Autumn Light Through Maple Tree Foliage

On Monday morning, three little grandchildren arrived here before sunup, shivering and cold, and I had the furnace running. Outdoors it was around 33 or 34 degrees, and there was a heavy frost. That afternoon the temperatures climbed to 70 or so, and this morning when I got up around 5:00, it was 67 degrees! It was very warm and quite windy all day….great weather for cutting back all the poor flowers and vines that did not survive the frost the previous morning. Talk about weather extremes!

While there are still leaves on my neighbor’s maple tree, there are more on the ground than on the tree at this point, especially after all of this wind,  and that reminded me that I’d taken some photos mid-October to post down the line.

This was in the late afternoon and the light that day was filtering into the dining room, bathing it in a warm glow.

golden light window

The kitchen had that glow as well and I had to get some pictures of the light filtering through the tree. It was so pretty that afternoon. I don’t feel that the camera captured it completely but the human eye also has emotion and wonder tied to a moment, whereas the photo is just a mere shadow of that.

Autumn light through maple tree foliage, mid-October:

This tree’s leaves turn a brilliant red at first, and then later on fade to a golden yellow.

tree red leaves

Neighbor tree

sunshine hdr

light through leaves

sun shining through tree

How I’ll miss this glorious sight out of my kitchen window …no wonder I want to be in the kitchen baking so much in the fall! :)

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Eagle Sampler Quilt almost done

We had a hard frost this morning and then it went up to 70 degrees later in the day…lots of sunshine and a strong breeze. Well the cat had been snoozing on some of these blocks when they were laid out on my bed prior to me getting them sewn together so hopefully the breeze blew away any stray hairs :)

sampler in sunlight and breeze

In the end I decided to use this eagle sampler quilt as a commemorative one…a gift for my son and DIL.

The patriotism part is for my son, a vet, and Remember the Fallen and the three names below it are for three of his friends that did not return home. There were many more, but these are the three that he was closest to, and he has commemorative tattoos for them as well. My grandson is named after one of them.

The sunflowers / sun symbol are for my DIL’s baby, who went to Be With the Light at four months of age several years ago. Her name is embroidered at the top.

I managed to make a complicated star or two quite nicely and yet lost some points on the delectable mountains blocks at the top,  but if you don’t tell my son and DIL they’ll never notice. Overall I am doing better but am far from ‘there’ yet :)  The delectable mountains blocks arranged this way remind me of sunshine and the light and that is why the baby’s name is embroidered between them.

I am going to stop here…put a thin cream border around it, sandwich and tie it ( if I hand-quilt it, I’ll never get it done by Christmas ) and bind it with a red binding. But I am taking a break from it at this point for a good week or two.

When I’m done all of the gorgeous autumn sun and shadows on my outdoor design wall will be gone and it will be dark by 5 o’clock.  Now THERE’s a depressing thought for you! :)

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Sharing at : Freshly Pieced / Sew Fresh Quilts

Between the Seasons: Garden Update Last Week of October

Last week was chilly, dreary and rainy for the most part. There were no lovely, sunny glorious fall days until we got a break on the weekend.

However, sun or no sun, I still have blooms to enjoy as we’ve not had a hard frost yet.

To me, this photo defines “between the seasons” : ) Fall is here, yet portions of summer linger on. That’s the best part of fall, isn’t it?

between the seasons

The neighbor’s large maple tree puts on a glorious show, and then leaves begin to fall rapidly, blowing up against my back fence, into the back yard, front yard, and even the other side of the house.

They can’t keep up, especially when it’s been rainy, as it had been, and the leaves that they don’t manage to collect enrich my soil over the years.

neighbors leaves collage

I am enjoying the thunbergia vines in the front, the cleome and sedum still blooming, and the beautiful rich foliage that the spirea bushes display at this time of year.

foliage on my side fall and summer collage

I clipped most of the hydrangea bush blooms for drying, though I left a few on the bush. I still have roses, marigolds, zinnias, phlox ( 2nd bloom ) and a few more flowers to enjoy such as these pansies peeking out amongst the sweet alyssum; it was a treat to see them the other morning : )

pansies in the sweet alyssum

As to the marigolds, mine were started from seed as companion plantings to some of the tomatoes. They did not even begin to come into bloom until the end of the summer. I was disappointed, thinking that I’d not be able to enjoy them for very long. However, it worked out nicely this year. They are in three locations…on a front side, and two in the back.

marigolds collage

While I see marigolds and zinnias with new blooms forming, I imagine that this is about it. I can’t imagine this lasting much longer! :)

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Sharing at : A Stroll Thru Life / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style

A little embroidery to work on

Slow Stitching this weekend :

More work on the sampler ; I need to finish this…it will say Remember the Fallen. Below it will be another section to embroider with the names of three soldiers that were closest to my son and did not return with him from Iraq.

embroidery remember the fallen

I am almost done hand quilting the basket quilt but no picture…I think that a lot of people will be busy viewing quilts over at the Bloggers Quilt Festival and / or getting their own posts ready to link up so just a short report for me this week! : )

My festival posts are HERE and HERE.  And no, I won’t be voting for me, lol…but I might be voting for some of YOU :)  …the ones that inspire  me! :) 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts

RANDOMS…

I have not done a randoms post in awhile, so here goes :)

On a morning last week, when I stepped out onto the back porch, I noticed a lovely cloud formation over my neighbor’s house…almost as if her chimney was spewing out clouds.  On yet another morning we had a glorious sky show.

sunrise collage

Several years ago I spent my entire tax refund of 3000.00 or so to have the back yard fenced in because of dogs. The grand kids have been told time and again not to use the gates or to shut them if they do, lest the dogs get out.

And yet, there was my dog Jugsy running loose one evening.

The child responsible was told the next morning to draw a picture and write a sentence for me about this.  Instead, I got a book! :)

Javis Jugsy Book

Speaking of dogs…I don’t swear on my blog but I am going to have to now. The other morning I heard someone screaming “you asshole” at the top of their lungs over and over again! It sounded like my next-door neighbor. What in the world was going on?  I stepped out onto the front porch and there she was at the end of her driveway, screaming and sort of sobbing.  Well, she was babysitting her sister’s dogs and one ran off…she was yelling “RASCAL” not the other! :)  I was already dressed and she’s older and was still in her pajamas,  so I went after him. He was half a block down the road. It was still dark, but once I started calling his name he came to me and all was well.

Then we had a good laugh about what I thought she had been yelling! :)

This is the neighbor who enjoys my spring and summer flowers and bushes, and whose tree I enjoy in the autumn. Here is a quick picture of her tree ….this is my view from my kitchen window on October 15th.

neighbors tree from kitchen window view mid oct

Now for a funny story. While my middle son is now a responsible husband and father, once upon a time he was living here and sleeping off a hangover as young men often do after being out for most of a Friday evening. Meanwhile the neighbor’s son was having a go at the leaves. Do you remember how back in the day leaves were quietly raked into piles?  And then we jumped in them?

Not so nowadays…those noisy blowers are the tool of choice and this was no exception. Well at some point after the leaf-blower had been going on for awhile next door, the noise reached my hungover son’s sleeping consciousness enough for him to holler at me to stop using the blow-dryer on my hair for so long.

Inside, the pillow covers have been changed out and I put out the fall decorations. The picture on the bottom left is an old painting from my grandparents. I always have it out but usually there’s a glare from this or that window. This time the photo worked out.

fall collage indoors try this one

indoor collage two

But here’s the real deal…one of the kids and I gathered some freshly fallen leaves from the neighbor’s tree. Freshly fallen…moist and leathery feeling. Some we used for a display at my son’s house, and some I put into a baggie and into the freezer.

freshly fallen leaves

Do you remember ironing them between waxed paper sheets and having to make little leaf collection books for school? We still had to do that when my boys were little, though I do not know if this is done today at our schools.

Anyway, the baggie-in-the-freezer idea is a tip from Jean Hersey’s book, “The Shape of a Year“.  If you gather them newly fallen and decorate with them, they will be dried up in a day or so, which is fine. But if you put them in the freezer, you can pull some out for your Thanksgiving table…they’ll be fresh and moist for that day.

I think I’ll save mine for mid-February when I can’t stand another cold day or more snow :)

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Sharing at : French Country Cottage / Lavender Cottage Gardening / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Savvy Southern Style

In the Kitchen: ‘on a roll’ / it’s the weather

“What are you making NOW?” asks the little before-school grandson. Outdoors it is still dark, and quite chilly, but the kitchen is warm and cozy due to the oven being on.

” A cake” I answer. “What FOR?” he asks. I just roll my eyes and remind him that the first question when he arrives after school is what is his snack that day!

A few mornings ago my second round of pumpkin pies was going into the oven. I made leaves with the dough scraps…the grandson’s is the happy face. I posted about apple & pumpkin pies last week and not long before that, I had made some peach-apple cobbler.

baking collage

I rarely bake anything in the summer and then when the cooler weather arrives I go berserk for awhile. I send most of it home with my kids, then I am sorry that I did not leave more for myself and so I bake  more. And that cake ?  Most it went elsewhere too :)

It’s been dreary, chilly and rainy here for the most part. In the kitchen is a new round of flowers picked the other day when I was certain that we’d have a heavy morning frost.

flowers in kitchen

We did not after all.

If the oven isn’t going the stovetop is. I am on a roll. It’s the weather….:)

zucchini

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Sharing at : French Country Cottage / Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry #2

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side  opens on October 24th. Once everyone links up there will be quilts of every size, style and color to see and enjoy.

October 24 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice

November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories

November 8 – Winners announced

I will enter this table runner in the hand-quilting category. Many of you may have seen it before…but we have to have a new post about our entry…a post during the week that the Festival begins.

It is based on the first 3 blocks of the Benjamin Biggs Wedding Quilt. Once I had completed those three I decided to use them as a table runner for a table that is behind my couch. I spent quite awhile hand quilting and enjoyed every minute of it.

table-runner

table-runner-collage

I had it out for the summer, only put away recently when I brought out some fall decor.

This was another learning curve project :) The first block in this runner is actually my third attempt at it! The second one seemed far easier, and while I had troubles with the third, it’s just all about practice, practice, practice.

Visit The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side once it opens on the 24th and enjoy lovely quilts of all styles and sizes. I can’t wait to see some of the appliqued quilts from the ladies who are masters at it…I find them to be very inspiring. 

My other entry is in a previous post, HERE.

Also Sharing at : Sew Many Ways

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry # 1

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side  opens on October 24th. Once everyone links up there will be quilts of every size, style and color to see and enjoy.

October 24 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice

November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories

November 8 – Winners announced

IF YOU QUILT: the quilts can be old, as in ones that you made ages ago, but the post has to be the week of the festival. It has to be a new post. Each person can enter two quilts but they must be in separate categories.  So while there is hand-quilting in this quilt, I will enter it in the small quilt category. I will enter a hand-quilted table runner in the hand-quilting category.

This quilt is no masterpiece, and I certainly won’t vote for it, lol…but I just love this quilt. I made it last year and it is currently draped over the rocking chair in my living room. Here it is airing on the line. It is based on a Kim Diehl pattern.

snowball quilt on line

Can I love an imperfect quilt that is not a masterpiece? Of course! This was such a great learning curve quilt for me. I had not appliqued a leaf with a pointy tip since making a honey bee block for a sampler about 10 years+ prior. Whatever corner that I started the applique in first probably doesn’t have any leaves with a good pointy tip but I kept plugging away and they got better.

Next..all of the snowballs and dark background are hand-quilted, and you can barely see that! Plus the little brown adjoining areas were so hard to quilt through with all of the seams, and the quilting is almost invisible.

snowball closeup

Now, a year later, with so many quilters doing big stitch quilting with perle cotton in colors, I can look back and think that a quilt like this would have been a perfect candidate for that.

After I struggled with the applique that I was learning to do, and all of that time consuming hand quilting, I still like my decision to tie the borders with yarn, adding some color and whimsy to the quilt. What I like most of all is that by the final corner, my leaves were fairly pointy, and that led me on to further applique, which I enjoy.

Some people are naturally gifted at things…others, like me, have perseverance. Both are just fine! :)

This quilt is used…to bring cheer and brightness to my room while draped over a rocking chair, and to bring warmth on a chilly day, draped over a grandchild or two. What could be better.

My Blogger’s Quilt Festival Spring entry was about a very old quilt….HERE

I’ll be sharing at Amy’s Creative Side  when the festival opens. Join in if you have a quilt, even if it is quite ordinary like mine, or if you do not, view all of the lovely ones once the festival starts :)

Also Sharing at : Sew Many Ways / Savvy Southern Style

sampler quilt & hand quilting progress mid-october

I made some progress this week on my sampler.

  • I was pleased with the blue and gold star block for the sampler quilt until I started to think about where to put it and then it just seemed washed out.
  • In the end I put a frame around it and that brightened things up nicely.
  • I also wondered if I could use a few of the simple little baskets that I had appliqued this summer. While one would not work at all, I thought that the others could blend in. By adding a little line of color to them on the one side I think that I was able to make them work.
  • I finished the 4th floral applique and added it in. Originally I thought that I’d put the 3rd and 4th appliques on the other side of the eagle but I couldn’t reduce the size on one of them so it landed elsewhere.

The sun is a rare thing here lately…I can see that the star block looks more like black and gold than blue and gold in this photo, taken on a dreary afternoon towards the end of the week.

sampler on line mid oct

On the left side of the sampler, I thought to run some 6 or 7 inch applique blocks up from the bottom, and then a strip next to the star. I just started the applique on the strip.

flag applique

I am combining two projects…the eagle quilt + my desire to do a sampler, yet I still want the eagle and patriotism to be a focus. ( The Eagle Quilt project link can be found HERE and it is certainly not too late to join in : )

For Slow Stitching this weekend, I have been working my way across the bottom of the basket quilt towards the last block.

hand quilting mid oct working my way along bottom

I have been using some high tech tools for marking ! :)

hi tech tools

I am not sure what is older… that ruler or the Corelle bowl.

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Sharing at: Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching 

Also sharing at :  Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / Freemotion by the River / Savvy Southern Style/Freshly Pieced/Sew Fresh Quilts/A Stroll Thru Life

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Here is my experience with how to ripen green tomatoes:

We had a strong chance of a frost awhile ago, and I picked my green tomatoes. We fried some, and as to the rest, while I remember my grandfather wrapping tomatoes individually in newspaper, here is what I did.

tomatoes under newspaper

The general advice is to either wrap them individually or space them…if one starts to rot or has a fungus it won’t affect the others. I had a cardboard box, a spare dresser drawer, and a plastic container. I placed these in the basement under the front porch portion, where there is no heat and little light. These pictures were taken about a week later in the late afternoon when the light was strongest.

tomatoes pull away the newspaper

As you can see, the tomatoes were placed between several sheets of newspaper, with a nice amount of space between them, and they were ripening nicely. No rot, and this round tasted great. Just be sure to wash them and let them thoroughly dry before placing them  between the newspaper sheets.

This is the first time that I have done this and I am quite happy with the results.

You might also enjoy : Making Delicious Pickles with Little Kids  or  Handwork: Table Runner Finish  or  Me? Have fun with Spiders?   or Birds & Blooms Late August

Sharing at  : Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life