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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Happy Fall !

I'm sharing a photo of my great niece Claire and her brother William posted by my niece to FB (hope she doesn't mind, but this pic is just too cute). It's been a couple of weeks of family stuff :) First there was Thanksgiving. The turkey was wonderful, sorry no pics. I made my usual coleslaw and took a Pumpkin pie. Both were a hit.
I've been busy sewing. Blocks 79-84. I'm happy with the fabric choices and almost got my stripes aligned. That was my first time working with stripes and trying to get them all straight. Maybe next time! I'm back at prepping hexies for the connector blocks for my Lucy Boston. Boring but necessary work. This may take another week or so before I can continue with making the connector blocks. And just to add to this a quilt friend donated/gave to me a baggie of hexies, some already put together into Grandmother's Flower Garden. Love them, but boy or boy, my work never seems to end! (not complaining). And to add to all this I decided it was time to start working on the personal items on my bucket list so I signed myself up for a class on knitting socks! I know how to knit, but it's been 20+ years since my last creation, so I need a refresher!
Moving along with the downsizing, the guild has decided to take all my vintage quilts that I don't want. what they can't use they will send to the Men's Mission, so every one will have a good home. Now to just them out of my living room !
Yesterday we celebrated William's first birthday. It was supposed to be a big party with lots of kids, but William is teething and wasn't feeling well, so just our family and this guest (My sister holding 5 day old Oscar, son of a friend of Lisa's)
I got to see the "new" kitchen - and it's soooo gorgeous1 Makes me want to follow up with a reno of my own ;). Maybe next Spring.
William wasn't too sure what was going on, especially when we all sang Happy Birthday to him, but he sure got the hang of it when the cupcakes came out! He's a good eater ;)
TTFN



Monday, October 02, 2017

Sunny October!

Wasn't the weekend lovely? Just what we've been waiting for , nice Fall weather, not too hot not cold and SUNNY :) Did a wee bit of fall decorating. I try to cheer things up every year and do things just a bit different than last year. Nobody notices as I'm usually home alone :(.
Had another busy busy weekend. Friday got together with my sister and her DH and we went to the local mall which was holding an antique show. Remember me moaning about having lost the business card of the antique lady I sell things to? Well, luck was on my side as she was there at the show! I managed to sell off 2 fur coats, a box full of vintage linens and another box of French Ivory and miscellaneous china pieces. Made $250  :) Call me happy! My sister was able to offload mother's collection of vintage postcards, and her DH sold some of Dad and Mother's coins. A good day for all of us!
The nephew came over and we took 2 boxes of miscellaneous half empty paint cans to be recycled and one more box to the Goodwill. He also took out my garbage for me which meant THE LAST BAG OF SHREDDED PAPER has gone ! Whoppee!!!!!!!! Now to get rid of the quilts I decided to donate and then I can say I have completed my downsizing, at least as much as I am willing to do for now . That will deserve another whoppee ;)
Kept myself busy last week sewing blocks 73-78 of the CW 150 quilt along. Pleased with this grouping, especially the bottom left one :).
TTFN

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fall ? What Fall !

So it's September and it's supposed to be Fall weather, except we're enduring a week of heat alerts and now air quality alerts. As much as I love summer and warm weather I can do without the humidity taking us over 40 C, and certainly not air quality issues. So I've been stuck in the house for days on end, which means I'm getting some sewing done on my Canada 150 quilt blocks. Yeah !
 Blocks 55- 60. The Mounties drove me crazy as one is slightly off kilter and no matter how many times I unsewed/resewed that portion she's still slightly crooked. Maybe it's saying something ? Top left block includes the Foxes fat quarter Edith kindly let me have. I like it  - thanks Edith!!
Blocks 61- 66 not as trying as the week before TG. I'm happy with these results 
And blocks 67-72.  Right side blocks were very finicky with lots of tiny half square triangles. Took my time with these, one block per day instead of my usual 3 blocks per day. Almost half way there, yippee !!
I also made 4 of these placemats for our charity sewing (Wellsprings) trying to use up this coffee fabric. Still have some so will need to think of something else to creatively use it up.

Have finally - yes finally finished all my paper shredding YEAH ! 20 bags of shredded paper out of my house! I can retire the shredder to the basement. Doing the waiting game right now for some of my other downsizing/recycling projects. Hope to get all the extra paint out to Rona this weekend but waiting waiting waiting for the guild executive to make up their minds about my vintage quilt donation. If they don't respond soon I'll donate the lot to the Salvation Army/Men's Mission and be done with it. Also waiting on the condo's landscaping company to respond to my request to trim my Forsythias. HATE hate hate all this waiting...... GRRR. 

 On the bright side I found a good home for this coffin top portable Singer . I got it many many years ago for $5. It still works except it is missing its knee bar. One of the ladies in my guild (Jacqui VM) and her husband collect and refurbish old sewing machines. She has agreed to take it off my hands and they have the missing part! Jacqui is in touch with an organization that sends these old machines to less developed nations, so it will find a good home - yeah!
TTFN, keep cool in this hot weather

P.S. My orchid HAS flowered ! Three blooms and 2 new leafs. Yeah !!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Lost and Found

Well hello there! I've been soooooo busy these last two months cleaning, re-organizing, and collecting items to donate to Goodwill or sell to an antique dealer. I've been through every closet, drawer and cupboard in the house and it felt soooo good to have this completed. Next task was to contact that  antique/collectibles dealer to sell off my stuff. I had collected vintage linens (tablecloths and napkins), hankies, gloves, vintage purses and a couple of fur coats. I had  her business card stashed on my kitchen counter for months and months and months while I recuperated from last winter's illness and got my life gathered up. Can I find it now that I'm ready ?   NOOOOOOOOO !!!
At some point in my cleaning/re-organizing I put the card somewhere safe so I wouldn't lose it. Well we all know that the infamous "safe place" can never be found or remembered when you look for it.  Without that card some of my downsizing  is on hold. Wish me luck!!

It seems I'm losing everything these days. Went to the hairdressers for a cut and discovered the next day that one of my gold studs was missing. Bummer as I wear these everyday nonstop! So, off to the mall with my sister for a shopping spree.  This story has a happy ending as I found exactly what I was looking for as replacements for the gold studs, then treated myself by purchasing new diamonds studs. Whoohoo!






Then last night as I was trundleing off to bed I dropped one of  my pearl earrings I had been wearing.  I was just too tired to go searching for it and decided to wait until the morning for the next big search. Well didn't I luck out this morning and step right on it first thing - so another lucky FIND for me!!


Last Sunday was Decoration Day at the Watford cemetery where father is buried. Not having been able to be with him his last few days and barely remembering the funeral I felt it was important to attend. I have only been to one other decoration day, and that was with my Grandmother when I was six. I remember  wondering what dead meant and why Grandma was crying. Now years later I realize the love of her life had only been dead about 3 years. My B-I-L drove and my sister, her son and myself all attended. They had a Piper and a Trooping of the Colours from the local Legion in remembrance of those lost at Vimy Ridge. We got to see his stone marker. We chose the scroll to depict his diplomas and those he, as a teacher, helped others obtain.
While all this angst happening I have completed some sewing. Today I plan to make up some place mats using up the leftover coffee fabric from all those mug rugs I made last year.



I have completed weeks #15, 16,17 and 18 of my Canada 150 quilt -along.Still having lots of fun making these and continue to be amazed at how  difficult it is to be that accurate! I'm trying hard not to be too much of a perfectionist, but also want this one to go together well. I also don't want to repeat any fabrics too much while at the same time add in "Canada" fabrics (Maple leaves).

I made a duplicate block #50 for Rachel Zimmerman Brachman, the daughter of a former colleague of mine. I decided to make the extra block into a wee Canada 150 pillow which Walter and Linda can pass along to Rachel, who lives in California now. Here's her pillow
So that's been my last couple of weeks, good thing it's Sunday and we can all hope for a better things to come :)
TTFN


Monday, August 21, 2017

I must be losing my mind!

So if you've been reading my blog lately you'll know that I have spent the last few weeks/months house cleaning/downsizing. That included cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room. Sad to say I'm a piler not a filer, and habits of a lifetime won't ever change.  But once in awhile I need to stop, take stock and cleanup! So, it has taken 2 months of intensive work, but my sewing room is CLEAN and reorganized - YEAH ! It's certainly worth the effort - I found 8 new rotary blades!!
The top photo shows the shelves, formerly upright now turned on their side. The TV is now at a better height and I can unplug it more easily (see earlier post re Gremlins for why I need to unplug the TV). In the left pic you can see I removed the HUGE bulletin board (which had lots of paper pinned to it which I never read!) and put up a much smaller bulletin board. I "found" a small white shelf in the bathroom which is perfect for my half lady pin cushion and to hang my stiletto, measuring tape, rotary cutters and the humbug bag which hold my binding clips. I resurrected a large white cutting mat given me a long time age. It fits this space perfectly! The box of kleenex and bowl of peanuts (brain food) are as necessary as the cutters ;).
In this pic on the right I have hung a walnut tea cup shelf which belonged to mother. It's perfect here as the shelves already have a groove to hold my large rulers. The small glass ginger jars hold a collection of mother's threads on wooden spools. She thought I was crazy when I asked for all her old thread - "who wants those?" I DO, I DO!. It also holds my vintage wood sock darner and the Matryoshka doll father brought back from Russia. The pattern in front of my sewing machine is a Chili Pepper table runner pattern called Moondance. My sister has asked for a new table runner for her coffee table - I must be losing my mind adding another project to my "To Do" list!! I have to say I'm satisfied with the results of all my efforts. Now all I have to do is remember where I put everything!!

 My friend M and I spent Sunday afternoon at the International Plowing Match quilt show in Seaforth. I have missed most of the local quilt shows this season. Neither of us have ever attended this one. I liked the quilt in the top pic the best with its Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I'm really getting interested in scrappy quilts - perhaps a reflection of how much fabric I have ;) ;), hence the pic on the left.  And I took the pic on the right because I have that fabric !! and wanted to remember this great idea of how to use it up!





This quilt was amazing with fussy cut stars and postage stamp four patches. Excellent work !







This was a sampler quilt with a controlled colour palette. I really like the way she shadowed each block with black. Here's a close up.

And finally, my one and only block this week towards my Canada 150 quilt.
TTFN

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fun week :)

Well my Rose of Sharon bushes are in full bloom and it is so nice to sit outside and enjoy the view. Soon it will be time to find someone to trim them back to a reasonable size, but not yet! I had a cleaner in this week to help me prep for "the ladies". First time for me and I must say I was very very happy with the experience. Who needs to do housework when you can get someone else to do it, YEAH! She did a great job and I'll have her back for sure.
It left me time for the prep work for our luncheon. I made cucumber sandwiches, a first for me, deviled eggs, pineapple cheese and pear and apple cheese, and of course a plate of goodies, hello dollies and chocolate macaroons with a bowl of cherries in the middle. I served it all on my Great Aunt's Limoges china - it's a service for 12! Mother would be proud.
It's birthday week (not telling you how old I am, but I'm not yet a senior!), so the family gathered at my sister's place for hamburgers and cake - and oh what a cake! Yummmmmy!! My sister, her DH, daughter, grandkids and s-i-l are all off to a cottage for the next week. Lucky them. Here's William in his backyard playpen (aka plastic pool). He's not too sure who I am ....
And here's Claire with her new glasses - purple and pink - of course to match all her princess dresses!
Tonight I'm off to see Lady Macbeth with some friends, so that should end the week. I'll be ready for a rest on Sunday.
Earlier in August my sister & her hubby went up to Manitoulin Island for a Boyter reunion. I sent up the Lighthouse quilt I had made years ago for mother. I used a Piecemaker's calendar pattern for the quilt and embroidered in silver thread the names of our family Manitoulin lighthouse keepers, their lighthouses and their dates in the red inner border. In the outer blue border I quilted fish, since my great grandfather Albert Boyter fished out of Little Current on a 3 masted schooner - least that's the family story. I had lots of fun with this quilt, all hand appliqued, hand embroidered and hand quilted with lots of  button embellishments. I wanted someone in the family who felt connected to the Boyters and/or Manitoulin Island to have the quilt. Well, my cousin Tom Boyter, he who arranged the reunion, took the quilt and it has finally been hung, something mother never got done. Tom was close to mom and thought of her as a second mother so this quilt has found a great home. Here's a pic!

TTFN

Sunday, August 06, 2017

It Didn't :(

Well, it was totally disappointing, the three Orchid buds dropped off - one by one. :( :(. Guess I don't have as green a thumb as I thought. Anyone out there have any suggestions for next time - if there are any fresh Orchid buds? It's been quite a couple of weeks. I managed to wreck the screen of my 10 yr old laptop, thus leaving me with a 1/3 flickering screen display. Most annoying. Now I have a new laptop, Windows 10, and a new keyboard, so bear with me if you see any typos while I become accustomed to the new keyboard.
I've been busy cleaning/downsizing which for me involves going through all my drawers, cupboards and closets and making decisions to keep, donate or sell. Fun and exhausting at the same time. Yesterday I went through the linen closet, filled with my and inherited or collected linens. I discovered so many doilies, tea cloths and cutwork/lace table cloths. Too many to keep, not all in the best of shape. I also discovered the new sheers I bought (years ago) for the dining room. Just in time as one of the old ones has a tear which can not be disguised. So I got busy and made a rod pocket, got them hung up only to discover they are 1/2" too long !!! Darn it! They will have to do until later this month when I can re-sew the rod pocket.
I've made 4 trips to the Goodwill since my downsizing began and have quite a collection of antiques/collectibles put aside I hope to sell off. All this has kept me from my normal house cleaning, so 3 weeks ago I researched online then called and booked a cleaner for Aug. This past week I called 3 times and sent 2 emails attempting to confirm the appointment only to finally receive a message saying I don't have a booking with them ! REALLY! YIKES ! I have a dozen ladies coming over for afternoon tea next week ! Well,  Julie from Daytime Domestics fixed me up and I have a cleaner coming next week.  YEAH. Should be interesting as this is my first time having cleaners.
I have also been busy attempting to catch up to my Canada 150 Quilt-Along ladies.  Since I only print out the instruction page I am not attempting to match fabrics to the woman featured for that block, just using what I think will look good. Each block is red and white, with a variety of reds. I have decided to be liberal in my choice of whites, and am including red & whites, creams, and lots of script fabrics.  I'm rather glad I started this project, even if I am waaaaay behind as it is re-teaching me the basics of block construction, and I am re-learning accuracy. I'm up to block 37 now, which puts me at week 12.  Those who were able to keep up from the start  are on block 110 ! so I have a long way to go yet :(. I also finished off three more bibs and one more key wristlet for our group's charity sewing. Look out - I'm on a roll!!
Of course also last week was the annual anniversary sale at our local quilt store. All was going great and I was picking up many fabulous fat quarters and was able to use more of the gift certificate I got at work for my retirement. Just as I was about to leave I saw the perfect backing fabric for one of the 7 vintage quilt tops I "found" in my blanket box ! Too bad the staff person @ the store had to make a scene because I asked how much I should buy for a double bed size backing - a reasonably normal question at a quilt store and one she should be prepare to answer. Some people :(. Luckily the store owner had more couth, provided the answer I sought and in the end I got 10+ fat quarters and a new backing all of which cost me less than $5.00 !! Not bad .
I have not forgotten my Lucy Boston but have no pic to share as I am back into prepping hexies for the in-between joiner blocks. Not exciting.
TTFN