Saturday, December 29, 2012

Log Cabin #2 and Boxing Day shopping

Log Cabin quilt #2 finished before Christmas.

This was quilted with feathers and straight lines.

A couple of border treatments - running ovals in the rust border, and continuous feathers in the batik.

In the very centre I added a feathered wreath.

What a great back!!!

Ahhh, and my supervisor was on duty.

On Boxing Day, DH and I delivered a sewing machine and a scrappy quilt to the women's shelter of Haldimand & Norfolk.  DH had ulterior motives when he suggested this - TSC (tractor supply company - now doesn't THAT sound like a fun place?) which is also in Simcoe, was having a Boxing Day sale.  So I amused myself by trying on camouflage boots and Uncle Eddie hats (you know:  Uncle Eddie from the Christmas Vacation movie?) It's funny... people look at you weird when you start giggling and taking your own picture in a store.  :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Log Cabin and cosmetic bags and scraps

I love log cabin quilts, and I quilted two of them before Christmas.  This has clamshells in the body of the quilt, with four separate border treatments.

It's a little hard to see on these busy prints.  The outer black border has a celtic knot design.  The green has a leaf & feather.  The busy beige floral has a curly design, and the cream/black got a switchback feather vine.

The quilting is hard to see on the back, too.

DH and I had no plans this year for Christmas, and I am sick with a cold anyways.  I can't even go see Mom at the home.  Not that she will notice, but I notice.  Ya know?  Anyhow - I made these cute little cosmetic bags that will be gifted out over the next couple of months to some of my gal friends.  The tutorial came from here.  These are lovely - lined, and all inside seams are finished - no raw edges.

After I got our fake turkey (Butterball frozen turkey breast) in the oven, and put the cranberries in the pot (with orange juice, water, brown sugar, honey, and cinnamon), I started sorting out my scraps.  My cardboard box (um, LARGE cardboard box) is still bursting with remnants.  I mean, the leftovers from the aprons I made for the nursing home in December 2010 are still in there - like, really - two years ago???  I have sorted these into colour piles - one set is larger pieces that will need to be cut down into something, and one set is strips ranging from 3" wide down to about 1" wide.  Anything smaller is getting tossed.
I think that getting the scraps a bit more under control might be a plan for 2013.  I spent last night on EQ5 doing some string quilt layouts.  Then I spent this morning on Pinterest, pinning more scrap quilt ideas.  If I keep doing all this research, I will never have to actually CUT and SEW anything, which I think is why my cardboard box overfloweth.  If you know what I mean.  But I'm sure you don't.  ;-)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Star Quilt and sleepless baking

No, I did not fall of the edge of the earth when the Mayan calendar ended (although some people may be sorry to hear that).  I needed to focus on getting the Christmas quilts out the door.  Now I can relax.
Here is the completed hand pieced star quilt.

Stitch in the ditch around all the stars, with a motif inside all the stars.

I extended the stitching lines to create a diamond background grid.

A pretty heart and circle design for the outer border.

The back.

Here's my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  Every year I ask DH to drill a hole in a log, then I grab my garden clippers and do some tree trimming out in the yard.  I ram the stalks in the hole (sometimes I need hot glue to hold this together) and add my wee string of decorations.  Done.

There has been NO sleep happening here the last couple of nights.  Thursday night one of the smoke alarms went off at 5 am.  It's one of the talking ones - it speaks French.  Um, very helpful when you don't understand French.  Not that you can understand the garbled speech anyways.  It just needed a new battery, so we're FINE - there was no fire.  Then Friday night DH woke me up making too much noise loading the fireplace at 3:30.  3:30?  Really?  Then he woke me up AGAIN at 5 because he couldn't sleep.  Um, thanks, sweetheart.  Tonight I woke up at 1:30 for a pee and have not been able to get back to sleep. The quilting Gods of Health have blessed me with a cold, which coincidentally started at the same time as the smoke alarm, so perhaps that's what woke me up.

I'm going to make a blueberry walkaway using this recipe.   It is now 5 am so I can have this hot and on the table for breakfast by 8 am.  Maybe that will get me an extra batch of chocolates in my Chrismas stocking?
I made one of these two weeks ago and it was a big hit.  I have a couple of jars of blueberry marmalade that I made in 2011, and that makes an EXCELLENT filling for these. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


Two weeks ago I removed the window screens for the winter.  They have been sitting there staring at me ever since.  I like to take Sunday to do the crappy housework house blessing jobs, so yesterday I washed 14 screens.  Then I washed 11 of the windows to remove the dirt and mould.  By then I figured I might as well wash the dog, too.  Now I know why mom wanted me to marry a RICH man.  sigh.

Ain't she cute?  Her tail won't stop wagging long enough to get a good picture, but that is O.K. by me.

I used every ratty garbage towel in the house by the end of my little cleaning tirade (those towels that are not fit for public viewing, but you keep for dog paws and such?).  After three hours of scrubbing and wiping and toothbrushing out the little crevasses of the windows, my recently-healed wrist actually HURT.  I think that is the first time I've really noticed it, outside of when I'm trying to do a plank exercise.  The darned thing hurt for the rest of the night too, so I had to watch the one-kleenex rated Hallmark movie with two glasses of red wine.  Self-medicating, ya know?  Since I got so much exercise up and down the ladder, scrubbing, etc, etc, I decided I could have a bowl of potato chips too.  Don't want to get too skinny for my pants, heh, heh, heh.

Anyhow... after the house blessing, I loaded up a few Kate Bush cds and turned on Floyd.

This is a beautiful, scrappy, HAND PIECED top.

OMG.  Look at the stitching.  Can you say "perfect piecing" ?  I spent a few hours doing the stitch-in-the-ditch work.  Today I'll finish up the s.i.d. and start the borders and stars.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Civil War Sampler & Red Hat Breakfast

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know how much I love sampler quilts.  The patchwork blocks were mostly quilted in the ditch.

I scratched my head for a while over what to do with these half-square alternate blocks, but I love the motif that went in there.

Beautiful red backing.

Thursday was our third annual Red Hat Breakfast In Jammies.  I took several pictures of us sitting down to eat, but being the awesome photographer that I am, I have bad pics of every one of us.  If I posted them here, I think there would be heads rolling.  Mostly mine. So here is a shot of the dessert selection.

The cleanup crew was trying to figure out something - I'm not sure what????
We may have to consider renaming the function.  Can you still call it Breakfast when you get home at 5:30 pm?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Stash Report

A few years ago my friend Margaret gave me this cute little Halloween bear. Poor guy was shivering his hat off on Friday.  Note to self - put away the halloween stuff and get out the Christmas stuff.

Now that we've had snow, and it's December, I can put the new Christmas quilt on the bed. If DH and the dog ever get up. 
I know there are people out there who just LOOOVE Christmas and are quite happy to start the season in the middle of November.  I am not (!) one of those people.  I boycott radio stations that start playing Christmas songs before December 1st.  I heard Feliz Navidad the other day and I had to shut the radio off.  A few years ago that was on the radio so much I cannot stand to hear it any more.  Although some of the spoof songs are kind of funny.


Woo hoo.... 
used this month 17 m
used YTD 94.7 m
added this month 0
added YTD 74.75 m
net 2012 (- 19.95 m)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dutch Quilt #2 and Pressure Canning

This is a quilt made by the same gal who did this one. I have no idea how she gets her borders so beautifully perfect.

She used a similar process - a preprinted panel with added borders.  And a few little spots of embroidery.  The photography is not up to my usual (?) standards.

 The quilting shows much better on the back.

Good Lord!  Why didn't anyone talk to me about pressure canning 25 years ago????  I have six 1-quart jars in the canner filled with Russian Vegetable Soup.  The pressure gauge is on its way up to 11 lbs., at which point I can start timing 75 minutes.
  • the kitchen is not full of steam
  • I don't have bubbling, boiling water spilling all over the stove
  • the stove element is now turned down to just above 'low' instead of blistering everything in sight at HIGH
Seriously.  If you enjoy canning, BUY YOURSELF A CHRISTMAS PRESENT.  To hell with the kids! - this was $100.00 (I think Home Hardware price is around $150.00). Mind you, I am not done yet.  Hopefully all the jars will seal and I won't be poisoning poor DH.  But to put it in perspective, he faces that danger every day.  :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Using your sparklies

Sparkly fabrics used for a Christmas table topper.

Pretty backing!

Silk ties mixed with a sparkly gold fabric.

The backing is a gold finish eyelet.  Beautiful.  I used a black batting on this one so the eyelets didn't pop with a white dot.

Oh, and Black Friday sales, I heart you.  :-)  Ordered on Tuesday, delivered on Wednesday.  I hope to take it for a test drive next week.  Must get to Canadian Tire and stock up on two-part lids for my canning jars.

Ever since I heard that tin cans are lined with BPA I have been trying to cut down on the food I buy in cans.  Most of the time now I cook beans and chick peas from dried, and it is surprisingly simple.  Soak them in a pot of water overnight.  In the morning: drain, add fresh water and cook for 45 - 60 minutes.  One cup of dried beans makes about the equivalent of a 19 oz. can.  If DH is cooking he still prefers the ease of canned beans so we have a bunch of cans in the fruit cellar.  Now, though, I can pressure can my own in glass jars.  For the past several years I've been making pretty much all of our soup from scratch, so I can also start to can my own soups.  Hah.  A new hobby.  I found a blog yesterday by some folks in Ontario's cottage country - the Turnbulls.  I was reading about their relationship with a pressure canner.  Good information for me, since I know NOTHING about pressure canning.  They also share several recipes, but you can be assured that any requirement for turnip (shudder) will be amended to some other vegetable.  DH is also a big fan of baked beans, so I will be making and canning a big batch of that, too.

I was up at 4 am today, lay in bed until 5 am then gave up on sleep.  Now that it's daylight I just looked out the window - yikes!!!  Snow on the ground!!!  It will make today's Caledonia Santa Clause parade a little more festive and a lot more froid.  (that's French for cold)  Brrr...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Asian Fabrics, marital relations, trunk show Nov 21st

Yaaay - the "Asia 2009" quilt is finished and on the bed.

I quilted this with a pantograph because I really wanted to showcase the fabrics, not the quilting.

This is one of the designs from a collection by Munnich Design.

Fancy label.  I have, in the past several years, included the type of batting used as well as washing instructions.  This incorporates a selvedge from one of the Tokyo fabrics.  Is that not the cutest selvedge ever?

If you would like to see this quilt up close and personal, I will be the guest speaker at the Ancaster Quilt Guild this coming Wednesday, November 21st.  7 pm.  I am doing a trunk show and talking about batting.

Now, as for marital relations.
DH and I are at the end of a week of COLD WAR.  I am sure you are familiar with this, if you are in a committed relationship.  It occurs when one of you is an ass, and the other is a saint.  I am obviously the saint so I assume you can figure out who is the ass. As I've written about, this has been our worst. year. ever.  We are broke, broke, broke.  Well, we both make as much as normal, but to clear it up we are now in debt, debt, debt.  Drives me crazy and makes me feel like a slave to the money.  It is always top of mind - I wake up with it and go to sleep with it.  Please.  I want to have my money comfort back but that won't happen until the payments can stop.  So that means the ass-person is supposed to stick to the budget as previously agreed to.
He is not supposed to be overspending and buying shit like this.

Clearly, I have several of them already in my spotless cupboard.
For the past week we've been having hall sex.  (you must have heard THAT joke - as you pass each other in the hall, you say 'f**k you)  It gets to the point, though, after several days, you just get tired of being angry.  This is one of those little, um, personal quirks of his that is never going to go away.  He puts up with me being bossy decisive, and anal particular about the bedmaking, and disgusted concerned about his food choices.  And after a bit of COLD WAR I put up with his bad money skills.
I'll end this with a little chuckle for you...

Monday, November 12, 2012

leisure time

I've been self employed for 12 years now.  The first few years were not very busy for me - I had time to watch the sewing shows that are on tv in the afternoon, and I had time to take skills-upgrading classes and go to networking meetings.  Those were the days when I spent as much time working ON my business as I did working IN my business.  Now I stay busy pretty much all the time.  I schedule vacations and play days on my work calendar, and I pencil in my own quilts on the schedule - just like I do for customer quilts. 

This past weekend I took two days to myself, when I SHOULD have been out cleaning up the gardens (the canna lilies still need to be dug out and put away for the winter, and let me tell you - they look awful right now!).
But, I have baby Christmas gifts done.  You only get to see one piece - I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I have a Quilt of Valour quilted and ready for binding.  I thought that was an appropriate way to spend Remembrance Day.

I made two loaves of Honey Oatmeal bread.  You can see that loaf #1 is disappearing fast.  Jean & Dave popped in while I was working on this - they stayed for coffee and zucchini loaf (my freezer overfloweth...).  It was appropriate that I was wearing the apron that Jean made for me a few years ago.

And I caved in and took Sadie for a nice long walk.  This is her "Aren't you done YET?" pose.