Sunday, July 31, 2022

Four added to 11......................

Four more trees sewn yesterday are added to the eleven I showed yesterday.  I need to make more really light trees now.

My new Zinfin Doll panicle Hydrangea is really looking good in its second year.  The blooms are mostly filled out now.

The blooms will turn light pink and then get darker as the season progresses.  This is the only bloom that is showing any pink so far.

It was early evening when I took this photo with the sun lighting the trees behind it.  This is the Sunflower just over the lot line by my neighbor behind me, squirrel planted I think.  It is about 3' tall.

As I head around the corner to the backyard I pass the red Weigela bush.  It always has a few surprise late blooms for most of the summer.

I loaded a quilt on the longarm yesterday.  Now I have to decide if it will be the last July finish or the first August finish.


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Hours on the computer.............

I spent hours yesterday looking for specific photos and information so I didn't sew anything, didn't even pet fabric but I did cut a piece of batting.  Last night in desperation for a photo for today I made a collage of the quilt tops I made in the first 6 months of this year.  I have no control over which photo goes where or what size the photo is in the Picasa 3 collage maker.  5 of them are finished quilts and two of them have been gifted already.

I think I found all of the photos I was searching for so maybe today I can have some fun.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Trimming trees..............

Trimming the tree blocks works well with a 6" wide ruler.  I just have to line up the quarter inch marks on each side of the center line along the edges of the trunk and make sure the 8.5" line is above the bottom cut edge.  I made my first mistake last night and trimmed one block a half inch short.  I can salvage it if I sew on a piece of background fabric, re-trim and then use it in the bottom row.  The binding would cover part of the new piece.

I finished sewing these 11 blocks after pressing them, then pressing again after the center piece was sewn in and trimming.  I think I need another 12 blocks before I can start designing OR I could start designing now and then decide which fabrics the remaining trees need to be.

My very dark green Hostas are all blooming in this corner garden.  This is the corner I plant all of the Hostas in that don't have another place to be.  A lot of times it is the ones I split and I can't find enough people to give the extras to.

I spread 2 bags of leaf mulch in the areas of the front garden that never got done earlier this summer.  The sun is on that area until 4 p.m. and then I wait a little longer for the coolest part of the day.  Right now we have nice temps and low humidity for a couple more days.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Productive day..........

I got 8 more trees partially sewn and cut and sewed a backing for the yellow quarter square triangle quilt.  No photos though.

All of my photos from yesterday were taken outside.

The Black Eyed Susans are finally in full bloom.  There are fewer plants but I expect these 3 plants to expand as summer goes on.  They usually get a little taller too.

There are more buds to open and they usually bloom all the way through September.

The Sunflower just over the lot line is starting to bloom.  It is about 3' tall.

This is what my double Impatiens in the hanging pots look like.  Something is eating them and stripping the stems bare.  I replaced one of them with the red Petunias that I had over by the tomato plants.

I replaced a second one with a Begonia that I had on my red pavers in the front garden.  Now I just need to replace the last one.  I probably could have split this pot of Begonias into 2 and I might still do that.

Inside the Roses are dying.  They are even pretty at this stage.

The petals peeled back on this one so we can see the center. I'm wondering if they will drop their petals or just dry up on the stems.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Working on trees.............

My little great-grandchildren and their parents stopped by yesterday morning.  They are growing up so fast; 8 1/2, 6, and 2 1/2.  I am giving them my Beanie Babies little by little each time I see them or when someone is traveling to their area.

I started working on my trees again last night.  The stack above these 2 has about 20 sets in it.

After cutting all of the tree parts I sewed in the small branches on all of them and now they need pressing before I can trim and sew in the center strip.

I had lime green chosen for the branches for the tree on the left and then changed my mind and went with the red-orange.  It isn't going to have much contrast in value.  The variety from block to block will be good though.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Out of sight, out of mind............

 Almost a month ago I was going through my light batiks, pulling out some that I was not in love with.  At that time I put this group together thinking they might be nice together in a quilt.  They have been hanging over the back of my sewing chair ever since.  I have many groups like that in piles all over the studio.  It is like I thought I would use them right away so I shouldn't put them on the shelf.  Well, guess what, they are up on the shelf now.  Definitely not candidates for my next project but hopefully they will stay together.

I mowed the front and side yard yesterday in 2 sessions.  It was cooler but I still got too hot about half way through.  It was best to not try to do it all at once.  I cut down a lot of volunteer brush in the back garden as it got cooler toward evening.

The roses are still looking good.  I have never seen roses with so many packed petals before.

Monday, July 25, 2022


I used one of my favorite yellow prints for the binding of this little quilt.  It is used in 2 of the triangles on the front of the quilt.

This is a cute little quilt, just 29" x 35".  Quilted on my Pfaff machine, Mountain Mist cotton batting, yellow variegated thread.

The backing has butterflies flying in all different directions.

Will this be the only finish for July?  This week is supposed to have beautiful weather, barely getting up to 80 today and lower humidity.  I will have more energy in that kind of weather and I have so many things I need to do.  For 3 years now I had planned on making a "Christmas in July" quilt and I don't think I have enough time left this month to work that in.

Here are the 3 little 8" volunteer tomato plants I transplanted into pots.  They are at least 4' tall.

I think I have figured out which variety they are.  I had 4 different kinds in the raised bed last year and I think these are Principe Borghese Tomato.

They are a little larger than a grape tomato and are very good for making sun dried tomatoes.  They are also very tasty and good in salads.

I moved the 3 volunteer plants in pots away from the raised bed because I couldn't get to the plant in the back by the flower pot.  The 2 back cages are 64" tall and the plants are at least a foot taller than that.

The front plants have shorter cages, about 46" and the branches of the plant are hanging over the top by about 20".

There are lots of tomatoes on the back Early Girl plant.

We got 1" of rain overnight Saturday into Sunday.

I have one plant between 2 bushes and in front of a kitchen window so I can watch for ripening.  These are good size tomatoes called Marglobe.

The first golden cherry tomato is ripening.  I have both of these plants in pots too.  They never do as well in pots as in the ground but I didn't have any place to plant them.  Also walnut trees have a substance that is poisonous to tomato plants.  There were many walnut trees on the lot line that the neighbors cut down 11 years ago. The tree that fell into my yard last year and the other half that fell into their yard was loaded with walnuts.  (It was a sucker that grew off the old stump of one of the trees).The squirrels are always busy burying them in my yard so there probably is still some of the poisonous substance being spread in my soil.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Quilting finished............

I needed to finish the quilting on this little yellow zig zag quilt and get it off my sewing cabinet.  I had 2/3 left to do and finished at 10 last night.

Here is the backing of the quilt.  Photo taken with a lamp off to the side before I turned on the overhead lights.  Today I will get it trimmed and cut the binding.  Maybe I can actually get the binding sewn on today too.

There were many storms racing through northern IL yesterday but we only got one tenth of an inch of rain very early in the morning.  Areas north and south of us had flooded streets in their towns, as much as 6" of rain in one town.

I took this photo from the kitchen window when it was sprinkling for 2 minutes.  Not even enough rain to wet the driveway.  My orange tiger lilies are starting to bloom in this area now.

This is the prettiest plant in my front garden.  Much prettier than the photo shows. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Cutting, pressing, pairing fabrics.................

I found 3 more Charley Harper fabrics that will work in the Arboretum quilt.  I pressed all of the greens I showed yesterday and cut the blocks.  Last night I paired all of them with the strips for the tree. Now I just have to get busy and sew a batch.

I mowed the back yard early last evening.  The front yard is still pretty dry so I just mowed the perimeter where the weeds were growing.

I noticed how pretty my panicle Hydrangea is.

Most of the flowers aren't fully open yet.

 A few are still totally green.

This one is the closest to fully bloomed.

The petunias have gone crazy in the pots on the porch steps.  These aren't the wave petunias either.  I have one of those in the back yard in a pot and it is barely hanging over the sides of the pot yet.

This is what they looked like on June 2.  I think there is only one plant of the yellows and the orange ones in each pot.  I guess they don't mind the sun beating down on them for 5 + hours.  I have remembered to fertilize them a couple times this summer.  

I had a plumber here yesterday morning to fix a drippy kitchen faucet.  A piece broke off while he was working on it so I had to run quickly to the hardware store for a new kitchen faucet.  He fixed a toilet while I was gone.  With the new faucet I have so much better water pressure so good-bye to the one with the lifetime warranty and free parts and welcome to one that works much better.  


Friday, July 22, 2022

Melting in the heat..............

 The heat is getting to me.  Yes, I have 2 window A/C units and many fans but.....

I managed to get 2 more blocks sewn for the Arboretum quilt but couldn't bear the thought of turning on the iron.

Here are all four of the blocks made from the same fabric.  I have another color or 2 of this fabric and I forgot to look for it yesterday.

I did look through my Kaffe collective fabrics for some more lighter green prints.  Also one more rust color.  I cut a 9" strip off each of them and I'll hopefully get them pressed today and cut into the block size.

Outside, the yellow lilies don't mind the heat and dry weather.

Tomatoes don't like temperatures in the high 80s and above and warm nights.  I had tomatoes for the last 2 weeks of June and then they stopped ripening.  I have picked about a dozen small ones in the last week but ripening is really slow.  The good news is the plants are loaded with green tomatoes so next week when it cools down a little maybe they will ripen.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Don't you love a surprise?..........

I didn't recognize the address on this box that arrived yesterday.

I cut the straps and picked up the contents of the box and looked down in it from the top.

I followed all of the directions on the wrapper and here is the result.  Aren't they beautiful?  And scented too.

And of course, a close up.

Here is the info on the wrapper.  They are calling these garden roses on the enclosed care card.

A friend brought me some fresh picked blackberries so that meant ice cream last night.  Since I was already weighed at my 2 dr. appointments I can now have dessert again.

I sewed 2 blocks last night but didn't turn on the iron so they aren't trimmed yet.

I baked 2 batches of cookies yesterday, one early in the morning and the other late in the evening.  Little hands coming to visit this weekend will be holding the cookies.