Thursday, June 30, 2016

And The Band Plays On

Remember last post I was busy doing a happy dance for being so close to finishing my sashing pieces for Danuta's Garden? Well, the dancing continues in earnest these days because all are now finished.

The short ones needed a press and trim.

And then it was time to start laying it all out. I opted for the carpet instead of the design wall because it was hard to gauge the colours down in the sewing room, which meant rolling around on my hands a knees for a bit, but it came together fairly quickly. I'm so happy with how it's looking - much softer than I was expecting, which is great (it's still not great lighting, but you get the idea).

So now my rows are all organized and ready to go. With any luck at all, this should be a quilt top by the end of the summer. Happy dance, indeed!...M

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Seven of Seven

It's happy dance time! I've now finished the last of long sashing strips for Danuta's Garden so it will soon be time to start laying it all out to put together.

I'm sorely tempted to put it up on the design wall but my tally shows that I still have nine more of the shorter three-block sashing strips to make so I'm going to keep my head down and finish those off and then lay everything out. Now that it's this far along it almost doesn't seem real!

As the calendar rolled over into summer I baked one more spring treat - the rhubarb torte. I suspect that it's because we only have it a few times each spring but it's always such a treat to enjoy with a good cup of tea...M

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Picks

Anne's been hand piecing a small quilt top that she's hoping to use on her sofa and is now ready to add the borders. She took a look in the shops but the selection is pretty limited so we decided to take a look at my stash to see if there might be something there.

It's full of bright botanicals and is a riot of colour. I'm not sure of the pattern name or if she just made up the design, but the block consists four patches joined with narrow strips and either a red, yellow or green square in the centre.

And, if I have the story right, it started with a pile of squares from Jane's stash and grew from there - those large fruit prints are definitely from Jane.

She's been getting help from Jane with it while at the cottage so it's come together faster than she had imagined.

I've come up with two options that might work for her. The first is this large floral. She's got a piece of bright green and she could insert a narrow strip - probably half as wide as the one I've folded - into it.

If that's too wild for her there's a more traditional piece of green and yellow. If she used this one there's enough in the large floral above that she could back it with, and I think that it might be the better option. We'll have to see if any suit.....M

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake

I've spent the day aiming for my stitching but seem to have been continually intercepted by other chores that need doing, none the least of which was trying a new Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake recipe. Really, it had me at 'buttermilk'.

I love the texture and the moisture that you get from buttermilk and the rhubarb was ready so there was nothing left to do but make it. The only change I made was to add about 3/4 of a cup more rhubarb so that it is nice and fruity. The Official Cookie Tester enjoyed his with a dollop of ice cream but I opted for having it straight up because it was still warm from the oven. De-lish. I had made a different recipe about two weeks ago but I think this one goes to the top of the list.

So, about that stitching. The only thing that I managed to do on that front was press a handful of tiny four patches. Hopefully I'll find an hour this evening to sew them into another sashing strip...M

Friday, June 10, 2016

12 Hours In The Car

We enjoyed a short trip to beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake this week. It's a bit of a hike for us (six hours one way) so I was able to take advantage of the fact that I had 12 hours to act as navigator rather than driver and fit in some stitching on one of the long sashing strips for Danuta's Garden.

The last stitches went into it just after dinner tonight so that takes my tally to six. One more strip to go. Maybe if I buckle down I could get most of the last one finished up by the end of the weekend...

I store my pieces in a plastic case that was designed for scrapbooking but works beautifully for quilting projects. The only drawback is that when it is closed up for a long period of time the plastic doesn't have the most satisfying scent so I've started tucking a lavender sachet in with my pieces and it is much better.

I probably could have been more productive but I was quite enjoying being the passenger - you see so much more than when you are driving.

It's also tough to keep your eye on your stitching when you have views like this to enjoy.

We walked and golfed and walked and went to a few wineries and walked some more. Oh yes, and we enjoyed several lovely meals.

The Official Cookie Tester rented a bike for a few hours one day but I decided that I needed a trip to The Quilting Bee in nearby Fonthill instead. I picked up a few lovely pieces, one of which will hopefully work for the pieced backing that I need to make for Candied Hexagons.

Back to work.....M

Sunday, June 05, 2016

It Just Keeps Getting Better

The next border is now being attached to Betty's star quilt and, as suspected, it looks incredible. We enjoyed stitching on the deck at Jane's cottage over the May long weekend and this was the project that Betty worked on. There's nothing like taking the quilting bee out into the fresh air, is there?

She had realized once she started attaching the floral border that the sawtooth border would be better if the mushroom coloured print were to the outside, so she ripped all of that off, reattached it, and then started adding the star border. Lots of work, but a good decision.

It's a marvel. As you look at it it's hard to imagine it being improved upon, but each border proves you wrong.

The maker's talented hands....M

Friday, June 03, 2016


Surprise! That's what was written across the packing tape of a beautiful little parcel that arrived in the mail the other day from my dear friend Sheila.

Of course it only tweaked my curiosity even more so I tore into the packing until it revealed this wonderful collection of tiny magnets. Aren't they gorgeous?? They look like the beautiful Millefiore quilts that are populating blogland and Pinterest these days. Love them!!!

It really is no surprise that she sent them. Sheila and I met in university and she has lived in northern British Columbia for most of the time since then so we don't get to see each other very often at all, but she's one of those people that you can just pick up where you left off with as though you saw her yesterday. She has a wicked sense of humour - I live to read her Christmas letter - and a wonderful sense of adventure (in fact, she's off to Scotland on a cycling trip with a small crew as I write this) and though we're miles apart she has always been there for me. Such a gift in my life.

She has also always been great at sending me thoughtful little bundles out of the blue. I wish that I could say that I have returned the favour but I'm sorely lacking in that regard. I think of her often and now these beautiful little touchstones will be one more reminder of her....M