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

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Mid-May / Spring 24 ~ Some Bramble Berries , Some other Quilts, Pansies, Asparagus.


Hi everyone! Another grey and dreary day, more November than May. [except November here is beautiful] I read a weather story and it said, if I got it right, we have had only 3 sunny days so far this year?! No wonder I crave bright colors!

25 mph gale blowing too. My pansies are struggling wind damages their delicate petals.

I remember the first year I lived here. I excitedly filled my then-extensive crock collection with red geraniums, rosemary and lavender. I had this very Med theme in my head. I planted in early May, on KY Derby Day, as my dad always did all my life in the Midwest. By June all the plants had rotted off and were done. This year my coreopsis is flourishing though. Years of experimenting and lucky choices of mixed seed packs have helped my little garden adapt and grow.

This week I worked diligently on Silent Night! I may make my deadline of June 1st! Tho prob not the backing. 

I find I am loving the deep blues again, inspired by the current curated group of quilts on Instagram's Flying Geese.  @_flying.geese_ 

 All her quilts are inspiring, as is her dedication to donating a portion of sale proceeds to charitable causes, focusing often on women's needs. Here is the Flying Geese website, for those who don't do IG. The sale is I believe this Thursday, May 23? click HERE 

and archive of beautiful ''sold'' quilts, for an enjoyable online quilt show: archive HERE

This fabulous stack [all hand washed!] makes me wish I had only bought indigo quilts all these years! Exquisite one at a time, stunningly beautiful in a stack.

This week I purchased Jan Patek's Noah's Ark Quilt pattern, on sale for around 5.oo. I've always wanted to make a red and white Noah's Ark quilt! But seeing these blues, I wonder if it should be blue and white instead? ...Or, realistically, made in Jan's original prim colors, as my vision is to reduce the size and display it with my wooden Noah's Ark, carved and painted by my parents, gifted over many years. [a new pair of creatures! maybe more!---every Christmas. 33 pairs!]
Anyway it will be one of my sit and sew projects for the coming summer when Mo and I have our outdoor hour together each afternoon. ( "rain stops July 1, Mo, I promise!")

                                                     pattern pic, below/ vintage original by Jan Patek


This week I had a huge positive breakthrough with Bramble Berries [Bramble Blooms1]. After losing out on wonderfully right vintage blocks 

a few weeks ago, persistence paid off and I won an auction from the same eBay seller @ebay.evintage. Only 12.50! Nice and clean, no musty smells or stains--always a bonus.

The Plan:

It arrived Monday after my medical treatment, but I couldn't wait to open it and I was so filled with joy. It is so perfect! 

Yes it's very bright and very wonky. Yes!  Wonky is so good! And improv-ish. The energy of a creative impulse. I love wonky. I rarely fix the oddities of the old quilt tops and blocks I use. 

Lizzy colors!

I even found, gasp! polyester doubleknit squares.

There's one damaged section but easily removed or reworked.

I hung it up to just look and enjoy. I love the wonkiness, the movement the exuberance. 

It took me until today to discern a pattern or plan. It seems to actually be a strip quilt. There are rows of Four Patch / Nine Patch blocks in an Old Italian Pavement setting; separated by bright solid sashing. Then alternating rows of wide sashing and Nine Patch blocks. I'll explore this in a future post, it's okay if you can't see that. And it's fine if you're horrified by the  wild colors and crazy piecing. Because...it is exactly what I imagined, even though BB1 is improv, I always just ''knew''.


Meanwhile, in the kitchen: this past week I ordered asparagus even though I never cook after an IV treatment, too groggy to cook safely.  A bundle of the oddest skinny stalks arrived, about the size of worsted weight yarn, I mean 3/16". Eeeew. Like eating grass trimmings! 
But I can't bear to waste food, and the fresh veggies don't keep forever, so I chopped the spears and sauteed them in butter and olive oil with sliced lemon and garlic, added a dollop of fat free Half and Half cream and some leftover bearnaise sauce I found on the fridge shelf. Lots of black pepper and tarragon. Tonight's dinner, tossed with pasta or fresh ravioli, perfect for yet another rainy night.

Mo says Hi! and it's time for his walkies. 

Have a lovely week.



gone to the beach...

surfing beach, not this May.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Moments in Time


Mostly they won't remember but you--mom or dad--will cherish these days. They go by so fast and all you have is a wisp of a smile, a laugh, a grubby hand in yours. Wide eyes, best days...



 you only get one first birthday,

1 first day of school,

18 summers,

if you’re lucky, 10 times to play Santa,

20 times [give or take] to be the tooth fairy,

1 first date,

1 maybe 2 prom nites,

1 High school Graduation,

1 chance to teach your baby to be a good and kind person.

 ... the days are long but the years are short

Happy Mother's Day 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Early May Quilt Updates ~ Bramble Blooms1: 03, Silent Night, Christmas Planning!


Hi everyone! I missed last week's post, that has never happened before. I had a plan w a friend to do nature walks and take blog pics at the nature preserve and surfing beach. But high winds and driving cold rain , and severe back pain put a stop to that plan. Was so hoping to see baby birds and wildflowers, disappointing.

I more or less met my Silent Night goal! All 24 white stars are sewed, tho I am lagging in the trimming challenge with the hip and back pain.

I also resewed that section of removed applique bottom section, tho the borders that will go on last are still a mystery to me. I  know what to do---but what was I thinking four years ago?

Then I have to cut the upper spacer blocks, 6 light, 11 dark snowmen/ stars prints 8 1/2" squares..


Bramble Blooms 1, Part Three is to create patchwork surroundings to make the central medallion into a ''quilt''. If you check out Audrey's posts and the SAL Linky, you'll see how beautifully many of us/ others accomplished that. click here

But I am with blog friend Julierose, saying maybe I should quit after part two. As it is, it's a perfect size to hang on a cupboard or blanket chest. Maybe a May Day door hanger?


I ordered some KF fabrics to encourage myself to at least try. 

Aren't they wildly inspiring!

I love the rainbows!

below: Could this be a no sew way to emulate the part three Patchwork? 

And this is so cute, called Fish Lips, tho I call it Chicken Lips or Chicken Kisses instead, I'm bad with names, hahahah.

Auditions: tryouts along the left on the pics.



I was sent this purple dot in error but FQS told me to keep it and that they'd immediately send the right block and white, intended as contrast to the charm square brights. The witchy dot will be great with my Halloween string quilt, that exists only in my imagination.

Or, very off topic, this is a screenshot from IG; a complex pattern like this would truly make the painterly medallion step back, refocus the project into a true quilt. 

And I also  auditioned a variety of ideas using finished small quilts. These are not for specific design, but for color and effect.

I will probably stick with my idea from eBay, of the bright random 9-Patches. 


Meanwhile I bought this darling tiny quilt pattern from designer Julie Porter. I just love it! I plan to make for a couple of friends who sew; stuffed with sawdust and lavender maybe, like pin keeps or bowl fillers.

Yes the design is so similar to TQC pumpkins I made a few years ago---and I could draft it myself for free. But I prefer to buy creative patterns now and then, I feel it's important to support fellow quilters who share their creative talents as a career.


This week I also got sidetracked because a friend asked for one of my hand drawn bookmarks for her birthday. I think it came out well?

It's so much harder to produce an acceptable painting for a special request; the scribble journal notes come so easily and always look the best.


Mo had a spa day. Look at that face--he knew something was going on, a slight schedule change alerts him every time.

He loves the groomer, the person, but hates getting his feet wet and nails done. [Most pugs are pathologically aghast at having their paws touched, even just as a pet or shake-hands.]
Right now Mo is enjoying the blue sky out on the deck. Tail unfurled, he is still miffed here. Betrayed and bathed.

I had planned to replace my big old very old pots but the lilies and coreopsis shot up in April's cold and rain. Too big to transplant now.

My friend brought me two beautiful ceramic pots from a house cleanout he did.

I wonder what this plant is in both of them. It's quite pretty and dainty---but is it a weed?

edit, w thanks for readers for ID : ivy-leaved toadflax, Kenilworth ivy, coliseum ivy, Oxford ivy, mother of thousands, pennywort, 

Tonight I have pot roast and polenta from Trader Joe's for dinner and leftovers. Not in a cooking mood. Tuesday is the only day I watch TV [and knit]: HGTV Farmhouse Fixers and PBS Finding Your Roots. I love the historic old Massachusetts houses featured on FF, some dating from the 1600s.

Have a good week.

The modern Tarot sends contradictory messages some mornings?????



gone to the beach......

Quilty Folk blog and Linky  HERE