Thursday, 30 November 2017

OMG,Thrift Store Woolies and First Merry Christmas

My November One Monthly Goal was completed a week early.  I really like the look of each block of my Patchwork Year BOM individually quilted and sashed.  One of my commentors said why don't you just leave each one and change them up monthly on a wall somewhere.  I checked around and found out some people have done just that with their 12 blocks.  I would embroidery the month on each one in that case. I have lots of time to make up my mind about the final presentation.


 So Pot Holder quilting is a success but I won't know completely till I decide to actually stitch them all together.  My, I love working on this Kathy Schmitz project so much. (The sides are not as wonky as this looks!)


Meanwhile I do admit I enjoyed the challenge of getting something done in a set time frame.  I will join the December One Monthly Goal over at Elm Street Quilts with this next plan for December.

My Scandinavian Christmas project....do I dare say that I will have the blocks stiched and sewn together in the form of a flimsy by January. Well, that will be the plan.

With the downturn in temperatures, I am into sweaters and staying warm.  Here is my very thrifty purchase at a local charity shop.  It is a Woolrich cardigan which you would know can fetch a pretty penny but I paid $10 for it. It fit me perfectly and I loved the colour- a deep burgundy.  I also loved the embroidered flowers on pockets and elbow patches. After a good soak in Woolite, it was ready to wear.
 (Btw, my hands are not insanely big like this picture seems to show which reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld episode about the date who had "man hands"- link is  here if you'd like to see what I'm talking about.  I loved that show.)



I like that skirt I'm wearing.  It was no bargain but I've been wearing it for a few years and still like it.  From the Sundance catalogue where you might like to check out the artisan jewelry section especially the personalized items.  I love the way jewelry can really mean so much.  For instance do you like this?

                          A men's personalized pewter cuff bracelet with appealing sheen and fine lettering.

Meanwhile a little Christmas crept into my life as I got to attend the local town Santa Claus Parade last Saturday.
I imagine this is a typical event happening in small towns all over North America and that thought makes me smile.

 This year's theme was the Canada 150th anniversary and there were just enough marching bands, bag pipes, and carollers, all of which I love.  The happy smiles on all the faces, young and old, and everyone calling out Merry Christmas was wonderful to be a part of.

Image result for carleton place santa claus parade

And these dancers, cleverly decked out to look like the RCMP, our Canadian police force, were amazing.  (photo by Robert McDonald)

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, night and outdoor


I also love linking this post with Not Afraid of Color,  Elm Street QuiltsIt's A Small Town Life,  My Quilt InfatuationNeedle and Thread Network and Good and Random Fun.
Thank you all for hosting!


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Embroidery, Cones and Roast "Beast"

A light snow covered the ground this morning and it was minus 5 degrees...brisk but very invigorating for my walk. The dogs love to sniff all the new smells overnight creatures wandering our trails must leave and their mood is one I can describe as joyful.  I can't help but sort of match them somewhat in thinking too, yes, isn't this all wonderful.

I've been noting an abundance of evergreen cones on our trees...where none were last year.


The belief is that this is a sign of a hard winter with lots of snow and the extra cones higher up on the tree are food to help sustain wildlife throughout such hard times. Other parts of the province are also reporting lots of cones this year, so much so that the Weather station had a meteorologist address the issue.

Of course he said this was a myth.  That in fact the extra cones are self preservation for the tree itself.  Having the cones higher than usual is another way of having them available for birds to carry the seeds wide.  But he did admit it was a very nice myth.

Here is a link to read more about conifer cones if in the unlikelihood that you are a nature nerd like me and would find the fact that it is the females that are higher on the branches interesting!

So appropriate that I am working on a snowman today-still this week.  His scarf is giving me a bit of grief. For starters I think the cream colour is too close to his white so I'm going to change it to a darker cream in hopes it will not blend in with his body.  The stripes are kind of fiddly but doable.  I'm glad I didn't stitch any of this down till I had a good look through the camera's eye.



And chickens need wings and feathers still and the reindeer need eyes, mouths and saddle blanket decorations on this one.  There is a surprising amount of hand work to finish these blocks but all of it enjoyable.


I know my American friends would have feasted on turkey recently, but we had a roast "beast" on Friday. Just so you know we are not always eating soup, lol.  That yellowish stuff is mustard pickles...any of you like that?  Hubby had never had them till I came along and now loves them like I do. It's a little hard to tell but there is turnip, carrots, peas and potatoes here.


I have registered for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018.  I've visited the site several times and looked at the wonderful works of art really that some have made of their "pages".  I'm looking forward to it and would hope to see some of you there too.
 The CQJP 2018 link is here if you'd like to check it out.

If you know of other BOM's that you think would interest me, please let me know.  I love the idea of a block a month which is manageable to me.
Happy Stitching All!

So thankful to link this post with all the happy stitchers at Love Laugh QuiltFree Motion By the RiverStitch All the ThingsThe Quilting Room With Mel and Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.  Thanks for hosting all!







Thursday, 23 November 2017

Something of Mom's and I like Free Patterns

My mother did quite a lot of cross stitch in her day and loved it very much.  When she downsized she gave me a bag of pieces she had completed but never framed.  I thought of them the other day and got them out to have a look.  I had thought of framing something of hers for my sewing room (inspiration) and realized one of the smaller patterns would work well for a pin cushion.

The message is a good one for these uneasy times...praying or whatever it is we have to do to soothe ourselves and feel that calm heads will prevail and that good will overcome no matter what.  Smile


This was the simplest of ideas to stitch together.  I must be thinking of Christmas because the red and green in the fabric jumped out at me. It was a good sized piece I found in my scrap box (while searching for something else...which seems to be the way I find a lot of things these days, lol).  The plain though cheery red backing was from an old shirt that I disassembled.


Now I have something else of Mom's near by and when my eye falls on it, I always think of her.  And it is nice to have a finish, though tiny, in the midst of all my long term projects.

There are oodles of wonderful pin cushion patterns and one of the cutest patterns is at Tilda's World.
The Link is here.  Of course her fabrics add to the beauty of this.  I've already downloaded this pattern.

Pincushion

You came along with me for my little journey making Sew Spooky from the free October patterns provided by Cheri Payne.  Cheri has also put together a Christmas Sew Merry Sew Along and again generously shares the patterns for 6 blocks.  You can find them at the Quilts By Cheri~Friendship Group under Files at Facebook.
There is also a Santa Claus pattern there that people are using to make wonderful hangings. They say it is a very quick and easy project.
Cheri is still battling serious health issues but continues to be optimistic and encouraging to all of us!

I like this very cute Yarn Basket ornament for the knitters out there.
 Here is the link to the free pattern at Ravelry.














And talented Caroline from Sew Can She has a free pattern and tutorial for a potholder pattern( or anything else you would like to make from it) on Craftsy; you can check this out when you go looking for the Black Friday deals.   That link is here.
Log Cabin is one of my favourite patterns.  Is it one of yours?




And Hexies seem to be everywhere these days!

Well, I'm not going to be everywhere today but I will be shopping.  According to the calendar it's time to take gift shopping seriously.

And to all my American friends, enjoy this wonderful day laden with a tradition of saying thank you and that we all like!

Image result for vintage thanksgiving day pictures


Thankful too for friends who host link up parties like the following:-
 Not Afraid of Color             Good and Random Fun       It's a Small Town LIfe                        Quilting is More Fun Than Housework    Sew Fresh Quilts     Busy Hands Quilts
Sew Can She

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Four Reindeer Later And Unamused Hubby

So I said to Hubby, November will be the month to get a lot of things done...stuff we've been kind of putting off.  On the short list-
                                          flu shots
                                          winter service the cars
                                          put away the patio chairs(definitely not going to be sitting outside                                                          anymore)

       But look at this! We've been caught out on two of these things.
 The view from my Kitchen window, today November 19, as we are experiencing our first winter snowfall. I've enjoyed a long lovely fall so I'm thankful for that and that the snow held off as long as it did...a help to all the little critters.



And another job on the list for inside-strictly mine- clean the oven...we all have ovens so I thought you might be interested in my little experiment.  This, byw, is a job I detest. But I don't like a really dirty oven so needs must!

Perhaps you've seen all the links for cleaning your oven with more natural products, not those awful chemical oven cleaners; they also offer great savings too, I might add.

 I decided to give one of the concoctions a try.  The one I mixed was part baking soda, vinegar and a squirt of dish detergent.  I put the temperature on 200 for about 20 minutes beforehand because  I think I read somewhere that a warm oven is easier to clean.
My oven before


During which I left it for 24 hours. No, I did not scrimp on the mixture.




And After


No not really much cleaner.  The dirt that's gone is what I scrubbed off myself at the end.
 Oh well, I satisfied my own curiosity.  If you know of a cleaner that does not have those harsh fumes and is not so hard on skin, please let me know.

Snack time...sometimes simple is so tasty...cheese and tomato under the broiler in said slightly cleaner oven. (But I must say it smells nice.)
 This goes well with a bowl of soup and especially so on a snowy November day.


I seem to have a lot of hand stitching projects just now.  I usually rotate them day about.  The Scandinavian Christmas blocks are moving right along with two of the four blocks at this stage...
Lynette's reindeer have been so cute to stitch.

Block 2 taking shape. Cross stitching the borders was fun to do. Who would have thought mushrooms would look so at home in a winter scene!



Now I have to bring Block 1 along.  Today's slow stitching will be more reindeer ears and a snowman's scarf.  So appropriate for the weather!



But I confess I've been a bit distracted by this (amongst other things!).  The Crazy Quilting Journal Project  or CQJP for short.  I'd looked closely at this last year when the 2017 project was announced so it is high on my radar for this year.  I love the creativity involved with both the quilting and the surface stitching that make up Crazy Quilting.

Here is the link if you would like to read more about this one block a month project.

Hubby is hard of hearing anyway and presently has an ear plugged.  No speaking in the house.  Here is what I write him at one point. (I'm such a nerd.)


He was not amused.

Lots of slow Sunday stitching to check out at Kathy's Quilts. Caroline at Sew Can She has made a very cute little tote with a tutorial for us as well as hosting a link party.  And Beth at Cooking Up Quilts shares how to beautifully repair an old quilt. And you can see a collection of lovely things including the most incredible blue and white Jane quilt at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. Christmas quilting is starting to creep into the Monday Making list at Love Laugh Quilt. As well Connie has this post of free Christmas patterns  at Free Motion By the River.
 Last but not least, Susan at Quilt Fabrication has announced a giveaway next week, November 29th, to celebrate #100 of Midweek Makers, her link party.














Thursday, 16 November 2017

Good Enough and Lily Love

New to Me!

I love these shoes and my feet are thanking me now that I've decided to forego slippers and wear shoes in the house. I am much more sure footed as a result too. I now have a collection of Sketchers for indoor wear.
My constant companion is trying to figure out what are we looking at.





In that photo I'm wearing one of my favourite skirts that has swirly designs in pretty mauves and purples and black...it is an inexpensive Joe Fresh  purchase. I included the link because online there is a Womens Plus section that I think is so sensible to offer. Imagine buying clothes in the grocery store though!  It is almost like we are returning to the old "needle to an anchor" type stores only on a far grander scale.
Anyway, back to the swirls...there is true quilt inspiration there if in the right hands.


Lily Love

I didn't show you any of the day lilies that bloomed last summer.  They came in late because of the rainfalls but the wetness did not dim their beauty. There is a clump or two of just about every colour here.



Knitting News

I really like how the Ticking Stripe Scarf (my knitting project from Purl Soho) is turning out.  I can only get one row knit during an hour long episode of one of my shows... each row being 490 stitches. I also admit I've ignored it the last two weeks in lieu of time spent getting a couple of other projects up and running.  But it's back in my line of vision for this weekend.  This main body part has to measure 20 inches before repeating those pretty coloured stripes again. The wool is very soft which is essential for a scarf.


Good Enough

I really like this little piece made by Christine Kelly and shown at her Gentle Work blog. Her posts are scarcer these days but oh so pretty when they do show up. I love how Christine uses vintage linens in her creations...recycling and reusing with such beautiful results.
 This notion of "good enough" as in -is it good enough has crept into my life from time to time...is my mothering, my food, my teaching, my writing, my stitching, etc etc. etc. good enough?

So pretty and a reminder that our best will be good enough.

                           

Hope all is well and definitely "good enough" in your life!

There are lots of other little things to love, ogle and give a try at Not Afraid of ColorLittle Things Thursday , It's A Small Town Life and Home and Garden Thursday.



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sad News, Autumn's Call and Painted Lady

There is something pleasant about walking in November sunshine.
Maybe because the leaves are now down, nesting is done, frost has brushed the ground several mornings and yet here is a bright crystal clear day with faint warmth on my shoulder.  But there is a tinge of sharpness in the air that makes me walk a little faster, breathe a little deeper and wish I'd remembered to wear gloves.  When the dogs and I come back in the house, Hubby tells me we've brought the cold in with us.

Yes, now we are deep into Autumn here in Canada.
Here is my version of Crabapple Hill Studio's pattern Autumn's Call.  I worked this piece in 2013 using crayon tinting backing the embroidery.


The  2017 International Quilt Festival in Houston mounted a beautiful display of 75 quilts made by Sue Garman to honour her memory.  As I watched the Aurifi+l video I was a little sad but just completely in awe of her wonderful work.  This is the Aurifil Facebook link if you'd like to check it
out.
Here is the last design Sue was working on, Blue Heaven.  BTW, her daughter is continuing the Sue Garman Blog with lots of quilting info.

.                          

I was also sad to hear Nancy Zieman's news.  An icon in  the quilting/sewing world, she is retiring due to serious illness.

                         Image result for sewing with nancy

Her personal note to us is here.

 I go way back with Nancy to my years of living in Labrador and when we finally got PBS included in the lineup.  I loved to catch her t.v. show and I've been getting the Nancy's Notions catalogues which she started, for eons.

I'm boiling the kettle as I write this to you btw. And I am also cleaning my oven supposedly as I sit here...more about that later in the week.

I am now keeping a few stitching projects afloat.  So far, so good.  No sinking.  LOL

Today's slow stitching will concentrate on my Painted Lady project.  All the tiny hearts have been blanket stitched since this photo was taken.  It's  ready for the embroidery inside the petals which just couldn't be more relaxing stitching.


I will finish this to the quilting point before Christmas which will be fine for now.
Like so many of you, I have Christmas stitching I really want to work on.

And I'm off to enjoy a mug of tea; this time Earl Grey, which is one of my favourites. 


Hope you get to enjoy a favourite something or other today too!

So grateful to the hosts at Small Quilts and Doll QuiltsThe Needle and Thread NetworkStitch All the ThingsEm's Scrapbag, and The Quilting Room With Mel for giving us sewists lovely places to meet up on the web.  And Kathy at Slow Stitching Sunday has an interesting post on lighting...a topic of much interest to all of us.



Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ahh, The LIttle Things One Loves


My world just lately has included these little and great things.  

 As a Nana, I don't take it for granted for a single minute that I can have a grandchild actually trick or treat at my door.  I'm the one who moved away from friends and family to be near them after all.  So this little Spiderman is special to me.

The temperatures are slowly dipping and we have had two mornings now with frost on the ground. So soup simmering season is here.  This one turned out so well I thought I'd share it.  I had a chicken carcass I used for the basis and the rest of the recipe is here.
 It is Ree's recipe; you might know her as the Pioneer Woman.  We both thought it was delicious and so hearty too.
Pioneer Woman's Easy Mulligatawny Soup

Hubby has a tiny problem with hypoglycemia especially if he overexerts himself (he'll smile at that last bit because he feels so little means overexerting these days.)  Anyway, we have found these particular candy to be useful for those moments.  Ginger Chews, an all natural type low glycemic candy we take on outings and seem to do the trick.  And like the line from the very old Irish Spring soap commercial..."I like them too".

I'm always on the look out for birds and was happy to watch this one in the back yard.  A Hairy Woodpecker- that I spied on for ages as it pecked its way up and down this large tree.  Quite noisily too I might add.

And I've been instigating a midnight lights out policy for myself.  Sometimes I need a little help going to sleep so play music videos very softly such as this one. ( Insomnia continues to be an issue for me despite my efforts. )





                                          Image result for rest and be thankful quote


I am thankful to be able to link with Not Afraid of ColorLittle Things Thursday, and It's A Small Town LIfe as we celebrate taking pleasure in small things.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The One With the Crooked Eye

We are rained in today! After a glorious fall day I spent in the garden yesterday, we are now under a rainfall alert for today. I am so happy I got to muck about in the fresh air yesterday.

You know at times I've lamented finding clothes to suit/fit me?  Someone mentioned to me why not sew your own clothes.  She even gave me a link to a free pattern (thanks Marilyn who doesn't have a blog) and now I'm passing this information along to you.

The pattern is for a full gathered skirt and available from Pattern Runway.  Don't know about you but this would definitely suit my style. I wear a lot of skirts and jumpers because they accommodate my ample hip/thigh region (isn't that a nice way to write about fat thighs!).
EasyGatheredSkirt
I wonder how hard is it to sew your own clothes.  I think of words like interfacing and inset sleeves and get kind of worried.  Zippers would definitely pose a challenge. I'm the one with a crooked eye remember. I've had to unsew a seam when sewing perfectly square Block A to equally perfectly square  Block B.

Amy at  Free Motion Quilting Adventures had a Tunic Challenge with her blogging friend Leah.  I really liked her final tunic and could definitely see myself wearing it.  Amy has some lovely FMQ videos too to check out btw.
She mentioned this book- The Tunic Bible, which claims this one pattern is all you need with interchangeable pieces.  It is available Here on Amazon if you want to give it a look.

                              


And Michele at William Morris in Quilting sewed herself the most beautiful tunic type tops as well. Her April 30th post shows two she made from Ikea fabric. I was so impressed.

So do you sew clothes for yourself?  Care to share about it..

Ok enough daydreaming, back to the real world...
I've been cutting freezer paper templates for the hearts in my Scandinavian Christmas.



And ironed them onto their chosen fabrics...18 on reds and 5 on creams.


 These are honestly such relaxing jobs.  I turned the edges while watching this handsome gent last night.

                                       Image result for george gently

Friday I got out my light box and traced a bunch of stuff.  Also relaxing.




I have the cross stitch edging on Block One traced.  A little bit fiddly.

Now have all the last three months for A Patchwork Year blocks traced and ready for stitching as well. Someone asked...I use a simple back stitch for my redwork.

Today though I will be hand stitching the sashing onto the Tweet Home block and also my Cornwall Cottage Sampler is calling out for some attention too.  So lots of stitching happening on this rainy November day. Actually a perfect slow stitching kind of day.
Hoping something perfect is happening in your day.

Happily linking this post with the very pretty Sew Can She,  BOM's Away at What a Hoot Quilts, Love, Laugh, Quilt and Crazy Mom Quilts sites.  Thank you all for hosting my favourite way to visit fellow stitchers.





Thursday, 2 November 2017

Do You Know This?

I bet you know what a group of crows is called but do you know what a group of ravens is??? I thought of this because I have several check out the feeders from time to time.  Immediately all the other bird activity ceases...they are so striking and I've noticed the blackness of them even their legs.  They don't travel in any numbers particularly but even so have a swagger about them just like bad boys on the block.



New to me and I think it is something you might be interested in.  I'm rather sparse on beauty products in general but I have used moisturizer all my life and have tried so many.

 I spied this one, L'Oreal Rosy Tone Daily Moisturizer, in a magazine, and made note of it.  Because of my vitiligo, I have no melanin in my face from the neck up. The dermatologist who diagnosed me said when he first laid eyes on me, my you are very white.  I said something silly like well I am Caucasian because I had no clue at the time I had an actual condition.  So that is a long way to say that I am actually deathly pale and anything that promises to give me some rosiness is welcome.
 I found a jar at Walmart...and on a mark down so am giving it a try.



Well, I can't say it is giving me a rosy glow but it is one of the nicest moisturizers, very creamy and not greasy, that I have ever used. Also not causing any issues with my occasional bouts of rosacea. But maybe it feels good to me because I do have dry skin.   As for reducing lines, I'm a sceptic and really I've earned every line I have so they belong to me.

I took the below picture October 21.  I was so surprised to see an intact rose bloom while all the others have completely withered.  There are two bushes, one each side of the front walkway and they bloom the entire summer.  Another great perennial.



This is Rex, resting but eyes wide open.  He chose this spot because he can keep an eye on me sitting in the Pet Chair.  My Shih Tzus, while totally lovable, were never attentive like this.
Sadly I think he is slowing down and it makes me even more kind and solicitous of him.


On Facebook I've been getting the live feed from the Aurifil folks at the International Quilt Market.  Here is the link to their facebook page  Aurifil on Facebook where you can watch all of them.  It's neat to see the famous designers like Sarah Fielke and Tula Pink sharing sewing tips and chatting about their favourite tools, etc. 

Meanwhile I enjoyed watching this Moda video from a 2016 Quilt Market.  In particular, I liked seeing Anne Sutton here talking about her Sugar Plum fabrics and the new BOM she had designed for it.



Here is a look at that sweet quilt which I may have shown you before.  So Christmasy, heh.
                                 

A group of ravens???  An "unkindness" or "conspiracy".  Both certainly suit their rather intimidating demeanor. While I love learning new words such as this,  I am yet to have a conspiracy of ravens in my yard.

So happy to link this post with # 61 of Thursday Likes Posts at Not Afraid of Color , It's A Small Town LifeWilly Nilly Friday and Little Things Thursday.
 How fortunate we are to have such an array of happy things in our lives.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

OMG, A Patchwork Year and Autumn Finale

Before any stitching chat, you must allow me to brag a little about the beauty of my hometown -Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  But you don't have to take my word for it...here is a video made by my brother and sister- in- law that shows the autumn is beautiful in scenic western Newfoundland.

So a last look at Autumn 2017...



Completely new to me is this idea.  


I've been reading Wendy at The Constant Quilter talking about Potholder Quilting.  Well I just thought she was meaning "quilt as you go" so I admired her work and didn't think much else about it.  Then reading one of her posts it struck me..Potholder quilting is something different. Duh!
 You quilt and bind each block and then sew those completely finished blocks together.  Sort of like sewing potholders together.  What a neat idea!

I realized that my Kathy Schmitz A Patchwork Year Blocks would work perfectly for this technique.  So you know me, I had to give one a try.

Before I show you that...here is the October block which I'd meant to show you last week.  Yet another pumpkin; I know it has been pumpkin overload around here this past month!



I feel a little sentimental about these three little birds (this post will explain why) so this is the first one I've made into a quilt sandwich and begun to quilt.  I intend to sash half the blocks in red and the other half in the cream.

June Block


And a little close up of the hand quilting I'm attempting to do.



So I think for the first time I will link up with the pretty site Elm Street Quilts and join the challenge of meeting a stated One Monthly Goal in quilting.  I've visited the OMG list many times and dropped by some of you I've seen there; these link parties are a wonderful way to meet like-minded stitchers.

My One Monthly Goal for November is completing two of my Patchwork Year blocks the potholder way.
Happily linking with the folks at the Needle and Thread Network and Silly Mama Quilts this week.