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

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Another One Off the List!

Today, a small project finish! It has been patiently waiting for me to get back to it for (ahem) a while now.... This topper was made in the spring of 2015, quilted this past April and has been waiting since then for binding. I don't know why I put it off so long; once I got at it, it didn't take long at all to finish up. The design/pattern is called Crazy Eights Strip Teaser Table Topper by the "3/4 Crazies" of Lake Havasu AZ. You can read more about it in a previous post here. The original design (and hence the name "Crazy Eights") called for eight fabrics in

the strip set, but that made quite a large topper, so we used just six. It is the perfect size for my kitchen table, measuring  33.5" across from tip to tip. I wouldn't want it any larger (unless it was for the dining room table.)
It is quilted with Superior Thread's King Tut thread, in a spiral design. King Tut is a 40 wt. thread, made of extra long staple cotton, and I love it. This was color #923, called Fahl Green. I spaced the spiral lines just a little over an inch apart, and wish now they were a bit closer, perhaps 3/4"... but I'm not taking it all out to re-do. No sirree! It's done, and done is better than perfect. Another one off the list!  


"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future; concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Man An Ook

Can you handle more photos from the beautiful island of Grand Manan? (The word "Manan" comes from man an ook meaning "island place" or "the island" from the Passamaquoddy Penobscot native peoples of southwest New Brunswick.)
Much as I love a clear, humidity-free, blue sky summer day, the fog of the Bay of Fundy just seems right. It adds atmosphere and a feeling of calm, for me. Maybe even a sense of mystery...
**Fishing vessels seen docked at wharves may include gill netters, fish draggers, herring seiners and carriers, weir seine boats, herring pumpers, lobster boats, scallop draggers and salmon aquaculture vessels, as well as weir pile drivers and lobster cars (wooden off-load and temporary storage rafts for lobsters.) A variety of fish including cod, haddock, pollock, flounder, halibut, cusk, hake, herring, mackerel, bluefin tuna and hagfish, and lobster, shark, scallops and sea urchin are (or have been in the past) trapped, netted, hooked, dragged or trawled, and baited from Grand Manan's waters. Periwinkles, seaweeds including dulse, Irish moss, kelp, nori and sea lettuce, and soft-shelled clams have been picked or dug from its shores. Each with its own season, the harvest of marine resources has been the mainstay on the island.** Today the farming of Atlantic salmon is also a large industry.
The following photos were taken at North Head wharf as I wandered... I don't know a seiner from a dragger, or a pumper from a carrier, but I enjoyed the calm foggy morning as the vessels seemed to be quietly resting up for their next adventure.

In the past lighthouses and fog alarm stations were essential to protect shipping in the Bay of Fundy
because of the strong tides, thick fog and dangerous shoals. Heavy fog, strong winds, tidal currents and strong storms known as "nor'easters" all threatened safe navigation. Today, radar, radio beacon and satellite systems, depth sounders, computer navigation, better weather forecasting and higher vessel construction standards all contribute to safer navigation. Because of the dangers of the bay, southwestern New Brunswick has one of the largest number of lighthouses in the world, but any still operational today are automated, as are the fog alarm stations.

I found it interesting to learn that lighthouses built prior to confederation were funded by a lighthouse levy that larger vessels using the Bay of Fundy were required to pay. After 1867, the Canadian government assumed the responsibilities of maintaining the lighthouses. Today, local communities maintain the buildings and the Canadian Coast Guard look after the navigational aids (lights and fog horns.)

Did you know it is illegal to tie anything to a marker buoy?  Back in the day, you could be jailed for a year if you were caught deliberately damaging a buoy or beacon, and six months in jail or a twenty pound fine if you tied your boat to a buoy... (The things you learn!!)

Goodbye Grand Manan. I hope to return soon.
 ** Some info in this post was obtained from Grand Manan Guide, Laurie Murison Editor, 6th Edition, 2013, and from displays at the Swallow Tail Light.**


"The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Back to Grand Manan

After my recent visit to the Grand Manan quilt show, I remembered that I never got back to showing you more GM photos after my visit last July. Why don't you skip back and read last year's post here which will acquaint you with Grand Manan and where it's located... go ahead, I'll wait right here....

Okay, ready to carry on? My visit last July was for a teaching gig, but I was lucky to have a half day on either end to explore and do some photography, and luckily I had both a sunny day and a foggy one. (It just wouldn't seem like the Bay of Fundy if there wasn't some fog...) So here are some of my favourite photos.... in no particular order....

You know you are almost there when you spot the famous landmark Swallow Tail Light from the ferry as it approaches the dock at North Head.

Here is another view, taken from Pettes Cove, which clearly shows the Swallow Tail peninsula. Can you spot the footbridge which spans the "Sawpit," a split caused by erosion? The house at the top left is where I stayed last year - a beautiful spot with a great view, but not so wonderful in the middle of the night when the fog horn starts blowing.... (I have yet to perfect the skill of sleeping through a foghorn.....)

When arriving on the ferry, we passed a boat hauling salmon cages to a new location. Aquaculture is one of the main industries on the island, along with fishing and tourism.

Grand Manan is a "quiet" island... there are no big shopping malls, no movie theatres, no heavy traffic... but it's a wonderful place to enjoy nature, hiking, birdwatching, painting, photography, etc. One of the popular hikes is to Hole In The Wall, a large natural rock arch at the edge of a cliff. It's a relatively easy hike through coastal forest. The weir you see in the background is known as the Jubilee weir.

Of course I am always looking for wildflowers in the summer wherever I go. I immediately fell in love with the vivid blue Common Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare) that seemed to be growing everywhere along the roadside. (It is a biennial and member of the borage family.) I joked with someone about digging some up and taking it home to my garden but was quickly avised not to, that it spreads and would not be a good thing in a garden. Too bad, I sure loved the beautiful true blue colour.

What's an island without beaches? I had to stop along the roadside and put on my telephoto to get some images of these children enjoying some beach time. Despite the distance, I could hear their squeals of delight as they played. That moment sure took me back to earlier times when my two were little, playing on the beach. Seems so very long ago....

Fishing and the use of marine resources has shaped many aspects of Grand Manan. The island used to produce some of the world's finest smoked herring, long the mainstay of GM's economy. Unfortunately with stiff regulations and the loss of traditional markets the industry collapsed and disappeared in 1997. The smokehouses of Seal Cove where the herring were cured and packed for market, now stand empty. The area around "the Crick" in Seal Cove has been designated as a National Historic Site and is one of the most photographed areas on the island.

Seal Cove at low tide

This post is getting far too long. Let's close with end-of-day images taken at sunset at Dark Harbour on the west side of the island. Dark Harbour is well known for its dulse, an edible seaweed. Anyone on the island will confirm that Dark Harbour dulse is the world's finest. A natural rock breakwater provides a protected "pond" from which the dulsers' dories can enter and leave at high tide. High cliffs surround the pond, blocking early morning sunlight, therefore the name "dark" harbour. Dulsers travel the west side of the island picking dulse at low tide during spring and summer. It is then spread out on net-covered flat gravel beds to sun-dry before being packaged for market. Dulse has many health benefits and is packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium.

** Some info in this post was obtained from Grand Manan Guide, Laurie Murison, Editor, 6th Edition, 2013.

Next up- foggy fotos....


"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." ~ John F. Kennedy

Saturday, July 23, 2016


We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this extra special announcement! We have our first grandson! Yep, that's what that new blue header is all about. We're celebrating all things BOY....
Noah Osmond was born yesterday at 12:22 p.m. weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and measuring 51 cm. (20") long. A healthy little bundle of boy. Osmond was my father's name.. he would be overjoyed... sure wish he was here to know this little great grandson.
He sure looks little, compared to Daddy's big hand!
I can't wait to meet him!


"A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities." ~ Eda J. LeShan

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Day Trip to Grand Manan Quilt Show

The Tidal Threads Quilt and Needlework Guild of Grand Manan recently held a show and since I have not been able to make it to their last few shows, I made it a priority to attend this one. A day trip to Grand Manan requires a bit of planning. It is wise to make a ferry reservation, as the ferry departs only once every two hours, and you must be in the departure compound a minimum of 45 minutes before

departure (or lose your reservation.) This meant leaving home very early in the morning, to catch the 9:30a.m. ferry. Sadly it was not a sunny blue sky day, but on the other hand it didn't rain and surprisingly there was no fog. Our crossing on the Grand Manan Adventure was smooth and before we knew it we were rounding North Head. Seeing the famous Swallow Tail Light (lighthouse) as you swing around the point and into the harbour makes my heart smile...We had lunch at the delightful Café Bleu Marie before making our way to the show.
Here is a sampling of the spectacular quilts we saw... enjoy!

Knotty Bits by Nancy Estle

Detail of Knotty Bits by Nancy Estle

Blueberry Fields Forever by Martha Eaton. Quilted by Jill Lloyd

Whirlwind by Dawn Locke. Quilted by Jill Lloyd

Detail of Whirlwind by Dawn Locke

Nellie Jane by Dawn Locke. Quilted by Jill Lloyd

Migration by Nancy Estle

Gwendolyn by Mary Hawkins

Woven Runner by Leslie Daigle and Knit Doll by Freda Large

Wings Over Water by the TTQN Guild.  An original design.
This was their raffle quilt two years ago. One of my all time favourites.

Detail of Wings Over Water showing puffins on the Grand Manan basalt columns.
Wow! Just WOW!
I love Grand Manan and hope to get back later this summer for another visit. In my next post I'll share more photos from last year's GM visit which I never got around to showing... stay tuned...


"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." ~ Maya Angelou

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another Easy Salad

I'm sure I'm not the only one who often thinks what will I make for dinner? Something new and different than the usual fare.. something I can make with what I have on hand without a trip to the grocery store... I get tired of the "same old thing." I am very lucky to have a hubby who is not a fussy eater and he never complains about what is put in front of him at the dinner table. I am blessed that way. But every now and then I just want something different.
It seems I usually resort to some sort of a salad concoction on hot summer nights. So tonight I worked with what was in the fridge and came up with a pasta shrimp salad. I had a package of frozen cooked shrimp in the freezer and I like to use that sort of thing up quickly. So I cooked some penne and thawed the shrimp, chopped red pepper, celery, red onion, broccoli, shelled some fresh peas and tossed all the ingredients together. If I had had a can of pineapple chunks, or even some fresh pineapple, that would have been tossed in too. The dressing was a curried mayo- Miracle Whip flavored with lemon juice, soya sauce and curry powder. I didn't measure, but I would guess about 1/2 cup Miracle Whip, and 1 tsp. soya sauce, 1 tsp. lemon juice and several good dashes of curry powder. Do it to your own taste. I've always been a "taster" as I cook...
Top with some toasted almonds and serve up with some crusty rolls. Yummy, quick and easy. What's not to like?


"Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music." ~ Julia Child

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Voice of Experience

I have long believed that "experience is the best teacher." Don't you agree? We learn from both our failures and our successes. When we're younger, the older generation give us advice, and sadly we don't always listen. We think that advice doesn't apply to us. As we mature we come to realize that often that advice WAS good and perhaps we should have listened a little more carefully. And sometimes we learn the lesson "the hard way."
So today, dear readers, you have the opportunity to learn from my experience. And yes, you're about to get some good advice, so put on your listening ears!   :)
A few weeks ago, we learned a valuable lesson. We had a break-in, and were "relieved" of cash and jewelry. It was morning - somewhere between 9:20 and 10a.m. and we were both out of the house for a while. Yep, broad daylight! Talk about brazen! "He" forced open a locked casement window in our kitchen, climbed through the window and headed for our bedroom. It appears that he didn't touch anything else in the house... Just headed straight for the master bedroom where he rifled through closets and dresser drawers and found what he was looking for. Therein lies the lesson. If you keep cash in your house, DON'T keep it in your bedroom. I bet if you asked ten people where they keep extra cash, nine out of ten would say their sock drawer, or their undies drawer... and thieves know that! So find another "hiding place" folks! Look around, there are lots of good spots that you can access easily, but a thief in a hurry wouldn't think to look...
Lesson #2, take photos of your jewelry and other valuables. With digital cameras, it is a quick and easy thing to do... Print the photos or store them somehow that you can easily access them if you need to refer to them. Once your valuables are stolen, if you have no photos, you only have your memory to rely on for descriptions....  We are told to do this, for insurance purposes if nothing else, but how many of us have done it? Have you? And perhaps keeping your jewelry somewhere other than your bedroom dresser might be a good idea too....
So, be smart and take my advice. Thieves know "the bedroom" is most likely where they'll strike the jackpot. Don't make it easy for them if they decide to visit your house...
We have learned our lesson, the hard way!


"A thief is a thief, whether he steals a diamond or a cucumber." ~ Indian Proverb

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trying Something New... Always Refreshing

Just a few of the wool projects on display

A short while ago, my friend Lucy and I took a little jaunt out of town to join a group  of ladies for what they call "Wool Day." These gals recently developed a love for wool work and this informal group meets several times a year to get together and work on projects, share ideas and skills, etc. It is not limited to wool work as some are doing punchneedle, cross stitch, knitting etc. Some bring muffins to go with the morning coffee, and others bring lunch for all. There is a good deal of laughter and fun, and some even accomplish some work! It was a yummy day all around!

I was practicing my punchneedle skills which are definitely still at the beginner level, but really enjoyed just going around the room to see what everyone was working on. There are some very talented ladies in this group!

There were lots of finished projects on display for inspiration,  and several gals were happily giving demos... I had never seen this slick AccuQuilt machine cutting wool pennies. Quick and easy, and all exactly the same.  Almost made me want to try doing a penny rug....

Linda M gave us a wet felting demo, felting a cake of soap. This is not a great photo, but it shows Linda wrapping layers of wool fiber around the cake of soap.
Then it will be placed in a piece of pantihose, wet with water and rubbed against a surface to felt the fibers.

One kind soul was even willing to shed her knee highs for the cause! lol (You rock, Sue H!)

Kathy's dryer balls

Kathy B joined Linda in teaching Lucy and I how to make wool dryer balls. I had done machine felting with silk fiber before, but never dry felting by hand.  We started by winding wool roving into a tight ball. Next we covered it with more wool fibre to "smooth" the surface, felting it in with a barbed needle. The repeated jabs of the barbed needle tangle and compact the wool fibres. Then we created our sunflowers, by laying on the yellow and brown fibres and much more jabbing of the felting needle. The final step is to put the dryer ball in a length of pantyhose, or a knee high, and toss it into a hot water load of laundry, then into the dryer. The hot water and then the dryer shrinks and compacts the ball. It was fun to try something new... Will I make these for everyone on my Christmas list? Probably not, but glad I tried it!

Sue's beautiful wool appliqué

Doreen's punchneedle chickadees in progress

Thanks Kathy B for organizing this great day and including Lucy and I.


"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." ~ Joseph C. Pearce
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...