Friday, August 18, 2017

Banner

I just finished another quilt.  It is from a pattern by Faith and Fabric although I changed it a bit.     the original had a pieced border and square bottom.  It was easier to make that it first appeared and went together really quick once the background was done.  I made this for our little country church.
The first photo shows the whole banner and the second is a close up so you can see the quilting on the border.  It was all done on my domestic machine and I used a template for the border quilting.
I think I need to load an unfinished top onto my frame and get one of them done.  I am pretty much caught up with all my work so can spend a bit of time having fun.
I hope you have a good weekend.  Lots of thing happening in the nearby village tomorrow.  There is a community yard sale as well as a Country Jamboree at the fair grounds.  The weather doesn't look to be the best but it won't stop everyone from getting outside and enjoying themselves.
I forgot to mention yesterday that if  you are looking for any of the Island Batik fabrics that I use in my quilts there are two stores in the Muskoka, Orillia area.  One is called Muskoka Quilting and is in Bracebridge and the other is Thimbles and Things.  It is located just outside of Orillia in Severn.  If you own a quilt store or business, Northcott also carries the fabric.  If you are in Canada and sell Island Batik, please let me know and I will add your store to my promo list.
Blessings,
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fabric! Fabric! Fabric!

Just over a week ago, I received my second shipment of Island Batik fabrics.  I was busy finishing up projects at the time so hadn't had a chance to share photos of my bounty with you.  I am now pleased to be able to do that.
 
 
 
 
 
Aptly named Blue Moon  this package contains 2 1/2 inch precuts as well as yardage.  Beautiful shades of blue and coordinating colours.  Will look lovely in a landscape quilt.

 

I love the 5 inch by WOF precuts and have already got a quilt in mind for them.  this is only one of the packages of those that I received.  The Alpine Ice fabric below the precuts will be great for celebrating winter, my favourite season.
Shhh!  This fabric is a secret.  I can't tell you anything about it until the fall.
 
This is called a bonus fabric.  I think the whole shipment is a bonus as it certainly adds a lot of joy to my life and my quilting.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     

 
This is one of my favourite fabrics and I am thinking of something special like a tote or a pillow case for this.  I would just hate to cut it up.


 
Island Batik also makes gorgeous rayon fabric.  I am planning something for myself with this.  Perhaps a wrap around skirt and I can dream I am on a tropical island.
 
I hope you enjoyed the little fabric tour.  You will, of course, get to see them again as I use them in projects.
Blessings,



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Blogs

I forgot yesterday to give you the links to the blogs for all the other Ambassador's.  If you would like to see their projects, just click.  Most haven't got August's challenge posted yet but they do have on going interesting blogs.  Thank you, Vicki for putting the list on your blog.  Vicki shows you how to do QAUG on a longarm that you will want to check out. Enjoy.
Blessings
Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations  -Me.
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting 
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

End of the Day



This month challenge for the Island Batik Ambassador's was making a quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) quilt.  This is one of my favourite quilting so I happily stitched away and finished it well before deadline.  This is unusual for me lately as I am either just getting done in the nick of time or am late.
Here is the front and back of my quilt.  I will give you an abbreviated version of the method.

 
 

 Top of QAYG showing background strips and the appliqued birds which were added after the top was finished.
Back of quilt showing stitch lines.
 
I received a number of precut 5" X WOF strips in my Island Batik packaged and realized they would be perfect for this quilt.  I picked out 11 that I liked but any number would work equally well.  After deciding the order in which they would be used, I lay my backing fabric rights side down on my work table and then placed the batting on top.
The first strip was aligned with the top of the backing/batting sandwich and the second strip laid directly on top of it.  There really isn't a right and wrong side to Island Batik fabric but if you are using regular material, ensure right sides are together.  Pin thoroughly and stitch  through all layers at the fabric edge furthest from the top.
Smooth second strip over batting and press.  Add third strip by place over second and stitch as previously.  Keep adding rows and press until all the strips are used.
Square the top by trimming and bind.  If you are going to add applique or other embellishments due so before binding.  I pieced 2 1/4" wide sections of left over fabric together used it for binding.

                                                                          
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fidgeting

I finished my fidget quilt today.  It has two pockets: the one on the lower right corner has a flap with a button inside, the other has the little puppet face.  There is also a zipper, Velcro tab, measuring tape strip, elastic, rickrack, buttons and a fabric ribbon that can be tied into a bow. 
It was fun making this and I am looking forward to doing another.
We are getting yet another thunderstorm.  Hydro has flickered once  but seems to be staying on.  It has been a discouraging summer for holidayers but our garden is doing great.  We had our own potatoes and beets for supper.  Could have also served chicken burgers but am getting a bit tired of chicken.  We picked a couple of tomatoes.  They aren't ripe yet but we love fried green tomatoes.
Hope things are a little drier in your area.  Have a great and safe weekend.
Blessings,

Thursday, August 10, 2017

July in August

Oh Baby! Crib Quilts
 
Your calendar might say that it is August but today, for me, it is still July.  The Island Batik Ambassador's challenge for this month (July) was a baby or crib quilt.  Because life often gets in the way of schedules, I got  behind.  Our lovely 'sisters plus males' holiday was the major reason for the delay so I am certainly not complaining.  It was a trip of a lifetime but, no matter how much you might enjoy something you do, eventually, have to get back to reality.
I chose pastels for my project but avoided the usual pink and blue.  The bear pattern was from a colouring book and the cat from a quilt book featuring outlines of that noble animal.  I used   Aurifil threads for the outline.  The silk finish gives a lovely sheen without overpowering. The fabrics were from country dozen (bears) Dinner Days (cats) and Dotilicious (background and sashing).
I quilted it in an all over free motion drooping leaves pattern.
Watch for Augusts challenge to be posted shortly and then, I am going to have some good news for those who, like me, love Island Batik fabrics.
Blessings,
 
 

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fluff Balls

I am out this evening as I was yesterday so thought I would jot done a few thoughts now.  After a wonderfully sunny and warm day on Tues, it is supposed to rain again today  right now, it is fine so I went out and cut a few flowers for the house.  The birds were singing all around me and I could hear the bees amongst the wildflowers.  Happy sounds of the day. 
Just as I finished getting the flowers in a vase, hubby came home from a trip to the village where he picked up our delivery of baby chicks.  It is hard to believe these day old balls of fluff will soon be big enough to lay eggs and forage amongst the weeds and grass around their coop.  I took a photos so you can see just how tiny they are.



Yesterday, I made the top for a fidget quilt.  First attempt at one of these and it was rather fun.  I used 25 charm squares to make a five by five top.  I didn't want it to be big as it is for a young child.  I have a few odds and ends to add and then will just sew around sandwich and turn right side out before quilting.  Easiest and sturdiest method of holding everything together.
Blessings,

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tornados and Torrential Rain

I hope you had a fun and safe weekend.  Ours was pretty stormy.  Our hydro was out Fri. evening for four hours but the area to the south of us fared much worse.  Two tornados touched down in the Muskoka's and quite a bit of damage.  Driving conditions both Saturday and Sunday afternoon was difficult because of the rain.  There were times when you could only see as far as the taillights in front of you.  Thankfully, everybody that I know that was on the road got home safely.
Hubby had been away for a few days and I was able to get quite a bit of sewing done.  I am sewing the binding on a quilt, made a summer dress today and just have to add a few more touches to another quilt.  I should have some photos tomorrow.
I know I need to start thinking about my fall fair entries soon-actually, I should be working on them by now.  However, the world won't end if I don't get a lot done.
Do you enter your local fair?
Blessings,

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fidget Quilts

If you are like me-or most quilters, you probably plan to do all sorts of things that don't actually get done.  I have always been intrigued by the idea of fidget quilts but have never actually made one.
One of the members of our Hearts 2 Hands Yahoo Group sent a link to a tutorial for the little quilts.
A pdf is also included which gives a layout of different blocks.  I believe this is enough to get me making one to donate for a senior's residence.  I am also going to try another version for a young child.
Here is the link.  Let me know what you think of the idea and if you are going to make one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhojSOjTAn4
Blessings,

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cavandish

One last lot of photos.  These were taken in Cavandish, PEI, the home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gable books. The books have been popular with young girls for generations and the television series starring Megan Follows increased the popularity.
Although Cavandish has a few areas of tacky tourism, it has managed to keep it away from the historic areas-much to their credit.
Here is a mini tour.
Blessings,
The Grave Site

Her Aunt's House Where She got the Inspiration for the Books Also site of the
'Lake of Shining Waters'.

 Rooms in the House were Set up to depict some of the rooms in Matthew and Marilla's House.
This is Mathews Bedroom


Plaque on the Church Where She was Organist.  Post Office Where She worked is Next Door.

The Apple Tree Where She Sat and Dreamed Her Stories
And What is a Canadian tourism Area Without Our Most Beloved Canadian Symbol-The Mountie.

 
 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Once in a Lifetime

A whale watching tour was one of the highlights of our holiday.  It was a lovely warm day but still quite cool and windy on the water.  The guidelines said to take warm clothing which we did.  Many others chose not to and spent most of the trip in the bar area.  We saw a fin whale which is one of the largest as well a group of beluga cows with their calves. Seals bobbed in the waves and a number of birds soared around looking for fish.  The birds were the first indication that there might be whales in an area.
My Sister and I

                                


We were on the largest boat so the ride was smooth. I only got a bit dizzy a couple of times and it was very mild. 
Hubby

There was a lot of these smaller boats buzzing around but everyone respected each other's space.  If there was an indication of a whale, all the engines were cut and the vessels just drifted as was required by the regulations.
The trip was expensive but well worth the money as we all felt it was a 'once in a lifetime' event.
Blessings,

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not Your Grandmother's Garden


June was Curvalicious month for the Island Batik Ambassadors.  I know we are almost at the end of July but I did almost have my project finished on time.  Our holiday, eye problems and life got in the way of completing it.  However, better late than not at all:
 
Not Your Grandmother's Garden started our being one thing and ended as another-much like my real gardens.  It was made with beautiful Dotilicious and blender Island Batik fabrics.
Blessings

Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Trip Photos

I hope you aren't getting tired of these photos yet as I still have at least a couple more days worth.  The first two of these were taken in Quebec: the first overlooking the harbour and the other is one of the historic buildings 9I forget which one).  The last picture was taken at a lookout near where we went whale watching.  A beautiful spot.  During the trip, when the tide was out, we saw people walking along the exposed river bed looking for ( I am assuming) crabs, oysters etc.
Tomorrow-memories of Anne of Green Gables.
Blessings,
 



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

10,000 Steps of Discovery

The weather was lovely today.  I got my laundry out on the line and it dried quickly, did a bit of gardening searching for flowers amongst the weeds and a few other odds and ends.  Most of the rest of the day was spent tidying my quilt room and sewing.
I loaded a crib blanket onto my machine and have got about a quarter of that finished. I am out tomorrow and Thursday but expect to get it completed on the weekend.
Here are some photo from the old part of Quebec city.  The rather odd shaped elephant is a Salvador Dali sculpture.  He is one of my favourite artists so I was pleased to find this.



I am very fond of old Quebec and enjoyed walking around the streets and discovering lanes full of artists selling their products, remains of the forts, and street performers.  We clocked nearly 10,000 steps (each) by the end of the day.
Blessings,
 

Monday, July 24, 2017

July?!

I think I must have flipped the wrong month up on my calendar.  It says July but that can't be right because we started up the wood stove today.  It has been cool and damp all day.  Damp is rather a large understatement as it poured in the morning.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better so I am doing a couple loads of laundry so I can hang it out them.
I don't know why it is but whenever you go on holiday, you seem to have twice as much laundry to do when you return.  We did take extra towels with us in case we had a chance to go swimming-we didn't but I didn't want to just stick them back in the cupboard after they were in a hot van for ten days.
 
Our first day of sightseeing was in Quebec City.  This tall ship was in port and we spent quite a bit of time looking it at it and taking photos.  It was quite an impressive sight.
 
This statue was also at the port.  It was to honour all the seamen who died during the war while serving on the merchant ships.
Blessings,

Friday, July 21, 2017

On The Positive Side.

I apologize for the sporadic posts lately.  I know you will understand when I say that I am spending as much time as possible with my sister before she returns to England.  That happens tomorrow.
I am grateful both my sisters do come to Canada as frequently as they do but it is still very difficult when they leave. We have enjoyed our holiday together and she has been able to see a lot more of her birth  country.  Our mother returned to England in 1963 taking my younger brothers and sisters and, if we lived less than a 100 years ago, I might never have seen them again.  So, I do try to be grateful and think on the positive side.  I try, without always being totally successful.
This photo was taken from our room in Ottawa where we stayed on the first night of our trip.  More photos and some stories yet to come. 
Have a great weekend.
blessings,

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Home Again

We arrived back from our holidays Saturday evening.  We had a great time and saw more of our great country, its scenery, wildlife and history.  I will be sharing some photos and stories with you later but I have a small announcement.  My pattern 'Falling Leaves' is being published in the Quilt Pattern Magazine and they have a special subscription price for you to celebrate the event.  The link is:  http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/program/S/?D=ARK or you can go to
http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.comhttp://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com. and enter the secret code word ARK to get your special price.

 


Blessings,

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy 150 Birthday Canada

Happy Canada Day.  It is too bad that today wasn't July 1st as the weather was lovely.  Got outside for a walk and did a bit of gardening.  Tomorrow, it is back to the rain again.  We are still planning on going into the village and taking part in some of the events.  It is a shame with so much work and money spent to celebrate that the weather isn't going to cooperate.  Of course, it still could.  Fingers crossed.
My sister arrives from England tomorrow and will be here late evening.  They will be exhausted so we won't be doing any visiting until the next day.
I got my Island Batik project finished for this month except for the binding.  I will post a photo when it is complete.
My posts will be a bit spotty this month as we will be going hither and yon with my sister.  I will try and upload some photos of the things and places we see.  I am grateful to a dear neighbour who will be house sitting and looking after the dog and chickens while we enjoy ourselves.
Blessings,

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Brag Mugs

Thank you for all the good wishes re my eyes.  I have decided that I can live with these floating things until I need to get something done.  Most people have some sort of issue in their lives and this is minor compared to what others deal with.
We had a nice surprise in the mail today.  A parcel arrived from the grandchildren and when we opened it we found, in addition to some lovely photos, two travel mugs with the children's  pictures on them. Grandparent's brag mugs!!
We are looking forward to using them and showing off the photos.
I am gradually getting the house ready for my youngest sister's visit.  Make some vegetarian soup today and a couple dozen muffins.  Just a couple of days now.
It doesn't look as though the weather is going to be very nice for Canada Day.  We are planning on going into the village for the classic car show and the guided walking tour if it isn't raining too badly.
Blessings,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Good News/Bad News

The t shirt quilt is on its way to its owner.  I met the lady who was going to deliver it yesterday while on my way to the optometrist and handed it over. She was taking it to Toronto today.  The customer is away for a few days so won't see it right away  and I don't want to post the photo until she does.  Soon.
While at the optometrist, I mentioned that   my distance vision seemed to be improving and wondered why that might be.  I was told  that when a person is developing cataracts the improvement sometimes happens so-good news/bad news.  I knew I was getting to that stage though so it wasn't a surprise.
What happened later in the day certainly was.  Just before 7 .00 p.m. I kept seeing what looked like a hair strand or wisps of smoke like substance floating near the top of my head.  I couldn't figure out what it was and kept swiping at it.  Finally realized it was my eyes.  Off to the optometrist again today, somewhat concerned about what was happening.
Apparently, the liquidy ball that is behind the eye has a tendency to change shape as a person ages.  Mine had done so sufficiently that it pulled loose from one of the three 'tethers' (my word).  Nothing needs to be done unless certain symptoms occur and then it is immediate attention.
I am really tired tonight and, although I was supposed to be going out, I stayed home and will be going to be early.
blessings,

Friday, June 23, 2017

Confirmation.

I've had a productive day.  The T Shirt quilt is completely finished except for the label which will be added on Monday.  I am making a little extra something to go with it but won't tell you what it is just now in case my customer reads this.  Studio is tidied up and ready for the next project which will be this months Island Batik challenge.
I had my phone interview for the web course at 1 p.m. and at the end was told that I had been accepted.  I received my confirming e-mail shortly after.  I am looking forward to all I am going to learn this fall.  I may have to forgo being part of the Island Batik Ambassador program as I will have to put in a lot of hours on the course.
It has been raining on and off all day again and I think the poor dog is getting webbed feet.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny though so I should be able to hang out my clothes.
Just one more week to Canada Day.  How are you celebrating?
Blessings,

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Done

The t shirt quilt is finished.  I just have to add the label and clip all the loose threads.  I will take a photo before sending it on to its owner.  It is always nice to get another project finished and there is a special feeling when it is a quilt that was commissioned.  This is a quilt that will be treasured because it was ordered by one family member for another and that is always good to know.  So often our creations lay, unloved except by us, in a tote or other container.
I had some wonderful news yesterday.  I received an e-mail letting me know that I had passed my assessment test for the web course I want to take.  I got a perfect score.  Not bad for an old lady who didn't start using a computer until middle age.  The final step before acceptance is a phone interview and that takes place tomorrow.  Wish me luck.
I had a lovely visit with my sister yesterday.  We usually go to the same restaurant every time as there is never anyone else there and we can talk for as long as we want.  It is a small cafĂ© in a hotel with a limited but adequate menu.  The food is good and the place is quiet.  What more could anyone want.
Blessings,

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Where Did the Time Go?

Last week rather got away from me.  I was out most days and a couple of the evenings as well so didn't get a post done.  The next couple of weeks won't be much better but I will try and write a bit each day.
Our weather has changed again and we are back to rain and wind as well as cooler temperatures.  I don't mind it being cooler.  It makes so much nicer for getting things done both inside and outside the house.
I made a dozen muffins late last week and cooked them in my electric skillet.  I put a rack on the bottom, sat the muffin pan on top, and replaced the skillet lid.  They cooked beautifully and were, in fact, moister than usual  because of the steam generated.  I am going to try cookies next.
It is nice to be able to do a bit of baking without heating up the house.
I have almost finished the T shirt quilt and am pleased with how it looks.  I won't be posting a photo until after the customer sees it but I think she will like it.
Hope your week was less busy than mine.
Blessings,

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rookie Mistake

It has been a long time since I lost information because I didn't save it first but today that is what happened.  I was filling out a skill test form and was almost finished when I clicked to close another program and lost everything.
To make matters worse, the test was on my computer knowledge and skill.  I had managed to answer a lot of questions about the PC itself and was feeling good about myself when I made the rookie mistake.  Fortunately, I did write down the info as I located it so next time around it should be quicker.
I am making good progress on the quilt as you go project.  I had some trouble with the top stitching part as my machine didn't like the interfacing.  I switched to the Juki and zipped through it. 
My partner in this job has had problems with her machine as well so I will do this part and she can sew the blocks together.
We got our TV working again this morning.  There was something wrong with one of the outside lines.  We wondered if one of the trees had grown enough to block the satellite so glad it wasn't that.  We do love living in a bush with 80 foot plus trees but once in a while they get in the way.
Took Heidi for a walk through the woods today.  Almost no bugs but I was concerned about ticks.  I checked her over after we got back and didn't see anything but will continue to watch.  Nasty things.
Blessings,

Friday, June 9, 2017

Stop the Itch

Mosquito bites are not fun.  They itch with a vengeance. I have found a quick and easy way to stop the itch and, ladies, I bet you have the product in your purse.  Rubbing some lip balm over the mosquito bite stops both the itch and the swelling.  I've no idea why it works but it does.  Give it a try.
I started my computer course today.  So far it is just reading and watching videos; interesting but I am anxious to get into the stuff about coding.
Supposed to be another good weekend here so I will be able to hang out the laundry again.  I also expect to get the sashing and binding finished on the baby quilt.
Have a great weekend,
blessings,

Thursday, June 8, 2017

And Then the Snow Flies

Today has been one of those wonderful late spring days we have been waiting for.  Still buggy but it is getting less now that the dragonflies are arriving.  We have learnt to tell what is going to happen by the arrival of various factors: blackflies come with the trilliums and go when you have a few days of really hot weather.  Mosquitos come a week or so after the blackflies and stay most of the summer but lessen considerably when the dragonflies arrive.  Deerflies come in the fall and stay until the snow flies.
I took Heidi into the village with me today and, after I went to the Post Office, we went for a nice long walk up and down the main street.  It was good to get out in the fresh air without bug hat, jacket and foul smelling spray.
I have just started adding the sashing to my baby blanket and it is turning out alright.  Kinda of funky looking.
There was a story on the news this evening about an elderly gentleman (early 90's) who just graduated from a university History course.  I have been thinking for some time about taking an on line course and decided to see what was available.  I signed up for one on understanding coding and designing web pages.  Really would have been better to do this in the fall but I have 7 days to try it out.  If I find I can't keep up, I will cancel and then start again later.
Blessings,

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Buy One, Get One. Day Two

 I was notified that some of you were having problems accessing my pattern store.  I contacted the company and got this new link.  This should take you right to the page.  If you have any more problems, please let me know.  https://www.craftsy.com/profile/annajb-s-pattern-store
You can still buy a pattern and then get one free.  Once your order has gone through, I will contact you so you can let me know which one you would like to have me send free of charge.  These are all downloads so no shipping charges.

 
I finished my baby quilt blocks today and I like them better than I did at the beginning.  It made a difference when I increased the width of the satin stitch and used a darker thread.  Now I have to decide on sashing.  When completed, I will add this pattern to my store.
It has been quite warm today.  I was able to take the dog and go for a walk this morning as the flying creatures were at a minimum.  However, this evening when we tried to put the bug tent up, we couldn't.  Too many bugs.  Some sort of poetic justice there, I think.
Blessings,
 
 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Buy One Get One.

This has been a down day for me-down as in getting nothing done.  I didn't sleep well last night which means I don't function well; or at all, the next day.  I did bake some cookies using a new old recipe.
I have a raisin cookie recipe which I have always liked making as it results in approx. 12 dozen good sized cookies.  However, as we no longer eat wheat and have cut way down on starch and sugar, I haven't made it in a couple of years.  Today, I substituted butter for lard, coconut sugar for white and I use chickpea flour in place of the regular.  I only did have the recipe just in case but they did turn out quite nice.  I think I will try honey next time instead of sugar.
It is nice to be able to have some 'treat' foods that are somewhat healthy and I love experimenting with ingredients.
It seems that we are going to have a couple of days of nice warm weather so we are hoping that will kill off the last of the blackflies and may dry up some of the standing water so the mosquitoes will lessen.  My flowers and vegetables are doing really well and I would love to be outside pulling a few weeds.  Maybe tomorrow.
Have you checked out the patterns I have for sale on Craftsy?  If not, this would be a good time as I am having a 2 for 1 sale.  Buy one pattern and I will contact you to see which one you would like free.  I will send that one directly to your inbox.  Just click on the link and it will take you to my page. www.craftsy.com/annajb
Blessings,

Friday, June 2, 2017

Quilt Show.

The Bracebridge Quilt show was excellent. Over 300 hundred quilts, 12  vendors, door prizes and demos all available on two floors.  The quilts were amazing with many that could be categorized as art or modern both of which I really like.  Believe it or not, I didn't buy anything but my friends made up for it.  I did take a couple of photos.  Both these quilts are award winners and appliqued by hand. The one on the bottom was also hand quilted.  Note the caterpillar in the first photo.  There was a similar insect on each of the blocks which led a little whimsical touch.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
I have been thinking of having a sale on my patterns.  It will be a buy one get one sale on the patterns I have listed on Craftsy.  Stay tuned.  I will let you know when it happens.
Blessings,

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Quilt Show

Tomorrow morning I am heading off to Bracebridge with some friends to attend my first quilt show of the year.  It may very well be my only one.  I wasn't able to get to the Lindsay show last week as I had another commitment and most of the others are too far away for this aging body. 
I am looking forward to the day for a number of reasons: being with friends, seeing what is new in quilting, looking at some wonderful eye candy and escaping the bugs.  They have really been getting to hubby and I this year.  I guess you could say they are driving us buggy!
It seems that every time we open the door enough bugs fly in to carry away our little dog.  We then spend the next hours or so swatting the dratted creatures.  They really are quite bad this year.  I am thankful I don't work outside.  It must be dreadful for construction workers or farmers right now.
I bought a new product a couple of days ago and I don't like it.  It is sheets of paper with fusible on one side so you can use your printer to make copies of applique pieces.  I followed the instructions but was only able to get one sheet to actually go through properly.  I used two printers and the paper stuck in both of them.  It is called Ink Jet Printable Fusible Web by the Tailor company. If you have had any success with it, please let me know as perhaps I just got a bad lot. 
I went back to the old way of tracing my shapes on fusible and completed the sections needed for my baby quilt.  Once I have done the machine stitching I will add the sashing and another top with be done.
Blessings,

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dodo Feathers

Have you ever asked a perfectly reasonable question and got a look that clearly says that someone thinks you might have slipped over the edge?  I was in a fabric store today and found a solid that I thought would be right for my project but wasn't completely sure.  I took it over to the cutting table and asked the staff person if she thought it looked like dinosaur skin.  She gave me that 'look' and said, 'I am afraid I wouldn't know'. 
I wasn't asking her if she had personal knowledge of dinosaurs but did think she might have had an idea.  She did work in a fabric store and I am sure I wasn't the first person to make a quilt with an extinct animal on it.  Or maybe I am.  No matter.  I bought the fabric and my husband thought it was perfect and he isn't even a quilter.
I had been mentally tossing around ideas for a quilt for a young boy and a centre block with a dinosaur seemed to be the answer.  I looked through my stash of fabrics and didn't find anything that looked just right.  I have a ton of coordinating fabric though so now I have the main one, I can get started.
Perhaps, just for fun, the next time I am in that store, I will ask if they have anything that looks like woolly mammoth fur  or feathers from a dodo!
Blessings,

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fulfilling a Dream

We had one of those inexplicable power outages this afternoon.  The weather is lovely, a bit  breezy, sunny and warm.  It has been so nice, in fact, that I was able to take Heidi dog for a walk this morning.  The breeze kept the bugs to a minimum and it wasn't too hot so we were able to keep up a good pace going up the road to the lake and then back.  First time we have been able to get out in ages.  When we went down the drive, I saw a tiny turtle on one of the logs in the wetlands.  We  have had quite a few little ones this year so I guess all the water is helping some of the creatures.  These are painted turtles so am glad to see that they are thriving.
It certainly wasn't the kind of day where you expect to lose your hydro right in the middle of getting some quilting done.  It was only off for about 3 hours but long enough to disrupt the day.  Not sure the cause unless someone ran into something or there was work going on on one of the lines.
I had a nice call earlier in the day from a lady who wanted me to made a quilt for her.  It is very gratifying to be asked to fulfil someone's dream.  She wants to have this done by the end of June and it is a type that I haven't made before so I am getting a friend to help me.  I will be learning something new and making a few dollars as well.
Our blackflies seem to be settling down a bit.  If we get a few more days of good warm weather that should get rid of them.  We will still have the mosquitoes but I don't find them as bothersome.  I don't like them but at least you can see them and take action.
blessings,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Disappearing Pinwheel

I am not going to talk about the weather today except to say it is more of the same.
I did mange to plant some beets, spinach and tomatoes today.  Hubby did more tomatoes and some potatoes.  We may be finished by the fall.  My basil was getting water logged outside so brought the pots in and moved them to larger containers which I will keep inside.
On the quilting front:  added binding to a small wall hanging and now am finishing by hand, did a test block using the disappearing pinwheel pattern and don't like it as well as I thought I would.  I think it would be easier to just do the resulting pattern from the start.  Here is a link if you would like to check it out. www.patchworkposse.com/disappearing-pinwheel-quilt-block-tutorial/
I am starting to put together a design for my dear grandson's Christmas quilt.  It is going to have a large appliqued dinosaur in the middle and then blocks or strips around it.  Haven't decided just what as yet. 
I also need to work out a design for a baby quilt.  I have an idea scurrying around in my head so I need to do a few sketches to see what it might look like in fabric.
Happy Memorial Day weekend to my American readers and England is also having an extra day off so hope you also have some time to rest, be with the special ones in your life and to count your blessings.
Blessings,

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Another Use for Clips

 
All the rain has certainly made everything nice and green.  This planter is on a hill opposite my quilt room window.  I will add some more flowers along here once the daffodils die down.  I really like the look of the  rail fence and rustic bird house.  I should plant something  along the fence that climbs like sweet peas or morning glories.

 
 
I have been sewing together the rows of strips for my quilt top.  I only have two more to go.  I found that using these tiny binder clips work better than pins as they hold all four sections of the seams.  They are also easy to remove and don't pick as do a needle.  I bought these at a dollar store.  They are slightly more than a half inch in width.  Great for using when hand sewing on binding as well.
Blessings,
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bugs and Blessings

It is going to be a bad year for people like me who hate bugs.  We found a tick on Heidi Monday morning.  It was the first time we had ever seen one so I was a bit panicky (hubby says I watch too many vet shows).  We were able to get it all out and she hasn't shown any sign of ill effects.  I did call her vet and was told that the Lyme disease ticks have made their way to our area.  Heidi gets vaccinated every year so we are pretty sure she will be alright. Nevertheless, we will be keeping a close eye on her as well as being even more vigilant in checking her when she comes in from doing her private business.
The black flies and mosquitoes are making being outside without a suit of armour less than enjoyable.  If we have anything to do, we put on our net hat, long sleeved top and spray thoroughly.  I got a bit more gardening done today and hubby mowed the lawn.  The black flies will go back to whatever jaded place they call home as soon as we get some consistently warm days.  They generally don't last for more than a couple of weeks.  Everything else is bearable with the bug hat and spray protection.
You may be wondering why people would chose to live in an area with such drawbacks and I will be glad to tell you.  I live here because I love being able to see the stars as bright and clear as diamonds, the freedom from violence, people who hold open a door and patiently wait while you climb the steps to reach the entrance. I love seeing the turtles sunning by the side of our driveway.
 I love it because the snow is white, the grass and trees green and people nod and smile even if they don't know your name.
I hate bugs with a passion but even they aren't enough to make me think this area is any less than a special blessing.
Blessings,

Friday, May 19, 2017

Poem.

“You are the trip I did not take, you are the pearls I could not buy,
you are my blue Italian lake, you are my piece of foreign sky.

You are my Honolulu moon, you are the book I did not write,
you are my heart's unuttered tune, you are a candle in my night.


You are the flower beneath the snow, in my dark sky a bit of blue,
answering disappointment's blow with "I am happy! I have you!”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hot Today, Chili Later.

We have had our first hot day of the season-too hot for me.  I did get some work done-baked muffins and made chili in the slow cooker and then quilted.  We had the chili for supper and I will take some for lunch tomorrow when I meet with some friends for a day of quilting.  We do this once a month.  We are all working on the same quilt pattern and, each time we get together, we all work on the same section.  Two of us are doing it as a scrappy and the other two bought the kit.


I don't often take spring photos other than of my flowering bulbs but I was noticing how the new leaves contrasted with the evergreens and grabbed the camera.  The little shrub in the second photo is a pin cherry and they are all over the place.  I generally get enough fruit from them in the fall to make some jam.
Blessings,

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There is Always One

Modern batik quilts with Island Batik
May is Modern Batik challenge month at Island Batik's so, May is my favourite batik month.  I really enjoy making modern quilts because most of the usual design rules can be ignored.  I find that modern quilts can be very freeing and allow for more creativity.
 I made this quilt from the Dotilicious line and it is well named because the fabric design is dots.  Dots in various sizes and dots that swirl.  I didn't add a border and the binding fabric is the same as the background so there isn't any distraction from the focus fabrics.
 
 
You can't see it in the photo but the circle has a hand quilted number one on it.  This is part of the reason that I named the quilt "There is Always One".  The other reason is that the dark green fabric decided to take its own path and be a circle instead of a square.
I really had fun making this quilt and, of course, working with my Island Batik fabrics. 
I almost forgot to mention that I quilted the top using Aurifil thread in a mellow gold.
Blessings,