Friday, December 23, 2011

Magic Moments

This Christmas, we are enjoying our little visitors as they discover Christmas for the first time.

It is exciting to see Christmas through the eyes of little children.  The sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas stay with us for a lifetime.

The little people here are enchanted with my Christmas Village. Especially at night, when we turn the lights on. They have each chosen their own "house" in the village. One is "C's" and one is "E's".  So cute.

In the other room...known as the work centre where the sweet smells of Christmas are produced, things are a little chaotic...oh well...

I hope your home is filled with the sweet smells of Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Divine Appointment

A few years ago I came out of a Tim Horton's in Burlington and a street person asked me for money. I looked into his eyes and gave him some money, and asked if I could buy him some breakfast.
He declined.
Then he looked at me and smiled. He said, "I know you. You are Deborah Brown." I was quite surprised because I didn't recognize him. He said he remembered me and my husband from a certain church we were members of during the 80's.
He eventually told me who he was and I remembered him in his former days...a young professional, newly married, with a child on the way.
This man looked nothing like his former self.
As I conversed with him I realized mental illness had taken its toll and he now lived on the streets in Burington and the surrounding towns and cities.
He was estranged from his former wife, and his children. 
I told him where we lived and told him if he ever needed something, to please come. He told me he wasn't allowed to do that.
As I left, I felt odd.
Yet I also felt I had encountered a divine appointment.
I'll never forget that morning when I became reacquainted with and old acquaintance, and a new burden.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where in the world am I???

What a busy fall!!!  My daughter and her twins moved in for a week this fall before they took off to Florida for their winter stay. Immediately after that, I was off to Houston with my friend to the International Quilt Market/Festival. It was my first time at market and was sort of a scouting adventure for a business I'm thinking about. Stay tuned!

While at market, I met Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts, Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims from The Quilt Show, saw Eleanor Burns' at her booth Quilt in a Day, got a peek at Marianne Fons and Liz Porter from Fons and Porter...let me see...that is probably enough of the name dropping for now.  

There were many classes to take, and I did my best as a first time festival attendee to take as many as I could. In Charlotte Angotti's "Let Me Surprise You" class we made an orange and black batik quilt.

I need to find a border fabric with pumpkins or something fallish. I know these are Halloween colours...but I am not really a fan of the goulish celebration...oh well, I know now that these surprise you classes at Festival are just that. I was surprised by the colour choices! But it was fun to sew all day and not have to worry about cutting or measuring. The kits in the class were laser cut by John Flynn. That quilt was probably the easiest quilt i have ever pieced because the pieces were exactly cut. It went together like a dream!

Other classes I took were from famed machine quilter Philippa Naylor from the UK; Paula Nadelstern's Keleidoscope method (Paula is from New York); a paper piecing feathered star class from Carol Doak; and last but not least, my favorite class and teacher - Pineapple Quilt block with Anita Grossman Solomon, whose books I highly recommend. She has a great blog too!

All in all, we had a blast. I recommend the journey to the quilting mecca for everyone!

Today, I'm on my way home from a visit to the Lily Pad in Florida. Talk soon.



Monday, September 19, 2011

Fabric Preparation

There is a great tutorial on preparation of fabric for quilting on this blog. If you have the time, this blog is worth a look around for other tutorials. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

orange balloon, horses in the parking lot and other neat things..

This one is for you Madam Samm

Ever been in a balloon? Me neither, but it did look fun, especially after the hurricane blew through. (Read on!)

I saw these in the sky as I came out of the restaurant. So much fun! One actually landed in the field beside the road and dropped a guy and his bike off. He rode away down the country road, disappearing in the corn fields. Interesting mode of travel, the balloon...

Speaking of modes of travel...

I had trouble finding a parking spot. I eventually found one and had the exciting experience of shopping in an Amish hardware/grocery store. Wow. Lots of things there that were very useful. And the prices were good too.

 Of course, I had to visit my favorite bake shop and sample one or two of these. I brought a package home for husband as well. He loves these!

While I was there, the hurricane came through, or the edge of it. Never seen rain like that before! Absolutely Biblical! End result...massive flooding in the area which delayed my journey back home.

Harrisburg was under water and the Susquahanna river overflowed its banks to the extent that the way home was blocked. I eventually got out...just meant another day of shopping. :-)

I'm back home now after a wonderful journey. Sometimes getting away is absolutely just makes coming home all that more special.

I'm off to the quilt see what I need to finish, and what new trouble I can get myself into!

Talk soon,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ahhhh...Finally Someone Turned the Heat Off

...which means it is time for me to pull out the knitting basket. Don't you just love fall? I sure do. I like summer...but I love fall. I can finally open the windows in the house, air out the quilts, go for long walks, sip coffee without breaking into a sweat...and I could go on and on but I won't bore you to death.

Seriously...I used to knit all the time..before I discovered quilting back in the 80's. I was visiting a new blog today and was so inspired by what I saw that I am bringing this out to finish. Do you like it? It will keep me snuggly warm this winter.

Do you like the basket? I bought it at an outdoor market in Nairobi. It was made by the local women and it is made out of some kind of tree that they chew and make pliable for weaving. I bought a few of them. That was a trip to remember! And that's another day's post. The sweater pattern and wool are from Philosophers Wool...a wonderful place to visit if you are into knitting, or just like to dabble in it. Definitely worth the trip. 

After my walk today, I 'm going to finish the pickles. I got started the other day and completed the pickling of the beans, carrots and cauliflower. I love doing this...haven't done it in years and it felt good to "put up" some of the garden's offerings.

Enjoy your holiday Monday. What will you do today?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Walk Through the Garden

I took a walk through my local garden centre the other day to see what was up...

The last time I was there, spring colours abounded. This time, it was apparent things were gearing up for late summer, fall type gardening.

Fall colours!

Fall wreaths ready to hang

A bouquet of fall offerings
A telling sign...fall is on its way!

I took lots of pictures. I'm going to load some of them into a colour generator so I can see exactly what colours are in the photo...a very useful tool for choosing colours to go into a quilt. I love using nature for inspiration.

If you have a photo you love and would like to see all the colours in the composition, possibly for inspiration for a quilt colour pallet, log on to Jinny Beyer also has a lot of information on her site about colour and quilting. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm a Winner!

What a wonderful surprise this morning to open up my inbox and find a note from Madame Samm telling me I was a winner. I don't think I've ever won anything before!

I won a beautiful sewing basket stuffed with all kinds of goodies. I'm sure I can make use of every little thing in that basket. One can never have too many accoutrement for stitching and quilting!

Daily prizes by awesome sponsors...for quilters and non quilters alike. 

I can't wait to get my surprise in the mail! Thanks Madam Samm! Go to the website and take a look around. Sew much fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Passions & Pursuits: Wantobe Quilters!!!

Reminder!  Check this out. Lots of goodies, great instructional tuts, great excitement! A winner every day during the week! And lots of new quilters too! If you are a wantobe quilter, this one's for you. Just follow the instructions that I posted here. Good luck!

     Link below:
Passions & Pursuits: Wantobe Quilters!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Sunday today. Church this morning. A coming together of the Body of Christ. We celebrate Him together in the midst of our everyday, ordinary lives.

We sing. We listen. We pray. We read Scripture. We listen. We sing. We pray. We celebrate at the Lord's table and remember His broken body and shed blood.

A sacred morning.

Then we disburse. We go off into the world. Into the noise, into the rush, into the unsacred.

Sunday is always a day of contrasts. Going from the sacred space we created in a time of worship, then walking back into the everyday, ordinary life I lead.

Sundays interrupt the everyday, ordinary flow of life and remind us there is more. Sunday's blessing is that the Christ in me can be taken into Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Day of Quilting

Ahhhh...a day of quilting with some special friends. Nothing quite like gathering with some friends and chatting and quilting. (except maybe having a day with grandkiddies :-)  )

Hope your day is as pleasant as I expect mine will be. Make the most of your day, wherever you are!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Road Trip Adventure

I think one of the highlights of my road trips has to be the drive down and the drive back. This time I needed some alone time so I took off to my favorite destination which is a 7 hour drive, give or take. I make sure I have something good to listen to. One time I downloaded all of Timothy Keller's sermons onto my Ipod and listened to a great series as I drove. This time I listened to Charles Price's "Abraham" series. Wonderful! And a great way to pass the time as I drive. The scenery was breathtaking, especially driving through the mountains in Pennsylvania .

I had a successful trip...should have stayed longer...wanna go back. So much I didn't make time for. I must make my next trip a week long.

Check out these two teachers. In my humble opinion, they are worth your time. They are not serving up the usual stuff.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Morning Coffee and Blog Hop

It has been so long since I last posted...about a month.

I've been busy with little blessings

and my sewing machine. I've been working on 5 - count 'em - 5 block of the month type quilts. This has been the year for BOM. I think next year I'll take a break.

In between my BOM's I've been working on a quilt for one of my favorite charities...should get down to my studio today and finish the top so I can get to quilting it.

And in between all this, I've been sorting through my cupboards, trying to decide whether or not stuff should stay or go. I have a few friends who are doing massive clean-outs. It's good for the heart...and the mind, I think.

Come to think of it, maybe my stash needs a clean-out. I'm sure the ladies who sew the cancer quilts could use a donation.

I'm off to the studio...stay cool!

Wantobe Quilters!!!

Calling all Wantobe Quilters?

"Hello friends and followers, I would love to welcome you

to a Wantobe Quilters Campaign over here.

They are having quilting supplies to giveaway 5 x a week for 12 weeks.

Supplies that will have you quilting

before you know it...From sewing machines to irons, to die cutters,

to mats, to rotary cutters, sewing baskets, scissors, batting, needles,

rolled sewing machine bags, patterns, books, magazines...everything

you could imagine to assist you in being a NEW Quilter.

Even if you are already part of this community you can win

quilting stuff too...Tuesday and Thursday are days for us..

All you have to do is give me your name and phone number

and email sew I can submit this to the organizer, because if you win

anything I can win something too.

All you have to do is be my follower and a follower

over at Sew We Quilt @ Stash Manicure....

That is all! There are over 49 Sponsors involved.

I am pretty excited to be part of this, sew should you.

I love being a QUILTER!

( p.s you will not be eligible to win anything if you do not register

with a blogger where you see this message)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Sayin...

Hi: Been busy. At the start of the week, I had only one engagement. Then my week got very busy. That's the way it always happens.

     Life seems to speed on. Where do the days go?

              When I was a little girl, the days seemed to drag on forever. I think it was because I never thought about what was next. I totally lived in the present.

   We are almost at the end of June. Wasn't it just yesterday (Just a sec, I have to turn off  these two chatty cathy's on sportsline) that we were waiting for the snow to melt? Where does the time go?

I'm convinced that the older I get, the quicker time actually goes. It's not an illusion. I am convinced.

        Tomorrow I'm sewing with the girls. And it will be Friday already! I'm starting a Christmas quilt. I'm 
quite excited about this one. I've done the pattern before and it comes together quickly. Time marches on towards Christmas...a little too quickly now for my liking. But what can you do?

Speaking of time, some day we will be living outside of time. Interesting thought. I guess there are no clocks in heaven. What will life be like...without time. Or with all the time in the universe? Will that saying even be relevant in heaven? I'm not quilt ready (which is a word that deals with "time") to be there yet...but sometimes I let my mind wander...

     Just sayin...



Monday, June 20, 2011

Time to Sew

After a very busy weekend, and with a full day of no appointments (yay!) I'm going down to spend the entire day in the quilt studio.

And the fun thing is...I'm going to actually quilt a quilt. I have to diminish my pile of quilt tops before I can start a new project. Helps me reduce the stress of UFO's.

And seeing as today is another beautiful day with NO humidity (hate humidity!) I will grab my camera and go down to the water later on this afternoon when the light is perfect, and do some shooting. Maybe some people watching on the boardwalk. Might even take Maggie. She loves the boardwalk.

The sermon yesterday challenged us to practice self awareness. I'm overdue for an inventory and some serious analysis. So, along with my camera, my dog, and my latte, I will take my Bible and journal. Sounds like a plan.

Stash Manicure made the cut! 55 Best Quilting Blogs!

Congratulations Stash Manicure on being selected as one of the 55 best quilting blogs featured in Quilter's Home magazine. Check out the article.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The hills are alive...

Well, in this case, the city is alive...with the sound of music....

This weekend our city celebrates with all kinds of music on the lakeside park. Bands in the band shell, a large parade with marching bands, rock concerts, jazz, all kinds of music. Many residents attend, many can hear the music if they live close to the downtown area, and many take off for the weekend because the downtown core becomes quite congested.

We enjoy the music from afar as we can hear it in our yard...and sometimes it is very pleasant. However sometimes we wonder at what some people call music.

I'm a music snob.  I thoroughly enjoyed the popular music of the 60's and 70's while growing up but as a grownup I much prefer classical and sacred music.

That's not to say that when I hear some 60's and 70's music, I don't enjoy that too. I do! Especially a good Beetles tune, or something from the Tapestry album, or even Simon and Garfunkel. I'm dating myself, I know.

Well, this morning DH and I have enjoyed coffee on the deck before the sun hits it, filled the bird feeders, watered the gardens and baskets and now as I blog, he is sorting through his trunk where he stores his clubs, shoes, golf balls, etc. Which puts me in mind to go out and get him some kind of trunk organizer for Father's Day. He's been the best Father...and husband. I am very thankful.

During the heat of the day I will enjoy my quilt studio and decide on a project to complete. I have told myself I must complete one quilt top (the quilting of it, I mean) before I begin another project. We'll see how that goes.  That Grace that I bought last week is calling my name. Going to make it up into the Lucky Stars pattern for a traditional Christmas Quilt.

Well, my friend, have an enjoyable weekend. Rest, refresh yourself, and look around your world to see what you can give thanks for. It is good for the soul.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brilliant Idea!

My first quilting teacher posted something on her blog that I never knew about. Check it out! I'm going to try this for sure...

Why didn't I know about this before?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why quilting improves your health in ways even exercise can't manage!

A Glasgow University study found quilting improved well-being in ways physical and outdoor activities could not, offering a creativity that had been 'stifled' in the modern world.As devotees of a quiet and contemplative pastime, they would be the last to make a fuss about it.

But quilters, it seems, have every right to celebrate their craft after researchers found that it is ‘uniquely’ good for you.

The University of Glasgow team concluded that all hobbies – ‘from reading to train spotting’ – should be looked at for their mental and physical benefits.

They interviewed quilters and found the activity helped their cognitive, creative and emotional well-being, particularly among older people.

The use of bright colours was ‘uplifting’, the activity distracted from the stress of work, and quilting offered challenges such as maths and geometry. It also increased confidence and had an important social side.

Professor Jacqueline Atkinson, co-author of the study and a quilter herself for five decades, said: ‘Doing something that engages you and that you enjoy is key. As adults, we don’t often do enough that includes fun and play.

‘We put a lot into studying the use of green spaces and that’s useful to individuals and communities.

'But maybe we need to say there are other things too.’

Graduate student Emily Burt interviewed 29 members of the group and the transcripts were analysed for the study, published in the Journal of Public Health last week.

Read more:

Sew, there ya go. Nuff said!



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Feels Like Being at a Cottage

The weather, that is. Today is cloudy, a bit cooler than it has been. I think it is going to be a siesta afternoon here. If the siesta doesn't happen (cause sometimes I just don't fall asleep) then it's a cup of tea and down to the quilt studio. Maybe there are some good movies on this afternoon while I quilt...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baby, It's Hot Outside

And I'm a hot mess. I am not a fan of hot, muggy weather...especially in June. July...ok. But this is too soon. Down side is, I'm not going to be outside much until this heat breaks. Upside is, I'm spending it in the basement where it's cool. Doing some cool quilting.

This is what I'm working on. It is a free BOM from Bunny Hill Designs and you can find it here. I'm thinking it will be a cute quilt for the fall and since we are overrun with squirrels in our neighbourhood due to the dozens of black walnut and butternut trees...what can I say? My friends think I'm nuts. No pun intended.

I am also working on getting my mind set to actually do some machine quilting and make a dent in the many quilt tops that are crying out to me. Sandwiching the quilt is not my favorite thing. So much bending and kneeling while I get everything ready to spray baste. It's not as bad as pinning though. Gave that up a long time ago :-0

Stay cool!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shop Hopping

Yesterday we shop hopped
...and bought more we needed more!

Three shops on the beautiful peninsula, all stocked with lovely things for quilters. The second shop was displaying samples from my favorite designer. I've only seen her quilts in her booth at the quilt show in Lancaster, PA so to see them in my neck of the woods...well! What can I say?!  Delightful!!!

And this store had some of her batiks. Sew of course I had to make a purchase! This beauty on the cover is in my future, of course! A great way to bust my stash of beautiful batiks!

And we continue to work on Home Tweet Home. Very intestive quilt...not sure I'll ever make one of these again. The beautiful designs my McKenna Ryan draw me in...but to actually do the work to put the blocks together...well...I'll just stop here and say no more if you know what I mean!

Well, it was my first "official" shop hop and it was fun! I'll do it again, no doubt!

Today is a beautiful day near the lake! I'm going for a walk. What will you do?