Friday, December 29, 2017

Wool tutorial - Silent night-Holy Night

I thought I would share some of the techniques I learned while attempting to finish the wool project Silent Night-Holy Night.

In order to stitch the word exactly as written by the pattern designer Jan Speed (It was nicely written), I used a water soluble stabilizer called Transfer-Eze.

Photocopied the pattern on the sheet, stuck it on the wool piece and stitched. Once completed, I rinsed it off and let the wool piece dry. Voila! Perfect word transfer!

The skinny pole (less than an 1/8 of an inch) that the snowman is holding was held back by Clover applique pins (my favourites). I worked from the front, making sure the skinny pole was straight and pinned from the back.

This is what it looks like from the front.

I did an X stitch to hold it in place.

There you have it, a couple of techniques for working with challenging patterns.

Catch you all later!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rising from the UFO wool project stashes!

After my dream crashing episode, I decide to tackle a wool penny rug project I started back in 2012. It was the year I started working with wool and didn't know any better. For one thing, the designer did not mention that the pattern templates were not reversed! I also used Steam-a-Seam 2 lite, which I absolutely detest! I find it hard to needle, it doesn't even adhere to the wool background AND it gums up my needle!!!

So there I went tracing the pieces on fusible ... what a BIG mistake, not to mention a waste of hand dyed wool ... so I tossed it aside (out of sight our of mind) and worked on another one of her patterns called  Two Prim Snowman, which became the last time I used Steam-a-Seam 2 lite. Not sure what is "lite" about it but my fingers are forever more thankful that I no longer use the product.

The pattern is called "Silent Night-Holy Night" by Jan Speed from A Piece of Work. I do love how it turned out!

Silent Night!

Holy Night!

Not all was calm!!! The useless pieces!

And yes I had to buy new wool! Yes, I learned quite a bit! I am glad it is done! I truly love it! A wonderful new addition to my folk art decor collection!

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you all later!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Ho, Ho, Ho!

I'm all set for Santa, are you?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Coming to my senses .... just a bit!

The other day, I fell in love with this cute little quilt called Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas by Lori Holt from Bee in my Bonnet.

This woman has cuteness overload going on. Everything she touches is cute! I fell in love!

Pulled out from my stash this fat quarter tower, Little Joys by Elea Lutz, that I have been safekeeping for quite some time, which actually turned out to be a half yard tower .... Bonus ... and started dreaming planning!

Not sure what happened next, but I decided to clean organize my Quilting Studio closet. I had a few empty bins from Fibre's closing and thought I would use them to store unfinished wool and hand embroidery projects. Well .... It didn't take long for me to realize that I had bins overflowing! That certainly put a damper on things!

So, the dreaming stopped and I decided to work on the many projects that needed my attention.

Next time you're inspired to create .... DO NOT organize your quilting studio closets!

Catch you all later!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A secret project!

I've been working on a secret project! A quilt for my little Pumpkin who has transitioned from a twin size bed to a full size bed. A perfect excuse to make more quilts. lol

I started this project back in July 2016, had all the flying geese sewn. There it sat patiently, waiting for me to pick it back up. Of course I started other projects in between, because ... that's what most quilters do! It wasn't until early December that I figured I'd better get quilting if I want it under the tree as a surprise for Pumpkin.

I wanted her to have what I call a "winter" quilt; a quilt made using 100% wool batting.  Although it doesn't have the weight, it does have loads of warmth!

I chose the pattern The Christmas Village by Sweetwater.  The main fabric is 25th & Pine by Basic Gray, an older line that I was reluctant to cut into. You know how that is? But I'm sure glad I did!

I added an extra row and column to increase the size. I do love how it turned out.

The machine quilting!

I love everything about this quilt. I may just take it back! lol

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyber space! Catch you later!

Monday, November 27, 2017

It's that time of the year!

Have you noticed that today, there seems to be very little family traditions? I hold dear to my family traditions, as they make the holidays so much more special.

One holiday tradition is making my famous fruit cake!

I like lots of candied fruits, dates and nuts in my cake. No raisins please!

Adding the liquids! Notice all the nuts and candied fruits? Yummy

After they are baked, comes the secret ingredient!

I understand that many do not like fruit cake. Honestly, I've tasted some pretty horrible ones myself. I am very particular about my fruit cake.

My recipe has been a hit with many for the past 20 years. Wow, that's how long I've been baking fruit cake? Impossible!  I'm not that old! ;o)

Catch you all later!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Soups and more soups!

Well, I've been on a cooking spree again! These days, I seem to be addicted to soups and whatnot! It could be due to the cold weather that suddenly fell upon us. No warning ... from gosh it's so nice and warm to Brrrrrrrrr .... I need my winter coat!

I recently bought a cookbook by Domenica Marchetti - The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy

... And decided to make The Crema Di Porcini. Let me tell you, it's a mushroom soup alright! There are five (5) types of mushrooms in there, Porcini, white button, baby bella, large portobello and shiitake mushrooms! What did I tell you? lol

The soup was delicious .... however not an everyday soup, but more for a special occasions. The recipe also called for a dry white wine and some cognac! I did omit the white wine, it didn't make sense to open a bottle just for myself .... wow, did I just type that?! lol

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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Doing some hand stitching!

I think things are settling a bit for me .... I managed to pick up a needle and do a bit of hand embroidery. I love to stitch towels ... once the design is stitched, it's a done deal ... no further piecing needed.

I've been working on the pattern Chick Towels by Yesterday's Charm. Such a cute pattern!

Here is the second set of patterns, seven towels in all!

They are stitched on flour sack towels (28" x 28"). I much prefer this size of towel, they are perfect for drying my wine glasses! ;)

I took an inventory of the towels I presently have. Not included are the numerous ones I have given as gifts!

On the right are the flour sack towels (28" x 28") and on the left the smaller towels (18" x 28"). Hum ... I think I have a good supply for now! lol Oh well, Christmas is coming!

I'm hoping to actually quilt this week. I FINALLY found the pattern I was looking for ... perhaps motivation to turn my sewing machine on!

Catch you all later! Cheers!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cookware ...!

I started collecting and using cast-iron cookware. It is so different from your standard stainless steel pots and pans.

I've owned my Lagostina pots and pan set since 1985 ... and I do love them. I like their heavy bottom, allowing for even heat distribution.

Lately, I have started collecting acquiring some vintage cast-iron pans. My brother is the expert in that field and always seems to find me a lovely piece for my collection at a flea market. Some are quite old. I restore and season them and voila they are ready to go!

Since I cannot seem to find a cast-iron dutch oven that is complete (lots of pots with no lids) I did splurge and bought myself a cast-iron dutch oven to be used mainly for bread baking.

I love the flat cover. I'll be using it mainly as a cloche for artisan bread baking. Speaking of which, I did splurge and bought myself a bread proofer from King Arthur Flour shop. I love that place ... I could spend a day at their Vermont facility!

I haven't had a change to use either one of these new toys. I do hope to soon.

On the subject of cast-iron pots and pans, have you checked out Mary Jane Butters latest book Mary Jane's Cast Iron Kitchen

OMG! What a great book! Exactly how I like my cookbooks ... recipe, instructions, illustrations, a bit of story ... perfect. There is also a section on Cast-Iron Restoration and Maintenance! Another great addition to your cookbook collection!

Thanks for indulging me! Catch you later! Cheers!

Monday, October 23, 2017

More soups on a cold fall day!

I bought myself a cast iron enamel dutch oven from Lodge.

I took it out for a test run and made Lisa Oz's ... Lentils with Chia Seed Recipe. (Click on the name for the recipe).

Love my new dutch oven ... oh and the soup/stew is pretty good, especially with a freshly baked batch of buttermilk tea biscuit.

I like my tea biscuits to have a crisp bottom, so my cast iron pan is perfect for that. The recipe for the buttermilk tea biscuit comes from the book The Animal Farm buttermilk cookbook by Diane St. Clair.

I love that book. I never get tired of reading about her farm life in Vermont. The recipes are pretty good too! A nice addition to your cookbook library.

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you later! Cheers!

Autumn has arrived in Up State New York!

I'm a four season gal! I just love the change of seasons ... to me, it's always a new beginning ... Fall is one of my favourite seasons .... Mother Nature never disappoints.

With fall comes the joys of enjoying warm soups! I love a bowl of soup on a chilly autumn day!

As I mentioned on a prior post, I've been taking/watching cooking classes on the Craftsy platform. This soup is called Cauliflower and Leek Potage with Nut Brown Butter.

The recipe is from the class Building Flavorful Soups with Peter Berley. Great class by the way! I learned lots including how to make nut brown butter. It does add a wonderful flavour to your soups!

The by-product of soup making ....

Not as many discarded vegetables. That's because I have learned in this class that I can freeze the leek leaves to be used in a future stock. I didn't know you could use the ends of the leeks to flavour stocks.

This bag is in the freezer waiting for me to make stock! How clever!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in Cyberspace! Catch you later! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Soup kitchen duty!

I had the opportunity to volunteer at a soup kitchen in Plattsburgh. I will admit, I had always wanted to volunteer but just didn't know how to go about doing it.

The opportunity finally came ... it actually fell on my lap! lol  Here is the picture of our crew.

I'm the one with the fuchsia shirt! The lady on my left, Simone, is the organizer of the group. It was also her first time coordinating and would you believe that the County food inspector stopped by? We passed with flying colours! We cook/serve the third Wednesday of the month.

Here is another group shot! Still working on that fruit salad!

All of these folks had soup kitchen experience! I was trained by the best! Justin, (the red strip apron) actually worked in a soup kitchen in Philadelphia. Quite the different clientele from our small Plattsburgh community.

Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cooking ... a creative outlet!

As most of you know, I must have some form of creative outlet otherwise I go batty! Lately it has not been quilting. I've been puttsing around in the kitchen, cooking up a soup storm!

As of late, I've been taking/watching cooking classes on the Craftsy platform. I'm learning lots of new techniques.

The other day, I made a roasted butternut squash and fennel soup ... and it was yummy!

Doesn't it look delicious?

The recipe is from the class Authentic Italian Soups by Dominica Marchetti. Great class by the way!

I just love soups ... especially during this time of the year. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

A by-product of cooking ... Artistic compost!

I almost didn't want to bring it to the compost bin. It looked so Zen!

What other creative outlets do you enjoy besides quilting?

Thank you for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace! Catch you all later!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I haven't taken a stitch ...!

It is so unlike me to not be creating with needle, thread and fabric. In all honesty, I have been preoccupied with life in general. Lots of decisions to make and new directions to plan out.

One thing I have learned, there is a lot more to closing a business than just attempting to sell your inventory and move out! Lots of odds and end to button up. The experience I am acquiring in invaluable.

On another note, I now have quite the stash! lol

Oh, there is just a bit more in another room, but in all honesty, these are my favourites! Ok, all the fabrics at Fibre were my favourite! lol

I never really quite grasped the notion that I had a lot of inventory, all beautiful inventory, until I decided to close!  Most of it is gone and I am thankful for the customers that helped me liquidate. 

Although I would have liked to have been left with nothing, I can live with some of the left over inventory, just not all of it! 

For those of you who use Etsy and/or eBay, which one would you recommend? Which platform is more successful for you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your comments, they are must appreciated! Cheers!

Friday, September 29, 2017

It's a done deal!

Wow, it is truly official ... Fibre is closed!

It looks so empty!

What a difference fixtures, samples and fabric makes! I see the Fibre touch gone, but the space still holds lots of potential for a new tenant!

As I stood there, it suddenly occurred to me, this is it! 

Thank you to all that were part of the Fibre Junction chapter. It has been quite the adventure. An adventure I enjoyed tremendously and wouldn't trade for anything.

It is now time to begin writing my new life chapter. See you on a new page of the Book of Life!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fibre and its closing ...!

Today is the last "official" day that Fibre Junction will be open.

I had some dear friends drop by at 4:00 p.m. to celebrate a new beginning. Nancy, the shoppe Troll, brought dinner, Cathy brought cake and wine, Mary and Diane were there for the moral support!

It will be quite the change in my life but it is the choice I made.

I am grateful for the eight wonderful years of serving my customers in the quilting industry. Here's to a new chapter in my life! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The time has come ....!

It's official!

The time has come for me to move on to my new pursuit!

You can help me liquidate by visiting the shop, Fibre Junction, or shop online.

All regular in stock items are 30% off.  Minimum 1 yard cuts on the fabric. Shipping will be calculated based on total at regular price. Use code FIBRECLOSING.

Thank you to all who patronized Fibre Junction.

Yours in Fibre,


Monday, August 7, 2017

Learning from my mistakes ....!

Hum ... When it comes to setting quilting goals, I seem to have a difficult time learning from my mistakes.

I finished the quilt Bobbins, which is from that great book 12-Pack Quilts by Me & My Sister. You can read about the blog entry here.

The quilt has been hanging on my design wall for a couple of weeks. Excuse the messy photo!
I used fabrics from Chestnut Street by Fig Tree & Co - Available from Fibre Junction here.

Below is a close up of the block.
Late Sunday afternoon, I decided that I had enough motivation to machine quilt the top. The goal ... hit the sack once it was all machine quilted.
By ... yawn ... 11:30 p.m. it was completed!

Today's goal, machine sew the binding, making it ready for hand sewing! Another of my favourite part of quilting!

What's quilting with you?

Thank you for stopping by my little corner in cyber space! Catch you later! Cheers!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Off on an adventure!

Not sure about the weather where you live but here, in way northeast New York I can see Canada from my house, it has been wet. Lots of rain ... Oh I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.

Sunday, on the spur of the moment, I decided to take a drive to Norwich, Vermont and attend a bread baking course at the King Arthur Flour Baking School. I just love that place .... they have a great store ... I could spend hours perusing .... Oh, and their restaurant has such wonderful bake goods!

Okay ... perhaps I need to back up a bit ....

Woke up early Sunday morning .... checked the courses available at King Arthur Flour Baking School ... saw one that I liked and it wasn't full!!!! That's a sign ... registered .... and took off for a drive!

Of course, it sort of helped that I just bought a new car. What fun it is to take your new wheels out for a long drive in the country ... music blaring .... Heaven!

The class I attened was Beauty and the Baguette.  We made two (2) baguettes. What a great class it was! Here are my results!

Frankly, I'm surprised there were any baguette left over for a photo after a 2.5 hour drive back home!!!!! It was extremely difficult to keep myself from reaching into the bag behind my seat and tear a bite!!!!! It was so yummy!

Once I arrived home, I tested a piece, okay a few more pieces, with butter .... heaven! All I needed was a glass of wine .... but by then I was pretty full! lol

If you have a chance, I would highly recommend taking a baking class at the King Arthur Baking School. I learned lots and I am now comfortable working with a wet dough!

Hum .... this morning I noticed there were crumbs on the rear floor of the car .... I wonder how that happened? LOL

So what's up with you this summer?

Thanks for stopping by! Catch you later!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Another one bites the poussière!

Trying to be humourous here! Poussière is French for dust! Hum ... I wonder how the translator is going to handle that one?!

I'm still going strong on finishing some hand embroidery UFOs. It is such a great feeling when yet another project is crossed off the "LIST"!

This little gem was started January 3, 2016 and the top hand embroidered by January 13, 2016.

There it sat, waiting for me to do something about it! It's a good thing all these projects are patient with me! lol


The pattern is called Raven Claw Mercantile by Crabapple Hill Studios, which is available here from Fibre Junction.

I just love how it turned out. Pumpkin picked out the border fabric! Yes, not only is she a huge Harry Potter fan (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! lol) but she belongs to the Ravenclaw house (founded by Rowena Ravenclaw) ... I just had to stitch it for her!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace! Catch you later! Cheers!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Keep on piecing ...!

Time permitting, I've been plugging away at my UFO hand embroidery list. So many blocks stitched, so little time.

I decided it was high time I tackle the Snowmen & Reindeer blue work quilt by Bird Brain Design, a project I started back in July 2012. The twelve (12) block were completed back in January 2013, there they sat, waiting patiently for me to make something out of them!

This is what the original pattern "should" look like.

You know how it is with us quilters, there's always a need to tweak things up a bit here and there. So I decided to changes things up a bit and work with some of the fabrics I own, you know ... use up that stash! Gasp!

Here is my version of the Snowmen and Reindeer quilt.

It is such a great feeling when you've finished a project on that UFO list!

What have you been up too?

Thanks for stopping by my little corner in cyberspace! Cheers!
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