Saturday, November 11, 2017

Canada - Still Celebrating, and Celery Soup

Yes, we are still celebrating this great country of ours. 💗

Celebrating our luck  to live in a wonderful place (and for most of us it IS just luck), especially with such a beautiful view...sunshine in spite of the threatening skies.  Sights like this give me a moment of absolute rapture.  I know that sounds a little theatrical, but I swear it's true.

Now, on to the sort of depressing story.  This was most of the end of the garden produce.  Sad.  I had to go back out and dig ALL the celery, then figure out what the hell to do with it.  Rachel Ray has a good soup recipe.  I doubled the 'guts' so it would be a nice, thick, hearty soup.  I've got my adapted version at the bottom of this post.

The last jalapenos were chopped and frozen.  They will warm my belly during the winter.

And my fall front porch table will need updating.

Helen's Bastardized Celery Soup Recipe:

CELERY SOUP (about 5 generous servings)

§  2 tbsp butter
§  2 tbsp olive oil
§  4 cups chopped celery
§  1 cup diced onion
§  2 cups diced potato
§  1 litre /2 pints of light chicken/ turkey or ham stock
§  salt
§  black pepper
§  1 cup heavy cream

Stew the celery and onion gently in the butter and oil in a covered pan for 10 minutes.  
Add the potato and stir to coat well with butter and oil.   Don’t let the vegetables brown.  
Add the stock.  Bring the soup to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes or until the celery is very tender.  
Blend with your favorite food chopper/whizz-a-whizzer.  
Add the cream and rewarm the soup.

Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Where oh where does FEAR come from?

In Tobermory, on retreat with the Beach Girls, normally I share a room with Deb.  Because Karen couldn't make it this year, Deb and I each got our own room.  I was praying to the Universe that I didn't have to take Karen's room... because it has patio doors.  I might be sitting up in bed reading, with the light on.  A bear might see the light through the curtains, burst through the glass, tear me to shreds, and then eat me.  Right!?  Right!?  One year I got up in the middle of the night to make sure the UPSTAIRS patio doors (on the second floor) were the bears couldn't come in.  seriously???

I have never seen a bear in my life.  I am terrified of them.

These bears did NOT scare me. 😀

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Annual Project

I dragged it out as long as I could, but really, pillowcases only take so long to make.

I was trying to avoid my annual day of torture.  The one row of Double Wedding Ring that happens every year up here.  Diane remarked I'd better sew a little faster so we can see a completed top in this lifetime.  I suggested she delay any planned illnesses.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mission accomplished

Job #1 was supposed to take one day.  Hah.  We're on day three.  Am I slow?  Do I sleep too late in the morning?  Yesterday while I was cutting these blocks in half I mentioned to Carol Anne that I should not  be cutting AND drinking.  Then she cried "OUCH" because at exactly that moment she cut a big chunk off the end of her finger.  Oy yoy yoy.  She seems to have very thin blood because it took four bandaids and a hunk of gauze to staunch the blood.  When I found the missing hunk of skin later that night and offered to glue it back on...😉

Here are cocktails on the deck - day three.  Today we're enjoying French Martinis.

I think my next project will be the Christmas pillowcases.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

This is no way to start the day

Even a non-quilter should be able to figure out that something is not quite right here.
No. I don't have any more fabric with me.
No. There is no quilt shop within 80 kilometers of here.
Solution. Colourful language, then Baileys in my coffee.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Sleep.  Sweet, deep sleep.   In spite of two glasses of wine and a two-pak of Dark Chocolate Reeces Pieces.
Yesterday I started at 5 am, so I could pick up Deb at 7 am, so we could be in Elmira by 9 am, so we could enjoy a trunk show/demo by Kelly Cline before we headed up to Tobermory.
Kelly was fabulous, she works with heirloom linens and creates beautiful works of art, drawing on her art degree and interior design background.  Excellent day!
Following that was a very tedious drive which seemed to take forever, up to Tobermory.  I slept until 8:30 this morning!  Cause for celebration!
Today my project is the Kleenex Box Challenge for the Caledonia guild.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why can't I be like normal people???

Before we get to talkin' about me, we will discuss the change of the seasons.
This is the end of the Summer Quilt for 2017. (Washing quilts:  do it in the washing machine, on gentle "wash" cycle but full "spin" cycle.  Use a gentle detergent.)

Say "Hello" to the fall/winter quilt.  This was made with the fabrics I collected in Asia in 2009.  Wool batting, which is my absolute favorite.  Wash as noted above, but use cold water.

Now... Why can't I be like normal people?  This is a patio planter.  A big pot, about two feet across.  Those are sweet potatoes growing in there.  I have TWO of these pots.  Oh, sorry, yes.  That's my cutie patootie too. 💗

DH loads up the pot(s) on some man-equipment thing and hustles them over to the garden, where he dumps the contents.  Yahoo!!  Produce!!

See, a 'NORMAL' person would buy their sweet potatoes at the grocery store.  Or  get all crazy-like and go to the farmer's market.  But me?  I have to do this all myselfidiot.  FYI, sweet potatoes are not sweet until they are CURED for four days at 85 - 90 degrees, and then they need to "rest" for a couple more weeks.  So they've been living in my oven with the lights on, staying all nice and cozy.

And again, a 'NORMAL' person would buy their pumpkin at the grocery store.  In a can.

Uh huh.  I noticed when I posted this pic that there are TWO bottles of wine on my counter.  Was I expecting to be thirsty?  Or was I planning ahead? 😀

And here's the cleanup crew.  I pointed out to her that she missed the pumpkin that sprayed all over the front of the dishwasher and gooped up the handle.

I've been workin' too.  Great quilt - jelly roll friendly.
I am leaving tomorrow on the annual retreat in Tobermory with the Beach Girls.  I cannot wait Hopefully, while I'm away the Universe will take pity on me and bring in a deep frost that will kill everything left out in the garden.  But I suspect I'll come home next weekend to more produce that I will feel compelled to do something with.  banging head against the wall

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Winter is Coming...& Final Zucchini Report

Yes.  Winter is coming and the Christmas quilts are starting!

The fabrics in this quilt are just beautiful.

Stitch in the ditch, plus 1/4" outlining outside the motifs.  Trees in the trees, and a swirly thing in the stars.

Straight lines, x-hatching, and the cutest angel/tree/star border design.

Because Winter is Coming, the spiders have been very busy.

I took these pics on a morning just after the fog had burned off but everything was still wet.

I am scared of the big spiders that build these webs.

But I must say, they are certainly beautiful when covered in dew.

In my last post I was regaling you with the list of shit the Universe had rained down on us.  The following week DH came down with pink eye.  Gaaahhhh.  The week after that, the front doorbell quit.  That wouldn't normally be a big deal, but the doorbell is wired into the whole-house intercom system.  Pfftt.  One of us should have checked that one of us hadn't accidentally turned the power button to "off". 😉

Picked over the last, what, 2 weeks?  say... 6, because I'm not really sure.
Picked YTD:  89

Today I picked the remaining three weird football-ish orange squashes, three ripe pumpkins, and two wee immature pumpkins.  There is one more pumpkin out there that I hope will finish turning orange.  It was SO HOT here last week I had the air conditioner on.  Never before in my life at the end of September!!! Then on Wednesday the temp plummetted.  I think the coming week should be nice and "normal" for this time of year, like "Sweater Weather", so fingers crossed for the pumpkin, ok?  I've promised the Beach Girls a pot of Spicy Pumpkin Soup on our Tobermory retreat.  And lemme tell you - I'm counting down the days.  I've saved my best bottle of wine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Railroad Tracks Quilt and Dear Universe: Please Bugger Off!

I love the colours in this quilt.  And I would never, ever do this much paper piecing.

Quilted with tons of s.i.d.  Added x-hatching in the blue background and some little feathers in the gold centers.


I've been up since about 2:30 this morning.  I think my stress levels might be just a wee bit too high. In the past month...
  • Door knob fell off (bought all new door lock sets = $600).
  • Fridge quit (quickie emergency fridge $400 plus new REAL fridge $3300).
  • New furniture is waiting to be delivered but the old furniture has not sold yet ($2600).
  • Must pick up 4 gallons of pre-purchased paint by month end, a bargain I got last year.  I've been waffling on paint colours but the deadline for pickup is Sept. 30th.
  • Sadie's been eating herself.  She's wearing a cone and is now on antibiotics twice daily for 2 weeks.
  • And the worst news:  my sister passed away unexpectedly last weekend.
Goodbye Sharon.  I'll  miss having a sister.  No one else can answer those dumb questions I have. 😢

Picked this week:  3 (to Sept. 10)
Picked YTD:        83

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Raven quilt, A Kitchen Story, and the Zucchini Report

This is The Raven quilt.  I love every bit of this quilt.  All hand applique.

Background quilting was simple crosshatching, following the lines of the fabric.

Everything was s.i.d.  Birds were feathered (of course!) and other bits were quilted as applicable.

It's much easier to see the quilting on the back.
Somehow, the kitchen story seems to be taking place on the back patio.  Whaaatt??

Yeah.  Remember a couple weeks ago I spent HOURS cleaning the fridge before my in-laws arrived?  Wasted effort.  "Clean" and  "Cold" are, apparently, two different things.  Today my "cold" stuff was living in a cooler on the back porch.

The veggies were fending for themselves on the kitchen floor.  (ha ha - nice zucchini! 😀 )

When you are DESPERATE for a new fridge, on a long weekend no less, here is a little tip for you:  stores do not keep fridges in stock.  They have to be ordered in.  Except cheap, small fridges from Costco.  Ahem.


Picked this week:  6
Picked YTD:       80

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Letters on a Quilt, Company Overflow, Zucchini Report

This definitely rates as one of the more interesting quilts I've worked on this year.

Very simple, design-wise.  But paper piecing the letters and the leaf block would not be my favorite thing to do.  The piecer did a super job on this, for sure!  It was quilted with a Canada flag panto which has been getting lots (!) of use this year.

Last weekend we entertained DH's family, so I was kind of overrun with inlaws for almost a week.  They started arriving on Friday and we waved goodbye to the last of them on Wednesday.  I managed to feed ten of us for lunch on Saturday and as far as I can tell I didn't poison anyone.  Yay me. 👍  However, it seems to have been too much for our front door.  DH went to open it on Tuesday and the door knob fell off in his hand.  It was only 30-some years old...I guess they don't make stuff to last the way they used to.  ha ha...

In the pic below you'll see seven quarts of onion soup, eight pints of peaches, eight half-pints of  Amaretto-Peach Butter, and a lonely jar of zucchini pickles. (There were originally several jars of pickles but I managed to give a few away, for which DH is eternally grateful.)  When I went to the market last Thursday to get some peaches, the peach guy talked me into buying four six-quart baskets of  'seconds', at a pretty good price.  I hate to lose out on a bargain but lemme tell you - I'm darn tired of peeling peaches!!  Last night I made a peach cobbler, so I'm down to the last eight peaches in the fridge.  They just might rot there.  Pfftt.  "OH NO" says my inner voice.   I spent three hours scrubbing the fridge before the inlaws came - it's not getting dirty any time soon.  And yes, it had been quite a while since the last cleaning.  Gross, to tell you the truth.

The onions out in the garden are WONDERFUL this year.  Big and happy.  There's enough to make another 30 quarts of soup, I figure (although that won't happen!).

ZUCCHINI REPORT (2 weeks worth)

With all the rain we've had this summer I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the zucchini is thirsty.  I may have to water the garden.

Picked last 2 weeks:  15
Picked YTD:             74

I've got five or six in the fridge right now, so more zucchini loaf might be in my future.  But I've also got about eight starting-to-rot bananas on the counter which should go into banana bread, and the eight peaches in the fridge that need to be dealt with.

I may ignore the whole lot and go read a book.  I'm currently working my way through Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.  I have waited months for it (the E-edition for my tablet) to come in from the library.  I love reading books on my tablet but when they expire they just POOF and are gone.  That is pretty friggin' annoying if you're on the second last chapter.  Interesting side note about this book:  every chapter features a pic of a quilt block.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dresden Plate Quilt, Selvages, and Garden Update with Zucchini Report

The Dresden Plate is at the top of my FAVORITE QUILTS LIST.

I have made two of my own and I have a third in progress.  This quiltmaker repeated all of the fabrics identically in each plate, and also positioned them identically in the background square.  She used different fabrics for the centers.

I quilted S.I.D. around the sashing, outside of the plates, and around the inside circle.  Mauve thread was used in the sashing and inside the plates; the rest was white thread.  The maker requested feminine quilting, so I went with flowers.  So pretty.

One of my hobbies seems to be collecting selvages.  I have, probably, twelve pounds of them by now.  Never done a thing with them.  But LOOK!!!  I MADE SOMETHING!!!

OK, On to the garden update.  Can anybody tell me what the hell these are?

I swear to God, I planted Butternut Squash seeds.  I'm not sure any of them sprouted because I ended up with these football sized things, AND I have pumpkins growing too, which I also did not plant. I have "people" who do that for me. 😀 These HAD to come out of the compost, because that's where the pumpkin seeds would have been.  I am accustomed to butternut squash growing from the compost, so when I had volunteers back in the spring I gave some seedlings to my neighbour.  Won't she be surprised!  ha ha ha, I'm so bad....

Cherry tomatoes have been ripening for about two weeks now.  Oh, so good!  And the rainy summer has made the peppers very happy - look at the size of that jalapeno.  It is easily the size of the overfertilized produce that you buy at the grocery store, but mine are organic.  Yay me.

Now, what you've all been waiting for...
Picked this week:  13
Picked YTD:         59

This week I made five jars of Zucchini Pickles from one of my Bernardin cookbooks.  I've never made them before, so hopefully they're edible.