Thursday 28 September 2023

Easy Hexagon Runner, Free Patterns, Redwork Stitching

Yes, it is starting. I'm wearing gloves on my early morning walks these days. Staying cool but sunny which makes it wonderful fall weather. Here is a little roundup of tiny but wonderful things I enjoyed this week.

Baker Beth gave us these wonderful blueberry muffins and extra chocolatey cookies. A great treat!
I didn't share Robbie's back to school photo before but here he is now soon to be 10! He's tall for his age.
And he gave me this...worms he caught for my compost bin. I told him they will live a very good life there, LOL. He is very caring of wildlife, birds, etc., a quality I hope stays with him. 
Something I spied...Leslie, The Seasoned Homemaker, has this free pattern for a very cute mug rug. Anything with leaves catches my eye. Leslie offers many patterns and tutorials plus free patterns at her wonderful site. I love how she emphasizes simple patterns too. 
The latest of Mom's Redwork patterns is the Bonavista Lighthouse in Newfoundland. This is special to our family as it is the area where Dad and his people before him lived. 

Below is a shot of the back of that lighthouse showing how stark and rocky the edge of the Bonavista peninsula is; the lighthouse is much needed! This was taken by me in 2017 from a tour boat. When we no sooner rounded the peninsula and hit the open Atlantic here, I felt seasick. 

Stitching these pieces is like a stroll down memory lane for me. A happy (mostly 😉) stroll. 

My Hand Stitched Aqua Table Runner is 40in  x 20in without borders. I'm halting the hexies at this point with 63 whole hexies sewn together. Now for figuring out how to deal with those borders. I still have the outer rows of templates left in. I liked how it pressed out nicely with just one obvious pucker. I tend to keep my tension tight with hand stitching and need reminders to relax it. Loved stitching this very much.
Hope there are happy things in your days now too whether quickly heading towards summer or winter in your neck of the woods.  

Sunday 24 September 2023

Autumn Quakers, The V&A Museum Site, Easy Meal, QAL

There is a small flock of ducks visiting our little pond each day. I've never seen this kind before which may be American Black Ducks?. Their numbers have grown from 5 to the 17 I managed to count yesterday. They alert extremely easily- when one takes flight, they all go, so getting close for a photo is impossible. My long lens managed this shot. The pond looks golden here in the early morning sun which reminded me of the movie, On Golden Pond. Loved that one back in the day. Did you?
When I'd asked for lunch/meal suggestions, someone mentioned using pita breads. I'd kind of forgotten about that idea so the other day I bought a package and made this for supper. It's tuna, spinach and peppers salad topped with scrambled eggs...that last was my own addition to the recipe.
 I worry that Tony doesn't get enough nutrients; he is still strict with his portion size, etc. and is quite thin. Recently friends who hadn't seen him in two years were surprised by how much thinner he looked. He has always loved being thin but I don't think it is good at his age. The body needs some reserves if you get ill is what I believe about that. But I don't know if that idea is medically true as such. Any thoughts?
 Anyway, I also eat a lot of oranges; I think they are delicious when you can find a sweeter one.
One of the best sites to explore 
The website Collections section of the Online Victoria and Albert Museum includes many interesting items. I first came across this site years ago when looking for William Morris items and they have a huge bank of material that must be one of the largest Morris collections to be found. But there also you will find other collections including this one... 1940s Knitting Patterns. Definitely worth taking a look for you knitters. I enjoyed seeing how many patterns would suit our modern times. 

Their Make and Do section includes instructions for a number of needle arts projects including a Boro style bag I really like. 
Of great interest to me also is their collection of cross stitched samplers. Here is the link-  History of Needle Worked Samplers. Very interesting to see the earliest examples of different embroidery stitches too. So if you have the time, the V&A is a wonderful site to explore. 

Speaking of which it is time to get out my Autumn Quakers cross stitching project from the wonderful Rosewood Manor. It's being stitched on 28 count Vintage Country Mocha Cashel Linen. Now this is true slow stitching- at least, for me it is. S L O W L Y making my way down the left side. 

Pat Sloan at I Love to Make Quilts has launched her latest free QAL called Autumn Wonders. I'm following with interest but not taking part for the obvious reason of having enough stitchy projects on the go. 

Winter Preparations have begun...

Happy to have Jack's help with the wood for our winter fires this year. Here is the start he has made on getting wood from the lot onto the veranda. The wood is not next to the house itself... there are sheets of wood protecting the house wall and there is a space left between the wood and it. Also we don't have termites here to be a concern thankfully as some were worried when I showed a similar photo last year. Though I helped with tidying the stacks, it is a good break for me not to have to load and carry it. I'm looking forward to having our daily fires again. Nothing cozier when it's snowing outside.

But no snow just yet, the sun is shining and it is cool enough for a heavy sweater...perfect fall weather. Hope your weekend is going well and you have something to look forward to this week. 
Also happy to share this post with the slow stitching crowd at  Kathy's QuiltsCreations, Quilts, Art and Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Thursday 21 September 2023

Starbucks Treat, Teresa's Video, QAYG Autumn Tablerunner

 No sign of a groundhog in about a month now. Also my hummingbirds have disappeared. Yesterday, the geese flew overhead with their familiar wild honking. I never tire of watching their beautiful v's cross the sky. 

LeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's new prompt has to do with our favourite spices. Recently I was here, a rare spot for me to be.

I ordered something completely new to me (well, everything in there is new to me really)...the Apple Crisp Oat Macchiato with cinnamon, a spice I like but just a little of. Anyway, it was delicious but I would try something else another time. I love oats but found this a little too oaty. 
As a smell when baking, cinnamon is heavenly to me. What about you? A favourite spice of yours?  
Hubby wears this cologne.
We got a chuckle out of the saying on the box it came in...
"If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist."

With the quilting of my Plus Quilt almost finished and my hexie table topper also well underway, I had thoughts of a new project, one featuring colours of the season. I happened upon Teresa Down Under's wonderful video about quilting as you go and keeping it simple. 

I pulled out these fabrics from my stash...definitely autumnal to my eyes after working with aquas.
Narrowed it down and then added mustardy yellow to the mix. And gave my cutter a well needed new blade.
Dithered about quite a lot before finally settling on the choices below. Here it is layered up using a little spray adhesive to hold everything together while machine stitching the lines. 
It is simple so far but I plan to gussy it up with a fancy hand quilting pattern. That bit has been a lot of fun to research. I hope it won't be too challenging for me but that is okay...good for my brain. 
Something else that is good for me-
I keep an old 5 lb bar bell by my night time stitching chair in the den.
I do arm lifts above my head when watching the last show of the evening which is usually something light. When I started, I could do just 5 but now I can do 25. But summer swimming is also helping with that. I do believe baby steps work and at my age especially, just have to keep moving -if that is possible without pain and discomfort, of course.

 Have you watched this series?

I enjoyed it but had a lot of questions too. What did you think?
Hope you all have a great weekend that will include something you love. Mine will include bird watching as the migrating birds are moving through.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Cheesecake, EPP Hexie Love, Gold in the Garden

 Cooler temperatures, 5C on my walk this morning but warming to 15 the weather forecast has promised, and just like that I'm thinking of heartier fare. But first I need to catch up on the cakes...recently Beth made the birthday folk here a beautiful New York style Cheesecake with Strawberry Compote.  The cake had 5 ! packages of cream cheese in it and was the most sumptuous cake I've ever eaten. It was silky and so delicious. And Tony finished off the compote over a little ice cream. 

I loved the colours here below...the wild Goldenrod which grew in massive  bunches like I've never seen before and one of the different kinds of Sedum, now in bloom. Late summer/ autumn when both these plants appear here. I read that Goldenrod supports more than 100 kinds of butterflies and moths and around 35 species of bees. 

My aqua hexies...I had one slab (is there a name for a group of hexies sewn together? Slab does not sound professional, :D) and then started a second one. At some point the slabs will be joined. I'm working towards a basic large rectangle shape big enough to cover one of the coffee tables. 

And the two slabs on the table I intend them for...looking a little more turquoise than they really are.
All in their cardboard templates still and my goal is to have the slabs large enough to cover the tabletop this week.
Gotta love paper piecing hexies...grows fast especially using this size. The aqua love continues at the  So Scrappy Saturday linky party.

I recently purchased a needlework motif book for embroidery. Sarah Watson's Pen to Thread which features 750+ designs. So many cute motifs in all kinds of categories...easy to trace and stitch. I think I already shared the Ultimate Sampler Motifs Source Book by Brenda Keyes; that one is for cross stitching and also a wonderful resource. 
And most of us stitchers do not need reminding of this but I read an article about working on old projects and simply not enjoying them anymore. In the end the stitcher decided life's too short, bundled them all up and took them to Goodwill. And who knows, someone like me just might come along,  rescue them and give them a good home. 
Next time I have to tell you about two things brand new to to eat and one that's stitchy!

Thursday 14 September 2023

Free Patterns, Plus Quilt, Coleus Beginnings

 I mentioned a few years ago I wanted to grow Coleus and finally set a packet of seeds this spring. When I put out the tiny plants, some critter ate most of them and these few here below somehow survived. I'm happy to have these and hope they will fare well now when brought into the house later on. 

 All the Marigolds were also grown from seeds and I chose the autumn colours at the time. I wish I'd put them all in one big pot instead of spreading them throughout different pots as they would make such a pretty show now. 
I've been reading how to gather seeds from the Zinnias and Marigolds and will give it a try. The beginnings...
We got together with Tony's former in laws last weekend. We went to a pub in a nearby village which serves English style pub food. We were slow to finish our wonderful meals as we had so much catching up to do with all the news. I was struck by the ceiling lamp in real stained glass which is something I love. It was enormous and there were two of them. 
Remember the Plus Quilt?
Free pattern from kind Mollie at her Wild Olive site. It is a perfect lap size and I've removed all the templates and started the hand quilting in diagonal lines. Sorry it looks so rumpled; should have given it a little press.
I haven't shown the back fabric before. A neutral with green/grey swirly flowers. 
I haven't used the machine in ages but I feel like I'm getting lots of stitching done. 

I notice folks are starting their Autumn and Halloween stitching. Projects are cropping up and always fun to see. Here are a couple of free patterns featuring leaves that I've been eyeing from the Quilt Inspiration Autumn Leaves Bank .

This pattern is Turning Leaves and is from Cloud 9 Fabrics. Looks completely different when sewn in different colours as you'll see at that link.

And this one is Mirrored Leaves from A.E. Nathan and the free pattern is in the main link'll have to scroll through to find it but that is not a hardship as there are so many beautiful patterns you'll be looking at. 
Thank you for all the comments and emails about canned meat and the ways you or your mothers and sometimes hubbies use/used it. Yes, that was a staple in many cupboards back in the day and our mothers relied on it for busier week days like wash days, etc. It reminded me that Mom would take tinned corned beef, mix it with mashed potatoes and make patties. Those would be fried and served with her homemade pickles or beets and of course, homemade bread.  You could make a meal out of it, as they would say.
Anyway, generations now know nothing of designated wash days or breadmaking days, etc. That's almost laughable now. 
Here at the wooden house, it is a day to get some of the summer clothes put away and drag out the next heavier duvet (yes, the top bed covers have varying warmth levels). 

Hope your week is ending on a high note and there is something to look forward to in your weekend!

Monday 11 September 2023

Stitching Temptation, Veranda Stitching

  SIL was mowing the path by the pond and sent me this photo. He'd moved two of my lawn chairs down there and wrote what do you think...with a little outdoor rug, a small table, etc.? 

I laughed but I have to admit it is much more comfortable than the step stool I normally sit on. I've sat there every time I'm down there now with the camera and it is very relaxing, especially when the mosquitoes are not around. 

Someone is watching me watching him. I'd just refilled the tray feeder and he was enjoying it very much. They almost have fingers.

The mid summer to early autumn wild flowers are in bloom now. The yellow leaning to orange under our feet.
I just read an article about folks using canned meat more these days. With the ridiculous pricing of fresh meat, no wonder that is happening. Anyway the article included interesting recipes for using the various tinned products, some of which, I'd never known were available in a can.
 But I'd forgotten how I used to buy a ham in a tin when first married to use with scalloped potatoes. My mother would keep one of them in the cupboard in case someone dropped in and stayed for lunch. I always thought Mom could make a meal out of anything. 
Carolyn at her The Boat Gallery post provides a great list of recipes to make with canned meat should you be looking for ideas.

Stitching Temptation  

The wonderful The Vintage Spool has many beautiful patterns and one that caught my eye for fall is this one. Though I couldn't find it on their site anymore I did find it for sale at The Quilt Spot. The work of talented Verna Mosquera...I love her fabric lines too. I like the colours in this one and of course, the hexies. I wonder how much of it I could stitch EPP. Though I love it, I won't be buying this pattern just now. I'm determined to concentrate on WIP's for the time being. 

I got in a little veranda stitching on the weekend with my own hexies. These are in teals and aquas. I decided to include some in white as a contrast. Not nearly as interesting as Verna's design. Very relaxing all the same. 
I'm hoping to finish the quilting on my Plus quilt this week. Depends on how many lines I want to stitch. I'm aiming for it to be a lap quilt so I will need to add a lot. 
I've a pork roast in the oven and want to make a real meal for us with veggies and gravy. It is starting to smell good. 
Hope you are well on this particular day filled to the brim with memories.

Friday 8 September 2023

SAL's, Hexagon EPP, Redwork Embroidery, A Fishing Grandfather

 Another blast of humidity this week make us so happy that autumn is just in the wings now. Here are more of the Zinnia blooms with their starry stamens. They are annuals but very long lasting once in flower.

Not a great photo but I liked this capture of the female Cardinal sharing nicely with a Redbreasted Nuthatch. Though she appears to be giving him the eye, they were there together with the Nuthatch going back and forth, for quite a while. 

Before I forget again, I want to share with you a SAL occurring now being hosted by Taryn the Repro Quilt Lover. She owns an antique quilt sewn with Ohio Star blocks that features many different fabrics in a block, up to 16! Yet the quilt looks so cohesive and lovely. Taryn thought this would be a great scrap busting project to sew some blocks using the same challenge so she started this SAL.
Read all about it here...Antique Quilt Repro SAL. Stars are always popular and folks are rising to the challenge and including many scrappy fabrics in each star block with wonderful results. 

Another of my Facebook groups I enjoy is this one...
I love Tilda fabrics and their latest line called Hibernation is so pretty and features a small wildlife. Anyway, there is a Files section on the group homepage with free downloads of both embroidery and quilt patterns. Mostly the work of Fiona Fee Ramsey who is the administrator. So something else to check out if you like.
And my own stitching...
I've sewn together more of the aqua/teal hexagons. I've included a few white for contrast.  The free template came from Jodi at Tales of Cloth  and I think these are the 2 inch size. I enlarged the photo so you could get a look at my very old April Cornell table cloth in the background. It is a little faded now but a treat still to get out each of my all time best thrift purchases. I will share this with the Aqua RSC party at So Scrappy.
One more block of Mom's Redwork project is done. This one, a fisherman in a dory. The fabric used is quite good linen and the needle slides through it beautifully. Rosy glow to the light in this photo.
And here below is my grandfather, Dad's Dad, who fished for a living, similarly in a boat. He's the one in the white cap. He fished with the same two men till his mid seventies. I got to go out with them once when I was eleven. It was scary...the waves were high and they had to push down the side of the boat almost into the water while pulling up the net. The boat seemed very small and of course, the ocean rough and very big. 

But I got to see the little fishing village, Maberly, from the sea...a wildly different view than I was used to. The image is in my mind's eye still. I wrote a poem about it called Maberly From the Sea soon afterwards I was so taken with it. He's who Ned is named after, which since he liked dogs, I think he would approve of. 
Writing this during another heat wave just when we thought that was behind us. Hope all is well with you and yours and you have a great weekend. 

Monday 4 September 2023

Easy Hexagon Quilt Beginnings, Other Enjoyments

 While Tony had put in his order for beans on toast, sausage on the side, I really didn't know what I wanted. I'm the cook of course, so I could get myself the same or anything if it's here in the fridge/cupboard to be found. But nothing was appealing to me and staring into the fridge didn't help. Does that ever happen to you? In the end I made a large cup of tea and had a bowl of yogurt and fruit with a slice of marmalade sourdough toast. I know...a bit boring mainly because I eat so much of this. Do you have a go to kind of simple quick meal in times like that? Thanking you in advance for were so good with the snack recommendations before. 

Here are some things that are not boring that I am enjoying. 

I read this book and liked it. Beth is reading it now.

I decided to make an Easy Hexagon Quilt out of those aqua fabrics I showed you.  I'm done the quilting on Book Club. That's in the sewing room awaiting binding which I hope to get to this week so I began a few hexagons. These are such bright happy colours to work with. More next time about this and the free pattern I'm using.
This used to be our band-aid container till I bought a fancy new one. I love old tins! 

While cleaning the windows outside, I noticed I could see the old and the new through it. Hydrangeas dried and in a vase from maybe my second summer here when I'd read you could do that... still looking good, and the ever growing larger English Ivy brought from the farm. Looking very healthy thanks to the sunshine of summer.  As you can probably tell, I take a lot of satisfaction in trying to grow things...emphasis on the trying.
 And old me... hair still with a life of its own...hmm, maybe this is what my white hair will be like from now on. You can see my kitchen window view there behind me; this time of year the greens surround this house. Do you think the colour of the hydrangeas could be called saffron?
I've changed up the order of my early morning activities.  I'm now having my swim before the walk. It's better to get it done early I've found as things come up some days and then I feel pushed to fit it in. The birds join me...the hawk I glimpse in the back field from time to time flew low above me one morning. What a treat!  Ned joins me-such a quiet fellow-doesn't bark or make a sound. Just lies down (he's a dog that will always choose lying down over sitting), contemplating his life; hope he thinks it's a good one. I certainly do.
And I hope your holiday weekend has gone well too.