Thursday 29 March 2018

Mary's Favourite Words-Gratitude and Praise

This week started with two feet planted in winter. Below freezing wind chills but a lot of sun which helped to compensate.  The sun is glorious to see and yay to natural Vitamin D. But then the rains came...I heard a strange sound on the roof (which is metal) and realized it was pouring rain.  Ahh, springish weather.

New to Me

I've now come across two articles about Plogging, a Swedish idea that is taking hold in North America. An eco-friendly way to help rid the environment of rubbish...pick up any trash on your jogging/walking route.  With spring thaw starting, it is the perfect time to promote this idea.  I only walk on this property really and we've cleared it of any odd bits that didn't get cleared before us. But I think this is a good idea.

Plogging-Jogging and Picking Up Trash

I got a small start on the Sarah Fielke Grasshopper BOM.  Just tried out this little combination below on the right.  Four of these have to be made but I've discovered I would like to see what is ahead before committing to this.  So I'm waiting for the next directions before sewing these together which maybe shows my lack of confidence in my choices. Anyone else do this with mystery stitch alongs?

This is to be hand sewn.  That is August block of A Patchwork Year there on the left in its final stage. Down to the last one and happy to say I'm still enjoying it.

I got this in the mail ...just about the only good mail I get these days. Ours seems to have degenerated to just flyers and such.  Is it the same for you?
Anyway, Quiltmania does not disappoint and this issue of Simply Vintage too is packed with lots of interesting projects...the theme one of welcoming spring.

I know many of you are fans of Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize winning and best selling poet in America. She is also quite private and led a quiet life with her partner, the photographer, Molly Malone Cook.
 This poem, which speaks to the futility of worry, has long been a favourite of mine.  I shared it in a post several years ago and I heard from many who liked it too. I keep a copy in whatever is my current journal. I read it and try to remind myself to be relaxed enough to just go out and sing(figuratively, not literally for me).  Speaking of which, I have a little story (I hear Hubby saying, Of course you do!) about me and singing; I will share it soon.
Image result for mary oliver poem I worried a lot

Here is a link to what I think may be a rare event-Mary, at 75, talking about herself .  Interview with Mary Oliver  I loved her modesty, lack of pretension and feelings about the land. I thought it all wonderful.

I hope your worries are few and  you have something to sing about as we face two of my favourite seasons...spring and autumn depending on where you are in this crazy/wonderful world of ours.

It's a thankful Thursday over at Not Afraid of Color. Also linking with beautiful stitching shown at  Sew Fresh QuiltsFree Motion By the River, Stitch All the Things, and Quilt Fabrication.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Nobody Drew Bunnies Better

A little look at our week...

Littler grandson and his mom made these Easter treats and a few came to my house for us to taste test. They are the rice krispy nests and tasty.

I seem to be aiding and abetting the red squirrel population here.  Many, many more of these little guys running around this spring and they are feisty. I watch them chase off the gray and black squirrels all the time.

Hubby tells me Murphy often glances in this window when she is outside to see if I am sitting in my pet chair. But here, as I've told you before and is routine now, she is getting ready to let me know she wants in.

Another of the paths here...this one is through a very long line of deliberately planted cedars and it runs diagonally beside the stone fence that is very old, mossy and half buried in dirt.  Remnants of the stones can be found stretching all across the property.  In one section we found where foxes had used part of the fallen wall to make a den.  I would love to know more about that stone boundary and the cedar path and who would have made them. *Notice Murphy, our diva, must lead the way.

This week we had wonderful sun, albeit cold temperatures. This is heading to the little pond which is still quite frozen. Out of the shelter of trees, it is noticeably colder there. *Note Rex's very cute ears!

I was extra busy this week with staying with the grandsons so my stitching took a back seat.
However, I am on track to finish up A Patchwork Year, my Kathy Schmitz BOM...down to fiddly stuff on the last two blocks which I hope to do today.

Since Bunny season is almost here, it made me think of Beatrix Potter and her wonderful bunnies. And I just had to share this adorable Beatrix Potter picture of little mice all stitching away by candlelight. I think it is from The Tale of  Mrs. Tittlemouse.

Image result for beatrix potter bunnies stitching

I say nobody drew bunnies better.  I just love them all.
Anyway, hope your Sunday is calm and sweet just like these little things.

Linking this post to the slow stitching folks at Kathy's Quilts
See all the other lovely pets and things to love at Brian's Home Blog.
Also linking with 

Thursday 22 March 2018

Know Your Stuff (Better Yet Remember Your Stuff)

I'd been busily making cardboard 2 inch templates when I remembered I had all the sets of Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork templates tucked away somewhere.  I'd bought them for the Farmer's Wife project back in 2016.  Found them in a bottom drawer and sorted through them and sure enough, there was a lovely thick plastic 2 inch square.

Why I never thought of them before, I just can't say. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. But I've done a lot of measuring and cutting since then and these guys could have come in handy.

 Cardboard is convenient and cheap, but the edges do get nicked (which is why I usually make 2 or 3 at a time). But this two inch size already got a little workout with the March Block 3 instructions for the Friendship Garden BOM...make 16 two inch squares. So happy to have remembered this and loved the accuracy of having a 'real' template.

I wondered about putting pink and blue together but I like the result of these particular shades.
(Why can't I remember to press things before I show them to company!)

I wonder what else I have tucked away.  Probably time for the drawers to be sorted. Hope you don't have a vital piece of your gear tucked away and forgotten about!

I love the 50% coupons from Michaels. Recently I took advantage and bought myself one of the humdinger sized cutting mats.  I'd gotten by with a little tiny one but it was time to step it up.  I'm enjoying the freedom this size affords.

A little indoor gardening is good.
I am trying this...someone somewhere must have grown an actual head of lettuce from a stump because this idea keeps circulating on the internet.   It has sprouted some leaves but it's going to be a while before we eat a salad from it though. LOL

And Daughter's Christmas Pointsetta that was on the way to the garden compost is a challenge to me. So far I've kept it alive- there are new green leaves sprouting and the red has definitely brightened.  But I've read they are specially treated not to survive (have no idea how that could be done even) so we'll see.  Have any of you had luck with this?

 Rex on guard outside my sewing room door.  I love what a companion he has become to me.  Hubby says he always knows just where I am by seeing Rex.

I called this post Know Your Stuff when it really should be called Remember Your Stuff.
Lovely likes over at Not Afraid of Color and also joining the link parties at Esther's Quilt BlogQuilt FabricationSew Fresh QuiltsBrian's Home Blog and The Needle and Thread Network.

Sunday 18 March 2018

Hunger and Snow are Related

I know for certain now that weather triggers my hunger.

  The idea of food for comfort is a real thing for me.
 Our snowiest day last week saw me getting out the bread machine and making a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, making a batch of those brownies with coconut topping and putting a casserole of sliced potatoes, carrots, onions and pork chops in the oven.  I haven't spent all morning in the kitchen in a while, but looking out at the snowy scene framed in every window, it seemed to be the right thing to do.

And I found part of a bag of apples in the cold room (what the former owners called the wine cellar but is really just a large lined closet that does house our two or three bottles of merlot but mostly  fresh food overflow) and decided apple chutney was a good idea to serve with the pork chops.

These photos above are all through my windows; oh, except the one with Rex. I stepped out front to view the shovelling I would need to do and he, of course, went with me. He sat down and I thought he looked like he was thinking what I was thinking- oh dear, just when we thought the worst of winter was done...

But it's all good.  I'm happy enough to have the strength to shovel and the appetite to eat. And the interest in this stitching hobby of mine.  Which, btw, finds me finishing the hand stitching on Block 6 of Allie's Garden of Contentment  today.

My "Design" Wall

Have you heard about this stitch along?
Gay at Sentimental Stitches has begun her wonderful BOM called Dear Daughter.

                            Image result for dear daughter quilt

The first four blocks are available for free till May 1. If you like antique style quilts, you should take a peek at this one from the 1850's. Though I definitely won't be beginning this now, I've downloaded the blocks as the quilt interests me greatly.  I've also joined the facebook group to follow the stitching which I'm sure will be marvelous.

So I said hunger and snow are related. It made me think that what if I lived in Africa with not a flake in sight, would I be content to live on a few grapes a day like Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, supposedly did?  I wonder. lol

Also happy to link up with Kathy's Quilts. As well as Normandy LifeSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts,  Em's Scrapbag,  Free Motion By the River and What a Hoot Quilts.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Love This Thursday

Two Marys

I'm a  big Mary Berry fan and have watched all the episodes of Mary Berry's Secrets of a Country House on YouTube.  I rewatched this particular episode and realized some of you might enjoy it too.  This one features Highclere Castle widely known as the real Downton Abbey.  I love how Mary set to work in the kitchen and made her patisserie like it was the most natural thing in the world to do.
 I especially love the connection this castle has with Canada.

You tube link in case the video doesn't work.

I was reading this post at Nina Marie's blog Quilts, Art, Whatever and realized I had never even heard of Mary Blair.  I have fond memories of the It's A Small World ride at Disneyworld as it was a favourite of daughters when we took them there as little girls. I didn't give a thought to the artist's work involved in bringing such things to life.  If you ever held a Little Golden Book, you were probably looking at her art work as well.  And here is a little sample.

Bird Love

Yah, my favourite bird cam is back...The barred owls of Indiana.  Last year Florence at Buzz and Flutter and I so enjoyed watching the three little owlets grow and fledge their nesting box. Mama Owl has her three eggs laid once again.  Another sign of spring.

All About Birds-the Barred Owls

And here is the youngest of last year's three, Peanut, leaving the nesting box.

Hubby's snack yesterday.  It's hard to tell but these are the Fig and Honey Triscuits with peanut butter and red pepper jelly, a combination he likes.  Lots of flavours there.  I like to put the Montmorency cherries on peanut butter on celery- my version of Ants on a Log.

Love the reds

Have my tulips finished and continuing my potholder quilting.  It is calming for me to sit and stitch something in my lap.

The best for last....

The grandsons had their March breaks this week and I got to spend time with both of them. I'm enjoying watching them grow and what a treat for me being with them for the little things and big things.  Also sweet to see how much these cousins love each other despite the age gap.

 Jack's 12 th birthday party...the exuberance of a 3 year old just can't be beat!

If only that feeling of pure joy could be found all our days!

Linking to Party #80 at Not Afraid of Color! Also joining Busy Hands QuiltsIt's A Small Town LifeIn the Quilting Room With Mel and Stitch All the Things.  Thank you all for hosting.

Sunday 11 March 2018

Fabric Dieting, Two Sites to Visit For Bunny Love

I read a post by a blogger who was saying she could accomplish so much stitching in front of the tv which perhaps was a sign of what tv shows have become.  It made me think which shows make me put down my stitching and actually watch, not just listen.  The list is very short.
Downton Abbey and The Crown come to mind. Fargo I also watched because I loved the characters and accents. Do you have any that make you actually put down the needle and watch?

Something those of you in the southern hemisphere need not worry about when it comes to ice...

Several of you have shared falling down stories.
 I've spoken about my slippitus which continues stronger than ever esp. after my toes incident. With some thawing, more rain, more snow and continued cold temperatures, icy patches are everywhere here.  I saw a man walking in dress shoes the other day and I wanted to say something to him, I really did.  I'm sure he was my age so what a risk he was taking wearing (albeit) great looking shoes but ones so ill suited for an ice patched parking lot.

Fabric Dieting

I've also been reading how a number of you have put yourselves on Fabric Diets.  I realized that even though I have more fabric than ever in my life all sitting in those shelves over there...

I want more! Yes I can think right now of at least three different kinds of fabrics I "need".
#1. orangey/brownish batiks for maybe this pumpkin hanging from Laundry Basket Quilts I want to make next fall.


#2. Kona solids I need especially in snow white, and
#3.purples/mauves which are almost nil in my stash.  This is just right off the top of my head.
  Oh yes, also I've always wanted some Liberty fabrics- just love the prints, but they are so dear!!

Bunny Love

I've lost a particular photo of myself taken when I was 7 years old. Mom had knit me a cardigan with bunnies on the front and she had used a bit of Mohair for the tails so they looked fluffy. My hair was in curls held back with a bow made of that heavy satin ribbon they used in those days. Mom remembers the sweater as pale blue with white bunnies.
 My nickname was still Bunny then too.

 Like all of us, every now and then I will think of something I've lost and Sundays seem to be a prompt for me to do so. But Bunnies are cropping up with the season which is probably why this memory came to me.

And that made me think of  Bunny Hill Designs, a site I visit that offers a lot of cute bunny stuff. I bought this pattern called A Tisket A Tasket a couple of years ago and look at it from time to time.  Filed under One of These Days... I know I'm not the only one with such a file.
The Bunny Love continues with another site I love to visit, Jenny of Elefantz. Here is Jennifer's project, The Secret Garden, which features a gorgeous redworked bunny at its center. 
But back to reality-I've got my red tulip block of the Potted Flowers BOM series all set up for  appliquing today.  This very old light box has sure come in handy.

It's bright but chilly here this morning.  Minus 10 C with the wind.  Still in my woolies!
And joining the other folks slow stitching at Kathy's Quilts. As well as the link up parties at
Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsWhat a Hoot Quilts, Love, Laugh, QuiltQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkEsther's Blog and Busy Hands Quilts.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Adult Happiness

On these " I Like " Thursdays at Not Afraid of Color, some of us share things we enjoy and often they are very little things. I keep thinking it is a revelation older age gives us-that small things, even ones without a price tag, maybe especially those, are what gives us pleasure in life.

At this site, I tracked down this little poster. I was struck by how many of these things are so me...maybe cleaning out the dryer lint not so much, but all the others, yes.

Hello, Life, and Sorry: WEIRD THINGS THAT MAKE YOU
 HEDGER HUMOR for babble.
 Writing with a nice pen.
 Having plans
 Q This is life.
 Sooo sorry!
 Eating the corner brownie.
 Freshly cleaned sheets.
 my sweet.
 Enjoying coffee in that
 Cleaning the dryer
 brief time before
 lint screen.
 anyone else wakes up.
 Oh yeah.
What about you?
Now of course, this doesn't include my dogs or my stitching and a few other things.

For instance, caught Mr. Rex having a nap where he isn't supposed to...on my bed and see how he's scrunched up my knitted blanket for extra comfort all around himself.  I guess the four dog beds we have around the house just don't measure up.  But I don't get angry; I think of his former life in a crate and I'm so happy he found his way to us.  He definately adds to our Adult Happiness.

And on the happiness of stitching front--I finally gave my yellow flowers fabric pinned with lots of red French knots.

Just in time, as Angie has released the March block which is bright red tulips. I am going to love stitching them and that is the plan for my Friday and Saturday stitching.

No shortage of stitching plans here. Last night I thought of how I want my March block for the CQJP to go and sketched it out.  Finally something a little bit creative.
Ah yes, all the little things!
Happy to link with Brian's Home Blog where you'll find lots of pet happiness. Also linking with Sew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt InfatuationQuilt Fabrication, and Busy Hands Quilts.

Sunday 4 March 2018

My Blue Phase and Dining Well

The snow looks like the last week of March snow.  All dirty and icy.

There has been no sign of our walker; I fear he gave up on his walking regime because of all the icy conditions we have had. My own foot where I bent under the toes is still a little twingy sometimes.  That was a near miss for sure.

I've prepped the four blocks of Allie's Garden of Contentment BOM. Following her lead, I enjoyed choosing some very spring like fabric to work with. Lovely slow stitching on the couch there.

And temporarily shelved one project, that being the Scandinavian Christmas. I've been to two fabric shops to find a suitable choice for the binding but just can't find one that really matches.  The browns and reds in this project were rather muddy ones and I didn't have a scrap left over to even take with me but I know I will know it when I see it.  (If that makes any sense).

So that OMG is off the books temporarily.   Actually, after those outings, I did find a fabric that I think will work at least for a narrow sash; I wasn't going to say but I found it at Walmart. It's not the best quality but since this wall quilt won't be going through the washer much, I might be able to get away with it.  Isn't it ironic that I looked through bins and bins of fabric shop materials only to find the exact match in the very tiny Walmart fabric section.  What do you think?

My Indigo Snowballs ate up a lot of my time this month.  I am tracing and cutting the blocks by hand and machine stitching them together in blocks of 16. I now have 6 of these completed.  I would hope to have at least two more of these big blocks done in March perhaps in time to see the last of snow itself go.  Though I am in awe of how quickly it gets the job done, I am not a person who can log long hours at the sewing machine, I've found. And my accuracy does not necessarily improve the more I do it. Go figure!

I will go on the record as saying I want all the A Patchwork Year 12 blocks done and dusted soon maybe by Easter.  Perhaps March will be the month for that accomplishment though I had thought I'd be embroidering the last one sitting on the veranda in the spring just where I had started the first block last summer.  Pleasant memories.

But finishing that project would coincide nicely with the now released first block for the Sarah Fielke The Grasshopper BOM .  So looking forward to that start.  I've settled on Bloomsbury by Franny and Jane as the fabric line which comes with this saying by Virginia Woolfe-

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well".  I'll second that!

Bloomsbury has a nice range of different blues- I seem to be in a blue phase. Do you like it?

Speaking of dining well and keeping blues going .  I made these Blueberry Lemon scones from Sally's Baking Addiction and did as she said and kept the butter frozen up to putting it in the recipe.  I do believe it made the resulting biscuits lighter.  I normally make 12 but Hubby likes them bigger, so I made 8.  I think they're (words he won't want to hear) too big.  The smaller one in the back is mine and I did a taste test- yes, good. With a big mug of tea especially good.

No my head isn't spinning just yet...the beauty of BOM's is the slow release of the work.  One block at a time is so manageable.

Always an abundance of slow stitching, MG's, scrap busting, BOM's and dining well (sort of) here at the wooden house.
Hope your Sunday will be as relaxed as mine is promising to be.

Lots of Sunday slow stitching happening at Kathy's Quilts. Also linking with Elm Street Quilts-thanks for encouraging our goal making, Patty.
Please have a look at these linky parties as well-What a Hoot Quilts where Lynette is working on Sarah's Down the Rabbit Hole,  Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where you can see lovely civil war reproduction small quilts which are so popular, Cooking Up Quilts where Beth always has lovely FMQ to show, and Sew Can She where Caroline will show you the cutest Aloha mini quilt.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Two Things You're Gonna Want

The sun has broken through the clouds, a welcome sight this Thursday morning the first day of a new month, March. At home in the old days, it was known as a long, hungry month; a between seasons time with not much going for it.  I remember as a girl on the walk to school in the morning breaking the ice in little puddles which on my way home at the end of the day would have all turned to mud.

But here I am, fingers And toes intact and nothing going hungry. Far from it! And full of gratitude for all of it as well as the sharing of this hobby of ours that brings such continual contentment.

Black backgrounds for quilts seem to be showing up more lately. My Pinterest feed featured a number and then on my Quiltmania site I saw this book by Bonnie SullivanHeart of the Home, with this stiking cover. Love houses in quilts I'll say of these days. But also love those pillows.
 The pattern is called All Through the Night  and you can check it out at that link.

This you've got to see, so nifty.  Amazing but I was curious why the Crochet Club was doing knitting.
Seniors knit their entire village

We were let loose in Costco last Thursday and I came home with this.

The Mango Figgy Pops are full of good things and filling. I'm going to look up what else I can use the coconut pieces for besides munching.

 A friend on FB posted this recipe for Chocolate Coconut Brownies. I think I'm going to try them and use up 3 cups of  that coconut in the bargain. What do you think? My coconut is only slightly sweetened, so maybe I'll have to up the powdered sugar in that layer.
Celebrating Sweets site has the very easy recipe.

Chocolate Coconut Brownies - Fudgy brownies topped with a layer of creamy sweet coconut, and finished with a smooth chocolate ganache. Use your favorite boxed or homemade brownie recipe for this decadent triple layer dessert.

At the Love Patchwork and Quilting blog  you can download different sized hexagon templates for free.
So far I've resisted the hexagon phenomenon that is all over the quilting world but always think I'd like to jump in especially when I see how scraps can be used for the smaller sizes.  And now realizing just how many of those I have!

Speaking of templates, here is the close up of my February block for the CQJP 2018...again this month, not as original or interesting to me.  In my head, it seems different than what I end up with.

I loved watching this video of the great Yoko Saito hand piecing a log cabin block.  But I warn you, you are going to want two things she is using (if you don't have them already).  The finger thingy and the rolly thingy. Certainly intrigued me.

And look at those nails...mine are atrocious.

My Sarah Fielke BOM, The Grasshopper, has just had Block 1 released and I intend to start today, sewing to take me into the weekend. I will share the fabric I've picked out and hopefully that start very soon.

Also happy to link up with Not Afraid of Color, up to #78 now in the Thursday Likes!  That adds up to a lot of things to like. Sharing too with Gone Stitchin'Busy Hands Quilts, Off the Wall Friday  Super Mom No Cape and My Quilt Infatuation.