Tuesday 25 October 2022

Butterflies and Blooms

I have a small business account with Canada Post. During the month of October, those of us with small business accounts were allowed to ship one free parcel within Canada and one to the United States every Tuesday, as long as the parcel met size and weight guidelines. So, I have been madly trying to take advantage of those "freebies". While I only had one UFO destined for the US that would meet the criteria (even if I could make my sister's king size quilt in less than a month, it's highly questionable if it could meet the 2 kg weight limit), I knew I could easily come up with 4 to ship within Canada. But they had to be quilts that I could actually get finished. The weight limit is higher for within Canada, but I still didn't think I could make a whole queen sized quilt that I want to make for my oldest sister, plus three others in less than a month. 
Initially, I thought that the 2 quilts a week were within Canada, plus one to the US, and so I managed to get 2 quilts ready for the first week, High Tea, which was ready long ago, and Waves of Blue. Amazing how quickly you can throw a quilt together when you put your mind to it. But the 2 quilts per week turned out to be one within Canada and one to the US. Well, that at least meant that I didn't have to try to complete 8 quilts instead of just 4 or 5. Since I'd already gotten the shipping addresses for both of these quilts, I didn't want either of the recipients to wait another week before I shipped them, so I shipped both, paying for one and sending one free. 
I had ordered pantographs on September 22, which included the one I needed to quilt the Children of Israel quilt, and they were shipped the next day. They should have arrived on time for me to complete this quilt to take advantage of the free shipping. The quilt top was already completed. Unfortunately, Canada 
Customs decided to hold my pantograph shipment, which ended up being for 2 weeks (even though they're duty free). Since I had no idea how long they would hold my parcel, I had to complete other options. I had already started Colour My Classroom for Sew a Jelly Roll Day, so that came next. Meanwhile, I also squeezed in finishing Sew Fast for my grandson. He had already seen the finished quilt top on a previous visit, so I wanted to complete the quilt before our family Thanksgiving. This one didn't need to be shipped. 
Then I had to determine what would come next. I thought of Tales of Ireland and pulled it out. It's a sampler quilt, so more involved than ones with all or most of the blocks the same. And I had only completed one block. But that wasn't my biggest concern. There was a time in my quilting journey when I wasn't so aware of fabric quality. And the fabric I was planning on using in this quilt definitely didn't have it. There was no way I was going to gift a quilt made with that thin fabric! I could reinforce the quilt top with muslin, if I had a sufficient amount. No time to go to the city to buy some either... I set that aside and figured I'd decide what I would do with it later. 
I also considered this Asian-inspired quilt. 
I even started working on more of the applique. This one had been languishing as a UFO for several years. But I'm really hoping to enter it in one of the fairs next year, so I shouldn't be shipping it off. 
So then I pulled out the quilt kit for Grandpa's Tools. I even had the backing fabric already and it was a fairly simple pattern, so I could do it in a hurry. That took care of week three, and that one went to one of my great nephews. 
I was hoping to send a quilt to my niece in Michigan and that would let me take advantage of at least one free parcel to the US, but I still needed one more parcel within Canada. So I asked my nephew, the father of the great nephew that received Grandpa's Tools, what his daughter's favourite colour was. Purple! So, I started searching for purple fabrics in my stash. If only my stash were more organized... But, thank the Lord, I was able to find fabrics that I thought would work, including this sparkly butterfly fabric that was just a random purchase. 
I also had some white solid, but what was I going to do with all the fabrics I had pulled from my stash. No shortage of quilting books and patterns at my house, but I needed to find an idea quickly and one that could be made in a hurry. 
I had purchased this quilt calender back in 2015 for a Christmas gift for myself. 
After flipping through several books and patterns without success, I decided to give this a try. And I found the Friendship Plume pattern. And it looked like it might work with the fabrics I had collected. I did end up having to piece some of the gold and lavender squares, but I made it work. And the nice thing about it is the pieces are large enough to really showcase the butterfly fabric. 
The toughest part of this pattern was the applique.
These are the largest and most complex appliqe pieces I've done to date. It took me 35 minutes to stitch down one block. And that's not including the amount of time it took to enlarge the pattern (which, by the way, is incorrect in the instructions. It says 400%, which would have yielded a 32" block. It only needed to be 200%), copy it 3 more times, tape it together to make the full pattern, trace 4 copies onto Heat'n'Bond, fuse them to the purple fabric, cut them out, including the centre piece, and fuse them to the background fabric. And there was so much turning the block around and around to stitch the applique down that I ended up having an attack of vertigo. Fortunately, there were only four blocks to complete. 
I grabbed some fabric from my LQS for the backing and binding, in shades of purple, of course, and quilted the quilt using the Butterfly Charm pantograph by Hermione Agee from Urban Elementz. 
It's finished and I shipped it off today to my great niece. 
Meanwhile, my pantograph order arrived, and I will be able to utilize the Dave's Star of  
David pantograph to complete the Children of Israel quilt. Too late to ship it free, but at least it will get done. And then I think maybe I will work on something for myself. 

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Grandpa's Tools


Tools have always reminded me of my father. So, when I saw this quilt kit, I decided I must have it. It features fabric from Northcott's Nuts and Bolts line. 
The quilt pattern is Chianti from Villa Rosa Designs. And it's quite boring. All it is is squares with frames. Monotonous. The pattern calls for 16 fat quarters, plus 5/8 yard for binding. And I was to cut enough pieces from each fat quarter to make 3 blocks (squares and frames) and then, when assembling just mix them up so that I didn't end up using the same fabric for both squares and frames. However, the bundle that came with this kit included 11 fabrics from the Nuts and Bolts line plus 5 from the Moda Basic Grey Grunge line. Nothing against Grunge fabrics (in spite of the fact that I really don't like that name) - they make great blenders, but I really didn't want to feature them in the squares. Two of the fabrics from the Nuts and Bolts line were these two, which I also didn't want to feature in the squares. 
I wanted this quilt to be about the tools. The nice thing about using large pieces of fabric in a quilt top is the opportunity to bring the focus to prints that you want the focus on, especially large prints, without chopping them up too small. So, instead, I used the tool fabric for the 6" squares. I also had to use some of it for the frames as there was not enough of the blender fabrics to do them all. 
As I mentioned, I found this pattern rather boring. I was hoping that I would like it better when I put it all together. I didn't. While there are some awesome colours in it - especially that lime green and the electric blue, I just don't find the overall effect aesthetically pleasing. Then I was hoping maybe quilting it would help. I remember when I did Baby Alter Ego, it, too, was a lot of different fabrics with nothing to really pull it together. But when I started quilting it, I liked it a lot better. Unfortunately, that didn't happen with this one. It's still just meh.
You may recall that I have come up with my own goofy terms for rating quilts:
  • the bodley quilt for ugly
  • the nacho quiltfor not your (or my) favourite quilt
  • the Gladys Over quilt for glad it's over, which is not really about appearance, but more about how tedious/labour intensive a quilt was to make
Well, this is definitely a nacho quilt. And I really had second thoughts about whether or not I actually wanted to gift it. Because it was made in honour of my father, I had chosen my oldest nephew's son, who was named after may father, as the recipient. But it's not stunning, it's not heart-stirring or soul-inspiring. It's just meh. Fortunately, I was able to find the amazing electric blue fabric from the Nuts and Bolts line on sale and purchased it for the backing, and my great nephew's favourite colours are blue and orange, and there's plenty of both in this quilt. And the tool fabric is awesome, even if they missed a couple of letters in spelling "pipe wrench" in the white fabric (surprisingly enough, not in the black). 
I used the Hand Tools pantograph by Dave Hudson from Urban Elementz and royal blue Glide thread for the quilting. 
So, hopefully, the recipient will love it, even though his great aunt isn't particularly thrilled with it. 
On to the next quilt...

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Colour My Classroom


When I first made The Art and Science of Mathematics, my youngest sister, who is an elementary school teacher, commented that it would be a good quilt for the reading corner in her classroom. That quilt already had a recipient, but I have kept in the back of my mind the fact that Cindy would like a reading corner quilt. 
Initially, my plan was to make a bookshelf quilt, maybe adding a terrarium with a tarantula on one shelf, using black yarn to couch the tarantula. And maybe a cat somewhere on another shelf, also using couching to define the cat. Maybe I would add the titles of favourite books from Cindy's classroom to the spines of the books using the alphabet embroidery function on my sewing machine. That would be fun, but getting around to it was another matter. 
Then one day, as I was exploring my fabric, I took a good look at the fabric in this jelly roll. 
I had originally purchased it to use in a children's/baby's quilt, but since I currently have a stash of 5 or 6 of those, I really don't need another one. My grandson has been given the John Deere Triple Irish Chain quilt, Dinosaur Days, the quilt made from the Northcott Connector Playmats, the small quilt for the floor in his card table tent, Sew Fast and a couple of quilted wallhangings, plus 3 afghans. So, I really don't think that he needs another quilt either.
And then I remembered the reading corner quilt and realized that this fabric is perfect for an elementary school classroom. I also had the one-metre cut of the black print that was part of this line (used in border 2 and the binding), that I decided not to use in Sew Fast. And then, incidentally, I had bought 3 metres of this fabric to back a children's quilt,
not realizing that it coordinated well with the jelly roll. It's just a different line of Crayola fabrics from Riley Blake. (Sorry, the picture is a little fuzzy. It's rulers with the Crayola logo on them). 
I chose the Zig-Zag Shangri-La pattern from the book, Strip Delight, by Suzanne McNeill. I used some of the leftover strips, plus some of the backing fabric to make the third border, making them 2½" wide, rather than the 1½" called for, and eliminated the fourth border, resulting in a quilt about 43" x 59". I didn't need a 54" x 70" quilt for 9-year-olds. By the way, the dimensions given in the pattern are incorrect. The length to cut the width-wise border strips is over by 4" for all 4 borders, and the final width should be 54", not 58" as stated in the book. Unless I miscalculated somewhere. 
For the quilting, I chose Alphabet Soup #2 by Patricia Ritter for Urban Elementz, and used a rainbow variegated thread that I had in my stash. 
I happened to have a mostly full bobbin of the same thread and just wound one more. I wasn't sure how much bobbin thread I would need and variegated thread is expensive, so I have pretty much made up my mind to not use it in bobbins any more and I didn't want to wind any more than I needed. Well, I lost at bobbin chicken about a row and a half before finishing, but I had another part bobbin of a different variegated thread. It was close enough that I doubt anyone will notice the difference, so I used that to finish the quilt. 
I did however, win at batting chicken. 
I had a piece of batting that was just slightly longer than the quilt top. I didn't want to cut another piece from the roll, or go to the trouble of adding extra batting to the end of this piece. 
I also knew I was cutting it close with binding, but I made it. 
However, I did have more of this fabric if I needed it. 
One of the things that bothers me about patterns for pre-cut fabrics is the leftovers. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these. 
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that patterns designed for pre-cuts generally use a specific fabric bundle. And the pattern may call for a certain number of strips/pieces of a given colour or of a dark/light/medium fabric which works well with that particular bundle, but you may not have that number in your particular pre-cut bundle. So you have to wing it. Or use a different pattern that works better with the bundle that you have. 
That's one of the reasons I love my Waves of Blue quilt. Not only is it a beautiful quilt, in my opinion, but it used all of every strip in the jelly roll. 

The Great Bread Making Adventure: Panini All'Olio


So, I'm back to Italian breads and I decided to make this recipe from The World Encyclopedia of Breads and Bread Making for 🍁Thanksgiving dinner. Not that we really needed any more food, but a holiday dinner was a good excuse to make dinner rolls.
This recipe almost made me laugh. First the blurb underneath the recipe name: 

The Italians adore interesting and elaborately shaped rolls. This distinctively flavoured bread dough, enriched with olive oil, can be used for making rolls or shaped as one large loaf.

Distinctively flavoured bread dough? Most of us, especially from my generation, have eaten cookie dough, as well as licked the beaters and bowl after our mothers made a cake, but eating bread dough was not something any of us regularly did. Yes, it might just be a matter of semantics, but I think it would have been more appropriate (and less comical) if the word dough was eliminated, so that "distinctively flavoured" was left to describe the bread, rather than the dough. And when I saw that description, "distinctively flavoured", I looked to the ingredients to see what would justify that description. Bread flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil. No herbs, seeds, nuts, fruits or vegetable in whatever form, no alternate flours. Yes, it did lack any form of sugar, but I failed to see what would make the flavour distinct. After all, Pugliese was made with the exact same ingredients, with only the addition of sugar. And Pugliese was made with a biga starter, so one might expect a more "distinct" flavour from that bread. Perhaps the use of whole wheat flour overwhelmed any distinct flavour. Or perhaps I just lack a discerning palate, but to me both Pugliese and Panini All'Olio just tasted like bread. Maybe I just needed to eat the dough! 😂
And then there was the "enriched with olive oil" part. In North America, when we speak of enriching food, it's generally by adding extra vitamins and minerals, not extra fat. But then, perhaps Europeans don't have the obesity epidemic that we have in North America. Nevertheless, I find it amusing when the authors use this phrase to refer to added fat.
Under the list of ingredients, the recipe states, "Makes 16 rolls". Then later, in step number 4, it states

... Divide into 12 equal pieces of dough and shape into rolls as described in steps 5, 6, 7 and 8.

I'm not sure how to get 16 rolls out of 12 pieces of dough, and there is no step 8. I suspect that originally they planned on a recipe that made 16 rolls with instructions for making a fourth shape in step 8, but they ran out of room and neglected to edit out all of the details. I wasn't sure if I should attempt to make 16 rolls or 12 since there was no way of knowing which quantity the ingredient amount was appropriate for. I did end up making 12 and they did not seem to be overly large. But I'm a North American and I have no way of knowing what size an Italian might make them. 
I did find that the water called for in the recipe was insufficient, and I ended up using closer to 1½ cups, rather than 1 cup. The dough was then a little too sticky, so probably around 1⅓ cups would be best. 
Now for the Italian names of the various shapes. Not having much experience with shaping rolls, mine are far from perfect, but that didn't affect the taste.
Tavalli - twisted spiral rolls, which I referred to as a twisted wreath.
Filoncini - finger-shaped rolls. My fingers don't look like this, so I described these ones as just a rolled up roll or looking like pigs in a blanket (sausages or wieners rolled up in bread dough or pie crust). My grandson said they looked like croissants and that's the one he chose to eat with his dinner. 
Carciofi - artichoke-shaped rolls. Since artichokes are not a regular part of my diet, I just said that they were the ones with cuts in them. 
Since there were only 4 of us here for Thanksgiving dinner, I still have 7 or 8 dinner rolls left... Plus part of the loaf of Pugliese from last week. One of the hazards of trying recipes when one lives alone. And one of the reasons why I'm not trying a new recipe more than once a week. Unfortunately, with the newer neighbourhood mailboxes, most people no longer have mailboxes on their homes, so I can't go around dropping off bread in people's mailboxes...

Monday 10 October 2022

Sew Fast

Some time ago, I promised my grandson a quilt for his card table tent. I had already made a flannel one to be the "floor" of his tent, but he needed one to cover up with. I had bought a nice fleece fabric to use as the backing (even though I had never used fleece backing before), figuring these lions were appropriate for my (not so) little man. 
I picked up the orange fabric first, since orange is his favourite colour and then found a black Crayola print. But eventually I decided that print was more suitable to use with a Crayola jelly roll I had. Then I found the animal print, but still needed a third fabric to make a 3-yard quilt. Teal is my grandson's second favourite colour, so I was happy when I found a teal fabric that I felt would work (it looks almost black in the picture). 
Next, I needed a pattern. I had already decided on a 3-yard quilt as they are generally quick and easy. I had already made two from Missouri Star Quilt Company's video, but I wasn't sure if I really liked the third option. And then I found this video from another quilter that I follow: 

And I decided that would work well with the fabrics I had. The 2 main fabrics are used in large enough pieces that I wouldn't be chopping the animal print so small that you could hardly tell what animals they were. And, of course, it would also showcase my grandson's favourite orange. 
When it came time for the quilting, I had a couple of cones of orange thread, but not one as vibrant as I wanted. I was placing my first order with Cleaner's Supply, and noticed that they sold Isacord thread. I had heard of Isacord thread before but had never used it. So, I asked about it in one of the longarm groups I'm in on Facebook. The input came back positive, so I ordered this cone of very vibrant orange. 

I also ordered some Schmetz ball point needles at the same time as I intended to use one for the quilting. That was one of the recommendations for quilting with a fleece backing when I asked in the longarm group. I didn't even know previously that Schmetz made needles that could be used on the longarm. 
Finally, I had to choose a quilting design. Another recommendation for quilting with fleece backing was to quilt a fairly big pattern. This is kind of a non-descript quilt, so I picked a rather non-descript pattern: Bumpity by Barbara Becker from Urban Elementz.
I had learned longarm quilting using Bumpity and I used it on my first few quilts back when I was renting longarms. I purchased it when I got my own longarm as it's a very easy design that works up quickly. But I actually haven't used it since those early days of learning longarming. Now I have. 
One of the nice things about buying metres of fabric instead of yards when doing a 3-yard quilt is that you have extra fabric and I had enough to do a double fold binding instead of just a single fold one, like in the pattern. I find if a quilt is going to wear out, the binding is one of the places this is likely to happen, so prefer the double binding.
One more thing to make for his card table tent and then his bedding will be complete: a pillow. But that will be another time. 


Sunday 9 October 2022

Attending Church

Historic St. Thomas Anglican Church, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Old St Thomas' Anglican Church - St Thomas, ON - Anglican and Episcopal Churches on Waymarking.com

"Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 NIV

I believe in attending church. And, up until the last several years, aside from when my nursing career prevented me from doing so, I attended every Sabbath, unless ill or vacationing in a location where there was no Adventist church to attend. The church I had been attending, and where my membership remains is an hour's drive from my home. For various reasons, I stopped attending there, and it just became more convenient to watch various ministries online. That was long before the pandemic started. I tried attending the local Adventist church, where I have had my membership in the past, but I generally left there frustrated, not fed and blessed. 

And now I'm home, struggling with anxiety and depression, and I really would like to be able to go back to church. However, with fuel prices being so high, and winter on the horizon, and me now having winter driving phobia, I don't really think going back to the church where I hold membership is a realistic option. 

I have attended the local church online a couple of times recently. I found it challenging because it's done via Microsoft Teams, which meant sitting at my computer with my headset on and my cat yelling at me in the background. When I watch other services, it's generally via my Roku on my TV in the living room and my cat can sit on my lap and not yell forlornly. 

I decided to attempt attending in person, where my cat - and the phone and whatever else - can't distract me. Our denomination has Sabbath School for all ages, including adults. So, I figured I would attend just Sabbath School at first and see how that went. Yesterday, even though I would rather not, I went to Sabbath School. I didn't want people making a big fuss over me or drawing attention to me, so was quite relieved that there was no greeter at the door. It's not a big church and there's not a large attendance, so I knew that even though I slipped in quietly, I would not go unnoticed to those on the platform. I sat down in the back pew with a woman I knew and we clasped hands briefly, greeted each other quietly and smiled. I tried to deal with the anxiety of being there by the 5-4-3-2-1 technique: find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, etc., going through the 5 senses. It wasn't working, so I stared at the carpet, which has a very pronounced pattern and pondered whether it would work as a quilting pattern, where to start, how to do it. That worked better at calming me than the other technique. Then the woman on the platform decided to make a point of welcoming a couple of people that "we haven't seen for a long time." I put my head down: "Please, no!" The first was one of her daughters who was home visiting. Then she mentioned me. By name. From the platform! I looked up scowling at her, hoping to shut her up. But instead, she said, "Yes, you! We know you tried to sneak in unnoticed and sit in the back pew." It's still painful, and I'm struggling not to cry as I'm typing this. But it wasn't till this morning, as I was messaging a friend to tell him what happened that I realized that that was abusive. It trully was! She may have thought it was perfectly acceptable because the old me would have been fine with it. Or maybe just mildly annoyed. And I believe (I hope) that she was just trying to be genuinely welcoming. But the anxious me most definitely was not okay with it. And how insensitive can we be to recognize that someone tried to sneak into church unnoticed, yet still deliberately draw attention to them? Oh Lord, help me not to be so insensitive, to recognize situations that make people uncomfortable and make sure I don't cause them and to do what I can to stop them. 

Nevertheless, I did end up staying through the Sabbath School lesson, but left before the closing hymn. That way I wouldn't have to deal with well-meaning people overwhelming me. 

This morning is the memorial service for my friend that died of COVID a couple of months ago. I fully intended to go, even though it would have been challenging for me. It's not the grief because grief is a normal part of the human experience and I'm not afraid of facing it. It's the anxiety. I really don't want to be with all of those people. I feel guilty for not going. I did send her husband an email expressing my condolences, but I would have liked to be able to be there for the family, to show my care and support. But after what happened yesterday, I just don't feel that I can. I don't even know if I will ever try to go back to that church again. 

Waves of Blue


As a general rule, I prefer to only purchase fabric with a purpose in mind. I then keep it, with all associated fabrics and the pattern in an extra large zip lock freezer bag, so that it's all together when I want to make the project. I'm not saying that I don't buy random fabrics - I probably do it more often than I should - but buying random fabrics puts me in the position where, when I finally come to use that fabric, I might not have enough for the pattern I chose. And since it may be several years - or more - since I purchased that fabric, there's little, if any, chance of getting more of the same fabric. I'm not saying that I haven't made some amazing quilts with random fabrics. It's just that I prefer to know what I'm going to use it for and how much I need before buying it. 
Nevertheless, having a stash of random fabrics does occasionally come in handy. I needed a blue quilt and I needed it quickly. I had no blue quilts finished or blue UFOs. But I did have this jelly roll in my stash. 
Determining what to do with it, I decided to do a bargello. Reviewing Jenny Doan's tutorial, I knew that wasn't going to work for what I wanted. I then went to my Eileen Wright book, Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts, and there was nothing in there that would work either. But I at least had a little bit of guidance to do it on my own. Doing some calculations, I determined that I needed a little more fabric to make the size I wanted, and found this blue flowered print in my stash. Cutting it into strips, I then started sewing strips together. 
I kept the order that the fabric strips came in, just adding the print in between. When it came time to decide how the design was going to go, I didn't want something perfectly symmetrical and basically just winged it as I went along. 
the first half of the quilt top
If I ever chose to do this again - without a pattern, that is - I'd like to do the PQRST wave of a normal sinus rhythm. I suppose that one should probably be in red...
While I did eventually have to go to the quilt shop to buy the fabric for the border and backing, I was able to get the majority of the quilt top done before that using the fabrics from my stash. 
I then had to choose a quilting design. I wanted one that showed flow and motion and portrayed water without being overly watery (if that makes sense). I had just recently purchased Waterworld by ClothWerx from Willow Leaf Studio and decided on that. 
I was very happy with the results. And I think the quilt is amazing. As something I designed myself and basically just threw it together on the fly, I'm pretty impressed with how it turned out. It helped to have a really amazing jelly roll that worked very well in the bargello technique. 
I've only ever done one other bargello, Chelsea Rose Bargello. It too used a jelly roll and I followed Jenny Doan's pattern. While I think that quilt is very pretty, it was made using distinct prints, rather than tonal fabrics. so I don't really find it as striking as this one. The prints interrupt the flow. 
As anyone who has been following my blog knows, I'm not that thrilled with fabric pre-cuts. I use them and still have quite a number in my stash, but, for the most part, I don't find them as functional as I would wish. Too often, there's a lot of fabric left over or wasted. This quilt, however, was the exception. I used the full width and length of each strip. There was not a single strip left over, and the only thing I cut off was the selvages. Win-win!

Sunday 2 October 2022

The Great Bread Making Adventure: Barley Bannock

As promised, I made bannock. I just didn't get it made on Friday, Canada's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I was too busy working on a quilt. So, this morning for breakfast, I had beans and bannock. I ground the barley in the grain grinder and started the beans in the slow cooker last night. The beans were ready this morning, just needed to add some salt and garlic. Then cooked up the Barley Bannock recipe from The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making  

It tuned out fine, but I really don't know what went wrong with the recipe. In the instructions, #3 says, "On a floured surface pat the dough out to form a round about 2cm/¾ in thick. Mark the dough into 4 wedges, using a sharp knife, if you prefer." My dough was more the consistency of batter and if I had tried to form it into a round on the counter, I would have ended up with a sticky mess on both my hands and the counter. And forget about trying to mark it into wedges... I just dumped the batter into the skillet and spread it out with the fork I had mixed it with. It worked. I checked and double checked the ingredients and amounts several times and I did not make any mistakes. The only thing I can think of is that maybe there was a lot of moisture in my barley flour. Although, I don't think this should have made that significant a difference. Maybe next time I will weigh the ingredients instead. 
The recipe calls for cream of tartar. Hmm, I don't think I've seen that since my childhood. I couldn't find it in my regular grocery store (No Frills), nor in Walmart, but finally found it in the Co-op. Otherwise, I would have had to figure out how to substitute the baking soda and cream of tartar with baking powder. I spent over $7 for a small jar! To replace the butter, I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, which is also not cheap, but I happened to have some in my freezer.
The book has this to say about bannock: 

"Bannock" is an Old English word of Celtic origin and was probably the first word used to describe bread, as long ago as the 5th century AD... It generally describes a type of flat, scone-like bread and in Scotland the two words "bannock" and "scone" are used interchangeably. Bannocks were originally unleavened breads, made with barley or oatmeal and cooked on a griddle. p. 54

"It is conventionally believed that Scottish fur traders called Selkirk settlers introduced bannock to the Indigenous peoples of North America during the 18th and 19th centuries... While bannock has its roots in Europe, some Indigenous nations in North America had versions of unleavened bread-like foods." This is from the online Canadian Encyclopedia article "Bannock". Read the whole article if you're interested in more of bannock's history in Canada and its association with indigenous people. 

I will now return to making Italian breads. The recipe for Focaccia calls for two 10" round, shallow cake or pizza pans. I couldn't find any. I found 9" cake pans and some 11" pans, which I assume were pizza/flatbread pans because of their low sides. But no ten inch. I do have a 10 inch Pyrex pie plate, and a 10" springform cake pan, which is definitely not shallow, so I don't think either of those will work. I haven't decided what I will end up using. I don't want to waste a lot of time running around looking for something, nor spend a lot of money that I'm not likely to use regularly. Still pondering...

UPDATE: In the interest of full disclosure, and your tastebuds, I decided I needed to update this post. When I first made the bannock and tasted it fresh, I did notice a metallic taste, but didn't consider it that significant and tried to shrug it off. Until I tasted it the next day. I reheated a piece in the microwave and couldn't finish the whole thing. I found the metallic taste so revolting! Could it be the cream of tartar? Why would people use that stuff when it tasted so horrible? Could it be one of those genetic things like cilantro, where only a small percentage of the population know how disgusting it is? I googled and found this: "It has a tinny, metallic taste..." (Taken from "What is Cream of Tartar", Cooking Clarified). So, now I will have to figure out how to substitute baking powder in the recipes that call for cream of tartar. And I guess I will be making a lot of play dough in order to use up my expensive jar. I have no intention of putting anything that revolting in my mouth again.