A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Nothing much

 Nope, I have nothing to report.  One more hat made and part of one grandie sweater knitted, torn out, knitted and torn out again.  Quite boring, really.  

What I have been doing is an extensive online search to try to find reflective yarn - not an easy thing to locate I'm finding.  #1 son walks home in the dark from work and of course insists on wearing pretty much black from head to toe and then wonders why drivers can't see him.  He's been 'touched by a car' at least twice and luckily wasn't hurt beyond some bruising either time.  Hopefully he's come to the realization that drivers simply can't see him and he can't assume they do.  Anyway, being a Mother-Who-Worries I thought knitting him a hat that was reflective might help.  Oddly, it's easy to find neon glow-in-the-dark yarn which I know he would NEVER wear but finding the reflective version is really difficult.  I finally managed, with the help of my online knitting group, to track some down through Hobbii and have some on order.  They also suggested I try a product by Kreinik called 'Reflective Yarn' which you hold together with the yarn you're using.  Of course finding a Canadian source was impossible (what else is new!) so I have coughed up the big bucks to order from the US.  As usual, the postage is almost twice as much as the thread itself, but I was gratified to discover that at least they were willing to send it here.  We'll see which option works the best.  Of course, making the hat(s) could simply be a moot point if he does his usual and gives his warm things to homeless people he thinks needs it more than he does.  

- There are a number of fun ideas for gifts HERE, most of which I haven't seen before.

- Seeing THESE gave me another 'awwww' moment.  As did THESE.

- And THIS just plain made my jaw drop!  I can't imagine doing it.

- THIS is another of those 'awwwww' things!

Today the quote is from Plato..."No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth"

Friday, October 27, 2023

Switching gears

 The Christmas box has some new additions as you can see by this...

The pattern is THIS one and I'm using whatever worsted-weight yarn I have.  The pattern comes in many size options and the hats themselves are incredibly stretchy so will fit pretty much any size head.

 Remember my asking you to think about voting for my quilts in the American Quilter's Society online show?  Well, they've posted the top vote-getters by region and you can see those HERE.  Mine didn't come out on top but I was hugely thrilled with the numbers mine did get (and thanks to all of you who voted whether you voted for me or not).  If you're interested, the top Canadian vote getter received 304 votes and mine, by comparison,...'Untitled' (the rusty truck) got 92,  'Cobwebs and Splinters' got 116 and 'Cabin in the Snow' received 196.  If you're interested in seeing more, you can sign up HERE to receive 16 daily emails with a selection of the quilts each day.

- I rather like THIS and might have to try my hand at making one at some point.

- If you're a card player or know someone who is, perhaps THIS might come in handy.

- THIS technique intrigues me.

- There are lots of suggestions HERE for some easy DIY gifts.

This quote is attributed to Budda..."In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you"

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Ho Ho.... gulp!!

 Well, the battle was resolved and this little (heavy!) beauty is now sitting on my sewing room table waiting for me to figure out how to use her.  It's our Christmas present to each other (hah!) but I get to play with her beforehand.  She came with all sorts of 'foots' that I haven't a clue how to use, plus she has a much bigger table than the Brother does.  I don't know exactly how much she weighs but she certainly is far 'chubbier' than the Brother.  See how pretty she is?....

                                                   Janome 5300QDC

Now, folks, how about you help me with some suggestions for her name.  She needs a name!!

- And if you want a few minutes of pure joy, go HERE and watch the video (thanks Maywyn for this one!)

- Some of you might like to try THIS technique.

- Yet more proof that my mind works in mysterious ways and you just never know what I might find interesting...HERE.

Today your quote is from David Suzuki..."We have become the impatient species, too busy to let nature replenish itself and too puffed up with our own sense of important to acknowledge our utter dependence on its generosity"

Monday, October 23, 2023

And the battle is on

 And, yes, that title was tongue in cheek (sort of).  Resident Chef and I have, over the past few years, gotten away from buying gifts for each other for Christmas beyond just a token one or two little things to open Christmas morning.  We have reached the point in our lives where we don't NEED anything so it seems rather silly to spend money on 'stuff' just to say we did.  Well, he knows that I've been saving my money to get myself a new sewing machine; THIS one to be exact.  Now, I definitely do NOT need a new sewing machine because there's absolutely nothing really wrong with the one I have.  But...I WANT it.  It does more than my current has more's a Janome.  Some of you might remember my mourning the loss of my previous Janome when it fell off my sewing table and bent the drive shaft beyond recall.  That Janome sewed all those recycled denim jackets with nary a problem and never a spa trip to the repair shop.  I loved that machine ('scuse me while I go in search of a tissue to mop the tears).  He knows I've not been happy with any of the machines I've had since and he also remembers that the reason the Janome fell off the table in the first place is because he forgot to anchor the table top properly.  So...over the weekend the subject of what to get each other for Christmas arose and he insists that we should just go ahead and get that new machine, despite the fact that I don't have enough money yet and that the machine is for me and not for him.  I suspect he will win the battle but that doesn't mean I won't feel guilty about spending that much on just a sewing machine.  

He harvested the last of his little balcony garden and arrived in my sewing room doorway to show me this...

He had a bumper crop of peppers this year despite the damage from the storm and says he thinks he has enough in the freezer now to last us the winter.  Not bad for growing on the balcony!

- THIS is a rather cute little fellow.

- HERE are a number of great uses for vinegar.

- I'm not a weaver, but thought those of you who are might appreciate reading THIS article.

- Not being a sane quilter per se I don't know if many of you would find THIS tip useful but it seems to me that it's rather brilliant.

Today is another quote from an unknown source..."Life is so short.  We spend so much time sweating the small stuff, worrying, complaining, gossiping, comparing, wishing, wanting and waiting for something bigger and better instead of focusing on all the simple blessings that surround us every day.  Life is so fragile and all it takes is a single moment to change everything you take for granted.  Focus on what's important and be grateful.  You are blessed.  Believe it and live your life and leave no regrets"

Friday, October 20, 2023


 Today, instead of a picture (because I don't really have much to show at the moment), I thought I'd share this wonderful poem by Caitriona Loughrey....

Barely the day started and
it's already six in the evening.
Barely arrived on Monday
and it's already Friday.
.. and the month is already over.
.. and the year is almost over.
.. and already 40, 50 or 60 years
of our lives have passed..
.. and we realize that we lost
our parents, friends.
.. and we realize it's too late
to go back..
Let's try, despite
everything, to enjoy
the remaining time..
Let's keep looking for
activities that we like..
Let's put some color in
our grey..
Let's smile at the little
things in life that put
balm in our hearts..
And despite everything,
we must continue to enjoy
with serenity this time we
have left..
Let's try to eliminate the
I'm doing it after..
I'll say after..
I'll think about it after..
We leave everything for
later like " after ′′ is ours.
Because what we don't
understand is that ~
Afterwards, the coffee
gets cold..
afterwards, priorities change..
Afterwards, the charm is
Afterwards, health passes..
Afterwards, the kids grow up.
Afterwards parents get old..
Afterwards, promises are
Afterwards, the day becomes
the night.
Afterwards, life ends.
And then it's often too late.
Let's leave nothing for
Because still waiting to see
later, we can lose the
best moments, the best
experiences, best friends,
the best family..
The day is today..
moment is now..
We are no longer at the
age where we can afford
to postpone what needs
to be done right away.
It Looks Like An Eternity,
But It's A Short Trip..
Enjoy Life And Always
Be Kind..
- Caitriona Loughrey

Today's quote..."Don't offer a lecture to a person who needs a hug"

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

A toy...or a tool?

 Some would call this thing a toy but I call it a handy dandy tool for knitters and crocheters (and no, it's not my original idea!).  When I count rows I always have a piece of paper or a notebook for that purpose but often I misplace the piece of paper.  I heard about using a Pop It toy for counting rows and I can honestly say where was it all my life?  You can read more about it by going HERE.  I got mine in a discount store so they should be readily available.

- If you go HERE you'll find a number of ideas for afghan designs.

- If you have some bulky yarn in your stash and wonder what to do with it, perhaps THIS might give you an idea (scroll down for free pattern)

- Seeing THIS brought back memories (but also made my teeth ache at just the thought of eating it!)

- Making one (or more!) of THESE would be cute for fall.

Today the quote is from Nelson Mandela..."There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living"

Monday, October 16, 2023


 We have a finish!!!


This one is titled 'Abandoned Blues' - a play on words of sorts, referencing the fact the house is abandoned and so were the jeans I used to create it.  Measures approx. 22x30".

- THIS is quite pretty  - I envision it as a mug rug.

- Have a peek through the creations by THIS amazing artist!

- THIS would keep someone toasty warm over the winter.

- This is something some of you might find of interest...

Today's quote is from Bob Marley..."Some people feel the rain, others just get wet"

Friday, October 13, 2023

There's a border!

 I've added the border to the landscape and have made the executive decision that there will be a small amount of embroidery in the grass area.  I'd really like to include some dimensional flowers but not sure if this particular design lends itself to them.  

- Have a peek at the non-fattening offerings found HERE (and while you're there, visit her other galleries too!)

- THIS might be something you would like to try sometime.

- Making one (or more) of THESE would add to your fall decorating.

- Who wouldn't want to do dishes in one of THESE???

Today's quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson..."Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.  He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety"

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Can you see it??

 Yes, can you see it?  The progress made on the landscape??  

I know it's hard to see, but the quilting has pretty much been done plus borders have been added.  Still have to add some more details and the jury is out whether I will add hand embroidery to this one.  I'm leaning towards not, but will decide once I finish the borders.  

- Some of you might have fun playing with THIS technique.

- THESE would be really pretty this time of year (at least in this hemisphere!)

Today's quote is from Mark Twain..."The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why"

Monday, October 09, 2023

Some progress

Here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving
this Thanksgiving
to my Canadian friends!

 I've done a bit more to the denim landscape as you can see from this photo.....

Most of the detailing has been done on the house and I'm starting to quilt the background.  

- Barbara posted about THIS on her blog and I thought it was interesting enough to share with you.

- THESE made me smile, although I don't know how useful they'd actually be.

- THESE could go along with the snowman I showed you the other day!

- I can think of more uses for THESE and I expect you can too.

Today the quote is from Rumi..."Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder"

Friday, October 06, 2023

Afternoon trippin' - and another beginning

 The weather here has been spectacular the past few days so on the spur of the moment Wednesday afternoon we decided to take a little drive north to see the fall colours.  

Above, just a few of the trees (hard to find beautiful ones
not spoiled by things like hydro lines AND in an
area where it's safe to pull off).  

Below is a little gem called Furnace Falls that we
last visited when we were dating.  On that occasion
we watched two guys try to canoe over the falls.
Not exactly the brightest idea because the canoe split
in two and they were left sitting in the falls.  
We tried very hard not to laugh.

Remember that pile of denim I showed you a few days ago?  Well, another landscape has started...

I've been toying with the thought of trying to do one in denim so now is the time.  Inspiration photo is this one by Dale Stewart (and once again used with his kind permission).

- There's a great tutorial HERE for making perfect circles for applique.

- If you happen to be turning your thoughts to making some Christmas ornaments this year, perhaps something HERE might spark your imagination.

- And THIS too!

Today's quote..."May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten"

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Chug, chug, chugging away

 First of all, thank you so much for visiting the online quilt show and for voting for my work.  There are lots of quilts to see there so hopefully you don't blame me TOO much for sending you down the rabbit hole! (If you missed it, and wonder what I'm talking about, check my previous post!)

My knitting needles are smokin' these days and here are a couple of the things I've managed to complete...

Two grandsons, both in to Minecraft, will be
getting these hats.  Pattern is THIS one.

Our wee granddaughter will be getting
this one.  Pattern is from HERE. I added the crocheted
flower just for fun.

And, finally, there's this dish/wash cloth...

I cobbled the pattern for it using the basics from a couple different patterns.  If you'd like to make one, here's the pattern...

Cast on 45 stitches
K 3 rows
Row 1:  K
Row 2:  K3, * K1, S1 * Repeat between * across to last 3 sts, K3
Row 3:  K
Row 4: K 2, *S1, K1*, repeat between * across to last 3 sts, K3
Repeat in pattern until square, ending with a Row 1 and then 3 more knit rows.  Bind off.  The K3's and the 3 rows of knitting creates a border.

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist!

- THIS would be an easy little project that might be useful.

- If you're a tea drinker, perhaps save your bags so you can make something similar to THESE (clickable to embiggen to see better details).

- THIS is a rather pretty scarf pattern.

Today's quote..."Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces"

Monday, October 02, 2023

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

 Over the weekend Resident Chef and I pooled our abilities and created these...

Six jars of goodness disguised as zucchini relish.  It's a favourite in our family so a lot of these will be gifted at Christmas time.  If you're interested in making some for yourself, here's the recipe...


5 – 8 medium zucchinis
3 stalks celery
2 – 3 medium onions
3 red peppers
1/3 c. pickling salt
2 ½ c. white sugar
3 ½ c. white vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon EACH of celery & mustard seeds

Chop zucchini, onions, celery and peppers – enough to equal 12 cups of vegetables.  Add additional zucchini or red peppers as needed.  Combine in large pot with 1/3 c. pickling salt.  Place a plate on top and weight down.  Let sit overnight.

Drain and rinse well and drain again.  Prepare jars  by heating in a 230 degree oven (keep hot). 

Combine sugar, vinegar, garlic and spices.  Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add vegetables and bring back to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  Place in sterilized jars.  Process in covered boiling water bath for 15 mins.  Remove lid, turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes before removing jars.

Makes between 5 and 6 pint jars.

And, I haven't been slacking in the creative department and have created these hand warmers, also destined for the Christmas box...

Pattern is pretty easy and I used the tutorial found HERE (there's a link to the printable label as well).

- THIS is a totally shameless request on my part but it will also lead you to seeing some pretty incredible quilts.  I have three of my pieces in the voting in the AQS QuiltWeek contest and I'd love votes if you're so inclined.  Simply click on the 'Canada' designation and you'll find three of my pieces included - 'Cabin In The Snow'; 'Cobwebs & Splinters' and an Untitled (an old rusty truck.  TIA (and do feel free to vote on any of the others you like!!).

- Have a peek through the galleries of THIS artist.

- You can tell I have 'that' date in my mind, so THIS caught my eye for a fun little gift.  

- And, in yet another instance of you never knowing what you'll find here, perhaps printing THIS and keeping it in your car would be a good idea.

- THESE are so cute!  And reusable too.

Today's quote..."When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills"