Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A little green...........

I'm still working on the hand sewing of the binding on my colorwash and will show it tomorrow when I do the monthly recap.

I had an eye appointment in Chicago yesterday morning, everything is stable and no need for an injection.  In the afternoon while my eyes were still dilated I planted some Dianthus in the back garden in an area where I hope it reproduces year after year.  On the way in I realized I hadn't taken a photo of my tomato plants for 2 weeks.  We had such a cool rainy spell for a whole week after I planted them and they didn't grow much.  Now in just 3 or 4 sunny days they have shot up several inches.  I gave them a dose of Miracle-Gro so I hope they shoot up more by next week.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Partially done........

I think my binding choice is working well.  I have almost 2 sides of the hand stitching done.

It was another beautiful day yesterday, hot but a nice breeze and low humidity.  I planted my zinnia seeds and mowed the grass as well as pulling more weeds.  After all of those rainy days we had I feel like I have to take advantage of every dry day and get out and get yard work done.  Now it can rain again and water the zinnia bed and tomato plants for me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Choosing a binding........

I got my colorwash trimmed and then started looking for a binding fabric.  I needed it to be dark on this one because the entire edge of the piecing is dark.

I also needed to take into consideration that it would look good with the backing fabric.  It is a muddy brownish green batik print.

I spent part of the day outside because the weather was beautiful.  The rain missed us this time.  I pulled and dug out more weeds and cut some dead branches.  I have purchased the zinnia seeds but didn't plant them yet....maybe today. 

Today is Memorial Day...a day we remember and honor all who have served our country and sacrificed to keep our country safe and strong.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cutting and planting......

I didn't sew anything yesterday but I did cut some more 2.5" squares from Kaffe fabrics.  I have a long way to go before I will be making anything from these squares.

This is one of the pots I planted on Friday.  Full sunlight fades the colors so it is prettier than this.  The Coleus in the back of the pot is supposed to get quite tall.

This is the other pot I planted on Friday.  Next to it is a tomato plant and some petunias which I should have moved out of the way.

This is the third variety of Cranesbill that I have.  The flowers are a really pale pink and are shaped different than the other varieties.  Remember you can click on photos on my blog and enlarge them.  I planted one more pot with Coleus yesterday afternoon.  I also dug out all of the volunteer plants and weeds from the zinnia bed and added peat moss and some top soil to build it up a little.  Now I need to plant the seeds.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

It's about time.....

I couldn't ignore it any wasn't going to quilt itself.  I spent the morning on errands yesterday, the early afternoon planting more pots and then it started raining so I couldn't get any photos of them.  Last night I finally quilted this colorwash.  It  just needed one width of fabric for the back.
I finished quilting it at 10 p.m. and started taking out the basting threads.  I used clear polyester monofilament thread this time for the ditch quilting from top to bottom on every seam.  I use thread to match the backing fabric in the bobbin.  Today I will trim it and choose a binding.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Outdoor time..........

The first thing I did was lug 6 huge bags of pine bark nuggets to the backyard and refreshed my path through the garden.  The nuggets were larger than the ones I usually use but were the only ones I could find.  I took this photo in the early evening so the colors are really subdued.
I got three pots planted for the front porch.  I planted them with identical plants this year.

This recycled plastic pot doesn't look like much yet but will fill in.  I may add a couple petunias in there today.

Here are the 4 pots that I had Dahlias in last year.  I just cut off the dead plants and put the pots in my heated garage for the winter.  One started growing about 6 weeks ago, the others are a little slower but the last one is finally coming up.  I planted them later in the season last year so I'm hoping for more blooms this year.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

One block........

I cut some more triangles and made a replacement block for my triangle star quilt - to replace the one I want to pull out and use in another quilt.  I didn't press this one yet since I have other things to press today and will press it then.

I finally bought some flowers to plant in my pots.  It has been cool and rainy for over a week so I didn't get this done as early this year.  Hopefully I'll do some planting today and have some photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Rain again....this is what the peonies look like from the studio window.  You can see I have a lot of buds out there if it will just warm up and stop raining.  I have picked 2 bouquets already from the 3 types that are blooming so far.
I cut 16 more Kaffe fabrics in 2.5" squares in my ongoing project.  

Then I basted a colorwash last night so I should be able to have one finish this month.  Last year I didn't have any complete finishes.  This top was finished one year ago and is shown on this post. 

It looks like a square here but it is rectangular.  This one is made from 1.5" x 3" finished rectangles and it is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Last seams sewn........

I had to take advantage of a dry warm day and mow the grass yesterday.  It was cold on Sunday and rain coming again last night.  I sewed the last 14 seams in 3 sessions yesterday and got this small quilt pressed last night.  The triangle squares are 3" finished so this is about 36" x 45.5".  The last few triangles from the box will be sewn into 3 six inch blocks with only 3 left over.  Those blocks will go in my orphan block box.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A little design time..........

I have missed design time.  Last night I looked through my boxes of triangles and found a stack of triangle squares already sewn.  They were the leftovers from my Triangles 1 and Triangles 2 that I made in April 2016.  Click here to see them.  I decided on a chevron pattern and started playing.  I got the seams all sewn in one direction last night.  It will only be about 36" x 45" which is truly a lap quilt size.  It felt good to see what I could make with the combinations that were already sewn.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cutting a new stack..........

I started cutting strips of Kaffe fabric for this cutting project over a year ago.  I want to do another Kaffe colorwash but I have some other ideas for the 2.5" squares too.  I used them in this quilt - which isn't finished yet.
I started with fabric 01 which was out in the early 1990s.

Each fabric is a double layer and there are 3 fabrics (6 layers) in each stack.  I'm using the GO! die for this one because the Studio die doesn't cut as clean (I have to pull the squares out carefully at every intersection).  I could cut 10 layers with the Studio die but I spend a lot of time getting the piles of squares off the die.  The GO! die will cut 6 layers at a time and the fabric piles lift off easily.  I cut the long strips at the 8 1/8" mark twice for each pile of 6 layers.
I lay them on the die with the lengthwise grain leading into the roller.


After cutting this is all the waste there is.  This cutting project will probably take at least a month to finish.

I'm stacking them in a cookie sheet.  The larger sheet on the bottom will be the one where I fan out the layers so I can keep track of what I have cut.  The green square at the top of the tray isn't perfect.  Some of the fabrics had a swatch cut out of a corner so I will pull the imperfect squares and keep them separate.  They will probably get cut down to 2" squares at some point.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Backing chosen...........

A friend came over yesterday to bake a rhubarb/strawberry pie in my oven.  Yes, she left 2 pieces for me......yummy!!!  While it baked we went down to the basement to look for a backing for my purple quilt top (By the way for those who didn't catch the link in yesterday's post, here is the link for the book with the pattern and a photo of the ruler laying on the book).  We went through my stack of purples first and found a couple that could work.  Then we went to the big boxes of large yardage for backings.  There were 2 that had purple in them and I think this was the best one we found.  Now I just need some energy and enthusiasm to finish it.  Yesterday was a gloomy rainy day and I really didn't do much of anything.
Here are some more photos from the back garden a couple days ago.  I bought 2 hanging pots of wave petunias for a spot of bright color out there.  They have started to relax and hang over the edge since this photo.

This is an area where I planted about 20 hostas that I had in pots last year.  I added the 2 in the top left from my sister-in-law a few days ago.  I have added one more since I took this photo.  By the end of summer the area should be filled out.  I need to get some pavers and lay a path between them while they are small.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Purple top sewn.........

I pressed the top last night so it is officially finished.  It is about 62" x 88.5".  It doesn't lay quite as flat as most of my quilt tops.  That is due to trying to match the points as I sewed the blocks together with lots of stretching and easing.  If you match the points at the center when sewing these blocks it is hard to get the edges to match too. Trimming the blocks would have only made it worse for matching.  The first quilt I made was before the ruler came out and it matched better.  Here is the post that shows the book and the ruler which is laying on the book.
I was happy to see the Dianthus re-seeded from last year.  Creeping Charlie is everywhere and as much as I don't like it, it is very pretty next to the Dianthus.

Here are some more plants down behind the lilies.

Another variety of Cranesbill is blooming.

There are always a few blooms on one branch of the Viburnum bush.

More rain is predicted for later today and most of the day tomorrow.  I dug up some volunteer Red Penstemon plants and planted them in the back garden.  I also moved one Hosta back there.  The rain should help them get a good start.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Purple layout.........

I put 70 blocks up on the design wall yesterday and took this photo.  I did get the top sewn together last night but haven't pressed it yet.  It will look a lot better when sewn.

I think this is the earliest my peonies have ever bloomed.  This bush is always the first to bloom.

We had storms roll through last night with gusty winds so I don't know as I'm writing this whether the blooms are still standing up.

The other Jack-in-the-Pulpit is blooming now.  The plant is not as tall this year as it usually is.

The pale pink Weigela was chopped back severely 2 years ago in the fall and it has the most blooms it has ever had this year.  The petals were starting to drop yesterday. 

My youngest grandchild turns 21 today, the one who made the Packers quilt last month.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A productive day.......

While my 2 friends were here sewing I made one 6" strawberry block for my Farm Girl Vintage quilt.  I started laying out the second one and need to cut 4 green squares before I can sew it.

Last night while watching 3 hours of TV I pieced the last 24 blocks to finish a quilt.  I have 72 blocks made now and I think the layout will be 7 x 10 which will make a quilt about 61 x 88".
 In the morning before my friends got here I rearranged a little more and this is an almost final layout.
I had 36 blocks and need 35 so I pulled out my favorite block to be used in another quilt.

I am questioning whether I need to pull out my second favorite block too and make a replacement for that spot.  When I make my decision I will proceed.

My Columbines are blooming now.  It was windy so the flowers are a little out of focus.

The pale pink ones are not as pretty this year as they usually are.  The color seems a little more faded.

One of the lilac bushes is just loaded with blooms this year. They are a pale color compared to the bushes with larger blossoms.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another beautiful day.........

It was another beautiful day yesterday.  My sister-in-law offered me some plants from her garden.  I went over and helped her dig up a couple hostas and pulled a baby plant loose from both of them.  She also gave me some hellebore starts, 3 little plants.  I didn't have any of those and always wanted some.  I came home and had lunch and then planted my new treasures.  While I was out I did some weeding.

Last night I moved a few triangle star blocks for better balance.  Now I need to concentrate on colors and make sure they are distributed well.  My 2 friends are coming over to sew so I'll get their opinions too.  I hope to make at least one more block of my Farm Girl Vintage quilt.  I also have some blocks for this purple quilt to cut and sew.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Odds and ends........

I put the last 6 blocks up on the design wall with the others hoping that I can decide how to arrange them.  I wanted to spend time outside yesterday so I didn't work on this.

It was 83 degrees so I decided to plant the tomatoes.  I put in 9 plants this year.  It was crowded with this many a couple years ago but last year with 6 plants everything started dying back early and I wished I had put in more plants.  One friend says she strips the leaves off the plants so better ripening can happen.  I could do a little of that if they get crowded.
I have a late variety of lilacs and they are just beginning to open.  They are right outside my bedroom window so I'm hoping for fragrance soon.

Here are the rest of my Mother's Day presents.  I'm looking forward to the grilling pan for chicken breasts for my salads and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I'll watch the videos and see other uses for it.