Thursday 29 November 2018

Chosen Vital Things

                         Image result for volaire saying I have chosen to be happy
I like this saying and I think I had the fortitude to choose mostly, but I'm not sure everyone has that ability and certainly not all the time. For instance, last Tuesday I felt sad all day.  No idea why, no reason that I could pinpoint, just mopey and teary with a feeling of weight on my mind. I went about my business as usual but felt like I was going through the motions, as it were.
When I woke on Wednesday, I could tell immediately the feeling had lifted a little, and thankfully wore off throughout the day.  So what was that?  I don't think I could have done anything differently. I'll say again, if that is what depression is like, then it is horrible.

But speaking of is a list of all things chosen including rescued Murphy!

But speaking of health, I've treated myself and just ordered these from Costco online, $40 off the regular price, my only online shopping for Cyber Monday.  I'll look forward to trying them out with the hope that I will be able to do it. Bout time as I've talked about snowshoes for a couple of years now.  Did you get any bargains?

Murphy with snowflakes on her nose.

 Rex has still not figured out he can come to the window by my pet chair to get my attention when he wants in. Miss Smarty Pants does it all the time.

Stitching all those little flowery loops on the antlers seemed to take forever.  I kept reminding myself, you love doing this, right.

And a whole lot of stitches later...

It is quite a vision and a little overwhelming compared to the others. Am now putting the six together in some sort of arrangement.  Those background pieces are all the same colour and material, btw.
My OMG  for December will be to have these put together with border at least to the flimsy stage by the end of the month.  I'm working hard on that border now, BTW.  Photos Sunday.

Sorry about these strangely tinted photos; living in hope that the sun will shine again. 
New to Me...Christmas Marmalade!  I had no idea you could get such a thing. It is a bit spicier than the regular stuff but very tasty; Hubby loves it. This version is Mackays' Christmas Marmalade with Cranberries and is also recommended for basting ham or serving with cheese.

Also new to me; I had no idea cats were so cooperative!
 I liked this because that cat did not look like one that would at all cooperate, but it sure did. In fact, I would say he actually seemed to like it.

I'm off with Hubby for a bit of a shop in a neighbouring little town and lunch out. Hope there is something fun in your day today.
And yet another chosen thing is linking with Not Afraid of Color where the things to like on Thursdays keep on coming. Also linking with Brian's Home BlogIt's A Small Town LifeSew Fresh QuiltsBusy Hands QuiltsElm Street Quilts and Em's Scrapbag.

Sunday 25 November 2018

What Bores Me, Winter Panel Stitching, Snowmen Too

Growing up we were not allowed to say we were bored...well not allowed is a little bit strong...encouraged not to say it would be more accurate. I have no memory of either parent ever really putting their foot down. We would always be pointed toward a book, our school work, go outside and play or hobbies if we ever looked like we needed something to do.

Since I grew up sooo long ago, I always had a shoe box with paper dolls and paper clothes cut out of old Sears or Eatons Catalogues to play with. We also had scrapbooks made of those cheap newsprint type pages to glue things in and decorate with crayons- pencil leads never made bold enough colours on that paper to suit me. In the fall, I would always fill one with different kinds of leaves I'd collected tramping through the woods behind Charles Street.  This would inevitably become a crumbly kind of mess by February.

 Imagine pointing a 10 year old towards doing those things today! What did you do that would be a hoot for today's child to hear about?

This made me think about journals or planners or calendars with the 2019 versions fresh on the shelves. Is it me or is this getting to be an even bigger "thing" each year.
Here is a beautiful example, the Quilter's Planner from, yes, Quilter's Planner, pricey but what a great gift. And great video too.

A magazine comes with the planner and  it all seems substantial if you know what I mean.


I've tried to write the way I do some things and I bore myself to death and then I think, if I'm bored then you will be bored.  So I admire those of you who write tutorials which I love to read and learn from.
A person who writes great tutorials is Connie at Free Motion by the River and this is a link to one of her over 100 tutorials; this one, Peace on Earth, is a sweet Christmas table runner design.  Pretty fabrics, heh. I like those greens.

Tis the Season Table Runner Tutorial

I also dislike writing out may have noticed I will always praise you when you do that.  I also find that kind of boring.

Rock Recipes, a food blog by fellow Newfoundlander, Barry Parsons, is one I love to search through.  Barry has gathered over 1600 recipes, many celebrating the kind of home made, home baked dishes we grew up with in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Obviously, it never bored him to write out recipes! 

 I also follow the blog, Lillian's Cupboard, where the amazing 86 year old writes out full recipes from her files of basic, old fashioned fare. I love it.  Just about anything you ate or heard of as a kid and had a mother, aunt or grandmother make is in her archive. Update, 2019...Lillian's daughter announced that Lillian has sadly passed away. I miss her.

A whole lot of Christmas stitching enjoyment in my pet chair...My After the Snow panel to be quilted and my Snowmen in Hats applique blocks at the start.

This will sound like heresy to you wonderful piecing quilters, but I find time at the sewing machine boring.  Just making those 46  blocks for the panel border was my limit.
 I tried to sandwich it on the floor but honestly, it hurt my knees too much so the kitchen island was the better spot.  I lashed it down with lots of masking tape- not pretty but it worked, and spent an hour doing the basting which I did not find boring.

I plan to hand stitch around the bits of batting I've glued to the roof snow. Thought of it after all the basting was done- I meant to show you a photo of that.

A little snowman start! Do you like the polka dot background fabric? Think I'll make 6 or 9 blocks...see how the snowman sewing spirit moves me.
Such an easy little project; definitely not going to stress myself about it, just going to enjoy the stitching journey! Great way to use some of those scraps I have under new management. LOL

Technically neither of these projects are Christmas, more winter; they can languish into January.  Now my Scandinavian Redwork pieces really are Christmas, so I must get that last reindeer's antlers stitched.  I think it was my OMG for November.
Anyway, so happy to have enjoyable projects in my hands, on this, the last Sunday in November, 2018.  No time to be bored!

Also enjoyable to link with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsEm's ScrapbagLove Laugh QuiltCooking Up QuiltsSew Can She and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Thursday 22 November 2018

All the Rich yet Small Things

I would much rather be gardening outside but do have a patch for indoors this winter.  I repotted and doubled up some of the plants and fingers crossed, will manage to not kill them in the long winter months ahead.  It scratches my gardening itch to maintain these and fuss over them a little each day.  I don't use fertilizer but may need to read up on it if the finicker ones are to survive.

And look at this. Brave geranium blooming still.  You might wonder why they are corralled here in a spare room...both dogs dig in dirt and one of them has been known to eat it...hope that doesn't disgust you too much, so indoor plants have to be guarded much to my chagrin. 

I took this photo of a little red squirrel before the snowfall and through my kitchen window...there are three around the bird feeder and are quite small; we think they are babies. But it obviously has discovered fir tree bark for food too as I watched through binoculars while it chewed away on this twig. With our 'forest' of evergreens, they will definitely not run out of food!

I have a new pet chair ordered from Wayfair. We retired the former in laws' cottage chair to another corner of the room.  Quite comfortable but missing the leather arms that coffee spills could be easily wiped from.  I think I mentioned I can't even eat an apple without getting something on myself. And it's not my hands; they are thankfully still steady. It's a soft brick red with neutral stripes and is very comfy.

Since the snow has piled up and we are resigned now that it is here "for good", snowmen are well in order.  Here are a few of Chuck's that I photocopied to start making the templates.  I am calling this project "Bonhommes de Neige en Chapeaux"/ "Snowmen in Hats"; not very original but like I mentioned, my creative mojo seems to have taken a hike. But don't they look like neat fellows and ladies.

Here are my blocks on the panel border. I'm just using plain muslin for the backing.  "After the Snow" has moody kind of colours especially in parts of the sky and ground and even the red has a very dark undertone.  Perhaps for the artist, this added to the melancholy or nostalgic aspect he wanted to achieve.
I'm glad I stopped dithering about choosing a block and got the start made as there were seemingly endless ways to finish this.

And this is again a blue for the outer edge but one with a gray undertone that looks good with the colours-as far as I can tell.

I made a batch of molasses buns on Sunday and froze most of them as they freeze really well.  These were a staple growing up in a Newfoundland home and a friend on Facebook sent me her mom's recipe - thank you Barb!- to try out.
  Hubby loved them, especially the size but also the molasses taste- a favourite of his, and will enjoy having one with his afternoon tea.

A free pattern especially for angel lovers.
Shelly at Gingermelon is generously offering her free templates and tutorial to make these sweet Christmas angel paper dolls. Place markers come to mind or a pretty trio for a shelf. The link is here.

While there, take a look around. I noticed the very cute bear pin cushion pattern is free as well.

It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States and I wish a peaceful, wonderful celebration with lots of good eating for each and everyone!  I learned about a couple of new to me dishes for Thanksgiving that I will share soon...what's good for Thanksgiving is great for Christmas.

Frosty here today with a frostbite warning in effect; presently a windchill of -26 outside. Yikes!
Linking as always with Not Afraid of Color, Sew Fresh Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and  My Quilt Infatuation.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Too Soon She Said

It snowed steadily for a couple of days with the kids enjoying a snow day on Friday.
So I had to get out and shovel since shovelling is my job here and one that I enjoy.

Here I am at the beginning when I had the energy to pose a little for the camera. The snow was heavy so I was careful with the lifting part.  I'm mindful of my hands and fingers too.

Rex, being a German Shepherd, has a double fur coat and is quite comfortable lying on the snow and just supervised most of the time.

I've been having fun researching border ideas for my After the Snow panel.

  I settled on these two fabrics which coordinate with the colours in the panel. I'm sewing little square in a square blocks, some by hand.  Set on point they should provide enough interest for an edging. This is a true fun project... photos of this next time.

I've also explored the idea of using a little trapunto to emphasize some of the scene.  I watched a most interesting video on accomplishing just that with a panel not unlike mine. I was amazed again by the notion that whatever you can think of, there is a already a video for it on the net.

Been in a little creative slump even though I am sleeping better than in a long while.  I've decided to listen to violin music (my favourite) while writing

or doing this...Lexulous which I play by myself on the computer.  I'm not that great at it as I still haven't collected 700 points in a game which is my goal.  Any of you play this?

                                                 Image result for lexulous 

 So that's me for this Sunday.  Trying to jiggle those brain cells any which way I can while winter settles steadily around me no matter how much I cry "too soon".
Hope your day is going great.
Happy too to link with Kathy's Quilts, Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, Cooking Up Quilts , Frontier Dreams, Esther's Quilt Blog and Em's Scrapbag.

Thursday 15 November 2018

Don't Watch Hoarders, Ikea Shopping, Cheater's Cloth

I spent three hours in the sewing room and had very little stitching to show for that time.  I wound up sorting my cardboard collection (yes, I have one) and throwing a bunch of it in recycling.  I collect those little stiff cards you get in the mail from realtors and the like and use them for templates.  We get quite a few and some of the cards are thicker stock than others.  All the flimsier stuff went out.

This spree was prompted by a particularly horrible episode of Hoarders I had on the laptop.  Who knows how this hoarding thing begins.  Perhaps with bits of cardboard. No one seems to know how to get to the bottom of it really and after their houses have been shovelled out and all the dumpsters hauled away, I'm not certain those poor folks have truly been cured.

During that little closet foray, I did uncover my bag of scraps and moved it downstairs to the t.v. area. Last night I began to cut them into a few different sizes and wished I'd been doing this from time to time...this heap has built up fast!  So yes to ongoing scrap management.

I also found this.  I'd looked at this panel called "After the Snow" in a fabric shop priced at $19.98 and enjoyed the very nostalgic scene by Bob Fair. When I returned to buy it, it had sold out.  I took note of the name and back in April found it for $9 at one of the online quilting sites. I'm hoping to find some coordinating fabric in my pile and do a little hand quilting on it.  So any opinions on using convenience/ cheater's cloth??

I also found my small box of Christmas fabric and pulled a few things for Chuck's snowmen.

We were Ikea shopping recently.  I had my usual in their efficient cafe, the smoked salmon plate.

                                           Image result for smoked salmon at ikea
Did you know you can have wine with your meal there?  Happy shoppers indeed!
 Hubby had his usual, the meatballs and we shared a piece of cheesecake. We both had refills on the coffee as we like it there.

I'd enjoyed this video from Auntie Coo Coo beforehand so had some idea of what the 2018 Christmas stuff would look like.  I bought various strings of lights, one with squirrels that I'll show you when Robbie, the 5 year old grandson, comes over to help me decorate.

Pumping gas is one of my least favourite things to do, especially in our frosty winter temperatures. We've been talking about the next car being electric.  Ikea is well prepared with lots of docking blocks and we were surprised to see how many cars were plugged in there. It looked rather futuristic to me.

I found my way to this quite accidentally. Older daughter had just finished reading The Aviator's Wife and enjoyed it very much. Anybody else read it?

 I had read it some years back when it first arrived at the library. Anne Morrow is a favourite of mine for many reasons. I always had a copy of Hour of Silver, Hour of Lead and Gift From the Sea and often reread bits to take solace and inspiration from her carefully crafted words.
 I love books about marriages and have a special admiration for authors who can give voice to real people. The Aviator's Wife offers a look at Anne's marriage (from Anne's perspective) to Charles Lindbergh- very interesting and a very easy read too btw. I'm listening to it on audio and enjoying it in this format.
  I was sorry to see Rhonda at Down to Earth retire from blogging.  I've read her blog for years and enjoyed her perspective on how simple home life is the best kind of living. She is leaving her posts up in the meantime; they are a fantastic resource for everything from baking to keeping chickens. Update, Rhonda is still publishing posts at her blog site. Still lots to check out there. Update, Rhonda is still posting from time to time. 

As always, thankful on a Thursday to link with Not Afraid of Color, My Quilt InfatuationSew Can SheBusy Hands Quilts and So Scrappy.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Links, Pattern Cache, Special Sunday and Stitching Dreams

I get goosebumps just thinking about war and especially reading all the stories that keep emerging about those times.
Soldiers Embroider for Therapy   This is an interesting story sent to me by a friend through Facebook (thank you Lillian!).  I've read about soldiers knitting as therapy but had not heard of embroidering before.  It looks to me like counted cross stitch. I can only hope that working like this with needle and thread soothed them somewhat after the horrors they endured during trench warfare in World War I.

To commemmorate the 100th anniversary of that war's ending,  the bells will ring at sunset across Canada today beginning in Newfoundland at 4:29.  At 4:37 our time, when we walk the dogs, I intend to ring a set of sleigh bells.  Here in our little forest, perhaps only the chickadees and foxes will hear them. ✻We will always remember their sacrifice.✻

While not giving me goosebumps, Santas make me happy.
  I've had this idea in my notebook for a few years! I came across it at  Gazette 94. (My head is so easily turned when it comes to stitching things.) What do you think of it?  Of course, it's a given that it would take some years to complete.
 It's really no joke now that a few of my projects will take me into my 70's but, make no mistake, I'll be thankful of it too.

This is an excellent article- 25 Quilting Tips From Kim Diehl  posted by Jenny Wilder Cardon which I read and realized we don't need to be told so much as reminded of things. Some interesting short cuts mentioned- if only I could remember them when I'm actually at the machine.

I mentioned in my last post that snowmen are on my mind.  I've been looking through my Chuck Nohara book, 2001 Nouveaux Modeles de Patchwork from Quiltmania, and just love her interpretation of snowmen. That book is quite a resource and worth every penny of its expensive price tag, imo.

I think I will photocopy some of the designs today and see where it takes me.

Meanwhile I'm stitching a couple more of my birds on the Kim McLean Pot of Flowers bottom banner.  These Kaffe prints are like working with one of those large Crayola boxes of 120 crayons.  So many lovely colours to choose from. 

Here is yet another fabulous use of Kaffe fabrics the other day posted by the wonderful quilter, Preeti, at Sew Preeti Quilts.
The House By Kaffe design made by Denise Kruz.

                             Image result for the house that Kaffe built

Here is a link to just one of the many free School House patterns you can find -Quilters Cache. It's interesting to see a vintage pattern turned all shiny and new with the use of modern fabrics.

So on this Remembrance Day Sunday, hope all is peaceful in your world.  Though frosty, the sun is shining here...a most welcome sight.

Linking this post with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh QuiltBusy Hands QuiltsKatie Mae Quilts, Free Motion By the River, Sew Fresh Quilts and Em's Scrapbag.

Thursday 8 November 2018

Fabric Shopping, Good News Stories

Hello from the land of Flying Leaves! 

This is Portsmouth by Minick and Simpson for Moda.  I bought a fat quarter bundle on special at The Fat Quarter Shop and I just love the quality and colours. Some of the pieces have a very chintzy look that I like.  Perhaps for the Dear Daughter Quilt; btw that block of the month is still continuing at Sentimental Stitches and you can download 4 patterns a month for free.  Or perhaps the mighty Caswell Quilt...I have the patterns for that as well...Daughter gave me the set last Christmas.  Dreaming here!

Wish I'd taken a photo on that one sunny day!
Image result for portsmouth fabric moda

It's a good thing I love her!

Where does Murphy choose to lie in the Sewing Room?  Right on my FLower Pot pattern I'd lain on the floor.  They are very large and flimsy pieces but fortunately, she caused just the one tear there you can see. 

Just prior to the last big loss of leaves we were fortunate to spy our barred owl again.  This time it seemed to be snoozing and I took several photos before it opened its eyes to look at us.   Not so fortunately, on a walk last week, we watched a flock of crows very noisily drive off an owl to a distance way out of sight.  We assume it to be this guy and really hope it will return.

What the World Needs Now
This is a wonderful story.  Muslims in Toronto, Ontario form protective Rings of Peace around Jewish synagogues to show support after the Pittsburgh tragedy. Huffington Post has the whole "good news" story.

And this story too.
This gave me goosebumps! How did a thank you wreath of crocheted poppies from Australia wind up on a war memorial in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Here is the story.

Scroll through these quilts The 2018 Winners in Quilts: A World of Beauty at the International Quilt Show if you want inspiration.  I had to smile when I looked at this gorgeous lacey looking one, a winner for machine stitching...

thinking of my time at the machine last week making a simple circle around a pumpkin!

Deep into fall now and my mind is starting to think more of winter stitching. Specifically  I'm thinking of snowmen so I have a couple of things to show you.  See what you think.

Meanwhile happily linking with Not Afraid of Color and Brian's Home Blog.