Everyone loves a parade, right?

So yesterday Meaghan reminded me that it was the Santa Claus parade in downtown Woodstock and we should go. She often looks up events around the area, and picks ones we’ve either never been to, or should make an effort for. It was snowing gently, but not windy, and just cold enough it wasn’t melting all over the road.

it was, however, like driving through sand. Our secondary highway that we are on gets plowed later, I think. the closer I got to down, the more bare the roads were. In fact, it was rather abrupt, I wonder why..

Anyway, we left the house an hour before the parade was to start, and came into town aroudn the back way, down the very long main street where the parade was supposed to be. I had no idea where it was to start, I figured I’d just look for people.

I did see what I thought was the parade lining up on a side street, and by the time I got to the quilt shop (yes again) had noticed a few cars here and there lined up in the parking lots of closed businesses. though not near as much as I expected. We figured we’d park at the quilt shop and watch them go by.

So we waited. After five mintues got bored and Emma & I went inside. I picked up some spray starch Shelley had recommended (turns out I love it) and asked Jo if she knew if the parade went by here. She had no idea, neither did some other people in the shop.

back in the car we hummed & hawed about ti and decided to go park down by the bank. “no one will ever think to park there!” said Meaghan, which was funny becasue the last time we went to town for an event, we had preselected a parking lot that was busting full by the time we got there.

Except this time, the bank parking lot was deserted. Weird. Up over the next block, back on main street, people were crowded in the Tim Horton’s parking lot. This is further down in the real central downtown area. 2pm came and went. It was warming up slightly and fatter fluffier flakes were falling. My sneakers were soaked, my toes were cold. Meaghan was jumping up and down to keep warm. We got impatient and walked up to the next block to see the road better and to see just past the curve and hope it was on it’s way.

Nope. this was 2:30.

We did notice the church parking lot up there was not full and I could drive aroudn to the back of it from the bank. So we walked back to the car, got in, thanked God and Jesus for heat becasue the car was still a bit warm. then we drove up the back streets and waited int he parking lot with the heat on full blast.

I swear less than ten mintues later the parade started to come by. We got out of the car, fully warm by now, stood by the side of the road and caught candy.

It was over in twenty minutes.

We came home for hot chocolate rather than fight traffic and left turns to get back to Timmy’s. Emma said she had a good time.

I sewed with Jo

Our local quilt store, Christmas Crab Quiltery, has a free sewing afternoon pretty much every other Friday. they have a wonderful large shop with a second room all laid out perfect for classes. It’s HUGE! It is also heavenly to sew in.

it had been snowing all morning, and while it was not stormy (at least by Maritimer standards), it was steady so I got Ron to drive me in. I was the only gal who showed up, which was fine, because that meant I got the BEST table all to myself. I also brought in a few quilts tops that were all finished so I could show them off. Jo & Shelly have a slightly different style than I do, and many of the fabrics in the shop reflect that style – deeper, darker colors, lots of beige, brown, rust navy – great colors, but not always me. 😉 I prefer brighter colors and modern contemporary patterns. even the pattern I bought there I did different than their sample. That’s the awesome part about quilting.

Shelly has a blog here, go read it. She noticed I use a lot of cherry fabric when I can find it, so I joked that she’ll probably call me as soon as they get any fabric in with cherries.

I got a LOT of work done. The central table was large enough for me to spread out the way I like and work best. The iron was all set up, hot and waiting. Company was awesome, and there was even hot chocolate. What more can a gal ask for? I did not even get upset when I discovered I had sewn some quilt blocks in the wrong order and will have to take out three seams. It was no biggie because everything else went that much smoother. Probably not a good idea of me to wear my polar fleece sweater though. I have thread snippets stuck all over me.

No, I did not take pictures, or bring my netbook to check on tweets, or even tweet from my phone. It was a good three and a half hours away from technology, just talking and sharing and sewing, and even quiet times. At one point, I broke the silence by saying, “Wow, I have sewed for more than ten minutes and nobody has interrupted me. Not once.”

I am going to make this a regular habit, as I can see how very useful it will be when I finally get around to quilting some of these tops. At least it will be sooner than it is possible for me to get a new craft room. Kinda like having my cake and eating it too, even if it’s at someone else’s place.

Added bonus: when I run out of things, I am RIGHT THERE in the shop! 😀

My back hurts from being hunched over my machine, and I am really tired & sleepy (plus wound up from the chocolate) but my creative soul is happy. I have half a chapter left to edit, and a pile of screenshots to sort out, but after a good night’s sleep I’ll be refreshed. At least I hope so.

Worked on:
– quilt back for Dandelion Girl Chinese Coins, prepped binding, discussed quilting ideas
– trimmed back for rainbow quilt, cut binding
– 4 or 5 rows for red & yellow Disappearing 9 patch quilt
– 3 half rows for purple & blue New Wave quilt (minus mistakes, ran out of white fabric strips)
This one takes longer to sew, because of the angles, so I spent about half my time on it.

The smell of paint

Ron has cleared out the red bedroom – the one full of stuff we don’t know where to put, with walls all wreaked and a falling-down part on the ceiling. We couldn’t take it any more. We’re not fixing the room completely, just doing what we need to make it usable for a couple-three years or so. Certainly more usable that some of the finished rooms…

one wall done

So, we picked a straw to go on the wall, after priming. That god-awful red is gone in most places. Ron is in the next room muttering something about possibly over-compensating for the dark red, but it will look really nice.

more painting

We also ran a LOT of errands, picking up things we needed, getting other stuff done, and one run to the local pork farm we kept meaning to stop in at. All antibiotics free, raised by Mennonites local pig. We had some of the sausage patties for lunch, and I’m still wishing I had cooked more. Yum yum! And it was a decent price. Got two pork roasts for Christmas dinner too – I’ll stuff one and do the other plain.


I’m still slogging through my chapter editing, one left to go. Some take all day because I get in a bit of a tizzy in some places. It’s 20% writing, 80% staring at the screen wondering what to say. When I complain, Ron cheerfully reminds me I wanted to do this. 😛

Emma’s also thinking of writing a letter to Santa, saying she doesn’t want him to bring her anything, he can give it to the poor instead. That doesn’t count for present from relatives, however. She’s thinking about writing a blog post for that like her sisters do. But it’s a very short list (lego) and she doesn’t want anyone to spend too much.

that didn’t last

Somehow I got out of the what to blog about routine. Some days were just days. Yesterday we did stuff. We took Emma across the border, up to Presque Isle, for a birthday party for her bestest friend ever. (pics on flickr) As soon as we went through the checkpoint, she looked around, saw a guy in his yard and said, “Oh look! An American!”

It was also the first snow of the season.

And I went shopping while there. I bought fabric at stupid prices.

I’ve run out of words – I got a zip file of my six chapters back from editing late Friday. I took yesterday off, then today I did chapter 1. Again. There are color coded comments everywhere, and then I had to add my changes and my comments. It’s hard – not as hard as actually writing the content in the first place, and Lisa had warned us what to expect and not take it personal. I mean, I made it past the first huge hurdle. As long as I submit things back in a timely manner, they can’t get rid of me. 😛

Tomorrow I do Chapter 2, and my word count for anything else will go way, way down. Hmm, I think I may need to take new screenshots too. GREAT. I hate doing screenshots, they have to be a certain resolution and size. I have to reset my monitor every time.

Anyway! A chapter a day all this week, but Friday. Friday my local quilt shop has a “Sew with Jo” day, and I can go there with my stuff and spread out and sew. All afternoon. This is my reward.


Since I have been getting up at reasonable hours in the morning, I’ve managed to do a decent amount of workday stuff and have time leftover in my day to remember what the heck else I used to do. Also, the holidays are a-coming, I need to sew just because I like it, and I have a couple of projects that meet both requirements.

If we’re not going somewhere in the afternoon, I may sew then, or while I’m making supper. If I put supper on & go downstairs, I can’t hear the timer. If I’m in the next room, I can even hear water over-boiling. So that’s handy.


The first project I can tell you about. Last year my mom made me a wall hanging, and when she gave it to me, swore like a sailor about the issues she had quilting it in a hurry to make sure it was done on time. I decided to unpick it and re-do it. Lest you think that is terrible of me, my mom said it was not only fine with her, but good luck. Then she rambled off into more muttered curses…

So, I’d unpicked it long ago, and decided to put it back together differently, which meant I needed a new piece of backing fabric. Mom had used a smaller piece of backing fabric, and wrapped the excess front fabric to the back, like self-binding. I finally found a piece of backing fabric -almost exactly the size I needed too – and had settled on sandwiching all the layers, sewing around the edges and then turning right side out, like a pillow. I’d them quilt. you can do this quite successfully on smaller projects, and the edge is nicely finished. One night I carefully trimmed my backing fabric and batting. The next night I pinned them all together. The next night, I sewed round the edges and trimmed the excess batting in the seams so they’d turn nicely.

And that’s when it hit me – when I was about to turn the piece, I discovered that I’d layered the fabric incorrectly. The front of the quilt was wrong side out.

I did wait a couple days, but I had to sit there and unpick my seams. Again. I’ve since layered the pieces correctly, double-checking the entire time, and successfully managed to use the same piece of batting without cutting a new one. I hate wasting batting. I haven’t sewn it together again yet, it’s waiting.

I took a break to work on another top-secret project that was similar in technique. layer, sew turn. Pin a bunch in the middle. I did a lot last night, and there was much contemplation about certain aspects and asking household members for opinions. I pinned a lot more, sewed round the edges, trimmed seams, started to unpin.. and Meaghan looks over my shoulder and says, “Wait – aren’t they going to be inside when you turn?”

Aw crap. I did it AGAIN.

It was dark when I got up

ever since the time change, both Ron & I have been trying to shift our sleep patterns a bit. He’s still a night owl, but for the past couple of days, I’ve been up at sunrise. Yes, seven-ish. Oddly enough, this had made me feel better. Not that I was feeling terribly bad, just an overall sense of exhaustion, frustration, moodiness… yeah, crabby. 😀

More daylight = better Andrea.

I cleaned up the toys scattered all over the sun porch, and tossed them in the boxes that were already there. you can see the floor, which is good, because this gives us room to start digging out Christmas decorations. Two of my neighbours have lights on theirs house already. Aside from being able to reach the holiday items, and sort them over a bit, this also means we can start going through boxes of toys. Broken ones to chuck, along with garbage, toys to keep, toys to go to other kids. Emma’s almost ten – there’s a lot of toys she’s no longer interested in.

Also, given some holiday cleaning, and earlier bedtimes, the other night Ron was done on the computer early, took one look at the upstairs hallway on our side and could not stand the peeling wallpaper any longer.


Yep, all gone.

hallway - stripped

Looks so much better, and it is so much brighter it’s almost unbelievable. That was pretty light wallpaper too. Click through the picture for a few more. We also did one wall in the office, the one with the heart wallpaper.

Mug coasters

I also made a couple coasters for the desks in our office. These have the super thick but not high batting that is also heat resistant. Can’t remember what it’s called, but it was nice to work with. Then I worked on a wall hanging Mom had made for me, but I sewed an entire section wrong and had to unpick it. But I also sorted out what I could do with two different quilt tops, so that evened it out.