Posts Tagged ‘garden’

We are coming into quilt show season. My local guild’s show ‘Quilting at the Beach’ is next weekend, and the big show for my mom’s guild is the same. Our guild will be showing just over one hundred quilts; not a bad showing for our membership of maybe 60 women. The Quilter’s Anonymous show, on the other hand is huge, with somewhere around 500 entries. In order to be able to see both, I plan on driving into Seattle on Tuesday, and spend Wednesday at the Monroe Fairgrounds volunteering with the setup and hanging of the quilts like I did last year. Then I’ll drive back home Thursday and be able to attend and work at our show here over the weekend. 
Meanwhile, I have a little work to do to get my quilts ready to enter in our show. Just the hanging sleeves need to get sewn on, and a label made for one of them as well. I’ll leave them with one of the other members so that they are there for the hanging on Thursday while I’m driving home.  
With just one more person in our house now, I feel like I am sooo busy doing everything else but sewing. While at Expo in Seattle a couple of weeks back, I picked up this adorable fabric   which will be made into a blouse shortly. The print is small, and I get happy just looking at it.  I have a huge pile growing of things that I both need and want to sew; I’m thinking that I need to return to a ‘sew everyday’ personal challenge. 
But the weather has been darn nice off and on for the past few weeks, and we’ve been working outside. This cuts into the sewing time as well, but we have to take advantage of each non-rainy day outside. We had big plans on putting in a veggie garden this year, but now I’m having second thoughts as to how much time I really want to devote to gardening. I’m really happy with the bulbs that are coming up, and the plants that Mom and Gretchen are passing along my way. But do I want to be a gardener? hmmm. I want a nice yard, sure, and the flowers and plants that look and smell pretty. And of course it’s good to be outside, working in the sun. But the work of a real garden – I need to really honestly assess if I’m up for that. The prep, building, planting, maintaining. Maybe – I’ve not ruled it out, either.  

I might feel differently once I get some sewing done. 

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 I know it’s early, but I am sooo anxious for spring to begin. I think everyone and everything around here is in the same frame of mind.  Just two months ago, this was the pot of bulbs on the deck:   and now, the all of the potted bulbs are coming up    In fact, the bulbs that I planted everywhere last fall are popping up     and these tiny little daffodils are the first to bloom:   and the boat! Iook!  

The rhubarb is coming back too:    The rosemary looks great, and the artichoke plant is now nearly a foot high. I know for most people, bulbs coming up are just a normal thing, but this is the first time I really planned it out and planted them. Its different now that I have no plans of moving, everything we do is for the long term. I’ve got little tomato plants started inside, as well sweet peas and a gazillion sunflowers in every size and color. I’ll start more in a month, I think. I have poppies coming up, and will add lots of the seeds that I saved from last summer’s crop. 
We bought three fruit trees, all multi grafted varieties, and planted them last week. A cherry, a plum, and an apple – each with four varieties on one trunk.  The lilacs that Mom gave us last summer survived in the little pots over the winter, and now I need to figure where to plant them, and think about what other varieties we will get with the gift certificate from the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden that she gave us for Christmas.  My camellia is looking good, but no buds or blooms this year; I guess it needs to finish recovering from being deer food last year when it was still accessible. The little coral bark maple is dead, and I fear that one of the little rhodies may be done for as well – it makes me sad but what can you do?. Of the two clematis that we planted last year, one of them made it and is beginning to bloom, the other one is history.  Oh, and the tiny grape hyacinths are beginning to bloom, and the red-hot pokers that Gretchen gave me last year are looking promising. 

The weather cleared yesterday afternoon, and it has made me giddy. I’m dying to get out there and weed, but it seems like I need to wait for a week or so until the remainder of the bulbs poke through, as I don’t exactly remember where I planted a lot of them. And maybe let things dry out just a bit – we’ve had a lot of rain. I think I’ll rig up a little sail or something for the boat – a driftwood mast and a few pennants or streamers to blow in the breeze. 

Meanwhile, there’s wood to stack, plants to figure out where to put, and it’s gorgeous outside; and everywhere I hear the sound of lawnmowers.
Blue sky, I love you.  

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been awhile……

 Somehow time just disappears, the days go by, and suddenly it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted. 

Life with a teenager in the house has been an adjustment. We’ve been working on setting up some routines, and little by little things are getting more comfortable for everyone. It’s good. Grades are better than they’ve been in a long time, and we hope to improve on this new trend.

I spent several days last week sewing at least for a couple hours. I combed through the stash, and in the end got several aprons sewn. Now, to figure out how to photograph them; possibly a backdrop of trees? I would really like to move the dressform outside; hopefully the weather will cooperate. We’re supposed to get several days of much needed sunshine. 

I also completed my sample quilt. I say sample because I wanted to test out a quilt-as-you-go technique; my hope is to do it on the big quilt out of all of the vintage scraps from Grandma T. 
    and a detail shot:  and the back:    It is small, wall hanging size, about 20 x 24 inches. I quilted each block on the machine, trimmed them, and assembled them with the narrow sashing. It’s cute – only improvement I think I could make is to hand quilt. I don’t think that’s my cup of tea. I’ve entered it, along with a couple quilts, into our guild’s show next month. I also made this ‘challenge block’ which I really like  . The challenge block is a thing where you use the three specified fabrics, and make them into any 12" block. They are displayed together at the show, and the people attending can vote. The winner will win $50. As compared to the others I saw last week at the meeting, I think I have a good chance. 

With those things done, I’m moving on to another baby quilt or two. Some little girl’s dresses, and order more wax for the candle project.

Meanwhile, the weather is getting nicer, and I vow to get a handle on the weeding a lot earlier this year. 

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outside, inside

Like everyone else, we’ve been busy outside the past week. There were several days of beautiful weather, with one being really hot – 96 degrees! That ended quickly, thank goodness; I moved from the southern Ca. area to get away from heat like that.  We did get a fair amount accomplished; namely a 30 foot long raised planter across part of the west side of the garage. A few plants are in, as well as a bunch of lilly bulbs and some sweet pea seeds. I may be too late for the seeds, but now its done, and we can move on to other things. The bulbs look like they’ll take off though. I think it should look really good in another couple months. Here is a shot of the slightly more disguised garage:
       And one of the area that I call ‘the triangle’ – just off my sewing room and alongside the driveway. Before, it was a big tangle of underbrush and semi-buried stumps and generally a mess. In addition to the rhodedendrons, there is a little coral bark maple, forsythia, honeysuckle, a small red twig dogwood, a wigelia, and a few other plants; I also scattered lots of wildflower seed and a bunch of columbine seed ( thanks, Gretchen! )in there. I’m hoping it will all grow as nice as I envision it will.    We’ve also scattered a lot of grass seed in some of the sandy area between the house and the garage- in the hopes that we can mitigate some of the sand that travels into the house. 

I’m waiting for the new iron to arrive today. The gravity feed one that I have here is so different than what I’m used to – and really right-hand oriented. So, I haven’t done any sewing for the past week and now that the weather has turned, I’m itching to get busy in there. I still have those curtains to do for the sliding doors in the living room, and that overdue wool coat ( you will have it before it gets cold out, I promise, Justin 
But, of course some new thing is calling my name. Yesterday a pattern arrived that I’ve been looking for for nearly a year:    Mom made this very dress about 50 years ago, and it’s so pretty that I had to have it. Last time it came up on eBay it went for over $150, and even though I’m kind of nutty about old patterns, I couldn’t even think of  paying that much. So, after putting it into a ‘notify me if this item comes up’ slot on eBay, they did, and I bid, and now it is here and mine. For about the same as what a new pattern costs nowadays. It’s not my size, but I can grade it up to fit. The other challenging thing is that it’s an un-printed pattern. Just blank tissue with little holes for marking – I’ve sewn a couple of patterns like that, and once you get used to working with them, it’s not too weird. The printed pattern was a real milestone in home sewing but that change happened so long ago  ( 1930′ for McCalls, then the late 50’s and early 60’s for the rest of the companies ) that no one who sews even thinks about it anymore. But, I now need to figure out what to make it out of.  I would love a cotton – because I don’t really need any more ‘fancy’ dresses, and I don’t like dry-cleaning ( and it is already pretty fancy on its own ), but I can’t imagine ironing all of those little pleated insets in the skirt, and godets ( the triangles inset around the hem). The other issue is that it will take ten yards of fabric. Yipes. Oh, and hem is 39 feet around!  It will take a day just to hem it. Seems like a solid color would be the right thing, but what?  We have two weddings to go to in San Diego in August, so my goal is to be able to wear this to them.

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I’ve been somewhat struck by where I live lately. And grateful. ( yes, even in spite of the rain. ) I’ve wanted to live by water as far back as I can remember. I thought when I moved to California that of course that would be my opportunity to be near the beach; but I was too naive and way too poor to be anywhere near the water. So we lived where it was more affordable, twenty some miles inland.   Not only am I now near the beach, I can hear it most all of the time. Some nights I wake up at 3 a.m. and it’s so quiet that I wonder where the ocean has gone. I guess maybe the wind is moving the sound in another direction – not sure, but it now seems odd when I don’t hear it.  With the weather gradually improving, we  – well Sunny and I, at least – are walking more. When we hit the beach the other day, it was nearly an hour before we saw any sign of people – truly an amazing thing after so long in So Cal, where the beaches are busy all year; in summer they are packed. And no dogs allowed, except for a couple of small areas. I took this shot:
  I also took some video of Sunny having a good run at the little ‘peeps’ ,but I don’t know how to upload it.
One of the other things that I really like here is the sheer variety of houses in the area. We all know what the huge, picture perfect new homes look like. I’m talking about the quirky ones that you’d never see in a typical residential area. Like this:  Richard calls it the ‘tippy house’. The little structure in front of it is a matching well pump house.  I’m sure its a vacation cabin, as I’ve never seen anyone there; it makes me wonder what their house in the city looks like. And just up the street from us is this one:      which looks like it came out of a cartoon – I see two eyes and a mouth there.  And a few blocks away is an old A-frame cabin that someone is doing a serious makeover on,  complete with the addition of two-story dormers. I like it, as so many old A-frame cabins have been forgotten or torn down to make room for the ‘big, beautiful house’.  And at least around here, it looks like any interesting shade of green is a color of  choice when repainting. We’ll be painting this year, and as of now I’m thinking our blue house will turn a bright red.

I went last week to quilt a small lap sized quilt on the machine that I took the lesson on, and it went pretty well. Today I went back to Astoria to do the quilt that will be for the bed in the guest room. It went way faster than I had imagined ( there was a different person running the shop today –  a positive ) and I was out of there in just under three hours!  Now there is just the binding left to do.  When its done I’ll put pictures up.

We got a lot of the plants into the ground yesterday, in the area along side the driveway and in view of my sewing room.  Now, if there was grass growing, and a swing……………….

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