Friday, December 23, 2011


WOW! What a difference a day makes! I should have lightened the photo as it isn't this dark outside, but its snowing and I don't care!! My apologies to all people who are travelling for my happy enthusiasm!!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Tote, a few days before Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve is just a couple of days away! I was so excited when I woke up the other morning to 4 inches of snow, thinking that we might get a white Christmas after all but last nights rain took it all away.... :-(
I won't complain too much because it will be much safer for all the people who have to travel this time of year! Safe driving!

Well, this is part of our snowless yard. It would look much better with snow for sure! We have a few very large fields behind us. I have no idea how many acres a large field might be so I will guess that the fields behind us might be a few hundred acres. North, beyond the fields, a mile or two, is the Gulf of St. Lawrence not too far from the Atlantic Ocean. In the winter when the winds blow from the north, it is so cold and we can get hit with some whopper snow storms! This is what it looks like now.

And this is what our backyard can look like after just one storm. There was hardly any snow on the ground before this storm came blowing in a few years ago!!! This is the back of our house!

We had to get our snowshoes on and climb the mountain of snow and pull the clothesline out of the snow before it broke!

Anyways, I had another busy couple of days. I decided to make a tote for my next door neighbour! She's a lovely lady and a wonderful neighbour!

This is an Art to Heart project from their Easy Does it for Winter books. I love their stuff and have a few of their books. I tried to cover all seasons.

The one problem I had was that they suggested you use your sewing machine to do a blanket stitch around the edge of the snowman and the mittens, glove, birds, etc. but my machine does not do that stitch. I tried an alternate similar stitch but it looked horrible so I just stuck to a normal straight stitch and was pleased with the results.

I ironed a light fusible web to the back of all the fabric used in the making of the snowman, glove, etc., cut out the snowman, glove, bird, etc., and then ironed it all onto the plaid fabric. I then machine stitched it. I used black thread for everything except the scarf, which was done using red thread.

This is the back of the tote.

Plaid cottons are extremely hard to come by on the island for some reason so I used another fabric for the back that wasn't too Christmassy so the tote can be used at all winter.

It is only a few days before Christmas but my family also celebrates the January or "Old Christmas". I hope to make another gift or two in time to send them along before the big day. So I better go and get to work!

Merry Christmas everyone and Blessings in the New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Bag, Quaker Diamonds and a Week before Christmas!

A week today and Christmas is over! Where has time gone?

The tree is up, most gifts are wrapped and under the tree and we are just waiting for the big day! Some of us are a bit impatient! Skyler (the dog) can smell a new play ball on a rope and a new Mr. Squirrel and a bag of treats under the tree (DON'T TELL HER!!!) and has parked herself near her gifts so no one else gets them first!

Went for a walk the other day when it was a bit cloudy. A hazy sun came out once in a while, but it was a cold refreshing day and nevertheless, a good day to get out. This is a pond that is on the trails a few kms from the house.

And don't tell Mum but I made her a bag for shopping. She loves birds and I found a lovely fabric in the shop quite a long time ago and then found some upholstery fabric to go with it. I put sides on the bag but laid flat it is approx. 13 inches by 13 inches. Mum uses a walker so I made small handles that she can put onto the walker. I have only made a bag or two in my lifetime and I confess that I have not used my sewing machine too much in the last 15 or 20 years and I am wayyy out of practice so no close ups!! LOL

This is the inside of the bag. I tried to make it bright as there is nothing worse than trying to find something at the bottom of a dark purse or bag. You might be able to make out the little pocket on the inside. The fabric runs in a different direction from the rest of the inside.

And what am I stitching these days? Well, I am trying to get some UFO's finished up. And I won't tell you how many there are but to say there are lots would be a major understatement! I joined a SAL in Facebook's "Sampler World" so need to get my butt in gear and finish up some old projects! This is Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor. I am trying to finish up the little motifs in the sampler and have one more somewhat larger one to stitch in that vacant spot on the left. It is being stitched on Picture This Plus Cashel 28 Count Mello with Valdani threads. And yes, I am definitely NOT destined to be an award winning blogger as I couldn't even find the time to take the sampler off the stitching bars and iron it! LOL In the time it would take me to do that, I could do a whole lot more stitching!

As I gaze to the left out my window at the glorious sunny but cold day (-4C with a windchill of -10C) I am thinking what I really need right now is a walk in the great outdoors!
My wish to everyone:

The light of the Christmas star to you,
The warmth of home and hearth to you,
The cheer and good will of friends to you,
The hope of a childlike heart to you,
The joy of a thousand angels to you,
The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.

Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas filled with love, joy and happiness and Blessings in the New Year!

Talk to you again soon.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Encrusted Crazy Quilting finished!

I probably shouldn't make a post right now as I have a gazillion things that need doing this afternoon and it's 2 pm now! YIKES!

In any case, I had to put my quilting block away for a couple of weeks. The mind went blank and I think it had to do with just being too frustrated at not being able to get the beads, thread colours, buttons, etc that I wanted to use on the block. In fact, I was so upset with it, I actually packed up all the supplies I had and put everything on the shelf. I packed it so well that when I went to work on the block, I couldn't find it as I packed it away with the supplies!

Two things happened in the meantime. I made a trip into the big city, Charlottetown, and visited Fabricville. They just got in a wonderful display of Gutermann glass and bugle beads and sequins in the most amazing colours. Prices start at about $5 though and go up past $8 for one item. OUCH! Anyways, I bought a container of glass beads and when I went to pay for it was told there was a buy one get two free sale on that day so I ran to pick up two more items. Of course, all the way home, and I had a long drive to think about it, I kept asking myself why I didn't run and pick up 5 or 8 or 11 more????? DRATS!!!!!!!!! I was not thrilled with the price of silk being $29 a metre so will have to wait for a REALLY good sale and see if I can pick up quarter metres of it.

Anyways, some time away from the block and 3 new beads seemed to awaken my creative juices. Saturday I dug out my block and started working on it. I can't believe it but between Saturday, Sunday and today, I probably spent an additional 10 to 15 MORE hours on the block. Amazing. In any case, I did relax a tremendous amount from when I worked on the block during the course. When I relaxed, the mind went silly and the stitching began. I expanded some areas that were too tight and just went wiggly niggly adding things here and there and not worrying too much about "Matching", just having some fun. I did reread Tahlia's and Sharon's and classmates messages to me a number of times and used their suggestions as a starting point. Thank you very much ladies!

This is the completed block with some close ups of various parts of the block. I went outside to photograph it which is why the colour is a bit weird I guess. Hope it shows up.

I had alot of fun doing these flowers. Another first for me. The ribbon I used for it was way too wide and I had take out the spider wheel a number of times before it actually started to come together. I have searched in town and in the big city for very thin ribbon and there really isn't any so that will have to go on my shopping list for my next visit to Ontario. And yes, that is a spider web and spider on the block!
I tried to do a bit of overlapping, as was suggested. I'm not sure how well the photographs show it, but its there to a small degree. Again, in hindsite, I might have done things different if I had to do it all again, but I certainly learned lots and that is what it is all about. I also thought of adding some creative stitching here and there, but I am a little pressed for time and really needed to finish the block, plain and simple.

This last picture below was sort of my biggest frustration the last day or two. I wanted to make some red Buttonhole loop flowers on that dark green vine and I did not have a #12 perle cotton in a colour that was bright enough for the vine so I used DMC floss instead and was not thrilled with the results as all the loops twisted and only 2 or 3 stayed open as they were supposed to. Nothing in life is perfect, so I will use the imperfect loops as just being a part of life. They sort of look like rose buds so I am happy with that, but, (with a great big sigh!) I can see I need to add some bright coloured perle cottons to my shopping list! The buttonhole loops are the bright red flowers (blobbettes) in the two photos below.

Well, that's it for me. I have a whole slew of veggies to chop up for a dish I am making for our Stitching Guilds Christmas pot luck this evening and just got a call from someone saying I need to be there with the key a whole lot earlier and I am soooooo behind!

This course has been a real joy and if you are interested in stretching your creative self or exciting yourself, take a look here for a list of Sharon's courses!

There is so much to do between now and Christmas! I hope to get back in here before Christmas, but, if I don't, Merry Christmas and all the best that the world offers in the New Year!