Friday, October 31, 2014

First Snow 2014

We had our first snowfall today.  It was predicted to be a 'skiff' but, as you can see, it is a bit more than that as it has been snowing all day.  I've filled the bird feeders, started a trail for the dog to use to do her toilet trips and got my outdoor clothing ready.
It was a grey day but I am sure it will get nicer when the sun comes out tomorrow.  It is supposed to warm up in a couple of days so this is just a warning to remind us to get ready.
The second photo was take last year and show why winter is my favourite season.


Fiction Friday-Emily's Problem

Sixteen year old Emily loved Thursday afternoons.  That was the day she volunteered at the Chelsea Animal Shelter. She had become the youngest person to work at the shelter  four years previously when her mother suggested she give it a try after seeing her face when she was told, once again, that they couldn't have a pet.  Emily knew it wasn't her little brother's fault that he was so allergic to animals that he had to carry an inhaler.  She just felt that it wasn't fair that she should love animals so much and not be able to have them.  "I wish I hated every dog and cat in the world," she cried.  "You love them because you are a caring person" was her mother's gentle reply. Sue Diamond secretly hoped that when her daughter saw the poor animals at their worst, she would feel better about not having one.  If that didn't happen, she would, at least, be able to spend some time with them.
When the shelter agreed that Emily could come in and help with the animals care, she was more excited than she had been over any gift. She loved being able to pet them, take the dogs for a walk and even clean up after them. She took time to visit every animal but her favourites where the older ones.  "Everyone loves the puppy's and kittens," she would say, "and they are cute but the older dogs and cats need me more.  They aren't likely to ever get adopted." 
She hated seeing them in wire cages.  They looked so sad and Emily was sure that they weren't comfortable.  The staff told her the enclosures had to be designed that way so they could be kept clean but Emily thought there had to be a way to help.
She was telling her mother about the problem as she watched Sue work on a quilt she was making for an elderly friend.  "I wish", said Emily, " I could make a quilt for all the animals to lie on."
Sue looked up at her, thought for a moment. "You can."  "I can.  How?"  "Well, they would have to be a lot smaller, of course, and washable.  Why don't we make a couple and you can take them to the shelter and see if the staff like them."
Emily was even more anxious for Thursday to arrive that week.  The two little quilts were clutched in her hand as she went to find the director.  After explaining the reason behind the quilts, she laid them on the desk.  One was smaller than the other and suitable for cats or small dogs.  The other was twice the size for the larger dogs.  Both had a short stitch length so nails wouldn't get caught and were closely quilted so it would stand up to repeated washings.  "These are lovely, Emily," the director smiled, "but could you make enough for all the cages and some spares?"  Oh, yes.  Mom said she would ask all the quilters she knows to help make them.  She said they could even do some that could be given to the people who adopt the animals."
In a very short time, Chelsea's quilters had provided enough cage quilts, as they came to be known, for every animal at the shelter.  They had, in fact, made so many, that the staff was able to provide the older dogs with two so they could have the extra warmth much to Emily's delight.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Snow's Comming

I got some sewing done today, finally.  I made a skirt and  some more blocks for another scrappy.  I also got a CD stuck in my player.  I had it out once and then tried in in another tray where it promptly got stuck again.  I think I may have to take the player apart.  Yuck.
My hubby has got a cold so I have been playing nurse today.  I readily admit I am not a very good one.  I do get him hot drinks and make sure he has whatever medication he needs but it isn't my natural bent.  Some people, like my sister-in-law, are very good at tending those who are either ill or elderly.  I'm not.  I don't know if I am missing a gene but it is not something that comes naturally to me.  Probably because I am rarely ill myself.  Fortunately, hubby understands and tries to recover as quickly as possible.
Snow is predicted for the middle of the province.  We might get a skiff but not likely much.  I have changed the photo on my computer to a winter scene to get myself mentally ready.  I do love winter.  Apparently, this year it isn't supposed to be as bad.  I am not disappointed by that as it was a tough season for many people.
The pond is quite high so if the ice is thick enough I may be able to skate on it this year.  There are enough dead trunks sticking out of the water that I should have lots of things to grab onto while learning how to keep the blades on the ice.
Fiction Friday tomorrow.  Hope you will join me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Still here.

I am alive and well.  Just very busy.  I will be back tomorrow with my usual blog. Tonight I have to concentrate on writing my magazine article and need to keep my fingers on the keyboard until it is done.
Stay warm and dry,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fiction Friday-The Mystery of the Open Door.

Jenna knew she was in for a difficult day when she arrived at her quilt room door and noticed it was open.   She stopped so suddenly that the mug of tea she was carrying sloshed over its brim and onto her hand.  "Grandmother's biscuit's" she exclaimed and didn't know if it was in reaction to the hot tea or the door.  Everyone in the family were under strict orders to 'never, ever, if you value your life and future inheritance fail  to leave the door firmly closed.'  Yet, here it was, definitely not closed.
She knew what she was going to see before she walked into the room.  Muffin, their beautiful white, very hairy cat was draped like a fashion model on the black fabric that she had left on the cutting table.  Jenna didn't know if she should grab her camera or the cat but decided on the latter.  No sense encouraging the creature to think it had done a good thing.
After putting the cat out of the room and hanging the fabric on the line where, hopefully, the wind would remove some of  the hair, Jenna sat down at her sewing machine.  She had been working on a new pattern and it was presenting a lot of problems.  "Why", she wondered, "would someone design a pattern with so many teeny pieces.  Did they secretly hate quilters?"  She had to cut 120 one inch squares using four different colours.  They all were then sewn together in a particular way which ultimately, and if she didn't through the whole thing into the fire, would form a design.
She had, the evening before, laid the tiny squares into their 4 block groupings but now, courtesy of Muffin, they were scattered everywhere.  By the time she had everything organized, changed the needle that broke within 3 minutes of sewing and resewn all the pieces that hadn't been done because the bobbin ran out of thread, it was lunch time.
The afternoon proceeded without further problems and, by the time Jenna quit sewing to make supper, she was satisfied with her accomplishments. She had had to leave the sections that needed the black fabric but she could remove the remaining hairs that evening.   She still, however, had to deal with the culprit who had left the quilt room door open.  She asked each person in turn as they were eating but despite promises of not removing a name from her will, no-one admitted to having been in the room. "It didn't open itself so someone left it open.  It isn't an unforgivable offence but please don't let it happen again."
She was washing the dishes when her daughter came into the kitchen.  "Mom, she whispered.  "Come here but don't make a noise." Jenna followed the girl down to hall toward the quilt room.  Her daughter was moving slowly and quietly when she motioned her mother closer.  "Look"
Jenna looked in the direction of her pointing finger and started to laugh.  Muffin was hanging from the door handle.  His weight was sufficient to unlatch the door and, as they watched, it swung open and the cat sauntered in, tail held high in triumph.  "That cat" , said Jenna.  "I guess that solves that mystery and I guess we better change the door handle to a knob."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Princess Heidi

I've mentioned that I am working on a scrappy quilt pattern called Trail Mix.  It is in Better Homes and Gardens: Scrap Lovers Quilts.  I have nearly all the blocks made and have started laying them out but really wasn't happy with anything I came up with.  I finally divided them into two groups and am now making two small quilts!  I am quite pleased with both so that solved that problem.  I will post a photo when I get a bit further.
It has been another lovely day here in the backwoods.  My dear one cut down a couple of trees and, as they are quite close to the house, I was thankful they fell in the correct direction.  I was watching out the window with wee Heidi on my lap prepared, at the first sign of danger, of holding her and running.  Always one adventure or another.
I have been sewing nearly all day other than going for a walk and doing a bit of baking.  I should be able to finish a bit more on one of the tops this evening.
Heidi is missing our company and mopping around a bit.  She loves it when people come for a visit because she gets all sorts of attention; not that we ignore her but she isn't our complete focus all day. It usually takes her a few days to adjust back to being the dog and not the princess.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tears on our Flag

I am sure that most, if not all, of you have been following the dreadful news reports from our nation's capital.  It made me feel so sad for our country.  No matter how much we think we are prepared for such a thing, we aren't.  It is a stripping away of our innocent belief that we, because of our goodness, lack of gun focus, whatever, are somehow immune from the same woes that occur in other countries.  Sadly, it isn't so.
I know there has been and will continue to be discussions as to why people who have been raised in this country would turn against it.  Some say that it is because they have no hope of a future with a job.  I don't believe that.
Many young men and older have faced the same future.  During the depression, the jobless didn't turn to violence.  Why then now.  I do believe it is because young people are growing up without hope-not without hope of a job, but without hope of anything better.  No matter how dreadful your situation, if you have hope of something better, you endure.
When we began to make faith in something (and Someone)  greater than ourselves unpopular and, then, unbelievable, hope left.  Not for everyone, I agree but certainly to a large percentage of people.  This has resulted in suicides, increased violence and other forms of crime.  If you believe you will be held accountable for your actions, you think twice before doing something that would cause the retribution.  I keep my driving speed to what is required not because I think (in my foolish pride) that I can't handle the vehicle if I was going faster but because I don't want a ticket.
Believing that this life is not the end of our life keeps a person going no matter how difficult things get and I readily admit that, in this country we are blessed but that doesn't mean Canadians don't hurt, suffer and grieve.
You may disagree with me regarding this and that is okay.  In this wonderful country we call home, we have the right to disagree.  We don't have the right to force our opinions on someone else.
One last thought: as saddened as I am by today's events (and I am sure they won't be the last) I will not live in fear.  This is what these cowards who kill unarmed people want.  They won't get it from me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Two Months on Saturday

My weekend was extended by a couple of days.  Some dear friends came for a visit yesterday and stayed over until after lunch today.  It was great catching up on news and showing off our property.  One of the ladies had been here before but it was a first time visit for the other two.  We had a great time and our little dog got enough petting and play time to last for a month.
I just finished another neck scarf order for a scout troop and it will be picked up tomorrow.  I can now get back to working on my scrappy quilt.  I don't like to change the thread when I am working with colour so I finish the project before going back to quilting and my usual white thread.  Silly, I know.  It isn't as though it takes half an hour to change thread.
It looks as though we may have a day without rain tomorrow.  I am doing a load of laundry tonight so I can hang it out in the morning.  I will have to move the bird feeder as it is hanging from the clothes line.  I am getting visits from a group of blue jays, nuthatches and various other birds already.  They are such fun to watch and will be more so when winter arrives.
Can you believe that Christmas is just over two months away?  I have a craft fair coming up early next month so better get at making some saleable items.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fiction Friday-The New Home

Judy Lexington hated everything about her new home.  Her husband, when he told her about his transfer to a school in a rural area, had been so excited she hadn't voiced her misgivings.  "Just think', he had said, "all that fresh air.  No traffic noise, no sirens every moment of the day and no gang murders on your doorstep." "No shops, no friends, no conveniences",  she thought to herself.  She had to admit that this was a big promotion for Steven.  He would be the principal at the new school.  True, it was much smaller than the one were he had been vice-principal for the past four years, but a promotion is a promotion.
Her fears about living in Bellingsville , a community founded on lumbering that was home to less than 1500 people had proven to be true.  Perhaps if they had been living in the village it wouldn't have been so bad.  At least, she could have gone to a restaurant or bought milk without having to drive 15 minutes from her home.  Steven, however, had decided to go with the 'full rural experience' and talked her into a property that seemed to be miles from everything.  No mail delivery, no garbage pick up, not even a paved road to give the illusion of civilization.  She had to admit that she loved the feeling of being able to take a long walk through the bush and listening to the rustling leaves and birds singing.  She couldn't remember when she last heard an actual bird song.  Early in the morning, a loon flew past on its way from the lake to their pond and filled the dawn with its call that always made her feel more Canadian.
Perhaps, she wouldn't have minded living where she did if had a friend to visit.  People in the village were friendly.  It had taken her quite a while to get used to being greeting on the street by someone she didn't know. Of course, everyone but her did know everyone else and for at least three generations back.  Houses were referred by owners past or current as in 'the old Harmer place' or 'where the Laundromat used to be'.  It was like walking into a movie that was half over. However, she didn't have a real friend, someone with a shared interest.  She was even willing to join a group or volunteer for something but it didn't seem as though she was needed anywhere. 
She had discovered there was a local paper and she was becoming more familiar with the area's activities.  It was only a weekly but it covered everything that happened in the community.  Every week she read every word whether it was an advertisement, a story about fishing, a hockey tournament, death notice or a bazaar at one of the churches.  She felt she probably knew more about what was happening in Bellingsville than the people who lived there.
One gray morning after Steven left for work, she felt she couldn't stand one more day of doing housework and reading e mails.  She had picked the paper up when she went into the village the day before and took it into the sun room to read while drinking her second (and final, for the day, she promised herself) cup of coffee.  As she leafed through the pages, one of the articles caught her interest: Local Quilt Group Donates to Fire Victims.  The story was about a group of area women who had made a quilt that was given to a family who had recently lost all their possessions in a fire.  "There is a quilt group in Bellingsville?"  This was the first time she had heard of them.  She noted that they met in the community center every Tues.  "That is tomorrow" she thought.  She had done a bit of quilting when they lived in the city but had always been to busy to really get into it. 
The next morning, feeling a bit anxious but determined to try, she walked into a room that was filled with the sound of laughter and sewing.  The woman nearest the door stopped working when she saw her.  "Well, hi, come on in.  Are you interested in quilting?  I'm Mary.  Hey, everyone, we have a new quilter."  Judy hadn't been able to say a word but, as the ladies gathered around, introducing themselves, showing her their work and finding her a chair, she felt as though she had come home.  She just knew that this group of women were what she had been looking for since moving to this place that had become her new home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Victoria's Quilts

I really don't have a lot to tell you today.  I baked as is my usual habit on Thursday and that took most of the day. 
The one little bit of news is about an organization in which I have become interested.  I've mentioned recently that I have been looking for something to do with my quilts beside packing them in a cupboard.  Ideally, I wanted to find an organization that could use them.  One of the ladies in our quilt group mentioned Victoria's Quilts so I did an internet search and liked what I saw.  They provide cuddle quilts to male, female and children cancer patients.  I have contacted them about starting a chapter in this area as I would like to support local people.  I am now waiting to hear from the volunteer coordinator.
When I get a bit more information, I will let area quilter's know about the chapter and the specifics of the quilts that will be needed.  The organization requires them to be backed with flannel which will be lovely and cozy.  I don't usually use that fabric so will have to start watching the sales.  I find that if you don't get good quality, it frays badly.
I will pass on whatever information I get in case you are interested in either supporting or starting a chapter in your area.

Tomorrow I will be sharing another quilting story for Fiction Friday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have Tractor will Move Gravel

I can't believe how warm it is for this time of year.  It drops down in the evening but it has been in the upper teens or even into the 20's this week.  Still lots of rain though.  We keep getting a large puddle right were I park the car so I either wade or put on rain boots and then change in the vehicle.  We were thinking about getting a load of gravel to bring up the level and have it slant away from the house but finances have put that on hold.  Good thing because today I had another idea.  There is a high spot in another part of the driveway and, now we have a tractor, I suggested to hubby that the gravel from the high spot could be moved to the low.  Simple idea and it has worked.  Of course, it took quite a bit of time to do what I thought would be just a few minutes.  However, it is done and we are supposed to get more rain so will see what happens.
I was in Huntsville shopping today and when I got home I found I had another speaker for my stereo system.  I wanted another that was near the sewing table as I can't always hear my music without turning it up a lot which, of course, means husband has to turn up the television.  We keep the connecting door between my studio and the main part of the house open so the heat circulates.  Naturally, sound also navigates from one area to another.
I spent the rest of the day working on my scrappy quilt.  I have almost finished the small pieces.  I have another quilt I want to get at but am plugging away getting this finished first.  It is hard disciplining yourself to do one quilt at a time.  I do usually have a few on the go at the same time-and I do now, but am trying not to start anymore until at least one of the others are finished.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something to Crow About

It was quite warm today but hubby and I got some yard work done to prepare for winter.  I checked back blogs and noticed that last year our first snow fall was Oct. 22.  It didn't stay though. We were into Nov. before we got anything that stayed on the ground.  I am hoping for a little later this year although I am looking forward to the winter season.
I had to replant some of my spring bulbs today as the squirrels dug them up.  I have added a bit more soil and then topped it with some branches.  If that doesn't work, I will spread chicken wire over the top.
I got back to work on my Trail Mix quilt this afternoon but first we did a bit of a shift around.  I got a nice little electric fireplace in the spring to add a bit of warm to my studio on the minus 30 days.  The problem was trying to find somewhere to put it.  It isn't big but it needed to be out of the way but also where it could plug directly into an outlet.  We finally placed it against the wall under my sewing table.  As this is where I spend the majority of my time and it is also near the cutting table, long arm frame and computer desk it should work out perfectly.
I will also be able to see the artificial flames when sitting in the chair near the window where I do my reading and hand quilting.  Therefore, I think we have another problem solved.
We picked up a new rooster on Saturday.  The hens were fighting a lot especially with the new younger ones and a rooster usually keeps them all in line.  He is six months old and just learning to crow.  We have missed that sound.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fiction Friday-Just a Quilt

In Jenna's family, it was just called The Quilt.  It was the first one made by their mother and some of the squares were crooked, many of the seams didn't meet and the fabric was odds and ends of material left over from the clothes she had made for the children.  They all knew that it might not win any prizes but they loved it.
The quilt had comforted them when they were ill, cuddled them on cold nights, been superman's cape, a Scout's tent and a security blanket when life shook its fist.  As each of the children grew up and left home, he or she had asked if they could take the quilt.  Mother had always said 'no'.  It belonged to the whole family and it wouldn't be fair to the other's if one were to claim it.
Jenna was the youngest.  The quilt had been part of her life since the day she was born.  By the time she was old enough to join the older children in their games, the quilt was showing signs of age.  The stitches had started to break, many of the squares were all but gone but Jenna loved it as much as the others.  She thought that as she was last one to leave home  her mother might give her the quilt but, she too, was denied and given the same reason.  "But Mom", she argued, "there is no one left at home to miss it."  "Your Father and I are still here, Jenna" , her mother replied softly.
"I'm sorry, Mom.  That was insensitive of me.  Of course you are still here.  I hope you and Daddy get to enjoy the quilt for many years together."
No more was said about the quilt and as each child got busy with their lives, it slowly was forgotten.  Their parents grew older, children were born and grew.  The family tried to get together as often as possible but it was getting harder.   And then their father became ill.  Hospital visits drew everyone into the family circle once again, first to worry and then to celebrate.  However, even though he had recovered he was still going to need on going assistance.  Their parents decided it was time for them to sell the family home and  move into a senior's facility.  "I would like everyone to gather for one last Thanksgiving at home this year" , their mother announced. 
Everyone agreed and each family offered to bring something for the feast so no one had to do all the work.
The day was one that everyone would always remember.  The weather was unexpectedly warm so the children were able to play outside.  All the men were chased out doors as well so the women were able to move freely around the kitchen and dining room.  Extra tables had been moved into the room for the children and high chairs for the babies were tucked into every available space.
After the meal, when everyone was sitting on the couch, chairs or floor, the mother asked for quiet.  "Your Dad and I are so thankful to see you all here.  We are a blessed family and have so many wonderful memories.  Before everyone falls asleep on the floor, I have something to give to you.  As you know, we have gone through a difficult time but it was made easier by all of you.  I have long wondered how we were going to divide the little we have amongst all of you but I did come up with one solution.  Does anyone remember the quilt?"  There was laughter and responses of 'yes' and 'of course'.  ""Don't tell me you still have it', Jenna asked?  "Oh yes, sort of."  She picked up a pile of packages from behind the couch and gave one to each of her children.  As they removed the paper, she added.  "There wasn't much left of that old quilt so I took it apart and made a new one for each of you from the good pieces.  There wasn't enough fabric, of course, so I added some  from one of your father's shirts, some of my aprons and other odds and ends that you might recognize."
There was a lot of exclamations as one found a piece of a football jersey, another a bit of a prom dress. The history of the quilt was explained to other family members and each of the grandchildren had a turn being wrapped in the warm of the new family blanket.  "Now each of you have a quilt of your own.  I hope that in the years to come they will be loved to pieces just as was the original.  For that, of course, is the purpose of a quilt."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Retreat Quilt

Virtual Retreat Quilt
Buttoned Up
Isobel Meekins

The retreat, both virtual and real, is over.  Those that were gathered at Capon Springs in Virginia are on their way home while those of us who were retreating from their home are thinking of them.
This was the first virtual quilt retreat that I've attended and there are a number of reasons why I would do it again.  It was held over four days so  those us who had to deal with day to day situations were still able to be involved even if it wasn't every day all the time.  This is a big plus for me (as I am sure it is for many others) as weekends, if they are held then, already have scheduled activities.  I do my laundry on Saturday because of the cheaper hydro rates.  On Sunday, I go to church and we often have company after.
I also liked that this retreat was held in conjunction with a real one so we were able to see the food, the participants working, completed projects etc. just as though we were there. Not everyone is able to go to a physical location for a number of reasons so a virtual one includes everyone in the fun.
This retreat was sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine ( and was another of the activities they hold for subscribers.  The publishers of this magazine really go out of their way to make their supporters feel they are part of the TQPM family.
The pattern for this quilt was given to all attendees.  I am thinking that I might hand quilt it but will let it hang on the wall where I can look at it and think about it for a while. There were also a number of door prizes.  I won one much to my surprise.  I figured it was for the person who wrote the longest posts.
I am sure my husband is glad to have me mentally back home.  He is a wonderfully understanding man so I didn't push it by expecting him to provide me with meals and take came of the household chores while I was 'at retreat'.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spiritual Mice?

Well, I thought I would have the virtual retreat quilt top done today.  Last night, I worked until nine.  I knew I was getting tired so I just made sections but didn't sew them together in case my thinking wasn't as clear as I thought it was.  Turned out, I was correct.  I had some parts put together wrong so, out came the stitch ripper.  I have got to the point where I am now adding borders, which, fingers and eyes crossed should be done tomorrow. 
I mentioned a while ago that we had had a mouse problem.  We seem to have it solved but are still finding remnants of their residence.  Their chosen food was from a bag of bird seed that I was storing in the sun room until the winter and we have found it everywhere.  Today, I found another spot.  I have a reference Bible on the book shelves by the computer and when I picked it up to check something, outpoured the seeds. Who knew mice had a spiritual bent?

This afternoon I had an appointment at our municipal office as I have volunteered to be a Deputy Returning Officer for the election.  I have been a scrutineer and a municipal politician but never a DRO.  It is quite a bit of responsibility but I like politics and have absolutely no intention of being a politician again so this is a way I can contribute.
On the way back from the training session, I stopped in to visit my friend who had brought all the fabric to our quilt group meeting and, you guessed it, came home with another load.  This is dressmaking fabric so I will be busy later making some additions to my fall wardrobe.  Busy, busy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Addition to my Stash

Have you ever been on a Virtual Quilt Retreat?  It is a cheaper, easier version of the really thing which can still be a lot of fun.  The principle idea is that you stay at home (although I think it would be even more fun if you got together with a friend) quilt and participate in on line activities such as chats and games.  There is usually door prizes, sharing of photos and what is being ate.  It can also involve everyone working on the same quilt pattern.
I am in the middle of a VR right now and I will tell you more about it tomorrow when I expect to have, at least, the top of my quilt finished.  The retreat started on Sunday with the sharing of the pattern and I have been working on it as frequently as possible.
I am enjoying the experience although I think it would be even more fun if my husband got into the spirit of the thing and served my meals and did the housework!

The weather has been lovely; sunny and not too cold.  I took Heidi for a walk and listened to the water gurgle along the side of the road.  We have had so much rain this year that the ditches are still running.

We had a great day at quilt group yesterday.  One of our members brought the stash that had belonged to a family members to share with us.  It filled eight banquet tables.  We each took what we wanted and then filled four totes with the left overs.  These are being donated to a group that makes cuddle quilts for cancer patients.  I haven't really looked at what I brought home yet as I didn't want to get distracted from my quilting.  I do, however, have an idea of what I want to make from some of it.  Here is a photo of what I brought home.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fiction Friday

It is very windy today and the hydro has already flickered once so, although I was going to leave it until later, here is todays story.  You will notice that it is a continuation from last week although it can still be read as a stand alone.

When Adele opened the parcel that had been sent from her mother's solicitor, she laughed  in delight. The multi-coloured fabrics tumbling over the kitchen table each held a special memory. A love of quilting had been the one thing she alone shared with her mother and the hours the two spent pouring over designs, choosing fabric, cutting and sewing were precious.  It might have been petty but she knew that it was something she could do that her sister couldn't.  Morgan excelled at everything.  She was prettier, smarter and everyone loved her.  Adele wasn't any of those things.  When people described her, they said she was 'pleasant' looking.  She never failed a class but she had to work hard to maintain a passing mark.  Morgan, of course, never studied.  She was able to quickly and easily comprehend a task and then remember it.  If well meaning family members and friends hadn't always compared the two sisters, they would probably have continued the loving and sharing relationship they enjoyed when they were little.  But, even the most forgiving and easy going person can get tired of hearing the virtues of another.
Adele had to admit, however, that it was her hours of study which had led to quilting.  She had been sitting at kitchen table working out a math problem when her mother had come in and asked her help. She wanted to know how much fabric she would need to make twelve blocks each containing four same sized squares.  Adele worked it out and then the conversation turned to what her mother was making and how it was done.  This led to further discussion which, in term developed into a passion.  It was only many years later that Adele wondered why her mother needed help with that simple problem when she had been quilting for many years.  By then it didn't matter whether it had been an excuse to get her involved or whether her mother had just had one of those foggy brain moments.
Mother and daughter worked on many quilts together and separately since that day. Adele had even won ribbons at the local fair.  She went on retreats and shop hops with her mother never minding that she was usually the youngest in the group. The memory of those times continued to help her get through the days since her mother's sudden death.
She picked up a square of dark red fabric and brushed it gently.  It was a civil war reproduction fabric; one of her favourites.  She had used it in a quilt for her nephew, Morgan's son, when he got married.  It was then she saw her mother's letter.
"My Dear Adele, thank you for all the wonderful hours sharing my love of quilting.  I know you will remember these fabrics.  These, as well as all my other quilting supplies are yours to do with as you wish.  However, I would like you to use this material for a special project.  I have sent Morgan some blocks but, of course, as you know, she won't know what to do with them.  This is just a suggestion but it would make me happy to know you will help her.  If you do, I would like the fabric in this package to be added to the quilt.  I have given her enough blocks that you could share and make something for each of you.  This, too, is just as suggestion".
Adele laughed again.  This time her mother's loving deviousness was obvious but, as before, Adele didn't mind. She and Morgan were both adults and it was high time they both started acting like it.  When the phone rang, she knew who it was and, smiling, picked it up.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blessed and Happy

I got quite a bit done today.  Did a little baking and then on to my studio where I spent a good bit of the day working on a scrappy project.  I am doing the blocks with the small pieces first so it is slow going right now but it is coming together.  I think this will be a charity quilt.  It depends on how big it turns out to be.  I am also taking part in a Virtual Quilt Retreat starting this Sunday.  We have been given the instruction for fabric amounts and cutting so I have that done.  I like that this event takes part over a few days because Sunday and Monday are both days when I am not home: Sunday church, Monday quilting.  This quilt may also be given away.
I took Heidi for a walk through the bush late afternoon.  Sometime, I get overtaken by feelings of depression.  No cause.  It just happens.  When it does, I find the best remedy is being outside.  A lot of the leaves in our maple bush are now on the ground so it was lovely walking through the colours and the crunching sound.  I just wandered around, not going anywhere in particular.  I took advantage of any opening in the brush but avoided the trail we had made through the property.  I like to explore new or less travelled areas and today we went along the edge of the wetland.  There was enough climbing over trees and up ridges that it was a good workout and I came back feeling happy and blessed. 
Tomorrow, is the second Fiction Friday so don't forget to check in for another quilt related story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Molasses is a Syrup?

I am getting really fidgety because I haven't been able to do any quilting since Monday.  I should have lots of time tomorrow though.  It is unusual to have had so little time at the machine as it is rare that I don't get to quilt every day.  Hopefully, tomorrow gets me back to routine.
We had a lovely day shopping, hubby and I. I don't usually make it for very long as I prefer being at home but I hung in and we did have a good time.  Came home with a few items including a really tall storage unit.  It is the kind that has clear plastic drawers that can be used for storing fat quarters, fabric that has been cut for a quilt, etc. etc.  I got it for $8.00 so a real bargain.
Heidi was at her personal groomer and she was waiting for us when we got back home.  She had a hair cut and nails trimmed and was looking spiffy.  We had a easy supper and watched the news.

I had to buy a couple of grocery items while we were in North Bay which resulted in one of my frustrations.  It always seems that my idea of what category a food item is under and that of the person who does grocery store layout is never the same.  I've always considered applesauce to be a fruit the same as peaches etc. and, therefore would be in the canned fruit section.  It isn't.  It is in baking supplies.  On the other hand molasses which says 'cooking molasses' on it, is with syrups such as maple and corn.  Corn syrup I would also think would be in the cooking section.  Do people drink it?  Put it on pancakes? Yuck.  I don't use it at all but, if I did, it would be in butter tarts or something.
I find it so frustrating to look up and down the logical aisle and not find a product.  Then you have to locate a staff person.
Ah, well.  At least, thinking positively, we live in a country where we can get those things.