Thursday, June 28, 2018

Just Call Me “Farm Girl”!!

Yehaw!  It’s been a hot and busy week here, and the theme around our little homestead (all .25 residential acres of it, LOL) has been farming.

Let’s start inside where the air conditioning belies the heat outdoors. I got a wild hair this week to pull out a well-aged UFO and stitch it up. Don’t ask me why - I guess I’m just sick of my UFOs nagging me.  These Farm Girl Vintage blocks date back to 2015 (I could’ve sworn it was longer....) when Lori Holt published her Farm Girl book. Anyway, I have way more blocks than would ever fit in a single quilt, so I picked my 30 favorites that were left (some I used in my Autumn Sampler quilt) and finally tackled this beast.

I call it a beast because I’ve been dreading putting it together. All I can say is that my piecing accuracy has greatly improved over 3 years. These blocks that were supposed to be 12.5” unfinished, actually ranged from 12” to 12 1/2”. I had to sew little strips on a couple to make up the difference that I couldn’t cover with the sashing. But I did it, and I can’t even say it’s even close to the worst quilt top I’ve ever pieced, LOL. Seriously, it measures 70x84” consistently. Whew, I dodged a bullet. It also helped that I decided to forgo cornerstones...

The backing is a cute farm-y print that I picked up from Connecting Threads for $2.76 per yard about 18 months ago. The five yards were the perfect amount that enabled me to sew a backing with just one vertical seam. Now, both the top and back will go onto hangers in my stitching room closet until next quarter.

Part 2 of this Farm Girl saga is a tour of our South Forty. That’s the south 40 square yards of our backyard, LOL. I may have mentioned that we’ve been feasting on spinach and lettuce over the last couple weeks. This week we’ve added peas and yellow crookneck squash to the mix. We could add apricots if there were more than 23 on the entire tree, LOL. No, I didn’t really count them....  But the birds are getting most of them because they are too high up for us to reach, even with the ladder.

I was hoping we’d get enough so that I could make one batch of apricot jam, but at this point we’d settle for each munching on one unblemished apricot that falls to the ground without bird pecks on it. Yeah, that one above looks nice, doesn’t it? But you ought to see the reverse side....

So, look at the growth! Those in the front left are tomatoes. The early girls are in the lead, naturally. They’re about the size of a small plum, but still green. That’s OK. I’m hoping they hold off until I get back from Kenya around the 21st of July. Maybe, maybe not.

The grape vines have covered the trellis nicely, giving us lovely deep shade on the patio. Of course, most of the time it’s too hot now to be out there between 11am - 7pm. But we do have the occasional cooler morning or evening, and we love to eat out on the patio when we can.

Here is a picture of the crookneck squash. There are three in the picture below, and they will be the next ones to be ready, probably in 2-4 days. We are having the very first one, already picked, with our chicken mole’ (the Mexican dish, not the varmint, LOL) for dinner tonight.

And here are the peas and the Tom Thumb butter lettuce. We get our seeds from Cottage Grove (Oregon) Seed Company, and they say this lettuce is their staff favorite. It withstands the heat well and is mild and delicious. For many vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo, onions, potatoes), we use starts from local nurseries.

The spaghetti squash are already growing like.... squash. Since scale isn’t obvious in this picture, you’ll just have to believe me when I say this one is already about 7” long. Most of the other ones are smaller, which is good. I’m hoping that they too will hold off for 2-4 more weeks.

My newly-planted coneflowers are blooming. The picture below should be considered proof of Truth in Gardening. See those weeds all around the rock? They were not there when I pulled weeds on Monday, three days ago. I shudder to think of how many weeds I’m going to have to pull when I get home from vacation...

And here are the flower pots along the front walkway. Someone asked me (when the comments feature was broken) what Talavera was. These pots are Talavera - Mexican folk art. I love the bright colors patterns.  In the neighborhood, we are known as “the house with the colorful flower pots”.

And here’s a view that shows all the pots, the walkway, some newly spring-planted perennials to fill out some of the front beds, and the green (some) and parched (some) grass. Again, Truth in Gardening.

And speaking of parched, I’m going to go treat myself to a diet root beer float (a glass of Diet A&W root beer with a scoop of Halo vanilla ice “cream”). Two Weight Watchers smart points.....  I’ll see you back here on Saturday for my scrappy sewing June roundup.


  1. WOW--your plants are growing like "topsy" for sure--lovely garden boxes you have there.
    We would have to fence in our whole yard to avoid deer, rabbits, raccoons, etc eating everything up...I am lucky to see a few peonies and daffodils...
    I love your Farm girl quilt--it turned out beautifully...nice work getting it together--to me, that is the least interesting and most difficult part of this quilting bug....
    hugs, Julierose

  2. I love how Farm Girl turned out - Lori Holt designs such cute blocks - it will all look amazing once it's quilted and bound! Sorry to hear the birds are getting all your apricots. Our figs are just starting to ripen, but it's a battle to save some of them for us, since the birds love 'em too. We netted the entire tree (it's not even five feet tall) a few weeks ago, but the birds still manage to find a way to get in and eat the figs!


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