Friday, July 31, 2020


It's a finish!
62 x 83

Last year I received a box of scraps that included some 4.5 inch shirt squares.  After I finished my quilt Scared Shirtless in September of last year I used the leftover solids...

...and sashed some sets of four squares.  And then left those blocks at the end of my ironing board until I could decide what to do with them.  (Ooops...I see a safety pin. As I quilt on my DSM I mark spots with a safety pin where I need to bury my knots. I guess I missed this one.)

In February of this year I decided to clear off the end of my ironing board and do something with the blocks and I ended up with a flimsy.  I first cut more squares from my box of old shirts and made enough blocks for a good sized donation quilt and then basically I kept sashing sets of four blocks until I could sash no more. 

After all the squares were sashed then my next set of four blocks was sashed with a wide floral and solid four patches as cornerstones as you see above. 

Then four of those blocks got sashed with a skinny solid and a floral cornerstone like the dark blue you see here...

...and the darker brown you see here. 

Then finally those blocks were sashed with the skinny floral with solid cornerstones. 

Then I backed it with a sheet and quilted it on my DSM with horizontal and vertical lines in light gray thread. I had just enough of that wild floral to use for binding. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wednesday Wandering

I've been working on clearing out my 4.5 inch width scrap bin. This is probably (or maybe not) the last quilt I will get out of the scraps in there. It's a simple Coin type quilt. The layout will be six blocks across and 20 down for a finished quilt of 60 x 80.  I made 60 blocks in the L-D-L-D-L combination and 60 blocks in the D-L-D-L-D combination. 

Any pieces left that were two squares or less were cut into squares. Looks like scraps that are around awhile get a little hairy.  I'm not sure what I will do with the squares except store them in a container for awhile with the other sizes of scraps. I do have a bin of 4.5 inch units of different types I've also been trying to clear out (so far I've made Whigmaleerie and Pea Soup flimsies) so I toyed with the idea of alternating some of those units with squares but I'll save those thoughts for another time when it's not too hot to think. 

So now my 4.5 inch bin has strips that will yield more than two 4.5 inch squares and a bag of pieces less than a 4.5 inch square.  I will sort the bag of pieces into colors and sew them together into strips because I've been doing that for a couple of years now with my various widths of scraps and I'm thinking this year I will make a Coins quilt with everything I find in that box.  I'm not sure what I will do with the remaining them with scrap chunks from now on since I keep scrap chunks by color? Or make some four patches with some? Or HSTs? Or...again, too hot to think clearly!

When it's too hot to think I take a walk in the flower garden and enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances.  A monarch posed for me on the Joe Pye Weed. 

I liked this photo because in the top right I can see a hoverfly (or maybe it's a sweat bee) ready to zoom in and there's already a bumble bee in shadow already on the flower. 

I used to go around the property and try to identify weeds that were native so I would know if they were pretty weeds or nasty weeds when I found them sprouting up in my flower garden. About five years ago when I learned about Joe Pye Weed I dug a little piece of it up from the side of our field and put it into the flower garden so I could attract pollinators and butterflies and see them in action. Now I have a giant patch of it. 

Skipper twins or boyfriend and girlfriend? Did they just stop over for a snack while on a journey to elsewhere or are they here to stay for awhile? 

Remember those five inch pieces I had left over after making my Churn Dash flimsy earlier this year? I've slowly been making Hatchet blocks and have 155 toward my goal of 252. I still have some scraps and keep a little basket of them cut into five inch squares paired with their 2.5 inch corners near my sewing machine to use as leader/enders. I cut a little each day and iron the flippy corners in half diagonally and use the ironed line as my stitching line. 

Postage Stamp blocks are also leader/enders. I usually have a pile of them that need rows sewn together at the back of my sewing machine. caught me...I do sew over pins. 
I've been clearing out my 1.5 inch width scrap bin and most pieces are little more than a square now. I cut a few squares each day to add to my pencil box. 

I also have been cutting some of my 4.5 inch rose themed scraps into squares. I match up two squares and sew them together right sides together leaving a little opening for turning right side out. This is another leader/ender. I use the squares for my crochet fusion quilt I work on in the evenings. I blanket stitch around the edges and then crochet around the edges. Later all squares will be joined together. 

I dug a hill of potatoes (only 49 more to go) to see what was in there. I let them dry (or cure?) on the deck table. Shouldn't leave them too long or they will turn green. I don't think I ever peel homegrown potatoes- french fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, augratin potatoes- they all contain peels around here. 

I pulled up about a third of one of four rows of onions. One row we have been eating for about a month as green onions. 

Now that all my chicken scratch is finished I've been sloooooowly working on getting my quilt sashed. Maybe someday soon Grandma's Apron Strings will be a flimsy. 

I save a lot of my zucchini, squash, pumpkin and melon seeds for planting the following year. I labeled these seeds as butternut squash. Wrong!!! That's an Emerald Gem cantaloupe - an heirloom variety that has been around since 1886.  

This is a Butternut squash. And to think a few weeks ago I thought I was going to have to hand pollinate my vining crops. Oh, I'm getting hungry for candied squash. 

I've also been trying to pair up a few flimsies with some possible backings so I can get those pieced and then move forward to pin basting. 

And from time to time I still stop and smell the roses. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Postage Stamps and Churn Dashes in Blue

Blue is still the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month. Now I'm looking forward to the next color. I think we have red, purple and yellow left. Which will it be? 

I made a few PSP20 (Postage Stamp Pandemic 2020) blocks with blue solids earlier in the month but added a few more to the collection.  This is a perfect project for this time of year - easy to pick up and put down on breaks from the gardening.  I'm using 1.5 inch square scraps plus solids to make these blocks.  I have a little pencil case of squares I've been cutting as I've been emptying my 1.5 inch width scrap bin. 

And I caught up on some colors and added a few oranges to my collection...

...because I was a lucky winner recently of some solids from Sally of Objects of Design.  so I now have lots of solids to play with.  I also caught the PSP20 from Sally. 

I made two Churn Dash blocks that finish at 13.5 inches. I've been making two per month with scrap chunks so at the end of the year I will have 24 blocks. I will divide them into two sets and set them 3 x 4 and make two donation quilts. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Old Ms. Cathy Has a Farm

The Farm
aka Down and Dirty Gardening
It's a finish!
69 x 86

Pattern is "House Party" from the book Adding Layers by Kathy Doughty.  I made more blocks so I'd have a larger quilt and I did not make the same border with applique. 

When I finished my top last year I left off borders because I usually don't add borders to my quilts. However, after the top was made I felt it did need a border. It seemed like there was too much yellow in the quilt and I wanted a little more green. I made it my July OMG (One Monthly Goal) to add borders and I accomplished that goal earlier in the month so I went on to the finish line. 

I quilted it edge to edge on my DSM with a variety of flower and leaf shapes. 

I used the same mix of fabrics in the binding as I did in the borders. 

The back is a gardening themed fabric too. I think it was one of those Susan Winget fabrics I bought at one of those Spot the Bolt sales at JoAnn's a long time ago just to use as the backing for whatever quilt I made from gardening themed fabrics.  There was just enough!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday Wandering

Today I finished the last of my 35 Selvage Stars.  I hope to have the top assembled by the end of August. 

The Zinnias are starting to bloom. They are annuals and I save the seeds from year to year. I sow the seeds outdoors in early spring. I have several patches of them and I like to cut some all summer to bring into the house. Zinnias are sometimes referred to as Cut and Come Again - if you cut the flowers they will usually keep producing well into autumn.  I'm hoping that outside  they will be filled with butterflies soon. 

Some Strawflowers will be ready to harvest soon. They are one of many flowers I grow for dried bouquets and to make wreaths. I used to grow a lot of dried flowers and sell them at Farmer's Market. 

I was happy finally to see some Foxglove sprouts. I sowed the seeds in May and they sure are slow growing. My husband bought me a whole box of tags for me to use this year so I could remember where I planted seeds in the flower gardens and what I planted.  The funny thing is that a raccoon or something removes the tags and throws them down elsewhere. Rascals!

I finished the rest of the chicken scratch I need for my Grandma's Apron Strings quilt. I ran out of Blanc embroidery floss when I only had one more strip to finish.  I took another look through all my different threads and found four more skeins of Blanc floss mixed in with some white Glow in the Dark embroidery floss that was in a project box with a Glow in the Dark crazy quilt project started long ago.  This is another top I hope to have finished by the end of August. 

Just when I thought I would have to go out and hand pollinate the squashes, zucchini, cukes, cantaloupe and watermelon I found some pollinators at work in the blossoms. 

So I hope to see some results soon. 
The watermelon are doing just fine. I tried two different varieties of mini watermelons (6-8 lbs) this year and I think this is one called Yellow Doll. I'm not sure I'm going to like a yellow watermelon but the description made it sound delicious and the vines are compact. 


I do a lot of my reading in the middle of the night on my Kindle. Most of the books I read are free with Prime but from time to time I do follow up and read what I see recommended on some quilting blogs I read. So I decided I might as well mention my reading list.  The following is the list of books I read in June and July. I enjoyed them all. 

1. Emerald Horizon (book 2 of Star & Shamrock) by Jean Grainger.   WWII historical fiction. 
2. Almost Home and
3. Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse.   Both are nice stories. 
4. Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.  I learned for the first time about the blue people of Kentucky and the WPA packhorse librarians. 
5. Chase the Wild Pigeons by John J. Gschwend Jr. - a novel about the adventures of two boys, one black and one white, during the civil war. 

Last night I started reading The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. 

I've webbed together all twenty of my rows of  30 Half Rectangle Triangles ((HRTs).  I started making the 2 x 4 inch finished HRTs back in September 2018 as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project to use up 4.5 inch width scraps. Now I just need to sew together the rows and since I think that is a very boring task I will probably just sew together a few rows a day. So this should be another top finished in August. 

While I was sewing together the rows I was thinking that I still have a 16 quart bin of 4.5 inch width of scraps and I don't currently have a RSC project in the works that will use up those scraps. This year I wanted to empty all my bins of scraps so...
I started cutting parts and started making these coin type blocks of five 2.5 x 4.5 inch scraps.  
I will alternate blocks with the D-L-D-L-D configuration with blocks of the L-D-L-D-L configuration.  I've been pressing seams toward the darks. 

I hope to have sixty blocks of each configuration in no time and hopefully an empty bin too. 
Broccoli heads are starting to form. This variety is new to me this year and is called Blue Wind. I just thought the name was funny so that's why I picked it. I start seeds for these inside under lights in a corner of my sewing room. 

This year I'm also trying some sprouting broccoli for the first time. Instead of one big head and then several side shoots like most broccoli these just send out lots of side shoots. I thought they would be good for stir fry and broccoli cheese soup as well as broccoli au gratin. I started these under lights too. 

Cabbage heads are starting to form. I have seen lots of white cabbage butterflies lately. Their larvae love to feast on cabbage so I hope they leave some heads for me. Last year I found a little nest of baby rabbits in a hole under one of the big cabbage leaves. That scared the heck out of me to see big eyes peeking out of a hole and moving when I picked up a cabbage leaf that looked like it was being eaten.  You know I really wanted to just take a hoe to that hole but I let them and the cabbage be. And one day they were gone. They are probably the rascally rabbits doing the destruction in my flower gardens this year. 
 I started the cabbage under lights too. This is a variety that is good for making sauerkraut. I never really liked sauerkraut until I tasted homemade. My husband always liked it and requested I try to make some one year when we had a surplus of cabbage. Now I make some every year. 

And that's it for this Wednesday's wandering.