Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Entertainment During The Pandemic, UFO's, Quilt Ideas, Local Happenings

At the moment I still have seven quilts here that I will be working on.  As they're ready I'll contact you and arrange a porch pickup.
I am not taking in any quilts until the provincial restriction on non-essential businesses has been lifted.  I realize you might find that to be an inconvenience, but as a rule I do what the "people in charge" tell me to do. Depending on how long this situation persists it might mean your booking in May gets delayed until Julember, or whenever.  With all the UFO's that are being completed you can certainly be added to the calendar, so feel free to contact me.


I was on retreat the first weekend of March and worked on these three tops.  The first little panel quilt is a challenge at the Binbrook guild.  It's due in June and I hope we're back to having meetings by then.

DH and I cleaned and defrosted the freezer.  We had to throw a few things out that have been hanging around too long, but overall it was pretty good except for the frost.  I really like the accessibility afforded by the upright but it seems to be much worse for frost, or perhaps I can just SEE it better.  Another plus:  it defrosted REALLY FAST.  Although we left everything in coolers outside overnight (it was well below freezing that night) we could easily have reloaded it within a couple of hours.

The cleanout located a couple bags of frozen cranberries, which meant I had to (had to?) make a cranberry loaf.  This was really good with the cheddar, so I will definitely make it again.

Deciding on quilting designs is helped along by a bit of doodling on cello wrap.

And when life gets to be too much, make brownies!  This is a Buttermilk Brownie recipe from an old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  I never have buttermilk, so I've always had to substitute with soured milk (by adding vinegar or lemon to regular milk, not by using the stuff that's gone off and makes your gag reflex kick in... in case you're new to cooking).  Now that I make my own yogurt I use the strained whey - it also adds that nice bit of tart flavour.  My other baking tip is to reduce the sugar by about 25% and to skip the icing.  Trust me, they are still quite edible.  I bake this in two 8" cake pans and hide one of them  in the freezer after baking.

Here's where I've ended off with the Four Patch Posie.  I got sick of the news Sunday night so I finished this up while I was waiting for the I Heart Radio Living Room Concert to start.  Now it needs quilting.

The panel quilt is finished and ready for presentation.


3/22 Hamilton cases = 27
3/23 Ontario closing all non essential business as of midnight tomorrow. Porch dropoff of 2 quilts today and I won't open the bag until 27th at the earliest.  DH got 2 emergency bags of dog food, just in case.
3/24 Hydro rates are going down for 45 days - woo hoo, I can do laundry in the middle of the day for a change. Took a walk this morning to get away from the news, and spent a lot of time messaging with the Beach Girls about our respective needs for batting. I spoke to a customer who's a little annoyed I won't take her quilt now. Did not wash my face OR  make the bed this morning.  I thought this was just a facebook joke, but apparently it's not. 😜
3/25 I spoke to a customer who is picking up on Friday - she wanted to drop off 2 quilts.  I initially said yes since she was going to be on my porch anyways, then I called her back and said no. I've penciled her in for June.  It was 13 degrees today so we went for TWO walks. I set pea seeds in water tonight to presprout, and a friend has an "in" with someone at Stokes Seeds - she's trying to get us a seed order.  Apparently, seed companies have been overwhelmed with orders.  There are 100 new cases in Ontario today, and Hamilton is reporting 39 cases today. NY governor announced 5146 new cases in one day. Omg.
3/26 Any travellers coming in to the country are required to quarantine under the quarantine act - 14 days, the only exception is essential workers. Trump wants to put troops at the Canadian border. Wtf? Sigh. Nice day today, the pea seeds are soaking to presprout. A friend of ours quit her job at BMO because they have done nothing to protect the staff in the branch. Cases in the U.S. rose to 83,836 on Thursday — more than any other country, overtaking both Italy and China — while the death toll passed the 1,000 mark.
3/27 Regarding the McDonald's closure in Hamilton last week ...the employee FAKED the doctor's note. Lol.  Teenagers can be sooo stupid!  (and yes, that also applied to me when I was a teenager)
3/28  First death in Haldimand-Norfolk was announced last night, a resident of a  nursing home.  Current stats: Ontario 1144 with 19 deaths. Canada 5655 & 61 dead.
3/29 Ontario gatherings are now limited to no more than 5 people.  Six Nations starts limiting access to the reserve - they have two people tested positive. Haldimand-Norfolk has 23 cases.
3/30 Hamilton  has 70 cases today...from March 22nd (8 days) that's an increase of 43 cases.

I am quite horrified by the numbers coming out of the USA.  Their screwy health care system is leaving uninsured people to fend for themselves.  They can't afford to get tested (one news article reported a cost of $900.00 for the test), and if they land in the hospital they will end up bankrupted by the final bill.  HERE is a news article about a California teen who was denied medical care over a lack of insurance and subsequently died.  If you have precarious employment and live paycheque to paycheque, chances are pretty good that you will get sick but keep going to work.  If you have no medical insurance you won't go to the doctor, won't find out you're infected, and will carry on infecting everyone you come in contact with.  Dear God...  HERE's an article about medical insurers and their adjustments to the co-pay system from March 12th.  This should scare every American (AND every Canadian, since they're our next-door-neighbour).

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Jason Yenter Quilt and the Caledonia Pandemic Update

This is one of those quilts that scares me a little bit... I used lots of the "stand-and-stare" technique.

I will probably NEVER tackle a quilt like this - so much applique and paper piecing, with an on-point medallion setting.

I think at one point I had seven longarm rulers out - straight rulers, curvy rulers, circles, ...

I also needed chalk, a blue wash-out marker, and the IQ.  Along with some collaboration from the Beach Girls. 

Beautiful back.

In my last post I mentioned that some things had been cancelled with the Coronavirus epidemic, and that the grocery store was out of hand sanitizer.  Here is a timeline of things that relate to me, starting on March 9th.

  • March 9 - WHO declares a Pandemic.  The Bulk Barn will no longer allow shoppers to bring their personal containers.  Toilet paper has been flying off store shelves for at least a week.
  • March 10 - I made a trip to Swiss Chalet and Costco with a friend.  I needed an emergency supply of Parmesan cheese and baking cocoa.  You can't have an apocalypse without brownies, right??  My friend SHOULD have bought toilet paper because they had some and it was on sale.
  • March 11 - at a guild meeting, I jokingly tried to auction off a bottle of hand sanitizer with a starting bid of $20.00.  No one would bite.  Bummer.
  • March 12 - this was the date that Mark Preece Family House sent the email advising volunteers to stay home.
  • March 13 - Colleges and Universities in Ontario have closed.  Mark Preece House sent an additional email advising that the House was closing and all guests were being asked to leave, asap.
  • March 16 - I sent the revised SOLO invitation to the Ontario longarm quilters, changing our meeting from April to September.
  • March 17 - This was a big day, item-wise.  The Province of Ontario declares a State of Emergency.  This closes many establishments and releases additional funding to some institutions.  This was the day of my last face-to-face client quilt dropoff.  My little warning antennae started going ding.ding.ding when she mentioned that she's a flight attendant.  Aaack!! deep calming breath  This was also my last face-to-face social engagement, when I had my friend over for tea & toilet paper (see March 10 item).  She'd been looking in stores for four days, with no luck.  This was also the day the travel agent advised that the final payment in March for the Italy trip (scheduled for late August) was being postponed.  Aaand my optometrist called to reschedule my appointment to mid April.  They have been ordered to close.
  • March 18 - the customer booked for Saturday the 21st has emailed to cancel our appointment.  I had invited the tea & t.p. friend for dinner on Saturday, but I cancelled that in light of the current directives to "social distance".  For the life of me, I cannot remember what date we were told to social distance, so I'm going to assume it was March 17th, when the State of Emergency was declared.  I received an etransfer from a friend refunding the theatre tickets she'd bought us for a May 2nd performance.  Tonight I sent a big long email to my Singapore niece (who's actually in Vietnam).  I haven't talked to her since Christmas, so I just wanted to bring her up to date on what was happening here in Canada.  Every time I googled the virus and Vietnam, information was a bit sparse.  I wanted to know what was happening in her neck of the woods, and a little assurance that she and her family were ok.
  • March 19 - Singapore niece replies to my email saying that she has no time to update me, they are leaving for Canada tomorrow.  Well, let me tell you...that brought some real tears of relief! She's the daughter I never had and I think about her all.the.time. This morning I had my first Porch Pickup with a customer.  I left her quilt out on the porch but I couldn't miss the chance to chat for a few minutes so I went out (staying away from her) and visited for a bit.
  • March 20 - the Canada/US border is closed.  Only citizens (?) and commerce are allowed to cross.  DH's sister and her husband called to let us know they are back home from their winter abode in Florida.
  • March 21 - the Haldimand & Norfolk Public Health Department has ordered the closure of all "personal care" establishments.  No haircuts.  No tattoos.  No facials.  Suck it up ladies - we're going to start looking like our real selves soon.  My optometrist called again, and cancelled my new April appointment - now they've been closed "indefinitely".  And speaking of looking like our real selves - I skipped the part of my day when I get dressed in "daytime" clothes.  Ha ha ha, pajama day!!  I got caught though - one of the Beach Girls accidently hit the "video call" button on Messenger and one of them noticed my jammies.  Whoops. It was a fun call, though.  Scrolling through facebook tonight I see the news that an employee at a sort-of-local McDonalds has tested positive.  There go any hopes I had of an Egg McMuffin takeout. wah wah...
  • March 22 - the second Porch Pickup happens.  I have another one tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, for a quilt dropoff.  DH and I realize that we must have transitioned to "mature-and-at-risk"...our neighbours did some grocery shopping for us.  💗  The Singapore niece has posted on facebook - they have arrived in Canada.  happy happy  I had a cheque to deposit from the March 19th p.p. so we went for a little drive, and I wore a bright orange latex glove to use the banking machine.
Somewhere in there the upcoming meetings for my three quilt guilds were cancelled, too.  Every day I am GLUED to the news, and to facebook.  I hope that doesn't become a new bad habit.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

What happened to February???? Lovely Embroidery

I have obviously been M.I.A. ...almost a month since I last posted?  Well, let me catch you up.

Oh, such a beautiful embroidered topper... tablecloth?

The maker is such a wonderful woman, she embroidered my name on there too. 💗

As I mentioned, my birthday was the end of February (the 27th to be exact, in case you want to note that on your calendar for next year, which will be a BIG ONE ha ha ha...).
I crossed off a bucket-list item and got the tattoo.  Many thanks to Tamara King at Sinkin Ink in Hamilton.  I am super happy with it, although still a little bit self conscious about it.

I am planning on semi-retiring next year when I turn (ahem) 65.  Having a life plan, for me,  means I need something to get me out into the social-sphere AND feel productive/contributing to the world-at-large.  I decided to start volunteering at Mark Preece Family House a couple times a month, with a view to spending more time there next year.  I managed to finish one four-hour shift, and then Covid-19 hit, which shut the house down until further notice.  Well, better safe than sorry.

A demo presentation at the guild (Four Patch Posie) left me with 18 quilt blocks.

I went on retreat with the same guild a week later and got three tops done, including those 18 blocks.  The panel quilt on the left is ready for quilting.  The two on the right still need border(s).
I guess now I can take one of my volunteer days and get the little panel quilted.  Or work on bookkeeping.  Or fill another box for the Goodwill.  Or...