Sunday, October 30, 2011


I'm still packing, so nothing to report again this week, and I'll probably be adding some fabric next week, as we plan to stop at a few quilts shops on the way south.  In my defense, I have to stop at Mary Jo's to look for bridal fabric for future DIL's dress!

Fabric used this week 0 yards
Fabric used year to date  215.5 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  55.5 yards
Net fabric used 2011  160 yards

Now that we are retired, we always try to plan our departure on garbage day!  Wednesday morning we plan to be on the road south.  Our house-sitter will be on duty, as well as our two next-door neighbours.  We really miss having our son staying here, as it made the preparations for the trip much easier, but we are happy that he is moving on with his life.

I packed up my two sewing machines yesterday, and I'm still finding all the small items to pack into the bins.  I also have to pack more fabric - trying to get that stash reduced! 

Check out how others are doing stash-wise at Judy's blog.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I hate this part of the packing - everything is in piles everywhere!  I've been choosing fabric from my stash to take south - have to keep working on those numbers!  I've been sorting through books, files and patterns, deciding which one's I'll need over the winter.  I take some basic reference books along for my group as well.

Then there are the specialty tools - I have duplicates of basic rulers, but there are many specialty tools that come in handy, and I let the group members use some as well - saves them money when they might only need it once.  Most of them buy their own if they need it more often.
I'm up to 4 cases of thread - you never know what colour/type you will need.  Then there are 4 storage containers with strips - love that stash user's system!

Add to that 2 sewing machines along with basting pins, my applique kit, markers, glues and oils, etc.  Thank heavens DH is understanding!  I'll be starting to pack the large Rubbermaid totes today, and that will make things look more organized!
I've been asked why I don't leave more items in Florida, but there is always the chance of a hurricane, and I know that if I left fabric there, I'd need it when I returned north.  Don't think that I'm the only one taking items back and forth - DH packs golf clubs, 2 guitars in cases, computer stuff, bags of books etc.  Thankfully we leave clothes, so we only pack a few of those!  One of these days we'll decide that moving every 6 months or so is no longer fun.  Then I'll have to find room for everything at our northern home, and brave the snow and ice!  For now, I'll enjoy riding my bike and swimming all winter, and DH enjoys playing golf every week!

Monday, October 24, 2011


My design wall will be empty for the next few weeks.  We are preparing to head south, so any designing I do will be making up kits from my stash for quilts I plan to stitch over the winter months.
 So far the pile on the left consists of 7 baby/kid friendly panels, along with fabric for borders, backing and binding.  I'll pick up batting when I arrive.
The bag on the right is fabrics selected for another quilt, along with the pattern, although I also drafted it using EQ7, as I always make a few more changes.

With my busy week, I only made a bit of progress on my hexagon project, and still have a few green patches to add to complete the main motif.  Then I can start on the corner units, to make it into a more square/rectangular shape.  I haven't decided whether I'll made the edge smooth and add binding, or leave its more natural shape along the edges.  That will be a future decision.
Now I'm off to choose fabric for a few more patterns on my "must make soon" list.  I always end up buying fabric over the winter, as my stash consists of leftover fabric from projects that are planned, along with my boxes of strips & squares, using Bonnie's stash users system.  I don't save all the shapes and sizes, and I don't sort by colour, as I don't have enough space in my two tiny sewing rooms.  I sort mine by "light & dark".   As we all know, new designs are always calling!
Check out the progress of others' projects at Judy's blog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I'm like Judy - nothing new to report!

Used this week 0 yards
Used year to date 215.5 yards
Added this week 0 yards
Added year to date 55.5 yards
Net Used 2011  160 yards

My week has been taken by family visits, cooking, cleaning, wrapping Christmas presents for delivery, etc.  DS2 and future DIL spent part of Saturday choosing a new quilt from my stash, some Christmas wall hangings, a tree and some ornaments and lights.  I have also been asked to make a wedding dress for next May!!!!!
We headed out to the fabric store to look at patterns and fabric - the bridal selections were almost non-existant!  I found an older pattern in my stash that is similar enough to the dress design that future DIL and her sister (an artist and writer) sketched.  I guess I'll be looking for fabric while in the sunny south this winter....
Now off to Judy's blog to see what others are doing this week.

Friday, October 21, 2011


 While hunting through my closet, looking for a tree skirt for DS2, I came across a few oldies but goodies that I made as a beginning quilter.

The tree skirt was made using a Quilt in a Day pattern.  The original, following the directions was too large, and became a table covering for my circular table, and this is the second one, made after downsizing the beginning diamond shape and the strips.

 There were two different blocks made with the dark and light sides in different orientation.
Since my Mother-in-law passed away last summer, DS2 and future DIL are inheriting her artificial Christmas tree and the tree skirt, along with a few home made ornaments.

 This is a door banner I made while I was a beginner.  It was my first attempt at making mitred corners with a stripe fabric.

 This was a free pattern from Connecting Threads for a card holder wall hanging.
 This was an early attempt to  make a quilt from a large block, inspired by a book by Mary Ellen Hopkins.
 Another early Quilt in a Day pattern.  I added gold bows to decorate the tree, and stitched another mitred border.
 I believe that this pattern was from a Debby Mumm book.
 This miniature is from a pattern from Miniature Quilts magazine.  The star in the centre and the cornerstones are made of gold lame fabric, fused to interfacing.  To quilt the stars, I cut them from freezer paper, ironed them onto the top and stitched around each one.
This is the Christmas wreath pattern from Quilt in a Day.  This was a remake that I used as a group sample, when I was in charge of the quilting group in Panama City FL.  I had made two before, one was a gift, and one decorates the front of our Florida home during the holiday seasonI was inspired by the more Victorian colouring in the pointsettia print.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Monday morning DH and I headed north to visit DH's sister and her husband.  They retired to their "cottage" several years ago.  In the afternoon, my brother and his wife, visiting from China arrived.  We had a great visit, enjoying the cool weather, and a lovely fire burning in the wood stove.  There was a bit of rain, but not enough to dampen our spirits, as we all got re-acquainted.

Tuesday morning we went for a walk along the lake, visited a neighbour who was having their cottage raised and a basement built underneath.  Since this area is part of the Canadian Shield, there is granite a few inches under the soil, so most buildings are raised, and a walk-in basement area installed.  My SIL has a new chocolate lab, and we all enjoyed the 7 month old bounding along on the walk.  He hasn't grown into his long legs yet!

My brother and his wife left to make a circle tour through Bancroft, Quadville, then down Hwy 41 through Northbrook.  We invited them to stay the night in Kingston, rather than make the long drive back to Hamilton.  DH & I headed home, and quickly decided to make a steak and broccoli stir fry for dinner.  My SIL was amazed that I was "cooking Chinese style", but seemed to enjoy the meal.  We talked, laughed, and shared photos - both computers were humming, and finally headed to bed.

Wednesday morning they headed back as my brother had an appointment at noon in the Toronto area.
This morning I received an email - his son and wife had a baby girl last night!  She was 7.3 pounds, and mother and baby are home again.  Can't wait to see the pictures!

I wish we could visit with my brother and his wife more often, but they are planning to come back to Canada next June to attend the family reunion!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Not much new around my sewing room.  I've been too busy shopping and wrapping Christmas presents.  I had planned to spend Sunday afternoon making up quilt kits from my stash to take south, but we had a power failure, probably caused by the wind storm, and since I work in the basement with one tiny window, there wasn't enough light to work there.  The good news is that DH and I spent the time working on our Christmas cards.  We get them prepared before we head south, then our house-sitter pops them in the mail on December first!
I  did manage to get some more done on my hexagon quilt.  Just have to finish the green round, then I can begin adding the corners to make it more rectangular.  DH would like me to leave it as it is, but I think it will be more useful as a more regular shape.

Check out what everyone is working on at Judy's blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The only item completed this week was a microwave tortilla warmer for DS2.  He saw one at a booth at the Kitchener quilt show, and thought that he would like one.  He even picked out the fabric!

Used this week .5 yard
Used year to date 215.5 yards
Added this week 0 yards
Added year to date 55.5 yards
Net used 2011  160 yards

DH and I spent the week Christmas shopping.  We wrap and deliver all our gifts to family members before heading south.  Shipping costs, especially across the border, have sometimes been greater than the gift being shipped, so early shopping is the name of the game.  Last year, I made a wish list for our sons, and they had items shipped directly to DH if it was for me, and to me if it was for DH.  Many online vendors offer deals on shipping, so it worked well for everyone.

Check on everyone's stash progress at Judy's blog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Spent a lovely day on Tuesday at the monthly workshop for our community quilts project.
In June, the block of the month that was due in September, was an easy, scrappy block that would be donated to community quilts.  Lots of members used the block to use up many of the leftover fabrics from previous projects, and almost 700 blocks were turned in.
Several quilts have already been made using the blocks, and yesterday, 2 more were designed, with border fabric chosen and cut.  One went into a kit that someone will take home to finish at the next meeting, and I stitched the top for the second one. 
One of the members made labels all day, and hand stitched them to the quilts that were handed in at the last meeting.  6 or 7  quilts were pin basted, ready for quilting, and they only stopped when every single pin was used, including the two new large packages that were just purchased.
We had a wonderful pot luck lunch with homemade soup, quiche, fresh veggies and rolls, and lots of muffins and cookies for dessert.

One thing that they are in need of is finished single size bed quilts.  They try to send as many as possible with a group who sponsors an orphanage in Chernobyl.  I think I'll go through my list to see what finished quilts are the correct size....
These three fit the size requirements, so now I just have to find and deliver them before we head south.

Monday, October 10, 2011


My hexie Christmas project is growing in leaps and bounds.  It is almost too big to lay out on my living-room carpet to photograph!  I have three more diamond shapes to fill in around the edges, then I'll start to change the shape to more of a rectangle.  If I don't finish it before heading south, I'll have to cut enough pieces of Christmas fabric to take with me - don't want to buy more unless it has an immediate project ready to sew.......
I also finished this Advent calendar for my future DIL this week.  I had fun stitching with some rayon and mylar threads for a bit of shine.
I made her a Christmas apron, and while cleaning out the closet, found one in fall colours, as well as one I had made for my son many years ago, with his favourite "Animaniacs" cartoon characters.

Head over to Judy's blog to see what lovelies everyone is working on this week.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Fabric used this week  2.375 yards
Fabric used year to date  215 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  55.5 yards
Net fabric used 2011  159.5 yards

I managed to finish a Christmas apron and an advent calendar for future DIL.  The rest of my week was taken up with gardening, Christmas shopping and other chores.
Yesterday my washing machine decided to quit - fortunately, with the rinse water in the load, not the detergent!  DH and I had to wring all the clothes out by hand, twice, and he used the shop vacuum to remove the water from the machine drum.  We decided to buy a new machine, as this one is quite old, and it would cost almost as much to repair as to replace.  It will head off to the metal recyclers one day next week.
Even by getting as much water as we could out of the clothes, it still took 2 full cycles to dry them in the dryer.  DH suggested stringing a line outside, but there really isn't any place to do that in our tiny condo yard......
Off to get the turkey in the oven!

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

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Pumpkin Pie
I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving today.  My pumpkin pie was baked this morning, and the turnip (rutabaga) was cooked to make the casserole with apple that my family expects every time we cook a turkey!  The recipe is on my new recipe page if you would like to try it. 

Turnip Casserole ready for the oven.
Our niece and her family are in town today, as her eldest son is playing in a hockey tournament at noon.  We'll be off to the rink to cheer for his team! 
Then back home for a bit more prep for the dinner tomorrow. 

We're having friends over, as they were not cooking their own special dinner this year - they are out of town attending a wedding, and returning on Sunday.  They are hoping to do their vegetable garden clean-up on Monday, so I thought they'd enjoy a home cooked meal on their return Sunday.
The little turkey table decorations were made at my craft group when I lived in Panama City FL.  Found them when we straightened up the "under the stairs" storage cupboard!

Friday, October 7, 2011


DH volunteered to help me reorganize the large storage closet under the basement stairs.  In the very back we store our Christmas stuff except for the tree which is in the garage.  We haven't had a Christmas at home for over 10 years, so it was great to pull everything out and see what we have.  DS2 and future DIL will be visiting soon, and I'll offer them some of my decorations as a start on their first Christmas together.

This is also where I store quilts - some in the large totes and others in bags to keep them dust free.  A couple of years ago I listed all the quilts and where they were stored, but since then I've added some, given some as gifts, donated some etc., so it was time to do it over again.  We measured some of the quilts that I had pictures of, but no finished size measurement, we photographed some that had missed having their picture taken, I included some seasonal ones to the pile of wall hangings, aprons, etc for DS2 & future DIL,
 and I made sure there was a quilt set aside for my family reunion next June (I give one to the youngest family member in attendance).
Now I have to download the pictures to my computer, and make a new spreadsheet to list all the quilts, runners, wall hangings, etc.  I was happy to have the help, but the sorting/organizing took until after 3pm!
I've often thought of selling some items, but since we split our year between two different homes in two different countries, it would be difficult to maintain, especially when the quilts are not available to pack and ship.....  I'll have to give this some more thought.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


DH and I, along with DS2 and future DIL had a lovely morning attending the quilt show.  It was DIL's first, and she took her job of voting on her favourite three quilts very seriously.  It also gave her a taste of what quilters are doing these days.  DS2 helped to set up and photograph the last Quilts Kingston show, so he was an old hand.
DH was chief photographer, and took pictures of items that caught his eye.  I also bought a photo CD, that included all the quilts.

DH & I had a long talk with the photographer, to see how they produced their CD.  They did all the photography in September, giving every entrant an appointment, to hang and photograph the quilts against a black background, using a tripod and proper lighting.  I'm going to suggest that to our committee, as last time we had to take the pictures while the show was being set up and the quilts hung.  If you have every tried to photograph a whole quilt at a show, you'll know how difficult that can be.....


Monday, October 3, 2011


My Christmas hexagon top has grown two more points.  Another long car trip helped to move things along well.

I also finished a baby quilt that will be going to my brother's youngest son and his wife.  Their little girl is due October 20th, and so far, everything is on schedule.
I must like this pattern, as I have made three of these quilts over the years.  The sheep are make of fleece, to encourage little fingers to touch and feel.  The pattern is called "Flock of Dreams" and was designed by Dawn M. Koch, published in Quiltmaker magazine No. 88.
I made this one a bit more scrappy than previous projects.  I find it difficult to use just 3 or 4 fabrics in a quilt!

Check out the creativity on other design walls at Judy's blog.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Fabric used this week 6 yards
Fabric used year to date  212.625 yards
Fabric added this week  1.625 yards
Fabric added year to date  55.5 yards
Net used 2011  157.125 yards

The drive to Kitchener was long - we had a late start due to helping a friend, and ended up in Friday night rush hour traffic in the rain through Toronto.  The trip normally taking 4 hours, took 7 1/2!
The quilt show was lovely.  I was expecting more quilts as their guild is twice the size of ours!  I'll have to show some pictures tomorrow, as I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet.
My future DIL asked to go to Len's Mill Store after the show, as she was looking for some fabric for a hallowe'en costume.  We found a cute Advent calendar panel, and some goldfish cracker shark fabric that had to come home, as she'd like to have ab  advent calendar. They saw a microwave tortilla warmers at the quilt show, so DS2 chose the goldfish fabric to make one of those as well.  Since they have lots of assorted household articles there, by the time we left the bill was almost $80!
Since they are just starting out, they still need a few incidental items, and DH & I love to help out.....

The visit was too short, but they are planning to come to us for a visit in a couple of weeks, so we'll see more of them then.
My brother and his wife are arriving from China next week, and we are looking forward to a visit with them as well.  Our calendar always fills up this time of year, and so does the list of quilting projects that need finishing soon......

Check out Judy's blog to see how others' stash usage is faring this week.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Just heading out to pick up my SDIL to be and then off to spend the morning at the Kitchener Waterloo quilt show.  Reports with picture to come later......