Wednesday, May 18, 2022

3 hour sewing session..................

Last night was my 3 hour TV night and I sewed enough strip sets for 80 more blocks.  I counted my finished blocks, 196, and figured out how many I need for a 60" x 80" quilt, 320.  I have enough strip sets paired for another 50 blocks and I probably won't sew those until I have pressed and cut these strip sets into block pieces.

I decided to get some hangers for my porch railing this year.  This one holds 2 of these black pots with striped Calibrachoa planted in them.  My railings need to be wire brushed and painted but it won't happen until fall.

Here are the 2 big pots on the steps.  The plants are starting to fill out now.  The yellow Petunias are supposed to be draping plants so we shall see if that happens.

I didn't put quite as many plants in the top pot but I think it might fill out OK anyway.

I love my little pots of Pansies.

I moved one of my Coral Bell plants farther back in my front garden where it will get shade sooner.  I re-read the marker for it and it said part shade to full shade.  Most of the other Coral Bells say part sun to full sun on their markers. I purchased a new one to take its place and planted that too.  Otherwise all I did was remove about 30 Dandelions in the spots where the rest of the tomato plants need to go.

The pink Weigela bush is loaded with blooms again this year.  The pale pink, almost white bush has lots of buds and will bloom soon.  The red one waits a little while and then it blooms.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Planting and sewing..........

I put some of the triangle strips that I showed yesterday on the design wall.  This is a little less than half that I have sewn.  I am waiting to press them so that I can press to have seams lock together.  I am about 1/4 done making blocks so lots more Sundays of sewing.

This is the batch of 44 blocks that I sewed last night.  Someone asked the name of the block.  I just saw it on 3 blogs and started making them.  I have also seen them in 2 different sizes.  On one blog a reader made a comment that they looked like switch plates so that is what some are calling them.  A search on the internet didn't bring up anything except switch plate covers of all varieties.

I took 20 photos yesterday so I'll show a few today and more on other days.  Three of the pots I planted are Begonias.  The 2 on the left are pale pink and the one on the right is a deep rose color.

Some of the plants in the front bed are sending up flower stalks.

This one is an overachiever.

The perennial Dianthus is starting to bloom.  There are lots of buds there so I'll show it again in full bloom.

Here are the tiny Moss Roses I planted by the Sedum.  I hope they fill in the whole area.

I have 3 Hardy Geraniums with the fuchsia flower in the beds on both sides of the porch.  I have never been able to capture the deep fuchsia color of the blooms but I keep trying.

The last thing I planted in the early evening was the tomato plant for my little 4 1/2 year old neighbor girl.  It's a little hard to see with the sun shining so bright on it and the grass color blending in.  This one is along my driveway just steps away from the neighbor's lawn.  I have some more to plant along there today.  It sounds like we will get rain Friday late afternoon so I want to get everything in the ground before that.


Monday, May 16, 2022

Sunday sewing................

 I cut some more light triangles to use with the variety of darker triangles that were left in the box.  I found a couple more light groups in there too, usually 2 different fabrics to make up the five I need.  Here is where I started this project.  I meant to sew on it every Sunday but so far it has been every other Sunday.

It was a nice cool partly sunny day yesterday so I planted Moss Roses by my Sedums near the mailbox.  Then I planted another small pot with Pansies.  I also dug up one of the Hostas that had a Tiger Lily coming up right next to it.  I was able to pull off a section of new growth from the Hosta and then replanted the main plant.  I mowed the backyard because the grass was going to seed.  It isn't as thick back there so I usually mow it every other time I mow the front.  This time I left it a little too long.  I didn't get the rest of the tomatoes planted so maybe today.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

It bloomed!!..............

10 days ago I posted a photo of a bud on my confused "real" Christmas cactus.  It bloomed!  I wasn't sure if the bud was going to dry up since it didn't seem to grow for more than a week.

This flower is a different shape from the Thanksgiving cactus which is marketed as a Christmas cactus.  The segments are rounded on the ends compared to the pointy ends on the Thanksgiving cactus.  I have at least 5 starts from a friend in this one pot so maybe the rest will bloom at Christmas later this year.

I got my first four tomato plants in the ground and got the square cages set up.  One of the plants has 3 small tomatoes on it and 2 plants have blossoms.  I hope I can get the rest of the plants in the ground along the driveway today.

I cut some more strip sets and added them to the batch from the night before.  I sewed 47 blocks and have 3 stacks ready to sew.  I'll cut more today.


Saturday, May 14, 2022

50+ blocks.............

I did my share of outside work yesterday but also turned on the iron and pressed strip sets so I could cut some more blocks.  If you are making these blocks from scraps you would cut four 1.5" x 3.5" strips of one color and 1 strip the same size for the contrasting color.  Or you could have 4 different fabrics that look similar instead of all the same.  I happened to have lots of full width x 1.5" strips cut over 20 years ago (plus a few newer ones added in the last 20 years).  I get 5 or 6 blocks alike out of my combinations of strip piecing.

After sewing that batch I cut enough for 35 more blocks.

The humidity was a lot lower yesterday so I got out early and mowed 2/3 of the lawn while it was still in the 70s.  It got up to 89 by late afternoon.  I got a few more pots planted and then as it was getting dark I finished mowing the last 1/3 of the lawn.  I got 3 bags of leaf much spread and will probably do more of that today.  This photo is one bed of mostly Hostas.  There are a couple peonies planted over here as well as the Bleeding Heart and some Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  It is a nice shady corner for the Hostas.

Friday, May 13, 2022

The heat is on..............

Another day of 90 degrees.....I told a friend I was going out to take photos when it got down to 80.  Well that was 8:30 last night so it is a good thing I went out when it was 85 degrees.  The humidity was lower so it didn't feel too bad.  Here is one of my porch pots, the one that looks the best just a day after planting.

The Jack-in-the-Pulpit is coming up in batches in the back garden.  This one looks a little tattered but it was the tallest one and easiest to take a photo of.

If you look closely there are lots of buds on the Columbine and they are just barely showing color.

This is a huge Hardy Geranium outside my dining room window.  The flowers are pale lavender.

Here is a closer view.  All of my white blooming Hardy Geranium is still in pots.  I dug it up when the landscaping project was going to start last year and I haven't found a place to plant it yet.

Compact Burning Bush

As I round the corner to head back inside I passed my new Compact Burning Bushes.  All three are looking really healthy.

If you check out my Instagram post you will see I have 3 tiny tomatoes on one of my plants.

@exuberantcolor is my Instagram account.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

More planning and planting............

In each set of 3 in the photo I need 2 full width strips of two fabrics and a half strip of the fabric in the center to go with each set of 2. If my calculations are right I think there is enough here for 90 blocks. I love these 1990-2000 fabrics.  There are a few newer pieces but not many.

I went back to the nursery for more plants early yesterday morning.  I didn't have quite the variety I wanted for my big pots.  I also found the little variety packs of Coleus which I couldn't find on the first trip.  It was 92 degrees yesterday (feel like 102) so I didn't get my other 2 big pots planted until early evening.  Today at some point I'll start planting the pots that will sit in front of the garage.  We aren't supposed to get a cool down until the weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Way too hot............

 I got my three hanging pots for the backyard planted and one porch pot done.  It was 88 degrees yesterday with a dew point of 70...that is tropical humidity and it is not even the middle of May.  Average high for this date is 68 degrees.  I hope this isn't a preview of our summer.  It is supposed to be just as hot today and maybe Thursday and Friday also.  I haven't turned on the A/C yet because I closed up the house early yesterday morning and turned on the ceiling fans.  The house stayed fairly cool and not humid but I'm sure I will have to turn it on today.

l got 8 strip sets sewn last night during TV time.  Most shows are having their season finale this week and some will be next week so I will be switching over to HGTV and all of the remodeling shows or not turning the TV on at all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Plants for porch pots...........

Every year I think I need to go the local nursery with a plan for my porch pots.  What I always end up doing is buying what appeals to me and then I just make it work.

I will do some planning today for the three large black pots and then find places for the ones that are left.  I didn't find the Coleus variety I wanted so I'll go back another day and look around.


Monday, May 9, 2022

10 strip sets............

10 more strips sets were sewn for my mindless sewing while watching TV.  I will get at least 50 blocks out of these.  Some strip sets will yield 6 cuts.  There weren't many greens in the box of strips cut 20 years ago.  I added a couple rust/gold sets.

My Bleeding Heart survived another year.  It is in an area that was trampled in November when I had some tree removal.  I was hoping it was hardy and would bloom again this year.

Here is a view of the whole front garden which is doing well.  I will put leaf mulch on it again this year.

I have several Hostas that I saved last year and they wintered over in their pots tucked up close to the house.  Some of these pots have seen better days.  It is supposed to be near 80 today so I'll go out and look around for a place to plant these.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day in the US............

I finished sewing the group of turquoise and blue blocks that I started last night.  There are 51 here.

Next will be the green strips.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday.  It was beautiful and sunny but not too hot yet.

I mowed the grass again yesterday.  That is twice in one week.  With all of the rain the grass has really grown fast.  Also I cut it high the first 2 times and lowered the blade down to my normal summer height this time.

I got a flat of Pansies with a gift certificate that I received for Christmas.  This is the large planter and I filled 3 smaller ones too.

My Sedums are getting big by the mailbox.  There is a miniature Hosta there too named Hi Ho Silver.  I thought maybe I lost it last year with the extreme heat but it came back.

My Brunnera is loaded with tiny blue flowers but it is hard to get a good photo of it.  If you enlarge the photo you can see more of its beauty.

The Redbuds are starting to bloom and look at the blue sky!

The Redbuds in the back garden area have more flowers open.  With the warm temperatures predicted for a week they will be all open very soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The other block.........

Yesterday I mentioned the other block that can be made with the Weathervane die.  I decided to cut pieces and make that block too so I wouldn't forget about it.  Using these 2 blocks alternating would make a nice quilt so I may explore that later.

 I didn't have any project ready to sew last night and 3 hours of  TV programs (2 were season finale) so I picked another mindless sewing project.  I have seen these blocks on 3 blogs and thought they would be great for using up my box of 1.5" strips that I cut in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  To make the mostly dark blocks I need 1/2 strip of light for every 2 full width strips of dark.  I will probably make reverse light/dark blocks too.  I have no idea what the quilt is supposed to look like but I'm sure I'll figure out something when I have a box full of blocks.  I have to spend some time putting away "stuff" so I might work on these blocks for awhile to get my sewing fix each day.  I have quite a variety of colors of strips in the box so it is going to be multicolored.

Friday, May 6, 2022


I made a test block from the Weathervane die last night.  It seems so petite at 8" after using 2 dies that were 12" earlier this week.

I cut some batik scraps for this one.  It went together very nicely so I like the die.

Weathervane was one of my favorite blocks from my sampler quilt class that I gave many times in the 1970s and early 1980s, in a time period before people had access to rotary cutters (or die cutters).

You can use this die to make a floating star pattern too by turning the center pieces on the sides 180 degrees and cutting 4 squares the same size as the center square for the corners.

We had more rain yesterday and 50 degrees.  Our normal average temperature for this date is 65 degrees.  I will go from flannel shirts to short sleeves by Monday.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Lazy day...........

I started out the day doing a load of laundry and filling birdfeeders.  Then lots of daydreaming which the experts say is good for us.

Last night I continued making test blocks from new BOB -Block on Board dies that I got last fall and winter.  Block on Board refers to all the pieces needed for a block on one die board to go through the cutter.  This one is called Arkansas Traveler.  I'm a little disappointed that the skinny triangles on the edge of the block aren't on the straight of grain but otherwise it is very accurate and easy to piece.  All corners are nipped so they match exactly with the pieces they are sewn to.  I have some more dies to make test blocks from in the next few days.

A friend in Colorado sent me some starts of the real Christmas cactus with rounded ends on them.  I planted them all in one pot and 5 of them continued to grow and add more pieces.  Now one of them has a bud.  I can't tell if it is going to bloom or dry up.  I will be patient and watch it closely.