Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Last week I placed an order for thread, five 3,000 yard cones, of Bottom Line, currently my favorite for piecing. When they came I thought they were so gorgeous I had to photograph them once they were out of their cellophane wrappers -- and here they are!

Although I had deteminedly pieced with cotton thread for years, I was getting tired of cleaning all of the lint out of my machine. So when I decided to try the much recommended Bottom Line thread in the bobbin and discovered that it makes hardly any lint at all I was sold! I then tried piecing with it as the top thread as well and found that it works beautifully there also, at least in my Janome 6500 and Janome Jem.

I can tell these cones are going to last me for ages as the cone I bought last summer and have used for almost all of the piecing I have done since is far from empty. Guess I'd better get sewing!

Monday, April 10, 2006


Well, today it seems to be -- sunny, not too cold -- but tomorrow, who knows? This is New England after all, notorious for changeable weather -- but never dull!

The making of maple syrup is winding down as the weather warms but while it is being done it is happening all over the place! On a Sunday drive we ran across a sugar shack where the sap was being boiled down to syrup. No longer will you see individual buckets hanging from tapped trees. Now the trees are tapped and the syrup travels through plastic tubing for some distance to be collected in larger containers. The first picture below shows one of these containers and some of the tubing;the second the sugar shack and the third some of the collected sap being pumped into the evaporating system.

We were told that it usually takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup but that this year it is requiring 60 gallons. This of course requires more fuel and more time to cook the sap down. And you wondered why maple syrup is so expensive?

Another notable feature of the rural landscape is the barns -- nicely kept and in use, rather more decrepit and the utterly abandoned. We saw examples of all of these:

Lots of fun to drive around looking to what there is to see. If the Masters hadn't been on yesterday we might have done it again! As things stand we will be out and about when the mood strikes...