STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Off to Punkeydoodles Corner...

Now I realize there aren't too many people out there who know where Punkeydoodles Corner is, and likely many of you are thinking I am just making up a funny name- but it IS a real place. It is west of Kitchener Ontario, just outside the little town of New Hamburg. It is actually at the juncture of three counties, (Waterloo, Oxford and Perth if my memory serves me correct), which is where the "Corner" part comes in....I'm sure there's a good story to the "Punkeydoodles" part but I am not familiar with it...... It's beautiful farmland in this area, and home to Sandy's family. I am off tomorrow to attend her memorial service; there are a group of us going from Moncton, flying Westjet. It will be good to spend some time in that area, it's 15 years since I've been there.
This is one of my all time fav pics of Sandy - I took this sometime in the 80's on the family dairy farm at PC. Sandy is wearing her Dad's overalls... It sure won't be the same without her there... but we will be laying her ashes to rest on the grounds of a beautiful little stone church, just up the road from the farm. She will be back to the land she loved.
It's also Mennonite country- I love just driving through the countryside, looking at the farms and watching for horse-drawn buggies....I hope to get to Shakespeare, St. Jacobs and possibly Elmira, and into a few Quilt Shops, if I'm lucky . I'll give you a full report when I return...
Piece,
Linda
"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing each other" ~ de Crescenzo

Monday, April 27, 2009

A recycling idea or two...

What do you do with the spool when you finish a spool of thread? Do you throw it in the garbage? I used to, but when my children were in elementary school one of the kindergarten teachers asked me to save them for her.... and I still do. They use them with their wooden blocks and other "manips" for building things and improving fine motor skills. The teacher is thrilled when she sees me coming with another big bag of spools for her. Some of my fellow Guild members pass theirs on to me as well. I was quite surprised when I was told by friends who are elementary teachers that young parents today "can't be bothered" saving and recycling things for the classroom.. I can remember saving everything from toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls to soup can labels (for fundraising) to buttons, bread bag clips..you name it... So rather than throw out those lovely plastic spools (doesn't matter what type or brand of thread), why not contact your local elementary school and see if a teacher there might like them?
Another thing I recycle is the Ferroro Rocher plastic containers. I use them to store my Perle Cottons in. All sizes are useful. You can easily see what colors you have, and I like the lids which fit well.
I keep forgetting to tell you to visit my friend Marie Alton's site here and check out "Amy's Ride". Marie's niece Amy who at a young age lost her Mother to cancer, is riding in the "Ride to Conquer Cancer" - a 200K trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls on June 13 and 14, 2009. Amy is aiming to raise $3200.00 so Marie is pledging to help her out. Marie is selling "Beady Bits" - small items she has created from beads and will match all monies raised from what she sells. So why not stop by, look over the Beady Bits and choose one for yourself or a friend? They are only $5.00. There's one on it's way to me right now- I challenge you to purchase one too, and help Amy reach her goal.
Piece,
Linda
The greatest achievements are those that benefit not ourselves, but others.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a gorgeous day!! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I have spring blooms in my garden.... I love both of these little blue flowers- these Chionodoxa are in my side perennial bed- they are usually the first to bloom and I think they are just so cheerful looking. The others (below) are in a small bed on my front lawn, surrounding a huge rock. They are known as Siberian Squill or Scilla. The bulbs are small, and over the years they have multiplied and filled in quite an area. Lucky for me the squirrels are leaving them alone - they must not taste very good! We have a lot of squirrels, and they love "re-arranging" my bulbs- each year it's a surprise to see what will pop up where. They've done quite a job on the crocuses this year- they are now where they've never been before...keeps things interesting, I guess...

The Saint John River reached flood level yesterday. On Friday when I drove to Sackville, I followed the "old river route" through Maugerville and Sheffield, and there were numerous places where the river was only a few inches below the level of the pavement. Farmer's fields were all under water.. I saw many Osprey, Eagles and ducks.... and sandbags!

Hopefully with sunny weather forecast for the next few days, the waters will recede quickly and it won't be as devastating as the 2008 flood... last year was the worst in a decade.

Well. it's time to get off the 'puter and out to do a little garden clean-up...
Piece,
Linda

"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, and swallows circling with their shimmering sound; and frogs in the pool singing at night, and wild plum trees in tremulous white. Robins will wear their feathery fire, whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; and not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, if mankind perished utterly; and Spring herself when she woke at dawn would scarcely know that we were gone. " — Sara Teasdale






Friday, April 24, 2009

River's rising...

Well, it's Friday, and the sun is shining! Hurray! We've had a fair bit of rain, and the river is rising. They think it may reach flood levels (again!) today... and we're supposed to get really warm temps over the weekend..trouble for the flood zone- more snowmelt from northern NB...but sure nice for those of us who are longing for some real spring weather.
I'm off today on my last teaching trip for this season. I'll be home tomorrow night, and then I'll be in a frenzied state- getting ready for Mark to arrive home for the summer, and getting ready to head to Ontario. My flights are booked and the rental car is reserved, so at least the main things are done. But I still have canvassing to finish, two "Choir" practices next week - one for Ladies Choir and the other (at my house- what was I thinking??!!) for a group I used to sing with in the 70's- we are reuniting for one performance in a Variety Show at our old Junior High School which is being torn down and replaced with a new building. So, next week will be hectic...
Hope you all have a nice weekend.... Later....
Piece,
Linda

If you awake and see the sunrise bathing earth in red and gold, as you gaze you'll somehow find it brings a washing of the soul.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April showers bring May flowers...?

We are having very heavy rain at the moment... no sun forecast till week's end... This will not be good for the water levels on the Saint John River. I did not take pictures several weekends ago as I promised...the levels had gone down and it looked like the danger of bad flooding was possibly past.... But maybe we're not out of the woods yet, so to speak... If this rain continues and with the warm temps predicted for the weekend, the snow that still remains in the northern part of the province may be causing problems before we're safe from flooding. As I said before, I'm glad I'm high on a hill... But this rain sure will bring on the green grass.. my hubby can hardly wait to start mowing..he loves his mower....

Here are two more Stitch Samplers. These are both Featherstitch, which is my favourite stitch. My favourite "variation" is just to do a freeform design with Featherstitch as you will see on my Victorian stocking and on the cards. It's such a fun stitch to "dress up" with beads, French knots or a variety of variations, combinations and permutations!! On this first Sampler, from the top, you see a single row of plain Featherstitch, then a row of Double Featherstitch, followed by a row of Triple Feathersitch. The next row is what I call a "freeform" design. The fifth row has an extra "arm" or "branch" on each stitch - I call it "Branched Featherstitch". (I don't know if it has an "official name" or not...). The next row is called Maidenhair Stitch- a Featherstitch variation. The next row, which I have done in two different sizes, is Single Featherstitch - the arms all lie to one side, and it looks quite similar to Blanket stitch. The final row is Closed Featherstitch.
This second sampler, I have rotated to the right so you see the rows in a vertical format. From the right side, going left (yes I know, this seems backwards...), the first row - in a variegated thread - is referred to as Straight Single Upright Featherstitch. The next row (to left) shows two rows, worked back to back. When this is done, you get a stitch called "Feather Filling" . The third row is Feather Filling (3 rows back to back) with an added cross-stitch in another color to fill in between the rows. You could also use a seed bead, a French knot or other stitches. The next row is a Knotted Featherstitch (done in a Perle 5), you will likely have to click on the photo to get a closer view. The next row is a combination of two stitches- it is called Feather and Chain, and is a combo of those two stitches. You could substitute other stitches for the Chain stitch. Next is another type of knotted Featherstitch, known as Thorn Stitch. This is knotted on one side - it could be knotted on both... The final row is Straight Double Featherstitch.
This sampler was done as a result of an online class with Sharon Boggon. Sharon is a wonderful Aussie teacher who does online classes at www.joggles.com This one was called "Develop a Personal Library of Stitches." I'm sure it will be repeated again, probably later in the year. She has other classes on offer right now, beginning in June. You can see them here. Sharon's classes are wonderful and well worth taking...
In closing, I heard the loudest happiest-sounding robin tonight while walking/canvassing - he was chirping away- it sure sounded good to me!
Piece,
Linda
"Spring would not be spring without bird songs" ~ Francis M. Chapman

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I need more time...

I seem to be frantically trying to accomplish things .... so much to do and not enough time! I keep saying I wish I could find another 6-8 hours per day, just for ME; time when no one has to be fed, driven, needs laundry done or errands run.... I guess it would have to be between midnight and the wee hours of the morning... I realize it's NOT going to happen...
I'm away teaching again this coming weekend- my last class scheduled for now...Hurray! I love teaching, but it feels good to be done, too. Next weekend I will be in Ontario for Sandy's memorial service in her hometown, followed by burial near the family farm. I'm looking forward to a return visit, although I wish it were not for such a sad event. It will be good to see the rest of her siblings again.
There is so much work waiting to be done outside- my perennial beds are all popping up and will soon need my attention- I try to top-dress them all with my "special recipe" mixture of compost, bonemeal, sheep manure and a few other secret ingredients. Each plant gets a shovelful or two...
Another job I must finish this week is my door to door canvassing for the Canadian Cancer Society. I do it every year, but this year am doing two routes instead of my usual one, and I'm thinking of Sandy with every step. I got a good start last evening, and people were generous. Please give, when a canvasser comes to your door this month. It matters not the amount. Every dollar helps.
To end on a positive note, Laura found out yesterday she will be one of the Black Kat Scholar Award recipients. This is the highest award of recognition for Honours students at FHS, who have been heavily involved in school activities, done over 100 volunteer hours in the community, etc. We are very proud of her accomplishments. She also received notice in the mail of two university scholarships.... so it was a good day!!
I'm nearly done a second Stitch Sampler of Featherstitch, so am hoping to post pics of them tomorrow... Until then...

Piece,
Linda


"Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil" ~ Heber

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm back...

Thank you for being patient.. I have returned from a very difficult few days away for my friend's wake and funeral. It was tough- I got home late last night feeling totally drained, both physically and emotionally. I have never hugged so many people and shed so many tears. During what had to be the hundredth hug her Mom and I shared, her Mom whispered to me "I feel I'm drawing great strength from you"... that made it all worthwhile - knowing I was helping her through it. Guess thats why I feel so drained.
It was sooo hard to get out of bed this morning, after yet another night with very little sleep, to teach a full day class. I sure did not feel like standing on my feet all day, but got through it. I don't think I gave them my usual level of energy and enthusiasm, but they all seemed to leave happy.. Then I had to rush home, gobble some supper and go to a friends' home to babysit a 3 month old little guy. Holding that sweet little boy in my arms for several hours was just what I needed! Gazing into his big blue eyes, I was remembering how much Sandy loved her Ben, and being a Mother. And she was SUCH a great Mom....
Well, I'm exhausted, and ready to head to bed. I sure could use a good solid 8 hours or more of sleep. I hope to be back on here in a day or two, showing you some more Stitch Samplers. And I must get back to some more stitching on my Stocking....Stay tuned...

Peace,
Linda

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy - they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom" ~ Marcel Proust

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I am so very sad today, as I have just lost a good friend. Sandy is a friend from my younger days- we taught together in the late 70's and early 80's, we lived together for a while, and we travelled together. Oh, we had some good times... We bought our first houses at the same time... we had a fabulous three weeks touring Ireland in 1982...we had so much fun taking a group of High School students on an exchange trip to Meadow Lake Saskatchewan in 1985.... I did her wedding photography...and we were pregnant at the same time... it seems like just yesterday....

Sandy was diagnosed last October with cancer...no real symptoms to speak of, other than she was tired and was losing some weight. After a sudden abdominal pain struck her at school one day, and got worse as the day went on, she went to the Doctor. Long story short- several days later she awoke from surgery to find she had lost a significant portion of her bowel and was told the cancer had already moved to her liver. I have to say, over the next few months she showed tremendous strength and determination to "give it her best shot" and fight a good fight. I admired her courage, but then again I have always admired Sandy.

She was such a beautiful person- not just physically beautiful- tall, slim with gorgeous hair, snapping brown eyes and an infectious smile.... but spiritually beautiful as well. She was a woman of great strength and faith, with strong values and an amazing knowledge of music, literature, politics, history, you name it... she knew the answer. She had a tremendous rapport with her students, especially her Band students, and not surprisingly, she had a very wide circle of friends. Everyone loved Sandy- she was just so much FUN to be with. And she could always make you laugh...

She was truly one of the most radiant brides I have ever seen... I was so very nervous to be the "official" photographer at her wedding. I had no formal training per se; it was just a serious hobby for me. But she assured me they just wanted lots of casual pics. I did get some good ones, which you see here - her bouquet was SO gorgeous- like it had just been picked from the garden. The family home was a large dairy farm outside of Kitchener Ontario. I had visited the farm a number of times and felt like I was part of the family, having called her parents Mum and Dad right from our first meeting-they are just that kind of people. I still call them Mum and Dad, and they call me their fourth daughter.... and now their hearts are breaking.... they have lost their firstborn. How do you comfort someone in that situation? There is nothing you can say to "make it better"...
This is her son Ben- he is just a few months older than my Laura. When I took this photo at the wedding, he was hot and tired and just fed up with smiling for pictures .. He is now a very tall, strong, handsome young man, still with a head full of blonde curls, a football player just finishing his first year at University. And he lost his Mum this morning. My heart aches for him...

Life just doesn't seem fair sometimes. I guess it's good that we don't know what's around the next corner. I do believe what they say- "with age comes wisdom".... I have learned over the last few years that we truly should live each day like it's our last - do the things we want to do... take the trips we wish to take... use the good china and crystal... and not put things off till tomorrow.
So- Carpe Diem - seize the day! Life is short - don't take it for granted. Don't be afraid to say "I love you".
Goodbye my beautiful Sandy... I love you.... Surely you are one of God's angels now, trying out your new wings
Peace and love,
Linda
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter everyone!

Happy Easter! I refuse to talk about the white stuff that is falling from the sky today...at least it is pretty much melting as it hits the ground- other parts of the province are experiencing more of a blizzard...so we are lucky.... it could be worse!
I've finished two books this week, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews - can't say it's one of my favorites. Laura was reading it for her Cdn. Lit. class - I'm glad it was she and not I who had to write an essay on it... The other I really enjoyed - also borrowed from her Cdn. Lit teacher: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This is a great story- the kind I really enjoy- fiction, but based on factual historical events. It's the story of an evangelical preacher from the southern USA, who journies to the Belgian Congo as a Missionary, with his wife and 4 daughters. The story begins in 1959 and details their difficulties with the language, food and complex culture not to mention the ever present threat of malaria, snakebite and other "challenges"...The story is set against one of the most the dramatic political events of the time- the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium. I found this a great read- hard to put down.... now I'd like to read more of Kingsolver's books.
I have a turkey in the oven, and he's calling me...so have to cut this short. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday.

Peace,
Linda

"A room without books is like a body without a soul" - Cicero

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Bunny Tales...or is that Tails?

Every Easter I remember the excited squeals when Mark and Laura were hunting for Easter Eggs as children. I never have been one for gifts at Easter, but we did always hide several small packages of the Cadbury Mini Eggs for them to find on Easter morning. Each year the hiding places got progressively more difficult as the Bunny seeemd to "spread the loot" over a larger area in the house. The kids LOVED it; in fact the first year I didn't do it because I thought they were too old- I was met with great opposition.... I expect, now at 20 and 18, they would still like to do "The Hunt".... They just might not bounce out of bed quite so early to do it...
When Mark was around 6 or 7, he decided he wanted to catch the Easter Bunny in a trap. I tried to talk him out of it, reminding him of all the disappointed children who would not find eggs, if HE trapped the EB. He could not be disuaded.... So I let him go to it. He set up his "trap" in the hall right outside his bedroom door.. his laundry basket propped up, with a large carrot inside. He was sure the Bunny would be caught when he hopped inside to retrieve the carrot. His disappointment with no "catch" was always short-lived, as he delighted in the trail of Mini Eggs from the trap throughout the house. He did this for several years in a row, each time with no success. Finally one year I figured he deserved a "reward" for his persistance: I rememebered that I had a small white rabbit skin (no idea where it came from). I cut several small tufts of fur from the skin and carefully placed them under the edge of the "tripped trap", removed the carrot, and did the usual egg trail.... He was SO excited that he almost caught the EB - here was the proof! That was the last year for the trap...."close" was good enough!
Look what's popping up in my garden - hope the EB doesn't decide to munch on these on his way by our house...

Peace,
Linda
Here comes Peter Cottontail.....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Easter Bunny may get his feet wet...

Things are slowly warming up here in New Brunswick... the temps are gradullay warming, the snow is finally disappearing (not fast enough!), we can see a little green here and there....not much mind you, but a bit.... A month from now the grass will be green and my backyard will have swathes of purple violets (our provincial flower) and my apple trees will be budding. There is nothing like opening your bedroom and bathroom windows and looking out over the apple trees in bloom- the scent is heavenly and it makes me remember my Dad. He planted these trees with HIS father, when he was just a little gaffer. Aahhhhh spring! I can't wait. I will certainly be sharing some photos with you, when the trees are in bloom.
I am grateful that my Grandfather had the foresight to buy land on a hill - especially at this time of year, when the Saint John River is close to flooding it's banks once again. Last year was bad - the flood damage was extensive and many families who live along the river suffered much damage. Our family is lucky to be high and dry- the Mactaquac Dam would have to let go, and the whole city would be under water, before we would be in any danger. The "family farm" - all 67 acres - was originally a Fox Ranch... but thats a story for another day. Our parents are both gone now, but my two brothers and I live side by side (a rare thing these days) and they now run the family business. ... safe and dry on a hill.....

OK, I'm getting sidetracked here.... this was supposed to be about the Easter Bunny. I was looking at my bowl of smocked eggs this morning, amazed that a year has passed so quickly - last year Easter was early, in March. Laura was in Ottawa on a weeklong program at the Terry Fox Center - "Encounters with Canada" is a great program for highschool youth, bringing young people from across Canada together for a week to explore todays issues and problems, as well as the opportunity to meet others from all over the country. She returned home on Easter Sunday, (after a long 40 hours with no sleep) by train...quite the experience.... a week that she will long remember...friendships that will be long-lasting..... Anyway, another year is gone.. and spring is upon us again, with rising floodwaters..the Easter Bunny better be careful where he "trods"..or he'll have muddy wet feet.... Speaking of bunny paws, tomorrow I'll tell you the story of bunny tracks at our house when Mark and Laura were little....

I'll get out and get some pics of rising waters over the weekend....
Piece,
Linda
Hippity Hoppity, Easter's on it's way....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who thinks up those names?

I think I have decided what I want to be in my next life.. a person who thinks up color names.... you know- those yummy sounding names that are given to the various shades on a paint colors strip - or the colors of hand-dyed threads.. I wonder what such a person is called? A color-ologist? Today I received my long-awaited order from Treenway Silks on Saltspring Island in B.C. I ordered their color sample cards, for their 100 hand-dyed solid colors. They are gorgeous! I admired each individual card which held 20 colors, stroked them, loved them... Then I started reading the color names.... Sun Dance, Salmonberry, Persimmon. Paprika. Pondicherry, Shelly Belly, Ballet Slippers.... thats just on the first card - the yellows, golds, oranges, rusts, etc. Listen to the Blue's names... Silk Pyjamas. Periwinkle, Love-in-a-mist, Persian Night, Winter Solstice, Mystery Harbour, Blueberry Haze, Ice Poppy, Dragonfly, Mermaid Tears....don't they all just sound yummy enough to eat?? Wouldn't that be a great job - thinking up these names? Wonder where I would apply?
Stitching with silk threads is often like sliding a hot knife through butter. My most favorite silk thread is Silk Buttonhole Twist - it is a fine, fairly tightly twisted thread and such a pleasure to stitch with. I love YLI silk buttonhole twist and am always on the look-out for it - it isn't easy to find around here. An alternative is the SBT from Treenway Silks - they dye their own 1oo solid colors and also a gorgeous range of hand-painted variegated threads - 74 in all, designed by Judith Baker Montano. What I like best about these threads is that the spacing between the color changes is short- when you are Crazy Quilting, and your seam is only 5" long, a thread that has 12" of one color before it changes, isn't going to give you much variation... Of course, all these colors are available in silk ribbon as well.
I have tried a few other silk threads - Silk Perle, Silk floss, Serica, and 8/2 Reeled Silk; of these the Buttonhole Twist wins hands down, for me... I guess I like the finer highly twisted thread. I find some of the heavier threads "wear" as you pull them through your fabrics over and over...
Anyway, what a pleasure to receive this package of vibrant color today! Just like a child getting that new box of 64 Crayolas - remember how exciting that used to be? For me, that was always the best present ever!
I also ordered 4 of their Web Specials- combos of Silk Ribbon for $3.00 each! The Web specials are always worth checking out! Find them at http://www.treenwaysilks.com/ under "What's New". These combos are made up of 3-5 colors., and you get 5-7 yds. in total. These ones are called, clockwise from top left, Squaring the Circle, Arcadia, Cataline and Lady Inger. The colors are luscious, as you can see, and the ribbon is of high quality.
There is a great deal of information on the Treenway website about silk in general, as well as info on their products. Check it out!!
I have always had a fascination with anything from the Orient -silk, kimonos, Geishas...this probably stems from the fact I had a Japanese penpal when I was young. She wrote such interesting letters and the envelopes were always covered with the most beautiful stamps. I still have every one of them! I've often wondered if I could ever track her down again- I still remember her name- Shizue Kakinuma. We wrote back and forth for about 4 years, and then sadly it petered out.. Is it any wonder that I love the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, and books such as Gail Tsukiyama's "Women of the Silk" and "The Language of Threads". These two novels tell the story of Pei, a young Chinese girl whose impoversihed family sells her to work in the silk mills of rural China. The author paints a moving, unforgettable portrait of strong women fighting to survive and make a life for themselves in difficult times. Both worthwhile reads..
Well, enough rambling for tonight...
Piece,
Linda
"Whatever you are, be a good one." Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New notions from Fons and Porter

I'm home safe and sound after a teaching day at The Quiltery in Riverview. It is always such a pleasure to teach at Martha's shop. She has a wonderful classroom - well lit and good space for each individual student. Her shop has a good varied fabric stock, books, magazines and patterns, and a great supply of notions.
I want to tell you about a few new notions I saw while there- you will all want them! Both are by Fons and Porter. First - a pair of gloves for machine quilting. They are comfortable to wear and the fingers and palms are covered with the little "dots" that grip. They are 100% cotton and machine washable, they even come in several color choices. And best of all - they are only $3.99!! If you machine quilt, you will want a pair of these! They really do help reduce tension in your neck and hands.
The other item is a fine lead mechanical marking pencil that washes out. It has a soft grip for added comfort and an eraser. The strong ceramic 0.9MM white lead is specially formulated for fabric and made from water soluble dyes. I have to say I was VERY impressed with this pencil. Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE the General's marking pencils - in fact I convinced Martha to stock them a few years back. But she and I both agree- this one has Generals' beat!! You can buy extra packages of leads- both white and dark, also extra erasers. Now thats impressive! My students today cleaned her out, but she has more coming in next week!

Those of you readers who live in N.B., remember that Martha is one of our Pfaff dealers, and she provides wonderful service. Her husband Peter does all the machine repairs and servicing, and unless you have a major problem, it is same day service -ie bring your machine in in the morning, and you'll get it back later the same day! You can't beat that! AND Peter knows his stuff!!

Well, thats it for today. My little plug for The Quiltery at 630 Pinewood Road in Riverview! One of my favorite shops. You can visit them at http://www.thequiltery.com/

Piece,
Linda

"To love another person is to see the face of God" - Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Stitch Samplers...

Well, we survived April 1 and the dreaded computer worm did not materialize.. at least as far as we know. We've been having a few computer problems, so you always wonder just what is going on...do we have a virus? Is this anything to worry about? Or is it just something weird happening... The blog problems I was having just corrected themselves, eventually... I guess that's a good thing??
I'm off again tomorrow, to Moncton this time. I'll be teaching on Saturday at The Covered Bridge Quiltery. It is one of my most favourite quilt shops and it's always a pleasure to teach there; I do a Machine Quilting class there on a fairly regular basis. It seems when I'm away two weekends in a row, I don't get much sewing or stitching done in between. This week is no exception. Not only the usual laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, meals, etc. etc., but also had to finish canvassing for Kidney Foundation, did the Daffodil thing for the Cancer Society Monday night, Choir practice Tuesday night, haircut, assembling info for Guild newsletter, there just seems to be an endless list of things "to be done"... Most days I wonder where the time went... So, instead of showing you anything I've done ( I'm sure you don't want to see my laundry or ironing!! haha) I'll share with you several more "Stitch Samplers"...
These "samplers" are a wonderful way to "play" with a stitch - to see what happens if you vary the stitch or stretch it out, stitch it closely together, layer it, stack it, etc. I am currently doing another online course with Aussie CQ teacher Sharon Boggon through http://www.joggles.com/ . Sharon does wonderful courses, well worth taking. This one is called "Develop a Personal Library of Stitches" and it is just what I have described here, taking a stitch and playing with it to get variations and different looks. If you do this on a sampler, and keep track of what you have done, then you have it to refer back to later on. Although I have only been reading the lessons - I'll get to the actual stitching later on - I have already learned a lot - new stitches and many variations.
So here you see, in the first sampler above, very simple Herringbone variations. I have used a variegated cotton thread. In the second sampler (above left), I have done a simple row of Herringbone as a base, then added to it. I've again just used very simple additions - straight stitch, French knots, detached Chain stitch, etc. See what you can do by adding to a basic stitch? They all look quite different. (Does anyone think the second last row from bottom looks like a row of Mickey Mouse heads? )
The third sampler- to the right- is again very simple rows of Cretan stitch - one of my fav stitches.
I can't wait to get back at these samplers to do more, and do more interesting /complex variations and combinations..and permutations?? haha
That's all for today, folks!
Piece,
Linda
Blessed are they who can laugh at themsleves, for they shall never cease to be amused.
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