Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The streets are crawling with little ghouls and goblins so in between shelling out and admiring costumes I thought I'd send along Halloween wishes. I like to keep the kitchen window open so that I can hear them running down the street calling to each other and chatting away as they approach the front door. There don't seem to be as many little ones as there usually are but it rained quite heavily all day today and I suspect it affected peoples' plans. It's a lovely night - quite mild, for a change, and the rain has stopped, so those that are out are having lots of fun.

I don't really have much quilty to show you when it comes to Halloween but I do have a few pics of the results of some playing that I've been making with the greens & blacks that I showed you a little while back.

It's been fun to create new 'fabric' by randomly stitching these pieces together - not sure what the appeal is but I do love to see the new combinations emerge and could see myself happily spending lots of time at it.

There's an idea percolating in the back of my mind as to what I could do with these, but it still a little refining to be done.

In the interim, I thought I'd share these few snippets to peak your interest. When there's more to show you will be the first to know.

Gotta go - someone's at the door!...M

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Need These... I need another hole in the head, but have them I do. I probably have more cookbooks than the average person and a good chunk of those are on baking & cookies, so there really is no need to buy mags for the same purpose is there? Well, of course there is!! What if I happened to miss the all-time best recipe ever? Then where would I be?

Cherry-Almond Half Moons
Actually, I have to commend myself just a little bit because a couple of years have gone by without me nabbing a Christmas cookie issue - or two - from the newstand, but these two looked too good to pass up. And the bakeoff is now on the horizon so I need to get into the zone...figure out my game plan...and then be sure that I have the ingredients that I need and that I have the right combination of squares and cookies (anal, I know).

Apple Cider Buttons
Much as I love baking I do have to admit that both of these issues were really beautifully laid out, which makes it that much easier for them to follow you home, doesn't it?

Mexican-Chocolate Snickerdoodles
I have a favourite nephew who loves Snickerdoodles - he grew up making them at his sitter's - wonder if he'd like this version? He's not big on chocolate.

Chocolate Spice Shortbread Stars

'Tis the season for shortbread, and there lots to choose from...I love cardamom but you don't often see recipes that use it so me thinks that these will make the short list.

Salted Caramel Thumbprints
And how about these tasty looking little morsels - Salted Caramel Thumbprints. Fun to make and fun to eat.

Chocolate-Dipped Espresso Shortbread
There's lots of choice, which will make sitting down with a cup of tea or cocoa a real joy. But first things first - time to start developing the list to be baked!...M

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's that time again - time to enjoy all the wonderful, creative expressions posted at Amy's Fall Bloggers Quilt Festival. All the fun began yesterday and there are already 282 luscious pieces of eye candy to keep you occupied for a while, so you might want to make a cup of tea before you sit in to browse. It runs through to November 9 so there's lots of time to pick your favourites.

I debated long and hard as as to which quilt I'd enter but I've decided on Grandma Mary's Five Patch.

This is the quilt that launched my blog just over a year ago and it was also the first baby quilt that I plucked up the nerve to quilt by machine. I made it for a friend who was about to have her first child and apparently it is dearly loved by mother and daughter.

It was a fun pattern to make (actually, I didn't have a pattern, I just made it up based on a photo that I saw - I have a tendency to fall in love with little 2x3 inch photos and then go from there). It was so much fun that I've got the beginnings of a queen sized version on the go somewhere in my sewing cave.

It is quilted in wide bands on a 45 degree angle and I was really pleased with the end result. That said, I don't think I would entertain machine quilting anything too much larger unless I had a compleetely different setup in my sewing room.

Much as I love the front, the backing really set it off, I think. It's a playful turquoise flannelette with funky patches of flowers in pink, yellow, orange and green with a little mauve thrown in for good measure. The pink polka dot binding just tied everything together, making it a lovely little nest for someone to curl up into....M

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Full Speed Ahead

The Holly Bazaar deadline isn't moving so I need to get the lead out. I've got 6 journal covers done now so I'm doing the hand sewing to finish them off. They are beautiful individually but really lovely together as well; when I get the handwork done I'll show them in more detail.

I'm also back in the bird business. Little birds keep piling up as I was TV and I have a nest full, with more to come. I'm still debating how to hang the red ones so as not to take away from the bow, but I'll figure something out.

Each colour is proving to be a little different in terms of the style of the bird. For the cream felt I think I'll make them a little Victorian and just put a little rosette at the neck with maybe a gold cord to hang them. I don't even know that I will put an eye on (the red ones have a small black bead for the eye and the white will have a smokey purple bead) - we'll see.

Time is flying and so are the leaves. These are some of the last leaves that were in the back yard, but that was a few days ago and many of them are now on the ground. Soon it will all be white....M

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

...And A Little More Addi

Addi's quilt is moving along and will soon be quilted. The border is on and it's all pinned together and ready to go.

She encircled the centre panel with a border made from blocks that are a version of the blocks used in the centre, only reversed the prints - gingham on for the square and a bright solid for the border surrounding it.

Anne put the three quilts that she is working on right now out on the clothesline and it's quite a lovely collection.

Here they are from the other end...

Peeking Buddha

The baby quilt on the right - Between The Lines - needs to be finished first as baby was due last week, I believe, so binding is on at the top of her TO DO list....M

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Peek At Addi's Quilt

Anne sent through a few pics of Addi's quilt top from our work session on Thanksgiving weekend to share with you. Here it is all laid out and ready to be sewn together.

This is just the cutest fabric....and adds a great shot of colour too

Each alternating block has a tiny fussy cut block in the centre to make things interesting. Apparently Addi likes little things so she will be able to fall asleep discovering the treasures in each little block. As much as her sister Emma's quilt is called I Spy, this one could be too.

There are a couple of duplicates but not that many - turtles, flowers, cherries, piglets, sailboats - you get the idea. She will have lots of fun with it (I did!).

Anne is now finishing off the border so I will have pics of the finished product for you one of these days. Both quilts are Christmas prezzies so she's making great progress....M

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fun With Journal Covers

I've gotten back into the swing of things with the journal covers - I find your head needs to be in the right frame of mind to do them. Like anything else, I guess. After my 'blue phase' I thought I'd venture into the reds and browns and at the end of it all I honestly can't pick a favourite.

Here's the second blue/green combo that I made - I don't think that I've shown you that one yet.

The red one is just spectacularly rich with the deeper burgundy accent and then the blues & greens thrown in.
And the brown/taupe combo turned out to be so warm. I really wasn't convinced that I was going to like this combo at all when I started to cut, but once again I was proven wrong.
It's been so much fun creating new points of interest for each one. There are five ready to quilt now and that always takes them to a completely different level so I'll be back with pics of the finished product.

Have I mentioned how much fun these are to make?...M

Sunday, October 14, 2012

140 Pies, And Counting

A recent addition to the Holly Bazaar fundraising efforts is the sale of freshly made apple pies, and yesterday was pie day. We started at 9 a.m. with a TO DO list of 132 but I think by the time the day was up there were a few more orders added to the list and, after running out of apples a few times, we finished off somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150, which is considerably more than they sold last year.

Things went off like clockwork. We had people at peeling, cutting, making pastry, rolling, filling, crimping, packaging and shipping stations! At one point I think that there were about 25 women involved but after lunch the crowd thinned as we thought that all of the apples were peeled, but mid afternoon we went for another bushel basket.

We don't have freezer space for near that many pies so as soon as a supply is ready buyers are called to come and pick them up, which they were happy to do. And occassionally one of the guys popped in to check on their wives/our progress, so they were treated to a slice of freshly baked pie and a slice of old cheddar. No one refused...

These gals are all so efficient! I was one of four that were rolling out dough for most of the day and this was Orma who was set up was beside me. She just kept happily churning them out.

I had ordered several for us and for a few friends too so last night we enjoyed delicious apple pie for dessert. And maybe for breakfast today too...

The bazaar is November 9 so I've gone back to working on the journal covers - I am determined not to be hemming/sewing late into the night of the 8th. I had orignally made three blue/green covers but I wanted to try one in reds to see how that would work. LOVE IT!! And then there's another two in muted green/taupe with a shot of red & yellow (second one from the top of this pile) that turned out really well too. I liked the first one so much that I made a second one right away but it's not in the photo. More details on those later...M

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Spy

I Spy
Add another one to the finished list, or at least to having the top finished. All the borders are now on I Spy so it's ready to be shipped off to Anne for quilting.

The bright, cheery colours and variety of fabrics give your eye lots to play with. Many of these prints have come from the fabrics that I plan to use for my Fruit Salad one day so it's like a dry run.

When I created the square block border I inserted a few half inch white on white strips randomly to break it up a bit and I really like the look. Just that little bit opened it up a tad and created some interest.

I think it would be nice quilted on the diagonal but we'll see what plans has up her sleeve. The backing will be bright green, which will make it pop even more....M

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What a Whirlwind!

Belated Thanksgiving wishes, everyone! I thought I'd have time to post during the weekend but the sched was pretty packed so it's time for a little catch up. The pumpkin pies got made Saturday morning and were thoroughly enjoyed throughout the weekend. I used a new pastry recipe that has baking powder and milk in it and it turned out really nice - lovely to work with. I think this is one of my favourite pies so I was certain to get my share. I made four so there was lots to enjoy on the weekend and some to send home in care packages.

It was also a weekend for quilts. Anne had made a Between The Lines top for the daughter of a friend of hers who is due soon so she wanted to try her hand at machine quilting it with her walking foot. We set her up in the kitchen so that I could crack the whip over her while I made the pies.

The top has some Paddington Bear and Clifford The Big Red dog prints in it, along with lots of greens and a bit of blue & gold. It went very well for her and she was thrilled to get it done. I think she thought it might take longer than it did, but in a few hours it was done so now it just needs to be bound.

Then she moved on to Addi's quilt; this is the one for her god daughter for Christmas that she designed this summer. She has all the blocks made for the centre of it so I laid those out and she got all of that sewn together as well. It is really sweet, particularly the fussy cuts in the centre of the white blocks. I don't have any photos on my camera but I'll get her to send a few through so that I can share them with you.

And, the more we talked, the more we realized that it might be nice for Addi's older sister Emma to open a quilt on Christmas morning too so we did a bit of digging and came up with I Spy. It is a promotional pattern from Pink Chalk Studios.

This is the photo that we were working from...

and this is my henscratching that lays out the dimensions. We cut the bricks in the centre panel 6" x 3", so a little bigger than the pattern that we had. And we created the block border out of fabric squares - the original pattern used a large stripe but I didn't have anything in that scale so we improvised. Emma is 10 so we wanted it larger than a baby quilt. This one should end up around 50" x 70", a perfect size for wrapping herself up in to read (she is a voracious reader).

Talk about a quick turnaround on this one! We started cutting at 8 p.m. and by 11 p.m. everything was cut and the centre panel was all together and pressed.

I'm still working on the outside borders but it should be done later today so I'll post more pics tomorrow.

All in all, a banner weekend for quilt production. So much to be thankful for!...M