Wednesday, June 29, 2011


DH has two cousins who have a farm about 1 1/2 hours from us.  They raise alpacas, and currently have a herd of 30.  One of the cousins had to come to Kingston for a medical test, and the hospital requires that she stay nearby for 24 hours.  So they are staying with us overnight, amid boxes and packing confusion.  
We're looking forward to having a nice visit and getting caught up on all their extended family news.  We usually see them at family reunions, and it is so difficult to have any quality time with anyone.  Their uncle and aunt are staying the the critters - always the most difficult thing to arrange when you have to be away from the farm.
The brought a small thank-you gift....
A bar of alpaca felted soap!  Here is a picture of one of their babies


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pesto Recipe

I had some requests for my pesto recipe.  I can't find the link to the one I use, but here is one that is similar.  Click here.
My recipe uses the same method, but also includes some Italian parsley and slightly different amounts of the same ingredients, and is by the same chef, Michael Chiarello.   The blanching is a pain, but the results are wonderful!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Here's 8 of the 12 "Pushin Up Spring" blocks.  Block 9 is about half stitched, and the last three are prepared - pattern traced onto the back of the block ready for back basting, and fabrics chosen.  Now to find some quiet time to stitch.
Here's a close-up of Block 8
DH keeps asking "What are you making this quilt for?"  As if you need a reason to make a quilt!
I have also begun the embellishment stitching on the 12 applique blocks that I completed over the winter.  The pattern I used was "Baltimore Bliss" by Fat Cat Patterns.  I actually had to head to my local quilt shop, Quilt and Stitch, to pick up some thread - didn't have the right colour in any of my 4 thread caddies!  I saved my receipt, as they collect them at my guild, and get shop credit toward book purchases for the guild library.
See what other quilters are working on at Judy's blog here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I managed to use 3 yards this week - 2 to make my Trifecta purse, and the 3rd yard was gifted to my friend to make a Christmas tablerunner.
She spent Wednesday morning in my sewing room, basting and quilting the runner we made at her home last week, and completing another runner, as well as basting and quilting it.  She also did the quilting on the fabric for a binder cover.  She has been unable to find a walking foot for her vintage Kenmore machine - so she does all her machine quilting here.  She is trying to get some Christmas gifts finished as they are heading out to visit distant family in 2 weeks, and she wants to take their gifts along.  When she returns we'll be working on some more  runners, as well as a couple of small quilt projects.

Used this week   3 yards
Used year to date   120.63 yards
Added this week    0 yards
Added year to date    37.375 yards
Net Used 2011    83.25 yards

Check out Judy's blog to see everyone's stash report this week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Since we have "time of use billing" for our electricity, weekends, which are charged at the lowest rate, have become the baking/laundry days each week.
So far today DS2 & I have made a dozen bran with raisin muffins, a dozen orange blueberry muffins, 

a sour cream coffee cake, 

and a pound cake, which is currently baking.  DS2 plans to make a large pan of turtle bars after the pound cake is finished.

I noticed that my basil was getting a bit leggy, and a few stems were trying to bloom, so I harvested 3 packed cups of leaves, and made some fresh pesto - looking forward to dinnertime!  I use a recipe that I saw on TV, with the basil and parsley being blanched for 15 seconds, then chilled in ice water before processing.  It keeps the bright green colour and doesn't affect the taste at all.  Later in the season, I'll freeze some for use over the winter. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


My favourite purse for travel was looking a little worse for wear, and I decided to replace it - easier said than done!  I finally found a pattern I liked, called Trifecta from Studio Kat Designs.
 My outer fabric is a sandy beach print, with a tan interior and green accents.  I chose to add the pocket to the front - handy for keys, pen etc.
It has a magnetic closure, and two large pouch areas, with a centre zippered area as well.

 I chose to add the "core insert" into the zippered area, with space for cards on the side - probably my library card, etc.  I made the zippered core, so that I'll have another safe place to stash stuff!
With the purse opened up, you can see all the different areas to stow items.  I like to be organized.  It is very versatile for a smaller purse (9" x 10" x 5").
The pattern was interesting to make, and the instructions were fairly easy to follow.  I'll make this again, but with a little more creativity next time.  I also plan to find a "purse zipper" as well - much better than the regular one that I used, as it would have two zipper pulls, closing in the centre of the purse instead of at one side.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'll be sharing information about my guild's next show from time to time.  This is the first draft of our info poster.    We are in a new location this time, which requires that our group make or buy around 100 quilt stands!  The executive meeting was full of information about stands, with pictures of them from lots of different quilt shows.  We will be able to borrow/rent stands from a couple of guilds, but the plan is to manufacture 100 stands before next June!

Our previous location, Kingston's Olympic Harbor Site,  had an open framework of metal beams across the ceiling, so we used metal rods and wire to hang almost all the quilts.  It required two scaffolds, with people willing to spend their time high in the air!

For our last show in 2008, my family photographed every quilt in the show, then produced a CD available during the show, which included a file with all the "artist statements".  Our program has only the quilt number, name, and quilter's name listed.  We sold almost 300 CD's for $5 each, so I'll be repeating the process for this show as well.

Last time, we didn't begin photography until 11am, and finished at 6:30.  Then we began the editing, with my son and myself working; I began at the top of the file and my son at the bottom, and around 3:30am we discovered that we had met in the middle!  DH then got up and began burning CD's on our two computers, and continued to do so for the whole length of the show.  

This time, I plan to take a computer to the venue on set-up day, and begin editing the photos as they are taken.  This way we will eliminate blurry pictures etc., and hopefully will be finished a bit earlier!  We also plan to have more people on the photography team - it went much faster with some extra hands to hold quilts square at the bottom, and even to hold back quilts so the photographer can get a good angle for the shot.  I'm hoping this will make the process smoother next time!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I have 2 blocks to show today, blocks 5 and 6 of "Pushin' Up Spring".  I've enjoyed choosing the flower colours for each block, trying to use different fabrics, to keep them scrappy to go with the borders of each block.  I am using the same 2 greens in each, to make the blocks "belong" to each other!
 Back to more packing for DS2.  We work around his schedule, as he is trying to finish an internship to finalize a course he took last summer.  This will make him more marketable in his chosen field.  He's been making noises about returning to school part-time, but I hope he doesn't take on too much right away.  Moving, moving in with a fiancee, finding a job in a new city, are all huge stressors, and we want his future to be successful.  I guess all we can do is be supportive.........

Check out all the wonderful work of others at Judy's blog.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Nothing new to report stash-wise this week!

Used this week                   0 yards
Used year to date      117.63 yards
Added this week                0 yards
Added year to date   37.375 yards
Net Used 2011            80.25 yards

 I did manage to quilt and bind three more quilts for my guild's community quilts program.  (The small paper bag holds safety pins to be returned).
I also spent several hours at my friend's place, helping her to pin baste a baby quilt, and then design and piece a table runner for one of her Christmas gifts this year.  She is not a regular quilter, but became involved with her church's prayer quilt ministry.  Since she had a collection of Christmas fabrics, I suggested making some table runners for her extensive family gift list this year.
Time was also spent helping DS2 inventory each box as he was packing, and shopping for some needed items that were missing on his list of belongings.
Saturday, we drove 3 hours to Toronto, met with DS1 and his wife, and DS2's fiancee, and had a celebratory lunch for DS1's birthday and Father's Day.  Then we headed to our favourite kitchen/bath warehouse shop, and we treated to some "needed" items for all of us.  This has become a once or twice a year shopping trip, but we are getting less and less as our kitchens fill up to capacity!
I got a 4 cup glass measure, (my 43 year old one has no paint left on it),  a new timer to replace the one that DH melted on a hot burner, and a set of salad servers (DH likes the scissor type that can be used one-handed).  My needs are only for replacement, not new items these days!  
Hope everyone had a productive week.  Check things out at Judy's blog! 

Monday, June 13, 2011


My design wall hasn't been very inspiring lately.  I have been busy helping DS2 pack for his upcoming move, gardening and machine quilting for my guild's community quilts program.  My only other work is to do some applique on the "Pushin' Up Spring" blocks.  I finished block 4 this week....
Pushin' Up Spring Block 4

 Back to quilting and packing - I alternate between the two, helping DH2 make an inventory of all his stuff, both for insurance purposes, and to share the files with his fiancee, so they can see what they still need to set up house.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Since I was quilting two quilts for Community Quilts, I decided to quilt my last scrappy project at the same time.  Of course, I finished my own project first!

Used this week            9.375 yards
Used year to date      117.63 yards
Added this week                0 yards
Added year to date   37.375 yards
Net Used 2011                  80.25 yards

My "Scrappy Hourglass Twist" finished at 52x64 inches.
Scrappy Hourglass Twist
 Check out everyone's stash report at Judy's blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


After attending the community quilts workshop, I brought home 2 more pin-basted quilts to work on.  I spent some time over the past two days doing some basic stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, and sewing on the binding.  Hopefully today I'll get the rest of the quilting finished!
These two were made from the BOM blocks from last summer.  Over 600 scrappy blocks were given to community quilts.  We have another challenge this summer, using another simple block design, and they are hoping to out-do last summer's haul!  One member keeps her leftover fabrics together after finishing each quilt, so she is using up the already coordinated prints to make blocks.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Pushin' Up Spring Block 3
I have finished block 3 of Pushin' Up Spring, but I don't like my choice of fabric for the petals.....  I plan to add some thread embroidery embellishments to all the appliques, so I'll wait until the rest of the blocks are complete before I decide whether to replace the petals, or just live with them.....
I've been washing a lot of kitchen items over the past couple of days.  Items that looked clean when packed 3 years ago, are showing their grimy spots after 3 years in a hot/freezing garage.  Since we are making an inventory for DS2's move, we decided to clean everything that needed it so they don't have to do it while unpacking.
Now off to prepare block 4 for applique.  I love the "back basting" method of applique, but don't use it exclusively.  My method depends on the final use of the item - I still do satin stitch applique on fused fabric, from time to time, as well as "invisible applique by machine" using monofilament thread and a tiny blind hem stitch.
I also hope to get one of my waiting quilt tops basted tomorrow, before finishing another baby quilt for my guild's community quilts group.
Check out what others have designed this week at Judy's blog.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I have a bit of fabric to report this week, as I finished my miniature quilt. 
My Path  10.5 x 10.5 inches
 Most of the week has been spent helping DS2 pack and inventory all his stuff.  We've been taking pictures of furniture with dimension to send to his fiancee, so she can see what he has, and try to figure out how to fit it into their new apartment.  They have a floor plan, but don't know how accurate the measurements are......

Fabric used this week           1.2  yards
Fabric used year to date       108.25 yards
Fabric added this week         0 yards
Fabric added year to date     37.375 yards
Net fabric used 2011            70.875 yards!

Check out everyone's progress at Judy's blog.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I just put the final stitches into the binding of "My Path", and took its official portrait.
 My little quilt finished at 10 1/2 inches square.  The drunkard's path segments finished at 5/8 inch.  I plan to make more miniatures, using this method.  I found a collection of blocks made from drunkard's path block units, so I plan to make a sampler quilt,  to show off the variations.
Here is a close-up of the machine quilting......
I also completed the quilting and binding on one of the panel baby quilts for my guild's community quilts program.  That makes 2 down, and 3 to go!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Our president was finishing her term of office, and since it is the 20th anniversary of our guild, her challenge was to use an 8 inch schoolhouse block and make a quilt no larger than 30x40 inches.  The schoolhouse block with a few changes is our guild's logo.
Here are the 12 entries to the challenge.  There was no judging,  just a draw for 3 prizes.

 As you can see, the entries were varied from binder cover, tote bag to stained glass schoolhouse.  They will be exhibited at the show in June  2012.
Our end of season dinner was lovely, catered by the executive again.  They always have a great variety of salads, and even homemade pickles!  There were lots of door prizes, and when they ran out, the next names won one of the gerbera daisy plants that decorated each table.
Our guild honoured 6 members who have served on the executive for 10 years, working on various committees - thanks ladies!
Community Quilts had a draw for a lovely wall hanging, kit donated by a LQS, and stitched by the 2 organizers.  They put names in a basket, for each quilt or part of quilt, or day at workshop that everyone worked, and I won the quilt!  It is pieced and appliqued and has lovely machine quilting, with a great label with all its info on the back!
One of our members, Bethany Garner, was honoured by the Canadian Quilters' Association as teacher of the year!  A person from the nominating committee told us about the work the did to nominate her, and she was presented with her award at the CQA show in London ON., last week.
That, along with a trunk show by Lyne Lusk, a wonderful quilter from Wellington ON., rounded out the evening and the end of our guild season.