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

Friday, June 29, 2018

Schoolgirl Album Blocks: June , Strawberry Moon with rainbows, plus Mo's Encounter with a Crab

Good evening, friends! A mishy mashy post today, ''something for everyone''! Where to begin?

I caught up on my Antebellum Schoolgirl Album quilt blocksat the last  last minute, still was sewing late Tuesday night. The new block for July was posted Wednesday! Phew, made my deadline.

This month we have the sappy lovers as the central toile block

Mel  was supposed to be helping me chose the ''solid'' color [plain squares] for the 9'' Hideous version, but it was late and Zzzz, I ended up with her first choice, an older Blue Hill calico vine.

Other options were Hideous [Wyndham's Jamestown] yellow ...

or Hideous purple. The purple was  my favorite [and at one point, Mel's].

but in person the yellow sprig, looked best.

Using one's cellphone camera is such a wonderful tool for quilters. I see things I never realized, in this case that the Friendship Star is the wrong size. [Can fix by trimming.] And that I better use the purple with the duck egg blue dots, lower left, again, at least twice more, to tie things together.

Then we have the Blues version:

Here are the blocks so far. Are you yawning yet? Me too.

July's upcoming block is a simple Ohio Star with a fancy name.  Good, I needed ''easy''. I am enjoying these blocks and always read the history provided, but while interesting, the narrative doesn't capture my imagination,like Westering Women did. As always though, Barbara Brackman's knowledge is impressive.

And here is TQC's block of the week for 1880. [their blog pic, not mine]. Easy peasy,too.And just the one.


This flashed on my phone yesterday afternoon. Full moon high tide flooding. An alert always gives me a twinge, but these flood warnings aren't very threatening.

The afternoon darkened  off and on, brief squalls of sun and storms. With beautiful rainbows.

And finally the June Strawberry moon rose over the dunes. Quite pink, and magical.

earlier in the week, not yet full


Mo 's evening walk was timed to coincide with moon-rise. We meandered out towards the beach bench. Mo dislikes humidity and he was lagging and sniffing and being a brat.


Crunch! As we neared home, he stopped yet again to sniff what I thought were some bleached tan leaves---the euonymous has shedded and regrown, dropping tan leaves from last year. But then Mo got quite excited. I looked more closely, Mo was eating something.

Mo knows the words Leave it! and also Icky! And he let me reach down and take the ''leaf'' out of his mouth. OMG! It was a LIVE crab. Dropped by a seagull no doubt.

Nothing quite so gross as having the creature you thought was a leaf, scrabble and squirm alive in your hand. Bleeeah! I yelled and threw it away. Mo happily continued crunching the claw he had held onto.  In other circumstances maybe I'd have put the crab in a sandpail and taken it back to the ocean...but in my creeped out surprise I threw it into the hydrangeas and ran home to wash my hands.

Poor crab.

PS Blogger reply still is not working and so it takes me awhile to reply, pls bear with me. I value your thoughts and comments.

Have a good weekend! Is this whole coming week a holiday for you? It is here at the beach, gonna be a busy ten days for me and Mo the Crab Cruncher.



gone to the beach....

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Hi! It's the end of June already! I was going to write about beach books and summer reading but I have to take Mo to the vet for his annual check up and vaccinations, so I'll do that post another time. The weekend was cool and foggy. The beach is not always bright sunshine and blue skies, blue water.

I love fog, but maybe not on a picnic day.

 A preening Oystercatcher, one of the pair that nests on the west boundary of my beach. I haven't seen its mate. This guy is preening---looking for a new lady? Or perhaps the other OC is minding the babies, hidden in the dunes til it's safe to feed them t sunset.

Be sure to look at the Strawberry Full Moon on Thursday!



gone to the beach....

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Quilting Round Up ~ mid-May to mid-June

Hello! Mo and I just got home from a long sunset walk, celebrating the Solstice and a glorious sunset on this first day of summer. As I move my sewing work from machine sewing to hand work only on the deck and beach, I am looking at what I have going and I'm feeling a smidge overwhelmed. First up, Temecula Quilt Company's 1880 Sampler. 4 [4 1/2"]" blocks. Here are the most recent.

Isn't my chicken wire window prop cute!

But this past week we were taxed with the assignment of making FIVE crazy blocks, each incorporating an adorable but perhaps intimidating 2" block in each. My mind skidded to a horrified halt.I really enjoy this project. I can usually get one a week done, or four or five at a time. Nine or ten? I'm not so sure and who knows what this week will bring.

These blocks were all fun to make though, so I'll dither along as best I can.
Here they are with their worksheets. I don't follow the instructions though so I only print the barest dimensions.

If we go back and look at the inspiration quilt, there is little or no blue in it, so I am moving to a Hideous [Jamestown by Nancy Gere]  palette of poison greens, yellows, reds, double pinks, instead.

I did do one blue star, because I wanted to look through my Turkey red fabrics and fell in love with the center piece here.

Here are all the blocks so far. 19. I'm not sure how many we are going to make, 52 +? or what, so this is drop in the bucket time, also discouraging in a way. I hate falling behind.


Pattern photo, NOT my work
Here is another project that I am working on in a lackadaisical way. It's called Feathered Star and is by Jan Patek, a very old pattern that has been resurrected for a FB sewalong. I think the quilt is beautiful. But the directions and patterns are hopelessly awful. Plan  is to do only the applique bits this summer, then set it aside. Or I may just drop the project entirely. Unusual for me but I am unhappy with it.
I subbed pineapples for the clunky Tulips. The pineapples could have more color and contrast but I am trying to stay within the parameters of the black and cream original [even though it really was red/ white/ and blue, it seems, on close inspection of the marginally useful photo]. But see how the original Tulips form almost abstract tassels from the shield of the Star center. The fabrics for the PAs and my changes have negated that. Not good.

Now I am doing the Birds in Baskets blocks.

Pattern photo, not my work, below. Fabrics provided in the sewalong are beautiful but  dark and  dull, above.

pattern photo, not my work

Then there is the handles problem.

You can see that  my finished piece exactly matches the pattern, on the  original printout, right? Look at the handles. BUT pattern photo shows the handles somewhat set in, with little ears. And truly the handle should be even more. And then the side spacers are set oddly with a short seam and a cutaway. Why? I am annoyed with myself because I knew the handles looked bad and that seam looked awkward but I was following a not at all clear pattern.


It is crucial in a design like this that each block finishes exactly as intended or the whole thing won't go together. So I didn't fix the handle and with 3 1/2 birds done [think tiny, finicky], I can't see redoing it. It is the exact size, as I perceive what the exact size ought to be...but who knows, it's a Jan Patek pattern.

I always say I never have unfinished projects but this one may be UFO number one, sadly. I'm pretty upset right now. Cute though. And no saltbox house with dog, since it's early.

Last on the sewing list is my SG Album project with Barbara Brackman. I have a few weeks before I'm behind with that one.  No pics. I guess that's on deck for the next rainy day. [October?]. I don't mind getting behind on BB projects, there's no show and tell or competitiveness in her projects.

For some reason I am struggling with my beach sewing, mostly due to the high winds. Tomorrow I plan to prep Bitty for hand quilting, leaving tiny appliques for deck  time. And I might...just might!...soon start my all applique Christmas quilt.


Happy Solstice, Welcome summer.



gone to the beach....