Monday, June 27, 2016

Garden Glimpses

     It's hard to find truly blue flowers for the garden, but this delphinium sure fits the bill. Isn't the color glorious? It's growing in my big garden which continues to be a work in progress. 

I'm pleased with my small garden which measures ten by eleven feet.

There's a solar fountain in the middle which I bought as a retirement gift to myself in 2009 :-). I store it away each fall, and it burbles and bubbles in the sunlight all summer long.

This morning I spent a few hours working in my big garden, but quit when the heat and humidity set in. The big garden is sixteen by twenty-three feet. Whew! No wonder it's taking me so long to get it the way I want it. This garden has all perennials except for a few annuals in the front. I've been making many changes to this garden; moving things around, making spots for the new plants that I have purchased, and it is finally looking pretty good. I'll post photos soon.

These two new guinea impatiens were inside on my sunporch, but they were not tolerating the heat well, so I decided to plant them outside in this old chair. Why the duck? Well, there was a space in the front which will soon fill in, but in the meantime, I grabbed one of my little ducks to fill up the spot.

Finally, here's a little thrift shop teapot that I plan to use in a piece of garden art.  Check back in a few days to see how it turns out.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Last Two Crazy Quilt Blocks

Here are the final two crazy quilt blocks for my piece, Photos from My Grandmother's Album. The caption under the above photo in her album was "Houghs Neck 1906." My grandmother is the young woman on the middle rung. She is second from the left in the wading scene below.

Once I finish zigzaging the edges of the twelve blocks to prevent raveling, I'll put them on my design wall to come up with a pleasing arrangement.

Quite some time ago, I had purchased Allie Adler's Crazy Quilting Class on Craftsy, but then never got around to watching it until last week. As I had hoped, in the last section, she discusses several ways to put blocks together and finish the quilt or wall hanging. So far, I've made a book of crazy quilt blocks with cigarette silks featuring actresses from the turn of the last century and a smaller piece featuring three photos of my father's mother, but nothing quite like this so her tips and information were invaluable. If you are new to my blog, and would like to see these previous crazy quilt projects, please click here  and here.

I really love crazy quilting whether it be selecting the fabrics, doing the stitching, or adding the bits of embellishment, and I already have ideas for my next two projects!  :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Glimpses of My Gardens

I've been spending hours and hours gardening in the last two weeks. Here's are few peeks at what's currently in bloom.

Yesterday, I saw an online tutorial for a fun piece of garden art. All I need to find is a whimsical or colorful teapot. I did check a local thrift shop with no luck, but I left with two colorful bud vases which I thought might be cool in my garden. I cut two different lengths from an old bamboo pole and simply slid the vases on to the rods. Now, if I could just find at least one more vase. . .

Speaking of garden art, my favorite piece is a black metal miniature schnauzer wearing Emma's old red collar.  Emma graciously agreed to pose with it in exchange for a treat.

Hawk Update: The family has left the nest atop the church that I attend. Here's an image taken last week. Hopefully, these avian parishioners will return again next spring.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tah! Dah! Happiness Is . . .

Happiness is . . . finally finishing a quilt started over a year and a half ago. Back in the summer of 2014,  The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims offered its members a limited time access to an instructional DVD  by Jacqueline de Jonge. The subject of this instructional DVD,  How to Make a BeColourful Quilt, was her "Happiness" pattern. Jacqueline de Jonge lives in the Netherlands, and all of her quilts are truly stunning.

I remember being so excited when I found just the right background fabric; I already had a pack of rainbow colored batiks. After working diligently to complete the top, I was then too afraid to quilt it for fear of ruining it. It has been laying on a spare bed waiting for me to get up the courage to give it a go. That happened the other day when I realized that the design and the colors were strong enough that I really only needed to stitch in the ditch, and so, that is exactly what I did. (For non-quilters, that means I stitched in each and every seam line.) I finished quilting it in just a day, and I would love to show you the back, but the thread blended so well with the fabric that I couldn't get a good photo of it.

The piece measures thirty-two inches square, and yes, it is square although this photo cuts off the edges.  It will be one of the pieces that I will have in the Herring Run Quilt Show in Norwell, MA this fall. Mark your calendars for Sept. 17 - 18th as you won't want to miss seeing all of the beautiful quilts by guild members which will be on display!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

This and That

My neighbors had a yard sale a few weeks ago, and at the end of the day some unsold items including this ladder were placed at the curb.  I saw the possibilities, so I took it home. After a bit of Murphy's Oil Soap to recondition the wood, it's now displaying some vintage embroidered tea towels on my sunporch.

Then I remembered this washboard in the basement, so I used the Murphy Oil Soap on it as well. Sunnyland . . . wouldn't that be a lovely place to live where I imagine the people would always be cheerful and bright? Emma seems to approve of this display as well.

On Saturday, after the last meeting for the season of the Herring Run Quilt Guild, I went with a friend to the Irish Festival in Canton. There were four stages with non-stop entertainment, vendors,  and activities for children. I had gone specifically to hear John McDermott, and he didn't disappoint. It was a lovely day and a lovely way to spend an afternoon. If you enjoy Irish music and culture, be sure to attend next year.  

Finally, yesterday there was nothing on my calendar, so I intended to spend the day gardening. I lugged out a shovel, a pitchfork, pruners, etc., but then the heat and humidity got to me and the tools went back into the garage for another day. With free time, I decided to use my time constructively and quilt a piece that I had last worked on back in October 2014!!!  Why so long? Well, I was afraid that I might ruin it when I went to quilt it. I'm happy to say that it turned out well, and I'll share a photo in my next post.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Crazy Quilt - June Block

I have finished two more blocks for my crazy quilt project . . . Photos from My Grandmother's Album. This is my mother's mother. She was born in St. John's Newfoundland but was sent to live with an aunt in Braintree, Massachusetts, along with two brothers after the death of her parents when she was just three years old. 

My grandmother is in the top left corner in the photo below.  There are twenty-five people, but who  they are I do not know.