Thursday, June 26, 2014


I finished quilting the fourth community quilt on Tuesday morning, and then tidied up before my brother and his sweet wife arrived.  My brother has lived in China for a while, and we enjoy his short visits when he comes to Canada.

I had dinner ready - one of his favourites - meatloaf, made with one of our Mom's recipes.  Then our friends' church was celebrating their annual strawberry social, so we headed out for strawberries, ice cream and plates full of home baked goodies, along with coffee or tea!  A great addition to our day.  My sister-in-law had never been inside a church, so after we ate, our friend took us upstairs to see the interior of the church.  She asked lots of questions, and took some pictures.  She was very impressed by the simplicity of the building, with its modern stained glass windows.  Another new experience in Canada.

This visit, my sister-in-law wanted to learn how to bake bread!  Wednesday morning, as soon as the breakfast dishes were tidied up, I set out all the ingredients and began the bread making process.  I had given her a printed recipe, with the steps listed, but she also took some additional notes, and took some photos of the various steps along the way.  She even took a short video of me kneading the dough.  She got her hands in the dough, too, and finished the last several minutes of kneading.  While the dough was rising, DH took them out to a local museum, and when they returned, it was time to punch down the dough.  After the next rise, she punched the dough again, and then we turned it out and I shaped the first loaf, and she shaped the second.  By that time, it was time for lunch - some homemade Pasta Fagioli Soup that I had made over the weekend.  Dessert was another of my brother's favourites - butter tarts, again made with my mother's recipe.
She took a pic of the bread before it headed into the oven, then another when it was baked.  We waited for it to cool a bit, then enjoyed slices of fresh warm bread with butter - yum!

I headed to my computer, and made copies of all my Dad's slides - I had spent 2 summers, scanning the slides into my computer, doing some almost every day.  Since I keep my computer in my sewing room, my sister-in-law came for a visit.  Last year when she visited, we made some simple coasters for her to take home.  She asked if she could make 2 more sets, to give to special friends in China.  She spent quite a while, choosing just the right fabrics from  my stash, then I put her to work pressing the fabric before we began cutting.  I cut the squares, along with squares of batting, and she pressed some of them in half.  I place a background layer of fabric on both sides of each square of batting, and she place the folded pieces on top, and pinned them in place.  I stitched around the edges, then showed her how to clip the bulk in the corners, and turn them to the right side.  Then I showed her how to use my sewing machine, and she stitched the final two herself!  Many things are new experiences to her - many things that we take for granted.  She is always so interested in everything, and asks lots of questions.  I love her visits, as she makes me appreciate all the normal things of our life in north America, and I look at everything through her eyes!

They packed up and headed out to visit friends who live near Ottawa, and the house seems very quiet.  DH is heading out to entertain at a nursing home this afternoon, so I'll have a chance to start the quilting on my friend's quilt.  Eventually, I'll get back to my own work, but that's the joy of being retired - lots of time to do things I love to do every day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


When I try to read my blog list, it only shows one, and the "view more" bar doesn't work!!!

I've sent a message to Google, but haven't heard anything, and this is the beginning of the third day of missing everyones' posts!!!

I didn't change anything to make this happen, but I hope the problem is solved soon.

Monday, June 23, 2014


This is community quilt number 3 of 4.  There was a 
"stack n whack" workshop over the winter, and this is one of the quilts that was completed.

The purple backing is flannel, so this should be a cuddly quilt when completed.

My brother and his wife are visiting from China, and are coming to stay for a couple of days this week.  She wants to learn how to make bread, so that will be Wednesday's project.  We love to have them visit, and wish we could see them more often.  They are busy when they come to Canada, visiting lots of friends and relatives.  They arrived just in time for the family reunion a couple of weeks ago, too!  They have a 2-year old granddaughter that they also love to spend time with during their visit.  She was one of the few "little" girls at the reunion, trying to play with all the rowdy boys!

Check out all the creativity shared at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times


Fabric used this week  0 yards
Fabric used year to date  143.25 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  36 yards
Net used 2014   107.25 yards
I'm only a day late posting this!  Another busy week, filled with medical and dental appointments - all time consuming.
I haven't made any progress with my hexagon hydrangea project - but I have been busy machine quilting for my community quilts group - a task that no one seems to want to do.  We have a backlog of pieced tops, waiting to be quilted.  This time I was asked not to spend time finishing them, with binding, as there are those who will stitch on the binding, and others who will hand stitch it down, and add the labels.  It is a challenge deciding how to quilt each one, to make it attractive and servicable, as many are given to sick children, babies, men and women in nursing homes.  I try to take as much care as I do my own projects, but this time, part of the challenge was to find threads in assorted colours - most beyond my normal usage!
DH and I went to Toronto on Saturday to celebrate my eldest son's 45th birthday!  We had a lovely lunch with both sons and daughters-in-law, and then picked out cupcakes at a local bakery for dessert.  Mine was double fudge with raspberry frosting - yum!
Check out the stash reports at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times

Monday, June 16, 2014


I spent the day yesterday, glued to the computer.  I had banking to do, bills to pay, then I spent lots of time looking at potential patterns to use with the alpaca yarn from our cousins.  I also got caught up on laundry, and recuperated from 2 family reunions with too much good food!

Today I found fabric for the borders for my hydrangea project.  The narrow border has gold metallic, white and gray squares on black, and the outer border is black with a dark gray swirl.  I mitered the corners, and hope it will look like a picture frame when it is completed.  I decided to add a layer of thin batting behind the flowers and vase, to add a trapunto area to the wall hanging.  Now I have to dig through my thread bins to find as many shades of pink and green for the machine quilting/embellishment.

Check out all the creativity shared at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Fabric used this week  0 yards
Fabric used year to date  143.25 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  36 yards
Net used 2014   107.25 yards

I don't know where the past two weeks have gone!  Of course, preparing food and attending 2 family reunions does take its toll.
My family met in Brampton ON last weekend, and DH's family met in Tweed yesterday - both were great fun, meeting new family members, including some tiny ones, and getting caught up with everyone, plus the added bonus of 2 wonderful meals with tons of fantastic homemade food!

The cousins who hosted the Tweed reunion, raise alpacas.  The happened to mention that they have difficulty finding knitters to make up small projects using their yarn, so, of course, DH offered my services!  I came home with 9 hanks of wonderful alpaca yarn, so I'll be digging out my knitting needles and spending some time on Ravelry looking for interesting hat, shawl, and other patterns that use single hanks to make!  Now my next applique project will be postponed until the fall - but I don't mind.  I love to keep all the skills my Mother taught me in good practice, and knitting is one I don't often do - I seldom wear shawls, hats, sweaters, as I'm always to warm - I think my personal thermostat is always turned towards the "high" side!

My report is going to continue to have very little progress, (although I do intend to complete my latest paper pieced hexagon project soon), as I brought home 4 more community quilts to machine quilt.  Lots of my guild members donate their time to complete tops, but few enjoy the machine quilting challenge.  I was asked not to sew on the binding, as we do have some members who will do that, and some who love to hand sew the binding down, and add the label.  I think I'm going to be well practiced in machine quilting by the end of the summer!

Head over to Patchwork Times to see how others' stash is shrinking/growing.....

Friday, June 13, 2014


Minus the borders! 

 Now I'm looking forward to some fun machine quilting, to add a bit more definition to the flowers and leaves!

I made some changes in the colour placements as I went along.  I spent much of this morning carefully removing 4 hexagons and replacing them with slightly different colours of fabric, mostly in the "table" area, due to a lack of choice in my stash.
The pattern is found at The Inbox Jaunt.  It was challenging, but fun to make!  Thanks Lori and Peggy - your great photography and interesting interpretation are much appreciated!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Good progress yesterday.  DH was out all day, so I just stitched!

When I first began this project, it just looked like blobs of colour, but now I can see the picture appearing.

Today is provincial election day in Ontario, so I hope everyone takes time to vote.  DH and I headed to the polls this morning, followed by a trip to the bank, then the grocery store, and my morning is over already!

Hopefully I'll get back to stitching this afternoon!  Thanks to Lori at The Inbox Jaunt, the link to the pattern is here.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I'm working on the machine pieced hexagon project today.  I can't believe how long it takes.....
(pattern available here )

These are my fabric choices.  The dark fabric at the bottom left is actually a dark green with pin dots, used in the wall area.  The left row also has the window and window frame fabric and all the floor fabric.  The middle row has the vase fabric (bottom 3), then the leaf fabrics, and of course, the rest are for use in the hydrangea petals.
I've been removing paper as I go, and usually only work on one hexagon at a time.  I considered piecing them all, but even though the pattern is very well labelled, I didn't want to make a mistake when piecing.  After looking at the original photo, I decided to mark all the "table" pieces with the wood grain going in the same direction.  I don't know if it will make a difference in the finished quilt, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  I also decided how I want to press the seam allowances so it will lay flat when completed.  I'll probably be adding some thread painting and of course machine quilting when it is complete, so I want the surface to be as smooth as possible.

Monday, June 9, 2014


In mid-May, Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt, shared a paper piecing pattern.  Peggy Riemer had used one of Lori's wonderful photographs, and turned it into a paper piecing pattern to share.  The most intriguing thing, was that it was designed in hexagons!
I downloaded the pattern, and knew that I'd have to try this project right away.
I printed all the pages, cut out the hexagon units (some needed to be glued together, and pinned them on my design wall.
I am following the piecing sequence page carefully, and I decided to stitch all the hexagons together by machine.  Of course, I had to add each one as it is completed, and I've been removing the papers once each section is fully surrounded.
The biggest challenge was to choose fabrics.  I used the photo for colour cues, but since I have more "prints" than solids, hand-dyes or batiks in my stash, I'm anxious to see how it will look when it is finished.
This is a closer look at the back so far.  I realized very quickly, that I can't work on this at the end of the day - it needs lots of concentration to assure that the correct fabric is placed in each location, and to do the precision piecing required to sew the hexagons accurately by machine.  Good thing I love a challenge.   I decided that I won't share the front side until it is completed - right now it looks like coloured blotches!

Check out all the creativity shared at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Fabric used this week 13.375 yards
Fabric used year to date  143.25 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  36 yards
Net used 2014  107.25 yards

 I can't believe I broke the 100 yard mark!  I've been forcing myself to use what I have and not shop....  Lots of internet sales lately, but shipping to Canada + tax + duty makes the attraction of the sale price much less appealing.

I finished the Log Cabin for Alex this week, and was able to take it to my guild meeting on Wednesday for show and tell. 

Our June meeting was wonderful - a lovely dinner, catered by the executive, and our guest speaker, Gail Garber was wonderful.  Her slide show of her home state of New Mexico made everyone want to visit, and her quilts were spectacular!  I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the 2 day workshop, but I'm looking forward to seeing all the projects that she inspired in those who did attend.

We're off to my family's reunion today.  My Dad was one of 11 surviving children.  All I have to say is that it is good that all of the descendants didn't follow in their ancestors' footsteps, or we'd have too many to manage a get-together!

Check out the stash reports at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Monday, June 2, 2014


I'm trying to finish quilting my log cabin scrap quilt, but life keeps interrupting!

I'm using my go-to feathers, using the "Hooked on Feathers" method.  This time I filled in the wonky stem areas with circles.  Still a work in progress!

I still have to quilt the "light" areas, and the four different borders.  Have to get my thinking cap on and figure out my next steps....

Check out all the interesting projects shared at Judy's blog, Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Fabric used this week  0 yards
Fabric used year to date  129.875 yards
Fabric added this week  0 yards
Fabric added year to date  36 yards
Net used 2014  93.875 yards
Boring, boring, boring!  My numbers just aren't changing!
I've been spending my time machine quilting, mostly for others.  I have been working on my latest log cabin quilt, so hopefully, I'll get it completed by next week and be able to start a new project or two!
Head over to Judy's blog, Patchwork Times, to see all the reports this week.