Thursday 29 September 2022

Three Free Patterns Thursday, JackRabbit Progress, Cosy Afghan, Beautiful Face Cream

In the late September sun, Pink Asters bloom as some of the hostas fade. And a tiny tree frog has been living in the furnace outtake pipe at the back of the house below our bedroom window. We hear his chirps sometimes at night and always wondered where exactly they were coming from. Such incredibly loud sounds from such a small fellow.

He was spotted by the eagle eyed Petey when we were playing ball back there one day and seems to be living there.
This week I've been laying down some cross stitches on my JackRabbit piece. The Gentle Arts Aged Pewter floss arrived  along with a package of my favourite cross stitch needles, size 26. 
And I've been adding to this Cosy Striped afghan. I'm crocheting this using a number 3.5 hook with the Stylecraft Special DK yarn. Crocheting is an awesome hobby to fill in a few spare moments; never a problem knowing where to pick up and begin and doesn't require special lighting and all the other bits. 
Our LeeAnna,  Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was to mention a health or beauty product we really like. 
I've found this particular face cream from Clarins that I love and now keep on hand. It is called Super Restorative Rose Cream. I honestly think Clarins is the best cream I've found for my skin which is a little sensitive. It is also the most expensive I've ever used and has a smell that I think is expensive if that's possible. This is their Rosy version which I especially like. Since turning white haired, I feel like I'm even paler and my face can use a bit of brightening. However, I do not find it takes ten years off my face as some of the reviewers claim. :D Wouldn't that be special if it did!

Three Free on a Thursday

Amanda, the wonderful Patchsmith, has been busy making stringed pumpkins and blocks to put together for a table runner. Her instructions are at that link. I love the greens in between.

Amanda generously shares her talents in an  extensive Freebies section on her site. Years ago I noted her patchy Acorn  for instance.

Magpies Mumblings shared this link to the free Christmas Star pattern offered by the folks at the  American Quilter site. I thought it worth repeating as it would look stunning in any number of colourways.

I'm pleased to share this link with my cross stitching friends.  The wonderful Plum Street Samplers shared a very sweet Compliments of Autumn free pattern back in 2010 and it is still available.  It features their recurring popular Hare Family and I debated showing the actual pattern photo because it is readily seen all over the net and I couldn't find a picture of it completed. But didn't because of pattern infringement if the designer hasn't stated it can be shared. 

And for my knitting buddies, this free pattern called Happy Mittens is from Hobbii...I've always wanted to knit mittens and admire those of you who do. I've downloaded the pattern myself as " she always lives in hope".

Please drop by for my next post where I agonise over what to choose as an October OMG. I have a wealth of choices as always. :D

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Scrappy Projects, Autumn Bouquet, One Monthly Goal, QAL News, Muffins by Ina

I don't make many indoor bouquets anymore even though that is something I enjoy having; I leave it for the bees and insects. But I couldn't resist the beautiful contrast of the purple Asters and the mustard yellow Goldenrod. There are three varieties of  autumn Asters here, pale blue and white as well as the purple New England Asters.

It felt like a quilt making day on Friday.  The walk early morning was one with a bracing wind in my face. 2C overnight but the wind definitely made it feel colder.  I was thankful I'd opted for my heavier jacket, woolen headband and gloves. I stood around by the pond where it is always breezier and felt the cobwebs being blown away.  Ned amused himself by finding a very large, awkward stick that he insisted on bringing home even though it hooked into everything along the way.  Autumn weather always makes me feel energetic, happy to enter the warm house and get at things. 

Instead of reading or writing over the coffee I took it to the sewing room and jumped in. And here is my result...the scrappy 1 1/2 inch pieces are all sewn together.  These were cut with scissors so I was very pleased how they mostly fit together without a lot of finagling on my part.

I'm on the hunt now for sashing fabrics this week.  I couldn't resist sewing some of the tinier pieces left over from the scraps, yes scraps from scraps! together. There is an idea percolating for using this...if I do I will be happy with how I used scraps this month as Karnak also used up some scrappy fabrics.
My September OMG was to sew the Karnak hanging and it is all done and dusted. Last look before it takes up its spot on the wall in daughter's home office. Thanks to Tessellate Textiles for the fairly easy yet interesting project.
 New to me is the fact that Anna Maria Horner creates beautiful needle point canvases. Needlepointing used to be my favourite stitching hobby along with embroidery including crewel. I did both for many decades with a little knitting and crocheting occasionally. You've heard me say that when I can no longer cross stitch I intend to return to needlepoint. These beauties of Anna Maria's make me want to start that now. This one is called "Morning Duet". You can see more of her stunning designs here.


I promised QAL news and here is one that is free. The Moda Fabrics Blockheads is ongoing. Many designers are sharing their creativity to engage quilters with innovative blocks. One that caught my eye was Block-berry by Jackie MacDonald of Sweetfire Road.  I think Kathy at Kathy's Quilts  is using her pretty version of this block as her header these days.  

To bake this week...Barefoot Contessa's Chunky Banana Bran Muffins.  I have all the ingredients ready to go.  Are you an Ina Fan?
Thank you all who shared your favourite movies in the comments Last Post. We do seem to like Sleepless in Seattle, the Harry Potter movies, and anything with Tom Hanks in it and Deb reassured me she'd read he really is a nice guy.  It would be disappointing to find out he wasn't which is how I also feel about Ryan Reynolds. For Mom it was always Carol Burnett she hoped was nice in person. Do you have a star you feel like that about?

Also how many folks all over the world covered text books with brown paper was such a surprise! Who knew what a common practice that was!

Stitching -wise...October OMG decision making is on my agenda today. What's on yours?

 Happily linking up with Texas Quilt GalFloral Friday FotoQuilt FabricationAlycia QuiltsTrue Blue QuiltsWendy's Quilts and MoreCreations, Quilts, ArtTraffic Jam WeekendQuilting Patchwork AppliqueQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkFrom Bolt to Beauty, The Inquiring Quilterand Brian's Home Blog

Thursday 22 September 2022

Thursday's Three Free, September 20th Design Wall, Christmas Movie Favourite, Rare Bird

Design Wall September 20.  The Wheel Within a Wheel blocks are each labour intensive I'm many bits and bobs to each one and most of it sewn by hand. Though I've lagged recently while getting Karnak finished for a gift, I'm still liking this. 

See the bit of Kaffe fabric on the is Roman Glass and I heard him say in a video interview that this was their best selling pattern of all time. Kind of surprised me as it is brown but he said people thought it blended well. Update...folks are telling me it is available in a lot of colours which makes more sense to me.
I'm curious if this was a thing- covering school text books in brown paper,  anywhere else but Canada? Mom would iron the paper I remember.  We had to do this in my younger seemed to have ended by the middle grades. 

I was fortunate to get a photo of this bird or one like her several times at the bird bath. Up till this summer, I'd only seen and gotten a photo of one before.  A small female Rose Breasted Grosbeak so may be a younger one. Leeanna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was what favourite movie we have that we might watch over and over. I seldom watch a movie a second time unless a lot of time has elapsed between viewings. But there is another exception and that is Christmas movies. For instance, I've watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation many times. I know it is a little lewd and silly but I can still smile when I think of the 25000 Christmas lights fiasco, the out of control hill slide and the fussy couple next door featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. 

Is there a movie that fits that category for You?


Thursday's Three Free

Jennifer at the Hopeful Homemaker still has all the steps on her site to make this delightful quilt though she made it a while ago in 2013. By following her directions, I think I could do this.  It's basic squares and hst's. 

This quilt caught my eye. It is popular around the net and I've seen it in a number of different colourways. I clicked a lot of buttons searching for the pattern and had to smile when it led me to the Fat Quarter Shop

From the Smart Cross Stitch Folks comes this great little Autumn cross stitch design. You can download the pattern at that link. And here is the link to over 150 free patterns they so generously offer. I especially liked the Christmas Deer one.

I need to share the QAL's I've noted that have popped up now with autumn here almost, and Christmas on the horizon. I'll include one in each of the next few posts.
Meanwhile, hope you are feeling energetic and inspired and gearing up for a great weekend. 

Tuesday 20 September 2022

September Scrap Busting, Mushroom Madness, Jenny's Dressing and Jacquelynne's Free Pattern

 I never tire of walking this property in every season. Each time my eye lands on something new or different to take note of. I was happy to read Ralph's quote that  describes my experiences as I try to have an attentive eye too.

As a good example of that, it is newly mushroom season and a bountiful one here at the wooden house. Much to Ned's delight, we've taken extra walks with the camera, foraging for mushrooms, not to eat but to photograph.  I'm going to get my mushroom books (yes, nerdy me, I have several!) out to identify these.
A very rainy summer means more of these interesting growing things popping up seemingly overnight often. (Shame only one in focus here.)

I've been enjoying looking down...amazing what is underfoot.
To Do...September Scrap Busting 
I've mentioned I'm clearing out scraps...I had them sorted by size and then completely rearranged them by colour. I'm determined to be brutal this time and will dispose of the leftovers, as in get them gone once and for all from the sewing room. 
While doing that I've been setting aside any that are fall like colours. I'm hoping to have enough to make an autumn table topper large enough for the coffee table in our sitting area. It is 48 by 24 inches. I'm using the Marti Michell one and half inch square template to size these so they are kind of small.
I thought I'd use the deep reds as an accent and I hope to accomplish this without cutting into any of the fabric I have which isn't that much really. These are just laid out. 
Truthfully, I've had a notion to do something entirely different with this since taking this photo. Perhaps more thinking this week will sort my thoughts out! 

Meanwhile I'm almost finished the binding of the Karnak Hanging. Actually the two longer sides have been sewn together without a binding...just tucked in and I used an almost invisible ladder stitch to sew the front and back together. I'm mostly following how the pattern writer, Christine, finished hers.
I have more of the dotted backing fabric on either end so I did bring it forward for a narrow binding top and bottom.  I think it looks okay so far.
I tried Jenny of Elefantz's recipe for a salad dressing and it is delicious. I've already made it four times and used it in a variety of ways.  One being on my almost daily spinach salad.
It is 
                                  1/3 cup olive oil
                                  1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
                                  1/3 cup maple syrup
Thanks Jenny!

 And to honour Queen Elizabeth, talented Jacquelynne Steves is offering this cute Corgi free pattern to embroider. The Art of Home is her site and there is a lot to check out there too btw.
Hubby and I watched a lot of the simply amazing funeral footage. Her Majesty's loved ones and planners were determined to give her, the longest reigning monarch in British history, everything Britain could possibly lay out and they succeeded. The pomp, ceremony and precise execution of all the details were incredible.  Her due really.
I'm already a little unhappy with the new king but maybe I'll speak of that another time.
Hope you are not unhappy about anything! And I'm certainly happy to link this post with Texas Quilt Gal and all the other busy planners for this week. Also happy to link with True Blue Quilts, Alycia Quilts,Quilting Patchwork Applique,  Quilts Creations Whatever and Sugarlane Designs.

Thursday 15 September 2022

Thursday's Three Free, Rare Moth, Tasty Meal, EPP Pyramids, Loving Labradors

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago in August when the fall Asters just began to bloom. If it is the Yellow Wooly Bear Moth, I would be delighted as I have seen a couple of the pretty yellow caterpillars around the property like this one I photographed in 2019.
 I watched the moth forever, fascinated with its furry like long legs and overall ghostly appearance.

Wendy at  Pieceful Thoughtsthis post shared a link to a slow cooker sausage and shrimp boil recipe that sounded delicious. I made my own version and this is the leftovers...shrimp all eaten you'll note. I used quinoa instead of potatoes for a base and used up some Roma tomatoes for a sauce, nothing too fancy. Browned the sausage before putting it in the slow cooker which helps with the flavour I read. Hubby loved it. It was the tastiest thing I've cooked in some time.
LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was sharing a craft other than quilting that we have an interest in. I already share my "other" crafts which presently are cross stitching, embroidery and crocheting.  Perhaps improving my photography skills could be included in this too. In the grand scheme, I have a goal to return to watercolours. Sort of lost my mojo for that when all my supplies and a large work in progress... a botanical iris I was working on during a course I was taking, were lost in my fire. But maybe one of these days I'll jump into that again. I liked the brushes, mixing colours, and loved the names of the colours- Prussian Blue, Vermillion, Raw Siena, Cadmium Yellow, Payne's Grey.  Aren't they neat.

Meanwhile, my stitching fingers have been busy.  I'm early with my monthly EPP Panama Pyramid blocks done for September. Perfect nightly stitching in front of the tv.
Abbey and Petey come over every afternoon for ball playing on the side lawn. Ned begins watching for them around 3.  Here they are at the finish one day, tongues hanging out. Exhausted but very happy. 

Thursday's Three Free

Donna from Jordan Fabrics makes a pretty fallish quilt in this video called Donna's Free Twinkle Little Star Quilt Pattern.

The pattern is on the Jordan Fabrics free pattern page website you can find HERE. Loads of PDF patterns to look through. Many table runners and small designs.  Lots of inspiration. I liked this pattern called Painted Meadow
And this one, a Lone Star Hanging. I do love red, white and blue.
Kristy at Quiet Play Designs offers a free pattern of her wonderful Geo Compass Medallion design  HERE. Her generous Freebie Page is HERE.

And from Nancy at Liberty Needlework I found this cute fall cross stitch pattern. 

It seems the whole world loves pumpkins! 

I should mention that Tony and I both took the covid test while he was under the weather and they were negative. He's still struggling with his lack of energy but we agree that it is what it is for his age. He's never been what you would call super energetic- he's more a slow and meticulous kind of worker.

Hope this week has been a grand one and the weekend even better!

So grand to link with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Best Birthday Gift, Garden Pinks, Tinned Fruit Talk, Hand Quilting Challenge, Majesty Adieu

Another week and September is moving along. Early morning walks in noticeably cooler temperatures.  Darkness also closing in earlier in the evenings. I don't mind this and Ned says he loves it. I too love the changing of the seasons.

Autumn brings pinks and mauves to the garden...hardy sedum bearing heavy blooms these days.

A visitor snapped through the old sewing room screened window. Hydrangeas touched by colder temperatures turning pinkish.
And another taller variety of sedum...
I buy a lot of fresh fruit which I enjoy but it is quite expensive. I also rarely buy mango or pineapple. Apparently the nutritional content in tinned fruit is good. From one of my favourite online reads, The Guardian, comes this article... Tinned Can Fruit Recipes. I did notice one day at the store that fruit mixtures are changing and I bought several of these that contain added chia seeds. I found them sweet but this will do well during the winter when fresh fruit is not the best quality here. From Delmonte

 I promised to show you my best birthday present. Warning...these are dorky! They are Swedish BungyPump Walking Poles. I came across them online and was intrigued by their promise of giving an upper body workout as you walk and they do! The ends of the poles compress with a resistance of almost 9 pounds each time you press them into the ground. 
My arms are weak so I really like the idea of improving their strength. Here is a link if you'd like to read about them yourself. Someone asked: Yes, I'm still  using my Cubii just about every night...if I've been swimming and out and about on my feet a lot I skip it but that's the only time. 

I'm working steadily on my Karnak Hanging.  I hope to have it all quilted this week and be ready to make binding decisions.  It was a challenge to keep these quilting lines as straight as possible. With that in mind, I had to move to our dining table to lay it out and keep it all nice and flat while stitching. This has worked well and I'm happier with the stitches.

I have been adding stitches to my Jack Rabbit too.  I just love this green.  It is DMC 3347. It would be nice if I have everything stitched except for the part I need more floss for. A Try To Do this week.
I am very saddened by Her Majesty's death. As part of the Commonwealth of Nations, all of Canada is mourning her loss. I admire her determination and stamina...she was working up to two days before her age 96, when doctors say she would have been in pain. I think if she had a motto it was One foot in front of the other. It is all inspiring to me.
She warranted her own post written by me back in 2016 when she was photographed by the famous Annie Leibowitz.  I've added it to the side bar for you to take a read if you like. Aged 90 here with the youngest grandchildren and her great grandchildren.
We have more rainfall warnings for today while so much of the world is experiencing drought. If only we could share it around. August was our wettest recorded since 1893!