Wednesday, December 20, 2017


The first paint job of the vacation is about to commence...
That corner is where the fridge goes, and where the broom closet was removed.  DH is such a handy guy... he removed the bank of three cupboards above and remounted them so they are still useable.  Although not by me.  Even when I get on a chair I can only reach so far beyond the massive fridge.  I guess only guy stuff will live up there.

I found the paint can down in the dungeon labeled "KITCHEN".  I was finally able to get the lid off, only to discover a solid lump of solidified paint.  I took the label to the paint store and the nice lady apparently didn't hear me say "a quart of this please, I mean a liter, whatever".  So she mixed up a gallon.  Which I did not want.  She poured the necessary quart into a new can and sent me on my way.  I sincerely hope this paint's been 10 (TEN!) years since the kitchen was painted.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Where Oh Where Are My ZZZZZZZs? and a Quilt Guild Challenge

4 a.m. is an indecent time to wake up.  In case you were wondering. 
I stayed in bed until 5, then gave up on getting back to sleep.  Even the dog wouldn't get up with me.
My mind was wandering about many things, but one of them was the Challenge for the Binbrook Guild.  So, when I got up...
1) take pills
2) start coffee
3) start fire in sewing room

4) make a batch of yogurt and keep it nice and warm using the light of the oven

5) put the Challenge Plan into action
If your guild is looking for a Challenge idea, this one is pretty fun to do.  I found this in the Canadian Quilter newsletter, spring 2017 edition.


  • each participant brings one meter of "child friendly" fabric, and a pair of scissors
  • assemble everyone in a circle
  • everyone snips their fabric at the fold line and rips it in half
  • drop one half at your feet and pass the other half to the person on your left
  • with the fabric in your hand (approx. 20" x 40", that you got from the person next to you) fold it in half and snip it, then rip it into approx 20" x 20" pieces
  • drop one half at your feet and pass the other half to the person on your left
  • repeat the fold, snip, rip with your new piece that you got from the person on your right
  • continue folding, snipping and ripping until you are down to a piece approx. 5" x 5"
  • you should end up with a pile at your feet that is comprised of SIX pieces of fabric:  20 x 40, 20 x 20, 20 x 10, 10 x 10, 5 x 10, 5 x 5
I set the "rules" for the challenge...
  • all six fabrics must be included in the quilt
  • add up to 3 fabrics of your own, which will include the binding (the backing is not included in that restriction and can be something additional)
  • make a quilt minimum 36" x 36"
In our case the guild will provide the batting for these.  We'll have a Viewers Choice vote at the June meeting with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  The quilts will be donated to a child-focused charity.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Quilt Sale Open House This Weekend

 811 Haldimand Rd. 66, Caledonia, On. N3W 1P4
Saturday December 2 & Sunday December 3
10 am - 3 pm both days

More than 40 quilts for sale, many are class samples
new - ranging from crib size to king size, priced from $50 to $1100
 Payment by cash or credit card

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Giraffe Quilt & Life/Housekeeping Update

These patterns by Laura Heine are collage.  This giraffe was fascinating, as far as how the maker put the fabrics together.

She requested straight line quilting, with some decorative elements added.  Here I've quilted in the shrubbery this hungry guy is eating.

 Here you can see the sun and pouffy clouds.

I was sooo in love with the back.

Now, the Life & Housekeeping Story.

I told you last month many tales of woe.  Things are mostly starting to recover, but not completely.
The latest Oh-For-Crying-Out-Loud is my diagnosis with Pityriasis Rosea. It's a virus that I just have to live with for about 12 weeks.  It started around Thanksgiving (ha ha, very funny Universe!) and should be gone by mid January.  Yay, I get to look like I've been boiled in oil over Christmas.  How fun is that?

Some of the good news is that DH hounded our fireplace insert company until they finally replaced our unit under warranty.  So I can stay warm this winter.  Happy, happy!
And on Friday our new fridge FINALLY arrived.  Although we had to remove two banks of cupboards to make it fit in the kitchen, and now we're having some, ahem, discussions about the necessity of a kitchen renovation.

In the Almost Finished category is the quilt guild.  One of our members passed away and bequeathed her sewing room to the guild - fabric, books, magazines, thread, notions, batting, stuffing, ribbons & trims, ufo's, etc., and she named me as the person in charge.  So far I've spent three full days working on that stuff, along with some wonderful helpers.  Our first sale will be this week with another one a week later.  Proceeds will be going into a separate fund for, I think, a quilt teacher.  I will be really glad to see that job tied up.

On the housekeeping front, since we will be renovating the kitchen (hee hee 😚) I thought I should do some shoveling purging in the pantry.  Out with 30 - yes 30 - years of Milk Calendars.  I had to page through  I needed to pull some recipes out, and it was fun seeing the funny notes my s.i.l. used to write on there when we were dog-sitting for them.

 That recipe for a fruit flan is delicious.  Once I get it into a plastic page protector and into the binder it should be much easier to find.  I think the last time I made it was three years ago.  DH and I were out for a walk and we scavenged pears from a wild tree growing at the side of the road.  My lovely neighbour Sophie provided the apples.
 Lord.  Instruction manuals for FOUR microwave ovens were in this pile.  We only have one.  The others have all gone to the landfill.  How sad is that?  I feel sorry for the generation that will have to clean up all that shit after we're gone.

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