Yardwork weekends

Like all weekends, we were busy as the supply line for an invading army.  Saturday morning was about government business and I filed our taxes and some other pesky gov't paperwork and then I went out in the yard.  Rob spent Saturday scrubbing the deck clean so we could seal it on Sunday.  I raised the stones in the garden.  Of course, I didn't take any pics.  The stones slowly settle into the dirt, so every couple years, I lift them and add dirt under them and dig up the ajuga around them that would eventually cover them I guess.  I'm spreading the ajuga along the path.  I want it to be the groundcover around the stones and this year, I had enough to go all the way to the end of the path, so it should be a beautiful path this year. 

This has been my best year for iris.  This came from one tuber that I found on the sidewalk in front of a neighbor's house.  She passed away and her iris are mostly gone, but I still have these to remember her. 

I'm hoping that other iris bloom later in the year.  I have a lot of them and most of them don't bloom, so I'm hoping this is a sign that I did something right and we will get to see more of them flower. 

This bougainvillea was in bloom in the greenhouse.  I had tied all the branches together so it would be more upright and with all this flower, I couldn't help pull it out and let it breathe.  That curlicue thing is a cup holder.  I can bring a glass of ice water and set it in that and always find it.  I have two and am looking for more. 

The ferns are putting out dozens of fiddle heads.  These are going to be so thick and lush this year.  They cluster around the base of a tree shaped shrub and fill a corner of the garden.  Again, I planted a couple and I ended up with a huge grouping.  I must be doing something right. 

This kolancho (sp) was also blooming in the greenhouse.  Soon as the deck is ready to have the table put back on it, I'm going to put this on the table. 

As much time as I spent in the yard, I also spent time in the studio.  I finished the table runner top on Friday and got it pin basted so Saturday, it was ready to go.  I quilted it with simple lines and bound it that night while we watched Green Book and it's already on the table.  I think that any others I make will be smaller blocks.  May be three 8" blocks instead of two 12".   I'm also thinking about making some placemats. 

I guess I was feeling ambitious because I also pin basted the pink one and got it quilted.  I did an all over pattern from Angela Walters' book and it's ready to trim and bind.  (But it's so pink)

And, just to impress you, I also got the sleeve made and sewn on that flower quilt that I finished a couple weeks ago, so it's ready to launder and block.  And, just in time for the March guild meeting. 

The rest of the weekend was spent with Rob.  We shopped for plants and a tool box for my sewing machine tools and shoes and took Sydney to lunch yesterday before dropping her at work.  We went out for Cajun food Saturday night and it wasn't fit to eat.  And, we enjoyed ourselves anyway.  Just the two of us sitting there, watching the crowd and talking about our week and our day and what we hoped to do the next day.  We talked recently about men that say they're bored with their partner and how we believe that's usually because they're bored with themselves.  And, if they'd try something different and see how their partner responded, maybe their partner wouldn't look so boring anymore. 

I'm so glad we did that. 

Everybody have a great Monday!!  Lane



Inspired weekend

Saturday was cold and windy.  So, we worked in the yard.  Sunday was beautiful and sunny.  And, we stayed inside and recovered from working in the yard. 

I got a lot done.  The roses are cut back and the dead growth on the perennials is cut back and out on the street.  Things have been fed and the last two plants that found their happy homes in the garden last year have been planted.  Lots of houseplants got replanted and some got moved out to the greenhouse for a refresher.  The Christmas Cactus that the squirrels ate the roots off of have been planted and I hope they will take root.  In short, the garden is ready for 2019.  And, I'm ready for this year's garden.  Hoping it will be my best so far.  I have one more large project to clear some space for another sitting area and there's no rush for that. 

I also spent some time working on the triangle quilt.  I got another border finished and added to the quilt.  One more round of four inch squares and I will be done.  It's not the right dimensions for me to add that border and I "should" add another round of 3" squares first, but I decided I'd do something different in the corners to make it work, so soon I'll be sewing the last stack of triangles into squares and hopefully wrapping this one up. 

One of the things I did on Saturday was to change the tablecloth on the dining table.  And, I decided I needed a table runner.  So, I pulled out an old table runner top, thinking I'd just quilt it up.  And then I realized why I had never quilted it.  It was huge.  Nearly a table cloth.  So, I did the only possible thing and took it completely apart.  I even broke the blocks into their 9 patches and put them back together again because there were a lot of mismatched points and I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well do it right.  So, I took it apart and made these two.  The top one is the front and the bottom one is going to be the backing.  And, it might even be reversible.  It's not really as bright as that picture looks.  To explain how big this was before I took it apart, the only thing I added is the pink borders on the backing.  All the rest was in the original top.  And, I have a small stack of blocks left that didn't get used.  I plan to quilt it in an all over vine with rose leaves.  Maybe.  Or, maybe not.  Who knows.  It's pin basted and ready for me to start quilting. 

But, it's so pink and flowery and, well, it probably won't be on the table very long every year.  Summer maybe?  So, I needed a spring one.  And, I had the fabrics to make a blue and yellow one.  These blocks were leftovers from a block of the month my LQS had in 2011 and I bought them from the scrap bin.  I bought three pair.  The blue and yellow ones weren't just alike, so I made them similar so they can be used together.  And, I got this far last night. 

Looking forward to putting these together and getting them quilted and on the dining table.  This was supposed to be a really quick project.  But, I think I can have it ready to quilt this weekend and it will have a back from a single piece of fabric, so it will be easier to quilt.  I can quilt using the block lines and filling where I want to.

Friday was my birthday.  I am now 57 years old.  The older I get, the quieter my birthdays get.  A few cards and some well wishes.  Dinner was steak and a baked potato and a salad.  And, it was delicious.  I picked up a half of a cherry pie at the grocery and ended up eating 3/4 of it myself over the course of the weekend.  Oh, well.  I'll only turn 57 once, right?  I have to say that I feel like one of the youngest 57 year olds I know.  Still active, still interested in life, still learning.  Life is good.  And another year older doesn't change that.

Everybody have a great week!  I plan to be sewing table runners for a while. I enjoy having them on the table...bright spots that I can see when I walk by and change at my pleasure. 



Stay inside weekend

This was one of Austin's rare stay inside weekends.  Cold.  Rainy.  Dark.  Opportunity to quilt. 

I got the hexie flower quilt finished.  I bound it in one day.  It went really fast and I'm not sure why.  It's a medium sized quilt, finishing at  41.5x45.5.  It was meant to remind me of my garden and it does.  Wonky, colorful, lots of different greens. 

It still needs to be washed and blocked.  And, Rob reminded me that it needs a sleeve.  How do I feel about this one?  I'm worried about those wavy borders.  Worried I won't be able to  block that wave out.  We're going to have to see.  I love the concept.  And, while it's blocked, it should hang flat.  Til the first humid day, anyway.

But, it is what it is and I love it and am glad it is done.  I'm ready to set something else up to quilt.  Next!

I finished our pants.  I worked on them every morning last week.  When I ironed the upper hems in, I turned one of the pockets backward as I moved the waistband around the board.  I did it on all three pair and sewed it into one pair before I realized it.  I kept trying to put my hand in my pocket.  Took me a few minutes to figure out what was wrong. 

They fit perfect for relaxing and lounging.  We will enjoy them.  And, I can retire a pair I am not liking that I made a long time ago out of flannel.  They are from the original pattern.  No fly, elastic waistband and leg hems, no pockets.  They need to go.

And, I'm working on blue and orange hexies for the border on the hexie quilt. 

18 of 30 are this far, but they each still get another round of darker blue.  I shall be basting for a very long time, I think.  I keep running out of paper templates.  I've started punching templates out of junk mail again.  And, I've been pulling them out of the quilt center to re-use.  But, it's not enough.  I may have to put a couple borders on, then pull the templates out of them to re-use.  I think there are a thousand hexies in this border.  That's a lot of templates. 

Everybody have a great week!  I'm off to New Orleans this week.  I have a meeting there and will be presenting tomorrow morning.  One of those projects my boss made me do, now wants me to talk about what a great idea he had!  I can do that.  I've learned to do that.  It makes work so much easier when I do that.  And, so far, it's gone great.  I got a very nice boarding number at check-in yesterday.  My TSA precheck showed up.  Now, if I can just not stumble over my tongue tomorrow morning, everything should be great!

Be well!  Lane


Sitting projects

Last Monday, Rob came home sick in the middle of the day.  By Tuesday afternoon, I was feeling bad.  On Wednesday, we were both home sick.  On Thursday, he went back to work and on Friday, I worked from home.  We still weren't up to par over the weekend.  There's something going around Austin and we got it, but I hope we didn't pass it along.  At some point, I remember telling Sydney not to sit on the living room furniture and to wash her hands often.  She, of course, did not get it.  She never gets anything. 

I don't do sitting still so I finished and added all the little bits and pieces that were partially pieced to the hexie quilt.  The pattern doesn't show up very well, but I've moved into the blue border now and have basted a ton of hexies for it and have started to build the flowers.  I needed another blue fabric and that was one of the things we picked up on Saturday running errands.  It had to be just the right blue, so we had to stop a couple times to find it.  And, I bought fabric each time.  So, I'm glad it showed up quickly.

I didn't feel like doing much quilting, but I did manage to tie all the knots around the hexie flower quilt.  There were about a 70 pair of thread ends that needed knotting and tucking into the batting.  Thank goodness I had already stopped to do that once. 

When we are sick, we like to lay around in lounging pants.  We found we don't have enough pair and I decided to make us some more.  Rob wanted camo and I used a couple of juvenile pieces that we had bought to make shirts that never got made because we fell out of love with the idea of them as shirts when we got them home. 

I thought I'd make them in tandem, all three in one day.  And, I dang near did it, but it took ALL day.  Partly because I added a fly to the pattern and added a finished serged edge to all the pattern's raw seam allowances and added a button in the fly and button holes in the waistband so I could replace the elastic waistbands with belt ties and made the pockets extra deep and rewrote the pattern instructions to accommodate all those changes.  That's all work I won't have to do next time I use this pattern.  And, I sewed the wrong leg seams together on one pair and got it serged before I realized what I'd done and had to rip all that out and do it again.  And, there were plenty of other errors that had to be corrected along the way.  My seam ripper got lots of use.  All that's left is the waistband seams and the leg hems and sewing the belt ties.  All that is ironed and pinned and just needs sewn.  I will not try to make three pair in a single day again.  Poor Rob had to take care of lunch and dinner because I was a man on a mission that couldn't stop.  And, then my body made me sit down. 

Whenever I could, I would walk around the yard.  Everything thinks it's spring.  Now, normally the plants know best and when they bloom early, it means we've had the last hard freeze.  But, there's always this fear in the pit of my stomach that we will have 3 days in the teens like we did last year and all the new growth will get nipped.  But, I enjoyed the flowers that were there and the little buds and sprouts and leaves that are starting. 

The forsythia blooms first.  Then, the mock orange.  When those are done, the garden is in full force.  I am looking forward to that, but honestly, I haven't had a chance to cut the roses back yet, so I feel like I am behind. 

Everybody have a great week!  I'll be making up for those two days I took off last week.  I was able to take it easy on Friday, but I won't be able to do that today.  It's back to the wheel and the grindstone.  May your needles always be threaded and your sewing machine always be oiled.