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Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Strawberry Salad with Maple Dressing

Summer's here and that's when I make this wonderful salad.  Easy to do and gives me lots of time for my knitting and quilting.

This salad has evolved over the past 10 years and I've tweeked it to suit my family's favorite ingredients.  I make it in June and July when the strawberries are in season.  It's made with local  strawberries and maple syrup and maple vinegar from a nearby maple sugar bush. 


Iceberg or romaine lettuce
1 Granny Smith apple
Strawberries (two or three for each serving)
Sugar glazed pecans
Blue cheese (I use Castello Crumbled Danish Blue Cheese)

Place torn  lettuce leaves on individual salad plates.  Place several thin slices of Granny Smith apple and a couple of sliced strawberries on the lettuce.   Top it off with half a dozen homemade sugar glazed pecans and a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese.  Pour the Maple Dressing over the salad.

Maple Dressing:

¼ cup Pure Maple Vinegar
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons Medium or Amber Maple Syrup
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients and shake well. 

Tip:  Store any leftover dressing in the fridge and remove about an hour before you plan to use it.

Here's a link for the recipe for the Glazed Pecans 
Give it a try.  I am sure you’ll enjoy it. Have a great summer!!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Knitting Project Bags

I was drawn to this Hudson fabric with the recognizable Hudson Bay colors and decided to make Knitting Project bags out of it with coordinating plain fabric.  

It's the perfect size bag for socks or cowl projects.
The bag is made with 100% quilting cotton and is fully lined with a light colored 100% cotton fabric.

It has a fusible fleece between the inner and outer layers of the bag.  There is a coordinating 4" strap on the side.  It has a zipper closing on top.
There is lots of open space in the bag due to its boxed bottom. 
As an extra touch, each bag is quilted. 



The size of the bag is approximately 10"high x 12" wide with a  4 1/2" bottom.

I'm only making a few of these Hudson color bags.  I can't use them all so I'm selling them for $40 (CDN) each plus shipping.  If you'd like to order one, you can reach me through Instagram @suecquilts. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Striped Socks

The GroceryGirls May Sock Bash on Ravelry
is for striped socks.  I had some Paintbox Yarns striped rainbow yarn that I thought would be perfect.   I knit a Cuff Down sock based on a pattern by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears.  It went together very well, even the gusset heel flap was easy to do as it was well explained in the pattern.  The heels and toes were knit with some left over yarn that coordinated with the colors.

The Kitchener bind off always makes such a nice finish. 
I found a great tutorial by Suzanne Bryan that demonstrated how to do this method without having "ears".  Here's the video.

I avoid using dpns as I much prefer the Magic Loop method and try to adapt patterns whenever I can.  I knit these socks with 2.25 mm needles, it always seems to take a bit longer.  But the time spent was worth it.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Socks for Hubby

I finished a pair of socks for hubby who picked out the colours on his own. He is not into indie dyed wool or anything showy; just warm and comfortable were his criteria. Set loose in the yarn store, he chose Regia 4-ply grey with maroon contrast, perhaps something like his great-grandfather would have worn! Which is what his photograph intended to portray with everything in the photo (except the socks) dating to c. 1900. He’s quite happy with how everything turned out.

He liked them so much that he requested another pair.  I made them with the left over wool from his first pair - just the opposite colors.  I used Susan B Anderson's socks for men pattern.  Turkish cast on, toe up socks, short row heel on 2.25 mm ChiaoGoo circular needles - my go to method for socks.  I also do a little something to avoid the annoying hole that sometimes appears when you join the finished heel stitches to the instep stitches.  Socks are enjoyable to knit -  I can knit them fairly quickly; they don't take much yarn and they are functional and appreciated by the recipient. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Starburst Blossom

I enjoyed the PEI MQG mystery quilt so much that I made a second one for the local Victoria's Quilts group.  I changed the layout a bit and had to cut off a few points to have it the proper size for the groups size requirements.

Colors worked well together.  There was a lot of piecing but I had fun assembling each block and putting together the quilt top.  

I tried some different quilting designs this time using echo stitching for the inside and outside of squares and a more curved design for the other blocks.  

It's always a challenge to quilt this on my domestic Bernina.  It's about as big a size (50 x 70) that I can maneuver.   The nice part about using my machine is that the BSR makes the quilt stitches even.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Joy of Long-arm Quilting

Over the past couple of years,  I have had the delightful opportunity to use the long-arm quilt machine at Happy Wife Quilting.  Jen, who runs the home-based shop, guided me through each step.  

The initial set-up requires accuracy to make sure the quilt top is straight.  Once you are ready, you follow a pantograph for the design.  It takes a bit of practice to follow the design with the laser light, but with a few tips from Jen, I managed to quilt 3 large scrappy quilts, several other large quilts and a baby quilt.  Not all at the same time, mind you.:)

Happy Wife Quilting's New Long Arm

I really enjoyed using the long arm.  It was a very zen-like mode once I got into the swing of things.  Long-arm quilting gives the quilts such a quality finished look.
Some quilts that I long-arm quilted at Jen's were approximately 90 x 90 inches and took about 5 hours from setup to finish. The smaller sizes were finished in a few hours.

The binding was sewn on at home with my walking foot and then the excess batting and backing were trimmed away. 

My quilts are always finished by hand sewing the binding around the edges.  The label is applied at this time as well.  

Long-arm quilting - love it!!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Socks 2018

When I first started knitting over 40 years ago, I made  a few sweaters. I put the needles down for many years to pursue my teaching career and raise my 3 children.   Just recently I returned to knitting. It was a whole new world!

Aside from the new needles and independent yarn dyers that have blossomed, a plethora of knitting activities had emerged along with acronyms - KAL, WIP, UFL, BFL, etc.  What the heck!!  Now maybe some of you are familiar with these terms, but I had never heard of them before.  I needed to do some research just to work my way through them.  

Another interesting occurrence is that shawls had sprung into the limelight.  It seems there are many designers creating new shawl patterns and plenty of people knitting them as well.  And the yarns, don't get me started.  They combine such a variety of wool from sheep, yaks, goats, alpacas and more, that they put the yarns of yore to shame. 

All I can say is it's a wonderful and exciting new world for knitters.  

And this brings me to something else I discovered - knitted Christmas socks.  Yes, that's right.  People knit socks for the Christmas season and some knit more than one pair - many more.  I didn't really know such a thing existed, but after viewing various knitting podcast - and there are numerous ones out there -  and discovering this knitted Christmas sock phenomenon, I was hooked.   I found the perfect self-striping yarn at a LYS (local yarn store) .   It's made in England by West Yorkshire Spinners.  The color is Fairy Lights and it's so cute.  I paired it with their Cayenne Pepper for the contrast toes, heels, and cuffs. The yarn is a combination of BFL (Bluefaced Leicester) wool and nylon.  Really nice to knit. Also, bought their Chocolate Lime yarn for next year's pair.  I'm hooked.  I can see this becoming a tradition. 😊