Thursday 31 March 2022

Tremendous and Trite Thursday Things From Me

March Moon with planes flying again and UFO, LOL.

 Raining as I write, but Ned and I had a wonderful rain free walk early morning in the cool but invigorating fresh air. Saw three American Robins and two little Downy Woodpeckers while being seranaded by bird song all around. I sat on the skating shack steps, took time to breathe in the air and reminded myself of wonderful things I am very thankful for. 

                         I love that the Indiana Barred Owl live cam is back up and running. I've lost track of how many years I've watched.  She has laid her usual 3 eggs. With the way the male and female hunt and feed the little ones, I'm confident they will all three survive and fledge just like other years. 
Thanks again for all the wonderful comments about helping me sort the border for my embroidered Hazel's Summer Wildflowers.  After unpicking the arrangement I had sewed, I resewed them the conventional way. Since I had both sides heading in the same direction already and was really opposed to unsewing one of them, I did this... I do think this looks okay and better than it was before. I messed up one side there and wound up with a baby goose on one end and a stouter one on the other! Imperfect just like me!
This was my March OMG at Elm Street Quilts and I'm happy to have moved this project along to this point.  Haven't a clue how to quilt it and I'm going to retire this again for the time being. My April OMG will be completely different- finishing an appliqued piece.

I love this mug from The Pioneer Woman. It is Sweet Rose from her Floral Medley line. It has the most comfortable handle, holds lots of coffee with room for frothed milk, and has a pretty colour palette. From Walmart. 

I wanted to show you that planter with the twigs. It's the remains of the Poinsettia I'd taken from daughter's house. As you know, I'd cut it all the way back and it is finally sprouting a few leaves. Someone told me this would not work because commercially grown plants are treated somehow to not regrow. Have you ever heard of this?  I think it is true with potatoes. 

I enjoyed reading this CBC article about Joyce Roberts of Alaska and her bead work. Here are her Dancing Boots she made. I think they are incredibly beautiful. No messing up there!! And that all put the song "These Boots are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra in my head. 

From Low Carb Zen... 

Here at the Wooden House, we could add---what day is it?, what was it we had for supper last night? where did I put my ______?
Anyway, hope you are keeping your wits about you which is no mean thing these days, and enjoying your pastimes. 


Tuesday 29 March 2022

All Time Best Thrift Store Find, Scrappy Table Runner, Crocheted Olympic Bouquets, The Beautiful Butterfly's Ball

 Time to share with you all (if I haven't done so already; my memory for past blog items is fuzzy) my very best bargain from a thrift store.  I was told the set had just been brought in from a farm house about to be sold. The sugar was still in the sugar bowl. This is Petit Point by Royal Albert, a pattern discontinued in 1997. 

 I paid $130 for the set and at the cash got a 10% reduction for spending over a hundred dollars there.  I examined the pieces well, checked the backstamps, etc. because it all seemed too good to be true. But to my untrained eye, it looks to be genuinely Royal Albert. 
There are 20 dinner plates and I imagine this was to accommodate large family dinners which is a nice thought. Both my mother and mother in law had Petit Point for their good dish set so I know what these pieces cost. And of course, they are the perfect dish pattern for a cross stitcher too! 

I finished my scrappy table runner- one nights' stitching to sew around the binding, and am pleased with it.  The extra hand quilting is so enjoyable on a small, manageable piece like this. I washed it to remove the washable marker lines and dried it in the dryer. I really like the crinkly kind of feeling hand quilting gives a piece.

And you can see I received my Cobble Hill Dogs jigsaw puzzle and have a little start made. I like to photograph items on this table right in front of the patio door window-brightest light in the room there. 

I saw this article and was intrigued...Hand Crocheted Bouquets at the Beijing Olympics.  Over 1200 hand crocheted bouquets were handed out to the athletes and dignitaries at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. 

Lucy at Attic 24 has shared a number of tutorials on how to crochet flowers to create wreaths. That link will take you to her post about flower motifs to stitch a Japanese Flower scarf. And here is a book on Amazon that is close to what she could not share for copyright reasons. 

Japanese Crochet Motifs, Volume 4  The scarves are really beautiful. (BTW, Yuletide is finished and put away for the season. I'll show a photo next fall.) 

I enjoyed this documentary about Eleanor Roosevelt while cross stitching on Sunday.

 I love all the First Ladies and I always felt Eleanor to be special. It is wonderful when people use their fame and fortune for the good of others. 
To do this week 
Continue my outdoor fitness...with the trails clearing, I can jog more safely on them. This always makes me feel better physically and mentally...nothing of an exercise nature comes close. Someone asked...yes I'm still enjoying using my Cubii very much. 

Shopping Around

Since Neddy chewed my old house summer sandals which I loved, I must look at ordering a new pair.  They were Crocs, but since so many of you mentioned Keens when I was boot shopping, I'm going to check them out. 

I've been exploring the patterns of Susan Smith, the Australian quilter and designer. Her quilts have been used in movies and her online site is Patchwork on Stonleigh. She has several wonderful new patterns like this one...The Butterfly's Ball. Do you like it?

I remembered I still have the patterns to make Susan's famous Stonefields; yikes!

Garden shopping. I have a tendency to procrastinate and things sell out really fast here and are not replenished...stores move right on to the next seasonal event. So I mustn't let that happen this spring. Does that happen where you live?

Lastly and highest on my TO DO list...Get my OMG for March, the Hazel's Summer Wildflowers hanging, finished. Thank you all so much for answering/commenting on the question I posed in my last post.. It was very helpful to me as I have no stitching friends here to bounce things off. I have worked out a compromise which I'm hoping will be done and ready to share in my next post just in time.

I hope your week is not off to a wintry start like ours. I hope you are all safe and satisfied with your life this last Tuesday morning of March, 2022.

Linking with Texas Quilt Gal and the others joining the TO DO party Linda is hosting. Also linking with Life in the Scrapatch and Inquiring Quilter.


Thursday 24 March 2022

Morris Strawberry Thief, UFO Scrappy Runner, A Question, Ugly Gardening Perks

Hello all! The Fur Papa and I are well and thankful to have our health and strength to see us through all our daily activities this week. That there is the first bread from our new bread machine. It worked so well-much quieter than the old and gave us a lovely loaf.

A quick question for you???? With a flying geese border, should the top and bottom be like the sides? I sewed a row together like this and now think it should be the same as the side strips. Is there a rule I wonder. 
I love these Ginger and Honey Crystals packets...a little in tea is nice or just hot water for a warming drink to sip. I believe in the good properties of both ginger and honey ( but have to watch out for sugar no matter what form it's in of course).  We bought a huge bag at Costco.  Also love my Morris Mug.  
I cross stitched this famous Morris motif on navy linen back in 2017 when I was living at the farm. I enjoyed the stitching so much even though the dark linen was a little challenging. The Strawberry Thief. My pattern was from a book I own but you can buy a small kit at Amazon that features the famous bird and strawberries.
I sewed together several table runners last year when I was in a yellow and also scrap busting mood.  I showed you a little table topper I finished using grey and yellow and some hand quilting.
At that time, I also stitched together more scraps to form a longer rectangular runner which has rested in a drawer unfinished since. Its' time has come! It is all layered and I'm adding quilting lines in between other stitching. The black and white polka dot print seems to suit the colourful front and is looking good for the backing and borders. I have a table in mind for this. 
So happy I am able to practice ugly gardening. Many birds find a little nourishment throughout the winter in my garden leftovers.
Including the ever present American Goldfinches whose colour palette up close is so pretty.                                       
We are off to do a few chores, banking and the like. Hope your Thursday is going well too!

Tuesday 22 March 2022

March Marvels

 Something I marvelled at...First I heard the ravens squawking and looked out the window. There were so many of them gathered in the trees at the back of the house, I was surprised.  All of them screeching. I ran to the door and went around the corner of the house in time to watch a barred owl flying by with all those ravens chasing it! An amazing sight. And no camera. 😞 But as corny as it is to say, I have the picture in my mind still.

Ravens mate for life and have the intelligence of a 6 year old child. I'm kind of fascinated by them. Here they scrounge around under the bird feeders early every morning. I used to worry because it made the small birds scatter, but then I saw they don't stay long. 

With temperatures warming, gardening is on my mind and I've decided to add this new plant to the garden.  It popped up on my facebook feed several times and I do love Coleus. This is Proven Winner Coleus Torchlight.
 Decades ago I had a huge one I kept hanging from the shower rod in the bathroom. For some reason it thrived in the bathroom and when I left there to go to the far north, I had to give it away.  Anyway, to do this week is to order the seeds. I have many areas here that could provide the sun and shade they require. 

Someone asked in the comments what was the white flowering plant in this picture.It is one of the white Kalanchoes. They come in a variety of colours and are easy to keep healthy during winter months. This one flowered off and on with little bunches of flowers often it seemed. 

Here it was in January.

And this month.
To do this week in the sewing room and it is also my March OMG so I must get at it... finish bordering the Wildflowers blocks; I have two sides done, now for the top and bottom. 
My book this week that I am listening to while early morning stitching is by Beth Powning. I read The Sea Captains Wife years ago and enjoyed it very much. Here is a description of the plot. 

And I won a prize!!  Marie at QuiltBee had a little commentator giveaway in February. I was thrilled to get this quilt pattern which is a pattern for foundation piecing a pineapple block. I've so admired many of your photos of pineapple block quilts. I'm thinking of  Marie's Pineapple Tidbits and also you Rosemary and you Karen with your pineapple quilt versions. 

And the Quilter's Design Book has a bounty of information for quilt making besides the diary section for recording quilts. Marie's post there shows photos of the different sections. A package of needles rounded out the gift.  Thank you, Marie.

On that happy note, I'll end this post. Also happy to link this post with Texas Quilt GalLove Laugh QuiltLife in the ScrapatchMy Quilt InfatuationFloral Passions and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Friday 18 March 2022

Irish Fame, Shopping, Cakes, Cross Stitch, Special Moments

Of note this week...

A little bit of Irish- I spent a lot of time with William's wonderful words in younger days and also off and on throughout my life. A key 20th century poet and Nobel Prize winner and Irish as well.  I especially love his phrasing. 

You may have seen this popular quote below sometime. I remember writing it in my diary when I was not old and gray, both of which I now am. 

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.

Now for the mundane...

Researched and ordered...a new bread machine. Fixed a couple of times by hubby,  the old one finally gave up the ghost. The new one is a larger Cuisinart with over six thousand good reviews so must be okay. Looking forward to getting it. 

Ordered also this Cobble Hill jigsaw puzzle...Dog Quotes; a fun puzzle to greet spring.

There is a matching amusing Cat Quotes one too...A link is here

Sandra at MMM Quilts just listed the most gorgeous quilted bag in her Etsy Shop. Made with some vintage fabrics, it is simply stunning. 

Meanwhile my own stitchy flower garden continues to grow...

Mornings are definitely my favourite time to lay a few cross stitches and think how lucky to be retired! 

Daughter tried her hand at another flan this month.  This one is served with a blueberry compote. It is light and delicious. Here is the link to Blueberry Sour Cream Flan at Rock Recipes.  No flour in this one.
I watched this beautiful video from Sandra at Cherry Heart blog; it is part of her restful Moments series. This one features pretty crochet and also very pretty quilting. Partway through this video you can see her latest EPP project which I love very much ( I must have mentioned this before).  
It is a BOM called Flower Garden from Alice Caroline. What a lovely site with many things to admire there. However, Liberty Fabrics are SO expensive especially to get them delivered to here. I am sure there are many suitable substitutes that are available and would be just as pretty though.

I'm in the process of clearing items from this computer. I had a cache of over a hundred quilting/stitching/arts blogs/sites in my onenote and am reviewing each.  I've been surprised and saddened by how many are no longer maintained. Some with a final farewell but many just stopped without a word. That makes me wonder what happened. Life I guess, the fabric of which are inescapable ups and downs.

Sunshine and warm temperatures yesterday; the snow is taking quite a cutting, as we used to say at home. I had to forgo the heavy coat and mitts for my walks. The air, while cool, felt wonderful. 

 I hope you are all feeling wonderful too!

Also lovely things to see at Not Afraid of Color.  And joining the slow stitching group at Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Wildflower Embroideries, Scrappy Confetti Quilt, Indoor Gardening, Neddy News

Mother Nature is wearing winter white still here in our corner of the globe.  But with a promise of plus side temperatures later this week, the snow won't take too long to melt. (Says she hopefully)

But the inside Garden is growing well and surviving the long winter.  I use the little water spritzer bottle and keep them well misted which I think helps with the dry indoors climate. Note the little white Polka Dot plant is doing well with the pinching far.
The Hazel's Summer Wildflowers quilt is at this stage.  It's been easy and enjoyable machine stitching to put together a few rows of flying geese for the borders. I don't want this to get much bigger.  TO Do this week will be to get those flying geese all made. 
I subscribe to Rachel Hauser's Stitched in Color site.  I had bookmarked a project of hers, a new way to stitch scraps into quilts involving foundation piecing patterns. She called the result a Confetti Quilt. Last year Rachel ran a sew along stitching this quilt. 

 I purchased the digital patterns because any way to manage/use up scraps is a good thing. I'm experimenting and will let you know soon how that goes.  So far I've been sorting fabrics and cutting small piles. I've figured out that this is a good little project for when I've finished my stitching in the evening but still have tv viewing time on my hands. Basically, my eyes have had it but the hands are still up for it. This week I'll keep these steps going any time I have a few spare moments. 

We made a semi emergency visit to our vet with Neddy on Monday.  Inflamed eyes and a belly rash. The office is about an hour's drive from us; there are loads of vets closer but Dr. Sue Martin has been Hubby's vet for almost 30 years. She is so kind and has one of those very soft, gentle voices that sounds like she's whispering. Hubby, being deaf even with hearing aids, doesn't hear half of what she says. We now have drops for his eyes and must bathe his belly. She figured he had gotten the marks from all the running through the brush he does. But we got to pick up his flea/tick and heartworm medicine so that was a great thing to cross off our spring to do list.
He is quite well thankfully and we received lots of praise for his manners and sweet personality.
Hubby on the phone and Ned thinking he should be talking to him. :) He's getting a tad too big to be a lap dog. 
I hope you are having a productive week as well and taking good care of you and yours.  

Thursday 10 March 2022

Spring Springing, Slugging, Sashiko Stitching, Self-Soothing Slow Stitching

Hearing birds sing for the first time on a walk March 5 was an amazing moment. The cardinal was singing his tiny heart out then and every morning since.  Here are the pair that have been visiting my feeders all winter. I think they are the same as the female is notably small. Taken through my kitchen window. 

Neddy relaxing with his Star Wars blanket below. One year old last week. On the face book group, SIL asked all the owners of his 8 litter mates to share a birthday photo and all 9 of us chimed in with wonderful shots. It gave SIL and daughter much happiness to see how well loved the puppies all are in their new homes.
Have you heard of slugging?  I'll give you a link and see what you make of it for yourself. Slugging For Essential Skincare I was interested as I'd read decades ago that Marilyn Munroe used only petroleum jelly as a face cream. (That's a perfect example of the kind of useless information this brain of mine holds onto.)

So happy to be making headway with the borders for my Fans quilt. I settled on a sashiko style embroidered butterflies pattern using the same variegated thread I've used throughout this quilt. I drew a couple of butterfly patterns and used little dots of chalk as a guide.  That worked well on the dark navy fabric. Enjoyable slow stitching,

Here is an excellent video detailing how that can work for other Sashiko stitching which is a Japanese style of embroidery.
I think if these strips don't work out as a border, I'll join them to make a runner.  

It was a treat to visit a library last week- like old times. I had reserved both these books and picked them up. Simple Shapes Stunning Quilts by Stuart Hillard and Free Spirit Block Party by 20 modern designers. These books are both great-there are 100 designs in Stuart's book and 40 in the other. I would like to own a copy of both. 

Not finished yet...but I am still diligently adding to the sides of my Tumbling Blocks quilt pieces when the spirit moves me. I so love this process of cutting diamond shapes out of thin cardboard, choosing bits of fabrics to size, gluing them on, then sewing together to make the blocks. Then sewing those together. A process with many steps and I love each and every one of them. (A photo for Joanne (no blog) who asked to see it again and is thinking of making this pattern.)
Someone asked me why I torture myself with so much hand work on each project. Why does everything I make have to be so labour intensive, they wanted to know. After all you have a machine that could do the work in a tenth of the time was said to me.  Well now. What to the thinking about it, researching the patterns, searching your blogs, choosing the bits and bobs is so enjoyable, is my balm really, that the hand work/knitting/crocheting,etc. soothes me like nothing else I do. And while I can be quiet, attentive and contemplative sometimes, I need something in my hands always. (A new thought... Is that OCD-ish?!)

 From my needlepointing days starting when very young in university, living and teaching in isolated communities, up to and including now, stitching has been an enjoyable constant in my life. Just as it has for so many of you too. You guys get it, right?

I'm linking up with Not Afraid of Color; LeeAnna always puts a lot of effort into her Thursday things to like posts so if you have the time, check it out. Also there, you will find the other bloggers who have shared their thankful, happy Thursday things too. 

Also linking with Brian's Home BlogLove Laugh QuiltSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Kathy's Quilts

Monday 7 March 2022

Strategies, Sunflowers, Monkey Brain, Irish Soda Bread

Several of you have shown your pretty Sunflower projects while our thoughts are with the incredibly sad plight of the Ukrainians. Hubby has upped his donation to Doctors Without Borders who have medical teams there assisting. Holding our breath as this all unfolds.  I got out the well used Sunflowers tabletopper I'd made  many years ago.  Its' blue and yellow sunniness will take on a whole new meaning for me now.
I made Irish Soda Bread last week.  Hubby loves bread and while I love it too, I try not to eat too much of it.  I found the recipe in the Costco Connections March magazine. The link will take you to the online version.
 Soda Breads are generally coarser and because it has a little brown sugar in it, this one had a very slight sweet taste. It made a very large tasty loaf.
One of my face book quilting friends issued this challenge to us ... get your pin cushions and find the embedded needles in them. She had found an incredible 32 in one of her larger ones! I got my two that I use a lot and was surprised as well. I actually thought there would be none.  14 in one and 8 in the other! Including several of my "good" cross stitching needles which I was so happy to have.
From Quilter Karen comes this awesome video, Make More Quilts... 8 Strategies to Finish More Quilts. Karen puts a lot into her videos and this one is wonderful. So many great ideas.  I really liked Eat The Frog First and Habit Stacking.
Karen mentions having Monkey Brain at night which I have a problem with from time to time as well. I've done a bunch of research on this issue and I did find one article that had good ideas about how to quell Monkey Brain. Perhaps you will find it helpful too. 8 Science Based Tricks for Quieting the Monkey Brain  by Alice G. Walton.
 I have to say that Lady Tulip, the latest pieced quilt and fabric line from Laundry Basket Quilts is quite beautiful. Those colours are really appealing to me.  Do they appeal to you too? Again speaking to me of summer and warmer days I think. Edyta's fabrics are excellent quality. 
A smile today in this very brief clip...14 month old Rory in Clarenville, Newfoundland went out to help his dad shovel snow. I love the way he falls down, gets up and keeps on going. Life lesson there. 
Here is the link in case that fails...14 Month Old Shovels Snow. I've mentioned my Acer is having glitches and that includes my uploads and photos too. Sigh  
Typical March heavy rain has flattened our snow piles here but a few flakes are falling as I write this. 

Thursday 3 March 2022

Peace and Plenty Here at the Wooden House

We both talked about the sun today as sunny a sun as we have ever seen. It surged brightly behind the curtains before I opened them and blinded us on the morning walk with its clarity and brightness. I kept shielding my eyes wishing my sunglasses were not back at the house. The weather for days before had been gloomy with wind, freezing rain, and yet more snow. Maybe we were prejudiced because of this. Whatever. Sun illuminating all corners of the house is wonderful and spurring notions of spring- at least for this one day.
While the view outside remains decidedly winter.
We went to Costco on Monday and had a great look round; no trouble filling a cart. I was disappointed in the clothes- mostly swimming suits and the need for that is a ways off here for sure. Hubby was happy as we replenished his Moose Tracks Ice Cream supply. I was happy as I bought one of those supper kits; ours was the tacos one. Sure enough I found an article by Brian, a high school teacher who loves food, on how to prepare it HERE. Brian's photo too. It was tasty.
 I almost broke down and started another project just to soothe myself, the news in the world being what it is lately. But I've held strong. I received a little bundle of lovely fabric in the mail so I must content myself with petting this for now. I'm very slowly building a Tilda supply for a special project.  Mauves are a little new to me but so pretty.
The book, Country Quilts For Friends, was in the bargain bin at the local drug store. It caught my eye because of the name Anne Sutton on it. Anne is the designer behind Bunny Hill Designs, a wonderful site to explore and shop. I've purchased her fabric and patterns before. I like how she combines piecing, applique and also sometimes, embroidery, in her quilts. 
Anne's latest fabric line is called Prairie Days and is the prettiest blues with a bold red and whites. 
Meanwhile I've layered up the scrappy Fans quilt and used a little spray fabric glue to hold the layers in place which really helped a lot. I keep forgetting I have this stuff and it is very helpful. 
These fabrics are so pretty to me. I love seeing them up close. (And the sides are really straight; why they photograph with a curve is a mystery to me.)
I quilted around each to fix them in place. I began a little embroidery stitch, abbreviated turkey stitch, around each block. I'm using the same red, white and blue variegated thread as I used for the strings. 
I plan to set up the borders today. 
I've almost finished my Cobble Hill Winter puzzle, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady version. 
Each bird and plant is labelled which is fun and an aid to getting it together too. 

Frederique has updated the list of ongoing BOM's, etc. here on her blog, Quilting, Patchwork, Applique. I got distracted by one...the Grandmother's Flower Garden, EPP quilt, and think I may join that one by downloading the patterns for now. I've admired the hexie quilts so many of you have made and keep saying I want to make one. 
 I have this image of me sewing little hexagons sitting on my veranda next summer. Sigh