09 July 2018

Garden, Swim, Quilt, Repeat.

 It has basically been "garden, swim, quilt and repeat" around here.

That doesn't make for a rough summer
but there just aren't enough hours in my days to get
anything else done.  And now we're on that half of the year when
the days are getting shorter.
I often feel like this place requires a full-time groundskeeper.
At least for 3 seasons out of the year.
And I wouldn't mind being that person but one, I can no longer
do some of the bigger chores and two, I have
so many other things I want and need to do.

I've gotten very few herbs dried but I do tend to do
more of that in the fall, though they need trimming now.
However I am working them into my cooking as much as possible.

While everything tastes better home grown,
I've found cabbage to be one of those that's "above and beyond"
and have made a mental note to grow more next year, especially
as we're finding more and more recipes we enjoy it in.
Broccoli is another one.  I don't think you've truly tasted these
vegetables till you've had them straight from the garden.
All of the squash have produced amazingly well except for,
oddly enough, the zucchini--the one that is usually out of control.

I snicker a little when I walk past the produce department
at the grocery store.  Like the acorn squash...
about half the size of ours.
Produce snobbery at its finest.

The eggplant is out of control so I've finally found a ratatouille recipe
that I'm fully in love with.  Playing French music also heightens
the cooking experience--just a suggestion.

Along with parmesan, we've discovered goat cheese is great on it.
Still digging potatoes, picking cucumbers and tons of peppers
and so on and so on.

And finally--saving the sewing till last--I have made a little progress
 in the sewing room.  There is a lot of marking, strip piecing and cutting
before making the blocks so this is not a quick project.

But there it is so far.  I have  till mid-August to finish it so
I should be okay just squeezing it in between freezing 
carrots and onions, and before the tomatoes kick in for canning.
August.  Then September...and Fall.  Yessss.

20 June 2018

New Project Kick-Off: Jacob's Ladder Dorm Quilt

It's not even officially summer and I've already been feeling the
"blah" of the heat and the dryness.  And then last night
the weather turned and not only did we get rain but for the next
2 or 3 days I'll be able to work in the gardens without wilting.
The weeds aren't out of control yet but
I feel them starting to get ahead of me again.
Time to get it all back into shape.

Currently harvesting from the garden:
Cucumbers, green beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbages,
eggplant, kohlrabi, yellow squash, peppers, and of course, herbs.
Very soon:  blackberries, zucchini, tomatillos
Later:  tomatoes, squash (acorn, spaghetti & butternut), grapes

Indoors, I'm beginning a new quilt.

Jacob's Ladder Layout Option 
(credit: Cutter Girl Creations)

My son approved a nice traditional Jacob's Ladder .

Another inventory reducing end-of-bolt sale came along again!
Great timing, huh?

I immediately snagged a 9+ yard bolt of a nice background ivory.
At $4/yd I couldn't pass that up!  

And I've already cut into it
for my July banner--yep, completed that one early.

But bringing my focus back to the project at hand,
I needed to find Creighton University's colors:

Luckily, I was able to find a few good ones in the clearance section
which always makes for the deepest discount of the sale.
I also found a few near-empty bolts from the regular collection
and some from my stash so I think I'm there, esp for a twinXL.

They're really not as bright in real life as in the above picture but I
still struggled with those royal blues--not my favorite color and, to me,
they don't really seem to go so I'm a little concerned how it will all
turn out but, of course, it always ends up working. 
They seem to work in the school logo.
Having decent yardage on some of those bolts ensures I'll have plenty
for the 3 borders I'm planning on to bring it up to size and for the
binding.  Not sure about the backing yet--I may piece it with what's left.

I printed off some coloring pages for reference and sketched things out.
My markers aren't quite right but good enough to keep things straight.
(I haven't felt the need for a snazzy quilting program...yet.)

I may have set a spending record but luckily my husband insists
he has no problem with my mostly-controlled stash.
I think as long as we use it, it's not out of control, right?
But I still thought their sign hilarious.

14 June 2018

Making Things

Happy Flag Day.

As 2018 nears its half-way mark, I realize that I've already
made 5 quilts, 5 mini-quilts and one quilt top (still looking for
a border & backing); I also have a BOM right on track with its first
6 blocks completed.   So, feeling pretty good about all of all that, I'm
thinking I should enjoy some easy small projects.

So I dug through the scraps...

and made some seasonal decor.

I've had this frame for longer than I care to admit
floating around in my sewing room, sometimes nagging
at me and always in the way.  I could have put it out of the way
but then I knew I'd really never get to it.
Miracle of miracles, today I finally hauled out the book
and made one!
(If you're now singing the annoying song from Fiddler on the Roof,
I apologize for saying "miracle of miracles." Or maybe I don't.
I love that movie, annoying song and all.)
This was a quick project so hopefully I'll stay
on schedule till they're all completed.

So far I'm sticking to my plan to just bee this summer.
(Ok, I'm definitely not apologizing for that!)

08 June 2018

Donated Quilt Goes to A Happy Winner

The large quilt I finished and donated back in April 
was raffled off this past weekend.
Because my sister was the deliverer of the surprise,
I got the full story on the winner.

An older widow, she had been been wanting a new quilt for her
bed for a long time but really hadn't gotten around to treating herself.
The minute she saw her prize, she immediately tried it out
on her bed to discover that it matches her room perfectly.
Not only did the quilt help fund a church group's charitable actions
but it has gone on to bring happiness to a very appreciative new owner.
What more could a quilter want than that?

07 June 2018

Catching Up on My Christmas BOM

We came home from vacation to a forest of weeds in every garden.
Mercifully, the weather has been great so catching up around here
has been an enjoyable process.  Realistically, there will never be a time
when everything is "caught up" so I'm just taking my time and doing
what I feel like, day by day.  Just like quilting, a garden is a joy
to make, not just to finish.  I try not to get so get caught up
running toward the goal that I forget to enjoy the process.

I was over-zealous (even more than usual) and planted 24 tomato
and 24 pepper plants.  I have big canning goals for the tomatoes
but I can't really explain what happened with the peppers
other than I have a plant-buying problem, and I have no
shame in admitting it.  All 48 of these are enough to keep
anyone busy, not to mention the rest of the garden out there
but I'm happy to say they are all currently pruned and mulched.

The herb and flower gardens still need tending to but as I am
sporting a bit of a sunburn, I moved into the sewing room to get
caught up on my Block of the Month quilt.  Without any fanfare,
here are all three blocks hot off the ironing board:

April Block

May Block

June Block 

With the wheat outside just days from harvesting,
it's a little odd to be playing with Christmas fabric
but it still seems cozy and inviting.
(And I'm asking myself, what about the other BOM(s)
I planned for this year?  Hmm...)

I'm still waiting to get my son's attention for 10 minutes
so that we might discuss his dorm quilt but he's rarely
here.  There are always other quilts I could be getting
a start on but the last thing I want is to get myself into another
mad dash before he goes off to college so maybe this weekend
I'll get some sort of direction of what he would like, though
I know he's far from picky.

Just a note:
I've noticed others saying blogger is having issues.
I don't really know why its occurring but I am seeing your
comments.  Hoping it's resolved soon; I know there are just
a few but I still don't like not being able to respond.

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