Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

How do you do it?

September 28, 2011

Question of the day, or of the summer…

How do you regularly post on your blog?  I have all these great ideas, all these projects I want to show you all and all these great tutorials I want to write up (I know how nice it is to stumble upon a good tutorial) and yet nothing.  No posts, no tutorials, heck in most cases I don’t have pictures of the techniques to post.  So, I”m wondering, how do you do it?  How do you schedule yourself to make sure you do it?

I like this blog: Quilting in Cyberspace and love how she has set up a day a week to post whats going on.   And I tried that, but then I missed one week, and the next week and well, now its been a few months. Funny my exercise routine is kind of like that too…Its not like I don’t have some things going on that I could post about, currently I have 2 full size quilts on the go and 2 table runners, plus I was playing around with the double diamond quilting ruler by Bright Quilting Notions, so I really can’t use the excuse of not having anything to show you.

Maybe I need a blog buddy, like an exercise buddy, someone to make sure you do what you need to do even if you don’t really feel like doing it…come to think of it I could probably use an exercise buddy too…

Well, 1 quilt I have finished over the summer is the maple leaf quilt I had posted about before, the one where we swapped the blocks:

We are also doing a mystery tin challenge at the sewing club I belong to.  Each person has a tin or box that they have put some fabric in with any instructions of fabric to use/not use and each month we swab boxes and make a block using those fabrics.  The box I got for September has these 3 fantastic fabrics in them which I created into this block:

Well, I’m now feeling all inspired to go quilt and create.  Maybe I will being my camera along to take some pictures of the progress.

So long for now and hopefully we will talk soon 🙂



Priority Sequence

March 18, 2011

So, I’m curious.  If you call a company and go through an automated ‘press this number to go here, press that number to go there’ then end up on hold because all agents are currently busy, how can they say your call will be answered in priority sequence.  They don’t know why you are calling, you haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone about it so how do they know your reason is less important than the caller ahead of you…strange.  If I had actually gotten through to an agent, before loosing my patience and hanging up I might have asked.  Thought for the day 🙂

We watched a cute movie the other day, Despicable Me.  Its an animated film so they can do some pretty silly things.  It was nice though, one of those ones were there isn’t a lot of killing an gore, and it had a nice story line too.  There were some pretty funny parts too!   If you get the chance I would recommend seeing it.

As promised I tried out the quilt-as-you-go method I mentioned previously.  I will call it quilt-as-you-go as I don’t know if it has another name for this process or not.  I used the pinwheel block of the month blocks I made last year.  Its not totally done, but I will show you what I have done so far.

So, I quilted all the blocks making the backing about 1″ larger than the batting that block.

Once I had that done and I had them placed into a pleasing order I started sewing.  Placing backs together and lining up the edge so that your batting and block start in the same place, stitch.  You will end up with the two backing pieces sticking up between the two fronts…basically the seam allowance is on the front.

Once you have that you need to press/fold the pieces over.  One to each side, I folded the fabric in half once and then in half again so you end up with about a 1/4″ of the backing folded to create a sashing.  I found it easiest to press the pieces to the side they would be folded then fold them over one at a time and pin.

I tried stitching the blocks together with the fabric pre-folded in half, but it didn’t help.   Once you have the two sides folded and pinned how you want them you top stitch close to the edge of the sashing you created.

The back looks nice and tidy too.

I also went along and did a zig-zag over the seam where the two blocks joined for added stability.

I have the blocks sewn into rows and now need to sew the rows together.  I’m thinking you can probably use the same technique as with joining the blocks, but I’m up for experimenting so think I might try doing it slightly different…

That will have to wait until next week though!

This week in candle and lip balm making land we got the final labels for the lip balm tubes that will be available soon.  I just love the look of them, and the fact that the tubes are made from recycled plastic is just great!

Happy Quilting!


Snowing day means Sewing Day!

March 10, 2011

Alright, I might be getting a little ahead of myself, since they aren’t really calling for a snow day.  But I wanted to be prepared since what better way to spend a snow day than sewing. There is no shortage of projects on the go so it shouldn’t be a problem.

I have all of my pinwheel blocks sandwiched and quilted, so this weekend I am planning to get them sewn together.  I will take some pictures along the way to show you how it goes together.  I’m hoping its as simple as it sounds…
Until then I’ll I’ve quilted this week is my pinwheel blocks so will show you some pictures of that, since I know you are here for the quilting 🙂

Fronts, there is 20 all together


Boy, what an exciting day at the mailbox today, no bills and my January Bingo Winnings!  The theme for January was batiks, and since I won a game during the month I got a squishy envelope in the mail.  These are very pretty ones, especially the brightly coloured ones.  Although to be completely honest I’m not really sure what the big draw is for batiks.  It seems like everyone just loves them.  I can think of a number of different types of fabrics I would prefer…hmm, just personal preference and I do have some batiks in my stash, I guess  a few more now!

I’ve been spending a large amount of time lately working on a new product for Pioneer Spirit.  Lip balm in a tube! Up until now we have only been able to offer it in a tin as I just couldn’t bring myself to put it into a virgin plastic tube.  But a little while back I was able to find tubes made some recycled plastic, that once empty are also recyclable! Yahoo!  That was a pretty exciting day.  So I’ve been working to get them ready to be available early April, our designer has done a great job on the labels.  Once we have them packaged and ready I will get a picture for you.

Did you celebrate Pancake Tuesday?  We sure did, can’t skip a reason for having pancakes!  I tried a modified recipe from what I usually do and I turned out really well.  If you didn’t celebrate pancake Tuesday maybe you would like to try this recipe to celebrate Pancake weekend.

Ultra Yummy Pancakes

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (optional)


  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to sour.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in mixing bowl. Whisk egg, butter and vanilla into “soured” milk. combine wet and dry ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.  If you are adding blueberries (or chocolate chips 🙂 add them now and mix into the batter.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook until browned on the other side.
  4. Enjoy!

I was going to take a picture of the snowman we built the other night, but it had fallen over before I had a chance, turns out we could use a lesson on snowman building 🙂  Who knew it would be so difficult!

Hope you are enjoying a quilty day!

Yuck. Rain.

March 4, 2011

Yep, you guessed it, freezing rain here.  Well, at least once it hits the ground its pretty frozen.  Oh well, I’ve got the wood stove full so its nice and toasty warm in here…almost a little too warm 🙂

Its been a reasonably quiet week here this week.  Lots of quilting and candle making.  Kinda sums up a lot of my weeks actually, some with more quilting than others.

Remember the Maple Leaf block swap I was telling you about?  Well I never did find the picture of all my blocks and I sent them away in the mail this week so I took a picture of the extra ones I had made to keep for myself.

I’ve also taken a picture of the quilt I made that I showed you the border of previously.  It actually fits perfectly on the spare-room bed so it just might end up there when it is finished.

I’ve also been quilting my pinwheel blocks, I’ve just got 8 more to go then I can start joining them together!  And, once that is done I can start on another project!  Not that I have many I would like to make, just a few dozen, give or take 🙂

When we were out the other day I saw the funniest sign.  You know the lit up store signs that all the big stores have, well we drove past the Shoppers Drug Mart in Hanover the other day and they have apparently changed their specialty.  The D was burned out making them Shoppers Rug Mart!  It was quite funny, although you maybe had to be there to see it to get the full effect.  Oh of all the times I had wished I had my camera with me.

I’m also working on a tutorial on some of the many ways to make half square triangle blocks.  I must know about 5 different ways atleast.  I thought about it the other day when I was sewing up a block (using that lovely fabric from our mystery tin challenge) and had to decide which way I wanted to do the triangles.  I will let you know when I have it done and will post it as a new page.  For now I will let you see what I created with the 16 HST I made most recently.  I actually made two and its amazing the difference it makes just by changing the colour way.

This pink version I will be using in my pinwheel quilt

I’ve also been burning a lot of candles this week as we are testing out a new one, but I just can’t seem to get the right sized wick in there to help it burn really well.  Kind of looks like I have a seance going on, but someone has to be the pour soul to test them all 🙂

Hmm, well I think thats most of the good stuff from this week unless you want more details of the hours I spend making soap and candles.

Happy Quilt!


Maybe I Should Make it Thursday.

February 24, 2011

Well the title pretty much sums it up.  Maybe instead of posting on Tuesdays I should post on Thursdays as that seems to be happening.

Well I’m hoping you had the same beautiful weather we have had the last couple of days and that you had a chance to get out and enjoy it.  I’ve just checked the local weather and it looks like the snow will be returning.  The 5 day forecast is showing snow everyday!

Hmm, so this past week, lets see…

On Monday I went to sewing meeting, brought in a box of misc fabric pieces, magazines and such that I just didn’t have use for anymore, and came home with more than half of it going to other homes. Yahoo!  I also so a new way to do the quilt as you go joining of the blocks together, so I think I might try it on the weekend.  I will let you know how it goes.  I have all those blocks from last years pinwheel block of the month that I would really like to get together as a quilt and think this might be the way to go.  I made doubles of most of the months so I have a fair amount of blocks and even have a fair amount of the one pick left to possibly use for the sashing.

Oh, and speaking of quilting, I spent Family Day (Monday of this week) in my sewing room making a dog house 🙂  Yep, a dog house.  It was a pattern/kit that I received from my secret santa at Christmas time, it comes with directions and paper board that is precut and instead of sewing you glue it.  When you take the roof off it opens up and you can put your pins in there with your little scissors and things.  And I just happen to have the perfect little dog button to put on it.

At sewing meeting we are doing a mystery tin, where each month we swap tins (I think there is about 15 of us participating) and make a block with the fabric and specifications of the owner of the tin.  We aren’t allowed to see our tin until the end of the year.  I put a black and white print into my tin asking for blocks that were black and white with a hint of red.  The tin I have this month has this gorgeous blue floral print with silver highlights in it.  I will have to search my stash to see what I can find to go with this one.

In the “soap factory” I made Chamomile soap, boy did it make the house smell yummy…hmmm, maybe that is why I feel so relaxed tonight 🙂  I forgot to take a picture of it before putting it into the curing cabinet, its a very pretty soap with the ground chamomile flowers in it.  I love the smell of the chamomile and the taste of the tea.  We have a very tiny patch of while chamomile in the yard and I just love walking through it to release the scent! Yummm

Speaking of yumminess, I made waffles for dinner tonight.  I was alone for dinner so was able to make whatever I wanted.  Somepeople think its weird that I like to eat pancakes and waffles for dinner, but I don’t.  Heck, I will eat oatmeal for dinner if the mood strikes!  Anyways I tried out this recipe that I had found somewhere, can’t remember where now I’ve had it so long, I modified it slightly and they turned out so good.  So good in fact I think I will get the recipe and share it with you.

Best Waffle Recipe.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tbsp baking pwd
3 tbsp white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/8 – 1/4cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then combine.  Cook up in your waffle iron as directed.

I can’t say how healthy they are for you, but they sure tasted good!

Well I think thats about it, I will try and take more pictures this next week for you to see!  I’m off to add wood to the woodstove!


2 Days Late

February 17, 2011

It wasn’t my fault, honest.  I had all the intentions of posting on Tuesday, as promised, but we were right near our maximum limit of usage, so I had to minimum was I was uploading and downloading.   So it was either 2 days late or an entire blog with just words and now pictures.  I opted for the 2 days late.

S,o what have I been busy with the last week, you ask?  Well lets see…

On Sunday we went out and attempted to go cross country skiing.  I say attempted because the snow was so wet and heavy it was more like plowing the snow then skiing on it.  Needless to say we didn’t go as far as we would have liked, but boy was it a work out!  And now I see the snow is melting away with our nice warm temperatures.  As much as I like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but I’m very much ready for spring.

I’ve also been dripping some of our candles, ready for resale.  They are all dripped by hand so they take a little while to do, but the results are stunning.

I also spent a day making natural soap.  I was meaning to bring my camera down to take a few pictures throughout the process, but totally forgot.  So, a picture of one of the batches I made, ready and cut.  If you could smell through the computer you would smell a wonderful pepperminty scent from this bar.  Yum.

After the beautiful temperatures today (+10!) it was hard to remember how just a few days ago it was -20 when I got up, but by the end of the day it was only -2 (the work only is used very loosely here 🙂  I think Magnum is ready for some warmer weather too…

And I got my bingo winnings!  Yes, I play bingo, but its fabric bingo.   Basically everyone that wont’s to play sends a fat quarter for each card and we play 4 or 5 games per month and at the end of the month the hostess divides up the fabric for the winners and mails them out.  Its a lot of fun to play, even when you don’t win.   But even more fun when you get to anxiously wait by the mailbox for your new fabric to come!  I just love opening up the parcel to see what sorts of fabrics people have chosen (each month there is a theme) and I love choosing fabric from my stash to send in for my cards.  The fabric I received this week was from games we played in December, the theme was winter fabrics.  Aren’t they just beautiful?  And they all go so well together!

I also managed to squeeze in a bit of time to do some quilting this past week.  I was working on maple leaf blocks, got 21 finished.  They are from the pattern at The Quilters Cache.  And you know, I am 99% sure I took a picture of the blocks when I had them spread out all over the floor, but do you think I can find it?  I will keep looking and if I do come across it I will share it with you.

Now I do know I have a picture of of this…I put the borders on a quilt top that I have had mostly finished for about 4 months now.  I just didn’t know what to put on it, so I put nothing.  I like what I finally decided to go with.

Oh, and one more piece of news…I finally gave in and joined Facebook.  Its only been a couple of days so I really don’t have the hang of it, but I have an account!

Happy quilting!

Things I would like to do more of

February 8, 2011

Oh, hello…its been a while, I know.  If you could see me you would see my hanging my head in embarrassment for how impossibly long it has been. But really, March 2010?  How come it feels like just a month or two?  Where does all that time go?  Sheesh.

Well, my New Years resolution this year was to start back at my blogging!  Fortunately I don’t believe in New Years resolutions as it apparently took my a month to actually do it.  Although I didn’t actually specify a time period, just said I should.  So here I am.  One thing I would like to do more of is blogging.  Maybe I can set a schedule of one specific day a week writing a post.  I’m not sure I am up for daily, but weekly I can surely do.  Plus I have a zoomy new desk to sit at…I think the all the stuff on it must have come with the desk as it appeared shortly after the desk was put there.

Now you would think that since we got high speed internet I would have been all over blogging, its really amazing how quickly you can add photos to a post.  However, I ended up looking at a lot of blogs instead of adding to my own!  I found this really neat one just by using the next blog button that is on the blogspot blogs.  There are some great pictures on here from France and a very cute pup too!  Just love the architecture of the buildings there.

Since blogging last year my Boxer pup (yes, still a pup at 11  years old) was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy.  If you want to read more about the condition Wikipedia has a decent write up.  The basics of it however is that the transmission of the message from the brain to the muscles are lost, he feels his toes and even reflexivly kicks when you tickle his toes, but he can’t tell his legs to work properly.  It is believed to be a condition similar to Multiple Sclerosis in people.  But he is still happy to kick his ball around and get belly rubs.  There are many resources and tools available for aging animals that my have trouble getting around.  Mid summer of last year I purchased a cart (a doggy wheelchair) for him to help him get around.  Since the snow has come its been a lot harder to get him moving around – plus since he has such short hair he really detests the cold and snow.  But the lucky boy gets to go for acupuncture treatments once a month!

My handsome Boy:

I’ve also been very busy this year working on, or in, the business we run.  I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it in any previous posts, but we make beeswax candles and natural body care products (soap, lip balm, etc.) and this past year things have been booming.  It keeps me busy getting products made and the orders ready.  If you want to see some of the products we make feel free to visit our website: Pioneer we sell to retail outlets mostly in Ontario.

And what you have really been waiting for – the quilting!  I don’t feel as if I have done near enough quilting.  Its one of those things that just seems to make everything better when you are doing it.  You don’t think about the dishes piling up on the counter or the garbage that needs to be taken out.  All there is is fabric, in some cases more fabric than others 🙂  Although I am making a real effort to use up some of the fabric I have here before buying more.  Unless of course I need a large piece of it or if its a really great sale 🙂  So, lets see what I’ve been working on…

Well, there was the tumbling blocks quilt made with the Marci Baker technique:

And the sunflower wallhanging from a pattern in Quilt World (a combination of paper piecing and applique):

Then there was the really brightly coloured pinwheel quilt, which was a pattern in another magazine I have, but I can’t remember which one…

Oh, and there was the Stack n’ Whack one I made while trying out that technique.  Its actually made from fabric my aunt gave me that were her curtains at one point!

And the braided table runner I made just in time for Halloween 🙂

I was also following a long with a pinwheel block of the month last year, so I have a number of blocks now that I need to decide on a layout and then actually get them sewn together.  I did them all in a pink, green, brown theme:

This was July’s block.  I believe I showed a few of these at the beginning of last year.  It was a lot of fun to do, encouraged me to go and sew atleast one little thing a month.

Oh yeah, and in case I didn’t have enough things to keep me out of trouble I took up crocheting at Christmas time.

I made an apple from the Planet June website:

Of course we had the vegetable garden, which we didn’t get planted until late in the season, as we needed a sturdy fence first, but it still thrived.

Soon I will be able to start some of my seedlings indoors, I can’t wait to play in the dirt again, I have had just about enough of this white stuff.  Don’t get me wrong I love the changing seasons and I even like the first couple of snow falls, but I do love spring too.  If it was still light outside I would take a picture of the snow that has piled up against our wood pile.  Nothing like having to bend down to pick wood up off the top of the 4 foot tall pile…

And, unfortunately since I wasn’t blogging last year, you missed our foxes growing up!  Ok, they weren’t our foxes necessarily, but they lived in a hole in our front yard for the summer.   That was pretty neat.   and there is even still one (or maybe more) living there, we have seen them a couple times now and the foot prints in the front yard.

This was when they were wee little things still.

Ok, well, I think that just about sums up the last year 🙂  and I have voiced it out loud – well typed it out loud anyways – that I will post more frequently, there have been numerous times I have thought, hey that would be great to post, and just don’t do it.  But thats one more thing I would like to do more of (that and exercise, eat healthier, quilt more…)