Sunday 31 October 2021

Halloween Sampler Quilt Finish, Penny Patch Quilt, Sunday Dreaming

Our little pond last week...with all the rain lately it is overflowing. 

That made me think of this quote by Rumi. I certainly won't be swimming into my little pond as it is the domain of so many frogs, turtles and other critters. 

Am I ever happy this one is done, my Autumn Sampler Quilt, as Marion who doesn't have a blog, suggested I call it. In 2020...

 It only took a year; well not really but two falls to get it all quilted and ready for use. Too bad it is a dark and gloomy day for its photo shoot. 

 It is  50 x 52  which makes it a great lap quilt, of which you can never have too many. I was pleased there were almost no puckers to deal with but I had used a heck of a lot of basting through the three layers.  I do love how squishy and comforting hand quilting makes a quilt feel. 

It featured so many of my loves- vintage, embroidery, dresdens, maple leaves and the pretty autumn Fig Tree & Co. fabrics.  I wonder could I (should I ?) make one like this for each of the seasons. There are certainly enough free patterns and ideas floating around the net for material for each season.  Me  hmmmm, dreaming on....

And so we start to turn our thoughts to holiday/winter stitching...

 I just came across a gorgeous line of Christmas fabric and thought some of you would like it too.  Rifle Paper Co Holiday Classics.  Isn't it pretty?

Rachel at Stitched in Color made this beautiful penny patch patchwork quilt using this line and I just had to check out the fabric when  I saw her quilt pop up in my feed.

Oh so many stitchy possibilities!  For today, a rainy Sunday  Halloween, I will be content to sit and stitch and dream a little too.
 And feel so grateful for the sensibility, ability and time to do all of that too.  

Thursday 28 October 2021

Five Fabulous Things to Like on a Late October Thursday

 So many things to like and share this Thursday!

Daughter and Robbie made these spooky gingerbread cookies and dropped them off on their way to Saunders Farm last Saturday. That's a popular spot here known for their haunted hay rides and a kid friendly one too. 
At the Flosstube channel, popular Elizabethanncanstitch (who has an infectious laugh) shared how she made this Halloween pillow.  I thought it a great idea...appliquing a Halloween motif onto a background of autumn fabrics.
Btw, many of the flosstube folks also quilt so include a separate section in each video relating to their quilting. 

I really like this Bat Bag or Trick or Treat tote. Instructions and free bat pattern can be found at this AGF post. I'm not an especially modern fabric lover but AGF florals are definitely growing on me.
You may remember we bought the Cubii machine for exercising the legs while seated. Yes, I've used it almost every day since. 
We end our evening tv viewing with a comedy show and I use it during those 23 minutes or so. I do think it is making my legs stronger so I'm very happy with it.
 I've mentioned often here that I am afraid of falls. The stats on falls for old folks are frightening and a fall can change the quality of your life completely.
Specifically for the autumn, I'm going to continue trying to strengthen my legs. To that end I've been including exercises in my little routine that work the very important soleus muscle which is one of two major calf muscles. Here is an article about this muscle and exercises to strengthen it.

We really enjoyed this series on Netflix starring mother and daughter Andie MacDowell and Margaret Qualley.  It is based on the memoir written by Stephanie Land.
It brought home to me the life changing importance of safe shelters for women and children. 

 And one more thing I thought was really neat. Anna Maria Horner mentioned she uses the Ap Procreate to help fashion her amazing designs for fabrics. See her fabulous work here!
 I checked out that ap and thought it very interesting. Lots of ways to create art work even if you aren't a "real"  artist. Many good instructional videos on YouTube about it too.
I'm now binding this guy and will have a finish just in time for Halloween, it seems. Cutting it pretty close!
And thinking about falls reminded me that I must thank you for the recommendations for winter boots. It seems that Keens got the most mention and I will be checking them out this weekend. I wonder will  there be early Black Friday sales this year???

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Halloween Redwork and Quilting, Garden Regrowth

     So are you ready for the Trick and Treaters? Have you bought the little bars or bags of chips?  We don't get any little folk down our laneway but I always buy one of those boxes of tiny bars just in case. You know who winds up eating the chocolate.

Most welcome in the garden.  This pretty bloom has the unlikely name of Toad Lily. It made a very late appearance in the garden blooming in late September and was sustained because of the humidity of the first two weeks of October.

Below is an example of the regrowth that the continued heat into the fall encouraged. The Purple Globe Thistle had completed died off as you can see in the outer circle.

You know he's a keeper when he sees mail about fabric sales and forwards it to you!
I'm happy to be working on two projects in the sewing room this week. The first and the one I hope to finish is the Halloween Sampler quilt.  I'm so glad I had done over half of it last year; at the time I remember being disappointed I didn't get it finished.  I think I've added enough quilting lines now to secure it all for the washing machine. I have the binding ready to go. 
And I'm sewing my Courthouse Steps blocks together.  My plan is to hand quilt them. To make that manageable, I've begun sewing them together in 12 block sections. I hope to have the sections all ready for the weekend.
I have a bunch of other things to share but I'll leave them for the next post which will be soon.
Pouring rain now for the fourth day in a row and the temperatures are down so it isn't a warm rain. But bundled up in my  ancient yellow Columbia rain jacket and wearing my rain boots and Neddy in his fur coat, we've been getting all our required walks in. 

Thursday 21 October 2021

Autumn's Palette, Halloween Hand Quilting, Birthday Cross Stitch Start, Teeny Tiny Things to Like

Sally at Crafts, Cavies and Cooking posted about things found on the floor in her house. Being a quilter it included threads. I have threads migrating all over the house too it seems. There are a couple of hall rugs that they particularly adhere to and fingers are the only things that can get them out. A nuisance.  It made me think of the time Hubby found one of my threads in the fish aquarium thus proving my threads really are everywhere. 

I got to see older grandson this week which was wonderful.  He's working weekends on the same farm as last summer and last year on the weekends. One of his many chores there is sorting apples.  He gave me these, Honeycrisp, and the smell in the bag was divine. He said it was the most expensive one they sell there and the most popular.

The weather has turned cooler overnight and even flirting with freezing but still above normal for the date. I did get out my wooly shawls and scarves. I realized I hadn't shown you the one I was knitting last year all finished, the moss stitch shawl. It is strange how the true colour just can't be picked up by this computer.  It is a deep rich aubergine, not as purple as this photo shows.  I think I know what my wooly project for this winter will be too...more later.

 Tiny Things I Liked This Week

Getting this mail from the wonderful Gittas who included a very cute pumpkin free pattern. 

 I was struck by how the threads for the Autumn Quakers piece look so much like the autumn leaf palette outside my door. Very pleasing even in the rain.

I'm hand quilting the heck out of my Halloween quilt!

 Just having a great time making loop de loops and squares and leaf shapes too. 

And outlining the bigger motifs too.
 Very enjoyable in front of the television and a very warm lap quilt in the bargain. 

Hubby ordered these at 4 pm one day and they appeared on our door step at 12 noon the next day.

 Amazon delivers for sure!! I can't wait to try them; our old Wahl's set finally gave out and yes I am still cutting my own hair.  I don't really enjoy going to a salon. They make me nervous or something.  And more money for stitchy stuff!

Three Teeny Tiny Things I Liked

1. Getting this tiny start on my birthday cross stitch start, the aforementioned Autumn Quakers...Oh I'm enjoying the 28 count Cashel linen very much and it has been overdyed to give it a moodier look, perfect for this season.

2. Hubby filled up my car with gas. I really don't know why but I hate pumping gas. It is always a treat to have it done for me. If I had the money, I would have a driver as well. I love sitting and looking around, taking in the sights, not the driving. 

3. Ned learning to give up the ball when playing.  I use one of those ball launchers and finally he has learned "drop" so we can spend more time with him running and less time me begging for the ball. 

Definitely not a teeny tiny thing. In this post at Gladi Porsche Quilts, Gladi showcased her friend, Christine Wickert's quilting on silks with hand quilting and hand embroidery. The word exquisite comes to mind! And Gladi corralled many of her own quilts for a trunk show for the Genesee Valley Quilt Guild; also such amazing, inspiring work!  Do take a peek.

I hope your week has been a good one and the weekend will be even better!

Joining parties at Not Afraid of ColorMy Quilt InfatuationConfessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia QuiltsKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Life in the Scrapatch.

Monday 18 October 2021

What I Did on The Weekend, Tiny Trees Dilemma, Free Patterns

 Just now on our walk, the barred owl flew over our heads low enough I could hear the sound of its wings flapping. Ned chased it, not very far as he doesn't stray from me. I realized I give this a significance, like it means something to see it and I wondered why. I realized I tend to think of all the critters and birds I spy as here for me, their audience somehow. A foolish notion but if that be so, I guarantee I am an appreciative one.

 Always a surprise when I see these very late blooming pink Asters in the back yard. I keep thinking to replant a few of them to the front where we would see them. Such a jaunty colour for this time of year.

Chasing an idea or What I Did on the Weekend!

I talked about a little tree project in my last post and I thought, yes that is doable if I don't plan a Christmas quilt as such. Make a block here and there as the mood strikes kind of thing. I figured it would just take me a few minutes to figure out how I would like to make mine.  I purchased Amy Smart's  pattern and instructions for her particular Patchwork Tree Quilt project which I had in my ideas folder for a very long time. She offers a free tutorial on how to put it together HERE.

 I tried sewing it by hand which would be my preferred method with such a small scrappy block.  Wasn't really crazy about how that went together so searched online and came across a free download for a little tree that is foundation pieced. 
Now that got me excited because I've really enjoyed that particular process with the Courthouse Steps. So far I have two done on the left there.  Don't know which sewing method I will stick with here. Have to decide on a tree trunk size or maybe I should plan on them not all perfectly matching just like in a real forest.  I hate measuring 😬...I'm a real whiner when it comes to that. I'd just rather eyeball and run with it which is not a good thing, I know. 

Anyway, getting the plan made and pattern option finalized will be my TO DO project this week. 

So I'll give that a little bit of time to percolate while I finish edging the Tumbling Blocks with inset half diamond pieces this week. Rather makeshift but I think will be okay. Still in their cardstock templates.

Wendy mentioned this book in this post at her blog Pieceful Thoughts of a Quilting Life. - Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer.

  It caught my attention and am pretty sure it is a book I would enjoy.  I tracked a copy down at Book Outlet and ordered it. Thanks Wendy and also all of you in LeeAnna's Thursday Likes Party who write about the books you are enjoying.  Always great to have suggestions.

Cross stitchers, check this out. The famous Lizzie Kate has lovely free patterns on her blog including this one called Moon Over Blackbird. Pumpkin, moon, house, many favourite motifs in one little picture.

 Here is the link to that PDF File and here is a link to Lizzie Kate's wonderful patterns at 123 Stitch.

That's enough of a ramble from me. Hope everyone has a chance to step outside and breathe in the season, whichever one you are enjoying in your part of the world. 
Happy to link up with Love Laugh QuiltQuilt Fabrication and Texas Quilt Gal.



Thursday 14 October 2021

4 Favourite Things in One Picture, Autumn Pinks, Turkey Soup

 This is Thursday, a lovely day to look back at the week and contemplate the weekend ahead. Thursday was my second favourite weekday...Friday being #1 signaling the work week ending. I used to say 4 pm on Friday was my all time favourite moment in a week.

Here is Neddy enjoying one of many walks down the deciduous tree lined path at the back of the property. This borders acres of undeveloped land so there are many trails to enjoy. Overnight it seems to have become leaf lined; lately the leaves are falling like snow.

I happened to step behind the Smoke tree and was treated to this view of pinks and reds.

Here's a little close up. Autumn pinks are so pretty. 

After Thanksgiving turkey comes the soup.  I added a can of my favourite tomatoes, San Marzano, to this one. I could have fed a platoon with this pot full. I always seem to make a lot of soup.
Below I've had this out in sight, in fact walk past it many times a day, but have I put in a stitch? No I have not, not one. But I will soon. The witch is waiting, beckoning to me (that would be creepy so hope she isn't, :). Actually I find her a little nostalgic as she looks like the witches we would have had in school and colouring books when I was a girl. 

Four favourite things are in this bottom photo.

We bought this very heavy brass German Shepard figurine at an auction for a couple of dollars. It is a loving reminder of the most loyal dog I ever had, Rex. Still very much in our thoughts.

The large pink carrying case holds my Hawk Run Hollow cross stitch project and everything I need to work on it, A Year At Hawk Run Hollow. With the warm day time temperatures I got to stitch on the veranda two days this week. I think that is the latest I've ever been able to do that. Amazing!

I love applique and have a few books that I look through and dream about. That one, Template Free Applique by Katie Friesen, has easy to follow directions and simple but effective drawings. Katie is probably better known for her book, Expressions of Morris, which gives you an idea of what style of applique she enjoys. Do you do that?  Enjoy looking through your books, dreaming about what you could stitch.

My journal for 2021 is nearing the end. I've enjoyed this soft covered one with the peaches and pears  by Punch Studio very much. Lots of pouches and opens so you can see the whole week over two pages without turning a page. I've been keeping track of my wish lists, shows watched, books read, purchases, gifts, events, blog posts, etc. All of it handy information for forgetful me. Journals and Notebooks by Punch Studio where I'll be looking for another one soon, God willing, as my grandmother used to say. 

I'm off now to take Neddy for his second walk of the day. He is the best excuse we could have to keep moving. 
Linking this post with Not Afraid of Color where many folks share their Thursday likes. Also linking with Brian's HomeLife in the ScrapatchConfessions of a Fabric AddictAlycia QuiltsFloral PassionsQuilting Patchwork Applique and My Quilt Infatuation.

Monday 11 October 2021

Canadian Thanksgiving, Two New Quilt Ideas, Game Changer Bread Machine Buns, Slow Stitching

 I have to say how great it was to read all your dinner ideas in the comment section of the last post.  Quite a nice array and I will definitely be looking back at it for ideas. It seems I get tired of our usual fare and feel stumped from time to time. Quiltgramma (no blog) mentioned an idea for a slow cooker meal that would cook overnight. That appeals to me, the multi-tasker as you know.  Dinner cooking away while I'm sleeping, yes to that! I'm going to be good for this week though because we had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and I have loads of leftovers.

What's turning my head?? Two New(ish) Quilt Ideas

Right now and I guess it is because of the season, leaves are on my mind.  I subscribe to Leila Gardnia's site and she has been running a little SAL featuring scrappy maple leaves. 

Now sewing a quilt with maple leaves is something I've mentioned often here on the blog. You can read more about that here on her blog. So that caught my eye.

The other idea that has cropped up and keeping still with trees, is trees. In this case small ones. I loved what Diann made last year with her colourful trees she called her Rainbow Jungle.. And I've been following Marie, the Quilt Bee who has been hand stitching small tree blocks for about a year for a project appropriately called Little Trees. The original idea stemmed from  Anna Jantina who used mostly cheery pinks and reds for a stunning kind of look to a quilt she made to cheer herself up. These are small so one a day seems easy and another great little scrap project. A link is here.

I'm being really good though and going to let both ideas jell a little more while advancing my present projects.  This week I'll continue to remove the papers from my Courthouse Steps, trim them and get ready for the big stitching together! 

So yes I had family for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  It was wonderful to be together again. The menu this year was standard Thanksgiving fare...cauliflower casserole, carrots, sweet potatoes, snap peas, mashed potatoes, and homemade rolls. Of course turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce. Nothing fancy. Tony here eyeing the turkey while SIL was doing the carving.

For the rolls and for the first time, I made the bread dough in the bread machine and that is a bit of a game changer. The dough setting takes about an hour and half. 
It made enough for this pan of buns; they turned out fluffy and tasted good especially rubbed with real butter. I didn't take pictures because I was too busy gabbing. 
This morning I took Ned for a long walk; cloudy but warm and pleasant walking. I was on my feet a lot yesterday so I will relax today. After sitting by the pond with my camera, I'm going to content myself with some handwork.  I want to catch up with Flosstube favourites, Pam and Steph, a very popular mother/daughter duo. Here is a link to their channel, Just Keep Stitchin'.
My June bride is coming along and stitching in silk is sooo pleasant. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians and Happy Monday to everyone!

Thursday 7 October 2021

Great Thrift Store Find, Sixty Courthouse Steps, Flowers Flowering, Winter Boots

The daily rain finally stopped and we had sun yesterday that felt glorious. I spent as much time outside as I could. It was a quiet kind of day and I noticed for the first time, leaves gently letting go and falling from the trees. Our little pond has been fully restored and the burgundy Sedum was beautiful in the sunlight.

 I need to show you what I bought at the Value Village that I liked and thought was a bargain.  Here she is, Girl With Blue Ball.  She is porcelain and was fashioned between 1924 and 1974 by Nao so considered vintage. 

She cost me $7.99 and I did think twice even with seeing the marking and registration number on the bottom. I've been frustrated with not being able to find her online but did find a similar boy with blue ball on Ebay. The asking price was $75.  She reminds me of the story that was in one of my school readers, The Frog Prince.  In that story, the ball was a golden one. I can still remember how sorry I felt for the frog when she rejected him. 

She is beside my Madagascar Jasmine plant. It continues to survive so I must be doing something right.  It keeps sending out more vines and had two flowerings during the summer. Here was July's blooming of the very white, sort of hanging flowers.

I'm looking to buy a new pair of winter casual boots. Any suggestions?? I've been eyeing these by Ymombest.

I especially like the emphasis on anti-slip soles.  I looked at them Here at Amazon but maybe I'd rather more of a higher ankle boot so I'm going to check if this same one comes in another style. I seem to be spending more time considering shoes and boots than ever, and mostly with an eye to ones that will keep me upright!

During our gray days, I spent a couple of sessions on the machine. I'd made 60 blocks for the scrappy Courthouse Steps project and then ran out of the heritage French General red fabric (while there seems to be no end to the scrappy bits!)

  I debated ordering more but then thought I could make up in borders what might be missing in blocks. I'd like this to be a single sized quilt which is like 35 x 75 or so. Next step will be taking out the papers and sewing the blocks together. Here on my queen size bed.

I know many of you love pumpkins like I do.  I watched this video by the wonderful Jan Patek who I love for the laid back attitude and sense of fun she brings to her stitching. She offers a free PDF of this small quilt too HERE

I spent ages one day making a new music cd for the car. Navigating Windows Media on my Acer (which I had to use a YouTube video to find !), a converter on the net and locating some of the free music I liked on YouTube taxed my brain. But I got through it and got it done. Here is the list of what is on this one. Anything here you would like?

Heavy on the old days and some before my time even and some what I think of as since my time. One of these days I'll have to buy a new fangled phone where I've heard you can download your music without all this hassle.
Ok that's enough from me today. I've got veggies boiling to make a curry for supper. I have roast chicken leftovers to add some protein to the pot.  I want most of it together before heading outside to do some chores.  What's in your cooking pot today? I can always use suggestions. 
Take care all!