Sunday, October 27, 2013

Home again, home again...

Jiggity, jig!

I'm not back from market as the nursery rhyme says but I am home from the retreat.  What a time!

The setting was spectacular...

Gail's cottage was like a home away from home...not one of the comforts of home was missing.

A cozy fire to warm our tootsies in the morning and evening...

And a spacious sewing area to accommodate the five of us.  That's Debra doing some cutting at the kitchen counter.

Five gals with five different brands of sewing and my Bernina, Debra and her Husqvarna, Rosie and her Janome, Darlene and her Pfaff and Gail with her Kenmore.  How often do you see that?

I can't remember when I laughed as long, as hard and as often as I did during our three days together.  Five gals with different personalities brought together to share a common bond...our love of quilting.  Is there anything better?

Debra was working on a variation of Darlene's mystery quilt that she shared with us on her blog not too long ago...

Rosie's "Star Happy" quilt...

Gail's wonky flying geese quilt...

And just one of many of the projects that Darlene was working on to complete in time for her shop opening on the 1st of December.  

Between pranks, she was sewing like a mad woman so we granted her a "time out" to catch a few winks and to let her machine cool down.  

And me, Slowpoke Annie, managed to get the machine applique finished on my "Postcards From The Past" project...

as well as a different colorway for my September First Friday Freebie.  You can find the free pattern for my Fall Scarecrow HERE.

I've been home a day and a half and it's taken me this long to unwind, rest up and unpack from one of the best times I've had in a long time.  The gals spoiled me rotten because of my mobility issues and I promised them that the next time we did this, it would be my turn to wait on them.  If the truth be told, my sides are still hurting from all the laughing we did and my stomach is still full from all the wonderful food we shared.

Even Ollie had a good time when he and Mr. Painted Quilt came to pick me up. His only complaint was that he missed out on all the food!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Busy Morning!

Tomorrow we leave for our four day retreat.  We'll be leaving around 3:00 pm for Gail's cottage located in Bear River, Nova Scotia, approximately 20 miles from where we live.  

I'm so excited and looking so forward to it!  Five of us are going and it promises to be a time filled with sewing, eating, laughing, playing pranks (this part I'm a little concerned about)...oh, and did I mention eating?

This morning I've been at it for almost 3 and a half hours, preparing Mr. Painted Quilt's favorite "snack" foods.  Of course I wouldn't want him to starve while I'm away having fun...and doing my share of eating too!  *wink*

So, the chilli is on the stove simmering...

The macaroni salad is made, covered and in the refrigerator chilling...

And the Cornish pastie pie is prepped and will be coming along with me to the retreat.

If you'd like the recipe to my pastie pie and to see how I make it, just click HERE.  I promise you, it's yummy!

While prepping all the food this morning, I realized that this was the longest I've stood at any given time since my surgery.  No wonder I'm so tired and admittedly, a little sore.  I think I'm going to need a little snooze this afternoon but not before I deliver a few more quilt samples to Darlene's new quilt shop.

My friend Darlene is opening a quilt shop in Digby, Nova Scotia on the 1st of November.  You've "met" Darlene before...she's the one who designed the mystery quilt that was so popular throughout blogland just a short while ago. You can visit her blog here...Quilts by Darlene.

Remember a couple of posts back when I showed you a sneak peek of a quilt that I was making for a friend?

Well here it is, finished and hanging in Darlene's shop which by the way is called, "A Needle Pulling Thread".

The picture isn't the best and you can't see any of the detail because the lighting is off due to the fact that the windows in Darlene's shop are covered with paper in order to keep everyone in suspense until her grand opening on the first of November.

So, if you're anywhere near Digby from that time forward, make sure that you stop in at A Needle Pulling Thread located at 3 Warwick Street, right downtown.  If you love country, primitive, Civil War and reproduction fabrics...not to mention hand dyed wool...then this is definitely the place for you to visit.  I don't think there is another quilt shop in Canada that I know of that will have the look and selection of products that Darlene is carrying.  She also has some gifts and antiques and collectibles to tickle you heart and tempt your pocket book as well!  

I'll be taking some photos of her shop once it's all set up and I'm sure Darlene will too.  Why not stop by her blog and wish her well?  I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!
I'll leave you with a photo of the boys taken this morning as they warmed their tootsies by the first fire of the season in the kitchen.

Ahhhh.  Bliss!
 Now I'd better give the chilli a stir before it burns!

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This & That

As I was looking out the kitchen window this morning, this is what greeted me.

The glorious colors that we've been enjoying for the past couple of weeks will soon be over, especially with the rain that we're experiencing at the moment.  

Is it any wonder that Autumn is my favorite time of the year?

With the cooler weather, it'll just be a matter of time until we start burning the stove in the kitchen which is Frankie and Ollie's favorite place to cuddle. In the interim, their favorite spot to catch a few zzzzzz's is on the sofa in the den just off the kitchen.

Remember this quilt?

I had finished it not too long before my hip decided to fracture.  It was my original intention to add a machine appliqu├ęd border but I've since decided against it.  As of this morning, it is on it's way to my friend Mary of Quilt Hollow who is going to quilt an edge-to-edge design on it.  Mary offered a special on her blog about a week ago and I decided that there's no time like the present to lighten myself of another flimsy!

And before I forget again, for those of you who asked, the name of the pattern is Glory Bound and is a design by Red Crinoline Quilts formerly Bonnie Blue Quilts.

I've been diligently working on a little quilt which I've designed and am making as a surprise gift for a friend.  I can only show you a sneak peek because I know that she reads my blog.  

I just finished machine sewing on the binding and as soon as I'm finished here, I'll continue hand stitching it down and it'll be done!  I think she's going to be surprised!

I always try to make a little extra binding...

to add to my binding jar for those quilts that lend themselves to a scrappy, pieced binding.

It's getting pretty full so I'd better come up with a project soon!  

See it there in the bottom right corner?  It shares a shelf along with some of my other treasures that keep me company in my sewing room.

So until next time...

Happy stitching!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Keeping busy!

It took Debra and I two days but the center medallion is prepped and ready to take away with us to the retreat.  Two weeks Wednesday night is the start to what promises to be a fun three days of sewing, eating, laughing and relaxing with four good friends at a nearby cottage.

The photo does not show the true colors, especially of the background fabric which is a rich, chocolate brown.  Don't you just love the folk-arty look of this design? I'll probably bring something else to work on as well because I doubt that it'll take more than a day of sewing to complete the machine applique.

While on the subject, I prepped both our projects using the new Steam-A-Seam 2 that I spoke about in my last post.  

It is very different and a definite improvement over the "old" Steam-A-Seam.  
I found that the adhesive is a lot stronger and appears to work better as well.

My only concern...if you can call it the top layer of paper, the one that is used to trace on.  It's shiny, comparable to the shiny side of freezer paper.  I used a graphite pencil to transfer the design elements which after ironing, became much lighter which in the grand scheme of things really isn't a big deal.  
So it's a thumb's up for me!

Remember the basket full of fat quarters that the members of my guild gifted to me while I was in the hospital?

Here they are, ironed, neatly folded and looking pretty in my sewing room, waiting patiently to be used in an upcoming project.

Because this was a crummy summer for me on the health front, I didn't plant our tomatoes until the first of July which is way too late for our Canadian growing season.  Although we did harvest about twenty ripe ones, just yesterday Mr. Painted Quilt picked the remaining decent-sized green ones which I plan on freezing to use at a later date to make green tomato salsa once I'm more mobile and confident on my feet.

Our friend Cliff who is one of the vendors at our local Farmers' Market gifted us with some gorgeous tomatoes and green peppers yesterday.  I think that stuffed green peppers will be on the menu for tonight's dinner.

On the health front, I'm still hobbling around with my walker and cane.  I start more physio at the rehab center at our local hospital on Thursday.  I'm looking forward to it...anything that will help to make me strong and comfortably mobile again.

Frankie and Ollie are enjoying the cooler weather.  

They're never too far apart.

Happy stitching!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cold Feet?

Yep, that's what I got...C-O-L-D  F-E-E-T!

After stressing about it for days, I decided to bow out of making the Baltimore quilt.  Not only are the twenty-five blocks made up of a gazillion pieces, the majority of the pieces are itsy-bitsy-teensy-weensy, some so small that I even had trouble holding them between my fingers while cutting them out.  So I bequeathed all my prepped pieces to my friend Debra who is so much more adept at raw edge applique than me.  

Now it's full steam ahead with my newest project. And speaking of "steam", are you aware that "Steam-A-Seam" absolute favorite product for both wool-on-cotton as well as raw edge applique...has come out with a "new and improved" product?

The paper is different and evidently the adhesive is different and better as well. I was so excited when I heard about it that I had my LQS order me a whole box.
Here's what the company has to say about it...

I spent the entire afternoon in my sewing room again and finished tracing the elements for my latest project using the new product.  

I found two of these kits in my stash that I had purchased at my LQS when we lived in Ontario.  I must have really liked it in order to end up with two of them!

I gave my friend Debra one of them and we're planning on getting together tomorrow to cut out and fuse the shapes to the fabrics that were included in the kits.  I'm anxious to try the new Steam-A-Seam and I'll definitely give you a report on it's performance.

It is our intention to make this into a full sized quilt by adding several different pieced borders while using the kit design as the center medallion.

On the health front, I still need assistance from Mr. Painted Quilt to negotiate the stairs but once I get up to my sewing room, I'm able to get around with the help of...

my new PINK cane!  

I still need a lot of practice but it provides me with the confidence I need with respect to becoming more mobile...which ultimately means more time in my sewing room!  Yay!

Happy stitching!