Sunday, 28 October 2018

Stitching on a Snowy Sunday

Last of Autumn photos.  Imagine my surprise to see this aster making a final show despite two brushings of snow. Everything else has succumbed to their pre-winter fate. Alas covered in 5 cm of snow this morning.


Meanwhile inside, pretty purples and pinks as well.  One of four appliqued birds for this panel of the Pot of Flowers. Pure fun making these.


And more fun sewing. Fingers flying trying to accomplish my OMG but also just want to have a pumpkin piece finish for the fall. My Blanket Stitch skills are getting quite a workout!


Watching this show has helped. Toni Collette is just a little bit wonderful in it and shows how maintaining long term happy relationships is just a little bit hard.

                               Image result for wanderlust

Should Not Eat Bees was the caption for this...taken at a vet's office.  Poor little pup.  It reminded me of the time something stun Murphy's mouth and she looked lop sided for a day. We couldn't help smiling every time we looked at her.

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Checking Google can be scary.

I feel his pain as I had a tick scare last week.
 Found one on my torso, a black legged/deer tick-the one that carries Lyme disease...barely attached because I had no problem taking it out with tweezers.  It's left a little mark that I have been checking and it's disappearing now. It wasn't there when I had my shower earlier and I haven't had any symptoms so I assume I'm in the clear.
I think I got it carrying wood that day but with the dogs around too who knows.  We both practice care when walking...wear our high rubber boots year round and keep the trails trimmed because we know Ottawa is a high risk area for tick borne Lyme.
But it's genuinely scary to google Lyme Disease...it gave me a real reason to not sleep that night.  Still uneasy.

Happy Halloween to all celebrating.
My Cheri Payne Sew Spooky piece from last year. Free patterns are still in the files over at the Cheri Friendship Facebook Group.


We don't get any trick or treaters here. I used to love dressing up in the old days to give out the treats.
But we do have a snowy Sunday morning and a plan to meet friends for lunch.  Hope you have something nice on the go too.
And it's always nice to link up with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt, and What a Hoot Quilts.



Thursday, 25 October 2018

Shopping Loot, Stitching, Coffee- The Usual

I'd just read an article about why our ears and nose look bigger the older we get.  So it's not my imagination or some form of dysmorphia I'm experiencing! My nose really is bigger and this realization provided one of those moments where I thought oh fudge! because really who of us have ever thought, can't wait till I'm older and this too small nose of mine will grow bigger. According to this article,  Our Nose and Ears Continue to Grow as long as we live. Sadly, it's true but back to the gratefulness to be around for this thing to happen all the same!

I love monogramming in all its various forms.  I used to embroider my initials on the pocket of a plain blouse back in the day. Shades of Laverne! Doesn't Penny Marshall look pretty here?
Image result for laverne

  Jenny of ELEFANTZ has been offering a free alphabet pattern for a monthly pin cushion featuring her lovely versions of the letters.  H is below. Her posts are always an enjoyable read as well.



New to me   Rust Dyeing This kept popping up when searching for autumn coloured material till finally I took the time to read about it.  Very beautiful glowing colours are achieved with a little effort and ordinary materials, sometimes old nails!

                      Tea, Vinegar, and a little rust... cloth effects

Jennifer Coyne Qudeen  has the most interesting posts about dyeing/painting fabrics with a tea and vinegar mixture to give them these unique markings and colours.  It's a whole movement apparently and one some of you creative fabric types would enjoy checking out.

Loot of Late
With thoughts of colder weather, I gravitate toward the wooly sections of any store these days.
 I did buy that coat from Cabela's.  It is my fall coat presently but can also accommodate a nice thick turtleneck so could last a bit longer into our winter.  It's fairly light and comfortable and the toggles remind me of a coat I had when I was young. I've been using my Landsend purple paisley print scarf with it which has little rows of velvet trim.  Daughter thinks the colour suits me.


Another wooly I found at Value Village- a Talbots sweater that is loose and comfy and a soft mulberry colour.  I've been wearing this with pj bottoms watching t.v. in the basement.  Definitely worth the ten dollars.


I wish my camera captured the real colour here...a very pretty saphire blue and I found this one in the Banana Republic outlet store. I can wear turtlenecks...can you?  Cause I know not everyone can. Having a long skinny neck like me helps!


And this purchase from Bed Bath and Beyond...a little tired of the Keurig coffee pods which can't be beat for how convenient.  I did a little research and decided to try a coffee press, something I had way way back when I first became a coffee drinker.  This one, the Bonjour Monet French Press had good reviews and was available locally so I bought it and I'm liking it.  I love the design, however there is a tiny bit of work to actually making the coffee but I'm retired so time is not an issue now. The coffee is stronger than I'm used to so I've had a small learning arc to get the coffee/water ratio right for me. But it does seem like real coffee to me.  What is your preferred method for getting your morning's brew?


Here are The Grasshopper's four corner stone blocks.  These were a treat to hand stitch and a pattern that is pleasing for another project sometime.  When I uncover my machine, I'll start to sew these blocks together- she says with fingers crossed.


Do you remember the little cartoon devil and angel that used to sit on people's shoulders and give them opposing advice?  That could be me right now. I have one saying yes, get to it, finish Grasshopper now and don't forget the pumpkins! while the other little one is whispering, nah, Grasshopper can wait-it'll be there when you're ready for it; scandi redwork is almost done; pick out something else Christmasy to start...you only live once and you love Christmas so much.
Is that floating around in your head too?  Conflicting thoughts about when/what to start or finish and feeling the love for Christmas and Christmasy things that builds this time of year??

We are sitting at -4 degrees C this morning so definitely nippy outside. How's the weather where you are?
Meanwhile so happy to link with Not Afraid of Color as always. Also joining Esther's Quilt Blog,
Free Motion By the RiverThe Needle and Thread NetworkSew Fresh Quilts, Busy Hands Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation.




















Sunday, 21 October 2018

My Sewing Room, October 2018

This week I moved my sewing room and am now situated at the back of the house a little removed from the main area I have shown you a couple of times.  The move was more taxing than I realized mainly because I had poked a lot of stuff in that relatively small space. Hubby helped and provided me with one of those wheelie carts.
  But I kind of didn't want him around all the time...he just might see how much sewing/stitching/knitting stuff I've accumulated. Can't have that, LOL.

I put my work table against the only window (but is large) which gives me a view of the back yard and very tall fir trees. I've already enjoyed watching various birds flitting about.


Almost all my fabric is now in one cabinet I bought at Canadian Tire on special and Hubby put together...

 One of the fun things about moving is unveiling things forgotten about and tucked away. I did not find any WIP's (thankfully) as some of you discover , but did find more fabric than I would have owned up to having on hand. I have my 6  t.b.q.'s/ To Be Quilted projects, organized on one shelf so now they can collectively haunt me.

Thank you all for the positive words you sent re my pumpkins. ☺  It seems like pumpkins are a favourite subject with many of us.  I'm just as excited about them and can't wait to have the hand stitching done so I can sew them together.  It's so nice when that feeling can see you through a project to the end.

Meanwhile, redwork Scandi Hare is wearing his Christmas sweater.  I've also begun appliqueing the bottom large block- 58 x 12 inches, of the Pot of Flowers.   It features four birds that I've got to the freezer paper stage now.  Btw, this is a great scrappy project because some of the pieces are very small and the large ones lend themselves quite well to combinations of fabrics. I can imagine these pattern pieces working with so many different colour ways.




I have a small spiral ham in the oven for our Sunday dinner. I plan to make roasted veggies with it. A throwback feeling to when I was young and there was always a special meal for Sundays. 
Something good on your menu today?  (BTW, Loot photos next time, I promise!)
Hope your October Sunday is a good one!

Happy to join the link up at Kathy's Quilts.  Lots of beautiful handwork to be seen there! Also joining the link parties at
 Quilting is More Fun Than Housework where Cynthia is proving that even tiny fabric bits add up- something that appeals to my frugal nature, 
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where Judy is making blocks inspired by a quilt hand sewn by a 7 year old in 1852!
Cooking Up Quilts where Beth just made the cutest blocks as a border to personalize her Santa Panel, 
and 
What a Hoot Quilts where Lynette made the most beautiful window treatments for her bay windows-now that's sewing!


Thursday, 18 October 2018

Gratefulness, Pumpkins, and a Lap Ap(?)

One of my Netherlands blogging friends made the point that though we have already reached a good age, her and I, was I like her and still wanted more days.  Are we selfish to wish this though so many did not get what we have gotten, she wondered. Yes, I agree, most definitely we do want more.

 I immediately thought about the friend who played the organ at my first wedding and has been gone over twenty years now.  She was so mature, talented, and remarkable in many, many ways...a true inspiration to me, and sadly did not get to live to see her children grow up.
All the more reason to muster up gratefulness even on our darkest days I write to my friend.

However, not having to work hard on this cool but sunny day to conjure up gratefulness with fall literally falling around me.

 I can honestly say this activity below was the most fun I've had in the sewing room...choosing the fabrics for these pumpkins. Edyta chose mostly batiks with a few reproduction prints for hers.  I don't have either of those but was happy to dig deep and find fabric that pleased me very much.
What do you think?



I've been busy doing a blanket stitch around each of the pieces...a great t.v. activity.  This is my OMG for October so maybe I will be able to sneak it in under the wire.  That's actually a good thing to have a publicly stated monthly goal like that I mean.  Patty at Elm Street Quilts hosts two large link parties a month...one for the goal finish and one for stating a new monthly goal.


Quick food question...are you familiar with Kraft Sandwich Spread? I mention this because I was speaking of it recently and the person had never heard of it.  I think I grew up with it and usually have a jar in the fridge. It's like a slightly tangy mayonnaise.  Hubby remembers eating quite a few Sandwich Spread sandwiches during his teen years and still likes it on sandwiches today.


Just dug out our scarves and mitts bin...it was below freezing overnight and we had (briefly) light flurries yesterday. Gloves and a hat are in order now for the early morning walks.
Also including my Morris inspired scarf which is lightweight enough to wrap twice around my neck.  And I love it.  Still feel lucky to have spied this being put on the shelf at the Gap in August!


Anybody use a Lap Ap?  A device that's sort of a lap table for stitching and hand work.

                                              The Lap App
 I've been looking hard at getting one.  I usually use a pillow to rest my hands on but this device seems like an even better way to raise up what you are stitching.  And it features a neat surface for cutting fabric plus some magnets. The link is Lap App Store if you'd like to read more about it.
I'm finding everyone does something a little differently about handling their pieces when stitching. What do you do?

So picture me this weekend, needle flying, stitching those pumpkins while watching the leaves flying through the air outside my big window and possibly even the white stuff!
 But before that I'm spending Friday night with the littler grandson...his mom has been on a business trip to Indiana in the U.S. and her flight doesn't get in till very late. So some serious Nana time ahead for me which I'm also so grateful for.

I got to do some outlet shopping recently; will share my loot next time!☺
Always grateful for linking up with Not Afraid of Color, Sew Can She, So Scrappy and Busy Hands Quilts.









                                          

Monday, 15 October 2018

Oranges and Free Patterns

         We had a wonderful autumn weekend, cool temperatures but sunshiny.  I worked on wood both days, bringing it from the big pile to stacking it near our door for use in the fireplace later on.  I love when being outside in fresh air is also productive.  My arms got a bit of a workout too. They are so weak!                         
 Well, the trees are definitely 'reconsidering' their leaves around here.  Just when did the paths become covered. Mostly yellow leaves on this trail but darkening to orange on the ground.


And the most glorious oranges surrounding the driveway photographed here just prior to dusk.


Below is a project I wanted to share last year but never got around to it.  A log cabin pumpkin tutorial from The Inbox Jaunt by Lori Kennedy.  Very easy and cute with lots of variations.  Definitely a great scrappy piece.

Pumpkin Log Cabin Quilit

And speaking of glorious colours, I've finished stitching a side panel for the big Applique project I have on the go- the Kim McLean Pot of Flowers project.  I like how it has turned out.  Still in it's freezer paper pieces here.


When I finish my Grasshopper cornerstone blocks, I'm allowing myself to begin the Edyta Sitar Pumpkins piece. Hopefully I'll have pumpkins of my own to show you on Thursday!

I can't remember if I shared this free Autumn pattern before.  It's a downloadable from the wonderful Crabapple Hill Studio and Meg Hawkey has designed one for each of the seasons.



Just love her designs.
Hope you had a good weekend and your Monday is off to a good start. Happy Stitching everyone!
So happy to link up with Cooking Up Quilts where Beth has a link to her Scrambled Block tutorial. Also linking to What a Hoot QuiltsLove Laugh Quilt, So Scrappy and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.




Thursday, 11 October 2018

Autumn, Tea Buns, and Quilt Blocks

A bit of gorgeousness in the midst of gloomy and somewhat humid days.  So happy to see some stints of sun yesterday however back to rain today.


But a bonus of the wet weather is all the mushrooms sprouting. I've counted 9 different kinds and was thrilled when Hubby spied this in a dark part of the woods...a fairy ring on our walk one day. It has since all but disappeared!


My autumn hanging I made in 2016 is up on the wall again. A good thing about looking at this is realizing how much my skills have improved.  This looks extremely simple to me now especially compared to the Grasshopper blocks I am piecing. I like it nonetheless and I guess it stands as a piece of my stitching history.


Speaking of Grasshopper, here are a few more blocks; not perfect but I'm handling it! I'm stitching the cornerstone blocks now and they have curved edges which soften the look.





I love a lot of stuff but an abiding one is love of pencils and pens. I'm particular about both ...ink must always be black, sort of thing.  When I saw these, I thought how beautiful can you make a pencil.  These are Backyards and Gardens of Portugal scented pencils from CW Pencils where you can find vintage and specialty pencils and like paraphernalia.

                               
Lately, I've immersed myself in wellness videos...looking carefully at diet and fitness as it affects aging, etc.  There is so much I could do better. But then my need for baked goods overcomes me. LOL

 When I was home recently, my sister was saying baked goods such as muffins are her downfall. Like so many Newfoundlanders,  I think growing up with a mother who baked a lot, this is true comfort food for us.
 Yesterday, even though I felt out of sorts or maybe because of that, I made these raisin tea buns in just such a mood for something to go with a cup of tea. This recipe came from a 1960's cookbook by the United Church ladies of Hopeall, Newfoundland and is called Trinity Tea Buns.  It does not have vanilla listed but does call for an egg. They are good and I didn't overbake for a change.


Speaking of fitness...
Here's Mutt and Jeff (Rex and Murphy) at the end of a little run around the property...I do a walk/run kind of thing with them most days just to get our heart rates up a bit...since the three of us are about the same age. oldtimers :)


Hope your week has been a good one as spring or fall steadily progresses.
So good to continue linking with Not Afraid of ColorSew Fresh QuiltsMy Quilt InfatuationBrian's Home BlogBusy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.












Sunday, 7 October 2018

Turkey-Wearing Cat and Jigg's Dinner

 Tomorrow is officially turkey day here in Canada so Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating the holiday with family today.  Without the exciting drama of Black Friday or the quaint story of Pilgrims and Indians dining together, but with family and turkey and all the trimmings just the same.

Where I come from it includes a version of something called  Jiggs Dinner which is Boiled New England Dinner in other places. My complaint, which I share with other Newfoundlanders, is that it is hard to find good salt meat here on the mainland(what we call the rest of Canada). By good, I mean a good meat to fat ratio.

Making me hungry looking at this!

                                        Image result for jiggs dinner

For all my quilting friends with their beloved cats I just had to include this photo.  (I tried to find the photo credit but could not; if you know it, please let me know.)  Doesn't she look like a queen which is something cats are good at doing.
                                           Image result for knitted turkey wearing cat
                                             
Quilting Inspiration has the links for a bank of free patterns featuring turkeys and leaves.
I particularly love how dresden plate gets utilized for the tail feathers in this one.

                                        

New to Me
French General Convenience cloth is available with hexagons and no seams! It took me ages to clarify that what they really mean is a panel or cheater's cloth, but convenience is such a nicer name.  A great piece to practice hand quilting a simple motif and so pretty for Christmas.  The Fat Quarter Shop is selling it by the yard and I think I will order some for a table runner. Why?  Because I don't have enough hand stitching to do!!

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Speaking of which, stitching away on the Scandinavian Redwork blocks.  Too bad there isn't a turkey block to show; have to make do with a hare instead.


And when we see the sun again (and I'm hoping that's not an if), I'll have to remember to take a bunch of photos.  Also sorry to those trying to comment and it's not working. I've asked Blogger several times now to fix it.  GRRR
Happy Sunday all!  Linking this post with Kathy's QuiltsFree Motion By the RiverSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts, and What a Hoot Quilts.












Thursday, 4 October 2018

Applique, BOM's and Cabela's Shopping

Early morning view from my pet chair...yes, dark enough this early in the season to have lights on here at the wooden house.


I was considering harvesting the seeds from the tall standing cone flowers,


then remembered the idea of ugly gardening and how birds enjoy the flower leftovers.  Glancing out the kitchen window, Hubby and I watched as the late season dulled finches were doing just that...a whole flock of them spent a day feasting on the seeds. And I took a couple of " through the window" photos.


What fun it is to have these star blocks of the Grasshopper 2018 BOM start to come together.


Still a lot of stitching as there are four of these to complete but good to have worked out some of the details to make the pieces fit together accurately. I always use an old piece of batting to lay them on as the pieces adhere nicely.  Have also learned to check the underside if a piece is missing!


Their look belies how easy they are to sew and don't you just love when quilting looks complicated but isn't at all.  Sarah promised a great hand stitching project and Grasshopper certainly delivered. Her video tutorials are marvelous and I'll be curious to see her next BOM to be announced the end of this month.

I forgot to show you last time...have finished appliqueing a block of the Kim McLean Flower Pot hanging. Joyful colours.  Am now working on one of the long side panels. With continual grey skies, it's difficult to have indoor photos showing true colours; for instance, that background is in reality, Kona white.


Remember the Lily Challenge Project, which features this great scrappy block.
I have made 20 or so of these now...usually 3 or 4 at a time while waiting for the potatoes to boil kind of thing.
Do you do that?  Have little chores or stitching that gets fitted into tiny time slots.


 While watching this (and frankly questioning why I enjoy murder mysteries sooo much-have I got a problem?),
                                   

I cut out another twelve blocks.  I think I'll return to the machine to sew this group. I have enough hand stitching to keep me satisfied for a while. The way these are put together in groups of 4 is rather unique.  You can see for yourself at the Facebook group page or at the Het Klossie web page.

Increasingly thinking of warmth and fleece comes to my mind- this in a Cabela's catalogue caught my eye. It's called The North Face Crescent Wrap pictured in Fig Heather.  I like the colour (also available in black), but not sure if just one closure would be warm however forgiving on the hips! You can look at it here Cabelas.
                           
                                                   Image result for north face crescent wrap in fig heather

October is settling down upon us, much cooler overnight, and out west in Alberta they had a huge snowstorm! Ahh, foretelling what is sure to come.

As always linking with the Thursday likes gang over at Not Afraid of Color. Also linking with
Quilt FabricationQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkEsther's Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Fresh Quilts .