Monday 28 September 2020

Autumn Colours in Nature and Quilting, Free Patterns, Pumpkin Quilt

 Grey sky but scarlet and gold all around me. Even flying through the air. Two ravens gliding on the wind completed the autumn picture down by the pond today...but flew out of sight by the time I got the camera ready. 

 How lucky am I, I thought that this is part of my early morning walk.
 Details in nature like this leafy canopy, I never tire of noting.
The colours reminded me of the Laundry Basket Pumpkin quilt that I stitched in 2018 and now have on the wall. Such enjoyment to work with those autumn type fabrics too. 

My OMG at Elm Street Quilts was to get the Flower Garden quilt finished and on a table, an ambitious goal considering all the hand work required to bring that about. However, I have most of the triangles finished and have begun stitching the centers using the indigo perle cotton thread and so it should be bound and finished soon (ish). 

 Let's hope it is on a table by next month.  Thank you all for your encouraging comments and to the linky parties that gave it a shout out-very kind!- and pinned it to Pinterest. The block pattern was posted by generous Melva at Melva Loves Scraps as part of her Pieces of the Past free SAL and can still be found there.

Meanwhile, I have signed up for this free Hemisphere Quiltalong being offered by Sheila Christensen Quilts...I was quite taken with the blocks...looks so interesting and each different which would hold my attention.  I do need to buy something called a 60 degree triangle to do these so it would be a learning experience in more ways than one. 

And my Halloween flimsy from 2019 ( the beginning of that stitching adventure here) needs to be backed and quilted. I must admit I liked it when I got it out again. I had used free vintage Halloween patterns from  Buttermilk Basin for the embroidered blocks. Sorry for the yellowy photo...that's the lighting in the tv room yesterday when I took this. 

I will get a start on setting this one up for quilting this week.  It's a good thing I love hand work!

I have to give myself a haircut this week. It's driving me crazy right now and isn't it funny how that day you know it is time. 

I got out to a thrift shop with daughter recently and what a treat it was. It's been many months since I went to a store like that. I felt a little uncomfortable though lots of precautions were being followed. However, I was determined to enjoy my time as who knows when I will get back there with restrictions ramping up again here in Ontario. I did snag a few finds which I will share on Thursday's post. 

Hope you are staying safe and keeping those stitching fingers flying!

Linking this post with Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsApplique Patchwork QuiltingHome Sewn By UsMy Quilt InfatuationWendy's Quilts and MoreConfessions of a Fabric AddictFrom Bolt to Beauty and Love Laugh Quilt.


Friday 25 September 2020

Two Beauty Products, Wisdom, Foxy Visit, Triangle Quilt Decisions

 These three things below were birthday gifts and I thought I'd share them with you. I've mentioned Eckhart Tolle before and how much I love his writing. Saying that though, it is kind of involved in a way and you need to keep your wits about you if you are to take anything away. But I do enjoy his talk about the need to banish negative thoughts and as he puts it, making sure the present now is your friend not your enemy. 

I think I'm addicted to lip balms so anything to do with keeping lips smooth and not feeling dry is much appreciated. This is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask and feels like heaven on your lips. I use it all the time. Probably one of the best skin beauty products I've ever used. Here is the link to Sephora for you to check it out. It's not cheap but you only need a little at a time so a small jar will last a long time. 

There is a movement to use more organic type skin products. That little jar is deodorant from the Beautynut Skincare line.  After a lifetime of rolling/rubbing on a product, to use your fingers to paint your underarms feels odd. I'm determined to use it and finding where it is made from safflower oil, it feels nice on my fingers. It seems to be working but how would I really know with just Hubby and I here. :) Here is a link to Health Nut Shop where you can read more about it.

Meanwhile, the fox who moves across our property from time to time paid us a visit and stayed a while. He had taken a dip in the pond and came up to the driveway to shake and dry himself off. He is quite a long fellow and high on his legs which is how I think he's the same guy. 

You may remember last summer a fox took naps on this same stone driveway; I think it's him.  I'm not sure why he's so skinny as there is an abundance of red squirrels within sight of him there around the feeders. Of course, they disappeared quickly when he decided to lounge about. But if it's the same fellow, he nabbed one two winters ago and I got a photo of it. Update...looked back at the photos and this is not the same fellow who did this latter, not unless this one can grow a whole lot more fur by winter and look a lot plumper. ❗Several have let me know this lean fellow looks like a young yearling.

I don't do indoor bouquets like I used to as I now leave it all for the bees and such. But I couldn't resist making one bouquet back in August as things were starting to die down. 
I lied about the last day for veranda stitching. We have been enjoying much warmer temperatures again with lovely sunshine. Murphy and I have been on the veranda several days this week.  She really enjoys it out there with me. 
Somebody asked and yes, I am using the big hoop for this particular hand quilting. I've finally gotten the hang of using it. And no, I haven't been able to do any rocking with is a stab through and up for each and every stitch but it's moving along nicely. I should say that I used old pillow cases found at the farm house for some of the white triangles and I don't know about the thread count and such but it is tough stuff and resistant to the needle. Why they held up so long, I guess.
On the wall is this piece still- the scrappy triangles.
 I tried the blocks in a number of different ways including making a rainbow kind of design but it left me feeling eh. I tried four different colours meeting in the middle, but that didn't wow me either. When I tried the four triangles of the same colour meeting it gave it a little more oomph. 
The whole of it still has an overall minimalist vibe but seems to look more interesting to have the different patterns abutting each other.  I'm gradually joining more blocks so will show you more together next time. And of course, there will be another decision as to how these then get assembled. 
It's fun to remember the projects the fabrics were used in. 

Hope you have had a great week and the weekend will be even better. As always linking with these wonderful folks:Not Afraid of Color, A Stitch in TimeBrian's Home BlogViewing Nature With EileenPowered By QuiltingSo Scrappy, The Madd QuilterKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Floral Passions..

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Where Our Joy Lies, Free Applique Patterns, Big Stitch Quilting, Tuesday To Do

It says a whole lot about us what we find pleasure in I think.

 I love how my blogging friends find joy in spying a feather flicker, a bud opening, words on a page, the colours of a sunrise or sunset, the look and feel of pretty fabric, the eating of the supper meal in front of the television with hand work at the side waiting for a few more stitches.  Observing the little things, noting and appreciating them all and loving it all too makes me enjoy my visits with you all so much.  If we want the world to be a better place, many more of us need to go small and find our pleasure there. Anyway, that's my small thought for this week. 

Before I forget again, I must tell you there is now an official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook to be available in October but can be preordered now. You can check out more details here at Amazon; great gift for Downton Fans which is probably everybody.  

 I got a whole bunch of my plants repotted- transplanted from outside to indoors. Saves me having to run out with a blanket these last few nights with a threat of frost.

So I can relax about that now.

Speaking of plants...something that turned my head....the wonderful Gay at Sentimental Stitches under her free patterns file has an applique project in that bank that features leaves. I thought what a great fall project. Available are the full size downloadable patterns for about 19 different leaves. You could choose only the ones native to your area or substitute with such. 

Nancy Page Club Falling Leaves Quilt

It reminded me of one of Jenny at Romany Quilting's projects.  She stitched appliqued leaves for a quilt and I admired it very much.

While at Gay's site, check out the other patterns as many wonderful quilts to dream about!

I made an after quilt for the backing on the Flower Garden piece. I used leftover Indigo Snowball blocks from that project stitched several years ago and this fabric with a smallish flower motif in the same shade of blue. There's enough extra around the edge to become the sashing when I'm ready to do that. 

I've begun the quilting using a perle cotton thread in a navy blue colour which I think suits the colours of the whole piece. Getting to practice that rocking motion heaps on this one.
I'll see how far a week gets me. I'm dividing my time between this one and the Dreamy Hearts. I want the back part of that all sewn by next week, too.

I got out my scrappy triangles blocks and enjoyed trying out different patterns with them.  Settled on one and have been stitching a few blocks here and there.  It would be nice if this project can get moved along as well this week though there is no rush with this one. More about it later.


Around the house chores

1) I must dig out my Halloween/Autumn quilts. Time to put the Laundry Basket Pumpkins wall hanging up and some of you may remember I made a large Halloween quilt with a combination of embroidered blocks and pieced ones last year. It's around here somewhere. Maybe to be found when I accomplish #4!

2) Gather kindling and store it for the morning fires...this is not really a chore for me as I love to roam about. I only pick sticks that are not embedded in the ground in any way...don't want to disturb any critters. With our aged forest area here, there is always lots lying around especially after a wind storm.

3) Shut down the was another wonderful summer of swimming. I think I missed 4 days without a swim.

4) Change over our summer clothes for the winter things. In the process, clean out the closet in the spare bedroom where I store the seasonal stuff from our closets and my big stitching stuff like batting and yarn. 

Hope this week will be a productive one for you all.  Please include food in your posts...I'm getting tired of eating my own cooking and need some ideas. (You know how we seem to fall back on the same things all the time.)

Love joining with Home Sewn By Us for the To Do linky party. Also linking with Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsMy Corner of the WorldIt's a Small Town Life and Quilt Fabrication.

Sunday 20 September 2020

Belief in Fairies, Mushrooms, Last Veranda Stitching (Sigh), Lovely QAL

 Fairy rings are on my mind today. (Of all things!)

 I ventured all over the land yesterday and photographed multiple kinds of mushrooms as well as several remarkable fairy rings. We've been oohing and ahhing on our walks about all the different mushrooms and how did they all come about this year. Perhaps the heat of July and then the wet of August. Who knows. I wish I knew a chef who could visit and pick his fill of any that are edible. They are wasted on us as I'm naturally not going to put any of these in my mouth. They're here by the hundreds this year. Never saw the like before.

Little aside I came across while looking up fairy rings. Did you know Sir Arthur Canon Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, believed in fairies?  Here is the Wikepedia entry about this story. He saw the 1920 circa Cottingley photographs and apparently accepted them as proof of fairies. This is photo #1 of the famous 5.

Here is another article where we learn how much those photos are worth on Antiques Roadshow decades later.

Back to earth, I spent most of last Wednesday outdoors and it was glorious. Warmish and sunny, I probably did the last of veranda stitching for 2020. Actually I was out on the back deck where the sun was shining unlike the shady veranda.  I also finished the last of the Dreamy Hearts and am piecing the final sections together which involves machine stitching the front and hand stitching the batting and backs. I'll show photos of that later. Still loving it all and thinking it will make a warm Christmas gift. 

A free and very interesting QAL is happening at For the Love of Geese. It is called The Tree of Life and features log cabin blocks. Making a quilt with that block is on my long list for someday.

I love how Hubby keeps himself occupied and busy with his various projects. Here he is in his corner of the basement where I don't venture often just like he is with my sewing room. He's sprucing up one of his auction buys.  What a difference a coat of paint can make!

Well I have tea to drink and some big stitch hand quilting to get to. Hope your Sunday is a safe and peaceful one. 

Happy to join Kathy's Quilts where the slow stitchers are linking up today.

Thursday 17 September 2020

Gardening and Applique Rewards, Too Old for April Cornell?, Fabric Ambassadors Needed

 This week was a whoosh. My guess is I must have been having a whale of a time, never mind just fun. 

Is it because I was a teacher that September still feels like a fresh start somehow. Because I do seem to have that "new start" feeling. Kind of invigorating and here's hoping it lingers. And that's another thing I love about living where there are seasons. As each rolls around it provides a perfect opportunity for a new beginning.

I've been rewarded for my gardening efforts in two tiny ways.

First of all, the Madagascar Jasmine did very well outdoors and grew lots of new leaves. The final glory was when it sent out a blossom, the first since Christmas when it arrived already in bloom.

Here is the start of the indoor gardening.
And the second thing...I planted a little flowering Weigela bush back in May and it too did well this summer. I was happy to see it send out a few blooms before the fall weather sets in in earnest. 
 I'm relieved it has obviously rooted well and I look forward to it blooming for many years.

Am I too old for April Cornell? I've always had a skirt or jumper in my closet often bought at thrift stores. I still love their stuff-their attention to details is the best- and have one summer skirt still and several table cloths. Here is a link to view their array of pretty things.

 I was thinking I'm too old for it now but this catalog features a model who looks to be about my age which is kind of clever of them to think of us aged hippies. So maybe that is meant to answer my question. 

She's wearing a velvet tunic in this photo...very elegant though comfy but sadly I have no cause to wear such an item, especially these quarantined days. 

✅I've been meaning to post this...the folks at Michael Miller Fabrics are looking for ambassadors for their fabrics. You can read all about it here. Many of you, my talented blogging friends, would qualify I'm sure so please check out the duties.  The thought of getting free beautiful fabric is enticing!!

This female cardinal is looking a little rough around the edges and seemed to be taking a  rest in the grass. I thought she might have some horrible disease and then realized she is more than likely molting.


The male is also not looking as splendid as he did at the start of the summer.  However, it always feels special when I get to see them both at the same time in the garden.

My patience held up and the Flower Garden project is now a flimsy!  Have to get a backing and batting to make it up. 

 After much pressing of seams into submission and using a little spray starch, this will suit some big stitch quilting I'm thinking.

And here is my version of Susan Smith's pretty Solidarity Block, all hand applique like the Flower Garden.

This little panel was included in a fabric bundle I received last month.  Love the saying!

Tuesday 15 September 2020

Fitness To Do, Apple Muffins, We Still Miss Someone, Fire Starter

 I do carry with me all the time the feeling that this time is invaluable, precious even and therefore I must make the most of it. Perhaps at night watching our bit of t.v. is when I can shrug off the "every moment must be productive" feeling. I grew up with a father who often said "to labour is to live" and it must have sunk in deep with me. 

 I have a long list of things to get started/continued/done this week.  Here are a few of them.

 Continuing the research into the topic of fitness for my age.  In particular, this week the focus is on improving my balance. I wasn't surprised to read that Vitamin D is important for muscle strength btw which in turn, affects balance.  Falls can be killers for older folks but it's proven that exercising can help. I tried all of these in the video and if you know of another video or something you are doing for balancing, please let me know.

 Trying to keep my diet healthy too, of course, as I've said before, is a given. I do like treats though. I made this recipe for Healthy Apple Cheddar Muffins and they are very good. 

I feel a need to write more and write better. The new journal, perhaps because it is a gift that I really want to use, is helping with this.

I have these peaches I must use. A cobbler maybe??  Any ideas?

To Begin/ Started

I'm going to repot the outside plants that I plan to overwinter indoors.  I'm looking forward to having an indoor garden again. Something green while the outside world turns white.

One night some little critter munched on the Christmas Cactus on the right till it was down to this.  But left the other one completely alone. That's a mystery.

Time in the sewing room which means time with the sewing machine.  I have been doing a lot of hand work just lately so it was time to break it up with some machine stitching. The Easy Hexagon Stars project is growing though so happy about that.

 I'm plugging away on the Flower Garden table cloth.  Pat mentioned to me that Wendy at Wendy's Quilts and More had a video on how to handle so many points in one meeting place.  I watched it before but it was time to check it out again. Very helpful. Hand piecing stars with 8 points-that very middle bit is the issue.

I've been starting a fire in our fireplace each morning. It has a Jotul stove insert so can throw off a nice heat.  It reminds me of the mornings at the farm when I did the same thing and enjoyed that small warming ritual to start the day.  I hope to keep it up. 

Rex and Murphy in front of the stove at the farm. Miss our loyal big guy so much. 😢 Neither of us can mention his name.

But meanwhile for this week, try to be like this Rudbeckia that is still thriving in the garden though getting a little worse for wear looking...stay strong, outlast and try to spread a little joy if you can

Hope your week is a good one! Join me on Thursday when I ask the question "Am I too old for April Cornell?"

It's To Do Tuesday over at Home Sewn By Us. Also linking with Our World TuesdayThe Needle and Thread NetworkQuilt Fabrication and Inquiring Quilter.


Sunday 13 September 2020

Halloween Patterns, Scrappy Blocks, Autumn Signs, Redwork Birds

The sunlight in waves yesterday alternating with clouds - we walk in light then dark then light again. The tree tops all moving to wind imperceptible to us way down here on the path. No sign of the turtles-have they already taken to their muddy winter home? But there are fresh signs of autumn. 

This white hydrangea gets tinged with pinks when the overnight temperatures drop.
We had our first frost warning so I will have to get the geraniums brought inside. They are fairly hardy  though so no rush just yet. This year I dragged one of the old apple baskets out to the laneway to use when the old barrel finally collapsed. This is on its last legs as well.
I enjoy sighting American Goldfinches and they stay around here through our winters too. How do they do it I wonder.  Frequent visitors to my feeders so maybe the sunflower seeds help out. 
I stitched a redworked series of birds years ago; patterns from Crabapple Hill Studios called Flight of Fancy and are still available there.  I repeat myself by saying I must get them sewed together sometime.

 I mentioned I was doing some scrap management in this post.  In the process I found these blocks and put them on the wall in the t.v. room to have a gander at.  I liked this staggered block arrangement.  I'm going to keep out my scrap bag of smaller scraps to sew more of those tiny blocks together.  I checked and I still have black fabric for the centers. If I just sew one every now and then, I will eventually get there, says she hopefully.

I've been working on the Quilt Bible blocks here and there.  This is Block #56, Spinning Pinwheel which is in Section 2, Pinwheels and Windmills. 

And this one that I stitched with red before I tackled the Solidarity blocks but happy now as it will match. This is Block #157, New Jersey, a square in a square block from Section 6 with that name.                                          

There is a Quilt Block Mania QAL happening with many fine designers offering free patterns for 29 Halloween blocks. You can find all the details at Powered By Quilting or any of the designers participating. How generous these folks are to give away such cute patterns. 


Working outside in the garden today so I've already made my mind up to have a Delissio deep dish frozen pizza for supper ( I add spinach and extra peppers, tomatoes and cheese); Hubby is braving the Canadian Tire Store for their irresistible weekend deals.  So continues our quiet but utterly satisfactory life here at the wooden house.

Hope your weekend's swell! 

Something else that's swell...these linky parties. Kathy's QuiltsLife in PiecesQuilting Patchwork AppliqueSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsPretty Piney , Super Scrappy and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework