"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's rather boring...

...joining flowers together.  And challenging...the seam ripper has been employed on more than one occasion this week.  All I can say is it's good these are short seams.  Somehow it isn't intuitive for me when joining one flower to the next.  I know it will get easier, but right now it's a slow process.  I have 5 flowers joined right now.  I haven't taken a pic yet...but I had hoped to have one full row of 8 or 9 flowers done by now.  You can't always get what you want.

I have to keep stopping to cut more green hexies.  That's another boring thing.  It's fun to cut the colors for the flowers...something new after each 6 or 12 or 18 hexies.  But row after row of green hexies?  Not as much fun.  Quite necessary, however...so I keep plugging away.  I'll need lots more than what's here...and if I break it up so I'm cutting some then piecing some...it will be ok.
Now this is fun...a pile of flowers waiting to be joined together.  That top one is the only new one I finished this past week.  After I get a row joined to recalculate how many flowers I need...I'll get back to piecing more of them.  I have quite a few ready to sew...all layered in a vintage cigar box...fun prints to piece into pretty flowers for my garden.
This is my pile of centers that need to be matched up with their outer ring of hexies.  My short attention span works best by mixing up which part of this quilt I work on throughout the week.  I know at some point I'll simply be joining flowers together...but that's ok...that will mean I'm closer to actually starting to quilt.
And in totally unrelated news this week...last night we went to Target & I got this new pair of shades.  I adore the polka dots...and of course, since this is NE Ohio...there is no sun today!!!  At least I'm prepared for when that elusive sun returns...oh how I miss SUNNY southern CA. 
I'm linking up at Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday.  Hop on over there to see what everyone else has been up to...one slow stitch at a time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Joining some flowers together...

So this week I decided I'd work on joining a couple flowers together.  I only got 2 of them done, but my next goal is to join a strip of 8 or 9 to see how long that is...and possibly recalculate how many total flowers I'll need for our quilt. 

This is almost the full view of those first 2 flowers.  I had forgotten that every other row is one flower shorter than the last one...so if 9 across works for our queen bed...and I can make it a square with 9 rows...then I'll need just 77 flowers.  That would be wonderful as with the ones I'm sharing today, I have 48 flowers done. 
My other goal for this past week was to "audition" some prints that have a white background to see if I like them enough for my quilt.  You see this first one above...so it passed the audition.
I like this one, too...I'm thinking the key to using white background prints is to make sure they also have enough color to them. 
I think the bits of white will brighten up my quilt...I just have to make sure they're scattered throughout so they don't overwhelm one part of it.  Here are the other flowers from this week...
So that's my week in review.  Joined 2 flowers...completed 7 flowers for a total of 48.  I have lots & lots of green hexies to cut...you might notice the gold print for the centers of my flowers & the green for my paths are the same print in different colors.  Purchased in the 1970s...so I hope I have enough.  I'm pretty sure I do.
I'm sharing this on Kathy's blog...for Slow Stitching Sunday.  Be sure to check out what all she's been up to...I envy her quilting energy...she's amazing!

Friday, August 8, 2014

My 301st post...and the garden

I didn't realize until after I had posted last time that I had reached my 300th blog post...so this is number 301.  No need to cheer or remember that...there will be no quiz later.

The jalapenos above are our first of this season...and they're quite disappointing.  The skin is crazed & they're small.  I blame it on the cool summer we're having.  These babies love the heat...which hasn't been around much lately.  The most disappointing part is that there aren't many other jalapenos developing...and no more flowers.  While it's nice to not have to run the a/c...our jalapenos need some heat soon!

The pimento is just now starting to show a hint of red.  These need to be red before they are picked...so the pimento cheese will need to wait a bit.
The green onions are coming along nicely...I'll try to harvest some soon to see how big they are.  These were planted directly in the soil from seed.  Not bad.
Lots of leeks, too.  These won't get really fat...I should have broken apart the plant more when I first planted it...live & learn.  I'm betting they'll still be yummy, though.  The Brussels Sprouts are coming along...getting bigger on that stem each day.  Forgot to take a photo, though...next time.
The marigolds are still adding lovely color to the backyard.  I'm getting lots of seeds to save for next year.  I may even try to grow some inside over the winter.
This little guy visits us each day.  We call him Mr. T.  We're not sure if he belongs to someone or if he's a stray...but he's a scaredy cat...won't let us go near him.
In the rest of the yard...the critters have planted some sunflowers under the bird feeder...they're small little ones, so I think they're from the sunflower on the driveway that kept being eaten.  There will be quite a few flowers to share once they all open.
If you look up way in the back of our yard, the Rose of Sharon are blooming.  The ones to the right are white & the ones to the left are pink.  They all seem to be on the same bush...which towers over the garage.  It's lovely when it blooms.
This is looking inside one of the white flowers...the pink ones are too far up to get a look inside.
And the side of the garage has this huge honeysuckle looking bush.  Each year we cut it back & each summer it comes right back with lots of pretty orange trumpet flowers.  The butterflies like these & so do the bees...I've even seen a hummingbird enjoying them.
So that's it from our cooler than normal summer here in NE Ohio...I'm doing my best to enjoy every single minute of it because we know it all goes down the tubes here all too soon.  I hope you're having a lovely summer, too. 
Oh...it's World Cat Day today...ours are all sleeping the day away...check out this sunbather...Miss Gracie loves the sun.
Happy World Cat Day...and enjoy the SUMMER!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yo-Yos and Flowers

This week I finally finished sewing some yo-yos together into the top for a pillow.  The pillow itself isn't even started yet, but I laid the top onto an old patchwork pillow to get a photo to share.  I haven't quite decided what color the pillow will be...probably some shade of blue as that goes with everything in this house.  Maybe I'll pull out the machine & make a pillow this week.
I managed to get some more fabric cut into hexies for my quilt top...and once I do I like to sew the first round of the flowers with what I've just cut.  I got the ones above & below done this week.
I also got quite a few flowers done...one slow stitch at a time.  I truly find this hand piecing so relaxing...and with pre-season football starting this week, I know I'll get lots more done to share next time.  I love "watching" football...but I always have something else going at the same time...unless it's a really good game...or unless my San Diego Chargers are playing.  They're on Thursday night...but I'm sure I'll still take time to make more flowers during the week & on Sunday.  I got a few done today...but they still need to be pressed & photographed.
I'm happy with the progress I'm making on completing the flowers...and this coming week I'll be auditioning some of the white background prints I have to see if they'll make it into the quilt.  I like some of them a lot, so I have a feeling they will.
I'm sharing this over on Kathy's blog for Slow Stitching Sunday.  Oh...and I've labeled all of my quilt related posts with Quilting so if you care to see past posts, they're all together there.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slow Stitching all week long...

This week I've been inspired to work on more flowers for my Grandmother's Garden quilt.  I first wrote about it here...and I'm really enjoying the hand piecing of these little beauties. 

I've pretty much decided that I'm not using any solid colors in my quilt...the fun prints I'm gathering appeal to me more than the solids do. 
So many pretty prints just waiting to become flowers.  I took a minute this week to count how many I have completed.  I think I'll need about 120 or so to make a queen size quilt...and that's my goal.  I have 36 flowers done...and an additional 41 center flowers done...so 77 flowers have been started so far.  I still have a LONG way to go, but I think this coming week I'll pull out all my 1930s repro fabric and see if I'll be able to use each print only once in my quilt...well, once as the center of 6 hexies & once as the outer round of 12 hexies.  That's my goal to keep the quilt scrappy.
What I haven't decided is if I'm using some white background prints I've collected.  I'm thinking I won't, but then again I do love flowers like this one with the cherries on the white background.  The mushroom fabric isn't really a 1930s repro print, but my Mom loved those red & white mushrooms, so I'm using this fabric as a tribute to her.  I know I'm not using the red background prints I have...those will end up in another quilt one day.
So here are the other flowers I've stitched this week...and I'm sharing this post on Kathy's Quilts Slow Stitching Sunday.  I had no idea that what I was doing was slow stitching...but I'm really enjoying the process of this relaxing hand piecing over time.  I have other quilts planned that will be machine pieced, but I think I'll always have one that I'm stitching one slow stitch at a time.
Enough of my blabbering...here are the other flowers I've completed this week...I'm going back to stitching...I have lots of flowers waiting to come alive.
Oh...and one last thing...my friend Tracy has received this gift...so I can share it here...a pincushion in her favorite color...orange...all stitched by hand & filled with sand to keep her needles sharp & clean.
I have some of these pincushions in my Etsy shop if you care to take a look. 
Have a great week...and do something creative...
it's good for your soul.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Garden Update

Our little backyard garden is loving summer.  The marigolds are blooming their little hearts out...and I'm saving some of the seeds when I dead head them. 

Some creepy crawly is eating away at the leaves of the Brussels sprout...but so far is leaving the sprouts alone.  I've started to cut the lower leaves off to give those yummy sprouts room to grow. 
This is the largest of the pimento peppers...they need to turn red to be at their best, so it will be awhile before we can harvest them.  I can almost taste the pimento cheese already.
The jalapenos are getting bigger each day.  With the cooler than usual summer, there aren't as many as in years past...but with so many plants, we'll have plenty to enjoy.
It turns out one of the jalapeno plants is not a jalapeno.  It's a mystery as to what exactly it is...but I'm thinking maybe it's a Serrano...which would be great.  These peppers are longer & a darker green than the jalapeno.  That's a little bell pepper hiding in back of one of the leaves. 
The tomatillo is still blooming & there are lots of the little husks that will have tomatillos inside...or I hope they will.  I read that you need 2 plants to get fruit...but I'm thinking positively because these certainly look like they're doing ok.  The leeks & green onions are thriving...we'll have a wonderful harvest this year & I'm already planning for even more pots next year.
And finally...we have a lovely patch of Queen Anne's Lace blooming by a big rock along the driveway.  I love how they look, so we're letting them grow.  It turns out they make long lasting cut flowers for indoors...who knew?
They're so pretty & delicate...just like lace.  Hard to believe they're actually a weed...but they're welcome in my garden.
I hope you're enjoying your summer, too.  It's actually quite cool here today...but the sun is out & the humidity has gone away.  There are 3 kittens sleeping in our bed...I think it might be a good afternoon for a nap...they're inspiring me!