Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Stroll Through the Garden:

It is such a beautiful evening here in upper Ohio, somewhere near the shores of  Lake Erie, I just finished a stroll through our mini acres. LOL  The spring flowers are gone and the summer flowers are just about ready to pop........a few here and there are already out.  I have particularly noticed how many "blue" blooms we have spread out through the yard.

Here is a small bunch hiding around the fairy house!

Well, this is a purplish/blue, sometimes they are iridescent in the sunlight.


Here is the same flower, but a much closer view.  I guess it looks really blue here!

Oh, more blue flowers lurking in the flower bed.  Someday I am going to look up the names of my flowers!

Oh, how did this "pink" flower get in here?  My darling son added it:)

Now for the green part of the garden.  Things are growing and growing!
Soon to be green and yellow string beans, they are already showing!

Let's see, some tomatoes, some melons, and cucumbers.

Nice big onions, ready for picking now!  

Our second batch of lettuce coming up, and I think beets!

Then, the all important tomatoes.  I have mentioned before that my husband is a "tomato freak", only saying he really loves growing tomatoes.  He planted these early April, they have made it through a couple of frosty nights......... and we will have fresh tomatoes really really soon.  Oh, these aren't the only ones he planted, he has more lined up along our sidewalk in planters.  

We may not have a large garden compared to most, but in these raised beds, we produce enough for family, friends, and neighbors.

Until my next stroll through our gardens..............


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sneak Peak !!

This is a sneak peak at the fabric I am going to use in my Valor Quilt for the VA Center.  I think there are a few fabrics I have to go back and buy more of, because I can see some small Civil War quilts being done in these!

I tried to get some good pictures outside, color is truer..... but I think it was just to bright out.  The first fabric is more golden/tan than what it shows.

So, I rearranged them in the shade, but that last fabric still doesn't show up well.  When it is in the quilt itself, I hope it will take a better picture. LOL

The first fabric is by Kathy Schmitz, Full Circle, for Moda.
The second fabric is 1862 Battle Hymn by Barbara Brackman for Moda.  
Third fabric is a Moda, Pattern #9314, but the designer is cut off.  I will have to investigate this one.
Fourth fabric, my favorite, I could put this in a lot of quilts!  Also 1862 Battle Hymn by B. Brackman/Moda
This fifth fabric shows bluer than it really is, it is on the grayish blue side, it is also1862 Battle Hymn.
Last fabric, not really showing it's true color, is a Debbie Mumm from her Classic Collection.

I thought I would have gotten my pieces cut out today, but no, too many errands to run, sometimes life just gets in the way of sewing!!!

Hope to show more of my progress in the days to come.


Monday, June 17, 2013

"And Another One Bit The Dust"!

Another one bit the dust, meaning I finished my quilt for the small quilt challenge for, wait for it, "April".  LOL  I am only a couple of months behind.  The nice thing about our quilt challenges that Kathy Tracy  gives us for our on line group is, that you can take as long as you want to get them done, if it takes a year, it takes a year.
Drum roll please............................

It took me a long time to get this one started, I had a couple of different ideas, then when it came down to actually starting, I came up with this design.  The name of the block is Contrary Wife, which proved very much contrary in every way.  After I got the border on, it just needed something extra ............ so I made embroidery flowers to give it some bling. 


Now for the bigger reveal...........yup, I finished my 56" x 56" wall quilt, The City Stitcher Quilt Collection designed by Janet Miller.  It has 13 different blocks, 12 blocks set around a field of patchwork flowers.

It took me 15 months of  machine sewing, hand embroidery, hand quilting each block, then joining each block separately.  It also took 4 months of procrastionation just to get the binding done.  Then, two days of sewing, I finished the binding.  It is just the getting stgarted that slows me down sometimes.

 I joined each block separately because I didn't want to hand quilt this full size laying on my lap, to warm even with air conditioning.   I was surprised how well the back turned out, and had I known it was going to turn out so well, I would have done my backing in all one fabric.  But, to work on my "stash", I did my backings in different fabric.   I figured it is always going to be hung on a wall, and it's mine, I guess I can do whatever I want to do!  As far as I know, there are no quilt police out there that are going to come to my house and give me grieve that I should have done it a different way.  LOL

Second drum roll please..............................................

I still have to sew on the hanging sleeve, but I couldn't wait to share my quilt.  I will add a picture of the back later, along with a picture of it hanging on my designated wall in my living room.  

My next project?  I am making a Valor Quilt for a Veteran's Center, and hope to get it completed by end of August.  They have a yearly function every September and hopefully I can keep focused and get it completed.  Which means, I need to get it sewn by the end of this month!!!!  The hand quilting part is a breeze and can be completed in about a week-ish.  

Stop back, maybe I will have something to show you on my next project............ Until next time, keep your foot to the "peddle" of your sewing machine:)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Inspiration is Back!!!

Hello, long time no talk.  I have been a little on the unproductive side, thinking about starting my small quilt challenge, but not getting any inspiration to start.  Low and behold, last week, it just clicked.  I got my fabrics lined up that I had chosen for my April SGQ challenge, and really started to play with it.

Our "assignment" for April was a block titled "Contrary Wife" by Kathleen Tracy.  Well, let me tell you, this block is appropriately named.  It's those darn little triangle blocks I have problems with.  No matter how I measure, you know the old saying, measure twice, cut once, well...... it just doesn't work out 100% of the time.  So, I had to end up tweaking a couple of the blocks.  Then there comes a time, you just have to say, that's it, it is what it is!!!!

Drawings laid out, trying to figure what I want to do.  It took like one day to come up with a pattern I liked, then when I decided what I wanted to do, it was completely different from any of my drawings!

So, I settled on the following. It took me 4 days of sewing, ripping out, and re-ripping out.  Those little corner blocks were a real challenge for me.  

I have the top finished and I like how it turned out.  I have it all marked  and it is now ready for hand quilting. I just need to get myself in gear and get it started.  Why do I put things off, I truly love to  hand quilt, and look forward to my evenings quilting and watching TV?  Maybe tonight will be my night to get it started. LOL

Our gardens have also been a busy part of my life the last few weeks.  Cutting into my sewing time?  Well, I have to be honest, I do very little out there.  My husband is the gardener, but I help water every evening!  This is his favorite time of year.  He puts his garden in earlier and earlier every year.  See tent city garden below.  We had a few very cold nights here in Northern Ohio, and hopefully that is over for now.

Our lovely iris are probably on their way out for the spring season.  It got so hot a couple of days that it made a few of them bloom all at once.  But, we do have a couple of varieties that actually bloom 2 to 3 times up until late fall.  

My husband's garden.............. he is out early in the morning, way before I wake up:), pulling weeds, watering, and just doing what he likes to do best, keeping busy...............

He is a tomato growing "freak"......all said in a good way.  He just doesn't know how to stop planting tomatoes.  He put them in one box, then added a few in another box, then added a few here and there among the other plants.  Now, a couple of days ago, I see that there are now 8 pots of tomatoes lined up along the back sidewalk!!!!    Well, it makes him happy and busy...........better than setting around being bored and grouchy!!!!!

It's almost 8 PM, and where did I put my quilting things?  

Visit back soon, I may even finally have my house block wall quilt finally done.  It has 13 blocks, 14 months of completing them, and 4 months of procrastination on finishing the binding!!!!!