Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Where is it?

Why is it that you can be tripping over something for months, moving it from place to place and still have it get in the way but, the moment you need it, it disappears.  I have a pattern for a pennant that I want to make for Canada Day.  Can I find it?  No.  It is around somewhere and it will probably turn up at the end of July.
Ran outside early Sunday morning to take some photos.  We have had a few cold, sunny days and I love the shadow and light.  Enjoy.

Friday, January 27, 2017


These four deer came wandering up the driveway this afternoon.  I thought they might come all the way to the house but they cut across the snowbank and went into the wetlands which are on the left side of the photo.  The snow is a lot less deep there and it is used as a sleeping area.
My on line group, hearts to hands, have been posting puns and other jokes.  They are quite clever and really funny.  One ladies husband made up the following:  What did the guard yell when a prisoner ran down a staircase while escaping? Condescending!
On that note, have a great weekend.  We have snow squall warnings again but aren't planning on going anywhere so not a concern.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Quilt Show Winners.

Dogs can be just like children.  I took Heidi out for our usual walk today and didn't bother putting on her socks. We were going along the road so I knew the snow wouldn't be deep and, therefore, she wouldn't get snowballs stuck on her feet and legs.  Made sense in theory except she wanted to climb the snow banks and investigate the ditches.  By the time we got home, her little legs looked like they had developed some strange white fungus.  Into the sink she went much to her irritation.  Of course, I could have kept her leash tighter so she would have had to stay on the road but she does enjoy the snow.
I spent a good bit of time in the studio today quilting.  The previous couple of days, were spent at the computer getting caught up on my writing  but now that is done, I can quilt.
Have you seen the winning quilts from the Road to California show?  If not, here is the link.  There are two Canadian winners.  I am particularly fond of the entries by the Japanese quilters.  The artistry and attention to detail is amazing.  I am still working at getting my binding to lay flat.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Backs Can Be a Pain.

I have spent today getting caught up with my writing schedule and have everything done but one report.  It isn't needed until the end of the month but I will be able to send it tomorrow and then I can get at my quilting again.
As much as I enjoyed our snow shoe outing on Friday, it didn't like me.  Pushing and pulling through the ice crust hurt my back and I spent most of 4 days in bed.  I couldn't sit very long and you can't do everything standing up.  Even eating was a problem although I could manage that in my living room chair as long as I didn't take to long.  I went to quilting Monday afternoon which was a mistake because the road was covered in ice ruts.  My car bounced and slid all the way to the village and by the time I got there I was in a great deal of pain.  I stayed long enough to recover, came home and went back to bed.  Hubby made a chiropractor appointment for me for the next day.
It was wonderful waking up this morning after a good night's sleep, pain free and able to sit at the table to eat breakfast.  I am trying to be really careful until my back has a chance to settle down.  Sciatic pain is a real pain.
I hope you are still reading the blog hop posts.  Remember to read all the way to the bottom so you can enter any draws that are being held.  Maria is offering a free subscription to The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  If you missed my post, it was on Jan. 17th and it lists the blogs at the end.  Good luck,

Friday, January 20, 2017


I feeling almost back to normal today.  I have spent most of it quilting:  working on my granddaughter's quilt and then going snowshoeing in the afternoon.  Hubby and I have been trying to get out for over a week but we have either been busy or the weather didn't cooperate.  We wanted to get the trail padded down again so it is easier travelling and also so the dog can walk on it without sinking up to her tummy.
It was heavy going as there was a crust of ice on the snow so we took turns leading.  The snow itself was deep as well as there had been a couple of snowfalls since our last trip.  We got about half the trail done which was a good start.  It is supposed to stay warm for another week so we should be able to get in finished this weekend.
I uploaded a photo to my Pinterest account today.  First time I have done that.  I just opened the account a couple of weeks ago so have to learn how Pinterest operates.  Always something new to learn.
Our bird feeders are really busy and the blue jays are back again.  We hadn't seen them for a while and thought they had left us for a better feeding station.  We also have brown, black and grey squirrels waiting to pick up any droppings.  The should be snug in a burrow but it is mild enough that they are out and about.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


We had two reasons to celebrate today. Most importantly it was hubby's birthday so we had a special supper.  He went into the village earlier where he played some pool with a friend and had a little time to himself.  Tomorrow night we may go to the Legion for the monthly live jam with local and area talent.  It is a super evening and you can buy supper if you wish or have some snacks throughout the evening.  We will decide tomorrow if we are going for sure.  We usually say we will do something but, when the time comes, decide we will stay home.
The second happy event was the email I received saying that I have been selected by Island Batik to be their Ambassador for another year.  I am looking forward to seeing what the monthly challenges will be and, of course, receiving my fabric.  As in the past year, I will be share with you through draws.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Thank you to all who commented on yesterday's blog.  I hope you are reading all the other blogs and entering the draws.  Not everyone is having them but many are.  Good luck.
I have been feeling rather blah the past few days.  Not sure why.  Possibly because a few friends are ill and another one died last week.  That in itself can make a person feel blue but I think it is probably more that I can't get outside and walk because it has been so slippery.
I don't know what you do when you want to disengage from life for a bit but I read.  I have always enjoyed books but don't indulge myself very often  because,  once I start one, I want to keep reading until it is finished.  I am usually able to get through in 2 to 3 hours but, like most people, I don't that much free time all at once.
I had a couple of meetings in the village today and a bit of time in between so went into the library.  I was just browsing when I saw Buddy Guy's autobiography.  I have always enjoyed his guitar playing so I checked it out.  This is a book I can read a bit at a time so it is perfect.
Hopefully, tomorrow I will be back to my usual chipper self.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blog Hop

It is hard to believe that my year as an Island Batik is over.  I am hoping to be selected again so I can, once more, share with you these lovely fabrics and some of the things you can make with them.
The last challenge is, oddly enough, called New Beginnings.  New, because it is the first one of 2017.  We were asked to design something that depicted that theme. 

The fabric I used is from the  River's Edge collection. Although the wall hanging I used doesn't have anything to do with water,  I loved the colours and decided to use my own idea.  This is so easy to do when you are working with such  beautiful fabric.  You can buy Island Batik fabrics at a wonderful quilt store in Orillia called Thimbles and Things. (thimblesandthings.com) You might also wish to drool over all the other Island Batik fabrics and can do so at: islandbatik.com  If you don't live in my area, you can find a list on the site of other stores that carry the product.
My version of New Beginnings has two meanings.  The most obvious is the rooster greeting a new day but there is also another story behind that.  Almost 9 years ago, my husband and I moved from Edmonton (a large city of 1 million people) to rural Armour Township in north central Ontario.  As soon as we were settled, we bought some laying hens.  The flock has continued to provide us with fresh eggs as well as meat and many house of enjoyment as we watch them scurry and scratch around the yard. And yes, we do have a rooster.  He guards the hens and lets us know when another day starts. My rooster is from a free design by Cindy at Fat Cat Patterns (fatcatpatterns.com)  If you haven't seen her patterns, do check them out.  One of my first applique projects was her Funky Chickens.

This final challenge is part of a blog hop.  You can see the links to the other blogs below.  Take time to check them out as there are fabric draws, free patterns and wonderful quilts to be seen.  Island Batik is also having a draw.  You can enter it at:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/511f5ed414/
Copy and paste into your browser and follow the instructions.

Blog Links (you can still enter the draws on the earlier blogs)

Monday, January 9 – Coastal Mist
Stone Cottage Quilts
Tuesday, January 10 – Dotalicious
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
PamelaQuilts (Me!)
Inchworm Fabrics
Wednesday, January 11 – Drizzle
Webster Quilt
Thursday, January 12 – Fifi and Fido + Happy Hounds
Mary Mack Made Mine
Quilting Affection
Friday, January 13 – Fresh Catch
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Monday, January 16 – Glowing Embers
Purrfect Spots Designs
Tuesday, January 17 – Lake Life
Freemotion by the River
Wednesday, January 18 – River’s Edge
Ark Angel Creations
Jennifer Sewing
Friday, January 20 – Blushing Blooms
Desert Bloom Quilting
Monday, January 23 – Gone Fishin’
Maria Michaels Designs
Wednesday, January 25 – Surf and Sand
The Patchwork Pearl
Thursday, January 26 – Twilight Blush
KISSed Quilts
Friday, January 27 – Happy Harvest
For Quilts Sake
Monday, January 30 – Jolly Holly
Connie Kauffman
Tuesday, January 31 – Frost
MooseStash Quilting
Wednesday, February 1 – Merry and Bright
Patchwork Breeze
Sally’s Quilting Corner

Friday, January 13, 2017

What is It?

What do you do with a wall full of left over blocks?  There are 24 of these orphan blocks of various sizes some of which have been sitting around for years.  I have others but these are the ones I am most likely to use.  I am going to put borders on the smaller ones to make them all a consistent size and then decide where to go from there.  I want to use them to make a queen size top so will probably alternate with some plain squares.  I am sure I will have to make a few more blocks but if I get this lot used up, I will feel I have accomplished something.

Here is a sneak peak at part of my New Beginnings blog hop quilt. Can you guess what is on top of the log cabin block? I will be posting it on Tuesday along with links to the other blog hoppers many of whom are having draws.  This is the last Island Batik project for this session and the company is also having a draw for some of their beautiful fabric.
It has been quite cold today but the sun was shining.  Heidi and I bundled up and went for a quick, brisk walk in the afternoon. Emphasis on the 'quick'.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

An Early Night

It was so windy last night that it kept waking me up.  Normally, I find the extremes of nature exciting . However, when you live in a bush surrounded by trees that are at least 80 feet tall,  the threat of one of them toppling onto your roof can be unsettling.  Hubby does try and keep any dodgy ones cut down but you can't always tell if one is dying especially in the winter when there aren't any leaves to give a hint.
I woke to find that the hydro had gone off.  I had a meeting in the village in the morning and didn't know if the hall was similarly affected.  Before I had a chance to phone, I got a call saying the meeting had been cancelled.  I am glad we have kept one phone that isn't a portable as it usually works even when we don't have power.
We had planned on going to Huntsville after my meeting to shop so we were able to go earlier.  We also planned on going to the area Hospice to see a friend.  When we got there, we found that he had passed away earlier in the morning.  We knew that his time was probably short but it was still a shock. I feel emotionally drained tonight so I think it will be early to bed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One Third of the Cost.

I gave myself a snow day today and just sewed.  I took time off to eat and take Heidi for a walk but the rest of the time I stayed at the machine.  I finished making the top and then the quilting on the wall hanging I have been working on.  I got the binding sewn on just before  supper and have started the hand sewing part.  All in all, I have spent about 6 hours sewing.  I figure there has to have been well over 20 hours in designing and making the top.  That comes to 26 hours-minimum.  If I pay myself ten dollars an hour which is less than minimum wage the cost of the wall hanging is $260.00 before I even add in the fabric, batting and thread.  Overhead costs such as heat, hydro,  property taxes etc. would bring the value of this one little wall hanging to somewhere just under $400.00
Amazing!  If I am  fortunate, I will get about 1/3 of that cost.
Good thing I really like quilting.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Early Morning Photos

 The rising sun shining on the new snow early Sunday morning was beautiful.  So much so, that I took nearly 20 photos, some of them by standing on the back step in my bare feet.  Here are a few of them and, yes, I know that Heidi isn't a snow bank but she looked so cute laying my latest quilt  that I had to include her.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Bargain Price

I have spent most of today making a rooster.  He is for my latest quilt and I finally got him finished half hour ago.  I did have him all done earlier in the afternoon, including sewing to the background, and then decided I didn't like where he was.  As I had used a zigzag stitch to attach this fine fellow, it took a while removing them.  I am glad I took the time, however, as he looks a lot better in the new place.  Now I have to trim the background, add borders and get it quilted.
I have a couple of items for sale and both are a great bargain. If you like making hexagons, you will love the perpetual calendar with 365 six inch blocks by Katja Marek.  Each block includes a placement diagram, photo and full sized templates.  The original cost was 23.99 U.S. but I am offering it at $15.00.  I only have one of these left.
I also have 2 zero centre measuring tapes.  These are designed to be used on a long arm table to keep your quilt sandwich centred.  The centre of each tape has a zero and the numbers starting at 1 on either side and go to 72 on either end.  The other side of the tape is the usual type. Only $12.00 each.
It has been quite cold here today with snow squall warnings,  which, fortunately, we didn't get. 
Have a safe weekend. Contact me via the comment area if you are interested in the items that are for sale.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lake Effect Snow

We have been getting another snowy, windy day where, at times, you couldn't see much outside and others when it was beautiful.  My car is still parked at the end (or beginning depending on how you look at it) of the driveway.  We did think we might try and drive it up this morning but decided that we better leave things as they are.  Our plow guy hasn't been yet and we are hoping he makes it before the morning as hubby has to go to Huntsville for 8 in the morning for a medical test.  I was going to go later but given the forecast, I might not make it until the weekend.  I don't want to be faced with trying to haul groceries up that hill even if I were able to make it to the town.  Hubby might not get there either.  Be glad when the Great Lakes freeze over so we aren't getting this lake effect snow.  For some reason, it seems to be more hazardous than the usual winter weather.
I did finish hubby's quilt today and have the binding half finished.  the Island Batik top was started but I need to get a pattern enlarged before I can do anymore.  This is one of the reasons, besides shopping, that I needed to get into town.
If you are in Ontario and don't have to go out for the rest of the week, please don't.  The weather will settle down eventually and you can get done whatever is needed.  In the meantime, enjoy your home, make a pot of stew, read a book or whatever else you enjoy doing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A New Blog Hop and Free Fabric

Here is a sneak peak at some of the fabrics I am going to be using in my next Island Batik project  This month is a blog hop and a few of the posters will be holding draws for fabric. This is the first one.  Connie has a lovely package so check out her blog.  http://www.conniekresin.com/2017/01/2017-goals-plans.html
I think I am starting to get used to being in a new year now although I still seem to have trouble remembering what day it is.  I have almost finished quilting my husband's quilt and tomorrow I start the Island Batik one. 
My on line group Hands to Hearts are getting a good head start on this years Christmas projects.  We have set up a file with different ideas and another with the patterns and links.  There is a list in the Database where each person lists what they want to get done in the current month.  We might not be able to meet all our goals but even getting a few things finished will be a bit step.  Of course, I will probably forget that I have done anything or not be able to find where they are.  I still haven't located a couple of the gifts I was going to give for Christmas 2016!