Fresh from the garden

My little garden plot, where once again today I pulled out tons of weeds – pigweed is my nemesis – is doing pretty well.  I’m waiting for that first ripe tomatoe – mine are all green and it will be a while before they ripen, but in the meantime I brought some back from my Dad’s and my sister’s gardens – he has red ones and she had some yellow ones to give me.  They live only about 3 hrs  away in Iowa but they are probably a good month ahead of us as far as growing season goes.

But what I did find in my garden — more cucumbers.

DSCN3673  Nothing says fresh from the garden like sweet and sour dilly cucumbers (at least to me) and the dill was fresh from one of my pots too.    I think it may be steak, cucumbers and corn on the cob for dinner tonight.

Now back to cutting the outer borders for my Camp Loopy quilt. The rows and sashing are all sewn together.  Could be I just might get to piecing the background tomorrow and getting it layered ..or I may just sit out on the patio and knit.   I’ve only got about 5 or six rows on my Summer KAL sweater to do on the cowl before I bind that off and see if I like it or hate the cowl (I’m hoping I like it ’cause I don’t want to rip all that back out), and then I’ll just have the armhole trim to add and sideseams to stitch – and a whole lot of ends to bury.


Magazine Giveaway / Auction quilts

20140524_letteredOkay – remember last week’s giveaway offer of some magazines I was sent in error, and some duplicates I found of a couple 100 Blocks issues and the Quiltmaker Boxes and Bows issue which I had extra advance copies of ? Time to announce the winners.

Remember, it will be “first come, first serve” as to which magazine you end up with.  I have assigned a letter to each one  as you can see in the photo at left so when you send me your PRIVATE email with your full name, and mailing address, include the letters A B C D E in your email in the order of preference of magazine from first choice to last (remember my email address can always be found below my picture at the top of the blog).

Winners are:

Judy D in WA, Paula Cox, Judy in OKC, Barbara Winkler, Fran Cummings, Judy S, Dorothy Munger, and Marie Sagers.

Congratulations ladies.


It’s a lovely day outside here today.  I was outside before  7 a.m.  planting my little garden plot – three different types of bell peppers, five tomato plants, a row of red onions, and a cucumber plant.   Then I planted some dill in a pot and an extra tomato in another  and a pot of flowers that need sun – hopefully they’ll all  get enough sun sitting at one corner of the building where I put them at the edge of my patio.  Also two pots of various coleus for next to my door in the shade.    I still want to get a hanging basket for my patio and maybe flowers for another pot or two and I forgot to pick up lettuce seeds so may add some lettuce later.  But got the garden in before the rains that are possible nearly every day all this coming week and I didn’t want to have to be planting in a muddy garden!

Someone (yes I know I’m the only likely suspect) cluttered up my sewing table so I need to get things put away before it gets too out of hand.  There’s my Camp Loopy quilting project I’ll need to be working on next week. so I think a bit of cleaning is in order today.

My quilts are all finished for the Golf Outing Auction to benefit the Komen Fund.  These projects are all headed to the auction.

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The Garden Center

I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that the garden center was just not enticing me the way it usually does with it’s flowers.  I have bunches of empty flowerpots — I came back with only a few things to put in them.

20140517_3This box has all the “pretty” stuff I it.  Lots of fall colored coleus – several with really odd shaped leaves – all in sort of orangey, burgundy, fallish colors.  They will all go in one big pot by my door on the patio.  It’s totally shaded there and there’s not much else that will grow there that I like.

The green on the left side are some tall growing “English cottage style” flowers I would call them since I can’t remember that the names of those two were.   Those will probably go in pots at the edge of the decorative rock area along the edge of the building.  They will get some sun there.

But as for blooming pretty flowers — just nothing that really said “buy me.”  I think I’ll have to go over to the farmer’s market on Wednesday and see what I might find there.


My little garden plot at the apartment complex (which is currently full of foot tall weeds) is supposed to be tilled up and ready to go by next weekend.


So this box is my garden.  You know in all my knitting and quilting I like lots of color.  That’s the way my garden will be too. 🙂


20140517_5I know very little about various varieties, what their characteristics are etc.  other than what I read on the little plastic information pick in the little pots.  So I use that tried and true method — pick by the name I like or in this year’s case — lots of different colors.  LOL  If they grow I’m estatic – if not, well that’s just the way it goes.

So with that highly scientific method in mind, I have one red tomato (which I think was a beefsteak), one purple tomato, one yellow  tomato.   I have green bell peppers, yellow peppers that will ripen to red, and if I remember right there is a purple pepper in there that has a very black pepper taste to it — I planted those once before and they are great on salads.  There’s also some red onions, a cucumber plant and some dill.  I forgot to pick up lettuce seeds so need to do that yet.

I’m thinking I may put the cucumber in one big pot and leave it at the edge of my garden plot where it can grow up the fence they put around it and I may also put the dill in a pot to contain it since I remember how it would sprout itself all over my Mom and Dad’s garden — it spread like crazy.

If it ever gets warm enough, I may be able to plant them — there was a frost warning last night.   Hopefully by the time the garden is ready next weekend I won’t have to worry about frost.  In the meantime, I’m not going to pot the flower pots just yet either.  That way, I can easily grab the boxes and bring them inside if the temps decide to take a nosedive.

And next to the garden center  – yep we stopped at the bakery and it was buy one bread get one free.  These smell so good.


There’s much cleaning to do around here so I’d better get busy.




Look What Came Today!

A very large box from Hoffman Fabrics was delivered.  A perk of the job – free fabric! What quilter doesn’t love that.  So much for stashbusting but I don’t think “found fabric” counts. 🙂

I thought I was getting just the fabrics for Woven Ribbons, the pattern I designed for these fabrics for them, but instead got the entire line.  How wonderful is that!  A quilting dream come true. They have a wonderful sort of sateen almost feel to them.  I may need to leave them on the floor to admire a bit longer and dream of projects to use them in.  The photo doesn’t really do them justicie.  The fabrics stacked on the right side of the photo all change like the one laid out at the bottom of the photo.  Some change color like that one and others just change shades of a single color across them.  I am in love with these fabrics!  So my unabashed  plug for Hoffman Fabrics – if  you like them watch for the Sand in My Shoes fabric line designed by McKenna Ryan! :–)  These are the fabrics used in the design in my blog header which is a portion of the Woven Ribbons quilt.

I’ve got a week at a cabin in Northern Wisconsin along Lake Superior coming up the end of August so may have to try to sneak in my featherweight and some of these fabrics to work on.




On the gardening front – I finally picked one of my Kale to give it a try.  I’ve always planted them before just cause they look pretty in the garden until the frosts finally get them.  But I found a recipe that said it was the “best ever” Kale recipe.  Honestly, if this was the best, I’ll be going tback to just growing them cause they’re neat to look at.   It was a roasted Kale recipe.  Just add a tiny bit of olive oil and salt and roast in a slow oven until they turned paperlike and crispy.

 Here they are ready to go in the oven.  That shine is not all oil – they were still a bit wet.  You actually use less than a tablespoon of oil.  A little drizzle goes a long way as you toss them about.






Here they are all roasted.  Not exactly attractive but I hadn’t given up on them yet.  They definitely turn paper thin and brittle.  The only way to eat them is with your fingers since if you tried to put a fork in them they disintegrate.  It had a very faint brussel sprout sort of flavor – not bad since I like brussel sprouts.  But the texture – now that’s another thing. They absolutely disintegrate as you eat them.  You know how when you want through a really dry pile of leaves in the fall they just crack apart into little pieces – well these do the same.  Honestly, if this is the best recipe for kale, they shall remain decorative in my garden.  If I want to eat a pile of dried leaves, I’ll wait until fall. 🙂   Most recipes are soups or stews with kale in them and I think that is definitely the way to go.  So much for my venture into roasting kale.


Stashbusting… or not

It could be worse – there could be purchases to foil my stashbusting progress, but no, simply no sewing this week.  So nothing purchased and nothing used.  Several EQ designs have been taking up my evenings this week but I hope to get a little sewing done later today.  I’ve got a few stacks of HSTs that need trimming before I can get back to sewing.

I did venture into the sewing room last night tho — finally.  I’ve been procrasinating on cleaning it.  Now this photo may not look to you like it is a “nearly” clean sewing room.  But trust me, the fact that you can see the table and the floor is a major improvement. 

Just those few things scattered about that need to be put back in their home, a couple quilts to be washed and sent to my niece and nephew, a basket of fabric that has been awaiting washing (I forgot when I bought those – like discovering new fabric) and the wedding quilt to start quilting on.  So should be totally cleaned out, vacuumed and dusted, and the design wall really needs the lint brush taken to it to clear off all the threads stuck to it.



But look at these lovely shelves — they were definitely NOT so orderly yesterday. 

But order has returned to them once again so that I can actually close the closet doors.  Hmmm. there a whole lot of quilt tops in that closet waiting to be quilted.  I really need to make a bit of  a dent in them.  Once the wedding quilt is done, that will be my next project – pull some of those charity tops out and get them finished off.



I ventured into my little garden this morning, and look what I picked.  Isn’t it lovely.

And no, it wasn’t that foggy outside this morning.   The camera lens fogged when I took it from the air conditioning to the heat and humidity outside.  I have no idea if I like Kale – I planted it cause it’s pretty. 🙂  But found an interesting recipe for roasted kale so am going to try that for dinner.  There’s three more of these growing in the garden.

Now back to the final cleaning touches on that sewing room.


Don’t know if I’m coming or going

But I’m having fun so that’s what counts!  Very little sewing done so far this week – hopefully on the weekend I’ll get back to it.  But I have been busy with quilting designs.  Working on a couple for Hoffman Fabrics that still need a bit of tweaking.

And in addition, I am now designing for Fabric Trends magazine as well!  So just finished off my first design for them.  EQ has really opened up many new doors for me! and I’m enjoying every minute of it.  Now to try to patient wait to find out what issue it will appear in.

In the spare minutes, I’ve started another shawl in a lovely cahsmere/bamboo blend that will be lovely and soft in sort of a colonial blue color.   And read a couple of knitting themed novels.    Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik and Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil.  Both good reads if you’re into that type of book.  Also Knit Two and Knitting the Season by  Kate Jacobs.  Now I have to get The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs since it’s the first book – seems  like I always come across a later one in a series and read sort of out of order. 🙂

The garden is going crazy.  Huge tomato plants and the red pear tomato is loaded with little green pear shapes right now. When they get ripe I think I’m going to have a whole lot of them all at once.  But I had to go out with fabric strips and tie some of the vines up to the tomato cages since they were bending over from their weight.

So there’s me, caught up to date.  Looking forward to the weekend and perhaps a little sewing time.

Slowly Sewing

Well I did a bit more sewing for a little while last night on my Continuous Chain.

 My little piles are growing so I’ve got some pressing to do before Ican start stitching some of those piles to each other.

I was going to show you a photo of the garden’s progress – the tomato plants are getting huge and I think I can pick some Kale – found a recipe for oven roasted which sounds interesting and easy.  BUT it’s raining yet again.  So no photo.  At least I haven’t had to tote many watering cans of water back and forth since Mother Nature has been taking care of most of the watering for me.  I have been enjoying the leaf lettuce tho.

Stashbusting and other stuff

In the wee hours this morning I got another project cut and organized to start on so the stashbusting report for this week is:

No new purchases.  10.25 used this week for a net busted of 99.75 year to date (total used YTD 165.75).

I looked back to where I was last year with stashbusting at this time and I’ve nearly tripled my net busted amount so far this year as to where I was last year at this time.  I ended the year last year with less than 30 yards busted – due to a MAJOR shopping spree or two or three. LOL  So if I don’t go crazy shopping this could be a good stashbusting year – but we’re only half way through. LOL

As for the “other stuff” – the rain has continued most of the week with very little sun.  But my little garden is doing well. The pepper plant is starting to get blooms and one tomato also.

I got an email that EQ is processing my order so EQ7 should be on it’s way shortly.  Can’t wait!

Have you seen the new Alice in Wonderland movie?  I was watching it earlier this week and it got me to thinking, along with some new Alice fabrics that are on the market, about this quilt I had made several years ago.  Tea With Alice.

It was made as a challenge quilt for The Quilting Post. We had to use the black teacup print in the border.  Not a great photo so it’s sort of hard to see the details but the flowers all have faces, Alice is lifting the teapot lid to show the doormouse inside the teapot, there’s the Hatter’s hat with a teacup on top and a teabag resting on the brim, along with the rabbit’s pocket watch and a caterpillar crawling on the mushroom.  The quilt was then donated to another online group for quilts they were collecting for a women’s cancer center and before donation they were judged and mine won first place – winning me my featherweight!  I’ve always wanted to make another of these, more in sampler style with various blocks of Wonderland scenes. This one was done before I ever had EQ so it’s all hand drawn.  I’ve got some other drawings of the White Rabbit and I remembered I had actually pieced another block I wanted to try and went digging in the UFO boxes to find it.

Painting the Roses Red.  There’s still some embroidery details that haven’t been added – like a handle on his bucket – but I found a great card print fabric that was just the right size for his body and there’s more of that waiting in the stash.   Too bad I don’t have more of that background fabic since it looks like it has hearts in it – would have been perfect.  But I’m thinking I may need to pull out those old drawings and transfer them into EQ to tweak a bit and see what else I can come up with to go with them.  I think it would make a really fun quilt.

  And here’s a sneak peak of the latest pattern I did for Hoffman Fabrics that will be available shortly on their website.  The fabrics are designed by McKenna Ryan, Sand in my Shoes, and you can see them here.  I’ll post a link to the free pattern when it’s available.  Also, watch for it in an upcoming Keepsake Quilting catalog. 🙂 It’s called Woven Ribbons.  I just adore these fabrics!

 Now to get back to sewing on Continuous Chains – I’ve nearly got all the pieces done for the alternate blocks so just might have them ready to put on the wall for design wall Monday!


Gardening update

The last two days have been spent mostly puttering in the dirt.  Here’s my little garden plot all planted.

  Three different tomatoes, a pepper plant, four kale, marigolds and behind the front row of marigolds I’ve got a row of lettuce seeds.  And a little glass and metal butterfly with bells hanging down on his feet is hanging in the center to guard it all.  He has stuff in his glass body that glows in the dark at night.  Doubt he’ll scare the birds or critters away but he’s cute.  



And many pots of flowers have been planted.



















And for those of you who know “sneaky snake” from the Texas quilt Romp, if you look closely you’ll see him hiding in the succulent plant in the bottom photo. 🙂

Saturday Sewing….

Well so far only a little Saturday Sewing.  First and most important, I remembered to preorder my EQ7 so now have to try to patiently wait for that to arrive next month.   I worked a little on the binding on the Defrag quilt while I waited for a friend to pick me up for breakfast.  After breakfast we headed to the garden center. 

 In addition to my many empty pots which needs some lovely flowers in them, the apartment complex has created a garden area so I have a little plot this year to plant some veggies in.  My space is only about a 6′ by 6′ plot or so but I just want a couple of plants in there anyway.  I picked up three heirloom tomatoes – one Cherokee tomato and a pineapple (yellow) tomato (both beefstake types) and a red pear tomato.  Also a gypsy pepper.  Even remembered the tomato cages this time since when I grew tomatoes in my pots I had to get very creative with tying them up so this will be much easier.  If there’s room left, I may pick up some leaf lettuce seeds to sow also.  And a few little mini marigolds to plant along the edges.

Then there’s three large bags of potting medium waiting for me to plant the flowers.  Most of my little patio area is shady or only partial sun so there’s coleus, double begonias, a double geranium who’s name I can’t remember that likes partial sun, some ornamental peppers (one plant red and yellow and the other plant purple), and a whole bunch of others that I can’t remember off the top of my head.  Everything is mostly purple with a bit of yellow  – oh yes and some pretty thing that is supposed to attrack butterflies.  So my plan for early tomorrow morning is to get the garden plants in since it’s too hot this afternoon and we’re supposed to get a bit of rain tomorrow night.  I may work on some of the flower pots later when the sun goes away from the table on the patio so I can work in the shade.  It’s in the low 80s out there – not bad since there’s a breeze but a far change from the many years I went camping on Memoriald Day weekend and we froze at the campgrounds.   It’s definitely a much warmer spring but I’m not complaining.

  Also came home with fresh picked rhubarb from my friend’s garden and some fresh thyme from her herb garden.  So now to decide, rhubarb pie?  rhubarb crisp? so many decisions! 🙂