Thursday, September 23, 2021

Gratitude #56

Welcome to my monthly post of gratitude. I try and mostly succeed, to practise gratitude each and every day. It genuinely lifts my spirit, and I've found that it has become a habit. Here are a few from the past month. If you'd like to read more uplifting posts from around the globe, head to LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color where she writes a weekly post, and others link up theirs.

1. I'm grateful for our Mother Earth. Despite the horrific mistreatment and disrespect for her these past 70 years especially, she provides. I grew beets this summer, and besides cooking, and pickling a few, I used a couple to make my own beet hummus. Yum!

We made salsa with a bunch of my tomato harvest,

and then one night I made marinara sauce with more tomatoes, flavoured with my own basil, grown from seed. Yum!
We've been enjoying many delicious meals with potatoes I grew. There is nothing like a potato freshly dug, boiled, and then eaten. The ones in the store are just dust, lol, once you've had them straight from your own garden.

2. I'm grateful for the Internet. Despite causing a rather horrifying increase in social ineptitude and mis- as well as disinformation, it has given me so many connections. Quilty-minded friends, the ability to practice yoga on Zoom, actually meeting some of my quilty long-distance friends through Zoom (so I'm grateful for Zoom too), 

3. I like reading good, heartwarming stories on the news. There sure aren't enough of those these days.
This one especially warmed my heart. There still are loads and loads of wonderfully kind, giving souls in our world. Stranger's act of kindness changed a homeless man's life 

4. I'm so very grateful that the Liberals regained power, though I'd truly hoped for a majority so that they could move full steam ahead with their climate plans, $10/day childcare, and much more. Because we follow the British, or Westminster tradition, we have several parties in Canada, so it tends to splinter the vote. Having a minority government can be good, because the party with the most seats has to work with the other parties, but as we saw over the past two years, it can lead to nothing being done because those parties act like spoiled, obstinate two-year-olds. I'm hopeful (sigh) that they will behave better.

5. This was another month of great books. 
The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman; Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawson (probably my favourite of the four, sent me to the internet multiple times, just absolutely gripping and fascinating), The Light Through the Leaves by Glendy Vanderah (I want to read her first book now), and Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, which I'm nearly finished. Love her Jackson Brodie books. This last one means I have reached 40 books so far this year! I like, no I'm overjoyed to see how much my reading time has increased. Sewing time has lessened since I no longer have the project a month due for Island Batik (though I miss those challenges, as well as their gorgeous fabrics), and computer time has lessened as well. I'm okay with this current balance. Outside time really went up this year too; we sure had a gorgeous summer.

6. I'm really grateful for the Etsy platform. Even though they do take a chunk of one's earnings, at least it gives 'little' pattern designers like myself a place to offer their wares. I now have 13 patterns in my Etsy shop, SandraJaneQuilts, and that is, to me, so satisfying. I'm grateful to those who purchase my stuff, and to Yvonne, for her tech-editing expertise, and to fabric companies, like Island Batik, Northcott, and Benartex who work with smaller designers. Benartex has been doing some promos on social media of their new lines. We designers could digitally mock up a pattern, new or previously released, in their new collections. I used Blue and White Elegance (should be out in stores shortly) to mock up my ‘first ever published in a magazine’ pattern, On the Plus Side. This gives us a little free exposure too, a win-win!

It's on sale through Friday, or maybe Saturday 😉 because that's the monthly DrEAMi party: Drop Everything And Make it, where we share and celebrate  'squirrel!' moments. I have one, or maybe two this month.  One is the new baby size version of this pattern, and I'm excited to show you the colours!

7. I'm grateful to people who host linky parties and online activities that bring us together and encourage us to sew, or get UFOs done. When you tend to chase squirrels, you get distracted, and thus you tend to amass a few UFOs, WIPs, or PHDs. In order to lessen these, I've joined in with Gail of Quilting Gail this year to get my PHD quilter 'badge', and just this week I signed up with Leanne @devotedquilter, to finish up WIPs during the last 100 days of 2021, of which today marks the start. It's on Instagram only, and there are lots of prizes for it too! I'm a sponsor as well 🥳with two free patterns.

8. I am so grateful for the increase in Monarch butterflies that several of us around here have noticed. I pray that the newly planted milkweed in many places has helped these incredible creatures. In one spot where I walk, there were absolutely loads of them hanging out in one section over the span of a week or two, just magical.

9. I'm grateful for tag-teaming with my husband over Xena. She's definitely a very difficult first rescue, and must have undergone some terrible abuse. One step forward two back, at times. She isn't very affectionate at all, she’s aloof and distant a lot of the time, something so hard, when we are used to loving, petting and snuggling our dogs, (Rufus is a snuggle-muffin extraordinaire, so that helps.) We try to focus on the positives: here she's sharing 'her' loveseat with Rufus. One day I hope it will be this calm with her and Bella.


  1. I love these posts Sandra. One of our neighbors made a complaint to the city about the milkweed we had deliberately encouraged to grow in our front yard - we got a $75 fine for it, with a promise of more to come if they have to ask us to cut it down again. I think that's a short-sighted attitude.

  2. Gratitude practice has really been important to see me through the past few years. I love seeing how Xena is progressing and I'm thankful she found you to help her live the best life possible.

  3. I always enjoy your gratitude posts! I enjoyed Light Through the Leaves, too. Will have to check out the other books you mentioned. Beautiful monarchs! I would like to see more here, although I don't know that we're on their path. You and MacGyver are so amazing to have Xena, and I hope you see growth in her comfort with you after time.

  4. Another enjoyable gratitude post! Love the monarchs and homegrown produce is the best!

  5. Looks like you had an incredible harvest! Everything looks so yummy. I'm doing the WIPS be Gone with Leanne, too, and am hoping it prods me to get a few things done. Have a good weekend!

  6. Thank you Sandra for letting us see your gratitude post! So much to be grateful for. Your new pattern is amazing and I have fabric pulled - yes, I have to finish one project before moving onto the next - I'm one of those people - haha!

  7. Lots of goodness to celebrate in your world this month. We saw a few Monarchs this summer, but we're between the midwest and New England flight paths, so sightings aren't abundant. I've let milkweed grow in the yard every year, but have yet to see any caterpillars.
    I've got to get started on WIPS-B-Gone. It's day two and all I did yesterday was make some 16 patch blocks which don't really have a focused project yet. There's one project I really need to finish, but I'm having trouble moving on to the next step (sashings). And that's why I signed up for the challenge. Oh well.

  8. So many awesome likes. The butterflies and the milkweed is great. I recently saw satellite wasn't weather it was butterflies heading south. Beet hummus....hmmmm I eat a lot of beets. How awesome to have such a bountiful garden. Best of luck with the rescue. There are times I think I want a big dog and think about a rescue, but then there are times you just don't know, which can be scary.

  9. I love your post; I like how these posts remind us of the simpler things in life, like Monarch Butterflies and freshly dug potatoes ♥

  10. So many wonderful loves...and, yes, gratitude for meeting new friends through the internet. So glad Xena has wonderful adoptive parents who are being so patient with her.