Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Lantern Quilt

This is another Lantern Quilt made in the Morning Out class last winter.
I used so many tools on this quilt it was getting ridiculous.
  • straight edge
  • large circle template
  • large oval template
  • weird assorted curves template
  • 1 1/2" straight line stencil
  • chalk pounce pad
  • tailors chalk
  • tape measure
  • and of course, the dreaded stitch ripper

I used a variegated thread in the lantern blocks and the borders.

The back is sooo pretty.

The last few days I've been trapped in the office working on the next quilt for Morning Out.  I took an afternoon/evening off and went out with a couple of my Red Hat gals to see The King's Speech.  Excellent movie!  The theatre was so quiet at some points I didn't dare stick my hand in the licorice bag.  Today I'm revising my UFO lists (OMG, that I even have more than one list.  sheesh.) so I can register with Judy Laquidara for a monthly UFO completion challenge.  I don't know if I can complete one per month, but I'll give it the old college try.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas Eve. Enough said.

Christmas Day with mom, both of us wearing our new chapeaux. Ain't we cute???

Mom's funny these days. I baked Molasses cookies and took them with me. They're soft, and mom has no top teeth, so... I also brought tea and teacups, because Tim Hortons is closed today. I had the cookies on a lovely glass dish, so were having an elegant little tea party, with our party hats. heh, heh, heh. Mom has about eight cookies and half a cup of tea. Then she says to me "Oh, I'm so full of cookies I think I'm going to lie down and have a nap." Yeah, ok Mom. Merry Christmas to you too. Sheesh. Puzzle, here I come.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aprons for the seniors

Here's the family modeling the Christmas aprons I made for 'the home'. Not everyone looks happy about the photo shoot.

Here are all 24 before I delivered them. The administrator was very happy to receive the package. Hopefully all are being used today.
We had our Christmas dinner with my nephew & his wife last night.  Pretty traditional:  turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetables.  My brother & his wife are in Asia visiting my Singapore niece for the holidays.  When I checked their Facebook pages this morning - OMG.  They have been eating tarantulas.  Crikey!!!  I'm glad I stayed home.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sampler Quilt and Christmas odds & ends

I love sampler quilts, and this is a beautiful example. 
Fabulous border print for the outer border.
Not your everyday straight slab-o-sashing.
Beautiful reproduction Civil War prints.

DH & the neighbour, armed with their flyers from Home Hardware and Canadian Tire, heading out to Christmas shop for 'the wives'.  I'm going to start stuffing the mailboxes with sale flyers from Birks Jewellers and see if they get the hint.  Shiny baubles in a tiny box are much nicer to open on Christmas morning.  However, I have to give them credit for being EARLY and not shopping on the 24th.

Last week was our Red Hat Christmas dinner at the Purple Pear in Hamilton.  It's in a skanky area of town, but has excellent food and the company was great.
I'm in the middle of making 24 Christmas bibs aprons for the residents at Mom's retirement home.  These are for the special residents who need assistance with their meals.  Why I get myself involved in these projects when I have no time is beyond my comprehension.  But I do it every year.  Maybe it's genetic?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hot Chocolate, anyone??

 This quilt reminds me of hot chocolate with marshmallows. 
Speaking of marshmallows, I had home made marshmallows on Sunday.  They taste better than the packaged ones, which should be no surprise.  If you check out Luke & Mel's food blog (see the sidebar for a link), they make them occasionally.  Her latest ones are a candy cane version with a red swirl running through them.

I have a friend who told me about her family Christmas last year.  The siblings decided to forgo their gifts to each other and 'adopt' a needy family instead.  I thought that was such a GREAT idea I proposed that to my brother & s.i.l.  So here I am, with all these kids toys & gift vouchers for the mom & dad to go on a date night.  S.I.L. and I went shopping last week, oddly (for us) not at a shoe store.  Today I will hit the dollar store for tissue paper and stuff to get this all wrapped.  It was so much fun wandering the toy aisles, and to not struggle over gift choices for adults who really don't need anything.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas rush & Fitness

Recently finished Christmas quilt.  Too cute!!

I love this time of year when I can put the Christmas quilt on the bed in the guest room.

Bad bread maker, bad!!  This is failed loaf #2 - sweet potato bread.  It tasted good but the texture was very dense, because it should have been twice this size and nice & airy.  Black & Decker gets one more try then it's back to the store.

This weeks quilt - beautiful neutrals - creams through browns & greys.

How to get ready for a long day of slaving over a hot, whizzing needle.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm close to finishing this quilt - down to the last set of borders. My customer (lucky woman) will be leaving for the southern climes this coming week, for the whole winter. She wants to take this with her so I need to keep my butt moving.

Recipe for Disaster #1:
  • take one brand new breadmaker
  • take one recipe from a different breadmaker
  • take one cook who usually experiences quasi-failures with the breadmaker makes, ahem, interesting loaves of bread

Speaking of keeping my butt moving, how's this for Recipe for Disaster #2:
We're going skating this afternoon. It's a free skate sponsored by the Caledonia Kinsmen. Admission is a donation to the food bank. So far it's cost us $120.00. I needed new skates and DH needed his sharpened. We both needed new blade protectors. It will be interesting to see how much this REALLY costs, when I add in the food and the lost wages after I break my hip.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scary Food News? Or, Good Food News?

 In the weekend Spectator Nick Bontis says one of the top five careers by 2020 will be:
 • Pharmers: These bioscience professionals are responsible for developing new foods that are both safe and therapeutic. Think of them as glorified gardeners with a PhD in biology and a passion for orthomolecular nutrition. Imagine a world with healthy foods that actually protect you from diseases. You will get all your vitamins and minerals from your daily intake of milk because Bessie the cow was eating specially formulated hay.

First, I had to stop and very slowly say o r t h o m o l e c u l a r .  Then I thought about my plain, old, ordinary leeks that went in the freezer this morning.  And the plain, old, ordinary tomatoes, and zucchini.  The plain old raspberries.  Blueberries.  Sweet potatoes.  And all the other plain, old, ordinary stuff I eat every day.  Is that all becoming just so much chopped liver?  I really don't want growth hormones in my milk, (growth hormones in milk are banned in Canada.  Yaay.).  Corn and soybeans are genetically modified (not all, but trust me - PLENTY).  I wonder if evil, black hat wearing Monsanto Chemical is behind the 'pharmer' career path?  Here is one little wiki link about growth hormones & beef. 

If you don't want to click the link, here is one tiny excerpt. (rBSG is a growth hormone permitted in the USA.)

On September 30, 2010, a U.S. court of appeal found based on studies presented that there is a "compositional difference" between milk from rBSG-treated cows and untreated milk. The court found that studies have shown that rBST milk has: increased levels of the hormone IGF-1; lower nutritional quality when produced at certain points in the cow's lactation cycle; and more pus in the milk (increased somatic cell counts), which "make the milk turn sour more quickly and is another indicator of poor milk quality."

OK, I'm going down to the basement now where I can bury my head in the sand.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Achey body

Aaaahhh.  This was me yesterday.  I'm a little more modest than this cat, so the towel was covering my arse, not my head.  When I was in Houston I was dragging around way too much stuff and my shoulder / shoulder blade / collar bone has not been the same since.

I also dug about 70 leeks out of the garden the other day. Hmm - nope - more. I have about 60 in bags that I'll be dealing with this weekend, and I gave away about 20 on Tuesday night. All those teensy little specs I planted back in the spring did very well.  I thought I should get them out of the ground before it froze. Sylvester the mystery cat was hiding out there (likely mousing).  We scared each other. I came in the house COVERED in mud, so of course, that's when our neighbour popped over to talk to me. Making my usual fashion statement.

The leeks will get the tops and bottoms lopped off.  Then I slice them lengthwise and run them under water to get any mud out.  I chop them up, throw them on a cookie sheet and freeze 'em. Once they're frozen I will move them to freezer containers.  All winter we'll have leek & zucchini soup, or leek & potato soup.  Both are super simple, made with chicken or vegetable broth, a sauteed onion or two, and either a teaspoon of curry or a quarter teaspoon of hot pepper flakes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dog Quilt & Mom's Weekly Visit

I took this quilt photo at the Houston show for Sadie.  Too cute, eh?

All summer I've been hitting up McDonalds for yogurt parfaits before I go visit mom. We take a walk outside in the lovely sunshine and have the parfaits in the courtyard by the fountain. Now that winter is creeping up on us I have to change my tactics. It is still nice enough to take her out for a short (short!!) walk. So I dress her up in her winter gear and we drive over to Tim Hortons. Today we had tea & timbits. She had such a good time sitting there watching "all those old people". Truth be told, they were closer to my age than hers, so I had a wee chuckle to myself. She has NO IDEA what her age is.  (90, in case you have no idea either.)  I hope I'm that blissfully ignorant when the time comes.  She kinda grossed me out when she spit out a ... pea? which had apparently been stuck in her tooth since lunch.  We had to have a little talk about manners when we're in a restaurant. I shudder when I think about the gals who work at the home and have to sit through meals with a BUNCH of people who have forgotten their manners.  Ick.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Houston Shopping

I did some of my Houston shopping via my home computer before I got on the plane. It costs SO MUCH to ship stuff from the USA to Canada that I always take advantage of my suitcase.

I bought two bolts of Tonga Batik wide backing.  This is for sale - $20/m.
A new die for Jaws.  This is burning a hole in my brain.  I am kinda REALLY booked up with quilt jobs until Christmas and cannot play.  Aarrgh.
I had 30s prints on the brain from my last guild meeting.
New templates for use with Floyd.  The tiny circles won't be used too much but I'm sure they will come in really handy.  The rope design should look great on borders.  The rectangle is kinda boring but will replace my old one which looks like the dog was chewing on it.  I use this all the time.

This week I've turned into Mama Bear, getting filled up with berries for a long winter.  In a manner of speaking.  I've made a huge batch of coleslaw, cabbage soup with the leftovers, a large pan of cheese/spinach manicotti, and two pans of Shepherds Pie.  (ok, ok, DH made the Shepherds Pie.  He came home from work early, and he's a GOOD cook.  So I let him cook sometimes.)  Everything has been delicious.  I have enough leftovers for Thursday and Friday suppers.  Now if I can figure out a way to get a Saturday night date for dinner and a movie I will be all set.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A wee bit of Houston Quilt Show stuff

Our first shopping stop was... Specs Wine & Spirits (my kind of store :-) ).  This is the HUGEST liquor store I've ever seen.  I've heard they make everything BIG in Texas.

Our second shopping stop was... DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse - also my kind of store :-) ).  Apparently I'm not alone.

Here are two of the Japanese quilts which I saw early in my wanderings through the quilt show.
Maybe this is what I should do with some of the 30's prints I bought?  ha ha ha ha.

This is Linda Taylor,of Linda's Electric Quilters. My hero.  She laughed at me when she noticed I was taking her picture.  I promised to take a few so I'd have a good one, not one where her tongue was sticking out or she was looking cross eyed.  If you ever have a chance to register for a class with her, TAKE IT.

I came home with the plague. A couple of gals on the trip were sick, and you know how germs love to travel. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back from Houston

I managed to smuggle my overlimit goods through the airport.  Including the very large bottle of IVANABITCH Vodka which was stashed in my suitcase.  Hmm - is it smart to post that information here?  Maybe not so much.

This fella is my new favorite art quilter.  Here is a piece he had in the silent auction.
Nov. 14th - my mistake.  Jamie is a gal.  Many apologies!!!

It may be a while before I post more photos.  I have about 400 to go through.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dresden Plates & Heading to Houston

Here is a great scrappy Dresden Plate quilt.

Line Dancing in the square blocks and a scroll in the narrow black border.
Loops inside the blades and continuous curve around the perimeter.
I love solid backings - so pretty!!

This is the last you will hear from me until next week.  I'm heading to Houston Texas for International Quilt Festival.  I think I'm already over my $$ allowance, just from stuff I've preordered.  Hopefully I will be able to squeak my way across the border and you won't have to bake me a cake with a file in it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Purple 9-patches, the kitchen, and Tupperware

Were you in a PURPLE CHARM SWAP a few years ago?  Here is one that has made them up into 9-patches, set with other purple fabrics.

Quilted with Line Dancing, freehand flowers, and wiggly lines.

We don't have cable so I have never been able to purchase stuff from the Shopping Channel.  Some bad bad friend told me they were on line too.  Uh oh.  And so it begins.

If they have a new STOVE on the Shopping Channel, that may be the next thing UPS drops off.  This is the second set of drip pans I am cooking my way through.
I unloaded the dishwasher this morning since the lovely dishwasher fairy magically cleaned everything last night.  As I was putting away the Tupperware sandwich container it brought to mind the conversation I had with DH yesterday.
DH:  "Now I know why I couldn't find it for my lunch."
ME:  "We have two of these containers."
DH:  "I know that.  I couldn't find the lid for the other one."
ME:  "Which is no wonder.  YOU emptied the dishwasher last time."
He is a graduate of the 'stand back and throw' school of dishwasher emptying.  Even Kreskin couldn't find the lid.  About once a month I have to get on a chair and totally empty out the Tupperware section of the cupboards and resort everything into nice little organized piles.  It seems that men have a real problem with Tupperware.  I have two friends who threw out all their Tupperware because their husbands did so much bitching about the Tupperware cupboard.  OMG - I almost had an apoplexy when I heard that.  I LOVE my Tupperware and the stuff costs a friggin' fortune.  Oy yoy yoy.  If there is ever a competition between DH and my Tupperware I cannot guarantee who will win.  After all, Tupperware is guaranteed for life.  Marriage???... not so much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunflower Quilt and more laundry stories (sigh...)

Pretty quilt, but hard to photograph.

The quilting shows up really nicely on the back.

Laundry (sigh.  I'm so grateful Mom brought me up to laugh at myself.)
Today was unseasonably warm and VERY windy so I was trying to catch up on  laundry, since I could hang it outside to dry.  Frugal is the new black, dontcha know?
Load #1 - reds/pinks/oranges.  If they are not washed separately they leave icky fuzz/lint all over everything.  All mine.
Load #2 - DH's manly stuff, dark.  In your best interest, details will  not be provided.
Load #3 - My dark stuff.
Load #4 - white sheets & other white-ish laundry.
So, I'm hanging up the FLAT bed sheet in basket #4, thinking to myself "hmm, the basket is empty.  What happened to the fitted sheet?"  I check the clothesline, thinking I've gone totally stupid and forgotten that I hung it up, like, 5 seconds ago.  Hmm.  Nope, not there.  "Well", I think to myself, "it must still be in the basket".  Even though I just looked there, I look again.  Nope, definitely still empty.  "Hmm", I think to myself, "I must have left it in the washing machine.  Or dropped it on the floor on my way up with the wet laundry."  So I go back in the house and down the stairs to the dungeon and check the washing machine.  All the while I'm wondering how in the hell I could miss a fitted sheet in the washer.  Or not break my neck tripping over a fitted sheet as I drop it on the floor.  But hey, stranger things have happened.  Surprise surprise, there is no sheet anywhere on the floor, nor did I miss it in the washer.  "What the hell???" I'm thinking.  I check the laundry hamper, thinking that maybe I forgot to throw it in the basket, but that is empty - no sheet there.  Then my little brain goes back to Monday morning when I changed the sheets.  I remember taking the quilts off.  I remember taking the blanket off.  I remember taking the flat sheet off.  I remember (can you see where this is going?) taking the pillows off.  I do NOT remember taking off the fitted sheet.  I've now gone back up the stairs to the bedroom and I'm delayering the bed again.  Off come the quilts.  Off comes the blanket.  Off with the flat sheet and the pillows.  Pull up one corner of the fitted sheet to take a peek and what do I find?  Another fitted sheet.  What a freaking idiot.  The end of the story is I had to run a FIFTH load of laundry (a very tiny load).  So the next time you are beating yourself up for some dumb thing you've done, remember me.