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!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Neighborly thing to do ....!

Saturday was a busy day for me in the kitchen. Not only was I hosting a luncheon for our neighbours, who had sadly lost their home to a fire (You can read about here - The Sound of Horror!), but I decided that I was also going to make a baguette (French bread).

Back in July 2017, I took a class at the King Arthur Baking School and decided that it would be high time I recreated the bread.

I made my poolish (pre-ferment) Friday evening! I even used my new toy, a proofing bread box! By the way, works great!

By early Saturday morning, this is what my poolish looked like!

What a beauty! Smelled wonderfully!

Sadly, even though I had been up since 7 am preparing for my day, I did not allot the whole bread making/baking process enough time to have the bread ready for the luncheon.

The luncheon went great, the menu consisted of my homemade vichyssoise soup (leek and potato soup) with cold cuts, cheese and various sandwich breads but no homemade bread for the soup! Oh well!

However, the bread was ready by dinner time, which worked out great as eggplant Parmesan with home made pasta was on the menu!

Let's just say that I wasn't impressed with my ability to shape a baguette. The new steam technique I had learned worked great! The bread had a nice crust!

Luckily, the bad shaping did not affect the taste of the loaf! lol It was yummy!

On Sunday, I went to visit my mum in Montreal and brought the second loaf for our family dinner. No left overs what so ever and lots of wonderful comments!

Now, if I can just get my shaping worked out!

Catch you all later! Cheers!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Check mark on the Bucket list ...!

Do you have a bucket list? I sort of do. There are lots of things that I would like to experience, and slowly but surely, they are taking place. What a great feeling!

In a prior life I studied photography. At the time I was working full time and wanted to go back to school. I decided to study professional photography at the Dawson Institute of Photography in Montreal, Quebec Canada. Although I enjoyed photo journalism, I knew that I was not cut out for the life of a news photographer. It's an insane job, well in a big city it is. You must be available at all time. The news waits for no one!

Unlike some of my colleagues in the program, I continued with my career at the time while they went off to photograph what was happening in the world. There was always this part of me that would have liked to have a photograph in print.

My time has finally come. Voila!

The Press Republican, a local newspaper, printed my photo along with an article on the fire.

The Sun, which is a free publication in our area, published two different photographs I had taken of the fire.

Having now experienced being in print, I can now check that off the bucket list! ;)

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wool Tutorial - Tulip Gathering

I wanted to share some of the knowledge I gained from working with the Tulip Gathering penny rug pattern. The project involved lots of pieces that had to be evenly distributed.

The first thing I did was fold my background piece in half twice, creating center points. This also provided me with the four (4) sections that I would be working.

To center your wreath, use your center cut out, fold it in half twice and match the folds of your background. I neglected to take a photograph at the beginning of my placement, but you get the idea from this picture.

Then, I positioned the four (4) stems in their proper sections and their two (2) leaves. I stitched the stems and then the leaves in place prior to proceeding further.

The stems were positioned using the technique I mentioned in a prior tutorial, Wool Tutorial - Silent Night, pining from the back.

Once all four (4) stems were stitched, I was then able to work in sections, centering everything within that section.

Because I was going to cross stitch the stems, I first stabilized them by using the button hole stitch and one (1) strand of DMC floss.

The stems now stabled made it easier for me to concentrate on the cross stitch without having to worry about the stem going wonky!

Once all the sections were completed, the wreath was the next piece to stitch. I used the center cut out to make sure that everything was circular and pinned it in place.

I'm ready to stitch!

The tulips were positioned two (2) inches from the edge using a ruler.

I should mention that when I am working with wool on wool, I do not use a fusible web. I pin my pieces in place using my favourite pins - Applique Glass Head Pins size 12 - 3/4 inch from Clover (231CV).

I just love these little pins and use them for all my applique needs! You can find them at your local quilt shop.

I hope you find this information valuable. Catch you all later!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The sound of horror ...!

Woke up around 3:15 a.m. to the sound of fire engine sirens.  A frightening sound in any neighborhood but more particularly in ours, as we are graced with beautiful historic homes dating back to the 1800's. I looked out of my quilting studio window and couldn't see anything but reflections of flashing lights. It wasn't until I checked the hallway window that I quickly saw what was going on. One house over from mine is where the fire was.

In shock, my photojournalism education kicked in, I quickly grabbed my camera, dressed up for arctic weather and headed outside to take photographs. The fire started in the back of the building where the furnace was located.

Sadly, it didn't take long for the fire to spread to the main part of the house into the third floor.

Things took a turn for the worse when the cupola engulfed in flames spreading like wild fire. At times, it was scary to watch.

The fire fighters were present from many surrounding districts.

That's how it is in our area, the volunteer fire department all help one another. Given the scope of the fire, the Champlain volunteer fire department was assisted by Altona, Mooers, Ellenburgh Depot, Ellenburgh Center, West Chazy, Beekmantown and Rouses Point and later on Cumberland Head and Plattsburgh District 3. From Vermont they had Alburgh and Alburgh Center. From Quebec, Canada,  Hemmingford, Lacolle, St Paul and St Bernard volunteer fire department were present.

In a desperate attempt to save the historical structure, the fire was approached from all angles.

The Plattsburgh District 3 brought in one of their state of the art, well that's what it looked like to me who has no clue about fire truck specs, huge ladder bucket truck. The water stream was so powerful that it actually looked like it was blowing the fire out as it doused it with water!

The beautiful historical house belonged to Jeff and Renee. They purchased it approximately a year ago with lots of dreams and determination. They had been working on it for the past year, slowly bringing it to a state where they would eventually move in.

Sadly, this beautiful home is now a total loss.

View from the rear of the house


As you can imagine from the number of volunteer fire departments that responded, my street was blocked. It wasn't until 11:00 a.m. that I was able to leave for Lakeside Coffee, our local coffee shop. I needed to get away for a bit, clear my mind.

Given the gazillion gallons of water that was used to extinguish the fire, our street was a mess. Sadly, this is what I witnessed half way down the street, a propane truck stuck in the ditch.

It sure has been a busy day for the Champlain Volunteer Fire Department.

My heart goes out to Renee and Jeff. They are such wonderful and beautiful souls.  Such a loss for them and our community.

A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteer fire fighters who battled arctic temperatures for hours. I am so grateful for your service and dedication.

Thank you for stopping by my little corner in cyber space.

Monday, January 15, 2018

We have a finish!

Brrrr! We're back to arctic temperatures! We also had a beautiful snow storm last weekend! I love the pattern the snow made on the bathroom window.

I've been really good at staying focused and away from ... SQUIRRELS! lol

After I completed Old St Nick I decided to work on Tulip Gathering, a pattern from Primitive Gatherings.

I started this project back in June 2015. This is what I found.

Very little was done on it. So, I rolled up my sleeved and went to work. As you can imagine, after many hours of work ... we have a finish!

It certainly turned out to be a much more complex penny rug than I would have thought. I have learned lots from it and I will be sharing my knowledge in a future tutorial.

I do love how it turned out. It is a stunning piece!

Announcement from Perfectionist Anonymous:

Hello, my name is Carole and I made a mistake on this project. There's a missing piece!!!!

Not that you would ever know, unless that is, you looked at the pattern and did some counting.

The mistake!!! ARGGGGG!

Found on my cutting table hiding under a pattern. I think a Sprite hid it when I wasn't looking. I recall counting the number of tongues before I started pinning them in place to stitch, and the number was correct. Hum ....

Am I taking it apart?  Heck NO! No one will know, unless, that is, you're a tattle teller! lol So, shush, let's keep this our secret! ;)

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Still on the UFO trail!

Now that the holiday celebrations have come to an end, I'm back on the UFO completion project. I am pleased to report that I have completed another wool project.

The pattern is called Old St. Nick by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  I purchased this kit back in 2009 from the Quilted Crow. This was before Fibre Junction invested in wool.  I wanted to see if it would be a medium I'd  enjoyed working with.

At the time, I was torn with the idea of using a fusible on wool.  I've never been a fusible kind of gal and wanted to stay away from the stuff.

In the UFO project bag was one Santa robe with glue on it. Probably an attempt to have the pieces stick to the wool.

Obviously a failed attempt, as I broke down and used Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite on the other four Santa's robes and arms!

It is actually the first time I worked on a wool project that had so many small pieces.

When I work with small pieces, I use one strand of DMC or Cosmo floss. I find that the size 12 Valdani pearl cotton is much to large and tends to rip up the pieces.

For the trees, I didn't like the wool the Quilted Crow had included, so I changed it to what you see.  Both green wools are from Primitive Gatherings! They do have gorgeous hand dyed wool!

Another photo with a decorations!

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

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