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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tulips on Tuesday

My tulips are finished blooming now, but I wanted to share a few photos with you. Most of the tulips I've planted over the years seem to have died out - previous clumps of 10 or 12 bulbs have only a few remaining stragglers here and there. Yet tulips my mother planted at least 30 years ago continue to bloom beautifully each year! They are mere feet away from mine (I now live right next door to where I grew up) so the weather, temps and conditions are virtually the same. The only difference is hers are directly in the ground, whereas mine are in contained beds, slightly raised - would that make a significant difference? WHY do some go on strongly year after year and others last only a few years then die out?? Like many other things these days, are they "just not making them like they used to?"

The new Canada 150 tulips I planted last fall did not disappoint, the blooms lasting almost three weeks!  I hope they will perform as well next year! The tulips shown here, which I still call "Mum's tulips" are a mixture of varieties, with a few parrot tulips  among others. They catch the light later in the day and I can't help but photograph them every year! Although the blooms last only a week or so, I get every bit as much enjoyment out of them as my mother did, and think of her every time I walk by them or see them from my studio window. I hope she can see them from heaven...

Love that backlighting!

And lastly, because they surround this tulip bed, and because I love blue and believe every garden should have some blue in it, I can't leave out the sweet little forget-me-nots!   :)


"A tulip doesn't strive to impress anyone. It doesn't struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn't  have to. It is different. And there's room in the garden for every flower." ~ Marianne Williamson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Log Cabin Runner

It's been a while since I've shown you any quilting projects. Here is a small "finish" that was completed recently. It measures 14.5"x 22.5"  so I don't know if you'd actually call it a runner... a small runner, I guess. It was quick and easy with only six blocks and one border.
I've always loved Log Cabin and I saw this on Pinterest somewhere a while back; of course I didn't pin it, and promptly forgot about it. Then I saw it again on Joanne's blog Thread Head. This time I took note! She actually did a tutorial for it, so if you'd like to make something similar you can find the tutorial here. I "did my own thing"  construction-wise, but ended up with pretty much the same end result. My blocks are the same size, 5" finished, with a 1" centre and 1/2" logs. The blocks are done totally from scraps and leftovers. I'm not much on appliqué, but decided to follow Joanne's suggestion of the appliqué flowers and leaves on the ends. I'm not totally happy with them, wish I hadn't spaced them quite so far apart, but they're on there now and I'm not taking them off to re-do! I tried adding some embroidery to the flower centres, but didn't like it. Then I tried beads, didn't care for that either. So for now they're staying the way they are. Who knows what I might come up with later, once I've pondered it a while.  :)  I do think I might embroider some veins on the leaves at least...

I had recently purchased Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles and that's what I used to make the flowers. (This is a set of heat resistant plastic circle templates in fifteen different sizes from 7/16" to 2".) They worked well and with a shot of Best Press and a good pressing, I had perfectly smooth circles to appliqué in place. If you do a lot of appliqué circles, by hand OR machine, I would certainly recommend these!

After ditching around the perimeter of the blocks, I quilted it in straight diagonal lines spaced about 1/2" apart, using black thread on the dark areas and cream thread on the light areas.
I'm working on another small project now, also with Log Cabin blocks, in reds and white...  I hope to finish it before July 1st. Can you guess what it's for?


Fabrics are a lot like chocolates. It's hard to pick just one.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Drenched and Dripping

When the rain finally slacked off yesterday, I went out with my camera to see what I could find of interest in the garden. Everything was sopping wet and weighed down with raindrops. We've had so much rain, I have plants budded now that normally don't bloom until late July or early August. There's more rain in the forecast for the coming week... I think we'll be growing fins soon...
Okay, ready for a stroll? Don't get your feet wet!

The alliums were so loaded with droplets.

Poppies will soon be in bloom.

I love the way the water droplets collect on the Lady's Mantle.

The poor rhododendron was so weighted down.

Things were a little drier today.   :)
Come back tomorrow to see a new small project I've recently finished.


If it never rains, then we'll never grow. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Making Progress

We've finally had a few days of sunshine and warmer temps, and the overnight temps are getting into the double digits. It seems to have been a long time coming! It's amazing what a sunshine-y day can do to one's mood and energy level.  :)  So between hubby and I, we have made good progress the last few days. The hubby has done a wonderful job of putting new cedar around one of my perennial beds. He originally built this bed on the east side of the house along the garage with pressure treated 4x4's but after 25 years(!) it was starting to look its age. It wasn't quite as straight as it used to be. (It didn't bother me but hubby likes things straight and square!) So this is what it looks like now with fresh new eastern cedar.

I got the bed around the company sign all planted with red geraniums - a tip of the hat to my mother who always had red geraniums. There's a bit of an "in family" joke there, but I won't bore you with it... They don't look like much yet, but a month from now when they've grown, they'll look great. I'll try to remember another photo then.
My vegetable garden is now all in except for the tomatoes and cucumbers which I'll plant next week once I'm sure the overnight temps are staying above 10°. Lettuce, carrots, peas, yellow beans and beets are in, and my glads are started in flats. Their row is ready and waiting once they grow a bit. Hubby says he's going to put in a row of corn this year too, we'll see. Mum never had any luck with corn - between the squirrels and the raccoons, they always seemed to "harvest" it just a day or two before she was ready to... Smart little devils, they are!

I did my herb planter yesterday- basil, dill, mint and parsley. I do love using fresh herbs that I can just go out and pick whenever I want... I picked up my pots and planters from Greys two days ago, they look wonderful as usual. I always ask that they be colourful, and nice and full. Once they grow a bit they'll be very showy.

So, things are lookin' up... With all the rain we've had, the grass and hostas are growing like crazy and the tree foliage is lush. My rhodo is just coming into bloom. Sigh.... I love June!


"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!!!!

We have had a cool wet soggy dreary spring. Our hours of sunshine seem very few and far between, fleeting even. I keep reminding myself that up above the clouds, the sun IS shining.... I hope this cool wet weather turns to sunshiney and warm SOON.....    And I promise I won't complain about the heat this summer, if it ever comes...

The garden is growing quickly with all the rain, and the tulips are lasting well. The trees and lawn are so green and lush but some sun would be most welcome, just sayin'.

Anyone know how to encourage the sun to come and stay???


"Sometimes when you think the storm is coming to rain on your parade, it's actually there to water your garden." ~ Rob Hill Sr.

Friday, June 2, 2017

"Getting to Know You"

What a wonderful time we have had getting to know our grandson Noah a little better. It is SO great to have them much closer to home. Noah and his Mommy were here just 2 days before we packed up and headed to their new home to UNpack, but we squeezed a lot into that two days!

Noah had his first "official" haircut
right in Grammie's kitchen.

He learned to ride a firetruck (loves the "siren"....)

Photo Credit: Mummy Laura

                                                  and Uncle Marks' horsey....

Photo Credit: Mummy Laura

and Great Uncle Leigh is already teaching him about the ride-on mower.

Photo Credit: Mummy Laura

Once we got to his new house on Friday, he was SUCH a  big help....

Supervising Grampie to make sure he fixed the clothesline properly...


Checking the newly installed gate to make sure it's secure.....

"What did Mummy put in here? I'm sure I can re-organize it..."

Ah yes, life is never dull with a little one around... he makes life interesting! He will soon be walking, as he is already taking a few steps on his own. It won't be long now.


A child has a special way of adding joy to every day.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Just a short post tonight. I am back from four days with Laura and Noah, helping them get unpacked and somewhat settled in their new home. We accomplished a lot in a short time!
But before I tell you about that, I want to share a few photos of sweet Noah with you. Before leaving Ontario, they had a photographer friend take some family photos. She wanted some practice with "lifestyle" photos, and low light conditions, so they agreed to be "models." Could there be a sweeter model than this little guy? I think not! Photo credit on all photos in this post to Tasha of  Thanks Tasha for allowing me to share these here.
I hope you will visit Tasha's site and view her work.

Here are some of my favourites...

What a cutie pie he is! He's 10 months old now, and very close to walking on his own... Life is getting a whole lot more interesting...   :)


"Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last." ~ Charles Dickens

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tulips and Violets... Ahhh Sweet Spring!

The Canada 150 tulips created for Canada's 150th birthday this year have put on a show! Last fall when I started looking for them, early enough I thought, it seemed all the Home Hardwares in the province were already sold out. I was SO disappointed. So I bought some solid dark red and some "striped" ones. I can't even remember now if they were sold together or if I "mixed" them myself.  The dark red is almost a burgundy and the others are a creamy white with a large "flash" of red .They are beautiful and I wish now I had bought more. My photos really don't do them justice.

A week or two later I found the "official" Canada 150 tulip bulbs at our local nursery, Scott's. So I bought some of them too, of course. (Like chocolate, one can never have too many!) As the buds grew I was worried - they looked like they were going to be solid white. But the red splashes appeared just before the buds started opening. And they are beautiful too- I don't know which ones I prefer.

In another area of my backyard is a large swath of purple violets, which just happen to be our provincial flower. Although my hubby considers them a "weed" - he likes a perfect lawn -  I love them and beg him not to mow them off before I've really had a chance to enjoy them!  :)
Aren't they lovely?


"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Still Here!

Yes, I'm still here. No I haven't abandoned you, even though you may feel that way... My life has just been incredibly busy lately and the blog has had to be low priority. There have been many things that just had to get done - end of year activities and commitments, gardening chores, getting ready for dear daughter's move, housecleaning and some baby proofing, etc.
Guild and choir are now finished till fall, except for one final Executive meeting and a few commitments for choir. We are in the process of finding a new director and accompanist, and I am on the "Search" Committee as well as the Music committee, so a few jobs still to be completed there...
Gardening chores have been fit in between the rainy spells, and we have had lots of those, but I have managed to get all my beds top-dressed with compost, some plants that have spread beyond comfortable limits dug out, a few moved to better locations, etc. My planters and hanging pots are delivered to Grey's for planting and I have planted some seeds for sweet peas, morning glory, etc.  It seems there is always more to do...
Laura's move back to NB is in progress; her household was packed up last weekend, loaded Monday and arrived here Tuesday night, thanks to hubby and brother Leigh
doing the long drive. She and Noah arrived Tuesday evening as well, via Air Canada. We've had a few days to catch our breath and enjoy Noah. Soon we'll be off to their new home to unload, unpack and organize the new house. I will stay for a few days and try to be as helpful as possible. Noah is much better at emptying boxes than he is at filling them, so at least it should be easier on this end when UNpacking! Laura's husband won't be back until mid June when he is finished his school year, and hopefully things will all be in place by then.
Meanwhile, in the garden, I had a wonderful display of scilla - a few weeks ago now! Currently my Canada 150 tulips are blooming beautifully. Not too much else in bloom yet, but there is a wonderful swath of purple violets (N.B.'s provincial flower) across the backyard and the scent of the apple blossoms is heavenly. I wish they lasted longer, they are so short-lived and after tomorrow's rain the petals will be falling like snowflakes. It is late and I'm more than ready for bed. I'll do my best to get another post done tomorrow...


"Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
~ Hans Christian Andersen

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my family, friends and readers who are mothers. I hope you all get "special treatment" today! I'd like to send each and every one of you a big bouquet of fresh flowers, but that's not possible. So this collage of spring flowers is for you, enjoy!

Special Mother's Day wishes of love to my daughter who is experiencing her first Mother's Day! Love you darlin'! With less than one year's experience, you are already an awesome Mom!


"Motherhood: all love begins and ends there." ~ Robert Browning

Friday, May 5, 2017

Last Call!

The Fredericton Ladies Choir Spring Concert is this Sunday afternoon. After nine years together, this will be our eighteenth concert and I truly believe it will be our best spring concert ever. We have such a beautiful varied selection of music for you! It sounds like it's going to be a rainy weekend, so  you likely won't be raking your lawn...Why not come and enjoy our presentation of music? We'll be doing a tribute to Canada's 150th with a set by Canadian composers, as well as a sacred set and a set of our favourites.  There will be tickets at the door. The concert starts at 3pm, doors open at 2:15 at St. Dunstans, corner of Brunswick and Regent Streets. I'd love to see YOU there.


"Music can change the world because it can change people." ~ Bono

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Miniature Work in Progress

My life has been ridiculously busy lately.... but things will be settling down by the middle of next week, I think. In the meantime, here is a set of miniature blocks I've completed. It will be a while before I get around to putting them together.. but at least the blocks are done. Each block will be 2.25 " square when sewn together, the logs are 1/4" wide. Log Cabin has always been my favourite block, I think it always will be... This is not the best photo colour-wise, but the best I could do tonight.
What's your favourite quilt block?


Sometimes I think maybe I should do something besides sew... then I realize how silly I'm being, and go back to sewing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Signs of Spring

Spring seems slooow to arrive here this year as it is in most of Canada I guess. But she is slowly, gradually unfurling, dabbing the lawn with her green paintbrush and coaxing buds and shoots to grow, despite the cool temperatures. We have had a number of wet days, and many "too cool" days so I have yet to get much done outside, other than uncovering my perennial beds. Here are a few photos of spring signs, taken several days ago when it was dry and somewhat sunny. We're in the midst of yet another rainy stretch, with little sun in the forecast for the next six days... rather dreary... So enjoy these indications of what is coming, and my cheery crocus that bloom joyfully regardless of the weather (a lesson for us all, perhaps?)

These cheery little chionodoxa are usually the first to show themselves in the spring. 

Before long the daffydils will be nodding their golden heads...
...and the scilla will be a mass of  vivid blue. 

These crocus were my mother's and I think of her each time they bloom.
I brought her these bulbs from the Netherlands in 1976!!
Every spring they make me smile with their little heads lifted to the spring breezes.

Take heart, everyone. Spring and colour are on the way! We just have to be patient!


"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world." ~ Victor Kraft
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