Thursday 27 July 2023

Redwork Embroidery, Summer Bouquet, Swallowtail, Loving K.D.

Late Summer Indoor Bouquet at the Farm 
I don't usually make bouquets anymore as I leave it all for the bees and insects to enjoy. After a banner year for butterflies last year, not many to be seen this summer. Though I did catch this Black Swallowtail enjoying the hydrangea blooms. 
It is always time for tea here. We make a giant pot and I drink a mug while it is fresh and leave the rest for Hubby. He can drink it warmed up in the microwave which is something I don't care for. 

Love my slow stitching projects.
 This one has a connection to Mom. She had these blocks that someone drew the patterns on in pencil for her. The simple little designs, which have a Newfoundland and Labrador theme, were passed around in her circle of friends so I can't give credit to the artist. When she could no longer embroider and turned more to crocheting, she handed these on to me. I finally made a start...  
After stitching the map, I realized I don't like how Labrador is not whole here. 
I'm going to stitch all the wildlife pictures first. If anyone knows who the artist is, please let me know.
The Newfoundland Dog, known for its sweetness, devotion and gentleness. Also known for their love of and affinity to children. 
I thought of stitching all in browns or black or just reds but I love variegated threads so landed on DMC 115. This offers a range of red to deep burgundy. I just had the one skein on hand so put in an order to 123 Stitch.  I'm using back stitching and trying my best to keep the stitches small and even. 
Great hand work in front of the t.v. in the evenings.

And how true this is. I was thinking first how appropriate the words are for this aging part of my life but really it suits all phases of life. 

As many of you know besides working at trying to keep fit, I also work at maintaining my positive mind set. Laughter is good and so is music. Besides listening to music early morning, I've been making a point of listening to music just before I turn in for the night. Here is one I love so much. Adore K.D.'s voice and the piano accompaniment too is wonderful. 
After I finish my coffee, I have to change the water in the hummingbird feeder so my day is about to really start. Yes, the life of the retired!
Also happy to join the link party at Kathy's Quilts and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Tuesday 25 July 2023

Embellishing Corner Stones, A First Capture, Delicious Simple Food

Though I hear these frogs every spring- you can't not hear them as their sounds have been likened to  chain saw or motorcycle loudness levels- I had never ever seen one, let alone gotten a photo till this summer. One day I took a photo of a strange looking, very tiny frog/toad sitting on a hosta leaf in the back yard.  I found out I'd captured the somewhat reclusive Spring Peeper frog when I looked it up later on. Finally and Another first for me. I like those ET like toes and the way his markings all line up.

These are of the Crucifix species named so because of the cross on the back. 

Here is what was bouncing around in my head this morning...and me achieving none of it to date. 

 Look up an aloe based face serum...I have a belief in the natural stuff. Any suggestions?

Cut 18 inch blocks for the largest of the Laundry Basket Quilts Monarch project butterflies. I need 9 of them and my largest template is a 12 inch and I hate fiddling with my new rotary cutter and trying to cut these large pieces...put off for almost two weeks now as a result. Get that done this week - maybe.

Get in more obedience training with Ned. We have an enthusiastic trainer coming once a week to train us and Ned. He has the basics down pat which is good. However, we specifically need just one thing...for him to come when called no matter if he is on the scent of something or not. I'm not sure that is achievable but she thinks so. 

Last Look

Finally, all done and dusted is my Rainbow Neighbourhood quilt, my July OMG at Elm Street Quilts. This was so enjoyable, a learning experience in some ways and all done on time thanks to it being a QAL.  Link Here to the pattern in Sandra's Etsy shop. The hand quilting was enjoyable and I added many more lines than I first thought. 

The back...It will be a cosy lap quilt for someone.

Just for fun, I embroidered blanket stitches around each corner stone. And you can see the sashing fabric really does show up in real life which I was never able to show in photos for some reason unbeknownst to me!

Something I am achieving...

Every year I forget what great exercise swimming is. The whole body gets a workout while being supported. Since exercise also is a mood booster for me, it is definitely a win win. I am enjoying my daily swim more than ever this summer and pushing myself to work a little harder while in the pool. 

For my lunch today was this below...I am still practicing Intermittent Fasting which works well for me as I'm not a breakfast eater. Having porridge for lunch is a usual choice for me. This time with fresh apricots from younger daughter and home made honey a friend makes from older daughter. 

On that delicious note, I'll end this post. Hope there is something delicious in your life today!

Happy to link up with The Quilt SchmiltQuilt FabricationFrom Bolt to BeautyMy Quilt InfatuationQuilting Patchwork AppliqueWendy's Quilts and More, Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and The Inquiring Quilter

Thursday 20 July 2023

Flower Basket Runner, Family Times, Quiltmania Blocks

 I guess the humidity and high temperatures are good for flowers. I've never had such huge blooms on the Hydrangeas...totally smothering flowers I've planted around them. I must make a note to move these in the fall. 

The wonderful Day Lilies are blooming. There are many scattered about. 
Tony turned 84 last week and we had a wonderful family celebration for him. He enjoyed the attention and especially the food. Bruschetta to start and then a steak and shrimp meal most of it barbequed by SIL, Brad, with sides by Beth, the cake maker. 

 He doesn't like to smile as he thinks his smile is goofy looking.

Beth's cake, a four layer chocolate, was delicious. Italian buttercream frosting.
I've been feeling productive in the garden and in the house too this summer. Keeping myself very, very busy. As mentioned before lots of sorting going on in the Sewing room as well- taking stock, as it were. And recently I treated myself to some stitchy mail, a fat quarter bundle of Sundance by Crystal Manning for Moda. 
Very flowery and to me an autumn look. A nice change from the reds and pinks of summer '23. It is excellent quality fabric too.
  I spent an enjoyable evening stitching quilting lines on this table topper. I debated how to arrange this basket and also use other of the smaller Solidarity blocks.
 Finally settled on this arrangement. I'm so pleased to use Tone Finnanger's, the talent behind the Tilda brand, smaller flower blocks on the sides.
I like her EPP flower block very much and would love to make a bigger project with it. With more practice now, I could do a better job of stitching the pieces- I think. 
Here is the link to the Quiltmania post which includes the templates to stitch all the blocks. The directions, etc. are all still available and it is fun to see what your favourite designer might have contributed. A whopping 80 of them participated.

I hope you all are equally engaged in enjoyable pastimes, ones that lift your spirits and help you cope with whatever life is throwing at you. "Oh yes, you will be tested," my grandfather used to say. 

So happy to share this post with So Scrappy. Also happy to share with Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsSongbird Designs and Kathy's Quilts.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Pinks Everywhere, Basket Blocks, Free EPP Patterns

A tiny rabbit appeared in the front yard one day when the sun was scorching the grass. It stayed in this position long enough for me to get the camera ready. I got excited at the possibility of this being a brilliant photo with the little guy paused amidst an arbor of colours, pinks above and greens below. I took a number of photos. The light was horrible and this is best of the shots. Sigh But the little fellow looked so cute. I wished I could hold it. 
I spent an enjoyable hour combing the stacks at the local library last week while I waited for Jack. That library has had a great infusion of funds via property taxes due to all the sub divisions that have sprung up surrounding the original little town. The library closed for a makeover in the spring and I must say it is looking spiffier with big new windows and an extension to hold more stacks. 
I like how my card for this library is good for many more libraries around the province for interlibrary loans, etc. 
I had no trouble finding a few to check out. Amongst them- I'm reading Barbara's book and enjoying it very much. Demon Copperhead
I've read about and watched a number of videos on the beautiful Appalacia and the effects of the coal mining,etc. with respect to the education of the children, so this is interesting to me. 

Free EPP Patterns...I just downloaded 6 free EPP patterns from Seams Sew Me. Belle has a pretty site and YouTube channel. She linked up with 5 other designers to make the special EPP offer to her subscribers. The six projects are sweet and small so quick to stitch. I like them all. 

The Quiltmania Solidarity QAL included at least four appliqued basket blocks and I stitched three of them. Here are two more to work out how to use in a project. The bottom one has a Christmas feel with the striped fabric so I'll set that aside for now. 
These blocks were all designed by different quilters all over the world. I think this one below was Victoria Findlay Wolfe's - I stitched this very large block as a bit of a challenge to me. I think I will use it in the back of one of these finishes. 

Having a purpose like give old blocks tucked away in a drawer new life in a finish, is great. It's been a morale booster and I'm glad I decided this summer would be a time in between to get at this.
 This week's specific stitchy work is right off a non-stitchy one... to get photos of the Rainbow Neighbourhood Houses Quilt which is finished. But I also want to start quilting Solidarity Flimsy #1. 

I'll be back later in the week with more news...we celebrated a special birthday last weekend and I've received some mail I want to share. I hope all of you have a good week.

Thursday 13 July 2023

Free Patterns, FPP Blues Blocks, Turkey Talk

We wonder if this is Tilly, our lone female turkey who has been wandering through every now and then over the years. She had many more poults and sadly is down to two. But these look healthy and hopefully will be able to fly soon and thereby avoid certain predators. Their feathers have such beautiful markings.

Last weekend stitching added to my FPP Courthouse Steps blue blocks. I stitch three at a time and that's about the limit of time I can handle at the machine in one sitting.   LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week is to do with fairs and festivals. Fall Fairs are the thing here and I've spoken about them already. But do pop over to her post and read about wonderful fair and festival memories folks are sharing. 

Free Patterns this week... I seem to be drawn to scrappy projects.

Debbie at Piecing the Past Quilts is running another free BOM called Grandma's Scrap Basket.  So pretty and who doesn't have scraps. I like the way this uses interplay between light and dark fabrics. And I would be interested in embroidering that border. 

I've remembered  Planted Seed Designs and their page of free patterns. So pretty like this one called Chinese Checkers.

And at Days Filled With Joy, Susan has started her free Christmas in July stitch along-will be lovely little motifs to embroider like her other SAL's, I'm sure. 

And this happened...

 Recently I'd had my grocery order rung through, I'd pushed my cart a little away from the line and paused to put away my glasses and secure my wallet, etc.  I glanced up and saw a woman waiting on me ...I was blocking her way. I immediately said so sorry and hurried to move my cart. She smiled and said that's okay, no problem at all which was nice but it was her tone that got me.  All the way to the car I thought of it...the way she spoke was like I was a doddery 5 year old who didn't know better. Has this ever happened to you? I didn't take this seriously, mind you, and Tony and I had a little laugh about it when I got home. A sign of my times I guess. 

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Solidarity Flimsie #1, A Special Book, Everything's A' Bloomin'

Everything is blooming!
Including a Clematis Sapphire bush in a shady spot.
I'm trying to "tend the garden" these days. Short spurts of weeding here and there; it has to be short as the heat has been killing. We are just not acclimatized to this kind of humidity either. But the flowers love it. The soil in the beds is very rich which means the weeds love it as well.

 I've thought of my Dad's mother, my grandmother, who had not only a flower garden but a vegetable garden to tend each summer. In that outport it was mostly women's work to plant and tend the vegetable garden, though I remember Granda giving her a hand at times. They grew enough potatoes, turnip, carrot, cabbage, beets, and onions to last all winter stored in their root cellar. By the time I arrived for my visit at the end of June, the last of the potatoes would taste sweet from being there so long. 

One of Dad's cousins who grew up with him, wrote this book, More Than Fifty Per Cent: Women's Life in Outport Newfoundland, for her Folklore master's thesis.  It chronicles women's work in that little summary, women's work is never done. You've heard the old rhyme, men may toil from sun to sun but women's work is never done and of course, this would certainly apply to farmer's wives as well.  My grandparents are cited in the book.  Available at  Amazon -not affiliated.

I have enjoyed working with these cheery blocks again. I have good memories of stitching so many appliqued different and unique blocks. I looked up how others have put their Solidarity quilt together. The blocks are different sizes and it can be tricky to sort out an arrangement when that happens. I stitched 15 blocks so have divided them into two projects. Here is the first one ready to be layered and quilted. I'll use that same pretty green in the binding. I love the fir tree shadows in this photo.
The backlit view like stained glass is always pretty too. Will enjoy linking with the party for reds at So Scrappy
I would like to have this bound and layered this week. Especially doable as Rainbow Neighbourhood is almost finished! Amazing what you can accomplish when you actually spend time in the sewing room doing it. :D

Thanks Joanne and Michelle for confirming that line of poetry for me. Yes it is from Robert Herrick's poem that features the more famous line Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. I had to smile because young "maids" in fishing communities and on farms had little time to gather rosebuds. And I must say I very much enjoyed reading what your "time wasters" are so thanks for sharing.

I need to show you my hair these days. It is a little naturally curly and the humidity makes it frizzy and a bit wild. I'm still growing it out from the Pixie cut I gave myself and it is the longest it's been in ten years! I'm letting it sit on my head like a wild bird nest! 

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Happily linking with The Inquiring QuilterSongbird DesignsQuilt SchmiltMy Quilt InfatuationSew and TellFinished FridayAlycia QuiltsKathy's Quilts and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.


Thursday 6 July 2023

Time Wasters, Geraniums, Fair Food, Solidarity Blocks

Philip Jacobs, a designer for Free Spirit, puts such detail into his flower renderings. Here is his "Geranium" fabric beautifully defying the old adage that blue and green should never be seen except together in the washing machine. 
And here are my winter geraniums enjoying the sun on the back deck. 
Coming into a second blooming. I pinched them back so they would bush out and not grow up and leggy.
I'm reading Emma Donahue's Haven. So far about a quarter in, I am enjoying it. Three Irish monks trying to survive on an isolated island during a time of plague is the premise in a nutshell.
Things I waste time on... 
is this Wednesday or Thursday? (substitute any days)

                                                  did I buy -? If I did, where did I put it?

                                                      did I put on sunscreen?

and there are always the endless where ares???? the remote, my reading glasses, the pen, the camera, my phone, etc. (In reverse to this I'm obsessive about my purse and keys and always know exactly where they are.) What are your time wasters? 

 I continue the hand quilting on my Rainbow Neighbourhood which is my job in front of the tv at night. I'm on my way to that being finished this weekend and ready for the binding.

 And when I saw the So Scrappy RSC July colour is red, it reminded me of a QAL called Solidarity run by Quiltmania back during the pandemic. The blocks were sewn with red and white fabrics. I stitched some of the blocks, maybe 12 of them. I searched about in my orphan block drawer which I made during the last big sewing room sort out, found them and began arranging the layout. Here are the first four largest blocks. Applique was a big feature of the QAL.

 My old computer completely died and I've been without for five days so apologies for not visiting you and also the crooked photo below...this new laptop  just arrived and I still have to figure out the photo features. These blocks cheered me up today as they looked so bright in the sunlight. Our temp. made it to 35C with humidity feeling like 42C so it was a quick photo shoot.

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt this week has to do with favourite fair food. They often combine rib fests with fairs here and having a meal of barbequed ribs from the rib chef stars is very popular. Robbie loves the candy candy at the fairs. What about you? Candied apples? Flavoured popcorn maybe? The hot dogs?
It is strawberry season and fresh strawberries are the cheapest they will be all year. We are enjoying a bowl each night.
We celebrated Canada Day on Saturday. Sadly, many outdoor activities had to be cancelled here in our corner of Ontario because of the tornado/severe thunder and lightening storm warnings. Another first for weather news. Though a miserable cloudy day with high humidity and many mosquitoes, no tornado materialized, thankfully.  However, a close neighbour of daughter's had lightening strike one of their front yard trees and destroy it. Scary!

 Hubby has to wear multiple layers even in this heat which seems remarkable to me. I tried to use the quote  "times of life when youth and blood are warmer"- badly. Not remembering whose line that is. Do you?

I heard from many that you liked the embroidery in the last post. Thank you for the kind words and it is especially good to know slow stitching/handwork is still so appreciated. 

 I've got  my work cut out for me now learning how to sort everything on this new laptop. It is an updated version of my last two so it shouldn't be that much of a challenge....says she hopefully.

You all have a great weekend and stay as safe as you can!

Also great to share this post with Quilting is More Fun Than HouseworkKathy's Quilts and Quilting Patchwork Applique.