Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday Wandering: Brrrrrr!

Took a walk outside yesterday after lunch to see what was in the garden that might not be looking so good in the garden today. We were supposed to get freezing temperatures over night. We did. When I woke up this morning it was 27 degrees. 

Bleeding Heart... in bloom along the front sidewalk. I may have to dig this out this year because there is supposedly a french drain that runs along side the house under there that we think needs repair. 

Tulips usually don't last for many years around here but these tulips have been around for about 25 years. My husband used to smoke cigars way back in the day and these tulips came free with one of his purchases. 

I love little species tulips. I have them planted here and there throughout the flower garden. Supposedly they are deer and rodent resistant. And maybe they are because I've had these for years. 

Red species tulips interspersed with perennial dianthus that blooms later ring the fairy garden. 

Surprise! I have no idea where this tulip came from. I've never seen it before and I did not plant any tulips in that area. 


More red species tulips.

Daffodils in the grass in front.

And yesterday I harvested the first spears of asparagus and had them for dinner. Hopefully the rest of the shorter spears don't freeze. 

And so it goes. 
Think I will spend time more time in the sewing room today because I think it will be too cold for this old lady to do any gardening. 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tuesday Treats: Sompun Else

Sompun Else with vanilla ice cream.

I mentioned last week that I dug out all of my rhubarb recipes because the rhubarb in the garden looked like it was about ripe for the picking.  Well, today, since it was rather cold outside and I saw a few snow flurries, I thought it would be a good day for baking. So I harvested a few stalks of rhubarb and baked a treat called Sompun Else. The recipe came from my husband's aunt, mother of 11 children, who always had a big garden. I'm sure she probably received the recipe from another woman at a church supper or some other social gathering.  Since several of you have asked that I share some rhubarb recipes I thought I would share after I made the treats. 

I didn't take a very good pic of the recipe so here it is:

Sompun Else

Mix together 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. 
(Note: If I am going to use salted butter I usually leave out the salt). 
Cut in 1 cup of butter. 

Put mixture into 9 x 11 pan. 

Then top with 3 cups of cooked rhubarb OR 3 cups of finely sliced rhubarb. 
If I use fresh rhubarb then sprinkle top with water - maybe about 1/2 to 3/4 cup water. 
(Note: I have never made this recipe with cooked rhubarb)

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. 


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Little Wonky Stars and PSP20

This week I had a few solid scraps of blue out so made some Wonky Stars with those solids and waste triangles. They finish at 4.5 inches.  I had the green solid squares cut last month when the RSC (Rainbow Scrap Challenge) color was green but never got around to making the Wonky Stars last month so they carried over into this month. 

I also made a few PSP20 blocks (Postage Stamp Pandemic 2020) with a few blue solids. I see the PSP20 is mutating. I noticed the block in the lower right has 72 postage stamps instead of the usual 64. Ooops! Wonder how that happened. And now I know I didn't cut too few solid pieces or misplace them...I simply lost my mind for a bit while sewing pieces together. 


Friday, April 16, 2021

It's a Flimsy! It's a Top! It's An Unfinished Quilt!

Sawtooth Stars and Sixteen Patches
60 x 84
It's a flimsy! It's a top! It's an unfinished quilt!

I started making blocks in 2018 and then set them aside for awhile. 

Homespuns, flannels, ticking, stripes, plaids and shirts. 
Sawtooth Stars and Sixteen Patches.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Tulips in the Snow

Tulips in the Snow
43 x 43
I think that may be a good size for a wheelchair quilt. 

colors were inspired by a cardinal in the snow I saw a lot last winter from my kitchen window.

5 inch (finished) blocks were made with very skinny strings in white and cream - some with touches of red - came out of the low volume string box. 

The tulips were made from very skinny red strings and I used needle turn applique to stitch them to the background. 

I'll probably end up hand quilting this at some point but for now it will go into the quilting pile. And now that I have quilted along I think I have an idea for an entirely different string tulip quilt someday. 


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday Wandering

New in the flower garden this year is Fritillaria Michailovskyi. Only about 6 inches tall it is supposed to be honey scented (I haven't gotten my nose down that far to see if that is true)  and repel deer and rodents. That's fine to repel rodents as long as they aren't repelled into my house instead.  I planted lots of bulbs last fall here and there in dappled shade areas along some pathways and I hope it will naturalize over the next few years. 

Fritillaria Meleagris (Guinea Hen Flower) also pops up here and there in the flower garden. I think some people also call these Checkered Lilies. 

Some of the Daffodils are still in bloom.

But it has been raining here off and on for several days and the rains have kind of beat down most of the Daffodils. 

I have several different kinds of Daffodils and since they are one of the first flowers to bloom in Spring they are always a welcome sight. 

So far the rabbits and deer have left my Old Spice Sweet Peas alone. For many years I used to have a large section of trellis covered with sweetly scented Sweet Peas but I think the last five or six years I have not had any luck with them because something usually eats them as soon as they sprout. This year I started the seeds in a pot on the deck and transplanted them so we shall see how this works. Watch this space.

I thought something was eating my Hellebore buds because it sure seems like it is late blooming this year. But now I have blooms so either I was mistaken or whatever critter was eating buds went on to greener pastures. 

And in the Fairy Garden I spy a little patch of Grape Hyacinth (and weeds).

The Bluebells are starting to bloom. 

They have spread over the years and I think this year I may dig some up and put some in the new native wildflower garden. I think I read that they were native but there are two kinds of bluebells and this may not be the native one. I'll have to check my notebook. 

I have 4 Tree Peonies for many years and I thought for sure they were all dead this year because the wood showed a lot of deer damage. But I have been so excited to see new growth on all of them. 

That Bee Balm (Monarda) spread across the path so I'm going to dig it out and put it in the new native wildflower garden. 

This year the Stinging Nettles look like they are sprouting up everywhere already. There is a reason they call it "stinging". I have to wear heavy gloves when I pull it up. It is good for the compost pile and in a few years past I have made Stinging Nettle tea and used it as fertilizer. But that's more work than I want to go to now so usually it just goes into the compost pile. Supposedly you can make beer or soup or salad with Stinging Nettle but I'm not going to try that unless I'm starving some day. 

I also have herbaceous Peonies (there are three types of peonies - tree, herbaceous and a new one called intersectional) and I see those sprouting up in several places. I really need to get some of those round things to put around them to keep the flowers from drooping on to the ground. 

And here's another pathway I bordered with  those little Fritillaria Michailovskyi. 

Remember last week I told you I stuck plastic forks here and there throughout the strawberry bed to try to keep squirrels and rabbits and who knows what else from eating the strawberry plants?? Well, so far so good.  The forks appear to be working. Stick a fork in it! The real test will be if the critters will stay out when the strawberries bloom and bear fruit. 

Radishes are up! They need a little thinning. 

Asparagus is sprouting up.

I think this will be a very good year for asparagus. I spread a lot of compost on the bed a  few weeks ago and now that we have had lots of rain I think after a few days of sun we will be eating some asparagus. Last year I had so much asparagus I was able to share with several others. 

I still haven't weeded the rhubarb bed but it doesn't seem to mind. It has grown a lot in one week. I've dug out my rhubarb recipes! My fav is a recipe of an aunt of my husband called Sompun' Else and another I copied out of a library book long ago before internet and when I could not afford cookbooks--rhubarb bread. 

And finally the Bleeding Heart is starting to bloom. I used to have a white version but it disappeared a few years ago. And that's the way it goes. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tales From The Scrap Yard: Some Green Leftovers and Odds and Ends

As seen previously in Tales from the Scrap Yard:

I'm still working with green scraps I received on March 24. Then I will move on to some of the other colors. 
There were some 4 inch width of fabric strips in the scrap bag so  I decided to cut those pieces into squares and added some other scraps of mine to the mix to make some 16 Patches with Stars.  These finish at 14 inches and I ended up with enough scraps for four blocks so I will make some in other colors in the future to go with these. 

Years ago when the grandkids were younger I participated in several I Spy swaps. Several of the swaps consisted of 4 inch squares. I still have a lot of them so for those 16 Patch Stars I pulled out some green squares and some white background squares. 

For the Wonky Star points I cut some white 3.5 inch square white scraps on the diagonal. 

Also in the bag were some 2.25 inch width strips. I sewed them together for binding. I use this width for bindings sewn down by machine as requested for most small donation quilts but I use 2.5 inch strips for bindings I stitch down by hand. 

I pulled out a chunk of green floral that was just perfect for one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) blocks- Dove in the Window. 

I had an orphan block left over from making one of the tops as well as some 1.5 inch scraps. I emptied most of my scrap bins I keep by width last year and now I try to make some basic blocks for the Parts Department instead of putting things back into a scrap bin. I cut some longer scraps into 1.5 x 5.5 pieces and sewed those into Rail Fence blocks that will finish at 5 inches. I then cut whatever I could into 1.5 x 2.5 inch pieces and made some Bit Coin blocks that will finish at 6 inches.  I also cut some postage stamps (1.5 inch squares) and if anything was left that was at least 1 inch wide I sewed it into a long strip for a future Chinese Coins quilt. 

The Postage Stamps were added to my pencil case of Stamps to be used for another RSC project - 16 patches called Postage Stamp Pandemic (PSP 20).

I also had 2.5 inch pieces left over from making some of the green quilt tops. And when I have 2.5 inch pieces left over after making a quilt I make Nine Patches if there is enough length to cut five squares. Then I cut 2.5 x 3.5 inch rectangles for a scrap quilt I have in mind. I need 1600 rectangles to make two quilts so I will keep cutting those rectangles from leftovers until I reach my goal. I think I currently may have about 1300.   Then if anything is left of the 2.5 inch strip I cut a square. If I can't make a square I sew the pieces together for a Chinese Coin quilt. 

I combine the 5 squares with four low volume squares to make the Nine Patches that will finish at 6 inches. 

I also made a little Indian Hatchet and some small Chips that are a couple more of my RSC projects. And I make Wonky Hourglass blocks from Indian Hatchet trimmings. 

I've been making Nine Patches from 2.5 inch leftovers for quite some time and now have a big stack of them in the Parts Department. Someday I will turn those into some quilts but for now they will just accumulate. They share a Parts Department box with the Four Patches I make from 3.5 inch and from 2 inch leftovers - also accumulating as inventory for future quilts. 

All of the various sizes of squares share a Parts Department box. I recently used most of the 2.5 inch squares in a Jack and Jill quilt top. 

Now after I am finished with most projects I cut squares from the scraps if I can then sew the remainder of the pieces into strips for Chinese Coins. 

I've been accumulating the Coin Strips for some time now and one of these days I will make a quilt or two, combining all the different colors and widths. 

My Chinese Coins box is pretty full. 

And still there are some green scraps left in the scrap bag. What to do...what to do...I know!...