Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Wednesday is actually a long day for me because it's when I do my laundry and I really don't like doing laundry.  All that sorting, folding, climbing stairs, and having to wait around for the machines to finish, bleck!  I try to remind myself to be grateful though; it wasn't too long ago that laundry day meant washing your clothes by hand and hanging them on the line!

I've been pretty busy this last week!  I've been canning, sewing, stitching, cleaning, and even pretending to be a mechanic.  So here's my week in pictures!

What's up with canning

Over the weekend, we picked pears.  It was time.  The neighbor's pears were just falling out of the tree, so we had to get to it before they were all gone!  His tree didn't have many pears, but they were very big and nice.  His are lovely to just eat.  So juicy and sweet!  Pears in the store don't even come close to how nice these are.  Then we went over to Hubby's mom's house to pick her tree.  Her pears are smaller, but she had so many of them!  And they were very nice this year, hardly any defects or worm holes.  All in all, I figure we got about 3/4 of a bushel.  Here they are all separated out.  They need to continue to ripen before I can start canning them.

 I also started canning meals-in-a-jar, which are basically ready to eat cans of food!  These are so handy to have when I'm having a busy or tiring day, or I forget to thaw some meat the day before.  They aren't very pretty to look at, but they're very delicious.

Here's hearty chicken stew:

And here's curried chicken and beef stroganoff:

I have two more recipes I'm going to make probably in the next week: split pea soup and chili.  That should keep us well stocked in ready to eat meals for most of the winter.

What's up with sewing

I started quilting my ridiculous vegetable quilt last weekend too.  I plan on posting a Tuesday tip about my quilting method, so keep an eye out for that next week.

Here's where the pretending to be a mechanic bit comes in.  I'm not sure what got me into this, but I've been thinking about getting a vintage machine the last couple of weeks.  They're well built, easy to maintain, and in many cases, run so much nicer than modern machines.  After a lot of looking and research, I finally decided on a Singer 301A, and got a really good deal for one on Etsy.  The lady gave me a good deal because it's missing the tension nut, but that's easy enough to replace.

I've been having a ball cleaning her up and oiled, and she works like a dream!  Can you believe that this machine can get up to 1600 stitches a minute?  My Brother, a heavy duty all metal mid-arm straight stitch machine built for quilting, can only do 1500.  And the Singer is soooo much quieter than any modern machine.  It sounds like rain on a roof, even at high speed.  Lovely!  I'm just waiting for the tension nut to come in the mail, and then I'll be sewing on this beauty! 

(PS, yes, that brings me to a total of four sewing machines.)

What's up with plastic canvas

I've been working steadily on the new wall hanging design, too!  This is a big one, so I suspect I won't have it finished until next week sometime.  I really like how it's coming out so far.

This is going on the wall next to my sewing machines! 

Well, I hope you're all having a good week!  I need to get my butt moving because my to-do list is pretty long!  See you later!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Free Friday: Watermelon Magnet

Happy Friday, everyone!  Boy, another week gone already, and another week closer to fall!  I really can't wait.  Fall is the best season, in my humble opinion. 

But until then, it's still summer, and what's summer without watermelon?  Yes, I have yet another variant of the citrus coaster pattern, but this time it's a magnet and a cutie at that!  Stick this on your fridge to help you remember to enjoy summer while it's here :)

Watermelon Magnet

Skill Level:



  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • Magnetic tape
  • Craft glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle


  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast edges using colors of nearby stitches (use the picture above as a guide)
  3. Cut several pieces of magnetic tape to fit on the back of bat magnet. Remove paper from magnets and apply glue to sticky side before attaching to rainbow. This may seem like overkill, but it makes for a very secure bond.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope everyone has a fun weekend!  We're going to pick our neighbor's and my MIL's pear trees, then get all the materials needed for canning.  Sounds like a long and busy week ahead of me!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Hey everyone, can you believe it's Wednesday again already?  Seems like it was just the weekend!  Or maybe that's just me.  It always seems like summer days go by so fast, probably because you want them to last as long as possible.  I've certainly been trying to enjoy them as much as possible, but they still slip through my fingers!

Well since it's Wednesday, that means it's time for a What's Up Wednesday update!  It's a weird day outside today.  The sky is a bright clear blue and the sun is strong, but there's a cold wind blowing.  It feels like autumn, actually, which would be ok if I was dressed for autumn!  I'm freezing today!  I guess I'd better go put some slippers on or something, lol.

What's up with quilts

I finished my potting shed quilt!  I ended up deciding to use the dark purple fabric as the binding, and I think it looks super nice.

See how nice it is out today?  Just lovely!  (The picture doesn't show how cold it is though, lol.)  Here's a close up of the center of the quilt.  So pretty!

And here's a better shot of the quilting in the body of the quilt.  Swirly vines are my favorite!

I got the crazy bright vegetable quilt all basted together with the backing and batting, and next I'll be quilting it.  I'm going to try an experiment with marking it, which I'll probably post about.  Keep an eye out!

What's up with the garden

The garden is doing ok.  It's not a good year in the vegetable garden, but we're getting tomatoes and beans and cucumbers and raspberries, and that's never a bad thing.  As long as we're eatting something fresh from the garden, it's a good year.

My flower garden is doing ok.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but I have a drunk foxglove blooming right now!  They usually bloom in spring, but no, this one decided it wanted to bloom in late fall.  Go figure.  What's really going good right now are my black eyed Susans.  A few years ago, my favorite aunt passed away, so as a memorial, I planted a couple black eyed Susan seeds because they were her favorite flower.  Well, they've taken over my garden!  I don't mind because they're so pretty, and they help me to remember her.

My next door neighbors are an elderly couple who don't have the ability to can anymore, so they let me pick their pear tree.  They're pretty good pears!  Well, I checked them today and the ground is covered in pears, eek!  I need to get out there and pick them off the tree before they all fall!  I managed to rescue a handful of the ones off the ground before critters got them.

Speaking of canning, it's that time of year for me!  I usually do most of my canning in late summer/early fall.  I do applesauce, lots of pear related stuff, beans and carrots, jams and jellies, some pickles, and my very favorite, meals-in-a-jar!  That's what I'm planning right now.  We just bought a 1/4 cow, so I have lots of beef to work with.  I got all my canning books out and I'm writing my shopping list so I can start canning this weekend.

What's up with plastic canvas

I'm in the early stages of a new plastic canvas design.  I just started yesterday, and I've gotten as far as getting the sketch cleaned up and now it's ready to start graphing!  Isn't it cute?

I plan on keeping this one for my sewing room :)  Because it is my happy place!

Well, that's all for this week!  How was your week?  I hope you're enjoying this lovely summer before it's over!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Autumn Leaves Coasters

Happy Monday, everyone!  I'm trying to be quick here -- it's 1:52 pm and the eclipse is today!  It peaks at 2:34 today in my location, so I'm trying to get my work done so I can go outside and enjoy the show! 

The cool new pattern I finished today is one for pretty autumn coasters!  They match the TBC I posted a couple of weeks ago.  They're so pretty and fun, I'll probably keep these ones for myself!

Autumn Leaf Coasters Pattern, $4 on Etsy

Ok, I'm off to enjoy nature's show!  Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Free Friday: Flower Needle Book

Happy Friday, everyone!  Oh, what a beautiful Friday it is here today, too!  I just love this time of year, when it starts to cool down a little and the sun softens, the crickets are out and you can tell that fall isn't too far off.  Yes, in case you didn't know, I adore fall!  It's by far my favorite season, not least because my birthday is in September!

I made another pretty needle book for this week's free pattern.  It's once again purple, but you can use whatever colors you'd like.  I guess I'm just partial to purple, even though it's not my favorite color exactly.  I'm just drawn to it for some reason.

Flower Needle Book

Skill Level:



  • 1 sheet 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn in colors in key
  • 1 sheet craft felt
  • Craft glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle


  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Whipstitch pieces of needle book together using Medium Purple yarn.
  3. Overcast around unworked edges with Medium Purple.
  4. Cut two 2 ½ inch squares of craft felt. Glue pieces to the inside of needle book as pictured.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Well, that's all for this week, folks.  I hope your weekend is a beautiful one!  I plan on enjoying this lovely weather as much as I can!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Good Wednesday morning, everyone!  Oh, it's a lovely morning here; the sky is blue, the crickets are chirping, the air is just slightly crisp.  I guess that means autumn is on its way!  Which is ok by me... I loooove fall.  It's definitely my favorite season, not least because I love everything pumpkin spice.

So what's up this week?  Well, we just got back from our vacation in Maine, but it's nevertheless been a busy week!  I've been trying to stay motivated and fill my days with creativity and not sink into giant pools of procrastination. 

What's up with plastic canvas

So I've been working on a coaster set to match my Autumn Leaves Tissue Box Cover.  It's been slow going, with the vacation  in there, despite being a pretty simple project.  The good news is that I'm finally getting the work done on it, and I should hopefully have it done this week!  Yay :)

What's up with sewing

I don't talk about my sewing much, but I'm a rabid, obsessive, passionate seamstress (I can't bring myself to use the term sewist -- I just dislike that way too much).  I sew everything and anything; bags, clothes, toys, and lots of quilts.  So lately I've decided that maybe I should finish the three quilts I have in the works.  You know, so I can start new ones!

I've been working on this Potting Shed quilt for some time, maybe a year (ps, the photos are terrible).  It uses the ultra pretty potting shed panel and coordinating fabric, but I designed the quilt myself.

Does anyone else have the problem of pets wanting to be all over something you're working on?  Sunshine can't seem to help himself.  Here's a close up of the center panel.

I just need to add a border and this lovely is all finished.  However, I can't decide what I want to do.  I bought this nice purple in Maine and I thought it would work, but now I don't know.  I wonder if it would look best if I just turned the edges under.

My other project that I'm working on, or I guess was working on, is this amazing piece of work.  I told Hubs that this is going to be the brightest, wildest quilt I will ever make.  I'm not a bright color person.

My MIL bought me a ton of fruit and vegetable fabrics, and I probably thought about what I wanted to do with them for about two years.  I love this quilt pattern I found in The Big Book Of Nickel Quilts, but these colors...  MY EYES.  This is going to be our picnic quilt once it's done! 

Also, Spices says Hello!

What's up in the garden

It's bean season!  I grow lots of green beans because they're easy to grow, I like them, and oh yeah, they're easy to grow.  My garden is unfortunately under two huge trees, so I'm not exactly a successful vegetable gardener most years.  But every year, I get good yields of beans, so every year I plant more, lol.  My Hubs calls bean season the great Beanpocalypse. 

So yesterday I finally got around to canning the first wave of beans up.  Six quarts!  One didn't seal, but that's ok, we'll eat them.

When I got back from vacation and saw the huge load of vegetables and beans especially in my garden, I said Thank you God for these abundant plants!  Because there's absolutely nothing better tasting than beans straight from the garden.

Well, that's all for this week!  I hope you're all having a good week too.  Do you have any new projects going on?  Anything new and interesting going on in your life?  I'd love to hear!

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm back!

 Good Monday morning, everyone!  It's so good to be back home after a long week away on vacation.  We truly enjoyed visiting Maine, with its rustic beauty and friendly people, but we missed our cats and our garden and our home. 

I got some good pictures to remind me of our super relaxing trip!  We had a beautiful cabin in the woods, right on a lake.  We had our own private dock, a big area out back for chilling out on Adirondack chairs and a hammock, and there was a huge fire pit for camp fires at night. 

 My favorite spot though was out on the dock.  The water was so warm, I'd just take my shoes off and dangle them in.  It was an excellent place to watch kayakers go by and listen to the loons sing.

We took several day trips, including to the ocean (did you know the ocean is freaking cold in Maine?!),  to the last working Shaker community, and to Freeport to see L. L. Bean's flagship store with the huge boot out front!

 I left my mother-in-law in charge of my vegetable garden while I was gone, but she's not really a vegetable gardener.  She watered for me, but didn't pick anything.  So when I came back, everything was just bulging with produce!  This is what I picked that first day back!

Now it's back to real life!  I always feel so refreshed and refocused after our summer vacations.  It gives me a chance to remember what's important to me in life, and gives me new direction to keep moving forward.  I'm going to get back into blogging frequently and working on my patterns every day, because I'm passionate about my creative life and I shouldn't let procrastination stop me.  So stay tuned!  I'll have lots of interesting new things coming out soon!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Hey everyone!  How are you all doing?  I'm doing pretty good in my neck of the woods.  I'm busy getting ready for our trip to Maine... we leave on Friday!  EEEH!  I'm so excited to get away and do loads of chilaxing. 

Have you heard of Wordless Wednesday?  The idea is to post some pictures on your blog every Wednesday, except without words.  Just pictures.  Sounds really cool, right?  Well, I have trouble doing the wordless part.  There's so much to tell about pictures!  You're missing so much of what's going on if it's just a picture.  Or at least that's how I feel.

So I decided to try to do a post on Wednesday to kind of show what's going on with my life and what I'm up to, and I'm going to call it What's Up Wednesday!  So there will be pictures and words, because it's so hard to not have words.  Lol!

What's up in the garden!

Here's part of the reason I haven't been so productive with my patterns lately.  I have a pretty sizable garden out back, with both flowers and vegetables.  No matter how hard I try every year to tone it down so it's not so much work, I just can't help myself.  It gets so big and lush and there's so much going on, because I love plants and I adore being outside with them.

It's bean season right now in my garden.  I just started getting beans in this week! I'm growing four different varieties, and I realize now that I'm not growing a single green bean, lol!  They're all yellow and purple kinds.  I like the colorful ones because they're so much easier to see to pick.  Plus they're interesting!

I tried a new variety this year called Monte Gusto!  They're sooo big!  You may not realize it looking at that picture, but look down at your hand and imagine that bean.  It's a good 8 inches long! 

What's up in Niagara Falls!

 So a couple of long distance friends came to visit earlier in the month, and we decided to go visit Niagara falls, since we live just a couple hours away.  Despite living so close, I had actually never been there before!  I guess that's always how it is though; you forget to look at all the cool stuff in your own area.  We decided to do all the touristy things, so we went on the Maid of the Mist and then visited the Cave of the Winds.  It was pretty cool!

There's a picture of the Maid of the Mist, a cool boat that goes right up to the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls.  I didn't get any pictures on the boat because it was SO WET!  (By the way, the people in the blue ponchos are on the American side, and the other boat with the red ponchos is from the Canadian side!)

 A pretty shot of the American falls and Horseshoe falls in the back.

In the Cave of the Winds, you walk down to the base of the American falls.  It's very pretty!  

It's also amazingly loud.  There was a point where our friends and I had to start using hand signals because we couldn't even hear ourselves yelling.

A hilarious picture of my very tall husband that my friend had me take.  He just barely fits!

Well, that's it for this week's What's Up Wednesday!  I'll be gone next week on our Maine vacation, but that means I'll have lots of cool pictures to show you when I get back!