In case you missed it

There’s been a couple of things I have seen lately that I wanted to put out here just in case you missed it and to remind myself in the future.

#1) So here is something I found that will be extremely useful as time goes by. This clever lady has a downloadable chart for matching Kona solids to Aurifil thread. It’s right here.

#2) Allison over at CluckCluckSew had a great post on comparing her two sewing machines. But wait… don’t go yet. I wanted to point out a problem with my Bernina that I added to the comment section

Thanks for giving such a great comparison. I have the Bernina 750, my husband bought it for me two years ago. Interesting that there have been several mentions of motherboard issues. I fried my motherboard while it was still on warranty. When the service man heard that I lived in a rural area he said that I have to get a good quality surge protecter. Before leaving town that day you can believe I had bought a very good one. I have them on all our computers – it makes sense to have one on my computerized sewing machine. The thing that annoys me the most is that I can not stop my machine from doing the securing stitches at the beginning of every seam. The service man has fiddled with the machine and all the women in the shop have weighed in on the problem. I don’t know if all the 750’s do this or just the ones that shipped to Canada. I sincerely hope that Bernina can come up with a update for this. I use a “spider” and carry on !

That was me on Allison’s blog and if you have a similar un-even power supply situation then I really urge you to get a good heavy back-up like this one. If you put your home computer on a surge protector then you should have your sewing machine on one too. Also, If you have the same Bernina model as me I would be really interested in knowing if your machine always does the securing stitches at the beginning.

#3) OK, last item. Have you seen this video about seam rippers ? If not, give it a look – 46 seconds that may make your life easier, well, at least when you have a seam to rip out. 

There is a second one here, same idea though.

That’s all for now. I’d love it if you left a comment, the thingie is up at the top of the post by the date.

Have a great weekend.

Bijoux In Progress

I have a little secret… I buy fabric without a plan ! ( gasp )

I was feeling kind of eccentric about it all and kind of silly. Especially so when I went into the local fabric shop to get some more material that I had bought on sale in January for a quilt back. It was all gone, of course and I could imagine I heard all the tsk-tsking going on. Just kidding, the ladies are really nice there, the tsking was coming from somewhere in my own head 😉 I recently read of another woman that ‘plans’ her quilts the same way, when asked what she does if she runs out of fabric she replied, “then the quilt is done ! ” love that, I had to share !

Anyways, back to Bijoux…

I bought a bundle of 10 fq’s and some backing on sale quite sometime ago, without a plan. Since then I have come up with many different plans – none of which I wrote down. I recently came up with yet another plan and just cut into the fabric and started sewing – quick, before another plan was hatched.

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I’m using the tube method of sewing the blocks together and will be making a ‘stacked coin’ column quilt. I sewed together a few of the strips just to get an idea of what it’s going to look like.

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It’s a big block – about 16.5″ wide so the quilt should go together in a  snap !

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I’m really pleased that I am finally getting around to using this fabric ! The colours are so rich and vibrant, perfect for working with on cold, grey winter days.

I’m linking up with Lee’s WIP here .

I’d love it if you took a moment to comment. The thingie is up near the date at the beginning of the post.

Things that warm my heart and soul

It has been really cold out lately , -27C when I woke up this morning !

So, I thought that some homemade soup was in order

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I started with a recipe from the January issue of Readers Digest and then, as usual,  made my own changes.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try it yourself. It is a really hearty, warming winter soup.

2 T. of canola oil or olive oil drizzled into a heavy bottomed large pot.

1 small onion chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 or 2 garlic cloves minced

add the above to the pot and heat, stirring constantly until tender.

add:

2,  28 fl. oz. cans of diced or whole tomatoes, undrained

2 cups of water

1 T. brown sugar

1/2 – 1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 tsp dried basil – I used fresh equivalent because I had it on hand

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

I then used my immersion blender to puree all the pieces of tomato but left the onion and celery alone so that there was some texture to the soup. Using the blender made the soup have a very nice consistency.

Then I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dried red lentils and simmered for another 20 min. until the lentils were soft.

This soup is so satisfying !

Our youngest daughter was home from university for a few days. Even though she was still working on homework it was good to see her and visit. She brought me flowers to go with my Valentines chocolate kisses.

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Unfortunately, icy road conditions kept our oldest away for the weekend.

I’m so lucky that my ‘children’ still enjoy spending time with me.

I’m very grateful.

Easiest. Quilt. Ever.

Seriously, I’ve seen patterns that promise a quick and easy quilt but this tops them all ! I was tired of laying on the couch waiting to get over the flu when I spotted the newest free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.

I happened to have a layer cake that I had bought on sale and some matching Kona navy solid yardage so I got busy.

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It didn’t take long and I was laying out the blocks.

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please excuse the pictures – it was windy and  -18C !

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Mistakes were made in the layout in terms of colour/value placement. I realize that now, looking at the pictures.

I will blame it on my stuffed up head and sinuses and probably coughing too much instead of paying attention !

I guess I will have to look at it some more and decide if I am going to take it apart or just live with it. The reason why I jumped into it is because I need something for early March so I guess I do have some time to rearrange it – what do you think ? Constructive criticism is always welcome.

A friend of mine has bought a “hobby” type long arm machine and wants me to come over and help her set it up and figure out how it works. So, since I’m not head-over-heels in love with this quilt it won’t be too precious not to practice on. She gets back from her winter holiday in early March.

There’s a bonus with this quilt as well; 36 hst’s.

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I am trimming up the corners I cut off to make that diamond and they give me 4″ half square triangles. I haven’t decided what I’ll make out of them – maybe a pillow to go with the quilt. Oh, the fabric I used is called August by Sarah Watts of Cotton and Steel and the top measures aprox. 57″ x 57″.

linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

please leave a comment – it’s up at the top by the date.

I’ve been at the beach !

and it was Grrreat !
In the far, far distance you can see the hotel we stayed at.

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Here is a bit closer look

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We flew to Manzanillo, Mexico and then traveled north about a half hour to the Grand Isla Navidad Resort.

Below is a sunrise view of the marina taken from our room.

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Years ago I had the opportunity to sail in the Caribbean on a friends boat. Walking around the marina brought back such fond memories, I just love the water and sailing. Weird that I live landlocked on the prairies !

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This is the other side of the hotel where we found the hotels’ huge private beach…
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and a series of four swimming pools that were connected via water slides. You could start at the top pool and swim and slide your way down to the largest pool and the swim-up bar.

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The resort was beautiful and well managed and the food was very good with several different dining locations to choose from. For a little site seeing and tourist action we took a water taxi across the way to the tiny fishing village of Barra de Navidad.

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There were lots of handcrafts to admire and buy !

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The weather was fantastic and the entire adventure was good and relaxing. We enjoyed our holiday so much, I will hopefully go back some day !

Upon arriving back in Canada I came down with that miserable flu that has been making the rounds – probably all around the globe. What a blessing that I didn’t get it any sooner – or pass it on to any family members. I am just now starting to feel more like myself again so will soon be back with some sewing to share.