Sunday, June 30, 2024

It's quilted...............

I quilted this small quilt yesterday after lunch.  I decided on straight lines with the channel locks.

With both light and dark fabrics it was impossible to find a color thread that wouldn't show.  I ended up with a light variegated thread that was already threaded on the machine.  I would have preferred ditch quilting but this is a baby quilt and I didn't want to spend the time basting it and slow quilting on my Pfaff.  I'll put the binding on today for my third finish for the month.

Here is a little nostalgia.  This is a quilt I made in 1961 for my first child, pictured here with one of his cousins.  I made all of my own clothes at that time and my quilts were made with the leftover fabric and scraps.

I'm glad I took this photo a couple days ago because today I saw that some of the first flowers are dying already.  I'll deadhead them today.

This is most of the front garden.  I have one bag of leaf mulch still waiting for me to spread it.  The middle front section is the only one that isn't filling in nicely. 

The two new plants are still looking good.

I picked a few more tomatoes to finish ripening inside.  A couple more days and 3 of them will be in a salad. 


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Busy work.............

I pressed a lot of fabric yesterday to prepare for cutting for about a week.

I also pressed the backing for this small quilt and loaded it on the longarm.  Maybe I'll get it quilted today.  I hope so.  Then I would have the same number of finishes as new quilt tops since the first of the year.

On Thursday I dug up part of my huge green Coral Bell and planted it in the front of the house.  I dug up the Sedums that were there and gave them to my granddaughter to plant in front of her house in another state.  I gave her Hostas last year and the area was a little too hot for them but I was sure the Sedums would be fine.  On the other side of the Coral Bell is the little Hydrangea bush I got for $8.50 at the end of the season last year.  It is supposed to be a small compact bush and it has filled out but hasn't grown much taller yet.  It's hard to see with the grass as a backdrop.  The Annabelle Hydrangea is in photo too.

I love Coleus plants in the pots in front of the garage.  There is no need to have flowering plants there with all of this gorgeous color in leaves.

At the corner of the garage I have 2 more pots of Coleus and 2 Hostas I dug out of the front garden where they got sunburned last year.

The Sedum plants are starting to form their blooms.  It seems early so I'll have to look back at previous years' photos and see if I'm right.

I had several questions about the pattern for yesterday's quilt finish.  I started out with a pattern but ended up with my own layout.  This post explains a few things about the quilt.  It is simply a 4.5" strip of a stripe fabric and three 1.5" strips sewn to it and then cut triangles with the long side of the triangle on the grain line (both short sides of the triangle will be on the bias), flip, cut again, flip, cut again.  Then play at the design wall with the blocks.  The whole quilt top is on the bias when sewn, not my favorite type of quilt, but it came out OK.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Finish #2 for June 2024..........

This quilt is #4 in a series of quilts made with Kaffe Fassett yarn dyed woven stripe fabric.  (This variety is no longer available but Brandon Mably announced on IG that some of the older stripes are coming back.)  This is the third one to be finished.  It is 58.5" x 78.5".  It has Hobbs 80/20 batting in it and was quilted by my longarm friend Robin.

The backing fabric is a yarn dyed woven ikat fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett.  No, I didn't match the fabric design on the back when I seamed it.  The person getting this one won't care (and neither do I). The binding is another of the yarn dyed woven stripes.  This quilt is lightweight and soft.

The Black Eyed Susan growing in the crack between 2 parts of the sidewalk is starting to bloom.   The UPS delivery person stepped on one part of it last week and broke it off.  I hope they see it blooming now and step carefully.

The Pansies in this pot are supposed to be wave Pansies and it looks like maybe they are going to drape over the edge of the pot if I can just keep them alive on the hot days.

There are more blooms on last year's Geraniums.  There is lots of new growth at the lower part of the stems so I'm hoping for lots more blooms over the summer.

More tomatoes are turning red.  I haven't shared any with the squirrels so far.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Binding finished................

The good news: I finished the binding on this quilt.  The bad news: it was 10 p.m. so too late to take the official portrait.  That will happen today.

I only had 20 rows left to knit on this dishcloth so I finished it while I watched the news and weather.  I love the variegated yarn.

It finally started cooling down last night.  The humidity was pretty high early in the day but it slowly dropped all afternoon.  Now the comfortable weather is here for a few days.


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Garden walk..............

One half of a long side is all of the hand sewing on the binding that I got done yesterday.

Many years ago a friend sold me the starts to these lilies and she called them Blackberry Lily.  They continue to survive in the wild back garden.

The first Purple Coneflower has bloomed but it is so pale this year.  I wonder if that is because of our dry conditions.  We didn't have measurable rain for 2 1/2 weeks.

More flowers are starting to bloom at the other end of the garden.

A big patch of Oxeye Daisies is in full bloom.

The Oxeye Daisies are over 4 feet tall.  There are some Purple Coneflower plants to the left and in front of them so this area is really pretty when it is all in bloom.

We got another half inch of rain so I haven't had to water anything.

I have been working in the basement in the mornings, pressing fabrics and preparing for cutting.  I have LOTS of cutting to do so not much to show.  Hopefully I'll get that binding done soon so I can show a finish.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

2 corners..................

There were errands to run yesterday and checking on everything in the gardens.  I finished the first long side and then got all but 3" stitched on a short side.  I have 2 eight foot bulbs burnt out in my main floor studio so the quilt in this photo is illuminated by an Ottlite.

I ironed some fabrics to prepare for cutting because it was nice and cool in the basement.  I don't have a lot of energy in hot weather so anything I get done is progress, although slower than usual.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Little sewing, lots of nature

I have only hand stitched about 3/4 of one long side of the binding so far.  I went to a birthday party for my 2 year old great-grandson yesterday afternoon.  We got over an inch of rain overnight into Sunday morning and the temperature and humidity dropped.  It was pleasant enough to be outside for the party.

The Zinfin Doll Hydrangea blooms are growing slowly.  The rain should help them.  We have more rain predicted for Tuesday so we are hoping for green grass again.

Last year's Geraniums (that I overwintered in the garage) have a lot of new growth so they should fill in soon.

The centers of the red Coneflowers are getting fluffy now.

They are a more vivid red than these photos show.  I love the centers on these.

Even more buds opened on the freebie plant.  I love the combination of colors in the blooms.

I'm hoping these 2 cooler days will give the tomato plants a little relief and we will see more ripening.  This plant has the most tomatoes on it.  Tuesday is supposed to be back in the 90s and some rain but the rest of the week is going to be pleasant and more normal.  So far I have 4 volunteer tomato plants in this bed and maybe a 5th one.  I'll be able to tell in a couple days as it grows.


Sunday, June 23, 2024

Another binding choice...............

When I first started looking for a binding fabric I didn't consider the yarn dyed woven stripes because they are lightweight.  Also I didn't think I had enough of any of them for a binding.  I considered using a scrappy binding but decided no and I was ready to cut the dotted purple fabric when I decided to look on the shelf with the stripes.  There was a 2 yard piece that I had forgotten about and it was the perfect colors.

 Here is a better look at it with the backing fabric. It was so perfect I decided to go with it.  I'll take a photo today of my progress on hand stitching the binding.

I planned on getting out for a photo shoot earlier in the day but the next thing I knew it was 8 p.m.  More buds have opened on the Rudbeckia.

I need to take a ruler out wth me and measure the width of these blooms.  They are big compared to my Black Eyed Susan blooms.

And yes, these flowers match my quilt.

When I get a question from a "no reply-comment" I don't always remember to address it the next day.  Jackie asked 2 days ago whether I had a tutorial for the 16 patch quilt and the answer is yes.  Go to my website and click on free resources.  You will find "How to Create a Perfect 16 Patch Quilt".  Click on it for a step by step tutorial that has pressing directions for easy assembly.  

My website is also where my video resides, the one made during my solo show at a gallery in North Carolina in 2012.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Binding audition...........

This quilt is quite multicolor so I'm trying several different colors for binding.  This is choices 1 and 2.

Here are choices 3 and 4.  I had pulled the purple dotted one last week thinking it would be perfect.  Then I couldn't decide if it was too dark and looked for some other choices.

This is a cutaway piece of the backing  with choices 1 and 3.  I didn't make any decision yesterday.  I need to get the binding cut today and start the hand sewing so I won't be rushed for an end of month finish.

This was yesterday's yield from the garden.  That bowl is really small and so is the tomato.  With the shades and curtains pulled to block out the west sun and heat, the windowsill was the only place to take this photo.

The Veronica plant has so many blooms.  The one I had in the back garden for a few years was tall and floppy and never had more than 7 or 8 blooms.  I'm really happy with this one.

The Rudbeckia plant has more blooms.  This one is going to be interesting to watch to see if all of the flowers become dark or if some will stay more of a yellow/orange mix.

Today is supposed to be the hottest of the week and hopefully some rain at night.

Friday, June 21, 2024

First finish for June 2024.................

I have made so many 16 patch quilts and every one of them has its own personality.  I guess that's why I know I will still make more of them.

This one is special.  The 16 patch blocks are African fabric and mottled batik fabrics.  The batik blocks sprinkled through the quilt?  A favorite batik bought so many years ago and with that crazy limey green background I just never could find a quilt it fit into.  This one was perfect.  

The batik backing fabric is another of those unique fabrics that just never found its quilt before.  It wasn't that I didn't try to use it on several others; I did.  Click on the photo to see it close up.

The quilt is 62.5" x 78.5" and has Hobbs 80/20 batting in it.  The binding is a Bali batik from the early 1990s when they used a lot of Africa motifs for their fabrics.  I will have this quilt thrown over the bench in my living room so I can enjoy it this summer.

Speaking of summer, it's finally official as of yesterday afternoon.  I hope we are getting the 90s out of the way so we can have nice weather for the rest of the season.  We had missed out on all of the measurable rain since June 5th but yesterday we got one tenth of an inch of rain.  I hope the rain predicted for Saturday night will beat that.  Our grass is turning brown.

I have chosen a few candidates for the binding on the Kaffe quilt that is next in line.  I hope one of them will work.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

4 corners.....................

 I start hand sewing the binding a few inches before the first corner so I have 4 corners done before all of the stitching is done.  I have less than 30" to go so I better get the binding picked out for the second quilt today.

This was my garden yield yesterday.  The black raspberries are ripening.  Some were so small because of lack of rain that I left them for the birds.  One tiny Sun Gold cherry tomato and one golf ball size 4th of July tomato aren't quite enough for a salad.

Are you tired of seeing this plant yet?  It only had about 8 blooms the whole summer season last year while it was in a pot.  With lots more buds to open, it gets a little more exciting every day.  I'm wondering if the yellow flower will turn dark orange.

The blooms on the Red Coneflower are a deeper red than they look here.

The closer I got with the camera, the lighter the color looks.  It's really a more intense red but I thought you might like a look at the center of this variety of Coneflower.

It was another 90 degree day yesterday so I was inside other than watering plants and a short session pulling weeds at 7 p.m.  It has been staying in the high 70s overnight so there are new records for the low temperature of the day in Chicago.  6-10 day outlook is more 90s so it will be a record warm June this year.