Sunday 29 April 2018

Home Again After Needed Cheering

I was away last week and not just from the blog.  I joined younger daughter's family in a long journey to the far south actually to a tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. This was a very rare event for me as I don't travel far very often.

 I loved every minute and rested like I haven't in some time.  I swam in the Atlantic which amused me as it was so warm and hard to believe it is the same ocean that sweeps my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  There it is known for its icy temperatures and is the yearly Iceberg Alley. 

I spent a lot of time dodging the sun. But once I had myself coated with sun screen, dressed in long sleeves, wearing my sun hat and situated in the shade, it was heaven. 
But even with all that, I burned in places and tanned in others which amazed me. 

I got to wear my Old Navy Cactus Shirt which was very comfy.  If you take a look at it, the model is 5'9" and size Small...I am 5'6" and wore size Large, LOL.

I took with me as my stitching project the Leanne's House embroidery called Sew Laugh Love.  I've been meaning to ask- does anyone know if Leanne is still in business; all the links I find are outdated. I've always enjoyed her designs.

The food was incredible and I have no guilt about all I ate.  The array of fresh food....fruit, vegetables, and fish was such a treat.

New to me was their own fruit, the mamey sapote.  It tastes like a sweeter sweet potato and I think I ate it most meals in one form or another.

Image result for mamey sapote
Anyway, home again and feeling so happy and blessed to be back with Hubby and the furry ones. Also thrilled to see that the snow all disappeared in my absence so things are finally looking springish.

I had mail while away, mail of the quilty sort.  Clementine's Bonnet from Connecting Threads

Here is the spectrum of colours in this sampling.

                                 Image result for clementines bonnet

A line of colours and prints new to my little collection and those of you who enjoy the reproduction type fabrics would like this I think.

I must go and unpack after which I will catch up on your blogs which is all I have on my agenda this Sunday back at home. 

Thursday 19 April 2018

Links For A Day Doing Everything But Sewing!

Or more nicely phrased...a day off from the Sewing Room.

Yesterday morning, with the snow gently falling just like in January, I was so lazy I sat the morning away.  Surfed on the internet and went deep into the quilting blogs of the Netherlands where one beautiful quilt after another enticed me onwards. And where I learned atelier means studio.

 New to Me
Then I explored a  completely new to me thing, looking at wigs online.  Yes,wigs and I learned so much...they are usually named a female name which is kind of cute, and sadly, you can't get real human hair wigs in greys or whites because they don't dye it at all.  They all look really really good in the youtube videos.  I'm thinking if I got one, it would just be so fake, so wiggy.
 But I am tempted...imagine having great hair just by giving your head a shake!

This is Patti who is very popular in the wig wearing world....I have no idea if beachy waves are still a thing or not.  But who knew you can style synthetic wigs.

 I asked hubby what did he think of me wearing a wig; I wondered if it would bother him to have a wig wearing wife.  He said he thought it a good could keep my head warm, especially in the winter so I wouldn't need a hat.  Such a practical man.

I'm only thinking of wigs because of this higher forehead of mine.  Really at some point, I will be half bald up there.  I recently bought this product to help texturize my hair...Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray...if you look it up, link is here, yes I did pay that exorbitant price for it too. Sadly I don't like the smell which stays with you for a while.  I haven't given it a real test yet because of having to keep wearing my wool hats but so far, it is definitely making my hair look thicker.
ON this lazy day, the only thing that stirred me from the chair was making more coffee and Rex and Murphy pleading to me with those little squealing sounds they make to take them for a walk.  I just can't say no when they start doing that.

Ventured out but didn't go far...just filled the bird feeder (the squirrels have broken the anti-squirrel one so it's in Hubby's workroom for repairs) which had heavy usage during the last couple of days, including a couple of deer.
The freezing rain had left a coating of ice over everything just like last February's storm. We kept breaking through a layer of icy snow and I worried the dogs might cut their paws.

Can you see the icy shine?

I came back and sat right down again and started on this....Do you do jigsaws online?  I do but usually just to fill a couple of minutes here and there. Jigsaw Explorer is a good site to try. 

But I was cleverly listening to my audiobook at the same time, technically reading (or not).  Which made me realize I mostly listen to books these days. Have I become too lazy to read?
This one is keeping my attention...interesting and well written. Readers Digest List of 17 Best Sites for Free Audio Books
I did look up border ideas for the snowball quilt and made some links in Evernote about them.  I have enough material to do Flying Geese.  What do you think?
Border ideas for quilts
And Susan Carlson's way of making artsy collage quilts.  I have an abiding interest in them but feel if I tried it, it would turn out a hot mess.  Now LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color excels at this sort of thing.

and watched this too
A bird actually doing more sewing than I did that day!
How do Thursdays come around so fast! Time to link up with Not Afraid of Color  and happy Thursday musings.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Least Favourite Pattern

One of the forums I follow posed the question do you have a quilt design you hate.

  I was surprised by all the dislikes for Sunbonnet Sue which definitely led the race but second was the Bow Tie pattern which I think is so cute.  Some people named the Snowball block. And a lot of people don't like boxy designs, chevrons or arrows in their quilting.

It made me think about what I don't care for especially.  I think it would have to be crosses or patterns that resemble crosses. Why? a teacher I hated marking work wrong, or maybe it has to do with my church background and the cross symbolism.  I don't know.

Here is my Cross block for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt way back in 2015...This is Nan on the design wall and looking a bit wobbly but really wasn't that bad.  She is totally unpressed because I can see the ironed seam still showing marking the center to line her up.

And conversely, what is it about star blocks that I love!  I haven't seen a star pattern that I've disliked.
Here is Coral, also for the FWS. Both these were made with EPP.

 What about you? Is there a pattern you just don't care for?? I'd be interested to know if you also dislike the leading contenders I've mentioned.

Tulips inside the house- a gift from Daughter.  By the looks of it, it will be a while here before there are tulips outside.  That glare is from the fresh 10 cm of snow covering the ground! 

So there is still a feeling of needing comfort food.  I wonder when that will end this year.  Yesterday I made this combination.  Chicken red curry soup with cabbage and pitas with hummus and sundried tomatoes.
Is this a meal you would call comfort food?

Slow stitching embroidering the last bits on my Garden of Contentment blocks. Almost done.

As we brace ourselves here for what the forecasters have upgraded from a freezing rain warning to an Ice Storm, I'm hoping you are all snug with your stitching- warm or cool depending on your weather.

Enjoying the linky party at Kathy's Quilts where Kathy talks about what resting really means these days.
Also joining Caroline at Sew Can She where she has found a fabric shop while on her southern cruise and with Love Laugh Quilt where Beth shows lovely small quilts made with scraps and orphan blocks.
Also linking with busy Myra at Busy Hands Quilts who is offering a Giveaway.  And with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where Judy, who is now 75 years young, is showing a very cute Apples table runner and with Em's Scrapbag where Em is using nothing fancy just ordinary objects as quilting templates.
Always so much to see and learn from these wonderful sites.

Thursday 12 April 2018

Quiet Days

As I went about my business yesterday, doing this-

trying out my Indigo Snowball blocks on an actual bed and feeling pleased with the progress but knowing I have a ways to go just yet.

and looking at this photo of Murphy on the spare bed a couple of years ago and realizing once again that she can no longer jump up on beds,while Rex, though older, still can. But what a silken beauty she still is!

And glancing at these guys that have been sitting in a bowl for the last week.  What is it with avocados? I love them but find (like Goldilocks) they are either too hard or too soft.

And enjoying this meal....Chinese take out; something I still appreciate for those  times when we need a change from my cooking.

And checking in with the Indiana Barred Owls. That little white splotch in the middle is three little owlets.  Note how they are surrounded by a well stocked pantry. Both parents are great hunters, much to their good fortune.

View image on Twitter

Looking through my Quilt of Belonging book; admiring the beautiful block for Australia where Lyn Prichard featured  in delicate embroidery 11 of the possible amazing  22,000 native species in that country.


And loving how Hope Brans and Carol Campbell chose the two traditional forms that exemplify American textile art in the United States of America block- the patchwork quilt and the embroidered sampler. And the words important they are.

E pluribus unum~From many, one
I like words on quilts and samplers, do you?

And realizing what a quiet day it was but then
Image result for quiet days quotes

Always happy to link up with Thursday Likes at Not Afraid of Color and Brian's Home.  Also linking with Esther's Quilt BlogPowered by QuiltingThe Inquiring Quilter and It's a Small Town Life

Sunday 8 April 2018

Garden Growing of the Quilty Kind

Bright sun in all the windows belies the cold outside.  Two things about that cold...still must bundle up with gloves and hats and the ground is slate hard so no clearing or digging yet.  It's also helping the patches of snow to hang on and the pond to stay frozen.  I watched two ducks fly over, dip down and keep on flying.

But I am getting to work lots on "gardens" inside the house.

I have this piece up to date...the Friendship Garden BOM by Kathleen Tracey.  This was a great exercise for me in machine piecing and I was pleased when it went together easily, not perfect mind you, but done.

I also worked hard on my Garden of Contentment blocks from Allie Oops.  Some got a start on their borders and it is enjoyable to work with pretty flowery material.

I will continue to work on the central block embroidering the words In the Garden of Contentment today.  On her blog, Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life, Allie explains the significance of each word she chose for each block.  There is power in such words.

Spring sunshine is so welcome!
In my pet chair cosy with my granny square afghan covering Granny's chilly legs. LOL  

I hope to have this project all done this month.

On a very sad note, Cheri Payne is now in hospice care. I am a member of the Facebook group, Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group, and there are regular updates on her health.  I've mentioned before that Cheri has been offering lots of her patterns free on that site with many of us joining several SAL's she has hosted in the last couple of years. You might know Cheri for her many quilting books and primitive style patterns -here is a Pinterest Link if you'd like to take a peek.

Joining other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts and also the wonderful stitchers at Cooking Up QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework, and Love, Laugh, Quilt.

Thursday 5 April 2018

Sweet, Sweet Thursday

I have had a soft resolution since January-that being to spend an hour a day outside in the fresh air no matter the weather.  I have done well with this goal and usually split the time into two walks with the dogs.  I don't know if this has helped but can safely say now the winter has passed with no illness or sinus infections.

Near the pond on Tuesday; Rex is definitely slowing down (sadly).
However, my mood took a nose dive last week and I was under a cloud for a few days.  What is that? Could it still be hormones this many years past menopause.  In my case it is not depressed exactly, just very flat and quiet. My worries and fears are pretty constant so it also isn't exactly that.
I seem to be rightening myself now thankfully which always happens, though this is a little quicker than I'm used to. Even Hubby said don't worry you'll be yourself soon.  I feel lucky that, to date, living in this body it is like that.
This gives me fresh sympathy for those who suffer with is simply an awful feeling.

All Done!
I have all the blocks of A Patchwork Year finished. I took them downstairs while I watched tv and went through each to be sure I didn't miss a stitch here or there.  I'm at a bit of a loss now for an ongoing embroidery project.

KimKat Designs on Etsy has this cardigan/kimono/robe that caught my eye. I like the idea of something well made, ageless and light and airy (and covers body parts) because really we will be getting warm weather sometime.  But on second thought, it's too chic for me and my life here at the wooden house.
 But I know not for some of you.

The Indiana Barred Owls are getting close to hatching. One of the eggs moved by itself yesterday!
Why do I love owls, I wonder. I like my owl mug, especially the amount of tea it can hold.

I am thinking of getting back into watercolours (have been for a while). I lost all my gear and have been reluctant to reinvest. However, younger daughter bought me one like this from Lee Valley Tools and I've been eyeing it sitting in the corner of the sewing room.

Image result for camera lucida

I saw these the other day and think I'd like them too.... Intense Pencils for watercolour.  Another Michael's coupon could be used for it, I'm thinking.  Their versatility intrigues me...a regular coloured pencil that transforms into watercolours with a little water and also can be used on fabric.

Derwent : Inktense Pencil : Tin Set of 24
What's stopping me from getting back into it...I don't know. I know that though not particularly talented,  I loved the process.  Anyway, it is fun to consider the possibility and have another thing to contemplate and look forward to.  Having hobbies and things to look forward to are definitely ways to bring positive energy into life...especially for those days when it is not easy to feel upbeat.

Thanks for all the pointsetta advice I got from so many of you...and this link.
Here is a pretty good article on how to keep a pointsetta alive from one Christmas to another. I will enjoy trying this out. So far, so good.

And on that note...
I keep meaning to say this; I appreciate your comments so much. ( It is a little like writing into a void to not hear from anyone.)  I have to also say a big thank you to those of you who can't comment directly on a post but take the time to email me. It is so much fun to check my email these days because of you all.
I am thankful every single day for these connections.

Have a peek at more I Like Thursday stuff over at Not Afraid of Color.
Also linking with Brian's Home BlogConfessions of a Fabric AddictBusy Hands QuiltsIt's A Small Town Life,  and Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thanks for hosting all!

Sunday 1 April 2018

Sweet Sunday Tulip Love

Down came the Christmas hangings(finally!) and up went a Spring and Summer one.  This is called Tiptoe Through the Tulips and the pattern is from Allie-oops Designs.

Truthfully this tulip hanging below in our bedroom, is up year round. That is my Attic 24 Granny Stripe crocheted blanket there which is so warm in the winter.  

And on my "design wall", more tulips- my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 'page' for March.  I wanted something vintage in theme with the old fashioned "thinking of you" phrase added. I thought of the green for March and bright red tulips for spring but the red and green kind of overcame the block.  Now I think it is an even better Christmas block.  This is what happens when I'm left to my own devices!

Check out Diann's post at Little Penguin Quilts for more tulip love...she made a lovely one from these video instructions at the wonderful Missouri Quilt Company. Diann is a superb piecer.

This is all from me today. My worries have gotten the better of me it seems and I am having to work extra hard to keep myself in order.

Hope this is a sweet Sunday for you in more ways than one!

It is also sweet to join linky parties at Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsCooking Up QuiltsSew Can SheFree Motion By the River and Bambi's Show and Tell Monday