Sunday, December 30, 2012

The weather outside is frightful...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa remembered to stop by your house.

Mr. Painted Quilt and "the boys" and I spent a very quiet Christmas this year.  

We were supposed to go away to spend the holidays with friends close to where we used to live but had to cancel our trip at the last minute because of the weather.  It's a good thing we did because large amounts of the white stuff not only fell on the day we were scheduled to depart but also on the day we were to leave for home.  Our travel plans are now postponed until the Spring.

Speaking of snowstorms, as I write this, we are experiencing a nor'easter with high winds and lots of snow.  I tried to take a picture of what is happening outside but because of the drifting snow, I couldn't open the back door.  

This is what it looks like through the window in our mud room.  There's no way I'm going to venture outside until it stops.

The storm started last night around midnight and when it's all over sometime later this evening, 15" to 20" of snow will have fallen.  It's going to take a while to dig out from this one.

"The weather outside is frightful..the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go... 
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

While Frankie and Ollie were baking snoozing in front of the fire...

I managed to finish making four needlecases.  

Each one has an appliqued wool flower on the front...

and a couple of pockets inside to hold those needfuls that we can't do without.

They wouldn't be complete without a wool needle keep, would they?  To fasten them closed, just tie the two black ribbons into a bow and they're good to go.

When open, they measure approximately 8" x 7".  Each one comes with a label certifying that they are an original design and are made by me.

I will be selling them on a first-come, first-served basis for $30 each which includes postage and handling to anywhere in the world. To avoid any confusion or misrepresentation, the contents as shown in the above photo are NOT included.  

If you're interested in purchasing one, just email me directly and I will send you a Paypal invoice.

All four needlecases have been sold and are en route to their new homes.  Thank you.  

And just in case you're wondering, it's still snowing and blowing.  Yikes!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

With the season for love and sharing upon us and the end of the year in sight, I wish you and everyone you love peace, health and happiness. 

May God bless those who are not as fortunate as we are.  

My greatest wish is that people from all religions and walks of life be able to put their differences aside and come together to live in peace and harmony.

You've all been my rock over the past year and I am forever grateful.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maybe...just maybe...

We'll have a white Christmas after all!

According to the weather forecast, this was supposed to be rain...

I don't know how much snow we're supposed to get but they were saying that places about 40 miles up the Valley from us could get as much as 8-10".  

This is heavy packing snow, the perfect kind for building snowmen but I doubt that it will last long because the ground hasn't frozen yet.  But it does look nice, doesn't it?

So what's a gal to do on a day like today when she's stuck indoors?  Why bake some shortbread cookies, of course!

I've already baked one batch but they only lasted two days.  They happen to be Mr. Painted Quilt's favorites.  Okay, I admit it...mine too!  

If you'd like to make some yourself, I promise that this is the easiest, virtually fail-proof recipe for shortbread cookies you'll ever make...and the tastiest, melt-in-your-mouth ones too!  

Here's the recipe!

Shortbread Cookies

1 lb. soft butter
1 C icing or confectioner's sugar
3 C flour
1/2 C corn starch
2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whip for about 10-12 minutes.  Roll dough into a little ball then slightly flatten and place on an ungreased cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  

I placed red and green glazed cherries in the center of mine but you can decorate them however you please.

Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes. Do not overbake.  Allow to cool completely then transfer to your favorite cookie tin.  Makes about 50 cookies!

Hint:  You'd better hide them because they won't last long, especially if you have a similar two-legged mouse roaming around your kitchen!

It smells divine in my kitchen!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Happy Saturday everyone!

I would like to thank you all for your kind and heartfelt comments regarding my health update.  Words can't express how much they mean to me.

The winners of my Sunflower pincushions are...

Carin and Ginette.

I'll be sending you both an email to let you know and to also get your snail mail addresses.  I hope you enjoy your pincushions! 

Thank you all for playing along.  I wish I had one to give to everyone.  

I'll leave you with this photo of Frankie and Ollie who not only enjoy each other's company but also their time together in front of the fire.

Only ten more days until Christmas!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Few Things to Share...

First, I'd like to share with you all the best ever, early Christmas present that I've ever received.

Two and a half months ago, the results from the second follow up CT scan were not the greatest.  Without going into the sordid details, there was some increased activity in the lymph nodes in and around the area where I received my radiation treatments.  Not a good sign.  After consulting with the radiation oncologists, my oncologist decided that a PET scan was not the answer but instead would bump up the next scheduled CT scan to two and a half months instead of the usual six months and depending on the results, would decide upon which course to take at that time.

Needless to say, both Mr. Painted Quilt and myself have been a little down in the dumps lately with a lot on our minds.  I had the CT scan last Wednesday and met with my oncologist yesterday for the results.  


The lymph nodes had returned to their normal size which means that the activity was NOT cancer-related. It was explained to me that if it was, they would have either stayed the same or increased in size.  So I've been given a clean bill of health and my next CT scan will be six months from now...the normal time allowed for follow up with most cancer patients.

Now how's that for an early Christmas present?  It's the best one ever and Merry Christmas to me!

Now, I'd like to share with you something that we made at the first anniversary party of the Fundy Tide Quilting Guild last month.  

Our very own sunflower pincushion!  

We had an awesome time at the party and Gail, one of the guild members, prepped enough kits for each of the members in attendance to make their own.

How would you like to make your own version of this too cool and very useful sunflower pincushion?

They are easy-peasy to make and take very little time.  Just follow along and I'll walk you through it, step-by-step.

First, gather together all the supplies.  

You'll need three colors of for the leaves, yellow for the petals and brown for the center.

A 4" clay saucer, the kind that sits under a flower pot.  I bought mine at the Dollar Store and they were 3 for $1.

Heavy duty thread, like hand quilting thread.

A compass, scissors and a hot glue gun.  You'll also need some polyester fiberfil stuffing for the center.

So without further ado, lets get started.

Using your compass and either a piece of plastic or cardboard, trace then cut out a 5 1/2" circle and a 7" circle.  The 5 1/2" circle will be the template for the petals and leaves and the 7" circle will be the template for the center.

On the reverse side of the fabric using the 5 1/2" template, trace then cut out three circles from the green fabric for the leaves and seven circles from the yellow fabric for the petals.

Then cut one circle from the brown fabric using the 7" template for the center.

For each of the green leaves and yellow petals, fold the fabric in half and press.

Then fold the fabric in half once again and press.

Repeat for the yellow petals.

You'll then have 3 green folded leaves, 7 yellow folded petals and a flat brown center.

With doubled thread, chain stitch each of the three petals about 1/4" down from the raw edge. 

Gather then fasten off.

Hot glue the leaves to the inside of the clay dish.  Try to space them evenly.

Repeat this step for the petals only this time...

do not break the thread between petals but continue with each of the remaining petals to form a continuous circle, then fasten off.

Hot glue the petals to the inside of the clay dish, distributing them evenly.

With the brown circle, sew a running stitch around the entire perimeter about 1/4" in from the raw edge.  Leave enough thread at either end to use for gathering the circle.

Gather then stuff with polyester fiberfil.  Tie the two ends of the thread together to fasten off.

Hot glue to the center of the clay dish and voila!  Your very own sunflower pincushion!

Or two...

Or three!  

It's just as easy to make two or three at the same time while you're at it.

If you need a quick gift for one of your sewing friends, these would be perfect.

Or how about a hostess gift during the holidays? 

They look much more complicated than they actually are and everyone will be asking how you made them.

If you'd like to win one, just let me know in your comment and I will ship internationally.  

Please ensure that your settings include your email address and that you are NOT set as a "no reply" blogger.  If I cannot reach you by email then you will automatically be excluded from the draw.

I will draw two winners on Saturday, December 15th.


Friday, December 7, 2012

First Friday Freebie #32

Can you believe it's December 7th already and the First Friday of the month? Before we know it, the 25th will have come and gone for another year.

It's been three months since my last First Friday Freebie and much has been accomplished in my sewing studio during that time.  I've managed to finish two Christmas quilts which I'm thrilled about...not to mention a few other projects as well.

While making the Christmas quilts, the inspiration for this month's FFF came about.  You all know I love samplers, stitching, wool-on-cotton applique and piecing...and the more vintage looking and scrappier the better!

Do you remember this photo from two posts ago where I showed you our sitting room decorated for Christmas?

Look a little closer...

Did you happen to notice the quilt hanging on the wall going up the stairs?

That is this month's FFF and it's called, "Twas the Night Before Christmas"!

Here are a few close ups because the lighting was not the greatest when I took the photo.

My friend Alice custom quilted this one for me as well.  Didn't she do another amazing job?  

I think this little guy might just be my favorite FFF to date.  

Thanks again, Alice for doing such an amazing job with very little notice and in a very short turn around time.

To download the PDF file with the instructions, line drawings and photo, please click HERE.

I'll leave you with this photo of Ollie and Frankie chilling by the fire early this morning.  Aren't they just too much?

Best friends!
I hope that you enjoy making Twas the Night Before Christmas as much as I did.  Enjoy!