Hamburger helper

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say again… sometimes I love the internet!

A while ago, Mom was lamenting that she couldn’t get her favourite Heinz Hamburger relish any more.


You may recall, a similar thing happened with Dad’s pickled onions. And just like Dad’s onions… I decided to see if I could find a copycat recipe.


This is the most involved canning recipe I’ve made so far… and it’s got everything in it – cucumbers, peppers, onions, celery and tomatoes. And spices! While this was simmering, the house smelled wonderful.


The recipe was suppose to make 4 500mL jars, but I only got two, plus two 125mL jars. It still needs a few weeks to “mellow” before we can try it. But if it’s good, I’ll definitely make some more next year!

Fair round-up

Here it is…


The moment you’ve all been waiting for… the fair results!

As you will recall – I entered 19 categories…. and I came away with 12 ribbons. If I’m honest, I’m not sure how I feel about the results… but let me get into the details…

  1. Infant’s dress – Leaf Love Dress – First
  2. Infants cardigan – Dora Cardigan – Second  (The first place cardigan wasn’t the Leaf and Lace cardi, but it was a VERY similar design)
  3. Baby Afghan – Bias Afghan – Fourth. (This did surprise me… it’s not a super spectacular knit – just garter. I didn’t really expect a ribbon at all)
  4. Infant booties and bonnet – Pumpkin Hat and Baby Janes – Second
  5. Children’s Hat/Mitts – Kitty Cat Hat and Mitts – Third
  6. Child’s Cardigan – Sirdar Cardigan with Short Sleeves – Nothing (I was curious if this one would ribbon… I thought the colour might turn people off – not everyone likes orange.)
  7. Child’s Slippers – Sleepy Lion Slippers – Third
  8. Child’s Toy – Octopus – Missing!!! (It wasn’t on the table at all!!! There was also no first place knit visible for the toy category, so maybe it won and just got misplaced. I’ll find out Sunday when I go to pick everything up)
  9. Teen Hat – Scandinavian Sugar Skulls – First
  10. Teen Shrug – Hitofude – Fourth (I definitely thought this one would do better – it’s beautiful lace and made with Camel silk. There was a pencil note on the tag that said “over” so maybe they thought it was too big to be a shrug. I don’t count it as a cardigan because of the way it fits)
  11. Teen Gloves/Mittens  – Knotty – nothing (I didn’t expect much with these – I knit them a few years back and threw them in on a whim)
  12. Adult Cardigan – Blaster  – Missing!!! (I know I didn’t get a ribbon because all the ribbons were accounted  for in this category, but my cardigan wasn’t even on the table. I hope it was just hiding under something)
  13. Adult Shawl – Highgarden – Nothing (This was a shock. It’s a beautiful beaded lace shawl. The first place shawl was definitely deserving… but some of the others….)
  14. Adult Socks – Aldershot – Nothing (This was definitely the biggest shock of the whole thing – mostly because the first place winner was a pair of plain vanillas in a varigated green. Literally every other pair entered was better than the winning pair.)
  15. Adult Hat and Mitts – Wildwood and Mitts – First
  16. Adult Slippers – Sleepy Bunny Slippers – Fifth
  17. Boot cuffs – Owl Boot cuffs – Fifth
  18. Purse – Lövspetsväska – First
  19. Dishcloth – Special Little Snowflake – Nothing (Another surprise. I think this was definitely a category where they chose the winners by colour

So the finally tally is 4 firsts, 2 seconds, 2 thirds, 2 fourths, and 2 fifths.  (One more ribbon than last year if you’re keeping track, but last year, I only entered 11 items). Not a bad showing, but a couple of those non-ribbon winners do make me wonder if it’s worth entering next year… and those missing items are a little concerning… I guess I’ll decided after Sunday when I pick everything up.

The rest of the fair was a touch dissapointing. I decided to go up Thursday night instead of Friday – the weather was better, and I figured if I got there right when it opened, I could be the crowds. And I did… but I discovered that there’s a reason the entry fee is 60% less on Thursday than the rest of the weekend. Literally half of the vendors weren’t open – including my Apple Cider cart, and the Fudge makers… my two main favorites of the fair. I considered getting some cotton candy,  but with no fudge or cider… what was the point?

The animal barns were pretty much empty too. All I got to see were these pigeons with some fashionable footwear…

And this mama hen with her chicks…


And a few buns in the petting area  (none of which wanted to be pet…)


So I left after about half an hour and took the back roads home, enjoying a nice long country drive.

With those disappointments, I’ll leave you with a little throwback picture from a more exciting fair…

Valerie - purple sweater!

That’s a pic of me, from 1983 (maybe 84) at the Ancaster Fair. Yes, Mom made that sweater (it was my favourite). And it’s proof that I’ve always enjoyed driving with the top down (and man, I miss my convertible!!!)


Off to the fair

Here it is…


The whole lot! Everything I’m entering in the fair this year.

Yesterday afternoon, before French Class, I trucked it all up to the fairgrounds. The fair volunteers were amazed with how much  I brought.

Judging will take place this morning. Either tonight or Friday night, I’ll head up there again to see how I made out. I plan to have a post for you about it this weekend.

Here’s a quick list of everything I’m entering:

  1. Infant’s dress – Leaf Love Dress
  2. Infants cardigan – Dora Cardigan
  3. Baby Afghan – Bias Afghan
  4. Infant booties and bonnet – Pumpkin Hat and Baby Janes
  5. Children’s Hat/Mitts – Kitty Cat Hat and Mitts
  6. Child’s Cardigan – Sirdar Cardigan with Short Sleeves
  7. Child’s Slippers – Sleepy Lion Slippers
  8. Child’s Toy – Octopus
  9. Teen Hat – Scandinavian Sugar Skulls
  10. Teen Shrug – Hitofude
  11. Teen Gloves/Mittens  – Knotty (not pictured)
  12. Adult Cardigan – Blaster
  13. Adult Shawl – Highgarden
  14. Adult Socks – Aldershot
  15. Adult Hat and Mitts – Wildwood and Mitts
  16. Adult Slippers – Sleepy Bunny Slippers
  17. Boot cuffs – Owl Boot cuffs
  18. Purse – Lövspetsväska
  19. Dishcloth – Special Little Snowflake

Kitty in the sky with Diamonds

A few months back, Samantha commissioned me to make her another quilt. If you read her blog, you’ll know that her and her family are avid glampers, and they recently found a permanent spot to enjoy their trailer. She wanted a small quilt she could use for those cool nights around the campfire.

So we started looking at fabrics. I tried to talk her into this one. While she thought it was cute, it wasn’t what she had in mind. In the end she settled on Cat-i-tude


And it just so happened that I already had the collection in my stash. I’d bought it back in April, intending to make something for myself. But once I got it, I decided it was just a little too psychedelic for my tastes. I thought I might make Miss Rowan something from it, but nothing was decided. So it wasn’t a problem to use it for Sam’s quilt.

With fabric chosen, it was time to pick a pattern. It took a little while to find a happy medium of what she wanted, and what my skills could manage. But find it we did.


Gimme Diamonds from Four Paws Quilting.

Even though all my project boxes are full – I couldn’t wait to get started on this one. At first, I thought I’d just cut the pieces. Cutting is probably my least favourite part of quilting, so I decided to just get it out of the way.


The cutting for this one wasn’t too bad. So then I thought…. well maybe I should try to put a few of the four patches together…. you know… just to see what’s involved….


And…. now they are all done! Oops.

The next step is laying it out with the big blocks, and assembling the whole top. I’ve promised myself that I need to finish Dave’s Grandma’s top first… so it will be a bit before you see it again.

And yes… as the title suggests… I’m calling this one Kitty in the Sky with Diamonds. Now excuse me, I need to go find an empty project box!

Meet up at Mimico

With the fair stuff behind me, it’s time to get back to the On the Go designs. There’s only two left, and I’d really like to get them done by the end of the year.


The next design is called Mimico. If it looks a little familiar, it’s a modified version of the lace on the Dora Cardigan – a simple Vine lace that’s only four rows with a stunning result.

I’m using Alley Cat for this pair – the colourway is Romance, a beautiful mauvy semi-solid. It’s just perfect to show off that wonderful lace work!

Rise of the machine

With the fair stuff done, I was eager to get back to sewing. Other than lining the knitted bag, I haven’t sewn a stitch for the past three weeks!

I rectified that by diving into the first Leader & Ender quilt. As you know, all the four patches were done, but I needed to make the HSTs. When Wyoming Breezes did this pattern, she did her HSTs in a mix of red and blue, and it worked out beautifully. I didn’t have enough of anything suitable in the stash, so I made a quick trip to Lens and came home with three different, but similar ditsy florals in black on white.


I figured this would keep it scrappy but coherent.  The white-on-white contrast I had in my stash. Once the HSTs were done, I laid it all out on my design bed.


It’s bigger than I originally planned, but that’s ok. I didn’t worry too much about the placement of the four patches. I mostly focuse on not having two like fabrics side by side… but any more than that and I would have gone batty. I love the way the HSTs blend to create pathways behind the four patches. So I’m calling this one Follow the Leader.


I  found this fun strawberry print in the clearance bin at Lens and there was enough for the back. This quilt is going to be Dave’s grandma’s Christmas present, so I’ve got to get that top together and everything up to Mom’s – ideally by the end of the month!