Sunday, March 27, 2011


Things are finally starting to come together.....I had started quilting Holy Snowballs about a week and a half ago but lost my lighting!  Rich installed the dining room light on Wednesday but then I didn't have enough plugs for my Bernina and the Bendable Bright Light!  Found an extension cord at the store the other day and brought it home but since last night was Applique Club I didn't get a chance to get back to work......I am now back up and running and quilting in my revamped space.....
Of course there's still lots to be done in the house to get it up to par but I'm waiting for the painting to be completed, then we can start on all the "little" things that need to be done.

Didn't get home until 7:30 tonight because I stayed to mark the 28 bolts of new fabric we received this afternoon.  Tomorrow I will get started on prepping space to put them all in!

I haven't updated any info on my Farmer's Wife because I haven't pieced any new blocks.  There's a good reason for this!  I am prepping!  Seriously - I really am! Last count was - 15 blocks pieced, however, there are also 12 blocks marked and cut and ready to piece, two blocks marked and about 8 blocks ready to mark (fabrics chosen)......I have gone into prepping mode for a very good reason!  I am going on an extended "Quilt Retreat"!!!!!

So here's the scoop - as many of you know I went in for surgery on February 15th - a biopsy/D and C.  The results are a malignant tumor in the uterus.  On March 9th I saw the oncologist at Sunnybrook and I am scheduled for surgery on May 10th - a complete hysterectomy.  The prognosis is good!  He feels once this is done I will be fine!  Naturally I told him that there was no doubt of that since I have so many quilts to do - I don't have time for this!  My plan - since the recovery is 4-6 weeks - is to have plenty of hand work to do!  So instead of actually piecing Farmer's Wife, I am prepping it to have plenty of hand work!

Since I have the absolute best staff in the universe, there will be no interruption in "business as usual" and I even promise to have the newsletter out in time for an Open House before I go into the hospital.  Seriously, the timing couldn't be better - I will be around to teach my Mystery Quilt, hang out and sew during the 4 day retreat at the end of April and still have plenty of time to plan the newsletter for the summer's a win, win situation!

I do have a bit of bad news - Simon (the cat) has gone missing!  He went out Monday evening and has not returned......we're really not sure where he could have gone!  Hoping he's found someone to look after him of course but still a bit worried.  He's definitely a survivor so I won't be surprised if he shows up on the doorstep sometime soon, but it is very sad!  I really thought there was no problem - we kept him in the house for the first 2-3 weeks and when he did go out, he came back pretty quickly, seemed to be staying close to home!  Hopefully we will see him again soon but he may have found a better place.....of course, needless to say I had just bought cat food!

That's all the news for now....will certainly keep you all posted on all the Creations, Trials & Tribulations!!!!

Have a great day everyone! :-)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Quite the challenge!

It took awhile but after about an hour and a half I managed to change over my sewing area from "sewing/piecing" to "quilting"......Sonia (the Janome) is now safely put away in her case along with "From Snowballs Come Flakes" (the next project), the iron and ironing board have found a home and all the cutting mats and rulers have also found temporary homes.

Bernie (the Bernina) is now set up and with the Snowballs quilt is taking up most of the table, as it should be!  I have begun to quilt....I have to say that this procedure of packing up one project to concentrate on another is foreign to me!  When I had the studio in the basement I was able to delegate spaces for both piecing and quilting, not having to move much to be able to do both.  This takes getting used to but on the upside it keeps me focussed on the task at hand.

Here's a shot of the quilt on the design board at the store......I managed to get it layered and pinned and then off to quilt!
As I said yesterday - I'm very pleased with the way it turned out!  I have already quilted the 8 small snowballs in the centre of the quilt.  I had decided what I was doing in the small snowballs but I was still trying to imagine what to do in the medium and large snowballs.  While I was working on the small snowballs it came to me!  Now I had to mark it......hmmm, what to use!  The Bohin Mechanical Chalk Pencil of course!

It was so easy to mark the quilt even though it was already layered and pinned!   (You are supposed to mark before you get to the layering step!)  So I'm really on my way now!

Wish I could stay home and quilt all day but somebody needs to be in the store to help customers and serve lunch!  Maybe I'll get some done tonight!

Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, March 13, 2011


Well the top is just layering and quilting!  I am thrilled with the way it turned out, I just love it!  Did a little tweeking with the border and it's done!  I have to say, piecing the border took alot of time but every minute was worth it......

AND....I also have have a new design wall!  Jonathan, see, I knew he was good for something!  Here's the Holy Snowball quilt.......

....and here it is again, after I straightened the design wall!
So the plan for today is to get to the store, I'm feeling much better now that I'm on the antibiotics, and get it layered (and a better picture!)  Get things prepared for tomorrow's lunch crowd and then get home, unpack Bernie (my fabulous Bernina) and start quilting this baby!

Jonathan is chomping at the bit to get on the computer so while I'm waiting for my ride to the store I am going to start working on The Flakes (offcuts of the Snowballs).....

Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's coming together!

By that I mean life in general!  The townhouse is amazing - I love it!  Rich has been busy painting and everything is looking great!  I can't believe how much has been done in a little over a month!  The whole first floor is painted except for the bathroom and that is awaiting my choices of a new mirror and light fixture but the colour has already been chosen......

He just finished the downstairs hallway today and what a difference a paint colour can make to a home!  From dark and dreary to bright and cheery!  (I'm a poet suddenly!)

Here's the before......sort of a grey taupey kind of colour......
Here's the after......butter yellow.....
It's like night and day!  He finished the kitchen last week, Thursday I think and now it's all on me to get it sorted but he even painted my old green bookcase blue for looks fabulous - really a bright colour!

Here's the before.......just a white finish!

Now I love going in there in the morning and all my cookbooks are finally unpacked - the real decorating will soon begin.....
....and here's the bookcase.....once I get the dishes hung on the wall it will look gorgeous!  I'm so happy with this colour........
The living/dining room was the first room to get done but I'm still thrilled by the changes, this is the before.....
Simon is quite happy here and has just nestled right in, we kept him cooped up in the house for about two weeks after we moved but he's been going out quite regularly for the past few weeks and there's been no problem.  He doesn't ask to go out every day anymore and when he does he tends to come back alot faster.  I think he's just content that we took him with us....I suspect his previous owners left him to fend for himself in the neighbourhood.  (Simon adopted us after we moved into the house we just sold)  He's quite the personality and has taken over the house and all "his" possessions with renewed enthusiasm!
So now it's just a matter of putting up the finishing touches, like curtains and pictures and wallhangings and all those wonderful things that really make a house a home!  The things that comfort us!

While Rich was busy painting today I finally tackled the Snowball quilt and it's borders.  Got the first border on and once I finish the blog I will get to the second one, it's pieced so I wanted to get this done first.....also I am wavering on the border size so a break was needed.....

Barb is in the store this weekend filling in for me because I am home starting a course of antibiotics for an abscess tooth!  Not something I needed right now as I'm preparing for another surgical procedure.  Haven't got a date yet but I should know within the next week or so.....  I'm finally looking after some health issues that have been plagueing me for awhile!

I promised to post the recipe for the fabulous Parmesan Penne I served last Sunday and Monday so here it is.....this recipe makes about 12 servings, so you can split it in two or three if your serving 4-6 people.

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar marinara sauce (28 ounces)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divide into thirds
1/2 teaspoon allspice (yes allspice!!!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package penne pasta (16 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, cubed, divided in half
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Cook the beef and onion on medium until meat is done, drain.  Stir in the marinara sauce, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, allspice, salt and pepper.  Let come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  At the same time, cook pasta to package directions.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter, stir in butter until smooth.  Gradually add milk, bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  Gradually whisk in the eggs until blended.

Drain the pasta and add the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup butter, tossing lightly to coat.

In a 13" x 9" greased baking dish (glass is best) spread 1/3 of the meat mixture, half the pasta and half the white sauce.  Repeat, ending with the meat nixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly......

ENJOY!  I'm going back to quilting!

Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

.....and one more for the Farmer!

I actually got another block done for The Farmer's Wife last night and even got another block marked and ready to cut......up to 14 now!  Have to say, I wish I had more time to work on my hand piecing but I try and steal a little whenever I can......this is block #20!

Had a busy day at the store today - Healing Heroes with our special guest Alison McDonald!  It was a great day!  Also managed to get lunches made for tomorrow and Monday - Parmesan Penne!  I'll let you know how it turned out, but I'm thinking it's gonna be a hit!  If it is - I'll share the recipe!

Barb drove me home and we hung out for awhile and watched some TV for a was great, we haven't had a lot of time in the past month or so!  I also came home to a great surprise - my kitchen is half painted!  That is soooooo cool!  That means I will be able to unpack the rest of the boxes on the first floor and be done!  Woohoo!  Rich was really busy today!  My bookcase is also primed and ready for paint!  After Barb left Rich and I drove down to Bloor Street for a coffee at Aroma (Bathurst and Bloor), a real treat, killer Latte!

When I got home I baked a Milk Chocolate Cheesecake, the recipe is on the Duncan Hines Fudge Marble Cake Mix box.  What can I say, I had all the ingredients and decided to try something different!  Every month we have a group of ladies who come to "Stitch and Bitch" - it started out as a "family affair" and has grown to include friends too!  They're a great group and we always have a great time!  Tomorrow we have 12 coming.....can't wait!

So now it's really late and I've gotta get up to open the store so I'm off to bed in a few minutes!

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, March 4, 2011

The Quilt!

The quilt top (centre) is done - so I decided to get a really good look at it before I chose my borders.  I took it to the store and put it on that fabulous design wall we have!  Now I love it and I'm really planning a great broder......
This picture really doesn't do this quilt justice but when I try to fix it it looks worse!  This at least gave me the opportunity to properly chose my first border!  Admittedly it really has grown on me.....will tackle the border this weekend....

Right now I'm off to clean the kitchen and go up to my "other" quilting haven, maybe finish another block of The Farmer's Wife......

Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A sneak peak!

I actually had an evening to quilt last night!  No shopping, no classes, no other pressing things to do (besides block pressing!) so I got to work on the Snowballs......

Here it is 1/4 done -

Not the greatest design wall but it works.......and here it is 1/2 done!

So - so far I'm not loving it but I'm moving right along with it - here it is 3/4 finished!

Okay - it's starting to grow on me and I would have had it finished except I messed up the last block!  I don't want same fabrics touching so I had to pull apart the last one and it was 2:00 A.M. so I gave it up!  Tonight I have a class to teach but may still get it done - I'll see how I feel when I get home.....

I do have something special planned for the borders!  Just so you know - this is a FREE PATTERN called Holy Snowballs!  Kathy made one last summer and I thought it would be a great pattern to highlight those Kaffe Fassett large prints!  I think I made the right choice but am withholding judgement until I get it finished!  My plan is to take this one to the end - then work out my design for the flakes and complete it!  We'll have to see how that goes!  There's always something tugging at me......

Have a great day everyone!