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

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Tastes of Spring...

What do you most look forward to eating in the spring? For me, it's maple syrup, fiddleheads, rhubarb and asparagus. I've restocked my supply of maple syrup, fortunately I have friends who are maple producers ... lucky me! We've had asparagus a few times lately and the rhubarb is almost big enough.. I'm giving it just a few more days. But the fiddleheads are ready NOW and we've been feasting on them. Some of you may not know what fiddleheads are... they are somewhat of a local delicacy I guess you could say. They are the unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern which grows along the riverbanks as the spring flood waters recede. Tightly curled up, they resemble the curled ornamentation on the end of a stringed instrument like a violin. They are hand picked and eaten as a vegetable. (If left on the plant they would unfurl as fronds.) They can be purchased at the grocery store, but I usually buy from an older gentleman who picks them each morning, then sells them off the back of his truck in the afternoon. His are always the cleanest and don't require much rinsing. Fiddleheads are a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fibre. The season is short, just a few weeks in May, so we enjoy them as much as possible when they are fresh. They are boiled or steamed until fork tender, served hot with butter, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and many like them with a dash of vinegar too. Favourite spring meal? Salmon and fiddleheads, with a rhubarb dessert. All I can say is yummmmm.
Do you have a favourite spring meal?


"Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?" ~ Neltje Blanchan

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Waiting on the Bookshelf

What are you reading these days? Do you have a stack of books stored up for "summer reading" awaiting your attention? I've been lucky lately in finding books at a great price in some of my favourite used bookstores. I even found one which has been on my "want to read" list for a while, in a favourite lunch spot. When I stepped in the door recently I noticed a lovely basket full of books, with a sign reading "Take One, Leave One." Wow, what a great idea! The owner let me take one even though I had nothing to leave. I assured him next time I was there I would bring several to leave behind for someone else to enjoy.
I've already told you about my luck in obtaining many in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series here. These are the other recent acquisitions, two of them on loan from friends.  Have you read any of these? Any suggestions for others I should add? I have finished The Pink Suit and A Desperate Fortune, and am currently reading The Boston Girl. Next up will be The Piano Maker. Bring on those lazy days of summer, I'm ready! (Well, I will be once the gardening chores are finished...)
What are you looking forward to reading this summer?


Sometimes I tell myself to stop reading and get things done.... then I laugh and turn the page.
Source- Pinterest/Aesta's Book Blog

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Tulips?

I don't have many tulips, many of the bulbs I've planted over the years have died out. These ones
were planted by my mother years ago in a small bed by her driveway and they come up faithfully every year even though they are pretty much neglected.... She loved them so, and now I am enjoying their cheery bright colours. I think of her every time I look at them. I hope you enjoy them too!

Here is the same clump, a few years ago on a beautiful blue-sky day.... couldn't quite replicate the same shot this year


"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."  ~ Unknown

Monday, May 23, 2016

Recent Classes

I love teaching classes but am also happy when I'm finally done for the term. It takes a lot of time to get ready for classes, get demos prepared, samples completed, notes written, etc. But it is very rewarding and I'm not ready to give it up yet. Most of the classes I teach are "skills" classes rather than "project" classes. One of my favourites to teach is the "Miniatures" class. I call it a combo class - combining skills (improving your sewing accuracy) with a project (making a miniature quilt.) I was fortunate to teach that class twice this spring, once for the Mariners Guild of Dartmouth NS, and then for the St. Croix International Guild of St. Stephen NB and Calais ME. I rarely remember to take photos during a class, I'm always too busy getting through all the info and keeping everyone on track, but I thought I'd share with you two group photos that were taken at end of day in these two classes. Thanks to Jackie L. and Lynda D. for sending me these "class" photos. I'm hoping many of these gals will send me photos of their finished miniatures... If so, I'll share them with you...

Photo credit: Jackie Logan

Photo Credit: Lynda Duplissea


"It is the supreme art of  the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
~ Albert Einstein 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I'm Back...

Yes, I AM still here... no doubt you've been wondering...  I haven't been in blogdom much lately, life has been keeping me incredibly busy. But I'm finally starting to see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel.." Guild is finished for the year, except for one last Executive meeting. I finished a large (very time consuming) project for our last meeting, sadly I cannot show it to you for a while. But you WILL see it eventually. I'm done teaching classes now until fall. That's a huge check on the Done List! Choir is finished, concert is over, music passed in. Another big check. Cancer canvassing is done, money passed in. Check. (Can you tell I love crossing things off a list?!)
The big thing looming now is getting all the outdoor work caught up...  there is always so much to do in the spring. Several of my perennial beds really need some serious attention. Some perennials need to be dug and split, a job which often requires some of hubby's muscle. I did manage to get him to cut some chunks off a few well established hostas for a neighbour/new gardening friend. So that's one job on his "Honey-Do" list completed. It takes a sharp shovel and his weight to drive the shovel through the mature plants, I cannot do it... I have lots more to do this coming week, bulbs to start, seeds to plant, top-dressing to do with compost, some plants to re-locate, not to mention weeding... why oh why do the weeds always grow so much faster than the plants??? Then there's the vegetable garden to get tilled and planted... The list goes on and on... A gardener's work is never done... but I love it. It's such a wonderful and rewarding hobby... Here's what's been blooming lately...

From left to right, beginning with top row:  Chionodoxa, double daffodils, scilla (squill), tulip, purple violets, Solomon's seal, muscari (grape hyacinth), tulip, pulmonaria (lungwort).

I have lots of jobs to cross off the list this coming week, but I promise there will be a few (likely brief) blog posts. Stay tuned...


"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."
~ Edwin Way Teale
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