Friday, July 5, 2019

July!

June is now only a memory.  July has arrived.  I didn't get one post done in the entire month.  I have contemplated giving up my blog with the changes Blogger made.  I enjoy blogging and I really love the rapport between bloggers.  Many "friends" have followed me for years, and I them.  Without getting notice in my inbox of incoming comments, it has become so time consuming to reply to them.  Maria has sent me e-mails with all sorts of hints for settings, etc.  Nothing I seem to do will change the situation.  I can only see comments if I sign in to my account and may times I cannot retrieve an e-mail address to reply.  I just do not feel it is right to not reply to all of the kind comments that I receive.  Thus, Blogger has been a thorn in my side when life is busy.

I haven't accomplished a lot of sewing for the month.  I have one near finish that I will show when I get done, but my fun quilting this month was receiving the blocks from my bee mates.  June was my month to be queen bee and it was great to see exciting mail arrive along with all the adds.  The block that I selected for my month was a freebie found HERE.  I made out a master plan and mailed it to my beemates.  Although I only expected one block from each, every person did TWO blocks!  Our Gridster Bee has been an amazing group of gals.  My blocks finish at 12" so the quilt went together quickly.  This is where I was earlier this week.


July means there is a new queen and these are her blocks.  I love all the scrappy goodness.



The beginning of June was for family celebrations.  Our children took us out for a day of surprises, end with a lovely dinner for our 50th anniversary.


The same weekend we celebrated the wedding of our eldest granddaughter.   This is a phot of our son and his family.


What would summer be without preserving?  The apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums have produced a massive crop this year.  I have been lucky to have these two delightful helpers to assist with canning.  We have done it together for so many years and I am sure they could do it without any guidance, but we so enjoy our canning days together.  One day we just baked without canning.  Their favorite was a Nectarine Vanilla Bean Scone.



We've also spent many hours at baseball fields and equestrian cross country meets.


There was also Father's Day and a well deserved celebration for the six great fathers in our family.


Finally there was July 4th.  We had around 80 people this year for the festivities - lots of great food and laughs.  I didn't get many pictures so I hope others have some to share.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Arrival of June

How can it be?  The midpoint of the year is just around the corner.  I guess it's time to start Christmas shopping.

Before May slips away, however, we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary!  It seems like only yesterday that we were walking down the aisle, saying our "I do's" and starting our new life together.  I'd do it all again in a moment.  It has been a fabulous fifty years.

Now, fifty years later, our eldest granddaughter will be walking down the aisle and starting her new life as a wife.  It has been a busy few weeks of preparation for it.  I've altered three bridesmaid dresses, made the veil and the flower girl dress, all fun and creative sewing.




June is my month as the bee queen in our Gridster Bee.  The block I have chosen is called Star String and is found at Wombat Quilts.  My first blocks arrived from Nancy (IG @patchworkbreeze).  From the looks of these, this is going to be such a fun month.



More non quilting sewing included making a linen stole for a dear priest friend of ours who is celebrating his Silver Jubilee next week.  I wanted to use the metallic threads in the embroidery machine, but I know how difficult they can be, especially at high speeds.  I used the Superior metallic threads and I had NO problem at all with them.  I have used them in quilting with great success too. If you haven't used them before, I highly recommend them.




I actually made it reversible so he can use it when he celebrates his Golden Jubilee.  The front side is in silver and the back is in gold.  It has been a standing joke between us so I am sure he will get a chuckle when he sees it.



I did manage to finish the last three blocks for the BlooM SAL.  Hopefully, I will have time to get the sashing sewn in place and get them all sewn together soon.



The month of May has been so unseasonably cold for us, but some of the spring growth continues in the garden.  The epiphylliums are blooming and are always showstoppers.





A pineapple has set in the pineapple garden too.  This plant is about three years old now.  I start my plants by using the tops of the pineapples that we eat.


Momma tortoise laid her eggs despite the cold weather.


A final picture...….I was at our daughter's home watching the little ones earlier this week.  This little guy had no fear of the vacuum and loved to have the girls use it on him.




Friday, May 17, 2019

Playing Blog Catch-up

It seems like all I do is play catchup on my blog these days.  The intention is good, but then I get going on another project and that intention goes out with the wind.

We've had a great May so far with lots of celebrations.  We combined quite a few with Mother's Day when the kids and grandchildren were here.  Now we are into the graduations and spring school concerts before the year is finished for all the school aged children.  It's hard to believe another year is done for them.

Much of my time has been spend redoing several of the gardens in the yard lately.  They were overgrown and in need of some attention.  The roses are just finishing their first big bloom of the year and it's time to deadhead and fertilize them.  They have been spectacular this year.



We have areas of the yard with some easy care geraniums growing.  I especially like this one's color that was started from a plant growing at the home of a friend of mine.   Thanks Joan!



There has not been a lot of sewing to show for my past few weeks.  I did manage to finish a few more flowers for our BlooM SAL.  I don't have the borders on these yet as I want to see what colors are needed in the full layout.  I think I have three flowers left to construct.



To see more BlooM blocks be sure to pop over to Cheryll's blog and see what others are sewing.

May was the month for our next hanging towel swap.  Irene's kitchen in is turquoise and brown so I did her towel in those colors and added a turquoise patriotic one for her to use for Memorial Day.



I've been working on finishing up a bridal veil and altering bridesmaid dresses for the upcoming wedding of our oldest granddaughter.  Next up is the flower girl dress.  The young couple graduated last weekend.



My last few weeks have revolved around repairman.  It has been one thing after another to the point where I hesitate to touch anything for fear it, too, will break.  You know it's bad when the dogs are so familiar with the plumber that they run up to greet him when they see him arrive!







Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blooms All Around

This is always such a busy time of the year for working in the gardens.  Sewing and creativity seem to take a back seat.  It feels good to get "in touch" with the soil, but I must admit to missing my sewing time.  Sewing is also much kinder on the body!

The roses have been gorgeous this year with all of our winter rains.  As I pick the various colors, I keep thinking of which would I choose as my favorite.

Would it be these...




or some Hot Cocoa.....


or faithful long stemmed yellows....
 



or classic pink???

Maybe it is just a mixed vase.....





I missed my last link up with my BlooM blocks for our SAL, but I have continued to work on them.  I'll have three new blocks to link up this weekend.




The completed blocks so far, in no particular order.



With the new month just a few sleeps away, a new Gridster Bee queen has given us her block choice.  It's looking like Christmas sewing in May.



I was the lucky recipient of one of Cindy's beautiful pincushions that she makes with her selvages.  I just LOVE how she personalizes them.  She has a great storage system for her selvages.  You can read more about that and see some of her gorgeous work on her blog.  It looks so pretty in my pincushion basket. 






We had a blessed Easter with a family and friends.  Several of the college grandchildren were not able to make it home, but we managed to get a group shot of the ones who were there.


We had six of the grandchildren over the weekend while their parents were away for a wedding.  The dogs were in their element with all the snuggles.


We are at the start of strawberry season in our area.  The berries have been so juicy and large this year.  It's a shame that we can't enjoy them year round, but we probably wouldn't appreciate them as much.

Until next time....

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Be a Diamond Blog Hop



Welcome to my day to participate in the Be a Diamond Blog Hop, hosted by the amazing and talented Carol at Just Let Me Quilt blog.  The goal in this hop was to create a "diamond" project.

On a recent trip to Italy I saw some gorgeous bags created in leather.  One that particularly caught my eye was one with diamond shapes.  If it had been a bit bigger, it would have been coming home with me.  The design made me think of the upcoming hop and was thus my inspiration for the hop.



I had originally thought of doing a tote with the design, but after piecing it up I opted to create a table topper.




While it is not officially a "diamond", setting the framed squares on the diagonal does give the impression of diamonds.




Be sure to visit the other bloggers this week for more diamond projects.  I know that I am excited to see what is being shown.


April 22

April 23

April 24

April 25

April 26

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Inside and Outside

We have been enjoying such lovely spring weather and it has drawn me outside more and more.  The weeds are plentiful after all of our lovely rains this winter.  Sigh!  It seems like an endless job.

The amaryllis that live outside are all blooming now.  I do enjoy bringing them inside when they bloom so I grow them in pots.  These are a few of my favorite.





The Clivia are also in full bloom.





Of course, yard work does not come without heart attack risks when one comes across something like this.



Thankfully, it is a non poisonous gopher snake, but it is the biggest one that I have ever seen and hope to never see it again.

One other garden news is that my big prickly pear cactus has a cochineal infestation on it.  I am so excited about that as I am "dyeing" to try some eco-dyeing using them.  Yesterday I harvested some of the insects and although I have not yet ground them down, the water turned such a pretty color when I boiled them before setting them out to dry. 





There has been a bit of sewing going on too.  The Gridster Bee block for April is a patriotic one for Nancy at Patchwork Breeze.



My turn for being the bee queen is coming up in June so I have been thinking about what to do.  I played around a bit with this block.



Together they form stars in each corner.  It might take some organization, but I do like the way it is growing.  The pattern can be found HERE.



I am late in getting my BLooM block done this time, but done it is.  The next one is due this weekend.  Better get going on it.




Next Monday I will be participating in the Be a Diamond blog hop.  That project is finished and I am excited to see all of the upcoming diamond projects.



Look at these cute carrot cakes.  Wouldn't they be fun (and delicious) for a sewing party?



I hope all who celebrate have a blessed Easter.