Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Seems rather odd to share a terrific soup recipe in the lovely Spring but there are days where the lovely Spring weather still has a bite in the wind and it feels like a soup day.  Such was the case here during the first few days of April, and again of late.  This is one some very dear friends in Alberta shared with us, both in edible and recipe form.😋

Italian Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

2T olive oil
2 c shredded carrots
1 large finely chopped red onion
2 c sliced zucchini
1 c sliced mushrooms (I subbed cauliflower)
3 c fresh spinach (stems removed)
2.5 c shredded cabbage (red or green)
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 - 19 oz can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 - 19 oz can red kidney beans (or your choice of beans, rinsed and drained)
1 c uncooked noodles (such as small shell noodles)
10 c vegetable broth
2 T brown sugar
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of salt

In a large soup or stockpot, sauté onion and carrots in olive oil over medium heat until onions are soft but not brown (5 min).  Add remaining ingredients except for chickpeas and beans.  Bring to boil and simmer covered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chickpeas and beans and simmer 10 more minutes uncovered.  Serve with a garnish of Italian cheese.  This soup freezes well. (It makes a LOT!)
Add cooked Italian sausage or chicken if desired.

Speaking of dear friends, I had the opportunity to meet up with Cindy of Stitchin at Home this past week!  I am so very thankful for flexible people; she said yep, to the approximate time and day and location...

The Canadians who are reading this know in a heartbeat that this is Tim Horton's!  It worked for us! 😉  Too bad this location hasn't had the facelift they are all getting to a more 'sit and visit, coffee house' vibe much like Second Cup or Starbucks.  It didn't matter though: we could've been standing on the side of the road for our meeting place; we'd have still loved every minute of being together in person.  Julie, Tish and Beth were with us in iMessage and spirit too! Sadly the wifi, as it is in a lot of public places, was pretty pathetic, so we couldn't FaceTime as planned. This will be the first of several get-togethers, we know it.
I spied several of these

as we worked our way back south along highway 3 that hugs Lake Erie coastline.  We went up on the 401, a major highway, aka interstate, aka motorway, so you don't see much but other vehicles.  This, now, is much more scenic:
I was waving madly to Julie 'just' on the other side of Lake Erie, lol. Doesn't it look like the ocean? It's 92 km/57 miles in width.

I am still not feeling very successful in the finding time to sew department.  I'm a creature of habit, routine, order (not obsessive order but still) and it is quite not that way as you know in my life this past while.  I'd hoped to be entirely caught up with the 150 Canadian Women QAL, but I am not, so here are the only three little blocks I've got to show in about two weeks.  As always, these women's stories absolutely amaze me.

Clockwise from bottom left: 67-Molly Kool: she waited 3 years(!) to get permission to take the coastal master's certificate (women weren't allowed) and became captain of her father's ship. Note the ship, the lighthouse, and the anchor in the tone-on-tone I used for 3 of the 4 centre 1" squares. 68-Leone Norwood Farrell: biochemist in 1933, quite an accomplishment in itself because of her gender, but developed 'The Toronto Technique' which enabled mass production of Salk's polio vaccine.  69-Frances Oldham Kelsey: scientist, earned her PhD in pharmacology in 1938 from the University of Chicago where she taught for the next 20+ years, 1960 began her career with the FDA. Her first assignment? Testing a pill for morning sickness, which she feared could be harmful to the fetus. Despite pressure from the drug companies (some things never change) she refused to approve it, thus ensuring not one thalidomide-deformed child was born in the USA.
I loved the Moda Marbles soft pink so much in Molly's block that I used it again in Leone's, and then found the softer-yet pink floral in my scraps, which I believe is a bit from a skirt of my sister Wendy's. I was able to used several small pieces for the ivory background of that block too.  These three blocks were intense!  All are based on a 36-patch grid, so 36 @ 1" finished squares!  Here's a tip for Molly's block, which is the one on the lower left. Instead of making 32 HSTs that finish at 1", make flying geese units the no-waste way (see tutorial here) using these measurements:
For the pink 'goose' or 'peak' part of the unit, cut a square 3 1/4"
For the 'wings' aka side triangles, cut four squares 1 7/8"

Those five squares will yield you four flying geese.  Yeah yeah you have to do a partial seam to sew them around the 1.5" squares, but it's simple.  Here's how:

The top part of the photo shows the first seam, sewing not quite half of the flying geese unit to the centre square. The lower part of the photo shows the second seam, sewing the pink flying geese unit to the left side of that unit.
The top part of this photo shows the red flying geese unit sewn to the bottom of the unit from step 2, and the lower part of the photo shows you how to line up the final pink flying geese unit to sew onto the fourth side.
You will have
this!  The lower part shows you what it looks like after sewing the fourth side.  All you have to do is fold down the top red flying geese unit, matching the seam with the side of the pink flying geese unit, and finish that partial seam from the first step! It's a bit tight because these are tiny units but the top section of the photo shows you what you end up with!  Four less seams and no wasted fabric from the connector corners method.

You're welcome!

Wouldn't the centre of the last block make a beautiful block in and of itself? Might have to try it in perhaps double the size...
Those are cherubs in the four corners, a nod to the babies she saved from being deformed

Soft pink!
Spied this gorgeous girl a week ago on a very early morning walk. The photo, of course, does not do her justice. These pale pink magnolias are pretty much finished now, but the deep pink ones are still in their finery for the most part, and the yellow ones should be out soon! I can't wait to get one for our new house.

NOT done is Craftsy with their class sales.  Beginning tomorrow, May 4, all classes yes ALL of 'em, are on for less than $20! Might be a good idea to snag one you've had on your wishlist, just sayin'.  I am an affiliate, so yes, I do get a small compensation if you click through and buy using my links!  Thank YOU!  It goes right back to Craftsy usually LOL, or, in the case of my latest purchase, to Connecting Threads (do I have some deals to tell you about...and yes I finally got my approval to be an affiliate with them, but my show 'n tell is from pre-affiliation, so plain pure unadulterated passion for fabric you will be shown...stay tuned. :-)  OMG and such good and welcome news from them I will share for my Canuck readers!

Linking up
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication

And uh, yes, if you were looking for Sunday Stretch on April 30, it wasn't there.  I forgot.  😖 I hope to have one for you tomorrow(?!)  I will try my best!🙏


  1. Great looking blocks! Thanks for sharing these and your fun travels on Midweek Makers!

  2. Yummy soup!

    Mmm those magnolias!

  3. You've been busy! Love the Canadian Women blocks. The soft pinks really make me think of spring. Hope you can get a bit more order going so you'll have more stitching time.

  4. Saying yes in a heartbeat to an in person meeting was super easy to do. Your last block would look great in a quilt!

  5. And I was on the southern side waving wildly back at you both! Yes, I wished I could have been there, but summer/fall is coming, and a freer schedule for me, I hope. Perhaps there will be an eventual meet up as originally planned? Hoping passionately!

  6. There's a lot going on in this post and in your busy life! First - soup, Yum! Then to meet Cindy in person, that must have been so much fun. And you know me and Tim are pretty good friends! ;) I could watch those wind turbines all day long, they are so mesmerizing.

  7. What a great post, all was missing for me is reading it while eating a bowl of your soup. I'm definitely will be saving this recipe. Thanks for sharing and love the stories behind your Canadian Women blocks.

  8. I'm saving your recipe too, not only vegetarian but vegan, not that I'm vegan but my husband would like to be, I told him he can but has to do all his own cooking. So far he has declined, but pointing out how many meals are actually vegan appeases him.


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