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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Something for the Weekend

Hi! Happy Summer! Years ago I followed a Yahoo writing group and for awhile, in its heyday, every weekend the  organizers of the group would have a post called Something for the Weekend. It always included book ideas, wine, maybe food or an activity. I loved those posts, usually written by my faraway friend Cat who lived in Scotland. We'd hear about pear cider and village fetes, it was very fun.

So in honor of those earlier days of internet friendships I thought I might sometimes do a weekend post here. This is the official start of summer at the beach, and I suppose everywhere. Rain or shine, summer is here. The weather gods are laughing hysterically, they have sent us endless drizzle, dense fog and cold temps.

I got out a summery cashmere turtle neck.

Mo wore his raincoat.

I love when the shops stock up their crappy summer toys and patio stuff and sunscreen. So happy and hopeful. When my kids were small it was so exciting, shopping for new beach pails and shovels, a new boogie board, maybe a wiffle bat and ball. And oooh, bubbles! And a kite!

And the market had peonies, gasp/ sigh. Too $$$ at 7.99 for three stems.

I stopped in the el cheapo wine shop with my coupon [all the shops issue summer coupons for Memorial Day].  Isn't this the cutest packaging ever---I wish they sold t-shirts!

I got a bottle for a friend's birthday. It's not a brand I ever drink, but if it's not good she can always do mimosas or bellinis, right? I know she's having a houseful of guests this weekend, and can use it.

Food: This comes from Kelley ~

Roasted veggies tossed with pasta for a weekend dinner, because it's supposed to rain, rain, rain. I'll long-roast the pretty heirloom tomatoes, single layer on an olive oil drizzled cooky sheet. Roast the halved tomatoes at lowest temp [my oven it's 200*] until caramelized. Maybe 6 hours, but keep checking! Store in olive oil with garlic cloves til needed. Then I'll short / hot roast the squash and asparagus separately. About 35 minutes at 400*. Toss with some cubed Brie and parm, a splash of white wine, maybe some herb sprigs? Yummy.

Books:       The Dry  by Jane Harper  Australian murder mystery. Very well written and engrossing. Drawback: I immediately knew who the murderer[s] were. First novel by Harper, I'll look forward to more from her.
                The Kind Worth Killing  by Peter Swanson   Oddly gripping despite the fact that none of the protagonists is very appealing.  Plot is reminiscent of Hitchcock's film Strangers on a Train.

[and again a rec from Kel] : Razor Girl  by Carl Hiaasen I haven't started it yet, but it looks like another crazy romp from Hiassen. Kelley can update us?

Projects for rainy weekend days: I don't have anything quilt-y to show you this week because I've been working on a duvet cover and pillowcases for friends. My friends have a relentlessly grey decor in their lovely home and it took us ages to find a good grey batik for their bedroom.

This has taken me all week! I'm losing my touch, and finding it hard to wrestle the equivalent of 12 yards of fabric [king size] and a 72" zipper. Took me three tries and two zippers to get the zipper set just right! I want the pieces to be ''perfect'' for these special friends.

On the hopefully easier side of projects, I plan to make these shower steamers: here
Since I cannot have a bath anymore, just showers, due to hip pain/ limited mobility, I so miss my bubble baths and array of bath salts and bubbles and scented gels. These are supposed to be set on the floor of the shower, to at least create a relaxing scent. Made with cornstarch and essential oils. I ordered bergamot, eucalyptus and lemon verbena.[more on this project later!]

And look! Gluten free, hahaha.

Saturday morning I'll hang out my wooden Stars and Stripes, as I have for all these years since my dad made it for me. If it's an okay day I'll put all my little flags along the deck rail too. The Thunderbirds [ the Air Force fighter jet team] are supposed to perform at the airshow this year, so exciting, but the fog has kept them grounded. No amazing practice runs along the beach , too bad.

beach entry pots of flowers

Mo is ready for fun, rain or shine!

So there you have it, something for the weekend. What are your plans?



gone to the beach.....

same weekend a few years ago.....

Inspiration? Zoe buys this for You Know Who!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Glad I Didn't Wash the Windows ~ And Some Vintage Quilt Blocks

Hi! We had one or two really nice almost-summer days! I spent time on the deck with Mo, endlessly sewing bindings instead of spring cleaning.

And I am glad I did! Because, as my blog friend Kit says, we had a nice day or two then winter returned. Kit lives in Montana so I know it's not just me  with bad weather karma. It just poured! I did a Lazy Girl window wash, ran out in the rain and squeegeed the rain and sand off the windows.

P2 is almost finished; it's one of these projects where the final steps just go on and on. I did get the binding on. I had used this group of 30s repro nautical kiddy fat quarters for the sawtooth edge. I love the vintage look of the seaside and kids in sailor outfits. I'd saved it for years for a special baby quilt, but let's face it, modern mommies want elephant grey quilts, minimal not cute. May as well enjoy it myself.

Then the awful scary moment when the quilt goes in the wash for the first time. Lots of Color Catchers included, and no disasters. I always look forward to seeing the washed quilt, fresh and bright and scrunchy. My quilter did a fantastic job of the quilting, and it was FREE, with her quilt 5/ get on free offer.

Next steps were to resew Kitty's face,

and now I'll sew the Kite bows and label. Kind of an endless task, it seemed.

This is an unused Basket block. It will be the label block because I think it's too pretty to waste. Lovely Lecien blue floral fabric. [for non-quilters, Lecien is an imported fabric resource. It sounds French but I believe the fabrics are from Japan. Colors and style are outstanding. Info HERE]

Mo always likes to help. As soon as anything is set down, he finds it and sits. I wouldn't mind but he also eats threads, and even needles and pins, if left for even a second.

"Needles are so yummy, mommy!"

Bad doggy, being consoled with a tummy rub.


I also spent a fun hour going through the quilt blocks my friend sent to me to consider buying. Many are from his sister's collection. It seems like it would be a good rainy day pastime but the extreme damp brought out a bit of mustiness, eeew.

I had hoped to help him sell these on the FB quilt selling page but I don't think the quality is good enough.
Butterflies. Funny and chubby!

Baskets, most sadly worn and faded. I kept 4.

Basted Crazy block.

Softly faded and so sweet, Chimney Sweep. Feedsack fabric, 1930-40, like the Butterflies. (Lori says our group's next project will use soft faded fabrics, especially pinks! Intriguing. I hope I don't regret not keeping these.)

Three duck egg blue Stars. Faded and worn but I have a plan for them. How could I say no to my fav color!

Sunbonnet Sues and a Tulip:

 She's a funny Sue with no hands or hands in pockets and very odd feet! If I was making a Sue doll quilt, I'd maybe use these on the back, to preserve them. Or the 4 plus the Tulip might make a sweet little quilt? [Never used.]

Big set of pre-1900 blocks. I asked on another quilt FB page for name of the block, but no one knows. I call it Anvil.  Beautifully hand pieced, interesting fabrics. Never used. Some bad color runs and mustiness, aging of the cream muslin. But still. Probably will keep them.

I mention ''never used'' because many times dealers sell recycled quilt blocks, taken from worn and damaged tops or tied quilts. The individual blocks sell for more than a quilt these days, rather sad, though better to preserve what is usable than to discard entirely. The salvaged bits and pieces can be wonderful inspiration for someone like me who is willing to rescue and reuse.
Have a good week!



gone to the beach...

PS Don't forget to leave a comment on the Doll quilts post  HEREor email me for a chance to win a little quilt!