Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday stitching

Not too much time for slow stitching this morning as my young grandson is having a sleepover this weekend. 

I did manage to get a few hearts stitched. It would be nice to take some time this long weekend to actually get all up-to-date. I'm not too far off, just don't know if I can make it happen. 

Funny how all these have a dull look to them. Maybe even when I'm not picking fabrics purposely to suit my mood, it happens anyway? These are actually dated a couple of weeks ago, so who knows why they were chosen...probably because they were in the midst of my back pain?

I do have a product review today.

My go-to needles for a long time have been Roxanne's #10 Sharps. I even love the packaging...complete with a little seashell on top!...
I think there were 80 needles in the tube originally and I am finally down to one. I don't even know if these are available anymore. I hope so!

In the meantime I thought I'd treat myself to something new, these "Tulip" brand needles...
Again, it shouldn't mean anything, but I love the packaging!

I was pretty skeptical that I could notice a difference in the two needles. could there be?

I do notice a difference. The Tulip needles are super-fine and I swear my stitches are better this morning. 

Here are the two different needles. I was wondering if the difference if visible...not sure, but I did feel the difference as soon as I picked up the Tulip needle.

It does make a difference to use a great quality needle and, in my opinion, Roxanne's is very good. I'll start watching out for them to see if they are still around. I love the Tulip ones, but after they are gone don't know if I will pay the premium price.

I guess my advice to new appliquers would be this....Buy some needles that are suited to applique. Your old everyday sew-a-button-on needles should maybe be saved for sewing on buttons!
I think if you have the proper needles you will see a marked improvement in your stitching.

I ordered a book on Amazon this week, Tula Pink's City Sampler, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. I can't explain it, but some books strike me as beautifully done, and this is one of them.
This book will be the inspiration for a new project that you can read about on Sweet Little Pretties blogpost. The project will be hosted on Instagram under #100blocks100days.

Has anyone been tempted by this?? At least it's just needing a commitment of 100 days, not a whole year like Quilty365!

I am linking up with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts to see what others are stitching on today. I'm also linking up with Cynthia for OhScrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Word of the day

I'm right on track with my FlowerGarden quilt.

Ha!!!, or so I thought!

Today I appliqued the last two circles on one of the borders. 

Then I hung the three completed borders on the design wall so I could share them with you...

Ah, so nice. But wait!

As I looked upon my months of work (2 years counting the 24 flower blocks!), I realise that there are parts of the upper and lower border that I find hard to "see".

That's where the word of the day comes in.....Crapola!

I actually heard this in my head as I realised that after all these mornings of stitching this quilt, I have to do what has to be done...I have to re-do a few of the pieces. The voice that I heard was actually that of my husband, Greg, who has been passed-away these last few years, because it was definitely one of his words! 

If you care to see the perfect definition of "crapola" you can find it in the Urban Dictionary, here.

I'm having a problem with the circled bits.....the two trees, water in the fountain, the cat, a bird.

At first, my thought was to just let it be, but I don't think I can after so much time has gone into the quilt. Oh well, it'll be worth it in the end, I'm sure.

This past week we've said goodbye to all our cute puppies. It's really been a wonderful experience. 

We'd pretty well decided to have one more litter next summer. Then just as the last puppy was leaving I realised that Minnie seems to be going right back into heat. (We could use the word of the day here also! Crapola, lol).

The thought of her getting pregnant right away is terrifying to me...she's gone thru' so much the last few months already. I called my friend who owns a wonderful kennel. With this being the last week of July and the long weekend they are fully booked. 

I made a decision to get Cooper fixed ASAP. If Minnie is going to be in heat every four months, there will be too much worry and work to keep her from getting pregnant. 

So, between now and Cooper's surgery date we'll resort to this...

I didn't know there was such a thing! We'll see what Minnie thinks of wearing a diaper. They were not cheap, but worth every penny if they do the trick!

P.S. Reading back over this post I think I will try to minimize my do-overs on the applique. I will definitely do the bird, cat and water and see after that if the trees can stay.  Wish me luck!

Have a great long Civic weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Funny how things happen...

Yesterday I decided to let go of the Splendid Sampler. 

At first it was a hard decision since I felt a little like I was giving up, but it's the right choice for me. 

The blocks are beautiful but there are so many more applique blocks than I anticipated and I have a few other applique projects on the go that take priority that I can't take time to do the ones in the Splendid Sampler. Once I made the decision to stop I felt a bit of relief, so it must be the right choice!

No sooner did I make that choice when another quilt-along came to my attention (thanks to a friend that knows how much I like TulaPink fabrics!).

This one is the Tula Pink City Sampler Sew Along #100blocks100days. If you want to read about it you can check it out here at Sweet Little Pretties blog.

As I was contemplating this project this morning during my coffee and applique, I think I was given a sign....the heart I was poking at happened to be a TulaPink one...

That clinches it! lol

Puppy update

I guess this is the last puppy update. 

All the new families have remarked on this being a good experience all around. 

I think it was, for a few reasons. We sold the pups early, at 3 weeks old. Our grandchildren had named them, which really personalised them for the prospective families. Finally, the ability for the families to text me for updates and pics of their pup really created a bond and anticipation in these families for their new pet. 

Today we say goodbye to Ana, the last of the pups...
Here's Marshall's portrait from Sunday when he left...
....and here is a picture of him in his new home with his new "sibling"...

I'm linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts to see what others have to share for Let's Bee Social

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Stitches

We're still in the midst of this terrific heat-wave in my area and still so dry! 

We could see the smoke across the way on Friday where a 50-acre wheat field had caught fire. Two fire trucks were destroyed when the wind changed. So scary!, but glad no one was hurt.

Because of the heat, it's been quite a few days since we've even taken the pups outside. Last time we did they started panting right away.

This week we say farewell to the pups :(

Yesterday was Olaf and Batman's turn...

Today will be Marshall's turn so I'll have to have him pose for a picture, too.

Of course I started my day with some applique. I am still working on my FlowerGarden quilt and once I hung it up to take a picture I could see that I'm probably on track to have this border finished by the end of July.

I don't usually put deadlines on my quilts, but when one has gone on for a couple of years and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it nice to give myself a time-frame to keep me at it.

This last week has meant more of the dreaded reverse applique. I wonder how much reverse applique will be on the final border?....I'm not going to look ahead to find out!

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts to see what others are working on today and with Cynthia for Oh, Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

After our errands today I hope to find a bit of time to do some prep work on my Quilty365....I'm afraid I've fallen a bit behind.

Have a great Summer's day!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hazy days of Summer

For years, the field behind our house has been used for soy beans...this year it is wheat. There is a lot of harvesting going on in the area lately and I think the fields look kinda pretty....

....only this has never happened before....

I don't know if the farmer made a mistake or had a new guy operating the machine, lol !!!

My backyard is about 1/4 acre and was covered in straw. I thought to run the lawnmower over it and mulch it up, but I could see right away it wasn't going to work that way. The mower was just chopping it into about 6" pieces and creating more of a carpet of straw!

So I set out to rake it up, which wasn't too hard considering the straw is practically weightless. 

There were many, many piles of straw, but it really didn't take too long. Where is a tribe of goats when you need them? Or a little pig wanting to build a house of straw? (Sorry, that's all I could think of while raking in this heat wave!)

I wonder at the reaction of my neighbour when he arrives home after this time away from home. This is twice in the last month that he'll be coming home from long-haul trucking to see something unusual going on on his property!

I took advantage of the air-conditioning this afternoon to stay in the house and do the next step of the Summer Solstice quilt-along hosted by Happy Quilting, which you can see here. I am making this quilt in baby-quilt size for a new grandbaby in the Fall.

Here is today's step, the half-square triangles...
....and even got a few squared up with my new BlocLoc ruler (pricey, but a great tool!)....

You can see in that picture I have a few snippets to add to my "stash of bits" that I'm saving for a doggy bed, as mentioned in a previous post here.

Puppy update

We have four of the five pups still here. Tomorrow three will go to their new homes. It will be nice to have our lives back to normal soon, but I will miss the overdose of cuteness we've had around here lately! 

I hope you are keeping cool in this heat-wave. We are supposed to break a record today with temperatures in the mid-30's and feeling like the mid-40's. I'll take it....better than Winter, anytime!!!

I'm sure if I care to listen to the News tonight I'll hear of yet another story of a child or pet found in a car in this heat. What are people thinking, really!!!

Have a great day...and a cool beverage!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Farm Girl Vintage

A while ago I was totally wanting to make the Farm Girl Vintage quilt by Lori Holt. 

On a side-note, this is one of the nicest pattern books I've seen...and spiral-bound, to boot!

Well, I had made two blocks and forgot about it. (You know how it goes, right?)

Lately, a group of friends had the idea that we'd do this quilt as a group so we would be encouraged to keep at it. The goal is to do two blocks per month.

Here are this month's blocks...

The Egg Basket Block...
It did turn out square...just doesn't look like it in the picture!

...and the Farm Fresh Flower Block...
I've been using the ballerina fabric sparingly since I am down to almost fact, this may be the last of it.

A friend dropped by today and brought a gift for the pups....handmade puppy beds for them to take to their forever homes...
After my friend left, I came in to find three of the pups curled up on one already!

My friend makes these with 1/2 metre cuts of fabric, sewn up, and stuffed with bits of scraps from her quilting. This makes them easy to wash up, also. 

Minnie seems to like the beds so I guess I'll start saving my bits of fabric starting with the bits from my Farm Girl blocks this afternoon!
It may take a while, but what a good use for scraps that I usually toss in the trash!

I'm not up to a puppy update today. I'm still quite laid up with a back problem, so I think my day is done and it's to the couch for me!

I think it's about time that I call around looking for a chiropractor, this has gone on long enough.

I am linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social so we can see what other's are working on today.

Have a great Summer's day!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday stitches in July

We're still experiencing beautiful Summer weather....could use a bit more rain, but at least it's not Winter!

This is a working weekend for me as I'm playing catch-up after being laid up this past week with a wrenched back. I have still taken time in the morning for a bit of peaceful applique.

More reverse applique...
...which is becoming a bit more easy for me.

This border of my FlowerGarden quilt is really coming together. I think I'm on track to have this border complete by the end of the month...
Puppy update

I'm always amazed at the day-to-day progress of the pups. Now when I get up in the morning, they recognise and anticipate the routine of me letting them out to romp around and have breakfast.

 These last few days they have switched from just following Cooper and Minnie around to knowing that we are also their family. 

Over the next week the pups will be going to their new homes...kinda bittersweet as they are adorable, but it will be nice to have the house back in order again!

I've had a huge break-down of my blog this past few days....I'm not sure if the bugs are worked out yet....I hope so. I think I may be starting from scratch, we'll see. 

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts to see what others are slow-stitching on this lovely July day. I'm also linking with Cynthia for OhScrap at her blog, Quilting is more fun than Housework!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 16, 2016


I am writing this quick post as a test....if someone receives this by being notified by email, could you let me know, please?


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Sunflower Surprise

I'm not going far today in this heat-wave....only out to the garden to see what is new today....

We didn't plant sunflowers this year. Last year we did, but not this variety so I'm thinking it was a gift from the wind or a passing bird.
Thanks, Mr. Bird, it's a beautiful sunflower!

The pups had a vet check today, so we gave them a little bubble bath to fluff them up. So cute....
Not too much going on around here the last couple of days. I'm slowly recovering from my painful back, with the help of some muscle relaxers (which make me a bit dopey, so no longarm for a couple of days). 

We did have an errand to run which took us near our favourite coffee house, which happens to make my favourite sandwich, Turkey apple cheddar, yum....

The only quilty thing to report is a couple of fabric choices. The first is for my three-year old grand-daughter who is crazy about Batman. I'll make her a quick quilt, nothing too complicated since who know how long before she switches superheroes!
There are these fabrics, also. These are my picks for the Meadow Mystery Quilt at Meadow Mist Designs.
Or some Pepper Cory solids. Hmmm, I wish there were time to do this one in two different colour-ways!

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stitching on a Sunday

What a lovely weekend. 

I'm a bit laid up with my back, but sitting is not too much of a problem so on Saturday I took some binding outside to enjoy the fresher day.
We have tried to plant wildflower seeds from time to time but to no avail. This year, my husband started the seeds in the house and then planted them in pots. They have grown fabulously, except for the fact that they have kinda looked like weeds....'til the last couple of days! We are getting all kinds of colour and a few flowers I actually recognise...a couple of poppies, pinks, etc.

Well, the picture doesn't really do them justice, but they are very pretty. Not long after I took this picture a butterfly the size of a Monarch, but yellow, flitted in to check the flowers out!

This morning for my Slow Stitching I will finish the binding on my grandson's quilt. The quilt was actually ready when he was born a couple of weeks ago but I have had trouble putting the time into binding it. It may be because I'm not terribly fond of the quilt. It's ok though, it's only the first of many quilts he will receive from me, I'm sure! Here he is, quilt-less but not for long...

I couldn't resist doing a couple of hearts, too, as I try to catch up on my Quilty365/A Year in My Life....
I am linking up with Cynthia over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh, Scrap.

The next segment of the Summer Solstice quilt-along was released this week. You can check it out here at Happy Quilting. This week we do the flying geese for the quilt....and mine are done...

Not only do we get to take part in a fun project, but by showing that we have completed the step in a timely manner we get the opportunity to win prizes. Cool!

This will be a baby quilt size, ready just in time for grandbaby # 5 in the Fall. We are referring to him as Baby Mac for the time-being.

Recently I ordered myself a couple of new notions with my winnings from Quilt Canada. I'm almost out of my favourite applique needles so thought I'd try something new that I've read good reviews on....a brand of needles called Tulip. 
Also in the picture is a new needle-threader. My Clover needle-threader has almost had it so I ordered this one by Bohin. I'm not quite sure yet that I like it as much as the old one. We'll see.

Because I bought something new this week, I'm linking up with MolliSparkles for Sunday Stash.

And, like always on Sundays, I'm linking with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Today Kathy reminds us again to take some time from our busy lives to enjoy the moment. I intend on doing that today!

Puppy update

The pups are 5.5 weeks old now, I can hardly believe it. We've had a bit of trouble settling in to a food that is just right to start them on and on Saturday we finally got it right....
This week they go to the vet for their check-up, it will be interesting to see how much they weigh. My guess is 1.5 lbs.

So adorable!

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Another new start....

Here we go! A start to yet another project!

Today is the beginning of the Meadow Mystery hosted at Meadow Mist Designs. The instructions will be given out once a month until next April and are for a lap-size quilt.

I'm not sure about my fabric choices. Do I use my stash and do it scrappy.....and this is what I should do! Or do I use coupons for fabrics at my local quilt shop and get fresh, new fabrics?....which is what I'd like to do!

The problem is, I'm not liking my stash too much anymore :(

I know I've probably said it before but I'll say it again.....I think I've gone thru' the "fabric change of life". 

Reveal day results...

Yesterday was the reveal day for our Shoebox quilts. You can read about the concept in my previous post here.

I just thought I would share pictures of the quilts that were revealed. Eight of the twelve people involved have at least got their blocks into a quilt top, not bad!

First, a star-themed quilt where we had a fabric that was to appear in all the blocks. We all remarked on the whimsy in setting the blocks in a wonky fashion... 
Second, in this quilt we were given a specific range of brightly coloured fabrics...

 Next, a lovely basket quilt with the background fabric and a brown fabric as a unifying factor...

 The owner of this quilt was so pleasantly surprised to receive all beautifully appliqued blocks for her flower themed quilt...
A tree theme...I wasn't fussy on the blocks I had prepared for this one, but they look quite all right in the finished top!...
An "I Spy" quilt, borrowed back from my friend's grandson for the day...
A house quilt, put together in a unique, exciting way....
....and a beautiful star quilt, for which we were given specific colour choices...
.....and we had a quilt still in the planning stages for which we all gave our two cents worth, so I think my friend went home with some fun ideas!...
....oh, and mine, which I've posted about previously...
We all had a fun afternoon showing our quilts, snacking and sharing ideas as we escaped the heat wave for a bit! 

Have a great hot, humid day and maybe have a listen to my favourite Summer song....