Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blocks Finished

I got all my blocks made today for my crib quilt and now have to trim and sew together.  It was a tedious day but sometimes you just have to ignore that and keep going.  I am going to be away all day tomorrow and will probably be quit tired when I get home so it is unlikely if I will be posting.
Until Friday then, here is a photo of last nights sunset, the Christmas table runner I made and the set of 4 place mats I just finished.  They would be great for Thanksgiving. These will go to the store for a lucky customer.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Late Leaves

I don't especially like tops that are just one block that is repeated over and over although I seem to do a lot of them.  My current crib quilt is just a square in a square with a row of four patch blocks as border.  It doesn't take any thought to make the blocks- just repeat, repeat , repeat. 
I needed a mental break after my last project and I guess this is providing it but I do get bored.  I should have something more involved to do at the same time but I want to get this finished.
We had a lovely sunset tonight.  I saw it in time to get a couple of photos.  Our trees are also finally starting to change colour.  I have been saying all along that they are late this year and tonight's news cast mentioned they are about 2 weeks behind normal.
I made a gigantic crock pot of chili today using some of our garden produce.  Should keep us going for a while.
Well, back to the blocks.  Hope you are having a good week,

Friday, September 25, 2015

Dusting and Cleaning

Thought I had posted yesterday but apparently not.  I have finished the pattern I was designing and also sent in my monthly article for the Quilt Pattern Magazine so I am now caught up on my schedule.
I had to take all my clothes from my closet today so the water heater could be checked.  We live in a manufactured home and the heater is behind a wall in the closet.  This seems to be the usual place.  I lived in a smaller version of this place forty something years ago and the water heater was in the closet there as well.
Everything was taken out and put on the bed then all put back again.  I took the opportunity to go through what I had and discarded a lot of items.  They will be donated to a charity shop.
I also loaded a quilt onto my frame and it is nearly half done.  The quilt is actually four placemats that, once quilted, will be cut apart and bound.  Doing them all at once is a really quick method.
Before doing that, I gave my machine and the frame a good cleaning.  I remembered to open the front section that is just over the needle and found it was full of lint.  I am sure the Juki enjoyed getting rid of that.
It looks as though our trees are finally starting to change colour.  This time last year and most others they are past the peak and getting ready to drop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sewing, Sewing and More Sewing

I have been tied to my sewing, working furiously since Monday evening.  I finally completed the project this morning after working until 10 p.m. last night.
I pattern to The Quilt Pattern Magazine and have had to work out the design, write it up and then write out the pattern itself.  It is a lot of work but once you see the result in fabric and paper, it is worth it.
I have also been continuing my preserving of the tomato crop.  We have two bushel baskets waiting in the garden for me to get to them.  they aren't quite ripe yet so I don't have to worry about them going bad.  I also slice up some of the green tomatoes and freeze them as we like them in stews and chili.
I haven't got around to cleaning my machine yet but that is next on my list.  Actually, my first project is writing up that list so I can stay on track.
We have been getting some lovely fall weather although the trees haven't got into the really beautiful colours yet.  Hope you are enjoying the season.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cleaning Your Machine.

Our tomato plants seem to be on steroids.  I did two six quart baskets today and that doesn't even begin to reduce the crop.  Most of them are Roma which is great for soups, stew and chili.  Parsnips are coming along as are the squash and pumpkin.  I don't think we are going to get many beets though.  The tomatoes self seeded amongst them and took over.
I finished quilting and adding the binding to my table runner and am doing the hand sewing part this evening.  Quilt room is tidied up and ready for the next project but first I need to give the machine and frame a good cleaning. I use a product called Tri-Flo for cleaning in and around the bobbin as well as other areas.  It is actually for bicycles and can be bought at stores that sell them.  It cleans without leaving any residue and only a drop is needed on a QTip.  I also use a bit to clean the rails on the frame.  You still need to use oil for your machine as this is only a cleaner.
Give it a try.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Customer Quilt Finished

I finished this quilt this evening and called the customer for pick up.  It was one of the most difficult I have done because  my machine will only quilt a small area at a time and I didn't want to stitch over the applique.  Most of the time, especially toward the end, I was able to do about a 3-4 inch square section before rolling. 
Then I started having needle issues.  I broke three before discovering that the thread coming from the spool was catching on the base.  Once I moved it to the other spindle it worked fine.
The first photo shows a more accurate colouring.  The second is a close up of the centre block where I did free hand leaves.  I did trim the threads after taking the photo.
I think I am going to do something simple next.  I sold another crib quilt and have to get more of those done.  I am thinking of an I Spy quilt with  square in a square blocks set on point.
I also have a pattern up to write for TQPM. Looks like the fall will be as busy as the summer was.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bye, Bye Bug.

I finished making the blocks for the Christmas table runner today, got the layout decided and am starting to sew everything together.  I also got quite a bit done on the frame quilt.  I am hoping to have it finished for the weekend.
Our leaves are really slow changing colour this year.  They all have moved from deep green to softer shade and some are tinged with yellow but only a few have any red.  Does this mean we are going to have a late winter?  I did hear that it was supposed to be a warmer than normal fall but I don't have a great deal of confidence in long range forecasts.
Heidi and I are starting to go for longer walks now it is cooler.  She is doing a much better job of staying at heel.  Usually she is at the end of the leash and trying to sniff and pee on everything.  Perhaps she is starting to grow up-finally.
I saw an remarkable thing this morning.  A hummingbird was sitting on the clothes line when a small bug passed by.  The hummer darted out and got it almost before I realized what happened.  I've never seen them catch a bug before.  I also had one feasting on the rose bush the day before.  My roses are still blooming and the bright red adds a wonderful touch of colour to the garden.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Opportunity for Artists.

If you are a quilt writer, teacher or designer  you may be interested in the following.  One of the most difficult things about being a writer etc. is finding a publisher willing to take a chance on your work.  TQPM is an excellent publication (I write for it) and are always looking for new or established artisans.

The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) is accepting unpublished projects for publication. Patterns, BOMs, Mysteries, Workshops, and Tutorials are all welcome.
They can be patchwork or applique. They can range from wall hanging size to queen-size quilts. Our main need is intermediate to advanced projects, but beginner projects are also welcome. Publication is planned for summer of 2016.
This is a great opportunity for new designers to get exposure.
If you are interested visit our submission page.

It was nice to be able to go for a long walk with Heidi dog today without having to protect against heat or bugs.  The autumn season is arriving slowly but the change in the weather is noticeable.  I also made a big crock pot of stew and processed some more tomatoes from the garden.  In between, I did some more work on the quilt that is on the frame plus the one that I am piecing. This latter one will is a Christmas themed table runner which will go to the store that sells my products.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Busy Few Days

We have had a busy and tiring few days.  On Sat. we went to the fall fair in a neighbouring community.  We were quite disappointed as there was very little to see.  The farmer's market was bigger than the fair.  We bought a new outfit for Heidi dog and gave it to her today to celebrate her 7th birthday.
I think she makes an adorable lady bug.
Sunday, we went to our fair to watch the English and Western horse shows and thoroughly enjoy it and ourselves. It is going to be on our schedule for next year as well.  I took the opportunity to check out how my entries did and was pleased to see I got either a first or second on everything.
The following day we went to the fair again and looked at all the exhibits including the poultry, watched the children having fun on all the free games, water slides etc., listened to live music and shopped at the vendors area.
Today we drove an hour north to see a specialist about my hubby's hip and then picked up a quilt pattern on the way home.  You didn't think I was going to go a whole weekend without buying something quilt related did you?
Tomorrow, I hope to relax and get caught up on the quilt that is on the frame plus a Christmas table runner I am making.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Make Do Farm

Did anyone see two tiny deer?  I was working on one of my fair entries which included 4 little half inch deer when I mislaid two of them.  I still haven't found them so probably won't be able to enter this craft.  I am not sure if they are hiding under a gnome toadstool or got chased away by teeny, tiny wolves.

A neighbour has been clearing some of his land to build a large barn and we have been the recipient of the wood.  Hubby went over today to get another load.  He had to use the tractor to pull the trailer as the truck no longer has brakes.  A small problem arose when the tractor stalled in the driveway.  It won't start unless it either is rolling down a hill or pulled.  We tried towing it with the quad but it wasn't strong enough and I was really nervous about driving it in case it tipped over if I gave it too much gas.  Hubby went back up the hill and drove the truck down.  I was waiting for it to crash into the tractor but he turned off the ignition and it rolled to a stop.  Thank goodness for standard transmissions.
Got the tractor hooked up and I started back up the driveway-backwards because there wasn't any room to turn around.  Tractor started, chain was removed and I continued to back around the curve and up the hill and parked the truck where it was out of the way. The tractor is parked on a downgrade.

Hubby and I think we should call our place the Make Do Farm!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


You just know that if the phone rings early in the morning that chances are pretty good you would rather not want to know why.  The call this morning only resulted in a quick adjustment of our day's schedule but it took a bit of scrambling. 
I had an appointment with a surgeon in Huntsville about my thyroid for a week this Monday.  Her office called to say she had an emergency surgery and could I switch to this morning.  Hubby and I already each had an appointment in the village but we were able to get them done in good time and scramble off down the highway.  I was finished that appointment in time for us to be able to keep our plans to meet friends for lunch.  Did a bit of shopping after that and was back home for two and ready for a cup of tea.
I got a bit more quilting done on the customer's quilt but it is really too hot to do much.  I have been getting my entries ready for our fall fair and discovered the back of one quilt had some thread snarls.  I've removed them and also have to take off the label and that one is ready.
Hubby and I are going to try and have the weekend for ourselves.  We will see how that goes. Maybe I just won't answer the phone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Quilts and Mice

This is the customer quilt I am working on right now.  I flipped it around so you could see it right side up.  She has done a lovely job on the applique especially considering that the fabric is a slippery polyester.  It is going to take a bit of time doing the quilting as I only have a 9 inch harp (space between body and needle) so there is a lot of stopping and starting.  I am doing around the applique and then meandering over the while background.

I have been having trouble with my keyboard mouse sticking so, even though I was sure that wasn't the problem, I moved the computer and redid the wires so they were at the back of the stand.  The new location will ensure more are around the tower the lack of which can cause overheating.  As I suspected, the mouse still malfunctioned but I have moved the keyboard a bit to the left and it now seems to be working. 
I am not sure if the surface was causing the problem (I tried using a pad) but I don't care as long as it works.
I have just been puddling at one thing and another today.  Had a Skype conversation with my youngest sister which is always splendid.  Took Heidi for a walk through the bush and now will do a bit more quilting before it is time to get supper.
Tomorrow we are going to Huntsville to have lunch with dear friends.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Sunshine

We took a quick trip to Orillia this morning to take hubbies mother back home.  She has been visiting for a few days.  We took advantage of the journey to do a little shopping and then had lunch at the park.
Couchiching Park is one of the loveliest urban parks I have seen.  It is on the shore  of Lake Couchiching (hence the name) and is renowned for its beautiful old growth maple trees and statue of Champlain which was sculpted by Fredric March.  There is a long boardwalk used by dog walkers and bicyclists.  We joined the former with Heidi and got a bit of exercise before the drive back.
Hubby has been having a lot of hip pain and long trips are a problem for him even with me driving.  He has an appointment with a specialist next week so, hopefully, he will decide on a course of action.

The brakes on our little and very old truck went on Sat.  We need to look at a replacement but it will have to wait for a little bit as we look for something both cheap and reliable.  It will be a bit of an inconvenience for such things as taking garbage to the dump and our meat birds to the butcher but we will make do.

It has warmed up at bit (well, a lot really) and the sun is shining.  It is nice to see the end of the grey weather although I did like the cooler temperatures.  We saw quite a bit of colour in the Orillia area.  Their trees seem to be changing faster than ours which is odd as we are further north.
Remember to watch out for school buses and children as the season is starting once again. Our grandchildren went back yesterday although the children in this area don't start until next Tues. after the long weekend.