Thursday, 16 March 2023

Three Free Patterns, More EPP Pluses, Embroidered Snowy Scene, Muffins, A Show to Watch

 My Jasmine Magnolia is bravely blooming a little. Photographed against a screen and that backyard bank of snow.

I'm a bit proud to have kept this one alive and kicking. And thanks Mary Anne, Magpie's Mumblings, for that tip about banana skin water being excellent for houseplants too. We eat a lot of bananas so I will definitely be adding it to the mixtures rather than straight to composting.

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week was about favourite spring flowers. Think it will be a while before I'm seeing any flowers here. This is our front steps where that dip is, well it was ...much shovelling in my future which, don't worry, I will take breaks.
That is all snow off the veranda roof. But I know when the snow starts to melt it will go quickly. Of course, I love to see the early flowers but they tend to pop up before the weather is quite ready for them. Spring is when we get freezing rain and that usually kills any flowers. But nothing is going to be popping out of the ground just yet and that is why I love it when you share your spring blooms. 

Daughter shared her walnut and bran muffins with us. She had cut the sugar in half and realized afterwards that that was a tad extreme. But with butter and raspberry jam, they are delicious. 

It's coming to the time for Easter and bunnies. This fabric, Dandelion Easter, showed up in an email from The Quilted Boutique, one of my favourite shops to explore.  So pretty. 

 Slow stitching this week is taken up with my Crabapple Hill StudiosSnow Days blocks. Here is the first block finished.
And stitching in front of this series which we have finished now...I even got used to Harrison and Helen together which seemed odd to me at the start. Thanks all for the recommendation of this one.

I stitched a couple more of the Pluses in greens...

Thursday's Three Free

I'm seeing this kind of scrappy triangle pop up here and there around the web and many are calling it the modern triangle. Here is Rebecca from Bryan House Quilts showing how to make the modern triangle and form it into a heart shape too in this case. Lots of good info and ideas here and on her blog too.

From the folks at Sulky, in their free pattern bank is this very cute pattern called Irish Twins.

Also there you'll find the link to make this 50 States Wallhanging. Along the way is the template for each state to personalize your hanging. 

I'm always spying ways to use up scrappy strings and this is a neat quilt below called Diamonds and Strings. Made by  Beth on her YouTube channel My Sewing Room. Beth shares something I've always wanted to know how to do... how to draw an accurate diamond shape, in this case out of cereal box cardboard. The video is called Make a String Quilt using A Diamond Shaped Template (homemade of course).  Beth's scrappy stringy diamonds are really pretty.
That night I was browsing 
At Sum of Their Stories and I found this wonderful post that takes you through how to crochet a granny square.  Then they show you all the wonderful items you can make with them. 
And as always for my cross stitching friends, Smart Cross Stitch has a bank of very neat patterns to download for free. Like Christmas Deer below. I especially love the embellishing stitches on this one.
I'm enjoying my week with the dogs. They are so happy for any little time and attention given them and return to us such love and affection back. 
Sharing this post with Floral Friday FotoKathy's QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Knitted Coasters, EPP Projects, To Do This Week. Woody of Woodpeckers


I may have mentioned before that I knit scrappy wool into table toppers and use them underneath my plant pots. I've learned that wooden tables need protecting from the damp or scrapes that happen (even when sitting on saucers) when used for the plants. Smaller squares knit from prettier wool are good for a coffee coaster too. 

To Do This Week...I'm looking after Daughter's dogs, very lovable Abbey and Petey, this week. She is recovering from an exercise injury which seems like such an unfair thing to happen. Ned is in his glee. 

I woke up this morning with all three dogs cuddled together on the bed with us.  A little more company than I'd like, but it was adorable to see. 

Also this week will be a job to sort out the backing for this one...the Lone Star Medallion which is now finished to this point. Here is the un-pretty back showing all those little pieces (over 200) of cardboard.
I would like to make another of these but next time with eight diamonds as I realize now the true Lone Star does look more remarkable with more points. To that end I found a link to a free ebook PDF HERE by Terri Swallow.

I finally got a photo of the fellow pecking so much alarming damage to one of the trees near the house. I recognized the rectangular shape as being made by a Pileated Woodpecker.

 While getting wood from the veranda one morning, I heard him. The loud heavy knocking sounds were echoing. A few minutes later I was sneaking around the trees trying to get a good photo. His head was in constant motion and below turned out to be the best photo of those I took. And through my camera, I could see this was a female not a male because there is no red cheek stripe. She's been busy in that area and I wonder what she is finding in that poor tree.
I'm pleased to share the first few Pluses I've sewn, a project I discussed HERE . May as well sew them in the So Scrappy RSC green. I will try to stick with each monthly colour, but no pressure. BTW, the free pattern from Mollie works quite well. I downloaded the sheet, glued it to cardboard and cut out the individual little beach houses, four of which form the plus or X. A great scrappy project and I have to remind myself not to sew too tightly which is a habit of mine when hand stitching.
Here is our house in early winter 2021 which reminded me of Robert's poem's last stanza. 
From Winter Time by Robert Louis Stevenson-
                               Black are my steps on silver sod;
                              Thick blows my frosty breath abroad
                              And tree and house, and hill and lake,
                              Are frosted like a wedding-cake.
I was taught with these kind of rhyming poems; they were all I knew of poetry for a long time and I loved them all. This also matched the rhyming hymns I sung in church every Sunday which I also enjoyed. 
 Hope your week is off to a good start. I'm off to throw the ball for three Labradors. How lucky am I!
Note: Please always let me know if a link you are interested in doesn't work for you. I will do my best to get you connected!

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Free Patterns, Lone Star Medallion Progress, Cutest Thief

Doesn't he look so innocent! 
Meanwhile, he is a thief, albeit a cute one. He is quite adept at robbing bird seed from whatever style feeder I use, even those labelled "squirrel proof". Luckily, I don't mind. All creatures deserve a little something to get them through our cold winters. This time of year, the furthest from anything growing, there's not much left of nature's food. 
This below made me smile; "my" squirrels still run away when I appear but the moment my back is turned, they are instantly like magic at the feeders again. 
I'm feeling happier with how this below, the EPP Lone Star Medallion, is looking.  Colour choices and placement are certainly important for a medallion and, being me, I'm still second guessing where I've placed the darks and lights. One more diamond to stitch...maybe next week that will be a priority. Btw, the three triangles on the tips are actually real red, not this burnt red looking colour showing.
LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is what would we like in a dream studio. I've moved around a lot and lived in all kinds of accommodations. I've never been one to dream about a space that would be just mine. But if I'd done that I probably would have wanted a space for a little library with big wingback chairs and a nice writing desk. I do wish my present sewing space was big enough to hold a cutting table though. But other than that, I'm pretty happy and grateful for what I have available to me in this house. 

Thursday's Three Free

 Planted Seed Designs is home to Gerri Robinson, a designer for Riley Blake Designs. She has interesting free patterns like this one called Chinese Checkers... It involves something called  a Triangle in a Square block that when aligned together forms stars.

I followed up with this tutorial video showing how to make that block and got lost at the idea of using rulers. But many of you are adept at it.  Emily does make it sound sort of easy in this video. She has lots of other tutorials at her own site, Homemade Emily Jane
You'll find more links to Gerri's books, kits, patterns and fabric lines for Riley Blake there as well. 

I love this pattern called Berry Patch from Laundry Basket Quilts. The free PDF download is found HERE. What a pretty table topper this would make.

I became quite taken with the look of a quilt made up of a block called Clown's Choice. I found free download instructions at Meadow Side Designs Link Here. Very simple geometrics (yes I could sew it!) but the combination gives an interesting overall look to a project. Two basic colours, a light and a dark but they also show how to incorporate a third colour into the design for another "look".

And for my fellow slow stitching friends...Smart Cross Stitch has many pages of free cross stitch designs for special occasions and whimsical topics too. This caught my eye.  A small project that uses cross stitch and pretty Algerian Eyes stitches which look complicated but are easy. 
The sun is shining brilliantly but not warm enough for any melting today alas. But the daylight is lengthening and the quality of the light is changing, definitely brighter. Hope everything's brighter in your world too!

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Snowmen, Panama Pyramids, EPP Plus Quilt Pattern Link, Indoor Gardening

We did get lots of snow on Saturday.  

Hubby always gets busy plowing as soon as the wind and snow stops.
And Sunday, just like that, the sun shone and things began to melt. It shows that we really are moving towards spring. The snow was just right for snowman making, an elderly one that needed a stick to help him apparently. Robbie is 9 now; time is definitely moving faster for me. Just look how the snow is reflecting that gorgeous shade of blue.
My indoor garden is doing well considering how little sunlight we get in the house. We don't get to see sunrise or sunset with the positioning of this house. So never direct sunshine in a window, just sometimes on a slant. It's good though that all the windows are quite large.
I also haven't given them any fertilizer. However, I do add a few secret ingredients to their water. To water them (which I never overdo), I've used ash water from the fires, left over coffee water, and leftover water that veggies have been boiled in. These are things I read about using years ago and do seem to benefit a winter garden. I also spritz them regularly with one of those spray bottles. 
Bet you can't guess what that lighter vine in the middle is. It's a pumpkin vine. I tried growing pumpkins back at the farm and all I ever achieved was a pretty vine. Last fall I put a few seeds in a jar to grow over the winter knowing I would enjoy the pretty leaves. And here they are and I do. Such a pretty shade of green. While my outside garden is under mounds of snow, it's enjoyable to coax these contrasting greens  to grow. A small thing, I know. 

 Another small but enjoyable thing is seeing these Panama Pyramids-finally- all in their rows. I had in mind this would be a good RSC project several years ago when it got started. I'm not great at keeping up with it but since there are many green blocks here, I'll share this at the  So Scrappy March Green RSC Linky Party. EPP triangle stitching and now machine stitching the rows together.
My to do list this week includes getting these rows sewn together and hopefully have a flimsy on my hands. Joining the To Do party at Quilt Schmilt this week.

Something I'm eyeing that would be my next EPP project. I watch Kate at The Last Lonely House on YouTube and she started a Plus quilt. Of course I loved it. 

She links to Wild Olive and Mollie's offer of a free template to make the little beach house like pattern that fit together to form a plus. Wild Olive So I just wanted you to know I'm exploring this one to continue my small o obsession with EPP. :D
Another thing I came across that I liked and wanted to share with you. Just in from Japan and available here at Stitched Modern. 100 Ladies Printed Fabric to embroider or colour.  What a neat idea!
Well, I've rambled long enough. Hope your week is off to a good start. 

Friday, 3 March 2023

Free Patterns, Ned's Birthday, Thrifted Fabric, YouTube Channel to Watch And Learn From

This fellow, Our Ned, is two years old! 

He is a quiet dog, rarely barks or makes a sound. His favourite thing in the world is playing ball with Petey and Abby; a close second is taking up most of the bed at night for his long winter naps

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is to talk about our dedicated sewing spaces if we have one. I have a bedroom converted to a sewing room and love the way I can close the door on the mess as it were. It is small and oddly proportioned and there isn't room for a cutting table which is a drawback. What I like best about it is the window and its view of a portion of the back yard. That changes with the seasons. Here I am in my room with said window engaging in my least favourite part of the quilting experience...using the machine- in this case  to join those pumpkin blocks. There comes a point in almost every project where I have to use the machine.

I had good luck at the Thrift Store when I went through the men's shirts section there in early February. I was looking for the largest size and they had to be 100% cotton which these four are. I'm always surprised by how much fabric can be retrieved from a shirt. I'll just show you that black print up close. Now you can see that green circle. Neat modern design and I thought this would make a good binding fabric. And it makes me feel good to possibly be saving fabric from the landfill.
I have almost all of one block embroidered for the Snow Days quilt. This is the most enjoyable embroidery one can do. Simple running stitch with no colour changes. 
We are watching Noraly's, Itchy Boots, motorcycle adventures on Youtube. We followed her all the way up North America to Alaska last year.  Now in Season 7 she is in Morocco and the Sahara Desert. Just sand but encountering small groups of people living there. I'm totally captivated as such an environment is so foreign to me. How they manage water and food is fascinating. 
It's funny now that when I first thought of making it a Thursday "feature" to offer three free patterns each week,  I thought I would run out of free pattern sites to share with you. Silly me. There are thousands of quilting sites; no end it would seem to the free patterns they are offering either. Lucky us!

 Thursday's Three Free

From The Fabric Hut Blog comes this pattern called Neon Bow Ties.Adaptable for all sizes including a table cloth.

At The Vintage Sewing Box site, Emma offers a bank of free patterns and tutorials for stitching items using English Paper Piecing like this- Butterflies in different sizes. SO pretty.
I saw this block and thought it neat.  Especially as we all get so good at sewing flying geese.  From Quilting Daily comes the PDF download for this block called the Gosling-Go -Round block. At that site you can see Marcie Patch's pretty lap quilt made with this block. I love this colourful scrappy block.
At Days Filled With Joy you can find the first download for Joy's SAL called Teacup Critters. Embroidery blocks combined with quilt blocks, very cute. 

I'll show how my indoor garden is doing in the next post. It's hanging in there.It was -15C on my morning walk but sunny and pleasant. However, another weather event is imminent. Snowfall warning for overnight into Saturday with high winds. 
But it being March, it won't last too long, fingers crossed. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Carrot Cake Cheesecake, Projects Updates, A Show to Watch

 Picture me that cloudy end of February morning gathering sticks on land that most of the year is a foot under water. A cardinal was singing its song in the background. This is usually the only time of year I can walk through there and the pickings are good. I  could see where some animal had clawed bark off quite a few of the trees. Porcupine perhaps. Ned trotted from tree to tree with me then patiently sat and waited while I filled the bag. So full I had a hard slog getting him and it back to the house. But yet invigorating too with the fresh air and exercise. 

 I usually have my small camera with me and took this photo in a little forest I came across. An interesting glowing colour, quite striking in the midst of greys and white. What colour would you call this?  Reminds me of autumn which my friends in the southern hemisphere are experiencing. I just looked it up... Eastern Redcedar which tends to "bronze", as the writer termed it, in winter. 

We've eaten an extraordinary cake from Daughter, a Carrot Cake Cheesecake, since I last wrote you.
Sounds like too much of a good thing and yes it was and so delicious.

 Recipe here at Rock Recipes where Barry calls it a genius combination.

We are thoroughly enjoying this show, 1883, found on Paramount +. Always enjoy Sam Elliot but it is Isobel May that is stealing the show with her performance as a coming of age young woman. I'm enjoying her "voice over" remarks very much. These pioneer wagon train series remind us of how treacherous the journey was for those brave souls making it and also for those equally brave souls already inhabiting the land. 

 I don't usually set stitching goals because I have a firm track record of not keeping them. However, I am happy with how Wheels is moving forward these days with a little attention. Perhaps I'll keep that momentum going this week. 
That and stitching one more diamond for the Lone Star Medallion. Linking up with Carol at Quilt Schmilt for the To Do Tuesday party helps keep me mindful.
Corey Yoder at Coriander Quilts is launching her Sunny Patches BOM 2023 on March 18. I wonder if this would work out to be a good way to use up scraps. 
I also want to share with those of you who embroider the work of Alice Makabe. Pretty kits of her designs are available from The French Needle and also other sites. This brief video gives you an idea of Alice's work.
So much to enjoy and dream about. Hope that is how you are feeling this first day of a brand new month. 

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Free Patterns, Lone Star Medallion, Edna's The Little Chairs

 Snowing outside with another snowfall warning in place but cozy inside.  I had a special coffee this morning from the Nespresso machine, a Melozio, with cinnamon and frothed milk. I'm not at all one for fancy coffees but once in a while it is a treat. I bought a loaf of sourdough bread which toasts well and I like marmalade too. 

I've just begun listening to this book, The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien; I do enjoy her writing and use of phrases, etc. It is sounding a little familiar to me. I wonder if I've read this before actually. hmmm
Just now, while listening, I decided to sort through my needle tin. As you can see my organization is nil really. How do you corral your needle packets?
 I do seem to have a lot of John James needles but I inherited quite a few of them from Mom. John James, a British product, was always popular in Newfoundland. 

I've managed to stitch one more of the diamonds for the Lone Star Medallion. I do like how this is now looking. Yes for those asking, this is EPP style with me making templates out of the light cardboard that flyers often use. No, I won't be removing them till this is all sewn together.

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is do we have a special someone in our lives who does kind things for us. While Hubby is our on the spot Mr. Fix It and Computer Guy and helps me everyday,  I'm going to give a shout out to my SIL, Brad. He is the person in my day to day life that I know I can call on day or night for anything. He's one of those positive, Can Do kind of fellows who is full of solutions no matter what the problem. While keeping me supplied with salt for my icy steps, just yesterday he delivered a Costco chicken to me because he knows I like them. He was also the one that I called first when Tony had his health crisis four years ago. He was here in ten minutes with an ambulance already called and on its way. I wish that everyone could have such a dependable person in their lives. 

Thursday's Three Free

As always lots to share with you.  Hope there is something here that twigs with you.

First up is lovely Sandra at her lovely blog Cherry Heart where she shares a detailed with photos tutorial for making pretty Dresden placemats. Sandra is fond of Liberty prints which are costly but there's lots of pretty prints to be found in the many fabric lines available these days as we all know.

At the Tilda's World site, they update their new free patterns section three times a year. Here is a new one in keeping with the dresden theme that would look stunning in all kinds of colourways. The Fan Bird quilt block.

Quilt For Lovers has an impressive index of free quilt patterns/ links including this one for a Double Disappearing Nine Patch block that I thought looked neat. 

New Quilters also has a cache of tutorials such as this one by Christine Mann which is one of 19 pages worth! I love wreaths. I know we here in the north are far from autumn, but I couldn't resist noting this one. Isn't this pretty? I really like the background sewn of neutral blocks too. 
And for slow stitching friends, Lovecrafts has an extensive bank of over 200 free downloadable patterns to hand embroider. They are sorted by category and seasons and range from the simple to more complex designs. Something for everyone in other words. 

I've spent most of my morning with you and as soon as I hit publish, I'm getting out my Snow Days embroidery to lay a few stitches. With this weather, we won't be leaving the property. Think of me then, snow falling outside and me cozy and calm doing something we all love.