Sunday 28 November 2021

Quilt Bible Blocks, Snowmen Table Runner, 3 Free Seasonal Patterns, Neddy's Growing!

 I tumbled down a rabbit hole this week I can tell you!! On a whim I decided to get out my scrappy Quilt Bible blocks and see what they looked like all together. The floor was the only space free to lay them out.  I'd already made the decision to use a light blue fabric for the sashing as Rosemary had used in her book. I figured she's the expert and actually I think it is working okay. 

 I'd thought of black but didn't have enough on hand and white is over used by me. I like this project enough and it is teaching me skills I need so after two days on my sewing room floor,  I've made the decision to put it back in its tote.  I'll try to sew a block here and there and build it into a real quilt, not just sized for the lap. 

Meanwhile, this much smaller project is on my TO DO list for this week. I've added more hand quilting lines to the Turkey block in the middle of the Snowman table runner and I need to finish the borders. I wish this would photograph the correct colour. 
 I'm thinking my stem stitching on the snowmen is not bad. I mention that not for bragging or anything but I'm questioning if I am still able to stitch as well.  My work on the Moda Holiday SAL blocks is definitely not as neat, I'm realizing. 
I've been noting free Christmas projects and will share a couple today and in  upcoming posts.
 This first one is really cute. Miniature anything is cute especially teeny tiny Scrappy Mittens.  Mini Mitten Christmas Ornaments
Orange Bettie is where generous Anne shares her love of sewing and offers tutorials and free patterns too. Her adorable fall squirrel is in my To Do file. But follow that link to make your own mini mitten ornaments. Great for using up those extra pretty wintry scraps too.

At the wonderful Crabapple Hills Studio Downloadables Page you'll find this pretty Winter Bouquet embroidery pattern. Other free seasonal patterns too to look through including a bouquet for each of the seasons.

Eek! That reminded me that I purchased the Snow Days pattern a few(5 or 6!) years ago. Love it, just haven't gotten to it. Need to stitch it while these fingers of mine can!

 Whilst Iris Naps is generously offering a free cross stitch design for the 2021 season called Let It Snow. While there, check out All is Calm, the freebie for 2020.  So cute both of them.

Also cute is my Neddy. Thank goodness this island is a tall one! Hubby's prosciutto and cheese plate is tempting him.
That's my Yeti cup there on the left I was talking about in the last post. 
Enough yammering for today; I've got stitching to get to. Hope your stitching fingers are flying today too!

Friday 26 November 2021

Two Sewing Room Additions, Great Gift Idea, Foundation Stitched Scrappy Trees, The Thanksgiving Star

 I have two additions to my sewing room, neither of them are brand new but I'm enjoying both very much.  

Daughter was updating her den tv and had her bedroom tv available so she gave it to me for my sewing room. I'm able to watch whatever I want, well, listen to really.  So that's been fun.  I've watched the new Dexter which Hubby has no interest in. Yes, and another place to drape fabric!

My little $79 Brother sewing machine bit the biscuit last week. Wow, it served me well and I treated it horribly. Certainly did not clean it as much as I should have or oil it, etc.  This Singer is 7 or 8 years old but has not been used much at all and certainly not day to day.  It's been a surprise treat to have such a quiet, beautifully functioning machine to sew with. Perhaps I will enjoy machine stitching more. 
Speaking of sewing rooms, it was so interesting to read about your sewing room treats or lack thereof when I asked that question in this post about sewing room snacks. I guess a bad experience with spilled drinks or dropped peanut butter splotches would definitely deter you from having food or drink around the stitching. I heard about M&M's, tiny Halloween bars, and caramels...I guess easy to pop in your mouth treats so not messy.
 But I was surprised  by how many of you have no food or drink whatsoever in your work area at all. I thought of you when I took a large cup of tea and one of those health bars with me to my sewing room recently. However, the drink is always in my Yeti cup which is safe if the little lip is closed. Btw, this is the best of these insulated drink cups I've found. In the heat of summer, the ice cubes would still be in the cup after all night. Mine is just like this, 20 oz silver.  But I really like the cool colours you can get them in like the pretty Seafoam colour here at Amazon.  Great gift idea.

We are rewatching Deadwood.  A bit raw to say the least but so well acted with such interesting characters. Calamity Jane! Wild West indeed! Hubby has watched it before but I never did.  Fun to see a young Timothy Olyphant who we enjoyed in Justified and also Paula Malcomsom whose performance as Abs in Ray Donovan we really enjoyed. Many consider Deadwood the greatest American tv series ever made. I did not know that.
This is making me think of my dad and his love of Louis L'Amour novels. He read them all and I remember he would be so happy when another one was out in paperback so he could get a copy. 
I've sewn a few more foundation pieced scrappy trees. Great little project for in between kind of stitching. Also to use up odd scraps too.
I loved this post at With Strings Attached. Nann visited The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts for a showing of Victoria Findlay Wolfe's retrospective exhibit.  Very interesting to read about Victoria and to see her displayed quilted journey. Her quilts are artful beauties!

I'm enjoying reading about the wonderful Thanksgiving so many of my American friends enjoyed. I thought of you all as a flock of ten turkeys weathered in our front yard yesterday trying to stay dry in the downpours of rain.

Such pretty feathers to view as they finally exit by way of the side lawn. 
Have a great weekend all!
Always great to link with Not Afraid of Color and Wendy's Quilts and More.

Sunday 21 November 2021

Free Patterns, Slow Stitching SAL and Tumbling Blocks, Thanksgiving Recipe Links,

Slow stitching is something I enjoy doing either early morning or in the evenings in front of the tv. It is an enjoyable way to start or finish my day. I've been stitching little and not so little Christmas designs for a couple of Decembers. SLOW indeed! One of these Decembers I'll have enough to create an actual project with them. 

The large ones, which are Baltimore Album inspired, were created by Carrie Nelson for her 2020 Moda Fabrics free Holiday SALYou can find 14 of the blocks here.

I've just started my fourth. I will trace a couple more this week as I like to have one all ready to stitch when the Christmas stitchy mood should happen to strike. I'm keeping the colours to just the red and green, but others have used more variety. 
And along with this project,  this week I'm concentrating on those Courthouse Steps (at the machine) and the Tumbling Blocks as more hand work.  That latter just has to be some semblance of a flimsy soon.  I can't imagine the hours of hand stitching that has gone into this project. Hubby even said to me WHY?  I can only say I've loved the paper piecing so much, still not tired of it and will be making more blocks to add to the overall width. On the queen sized bed here, it is plenty long but I want it a tad wider.

The quote in the last post on that pretty appliqued/embroidered tree-

                              "Wake at dawn with a winged heart 

                                and give thanks for another day of loving."

is from Khalil Gibran.  Thanks for that info, all of you who mentioned it. I always appreciate it so much when commenters chime in with information to share.  Of course all the words of encouragement absolutely never go astray either.

I came across a pretty tree decoration on Pinterest and tracked down the tutorial for it.  Kerryanne  at this post on her Shabby Art Boutique blog shows how to make them. She calls them tags but says they can be used as tree ornaments as well. 

 I have no end of sticks but I don't have any pretty ribbons like that. But I bet some of you do.  The idea of using different colours to personalize them is a good one too. 

My American friends are preparing for an amazing holiday that is their Thanksgiving. I love the food associated with these big meals and enjoy seeing photos and reading recipes too. Here are links to three of my favourite American cooks featuring wonderful dishes. Mouth watering to me here this morning. 

The Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving

Believe it or not, Hubby and I had a big chat about spiders yesterday.  I went around the house with the homemade funny broom that I use to clear webs, of which there are many here in all the wooden rafters.  I'd read an article about how to identify by the webs which spiders live in your house. And how to tell if they are abandoned webs or not. Upshot of it was I let some of the webs stay.  Nothing directly over my bed as I have a fear of something dropping onto me which has happened. 😮

Well with those stunning revelations, I'll close this post.  Hope there is something more exciting occurring at your place.
 Oh I do have two new additions in my sewing room that I'm very pleased with so I'll share that next time. Take care all. 

Always thankful for linky parties and all the cheery stitching to be found, such as at Kathy's QuiltsSo ScrappySmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh QuiltQuilting Patchwork AppliqueTexas Quilt GalQuilt Fabrication and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.


Thursday 18 November 2021

Yuletide Blanket, Creative Plans, Boys In Trees, Neddy Antics

I really liked the contrast in the two colours above...the somewhat strange shade of yellow leaf that just happened to be sitting atop the vivid green mossy stump. 

Creative Plans.  While 2021 was my year of fitness, I'm hoping 2022 will have a more creative focus. I have loads of ideas including, of course, my stitching and photography. I've also been reading about creativity including how creative minds work, in hopes of getting some tips, LOL. Of course, there is a lot on the internet, but it's also great to be back inside libraries once again. That is a big plus for me as I do find them inspiring and missed those outings very much during the pandemic. 

This is a piece by Devon artist, Vickie Lindo, that I really like. The combination of words and applique are interesting. I tried to track her down to give you a link but sadly, could not find one. If you know of a link, please let me know as artist's work should always be fully acknowledged.

I came across Vickie's work through Rachel Taylor who published an artist's review of her HERE. I've been reading Rachel's blog for a long time now; recently it got a remake and is much more jazzed up. 

Here is something from her page I downloaded- 21 Days of Creative Magic List. On the PDF copy it has the spaces to write in your own thoughts and I will tuck it into my new planner (when I get it).

 I'm listening to this audio book, one I know some of you in the Thursday Likes group has already read. Subject matter that is tough but the book is very well written and the audio version is well read. 
Grandson Robbie was here helping me pick up sticks for my fires. He also took a break to climb some trees, such a typical 8 year old boy thing to do. First I had to laugh and then I had to say ok that's high enough!
Neddy, who is what can only be described as joyful to be around Robbie, tried his darndest to join in...
I really like that I was able to start again and work out the tension for the Yuletide Blanket. I had to go down a size in crochet hook as a reader suggested (thank you!) and when I checked, I had it exactly at Lucy's for a tension checkpoint. That red is called Lipstick and it is very Christmasy. 
Neddy thought he would try his paw at crocheting. Not very successfully, I'm afraid.  This is the colour Tomato which is a reddish burnt orange.    Stylecraft DK yarns at Lovecrafts if you want to check out the line.
Meanwhile, inside the wooden house I am practicing great restraint. How so? you say. I'm working on my two main quilting projects and want them to a certain point before starting anything new and there are soooo many projects tempting me. You all know that feeling! 
Linking with these wonderful parties...Not Afraid of ColorMy Corner of the World and Brian's Home Blog.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Stitchy and Small Appliance Shopping, Foundation Pieced Trees

It was a banner autumn for mushrooms.  I photographed many around the trails and especially liked the tiny little one I spied growing inside this log.

You all know how I love my small appliances! 
 I've been wanting a Yogurt Maker for a long time. Hubby ordered this Electric Yogurt Maker below and it came a week ago. Only then did I remember I need the starter mix too.  So that has now been ordered.  I'm anxious to try it out this week.
I had one years ago when I lived in the far North and used it for three or four years before it konked out. I enjoyed the yogurt it made very much. I don't think the local Hudson's Bay store even carried yogurt and the price would have been prohibitive even if they did. This particular one earned a lot of stars on Amazon.

We had to drive down to Brockville( an hour from us) for Hubby to have his hearing aids adjusted at a clinic there. I made a quick visit to the local Michaels and bought a few DMC threads I needed for the present autumn project and for two smaller ones I have tucked away. I was able to get every single number on my list!  It is wonderful to have the materials on hand when the mood strikes to start a project.  
I struck up a conversation with a woman while there. She spied the threads in my basket and said, cross stitching heh?  She said she cross stitched too, was working on a piece with praying hands.  We parted with her saying, it helps keep my sanity. I couldn't agree more, I said back.
While there I also bought two new crochet hooks, smaller sizes than my current one, to start my Yuletide Blanket over again with the correct tension this time.  That got crossed off my to do list.

I found the time to experiment with foundation sewing a couple more scrappy trees. I realized I really like the way this can showcase fabrics and their pretty designs.  I'm treating this like small stitching in between big stitching so hopefully I'll have a few to show from time to time...with trunks attached, :).
I have to replenish our Vitamin D supply. I take the pills and Hubby likes the drops. With a Canadian winter upon us in a couple of minutes, we have to be sure to keep up this very important vitamin. 
I'm beavering away on quilting the Courthouse Steps and really hope to have the slabs all quilted by the end of the week. That's a great goal for now. 
No pressure though, just enjoying the stitching journey which I hope all of you are too. 

Sunday 14 November 2021

Pretty Messes, Snowmen Embroidery, Improv Hearts, Sewing Room Snacks

 Neddy walked, fire made, coffee being sipped....everything tickety boo here at the wooden house this November Sunday morning. 

It's been rainy and misty down at the little pond with icy edges lately. Last year's photo but ditto for this morning's walk.

Here is the pretty scrappy mess in the sewing room this weekend.  Besides the mess, I'm creating more layered slabs for hand quilting later on. 
Oh and my nuts. I keep nuts down there for a snack.  I confess I have sometimes kept less healthy things tucked away there too. Do you do that? What might you have tucked away in your sewing cupboards to eat???

And here is a UFO from last winter I've dragged out for some slow stitching finishing in December, which is just two weeks away. EEK. Please tell me time is moving fast for you all as well, not just me. 

These are Kathy Schmitz's Snowbound Snowmen project that I enjoyed embroidering very much. I started on a layout for them but later didn't like it. So changing that up is my plan for this winter.

This is so pretty. Improv Pieces of My Heart by Australian designer, Wendy Williams.  

Here is a link to the post where you can watch Wendy's video showing how she created this piece and you can too. I'm very tempted to give it a try. 

Wendy is the designer behind the recent BOM called Color My World. I have been following The Knitting QuilterRosemary's  progress as she works her way through the monthly patterns.  You can see her wonderfully precise skyscrapers here.

All the pretty things to stitch and dream about stitching.  Sustaining! Also sustaining me, your wonderful and interesting comments. I appreciate hearing from you so much. So do share what you snack on while stitching. 😋

Happy to share this post with Kathy's QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsLove Laugh QuiltThe Inquiring Quilter and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Thursday 11 November 2021

Poetry, Christmas Fabric, Wee Dog Visit, Wooden House Wonderings


The Poetry Foundation is a wonderful site I visit every week.  I love to read the poetry bits but there are lots of other features to be found there.  Just yesterday I listened to this podcast, A History With Holes, which explored the subject of slavery. We continue to grapple with the residential schools scandals here in Canada. So how in the world do we, trying our best to be human today, wrap our heads around these atrocities.  Heavy thoughts appropriate for this day, November 11, our Remembrance Day here in Canada. 
I love having the wood up on the veranda within easy reach. Grandson worked hard last Saturday.
And he brought his little dog with him.  Ned was immediately smitten! He wanted so badly to play with Layla but she was just too tiny.  I don't think he slept a wink that night she was here. She weighs less than 5 pounds and is very affectionate.  A Maltese/ Miniature Poodle mix. It was fun to see her play with her toys, run for a ball and try to jump up just like a "real dog". 
 Today I have the vanilla and blueberry mix from the kit I showed you last time. I do believe oats are good for you.  Here is a great article from Healthline about the benefits of oats, if you have any doubts.
I showed you the Rifle Co Christmas Holiday Classics HERE and of course, there is lots more gorgeous Christmas fabric around.  I saw this very retro Santa around the last couple of seasons
 and he shows up in this fabric line,  Riley Blake's Christmas at  Buttermilk Acres. But the little sleigh with reindeer is my favourite pattern here.

I had a look through the site and thought this Christmas Alphabet panel very nice too. 
Meanwhile, I'm giving Tumbling Blocks attention this week along with finishing quilting three 9 block panels of the Courthouse Steps. I want them both further along before starting a new big project. 

I still love these scrap happy blocks and I'm happy to say, still enjoy working on them and bringing them closer to a finish.

Hope your week has been good and the weekend is something to look forward to too. 

Tuesday 9 November 2021

The Sopranos, Autumn Quakers, Hand Quilting, Quiltmania, Photo Fail

 We are rewatching The Sopranos and enjoying it very much. Last night's episode got me thinking.  In that one, Tony is convincing his mother( played by the wonderful Nancy Marchand)  to move into a facility for old folks...he is careful to not call it a home but a retirement village. Several times he brings up her age,70, as if that is reason enough to be living in such surroundings. The reality is that she is showing signs of early dementia and is really not safe on her own anymore. 

It made me think of people I knew who were 70 when I was young and I also viewed this age as really old. But now that I am "here", I don't think it is old at all.  And something I notice I am doing- I keep internally assessing myself.  For instance just with the wood moving on Saturday, I noted I did more than I hauled and stacked last year and still felt fine. That made me feel good. 
I'm sorry I've rambled on there and I'm not exactly sure what my point was...

What are you talking about? Age is just a number, this guy is saying to me. Forget about all that and let's go for a walk.  Sage advice from our smart Neddy. LOL

Anyway, our week is off to a great start with sun and warmer temperatures during the day. Our outings and appointments continue which makes us sound important but are just the routine stuff that was postponed there for a while. 

This  week I intend to use this kit, a gift from daughter. I eat oatmeal three or four times a week and just included oats in a meat loaf I made yesterday. Recipe here... Quaker Oats Classic Meatloaf

 I've stitched away on my Autumn Quakers...this is a pattern by Karen Kluba from Rosewood Manors and I apologize for not providing all the information before.  I'm using the Valdani called for colours and finding them more matte than DMC which has a tiny sheen to it. They are also variegated which means different shades of colour throughout the same motif sometimes.  Interesting difference. I'm enjoying seeing some leaves take shape and the colours are pretty. I would like to get section one of the nine finished this week.

Even while outside, early morning, our leaves are frost bitten and very crunchy now.  No sneaking up on any critters!
Hand quilting is continuing on the Courthouse Steps slabs.  I've sewn groups of 9 blocks together, layered them with the batting and backing and added lots of basting lines through them to make them stable and more manageable  for me in my lap.  I have a large hoop but don't use it for these pieces as they don't need it.  I will continue to work on these, one line down the scrappy bits, and see how far November gets me. 
I got out my Christmas/winter Quiltmania magazines to have a look through. I notice Christmas stitching and SAL's are starting to crop up around the net. Let me know of anything interesting you find; I'll include a couple projects I've come across in the next post.
 Time for me to have a look through these to see if anything jumps out at me. 
I need to get outside with my big camera this week.  I've been taking my small one around on my walks with Neddy but it can't photograph from a distance. Here is an example.  I spied the barred owl in a tree near the house last Friday. Actually a squawking blue jay alerted me. I took a photo and you have to believe me that it is the barred owl up there looking down at me. 
Drat! A missed opportunity. Oh well.
I do hope your week is off to a wonderful start. Keep busy and keep safe. It's not completely over yet though it does seem so here. 
So happy to join linky parties such as this great one at Texas Quilt Gal and My Quilt Infatuation