Thursday, June 30, 2022

Cherry Baskets

Cherry Basket
15 inch block

The end of the month came and I blogged "And since I only moved forward 3 of the 4 basket UFOs I don't get my planned reward - start another basket quilt I have had my eye on. "

Well, the basket block I had my eye on is called Cherry Basket and I wanted to make it with what else but cheery cherry fabrics. 

Then this month I received a box of scraps from a friend and what happened to be in there? A couple of small pieces of cherry fabrics -- just enough for basket blocks I had my eye on. So I thought that was a sign that my Cherry Baskets were meant to be.  But there was still that little problem with appliqued basket handles made of bias strips. I'm not good at making little pieces of bias (or big pieces for that matter). Then I remembered I had a lot of rick rack I picked up at thrift stores or bought on sale over the years. So, the baskets will have rick rack handles. I sewed the rick rack down by hand with herringbone stitch. 

I'm hoping I have enough of those two different red solids for backgrounds for 18 baskets I will set on point. If not I'll figure something out. No sense worrying about it now. 

I decided on the large 15 inch block so that the cherries in the fabrics did not get cut too small and could still be recognized as cherries. 

The block instructions came from Ladies' Art Company Block Tool. 

And sew it goes...


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wednesday Wandering


Trumpet Vine
It started with a cutting from my sister-in-law many years ago. The hummingbirds love it but I don't. It is one of the very few things I wish I had never planted. It is on a trellis archway that has seen better days right in the middle of the cottage garden. I used to be able to walk through the archway but can't anymore because the weight of the Trumpet Vines intermingled with Dutchman's Pipe Vines and Clematis has sort of caved in the trellis archway. That's not the bad part. The Trumpet Vines come up everywhere in the garden and I spend several hours one day a week cutting or digging out Trumpet Vine before it strangles everything in sight like bindweed. 

Jackmanii Clematis
Speaking of vines and trellises...this one is was on a metal archway - a cheap one in pieces put together with screws. It has slowly been falling apart but I keep wiring and rigging it so it limps along. Well with the last windstorm the whole darned trellis fell over and and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put it back together again so I put in a couple of fence posts for now but will have to rethink this later. It's a tangled mess. I used to have a lot of different Clematis because I love them but most of them have disappeared over the years. 


Another plant that is taking over the cottage garden is this hydrangea right in the back of the barn. I prune out a bunch of it every year but that seems to make it more prolific. Sometimes Poke Weed pokes up out of the middle of it and it is difficult to get to it to get it out of there because if the Hydrangea is in bloom it is normally buzzing with bees. 

The Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) is starting to bloom now. There are so many different kinds of Echinacea now that I think it would be fun to collect lots of them. Later in the year the Goldfinch sit on top and eat the seeds. 

The Daylilies are starting to bloom. I basically had nothing but Daylilies in my cottage garden after I first started it. That's because there are so many different varieties and they require very little care. I was working more than 40 hours a week at a stressful job as was my husband and the kids were little back then. 

Before you could purchase much on the internet I found a wholesale Daylily farm that sent out a  big catalog. Not every Daylily had a picture in the catalog but the descriptions were dreamy and I could envision them in my mind. 

I'd pick out five or six to order every year for about five years. Most of the ones I really really really wanted to have were to expensive for me to order but I was always satisfied with what I did order. 

I used to keep a marker with the name of the Daylily next to each of them but the markers have disappeared or faded now. 

I tried to keep track of their names because way back when I had a lot of big dreams I thought it would be fun to breed my own daylily or two. I even thought of what I would name them....Aunt Essie, Granny Lizzy and Nosey Agnes. 

Daylilies are edible but I've never had the urge to eat one or any part of one. Maybe if the inflation continues...

The Hostas are starting to bloom. That's no big deal because Hosta leaves steal the show. However a bee kept darting in and out of the flowers on this one so the bee must think the flowers sweet.  I bought Hostas with all different leaves many years ago on clearance at Walmart. Now they all have been divided more than once. I especially love the leaves on this one. It gives a little color to a shady area under an apple tree. 

We do eat a lot of them. Did you know that one of the things recommended during the Spanish Flu epidemic was to "eat more onions"?  That's one of the better recommendations to keep the flu at about a drop of kerosene on a sugar cube??  Well, anyway, not sure if they will keep us from getting the flu but we do eat a lot of onions.  This year we tried growing them from onion plants instead of onion sets. We are wondering if we will get bigger bulbs and have been following the onion man's instructions so we shall see.  In the meantime we have been eating a lot of green onions. 

I'm no longer harvesting strawberries or snow peas but I am still harvesting Butterhead lettuce. It's so good I hardly need any salad dressing. 

This is another type of Butterhead Lettuce. I think it is called Speckles or Freckles. Don't remember right now but it is good too. This is the first year I've tried it.  Back in the day when I had a greenhouse we grew all sorts of different kinds of lettuces (and herbs - mostly lots and lots of Basil and Cilantro) for Farmer's Market and had several different small restaurants that bought from us. It was a lot of work and not worth the money so we quit growing for Farmer's Market after a few years.  I also grew dried flowers to sell at Farmer's Market. And I made about 50 loaves of Sourdough and Herb bread to sell at Farmer's Market. I could have sold more bread if I was able to make more but I did not have the time. I started making bread Friday night when I got home from work and continued through the night so it was very fresh for sale on Saturday. Like I said...not worth the extra money...

Since we have had nice weather the last couple of days I have been doing some heavy duty clearing of brush from the strip that is in the back of the cottage garden that separates the garden from the field we contract out to a farmer who grows beans or corn on the land.  That brush includes black raspberry brambles, honeysuckle, stinging nettle, mulberry trees, poke weed and evidently poison ivy I didn't see.   I can now see it clearly on several different parts of my body including my eyelid. 

And so it grows...

Monday, June 27, 2022


9 inch (finished) Trip Around The World (TATW) blocks made with 2 inch width scraps. 

I've been throwing 2 inch width darker colored scraps into the TATW project box whenever I process scraps.  My box was pretty full of strips so I figured it was time to make a few more blocks to add to my collection. 

With this batch of TATW blocks I now count 42 toward my goal of 48. That will make a quilt 54 x 72. I was first thinking I would make a quilt with 7 x 9 blocks but I kind of wanted to keep the blocks in multiples of four. 

So now that I am so close to my goal I'm going to see if I can rustle up a few more scraps to finish up 6 blocks. I'll first go through my box of quilt back trimmings since I haven't sorted through there in awhile. 
I'm not at all sure I really like the very scrappy TATW blocks. Maybe I'll like them better when they are put together into a top. 

I made these similar to the way Bonnie Hunter makes them except my strips were 2 x 12.5. 

After I made the TATW blocks if there was a piece of the strip left over I made Broken Dishes blocks that finish at 3 inches. Aren't they cute?

And I added more Bow Ties to my collection. I'm aiming for 900 and have about 1/3 of them now. 

Then if there was not enough for Broken Dishes or Bow Ties I cut squares. The stack on the left has two identical 2 inch squares of each fabric. (There wasn't enough for the two little squares to complete a Bow Tie block).  I was thinking I would make Four Patches with those but couldn't decide what to combine them with. Neutrals would make the blocks look too much like the Bow Ties. Then I thought maybe I would combine with reds but then thought I would make Four Patches of complementary colors. Then I thought I would combine them dark and light of the same color. And then I thought I would put them aside for later.  The pile on the right are 2 inch squares. I have a box of different sizes of squares to use in future projects. 

And finally...if there was not enough left for a square but the piece was greater than an inch wide then it went into a strip for a future Chinese Coins quilt. 

And sew on...


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Blue Scraps Part IV

X and Plus 
7.5 inch finished
Made with 3.5 and 2 inch scrap pieces

I've been making these for a couple of years and I think I only have 20 or so more blocks to go toward my goal. I think those remaining blocks will be browns.   

In previous years I made 6 inch (finished) Four Patches with 3.5 inch squares and neutrals. This year I'm making an alternate six inch (finished) block of QSTs made with 2 inch scraps. I cut those pieces with an Easy Angle Companion ruler.   When I use that ruler the beginning and end of the strip I cut off an HST with the Easy Angler ruler. With those HSTs I've been making little 3 inch (finished) Broken Dishes blocks. 

Indian Hatchet blocks
4 inch finished

I was inspired by a vintage quilt.

Bow Ties
3 inch finished
Made from 2 inch scraps

If there was not enough left of a 2 inch width scrap to make Bow Ties then I cut a 2 inch square if possible. And if less than a square then I sewed those pieces together for a future Chinese Coin strip. 

While I was making the blue Bow Ties I made some others I had cut out and waiting to be made. I cut them out as I was processing scraps. 

The same thing happened when I was processing those scraps - 2 inch squares and a Coins strip. 


Friday, June 24, 2022

It's A Flimsy! Buckeye Beauty

Buckeye Beauty
60 x 78
It's a flimsy!

A few years ago I started making several different blocks that used 3.5 and 2 inch pieces. I cut those width pieces from a scrap "chunk" in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color of the month and then used those scraps in several different quilt blocks. Buckeye Beauty is one of those blocks. 

For these blocks I combined scraps in the RSC color with shirts from the thrift store or black multicolor scraps or red multicolor scraps.   The blocks finish at six inches. 

And sew on...


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Throwing A Monkey Wrench Into The Works

Monkey Wrenches
5 inch finished
Made of 2.5 and 1.5 scraps

Monkey Wrenches
10 inch finished
Made with 4.5 and 2.5 inch scraps.

These larger ones I'll put together for donation quilts for kids. 

 Cleaning out a box of various sized scraps. More later. 

And sew on...

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Wednesday Wandering

Seven Sisters Roses
This is an heirloom rambler that gets a bit unruly. I think it is an heirloom in more ways than one. I got a cutting of this from my husband's aunt Essie many years ago. And she got it from her mother Celesta. My husband remembers the rose growing in his grandmothers yard. 

It outgrew the trellis I had it on and about five years ago a big limb of a mulberry tree fell over the fence into my cottage garden. We couldn't cut the branch back because the tree is still live and the branch that fell is supporting some other big branches fell right where I needed it - at the base of the Seven Sisters. So I trained it up the mulberry branch. 

Those big leaves you see trying to take over the roses is a wild Dutchman's Pipe. I need to cut that out of there. My Dutchman's Pipe vine is over on a different trellis and I want it to stay where it belongs.

I would really like to take a bunch of cuttings and make a wall around my veggie garden. Dreams....

Seven Sisters

I used to have a lot of nice heirloom shrub roses - mostly David Austin roses. Then for several years in a row the rabbits and deer devoured the canes nearly to the ground and the roses have been struggling. I've been babying them along and trying to protect them from deer and rabbits in a variety of different ways. Then when they would have a few blooms the Japanese Beetles came along to devour them and it was a constant battle with them.   This year some of the roses may be on the road to recovery. I think this one is Winchester Cathedral and it has had several arching canes full of roses, thank goodness. 

Can't remember the name of this one. It does smell divine. 

The first lily to bloom this year -- a dwarf Asiatic Lily in the fairy garden. I have three clumps of it now. I bought one on clearance one year at Walmart. 

You can see how short they are in comparison to the Hosta in the background. 

I started some annual salvia and planted it in the cutting garden. I am not sure what kind of critter pulls up my markers but not matter what kind of marker or where I put plants in the garden the markers always get pulled up. Then I fix them and the next day they are pulled up and so on...Usually I just end up leaving them lying on the ground near the plants but sometimes the markers disappear completely only to end up near a different plant.  I think it is a raccoon but not sure. 

I planted loose leaf lettuce for cutting earlier in the year but then I usually always start butterhead lettuce for heads. They are slower to bolt. 

I love Butterhead lettuce - sweet!

I started a native wildflower garden last year and this year I hope to see a lot of blooming perennials iI started from seed. The yellow are Oxeye Sunflowers. 

The Butterfly Weed got hit by a borer. Both of my plants had some dead stems and I found borer holes in the stems but did not see the borer so I could get rid of it. 

And these cute little flowers are Indian Physic (American Ipecac or Bowman's root). 

It is always so exciting to see all the things I started from seed reach maturity. 

This time of year most of my planting is done and weeding starts and never finishes. 

And so it grows...