Thursday, October 31, 2013

Falling Rain.

You only have a few more weeks to take advantage of the 4 free issues of the quilt pattern magazine.  Click on the link below and enter the two codes in the appropriate place.

• Group Code: ABB13
• Group Name: QUILTER
• Please Note: This offer is for new TQPM subscribers only. and click the red pincushion.
Offer expires November 30th, 2013.

We have been having a steady rainfall although not enough to warrant the warning that has been popping up on my screen all day.  I haven't been able to take our week Heidi out for her walk and she is sitting looking out the window rather hopefully.  I will play a vigorous game of fetch with her later to give her some exercise.

Thank you for your nice comments about the free block, Simple Simon Strippy, which I have placed on my web page.  It is, as the name suggests, easy to do and a great way to get rid of some of those strips that seem to breed whenever you aren't looking. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to my web page and click on Free Patterns.

Stay dry.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cooking Aromas.

Evening Sky

I have a large pot of chili sauce simmering on the stove and another pot of tomato celery soup on the wood stove so the house smells nice.  The soup was made with all the bits and pieces left over from the chili sauce.  It will be nice to take to quilt group or for lunch at home.  Especially with some nice home made buns!
My husband is outside doing something with tires getting ready for winter.  He was chopping wood earlier and the sound made a nice back drop to my chopping and the whirring of the processor.
I took this photo earlier in the week from our back step.  Don't the clouds and trails make an interesting pattern.
Speaking of patterns, I have the free strip block loaded onto my web page now.  It is a download so you will be able to print it easily.
I am almost ready for the craft sale.  I found some stuff I had left over from last year so they will help to fill out the table.
And now I need a cup of tea.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Free Scrappy Strip block.

Here is a couple of very simple blocks to use up some left over strips.  Both blocks are 12 inch finished.  Both start with a 4 1/2" center block and finish with a black strip.
The strips in block 1 are 1 1/2" in width.  The strips in block 2 are 2 1/2" wide.

The method is the same for both blocks.  Sew first strip to one side of center block, trim and sew strip of the same fabric to joining side.  Sew second strip onto first strip following same procedure and keep adding until you have a total of 7 strips for block 1 and 3 for block 2 (diagram is one short) .  Add black strip.
This pattern would be most effective if each block (other than the black strip) were different.
Enjoy and if you make this quilt, please send me a photo.  This pattern will also be available on my web page ( as a download.
Block 1
Quilt 1
block 2

Quilt 2

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shaped Microwave Potholders

Shaped Microwave Potholders


Have you ever tried to take something from the microwave without burning your hands?  Most potholders are too bulky to make the task easy and often result in spills.

These fabric ‘bowls’ are the perfect solution.  Place the container inside the holder, microwave and then remove by holding the corner tabs.


These containers can easily be made to any size; just add 5” to the desired base size.  For example, if you would like the base to be 5” square, cut a 10” square of fabric.  One inch will be lost in the construction process and another four for the sides.




Fabric, batting and thread should all be 100% cotton.  Fabric should not have any metallic or glitter added to it.


For each holder, cut (2) 10” fabric squares and (2) 10” squares of batting.


Lay the batting squares on the table (keeping them together)  and place one fabric square face (right side) up on the batting.  Place the other fabric square on top of the first, face down.  Figure 1

Figure 1



Pin through all layers and sew around the edges leaving an opening to allow turning.

Slightly round the corners as you reach them.  Turn right side out.

Optional: sew a diagonal line from one corner to another and then from the other side to the opposite corner forming an X in the center of the square.

Measure 2 inches from each corner along the sides and mark.  Topstitch along each side from one mark to the next. Tuck in raw edges of the opening and continue stitching to close.

Figure 2


Pinch the two sides of one corner together and sew from mark to top of corner.  Fig. 2

Repeat for remaining corners. A hanger can be added if desired.

Container can be machine washed and dried.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Boots and Blue Jays.

On the Wing

This blue jay was taking advantage of the feeder that is just outside my studio.  I took numerous pictures but couldn't get one where he was sitting still.  Noisy birds but beautiful colouring.  There are my favourite.

Pretty Fabric

I really like the 'country' look of these fabrics.  This is the top for which I bought the extra charm pack.   As you can see we are getting sunshine although the temperatures are barely above freezing.  I ordered a new pair of winter boots today.  I have been saying I was going to do that for 3 years now.  I needed something that I could pull on quickly to go for a walk or pop into the village.  I have two pair of dressier boots which will probably last me as long as I can walk.  I am rather lazy when it comes to wearing boots.  I like ones with a Velcro strap or, if I can't get what I want, I will settle for a zipper although I will probably not do it up.  The new ones meet that requirement and have a nice touch of red for cheerfulness.  However, the heel is a bit high so I will have to see how they feel.  I know.  I'm fussy.
Did you know (for those of you who are Canadian) that in our nation's capital there is a Elvis Lives Lane?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Charms

I bought another charm pack today.  I have purchased so many of those 5" squares lately that a person might be forgiven for thinking that I would have enough.  However, I have made two lap blankets and have another top; a double, half done plus a few squares sewn together for a baby or child blanket.  It is the double that needed more squares or, to be more accurate, more of the right colours.  I am not sure if this will be enough but I do have some fabric in my stash that I can use and a lady in our quilt group gave me some left over fabric.
I am looking forward to getting this top done as I really like the fabric.  Not sure how much time I am going to have this week as I have baking to do again tomorrow and am making some items for a craft sale.  I also need to get the quilt done that is in the frame so I can get the smaller ones in.  No matter how much time a person has, it never seems to be enough, does it.
Our snow has melted again as I thought it would.  It did look lovely while it was here.  I know it won't be long though before it will be here to stay.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quilter's Lullaby

We had our first snow fall today and, in fact, it is still coming down.  There is a bit of accumulation on the ground but I don't think it is going to stay as we are above freezing.  Still, it is nice to see. 
I have spent the day making pumpkin butter and other baking odds and ends. Also got a few blocks sewn together on a disappearing nine patch top that I have started.
The was sent around by a friend.  If you are a fan of Big Bang Theory, you will know the tune and the original words.

Soft fabric, warm fabric
Buy it by the ward
Pretty fabric, lovely fabric,
Here's my credit card.

If you have a long arm machine or even the shorter version, I have found a Canadian site that has supplies including Superior thread and pantographs.  Here is the link:

Their shipping costs are the actual price which is nice to know.  Some places charge according to the dollar amount you spend, which I think is odd.  It doesn't encourage me to spend more if the cost goes up  regardless of the weight or size.  Two patterns should cost no more than one to mail.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Fowl Life

Our little poultry business got a boost this morning.  We have been waiting for the newest hens to start laying as the older ones are going into retirement mode.  We have only been getting enough eggs to sell to a couple of customers and that often didn't leave me any for baking. 
This morning as my husband went out to feed the flock and let them out of the coop, I said "you will be getting an egg from the new ones today".  He came back with two.  They are quite small but it is a start.  I wish I was that intuitive with financially beneficial matters.
And now I am going to rant for a bit.  I have been aware for many years of how laying hens in the big factories (because that is what they are) are treated.  It is one of the reason why I am so glad we are able to provide for ourselves and others.  There are, in fact, a number of people in the area who do the same thing.  Our hens are allowed to roam free when we are home and the weather suitable.  They are talked to, have plenty of room in their coop and enclosed area.  They are happy healthy birds unlike the poor creatures who are packed into areas so tightly that they literally, go crazy.
What can you do?  Where financially possible, buy free range.  Our eggs are priced the same (and sometimes less) than what is in the stores.  You may find another small producer that does the same.  We aren't trying to get rich just have healthy food. 
I think I am also going to send an e mail to companies such as Loblaw's and McDonald's asking them to ensure that the eggs they buy come from chickens who live in humane conditions.
I know that, in the light of the many thousands of people around the world who also live in dreadful conditions, this may seem to be a non issue.  However, I fully believe that how we treat animals is an indication of our compassion to humans.  A step, no matter how small, is still a step.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zippety Bop

Some days you coast along and, when the night arrives, you feel as though you never accomplished anything.  Other days, everything goes zippety bop and, like the wave of the fairy godmother's wand,  all tasks are completed. 
This has been a zippety bop week.  I've finished the yard work, got my magazine article finished and sent off early and have a good start on the quilt in the frame.  The latter had been causing me some problems with the thread breaking every foot or less of stitching.  I changed the thread, adjusted the tension, made sure everything was lint free all without avail.  This morning I raised the take up rod and, voila, magic wand time again.  The take up rod is the one on which you wind the completed part of the quilt.  It rests on the machine bed and, if it is too low, creates drag. Of course, once I was able to complete a row without problem, the bobbin thread ran out but that was a minor bump.
I have about 15 rows to do and this top will be finished.
I also uploaded two completed quilts to the Quilts for Sale site this morning. One is for Christmas and the other is a baby sized quilt. The site owner hasn't got them loaded yet but when she does I will let you know.  In the meantime, if you are having quilt show withdrawals, take a look at the site.  It is a virtual quilt show you can see from the comfort of your home.  (
Husband went to see the specialist today about his hip problem.  We thought he might need replacement but it appears that he is a candidate for a cortisone injection right to the site.  The surgeon said that this should take care of the problem.  It would be wonderful if it works.  Day surgery, no recovery time, immediate (hopefully) relief.

I took this photo from the studio door earlier today.  The sky is looking less like summer and more like winter.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another Quilt

I finally got another quilt loaded into my frame.  This one had been quilted some time ago but it was when I first got my frame so the stitching wasn't very good.  It took ages, as you can imagine, to remove all the stitches and thread.  Then it took ages again to decide what design to do.  I have finally decided on one that is called Renaissance.  I was thinking of doing freehand stars but chickened out.
It took my a while getting it loaded, thread tension checked and making sure everything was lined up correctly.  I usually stitch slowly at the beginning to make sure I have the feel of the pattern and that everything was working all right.  Double check, put needle down, press start button and sew.  That sounds doesn't seem right.  Turn everything off, check.  Forgot to put down the foot. Rats. Untangle the mess and restart.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yummy Recipe from A Mouse

I trust everyone had a great weekend.  We enjoyed our Thanksgiving weekend with family on Saturday, church on Sunday and quilting friends on Monday.  Our quilt group decided not to have a regular meeting (rare occurrence) so I invited those who were interested to our place.  Three ladies came and we had a nice time, talking and sewing.  We went for a walk after lunch as the weather was so lovely. 
We had frost overnight so I think we are going to be getting to more normal temperatures this week.  I did hang out some laundry this morning but it may be the last time.  I have scheduled the task of finishing the yard chores for later in the day.
Here is  a recipe that I found and really like.  As you can see from the heading, it came from the EQ (Electric Quilt) blog.  I got their permission to pass it on to you as I really like it.  In fact, I will be making it again this week.  The instructions indicate that doubling the recipe works and I can vouch for that as does adding nuts and raisins. I used fresh rather than canned pumpkin.  Make sure to puree it first. This makes a great treat to share with  your quilt group or guild.  Perhaps you might like to add some dark chocolate chips for a  healthy and yummy extra.


Friday, October 11, 2013

All About Thanksgiving.

Here in Canada, we are preparing for Thanksgiving. This is my favourite holiday because it occurs in October, a beautiful month, and it is a reminder of how fortunate I am.  For those of you who live in countries where this holiday isn't celebrated, let me give you a bit of its history. Although usually associated with harvest time and early settlers/pilgrims, the Canadian celebration began when English explorer Frobisher landed safely in Newfoundland.  He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival.  We don't know how he celebrated but we do now that it was in 1578.  this means the first Canadian thanksgiving took place 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth and initiated the American holiday.
In the United States, the celebration takes place on the fourth week of Nov.; six weeks later than ours.  This happens because of our geographical location.  The completion of harvest times is another reason for the celebration and our northern climate dictates an earlier  season and, therefore, holiday.

We do share a love for turkey, pumpkin pie and parades.

As a Christian, this holiday is also when I give thanks to God for all that I have.  I live in a country that is amongst the most desired world destinations and migration. My home is comfortable and located in an area that surrounds me with natural beauty.  I am married to a wonderful man, am blessed with a great family as well as my husband's, have a marvellous little dog, am healthy and am able to spend my days doing what I love.  I also have many friends for whom I am thankful.

However, and for whatever reason, you celebrate, take a moment to truly take stock of your blessings.
To my list of blessings, I can add you, my readers. You are kind enough to spend part of your valuable time reading about my life.  That, in turn, has frequently given my day focus and made me realize, once again, how fortunate I am.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Yahoo Rant

I have just finished making three pies and now have half a dozen buns plus 4 loaves of bread in the oven.  Thursday is my baking day and I usually go all out.  Yesterday I made 2 large loaves of pumpkin bread from a recipe I got from a mouse.  This particular mouse is the EQ mascot and he? she? seems to be a great cook.  The ingredients include applesauce instead of oil and I really like both the flavour and texture.  I have asked permission to print it for you but you may be able to find it yourself if you go to their site (
Has anyone noticed a changed in  Yahoo mail recently.  They have, once again, changed their format.  I can no long use just black and white for the background so it is harder to see.  There isn't a place to click so that once I've logged in, I don't have to do that again for a couple of weeks.  Now, I have to log in every time.
I am not sure who advises them that all these changes are a good thing. It is we mature people who are the major users of e mail for communication.  The younger prefer twitter and other media. This being so you would think that they would recognize that change for the sake of change is not something that is tolerated by those of us who have lived through enough of it.
I have been sewing together a couple dozen or so half square triangles that I received in an exchange.  I am turning them into little blocks and flying geese.  It is a time filler but as I am not sure what project I want to do next, filling in time is okay.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Doggie Quilt


I just finished this little top yesterday.  I love the dog blocks.  They look as though they stepped off the page of a child's colouring book.  Each one is different.  There were three others in the panel that I bought and I will turn them plus another block into a little pillow cover.  I will applique a bone or something on the fourth block, perhaps with the child's name if I know who the recipient will be.  This will be for sale on  my Quilts for Sale page.

The weather is absolutely amazing.  I hung out my laundry this morning.  It is plus 18C right now.
I am going to take the dog for a walk and then I better get at some sewing.  I was in the village this morning doing some shopping for the weekend and haven't got myself motivated to get at anything.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crispy Day

It is getting a bit crispier here in the backwoods although I haven't yet packed away my summer clothes.  I am cooking a crock pot full of pumpkin.  Dear husband, peeled and cut into pieces, a couple of our pumpkins yesterday while I was at quilt group.  We still have a lot more.
Once they are cooked I will mash and put them into freezer bags for soup and baking.  I am going to make some pumpkin bread on Thursday so I will have something for Thanksgiving company.
I am working on another quilt top (have a quilt in the frame and another that is waiting to be finished) which will be for a child.  The blocks have dogs on them and they look just as though they came from a colouring book.  This quilt will be for sale.  I really should train someone how to use my frame machine and then they could do the quilting while I do what I prefer: piece tops.
As this is Tuesday, Roger has gone to his euchre game.  He has promised to bring home fish and chips so I won't have to cook.  Our chip trucks are getting ready to shut down for the season so I soon won't have this culinary escape. Poor me!
My brother and his wife are going to be having Thanksgiving dinner with us so we are looking forward to that.  I will cook one of the chickens that is taking up so much space in the freezer.  I have a new left over chicken recipe that I want to try.  I am sure there will be left overs even with four people as free range birds have much denser meat. 
My husband has been hinting about pumpkin pie so I will have to make sure I have all the ingredients for that.  I don't make pies very often but they are nice for special occasions and, goodness knows, the man deserves a treat.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Moose and Magazines

It is a bit dreary today but the trees still have much of their colour which brighten the bush if not the weather.  We had a moose on our driveway this morning.  It apparently wandered from our neighbour's property on its way to the wetland at the front of ours.  This area has been designated as wetland by the municipality but it is the driest wet I have seen.  There are areas that are a bit mushy but you can walk through without boots.  However, we don't care what the designation is, we aren't planning on doing anything with it.  Our home is situated about 300 feet from the road on a hill.  The wet land is on one side of the driveway for about 50 feet then shrubs take over and continue up the hill to the vegetable garden.  The other side of the driveway which is fairly close to the neighbour's property is bordered by small trees, raspberry canes and shrubs.  They wander up the drive and on to the pond at the back. All this naturalization provides a nice habitat for the wildlife that have called this area home for hundreds of years.

I have been trying to decide what to work on today.  I have a few (a few!) projects that need finishing so I am going to put the binding on a lap quilt and finish the border quilting on another.  I am also going to put some borders on a Christmas panel.  I have a book on making borders so I will use it to do something other than the usual strips. As I enjoy the process of making the main part of the top more than everything else, I really have to discipline myself to pay as much attention to the borders, quilting and binding.

Following is the info on getting 4 issues of a great on line quilt magazine.  Write down the code and group name then click on the link and follow the directions.  You do not need to belong to a group/guild to take advantage of the offer.

• Group Code: ABB13
• Group Name: QUILTER
• Please Note: This offer is for new TQPM subscribers only.
With this information ready, go to the website at and click the red pincushion.
Offer expires November 30th, 2013.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More Pictures

The following comment was sent from Bonni  regarding yesterday's post about getting free issues of the Quilt Pattern Magazine.  You have a chance to get 4 month's of this great publication without cost.  Just click my post for Oct. 2nd (past posts are listed on the right side of the page) and follow the information.  This is a time limited offer!!

"I'm not a writer for the magazine but am a subscriber and just wanted to jump in and say that there isn't another magazine that packs so many patterns into one magazine. If you decide to subscribe it's a GREAT price and you'll find they are approachable and willing to answer any questions you have about the patterns, etc."

I just made my first lot of jam today as well as some pickled coleslaw.  I woke up too early this morning so am tired.  I think I will sit outside and pick threads from a top that I 'unsewed'.
As promised, here are some more fall photos.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Free Magazines

As you no doubt know, I write for a magazine called Quilt Pattern Magazine.  It is a monthly download publication which means you don't have to pay postage, worry about your mail going astray or having the dog chew up the latest issue.
They are having a special offer for new readers.  If you are not currently a subscriber, you can receive a copy of the magazine for 4 months. 
To take advantage of this offer, clink on the link and enter the code.  Please note: you don't have to belong to a group or guild.
Tomorrow, I will have some new fall photos for you including some of my favourite model.

• Group Code: ABB13
• Group Name: QUILTER
• Please Note: This offer is for new TQPM subscribers only.
With this information ready, go to the website at and click the red pincushion.
Offer expires November 30th, 2013.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Terrific Tuesday.

I think Tuesday is my favourite day of the week.  It seems to be a 'no pressure day".  Nothing is scheduled, major house work is done, baking day hasn't arrived, I got my quilt and quilters fix the day before and there aren't any scheduled meetings.  Tuesday is the day when I can either catch up or enjoy the scenery.
Today I am doing a bit of both.  Even if a person tried, you can't avoid the scenery when you are surrounded by trees that are ablaze with colour.  Some are so brilliant they almost seem to be on fire.  Here in our backwoods there are enough birch to provide a wonderful contrast much as does the sashing in a quilt.  The evergreen trees give the eyes a place to rest and contribute the back ground colour that brings it all together.
I am going to be puddling around in the studio today.  I want to get a quilt in the frame and am doing shadow quilting on another using my desk machine.  I got it pinned (been a long time since I did that last) at quilt group yesterday.  I started the sewing but quickly realized I needed to use my walking foot.  As it was almost pack up time, I didn't bother setting that up so will do it here.
While I write this, one of my most beloved pieces of music came on the radio so I really am enjoying the moment.

Before I go, I want to share a comment that was made on the Applique Addicts Yahoo group this morning.  Posts were about people starting new projects before completing one.  One lady said that we have the Sparkly Chicken Syndrome "see my chicken, oh, look there goes another".  I just thought it was the most perfect description.  I can visualize someone running around and grabbing all these sparking chickens and trying to hang onto them while picking up another.  Of course, the downside to this is that while we are starting all these wonderful new exciting projects, we are missing out on the fun of seeing what they look like when completed.  We also miss the joy of sharing our gifts with others.  I will have to keep that in mind when I feel another attack of SPS coming on.