Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hot Day = Sewing Room Hermit

After a morning round of watering and (very little) weeding, I'm retreating to my sewing room for the remainder of the day to wait out a too-hot-for-me day! 90F plus days just wilt me completely so "hermiting" it is!!  Yesterday was pleasant and I had a nice mid-day explore at a local marsh where I ran into two friends doing their weekly butterfly survey.  They counted 72 of these little beauties (least skippers) nectaring on fleabane along the edges of the boardwalk -- wonder how many there were scattered across the rest of the marsh??

A big pot of tea is steeping  (for icing down) and my plan is to do some more catch-up piecing on Homage To Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I'm only a week behind but that is far enough!!  Two more weeks and we'll be at the halfway point.  If you want to check out some of the variations on Instagram -- search for the hashtag #homagetogfg -- there are some stunners!!

I worked on it yesterday getting more background hexies cut and laying out everything for week 23 so I can get right to the piecing today.

Then I think I'll try to layer up this scrappy quilt top I pieced during the winter.  I'll keep the quilting simple either use "no batting" or an old flannel sheet to keep it lightweight for summer evenings.  I guess I didn't take a picture of the finished top? so the quickest one to find is this one while it was still being pieced.  

And I might watch a movie in the middle of the day (?!?) and do some EPP!  I usually reserve handwork for evenings but I really want to finish the mystery mosaic quilt from Jemima's Creative Quilting.  All eleven clues have been released and I just have two more to do before adding borders.  Would love to finish it by the end of June but that might be too ambitious?  Search the hashtag #jcqmysteryqal on Instagram to see lovely variations of this year's and last year's designs.

Ignore the green background -- that's the living room rug.

There's been a lot of partying around here over the past two weeks -- four birthdays will do that!  These three (the little ones) turned three and I finished my 75th journey around the sun.  The Zoo with all the cousins, aunts, and uncle; a barbeque; dinner out and a playground visit rounded out the week!

The equinox is just a few days off for all of us and that means the most "extreme" weather of the year -- do you hide from the "unpleasant" weather, too?  
If you are like me, I hope you have productive defaults so you don't feel guilty!
Hermit on!!


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Big Finish for May!!

 Welcome to June!

In spite of feeling like I've been dragged through the last few days (too much heat, not enough levothyroxine in my opinion), I've finished off the month by reaching my quilting goals!

Two quilt tops have been finished for gifting and I eliminated three projects that have never gotten off the ground.

This sweet laprobe size quilt was pieced perhaps 20 years ago by one of my staff as a shop model.  I chose the fabrics and gave the top to her when I closed the shop.  She in turn gave it back to our charity quilt making group and we made a backing and layered it up and then I sat on it for several years. I didn't want it to go to just anyone.  Monday, because it was already layered, I pulled it off the shelf, threaded my machine and quilted it with simple diagonal lines following the design.  As I was quilting it, I thought of a friend who is coming up to the first anniversary of the death of one of her sons.  It's not hard to imagine what a tough year it's been for her and I hope this quilt will lift her spirits just a little.  Knowing that someone remembers the death of a loved one is a blessing.

This cutie is destined for a grand-nephew who will be arriving in August.  He will be growing up in a rural area and while the color scheme definitely does not blend with his mom's preferences,  I hope she will forgive me.  Rural boys need to see Holstein cows and pigs!!

Those of you who have attended one of my many UFO Assault Tactics lectures might recognize the center group of pineapple blocks as my much (maligned) opening UFO.  All those years, I used it to express my dislike for paper piecing which I've avoided steadily ever since making these blocks.  Many of you offered to remove the paper from the back (my main hang-up) but then I would not have had it to fuss about.  It was malingering in a stack of unfinished projects to be donated to my charity group but never quite made it out of the stack.  Then this delightful farm scene print appears and it was perfect!!  I quilted it with the Baptist fan which I think is an excellent choice for pineapple quilts.

Given the amount of time I've spent birding and gardening during May, I'm surprised I was able to stay on goal!!  

Do you see that big tub of plants on the left of the quilts? It's kale and kohlrabi.
Check out that little cabbage white butterfly mobile!  I stumbled across the idea last week on Instagram and the author has a sheet you can download from her website to make your own.  Apparently, cabbage whites are territorial and this little mobile "repels" them?  Right now we don't seem to have any cabbage whites around as they must have been knocked back by the cold spell earlier this month but I hope I'm ready for their return!
You can find it at and make your own if you want to try it, too.
They work on me (I've started to "chase" it off more than once), so I hope they will work on cabbage whites, too!!

Now if I could just find a simple way to repel chipmunks and deer!?!

Last fall, a friend brought me a large caterpillar which went into a cocoon almost immediately.  Over the winter, it "lived" between a window and a screen so it was outside but safe from predators.  I was beginning to get concerned since it had not emerged but then a couple days ago -- there she was!!
Not a luna moth as I originally thought, but a polyphemus moth.
None of my photos do her justice.  What appears to be a white margin along the black border at first glance is actually a light pink.
Those center circles in each "dot" are clear like cellophane.
Below is an underside view and look how beautifully she blends into the leaf litter.
(Look for the "dots".)
I hope she has found a mate -- I looked up the trees used as larval food by this moth's caterpillars and took to a woodland filled with those trees.

The spring woodland wildflowers are winding down here and it's time to explore meadows and fields to find summer wildflower beauties.  This is one of the most dramatic jack-in-the-pulpit blossoms I've seen this year.
Today, my friends and I are setting up our group veggie garden to grow produce and flowers to share with our church shut-ins -- it will be like a CSA for them.  We doubled our plot size and I hope we haven't been too ambitious.  
Then tomorrow we'll be celebrating the triplets third birthday!!
Hard to believe.  Boy, are they fun!!

I'll close with a Zen saying that is good to keep in mind --
"You should sit in nature for 20 minutes a day . . . unless you're busy.  
Then you should sit for an hour."