Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mimi Has the Last Word

One last post for Blogtoberfest 2012

"Meow.  Whatcha eating?:

It's ratatouille.  I made a big potful for dinner.

"Is it made with real rats?"

No!  It's a vegetarian dish.

"Oh, blech!  Ratapooie!  Meow!"

Halloween Dance!

Day 31. Last of Blogtoberfest!
I made it!

I spent the entire day at my DD's school helping out with the Halloween Dance.  Didn't spend much time in the gymnasium, but I did keep the popcorn popping and the drinks flowing.  Members of the Student Council sold cupcakes and other goodies.  

It was a long day and I don't know if I am ever going to be the same again.  The music was so loud that I had to stay in the kitchen most of the time.  And if I ever hear M J's "Thriller" again I think I am going to scream! It was played for every group that came down to the gym during the entire day. But the kids were terrific!  Only one drink spilled and a few popcorn puffs fell on the floor.  They all came in costumes and danced their little hearts out.  Here are some of the older students, my DD's grade 7/8 class.

The DJ was fantastic.  He had appropriate music for the entire school population.  Fun songs for the little ones and current music for the older group.  I sang and danced and made a fool out of myself!  But I had a blast!  And now I am home and I think I could sleep for a week, but in an hour or so the Trick or Treaters will be knocking at the door.  

Here is a photo of the cupcakes, cookies and muffins I baked.  The light orange iced cupcakes are the ones I made.  See that pumpkin in the background?  I brought that to school this morning and my DD's class carved it for me.  I am very grateful for that.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm Update

Day 30 of Blogtoberfest.

Sorry I didn't give you an earlier update on the Super Storm we had last night.  I want to thank everyone who was worried about us.  But there really isn't much to tell.   We had a lot of rain and strong winds.  Trees blew over and basements were flooded, power lines were knocked down and some folks are still without power now, but we had nowhere near the devastation that was felt in the eastern United States.

I could not sleep last night because of the blowing winds, things that hit my solarium and the sounds that made me imagine my roof was being ripped off my house.  But when I woke up there was little damage.  Our power did not get disrupted and my house was save.  My cats were terrified of the winds and rain and slept close to me all night long.  There was a lot of damage in other parts of Toronto - lots of power outages and trees that had been pulled right out of the ground, roots and all.  One woman was hit by a flying sign and died.  But overall, we did not get as much damage as the weatherman predicted.

I went to my Tuesday morning quilting group.  It was nice to drink a hot cup of tea with other quilters after all that crazy weather.  As we drove home, crews had already started to cut down trees and remove fallen branches.  There was even some blue sky when we went over to the church for out meeting, but on the way home it was raining again.  I have been making Rice Krispie Squares since I got home.  I'll take a photo tomorrow.

Did I show you my turquoise squares?  Here they are.  They were the only blocks I made this weekend.  Once things settle down around here, like after Halloween, I will do some red ones.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Storm's a Brewin'

Day 29 of Blogtoberfest.

It is dark and dreary outside.  But it will get worse before the storm is over.  Environment Canada has promised us tons of rain, high winds and cold temperatures.  When Hurricane Sandy reaches landfall 'she' will combine with the two storm systems that are already over us.  The ensuing storm will reach a radius of 1,300km.  And we'll be in the middle of it.  It has already rained for 3 days and will rain for another 5 days at least.  Where is that ark when you need it?

I have bottled water, candles and canned food on hand in case the power goes out.  I am also prepping lots of hexies so that I will have something to do if I can't use my sewing machine.  I have put the would-be quilt on my design floor so that I can see which hexies I need to make.  Lots of white ones, darn!

I have also been playing with the witches' finger cookies.  I decided to give them fake nails.  Chocolate ones, glued on with more melted chocolate.  I think this will work!  I plan to bake another batch this afternoon, in green.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scrappy Star Block and Lots of Baking

Day 28 of Blogtoberfest.

Busy sewing in the middle of the night.  Made this latest Scrappy Star block.  Then I went back to bed and slept in.  Half the day was gone.

I turned my kitchen into a bakery today.  Already baked 30 cupcakes.  They still have to be iced with orange icing.  Also made some of those creepy witch's fingers.  Still have some dough in the fridge to make some pumpkin cut-outs.  These are all for the kids at my DD's school for Halloween.  Nuts are banned in their school, so I had to adjust the recipes accordingly.  I still have to decorate the fingers with some sort of finger nails.  I think I will just ice them.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scraps and Vomit

Day 27 of Blogtoberfest.

I spent yesterday afternoon in my sewing room, playing with fabrics.  I decided to make a few more Scrappy Stars, but after making only one, I realized how many 2.5inch scraps I have.  

So I looked for a quilt design that would use a lot of them and I found one - Scrap Vomit!  Each of these blocks is made up using 49 2.5in squares.  That would go a long way to clearing out my scrap bin.  So I made one of the scrappy blocks and one of the more organized ones.  

It was difficult to see the design in the organized block, so I thought a lighter fabric might work better.  I just placed the white squares on top of the purple ones.  Which block do you like better?

I'm still not quite sure what I will do with these blocks.  Continue or ?  We are having awful weather.  It is raining, a lot.  Supposed to rain all next week too.  Several storms, including Hurricane Sandy are coming together over us.  We will not get the worst of it though.  Not as bad as what is expected along the North Eastern Seaboard and Maritime Canada.  New York City is supposed to get snow!  Snow!  Isn't it too early for that?  Tell me what your weather is like where you are.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Clean Up and Free For All Friday

Day 26 of Blogtoberfest.

I made a total of 23 library bags for the kindergarten kids.  Took them over to the school yesterday.  Still have more to make.  I think I will do 2 per day.  But first I had to clean up my messy cutting table.  There was no room to work.  As you can see in the photo, I added some bag fabric to my stash.  Yesterday I ran out of thread, so DH took me over to Fabricland.  I found these wonderful fabrics on theit sales table and got about 3.5 metres for less than $10.   What a bargain!  One is a cute little Paddington Bear print.

Here is what my cutting table looks like after I cleaned up.  All of the scraps are in bins, sorted by colour.  I decided to reward myself for all my hard work with a little mindless sewing.  So I am working on my free-for-all blocks this afternoon.  Nothing more relaxing than that!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sampler Blocks

Day 25 of Blogtoberfest.

Yesterday I exchanged several emails with Terry of Terry's Treasures.  I told her I had over 100 orphan blocks in a UFO bin.  She found that hard to believe.  But it's true.  These are the blocks that I made several years ago when I was posting and making the Friday Block Party blocks.  I did that for about 3 years, so you do the math.  I didn't make a block every single week and the ones I did make are all different sizes and colours.  I dreamt about these blocks a few weeks ago.  In my dream I couldn't find them and wished I had put them together.  I think that is what I have to do now.  They shouldn't be left languishing in the bottom of a bin.  Here are some of my 12inch blocks. 

 I have more of them!  Possibly enough for another quilt.  Maybe I'll put some sashing in between them.  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Flower Wednesday

Day 24 of Blogtoberfest.

An actual one-flower Wednesday because I only managed to make one hexagon flower this week.  I made a bunch of white hexies, but as far as flowers go, this was the only one.  

Only a few geraniums are still blooming in my garden.  It's cold today.  I smell winter in the air.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Scrappy Log Cabin Blocks

Day 23 of Blogtoberfest.

It's Tuesday so I must show you my scrappy log cabin collection.  So much fun and so stress reducing!  I could make these things all day long.  So far I have 29 finished and 5 more in progress.  They are not arranged in any order.  I have just thrown them down on my design floor and I have no idea how many I plan to make in total.

Sorry if the colour is not true.  It has been raining all day and even the solarium is dark and dreary.

Monday, October 22, 2012

There's Gold in Them Dare Trees

Day 22 of Blogtoberfest.

The sun is shining.  The temperature for today is 18C.  I decided to go out and look for colour - fall colour.  The leaves will not last must longer.  The wind is strong and is blowing everything to the ground.  But it still looks like a forest of gold out there.  The ravine is beautiful.  And I was able to take a few shots of other trees around the neighbourhood as well.  

I found other things in colour too.  Some rose hips among the golden leaves of the rose bushes along the path.  There were also a couple of roses still blooming.  Some pretty white asters were growing along the side walk.  Then there were the urns outside of McDonald's.  Can you believe that?  So beautiful with their mums and ornamental kale, and right outside the hamburger joint!  .  

I could have taken many more photos, but my battery ran out.  Not the battery on my camera, but the battery on my scooter.  I made it slowly all the way home, but it died in my driveway - wouldn't even go up the ramp.  So now it is plugged in outside by my back door.  As soon as it is working again I will bring it inside.  

Tonight is our monthly guild meeting.  I think we are having a good guest speaker tonight.  Hope so.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's For Dinner?

Day 21 of Blogtoberfest.

Sundays are usually busy around here.  Today was no exception.  No sewing got done.  But I did manage to go to the aquarium store and buy some more tropical fish - some algae eaters, four Angelfish, two New Guinea Rainbows, and two others that I can't remember the name of.  That should please Mimi.  And speaking of food...

I made ratatouille for the first time this afternoon.  This stuff is delicious!  Don't know why I never made it before. 

The tomatoes were from my garden - the last ones.  Everything has died out there after the few nights of frost that we had.  The plants have been removed and the soil dug over.  Now all I can do is look forward to next year. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Some More Scrappy Log Cabin Blocks

Day 20 of Blogtoberfest.
I'm still hanging in there.  2/3 of the way through.

I can't stop making these!  It's like 15-minutes of play, except I can keep on going for as long as I like!  I made 5 more green blocks and 6 yellow ones for a total of 12.  I love the colours of these blocks.  They remind me of spring, although that is a long way off.  Like six months!  Yuck!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Bags

Day 19 of Blogtoberfest.

I volunteered to make some bags for the kindergarten kids to carry their library books in.  I don't know if this is a good idea or not.  They can still lose the bag, the books and all.  I made about 9 bags this morning.  Still have to put handles on a couple of them.  And I will make some more on the weekend if I have time.  

I am using all kinds of old fabrics and scraps that I don't want any more, like polyester/cotton blends etc.  This is a real stash buster!  I am not sure how many bags will be needed.  I guess I should have asked that question before I volunteered.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Day 18 of Blogtoberfest

I recently cleaned out my aquarium and am now in the process of restocking it.  Can you tell?

Give a cat a fish and you feed her for a day.
Let a cat fish in your aquarium and you feed her for a lifetime.l

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Few Flowers on Wednesday

Day 17 of Blogtoberfest

The top right inner border is finished.  I still have to do a row of dark blue hexies all around, but that will have to happen slowly.  Those dark blue hexies are boring, but not as boring as the white hexies.  If I had my way I would only make hexie flowers.

I have been experimenting with some other hexie shapes.  I want to make this quilt a bit bigger by adding another border once the inner quilt is done.  Those triangle flowers are what I have come up with.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Busy Busy

Day 16 of Blogtoberfest

Too much to do today.  Just got home from quilt group, errands and volunteer work.  Dinner has to be made, but I just have to show you my scrappy log cabin blocks from the quilt-along that Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts is hosting.  

We were supposed to make 2 blocks per day.  This is day 7 and I have made 13 blocks.  That's pretty close, I think.  I have to make 48 blocks altogether.  I'd better get my 'log' on.  I started making different colour blocks at first, but then I decided that it would be easier to make all the blocks of one colour at the same time.  That way I don't have such a mess on my cutting table.  I have made 6 pink blocks, so I think tomorrow will be a blue day.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

This and That

Day 15 of Blogtoberfest

Some things I've been working on.  The first is a scarf made with Red Heart Boutique Ribbons.  It knits up easily.  One ball makes a scarf.  It isn't very soft though.  But I think my DD will like it.  

I also made one of these little gnomes.  So easy and sooooo cute!  The pattern is here.  I think I will make a few more.  They will make great Christmas decorations!  

I also made an extra block for Terry's Scrappy Stars. (look on her side bar for more info)  Here are all 9 that I have finished so far.   The one at the top left is my new block.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mimi Has Nightmares!

Day 14 of Blogtoberfest.

OMG!  Meooooowwww!  I have to stop taking that medicine and eating that special food the vet gave me.  That stuff is giving me nightmares.  I just dreamt I was Hello Kitty!  Eeeeeeekkkk!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mimi Approved

Day 13 of Blogtoberfest

Mimi approves of the scrappy log cabin blocks I have made.  

I  had a couple of hours this morning so I made a few more blocks.  OMG!  Mimi isn't the only one who loves these blocks.  They are so much fun!  I can't stop making them.  Here are the 7 blocks I have done so far.  I still want to do a few more colours, like pink, yellow and maybe grey.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Friday Flimsy Finish!

Day 12 of Blogtoberfest.

The rest did me good yesterday.  I read a bit, napped a bit and sewed a bit.  And...  Yippee!  I finished this strippy quilt top that I have been working on since, well, I really don't know when.  A long time, that's for sure.

It was the first strip quilt I ever started and I didn't know too much about sewing strips together and ending up with bias edges.  So I decided to sew them onto pieces of muslin.  It worked, but the quilt top alone, is very heavy.  I don't think I will have to put a batting in it.  Maybe a very thin, light batting.  But I could probably just add a backing and quilt it.  Now I sew the strips to paper and that seems to work better.

I also started something new.  I know, I know.  Shouldn't be starting new stuff when I am buried in UFOs, but I couldn't help myself.  I saw this quilt-along and tutorial posted by Jennifer on Ellison Lane Quilts.  I am already several days behind, but I can catch up.  Only have to make 4 a day for a few days.  Yeah, like that's going to happen.  I really like this quilt though and I will work away on it, using my scraps, which I have tons of, until it is done.   Here is my first purple block.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Day of Rest

Day 11 of Blogtoberfest.

It's Thursday already and I am finally having a day to myself.  That's a good thing because I am tired, very tired.  I don't know if I am coming down with something or if it is because of the weather or because I have been very busy this week.  It is cold and windy today.  I plan to just work on some sewing.  Probably some hand sewing because I find that the most relaxing.  

The trees in our area are just starting to change their colours.  This is the view from the bridge I frequently travel on.  Those colours should improve over the next couple of weeks. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Flowers on a Cold Rainy Day

Day 10 of Blogtoberfest.

Click on the icon on my side bar for more information.

My hexies are the only flowers blooming in my garden today.  There are a few hardy blooms still out there, but tonight we are supposed to get a killing frost and then they will be gone too.  It is cold and dark and gloomy today.  I can hear the rain beating down on the roof of the solarium.  Not a nice day for anything except staying indoors and sewing and quilting.  But that is not a bad thing.  Is it?

I am experimenting with my flowers.  I feel that this flower pot quilt will not be as large as I would like it to be, so I am trying to see if I can add a border of hexies all the way around to increase the size - those triangle units surrounded by white hexies that you see in the top of the photo.  They should add about a 5inch border on all sides.  I am curious as to how to measure hexagons.  I hear of 1 inch and .5 inch hexagons, but what does that mean?  Are they measured along a side, or across from point to point down the middle or from point to point across the narrower part? Does anyone have an answer for me?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Works of Art

Day 9 of Blogtoberfest.

Click on the icon on my side bar for more information.

Our mini quilt group met at the church this morning.  There was lots of show and tell.  I love belonging to this group.  They are all wonderful women who come together to show their work, inspire each other by sharing  patterns and ideas, drink tea and eat goodies and chat, of course.  This is Helen's quilt, made especially for an outdoor enthusiast.

This quilt is called 'Crazy Eights'.  It's made using eight fat quarters.  This one is all done in flannel.  
And this one is a quilt made for Quilts of Valour.  Very Canadian in the red and white.  It was sandwiched this morning so that it can be quilted and returned, finished, to our Guild meeting at the end of the month.

In the afternoon I went over to my DD's school to help out with her art class.  The kids have been working on 'Pop Art'.  A few were finished today.  They did caricatures of themselves.  They used acrylic paint and were required to fill in the entire paper.  I think they did a great job.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 8 of Blogtoberfest.

Click on the icon on my side bar if you want more information.

Mimi and I want to wish all of our Canadian friends a very Happy Thanksgiving!  And all our American friends a Happy Columbus Day!  

Meow!  I am thankful for soft pillows in the solarium, Fancy Feast cat food, not that stuff the vet makes me eat, catnip and catnip toys, napping, rays of sunshine and little quilt blocks left especially for me on the 'design' floor.  Meow!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Off to Market

Day 7 of Blogtoberfest

Click on the icon on my side bar for more information

I had a wonderful time with my quilting buddy yesterday.  I shared my quilty works with her and she admired them.  Yes, she was very positive and encouraging.  Then we worked on some handwork.  She is an amazing appliquer.  And I worked on my hexies.  The afternoon went by much too quickly.

Today we had reservations at the Franklin Club for a Thanksgiving dinner.  The Franklin Club is about an hour drive north of us.  Along the way we found a farmer's market.  They had pumpkins all over the place.  My DD wanted to buy one for her classroom, so we drove into the parking lot.  There we were met by a group of goats walking around on a roof and walkways inside their pen.  They were so cute, we just had to get out of the car and take a look around.  There were chickens walking all over the parking lot.  I took a few photos, but I wish I had taken more.  There were pregnant goats and baby goats, as well as baby bunnies and Guinea pigs.  Everywhere we looked there were pumpkins and other colourful gourds.  Inside the market there were even more delicacies.  They had baked goods, honey, fresh eggs and other delights  from the farm.

I talked to the owners and discovered that they had had a pork and corn roast yesterday.  There had been over 2000 visitors.  Wish we had known.  The guy also told me that he had left the market at around midnight the night before and found half a dozen chickens sitting on the back of his car.  When he went to chase them away, he found that one of them had laid an egg on the back bumper.  Such is farm life, I guess.  It sounded wonderful to DD.  She plans to go back sometime soon and do some more shopping.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Preparing Stuff

Day 6 of Blogtoberfest

Click on the icon on my side bar for more information

Since my title is 'Preparing Stuff' I should have been more prepared.  I wanted to post earlier, but the battery in my camera was dead.  I charged it and now it is working.  So...

What am I preparing?  First of all there are my hexies.  I want to sit and watch television tonight and sew some of these suckers together.  I just figured out that this quilt will be a bit short if I keep on going as I have been, so I am going to experiment with an extra border of hexies around the outside.  I hope it works.

And then there is the Salsa I canned yesterday.  I made some labels and I now have to stick them onto the jars.  This stuff is so good.  It's my first year making it and I really don't know how I lived without it.  

I am also trying to clean up my sewing room.  I have a blogging friend coming over and she may want to see my sewing room.  It's a disaster!  I have way too much stuff!  And I also have to empty the dishwasher and load this morning's dishes.  Then there is the bathroom.  Yep!  There is lots of preparing left to do.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Free For All on Friday

Day 5 of Blogtoberfest

Click on the icon on my sidebar for more information.

I've been working on my 'free-for-all' blocks that I found on Em's Scrapbag.  I had made a few blocks earlier, but couldn't find them until I cleaned up a bit.  I decided to join all of them together, so I can't lose them any more.  Notice I am not putting these on my design wall floor; I am just sewing them together as I do them.  My design has 4.5 in solid blocks alternating with the scrappy blocks.  These solid blocks are from a 5 in charm exchange we had at our Guild last year.  Lots of variety and they make the quilt come together much faster.  

These are called 'Free For All' and it is Friday, so that means it's a Friday Free For All.  I like that.  Fridays are usually kind of boring.  I may have to make 'Friday Free For All' a regular post.   Sounds good?  Or is someone doing that already?

I am reading all over the internet that it is unnecessary to put borders on quilts right now.  A number of years ago a quilt was not finished unless it had borders.  What do you think?  Will I have to put borders on this one?   

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Apple Day

Day 4 of Blogtoberfest.  So far, so good.

Click on the icon on my sidebar for more information

That feeling of wanting to bake something never left me after our trip to the Markham Fair last Sunday.  So this morning I baked a Mrs. Van's Dutch Apple Cake.  So easy and now my house smells fantastic.

This is my latest journal quilt.  It's based on a pattern that Barb from Bejeweled Quilts sent me.  I tried to free motion quilt it, but my machine did not cooperate.  The thread bunched up on the back and sometimes it didn't pick up the bottom thread.  I still haven't gotten it fixed and I don't know when I can it over to the repair guy.  So I just sewed the binding on it and took the worst of the quilting out.  I will fix it when I have my machine working properly.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

It's Flowers on Wednesday Time!

Day 3 of Blogtoberfest.

Click on the icon on my sidebar for more information.

We had a perfect fall day yesterday.  The temperature was around 20C and the sun was warm and inviting.  I sat in my backyard and read a book.  I had wanted to do that all summer, but it was too hot to sit outside and read.  As I glanced around at my garden, I was happy to see that there is still a lot of colour out there.

I also have a section of hexies to show you.  This part goes on the top, above the basket I showed you last week.  There will be a similar section for the bottom of the quilt.  It meant that I had to make white hexies all week, but it really wasn't too boring.  Hexagons are fun to do no matter what colour they are.  I think it also has a lot to do with the layout.  Trying to figure out where the white hexies were supposed to go was an interesting challenge.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Scrappy Stars for October

Day 2 of Blogtoberfest.
Click on the icon on my sidebar for more information.

I love these Scrappy Star blocks that Terry from Terry's Treasures is hosting. 

They use up lots of 2 1/2 inch scraps and heaven knows I have lots of those!  I made 2 blocks so far this month, but I plan to make a couple more.  I want to have enough for a full size quilt when I am done.  These blocks are super easy to make.  I have 8 altogether now.  I really enjoy making a few blocks every month instead of working on a quilt from start to finish.

Monday, October 01, 2012

A Day at the Markham Fair

Day 1 of Blogtoberfest.
Click on the icon on my sidebar for more information.
We went to the Markham Fair yesterday. 

The weather was fantastic while we were there.  The sun was warm and bright.  There were lots of farm animals.  I loved the cows the best!  They are my favourite.  There were tables full of vegetables, as well as flowers, plants and flower arrangements that had all been judged.  There were lots of ribbons, prominently displayed.
There was artwork done by children and senior citizens.  And, of course, quilts - lots of quilts and other crafty things.  I was in my glory.  I was able to talk to some other quilters.  That's always fun.
Another building had baked goods and preserves.  Oh, my!  Yum, yum!  The sight of them made me want to rush home and bake something.  I may still do that this morning.
My DH was excited about the old machinery.  Most of it was still working.  There were machines that dug potatoes, shucked corn and one that cut slices of a huge log into perfect circles. 
I watched a young girl of about 10 years of age walk her goat around a ring.  There were 7 other goats in competition with hers.  But she won first place!  Her happy smile made me happy too. 
I have not been to the fair in many years.  We used to take our class there, when I was still working and before all the cutbacks that have taken place lately.  It was a great experience and I am glad we took the time to visit yesterday.