Sunday, June 30, 2024

Scrap happy & Slow-stitch; double-duty with Dawn's Early Light

With Independence Day upon us this week, I'm on a personal mission to complete the top for Dawn's Early Light (DEL), Bonnie K. Hunter (published in her String Fling book).
Mindless string-block piecing has been underway for multiple days, and I think I have the correct amount of larger blocks, but maybe only halfway through the smaller ones.  This evening's "slow-stitching" Sunday will be yet another de-papering session as hubby sifts through a collection of YouTube videos.

Taking a break from strings, on this final day of June, blue and neutral strips were pulled from the 2.5" drawer as a RSC task, doubling as a task for DEL!  Win-win.

Surprisingly, there weren't many blues in the bin!  
Therefore, the 3.5" strip bin and 5" square bin entered the scene.  

All HSTs for the DEL were completed in a few (short?) hours.

My Bernina 440 QE has been in my life for quite some time;  she's my piecer!  I no longer chuckle when she lets me know its time for an oil change, nor is the reminder needed.  As good practice, the bobbin case and oiling commence after 3-4 bobbin usages.  I know some say to complete these tasks for each bobbin use, but... 'tis a bit extreme, no? 

The garden is in the growing stage right now; not needing my attention for days at a time.  And a little bit of guilt hit me on and off today JUST because it was a BEAUTIFUL day yet again.  To make some peace with just a tiny amount of the guilt, Bailee and I took an early evening stroll.

The tomatoes were started from seed quite a bit later than usual, so they are just now beginning to blossom with the first few fruit appearing.

Years (YEARS!) ago, Paul started some grape plants.  
Then, they were neglected and became overgrown with weeds.
Years (YEARS!) later, one day while mowing, I spied some bright green leaves peeking through the weeds, and when they have the will, this lil' wifey will have a way.  After walking the ridge, four plants were found from the original six (or eight?).  So, long story short, the ridge was cleaned up, a few 'filler' plants were purchased from the local nursery, a legitimate grape trellis system was put in place, and... the growing (with patience!) began anew.
But those blasted deer!  I think this is summer #4 since then, and those darn deer keep nibbling the plants (!!), although they don't mess around with this one that much; your guess is as good as mine as to why not.  This'll be the first summer of a few bunches on the plant.  

This plant caught my eye!  It's growing along the edge of our lawn, about 10 feet south of one of our (young) plum trees...

and here are the suckers growing at the base of one of the trees...

Could that be a 'bonus' plum tree growing????!!?  Does anyone have a genuinely good plant-ID app?  The plant-identifier feature on my phone isn't alway reliable.  And I'm SO tempted to dig it up and plant it in line with the rest of our trees.  If it IS a plum, YAY!  If it isn't... psssht, it'll be easy enough to deal with. 
Yup, yup... that's the ticket.  Stay tuned!

The Minny Ginny is pictured here, just because!  I was gifted a cutting last fall and the propagation journey has been pretty seamless.  Rooted in water, and moved to soil... and now, new growth.  
Plants, ah yes... the newest obsessive passion that really took off last summer. 
More on that, eventually.

To close - my nails have been naked for months!  My sister is/was a Color Street rep, so I have quite the stash built up that simply needs to be used.  These were applied last night and tidied up a bit this morning.  Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular, but I DO enjoy having them back on my nails!

Happy Sunday 💙

Linking up with:
Soscrappy - Rainbow Scrap Challenge 
Kathy's Quilts - Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, June 28, 2024

Finished Friday - 2011 RSC Squares; and a lil' tree-trimming, wood-stacking, and dog-grooming

After Tuesday's organization of flimsies and UFOs, Wednesday found me dusting off the Q'nique and refreshing my skills with the 2011 Rainbow Scrap Challenge top.

I'll say again, all these skills are truly coming back just like riding a bike!  There is only one quilt I remember where I sewed the binding to the front and actually hand-stitched on the back.  Psht.  I really don't have the patience for the hand-sewing; I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.  Since I've pretty much mastered machine-sewing the binding, that's the ticket I'm sticking with.  

A scrappy binding was attached from digging in the 2.5" strip bin, and v'iola!  My first full-quilt finish in a few years.  Although not 100% certain, but she will most likely be packaged up and sent off to
Quilts for Kids

Speaking of riding a bike...
Last summer, a couple coworkers and myself started meeting up weekly for a 'bike around the lake.'  This year, we've grown to five ladies in our group, and yesterday was our first meetup of the summer.  The ride is just shy of 9.25 miles and mostly flat, and it was a BEAUTIFUL mid-60s low-humidity morning.

Feeling great and energetic following the ride, motivation was kicking for some outdoorsy tasks that have been on my todo list when time (and weather) allowed.
We have a 20-year old apple tree as a sole-survivor from a half-dozen or so that were planted when we first bought the land, AND remarkably has been producing apples in recent years.  The apples haven't been the best, but I'm hoping that a good (first-ever) heavy pruning will kickstart some legitimate production...  eventually... even if it's definitely the WRONG time of the year for pruning.

The saying is, "if it acts like a shade-tree, it needs a prunin'!"

Bailee girl was most definitely enjoying her time in the shade!  LOL.

Although I didn't have any ladders, I dare say that a good pruning commenced.

POV after cleaning up and clearing many of the middle branches... and YES!  The thought(s) did cross my mind: what if I fell? you're no spring chicken anymore. no one is home.  are these branches strong enough? is your knee really okay to handle this?

We can now see SKY from ground-level.

What a happy lil' tree - Love, Love, Love.
Much of the top is still quite full, however we'll see how she behaves moving forward.

Last summer, the sole-surviving cherry tree was also heavily pruned, its first ever also.  And I mean, HEAVY pruning!

And she's LOADED with cherries this year, all beginning to ripen.  Montmorency cherries; they are a bit on the tart side, but make a MEAN cherry pie and some great wine!

THEN, ...this pile.  I mean, who needs to pay for a gym membership when you have outside physical hobbies too?  Hm, maybe we shouldn't actually call this a 'hobby.'  Perhaps 'homesteading life' is a better description, but all the same... this load of logs was processed and dumped into a pile last summer, so it was given my attention for the next couple of hours.

No, no no... the entire pile hasn't been finished!  LOL.  Good golly, THAT'd be impressive!  But an additional 'dent' was made and a pallet added and stacked while being spoiled with absolutely PERFECT afternoon weather;  still upper 60s/maybe lows 70; partly sunny.  The pile is my ongoing 'little bit at a time' past-time this summer when I'm in need of some physical activity.

Some soapin' has been happening these past couple of days as well

THEN, today... oy! Bailee girl was well overdo for a bath and grooming!  Goodness, I was a bit shocked at the passing of time when I checked the calendar.  Today marks a day shy of 10 weeks since her last groom!  

Bailee's our 6 and a half year old Golden Doodle.  She has the absolute BEST demeanor!  Her fur has the natural poodle curl when she's wet...

but once fully dried, it relaxes a bit more like the golden retriever in her.
My goodness!  What a poofball.  LOL. 
I wasn't the least bit tempted at keeping her hair long; she's due for a nice summer cut.

Look at those furry paws... the water was FILTHY from them due to all the rain (and mud) this past week

Peek-a-boo!  (couldn't resist)

No WONDER she's been slip-sliding on the hard wood floors lately...


Seriously, 10 weeks?!?!? THAT won't happen again.
So one full garbage bin later...

Our Bailee is back!

... and of course it rained all morning... LOL. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

UFO, WIP, Flimsy parade - time to get organized!

I decree that yesterday's new name shall be - "Tally Tuesday"
Also, when ya can't beat the heat to sew comfortably in the loft (since we frugal ol' fuddy-duddies haven't folded to turn on the AC yet), t'was time to ORGANIZE all the bins and shelves and 'chair piles' downstairs in the basement quilting space. Don’t get me wrong! I like the heat 🤗 but this task needed to get done all the same.
I haven't truly been in full-blown 'quilter-mode' since probably 2013/14, as my faithful followers of year's gone by can attest to; life simply got busy with the girls growing up 🥰. However, with a couple recent quilt-top finishes this week that had been in almost-finished stages, I really wanted to get a gauge of the status of all the other "things" down there. Ya know... to make plans and goals! 😉
👇👇The parade of current UFOs (unfinished objects), WIPs (works in progress) and FLIMSIES (quilt top ready for quilting), plus a few HMIDs (holy moly, it's done) quilts.
[[alright, I made up that last acronym]] 😜

FIrst up, the Flimsies...

Omigosh flimsy - 73"x 92"
Designer: Susan Garman

Omigosh perspective

Monday, June 24, 2024

Design Wall Monday and a day of putterings

The design wall was hung in its new location Sunday afternoon, along the full wall of the newly tidied guest bedroom.  A pile of blocks had been waiting for this moment and were organized straight away this morning.  No pattern is being followed for these, but they are a pairing that seem to play nicely together.
HOWEVER, I'm not sold on those large 3.5" plain white units.  I feel like I've cheated! 
So.... perhaps change them out....????? 


I suppose some fancy quilting could spice up all that white space down the line...?  It'll percolate for a bit yet before I completely decide since the neutral string blocks for Dawn's Early Light are flowing nicely through the machine, for now anyway.

Was already piecing away shortly after 7:00 this morning before I thought to document the time.  Just how long do fifteen 3.5" strings blocks take to piece?...

... 'bout 45 minutes.

At that point, the day of un-scheduled puttering took off.

I needed to shower.  #1.  
Then I needed to run to town to pick up some chick food for our newest hatchlings. #2.

And instead of using shredded paper, I contemplated using straw, but knew I needed some down in the garden yet, so.... off to the garden I went to putter.  #3.

Which evolved into a full-blown tilling endeavor after walking the paths for any final tomato and bean 'volunteers.'  #4.

Grow Baby, Grow!
It's not much to look at right now, BUT... having checked the garden's unplanned items off my list today, I'll be freed up completely for piecing and sewing and more piecing tomorrow!

After a quick late-lunch sandwich, I headed back to the sewing loft for another hour (or so) of piecing (#5) with one of my favorite background-noise shows: Grey's Anatomy, until Paul arrived home at 4:00.  The Log Cabin blocks (UFO #2) have been turned into the current leader-ender project.

We strolled the garden together and both 'grrr'd' at the potato bugs we spied.  So, he started picking the bugs off while I began weeding some of the corn rows (#6).

By 5:00, we broke for a quick bite before heading to town to catch some youth softball games (#7).  
Daughter's of the BB coach, 6th and 4th grade.

And rolled back home in time to catch the 400M Men's final race.  

I love these days that 'just happen,' and are productively full.  And while waiting for these photos to upload, I had a hankering for something SWEET!  Being one who has never tried a cookie-in-a-cup recipe before, I gave it a whirl.  I don't even know what (or how) I thought of it.

Cookie in a cup recipe
Not amazing, but hit the spot all the same.

Tomorrow -- quilting!  Yup.  That's the ticket, I think.
Happy Monday :)

Head over to Small Quilts and Doll Quilts to link up to Design Wall Mondays.