Tuesday 30 January 2018

12 Happy Finishes in 2017!

For my records, I put together what I stitched/finished in 2017.  Some of these projects were begun in 2016 and finished in the new year.  Lots of happy stitching memories here.
Christmas fabrics bright against the white.

Trying to be cool-and modern looking with left over Christmas fabrics.

Shiny and Brite pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios. Loved the dancing pinwheels.

Crocheted Hexagon Throw Inspired by Jane Brocket. I spent a fortune on that Australian wool but it is superior.

My Quilty 365...a circle a day project. I loved doing this and remember Hubby saying those birds would be the size of  helicopters according to my scale.

"Strawberry Fields Forever"...my homage to the Beatles; I was 12 when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Using up scraps from the green bag and learning how to Matchstick quilt.

Knitted scarves blanket which is on my bed these days.

Cheri Payne's cute Sew Spooky pattern for Halloween.

Anyone remember the Tuesday's Flowers applique project? I joined the 20 blocks and they are waiting patiently in a tote to be quilted; I need a huge piece of batting as it became quite large with the sashings.

Loved embroidering Nicola Jarvis' kooky kind of bird.

Me going rogue with my own version of wonky Christmas trees.

My version of  Allie Oops pretty Tulips pattern. I got to finish those leaves with the help of an internet friend, Patricia.
I feel like I'm missing something.

 I am thankful my fingers can still work; however a little ironic as today my trigger finger on my left hand woke me up with its tiny but persistent ache.  Sort of a little reminder- exercise all you want, you're not getting away that easily.

Meanwhile my OMG for January was to get the Scandinavian Christmas project all hand quilted.  Valiant though my efforts were, I did not make it.  Close- have just the right outer row of hearts and snowflakes to do.

Hard to get a good photo...this is large and a bit heavy now.

The good news is that my interest has not lagged; I still enjoy the stitching on it and I can see it will at least get to the sashing stage soon.  So this OMG is carried over to February.  And I'm adding finishing two more of my A Patchwork Year blocks.
So happy stitching all!

Happily linking this post with Sew Can She,  Elm Street QuiltsFree Motion By the River, and  The Needle and Thread Network.

Sunday 28 January 2018

Stranger Sighting, Sunday Stitching

I have a mouth that remembers if there is a final bite of some food or other left on a plate and usually can't wait to get back to it.  Is there a name for that?  Am I the only one with a mouth like that??? That idea along with other equally silly ones just occurred to me today.
I don't think I'm crazy but with mostly just the two of us here it might take a little while before crazy would get noticed.

Stranger News
I had many of you concerned about the stranger tracks on our property.  As it happened on Thursday as I was unloading the groceries from the car, this man stepped out of the woods and called to me. He is our mysterious walker and had wanted to ask permission to cross our property but our barking dogs had scared him off.

We wound up having a good chat and it was just as I'd thought.  He is in his early 80's with heart and respiratory problems who as he put it "is walking for his life".  He lives in a house backing the property behind us and though he knew the elderly couple, had never once availed of their trail for walking till now. Our laneway provides a perfect circular route for him so of course, I said yes to his question about him using it.  So I know his name and his address and I guess that doesn't make him a stranger any more.  I hope it is not too late for the walking to help.

Through my kitchen window...
I also had another stranger...this one a feathered fellow.  The squirrels have been overtaking the feeders and getting a little worrisome actually. I watched the black, gray and small red ones all vying for their turns Friday morning. Glancing out a little later, they had all disappeared. Searching about I spied why.  Sitting in the tree above the feeders was this fellow...

He kept looking up and I wondered why.

After sitting for a bit, he too disappeared and the second he was gone, down the tree trunk came two of the squirrels.  We were surprised they would be up the same tree where he was but perhaps they knew he couldn't get at them if they hugged the trunk.  I don't know.

Do you think they are saying, phew that was a close one?
Btw, Roger Tory and I could not identify which kind of hawk he is....suggestions please???

My slow stitching today is a little bit fancier than what I've been doing lately.
 I thought to take part in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018 this year.  Another monthly undertaking.  I've been mulling over what I would make and if I wanted to do a theme for the year, that sort of mulling.  In the end with the January deadline in sight, I decided to jump in with a fan design and just get on with it.
Here are my efforts so far and it has been very enjoyable for me to suit myself with the stitches I'm choosing.  It is hard to capture true colours this very bright Sunday morning.

I appreciate so much visiting your blogs and reading about your stitching and also tid bits about the ups and downs of your life.  We all identify and never forget, these are the ties that bind.

I also appreciate these ties...Kathy's QuiltsOur World TuesdayBambi's Show and TellSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsWild Bird Wednesday and Stitch All the Things.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Scary Tracks and Tons of Thursday Things

We both love oatmeal and I love using the large flake in cookies, squares and cobblers, etc.

Have you seen this- another new to me item.... brown and maple sugar.  Goes great with a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast. I like getting it in these little packets so it doesn't have a chance to harden.
                               Image result for red path maple sugar

I love this dish I found at a thrift store.  The only marking on the bottom reads Japan and not a chip on it. I couldn't resist the little bird sitting in the center.  The shape could be both a butterfly and/or leaves.  Someday I'll do a little research on it.

This is one of the most interesting things about having the ground snow covered. Every day we see different tracks and there must be a good smell in them because the dogs will nose each track.  Generally, I can identify them.

Sometimes the tracks can be a little scary; well not scary exactly just a little unnerving I guess you could say.
 After a recent snowfall, we saw where someone...a person, had walked out of the woods and up our lane way to the road.  We have never encountered any stranger here so wondered.  I should say that we border 12 acres of woodland on the right and 10 acres directly behind us, none of it fenced. We have permission from the elderly couple behind us to use their walking trails.

I picture us something like this wonderful illustration I came across in inspiration on Pinterest...uploaded by Scott Hanson. (If you know the artist, please let me know.)


We have only encountered someone once, a woman walking her dog, down on those trails. Looking closely, I could see whoever it was used walking poles and had a shorter step than me.  I figured it was someone older who had travelled up the trail and found themselves at our lane way.
Yes, the FBI will be calling any day now for my tracking skills...lol.

This book, The Heirs by Susan Rieger, accompanied my stitching last week.  It was interesting...a wealthy family of mother and five sons find out after the father's death that all the while he had had another family who now consider themselves heirs too.

Speaking of stitching...fingers have been flying...

I feel the need to have this piece all quilted soon.  In fact I've got a stated OMG to have it done by the end of the month.

And my snowball production continues in those times when the fingers start creaking a bit.

It wouldn't be Thursday without linking to Not Afraid of Color, week 73 now which is hard to believe. Also linking to Em's ScrapbagBusy Hands Quilts, and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday 21 January 2018

Mauling My Quilt and BOM Blitz

Is it physically possible to go into a fabric shop and come out empty handed?? I'm betting not.

I went to the Perth Fabrics Crafts 'n More store in a neighbouring town last week.

                              Image result for perth fabric and craft store

 Overwhelming number of items in this store and a great spot for a dig if you know what I mean.


I was in search of some fabric I needed for this particular BOM.
  Potted Flowers at Angie's Bits and Pieces

I'd read this post about it at the Nana's Nahwelt blog and liked what I saw of her first block efforts.
 I have always loved flowers in vases and potted flowers and flowers in general.  It has been a journey breaking my lifelong habit of wearing flowery skirts and jumpers.

So I decided to check it out and decided to follow this BOM too.

The pattern is such that the various flower pots are sitting on shelves so long pieces of fabric are required rather than blocks. I decided I wanted a light grey colour for the background...getting a little tired of the cream/white.  I found exactly what I wanted at the store (of course!) so was happy.
I have downloaded Block 1 and freezer papered the pieces.  Now for the dreaded measuring and cutting of the first shelf....35 x 15.  Thankfully there are good directions.

Btw, my vase material is not solid black as shown...it is black with a dark grey line design through it.

BOM count...Yes I must take stock!

A Patchwork Year....Kathy's site here
I have 11 of the 12 months embroidered now and I have 4 of these hand quilted the Potholder way.
Here is January's Jack Frost getting his sashing with the February block ready to go too.

Scandinavian Christmas....Lynette's site is here
Ready now to quilt the last row of blocks on the edging.  I've enjoyed the hand quilting very much.

But I do feel like I have mauled this quilt to pieces to get it quilted.  There is a lot of applique, some of it delicate and I've had it in my lap, moving it around a lot as I stitched for many hours.  I feel like I've given all the pieces a hard going over in the process.
That's where quilt as you go or the pot holder method or even machine stitching would probably have eliminated that worry.

Sarah Fielke Grasshopper...Sarah's site is here
Choosing fabrics for this one as we won't get the first block till February.  This is fun but also hard for me. I won't make the final choice till I see a few blocks made and get a better idea of how these blocks will coordinate...does anyone else do this?  Can you tell spring is on my mind!

Kathleen Tracy's Mystery QAL...last but not least Kathleen's site is here

First block is all done and I'm waiting eagerly to see the next one.

It is so great to have such wonderful designers sharing their work with the quilting world.
And this is also great- to share this post with parties globe wide.
What a Hoot QuiltsBusy Hands QuiltsSew Can SheConfessions of a Fabric AddictSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts, Bambi's Show and Tell, Love, Laugh, Quilt..

Thursday 18 January 2018

Talking to Mom and Other Things

During our weekly phone chats, Mom always asks me what I am making for supper.  She was saying yesterday how though she still has a good appetite (at 84), she is finding it harder to know what to cook and she is losing her interest in meat in particular.  Lately she has been making a simple soup of tomatoes, onions, broth and barley and throwing in some carrots and peas and this seems to be satisfying enough.  I don't know if this is what happens as we age or not.

Mom went on to say here I am with a fridge full of food and don't want it and there are children out there hungry...tears at this thought as she is very sensitive and especially about children. We talked some more about the ways of the world and how thankful we are to have enough and I reminded her about how all of her life she has always done her part with sharing and giving, etc. which is about all a person can do really.  Oh my.

The Other Things

I like this saying and realized it applied to me.  I am always trying to do things I don't really know how to do!  I always wondered why.

                      "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it"


New To Me

Hubby grew up with this British pickle concoction. I had never heard of it till he spied it on one of the infrequent times he was in Walmart with me...one of the things I like about Walmart is the very large Ethnic Food aisle they have.  So we bought a bottle and he says it is just as he remembered it...good with sausages.

I like how sometimes, just sometimes more natural remedies can be found for what ails us.

  I mentioned having some finger woes....a sore knuckle on my right hand and a trigger middle finger on the other and boy, that is surprisingly sore especially in the morning.  I was fortunate to read Chris' post at Quilting At the Farm where she speaks of  similar issues and uses turmeric and also immerses her hands in heated lentils.  I've been taking the glucosomine and using turmeric and now I'm going to try the warmed lentils.  My doctor told me it was arthritis but I really don't want to start a drug regime for just occasional discomfort or get into using steriods.  I mean when I have to, I will.

 Then I remembered my finger exercises and I've started doing them again and already feel relief.  They really do work.  The exercises are at about the 3 minute mark in this little video.

The French Needle is having their Blue Moon Sale with many items such as their lovely cross stitch patterns marked down.  The kits to make this little doll and her friends are reduced and all so cute.  I just love Miss Violet.
                                       De Witte Little Violet Doll Kit

 Can you remember making snow forts when you were a kid.  I sure do. I love how my Snowball wall is growing.  Just like a fort!
Stressfree stitching is wonderful!

Another Happy occasion is just around the corner.
This Valentine tree with wooly valentines was posted on Facebook by Tammy Thurman.  Isn't it sweet.

And the  wool feather tree is available at White Oak Ridge Designs on Etsy.

Image may contain: plant

Another happy thing is linking with the following:  Not Afraid of ColorThe Needle and Thread NetworkFree Motion By the RiverSew Fresh QuiltsEm's Scrapbag

Sunday 14 January 2018

Orange Isn't Just A Colour and Hubby Update

As I write this, the wind is howling around the house, strong enough that it has moved my door wreath right across the door.  We have had wild weather with rain, then a freeze up and a snow storm on top of it all in the space of hours.  The weather network has had a hard time keeping up with all the warnings.  Today's is Extreme Cold Warning.

So it's January in Canada and so cold even Niagara Falls has been freezing in unusual spots.  Photographers and ice climbers are having a field day.

                            Image result for niagara falls 2018 freeze up

Orange isn't just a colour as in the the new black...

I know I comfort myself with food and especially so in winter.  I've always liked heavier food-bread, bananas, potatoes, stews, etc. As well, I've come by my love of food naturally...in Newfoundland, a hearty appetite was considered the hallmark of good health. I know many of you share the same kind of upbringing with an emphasis on plentiful food and being told to be thankful for it.

(I realize now how much I miss those couple of morning hours I would spend in the garden during the other seasons. Kind of take my mind off food.)

So orange in foods signals beta carotene too.  I grew up being told to eat carrots because they were good for our eyes...did you have that told to you too? I like carrots and especially carrot soup and carrot cake. And winter is definitely the season when we need to boost our immune systems here in Canada so if beta carotene will help that along, all the better.
 Personally I wish carrots would taste as good as I remember them; I would eat one raw when I was a kid but it's rare to get carrots that good tasting these days.

Anyway, nothing makes me happier than seeing this in the kitchen.  A winter Vegetable stew with peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes.  A lot of orange going on there!

And this.  A batch of homemade raisin biscuits to go with it.

I lack the will power to deprive myself of the foods I love and right now, I'm not moving enough.
 So my food balancing act continues...into old age it seems!

Slow Stitching on a Winter Sunday

Kathleen Tracy at her site Country Lane Quilts  is hosting a free Mystery Quilt Along.

And she cleverly provides alternate blocks...one with applique and one pieced so you can choose both or either/or.  I've downloaded the applique block and am really curious about what Block 2 will look like.  Already some lovely blocks are being posted.  These blocks are going to be small as that is Kathleen's specialty.  I freezer papered Block 1 yesterday to have it ready for the hand stitching today and that didn't take long at all.

Hubby update

Hubby decided he should see a doctor on the very night we had that winter storm warning. We figured getting to the clinic just a five minute drive away would be no problem.  Despite my nervousness, it really wasn't...a bit of driving snow and wind and slippery on turns. But we bundled up, took our time and with no traffic around, made it safe and sound to and fro.
 So his chest was clear but because he still has a cough and nose congestion, the doctor gave him antibiotics especially in light of how long this had been dragging on.  So we shall see if this is the ticket now.
  I wish he would drink more water; he says he hates it and just can't do it.

Note: Blogger lost my comments on my Mrs. Tishell post and I'm really sorry I didn't get to read them all.

It wouldn't be Sunday without linking to the following:Kathy's QuiltsBusy Hands QuiltsGone Stitchin'Small Quilts and Doll Quilts,

Thursday 11 January 2018

Jack Frost and Indigo Snowballs

Here is Jack Frost totally coinciding with his presence outdoors these days.

I really like his cheery little face and I've begun the echo quilting around it.  Kathy Schmitz's designs are so cute; I don't think I've seen anything of hers that I haven't loved at first sight.

Does it look like we need more snow???

Yesterday I went mitten shopping...not often have I written that sentence.  I've been getting by with old ones from the house but my poor frozen fingers were crying out for lined ones. Luckily winter seasonal items haven't been completely replaced with spring items just yet and I nabbed these two pairs, the last of both.  So yah to warmer hands and with another Winter Storm warning posted, I'll be needing them.

I'm waiting on the release of the first block for the Sarah Fielke BOM.  While doing that I was reading the Temecula Quilt Company blog and found This Post about making a scrappy Snowball quilt.  I know that pattern and thought " I can do that".  Two wishes came together ...me making a Snowball Quilt (how fitting for where I live!) and also having always wanted to make a blue/indigo quilt.  Love indigo quilts.

 If I get this near a bed size, it will be my first real quilt! ( I don't count my Farmer's Wife top because I honestly put so much work into those little blocks, I don't think it could ever be used on a bed.)

And how am I going to improve my piecing skills if I keep avoiding it.

So to my little fabric cupboard I went a little concerned if I would have enough dark blues and lights on hand to suit this little venture.  Silly me, there was more than enough of both (I think) to suffice and I can always cut it short or buy more! if need be.

 I then spent a happy couple of hours making the templates and doing some serious marking and cutting and remembering to replace the blade in my rotary cutter.  I like when my brain seems to work.
Because it doesn't always.  Look at this taken last month; such a rookie mistake.  I couldn't believe I did this. Grrr

So wish me luck with this little adventure with just me and my sewing machine.

We did not mail out Christmas cards this year. I gave a donation to UNICEF instead.  I would love to see a world where all children are protected and valued for the special little (dependent) humans they are.  Now that's a dream worth chasing.

So happy to link up with the following:Quilt FabricationNot Afraid of Color.Free Motion By the RiverThe Needle and Thread NetworkConfessions of a Fabric Addict , Em's Scrapbag and My Quilt Infatuation.  Thank you all for hosting these wonderful link ups.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Mrs. Tishell, Cabin Fever and Tidy Stitches

Still freezing outside, Hubby still coughing but a little less, and I think I have put on weight with this stretch of staying indoors.  I guess that last will happen if a person is soothing themselves with hot chocolate and baked goods and not getting in their two walks a day.  Oh well, this too shall pass, as one of my grandmothers always said.

A Bit of Foolishness

I think I've mentioned I like to mimic accents.  I'm terrible at it but that doesn't stop me.
I've been wearing a lot of scarves and turtlenecks around the house lately. This has prompted Hubby to nickname me Mrs. Tishell, a character from Doc Martin we both love.  And I love how Selina exactly nails a slightly seductive tone whenever talking to the Doc.

Just for fun, I tried to strike a Claire Foy pose as Her Majesty in The Crown.  Of course, neither of those lovely women have my square jaw!  But I think I have learned some of Claire's inflection in speech which, since Hubby is slightly deaf (luckily), amuses only me.   Thenk Ku!

And before I get an email...this hair is not a wig and it is not blue/purple. Weird lighting. LOL

  BTW, there is huge interest in the details of the accents in this show (not just by me!).

Here is an excellent aritcle about getting the accent and all the other details of the show just right.

I also wanted to mention the broach I'm wearing... a stained glass hummingbird a friend gave me knowing my love of birds and broaches. Very appreciated.

And lastly just to show "you know who" is always with me.  Hubby keeps telling him...I rescued you too you know!

I must get out of the house this week, I really must! Cabin fever is a real thing and thanks for putting up with me and my silliness.

More Serious Stuff

I have this piece, Painted Lady, up on my wall. I've completed more embroidery on it than in the pattern but I think I will call it done now.  Sandwich time!

Loads of enjoyable slow stitching still with the SC piece. I'm using one strand of thread in contrasting red around some of the figures (like in the pattern) and realizing how neat and tidy the stitches need to be in that case. Eek

Hope there is lots to enjoy in your Sunday!

Always a pleasure to link up with the following: Kathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts, and  Cooking Up Quilts.