 2

Last weekend I got to spend a few hours in the garden before the clouds moved in. It felt good to be back raking and checking out the growing things. I'd done a fair bit of work back in the fall so actually it was mostly looking pruned and tidy. Lots of greenery popping up but not much open yet which is a good thing because it is still very cool overnight.Daffodils must be the bravest of flowers.

I've seen so many of your lovely spring flowers it is nice to finally show a bit of colour up my way.

Here is Rex photo bombing my picture of them in the back yard, taken yesterday.


 I also spent time working on our big stone front steps.  During the winter a few edges lifted and others sank. This was satisfying work using a crowbar to hoist edges and place small rocks under to even out the surfaces. I thought the end result was well worth the effort.  But no doubt down the road we will need a mason to give it all a complete overall.

But this all cut into my stitching time!  I've been spoiled with not having many outside duties once the snow came.

My Tuesday's Flowers are moving along nicely.  Here are the last three I've finished.
I've become more relaxed with this project and I'm enjoying these last blocks a lot more.
 Getting kind words from you all has helped me feel encouraged, so thank you!

Still with papers and unpressed.
Block 1


Block 13-this one reminds me of certain types of clothes that look better on you than on the rack.  This is actually quite nice in person and shows much better than this photo of it. lol



And it got some extra embellishments in the form of blanket stitches around the center yellow leaves.



And Block 16 which is fusible appliqued so some slow stitching today making it pretty.




I've been loving my bread machine and used it this week to make Cinnamon Buns. I had bought Hot Cross Buns for Hubby during Easter which made me think I could make buns using the bread machine.  It has a dough setting which worked perfectly.

You'll notice this is not an exact rectangle. Nothing I do is perfect! In my house, the odd shaped cookie or bun belongs to the cook. lol



I have a tendency to over bake so I tried hard not to do that with these. But still I found them a little dry and in need of a big cup of tea to wash them down.

I will be happily linking to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework, the Needle and Thread Network  and Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Flowery One

Apparently there is a Flower Frenzy happening right now. And I'm not talking about anything to do with Kaffe Fassett though we all know how much he loves the flowers and how they have inspired all his work .

                    Photo from @kaffefassettstudio on Instagram by kaffefassettstudio

I just had to show you this.  It is Kaffe's needlepoint kit called Pink Peonies and it is available at Ehrman's.  Gorgeous. I did just needlepoint for a couple of decades of my life and I just may return to it at some point.


Photo from @kaffefassettstudio on Instagram by kaffefassettstudio

I came across the 'renewal of a flowers trend' when I borrowed an Instyle magazine from the library and it made such a big deal about how flowers were so "in" for clothing this spring.  For some of us they never go "out". I remember well my Laura Ashley skirts and I still love flowers in clothing.



Shakespeare mentioned over 200 flowers in his various plays so clearly flowers have been "in" for quite some time.
         
                                 

When I think of quilting and flowers, another name that comes to mind is Liberty of London fabrics which use flowers more than not as their sole motif.  And they are considered timeless and classic.
                     Related image

Purl Soho offers a wonderful kit called Little Peaks to make this wall hanging featuring Liberty prints.
                     

The kit includes absolutely everything you need to make it.  I like that.
                                           Little Peaks Quilt Bundle

I like how my hydrangea blossoms have made it through the long winter as a dried flower.


The bushes  bloomed beautifully last summer and I was so happy to read they would 'keep' inside in a bouquet.  And they did.


Now I did prune them back hard in the fall because that hadn't been done for a while.  I hope I didn't overdo.

Because summer is really going to happen this year...please tell me it is!!

Mug mat quilting is a great way to use up scraps and this little project featuring fussy cut flowers and log cabin pattern is especially suited to scraps.  This is a cute pattern I came across on Homespun Hearth but be forewarned...that site is teaming with tempting patterns, kits and what have you!

                                        a4347601f84e429c7ad54c05e577d73e.jpg (250×250):

 And in my garden this week...spring is trying valiantly to occur. Isn't it amazing how these little growths try to push through ice here literally to get to the sun.  What a delicate shade of green; I wonder what name could it be given- celery ?


Also in my garden

He's not a flower but his antics are delightful to me.  I like how this little red squirrel is so ambitious and  tenacious.  He tries this day after day and doesn't give up.  If only I had half his gumption...


If not flowers then I hope there is something else lovely in your day!

Join me in visiting LeeAnna's pretty Not Afraid of Color for lots of positive likes and Michelle's Thankful Thursday at It's A Small Town Life .

Monday, 24 April 2017

One Year Ago

Looking back one year

My Farmer's Wife Sampler journey was almost at an end. It had taken me through the fall and past the winter. I used freezer paper applique on about 50 of the blocks. I think I learned something new with each and every block I made. And I would do so much of it differently if I were to tackle it today.
  But meanwhile it is residing in a tote waiting for the quilting part.   I'd picked Spring on the Farm as my kind of theme so chose light and bright colours and fabrics. At this stage I was sewing the blocks into long strips trying to corral them somehow.  I'd used just the fabrics from my stash and scrap bin.


My crocheted hexagon project was underway.  Little did I know that it would be put away in a box for a few months with all the moving kerfuffle.


My Quilty 365 circles were mounting.  



And I was almost mid way through cross stitching my Floral Bouquet.


Rex, the German Shepherd had a health scare.  He had to have his spleen operated on for an infarction which healed quite well with no side effects or recurrence, thankfully.



And Hubby took this photo of me with the dogs in the field at the old place...but I didn't know then it would be the 'old' place. 



So much has happened in a year, but yet our lives are basically the same with the same daily routines.
This is so true, heh?

                       Image result for memory quotes

Sunday, 23 April 2017

My Leaves, Courtesy of a Gift

I have almost all my Tuesdays Flowers blocks completed and allowed myself to begin my newest project, Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Allie Oops. A very easy to follow design but very effective. And what a marvelous way to welcome spring.

                       
This is a small wall hanging consisting of 9 seven inch blocks and the pattern is available to purchase for download at Allie's shop Allie-oops Designs .

I was late starting as I told in a post that I did not have any of the spring green coloured fabrics like Allie had used.  A reader, Pat from New York state said she would send me some, so true to her word, several weeks later a package arrived in my mailbox from Pat.  She had completely nailed the colours and I happily set about making stems and leaves.






  So generous of Pat and no, she doesn't have a blog. I know she likes batiks so I will be responding in kind.

And to be getting into my pinks is a treat for me.  I'm using freezer paper applique method and it's all coming together seemingly quickly for hand stitching.




And speaking of pinks...here is a male Purple Finch enjoying sunflower seeds.  I've mentioned before that our Canadian birds are not usually brightly coloured so any change from greys and browns stands out.  This little fellow with his pretty hues is a treat to spy.


                                         Taken through my kitchen window.

I am linking this post to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts, and Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkLife as We Know It by Paula and Patchwork TImes.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Something You Have to See to Believe

I should show you where I am with my knitted scarves blanket.  I've finished three scarves and sewn them together; a fourth scarf is almost finished.  It was a relief to see this together and realize, yes it looks like a blanket (to be) and I like it.  It's destined for the spare room bed.




I used mattress stitch for joining the seams. This is a great little 3 minute video explaining how to do it.  I am so thankful for the resource that YouTube continues to be.


 Knitting is my evening project while I watch Netflix or Acorn. There are two likes in that sentence!

Daughter gave me an orchid for helping babysit grandson when she went away for a well deserved holiday.  This is my second Moth Orchid and I'd had great luck with the previous one I had; it kept blooming for a couple of years and I only lost it when I went on holiday.  I just loved that pretty pink orchid. So much beauty for so little maintenance.
My previous orchid...

  This one has the prettiest deep violet spots and lovely yellow accents.  I think for now I will do exactly what I did with the pink one.  Watering with 3 ice cubes a week and not giving any fertilizer.



Nature's Frozen Carvings

Speaking of water. This is definitely something you have to see to believe!!
 It is ice berg time in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The ice bergs break from the Greenland glaciers and two years of ocean floating later, they reach the coastline of Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada.

The varied shapes and sizes are astounding.

Image result for icebergs newfoundland 2017




This one below I've read is aground so will be there for quite a while.

Image result for icebergs in newfoundland

Thousands of bergs pass through the area, what is now called Iceberg Alley and it is quite popular with the tourists, as it should be because they are the most remarkable sight. My friends are saying it is a bumper crop of icebergs this year.
So what do you make of this phenomena?  Would this be an amazing sight for your eyes?
Nature is amazing always to me.

I'll be linking this post with other lots of likes at  LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color and the loads of thankfulness to be found at Michelle's It's a Small Town Life.  I have also bravely linked to the Knitting Love party at Underground Crafter  and Patchwork Times On The Needles. Yikes what great knitting there!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Playing Around the Pond

Major changes have happened outside.  Last week the pond on the property looked like this. Still wrapped in snow and ice.  The heavy rains several weeks before caused it to flood its banks as well.



Now it is free of ice and snow and abuzz with lots of activity.  Frogs croaking, the peepers singing their bird like chirpy songs and birds of all description. It is miraculous really the transformation that a week has made. And water is certainly a pull for wildlife.


I spent a wonderful hour and half huddled at various sides taking photos.  Hubby thought he would have to send out a search party for me...he still remembers how I got lost on the last property. You can read my post about it titled Getting Lost Literally  if you have the time.

I took several photos of this grey squirrel, the only one I saw around the area; this was the cutest pose which he held for a surprisingly long time. The ground is still grey so he doesn't exactly stand out. What a tail!


We have seen a pair of ducks there for several days. Saturday I only saw the mallard and wondered if the female was on shore nest making. The male usually hangs close to the female. These are very wild and alarm easily (unlike ducks in city parks) so I had to take these photos with the long lens.




I watched lots of robins which we have in abundance here in Canada.



Watched four Phoebes tending two nests in that little garage you can see in the photo. I was interested because they didn't mind at all crossing paths. They seemed to be taking in food not nest materials so I think they must already have hatchlings.  From that vantage it gives them a perfect view of the large field the garage is facing so lots of bugs in the air for them and perhaps that is exactly why they are there.






They are a graceful upright kind of bird that so helpfully identifies itself by saying its own name.
I watched them flying low over the pond, making many quick short flights; no doubt wonderful insect hunting.


I went "over my boots"; got my feet soaking wet. But my time in the fresh air watching all the winged and furry things was worth it.



Hope there is something wonderful to watch but no soggy feet in your day!










Sunday, 16 April 2017

Stitching and Baking

 I say I should have called my blog The Imperfect Quilter.

Since retiring I am taking my quilting more seriously and trying ever so hard to get it right. In the process I've discovered I am not that great at straight lines and precise angles -abilities much needed in patchwork piecing. But I am learning to be more forgiving of my mistakes and imperfections and mainly because I've also discovered this.  When any piece is quilted, bound and hanging on the wall, the imperfections are not as glaring, even to me.

This was a good week for my Tuesday Flowers Project. So good I allowed myself to start my next little project which I will show soon.

I just love this block and loved piecing it.  I like it so much I'd like to make more of just this one sometime.  And if I got to practice it more I'd eventually make one just like the design!
When the papers come out, the block takes on a new look...a soft, quilty kind of look to it that is appealing.

Block 10 which gave me some fussy cutting practice.



Here is Block 13 in pieces.


And this is Block 15 getting its embellishments, a little herringbone stitch around the center circle and of course, blanket stitches because this one was fusible appliqued.




And from my kitchen, this treat for us.
I had some leftover buttermilk for pancakes so I made a batch of Buttermilk Raisin Scones.  Such a comfort type of food for me as I grew up with Mom making many variations of these biscuit type treats.

 I will say I cut them smaller than I normally would; I reminded myself that I'm supposed to be mindful of portion size right now.


And there is an old housewife's tip about buttermilk which I know Mom used.  If you don't have any on hand, stir a teaspoon of vinegar into a cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes and this results in a mixture that is very like buttermilk.

Find the easy to follow recipe here:- Canadian Living Finest Buttermilk Scones. I added one cup of raisins to the mixture.



So good with a bit of butter and a big mug of tea.


Wish you could join me!

And speaking of joining, today I am happily linking up with Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching Sunday post, designer Cynthia's Quilting is More Fun Than Housework blog, Patchwork Times, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Life As We Know It By Paula and BOMs Away At What a Hoot Quilts..