Thursday, 19 April 2018

I Am So Lazy

Or more nicely phrased...a day off from the Sewing Room.

Yesterday morning, with the snow gently falling just like in January, I was so lazy I sat the morning away.  Surfed on the internet and went deep into the quilting blogs of the Netherlands where one beautiful quilt after another enticed me onwards. And where I learned atelier means studio.

 New to Me

Then I explored a  completely new to me thing, looking at wigs online.  Yes,wigs and I learned so much...they are usually named a female name which is kind of cute, and sadly, you can't get real human hair wigs in greys or whites because they don't dye it at all.  They all look really really good in the youtube videos.  I'm thinking if I got one, it would just be so fake, so wiggy.
 But I am tempted...imagine having great hair just by giving your head a shake!

This is Patti who is very popular in the wig wearing world....I have no idea if beachy waves are still a thing or not.  But who knew you can style synthetic wigs.


 I asked hubby what did he think of me wearing a wig; I wondered if it would bother him to have a wig wearing wife.  He said he thought it a good idea...it could keep my head warm, especially in the winter so I wouldn't need a hat.  Such a practical man.

I'm only thinking of wigs because of this higher forehead of mine.  Really at some point, I will be half bald up there.  I recently bought this product to help textorize my hair...Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray...if you look it up, I did pay that exorbitant price for it too. Sadly I don't like the smell which stays with you for a while.  I haven't given it a real test yet because of having to keep wearing my wool hats but so far, it is definitely making my hair look thicker.



The only thing that stirred me from the chair was making more coffee and Rex and Murphy pleading to me with those little squealing sounds they make to take them for a walk.  I just can't say no when they start doing that.


Ventured out but didn't go far...just filled the bird feeder (the squirrels have broken the anti-squirrel one so it's in Hubby's workroom for repairs) which had heavy usage during the last couple of days, including a couple of deer.
The freezing rain had left a coating of ice over everything just like last February's storm. We kept breaking through a layer of icy snow and I worried the dogs might cut their paws.

Can you see the icy shine?


I came back and sat right down again and started on this....Do you do jigsaws online?  I do but usually just to fill a couple of minutes here and there.


But I was cleverly listening to my audiobook at the same time, technically reading (or not).  Which made me realize I mostly listen to books these days. Have I become too lazy to read?
This one is keeping my attention...interesting and well written.

                                            Image result for The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

I did look up border ideas for the snowball quilt and made some links in Evernote about them.  I have enough material to do Flying Geese.  What do you think?
Border ideas for quilts

And Susan Carlson's way of making artsy collage quilts.  I have an abiding interest in them but feel if I tried it, it would turn out a hot mess.  Now LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color excells at this sort of thing.


and watched this too

A bird actually doing more sewing than I did that day!

How do Thursdays come around so fast! Time to link up with Not Afraid of Color  and happy Thursday musings.




Sunday, 15 April 2018

Least Favourite Pattern

One of the forums I follow posed the question do you have a quilt design you hate.

  I was surprised by all the dislikes for Sunbonnet Sue which definitely led the race but second was the Bow Tie pattern which I think is so cute.  Some people named the Snowball block. And a lot of people don't like boxy designs, chevrons or arrows in their quilting.

It made me think about what I don't care for especially.  I think it would have to be crosses or patterns that resemble crosses. Why? ...as a teacher I hated marking work wrong, or maybe it has to do with my church background and the cross symbolism.  I don't know.

Here is my Cross block for the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt way back in 2015...This is Nan on the design wall and looking a bit wobbly but really wasn't that bad.  She is totally unpressed because I can see the ironed seam still showing marking the center to line her up.



And conversely, what is it about star blocks that I love!  I haven't seen a star pattern that I've disliked.
Here is Coral, also for the FWS. Both these were made with EPP.


 What about you? Is there a pattern you just don't care for?? I'd be interested to know if you also dislike the leading contenders I've mentioned.

Tulips inside the house- a gift from Daughter.  By the looks of it, it will be a while here before there are tulips outside.  That glare is from the fresh 10 cm of snow covering the ground! 



So there is still a feeling of needing comfort food.  I wonder when that will end this year.  Yesterday I made this combination.  Chicken red curry soup with cabbage and pitas with hummus and sundried tomatoes.
Is this a meal you would call comfort food?


Slow stitching embroidering the last bits on my Garden of Contentment blocks. Almost done.


As we brace ourselves here for what the forecasters have upgraded from a freezing rain warning to an Ice Storm, I'm hoping you are all snug with your stitching- warm or cool depending on your weather.

Enjoying the linky party at Kathy's Quilts where Kathy talks about what resting really means these days.
Also joining Caroline at Sew Can She where she has found a fabric shop while on her southern cruise and with Love Laugh Quilt where Beth shows lovely small quilts made with scraps and orphan blocks.
Also linking with busy Myra at Busy Hands Quilts who is offering a Giveaway.  And with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts where Judy, who is now 75 years young, is showing a very cute Apples table runner and with Em's Scrapbag where Em is using nothing fancy just ordinary objects as quilting templates.
Always so much to see and learn from these wonderful sites.







Thursday, 12 April 2018

Quiet Days

As I went about my business yesterday, doing this-

trying out my Indigo Snowball blocks on an actual bed and feeling pleased with the progress but knowing I have a ways to go just yet.


and looking at this photo of Murphy on the spare bed a couple of years ago and realizing once again that she can no longer jump up on beds,while Rex, though older, still can. But what a silken beauty she still is!


And glancing at these guys that have been sitting in a bowl for the last week.  What is it with avocados? I love them but find (like Goldilocks) they are either too hard or too soft.


And enjoying this meal....Chinese take out; something I still appreciate for those  times when we need a change from my cooking.


And checking in with the Indiana Barred Owls. That little white splotch in the middle is three little owlets.  Note how they are surrounded by a well stocked pantry. Both parents are great hunters, much to their good fortune.

View image on Twitter
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Looking through my Quilt of Belonging book; admiring the beautiful block for Australia where Lyn Prichard featured  in delicate embroidery 11 of the possible amazing  22,000 native species in that country.


block_90_australia

And loving how Hope Brans and Carol Campbell chose the two traditional forms that exemplify American textile art in the United States of America block- the patchwork quilt and the embroidered sampler. And the words included...how important they are.
                              block_116_united-states-of-america

E pluribus unum~From many, one
I like words on quilts and samplers, do you?

And realizing what a quiet day it was but then
Image result for quiet days quotes



Always happy to link up with Thursday Likes at Not Afraid of Color and Brian's Home.  Also linking with Esther's Quilt BlogPowered by QuiltingThe Inquiring Quilter and It's a Small Town Life





Sunday, 8 April 2018

Garden Growing of the Quilty Kind

Bright sun in all the windows belies the cold outside.  Two things about that cold...still must bundle up with gloves and hats and the ground is slate hard so no clearing or digging yet.  It's also helping the patches of snow to hang on and the pond to stay frozen.  I watched two ducks fly over, dip down and keep on flying.

But I am getting to work lots on "gardens" inside the house.

I have this piece up to date...the Friendship Garden BOM by Kathleen Tracey.  This was a great exercise for me in machine piecing and I was pleased when it went together easily, not perfect mind you, but done.


I also worked hard on my Garden of Contentment blocks from Allie Oops.  Some got a start on their borders and it is enjoyable to work with pretty flowery material.


I will continue to work on the central block embroidering the words In the Garden of Contentment today.  On her blog, Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life, Allie explains the significance of each word she chose for each block.  There is power in such words.

Spring sunshine is so welcome!
In my pet chair cosy with my granny square afghan covering Granny's chilly legs. LOL  

I hope to have this project all done this month.

On a very sad note, Cheri Payne is now in hospice care. I am a member of the Facebook group, Quilts by Cheri Friendship Group, and there are regular updates on her health.  I've mentioned before that Cheri has been offering lots of her patterns free on that site with many of us joining several SAL's she has hosted in the last couple of years. You might know Cheri for her many quilting books and primitive style patterns -here is a Pinterest Link if you'd like to take a peek.

Joining other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts and also the wonderful stitchers at Cooking Up QuiltsSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsQuilting is More Fun Than Housework, and Love, Laugh, Quilt.








Thursday, 5 April 2018

Sweet, Sweet Thursday

I have had a soft resolution since January-that being to spend an hour a day outside in the fresh air no matter the weather.  I have done well with this goal and usually split the time into two walks with the dogs.  I don't know if this has helped but can safely say now the winter has passed with no illness or sinus infections.

Near the pond on Tuesday; Rex is definitely slowing down (sadly).
However, my mood took a nose dive last week and I was under a cloud for a few days.  What is that? Could it still be hormones this many years past menopause.  In my case it is not depressed exactly, just very flat and quiet. My worries and fears are pretty constant so it also isn't exactly that.
I seem to be rightening myself now thankfully which always happens, though this is a little quicker than I'm used to. Even Hubby said don't worry you'll be yourself soon.  I feel lucky that, to date, living in this body it is like that.
This gives me fresh sympathy for those who suffer with depression...it is simply an awful feeling.

All Done!
I have all the blocks of A Patchwork Year finished. I took them downstairs while I watched tv and went through each to be sure I didn't miss a stitch here or there.  I'm at a bit of a loss now for an ongoing embroidery project.


KimKat Designs on Etsy has this cardigan/kimono/robe that caught my eye. I like the idea of something well made, ageless and light and airy (and covers body parts) because really we will be getting warm weather sometime.  But on second thought, it's too chic for me and my life here at the wooden house.
 But I know not for some of you.




The Indiana Barred Owls are getting close to hatching. One of the eggs moved by itself yesterday!
Why do I love owls, I wonder. I like my owl mug, especially the amount of tea it can hold.


I am thinking of getting back into watercolours (have been for a while). I lost all my gear and have been reluctant to reinvest. However, younger daughter bought me one like this from Lee Valley Tools and I've been eyeing it sitting in the corner of the sewing room.

Image result for camera lucida

I saw these the other day and think I'd like them too.... Intense Pencils for watercolour.  Another Michael's coupon could be used for it, I'm thinking.  Their versatility intrigues me...a regular coloured pencil that transforms into watercolours with a little water and also can be used on fabric.

Derwent : Inktense Pencil : Tin Set of 24
What's stopping me from getting back into it...I don't know. I know that though not particularly talented,  I loved the process.  Anyway, it is fun to consider the possibility and have another thing to contemplate and look forward to.  Having hobbies and things to look forward to are definitely ways to bring positive energy into life...especially for those days when it is not easy to feel upbeat.

Thanks for all the pointsetta advice I got from so many of you...and this link.
Here is a pretty good article on how to keep a pointsetta alive from one Christmas to another. I will enjoy trying this out. So far, so good.

And on that note...
I keep meaning to say this; I appreciate your comments so much. ( It is a little like writing into a void to not hear from anyone.)  I have to also say a big thank you to those of you who can't comment directly on a post but take the time to email me. It is so much fun to check my email these days because of you all.
I am thankful every single day for these connections.

Have a peek at more I Like Thursday stuff over at Not Afraid of Color.
Also linking with Brian's Home BlogConfessions of a Fabric AddictBusy Hands QuiltsIt's A Small Town Life,  and Crazy Mom Quilts.  Thanks for hosting all!











Sunday, 1 April 2018

Sweet Sunday Tulip Love

Down came the Christmas hangings(finally!) and up went a Spring and Summer one.  This is called Tiptoe Through the Tulips and the pattern is from Allie-oops Designs.


Truthfully this tulip hanging below in our bedroom, is up year round. That is my Attic 24 Granny Stripe crocheted blanket there which is so warm in the winter.  

And on my "design wall", more tulips- my Crazy Quilt Journal Project 'page' for March.  I wanted something vintage in theme with the old fashioned "thinking of you" phrase added. I thought of the green for March and bright red tulips for spring but the red and green kind of overcame the block.  Now I think it is an even better Christmas block.  This is what happens when I'm left to my own devices!


Check out Diann's post at Little Penguin Quilts for more tulip love...she made a lovely one from these video instructions at the wonderful Missouri Quilt Company. Diann is a superb piecer.


This is all from me today. My worries have gotten the better of me it seems and I am having to work extra hard to keep myself in order.


Hope this is a sweet Sunday for you in more ways than one!

It is also sweet to join linky parties at Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsCooking Up QuiltsSew Can SheFree Motion By the River and Bambi's Show and Tell Monday



Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mary's Favourite Words-Gratitude and Praise

This week started with two feet planted in winter. Below freezing wind chills but a lot of sun which helped to compensate.  The sun is glorious to see and yay to natural Vitamin D. But then the rains came...I heard a strange sound on the roof (which is metal) and realized it was pouring rain.  Ahh, springish weather.

New to Me

I've now come across two articles about Plogging, a Swedish idea that is taking hold in North America. An eco-friendly way to help rid the environment of rubbish...pick up any trash on your jogging/walking route.  With spring thaw starting, it is the perfect time to promote this idea.  I only walk on this property really and we've cleared it of any odd bits that didn't get cleared before us. But I think this is a good idea.

Plogging-Jogging and Picking Up Trash



I got a small start on the Sarah Fielke Grasshopper BOM.  Just tried out this little combination below on the right.  Four of these have to be made but I've discovered I would like to see what is ahead before committing to this.  So I'm waiting for the next directions before sewing these together which maybe shows my lack of confidence in my choices. Anyone else do this with mystery stitch alongs?

This is to be hand sewn.  That is August block of A Patchwork Year there on the left in its final stage. Down to the last one and happy to say I'm still enjoying it.



I got this in the mail ...just about the only good mail I get these days. Ours seems to have degenerated to just flyers and such.  Is it the same for you?
Anyway, Quiltmania does not disappoint and this issue of Simply Vintage too is packed with lots of interesting projects...the theme one of welcoming spring.




I know many of you are fans of Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize winning and best selling poet in America. She is also quite private and led a quiet life with her partner, the photographer, Molly Malone Cook.
 This poem, which speaks to the futility of worry, has long been a favourite of mine.  I shared it in a post several years ago and I heard from many who liked it too. I keep a copy in whatever is my current journal. I read it and try to remind myself to be relaxed enough to just go out and sing(figuratively, not literally for me).  Speaking of which, I have a little story (I hear Hubby saying, Of course you do!) about me and singing; I will share it soon.
Image result for mary oliver poem I worried a lot

Here is a link to what I think may be a rare event-Mary, at 75, talking about herself .  Interview with Mary Oliver  I loved her modesty, lack of pretension and feelings about the land. I thought it all wonderful.

I hope your worries are few and  you have something to sing about as we face two of my favourite seasons...spring and autumn depending on where you are in this crazy/wonderful world of ours.

It's a thankful Thursday over at Not Afraid of Color. Also linking with beautiful stitching shown at  Sew Fresh QuiltsFree Motion By the River, Stitch All the Things, and Quilt Fabrication.