Monday 30 May 2022

Second of Three Mistakes, Storm Damage, Tilda Plaid Quilt, EPP

I am still feeling so grateful for the power and internet; there are still Ontarians without it! Our reliance on being on the grid is almost scary.

A couple of the trees down on our property. 

Robbie was with us for a PA day and we did a walkabout and count. There are five blocking our trails. SIL will get the chain saw out and help us clear them. Perhaps more firewood for next winter too. 

This baby red squirrel came up to my kitchen window to peek inside. Robbie said "he's not only cute, he's ridiculously cute". 

Sorry, bad photo of the squirrel but you can see how marvelously green our world has become.  Yah for May!

Jenny at Romany Quilting sent me a comment and mentioned she was making soup slow cooking bones in her crock pot. That was funny because I'd had my crock pot on during that night making chicken bone broth for soup for us. I figured that with the time difference, though continents apart, we were using our slow cookers to make soup at the same time! 
Number Two of three mistakes I made recently...

I had a major hiccup with the Tilda Plaid quilt and had to take apart seven rows I had sewn. 😞That was five afternoons at the takes me a while to choose the fabrics too so I'm rather slow at it.

 At first I thought I'd let my mistake go but then realized I couldn't live with it. Especially for a gift. The mistake...two light rectangles between one brighter printed one is the pattern. I had thought it was three lights and really, the three together didn't look awful. But it's left me wondering where my eyes were!
Here is the resewn part. This is being pieced in an interesting manner...starting from a corner. Note...the pinks, blues and greens are all different shades though do not look like it in this photo. 
To do this week...keep stitching this and try to stick to the pattern! I'm going to link this post with Linda's To Do Tuesday Party to make me stay on track. In fact I think I will make this my OMG for June at Elm Street Quilts to at least get it to the flimsy point.
Mistake #3 next time...more unsewing, drat!

Meanwhile, I subscribe to this lovely site on YouTube, Emma Jones Vintage Sewing Box.  I'll share her latest video where she is stitching hexagons and takes us from the drawing to finished appliqued bluebell for a center block. She has a soothing voice and this is a sweet project I would use for a table topper. Pretty prints and interesting to see her use the whip stitch to stitch the pieces together. I use a ladder stitch. Totally addictive!

I feel like I should say something about the awful news from Uvalde, Texas. I love America too as I've mentioned many times before here on the blog. A little bit selfish as there is not a single doubt that Canada needs and relies on a peaceful and successful United States to keep sharing that very long border with us. But that bit aside, you are our friends and it grieves me to read how hurt you are about these horrific shootings. One person in any country killed by gun violence is one too many. This fear should not exist for innocent people anywhere. We all have enough on our plates dealing with war news, weather, illnesses, viruses, aging, etc. and goodness knows whatever next will be coming down the tube. Oh how I wish there was a simple answer to this seemingly complex situation for not only my American friends but for all countries where gun violence is on the rise. 

Meanwhile, linking this post with Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsLife in the ScrapatchCreations...Quilts, Art, WhateverMy Quilt InfatuationQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Love Laugh Quilt

Friday 27 May 2022

First of Three Mistakes, EPP Again, Wildflowers Free Pattern, Tiny Hand Stitched Needlebook

 I made a large pot of -I don't know what to call it- ground beef, onions, tinned tomatoes, cabbage, corn and carrots all cooked together with a little broth. Sort of a stew I guess. It was tasty and I added a couple of the wild garlic that has just ripened. Being me, I made enough for the whole street, so the first night I cooked rice to go with it and the second night, mashed potatoes. I'm ridiculously happy when I make enough of something to cover two meals. 

I have a few more of the EPP Panama Pyramids sewn in greens to add to the little pile. I'll get to work through the colours I guess just following the monthly RSC guide.
I shared in my storm post the little hand stitching I'd begun of the colourful one inch squares scraped from the bottom of the scrap bag.
 I finished the little 3 inch by 4 inch needle book yesterday. 
The Jackrabbit uses just half the thread colours that my present project does. 
Floral Motif Sampler is moving right along so soon I'll get back to this fellow.
Something pretty to check out...Remy's reoffered her cross stitched Wildflower Sampler Pattern 2011, a lovely smallish design and it's free. It is also very easy to follow. Check it out here...Embroiderbee's Primary Hive

Thank you all for the very  kind comments about my face and also the well wishes about my injury from the fall and the storm too. Nothing I can do about my face and the storm but it turns out there is something I could have done differently about the injury. 

First mistake I felt pretty good on day three after that fall and made an error in judgement and tried to do normal things.  I brought in groceries up the steps from the car and threw the ball for Ned to get some exercise and other stuff. Those activities re-inflamed the ache and it ached in the night and felt very sore the next morning. That taught me a little lesson- real healing takes time...I've got to take it easy even as it feels better.  And as my friend, Heather, pointed out- soft tissue injuries take longer to heal than breaks. 

But it's all good; I do have a high threshold of pain.  Also those three storm days had the silver lining of me not moving as much as normal so that also has helped. I'm back to my chest hurting only when I move a certain way.  

Second Mistake was a stitching one and it was big. Sigh More about that next time. 

I'm sharing this post with The Joyful QuilterAlycia QuiltsCreations-Quilts, Art, WhateverSo ScrappyKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkLife in Pieces and My Quilt Infatuation.

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Our World a Little Bit Topsy-Turvy, Storm of May 21, 2022

 We had a special and rare weather event called a Derecho fly through our area on Saturday afternoon. As you know we are surrounded by trees but only the ones near the back deck are very close to the house. Hubby and I went from window to window watching the immensity of the storm, having no idea what we were witnessing. We'd gotten a weather alert for heavy rainfall on our phones a little while before. The day darkened like night and the wind, my gosh the wind just appeared out of nowhere blasting at full speed. The wind was so strong it was moving the tall tree tops in circular motions, something I had never seen in my lifetime and hope to never witness again. 

The power went out and came back on last night at 8 o'clock. So three days of making do with our oil lamps and lake water and bottled water. Since all the little towns around had also lost power, there was no way to get food and we were told to stay off the roads as so many trees and power lines were down. We are very grateful to family who have kept us watered and fed.  Also happy we have a special radio and oil lamps. As well we had a generator running to take turns plugging in the freezer and the fridge. I know we need to get a special small stove so we can at least heat something should we lose the power for an extended time again. 

Our house is thankfully unscathed unlike many that lost roof parts and shingles. A number of large trees are down on our property and of course, many leaning and lots of broken branches littering the ground. Tragically, 10 people lost their lives in this storm which would be so terrifying to say the least. 

I couldn't help notice the birds were all back to the feeders within minutes of the storm leaving as if nothing had happened. Life goes on. 

What did I do during those three days?  I spent time in the garden weeding, read a book, listened to radio and cross stitched. Not at all a bad life though missing a shower like crazy. I hand stitched together these tiny wee squares, one inch, with the idea of making a needle book for the Jackrabbit cross stitch project coming up.

We fretted a bit as we didn't know how long the outage would last, even while counting our blessings.  We've read that this storm had its beginning south of Chicago fed by the heat dome over the eastern United States and crossed over to Windsor, Canada then continued through southern Ontario and on its way dipped back to Maine. Weather systems know no borders, just like the Arctic air systems that dip down our way to sometimes cross the U.S. border and make their way far south of us. Climate change affects us all.

Do hope nothing has blown into your life and turned it a wee bit topsy -turvy!

Hope you have time to check out Not Afraid of Color where folks link up their Thursday posts full of positive things to like.  Also linking with Life in the Scrapatch. 

Thursday 19 May 2022

Taking a Fall, Tilda's Plaid Quilt, Shellacked Nails, YouTube Video

 It is shocking how quickly the heat arrived and stayed all last week. I'm talking 34C in the midday sun.  We broke a couple of records for May. Too hot to sit outside and the air was instantly oppressive. Not to mention how fierce the mosquitoes were! Boy, they hatch hungry! However, that heat has passed off and we are back to temperatures that are a little  cooler than usual.  So I guess the weather is simply all over the place.

Because we went from frost advisories to that heat, the Crocuses and Tulips here on my property didn't bloom. The wild Trout Lilies also didn't bloom this spring but a few of the White Trilliums did though not in numbers enjoyed in the past. The White Trillium is the beautiful provincial flower of Ontario.

I took a fall last Saturday while walking Ned on his leash. I've been using the lead with him lately because of all the critters on the move. He caught sight of something and made a quick mad dash bringing me down with a thud. Like the saying, I didn't know what hit me-I found out- it was the ground!  My left arm and chest took the brunt of the fall. But I'm okay; I took an extra strength Tylenol that afternoon which helped with the pain. I'm just a little sore when moving certain ways; lying down and especially getting back up seem to hurt the most. Who knew so many muscles are involved in small maneuvers.  I'm very thankful where I fell was not where there are jagged rocks; the damage could have been so much worse. And I wish I could remember to just let go when that happens! (But I do remember and have to smile when I think of how excited and happy Neddy got to find me on the ground at his level I guess which was novel for him.) 

I enjoyed having my nails, all 20 of them, LOL, painted for Mother's Day. They actually got shellacked...the last time I heard of shellacking was my parents trying to decide if they should shellac their wooden kitchen cabinets. I had no idea you could do this to nails!!

I'm liking them this colour, so bright for me, and it's a visual reminder to take better care of my fingers. Like keep the gardening gloves on!

Perhaps on the weekend, I'll get the Geranium into its outside pot on the laneway. It certainly knows it's spring.

Indoor chores

I've got the oven cleaned. Boy do I hate doing that and was so disappointed when I found the self cleaning option didn't work on this stove. But the first day I could open windows wide I got it done. 

 I'm now washing and storing the winter duvet, afghans, shawls and blankets. Yes, we wrap up a lot during our winters! While doing a little spring cleaning, I also gathered a garbage bag of clothes and household items to donate to the thrift store.  Next on the list is to do a deep dive of the fridge freezer which is a large drawer with items piled on top of each other.  How long is frozen fruit still good to eat??

This article pertaining to creativity was interesting, especially the follow up links provided. The Art of Solitude by Maria Popova. I've not given up on my efforts to focus on creativity in 2022.

I loved this video. It appealed to my sense of wanting very badly to use up scraps. I loved the rhythm  Ash achieved in ironing and stitching which is a little hypnotic to watch. (I think she has a towel on her ironing surface). I also liked the history she chats about whilst stitching.  But I do appreciate when someone has the colour sense to put scraps together to make a very beautiful hanging. 

Speaking of putting things together. I've stitched the beginning of the first of two Tilda quilts I plan to sew this summer. This first one is machine sewn and is called simply Plaid Quilt. It always surprises me how quickly things get sewn when they are not hand stitched. Working with these pretty prints is such a treat.
I've rambled on enough this rainy morning. A grocery shop is pretty much the only thing on the agenda for today...oh the life of the retired!
Linking this post with Not Afraid of Color where LeeAnna is always sharing her creativity. Also linking with Pat at Life in the Scrapatch where she shares her beautiful Tunisian stitched Sea Shawl. 

Tuesday 17 May 2022

New Tilda Project, Free Embroidery Patterns, Choki, Gardening

Here I am up at the farm years back planting Morning Glories along the back yard area that the dogs roamed in. Murphy was keeping pace with me as I moved along. These are seeds I would have germinated in the tiny green house attached to the barn. I enjoyed training the vines up that fence to cover it up. Happy Spring Memories!

I've been following Choki on YouTube for about two years now. I've shared this before but thought I'd mention again for new readers.  I find whatever she makes looks so good and it also gives me ideas.  I'd never heard of ketchup rice till Choki. This video is 3 Good Habits That I'm Glad I Picked Up Recently.
I've got a confused Eastern Phoebe on the front of the house. She has been bringing nesting material to multiple spots (7) on the veranda roof and we have cleared it away a few times to discourage her as we aren't convinced it is safe there. But she is persisting and yesterday the mound on the left seems to have been made more substantial. I'm worried she will use all her valuable energy on this exercise and won't have any left for motherhood.
My net wanderings took me to this new to me place.Turkey Feathers, where Vicki shares her very cute vintage style small embroideries. I was especially interested in her State Flowers project as I'd love to complete such a piece like it and also add in the Canadian provincial flowers that don't overlap.  Vicki explains more about the project in this post and offers a free PDF download of the patterns. A cute summer project for us slow stitchers.

Also don't forget the Pattern Bee site that offers a great cache of free patterns to download for embroidery and small sewing projects as well. 

This week I'm continuing the cutting for a new quilt. From this book.

 I began on Sunday with the first cuts being made into some of the Tilda fabric I've been saving. Pretty mauves and purples.
Hope to have it all cut this week. I'll have to prod myself a little to do this as it is not my favourite part of the quilting process. 
Ned is looking out and thinking, how in the world did it all turn green so quickly!
Hope you are enjoying your world, whatever the season!
Happily linking with Texas Quilt Gal and Brian's Home Blog.

Saturday 14 May 2022

Seeing Eckhart Tolle, Toronto Trip, The Jackrabbit Beginning

After over three years, I finally went somewhere! My last August 70th birthday gift from daughter was a ticket to see this fellow in Toronto.  Hence the train trip I mentioned in the last post.


Ekhart is a tiny man; we joked he looked like a happy gnome. We had wondered if, because he is such a low key fellow, our evening might wind up being a little boring. Anything but! 

 He talked for two hours straight and dealt with mostly two topics -how to deal with memories, loss and unhappiness, and also about God and beliefs. He taught us how to empty, as he put it, our minds. To just BE STILL( he discussed the Bible line, Be still and know that I am God), be present, etc.  I tried to take in every word. My emotions ran the gamut while listening...tears in my eyes pretty much throughout (sometimes a struggle not to cry) to smiling and feeling awe that he was striking so many chords with me. He has a unique ability to clarify complicated feelings and I was also impressed by all the philosophical references he quoted. There was a tremendous amount of love shown to him by the really diverse audience of about 2000 people. Us among them and so well deserved.

The suite at the hotel had marvelous views and amenities including a tiny sitting room and tiny kitchen.

 I could live there! And the vibrancy of any big city downtown, so different from my life, always pulls me in when I do get to go there. 

Street cars from the 21st floor

We spent a wonderful day at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I'll highlight two of the exhibitions we enjoyed. The Blue Series- 40 paintings from the tragic Matthew Wong. I'm sharing these because I feel they are interesting-wish we had had an interpreter with us to help us understand more about them,  and perhaps some art quilt inspiration for some of you as well. Here is a New York Times article about Matthew.

I was surprised when I realized I had taken a photo of this work of Matthew's I came across online a couple years ago. I like through the window views and houses. Early Moon
A highlight of our visit was seeing this very large beauty, Christi Belcourt's The Wisdom of the Universe. Christi is a Metis artist and used pointillism to mimic Metis beadwork. Up close it was a million tiny dots and looked extraordinary in the precision, colours and placement of each item. 

I invite you to watch this lovely animated video that explains all the features and special meanings of each item included in this fabulous work. 
Our favourite restaurant and bakery was an Italian one nearby; the bread, tiramisu and cannoli were delicious. We did a lot of walking so all good!
I made a little start on the Cottage Garden Samplings, The Jackrabbit, just so I could say I began it on my trip to mark the occasion. Wonderful memories!
The lilac flower was worked with a specialty cotton that came with the kit and I don't like the flat effect and the way it lay. I'm going to take it out. I think I am spoiled by DMC and the little sheen it has.

 About my photo I shared last post...A reader in the U.S. who has never commented before had to write to tell me I'm a dead ringer for her great aunt who lived to be a hundred. Imagine that!
Sharing this post with Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Hair Cut, My Face, In the Garden-Blooms At Last, Table Topper Video

I got my hair cut and it really wasn't that bad. The salon was just fancy enough if you know what I mean. I love how so many buildings in the closest town downtown are updated versions of the old fashioned original buildings. 

Here is my hair because several of you asked to see it. I have a little natural curl so it kind of springs up a bit. That also helps disguise how fine it is. See those two lines right between my eyes.  They appeared last November...I don't think they were there before that. I also note that my left eye droops a little more when I'm tired. I like how this photo has softened my jowls which are getting quite wrinkled. But I really don't care about any of that. I'm just so grateful to be here.
And so very lucky to have gone away on a little train trip for four days and I'll share lots more about that on Thursday!

Our last recent overnight frost advisory was Saturday and it looks like we are truly into spring and gardening time. Lately, I'm spending my morning in the garden and have cleaned away almost all the ugly gardening debris in the front flower beds. Soon things will be ready for a little planting and replanting of what I started inside. May 24th is the official date here when we have the all clear to plant outside without a risk of frost but things are warming up fast.  I've also transplanted a lovely Bleeding Heart bush from a totally shaded area and, fingers crossed, that will work out. Anyway, the garden will be a focus for part of each day from now on for me.
When I prepped a number of the Panama Pyramid blocks, I looked through my green fabrics which happen to be almost my skimpiest colour. Purple holds that honour. I managed to find a few in one of the RSC colours for May, sage; later on I'll look to stitch a few in forest green. Unpressed and a bit bumpy.
 I enjoyed this video below very much when I was thinking of the Table Scraps Challenge run by The Joyful Quilter.  This is just 12 minutes long and the process is surprisingly easy when taken step by step. The finished little table topper looks very complicated but isn't when taken step by step. 

Gardening, stitching and feeding us is just about all that is on this week's TO DO list.  Hope you have likewise, wonderful things to enjoy your time. 

Enjoying too linking with Texas Quilt Gal and Quilt Fabrication.