Jun 26, 2010

DJ is out taking advantage of the cooler, overcast morning. He had started taking branches off the cedar tree periodically a week or so ago---cutting and dragging off branches to the burn pile between other outside tasks. Why cut it down? Taking over the driveway mostly plus it is deader than a doornail inside the bush. Mosquitoes, bite-y insects and birds haven't enjoyed his presence much. Well, the mosquitoes might if they thought he was supper, LOL. The birds? Not so much.

Imagine my surprise to see what it looks like now! All that stuff on the ground, he lopped off this morning in about 30 minutes. The stump will wait till the chain saw is done at the repair shop but we are getting closer.

Goodbye cedar tree! Now how about those awful over grown holly bushes in front when you get a chance? One in particular and I'll stop nagging about it. Promise!

Jun 24, 2010

checking in

Not a whole lot going on around here---still--in the piecing/quilting areas. I think the hot weather has a lot to do with it, really. High 60's/low 70's for overnight lows and up to high 80's/low to mid 90's for highs-----ugh! We won't get in to heat index values but it is summer in the South. You have heard that old saw about the 4 seasons in Alabama being " almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas"? Some truth to it, LOL.

Tuesday the Belles met at our pal Beverly's house. The church were we normally meet has other plans for the fellowship hall Tues-Fri all through June and July. That's fine---we knew about it enough in advance to make other plans. The girls had some quilts to turn in as binding was completed. Here you see Skyler thinking he can hide under one while DJ and I were taking pictures of the 5 that came home with me. The one on top was last seen HERE and is made from stuff that I re-purposed.

We had a lovely potluck meal and good conversation---a more relaxed setting and no pinning for a change, LOL. Beverly DID have space where we could if we had to. I had all those batting sections I had sewn together into usable measurements in the trunk of my car, just in case. I had also grabbed our table clamps, etc at our last May meeting and have been driving aroud with that stuff too.

No, my Bridge Creek Blossom top is NOT done---it looks just like it did last week. I did manage to trace off the June calendar block though and stitched a bit on it----yeah, I am already behind on that project too but so be it.

Here is one of Lois' scrappy quilts. I cannot remember the pattern source for her pattern other than one of those layer cake, charm squares book but really the pattern is an old one. Vestibule or Square Cross are two names and it dates back to the 30's attributed to both Nancy Cabot and Ladies Art Company. All the author did was update it for using the pre-cut pieces so popular today. The one in the book was lovely since the fabrics all went together and were probably all from the same line----a trend that leaves some of us a little ambivalent. I think that Lois' quilt is far more fun being scrappy---it is a donation quilt after all and a child is going to love the little things they find in the fabric. I know I do! Woohoo for stash busting and re-purposing your scraps!

Monday I logged quite a bit of kitchen time as I prepared my dishes for the potluck and did some prep work for our meals this week. I am trying to get my recipe files into a more logical filing method in my MasterCook software. It is time consuming to copy/paste/delete but as I am working I am finding things that sound interesting or new to us recipes to try. I can heartily recommend the Chicken Souvlaki gyro style from the allrecipe pages, for example. DJ ordinarily does not care for yogurt or cucumber but loves the tzatziki sauce that comes with a gyro at Mata's down the road from us. He couldn't believe that I knew how to make it, LOL! Or that I can make flat bread that is just like theirs, for that matter.

Aline sent me home from the meeting with a big bag of fresh green beans from the garden. I snapped those up and fixed them while they were still fresh. Yummers! Lois had given me some yellow squash and zucchini the week before---some of it became two loaves of zucchini bread. Jane had offered some fresh beans last week as well but I was prepping for a colonscopy and had to pass. (The test went well though I did not feel well before the test or for a few days after even. Not their fault, it was just me. Ok now though) I still want some fresh blueberries and some Alabama peaches though! Then it will officially be summer.

Today is laundry day so Skyler was making himself at home in the underwear drawer. He gave that up when I came back into the room with the stuff that needs to be hung up. An hour or so later, and he is still on it. Warm laundry! Why do you think he was so opposed to getting on his cat window perch(es) when I washed them if he likes the warmth and soap smell???

Last picture: the red crape myrtle is starting to come out. The pinky, purply one is too and you might catch a glimpse of it to the right. When we moved here in 97 this poor thing had a fairly crooked trunk and DJ had to stake it up for the better part of two years. It got with the program though. There were a few roses out and the tiger lilies are in bloom. Lots more blooms open on the Rose of Sharon then when I shared a picture of it recently.

Guess that's it for this posting. Hope all is well where you are. Stay cool if you can!

Jun 16, 2010

WIP Weds, wk. 24

Well, it is getting closer to a top anyway, LOL. I left off last night with the center joining seam to do and adding two corner triangles on the upper right and lower left.

Because I decided to go with 6 plain block squares for my version of Bridge Creek Blossoms, that gave me a jump start for a 2nd donation quilt. I ended up taking two blocks apart as the directions the stripes were NOT going was setting my teeth on edge (3rd row, block on the right) and then making 6 more blocks so each block is a little different in all 12.

I got my walking in this morning but it was a contest of wills to get it done. I really do not feel well today, to be honest. A combination of things is making me just want to crawl back in the bed----and I may just do that. Sewing may wait as I do not feel like attaching borders at the moment. LOL, I am never nuts about putting on borders to begin with let alone when I feel puny. I do want this top moved along if for no other reason than to quit talking about it but my body is letting my mind down. See how I feel this afternoon...............

Jun 9, 2010

WIP Weds wk 23

I'm afraid that this is another one of those weeks where I have marginally gotten anything quilt related done. Borders finally are on my May calendar block but it awaits quilting and hand finishing---a little progress on THAT front.

Norma and I had to postpone starting on our version of Terry Atkinson's Bridge Creek Blossoms until Saturday. At left you see the "kitted up" quilt so I could show Norma the fabrics I would be using.

Cutting this donation quilt and the calendar quilt stuff was Thursday and Friday's project. The jigsaw fabric at the extreme left of the shot is some that my mom passed on to me for this project. It is a directional print so I tried my best to match up the puzzle pieces for the borders. Fortunately the fabric is so busy I don't think you will hardly see the seams but I did want the eye to follow the vertical and horizontal lines without too much jumping around, LOL. The blue tone on tone will be the inner border and binding and also centers for the flowers on at least some of the blocks. In some cases I had to substitute a bright yellow in order to have enough contrast. The other fabrics are the fabric pairings for each blocks. I need 18 blocks for a lap sized quilt so I picked 9 fabric combinations and will make two identical blocks.

Here is where I left off on Sunday. Two blocks are done and a pile of the 3 sections of the blocks awaiting pressing and joining. Other stuff has intervened---errands one day, playing on the computer with new software another. I just didn't feel like it, still another. To be honest, because of some other obligations I have over the next two days it will probably be Saturday before I get back to it. The blocks, I must say, DO go together very quickly if you actually fire up the machine and chain the sections through, LOL.

Today's sewing interruption? So far it has been playing in the kitchen, walking and a bookmobile run . I had decided to make some wrap bread for chicken fajitas for our supper tonight. Well, to be completely honest I wanted them for lunch but forgot how long it took to prepare the bread and I started too late for that. Supper, it is then, LOL. I used THIS recipe from King Arthur Flour and my sister Jan's marinade recipe for the chicken. I grilled it already so the rest of the meal prep will be a snap in comparison to the time I have already put in.

The Rose of Sharon bush is finally blooming so here is its "glamour shot".

We had a passing cloud burst right around lunch time and rain shortened my walk by one lap yesterday morning. I had started the week by ADDING another lap to my routine and maintaining my 6 days out of 7 so I am currently up to 1.9 miles ( 7 laps). I am back to getting up at 5:30 and trying to be on the trail a little after 6 to try to beat the sun from shining thru the trees too much. Poor DJ can hardly keep up with the mowing, weed whacking and kudzu trimming now that we seem to have hit summer weather, even if the calendar says it is about 2 weeks away.

Guess that is about it---maybe some embroidery or go read one of my newly checked out books? I'll find something to keep me busy! Thanks for stopping by.............

Jun 2, 2010

WIP Weds, #22?

No progress here in the sewing department on ANY count. No embroidery, no borders on the May block, no cutting, no sewing, definitely no quilting. Nothing, zip, nada, zilch............well, you get the picture.

What I did do was go through a stack of my old cooking magazines and enter the recipes into my cooking software. Now I can donate all those to the friends of the library and regain some space on the book shelf. Another bonus---some new recipes to try in coming weeks. Who can't use some inspiration or a new twist with the same ingredients? For example, I can heartily recommend last nights dish, Fish Tacos in Avocado Sauce. Unfortunately that link may not open for you unless you subscribe to one of the Reiman Publication family of magazines--this one was in Taste of Home. Tonight I am trying Meatball Sub Casserole which hopefully gives us some for the freezer down the line.

So what is on tap for today now that I am done with THAT big project? I have a mailing to send out to the quilt group regarding our summer schedule. The church where we meet is having ARC camp in the fellowship hall again Tuesday-Friday all through June and July. This is the 3rd year they have done this and the pastor gave me a heads up a couple of months ago which I appreciate. The first year it was a surprise due to a communication breakdown. Last year we tried to meet on Monday's instead which didn't work out very well. SOOO this year we have some field trips planned for two of the meeting and we will meet at two of the members homes the others. I can't trust that everyone will read their email (if they even have email) in a timely manner so a mailed note it will be.

Then if I have time today, I will start cutting. Norma and I plan to sew on our version of Terry Atkinson's Bridge Creek Blossoms on Friday. Other than washing some background fabric, I am no way near ready. I am going to make a donation quilt sized version to test the pattern this time around. LOL, maybe I'll even get those borders cut for that May block. The box of homespun fabrics has been parked on the sewing table all week, waiting.

To keep this from becoming a pictureless post, I thought you might like to see some of the flowering stuff around the yard again. In my travels around the county I have seen stella d'oro day lilies as well as the tiger lilies out. So far the angel trumpet variety are the only ones in our patch under the Rose of Sharon bush. At least I think that is what they are called, LOL.

The gardenia bush is just starting to bloom, on the east side of the bush that gets the morning sun. They smell heavenly and look so pretty till they brown up. DJ said to wait to take a picture till more of the buds open up in a few days. See how well I listen?

I had not even noticed till I left to walk this morning that the crape myrtle was flowering! The pink and the red bushes are not but the more mature tree version sure is. See how gray it looks outside? Been like this for about 6 days running now. Oh the sun might peek through but not for long stretches plus we have had rain and even thunderstorms over the holiday weekend. They still say we are behind on our rainfall totals so I shouldn't complain too much about rain but ugh, this dismal humid stuff is getting a tad old. Only good thing is that DJ can get some of the yard chores done when there is some cloud cover and it is a bit cooler out.

And look who was waiting for me when I came back up the lane with camera in hand? The screen section of the door is about 21 inches up so you can see how long he is when he stands on those back legs to peer out and meow at me. I honestly don't think he wants to try to sneak out but he wants ME back in.

I promised DJ some muffins for 10 a.m. coffee break time so best get out to the kitchen. What kind? Not sure but I guarantee you that I can find a recipe pretty easily. Blueberry, maybe? I'm craving chocolate so we'll see. I normally make these decisions when they can go a couple directions on the way out to the kitchen, LOL.

Thanks for stopping by............................