Friday, October 28, 2011

Y’All are the greatest!

I’ve landed safely back on earth after floating amongst the clouds for the past week since receiving my ‘comfort quilts’ from Allie and her world-wide posse.  *wink*

Comfort Quilts

They’ve certainly come in handy over the past couple of evenings when the thermometer dipped to almost freezing overnight here in paradise.  My heartfelt thanks again to everyone for thinking about me during these stressful times.

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The gal who delivers our mail has been busy lately.  Allow me to share with you some of the many gifts that have found their way here from across the world…literally!

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I received some wonderful goodies from Linda who lives in France.

Can you spot the little thimble on the shelf in my studio pictured below?   I’ve tried to highlight it for you.


It is a wooden thimble with a carved replica of the chateau in the town where Linda resides.  How cool is that?

Doesn’t it look right at home with the rest of my sewing memorabilia?


Also included in the package was a sachet that Linda made filled with French lavender which I hung from the door handle to the storage area under the dormer, also in my studio.


Every time I enter, the heavenly aroma of lavender fills the air.

Thank you again, Linda for your wonderful gifts.


You all seem to know me so well.

Stephanie sent me a teeny-tiny pieced log cabin key chain, a Civil War charm pack with 21/2” squares, a hexagon template from Miller’s, a well-known quilt shop in Ohio Amish country and a pattern with three hens representing Rhoda, Ruby and Roxanne…our Rhode Island Red hens…of course!

Perhaps I’ll make a mini quilt using this pattern and allow the ladies to share it in their coop over the winter.  *wink*


Stephanie’s message says it all.  Thanks again, my friend.


My friend Edie (no blog) and I connected quite a while ago and she too knows me very well.  I was so excited when I received this package from her because I just knew it too had to be something wonderful.


I certainly was NOT disappointed!

Don’t you just love this hand made pincushion made from from the softest wool imaginable?  And the pumpkin design?  It doesn’t get much better than this!

You’ve made my heart sing again, Edie.  ♥ ♥ ♥


When this surprise arrived, I was completely taken aback.  Ady from Israel (no blog) knows that I needle cases. 


The needle case was made using Indonesian batiks which are simply gorgeous. Now I just have to figure out what to make from the fabric samples that Ady included…and it has to be something special, that’s for sure!


Thanks again, Ady!

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A short while ago, Kathie was giving away a copy of the “Sew Scrappy” magazine.   I had searched for a copy on our local newsstands but I couldn’t find one anywhere.  How fortunate was I to be chosen as the L-U-C-K-Y winner?

I already congratulated Kathie for making the cover…yep, that’s her scrappy hourglass quilt happily staring back at us…and I’ve decided that my next quilting endeavor is also going to be a scrappy hourglass quilt.

Thanks for the ‘inspiration’, Kathie. (Kathie’s blog is called, “Inspired by Antique Quilts.”)


Slowly but surely I am making progress on my ‘hit-and-miss’ hooked rug.  I’ve only been working on it at our Tuesday hook-ins and haven’t worked on it at all at home.  

So many projects and so little time! 


I’ve always been an early riser but take a guess at what I was doing at 6:00 this morning? 

Doesn’t everyone make chicken soup at that time? 


By 7:37 a.m. (see the clock on the stove?), lunch was ready.

Can you guess what Mr. Painted Quilt had for breakfast?

You guessed it!    (If he reads this he is going to kill me.)


But I put my foot down when it came to Stephanie’s Sour Cream Apple Squares.  I told him that he had to wait at least until lunch time before diving into these.


And just to tease you a little, isn’t this Victorian Christmas toile fabric awesome?  This is the back of my next FFF (First Friday Freebie) which will be released next Friday, the 4th of November.

Now that lunch and dessert are made, you know what I’ll be working on this afternoon.  Next Friday will be here before we know it.


Have a wonderful day!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

I was speechless…really!

I can count one one hand the number of times that I've been rendered speechless, and yesterday was one of them.  Allow me to explain.

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A box arrived yesterday morning but I was not at home when the mail lady pulled into our driveway, so Mr. Painted Quilt signed for it. When I got home, he ‘forgot’ to tell me that a package had been delivered simply because he thought it was filled with more junk stuff that I had ordered and he was hungry.

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When the after dinner clean up was finished, I went up to my studio and saw a large box sitting on my cutting table.  My initial reaction was, "What is this?  I don’t remember ordering anything.”  Only after seeing the return name and address did I realize that it must be the 'surprise' Allie emailed me about last week to say that ‘something’ was on it’s way.

I asked Mr. PQ if he would carry the box downstairs for me and when I said that it was a gift from one of my blogging friends, he decided to stay to see what was inside.  He likes to share in my excitement whenever I receive a RAK in the mail and I guess the size of the box got the better of his curiosity this time…mine too, if the truth be known.

Upon opening the box, this is what we found inside.


Not one but two huge wrapped parcels!


I did NOT need to be persuaded to tear into the packages.


After seeing what was inside…two quilts, a tote bag and several cards and notes…I started to sob.  I explained the significance of the gifts to Mr. PQ and when I noticed the tears starting to roll down his cheeks, we both stood in the middle of the floor hugging each other and cried like babies for how long I don't know but our eyes were red and swollen when we finally stopped.

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Both quilts were assembled and quilted by Allie from blocks that she collected from fellow bloggers throughout the world.  They are made in my favorite colors…variations of red, ‘white’ and navy…and one quilt is slightly larger than the other.

Here is the larger, Frankie-approved one displayed on our bed…


and the smaller one on the bed in our guest bedroom.


A simple thank you just doesn't seem to cut it but that is the only sentiment I can put into words at this moment simply because even a day later, I am still so overwhelmed.

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I can't begin to imagine the time and effort that Allie put into this project and I don't know how I can ever repay her kindness, thoughtfulness and sense of compassion.  I am totally blown away.

Allie also included a card with a list of the names from everyone who contributed a block.  I recognize many names and the others are from blogging friends I haven’t had the pleasure of communicating with as yet.


Thank you, thank you, thank you all so very much!

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Through tears, Mr. PQ and I read each and every block together as well as every card.  He and I have already decided that the money Allie included with the gifts will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.  

Our winters can be cold in Canada and the quilts will come in very handy to snuggle under while stitching or reading.  Because there are two of them, I even might consider sharing one with Mr. PQ !   *wink*

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Once again, a simple 'thank you' seems so inadequate. These are the most heart felt gifts that I have ever received and I want you all to know that I am forever grateful and will never, ever forget what you have done.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Musings

I L-O-V-E making mini or doll-sized quilts.  Not only are they fun to do but the feeling of satisfaction is divine and the instant gratification is exactly what I need. 

I sewed the last stitch into the binding of this mini pinwheel quilt about thirty minutes ago and just had to stage this little vignette in order to take the picture.


I used only scraps from my stash and hand quilted it.  I find the rocking motion when quilting by hand very soothing and can thoroughly lose myself in the process.

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The binding is also made from leftovers. 

Whenever I have to bind something, I always make a little extra and save the leftovers in a jar to eventually piece together for a project that would merit a scrappy-look binding.  This was one of them! 

With two swaps coming up, this little guy will soon be making its home somewhere else in the world.


I picked up these potted mums at the supermarket yesterday because the color intrigued me.


I have never seen orange mums…and the centers are green!  How appropriate for fall decorating.

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I finally found my mini lights and decided to add them to the trencher on top of the fireplace.

Don’t you just love the subtle, gentle glow?


I L-O-V-E fall!


Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, October 10, 2011

My day(s) in the kitchen…and studio.

It started on Saturday when my friend Julia (no blog) gave me these two beauties, freshly picked from her garden.


Initially, it was my intention to make a zucchini bread with one and a stuffed zucchini with the other.  Unfortunately, neither was large enough for stuffing so I decided to improvise as you’ll see below.


I don’t recall where I got this recipe for zucchini bread but I can assure you, it’s yummy.  If you’d like to give it a try, you can find the recipe below.

I like to gather all the ingredients first.


I shredded one of the zucchinis and found that I’ll have enough to make 6 loaves.  This particular recipe makes two loaves so I took what I needed and divided the rest to freeze.


Ta da!  The best tasting zucchini bread you’ll ever taste…and moist too!


Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.


Zucchini Bread

3 C flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 tsp cinnamon

3 large eggs

1 C vegetable oil

2 1/4 C white sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 C grated zucchini

1 C chopped walnuts

1 C golden raisins

1. Grease and flour two 8” x 4” loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.  Stir in zucchini, nuts and raisins until well combined.  Pour batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for 40-60 minutes or until tester in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on rack for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.

Note: If you use glass loaf pans as I did, it increases the cooking time by 30 minutes.


While the zucchini loaves were baking, I decided to check out some of my favorite blogs.  Lo and behold, Stephanie from Loft Creations posted a recipe today for crock pot apple sauce. 

I’d never heard of apple sauce made in a crock pot and after reading the directions, I decided to give it a whirl.  It just so happens that I bought a basket of apples at our local farmer’s market on Saturday.

Once again, I gathered all the ingredients…


then peeled the apples…


and cored them.


I saved the peels and cores to give to Rhoda, Ruby and Roxanne…our three Rhode Island Red hens…to give them as a snack when I go out to the barn to collect their eggs.


It took about 20 minutes of prep time.


While the apples were stewing, the aroma was intoxicating.


An hour and a half later… voila!  Fresh, yummy applesauce! 

Guess what’s going on my toast tomorrow morning?

If you’d like the recipe, just click on the link to Stephanie’s blog highlighted in red above.


While the loaves and applesauce were cooking, I made a meat-based tomato sauce.  The dish on the left has thickly sliced zucchini in the bottom topped with the sauce.   I saved some of the meat mixture for the stuffed green peppers on the right and then topped them with the tomato sauce.

Dinner is ready!  And for dessert…


this pumpkin pie that I made yesterday.


And just so this post is not entirely about food, believe it or not, I did manage to get some cutting and piecing done yesterday. I signed up for a mini quilt swap on Kathleen Tracy’s Small Quilt Talk board and thought that I’d get a jump start on it. 


The top is done and now comes my favorite part…the hand quilting…which I’m hoping to start tomorrow.


I probably should have spent the last two days working outdoors because the skies have been blue and sunny with record temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s.  Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…right?    *wink*