Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm back from my travels... partie I!

Such beautiful landscape!

I truly enjoy driving in Pennsylvania! It is so relaxing! Some areas can be quite stunning!

As you drive through the country or in a town, one must always be on the look out for buggies! They are really every where!

I was reading an article in the Amish Country News that the Amish people are perhaps the most photograph ethnic group. Interesting! I would never think of going up to one and saying "Hey, can I have my photograph taken with you?" lol I can certainly understand how difficult it would be for some people to comprehend the Amish lifestyle, perhaps even assuming that this was all part of tourism.

My first stop was at Sauder Fabric in Denver, PA.

Bonus for me, they were having a 10% off on all items in the store.

If that wasn't enough, they were having a Year End Warehouse sale. You could actually buy bolts of fabrics anywhere from $1.75 to $2.80 a yard. They mainly had B&P Textile, VIP and Kona cottons on bolts.

This is the entrance to Sauder Fabric.

Sauder's had a wide selection of fabrics from Modas, Kaufman to VIP etc. Lots of discounted fabrics.

Word of advice, when you look at their plain cotton fabrics, you must be careful to read the label on the bolt. They do have poly/cotton blends intermixed with their Kona cottons.
My next stop!

This is Zook's Dry Goods in Intercourse, PA.

Amazingly, Zook's had a bit of festive decorating on the outside. However, the inside is not decorated at all.

One thing about Amish fabric stores in PA, they are not cute or decorated with the latest fad. The shops I visited were all very plain, functional and clean. They do not have "displays". Everything they sell is neatly laid out.

Their fabrics are much cheaper then any of your "standard" quilts shops. I would say that they tend to price their fabrics approximately 25% less then other stores. This would also apply to notions.

I did not take any pictures of the inside of Sauder or Zook's Dry Goods because there wasn't anything to show. Both places have a huge inventory of fabrics neatly laid out.

In another post I will write more about Intercourse. It's a wonderful little town!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! May the New Year bring you all that your heart desires or better!
Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm off again!

This time we are headed to Landenburg, PA.

Stephen's best friends live in Pennsylvania. I have always liked going there. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind moving there. The country side is beautiful and well, the Amish atmosphere is so relaxing. The horse and buggies are a reminded for me to slow down!

While Stephen will be jamming with the members of his band Interview, making lots of music, I'll be getting lost in Lancaster! Oh...... I cannot wait!

I have a couple of shops in Intercourse that I like to visit, The Old Country Store and Zook's Dry Goods. I was thinking of heading out to Denver and visit Sauders. I'll see how much time I have. I'm just thrilled to be able to get lost in Amish country!

After my expedition, it will be time to celebrate. They have planned a dinner for the spouses. Let me tell you, they know how to entertain! There is nothing more enjoyable than good food, good wine and good company. The guys are all great cooks. When they're together in the kitchen it's quite entertaining to watch them!

I will remember to bring my camera!

Have a great weekend everyone! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and see what I've been up to!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Secret Santa.... fooled you!

I must admit, Christmas is my favourite holiday! I am such a big fan of Santa. He's my all time favourite!

I would like to share with you some of the goodies I received in the mail. My Secret Santa present came in the beginning of December. It came as a total surprise. I must tell you a funny story regarding my secret Santa package.

I have a very good friend by the name of Cheryl who lives in Oz. She often sends me packages throughout the year. She is such a generous and kind soul. So, in the beginning of December, the postman delivers a large envelop from Oz. I can always tell an Oz parcel due the colour and design of the package.

Dd says to me "you've got a package from Cheryl! Can I open it?" I remembered Cheryl writing that she would be sending a package and not to let dd look at it because her Christmas gifts will be in there. So, I told DD no, I'll take care of it.

I look at the front of the envelop, hum..... strange it's not Cheryl's usual signature. Okay, I figure she probably had someone else go to the post office for her.

So, I proceed to open the envelop and pull out this cute little pouch with a bag of Koala caramellos and some papers underneath! Oh, no photos of the koala caramello, they're all gone! Yum, yum, they were delicious!

Hum.... by now I'm pretty puzzled! I can't seem to figure this one out!

I turn over to the papers to see what the heck Cheryl is up too!

So I glance at the picture sheet that was enclosed and say to myself "Gosh, Cheryl's garden is strange, so different from what she's been showing me. Hum...... okay read the letter for more clues.

Click it all falls into place. I started laughing!

The package was not from Cheryl but from my Secret Santa!

In the fabric pouch was this cute little ornament!

I love Santa! Okay, so I'm repeating myself! lol

And..... this beautiful table runner!

Gosh, I was so clueless! I never expected that my Secret Santa would be from Oz.

Thank you again Dale from Oz for the wonderful gifts. And thank you once more Donna for doing this!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'm back with lots of little goodies!

We made it back from Massachusetts! We drove back in fog that was as thick as Pea soup! Thankfully it subsided as we drove out of New Hampshire!

The Yankee swap was a blast! I have attached a link for those who would like a bit more information about the game.

I feel I made out like a bandit! I was number 10 (ten), out of 11 (eleven) people. Of course number 1 (one) is the best number but 10 (ten) isn't too shabby!

Here are my little goodies! Don't you just love that little guy?

He's technically called a USB HUB MAN. He's the cutest little guy and so functional! He gives me 4 (four) more USB ports! No more reaching in the back of my laptop.

The bright object on the left is an "Office Glitter Rocket", a sort of lava lamp that connects to your computer. It plugs into a USB port, so my little guy takes care of him.

The Glitter Rocket sort of reminds me of a disco ball but in miniature! lol It's actually relaxing to look at!

I also had an opportunity to go shopping at my favourite quilt shop, The quilted Crow.

I fell in love with these fabrics. They are so delicious!

The large print is from Purely Provence created by Renee Nanneman of Need'l of Love.

The picture really doesn't do it justice to the fabric's beauty. The colours are so rich! Oh, and so nice to fondle! ;o)

I do have a project in mind for these that I will share with you when I'm more organized. I feel the need to complete something before I tackle a new project! Perhaps this will be a great motivator! lol

I also bought these little goodies!

I purchased the charm pack Urban Indigo a fabric line from Fig Tree Quilts to use as a guide for a quilt that I would like to to make from a book by Acorn Quilt and Gift Company - Comfort & Joy. Darlene tempted me last summer! So many quilts I would like to make out of that book! I never get tired of looking at the pictures!

Yes, it's another hand embroidery pattern and I confess I'm hooked on embroidery!

Speaking of embroidery, I have finished one of the panels for French Cottage Garden quilt. I decided to leave my mum's embroidery stitches! I really had to tame the perfectionist in me! My mom even suggested that I rip them out and I said "no way, they're staying". I want to give historians something to ponder! ;o)

Wow, this turned out to be a long post! Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm off to see the wizard!

It sounds much better than "I'm off to Massachusetts", don't you think?

Today, we are leaving for Littleton to celebrate an early holiday with Stephen's family. I'm sure many you can guess what the French benefits are to this visit! Yes mam, to The Quilted Crow I go!

Which reminds me, I do have my gift certificate to spend! Yahooooo! I cannot forget that, can I?

I will also plan a visit to Candelite Quilt Shop in Chelmsford. They have a great selection of odds and ends for gift giving. I have been informed by my quilting bee buddies that we quilters celebrate Christmas on January 25th. So, that means I have plenty of time to purchase my gifts.

Speaking of gifts, Stephen's family is having a Yankee Swap. So this is the label I made for the gift.

I would show you the gift however, I do not know if my in-laws stalk my blog. You just never know with family members. They always tend to sneak up on you when you least expect it! lol

I have also made the same gift for some dear friends of mine. Nothing works more efficiently than a production line! ;o) lol I do plan on mailing those out after the holiday rush. Besides, quilter's Christmas is January 25th, right?

Some of you have inquired regarding that little Santa quilt under the pin cushions. I made that in 1998! The pattern is from a Debbie Mumm booklet called The Magic of Santa. Unfortunately, it is no longer in print. I had forgotten about that one! I have made another project from that booklet! I guess you can see it's been a good investment! lol

For inquiring minds, the black and white picture was taken in 1991 in a park on Gouin boulevard in Montreal. I used infrared film. I have worked tremendously with that film and just love the effect it gives. That's my little sister! We had gone for a walk in the park! Of course, it was in the days when I never left home without my camera. Gosh I miss it!

Thank you for stopping by! I just love reading what you all have to say! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pincushion invasion!

I thought I would finally "jump in" and make pincushions as holiday gifts. I have seen some really sweet one's on Wendy's blog and thought I would be a copy cat and make some myself.

I used my Bernina Embroidery software to design these little gems.

I took the opportunity to experiment with the software. It was fun to try and come up with various embroidery designs that would be suitable for this project. Lots of learning was going on today!

DD fell in love with the lady bug one!

I decided to forgo the yoyos and use some buttons from my collection. I have never made yoyos and with all the learning going on today, I didn't need another challenge! lol

The stuffing used is either recycled wool or cotton batting. There's nothing like creating with the environment in mind! ;o)

For this pincushion I used walnut shells as the filling, or as the pet store calls it "Bird Litter". lol

Darlene had recommended this product a while back. This is what she uses in her pincushions. The oil from the shells conditions the needles.

I did not like how it looked with the wrapped thread. I had a difficult time obtaining a firm cushion. The lack of filling was probably the cause of funky look! So I settled for just buttons as embellishment!

Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are always a joy to read!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lack of mojo!

Hello, remember me? I'm the one that's been neglecting my blog. I just cannot seem to get back in the groove of things. This morning, after I read an e-mail from Pam, it dawned on me what one of my problems might be.

She said "I have so many things I'd like to do but everything seems to be so disorganized right now that when I go into my sewing room I just look around in awe at what a hodge podge it is and then do nothing! Maybe I need to get that Mark Lipinski magazine and get myself sorted out - LOL!! " You and me both girlfriend!

So, after reading Pam's e-mail I walked into my sewing room and this is what greeted me!

What a disorganized mess!

Sadly, I cannot even blame it on being creative!

If that wasn't messy enough for you, to avoid any embarrassment, I took the picture after I folded the two (2) loads of laundry, one was on my cutting table (if you can believe it) and the other on the dryer (not pictured).

Here's another picture from the opposite corner of the room!

Messy, messy!

So guess what I'll be doing today? I'm on a mission of major cleaning and organizing! I've got to get my creative mojo up and running again! So many projects I want to finish!

I mean, the Winter Sentry is not even finished yet! I ran out of thread and could not find it at my LQS. Prior to making an order on-line, I always look at my supply to see what else needs re-stocking and guess what? Yes, another spool of yellow 961, the one I needed, was found in the disorganized thread box! Need I say more?

So I think I'll take Darlene's suggestion and buy my copy of Quilter's Home Magazine. It doesn't appear that my subscription will start in December!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

No reply - comment asking for information!

Many of my friends on blog land have written about the frustration of "no reply" comments, especially when some ask for pertinent information. It is so easy to open a generic e-mail address, please consider this option.

I would really like to help this person out. Her comment was:

Tammy has left a new comment on your post "Who says there's no Santa?":

Hi!I LOVE that story. I am a filmmaker interested in tracking down the author of that lovely Christmas story . You mentioned that you first read it in the Country Register in 2005. Which Country Register was that? I know they're published in different parts of the US and Canada. Any help would be SO greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tammy, could you please contact me with an e-mail address and I will be happy to help you out with this project.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I have been inspired!

I have been waiting patiently for a machine quilting design for Winter Sentry! Alas, it has come!

I treated myself to this book, Machine Quilting Solutions, Techniques for Fast & Simple to Award-Winning Designs by Christine Maraccini.

I am always on the look out for a new and better way of doing things. This book was a great buy! I like the way the author approaches the subject of designs. She offers methods of analyzing a quilt as well as techniques for creating your design. There are lots of pictures, always a bonus, that are a source of inspiration!

As I perused the pages of this book, while waiting for dd to finish her figure skating lesson, the inspiration came. The star border on Winter Sentry was giving me such a difficult time! I now know how I shall approach this little gem! Stay tune for pictures!

I shall now leave you to draw my idea on graph paper and onward to the machine quilting! I do hope to be able to finish this quilt today!

Thank you so much for your support. I love reading your comments! Have a great day everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Who says there's no Santa?

Since I do not have anything quilty to blog about, being the holidays and all I thought I would share with you one of my favourite Santa story. For the record, I am one of Santa's biggest fan! I love anything having to do with Santa.

So, allow me to share a story that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do. It was published in The Country Register, Nov.-Dec., 2005 issue (page 27). I do not know the author. It is a story that no matter how often I re-read it, it always warms my heart.

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted. “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

Off we went to Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

“Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me and Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he had no coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.”

The nice lady smiled at me. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons. A little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible. She helped me write “To Bobby From Santa Claus” on a tag.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.

Than Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes.

That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have Grandma’s Bible, with the coat’s tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Snow Day!

Isn't it gorgeous!

Yea yea, I know the barn is sweet but I meant the beautiful blanket of snow! lol Unfortunately, you cannot see the red tin roof on the barn but it would look sweet against the snow!

We have lots of mature trees in our backyard. I'm thinking that the oak tree (the one on the right of the barn) must be at least 150 years old. That's where our fairies live! ;o) There's also a swing hanging from that majestic tree! It's a great place to sit and be with oneself!

It is barely freezing outside, so the snow is wet and sticky. Perfect for a snow ball fight! Catch......... That's dd and her friend attempting to make a humongous snow person.

Inside I have a nice roaring fire going! A perfect day wouldn't you say!

Today will be a quilting day for me. I do hope to finish a present for someone and perhaps even tackle my UFO pile.

Have a wonderful day everyone and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wow, I've been quilting!

Firstly, I do want to apologize for not paying a visit with my friends on blog land. There has been so much to do in the past few weeks. I am happy to report that I had my last class for the semester. I have but 2 (two) papers to write and school will be over for a bit. Yey! My brain will be free to create with fabrics!

Gosh, it felt so good to turn on my machine Wednesday!

This is what I decided to make, a small winter wall hanging. The pattern is from the book Classic Country Christmas by Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries.

The quilt is machine appliqued, pieced and quilted. It doesn't have a label yet. I've been thinking of Winter Wonderland as an appropriate name.

There is something rewarding about completing a quilt. A quick project is the sure thing to get me back in the quilting groove again. I now feel all fired up and ready to tackle some of my UFOS.

Which reminds me, I am getting up there on the Stashbuster queen list. Perhaps I ought to finish the Winter Sentry quilt today. I just cannot seem to come up with a machine quilting design for the border. Perhaps I'll get inspired!

Have a great day everyone and thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm alive and kicking!

Well, not really kicking but it sounds good! I do want to apologize for the lack of posts! Life has been more than crazy busy as of late with the holiday and what not! I do hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We had 24 (twenty four) people over for a fun filled Thanksgiving weekend! Seven (7) stayed with us and the rest stayed in a hotel in Plattsburgh.

Friday, I was a Montreal guide tour for a group of young teenagers! I bet you can guess what they wanted to do? Another group went to the Biodome. My daughter and niece stayed home to go ice skating in the afternoon. Unfortunately our niece, eager to learn some fancy skating moves from her cousin who takes figure skating lessons, fell and broke her arm while attempting a jump. Actually, it wasn't even the jump that did it! As she was getting up from her fall she slipped and attempted to break the fall with her right arm. Both bones were broken. Ouch! She is doing well now!

I finally managed to get some sleep last night! Yes, it seems as though I've been up since last Thursday! Today is my last intense class for the month so you should be getting some quilting post from me. I've booked Wednesday as a quilting day! Hum........ I do need to get my secret Santa gift done! Oh....... have I ever mentioned that I work well under pressure? I despise it, but it's true!

Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chocolat Swap!

Wooooouuuuuu WHHOOOOOO! Today I received chocolates from my swap partner Yvonne from Quilting down the stairs.

Somehow I just did not expect this package to arrive so soon. I figured it would be something I'd receive by Saturday. To be honest, I thought it was the order I had placed from American Girl . It was so professionally labeled! Wow, I said to self, that's efficient! Not that I need it in a hurray but..... it's always nice go get mail . So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I saw the Chocolate Moose bag in the box!

In the bag, was a cute light purple box. Inside was lots of goodies! I just love the fabric the chocolates came wrapped in! It's a eggplant purple! Stephen would say eggplant is not a colour but a vegetable! Men! Notice the chocolate lollipop under the cute card? It's a turkey pop and that's for my little Pumpkin! Wasn't that sweet of Yvonne to think of my daughter? What a sweetheart!

Underneath that gorgeous fabric was lots of chocolate goodies!

I've already had samples and they are delicious! I just love chocolate! It's such a cure all!

Thank you again Yvonne for the goodies! The chocolate with the cashews is all gone! Gosh that was good!

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else receives!

Thank you Sharon for organizing this swap!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tagged I'm it!

I have been tagged by Anne Heidi from Piece by Piece to answer questions regarding why I craft.

Firstly, I will say that the word "craft" is not a word I like to use for what my friends and I like to do. I find that it conjures up ideas of plastic canvas tissue holders and a plethora of cheaply made items. I think in America, the word "craft" has been associated with "craft shows", which means tacky hand made stuff for sale. Of course I'm generalizing here. There are individuals who make beautiful things and sell them in shows, however, the majority is not the case. So, I avoid craft shows like the plague.

1. When did you start to create and make crafts?
I have always been busy with some form of artistic expression. If I wasn't colouring I was drawing.

As a youth, I enjoyed photography and had my own Brownie camera. I remember photographing a Girl Scout camping event. Later on, I began to knit some scarfs and by the age of 15, I was hand embroidering my Jeans.
What your are seeing are a pair of jeans I did in high school. No, I no longer fit in them! But I did for the longest time. As you can tell, I've used these for renovations. May Britt had suggested that I make a purse or bag from them, but upon finding them for the picture, I concluded that they are way too messed up to make anything. It would be nice to fit back into them though! lol

After embroidery came knitting. This is the first sweater I made, which used a circular needle for the top part.

Gosh, did I knit lots of sweaters! I still have quite a few tucked away in a bureau. I've also given many sweaters away. I sometimes wonder if my old boyfriends still have the sweater I made them.

After knitting came photography. I think this medium has always been a part of my life on and off. In my early twenties (20) I had access to a dark room and bought my first serious camera, an Olympus OM1n. That was quite the camera back then!

In my early 30's I studied photography full time. On weekends, I would often head to the park or downtown to look for photo opportunities. I rarely left home without my camera!

This is one of my favourite shot! I have many that I love. I'm a black and white kind of gal. I still have all of my darkroom equipment that I hope one day to set up again.

I started to cross stitch when I became pregnant with my little girl. My doctor informed me that I needed to give up the dark room aspect of photography due to the chemicals. Sadly, I haven't gone back to photography since my pregnancy. For those who like to do the math, it's been over 10 (ten) years. ;o)

I cross stitched on linen. My favourite were Amish patterns. I loved the look of it! As you can see, I haven't done anything with them. There are a few more buried somewhere.

I started to quilt in February 1996. You can read about it on my first blog entry entitled Introduction.

In 2002, on a trip to the Maritime, I picked up rug hooking! I bought this canvas at a shop called Tapis Hookés de Chéticamp Hooked Rugs. Cheticamp is known for its rug hooking! It's a small Acadian town, rich in history.

As you can see, this hobby has been sadly neglected! Not much has been done on it! So... okay I did take it apart a few times, as I felt my hooking wasn't good enough. Stephen made the wooden stand to hold the John Flynn machine quilting frame system. I've never used the frame for machine quilting! lol

2. Why did you start crafting?
I don't know why I started to create! Well, I didn't back when I was young. My maternal grandmother was always busy making something. I have a braided rug that she did a long time ago. My mom can actually pick out fabric from dresses she wore as a child.

3. Why do you create?

I'm an individual that must have some form of artistic expression. I guess you can say that I started "crafting" as a necessity. I cannot be without creating! It's a part of me! At the moment quilting takes up that need. Who know what direction my art will take me in the future. When I look at some of my photographs, I have the desire to get back into it. I guess the complexity of setting up a darkroom in my present home keeps me from getting my hands back into the chemicals!

4. What do you create?

At the moment, quilts!

5. Has this changed since you began crafting?

Not really. I do incorporate other artistic medium in my quilts, such as hand embroidery. I am presently dwelling in machine embroidery!

Well thanks for taking the time to read this. Now it's my turn to tag........ Are your ready? Tag, you're it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

We have a flimsy!

Yes folks, I managed go get some focus going! lol Gosh, I've been awful as of late. I'm just so all over the place! lol

Meet Winter Sentry, a Robyn Pandolp pattern from her book Stitched with Love: A Mother's Legacy. I do love that book and can certainly see myself doing other quilts from it. I started this hand appliqued project in 2005.

Yesterday, I worked on the small star border. Those are 4 inch blocks! Yea, for a while there I thought I was Libby! lol I tell you, my stiletto sure came in handy. I'm sold on that tool! I will say, I'm pretty proud of how those blocks came out! Sharp!

I haven't given her a name yet! As I continue to machine quilt her I'm sure something will come up. I do like her! She'll look sweet on my brick wall in the kitchen!

Speaking of machine quilting, given that my Bernina 1090 is at the dealer for a cleaning, I used my Bernina 180 for the task. Gosh, what a different experience! There is much more foot pedal control on the 180. I do not need to reduce my speed. I like my 1090 much better for machine quilting, we know each other so well! ;o)

Today will be a library day for me. I have to tend to some much needed school work. sigh! Oh well, I can quilt when I get back this afternoon!

Have a great day every one and thank you for stopping by!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blah, blah, blah... catching up!

You'll never believe what I did this weekend? I actually sat and watched football all day with my husband. Don't faint, I know..... it's so unusual for me! lol I must admit, it was such a great excuse to get some hand embroidery done!

What am I working on you might ask?

This is one of the panels for the French Cottage Garden quilt that I had blogged about a while back. This was a pattern I fell in love with on Wendy's blog! I cannot begin to tell you how costly blogging has been for me, but so worth it! ;o) It has become a major contributor to my lack of focus, but I digress!

I had asked my mother if she would do the hand embroidery so that DD could have a quilt that would be partially made by her grand mother. Unfortunately, my mother can no longer do any type of hand work. She had started the other panel and had to stop due to severe pain as well as numbness in her hands. So, I have taken over and am more than half way done with one panel.

I haven't decide yet if I shall take out the little bit of work that she did on the other panel. She chose to use the Stem Stitch as opposed to the Back Stitch, which is what the pattern called for. It took her so long to do the little bit that she did! I may just work around it!

On the quilting front, not much is happening. I took my Bernina 1090 to the dealer in Montreal for a good cleaning. That's the baby I use for machine quilting. I love that machine! It's an older Bernina but so reliable and sweet! Do you have a machine that you wouldn't part with? That would be mine! I plan to keep that one! She is the first sewing machine I bought myself. You see, I started to quilt in 1996, on my grand mother's Remington sewing machine that she bought in 1959. My mother still has the receipt, $125.00 with a cabinet! I made quite a few quilts on that machine but soon realized that I would not be able to expand with it. That's when I bought my 1090 in 1997.

I think today I may just piece some blocks that have been set aside. It would be nice to report a flimsy, wouldn't you think? Okay, off to get some much needed focus!

Thank you for stopping by everyone and have a great day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is the day I was born. I don't think anything spectacular happen on that day except me! lol You know how some people had major historical events such as walks on the moon etc.. Nope, it was an ordinary day in the city of Montreal!

I did received a gift from my in-laws. What a yummy fabric package! It's hard to unwrap it, it's so beautifully presented. Gosh, I'm turning out like Connie with her Susan Branch fat quarter bundle! I'll just admire it from my mantle! lol

Well, unlike Connie, I have no patience and I did unwrap this beautiful package. What I found was a gift certificate to my favourite quilt store of all, The Quilted Crow. I haven't decided how I shall be spending this gift yet. Their new BOM is certainly tempting me, but I have so many hand applique projects to complete already! I don't know that I'd enjoy it!

I know I've mentioned this before, but I just have to say it again. I really don't understand why kids are in such a hurry to grow up. Being an adult is way over rated. If I was a kid, I'd be able to run around in the park yelling, "it's my birthday" and they'd be all happy for me. I'd have the kids come over for cake and ice cream party. I guess I could run around the park today, but I don't know that I want such a young crowd as my party. I'd feel more like I was babysitting! lol

Nothing spectacular is planned today, unless that is I go running around in the park and invite people! lol Perhaps that wouldn't be such a bad idea, it would appear that this day has been forgotten by my husband and daughter! No birthday wishes as of yet! Oh well.... I'm an adult now! ROFL

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Catching my breath!

Wow, what a week! I think I'm caught up! I have been fighting this cold turned into a sinus infection and I think I'm winning! lol DH allowed me to sleep in on Monday, taking care of getting our little girl ready for the bus. What a difference it made! I'm feeling much better!

Today, I took care of some much needed things that I have been neglecting. I did take the time to write a few letters to friends I have made on blog land. I also took the opportunity to visit my post office a few time! lol What a beautiful Autumn day!

On the hand embroidery front, I have finished my Autumn's Harvest Pumpkin stitchery pattern. I finally wrapped my brain around the Fly Stitch, thanks to May Britt who was a wealth of information! She provided me with a video link of the stitch!

I noticed that it's a tad off on the lower right side. I'm looking at the pattern and I guess it's supposed to be that way. Strange! I will be turning this into a small rectangular accent pillow. I just need to figure out how I shall make the pillow envelop. It would be nice to make it as a slip cover. Maybe I'll get ambitious and make a stitchery design for every season! ;o) - lol

On the quilting front, this is a new pattern that I am working on, Sherbert Delight by Perkins Dry Goods! I first saw it on a blog a while back and just had to have it! I asked my LQS, Loose Threads, if they could get a copy for me, which they did.

Lora, one of the owners who has become a good friend, will be displaying this quilt in the shop. Of course, now I'm all nervous about my piecing! lol

I decided to make the lap size, which I find to be more of a small twin than a lap size. I'm using 1930's reproduction fabrics. I thought the colours would work well with the patterns.

The Yuletide quilt is still in the process of being pieced. I feel that I must prioritize this new quilt since it will be used in the shop.

Tah, dah! All my blocks are done. It's a matter of piecing the top together.

I will admit, I was a tad anal about my piecing. I don't know why I get that way. I should just be enjoying the process! Oh well, what can I say, c'est moi!

The rest of the week should be a bit more mellow! I'm hoping to play a bit of catch-up on blog land!

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Le Party Weekend!

This week was my intense school week! It would appear that no matter how much I prepare for it, I never seem to be ahead of the game. I do enjoy the class but it's heavy! My brain is fried after the class marathon!

Aside from attempting to win over this cold that started on Thursday and is now turning into a sinus infection, it was Le Party weekend for DD. So there were lots to do. Yes, I did do my Vulture Vomit, which the kids weren't that game to try except Wawa. She's such a trooper! Unfortunately, I didn't remember to take a picture of the table with all the foods.

I will admit, I wasn't into it as much as the previous years. However, I did remember to take some pictures.

Meet Le Party 2007! Fifteen (15) kids in all!

What an imagination these kids have!

I'm finding that as the kids get older, thinking up of activities that will be fun and age appropriate is getting harder and harder. Despite the odd one's wanting to keep to themselves in another room, the majority did have lots of fun. What's with the rush of wanting to be an adult? Adulthood is so over rated!

Since bobbing for apples has become somewhat politically incorrect, we had bobbing for candy corn in whipped cream!

What a blast it was to watch the kids go at it. We decided to have a competition to see who would be the first to get the candy corn. We had a first and second prize winner. Jennifer was great at getting the kids psyched up for the race.

This is my favourite picture of Wawa, Jennifer's youngest. The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree! LOL

Wawa is quite the character! She's a treat to watch! I tell you, you cannot turn your back for a second on that one! She's always up to something! This is not really the picture I wanted to post of Wawa, but I thought I would spare Jennifer, who has become a great friend, any embarrassment! ROFL

On the quilting front, I have been working on a quilt for our LQS, Loose Threads. I decided to make it using 1930's reproduction fabrics. So far I like the way it's turning out! I will post about it soon!

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tagged! I'm it!

Last week I was nominated for the You make me Smile Award by Connie.

Thank you so much Connie for nominating me. You are so kind and sweet! Your blog and e-mails always make me smile!.

Speaking of blog, what happen to the French lyrics that go with the tune on your blog? I keep expecting Maurice Chevalier to pop out and start signing! lol

On a different note, I have been nominated by Darlene, another person that makes me smile, to list 4 (four) things about Me Me. Some of the categories, I really had to think about.

So here goes!

4 Jobs I've had

Book review editor for the Journal of Religion and Culture
Change Implement facilitator (A fancy title for the study of work habits in an organization)
Mortgage Supervisor
Cashier at Winn-Dixie Store

4 Films I would watch over and over

Thomas and the Magical Railroad
Nanny McPhee
The Polar Express
Santa Clause 2 (I love Santa!)

4 TV Shows I watch
Sorry folks, I don't watch TV - Does QNN count?
Linda's Longarm Quilting

4 Places I've lived

New York
Vermont (I didn't live there just owned a property)

4 Favourite foods

Seafood (Salmon, lobster etc..)
Pasta (fettuccine Alfredo, pesto etc..)
Baguette, cheese & wine (Oh wait, is wine a food?)
Chocolate cheesecake

4 Favourite Colours


4 Places I would love to be

Hawaii (just so I could get lei like Sharon)
Arizona (so I could float in Darlene's pool with a frozen margarita while I look at her beautiful quilts hanging nearby)
Indiana (So I can sit on Connie's porch and enjoy a bottle of red wine. Oh and I promise to bring my pasta machine for fresh pasta)
British Columbia (So I can visit with Pam and sit in one of those blue chair and enjoy another bottle of wine all while we look out of those beautiful finished windows. Did you dust Pam? ROFL And of course, while I'm there I'd visit Wendy, who also likes wine and Salmon. I've got a great recipe Wendy for salmon stuffed with spinach)

Well that's about it folks. Now it's my turn to tag. So here goes, tag you're it!

Have a great weekend every one!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm Stuck!

Not in a rut! Actually, my life has finally settled school wise. I made the decision to drop a class. You see, I only need one (1) class to complete my credit requirements, so why make myself crazy busy when not necessary? I am enjoying the stress free time! ;o)

This is where I am stuck, on my hand embroidery project. The outline of the pumpkin calls for the fly stitch. Many of you were kind enough to provide me with a link that offered a visual instruction on the stitch. However, I just can't seem to wrap my brain around the process. So, I have put the project aside until I figure this out.

One thing I did learn was not to use a Sketch and Wash pencil. My design has been fading! You see, I'm fearful of using a Pigma pen in case I make a mistake tracing. How will I be able to correct it? I figured that by using a washable pencil, I would be able to eliminate my tracing mistakes. Perhaps a regular pencil would work better. Then again, maybe I need to work on my tracing skills. lol

On the quilting front!

I have completed all of the blocks for our daughter's "winter quilt". I do like the fabrics, so rich looking!

Stephen feels that it's not juvenile enough for our daughter. His reasoning is that by the time she is old enough, the quilt will be used up and I'll have made another one more her age. I don't know! The thought of making a childish winter quilt just doesn't appeal much to me. At least not with the fabrics I have seen thus far!

Perhaps I should pay more attention to Yuletide fabrics that are geared for the younger crowd! I do have enough fabrics left to make it a tad bigger! I'll see!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day every one!

Friday, October 12, 2007

What a week!

What a great quilting week it's been! Wednesday was our guild meeting, Champlain Valley Quilter's guild of New York. We had a guest speaker, Karen Eckmeier from The Quilted Lizard. She is such a dynamic speaker, humorous and full of energy. I enjoyed listening to the stories associated with her creations, how she arrived at a particular design. Her work is beautiful to see!

Afterwards we headed it off to Merons, a bar down the street, for our monthly ritual of music, beer and darts. Since I've been hanging out with Jennifer and Lora, my dart game has drastically been improving. I won a game of cricket and 501. What a life skill I have acquired! lol In our excitement and enthusiasm to have fun, all while I proceeded to improve my dart skills, I didn't get home until 3:00 a.m.

I did get up 3 (three) hours later to get dd on the bus and ready my things for a workshop with Karen Eckmeier.

I attended the Happy Villages workshop that was sponsored by the guild. It was a great class! Karen Eckmeier is quite the entertainment! lol

During the creative process, Karen converses with her quilt. It's quite amusing to watch her demonstrate how she builds her village.

She believes that every quilt you create should make you smile. If you are not smiling, the quilt is not finished!

We were approximately 15 in the class and everyone had a different look to their village. It was fun to watch how the various villages came alive as finer details were added.

In keeping with the spirit of the fall season, I chose to do a Halloween village. Welcome to Spooky Hollow!

It is not finished and I have more details to add to it before I can start machine quilting it.

I will admit, this was really quilting outside of the box for me. I'm not used to ad lib quilting! The process involves cutting your squares into various shapes and building your village from the center outward. There is no structure to this, it's quite abstract.

Thursday evening, my friend Patty came over for our bee. I did warn her of my present sleepless state. She just laughed!

Despite the lack of sleep, it's been a great week! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's not an illusion!

At last, I have begun!

You are not seeing things! Yes it is a hand embroidery project!

The pattern is called Autumn's Harvest Pumpkin by Crab-Apple Hill. I just love their designs.

It is fall and I since I do love pumpkins, what better hand embroidery pattern to begin! I will say I'm a tad rusty. The stitches are not looking as lovely as I would like them to be, but it's a start!

I will admit, I'm a tad lost with some of the terms. Hence why I started with the words and will work my way via the process of elimination.

For the pumpkin outline it calls for a fly stitch. I really have no clue what that is. I'm thinking that it's the stitch that extends from the pumpkin outline. I lent my hand embroidery book by Judith Baker Montano to my mother so I have no reference in which to look.

If you recall mom is supposed to be embroidering the panels on the French Cottage Garden Quilt for my daughter. Wendy has made the same quilt, hence where my inspiration came from, thank you again Wendy. As Kim would say, "there are hidden cost associated with blogging." So true!

All this to say that my mother has not started the panels yet, which were given to her the beginning of June. Hum..... I wonder where I get my procrastination from, but I digress! lol I should just get the book from her so that I can look up terms.

I'm off to attend to some much needed school work. I did take the week off from school, and a lovely break it was.

Back to reality! Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A New Project!

Last week was a rough one for me. I'm feeling much better now especially since I started a new project! ;o) There's nothing like working on something new to help change my frame of mind.

The other day I received my issue of McCalls Quilting magazine and fell in love with the third (3) quilt from the top.

It has always been my goal to have seasonal quilts for each bed in my home. Since DD does not have a winter quilt as of yet, I thought this one would be perfect.

For my quilts designated as "winter quilts", I like to use 100% wool batting. As you know, it can get pretty cold in Upstate New York and living in a house that is more than 150 years old, the insulation factor is no where near those of a newer home. I find wool to be superior on those cold winter nights!

I went looking through my stash and these are the fabrics I came up with. The bottom fabric will be used for the 4 (four) patch square.

I do plan on making the quilt a bit bigger than specified in the magazine. I find it to be a tad small for a twin. Besides, winter quilts always need to be bigger so that you can wrap yourself snug! lol

I do hope you are all enjoying the fall weather. It has been gorgeous in Upstate New York for the past week. It makes it difficult to stay inside!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2007

My aching body!

Stephen is on vacation for the week. Today, being such a gorgeous day, he asked me out on a hiking date! ;o)

It's been a while since I've been on a date with my sweetie. So, I dusted off my hiking boots and we headed south to the Adirondacks.

We did the Poke-O-Moonshine trail, which climbs an eastern Adirondack peak.

The trail is 2.4 miles round trip. Don't let the low miles fool you, it's very steep. You get quite the workout! Who needs a StairMaster when you've got Poke-O-Moonshine! lol

This is not a leisurely hike what so ever. You are continuously climbing upwards, winding around the mountain until you reach the summit. At times, you're actually rock climbing! lol

This is a beautiful view we were privy too!

It was a tad hazy today, so the colours are not as vibrant as I would have liked the picture to be. The view was breathtaking!

Once we had reached our destination, we had a little picnic! Nothing fancy, apple, cheese, crackers and nuts. It was enough to keep us well energized!

After our leisurely lunch, we headed back down the mountain!

Once home, I could barely move my body! I have not exercised since my surgeries and boy do I feel it! Nonetheless, it's a good pain, if you catch my drift! lol

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Autumn day!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The barn!

Thank you so much for your encouragement and thoughtfulness. I'm feeling much better! Today will be spent at a soccer tournament watching my daughter play. It is a beautiful Autumn day and should be a pleasant sit in the sun. I am bringing some hand applique but knowing myself, unless I sit in a corner away from every one, I'll just be chatting with the parents and cheering my baby on! lol As most of you know by now, I can yack! lol

Given that I don't have much quilty things going on, I thought I would share with you the barn.

Tah, dah......

Dad and my brother came down last weekend to put the tin roof on. Stephen had been busy getting the cupola constructed and ready to assembled.

They worked all day Saturday and in the morning on Sunday. Afterwards, they all went sailing on Lake Champlain! A treat well deserved after all their hard work.

Stephen has been busy this week putting the finishing touches. The only thing left to do is to install the doors!

I do like the way he did the windows on each side. The glass panes came from a couple of original windows from our home that were replaced last year.

As for the weather vane, I had originally picked a witch on a broom. Unfortunately, the way it was mounted would not have worked with the cupola.
Since I love anything celestial, a sun, moon and star worked just as well.

There you have it, our barn! It is certainly a nice place for my husband to keep a stash of wood!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day every one!
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