Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Farewell Summer

 Just like that, the seasons are changing and we bid farewell to summer.  We enjoyed a mild summer until we had about two weeks of incredible, record breaking heat.  Wow....it was toasty!  We even hit 112* one of the days.  Other than the heat burst, it was a delightful month.  I always love going back through the photos to do a post.  It's incredible what can happen in a month.  

We had a granddaughter that got married so we had lots of fun wedding events and family visiting from Iowa.   I did manage to get a bit of sewing done too. 

For a number of years I have been in a group of friends who sew and swap together.  Each year we choose a new project.  This year is a round or row robin.  The most recent round that I have finished is the mountains and pine trees that went on this spectacularly paper pieced buck.  I love the way this one is coming along.  There will be one last round added to it.  This one may get "lost in the mail" at my house.  ;-)

Another one was this panel piece in such pretty colors.  I added the geese round to it.  

There was a bit of wedding sewing as well.  The bride and I stitched the flower girl dresses and made the wedding veil.  It's a poor photo, but this will have to do for the time being. 

I know that I should be thinking of sewing fall projects, but this heart has been calling my name for sometime now.  It is my version of Kyra's Heart Quilt.  I loved pulling out all of my Kaffe, etc. fabrics for it.

We managed to slip in a few short day outings.  We always enjoy seeing the September flag display at Pepperdine University for their 9/11 tribute.  There is one flag for each person killed on 9/11.  It is a lovely sight on the hill overlooking the ocean.  It's hard to get the full scope of the sight in a single photo, but it is very sobering.  

Another day trip that we always enjoy is a drive to the local wine country.  The grapes were quickly harvested in the heat and the leaves will soon start to change.  I always enjoy seeing the rose bushes planted at the beginning of the rows of vines.  It is said that they are planted for disease control.  Apparently the roses will display any disease first and the vines can be treated before they become infected.  

Not sure this guy is much help to the vintner.  

Now for a chuckle.....we celebrated our September birthdays during our little heat wave.  I had made spice cupcakes with a buttercream penuche icing, a family favorite.  They were beautiful, but when it came time to serve dessert, the icing had melted right off of all 3 dozen cupcakes.  What a disaster!  They looked awful, but still tasted good.

Happy fall to all those in the Northern Hemisphere and happy spring to those down South.  

Monday, August 15, 2022

August Happenings

 I guess it has been a quiet summer since, according to my blog, nothing has happened these last two months!  In actuality, it has been anything but quiet.  If I go to my photos, I am reminded of how busy it has actually been.  

With a garden and orchard, summers are always busy with harvesting and putting food up for the winter.  Over the years, the granddaughters have shared the duties with me.  As they have gotten older, I find they are handling the job on their own.  It is more of a social event these days and I love it.  They are thrilled to be taking jars back to their colleges and their own homes with them.  I can't help but recall when they needed stools to reach the sink.  It seems like only yesterday.  But....there are still young ones joining in with us.  

July was a busy month as well.  We took a long awaited trip to England and Scotland.  We visited with friends in England before boarding the Royal Scotsman train for an eight day trip through the Scottish Highlands.  It was an amazing trip with spectacular scenery.  

Edinburgh Castle

I'd love this greenhouse as part of my bedroom too.  

Our train host and bagpiper.

Of course, coming home means catching up and just like that the kids are heading back to school.  How can summer be over already?  

Sewing took a back seat over the summer, but I was able to complete a quilt for the newest great grandbaby.  The pattern is called Puzzle and is a current SAL hosted by Wendy Sheppard.  It's not too late to join in on the SAL.  The blocks were quick and fun.  Once I started making them, I couldn't stop.  Of course, once the blocks were made, I HAD to assemble them.  Before I knew it, I had the quilt finished.

More sewing that I accomplished was the New York Beauty SAL that Elizabeth Eastmond was hosting.  I have not finished my last block, but I did manage to finish three of the blocks before our trip.  Her designs were easy to follow and designed well.  

Our summer has been so mild, but I know the hot windy season arrives soon.  Everything is so dry around us so we do worry about our fire season ahead.  

.......and with that, summer continues to march to its close.    

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Happy June

With the busiest month of the year behind us, I feel as though there is a fresh start to the new month.  Life is good!

Sewing took a big hit in May.  Most sewing came in spurts here and there.  I love a good empty day where I can sit and sew till my heart is content.  The bits of stitching here and there always seem to leave me feeling scattered and looking for something quick and easy.  

These leaves fit into the schedule.  The idea comes from a photo of a table runner that I had attached to my "dream" board.  

Several years ago when Block Lotto was up and running, I won a set of Birds in the Air blocks one month.  I came across them recently, but I need to make more in order to make a quilt with them.  Again....a simple design that can be quickly sewn together.  I added another eleven blocks to the stack.  

That makes for a pretty pathetic 17 blocks for my total this month for the 350 Blocks Project.

When we moved here about thirty five years ago, we put a sand volleyball court in the backyard.  It saw a ton of use, but over the years the soft sand had blown away.  With a new generation of grandchildren playing now, we decided to upgrade the court to a more functional play space.  This month saw the transformation into a sports court that has provided many laughs.  We've learned to play pickleball and are really enjoying it.  I just need to get better at figuring out how to call the score!!!!  Sheesh!  Wonder if anyone has ever thought of a simple scoreboard.  :-)

The weather has been fairly cool for us.  The flowers continue to bloom, but the tomatoes are slow in setting fruit with our cool nights.  The vegetable garden has been a constant battle with rabbits this year.  Any good hints????

The streptocarpus are gorgeous and are transplants
from my father's from many years ago.

I believe this is a begonia of some sort.  It is a volunteer plant
that makes its appearance each year in several of my pots.

This is a Mandevilla vine that eventually grows over the 
patio cover by the end of summer.  My trellis is a 
crib spring.

So.....bring on June and summer.  I'm excited that it is here.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

May Happenings

Happy May!  May is always our crazy month.  We have seven birthdays, our anniversary (53), Mother’s Day and then First Communions (2), Confirmations (2), and graduations (3).  It seems like it is party after party for the entire month.  There’s never a dull moment with a large family.

Sewing seems to take a back seat for the month of May.  I did manage to get my selvedge quilt quilted and bound.  It was a love/hate relationship.  I quilted the entire quilt and was not happy with the quilting.  I spent two days ripping out EVERY STITCH and requilting it!!!  The backing is a great Kaffe wide back that picks up all the colors on the front.  

Our granddaughter made her husband a pair of fleece pants for Christmas.  She left the extra fabric in my sewing room!  Their son turns one this month so I used the leftover fabric to make him a matching pair of pants and a robe that matches the pants.

My niece (in-law) cross stitched a stocking for her mom for Mother’s Day.  She asked if I could sew it into a stocking for her.  This was her first cross stitch project and I think she did a great job on it.  That metallic thread is difficult to use and all of the music is done in metallic gold.

Our momma tortoise celebrated Mother’s Day in her own way.  She laid 12 eggs this year.  

Workmen have kept us on our toes this month as well.  A new a/c unit was needed and replaced.  Of course, it’s never a “simple” replacement.  Ducting had to be replaced so there have been people inside, outside and up in the attic.  As well, we are replacing our sand volleyball court with something more practical.  After 30 years, the softer sand has blown away, leaving the court feeling more like gravel.  It isn’t a lot of fun to play on that surface.  I'll be glad to have them finish.  It’ll be nice to get rid of everyone and get the house back to ourselves.

I had a "new to me" visitor this week.  This little guy was on my path to my car.  The photo is enlarged, but it was really only about 9" long.  I loved the red band around the neck so I had to come in and look it up.  It was a non venomous ring necked snake!  The underside is a brilliant orange.  I am NOT a snake person, but this little guy was kind of cute.  He was much less intimidating than our resident five foot gopher snake that keeps scaring me in the backyard.  Although, he too, is a "good" snake.  

There is a field across the road from us.  The crops are rotated in it, but it is mostly planted in lettuces or cabbage.  They recently cut what we thought was a cover crop.  I thought it was such a lovely view with all the bales.  Except for the hilly background, I could imagine being back in the Midwest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022


 I'm not quite sure where April has gone, but guess an update is appropriate.  

While looking through a bin for something completely unrelated, I came across my pile of selvedge blocks.  How easy it is to get distracted!!!  I decided it was time to get them together into a quilt.  I was really quite ready to be finished with all of the selvedges by the time I came to the borders.  I knew it really needed mitered borders so ended up making even more blocks to complete it properly.  

This was my bucket of selvedge strips.  They had settled nicely and really exploded when I started pulling them out.  I was nearly swallowed up in selvedge strips.  

I realized just how bad it was when I stepped outside and saw one of the dogs wearing a selvedge strip.

Several months ago a blogging friend, Soma, had contacted me to ask if I would make an artist apron for her.  I was truly flattered.  She offered to pay me to create it, but I suggested we barter.  She is an exquisite knitter and I have always wanted a pair of fingerless gloves.  Well.....she made me TWO pair of gloves AND knitted hats to match.  I LOVE the colors and the yarns feel heavenly.  Soma works in many mediums and does a beautiful job in each one.  She's also an excellent photographer.  

The Sewing With Friends group that I have been a member for a number of years is doing a row by row this year.  I sent off my first row and will let my friends add to my dachshund body.  The head and tail pattern are from Sew Fresh Quilts.

Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics had a giveaway on her blog and I was chosen as the winner.  There was such a nice collection of fabrics, pinks and neutrals.  As well, design board fabric was included.  I am excited to upgrade from my design floor! Thanks, Jeanette.

We had attended one of the grandson's volleyball games the other night.  On the way home, we decided to stop and grab a bite to eat.  Coming out of the restaurant, we saw black smoke rising behind the building across the street.  We jumped on the freeway to head home and the fire was right on the side of the freeway - a hotel under construction.  The heat coming from the fire could be felt inside the car.  I don't know how the firemen could stand being so close.  We were fortunate to get past the fire right before they closed the entire freeway.  

The epiphyllums are the garden bloomers right now.  So far the pinks and oranges have displayed their beauty.  I still have the red, yellow and white to appear.  

My April block count for the 350 Block Challenge is 84.