Friday, June 30, 2017

11:30 p.m. finish............

I loaded the quilt on the longarm in the morning.  I quilted it late afternoon.  I love the backing fabric.

I used a grayed lavender thread which shows up a little on the darkest fabrics.

It also shows up a little on the lightest fabrics but on all of the rest I could hardly see it.  That made it hard to see where I had already quilted.  I used a large meander and 80/20 Hobbs batting.

This is the fabric brand of most of the fabrics.
I used the leftover backing fabric for the binding and finished it by machine.

The backing fabric is used in the front of the quilt too.

It finished at 59.5" x 77".  I will use it in my living room.  I just love the Australian fabric prints.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The chosen one.........

After looking through the quilt tops for about a half hour I decided on finishing this one.  Click here for the post where the whole view is shown.  If you noticed the date on that post this top has been waiting for about 2 1/2 years to be quilted.  I got the batting cut and the seam sewn in the backing.  I hope to load it and quilt it this morning.
Yesterday was dark and dreary in the morning as thunderstorms rolled through.  In the afternoon it was partly sunny, partly stormy.  This is the view from one of my kitchen windows. This view is to the left of the path to the bird feeders.  If you click on it to enlarge it you will see things blooming.  The tall plants in the center are orange Tiger Lilies which haven't bloomed yet.  The Rudbeckia is all budded out but hasn't bloomed yet either.
Here is a closer view of the section I have been working on.  I dug up the little Hosta that was between the Coreopsis and the Shasta Daisy and it is now planted to the right of the Daisy.  You can just barely see tips of it.  This shot taken from the kitchen window has a bush in the foreground.  I planted a red Coneflower on the right.  The last time I bought a red one it bloomed white the next year.  I hope this one stays red.
This is the view to the right of the path to the bird feeders.  The 15 peony bushes are in this section.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

31..........which one?.........

I have 31 quilt tops hanging on this rack.  The last 2 tops I finished aren't here yet, so 33 to choose from.  I'm still waiting for one to jump out and say "finish me next".  It isn't for lack of backings or batting that I haven't finished them.  I will probably take the easy way out and choose one that will take the least quilting and a machine finished binding.

The weather has been so gorgeous, low humidity and in the 70s for several days.  I got some more weed pulling and planting done yesterday afternoon.  Now storms are coming off and on over 2 days so I should be able to get something quilted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Busy, busy day............

My surprise June Amaryllis turned out to be a red one.  There are 2 huge blooms and maybe another small bud.  The stalk is about 24" tall and is leaning over so I had to hold it up to take the photo.

Yesterday morning I did some more sewing on the tote bags for the church service project, then went to sewing circle at church.  When I came home I mowed the lawn and then dug up a Hosta which was 3 little plants now.  I found places to plant the 3 little sections.  I noticed Japanese Beetles on a Coral Bell leaf so I got my container of soapy water and dumped about 15 of the beetles into it.  When I came inside I did some cutting for a friend.  I feel like it has been a long time since I sewed but actually I just finished the Friendship Star quilt top on Friday last week.  Now as the end of the month is almost here I think I need to finish something.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I have bunches of these purple flowers all over the back garden.  They are about 30" tall so they stand above most other plants.

The only sewing I did yesterday was on tote bags for a service project for my church.  I transplanted one Hosta and pulled some more weeds.
The Cannas are coming up.  There are 5 groups of them making a half circle around a peony bush.  The pipe is a marker at the center of my yard for the lot line.  Three of the Cannas are planted on my neighbor's side of the lot line.  They guy they have mowing for them never mows that area so I cleaned it up and did the planting.
I love my Hostas!!  This is the newest spot that I planted last fall.

Today I have church sewing circle and maybe I'll mow the grass.  Then I need to get some borders cut for my Kaffe fabric quilt.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sorting fabrics........

I decided I needed to sort the light batiks that were on two shelves in the main floor studio.

I pulled out everything that was a quarter yard or less and then sorted into color groups.  I put all of the lavender on the purple shelf and all of the green with the rest of the greens.  Now all 151 fabrics fit on one shelf.  The other shelf will be used for the quarter yard or less pieces.
As the sun was setting I noticed that some of the purple coneflowers are blooming.  Bindweed has wrapped itself around them so I unwound as much as I could.  I will go back out with scissors today and snip it in several places so I can remove the rest.
While I was in the backyard I took a few more photos.  This is the other Annabelle Hydrangea in a bed with Cranesbill, Heuchera, and Hosta.

This Hosta is over to the left in the same bed.  I think it is about my favorite of the Hostas but I really like all of them.

I have Pulmonaria (spotted leaf plant) coming up everywhere.  I may have to dig some out.  If anyone locally wants some of it let me know.

The tomato plants are doing well.  You can even see a couple of the small tomatoes on the plant on the left.

We are having some wonderful cooler weather for a few days.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Friendship Star quilt top...........

I sewed the last three horizontal seams on this quilt top and then had the job of pressing it.  It measures 44.5" x 63".  Maybe I'll use one of my 60" wide fabrics for the backing, or I could use several of the long strips that were cutaways from other backings sewn side by side.  That will be a decision for another day. 

Here are some of the Begonias that I wintered over in my kitchen.  They seem to like it outside.  I spent about 2 hours trying to clear an area in the front garden and using a lot of weed killer.  I have a long way to go but at least it is started.  Then I squirted several dandelions and other weeds with weed killer.  I ended up by pulling weeds out in my new Hosta bed.  

About a third of my commenters are NO REPLY people.  Thanks for your comments (I really enjoy them) but if you don't get an answer back from me you know you are a NO REPLY.   

Some miscellany: Site Meter which counts how many visitors I have is shutting down permanently on July 1.  I will really miss it.  I remember when my 1,000,000th visitor came while I was in NC 5 years ago.  Now I am approaching my 3,000,000th visitor.  My 10th anniversary as a blogger is coming up on July 4th too.  Lots of numbers: I have lived in this house 45 years, my birthday will be a double number this fall, 77.  I have always been the stats person in my family, fascinated by numbers.  More than you wanted to know no doubt.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Three more seams.............

I got nine more horizontal seams sewn on the Friendship Star quilt top, three more to go.  

My granddaughter cooked a beef roast in the crockpot yesterday and invited her mom and dad and me over for a meal and the movie Beauty and the Beast.  Everyone had been telling me how great the movie was and I have to agree with them.

The Annabelle Hydrangeas are doing well.   This one is right next to my front porch.  I have another smaller one by the back of the house.

The first Balloon flower has bloomed.  I read that they don't like to be transplanted but I'm going to try anyway.

There is a whole row of them near the sidewalk.  I'm going to try to remove the ones closest to the sidewalk and transplant them in the backyard garden. 

It was really hot yesterday so I only spent a small amount of time outside deadheading the last of the peonies and cutting some volunteer trees.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Horizontal seams.......

I got the last 9 vertical seams sewn yesterday afternoon and last night sewed 8 horizontal seams.  All of the rest of the rows are webbed to the sewn section.

My granddaughter brought the 2 great-grandsons to my house and we walked to the closest city park.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  I planted another Shasta Daisy before they got here and went out and pulled tons of Creeping Charlie after they left.
I noticed some black raspberries had ripened and was surprised when I started picking them how many there were. I had them over ice cream last night.  I noticed a Japanese Beetle on the bush.  I sure hope we won't have a lot of them this year.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sewing long seams.......

I decided to sew the squares together in long columns top to bottom instead of sewing the squares into blocks and then assembling the quilt top.  I have 5 of 14 long seams sewn.  My neck was feeling better but I didn't want to push it and sew any more.  We got another little rain shower yesterday afternoon, about a third of an inch.  I haven't had to water anything outside for over a week now with little rains several times a week.  The areas of brown grass in the lawn are turning green again.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A few more rows..........

I pulled out the blocks with the darkest lights in them and then I added one more row on the left and 2 rows on the bottom.  I ended up using a few of the darker ones again in the bottom rows because I was out of light ones.  It should finish about 45" x 63" now.  I pulled a muscle in my neck and have been dealing with pain for a few days.  Some things I do irritate it, like cutting and basically most things looking down.  I think looking down while hand stitching the binding really irritated it.  Working at the design wall doesn't bother it at all.  I hope to get to cutting the wide borders for the other quilt today or tomorrow.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Colorful day..........

After I finish a project I need to just play for awhile to decide what to do next.  Every time I see a Friendship Star quilt I know I want to make one.  I had a box of 3" finished triangle squares (no batiks) and a little bag of 3.5" green print squares so I started playing with a layout on the design wall.  I think the blocks with the darker light colors will have to come out.  Maybe they can be on the back.  This will just be a small quilt to go in my gifting pile.  I'm linking to Scraptastic Tuesday.  Click here to check out the other links.
Then I tackled the one I have been procrastinating about.  I got the other 3 narrow borders sewn on and then I hung it on a double design wall to be sure they were just the right length.  The trouble with sewing a border onto an all bias edge is that you want it neither too small or too big.  Either way causes big problems once you get the outside borders sewn on.  I think it looks good so I will cut the wide border today.
While mowing the grass I spotted the greenery to be featured for the day.  The bluish green hosta was only half this size last year.  The leaves are fairly small on this one compared to my big leaf plants.  I split this one a couple years ago so I have 2 or 3 of them.

I counted 7 little tomatoes on the Early Girl plant and 2 or 3 each on several of the other plants.  I don't remember how many days it takes for them to grow to full size and ripen but I suspect I'm going to have a lot of tomatoes at the same time.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A finish.............

I finished hand sewing the binding, label and hanging sleeve last night on "Blue".  It is a joyous celebration of the blue Dutch Wax batiks which were hard to find back in the 1990s.  There are a few regular quilting cottons used in the plainer pieces of the design.  It is 39.5" x 50".
I took this photo of the back of the quilt in the morning with the light from the window coming across it. 

I wrote a 6 part tutorial when I was making this quilt top.  You can find it in my Label List on the right sidebar: Modular Quilt Tutorial.

The hanging sleeve is one of the regular quilting cottons and was used on the front too.  The print is very similar to the batik fabrics.  I took this photo before the bottom edge was stitched in place.

In the gardening department I dug up this hosta, pulled it apart into 3 plants and then replanted it closer to the rock edging.  There are orange Tiger Lilies behind it and it was leaning on them.

Now when you enter the path you can see my 3 new plants, a little hosta and the replaced big hosta.  I think I need to dig up the small hosta (just past the daisies) and move it back a couple inches.  The Rudbeckia to the right is starting to form buds.

Finally....I am seeing little tomatoes on several of the plants.  There have been lots of blooms but up until this point I couldn't tell if the dried up ones were turning into tomatoes or not.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I found a dark navy blue print in my stash to use for the binding on the African blue modular quilt.  I am a little over half done with the hand stitching.

I printed a label for it a long time ago, maybe 5 years ago.  Luckily I knew where it was.  I finished the quilt top in 2011 and I think I basted and ditch quilted it in 2012 and just now finished the rest of the quilting.

About a week ago I was moving all of my Amaryllis bulbs outside for the summer and I noticed one had a bud peeking out.  Usually a late one just dries up and dies but I watered this one and it has been growing.  It will be a few more days before I know what color it is.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Machine quilting and garden.......

I wanted to finish quilting this quilt yesterday and I think I am done.  When you use clear monofilament it is sometimes hard to tell.  I quilted the plain navy parts after I took this photo.  I will check it over this morning and trim it and look for a binding and a hanging sleeve fabric.
I invested in 3 new perennials this year.  I look at them every year but don't buy them.  I decided this summer it was time to add something new to the back garden.  I can see I have a little more Creeping Charlie to clean up there.  Coreopsis on the left, the Hosta was already there, then a Shasta Daisy and a compact Bee Balm.  Behind it is a big plant of Rudbeckia in its third year.  The humidity wasn't too bad in the late afternoon but it was hot.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Wow, what a storm that turned out to be.  They think it might have been a microburst.  My power came on somewhere around 4 a.m. so it was off for about 11 hours.  Poles with electrical wires blew down north of town.  Some areas south of me still didn't have power as of 8 this morning.  My son had a tree fall on his truck in his driveway as well as losing a tree in his backyard.  He lives about 3 miles from me.  Lots of big branches and trees down here in town.  

I bought Dahlia bulbs last year when they went down to half price and I had a yellow one bloom last year.  I kept the pots in the garage all winter and now all 4 pots have healthy plants.  My first bloom is a deep maroon.  It is the dinner plate variety but this bloom isn't very big.  There is another bud on this plant and none so far on the other 3.

Since I sew late in the day I only got about a half hour of free motion quilting in on the blue African modular quilt before the power went out around 5 p.m. yesterday.  It was not a restful night of sleep with the humidity last night.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 electricity

A big storm went through around 5 p.m. Wednesday and the electricity went out.   As of 8:45 p.m. we were still without power so no post with photos.

First of four border strips sewn on........

After sewing on the first narrow border I realized I will have to cut off the points before I add the wider borders.  I think I had success with this border but I really won't know until all 4 are sewn and I add the wide borders.
This is a huge Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant, almost 3 feet tall.  In fact almost everything is huge this year. 

Under the huge Jack are 2 little coneflower plants almost ready to bloom.  Since they are in the shade of those huge leaves they have stayed small.

These 4 hostas were about half this size last year.  Behind them is the new hosta bed I started last fall.  There are also 2 peony plants back there that don't get enough sunlight.
This hosta was one that I dug up last year and pulled several small plants off of it.  This year it is way bigger than it was last year and I'll have to dig it up in the fall and split it again.  I guess our mild winter and hot April are to blame for this growth.