Thursday, April 28, 2016

Auntie Green's Garden update

I haven't done much applique with AuntieGreen'sGarden lately. 

I consider this quilt and my FlowerGarden to be my "main" projects this year. I may stray with Quilty365/Year in My Life...but these two are the biggies.

In prepping for my trunk show, I thought it might be nice to attach the border I've had done to the main body of AuntieGreen's.

Well!!! I'm so in love with this quilt still!...and seeing it on the design wall again has given me a push to get back at it. It's kind of taking my breath away! I know it may be a bit "too much" for some people....and that's ok. For me, it's just right!
Have a great day!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Neutral finish

I am so happy with the finishing of my Neutral quilt! 

I decided that, instead of binding the quilt, I would apply a facing to finish it off.

Here is how the front looks...nice and crisp!...
I've only done this method once before so had to go back to the tutorial on a blog called the Silly BooDilly which you can see HERE. The instructions seem long, but they are so well's really quite simple and perfect for certain projects.

All that needs doing is a sleeve for hanging. I love how this quilt turned out so it will definitely find a place to hang somewhere! I'll post a picture after the quilt is shown at my trunk show next week.

We need to fashion a bit of a "nesting" box for Minnie since she will have puppies in a few weeks. We dug out the travel crate to see if this would suit her fancy....but within a few moments another member of the family laid claim to the hidey-hole...
Well, off to get ready now for our new activity...Tai Chi! Today will be our first class and I really hope we enjoy it.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mushroom Log log...

We're trying something new in the garden this year....we've purchased a Mushroom Log! Here is our Log on Day One....
If it is successful, it will sprout Shiitake mushrooms for 4-7 years (basically as long as the log lasts, I guess). My brother-in-law are both giving this a try.

In this picture, you can see the arrows pointing to little circles on the log...
This is where holes have been drilled, mushroom spores place in the holes and then plugged with maple syrup. All we have to do is keep it in a shady spot and perhaps put water on it if there are drought-like conditions.

We got the logs from Eden in Season. The young man who runs it will from time to time makes deliveries throughout Southern Ontario. 

It will be interesting to see if it works out or not!

I just had to take a picture of this sign of Spring...a rabbit and some birds sharing what they could find under one of the bird feeders...
As for "slow" stitching this week, I've been getting some embroidery done on the current Life is Beautiful block....
...but then....I hate to admit it, a project that has been waiting it's turn for after a couple of my bigger projects are done has pushed it's way to the front of the queue. I just couldn't resist doing the first bit of it. 

It's called the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt by Susan Smith. 

I hosted my applique group this past week and I'm blaming starting this quilt on seeing an old applique buddy who has been a big influence in my quilting life. Well, I guess I can't really blame her, it's my own doing, isn't it???

Here is the beginning of Rowdy Flat...
I did the first mow of the backyard yesterday. At one point I felt a bit overwhelmed...I think it's the first summer with none of my children home to help with the outdoor responsibilities. Then I looked at the bright side. I love my property and it's so nice to be out in the beautiful weather taking care of it. I've also wanted to be more active and this is great be out walking the lawnmower, breathing in the lovely Springtime! So no, no complaints here!

This past week has been so busy and flown by. I really feel that it will be a very slow day....stitching and recuperating. I am so very lucky to have a past-time that does so much for my well-being.

I'm linking up with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are stitching at today.

Have a lovely Spring day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

The good....

This past week I worked on such a fun quilt for someone, I think she called it Wonky Chickens?

It was done in wool applique and it was a quilt to make you smile, for sure!

The bad...

I feel crappy today....don't know why but I'd better get over it as I have a full day in store!

The ugly...

My sourdough bread that I mentioned in the last post was a disaster! 
We used some of it on Sunday evening as a makeshift focaccia and made turkey sandwiches.

I am determined to succeed at this, so I've been feeding my starter and will have another go at it later today!

Another task for today is to prepare some hearts for my Year in My Life/Quilty365. I've fallen a bit behind and I need a hand-project ready for tomorrow when I host my applique group. I don't want to work on my neutral quilt with the ladies as I'd like to keep that one under wraps 'til it's complete!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sourdough success???

I've been quilting away at my April goal this week, which is to have my neutral quilt ready for showing at my trunk show in May.

Just a bit of time in the mornings with my coffee and I've seen a lot of progress...
This is my first try at big-stitch quilting. I'm using a few different shades of perle cotton. I'm really enjoying it and it's especially easy with my Thimblelady thimble and no hoop...
I picked up my usual thimble one morning by mistake and realised that it would much more difficult to quilt this in this manner without the proper thimble.

As of this morning I would say this little quilt is two-thirds quilted, not bad!

On to my baking adventure...

Last month I tried to get a sourdough starter started and after a week actually baked a loaf of bread. It was an absolute disaster!

I'm determined to have a success at this process. I found a site online where you can order a bit of dried "starter", you can see it HERE. My order took about two weeks to get here since it was coming from the States.

Here is a beautiful sourdough bread we bought at the market the other day from The Good Bread Company... chewy and yummy!

.....and after two days of "feeding" here is my starter, bubbling away...
I know it looks kind of gross, but I think that means it's working!

On Saturday, I figured it's time to actually try making a loaf. It's actually a longer process than the times I would make bread on a regular basis years ago. This actually had to sit for 12 hours.

My loaf is now rising for a bit before cooking. I have to say, so far it looks like I'll need a bit more practice :(

I had hoped to have a bit more time at my sewing machine this week, but that was not to be. 

I did manage to get the first block done for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This month's colour is orange with a bit of black. I am going along with the Column-along for this project and here is a picture so far...
The block for January is the blue one ( I obviously need to do a few more ). February is the pink and brown. March was the purple butterflies. This month's block is super easy so I expect one more sewing session will complete the needed blocks.

I have a cousin back in Canada for a bit from his island home of Mauritius. He held a gallery showing of his paintings last week and we attended. There was a good turn-out of people to admire his work and I can say I'm now the proud owner of this, titled "Humanity". 
It's beautiful and I'm hoping I can come to a decision on where it will hang soon, but for now at least it's up. I was hoping to have one of Dan's paintings as I also have the first painting ever done by my grandfather. Danny was also happy to keep one of his paintings in the family.

Well, it's another busy day in store around here so I'd better sign off for now. 

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and with SoScrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday.

Have a wonderful Spring day!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April goals...

I'd like to say that today will be spent doing some "slow" stitching....not to be. It'll have to be a work day for me, but that's ok since it's such a fun quilt that needs finishing! I'll have to ask if I can share pictures for next time.

I was able to spend my morning coffee-time putting in a few stitches, of course. I finished this month's block for the HappyDay BOM. 
I don't know that it shows well in the picture but it's really pretty in real life.

I have two goals this month. One is that before I pick up another bit of applique I want to finish quilting my Moonlight Through the Trees. Here is a reminder of this quilt....
It's not a big quilt and I have incentive to complete it...I'm doing a trunk show in May and think it would be nice to include this quilt. I am quilting it with perle cotton, which is new for me, and it should quilt up quickly....if I keep at it!

The other goal is regarding a BOM I'm doing at Quilt Junction. We meet once a month (yesterday) and get the next set of clues for a mystery quilt. The quilt is Quilter's Legacy by Border Creek Station

Somehow I've fallen quite behind. Yesterday was the sixth of eight installments....I came home and finished installment three. So I have a couple of weeks to get caught up....and I'm determined I will!

Hopefully everyone has a bit of time today to take it easy and do some peaceful stitching.

Have a visit with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are working on today!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A return to back-basting

In January I shared my attempts at back-basting applique (which you can see here).

Yesterday at my evening guild I was asked if I've kept on with this technique. I have to say I have thought about it but it seems that old habits die hard and I end up prepping my applique the old way without even thinking about it. 

This week though, funny enough, I had been thinking of giving this more of a try. I told my friend that, in fact, I have been preparing a couple of items for back-basting.

I have a pile of hearts ready to take to my day guild today....we sit at tables so a lot of people bring hand-work to do while the meeting is on. It's nice to take an easy project to work on as well as seeing what others are working on!

There are a few hearts ready for back-basting, except for a rogue squirrel that I did the old way...I think because at this point this method is easier for me to fussy-cut.
I also decided that back-basting would be the way to go for this Splendid Sampler's quite finicky and this method was probably best.
With the thimble in the picture for scale you can see how small these seagulls are. I'm doubting my fabric choice on this one but I'm not going to do it over. Maybe I'll outline the seagulls with a stem stitch to define them a bit better.
In the end, I have to say that I still like this method and am going to try to remember to do it more often.

Have a great day, and I hope it includes a bit of stitching time!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Niagara, quilt shops, wineries!

We had a nice little mini-holiday this week to Niagara Falls. The weather didn't co-operate but it was nice to get away for a bit and have some fun.

I don't quite know how we packed so much activity in such a short trip. We stayed in a hotel right in the centre of Clifton Hill, where most of you probably know is all the wax museums, restaurants, touristy stuff, well as the main attraction...
We had dinner at Antica Pizzeria. I ordered what I'm pretty sure was the best lasagne I've ever had....I highly recommend it! 

Somehow we managed to squeeze in three quilt shops.

The first was The Quilting Bee in Fonthill. I wish I had remembered to take a picture with one of the knowledgeable staff there. Her name is Crowley with a "w" I always feel like I'm in a Dr. Seuss book when we greet each other with a "hello, Mrs. Crowley" and a "hello, Mrs. Croley". 

I did take a picture of a quilt that I hadn't seen before since I wanted to show it to one of my "horsey" friends...
Quilt shop #2 was Stitch in Jordan Village. It's such a unique shop....for quilters and knitters. The owner of the shop actually designed the quilt that I have had accepted to Quilt Canada this year. She is a bit photo-shy, so I took this picture instead...
On our way home on Friday we stopped in St. Catharine's at quilt shop #3, Kindred Spirits. It was nice to see their new location (actually in the same strip-mall as before, just a larger shop), as well as my friend's daughter, Amy, who works there. I asked if she'd strike a pose with the Farm Girl Vintage quilt that was on the wall (it's the one in the left corner of the picture)...

I am also working on my own Farm Girl Vintage with a group of friends as a support group. We are doing two blocks a month. I've been very happy with mine, so far, especially my polka-dot background fabric...
A couple of weekends ago I was in Quilt Junction and the first thing I saw was this fabric...
I thought it was perfect to throw some of this in with the red polka-dots....but I don't really think it works, after-all....
I'm not sure if it's the background "cheerio's" that don't work, or my choice of fabrics???? Any opinions are most welcome! I really think I have do re-do these blocks. 

What would a trip to Niagara be without some visits to a couple of wineries? We have some favourites in the particular area of Jordan/Beamsville/Grimsby....I think referred to as the Beamsville Bench. 

Our favourite by far is Kacaba. We didn't go there this time, we wanted to try a couple that we hadn't been to before. 

We came across Cave Spring in Jordan Village. They had a lovely Reisling (my favourite), which isn't surprising as most of the wineries on the "bench" have great Reislings...I think I've been told that it's the limestone in the area. 

We met Meg, who agreed to a photo (excuse my "hotel" hair...nice and poofy...usually from the shampoo in hotels...this time very little water pressure!)...
Then we came across quite a new winery, Redstone. They also had a nice Reisling...a little sweeter that I usually like, but still wonderful!

Of course, I did take a bit of stitching with latest block from Life is Beautiful. Not much accomplished on this block since last time, but still nice to put a few stitches in while I was away!

I think I was a little optimistic, since I actually had another block ready, too. I just hate the thought of being left with nothing to work on if the opportunity arises!
Oh well, that one will be ready to take along to guild this week!

This is the time of month to check in with Audrey at Quilty Folk. She will have people linking up to see progress on Quilty365 circles. As I've shown before, my circles happen to be heart-shaped.

On Saturday I got another row of hearts sewn on...which makes 9 rows of 15, so far....135 hearts! I still have three more completed and four more to get started on to be up-to-date....not bad!

I've referred to this quilt as "A Day in My Life"....but I think more appropriate will be "A Year in My Life" that is now the working title.
The photo represents 4-1/2 over a third of the way through! 

When you visit Audrey at her post, she mentions an interview she did with Stephie Boon at Dawn Chorus Studio. You can see the article on her at Stephie's blog HERE. The blogpost is a good one and Audrey's quilting-ways really resonated with me.

Today we celebrate our hand-stitching with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts . I started an online BOM with Sarah Fielke of Australia this year called Happy Day. There have already been some highly challenging blocks and piecing methods. The blocks are released on the last day of each month and I was happy to see that we are just doing two applique blocks this month. So, right up my alley!

This morning I put the final stitches in the bird block....

Sarah had a different method for making the narrow legs on the bird which I was happy to try. I'm all for trying new techniques and I liked this one. As this post is seeming to get a bit lengthy, I think I explain it another time!

Since both my projects today are of a scrappy nature, I'm also linking up with Cynthia over at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh, Scrap!.

It's quite snowy and frigid looking outside today...I heard a weatherman say we may have more snow in April than we had in December! So, a perfect day to hunker down with some quilting and maybe a bit of a good book later, too!

Have a good one!