Saturday, June 5, 2021

TWO of my own finished and the Garden Terrorist

 I set a few challenges for myself every year, in a feeble attempt to accomplish something.  Otherwise, Facebook, you know?  This year's UFO portion was to finish any three UFOs, and I completed that at the end of May.  I already showed you the Vintage Tulips a couple months ago - that was #1.

#2 completion is the sampler quilt that the Binbrook guild ran as a block of the month from 2017 through 2018.  I managed to finish it in only three years!  Woo hoo!

The objective was to make each block twice, but reverse the colours on the second one.  So, take your lights and swap for darks.  It was a fun exercise and I was very happy with the end result.

Here's a lovely shot of the back.

And a closeup of the quilting in the blocks.

My third finish is the X's and O's that I've been dragging around with me to endless retreats for several years.

The front is quite busy but the plain squares show the quilting motif very nicely.

This is a better photo of the pretty, delicate border design.

I'm more than half way through hand stitching the binding, so I'm calling this one finished.

The remaining items on my Challenge list include several projects that I want to get started on, as well as making sure I get at least five donation quilts ready before the end of the year.  Last year I took quite a stack to Martha House and I'll probably take this year's there too.


I always know that summer has truly arrived when as dusk descends I notice the white noise of frogs and toads singing in the background.  My friend's husband Larry - we call him Mr. Science & Nature - explained to me the difference between frogs and toads.  Frogs are water creatures, whereas toads live on land.  In pre-covid times when I had the luxury of going OUT somewhere in the evening, it was always fun to come home in the dark and notice the little toads hopping out of my way as I'd come up the walkway, from the driveway to the front door.  Then approaching the porch and before I opened the front door, I would check the upper corner where the walls and the roofline meet to see if our resident bat was lurking up there.  (I learned that little habit the HARD way.  Use your imagination!)

My little TERRORIST friend lives on the back patio.  This year I was ready for him so I paid very careful attention when I was mucking about in the flowerbed.  I saw him before he hopped away, and avoided having to explain to DH that "no, it's ok, I'm fine, nothing to see here".

Then not a half hour later, the little bugger.... !!!!  Scared the POOP out of me.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Focus Print Quilts, Medallion Quilt, & Gardening

These are the BEST quickie type of quilt.  Choose some gorgeous fabrics and add a border or two.

They make lovely lap quilts, sofa throws, bed coverlets, or tablecloths.

 I studied this one at great length.  I've never made a medallion quilt even though I've been quilting for 25 years.

It looks pretty straightforward, with large piecing.  I'm definitely giving this a go...

Gardening...I've been eating fresh kale, that lived over the winter.  The crazy thing is, it showed up all by itself last year - I didn't plant it.  Sometimes it pays to be a messy gardener, deciding in November that "to heck with it - it can stay there and die a lonely death under the snow & ice".  I guess it had already gone to seed, and then came back to haunt poor DH. 😆

And I've been picking asparagus for over a week.  Yum!!  Don't laugh...yes it take a few days to collect enough for a proper serving at this time of year.  In June I will probably be begging people to take some.

The problem with leaving blog posts so long in between is that I forget what the heck has been going on. 
  • I took a six week writing class which was really (!) good.  Instructor was Deborah Kimmett.   I've been (trying) to write a bit every day, but you know... facebook.  
  • On nice days I try and get out in the garden because I'm a fair weather gardener.  
  • Hubby had a birthday so I baked a chocolate cake for him.  I got the icing out of the freezer, and checked if he was around to see that the label on it was 2017.  SUCCESS!  I did not poison us!  Ha ha, marital duplicity. LINK to the recipe - Martha Stewart Chocolate Frosting.  This makes enough for TWO double layer cakes, hence a batch that stays in the freezer for, um, a while.  Honestly, I really HAVE to put this in the freezer or I would eat the whole batch.  It's not super sweet, and the dairy makes it sooo creamy - mmm.
  • Speaking of the freezer, we're having frozen, uh, stuff for dinner tonight.  He's getting the frozen leftover spaghetti, and I'm getting the frozen ??? that looks like either chili or stew.  Maybe Chili Chili Bang Bang from the Looneyspoons cookbook?  It appears to be vegetarian, but I'm not quite sure...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Elephants & Gardening & More Covid (and a little stupid humour)

 This elephant was great to work on.

All ruler work, as you can see, except for a few bits of tusks & toes, a wrinkly nose, and a shaggy tail.

This was pieced by the same gal who did this Unicorn quilt.

It made me think of the crazy elephant jokes we heard on our honeymoon, from another honeymooning couple at Blue Mountain.


After crabbing about mending hubby's pants a few weeks ago, the Universe decided to even the score.

Uh huh.  These are MY pants.  Sigh.

I decided to get all girly with my repair. 🌻

Bloodroot, which is alway nice and early.  

A bit of a change from daffodils which I also love.

The big news for me today - the asparagus is up!!!  Tomorrow I'll make a pot of soup from the last frozen packet of the 2020 crop, then it will be time to start pulling out all the recipes for fresh cuttings.  Mmm mmm...


WORLDWIDE:  140 million cases, 3 million deaths, 832,800 new cases April 16/21

USA:   32.3 million cases, 580,000 deaths, 82,000 new cases yesterday

CANADA: 1,106,000 cases, 23,541 deaths, 9,346 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 413,000 cases, 7,698 deaths, 4,362 new yesterday.  Ontario has been reporting record high numbers this past week. 

HAMILTON:  15,146 cases, 344 deaths, 247 new yesterday - a new record high.

I've been stewing and steaming most of the day over the Ontario Government's handling of the pandemic this year.  Yesterday the Premier announced the 4 week stay-at-home order would be extended by an additional two weeks, to end on May 20th.  I'm all in favour of this - don't misunderstand me.  But he could have done so much more, and much much earlier.  With the current lockdown, big box stores were finally limited to essential goods only, so apparently Costco and Walmart have cordoned off the fluffy goods we don't really need.  

Hubby and I have gotten our first shots last week, which was such a relief.  But in all honesty, we are in a great position to stay at home and stay out of harm's way.  I feel so badly for essential workers who should have been prioritized for vaccines - the dental hygienist, the grocery store cashier, the day care worker, the assisted living employee, ad nauseum...  And as far as essential goods goes, if we don't have vaccines for the Amazon employees, should Amazon really be open?  Putting their staff and the shipping company employees at risk so we can order a kite, or a set of magic markers?

If I were Doug Ford I would be in a coma by now from lack of sleep.  I truly feel sorry for him having the pandemic drop in his lap, but he has an excellent crew of scientists and medical experts who have advised him and warned him for months about where we were headed.  Because he did not heed their advice we have indeed landed where we don't want to be.

OK - off my soapbox.


Q: How do you get an elephant into a VW?
A: Open the car door, put the elephant inside, close the door.

Q: How do you put an elephant into a fridge?
A: Open the VW door, take the elephant out, close the VW door, open the fridge, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.

Q: How do you get 4 elephants into a Volkswagen?
A: 2 in the front and 2 in the back

Q: How do you know if there are 4 elephants in your fridge?
A: There's a VW parked outside your house.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Embroidery Quilt, Zucchini, and Laundry

This gal loves doing embroidery and is making quilts for her grandkids.  This one is number four,  think.
Edge to Edge in the center portion, with a separate border.
I still have zucchini in the freezer (which, as you can imagine, DH is THRILLED about, lol).  This was good.  Normally you see zucchini used in a sweet loaf but a savory version was great with soup and made for a nice bite at lunch.

With the weather getting nicer I can get some of the laundry outside to dry.  Save the environment, you know?  You can also use it to track your laundry patterns by counting your socks...19 days since my last dark load.  And why 2 pair of boring socks?  Was I depressed?  I like to entertain myself with these existential questions as I pin things up.  Over the years I have also discovered that apparently I often match the colour of my knickers to my tshirt.

Ha ha ha, it almost looks like they're hanging on the fence. 😆          

I will leave you with a little cartoon...


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Kaffe Sampler & Pants Mending

 I've said many times that I love working on sampler quilts.  This purple Kaffe - definitely wanted to keep this!

It was very difficult to see while I was working on the borders and the sashing, but the quilting shows nicely on the back.

Here are a couple of the blocks.


Well, of course I want to talk to you about this.  Isn't mending every quilter's favorite thing to do?  No, I didn't think so.  Usually when DH asks me to mend something that he has CLEARLY been so careful with, I tell him to just add it to the pile.  Well, dammit.  That response didn't work this time.  He said that he N.E.E.D.E.D. these fixed, sooner rather than later.  Blecch.

Yes he blows through the knees on most of his work pants and adds lots of decorative little holes in assorted random places everywhere else.
If, like me, you mutter several un-ladylike words when faced with putting patches on the knees, the little tip I got from Mom many, many years ago is to open up the side seam.  Not the side with 14 rows of stitching - the OTHER side with a regular seam.  That is really quick to do with a seam ripper.  Then you can open up pretty much the whole leg, stitch the patch on, and then sew the seam closed again.
It doesn't make the job any more fun, but it will save your sanity.

Then you can go back to your OTHER favorite (?) thing - paper piecing some minis.


WORLDWIDE:  119.7 million cases, 2.6 million deaths, 454,000 new cases March. 13/21

USA:   29.4 million cases, 534,600 deaths, 53,000 new cases yesterday

CANADA: 913,300 cases, 22,400 deaths, 3,105 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 318,000 cases, 7,153 deaths, 1,747 new yesterday. 

HAMILTON:  11,241 cases, 295 deaths, 83 new yesterday

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Officially An Old Broad!

 First, here is the little Superbowl Sunday quilt, completely finished.

It's so pretty, thanks to the Moda Charm Square pack.  
I did learn a valuable lesson, though.  Don't write out a quilt label while you are messaging with the Beach Girls about March appointments for haircuts.  You WILL put the wrong date on the label.

I figured it was close enough that I was not writing out another one.


In the middle of a pandemic, I managed to have my 65th birthday yesterday.  Yay me!!

As I have been saying for months, YES, I had Bailey's in my coffee (and a little Kahlua, too 😉).  I waited until 10 a.m. and celebrated with the Beach Girls on a video chat.  The super-special part was an in-person gift dropoff, which was in addition to the extra bits that came early in the mail.

I also had a long-time customer drop off a gift a few days early, with explicit instructions to wait until my birthday before I opened it.  Hah.  This made me laugh out loud!

Where on earth she found that notebook... ???  She is well aware that I have a penchant for shoes so this did not disappoint. 😁  The bottom of the shoes are covered in sparkly stick-ons, so now Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes is stuck in my head.  Love Paul Simon  💗. I called and left her a slightly drunken thankyou message, which apparently made HER husband laugh.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I've embarrassed myself in worse ways.

My standards have really dropped with Covid lockdowns, going on a full year now.  My request for birthday dinner ... Swiss Chalet.  Hah!  DH and I worked together this afternoon and made a cheesecake for dessert.  We didn't kill each other, and the cake is extremely good.

My first retirement project is all lined up and paid's a 6 week writing class, starting the end of March.  If I manage to learn something, maybe there will an improvement in the quality of my blog posts.  Fingers crossed.


There are a couple of gals from somewhere around here who are booking quilt trunk shows/lectures and running them on zoom, so I paid my $10 and spent 90 minutes watching Victoria Findley Wolfe.  Well worth the money, since we can't go anywhere..

WORLDWIDE:  113.9 million cases, 2.5 million deaths, 369,000 new cases Feb. 13/21

USA:   28.5 million cases, 512,300 deaths, 73,000 new cases yesterday

CANADA: 870,500 cases, 22,000 deaths, 2,068 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 305,000 cases, 6,960 deaths, 1,147 new yesterday. 

HAMILTON:  10,457 cases, 283 deaths, 28 new yesterday

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Jungle Walk, Recipes

 This is definitely the CUTEST quilt I've worked on in quite a while.

Jungle Walk by Harebrained Happenings

Here are a few of the blocks...

Today we are celebrating VALENTINES DAY.  Still locked in with the stay-at-home orders, until Tuesday.  Supper tonight will be leftover roast beef, but I'm making a Chocolate Olive Oil Cake for dessert.  This is a new recipe for me.  The Savour Ontario site (apparently I follow them on Instagram?) has never led me astray, so it will probably be very good.  Assuming I don't forget any ingredients which I know happens to all of us once in a while.

Yesterday, being GALENTINES DAY, I had a lovely two hour video cocktail party with the Beach Girls.  If they'd been here for our annual Winterruption get together I would have shared a large jug of Salted Caramel Martinis, but as it was I made a small jug and hic drank it all myself. 

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT POLITICIANS (not that anyone cares what I think...)

In Ontario, the province is getting opened up starting this coming Tuesday.  The government's plan is to transition the Public Health areas into colour coded zones - I think for two weeks at a time. I'm in Haldimand/Norfolk, which is going back to Orange status.  We are surrounded by Niagara on one side - which is going to Grey (really bad!), and Hamilton on the other side which is going to Red (bad!) - both areas keeping MORE restrictions than us because their situations are much worse than ours.  What that means is, like what happened around Christmas, residents of those restricted zones simply get in their car and drive to a more open zone to get whatever they simply cannot live without, which spreads more infection here into our zone.  So, my request to Hamiltonians and Niagrans:  STAY AWAY FROM HERE.  Please.  And thankyou.  The medical officers of health in most of the province think this whole thing is nuts, because the new variants are spreading and they want the stay-at-home orders to remain in effect for the time being.  But hey, why would the government listen to their experts?  

OK, that covers my thoughts on the Doug Ford Conservative government idiots.  Now I shall move on the the United States.

Yesterday, Donald Trump was exonerated for inciting the riot at the Capitol on January 6th.  I kind of expected that, but I am still shocked.  No more than I was when he was initially elected, though.  They have become a country that willingly elects a man who laughingly, sexually abuses women, makes fun of disabled people, feels justified in paying almost zero taxes, etc.  Now, they have no problem with permitting (arguably) the most powerful man in the world to run roughshod over democracy and encourage the murder of his fellow politicians.  What a sad state of affairs.  I was honestly hoping that with the election of Joe Biden things would turn around but that is not to be.  I would no more travel to the USA again than I would go to Iraq, Nigeria, or North Korea.  Not happening, and I know I'm not alone.  Sigh.


WORLDWIDE:  108.7 million cases, 2.4 million deaths, 310,800 new cases Feb. 13/21

USA:   27.6 million cases, 484,000 deaths, 84,727 new yesterday

CANADA: 825,000 cases, 21,200 deaths, 3,046 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 285,868 cases, 6,693 deaths, 981 new yesterday. The current stay-at-home order is in effect until Feb. 16th.

HAMILTON:  9,830 cases, 275 deaths, 40 new yesterday

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Vintage Quilt Finished

 This is a pretty top that I bought at a local antique/junk barn around the corner from me.  I paid $25 for it two years ago.

I need another quilt like a hole in the head, but I just could not walk away from the poor thing.  It's partially hand pieced and partially machine pieced.  To respect the era I used 100% cotton batting instead of my usual 80/20 blend.  That makes it a little more "flat".

You'll note the Mennonite Mistake (also known as a Humility Block) in the bottom right hand corner - that one pieced corner block is turned the wrong way.

I just happened to have (a common expression which is often heard spoken by most quilters, lol) a pink that was one shade darker than what the maker used for the sashings & border.  It was perfect for the binding, and I'm currently about half way through the hand stitching on that.

Here's the back.  I was a wee bit shy and had to piece in a bit of different fabric in one corner.  Nothing I plan on worrying about, though.  The list of my own quilts waiting for quilting is now down by one!

I had a couple people mention to me that my last blog post had a BIG FAT MISTAKE where I mentioned I was planning to sew through the Superbowl last Sunday.  Ahem.  I am now aware that the big event is THIS weekend, and I'm all prepared.  Two charm paks, one pattern, one card table, one sewing machine.  And a frozen lasagne.

It would be nice if I could be all newsy-like and tell you what I've been up to but...yeah, I got nothin'.  I'm doing a LOT of reading and a LOT of tv watching.  I did order seeds tonight - normally I go on a field trip to the seed store and spend a lovely hour or two wandering the aisles.  Do a little inner eye-roll when my bill adds up to almost $100 (saving sooo much money!! pfftt.) then head on home with my treasures.  This year I am doing a parcel pickup and my scheduled date is MARCH 8th.  WTH?  sigh. Ontario is still under stay-at-home orders, which should be ending late next week I think.  However this morning I read two different news articles, and one of them indicated the government is second-thinking and may leave the orders in place for a while.  I guess we'll find out when we find out.


WORLDWIDE:  106 million cases, 2.31 million deaths, 349,200 new cases Feb. 2/21

USA:   26.9 million cases, 460,000 deaths, 129,600 new yesterday

CANADA: 801,000 cases, 20,702 deaths, 4,022 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 280,000 cases, 6,435 deaths, 1,784 new yesterday The current stay-at-home order is in effect until Feb. 11th at the moment.

HAMILTON:  9,470 cases, 265 deaths, 63 new yesterday

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Newsy 2021 Post

Santa brought me a new tablet so I've been having my perpetual challenge with technology, trying to transfer over all my "stuff".  Today's project is DROPBOX, setting up the auto transfer of all photos from the tablet to the cloud, and from there I transfer them to the desktop.  The desktop has folders for each month of the year, and folders for my personal quilts, trips, special events, guilds, etc.  This kind of filing system is the easiest way for me to locate items, although I must admit I've had the occasional "oopsy" where I've moved something inadvertently and then not been able to figure out where I sent it.  I didn't want to do a blog post until I had this project finished...why?  I don't know.  Just because.

This was my New Years Day Sewing Marathon project, a Block of the Month from the Binbrook Guild 2017/18.  Each pattern was made twice using the opposite colours.  That was a fun exercise.  I had 16 blocks complete but I wanted four more to give the quilt a rectangular shape, so I pulled two of the block patterns and made them again with different colours.

Apparently I cannot follow graphic instructions which resulted in a NEW BLOCK.  lol... 

Normally Janice comes over and spends the day with me, sewing and (ahem) drinking and having dinner.  Sadly, covid made that not possible so I had to sew & drink alone.  Hubby had dinner with me, thankfully.

Within a week I had the blocks together into a top, and here it sits waiting for borders.

Major news event from 2021 that will remain burned in our memories for a long, long time include the insurrrection on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol.  Egged on by Donald Trump, thugs broke in and disrupted ("disrupted" is a very weak word to explain what happened) the vote count that cemented Joe Biden's win of the presidency.  Worries that the actual inauguration on the 21st would be also be disrupted were, thankfully, unfounded.


Me, personally, I have perhaps foolishly, joined a few challenge groups again this year.

  • Lose five pounds.  Last year my goal was TEN pounds and that turned into a major fail.  Overall I was ok with my fail, because so many people struggled with weight GAINS during the pandemic, and staying on track prevented that from happening to me.  Year over year I was only down 0.6 lbs., so not even one full pound was lost.  And my sanity was saved by the distractions and deliciousness of the breads, cakes, pies, crostatas, rolls, and creamy cheesy casseroles.
  • Get rid of 2021 things in 2021.  Unbeknownst to me, DH had already started thinning his  many many piles of collections and saved items.  For example, we have, I think, three broken office chairs in the basement.  Why?  Oh, Helen, don't go down that rabbit hole.  Not today.  Yesterday I put cardboard box #1 just outside of my workroom doorway so as I find things for the Goodwill I can easily add them to the box.  Coincidentally there is a whiteboard on the wall there too, so we can track our progress.  Items counted will be thrown away, given away, and donated.  At the moment the filled cardboard box won't be able to go anywhere because Ontario is still under STAY-AT-HOME orders.  But someday...
  • Stash reduction of 50 m.  Last year my target was also 50 m. and it was easy-peasy, especially with all the covid lockdowns.  How's a girl supposed to shop?  Last year my total year over year was down 108.5 m.  I anticipate no difficulty with this challenge, at all.
Next Sunday is the Superbowl.  
Quilters' Math:  tv football = piecing & cocktails
I have not yet settled on a project but it may be a small quilt using two charm paks from Missouri Star Quilt Company that I bought in 2017.  These are pretty pastel florals by Moda.  I need to drag the card table & sewing machine up in front of the tv so I don't miss any of the commercials.  Supper might be nachos using the corn chips that were in a Christmas gift basket.


WORLDWIDE:  98.983 million cases, 2.12 million deaths, 600,790 new cases yesterday

USA:   25 million cases, 417,000 deaths, 168,000 new yesterday

CANADA: 746,000 cases, 19,065 deaths, 5,965 new yesterday

ONTARIO: 257,000 cases, 5,764 deaths, 2,417 new yesterday  (3,555 on Jan. 11th was the highest, so our numbers are finally dropping!  The current stay-at-home order is in effect until Feb. 11th at the moment.  I expect it will be extended.  My understanding is the daily average cases need to go below 1,000 before the order will be lifted.

HAMILTON:  8,611 cases, 232 deaths, 71 new yesterday