Saturday, May 20, 2023

Glorious Springtime!

Bruce and I have both been working hard out in the garden. All the vegetables are planted! YAY! We did forget one basil plant, which I discovered while watering a still-to-planted rose on the patio. But I feel we’re over the hump. I still have another couple hours of shoveling soil to finish off the big cubic yard we got, but that might possibly happen today or if not, then on Monday. All my flower pots are planted with their annuals and most of the perennial flowers and shrubs are as well. Another trip to the nursery is in order, but that won’t happen for at least 10 days because of other things, which I’ll explain momentarily. 

This little flower bed, with the beautiful blue brunnera I showed last week (must.get.more!) has some friends now. The wilted tulip greens along the bed curbing will be removed once they turn yellow - have to let their bulbs soak up the leaf nutrients first. The three grasses in pots in the rear of the bed (hakonechloa - Japanese forest grass) are shade lovers.  I hope to fill in that whole area in the shade along those windows with them. But they’re a bit pricey, and so I’m going to have to plant fewer and just wait for them to grow. 

In the meantime, I’m adding annuals and pots and picking up cheap flowers where I can find them. And I’m cheering on the hostas that have finally broken ground and are really pushing their new growth! 

A few little begonias and a single blooming iris make a cute little vignette in the bed under the living room window. That whole expanse under the window used to be filled with irises, but they had to be thinned out and the dead rhizomes discarded. Now I need to transplant some back - a project for July or August.

The drip lines still show all over the beds as we tweak where feeder lines need to be attached. But it’s all coming along. We hope to have that all done so we can clean up the patio of drip irrigation supplies and detritus and get the furniture set out for the upcoming Memorial Day long weekend. 

I did get some orange blocks sewn this week for Orange May in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I’m linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s blog.

Here we have ten Split Nines …

And then I made six Four-in-Nines. The first two are with a gray constant:

And the last four are with a dark navy constant: 

On tap for the next project is the assembly - FINALLY - of my International Sisters quilt. Here is an in-progress photo as I begin to sew rows together.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I’ll be able to sew on it a bit, hopefully. Cousin Kim is coming over to sew, but first she’ll be giving Bruce a haircut and next we have rhubarb to harvest for her. Then we have three quilts to baste, two of them being large ones that Kim has made which are ready for finishing. Ruby won’t be joining us this week because poor thing - she’s in Europe (Austria, Hungary, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic). Yes, I’m properly jealous! 

On Wednesday, Bruce and I head out to Western Colorado for 4 days for my Cousins Reunion. We’re staying at my brother’s house. There will be Bruce and I, Steve, Cousin Dan, and Cousin Julia and her husband David; six total. We haven’t seen our cousins in 25 years, and they’ve never met Bruce. I hope to get lots of pictures and hugs!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Orange Sewing, Green Gardening

The days flew by this week! At this rate, I’ll be old before you know it. Oh wait….. I’m already old. Never mind.

After I share my sewing for the week, I’ve got some new garden pictures to show you. It’s always fun to take pictures in the spring and then watch how everything just explodes with growth over the summer. 

But let’s start with these orange string blocks. I literally had a basketful of orange strings at the beginning of the week. By Thursday, there were 83 string blocks at 6.5” each. See the stacked piles in the picture below? There are 15 blocks in each stack. The fanned out blocks at the bottom left - 8 of them - bring the total to 83. 

The five sets of 15 will go to Quilts for Kids for quilt kits. That is, after I remove all the papers from the back. But at least they’ll be for someone else to assemble into a top and quilt! The mindless sewing helped me to work through a lot of things - stressors, garden plans and more. It even gave me time to begin the rough outline in my head of a hopeful trip to Italy in the fall of 2024. Several of my Weight Watchers friends and I are beginning to make plans. First step: getting or renewing (me) passports! But I digress…

My second batch of blocks were these six Chaser blocks. They are so fun!

On Monday, Bruce had a doctor appointment in Bountiful, about a half hour north of us. While he was at his appointment, my dear friend Terri and I talked. Love you, girl!! Bruce joined us after his appointment and we all went out to lunch.

Terri is the widow of Bruce’s lifelong best friend Mike. We all miss him terribly. 

The rest of my week was spent sewing, shopping (housewares stuff mostly) and doing mountains of laundry. Bruce and I will be spending about 4 days in Colorado toward the end of the month for a Cousins Reunion. We’re going to travel about 4.5 hours east to Montrose County, Colorado, where my brother lives. Our cousins Julia (and husband David) and Cousin Danny will be coming in from Colorado Springs. Dan actually still lives in Southern California where we all grew up, but he’s flying out to Julia’s place where they’ll drive their motor home to Steve’s. We haven’t seen each other for over 20 years! We’re all getting excited, to say the least!

Early in the week, I snapped this picture of our back garden wall with tulips blooming and the garden beds being prepped for planting (not yet weeded in this picture, but they are now).

That trash can thing in the far right is actually a pollinator habitat we made a few years ago out of an actual trash can. I will plant the front part of it with something that will bloom and spill over the edge to soften the look. 

The east side yard along the driveway is beginning to take shape. The soil/mulch is spread and some decorations are out (prematurely). We’ll be visiting our favorite nursery to pick up a load of perennials and an ornamental cherry tree next week.  We’ve got a landscape company coming to grind an old tree stump up and remove two old root-stock roses. One will be replaced with a lovely white tea rose and the other - well, I can’t decide between a hydrangea or a lilac bush for its spot. Speaking of lilacs, here are some that I picked for myself from the neighbor’s bush that overhangs into our yard.

Our dwarf Japanese Maple is looking quite lovely… the white specks you see in the soil are the fallen buds from the flowering pear tree (shown last post).  Lots more space to fill up with fresh new plants and flowers!

In the front flower bed, the brunnera is striking! I’m going to get more of these because I love it so!

This little vignette is in the raised planter under the living room window. That miniature rose will be blooming soon.

And the bleeding heart is blooming too. I think it got a bit trampled from all the work on the irrigation and soil as it’s only half its usual size this year. 

That’s all I have for this week. I hope all you mothers have a wonderful Mothers Day on Sunday. Have a great week!

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday / Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Quilting and Shoveling

The title of this post pretty much sums up my week. I could close now, but my guess is that you’re probably here for some pictures. 

Well, as far as the shoveling soil into the garden beds goes, I’d have pictures if the weather would cooperate. But the last two afternoons have turned stormy, and when thunder rumbles, I don’t stay outside. But I’m approaching the 2/3-done mark with the soil. But I did get a lovely picture of our flowering pear (ornamental) tree early in the week. Look at that brilliant blue sky!

Bruce has been getting all the drip lines installed in the veggie beds. It’s slower going when you only have one arm. Yesterday we went to one store and bought lots of necessary supplies for the watering systems, plus I got annuals for the flower pots, ground covers, rose gloves and new pruners and even a new bright blue glazed pot. Oh, and all the tomato and pepper starts. Next week we’ll visit our favorite nursery to pick up a new tree, a David Austen rose, and more perennial flowers and shrubs for the front flower beds. We’re approaching our budgeted spending limit, so I told Bruce I may have to pick up a babysitting job,  (wink!). I’m not always good about “unselecting” plants. Anyway, with a little luck and sunshine, we may actually have something to show next week. Or by the end of the month for sure…

May is for playing with our orange scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. My first order of business was to frame ten of these jungle blocks with orange.

All I have left now are the last ten blocks to frame with red, then I’ll have all 40 done (10 each in blue, green, orange and red), which is enough to do two kid quilts. 

I did layer up and quilt two scrappy finishes as well. Here is my scrappy green project from March, Creature from the Green Gulch (or was it green gully?) (whatever). Finished size: 39.5x48.5”.

As usual, lots of orphan blocks, partial blocks, scraps, strips and chunks were used in assembling this monstrosity cute little scrappy quilt.  Even the back used up its fair share of leftovers.

Here is Purple People (and Scrap) Eater (thanks, Judy!!):

And the back: 

Purple People Eater measures 41x48”.

These two scrappy quilts, along with 8 others from the last couple months, will be dropped off at our Quilts for Kids workshop today. I’m only staying for some of the workshop because we are having an early Mothers Day gathering and dinner out with some of the family. But my morning today will be spent helping out with the annual neighborhood cleanup. I’ve got a lot of green waste to dump - rose cuttings and branches that can’t be composted. 

I finally broke my weight plateau and managed to lose 2 pounds this week, for 47 total. I’m hoping to hit -50 pounds sometime in May. But if not, there’s always June! I just wish it would warm up so I could wear some of my cute new summer clothes!

Have a great week!