Saturday, June 15, 2019

Busy Summer Days

I know many retirees ask this question; How did I ever have time to work? My summer days are filled with (morning) gardening or errands and housework, then lunch, and afternoons of  sewing and/or reading or more errands. And now the garden is coming on. We have been harvesting lettuce and spinach daily. Cousin Kim takes some and I always take packages of veggies all summer to my Weight Watcher (WW) friends. It’s interesting to plan meals around vegetables instead of protein (meat).

And the rhubarb! Yum! I chop and mix it 50/50 with chopped strawberries, simmer on the stovetop with a wee bit of water (and sugar to taste) for about 10-15 minutes. It makes a great compote that we use as a side dish (like applesauce) or on angel food cake with strawberries and dollop of whipped cream - almost like a trifle. We seem to eat half of what I prepare twice weekly and the rest is frozen for the rhubarb-less months of fall and winter.  Our poor apricot tree is so laden with fruit that we have propped up all the branches we can. When I’m out in the yard every morning, I pick up a bucketful of the still-unripe fruits that fall to the ground. Bruce will grind them up and compost them.

I was able to get a lot of scrappy sewing this week, and am linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s blog.  Our color for June is blue, from mid-tones to darks. First, I finished 10 anvil blocks.  I just noticed that they are rather randomly placed in the picture, but that’s OK. They’ll be mixed up with all the different colors soon enough!

Then I finished the garlic knots - 10 of those, too.  The garlic knots use a plain Kona White background.

And finally, 16 nine-patch variation blocks (courtesy of Jennifer C). They are the various blues plus black and white. I haven’t decided on the final arrangement, so you will see (and may have already seen) me play around with these as I sew them every month.

Next week I’ll be tacking blue strings, making some International Sister blocks (thanks to Preeti for the pattern and some dark complexion fabrics!) and then maybe get to crumbs...

I also have made some progress toward meeting my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for June. This is the pattern I’m working from, called Blossoms & Spokes by No. 2 Abbey Lane.

Over last weekend I got the nine blocks crazy-pieced and sewn together. I’ve made them a bit larger (1” wider and 1” longer) than the pattern calls for because I want more background around the flowers and tire.  I randomly pieced more than half the blocks (because I used to be a crazy-quilter and I like that sort of thing), and then used her template to make the rest.

There is one fabric that I think is too dark (I don’t need to tell you because it sticks out like a sore thumb). But I placed it where it will be covered up by the basket and flowers, so it doesn’t matter.

Once the background was sewn, I cut out a basket shape on some solid fabric. Then the instructions had me fuse some web to two fabrics, cut strips and weave them. They were placed over the basket base and lightly fused to it. This is what the basket looks like so far.

That took a long time, and I needed to get more fusible web. JoAnn Fabrics had it on sale for 60% off, so I went and got some. They had so many partial bolts of the Pellon double-sided fusible, and I grabbed all the nearly-gone bolts. The salesgirl thought some pieces weren’t good enough to sell because they were torn up or missing instructions, so she just threw those in. (Heck, some of it is going to get torn up anyway in the collage process). And since I cleaned up bolts, she was only loosely measuring. Somehow, I ended up with over 7 yards for about $8.50. SCORE!

Anyway, this is a picture with the background, basket and the next pieces - the bike frame and flower base - pinned on. My goal is to get those done this next week. After they’re in place, I can get the tire and spokes done, which will complete the entire base, which was my goal for June. The flower collaging will likely not happen until July.

I got the wall painted in our library/Africa bedroom, and that room got put back together. When Bruce cleans up his remaining mess (music stuff - I don’t fiddle with it, no pun intended), I’ll get a picture. The next painting will be the baseboards, closet and ceiling in the other guest room. But probably not this coming week - I have to pace my shoulder!  And we are still waiting for the new back door and storm/screen door we ordered for my studio to come in. We got a notice that the manufacturer has shipped them to the installer, so we are just waiting to hear from the installer to schedule that. Do you spend your summer doing little projects around the house too? 


  1. Your blocks are always so pretty, today is no exception. Love the scrappy 9 patch zig zag going on !

  2. Lots of great sewing on show. I was interested to read about you rhubarb. We have some growing too and like to cook it up to have with our breakfast. Have never done rhubarb and strawberries like you do, but often cook up rhubarb and Apple. Have you tried that?

  3. So many pretty blues, Cathy! I love your bicycle project - it's going to be beautiful!

  4. You got SEW many dark BLUE blocks done this week!! Nice progress on the bike quilt, too.

  5. So many beautiful blue blocks. Great job this week!

  6. Gosh you get a lot done, and I'm fairly drooling over here from the sound of that rhubarb compote!

  7. Hi Cathy! You had a productive bit there. I love all of your color blocks, especially the anvil blocks. That is an interesting pattern and I love the secondary pattern they create. Your bicycle design is coming right along. I'm watching that with great interest as I really feel like I should make one too. Each time you update us it reminds me. ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Whew! I have to rest a bit after reading this post. You've got so much going on, and it all sounds great. Your descriptions of delicious things from the garden are making me hungry, too. I go through phases where I'll do a bunch of clean up stuff on the boat, but it doesn't seem to correspond to a season, just when cosmic rays hit my brain. And then weeks go by where it's enough to just look out the window as we cruise. But always there's a bit of sewing that happens each day :)

  9. Busy, busy as usual, Cathy!
    I think I need to schedule my days out so that I 'might' get close to doing the amount of stuff you do!
    I'm loving your blue blocks and I can't wait to watch the progress on your Blossoms and Spokes project. I think it's going to be so cute!

  10. I am always impressed by your color coordinated blocks for each month! Well done. I’m beginning to think my low volume neutrals need to be restocked! The background for your collage project is wonderful!

  11. All your RSC blocks look great, but I'm especially partial to the anvil! I saw plenty of rhubarb growing when we were in Wisconsin. I remember eating it in pies and such as a child, but since it doesn't grow in the south, I haven't eaten anything rhubarb in forever. I shoulda had some pie when we were up north!

  12. Harvesting greens, making a rhubarb-strawberry compote, managing the gardens and supporting friends on their weight-watchers journey...sounds like a full-time job of a Domestic Goddess!!! The goody bag arrived yesterday. Thank you so much. So many birds and I have to go explore Tamara Kate. Her work is so cute!!! And your work is beautiful and neat and just as drool-worthy as the compote you mentioned :-)

  13. Ahh....,the dreaded errands! It seems I spend altogether too much time running errands and it cuts into my creative time. I need to marry a royal and then I can just command someone else to do it. Of course you know I love the blues - and the crazy patched background!


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