31 May 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #19

I think I'd be completely safe in saying that 90%
of our days have been cloudy and rainy.  It's great
not having the a/c on and it sure makes weeding
more enjoyable but we'd really like to get into
that pool. And I'm usually completely tan by now.
Saturday we woke up to 48 degrees.  Forty-eight
Honestly, it felt great but please!
It's June!  C'mon sun!

There are lots of things to brag about (tee hee!)
share today so grab a cuppa and I'll kick things
off with the to-do check:

Time in the Attic
Bind, label, finish

This one finished up at 76x64.

The one bonus about all these clouds is that
you don't have to wait long to get appropriate
lighting for a photo shoot.

With the attic theme, I thought a few old
books made a good prop.

And a few old spools of silk thread.
(Don't you just love wooden spools?)

I love using up extra pieces on the back
not only because it's fun but also well, frankly,
I'll never use them on anything else.

So why not keep 'em with the project
they were made for?

My May monthly goal:  complete!

West Point Quilt #2
Pull fabrics
I did do this but I wasn't getting a good feel for any
of it so I nixed it yet again.   I really want need my
next project to be fun.

Lattice Trio Charity Quilts
Quilt, bind, finish
Yes, the quilting helped pull the design together a little.

This is also another one of those times where
they really do look better in person but I think
the above close-up is a fairly good indicator.

May turned out to be a good month for finishes!

All three are getting shipped off to Jack's Basket.

Outdoor sewing if weather cooperates.
Oh my gosh, will this ever happen?
YES.  Timing.  It's all about timing...

Four (small size) in patriotic theme
No start here but I've started on some different
placemats so just stay tuned...

Weed and put down barrier/mulch--Done!
Fix remaining fences--Done.
Even with all the rain, I have the last two gardens
weeded, cardboard layered and mulch down so I can
now enjoy a much lower-maintenance period until
the pumpkins and gourds go in, which is just
a month away already.  That's just nuts!

And yet I openly admit my quilty-thoughts have
turned to fall more than once...and maybe even
a little bit to winter.

Here's the left half of my garden, all tended to.
The center-right there partially pictured is waiting for
fall crops; right bottom is the new (second) strawberry
patch to match the one on the left with Mr. Gnome;
top right corner also goes off the pic but it's this one:


The fences around each garden have all been re-done
so I've finally been able to let the chickens out again.

As part of my cutting-back efforts, this particular
garden has been left empty so the chickens have
made it their favorite spot for a dirt-bath.  They're
doing me a favor, really, by keeping the soil loose.
I'm so happy to have them back on bug and weed
patrol; the cost of feeding them goes way down
when they can roam around.  

Random "harvest pic".
Bringing all this in makes the hard work worth it.
The rain and lack of sun slows the asparagus down
but that's actually helpful when we've had so much.
On the flip side, it makes the radishes grow way too
fast and they'll even burst/split.  


Just so much love coming from the garden right now.

The strawberries are are getting bigger and more plentiful.
I've picked over a gallon each of the last couple pickings.
Yes--picking strawberries by the gallon!
Life is good in the garden!

Yellow squash

So we are blessed with the farm-to-table flavor a lot but
I'm no professional chef and goodness knows I love to
be treated by one so off we went to a local restaurant
who does it up right:  Elderslie Farm.  Check 'em out!
Anyway, while there, we were introduced to "Fremont"
beans.  Now, I'm a legume person.  Love them.
They're like little protein power pills.  And besides,
stocking up on them makes me feel all pioneer-ish
and ready for the zombie apocalypse all at once.
(Dried, that is; I avoid canned food as much as poss.)

(source:  Elderslie Farm)

Anyway, these huge, rare beans were part of a dish that, 
along with their storytouched the inner-foodie in me.
 (So well-designed:  just as you were finishing it up,
the thin crouton slices had soaked up the creamy
yumminess so you didn't have to scrape your bowl
embarrassingly--because you would have, you know.
It was that good.  But, I digress...)
Anyway,  I had to have them.  The only place I could
find Fremonts is right here in good ol' Kansas of USA.
Which makes sense because Elderslie only uses what
they've grown, or locally sourced.  I also discovered that
they have double the protein of most beans which fits
in well with my super-healthy eating right now.

So, you know what the gardener-foodie in me did?
I ordered some of those puppies right up and then
popped a handful in the garden.  Then I waited.
I watched...I waited some more....and just when I
started to feel the disappointment, up they came!

Aw, there they are and look at 'em go!
Now I wait even more to see how they grow and
how well they produce.  I'm a little worried they'll
want to climb but I do have trellises I can slip in.

Okay, enough of my to-do's, huh?

Now on to the exciting news!
Remember the two baby quilts I was working on
a couple months ago?  When I couldn't decide
on which challenge fabric to use so I just did both!?

The contest generated 100 quilts for their charity!
And out of 100, guess whose quilt took First Place?!?

 That's right!  Pinwheel Circus was the big winner!
I wasn't really sure it was good enough to place so
I've been trying to figure out what the judges liked.

Some of the animals in the theme fabric are holding
pinwheels so my best guess is that my use of their
fabric might have been a strong contributing factor.

I may never know for certain but I am looking
forward to next year's contest...and to spending
my prize at the quilt shop!  What shall I buy?!?

Other exciting news: both sons made it home!

Son 1 was goofing for the camera. cadet-son 2
was just happy to be home (clearly!).  Then the
Cinco de Mother's Memorial Day celebration
happened...and of course, I took no pics.  None,
other than a couple food-prep pics.
It turns out that when you're very used to a
quiet house, and suddenly everyone is in the
house, you kinda can't think well.
C'est la vie.

I started out making Piña Colada Bars per hub's
request, but one of my dd's does not like coconut
so of course I also made Strawberry Margarita Bars.
This required picking some fresh strawberries.
And grabbing some fresh eggs.  It floats my boat
to cook with super-fresh ingredients.
And by that I mean minutes-old fresh.

Meanwhile, the piña coloda ones came out of
the oven which made the Teddy Grahams
(treats for the grandkids) want to hit the beach...

...and then the hot tub.
Clearly playing with food floats my boat, too.
It's no wonder it takes so long to bake these days.

On to next week's list:

1) Stop everything.  It's QAL time!
Lots of you are joining the Positivity Quilt Along by
Sew Preeti Quilts and I don't want to be left out so
count me in.  My rule here is to keep it to the stash.
(That fabric tracking is really keeping me motivated!)
I'm thinking of a gray/rust kinda theme but I haven't
quite gotten anything pulled...yet.
 I'm anxious to see what everyone else's plans are!

2) HST

I'm supposed to be making a runner to match this
spring quilt on my bed but if I don't hurry up and get
on this one, I won't even need it.  I know I just said
"stop everything" for the QAL but I need to find some
time to squeeze this in!

3) Placemats
Patriotic AND my latest squirrel ones.

4) Gardening
Keep eyes out for weeds in the asparagus patch.
Time to start pruning tomatoes and peppers.
Keep enjoying the bounty!

And that's it.

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend
and took the time to remember all of those who have
fought to keep this country free.  At the bottom of my
sidebar on the right, I have a prayer for our military if
you would like to join me in saying it daily, or just
whenever you visit my blog...or even just for today.
And maybe put a QOV on your to-do list?

Now, no one tell the cadet I posted his pic but
how cool is West Point's parade uniform!?

Well, on to the easy days of almost-summer!
I hope your week ahead looks as fun as mine!
Happy quilting!

26 May 2021

May Monthly Goal Complete

Let's hear it for a solid May finish!

Time in the Attic finished up at 76x64.
I used the Nine-Patch Hour Glass pattern from
Missouri Star Quilt Company's Block magazine
but you can also find the tutorial here.

The fabric line used in this quilt is General Store 
by Nancy Gere for Windham Fabrics.  I was able
to get a good deal on not only the jelly roll used
in this quilt but also on a layer cake so I am on
the hunt for another idea with these fabrics.
My preference is to build my own collection but
I definitely like the ease of pre-cuts once in a while.

By coincidence, I had a small yardage amount
of the black in this line--just enough for a slim
border and the binding.  Thank you, Mr. Stash!

I haven't had time for a full photo-shoot on Attic
(also on today's to-do list!) but I wanted to show
the extra pieces being put to use in the backing.

This quilt went together very well, and quickly.
Not to mention it was just great for some quilty
fun so if you're needing one of those projects
I definitely recommend it.  

I'm not sure I recommend my other May
project all that much.  Bear with me a little
here because the fabrics at least are much
prettier in person...

The lattice idea is one I've been wanting to try out
for some time but I came to realize it's just not
for me. So I broke it up into three baby quilts
and will be donating them to charity soon.

Fabrics from Mr. Stash made do for the borders;
all three are quilted up and getting their bindings
finished up today.  I guess there's a chance that
may spill over into tomorrow, at the latest, but
 they'll absolutely qualify for May finishes as well.  

Here is a close-up of the quilting and the colors.
Much prettier in this pic.

And that's it for me for May!
Not too shabby:
one large quilt and three baby ones finished!

Check back with me next Tuesday when I share some
exciting news on a previous baby quilt!

Happy quilting!
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal

17 May 2021

Tuesday To-Do #18: Mid-May

Welcome to another Tuesday To-Do!
May is moving right along and though it has been
rainy and cool, summer is just around the corner.

Time to start bringing out the patriotic decor!
 I think maybe a set of placemats (perhaps to go
with this runner) are in order.  I really don't need
squirrels but I might have to add that to my list.

First, a look at last week's progress:

Time in the Attic (Nine-Patch Hourglass)
Finish quilting.

I'm saving the full reveal for when I get the
binding on but here's a little peek.

Lattice Trio Charity Quilts
Get borders on; make backings.

Perhaps the best part of this charity project is that
I've been able to make such a great dent in my
batting scraps!  For the first time in a long time the
storage tote is not spilling over.  That is a miracle.

All three were bordered with the only fabric from my
stash that worked.  It's not great and it's not very
juvenile but I am just making the best of all of this
and then moving on--and I'm so ready to move on!
The backings are made so they're all ready for quilting.

Outdoor sewing if weather cooperates.
Raining, raining, raining...

Work on weeds, fence and mulch.
Raining, raining, raining...

Currently harvesting:
Asparagus, radishes, green onion, spinach,
bibb and romaine lettuces and herbs, esp dill.
And yesterday, the first picking of strawberries.
Meager, but they'll be going strong very soon.

Hey--cue the fabric tracker!
(Who really needs a segue?)

I wanted to share my next project--another West Point
quilt--but I haven't had a chance to pull the fabrics yet.
I do know that I have plenty so this fabric tracking is
only getting better and better.  My next project should
have me into the negative--finally.  I might even have
to celebrate by going fabric shopping.
Kidding, of course!...sort of...

The week ahead is showing a lot of excitement,
even more than starting a new quilt or
 fabric shopping.  (Yes, you read right!)

Son #1 has finished his third year at Creighton so
 he'll be home for a short visit.
(Side note: just 1 semester to go on his double-major.)

Son #2 has finished his second year at West Point
so, yes, the cadet will be coming home for a visit, too! 

All of this means we'll be celebrating!  And what could
be more fun than Cinco-de-Mother's-Memorial-Day?!?
Likely it's the first of its kind so I claim the rights.
You heard it here first.
We have no South-of-the-Border heritage but we
celebrate Cinco de Mayo Mexican Food Day anyway.  
With both boys coming home, it just made sense to push
things back a bit and lump it into one big celebration.
 Hubs is a master smoker/griller so he'll be kicking out
carnitas, or other such yumminess in the meat category. 
There will be homemade tortillas and refried beans.
The margaritas will flow!  And my whole "healthy eating"
thing will be broken faster than you can break a pinata.
Hopefully, I remember to take some foodie
pics, and maybe a few of the fam as well.

Weekly To-Do List

So, where does this leave me with my to-do list?
I want to challenge myself to get lots done every
week but I am also getting to a time in life where I
don't have to get it all done--and I want to be open to
whatever God sends my way.  For some time now,
"weekly to do" list just hasn't seemed....right.
Well, I finally figured out a very subtle and simple
change to make to that so here we go:

Current To-Do List:

Time in the Attic
Bind, label, finish

West Point Quilt #2
Pull fabrics

Lattice Trio Charity Quilts
Quilt, bind, finish

Outdoor sewing if weather cooperates.

Four (small size) in patriotic theme

Weed and put down barrier/mulch.
Fix remaining fences.

I also have house cleaning, baking and other things
calling me so I'm really just going to take all of this
as it comes.  

Happy quilting!
Linking up to:

10 May 2021

Tuesday To-Do #17: Computer Woes

I'm back!

Oh alright, you didn't even notice I was gone but
I was without my computer for a whole week.
(Oh, the humanity!)
The problem is now resolved and I got a nice
wake-up call to spend more time away from it.
(Always look for the icing!)

In the meantime, I've been spending lots of time
working outside and trying to soak up the outdoors
before it gets too hot.  Let's hit the list:

Nine-Patch Hourglass
Finish quilting.
Didn't make this happen at all.

Lattice Quilt
Finish blocks 
All 27 blocks are now sewn into 3 quilts.

This design just wasn't working for me plus,
the strips weren't lining up too well.

I now have it into three 36X36 tops instead of
just the one large.  With a 3-inch(ish) border,
 they should be nicely-sized charity baby quilts.
I'm just hoping the quilting will bring the
design together better--at least for my eye!

Outdoor sewing if weather cooperates.
It has been too windy and mostly too cold.

I did do some outdoor blogging--does that count?

Finish straightening fences; start on mulch process.
A great start on the mulch; just a little
completed on the fence-straightening.

Above, the finished "ratatouille garden," also with
all tomatoes caged.  And, under all of that:

I can't seem to get my hands on large amounts of
newspaper these days so I've started using cardboard.
(Little or no print, plastic packaging tape removed.)
This has greatly reduced the trips to the recycling bin
 and it's great for the soil.  And because tomato plants
should not get wet, under all of it is a soaker hose.
(This protects the hose from the damaging sun.) 
This whole process may seem like a lot of work
but oh my goodness, weed-free summers are...
Look, I can't even put a word to it.

A little note about the Ratatouille Garden:

A few years ago, I spent some time perfecting a
ratatouille recipe.  I am not a big fan of eggplant
and I find squash to be just okay in small amounts
but these guys come together in this dish so well! 
We've come to love it so much that I now devote
an entire garden to it:  yellow squash, zucchini,
eggplant and tomatoes.  As part of my cutting-back
efforts, this year all of the tomatoes went into the
ratatouille garden, not just the few I use in my recipe. 

In the week to come:

Time in the Attic 
(Nine-Patch Hourglass)
Finish quilting

Lattice Trio Charity Quilts
Get borders on; make backings.

Outdoor sewing if weather cooperates.

Work on weeds, fence and mulch.

Next week will hopefully be more productive
and maybe I"ll even have new project plans?

Happy quilting!
Linking up to:
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