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January 9, 2021
A Hopeful New Year! from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Happy New Year, everyone! Our New Year's Day here in Germany was pretty quiet, due to our current lockdown. So far the lockdown has given me (Kara) extra time to stitch—especially for our latest Stitch-Along, which will kick off in just a couple of weeks. 

Last year, we created our Hopeful Bluebird wall hanging as something to do during the first quarantine. Our Facebook group started out small but has grown quite a bit since then, so now it is time to introduce another little project. Whether you are in lockdown or not, this project is made up ...

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December 30, 2020
Best of Life in Pieces 2020 from Life In Pieces

For the 6th year I'm linking up with Meadow Mist Designs "Best of" linky party.

It's a chance to look back at the "best" or most favorite posts on my blog this year.

1.  Most views (1579): Just A Bit of Stitching Stuff

Rainbow Binding for Twinkle Stars

I'm not sure why this one got so many views.  I guess one of the labels popped up as a result during a common Google search?  Though the rainbow binding for Twinkle Stars is pretty cool. 

2. Most comments (35): 10 Years At Life in Pieces

Hard to believe ...

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November 19, 2020
All the Stockings Were Hung... from Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye

Both Teri and I (Kara) have been working on all things stocking lately. Our Cardinals Christmas Stocking was released earlier in the week, and now we would like to introduce our Floral Christmas Stocking!

This flannel and wool stocking is simple in its color scheme but is full of little details that give it a unique charm. All the simple embroidery is done with Weeks DyeWorks crewel wool, giving the stocking a lot of texture. We have a limited number of kits available that include the flannel, wool, ribbon hanger, and a whole skein of the Weeks crewel wool. All ...

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November 10, 2020
Inspiration, Indoor Gardening and Outside Chores, Fans Quilt, Free Patterns, from Canadian Needle Nana

We've been blessed for a week now with unseasonably warm temperatures. Just wonderful for walking outside and doing more chores like gathering kindling and window washing. Here is a look into one half of my indoor garden. I use the 3 step ladder for the washing- too bad if the window is higher than that! I just can't risk going any higher these days. You can see my kitchen window in the background and just beside the top of my shoulder is my camera with the good zoom pretty much set up there permanently.

While out there, I ...

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November 7, 2020
Mindful, Meaningful, Tiny Happy Thursday Things from Canadian Needle Nana

 Autumn is deepening here in Canada but all is well and my sincere hope is that all countries are as peaceful and calm, if not right now, then very very soon. 

 I'm rereading this book, 10% Happier by Dan Harris and enjoying it very much.

 The author got to sit down with all the greats in terms of life coaches, gurus, spiritualists, etc. including Ekhart Tolle. He is very frank in his estimations of these people. You might remember Dan was the guy who suffered a panic attack on the air during a live ABC news broadcast. His quest ...

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November 6, 2020
Kindness is In, Baskets and Parachutes Applique, Rebecca- the Movie, A Thanksgiving Cactus from Canadian Needle Nana

I dreamt the other night that I was swimming. It is a recurring dream and the water is what this dream is about. It's an ocean with warm, clear blue-green water. (Nothing like the North Atlantic at home where I grew up). It feels beautiful as I effortless swim through it. I'm thinking all the while, this is so wonderful. I'm a much better swimmer in this dream than in real life where what I do barely qualifies as swimming. I've had this same dream very occasionally but going back some 45 years; it is like ...

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October 21, 2020
On Line Shopping, Embroidery, Garden Flowers Still, Squirrel Moment, Ugly Gardening from Canadian Needle Nana

  I had a funny thought this week when I ordered checks online from my banking site. The smallest order was for 100 and I figured these will probably see me through now. I so seldom write checks anymore. It wasn't a sad thought just like oh yes that's true now.

We have an overabundance of office supplies. This is thanks to auction wins and having extras thrown in during one of them that we did not bid on.  This week I'm planning on organizing the smaller totes and storage bins with the intent to lessen the amount ...

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October 6, 2020
Thrift Store Scores, Natures Pinks/Violets, Dreamy Hearts Quilt, Bathing Birds from Canadian Needle Nana


This is a close up of phlox.  A few bunches are here and there all over the garden. There is white as well but not nearly as showy. It was an excellent year for phlox and it did well despite the July heat and drought. Another wonderful perennial for a little further back in a flower bed.

I was struck while out and about by how much violet/pink is represented in an autumn time garden. Here is a smattering.

The sedum which is coming into bloom. There are two kinds here.

This bull thistle

Still prized by a few ...

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October 2, 2020
Autumn abounds from The Academic Quilter

 Hi everyone! So, just like that, it's October. How on earth did that happen? While 2020 cannot be over soon enough for me, the year is just rushing by now. I guess this means that it's really fall, too, and the next season will be here before too long. With the pandemic and all, can't we just skip that and go right to next spring? That only seems fair.

I have another finish to share today! The closet full o' tops is slowly getting whittled down to just a few. Here is this week's finish:


Artsy ...

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September 28, 2020
Two Beauty Products, Wisdom, Foxy Visit, Triangle Quilt Decisions from Canadian Needle Nana

 These three things below were birthday gifts and I thought I'd share them with you. I've mentioned Eckhart Tolle before and how much I love his writing. Saying that though, it is kind of involved in a way and you need to keep your wits about you if you are to take anything away. But I do enjoy his talk about the need to banish negative thoughts and as he puts it, making sure the present now is your friend not your enemy. 

I think I'm addicted to lip balms so anything to do with keeping lips ...

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September 25, 2020
Where Our Joy Lies, Free Applique Patterns, Big Stitch Quilting, Tuesday To Do from Canadian Needle Nana

It says a whole lot about us what we find pleasure in I think.

 I love how my blogging friends find joy in spying a feather flicker, a bud opening, words on a page, the colours of a sunrise or sunset, the look and feel of pretty fabric, the eating of the supper meal in front of the television with hand work at the side waiting for a few more stitches.  Observing the little things, noting and appreciating them all and loving it all too makes me enjoy my visits with you all so much.  If we want the world ...

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Quilting in the Garden favorites from The Crafty Quilter

As with many things, Quilting in the Garden has been cancelled for 2020. This event usually takes place the last weekend in September among the majestic oak trees at Alden Lane Nursery located in Livermore, California. I’ve attended the past four years in a row and have taken photos for three of those years. It’s a beautiful, outdoor quilt show that combines many of my favorite things: quilting, gardening and Fall.

Each year, Quilting in the Garden features a well-known quilter, a guest artist, special exhibits and classes.  Volunteers hang hundreds of quilts throughout the nursery and among ...

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September 24, 2020
It’s A Garden Party Row Along! from Clever Chameleon

pigeon in a bird bath paper pieced quilt block designed by Dione Gardner-Stephen of Clever Chameleon

Welcome to Day 6 of the “It’s A Garden Party” row along!

Please excuse the pigeon. He says he’ll be with us in a moment.

Once a year Marian of Seams to be Sew hosts an amazing event – a huge row along where lots of designers come together on one project. This year we have each designed a garden themed block for you to collect – mix and match them into a project that you love!

Garden Party row along

If you follow along with this event, you will find lots of beautiful gardening blocks, flower blocks, garden produce blocks and fun critters ...

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September 20, 2020
Gardening and Applique Rewards, Too Old for April Cornell?, Fabric Ambassadors Needed from Canadian Needle Nana

 This week was a whoosh. My guess is I must have been having a whale of a time, never mind just fun. 

Is it because I was a teacher that September still feels like a fresh start somehow. Because I do seem to have that "new start" feeling. Kind of invigorating and here's hoping it lingers. And that's another thing I love about living where there are seasons. As each rolls around it provides a perfect opportunity for a new beginning.

I've been rewarded for my gardening efforts in two tiny ways.

First of all, the Madagascar ...

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September 16, 2020
Fitness To Do, Apple Muffins, We Still Miss Someone, Fire Starter from Canadian Needle Nana

 I do carry with me all the time the feeling that this time is invaluable, precious even and therefore I must make the most of it. Perhaps at night watching our bit of t.v. is when I can shrug off the "every moment must be productive" feeling. I grew up with a father who often said "to labour is to live" and it must have sunk in deep with me. 

 I have a long list of things to get started/continued/done this week.  Here are a few of them.

 Continuing the research into the topic of fitness for ...

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Late Summer bold and beautiful blooms from Art In Search

     I love the late blooms of Summer. The colors are so bold and bright. I found a great sunflower stand on my daughter's street in PA. We visited a sunflower farm near me and my garden has some fun flowers. I grew the zinnias, Mexican torch sunflower, four o'clocks, and nasturtiums from seeds I bought from Select Seed.

Sunflower group at the corner of my daughter's street in Saegertown, PA

Variegated nasturiums
Buying a whole raft of these next year
Snapdragons and pink coreopsis
4 o'clocks
Petite zinnias

Small section of the sunflower farm

The ...

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September 13, 2020
Hand Piecing, Pears and Wild Fires... from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full


The English Paper Piecing continues

on this Horse Quilt Panel...

Three of the four border sections are 
hand pieced together...

This is the fourth and final border 
I am piecing now...

I have been toting the borders around
in this Messy Painted Canvas tote bag...

When a hand piecing moment arises,
I pull a border section out of the tote bag and stitch for awhile.

Our pear tree in the yard
has been fruitful...

Pears....almost too pretty to eat !

Pear Freezer Jam

We pick a few pears each day,
some are shared with our little goat herd,
the rest ...

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September 11, 2020
Patience and Pinning, Birds and Books, Inspiration Galore from Canadian Needle Nana

 Everyone talking about fall here as after a wet August we are experiencing a rather cloudy September so far. Our temperatures are starting to take a dip too especially overnight with several going down to single digits. Time to order our firewood. Small sigh about that -though sorry to see this season end,  I'm looking forward to using the fireplace again. 

I received this magazine subscription from daughter for my birthday and the first issues arrived with a gorgeous bag as well.  Love Quiltmania, as you all know.  I actually deliberately didn't look through them till now as ...

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Hand Piecing and Peaches... from May Your Bobbin Always Be Full

Our power has been out for several days so...

I have been english paper piecing

the borders on this horse panel quilt...

There are 4 borders...

I have this bottom border left to hand piece,
then I can put this baby together
and get on with the machine quilting.

The power came back on today...

I got busy canning these peaches...

We are enjoying the last of the summer flowers...

Thread Shed petunias, hollyhocks and dahlias

The deer have begun to come in the yard at night

and munch away on the petunias and hollyhocks.

Now that the power has ...

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September 9, 2020
Tuesday To Do, Fitness Dreams, Free Halloween Patterns, Giant Among Hostas from Canadian Needle Nana

It was a long weekend here in Ontario with a lot of folks heading to cottages or campgrounds. This week I talked to Mom about the few times we went camping as a family.  We didn't do much of that because, as Dad put it, Sally can't keep the floor of the tent as clean as she'd like it. Yes, my mother lived by the law that cleanliness is next to Godliness and part of that was having a floor so clean the neighbours would say "you could eat off it". 

We both enjoy this reminiscing and ...

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