Sunday, May 14, 2017

Card Trick in Taupes & Gardening Update

Taupe quilts are very Japanese, and very restful.

Muted greens, blues & reds work beautifully to add some gentle colour.

It was quilted with lots of s.i.d. & feathers.

Mmm, nice definition on the back.

GARDEN UPDATE

  • I've picked seven more spears of asparagus.
  • DH rototilled the garden last fall and that was the best thing, ever!  It's all ready for me now, except for the wee challenge of a zillion thistle plants.  Those horrid things spread by runners that are easily a foot or more deep.  Every time a root gets chopped apart (by, say, a rototiller) each little piece of root sends up a new plant.  I'm currently on thistle-digging duty now.  That's not a hard job but it is a tedious chore because they will all come back.  sigh.
  • Last year I tried to eliminate my problem of THE GARLIC THAT ATE MANHATTAN.  Well, hell.  I did not succeed.  Yesterday I dug up and transplanted 22 plants.  I dug up and heeled in seven huge clumps that are available to whoever wants them.  I tossed another zillion over my shoulder.  There are still many, many more little ones that will be haunting me again next year.
  • After the garlic was moved I found my strawberry plants.  Yay!  And we have flowers.  More yay!  Strawberries won't be too far behind.  I need to frame this strawberry bed with something, though.  The babies are starting to show up everywhere and need to be corralled. Removing overabundant garlic, only to replace it with overabundant strawberries, is not helpful.
  • I ripped out some raspberry runners that were trying to move into the cutting garden.  I put in a delineator row of bricks so I can stay diligent about where they are allowed to live.
  • On my way home from retreat in March I bought myself a pot of tulips.  I planted that out in the garden - hopefully they'll be so grateful I didn't leave them dried up in the pot that they'll bloom for a few more years outside.
  • I figured "what the hell" and planted a Sweet 100 tomato seedling under a cloche.  I have several more seedlings in case I've murdered this one.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Spring has Sprung

I was pretty bummed out last week when I realized this was the end of my raspberries from the freezer.  It will probably be another two months before I'll be picking new ones.  Several days later I was poking around to see if I had any frozen cake frosting (which is kind of funny, when you think about it) and discovered another tupperware full of raspberries.  Yay - lunch for another few weeks!

Last year's kale managed to overwinter.  I chopped up some of this to extend the Mixed Chinese Vegetables from leftover Chinese food on DH's birthday.  I would not make him eat kale on his birthday, but two days later all bets were off. 😊

Yesterday I harvested seven spears of asparagus!  Woo hoo!!

I have two lettuce plants growing under cloches.

Two more cloches have cabbage seedlings.

The peas have sprouted.  Now I need to get a little cage around these so the stupid rabbit doesn't eat them all.
Last night I transplanted 30 tomato seedlings into larger pots.  Well, not pots exactly.  Large Tim Hortons coffee cups.  DH likes to go for coffee with a couple of the neighbour-menfolk.  I'm sure they think I'm insane when they find out they have to SAVE their cups for me.  I poke a few drainage holes in the bottom, drop the seedling down in the bottom of the cup, then fill it up with potting mix.  The seedling will put out roots all along the length of it's stem.  When it comes time to plant in the garden  these will have huge deep roots on them.


Garden work will have to wait for a while.  The rain is starting today (it's already raining, actually) - the forecast is for 1" tonight and another 1" tomorrow night.  
Since we've already had a TON of rain the ground is totally saturated, and everything that comes down during this storm will be runoff.  Sploosh, sploosh, sploosh.  I must remember to ask DH to poke around in the garage to see if he has a raft out there for us... just in case.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Minor Quilt Corrections & Followup to SOLO Meeting

This past Sunday was the semi-annual SOLO meeting (Southern Ontario Longarm Operators).  We had a big show & share, a brown bag lunch, and then we split into groups and discussed multiple topics.  Afterwards we shared a recap of our discussions with the whole group.

One of the topics of discussion was "What do you do with a quilt that has issues?"  Issues could be wonky borders, turned blocks, open seams, etc.  I was really surprised at the number of quilters who send those quilts home to be fixed.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time you know that I fix boo-boos on a regular basis.  Here's yesterdays fix.  These two blocks were both facing the wrong direction.  I caught it while the customer was still here, so we discussed it and she elected to have me fix it for her.  It ended up taking me 75 minutes to frog and restitch, which will just get added to her invoice.
BLOCKS PICKED OUT

BLOCKS REINSERTED
Some of the other topics:

  • pricing & payment methods
  • intake process & contracts/work orders
  • cool new tools/books/rulers
The meeting closed with a discussion around the future direction of SOLO.  Since it is totally informal and meetings only happen when a brave & beloved soul decides to throw their hand up and say "I'll do the next meeting!" this was an interesting discussion.  In October we will, hopefully, be having a trunk show & lecture/demo by a well known longarm quilter.  This will mean a higher entrance charge, but will also be a great opportunity to learn something without having to travel a long distance.  Yay.

If you don't currently receive an invitation to SOLO but would like to be added to the list, send me an email.  I'm the current sucker volunteer who looks after the guest spreadsheet and the invitations.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Flannel House Quilt, and a Colour-Themed Evening

Yup, this happy quilt is all flannel.  If you've ever worked with flannel you know how s.t.r.e.t.c.h.y. it is.  This piecer did a wonderful job - everything was nice and FLAT. 😀

I was working on this back in late March on a few of those horrid, grey/rainy/sleet-ey days.  Quilting the happy sunshine backgrounds brought a smile to my face.

All the geese and borders and houses were s.i.d., then I threw in a few feathers for good measure.  The curls in the braid border evoke the howling winds that were going on outside at the time.

Straight lines and crosshatching nail everything down.

Pretty back!

Tonight I am going to work on my 150 Canadian Women quilt.  So the theme for the evening is RED and WHITE. heh, heh, heh.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Home from Missouri

I love getting home and finding the garden waking up, in spite of the April snowstorm.
DH is always good about having the house in tidy-ish condition for my return. 💗  Last night, for example, he ran the dishwasher so I didn't come home to a sink full of scummy pots & pans.  I'm not too sure why he decided he needed to wash the sticky label on the tupperware, though. 😏

Friday, April 7, 2017

Missouri Star Quilt Company

Our week in Hamilton Missouri is over and we're half way home. Jenny Doan is a wonderful (!) speaker, who had us laughing and crying. I'm happy to report that I won a Layer Cake as a door prize ☺.  We had already spent most of Wednesday shopping in her dozen stores, but after the trunk show on Thursday I figure we all dropped another bundle of cash because we were newly inspired. I know that I had to buy another layer cake that coordinated with my prize ( shaking head sadly).

I have really enjoyed the week or two the season here is ahead of ours, because the daffodils are out. Apparently southern Ontario has experienced an early April snowstorm that I'm happy to have missed. Tomorrow when I get home the temperature should be back to normal.

Monday, April 3, 2017

My new best friends

Here I sit in my HOTEL ROOM in Joliet, Illinois. My new best friends are a bottle of wine, another bottle of wine (no surprise), a rubber duckie, and a towel elephant. And of course Janice, my roomie. ☺
Tomorrow we head to Chillicothe MO to go to Missouri Star Quilt Company.
Vacation ❤

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Destashing - FABRIC FOR SALE - CHEAP!!

Once upon a time there was no quilt shop in Caledonia.  I was the only local place where you could come and get some emergency fabric.  Then Barb opened a quilt shop and I stopped, for the most part, selling fabric.  Then Barb's stock was sold to Sue, and then Sue sold to Lauranne, and then Lauranne closed.  So that is the history of quilt shops in Caledonia, as I know it.

Moving on... I am destashing.  I have so much fabric, I will never use it all if I live to be 100 years old.  Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook have seen these posts floating by for the past couple of weeks.  It has all been either $7 or $8 per m.  (One m. is 39" for those of you in the USA.)  And I'm not done yet, there will be more to come.

Contact me if you want any of this stuff.  There is an email link on the right hand side-bar.  No you don't have to take the whole bolt.
SHIPPING TO USA OR CANADA:  I WILL LIMIT THE SHIPPING COST TO $10.00 FOR UP TO 5 M. OF FABRIC.  If you are purchasing more than that you'll have to pay the full shipping.







Sunday, March 12, 2017

Trees 'n Stars #2 and Bitchin' About the Season

What a difference a change in colour makes.  This is the same quilt as two posts ago.

I swear (a lot, but that's beside the point) that ribbon border is one of my all time favorites.

Everything was s.i.d.  The background was cross-hatched, inside the stars got a circle & bowknot motif, the trees were quilted with a continuous loopy-thing, and the ribbon border was inside 1/4 inched.

Much easier to see the quilting on the back.  I love the Celtic Braid in the outer border.

BITCHIN'
Today is the SPRING FORWARD time change.  You have no idea how much I hate this coming week.  I will be dragging my ass every day trying to acclimate myself to an earlier wake-up.  I mean, it's 1:00 in the afternoon already.

The other unpleasant event this week is the impending STORM arriving tomorrow and continuing through Tuesday.  I don't have to go anywhere except the sweat shop in my basement, but it's the middle of March for Pete's sake!  When the temperature dropped from +10 c. to -5 c my poor little crocuses pulled their heads back into themselves like turtles.  I treated myself to a pot of tulips on the way home from retreat last Sunday, and they FROZE on the front porch, dammitall.  We are anticipating up to 30 cm. of snow (translation:  12 inches).

Today I plan to get a little feel-good into my schedule.  Seed Starting!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Retreat!!

If I'm in a room full of women & sewing machines, I must be on a quilting retreat. When I get tired of stitching, I  can move on to wine & cheesies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trees 'n Stars, and UFOs

This quilt belongs to one of my favorite piecers.  She is VERY accurate and her quilts are always perfectly flat.

I will really miss her - she's moving out-of-country soon. 😞

THE CURRENT CROP OF UFOs

There are actually a few more than what I've included here.  These are the ACTIVE projects.

1)  150 Canadian Women - this gets attention every week, when the three new block patterns arrive to my inbox.  I've completed 40 blocks so far, two are behind schedule, and three more arrived this morning.  I normally work on this one night a week as I enjoy a glass of "magic sparkle juice" (ha ha, cute new term for wine, as per Angela Walters).

2)  Leader & Ender quilt, pattern by Bonnie Hunter.  I think I started this last summer.  It stays beside my sewing machine.  Whenever I'm sewing anything, as I finish a seam, instead of cutting the threads I stick in a bit of this patchwork.  Last week I completed the 60 x 9-patch units and I had no more pieces cut.  I spent two hours last night cutting green 2" x 5" pieces, and yellow 2" x 2" pieces so I can carry on with the next part of this quilt.  Hopefully this will be completed before my 70th birthday (9 years from now - waddaya think... will I do it???).

3) Hugs & Kisses quilt.  This is a very scrappy quilt that I drag along when I go to retreats.  It hasn't seen the light of day since last fall, but the Binbrook retreat is coming up in early March so I should make some progress on it.  Oops, it HAS seen the light of day, when I took it out to take this pic. 😉
You may have noticed that quilts 1) and 2) live in the clear plastic boxes that your pre-cut salad greens are in.  I LOVE those things.  I actually pulled one out of the ditch last week when Sadie & I were out for a walk.  They're wonderful for keeping your cut pieces nice & flat and they easily hold blocks up to 6 1/2" without wrinkling them.  And that is your free tip for the day....

Monday, February 13, 2017

First Red & White of the Year & Winterruption & Winner!!

As you may (or may not?) know, this is Canada's sesquicentennial year.

Quilters LOOOVE to celebrate.  Any excuse will do.

How better to celebrate than to make a quilt to memorialize the occasion?

Mmm, plain backs with custom quilting are so pretty.

WINTERRUPTION 2017

Another winter holiday with my girlies has come & gone.  Girlies = my longarm besties:  Diane, Deb, Carol Anne & Karen.  We missed Karen this year - she stayed home to teach her new puppy proper potty etiquette.  (don't try and say that when you're on your second martini)
I managed to get almost caught up on my 150 Canadian Women quilt (did you notice that the cocktail is red to match?), and I pieced a cute doggie placemat for another friend with a new puppy.
Diane was suffering from The Plague.  We filled her full of lemon/honey tea and sent her to bed each night with a bellyfull of Nyquil.  When they all left on Sunday I (hopefully) disinfected all surfaces where germs may potentially lurk.

Leftover food that DH and I are working our way through:

  • Yogurt.  Lots of yogurt.
  • Oatmeal Bake with Peaches & Blueberries.
  • Danishes.  Although these seem to have disappeared when I had my back turned.  Oddly, the same thing happened to the leftover tarts.
  • No-Peek Chicken.
  • Chinese Food.
  • Beef Stroganoff.
  • Salad.
  • Wine.  Yum. 👌
BREAKING NEWS:
I won the Block of the Month at Caledonia Guild last week.  Another UFO, ha ha ha...



Sunday, February 5, 2017

Valentines Hearts, Roman Blinds, the Current Book

Here are your February hearts. 💟

This was the bedroom in the process of being painted.  My left knee still hurts.  Ow.  My friend said "You turned 60 last year, didn't you?  That's when it starts." (as in breaking down)

This past week I finished the Roman Blinds.  Next up will be the side drapes, and then valances.

This is the current book at my bedside.  See the comment above about my knee. 😉