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.  


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Purity Rolls for the kids

In a little flurry of visits from our kids before we head out on our Baltic adventure, I decided to make minestrone soup and home made rolls for lunch.    The house smells wonderful.  

Just look at these....    I just love my old Purity cookbook from the '70's.    
I know some will ask, so here is the recipe..    It says makes 4 dozen, but
if you want large rolls like these, it will only make 2 dozen.  



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sewing but Not Quite Quilting

It's been sort of a funny summer sewing wise.  I can't seem to settle down and get into a large quilt project.    I've been enjoying some knitting, and working on using up some of my fabric stash in various ways.    Have a look..
Saw this great Fabric at Country Crafts and Curtains last week.  
Aurora wants all things Paris in her bedroom.  
I've bought her a few little things, 
and now she will have a Paris themed pillowcase
for her Bed.  She's coming up later this week and will
use it while spending some time with us.

.
using Atkinson Designs, pattern, Stowaway, Aurora now has
a pencil sized case to put her school pens, tape erasers etc.
It's made out of the leftover piece of Paris fabric from
her pillowcase.  


This fall, my grand daughter Emily will be doing some fundraising
 for a school trip. I thought I would help out and make
 a few things.  To start here are 14 simple zipped pencil
case pouches.  I hope to make more things as time goes on.



It's yours truly.   I've always said that I never make myself clothes.
But I was intrigued by this pattern by the So Sew Easy folks.
This is a wrap top pattern. Besides the pdf instructions,
there was an online video.  I didn't mind making it.  I actually like it.
I think I'll make another.   So it's a good lesson for me.
Never Say Never


Does this pillow look bohemian.   I made a cover for a large pillow for
my granddaughter Jessica's dorm room at Dalhousie University
in Halifax this year.  She has a great
wall hanging that this will go perfectly with.


A screen bag for my yarn stash.   I cleaned out my yarn stash last year
only to find myself with a heap of new yarn stash.  This bag will
hold it nicely.   I'm making a rule.   Once this bag is full, I must knit, or
get rid of some yarn before more yarn comes in.


I made a few scarves using a narrow hemmer foot.
Hemmed all 4 sides of light chiffon type fabric.
I made skinny ones, and big shawl size ones.
They will be good to take on our trip that is coming up soon.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cowl Done, and on to the Shawlette

It seems odd to be knitting winter wear in the summer, but I'm loving sitting on my porch knitting up a few rows/rounds.    This Spiral Eyelet cowl was a delight to knit with the Paint Box Simply DK. The 4 stitch sequence was easy to remember.  I loved the cast off technique which was new to me.  It's called the elastic cast-off.   I like how it has a slight stretch.

I'm contemplating how to block the cowl.  I will research later on how the best way to do it is.

I thought I'd share this next project that I've already started.  It's the Dive In Recipe Shawl.  The author says that this two-color shawl is more of a recipe rather than an exact pattern.   I like the idea of the skinny stripes and the technique is neat.   I'm using two colors of the Paint Box Simply DK.  Cream and the Medium Brown.  (Many thanks LoveKnitting.com)

This shawl will take me longer to knit of course, because it's a bigger project.  I'm looking forward to see how this turns out.

And just so you know, I haven't abandoned my sewing totally this summer.  Stay tuned and in a few days I'll show you some of the things that I've been sewing.




Monday, July 24, 2017

Hard to find Knitting Needles


When I started to knit the little bunnies, one of the sizes of straight knitting needles I needed was a 2.50 mm.   It's quite small.  Turns out they are harder to find than you might think.   While popular in the UK, they are not that popular here, and non-existent in the USA.  Even look at my needle gauge, there's no size for 2.5 mm.  So I ordered mine online.  The only length they had was 14 inches long.   Now these little bunnies have many parts, and the most stitches that I cast on is 30 or 35.  So 14" needles is way overkill.    I really want the 10" ones if they can be had.     
It just so happens that the dollar store here had some 2.5 mm needles. I bought a set and tasked my husband to shorten them.    All he was able to do was cut them off, but had no way to save the ends.   He suggested I glue a bead on the end.   Brilliant... I did, and now I have a set of short 2.5 mm needles that fit in my little needle case.   


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Knitting a Scarf

I have had fun this past week (or two) doing research on Ravelry.   It's hard to know when to stop researching, and start knitting.   I have found at least 15 perfect projects that I want to knit and my must-knit list has grown exponentially.  But my research this week was intended to find projects to use my gifted-to-me Paint Box Yarns.   I want to knit a shawl type of scarf.  I'm down to 6 or 7 choices.   I'm in a delema, rectangle, or triangular.   I can't seem to make a decision.


While I ponder my delema, I decided that I really need to stop researching, and start knitting.  I'll start with a cowl.  I've been wanting to do a spiral cowl for a while, so this was an easy decision.   I chose this Spiral Eyelet Cowl pattern because the spiral is clear and not complicated.  But, after reading the pattern, I could not understand how that spiral design could happen/develop with the two-row repeat.  I thought for sure it would be a 10-row repeat.  How does the eyelet spiral?

Well, I just started to cast on, and I figured once I start knitting, I'll figure it out.    I still haven't figured it out, even after knitting 5 repeats of the two rows.  But I am liking the look and it's easy to knit while watching TV.  The Paint Box Simply DK yarn is very soft and is perfect weight for my size 4 mm 24"circular needles.   I will definitely get this cowl done out of one of the 100 gram balls of the Simply DK.   I hope to have a shawl/scarf decision made by the end of the week.

Stay Tuned and Happy Stitching..