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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year and Goodbye Turkey!

Well here we are at the last day of 2010! Can you believe it? Time sure does fly. I wish you all a very Happy New Year, a year full of good health, peace, happiness and prosperity. A year that brings you all you are wishing for.. hoping for... Thanks to all my followers and occasional readers for making my Blogging worthwhile- I enjoy and appreciate your comments and emails. I hope you'll continue to follow my ramblings in 2011.
If you are out celebrating tonight, please pass over the car keys to someone else and get yourself home safely. As for me, I'll likely be curled up with a good book and Ollie on my lap....

At the request of one of my readers, here is the recipe for Turkey Broccoli Braid that I mentioned yesterday. This recipe came from a Pampered Chef party a number of years ago. It's a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken or turkey. Basically it's a salad-type mixture of chicken or turkey baked in a Pillsbury crescent dough crust. Quick, easy and yummy...

Turkey Broccoli Braid

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped fairly small
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pkgs. refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375F. Chop chicken or turkey, broccoli and red pepper. Place in mixing bowl along with grated cheese. In a smaller bowl, combine mayo, garlic, salt and dill. Stir well to blend. Add dressing to turkey mixture, stirring well to coat.

Open and unroll 1 pkg. of crescent rolls along length of your largest cookie sheet, placing it to one side rather than right down the middle of sheet. Do not seperate rolls, but rather, use your fingers to push dough together along perforations. Repeat with second pkg., laying second dough lengthwise beside the first, again pushing dough together with fingers to "seal" along perforations and joining well the two packages down the middle "seam". **

Spread filling evenly lengthwise down the "middle" of your dough. Now on each side of filling, cut dough horizontally into strips about 1-1.5 inches wide, stopping an inch or so from the filling. Lift one strip on each side across filling to meet in center, and twist together one "turn". Continue down the length of braid until all filling is covered with strips of dough; tuck ends up to form a rim at each end. Brush egg white over dough using pastry brush and sprinkle with almonds. Bake about 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Yield - 10 servings.

** After making this several times, I decided there was a bit too much crust for my liking. Now when I add the second pkg of dough, I cut off a lengthwise strip of almost half the second pkg. I roll this up and just make several smaller crescent rolls from it, baking them at the same time. I like it better with a bit less crust, but try it with the full 2 pkgs and see how you like it.

Here is another recipe you might like to try if you still have some turkey left. I have no photos for this one as I have not made it this year, but it is quick, easy and yummy too- Curried Turkey Pate. It's great with crackers if you are entertaining, or just for your own enjoyment.

Curried Turkey Pate

2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mango chutney
1 - 2 tsp. curry powder (to taste)

Whiz turkey in food processor to cut up finely. Cream softened cream cheese, add all other ingds., mix well. Make at least one day ahead. Keep in fridge. Will freeze well too.

Peace
Linda

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's All Over but the Leftovers


Another Christmas has come and gone. We enjoyed a nice quiet family holiday.. the weather didn't bother us as we had no travels planned. We've just been rather lazy, taking it easy, getting caught up on reading and nibbling on more than a few chocolates. And turkey... yummy turkey dinners... hot and cold turkey sandwiches.. turkey salad.. turkey soup and tonight - the last of the turkey, Laura's favourite - Turkey Broccoli Braid. Yummm
As you can see I have an amaryllis in bloom - it's a double and there is a second stalk as well, so we'll be enjoying it for a while. I LOVE fresh blooms in the winter, they seem to make the cold weather a bit more bearable. Although the bloom looks rather red/orange here, it is actually a beautiful coral color. The photo on the box showed a soft pink and yellow... hmmm, guess you don't always get what's shown in the photo when it comes to bulbs. My bulb from last year is also budded and will be open in a few short days. It's called Apple Blossom and is a very delicate pink and white combination.

How nice it has been the last 5 days to indulge myself in several good books. I have finished Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, and Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. Cutting for Stone, is the story of twin brothers born of a secret union between a nursing Indian Nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother's death and their father's immediate disappearance, the twins grow up amidst the upheaval as Ethiopia teeters on the brink of revolution. Moving between Addis Ababa and New York City, and back to Ethiopia, this is a story of love, betrayal, medicine and a shared connection between two brothers raised by doctors in a mission hospital. I found this story rich and absorbing, and think it would make a great movie.

I bought Dewey for Laura for Christmas and five days later, three of us have read it. It's a heart-warming story about a cat, who is far more than "just a cat". It's a story of love, courage and determination, set in small town Iowa. Dewey is an extraordinary feline who manages to bring a small town together with his sixth sense of who needs him most. This is a tale any animal lover would love. Five stars from this cat-lover!

I received Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Christmas from my friend and fellow book-lover Barb. I think it might be next on my "To Read" list... Stay tuned...

Peace
Linda

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
~ Chinese proverb

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by your loved ones. Your comments, emails and friendship have been a blessing through 2010 and I look forward to more fun together in the new year. I wish you all the peace and joy of the season.

Peace
Linda

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, will find it hard to sleep tonight ~ Mel Torme

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Only One More Day....

My Christmas sewing is done. Yippee! Among other small projects I've made several sausage pillowcases. Have you heard of them? They are so quick and easy, and... well... almost addictive. When made with bright colorful children's prints, they make a very nice gift for that special child in your life. I found some great hockey fabric a few weeks ago in Moncton and decided my great nephew Nathan might like his own special pillowcase, so guess what he's getting for Christmas tucked in with his gift?
There are lots of tutorials available if you don't know how to do this quick easy project. Just Google "sausage pillowcase". A number of gals in my guild have made many of these- they use slightly different measurements as they liked the proportions a little better. Here are the amounts of fabrics we use:
For the main fabric 27" x WOF (width of fabric)
For the contrast strip 2" - 2.5" x WOF (I cut mine 2.25")
For the cuff 9" x WOF
The pillowcase shown here is Nathan's. After Christmas I'll show you the basketball one I made for Mark. (Silly me- I forgot to take a pic before wrapping it and it's now under the tree...)
I hope your sewing projects for gift giving are all finished and wrapped too...Only one day left to go...

Peace
Linda

"No gift is too small to give, nor too simple to receive, if it's chosen with thoughtfulness and given with love". ~Franz Kafka

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flash Mob Fun

Tonight I had a new experience - one should always be open to new things, right? It was fun, exhilarating.... and downright nerve wracking. Roughly half of the large Ladies Choir that I sing in, did a Flash Mob in the food court of our local shopping mall. It was totally unrehearsed, and pulled off with very little organization. Our directions were simple: Show up and don't be late. Find a spot, and sing loudly. That was it. For those of you who have never heard of a Flash Mob, it is a "surprise sudden mass gathering, unanticipated, except by its participants". Most involve a musical performance, perhaps with choreography. Probably the most well known Flash Mob is the T Mobile Dance Commercial which you can watch here.
Of course, we did not dance. We just sang, unaccompanied, one piece - Go Tell It on the Mountain. I was lucky(?) enough to be in the first group of four to start, so yes, we were a little nervous, having no idea what the reaction would be. But we were fine once we got going and other members stood and joined in. The looks on people's faces was priceless, and the applause at the end told us that they did indeed enjoy this surprise performance. Merry Christmas Shoppers!
You can watch the two videos which have been posted to Youtube here and here.

Peace,
Linda

"Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them!" ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pussycat Wishes


I'm busily wrapping, baking, stitching and still have a little sewing to do. But Ollie is all ready for Christmas, so he's been helping me... (wink wink). He just wanted to wish everyone a Meowy Cat-mas! He can hardly wait for Santa Claws....

Peace
Linda

"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling." ~ Edna Ferber

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's getting close....

Today is my Mother's birthday. She would have been 94 today - Happy Birthday Mum!
Befitting the day, I thought I'd add some pics of a few Angels to go with the answers for the Christmas Carol Quiz. (How did you do - could you get all of them?)
I have a small collection of angels which decorate my kitchen at this time of year, a few of my favorites are shown here. The first one was made by my best buddy Sue a number of years ago, I love her quilted wings. The rest of the collection are a variety, including Willow Tree, Jim Shore, some from far away lands and a host of others picked up here and there over the years. Perhaps I'll share a few more another day.
Things have shifted into high gear here the last few days. Shopping is done, except for a few things for Mark which I cannot get 'til he is home tomorrow. Check. Cards and letters are 98% done, will be finished tonight. Check. Decorating is done, except for the main tree which is now up, and will be finished up tonight. Check. Stitching gifts finished. Check. So this weeks focus is wrapping and baking and a few quick sewing projects. I'm beginning to feel like I'm gonna make it!!! :)

Here are the answers to the Quiz -
  1. Colorless Yuletide White Christmas
  2. Castaneda Seed in a Conflagration Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
  3. Singular Yearning for Twin Anterior Incisors All I Want for Christmas is my 2 Front Teeth
  4. Righteous Darkness O Holy Night
  5. Arrival Time: 24:00 Hours/Weather: Cloudless It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  6. Loyal Followers Advance Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  7. Red Man En Route to Borough Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  8. Ecstasy Toward The Orb Joy to the World
  9. The Gross Square Root Festive 24 Hour Intervals The 12 Days of Christmas
  10. Jocund Elderly Martyr Lacking Five Cent Pieces Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
  11. Musical Clanging Objects Composed Of A White Malleable Element Silver Bells
  12. Oh Yuletide Tall Woody Plant Oh Christmas Tree
  13. Boreal Ice Crystal Homo Sapiens Frosty the Snowman
  14. Female Ancestor Collides with Rangifer Tarandus Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  15. Expect My Arrival at My Domicile this Yule I'll Be Home for Christmas
  16. Perambulating in Terrain of Awe 12/21 to 3/19 Walking in a Winter Wonderland
  17. Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  18. Quiescent Nocturnal Period Silent Night
  19. An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere. Joy to the World
  20. Seraphim We Aurally Detected In The Stratosphere Angels We Have Heard on High
  21. The Christmas preceding all others The First Noel
  22. Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
  23. The Slight Percussionist Lad Little Drummer Boy
  24. Omnipotent Supreme Being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  25. Tranquility upon the terrestrial sphere. Peace on Earth
  26. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals. Frosty the Snowman
  27. Expectation of arrival to populated area by mythical, magical masculine perennial gift-giver. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  28. Natal celebration devoid of color. White Christmas
  29. In awe of the nocturnal time span characterized by religiosity. O Holy Night
  30. Geographic state of fantasy during the season of Mother Nature's dormancy. Winter Wonderland
  31. In a distant location the existence of an improvised unit of newborn children's slumber Away in a Manger
  32. Proceed forth declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  33. Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  34. Celestial messengers from splendid empires Angels from the Realms of Glory
  35. Ovine Caretakers Supervised Their Charges In The Period Past Twilight While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
  36. What Offspring Abides Thus What Child Is This?
  37. Song Of Joy From Harmonic Hollow Metallic Devices Carol of the Bells
  38. Are You Experiencing Parallel Auditory Input? Do You Hear What I Hear?
  39. I Auditorily Perceived Clapper Containers At The Peak Of The Yuletide Season I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  40. I Observed A Trio Of Vessels Returning From Yachting I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing
Peace
Linda

"Christmas, the time of year that has the impact of a childhood story and the dreams of the future all rolled into the presents that we give our loved ones." ~ Joseph Kalinger

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Well Do You Know Your Christmas Carols?

As I said in my previous post, I love the music of Christmas. The old traditional carols, the new songs, the glorious sacred music like O Holy Night and the cheery songs like Walking in a Winter Wonderland. Last year I posted a Christmas Carol Quiz which was quite popular. If you missed it you can find it here. So I thought I'd continue the fun this year. See how many of these you can identify. I'll post the answers in a few days. Have fun!


  1. Colorless Yuletide
  2. Castaneda Seed in a Conflagration
  3. Singular Yearning for Twin Anterior Incisors
  4. Righteous Darkness
  5. Arrival Time: 24:00 Hours/Weather: Cloudless
  6. Loyal Followers Advance
  7. Red Man En Route to Borough
  8. Ecstasy Toward The Orb
  9. The Gross Square Root Festive 24 Hour Intervals
  10. Jocund Elderly Martyr Lacking Five Cent Pieces
  11. Musical Clanging Objects Composed Of A White Malleable Element
  12. Oh Yuletide Tall Woody Plant
  13. Boreal Ice Crystal Homo Sapiens
  14. Female Ancestor Collides with Rangifer Tarandus
  15. Expect My Arrival at My Domicile this Yule
  16. Perambulating in Terrain of Awe 12/21 to 3/21
  17. Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds
  18. Quiescent Nocturnal Period
  19. An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere.
  20. Seraphim We Aurally Detected In The Stratosphere
  21. The Christmas preceding all others
  22. Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem
  23. The Slight Percussionist Lad
  24. Omnipotent Supreme Being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males
  25. Tranquility upon the terrestrial sphere.
  26. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.
  27. Expectation of arrival to populated area by mythical, magical masculine perennial gift-giver.
  28. Natal celebration devoid of color.
  29. In awe of the nocturnal time span characterized by religiosity.
  30. Geographic state of fantasy during the season of Mother Nature's dormancy.
  31. In a distant location the existence of an improvised unit of newborn children's slumber
  32. Proceed forth declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation.
  33. Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer
  34. Celestial messengers from splendid empires
  35. Ovine Caretakers Supervised Their Charges In The Period Past Twilight
  36. What Offspring Abides Thus
  37. Song Of Joy From Harmonic Hollow Metallic Devices
  38. Are You Experiencing Parallel Auditory Input?
  39. I Auditorily Perceived Clapper Containers At The Peak Of The Yuletide Season
  40. I Observed A Trio Of Vessels Returning From Yachting
Peace
Linda

"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air". ~ W.T. Ellis

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fa La La

Another one down! This afternoon was our Ladies Choir Christmas Concert, and it went very well. Our two directors are so wonderful and it is such a thrill to sing under their leadership. We currently have about 125 members, but for various reasons (primarily illness) I think there were only about 110 there today for the performance. But you can just imagine- 110 voices- when we do "let loose" with the volume... well let's just say no one in the audience fell asleep! These two photos were taken by DD Laura with my camera, during our pre-concert warmup- there are still 20 or so missing from the group at this point. So picture 20 more bodies in there and you can see that we are "pretty close". Our special guests this year were a local elementary school's boys choir - the cutest little boys, Grades 3-5, dressed in white shirts and bow ties....
For me, music is one of the best parts of Christmas. I love the traditional carols, as well as the new songs we hear at this time of year. And today was a very special day. We, the choir, enjoy it every bit as much as the audience does. Thanks to all my friends who attended. It makes it more special to be singing to people you love...

Peace
Linda

"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
~ Aldous Huxley

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cheeky Visitor!

Look who's been in my backyard, having an early Christmas feast! This bold squirrel has been having a great time figuring out how to get at my suet block and it looks like he's finally got it. The cheeky little devil kept us entertained for a while with his antics while he contemplated how to shimmy down the wire to get to the cage. Much as I dislike him stealing the bird's food, he is entertaining, and he does have to eat too, after all... I wonder if he has a tummy ache now...?
We have a lot of squirrels around our place. I remember how much my mother enjoyed watching their antics in the trees. She used to quote the verse below to me when I was young - I can still hear her reciting it...

Peace,
Linda

The Squirrel

Whisky frisky,
Hippity hop
Up he goes
To the treetop!

Whirly twirly,
Round and round
Down he scampers
To the ground.

Furly, curly,
What a tail!
Tall as a feather,
Broad as a sail!

Where's his supper?
In the shell,
Snappity, crackity,
Out it fell.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Squared


Here is my finished Disappearing Nine Patch table topper. After rejecting both Plan A and Plan B, I ended up just doing straight line squares in a moss green thread, with my walking foot. Quick, easy, no fuss no muss. Just what I needed. Not fancy, but done. And these days, done is good! After a quick trip to Moncton on Saturday, I got the dark green paisley print from this collection for the binding, very happy with that choice. How are you coming along with your Christmas sewing projects?

Piece
Linda

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope,
The spirit of Christmas which is peace,
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~ Ada V. Hendricks

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holly Angel

Here is another cheery little cherub to perk up your day. Isn't she cute? Her name is Holly Angel and she is #MHCA 19 in the Mill Hill Charmed Angels series. As I told you last week, this is an older series so unlikely you would find the kit in your favourite needlework shop these days, but it could be ordered from Wichelt I'm sure, as it is still shown on their website. She measures 6"w by 2.5"h.
I think I should have bought stock in Mill Hill years ago....
As you have no doubt noticed, I have slowed down with my blogging in the last week. The pressure of "stuff to be done" is getting to me so I'm spending more time working on projects, shopping and doing all that other Christmasy stuff that mothers do... I'm sure you understand. So the posts may not be as frequent over the next few weeks, but rest assured, I AM busy. I have finished the quilting and binding of the Disappearing Nine Patch table topper, come back tomorrow for a look...

Peace
Linda

Carve quiet space in your life and in the silence you will hear the angels.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh Inspiration, where art thou?

I have my Disappearing Nine Patch all sewn together. After playing around with some different layouts, I ended up with this one - the first one I showed you a few days back. I now have it layered, pinned and ready to quilt. I am beginning to feel that "mounting December pressure" and when I flip the calendar to December 1, I start making lists of all the things I have to get done. Right now, it's a long list. So this has got to be a "quick and easy - there, it's done" type quilting job. Inspiration had better find me tonight 'cause I'm going to be at it in the morning....

Piece
Linda

Quilting is like love - enter it with abandon or not at all.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...