I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Really Truly Finished This Time

Hi everyone! A few weeks ago I put the final-final-final stitches into  two big projects from last year. Yes, P2 is done as is the redo-rescue quilt, Sunflowers, which was an antique quilt top from eBay. I finally had a sunny dry day to take outdoor photos.

Here is P2 completed. The pattern was called Summer Porch by Jan Patek.

I love this quilt. It's a bit too bright for everyday use but I think it's beautiful. So happy, such pretty fabrics! I'm kind of amazed such a lovely item was produced during such a difficult, painful--yes awful!--year. Just goes to show [something].

I've been complaining about quilt projects being so large---for one thing, it's expensive to quilt the big projects, but also it's very costly to supply the backing, since long arm quilters need 4"6" all around of excess fabric to secure a backing in their frames. This means you might need as much as 9 yards? of a single fabric for a backing, and at the current price of approx. $11.oo--well! Big bucks. I got fed up and for P2 I used a queen sized percale sheet from Target. Tiny stars on cream.

It came out great, no seams and as far as I know, no probs with the machine quilting, an allover tossed daisy and clouds pattern.
Kite with 3-D tail.

Ubiquitous Jan Patek Saltbox  and my Mr Sun.

Kitty on a Stack of books.

Bowl with Flag and Bluebird.


Whalies, the block that made me fall in love with this pattern.

Pinwheels and other subbed blocks. I enjoy the extra fun of these.

Pinwheel Sun:

This Basket was so pretty but didn't fit between Kitty and Kite. I made it into the label instead.

The Big Sawtooths.

 Fun details and many memories of Mo and my [lonely, but who'd ever know!] summer 2016 on the deck.

And here is Sunflowers.

The pattern is actually called Russian Sunflowers, after the popular hybrid seeds that brought giant headed sunflowers to the US in the late 1800s. The pattern design predates that, and has other older names, but this is to me the epitome of a field of sunflowers.

I did NOT make this top. It dates from about 1890-1900, was all hand pieced. I repaired it, replaced fragile flaking greens, stabilized the wildly shifting circles.
Probably it was entirely red, cheddar and green, but the red on many for the blocks has faded to tan.

I especially love the blocks where just a few of the ''good'' red, probably turkey red, survived.

The top was far too fragile for hand quilting. Instead I had it custom machine quilted. I asked for wreaths on the circles but the circles were too uneven. My quilter found this wonderful pinwheel design, plus a separate design to fill to the faded olive green spacer areas.

I chose this bright double pink for the backing. I love shocking/ surprising backs.

And the binding is antique turkey red cotton from my collection of old fabrics.

I love how this came out. And I love saving a textile that was crumbling to flakes and shreds. Some purists say not to quilt old tops, but in this case it was a way of giving a beautiful top a chance for survival.
Finishes are very important to me as a quilter and as a person. I like to finish what I start, I need to feel I have reached a goal. I'm not someone who has dozens of unfinished projects floating around. It's rare I set something aside completely. How about you, do you like the feeling of that last stitch being sewn? Or the non-quilter equivalent? Or do you enjoy the start-up, without the need to finish?

PS Please check out my Dollar Day sale in my etsy shop! Everything must go, sale ends week of 4th of July. Dollar Days and Sidewalk Sales  or My Shop



gone to the beach....

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Garden Peeping Again

Hi! Thanks to everyone who visited my etsy shop and especially to friends who found a few treasures! It was definitely time to ''clean house'' and I'm looking forward to new things.
Now back to our regularly schedules program:
I've reached a plateau in my ongoing recuperation it seems.  I am trying so hard---I now walk Mo twice a day, and some days three times, totaling about 2 - 2.5 miles. The first walk of the day is very difficult; I suppose muscles and nerves relax overnight. Unfortunately this is Mo's favorite time for his longest walk and as I said, it has been a challenge. But that doesn't stop us from our fav snoopy habit, garden peeking! Or peeping!

June begins with lovely rhododendron blooms and iris.

Yellow seems to be the favorite color iris here. Classic bearded iris, like we used to dig up in old farmyards in Illinois.

And elegant yellow flags, Japanese iris.

This is cotoneaster in bloom. One of my favorite low shrubs/ ground covers. I love the dark leaves and shiny red berries that will show up in the fall. My dad used it extensively at Christmas, along with holly, for traditional red and green live cuttings/ decorations.

Peonies, so delicate, petals the like finest silk.

And cheerful sweet scented pinks, under an old crabapple tree.

Then the snake wort blooms. It's invasive and ugly, but oh these shades of blue.

And short lived but so sweet, lily of the valley, in a neighbor's yard.

As June progresses, the masses of roses burst into bloom. Roses love ocean air and grow profusely everywhere, both wild and cultivated.

The lilies are growing fast, for early July bloom.

Here's a deep red-rust Asiatic lily, an early bloomer.

This is an area Mo and I enjoy. There are grassy plots to cool off his little feet. And sprinklers!

Then other days we go as far as the private alley to the beach.

It's perking up and getting prettier every day.

Mo is a shade hog. He finds any patch of coolness. Today was really too hot for him. I had to spray his tummy and feet with cool water. He was indignant but cooler.

Because yes, the weather finally changed! One day 50* , the next almost 90*. Quite a shock to our cold weather bodies.

Mo is for some reason very interested in these sweet old fashioned columbines. He never passes them without a sniff-sniff.

Evenings we often visit our beach bench to watch the sunset. Pretty planters at the the beach access ramp, from our civic association.

Hope your week is good!



gone to the beach...

PS There's still some fun Dollar Days items in my etsy shop, see previous post!  I need to scrounge up $$$ to have Dotty quilted, so check things out, make me an offer.