Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 5

I have the three middle panels all machine quilted and they are hanging over my upstairs railing until I'm ready to sew the panels together.  It's so good to be able to move on to the borders.  They are really different than the center panels and I just love that each of the two border panels features a pair of cats. 
I'm not quite ready to layer and pin baste yet, but I'm going to continue to put the push on to get it done in the next 10 days.   I have two quilt guild Christmas meetings to go to, and I really would like to bring this Lollipop quilt for show and tell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A "Get-Well" Gift Idea for a crafty friend.

I was searching my brain for a low-cost non-food gifty something that I could give/make for a crafty quilty friend who was in the hospital for surgery.   I came up with this idea.

I traced a stitching pattern on a doubled piece of white fabric, included an embroidery needle and a skein of red floss. I made a long home made envelope so I wouldn't have to put too many creases in the fabric. I put lots of Get Well writing on the envelope and dropped it off to her daughter to bring to her in the hospital. That was a week ago.

I just got word back that she loved it and is working on it 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It is a nice distraction from her medical stuff. She shows everyone who comes to visit!.. I'm so pleased that she is enjoying it.

The photo shows the faint marked stitching lines of the Meg Hawley 2002 pattern called "Snow"..

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Triplets meet their triplet cousins...

Well, cow cousins, that is.   Did you read in the Daily Gleaner about the rare triplet calves that were born down the road on the Bourque farm?  Here is is a short video interview too......Well, it's certainly a rarity.  They say chances are one in 8 million.  It turns out that this farm is owned by relatives of  our triplets other grandmother, so I say, they're triplet cousins...
The kids had a day off school today so as a mystery day, we picked up the kids and took them to lunch at the Blue Canoe.  

Then we went off to the Bourque Dairy Farm, for the main event.     Meeting the 4-week old triplet calves. They are all girl calves, and are named Faith, Hope and Love.    The calves were receptive and loved to supple on the kids fingers.  It was scary for the kids, but once they caught on, they were not shy about it at all.  The kids took personal interest in each of the calves that were the same birth order as them.

Third born Hope supples on third born Caitlin's fingers.

Second born Mitchell gives gentle pats on second born Faith's head!
First born Love, has a rest while first born Grace talks gently to her.
Group Photo, Faith, Mitchell, Hope, Caitlin, Love and Grace

Thanks so much to the Bourques for letting us come for a visit.  We all certainly have a better appreciation of how busy running a dairy farm is.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Sister's Oatmeal Cookies

I've been looking for a good oatmeal cookie recipe for some time now. And now I have one.   It's my sisters recipe.  I should have  known.  I make lots of her recipes, and they are all good.  

I know she won't mind if I share with you.    It makes 2 pans of cookies.   Approx. 50 cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter
3/4  cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda

Cream sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Take spoonfuls about the size of a walnut, and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 or 11 minutes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Fun making Looping Scarves

I look forward to Fridays.  See, that's when I get together with the other Friday girls for coffee.  We all sew, but don't usually sew at our coffee breaks.  But today was sort of a different coffee break.  Linda G. hosted and we had arranged for her to purchase lots of fabrics to make loop scarves.  So, in addition to having a coffee and coffee break treats, we tore the fabric into strips, and Linda G. demonstrated on her serger, how she makes her loop scarves.   We all left with a variety of fabrics to make our scarves.

I'm so pleased with the variety of fabrics that she purchased.  I came home with these seven pieces of fabric (about 15" x 80").  Not that I rushed my coffee break, but I couldn't wait to come home to sew them.   Within 5 minutes of getting home, I was in my sewing room serging one up. 

Easy Peasy.   Do you like it?  This one that I'm wearing is a bit of a shorter version (15" x 60") and only does two loops around the neck.   I'll make up the others later this evening and see how I like the three-loop longer version. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

She's nuttier than a Fruitcake

I wonder if that's what my kids say when they hear us talking about how much we enjoy our fruitcake.  We enjoy buying the stuff at our bulk store, Scoop and Save.   Such a fun store.  And we like preparing the recipe and baking them together.  Well, he chops the cherries and dates, I do the mixing and preparing of the baking pans and he does the dishes.   But most of all, we love to eat our fruitcakes, some months after we make it. 

I was looking on my blog to see if I had put the recipes on before, and yep, I had.  The recipes for the light and the dark fruitcakes, can be found in my 2008 blogpost here. 

Next year, we might be up for a change.  My friend Linda H. makes a layered dark fruitcake.   Next year, I am going to try her recipe.   I just need to remind myself in October of that so I don't forget... like I forgot this year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 4

Well, I am pleased with my first panel.  It took longer than I expected.   I don't know what I was thinking, when I thought I could get three panels done this past week.   
Now that I know how much time this panel took I am going to try hard to get the other two panels done in this next week.    I don't have any big commitments this week, so I'm determined to stitch on the two panels two hours a day.   In addition to completing the free motion quilting on the next two panels, I need to have the outer two panels prepared and ready to stitch in the following week.    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Spicy Spiral - it's so hot, there's flames!

I had a great teaching day in Saint John this past weekend.  I was with members of the Marco Polo Guild guiding them through their first Spicy Spiral  table runner.   Carol A. sent me some photos of her finished runner.  She free motioned flames in the wedges of her Spiral.  I think it's so hot hot hot!!     Have a look at the details.... Great Job Carol!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 3

I'm into week three of making my lollipop quilt.  I will be quilting this in five sections and then connecting them together after all five are machine quilted.    I've taped the backing and batting to the floor and carefully laid out 3 of the sections to be pinned.  I find this the most difficult part of making a large quilt.  I use a pad to kneel on, and pin for 10 minutes at a time.  Getting up is hard.. tee hee...   The next step is to cut the three layered sections apart, and machine quilt.

 But first, I need to warm up... test my threads, etc.  My strategy is to quilt the white parts first, then do the colored part after.

With my warm up done, the next step for me, is to machine quilt, quilt, and more quilting..  By next Wednesday, I want to have all three sections quilted.  Do you think I can do it?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spicy Spiral - SImple quilting

I'm teaching a Spicy Spiral workshop this coming Saturday.  I thought I'd finish up one of the samples that I had partially done to show how this runner can be very simply machine quilted with straight/curved lines.    I like it.   After the workshop, this runner will go to my sister's house, just in time for the holidays.

Monday, November 14, 2011

How about some Cranberry Marmalade!

When my sister visited last week, she brought me some great Nova Scotia vegetables and some local cranberries.  I've never done much with cranberries, but when I saw Karen's Cranberry Marmalade, I knew I wanted to make some with my sisters cranberries.   Karen shared her recipe with me, and it was so easy to make.  It was like making jam.   A great Sunday afternoon project.

We can't wait to give it a try... we're having roasted chicken for supper this evening... with a side of cranberry marmalade! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Caitlin's Stitching

Caitlin spent the night here last night but her sister went home last night.  She already had two sleep overs this weekend.  She needs her beauty rest, so she will continue to stitch on her practice piece at home.   

After we went to bed, I told Caitlin it would be OK if she stayed awake and stitched in bed for a bit before lights out.    Well, she wanted to get her practice piece done, and guess what... she did.  I have no idea what time she went to sleep, but here is her entire practice piece done. 

So today we prepared a real piece of work for her to take home and stitch.  This sleepy little kitty, will be the perfect  little project for her to do this week.  Next week I told her she will learn to do some french knots.  Mainly so she can dot the "i"s in her name.   This kitty came from an old Better Homes and Garden Christmas crafts book. 


Stitching Sisters

Grace and Caitlin spent the afternoon here while Mitchell was playing hockey in Fredericton Junction.   For weeks they have been wanting to learn to hand stitch.  So, today was day.   They are learning the stem stitch.  I prepared a practice piece for them to start on.  I also made them a little stitching bag to carry all their stitching things in.  Hoop, needle, floss and pretty little embroidery scissors.   Three hours of stitching and that was enough for day 1.   Caitlin is spending the night, so she will likely stitch a bit more.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things to do when you have a broken foot!

Blowing bubbles on the doorstep.
No, it's not me with the broken leg.  It's poor Aurora.  She had a playground accident and broke a bone in her foot on Monday.   Since the daycare can't look after an im-mobile child, she's staying with us for a couple of days while her mama works.

So even though we are to keep Aurora quiet and off the foot, that doesn't mean that we can't have fun.

Making Chocolate Chip cookies
Playing DS.  We still can't figure out how to change the baby's diaper!

But sitting around is only good for so long.    We searched all over the city for crutches, and found out that they don't make crutches for little kids.  So, with the help of my friend Kathy F.,  we ended up borrowing this kids walker.  Aurora loves it and gives her a bit of freedom. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Rainbow Lollipop Quilt

I'm making progress on my Lollipop Quilt.  This is the one that I hope to have done by mid-December.  Now that all the fusible work is done, I don't think I will have any problem.  I have the three middle panels assembled and fused.  The next steps for me are to layer each of the rows with batting and backing, and machine quilt them individually.   When I have all 5 done, I will use a "Quilt as you go" method to attach them together.   The method that works well for me is shown on this page... scroll down a bit to see the start of the "Second method"  instructions....

The name of the quilt is the Rainbow Lollipop and designed by Kelly at  "Don't Look Now".  

Stay tuned to see how far I've gotten by next week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Neck Nuzzler for Aurora

Aurora was around this weekend for all the excitement of  the arrival of  Baby Jack!   Among the many things we did, we also made a special project. 

Because she is now in a booster seat, she wanted a neck nuzzler pillow so she can sleep more comfortably in the car.   It's a Simplicity pattern, and there was a big error in the instructions.  But we figured out how to fix the error, and finished it just in time for the big drive home to Saint John.

Neck Nuzzler parts

A purrrrrrfect fit, don't you think?

A Baby Boy is born, and so is a new Grandmother

My sister became a grandmother on Saturday.  We are all so excited baby Jack is here.   His daddy, Scott made his birth announcement.  Sweet Boy!! 

Jack was born on Saturday, November 5th, just before 4pm in the afternoon.  He was 9 lbs 11 oz. and stretched out to 21 inches long.   His full name is Jack Terrance Matheson. 

The original birth announcement photo didn't work on blogger, so here is a photo of mom giving Baby Jack his first manicure.  In search of a yummy thumb, those little fingernails are causing big scratches on his face.  Yes, he's a thumb sucker already!!

All are at home now, and the new family life begins.  Congratulations Scott and Michelle

Friday, November 4, 2011

Those are MY Scissors!!

OK, I would never say it like that... But, some of my scissors are precious to me. I have a few simple beading supplies, so I thought I'd make up this little cell phone charm, but put it on my favorite small pair of scissors.  They're curved, and intended to snip embroidery floating threads.  I use them all the time.  

This way, if I go out, now there's no question who's scissors are who's.  I think I'll change the crystal to put a purple crystal.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

St. Anthony's Quilt - Hand Quilting - November 2011

I think I'll post a picture of our progress on the St. Anthony's Stars quilt on the first Wednesday of each
month... This is our second Wednesday of hand quilting.  The borders take the longest, but aren't they coming out beautiful.   Each of the 4 borders is about 30% done.   Yesterday, we had a surprise visit from our friend Cecile G.  She dropped in and sat in and hand-quilted with us for an hour. We were thrilled to see her.   She quilted as much in an hour, as we did in 3 hours.  But we are beginners, and we do talk a lot... 

We decided we LOVE surprise visitors.  So, here's an invitation.  If you are ever in the Devon area on a Wednesday afternoon between 1 and 4, please drop in to surprise us. We are at St. Anthony's Church, right across the street from Jean Coutu Pharmacy.  Enter using the wheelchair ramp door.   

So, I wonder who will come next Wednesday for a visit...

Will it be you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Five Pies, one mess!

I love when I can do things efficiently.  My sister brought me up a big bag of apples last week.   So yesterday hubby and I decided we would make pies.  We walked to the local dollar store and bought some foil deep dish pie plates and then  made sure we had big ziplock bags and enough sugar and ingredients to make pie dough..  

After breakfast, the peeling and coring began.  While hubby peeled, I made 5 batches of my pie dough.   After 1 hour flat, we had 5 deep dish pies made and only one mess to clean up.   

We couldn't help it, we decided to cook one after reading on the Internet that fresh frozen apple pies should be used up within two months.  No explanation as to why.   Oh well, one down, four to go!!

My Daytripper Totebag

I've been picking away at this tote bag project in the past week.  I hadn't made this pattern before but I took a deep breath and decided to use some of my precious batiks for this project. 

Normally I would make a prototype and use stash fabrics that I would be ok with losing, if I didn't like how the bag turned out.  But no problem here...  I love howthis daytripper bag turned out.  The scooped full size pocket on the front is what caught my eye and it's a really good size.   

The pattern comes from "The Quilt Magazine's" April 2010 issue.   

I think this is going to be my new favorite tote bag bag pattern.  Do you have a favorite tote bag pattern?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm teaching a Spicy Spiral Class

Are you a quilter in the Saint John/Quispamsis, New Brunswick area?  I'm teaching a Spicy Spiral Class on Saturday, November 19th.   If you would like details, send me an email and I'll check with the organizer to see if there's space left in the class.

It might look difficult, but I would suggest that even a confident beginner will not have any problem at all.  There is only straight stitching, and there are no seams to match.  What could be easier?  Got a Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  This is a perfect workshop to use it.

This week, I plan to machine stitch one of my unfinished samples to take with me to the class.