Friday, October 20, 2017

Crossroads Table Runner

I just love this 3-block table runner.   It's called Crossroads from the book Town Square.  I made one for my sister last year and I just loved making it.   It looks like a complicated block, but it's not.    This runner was made for a friend who has a new cottage by a river in a small community not far from here.   She has a large dining room table, and I knew this would be perfect.    It's quilted simply with my walking foot.   Simple is good. Done is better!




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Presenting my ABC Quilt



I'd like to present to you, my ABC quilt.   The pattern is by Janet Stone.   It was a block of the month program by the Quilt Show a couple of years ago.  It was quilted by Andrea Renick.

It's been hanging in my closet waiting for the quilting to be done.   I saw Andrea Rennick's freehand quilted quilts at the Keswick Quilt Show a couple of weeks ago, and I knew that's what I wanted for this quilt.    Andrea finished it in record time, and left me some little surprises in the quilting.   So far, I've found the spider, the kite, and the dragonfly.  I love my curly little sheep.   Last evening at the guild meeting, she said "Did you find the Cat?"  It shocked me.  There's a cat in my Quilt?   I thought I had all the little "Easter Eggs" so I was surprised to know that there is still a cat hidden in my quilt.  Today, I'm looking for the little cat and it has still not revealed itself.  If you spot the cat, don't tell me where it is.  I want to find it myself.   

Thanks Andrea, for the fantastic job on my ABC quilt.      Here are some closeups for you to see the fun details..

See the Dragonfly


Curly Sheep


Spider and webs


Woodgrain and Happy Trees


The quilting around the Q look like little q's.
Happy Sunshine and Sheep


The Kite with a looooong string. 
 I also love the plaid quilting in the block.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Mini Boston Bag

This little bag is a Mini Boston Bag.   I found the pattern pieces on a Pinterest link the other day.   I loved the shape.    After printing off the pattern, it was time to give it a try.   It's a Japanese pattern.  I figured out measurements and made up what I didn't know.   There's not much in the way of instructions, but work at it, and you'll figure it out..  So, this is a scrappy prototype you might say.  I love little bags and will find some some sewing and quilting notions to store in it.  I really like it.  I may try to find a larger Boston Bag pattern to give it a try.  




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Four Strong Winds

That song has been in my head all weekend.  If you want a super fast, but showy fall runner, this might just be the project for you.  This was made last minute for Thanksgiving.   Now while I was in a hurry to make it, and finished it before our big turkey dinner, it never was actually put on the dinner table.  Because it was very light cream/white, and thinking of gravy, cranberry jelly, etc, it actually just hung it on the wall.   

  

As I was making it and quilting those curvy lines, I was humming/singing the song, "Four Strong Winds" in my head.   Our walking trails are exactly like this.  Leaves of every shape and color lie on the ground, especially after a windy rainfall.     



This design is by Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft.   Her tutorial uses designs for your Silhouette fabric cutter.   I just loved making this very easy project, and it was so quick, I just might make another.   










Friday, October 6, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's fun to prepare for a big family Thanksgiving dinner.   On Sunday, we will be 10 for supper.   There will be a big turkey with all the fixings.    I've been working off a to-do-in-advance list.  The groceries are bought; the day-old bread has been cut up to dry for stuffing.   I'll be making two pies for desert so I've made the pie crusts and froze them ahead of time.  On Sunday, they'll be filled and put into the oven early. before the Turkey has to go in.    So, now we just have to wait for Sunday.  I'm so looking forward.


And you've seen my fabulous lattice pies recently.  I did prepare one of those for Sunday, but I've also made this simple single pie crust for the pumpkin pie.  It will have oak leaves and acorns all around the pie crust edge.   I've never done one like this before, so I'm experimenting a bit and excited to see how it cooks.  

Well, we have a lot to give Thanks for this weekend.  
Good Health,  A Loving Family, Wonderful Friends and Neighbours and A Great Harvest.

Let me be the first to wish you all 
a Wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chow Chow Time

It's October 1st.   Same day last year, we were doing the same thing.  Making Chow Chow.  We've been planning to make these for a couple of weeks now.   We dropped into the community gardens veggie stand yesterday and bought 11 pounds of green tomatoes.  We were lucky because normally they don't sell that many tomatoes to just one person, but we helped take out a row of frost bitten tomato plants and harvested about 20 pounds of green.   Since they should be used right away, she let me buy 11 lbs.    We were glad to get them...

Now using my husbands mother's recipe that we were able to get from our niece Brenda, we cut up our big pot full of green tomatoes and onions to make the chow.    We put a plate on top of the salted sliced veggies to weight them down overnight. 

Today is the day we cook.     After draining, rinsing and adding vinegar, spices and sugar, we are simply instructed to cook all morning and bottle.   If you think of cooking in the '50's, and 60's, more than likely, the recipes were cooked on a wood stove.   My husband said this was the case in his childhood home.   This would have simmered all morning on the wood stove.

I wonder who in the Mitchell family has the "Big Blue Boiler" pot. It must have been a big pot.  I am using my large Paderno stock pot, and it's pretty big.     I think of how busy she must have been in the fall.  Preparing pickles and other preserves from the fall harvest in her garden.   Of the 13 kids, she would have had at least 6 or 7 at home.  My husband was the youngest.  I expect she might have made several batches of chow.   All the family talk fondly of eating this with potatoes..

Today's yield.  8.5 pints.
I would add this note to the recipe.  

Stir often to prevent scorching! 





Saturday, September 30, 2017

Don't Do this!

I've had a really nice spool of Invisafil fine thread for some time now.   I've been wanting to try to use it on a small project to see how it works.    After last weekends guild autumn themed strip swap, I thought I'd use Lee's square in a square block design to make a quick 24 x 24 table runner. Then I would quilt it and try out the fine thread.   



Turns out it was a bit of a disaster.   I couldn't figure out why.   The thread broke over at least dozen times.  No matter how slow I stitched, it broke.  After it broke for the third time, I decided I have too much time invested to rip out.  I continued on.     I tried giving the thread more space, by moving the spool away and give it a long guide... like 5 feet....  Still not better.   


I persevered.   It's done.     I looked at the end of the spool.    No wonder I had trouble.   It's 100 weight.   Darn.   I knew it was thin, but I thought it was 60 or 80 wt.    No wonder I had troubles.  Gesh. 

After all that, I do like it.  I wanted the quilting to just be subtle.   It's quilted in an apple core although it's hard to tell because of the fine thread. 




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What's new - Wallets and a Pie

I'm planning a visit with my sister in Nova Scotia next month.    She's due for a new wallet. Last week I made her a cork wallet just like mine, except a maroon/burgundy color.   It's nice...  



And we had dinner guests last night and it was a perfect occasion to make another fabulous Gestine Bullock-Prado pie.    This time I did a few things different.  I tightened up my lattice and cut my apples thinner to make a less bumpy pie.  I found that with my last pie, the bumpy pie, distorted the lattice somewhat..  I'll save the bumpy look for a plain crusted pie... ...that is if I ever make a plain crust again...



 After making my first lattice pie, I thought I needed cookie cutters to make a few leaves out of the pie dough scraps.  But after a little practice, I now think the organic look of my leaves are appealing.    And look closely, do you see the ladybug....

Friday, September 15, 2017

Too Hot to Wear a Shawl.

We are having unusually hot weather.    But that doesn't mean that I can't wear my shawl around the house on the chilly mornings...  I finished it a week or so ago.   The free pattern was called Diving In on Ravelry.   I just love the little picot edge.     This was made from two balls of PaintBox Simply DK.    Thanks www.loveknitting.com for the yarn.     I'm wondering now if I shouldn't make one of these shawls for each of my daughters for Christmas.  Do I have time?   Wouldn't it be nice with a shawl pin...  I'll think on it...


Saturday, September 9, 2017

My Fabulous Apple Pie

On the Labour day holiday, I took advantage of the free Crafty video day.   I know they have fabulous quilting videos, but they also have great cooking videos.    Among others, I watched a Pie making class.  The instructor, Gesine Bullock-Prado was fun to watch as she demonstrated..    She made several pies starting with her signature lattice pie.   I loved the look of this pie.   I couldn't wait to try it myself and today was the day.  I tried a few of Gesine's pie crust making and rolling techniques that were different than the way I do it.   Her techniques worked for me, and I will continue to do them her way.

But first, I chose to continue to use my own pie crust recipe and not hers.   I had to increase my recipe to allow for the extra dough needed for the lattice.    

Then as instructed, I made the lattice on a flat cookie sheet and placed in the freezer.  Now that was fun.  I enjoyed the weaving.  While the lattice was chilling/freezing, I rolled out the rest of the dough for the bottom crust, cut up the apples and added the other ingredients.  ...

By now the top lattice crust is firm enough to place on the top.   I carefully position on top, trim excess dough, and it's ready for the oven.

The little flowers are just sweet and just in case the dough cracked or messed up, you can use the flowers to hide a booboo.   Now, I have to tell you, there were NO booboos in my pie crust.  But I used the flowers anyway.






And voila.  
I present to you,
My Fabulous Apple Pie!!

 

 



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Shawl Knitting update

I just love knitting in the evenings.  You know that already...  

A couple of weeks ago, I started this Diving In Shawl.   I pick away at it.  No pressure, because it's only to wear this winter.  I've made great progress knitting only an hour in the evenings...  I would say another week or so of knitting and it will be done.     This is a free form pattern.  There was no instruction on how to include stripes, or how many stripes.  It was more of a recipe, than an actual pattern.   It's an asymmetrical shawl.  Very simple.  I think I'm going to love the shape.   You make all the decisions on where to make stripes or do color changes.  Great for knitting with left over yarn.    I'm using Paint Box Simply DK with size 4 mm needles.      



 I've been knitting a long time, and I love learning new techniques. In particular, the modified garter stitch in this pattern was new to me.    I made the block of many stripes using the modified garter.   The benefit of the modification is that the stripes look the same from the front or back of the shawl.   I tried just a regular garter in the single brown stripe, and you can definitely tell the difference between front and back.  Neat.    I would have never understood how to do the modified garter just by reading.  You need to read each word of the instruction, then actually knit it....and by the time I had several rows knit, I realized the difference.  




But that's all the knitting on this shawl for now.  
I'm on vacation... yippee.
Stay tuned, I'll be back in a couple of weeks.. 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A New Wallet to Travel

It's time to change wallets.  

My favorite wallet is showing signs of wear.   It's been two years that I was carrying it.   So, in preparation for my trip, I've cleaned out my wallet and put the necessary things back in my new cork wallet.  I made it last spring and had been using it as a sample in my classes.   


  It's brown and it goes with everything.  It has a bit of a different style front that will show off the stitching.   The batiks on the interior are fun and kind of wild.    I found it a bit tricky to sew with, but I may have been too cautious by using no iron and no pins.   


Over time, I am interested to see how this new new cork fabric wears.