Tuesday 29 November 2022

Two Online Goodies, Department Store Muffins, Yuletide Blanket, Friendship Stars

It was fun to read about everyone's American Thanksgivings. From the small and quiet ones to the large family gatherings. Thank you for sharing.
 Last week Hubby got the snow tires on the car just in time for downpours of rain. I'm always happy to have someone else do that chore though when he told me how enjoyable the garage waiting room was with t.v., free good coffee and comfy chairs, it doesn't sound too bad. With a little stitchy project in hand, I would actually have enjoyed the experience. 

This fellow is back around the feeders. I always wonder if it is the same ones that come and go. Cardinals, btw, are the state bird of at least six American states.

 I made the King Arthur Flour's recipe for Famous Department Store Blueberry Muffins.  They were really good even with the sugar cut back a bit. I used a lot of blueberries to make up for it.
Do you like my little Sad Fish plate?

Thank you to those of you who mentioned Magpie Murders. We just finished this series and thought it a great one. We watched it on PBS.

I finished my crocheted Yuletide Blanket last year and just took it out of the trunk, hence the wrinkles.  Last year I promised a photo this year and here it is. It was a good challenge for me to work out the pattern which produced a thick, heavy blanket.  I'd forgotten how "weighty" it is.  Free Pattern from Lucy at Attic 24.
Here are my rainbow Friendship Stars so far.  I now have to work out how to align them.  Times like this I wish I didn't challenge myself and just go with some pattern. This was my November OMG at Elm Street Quilts and it will be my main priority this week to turn it into a flimsie. 
Two Online Goodies
#1I started practising a little French with an excellent free online program called Duolingo.  I studied French last in high school and would love to get better at reading it. I started at the absolute beginning and am now on the third unit. It is being presented in small bites, 10 minutes a day, which is enjoyable but not enough for proficiency of course. But it is fun to see what I remember and it is a little brain function practice. Hope to keep at it.
#2The other free online goodie is this one which I find calming...Jigsaws for Adults.  I play on my ipad and have been working through beautiful butterflies. 

I'm feeling a little unsettled this morning...fell on my early walk and skinned a knee. Just minor but I should have been paying better attention. I'm about to pick up my Autumn Quakers to lay a few stitches. That should calm me down. As Kate at The Last Homely House always says...When you get Into your hands, you get Out of your head. 

As always happy to share with The Texas Quilt GalThe Inquiring Quilter,  Wendy's Quilts and MoreMy Quilt InfatuationCreations Quilts Art , True Blue QuiltsSo Scrappy and Sum of Their Stories

Thursday 24 November 2022

Three Free Patterns, Super Scrappy Finish, Costco Buys, Autumn Poem

I just had to share another of my turkey shots in honour of the great American Thanksgiving 2022 occurring as I write this post. 

It's been a good week and I've managed to keep up my fitness, visit older daughter and older grandson, and do some Christmas shopping. SIL always drops me off a Costco chicken which I appreciate as I seldom get there myself. They are a good size and I get to use them right down to boiling the bones to make a little bone broth. Speaking of Costco...

Look what's on my bed...Black Bears flannel sheets. Snow time is flannel time here at the wooden house.  It is definitely time to have the extra warmth.  Hubby spotted these in a  Costco flyer and ordered them. They were at our house and in the washing machine the next afternoon! (I always wash new sheets, do you?)

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt for this Thursday was our favourite Autumn song or music. I don't have a favourite song but I do have favourite Autumn poems. So I'll share this short video with you of Richard Burton reading John Clare's poem Autumn. (I didn't remember it being quite so rhymn-ie but perhaps that and the cadence it gives is why I liked it as a kid.)

Since Tuesday more Robbie Blocks got sewn...
and I had a finish too.  My Super Scrappy Coffee Table Runner is all hand bound and on the table. It finished at 55 x 20.
I backed it with a white fabric that had a neutral beige polka dot and brought it around and hand stitched it in place as a binding. That picks up all the white/light coloured blocks.
I haven't washed it which I usually do right away. I figured here on the main coffee table it won't be long before it will need a wash. Bright and cheerful for dark winter days!

Thursday's Three Free

I shared a photo of my foundation pieced Tiny Trees in the last post. This article below announcing a free Tree pattern arrived in my mail box yesterday.  Perhaps it's a chance for you to try FPP I thought, a method that ensures accuracy when stitching a pattern. From Leslie at  The Seasoned Homemaker, a pretty tree pattern for you to try with Christmas fabrics unlike my scrappy ones. Btw, thanks for the kind comments you expressed about those little trees. 

 In the Moda Fabrics ample free pattern bank is this one called In From the Cold. I've always wanted to make a mug on a mug rug and each of these would be pretty.

 Henry Glass Fabrics features this lovely free Christmas quilt pattern from the wonderful Australian designer, Anni Downs. You really have to see this quilt to appreciate its beauty. 

Here is Anni's site Hatched and Patched, for you to check out all the little embroideries and quilts she has created for us to stitch. 

From the site, Heartstrings Samplery, comes this lovely cross stitch design.  That link will take you to Beth's sweet free patterns. Like this one.

Which is a great way to end this post because I truly feel this way. Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Embroidered Journals, Quilty 365, Tiny Tree Trains, Aging Thoughts

The Snow has arrived!

 Here is my Tuesday deep thought...
Now in my seventies (you have no idea how weird it is to write that), I realize my face is changing. My nose appears larger probably because my cheeks are sinking. My teeth look and feel bigger while my hair is thinning. It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, how grateful I am to be here and still have my wits about me to be able to even note these changes. I also thank goodness I've never been overly vain, just the normal amount of vanity, enough to make me want my hair done and be nicely dressed for work. This natural aging process has given me to understand better why the beautiful actors indulge in cosmetic surgery...it must be quite the blow when they realize there is no cream known to humans that can halt these changes. And these changes happen to us all if we do the thing we dearly want to do, and that is to live longer. 
Having a laugh is good...

I notice lots of folks are making temperature quilts or temperature cross stitch projects. They are such a fun stitchy memento of a particular year.  My interest in such a thing led me to join Audrey's QAL- Quilty 365, A Year Long Journey back in 2015. I loved the idea of stitching a circle a day to mark the time. 
I enjoyed keeping them in a tin
A happy Russell Stover Santa tin (small things amuse me)
And the resulting rainbow like quilt is on the hall wall leading to our bedroom so I see it every day. Hubby can't get beyond the wrong sized birds that would be the size of helicopters, he says. :D

 Also I've always been intrigued by the idea of making an Embroidery Journal...this is a link to an article detailing how to make one... An Embroidery Journal is the Prettiest Way to Remember Your Year. Many such journals and ideas can be explored here at this Pinterest Link
Before I forget and while still on the topic of embroidery, I wanted to share this sweet design of Meg's from Crabapple Hill Design Studio. It's called the Polka Dot Mitten. You would learn how to do the Fly Stitch to achieve the knitted look of the mitten. Really neat!

Meanwhile, I spent a couple of hours in the sewing room finally joining the Tiny Trees blocks which are finishing at 5 and 1/2 inches. Hope to finish all that I've made so far this week.  I realized something while I was working with them.  I like this easy foundation paper piecing enough to turn them into a fun bed quilt, if I make enough of them of course.  It is such a great way to use up scraps too. So I think I will keep this going for now and see where it takes me. 
A Tree Rainbow

I have some veggies- carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and red peppers simmering on  the stove with a little chopped onion. I added a container of Campbell's Vegetable broth instead of my usual chicken broth. I had a sip of the vegetable broth and it doesn't seem to have much flavour. I don't like to have to add lots of stuff just to get a flavour but bland is not good for a soup either. I wonder what else I could add. Any suggestions?

Thank you all for the ideas of how to finish the Old Fashioned Redwork Santa.  

I'm off to do some shopping, online that is. I'm going to check out the Black Friday sales that seem to start earlier each year. Going to start my Christmas list. Be sure to drop by on Thursday to see another set of great Christmas patterns. So many generous creators!

Linking this post with Linda, the Texas Quilt Gal's party, To Do Tuesday. Also linking with Quilt FabricationWendy's Quilts and MoreQuilting Patchwork AppliqueSo Scrappy and Alycia Quilts.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Three Free Patterns, 25 No Bake Cookies and Squares, Friendship Star Blocks

A November pond view, the day before our snow fall. 

Yes, it snowed overnight Monday into Tuesday and we have a couple of centimeters on the ground. The pond was caught over with ice this morning. The air was cold and crisp on our walk. Here is Ned relaxing with Tony but with an eye on the door. A squirrel ran across his veranda. How dare it!!

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is to share a favourite dish for Thanksgiving, that would be the great American Thanksgiving which is coming up.  I cook a traditional Newfoundland dinner for our Thanksgiving which always includes boiled buttered cabbage, mashed potatoes and turnip. Do you have certain dishes that are a must for this big dinner?

 And with good eating in mind, I will share this link which is a great one for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  25 No Bake Christmas Cookies and Squares from Newfoundland's own Rock Recipes,

 I've sewn six more of the Friendship Star blocks. The supply of super brights is limited. I have a few Kaffe prints around here somewhere so I must have a further dig.

Several have asked...The redwork squirrel in the header photo is a Kathy Schmitz design and may be still available at her site, Kathy Schmitz.  Linda,  The Texas Quilt Gal, just gave me the heads up that Kathy has a 20% off Sale this week. 

Thursday's Three Free

At the wonderful Cluck Cluck Sew Shop you will find the free PDF for this project called No Points Star Quilt. What a great Christmas project!

At the site  Block Crazy, there are 12 free patchwork block patterns

like Rail Fence Flag

And 10 or so free applique quilt block patterns like this one called Xmas Tree.

For my cross stitching buddies, I enjoy looking through the DMC Fabulous Bank of Free Patterns including this one called Christmas Baubles. This one is so pretty.

Thank you for weighing in on issues each week with your wonderful comments, suggestions and queries. They enrich my life just like I know writing this blog and all the bits and bobs associated with it are also enriching me mentally. I think, LOL.

So dear readers in this hemisphere, stay warm and away from icy surfaces and you wonderful folk in the other hemisphere, stay cool, hydrated and revel in the warmth!

Happily linking with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework,True Blue QuiltsMy Corner of the WorldMonday Musings and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Old Fashioned Redwork Santa, Piccadilly Baskets, Medical Check Up Time

 We are now there with no leaves on the trees and I realize a plus for this...you can see through the woods more clearly. 

This is useful when walking Ned on his lead. I could add to Thomas' list No Surprise Leaps at the turkeys or deer which are moving about daily. I've been fortunate so far to catch sight before he does and steer him away. He pulled me down hard once and I don't want to chance that again.
I shared an article on the Top Six Quilt Trends at Quilt Market in this post. There's a couple of other trends I'm noticing amongst my stitching blogging friends -they have made resolutions to stitch from stash which means no new purchasing of fabric and also to finish up those WIP's which seem to be a naturally occurring phenomena when you join this club. To that end, they are digging deep in their sewing areas and finding forgotten fabrics and projects to put into use. A natural renewal of sorts.

On just such a search, I recently found this Redworked Old Fashioned Santa I stitched December 2020 ? or during the pandemic sometime. Now would be a good time to finish it off as a hanging. Any ideas as to how to do that? It is 12 inches tall and about 5 inches wide. All thoughts welcome!
I also unearthed this project which I think is called Piccadilly Baskets.  I'm going to put it on the wall for now.
I stitched this about 14 years ago and it gave me a chance to practice the chain embroidery stitch. I don't think I can stitch so neatly these days.
Update:  I did a little search and came across the pattern here at the Quilter's Warehouse

I've stitched more Friendship Stars and will try to finish all I need for Robbie's quilt this week. Photos next time.

It's later in the day to be posting but this had to be taken care of this morning. I had to drive to one of the nearby small town hospitals. I wonder when do we not need this; is there a cut off age???

I'm getting my flu and pneumonia shots tomorrow. Bloodwork sometime this week. I want this checkup all done and dusted before the snow flies and then I can forget about it. 
But for now as soon as I press publish- I'm all set here with my coffee in the Yeti so it won't cool down too fast, my slow stitching Autumn Quakers in beautiful autumn colours, and a new to me episode of Dateline (yes, my little secret...I am a true crime lover).
 I have so many likes. Someone once asked what don't you like...my answer was swift-black licorice. LOL
 Hope you are similarly engaged in pastimes you like!
Another like...linking up with wonderful parties like To Do Tuesday at The Texas Quilt Gal. Also linking with Alycia QuiltsQuilts Art CreationsStoried QuiltsQuilting Patchwork AppliqueKathy's Quilts and Wendy's Quilts and More.

Thursday 10 November 2022

Three Free Patterns, Sewing Tiny Trees and Poppies, Recipes Too

Our laneway in view there and one of several mother trees on the property. To the right-the overgrown area was a rock garden originally. A few plants flower there from time to time and I would love to revive it.
I mentioned I tried growing herbs in a planter this summer. This is one of the culprits caught red handed or red pawed in this case. Look at him happily munching that plant. I recognize him as a "regular" because of the notch in his ear. 
Recently I made us one of those breakfast for supper meals. I used Turkey Bacon. We both like it but I can imagine some thinking if I'm going to have bacon, I'm going to have bacon and sometimes I feel like that too.  
LeeAnna, Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was do we like apple cider?  I didn't grow up with this and I still don't drink apple cider as such but I do keep a large container of apple cider vinegar on hand at all times. I believe it is good for you.  I shared Jenny of Elefantz's recipe for salad dressing before which also can be used in many recipes.
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
I keep this in the fridge all the time because I eat spinach salads quite often. Btw, Jenny's link there will take you to her recipe page where she shares her delicious dishes, often simple but with a high yum factor, as she calls it. 
 So do you use apple cider?

We are watching the new (to us) seasons of an old favourite of ours...Endeavour.  Enjoying too Alan Cumming's cheeky introductions. Shaun Evans makes a perfect Morse I think. We are catching this on PBS.


Since Tuesday, my stitching time was spent with the Tiny foundation pieced Trees.  On a whim, I got out my container and took stock. Like the Panama Pyramids, I want to end this project too by the new year and work with whatever I've got finished. I have 52 trees finished and another 50 in two stages of stitching. A hundred or so of these will be enough. I think. What a great way to use up scraps!

Thursday's Three Free

 When I shared a new favourite post in the side bar last time, I realized I'd forgotten about Bev's Flamingo Toes blog (reminders are good!) and her generous Free Pattern page. Lots of lovely goodies to see there. Like this one.

Since we have our Remembrance Day tomorrow, it's appropriate to share a Poppy Block like this one to be found HERE at Patchwork Square.

And from the wonderful Teresa Down Under comes this great YouTube video sharing how to very quickly stitch a 12 inch Poppy Block. 

Annie's Christmas Book is available for free with a $10 purchase from their site. Over 50 Christmas pretty patterns and detailed instructions for each.  
Annie's Catalog,  PDF's of the catalogs are on that site. 

And in keeping with the Christmas stitching, I'm sharing two SAL's from kind Melissa at Pinker n' Pumpkin who continues to share her talents with us. The first is cross stitching Christmas ornaments and is called  Barnyard Christmas. Christmas Cow wearing a wreath is so cute.

The second is embroidering snowmen going about their day to day happenings called Flurry and Flakes. Also very cute and a wonderful way to welcome Christmas and winter. 
Hope you have a great weekend. 
Also great to join so many linky parties where the inspiration abounds like here at So ScrappyQuilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Friendship Star Blocks, Manly Quilt Talk, Six Quilt Trends, Artist's Gift

It was a beautiful weekend here in our corner of Ontario with windows open and a little wind making the leaves dance about on our walks. Our kindest of autumns is continuing it seems. I had already moved our winter outerwear upstairs and some of the lighter clothes to the basement closet. I've had to go down and bring it back up. Just don't need a parka when it is 15C + outside. Meanwhile, several Canadian provinces out west have had a number of snowfalls, as have some of my American blogging buddies far to the south of us. Being superstitious about weather, I wonder when it hits us, how bad will it be. Ottawa and area winters are classified as Harsh meteorologically, the same rating as Labrador. Who knows!

When apples were talked about here recently, I heard from many of you about your favourites but no one mentioned this one below.  When I saw it at the grocery store, I couldn't resist the name- SweeTango. They are delicious, crisp and sweet. Any of you tried this one?

Sitting atop The Fens by Francis Pryor, my heavy reading book at the moment, alongside much lighter stuff. I enjoy architecture as a topic and even ancient especially through the eyes of such a talented archeologist. Francis is one who hates leaf blowers, btw, and our obsession with neatness in gardens...we should live alongside nature, he thinks. 

 Creative LeeAnna, Not Afraid of Color, sent me a gift...interpreting one of my photos in her artwork. She says she was inspired by the glint in my Junco's eye which I had not noticed till she pointed it out, using her artist's eye. She talks more about her painting Here and you can check out that glint Here. Thanks, LeeAnna; this made my day!

Some stitchy talk now...
Top 6 Quilt Trends as seen recently at Quilt Market 2022.  #5 is one I love...the hand stitching trend growing bigger all the time.  And overall, it's great to have confirmation of how strong quilting remains as a beloved craft which is good news for us all.

Recently I wrote best men's hand sewn quilts into google search and I emerged a couple of days later. Not kidding...Oh my, what a journey that was. Just so much to see and read about in the search for ideas about sewing a manly quilt.

 I came across these videos produced by Michelle Fox, The Simple Quilter.  She asks her husband and son questions about the kinds of quilts they like.  I had a smile on my face all the way through.  These lovable guys love the quilts Michelle has sewn for them. This initial video was so popular the men have returned, with the dog, to answer more questions about quilts and quilting. 

So what do you think of Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2023?  Are you a Lavender fan?
Meanwhile, I've pulled fabrics for grandson's quilt and sewn several more of these Friendship stars. I will be sewing more of these this week.  No lavender here!
But there is lavender here! I laid Plaid Tilda over the sofa in the t.v. room to take stock.  I have the left hand corner still to quilt. It's too big to get a good photo of no matter how I try.  Most nights, this is my handwork while watching t.v.
We had a fairly busy week last week...busy for us that is. Today we have to pick up Hubby's medicine and we always treat ourselves to take out when we do.  I'm looking forward to that. 
Hope there is something to look forward to in your day too!