Thursday 30 June 2022

Thursdays' Three Free, Five Fledglings, Two Bleeding Hearts, One Basket Case Quilt

I have had a good week and by good I mean productive as per a retired old lady. Played ball and walked the dogs a lot, cleaned and refilled the bird feeders, dug around a bit more in the garden, tidied the pesky cupboard and flotsam drawer. I also washed our bed pillows. Do you do that?  I run them through the machine with clorox and then again with no detergent a couple of times a year.  We don't have fancy ones that might need dry cleaning.  I swam a little too and took photos as well.  It goes without saying there was time well spent with needle and thread. 

Look at these faces! Despite our removing nest material from the eave over the front veranda, the Eastern Phoebe persisted and proceeded to raise her family there. This was almost directly in front of the front door so we used the back door further along the veranda to give her some privacy. By easing open the front door, I was able to take a couple of photos-I didn't want to spook them. 

All along we assumed there were three birds in the nest.  Not till they started to fledge did we realize there were five! They each took a turn sitting outside the nest for a couple of hours before leaving. This took a whole day for them all to fledge. It really must take a lot of gumption to make that first flight.
The next day I heard them chirping in the big trees at the end of the veranda and saw the parents still flying about. They are moved on now and it's a little sad to see the empty nest. But it is nice to have our front door back.

I had dug up and divided the white Bleeding Heart bush. This article was very helpful. It had more than enough roots to divide which you are supposed to do every 5 years I read - in that article. One part got planted in the back yard 

and the rest on the right side of the house.
 I'm happy to say that they both "took" and even produced flowers. Fingers crossed they return next year.

I think I mentioned I've decided to use the  Elm Street Quilts Monthly OMG link up to finish old WIPS. The one I've chosen for July is this one, Basket Case, which is a 2020 project. This was stitched with a free basket pattern from kind Michelle at Michelle Ridgeway Designs. The greys of the background fabrics are not as dark as shown here.

The center medallion was my own choice and all those fussy cut flowers are just tacked down with a running stitch. I plan to anchor them all with a little blanket stitch embroidery and then get the whole thing quilted. More hand work. But I don't mind as I do have the dresden blades for Wheel Within a Wheel being machine stitched and moving right along.  
Speaking of baskets, there are more in my future as I ordered a kit from Norma Whaley of Timeless Traditions to stitch a small and beautiful wall hanging. Basket Love can be seen here.
I love everything Norma designs as I've mentioned here on the blog before. More about that later.

Time for Thursday's Three Free

From the creative folks at the Live Art Gallery comes a pattern download and tutorial to make a lovely Summery Pillow top using their way of making flying geese. I never tire of flying geese projects and would use this for a table topper. 

Bev at Flamingo Toes cleverly combines quilting, embroidery and a little DIY know-how to create a wide variety of lovely items. She also generously provides quite a large supply of free patterns for every season too. I thought this one a pretty little mini quilt to stitch and it was in the RSC June colours too which could easily be swapped for July's purples.

And for my cross stitching pals, By the Bay Needleart, the folks behind this gorgeous design that I've ogled for a long time...

there is a page of lovely freebies to be found HERE.
That's enough for this rather long post; hope I did not bore you! I have thrifting news for next time.

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Prettiest Quilt Shop, Crocheted Hexagon Blanket, Plaid Tilda Flimsy, Strawberry Season

 Remember I shared with you I had taken a fall last month? It is mostly better; I still feel a twinge when I lie on my left side a certain way. I must have bruised a muscle there. I mention this again because it reminded me about a blog I used to follow faithfully, the Carolina Stitcher. Faye, back in 2019, took a very bad fall which broke her arm in two places and shattered her elbow. Her son gave several updates on her blog but then nothing. Just wonder what happened to her. Anybody know??  As for myself, I've not kept Ned on a leash since. Hubby always thought it unnecessary and me too much of a worrywart which is my middle name so no escaping that bit. But do be careful everyone!

We made a couple of stops on our way home from the doctor's last week...where hubby got a clean bill of health thankfully btw. July is his birthday month...going to be 83!

First stop was at Paisleys Quilt Shop on Carp Road. Prettiest quilt shop I've ever visited and there was the owner, Madonna, sitting at the counter embroidering a piece from French General. (Here is a link to their embroidery page if you'd like to take an online look.)

Madonna's Pretty Photo-She made all the quilts on display. 
Talk about me being in heaven! So many beautiful quilts, kits and fabrics. Truthfully, I felt a little overwhelmed by the selection of Morris, Free Spirit, and French General fabrics all so beautifully displayed.  I felt like my eyes kept darting everywhere. That ever happen to you? Also so many beautiful books and novelty items having to do with Morris and /or quilting.  I bought something rather boring...the thinnest batting Madonna had for sale.

But something beautiful came home with me too. A William Morris inspired drink bottle. It's like holding a little work of art.
While still on a high from the quilt shop-well I was, Hubby not so much :D, we stopped in at the local berry farm and bought strawberries, the first of the season.  We've enjoyed a bowl each night but the remainder will have to be frozen. It's one of the things on my To Do list.

Below is the Jane Brocket inspired crocheted hexagon blanket I made in 2017. I'm re-sharing this for the sweet Patricia of  Faith, Trust and Breast Cancer blog who is hoping to make one and wanted to see mine. This one is worth its weight in gold; no, I'm not kidding. On a whim I ordered real wool from Australia and blithely looked through the online site, Adding to Cart all the colours that took my fancy. It is by far the best wool ever to go through these fingers but the price was much more than I am accustomed to paying, let's just say. Amazon link to Jane's books. Doesn't seem like she is still blogging though old quilting and yarn posts are available here at Yarnstorm and well worth a look.

And I accomplished my OMG for June linking with Elm Street Quilts - for once. Happy to report I finished Plaid Tilda to the mostly flimsy stage. 55 x 80 or thereabouts. 
Pattern is from the book, Quilts From Tilda's Studio by Tone Finnanger.  
And now that I have the batting, there is no excuse not to get it all done. 
My flotsam drawer is calling me. It's been crying out for a while. Do you have one of those??? It's rather sad to say that I work hard at not having such a drawer yet despite my best efforts there it is! All chockablock with the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life.  I've been needing to sort it for awhile and I will be listening to an audio book while I do it.  I have to think that my time is well spent, every minute of it, these days. 
I'd love it if you meet me back here on Thursday for more ramblings including Three Free on Thursday links. 

Thursday 23 June 2022

Three Free Patterns on a Thursday, More Panama Pyramids, A Prime Series to Watch

I got the fridge cleaned out and one of the large corner bottom cabinets tidied too. Oh I hate those cupboards. Things get put in them and completely forgotten about. I have to get down on my knees to reach things at the back which is far from convenient. Anyway, I did decide to move some of the small appliances I use more often down there rather than having them way down the hall in a spare room. Big grocery shop is done and it feels good to have tinned goods restocked, things like broth, tuna, beans, etc. Also pickles, beets and olives.  

 Dog sitting is keeping me busy. Petey is even more "needy" if you can call it that, when it comes to attention, than Ned is.  He wants to wrap himself around your neck and fall asleep that close to you which is marvelous and endearing. It also means he is constantly by your side looking for pats too. What a companion!The groundhogs are hanging about still. Here is a photo of two of the three small ones I've seen. Baby groundhogs are often called chucklings, a word that amuses me much more than kits which they can be called too. 

The Beatles were "Big" when I was a preteen. I remember well their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I feel like they were there all my life. Paul McCartney is 80!

 I was interested in this book as soon as it was published and it's taken this long to get it from the library.  I've just started it and already learned something I didn't know. At 15, Paul wanted to learn the guitar but he was left handed so had to teach himself how to play the chords upside down. That sounds pretty clever to me. He's probably the most famous left handed guitar player in the world. 

My Panama Pyramids are growing slowly. EPP is not a fast process.  The triangles are enjoyable to prep for 9 blocks at a time and then stitch while watching an afternoon movie that Hubby has no interest in. 

Someone asked; I bought the PDF pattern from Linda Collins and made cardboard templates. There was a SAL in 2016 with many beautiful examples of the finished quilt to be found on the net. Link to her Etsy store.

We enjoyed watching this series on Prime. Always like Lily James, Emily Mortimer and Dominic West. Also enjoy those story lines from the ages where girls had to marry well first and foremost, not who they actually loved or even knew well.

Thank you for all the positive feedback on the Thursday's Three Free feature.

Here is this week's Three Free...


Bear Creek Quilting Company's Pinwheel to incorporate embroidered pieces in a wall hanging. I noted this when I was working out how to quilt Hazel's Summer Wildflowers embroideries. This one is using redwork panel pieces. 

Perhaps a little Christmas in July stitching is on your mind. This is so cute and would fit anyone's plans. I love Bunny Hill designs and have purchased a few patterns and also fabric of Ann's over the years. She has free patterns available under her Bunny Hill Blog heading. This is one I like called Reindeer Friends. The reindeer pdf pattern is so cute. I bet you have fabric in your stash right now that would be perfect for reindeers in reds. I could see a table runner with the reindeer stitched on either end. 

And thinking ahead as well but not quite to Christmas...Jolly Jabber is running a free Halloween Mystery QAL and Cross StitchAL. How clever they've been to realize the cross stitching hobby ballooned like it did during the pandemic and now include it in their pattern making.  Free patterns will be released each Tuesday from July 5 - 26 with Kimberly providing tutorials on their YouTube channel. Link is here at the Fat Quarter Shop.
I enjoyed writing this post and sharing some of what I've found around the net this week. So much to enjoy!

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Tornado Warnings, Eye Candy for Dogs, Dresden Blades, Woolly Purchase

We had another tornado warning last week!

 The radar showed we were directly in its' path which was scary for a few hours. Unlike before, warnings were issued in a timely fashion so folks had time to pick their kids up at school and daughter and Robbie came right to our house. The idea was that our house is very solid with a good basement underground. It was an uneasy feeling watching the wind start to whip up. But at the last minute the storm path divided right around us, part moving south and part going north, remarkable to see on the radar. We were of course very thankful and sad to hear of the destruction it caused to the north of us. However, the wind was strong enough to bring down more trees on our land...ones that had been weakened in the first storm.

 I really hope this is not going to become a thing living here. Tornadoes are so unpredictable and scary. It is nothing like the cold of our winters where you can just bundle up and go on about your business. I don't know what else to compare it to.

This week we are looking after Petey for a few days and Ned is deliriously happy to have him here. Here they are looking at one of the three baby ground hogs that appeared out of the blue on the weekend! Such cute animals but I'm a little worried about having that many of them in our garden. The dogs sat silent and enraptured as the little creature went about its business blissfully unaware of two pairs of eyes following him.

Munching on leaves.

I've worked out the size of the Dresden blades I want for the Wheel Within a Wheel block. I tried two sizes before settling on this one which fits a 9 inch square. These fabrics are wonderful quality to work with. 

 This will be partly machine stitched and partly applique.  The "wheel" bits in opposite corners will be appliqued. Such bright and fun colours to work with, so different from the Tilda soft and muted shades.  I'm eager to get this one further along and will work on it in between getting Plaid Tilda finished which will happen this week, as a flimsy that is, unquilted. 

I may have mentioned I've had a request for an afghan, one in blues. To that end, I put in an order to Wool Warehouse where they have wonderful pricing on Stylecraft Special Dk yarn in over 100 shades to choose from.  My package arrived so quickly and I really like these colours.  I added some steel blues, sage and bluey greens to the group, colours I know this person also likes.

I get tired of grocery shopping which I really shouldn't complain about but I kind of do. All the while I am grateful to have the appetite for food and the funds to support that appetite of course. But keeping us fed is on the TO Do list this week with a big shop necessary. I have made a more detailed list than usual to incorporate a few more of the anti inflammatory type foods. I gave up on avocados because of the environmental issues the growing of them cause. I wonder is that still an issue? Because I would dearly love to add them back into my diet.  It seems tomatoes are a bit of a no no, sadly for me as I love them. So I'm going to be testing those to see how I fare with them.  Back to sourdough bread which I know is better for this stomach of mine, the little I do eat of bread though I love that too. Thank you all for the comments and emails regarding food and inflammation; obviously a lot of folks are dealing with degrees of this issue.

Before this big shop, I have to clean out the fridge. I do hang onto bits and pieces. Having the compost bin is a great enabler in that regard. 

But in brighter news,  my heart always gives a little leap when this shows up in my email. Newsletter This is June's so I'll be checking that out later. Does that happen to you??? You get a little lift when you see something stitchy that you just know will be good. 

Happy to share this post with Texas Quilt Gal and Creations- Quilts, Art, Whatever.


Thursday 16 June 2022

Thursdays' Three Free Patterns, Blooming Times, Lemon Cake, In My Genes

The view out my kitchen window now the rose bushes on either side of the walkway are in bloom.  They will rebloom till frost gets at them in late October.

That box is one we keep there for deliveries. We started doing that during the pandemic and found it worked well. I think the drivers probably like it too with not having to come up all our steps. 

Another cake from daughter...a lemon one that I really loved. She made the lemon curd and combined it with a mousse cream topping.  It was just the treat with a cup of tea. 

Early morning slow stitching while listening to this book. A Most Remarkable Creature by Jonathan Meiburg. I heard Jonathan on CBC radio which led me to his book. I'd never heard of the Caracaras which is considered the world's smartest bird of prey. Truly remarkable intelligence.
I've been feeling a little achier in my bones lately and have revisited the issue of lectins and inflammation. From my 23and Me results I know I carry the gene for late onset Celiac disease. In my case now, it would be termed very late onset I guess, :D. But I enjoy the research and then the challenge of applying that knowledge to my everyday habits. The internet is a marvelous thing because I could find so much information about lectins, etc. and foods to eat less of with just a few clicks. At my stage of life, I don't need to be told this stuff, but reminded. I know we have to be careful but I just love the internet. 

Speaking of which, there is so much wonderful creativity to stir our senses to be found all over the place there.  Just like these fine folks who are sharing their ideas with us. 

Thursday's Three Free

#1 I've mentioned the wonderful Allison before, the lady behind one of my favourite sites on the net, Campbel Soup Diary. Always inspiring and I just love how I learn something every time I visit her. Lately, Allison has been sharing her flawless applique using grunge fabrics. Those are fabrics I've never used, but the softness of the greens and pinks she is using is very appealing to me.  She also has a cache of Free patterns and Tutorials under her Blog heading that is well worth visiting. 

Link for that cute little mug rug is here...Free Mini Foliage Pattern.

#2 Another great site is Spoonflower

It is a place on the net with a lot going on! I did get a little sidetracked with the wonderful cache of Bird hangings/tea towels, the free sewing patterns and amazing fabrics. 

But I also found this post for a  QAL featuring 3 Beginner Friendly Quilt blocks to make under their Blog heading that I thought you might like. 

#3 Free today is this lovely pattern from talented Suzy at her blog,  Suzy Quilts.
Twisted Ribbons Quilt Pattern
Check out her other free patterns HERE and have a look round her site. Suzy shares a wonderful resource of tutorials and quilting help too. 

Thanks to all these generous, creative folks!

We have a high humidity alert for today which, as noted on my morning walk, the mosquitoes don't mind at all. 

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Flowering Bushes, Plaid Tilda Growing, Belle Isle Fabric, Pattern Testing

 My garden time is happening earlier rather than later in the day. It always surprises me how much growth occurs even though the sun has been scarce and it has rained so much. Weeds love rain is my conclusion. But it is exercise, in fact moves most parts of the body in some way. But I notice the getting up and down is harder so now I bring out my little step stool to sit on. 

There's a big difference between empty fatigue and genuine exhaustion. Life is short. Invest in meaningful activities that move you.  Marc and Angel Hack Life

So pleased that the flowering bushes I've planted are thriving and in bloom presently. They are such good value for your money. Here is one of three flowering Weigelias I've planted here. I always choose bright colours as they are Hubby's favourites. Quick you think I should trim back those long shoots that have grown there? Maybe wait till it is finished blooming?
Plaid Tilda is getting large, larger than I'd originally thought it would be. I want it to be a good sized lap quilt and see it will definitely fit the bill. I hope to get all the rows, 31 of them, machine stitched this week. The edge gets trimmed straight when all the rows are sewn. Different. 
I'm also using these pretty fabrics...Belle Isle from Minick and Simpson to test out a block for a quilt I've always wanted to make- a red, white and blue one.
The block I've tried is a Wheel Within A Wheel one featuring my favourite pattern, Dresden block.
That will be July machine stitching I think. So to do this week is sort that out and get my mind settled about it. Aren't the fabrics pretty!

My Dad used to say "onwards and upwards". My grandmother would preface every plan for the next day with "God willing". I always have lots of ideas regarding my stitching projects and also around the house and garden. 
God Willing, I will never run out of ideas. 
Hope there are lots of happy ideas swirling in your heads too!

Thursday 9 June 2022

Three Freebies on a Thursday, Hubby's New Toy, Tumbling Blocks, Rabbit in White Socks

Hubby with his latest purchase.  Something called a Spyder which is three wheeled and has power steering.  I'm filing this only live once! He rides mid week with a group of similarly vintage drivers who ride the back roads and take all the precautions. I really don't worry about him...that much.

In the tall woods, I spied this little fellow. The ears gave him away.
His close up! His paws were still winter white when this photo was taken.
A new feature on this blog...I'll try to corral the free patterns to Thursday's happy post...Thursday's Three Free so here is the first. 
For my American friends, Temecula Quilt Co. which I love to visit, has a free PDF for this little project called Olde GloryHere is the link.

Nobody likes a house block more than me. Especially one called Home Sweet Home that is part of a Bitty Block series. Here is a free PDF for this very cute little pattern just calling out for scrap busting.  From the generous folks at Quilting Daily.

And for my slow stitching friends, from the wonderful folks at Hobby House Needleworks comes this very cute set. Hobby House Needleworks; if you have trouble with that link...type free patterns in their search spot on the main page and it should take you to their incredible set of free patterns. Strawberries and bees are such fun things to stitch. 
My own stitching this week...
I've been giving attention to the Tumbling Blocks quilt on weekends. Have all four parts joined together now and most of the diamond templates removed except for that last wrinkly looking bit on the front end- pulling them out was fun to do. With borders, this will be big enough for our queen sized bed. I'm still happy with it and especially the way my hand stitching joining a million diamonds has held up. 
I made yet another boo boo with Plaid Tilda and have been unsewing, this time a couple of rows in the middle that were off by one block. My vow to pay closer attention didn't work, obviously. LOL I need an overseer in the sewing room!
Anyway, it is raining and feeling a little muggy outside. But we are busy with our chores and hobbies inside. Hope you are likewise happily engaged! 

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Bridal Wreath Spirea Bush, Haphazard Quilting, Panama Pyramids, Falling Off the Wagon-The Diet Wagon That Is

The weather is unsettled and moody...humidity, slivers of sun, lots of cloud, rain, thunder, lightening- that's all in one day! We've had two thunder and lightening storms since the big one. I admit I felt a little uneasy each time and was glad to be home and not driving somewhere when they occurred. And relieved when they faded away.

But the Bridal Wreath Spirea is thriving. This is summer #2 for this bush. I'm so pleased. It's also Painted Turtle heaven down at the pond. Photo from last year but ditto for now.  I've counted five large turtles and many small ones so far this summer.

I've been wanting to share this with you ever since my Toronto trip. During our day at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Beth and I sat enthralled at this beautiful exhibition, Lisa Reihana's  In Pursuit of Venus.  It is an actual moving diorama depicting various scenes of first encounters of  folks who are Indigenous with soldiers and settlers in Australia. Particularly poignant were scenarios involving women and children, I found. Actors, Indigenous and otherwise, played the real life scenes which changed as the diorama slowly moved along. 

You get a better idea from this short video. 

I have no idea how Lisa compiled this piece, so monumental in scope and number of people involved. Native plants, birds and animals are also included.  It occupied a whole theater to itself and there was an almost reverential air in the room from the viewers.  Watching history brought to life and unfolding before our eyes as it were. How creative!

Machine stitched these four Confetti quilt blocks before my trip last month and need to find time to sew some more.  Still working on the structure. I came across this old post about how to make a more structured block but yet scrap busting in design from My Poppet. Cintia corralled like colours together in a clever way.  I think I'll try that next. My Poppet is a great site to visit for craft, stitching, recipe ideas, etc. btw. 

I've been busy these first days of June EPP stitching more of the Panama Pyramids. This time I used dark blues to fit in with the RSC colours for June.  (As I write the word June, I can't believe it is here already with a week gone.) That's a yellow there I'm auditioning for the alternate blocks. Prepping these blocks in front of the t.v. and stitching them is not work at all. 
To Do this week...
Continue the weeding-let's just call this ongoing for the rest of the summer.
Machine stitch several more rows on Plaid Tilda which is half way there.
Do you really want to hear this one???? Find more worms for my compost bin!

And for a little smile today...available to buy at Hallies Collectibles on Etsy
I'm feeling a little more jiggly around the middle than usual. I'll blame it on the mosquitoes which are making every walk insufferable and I hate using the chemicals so I've not been getting in a second walk each day. Oh dear.