Friday, June 9, 2023

It's A Finish! Plus Postage

It's a finish!
Plus Postage
60 x 80

The Plus Postage pattern can be found in the April 2016 edition of American Patchwork and Quilting and is designed by Susan Ache. I was inspired but  I didn't follow the instructions. (I looked at the pictures). Susan Ache's version uses strip piecing and only two fabrics per block. I used quite a variety of 1.5 inch squares (postage stamps cut from scraps) and sewed those together one square at a time. 

I started making ten inch blocks back in 2020 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project. 

I big stitch hand quilted it with perle cotton in a variety of colors.  I quilted on the diagonals through each little colored square in the color of the squares and quilted 1/4 inch in red inside the plusses. 

I just had to hand quilt this one so I could take my time and enjoy looking at all the different fabrics.  

I love quilts with little pieces.  It's fun to see what will show up in a 1 inch square. 

The binding is red solid. 

And the backing is full of fairy princesses. 

And sew on...

RSC ScrapHappy Saturday

Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wednesday Wandering

Some of the roses in my cottage garden are in bloom now. All of them that are in bloom are scented so the air smells so sweet as I walk through the garden and stop to smell the roses. 

I have fourteen rose bushes not counting the wild rose I that popped up and I let grow in a corner of the garden.    Yesterday was our 50th wedding anniversary.  We don't really ever officially celebrate anniversaries or birthdays or other occasions. In our early days we never really had a lot of money to spend on ourselves.   A few months ago we saw some roses on sale at Jackson Perkins and so together we browsed the online catalog, read reviews and picked out three roses we liked. I planted them when they arrived, have been watering them every day and they are starting to leaf out.   I think that was our 50th anniversary celebration and gift to each other. It just didn't happen on an official date.  Now throughout the next years as I walk through the cottage garden I'll think of hubby and all our years together when I see the roses in bloom.   Oh, and now I have seventeen rose bushes in my cottage garden not counting the wild rose that popped up and I let grow in a corner of the garden.   The roses?   Sweet Intoxication, Show Your Stripes and Lagerfield. 

I am thankful I have a lot of roses in bloom this year. In past years the rabbits and deer have demolished the canes. Whey they would like to eat thorny bits is beyond me. But I have tried a lot of different things to deter critters so maybe things are finally paying off. 

I'm starting to see a few Japanese Beetles but I pick them off and throw them into soapy water so here's hoping there will not be hordes of them. I go out with a small bucket of soapy water this time of year when I deadhead roses. 

I used to have several different varities of Clematis but now only have a couple. Not sure what happened to the others. Things just disappear some years.   

This variety is Jackmanii and it's almost like a weed but it does know it's boundaries. 

Martagon or Turk's Cap Lilies. It's difficult to get a good pic of them because they grow in dappled shade.  They are lightly scented. (I do love flowers with fragrance). 

I have some in pink and in burgundy. 

Speaking of scents...I have planted different varieties of Dianthus (carnations, pinks, sweet williams) close to pathways so they give off a scent as I walk past and brush against them. I've started all from seed over the years. 

And finally there is nothing here in bloom yet but I wanted to show my Sunflower House. I used to grow Sunflower Houses now and then back when the kids and grandkids were younger. This is a cement slab near my cottage and cutting gardens. Around the edges I have planted Sunflowers and in between I planted Moonflowers and Christmas Lima Beans that should climb the Sunflowers. and grow over the tops to form roof and fill in the sides of the Sunflower House.   A piece of carpeting in front marks the space for the door way and is also covering an old groundhog hole.   I need to sweep off the slab that will be the interior of the Sunflower House and pick up my sticks I use as garden stakes. I left a couple of logs to sit on.   I'm so excited because I've tried to grow a Sunflower House just for old time's sake the last three years and something has come along and eaten my Sunflowers before they have even gotten to this stage. 

The Sunflowers. 

Stay tuned to see if there will be a Sunflower House this year!

The III in the cement was made by my youngest son, John III. I can't believe he will be 39 on July 4. We moved to this house when he was 4 years old.  


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Brown Stuff: Baskets

"Brown Stuff"
is the theme in my sewing space this month.

This month I'm putting more of those fruit and veggies into brown baskets. I have a lot of brown scrap chunks (less than a Fat Quarter [FQ] and greater than a six inch square) that I decided could be used to make baskets. 

Actually I'm putting the fruits and veggies into 15 inch (finished) Cake Stand blocks. 

I have a few fruit and veg fabrics I think I will add to the mix so I can get those used up.

And at first I thought quilt but now I think these will make a nice tablecloth.

In the real world I don't use baskets to harvest my fruits and veggies.  I used recycled plastic containers. 

My asparagus patch has been put to rest for the year but I'm still harvesting some rhubarb and still need to make some strawberry-rhubarb jam and maybe another quick bread or muffins to eat for breakfast with my yogurt. 

Despite the hot and dry conditions I have been harvesting salad crops almost every day -- mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, green onions, radishes. 

The strawberries are smaller than usual this year but at least I was able to harvest some (and get a lot of exercise picking them). Early on some critters were eating them but they were nice enough to save some for me. 

I picked some Snow Peas. They are good raw or in stir fry or lightly steamed. I have found the variety Green Beauty to be the best Snow Pea so far.   I also have Sugar Snap peas (Sugar Daddy) but they aren't ready to harvest yet.   I was lucky this year. A lot of years the deer or rabbits eat the pea sprouts, the plants get stressed and then don't produce much. The critters left the plants alone this year. 

Garlic scapes.

I have a lot of rocambole garlic planted here there and everywhere in the flower and veggie gardens because it is supposed to repel deer and rabbits. The garlic basically grows wild now because if it is not harvested and left alone it produces bulbils at the top that fall over and plant themselves or they can be harvested and planted where you want them to grow or used as garlic. The first year after planting a bulbil produces a "round" garlic below ground. It can be harvested and used or left in the ground to produce garlic with cloves.   Garlic can also be used to make a lot of sprays to repel bugs and other critters.   And garlic has a lot of health benefits. I love it!

Back to the garlic scapes.  Those are the tops of the garlic before the bulbils form on top. We harvested those yesterday and sauteed them with a few other veggies to use on top of our homemade pizza last night.  


Sunday, June 4, 2023

Mooving Forward

"Brown Stuff"
is the theme in my sewing space this month. I hope to move a lot of UFOs and scraps forward that fit the theme.

I just finished 7 Brown Cows (Moovers and Shakers) to my herd. That makes 18 Cows and I think I only needed 15. Right now the layout is only in my mind. I know there will be a border so I'm going to work on it next. 

At that time I cut out pieces for 5 Cow blocks and chain pieced them. But I learned that it was probably far better to cut pieces and make the blocks one at a time. 

January 2022 a few more Cows joined the herd when my theme was "Making Brownies" (Brown Stuff). 

And sew on...


Friday, June 2, 2023

Brown Stuff: Double Four Patch Top

It's a top!
Double Four Patch
60 x 72

Brown Stuff! 
That's the theme in my sewing space for June.   
I have lots of UFOs to move forward that fit that theme. 
I also have a lots of brown scraps I want to use this month.

I started making the six inch blocks in January 2022 because I had a lot of brown scraps at that time (and still do). 

By March 2022 I had a complete set of 120 blocks and then put them away in my SAR (Some Assembly Required) box. 

A couple of days ago I dug out the set of blocks and assembled them into a top. Now maybe I will also find a backing and get it quilted this month too.

And sew on...


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A Wednesday Wander Through My Flower Garden

I went out early this morning for a walk through my cottage garden. We have had really dry conditions so it seems that the blooms aren't as big as usual and aren't lasting as long as usual. A water conservation alert has already been issued for parts of Iowa but it has not been issued here yet. I have a private well and I've been mostly watering the veg garden and newly planted and sprouted seeds - well,I should say I'm watering the ones the critters don't devour. 

I was watching the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and saw that "weeds" are in vogue as the country moves toward more sustainable gardening and biodiversity. I guess my cottage garden is pretty trendy! One of these days I might have to take photos of all the different types of "weeds" I have.