Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trying to “Deck the Halls”

The weekend has been a quiet one spent at home sewing, knitting, rearranging a few things and T-R-Y-I-N-G to decorate for Christmas.  Read on and you’ll understand why…and it isn’t Mr. Painted Quilt’s fault either.

My vintage poinsettia quilt is now in it’s proper place…on our bed.


If you don’t recall the story behind this quilt, you can read about it here

Just scroll down through all the blather towards the latter part of the post to find out how it wound up in our home.


The hand quilting is impeccable and the appliqué work is absolutely stunning.


As of this morning, it will remain on our bed until the holidays are over, after which time it will be stored away in my quilt cupboard until this time next year.

I am so happy that this quilt ‘found’ me!


While I was changing the bedding and quilts this morning, we decided to add a little sitting area to our bedroom as well.  All we need to add is a little side table and light.


Yesterday, I gathered some fresh pine and fir boughs from the woods at the back of our property and made this little arrangement.

It was intended to be the centerpiece for our dining room table but Frankenstein Frankie just couldn’t get used to it there. Every time we introduce something new into our home, he becomes obsessively neurotic about it and meows incessantly.


Talk about a creature of habit!

So I decided to place the trencher that usually sits on top of the mantel on the dining room table instead and although this upset him, I think he’s finally accepted it.  He’s never been on the mantel and I’m hoping that it stays that way.


I was a little concerned about the miniature live poinsettia plants but after a few loud “NO’s” he finally got the message.

It looks like I’m going to have to cut down on my decorating for this year…after all,  he’s only eight months old and is still a kitten.   Hopefully by next year he’ll have outgrown his neuroses.  


We’re not snowbound any longer!

Here’s a picture of Mr. PQ shovelling the driveway after the storm on Thursday morning while talking to one of our neighbors.


By Saturday afternoon the temperature had risen to 60F…


and it’s almost all gone today. 

The weather forecast is for mild weather over the next five days with some rain as well so I think that nary a trace of the white stuff will be with us by week’s end.


I’m making some progress on Mr. PQ’s socks…


but found that I was more interested in sewing some Christmas gifts on my Featherweight, which meant that I had to do a little reorganizing in my studio.


So I shuffled some things around…


and guess who was right there supervising and moaning the entire time?


Is there such a thing as a cat psychiatrist?  I think Frankie needs some help and no, it’s not just the curiosity thing.  But ya gotta love him.


So, as far as ‘decking the halls’ goes…let’s just say that things are on hold for now.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Guess what it’s been doing all day?


The photo above is a view out our back door to the barn in the distance and the next one is to the outbuilding where the Christmas decorations still remain.


Now wouldn’t it have been easier to bring them in when when I suggested instead of waiting until there was 6” of snow on the ground with more to come?  Men!


I wasn’t brave enough to venture outside so the above photo was taken from inside our summer kitchen looking out the window in a north-easterly direction towards the other two barns.  Looks like Mr. PQ will be doing some shovelling tonight.

greenery div

So rather than go out to dinner as we had planned…because today is my birthday…we hunkered down indoors close to the fire…


and I baked a cake!


My friend Ter’e who lives in Florida (no blog) sent me the recipe which I’ve been dying to make. 

What a mistake!

This is the most decadent pound cake that you’ll ever taste and if I’m going to put on five pounds eating it, then you all are too because here’s the recipe.  I dare you to try it!  *wink*

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1-1/2 C butter, softened at room temperature

1-8oz package cream cheese, softened at room temperature

3 C sugar

6 large eggs

3 C all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Do not overbeat.

Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.

Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined.

Add vanilla.

Sift 3 C flour and salt together.  Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating at a low speed just until blended after each addition.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 10” bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter to even it out.

Bake at 300F for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Simply divine…especially with a hot cup of tea.

greenery div

December’s First Friday Freebie is done and I dropped off my postage stamp quilt at Donna’s yesterday to be machine quilted so here’s what I’ll be starting tonight after dinner…


A pair of heavy socks to keep Mr. PQ’s feet warm while he tramps through the snow to fetch the Christmas decorations!  Hee!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.


Monday, November 21, 2011

A little of this and that…

I’ve always been curious about wool felting and when one of the gals from my hooking group offered to teach me how, I jumped at the chance.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it is…and here’s my first attempt.


An old world style St. Nick holding a miniature bottle brush Christmas tree.  He stands about 6” high and is currently taking up residence in a bowl of blueberries on one of the shelves in my studio.   Thanks, Betty!

gingerbreadmen divider

In my last blog entry, I posted the recipe for my Harvest Veggie Casserole and received several emails asking about rutabagas.  To those ‘no-reply’ bloggers,  a rutabaga is a north American-ism for the common turnip. 

Mystery solved!


The order that I placed for the 2-ply, 12 wt Aurifil thread arrived on Friday so you know what I was doing all weekend…


Designing and working on next month’s First Friday Freebie!  December 2nd will be here before we know it!

I can’t tell you how much I this  thread!

gingerbreadmen divider

I am also in the throes of setting up an Etsy shop.  Everything is good to go, save the fact that I’m not happy with the quality of the photos I’ve taken of the items that will be for sale, some of which will be my original First Friday Freebie samples.  As soon as I have some decent images to upload, I’ll announce the Grand Opening!

gingerbreadmen divider

Just this morning, I put to bed all of my fall decorating items until next year. 

How bare everything looks! 

I asked Mr. Painted Quilt if he could bring in the plastic bins labeled “Christmas” from our outbuilding and all I got was the “you’ve got to be kidding” look. 

I know he’ll do it…but in his own time.


And lastly, this is in response to all of you wonderful people who have made inquiries about my health.  

My main focus at this time is to keep both my hands and mind occupied and to stay positive.  I still tire very easily, otherwise, I feel no differently than I did a couple of months ago.  My next PET scan is scheduled for the 12th of December, followed by a meeting on the 19th with the head oncologist to discuss the results. 

Here’s hoping…


Thursday, November 17, 2011

It’s a wrap!

As of about three hours ago, the postage stamp WIP is now a flimsy!  Woo hoo!


I’m absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out.  Man oh man, I thought the piecing would never end but it was worth every hour spent on it.   It’s what I call my six bobbin quilt because that’s how many bobbins it took to complete the top.

Next step?  Call Donna to ask when I can drop it off so that she can work her longarm magic on it.


The quilt top measures 60” x 80”, a perfect size for the layered look which I just love as you can see here in the guest bedroom.


Recognize the quilt?


It’s one of the two cuddle quilts from Allie and her world-wide posse which you can read about here, just in case you missed it.


As soon as I finished piecing the quilt, the clean up of my studio began.  It went from this…


to this…


in about an hour.


And while I was tidying up, I hung a few more mini quilts on the walls.


Whew!  Everything is clean, neat and tidy once again…until I start on my next project which I’m hoping will be very soon. 


I had some veggies left over from our shopping expedition to the Wolfville farmer’s market last Saturday and decided to use them up for dinner tonight.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

A favorite of ours is my ‘Harvest Veggie Casserole’ and this is what it looks like before adding…


the bread crumb topping.


Here it is 40 minutes later, piping hot right out of the oven.


Mr. Painted Quilt has an early meeting tonight so we’ll be eating soon.  

Here’s the recipe, just in case you your veggies as much as we do.

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~ 

Harvest Veggie Casserole

3-4 C diced rutabaga  (fancy name for turnip)

2 C diced carrots

3-4 C diced potatoes

2-3 C squash  (I used butternut)

1 large onion, chopped

5 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 C milk

1 C grated cheddar cheese

1 C bread crumbs

Butter a 3 quart casserole or baking dish.

Place the diced rutabaga, carrots and squash in a large saucepan.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add diced potatoes and onion to the veggies, adding more water if needed to cover.  Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Drain and allow veggies to cool slightly.

In a saucepan and over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter.  Add the flour and stir until well blended.  Stir in salt and pepper then gradually stir in the milk.  Cook stirring constantly until thickened.  Add cheese and stir until melted.

Combine sauce with the veggies and stir gently.  Turn into the prepared baking dish.

Melt 1 tbsp butter and toss with the breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle over the veggies.  Bake uncovered at 350 F for about 35-40 minutes until brown and bubbly.

  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

We’re having ours with fresh pork sausage links.  Yummo!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Market Day

Bright and early this morning, Mr. Painted Quilt, Mac and I headed sixty miles up the valley to to the Wolfville farmer’s market.  Sounds like a fair distance to drive to go shopping, huh?  Well let me tell you, it was well worth the trip.

Does it get any better than this?


All the veggies are locally grown in the Annapolis Valley and are certified organic.  Fresh red potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash, rutabaga, red onions, mini bella mushrooms, sweet potato and brussel sprouts…yummo!

And what about the French olive baguette?  I can’t wait until dinner to dig into all this goodness.  We also picked up a jar of ‘Pepper Garlic Jelly’ from the Tangled Garden booth.  We were given some to sample on a cracker and it was to die for.  Our mouths were still tingling fifteen minutes later!


My postage stamp quilt is progressing.  Eighteen blocks are made…


with thirty more to go.  I’m really liking how it is coming together, especially the ‘scrappiness’.


I also have some news to share with you regarding the 2-strand Aurifil thread that I spoke to you about in my last post.

Laura, the Etsy shop owner, emailed me to say that since my post, she has run out of the red colored thread.  With any luck, she is hoping to receive more sometime next week.  The thread is called 12 wt Bright Redwork #2260.  

Unfortunately Etsy does not allow the product to be shown on the site unless it is in stock so you cannot see the actual red thread but you can see the other colors that are available in the line by clicking HERE.

Here’s a close up of the thread in orange.  If you click on the photo you can clearly see the physical make up of the thread.

Aurifil 12 wt thread

Laura told me that because of the inconvenience, she is going to offer a 10% discount to those who read this and order the redwork thread once it is back in stock.  To qualify for the discount, you must enter the following code when checking out…codered10. 

Good deal, huh?