A Picture is worth a thousand words

unless it is a picture of Christmas goodies made and consumed in years past….then I think its just mean to post a picture without adding recipe words.

As a ferinstance… doesn’t this look tasty?

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Its called sponge toffee/honeycomb candy/seafoam crunch;  and OMG its simply killer simple to put together. Here is a link to the recipe that I used when I decided to have a go at it a few years back.  Ever since then, it has made an appearance annually.  I know, I know, its nothing but sugar and corn syrup and the only thing worse for me than eating this confection is knowing its out there and I’m not eating it.

If you want to be decadent about it…dip it in chocolate and you have a dang “Crunchie” chocolate bar.  Holy Heck Hermione.  Seriously it is that good.  Nope, its actually better than the real thing.

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This is December 13 and post #13 for the Third Annual 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge being hosted by Cheryl Sleboda over here.  As I’ve mentioned about 13 times now, there are about a gazillion mega-talented bloggers participating in this challenge that are all well worth a read, so you can imagine how excited I am to be part of it. Take a few minutes out of your busy day and  click on the link to check them out.  Many of these bloggers also have a home on Instagram and can be found using the hashtags  #31dayblogchallenge or #2017blogwritingchallenge.  So, Go…enjoy…..but please come back here tomorrow…Thank you.

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I May Need An Intervention.

Let me begin by straight out saying that I am smitten with the on-line quilting community. You took me under your wing, encouraged my ridiculousness and every day you make me feel appreciated and valuable.  You always listen to what I’m chattering on about AND  you always offer your positive point of view about everything I’m sharing. You are officially THE BEST EVER.

So puhleeeze puhleeze puhleeze understand that what I say next is coming from a place of love and understanding and possibly desperation.

STOP having so many fabulous  On Line Sewing Bees, Sew Alongs, Mystery Quilts, Block Challenges, Blocks of the Month, and Block Swaps. SERIOUSLY STOP NOW!

I am addicted to Group Sew in all its formats;  Just like chocolate (or potato chips) I cannot take part in just one, or even two at a time. Nope, I have to sign up for everything that I click on.  Sigh….

Here is where I find myself today…

Gypsy Wife Sew Along.  I confess I chose to work a bit ahead on this one, because I made it before (also on a QAL, sigh) and therefore it wasn’t terribly scary for me.  However it did have its moments as we went along.   My sew-along group hasn’t seen yet and I hope they like it.  It is quilted and ready for binding on Saturday,nunless something else turns up.  Official reveal date is January 3, 2018.  IMG_5051.jpg

Patchwork City.  Right now I’m waiting for the quilt to come back from the Long Arm Quilter, so I can bind it and share with my on-line group.  I think I’m the last one to finish. (FYI I decided to re-jig the borders/sashing on this one, after I took the pic.  It’s really green and orange and I thought a bit more sashing might tone it down…NOT!)img_5079-1

Clue 4 of the PEIMQG Mystery Quilt came out a few days ago and FYI it was a doozy for me because there was improv piecing involved.  After much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, a few really wicked words and a great workout with my seam ripper,  I finally got this clue all sewn up and managed to post a pic to the Linkup.  IMG_5371.JPG

A Year of Scrappy Triangles.  These are 6.5″ blocks and I’m making two of each to ensure I have enough for a quilt top this time next year….these blocks are so pretty. I’m in love every Tuesday when Sewn by Leila posts the block of the week.  The picture after the one right below is a compilation of all the blocks I’ve finished to date.  I’m making one set of bright blocks and one set of low value blocks. IMG_5378.JPG

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Wonky Stars 2018 Swap.  I signed up for this a couple months ago and last week received an email with all the details.  Thank goodness the specifics are quite straightforward.  I just have to make 14 wonky stars (any size) between now and the end of January, 2018, mail them off after that and receive 14 wonky stars from fellow swappers in February, 2018.  At this stage I have four stars put together but haven’t posted pictures of them anywhere (against the rules to do so until mid-January), so I’m posting pics of scraps left over from each completed block.  Here is one for your viewing pleasure.IMG_5384

Make a Mini – Make a Friend – This is a swap originating with the folks who put together Quilt Con 2018.  I have not revealed this finish yet, but I started it about 2 weeks ago. It is a person to person swap.  The swap fairies took all the names and matched everyone up.  This swap’s home base is on Instagram.  FYI I made a 22 x 22″ mini quilt, and Holy OMG, I machine and hand quilted it myself.  The only thing left to do on this one is adding the label.  Her name is “Formal Dress” and it’s supposed to be sent off in time to coordinate with Quilt Con  2018 dates, so I believe we are supposed to mail them to our partners at the beginning of February.  IMG_5346.JPG

Bee Inspired Year Long Quilting Bee.  This is the one that started this whole addiction and brought me to where I am today.  We are a group of 12 quilters from all over the world, who take turns monthly being Queen Bee.  I just finished the December block for this year and mailed it off.  Next month, we start all over again. I’m very excited and proud to be part of this group, because OMG the talent here is very impressive.  Every month I learn something new. IMG_5309.JPG

…and I now must confess that all the above is just a sampling of the projects I took on in 2017.  There is another one that I cannot talk about right now because its a SECRET, but I’m very excited about it….because it involves my very favourite block ever — Churn Dash — and although I cannot give too many details right now, I will be gushing and chattering and crushing on this one in early February, 2018.  So, please please come back and visit. Guaranteed you will love it too.

So my friends, whatdaya think?  Do I think I need an On-Line Sew-Along Intervention?I’m convinced I do.  Either that or I need to shut off  the Internet and stay completely away from my computer for a few weeks;  because every day someone else has a fantastic idea for groups of  like-minded people to come together and enjoy creating these beautiful fabric masterpieces.

Oh yeah before I go, I wanted to share a picture of some beautiful fabric that arrived in the mail today from The Fabric Snob….my new favourite Canadian online fabric shop.  This is definitely going to play a part in many of the projects I am planning for 2018.

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Did you do something creative today?

 

Its a Dog’s Life

Hello there, its December 8 and Day 8 of the Third Annual 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge.  This amazing event is being hosted by Cheryl Sleboda right here.  The list is growing every day, and is up to about 1.5 gazillion bloggers who want to show they are motivated to DO THIS and are posting like mad to prove it.  I am thrilled to share my blogging journey and determined to do my best to beat the odds and post something (anything) every day in December.  Oh yeah, if you are an Instagram junkie, you can find lots of bloggers taking on the challenge at #31dayblogchallenge or #2017blogwriting challenge.

According to the list of topics I posted on the 2nd day, this is the post where I am planning to explain why, on some days, I think it would be great to be a poodle.  Did I mention that hubby and I share our home with two of these crazy creatures and we have come to the conclusion that whoever coined the phrase “Its a dog’s life” probably was owned by one or more poodles.

I think the best way to explain why it would be great to be a poodle is to post a bullet list of the way our two boys spend the day.

  • 12:05 a.m. and therefore time to jump up on the bed and curl up in the warm spot between the humans.  (Note, the female human is warmer to cuddle up with, but the male human is less likely to crawl over me at 3:30 to get out of bed to go pee).
  • 6:00 a.m. and I’m starting to get hungry, perhaps I’ll lick the human’s ears and eyes a few times to see if they taste good.  Yum both are tasting especially good today.
  • 7:00 a.m. and FINALLY the female human is getting up.  Half the day is over, why do they sleep in until the sun comes up?
  • 7:05 a.m. and breakfast is STILL not in the bowl.  What the heck is the hold up.  Food, Food, Food, I need to eat.  Yay here it comes.
  • 7:06 a.m. and I decided not to eat because I’d rather chase the cat.
  • 7:10 a.m. and I’m sitting outside in the cold because apparently its my fault that the cat jumped up on the counter and knocked a glass onto the floor. Jeez Louise.
  • 7:30 a.m. and I am outside playing with my brother dog and barking like mad at the invisible squirrel.  My brother is over there under the apple tree digging a biggggg hole.
  • 7:50 a.m. and I’m helping my brother dog to dig the hole.  We gotta make sure its big enough to corral a racoon before the male human opens the back door to yell at us to STOP DIGGING HOLES in the backyard.  Golly he looks cold standing there in his bathrobe.
  • 8:30 a.m. and first breakfast is over.  Waiting until its time to share second breakfast with the humans.
  • 9:00 a.m. and OMG OMG OMG, they are putting on their coats and shoes.  WE ARE GOING OUTSIDE FOR A WALK.  I’M SO EXCITED. HOLY COW HOLY COW HOLY COW CAN YOU BELIEVE I’M GOING FOR A WALK. WE ARE THE LUCKIEST DOGS IN THE WORLD.  YESSIREE WE ARE GOING FOR A WALK.
  • 10:00 a.m. and I’m just totally exhausted from the walk.  The humans say it was 4.5 km, but I know brother dog and I logged at least 12 km.  There were tons of great things to smell, roll on and chase in the woods, and a couple really nasty looking puddles.  There is nothing like a good drink of puddle water, unless its toilet water (for which I always get in big trouble, just saying).  Did I mention that brother dog walked into the creek up to his neck and is wet wet wet.  He’s planning a long nap on the sofa.
  • 12:00 Noon and I’m going to get up in a few minutes and do some stretching exercises.  Then I think its probably time to go see whats new in the litter box.  Who knows what the cat buried in there this morning while I was sleeping.
  • 12:30 p.m.  Looking for some affection and cannot understand why the female human doesn’t want me to kiss her.  She’s saying something ridiculous about litter box breath.
  • 1:00 p.m.  Lunch time – well human lunch time, which means there will be something great for me.
  • 1:05 p.m. Dang, outside again.  Apparently I’m not supposed to stand up at the kitchen island and help the humans by eating most of an egg salad sandwich and 3 olives. Hey I left the dill pickles on the plate didn’t I.
  • 1:10 p.m.  Think I’ll follow the male human around.  He’s carrying something called a pooper scooper and a bucket.  OMG he’s starting a poop collection.  I’ll give him a donation.  Brother dog will do the same.  Oh dear, I think he may have stepped on it.
  • 2:00 p.m. back inside and time to curl up with the humans and watch CNN on the talking box.  They spend way too much time watching something they call Trump World or “God that man is such a Jackpot”.  I find it kinda boring, so maybe I’ll take another nap.
  • 5:00 p.m. Holy cow where did the afternoon go.  Thank goodness someone is thinking about making dinner for me and brother dog.
  • 5:10 p.m.  First dinner is over and now I’m lurking in the kitchen in case anything drops onto the floor when the humans are preparing their meal.  I’m DEFINITELY NOT going to stand up at the counter again.
  • 5:15 p.m.  Dang, outside in the cold again.  I’m in big big trouble.  Something about chicken breasts being for the human’s supper.  I couldn’t help myself it smelled delicious.  The humans food tastes way better than the dog food in my bowl.
  • 5: 17 p.m.  I’m still outside and now I’m looking through the window watching  brother dog get snacks from the table.  Life is so not fair.
  • 6:17 p.m.  Watching the news with the humans.
  • 7:30 p.m. Humans are flicking through the channels and stopped at Animal Planet.  There was a show on about dogs who earned their living being service dogs.  Humans laughing at the idea that I could do that.
  • 7:35 p.m.  My feelings are hurt, so I am considering doing something really terrible in the front hall closet if I can get the cat to open the door for me.
  • 8:30 p.m.  Finally back in the house again.  Jeez, I cannot get away with anything. I didn’t make that mess, I’m pretty sure the cat did it.
  • 9:30 p.m.  Decided to massacre one of my toys to get the darn squeaker out. Wow that squeaker IS annoying.
  • 9:50 p.m.  Watching the male human pick up all the fluffy bits that came out of my toy.
  • 10:00 p.m.  Decided to chase the cat one more time before bed.  How was I to know that he would dig his claws into the male human who was snoozing in front of the TV and make him wake up hollering.
  • 10:05:  Back outside again. Sigh.
  • 10:30 p.m. Time for bed.  Think I’ll sleep on my own doggy bed tonight.
  • 12:05 a.m.  Think its probably warmer up there on the human bed.
  • 12:06 a.m.  Yup it is.  Good night all

So that is basically what goes on with our poodles Tigg and Theo every single day.  Needless to say we love them and try to accommodate their every need because at the end of the day, there is nothing nicer than curling up with a big black dog, who loves you wholeheartedly and would lay down his life in an instant if he thought you were going to be eaten by an invisible squirrel.

Do you have a pet.  Do you ever wonder how you managed to survive without their company.  Here are a few photos of our boys, Tigg and Theo.  You should share pictures of your furry folks in the comments.  We’d all love to see them.

Tigg looking simply adorable
Don’t let this adorable photo fool you. Theo is a wild man
Theo thinks he deserves a snack
Tigg assuming his favourite napping pose. We call it “Hog Tied Poodle”
Theo sporting his first “faux hawk” haircut. We love our groomer.

 

 

 

My Quilt Con Quilt Guilt

Today is December 6 which makes this my 6th consecutive day of blogging as part of the 3rd Annual 31 Day Blogging Challenge being hosted by Cheryl Sleboda.  Click  here  to check out the list of bloggers participating.  Guaranteed that you will find someone over there who is  talking about something you want to read about.  So Go…Enjoy…..and get back here quick to read my post too.

Do you ever feel guilty about a quilt you made for a specific purpose that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to?  I have and today I’m hosting my very own itsy-bitsy pity party.  FYI in real life I’m actually a bit shy and reserved.  I sometimes think writing a blog about the things I make and the things I think is very self indulgent and just the tiniest big braggish.  But somedays I think “Holy Heck Henrietta, I have something to say and here it is”.  So folks there is very often a war brewing inside me about what to post and what not to post.

So having shared that, please read on to find out what transpired to make me to feel a little bit sad and sorry for myself today.

Away back in June/July when Quilt Con published its 2018 calendar, I saw the Michael Miller fabric challenge and decided to enter.  Lucky me, I was one of the ones who received a little packet of “The Yard” fabric in the Cloud colorway.  The challenge rules said we had to use at least two fabrics from the line and could use as many  Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids as we wanted.  I did some research and found/modified a quilt block that I liked and thought would work great in a baby quilt.  I figured out the pattern math, chose a cute quilt name that would work with the challenge and the pattern (I called my quilt “Check out Our Yard”).  I purchased some cotton couture yardage in several colours and a bit more of  “The Yard” fabric to add into the mix.  I should add an added bonus from my perspective is that I have a new niece/nephew coming in December and I planned to gift the new addition with this quilt irregardless of whether it went to QuiltCon.

Things quickly went downhill once I started cutting into the fabric.  I realized I did NOT like the fabric colours at all.   Some were too bright and bold; some were too blah and boring; and some were just firmly outside my comfort zone.  But time was running out and I decided to persevere because I really wanted to enter a  quilt into Quilt Con 2018.  After the flimsy was pieced and sewn together, I asked my extremely talented and very kind friend Liz at Blueberry Cove Long Arm Quilting Services to quilt it for me, which she agreed to do.  Let me just say she does amazing, awesome and beautiful work,  but not even she could turn this ugly little quilt duckling into a beautiful swan/prize winner.  Sadly when it came back to me I still didn’t love it with my whole heart.  Don’t get me wrong I liked it, but every time I looked at it, I saw mistakes (lines didn’t line up, block segments looked upside down, etc.) and the colours were still very jarring to my eyes And in my mind, I didn’t think I could enter a quilt I didn’t love into Quilt Con.  Especially for my very first one.   But again I persevered and added the binding with fingers crossed (which is a very difficult thing to do when sewing binding on by hand, just saying).  All the time I was thinking and hoping maybe when it’s done it will look more like the way it looks  in my mind.

Guess what folks it did not look better to me.  In fact I think it looked exactly the same as it always did.  So in the end, the deadline to enter quilts for Quilt Con on November 30 came and went… and I did not enter “Check out Our Yard” into the challenge.  Is there a lesson to be learned from all this?….I hope so, but what it is has not revealed itself to me yet. I will let you all know when it does.

In the meantime,  here is a picture of the very first quilt in my new  “didn’t quite make it” category.

Check out the Yard. Almost made it into the Michael Moore fabric challenge at Quilt Con.

The silver lining is that this quilt will be on its way to Ontario well before its intended owner is born sometime in the next few weeks.

Do you have any quilts in your cupboard that didn’t turn out the way you thought they would?  Send me a picture in the comments.  I’d love to see them.  And of course I will send you an invitation to the very next pity party.

 

December 2 is Intro Day so… read on

I’m taking part in an online challenge to blog ever day in December.  Holy OMG!

One part of me thinks blogging every day for a month is an awesome idea, but OMG the itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, rational and sane part of me thinks it’s overwhelming to be doing this in December. What on earth am I going to talk about? That’s a rhetorical question because seriously who is going to answer it? I’m pretty sure I’m the only person awake in Canada at 5:22 am who is wondering/worrying what she is going to say on her blog.   FYI, don’t think I blogged 31 times all year to date….sigh that statement puts this whole experiment into perspective doesn’t it?

A quick search of “Google” confirms that others have worried about this in the past and many of them have actually posted lists of topics to write about.  Well, I’m going to use some of their ideas along with some of my own.  Here is a tentative schedule of things I plan to talk about this month, starting tomorrow (but really I’m starting today because I’m writing this today…which is kinda twisty and kinda smart right?)

  • December 2 – that’s today and its Intro day.  Read on!
  • December 3 – Take a Picture, tell a story – this is a very short post…
  • December 4 – Quilt Designs I’ve fallen in love with
  • December 5 – Something, likely a quilt, I won a prize for
  • December 6 – I was afraid of this (Quilt Con Entry) and then I wondered why
  • December 7 – My Super Power (it involves a seam ripper) and How I learned I had it
  • December 8 – Why I sometimes wish I was a Poodle
  • December 9 – Looking back…words of wisdom I should have said to myself at 21
  • December 10 – Downside of Impulse Purchases – AKA “What is your return policy?”
  • December 11 – Putting my foot in my mouth…again!
  • December 12 – Why is Improv Quilting so difficult for me?
  • December 13 – A picture taken from last Christmas…another really short post…Yay!
  • December 14 – We all make Mistakes – But not all Mistakes need apologies
  • December 15 – Who said it?  Possibly a Quiz
  • December 16 – I could NOT live without….
  • December 17 – An artist I love (spoiler alert….its my hubby)
  • December 18 – The best daughter ever
  • December 19 – I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus last night (AKA my parents)
  • December 20 – ???? is like a boomerang, send it out there, get it back
  • December 21 – Its a rule…so its a rule…Right or Wrong – Quilt Related I think
  • December 22 – Purple/Green/Pink is the best color right?
  • December 23 – Xmas Cookies and why I love them
  • December 24 – Xmas presents should be opened on Xmas Eve or Xmas Day? Discuss.
  • December 25 – In Canada we say Seasons Greetings, Merry Xmas, Joyeux Noel etc.
  • December 26 – Why did I eat so much?or possibly….Hey I didn’t eat too much!
  • December 27 – Quilt Projects I am working on in December and planning for 2018
  • December 28 – Resolutions I made in the past
  • December 29 – I love quilting because….
  • December 30 – Resolutions for the future
  • December 31 – OMG I actually enjoyed blogging this month

So that’s my list… Check back daily to see if I managed to stay on topic. If I was a bookmaker, I’d say the odds are 1000 to 1.  Wish me luck.

And here is a picture because every blog post should have a picture… its a compilation of mini quilts I like.  I put it together to show my Quilt Con Mini Quilt Swap partner the types of quilts that make my heart sing….IMG_5355

 

 

 

Thumper’s Mom had the right idea….

Are we all just getting just a little exasperated with “The Whitehouse” as Reality TV? Yikes, Holy Heck….Am I about to go out on a limb and talk about politics?…which FYI is a subject I know precious little about when it comes to Canada where I live and absolutely diddly-squat about (except what I see on CNN) with regard to the situation in the USA. Nope I’m not…I’m simply going to offer something in the kindest way possible; and then I’m going back to living my life here in the real world.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Lets try to be nicer to each other. I feel like we could all learn a lesson from Thumper’s mom, who wisely gave Thumper this nugget of advice back in 1942…before the end of World War II.  Whatdaya think?  Should we give it a try?  I think so.

I’ll Buy That…and that….and that…

I love on-line technology generally.  Here’s why…

When I started quilting about a lifetime ago (could it be possibly 20+ years ago? Yikes, OMG etc.), I lived in a big city in Alberta.  Back in the day, it was easy as pie to go to about a gazillion fabric shops within a few minutes drive from my home.   I got into a lovely groove… which involved purchasing a quilting magazine at the grocery store and then hi-tailing it off to the high end quilt stores all around me.  I especially loved Lori’s Country Cottage in Sherwood Park where everyone knew my name. (LOL,  I’m having a Norm from “Cheers” moment).

Then, hubby and I retired, packed our bags and all our belongings, and left Alberta to realize our retirement dreams on teeny tiny, itsy-bitsy Prince Edward Island–a little over 3 years ago.  Suddenly BOOM! my quilting world imploded.  Imagine my distress to find there are exactly 3 specialty quilt shops in the whole province; and no FabricLand franchises, or Marshall Fabrics or anywhere else with a good selection of quilting fabric at a reasonable (or exorbitant, for that matter) price.  I was devastated, disenchanted and discouraged.  It was a seriously bleak time….please excuse me, I do have a tendency to be a drama queen. But I’m sure you get my point.   Holy Heck Hanna what would I do?

Well, I started spending time on-line, where to my wonderment, there was a huge, borderless, universal quilting community. They didn’t know or care where I lived; they were willing and delighted to share their ahhhsome creations and I started to feel better.  Before too long, I decided to join in.  I quickly learned to post pics of my quilts to Instagram and Facebook and started reading blogs.  Then one day I clicked on a link to a wonderful wonderful place called Pink Castle Fabrics…OMG OMG OMG, there really was more fabric in the universe then I could imagine.  Beautiful traditional fabrics, modern low volume fabrics; text and texture fabrics; animal and vegetable fabrics….you see where I’m going with this right.

Well before you could say “Honey I’m Home”,  I whipped out my magic Visa card and started shopping.  Now a short lifetime later and I’m still going strong.  I love love love this new cyber world I’m living in.  I could never have imagined just 10 years ago that I could  purchase fabrics or patterns from anywhere in the world and have it delivered right to my door within 10 days.  I am a cyber citizen of the world; it doesn’t matter to me if my fabric originates from Canada, USA or Australia.  (Although to be honest, it does matter to hubby…he’d much prefer if I reined myself in a tiny bit and confined my on-line shopping to continental North America…he’s kinda old-school that way).

These beauties came by USPS or UPS just last week…Sigh, I am SO in my happy place!

 

What or where is your favourite fabric store?  And, do you buy FQs or bundles or yardage?  Leave me a comment…I’m always looking for fabulous new places to buy fabric.