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

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!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flower Power Friday

I've been piecing more flowers for my quilt...ironing fabric so I can cut more hexies...plugging away here so that one day I can actually put this quilt together.  I have some pretty ones to share with you today.

*****You can get lots of 1930s prints like these right here...the auctions end on Saturday, July 26...many of these same prints are up for auction...and Joy does a wonderful job of putting these selections together...and she ships fast!*****

 
 
 
 
Have a great weekend!!! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pretty Flowers

I've been struggling with some asthma issues here...the humidity always does this to me.  But I have been able to sit & piece some more flowers for my quilt when I can't sleep...at least I've been somewhat productive.

 
 
I've even been able to cut out hexagons when the kittens are sleeping...or when I close the door to my studio so they can't get in!  I'm sewing the center round of the flowers as soon as I cut the fabric so I know which ones I've used.  One of these days it might be time to count them all again.  Here are the centers I've made lately...
 
 
 
I'll be concentrating on finishing more full flowers next...I have quite a few centers matched up with their second round of prints.  I'm also slowly sewing lots of yo-yos into a pillow top...I've found that while I love making the yo-yos...sewing them together is quite BORING...oh well...I'm plugging away at it & I'm sure I'll be more inspired after I have my first pillow done.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Kitty Cats!

It's hard to believe that these little kittens are now a year old!  This pic was taken in September 2013...and they were 2 months old then.  We first heard them crying under our bedroom window on July 9, 2013...so that's what we use for their birthday.  Here you see Gracie in front...looking west...and her brother Peanut under the table.  Their momma...LB...is cleaning Fluffer.  It was hard to get pix of all 3 of these little critters together...it still is! 

Here they are with their very tired momma from around that same time.  Two months later, we were able to catch the kittens & start their new lives indoors.  Their momma evaded capture...she would go into the trap, eat the food...and escape again.  Sadly, she didn't make it through the winter, even though we kept trying to catch her.  One day she just stopped coming around.  Hopefully she knew her kittens were safe...and getting quite spoiled!
 
So on their first birthdays...here is Gracie...or Itty Bit.  She's such a cutie...and gives her brothers a run for their money.  She's my "helper" whenever I try to take pix for my Etsy shop...and she loves to play with your hand or anything she can grab.  We think she'll always be a small cat...she was the runt of this litter for sure.  She has grown up to be such a pretty girl.  There's an exclamation point hiding under that chin...adorable.
 
And here's Peanut...or Peanut Butter...or Big Boy...or Little Man.  He's a solid cat...not fat, but quite muscular & solid...definitely the biggest of the trio.  His nose is often scratched as he teases Gracie all the time...and she takes care of him.  He's always got a worried look on his face...and he's my shadow.  He wants to be everywhere I am.  He's a lover boy.  He's also got a short stubby tail...about 2/3 of what it seems like it should be...but it's adorable...just like he is. 
 
And waking from a nap...here's Fluff....or FlufferNutter....or Spider Cat.  He would not look at the camera for me...this was the best I could do.  He's a little boy...much smaller than his brother...but he's usually the one to start the chases...and the trouble!  He's a spider cat...our curtains are now perforated with kitty claws from him climbing up them right to the top.  The other night he was climbing on the quilt that hangs on the wall in back of our bed.  Such a Monkey! 
 
Happy Happy Birthday to our little Munchkins...and here's to many more!
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I'm still here...

I've just been a bit preoccupied making yo-yos...lots of yo-yos.  I've even started to sew some of them into a pillow top.  I should manage to get that finished sometime next week.  We've had some wonderful weather, so I'd rather be outside than inside at the computer...but I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been up to since last time I posted.  New pix of the garden will come soon...things are growing like crazy!
These little guys are so quick to make with that yo-yo maker...and it's fun to use some scraps in this way.  No matter what the print...even some I'm not too fond of...looks great as a yo-yo.
 
 
The "extras" are in a large Mason jar on a shelf in my studio...I love the riot of color.  I'm lucky I found a stash of old Mason jars in the basement...they now hold craft supplies.
 
I won an auction for this aqua fabric with duckies on it...duckies with little sailor hats...who could resist?  He'll be the outer flower on another block soon.
 
This one is a combination of vintage & new reproduction fabric.  The aqua & black & white fabric in the center is vintage from my Grandma's fabric...I only had enough for 6 hexagons, but at least it will be in my quilt.  The pattern of dots & stripes is quite optical...and I thought it went well with this bright pink feed sack fabric.
 
That's it from the creative department for today.  It's too nice outside to stay in here...see ya when the weather turns ugly next week.
 
Oh...and a Happy 4th of July...we had bratwurst with grilled onions & peppers and some yummy potato salad for our celebration dinner...then saw some fireworks that were set off around out house.  The tall trees make it hard to see them, but it was the thrill of the hunt...and we saw a few...along with a lot of fireflies...nature's little fireworks.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Late Spring...and into Summer!

OK...I know they're kitschy...but that's why I like them.  When we saw this flamingo pair at a local dollar store, we had to have them.  They're in our backyard...just to entertain us & the neighbors next door.  I may have to go get another pair & paint them like skeletons for Halloween...although here by Halloween it could be snowing! 

Some critter ran off with the first sunflower that bloomed before I could get a pic of it...and it seems they're quite tasty as you can see the bite out of the second one.
 
I just can't get mad at the critters, though...one year a groundhog ate our tomatoes, so we don't grow them anymore....but he also took a bite of a jalapeno & left it laying there uneaten...I'll bet that was a big surprise...and he left us & our plants alone after that.
 
The Brussels sprout is growing quite nicely...this pic was taken a week ago & it's even bigger now.  I can't get more recent pix off the camera right now...we had to get a new printer & the camera card won't fit into the new printer...and the software for the camera cord isn't working...so we had to order some external drive thing that will allow us to still use my trusty old digital camera.  Hopefully it will arrive before the weekend since I have yo-yos & quilt flowers to share...and more pix to take for my Etsy shop.  I've got some new vintage stuff in there if you care to take a look.
 
This pretty tree is in our back yard.  It's been there since I was quite young.  We always called it the Tulip Tree...it's actually a Tulip Poplar.  It blooms late in May through early June...and the flowers are so pretty.  I love that rare clear blue sky in NE Ohio, too. 
 
This is what the flowers look like...and after the seed pods develop & open, there are very cool thorn looking things that eventually fall to the ground...free collage supplies! 
 
And finally...here's what Gracie loves to do on a warm almost summer afternoon...she's so sound asleep she can't even keep her tongue in her mouth!  I sure wish I could sleep like that. 
 
I'll be back once I can get more pix off the camera...until then, enjoy your almost Summer & do something creative.