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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Do you salsa?

Do you salsa? I'm talking about the condiment, not the dance...
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes... I feel like I have tomatoes coming out my ears! It's been a bumper crop this year, I'm not complaining but I am getting a little tired of dealing with TOMATOES!!! We've been eating them, freezing them, making salsa, and giving them away. And I still have lots! There are still many on the vine, and we are now covering them each night as it is getting pretty cool and there have been a few frost warnings, although we've been lucky so far... So if any of my local readers would like some tomatoes, get in touch. I'd be happy to share some with you. Come and get it!

Just in case you too have lots of tomatoes to "deal with" here is my salsa recipe in case you'd like to try it. Quick and easy, healthy and yummy too!


7 cups fresh stewed tomatoes, (or 2 - 28oz. cans tomatoes)
1 14oz. can tomato sauce
1 red pepper and 2 green peppers, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
2/3 cup white vinegar
3 Tblsp. white sugar
2 tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 - 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste - depending on how hot you like your salsa
**Of course you can adjust the amount of seasonings to your own taste. I often add more garlic and oregano.
Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened.  Bottle in hot sterilized mason jars, cap and let cool completely, then freeze. Be sure to leave enough space at the top to allow for expansion when it freezes. Makes about 5.5 pints


"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." ~ Lewis Grizzard

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Every once in a while I come across something on Facebook, or receive an email from a friend that I think is worth sharing. This arrived last night in my inbox and it made me chuckle, so I thought you might enjoy it too... It's a dreary wet day here, a good day for a laugh!


Sign in a shoe repair shop:
We will heel you,
We will save your sole,
We will even dye for you. 

Sign over a Gynecologist's office:
Dr. Jones, at your cervix

Sign in a Podiatrist's office:
Time wounds all heels.

Sign at an Optometrist's office:
If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

Sign on a plumber's truck:
We repair what your husband fixed.

Sign on an electrician's truck:
Let us remove your shorts.

Sign on a maternity room door:
Push. Push. Push. 

Sign in a Veterinarian's waiting room:
Be back in five minutes. Sit! Stay! 

Sign at the electric company:
We would be delighted if you send in your payment on time. 
However if you don't , YOU will be de-lighted.

Sign in the front yard of a funeral home:
Drive carefully. We'll wait. 

And the best for last...
Sign on the back of a septic tank truck:
Caution - This truck is full of political promises.


"A day without laughter is a day wasted." ~ Charlie Chaplin

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Small Finish

It's a good day to show you a small finish as it's been a while... This is a small piece measuring 10.5" x 11" (I think I'll call it a candle mat) that served a twofold purpose. It was my first experiment with hexagons. These are referred to as "modern hexies" because rather than being hand sewn to each other as is done with English Paper Piecing, they are applied to a background fabric with spaces left between them. They are glued in place with a good quality fabric glue that remains flexible when dry. Then machine quilting passes through them to secure them in place. I chose to quilt a grid through the hexies, passing through each point. This is the second purpose, to serve as another sample piece for my "Quilting with the Walking Foot" class.
Much as I admire EPP, it's not for me, but I do enjoy the "modern hexies." I have another slightly larger piece ready to go, hexies all made and positioned, ready to be glued and stitched, and also fabrics chosen for a much larger piece, made with larger hexagons. It'll be a while before I get to it, but the hexies are something I can chip away at. They are formed over stiff paper hexagons and the folds are held in place with a few hand stitches. Then they are pressed well and papers removed. An easily portable project and great for handwork in front of the tv.
What sort of handwork do you enjoy?


In my perfect world, fabric is free and sewing makes you thin...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Update on Noah

For those of you who have been asking how my grandson is doing, here's a little update. Noah is doing just fine! He is gaining weight steadily, I think my daughter must be producing pure cream! He has gained close to 6 pounds in 8.5 weeks! He will be two months old tomorrow and is finally settling in to better feeding and sleeping patterns. And.  he.  is.  CUTE!!

He is learning to smile and laugh!!

Mr. Chubby Cheeks!!!

Official "two months old" photo!

Now, you have to admit.. he IS pretty cute, isn't he? Of course I could be somewhat biased...


When you're drawing up your first list of life's miracles, you might place near the top the first moment your baby smiles at you. Bob Greene

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Late Summer Busy-ness

The busy-ness of late summer and garden harvesting is finally slowing down. We have been enjoying the fruits of my garden labours for a while now... I always say we must be our healthiest in August and September because we eat so many fresh home grown veggies!   :)
A garden is a lot of work but sooo worth it. I love just going out and picking as much as I want of whatever is ready... peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, whatever. Despite a fairly dry summer, the garden did well. We had a bumper crop of green peas, my absolute favourite!  :)  Of course the lettuce, peas and beans are now done, as are the cucumbers. All that remains in my garden now are beets and carrots and a slooowwww ripening crop of tomatoes. I will do my pickled beets this week and get the carrots dug.
I have been stewing tomatoes for the freezer as they ripen. I use them all winter in spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. and love never having to buy canned tomatoes. And of course we've been eating tomatoes and cukes daily.... toasted tomato sandwiches... broiled cheese and tomato sandwiches...
I have made peach jam (recipe here), Lady Ashburnham pickles (story here, recipe here), 11 day crock pickles, and have a big batch of spiced apple jelly underway today (recipe here.) Still to do: pickled beets, red pepper jelly and salsa. And freeze more tomatoes. Then I'll be done... The garden will soon be tilled and put to bed for winter. (whew!)
Our raspberries did not produce much of a crop this year, but after last year's mega harvest (50+ qts.) I still have lots in the freezer. Anyone have any good recipes using frozen raspberries, other than for pie?
So now you know a bit of what I've been up to "in my absence here." Up next are updates on Noah (growing fast!) my two new kittycats (settled in nicely!) and some finished quilting projects (about time, I hear you saying.) Also pics from some local quilt shows.. so y'all come back!
OH! One last thing! A movie recommendation.. if you haven't yet seen the movie The Light Between Oceans, DO see it! It's playing locally, just for another two days... GREAT movie. Beautiful cinematography, good story, well acted!


"The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby - how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown." ~ Alice B. Toklas
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