Yard work season

It gets so hot here in the summer that I pretty much leave the plants to fend for themselves.  I give water and a little pruning, but that's about it.  Then comes Autumn and I'm out there, shovel in hand, moving things, digging out invaders and soon, dividing and hopefully sharing...I'm finding it's hard to give plants away.  But, I keep trying. 

I spent all week working on the border for the arc quilt.  And, this is all I got done.  So, how did I only get that far in a whole week? 

I spent a lot of time playing with fabric until I had sorted all the color groups from dark to light.  I'm using 9 colors groups, the six primaries plus olive, turquoise, and red-violet.  Then, I had to make shaded groups of 10-20 fabrics, sorted from dark to light. 

After I had made my paper template, I laid the fabrics out the way I'd like them to look in the border sections.  Sorry for the mess, but this was messy work.  You can see my stacks of color groups at the top.  I can pull two groups and lay them out in a planful way, adding new ones as one runs out and trying to contrast the lights and darks.  Once that was done, then I could sit at the sewing machine.  I finally got to sew yesterday morning for my extra hour (daylight savings time).  Even with the hour, I still ended up late for the grocery, which was packed with both people that did set their clocks back and the regular people that we usually see in the store. 

We had our first early freeze last week.  It didn't seem to get below freezing in the back yard, except I lost the tops of some cannas that grow taller than the fence.  But, it got some things in the front yard and Rob had to spend some time cutting things back.  I thought we'd lost this closet plant that we got from Linda.  It was very wilted, and I talked to it and talked to it and then finally overwatered it and sat it in some dappled sun and it came back like gangbusters.  I guess the soil at the bottom of the pot had dried out.  I'm so glad I didn't kill this...I have managed to kill a few of the plants we got from her, but others are thriving.  She said she got this plant after having a surgery.  I knew her for 10 years and she's been gone a year, and I never knew her to have a surgery, so this is a pretty old plant. 

A lot of what I do to prep for winter is re-work my flower pots.  Some things make it, others don't.  We had a real problem with squirrels eating anything they could find that had a watery leaf or stem or digging other plants up and eating the roots.  They wiped out many plants, which left me with some pots that were only half full.  I took what survived and consolidated some pots, because there's no room in the greenhouse for half empty pots.  One of the prettiest pots I made up was this one. 

The squirrels really did a number on my needle-less succulents, but they left me enough to make a couple really nice pots that should thrive through the winter in the heated greenhouse and be beautiful next spring.  I don't remember how I broke the side out of this pot, but I sure have used it a lot to make community pots of succulents. 

Tip of the day: 

I needed a light at my sewing machine.  In the new setup, I didn't have one.  The sewing machine bed was lit, but the area I sit and work in was not.  And, there's no room for a lamp.  I've broken one lamp and one bulb trying to make different lamps fit the space, but I keep knocking them off.  So, I tried this little ott light that I got when JoAnn's had it on half off.  I think it cost around $15.  It uses batteries or has a USB plug.  I'm using the USB plug. 

Most people use an adhesive strip to attach the light to a machine.  I've had one before and tried that and the adhesive left a mark.  Plus, I own a lot of machines and try to use them all, at least once a year, so I needed the light to be portable.  I needed a base to secure it to.  So, I took an Altoids tin (those are the most re-usable packaging I've ever seen for quilters and I have them all over with little things in them) and I filled it with coins and secured the light to it and it can sit just about anywhere.  I think I could even get it to stand up, if I was careful.  Anyway, it's working perfectly to brighten the work area.  If it keeps working out, I'll work on making it "pretty" with some fabric.

Everybody have a great week!  I worked from home all week last week and am spoiled and don't want to go to the office today.  But, I'm going to.  Last week I had a project to keep me busy and that kept me away from the sewing machine.  This week, my projects are less exciting and I will need to be in a more controlled environment to stay focused. 

Be well!!!!  Lane


Anonymous said...

Love the colours your working with. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Dot said...

Your pictures are so helpful. I am a visual learner and your pictures bring your good descriptions to life. And your color choices are interesting - the primaries plus olive, turquoise, and red-violet. But your paper pieced arcs really pop.