Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day!

I hope that your Christmas day was as peaceful and serene as ours.

It started snowing lightly early yesterday morning and continued most of the day.  We couldn't have ordered a more picture-perfect Christmas day.  

While preparing and cooking our Christmas dinner, I managed to squeeze in the last of the hand stitching of my new quilt design. And if everything goes as planned today, I'm hoping to add the final two borders later this afternoon which will complete the flimsy!
Bright and early this morning, while Ollie and Mr. Painted Quilt were out clearing the snow from our massive driveway...

I was baking shortbread cookies.

I'm sure the boys will appreciate some cookies and hot chocolate when they come in from the cold.
On Monday of this week, my sewing buddies and I met at A Needle Pulling Thread Quilt Shop for lunch and our fabric gift exchange which was postponed from the week before because of the snowstorm.  

After we got the eating part out of the way, we couldn't wait to open our gifts. We all know each other's tastes so well which made the shopping part easy.

I absolutely love my gifts.  Thanks so much Gail, Debra, Rosie and Darlene!

A tradition in the Painted Quilt household starting on Boxing Day and continuing into New Year's week is to watch the World Junior hockey tournament which we're doing as I write this post.

And guess who's curled up by the fire keeping us company?

 Yes, this is my most favorite time of the year!

Happy stitching and Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours, Mr. Painted Quilt, Frankie, Ollie and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

If the turkey is in the oven...

Then it must be December 25th...right?

Wrong!  It's only the 20th and yes, I'm cooking our turkey today.

We bought the Butterball turkey(s) just before Thanksgiving because they they were on one, get one free.  Well Thanksgiving came and went and I didn't cook a turkey because we were invited out which meant we had two birds in the freezer.

Then just the other day Mr. Painted quilt asked if we could have ham for Christmas dinner this year, just for a change.  So I ordered a ham from our local country store which has the most delicious meats and we'll pick it up tomorrow.  This is why one of the turkeys is in the oven at this very moment.

We'll have it for dinner tonight and then I'll slice up the rest and will make turkey pot pies, turkey stew and turkey soup to freeze and have throughout the cold winter months.  There will be lots left over so if you're in the neighborhood, be sure to stop in!

Thank goodness for great neighbors with tractors!  

We're finally dug out from over a foot of snow that fell on Wednesday and now rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days.  Probably a lot of what fell will be washed away.  

But here's what it looks like this morning.  Can you see the ocean in the distance?  That's the Annapolis Basin, part of the Bay of Fundy.

Out the "back forty"...

I've been promising to show you pictures of my Safe Harbor II.  It's a big quilt measuring 98" x 92" so it was difficult to take decent photos.  It fits perfectly on a queen size bed with a generous drop.

I thought this quote by JFK was perfect to grace the lower border.

This next photo shows the final three outside borders.  Can you make out Alice's gorgeous quilting?

This final photo shows the cornerstone, outside piano key border and the backing fabric.

I NEVER make two of anything but when Mr. Painted Quilt suggested that I make a second one in blues, I couldn't say no.  I'm really happy that I did and now I can't decide which is my favorite!

Here's the original Safe Harbor in shades of red.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of the pattern, they are still for sale in my Etsy shop which you can link to HERE.

Now I gotta go baste the turkey!

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


What an awesome snow day this was...a perfect excuse to spend time in my sewing studio...not that I ever need one!  

It's been snowing non stop since about 5 a.m.  Every school and school board in Nova Scotia is closed.  I've never heard of that happening before. Many local businesses never opened.  We knew from the weather forecast that we weren't going anywhere today.

The first time I came downstairs from my sewing room was for a lunch break at about 1:30 p.m. where I had been working on my new quilt design since about 8 a.m.  I took these photos then and I'm sure more than twice the amount of snow has fallen since then.
   The side barn...

And the barn in the distance and view out the "back forty".

The only negative thing about the day is that we had to cancel our Christmas dinner and gift exchange tonight with my gal pals. Phooey! I was sooooo looking forward to it. We're trying to reschedule for lunch tomorrow but that all depends on whether we'll all be able to get out.  The snow plow didn't come until 3 p.m. on our road and hasn't been back since...and I think we can ski down the pile of snow that he dumped at the end of our driveway.

Here's a sneak peek at the new design I'm working on.

If tomorrow is another snow day, I'm hoping to be able to finish piecing the top.

      "To Do" list update from last post:
  1. Wrap Christmas gifts for my sewing buddies to exchange at our Wednesday night Christmas dinner.
  2. Wrap secret pal gift and put it in the mail on Monday...or Tuesday, depending on how much snow falls.
  3. Cut out and piece blocks for my new quilt design.  Ongoing...about half way done.
  4. Continue piecing French braid borders for Darlene's mystery quilt.
  5. Finish sewing the binding on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.

And I mustn't forget to include a picture of Frankie and Ollie cuddling on the sofa.

Life is good...despite the snow!  *wink*

Happy stitching!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's snowing!

It just started snowing which means the predicted storm has arrived. Time to hunker down and plan my sewing day.

Last night I made a list of what I'd like to accomplish before Christmas.  I find that I work much "smarter" when I can see my goals in writing.  I LOVE striking them off the list one-by-one as each gets done.  Hopefully I can stick to it without too many distractions.
  1. Wrap Christmas gifts for my sewing buddies to exchange at our Wednesday night Christmas dinner.
  2. Wrap secret pal gift and put it in the mail on Monday...or Tuesday, depending on how much snow falls.
  3. Cut out and piece blocks for my new quilt design.
  4. Continue piecing French braid borders for Darlene's mystery quilt.
  5. Finish sewing the binding on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.
Do-able, don't you think?

I started cutting and hand piecing the hexie flowers about four years ago using the English paper piecing method.

Because of the HUGE amount of hand work involved, I knew when I started that it would be a long WIP (Work In Progress) so I didn't agonize about the fact that I had a lingering UFO (Un-Finished Object). For those of you that know me, I'm obsessed about NOT finishing what I start, so this long term project was really a stretch for me.

When we moved to Nova Scotia three years ago and subsequently found out that I had cancer, I put it away and had forgotten all about it until one day early last Spring I found it "hiding" in an antique basket in the dormer storage area in my sewing studio. I was smitten once again and made a promise to myself to have it finished by the end of this past Summer.

Just last week it was returned to me by my friend and professional longarm quilter, Alice.  I am never disappointed with Alice's amazing free motion quilting skills.  Thanks again for another great job, my friend! 

Here is my version of the traditional, timeless and ever-so-popular Grandmother's Flower Garden, quilted and bound! I love it!

The quilt is made from 100% cotton, 1930's feedsack reproduction fabrics and measures 83" x 66"...and it's for sale in my Etsy shop which you can link to HERE.

Oh, and by the way, it's snowing!  My dreams for a white Christmas have been realized!

Happy stitching!

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Favorite Kind of Day!

The weather outside is kinda frightful...but the fire is sure delightfully cozy and warm.  

It's been unseasonably cold for the past couple of days and it started snowing sometime during the night and continued falling this morning.  No major accumulation but enough to cover the ground and roads.  Having said that, the weather forecast for Sunday is calling for a foot of snow so with my gimpy hip, it looks like I'm going to be housebound for the next little while.

But you won't hear me complain!  No-siree! 

Taking heed of the forecast about the impending first snowstorm of the season, we stocked up on groceries yesterday.  As long as we don't lose power, I'll be a happy camper sewer.

I spent the morning upstairs in my sewing studio prepping the binding for my next quilt.

Remember this?

It arrived back home along with my Safe Harbor II  last week after Alice worked her longarm magic on them and is now just waiting it's turn to be bound.

I finished sewing the binding on this morning and now comes the best part...completing it with the hand stitching!  My goal is to have it finished before going to bed tonight.

Safe Harbor II is finished but try as I might, I can't get a decent photo of it.  I absolutely L-O-V-E it and I think you will too!

Bear with me as I'll try my darndest to have both Safe Harbor II and Grandmother's Flower Garden to share with you in my next post.

While I was upstairs sewing, Mr. Painted Quilt called to me to grab my camera and to look out my studio window really quickly.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear?

Nope...not least not yet...but

Momma deer watching over her baby as she/he ate some holly berries from the bush in front of the house.

They shared the holly berries...

and then started pawing in the snow under the huge chestnut tree looking for more nourishment.

Sorry for the grainy photos but these were taken from the upstairs window and through a screen...and it was snowing as well!

Isn't life grand?

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wool Crazy Pincushion Finish!

Even though Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head, my studio was filled with the Sounds of Summer as I sewed the last stitch into my newest wool crazy pincushion just a short while ago.

Can you hear the bees buzzing around the bee skep, the chirping of the little red cardinal in front of his birdhouse and the flapping of the butterfly's wings as it lands atop the purple echinacea?

This original, one-of-a-kind design made from hand dyed 100% wool is in keeping with the traditional crazy quilt style combining applique, embroidery, glass beads and embellishments galore!

And where else can you find a fresh egg for just 5 cents?

It measures approximately 6" in diameter and is stuffed with polyester fibrefill.

If you would like this wool crazy pincushion either for yourself or as a Christmas gift, I'm selling it for $60, postage included in the US and Canada and $70 postage included internationally.  Payment will be by Paypal only.

There's only one so it will be sold on a first come-first served basis.  If you'd like to give it a home, please email me at...

And remember, you can never have too many pincushions!

Happy stitching!

UPDATE:  The Sounds of Summer pincushion is SOLD!  Thanks so much.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Last Step

I love the slow, mindless process of sewing the binding on a quilt. 

Not only does it afford me the time to reflect upon the journey I travelled while making the quilt but also to embrace the peace that I experience whenever I have a needle between my fingers.

Safe Harbor II...stay tuned for the reveal!

Happy stitching!