Monday, June 21, 2021

Quilting!...................


It's quilted!!  I made it easy on myself and did straight lines with the channel lock.  The stitching started getting goofy about 18" in on one row so I stopped and pulled that out.  I figured it was a piece of lint caught in the tension of the bobbin case and it was.  I cleaned it out and then finished the quilting.  I haven't taken it off the machine yet.  I'll get it trimmed today.  I think I might use the same stripe as the border for the binding.


The pink variegated thread was still on the machine from quilting the 2 pink baby quilts.  I figured it would be fine for this multicolor quilt.





Leaves of three, leave it be.  I remembered where the poison ivy was last fall and checked to see if it came back.  I guess I didn't get all of it last year.




One of the plants I dug out of the front garden was a Black Eyed Susan.  I put this one in a pot right away and I planted 2 other small parts in the back garden.  The ones planted in the ground aren't doing very well so I was happy to see this one has buds.  I have had a huge area of Black Eyed Susans in the back garden for about 8 years but I don't see any there this year.  If we start getting rain on a regular basis I may plant this one in that area.  Otherwise it will just stay in the pot until fall.

The rain finally started around 10:30 last night.  The rain sounded pretty heavy so I will check the rain gauge this morning.

 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Loading.............


Another hot humid day and not a lot of energy.  I did get the backing pressed and loaded on the longarm and put the batting on too.  Here is the whole photo of the quilt top.  It is 99" the long direction so it is filling the whole longarm rails except for about 10" on the right end.  The backing is 105" (99" + 6").  I think I have only quilted one other quilt this large so far.

My older A/C unit that we put back in the dining room window bit the dust Friday. 90 degrees and humid and all I had was fans.  My son had an extra small A/C that he didn't need at his shop so yesterday he took out the dead one and put the new one in the window.  Then I ordered another larger one to replace the one we threw out last year when my trim painting was done.  I drove 10 miles to pick it up at the big box store and it will hopefully get installed early this week.


This weedy mess is supposed to get dug out this week and new black dirt brought in.  This is one of 4 areas they need to do.  

Storms are predicted for this afternoon and evening.  I don't know whether to believe we will really get any rain.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

A little nature...........


The pots by my garage are filling out nicely.  The Coleus will grow a lot taller before summer is over.

I spent a lot of time in the basement yesterday putting things away and pressing scraps...no sewing was done.



Here is the other pot by the garage.  I depend on the Coleus for most of the color in these pots.  The trailing vine has little purple flowers for some contrast.







I put some of my flower pots by the tomato garden along the driveway.  I have planted some Marigolds between some of the plants and I see a few of them coming up.



The Milkweed is in bloom.  This is in the garden that will be all dug up.  I see some holes in the Milkweed leaves but haven't seen any Monarch caterpillars.  I saw one Monarch butterfly about a month ago but haven't seen any since.  I don't see any way to transplant Milkweed with a root that just goes straight down in the ground.



 

Friday, June 18, 2021

A better photo................


I took my Kaffe orphan blocks off the design wall in the basement so I could get a better photo of this quilt top.  It measures 60" x 84".











For a little perspective here it is waiting to be photographed on a 96" wide x 84" tall double design wall.






I decided to get a photo of the Annabelle Hydrangea bush in case it rains.  As I watched the news and weather last night they were still undecided if we were going to get 1.9" of rain or none at all.



I planted one Canna bulb and it has 2 shoots coming up off of it. When I checked it last night it looks like the one on the left has been bent but isn't quite broken.  I wonder if the squirrels were playing with it.



The black raspberries are turning red.  Some years I already had ripe berries by this time.  I have the vanilla ice cream ready and waiting.
  



 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

A little fabric fix...........


I "needed" some new Charley Harper fabric, even though I haven't made a quilt with any of it yet.  I did start cutting some pieces in early spring and they are waiting on a design wall in the basement for me to come back to it.

I pieced a backing for one of my larger quilts next in line for quilting.  I need to press it and then I'll start loading the quilt on the longarm.

In the early evening I planted the Peonies that I dug out of the front flower bed on Tuesday night.  I doubt they will bloom next year since they were dug up the wrong time of the year but at this point all I care is that they will survive.

Big rain predicted for very early tomorrow morning.  I hope we get the big rain but no hail or any other part of a severe storm.

 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Playing at the design wall..........


This is the new fabric that I think goes very well with the star blocks.  Simplest solution would be to use it for sashing and be done.








When I was trying ideas last year I was using a single row of squares as sashing.  Now I'm trying double rows.  This was my first idea.  Ok but a little chunky.








I changed the center to triangles instead of squares.










Then I switched the direction of the triangles to point out instead of in (as in photo above).  I only changed triangle in the center area, the ones out at the ends of the rows are going the wrong way.









Next I took away one set of triangles all around to make a smaller motif.

In outdoor doings, I mowed the shady back yard.  The grass in the front yard is half brown and crispy with the lack of rain so it didn't need mowing.  Work is going to start on my front flower beds next week so I went out to dig out the peonies which are the only thing left to save.  The ground is rock hard in front.  The ground in the back garden is so easy to dig.  This is the wrong time to move peonies so they may not survive but I at least was going to give them a chance.


The first tomato is small...but it is red.  It needs a few more days to finish ripening and I decided not to give the squirrels a chance to see it.  My little neighbor girl was outside too and I showed her one that was almost ripe on her plant.  She picked hers too and took it inside to the windowsill.  This is the earliest I have ever had a ripe tomato.  I looked back in my photos and found that in 2019 I had my first tomatoes on June 22.  Most years it is the first week of July.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Reviving an old project............


 I continued on with my pressing and cutting today and didn't even turn on the sewing machine.  I took down the last completed quilt top and got out these 6 blocks that I made early last year.  I got stumped at the sashing and just put it away.  I'm going to finish it this year...no more indecision.  I have lots of the triangle squares and plain squares to play with and also a new fabric that I may work into it.



Two of the plants in my porch pots have really taken over.  The poor geraniums are way down under the petunias and I can't figure out why they have stayed so small.  One of the vine type plants with purple flowers didn't like the extreme heat and sunshine and I'm not sure if it will recover.





Is it any wonder why I have so many Redbud trees coming up all over my property?  I have a friend who comes and digs out a few little trees now and then and plants them at his house and his friends houses.  Mostly I just cut them down when I am lazy and occasionally I have a lot of energy and dig them out.


Even the newest tree that I let grow has seeds this year.  If one comes up in a space that looks like it will fill in when one of the others die I will leave it.  Redbuds don't have a long life.  Only 2 of my current Redbuds have been here since I moved here 49 years ago, June 1972.  Some have died and others have replaced them.  I wonder if the next owner will just bulldoze the backyard and plant grass and fence it in for a dog.  It is such a beautiful wild shade garden back there.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Fun in the scrap patch..................



 
I had a fun day yesterday going through the box of scraps that I define as anything smaller than a quarter yard.  Small scraps and narrow strips are in a different box so these were sizeable chunks.  I cut mostly quarter square triangles in 2 sizes, 4" and 6" finished.  This is the 6" quarter square triangles paired with the 6.5" squares that I had in another box (a box of mostly squares cut years ago).


This is what they will look like when they are sewn together.







Then I cut some 6" finished half square triangles from 4 fabrics.  This is what the blocks will look like.  I went through the box one more time and pulled 21 more fabrics that are large enough to cut 4 triangles.



I went out about 8 p.m. last night and checked on my tomatoes.  This one is turning yellow but because it was getting dark out it looks darker than it is.





My Purple Coneflowers have buds now.  I see there are a few new plants in the back garden.  They used to multiply more than they have in the last few years.








This is my favorite Hosta.  It has grown a lot since last year and I had planned on splitting it but the heat came too soon and I'm not sure I'll have a chance to do it now.  

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Saturday sewing...............


I finally stuck with it and got the insert strips sewn on and then designed the second border and got both of them sewn on too.  I couldn't get it high enough up on the wall to get the bottom edge off the floor.  I don't do stepstools or ladders especially when it would mean over reaching or moving the stool at least twice.  I need to move some things off the wall in the basement and get a better straight on shot.  It measures 60" x 85" now.   The binding will be the dark stripe too.


I could see the Asiatic Lily bloom from the kitchen window so I got out before dark to get a photo.  The other yellow flowers are the Evening Primrose.

We got just a trace of rain yesterday afternoon.  A town 25 miles from us got 1 and 1/2".  That is how spotty the rain has been.


 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Finally a little rain............


I checked the temperature yesterday after lunch and it was 91 degrees.  Mid afternoon a storm finally came our way and gave us some rain.  When I checked my rain gauge it was partially under a Milkweed leaf so I'm not sure if my reading is accurate but it had a quarter inch of rain in it.  We have a slight chance of rain late today.  The humidity is supposed to drop late Sunday and all the way through Thursday.....we can only hope they are right.  Back to the 90s again at the end of next week.  I'm hoping this trend will change and it will be an enjoyable summer.


I decided on this darker Kaffe stripe for the insert strips and it will also be the binding.  I found a second piece of it so now I know I have enough for both.  Now I just need the energy to cut it.

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Some sewing, a fabric audition..............


I finally sewed the one border strip together and took it to the basement with a pile of other patchwork to press.  It never made it past this table but I'll get it done today.




I had 2 different colorations of the stripe I'm thinking of using for the insert strip between stars and border row.  I was convinced Iiked the lighter one until I found a piece of the darker one and now I'm not sure.


This stripe runs horizontal so I need to cut it with the lengthwise grain to get the stripe going the way I want it.  I'm hesitant to cut a whole strip off the length for an audition so I need to contemplate for a day or so.

It was 90 degrees yesterday and is supposed to be 94 today.  The humidity is supposed to drop on Sunday and I am so looking forward for that.



 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A box of 2 inch squares..............


I was feeling pretty lazy yesterday, 89 degrees and humid.  I pulled out a box of 2" squares that were cut from scraps last year and made 9 patches.  There are 20 blocks in that pile and I made 5 more with less matching as I got down to only 2 and 3 alike.  I did this to avoid working on borders on my quilt in progress.  It's not that borders are hard, I just get less interested in the project at this point.

Today I need to get down to the basement and get busy making 2 quilt backs and cutting some more pieces with my die cutter.  It is supposed to be above 90 today and tomorrow and then finally the humidity and temperature will drop a little.  

I met the new little baby next door last night.  She is really cute.  They love the quilt I gave to them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Green..........


There aren't enough hours in the day, especially if you haven't gone through old receipts and bills for 3 years.  It was definitely time to start working on it, but it's not done.  

The Annabelle hydrangeas are busy forming their flowers.  We missed out on the rain for a second day.  Luckily these bushes don't seem to mind a dry year.



I'm hoping this is a Brown Eyed Susan.  A friend gave me several plants 2 years ago and I planted them all in one area.  Last year there was nothing.  I thought they had died but this year there is a plant in each of the spots where I planted them.  I hope they will be back every year now.  I looked it up on the web and it said they were a biennial or short lived perennial.  On the other hand Black Eyed Susans are a hardy perennial.  I have Black Eyed Susans too.

My neighbors had a baby girl Sunday so I gave them the pink Hugs and Kisses quilt that I finished on May 31.

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Sewing, pressing..........


I played around with an idea for the strip that will go at the top and bottom of this quilt top.  Then I took the big star blocks to the basement and pressed them and finished sewing them together into one big piece.  When I brought it back upstairs I hung it a few more inches to the right so the border didn't line up.  Since it was a real stretch to get it up as high as I did I decided not to take it down and move it to the left for this photo.  I'm going to test a Kaffe stripe to possibly use as an insert strip before the top and bottom pieced border strips get added.


We had very light rain earlier in the day and a little heavier rain about 8 p.m.  It ended up a little over a tenth of an inch by 9 p.m.  When I watched the evening news they said there was heavy rain in the county south of us.  We have a little more chance of rain today and tomorrow.

Here are the blue bellflowers that come up all over.  This is the first one to bloom.  I have been pulling them out all over and there will still be lots of them blooming...and spreading.

 

Monday, June 7, 2021

No sewing, just dreaming............


I spent some quality time yesterday with this book that was gifted to me by a friend.  It is the 1993 version with black and white drawings.  I used 1/4" gridded paper to draw out some blocks that I would like to make and made notes on some of them of what to cut.  When I first started teaching quiltmaking in 1975 a sampler quilt was the project.  I taught that class for about 15 years.  All of the new quilters loved it because they learned so many different ways to piece blocks.  It seems there has been a revival of that trend with all of the "block of the month" offerings.  I'm looking more toward an orphan block quilt which is really a sampler of sorts.


The "cup of gold" evening primrose is blooming now.  I have it planted in many places.







I only have one Asiatic Lily left and it is getting ready to bloom.







The Early Girl tomatoes are getting bigger and they are getting lighter colored.  I hope that means a BLT will be on the menu in a couple weeks.




My neighbor's lawn service chopped a hunk out of one of the Sedum plants that I put in the back garden.  The weed whacker also chopped off a Brown Eyed Susan plant.  I have a little wire fence which I have now put along the edge of my lot line hoping they watch what they are doing next time.
 
 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Some progress..........


It got up to 89 degrees yesterday.  I only have one window A/C for 1800 square feet right now so the house isn't very cool.  I had both units taken out when painting trim happened last fall and one was old and discarded. The other one is doing the best it can.  Hopefully I'll have a second unit put in soon.  I didn't have much energy yesterday but I got the last star designed after lunch.


I decided last night to sew the final block but none of them have been pressed yet.












The tomato plants in the raised bed in the backyard are doing pretty well.  There are a few funny looking leaves on top of a couple of them and it makes me wonder if they did get nipped by frost about a week ago.



The zinnias and marigolds planted between the tomato plants are doing well.  I will need to water everything this morning.  They are talking possibilities of rain for several days this week so I sure hope we get some of it.  We are just outside of the drought area but are very dry.