Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Shopping and sewing..............

I couldn't ignore the empty refrigerator any longer and did my grocery shopping for the week.

Then I sewed the last 4 blocks and at that point realized I only needed 3 because I had one block by the sewing machine to give me a visual aid for the direction of the solid color triangles.

Later in the afternoon I worked on the layout....and this is the final layout.

Last night I clipped and numbered the rows and started sewing it all together.  I have all seams sewn one direction (webbed) and 2 seams sewn the other direction....5 more seams to sew and then a good press job and photo.

The lilacs are done blooming but the Garden Heliotrope is blooming and smells just like lilacs.  I have just a few plants in 2 places.

Here is another Peony plant with just 2 blooms, a medium pink.

The pink with shaggy centers are blooming now too.  I have them in 2 places.

This is my neighbor's Peony plant near our lot line. They are beautiful white ones with just a little line of pink here and there.  I have a plant with white flowers in front of my house. They are usually the last to bloom.  I need to check on them today.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Getting busy............

The end of the month is approaching fast and I needed a second finish.  I have finished 2 quilts every month so far this year.  I pressed the backing and loaded the quilt yesterday morning.

It was quilted by noon and trimmed late in the afternoon.  Last night I cut the binding and sewed it on and finished it by machine.  The top has a lot of early Kaffe fabrics, the result of 2" strips cut many years ago.  It is 38" x 52".

The border, backing and binding are Brandon Mably fabric (Part of the Kaffe Collective group).  Batting is Hobbs 80/20, Superior So Fine thread on top and Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.

I was glad to find a stripe in the right colors for the binding.

I also cut the last 4 prints for the star block and paired them with solid color triangles that were cut a couple years ago.  I'm hoping to sew these 4 blocks and finish the layout of the quilt today.  I hope I also have time to sew the top together.

Several of my Peonies are in a shady area and the plant stays pretty small.  This is the only bloom on this one.

This is also a single bloom on a plant.

This is one of the larger plants with more blooms on the other side too.  It is a very pale pink.

This is a close shot of some of the blooms on it.  It is one of my favorite plants.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Pots planted.................

We are experiencing the most beautiful weather, low humidity and warm temperatures with a little breeze.  I finally got busy on my garage pots.  I had planted the Snapdragons on the left earlier.  The pot in the middle has a petunia that I think will drape nicely over the pot and one Coleus.  The one on the right has 1 large and 4 small Coleus.

The pot on the left has 2 large Coleus and one small one.  The pot in the middle has a little freebie plant from the nursery and I don't remember the name.  I think it is like a brown eyed Susan and the lady said it will get quite large.  I may need to repot it in a larger pot if it gets too heavy for this pot.  The pot on the right has 5 small Coleus.  The Coleus plants get really tall by the end of the summer.

I put pink petunias in the 2 pots in the porch railing hanger.  I hope they get big and drape over nicely.


This is my favorite Hosta in the front garden.  I hope we don't have a hot dry summer this year.  It would be nice to have normal amounts of rain too.

I took several photos of my peonies which I'll show tomorrow.  

I cut the backing piece for another baby quilt so I hope to get that pressed and then loaded on the longarm.  l also chose some fabrics for the last 4 friendship star blocks.


Sunday, May 28, 2023


Pink Twisted Ribbons baby quilt is finished.  This one was quite a challenge in the layout with rights and left, right side up and upside down, 4 different configurations to figure out which one went where  and then to not have the same fabric next to itself.  I like a good brain teaser now and then.  It is approximately 35" x 48".

The backing is a juvenile design batik and I'm glad I finally used some of it.  I have enough for another backing (or two).  I must have gotten it on sale, way back about 20 years ago.

The batting is Hobbs 80/20 and the top thread is Superior So Fine 50 weight and bobbin thread is Superior Bottom Line.

The binding fabric is in the piecing of the top also.  I did the binding all by machine, using a narrow zigzag to stitch the final edge on the right side of the quilt.

I know this Dianthus doesn't look pink here but it is about the color of some of the darker pinks in the quilt.  This was an annual but continues to come up every year.  Don't look too close or you will see lots of weeds and grass where it doesn't belong.  I need to get out there a little every day and get the edge of the flower bed cleaned up.  There is a rock edging and it is totally hidden by Creeping Charlie and grass.

This is part of the flower bed on the other side of my front porch (not the new part I showed yesterday).  The red flower is a Perennial Dianthus, behind it are 2 Peony plants and behind them, the Annabelle Hydrangea with buds just starting.  Next to the Dianthus on the right are 2 varieties of Cranesbill.  At the far left is a lime Coral Bell with a burgundy Columbine behind it. There is a volunteer tree between the Hydrangea and the porch so I need to cut it down.  To the left of what is in this photo are 3 Sedums and the 2 new Columbines.

I still have 2 or 3 pots to plant, ones that I intended to do every day last week.  I have to do them today.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

7 x 9 or 7 x 8 layout?.......................

My original intention for this quilt was a 7 x 9 layout, 63" x 81".  I would need to make 11 more blocks to finish that layout.  But then I thought maybe 7 x 8 would be OK.

I moved the 3 bottom row blocks up into the mix to simulate the 7 x 8 layout, 63" x 72", and I would only need to make 4 more blocks for that.  This is not a final layout of the blocks, just getting them all up on the wall to see what value range the final blocks need to be.  A little less than half of the blocks are novelty/conversation prints and some are one way designs.

Yesterday morning I was out watering plants since we haven't had much rain this month.  The sun was shining, the sky so blue and I thought my garden was worthy of a photo shoot.  This is the view from the driveway right in front of the garage.

The section next to the porch is really filled in, almost too much.  I removed half of one of the cranesbill plants last year and it is still as big as the other one.

I'm pretty unhappy with the low growing Sedum at the bottom right.  It was green when I bought it and it turns yellowish over the winter.  Last year I think it greened up again in the spring but this year it has the ugly winter color still on it.  The low growing Sedum to its left would probably fill in all across the front of the bed if I remove the green one.  I have another one of these in the middle section so if I remove one, the other one has to go too.

I mowed the front yard yesterday afternoon.  I am cutting it higher than last year and it is looking better.  One source said if you leave the grass taller it will fill in more and choke out some of the weeds.  That's what I'm hoping for.

Friday, May 26, 2023


I was in the basement doing laundry so I looked for binding fabric for the pink baby quilt.  I had 3 that would work but this one will look like a stripe so it was the winner.  I got the strips cut but not sewn together yet.

I baked a rhubarb cake to send to my Iowa family and share with the friend who gave me the rhubarb.  Of course I saved some for myself, a little for everyone.

I didn't mow the backyard when I did the front on the 17th so I took care of that yesterday.  Now I have to decide if I'm going to mow the front again.  We haven't had any rain since last Friday (.15") and none predicted for this week.  Both of my neighbors mowed yesterday so I probably should do it today while it is still cool.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Finally some progress.............

This quilt had been loaded on the longarm for over a week and I finally found time to quilt it.  I had to put in a new needle before I started and that had me procrastinating.  I only had one thread breakage and that was on row 22 of 26.

It's an experimental quilting design and I'm sure the baby who receives it won't mind that it is so irregular.  Since I always use a color of thread that blends into the color of the top I have a hard time seeing where I have already quilted.  I got it trimmed and will choose binding fabric today.

I turned on the iron and pressed the stack of items waiting their turn.  This top was one of them.  I have decided no border is needed.  I make most of my throw quilts in 2 size ranges, 50 x 70" and 60 x 80".  This one is 49.5" x 72.5".

I also pressed the 23 star blocks that I pieced this week.  I will start playing with the layout now so I know if I need dark blocks or light blocks to finish it.

Last night I baked 2 batches of cookies for someone to take to my great-grandchildren.  All of the Hostas that I dug and potted are also making the trip.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

More star blocks.................

I got sidetracked in the basement yesterday and never turned on the iron.  I spent a few hours going through boxes of "stuff".

In the afternoon I cut the print part for 8 more star blocks and got them sewn last night. The little mouse in the green suit kept showing up in the upper right block.

I dismantled my large Mother's Day bouquet yesterday and one lone rose still looked good enough to save for a couple more days.  The little red pitcher is 3.5" tall and the rose is 5" across.  All of the Daisies were still good so I have a bouquet of them.  There was one stem of Lily buds and 2 blooms that are fading that I put in another vase.  I'm not sure if the buds will open but I thought it was worth saving them.

The smallest tomato plants have grown quite a bit since I put them in the ground. This one is SunGold cherry tomato.

There are tiny yellow flowers in my backyard lawn.  Maybe those are the wild Strawberries.  There are lots of Violet plants in the lawn too.  It's all green and covers the dirt so it's ok with me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Early Peonies and more.............

The earliest Peonies to bloom are always the same plant.  In the morning on Sunday they were tight buds and by evening there were a couple blooms. Yesterday I discovered a bunch of blooms.

None of the other Peonies are opening yet but after two 80+ degree days and another today they might start.  This plant has lots of buds yet to open.

I finished the layout of the pastel quilt and sewed it all together last night while I watched TV.  While working on the layout I gave up on the idea of not having the same fabric near itself since there are so many repeated fabrics.

I worked on the clean up of the basement for a couple hours, lots more to do.

I showed a "golden hour" photo of a Columbine a couple days ago so I took another photo of what it really looks like in normal light and made a collage photo.

I have been pulling out the Spiderwort little by little each year and I only see a few plants left in the garden.

My Canna bulbs are planted in a pot and I did one small garage pot with Snapdragons.  I still have 2 more pots to do with Coleus.


Monday, May 22, 2023

Heading toward finishes.............

I pressed the pastel blocks on Saturday so yesterday I tried 2 layouts.  I can see that the half drop is not working so I'll work on the straight row layout.

I sewed seven more star blocks to add to the 8 I sewed on Saturday night.  I have a couple more cut but will work on cutting all of the rest that I need and sew all 19 blocks and get this top sewn together.  30 blocks were already sewn and in the box with the solid color triangles.

The scent from my lilacs has been coming in the west windows for a few days.  The bushes are huge and I may need to trim them back this year.

The pink Weigela blooms are at their peak and will start falling off soon.  The red bush has a few buds on it.

The perennial Dianthus is blooming despite the intrusion of Creeping Charlie.

To the right of the Dianthus is a patch of 2 colors and varieties of Cranesbill.  I love this blooming time of the year before it gets too hot.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Opening a can of worms..............


I have several shelf units in the basement and I had this grand idea of moving 2 of them upstairs to my bedroom which is has a lot of empty space along one wall.  Then I would place all of my favorite fabrics up there and not have to go to the basement when "shopping" for my next project.........but the shelf units are so heavy and most everyone I know has a bad I now have areas that I moved the fabric out of in the basement (to empty the shelves) and because of that I need to capture the dust bunnies where the shelf units were before I move them back.  Luckily they are on wheels.

Plan B is to empty the bookcase in my main floor studio and put some of the fabrics there and I ordered a smaller wire shelf unit for the bedroom.  This also includes getting rid of tons of magazines, Studios magazines from 2009-14 and Quilting Arts 2002-9 plus a few more current issues.  I hate to just throw them in the recycling bin but I need to make space for my quilting books.  An interesting side note: I met the person who started Quilting Arts at a workshop in Ohio in 2002 and she was telling everyone about her new magazine and I subscribed to it for several years. 

So the question for me is what will be in my month end post in 10 days?  I am pretty sure I'll have the pastel half rectangle quilt top sewn together, maybe I can get 2 baby quilts quilted to keep up my 2 a month finishes.  A lot of time will be spent cleaning, rearranging, etc.  While doing that I might put together some quarter yard and half yard coordinated bundles of fabric for my next pop-up shop.

I have another golden hour photo.  This Columbine in the back garden is  burgundy but the sun was hitting it just right to put a golden glow on the stems and blooms.  They look like coral blooms.

I checked on the Allium that is in the corner of my lot and it is in full bloom now.  I have to thank whoever planted it there, even if it was a rascally squirrel.  Speaking of squirrels, the little plant that I thought might be a volunteer tomato plant is gone.  "Something" dug a hole in that exact spot in a 4' square raised bed.

While in the basement I happened upon the box with the blocks and pieces for this star quilt.  I had 30 blocks already sewn about 2 1/2 years ago and now I have made 8 more.  Click here to go back and see the other blocks.  There is a link in that post to go to the blog that has the inspiration quilt.  I have all of the triangles in solid already cut so I just had to cut the print parts for these blocks (and will for all of the rest of the blocks).