Friday, March 30, 2012


Just before we decided to go away last week, I had just started on my granny square quilt.  I managed to piece together 5 of the 20 blocks before we left last Wednesday, leaving me with 15 more to do when we got home.


It took me a couple of days to recuperate and unwind from our whirlwind mini vacation before I picked them up again because I’m finding that I still tire easily.

easter chicks

While I was piecing together more granny squares, my 5 year old Rowenta mini iron died.  I guess she decided that she’d had enough and this last tumble from my ironing board would be her last swan dive.  Sadly, she will be making her way to the great iron graveyard in the sky on our next trash day.  *sigh* 

I really liked her.  We were best buddies and she served me well.


I knew that this was eventually going to happen because in her 5 years of service, I think that she must have gone for at least 20 or so tumbles from my ironing board as a result of me tripping over her cord.    RIP, dear friend.

On one of my shopping excursions, I did manage to pick up a ‘spare’ while it was on sale…just in case. 

Well, ‘just in case’ happened yesterday.  She refused to start up again after landing on the floor one last time so I dug through my supply cupboard and pulled out her shiny new replacement.


Pretty snazzy, huh?  Works like a charm and I promised her that I would try to be more careful and try not to trip over her cord.

easter chicks

Over the past two days, I’ve been busy piecing the remaining 15 blocks.  With Frankie’s help, I finished the last 3 this morning.


He then inspected them and gave his paw seal of approval.

Then we trimmed them to size.


He’s quite pleased that I went with his suggestion to use the 1930’s feedsack prints.


Don’t they just make you smile?


So fresh, bright and cheery.  My Grandma would have loved this fabric.  I recall some of her house dresses being made from similar fabric.


Next comes the fun part of piecing it all together.


Frankie and I will try to get the sashing and cornerstones cut out this evening. 

Of course mine is going to be a little different from the original because it seems like I always have to change a little something. 

Now tell me, don’t you do the same?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

After a wonderful week away, we arrived home safe and sound…albeit somewhat poorer…around 7:30 last night.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time away and managed to squeeze in all that we had hoped to including visiting with old friends and family and shopping till I literally dropped.  It’s going to take a couple of days to recuperate from this vacation…I’m just saying.

I managed to snap this picture of Mr. Painted Quilt as he started to unload the van just after pulling into the driveway last night.  Although you can’t see all of the bags containing our my purchases, just use your imagination.   *wink*


Mr. PQ knows me well enough and thank goodness he had the foresight to take out the back seat before we left!

easter eggs divider

We left Nova Scotia last Wednesday morning and drove fifteen hours straight through to Montreal where we spent the next two days visiting with friends and family who we haven’t seen since moving to Nova Scotia in December of 2010.  The temperature by mid afternoon was in the 80’s and we had to turn on the air conditioning in the van…in mid March!!! 

The unseasonably warm weather  hung on until Saturday when we started to make our way home, this time through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine…and you know what we I did…

S-H-O-P !!!

We I did a lot of damage in The Christmas Tree Shop and the Walmart Super Store in Burlington, Vermont.  I didn’t visit the quilt shops that I used to regularly shop at because I was saving the best for last.  So rather than stay overnight in Vermont as was our original plan, we decided to continue on directly to Augusta, Maine and arrived there about 6 p.m.

We checked into the Comfort Inn, went for dinner and crashed for the night.  It was another long ten hours of driving…including the hour or so for shopping…from Montreal to Augusta.

easter eggs divider

Through the quilting grapevine, I found out about the Busy Thimble, located in Litchfield, Maine…about 10 miles outside of Augusta.  For anyone who is into antique reproduction and Civil War fabrics, then this is a must visit quilt shop.  I think that I would be safe in saying that there would be something for everyone who is into that type of fabric…and more.

I emailed Cyndi, the shop owner, ahead of time because I knew that we would be in Augusta on Sunday and Monday when the shop is normally closed.  Because Cyndi’s house is located on the same property and right next to the shop, she was most accommodating and opened her shop for me on Sunday morning.

And S-H-O-P I did!!!

Here’s Cyndi, chatting with me as I drooled down the aisles, picking up treasures along the way.


Cyndi’s specialty is antique reproduction fabric and every bolt and piece of fabric in her shop reflects that. 

I was in absolute heaven!!!


Look closely at all the sample quilts hanging throughout the shop.  Talk about inspiration!


We will be returning in July during the Maine Quilts annual show.  Needless to say, our hotel reservations are already booked!


After picking up the ‘must-have’ fabrics that were on my list, I decided to give my credit card a reprieve until July.


I’m not going to bore you with the clothing, groceries and incidentals that we I purchased along the way but will tease you instead with some of my purchases from the Busy Thimble.

The Farmer’s Wife book and the latest edition of the Primitive Quilts and Projects were on my list.


Green reproduction fabrics seemed to be direly lacking in my stash so this fat quarter collection snuck it’s way into my bag .


A stack of brushed cotton homespuns to add to the stash that Mary from Quilt Hollow gifted to me a short while ago also found it’s way home with me.


Jo Morton Civil War fat quarter bundles.  I couldn’t resist.   *sigh* 

I needed some browns and blacks and after seeing them grouped together like that, decided that in addition to the browns and blacks, some reds had to come home with me as well.


Aren’t these new red and black shirtings awesome?


And what about these toiles?  I L-O-V-E toile fabric, especially when used to back a quilt.  Lots of yardage pictured below.


More brown and black yardage…


and lots more yardage of shirting fabric.


I think that this reproduction fabric will look great as a backing for a scrappy hourglass quilt that is on my ‘to do’ list.


Not a bad haul, huh?


In a couple of minutes we’ll be leaving to pick up Frankie who was staying at The Calico Inn, enjoying his own personal vacation while we were away.  Click on the link above if you are interested in having a look at his home-away-from-home.

When I called there last evening to make arrangements to pick him up today, we were told ‘not to bother’ as the owners fell in love with him and his personality and wanted to keep him.  I guess that was their way of saying that Frankie had won their hearts too.

“Not a chance,” was my reply.  

Home would never be as sweet as it is without Frankie and Mac.  And believe it or not, Mac missed him too!

As much as we did enjoy our time away, there really is no place like home.


Monday, March 19, 2012

The Three S’s

Spring, sewing and S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G. 

Can it get any better than that?


We’ve been having such glorious weather this Spring and the 4-5” of snow that took us all by surprise last Thursday disappeared the very next day.  This made the robins very happy as they were able to continue with their smorgasbord in our backyard with just a minor interruption.

This morning it was a balmy 50 degrees at 8am when Mac and I went for a little stroll in the ‘back forty’.  I had forgotten all about the naturalized bluebells out there because they weren’t there for very long last Spring before the deer gobbled them up.


You have to look closely because they haven’t fully opened but you can see little bits of bluish-purple scattered here and there throughout the grass.  Click on the picture to enlarge it and perhaps you’ll be able to see them more clearly.

They are also appearing in my rose garden, along with some johnny-jump-ups.  Mr. Painted Quilt dug this bed for me last Spring so where they came from is anybody’s guess.  But they’re here to stay!


I know that early Spring gardens are not that exciting to look at but I love to watch the new growth as it appears. 

Even the strawberry rhubarb has started to break ground.  I can taste the pies and preserves now.


The lilac buds are just waiting for a few consecutive days of warm weather before the leaves start to unfurl.


I don’t know how I ever passed math because my ‘ciphering’ skills leave a lot to be desired.  I thought that I had cut out enough 2 1/2” squares to make 20 granny square blocks for my newest quilt project but I wasn’t even close! 

So after Frankie and I finished piecing 5 blocks last evening, it was back to the drawing cutting board.  Sheesh!


Not only are these blocks fun to piece, they are easy-peasy to make as well!  If you’d like to make one of these quilts, just click HERE for the tutorial.

So five blocks down and fifteen more to go.


But the remaining granny squares will have to wait until the end of next week because bright and early on Wednesday morning, we are heading to the New England states for a mini vacation and to do some serious


Start the car!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Three down…

And ZERO to go!  Woo hoo!

As of this morning, my third and last WIP is now quilted and bound. 


This was a fun sampler to make.  It was offered by The Temecula Quilt Company over the 12 days of Christmas and is aptly referred to by the same name.

Here’s the reverse side.


This little quilt was so much fun to make and I’ll be anxiously waiting to see what they have in store for us this Christmas!

shamrock divider 2

Two weeks ago today was my final radiation treatment and I am happy to say that my strength and stamina are getting stronger with each passing day.  Today is the first day where I can say that the wounds and burns have just about healed and if I could do a back handspring to celebrate, I would!

But rather than break my neck, this morning I decided to bake a carrot cake to celebrate instead.


Mr. Painted Quilt and I each had a piece with lunch but I think that our resident life-sized, two-legged mouse helped himself to seconds while my back was turned.   *wink*


Know how I can tell? 

See that crooked cut on the right side?  I would never do that!  I’d just have to cut myself another piece…just to even it off!   *wink*

Shamrock divider 1

SO now that my three WIP’s are finished, I can now start on a new project without feeling guilty. 

I didn’t want to copy a picture without asking for permission first so if you’d like to see what my next project is going to be…complete with tutorial…just go HERE.

Don’t you just it?

shamrock divider 2[4]

After hemming and hawing over which fabrics to use…Civil War or 1930’s reproduction…


Frankie and I decided to go with the 1930’s fabrics.


Don’t they just bring a smile to your face?  I had forgotten how much I really L-O-V-E them!


I’ll probably start to iron the fabrics after my power nap this afternoon and begin the cutting tonight.


Three finishes in two weeks!  There’s no stopping me now!