Quilting weekend

It was a rare weekend when I didn't have 47 things I needed to get to.  Saturday usually starts with watering the garden, but it rained on Saturday so I didn't even have to do that.  I didn't bake or clean...well, I did do some cleaning to be prepared for this week, but not enough to qualify as work.  I spent a lot of time working on Hurricane Hanna for the company, keeping everyone up to date on the progress and when we were in the "all clear".

Hanna made it humid here.  We got several short rain showers, 20-30 minutes at a time, so I spent the weekend quilting and stayed out of the muddy garden.

I got the borders on the feathered star quilt.  I spent most of Saturday on that and mitered the last corner early yesterday morning.

It's 96x96" and it looks great on the bed.  

After all that excitement, I folded it carefully, hung it on a clothes hanger, and added it to the UFOs hanging in the closet.  I have a ton of quilt tops and I need to get quilting.  I spent most of yesterday assembling the hand pieced Christmas quilt I showed last week.  I've got two more outer borders to sew on and then it will be...a quilt top UFO, too.  Actually, I might just put it in the frame and hand quilt it and try to have it ready this Christmas.  I've already decided on a quilting design for it.  Plain, accenting the round shape and the "square" shape. 

Not a lot of plant pics this week.  It's hot out there and the garden is showing  it.  Yesterday, Rob remarked on the number of coleus and that they were all from cuttings.  And, I do have a ton of them and offered to share with him.  I put together this little group of green and red.  They do really well hanging under this tree, as long as the squirrels will keep out of them.  

This was Friday when I was getting ready to walk the dogs.  Bella, the little one, hates having her harness put on and off.  I don't know why, but she will run and hide and cower until the harness is actually on her.  Then, she runs to the door, ready to go out.  If it takes me more than a few seconds, she's whining to go.  

The city came up with this idea that they would create "safe streets" during the pandemic.  Places where people can easily walk or ride bikes or play in the street.  But, as is all about Austin city leadership, they had to do it in the stupidest way.  Instead of closing off small side streets, they closed off the main thoroughfares.  They didn't do anything about the amount of traffic that funnels into these streets, just about the number of cars that can navigate safely down the street at once.  One car at a time down the center line.  We think it's ridiculous and nobody in our neighborhood wanted for a place to play in the street.  You can walk a block in any direction from our corner and get to a side street that is only used by the people that live on that street and when it's cool enough, there is basketball and bike riding in the street all the time.  Even the people in the neighborhood that advocated for this have now realized how badly it was implemented.  

Okay, so funny story.  There was a knock at our door early yesterday morning.  A neighbor from several blocks away that we are friends with had been walking the dog with her wife and desperately and urgently needed to use our bathroom.  It was one of those hilarious embarrassing moments that happens sometimes that makes friendships closer.  She wanted to thank us for being there when she needed us and dropped off tulips later in the morning.  What a sweet idea and we are enjoying them very much.

As things fall further and further apart, I find less need to talk about them.  I don't know about you, but I'm just not finding much to say.  One man is letting some small cabal make it look like he is singlehandedly dismantling the country, and a small group of sad old men that think they can take us back before people that weren't white men had rights is letting them do it.  And, I don't feel like I can do anything about that right now.  So, I'm cooling my jets and waiting for the next time it becomes necessary for me to speak out and take a public stand.  I spend time hoping my country will find its way again.  

Everybody have a great week.  It's going to be busy for me.  My boss was out last week due to covid like symptoms but his test was negative, so we will be playing catch up on some high priorities this week.  



The Red Menace

I almost named this post "to dye for."  Tell you why in a bit.

I wanted to get the borders on the feathered stat quilt, but I had this in the way.  I can't remember when I started this, but it was at least 8 years ago.  It's all from those stacks of 5" squares, I can't remember what they're called, but something cake-y.  I must have had two or three stacks.  That sounds like a Christmas present from Rob, maybe.  So far, it's all hand pieced and the plan is to finish it that way and hand quilt it...just because I can, I guess...there's no other reason needed.  And, I've added fabrics out of stash to be able to finish it, but I did a pretty good job because it's hard to pick out the newer additions.

There were some blue squares and when I laid it out the first time, I found out that every square was numbered in the direction it should go.  I've pulled as much of the beige from the blues as I could and plan to use those to make a blue/white quilt.  I toyed with trying to match them back to back and quilt them together, but am not quite sure I'm up for that.

I had to decide whether to fix that or start over, so I started over.  And, I like the final better.  Unfortunately, that's in my studio floor, taking up all the space I'd normally set the iron up in to proceed with the borders.  Because it's a pandemic, y'all and I get to have three projects laid out in the floor at one time if it makes me feel peaceful and distracts me even the least little bit.  Anyway, over half the squares have been sewn into blocks and it won't be a day or two before I can stack them up with relative confidence that I can lay it out again later to finish.  

I was picking up and straightening this weekend and realized I'd never posted a picture of the finished  black granny square afghan.  It needs blocking and somehow, I thought I'd get to that before I posted a pic.  But, it's too hot for that here now, so it got folded up and put away with all the other afghans.  Just looking at it makes me sweat.  

It took all week, but we found a border fabric for the feathered star quilt.  It plays well with the burgundy and it has some movement and it works with the multitude of background fabrics.  It was perfect and it took me 30 minutes to put away all the fabrics I'd pulled as possibilities.  The burgundy is a dyed fabric, not a print.  And, that's where the blog title comes from.

I put it in a sink of hot water and let it soak and when I pulled it out, the water was red.  So, I did it again and again and again and the water never seemed to get lighter.  I went to the internet and asked and people suggested soaking it in water that had 1/4C salt and 1C vinegar.  So, I did.  And, no more color ran out of that piece of fabric.  Of course, then I got greedy and ran and grabbed three more dyed red fabrics and dropped them in.  In the two rinses that followed, the burgundy didn't bleed, but the reds did.  I was discouraged, but noticed that each rinse of the reds got lighter and lighter.  I suspect that it was because I hadn't been rinsing them all day like I had the burgundy, and they still had dye to rinse out.

Flower pictures...yay!  This time of year, all I can do is keep everything watered.  I shocked my dwarf potted fig and it dropped most of its leaves...dangit!  Because I couldn't keep it watered.  Hopefully, I fixed that yesterday.

This is a balloon flower.  I wanted to take pics of the bloom as it formed.  You can see where it got its name.  This is from 2 days pre-bloom, one day, 10 minutes and then the bloom popped.  I just happened to be there to see it.

This is what it looks like fully open.

Sydney's hibiscus are still blooming.  Peach,


and Amazing!!!  This one is as big around as a bread plate and I just stare at it in awe.  Her next place will likely be an apartment, so not much chance she'll be taking these large pots there.  Doesn't bother me.  Now that they're starting to put on a bit of a show, I'm glad to have them around.

We went to JoAnn's for the border fabric on Saturday.  Rob wore his matching shirt and mask and of course, in a fabric store, everyone noticed.  He got a lot of attention that he passed on to me.  He also picked out fabric for another shirt.  I swear, I can't take the man in that store without me needing buttons.


100, 93, 86, 79, 72, 65, 58, 51...it's not that hard.  It's certainly not the test they give to prove whether you're a genius or not.  And, it certainly doesn't prove anyone is stable.

Most worrisome thing of the week is what I think is about to happen to the economy, and the orange nazi sending federal troops into an American city.  That's some messed up stuff there.  If he can send in troops to quell what he calls violence in one city, he will think he can do it in every city.  That is one step closer to dictatorship.  If the orange menace can, he will.

Everybody have a great week!  I'll be here sewing and knitting and watching hummingbirds.



Decisions made

My iPhone died last week.  Well, died might not be the right word.  Everything worked except the phone part, and since "phone" is part of the name, that seems pretty important.  I spent part of last week backing devices up and organizing.  One day, I'm going to figure out how to organize my icons so I can find them.  And, how I keep taking screenshots when I sit my phone down.

Decisions were made about the feathered star quilt.  We have sashing.  We went with the burgundy, to pull color from the triple star out to the edge.  I say "we" because Rob is as much a part of these decisions as I am.  I started thinking brown.  When you want to add a color but you don't want to draw attention to it, use brown.  Don't remember who said that, but I use it all the time.  Anyway, Rob suggested the burgundy.    And, when I laid it out, I knew it ws the right choice.  I've got three pair of border fabrics laid next to it now so I can figure out what comes next.  I have one I really like, but I think I'll let Rob weigh in and see what he thinks.

It's too hot to do much time outside, other than water.  I do that really early and then I'm inside.  This is quilting season for me.  My labors and good purchases are paying off in the garden tho.  This is a balloon flower.  The instructions said full sun, but it looks so delicate, so I put it in a pot, in almost full sun and it did fine, so I moved it to a sunnier spot and it bloomed.  The instructions were true on this one.  They are not always.  

This is an ixora.  Love that hot orange.  I can see the blooms on this from the kitchen window.  This plant has recovered nicely from a near death experience over the winter.  It's also in a pot, but it's not going to stay there.  It has a new spot planned, too.

I don't think my society garlic has ever bloomed.  This year, I got this one stalk, so I'm enjoying it.

I don't know how often I post this verbena, but I hope it's not too often.  This is an eye-popping bright magenta that I can see from across the yard, too.  I'm not usually a fan of magenta, but this one is changing my mind.  I've had it three years. The first two were in a pot, where it did okay, but this year, in the ground, it's gone mad.

This basket is developing nicely.  I really didn't expect these plants to take the hot,  5pm sunshine, but it gets that for almost an hour a day.  The rest of the time, it's in dappled sun.  It doesn't take any extra water and the plants; a fern, some variegated liriopi and a variegated English ivy have taken off and are filling the basket more and more.  It's not a bright focal point.  It just sits there and looks cool and green.


The news has been giving me peace lately.  I know, right?  But, I feel like I'm seeing America come to its senses and I'm liking that.  More and more, people are finding it necessary to turn their back to the orange toad's ideas, even to speak out.  His cult is still there, and I still worry that they'll resort to armed conflict to defend the false king, but they're getting smaller and smaller in number.  That feels good.  We all know he's going to try some crazy shit between now and November.  We'll see what we will see.  But, the "alternative facts" about covid and the economy and the corruption are being disproven, because there is only one reality.  And, I've been watching.  I cannot be convinced the alternative facts are true.  Fauci is right and we need to listen to him.

Everybody have a great Monday and a peaceful week.  Lane


Post holiday, first Monday of the month

Mondays are never going to be my favorite days.  Especially first Monday of the month.  But, we enjoyed a three day weekend together; eating, watching TV, enjoying the dogs and the yard and being together.

I made the red/white/blue block for the star quilt.  I've been playing with the layout, evenly spacing the reds, blues and backgrounds.  Still not "it", but getting closer I think.  Next thing I want to try is a darker corner and a lighter corner, with mediums between.  I generally prefer layouts like that.  This one is regimented; dark, medium, light, repeat, marching around the quilt.  Unless I'm following a pattern, the layout process takes a long time.  I take lots of pictures as I move blocks so I can come back to a favorite later.  I came up with this repeating scheme while I was making blocks, so that had to be tried before I could move on to other layouts.

This is the last two block I made.  A great Independence Day block.

With a three day weekend, lots of yard work got done, early, before the days got too hot.  I tried to get out there around 7:30 and work until 10, but I'm going to need to start moving that back an hour.  By 10, it's miserable out there.  But, the garden looks great!

Yabba Dabba Doo daylily.  I moved this one after it was probably safe to do so (too hot), but it was enough to get it to bloom.  It had been in a spot that got shady and it hadn't bloomed when it normally would.  It only took a few days of sun before this bloom scape came up.

This yellow gives a second smaller round of blooms just as the days get really hot.

This is the star hibiscus again.  Every couple of days, this puts out a brilliant large red star and I am loving it.   

But, this sedum is the plant of the week.  I dropped it into a hole I'd dug a couple weeks ago to take out a plant that was getting too much sun and within a day, it had perked up and was going like gangbusters.  It's been singing a happy plant song ever since.  

There's a senate runoff election going on here right now.  Rob and I decided to early vote last Wednesday.  No waiting.  Without really talking about it, I think we've decided that every time a polling place is opened, we're going to study up on the candidates and vote.  No matter what.  Even if it's just to elect the referee for a worm wrestling match.  We're going to be there.  

We had barbecue and Rob's favorite, Swiss steak with mashed potatoes, and baked chicken.  There was another blackberry cobbler with ice cream.  I also baked bread and I think we ate a half a loaf while it was still warm.  I danced with the scale and this week, have allotted myself 1.5 lettuce leaves and a half of a cherry tomato per day.  Wish me luck.


Not much under the line today.  We all see what's happening.  America is seeing the level of incompetence and it is affecting the orange approval rating.  A commenter last week said "what about her emails?  what about Benghazi?"  

I would have written back and said "what about her emails?  what about Benghazi?  why hasn't anybody been able to pin any wrongdoing about that.  you know the orange menace has done his best to dig something up, and still nothing.  don't clutch your pearls at me and whine about Hilary being careless with three emails or America's failure to adequately assess the attack in Benghazi before lives were lost.  your orange overlord is getting Americans killed every day through incompetence, greed, narcissism, theft and treason."  But, the commenter was too cowardly to give me an email address to send that to.  

Everybody have a great Monday.  It's first week of the month and that's always a busy time for me.  But, I'll be working away, watched over by my little shadow.  If I get up, she gets up.  If I sit down, she lies down in the chair next to me.  If I go in the yard, she goes in the yard.  And, if I get a cookie, apparently so does she.