Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Time to "bee" social!

On Saturday we took a drive to Cambridge to check out the antique mall.

We were hoping to find a "push bar" for our new screen door at our back discourage pushing against the screen. You know the kind...they are found on variety store doors, usually promoting something like Coke, etc.

Well, we found some vintage ones but who knew they would cost twice as much as the new door we put in! Maybe we'll get a reproduction on eBay or make due with the one we fashioned out of an old hockey stick....which is a sentimental throwback to my family's hockey days.

We don't often go to Cambridge. I was taken with some of the beautiful buildings....including The Wired Up Pugs Cafe and Bistro where we stopped for a little mid-afternoon snack...
There was a little sign on the window sill asking to please not touch the "pugs". Who knew that that would be such a problem that they would have to post a sign to discourage it!

I really liked that each table had a vintage tablecloth on it under glass, even quainter that each tablecloth was different.

I have completed two weeks now of the #100days100blocks. The blocks are great fun and work up quickly. Here are my blocks of the last week...
Hmm, that seems like a fuzzy picture...I'll have to do some camera maintenance. 

In my last post I showed my new wide-backing for my FlowerGarden quilt. After posting I found that the backing is Cooper-approved!
Today I pressed the backing....I hope there is some leftover as I think it would make a nice ironing board cover, don't you?...

Usually at the end of the month I have a monthly report on my Quilty365/Year in My Life. Well, all I can say is that I've just tried to keep caught up with the prep work. After my FlowerGarden is complete (hopefully in the next week!!!!!), then I will get back to stitching my daily hearts.

Here's how they look as of today...

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

I am also linking up with Audrey at Quilty Folk for the monthly check-in for Quilty365....even though my progress this month is a bit pathetic....but I promise to have better news to report next month!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

OMG (One Monthly Goal)

Back to reality today!

We had a nice few days away and feel rested and rejuvenated! The pups survived without us but were happy to see us return.

Part of our weekend was spent in Stratford, Ontario. We went to a play at the Festival Theatre...
Lovely place, not a bad seat in the house...
We went to see Shakespeare's "As You Like It". I remarked before going how going to the theatre in Stratford you get to see all the wonderful scenery and costumes.

Well, we were surprised that this adaptation was set in Newfoundland in the 1980's!!! It took us a bit to wrap our heads around it but finally got into it.

Stratford is lovely. I've never been too close to an actual swan so when I saw this guy I was sure it was a statue....standing so regal and beautiful.
I realised he was real when he turned to look right at me to get his picture taken!

On the way home we detoured slightly to go to St. Mary's. I wanted to pick up a wide-backing for my FlowerGarden quilt. I knew that Hyggeligt carried the backing I was looking for...

I have to say...I'm old school about washing fabrics. Usually when something new comes in the door it goes right into the laundry basket.

I haven't been so diligent about my wide-backings...for a few reasons. The owner of Hyggeligt had a few reasons that she does like to wash into the washing machine my backing went. Here it is ready to press and square up...
....isn't it beautiful!!!

In a couple of weeks it'll be on the longarm and ready to be quilted!

This is the first time I am taking part in OMG (One Monthly Goal).

My goal for August was to finish appliqueing the final border of my FlowerGarden.

I got soooo close! should be done by the end of this week for sure....

....only four more flowers to go and it will be done!

I am linking up with Red Letter Quilts for the OMG linkup and with Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday. 

Now....back to work with me!, have a great day!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

More pretty flowers!

I love this bit of applique this week in my FlowerGarden border... jolly!

I can hardly wait 'til Monday when I pick out a backing for this quilt. Only a few weeks to go until I am actually quilting this wonderful quilt! I am almost beside myself at the thought of this being a finished quilt.

I wasn't sure I could finish this border by the end of the month like I'd wanted. On Friday morning I hung the border up on the design wall to see where I was at. So cool, at that point only 5 more flowers and one circle to go! This could be do-able, I thought!

I wish I could just keep at it with an applique marathon and be done but that's not going to happen. We are having a fun weekend out and about, a mini-holiday.

It feels like we've been housebound this Summer with our puppies so we had an outing on Saturday and today we head out to Stratford to see a play and walk around the town.

This morning I'm "enjoying" some slow stitching on this flower, one of the last to involve the dreaded (to me) reverse applique.

Selvege, selvedge, selvage?

I'm never certain on how to spell it, so I've looked it up and now I know it's "selvage". 

I'm not one to get caught up in the making of quilts using selvages, but when I think of it I do cut them off to donate to friends.

This week I was pressing a new piece of fabric and the selvage caught my eye...
"Leap and the net will appear" wonderful! Have I been missing something by not taking note of selvages before now? Are they always like reading a fortune cookie??? Maybe I'll have to be on the lookout for a selvage project in the maybe a totebag or a cushion?  I may be a convert!

Time to finish my coffee and a few more stitches before heading out for some fun.

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh Scrap!.

Another fun blog post to look at this week is Pets on Quilts 2016. So many people have joined in by sharing pictures of their pets and quilts. I had a shot of Cooper with his puppies that I submitted. 

Have a lovely Summer day!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Farm Girl Friday

A while back I started working on my Farm Girl Vintage quilt, by Lori Holt...
Well, I completed two blocks then got sometimes happens, right?

Last year a group of friends wanted to do the quilt and decided to do two blocks per month and encourage each other to keep at it. Sounded like a plan to me! 

Here are this month's blocks...just finished in time. We had a vague warning from our "organiser" that these would be a bit intricate....and they are, but they went together beautifully and I like them. It's ok if there is a problem with my house block....what house doesn't have a bit of wonk to it? Mine surely does.

 Since I was doing this post, I figured I would get all the blocks completed so far up onto the design wall...

I have a decison to make.

A few months ago I found a fabric which was made up of little red "cheerios" and thought it would add some interest to use it as another background fabric along with the red dotted fabric.

It wasn't til I had made two blocks ( in the upper left corner of the grouping in the pic ) that I realised that the new fabric wasn't as white as the dotted fabric. I wasn't happy! I will probably re-do these blocks at some point. 

Now seeing them up on the design wall, maybe they don't look so bad?? If those two blocks are to stay, then I'll need to do some more along the way.

I need some feedback.....please!!!

Here they are a little closer...

Now having written this post and seeing the pictures, I'm pretty sure I'll have to re-do the blocks so they all have the crisp look of the dotted fabrics. I'm still open to opinions, though!

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week One of #100days100blocks

For the last week or so I've taken part in the beginning of the #100days100blocks quilt project.

Thanks go out to my friend (kz), who brought this to my attention. The book is lovely and I'm enjoying the piecing. It is a sew-along that is posted only on Instagram. 

The idea is to do a block a day for 100 days and post that day's block on Instagram.....for a lot of fun.....and the possibility of winning prizes!

My plan is to do one or two blocks at a sitting. In this way I should be done in half the time. It doesn't matter how far ahead you sew, really, as long as you post the one block per day.

Each block takes an average of fifteen minutes...nice quick project.

Here are my first week's worth of blocks...
The blocks in the upper right and left corners of the picture needed a bronzey kind of brown fabric. I don't think it shows exactly that way in the picture, but the fabric I chose was just what I wanted. I was having trouble finding just the right fabric when I noticed this one...

....but what I noticed is that the back of the fabric was just what I was looking that is what I used. I remember hearing a speaker once say that there isn't a "right" and "wrong" side to the fabric....there are "two right sides"!

My son is facing exciting times....he and his wife are having a house built and the basement has been poured...

I am a bit jealous. This something I've always wished to have done. I guess I'll live vicariously through them!

I love making a nice lasagne. I like it even better if someone makes a lasagne for me! My husband does a lovely individual lasagne and he treated me this week...
So yummy!....even better perhaps with tomatoes from the garden. Turns out these ramekins make enough for a meal and lunch another day! I love that we both enjoy cooking...handy when one doesn't feel like cooking that night.

On another cooking note....I have been determined to be a sourdough bread maker, using no commercial yeast. So far I've been an utter failure but this week there is new hope. My starter is looking quite healthy and I think I'll try for making an actual loaf on Thursday. Wish me luck!!!

Hopefully the next time I post I'll have a beauty of a sourdough to show you!

All I can think about lately is the quilting next month of my FlowerGarden quilt. Exciting and terrifying at the same time!
I don't know if I can meet my goal to have the border on the right finished by the end of August, but I'm pretty sure I'll have it done by the end of next week, so pretty close!

Today I am linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. Have a visit with Lorna and see her post today about her Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt. Hmm, this quilt may be in my future queue of projects....but not this year.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Close to the finish line!

As I was having a bit of fun in my sewing room on Saturday afternoon I pulled out my FlowerGarden blocks with the intention of sewing some of the sashings.

Well, it's been so long that I've actually looked at the blocks (last November) that I'd forgotten that I had actually done some of the sashing! A bad memory is also a good thing, in that sometimes odd surprises are in store! 

All of a sudden I just had to get all the components up on the design wall. It was a bit overwhelming, actually, to see a couple years of poking away at this quilt finally close to being complete.
All that needs doing is finishing the far border, some vertical sashing between the flower blocks and more sashing after that!

I stayed up too late last night watching the Tragically Hip concert so I'm moving a bit slow this morning. I think I'll spend a bit of extra time with some stitching on my FlowerGarden. 

This is probably the largest piece on the of the pots. It's probably 10" across, but quick and easy to applique...
I am linking up with Kathy over at Kathy's Quilts and with Cynthia for Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

I think it's a perfect day to visit some blogs and poke away at my stitching while taking in the final day of the Rio Olympics.

Have a good one!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pets on Quilts FlowerGarden is nearing far as the applique goes, anyways.

On Wednesday I saw a friend's FlowerGarden quilt....completed and having Prairie Points attached to the outer edge. It was beautiful! Her rendition was done using all sorts of scraps from her stash, and it really worked. Another friend of mine had done the longarm quilting and treated each block with a different quilting really complemented the quilt perfectly!

I have had an idea all along on how I'd like to quilt mine....and now that the time is drawing nearer, I'm getting a bad case of nerves! I showed my husband an idea of what I had in mind and he said "go for it". Why not, right? After at least two years of applique I may as well "go for it".

Here is a flower I completed this morning (the pink one). It's the second of it's kind in the quilt and it's one of my favourites. I kind wish it would show up for a third time....hmm, maybe I could take a bit of creative license???

I have to admit...I fall into the lure of online shopping....sometimes! I placed another order this week and am feeling a little guilty....but to counteract that feeling I am letting go of something that's been in the stash for a while. I wasn't sure whether to post it here, but what the heck! 

These are 14 pieces of hand-dyed fabrics totalling 7.9 yards. I bought them a while back from Starr Design Fabrics. If you are interested in buying them from me you can send me an email...sandra(dot)croley(at) 

I have no problem popping them in the mail!
This will be my first time taking part in Pets on Quilts, which you can see here, or by way of the button to the right.

As many of you know, we had the "Summer of Puppies" here. For the first few weeks Cooper was leery of his brood and let Minnie be the primary caregiver. 

Once the pups could somewhat walk, that changed. Cooper became a paws-on dad, making sure none strayed too far, etc.

Here is a picture of Cooper and the pups enjoying some quilty time...
I am linking with Pets on Quilts. Have a visit and see all the pictures. I will enter the category of Dogs on Quilts. After ten days there will be a chance to vote for your favourites in each category. Sounds like fun!

Today feels like the perfect Summer day. Utter relaxation this morning with a bit of sewing. A family BBQ to go to this afternoon followed by settling in to watch tv for what is sure to be an emotional last Tragically Hip concert.

After a hectic couple of weeks I plan to savour the day!

Have a good one! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Today starts the challenge of making 100 blocks in 100 days using this book...
This is a quilting challenge on Instagram and there seems to be many people taking part around the world. 

I fell off track doing a couple of daily challenges that were to last a year, so maybe a 100 day commitment will be more do-able??? lol, I hope so!

So, for one hundred days I will make a specific block from the book and post it on Instagram on the appropriate day. Today is Day 1 and here is the block I have posted...
I am going to follow the colour scheme from the book as closely as I can. I think, by doing this, I will come out with a rainbow-effect quilt in the end.

If you have an Instagram account, check out #100days100blocks to see all the blocks that have been posted so far!

As incentive to join in there are prizes to be had. You just have to keep posting the appropriate block per day. Every ten days is sponsored by a different quilt shop!

For about a year I've been loving TulaPink fabrics, so these will be what most of my blocks will be constructed of.

On the longarm...

This week I am working on a beautiful quilt made by the Haldimand Quilters' Guild. Every year they donate a quilt to the Silent Auction that is in support of fundraising efforts for our local hospital, the West Haldimand General Hospital. 
It's been such a busy Summer that I am taking some time to join my monthly applique group this afternoon for some much needed downtime. I think I'll take my heart blocks and sit quietly and enjoy the company.  I don't think I've been to an applique afternoon since April when I hosted!

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

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It was a hot Summer night and the beach was burning.....

Who knows the song that the title of this post is from? It's been running thru' my head this weekend. (I know what it is, just wondering if you do!)

What a Summer it's been for hot, humid weather! 

I have to say, I'm so grateful to have air-conditioning. About seven years ago I had a geothermal system installed to heat and cool my house. Before that I had never lived in a house with air-conditioning. 

I remember the year I was pregnant with my daughter, 1989, it must have been this kind of Summer and we had to pretty well live in the basement. I remember walking up the stairs and feeling the wall of heat on the main floor. Again, so grateful for the A/C.

Just saying....I'm not complaining about the weather!!! I'll save that for February :)

I'm happy to report that I've been on track with my applique this month. I set an achievable goal to try to have the final border done for my FlowerGarden quilt.

This weekend I'm working on appliqueing down the vine, as I've got all the leaves done that needed to be tucked under the vine.
I started this morning by hitting the mid-way part of the stem and ended with only a quarter of the way to go...I'm good with that! 

We have a busy day planned today, hosting a welcome party for my grandson, Lachlan, but I hope to have a few moments of quiet this evening to finish the will feel like I'm over the hump on this border, I think.

I'll have to remember to schedule this quilt into the queue for the longarm in September....since my goal is to have it ready for my trunk show in October.

I'd better go make the finishing touches for the party today. We have some vegan guests, so we have accommodated with a couple of of them being a Falafel salad. 

I prepared it yesterday and it turned out yummy....then I thought it would be improved by a bit of feta cheese (what isn't, right?), and as soon as I mixed it in I realised it was no longer a vegan dish! Another moment where the word "crapola" from this post comes in handy! Could the bits of feta pose as tofu?, probably not. 

I'm linking up this morning with Kathy's Quilts once again for some Slow Sunday Stitching and with Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for OhScrap!

Have a wonderful Summer's day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dressmaking 101

I've been making some good progress this week during my morning applique...

At this rate I should have this final border for my FlowerGarden quilt completed by the end of the month!

Back in the day, I was someone who could manage sewing clothing....I haven't really done much of it for years (since becoming an avid quilter, maybe?).

Lately, I've noticed a lot of comments on something called the Washi Dress. I was tempted to order the pattern online when I found out that Lana at my local quilt shop, Quilt Junction, had ordered the patterns in for the shop.

I went out and bought it and some fabric on the sale table. I don't want to commit to full-price fabric 'til I know if the dress will look good on me and if I can manage to do a good job of it!

I wish I could have this sewn by our party this weekend for my new grandson, but I think it would be pushing it with so much going on this week. I think the most difficult part will be not sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance!!

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

Have a great day....which, by the way, sounds like the beginning of the next heat wave!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Olympics and applique...a good mix!

What a lovely weekend...and good thing, too, since we are preparing for a party next week to welcome our new grandson. I guess we can only do our best with the backyard as the lack of rain has everything sagging and sad looking. 

It's hard to get motivated to do yardwork with the Olympics starting this weekend! I love to watch and hear the stories of our Canadian Olympians. 

It would be so easy to  make this a true slow-stitching Sunday by watching the Olympics and poking away at my FlowerGarden applique!...

I'm starting to mull over ideas of quilting this quilt. I know what I'd like to try but find the idea a little intimidating! This quilt is at least two years in the making, so far, so I want to do it justice with the quilting, as well.

It would be nice to plunk myself in front of the tv with my applique and Olympic excitement, but I just have a few more hours of this quilt on the longarm...
It would be nice to get it done, but I'm afraid my back is flaring up again so I don't know if I maybe applique and Olympics it is!!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for Oh,Scrap!

Have a great day!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Love that Tula Pink!

I guess today I am walking the walk of shame. 

Yes, I've gone and done it....started yet another quilting project.

Last week I mentioned a new sew-along called 100blocks100days. You can read about it here.

The idea is to use Tula Pink's book to make all 100 blocks, one block per day, starting on August 17th. By posting your daily progress on Instagram you would be eligible for all sorts of quilty prizes.
Of course I had to try a block....adorable!

New Recipe

I tried something new yesterday on advice from my daughter. Dairy-free pudding made of chia seeds! It's actually quite yummy and you can find all sorts of chia pudding recipes on Pinterest. Mine didn't thicken up very well, maybe because I used coconut milk instead of almond milk?

I will definitely do this again. I'm showing a picture even though I know it doesn't look all that appetizing...but it is good!...and all the nutritional value of the chia seeds!
There is the choice of blending it to make it less lumpy but, like the chef states, it's not necessary and only creates more dishes by using the blender/food processor!

Also, as a bonus, no sugar. There were a couple of choices and I chose to use maple syrup...but you don't taste the maple syrup at all.

As I finish this post we are nearing the end of yet another heat-wave (at least it's not snow!) and we had a look of a storm on the horizon. We went out and gathered in the chair cushions, it's all sunny again. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Monthly goal for August

August marks the beginning of the end of the applique of my FlowerGarden quilt!

I have all the stems basted down. Normally I would start appliqueing all the leaves that need to be tucked under the stems before the stems are actually sewn down. 

....but I couldn't resist starting out with this big, fat, beautiful flower that will be at the top of the border...

I had pinned it all down, but with all the manipulating of the piece while it's being sewn I decided to baste it first. The pins were coming out a bit and I was being poked by pins....not fun. Totally worth the little bit of time to baste it.

This will be my first time linking up with Red Letter Quilts for One Monthly Goal. So my goal for August is to complete this final border for my FlowerGarden by Kim McLean. Here are the borders that are completed so far (with still a little tweaking to come)...

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

Have a great day!