Monday, March 12, 2018

Rewarding myself ... !

A girl can only work so long on quilting UFOs without going through some form of withdrawal! Seriously, I've been so good at completing projects, even those I started in 2018. To reward myself, I went shopping on the Primitive Gatherings website.

If you love wool, Primitive Gatherings website is a dangerous place to browse. I fell in love with quite a few wool kits but had to limit myself. I decided on a table topper from Lisa Bongean's latest book Christmas Gatherings.

There are lots of lovely projects in that book. Although I do have a small wool stash, I don't have a lot of interesting backgrounds and besides, the kit was perfect!

The kit I chose is for the pattern called Holiday Table Mat

I just love how it turned out! Another wonderful addition to my holiday decor!

If you haven't heard, I am doing a give away in honour of eleven (11) years of blogging. You can check out the post here. You have until March 13 to put your name in for the draw.

Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Blog land and we have a finish ....!

The other day I was going through some old blogging posts, looking at comments and clicking on the individual's profile, wanting to see what they have been up to! Many were individuals I "used to follow," who inspired me to create. I was shocked to see how many had abandoned blogging. That explains why my feed has so little post for me to read!

I like blogging, it's a great way to catch up with friends on a sleepless night, find some inspiration for that new project. 

I'm sure Instagram has something to do with it. It's a lot quicker to take a photo with your smart phone, write a little blurb and post it on a social media site than to write a lengthy post! Oh well, I like blogging!

By the way, Donna at chookyblue reminded me that I have been blogging for over 11 years. We both started around the same time. Wow! Hard to believe that it's been that long already. So, time for a give away! Read on!

On the quilting front, I finished another UFO that was just sitting there, on the back of a chair with other UFOS, patiently waiting ....

This little hand embroidery quilt comes from the back of that chair! lol 

The pattern is called Cold Nose, Warm Heart by Buttermilk Basin, started in 2010. I stitched one of these for a swap I participated back in 2010. I liked it so much that I wanted one for myself. Unlike most of my hand embroidery UFOs whereby the squares are stitched, this one was layered and ready to be machine quilted!

Onward to the give away. Leave me a comment by March 13, 2018 and you will be eligible to win the following kit!

The kit includes all the fabric and wool to make this cute wall hanging.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy quilting! Cheers!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Spent the afternoon in the kitchen ... groovin' and cookin' ... !

It was one of those days where I wanted to make something in the kitchen. Soup would be good given that it is snowing this afternoon.

I decided to cook up a recipe I have been meaning to try from the Kripula center called Harvest Stew.

After my morning ritual at our local coffee shop, I went grocery shopping for ingredients.

Came home, put on some music ... Mellow Maurice play list in honor of my late Uncle Maurice ... and began prepping.

Gosh it smells soooo good!

OMG, what a delicious soup! I actually had to open a bottle of wine, pour myself a glad and take sips in order to get that wonderful taste out of my mouth. Otherwise, I would have eaten the whole pot!!!! ROFLOL

See, look how much is gone already!

I am not kidding you, what a great tasting vegetable soup.

Okay, it wasn't all me, I did bring a large canning jar to a friend of mind who is battling influenza. I just had to include it in her care package!

Harvest Stew

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion – medium diced
1 large carrot – roll cut
2 small parsnips – roll cut
1 potato – medium diced
1 zucchini – medium diced
2 cups butternut squash – large diced
2 cups green cabbage – large diced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh Thyme
2 tablespoons dry white wine (Optional)

Roux – added at the end

2 tablespoons butter (use less butter if desired)
1/4-cup flour

In a large Dutch oven, heat the butter and begin sautéing the onions. When the onions start to sweat, add a pinch of sea salt and add the carrots.
Add each additional vegetable one by one in the order they appear in the recipe, and a pinch of salt, allowing the ones before it to heat and sweat.
After all the vegetables have been added, continue to sauté until until done.
Add the fresh herbs, stir, and deglaze with the wine (optional) or use stock or water.
Add the remaining sea salt and the stock.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer (low heat) for a half hour (30 minutes).
Once cooked, add the roux

Serves 6 – 8 - Hum ... more like two unless you open a bottle of wine! lol

If you're interested you can find the recipe online here.

Enjoy! Oh, don't forget to pour yourself a glass of wine so you don't eat the whole pot! ... giggling ...

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

May cause one to reminiscent ... !

There's nothing like looking at your parent's photo albums to bring back lots of memories. Unlike me who has stacks of pictures of my little Pumpkin sitting in a box, un-organized, my mum was great at keeping her photo album up to date.

I came across this picture of me and wondered what happened to that fun loving, crazy girl!

I do know what happened, life. Strange how the years can cause one to mellow, and not always in a good and fun way.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the masks we acquire throughout life. Mainly thinking about the ones I have acquired from the years of life experiences. We all have masks, some are healthy and others, well ... let's just say, may have been acquired as a survival mechanism.

Regardless of how these masks were acquired, it's good to sit back and do a bit of introspection, reflect on our life; pictures are a great tool to help you with that.

That evening, on my drive home from mum's, I contemplated who I was before the masks began to define me. I thought of a picture that would best represent an unmasked me. I knew exactly which picture.  Here she is ...

I just love that picture ... I know this little girl well, confident, fearless and full of joie de vivre.

So, I've been working on this new self ... more particularly the joie the vivre aspect. Time to get a little crazy and just have fun! Hum ... like posting that crazy shock picture! lol

So, who were you before the masks? What's holding you back? I do hope you will take the time to get to know the real you and enjoy the moment. Life sure is short, so why not enjoy it to its fullest!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace. Catch you all later! Oh, don't forget to hang loose and have fun ... I am! lol

Monday, February 19, 2018

In my defense ... !

I've been thinking about the number of quilting UFOs that remain undone and decided that I needed to do some math.

From 2007 until 2017 I started 258 quilting projects (queen size quilts to table runners) of which 50 remain undone. Oh, and in that 258 total, it does not include the numerous hand embroidered towels I have stitched and given as gifts.

Statistically, it means that I complete 81% of my projects! Yea, I'm a glass half full kind of gal! lol

Well, one can only work on quilting UFOs for so long until one has an uncontrollable desire to start a new project. Let's face it, I've been good at completing projects, many of which didn't have much done on it!

To deal with a bit of the guilt from starting something new when I still have UFOs lurking, I chose a wool kit I had purchased, oh ... probably around 2006 ... at The Quilted Crow. There, no more guilt! lol

Ta dah!

The pattern is called Bunny Luv Tablerunner by Pickering Farm. I do like how it turned out. However, I learned that I am not a fan of wool centers with cotton borders.

I was perplexed as to how I would finish the runner. Do I use batting?

I do not like flimsy borders, so I opted for a thin layer of cotton batting. With that, came the necessity to machine quilt so that the layers would be secured.

Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy the moment! Cheers!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Under the Christmas Tree ... a tutorial ...!

I just thought I would share a bit how I did the wool tree skirt.

When I have a lot of placement pieces on a project, I like to section off areas so that it is easier for me to balance the design.

In the case of this pattern, I used the houses as a dividing point and one wool tree to assist with positioning other pieces accordingly. I then proceeded to hand embroider the trees.

I used my favourite method for transferring ... Transfer eze ... I created a sheet of the designs that needed to be stitched and photocopied it.

Once the trees were hand embroidered, I rinsed the product off and let it dry, usually overnight.

I will then continue to add various elements of the pattern while maintaining a balance.

Once all the pattern pieces are stitched, it was time to create the center circle and cut for the tree trunk. 

I used the original tree skirt circle template (created out of freezer paper). I tend to work in quarters (you can see the drawn sections), so it was easy for me to draw a centered circle using a compass.

I placed the original template on the wool project making sure that the cutting line was positioned correctly.  Pinned it, making sure that all was stable and ... this is the scary part ... proceeded to cut ... carefully!

For wool work, I use Karen Kay Buckley's 7.5 inch scissors. They have a micro serrated blade, perfect for wool work. They also come with a plastic guard.

I used wool for the backing. I re-used the original template to cut the backing.

I layered the top and backing, pinned it making sure it would be stable and blanket stitched around.

Due to the weight of the project, in order to avoid stretching the cut area and center circle, I started stitching an inch away from the left cut (I'm right handed), worked my way up and around the center hole and back down the cut continuing on the right. I felt that, once stitched, it would stabilize as well as minimize stretching. 

There you have it, some tips on creating a small wool tree skirt.

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace! Cheers!

Monday, February 12, 2018

I'm on a roll ... !

I've really been pushing the envelop! The next wool quilting UFO I tackled didn't have much done. Some of the pieces, two trees and snowmen, were cut out as well as the background.

I rolled up my sleeves and begin working on the snowmen, sewing micro buttons, giving them a nose and some eyes. I just love snowmen!

Aren't they cute?!

Once that was done, I just kept plugging away until ....

The pattern is called Under the Christmas Tree by Renee Plains (Liberty Star). I just love the way it looks under a tree!

I will be doing a tutorial on how I completed this project. I had to deal with my fear of cutting out a project to become a tree skirt!

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you all later! Cheers!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Still in shock ....

I think my face is stuck in the "shock" position from my recent UFO discovery. lol You can read all about it here!

Yes, I'm still plugging away!

When I take up a quilting UFO, I wonder why I put the project aside. At other times, I know exactly why.

When I picked up this wool UFO, I knew without a doubt why I pushed it aside. I have a personality conflict with the stem stitch! There, now I said it.

Yes, sir! When it comes to doing the stem stitch, I just cannot seem to get the hang of it. Not sure why, it just didn't come easily for me. Hence the personality conflict.

I knew that I couldn't keep the project folded there forever. So, personality conflict aside, I tackled it.

The pattern is called Pumpkin Table Mat by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.

The pumpkins and stems were the only things stitched. I tackled the leaves and then began dealing with this personality conflict. By the end of the last pumpkin, I think I worked it out!

The original pattern did call for a loopy vine connecting all the pumpkins, but I chose otherwise.

Here is the pattern picture so that you can see the difference.

 I like that my pumpkins are not connected to one another. Besides, I would have to do more stem stitch!!!!! Let's not push this girl to extreme!

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Thinking of spring ...!

I am still plugging away at my UFO list.

When I first began quilting (1997) I only had one project going at a time. A few months later, I decided that it was so much more fun to start new projects. You know, to spice things up a bit. So, I created this rule that I could not have more than five (5) projects going at the same time. I had to finish one project before I could start a new one.

Approximately six (6) months later I increased it to ten (10). I remember one year working on my quilting UFOs and bringing the list down to zero just so I could start new projects. I had so many quilts I wanted to make. At that time I didn't keep a list, I just had them all in baskets, scattered around in my quilting studio.

I don't know what happened but along the way I threw out the rule. Since early 2007, I now keep a record of my projects, the date it was started and completed.

... hold on I am counting ...

I have approximately 50 quilting UFOs! Insert shock face here!

OMG, I better get stitching, quilting .... whatever it takes!

Since I've been working mainly on wool work, I decided that I needed to finish a hand applique quilt. I picked up the project Idaho Lily, started November 1, 2014. This project is from Kim Diehl's club Simple Whatnots!

There were three of these blocks that needed to be appliqued.

No more foolin' around! I got busy so that I could piece the top. In no time, well in a bit of time, I brought it from this.

To this!

It has since been machine quilted and the binding done! In other words, another one bites the dust.

Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner in cyber space! I'm off working on some more quilting UFOs.

Catch you all later! Cheers!
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