Sunday, February 24, 2013

Serendipitous Sunday

There's a little bit of everything going on today and it's not even noon yet!

I did a little bit of housework, a couple of loads of laundry and then decided to make Mr. Painted Quilt's favorite oatmeal cookies.

My Mom used to make these for him every time we'd go over to visit.  They're very easy to make and the recipe yields 60 decent-sized cookies.  

Here's the recipe if you'd like to make some.

Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 C raisins
3/4 C boiling water
3/4 C sugar
1 C margarine at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C rolled oats
1/2 C chopped nuts

Combine raisins and boiling water and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Cream together sugar and margarine at medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Add egg and vanilla to creamed mixture and mix at low speed for 1 minute.

Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda to blend well.

Add oats and nuts to creamed mixture along with flour mixture, raisins and liquid in which raisins were soaked.  Mix at medium speed until flour is moistened.  

Drop by 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.

Bake at 350F for 10 - 12 minutes or until done.  Remove to wire rack to cool to room temperature.


I'm in my "between projects mode" and rather than start on something new just yet, I've decided to go through my scraps and continue to iron and cut the pieces that are large enough into 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" strips.  

I think I've managed to cut over 100 strips of different lengths so far and my scrap bins have shrunk considerably.

I've always wanted to make a scrappy churn dash quilt and these strips will sure come in handy when I decide to take the plunge...and most of the cutting will be done already!

While in this "between projects mode", I reorganized some of the fabric stash on one of my shelves to accommodate the new fabrics that I purchased last week.

I also cut some strips from the new fabric as well to add to the mix.

And while I'm not stripping, I'm working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  

My goal is to have it finished by the end of this year...or sooner!

Only three more rows to go.  All the hexie flowers are made, it's just a matter of buckling down and getting 'r done!

And the boys?  

The picture says it all...

Think I'll make myself a cup of tea and have a couple of cookies.  Care to join me?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Fun Day WIth Friends

If a friend called to ask if you wanted to accompany her to a quilt shop, what would you say?  

There's no mistaking as to what my answer was...

We had a fantastic time, laughing, more shopping and more laughing followed by a fantastic lunch consisting of fresh, locally caught fish...and chips.  It can't get much better than that!

My purchases included more of my favorite Civil War and reproduction fabrics to add to my stash.

I also splurged on some must-have notions.

It was as near to a perfect day as possible.  Thanks Debra and Lisa!

At this time last year, I was in the fourth of six weeks of chemo and radiation treatments.  It seems like such a long time ago and the memories are certainly bittersweet.

Today, I finished sewing on the binding to a little court house steps quilt that I pieced the week before starting my treatments.  

It sat as a flimsy for almost a year when I decided to ask my friend Darlene if her Mom would quilt it for me.  I have seen some of Darlene's quilts that her Mom has quilted and her work is amazing.  The stitches are so perfect and so tiny.  Those same perfect and tiny stitches now adorn my little quilt.  It's relevance is even more special now.

And here's the back.  Don't you just love toile fabric?  It's my favorite to use for backing quilts.

It was a relatively mild day today and we didn't need the fire on in the kitchen so Frankie and Ollie decided to cuddle up on the chair in the family room instead.  

Move over, Ollie.  There's room for both of us here!
What a pair!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Tales

It wasn't called a nor'easter, nor was it given a name but we certainly got dumped on again this past weekend.  

Saturday was a beautiful day and most of the snow that had fallen the previous weekend had all but disappeared.  Late Sunday morning, the heavy rain started which quickly changed to freezing rain, to ice pellets and then SNOW!  

The winds were blowing just as hard as last weekend's storm, with sustained gusts of up to 65 mph creating blizzard-like conditions...again!  We lost power from about 10 p.m. on Sunday night until 8 a.m. yesterday.  

Thank goodness for our stove in the kitchen because that kept the entire downstairs warm...and to the person who came up with the idea of flannel sheets on the bed during the winter months... a GIANT hug to you because they as well as four quilts kept us warm in bed.

Is there a better reason as to why one can never have too many quilts?

Monday morning...the calm after the storm.
After the power was restored, I decided to bake some muffins.  We had a bumper crop of rhubarb last summer and there are still several bags left in the freezer. I'm sure we'll have an even better crop this summer so I thought that I'd better start to use some of it up.  I was going to make a rhubarb pie but decided on muffins instead.

Fresh perked coffee and muffins...yum-a-licious!

Oh, and there are lots more too!  This recipe makes 18 decent-sized muffins.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try some.

Rhubarb Muffins

2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 C buttermilk *
2/3 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C finely chopped rhubarb


1/2 C sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.  Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla:stir in dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in rhubarb.  Fill greased or flour-lined muffin cups about half full.  Combine topping ingredients then sprinkle over each muffin.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes ur until done.

*If you don't have buttermilk in the house, just add a tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to the cup of regular milk that the recipe calls for.  That's what I did.  I also used half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour for mine.  If you use frozen rhubarb as I did, it increases the cooking time to almost 50 minutes...and they still tasted great!

If any of you are procrastinating as I was about getting an iPad, procrastinate no more!  I love my new toy and thanks to my friend Lesley at The Cuddle Quilter, the learning curve has been a breeze!  A couple of phone calls and I was off and running.  There's still a lot I have to learn but I'm getting much more use from it than I ever thought I would.

I'm really making a dent in my scrap project as well.  I decided to sort through them and pull out all the pieces that I could cut into decent 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" strips and to leave all the little pieces as they are.

Here is the first pile...


and this is the second.  

Slowly but surely I'm achieving my goal.

I still have tons more to sort through and every piece has to be ironed before cutting to ensure an accurate cut.  I find repetitive rotary cutting to be hard on my back after a while so I work on them for about a half an hour at a time and then move on to other chores.

I finished your First Friday Freebie for March and now we just have to wait until Friday, March 1st for the reveal.  I had a lot of fun designing and making it. 

The writing and PDF'ing...well, that's a whole other can of worms...and if you can read between the lines, I'm not too fond of worms.  *wink*

Rather than their favorite place by the fire, I found Frankie and Ollie catching a few rays in the family room this morning.  You can tell that the sun's rays are getting stronger when they choose the sofa over the stove.

Move over, Ollie cuz I'm coming up to join you.
 And just in case you're wondering, here's where you'll find me!

Have a super day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Productive Week!

What a difference a week makes!

This time last Saturday we were in the midst of Nemo, the severe nor'easter that dropped a ton of snow and generated hurricane force gusts of wind up the eastern seaboard of the Unites States and Canada.  

A very fine snow fell for almost 48 hours, accompanied by howling winds that created blizzard-like conditions and high drifts of snow.  The lights flickered a few times but thankfully we didn't lose power.  A few days later we were greeted with spring-like temperatures and virtually all the snow that had fallen has disappeared again.  What a strange winter this has been!

Being housebound has it's advantages!  

I added a few extra touches to my BOM which will be introduced on the 1st of April and I was also able to design and complete March's First Friday Freebie which will be available here on Friday, March 1st.  Remember to mark your calendars!

I also completed Kathy's Civil War small quilt challenge for the month of February.

These small quilts are so much fun to do and work up very quickly.  They also satisfy my desire whenever I want to do some hand quilting.

Kathy is also having a giveaway on her blog so if you'd like to enter, just click on the link above for a chance to win a charm pack of Renee Nanneman's Chateau Chambray line of fabrics by Andover.  

Kathy has also designed a small quilt using these fabrics which you can download for free by scrolling down to her Monday, February 13th post. 

Update:  With Kathy's permission, I have just added a photo of her quilt here.

And while being stuck indoors...poor me, *wink, wink*... I also managed to finish the second step of Darlene's mystery quilt.  The instructions are posted on her blog and at one step a month, there's still lots of time to catch up and join in.

Because I like anything scrappy, in addition to yardage, I have also accumulated quite a collection of fat quarters.

If I use about a third of a fat quarter, I don't like to return it to my fat quarter stash because then I'm fooled into thinking that there's a full fat quarter of that particular fabric available the next time I'm looking to pull fabrics for a project.

My dilemma was what to do with these odd sizes of leftover fabrics?  They were too large to put into my scrap bin and too small to be returned to my fat quarter bins.  So I got a brain wave and came up with this idea.

I went to our local Dollar store and bought a bunch of these small containers to store my odd cuts of fabric which I've sorted by color.  They don't take up a lot of room and the contents are easily visible because the bins are transparent.  

What do you do with the left over fabric once you cut into a fat quarter?

I'm thrilled to report that Frankie is 100% back to his normal self and when he isn't sunning himself in the upstairs bathroom...

Ahhhhh...just catching some rays.
he and Ollie can be found cuddling in their favorite place by the fire.

I hope you all have a wonderful and productive week, wherever you may be.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Frankie update and more...

Thank you all for your kitty thoughts and prayers for Frankie.  Although he's still not 100% back to his usual self, he's pretty close.  He sure had us worried though.

The vet spent a lot of time examining him on Wednesday.  He said that he wasn't dehydrated nor was he in any pain.  Prognosis or best guess?  He could have a common cat virus…as in a cold…or he could have eaten a bug or fly which he always does when he catches them that could have upset his stomach.  

He gave him two injections, one to stop the vomiting and the other, an antibiotic.  He also gave him a liquid medicine between his shoulder blades to deworm him, just in case whatever he ate had worms or parasites.  His temperature was normal and so was everything else.  Whew!  

What scared us the most was when he vomited on Tuesday night and there were spots of blood in it.  The vet explained that when your stomach is empty and you're retching, spots of blood will appear from the wall of the stomach or intestine because it's in stress.  He said that he didn't think it was anything serious but to keep an eye on him and if he doesn't show any signs of improvement over a couple of days then we'll have to bring him in for further tests.  He's been sleeping alot but thankfully ate and drank a little last night and again this morning.  It just breaks my heart because you want to help them but they can't communicate what is wrong.  Thank you Doctor Neil!   

And where is he as I'm writing this?

Asleep on Mr. Painted Quilt's lap!  Both of them are sound asleep in the family room.  Mr. PQ is also coming down with a doozy of a cold.  Guess I'm next.

And poor handsome-with-his-new-haircut Ollie? He's lost without his best buddy.

I miss my best buddy.  Get well soon, Frankie.

I started to cut and piece my February challenge quilt on Wednesday and finished it yesterday morning because I wanted to take it to my guild meeting last night to work on the hand quilting.  I did manage to start the hand quilting while at the meeting but didn't get as much accomplished as I had hoped because I did more schmoozing, talking and laughing with the gals than actual stitching.  We sure have a great group and I so look forward to the meetings every month.  

If you'd like to find out more about the one-a-month small quilt challenge, I spoke about it in my previous post which you can read about here.  There's still lots of time to join in! 

The white masking tape that you see is what I use as my guide when hand quilting.  I forgot to take it off when I took the photo.  Duh!

And have a look at what the brown truck dropped off at our place on Wednesday, just as we were leaving to go to the vet.

Can you see the photo of what's in the box?

A new iPad mini!!!

My birthday isn't till November so it must be a belated Christmas present!  Yay for me!

I'm apprehensive about learning how it works so it's still in the box just waiting for me to fire it up.

And it's personalized too!  Can you make it out?

I'm so spoiled!

According to the weather forecast, we're in for a "monster" snow storm starting sometime this afternoon or evening.  Thirty to sixty miles per hour gusts of wind are supposed to generate blizzard-like conditions and we could receive from 15-20+" of snow by tomorrow afternoon.  Yikes!

So what's a gal to do?  Why put on a pot of chili and hunker down!  At least we won't be hungry and we'll have the fire in the stove to keep us warm.

Would you care for some?  Come on over...but don't forget your snow shoes!

Note to Barb of Fox Point...

I was not able to answer your question regarding where I purchased the twill tape measure ribbon because your settings are set as a "no-reply".  I purchased it in the notions/ribbon section of Atlantic Fabrics in Greenwood but I'm sure that all the Atlantic Fabric shops in the Maritimes carry it or can bring it in for you.  Also, one of my blog readers from Alberta wanted to ask you where you purchased yours in Calgary but had the same problem of not being able to reach you.

A few of you asked about the tomato pincushion that was affixed to my sewing machine.  I purchased it at Avonport Discount Fabrics in Avonport about two years ago, not too long after moving to Nova Scotia.  It is my second most favorite sewing notion, having been demoted to #2 because my newest toy, a telescopic pin magnet, is now #1.  It came with a peel-and-stick adhesive on the back and it has never fallen off my machine once.  I don't think I could live without it now when I'm sewing on the machine.

Enjoy the weekend!