Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hee-haw ...

Who's the biggest ass: the animal born with the long ears, the grandmother who agrees with little girls that it would be great fun to have a little donkey, or the grandfather who makes plans to get us one? I'll leave it for you to decide!

I'm sure the novelty will wear off, and we may live to regret this, but look at this and tell me we don't know how to have fun

Bonnie M's first quilt, ready and waiting for pick-up:

... and whodat dere in the night?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A trip to Quiltville. Sort of ...

By now, if you're a quilter, you've probably heard of Bonnie Hunter and her dot come site: Quiltville. It's worth a trip from anywhere. KP and I are researching ideas for our local guild's upcoming program schedule, discovered Bonnie was planning to bring a piece of Quiltville to PA and we quickly made plans to meet her. She's a self-described "scrapaholic," and shares her ideas for putting those scraps to good use making quilts. FINISHED quilts. Gotta love THAT idea.

We saw a slew of her quilts during her lecture/trunk show, and as if that were not enough, we were able to take part in a workshop to get a good start on her quilt design, "My Blue Heaven."

I intended to use blues and tans like Bonnie's quilt because I think it is so pretty. However, I have few blue scraps because I just about NEVER use blue in my quilts, I've discovered. There are two exceptions that come to mind, after decades of collecting scraps for "someday." The first, we'll not speak about ever again, except to say it was my first quilt, made when I was a very young woman, which had a gigantic hole chewed in the center of it by DH's puppy. We mustn't blame a puppy for doing what puppies do, right? That's all I am going to say about that.

My second blue quilt is still in progress -- the Hunter's Star begun in a class with the genius Deb Tucker months ago. I love it, and am currently working on it to try to finish it up. I had put it away unfinished, like so many things I've started, and had to sit down and re-read the directions carefully. Deb is very thorough, and provides instructions for both right- and left-handed folks. I'm a lefty who will do as I'm told. Because her workshop demo was given for righties; I started to follow that path. Then, during one-on-one time with Deb, she suggested I should use the leftie version. That was fine during the classtime while it was fresh in my mind. By the time I got home, I was confusing myself and decided I'd have to set it aside until I had more time to think it through. Many months later, I have made time for it. (Yes, I DO have a knack for making a short story long!) So, all of that to say I don't dare claim the scraps from that blue quilt yet, for fear I may need them to finish the project.

So I went with reds. I guess I have a real attraction to red -- there doesn't seem to be a shortage of those on hand. Here's a sample of what I came away with (I should have pressed them before taking photos; forgive me):

(Actually, it's pretty much ALL I came away with besides a head full of great ideas that I must find time for ... ... the story of my life.)

Kelly, who says she had trouble being "random," came away with a whole bunch of finished blocks. She may have trouble forcing herself not to dither over which fabric can go next to which, but she's a power piecer. Don't get in her way! I spent more time outpicking stitches than putting them in. I amaze myself at how many mistakes I can make, even when I pay close attention to the directions given. Ugh! I guess I spend too much time listening to the chatter and being nosey about what everyone else is doing. If I'd stay still and focus, I'd get more accomplished.

Oh ... and here's Peg C who came to quilt this one for charity.

I just love pink! And now I know Bonnie Hunter does, too. If you're a pink quilt fan, go to her blog and look at all the pretties there!

Monday, July 16, 2012


I meant beet RED in that last post.

They can’t be trusted …

Cantaloupes. Sometimes they taste terrible – like mould. Sometimes they taste like dirt. Sometimes they even manage to taste like nothing! I agree with Cosmo: we should be able to return them when they are such a disappointment. But then, every once in a while, one is as sweet and delicious as can be – so we take our chances and go back for more. Just had one like that. Mmmm …

Okay. So I’m not the most energetic person on Earth, and confess that I will only sweep the floor if it actually NEEDS it. Four cookie crumbs do not connote a housekeeping emergency in my book. The grands left for camp yesterday, so I thought it would be a good plan to blow through the place and give it a good sweep. I actually broke into a sweat! (And those who know me well know I don’t perspire much. I usually just get boiling hot, beet read and woozy in the heat.) I checked the NWS and found that we’re experiencing 97 percent humidity today. What?!? If there’s that much water in the air, why isn’t it raining??? This drought is getting serious. It did “rain” last night, but I’ve seen more water on the bathroom floor after the kids have a shower than what we got from our brief storm.

And here’s that ‘30s quilt top I grabbed for practically nothing recently:

I wish I had taken the “before” picture so you could see the difference since I washed it. I don’t usually like to wash an unquilted top because it will fray. But this thing was so nasty I felt I should use tongs to carry it to the laundry area. I soaked it for a day in peroxide and water. Then I tossed it into the machine with regular laundry detergent, and voilĂ ! It looks good – didn’t even fray but a tad around the perimeter. I don’t know how I’ll quilt it yet, but it’s mine now and I’m going to have fun with it. Suggestion, anyone?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm still kickin' ...

(First, let me say I hate the way this server re-arranges stuff at will, or just plain loses it like it did when I first typed it out this morning.)
So much activity -- gardening, quilting, grandkids – I’ve had no time to post any updates.

Here's a photo of monarda that brightens a dark corner of my yard:

The hummingbirds love it as much as I do. If you're a tea drinker, they say the Oswego Indians of New York made tea from the dried aromatic leaves -- guess that's why it's also known as Oswego Tea. "Beebalm" (another of its many names) is the source of the antiseptic thymol. Good to know. One never knows when one might need a dab of that!

I planted mixed radishes with the beet seeds to break the crust and make it easier for the beets to come up. The fast-growing leaves of the radishes shade the tiny beets until they are big enough to handle the hot sun. I was pulling the radishes to make room for the beets, when Grandson #1 happened into the garden. "Whoa! What are THOSE?" They are icicle radishes, and very crisp despite the weather and their size.
Next post I will show you the neat quilt top I found in a heap of unwanted stuff at a sale.