Tuesday, May 21, 2024

It's A Flimsy!

It's a flimsy!
45 x 54

I started making blocks back in October 2023 to use up some 4 inch squares I was given.  I made a few test blocks and then intended to add the block to my list of Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) projects. After the RSC months of red and green I had quite a few blocks added to  my test blocks so decided to stop there and make a top when I had a chance. I had also found I did not really enjoy making the blocks. 

I still have some 4 inch squares left plus I've been processing scraps this month so now I also have a small box of 4 inch width strips in varying sizes. I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do with them. 

And sew on...


CELEBRATE! (My word of the year)

May 18 - A beautiful day! I knew it was going to be a day of record high heat so went outside to work in the gardens at first light. The air was cool, there was a slight breeze, the birds were singing. I also added a couple of new Echinaceas to my collection - Strawberries and Cream and Double Scoop Raspberry. 

May 19 - A finished book -- Mrs. Winchester's Biographer by Deanna Lynn Stetten. It is historical fiction based on the life of Sarah "Sallie" Lockwood Pardee Winchester.  I do most of my reading on my Kindle in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. I am thankful I have the Kindle. I don't see all that well.  I can enlarge the print on the Kindle and it is backlit -- perfect for reading in the middle of the night. 

May 20 - I mailed off 6 quilts to Wrap-A-Smile.  And it was a rainy day! This time of year a rainy day means I get to spend more time in the sewing space than in the garden. Plus it was a much needed gentle rain and smelled so good. More gentle rain is predicted for today so I'll bet the next time I go out to the gardens a few of the latest seeds I have planted will have sprouted. It is always fun to visit the gardens each day to see what is new. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

And Now There Are 288!

I did not have many pink scraps left to work with this week so I worked on another Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project that has been in the works for a couple of years - Little Monkey Wrenches that finish at 5 inches all made from scraps. 

I had a goal of 288 blocks and only needed 47 more blocks at the start of this month to reach that goal. 

I ended up making 49 blocks because I may have counted incorrectly and besides - orphan blocks never go to waste around here. 

These will be set on the diagonal like a quilt I made back in 2015.  I now just have to decide what to use as side setting triangles. 

Oh, and the few pink scraps I did have left to work with this month were some 2.5 inch pieces I turned into some little 4.5 inch Windmills and a Potato Chip block. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

May 17 -- Sally at The Objects of Design has a monthly drawing for scraps. I was one of two winners in the May drawing and my package of fabulous scraps arrived yesterday.  Can't wait to use them!


Friday, May 17, 2024

A Couple Of Crumby Tops

Two Crumb Quilt Tops
44 x 59

Someone gave me a bunch of crumb blocks that finish at 9.5 inches. 

Someone else gave me....

...some striped strips cut at 2.5 inches. 

Instead of putting these blocks away for another day I thought it would be nice mindless sewing to make a couple of tops in between gardening, housework and hubby's physical therapy exercises I help him with several times a day. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

May 16 - I finally have everything planted in my veg garden! I have potatoes, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, two different beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, snow peas, shelling peas, lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, spinach, kohlrabi, watermelon, cantaloupe, 4 different types of winter squash, and several different varieties of tomatoes and peppers I started from seed.  There are permanent places in the garden for asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. Since hubby is on a feeding tube for his nutrition  and won't be able to eat anything I cut down on the quantity of seeds and plants and since I now have extra veg garden space I planted my flowers that have to be dug up in the autumn (dahlias and gladiolis) and Sunflowers in those extra spaces. Hubby used to help me with planting the veg garden but he is too weak to do so this year so I did it all myself. One thing about that...I work the beds by hand and don't stir up the earth more than necessary and hubby likes to till. I keep trying to  convince him that tilling brings up weed seeds. So now I'm looking forward to doing a little less weeding in the veg garden. And now I  can concentrate on my cuttting garden, cottage garden and native wildflower garden.  And sow on...


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

And Now For The Rest Of The Story

A quilt full of flowers and butterflies that I made now belongs to a girl with a big smile who just underwent surgery in Medellin, Colombia! 

I made the quilt back in 2019  and donated it to Wrap-A-Smile.  

Wrap-A-Smile partners with Rotaplast, International to provide quilts to children undergoing cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. 

Rotaplast also has a Facebook page and that is where the photo was found. I'm not on Facebook; however, the page is public so I could see the photo. 

Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit the Rotaplast surgical missions were cancelled for a couple of years so all the quilts planned for those missions like the one I made in 2019 stayed in storage for awhile. Wrap-A-Smile also quit accepting quilts for awhile when the missions were cancelled but now are back in business. 

And now that Wrap-A-Smile is accepting quilts again I have 20 quilts I hope to get boxed up and shipped off within the next couple of weeks. FYI - I have found Pirate Ship an economical way to ship. I wonder where they will end up!  

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

May 14 - I received a 25 lb. box of crumb blocks, orphan blocks, fat quarters and other fabrics and batting. I have plans to make 3 crumb quilts for kids asap. 

Today, May 15 - Hubby, John, had a CT scan a couple of weeks ago and had an appointment this morning with his pulmonologist to go over the results. GOOD NEWS! The doctor showed us the scan from October when he was in the hospital with aspiration pneumonia and one from January and the current one. He showed us on the current scan that the fluid is gone and lungs have healed up as much as they can. He still has bronchiectasis and uses a nebulizer and has some problems breathing but he can walk without a walker now and is not on oxygen and a few months ago he was on oxygen, could not get up out of a chair and had to walk with a walker! Pulmonologist told him to keep doing what he is doing and come back in November! Root cause of most of John's health issues stems from oropharyngeal cancer and all the radiation he had over 20 years ago. He can no longer swallow so gets his nutrition via feeding tube and pump. When he could not swallow very well he was aspirating most everything he tried to swallow. Then they put in feeding tube and he was still aspirating bolus feedings. Aspiration led to aspiration pnuemonia and inability to swallow and eat anything before feeding tube led to weakness and malnutrition. Now that he no longer aspirates and lung damage is healed and he is getting nutrition and gaining weight with enteral feeding and doing physical therapy exercises he is getting healthier every day!!! (Oh, and he has a good wife that helps him out too!)

And guess what...another celebration...today I found a four leaf clover when I was weeding. Lucky me! I am pressing it to save. This is from a red clover (trifolium pratense). I've never found one from a red clover. In the past I have found four leaf white clover (trifolium repens). In the middle ages it was believed by some Celtic groups tthat wielding a four leaf clover would help you see fairies and ward off evil spirits and grant the holder good luck.  I just looked down and immediately spotted it. I was already thinking that I'm a pretty lucky person so now I'm wondering what the future holds!


Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Snowball and Nine Patch Top

It's a top!
54 x 66
Snowball and Nine Patch

And now this box is empty. 

The theme in my sewing space this month is "WITB" (What's In The Box) and "SAR" (Some Assembly Required).   This fit the WITB category. In the box were some nine patches, snowballs and other pieces and parts. At the beginning of the month I looked at what was needed to empty this box and have been making Snowballs and Nine Patches off and on since then until I had enough for a top and could empty a  box.    The month is about half over and I've only emptied one box! How many more will I be able to empty?   

I don't think I will get to the SAR part of my theme this month. I have a bin with completed block sets that need to be assembled into tops. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

May 11 - Surprise! Received two bolts of fabric. There was no packing slip so I don't know who to thank. The weird thing is that the anonymous donor must be a mind reader. I get emails from Marshall Dry Goods and I saw splatter tonals on clearance. I thought "what a good deal" and kept the email to remind me to look into it and possibly order some. I got busy with gardening and other things and never got around to ordering. So, someone out there is a mind reader and a blessing. Thank you anonymous mind reader! I can use it for backings for lots of comfort quilts and maybe even a background for a few. Thank you! Thank you!

May 12 - Mother's Day. A day to remember mom. I looked through a scrapbook I made about mom after she passed away. She packed up and disappeared one day when I was about 15 years old - the oldest of five siblings. After that she was in and out of our lives and most of the time she was off battling many demons. I am thankful she did not pass all those demons on to me. I do have some good memories of mom and hang on to those. Sometimes she visits me in my dreams and offers comfort when needed. May she rest in peace. 

May 13 - Finished another book! -- The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti. It is depression era historical fiction -adventures of a young boy who rides the rails looking for work to support his family after his father passes away.   I like depression era, WWII and Irish historical fiction.  They are usually tales of survival and courage in the most difficult of times and put me in touch with the lives of my ancestors. I'm also often left wondering what I would have done to survive. I am thankful life for me is good.


Saturday, May 11, 2024

In The Pink Part II

Pink is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for May.  So this week I made...

Wonky Windmills
8 inch

(These are made with a "stack and whack" method. A couple of the Hello Kitty blocks are really wonky because I didn't want to whack through too many of Kitty's heads.)

Floral in Floral Happy Blocks
8.5 inch

Kaleidoscope (yellow backgrounds)
8 inch

Flower with floral background.
8 inch

(Cut off corners were turned into Quarter Square Triangles (QSTs)). 

Broken Dishes
8 inch
(I have been slowly clearing out a 14 quart bin of different four inch blocks. The HSTs were already made long ago. I just put them together into blocks to add to collections of blocks I have going - Broken Dishes with neutrals and Broken Dishes of two different colors. )

10 inch

This is a new start. It uses 4.5 and 2.5 inch scraps. 

16 Patch
6 inch
(New start)
All blocks will have alternating greens because I have a LOT of green scraps. 

Bow Ties
3 inch

I have been working on these for a long time. I think I have over 700 of them but am working toward a goal of 900 for a large quilt. Maybe by the end of this year I will make an effort to just make a whole bunch of them at one time to meet my goal so I can cross Bow Ties off my list of RSC Makes. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 10 -- I noticed a Lone Star tick on my leg before it had a chance to bite me. That may not sound like much of a reason to celebrate but I did. We had a lot of rain off an on for a few days. I had gone outside and walked around for a few minutes to see if it was too wet to work in the gardens. It was. When I came back inside and sat down at the computer I felt what I thought was a spider crawling on me down by my ankle in my pant leg.  When I found the creepy crawly  and I looked at it I noticed it was not a spider but a tick and it got away from me crawling farther up into my pants. Ewwwwww! Well...I immediately pulled off my pants and shook them out but could see no sign of pesky tick. Then I went and got the broom and dust pan and swept and swept and swept the wood floor until I found pesky tick in the dust in my dust pan. That Lone Star tick no longer exists. 


Thursday, May 9, 2024

It's a Finish! Even Nine Patches in Uneven Nine Patches

Even Nine Patches in Uneven Nine Patches 
Puss in the Corner with 3 Inch Nine Patch Centers

It's a finish!
59 x 72

Finally I have a finish! This one has been pin basted for quite awhile. This time of year I spend more time in the gardens sowing than I spend in the sewing space sewing.  So all month long I've quilted on this one on my DSM a little at a time. 

This quilt started with some swapped 3 inch nine patches. Long ago I used to belong to a group that swapped the little Nines quarterly. I've used them in several quilts over the years but still to this day have a small bin of them.  

I added sashing between the blocks that made little Nine Patches with light corners.  I finished the top back in 2021. 

I quilted it on my DSM (Brother PQ1500SL) with diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines. 

The backing and binding are the same fabric. 

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (My word of the year)

May 4 - I've been seing a fox on my property off and on for awhile now. To me that is a good thing because I was thinking it would take care of some moles and voles and mice and rabbits that do damage to my gardens. Then one day I saw two foxes in the early morning when I looked outside my deck door. They were in the bushes in front of the tumble down barn. Maybe they live here. If I'm going to have varmints around I prefer fox now that I don't raise chickens anymore. 

May 5 - Oh, what a beautiful day!  We have had such beautiful weather for several days. I have most of my veg garden planted and seeds sown.  I just have to plant the tomatoes I started from seeds and am hardening off now as well as a few squash and cantaloupe seeds.  I've also sown a few seeds in the cutting garden like zinnias, sunflowers, calendula and planted some delphinium, foxglove, larkspur and love lies bleeding plants I started from seeds early in the year. 

May 6 - Received a box of this and that! Oh, what fun! I have taken a picture and since the theme this month in my sewing space is "WITB and SAR" - the WITB being "What's in the Box/Bag/Bin" I will work on making blocks/tops and document what I made from the contents in the box to share in a later blog post. 


May 7 - Rain! I was trying to get a lot of my seeds planted before the rain. The gardens needed it and it showed. And because of the rain I was able to spend a little time in the sewing space as well as catch up on some housework. 

May 8 - Sun came out and dried up all the rain and I did a little more planting. Finished sewing binding on a quilt! And I finished another book -- Secret Photograph by Siobahn Curham. It is a WWII historical novel set around true historical events in WWII Paris and resistance fighters who photographed some of the horrific events that took place like children thrown from a window during an orphanage raid. 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

In The Pink Part I

Boo Boo Patches
3 x 6 inch finished

Pink is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) color for May. 

This week I dug into my pink scrap bag and took out all of the 1.5 inch width pieces I could find. 

Little Baskets 
4 inch finished

4 inch finished
Switch Plates
3 x 5 inch finished

And sew on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

May 3 - Finished the book Elsewhere by Dean Koontz. The Key to Everything might have been a better name. (I know I would not ever want to be trusted with the Key to Everything).  The book is a fantasy that explores the multiverse theory and travel between parallel worlds. What if?  Also I had to laugh a few times when I read about bad guys with names like Yessman and Canker and a scientist that invented travel between parallel worlds named Harkenbach.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Wednesday Wandering

Oh, gosh! Today was another beautiful day. I worked outside from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. with a short break for lunch of oatmeal with cranberries and candied pecans. I mostly worked in the vegetable garden today planting out the cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts I started from seeds. I cleared the area for planting some dahlias in the veg garden this year. And I cleared the area for planting a few more potatoes. I have 12 plants up and growing but I do love potatoes and I still have some sprouted potatoes I grew last year so I will be planting more. I'm still harvesting asparagus and rhubarb is ready for picking and strawberries are blooming. Peas and sugar snap peas are up as are my lettuce, spinach, mustard greens and radishes.  Since hubby can no longer swallow and eat food and I do all the cooking for myself  I might just turn into a vegetarian because I do like a lot of different kinds of vegetables prepared in a lot of different ways and although I do also love meat it just seems I am not eating as much of it these days as I used to.  So, give me fruits and vegetables and some homemade bread once in awhile as well as a few dairy products like cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk and I'm good. 

The tree peonies are starting to bloom. Tree peonies are not to be confused with herbaceous peonies that die back to the ground each year.  Tree peonies are more like woody shrubs. 

The air is full of the scent of lilacs in bloom.  This white one really needs to be trimmed back because the flowers are too high up for me to pick.  I took a cutting from the old homestead -- the place where my great grandfather settled when he emigrated from Ireland. The farm was in the family for over 100 years until all of my dad's siblings passed away and the acreage was sold. That was a sad day. As a young girl I spent a few weeks every summer there with my grandparents, aunt and uncle. Oh, those were some fun times! Well, anyway, I took a cutting from one of several lilacs along the circular gravel driveway the last time I paid a visit. 

I planted this variegated lilac in the middle of my cottage garden when I first started planting things there in what used to be a section of pasture land. 

There's three different types of purple lilacs in the front yard. They were here when we moved here.

Lilacs and May 1 also remind me of the May Baskets we used to make when we were younger. We had lilacs growing along the side of our house. For May Day we made construction paper cones (baskets) with handles, filled them with lilacs, hung them on doors of old folks in the neighborhood, rang the doorbell and ran off. I don't think anyone gives May Baskets anymore or even knows about the old tradition.  

Also in bloom in the front yard is the Viburnum or American Cranberry. 

In my native wildflower area Hepatica is in bloom. 

And so are Shooting Stars. I just love the cute little things. 

The Shooting Stars are delicate little things. I left the dandelion head in the photo so you could compare the size of it to the Shooting Stars. 

Also in the native wildflower garden the Camassia is starting to bloom. 

For a short time I watched a bumble bee jump from one bloom to the next but stay hidden from the camera. 

I have a little fairy garden - see the fairy door at the base of the sundial? And see that some fairies have arrrived and are camping?  The grandkids used to love the fairy garden. I would sometimes hide little treasures in there for them to find and add or move fairy things around - sometimes there would be a fairy with shovel and bucket and sometimes there would be a little clothesline and basket.  I have a lot of minature flowers in there too. Then along time ago a big mulberry limb fell right in the middle of the fairy garden and the grandkids grew up weren't fascinated by it anymore so the fairies let everything go weedy and wild animals stomped some of the fairies and gnomes and broke their wings, kept knocking them over and such.  But this year I am hoping to get the fairy garden back in shape. 

I unearthed a primrose in bloom in the fairy garden. It was hidden down in the darned saponaria that has become so invasive. 

There's also some wild or species tulips in bloom there. 

There's also a miniature hosta that looks like it needs to be separated.  The fairy garden is circular and there used to be a ring of red perennial dianthus around the entire circle but that has long ago disappeared. I'll have to find some seeds and try that again. 

Soon there will be a minature rose in bloom and a few miniature lilies. 

And finally there's a bleeding heart in bloom. Isn't it fascinating that there's a heart shaped flower? I always forget that I want to take cuttings of it so I can plant more of it in shady areas of the garden. Someday...

And sow on...

CELEBRATE! (my word of the year)

April 30 - Received a package with some triangle/qst papers, thangles and some fabric from a friend.