Thursday, 15 February 2018

Thursday Somewhere Else

Here I am at older daughter's house for the week.  She is gone down south for a well deserved holiday; I think I told you she works with dementia patients and is about 15 years in at her current location.  It is challenging and yet very rewarding work.  I am staying with older grandson and looking after things for her.  Any time I get to be with the grandsons is special time for me; I am all too aware how fleeting these days are.

I love her house which is smallish... about 1700 square feet on the main level. I had an apartment put in the basement where I had intended to live - I even had a special room added for a sewing room. But then I met Hubby so it is just her and grandson living here. 
Though small, the house has some really neat features like three bow windows which add a lot to the kitchen, living room and master bedroom. There is a beautiful garden on three sides and farm fields in the back. 

A kitchen nook- marvelous light for stitching and to keep an eye on the bird feeders

Her cosy little den with comfy chairs, a Vermont castings stove and lots of books

 She loves to decorate and has lots of nifty things strewn about.

Sweet hand painted tiles for the stove back splash

Coming from the big wooden house, I feel like I'm in a bit of a doll house. And it is so manageable for cleaning too.
 I love looking at houses and architecture in general and follow a couple of  Pinterest boards featuring house plans and such.  Do any of you share my love of this stuff?

I have a couple of projects with me.  This is my idea for my February CQJP, a heart-big surprise...note the fancy template I cut myself.  I used scraps to put together this heart and now the fun begins to embroider it. My goal for this week is to finish this one.

So where does this Thursday, post Valentines, find you? What are you feeling?

Thursday likes abound at LeeAnna's Not Afraid of Color ; I'm always impressed with the array of things people are posting for the Thursday link up.
Also linking with the wonderful Esther's Quilt Blog-have you seen the beautiful quilt along project Esher is designing and sharing for free?

Sunday, 11 February 2018

No Reply Bloggers and Oh SoTalented Bloggers

I'm the no reply blogger in that title. But I have tried hard not to be.  Last week I wrote a question on the Blogger Help Forum (second time) requesting help with this issue.  Within minutes I had a reply and two links to read that explain it is basically my Google Plus status that doesn't allow some replies.  It is what it is, apparently.

But on to the talented boggers!

Allie Oops at Allie Oops Sweet Happy Life is the only one in my life who calls me Hon and I love it.  Allie has designed a sweet stitch-along called Garden of Contentment.  She has chosen such a pretty  spring-like "easy on the eyes" palette for it, I was instantly drawn. I've downloaded my patterns and am waiting to replace my printer toner to print them.  Btw, if you ever wanted to try your hand at applique, these patterns would be excellent to begin with.

                         Garden of Contentment

Yvonne at Stitch and Travel has published a book about where her interest in quilting has taken her around the globe.  She has made real friends of stitching folks wherever she has traveled and has even organized stitching travel jaunts herself. What a great achievement this book is for her!


Kathleen Tracey at A Sentimental Quilter has her latest book, A Prairie Journey, coming out in July.  It will celebrate the pioneering spirit in a number of small projects. I wish I could show you the cover; it would make you see why I was taken by it.

Back to my reality...I start out the day with a somewhat neat and tidy workplace; but by day's end it looks like this.  It's like at some point I have to have everything pulled out and piled around me. Thank goodness I can close the door on this when I need to, unlike in my dining room for a sewing room days.  I bet those Oh So Talented Bloggers don't do this! ( I hope I don't set off someone's OCD for neatness by showing this...which I've been known to do!  Anyone remember my Header photo of messy thread spools that someone asked I take down because it was driving her nuts!)

Anyway, I had fun making the thin stems for my Block 2 on Angie's Potted Flowers BOM using this little doohickey. I first read about the Bias Tape tool at the  Every Stitch blog; Ann is another talented Australian quilter turning out the most beautiful appliqued quilts and shares her methods and tools too which is very helpful.

After I got the hang of it, I enjoyed using it and will get the next largest size too.  Turns out a very nice stem with very little effort. And I remembered to cut the fabric on the diagonal!

A quick little video showing how it works. Nothing to it really.

Stitching down these stems and finishing the flower heads will take up stitching time today.  I am happy with the colours I've chosen for this block which makes it 2 for 2.

Hubby is feeling much better-cough almost gone and he is getting his energy back. Meanwhile, I seem to have the sniffles-drats!!

It wouldn't be a Sunday if I didn't link up with Kathy's Quilts and the other folks also sharing slow stitching projects. Also gratefully linking with Busy Hands QuiltsCrazy Mom Quilts, Cooking Up Quilts, The Needle and Thread Network and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

5 Ways to Combat February

Before I forget, the link to Ina Gartner's fabulous Beatty's Chocolate Cake is over on the right in the featured post. If you are a chocolate cake lover or have someone in the family who is, it is a terrific recipe...easy and delicious too.

Last weekend had me wearing my ice cleats on my boots and also doing some shovelling. The usual February mix of weather.  I decided to put out peanuts in the shell to lure the squirrels away from the bird feeders.  One small red squirrel found them first and had a field day.  Keeping myself amused with watching the wildlife and birds is definitely one way to keep February interesting. But if that doesn't turn your crank, maybe one of these ideas will.

 Hibernation is a great time to watch some great shows. 

We are currently watching these...

A Place To Call Home

                                      Image result for a place of her own  australian series on acorn


Image result for rosehaven tasmania

The Detectorists

Gentle and amusing...I love the inadvertent role the magpie is playing in Season 3.

Image result for the detectorists

Or catch these guys, the Grocery Girls, on Youtube. This one features the two sisters live for episode 52. I warn you there is a little melt down about menopause that caused Jodi to get a bit of flack from a viewer.
I love their enthusiasm and usually something gets said that makes me laugh out loud.


Dress warmly but cute.  

The warm part is easy for me.  It's the cute part that is hard for me; I'm not sure what is cute/appropriate/ nice etc. anymore. Do I have to consider my age in this as well??? Perhaps this is why I shop for clothes less and less and catch online sales at my safe places...LL Bean, Coldwater Creek and the like.
But I'm sure there are many of you out there who are nailing this one. Me not so much.

At least I know my socks fit the bill.

Ogle beautiful patterns and Dream about stitching them. (Cost: Zilch) 

Sigh, such an easy one for stitchers. There are always beautiful patterns. But look at this one younger daughter gave me for Christmas... Wow.  What an excuse to start fabric looking/shopping.
Yes, THE Caswell Quilt as designed by the talented Corliss Searcey. Each block can stand on its own as a little picture. Now this is a project to take me into my 70's.

Keep busy...keep the fingers stitching or whatever

For me this one is a given.
I finished my January page for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project.

My block got shown at the site- Crazy Quilt Journal Project on Wednesday and there are some beauties to behold there.  I'm not crazy(lol) about the over the top embellishments on some blocks tho' I do admire them. I am happy that I can still lay a half decent satin stitch but I was a little disappointed that my block turned out so conventional in the end.  Perhpas since this project will last all year, I will get more creative and inventive as I move along.

I also finished the second part of the Kathleen Tracy Friendship Garden Mystery stitch along.  It involved putting strips around the center block. I could do that. ('Scuse the wrinkles.)

Continuous Small Treats

Iris Murdoch put it so nicely... I love the "continuous small treats" idea.
I learned to appreciate little things first way back when I began my teaching career in an isolated village.  The irregular but so anticipated mail would bring me so much pleasure... for instance I remember how happy I was to get a box of Earl Grey tea bags a friend sent me.
 ( Oh, I'm such an old fogey!)

Image result for iris murdoch quote one of the secrets of a happy life

I have lost count-hope I've given you 5! To combat February I employ all these and so much more!

And it is always a perk to read how others are making their way through February combatting either heat or cold, finding things to love, or projects to stitch.  Check out how folks are doing that at Not Afraid of Color, Confessions of a Fabric AddictJust  Julie LouSuper Mom No Cape and Em's Scrap Bag.   .

Sunday, 4 February 2018

February Fun (Remembered)

Friends in the northern hemisphere....Did you go snow sliding as a kid?

 Growing up in Corner Brook, with its snowy, hilly terrain, I got to slide many days of the winter months.  I loved it.  I lived in the far left hand corner there on the outskirts. (Like Lincoln, I had a very long walk to school each day, lol.)

Image result for corner brook winter images

  I didn't have a sleigh like in the picture further below but a toboggan and I remember well the Christmas I got a new one, a five seater so I could always have a couple of friends on the back with me.
Image result for toboggan

 There were no  parents with us, just us kids on the hill at the end of our road and we had to negotiate our own issues with each other.  A couple of the boys were speed demons and we seemed to know to step aside; if there were bumps we just got over it and carried on. Occasionally some kid would be crying about something and go home but before you knew it, they would be back again.

The only time a grown up was heard from was when one called us home for a meal.

Some of the kids did not have a sleigh or toboggan but used a piece of plastic or linoleum (on its shiny side) and preferred it as it made them very swift.  There would be bragging about who's piece could go faster.

Image result for vintage february image
I love the colour palette of this illustration. Do you?
What a different world it is now!

On Facebook people are starting a countdown to spring.  I understand the longing but try not to do that as we really can't wish our time away. It will get there before we know it.

And proof of that is this: I was thrilled to see first buds on these Kolanchoe plants.  I have nursed these (I now have three pots of them) from a tiny sprig given to me two years ago.  I followed the simple advice for wintering them indoors and it seems to have been successful. Mine are orange and I'm curious if the little plants I've gotten will also have orange blooms.

And speaking of flowers....Here are flower heads being put into place on my first pot of flowers.

 As always, I have an abundance of slow stitching needing my attention.

Hope that this sort of thing is all that requires your attention today too- nothing more pressing while like me, you reminisce about a happy childhood memory.

Happy too to link up with other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. And also linking with Cooking Up QuiltsBambi's Show and Tell MondayGone Stitchin'Katie Mae Quilts and What a Hoot Quilts.  It's a whole stiching world out there!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Together on a Thursday

Thursday with its nearness to Friday made it a great day in my working world.  I liked to do a house tidy up that evening so I could come home on Friday and have no pressing household chores to spoil the enjoyment of a weekend at hand.  Did you do that too? Do you do that?

And Welcome February!
Here is A Patchwork Year's February block ready to be sashed.  It has Forget Me Not on it and the hand is really not that wrinkled.

I like this illustration by Brett Ryder, a very talented UK artist. I learned his name a few years ago reading O magazine.
This one caught my eye because of the yellow house in the bottom much like the saltbox houses at home.  I love illustration type paintings...the eye has so much to take in.

o magazine unstuck quiz

Someone knows their quilting...linking meandering and stippling in this one is clever.

New to Me

The act of Mark Making.
  I read this post by Linda at Notes From Studio B.  Linda is marking 71 days till her 71st birthday with a small artistic drawing in black and white each day.  I was intrigued with this idea and went searching on the web.  I know many of you keep journals and try to write/ stitch/ make something most days to mark the time in one way or another.
Turns out there are many sites featuring ways to make your mark. This was on Craftsy.
Mark making ideas
Self expression is so important and I wish it could be better preserved in school systems.

I've finished with the quilting of the Scandinavian Christmas and while I'm deciding on the binding material, I'm working on the Flowers in Pots BOM.  I've just finished appliquing the stems and this is such an awkward looking stage.  It will look so much better when the flower heads are sewn on.

Meanwhile, I am always struck by the generosity of stitchers. Here is another story of folks doing their part to support those going through a crisis.
Edith shares This post about ladies stitching Heart cushions for patients with breast cancer.  I think it would feel good to be on the receiving end.
As always getting together with the folks at Not Afraid of Color.
Also linking this post with Busy Hands Quilts.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Stitching Record 2017 and Elm Street's OMG

For my records, I put together what I made/finished in 2017.  Some of these projects were begun in 2016 and finished in the new year.  Lots of happy stitching memories here.

Christmas fabrics bright against the white.

Trying to be cool-and modern looking with left over Christmas fabrics.

Shiny and Brite pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios

Crocheted Hexagon Throw Inspired by Jane Brocket. I spent a fortune on that Australian wool but it is superior.

My Quilty 365...a circle a day project. I loved doing this and remember Hubby saying those birds would be the size of airplanes according to my scale.

"Strawberry Fields Forever" homage to the Beatles; I was 12 when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Using up scraps from the green bag.

Knitted scarves blanket which is on my bed these days.

Cheri Payne's cute Sew Spooky pattern for Halloween.

Anyone remember the Tuesday's Flowers applique project? I joined the 20 blocks and they are waiting patiently in a tote to be quilted; I need a huge piece of batting as it became quite large with the sashings.

Loved embroidering Nicola Jarvis' kooky kind of bird.

Me going rogue with my own version of wonky Christmas trees.

My version of  Allie Oops pretty Tulips pattern. I got to finish those leaves with the help of an internet friend, Patricia.
I feel like I'm missing something.

 I am thankful my fingers can still work; however a little ironic as today my trigger finger on my left hand woke me up with its tiny but persistent ache.  Sort of a little reminder- exercise all you want, you're not getting away that easily.

Meanwhile my OMG for January was to get the Scandinavian Christmas project all hand quilted.  Valiant though my efforts were, I did not make it.  Close- have just the right outer row of hearts and snowflakes to do.

Hard to get a good photo...this is large and a bit heavy now.

The good news is that my interest has not lagged; I still enjoy the stitching on it and I can see it will at least get to the sashing stage soon.  So this OMG is carried over to February.  And I'm adding finishing two more of my A Patchwork Year blocks.
So happy stitching all!

Happily linking this post with Sew Can She,  Elm Street QuiltsFree Motion By the River, and  The Needle and Thread Network.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Stranger Sighting, Sunday Stitching

I have a mouth that remembers if there is a final bite of some food or other left on a plate and usually can't wait to get back to it.  Is there a name for that?  Am I the only one with a mouth like that??? That idea along with other equally silly ones just occurred to me today.
I don't think I'm crazy but with mostly just the two of us here it might take a little while before crazy would get noticed.

Stranger News
I had many of you concerned about the stranger tracks on our property.  As it happened on Thursday as I was unloading the groceries from the car, this man stepped out of the woods and called to me. He is our mysterious walker and had wanted to ask permission to cross our property but our barking dogs had scared him off.

We wound up having a good chat and it was just as I'd thought.  He is in his early 80's with heart and respiratory problems who as he put it "is walking for his life".  He lives in a house backing the property behind us and though he knew the elderly couple, had never once availed of their trail for walking till now. Our laneway provides a perfect circular route for him so of course, I said yes to his question about him using it.  So I know his name and his address and I guess that doesn't make him a stranger any more.  I hope it is not too late for the walking to help.

Through my kitchen window...
I also had another stranger...this one a feathered fellow.  The squirrels have been overtaking the feeders and getting a little worrisome actually. I watched the black, gray and small red ones all vying for their turns Friday morning. Glancing out a little later, they had all disappeared. Searching about I spied why.  Sitting in the tree above the feeders was this fellow...

He kept looking up and I wondered why.

After sitting for a bit, he too disappeared and the second he was gone, down the tree trunk came two of the squirrels.  We were surprised they would be up the same tree where he was but perhaps they knew he couldn't get at them if they hugged the trunk.  I don't know.

Do you think they are saying, phew that was a close one?
Btw, Roger Tory and I could not identify which kind of hawk he is....suggestions please???

My slow stitching today is a little bit fancier than what I've been doing lately.
 I thought to take part in the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018 this year.  Another monthly undertaking.  I've been mulling over what I would make and if I wanted to do a theme for the year, that sort of mulling.  In the end with the January deadline in sight, I decided to jump in with a fan design and just get on with it.
Here are my efforts so far and it has been very enjoyable for me to suit myself with the stitches I'm choosing.  It is hard to capture true colours this very bright Sunday morning.

I appreciate so much visiting your blogs and reading about your stitching and also tid bits about the ups and downs of your life.  We all identify and never forget, these are the ties that bind.

I also appreciate these ties...Kathy's QuiltsOur World TuesdayBambi's Show and TellSmall Quilts and Doll QuiltsWild Bird Wednesday and Stitch All the Things.