Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Schnibbles since joining in on Another Year Of Schnibbles. Each project has challenged me in more ways that one. Some with colour, others with skill and precision, some with just being open to doing things you maybe are not too crazy about and then finding out you love it when it is finished. I find many times I am attracted to a pattern because it is done in colour and fabric I love. If I don't particularly like the fabric choices on the pattern cover I tend to pass by the pattern.

This month I was challenged in more ways than one. My "mission" should I choose to accept it was to make either

or Bounce

I like the Bounce pattern and knew I would probably make it later, whereas Hubble was a different story.

Enter, "The Challenge".

I am not totally sold on medallion/lone-star type quilts; the fabrics on the pattern packet are not wrong/bad but just not my "cup of tea". And the biggest hurdle was the size of the would involve more TIME, which is at a premium with all the travelling I have been doing as well as the fact that I am trying to make some Christmas gifts and it would also involve coordinating a larger amount of fabric.
You see, up to now, I have been using fabrics from my stash and not going out to purchase any fabrics for these projects.

My only purchase has been the patterns and of course MOnique Dillard's Fit To Be Geese rulers

I did a little browsing and searching on line about stars, and the Hubble telescope/camera. Now I am not an astronomer by any stretch of the imagination, but I did read something very interesting that fit right in with more of my desire to challenge myself with the Year of Schnibbles projects.

There is a star called ALPHA ORIONIS or Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice)
You see where I am going with this I bet...This being October, the month of Halloween; Beetlejuice being a Halloween movie...I thought a perfect alias for Hubble would be "Betelgeuse". What made it even more perfect was the fact that Alpha Orionis or Betelgeuse is a Red Super Giant Star
The very first star (other than the sun of course) to be photographed by the Hubble Telescope/camera! and guess what folks? I just happened to have over 60 DIFFERENT red fabrics in my stash...I mean it was serendipitous. This was the project for me!
Now that should have been enough challenges to overcome for one project but I added another. You see I didn't really care for all the big patches of solid colour in between the star points and because I was making the star in scrappy reds and scrappy white/creams, the only thing to do was make the large corners and triangles in scrappy white/creams as well. I knew it would make more work/time involved but that was what I felt it needed, so last weekend at our retreat I brought a large bag of red fabrics(over 60) and a large bag of creams and whites and started cutting 5 inch charms in both colours. It was a big job that was not completely finished at retreat and so I took it with me to another 2 day retreat at a friends camp in the woods and lo and behold amidst a very rainy, windy storm caused by Hurricane Sandy; A STAR WAS BORN!

Here she is in all her red and white glory...

BETELGEUSE (Beetlejuice)

Now you already know that I never just show you one Schnibbles. We are a Schnibbles Duo here at "It Is What It Is". 
Let me tell you about Sue's Schnibbles.
Like me she was not totally sold on Hubble (again that old problem of looking past the fabric to the actual pattern) and she absolutely loved Bounce, but decided that she would make a Christmas Star, so her fabric of choice was also what she had on hand, because like me, she has been working from her rather substantial stash on all these projects. 
Sue absolutely fell in love with a collection of christmas fabric last year and purchased a healthy bit of yardage as well as charm packs in the Countdown to Christmas line, by Sweetwater.
She believes you can never go wrong if you use "Countdown To Christmas".
Now Sue is a much faster and more organized quilter than her partner so she was able to finish her Hubble at the weekend retreat (partly because she was smart enough to sew her half square triangles before hand) and it turned out to be a real stunner! 

I can't remember if she gave her quilt an alias, but Shakespeare had it right when he said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet". So here is a Countdown to Christmas Schnibble called Hubble!

A very interesting thing happened in the making of these two Hubbles.
#1. Sue used solid pieces like in the pattern for her setting squares and triangles while I pieced mine.
#2. I used the black and white sketch diagram in the pattern to layout my star, while Sue used the pattern's cover photograph as her guide. This resulted in a little different value placement and thus making her centre star more visible than mine, while the large X that goes through the star is more visible visible in my quilt and almost totally disappeared in hers...interesting!

All in all though I think you will have to agree that they both turned out beautiful; so I stand corrected of an earlier statement I made; it should say

If anyone knows the stargazers over at the NASA, tell them to point Hubble in our direction for a peek at two new celestial bodies...they will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still at it...sigh

I am losing a bit of steam, but still plugging away at it. Found this while browsing this morning and I think I am adopting it as my motto... for a while anyway

I am working away at cleaning and sorting in the sewing studio. I have created a monster! It seems I make more mess trying to clean!

I am going to a quilting retreat this weekend, and need to get sorted through some of this mess, so I can concentrate on packing tomorrow...

Hopefully I will have some wonderful "quilty pics soon. because this cleaning and purging stuff is really getting tedious!

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." 
Newt Gingrich 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Steps

When you have been a pack rat for so many years, old habits die hard. I am making progress though. This morning the trash man comes by and we have given him a little extra work today.
This may not look like much, but these are BIG trash cans and there is another big bag on the other side of the can.

I have been loading things in the vehicle to drop off at a local thrift store as well. This is barely a drop in the bucket, but it feels good to know that some of the clutter is gone and more to follow.
Now I know in my last post I definitely said, "No more buying!"
I have made an exception though...
Just look what Mr. O brought home to me last night after work. Yesterday was a special day for us....
Forty two years ago, we were just a couple of kids when we said "I do", but you know what? I would do it again in a New York minute!

Happy Anniversary Mr. O

* ok, back to our regular scheduled program. Decluttering

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Place For Everything...

A place for everything, and everything in it's place...but not yet.
I am bewildered...I mean, we brought home two vehicles loaded to the roof plus a utility trailer loaded and to me the house seems already full. Where am I going to put all this stuff? I know it came from here...but where in the world did I keep it? The closets seem full already...
After wiping out all the cupboards and putting all the food items away, I have started to concentrate on closets. it is time to toss some things. We hold on to things we are never going to use, but they just seem to good to toss. That's what happens when you live in the same house for 35 years; things find their way to the backs of closets and cupboards and storage rooms and hide out there. Memorabilia, things you have outgrown (size and interest wise), things your kids brought home and you think you need to keep...

Add to that, various things we "inherited" from our parents place when they passed on, and after while you just get overwhelmed with all of it. Well enough is enough! It's time to downsize and rid myself of decades of accumulated STUFF.
We need to declare a buying freeze. No More Stuff!

Stuff to keep, stuff to toss, stuff to give to the Goodwill. 
It's a hard thing to do, and it takes so much time to sort through, but I know I will feel better for it, so if you don't hear from me in awhile, don't worry, I am wading through my stuff and trying to decide what to part with and what I can't live without. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday was lovely and sunny. A perfect golden fall day. Today...not so much! The skies are overcast

The water is a little rougher, it has been misting off and off through the afternoon. I am limping around because I stubbed my toe. I am pretty sure it is broken, but it really doesn't warrant a trip to hospital because they do nothing for a broken toe other than tape it, so I will tape it and be about my business, packing up. One load has gone home and I am gathering up more "STUFF" to pack in the next load...why in the world do we need so much STUFF anyway!
Oh dear, I think I am sounding a bit "Eeyore-ish" today...I really must do something about that!

On a brighter note, I have finished piecing my Victorias Quilt top.

I think it is looking a little wobbly around the edges and it is entirely my fault. I don't know what I was thinking when I put on the outer border. I always take a measurement across both ends and the middle and figure the average and cut my border accordingly, easing where needed. Last night while sewing and watching a movie, I pieced the borders, sewed them on, then trimmed the ends...I mean, Really! Get with it Wendy! This is not your first quilt! ( oh dear, there I go again, sounding "grumbly")
It really is not the end of the world, I will get out my trusty ripper and fix that this evening.
I can't believe I forgot to tell you this...I received a lovely little squishy envelope in last weeks mail. Just look what fell out of the envelope!

Well, the pumpkin wasn't in the envelope, I added that for effect. ?(but you already knew that I bet, )

My name was chosen on Sinta's blog last month after the Schnibbes parade, to receive TWO charm packs! Courtesy of Donna Henning at Bear Paw Quilts. Thank you Donna! Just in time to put a little bag together for my grand daughters for trick or treating.

Well, break is over I really must get back to packing my stuff...see you at home!

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Glorious, Simply Glorious!

What a glorious day here at Winterpast! The water is like glass

The fall colours are starting to be a little more evident, the rain is finished and the sun shining on the wet leaves is absolutely stunning. Add to this the sounds and sights of the Canada Geese... A glorious fall day!

I took a little walk around this morning, but I plan to spend a good part of my day piecing a quilt together for Victoria's Quilts. Quite a few years back our guild had decided to make quilts for VQ and it seems the demand is ever growing. At our guild meeting this week a plea was put out for more quilt tops, so I decided to whip up a quilt top. By the end of next week our group should have close to 10 quilt tops ready to send off to be quilted.

I am sure you are thinking, it is too nice a day to be indoors sewing, but I am blessed to have a very pretty view from my sewing space, so I will still be enjoying this perfectly pretty fall day.

See that middle window; thats where I sit to sew. This is some of what I see from where I work.

See what I mean? Glorious!
What makes me want to capture and enjoy it even more, is the fact that we will be packing up this long weekend and moving back home for the winter. So I am gathering up images in my mind to save, for a snowy, slushy, gloomy day this winter.
For these things I am truly grateful...

Oh, by the way, if you are not familiar with Victoria's Quilts and their mission, take a minute to check it out. There are chapters all throughout the United States and Canada.

Another thing I am thankful for is that I am on the giving end of this organization and not the receiving...

"If the only prayer you ever said in your life was "thank you," that would suffice." Meister Eckhart


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A busy two weeks

Well it is back to just me and Mr. O. It was such a special 2 weeks though. We were able to arrange for my youngest sister to take my brother from the nursing home he lives in and bring him half way across the country. (No small feat!) they met up with my other sister in Montreal for the last leg of the trip. The two sisters have never been to Winterpast and my brother has, but unfortunately does not remember it.(very long, sad story that I referred to a few posts back)

I obviously am the oldest of four, and there are just us, now that Mom is gone, so it is really important to have these times together.
Because of Gary's health, we were not able to wander far, but we did take a drive to the "big beach" as we refer to it. We settled Gary in a chair as sheltered as you can get on a windy beach and proceeded to do a bit of beach combing. It was a very blustery day and they got to see the ocean in a bit of a turmoil. I always love a walk on the beach, but even more so on a really windy day when the waves are crashing in.

Really makes for a "bad hair day". (Sorry Barb!)

We were treated to some fabulous sunsets here at Winterpast.

The birds were a constant source of entertainment.

And the nightlife!

What can I say? Plenty! What a nuisance this varmint was! He was so brazen, he knocked over the planters to get to the birdfeeder and then even posed for a photo. What a mess, and two nights in a row until finally I had to move the feeder.

We watched movies, ate, sewed, watched more movies, ate some more; although some ate more often than others...right Pam?
We taught the youngest sister some embroidery stitches, and she cut out some felted wool and stitched herself a pair of cosy warm slippers, just perfect for the cool days ahead. While Pam hand-stitched, Barb and I pieced and machined our projects. I made two more purses, one for Pam, and one for her daughter.

See those white slippers below the sweater, thats the kind Pam made but
I can't seem to find the picture I took of hers.(these ones are mine)
While I was making purses Barb, tried her hand at her first Schnibbles from Carrie Nelson's book, Schnibbles Times Two.

If you don't have this book in your quilting library, you may want to check it out. LOTS of great projects.

Here is Barb's version of McGuffy. She was auditioning an extra border to enlarge things a bit. The plan s to give it to one of her grand daughters for a birthday gift. It will be a picnic cloth. How cute eh?

Barb made a Schnibbles and I made a Little Bite( I call it a "nibble")
I also made a second version of mine for the Schnibbles Parade (yesterday's post)
Pam and Gary had to return home after just one week, but Barb stayed on, and Mr. O was away on business, so we fabric shopped and sewed til the wee hours . It was thoroughly enjoyable.
Here are a few pics of some of the things we worked on.

Barb loved my granny squares and we made a deal, i provided the 2.5 strips and she sewed the blocks. One for her to take home and one to add to my collection.

She also made a reversible apron with two fat quarters plus trim. Too cute!

How about a few sewing organizer totes. Barb will be retreating in style next month!
The vintage notion print was perfect for these little projects.

The local guild here in Tabusinac has an ongoing project. Several pillow panels were handed out with the request that borders be added to them, round robin style, thus making a quick and easy lap quilt to add to their comfort quilt collection. My plan was to put my block on point thus having a larger starting base, but because it was not a perfect square and to make it so I would have to cut off part of the printed pattern, I opted for this...
Minutes before returning it the guid meeting, I realized tat I had inserted one of the bear paws askew...what would I ever do without a ripper. Thankfully it was a quick fix and all was set in order. Off to the next person for the next border!

All paws are in order, ready to move out...

All to quickly the time slipped away and it was time for Barb to leave...

All of a sudden, everyone is gone...
I miss you guys. Come back soon, okay? Please...

(Backup) (Backup) On The Road Again Ok, telle me the truth...are you humming thatsong now? Cause I am and I fear it may be runni...