Memorial Day Weekend Sewing & Cold / Frost

Friday late afternoon, prior to Memorial Day, after just covering tomatoes, lettuce and green bean babies, flower seedlings, etc. with blankets and towels and pots and pans and old tablecloths  due to our forecast of frost and a temperature of 38 degrees tonight….here’s my sewing post for the week. It’s a bit extensive since it’s almost June and I want to keep track of what I am doing for the rest of the year :)

( Meanwhile I wonder how many non-gardeners drive by wondering “what is going ON there? ” ) 

Last year, I thought it would be fun to work on a quilt with small blocks having some simple applique. I had seen a few people working on the Stonefields quilts but I did not want to pay the high cost of the pattern nor commit to something that extensive.

It did inspire me to start on something, though….I thought baskets, hexies, simple flowers and shapes…whatever struck my fancy or whim and that I’d call it my Whimsy Quilt.

Well, it fell to the back burner but I recently brought the pieces back out and determined to work on it again here and there.

All of the pieces are older aside from the butterfly which I appliqued this week.

Whimsy and butterfly

I have another hexie ready to applique…they take me awhile. I’d finished this one a week or two ago, and plan on sewing it down for Slow Sunday Stitching.

hexie ready to applique

Here is one in the works, though it too, is from a week or so ago. It’s about half-sewn at this point.

hexie in the works

  • I had stopped working on the red and green applique block as I was not happy with the buds. The templates provided in the book really didn’t look like the quilt pictures. The two that I made from those templates looked pretty wonky / dorky to me.
  •  I found better ones in a different applique book and while I was at it, I dragged out books and magazines to trace some other templates on to freezer paper  for this Whimsy quilt that I may complete in the next decade:)
  • Here and there I’ve been sewing more hourglass blocks…though this pile is from a week or two ago. This week I  sewed a few more granny blocks; enough for the first row.   I included my dog Lily in the collage since she was out in the yard with me when I snapped the photos. It was a sunny afternoon and quite welcome after 3 days of rain.

picture pile

For Slow Sunday Stitching, I can work on the hexies mentioned above or hand quilting or  both.

While I had purchased some colored quilting thread for this quilt last year, I did not see that I had any hot pink thread anywhere. I had two shades of purple, though…light and dark. I decided to just use the light shade for the pink areas. I don’t think the color shows in this photo and out in the sunlight it looks more periwinkle / blue than light purple.


Slow but steady progress : )

Meanwhile, my youngest son goes off to the beach with some friends for the week, and caring for this guy is split up between me and a friend of his. I have morning duty…feeding and walking or bringing him home for a few hours. He’s a bit older and bigger than this picture. He was here the other day and I took him into the backyard to run around for a bit…got him going and I think that he ran for a good 10 minutes straight, full energy, high-speed, non-stop. Talk about celebrating life :) Do you ever notice that when you play with a little kid, puppy or kitten that after awhile YOU are 20 years younger? It’s magic :)

Koopa in Kitchen

You might also enjoy :  Beauties from the Local Quilt Show  or from my other blog :  Gardening; it is well with my soul  or a new series starting: The Amish: Part 1 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts / Sew Many Ways

My little grandson all to myself for a day & country decor at my mom’s

It’s been awhile since I had my little grandson all to myself for a day. I’d put off taking gifts out to my mom for Mother’s Day until I could also bring the best gift, which was him, along. So off we went on the Friday after Mother’s Day with a restaurant to-go lunch and flowers and chocolate for a visit.

Usually we take some books and toys…on that day it was his Nintendo DS to show her.

brent and mummy DS

brent and mummy

While they were thus engaged I took a few shots around her house…

M house photo

She has an incredible amount of STUFF, lol…

m house collage

This is a 1960’s ranch house. It’s not big but it is loaded with STUFF : )  The pictures of her and my grandson are taken in the living room, where the couch faces the ‘picture window’ looking out to the countryside view. Behind the couch  is this, with a desk in the corner. Milk cans like this and vintage or antique jugs are scattered about…some from my mom’s collecting habits over the years, and many from my grandparents.

M house corner with milk can

Everywhere you look….more stuff : ) I only snapped a few photos…it would take me a day to try to seriously photograph her place. As it is, many of the photos that I took were too quick / too dark, etc. Some of these are not the greatest but the world won’t end if I post the mediocre ones, right? Right. : ) And by now you’ll have an idea of her country decor.

m house another collage

Indoors it was quite dark but here’s a kitchen corner:

m house kitchen corner

Ok the lunch has been cleaned up, let’s go outside a bit into the sun.

m house outside

After that we stopped at a little petting zoo at a local farm, as we generally do in nice weather when we are out that way.

petting zoo collage

Next a playground :

on the slides

There was a bit more to this day but this post is long enough for the moment. Baby geese etc. in another one! As usual I took many pictures and have more to sort through. I can’t believe that he’s going to be six years old soon. Where did the time go : )

You might also enjoy : Finding Joy in the Ordinary : Little Girls Doing the Dishes  or  Saving Money : They go Straight to the Fridge  or  Vintage Coffee Pot 

Fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables

My little grandson and I went out to visit my mom last week , and later we went to this farm, and after that a park. I still have photos to sort through from that day but here is one post about it.

I  enjoyed the greenhouses full of flowers at the farm but I purchased none. This year all flowers grown here will be from seeds. I am trying not to weaken my resolve about that and this was a test, let me tell you!

flowers in the greenhouse

This farm will have pick-your-own strawberries soon. They had a few from their farm and I purchased a quart. Oh the scent and taste of a fresh local strawberry! There’s nothing like it.

They partner with a farm from North Carolina to provide some produce until theirs are ready so I also purchased a zucchini, and some reduced-priced tomatoes.  Any tomato with the slightest bruise goes into the reduced price area. I buy those. They taste the same for half the price.

I picked some wild phlox at our next stop, and fried up that zucchini right away once we got home…

phlox collage

I added a sprig or two of my lilac bush to the phlox bouquet and was quite pleased…fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables…a nice start to the season :)

Meanwhile I have lots of strawberry flowers in my raised bed this year. Typically I get a few berries and then we receive too much rain and they get a fungus and I have to pull half of the plants out. Last year a little squirrel ate most of them. I have wire netting over the bed now, and hope for perfect weather conditions and healthy strawberries for ME this year, and not the birds and squirrels.

You might also enjoy :  Early October : The Light is Changing  or Balisha’s Hyacinth Bean Seeds  or Tuesday Treasures : Finches & Food   or  My Niece’s Favorite Side Dish : Zucchini Casserole 

Sharing at : A Stroll Thru Life / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

Applique, Hexies, and Quilting : Sewing Mid-May

Here and there I’ve been working on this red and green block. It’s about 2/3 of the way done, and my ‘design wall’ is blooming in the background :)

red and green block about 2 thirds done

I started to wonder what is next. I had decided last year to do four big blocks. This is the fourth. When I layed them out together on my bed I was trying to determine should I plan on some fancy border? My thought was not to attempt to do so. These are blocks taken willy-nilly from several books. I don’t think that I want to attempt a border on my own. These blocks are not perfect but I’ve learned a lot doing them…I would be safer to do a plain border, and go with a pattern for the next red and green quilt. I may change my mind but that’s where I am right now :)

Meanwhile, still working on the Crosses & Losses quilting…

quilting crosses and losses may 13

I am getting bored with the purple sections. It reminds me of quilting on the Snowball Quilt…and getting bored with the dark colors.

They are wonderful when you are piecing but when hand-quilting, it’s a different story. The quilting stitches don’t show up as much.

Well, I’ve been watching Karen quilt her Granny’s Got Style quilt for months now and I  finally decided to start a few blocks of my own.

granny blocks

I had made a few of these blocks for a table runner a few years back and they are so much fun in regards to using up scraps, and making a few here and there. And I love the way she’s quilting hers.

If you are not familiar with her blog, Karen has a lot going on that she keeps track of daily. Here’s a post that starts out with Granny’s Got Style and you can see why I love the quilting.

At the rate that I go, Karen will have finished ten quilts by the time I get enough of these blocks made for a couch quilt size down the line : ) She’s quite productive and a daily inspiration.

I have been fooling around with hexies for this or that project: here is one…a pillow top, with the applique and piecing completed, and I started the quilting on it. I machine stitched around the edges and thought to do some hand quilting in the middle.

hexie butterfly pillow starting to quilt

This is to be a small mobile quilting project…the Crosses & Losses is for home. And brilliant & organized person that I am, I took this somewhere and forgot my thimble.   So much for progress :) Well, there’s always Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s Quilts!

I do finish things eventually and I entered one in the Hand Quilting category for the Spring Blogger’s Festival. The post is HERE

You might also enjoy : A finished couch quilt ( the Snowball quilt ) or  Raspberry Coffee Cake : A Recipe Winner  or  From My Other Blog :  Sacred Geometry : Chartres

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts / Cozy Little House / A Stroll thru Life / Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage / Sew Many Ways

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry for Spring 2015

It’s time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side…spring edition. This is my Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry for Spring 2015.

I am entering this quilt in the Hand Quilting category. I finished hand quilting this in the fall of last year, and it’s been snuggled under by various grandchildren over the winter. It’s a couch quilt size.

It’s had a fresh wash and airing for this post :)  One of the shots is from the fall finish.

for bloggers quilt festival

In regards to both piecing and applique, the top row  is entirely by hand. The remainder is machine pieced and then the quilt was hand quilted. The back used up some scrap fabrics.

I really enjoyed hand quilting this :

For bloggers quilt festival collage 2

I am not the best piecer, applique expert, nor quilter. I enter this contest not expecting to win the viewer’s choice, but to support the hand quilting category, as us hand quilters were urged to do a few years back via the Celebrate Hand Quilting group.

f you like quilts, here’s how the Festival works:

  • May 15 – 21 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice
  • May 22 -29 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories
  • May 30 – Winners announced

In the past, when I have entered, I have urged readers not to vote for my quilts, because I know there will be better ones there, far more deserving to win. HOWEVER, if you have read this blog for awhile now, you will recall that there are several ways to win prizes …not only due to your talent or your quilt, but due to random drawings. I won a prize last year from a random drawing. I was absolutely blown away…: )

And to any one new visiting from the Festival…welcome  and a big thanks to Amy for organizing this each year, and a thank you to the sponsors: )

You might also enjoy : I won the baby lock Melody or, from my other blog, Weaving in Mythology

Sharing at : Ms. Toody Goo Shoes / Freemotion by the River / Savvy Southern Style / Common Ground / French Country Cottage / Sew Many Ways

From 90 degrees to a frost warning

After a week of unusually high temperatures, more reminiscent of August than May, a few storms moved through on Monday night and we had ‘seasonal’ temperatures on Tuesday.

With temps in the high sixties, a brisk wind, blue skies and puffy clouds. it was a pleasure to be outside catching up on yard cleanup and to get some more planting done. A few visitors came by for peanuts…

May 12 collage

Later on, that can blew halfway up the street and this poor lady was knocked from her shelf on the porch…she always stays so calm, though.  I think she’s on meds…

Gnome lady

Meanwhile the snowball bush began to bloom on Mother’s Day morning. The DIL has a huge bouquet of the blossoms on her dining room table.

snowball bush

Just opening now…my lilac bush:

Lilac bush

It is only when the tiny little flowers in each cluster fully open that the scent occurs…when they are all open it is just intoxicating.

Lilac bush 2

A few years ago, we had a hard freeze once she’d begun to bud and that was it for the year. No lilacs that spring. Since then,  I anxiously watch the temperatures and she gets covered with blankets if there is any chance of losing this heady scent and beauty in the spring.

lilac 3

As to temperatures….from days in the nineties, to the lovely weather of Tuesday…by Wednesday we did not even hit 50 degrees and  there’s a frost warning showing up in the forecast.   At some point I’ll be turning the furnace on  for a bit lest I freeze my tail off : )

blue jay from back

Time to dig out the blankets and old sheets and cover some seedlings !

You might also enjoy : Pretty Day & Blue Jay & the Mouse That Ate my Car  or  A Frugal Little DIY Wedding  or  Pie : Oh Was She Ever Right About This Recipe

Sharing at : Common Ground / French Country Cottage / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style

The Very Mellow Canadian Goose & a Disney Moment

There is a little park not too far from where I live. It has a playground, ball field, and beyond that a creek. Generally there is a small flock of Canadian Geese there. On this particular occasion I came upon this one, all alone :

coming upon the sitting goose

And while they usually fly away when you get close,  this goose stayed still. I started to wonder if it was a lady sitting on her eggs out there in the open?

Goose sitting

This particular Canadian goose was not bothered by me at all. Then again, the day was absolutely perfect in regards to our weather, and days like this had been few and far between  this spring.

I was having a Spring Fever “Disney” moment…  one with nature, and perhaps that goose was laying golden eggs…:)

spring day and goose collage

Eventually this very mellow goose got up and ambled along, all the while letting me stay quite close to it.

goose collage

It finally took flight.

goose in flight

goose collage last one

No golden eggs anywhere :)

You might also enjoy :  Lily Goes to the Beauty Parlor  or  Sacred Spaces : Avalon

Sharing at : Savvy Southern Style  / Common Ground / Viewing Nature with Eileen / Being Frugal by Choice / Lavender Cottage Gardening / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Sew Many Ways

Sewing : Mother’s Day Weekend

Joining the other slow stitchers over at Kathy’s Quilts.  And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you readers who are moms and grandmothers : ) 

Ages ago, I put some triangles together, ran out of white fabric and forgot about them until I was transferring some things from one sewing basket to another ( See my Vintage Find HERE  :)

I decided to sew them together and see how far I was prior to doing anything more with them. That bush to the right of them is a snowball bush…it will bloom in a week or so. The little yellow buttercups? are beginning to bloom and the crabapple tree is snowing :) I leave a few of the buttercups here and there…the rest, I have to weed or they’ll take over.  I had to mow the grass the afternoon that I took these pictures, which was a Wednesday, and I’d just mowed on Sunday! But we had rain in between and the earth responded.

hour glass buttercups etc

Here and there I have been working on this applique block.  I got so much done and then needed to *prep* some more pieces.

applique block in progress

I thought to show those readers who don’t do this what I mean when I say *prep* . There are many methods…this is the one that works best for yours truly :)

  • I trace a shape onto freezer paper, which can be purchased in any grocery store.
  • I then iron that freezer paper onto another sheet, shiny sides down on both, so that I’ll have a thicker template.
  • I cut out those shapes, and then iron them  ( shiny / STICKY side down ) on to my fabric.
  • I cut that out about 1/4 inch or so larger than the freezer paper template.
  • Next, I use either Magic Sizing or a spray starch…spraying a little into a glass.
  • Then depending on the size of the template, I either use a craft iron, or my regular iron. I use a brush, dipped into the sizing or starch to paint around the fabric, and then press that onto the template with the iron. I use Crayola brushes purchased at the grocery store.

Prep collage

Later on, the paper is removed prior to appliqueing the piece down. If you do not applique but want to learn, there are many extensive tutorials on the Internet, in books, etc. I have tried several methods of prep and applique. This is what works best for me. It gets a bit more detailed than this but I did want to show you the basics.

I was scheduled to work at Vintage Secrets on Friday, an antique mall where I rent half a room and I like to take a sewing project for the slow times there. So I prepped some hexies to sew together and then applique onto pillow fronts down the line, also using the spray starch method shown above.  And in the collage is also a photo of some hand quilting time out on the front porch in the early a.m. one day this past week.

hexies and quilting on porch

That morning was delightful. I went out very early, not long after it had gotten light out. While the temperatures were going to climb into the mid-80’s later on, the morning was quite cool and foggy. There was actually an alert about the fog. There I sat enveloped in mist, listening to the birds, and before I knew it, I’d been out there for an hour, absorbed and quite content.

When the fog cleared and the sun broke through, I took a few quick photos.

quilting on porch sun after fog

You might also enjoy : Slow Stitching Sunday : Little Girl’s Tea Party  or  Earth Day Wildlife Visitors  or A Frugal Little Quilt Retreat  or  Gardening : It is Well With My Soul

Sharing at Sew Many Ways / Lavender Cottage Gardening / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life / Freemotion by the River / Savvy Southern Style / Sew Fresh Quilts / Freshly Pieced / Common Ground / French Country Cottage

5 on Friday: May 8

1 )  A local radio station is having a contest and the winner receives 5,000.00 and Rolling Stones tickets. The DIL was considering entering but not sure what she decided in the end.  I know that she wanted it to be classy if she did enter. The entries thus far vary from some nice tasteful photos of pretty moms to a few that I cannot imagine their kids being happy about when they get older :)


Update : the DIL is not going to do it.

2 ) Speaking of hot!  The weather has gotten quite warm…far too warm for this time of year. It hit 90 today and tomorrow will be the same or worse. Rather than worrying about frost hitting the newly planted lettuce seeds I have to worry about it bolting? I worked at the antique store today and it is a huge house…with 2 or three separate furnace & heating and cooling systems….naturally the area where we spend the most time, by the cash register, was on the blink :)

3 ) Towards the end of the day, I was outside bringing in the lawn signs and some furniture and decorative pieces that I’d put outside to lure customers in…when at that very moment the grands and their granddad drove by, coming back from a park, and stopped to visit.  They toured the store and we selected a very nice ( and affordable ) necklace that Kate insisted that her mom would love for Mother’s Day. Brent was pleased with the old-fashioned candy machine spewing out a handful of M & M’s for a quarter. They managed to also find the ‘free lollipops for kids’ area as well.

4 )  I don’t have whole house air and don’t have the window a/c units in yet. I hate to have them put in and sacrifice a window of fresh air… hopefully these temps will revert to normal / we’ll see. If you live in an older house you’ll understand :)

5)  A few shots from the antique place today :


Kitchen appliance


You might also enjoy : In the Kitchen / On a Roll / It’s the Weather  or Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry

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

NEW Vintage Sewing Basket

I have a few baskets stacked on a dry sink in my dining room to hold sewing supplies. The one that you see in the middle is vintage…purchased when I was in my twenties.


A few years ago I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get another basket like that and was in shock. They didn’t make them anymore or didn’t have them there. What they had was half the size, twice the price, and all cloth. I did get one to hold threads and such, but I waited until it was on clearance.  This old basket ( above ) is fairly beaten up…the edge piece that has the top clasp broke and I finally took it off as I couldn’t seem to hammer it in anymore and get it to hold.

I worked at the antique mall on Tuesday of last week, and one of the vendors had something new there, or I’d not noticed it before. “MY” vintage basket, in just a different colorway, in perfect condition, marked down from 14.00 to 5.00. I debated all day about it, but in the end I  brought it home. When you consider that a basket half the size, and not really a ‘basket’ anymore, goes for 40.00 at JoAnn Fabrics, I think picking up  this vintage one for 5.00 was a steal.

NEW vintage basket

I won’t throw the old one away. It is still serviceable and has a lot of history. Many bad-sewing learning memories are tied up with that basket. But I think that I hit the jackpot with this NEW Vintage Sewing basket for just 5.00  :)

You might also enjoy : Sewing Machine Cover  or Sewing This Week  or Make a Small Batch of Jam

Sharing at : Cozy Little House