Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Quilts

Most years I show you my same three Christmas quilts - one for the King bed, one for the Queen bed, and one for the living room.  THIS year I'm showing you some customer quilts.

This is a gorgeous selection of Cardinal fabrics.  It's not exactly a Christmas quilt, but the birds always evoke winter.

This one's really cute - just squares of Christmas fabrics stitched into a throw.

There's a ton of work in this one - Round the Twist or Garden Trellis quilt.  This version used a lot of half-square triangles.

And a very Canadian hockey quilt.

Since I'm officially on vacation until Jan. 6th, this TFUQ is getting booted off the list.  The blocks were cut using JAWS (the Accuquilt die cutter).  I dragged this around as a UFO for quite a while, and finished it earlier this year.  With the curved Apple Core piecing I need to do some extra-careful perimeter measuring for the binding.  And the binding must be bias to maneuver around the curves.  For curvy edges I also like to cut the binding just a wee bit narrower - usually I cut 2 1/2", but for this I'll cut 2 1/4".  And I'm not foolish enough to try attaching this binding with the longarm.

I have a big to-do list that I really hope to complete.  I have a bad habit of writing things down, and feeling pretty virtuous because I wrote them down.  Note to self... that doesn't actually get anything DONE.  So far all I've crossed off is the quilting for one Quilt of Valour.  That still needs the binding, but I'm waiting for some QOV labels to arrive in the mail, since I ran out of them.  Bookkeeping is also on the list.  I've managed to tick off an hour per day three days in a row (fell down on day four, but getting back on that horse today!).

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Hong Kong Nights Quilt & Donation Quilts (2019 personal challenge)

This quilt is realllly big.  I had to tip the tablet cattywampus to get a pic.

The maker used a beautiful collection of Asian prints for the blocks.

And I absolutely love the corner triangle she added.  That provides such an interesting touch.

Oddly enough, those print blocks are all cut on the bias.  I was really impressed that they were not stretched out of square when the 3-d flange was added to them, and then additional sashing too.  She's a really, really good piecer. ⭐
The setting triangles were a design challenge for me.  When you actually LOOK at them, they're not triangles, they have a square block inserted at the top.
Backs are so lovely...

Last December, I set a personal challenge for myself to complete at least five quilts for donation.  I had such a collection of panels - that was where I started. 
When the contents of my Donation Box were counted up and there were SEVEN ...pretty darned pleased with myself. 👍

AND, the gal who pieced the Hong Kong Nights quilt above, brought along five small quilts that she wanted to donate.  She was happy to have me add them to my collection.

On Thursday last week I delivered all twelve quilts to the Caledonia & District Food Bank for inclusion in their Christmas hampers, then I treated myself to an afternoon out and lunch with a friend. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

First Ladies Quilt

Lordy, I'm behind with my pretty-quilts-pictures.  I finished this at the end of October.  In general, I don't post pics until after the customer has picked up the quilt, just in case, and this gal was unable to get here for a while because her own life was pretty hectic at the time.

First Ladies Quilt

This is a very large quilt, and it was beautifully pieced.

There was lots of negative space for some pretty quilting.

The blocks were all quilted individually.

In order to keep some continuity between the blocks, I restricted the quilting to straight lines and gentle curves, with a bowknot motif inside the larger center squares.

I'm not sure why, but this was definitely my favorite block.

On the Social Life front, I've been to see the Cherrywood Exhibit in Seaforth.  This was a tribute to Bob Ross, the guy from PBS with the big afro, who would teach you how to paint.  I'm surprised at how many people have never heard of him.

There were over 400 entries in the competition, and this travelling exhibit included 120 of them.

This was my favorite - you may have to enlarge it to see what's going on, but all the little forest creatures are painting.  This reminds me of those paint parties which are often held at restaurants.  So stinkin' cute!

I also managed to get out to the theatre to see a production of Mamma Mia.  That was fun - I was singing to myself all night long.  Ear worms, you know?

Since then, I've been nose-to-the-grindstone, trying to catch up the quilting backlog.  There is finally light at the end of the tunnel - I should be back working on the currently scheduled quilts before the end of the week.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tobermory Retreat Recap & Technology Mixed With Idiots & Scammers

I abandoned hubby for six days - he and the dog were feeding each other kibbles and bits for a week.  Although, a friend took pity on him and had him over for a roast beef dinner mid-week so he didn't starve.

I played THREAD CHICKEN and won.

The railing with completed projects.  This is always such a satisfying pic!  Debbie definitely took the prize this year - completing all those wee monthly quilts.  So cute.

Of course, cocktails.

I work on my Double Wedding Ring for one day every year.  The Tobermory cottage is a great space for it.  This year, to my horror, I discovered that I used bad math when I had the pieces cut several years ago by a quilting buddy, using her GO die cutter.  The quilting buddy has fallen off the face of the earth, and of course I no longer have any of that white fabric.  (Non-quilters may not realize that there are a zillion different fabric versions of white, so yes, this will show in the end.)  I threw in the towel around 3:00, poured a glass of wine and curled up on the couch with a book, nursing my angst.

This is the top I pieced, I managed to get it quilted and bound this week.  So girly.  I used up lots of strips that I have been collecting through the Strippers Club at the Caledonia Guild.

Now we wait until Winterruption for our first retreat of 2020.


Dear God.  Did you see this story?

Attempted sextortion leads to call for stricter phone porting rules

I do feel great sympathy for the idiot.  His cell phone number was stolen.  Once the scammer accomplished that, he gained access to the idiot's emails, personal files, credit cards, and (of course) his personal sex tapes.
Why do men think they need to make sex tapes of themselves and their partners?  Why does ANYONE think they need to have nudie photos of themselves and/or their partners on their phones?  Do they get bored while they're standing in line at Starbucks and think "hmm, maybe I'll pull up one of my sex tapes and jerk off while I'm waiting for my Grande Mocha Latte"?  Or, in a boring meeting at the office do they decide to get the conversation started by showing pics of their former girlfriend's boobs?  Seriously.  Get a life, idiots.
This fella has admittedly compromised his own reputation, but Dear God, also the poor people who were intimate with him.  They will be on pins & needles for the rest of their lives, wondering if and when their pics/videos will be shared all over the web.

Not that anyone cares what I think... but my suggestion would be that you don't take photos and keep them on your cell phone or send them up to the cloud.  Really.  Simple.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Two Cute Kid's Quilts & Leisure Activities

Cute little cars, quilted with a panto.  This will make a great baby quilt for some little person.

Embroidered bears in an assortment of activities.

Given all the work that went into this beautiful embroidery, custom quilting was certainly warranted.

Leisure this month was an evening with my Red Hat girls.  After dinner out, we went to the museum for a MUMMY UNWRAPPING.  Honest to goodness.


If you're like me, living in blissful ignorance, you may be surprised to learn that you can BUY mummies.  Yep.  Because, I mean, who wouldn't want one in their living room?

In other news...DH continues with his twice weekly therapy sessions.   It's been getting a wee bit stressful for both of us (for different reasons 😊) which makes it a PERFECT time for me to get out of Dodge.  Yay for a week in Tobermory with the Beach Girls!  The cocktail ingredients are all set to go, as am I.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Cat Quilt and A Life Update

This was so much fun to work on.

The saving grace was that the maker brought a folder of quilting ideas along with the quilt.

There was a lot of negative space for me to play.

The quilting that replicates the brick floor was a technique I learned in a class with Jodi Robinson.  I've used that design more than I ever expected.

Things have been pretty hectic around here for the past 6 weeks.  Hubby was helping a friend and had an unfortunate accident that is limiting his activities and requiring physio appointments twice a week.  After breaking MY wrists (one at a time, thankfully) I'm in no position to complain about helping him through his recovery.  Quilts on the schedule are getting a bit behind, but I'm doing my darndest to make sure that any deadlines you've given me are met. I appreciate your understanding. 💗

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Two Quilts, a Top, and WHY WHY WHY??? Oh yeah - zucchini report too.

This is a cute Yellow Brick Road quilt.

Love that panto pattern:  Ba Da Boom from Urban Elementz.

This intrigued me.

It's a block I've never seen before, so I had to examine it closely.

Oh and here's THE TOP.  Yeah, I can be a real idiot.  One of the guild members brought this top and put it on a give-away table, hoping someone would decide to take it home and give it some love.  Apparently (!) that someone was me.  Aaand, now I have another UFO.

Most of it is very wonky but ... it just has something that appeals to me.   It's a fair size, around 75 x 100.  I won't "fix" anything except a couple of seams that I notice have popped open.

Stupid basement.  Actually, stupid washing machine, which walked itself across the floor because the load was not balanced.  And then it pulled the drain hose out of the laundry tub.  Grrr.

Picked last two weeks:   5
Picked YTD:                 22

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Summer Entertainment and Zucchini Report

The summer has turned into that beautiful time of year when it's perfect weather during the day... like 25 c., and then nice and cool at night so you can sleep.  Staying indoors with the quilting machine gets hard to do, especially when the weeds are two feet high and the beans are spilling all over the place.
I played the long game when I was booking quilts earlier this year, and allowed myself some breathing room.  And ta-da... I finally loaded the Singapore Batiks that my niece gifted me many years ago.  My plan was to have the quilting completed before September 1st, but since that is TODAY it obviously won't happen.  It's about three quarters finished.  However, the weatherman is calling for rain this afternoon, so hopefully it will be competed by tomorrow.

I also completed the piecing on a cute little baby quilt for my friend's new grandson.  That will be quilted after the customer quilts-on-board are finished up next week.

My friend Jean took me to a theatre production of 12 Angry Men at the Family Theatre in Cambridge.  I saw the movie years ago, and the stage play was really, really well done.  Afterwards we went to McDougall Cottage for the opening of her artist group's silent auction.  If you want to check out the art and perhaps bid on something as a Christmas gift, go HERE.

I also had tickets with the Beach Girls to see Billy Elliot in Stratford.  Boozy lunches is not normally what we do, but, hey... once in a while you've gotta let your hair down, right?  That was also a fabulous performance.  The kid who plays Billy probably has a hugely swelled head - the applause for him was overwhelming.

On the home front, I brought in 65 heads of garlic.  Heads, not cloves.  Assuming a nominal 6 cloves per head, there are about 400 cloves in this bowl.  It took me three consecutive nights just to peel them.  I decided, finally, to try soaking them in the hopes that would soften the skins.  Yay!!  Success!!

Food processer, olive oil, cloves, ice cube trays.  It'll take me a few nights to get this stuff frozen.  In the winter I'll be glad I did it, though.

And just to make sure I didn't get too bored, I took my little pile of gift cards downstairs to the computer and checked the balances on all of them.  I have a habit of using them and throwing them back in my purse, so I'm never quite sure what still has money and what's all used.  Now I know, 'cause I put little stickers on them with the date I checked and the balance.  Hah!

Sigh.  Zucchini.

ZUCCHINI REPORT (2 week report)

Picked:  6
Picked YTD:  17

I gave two away.  One night I made Eric Eggstrata from the Looneyspoons cookbook.  That used another one.  Link HERE.  I had leftover cooked bulk sausage from ...??? in the freezer.  That is one of those handy things that I use at least a few times every year.  I didn't have cream on hand, so I combined milk and full-fat sour cream.  That is a GREAT recipe.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Garden, Technology, Book Recommendation, Zucchini Report


At this point, the GARLIC is the most prolific crop.  The large heads are from my planned & intentionally planted bed.  The small heads are all volunteers.  Every year I think... no I mean I hope I have managed to cull all that stuff, and every year I find that well, I guess I missed a bunch.

What will I do with all that garlic?

  • I'll save a few of the large heads as seed stock and replant it in the fall.  
  • Some will be used for PESTO which will go in the freezer in 1/4 cup portions.  
  • Some will stay as dried garlic to be used as needed.  
  • The balance will get chopped up in one of the kitchen whizzers along with olive oil.  That will go into jars in the freezer and be used when we need chopped garlic for anything (stir fry, pasta sauce, salad dressing, etc).  You need to plan a little bit ahead of time and remove the container about an hour early so it softens up enough to dig out what you need, then put it back in the freezer.  Alternatively you can use an ice tray and freeze small portions, then pop the cubes out and toss them in a container.


Pretty much everyone I know has a tablet of some sort, whether it's an I-Pad or an Android device.  Me, I'm an Android girl.  My nephew 1-800-LUKE 💓 got me on Android many years ago and I'm loath to change.
Anyhow... everyone also has a cover for their tablet so they can prop it up, which facilitates ignoring their dinner companion(s) as they either peruse Facebook, read a riveting book during mealtime, or ruin their meal by reading the news.

My cool little cover includes a removable keyboard.

It sticks to the flippy cover-thing with magnets, which are embedded in the cover-thingy, and in the back of the keyboard.

Sadly, though, my keyboard magnets, which sit inside a little divot, are no longer glued.  They float around underneath the backing.  This is VERY irritating because the keyboard does not stick very well, AND since they've escaped from their divots the added bulk prevents the flap closure from securely closing the cover.
I had a little discussion with DH about my dilemma.  I know the guy has many many versions of glue, so I managed to convince him to find a bottle of Gorilla Glue in his cluttered workroom/garage.  My project today will be to slice open the backing, affix those magnets in their respective divots with the glue, then close up the backing and glue the slits closed.  (note to self:  make those slices where you can glue them closed without impeding the magnets!)

Speaking of books, I just finished a trilogy.  If you like distopian novels, and/or stories about pandemics, this was really good, by Megan Crewe. LINK  I don't think anything will ever top Margaret Atwood's MADDADDAM trilogy, but it was good nevertheless.


No, the situation has not improved.
Picked this week:  4
Picked YTD:  11