Quilting Progress, Critters, Kids, and the Garden

August was unusually cool off and on,  but the heat’s back on now towards the end of September. We have been soaring into the high 80’s in the afternoons. That was appreciated by the tomatoes…I got a nice crop of regular ones + cherry tomatoes the other day to split with the family.

I’ve made some nice hand quilting progress on the Iris block in the Botanical Quilt. These are large blocks so completing one takes awhile, but the flower portions are just about done and I am on to the stems and baskets / vases area now.

Meanwhile, around the house, most flowers are still blooming and in the back I have Cosmos and Cleome just coming in to bloom!  ( I think that the off and on weather this summer confused many of the seeds : )  I planted them in late May!

In my last post I shared how a mama squirrel had brought her baby over to visit once or twice. After that, she brought him back to be on his own. ( Just like her mama had done with her! :)

He’s still hanging around…trying to learn to climb things….he’s quite comical.

I have a few peanuts out on the porch railing for him….but if I go out when he is there or sitting on the top of a chair, he panics and disappears in to the pine tree growing in the front.

This has Koopa, my son’s dog, all depressed when they visit now. “WHY can’t I go out on the porch and sit with Oma in my chair like I usually do? ”

He kind of mirrors Brent’s look…( which I just caught one day earlier in the summer when he was moping about something or another :)

Finally, Brent’s Open House was this week and my son took this phone picture of my DIL, niece, him and the girls… ( the grands are in two different school districts ; this is not the only Open House I’ll have to attend NOR the only Book Fair that I’ll have to spend money at :)

Meanwhile,  Texas is still suffering from Harvey, Florida and various islands from Irma, Puerto Rico and other islands are in dire catastrophic states from Maria, Mexico has had 2 major earthquakes, and when I checked the news today Trump was fighting with the NFL and NBA.

Then there is the healthcare issue and…the possibility of nuclear annihilation with 8th-grade level insults going on between him and Kim Jong Un. But there WAS a story that made me smile and that is that Melania and schoolchildren were out planting and harvesting in the vegetable garden that Michelle had started. That was nice to see.

*I got a notice from my web hosting service the other day that ‘in a few days” my site might be down for awhile as they were moving servers ( or something or another :)  So if you come and it is down, hopefully it will be back up down the line! )

You might also enjoy : THE FRONT PORCH : MANY A HAPPY DAY 

I’ll be slow-stitching / hand quilting a bit, and joining up with the other Slow Stitchers at Kathy’s Quilts.

Baby September Squirrel & Hand Quilting on the Botanical

I often have a mama bringing baby squirrels here but it always in the spring or early summer. This summer I had little twins hanging out for awhile, and last year one became so tame that she’d eat peanuts out of my hand.

Some years the baby would be climbing the screens of my window…always a source of great interest to the cat sitting indoors on the other side of the window!

To my utter surprise, there was a little baby September squirrel  climbing the screen, making a racket, in mid-September! I don’t want them tearing up my screen so I tapped on the window, scaring him but he clung on. So I went outside on to the porch and there was mama squirrel sitting on the fence nearby. She’d brought him to the lady who feeds her peanuts. No wonder I have squirrels every year. Mama comes, then brings the babes.

That is the lady that I was telling you about. We gather walnuts from the tree down the road, and eat other things, but if  you come here, she’ll feed you peanuts, corn cobs, and she saves the fruit around the peach pits and apple cores for us as well. Always come here when you are hungry, little one. ”

A bit later, they took off….little ‘un chasing after Mama.

Meanwhile, while I have just been referring to this latest hand quilting project as the Botanical quilt top, for those of you that are unfamiliar with it,  Doreen from Aunt Reen’s Place  and  Dawn from Collector with a Needle had hosted a sew-a-long for the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt of 1858.

 I purchased the pattern from the Virginia Quilt Museum and worked on six of the blocks over a period of time for a couch quilt.  In addition to paying for the pattern, if you wanted to work on the actual sized blocks, you had to go to Staples or somewhere like that and pay for the pattern to be enlarged, so I quit after six of them, though I can always use the full pattern for another top down the line if I so choose :)    If you’d like to see other people’s work on this you can visit Dawn & Doreen’s SVBAQ site HERE

When I considered how to quilt this, I thought that I’d echo quilt. I did that in the first block. But as I looked at the blocks, without planning it, three would work great for echo quilting and three would do better with crosshatch and they’d all be opposite of each other….so that is what I decided to do.

This block was echo quilted and then I followed the wavy lines of the musical notes in the background fabric.

I finished up the cross hatching on the second block :

The cross hatch goes much faster. The third block will take awhile ( echo ) …I just started it.  Any Slow Stitching going on this weekend will involve the hand quilting of this block.

One more thing before you leave :)   I was on my way to the grocery store the other day, sitting in traffic due to some road construction, so I took a phone photo of this house on the main street.

They decorate like this on a yearly basis :)  This is their late-summer decor. They’ll go full-out for Halloween in awhile, as well as for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Spring and then Summer :)  This is just the front! They do this around the entire house.  When I take a walk I am amazed at the back of the house as much as at the front.

Do you have any places like this in your area?

My sister lives in a housing plan about 20 minutes from here, close to where my mom is, and where I grew up, and one of the houses on the main street prior to entering the plan goes crazy at Christmas. The kind where the entire house and yard is lit up and people make a point to visit it. They add on every year.

THAT place is the kind that has grown so much at Christmas that they take donations…here, the neighbor just likes to decorate ( and I guess climb many a ladder to do so :)  Whatever they go through, I enjoy seeing it :)

You might also enjoy : Halloween Around Here 

Sharing at Kathy’s Quilts for Sunday Slow Stitching