Book Review: Aunt Dimity & . . .


The Aunt Dimity series of books written by Nancy Atherton are sheer delight! I have read every one of them, including Aunt Dimity & the Buried Treasure published this year. I just finished it today and, as always, was sorry to have to close that back cover!

They don’t need to be read in order, but I strongly advise it. That way, you will get to know Lori Shepherd and all of the interesting people who live in the village of Finch. Then, you can then follow Lori from the beginning of her journey and accompany her along the way.

Look for Nancy’s books  on Amazon, at your local book store, or via Kindle, Kobo, or your favourite place to buy good books. Visit Aunt Dimity’s World online for photos, the great recipes in these stories, to meet Nancy Atherton, and more. Unlike most of the books I  review, these are not based on quilting. However, they take us to a  charming gentler place – a small, rural village in the English Costwolds.

Once you begin reading them, be sure to leave a comment. I’d like to know that you enjoy them as much as I do. I can’t wait for the next one!

In order of publication, they are:

1.   Aunt Dimity’s Death
2.   Aunt Dimity and the Duke
3.   Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed
4.   Aunt Dimity Digs In
5.   Aunt Dimity’s Christmas
6.   Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil
7.   Aunt Dimity: Detective
8.   Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday
9.   Aunt Dimity: Snowbound
10. Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin
11. Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea
12. Aunt Dimity Goes West
13. Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter
14. Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon
15. Aunt Dimity Down Under
16. Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree
17. Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
18. Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince
19. Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well
20. Aunt Dimity and the Summer King
21. Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure
22. Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince
23. Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well
24. Aunt Dimity & the Buried Treasure

Happy Thanksgiving

A Happy Thanksgiving to all of us Canadians celebrating today!
May we all feel the joy as we count and give thanks for our blessings!

Our family has a great deal for which to be thankful for this year, first and foremost
that our son and his family, along with their home, came safely through Hurricane Matthew.
Thanks too, for you who follow my blog.

As we are all quilters, and as many of us knit, crochet, and are skilled in other crafts as well, let’s
find ways to help those in need after the hurricane. Quilters can find many charities through
their local quilt guilds and through Project Linus. Animal lovers can also make and donate Kennel Quilts to their local shelters and those shelters in need after Hurricane Matthew by joining The Quilt Pattern Magazine‘s Kennel Quilt Program.

Due to many circumstances, the only Thanksgiving decoration visible in our home this year is my wall hanging. Did you decorate this year? If so, tell us how by leaving a comment. I always love hearing from you.

If you like the pattern and want it for next year, or for American Thanksgiving, click on its photo.

A Simply Plaid Thanksgiving Silhouettes

A Simply Plaid Thanksgiving Silhouettes

Piece for Shelter Pets


With permission, I am partially quoting from Nan Baker‘s Purrfect Spots Blog:

“October is national Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month and some quilt industry professionals are partnering with the Petfinder Foundation to create awareness of Shelter Dogs (and Cats) that need “ furrever” homes. It is an unusual combination but one that is working beautifully to help our furry friends. These quilters are animal lovers and are helping shelter animals in ways that are new and unique.  So join us in the October Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Monthand see how we are helping and how you can help. We invite you to Piece for Shelter Pets”.”

Of course, there is much more information to read about along with darling photos of pets.

Below, you will find the link to read the rest of Nan’s blog along with the Blog Hop Schedule so you can read the others as they are  posted. You can go back and read those you’ve missed. You’ll want to view the video of Pet Finder‘s celebration and enter to win the Happy Hounds Petfinder Bundle opportunities not to be missed!

Blog Hop Schedule:

10/5 – The Quilt Pattern Magazine/Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots
10/7 – Aurifil 
10/12 – Island Batik
10/14 – Quilty Box (instagram)
10/19 – Benartex 
10/21 – Petfinder Foundation


TQPM Small Kennel Quilts

Something very exciting is going to happen tomorrow, Wednesday October 5th and we are so excited!! TQPM’s little Pretty Girl and her four dog friends, Charlie, Holly, Gary and Joey will help to spread the word. There will be some wonderful prizes so be sure and check the Kennel Quilt page. It is going to be great!





And the Winners Are . . .



We have our 3 winners!

To choose them, all those who left a comment were assigned a number from earliest to latest comment dates.
They were then entered into a random number generator.

The Winners Are:

Sheila Ivany
Anna Brown

Your patterns will be emailed to you today.

Bunnies and Island Batik Summer Blog Hop

seasidebloghop There are only 2 more days left for this exciting blog hop! If you have missed all or any of the hops along the way, scroll down to my previous post for the schedule. Be sure to visit them all. You won’t want to miss the fantastically creative quilts nor miss out on prizes! (And don’t forget to enter mine!)


Today, I thought I’d share photos of our visiting backyard bunnies. I think you’ll agree that they are very cute and adorable.






Island Batik Summer Blog Hop – My Turn!

I’m so excited about today – my turn in Island Batik‘s Seaside Summer Blog Hop!

I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the first 3 days of this  great Hop. If, by chance, you happened to miss the 3 previous days – and believe me, you won’t want to have –  scroll way on down for the  links. Be sure to read through to the end for patterns to be won!

First, I must say that it is such a privilege to be an Island Batik Ambassador and for so many reasons! We are spread out far from one another; nevertheless, there is an online friendship and camaraderie between us that is special. Another reason, of course, is the boxes of beautiful fabrics we receive to work with twice yearly. Yet another, this year, is the challenge of coming up with a new quilt design each and every month. It has inspired us to go in design directions, we might not have otherwise. I look at the quilts I’ve designed and made this year with the greatest pleasure. Were in not for Island Batik, they wouldn’t be, and what a shame that would have been!

I have to laugh at myself because at the start of this Island Batik Ambassador year, I was determined to create pieced designs. Instead, the fabrics seem to inspire me more often towards applique. This month, I tried something new to me – raw edge applique. It is generally done by fusing appliques to the background fabric, then stitching just inside the raw edge. I skipped the fusing step; just pinned them in place and started sewing. As with Christmas in July, I got ahead of myself with our themes by creating Coral Reefs back in February. The Holiday Hills and Sea Salt Sandy fabric lines, just begged to become those reefs. This time, it was the Seashore fabrics I had to work with and after spreading them out and admiring them, they told me what they wanted to be – an underwater scene – and so, Under the Sea was born. Get your scuba-diving gear and come along. The fish, turtles, sea horses, and others don’t seem to mind us at all. The mermaids, though, are diving out of sight. Obviously, they prefer not to be seen.

Under the Sea

Under the Sea – 36 x 24 inches

My Wonderful Seashore Fabrics

Seashore is a luscious line of fabrics! Just looking at them is inspiring! Working with them is a quilter’s dream. By clicking on this link you can see the entire Seashore line. Below are the fabrics I chose from among them to use for Under the Sea. You may recall from my turn last month, that both my sewing machines decided to need repairing at the same time. When I finally got them back, I was in a rush to get started, so 20 lashes with a wet noodle for me! I just hurriedly took fabric photos without pressing them first, then began planning and preparing.


Here is a view of the above, plus the others in the Seashore line. Aren’t they delicious? And, so is the recipe below them!


Recipe Time!  – A Seaside Snack

Quick and easy to make, this cake needs just one bowl, measuring utensils and a fork. Because of that, the washing up is easy, which is a bonus. Perfect for a picnic at the beach dessert! – I don’t recall where this recipe came from, but our family has been making and enjoying it for years.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake


  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Either: 2 squares (ounces) of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate or 6 tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 6-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • (⅓ cup of chopped nuts – optional)


  • If using chocolate squares, heat oil and chocolate in an 8″ square cake pan, in 350°F oven for about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add water, sugar, egg, flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla (all the remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips and nuts) to the pan.
  • If using cocoa: add milk, oil, sugar, egg, flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla (all the ingredients except for chocolate chips and nuts) to the pan.

Then, for both methods:

  • Beat with fork until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Spread evenly across pan.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips (and nuts, if using them).
  • Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool.
  • Cut into squares to serve.
  • Enjoy!

Now for Prizes!

Leave a comment and your name will be entered into a draw to win 1 of my  2  patterns below, just on time for the upcoming celebrations. Winners can choose whichever one they would like.

There will be 3 winners chosen and announced after the last day of this Hop – September 3rd.

Boo Bags in 3 Sizes by Maria

Boo Bags in 3 Sizes by Maria


Santa Stocking by Maria

Hope you enjoyed your visit today. I enjoyed having you drop by!

Be sure to visit all the other stops on the way!

Blog Hop Schedule


15 – Rain Forest

Kissed Quilts

16 – Red Tide

Free Motion by the River

Mary Mack Made Mine

17 – Sand Dune

Purrfect Spots

KnitBug 2


18 – Seashore

Pamela Quilts

Maria Michael Designs

Kissed Quilts

19 – Surf Squirt

Quilting Affection

Archipelago Quilting

22 – Tradewinds

Arkangel Creations

Bejeweled Quilts

23 – Equinox

Kauffman Designs

Adele Mogavero * Del~Lillian’s

24 – Sea Canyon

Lemon Tree Snippets

Bea Quilter

25 – Sea Foam

Stone Cottage Quilts

Sew Supportive

26 – Spoolin’ Around

Sallys Quilting Corner


29 – Tide Pools

Inchworm Fabrics


30 – Wind and Sea

For Quilts Sake

Patchwork Breeze

31 – Spring Zing

Desert Bloom Quilting

Adventurous Applique and Quilting


1 – Splash

Kissed Quilts

The Patchwork Pearl

2 – Landscapes

For Quilts Sake



Island Batik Summer Blog Hop Starts Today!


We start Island Batik’s Summer Blog Hop by visiting Marlene Baerg Oddie’s Blog, Kissed Quilts. Marlene is featuring the Rain Forest Collection. Don’t miss seeing what she has done with her beautiful fabrics!

Be sure to visit every stop along the way to view the different, marvellous, fabric lines, see dazzling quilts, and win prizes!
I’ll see you here on Thursday!

Dates and Fabrics

15th – Rain Forest
Kissed Quilts

16th – Red Tide
Free Motion by the River
Mary Mack Made Mine

17th – Sand Dune
KnitBug 2
Purrfect Spots

18th – Seashore
Kissed Quilts
Maria Michaels Designs
Pamela Quilts

19th – Surf Squirt
Archipelago Quilting
Quilting Affection

22nd – Tradewinds
Arkangel Creations
Bejeweled Quilts

23rd – Equinox
Adele Mogavero * Del Lillian’s
Kauffman Designs

24th – Sea Canyon
Bea Quilter
Lemon Tree Snippets

25th – Sea Foam
Sew Supportive
Stone Cottage Quilts

26th – Spoolin’ Around
Sallys Quilting Corner

29th – Tide Pools
Inchworm Fabrics

30th – Wind and Sea
For Quilts Sake
Patchwork Breeze

31st – Spring Zing
Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Desert Bloom Quilting


1st – Splash
Bea Quilter
Kissed Quilts
The Patchwork Pearl

2nd – Landscapes
For Quilts Sake


Island Batik’s Christmas in July


Christmas-in-JulyIsland Batik’s Christmas in July

We Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to design for the Christmas in July theme, which is a very popular one. We lucky people were given their absolutely beautiful Holiday Happenings line to work with.

Two unfortunate things have happened while preparing to share my version of Christmas in July.

First is that my two sewing machines, which sit side-by-side on a long surface my husband built for me, must have had a conversation that went something like this. My newer (2001) Bernina Virtuosa 163 said, “Hey, Bernina 930, how about we both lose proper tension together this time around instead of just me? Then you won’t have to be lonely while I’m in for repairs! Great idea, right?” Bernie 930 replied, “Hmmm . . . not a bad idea. I haven’t lost tension since I arrived in 1985 and we’ve both been used constantly. Maybe it’s time for a new experience. Okay, I’ll go along with it.” And, so they did, leaving me with quilting/sewing withdrawal pains while they are in for repairs. They’ll be returning home next week, but sadly, not in time to complete my Christmas in July projects.

The second unfortunate thing was a sudden realization. I didn’t catch on to the fact, way back in February, that we would be doing Christmas in July, so guess what I did?  I made my Santa’s Visit quilt using the beautiful Holiday Happenings fabrics along with others. If you missed it, click on its photo to go back to February’s blog and read all about it. (I hate to say this, but I did the same thing with fabrics for next month’s project. Can you hear me groaning? You can be sure I’ve checked out the themes for the rest of the year!)

Santa's Visit by Maria Hrabovsky

Santa’s Visit by Maria Hrabovsky

As a result, I used up a lot of my lovely Holiday Happenings batik fabrics. This meant I couldn’t do a large project this month. However, I made a smaller and important one! It’s a Kennel Quilt to either remind you, or introduce you to, TQPM‘s (The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s) Kennel Quilt Program – a volunteer organization available when disasters strike to help our animal friends in time of need by doing what we love.

Island Batik is becoming a partner in TQPM’s Kennel Quilt ProgramAt this autumn’s International Quilt Market in Houston, Island Batik will introduce its new, adorable, pet fabric lines! Kennel quilters are sure to love and welcome them, as will all pet lovers! Aurifil Threads will be introducing 2 new thread collections to go with those special new Island Batik fabrics. Island Batik will also be joining  and working with others, including PetFinder, and Bernina, all of whom are supporting this worthy program, each in their own special ways.

My Kennel Quilt was made with the lovely Holiday Happenings fabrics and one of their Neutral Whites. As mentioned, I didn’t get to finish it. The open seam on the right has yet to be closed and the quilting done. Still, you can see just how attractive it is using these wonderful fabrics. Once I have my machines back in working order, I will post the finished version. I will send this Kennel Quilt, along with others I plan to make, to a shelter here in Canada.


Kennel Quilt

Kennel Quilt

With the rest of my Holiday Happenings fabrics, I started making a wall hanging to add to our Christmas decorations come December. This is as far as I got before my machines quit on me. Only the center is finished. Stay tuned! I’ll get it finished next month and post it, too.


Be sure to visit all of our Ambassador’s websites and look for their Christmas in July designs. You’ll find great inspiration and there will be lots of Oohs and Ahhs‎ to be heard! Most have been posted. Keep watch for those who will add theirs soon!


Bejeweled Quilts

For Quilts Sake

Freemotion by the River

Fun Threads Designs

Happy Cottage Quilter

Kauffman Designs

KISSed Quilts

Lemon Tree Snippets

Made In Scraps

Mary Mack Made Mine

Moose Stash Quilting

One Quilting Circle

Pamela Quilts

Purrfect Spots Designs


The Fit Quilter

Modern Batik Challenge – A Summary

For all those who will surely want to see all the modern-style quilts created by our Island Batik Ambassadors last month, click on this Moose Stash Quilting link. You won’t want to miss all the creativity!

A reminder – this is the one I posted.

Opening Night

Opening Night by Maria Hrabovsky (Maria Michaels Designs)