Saturday, July 13, 2019

Low-Hanging Fruit

The apricots are ON!! This is going to be an amazing year for apricots for us, providing we can get to the fruit. I’ve never seen the tree so laden, but it’s grown into such a large tree now. We have two ladders - one is an extension ladder - but even that allows access to only certain areas. You know, you have to think of safety first, so you can’t go setting the ladders up willy-nilly. And the roof is out because all the branches near the house were pruned last year. Bruce did buy a fruit-picking pole with basket, however, so we’re going to try that out today. It’s got to beat standing out there with our arms open, waiting for fruit to fall into them! LOL. Seriously, though, we have been collecting the fruit on the low-hanging branches. There are lots of those. Besides starting the apricot jam, dehydrated apricots, fruit leather and canned/frozen packing, we are planning a trip around the neighborhood today to share the bounty.

But let’s talk about scrappy sewing, shall we? In the last week I’ve quilted two lap quilts (more about those in a minute), so there aren’t as many finished pink blocks as I’d hoped there would be. But it’s all quilty progress, so I’m not complaining. I’m linking up to the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge Scrappy Saturday.

First finished this week were nine anvil blocks (8” finished size).

And then there were the 14 garlic knot blocks, also 8 inches finished size.

I’ve got everything cut out for some pink International Sisters blocks, at least a dozen 9-patch variation blocks, and lots of pink strings ready to sew. They’re all on the rota for the coming week. 

And I have a Rainbow Scrap finish to share! Crumbcakes is now done and dusted!!

Crumbcakes is one of the quilts I mentioned above that I quilted this week. The other belongs to Cousin Kim, and once she binds it, we’ll get a picture. Anyway, Crumbcakes has been in the works for a couple years. I started out by making 6.5-inch crumb blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2017. Then this year I began sewing those together in fours with thin black sashing to form a 13-inch (finished) Crumbcakes Block.

Crumbcakes measures 65x78”. And I used one of my favorite prints, which I’ve used before, for the back. It looks woven, doesn’t it?

Crumbcakes was Goal #1 on my Finish-Along list for the 3rd Quarter that I just posted a couple days ago HERE.

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And here are a few pictures from our garden this past week.

We’ve got some spaghetti squash that are getting big. We planted three times as many this year as we did last year because we can’t get enough spaghetti squash, and they store well for months and months.

Some of the big tomatoes are beginning to ripen ever so slowly, but I think the cherry tomatoes will probably beat them.

Although the spinach and lettuce are done, the lettuce is going strong. We’ve been sharing a lot of this, too!

This year we have some small pumpkins. I don’t remember the variety name, but they’re bigger than the Jack-be-Littles and are supposed to be good for eating.

The grape vines on the patio lattice are bearing fruit. We ripped one plant (of 5) out this spring and I've been keeping the remaining vines in check. That, along with a drastic pruning a couple falls ago, have resulted in a lot of fruit on the new second-year growth.

They won’t ripen until September or October, but they’re a really good size for this time of the year..

And the onion patch is thriving too. Since this picture, some of the tops have begun falling over and drying out, signaling that they can be picked. Of course, one can leave onions (and potatoes and carrots) in the ground until ready to use them. We’ll begin culling the onions this week as needed.

I don’t have a picture of the carrot patch, but we’ve been eating and sharing those too. We’re having main dish salads and/or stir-fry most nights for dinner. Later this week my DIL Kim and granddaughter Lauren are coming over to learn how to make freezer apricot jam. I’m looking forward to that. It was a year ago this week (and next) that we were all in Kenya together. Where has the time gone?

And speaking of time, the apricots and veggies are cutting into my housecleaning time, but oh well. I have my priorities. The housework can wait until the apricots are done, right? Thank goodness there aren’t any Housekeeping Police, hehe.


  1. Cathy, you certainly have a pink (or- maybe it's green!) thumb! I even spy some pink penguins in there. Crumbcakes is wonderful, and I love that backing!

  2. I love that fruits and veggies cut into your housework time, not quilting time! I believe that is as it should be! I hope the fruit picker works, otherwise are there any young tree-climbing daredevil boys in the family or neighborhood? The garden veggies look yummy, but I struggle to grow the easiest of plants, so have decided I will purchase mine and envy yours!

  3. Lovely Crumbcake finish--really yummy lol
    WOW--that is a lotta apricots..but apricot jam is my very favorite (hint hint hahaha)
    I've never attempted freeaer jam but it sounds do-able on these hot days (boiling water? i think not)
    Stay cool and BE CAREFUL on those ladders...hugs, Julierose

  4. So much pink inspiration and your garden is coming along well!

  5. I'm envious of your apricot tree. Mine got hit by lightning over 15 years ago and I'm still not over it but I never did replace it. Deer seem to destroy new fruit trees. The rest of the garden looks yummy too.

    And what a wonderful way to use crumbs. I really like how it turned out. What joyous colors. And look at you finishing a goal so early in the quarter. You go, girl!

  6. what a bounty!!! Barefoot Susie did a post this week on harvesting her apricots. You have so many vege... I'm learning about the climate here, snowed til June this year, and see tiny little zukes, one tiny bell pepper, one tiny tomato and maybe an eggplant (not sure) growing. I hope to have at least a few tomatoes before frost! It's so hot right now, nearly 100 today. I like the woven quilt a lot! Need my address so you can send it to me? lol!

  7. I've never tasted apricot jam - freezer or otherwise. I imagine I would like the freezer version, because I love strawberry (which we just made last week). I hate cooked jam because my mother insisted on crushing up pills into it - just to get me to take a pill. Ruined the taste of jam as far as I'm concerned. The freezer type doesn't have the same memory.

  8. Wow, your garden looks fantastic! I know that it's a lot of work but you must hardly ever have to buy vegetables, and the garden veggies always taste so much better.

  9. Oh. My. Goodness!!! Your garden is abundant! My garden this year was less than stellar... not enough sun, way too much moisture and the pollinators must be on vacation in Florida. You know how prolific zucchini plants are... I have nothing. So lesson learned. I am making my family help me get a greenhouse built next year and then I will have veggies for all of us.
    I am loving your crumcakes quilt. It turned out just perfect! I really like the backing you chose for it! Your pink blocks are great eye candy!
    Thank you for all of your encouraging projects!

  10. Boy,I wish I lived closer to you. I love apricots and would be happy to accept some of your over-abundance. Even though we have a lot of orchards in this part of NY State, I don't seem to find fresh apricots for sale at the farmer's markets. Probably because it's a short season. They won't be ready here for a few more weeks. Love your crumbcakes blocks. My crumb blocks are starting to pile up, so I need to figure out a plan. I've been making both 4.5"and 6.5" blocks.

  11. Hi Cathy! WOWEE - that tree is really laden with apricots! I don't recall ever seeing one with quite so many. Safety first indeed, and I can just picture you both standing there waiting for them to fall. HAHA! That would really work well. Teehee. I am 100% certain your neighbors will be thankful and welcome whatever you share, and who knows - someone may have a extra long ladder and would volunteer to pick some for you?! That sounds like the perfect job for some young folk. I love all the pink blocks you've shared, and that woven-looking backing. OMG! I just adore that. That would be perfect for a whole quilt by itself. The colors go just perfectly with Crumbcake. Your garden is also quite productive as it won't be long for those tomatoes. Makes my mouth water just thinking of them! ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. Crumbcakes is a fine finish. I wonder how many actual scraps it contains...1,000 maybe? I am so homesick for fresh apricots off the tree. When we lived in what is now Silicon Valley it was just apricot orchards. My daughter bought some at the store for me yesterday, they are huge but sour and will never be like the real thing. So enjoy them and share them and think of me. You are really blessed with all that bounty from your garden.

  13. You have such a great variety of pink scraps. There's nothing like pink to make a quilt pop!
    It's great to hear about all your gardening activities. Our gardening season is about over for now. We are contemplating planting some things in late summer for a fall crop. It will be our first time trying that, so we'll see how it goes.

  14. Crumbcakes is fantastic! I love love love it! It is the quintessential rainbow scrap project!

  15. I wish I lived next door to you so that I could be the lucky recipient of the bounties from your garden. Honestly the apricot tree so laden with fruit takes the cake!!!
    Oh I also like everything are doing indoors (sewing fabric whatever) but oh those apricots are so tempting.

  16. Holy smokes that is a lot of apricots! You probably have enough to feed a black bear or two. My lettuce has bolted so I'm pretending that I'm into seed saving. But given how many volunteer tomatoes are growing in my garden, you can guess where I store my seeds.


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