Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back to Normal and a Thank You

By 10 a.m. yesterday morning, the snow was completely gone.  Hooray!


Everything is back to normal and my gardens are very happy to be basking in the warm sunshine once again.


As a matter of fact, everything seems a lot greener.  We’ve had a relatively dry Spring thus far and I think the gardens welcomed the moisture, even though it came down as snow.


Do you see the tall white birdhouse on the pole?  The housewrens are back again this year building another nest.  They are the cutest birds and I witnessed seven babies leave the same nest last year all within 20 minutes from when the first one spread it’s wings.  I wonder if they are the same ones as last year? 


A few weeks ago Stephanie had a giveaway of some wool and vintage buttons, rick rack and thread.  Well, she had me at the word vintage so I just had to enter my name.  Well guess what?  I won!!! 

Look what arrived yesterday!



And unwrapped…


Scrumptious!  Thank you sooooo much Stephanie. 

I have plans for some of this yummy wool already.  I’m not going to tell you what it is but what I will tell you is that it will be a gift of thanks for one of you who have chosen to follow my blog.  The winner will be selected at random sometime in the future…after I have made the                      .  *wink*

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And today is…

April 27th…right?

Then what’s wrong with this picture???


Yesterday I was weeding and today this!  Yuk! 


The daffodils aren’t too happy…


And this little guy is freezing his patooties. 


There’s even a thin film of ice on top of the water in the bird bath.


Where did Spring go?

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nine Patch Minis

Instant gratification…well, almost.


For the last little while, I have felt ‘quilted out’ and the thought of starting another quilt did not inspire me at all.  Having said that, I have had the burning desire lately to try my hand at minis or doll quilts, so what better time than the present, especially since it’s my friend Lucie’s birthday on the 1st of May and for the last couple of years, we’ve tried to include at least one hand made item with our gifts.

I the look of nine patch quilts so I decided to ‘shop’ in my stash cupboards to see if anything inspired me.  I decided to use my red 19th Century and Civil War fabrics for this particular project.  I even used some turkey reds and decided to go with shirting fabrics for the connecting blocks.


It started out like this…


And I was having so much fun, I ended up with these!


It was just as easy to work on three at once so that’s what I did.  I decided that the most neutral-toned one would be for Lucie.


I finished hand quilting it last night and put the binding on this morning.


The finished mini/doll quilt measures 19” square.  Each block is 3” finished and the border is 2” finished.


I think I could become hooked on making these mini/doll quilts.  There is quite a bit of work involved, especially if they are hand quilted, but the gratification is instant…well almost. 

Not only are they great for display purposes…


They also seem to placate my desire for patchwork and my favorite part…handquilting!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Cleaning

What a job! 

We started on Monday afternoon and spent two hours cleaning and sweeping out our garden shed as well as taking out all the stuff that had been stored away for the winter…patio furniture, yard art, clay pots, hoses, b-b-q…the usual stuff.

Tuesday was a perfect day for yard work.  It was sunny and the temperature was in the mid 60’s.  Four hours later, I had completed the edging and weeding of half the flower beds.  There’s probably still another four hours of work left to do before the spring cleanup is complete.


Because of some health issues I had last year, I didn’t devote the usual amount of time to my perennial gardens as I normally do.  As a result, I have twice the amount of work to do this spring.

I the edges around my beds to be crisp and tidy and weeds and I just don’t see eye-to-eye.  This is the last of four wheel barrows full of edging and garden waste that Mr. PQ will dump near the compost pile at the edge of the woods behind our property.


When we had the unseasonably ‘hot’ couple of days over the Easter weekend, the gardens seemed to come alive over night.  Since then, the growing has slowed down somewhat because of the cool nights and more seasonal daytime temperatures.


Mac is having an early stroll through the garden with me this morning.


Oops!  Think I caught him in a private moment.  Sorry, Mac.


More edging…


And more…


The large bed beyond the one in the foreground as well as the one to the right of the shed are on the agenda for today. 

And then, they arrived!


I think I’ve mentioned before that our property backs onto a cornfield.

The local snow geese are having their breakfast this morning as I’m writing this post.  If only I could attach the sound that is coming from the field because it is deafening.  They sure are noisy eaters and they’ve worked their way to about 20’ from our fence.

They first circled and then started to land about 500’ away.  Click on the photo to see a larger image.


The service must have been excellent because several hundred of their closest friends decided to join them.  There were even  some Canada geese invited to breakfast.


They’re making their way closer.


And here they are about 20’ beyond our fence.


About five minutes after I took the last picture, something must have spooked them because they all took off at once in a path that took them right over our house.  The air was so dense with geese that you could barely see the sky. 


If yesterday was any indication, they should be returning for dinner and a little siesta around 6 p.m. this evening.


 I hear the backyard calling my name so I guess it’s back to the ‘spring cleaning’.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

Bloggers are the greatest!


On Saturday, Mr. PQ and I had some errands to run out-of-town and we arrived back home minutes before the post office was about to close.  I asked Sam to stop so I could run in and check the mail…we live in a very small town where there’s no door-to-door delivery and have to collect the mail from our P.O. box located inside the post office.  Inside our P.O box was a card indicating that there was a parcel inside waiting to be claimed.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I went inside, presented the card and was handed a parcel with a Florida return address.  Karen from Log Cabin Quilter sent me a wonderful surprise RAK.


When Karen blogged about what she had made, I commented about how awesome it was.  My three most favorite things all rolled into one…a pincushion that was made from wool and the subject, an eagle.  I ♥ to paint the American Eagle and I believe I mentioned this in my comment which Karen obviously picked up on.  The next thing I know, it’s in my mail box!  Woo hoo!

Here’s a close up of Karen’s pincushion next to a box with an eagle I painted that I use for special keepsakes.


Karen lives about 120 miles north of where we used to live for 15 years in south Florida.  If only we knew each other then because our tastes are very similar.  We could have done a lot together to support the local economy…right, Karen?  *wink*  And did you notice the card with the double wedding ring quilt pattern?  Cool, huh?


Thanks again, Karen…from the bottom of my heart.  Oh, and did I mention…

Bloggers are the greatest!

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Winners…"Just Because"

Thank you all for taking the time to enter my “Just Because” give away.

Generally I respond to all of your comments individually but I think that “Just Because” each of you shared a similar message, I will take the liberty of addressing everyone here under one banner. 

In your own little way, you all have made my life just a little bit brighter by taking the time to stop by my blog and to visit for a while.  A special thanks to those who take the time to leave a comment, and  to those who read my ramblings and are either too shy or feel that they have nothing to add, thank you as well.  You ALL are important to me.


A few moments ago, my buddy, Mr. Random Generator , picked the following winners…

The notions box goes to Cathi, from Quilt Obsession and the needlecase to Jane, from Jane’s Fabrics and Quilts



Jane and Cathi, could you please email me with your snail mail addresses so I can get your goodies out to you this week.


Thanks again for participating and as always…

Happy stitching!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

“Just Because”

Now and again I like to press the ‘pause button’ and to take the time to reflect upon some of the recent happenings in my life.  Without making this post soppy and philosophical, I would just like to say that I have much to be thankful for…friends, family, a comfortable life and reasonably good health.  Can one ask for much more?


I feel good and I’d like to share that feeling so I’m having a giveaway…”Just Because”.   All you have to do to be entered is to leave a comment at the end of this post but please make sure that I can contact you by email otherwise someone else’s name will be selected to replace yours.  If you are set as “no-reply” then please include your email address when you leave your comment.  Everyone is invited to participate and I will ship internationally.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So without further ado, here’s what I’m giving away.  “Just Because” it’s Spring, how about a notions box that I designed and painted?


The inside…notions not included…sorry.


And I’m also giving away one of the string needlecases that I made for Stephanie’s challenge…”Just Because”.


The inside…


And to recap…


The winners will be selected on Sunday the 18th…”Just Because”

Until then…

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥

EDIT:  Many of you are coming up as 'no-reply' bloggers.  Perhaps you are not aware that you have set yourself up that way.   I will not be able to respond should you be selected as one of the winners.  To check your settings,  go to your dashboard. Click on Edit Profile.  Tick 'show my email address'.  Then don’t forget to Save Profile.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


We picked the warmest Spring weekend on record when we went on our shopping excursion to Syracuse, NY over the Easter weekend.  On Friday afternoon the temperatures skyrocketed to 87F… the day I picked to visit my very first ever needlework shop.  Yikes!


A Stitcher’s Garden is located in Fayetteville, NY, a suburb of Syracuse.  The shop is located in the Canal Barn across the street from part of the old Erie Canal.  While I was inside doing major damage at the cash register, Mr. PQ took Mac, our Westie, for a  long walk on the scenic footpaths that line the canal.

*Insert…my apologies for having forgotten my camera at home, hence no photos. 


When I walked into the shop, I think I was overwhelmed in the same way as when I experienced my first “real” quilt shop.  I didn’t know where to look first.  I had made a list of some of the things I wanted before I left home but of course the list went by the wayside as soon as I stepped over the threshold.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

First, I started with the gazillions of stitching patterns.  I samplers and  thought that I had stumbled upon sampler heaven.  After getting a taste of some of the Adam and Eve themed samplers on some of my favorite stitching blogs, I decided that I too must have one.  My only problem is that one is a word that doesn’t seem to exist in my vocabulary.  *sigh*


This was the first one I found.  Since I was already there, I of course had to purchase the linen and silk threads with which to complete the project.


The second “must-have” was  of Eve by herself.  Adam must have been elsewhere ‘sampling’ apples.  The gal offered to kit this one for me as well.  How could I refuse?


The third and final chart was a primitive style sampler that I kept returning to so I guess it wanted to come home with me.  You now know the drill.


I now have lots of choices to keep both my hands and mind busy. 

My BBD needle case was stitched using Crescent Colors floss which I absolutely loved.  I decided that for my next project, I’d like to try silk.  Just the feel of the silk was absolutely divine and I can’t wait to start my next project.  After experiencing the ease and beauty of stitching with the CC floss, I think it’s going to be difficult for me to use DMC again.  I’m wondering what will happen after stitching with silk?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

While the gal was kitting the three projects for me, I of course had the opportunity to browse.  Oh my…big mistake!


My scissor addiction hadn’t received a “fix” in a while so I definitely needed some new ones.  Besides, I didn’t have a black pair.

Then there was a cute silver magnetic needle minder…

And a strawberry mother-of-pearl thread keeper…

And some scissor tip protectors…

And some #26 John James stitching needles…all carried home in a plastic zippered project envelope.


Apart from some mini quilts that I’m really looking forward to and my on-going FFF designs, I think I’m going to be content with working on smaller, hand-held projects for the next little while.  At the present time, I feel ‘quilted out’.

Have you ever felt that way?  I absolutely all the quilts I’ve made over the past couple of years but the desire to dive into another one right now just isn’t happening.  I have enough fabric to last a lifetime but does that mean I won’t purchase any more?  I doubt it.  Will I ever make another full sized quilt?  Positively…but not in the immediate future.


Do you know what showed up in my mail box the other day?  A flyer listing all the summer courses being offered at a local community college.

And do you know what one of the week long courses is? 

Rug hooking! 

I’ll leave you guessing…*wink*

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥