Friday, January 12, 2018

Quiltville's En Provence Quilt and the 2018 Update

Several times during the year I work on quilts that I hope never go home to their owner.  This was one of them.  It's the Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) mystery quilt from 2017 - En Provence.

The maker used a beautiful selection of greys to offset the golds, greens and purples.

She's also a very exacting piecer.

Beautiful show of the quilting on the back side.

An update on the painting:

  • The hallways from the front door, leading down the stairs to my workroom and also up the stairs to the bedrooms are all finished.  Because I KNOW you are curious, there are eleven - yes ELEVEN doorways that needed to be cut in.  Jesus Murphy.

An update on my 30 day challenge:
What, you missed my last post?  Nothing to eat or drink after 8 pm for 30 days, starting on January 2nd.

Since I started on January 2nd I have been 'bad' three times. 

  • Saturday the 6th was a late-night dinner reservation.  I was not leaving my delicious Butternut Squash Ravioli to go back to the kitchen.  And I was not skipping dessert.
  • Monday the 8th DH and I went to the movies after our shopping excursion at Costco.  I needed a glass of wine when I got home to wash down the pizza and popcorn that was masquerading as supper.
  • Wednesday the 10th, after the guild meeting.  When I get home from a guild meeting it is mandatory (in my weird little head) to have a glass of wine.  Sadly I had potato chips too.  WHICH WAS THE WHOLE REASON TO DO THIS CHALLENGE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
To my knowledge, there will only be one more evening when I will be 'bad', and that's the 29th, after the Binbrook Guild meeting.  I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

What I Did On My Christmas Holiday, and Happy New Year

If I was a slightly more normal person, I'd be posting photos of myself on a beach.  However...taking two weeks off gives me the time to attend to some slightly more practical chores.

This was the neighbour's barn.  I painted it many years ago when I was still working for RBC and going through a great deal of stress.  I'd come home from work, open a bottle of wine and get rather snockered while I painted the evening away.  Maybe not the best way to handle stress, but it worked for me.




Since I had about 3/4 of a gallon left over from last winter's paint job in the bedroom it seemed sensible to use the same paint colour for my workroom.  Next up will be the hallways that run from the front door down into this room, and also up into the second floor landing.  I'm taking a breather for a couple of days before I tackle that.

As I have for the last few years, I spent New Years Day stitching with some friends near & far.  Near came and sewed here, shared a lunch of hamburger soup & sourdough bread, then stayed for Chinese takeout for supper.  It's like a one-day retreat for both of us.

This is the baby quilt she was working on.  The gals from a distance were in touch all day long via email.  We were nine in total this year, from the Soo, Manitoulin Island, Ennismore, and here in southern Ontario.

I was working on the Binbrook Guild challenge.  I added the borders today, so it's ready for quilting now.
Since this is the time of year to make all those silly resolutions (which I am NOT doing) I thought it might be ok to give myself a little 30 day challenge.  Starting today, January 2nd, there will be no food or beverage consumed after 8 pm.  I've gotten into a bad habit of having a second glass of wine around that time of night, and then deciding I need some potato chips or cheesies, or some other unhealthy food item to go along with it.  All this excess consumption is showing up quite nicely on my arse.  I'll keep you posted as to my progress.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


The first paint job of the vacation is about to commence...
That corner is where the fridge goes, and where the broom closet was removed.  DH is such a handy guy... he removed the bank of three cupboards above and remounted them so they are still useable.  Although not by me.  Even when I get on a chair I can only reach so far beyond the massive fridge.  I guess only guy stuff will live up there.

I found the paint can down in the dungeon labeled "KITCHEN".  I was finally able to get the lid off, only to discover a solid lump of solidified paint.  I took the label to the paint store and the nice lady apparently didn't hear me say "a quart of this please, I mean a liter, whatever".  So she mixed up a gallon.  Which I did not want.  She poured the necessary quart into a new can and sent me on my way.  I sincerely hope this paint's been 10 (TEN!) years since the kitchen was painted.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Where Oh Where Are My ZZZZZZZs? and a Quilt Guild Challenge

4 a.m. is an indecent time to wake up.  In case you were wondering. 
I stayed in bed until 5, then gave up on getting back to sleep.  Even the dog wouldn't get up with me.
My mind was wandering about many things, but one of them was the Challenge for the Binbrook Guild.  So, when I got up...
1) take pills
2) start coffee
3) start fire in sewing room

4) make a batch of yogurt and keep it nice and warm using the light of the oven

5) put the Challenge Plan into action
If your guild is looking for a Challenge idea, this one is pretty fun to do.  I found this in the Canadian Quilter newsletter, spring 2017 edition.


  • each participant brings one meter of "child friendly" fabric, and a pair of scissors
  • assemble everyone in a circle
  • everyone snips their fabric at the fold line and rips it in half
  • drop one half at your feet and pass the other half to the person on your left
  • with the fabric in your hand (approx. 20" x 40", that you got from the person next to you) fold it in half and snip it, then rip it into approx 20" x 20" pieces
  • drop one half at your feet and pass the other half to the person on your left
  • repeat the fold, snip, rip with your new piece that you got from the person on your right
  • continue folding, snipping and ripping until you are down to a piece approx. 5" x 5"
  • you should end up with a pile at your feet that is comprised of SIX pieces of fabric:  20 x 40, 20 x 20, 20 x 10, 10 x 10, 5 x 10, 5 x 5
I set the "rules" for the challenge...
  • all six fabrics must be included in the quilt
  • add up to 3 fabrics of your own, which will include the binding (the backing is not included in that restriction and can be something additional)
  • make a quilt minimum 36" x 36"
In our case the guild will provide the batting for these.  We'll have a Viewers Choice vote at the June meeting with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  The quilts will be donated to a child-focused charity.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Quilt Sale Open House This Weekend

 811 Haldimand Rd. 66, Caledonia, On. N3W 1P4
Saturday December 2 & Sunday December 3
10 am - 3 pm both days

More than 40 quilts for sale, many are class samples
new - ranging from crib size to king size, priced from $50 to $1100
 Payment by cash or credit card

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Giraffe Quilt & Life/Housekeeping Update

These patterns by Laura Heine are collage.  This giraffe was fascinating, as far as how the maker put the fabrics together.

She requested straight line quilting, with some decorative elements added.  Here I've quilted in the shrubbery this hungry guy is eating.

 Here you can see the sun and pouffy clouds.

I was sooo in love with the back.

Now, the Life & Housekeeping Story.

I told you last month many tales of woe.  Things are mostly starting to recover, but not completely.
The latest Oh-For-Crying-Out-Loud is my diagnosis with Pityriasis Rosea. It's a virus that I just have to live with for about 12 weeks.  It started around Thanksgiving (ha ha, very funny Universe!) and should be gone by mid January.  Yay, I get to look like I've been boiled in oil over Christmas.  How fun is that?

Some of the good news is that DH hounded our fireplace insert company until they finally replaced our unit under warranty.  So I can stay warm this winter.  Happy, happy!
And on Friday our new fridge FINALLY arrived.  Although we had to remove two banks of cupboards to make it fit in the kitchen, and now we're having some, ahem, discussions about the necessity of a kitchen renovation.

In the Almost Finished category is the quilt guild.  One of our members passed away and bequeathed her sewing room to the guild - fabric, books, magazines, thread, notions, batting, stuffing, ribbons & trims, ufo's, etc., and she named me as the person in charge.  So far I've spent three full days working on that stuff, along with some wonderful helpers.  Our first sale will be this week with another one a week later.  Proceeds will be going into a separate fund for, I think, a quilt teacher.  I will be really glad to see that job tied up.

On the housekeeping front, since we will be renovating the kitchen (hee hee 😚) I thought I should do some shoveling purging in the pantry.  Out with 30 - yes 30 - years of Milk Calendars.  I had to page through  I needed to pull some recipes out, and it was fun seeing the funny notes my s.i.l. used to write on there when we were dog-sitting for them.

 That recipe for a fruit flan is delicious.  Once I get it into a plastic page protector and into the binder it should be much easier to find.  I think the last time I made it was three years ago.  DH and I were out for a walk and we scavenged pears from a wild tree growing at the side of the road.  My lovely neighbour Sophie provided the apples.
 Lord.  Instruction manuals for FOUR microwave ovens were in this pile.  We only have one.  The others have all gone to the landfill.  How sad is that?  I feel sorry for the generation that will have to clean up all that shit after we're gone.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Canada - Still Celebrating, and Celery Soup

Yes, we are still celebrating this great country of ours. 💗

Celebrating our luck  to live in a wonderful place (and for most of us it IS just luck), especially with such a beautiful view...sunshine in spite of the threatening skies.  Sights like this give me a moment of absolute rapture.  I know that sounds a little theatrical, but I swear it's true.

Now, on to the sort of depressing story.  This was most of the end of the garden produce.  Sad.  I had to go back out and dig ALL the celery, then figure out what the hell to do with it.  Rachel Ray has a good soup recipe.  I doubled the 'guts' so it would be a nice, thick, hearty soup.  I've got my adapted version at the bottom of this post.

The last jalapenos were chopped and frozen.  They will warm my belly during the winter.

And my fall front porch table will need updating.

Helen's Bastardized Celery Soup Recipe:

CELERY SOUP (about 5 generous servings)

§  2 tbsp butter
§  2 tbsp olive oil
§  4 cups chopped celery
§  1 cup diced onion
§  2 cups diced potato
§  1 litre /2 pints of light chicken/ turkey or ham stock
§  salt
§  black pepper
§  1 cup heavy cream

Stew the celery and onion gently in the butter and oil in a covered pan for 10 minutes.  
Add the potato and stir to coat well with butter and oil.   Don’t let the vegetables brown.  
Add the stock.  Bring the soup to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes or until the celery is very tender.  
Blend with your favorite food chopper/whizz-a-whizzer.  
Add the cream and rewarm the soup.

Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.