Thursday, July 9, 2020

I Like Thursdays: July 9, 2020

Good morning!  How are you today?

It's "I like Thursday" and time to fill the internet with positive energy and thoughts!  What are you grateful for today?  Join LeeAnna for more positive posts!  I know everyone needs a pick-me-up these days!

Today I am grateful for RAIN!!!!!  In the last four weeks we've only had three brief storms which dropped a total of 1/2 inch (or less) rain.  Despite watering, I've lost 4 plants already and put some in pots just to keep them going.  But yesterday we got rain and life is good again!!!

The mystery hydrangea continues to fascinate me.  This week the oldest pink bloom turned a deep rose!  Isn't it pretty?

My mom has a small pond in her backyard and my brother picked up some water hyacinth for her and some fish.   My husband and I had a pond in our garden for years and always had water hyacinth but it never bloomed!  It was so neat to see the actual flowers!
We are trying to keep Mom occupied.  My brother arranged to have the three neighbor children come over to release the fish in the pond (at a social distance).  They are all under school age and already know to wear masks! 

I love how books become a part of us, especially during out childhood.  My mother and brother said after the fish release, do you remember this book about the fish who grew?  I did indeed.  It was called A Fish Out of Water and delighted me as a child.  
Do you remember this book?

The book is still in print so I arranged to buy it and have it shipped to the little girls as a thank you for the joy they brought my Mom last week.

I'm grateful for some tv shows these days.  PBS is now airing "Grantchester" and I like the new HGTV show, "Hot Mess House" because the host, Cass Aarssen, is so uplifting.

I'm also grateful for all the blogging friends who visit this blog and my Pennsylvania Piecemaker blog.  Keeping connected is so important and I'm grateful that LeeAnna started "I Like Thursdays"; I've gotten to know some wonderful people! Thank you friends!

Have a safe and happy week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

To-Do-Tuesdays: July 7, 2020

Well it's To-Do-Tuesday and that means a bunch of us post our sewing goals for the coming week.  It's hosted by dear Roseanne at Home Sewn By Us!  Check out what others are hoping to do as well!

I didn't accomplish as much as I hoped this past week.  I spent a lot of time watering our extensive garden (only three brief rains in the last four weeks).  Plus my husband has returned to work and I spent a lot of time helping him getting ready and making sure he has all the PPE he will need.

Although I pieced Nora's and Ariana's top, I'm still debating on whether or not to border it in pink.  Mom suggested just using the pink for the binding.  I'm inclined to keep the pink border like on Ariana's quilt.  What do you think?

Binding my plus quilt is going slowly mostly because I've been busy and it has been HOT!  I did get one length of it bound but have a ways to go yet...

Next week's goals:
Finish Nora's and Ariana's quilts!
Continue binding Plus quilt (if it's cool enough)
Cut fabric for the tree quilt (a new old project).

The tree quilt:  I think because of the pandemic, I'm really changing how I want my quilts to look.  It also could be because I'm really tired of the busyness of novelty quilts.  

Anyway the tree quilt fabric I bought for a specific pattern called "Pane by Pane" which was published in Fons and Porter's magazine in 2014 (geez, I didn't realize I had this fabric this long).  

Now I just want to make the quilt more visually simpler.  I don't want the half blocks or the blue or too many colors.  I think this is a phase and like I said, it is most likely because we are so overwhelmed by the pandemic that I just want to keep things visually simple.

Well I hope you have a wonderful day!  Stay safe!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

I Like Thursday: July 2, 2020

Good Morning!  It's "I Like Thursday" and time to plant positive likes on the internet!  Be sure to visit our hostess, LeeAnna to read more positive blogs!!!

First off, Happy Canada Day!  I know I'm a day late but I have to send out well wishes to our Canadian friends.  I used to go to Canada every summer when the kids were young to a family cabin my friends owned.  Canadians are the nicest people and we loved all the time we spent there.  Now I have Canadian quilter friends and they are a delight.  So Happy Canada Day my friends!

I'm grateful to have the garden and something to keep myself busy during these anxious times.  
Our first pepper!!  This is the smallest pepper plant we have and not very bushy at all but it has fruit!!

I like this butterfly bush.  I have the traditional purple butterfly bushes throughout my garden but just loved the magenta color of the flowers!

The purple butterfly bushes self-sow everywhere in the garden and usually I weed them out.  But last year we removed our willow tree from the garden and our shade garden was quite stressed with all the full sunshine.  I transplanted two butterfly seedlings in an attempt to create a shade screen for the plants and it seems to be long as we get some rain...which we did this past week.  Two storms brief but heavy gave our garden a good soak!
Last year was also the year we didn't have many of our hydrangeas bloom--but this year--Yowsa!

Even the mystery hydrangea is blooming.  My husband bought this on a whim a few years ago at the grocery store and it hasn't bloomed.  But this year it may be small, but it is getting colored blooms and they are so pretty!

I know I am going on and on about the garden but if you are lucky and persist, there are a few times when things come together and you are grateful for all the hard work you've put in.  There will always be weeds and challenges but there is enough beauty to sustain you.  That is what I feel about the garden this week.  And maybe that is just another way to look at life.

Scout has been upset in the garden lately and mostly at night.  We knew something was visiting our garden, we suspected skunks.  And whatever it was I thought was encroaching too close to our peppers so I fenced it off and put a potted geranium near it.  But one night Scout was absolutely on guard outside.  

My husband had an ingenious solution.  He has a hunting camera that takes photographs when it detects movement.  So is what he got Tuesday night...

Nothing last night but that have been because of where he had the camera set up.  Stay tuned... 😁

I haven't done much sewing since Tuesday but I wanted to share an interesting link published by the Craft Alliance.  It's a survey about quilting and you might find it enjoyable.  It is here!

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

To-Do-Tuesday: June 30, 2020

Good morning!  I can scarcely believe it is the last day of June!

Today is To-Do-Tuesday and we post goals of things we hope to accomplish in the coming week.  Please visit our hostess-with- the-mostess, Roseanne at Home Sewn By Us for more inspiring posts!

A given during these months is spending a lot of time in the garden.  This morning I will weed again and do more deadheading.  It's warm and humid and my time in the garden and the attic (sewing room) is limited due to the heat.  Fortunately I have other projects downstairs I can work on.

Last week's goal was to make four patches for Nora and Ariana's I-Spy quilts: Done!

But then I found an old scrap project--2.5 inch scraps from novelty fabrics:

So I decided to piece those together too.  All 140 blocks because I am a lunatic 😁

This week I hope to finish sashing Nora and Ariana's tops and that has already begun!

Every time I think I have used up most of the novelty fabric, I find more projects! It's not unlike "the trouble with tribbles" or a circus car with a multitude of clowns coming out of the vehicle.   I somehow managed to pack a lot of kid's projects in two small drawers and I'm hesitant to even look at the bulk of what is left in the magic drawers.

The other project I have is binding the Plus quilt.  Good downstairs project to work on.

Have a safe and happy day and a wonderful Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

I Like Thursdays: June 25, 2020

Good morning!  Today is "I like Thursday" and time to fill the internet with positive posts.  For more inspiration, visit LeeAnna and all our blogging friends here!

I like that I'm healing although still unable to walk Scout.  My husband is doing a good job keeping her exercised!  

We desperately need a good rain but we are managing to keep the garden going.  The peppers are beginning to flower!

And the plum tomatoes are setting fruit!

I like that I finished Owen's quilt top.  Owen is my great nephew (wow, I am getting old!).  I love some of the prints on this quilt.  The teddy bear fabric came from my friend Kim who periodically donates leftover novelty fabric to me.

I think that some of this fabric came from the free table our guild set up when we were meeting in person!  Love this dog fabric! 

My friend and neighbor Nancy recently hung a wreath on her porch that she made years ago.  It's made from bandanas!

In the garden, good things are always happening.  I'm grateful for soaker hoses to keep the garden hydrated.


Last year, we had a real problem with hydrangeas blooming.  Happily the warm winter has meant there is a bevy of blooms happening!  These blue hydrangeas all derived from one cutting that my Nana Betty (Mom's mom) gave me.  She had gotten a cutting from my Nana Elsie (Dad's mom) and they are my lovely Nana flowers!  I have bushes of them all through the garden now.

I hope you are staying cool and healthy!  I'm off to the sewing room to do some more piecing.  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

To-Do-Tuesday: June 23, 2020

It's To-Do-Tuesday!  Today we share our list of things we hope to accomplish and share them at Roseanne's linky party!  Join here for more inspiration here.

Despite a sprained ankle, wrist, and assorted bumps and bruises, I managed to get done cutting my 4 inch novelty patches!  It was made easier by tutorial I saw online--apologies because I can't remember the quilter's name but she had a great idea for cutting fabric:

Yup, a hand weight!  I placed it on the ruler and could cut fabric without putting pressure on my left wrist!  Not only could I cut the patches, I could sew the four patches together and managed to put together Owen's top:

Mom suggested using this fabric for the sashing.  Her perspective was that it would show less dirt.

For this week, I'm hoping to get four patches assembled for two more I-spy quilts!  They will both be sashed in pink.  I'm keeping my to-do-list short as I also have a massive watering campaign going on in the garden and I'm still a bit gimpy.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

I Like Thursday: June 18, 2020

Good morning!   Today is "I like Thursday" and for more positive energy and blog posts, visit LeeAnna

I like my husband.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I sprained my ankle and wrist and he's been covering the dog walking.  Speaking of injuries, this is the first morning since I fell that I didn't have to take advil first thing in the morning so the healing process is beginning!

It's been an amazing season for roses.  Before I fell, I was really enjoying walks in the neighborhood.  The air smelled of roses and peonies and it was such a wonderful fragrance!

I like pretty sunsets.  Here is last night's show:

I like some of the new shows on HGTV particularly "House Hunters:  Comedians on Couches" which is hilarious!

I like rainy days and hopefully we will get some rain during the next few days.

I don't have much else to report because I've been resting.  Have a great day and stay safe!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Virtual Lehigh Valley Quilt Study Group

 Good morning how are you?  For those of you who aren't aware of my passion for antique and vintage quilts let me explain what a quilt study meeting entails.  Members meet and bring along their old quilt treasures so that the group can learn and study the pieces.  It's a wonderful way to study textile history and our group, about 15 years old now, meets every other month for "show and tell" meetings.  Alternative months there is a group that studies books about quilt history which folks read and discuss.

Because of the pandemic, we aren't meeting right now so I thought I would post some photos of some of my quilts and encourage members to email me a photo of their quilts as well.  I hope you all enjoy!

The above quilt I found locally.  It is a signature quilt and the pattern is favored among Pennsylvania quilters.  This particular quilt is in tough shape; it appears to be from prior to the Civil War.  I am guessing this not only because of the fabrics on the piece but because I researched many of the names and some of the folks passed away before 1860.  The county that it was from was in the coal regions, mainly Northumberland and Franklin Counties.  The block is referred to as an "album block".

This is an unusual sunbonnet quilt top.  I've seen about a half dozen of these through the years but never found a published pattern.  I SWEAR I saw a similar figure on a feed sack quilt but do you think I could find that photograph now?  I did however, find images of feedsacks from the "Sunbonnet Sue Company" like this one--the sack is right under the man's face:

This turn of the century quilt top has some wonderful embroidery!

And it is dated: 1908.

A vintage summer spread (no batting) that is tied.  This is what we refer to as a "quilt kit"; customers bought pre-stamped blocks, embroidered the blocks and made them into a quilt .  The kits were published in 1937 and described the puppy's day.

I found this interesting post (here) from a guild who had a member share some vintage baby quilts that you may like to study.