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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Solstice

Hello, friends! Yesterday, June 21st was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Such days seem special to me always, days that mark beginnings and ending, days that will never come again.
What will this summer bring? I'm afraid to hope, but hope anyway.
Mo and I will spend our afternoons on the deck.

Ship watching is always fun. Last week I could see a beautiful huge white cruise ship, out among the tankers and cargo ships.
I look the boats up on Shipfinder. It's the blue icon off New Jersey. The black icon above it is a cargo ship.

It was this ship. It looked a lot bigger in person! And brilliant glowing white.

Now back to sewing. Whatever shall we work on? I have two ongoing projects to finish: all the fussy binding, beading and sewing on of 68 yoyo buds, onto Summertime. [and actually I need at least 20 more yos! Sue? Did we make extras? I must count the ones Sue made for me.] And I have the top border/ banner of Fall Festival to complete though I won't then sew the top together until winter, unless if we have some long rainy summer days. Summer is too beautiful, to rare, to spend the hours indoors, behind a clattering machine.
But the advent of summer cries out for a new project or two. or three! Two mostly pieced quilts from Jan Patek. I'll do the hand applique of the moons, stars, pumpkins over the summer, then again do the piecing during indoor time, next winter.

Yes, it's the border vine from FF, sigh. I decided to make this before Lori announced the FF sewalong. At least it's cool, with acorns and bittersweet. It will be made with thrifted pale greeny white plaid shirts, and red and black calico.

I thought this so-cute fabric might be fun for labels on Fall quilts? Not sure how yet.

I love this mostly blue and white winter quilt by Jan P. The simple patchwork Stars in blue and white are something I can actually use in my house. I love the snow scene at the bottom, even don't mind the Patek Saltbox house with Kitty and Doggy. They're used differently here, I like them. The Stars should go fast [hahaha, yeah, right] as they're really made with Flying Geese blocks, which I learned to make fast this past winter.

I planned to use many random dark blues, but --what do you think?--I am thinking the white stars should be this so adorable Snowman print!? Or some of the Stars?

Snowman Gatherings III Blue on Tallow Snow Friends Yardage SKU# 1210-14

And this is a little project, sheer indulgence in something sweet, a small prim quilt by Minick and Simpson, called Bitty's Quilt.

Sometimes I like to make small quilts/ crib quilts for ''someday''. Who knows when the right baby might come along.

I pulled out stash fabrics.

But also gave myself the treat of some new soft simple fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop.[not all are successful--- the problem with ordering online. But all are very pretty.]

My friend Sue is making Bitty also. It's not a project to divide into segments for a sewalong, but we'll both probably show off our progress as the summer slowly slips by. I plan to do needle turn hand applique, as does Sue, I think. I may cheat and machine sew the stem because it would make it sturdier in case it is someday an actual baby quilt.


Mo and I are doing well with our walks, though I find them exhausting. Soon it will be too hot for Mo and I am thinking hard about his schedule for hot summer days' exercise. We stop in our friends' garden during our long noon walk, for a cool drink and a five minute rest. This is not us being lazy! Pugs cannot tolerate hot weather; Mo likes a long walk but needs a break halfway.

Remember Mr Mockingbird, who sings outside my computer window, in the ugly locust tree? Well he has found a Mrs Mockingbird this year! And apparently they have a nest with eggs or babies. Every afternoon when Mo and I go out for our walk we are dive-bombed by chittering, terrified Mockingbird parents! I have no idea where the nest is. When we come inside and I look out my window, the birds are gone again, only to appear the next time we walk. I have to say my feelings are hurt! I wear a hat and cringe and think, Ha! So ungrateful, Mr Mockingbird? Did I not set out cranberries and blueberries for you, winter after winter, all these years? I'd never hurt your children, you should know that! But of course he does not know that. I can't wait to see the babies learn to fly!
Mo has NO interested in birds whatsoever.

And something for the weekend, an idea from Mel a few years ago, quite easy and tasty. Zatarain's Dirty Rice.

Yes it's a mix or kit, but who cares? It calls for ground beef (or chicken/turkey?). I also saute onions and garlic, add sweet peppers, and though I forgot this week, I think  fire roasted chopped tomatoes are a nice addition. The mix is a bit too spicy so I'll add plain brown rice to make it blander and healthier. It's not ''summery'' but I find it so useful to have a casserole in the fridge for those, "Ma, I'm starving?!?" moments. Or if we have torrential rains from H Cindy remnants, as predicted. LOL, how embarrassing for Mother Nature:Hurricane CINDY? Yeesh.

Years ago I had a neighbor who followed olde traditions and every Summer Solstice she and her women friends would don long floaty robes [aka beach cover ups and caftans], and they'd perform an elaborate spiral walk/ dance out on the beach. Drums gently drumming, almost unheard over the crash of the waves.The spiral was always large, maybe thirty feet in diameter? More? No one bothered the celebration, or commented; they never invited us outsiders  to perform. I'd have liked to walk in that circle, it looked so peaceful and joyous.

Have a great weekend.



gone to the beach...


  1. You have plans galore for quilt making. Oh, use the snowman print. Love it. I also very much like the very folk art look of the Bitty pattern you plan to make. Especially in a folk art quilt, the stem sewn by machine should work just fine.

    1. Karen, anyone is welcome to sew along on Bitty. Planning a very relaxed pace.

  2. Lot of new projects lined up! I like all the quilt patterns. I think the stars would be pretty in dark blues, and I can also see them being very pretty in the white print - or maybe white and pale blue prints, mixed, as they'd look like snowflakes! Maybe you'll have to make BOTH the dark blues and the whites version of that quilt, LOL!

    The small prim quilt is cute, and the deliberately mismatched backing cracks me up.

    Mo looks handsome in his 'portraits'. And your cloud pictures are so pretty!

    It's cloudy here today and a little cooler, I think we got very early morning rain. Next week's forecast has a LOT of rain...oh joy.

    Your dirty rice is making me hungry. I may have to make it for supper tonight!

  3. I always feel like I want to do something to mark the summer solstice, but it always gets by me. Maybe next year. Saw a photo on Instagram of people gathering around a maypole, I believe in Sweden. It looked beautiful. I just know this summer holds good things for you.

    I think your ship app is so cool. Cruise ships are so huge in person. They come into Long Beach and I am always amazed at their size. I am also amazed that people feel comfortable traveling on them!

    The rice stuff sounds good. I love to McGuyver boxed mac and cheese, and Top Ramen. I'm never disappointed, lol.

    Mo looks especially handsome. Wishing the mocking birds all the best!


    1. I agree about Midsummer, I d like to mark it with a tradition more than just going, Hmmm, days will get shorter now. I loved the Maypole pic you sent. My kids nursery school did a Maypole, for May Day. It was so cute.

      The ship app is free on iPhone and prob you can find on your tablet. I know what you mean about how huge the ships are. In NYC when they go by to the Piers, it looks like a skyscraper floating by!
      I ve never gotten creative w Mac n Cheese or Top Ramen! LOL. Something to look forward to?

      Mo and Mockingbords say Thanks, tho the MB really attacked me last night, scary!


    2. Darn birds. Keep your head down ;)

      YES, like a skyscraper that fell over!

  4. Happy Summer Solstice! The quilts look great. I am always amazed at how many projects you do. It is awesome! Pretty soon I am off to watch ships passing by in the Pacific. :) Yay! Kit

    1. Thanks Kit! I know you ll love your trip to the ocean. I look forward to seeing the details on your blog!

  5. My favorite of your new quilts is Bitty's Quilt. It looks old fashioned and soft.
    Those darn birds! I was divebombed once by a barn hawk that had babies in a nest (we placed!) It kind of freaked me out a little bit and always wore a hat after that.
    Happy summer!!

  6. Mid summer is a rough time for all pugs (and some puggles) ... I'm so glad that Mo has a place to cool off before you go home!

    Again, loving the projects you have going - always lovely and amazing!



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