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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Yes, I am still alive. No, I have not given up blogging. I have just been incredibly busy. I hope to "be back" next week. Please come back then!

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Big ONE!

Guess who has had a birthday? It seems hard to believe that our sweet little Noah is now ONE year old! Time sure flies. It is so wonderful having him living much closer so we now see him much more often. What joy he brings to our lives.

We didn't actually see him on his birthDAY (they went camping that weekend) but he was here for several days just before his birthday as well as a few days the week previous, so I have lots of recent photos to share.

Look at that sweet little face... isn't he just totally the cutest little bug?!

Noah is a solid little guy at over 25 pounds and is a good little eater. He likes most things, and when he REALLY likes something, you know it! He can make it disappear before you turn around. It's not hard to tell he really likes Grammy's homemade spaghetti sauce... Although it looks like most of it went onto his face, he actually DID swallow a good amount as well...

Since his birthday was just a few days away, we had to have a special dessert. Fresh picked strawberries with lots of whipped cream fit the bill. We just sat the bowl in front of him and let him go at it.. what fun! Here is the progression...

"Strawberries and whipped cream!"

"Yummm, these are so good, Grammie!"

"I want to get every last bit!"

"I think there's still some cream, but I can get it if I lick the bowl..."

"Would this work as a hat, do you think?"


He's tender and bashful but boyish and brute, impossibly clever and cunningly cute!

Monday, July 31, 2017

NYC 2017 wrap-up

A quick wrap-up of our NYC trip. My travelling partner Sandi had not spent any previous time in the Big Apple so I told her our daytime activities were totally her choice. (As long as I got to my shows each night, I was happy!) She was anxious to spend some time in the garment district and I was happy to comply. Our first stop... Mood Fabrics on W. 37th street. Are you  familiar with the television show Project Runway where up-and-coming designers compete for a chance to show their designs during New York's Fashion Week? For each episode of the show, they have a limited time to shop at Mood for their fabrics.

When we arrived there on Thursday morning, we were told they were closing in 10 minutes for one hour, so we knew filming for an episode was about to happen. It would have been fun to be able to stay in the store and watch, but that was not allowed. Sandi did some swift shopping for dyed leather (for appliqué) and we returned on Saturday for another browse. When we exited the building, the film crew were waiting outside.

Our other stops included Elegant Fabrics, French Couture Fabrics, Sposabella Lace and M&J Trimmings among others that just had interesting window displays. If you are interested at all in sewing, just wandering the streets in this area of the city is fascinating. There are many treasures to be found, and yes even some bargains! For instance, can you imagine a store that sells nothing but feathers? Feathers of every shape, size and colour... We didn't purchase any but it's such fun to look!

We took two of the Grey Line bus tours - the downtown and the uptown loop which cover many of the "must see sights" of Manhattan. We also wandered the South Street Seaport, Fifth Avenue and a small section of Central Park. There is never enough time, and always more to see but we were happy with what we accomplished in our short time.


"There's something in the New York air that makes sleep useless." ~ Simone De Beauvoir

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How Can It Be...

... the last week of July??!!!!!! Good heavens, am I a Rip Van Winkle who has just slept away three weeks? Honestly I don't know where the days and weeks go. I have been beyond busy since returning from New York City on July 3rd. Mark was home for a few days, Laura and Noah have been here twice for 3-4 days each, (and nothing much gets accomplished with a toddler underfoot!) we celebrated our 30th anniversary, etc. etc. Toss in a few day trips, visits to a friend's cottage and all the usual daily chores and you get the idea. B.U.S.Y. We haven't had any appreciable amount of rain in over three weeks so I've been spending a lot of time watering, both the vegetable garden and the flower beds. The earth is SO dry... after such a wet spring, it's hard to believe things are now so parched. And now the raspberries are ripening and need daily picking... Yep, I'm busy!
The NYC trip seems so long ago now.... As I mentioned before, the highlight for me is always the Broadway shows. Come From Away was our first show and 43 of us from the group attended, anxious to see this wonderful Canadian story. And what a treat it was. Written by Canadian husband and wife team David Hein and Irene Sankoff, it tells the true story of small town Gander Newfoundland that welcomed nearly 7000 stranded passengers from 38 diverted flights after 9/11. Nominated for a number of awards including 7 Tonys, it has won a Tony for Best Direction (WELL deserved, Christopher Ashley!) 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, 4 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Musical, 3 Drama Desk Awards also including Best Musical and a number of Dora Awards in Toronto including Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Musical and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award. Whew! Actress Jenn Colella who portrays Beverley Bass, the first female pilot to make Captain with American Airlines, has also picked up several Best Actress awards. Each actor/actress portrays at least two real characters - a Gander resident and an airline passenger, and each character represents an actual person or a compilation of several persons. They do such an amazing job of this, often so well that it is well into the show before you realize that two different characters are actually the same actor.
Tony signing a Playbill
I can't say enough good things about this show. Would I see it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. It was such a positive spin on a tragic event, focusing on human kindness and compassion. Not once did you hear the word terrorist or any reference to the actual events in NYC. It was simply about a community rallying to help those in need. I encourage you to visit the Come From Away website here and at the top, click on "Learn More". Scroll down and below the cast photos under "Ready for More?" click on
"Learn About the True Story." At the very least watch the videos of pilot Beverley Bass and Gander Mayor Claude Elliott. Many other video clips and Youtube clips will be available to you - hours of entertainment well worth the watch. Trust me, you'll be itching to see this show! Good news for my fellow Canadians - it is returning to Toronto in 2018 and you can be sure I'll be be there to see it again! (Mark, I'll be reserving your couch.)
The other thing which made this show so special was that we have a "hometown boy" in the show. Tony LePage is an understudy and sadly he was not onstage that night but he did meet our group in the theatre after the show and we enjoyed chatting with him about his experiences with this fabulous production. That made for a special ending to the night. (And since I set up the meeting with him, I got a big hug from Tony! Now tell me, how many of you can say you've been hugged by a Broadway actor?? lol) I know all 43 of us left the Schoenfeld Theatre that night VERY proud to be Canadian!
Our Friday night show was Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, another excellent show. Carole King has long been a favourite of mine; her album Tapestry was the first album I ever bought (1971) and I think I wore it out! I knew every word to every song, and still do. She was a successful songwriter long before she began her career as a performer. I had no idea she and husband Gerry Goffin were so prolific, with hundreds of hits for many big rock and roll acts. To date more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1000 artists! Being such a fan I enjoyed every minute of this show and every note of the score.

Our final night's show was Phantom of the Opera - you have to finish a New York visit with an "over the top" performance! Phantom has it all- not only a fabulous love story, but the music, the costumes, the set, the special effects and of course the beautiful theatre. It's pretty hard to top the Majestic! It is so beautiful, it's not hard at all to imagine that you are actually in the Paris Opera House. The Majestic is 90 years old (see the theatre here)  and has been home to many Broadway successes such as Carousel, South Pacific, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof and The Wiz. Phantom, now in its 30th year, is the longest running show on Broadway, with over 12,100 performances to date. I've seen it three times, and love it more each time.
Ahhh Broadway, I can't wait to come back for more!


"To enter a theatre for a performance is to be inducted into a magical space, to be ushered into the sacred arena of the imagination." ~ Simon Callow

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival 2017 Classes

The 10th Annual Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival will take place October 10-14, 2017 in the beautiful town of Amherst. Registration is now open and classes are beginning to fill. Here is a brief outline of the two classes I'll be teaching. If you would like more info, leave a comment at the end of this post and include your email address, or email me at lindakhubbard(at)gmail(dot)com.

Machine Quilting 101 – Friday Oct. 13, 9a.m. Christ Church basement, 5 Lawrence St., Amherst

Machine Quilting 101 is geared to beginners and those who simply want more practice with basic machine quilting. This class will cover all necessary information and skills for the student to have a confident start as a machine quilter on their own domestic machine.  Your machine must have feed dogs which can be dropped or covered, and you will need a darning foot, sometimes called a free motion embroidery foot. Topics covered will include set-up of workspace and machine, feet, needles, threads, battings, marking, layering, tips for using specialty threads (rayons and metallics) and more. Quilting with straight lines, gentle curves and free motion work  (“stippling”) will be taught.  Students will be given detailed notes and many useful tips, and ample opportunity to practice skills on their own machines.
Learn to stipple!
I bring a number of quilts for illustration purposes, also a number of machine quilting books for students to browse. Join me for a jam-packed fun-filled day of info, tips and building your skills so you can quilt your own projects with confidence! 

EDIT Oct. 2.This class is now full, but I will take a few names on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Learn to use a twin needle.  It gives a very impressive cross-hatch!

 Quilting with the Walking Foot – Saturday, Oct. 14, 9a.m. Christ Church basement, 5 Lawrence St., Amherst
Simple Echo Quilting
Do you own a walking foot but have only used it for stitch in the ditch or attaching a binding? Is free motion quilting just not "your thing?" Then this class is for you! Join me to learn the many ways you can quilt with your walking foot (or Pfaff dual feed or IDT) whether on modern or traditional projects. Geared to the quilter who already has basic knowledge of machine quilting, this class will further explore all the many applications of the walking foot. After a quick review of the walking foot and how it works, machine setup, marking and preparing the quilt, we will move on to explore straight lines, organic lines, grids, matchstick quilting, twin needle work,
One of many styles of cross-hatching/grid you will learn.
radiating designs, quilting curves and circles, and echo quilting, as well as the use of decorative stitches for machine quilting and more. You will learn to use your quilting guide, and several other methods of evenly spacing quilting lines without marking. (Who likes marking anyway?) Students will receive detailed notes, many tips and stitching time in class to create samples.  I will bring many quilts to class for illustration purposes, as well as a number of machine quilting books for students' perusal. Join me for a fun-filled day “walking your way” to new quilting techniques! 

***Note to Pfaff Owners - your IDT or dual feed is the same as a walking foot so yes, you can take this class too!
***Prerequisite – a basic machine quilting class - if you have not taken one, I highly recommend my Friday class - see above.  Many students opt to take both classes. 

"Matchstick" quilting (lines 1/8" apart) is so easy when you know how to do it correctly.


There are many "decorative" stitches on your machine which can be used effectively for quilting. This serpentine stitch (at right) is one. We will explore the stitches on your machine to see which ones would work well. 
EDIT: Oct. 6   Only 3 spots left in this class.

Class registration is open. Don't wait too long - both of these classes were filled to capacity the last time I taught them at NSFAF. 

Class maximum is 15 students and fee for each full day class is $65.00. No hst and no kit fees. If you are interested in one or both classes, contact me and I will send you the registration info. Once I receive your payment, your spot is secure and you'll receive the class supply list.


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." ~ Henry Ford 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Purples of June

It seems there's lots of purples in June, at least in my garden. The alliums are done now but they were spectacular this year, and I had fun with my camera the day they were loaded with droplets of rain...

Other purple blooms this month included lilacs, iris, chives, clematis, spiderwort, columbine, shooting-star, Jacob's ladder, cranesbill, bachelor's buttons and of course there are the lovely lupins...

I love all my purple blossoms, and I know you're not supposed to "play favourites" BUT the Bachelor Buttons are a favourite, for sure...

Although they're not in my garden, I had to include some lupins (just for you, Sara!)

Are you tired of all this purple? Are the soft greens and purples  making you drowsy? If so, here's a little jolt of orange to wake you up! LOL

Are you a purple lover? Do you have any purples in your garden?


"All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul - when you look at it, it's looking back at you." ~ Uniek Swain

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On My Way

As you read this I will be on my way stateside... yes I'm off again to The Big Apple. I'll be gone from here for a few days but I do have several posts ready and scheduled to post, so do come back to visit... If you're a purple lover, be sure to drop by tomorrow! Comments might take a little longer to appear, as will my replies to you.
So.. New York here I come! As always what I'm most looking forward to are the Broadway shows we will see: Come From Away, Beautiful - The Carole King Story and Phantom of the Opera. I can't wait!


♫♫ Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway...  ♫♫

Monday, June 26, 2017

On My Bookshelf

Nadia Hashimi is an Afghan American pediatrician and author. She is best known for her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, which I have had on my "want to read" list for quite a while, but once again, it was not available on a recent visit to the library. Instead I picked up her second book, When The Moon Is Low.  
Synopsis from the book jacket: "In Kabul, we meet Fereiba, a schoolteacher who puts her troubled childhood behind her when she finds love in an arranged marriage. But Fereiba's comfortable life implodes when the Taliban rises to power and her family becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime. Forced to flee with her three children, Fereiba has one hope for survival: to seek refuge with her sister's family in London.
Traveling with forged papers and depending on the kindness of strangers, Fereiba and the children begin a harrowing journey as refugees. In the shadowy world of the undocumented who live on the streets of Europe's cities, their fate takes a frightening turn when Fereiba's teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Heartbroken, Fereiba has no choice but to continue on with only her daughter and baby- but mother and son will cross border after perilous border, risking their lives in hope of finding a place where they can be reunited."
Although this story and the characters are fictional, it is a realistic portrayal of what many refugees go through and certainly made me think twice about their plight. Their journey is not only a physical one, but an emotional one as well; this is a story of love and determination, which is no doubt true for most refugee families. The bonds between family members must be strong for them to endure so many hardships and setbacks, yet remain steadfast in their goal of reaching a better life. A good read!


"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it." ~ James Bryce

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
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