Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dodo Feathers

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fulfilling a Dream

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Disappearing Pinwheel

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Another Use for Clips

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

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bugs and Blessings

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

Friday, May 19, 2017


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

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

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hot Today, Chili Later.

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

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There is Always One

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Meeting the Neighbours

Happy Friday.  I got my Island Batik top finished today and now have to find suitable fabric to make the binding. 
It was such a lovely day, despite the blackflies that are starting to make their presence known, that I took Heidi for an extra long walk.  We have had quite a few new neighbours move in this year and I haven't met them all yet so the warmer weather is a good time to see if any are outside.  One of the couples waved as we went past so I backed up and introduced myself.  We chatted for a bit then we continued on.  Heidi and I completed our walk making sure that if any other dogs took the same route they would know she had been there. 
After supper as we were doing our devotions, our four legged alarm system went into a frenzy.  Hubby thought something might be at the chickens and went outside to check.  He discovered a loose dog that we didn't recognize.  It was quite friendly and, as it had neither collar nor leash I got some for it and we started walking along the road to see if anyone was looking for a dog.  Another of the new neighbours on the other side of us came along and claimed him.  So, we met two neighbours and one dog today. 
I also got some lettuce planted and tomorrow will be seeing if the garden centre has rhubarb plants in yet.  We are moving ours to a new area to see if it will grow better.
Happy Mother's day to those with children of their own as well as those who help mother other peoples little ones.
Judy, would you send me your email addy please.  I can be reached at:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Free Pattern.

Today was another of my attempts to get the studio back in order.  I had mislaid something which wasn't surprising give that the remnants of the last few projects were piled onto the  cutting and ironing table and just pushed to one side.  My preferred method of cleaning is to dump everything onto the floor and then start putting things in organized piles back onto the cutting table.  Leftover and current fabrics from an ongoing project are put with the project etc.
I have got some things done but there is still quite a heap on the floor.  I also got another quilt loaded onto the frame and ready to finish. I will get the tension done tomorrow.  The quilting itself shouldn't take long.
If you didn't win one of the main prizes in my recent contest, I have news for you.  If you go to my Craftsy page, ( you can chose any pattern that you like and I will send it to you at no cost.  This is a thank  you for reading my blog and entering the contest.  I can't afford to give everyone the main prize as much as I would like to so I hope this little something will let you know that you are appreciated.  Put the name of your pattern in the comment and then I will contact you for your email. Remember this is only for those who entered my last contest.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hummers are Back

Both winners have been in touch and I will be sending their beautiful Island Batik prizes out in the mail to them on Friday.  It is such fun to be able to share these lovely fabrics.
We have had a return to seasonable temperatures today as well as the sunshine.  I had a meeting in the morning but,  when I returned home, I sat outside to eat my lunch and then hubby, Heidi and I went for a walk.  A lot of little flowers are popping up amongst the trees and adding some delicate colour to the forest floor.
Later in the afternoon, hubby announced that our first hummingbird arrived so I hustled around and filled one of the feeders for it.  It was probably a male looking for nesting sites.  We do have at least one family here every year and I am assuming it is the same one(s) each time.
Congratulations again to Jenny and QuiltE.  I will be taking a photo of their prizes after they have received them.  Don't want to spoil their surprise.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

And the Winners Are.....

Drum roll please!  The winners of my  draw contest is QuiltE  who won the blog prize and Jenny won the Facebook prize.  Congratulations.  Please contact me with your name and mailing address by the end of the week so I can end you your lovely Island Batik fabrics.  I would have liked to share these with every one but then I wouldn't have anything left for myself.  I will be having another contest though.
Our IB project this month is to make a modern quilt.  This is one of my favourite designs because it is so freeing.  I completed the top today and now have to decide on the quilting pattern.
Another day of sunshine.  Below seasonable temperatures but no rain or snow.  Our trilliums are almost ready to bloom and I notice a couple of fiddleheads have made an appearance.  It seems that a pair of eagles have decided that our home would be a good place for them to start a home of their own.  There have been a couple flying around for a bit.  They will probably build further to the back of the property or perhaps on our neighbours 100 acres which is behind ours.  Nice to have them around but will keep an extra eye on our chickens just in case.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Contest-Day 4 and Markers.

It is still raining although it is more a steady drizzle here.  Had to go into the village for some blood work and then, once I was back home, I have spent the day quilting. 
I am working on a quilt top that consists of 3 inch strips made up of 3 inch squares.  Each strip is slightly different that the previous so it is necessary to keep track of which one goes where.  I am not a big fan of little strips of numbered paper to keep things organized.  I tend to lose the paper  or the pins get in the way when I quilt.  I have a method which works well and doesn't have any down side.  I use washable Crayola markers.  A lady in our quilt group tried each colour on a number of fabrics and all washed out without any problem so I bought a box.  I have successfully used them to mark fabric when doing the back basting method of applique and to number fabric pieces.  I really like them and they are much cheaper than markers made specifically for quilting. And they really do easily wash out.
Have you entered my contest yet?  For full details check Day 3 blog. Contest ends on May 9th.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Contest-Day 3

I was in a baking mood today. I made  dozen white chocolate muffins and a small loaf of the same and a dozen pumpkin muffins and a large loaf.  All were made from the same recipe with the main ingredient changed.  The other main ingredient is canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained and pureed.  I should have enough company treats in the freezer to last for a while now.
The Burk's Falls Art Centre opens this month for another season so I finished the day getting some items ready to sell. 
We have been keeping an eye on the weather all day as we are supposed to get a heavy rainfall.  It has held off so far so the midnight prediction for it to start seems that it might be accurate.  The rain is supposed to continue for a few days which means our driveway will be flooded again.  I am not complaining though as there are places in Quebec that have been evacuated.
This is day 3 of my contest.  I am pleased to see so many entries.  Remember that if you are a follower of this blog you can enter by posting a comment telling me what your favourite quilt block is.  You can also put in a second entry by 'liking' my Facebook page.  If you are not a follower, you can enter on Facebook.  You can only enter once in each place.  (Thank you Roberta for asking about that as I didn't mention it on the preceding days.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Contest, Day 2

Nothing exciting to tell you today other than the sun shone for the first time in a few days and for the last time in a few more.  Did some shopping and the usual house stuff but also went for a nice long walk to the lake that is just a block or so south of us.  There are a lot of houses along the shore line but the water is still visible from the road. 
There have been a few entries for my contest so don't forget to add yours.  You must be a member/follower of this blog and then just send a comment telling me your favourite block i.e. star, log cabin etc.  The comment button is at the end of the blog.
You have a second chance to enter by going to my Facebook page and clicking like under the blog post.  Don't forget to leave your name.
If you are not a blog follower, you can still enter on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time to Enter to Win

Contest time.  If you are a member/follower of this blog, you are eligible to enter to win a great prize.  As you know, I am an Ambassador for Island Batik and I enjoy being able to share these wonderful fabrics.
If you would like to enter, leave a comment stating your favourite quilt block.  The winner will be chosen from all entries on May 9th.  There will be a second draw from those who enter on my Facebook page.  If you are a follower, you can enter in both places.
To enter on Facebook, all you have to do is like the page and leave a comment.
Remember; if you are not a follower of this blog, you can only enter on Facebook.  If you are a member, you can enter in both places.  This gives  you two chances to win a prize.
Good luck.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Applique Adventures

Island Batik fabrics April project was entitled Adventurous Applique.  I debated for some time, and changed my mind just as often, about what I would make until I settled on the doves on either side of the heart.  It is a anniversary gift for a friend.
I love the pastel batik colours against the dark background.
I haven't been able to bind it yet as I hadn't been able to hold a needle properly.  I tried a bit of hand applique yesterday evening and the puncture (from the sewing machine needle) seems to have healed enough that I can use it. 
We had a real downpour today just as we were unloading our quilt supplies to take inside the Legion.  We were all drenched but even a bad weather day can't dampen (sorry) our quilting spirits.