Monday, July 30, 2018

July Garden

The gardens are flourishing! We have had lots of rain, translate lots of time to sew and everything has grown!
Above is a very pretty red salvia. I have never had this before but will be putting it back in my garden again next year.

The older I get the harder it is to motivate myself to weed, dig and do everything needed to garden.

These hibiscus are looking pretty good but truthfully the red reminds me of gobs of blood! In hindsight I would have chosen a different color but they seem to like where they are living...

 I chose these purple vinca and this was not my first choice. They are fine but I like the red/pink ones better. Next year.

I will always have Black Eyed Susans in my garden. They are happy warriors and perform continuously all summer long. They are a happy yellow backdrop for all the other flowers.

Black and Blue salvia, they really do look black at times!

 My Beauty bush (calicarpa) with berries that will soon be purple. This has started to self sew in my garden. Luckily I have shared this pretty fall bush. The leaves are a lovely lime green too.

I recieved a few sprigs of this last summer from my neighbor. We are not sure what it is but she said she thought it was a type of perennial impatient. I just love how delicate it is and it is in a happy place!

These petunias with the sweet potato vine make a great color combination. The geranium in this planter didn't do well this year and I am not sure why.

My butterfly bush seems a late in blooming this year. The butterflies have found it though!

I love these red cone flowers and this year they are doing great!

I have been a maniac with the liquid fence to keep the deer away from my daylilies. The reds ones are a gorgeous addition to the green in the garden. So far so good....

They did get some of the yellow ones but maybe next year I will succeed!

The hydrangea are so so. I think snow laying on the plants affects them. It's ok I will take the few little pops of purple here and there.

I don't know what I was thinking with the orange coleus....I should have gone with a different color. At least they will look good at Halloween!

Th fuchsia have struggled this year and I am not sure why....

Usually impatients do not do well here but this year the purple is a welcome relief in the shade.

Picture these against a bright blue sky, perfect!

The sycamore tree we planted a few years ago has really taken off. It is a beautiful shape and the bark has started to peel. This is my favorite tree.

I have some sunflowers that have survived the deer and bunnies at least for now! I had to stake them so the storms don't knock the over.

This is the garden I have been avoiding. It is in the back yard. The coneflowers have taken over. I am not a fan of the purple ones, they look like weeds to me BUT the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love them. It would also be a lot of work to dig it all out....

This is another great little hard working annual flower called melampodium. I look for it every year. It is low growing but you can pick it to put into a bouquet.

No matter how hot it is outside, we sit out on the porch every single night. The end of day light that hits this section of the woods always makes me feel peaceful. I always think how lucky I am to see this every day.

We no longer see sunsets as the trees have grown for the past 32 years we have lived here but the light is always lovely.
I was gardening the other day and thinking it is very much like quilting. You can pick out the colors but sometimes they don't look right. Things self sow that you didn't plan and are gorgeous together.  You can plan, pick out the pattern/plants and buy all the stuff but if you don't do the work you won't get the results.
Gardening also gives me lots of time to think and plan things uninterrupted. I don't take my phone out with me and very seldom listen to anything other than the birds. The feel of the dirt on my hands, the sun on my face, the sweat and sore muscles are something I hope I can still experience for a long time to come.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Quick Week!

Wow it's already Friday and July 6th! The summer is going fast!
This quilt has been about 2 years in the making! I started it at a retreat and then put it away. The pattern was easy to work on in a busy and talkative setting.

When I was cleaning up last week,  I "found" it and decided to work on it again. I added the Flying Geese borders which I LOVE!

Next up the quilting. I could not decide what to it sat some more, like another year. Finally I decided on not quite straight line quilting. It is very forgiving and feels more modern like this quilt. I am also a big fan of dense quilting, no gaps for me.

The next procrastination was the back......I wanted something fun and I NEVER use plain white, so I would not be starting now. The quilt was wider than the backing fabric so some Flyng Geese came back into play. I love how they are on the front and the back.

It is a rainy day here so the colors are off, but in real life they look great!

We have had a bit of a heat wave so my temperature quilt is sporting some pretty colors, I am excited to see what the whole thing will look like in December! I am over half way there.
Basket Quilt Stats - Pattern by Diary of a Quilter (paper pieced), fabric mostly Alison Glass, thread Aurifil in my favorite color, Dove, machine quilted by me.......lines are any where between 1/8" to no larger than 3/8". The machine quilting took like 2 days about 6 hours total. Now it needs a name, my least favorite part. Suggestions?
I have been on a sewing streak (maybe because of the heat) and have 2 more quilts that need to be bound and lots of projects on the cutting board.
What are you working on this summer?


Monday, June 25, 2018

Pillowcase Tutorial

Pillowcases are a fun, easy summer project.

Make 1 or 100!

You can make them with a friend,

a beginner sewer,

even a child!

 I made some for all of my grandchildren, except Brynn who is not allowed to have a pillow-yet.

I am also making some for our guild charity project. This tutorial is for anyone wanting a quick, fun project.
I am just going to throw this out there.......if you want to make one for a child in the hospital I would be happy to have you send me one. We are collecting them at the September meeting and looking to have a bunch! Just email me at for details.

This is a super duper easy one!

Main body fabric 3/4 of a yard. I did use flannel for 2 of them, but it just made it by the skin of it's teeth. You must wash it first because it shrinks a lot! I am suggesting good quality quilting cotton in a fun print.

Cuff fabric 1/3 of a yard in a co-ordinating print, this is a good way to use up some of your smaller yardage.

From the cuff fabric trim 10" wide, the selvadge is at the top, fold at the bottom.

Trim the edges to measure 41"

For the main body of the pillow case trim to ends to measure 41" again the selvadge is at the top

 Trim the sides so it measures 27" wide

Lay the cuff right side up on your table

Lay the body of the fabric on top of the cuff also right side up matching edges

Roll the body of the pillowcase up as shown above

As you can see there is the cuff fabric on the bottom, the body fabric in the middle and I am enclosing it all with the bottom of the cuff fabric, pin well

Sew this altogether using a 1/4" making sure not to get the body of the pillow case in the seam allowance. Now you see why they call it the hot dog or taco method.

Pull the body out of the end of the cuff

It will look like this. The edges of the cuff are completely encase to prevent fraying.

Lay the pillowcase on your table WRONG  sides together. YES Wrong sides together. Say it again, wrong sides together......

Sew with a scant 1/4", I do it more than a scant to make sure those edges will be hidden.

Once you have sewn it all around, (wrong sides together) turn it so the RIGHT sides are now together, press and sew all around with a 3/8"seam allowance. This is called a French seam and it keeps all those raw edges hidden and looks nice and neat.

This is called The Purple Thang and it is a great tool to poke out those corners. Be sure to do it gently so you don't poke a hole in your pillowcase.

Press it and you are done! I have timed myself and was able to sew one in 15 minutes. These directions are all over the internet and I do not know who started them or I would give them credit. I think they would be happy to know these are going to charity!
Let me know if you have any questions or if you are interested in sending me some pillowcases!