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

Friday, July 10, 2020

Mid-June to Mid-July Sewing ~ Quilting Deck Time

Good evening , friends! We're having a tropical storm here today---as night has fallen now the winds are really blowing hard from the SSE. My umbrella table is chittering and chattering and walking itself across the deck. I hope it survives.

The French General textile collage was finished a week or two ago and turned into a little pillow. 

I enjoyed doing this kit, the handwork was fun and new to me; new prodecuts too, like Clover fusible and Valdani embroidery thread. I'd use the thread again but it runs about 8.oo a tiny ball so is usually out of my budget.

These are the spiderweb stitch rosettes, using the Valdani thread.

I ended up using the wonderful buttons, celluloid? as decoration because my initial plan to use them on a buttoning flange didn't work out due to the fabric shortages in the kit.

The buttons are really unusual and beautiful and were an unexpected treat included in the kit. [I may reposition them to show more though.]

I used my own blue birds-and-butterflies toile for the backing, because, again, there was not enough of the intended backing included. [and no response from FG.]

I felt like my 4th of July decor was very over done this year of quiet sadness and no celebration, so the very next day I put everything away, put put my big market basket of carpet bowls instead and set the blue baskets pillow in the corner.

The kit served its purpose of being a fun treat. Positive feelings about the new products. The antique Basket block is beautiful but rather fragile and was in danger of tearing when sewed with anything more than a thin needle, making the embroidery with the coarse Valdani thread rather fraught with worry. But fun. I love the result and would have ordered another kit if FG had responded in any way to my dilemma of fabric shortages.

This is a pillow I made years ago, photo for friend Sue who asked to see it. It's my basic blue seashell toile but embellished with beads and tiny seashells and seashell fringe. The back is tan linen recycled from, I think, a man''s shirt , with linen tape ties to close it.

My next project is a sewalong from one of my FB quilt groups. Tiny Baskets of Blessings, by Julie Porter.

The embroideries are so tiny, I need special magnifier glasses or gadget, if anyone can recommend?  Each little basket is supposed to hold a good wish or a blessing, to remember and share; it will be my only  needlework that references the pandemic and unrest of this year. The one Basket is sideways on purpose as it it dumping out its message of love to all.

I often think of my friends, including blog friends and internet friends, as one of the greatest blessings in my life. I feel so fortunate to live in a technological time where I can share so easily, for example this sewalong with friend Penny in South Africa. [with permission from designer Julie].

Here is Penny's work in progress, obviously she is a far better embroiderer than I am.

More of my blocks--they finish 3" square.

In honor of friendships I used almost all fabrics that were given to me by friends, tiny favorites that I cherish.

This project has been stored in my special hope and dream box, only the most wonderful tiny quilt blocks go there.


Below is a small treat from Temecula Quilt Company. 

You can see I am doing a bit of online retail therapy to overcome the grief of  the world we've lost, the freedoms given up.
A new group of tiny BROWN calico fabrics, quite authentic. I love getting these small bits at a reasonable price! They're about 4" x 9", I think, plenty for a doll quilt. And a gift enclosed of a dear little book of doll quilt patterns. "Rosie" is, I think my fave.

More hand sewing---this week I ran out of handwork and was very glad to pick up last Fall's project of Almost Amish, for hand quilting. I like to hand quilt, chose a medium sized even stitch. It is NOT ''big stitch"! and I didn't feel the quilt, an Amish doll quilt, was suitable for fine tiny stitches, going for a utility stitch instead to be authentic.

Today during the storm I prepped Tiny Baskets' applique, the adorable finishing touch. More on that, soon. And I finished sewing Baby Pineapples top. I'll show it to you next week when it gets a good pressing before heading out to the quilter. I'm excited that it is almost done!

Flowers for the weekend. The market was quiet, 2 PM, everyone masked. The cashiers wear full clear face shields and are behind Plexiglas barriers. One must bag one's own groceries; I usually did anyway, but I don't mind some help either. I could not afford flowers, they were $18.99 a bunch.



gone to the beach...

beach photo from Nicky in SA. The flowering plants are indigenous aloes, aren't they gorgeous. I never knew aloes would bloom, even.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July Begins

Hello, back here trying to blog with the ''new'' [evil] Blogger.[edit: I didn't make myself clear...the photo issue, presumably a result of the New Blogger change, is on BOTH/ ALL versions. Reverting to old Blogger is no help. And I'm not opposed to learning new things and new skills, but I don't like changes that are counter productive and tedious.]
 For now I'll try shorter, or more wordy? posts, possibly more often because uploading photos is a horrible tedious task, one slow pic at a time. Bear with me, ''it isn't my fault"!

Today I went to a large clinic for Xrays. My friend L went with me, the first time we have seen each other since  March 11. Her quarantine is over and I have isolated rigorously  so we deemed it safe.
What a joy to spend a brief time with my best friend! We plan to meet up later in the week, or soon, to sit at an outdoor cafe and enjoy a summer ice tea together. We may even scope out the church flea. Imagine my excitement to see the billboard up by the grocery store. Can it be true? And is it safe?

Today's thing was my third or fourth venture out since early March, solely for medical so called necessities. We waited my turn in the car, they text when it is okay to come in---this place actually has a parking lot, a rarity here. The lobby had only maybe 3 people instead of the usual heaving throng and 2 hour wait. I notice these covid protocols are really changing how doctors manage their offices, no more many hour waits---in and out in minutes. That's a huge improvement, for the patients anyway. I suppose it's hard on the medical professionals' bottom line though.

Doctors practices are money making businesses like any other, you know. They are selling a service, we are buying; don't be gullible.I always talk about the satirical cartoon I saw in a medical journal: the motivational speaker at an MDs' convention was saying, "Managed care means repeat customers!"

Fourth of July was quiet but nice. I was invited to a small BBQ, very socially distanced, just a few guests. But oh what a pleasure, like old good times, to sit outside on a hot summer evening and have burgers and potato salad and hand dipped Italian ice.

My other best friend is very proud of his gardening at his new home. [Imagine having to move at the height of the virus here! Stressful!]. He finally has the blue hydrangeas he has always wanted and he finally got his vegetable crop going, late but we have a very late frost here.

He even gave me a few pumpkin seeds to try in my elephant ears pot. The big bulb rotted, but I do have babies.

Maybe they'll continue and get big next year? The other plant is the red amaryllis, doing well in its summer place.

This is my sad pot of lilies. We had a wind storm and poof, all gone. And what a mess those red petals make, ugh.

I replanted with the finally arriving seeds from an etsy seller. Supposedly heirloom varieties.

This is the wildflower pot.


Borage. The blue gilia is gone as is the spiky yellow weed; this week I have blue borage, so delicate, so blue!

I don't know what this is, broom?

I sowed more mixed wildflower seeds and wildflower "Mexican Hats" seeds . They will,  I hope, fill in for later summer blooms.

Another odd virus diary note: I hadn't worn earrings for almost 5 months. Going to the BBQ I dug out a red t-shirt and my best twill LL Bean tailored shorts; could not find my good white dressy sneakers. And I decided I would wear the cute beachy earrings I bought back in January at Target.

Oh no. Who knew one's earholes close up so quickly. Couldn't get them in/on, but the following day I tried again and was successful. Not that anyone but Mo will see them, I grumbled. So I go to walk Mo, and put on my mask. Oh. Now I know why I haven't worn earrings all spring--masks loops and  earrings do not do well together. Another personal little favorite thing bites the virus dust. sigh.

Isn't this cool? I love the skywriter planes, was happy they are back. It says HOT SUMMER something, lol, I think rentals?

Book series binge this past week has been mysteries starring forensic Genealogist Morton Farrier [apparently it's a real job!], by Nathan Dylan Goodwin HERE  Some of the history-dense stories are interesting; the WW 2 RAF setting was an eye opener---500 German bombers in the sky over England!? But some jump around too much, impossible to follow or care; others are subjects of little interest to me, like the horrors inflicted on female suffragettes. If you're interested in history or genealogy, you might enjoy the series; my family has been researched to tedium, but the history, is, again, interesting.  Free in Kindle Unlimited/ Prime.

And last, no picture maybe but this recipe sounds delish! A quinoa salad; here
I will add feta and red peppers, skip the beans. I feel more inspired to try new recipes when I can do my own shopping, how about you?

Quilt projects update later in the week.

Mo says Hi!



gone to the beach....

PS For those of you who expressed concern that Mo does not like dressing up and / or wearing his decorative head bands- AKA ''holiday crowns''--1- He wears them only for a few seconds for the photo 2- he is amply rewarded with treats 3- he is a pug and pugs love attention and learning/doing tricks and being the center of attention; 4- I would NEVER force Mo to do anything he didn't want to do or that hurt or distressed him, though he wasn't thrilled to have to go alone into the vet for his check up.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July, my friends!

Here is Mo getting ready for his parade:

What do you mean,Mommy?
That I must parade all by myself this year?
That's  no fun!

Hi! Keeping up a good face and positive attitude, I did some holiday decorating this week. 4th of July is such a wonderful happy celebration of summer and good times. And even if this year won't be like other years and Mo's parade is cancelled, the Flags must fly and the sun will shine.

"You say there will be ice cream? For ME?!"



gone to the beach.......