Thursday, December 30, 2010


 Wintry Greetings from my tiny community of Hall's Harbour, which is located about 12 miles due north of Kentville, Nova Scotia on the Fundy Coast. If you follow highway 359 out from Kentville as far north as it goes, this is the scene on entering the Harbour. This photo was taken last summer when the wharf under the bright red Fish House Museum was being restored and raised due to rising ocean waters and the damage that had been done in previous storms. We are fortunate that this construction took place when it did or the last two severe storms and tidal surges could have done a lot of damage.
You can see from the height of the wharf, that high tide is about thirty five feet above the Harbour's floor, which is exposed at low tide, and has only a tiny stream running through to the ocean.

In the winter, the store is closed for the season, as the proprietor is a "snowbird" and spends her winters in Florida. Life here in the winter is very quiet, the community hall and the historical society building are both closed to conserve costly fuel and lower operating expenses, and the community's C@psite and official clerical seat for the many community organizations moves over to the firehall, which must be heated at all times to assure the continuity of fire and first responder service. The small rural church down the road from me continues its regular schedule of services on Sunday mornings and the occasional hymn sing as well, but mothballs it's second, smaller  church on the east road and uses only the lovely 1840's structure over here on the west road. Several of the "year round" residents have taken to wintering in town or in Florida, and the seasonal residents aren't seen until spring either.

Over time, many of the younger residents have left for the city, other parts of Canada, and in the case of my daughter and her family, to Europe. Many of the houses now contain one or two aging people at the most but it is heartening to see several younger families raising their kids here, and a few young single people still around too. We all keep an eye out for each other and get through the winter and welcome spring with a sense of relief.

Before I go back to taking inventory of the vintage quilt kits I offer for sale on
I want to share this sweet vintage New Year's card with you, and also
I want to remind you that my friend Mich at is hosting a GIVEAWAY on his blog. Got to and leave a comment in order to be entered for a chance to win. The giveaway will be drawn at midnight December 31 - that's tomorrow!!!
Until tomorrow - enjoy your evening, stay safe and stay warm.
Hugs from Janet!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I hope you have the blessings of family and friends together today and that all you wish for in     the New Year will be yours.

Late last night I drew the winner of my Christmas GIVEAWAY and an amazing coincidence took place! My winner is Micki of Irish Muses ( and guess what? Micki won another giveaway which she is going to re-gift to a friend and won it the exact same way she won mine: she was the last to comment and enter on each one.

Now I use to determine my winners, so there is no playing fast and loose here - a genuine coincidence - last and first seem rarely to be chosen and to have it happen twice in one day? Amazing!!!

Micki - I will be sending an email and leaving a comment on your blog, so contact me and tell me what you wish your gift to be - a lap sized wholecloth quilt kit, a set of repro civil war fabric fat quarters, a penny rug kit, a counted cross stitch kit or a lovely hand embroidered and crocheted table runner from my sister site
I'll get it out to you right after Christmas Holidays.

Today has dawned bright and relatively mild with no snow other than a light skiff on the ground. We may get the tail end of the storm that is hitting Washington at the moment, but that will probably be late tomorrow or on Monday morning.

My only daughter and her family live in Europe so it is a long distance celebration, and hence very low key here. Yesterday I visited with dear friends who had all three of their adult sons home at once and had an early Christmas dinner with them as June must work this afternoon. A lovely festive meal and delicious as always.

I plan to cook my turkey breast with all the trimmings for New Years and will munch snackies today - hopefully avoiding many of the temptations in the house at the moment, and eating cheese and fruit.

I am counting my blessings and enjoying a new-to-me Dodge Caravan that has no rust, and runs very nicely indeed, and preparing to make inroads into the quilt commissions I have on hand.

Blessings to you all! Stay safe, stay warm and enjoy family and friends together during this holiday season!

Love and hugs

Friday, December 24, 2010

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: 1 day left and my giveaway draw is tonight!

A contemplative Santa from the earlier days of urban life, when high rises were only slightly taller than church steeples and chimneys were still made of brick and mortar! Perhaps fewer world issues for Santa to contemplate, perhaps not; as we need to remember there had just been a major world war and a tragic 'flu epidemic. Yet to come was World War II, and the concepts of mass extinction of peoples and nuclear warfare. I hope we all nurture in our hearts the idea of universal brotherhood and the basic human rights of free speech,  education, health services and a constant food supply in the coming years. I want to wish everyone, no matter what they celebrate, their heart's wishes in this coming New Year.
Peace and brotherhood to all!

On a lighter note, you only have the rest of today to enter for my great GIVEAWAY draw - it will be drawn for at midnight tonight and announced tomorrow morning, so get on over to:
And good luck!!

Be safe, warm, content and surrounded by friends and family during this holiday season.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


WHEW!!!!! All done - nothing more to do and nowhere to go - I'm drinking this morning's coffee that I missed this morning as a warm over and just started the woodstove. Misadventures with the new car ate up yesterday and this morning as I visited the garage and had a new battery installed. Picked up my mail, went to the bank, the grocery store and picked up a couple of presents that had not been gotten because of the changeover from old to new car. It's turning cold and I really need the fire today, and will just spend the day picking up loose ends, eating chocolates and lazing about the house (that will be after I carry in some wood)  scanning blogs, and wishing season's greetings to all my friends. 
A darling Christmas Greeting postcard this morning shows a little boy and girl at their Christmas tree. They are dressed in the typical children's wear of the 20's and 30's and the scene is in an Art deco mood. Another found treasure!

My Christmas GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow night at midnight when I draw a name with the help of  so get over to:
and good luck

My friend Mich's giveaway runs until midnight on New Year's Eve so go to:
and leave a comment in order to have a chance to win his lovely prize.

Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy the fellowship of friends and family!
Warm best wishes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I wish I could tell you which old European Master painted this lovely and devout Nativity scene. There was no credit line for it, so if anyone knows I'd love to know too. What is so lovely is that there are no rich robes and jewellry here and no kings or wisemen, just awestuck faces of country peasants, the rapt parents Joseph and Mary, and a few cherubim.
It's going to be a green and damp and chilly Christmas in Nova Scotia this year I think, but on the up side after days of gale force winds coming from the direction which causes my stove to backdraft I've finally lit the fire and met with success rather than  having to air out a cold house full of smoke!

Now to remind you to get over there and enter my special Christmas giveaway to be drawn at midnight on Christmas Eve. Go to:
Your chances are still quite good to win a prize of your choice from one of five possibilities, and entry is open to anywhere in the world. Enter today - just become a follower and leave a comment.

My friend Mich's giveaway is on until Midnight on New Year's Eve and is a wonderfully illustrated book featuring the Huron Carol as depicted by a First Nations artist, a metis poet and sung on an accompanying cd by Inuit artist Susan Aglukark. A unique gift for you, especially if you are not yet familiar with Canadian First Nations Art. Read the article on Mich's blog - informative and inspiring!!! Head over to:

Until tomorrow ~ my wish for you this evening:
That you are warm, safe and well fed and that you take a pause to remember all your blessings, and to make sure that someone less fortunate has a few blessings to count too.
Warm hugs,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Today is the winter solstice ~ a time when, before Christianity, the celts and druids celebrated light and fire and made merry to prevent the death of the sun, and to ensure that spring would return. It was natural as Christianity took hold in Europe and the British Isles, for the birth of Christ to be celebrated at a time when feasting and religious observance had always occurred.

Here today it is very windy, and it's rainy and my fire won't draw - all unpleasant, but not the end of the world; and I'm waiting for the water to boil for my cafetiere of morning coffee - always yummy! Things will look much better after I've had morning coffee.

We have been watching the days growing shorter and shorter for the last few months, but after today we can watch them gradually getting longer and brighter again, and begin to watch for other signs too. Although January and February often carry with them brutal cold and storms, by the time February is over, spring is truly on the way.

I have reached the point in my daily blog reading where it seems just about everyone has a giveaway going on, but before you go looking at my suggestions, make sure you stop by and enter mine at:
All you have to do is leave a comment and make sure you become a follower and if your name is drawn you will win your choice of one of 5 prizes - all nice worthwhile items

AS well drop, over to my friend Mich's site and read about our unique Canadian Christmas Carol dating to 1643 and written in the Huron/Wendat language by a Jesuit priest who was later martyred in tribal warfare while serving his Huron congregation. You can sign up there for a chance to win a beautifully illustrated book and cd featuring the Carol. Go to:

I will update here by adding giveaways from the blogs I am going to check out this morning ~ check back later!!!

Blessings of the season!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Greetings from chilly Nova Scotia
Here's a Greeting Card of Father Christmas on his rounds a few days early!

There is a feeling of anticipation in the air today and it has more to do with expecting snowfall than with Christmas. The wind has moved around to the Southeast, which always heralds wet weather here, and it is raw and damp. I went outside a few moments ago and you can almost feel the moisture in the air. I expect we will see a fine driving snow within the hour, so I'm putting off my plans to head to the Post Office for today and will hunker down near the stove and work instead.

I am working on the restoration of a fine silk crazy quilt dated 1928 and enjoying the challenge. Rather than removing the old pieces where the silk has shattered, I am appliquing over them with new silk pieces and then replicating the embroidery stitches, so that nothing is lost and it is all there if the owner wishes to return it to its original condition. Fortunately, the backing and binding are relatively whole so I have a good framework to work within. This is a family heirloom and rather than covering the shattered silk with organza as would be done in a museum collection, so that the original work can still be seen although protected, the owner and I opted for covering the old with new work to enhance display of the textile at family gatherings.

I want to thank all the people who have responded to my giveaway and become followers. After Christmas I want to consult with you all to see what direction my posts will take in the New Year. Meanwhile, if you haven't yet entered my Christmas GIVEAWAY, go to
I have made sure that I have enough choices in the prize so that everyone's tastes are met - and what nicer surprise on Christmas morning when you check my blog to find that after all  your family's presents are opened, you will still have a nice one on it's way to you?

I've found another site that is having a marvelous quilty giveaway:
Aren't those Lecien fabrics fabulous? Two full sets of 20 fat quarters are up for grabs - make sure you go to:
I hope I win!!!

And finally, my friend Mich in Victoria, British Columbia is celebrating his first giveaway ~ Mich deals in First Nations Canadian art and has some of the nicest pieces I've seen. As a special Christmas post he has outlined with great research and images the story of Canada's own distinctive Christmas song ~ the Huron Carol or Jesous Ahatonhia - go have a look - and while you're there, enter the draw which is for a book and cd of the carol, sung by Susan Aglukark in Inuktitut, the language of Canada'a Inuit people.
That's it for today - Christmas Blessings and stay safe and warm!
Love and hugs!  Janet

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Hi folks - the post I promised earlier is up now and is a fabulous read as well as having a very nice GIVEAWAY attached:
Mich is an art dealer who specialises in Canadian First Nations art. He has many lovely pieces of art and is continually searching for new and exciting acquisitions for his clients. He is quickly developing a following with his weekly blog posts and has decided to share the Christmas spirit with you via this GIVEAWAY. It is open now and will run until midnight December 31, 2010. Good luck - I hope you win, and please check back with me again tomorrow as I continue with my Countdown to Christmas.
Bye for now.


A quiet pause for the last Sunday in advent, before everyone launches into all the last minute things that need doing!
My greeting card this morning encourages quiet reflection - a beautiful sunny day in a wintry landscape that is much like what I see through my window as in one direction I look across the road to a small piece of woods with a brook running through it, and in the back I look across a large snow-covered field to a line of trees that encircles my house in the three other directions. It is quiet and very calm today - shortly there will be a tiny rush of traffic as the small rural church finishes its service and then it will be quiet again.
I've found you folks another nice GIVEAWAY that will not be announced until later this evening at which time I'll post the link for you to go enter and to also enjoy the interesting post that will go with it. So check back later.

And meanwhile make sure you enter my christmas GIVEAWAY  at:
 make sure you check back here and pick up the link to enter that other great giveaway later tonight.
Meanwhile enjoy this lovely day!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


More Christmas Greetings going out to you today. Do you realize this is the last Saturday before Christmas? I was going to make a quick run into town today, but I think I can wait for that pleasure - lol - possibly tomorrow around noon will be less crowded and I can get things done more quickly.
It's another lovely but cool day; the sun is shining and there is no wind. I'm waiting for my coffee water to boil while typing this. There's nothing like the simple pleasure of slightly sweetened black freshly ground pressed coffee made with well water.

Today's seasonal postcard reflects simple values of early American self reliance, family  and old-fashioned virtues. Interestingly enough this card is from the Post World War One era when the economy was flagging, and for the first time there were more people in cities than there were on the family farms. Poverty and disenfranchisement were endemic both in the country and the city as people became dependent on a wage rather than the land to sustain them. Life was more likely being led in a cold water flat or a decaying and rudimentary rural dwelling than the idealized light filled cottage depicted here.

I think the values reflected in this card have come to the forefront of people's minds again these days and we are reading of people on small holdings and in the cities trying hard to cut down on consumerism and lead a simpler life with simpler pleasures. I'll certainly support that and wish I were young enough to supply more of my own needs. But I have joined a wool CSA and try to buy my food organic and local as much as possible.

Most of my readers are people with similar values who enjoy needlecrafts, flea market decorating and so on, so my Christmas GIVEAWAY will be attractive to them - as the prize you will have your choice from among 5 options ` 4 of which are needlecrafts related and the fifth a lovely hand embroidered table runner from my sister site
To enter, just go to, become a follower and you're in! There are ways to improve your chances of winning, so be sure you check those out too!

I'll be talking to you again tomorrow when I bring you another of my vintage greeting postcards. Until then ~ hugs from Janet!!!
And let's hope the weather holds.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Greetings from a cold and snowy rural Nova Scotia. Don't you just love the sweet little boy and girl with their decorated Christmas tree and their darling pup romping in the snow. The little boy is a bit like an elf or a Kris Kringle with his red stocking cap, belt and leggings and his black boots. The little girl whose hand he is holding is dressed in warm rose jacket with furry collar and a paler rose long full skirt. They epitomize the sweet romantic childhood images drawn by Lucy Mabel Atwell. 
Today is peaceful and quiet and I'm getting back into my gentle pre-Christmas routines with power finally restored, which on a well means hot and cold running water is back - yeah! Laundry and dishes and a general scrub up has been done.
Yesterday I got all my junk out of the old car, made my final run down to the garage without incident and picked up my nice new-to-me Dodge 2002 Caravan! It handles beautifully and I enjoy again being up nice and high and surveying traffic. I drove only trucks and vans until a few years back when I started buying small cars because they were easier to find, and I'm looking forward to having a bit of load capacity again so that if I want a bale of peat moss or a couple of sacks of kindling I don't have to worry about getting it home.  It's all good!

Have you entered my Christmas GIVEAWAY yet?
and enter right now - the choice of prizes is too good to miss. I've also been checking to find other giveaways for you to enter and will list any new ones I find today in my Saturday post.

Time to go carry in more wood and then get supper going ~ hard to decide between a homemade soup and a lazy gal's grilled smoked meat and cheese sandwich ~ decisions, decisions!!!!

Warm hugs! We'll talk again tomorrow

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Doesn't this fashionable looking shopper look like she has everything under control?
And all the elements of a 1920's celebration are there - snow, nostalgia, a cosy cottage up on the hillside and a lovely young woman.
In my area we are coming out of a two day power outage which put a lot of plans for shopping and other Christmas preparations on hold. I have a list as long as my arm of things I need to pick up and errands I need to run in the next few days!
I have now reached my 40th follower and am pleased to see the number of entrants in my Christmas GIVEAWAY rising day by day. You still have plenty of time to enter and to get your friends to enter too, so go to and enter today. Yesterday I ran across another charming giveaway at  this is the blogsite for the Tasha Tudor and Family Inc firm and they are offering six lovely pink lustre teacups so although there are a lot of entries, your chances are good to win one of them. What a lovely way to enjoy your daily cup of tea - check out the picture! Then go and enter, leaving your comjment including which you'd choose and your email address. You can also enter directly by sending an email message.  Good Luck!

There are lots of lovely things and ideas to look over and a lovely nostalgic feeling to the posts on the blog. Lots of pictures of sweet babies and adorable animals so what's not to love?
This giveaway is open to all residents of the United States and Canada so get over there and enter!
Will be back tomorrow with Countdown to Christmas! See you then.
Love and warm hugs from Janet!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Birds and holly leaves against a wintry background have always been a popular image for Christmas Greetings. Bluebirds especially have been popular and show up on imagery in music, embroidery, paintings and cards in both North America and the United Kingdom. These ones are especially attractive.
Now that the power is back on, my house is warming up and a cooked meal is going to be ready soon. We all were very lucky in this region there were no major fires, damage, flooding or extreme cold and that power was restored fairly quickly.

If you haven't yet entered my Christmas GIVEAWAY go to
and do so - all you have to do is become a follower and leave a comment. If you win, you have a choice of 5 gifts from which to choose. Lots of luck - I'm looking forward to hearing from you!!
Big hugs and hoping you're almost ready for Christmas and that you are home warm and safe!!


This was to have been Tuesday December 14th's post. However, Monday night we had a wild wind and rainstorm go through our part of Nova Scotia and at 8PM the power was gone, along with several roofs and many trees. No loss of life and no injuries, but a very wild night. Tuesday was a washout, still without power, but it finally returned after a few fits and starts about an hour ago.
So on to the post I had planned for today!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Visiting and bringing gifts is a tradition at Christmas.
This Olde English couple are visiting a quaint little cottage so loved in 1920's illustrations. Clearly a Dickens influence going on here with the Victorian costumes and idealized countryside. Traditional colours enhance the scene, as does the dusting of snow.

I've been visiting a lot of blogs lately and I am amazed at the number of really generous giveaways being posted.
My GIVEAWAY  is meeting with great success, check it out at
And thank you all the people who have posted about it and linked to my post and also become followers - thank you, thank you.
Warm hugs from Janet!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Today it is a lovely morning: bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and very still. It's not too cold with no wind blowing, and I will take advantage of that later (after my morning shot of fresh ground, dark roasted fair trade coffee and a few rounds knit on a little sweater I'm working on) to bring in plenty of wood for the next couple of days in case we get the tail end of that blizzard which is hitting the midwest. I hope you are all safe and warm if you live in that area or in southern Ontario, which is also expecting to be hit with it.

Take a look at my sweet vintage postcard for today - elements that were popular at the time were those that gave a glimpse into the past and a simpler time. This is no surprise as we do so today in our choices of items for celebrating Christmas.
Here we see simple bursts of colour against black and white, giving a woodcut effect.  


Thearica at Pigtales and Quilts is hosting a remarkable giveaway and has kindly taken my button and also mentioned my giveaway too.
Thearica is giving away a scrumptious vintage yoyo quilt in absolutely immaculate condition. This is so generous of her!!!

 Look at the lovely idea for display! Can't you just see this lovely setting off your finest tea set and china and a big pot of cyclamen - it would have to be deep rose, of course!!!
Thanks to Thearica's generous giveaway, one of us will soon own this lovely piece of history! Enter today!
Enter my GIVEAWAY, too - go to
and enter right away to win your choice of five gifts!!!
and compliments of the season to all my readers!

Hugs from Janet!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Don't you just love the vintage images so popular these days. This winter scene gives hints of the influences and inspiration common to the first quarter of the 20th century: look in the background to see Lombardy Poplars and a mountain which curiously resembles Mount Fuji - reflecting the japanese
influence to be seen in all decorative elements at that time, from textiles to architecture. 

The above is an image of one of a set of three children's books I own which were published in the 1920's and which clearly shows the keen interest in things japanese at that time. This was my favourite book as a small child and I rediscovered the woodcuts and traditional 17 syllable haiku verse at university some years later.

I want to remind you that I am hosting a very attractive GIVEAWAY leading up to Christmas. Go to  and leave a comment and become a follower if you aren't already. You can have your choice of one of 5 items if you win and one of those items is illustrated below.

Anchors Aweigh, a 40x54 wholecloth quilt kit by Holice Turnbow for Benartex. This kit has everything you need except for thread and batting and would make a lovely statement in your beach-themed home. A hard-to-find item these days.
Easy and fun to make!

Keep watching my blog as I add a vintage postcard Christmas Greeting each day.

Friday, December 10, 2010


                                      another vintage postcard from my collection

It snowed yesterday and we now have about 6 inches of light, fluffy and white frosting  blanketing the ground. A good time to stay home close to the woodstove and drink tea while working on a crazy quilt restoration and listening to festive music.
Yesterday I was thinking of what to post on a client's blog for the pre-christmas week - I have come up with a great idea and have the blog owner's go-ahead to do it, so will post a link to it when it is published.
Meanwhile a picture of my favourite feather tree, which I'm hoping to get up soon on my kitchen table, with one of my "Star" series small quilts acting as a tree skirt.

Also I need to remind you of the pre-Christmas giveaway with a choice of wonderful prizes. Enter at: and get busy chalking up extra entries for yourself by displaying my FunkyBabyMine button and getting your friends to enter for the giveaway. Entries close at midnight on Christmas Eve - hope you win!!

                                              my home in winter.......

Thursday, December 9, 2010


                                            16 days until Christmas!

I have some lovely images of vintage Christmas postcards saved in my computer, and I thought I'd head my post with one each day.

The sentiments of the little poem are appropriate for my giveaway which runs right up until midnight of December 24th.

Go to and enter - to enter you just need to make a comment and become a follower - if you already follow, just tell me.
There are also fun ways to increase your chances of winning.

I think the prizes are really good - you have your choice of 5 different possibilities: a 45x60 Benartex wholecloth kit designed by Holice Turnbow; a dozen fat quarters in quilt shop quality repro fabrics, either civil war or depression era; a large  cross stitch kit ready to complete; a wool penny rug kit or a vintage handmade textile from my sister site http://www.; Pretty special, eh?

Good luck to all my new friends!
And Merry Christmas from Hall's Harbour,
Nova Scotia, where the snow is softly sifting down.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Christmas Giveaway

I want to tell you about my wonderful giveaway which will run until midnight on Christmas Eve.
I've been thinking of ways to make the prize desirable to my large cross section of readers, who are not just quilters. I think I've come up with a good solution: I am going to offer your choice of a prize drawn from the wide cross section of needle arts I pursue. For my home decor readers, how about a nice item from ?

First up: a selection of twelve (12) fat quarters in your choice of either assorted quilt shop quality 19th century repro fabric or Depression Feedsack style cuties. Sorry, I tend not to go for the retro 50's and brights, so they won't be featured.

Or: a Benartex Holice Turnbow wholecloth quilt kit called "Anchors Aweigh" this quilt kit contains backing, top and binding material - just add a batt and some thread! Size 40x54, wouldn't that look great in your beach-themed room?

A complete cross stitch kit - floss, pattern material - let me select a good sized one from my collection of quilt themed or landscape and seascape patterns.

And finally: a wool applique project kit, everything included - penny rug anyone?

How To Enter:
Leave me a comment and mention if you are already a follower - if you aren't yet, then join to follow. You're in!

Now: if you'd like more entries tell your friends - keep track - as each one leaves a comment and becomes a follower, then keep track and leave me a note before I hold the draw as to how many friends have signed up. You'll get an extra entry for each one! Make sure your friends know they can do that too!
Taking my FunkyBabyMine button will win you 5 more entries, seperately from all the above - tell me if you already display the button....

I'm looking forward to all the comments I'll be reading - keep them coming!

And I'll show you pictures of your possible prizes when the weather improves enough to take some decent pictures. Also when the power stops going out - hard to post today!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Looking for a UK blogger to do a trade with me

I have hunted everywhere, but have come up empty in my attempts to find a couple of copies of the UK version of Country Living magazine, but came upon this idea online and will give it a try......

Today I received in the mail my 2010 copy of Matthew Mead's Holiday - a big. richly illustrated magazine/book, with minimal and interesting advertising which is 144 fully packed pages of holiday ideas and some of the best cookie recipes I've seen in a long while.  The publication is priced at $15 so you will be getting good value, and the ideas inside are lovely. I find these days that I simply must keep paring down my "stuff", hence my willingness to part with it as soon as I have copied some recipes and scanned a few pictures.

I propose exchanging this wonderful book/magazine for a couple of copies of UK Country Living or French Marie Claire(I read French fluently) and would love to hear from you if you are willing to part with your mags. If you would prefer, I have the 3 most recent copies of the American Country Living to exchange instead of the Mattew Mead book.

I'd love to hear from you!

And....... I will be announcing my giveaway on the weekend too - so keep your eye peeled!!


Well, I finally got up the gumption to enter one of my quilts in Michelle's weekly themed quilt contests. This week's theme is "Star Quilts" and I had one hanging around calling - "enter me!" so I did.
Now I need you to go and vote for me!
Voting began today and you can vote until one minute before midnight on Sunday December 5th.

A little about "Christmas Stars": this small quilt is approximately 45x56 inches and is made entirely of 100% cotton products, batting included. It is hand appliqued and handquilted and extremely versatile - it can be used as a wall hanging (hidden and integral hanging sleeve), a snuggle quilt,. a table covering or a durable child's quilt. It is awaiting sale among my current inventory.

I've been a member of Quilting Gallery since Michelle started the site and it's a great way to see what's going on in quilting circles throughout the world. Starting with only a handful of listings in her blogroll, Michelle has grown her site to several thousand participants, runs a weekly quilt contest, hosts giveaways, a forum and lots of other grat activities! Join today!!!

and vote for "Christmas Stars" ~ I so-o-o want to win that fat eighth bundle of French General and Moda's Maison de Garance goodness!! Thanks for voting for me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Giveaway from Scotland for the Senses has arrived!!!

Recently, Sophie at Scotland for the Senses offered a giveaway of two cards courtesy of Keli Clark, an artist who sells her prints and greeting cards, and I was lucky to be one of five bloggers who each were invited to choose their favourite two cards to receive. Keli's site is here: and I must say I was really hard-pressed to choose - a wealth of visual riches and very reasonably priced they are too!
Thank you Keli and thank you Sophie for making this great gift possible - I will treasure them!!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today I want to give you a heads up for some giveaways I've noticed.
LINDA HUBBARD is giving away a lovingly handstitched and embellished Santa ornament on her blog ~ you can choose one of the three lovely Santas pictured here:

 For a chance to win, go to , read the instructions and enter - cross your fingers - they are delicious aren't they?

And don't forget my giveaway at my sister site:
You can choose to win either a $25 or a $50 gift certicate and if you grab my button and display it on your blog you get an extra 5 chances to win the draw!

Check back here in the next day or two as I am in the process of looking for a few more giveaways on blogs I read - they seem to be cropping up lately!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


As winter starts to close in on me and more time is spent in working on my quiltmaking commissions I seem to let my mind wander in so many different directions while I stitch away and listen to music.
I've been thinking a lot about what frees creativity and I've come to the conclusion that having all the skills and information at your fingertips has a lot to do with confidence in following your heart and your creative urges.
I find too that the less you rely on gizmos and short cuts and notions, on complicated rulers, glue sticks, machine sewing and quilting processes,  the more your mind and hands are free to follow your inclinations.
Most of the time, I rely only on thread, pins, needle, a ruler and pencil and of course, the very best 100% fabrics that money can buy.
One tool that I have had on hand since beginning to makes quilts almost twenty years ago has been a book that I consider among the best in teaching the basic skills necessary to make exciting quilts:

This is Marianne Fons and Liz Porter's Quilter's Complete Guide, published in 1993 by Oxmoor House. I had this constantly open as I made my first successful quilt so many years ago and it has not left my sewing table since. It contains all the information you will ever need to make quilts from the beginning level right up to the most complicated; and I have recommended this book and used it in teaching over the years. I am fortunate to have a few copies to spare and will consider selling those off - contact me if interested.
You will never be disappointed in this text and if after absorbing all the info you decide to use today's labour saving tips and tools you will do so knowing you have learned all the basics and also that there are all sorts of measurement tables inside that you must have at your figertips!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How's Your Christmas Coming Along?

                         Are you planning on a homemade and recycled Christmas? 

 I've bought a sweet small feather tree and will put it up in a few weeks time using a "Starry Christmas" quilt I completed not too long ago as my tree skirt. I had been planning to buy a vintage putz fence and a few mica covered vintage houses but felt I really couldn't justify the expense and so will settle for the festive tree skirt and a couple of vintage crocks to enhance my tree instead. (I have a very quiet Christmas as my only child lives in Europe with her family.) I may or may not roast a turkey as I usually go to friends for Christmas dinner, but it is nice to have leftovers and hot turkey sandwiches at home.
For my tree, I have a nice assortment of cranberry red wooden bead garland and brightly painted wooden ornaments dating back to the 70's, so will have nice vintage looking decoration without extravagant spending and without enlarging my carbon footprint by having to ship stuff in to me.
Using what you have is certainly the way to go these days.

                        view before the rain washed away the leaves

You may have heard how wet it has been here in Nova Scotia for the last week - I am fortunate to live in an area where there is little or no risk of flooding - my house is built high above the road and above a brook which forms my southern boundary and then crosses under the road to join the larger Hall's Harbour Brook further downstream and thence to the harbour.
It's colder now and not raining and the wind is gradually dropping after a very rocky start with my woodstove backdrafting and the house filling up with smoke - yuck!! Warm cosy and all aired out now!

I want to remind you of the great GIVEAWAY at in case you hadn't heard or had forgotten. This is my sister site which is selling all sorts of vintage treasures, including carefully selected vintage and antique home linens and other decorative items. Pop on over and have a look ~ I'm adding items daily and have a promotion including free shipping in North America ~ gift certificates are available too!
For now I'll say goodbye as I need to go out later to check the mail and gas up.
Cheers and ~ STAY WARM and DRY!!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


                 Lavender Sachets 3 for $22.50 USD at

Just a heads up about the new giveaway at my sister blog        I'd like you to go over there and see what is on offer and how easy it is to win either a $25USD or a $50USD FunkyBabyMine gift certificate.

The giveaway is open until November 30, 2010 and if you have a
 blog you can enter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


This is a picture of an orphan block that was left over from a quilt I made several years ago for a customer. It is the jewelbox variation of Jacob's Ladder and it didn't take me long to decide to concentrate on this one since I had already done some prep work and am planning to make a total of nine blocks  -  54 inches square then, without a border, so  with the border it will be 60 inches square - the ideal size for a snuggle quilt to curl up under to read or watch tv on this winter's chilly evenings.

Here, I have selected the 4 blocks that come together in the centre of the block, and have set the remaining 4 identical blocks aside as they will be needed for the same block a bit later. The 16 inch block is completed by making 4 patches from 2 inch squares and sewing everything together with careful attention to detail.
Here is a picture of several already prepared HST blocks. If you enlarge the picture you will see that I handpieced as well as machine pieced - either works equally well, although later, piecing the 4 patches and then piecing the whole block I will probably rely on handpiecing - either way works but handpiecing works better for me. That's your choice.

Here, I have just cut a HST apart and using my thumbnail, I've finger-pressed it, being careful not to stretch that bias seam. It is now ready for piecing. I find my fingernail is gentler and more forgiving than a hot iron when dealing with something on the bias.

What do your HST's look like, what prints, what colours, what size? - maybe you can post about them and your plans for them, and questions you might have, and leave a comment to let me know so I can go have a look?
What project do you have planned for them?

Right now my big pictorial quilt is calling to me, I've finished some northern lights, an igloo and a polar bear, and now I'm working on appliquing an Inuit man carrying his kayak down to the sea to launch it. When I clear with the recipients I will publish a picture or two as I progress...... Just going to put more wood in the woodstove and then get back to the quilt......

Leave your comments and we'll go from there......


Friday, October 15, 2010


Jacob's Ladder - jewelbox variation
Before we get down to the nitty gritty of my surefire accurate, neverfail HST's I want to tease your eye with a few more HST beauties. Please accept my apologies for the poor quality of this picture - it was taken while
I was still using a first generation digital, and colour trueness wasn't its strong point! This is a quilt I made for a lady in Washington state using scraps and fat quarters.

Set Sail 36x46 inches - shop model from a kit
I chose to show you this one because one of the first quilts I ever made for sale, entitled "Ship of Dreams" was a red, white, navy and ochre variation on this one, and at the moment I can't find a picture of it. I must hunt through my pre-digital albums and do some scanning.

Janet's Indigo Basket

Ah! Much better! One thing I've learned is to photograph quilts outdoors for best colour results. This is my Indigo Baskets quilt which, although it doesn't strike you immediately, is basically a half square triangle quilt on point, with appliqued basket handles. A great quilt with very little effort. It was so much fun that there is another in the works. I'll bring it out later in a tutorial I think.


TODAY (right now!) I want you to get out your quarter inch grid paper or your gridded template plastic, or promise to be really really accurate if you don't have either. Find your mechanical pencil or your fineline permanent marker. We're ready to start.
 SIZE: We will be making templates for HST's to finish at 2, 3, 4,5.and 6 inches and maybe 7 inches too - why not go for all of them - I think I will. And the reason I will is that long ago I learned the lesson of scale being essential to a quilt's size.
For example, if I am going to make a baby quilt, which I tend to size at 42x54 or 42x60, I am not going to make it from large blocks - I am going to size my blocks at less than 6 inches square. For a lap quilt which I size at 60x60 most of the time, we can go for perhaps 8 inches square; and for a double queen, I usually stop at around 10. I am currently working on a 96 inch square pictorial applique and have stretched the rule to multiples of 12. If you make a lot of doll sized quilts, you can settle for blocks that are no more than 2 inches square.
MAKE YOUR TEMPLATES: in order to be able to build in complete accuracy you will make your template fininshed size + 2inches on each side.
For example, your 2 inch finished size will yield a template of 6 square inches.
inches cut template at 6 inches
3 inches cut template at 7 inches
4 inches cut template at 8 inches
and so on......
Make at least the templates listed above for starters. If you make larger ones, try taping the template plastic together as the gridded plastic doesn't come that wide.
When cutting on the gridded line, try to cut very straight and right through the inner edge of the line to allow for greater accuracy, as a pencil width mark will take up some room.
Now you are ready to cut out your squares!!!
Now either mark all your light coloured fabric using a mechanical pencil on the wrong side, or mark all your dark fabric on the wrong side using a piece of white tailor's chalk or a white chalk pencil. Make sure you keep the chalk or chalk pencil's tip sharp so as to mark a thin line.
You can vary the sizes or make a supply all the same size - it's up to you.
 BEFORE YOU CUT OUT YOUR BLOCKS: carefully mark a diagonal line from opposite corners. Then mark another diagonal line on each side of this one and in a quarter of an inch, using whichever marker you used before.
Now you can cut out the marked squares. Then you will lay them right sides facing, on top of the other fabrics (either lighter or darker) that you chose.

TOMORROW:we'll sew a few HST's together and take a picture or two!

See you then!!

EDIT!!!!!!! And the winner is.........
number 9 generated by
and that is....marie in oregon!!! who left me her email addy - I need you to contact me, marie, with your snail mail addy
and you'll have your lavender sachets before you know it!

AND!!!!!!  I did say I would award a second giveaway prize if the entries reached 125. Now they only reached 122, but that didn't stop me - gotta love!!
MY SECOND WINNER IS.........Teresa (Westherbee ;) of Renton, Washington who has just started a blog.
Both gals should contact me with their mailing addresses and I'll get those lavender sachets on the way out to you on the west coast the first of the week.

Make a note of my sister site's URL -  vintage handmade household linens - because I'll be announcing a giveaway over there next week