Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What's New! and Happy New Year!

First things first. We got 4 new books in today which are all fantastic. This one is by Cheryl Brown and has some bright and fun quilts.
Next we have Twin Peaks by Gayle Bong - Quilts from Easy strip-pieced triangles. One is more gorgeous than the next!
For something different - we have Start with a Sweatshirt. Kathy already has her eye on one of the patterns and I'm pretty sure we will be hearing about a class from this book shortly.
I saved the best for last.....from two local gals, Biz Storms and Mary Elizabeth Kinch, we have Small Blocks, Stunning Quilts. The title says it all. Each and every one of the quilts in this book is more spectacular than the next......hard to pick a favourite in here.
Remember, all books in the store are sold at American Prices!

I've got my final kitchen "before and after" for you and now the kitchen is completely done - just have to keep it up! This was the area on the other side of the fridge where I keep all the important stuff - my cookbooks and old family recipes!

It really is a pleasure to walk in here these days.....

Tonight is New Year's Eve and Barb and I are hosting a little Quilting Party at the store. I have to get back to the kitchen to continue preparing dinner so I will leave you until next year.

From all of us at Cock A Doodle Quilts to all of you - Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! All the very best for you and your loved ones.

Happy Quilting,

Jo-Ann, Barb, Kathy, Sharon, Mary, Nancy and Judith

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Twice in one day!

Okay - now I'm posting twice a day......NOT!

But I had to share this one with you....Laurissa sent me a link to this great blog which has a Tutorial on Binding for Beginners - WARNING! Naughty words, however I'm sure you will relate.....

Enjoy everyone!

Happy Quilting!

Jo-Ann and the Chicks

As promised.....

As promised I am sharing with you the picture of the other side of the kitchen - CLEAN! Did that on Sunday night while I was preparing lunch for Sew Many I will just have to keep it up!
...and the recipe for yesterday's lunch.....I thought I could just copy a Word Document into the blog but it seems that isn't possible so here it is...

Ratatouille with Penne

1 can Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 5 cups)

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 medium red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)

1 large onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced

Hot cooked Penne pasta

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Stir the soup, olive oil, black pepper, eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, onion and garlic in a 4 to 5 1/2 quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 1/2 to 6 hours* or until vegetables are tender.

3. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with the cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings Prep Time 15 Minutes Cooking Time 5 1/2 - 6 hours

I got the recipe from Campbell's Slow Cooker Recipes 37500 No. 38. It sounded good and turned out wonderful. I tripled the recipe to serve 12 people and didn't have much left over. It's a great vegetarian recipe. I've saved it for future use......

Last night Barb, Laurissa and I hung out at the store until after 11:00 P.M. so needless to say there's no progress on my quilts or my cleaning. We had fun dreaming up quilt patterns, I was blogging and we picked out borders for Espresso Dreams (Laurissa's quilt).

Sharon has returned from Florida and is back in the store today. We're happy to have her back safe and sound. She went with a friend and they drove back in last Monday's snowstorm....took them 7 hours from Windsor......

Keep checking the blog for all the updates.....

Happy Quilting!

Jo-Ann and the Chicks!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Love Mondays......

I love Mondays...Sew Many Quilts...Sew Little Time! Here are the girls working their hearts out after lunch. Lunch today was Ratatouille Penne with Salad and homemade French Bread. Dessert was Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I promised to post the recipe but I ended up blogging from the store so I promise to post it tomorrow!

....and this is Katie, our newest quilting convert. She's actually very helpful and knows when lunch is ready too! She's got a sore paw today, hence the headgear and the foot bandage.....

I have been writing about the quilt I have abandoned Country Haven for but I didn't want to show it to you until I had shown Linda. The "Hankie's" (they are actually napkins for egg cups) were a gift from Linda to me for Christmas. I took one look and realized I could not put them aside or away in a drawer. They were "screaming" (crowing - Cock a doodle doo) to be featured in a quilt.
The quilt (designed in EQ5) is below and on it's way to completion. It is going to be 9 blocks with the "hankies" on point and surrounded by toile. I'm actually very excited about it and hope to have it ready to quilt by the weekend....(will forego any major cleaning jobs until then - it's a sacrifice but I can do it!)
The quilt below is the one Linda is currently working on from the book "Nickel Quilts" which we just noticed we are out of so will be ordering more.
Laurissa Werhun, one of our amazing teachers has been very busy today and tonight she brought over the two quilts she completed today.....seriously! she made "Espresso Dreams" using Eliza's Back Porch 1/4 circle template. The colours are beiges, creams and browns (hard to see here) and the template is Fat Quarter friendly.....she used 12 fat quarters. She's currently picking border fabrics (It's after 10:00 P.M. - we are a FULL service quilt store!)
We will be ordering in those templates very soon and Laurissa says she'll definitely do a the spring/summer! I'm looking forward to that one.
The quilt pictured below is "Reverse Applique" or "Hawaiin Applique". She didn't actually do this one in a day but she did complete it today. I see another class coming soon!I also love Mondays because if I've placed an order to my suppliers they usually arrive on without fail we have new stuff to show you! Kathy asked me to order this book for I ordered more than one of course!

Nancy, after a trip to the U.S. a couple of weeks ago, showed me this book and I had to have it - it's by Kim Diehl (my favourite author/designer/quilter) and all her new fabrics will work really well with this book.

.....and finally the fabrics, only a few. Strip It! 2-1/2" strips on a bolt. I feel a quilt design comes in white, off white, black on black and cream.

FINALLY, the Bosley fabric has arrived.....(we had actually cancelled it because it was taking so long). It's gorgeous! Chocolates, blacks and goldens!

By the way, I finished the other end of the kitchen last night but forgot to take the photo so I'll share it tomorrow.....

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

More projects.....

Earlier this month I sent out an e-mail announcing new stuff in the store. One of the new books that came in was Dream Landscapes (shown below). I challenged Mary to make one of the projects from the book.....
Look at what she has so far - the colours are stunning and she is having a wonderful time doing it! New techniques and I can't wait to see her embellishments......she even mentioned something about running a class! Looks like a plan to me.....
On the homefront, this motivation "thing" seems to be really working. It is such a pleasure (not the cleaning part - the after part) to see this done. I'm looking forward to the next step.
The other side of the kitchen.....hopefully tonight! Not sure it will get done but maybe while I'm preparing lunch for tomorrow's Sit and Sew......we'll see if I can do two things at once....
Didn't get the EQ6 Upgrade onto the computer yet (was cleaning) so no progress on that Flannel Quilt but, I did start working on the other quilt I designed. Country Haven went onto the "back burner" last night so that I could start this "new" project. I will post a sneak peak tomorrow of the new quilt.

In the meantime, Happy Quilting!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Boxing Day Sale!.....and other stuff!

All Christmas and Chanukah fabric is on sale for 25% off! I want it all out of here! I need to make room for all the new fabric that is coming into the store in the next few months......not to mention, I ordered gorgeous Christmas and Holiday fabric to replace it which will be arriving in May....I can't wait, lots of plans for projects. I will also be searching for Judaica fabrics for the store....not an easy task by any means but we try to bring you whatever we can find. I realize the signs from this distance are not easy to read but they do say 25% OFF!

I'm sure you are all wondering how I did with my front entrance and needless to say baring my "soul" to the masses really worked....The bakers rack used to be in front of the wall opening but I came up with a plan....If I moved it to the other side in front of the counter I would "kill two birds with one stone". 1) It would no longer act as a place to drop everything (except my keys) and 2) I would block Bosley from that side of the countertop - ingenious!

If you go back and look at the "before" picture you will see that on the left side ledge was where we started piling our coats....the pictures of Simon show him sitting on the pile. I was pretty fed up with that look, which led to me opening up "another can of worms", the coat closet....
4,000 plastic bags and all kinds of goodies including 2 "lost" shoes and a couple of jackets later.....Voila, below!
Not bad, a place to put shoes where Bosley can't get them, just need to get one of those rubber mats for the closet and I'm done. I'll stop at Lowe's on the way home and pick one up.
In addition to that I got 3 blocks done on Country Haven and designed a layout for a quilt I want to do...not the flannel as promised but that is coming! It's formulating in my head, see the steam!
I'm impressed with the way sharing my "home" has motivated me so I will share my kitchen counter with you in hopes that it will work yet again and a miracle will happen. If I lived on my own it would be easy but with the cat, the dog and the 25 year old SLOB! it gets to the point where I just want a bulldozer to come in! It seems that it will have to be a human bulldozer which is me. Wish me luck!
I will get back to you once it's done.....could be awhile!

Happy Quilting!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting down to business!

I thought I would share with you the progress (not) I've made on Country Haven. Pictured below are the 8 blocks cut out and ready to piece.......They have been like that since Tuesday morning (I had them covered so Bosley didn't get into them).

These are the 4 completed blocks. Already sewn together as per the pattern instructions - you sew them together in rows.....

Below is my entranceway to the house! Bosley is confused as to why I would take a picture of this! He is right, but I figured the embarrassment of baring my innermost secret (I am living in a pig sty) would motivate me to action. Needless to say another New Year's Resolution comes to mind here! I am going to treat myself to an hour of quilting and then get down to business....
I did get one thing done so far today - I downloaded EQ5 to my computer (it used to be on my laptop) and I will be installing the EQ6 upgrade tomorrow. I also designed a quilt - not the flannel but hopefully I will get to that later today or the meantime I am off to quilt and clean!
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

It's been a pretty busy "day off" today. This morning I made two apple pies and stuffing for the turkey which went into the oven around 2:00 P.M. (it was a small turkey). We took everything over to my mom's and I made mashed potatoes and string beans with mushrooms there. She was very impressed with dinner. Needless to say I didn't get much else done although I'm almost finished transcribing the Winter/Spring class schedule into my daily diary.

Was hoping to get to designing a quilt today but that didn't happen. I also dodn't get any quilting, cleaning or laundry done. Best laid plans - (did not include making a turkey dinner....)

Since I talk about Simon and Bosley all the time I thought you might like to "meet" them. This is Simon, isn't he gorgeous! He's about 5-1/2 years old and adopted us when we moved into our house - someone must have abandoned him because he came neutered and house broken. He loves to go outside and sits on the ledge Meowwwwing! until we let him out.

This is THE LOOK as we call it - "Let me out now!"

This is Bosley - he just turned 2 this month and he is a big "gallut" (sp). Wants to see what the camera is all about - possibly eat it! If he can get close enough he will take a bite out of it.

Jonathan (my son) had just gone outside with the garbage and Bosley needed to make sure he was coming back in.........We call this - THE STANCE!
You will note, lying down - he takes up the whole length of the loveseat. He is not a "small" dog....but thinks he is a lap dog!
This pose is the one he learned from Simon when he was a puppy. Of course then he would get up on the top of the loveseat and plant himself in the window. Now he has to rest his butt on the arm of the loveseat. He can actually open that window and does so constantly - then rests his chin on the window ledge and is quite content. At his feet are just a few of his toys which he usually hides under the seat cushion.
You have now uncovered one of my New Year's Resolutions, which is to get curtains made for the living room/dining room windows after nearly 5 years in the house. It's sad, I have the fabric and I have the curtain rods - it's the time I lack. However, I intend to make time.....although, I'm not sure Bosley will be pleased.
Tomorrow I will try to get to the cleaning, laundry and quilting - especially the designing.....until then, Merry Christmas everyone and be safe!
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was the night before Christmas......

and all through the city there is no gas???? What is this all about....and I'm driving on fumes at this point. Oh well, got to the grocery store (why do we all wait until the last minute) and it was packed, but I got everything I needed to do the turkey dinner tomorrow for my mom. She called and asked me to get some groceries for her but I never got around to doing it. This morning when I spoke to her she said "Okay, then we'll go out for dinner tomorrow night". Since I know what it's like to look for an open restaurant on Christmas Day and I have NO gas, I decided I will cook dinner and bring it over to that's the plan now....

Kathy and I were in the store today until 3:00 P.M. and I realized I hadn't shared the new flannels we got in last week.....take a look at these! Aren't they luscious?

Here's a better look .... and they go with all the flannel batiks we have. I think while the turkey is cooking tomorrow I may just get on to EQ and design a really nice quilt for these....I'll keep you posted.

I got a newsletter from one of my suppliers that Lazy Girl Patterns has a Free Pattern on their website for a really cute little purse, the Noriko Handbag. Go to and look for the Noriko Bag. It's really cute and they did it up in oriental fabrics, very nice. I will see if we can get one made up as a sample in the store.
Last night I decided that I needed a diversion from the Country Haven Quilt I am working on. It requires focus and I wanted something a little easier last night. I sewed a label onto a quilt for a friend and then did this cute little project which I picked up on my last trip to New Jersey and Pennsylvania in June with Barb.
Not exactly seasonal (or a little ahead of the season) but it was a complete kit that came in a chinese takeout box, called Creative Carry Out and designed by Happy Hollow Designs, It took about 1-1/2 hours to complete and was a really fun diversion. It's the Jack-O-Lantern Candle Mat. They've got some really cute designs and everything you see including the batting was included - I only needed to add thread.....Definitely going to look into getting some of these kits in for the spring and fall. They also have some great patterns and accessory kits so I'm making a note in my calendar to follow up in April (getting organized)!
That's it for now, going to go get dinner going (tonight's dinner that is!)
Again, we all want to wish you Happy Holidays, and
Happy Quilting!
Jo-Ann and the Chicks!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 more shopping days!

Okay - so I'm not organized for blogging yet! Thought I would share some more pictures of the fabrics we just got in the store - but - I didn't download the pictures to the computer and the camera has died.....need to recharge the battery. New Year's Resolution - get organized!

Everyone seems to be scrambling to get that last minute shopping done (including me) and I know if I don't go grocery shopping we will "starve" over the two days the stores will be closed so that is on the agenda for today or tomorrow. There's another 10 cm of snow coming which I'm sure we are all thrilled about - and I am actually looking forward to having two days off! I'm sure everyone is. My plans are laundry (long overdue), cleaning and quilting - not necessarily in that order......

There's still some great stuff in the store, besides fabric that would make great gifts or there is always the "GIFT CERTIFICATE" - that's usually the best way to give someone a quilting gift. Our newsletter is on its way to you all - it's going in the mail today and hopefully by e-mail as well. The new line-up of classes are pretty amazing and our repetoire is growing as well as our group of teachers, so take a good look and sign up early.

To all of you I would like to say thank you for supporting the store - it wouldn't be here without you and to all of you from all of us at Cock-A-Doodle, we would like to wish you a Happy, Healthy Holiday and a Prosperous New Year.

Happy Quilting!

Jo-Ann, Barb, Judith, Kathy, Mary, Nancy and Sharon

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Fabric is in!

Two days in a row - so far so good! Got home last night and started watching the B Movie (Jerry Seinfeld and Rene Zelwigger) and fell asleep on the couch. I guess I was pretty tired because I don't usually let myself lie down on the couch. Proceeded to bed at around 9:00 P.M. and was up at 3:00 A.M. this morning. Just in time to get lunch into the crock pot for Sit and Sew ..... Better Than Mom's Pot Roast, which of course I tweeked! I think it's going to be a hit - with a nice salad and crusty bread!
I got on a kick last week (pre-New Year's resolutions) that I need to finish projects before I start anything new. This actually came about because, besides the Hannukah Wall Hanging which is now in the window at the store - I also had a Football Lap Quilt started that is a sample as well, along with a Hand Quilting sample from Alex Anderson's new book. In addition to that the Kim Diehl fabric "Country Haven" arrived and I wanted to start the quilt - this one is for ME! So I resolved to complete the projects (machine only) I had at home, that being the Football Lap Quilt which I worked on all day Friday and completed the top on Saturday at the store. It's a twin size quilt which I will be sending out to be quilted. As I worked on this, the fabric for the Country Haven sat on the dining room table taunting me to was excrutiating! I haven't been this excited about doing a quilt in a long, long time! Here's the picture.....

Each block is done separately in different combinations of the 27 fabrics in the line. It is amazing and I have two blocks done and two cut and ready to go....That in itself is a huge accomplishment in my house as Bosley likes to get into what ever is at eye level. The blocks are made up of 1-1/2" strips which are currently organized on the table. If he gets near it I will post pictures of the funeral!

Here are the fabrics now in the store -

Kim has three books out - Simple Seasons, Simple Traditions and another one which I can't remember the name of at the moment. Nancy and I definitely had a conflict on who was going to get to do this quilt. As always the colours don't ring true here or on the picture of the quilt - you'll just have to come into the store for a visit to see this line and by the way, the quilt pattern is a free download at under Free Projects. While you are there check out Bubblegum Basics which will be coming in sometime soon......

I am going to work on my quilt now as I have a few hours before I have to be anywhere.....I will post progress soon....

Happy quilting!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Here goes nothing!

Here goes nothing! I can't beleive how long it's been since we blogged. That really has to change.....should I make my first New Year's Resolution now????

It's the Sunday before Christmas and I can tell you (actually I can show you)

we are not very busy today, the snow is just piling up and I had a hard time getting onto Miranda Avenue this morning. The pros and cons of our location...however the phone is still ringing....and as long as the delivery truck can get in this week everything will be fine!

So since I decided to "bite the bullet" and finally get down to blogging seriously (so far a resolution, we'll see if I can keep it up), I'll share with you my latest projects. First - and just in time.....

This is my Hannukah Wall Hanging - from the latest issue of Quick Quilts! I really love it and I enjoyed doing this one. I also quilted it myself which is a rare occurence these days! (I did let Mary put on the sleeve and the binding though!)
I will try to post a better picture but right now that's the best I can do....

That's probably why I don't blog - the camera frustrates me - would like to learn alot more about it but I have no "time" and certainly no "patience". I will keep working on it! In the meantime,

Happy Quilting!